They are doing that again. Lately, they did a lot. Not that she complained.
Besides, it was inevitable.
Everything that could be pleasant had a cost in the Island of the Lost. Uma still remembered the documentary she had seen on television and kept biting her uncomfortably. A documentary about the development of Auradon. Outside the island, what they thought were luxuries were simple necessities. Outside the island, they called it subsist. Health, food in good condition, drinking water, security, shelter, rights, and many other things. All that, outside the barrier, was basic necessities. But in the Island of the Lost, those were luxuries. There, everything had a price and few could afford it. All those needs that could bring happiness weren’t daily guarantees. And many of those things, like security and rights, didn’t even exist.
Uma had concluded that it wasn’t strange that she and Harry had taken refuge in the only pleasure they could get for free.
Because when she kissed Harry, she could forget the hunger she felt. Because when they were together, they no longer felt cold. Because together, she and Harry were stronger, more daring, and braver. Because she felt good when Harry touched her. So, it was inevitable that their closeness was their comfort. Because when the world was violent and starving, they joined forces to overcome any problem. Because being with Harry cost absolutely nothing and the benefits were incalculable.
What they did was a secret.
The adults hated love. But Uma knew why. Love had defeated all of them. Love had locked them in that island. Love was a taboo because it was the weapon that conquered evil. Villains desired, wanted, possessed, seduced, and manipulated. Villains dodged love. Or so they had done when they were free. There, adults had educated their children with resentment. For the villains, love had stayed outside the barrier. The heroes had captured love.
But Uma didn’t think so. She had seen some adults be good parents, who loved their children sincerely. Even if they didn't use that word. She had seen others suffer for love or be in love. Maybe it was her nature as a sea witch, but for her, it was inevitable to read those things. Perhaps, if she lived outside the barrier, that knowledge would help her make the best deals. Love was a powerful ingredient.
So, Uma knew that what she and Harry had wasn't love. They were best friends and their loyalty was powerful. But there was no love with them. In that prison, there was no time to love if they wanted to survive. They didn’t want to confuse comfort with something else. In other circumstances maybe they could give themselves a chance. What they had was the only free pleasure that existed in the Island of the Lost.
Because they had that. Sleeping together. Uma waking up to look at Harry so she could feel calmer when she saw him in her bed. For her to sit on his abdomen and wake him up. For Harry to open his eyes and immediately smile to have her technically naked on him. So, they don't need words to know what they were against the world. They had that.
"You're already thinking so early in the morning." Harry joked.
"One of us must do it."
He laughed and slid his hands over her legs. Uma enjoyed the contrast they were. Harry said she was silk-coated diamonds and that was why he couldn't stop touching her. A pirate was always attracted to priceless treasures. Uma slipped her nails over his strong abdomen. He was tempered steel and tanned leather. Uma smiled at the sight of the red marks she had left on his torso. She could feel his bites on her skin. Uma touched his neck, where the marks of her lips and fingers were visible to everyone. Harry preferred it that way. Instead, she liked them being in strategic places. Under her skirt, so she could lift her skirt to show Harry’s bites. Or she just had to slide the neckline of her blouse to show her shoulder full of marks.
Harry stroked her sides, going up her waist to follow the shape of her ribs. She leaned over his mouth and looked into his eyes. Harry was chaos and danger. He reminded her to the sea in those stories that Captain Hook told in his good days. Uma sighed on his lips. He stroked her back and played with her hair. She rested her weight on him. The contact of their bodies had become familiar and comforting. Harry licked his lips, tempting her. She knew she could waste hours kissing him, rubbing her body against him, marking him and admiring how attractive he was. The temptation was there, promising her oblivion for a moment.
"Uma!" Her mother's voice made her sit.
Harry growled but didn't fight to get her back. Because they both knew what Ursula could do if she found them that way.
Uma jumped out of bed, back to one of her worn-out dresses and pulled her hair. Behind her, Harry was dressing, recovering his hook and pirate accessories, ready to go out the window. She opened the door and signaled to her best friend. Her mother was not in sight.
"What do you want?" She shouted.
"There is a letter for you."
She and Harry exchanged glances.
"And it's in the hand of someone from Auradon."
That was enough for them to exchange looks and she came down to see who it was. Uma had never seen someone from Auradon in person. Only on television. But by the uniform, she assumed she was a servant.
"Uma?" The woman asked "Ursula's daughter?"
She looked around. Her mother had returned to her room. The restaurant had enough sailors and pirates for everyone on the island to find out what was happening.
"Uma is more than enough." She hated to be identified as Ursula's daughter and nothing else.
"This is for you." The woman extended the letter.
"And who wrote it…?" Uma crossed her arms.
At that moment, Harry entered through the front door of the restaurant, like every morning. As if he hadn't woken up in her bed. He winked at her and approached them.
The effect was immediate. Insults and roars filled the restaurant. Harry stood beside her and she took the letter.
"Silence!" She screamed.
She didn't want to attract her mother's attention.
The clients tensed. But she and Harry kept the threat silent. If they had to throw all those people to the sharks to read in peace, they would. The woman tensed at the violent reaction. Uma smiled and opened the letter.
"What is it?" Harry whispered in her ear.
She read quickly. A letter by hand. Blue ink. Royal blue. Nice writing. Easy to read. A cordial greeting. A pompous introduction of who he was. As if Uma didn't know who Prince Ben was. She smiled. Lovely.
"In a month he will be crowned king." Uma commented to Harry.
"But he isn’t the same age as us?”
"Most of the heroes married or inherited their kingdoms around this age." Uma reminded him.
She preferred to spend her time studying History. Heroes and villains. Princesses and Warriors. Monsters and Gods. Everything that worked as a source of inspiration. Also, on the island, they had confiscated all sources of magic, but sometimes, the history books included information about potions or spells.
Uma turned her attention to the letter. In the following paragraph, Ben explained that everyone deserved a chance. She looked around. What kind of opportunity could they have there? Uma denied. How unfortunate it was that the next king of Auradon was so-
"Wait a minute." She almost choked on her own words.
"What?" Harry looked at her in surprise.
Uma gestured for him to remain silent and read on. Her fingers caressed the royal seal. Blue wax painted with gold. She looked at the woman and she nodded.
"Who received this letter too?"
"The son of Cruella de Vil, the son of Jafar, the daughter of the Evil Queen and the daughter of Maleficent." The woman reported.
"No one else will receive this...?" She hesitated.
"Uma?" Harry asked.
The woman denied. Nobody else.
She turned and stared at Harry. Her pinky closed in Harry's hook.
“Prince Ben is inviting me to live in Auradon. Where I live, my studies and other expenses would be covered by the kingdom.”
He opened his eyes. Harry understood what all that meant. That was the opportunity for her to be free. For the first time, something more powerful than their parents and the island wanted to separate them. That was the opportunity for Uma to have a better life. For the first time, they could be separated.
Uma turned to the woman.
"Wait here." She ordered.
To her surprise, the woman nodded almost solemnly. Uma went up to her room. Behind her, she heard Harry calling her. But she didn't have time. In her room, she took the case where she kept her designer pens. Maybe Auradon not give them to survive, but they always remembered that the villains were artistic. She wouldn't have warm sheets, but she definitely had pens with seven different shades of turquoise. Uma went down the stairs and put her case on the meson. She took the letter and turned it to have the blank side to write.
"Greetings, Royal Highness." Uma read aloud with a mischievous smile. "I'm glad to know that at least someone from Auradon recalled that the people who live in the Island of the Lost are also part of their subjects. Congratulations.”
Harry laughed mischievously and in seconds was by her side. Behind the meson, hidden from everyone's sight, he closed his grip on her hips.
“I receive your invitation with surprise. Because unless you plan to get me out of here so Mal’s gang could try to kill me-”
Harry took her red pen and wrote over her words 'And fail terribly.'
She rolled her eyes and pushed him playfully to continue writing.
“You have chosen a curious battleground for me. Four spoiled descendants against a sea witch. What twisted humor of yours, royal highness.” Uma continued with sarcasm in her voice.
"Prince Ben-" The woman tried to defend her beloved child.
Uma rolled her eyes.
"Relax. We know that." She said. "It's a joke. Breathe. I know that he isn’t aware of what he does. Like most of the people in Auradon."
Uma looked at her letter and pondered what else she could put in it. While her ideas were organized, she began drawing on the edge of the sheet. Waves. A boat. A pirate flag. Harry joined her artistic moment. A hook. Musical notes. A shell. Pearls. A treasure chest. They looked at each other. Yes, they knew exactly what to put.
“I appreciate your invitation and your opportunity for a better life. ”Uma spoke with such sarcasm that she hoped Ben could feel it when he read. "But I will have to reject you this time."
Harry wrote 'You're not worthy enough to be in her presence, handsome.'
She looked at her best friend. This response would cause her freedom opportunity to be eliminated. But what kind of boring life would she have without him?
“The only way I could agree to leave this place is if this invitation includes Harry Hook. I will not sail alone to unknown lands with my enemies as my only 'allies'. Although, I admit that your first decree is quite revolutionary for the small world in which you live. But I would have some suggestions.”
Even though she was aware that prince Ben would never respond to her and that she just rejected her opportunity for freedom. Uma couldn't help tempting him to accept. It was in her nature to make deals. Uma signed her name and slid the sheet towards Harry, who wrote his name and drew a skull surrounded by a tentacle. He put his hand on the letter and slid his hook over her arm. A silent question. She nodded. Yes, she was sure of that. Uma and Harry were a team. Unbreakable. Inseparable. Immovable. Together.
Uma extended her answer to the woman. She looked at the letter with intrigue and then at Uma. But she nodded. Clever woman. Uma liked her. The woman left.
"Uma!" Her mother's voice rang out in the restaurant.
So, she had been aware of everything that happened.
Uma took a breath and looked at Harry before going to her mother.
Hours later, in Auradon, the future king finished reading the only answer he received. Although Ben hadn't expected any. He was surprised everyone had accepted. Well, technically everyone. Someone had given a condition on his invitation. Ben smiled. He hadn’t planned to put Uma in an awkward situation. As always, fate had worked with its own agenda. But now he knew that Maleficent's daughter had a gang and that they were enemies of Uma and Harry. But thanks to his servants, he had also found out other small details. In the case of Mal's gang, it was their parents who received the invitation and accepted. Without notifying their children. In Uma's case, she had personally received her letter and her mother hadn’t been involved.
Ben looked at the drawings related to the sea and pirates. As a child, he had learned to sail on a sailboat as part of his preparation to be king. Seeing the drawings that Uma and Harry had done, he felt like taking a sailboat and having fun.
Uma would only agree to go if he invited Harry Hook to Auradon.
Harry, who easily threatened him and called him handsome with impudence.
Ben took a paper and his favorite pen. How could he refuse such a deal?
Greetings little creatures!
So, this idea was born on Tumblr. Someone asked me 'What if Ben had invited Uma from the start?' And an entire idea came up. And I couldn't stop thinking about this. So, here I am.
Until next time!
Ben responded to the letter with a kind of emotion that he hadn’t felt for a long time. Maybe never. Which spoke terribly about him and his life. But Ben had accepted that Harry also came. No, he hadn’t accepted. He had been delighted with the idea. Besides, Uma had an elegant and beautiful letter, Harry's was youthful and sharp when he wrote. They were excellent artists. As far as his messenger could inform him, they were very close. Possibly a couple. They communicated with simple looks. According to his messenger, after reading his invitation, Uma had answered his letter quickly. She had been very sarcastic. Harry had smiled all the time. Except at the end. Just before they sent him the letter.
Ben suspected that Harry was afraid that Uma would lose her chance because of her decision to not be separate from Harry.
But Ben admired that about them.
He and Audrey had grown up together. She knew his castle as well as he knew hers. They had met Chad the first day in kindergarten and had been best friends ever since. Sometimes, Ben wondered what had happened to his two best friends. Since their childhood, he and Audrey had been engaged in marriage. But at her twelve years old, she had understood the meaning of those words and had changed. She had begun preparing to be a queen. Which was incredibly noble. But the determined and courageous Audrey of his childhood almost completely vanished to become a perfect princess. He missed his best friend, with cruel humor, scandalous laughter and capable of getting into trouble if that meant she could steal a couple of baked cookies. On the other hand, Chad had always been more innocent and simpler. Ben could remember the way Chad always smiled when Audrey had a new plan or Ben and he spent hours building a treehouse that never worked. Now, Chad reminded him of his own father's story. Beauty and popularity had done him wrong. Chad was very sure of himself. Very used to people wanting to please him simply for being handsome. No matter how many times they heard the story of how his father had been turned into a monster because of his pride, Chad seemed not to understand the message. Ben missed his best friend capable of trying the impossible a million times and having fun in every attempt.
Uma was right, he lived in a small world.
Maybe that's why Ben wanted to know more experiences. He wanted to be the kind of leader who tried to understand all his subjects and give them a chance of a better life.
Ben had responded to their letter without hiding his emotion. He had been more than happy to have Harry Hook among his guests. Ben had suggested that they could use a sailboat. Ben could show them some nearby beaches and one of his favorite reefs.
For the first time, Ben wondered how it should feel to be born on the Island of the Lost without their family's inheritance. Without magic. Without the possibility to navigate. Without freedom. Just a little world that was full of stories from abroad. Stories not very promising. Stories full of resentment.
Harry was right, he wasn’t worthy enough to be in their presence.
But still, Ben tried. He also wrote to Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay. Not a formal invitation. On this occasion, he wrote to know about them, to know what he could offer them so that the time they were in Auradon was pleasant for them.
He just wanted to understand them better.
Ben looked out the window, toward the sea. His letter must have reached Uma and Harry, as well as Mal's gang.
"Bennyboo?" Audrey put her cup of tea on the table and looked at him "Are you still worried?"
Audrey's mother used affectionate nicknames with her husband. So, Audrey did it with him too. But they knew it was something forced. Audrey supposed they would eventually get used to it. But for the moment, it was still awkward.
Even so, she could read him. Audrey was still his best friend.
"How do you think they are?" Ben asked.
Chad stopped reading his magazine and smiled funny.
“Horns? Fangs? Evil mustaches.” Chad commented “Tentacles and hooks.”
Ben was surprised. He had forgotten that technically Uma should have tentacles. Harry couldn't inherit his father's hook. But tentacles? That was heritable. Did that mean Mal would have horns?
“Don't be ridiculous.” Audrey rolled her eyes. “The Island cancels all kinds of magic. My fairy godmothers told me that that includes superhuman powers. They look like anybody.” She smiled “Sure, if you were born in a cloud-covered place all year. A beautiful tan shouldn’t enter in your summer options. But I think villains don't like the sun."
Audrey's mood had always been ingenious. Something malicious but now she hid it. As at that moment, she hid her smile behind the porcelain cup and pretended to drink tea.
"They definitely wear very tight leather clothes." Chad meditated with a lazy smile "You invited three girls, right?"
Not even Audrey's perfect manners could prevent her from taking a cushion and throwing it in Chad's face. His best friend laughed despite the attack. Ben assumed that Uma and Harry would wear pirate clothes. So technically they would wear leather. Boots. Tight pants. Maybe corsets-
"Ben." Audrey whispered in a warning.
He cleared his throat. From his adolescence, sometimes the beast that once was in his father appeared in him. Sometimes like a growl. And other times in his pupils sharpening. But Audrey had designed that secret code to prevent anyone from realizing it. Ben smiled at his girlfriend. She corresponded the gesture with sincerity. It was almost a shame that Audrey preferred to sit in a lonely chair and not in the seat next to him. Sometimes he wanted to take her hand and feel her closeness.
“Man, don't imagine Audrey wearing leather. As attractive as she- Auch!” Chad touched his forehead, where the teaspoon had hit him.
"You're an idiot." Audrey rolled her eyes.
Ben turned his face, blushing. He hadn't been thinking about Audrey. Ben should feel guilty because his hormones hadn’t reacted with Audrey. But he was sure that the same thing happened to her. Even so, Chad kept smiling at Audrey. She was completely red, giving him a tedious speech about why a princess would never wear leather. Ben smiled. There were his best friends. They hadn’t left at all. At least, when it came to them, sometimes he could find them again.
Unfortunately, someone knocks at the door. Audrey was again the perfect princess. Chad went back to his magazine.
His two messengers entered. He smiled with emotion. But only one advanced.
"Only I got an answer." The woman explained.
"I'm sorry to tell you, your highness, that the other four threw away the letters without reading them."
"How ungrateful." Audrey denied and looked at him "I told you this could happen, Bennyboo."
He nodded. But still, he smiled. Because the letter that had arrived was from Harry and Uma.
"Could you leave me alone for a moment?" He asked.
Chad got up immediately and extended his hand to Audrey.
"Let me tempt you with ice cream."
Audrey took his hand, rolling her eyes.
"You know I don't eat sweet things."
Which was false, Audrey loved pastries.
"Please, tempt her." Ben almost begged.
"Ben!" Audrey lamented.
But he could swear she was smiling. Deep down. Or at least, he expected that.
"Oh, I have Ben's permission to tempt you with a chocolate cake, princess." Chad celebrated, taking her out of the room.
His best friends were great. His best friend and his girlfriend.
The messenger advanced to him and handed him the letter. Ben waited until he was alone to open the letter. He was somewhat nervous and very excited.
On that occasion, Harry had responded. He smiled. Technically Harry was accepting his invitation. That was a victory. After all, Harry was suggesting that, for that sailboat date, they could have a duel to know who the captain would be. Uma had written 'Obviously, I will be the captain and you will have to do everything I order '. Ben shivered. Harry had commented on that with a 'Don't tempt the prince to lose. Using your charms is a trick.' Which only indicated that a stranger seemed to know his reactions better than himself. Ben was tempted to ask his messenger how they looked like. But he felt that that would be cheating. Harry had also written that no matter who the captain was, he would be in charge of navigation because he was the only one with true experience. Ben wanted to discuss that. He also had experience. Uma had written 'Well, I'm better swimming.' Ben promised to himself to have a competition with her. He remembered a perfect, private place, where they could swim and spend the afternoon. Maybe have a picnic.
Ben held back the laughter. That was sounding more and more like a date. There should be no illusions. That was just a simple joke from Harry to make him uncomfortable. Or maybe not. Maybe Harry had no problem with flirting with another boy... Ben denied. Harry and Uma were a couple. Even if Harry liked boys, he wouldn't flirt with another person. Uma wouldn’t approve that. They were just playing with him. Ben looked at the new drawings on the edge of the sheet. Uma had drawn a mouth with sharp teeth. Harry had sketched what could be the look of a predator. Ben smiled slightly nervously. They knew how his father had looked like when he was a beast. But Uma had also drawn starfish, corals and a shark that curiously looked adorable. Harry had decided to draw a sword, a dagger, a saber and ropes with different types of knots. Uma had written 'Sharks!' with what he expected was emotion. Harry had drawn what appeared to be a constellation. Maybe he liked the stars. Ben hoped they were excited about the idea of sailing with him.
He thought about answering them, but he held back. He didn't want to look so excited. Deep down, Ben knew that if he wrote back to them, he would offer them more and felt slightly guilty about it. He didn't remember the last date he had with Audrey, but he was already making plans with a couple of strangers. Well, if he thought about it, he just sent his girlfriend on a date with their best friend.
Somebody knocked at the door. But when it opened immediately, he knew it was one of his parents. Ben smiled when he recognized his mother.
"Did they answer you?"
"Only Harry and Uma."
"I'm sorry, honey." His mother sat next to him.
Audrey had sounded the same. He could see where his girlfriend was also taking inspiration.
“Mom, calm down. You sound the same as when some children didn't want to play with me when I was six years old.” Ben joked.
“You can't blame me for being a worried mother. You are someone who gives his heart quickly.” She looked at the letter “And, how are they?”
“Harry will come. So, Uma too.”
"I'll tell you a little secret." Her mother looked at the high ceilings "I'm glad she accepted. I'm glad that Mal, Evie and she accepted."
He looked at her curiously.
“Because this is a world where the protagonists are princesses. But in reality, the power is in men.” She looked at him “Do you know why I insisted that Audrey became your fiancé?”
Ben was surprised by that sudden change of subject.
"Because you have always known her?"
His mother denied.
“Because she has the temperament. Although, now she behaves like any other princess. But you know? I expected more determination in her. I didn’t accept many things that were decided in the past. But I was just the queen. My opinion didn't matter. So, I raised you so you could make those changes." Her mother held her laughter "I never thought you were as fast or as radical in making your decisions. But maybe it's because my present self has become accustomed to many things that my past self would never have accepted.” She shrugged.
"I never thought you felt this way." Ben looked at her with sincere respect "I always thought you liked the things that dad had decided."
“Sometimes I look at your father and me and I asked myself what happened? With me. With my husband. With us." She sighed "I think, sometimes we deviate from our path a little every day. We always tell ourselves that we will return. The first time, we deviated a little because there is a stone. It's not a big deal. Then we deviate because a log doesn’t let us pass and it's easier just to dodge it. But we tell ourselves that we can return. Then it is a detour to a beautiful town. And we accept because we believe it will be for a moment. But before we know it, we can no longer see the original path and we don’t know how to return." His mother took his hand. "But do you know why I'm glad those girls come?"
He denied. Fascinated to hear his mother like that. She touched the letter he held.
“Because in the Island of the Lost, women are truly protagonists and leaders. Maybe their paths are dangerous. But they are leaders. We need leaders. You need leaders and adventurers around you to have your best decisions. For you to be a better king.”
Ben smiled and hugged her.
"Do you think that if their paths are dangerous, I could gradually divert them to a better road?" He ventured.
But his mother denied.
“Never believe that you must change someone. No one should change for you. You mustn’t change anyone. Remember, I allowed your father to be himself without me judging his appearance. His true self was what made me fall in love. I didn't change who he really was.” His mother got up with that wise smile that he knew well. “My fairytale doesn't talk about love transforming a monster into a prince. My fairytale talks about not judging others.”
She looked out the window, toward the sea and then at Ben.
"What will be the moral of your story, son?"
Greetings little creatures!
In this chapter I wanted to talk a little about the dynamics of Audrey, Chad, and Ben. Give them a reason for certain behaviors they have. On the other hand, Belle's wisdom was needed in Descendants, don't you think?
Thank you so much for the support you have given me with this story! I feel so honored.
Until next time!
"You want to seduce the next king." Harry joked.
"Oh, and you don't?" She replied with the same level of mischief.
"Then you admit that you want to leave him speechless."
“Then you admit that you want to make him doubt his conventional life. Remember, he has a girlfriend.” Uma replied.
"And although she is very attractive, you and I haven't seen the sexual tension between them." Harry sat on her bed. "But, you know, you could seduce him with the simplest clothes."
"You would definitely seduce him."
She rolled her eyes.
Besides, Harry exaggerated. They were joking, of course. They weren't planning to seduce a stranger.
She had only chosen her brown ankle boots with all the gold accessories that Harry had obtained for her over the years. She also wore tight navy green pants. A loose turquoise blouse and a brown waist corset that adjusted the blouse to her hips in such a way that it gave the illusion of being a very short skirt. Indecently short. The neckline of her blouse showed her shoulders. Uma hadn't had time to braid her hair the night before. And the reason was the same as why she was technically wearing such covered clothes: Harry Hook. That had been their last night on that island, under the control of their parents and they had to celebrate. But she was proud of her wardrobe. Uma had gold accessories that matched the makeup Harry had chosen for her. The golden eyeliner highlighted more the color of her eyes and the soft lipstick with golden glow attracted all the attention to her lips. Harry had been about to kiss her multiple times for it.
"You look like a queen." Harry flattered "A true queen."
Uma looked at him through the mirror. He was dangerously attractive. They suspected that Ben also liked boys. Well, they were going to find out soon. Because who in their right mind could look at Harry and not react to his appeal? He had chosen a sleeveless shirt that curiously had the first missing buttons so anyone could see his collarbones and the beginning of his pecs. His scarlet coat left his arms completely uncovered. Harry’s strong arms. He had also opted for tight, black pants and ankle boots of the same color. His excessive outline highlighted his eyes dangerously. A bit of madness and a lot of passion. She gestured for him to turn and take she smiled. The coat was slightly fitted over the waist, so it didn’t hide the shape of his ass.
"Harry Hook, you look like you're planning to kidnap the cute prince and make him your slave." She winked at him "Not that I’m against the idea."
He approached to stand behind her. He put his hands on the sides of the table, without touching her. They looked at each other in the mirror reflection. It was true, they looked like they were going to break into an important event and kidnap someone. They looked like the villains who were ready for their grand entrance.
Harry tilted his face. She slid her fingers through his hair.
"Thank you." He whispered "For sharing your opportunity with me."
She turned quickly and took his chin.
“We are a team.” Uma reminded him “You and me against the world. Always.” She rolled her eyes. “Besides, what would become of you without me?”
"My ruin." He replied with a smile. "And admit it, my dear, you would get bored without me."
"Every queen needs an entertainer." She joked and dodged him.
"Oh, you hurt me, dear." Harry dramatized.
"But you love that."
He bit the air in response.
Uma stopped laughing and looked around. She was surprised that everything important in her life entered a small suitcase. Most of the things had been Harry's gifts. She still had Gil's gifts. A twinge in her chest made her think of something else.
"Did your father insist on a revenge plan again?" Uma asked, checking her room.
Harry leaned against the door and nodded.
"The old man doesn't talk to me for months and suddenly he wants me to kidnap enough fairies to travel to Neverland." He denied "Although I promised Harriet and CJ that I would talk to prince Ben so he would also let them out of here."
She nodded. Uma had been thinking about the same. She knew that Harriet would prefer that CJ leave soon, that she be the priority for being the youngest of the Hooks.
“Maleficent is acting as if she had a great plan. Mom thinks she's going to use Mal to free her. So, she insisted that I do something better. Although I admit that Ursula dared to not ask me to release her." Uma looked at the book she had been writing these last few weeks.
A book to survive on that island. A book for others like them to find.
"What does your mother expect you to do?"
“According to her: I drown prince Ben. Surely, I look for Ariel and kill her. And most likely I hunt King Triton and confines him in some prison. But get her out of here? She doesn’t think so. Mom knows that I would not risk my freedom for her. She didn't raise a henchman.” Uma temporarily put the book in her bag.
“My father tried. It didn't work out.”
"What happened?" She looked at him with a knowing smile.
“My path crossed a sea witch. I had no chance.”
The shouts of the people of the island caused them to come down from her bedroom. Harry carried both of their bags. Uma hurried her pace to know what was happening.
Two limousines had entered the island.
One was heading to the port.
She wasn’t excited by the idea that she had to share that adventure with Mal and her gang. But she had no other choice. At least she had Harry with her. People began to surround them. No sign of her mother. But Harriet and CJ soon arrived. CJ ran in her direction. Uma took her hand and turned her like a dancer before catching her with her arms. Harriet moved toward them and rested her arm on Harry's shoulder.
"CJ has something to tell you." Harriet commented.
"I want a ship when you get us out of here." She spoke specifically to Uma.
"And to your brother?" Harry commented with mock indignation.
"You make sure Uma gets me a nice ship." CJ responded by raising her chin.
Harriet and Uma exchanged glances so as not to laugh.
"Anything you want?" Uma asked the older Hook "A floating island?"
"No, but remember, we sail where we will and answer to no crown." Harriet replied.
CJ remembered something because she separated from Uma and looked at her brother.
“May your anchor be right. Your cork be loose. Your rum be spiced. And your compass be true.” CJ recited and looked at Harriet expectantly.
She nodded. CJ handed Harry a silver pocket watch. He took off his pirate hat and put it on his sister.
That's what Uma meant with love. They would never use that word. But she knew that Harriet, Harry, and CJ had a blind love. Loyal and sincere. She had no brothers, but Harriet and CJ were the closest she knew.
"Don't forget about CJ." Harriet whispered.
Uma nodded. She wasn’t going to forget them. None of them. She wasn’t going to turn her back on her people. She was going to find a way to get them out of there.
The limousine arrived in surprising silence. People walked away like it was a monster. A black metal crocodile. Harry said goodbye to his sisters and carried the bags to the back of the limo. She looked at Harriet and CJ and bowed her face in farewell. CJ ran to her and hugged her tightly.
"I know. A ship.” Uma joked.
"Take care of each other." CJ whispered.
Uma didn’t hesitate and took out the book she had written. The manual to survive in that prison and handed it to CJ.
Harry offered his hand to get into the elegant limousine. She looked at the restaurant. No sign of her mother. Uma took his best friend's hand and got in the car. The conduct was the same woman who had handed her the letter in the first place. Harry sat next to her and closed the door.
"We meet again." Uma greeted.
The woman nodded and started driving. Uma leaned against Harry's side and looked at his pocket watch. He pressed a button and the clock opened, showing a compass. On the island, compasses didn't work. So, none of them were surprised that the needle turned in circles. He slid the edge of his hook over her bare shoulder and she relaxed. In front of them were hundreds of sweets that they had never seen.
"Don't you want to eat something?" The woman offered.
"Leaving everything you know doesn't open your appetite." Harry replied "Maybe later."
Uma looked out the window. They were leaving the island by the destroyed bridge.
"Do you think this fly?" She asked out loud.
"Maybe it transforms into a ship."
Both had thought about the possibilities of how they were going to leave. A limousine hadn’t been one of their options.
"Actually, we're going to drive over a magical bridge." The driver raised a small golden control "This disappears the barrier-"
If they had been looking at the compass, they would have noticed that it had stopped turning when the woman pushed the button. Uma let out a moan and arched over the seat. A stroke of energy almost fainted her.
She had been dead.
She could finally hear their voice.
She was born dead.
She could finally answer their call.
She was alive now.
Her destiny was clear.
She could finally feel alive.
Her destiny belonged to the sea.
"Oh, Gods..." She gasped looking at her hands. "Oh... Gods..."
She looked at Harry. He was watching her as if it were the first time. Like he was really looking at her. Maybe it was true. She could feel all that powerhitting her inside. The sea. They were over the sea.
"Their song." Harry took her hands. "Their song and you are in harmony."
"Can you hear them?" Uma looked at him in surprise.
The call of the sea.
"But it seems you were the sea." Harry raised her hands and kissed her knuckles "Uma..."
And it sounded like a prayer.
The driver looked at them in the rearview with a blush over her cheeks. Surely, she had misunderstood all that. But she raised a dividing glass to give them privacy. Uma looked at the reflection, perplexed. She touched her face. She didn't know how to explain it. She looked alive. Her skin looked bright. Her hair had more volume. The change wasn’t extreme. Not externally. But she could feel the magic inside her. Harry took her hand and slid his thumb over her wrist. She noticed the golden dust that seemed to melt into her skin. Harry had always associated her with gold. She started laughing.
"Dear, I don't think you notice, but you smell like a sea breeze and a thunderstorm." Harry pressed her slightly against the seat. "You are the fantasy of any sailor. Well, you always have been. But now you are irresistible... Like… You are calling me.”
She raised her legs on his lap. In that little space, he looked huge. His muscles stood out more from the sunlight that finally seemed to touch him. She felt powerful to see the effect she generated on him. As if Uma was born with the power to put others on the edge of madness and finally could enjoy her effects.
“I curse the idea of having painted your lips. There is nothing else I want that kiss you right now.” He took a deep breath and leaned down on her chest “Uma…”
She felt intoxicated by the power she felt running in her veins. But also because of the way Harry seemed to have fallen into her spell. Before she realized, she started humming a song without lyrics and exposed her neck. Immediately, Harry kissed her skin exactly the way she enjoyed it the most. He climbed her into his lap and began to devour her neck. She clung to the seat. He bit her most sensitive points in the correct order. Her neck. Behind her ear. The union of her neck with her back.
But when she moaned and stopped singing, Harry stopped. He snapped apart.
"What...?" He looked at her with surprised "Did you just use your magic on me...?"
She felt she was out of breath. Her brain felt drunk. Her senses were too stimulated.
"The famous siren song." Harry smiled and looked at her on his lap. "Thank you for preferring to throw me into your body than to the sea.”
"I..." Uma could feel them moving away from the sea, entering the mainland.
But the magic was still there. Not so wild but it was still inside her. Uma became aware of her actions.
"I don't know if I want to apologize." She admitted.
"Don’t do it. Just promise me you'll use it again when we have more time.” Harry adjusted her blouse “How does it feel to have your magic?”
Uma sat next to him and looked out the window. An evil smile formed on her lips.
"I think I should thank prince Ben for my new power."
"Oh, allow me to join the celebration." Harry whispered against her ear.
She closed her pinky on the edge of his hook.
"What kind of celebration would it be without you?" Uma replied, biting her lower lip.
She exchanged glances with Harry. She could still feel her body shivered with magic. Uma hoped that the welcome would last a short time. They had many things to experiment with. If Ben was lucky, maybe they would let him see.
The first limousine was about to arrive. Ben was nervous. Audrey had prepared herself for the cameras, but her chin was raised, ready to answer any bad comment she was sure she was going to receive. The band kept playing. Ben wondered if all that looked artificial or exaggerated.
He remembered his mother's words. Ben also missed Audrey's strong temperament and opinions.
"Why are you so tense?" He leaned down to whisper in her ear.
“You know that I support you in this. But I don't think we're ready to have them here.” Audrey whispered.
She stirred uncomfortably.
“Different cultures.” Audrey was kind enough to put it in softer words. “We all grew up hearing stories about their parents and why the Island of the Lost should have been made. Our parents raised us to fear at that place. You heard Chad, most believe that limousine's door will open and monsters will come out.” She closed her eyes. “Seriously, I'm trying to be like you, be worthy of being your queen, but…”
"I don't want you to be like me." Ben took her hand. "Audrey, I've never wanted you to change for me."
But she was right about something. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea. Maybe Ben had to change the education system, override those hate-based customs first. But he had no previous records of things like that. The History of Auradon and its kingdoms was based on good people getting the opportunities they deserved. The closest thing to something revolutionary about changing the impossible was Mulan fighting instead of her father in the war. In their History, there was nothing similar to what he was trying to do. Change the social order. He was stumbling blindly. But he wanted to do the right thing. And it was fair to give opportunities to those who never had them.
Audrey nodded. The band stopped playing when the limousine stopped and they opened a way for Ben and Audrey to advance. The driver didn’t have time to get off, because the back door opened. Ben could feel how everyone was holding their breath, holding the welcoming smiles he had asked to deliver to his guests.
"FloraFaunaandMerryweather." Audrey whispered quickly.
Ben couldn't help laughing.
"Audrey." He scolded mockingly.
She quickly blushed and looked aside.
"Oh please. His hook surprised me.”
Ben raised his eyebrows with fun. He knew that 'FloraFaunaandMerryweather ' very well. The last time Audrey had used it was when Chad got her the accessories she had been looking for over a year.
Besides, he couldn't disagree with her. For the hook, that must be Harry Hook and his appeal was able to steal the life of anyone. Ben felt slightly intimidated and curiously in the right way. Harry looked around as if he were calculating what he could break and what he could claim as his own. Harry was impressive and when he smiled in his direction, Ben understood why Uma had drawn a shark in the last letter. Harry looked a lot like one. A murderous look, a devouring smile and with the shape that made it clear that he was above the food chain. Until then, Ben hadn’t understood why there were people who wanted to swim with sharks. Now he knew why. Something about Harry promised the small chance of surviving and that was incredibly tempting.
Audrey fixed her hair unconsciously.
"You're admiring him." Ben whispered in her ear.
“I’m not doing it. And in the hypothetical case I did, you're my boyfriend, you shouldn't find it funny that I admire the appeal of others, don't you think?” But Audrey didn't sound annoying.
She seemed grateful to have an excuse to look away from the pirate and turn her attention to him.
"He has an appeal we don't see here." Ben admitted, "I don't blame you. In the hypothetical case, you were doing it. Of course."
Messy hair, intensely red lips, wildly blue eyes and a perfectly highlighted body to reveal his attractiveness.
Harry extended his hand into the limo and a delicate hand appeared.
"Uma..." Ben whispered.
She must be Uma.
In all the stories that Ben had grown up with, one of his favorite parts was when everything stopped. Harry's presence had accelerated time and his senses. But Uma froze everything. She got out of the limo as only the queens knew how to do it and the princesses practiced for everyone to look at. The daylight touched her ebony skin and glowed softly with golden tones. Uma lifted her chin enough for the sun to reflect in her brown eyes and despite the distance, Ben thought she had the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. Uma seemed to have caught the sunset in her gaze or maybe it was honey falling on old gold. She was mystery and power.
Uma took Harry's arm and advanced toward them in the silence that had been generated. They crossed a long look and by the way they smiled, Ben knew it was true. They shared a secret language. When Uma was stood in front of them, he could feel the scent of the sea breeze and could swear a soft melody was surrounding him. Uma looked at Harry. Secret conversation again. She let go of the pirate and took Ben's hand. To his surprise, Uma bowed, creating a dark green-blue curtain with her hair to hid for everyone except for Ben as she kissed his hand. Uma left the mark of her lips in a soft gold-plated tone. And maintaining the destruction of all protocol, Uma looked at Audrey and made a gentlemanly bow to her. Harry stood behind Uma, protectively, exposing his hook.
He and Audrey lost speech. They looked equally confused. Audrey took his arm. Although he wasn't sure if Audrey was looking to be protected or she was the one to protect him.
"Welcome." Ben cleared his throat and held back his ideas.
Fortunately, Fairy Godmother came to them at that time seeking to create some decency in front of the cameras. Uma smiled at Ben, her delicate row of pearled teeth in a secret smile. Harry rested his hands over Uma's bare shoulders. His hook stroked the skin of her arm.
"No weapons." Fairy Godmother almost sang those words "And a hook is definitely a weapon."
Ben noticed how Harry tensed. His blue eyes began to change color to crimson. He stepped forward. But Uma got between the woman and the pirate.
“I think we can reach an agreement in private. We don't want tensions in front of the cameras, right?" Uma looked at Ben “We don’t want to give a bad impression to the realization of the first royal order of the future king."
She spoke as if she had studied in the royal court. Among adults. Not playing to be a princess. But to be in politics. Uma slid her fingers across Harry's arm and he immediately relaxed. Sea blue won red.
"A temporary agreement." The pirate hung his hook on one of his multiple belts and showed his strong unarmed hands.
"I think this is a good example of the changes that will come." Ben gently took the Fairy Godmother by the arm and pushed her away a bit from his guests' personal space. "Welcome to Auradon Prep."
"I am the headmistress."
“I like that word.” Harry whispered.
“Mistress. Of course, you do.” Uma responded with that secret smirk that Ben was beginning to suspect that it was a good sign to give them some privacy.
"And surely you already know my boyfriend, Prince Benjamin." Audrey smiled proudly stepping forward.
A pride that reminded him of his mother.
"Future king." She added.
Ben sometimes feared that Audrey had an album with his achievements. The same as his mother had.
Uma and Harry exchanged looks, notoriously amused.
"And you are princess Audrey." Harry looked at her carefully “They say that what is inherited is not stolen, and they’re right."
"We don't do that in Auradon." Audrey replied.
Still smiling. Still keeping the smile for the cameras. Even when her pride was hitting hard.
"Thievery?" Uma asked humorous, stepping in her direction "Let me see if I remember correctly..." She smiled with malevolence "One swing ahead of the sword. I steal only what I can't afford… and that's everything."
Uma's voice, even when she wasn't singing at all, was relaxing to hear. Even Audrey calmed her posture.
"And now he is the consort of a sultana." Harry sighed exaggeratedly "Good goals in life."
"If that’s what you want. I'll put you on the list." Audrey responded with her chin raised and a malicious smile.
Uma and Harry exchanged glances and grinned.
"Well, if the princesses are going to have this degree of poison in their pretty mouths, I think I can live here." Uma replied and smiled at Audrey. "How mean of you, I like this princess."
Ben held back the laughter. He had no idea how, but something had happened there. Audrey looked at him with surprise and a soft crimson color painted her perfect cheeks. That was the first time someone congratulated her for her quick responses and proud attitude. But Uma was sincerely interested in Audrey. Which was good, because they were going to share a room. He looked at Harry, who was also admiring the small dynamic that had been created among the girls.
"I wasn't sure before, but now I understand why she chose you." Harry commented.
"Our parents were the ones who decided everything." Ben admitted "But Audrey is my best friend."
"Oh ... yes, Uma is mine too." Harry touched his neck, over a reddish mark with a proud smile in his lips.
Ben blushed and silently denied. No. Never. They had never done that.
Fairy Godmother cleared her throat and stood between them.
"Ben and Audrey are going to give you a tour of the place when the rest of the group arrives." The woman looked at the road "And talking about them, where are they?"
"We don't know." Uma tensed slightly.
"And we don’t care." Harry completed and stood behind Uma like a protective presence.
Ben remembered the rivalry Uma and Harry had mentioned that they had with Mal's gang. Audrey took his arm, notoriously worried.
"What just happened?"
"I think you just made a friend." Ben responded tenderly.
“I think I like them.” She confessed “Could it be a spell? I think it was a spell.”
"Did you also feel something curious when Uma almost sang?"
Audrey looked at him strangely and denied. Maybe it had only been him under the effect of a beautiful voice.
"Uma?" Ben required her attention.
And that was dangerous because when she looked at him, he could feel the sea breeze surrounding him, like a soft temptation.
“Audrey and you will share a room. Harry will share it with Chad Charming.”
"He's our best friend." Audrey intervened, returning to her smile to the public.
Uma and Harry made a bad grin. Ben was glad to note that they weren’t very fanatical about fake things. Maybe it had to do with them being pirates. They should prefer authentic treasures. And Audrey was one when she didn't pretend to be someone who she wasn't.
But that thought didn't go much further because the band played again. Which meant that the second limousine had arrived. Uma stayed with Audrey and Harry stood beside him. Harry's hand touched his lower back and Ben almost jumped at the sudden contact. Harry looked at him amused and surprised at his reaction. But Ben wasn't very used to being touched. Not even Audrey or Chad did it. They only took his arm or touch his shoulder. But it must be hard to explain to Harry that kind of thing. Especially when Ben could still feel the place where Uma had kissed his hand.
"I'll be honest with you." Harry whispered against his ear, invading his personal space, as the limo stopped and the driver got off. "You're much cuter in person."
Luckily for Ben, the nervous cough that attacked him was silenced by the scandal that Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay generated by technically rolling out of the limousine.
When he looked at Harry, he was smiling humorously.
Ben remembered why it was dangerous to swim with sharks.
Oh, Ben liked Harry. And it wasn't for bragging too much, but Ben wasn't immune to her either. That was adorable. The only problem is that the perfect pink princess had been a proud viper. Simply put, Uma liked Audrey. And that meant she wasn't going to take her boyfriend to break it a little. Not because he was a prince or the future king, but because Ben was simply begging for someone to break him.
Besides, it was obvious that Audrey and Ben didn't feel anything for each other. If she detected some love between them, it was one based on friendship and familiarity. She had seen how Ben had been shocked by the mark she had left on Harry's neck. The simple hint that Audrey and Ben did something similar had bothered Ben.
Uma looked at the shameful chaos that Mal and her gang were generating. She couldn’t believe that she had been obsessed with hostility to Mal for so long. Mal was just a girl. A clumsy girl who was following her mother's orders. Uma looked around and felt the power and magic throbbing in her veins. She wasn’t going to let a rivalry of the past cloud what she had at the time. It was about time that she matured and left the rules of the Island behind if she wanted to take advantage of her opportunities.
Uma leaned toward Audrey.
"I must say, your boyfriend is cute."
She had realized that Audrey was proud and didn’t like to be left out. The pretty princess had material to be an incredible villain.
Audrey looked conceitedly at Ben and nodded.
“He is going to be a great king. Ben has his heart in the right place.”
So good friend. But Uma wasn't looking for that.
“I suspect you should feel a little bad about corrupting such a pure boy. Although it's the best part, don't you think?”
Uma threw the bait.
Audrey looked at her in disbelief. She opened her mouth a couple of times and refused. Uma smirk, the bait got tangled in her pretty neck.
"I think you have misunderstood. Ben and I never... No. Just not. Besides, a princess doesn't corrupt.” Those last words sounded as if Audrey were repeating them to herself.
Uma nodded. She had captured the information she needed. Besides, she had been listening to the conversation that Fairy Godmother and Mal had been having without letting her former? rival found out. The people of Auradon were excessively naive to not understand what was happening. Uma gestured to Harry and they exchanged places. She stood next to Ben and he was surprised to see her where Harry had been. Oh, it was a shame that Ben wore so many clothes. If her eyes didn't betray her, the prince had a nice body under all those shirts, vests and jackets. Uma rested her hand on his arm. Strong. In reflex, he offered her his arm and looked away from Mal's gang.
"What a gentleman." Uma flattered.
"Old customs are hard to forget." He replied with a sweet smile.
"I will remember those words when I misbehave." Uma joked.
"I'm sure you'll find better arguments than my words."
Ben was spontaneous. She liked that. And cute. Gods, nobody had told her that the future king would be really cute. If he were a dumb boy or a pretentious prince who thought he was better than the rest, she would let him fall into Mal’s trap. But she still remembered his letters. And it was hard to be indifferent to that pretty smile.
"You allowed Harry and me to come here."
“You opened my eyes. I'm glad you came.” He looked at Mal and then at her. “This is a good example that we are all different. Even within the same culture.”
Culture. That word was interesting. Because Auradon was one culture. But the Island of the Lost? No, they were a proudly multicultural nation. But Uma would explain to him that on another occasion.
“No matter how you put it, I owe you one. So, I will give you some advice.”
"For a price?" Ben asked with amusing.
"Oh, if you insist: I want your shirt." She responded quickly.
"My...?" He looked at his clothes and then at her "If you need clothes..."
“No, I want your shirt. But I will tell you when.” Uma slid her fingers across the prince's arm “Do I have your word?”
Again, it seemed that Ben had lost the ability to speak. Instead, he nodded.
“This is my advice: Wherever you keep the wand and other magic items, I would recommend increasing the security. Now.”
Uma felt the magic flow from her words, like little nymphs dancing around that last word and humming around Ben. She wasn’t ordering him to do anything. No. That was a suggestion. A deal he couldn't resist. She stared at Ben, intrigued.
To her surprise, he growled and looked at her. His pupils sharpened. She felt dizzy just by looking at him. That wasn’t magic, but it was something powerful. Her knees weakened slightly and she had to hold on to him.
"I have to say it, you have intense hazel eyes, Ben." Uma whispered when she noticed there wasn't much distance between them.
He reacted and cleared his throat. His eyes returned to normal and he put distance between them.
"It's a deal." Ben replied, pulling the collar of his shirt and dragged away to call one of the guards.
"Good boy." She whispered.
Ben had a beast hovering behind that lovely face. As if the future king couldn’t be more perfect.
Uma approached Audrey. Oh, she liked this girl, Audrey was already destroying Mal without ruining her makeup.
"Uma?" Jay tried to approach her with that conquering smile she knew well "You look amazing."
Harry stood between them. She took his hand so he wouldn't touch his hook. They had reached an agreement, she reminded him with that gesture, they had to keep it. Harry looked at her and nodded.
"And you still look as suspicious as ever." Uma responded by crossing her arms.
She looked at Mal, who immediately changed her attitude. Uma had noticed that that was quite common. By her nature, Mal was malicious at the level that a teenager could be and was wicked and agile in mind. But when she felt her dominion in danger, Mal imitated the best characteristics of the villains who had raised her. She became elegant and dangerous, incredibly dominant and ruthless. That was the Mal that Uma had long believed was the real one. But now they were outside the Island, far from Maleficent’s protection created around her daughter and Uma could feel the reality. If Uma wanted to make a contract with Mal, she wouldn’t have to offer her power, but her mother's approval. Another thing she noticed was that Mal didn't radiate magic. Evie seemed more in sync with her abilities at that time. Interesting.
"Does he flirt with all the girls he meets?" Audrey asked crossing her arms and looking to Jay.
"Only with the pretty ones." Uma replied "But it's a shame that at the first opportunity he seeks to betray you."
It had always been a problem that someone as skilled as Jay lacked the most valuable in Uma's eyes. Loyalty.
"For you, baby-"
Harry laughed and gently pushed Jay back to shut up. Mal and Evie held Jay in his place. Carlos almost hung up on his jacket so he wouldn't start a fight. Jay should be grateful that Carlos continued to protect him even though he was an idiot.
"Behave." Harry smiled dangerously and looked at Mal. "Better grip his leash."
"Maybe Uma should do the same with you."
"It’s not necessary." She replied. Harry returned to her side with a fluid movement “I can trust him. So, we use the leash on other activities."
Uma leaned over Audrey's ear.
"I bet you, she will ask about the wand again."
Uncomfortable by her comment, as Uma supposed it would happen, Mal turned to Fairy Godmother to change the subject.
“Since the famous Prince Ben still doesn't join us, do you like to talk to me more about your wand? That story is my favorite.”
Audrey looked at Uma and she winked at her. The magic wand could destroy the barrier. So, Maleficent was using her daughter to take revenge. Uma had grown up on an island full of villains who used their descendants. She was beginning to understand how her mother had been able to manipulate so many unfortunate souls in making contracts with her. The people were incredibly easy to read.cAnd therefore, easy to predict.
At that moment, Ben returned and stood next to Audrey. He introduced himself in general, maintaining the protocols. Harry stood by her side.
"What are you planning?" He whispered in her ear.
"I am analyzing whether prince Ben is worthy to have the fate of the Island of the Lost in his young hands." She confessed "For the moment, I am winning his trust."
"For the-?" Harry momentarily stopped "Did he… Did he just lick the chocolate that was in Carlos?"
“Yes, and I am thinking the same as you."
"We need chocolate." Harry leaned against her, sounding hungry. And not for chocolate.
"We must admit that it was a surprise that Ben is such an efficient distraction.” She blinked and looked at him “Yes, he is very cute. But he is also intelligent. I like that. But we can't get distracted."
"Audrey was also a pleasant surprise."
"I would have loved that she was born on the Island, we would be best friends." Uma joked and resumed the subject "We must earn his trust for him to agree to bring Harriet and CJ... but they are only the beginning."
She looked at her hands and felt the magic inside her. She was no longer a lost girl on an island, who was struggling to survive. She wasn’t surviving the social rejection that had lived after Mal’s betrayal. She had a new chance. The extent of her power was much wider now. With that power... she could do something. The possibility was tempting. The history books she had read so much had prepared her for that moment. For her to change History.
"We're going to start a revolution." Uma informed him with a smile on her lips.
Harry smiled proudly. He took her hand and leaned down to kiss her on her knuckles.
"Whatever you order, my Goddess." He swore.
Well, she liked that. Uma touched his chin playfully. That's what she meant. Loyalty was more important than anything else. She felt they were being watched and when she turned her face, she noticed that not only their welcome group but that Mal's gang was watching them. She smiled.
"Shall we start that tour, princess Audrey and prince Ben?" She asked.
She already wanted to get away from the cameras.
Ben nodded. Audrey was on his arm. Uma walked beside them, feeling Harry's presence behind her. She concentrated on that. In the fascinating history class that Ben was giving them and the fact that they were in Auradon, free, with her magic and Harry by her side. What if Mal and her gang tried a ridiculous plan? Uma was sure they would fail.
Upon entering school, Mal insisted on the information necessary to carry out her plan. Uma didn’t look at her. She shouldn't let Mal know that she was aware of what she was planning. But her question was right. In Auradon there was a lot of magic. But Uma didn't see anyone use it. Beyond the statue that was outside.
"Although we have magic, we hardly use it." Ben confessed.
Uma raised her eyebrows.
"That is unfortunate." She spoke long before she realized "Magic is part of what many of us are. Being born in the Island of the Lost was like being born with a vital part of us amputated. And you choose not to use it?” Uma denied “Who would say it? Dr. Facilier is right, the real power is money. Although I would add things like lands, castles, and noble titles.”
Ben looked at her with surprise at her words. Very discreetly, Uma slid her tongue over her teeth.
"Or they also inherit other things." She suggested.
"And what would you do with that inheritance?" Audrey asked with genuine interest.
"Sail." Harry suggested.
"Explore the seas." Uma replied "Because it’s part of us."
Evie suggested finding a prince. Mal was so clumsy as to almost hint at her true plan, get a magic wand to help others, yeah, right. Jay and Carlos shrugged.
Uma exchanged glances with Harry. All that was exhausting. Mal's gang was exhausting to see. Without the protection of Maleficent and the other villains, Uma realized that their enemies were only children.
"Can we get to know our bedrooms?" Uma approached Audrey. "I need a break from them."
The princess smiled and nodded.
"Ben, why don't you take Harry with Chad and I'll take care of Uma?" Audrey gestured to Doug, who had been waiting to get closer. "He will take care of you and your schedules."
"Do I perceive preferences?" Mal asked with a cruel smile.
“Oh, don’t worry, you and I still have something special.” Uma replied maliciously and with sarcasm “But I think we should meet other people and expand our horizons." She bowed to Audrey "After you, princess."
She didn't even let Mal respond.
"Oh, I like you." Audrey assured, leading the way.
Uma looked in Harry’s direction who had already invaded Ben's personal space and was leading him at his own pace in the direction where the dorms probably weren't. But Ben seemed much more interested in what Harry was telling him. If Uma read his best friend well, he was telling some of their childhood adventures with his exceptional ability to tell stories.
"I have to admit, I had never thought about Aladdin that way. That he might look like pirates and other people from the Island of the Lost "Audrey confessed on the way.
"You stay close to me, princess, and I will tell you some fascinating things. To you and prince Ben." Uma smiled dangerously "At this moment, I am an ambassador of another culture. So I will talk about my traditions and you, as a noble hostess, will be entertained with the stories of a land like no other. Maybe, with me, you can practice your diplomacy. I think it is the strongest characteristics that someone of royalty must have."
Audrey looked at her with interest.
"Oh, imagine a land, like no other here. There's a road that may lead you to good or to greed. Through the power your wishing commands. Let the darkness unfold or find fortunes untold. Well, your destiny lies in your hands." She hummed, feeling the magic wrap her words and capturing the attention of her companion.
The most meticulous revolutions began by changing the system from the inside. And what better way to start than with the royalty?
Uma denied strongly.
"You must close this place." She looked around.
“It reminds me of the history books that our parents gave us. But the other way around.” Harry commented.
Ben looked at the museum statues and nodded.
To her surprise, after the tour, Ben had taken them to the place where the magic wand was. Unfortunately, the museum included a grotesque display of all the villains.
"I'm an idiot..." Ben stopped in front of the Gaston statue and denied "I should have thought about this."
“You weren’t born in the Island of the Lost. You can't guess everything that can offend us.” Uma empathized with him.
As a sea witch, she had to learn that many of the things her mother instructed her as real were degrading and rude to sailors, pirates and the male gender in general. Oh, and to the redheads. She still felt guilty about how she had hurt Celia and Dizzy without realizing it. Discrimination wasn’t a unique feature of Auradon. But Uma had worked on her failures. She had become aware of her rudeness.
“And if it's any consolation, we do the same with you. Our history books are not friendly to any of your parents. Especially with yours." Harry laid his hands over Uma's shoulders. "But I must admit that they captured the madness of my old man."
Uma looked at the statue of Captain Hook. He looked ready to use his hook to unstitch the shadow of any teenager who crossed his path.
"I want to do the right thing." Ben whispered, staring at the statue of Gaston "My father was chosen to reign. But I'm going to be king because I was born in the right place and at the right time. That is not fair."
“We are familiar with the unfair”
Uma was looking at the statue of Captain Hook. When she had been a child, she used to play with Harriet, Harry, and CJ on his ship. Captain Hook told them pirates stories and Uma had realized that when she was close, he was inclined to tell stories with nymphs and sirens. Those had been the good times when she naively couldn’t realize that Captain Hook only told them stories in moments of sobriety and that those moments were becoming less frequent until they disappeared completely.
“No one chooses where they were born. But you have the possibility to make all this worthwhile.” Uma walked in front of her mother's statue. She stretched to touch Flotsam and Jetsam "A few days ago I had to track Jay to free Lagan and Derelict at the sea."
"Are they the descendants of Ursula's sidekicks?" Ben asked.
"Why did Jay have them?"
Uma shrugged. Her mother knew that Uma loved Lagan and Derelict deeply. She had supposed they would be hers. But for some reason, Ursula had handed them to Jay. Maybe so she doesn't get fond of anything or anyone.
"Now they are free." Uma whispered.
Ben stood by her side and rested his hand over hers, on Flotsam's head.
"Now you are free." Ben reminded her "And it's only the beginning."
Harry walked around, admiring the armors. He caressed one of the swords and confirmed that it was real. Ben noticed his interest and approached him.
"These armors were a gift from Audrey's kingdom." He explained "It is said that they are the armors of all the heroes who tried to rescue Aurora. The legend says that their spirits are still in these armors, waiting for their moment to defend Aurora's lineage and fulfill their purpose.”
Uma looked around. Only in that room, she could count ten knights. The museum was full of them.
"Those were many men attracted to the beauty of a woman sleeping."
"Or maybe they wanted to do the right thing." Ben commented.
“An army of spectral warriors. That reminds me of the stories of ghost ships." Harry stopped playing with armors, thanks to a new sense of respect.
They had grown up knowing it was a bad idea to touch objects cursed by the dead.
Uma returned to see her mother. In the statue, she still wore her necklace. Uma unconsciously touched her bare neck. That necklace had been her mother's source of power. But Uma could feel her magic flow easily without the need for the necklace. Besides, it had been destroyed in thousands of pieces.
"The magic wand is upstairs." Ben commented.
"I believe you. But I'd rather get out of here. I wasn't ready to see my mother's face so fast.” She tried to sound funny but the discomfort in her voice was noticed.
Ursula seemed about to attack. About to attack her. Uma remembered well how it felt to be suffocated by one of her tentacles.
"I'll close the museum and move these statues." Ben promised pulling out his cell phone "Just give me a moment. If you want to go out first..."
Uma nodded and walked away from the exhibition. Harry walked beside her. She felt like she was back on the island, escaping from her mother’s words, her neglect and disinterest. The battle to overcome her childhood traumas was daily and at that moment she could hear her mother's voice telling her what a disappointment she was, that she had failed.
Uma stopped and pulled Harry close to her. She drowned her memories on his lips. He caught her against the nearest pillar and devoured her lips to silence the past. Uma slipped her fingers through his hair. He was real. The heat of his mouth was real. The growl that escaped from his lips was real. The way he said her name was real.
The painful memories slid away from her chest and let her breathe. Uma gasped against his mouth. He leaned his forehead against hers and looked at her. She felt the magic move in her core. Harry's eyes reminded her of the sea in chaos. He was her point of stability. Harry stroked her hair and she nodded. Yes, she already felt better.
Harry smiled against her lips.
She could trust him.
"Our prince is watching us from the entrance." He commented.
"Don’t mention it. It seems to me that if I order him to come, he would be here in a second." Uma closed her eyes.
Audrey. She wouldn’t betray her new ally. Uma had to think about Audrey. She had to think about Harriet and CJ. Uma must remember how she felt when Mal betrayed her. She needed allies, not enemies. She had a code.
Harry took a step black. And at the same time, she fixed her blouse. Uma looked at Ben pretending to look at a huge painting dedicated to all the animals that had accompanied the villains. But Uma could notice the intense red that covered the entire face of the future king.
"Anything you want to share with the class, prince Ben?" She joked.
Ben looked at them with mock innocence.
"Admit it handsome, you like to see." Harry leaned against the pillar to better expose his muscles. "Some kings are like that. Observers."
"Others prefer to be seen." Uma bit her lower lip "Did you do your part, prince? Did you look very well?"
Ben cleared his throat. The wise boy decided not to answer any of their insinuations. Although his blushing face gave him away.
"So… I asked the guards to close the museum. The magic items are going to be stored in the royal vault and this exhibition is going to be permanently removed.” He walked towards them and cleared his voice “Thank you for the information. I guess you won't tell me why I'm doing this for.”
She denied. Before traveling to Auradon, Uma had read the laws. Without evidence, there was no crime. But she wasn't going to take a chance and wait for something to happen.
"Mal is lucky you don't want to give her away." Ben commented.
"Did you realize it was her because she asked a million times for the wand or was your hunter's instinct?" Harry joked.
"When you don't get distracted by her pretty face, she is easy to read." Uma replied "Are you going to send them back?"
“I think they deserve a chance. One they haven’t yet been able to live. Old habits are hard to eliminate.” He smiled at her with some guilt.
Uma nodded. She was glad to hear that. Despite her rivalry with Mal, she believed that Carlos and Evie had the right to be there, far from the life full of the danger they had lived.
On their way to the exit, several guards appeared. The order from the future king was immediate. She watched in silence as they moved from side to side. Uma felt her fingers tickled as if she wanted to do something. She looked at the leader of the guards giving orders and the rest obeyed. Even the novices looked at their leader with admiration before following their orders diligently. She could feel the admiration and devotion that was in that group.
She… want that.
She reacted. Ben was looking at her without understanding what was happening. Beside him, Harry was smiling at her as if he knew exactly what was happening to her. And if so, Uma wanted to know. Because for a few seconds, she had felt under her own version of a siren song.
"They are very efficient." She replied, reaching them.
Ben was too smart to fall for that but he didn't insist. When they were outside, the doors closed and trucks began to arrive.
"Do you still think that it's a good idea to have us here?" Uma asked.
Ben didn't have to. He could easily return them all to the Island and say it was the order of the current king. People would forgive him. He was a sweet boy with a noble heart. His subjects would understand.
"You're kidding, right?" Ben looked at her with surprise "I learned a lot with you."
Harry rested his arm on Ben's shoulders. The difference in height made Ben have to carry a little with the weight of the pirate. Harry had his shark smile. Uma noticed that the prince didn’t know where to put his hands. Ben was a beautiful mystery before her eyes. Because she could tell he was smiling. Uma suspected that the future king wasn’t habituated to physical contact but was starved for it. And yet, Ben looked at her as if he didn't want to make a mistake. As if he were shouting at her with his look 'This is not what it seems'. She was tempted to ask him what he meant. Didn't it look like Ben wanted to put his arm around Harry's waist? Didn't it seem as if Ben wanted to turn his face and speak a sigh away from Harry’s lips as if they shared a secret? Didn't it look like Ben wanted to press himself against Harry's side and feel protected for a change?
Uma felt the desire to push the prince against her best friend. But she held back. Not yet.
"And what has your highness learned from me?" Harry commented by sliding his finger across Ben's jaw.
That attractiveness could be dangerous?
Ben swallowed and looked at Harry. He stared at him seriously. To the point where the pirate became slightly uncomfortable. Only Uma dared to look at him as if it weren’t dangerous to be near him. And whatever Ben found in Harry was so valuable that it made him smile.
"Harry Hook, you know who you are and you're proud of it." Ben replied "I think I need a lot to get to that point."
Harry smiled softly. Less predatory and more sincere. Uma slid her fingers over Ben's arm and he offered it consciously. She pressed against his side as they walked. Ben reminded her of a puppy taking his first steps, ready to give his entire devotion to whoever wanted to take care of him. She knew starvation very well and hated to see it in others. Like Harry, Ben starved of physical contact.
“People are going to look at you and many are going to judge you." Harry looked at her. "So, choose what makes you happy."
Like waking up next to a warm body. Find a reliable hand under the table. A language of secret looks. Private humor. Blind loyalty. A person who made the worst day salvageable. A best friend.
"I don't think to be king and my happiness go hand in hand." Ben admitted.
He looked so helpless and alone. Uma could suspect why fairytales worked so well. Who could refuse a pretty face and such hopeless eyes?
"Well, you have less than a month to balance that." Uma smiled "And now you have us."
Ben laughed jovially and looked at them.
"And are you going to make a deal with me so I can find my happiness?"
Uma laughed and extended her hand to him.
"Didn't I fulfill your expectations last time?" She whispered.
"We don’t discuss the payment." Harry looked at Ben "How about your belt?"
The prince looked at them in confusion.
"Really, if you need clothes..."
They exchanged glances and denied.
"It's a fair price." Uma waved her fingers "Do we have a deal?"
She was joking, of course. But when Ben looked into her eyes and closed his hand around hers, she noticed something. His pupils sharpened for a second. The same second she felt electricity flow through her hand.
"It's a deal." Ben promised.
Harry felt that the bed was too comfortable. He wondered if something could be too good. Besides, it was a bed too big for him alone. Harry moved again in bed and looked at the clock CJ had given him. He pushed the button and saw the compass move to point north. The sea was in the south, as was the Island of the Lost. He sat on the bed and watched Chad on his cell phone. He had been on that thing for two hours talking to Audrey and he kept making that goofy smile. Ben had given cell phones to Harry and Uma, plus a small class on technology. The cell phones were incredibly intuitive. Also, the real application that interested him was the one where he could communicate with Uma. Because it was strange to be without her. Especially at that time of the day.
Ben had said they couldn't spend the night in each other's room. He had blushed when Harry had asked him when the curfew allowed him to go with Uma.
His phone vibrated.
'Are you bored right now?'
To his surprise, it was a message from Ben. He couldn’t help smiling. Ben reminded him about Gil a little. They had a huge heart and it was easy to read their emotions. Although it had been years since he had last seen Gil. Because despite living on the same island, it was very easy to limit territories. When they were children, Gaston was hired by Cruella de Vil and the Evil Queen, so he moved to that side of the island and took his family with him. Therefore, Gil ended up in the enemy territory. Although Harry suspected that he had found a way to survive. But he missed Gil and the effect he had on Uma and him. Gil used to hug Uma for any excuse and could relax her with that daring act. He and Gil had been inseparable. Harry missed how good it felt to lean his forehead against Gil's temple anytime he needed it. Harry missed how relaxing it was to be with Gil.
'That depends. If I admit being bored, will you do something about it?'
"Good thing that smile of you it’s not sent by messages."
Harry looked up and found Ben leaning against the door frame. Chad just gestured to greet him and returned to his conversation.
"You really like to look." Harry joked.
Ben shrugged and approached him. Harry realized that it was different to see Uma enter a room. When she did, everyone looked at her. Now the effect was going to be greater. Not that Uma was more beautiful than before. But since they left the Island, it was as if her beauty had been highlighted. Her simple presence had always invited others to look at her. Now she was like a queen. No, as a Goddess who deserved worship. And her ideas had also focused. Uma had always been a leader, but in the past, Mal had made her stagger. Auradon had done something in Uma. Freedom had finally made her see the extent of her presence. And Harry felt he would follow her to the end of the world. That determination was too attractive to him.
Instead, Ben was calm. Yes, he stood out in the room and it was inevitable to look at him. Even with all those formal clothes. But Ben generated peace. Something Harry barely knew. The closest he had had was security. But peace? That was a strange thing. But with Ben, it was easy to succumb to that tranquility. Peace was a comfortable bed, hot meals, the voice of someone talking on the phone. Peace was a hazel color. Peace was Ben sitting next to him without needing to tell him anything. Harry looked at his compass. The needle pointed towards a desk. Ben was sitting south.
"Audrey and Chad talk every night."
Harry looked at him.
"And you with your girlfriend?"
“We don't have much to talk about. Not with that emotion.” Ben pointed to Chad. “They talk about what's in trend and what's in fashion. They talk about beautiful things.”
Harry contained a smile. The way Ben had said that lasts words had sounded like he didn't understand them. Beautiful things.
"Besides, Chad has a good effect on Audrey. She's more herself when she's with him." Ben confessed.
Harry looked at his roommate. Chad looked so happy that Harry was afraid he was about to sing and the forest animals were going to enter the room. Harry was sure that was a possibility.
"Then why don't you let Audrey and Chad be together?"
Ben tensed and looked at him in alarm, then to Chad. He hadn't heard him. Harry tilted his face and smiled wickedly.
"You are aware that Chad venerates the ground that Audrey steps on."
Ben closed his grip on the sheet. Harry approached his face to look at him closely.
"This is complicated." The prince revealed the guilt he felt. "Audrey and I have always been a thing. For most of our lives, Audrey and I have lived our relationship as if it were a mere friendship. I felt fortunate that my best friend was my future wife because she knows me.”
"But isn't it more fun for someone to explore you?" Harry slid his finger back through Ben's jaw. "The adventure is about meeting the other person, constantly discovering new aspects of them."
The prince swallowed.
"Is that what happens with you and Uma?"
Ben showed interest, genuine interest bathed in emotion. Harry nodded and lowered his hand.
“Uma and I are best friends and I have known her for a lifetime. But it has always been different. She has always been amazing." Harry smiled proudly. "I think you've noticed it, but it's impossible not to look at her. That admiration turned into attraction and that attraction concluded in desire. But it’s inevitable.”
Ben was brought by history. They were so close that Harry felt the temptation to invade his personal space. Harry moved to rest his mouth against the prince's ear.
"You saw us. Don’t you think we are inevitable?" He whispered.
Harry looked down and noticed how Ben closed his hand tightly on the sheet. Celestial image. Harry impressed that gesture in his mind. Ben’s long fingers, his knuckles blushing. His sheet between Ben's fingers. He decided to give him false security and changed the subject.
“I recognize a dominant woman when I look at her and Audrey is one. A little bad and very used to being followed where she goes. She stepped forward." Harry smiled against his ear. "Chad has the perfect profile to fulfill the role she needs. I can bet whatever you want that Audrey would see entertaining choosing his clothes and watching him be a good boy.”
Ben stopped the laugh in his throat.
"She already does that."
Harry wasn’t subtle. A loud and malicious laugh from deep inside his chest attracted Chad's attention. Harry just smiled. He respected a man who knew how to admire a powerful and dominant woman. Besides, even though Chad was deeply in love with Audrey, he had done nothing to conquer her because of his friendship with Ben. That was loyalty.
Harry looked at the future king.
“I know what you are going to ask me.” Ben confessed “And to this day I had never thought about it. But I think I feel responsible. Audrey has prepared herself to be the future queen of Auradon.”
And that's why he didn't end his relationship with her?
"You mean that fake smile and passive-aggressive attitude?" Harry denied "What kind of future is that?" He leaned his forehead against him "And if for a second you stop thinking about others, what kind of life will that be for you? A beautiful queen who doesn’t desire you, a best friend with the impetus and craving to make her happy but without daring to do it for honor and you without the attention you deserve.” Harry separated “All my life I lived surrounded by queens. Audrey doesn't need to marry you to be one. Besides, she has her own kingdom.”
Ben blinked slowly. Uma was right, the future king was hungry for caresses. A little contact intoxicated him more than spicy rum. It was a shame that he had to share the room with another person and so he couldn't keep playing with Ben more. Although Uma had told him to behave. And he would. Maybe he was impertinent and shameless, but he would never get into an exclusive dynamic. Even if that relationship was one so dull and cold as Ben and Audrey’s.
He looked at the prince sitting next to him. Despite the time, Ben was still dressed elegantly. Harry had already thrown his coat aside and had changed for the most comfortable shorts. Ben looked like he was ready to go to an important meeting. Maybe he was. Harry didn't envy any of that. All that responsibility and obligations looked exhausting.
“I should leave before the curfew starts.” Ben commented “I assure you that Chad will soon finish his call. He needs his sleep hours.”
Harry nodded. He took time taking off and putting on his makeup. He wasn't going to judge the routines of others.
"Do you also share a room?"
"I sleep in my castle." The prince smiled guiltily. "Did that sound as pretentious as I think it did?"
Harry gave him his shark smile.
"A bit. But I think it's adorable.”
“Most students come from other kingdoms. The dorms are for you that…” Ben stopped his words.
"Can’t go and come from our house to here?" Harry shrugged "Trust me, I will not complain about not being at home. Although I'm going to complain about other things, be sure of that.”
Ben smiled, grateful for the slight change of subject.
"So, I'll make your girlfriend break up with you and start dating my roommate so she comes to sleep here and I will go with Uma." Harry smiled wickedly "The perfect plan."
Ben laughed. He had a nice way to do it. He didn't look at him in the eye when he laughed as if he felt guilty of finding his words funny, but he couldn't help laughing. He did everything with tenderness. Ben must be the kind of person who kissed the hand that took his face firmly and was grateful to be tied. Harry denied. He must behave, Harry reminded himself.
"Maybe you can ask others what they do when they want to be alone with their partners." Ben stirred slightly. "I don't know much about it."
Harry took a mental note about that. Although he had already suspected it. Ben was a virgin. But unlike Mal, the subject didn't bother him. On the contrary, he was curious.
"I will do it. But really, I mean sleeping with her. Seriously, sleep.” Harry looked at the huge bed he had. “That's something we do since we were children. Never tell her, but she's like an octopus, she catches you with her limbs and doesn't let you go all night.” He could feel his smile soften “And hug her by her waist below the shirt and rest your other hand on her thigh is one of the most amazing things you can live.” Harry looked at him “And she always wakes you up by sliding her fingers through your hair and looks at you as if you were hers. That look lasts a second, but that makes it worth it that she gets up so early in the morning.”
Ben was smiling. Harry knew that the prince was passionate about stories. He had noticed since they met. Ben hadn’t been able to live so many things that he lived from the stories of others.
"Are you sure you're not in love with her?" Ben asked.
"Maybe I'm madly in love." He shortened the distance between them. "Don't you want to try it?"
An alarm rang. The curfew began. Harry winked to him and separated. Chad ended his call and could only see how a confused Ben was leaving the room.
Points to Auradon. Their classes were good and their library was almost a dream come true. Almost because they also had censorship. But she supposed that was normal when the victorious wrote the History. But the most valuable was information about magic. The technology was something useful, of course. But it was a shame the young people were forgetting their heritage, their roots, what had made their parents' lives an adventure. Uma couldn't wait to test her powers.
Maybe Audrey was right. She was getting excited about all that because magic hadn't made her sleep in a tower with promises of eternity.
What she couldn't believe is that she had survived to be in a class with Mal and cared so little. Gods. Uma had seen how Mal had been drawing the wand all that class and earning the flattery of the Fairy Godmother. But Uma had been busy reading and taking notes that she had barely cared about. Uma hadn't wanted to compete with Mal. She felt it wasn't worth it. She had a plan and to make it work she couldn't get distracted by the stupidities that the Mal’s gang was doing.
When Fairy Godmother asked her something, Uma had replied thinking about which option to choose within the pirate code. She said to Harry to do the same, to think of each example as a problem that someone from a possible crew needed. With that, he had responded perfectly.
A crew. That had always been their dream. A ship, a crew, the sea. Freedom.
What had distracted her had been Harry sitting next to her looking at her that way. That was what happened when they didn't have their daily routine. Although Uma could deal with Harry's desire and could be slightly immune to his tactics to seduce her. But when he looked at her with admiration and pride... Damn it, everything became more difficult. That encouraged her ego.
The dangerous and adventurous Harry was weak in the face of intelligent people. That data few people knew. She had discovered that Harry not only melted when she touched his hair but when she explained something. Maybe that was the reason they worked so well.
"There is an enchanted lake and is for public access." Uma whispered to Harry.
He smiled dangerously and looked at the illustration in her book. A mixture of ancient Greece and French style.
"We must go. Is it far?"
She had no idea. For the moment.
"Carlos..." Uma whispered.
The boy looked at them suspiciously. Which was to be expected. Uma had never had problems with Carlos. On the contrary, she found his taste for electronic devices as fascinating. If they had been friends, she would have joined Carlos to create something that would destroy the barrier. Technology against Magic.
Uma handed him her cell phone.
"How can I find an address here?"
Carlos smiled and rose to her table. Fairy Godmother interrupted her explanation to look at them.
"Who gave you permission to get up, Mr. de Vil?"
He flinched. Jay and Mal started laughing. That was the custom in the Island. Enjoy the misfortune of others. But Evie, for example, was sincere in her concern.
“It was my fault, Fairy Godmother.” Uma raised her face to look at her “On the Island of the Lost we don't have things as advanced as this and I think I damaged my cell phone.” She tightened her lips in a resigned smile “I didn't want to tell for fear of being punished. Carlos was just helping me.”
That word had an immediate effect on women. Helping. Uma looked at Carlos and winked.
“Yes, I am good at fixing things. Sorry.” Carlos took her cell phone and moved his fingers quickly before giving it back “But it's not broken. Sorry Fairy Godmother.”
Uma looked at the screen. A map. Carlos had left everything ready for her to put where she wanted to go. Fairy Godmother smiled proudly, surely believing that she had put some kindness in them in that class about options that appealed to common sense that they lacked.
At that moment a girl entered. Small and clumsy. A childish doll. That was the first teenager she saw in Auradon dress in the colors of their parents. Before the girl arrived with the Fairy Godmother, their relationship had been obvious. Fairy Godmother treated her as if her daughter was two years old.
Uma noticed Mal's immediate interest in Jane.
Thousand times no.
Uma tensed instead.
Harry put his hand on her arm to get her attention but she denied. A protective instinct invaded her. She wasn't going to let Mal play with that girl or use her. Uma knew how it felt to be under Mal's manipulations.
Fairy Godmother pushed her daughter to the center of the room. The girl was nervous and scared. No one answered his greeting.
"Like a lamb among predators." Harry whispered.
Uma decided to intervene.
"Audrey told me about you." She partially lied.
Audrey had told her about some interesting people in Auradon. But the only thing she had mentioned about Jane was that her mother was educating her to be the important but secondary character in the fairytale. The custom for a fairy. But that seemed to put a lot of pressure on the girl.
Jane stopped and looked at her with enthusiasm.
Uma smirked and nodded.
“Maybe we can talk later. When we aren’t interrupting a class."
Jane nodded and left much more relaxed. Harry looked at her doubtfully. But she denied. The explanations would come later. Uma looked at Mal who watched her with intrigue.
"Thanks, Uma." Fairy Godmother spoke genuinely "Jane doesn't have many friends."
That was the kind of terrible information that mustn’t be delivered in front of villains. Uma calculated the damage control she would have to do. Especially when she saw the smile that Mal was trying to hide.
"It’s nothing. I'm sure she's not made of glass." Uma stared at Mal. "She just needs to avoid bad company."
"Very wise words, dear." Fairy Godmother returned to see the board "Now, let's continue with the lesson."
Uma turned her attention to the enchanted lake in her book. It wasn't far from there, but they would need transportation.
"Luckily, we have a prince with resources." She whispered.
When that class ended, Audrey and Chad appeared at the entrance to take them to Tournament. Chad was part of the team and Audrey was the cheerleading leader. She already wore her pretty uniform. Uma hated it.
"Don't you want to try it?" Chad asked Harry "You have the physique for it."
"I‘m a man who prefers to use swords, sunshine."
"Then you will be interested in R.O.A.R." Audrey commented "Ben can show you the place." She looked at Uma "I assume you're not interested in being a cheerleader."
"And you assume correctly." Uma smiled wickedly "I am the type of woman who prefers to receive shouts of encouragement and the attention, not to give them."
“I understand you totally. But…” Audrey looked away and then denied to herself “Chad is also part of R.O.A.R.”
Chad smiled excitedly at Audrey's recognition. He even looked able to climb his horse and free a kingdom by himself. Audrey smiled, satisfied and continued walking. Always a couple of steps ahead of Chad.
Black, Uma thought, that color would definitely fit her. A skirt with a bow on her lower back and frills that move to the rhythm of her walk. The perfect distraction for Chad’s excited eyes.
Uma advanced to Audrey and stared at her. Uma wanted to shout at her. Gods. If Audrey walked with her shoulders back and her chin up, instead of that soft princess walk she would have everyone at her feet. Audrey had the presence to walk firm and resonate. Besides-
Now she understood why Ben wore so many clothes on. If he didn't do that, he would distract everyone. They had reached the outdoors and the future king was already in his training clothes. Uma forgot her frustration and found herself smiling. Damn it, she was weak to people with aesthetic muscles. Ben fulfilled her expectations with honors. With fewer clothes, he looked huge. She didn't know in what logic that worked, but it was. Ben looked able to corner her under the stairs so that her knees became weak.
Chad went to the changing rooms. Harry wasted no time going with Ben to wish him good luck. She would have had the same intention if it wasn't because...
"Chad! Score for Audrey!” Uma shouted with a mischievous smile.
Chad nodded hard and ran much faster. Audrey punched her in the shoulder.
"You see? This is what I like about you.”
“The people of the Island are weirder than I thought.” Audrey confessed while picking up her hair. “Do you like hits?”
She and Harry were a team and work in sync. They attacked together. Harry had already made his sneak attack with Ben. Now it was her turn to attack from the front. When Uma and Harry chose a target, all resistance became like confetti.
“We will talk about that topic later. But no, I like it when you're sincere.” Uma leaned in her direction to look for her gaze. “Correct me if I'm wrong. You are the inherited from your kingdom, technically two kingdoms, one from your mother and the other from your father. Which is uncommon, right? The majority, including Ben, have commoner blood from one of their parents. You don’t.”
Audrey stopped when she heard her but denied. Uma hid her smile. She could feel what threads to pull when she had the necessary information.
"I don't understand what your point is." The princess replied.
"In less than a month, Ben will be king. When will you be queen by right?" Uma walked around her with a cheater smile "Queen of your own kingdom. Your orders will be law. But marrying Ben? You would only be his wife. Your opinion would be worth less than his.” She stopped in front of Audrey. "You always would be two steps behind him."
The princess was interested. She could feel it. Uma had only stimulated the doubt that already existed in Audrey's heart.
“He is your best friend.” Uma could feel her power throbbing, yearning to feed on Audrey's confusion “And you've done so much for him. You have struggled to be perfect and do the right thing. But did he ask you that?”
"Did someone ask you?" Uma could feel the power flow through her voice like humming.
The princess denied it again.
“Do you know what I see when I look at you?” Uma shortened the distance between them and whispered “A sure walk that makes the earth shake and so much attitude that you leave everyone speechless. An agile mind and a poisonous voice. But also, a loyal friend, someone capable of sacrificing who she is for those that are important. But is that what you need? What do you want?" Uma opened her eyes "Is that what Ben needs?”
Audrey looked down. Uma could almost hear her thoughts.
"You're telling me to break up with Ben..."
"I'm asking you to stop pretending who you aren’t." Uma looked at her best friend who was bothering Chad, playing with his curls "Harry!"
She let Audrey watch as the pirate ran to her direction. Uma removed her precautions and fears. They weren’t in the Island of the Lost. She needed to sacrifice one of her protective towers to win that battle. Harry came to her side, ready to jump into the unknown if she asked him. Uma caressed his face and he immediately closed his eyes. She slid her fingers through his hair and pulled him down hard enough to make him growl and fall to his knees and at her feet. Harry gasped and looked surprised at her actions and delighted by her domain. She took his chin and with her index finger lifted it. Harry looked at her with a recently discovered devotion. With him, she felt another kind of power to electrify her system. Uma leaned down to whisper over his lips.
"What’s my name?"
He said it as if it was a prayer.
She touched his lips with hers. She didn’t kiss him. Her lips were like brushes touching him imperceptibly. Harry shivered beneath her. Uma looked at Audrey, who seemed to have lost speech.
“What I ask is that you look for someone who adores you as you want to be adored. Someone who worships you as you want to be. No more. No less, your majesty.”
Uma walked to the bleachers, pulling Harry with her, who with a fluid movement got up and walked behind her.
"What was that?" Harry asked huskily.
Although he wasn't complaining. He radiated heat. Uma suspected she could torture him like that a little more and Harry would be pleased. That was the first time in public that she had demonstrated what kind of relationship she had with Harry. The world wasn't over and she felt the electricity in her blood stimulating her.
“I want a revolution. But Audrey needed a revelation. So, I gave it to her. Audrey is a valuable ally, she deserves better. And we need to free the way to the future king.” Uma commented, aware that she was being watched.
Not only for Audrey. But for Ben. Oh, and she could feel his hunger, even at a distance. Ben was burning them with his eyes. She could get used to that.
Fairy Godmother had said: Don't put poison in the king's cup.
But she hadn't said they can't put passion in the veins of the future king.
In such a short time he was learning things that neither his private tutors, books or classes had taught him. The Island of the Lost had created lives where no one had imagined that something would be born. Sharp, fast, brave and warrior lifes. Beautiful lifes were full of energy. People full of potential who had not been able to explore their abilities because they had never had how to do it.
But still, each of them was completely different. For example, Ben had a hard time seeing that the dynamics of Mal's group were some kind of friendship. They constantly despised each other and repeatedly fought. Instead, Uma and Harry were completely different. They moved in sync, distributed their virtues and gained ground quickly. Ben had seen the way they worked around Audrey and Chad. Around him. Uma and Harry could believe they had everything under control, but he had also been watching them.
While his encounters with Mal's gang had been promising individually, he always felt that when it came to Uma and Harry he was dealing with Uma and Harry. At the same time. Even when he was talking alone with one of them. He could feel the presence of the other around him. The promise of his closeness and actions.
Jay had the potential to work in a team. Carlos was solicitous and friendly, so he fits very well in Auradon. Evie had potential, her eyes were intelligent and she glowed with a sweet heart. Mal reminded him of a lonely and wounded dragon, with the potential to be a fierce protector. All of them had potential and the decisions of the past had condemned them to mold that potential into weapons.
But then there were Uma and Harry. Always Uma and Harry.
"Aren't you exhausted?" Harry asked as he raised his sword "I saw you training with little de Vil before coming here."
Ben denied. Actually, he felt more energetic than normal. The integration of new students had shown him how boring and monotonous his life had been, constantly looking for a change. And the change had come. Powerful and relentless. Ben put himself in position and Harry imitated him much more easily. Uma was watching them from the bleachers.
"I’m surprised that Mulan's daughter hasn’t started a war to be here."
"Lonnie?" Ben attacked softly, measuring Harry's strength. "She..."
She had suffered Auradon’s effect. Princess clothes, attitude, and tastes. Ben remembered Lonnie from the past. She, like other girls, had been relentless and adventurous, the first looking to explore the unknown.
"She should meet Uma." Ben found himself saying it.
"You offend me, highness. Do you think I couldn't do something for her?"
Harry attacked and was violent. Ben blocked his attack and felt a hit on his shoulder. He shouldn't go light with Harry.
"You know?" Ben dodged his attack "Maybe you should meet her. She should be here.”
"Uma should be here." Harry corrected.
In a single movement, the pirate recovered his hook and used it to hold Ben's sword and push him back to gain ground and attacked him. Ben bent down, dodging his sword. He took a deep breath. Harry smiled.
"And so, she will be." He promised.
When Ben took Uma and Harry to R.O.A.R., he encountered another stupid feature of his reality that he hadn’t previously considered. For so long, he had seen it normal for princes to be interested in that sport that he never wondered why were no girls there. But when Uma wanted to register, Chad explained that it was against the regulation. There were no girls there because it was forbidden. Ben immediately promised to do something about it. No class or sport could be exclusive. He felt ashamed again. His reality lost meaning when he exposed it to the normality of others. But Uma took it with humor. For that day she would accept to look at her future opponents. She had called that her strategy.
Ben took the initiative and attacked. He turned around Harry and used the hilt of his sword to disarm Harry. With his free hand, he took his hand with the hook and without hurting him folded against his back. Ben made the pirate curved over and he rested his chin on Harry’s shoulder.
"Don't hate it until you try it." Harry whispered, struggling to break free.
Ben felt the tip of the hook touch his shirt.
"My hook is my second weapon." The pirate slid the tip over his abdomen and pushed down between Ben’s muscles "I have two hands, I can work with the two at once, handsome. Try me." Harry smiled dangerously.
Ben felt the double intention flow through his spine and give him chills. Harry licked his lips, not taking his eyes off him. Ben felt something stretch inside him wanting to take control and he held his breath.
"At this moment, your eyes look like a cougar. Beautiful color and sharp pupils. I like them."
He growled and used his knee to unbalance Harry, forcing him to kneel. The pirate raised his face, looking at him. Ben felt something inside him stretch his claws when he saw the surprise in Harry's eyes.
"No hooks in training." Ben repeated firmly.
Harry smiled and took his hand, kissing his royal ring.
"What your highness orders."
The pirate hung his hook on his belt and Ben helped him up. The prince blinked, surprised at himself.
"Keep that attitude and you can lead Auradon." Harry advised and put himself back in position "Shall we continue?"
Ben looked up and met Uma's eyes. She looked pleased. Artificial light didn’t do justice to her. Ben wanted to take her under the sun, near the beach, to admire her. He wanted the sun to illuminate her eyes and make her radiant again. Uma gestured him to endure, encouraging him to continue. Ben knew that it would be very easy to live looking to please her and yearn for her smile. Ben sighed and returned to his training.
When they finished, he felt like he was about to jump out of his skin. He felt guilty about enjoying Harry's closeness so much. Ben felt bad knowing that his eyes were always looking for Uma's.
He needed to find Audrey.
Maybe apologize to Chad.
But first, he needed to find Audrey and talk.
After so many years, he could finally talk to her seriously. Like the old days. Ben needed to explain to Audrey what kind of life they were going through. Their mothers had grown up longing for something better than what the world had told them they would have. Her father had been a hero. His father had made mistakes and everyone had paid for them. He and Audrey deserved better, being their own heroes and not accepting what was obviously a mistake.
When he collided with a girl, he felt awkward. Ben had been so desperate to find Audrey that he hadn't even been paying attention. The girl in front of him looked at him with surprise. Beautiful gray eyes, almost blue, like Arctic ice. Round face, pointed chin, full lips and a natural gesture in O turning her attractive features into something sweet. Black hair fell in large spirals on her shoulders. The girl was small, with pronounced curves. Not a delicate and thin princess-like bamboo. She had form and softness. The girl wasn’t wearing a uniform. She wore a red tube skirt, a blue frilly blouse, and a white jacket.
He took a step back. Jane had been designated as his assistant. They had been working for months together for his coronation. He still didn't get used to having an assistant. Ben had grown up without servants. His mother had forbidden him to get used to having a life where he couldn’t be independent. So, Jane, who reminded him of a little mouse when she got scared, had been something peculiar to his daily dynamics. But this girl in front of him was Jane, a teenage version of her and not the little girl that had been working with him until that morning.
She smiled, still shy. Uma appeared at her side and smirked.
“Don't fall in love."
Ben took another step back and Jane blushed. Uma laughed mischievously, very proud of herself.
“Evie and me.” Uma raised her chin “Our magic is based on transformations and potions. Although we barely did anything. We just made her hair grow. The rest was Evie and her knowledge in fashion. It wasn’t difficult to convince Evie to help me when I told her it was a makeover."
"Is it excessive?" Jane asked, closing her jacket.
"How do you feel?" Ben asked instead.
Uma smiled proudly and sweet at him.
“Well, I like it. I had always wanted to try these things, but I never knew who to ask for help. Evie was very patient with me.” Jane smiled more cheerfully.
“The important thing is that you like the person in the mirror.” Uma crossed her arms “Personally, I think beauty is a matter of attitude. The world is at your feet if you think it should be like that.” She pocked Jane's cheek “And if this reflects your personality, I love it.”
Jane blushed and nodded.
"Uma, thanks for preventing things from getting out of control."
"I told you, you aren't made of crystal."
Jane nodded strongly, repeating her words and walked away. The students looked at her as if she was a new student. In a sense she was. She was no longer Fairy Godmother’s daughter. Now she was Jane. Ben was pleased to know that Jane had made a friend.
"Don’t worry, I warned her that she would now attract morons who wanted to flirt with her for her current appearance and those weren’t worth it." Uma kept looking at Jane “She’ll be fine.”
Uma was watching her. Taking care of her. Ben had noticed that this was Uma’s characteristic. The moment she chose someone, she became protective around them. Uma gave them freedom, but she remained vigilant in case she should jump into their protection.
"What did Jane mean when she thanked you?"
"Well... You already know Mal’s plan." Uma told herself and then looked at him "Mal tried to use her domain over Jane to get the wand."
“That is something common in the Island. Everyone must develop a type of domain or accept others to order them. Mal is manipulative..." She looked away, awkward "Mal makes you fall into a false friendship. She pretends interest in you because she knows you need her somehow. But when you trust her, she does that. She makes you seemingly kind comments that are truly destructive."
Ben felt that she was speaking from personal experience and that a part of her was still hurt by that. He stepped forward, wanting to apologize to her, but not knowing why. Maybe because in Auradon, that kind of false kindness was very common. The fake smiles that Uma and Harry hated. The fake gold that Auradon was made of.
Uma crossed her arms again. She was almost hugging herself. Ben moved a little closer and to his surprise, Uma leaned her forehead against his chest. He immediately hugged her and felt her little body so close to him. Ben realized that it's been a long time since he hugged anyone. He hugged her tighter and buried his face in her hair.
“I won’t allow anyone else to go through that. It's not fair. Life is hard enough for someone to make you hate yourself.” She raised her face so fast that she almost hit him “Leadership is won with loyalty. Not destroying others."
Uma spoke with resentment, but he knew it wasn’t directed at him. Uma separated from him awkwardly.
“I'm going to try to earn loyalty.” He promised “I will try. Always."
She nodded, without looking at him.
“I need to go. Audrey is looking for you.” Uma informed before leaving.
Before running away.
Ben didn't have time to ask about Audrey, because as always, Uma arrived like a storm and disappeared as fast as one. Ben walked in silence. He didn't judge Mal. He still couldn't do it. Others had educated her all her life that way, but now it was her chance to know something better. He wanted Mal to see that opportunity. Everyone deserved a chance.
A soft hand took his and before hearing her voice he knew who she was.
"We need to talk."
He nodded and followed Audrey.
From an early age, they had started that dance. Like little kids, they had been pushed by their parents to dance with each other. But what started as a clumsy and awkward dance had become a choreography they had memorized. Never stumble in the path of the other. Never invading each other's space. Never taking risks. A perfect dance that others could see from afar. Because if someone watched closely, they would notice that they kept counting the steps in their mind, without looking at each other.
But this time Audrey led the dance. One last dance. She held him firm so he wouldn't be left behind. She talked about the past. He talked about the present. She confessed her doubts. He was sincere. Both smiled. They laughed awkwardly. Audrey regretted have turned into someone she would never allow to be with him. Someone who only desired the title and not Ben. He apologized for letting her fall into that routine and allowing their friendship to be buried under protocols. Audrey missed her best friend. Ben missed his best friend.
Audrey released his hand and kissed his cheek. The dance was over.
He watched her walk down the hall with her shoulders back, her chin up and her steps echoing down the hall. Ben watched a queen take her way. His best friend was back.
Greetings little creatures!
Fun Fact: In the movie, all this happens in the first TWO days that the VKs are in Auradon. These chapters cover the events of only the first two days hahahaha Gods.
Until next time!
Harry hugged her and felt her fit perfectly against him. Uma was lying over his chest and everything had a sense of normalcy again. Minutes ago, Harry had come out of the shower and had met Uma waiting for him in his bed, rereading another book of potions. But when he had sat next to her, Uma laid him down on the bed and climbed on him. Only with that, without a necessary explanation about what she was doing in his room, Uma began to speak. She had begun to explain her recent movements for her grand plan and Harry was impressed.
Uma was a long-term player.
But while she explained how she had rescued Jane and had seen Chad next to Audrey in chemistry class, he noticed the way Uma slid her nails over his arm and shoulder. She wasn’t looking at him in the eye. She was analyzing her actions, questioning them slightly. In the Island of the Lost, it was necessary to be a villain to survive. But Uma had been raised in more elegant villainy. One where the victory was satisfactory when the heroes realized that they had condemned themselves. A kind of villainy where the trap was always in sight, but the naive didn’t notice it. So, the rules should always be clear. That's why she had been attracted to the Pirate Code. Incredible as it seemed, Uma respected the rules. The fair laws.
"You're doing it again." Harry didn't accuse her, in fact, he was slightly smiling.
She would be a great captain.
Uma looked intrigued.
“You try to save all of them. As in the past with Desiree, Jonas, Bonny, and Gonzo. Like with Gil. Like with me. You're trying to save everyone.” He slid his fingers through her hair to look at her face “Again.”
"For what we want, we need allies." She replied.
No, she needed a crew. Uma was forming one without realizing it.
"Of course. Then, you must count Lonnie among your pieces.” He offered “Ben introduced her to me, apparently Evie helped her with her style as well. Although I only crossed swords with her for a few seconds she’s very good."
Uma nodded silently. Surely, she was thinking about what kind of vital piece Lonnie could be for what she wanted to do.
Harry was sure Lonnie would like Uma. The girl just needed a little more self-discovery because she was obviously a warrior, not a princess. He suspected that pirate clothes would look good on her.
Uma slid her nails back over his arm, meditating.
“What reminds me, we must continue with our daily training. If something happens, I want to be prepared to fight.”
Uma was an artist when making plans and crafting prevention.
“Let’s see. Audrey broke up with Ben. Jane is safe. The wand is protected. What other connection would Mal search for the wand?”
"Chad? Fairy Godmother is like his great-godmother, right?" Harry asked. "But right now, he only has eyes for Audrey."
"I think I saw Evie interested in Chad, but in chemistry class, I saw her with the band boy, Doug. They looked happy." Uma remembered "And now Evie had her small fashion and style business to distract her. I would love to say I planned it, but I wasn’t.” Uma looked at the high ceiling "I just wanted to help Jane and Evie was my only option. Now all the girls want her help.”
"And thanks to your work with Audrey-"
"And yours with Ben." She reminded him.
"Well, thanks to your powers of persecution and strategy you made a domino effect. Chad came to support Audrey. So, he wasn't flirting with anyone. Consequently, Evie couldn't get any illusions of his prince title and could talk to another boy."
Uma smiled proudly.
“Mal has already lost the connection that would be Chad. And we don’t even plan it." She looked at him "You are right, we must take advantage of the fact that in her gang they are all weak links to form a team."
"Speaking of team, curiously Jay joined the Tournament team..." Harry still resented Jay, but he concentrated on Uma, on her fingers on his skin, on her body against his, on her plan and her clever mind working, in the fact that she sought his advice and wanted to hear his opinion “Carlos has a dog. Is that something?"
“If they create links with Auradon, it will be more difficult for them to want to free our parents." Uma whispered.
"But we want to free others."
"Yes. But destroying the barrier must be a desperate option. The last one. If Ben didn’t want to bring others or turn his back on the Island, that would be our option. But it's not like that.” She looked at him with determination. “We just have to capture the future king, symbolically, of course. Whoever has the king's loyalty wins the game.”
She licked her lips. Actually, it didn't sound so bad to capture him. Harry smiled dangerously. She smirked. Yes, they were thinking the same.
"In any case, Ben convinced Mal to join the art club." Uma denied "Not that that's a help..."
Harry smiled. Ben was an optimist. A worthy leader who wanted to give opportunities. Too bad it was to people like Mal.
"And you are going to join R.O.A.R.?" Uma asked.
"And let Ben be ordering me all the time?" He smiled dangerously "Definitely."
Uma stretched over him. She occupied his entire visual field. His hands slid under her blouse and stroked her skin. Uma took a deep breath. His hands slid up to feel her torso swell and then shrink when she sighed. Uma rested her forehead on his and closed her eyes. He slipped his fingers over her back, climbed up her soft skin and pressed the tips of his fingers to descend. She rested her hands on his chest and arched her back. Uma breathed at the rate that he was raising his hands and exhaled when he slid his caress down to her hips. She regulated her breathing with him.
In the distance, thunder echoed.
She opened her eyes. Her brown eyes shone with gold and honey. Uma sighed on his lips. He lowered his hands to grab her ass. She pressed more against him. Her blouse had risen and he could feel her skin. Uma tilted her face slowly until her noses stopped rubbing his and he felt her lips millimeters from his. Harry could taste her at that distance, her heat rising above him.
At that time, they could be in Auradon, Neverland or the Island of the Lost. It didn’t matter. They had eliminated the universe.
Harry could only see her eyes and feel her. He knew that Uma was smiling.
She kissed him gradually gaining ground, struggling with him for fun, because Uma knew she was in control. She didn't kiss like the princesses in the stories, she didn't follow the protocols of fairy tales. Uma kissed as if she wanted to drown him. She took him by the chin to keep him still and slid her other hand over his torso, his abdomen and straight to his hip, to hold him against the bed. Although he didn’t plan to escape. She kissed with promises of freedom, even when they were already free. But her kiss tasted better than any world to explore. In that kiss she reminded him that they were united, connected by their past and intertwined by what had arisen between them.
Harry did get chills under her contact. His towel opened because she was touching him directly and the cloth was a nuisance. Uma slipped her nails from his top to bottom, following his side, marking his skin. He growled and could feel her malicious smile against his lips.
The door of the room opened.
Uma straightened up, sitting on his hips. The towel was open on the bed. She had become his only means of censorship.
"How do you do that?" Chad asked, sliding his fingers through his hair in frustration and looking at him alone.
Harry frowned without understanding. He looked at Uma, who shrugged and licked her lips casually, provoking him. She acted as if his taste was a treat she wanted to keep in the middle of a conversation. He laid his hands on her hips.
"That..." Chad closed the door temporarily and leaned against it "How did you get someone like her to choose you?"
Chad pointed at Uma without looking at her. Which was almost comical. Because Harry was the naked one. Actually, when she sat down her blouse had settled. So, Uma was completely decent. Except for her swollen lips and her drunken eyes. Chad was behaving like a gentleman by not looking at her. And like a teenager asking Harry's advice.
Uma laughed maliciously and stretched. Harry immediately looked at her, watching her blouse rise enough to see a fragment of her skin. She took his chin and smiled.
“You are right about something. I chose him.” Uma stared at Chad, who wisely looked down and she smiled. “I'm going to advise you something, pretty boy. You need to seriously think about what you want. Because if it's Audrey, you must have patience while she realizes who she is and what she wants in her life. Only then, maybe, she chooses you. Because no matter how much you love her, how much you adore her, she isn’t obligated to reciprocate you. And yet, you must be patient."
Uma looked at Harry. For a long time, she had believed that she should be alone, that her association with Harry was a matter of survival. Her mother had educated her, like so many villains, to be a leader. But it was time that made her realize what she wanted to live. Multiple adventures, fighting, and battles. Intellectuals or physical. Uma didn’t want to live under the sea, but to navigate it. She wanted nations to lie at her feet. Uma aspired to have people that trusted her blindly. She wanted to be in charge. Uma had seen the villains fight for territory, for pieces of scrap and dirt, but she wanted the rough sea. But until days ago, she had taken all those wishes and kept them, because she had been living in a prison. Among all those dreams, all she had been able to fulfill was Harry. He as her navigator, her battle partner, and her loyal mate. Her best friend.
But when they crossed the barrier, those dreams were released. Her desires began to take as much strength as her magic. And Harry was still there.
She didn't know if Audrey would go through a process like hers. Uma could not predict what a princess would allow herself to live. She didn't know if Audrey would want to have a partner. Or if Audrey accepted that the type of partner that she needed was one who kissed her boots and loved to follow her a couple of steps behind. But Uma knew that few could accept to fall on their knees unconditionally. Chad was a spoiled boy and was used to appearances. But to serve, there must be pride in doing so. Uma didn't know if Chad could have that.
"I never aspired to be with her." The prince confessed after a long silence.
Harry and Uma stopped looking at each other, interested in what they just heard.
"I had already resigned to be her best friend..."
Harry understood that feeling. His story would be similar to Chad's if he and Uma had been born in Auradon, within their rules and culture. Interestingly, being born in the Island of the Lost had given him the best chance of his life.
To their surprise, Chad looked tragic and resigned. The prince highlighted with a noble beauty that they had never noticed. Apparently, he was deeply in love. And it was that agonizing love that turned tragic in beauty.
“Do you know what my most daring fantasy was? I imagined that if Ben hurt Audrey, I would do something, I would try to be the heroic prince she would want.” Chad sighed heavily and looked at the ceiling. “I think I allowed myself to think that because that would be impossible. Ben would never hurt her. Not on purpose. And now... they are no longer a couple. Nobody was hurt. I just encountered Ben and he asked me for forgiveness, he told me to follow my heart. Ben gave me his blessing to be with who was going to be his queen if she wants it. The most impossible opportunity has just happened and I don't know what to do.”
Harry could empathize with that idea. In those days he had lived a series of impossible. The opportunity for Uma to leave the Island, for her to reject that option for him and Ben to accept Harry. By crossing the barrier others had regained their magic, but his Uma was stronger now, she had finally accepted all the potential he knew she had. And Uma still had chosen to be with him. Even though she no longer needs the comfort to their survival. And Harry would never admit it out loud -first, he would jump to the sharks to say it out loud- but one of his most pleasant surprises had been to discover that he had been able to meet other people.
After Gil, Harry had believed that he couldn’t have any more friends, that his luck had ended with Uma and Gil. This made sense for him, Harry was impulsive, dangerous and cheeky. He knew that. The type of characteristics that were associated with enemies and not allies. But in those days, first Ben and then other people had treated him as a person. They had even seen him as an individual separated from Uma. Because in the Island, those who put up with him, did it because he was with her. But in Auradon people were different. Maybe, with freedom, people could be more friendly. But Harry would never admit it out loud.
So, he understood impossible.
“Don’t abandon your queen. In a moment of change, she may need you more than ever.” Harry took Uma's hand and kissed her wrist “There is no greater honor than being at her service.”
Uma smirked and leaned slightly toward him.
“Chad?” Harry barely looked away from Uma “I recommend you to go out."
Uma moved her hips down, removing her censorship over his hips.
"Because I don’t care if you see us." She said with a sly smile.
"Oh no... Are you…? Are you naked? Man!" Chad shouted "That's not something I want to see!"
None of them returned to see him. Harry slipped his hands over her back to bring her closer. They heard the door close. Uma laughed against his lips and slid to his side. He joined her laughter. He turned his back to the door.
"Chad is a bit slow." Uma slid her fingers over his side, creating spirals on his hip.
"I think it's a feature of the princes here."
"You mean Ben?"
"I don't think he understands what we are doing."
"And we know?" Suddenly Uma sat down and looked at him for a long time "Because Ben is not like the others."
Harry watched as the light entered through the window and fell over her body. She was fully dressed but had messy hair, dominance in her eyes and promises on her lips. Uma had a soft glow. Nothing too obvious. In Auradon, no one would notice that detail as Harry did. But he had watched her for so long that he could tell those differences. Now it was much more obvious than Uma and he were two completely different species. She was made of other materials. Uma wasn’t human. He had always suspected it. Harry had imagined that this was the reason she was so different in everything she did.
In the Island, it was normal for someone to be in control of other people. Still in privacy. It was usually a woman, who had several lovers and they competed with each other so that one would be chosen as the number one.
As Uma had said, she had chosen him. When that happened, Harry had prepared to have to share her attention, to fight to be her number one and he was ready for it. But Uma was different. She wanted to share the loot with him. No competitions with others for her. Uma said they were a team. Yes, she was the leader, but they were together. In the Island, they hadn't found anyone to accept that fair treatment. They had fun with others, but by the time those began to be jealous or wanted to start disputes over her attention, Uma had always chosen Harry. From the beginning, they had known that the fun would be temporary.
But Ben was different.
If they continued on that path, things would be different. They could feel it.
But Harry suspected that while Ben wasn’t indifferent to his presence, he would only fall in love with Uma. He expected Ben to fall in love with her. He and Ben would have that bond in common. He would teach Ben how to enjoy being madly in love with Uma. But Harry didn't think he had the virtues necessary to be loved. And it was fine, he was used to it. His heart already belonged to Uma, even if it wasn’t reciprocated. And it would be a pleasure to fall in love with Ben if that were the case. Because Harry Hook was crazy and aware of it. Loving the impossible and enjoying it was part of that madness.
"Ben is not like the others." He accepted.
Uma leaned in his direction and stroked his hair. She always tried to make him feel safe. She must have noticed the storm of doubt in his mind.
"You and me." Uma whispered against his lips “We’re a team."
He smiled. His Goddess was assuring him that Ben would have to accept them both or neither. Harry closed his eyes. She was the calm that stopped the storm in his thoughts.
He expected Ben to accept being with Uma and him. Because Harry loved the beautiful impossible.
Greetings little creatures!
I just wanted to mention that this kind of scene is common, right? A couple, man and woman, talking about important topics. But usually it's the man who talks about politics and it's the beautiful woman, naked, who listens and is caressed. I like how with them the roles are reversed and Harry's masculinity and Uma's femininity are not compromised. Your relationship flows that way.
I also take this note to thank all of you for your support and beautiful comments. Honestly, I didn't expect such a good reception. I feel so honored. And I hope you continue to enjoy the story.
Until next time!
Ben looked at the location and nodded. That place was close and was one of his favorites. He had learned to swim there. In his childhood, Audrey, Chad and he used to play there. Ben still remembered when they played 'Rescue the Princess'. Chad had to be the princess most of the time because Audrey wanted to fight the dragon or be it. Chad didn't have a problem with being the princess. Those had been good times. Before social opinion placed them in roles and forced them to fit.
He blinked, leaving his memories.
"Do you want to go there now?"
"That or go to the sea." Harry leaned against him.
"I want to go there." Uma admitted.
He had noticed that magic called her as much as the sea. In recent days, he had seen her walking on the dock, near the sea, looking towards the Island. Uma looked at the ocean with melancholy and the Island with determination. She had plans. The sea was her temptation and the Island her plan. Uma looked like a queen, pushing her desires aside to prioritize her goals. But he didn't want to ask, he wanted to see where all that would lead them. Instead, he called his driver to take them there.
Uma had made Harry's dorms hers. She preferred the wooden walls and the rustic style that differentiated the boy’s dorms so much for the girls. Ben had learned that if he wanted to find them quickly it was better to wander in Harry's bedroom.
"Did you need us for something?" Uma was sitting on Harry's desk, reading an old book.
Instead, Ben was holding the weight of the pirate, who was surrounding him with his arm and trapping him against the armchair. He looked at Harry and his shark smile. Harry was wanting to bother him. Every day, Harry tried to do something that made him nervous. But Ben controlled his reactions. Because he didn't want to admit that he felt good in moments like this. A future king shouldn’t feel excited about the contact of another person. He shouldn’t show his weaknesses. He had noticed that Uma always touched Harry and he reacted with more hunger for her touch. Ben feared the same thing would happen to him. He felt that at any moment he would lean in Harry's direction so Harry would quickly invade his personal space.
On the other hand, Uma looked at his hands with fun. She signaled him to do something with them. Specifically, she was waiting for Ben to also hug Harry and stop being so tense. But he kept his hands on his lap.
“Well, I have been thinking. In several things, I have been assigned to be the captain.” Ben looked at Uma “And that makes no sense. Everyone must have a chance and it isn’t fair that they choose me for everything just because I will be king.”
"Look at him, he's learning to delegate." Harry commented against his ear "You're doing well."
Ben cleared his throat, feeling a growl in his chest. He looked at Uma.
"And I wanted to know if you're interested in being the captain of R.O.A.R. And have Lonnie as your vice-captain."
Ben looked at Harry. The pirate was amazing with a sword, and honestly, Ben had been tempted to give the role of vice-captain to Harry. But for that, it wasn’t enough to be good in combat. Leaders must be exceptional in educating others, having great patience and desire to teach. Harry was good at standing out in combat and being a secret weapon in any competition. Lonnie would be good at supporting Uma in leadership and help others.
Ben hid his smile. The process of changing the rules for the clubs was taking longer than necessary. Ben was afraid that every change was going to take that much. The protocols would eat time and people wouldn’t see immediate resolutions. That frustrated Ben. But while the rules for the clubs were analyzed, he had invited Uma and Lonnie to participate in the training as guests. Jay had appeared in training, interested in the idea of combat. And one of the reasons that made Uma his choice to be a captain was that she didn't reject Jay. Despite any rivalry, she respected his abilities. Lonnie and Jay had been an incredible duo. For the first time, Ben felt that R.O.A.R. move without his help. And it felt good to see that not everything depended on him.
A delicate hand took his chin and he met Uma in front of him. She rested her knee in the space between his legs and leaned over him. Uma had braided her hair. He felt one of the braids fall against his face, but he didn't remove it. Her hair had a much lighter turquoise tone. He wondered if her hair changed color naturally or she had done something. Because sometimes it looked like the west sea, near the reefs and other times like the deep and secretly ocean. She pressed her thumb over the curve of his lower lip. He shivered.
"Are you giving me the leadership?" Uma asked slowly “Will I be your captain?”
He nodded. That was just fair. She looked at Harry. There was that secret conversation again. Harry tried to remove his arm from his shoulders, but Ben leaned further back to catch him and looked at her with alarm. Uma held back her laugh, although she wasn't making fun of him.
“Oh, Gods, don't look at me like that. You are cute when you get anxious.” Uma smiled. “I never thought someone in Auradon was starving for physical contact like so many in the Island.”
Ben couldn’t reply. His mother was affectionate, but as he had grown, she had given him space. His father was rude to give his love. A slap on his back could send Ben to the other side of the room. Besides, his father said that the princes were heroes, not affectionate men. The princes touched their princesses only as something delicate and perfect.
But Uma and Harry hadn’t grown up in Auradon. Harry pressed himself against his side and moved so close to his face that Ben could feel his eyelashes touching his temple. Uma sat on his lap. No protocols. Without explanation. She lifted the skirt of her dress a little and settled on his lap. She took him by the back of his neck and pressed him against her chest.
Uma's heart was beating fast. Harry was holding him tightly. Ben closed his right hand in the pirate's jacket and his left hand in the sea witch's vest. She stroked his hair. Harry touched his back, moving his fingers as if his column was a piano keyboard.
"Let your captain take care of you." Uma whispered against his ear.
She sounded so happy with that word. Captain. Harry laughed against his other ear. Ben leaned against his shoulder and hugged Uma by the waist.
He had been captured by a sea witch and a pirate.
If someone entered there, he wouldn’t know how to explain what they were doing. But Ben didn't feel wrong or strange. Harry searched his gaze curiously. He looked at him. Uma hid her face in his neck. That felt good. Ben remembered how Harry had explained to him how wonderful it was to sleep next to Uma. But the pirate hadn’t described how good it felt to be that close to him. Harry was a beautiful catastrophe and pure impulsiveness. But this close, it was like being in the eye of the hurricane. It didn't make sense, but Ben felt safe. No crowns, decrees or obligations. Harry made him feel important for other reasons. For trusting the pirate. For looking for his contact. Harry made him feel valuable.
That contrasted well with Uma. She didn't need to look at him. Uma was surrounding him with her presence and immersing him in her own rules. Being in her arms, against her chest, Ben couldn't remember why it would be a problem for someone to find them like that. She smiled against his neck, motivated him to hold to her and not let go. Ben hugged her tighter and could feel against his skin as she widened her smile and, therefore, caressed him with her lips. Uma was right, it felt good to let her take care of him. That was a type of intimacy devoid of eroticism. That was an unknown intimacy in Auradon.
Uma and Harry weren’t playing with him. That moment had no other explanation than to give him exactly what he needed.
Uma was the first to put apart from him. She analyzed him. Harry held him against his shoulder, making it clear that he shouldn’t turn away.
"I never thought princes could be so melancholic." Uma stroked his lower eyelid until she reached his temple. "You look as if you had been alone for so many years."
Maybe because it had been like that. Audrey and Chad had changed the last few years to fit their roles. Because he had had to spend countless hours training to be a good king. Because his father had forced a kingdom on his shoulders. Because his mother had wanted to give him independence. Because he hadn't dared to ask for what he wanted and only continued with his role in Auradon.
Until they arrived.
His cell phone vibrated. The limo was outside. But Harry held his hand so he stayed still.
"That can wait." Uma explained.
Ben looked at them without understanding what was happening. He had believed that they wanted to go to the enchanted lake. But to his surprise they exchanged glances again and whatever they had agreed made everything change. Uma slid to his side until she lay on the couch and pulled him from his shirt until he fell over her body. Harry hugged him by the waist and leaned on his back. Ben held his breath when he felt the pirate pushing his hips against his butt and forcing him to fit his hips between Uma's legs. He tried to say something, but she covered his mouth and pulled him against her.
"Don't get your hopes up." Uma whispered in his ear "It's not your lucky day… yet."
Harry lay on his back, one hand on his waist and another around his shoulders. Caught. Uma hugged his hips with her legs and took his neck with her hand. Immobilized. Ben got tangled between them. He felt confined. Cover. Ben could feel every part of his body in contact with one of them. His hands hugged Uma. He held a sigh.
"You're doing a good job." Uma whispered against his ear.
Ben found himself denying.
"No one asked you to save us, but you did." Harry spoke against his other ear. "It wasn’t your obligation to change things."
"And give us hope." Uma complemented.
“That was the least I could do. And there is so much more to do, but I don't want the people of Auradon to see you as enemies or refugees. I want them to see you as equals.” The words came out of his mouth so fast that he was surprised.
Uma made a soft sound of assent and stroked his neck.
“I've been watching you. Here, no one believes that your father made an error, but still, you are correcting his mistakes. That is very noble of you.” Uma spoke softly against his ear, wisely “I am honored that you are my ally.”
"You deserve to be young." Harry completed with some fun in his voice, some youthful madness that Ben longed to have. "Teen, clumsy and confused. A sweet boy getting corrupted by pirates and having fun with them, don't you think?”
Ben smiled at those words. If he closed his eyes, he could forget everything but them. There was no kingdom waiting for him. Only Uma and Harry. Only their voices. Ben got carried away by Uma's experience of leadership and the freedom that Harry provided. He relaxed among their voices. They became a spell. One that opened the protections that hid his fears.
“I have already disappointed my father. I couldn’t be what he wants from me. That's why I don't want to disappoint my people.” Ben confessed.
"What did your father want from you?" Uma asked.
“Be like him. Strong. Powerful. Kingly."
Harry laughed against his ear. For some reason, that lightness made him feel good. Harry was right, there was no point in regretting. Life was as impulsive as a secret and malicious laugh.
"Let's not be like our parents." The pirate proposed.
“You still don't know who you are.” Uma took his face and stroked his cheekbones with her thumbs “And that's fine. You are young. For now, knowing that you are not like your father is a breakthrough.”
"Now you're just young." Harry leaned his forehead against his back. "I can tell you that part of surviving requires physical contact."
Harry slid his arm down his side. Ben felt his long fingers descend to his hip and rise again. He arched his back from the sudden contact. Harry laughed maliciously against his ear.
“Feed yourself well” Uma joked.
Suddenly, Ben understood. That was what they both had been doing in the Island of the Lost. Survive. To each other. For them, each day had been a struggle and they had taken the strength of moments like that. The intimacy they shared. The way they called that close friendship was their source of stability. The fact that they shared a bit of that with Ben was an honor. A true honor.
Ben heard Uma's heartbeat quietly. Harry was warm against him. Ben was caught between them. He realized, with some melancholy, that, in seconds, he had received more physical contact than in many years. The caress in his hair. The warm hug. The words of encouragement. The promise of youth. For a few minutes, he forgot everything that meant to be him. Because Ben was in good hands.
He promised to thank them for that alliance.
"It's too much?"
Uma denied and touched the different plates of food with her fingertips. Porcelain, gold, and glass. She had no idea how Ben had prepared a picnic for them, but she was impressed. Everything was so bright and expensive. But not ostentatious. Everything was elegant and simple. Her eyes couldn't stop seeing everything. The food was so delicate and beautiful. She hadn't tried everything, but everything she tasted was delicious.
She looked at him. Ben looked guilty. He hadn't taken everything out of the basket and seemed to want to return some things. The prince was thoughtful and impulsive. Uma had improvised the trip to the enchanted lake. Improvise. But Ben had found a way to do all of that.
He had flushed cheeks and was tense.
"Too much?" She repeated the question "Yes, it is. But I like it."
Uma smiled when he took one of the chocolate coins, he had taught her. Lovely. Sweet. Interesting. She looked at Ben and took a bite of the chocolate.
"What else did you bring?" She tried to look inside the basket.
At the moment, Ben had only taken out snacks. But she could feel the smell of hot meals.
"Don't you think it's ridiculous that I did all this?"
She denied and licked her lips.
"What else did you bring?"
"French fries and shrimp skewers."
She tensed. Uma stared at him. Had Mal told him about that infamous nickname that had ruined her leadership on the Island? Ben stopped taking out the food when he noticed that the atmosphere had changed. A cold breeze surrounded them, but only Ben shivered.
"You don't like...?"
He showed the hot food containers, not knowing what to do with them. Uma shortened the distance between them quickly. She invaded his personal space and her hand quickly went to her belt, where she usually had a dagger. But now they were in Auradon. She and Harry had agreed to behave. Uma had agreed not to use any weapons in exchange for them to let Harry carry his hook, hung from his belt. So, her fingers met nothing.
But she noticed his innocent look. For a second, she felt back on the Island, dealing with a problem made by Gil. No evil. No cruelty. Ben didn't know what he had done.
"I don't like shrimp." She muttered, but the scent caught her attention. "What's that?"
Uma denied and took the container. Those were things similar to shrimp. But huge. She could hold two of them in the palm of her hand. Those weren’t shrimps. They didn't smell like that. Not like she remembered.
"Do you want to try?" Ben hesitated but pulled out one of the skewers.
She was cautious and took the offering. If they were on the Island, she would have him eat one of the shrimps to confirm that it wasn’t poisoned. But in Auradon, that kind of thing didn't happen. Besides, Ben was their ally. A sign of confidence was to eat what he, with such dedication, had prepared for them. Uma took the skewer and bit the huge shrimp.
The taste was delicious. She closed her eyes to enjoy the experience. Even seafood was better off the Island. That was so juice and the seasoning was strong. Uma savored each shrimp as if it were the last and licked her fingers. She took the other container and took a potato. The sauce was pleasant, she licked her lips and a huge smile formed on her lips.
"Congratulate your chef." Uma took another bite and savored how crispy and smooth it was.
"Thank you, I'm glad you like it."
She looked at him with intrigue. The sun shone on them again. Ben was smiling proudly at the food. Like…
"Did you cook this?" Uma looked at all the little snacks.
Many were fruits, pieces of cheese and things like that. But it was also a little more complicated food. She looked at him without understanding. The enchanted lake had been an impromptu visit. How had he done all that?
"Yes. My mother insisted that I learn to do everything on my own. I like to cook. Food unites people.” Ben explained, taking a grape and eating it.
She looked at everything around her. The prince served her a white liquid with a delicious aroma. Uma sighed at the taste.
"Coconut juice." Ben looked at his glass. "You smell a little like this."
"Coconut?" She smelled the glass.
Then she must smell delicious.
"Now I understand why Harry doesn't stop biting me." She joked and looked at the dishes around her. "How did you prepare this?"
"I had planned to invite you to eat at my castle after we talk about your new position as captain. Something like a celebration. But when the plans changed, I just asked my servants to put the food in a basket.” Ben played with one of the napkins “Is it too much? ”
“You ask that a lot.” Uma looked towards the lake. “I like the excesses."
She watched as Harry swam in the water. He submerged, disappeared for a few seconds and returned to the surface. If she closed her eyes, she could feel where the lake water came from. Auradon was full of underground rivers. Some ended up at sea, others went inland. The lake had its own song, it was a gentle relaxing cooing. It didn't call her, but it welcomed her. She was learning too many things just by being in its vicinity. Her powers had a strong connection with water. After all, she wasn't a mermaid. She was something much more powerful. Uma was a sea witch. The sea was the source of her magic.
"All you want." Uma looked at him "If you want to put offerings at my feet, I won't stop you." She remembered the word he had used before and her smile widened "With us, you can be as ridiculous as you want."
Ben smiled enthusiastically. He looked like she had announced that his most secret dream had come true. With new encouragement, he leaned back on the blanket they were using and looked at the sky. Uma also leaned back but leaned on her elbow so she could still see Harry.
"Do you guys feel happy here?" Ben asked suddenly.
"Honestly, I haven't had much time to think about that."
“This has been an adaptation process. I have dedicated myself to thinking about my priorities. The first few days I was just doing damage control, preventing Mal and her gang from doing something that would destroy our opportunity.” Uma stared at him “You said you would bring more like us. Harry and I need you to keep your word.”
"I will." Ben sat down and impulsively shortened the distance between the two. "I want everyone to have the opportunity they deserve."
She nodded. His words touched her lips. Uma tilted her face and looked at him. Only then did the prince realize how dangerously close they were to each other. She breathed through her mouth. Very close.
“Prince Ben, remember we made a deal a few days ago."
"My happiness?" He whispered.
Uma nodded. They were so close that her nose brushed his cheek. Ben didn’t turn away. He looked at her as if he wanted to beg. His pupils sharpened. Uma shivered.
"Do you want your captain to make you happy?"
For a moment she thought Ben would beg for a kiss. She could hear him start the word. But Ben fell silent and turned his face away when they heard water falling. She followed his gaze and smiled.
Harry came out of the water. Out of consideration for Ben, the pirate had entered the water with his underwear. Swimming naked was something they had always done on the Island. She watched Harry move in her direction, moving forward with determination. Uma felt little vertigo in her belly. Damn pirate, freedom only made him more and more attractive. Stronger. Healthier. More relaxed. Happier.
Harry Hook was hers.
She patted her thighs. Harry smiled at the proposal and used her lap as a pillow. Coldwater slid directly over her thighs, creating dangerous paths. Uma shivered. She slid her fingers over his skin, traveling the path of small rivers formed of water droplets. Uma could feel the magic over him. The magical properties of the enchanted lake were purifying.
"This is the first time I swim in such clear water." Harry looked at Ben. "Don't you want to swim with me?"
Ben had been following the movements of her hand. She smiled and slid her fingers to Harry's abdomen and ascended. Ben kept following her with his eyes.
"Harry asked you a question." Uma whispered.
He blinked and turned his face away.
"I don't think I'm ready to swim with sharks."
Harry smiled dangerously. She hadn't expected that confession. But under her fingers, she could feel Harry slightly tense. His smile didn’t reach his eyes.
"What do you mean?" She sounded protective.
Harry covered her hand with his. She looked at him. No, it wasn’t alright. They had agreed that the only way they would jump blindly to all that would be if Ben accepted them both. She wasn't going to allow Harry to step aside for her to take that opportunity.
Ben looked at them with interest. From one to the other, analyzing them and then denied.
"Because you're right." Ben looked at her. "You are adapting here. And I am also adapting to the new changes. Most of the time I don't know what to expect from you and that's good. But I don't think you realize that you are in the same situation as me. But I have certain advantages.” Ben looked at the lake.
“I know Auradon. I was born here. My family is the cause of your born in the Island. I brought you here. My responsibility is not to take advantage of my situation.” Ben explained without looking at them.
Uma smiled. Few people understood that. Responsibility. Ben didn't want to take advantage of them. Although it was obvious that Uma and Harry flirted with him brazenly, he didn't want to make them feel as if they had to do it because he saved them. Ben wanted them to live in Auradon and make mistakes like anyone else. He wanted them not to feel forced to anything just because he would be the future king. And, damn it, just because of that she wanted to knock Ben against the grass and drink from his lips. She wanted to see if Ben would shiver at the edge of Harry's hook. For those words, she wanted to make him beg their names.
"What would happen if I swim with sharks" Ben continued "and find out that I like it?"
Harry sat down, intrigued. She turned to Ben. He was staring at her.
"Wouldn't that bother you?" The prince asked her.
"Let's put the analogies aside, prince Ben." Uma looked at Harry and then at him "We are a team."
"A couple." Ben corrected "An established couple."
She felt dizzy. Uma wanted to tell him that they were survivors, that what they were doing was a mechanism to survive. But hundreds of things had changed except them. They were free. They no longer had to survive. They had opportunities. But Uma kept looking for Harry's contact. He kept searching for her. The beds were warm, the atmosphere was safe, the food was plentiful and the company was pleasant. So what mechanism was she thinking about?
Uma looked at Harry, but he didn't dare hold her gaze.
" I don't know." She looked at Ben. "That, couple, doesn’t exist on the Island. Not with the seriousness that you say."
"It doesn't matter either." Harry took her hand but continued without looking at her "We've always been against the world."
She clung more to his hand. Exactly. They against the world. Always. It didn't matter if they were best friends or a couple. They were going to be together no matter what.
Ben looked at them and nodded.
"So you must accept both of us." Harry explained “Not only me.”
“Or me.” Uma clarified.
Together. They did things together. Maybe she was leading, but Harry always went where she went.
The clouds covered the sun. She felt the anticipation. Uma was used to it. When they explained what the rules of the game would be, people doubted.
"You mean it's okay?" Ben looked at her "Is it okay for me to like you?"
"Us?" She wanted to clarify.
"That's the only way." Harry invaded the prince's personal space. "It's not very conventional."
"No pressure." Uma pulled back the pirate "From where we came is all about power. But here it is about love. I want us to speak the same language.”
"And what would that be?" Ben asked.
“That we must discover." Harry took his chin. "Let's start with something simple."
"Something we all know well." Uma reached out to Ben "Loyalty."
The prince looked at her without understanding and she moved her fingers to take his hand. When he did, she pulled him in her direction to shorten the distance between them.
“This is the deal.” Uma explained and Harry put his hand over theirs. “We are allies. You have our loyalty and we have yours. We three against our worlds."
Ben looked at their hands and then at them.
"Start as friends?"
Uma looked at Harry. That was a word too big. Very important. She had only called two people in her life as a friend. One of them was Harry. That word was much more valuable than a lover.
"Friends." Harry agreed "Adventure companions."
"An opportunity to see where all this is going." Ben agreed.
“Fun. Passion. Love. Friendship. Whatever it will be, it will be based on loyalty." Uma closed her grip on the prince's hand." Whatever happens, the priority will be our alliance."
"And if you feel uncomfortable or want to stop." Harry raised an eyebrow as if he knew that would be impossible. "Just say it. We will talk about this.”
"Are we going to talk about payment?" The prince joked.
She and Harry looked at each other and smiled.
"Loyalty in exchange for your pants." Uma proposed.
Ben laughed and his cheeks blushed. Apparently, he finally understood what they were doing.
"But not now." Harry commented.
The prince nodded.
"It's a deal."
Uma could feel the electric current run through her fingers when he released her. She felt pure magic envelop her. Power.
Ben lay back down, much more relaxed. She took another skewer.
“What if you tell me more about you? Harry has told me about some of your adventures, but is there more? I feel that I know a lot about you and at the same time very little."
They looked at each other. Uma bit one of the shrimps and nodded.
“There are more stories about our lives. Like my sisters.” Harry started “Gil and others like us.”
"There are many more like us. Waiting to get out of that prison." Uma explained.
"But today I will tell you about my sisters." Harry molded his voice, preparing for another pirate story.
The sun warmed their skins and Uma lay down, enjoying one of her favorite activities. Harry had grown up to tell stories or sing them. He was a pirate ready to entertain a crew on long expeditions. Uma settled against Ben's shoulder. She listened to Harry and remembered the reckless Harriet and the adventurous CJ. Uma thought, as every day, that the Island of the Lost had treasures waiting to be unearthed.
She looked at Ben. He had given them a chance and she wanted to trust that there would be more. They were going to discover if Auradon and the Island of the Lost had a future together.
If they could have a future.
Uma was sitting in front of the Council. She bit the corner of her lips to keep from laughing. She was sitting to the right of Prince Ben, looking at nobles and lawyers. At the head of the table was sitting the current King Adam. Beast. He looked at her analytically and annoying. But she held his gaze. The king looked at her as if he wanted to decipher whether she was a monster or not.
Maybe because only one monster like him could recognize another.
But she rested her chin on the palm of her hand. The Council spoke loudly. Ben was looking at his notes. He looked calm and determined. But she could recognize his tension. She rested her hand on the prince's knee under the table. Ben looked at her and she smiled wickedly.
"You did it well."
"You did all the work." Ben took her hand. "I'm just your ticket to be here."
Uma looked at the people around them. At first, she and Harry had thought exactly that. That Ben would be their exit ticket, their chance to free Harriet and CJ, their impulse to freedom. But Ben had been many more things than that. He had been their ally and their friend.
"You know how all this works." Uma replied but stared at the current king "You can see that History is pure propaganda."
She didn’t know if King Adam's ears were sharp as in his bestial version. The man didn’t even blink at her words. But that could only mean that he was used to politics and pretend ignorance. Uma smiled. King Adam was a relic of the past with a countdown on his head.
Ben was the future. He had invited her to speak with the Council and explain to them the reality of the descendants who lived on the Island of the Lost. The power she felt in taking a place at that meeting and the moment she spoke in front of all those people was intoxicating. She was the first person on the Island of the Lost who had the opportunity to make a change. The words had come out of her mouth naturally. She felt a power greater than magic surround her. When she had finished her speech, the Council had been silent for a few seconds. Uma sat down, chin up. The Council began to discuss the idea of sharing the information delivered at that meeting with the leaders of the other kingdoms and introducing them to this new reality. Uma agreed to talk about the Island of the Lost and answer every question they asked. She swore to tell the truth. Because her people didn't need pity, they needed compensation for the reality they were being forced to live. She was proud of her life but realistic of her disadvantages. Uma clarified that for many reasons she wouldn’t change her past life, but she would have liked that many things would have been optional and not the only reality. And that many more things would not even have had to exist in her life.
When the meeting ended, she was surprised to see Queen Belle step by her side and give her a gentle squeeze on her shoulder. The woman smiled proudly but didn’t say a word.
"I think you're who she was looking for." Ben commented getting up and extending his hand.
She accepted the gesture and rose from her chair. Uma was the kind of person who enjoyed being well attended.
"Does that mean I have her authorization to kidnap you?" She took his chin and tilted her face.
Ben denied and bowed his face to kiss her knuckles. She felt a pressure in her heart.
"That means that my mother expected a strong leader to arrive from the Island of the Lost. And that person is you."
Uma took a step back and cleared her throat. She hadn’t expected that. Damn it, she wasn't used to soft and delicate things. Ben attacked her weaknesses with his warm gaze and genuine actions.
"... and what would she think of Harry?"
Ben held back his laughter and instead offered his arm. She was getting used to taking his gentlemanly gesture. After all, he was at her service.
“My mother always wanted adventure in the great wide somewhere. She wanted it more than she could tell.” Ben reminded her.
"But instead she found your father, his curse and then a kingdom." Uma remembered "So what do you think? Maybe she would see Harry as your chance to live more than what your father has planned for you?"
Ben nodded, leading her through the halls. Something she gave credit to Ben's family castle was their good taste. Gold and blue. Her favorite colors. She would only add some red and a lot of turquoise.
“She literally expected me to meet someone adventurous. Someone who could understand me.” He confessed and looked at her. “My mother always hated outdated beliefs. She grew up in a provincial town that judged her all her life for being herself. So, I know she will understand.”
Uma didn't want to ask him what exactly his mother will understand. Because they were still stumbling and floundering. They were walking blindly without knowing where they were going. But the darkness was nice. The unknown was a perfect excuse to stay together.
When they left the castle a series of lights almost left her blind and voices talking at the same time stunned her. Instinctively, Uma stood in front of Ben and her hand went to his belt. No weapons. Ben turned her and protected her from the light.
"Reporters." He explained.
Immediately she let go and looked straight ahead. A few steps below them, approximately ten people, with microphones and cameras watched them. Ben handled the crowd naturally, shutting them. She looked around and noticed that everyone was staring at her, pointing the microphones at her. Uma advanced and touched Ben's arm. He was silent and she gestured for one of the reporters to speak.
"How did it feel to represent the Island of the Lost before the Council?"
"What did you talk about with the Council?"
"What is your relationship with Prince Ben?"
"Did the Council call you or did you ask to see them?"
Ben silenced the reporters again and looked at her. She noticed his concern and doubt. Uma advanced in front of him. The microphones pointed to her. She lifted her chin.
“Prince Ben allowed me to speak with the Council. I am honored to have earned his trust to expose the reality we live on the Island of the Lost.” She pointed to the sea and her voice rose “I want you to think this well and think it conscientiously. Very close to here, live boys, girls and young people who all they know is a piece of the island. A place without the basic needs that you take for granted.” She went down the steps and her voice took power “We grew up without laws. Our teachers were our parents. I grew up watching TV, admiring the trees and your beautiful beaches. You grew up believing that monsters lived there and their children should be the same.” Uma felt how everyone paid attention to her words, she opened her arms and smiled broadly “And now we are among you, six of us, and your worlds aren’t over. No one should pay for their parents' mistakes." Uma looked directly at the cameras and shortened the distance between her and the reporters. "I'm calling out to lost boys and girls. We all deserve a chance and be judged by our own actions." She lowered her voice. "We are lost and found." Uma looked over her shoulder at Ben and tilted her face. "Maybe we come from different worlds and maybe I'm not what you expected. But I am here and if I were still on the Island of the Lost, I would like to know that someone hasn’t forgotten about me. And I don't. I haven't forgotten you.”
Ben advanced to her. He looked at her impressed, but he was smiling at her. He offered his arm and she accepted. Ben looked at the silent reporters.
“The Council and I are making the adjustments so that the transition from the Island of the Lost to Auradon will be comfortable for the descendants. These days I have spoken with my guests and heard their stories. The Island is a concept that perhaps sounded good at the time, but it’s obsolete. It may take time, but all kingdoms will meet and evaluate this situation.” Ben stared at the cameras “Not for personal resentment, but for the law. And in Auradon no law says that the descendants of a villain must pay for their parents' crimes.”
Uma was impressed. Sometimes she forgot that the sweet and tender prince had a lifetime of experience to deal with the public. Ben guided her away from the reporters who began asking once more. They wanted to know about politics, but also about the relationship they both had. Some reporters were curious about whether Uma had broken up with Harry or what the pirate thought of her proximity to Prince Ben. But she didn’t answer. Instead, she walked to the limo. Ben held the door for her and Uma entered. A pair of strong arms received her and she found herself on Harry's lap and millimeters from his shark smile. Uma hugged him tightly in victory. Her heart was beating violently. She had succeeded. She had made the Council hear her.
"You did it." Harry whispered against her ear "You did it."
Ben was sitting next to them. He was smiling proudly. Uma bit her lower lip. Harry moved to lean his forehead against his and buried his fingers in Ben's hair. The prince closed his eyes. She noticed how they synchronized their breathing, heavy and slow. They were two completely different works of art and she had the urge to steal them for her personal delight.
"I'm sorry this takes time." Ben confessed.
Harry chuckled and denied. In doing so it seemed that he was looking for more Ben's contact.
“They grew up on the Island. A few more months is not the end of the world."
“The villains won’t be happy with what I said.” Uma meditated. “But I trust that Harriet will take care of protecting the descendants."
She had analyzed all the possibilities. But she had thought that they needed to send a clear message to Harriet so she will be ready. Harry and Ben looked at her. She was incredibly close to both of them, sitting on the pirate's lap and with the prince's legs brushing her knees.
"The next meeting you could come." Ben commented to Harry "Your ideas would also be useful there."
The pirate denied and wrapped his arm around Uma's waist. But Harry didn’t separate from Ben, he spoke against his lips because he always expected the last step to be taken by the other person and thus know that they consented his actions. Ben wasn't ready for many things yet. But from the first moment, he had been willing to sink into the physical contact they offered him. Friendship. Their sincerity. Loyalty.
“Politics and leadership aren’t my things. I leave that to both of you. I can take care of your safety and the tension in your bodies.” Harry winked.
Uma took the pirate's chin and made him look at her. She watched Ben with a smile.
“Harry is the best in doing massage."
She pondered for a second her next action. Ben had made it clear that he wanted to know them better and therefore be their friend first. Despite the incredible chemistry that the three of them had. The problem was that the only lasting friendship Uma had was Harry. And all of it was about sexual tension and power games. At the moment, Ben didn't seem to find their jokes and innuendo problematic. He looked relaxed and fun with all that. But was it possible to do something else?
Harry took his hook and used it to stroke her arm. She looked at him feeling chills. In the privacy of the limo, Harry used the hook again and she relaxed under his contact.
"You're very good at that." Ben commented, following with his eyes the tip of the hook.
"I know." Harry smiled proudly "If I wasn't, I wouldn't touch Uma like this."
"And you like it." Ben didn't ask her that but assured it.
Uma saw her opportunity and, in a movement, she raised her legs in Ben's lap. He looked at her with surprise but he wasn’t tense. Harry took Ben's hand and guided him up to her thigh.
"Your nails." Uma ordered.
Ben didn’t hesitate. He followed the path his hand made. Harry released him, but he continued. Uma bit her lower lip and sighed.
"You can use more force." She explained " You can leave marks that will disappear in seconds. I like that." Uma sigh "Strong caresses are my favorites. So you leave marks on my skin if you want. "
The prince looked at her for a few seconds. But that was enough to notice that his pupils had sharpened. Uma looked at his hand and noticed that Ben's perfect nails had grown a little more. Long crimson and harmless paths formed on her skin. She shivered. Harry slipped the edge of his hook over her arm, rising to her shoulder and her neck. Uma closed her eyes and dropped her head back. Ben's hands began to rise and fall down her thighs, raising her skirt little by little. His claws slid over her skin without hurting her but making her lose her breath. Harry approached her head and bit her ear.
She opened her eyes when she felt a warm breath on her lips. All she could see was Ben's hazel eyes and the imperceptible brush of his mouth in every breath he took over her. His pupils were completely dilated. His hands took her hips.
"That's new." Harry commented out loud, stop touching her.
Uma put enough distance to notice what he meant.
Ben's hair had grown a few inches, falling on his forehead. His body looked beefier and bigger. His hands framed his tendons and bones well. His nails were curved claws. Ben had fangs. He was lightly biting the air. Millimeter to millimeter, shortening the distance between them.
And Ben had horns.
Little horns coming out of the top of his head and curling backward.
"Now I understand why they said horny." Harry commented slightly fascinated and entertained.
Ben shortened the distance between them. He cornered her between him and the door. The prince looked at Harry and licked the edge of his fangs.
"Ben..." Uma put her hand on his hard chest "Ben, breathe."
The prince looked at her and she had to take a chance. Uma hummed a soft melody that emulated the calm sea. Ben closed his eyes immediately. To her surprise, he slowly became completely human again and fell against her chest. Uma hugged him instinctively and Harry held them both.
"I'm sorry." Ben whispered.
Uma and Harry looked at each other. That had been fascinating. And they should write it down next to the idea of melted chocolate.
"There is no reason to be." She replied.
"That was exciting." Harry slid his fingers through Ben's hair. "But it wasn't entirely you."
"Yes and no. It was me. But I wasn't absolutely aware of my actions. Because one part of me was scared and the other just wanted to be free. That part of me was... I don't know.”
"Only your desires and impulses." Uma looked at Harry "How flattering."
"You order him to touch you. And the consequences surprise you?" Harry commented amusedly. "Dear, I have told you that you are lethal."
Ben laughed against her chest. She felt calmer knowing that he had relaxed.
"Part of my father's curse..."
“You inherited it." The pirate completed "We've noticed."
"Do your subjects know?" Uma asked.
But the prince denied.
"Only my family, some fairies, Audrey, and Chad." He looked at them "And now you."
She took Ben’s pinky and hooked it in the curve of Harry's hook. She did the same.
"Your secret is safe." She explained "Although that aspect of you would have many favorable points in the Island."
"It has hundreds of favorable points here." Harry kept stroking the hair of Ben "I want to touch your horns."
"Oh, I want your fangs and claws."
Ben laughed, in that shameful and grateful way he seemed to have. Now the prince was completely relaxed. Uma bit her lower lip. Harry was right, that aspect of Ben would be crucial with the people of the Island. But could they accept him in Auradon?
They needed to keep their balance.
“An isosceles triangle is in perfect balance.” The professor explained, balancing a triangle at the tip of his finger “This is the strongest structure that exists. In architecture, many structures support their weight in triangles like these.”
The bell rang and Harry stopped balancing his pencil on the tip of his finger. One object, two sides, perfect balance. But if it overloaded one side or the other, it could break the balance. He took the example triangle that the professor had given them and balanced one of the tips on his finger. In the beginning, it was difficult because all the weight fell on the tip of the object. But when he found the trick, it was much easier. In nautical, triangles were also important. To calculate the distance of a destination it was necessary to triangulate key points. Also, in astronomy, there were hundreds of necessary triangles.
A hand landed on his desk. Harry recognized Ben's hand just by the ring of royalty he carried. Harry was good at noticing the small details and memorizing them. Ben's hand was artistic.
"Ready to go?"
Chad sat on his desk so abruptly that he lost his balance and the triangle fell to the floor. Ben reached down to retrieve it. Harry smiled to see him at his feet and winked.
"Ready for training?" Chad asked with encouragement.
"You have training." Harry leaned against his seat. "I'll just admire the view."
"You should have joined." Ben commented "Tournament needs a player like you."
“You already have Jay. And I don't work in large teams. ”
"And a crew?" Ben leaned against the desk. "Isn't it like a big team?"
Chad learned more in his direction, interested. Harry smiled and looked at the ceiling.
“A crew is different. There is a hierarchy system. It’s not a game, nor a competition. The whole crew is united to operate a ship.” Harry looked at them “Facing you with another crew happens on a very rare occasion. A crew has a goal and they are…”
"A family?" Ben supposed.
Harry looked at him and shrugged. That was a possibility. Before distancing himself from his father, he had been part of his crew. Family and crew had always been the same. Even when Harriet and he talked about their own crew, Harry knew that it meant having his sisters with him. So yes, a crew and a family had always been things he saw as synonyms.
Maybe that's why he had sold the idea of a crew to Uma. Because he wanted to start a family with her.
But in Auradon there were no pirates or crews as he knew them.
"What's wrong?" Chad tilted his face.
Ben's hand rested on his shoulder. A feeling of peace invaded him gently. Harry felt his mouth relax and the dangerous and maniacal smile was lost from his face. He took a deep breath and looked at Chad.
"My sisters are still on the Island."
"Why don't you bring them, Ben?" Chad spoke with sincere doubt "What's two more people?"
Harry watched the prince. He was very clear why his sisters couldn't come now. Uma had explained it to him.
“Because it would be an abuse of power.” Ben dropped his shoulders “If I start to bring people just because of their connection with people close to me, it wouldn't be fair. If I want integration to be fluid and natural, I must be transparent in my actions.” The prince's voice became firmer, taking confidence in what he said “It’s not enough to bring young people here. Each of them has specific needs and ideas. Everyone has a story to tell. I want Auradon to integrate those who arrive from the Island of the Lost.”
Not as refugees. Not as guests. Not as exiles. Not as foreigners.
The Island of the Lost was part of Auradon. It always had been. Ben had learned that and was carrying it out.
Chad nodded, pondering his words.
"As two drops of different colors meet and a new color is born. That’s what you want for Auradon."
Harry hit Chad on the back and then smiled mockingly at Ben.
"All that speech of yours summarized in simple words."
Ben laughed and nodded.
"Are you coming with us?"
Harry got up.
“I would never miss a private show.”
Because there was something interesting that he enjoyed about Tournament. He and Uma. The show of athletic bodies fighting and training was something the two enjoyed watching. So, they went to training just to watch. Uma was already waiting for them. Chad and Ben retired to the changers and Harry sat next to Uma. The cheerleaders were training aside, showing their agility and flexibility.
"Jane is good, right?"
Next to Uma sat Audrey. The girl had stopped being a cheerleader shortly after broking with Ben. Audrey looked more like her. At least that's how Harry interpreted it. She looked much more comfortable in her own skin. She was much more beautiful without pretending to be a princess. Audrey had a dominant and relaxed air. She looked like a mix between Auradon and the Island of the Lost. Very elegant.
The same went with Jane, who had decided to take her own path. One of the things the girl was trying was to be a cheerleader, just like Evie. Both looked good.
“That is the fairy tale that your parents needed to write. Self-love heals everything.” Uma commented mockingly.
Audrey laughed, leaning against Uma.
"I think many villains have too much self-esteem."
Harry laughed openly. Yes, it was possible. A lot of banality was also a serious problem.
"Queen of Mean, I want to see you say that to some villains I know." Uma challenged.
“Well, take me with them. For now, I told Evie when I saw her shaving her eyebrows to the point of almost eliminating them.” Audrey denied “I was nervous about her face so tense.”
“Her mother is not the best person in the world. Always obsessed with beauty and making her feel that only her appearance will give her a prince and therefore a good life.” Uma denied.
"What I remember about the Evil Queen was her power to dominate men." Audrey framed an eyebrow. "Or that's the story they tell us on this side of the barrier."
Harry leaned in the direction of the princess with his dangerous smile.
“The reality is much worse. That woman would have bathed in the blood of virgin women if she could.”
Audrey turned slightly away from that information and denied strongly, visibly uncomfortable.
"Don't listen to him." Uma interrupted. "The Evil Queen couldn't do that because every young woman was the daughter of someone important. She knew she would have been killed.”
"That only means that if she had done. So the option had existed." Audrey stressed "That's terrible!"
"Welcome to the reality of the Island of the Lost!" Harry theatrically announced.
The princess looked at the cheerleaders in front of them and sighed heavily.
"Suddenly my grandmother or Jane's mother doesn't sound so terrible." Audrey meditated.
"Is she still demanding you?" Uma asked.
Harry was intrigued by that information and concentrated on the conversation. Audrey looked at him, conscious that he was unaware of the subject.
“My grandmother is not happy that I broke up with Ben. She was always the one who instructed me how to be the future queen of Auradon.”
"That sounds awkward." Harry confessed, feeling empathy for her. After all, his father had always prepared him for a role he had rejected.
“It was. But now I feel less tense. She is upset, but I think I can make her understand…” Audrey looked at the Tournament team and a small smile formed on her lips.
Harry followed his gaze at and noticed that the princess looked specifically at Ben and Chad who looked much more united than when he and Uma had met them. At that time, Chad was up on Ben's back, causing him to almost fall. They laughed. Jay ran to their direction and knocked them down. Harry had to admit that Jay had improved a lot since they had left the Island. He was now playing as a team. Without his father's influence, he didn’t live to see for himself. Now he was kind to Carlos and did more than flirt with pretty faces.
“Do you think you can make her understand that you have a life to live?” Uma nodded “Auradon has that option. Live your lives. You shouldn’t live from day to day.”
Audrey leaned against her and smiled.
"Neither do you."
Uma laughed and discreetly extended her hand in his direction. Harry watched intrigued until she covered his hand with hers. He felt his heart stop for a moment. Very slowly he entwined his fingers with hers. Uma didn't look at him, her face was turned to look at Audrey, but he could tell her smile.
They should no longer live from day to day.
They should no longer live at full speed and as if it were the last moment they had together. Now they had time for something as simple and casual, as mundane and innocent as holding hands in broad daylight without any other intention. Harry looked to her fingers covered in gold rings. She always took him by surprise.
"And Jane?" He asked, seeking to keep the conversation casual and not having to let go of Uma.
"She's amazing." Audrey smiled proudly "Jane is very smart and has a quick mind." She looked at Uma. "Thank you for making me see my mistake and for giving me a chance to have more friends."
Audrey leaned back against Uma's shoulder. Relaxed. No obligations or activities that she didn’t enjoy. Uma smiled proudly at her achievement and looked at him. Jane was now under Audrey's protection, who wouldn't allow Mal or her gang to try to take advantage of the girl. Chad was also under the protection of the princess. Therefore, Uma had in her possession the pieces that Mal would need to make a terrible mistake. Harry had noticed that each member of Mal's gang was in their own activity, enjoying their chances in Auradon. That included Mal. They also looked more united.
"You're doing it." Harry congratulated, raising his intertwined hands and kissing her knuckles.
“For now. I am just putting out small sparks before the fires start. But there must be something we can do to prevent the sparks from starting.” She looked at Ben “Maybe…”
Uma denied and squeezed his hand. He looked at the future king teaching Jay and Carlos a new technique, while Chad put himself in position. Ben looked secure and kind, guiding them step by step, capturing the attention of Jay and Carlos.
"Surely there is another way." He whispered in her ear.
Another way to completely avoid Mal's attempts without involving Ben. Because, like Uma, he also feared to lose him.
That was the strangest moment of his life. And Ben knew he wasn't the only one who thought so.
After training, he and Chad had approached Harry, Uma, and Audrey. He had thought about how fascinating it was that between Audrey and him things flow as if everything remained the same but better. No tensions. Without false performances. At last, they could be themselves all the time. Besides, he enjoyed seeing Audrey more affective, even in small details such as supporting her weight on Uma's shoulder. Because for many years he hadn’t seen her act like this. But now she allowed herself a much more relaxed posture.
Chad was just as excited to see Audrey so comfortable and happy. Ben wanted to tell him it was okay to try something, anything, with her, but really, what would be the best way for Chad to win a new light in Audrey's eyes?
So, he had whispered for some advice to Uma.
Her solution was unexpected. She had asked Chad how he had been in training and he, proud and happy, replied that he had mastered a trick he had been practicing the last training. Uma smiled mischievously and reached out to Chad. She touched him. Her delicate fingers slid through the prince's hair and he immediately closed his eyes. Uma pulled him and Chad fell to his knees in front of her, ducking his head. She stroked his neck, playing with his curls and had said two simple words.
" Good boy ."
Uma released Chad and he looked around with notorious confusion and shame, waking up from his trance. Ben cleared his throat, feeling his mouth dry. Audrey was more than surprised and looked at Chad as if he were a recently discovered puzzle. No, as if he had been the obvious answer to a riddle she had. That scene, the way Chad had meekly bowed his head before Uma, was the most bizarre moment Ben had lived. Especially because Uma kept a mysterious smile, without explaining.
"That..." Audrey whispered.
" Oh... Shouldn't I?" Uma looked at her and leaned against her ear. "Or is it something you should do?"
Ben wasn't even surprised that he could hear her. His senses always sharpened around Uma or Harry. Little by little, he was getting used to it.
Audrey got up quickly and started walking away.
And with that, he followed her, always two steps behind Audrey.
The only person who wasn't surprised was Uma.
"Was that necessary?" Harry asked.
That's when Ben noticed. The pirate was tense. Harry was looking down, but when he raised his face, there was a reddish glow mingling with his sea eyes. Still, his question had not been accusatory. Only sincere. Before he realized, Ben approached him and took his face in his hands. Harry looked at him just as surprised at how he felt. Ben had just wanted to calm him down. And it had worked. Harry's eyes returned to their natural bluish tone.
Uma got up and stood next to Ben to look at the pirate.
“Our future king asked me for help with them.” She spoke. “A little petting to someone else's pet means nothing. But you're right about something.”
Harry looked at her with intrigue.
"I should have told you before I did it." Uma bowed her head “I’m sorry.”
Ben felt the boy relax between his fingers. Harry closed his eyes, much quieter and nodded. Yes, he would have wanted Uma to warn him of it. Harry didn't ask for anything else. That level of trust was truly admirable. Also, they were sincere with each other. That's why they worked so well.
“…that confused me.” Ben confessed, feeling doubt in his voice. “A part of me felt that all that was bizarre. You touching Chad. And another part of me… wanted to be him.”
Everything changed. Harry got up and shortened the distance between them. The pirate hold him by his neck and leaned his forehead against his. Ben closed his eyes at the closeness. Harry understood his confusion. That gesture was his way of indicating that he empathized with him. Uma slid her fingers down his arm and when he looked at her, not moving away from Harry, he noticed the smile on her lips.
"I should have told you too."
Ben held back his laugh at the pride in her voice. As if Uma was about to win him.
"I'm going to take Harry away from you." He warned.
Uma looked at him with surprise. The pirate contained a malicious laugh.
“Well, you behaved badly, right? You should be punished.” Ben indicated.
And upon seeing the cruel smiles on them he realized what he had said. Ben felt his cheeks blushing. But he didn’t retract.
"Well..." Uma tilted her face "Are you going to punish me? That sounds interesting .”
Harry crossed his arms, intrigued where all that would go. Ben looked at him, seeking advice, but the pirate shrugged.
"I have never punished her."
That was interesting information. Uma approached him and rested her index finger on his chin.
“The future king has many guts to believe he has the right to punish me. But... What do you have in mind?”
"Not just me." Ben smiled calmly and pointed to Harry "We will decide."
Uma crossed her arms and raised her chin, ready for whatever came. Interested in what could happen.
Harry rested his arm around his shoulders and leaned his head against him. The pirate turned his face to whisper in his ear, making him shiver. Ben nodded and offered his arm to the girl, who accepted the gesture with the dignity of a queen. He guided them under the bench for some privacy. Without saying a word, Ben opened his jacket and took off his tie. When he looked up, he noticed that Uma and Harry were staring at him. Very intently. He cleared his throat, feeling his cheeks blushing more. They made him feel naked and in a correct way. Correct and not as in Auradon’s way.
He walked to Uma and took her face. She looked at him with confidence and intrigue. They had reached that point. Uma and Harry trusted him. Ben felt that he could touch them without the worry of being invasive, ridiculous or strange. Harry stood behind his back and rested his chin on his shoulder. Uma looked at them in such an analytical way that characterized her. She looked young in her hands. Delicate. Uma was small and delicate in shape. But she was stronger than a storm. Harry, on the other hand, announced his danger with his simple presence. Even without his hook, he was a lethal force that surrounded him. Ben had never needed a bodyguard, but Harry's presence gave him security. Not only for some kind of protection, but for the way it made him feel young and with the right to have fun.
If not, he wouldn't be there, under the bench, showing Uma his blue and gold tie before blindfolding her, as Harry had suggested.
"Are you okay with this?"
Uma looked for his hand and gave a firm squeeze. She had her chin raised and a smile on her lips.
"I trust you."
She sounded solemn and sure. Her words had a profound impact on him. Uma trusted him. Although he was the son of the person who made them born in a prison, she trusted him. Ben smiled.
Harry stood beside him with one of his multiple belts in his hands. The pirate surrounded Uma and took her hands, immobilizing her wrists and part of her arms with the old and soft leather. Uma smiled and cooperated. Ben felt his heart racing slightly as he looked at them. Harry was focused on his task and touched Uma with incredible delicacy. Instead of immobilizing her, he seemed to be embellishing her more. Uma lifted her face and bit her lower lip, enjoying all that. As if Harry was caressing her.
Ben felt that something stretching inside him again. The beast that lived within him was almost purring. Happy. Ben realized that that aspect of him was flowing more naturally in him. Instead of chaining him, the presence of Uma and Harry was a free pass to free it. And it felt good. Because it was part of him. Ben could feel his eyes sharpen and his lungs fill with their scent. A smile formed on his lips. Ben came over and laid his hands on her hips. He felt Harry's arms surround her waist. Ben looked up and noticed how close he was to his shark smile. Harry invaded his personal space so quickly that Ben backed away a little, blushed. The pirate contained his laugh, hoarse and malicious.
"Did I scare you?"
Uma moved among them, trying to guess what was happening.
"Yes, but in the right way."
Uma raised her face, attracted by their voices. For a change, she was the one who was under a spell.
"Your eyes are sharp, prince." Harry licked his lips "Do you have anything in mind?"
Ben felt dizzy. Yes, he had something in mind and he was very aware that all that was far from being like the stories he had heard. Uma shifted among them, struggling. Harry smiled and he felt infected by his malice. Every day was an easier spread of freedom. Because people were always going to look at him, Ben was born under the spotlight. But when Harry looked at him, he felt ready to jump. Still scared, of course. But ready.
"What's wrong , dear?" Harry looked at Uma.
"I get it. I will inform you of these things before doing them.” She slyly rubbed herself against them, taking advantage of her position “Ben… take off the tie.”
He growled. The way she said his name. The way her pride still made her give orders. All that made that he felt strengthened. Ben felt his fangs lengthen and his body slightly grow. Although, when he looked at Harry, he had to lift his chin. The pirate was still taller.
"I think she still doesn't understand that this is a punishment." Ben commented.
Harry smiled dangerously. His blue eyes were pure chaos. Ben slid his fingers along Uma's sides, stroking her waist, letting her feel his claws. Along the way, he felt Harry's arms , who still hugged her. Ben looked at the pirate and felt the beast decide. He jumped forward.
Harry's lips were firm and unpredictable. Ben kissed him hard. He felt the rush of the adrenaline pumping in his veins. Harry growled against his lips and showed him that kisses could be chaotic. Ben felt dizzy and clung more to Uma, who gasped against his chest full of frustration and yearning. But that only made him feel better. The Goddess. The Queen. The girl who was always in control didn’t know what was happening. Ben felt he was sinning while he explored Harry's mouth. And it felt good. Ben bit Harry’s lips and sucked his heat. Slowly he separated and was surprised that when he opened his eyes Harry was looking at him. The pirate's hand took his face and slowly licked Ben’s lips, still watching him.
"Your horns are appearing." Harry whispered in his ear.
And the pirate removed the tie that covered Uma's eyes. She stared at Ben. He released her. Suddenly, Uma had her hands free and lifted them quickly. For a moment, Ben thought she was going to attack him. But he only felt her fingers in his hair until he felt her touching his horns. He growled and leaned down to find more contact. That felt amazing. Ben had never imagined that his horns could be sensitive. But he could feel Uma's fingers causing tingling. Ben still didn't dare to see his reflection in a mirror when he transformed like that. He didn’t know why. But when he was with them, he could only trust. Especially because it seemed that Harry and Uma liked his looks. Transformed or not.
"The future king knows how to punish." Uma flattered.
Harry's laugh trembled him. Oddly enough, he felt embarrassed to look at him. They had kissed. Ben had kissed him.
“Take a deep breath, Ben.” Uma guides him “We are still in public. Just relax. Gods, I must hurry to get a place where we can keep you in private."
He nodded almost pleadingly but followed her advice. He could feel his transformation disappear. Uma's fingers in his hair were a good distraction. Her voice humming was relaxing. When he looked at her, he felt calm. She knew what had happened and wasn’t upset. Uma looked at him proudly. She approved what had happened. Ben realized that this was what he needed: Touching Harry and knowing that she motivated him to continue.
"I think you've moved away from fairy tales." Harry whispered in his ear. "And fallen into a pirate story."
Ben looked at Uma comfortably between them.
"A Story about pirates and Goddesses." He corrected.
Harry's hoarse laugh in his ear made him shiver. After all , who needed fairy tales?
Uma knew things were like that in Auradon. On the Island, women used to be the protagonists. The best villains were women. In most sectors, a villain who had a daughter was worthy of pride. But in Auradon it was different. Most women were protagonists of romantic stories and only if they were young. Politics, heroic acts, and control of power were delegated to men. Uma knew that. And she knew that spending so much time with Harry and Ben could bring negative consequences. She wasn't born to be associated with a fairy tale. True love wasn't going to save her. She was taking a place in the Council, and getting food and medicine supplies to increase in the Island for her people. She was advocating descendants. And Uma felt powerful. Because she was getting her voice heard not by being invited by Ben, but by being herself.
But still, the rumors were spreading. She read the three newspapers she had seen in the morning. In one, her favorite had the headline 'Uma faces the old laws' and a picture of her speaking in front of the Council, with her tresses falling over her face in a threatening manner. But the newspaper on the right said 'Prince Ben interested in Harry Hook's girlfriend?' and a photograph of Ben and she studying in the library. Uma was focused on her reading and Ben looked at her with a somewhat adorable and silly smile. The third newspaper had as the headline 'Does Ursula's daughter get favoritisms? ' and a picture of her leading ROAR training.
Uma hated that. In Auradon and on the Island there were always people who reduced her to someone's girlfriend or someone's daughter. Something inside her was enraged at that idea. Uma felt the desire to jump into the sea, to lift the ocean to cover all of Auradon. She wasn't born to be someone's property. Her eyes focused on the newspaper in the center, on the one who identified her by name and talked about her achievements. She was born to be there, for people to shout her name. But she was trapped in Auradon. She smiled at the irony. She was trapped there. Not only that. Uma was starting to feel locked up. On the Island, she had grown independently. But the rules of Auradon Prep were suffocating her. She needed a place where she made the decisions.
Ben had his castle and his office.
She needed something. Uma stopped at the port, facing the sea. She needed something.
"Are you going to jump?"
She held back a scream. The little old woman next to her looked at her amusedly at her reaction.
“I have seen you, Uma. You come here very often, you look towards the sea for a long time and then you go.” The old woman replied.
"Have you been watching me?" Uma asked "And how do you know my name?"
"Everyone knows your name." The old woman hit the newspapers she was holding.
Uma relaxed and noticed that the woman had a snake on her shoulders. The old woman wore a white dress and had gold accessories, in addition to black glasses. Her age was indeterminable, she could be sixty or two hundred years old.
"So, are you going to jump?"
"Is that the kind of advice you give to people who come here?"
"It's not advice, it's a question." The old woman extended her hand "I'm Mama Odie."
The Voodoo Queen of the Bayou. Uma knew about her. Even Dr. Facilier spoke with a certain degree of respect for her. Although Uma had never imagined that the famous witch was so small and smiling.
Uma took her hand as a greeting and then looked at the ocean. Her whole mind was shouting for her to jump. But she still didn't.
"Are you going to do it?"
"Could you stop wondering if I'm going to jump?" Uma looked at her "No, I'm not going to do it."
"Why?" Mama Odie stroked her snake "That's what you want."
"I don't know what could happen." She confessed, crossing her arms.
The old woman laughed and patted her arm.
“Oh, I know what's wrong with you. You fear to jump, transforming yourself and not being able to be human again. The sea calls you.” Mama Odie laughed “But it is a very childish fear.”
Uma wondered if the old woman could swim. Because she wanted to push her into the ocean.
"But it's a very common fear." The old woman continued "So the question is, are you going to jump? Because that's what you want.”
"But not what I need." Uma replied sarcastically.
"How do you know?" Mama Odie looked at her "You haven't tried."
On the Island, she loved swimming in the sea. But that was the free ocean. And she immediately felt the difference. Her mind synchronized completely with her surroundings. Uma took a deep breath. Since leaving the Island, it had begged her to jump into the water. She looked at her turquoise beaded bracelet, except for a red one. Harry had an identical, but with inverted colors.
Uma feared to jump into the water and not returning.
Because she had grown up with Ursula, who always talked about her home at sea. Her mother said that they didn't belong on the mainland. They were sea witches. From a very young age, Uma had heard her mother tell her that she would abandon everything just to be in the ocean. Uma had never believed in this devotion to living under the sea, until the moment when her magic was released.
Since then, she had thought of Ariel. In her position, Uma hadn't changed the ocean for a pretty face.
"To be someone so dominant, you let your mind control you."
Uma looked at the old woman, ready to put her in her place. But the snake attacked her. It pushed her. Uma lost her balance and fell directly into the sea. The last thing she heard was the malicious and funny voice of the old witch. But she didn't understand.
The water covered her. Crystalline and pure. Uma opened her eyes, watching the bubbles around her and her body arched, sinking into the water. She felt the sea hug her and sing in her ear. Uma turned, letting go the logic. Something inside her was changing. She felt her body differently. Her vision sharpened and she could feel where everything was under the sea. Uma went deep in the water and laughed when she felt her body function differently. She looked at her limbs and noticed the change. Two arms and six tentacles where should be her legs. Her clothes had changed. Now a top formed by a net of gold and shells covered her chest. Her hair was loose and when she touched it, she felt a crown on her head.
The sea received her as if it had always been waiting for her. The ocean received her with its best clothes.
And not only that.
Sharks swam towards her. All of the different species. She stroked one's back and felt a small one play among her tentacles. Gods. Uma had tentacles. That was so unreal and perfect.
Something surrounded her. Something different than sharks. Uma felt her heart stop for a moment.
"Lagan..." She stroked the huge eel that surrounded her arm and smiled as she felt the other swim around her waist "Derelict."
Flotsam and Jetsam's descendants. Those she had got Jay to release them into the sea before leaving to Auradon. They had escaped. Not only that. Uma could feel a bond with them. As if she had an idea of what was going through the eels' mind. Not exactly thoughts, but ideas and emotions. She had always felt attached to Lagan and Derelict and was happy that they were free. But she was proud to know that they had come to her presence.
The eels swam around her a couple of times, driving sharks away and then they moved away. Uma knew that she had to follow them. That was their element. As if her whole life had been waiting to be there. Humans fought for pieces of land, not knowing that there was a huge world that belonged to her. Lagan and Derelict guided her to the depths and she followed without hesitation. The ocean was beautiful. It's colors were intense and it was full of life. The ocean was ancient and eternal. Uma looked one huge box to the bottom of the ocean. Lagan and Derelict swam in circles around her, excited. She knew what was inside long before she got there and used her magic to open it. She could feel the treasure.
Abandoned unclaimed property. She used the force of the sea to open and contract the lid of the box and slowly open it. She took a delicate gold necklace with a single pearl hanging from it. It didn't look anything like the necklace her mother had worn. It was not magic. Only a small treasure hidden at the bottom of the sea. Uma smiled. Her eels swam around her, encouraging her to take the treasure. To take all the riches that humans had lost in the ocean.
Above her head, she felt movement and something covered the sunlight. She noticed a boat and from it came a cable with a metal net. Uma swam to the surface and found herself face to face with Mama Odie being held by her snake so she wouldn't fall into the water.
"Well? Have you tied your treasure yet?”
Uma opened her eyes.
Mama Odie slapped her on the head.
"To be so smart you are very slow."
"...you are a very strange witch..." Uma dodged another hit.
"Take your treasure, young lady." Mama Odie ordered.
Uma sank again.
Lagan and Derelict helped her tie up the treasure and she pulled the rope twice. She watched as her discovery ascended and she followed. It was only a small treasure, but with that, she could guarantee food and shelter for many on the Island. In Auradon it was different, they were accustomed to riches. Uma swam swiftly and jumped out of the water, descended into the boat and balance on the toes of her boots. Completely dry. Again in human form. Interesting. She touched her throat and felt the little pearl and the delicate chain. Uma advanced to the deck of the boat and watched her eels swim. They were free. They were hers. But they belonged to the sea. Uma lowered her hand and stroked their heads before watching them leave.
Mama Odie gave her another hit to the head.
"Madam!" She put away "What...?"
Mama Odie laughed and tapped the box.
“You didn't doubt a moment to come back. Did you notice? Your fears were childish.”
Uma blinked. Yes, it was true. She had been so focused at the time that she hadn't even realized it. At no time had she felt that she should stay in the ocean. She only felt that it belonged to her. Like her transformation and her magic. It was all part of her. Uma shouldn't choose. And it didn't matter what kind of life she was having in Auradon, she was still a pirate. Uma approached her first treasure and held back the cruel laugh. Her first treasure.
"Well?" Mama Odie spoke, leading the boat back to the port "What are you going to do?"
She thought of Harry. Uma remembered the things he longed for most of their time on the Island. In Auradon, the age of majority was 16 years. That's why Ben would be crowned king. People could marry at that age, inherit a kingdom and have property. Uma smiled. Mama Odie laughed.
"Perfect!" The old woman applauded "We arrived!"
Uma looked up. That was a French-style house, with balconies and external corridors with sea view. The house had two floors and an attic. But that wasn't what caught her attention. That house looked like it was taken out of New Orleans, with a dark blue roof, white exterior, and a black main door. Besides, it had a port. The house was in a elegant part of Auradon's harbor. The structure was slightly elevated, in case the tide rise and had a staircase directly towards the sea. A sailing ship could be anchored to outside the house. Uma noticed the colored bottles hanging from the tree branches around the house. The sun pierced the glass embellishing the walls of the house with a rain of color.
"Well?" Mama Odie smiled proudly at the construction "Do you like it?"
"This is furnished, ready to have people living here." The old woman continued "Four bedrooms. Each one of them with bathrooms, two studies, a library, a living room with a dance room and all the necessary things. The main door is on the other side, in a quiet and very private street. But I imagined that you would like to know this side of the house to fall in love."
Uma looked away from the house and returned to see the witch.
Mama Odie stroked her snake.
“The kitchen is big, of course."
Uma remembered Harry's face when she cooked something. His big smile. The way he looked at her as if he were at home.
“Do you want to rent me this place?”
Mama Odie laughed.
“What are you saying, girl? I want to sell it to you! This place belonged to a corsair. Magnificent woman, a great friend of mine. This house has been waiting for other adventurers for a long time." Mama Odie looked at her. "What do you say? It was worth jumping, don't you think?"
Uma forced herself to close her mouth. In Auradon, fate guided people's lives. That's how fairy tales were formed. The prince found the fortress where his beloved was. The princess encountered allies in the middle of the forest. The children found shelter for the rain. The villains caused their downfall. Always fate.
She looked at the witch, the treasure and the house in front of her.
The ocean caressed the marble steps and the sun illuminated the colored bottles.
Uma had wanted her refuge and strength. Their own home.
Destiny had provided.
"Mama Odie, you have a deal."
They were doing it again. Thanks to all the gods of the sea. They were doing it again. And hopefully, it would be something they would do every day.
But not because it was inevitable. But because it was something they both enjoyed doing.
Because they could have everything they wanted. New clothes, constant food, good education, security, and stability. Even if something had a cost, they could access it, because it was reasonable. And if they couldn't have it. That was a constant in the reality of Auradon that Uma hoped to take to the Island of the Lost. Because with those opportunities available to everyone, there were things, like what happened between them, that should no longer be a secret.
In Auradon people glorified love. That was the greatest power that existed and the main ingredient of the most powerful magic. In Auradon people grew up longing for their soulmate.
Harry didn't know what Uma felt for him. Of course, he was aware that he was madly in love with her. They were best friends and their loyalty was the source of all their power and dominance. They were free and still together. Moreover, Uma had done everything possible to have him in Auradon and in the way they were used to living.
The scent of the sea entered through the window. Sunlight fell inside the room. The huge bed, incredibly comfortable, had its own curtains to give a private atmosphere. Harry opened his eyes and relaxed. He had missed all that. Uma over his body, completely naked and immobilizing him against the bed. Her dark turquoise hair tickled his neck. His arms around her waist. The sheets tangled between them.
He closed his eyes and stroked her back with his fingers.
Uma, his Uma, had thrown herself into the sea, found a treasure and decided to buy a house with it. He wasn't surprised. Although all that sounded like an impulsive act, Harry knew her well. She should have planned that for a long time. Maybe not exactly those events and in that order, but the objective. She must have been thinking about getting a place for them for a long time. Uma couldn't say they were dating or thinking about it without panicking, but she dared to break into his room and order him to pack his things.
He had obeyed. Undoubtedly. Harry put all his things in a suitcase, intrigued. Because she had been smiling at him with pride all along. He took his things and followed her to a taxi that was already waiting for them. There he noticed that Uma's things were also in the trunk. But Harry didn't ask anything. He just trusted her. Uma gave an address and the taxi took them to a residential area near the port and in front of a house very different from the others in the place. That house seemed taken from the paintings his father kept. A house near the port, where ships with their huge sails unloaded their merchandise. The house of a rich merchant or a privateer. He preferred that word. At least in his mind. Privateer was more english. Corsair, as Ben or Uma would say, it was more french.
The taxi left and he waited. Uma showed him two sets of keys and threw him one. He caught it and a smile formed on his lips. Uma announced that this was her house. Hers. She had bought it.
And now they lived there.
Fortunately, Uma said nothing more because his pulse rose so much that it was all he could hear when he ran to her and lifted her in the air. Uma hugged him and kissed him, repeating between kisses a single word: 'Mine '.
She was right about something. 'Girlfriend' sounded very mundane to a Goddess capable of tracking treasures and capturing him in a bed. Girlfriend was a very simple word for someone as powerful as she. Uma was right, he belonged to him. That was a constant that hadn't changed. On Auradon or the Island of the Lost, Harry Hook belonged to Uma.
Uma stretched over his body and raised her face to look at him. She was surprised to find him awake before her.
"Do you think this would have happened if we continued on the island?"
He was surprised at her question and framed an eyebrow.
Uma looked around and then at him. As if it were obvious.
"Dear, it has always been us."
Uma sat on his abdomen. She wore her nakedness as an armor. And although Harry had seen her like this a hundred times, he was still surprised at how magnificent she was.
"I mean..." She looked at the ceiling, searching for her words.
He took a deep breath and laid his hands on her waist.
"You know how I feel. I have never hidden it." Harry searched for her gaze "I always accepted what you could give me. On the Island, I knew of the danger we could live if you correspond to my feelings. But I never hid what I felt for you.”
But she had decided to pretend that wasn't happening. That his feelings weren't obvious. He didn't blame her. Uma had taken their passion and friendship as the only truth because that guaranteed her survival. She was a survivor and a warrior. That's why he loved her. She wasn't an impulsive and capricious little princess who followed her heart. Uma was an intelligent queen and a powerful Goddess. But things had changed between them since they got into that limo and left the Island. The distance between them had disappeared. She remained as his north and leader. But they were together all the way. Uma was a Goddess, but one of flesh and blood that he could touch.
And he owed all that to Ben. Because, perhaps, if they had stayed on the Island of the Lost longer, that distance between them would have grown. He would have idolized and revered her, ascending her far from his reach and begging her for a bit of her nearness. Harry would have surrendered at her feet, waiting for her. But thanks to Ben, he had realized how lucky they were to have the opportunity to live, to be together, to be young and succumb together. Thanks to Ben, he had fallen in love first with the most real and magnificent version of Uma. The leader, not the goddess. Not the captain. But of the girl that he would follow until the end of the world. The same girl who was good at manipulating political leaders and knew how to handle reporters, but wasn't able to discuss feelings with him.
“I don't think things would have been the way they are now if we were still living on the Island of the Lost." Harry confessed "A few days ago, Ben asked us if we are happy here. In all our lives, we had never had time to be happy. And at least I am happy here. I'm not like you, ready to change the world. I'm not like Ben, someone prepared to take the weight of the world on my shoulders. But I'm happy here."
She took his face, looking at him.
“You are chaos. Unpredictable and dangerous, protective and impulsive chaos.” Uma nodded “Yes, I'm happy here. Now I have a purpose.”
“I think we wouldn't have reached this moment without Ben."
"So much innocence, passion, and intelligence prince."
"How not to succumb to this opportunity?"
She smiled and lay back over him. Uma slid over his body like seafoam, reaching his entire body, covering him with her small body with the dominion of a predator. He hugged her again.
"Do you love him?" Uma murmured against his neck.
"Not yet, but I think it may happen." Harry confessed "He gives me peace and I never thought I needed that."
"Yes, now you are much calmer than before."
“Now I have no one to fight with.” Harry looked at the high ceiling and slid his fingers down her back. “I like how receptive he is when I touch him and how he constantly looks at you. I like his curiosity, he always has questions and patience. I like his wild and impulsive side." He closed his eyes. "I like how intelligent he is and how sincere he is in wanting to improve things."
"And at any moment you could love him..."
“But never the way I love you.” He confessed.
Uma tensed and then laughed against his skin. Something melancholic and distant.
“It's not a competition."
"And you? You love him?"
“I am fascinated by him. Ben begs me with his eyes to break him. He begs me with his body to release him from all his responsibilities. But at the same time, he is there, offering me his arm to accompany me on my way. He is there, giving me his hand, smiling proudly at every victory I get. Sometimes he gets to my feet and other times he is there to get me up.” Uma pressed more against his neck “But he is not you. Ben will never be you.”
That was her way of assuring him that she was not going to replace him. Uma was looking to tell him that she wasn't preferring Ben over him. But Harry understood. He had fallen in love with her while they had lived on the Island of the Lost. He understood crazy things and recklessness. Harry didn't need her to explain how unpredictable all that could be. They were interested in the future king of Auradon. In the son of the person who had caused them to be born on the Island of the Lost. But they didn't plan to stop. They didn't even know how to do it. They had accepted that Ben was different and yet they had continued.
Besides, they were aware of the amazing chemistry that existed between them and Ben. They didn't need to talk about the innocent prince having turned out to be a beast desiring passion. In an incredibly literal sense. But Uma was talking about Ben as an individual.
Harry looked for her face, he turned on his side to catch her between him and the bed. Uma looked at him for a second and then looked away, focused on her own conflicts.
"We need to protect him."
“From our parents, from the villains of the Island. We must protect him." Uma looked at him. "Ben is Auradon's heart. An Auradon that includes the Island of the Lost.”
"Leave that to me." Harry smiled. That was his specialty "Nothing bad will happen to Ben. He has my loyalty and therefore my life.”
She rolled her eyes.
"That just means that now I must take care of you two." Uma scolded.
Harry took her hand and kissed her wrist, over the turquoise bracelet he had given her. The one that had only one red bead. Similar to his red bracelet with a single turquoise bead. He smiled against his gift. Harry glanced into her eyes.
“That only means that we will take care of each other. He isn't weak, nor does he need to be rescued. You have seen him with a sword, he knows how to defend himself.”
“It's his heart that worries me. He is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others. Ben doesn't understand that it is his existence that guarantees the future.”
He nodded. Harry kissed her wrist again.
“ Then, I will protect that. I will protect our future. Trust me."
“Always.” She frowned when she heard him “You don't have to ask me that. You already have my confidence."
But there was something else she hid. Something else she was holding, but wanting to release. Harry knew her well.
"Darling, just say it."
Uma stared at him.
"Freedom has given you security." She framed an eyebrow. "Are you ordering me?"
He smiled dangerously.
“You offend me, darling. I would do many things to torture you deliciously? Of course, immobilize and devour you completely? Undoubtedly. Blush your entire body and leave you incredibly sensitive? Only say it and I'll get on it." Harry leaned over her face and licked his lips "But Order you? Never."
Uma recovered a deep breath. It took her time to find her words. After all, why would he give her orders? If pressing and tempting her to take control herself was much more fun.
"I love you." She spoke loudly, staring into his eyes.
Suddenly. So unexpectedly.
And maybe that's why it hit him harder. Uma blushed because surely she could read all his thoughts just by looking at him. He loved her. He adored her. Uma covered his eyes and he smiled dangerously.
"See? That wasn't so difficult.” Harry joked.
She laughed, much more relaxed. He kissed her forehead and took her hands.
"You and me against the world." Harry whispered against her hair.
'Long Live Evil''
Two graffitis, on each side of the front door. One with the figure of Ursula in black and the letter in turquoise. And the other of a hook and with the letters in scarlet red. He knew that style too well. Mal had vandalized Uma's new house. But why? Why create graffiti that will honor Uma and Harry's parents? That made no sense.
Ben decided to wait inside the car, watching the scene. He had heard the announcement that Uma had bought a house. So he had wanted to know the place. But he decided to take one of the staff cars to be discreet. Ben didn't want rumors to overwhelm Uma anymore. Harry joked about the entertainment news in which they appeared. But Uma felt offended in the way they sometimes reduced her. Luckily, nothing was so frustrating for her as to distance herself from him or change her way of being. Uma was still herself. The rumors seemed to only encourage her to take control of everything.
Now he was grateful to have decided to be discreet and not get out of the car because Mal appeared in one of the alleys and leaned against the hood of his car. The polarized crystals kept him completely hidden. But he could see the outside. Mal was wearing his best island outfit. Which was a big difference, because those days he had seen her be in more comfortable clothes. Still with the colors of his mother, but not so threatening. But at that time, she was wearing the same clothes she wore when she arrived in Auradon. Mal took a can of spray paint from her huge bag and waved it.
The minutes passed. Mal stood there, waiting. He stood still, watching her. Mal was tense, with that challenging stance he found forced and a simple performance in her. The central balcony door on the second floor opened and Ben couldn't help smiling. He had never seen Uma dressed like this. She was wearing baggy white pants and one of Harry's shirts. Uma had messy hair and you could tell she was just waking up. She was enjoying the sea breeze and the security that her new home provided. Ben felt blessed to be able to look at that aspect of her. So relaxed and comfy. He swore to create a reality where she could look like this every day. But something caught her attention and she moved her nose and leaned over the balcony. Uma must have smelled the paint. Because when she saw the graffiti she hit the railing hard and looked around. Mal didn't move from her place. She waited for Uma to notice her presence and greeted her.
To his surprise, Uma jumped from the balcony. She fell on her feet and rolled forward to distribute the impact of her fall. Uma got up and advanced on Mal.
But it was Mal who got off the hood and spoke loudly and clearly.
"You're betraying us!"
Uma stopped as if she had been hit.
"What you heard." Mal pointed to the house "Did your new boyfriend buy you the place?"
Uma laughed openly and crossed her arms.
"That's adorable. Do you mean Ben?"
Inside the car, he felt worried about the confrontation. But something in him, something young and ridiculous, felt excited about that word. Boyfriend. And that Uma immediately thought of him.
“Trust me, he can spend all the money in the world on me. But Ben knows that this is the kind of thing I would like to get on my own.”
Ben was surprised at how right Uma's words were. He had thought about what gifts to give Uma and Harry. Because he was like that, he liked to give a lot of details to the people he loved. But when he thought of a ship or a house, he knew that this was the kind of thing they wanted to conquer on their own.
“I bought this myself. Because instead of obsessing with the past, I started a life here.” Uma opened her arms “I invite you to do the same. And if I were you, I wouldn't speak of betrayal.”
Mal raised her chin.
"Are you still suffering because I broke your heart?"
Ben growled. Something fierce and wild settled in his chest at that simple idea. He had felt his transformation move forward protectively from the moment Mal challenged Uma. But during all that time, his mind had been in control of his body. He was getting used to himself. But at the mention of Uma being hurt, his protective instinct sharpened. The idea that someone had hurt Uma bothered the beast that lived in his soul.
“Don't make me laugh.” Uma crossed her arms. “You didn't break my heart. Yes, you hurt my pride. I give you that. But now it's stronger than ever.”
Mal took a book out of her bag and showed it to Uma.
“Don't act like you have control of everything.” The girl looked at the book with a smile. “You aren't an adult woman. Don't act like you haven't been serving tables a few months ago.”
"That is the point. We are already adults.” Uma denied “We are no longer on the Island, Mal. Instead of wanting to go back there, you should search for who you are.”
“I know who I am."
"Maleficent's daughter." Uma smirked "Carlos, Evie and Jay have proven to be more than their parents' children. Why don't you allow yourself to do the same?"
She laughed and slammed her book.
It wasn't the first time that Ben was surprised at Uma's ability to see her major goal. Instead of being furious with Mal for attacking her home or accusing her of treason, Uma was taking control of the situation. Mal was upset, like a wounded dragon. She no longer had the element of surprise. Uma acted as if she had already won the battle.
At that moment he understood something. If Ben hadn't chosen Uma to bring her to Auradon, she would have taken control of the Island. Because Uma reacted to her surroundings. He suspected that if Uma had been set aside for that opportunity, she would have made him regret having left her on the Island of the Lost. Uma in Auradon had made changes that others had not even thought about. So it was logical to think that Uma would have achieved the impossible on the Island with the right stimulus. She would have unified all the territories and taken control of the place. To protect her home. Like how she was doing it in Auradon.
"No, I think you have forgotten who you are." Mal accused, tense.
Uma looked at the graffiti behind her and laughed.
“Ursula's daughter? No, I’m Uma. And you are Mal, not Maleficent's daughter. And if you want to be bad, do it! If you want to be evil, just go for it. But we are no longer on the Island. No one will fear you or follow your orders here just because they fear Maleficent. The shadow of your mother doesn't reach here. So, earn a reputation by yourself. Like the rest of us." Uma shortened the distance between them. "This is our chance, Mal. You are a leader, like me-"
“I am a villain. I'm not like you.” Mal interrupted her with a devilish glow in her eyes “I told you before and I tell you now, you're not evil enough. No, you are not a leader.”
He could tell that something in Mal's speech had hurt Uma. Ben clung to the wheel. His claws were buried in the hard material. But Uma recovered quickly. Even so, Ben didn't feel upset against Mal. What he was hearing was the way the Island had raised them. Not only their mothers but the whole Island. They were showing their dominance. Mal was looking to prove she was the best by unbalancing Uma.
"You know what? You're right. I am not a villain. I am not Ursula's daughter. I am a sea witch, I don't answer to anyone and I sail when I want it. So your weak attempts to provoke me will not work. I am no longer the girl you rejected on the Island." Uma lifted her chin and put her hands on her hips."Listen to me well. We are no longer on the Island. You no longer have the ways to hurt me.” Uma pointed to the spellbook “And I won't allow you to destroy the opportunity of others because you cannot forget your past.”
“You only talk about the Island as if it were good that we weren't there anymore. As if Auradon was better. ”
Uma looked surprised and sincerely disappointed by that conclusion. Ben relaxed. Because something in her found the north. Uma had the determination to stand against the storm.
“Auradon is no better than the Island of the Lost. This is another type of prison. A golden cage. Have you not taken the time to see what they have done to all the descendants who live here? All perfect, all false, all with limited options.” Uma hit the car with her hand, next to Mal “Instead of thinking about what your mother wants you to do for her, you should be influencing these people. That is your best ability, Mal. You are manipulative. Well, manipulate them to be young, to have fun and live a little! Manipulate them to learn to live! Gods, the Island was many things, but at least we found a way to have fun, feel adrenaline and laugh.”
Ben bowed his head. Because Uma was right. Their parents, seeking to give them their 'happily ever after' without having to face danger, had educated them to be perfect. The adults had taught their children looking for not having the characteristics that they had put in danger. Most of the parents had sought to annul curiosity, the desire for a better, different life, longing for adventure or danger. Ben was beginning to suspect that the real reason why magic wasn't used in Auradon was to prevent new generations from being tempted to try some risk with it. The technology was designed to keep them calm and safe. Education, stability, and their culture were there to provide everything. So, they wouldn't ask for anything. They wouldn't want anything and they wouldn't look for anything.
Life was tasteless and boring. Thus, Auradon couldn't create villains by accidents. Everything was safe and stable. They were anesthetized.
Auradon was a golden cage, created by their parents so that their children wouldn't run after a 'happily ever after'. Because their parents had taken care of making them feel that they were already happy and that would never change.
But Ben had realized that happiness was conformism and boredom. That one that Auradon always sold sounded stifling. Uma was right, everyone had to be released. All of them. Because if Ben hadn't met Uma and Harry, he would be trapped in a dance choreographed all his life. Ben would have lived breathing deeply to control a part of him that was now so natural to him and it would have been him who had withered, like a rose trapped in a glass box.
"You care more about them than about us." Mal denied, drawing her attention " You are a traitor."
Uma laughed cruelly.
“Traitor of who? From my mother who never worried about me and never helped me? Of the Evil Queen who psychologically tortured her daughter to the point of making her feel that only her appearance and a man would make sense of her life? Of Jafar who put his son at risk since he could walk to get bright things? Of Cruella de Vil and her physical torture and mental instability? Of Captain Hook and his terrible mood swings and paranoia that are increasingly constant to the point where I can barely remember the gentleman he is and the storyteller of my childhood?” Uma shortened all distance between them “Of the Queen of Hearts that enslaves children and threatens to decapitate them? Of Frollo and his lustful eyes that followed us where we were going? Of Yzma and her experiments with orphans to create potions? Or maybe of Gaston and his vulgar attitude towards every young woman?” Uma smirked “Whose traitor are I from? Tell me! Of your mother? The woman who took every orphan she could to work for her and so her little Mal didn't have to do the dirty work like the rest of us? Yes, Mal, your mom was good to you. A first-class manipulator and you became an extension of her to feed her narcissism. But, even so, she was better than others.” Uma hit her chest, proudly “Because maybe this is new for you. But the rest of us suffer on the Island. The rest of us had to constantly take care of ourselves, some lived on the streets or they had to follow anyone's orders for a little protection. So, I won't allow you to destroy the possibilities that the rest of us have. All of us. Each descendant from the Island of the Lost. Not only us, the lucky ones to come here. If you follow this path, you will ruin everyone's future.”
Ben felt a ringing in his ears. His hands trembled. Uma and Harry had told him about the Island of the Lost, but apparently, they had tried to be objective and exact. What he was hearing now was Uma's feelings, her own experience, and determination. Ben wanted to get out of the car, but that was a battle that didn't concern him. He had to trust Uma. And the most important of all. He trusted her. In her strong temper and bright mind. Although Ben knew he was spying on a private moment, the only thing he had discovered was that Uma was an exceptional being who fortunately had taken an interest in him. What he understood most at the time was that Auradon was lucky that Uma had accepted his invitation and had not let herself be numbed by the comforts.
He was lucky that fate had put Uma in his way.
Uma looked determined. After warning Mal that she was going to protect everything she was fighting for, Uma just waited for an answer. And Ben knew that Uma was preparing herself to give Mal a chance or fight her. But Mal's eyes shone brightly green in ferocity. But Ben noticed something. Because he had seen many princes go through the same thing. Mal was scared, but she thought she couldn't show it. Mal was scared to show her weakness. And so, she responded more aggressively to protect herself.
"You don't order me."
Uma dangerously shortened the distance between them. Ben could see how alert Mal was by losing her personal space.
“I am not going to repeat it to you.” Uma's voice was dominant and melodious, she got into his soul until he got tangled up “I won't allow you to take this opportunity from our people. My people.”
A thunder echoed around them. The wind stirred the trees. Ben could see how Uma's hair rose slightly in the air. But she had been decisive. Mal was pressed against the car. Small drops fell on the windshield of the car. It wasn't rain. The wind was stirring the ocean. They were a few meters from the port. Ben could only imagine how the ocean should look at that moment. Despite being early in the morning, the clouds covered any trace of the sun.
That was Uma. She was altering the weather and the sea. Many villains had that power. Historians used to say that storms followed evil. But Ben suspected that the weather would bend to strong personalities. Because he couldn't see evil in Uma. Quite the opposite. She was defending herself. Uma was trying to warn Mal. What he saw at that moment was a protective Goddess.
"Your mother loves you, Mal. I won't deny it. So, I understand your loyalty to her. Technically it is thanks to her that you have Evie, Carlos, and Jay. Thanks to her, you're not alone." Uma pressed the other girl against the car door. "And maybe the other villains love their children. You know what? Maybe my mother loves me. But love doesn't immediately mean something good. Love can be twisted and cruel. Love can be full of malice and manipulation. I learned that here.” Uma cocked her face “Many parents love narcissism here. Of course, they would deny it. They love their children to be like them. Love can be the lock of the prison. Just look at what they did to their descendants for love. Love is subjective. Love doesn't save anyone. Each person can make love something good or bad.”
But love could also be a strength. For love to his people, Ben had created his first decree. A decree that went against the first one his father had made as king of Auradon. The love he had felt for his people made him face his father. Despite the fear. Despite the doubt. Love had made him do the right thing. But Uma was right. He wasn't even surprised that she was so right. Love wasn't a good thing. Not always. They weren't synonyms.
"Something my mother taught me is that many supposed heroes turned their backs on many things for their selfish love." Uma explained.
Mal lifted her chin and faced Uma.
"So have you turned your back on the Island of the Lost for love?"
“What are you say?” Uma tilted her face, entertaining. “While you spend time reading that spellbook that your mom wrote, I have dedicated myself to ensuring that others like us live here. While you have been looking for ways to destroy the barrier, I have been looking to improve the reality of our home.”
“And seducing the prince. Using him. Like mother, like daughter.”
Ben felt a part of him stir. His insecurities surfaced with it. The fear he had felt from the beginning returned. He looked at his reflection in the rearview mirror. His transformation went backward. His senses were still sharpened. But only his pupils were sharp. He looked human and vulnerable. He was losing control of his ideas.
But Uma threw herself on Mal. The book fell to the ground. Uma pinned the other girl against the hood of the car. Mal was left with her torso crushed against the metal and her arm twisted in her back. Uma wasn't hurting her. Not physically. But Mal's pride had been attacked.
“I don't allow you to talk about us with your limited understanding. Do you remember what I told you about Harry years ago? I repeat it now. This time about Ben: Don't even think about making fun of what your brain can't understand. He has earned my loyalty through each of his actions.”
Mal chuckled and denied.
"This only makes you weaker."
Lightning illuminated the place. Sea drops fell on them.
"Just try it. And I will show you how strong we are now."
Uma released her and Mal straightened, looking at the graffiti she had made.
“I wanted to give you a chance to be the leader you want to be so much. The Island leader you swear to be able to be." Mal picked up her spell book "I thought you didn't kneel before any crown."
Ben couldn't contain himself and got out of the car. To his surprise, the sky cleared immediately. The wind stopped stirring around him. Ben felt the sun touch his face. The sea breeze caressed him tickling his chin.
“And she doesn't. But I can kneel before her.” Ben looked at Uma and couldn't stop smiling "My captain and my Goddess."
Mal looked at them and denied. She looked at them as if they were crazy. The girl raised her chin and crossed her arms.
"Now you wander around like a guardian beast?"
Ben smiled, not taking her comment wrong.
“Harry says I like to see. Maybe he's right.”
He looked for Uma on the other side of the car. She was surprised to see him there. But if he read her gaze well, she was much more relaxed to have him there. Ben hoped it was that way.
"I warn you, you are making a mistake." Mal stared at Uma.
"Mal, we are no longer on the Island. This isn't about the two of us and our rivalry." Uma seemed to have regained control and was trying again to appeal to her "This is much bigger than us. This is your chance to be yourself."
But Mal didn't listen to her. She took her bag and stared at Ben.
"Are you going to send me back to the Island?"
He denied. Mal looked him with confusion.
"But... you know what I am trying to do."
“No, I know what your mother wants you to do. But we aren't our parents. Sometimes it's hard to find yourself. I am barely knowing myself. But it's worth it in the end. Because in your heart is where it all begins. Only you can choose your destiny. Just tell me what you need. I don't ask you to choose between Auradon and the Island. Between a life here or a life there.” Ben tried to circle the car, but Mal stepped back, so he stopped. “We gotta be brave. We gotta be free. Together. Mal, bringing all of you here was my first decree. So I am very aware that it wasn't a perfect decree. That is why I would appreciate it if you could help me be a better leader. I want to change things, but I need help. And it starts with you and me.” He smiled. “Please, I would be honored if you, who know the Island, help me.”
Mal looked down and bit her lower lip. He wanted to approach. Mal looked so lonely and abandoned. After all, he had taken her out of her home and away from her family. Going to Auradon hadn't been Mal's choice, but her mother's. She had been forced to go there. Mal looked up and for a moment he had hoped. She had the same look he had had for many years. The look he had found in the mirror whenever he had to go to a political meeting with his father. A search for help. Mal needed help and wanted to be helped. He wanted to approach, but he was afraid to move and scare her. Mal looked at her spellbook and pressed it against her chest. For the last second, Mal looked at him and he could swear her eyes were shining as if she wanted to cry. Not of pain, but frustration. Maybe that's why she ran. The cans of paint echoed in her bag as she walked away.
"Mal!" Uma hit the car when she saw that it was impossible to make Mal listen to her "Damn you and your pride! You haven't changed anything!"
"She continues to compete with you." Ben commented, still looking towards the place where Mal had gone.
“She isn't bad. Gods, I can't believe that for many years I thought she was evil. Mal is not bad. She knows no other way of being, nor any other north than her mother. Her mind is still on the Island, with Maleficent and what she taught her.” Uma crossed her arms “If I were there and she was here, I would be equally resentful and angry. The only thing I could think of would be to take revenge on her. Mal's mother chained her to the island. When she accuses me of treason... I feel that in part is something she feels against herself. Every time Mal enjoys something here, she feels she is betraying her mother.”
Ben circled the car until he was in front of her. Uma kept looking at the direction where Mal had gone.
“On the Island, she had the resources and I had the plans. If we hadn't competed so much for leadership, we would have achieved many things. From the inside, we would have improved our home.” Uma looked at him “But now I have another chance and I won't fail. Even if I have to fight Mal and her stubbornness. ”
She was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Uma had taken all that responsibility and was carrying it with pride. By her own decision. She was born to raise an empire from scratch. Ben took her chin and he leaned down to be at her height. Uma was beautiful in ways that vainness didn't understand. Her eyes shone with intelligence, her mouth seemed to keep the most valuable secrets. And her way of using her body was what made her more attractive.
"Your pupils are sharp." She whispered amused "Are you excited to see two girls fight, young prince?"
Ben denied, knowing she was joking. Instead, he shortened the distance between them.
"I heard everything." He confessed.
"I figured it out." Uma tilted her face "Harry is right, you like to watch."
He smiled without guilt. They knew him well.
"And the Big Bad Beast in you wanted to protect me?" Uma scoffed.
"A little." He confessed and looked up at the sky. "But you were handling it very well by yourself."
"Thank you. Honestly, I wouldn't have liked it if you would have jumped into my defense.”
“This is your battle. I know."
Uma winked at him.
He blushed and looked away. Something in the way she flattered him, even with that burlesque tone, was addictive. Uma made her compliments taste like ambrosia.
"Do you need help removing those graffiti?"
"Are you going to order your servants to come here to clean the place?" Uma broadened her malicious smile.
"Would I be getting too involved?"
"I have told you. Young prince, worship me and fill me with gifts. Every day, if that's what you want. If you want to send someone to clean for me, I wouldn't refuse.” Uma slipped her index finger over his chest and abdomen. “Get involved in our lives. Get hooked with us. Let yourself catch. I don't know what way to tell you, but you can be as reckless, impulsive and ridiculous as you want with us." She caressed his skin over the fabric of his shirt, forming small infinity symbols to warm his skin "Do not be ashamed around us. You can be as curious, innocent or daring as you wish.”
Ben felt more attracted to her. Much more attracted. Not because of the way she touched him. Not only for that. But because of the way she could calm any doubt in his mind without having to say it out loud. Uma smiled and bit her lower lip. She was amazing. A true leader. Something Ben had to learn was that fate had put him on a path that required his personal decisions to be set aside to prioritize his subjects. The balance between his happiness and their obligations always seemed difficult to achieve. But Uma handled that very well. Ben admired that about her. Impulsive and reckless, as she classified him, he held her face in his hands. She was beautiful. A brilliant mind, an admirable woman and a girl full of life.
Auradon would be lucky if Uma was their queen.
He shortened the distance between them and very slowly tilted his face to kiss her lips. Ben gave her time to pull away if she wanted to. But Uma held on to his shirt. Ben felt the softness of her lips intoxicating him. She was sweet and refreshing. Her mouth was incredibly delicate, like brushing a rose. He parted from her lips and watched her eyes glow with gold dust. Uma was beautiful. Her cheeks were flushed. Ben kissed her cheekbones and her eyelashes. She clung to his shirt with more force. When Uma looked at him, there was so much softness kept there that he kissed her again. His mind begged him to do whatever it took to be able to kiss her like that, to see that soft glow that he felt few people knew in Uma.
"Do friends kiss like this?" She tried to joke.
"That question sounds strange coming from you."
She nodded solemnly at the irony.
"Bored?" Ben smiled with shame "You should prefer-"
Uma covered his mouth with her hands and denied.
“No one had never kissed me like that. Sweetly and gently.” She confessed “But it wasn't boring. It was special. Do it again.” Uma ordered.
Ben leaned down and kissed her. She smiled against his lips. Kissing her like that was the most delicate caress he had ever lived.
"Let me get used to this." He asked and almost begged. Ben was willing to beg for it "Let me create something with you."
"Is it true that you would kneel before me?"
"Would you like me to do it now?" Ben asked with a smile.
Uma laughed wickedly and winked.
"Not now. But I hope you do it in the future. Especially in private. You kneeling and saying my name is one of my goals in life.”
He felt a growl escape his lips. Uma licked her lips.
"I see that it's a common goal."
" Uma..." Ben cleared his throat "Have mercy."
“I only return your sweetness with passion.” She relaxed “But that 's fine, I'll be merciful this time because you behaved so well. So the future king is interested in knowing the place? ”
"I sincerely expected you to invite me." He confessed, looking at the house.
"You just ask and let your captain take care of you."
Ben extended his arm and she accepted it. As always, Uma made that gesture with her chin up and full of pride. She made him feel important, someone with whom Uma was proud to be. She leaned against his arm. Ben looked at her and noticed her soft smile. Yes, he wanted to spoil her and fill her with attention, accustom her to gentle and sweet gestures.
"Granted." She whispered without looking at him. "I allow you to get used to this. To us."
He would be lucky if Uma was his future queen.
The idea warmed his heart. Before she did anything, the door of the house opened. A sleepy Harry looked at them. Ben wasn't even surprised that he only wore boxers.
"You weren't in bed and the balcony door is open." The pirate held a yawn, relaxed.
"I jumped down the balcony." She explained.
"That sounds fun."
Harry looked at him.
"And you should be in our bed."
Ben felt his cheeks blush for the safety with which the pirate spoke. Because of the way he wanted to ask it to be like that. Ben wanted to wake up by their side every day. He wanted to wake up and look at Harry's face with the innocence that only sleep could give him. Ben wanted to feel Uma in his arms, fitting perfectly against his body. That sounded like paradise.
"I'll prepare breakfast." Uma announced, passing through a corridor.
"There's graffiti..." Harry pointed toward the wall.
"Don't worry about it!" Uma shouted.
Harry nodded, losing all interest in the matter. The pirate looked at him and shortened the distance between them. Ben didn't move, he liked the way that, from one second to another, Harry deprived him of all loneliness. The pirate smiled dangerously.
"You are madly in love with her." Harry congratulated him and put his arm on his shoulders "We have to celebrate."
Ben didn't deny it. Nor did he clarify that not only was he madly in love with Uma but he was deeply in love with Harry.
"Boys! Move your pretty asses here.” Uma shouted from somewhere in the house “You don't want to know what punishment I will give them if you let breakfast get cold.”
Harry laughed mischievously and pulled him inside the house, closing the door behind him.
The pirate caught him against the door and kissed his lips, the way Ben had been thinking it would be nice to be greeted by him. A playful and tentative kiss, with the tip of Harry's tongue stroking his lower lip for a second longer than necessary. Ben smiled at the dangerous glow in Harry's eyes.
"Good morning to you, your majesty." The pirate hugged him by the waist and led him to the origin of a delicious aroma and to the promise of enjoying Uma's food.
He could get used to this. Ben wanted to get used to it. He wanted to protect that paradise that they were inviting him to be part of. Ben wanted that homey routine to be his daily life.
Lately, she was smiling more. Not with malice. A sincere smile. She leaned against the tree and felt her mind relax. She still had many things to do. Uma had been thinking. The Island of the Lost was her home. A place rich in countless cultures, full of memories and reminiscences. The Island of the Lost had an economic system, houses, entertainment and education centers. It was not a prison. Auradon needed a prison, with a correct control system. She had been checking. Before the existence of Auradon, many countries and kingdoms had had effective punishment systems. Judges, lawyers, jury and many other things. They hadn’t been perfect systems, but they had potential.
She had been talking to the Council about it. Uma had used Peter Pan and Aladdin as her stellar examples. They were heroes, right? But their actions didn’t differ much from the actions of some who had been locked up on the Island. what kind of justice was that which condemned murderers and malicious youngsters with the same type of punishment? Who was worse? A boy who mutilated the hand of a man or a first officer who cared and advised his captain? The Council had been difficult to convince. But Ben had invited new faces to be part of it. Heroes, kings, queens, and warriors who in their time had no interest in politics. People who wanted to question stability. Ben had told her that it was the first time the Council had debated from so many positions.
Uma wanted the Island of the Lost to be free. A place where people chose to live. A place like others in Auradon. And that a true penitentiary and rehabilitation system be created for those who still had to serve a sentence. Someone on the Council had asked her what she would do about her mother, for example. Uma clarified that that was the point, she shouldn’t choose her mother's destiny, because that wasn’t impartial. The Island of the Lost was ruled by selfishness and corruption. The fate of her mother, like that of others, should be analyzed fairly. In general, a single person shouldn’t dictate the fate of others. And she, who was born on the Island, shouldn’t be responsible for the destiny of all the people who lived there.
Because Uma had realized that she missed walking through the harbor and the shouts of the vendors with their different accents. She missed haggling, running on the rooftops and listening to the stories that Captain Hook used to tell them. She could understand Mal and her desire to destroy the barrier. The determination and stubbornness in her former friend reminded her that she would always belong to the Island.
"Uma!" Ben shouted desperately and thus bringing her back to the present.
She smiled. On the balcony of her house was Harry standing on the railing, struggling to let go of Ben. The poor prince was holding the pirate by the waist and battling with him.
"Oh, leave him." She replied.
"Are you kidding me?" Ben looked at her in surprise "He wants to jump!"
Harry laughed maliciously and winked.
"I know. That is something he always does.”
Ben looked at her as if she were crazy. Uma could feel offended. But she supposed that it wasn’t common in Auradon for someone like Harry Hook to exist.
Their first meeting had been a catastrophe. She had been swimming, at night, near a cliff. A little girl enjoying the sea. Harry had seen her by chance and moved by curiosity had jumped into the sea. Without knowing how to swim. Her mother had always told her that sailors were crazy humans who jumped into the sea when they saw something beautiful. She had thought it had been an exaggeration until she saw that child sink. Uma rescued him. But that would be the first of many encounters where she confirmed that Harry Hook had no sense of preservation.
But he was a damn lucky man.
Harry took off his jacket, managing to break free and jumped. Ben shouted and she only saw the pirate sink into the sea and emerged a few seconds later.
"Did I scare you?" Harry asked Ben, who was about to jump from the balcony.
"That's his specialty." Uma crossed her arms "You have no idea how many times his father had to put his entire crew watching him so he wouldn't flirt with death so unashamedly."
Harry smiled dangerously, swimming to the marble steps and sat there. He was completely wet. But he had a satisfactory smile. Uma advanced to him and slid her fingers through his hair. He raised his face, smiling drunkenly.
“Workouts and exercise usually keep him relatively still. But Harry is a danger addict." Uma looked up at the balcony, where Ben was "Like his father, he can survive the impossible."
The prince looked down and sighed in resignation. She waited for Ben to be civilized and to go down the stairs of the house and meet them.
"You held back for a long time." She flattered, taking the pirate's face.
"You have no idea how many times I wanted to do something dangerous-"
"Something stupid." She corrected.
Harry gave her his shark smile in response.
"But I thought he wouldn't be ready yet."
“Ben cares about you. He will never be ready to see you commit madness.”
Harry took her hand and kissed her wrist.
"Darling, he cares about you too."
“But I don't go around, climbing rooftops at night or jumping from painful heights. And not to mention that on the Island you dragged CJ with you."
“As always, you are right. Although most of the time CJ followed me. But you are worse, you decide to face the most powerful people in the world and demand that they listen to you. You make yourself powerful enemies and you do it with a smile.” Harry turned to look at her, suddenly serious. “You tell your enemies to try to hurt you. You invite them to attack you.”
"Because I'm ready."
He knelt in front of her, his right hand on the marble of the staircase and his left knee on the floor. Uma thought of the knights of legends, swearing loyalty. But he looked at her with blind devotion.
“I always listen to you. And something that has always haunted my mind is that destiny writes our stories. You always use it as an example, the idea that the prince can always find his princess. The right hero always finds the right tower in the middle of the forest.” Harry took her hand and kissed her knuckles. “So, I am the pirate who was born to jump into danger, who wouldn't hesitate to put himself between a dragon and his Goddess.”
Uma smiled. She believed in his words. And obviously it was flattering to know that Harry loved her so much. But it also made her aware of the matter. If she wasn't careful, he would jump between the danger and her. Without hesitation. Very possibly laughing with delight at a lethal adversary.
What made her think that Ben was the same. Another sacrificed. A hero who was willing to sacrifice himself for the good of his people, for the sake of those he loved.
"That just means I have to take good care of you two."
The door opened and Ben advanced towards them. He was incredibly well dressed, as elegant as ever. And despite the perfect day they were having. It was hard for Uma to imagine him with more comfortable and baggy clothes. Or worse, with an outfit worthy of the Island. But it wasn't a bad thing either. So many buttons and clothing only reminded her that they were dealing with a prince who had chosen to spend his time with a pirate and a sea witch.
"Ben and I will have to take care of you." She corrected herself.
Yes, it was nice to share the responsibilities with someone who took them seriously.
"Tell me you're scolding him and not congratulating him for almost giving me a heart attack," Ben asked.
"Oh, I can do both things." Uma winked at him "Although you can't scold Harry."
"Why?" Ben opened his eyes.
"Because you don't have the best survival instinct either." Harry pointed out "Who in their right mind flirts with two strangers who make it very clear that their intentions aren't good?"
Ben laughed and sat next to Harry.
"He has a point." Uma sat next to the pirate and leaned down to face the prince. "What if Mal had answered one of your letters or her limousine would have been the first to arrive?"
"I think that's unfair." Ben confessed, looking up at the sky or rather towards the colored bottles that hung from the tall branches of the nearby tree "The possibilities are endless, don't you think? I could tell you that eventually our destinies would have been found, that this is the rule, don't you think? Destiny finds its way. Even if I had been attracted to Mal, even if something had happened between the two of us, you and I would have met. I would have found you two. I believe that I would have diverted my path the necessary times to collide with one of you and eventually meet with the other.”
Harry chuckled and dropped against the side of Ben, almost leaning against his arm. The pirate didn't mind damaging Ben's fine clothes with seawater. And the prince didn't care, because he put his arm around Harry's torso and rested her chin on her wet hair.
“The only way you would have fallen in love with Mal would be if we weren't here. So eventually you would have gone to the Island." Harry explained, sharpening his smile. "Fate would have been entrusted that we had met. I would have hunted and brought you before Uma.”
She watched the prince's reaction. It wasn't the first time she suspected that her sweet boy could pass from a dominant beast to a prince who wanted to be captured and tortured by the evil pirates. She licked her lips. Uma could still taste the kiss of that morning. Just remembering it, she felt edgy. But now Ben was looking at her, asking her, in silence, that she broke all that sweetness. Harry arched to admire the prince's face and smiled more broadly.
Uma moved, crawled over Harry to sit on his lap and stretched to Ben's face. She felt her clothes also get wet and the white fabric of her pants stuck to her skin. Harry took her by the waist and pressed her over his hips, making her shiver.
"Harry likes to wrap my presents." Uma tapped the prince on the chin "And also play with his prey."
Something in Ben changed. In the right way. He widened his smile and his pupils sharpened. Uma held her breath. Ben's hand found his way to her leg and she felt his claws caress her. She bit her lower lip when she felt him ascend and reach the edge of her sleeping pants and tempted her by pulling the elastic a little. Ben leaned toward Harry and shared with him a predatory and confident smile. Oh, Uma needed to buy a leash for each of them. Harry growled and held her over his hips with a warning sign or maybe as a reminder of where she was sitting. Ben laughed and straightened, releasing her.
“If you caught me, I would have to earn my freedom. It doesn't seem so difficult.” He smiled at them with that tranquility that in the past she would have believed was innocence but she knew that it was the way Ben demonstrated his adaptability.
Harry laughed loudly. She denied, amused. Ben had handled them perfectly to separate them as a team and to respond to him. He had made it so natural that she still felt fire in her blood.
"I don't think so... But I think you have the right idea." She warned.
"If you do that, I think we would stay with you." Harry completed.
"That sounds like a good idea." Ben stroked the pirate's hair, holding Harry against him.
Uma approached, looking for his face. She leaned over Harry and felt his hand caress her lower back. Ben smiled and gently kissed her, capturing her lower lip for a few seconds. When the prince separated, he was smiling gently. Only then did Uma realize that she had sought his caress. She, who had constantly pointed out that Harry and Ben were hungry for physical contact, had been the one who sought to be touch.
It hadn't been the beast in Ben who had made her catch up. But the most natural and constant part of him. Uma was finding something pleasant and addictive in the natural and homely that turned out to have the prince at their side, with his gentlemanly gestures and his smile full of affection.
She hated to admit it, but he was right. It wasn't about whether things had been different or not. The three had connected. They were a team.
Harry sat down, forcing her to hold on to him. The pirate smiled slyly and pulled from his pocket four bracelets. One turquoise, one red and two blue. She immediately identified what it was and nodded. Harry put the bracelet with turquoise beads except for a blue one on his wrist. Uma was surprised to realize it was d the same type of material as the bracelet he had given her years ago. Harry put the red bracelet on the same wrist that he had the others. She noticed the blue bead stand out in that red sea.
"What's that?" Ben asked.
Harry pulled him roughly and kissed him deeply. Ben leaned against him, growling over his lips and stroking his wet back with a predatory attitude. Uma bit her lower lip at the show. She wanted to see more. They were very passionate and knew how to make her shiver without even touching her.
"This is an exchange." Harry stroked Ben's jacket, completely wet.
Uma pressed against the pirate's chest to be as close as possible to Ben and raised her arm, where the two turquoise bracelets were.
"Harry." She first touched the bracelet with the red bead and then the one with a blue "You."
The pirate showed his two bracelets. Ben smiled ridiculously happy. That was the kind of detail he enjoyed. Harry and she knew it. For Uma, they were property symbols. They were hers. Harry and Ben belonged to her. They were her boys. And nobody could touch them.
Uma took the blue bracelet that belonged to her and waved it in front of Ben's eyes, like a prize.
Harry chuckled and took Ben's right hand, tempting him to put the other bracelet on.
"Your jacket." The pirate warned.
Ben nodded immediately. He hadn't even thought about the possibilities.
"Good boy." Uma congratulated.
Harry slipped the blue bracelet with an intense crimson bead. She imitated him, noting the natural contrast the turquoise made with the royal blue. Ben raised his hand and looked at the bracelets. These combined with his style of dress and yet they were obvious in their symbolism and belonging to the Island. Ben smiled without hiding his happiness. He was sincere in his enthusiasm and satisfaction. Harry looked at her, proud of his actions and she rolled her eyes. It wasn't a competition to see who made Ben happier, but...
"Tomorrow is the tournament final, right?" Uma recalled "Against Sherwood Forest Falcons."
Ben smiled excitedly because she remembered something so important to him. Uma smiled.
"We will be there to cheer you up." Uma promised.
Ben nodded, radiating happiness. At times like those, it seemed impossible that something wild and instinctive lived inside such a sweet and pure boy.
"Too bad you can't get a good luck kiss." Harry commented without guilt, probably thinking of some more private options.
Of course, reporters would find all that strange. Especially when they ridiculously only matched Uma and Ben, scandalized at the possible betrayal that must be happening between Uma and Harry. Auradon's press didn't even suspect the closeness and passion Harry and Ben had. Ben had assured them that it wasn't discrimination. They were just moving with the logic of fairy tales and traditions. The prince falling in love with the princess or maiden. So it always had been. Uma hoped it was true or she would take matters into her hands. They have already discriminated against them because of their origin, their way of speaking and their appearance. Uma wasn't going to let their way of desire or love be judged.
Ben stopped looking at his bracelets and watched them.
“Why can't we do it? There is little time left for my coronation.” The prince blushed “Because, in reality, I would like to make this official.” He licked his lower lip, but there was a sincere smile of hope “Can this be something official?"
Harry looked at her.
“What do you say, darling? Everyone will have their eyes on you tomorrow. The final is televised."
Uma placed a hand on each of their faces. Harry and Ben were a perfect contrast of beauty. She felt the evil smile form on her lips.
"Tomorrow, in the grand finale, may all Auradon and the Island of the Lost find out that you are mine." She accepted and stared at Ben "Show them who you belong to."
That sounded like a perfect plan. She was eager to see how everyone would react to see the seemingly sweet prince passionately kiss a pirate and fall to his knees before a sea witch.
Unfortunately, Uma forgot her study of fate and fairy tales. Because if she had remembered, she would have realized that they had invoked the moment where the villain would test the stability of the protagonists.
Uma watched Jay flirt with a group of princesses. Suddenly he had become the treasure that others longed to obtain. Many wanted to conquer Jay. Which was understandable, the boy not only had an attractive body and a pretty face, but he had a pleasant smile and a special glow in his eyes. She saw that as a victory for the Island of the Lost. The thief had become the most exquisite treasure that many wanted to steal. Jay noticed her gaze and winked, approaching her.
"Are you going to give me your support in the final?"
She held his chin with her index finger. Jay was surprised by her gesture and she smiled. He leaned down to meet her eyes, intrigued. Old habits were hard to forget because Jay was showing his conquering smile.
A strong arm circled her waist. Harry rested his chin over her head.
"After all, we are part of the same team." Uma completed and released him.
"Hands where I can see them." Harry warned.
Jay crossed his arms, showing off his strong muscles but kept his smile.
“Didn't you hear it? Now we are on the same team, Harry. You shouldn't worry about me.”
"Worry?" Harry looked at him with mock surprise, which only highlighted the danger in his eyes "I thought it was obvious what I was doing."
Uma laughed maliciously and looked at Jay.
"Actually, he's doing you a favor." She informed "I respect the person that you become. But if you're not careful, I'll have you on your knees and begging.”
"Is that a promise?" Jay winked "You act like that is a threat to me."
"Could you seriously obey diligently?" She joked, pretending surprise.
"I could try... For a while." Jay admitted.
Uma laughed with delight. That was Jay's way of being. He wasn't being honest with his flirting. As a good thief, he had learned how to enchant his target and put their eyes busy so they wouldn't see his hands. But she knew who she was dealing with.
“Handsome, I think you're losing your touch. In the last practice of ROAR, I saw you use a similar line with Lonnie and she just laughed at you." Harry smiled dangerously. "Oh... I really like that girl."
"You flatter me, Harry. Have you been watching me?" Jay winked.
Uma felt the pirate lean against her cheek and how he formed his shark smile against her skin. She slid her fingers across Harry's face until he closed her grip on the back of his neck. He growled against her ear and she looked at his malicious eyes.
“Of course you've been watching. You were protecting Lonnie.”
Harry softened his gaze and nodded. Uma looked away to notice Jay, who seemed intrigued and interested in them. All at the same time. Jay was a flirtatious, but quite loyal to his friends. She had seen him abandon any kind of conquest to help Carlos. And despite how distant Mal acted, he had tried countless times to stay by her side. That, Uma would never have seen on the Island. Seeing this version of Jay, she regretted not recruiting him in the past.
Harry tensed and looked at the lockers. Uma dodged Jay and analyzed how Mal took a half-eaten cookie from Ben and covered his mouth so he wouldn't keep singing her name.
Uma knew that look in Ben.
Impulsively, Harry walked towards the prince and took his face in search of some poisoning or difference in his attitude. Ben looked drunk with happiness. Uma looked at Jay, who was as surprised as she was.
"You know something." She accused.
Jay looked at her and could feel the guilt in his eyes. But he denied and advanced on Mal, showing his loyalty. Uma walked to Ben, who looked silly at Mal and then to Harry, with the same goofy grin. When the prince looked at Uma, he stretched his free hand toward her and pulled her to his side. Uma slammed into his body and Ben hug her around the waist. Sometimes, she forgot how strong the prince was, how safe and stable his body could be. There was nothing weak or soft about him. Ben's fingers gently squeezed her waist and she wanted to stretch to his ear and whisper something to blush him or made him look at her with his hazel and sharp eyes. But there was something wrong. Something or someone that was ruining her good mood.
"What did you do?" Uma asked out loud.
"Ben?" Mal smiled wickedly.
He responded to her voice gently on his features. Ben didn't let go of Uma and didn't remove Harry's hand on his shoulders. Uma could feel the tension in Harry and how he searched for his hook. Uma put her hand on his lower back in warning.
"Ben, your game." Uma spoke out loud, still looking at Mal "You better go now."
She felt a twinge in her chest when the prince turned over his eyes among the three, nodded and went with Jay and Carlos, who had been waiting on the side. Uma could feel the irony of fate hitting her. Her mother had used her magic and deception to take the prince who belonged to another. Now, a spell was taking away hers.
Uma smiled dangerously. Mal raised her chin.
"Always so obvious." She denied "Subtlety was never your thing."
"The important thing is the final prize." Mal responded defensively.
“Defeat me? You flatter me, but you aren't achieved it. You saw how he acts with Harry and me. Your little love potion didn't eliminate us from his mind."
Which only spoke of how deep and sincere Ben's feelings towards them were.
That was mutual. She would do anything for Ben.
The idea hit her violently. So long ago, the time to play was over. But she never believed that she would cling so quickly and mercilessly to someone other than Harry. She never suspected that it would be the son of the person who locked her up all her life. But that was the beauty of irony. Her sea witch heart belonged to a pirate and a prince. Her mother would boil with anger if she knew.
"The things I do don't revolve around you." Mal replied, walking away.
"You're right! They revolve around your mom! ”Uma shouted.
Mal tensed but she kept walking. Evie ran after her friend. But Uma noticed the doubt in Evie's gaze. Same as Jay and Carlos. They weren't part of the plan. But they were protecting Mal.
"Just give the order..." Harry growled.
Uma looked at him, his crimson eyes shone with danger. The ocean had been consumed by anger.
"He continues to feel something for us." Uma explained "Whatever Mal used in him didn't nullify his feelings for us."
Harry frowned. The crimson didn't disappear at all. But she could see something of the brave ocean return to him.
"Remember, what breaks a curse?"
The sea returned completely. Harry cornered her against the lockers and relaxed, supporting his forehead against hers. Mal had attacked a very sensitive point in the pirate. He didn't know how to handle the abandonment or rejection of those he loved. That is why his father could be so difficult for him.
“Mal wants Ben to deliver her the wand. That's why she did this. And to show me that she can do it.” Uma slid her fingers down his cheekbone “She is desperate.”
“Kiss him.” Harry looked over his shoulder. “The game isn't started yet. You just have to go and kiss him. A kiss of true love..."
“You could do it too.” She crossed her arms “Don't you think? Go to the changers and kiss him.”
Harry denied, looking away.
“Darling, he is madly in love with you. Ben looks at you as if he wanted to fall at your feet. And how not to do it?”
She frowned and made a sign. Harry immediately understood and in front of anyone who wanted to see, he rested his knee on the floor, ready to follow her orders. Uma would have smiled at any other time for that display of power. But she needed to teach one of her boys a lesson.
"What is my name?"
She took his chin.
"And you must admit that I can read everyone very well."
"And you obey my words, right?"
"As engraved in fire and stone."
Uma couldn't help smiling.
“Then you remember well what I am going to tell you, Harry Hook. Every time the future king of Auradon looks at you, he looks happier than ever. And every time you touch him, he seems to want to stop time. Just there. Beside you.” She leaned down and kissed his lips. “And I understand that perfectly.”
She separated. Harry looked at her with surprise. For a few seconds, he was overwhelmed, on his knees. He was so used to people running away from him. Harry had lived with the guarantee that others wouldn't sincerely love him. Now, he was surprised. It had taken Uma years to guarantee Harry that she would choose him over whoever and that they were united. She would have rejected Auradon for him. Harry couldn't believe that someone else could love him like that. He had always been willing to love without being reciprocated. Harry could accept that others wanted him on a physical level but the idea of being loved. That he being so chaotic and impulsive, seemed to overcome others. When Harry looked at her, his eyes shone so clearly and peacefully that she wanted to drag Ben there to look at the power he had over their pirate. Bringing peace to chaos seemed impossible to achieve. But Ben had shown that he was very capable of doing the impossible.
"But we are not going to break the spell." Uma explained.
Harry immediately got up, surprised. He didn't question her, although it was obvious that he wanted to do it.
“Mal shouldn't know that we know how to break her spell. We have to give her a sense of security.” Uma explained.
He frowned, trying to guess what she was planning. Uma hooked her index finger on one of his belts and led him to the game. After all, they had promised Ben that they would see him play.
“I have dedicated myself to putting out fires. This is our chance to eliminate the source of the fire forever.” She explained.
Harry still didn't understand what she meant but he followed her unconditionally. The overwhelming noise of the students almost left her deaf. She led Harry with Audrey, who was cheering for the team.
"Jane looks great in her cheerleading uniform." Uma commented, crossing her arms.
Audrey nodded and shouted Chad's name when he joined the game. Once again, the prince looked so energetic and full of life as to win two wars and beat a dragon. Uma looked in the crowd for Mal, who stared at her with a mysterious smile before turning around and paying attention to the game. Uma wondered if their parents had been like that, always waiting for the heroes to make those kinds of gestures that only looked amazing if they didn't think about them too much. Because for Mal to do that, it implied that she had been searching for Uma in the crowd all that time and then waiting patiently to make eye contact.
Uma contained the laughter.
Harry looked at her with intrigue.
"We are the heroes." She whispered in his ear.
Harry brushed her ear with his lips.
"Auradon is lost if we are the heroes."
"But, perhaps, the Island of the Lost is safe if we are the heroes." Uma smiled against his cheek, feeling the power to surround her.
"I think it's a shame we miss that good luck kiss."
"I'm sure fate will generate another moment for that." She hid her mocking smile against his neck, she was almost singing her words, drunk with the certainty of their victory without having to do anything but trust their prince. "We're already out of our pirate story. Now we are in a fairy tale.”
Harry pulled her against his side, hiding his face against her hair. But she heard him laugh. They didn't want Mal to suspect. Their enemy must believe that she had destroyed their hopes. That they were lamenting in each other's arms. Uma knew well how fairy tales were going. Her mother and the other adults on the Island had been key elements in them. But that only promised that they were going to win. The game continued normally, quite competitive and very well synchronized. Jay and Carlos were earning everyone's attention. The boys of the Island were being acclaimed by all.
"What kind of protagonist smiles with such emotion at the moment that everything should be more difficult?" Harry whispered against her hair.
"The kind of protagonist who isn't a princess." Uma turned away from him and looked at Audrey. "Can you keep an eye on Jay, Carlos, and Evie?"
The princess looked at her without understanding.
"I promise to explain later." Uma looked at Mal, who kept watching her. "Do you think you can help us with that?"
"Lonnie, Chad, Jane and I will take care of that." Audrey looked at Ben "Is something wrong with him? He looks stupid."
"Yes. But nothing irremediable. And he doesn't look stupid, he looks naively in love." Uma found herself defending him.
Audrey looked at her with fun.
"Same concept. Different words."
"Always so mean, my queen."
"Forever.” Audrey responded with pride but she concentrated again "I'll take care of the others. I assume you and Harry will take care of Mal."
"I count on you."
Audrey nodded, much more serious. The princess didn't question anything else. Audrey would do anything for her friend, it was obvious. Uma felt a tingle in her fingers. Power. Not the magic type. Not a type of domain. What she had felt was the power of teamwork. A crew She looked at Harry and made a sign. The game was about to end. Harry withdrew. She looked at Mal and made a gesture to make Mal follow her and go from under the bleachers.
"Do you want to make a deal with me?" Mal asked, no less fond of herself.
The game ended. They had won. That would be the perfect time for Ben to make something big, ridiculous and romantic. The kind of thing that would get everyone's attention and be in the news. A musical number. A declaration of deep and crazy love. The kind of madness Harry would enjoy. The kind of scenario where Uma would shine most.
But Uma had removed Mal from the public eye. Because there was a possibility that his ridiculous act of love would include an M-A-L. And although Uma knew that all that was the product of a spell, deep down she was aware that if something went wrong, it would hurt much more than Mal's previous betrayal. So, she sought to ensure that the press didn't find out what was happening.
"No." Uma crossed her arms. "You cast a spell on Ben to give you the wand. I get it."
"Are you upset?" Mal smiled cruelly "I broke your heart? I made you hurt?"
Uma denied, recognizing where those last two questions came from. And for a second Uma thought, she was returning to the Island. And Uma hated that feeling.
“Actually, I feel flattered. Your spell didn't eliminate what he felt for Harry and me. There's something lovely about having the heart of the most powerful person in the place, don't you think so? Even more so when you didn't use traps to get it.”
Mal stirred uncomfortably. She was still not interested in that subject. Knowing her, Mal would dodge a public kiss and feel overwhelmed by Ben's attention and details. Mal hated all that romance. She was a good descendant of villains.
"Obviously we aren't going to buy a bed big enough for the four of us." Uma joked.
Mal got tense. It was really easy to disturb her.
“Keep up your plan." Uma continued. "I'm curious about what will happen. So why don't we go to Ben's castle and you talk to him? Harry and I won't get in the way. You can convince him to give you the wand, to marry you or whatever your plan is about."
Mal looked at her suspiciously and denied.
"This is a trap."
"You're right. But not the way you think.” Uma reached out to the girl. “I retract myself. Let's make a deal. You agree to come with us to Ben's castle and talk to him. Alone. For a few hours. Harry and I won't get in the way and respect your decision after that.”
Mal looked at her hand.
“I could steal him. I could marry him in the meantime. Ben could make me his wife. With that power I could send you back to the Island, I could imprison Harry, I could do many things."
"I know." Uma moved her fingers "But I'm sure that a few hours you won't change anything in him."
Mal's eyes shone like emeralds.
"You underestimate me."
The girl took her hand. Uma felt the power wrap around her.
“I don't underestimate you. Quite the opposite. Like Ben, I believe in you. He taught me that we all deserve a chance. And I feel that you haven't given yourself the time to have that option." Uma released her hand and signaled "Harry went for the limo. Let's go for our prince.”
Mal tensed. Uma contained her smile. Her mother had taught her well. The most powerful victory was to show all her moves and even then the enemy didn't see why they were going to lose. Mal was who was underestimating them. Especially Ben. And that was going to be her ruin.
Emotions could be complicated and strange. Contradictory. A part of him was satisfied to see Uma handle the current king of Auradon. The smile on his lips grew wider and his muscles began to ache. But he also felt annoyed and with the desire to slaughter the current king of Auradon for the way he treated Uma.
The feelings could be incredibly contradictory.
King Adam was tall and also kept his inner beast afloat. The appearance of intellectual and family man had disappeared, like a mask that man considered unnecessary at that time. So, despite his age, he looked much more stocky and intimidating when he got angry. Even so, Uma rivaled him with her presence. It didn't matter that their girl was of small stature and thin figure, her simple posture and pride kept the king in his place. Furious. Irritated. But static.
"How can you be so calm?" King Adam showed his fangs "That girl could hurt him!"
Uma tilted her face.
“Mal wouldn't hurt him. She is not able to do something like that." Uma raised her eyebrows. "The worst thing she could do is dominate him and make him feel insecure about himself so that Ben gives her the wand. But Ben is immune to that. ”
Harry smiled and leaned against the office door. Yes, it was true. Ben had dedicated his life to see the goodness in other people and at the same time, he was his worst judge. Nothing that Mal said could unbalance him or make him wonder in any way that he hadn't done or he was working on it.
"But that girl spells our son. How can we stay here and wait?" Queen Belle lamented, looking at the door and therefore at Harry "We need to do something."
Harry crossed his arms, making it clear that he wasn't going to move. He was looking at the dynamics of the situation and found it pitiable. King Adam dominated the whole situation and his wife was left behind. Harry had rarely been interested in the princesses of the fairy tales of the past, but he had found Belle, the one in the stories at least, as someone interesting. An intelligent woman with character. So he found it wrong that the current king overshadowed his wife. He looked at Uma, who cocked his face to look at the queen and shrugged.
"What we are doing here is trusting Prince Ben." Harry replied aloud.
“I am the current king! I decide! You can't make me do anything."
The man growled, showing his fangs. But Uma took a step forward. The atmosphere was electrified around her and an impossible breeze stirred Uma's hair. Harry pushed his body forward and stood behind his Goddess.
"And he is the future king." Uma responded firmly.
The queen got up and moved towards her husband, holding his arm. But King Adam stood firm, disfiguring his features by anger.
“I knew it was a bad idea to invite all of you. Your parents educated you to be like them.”
Harry advanced defiantly. He knew that Uma hated being compared to her mother, especially when she had never received her attention or protection. But Uma closed her grip on his wrist and denied. Harry stood back behind her, waiting. Uma didn't alter, her breathing remained calm. The atmosphere was still electrified, but the breeze had disappeared.
“Of six people, only one tried to betray you. And all because she wants to earn her mother's respect and affection.” Uma cocked her face “Considering that you hate our parents so much, I'm surprised you let them educate us. If you don't care about us in the past, don't try to judge us now.” She crossed her arms. “I can't believe I'm defending Mal, but she was forced to come here. Mal had a good life on the Island. But here, we all started to move forward and she stayed behind.”
"Then let her go." The king ordered.
Harry rested his hands on Uma's shoulders. She rested her hand on one of his.
“And lose a good education? The three meals a day? Her friends? ” Uma denied “She misses her mother, but she doesn't want to lose what she has here either.”
"That isn't a justification for having my son spell!"
“And what is the justification for kidnapping a girl? Breaking a spell?” Harry laughed and showed his teeth, not intimidating of the man "So one of ours can't use a spell to recover their mother? Ironic."
The King stepped forward, feeling judged. But Harry didn't blink, just watched as the man seemed to become a beast without his features changing. The queen held her husband by the arm and it was obvious that she struggled to maintain some control over him.
"Mal tries to break the spell that kept us prisoners all our lives." Uma stepped forward and despite the difference in stature, she managed to keep her presence equally intimidating as the king's "And, even so, I am not advocating for her. But you have to stop being hypocrites. And what I am saying is that you must have confidence in your son. In the future king. ”
"Who is spell!" The man roared.
Harry couldn't contain himself. He took his hook and stood between the king and Uma. He wasn't going to let anyone shout that way to Uma. But the girl's hand on his arm stopped him immediately. He looked at her, unable to believe she was protecting such a man and she slid her fingers over his arm until he removed the hook and hung it back in his belt.
"Adam!" The queen pushed her husband away from them and forced him to sit in one of the armchairs "I can't believe you're fighting teenagers."
But the woman raised her index finger, shutting him up. Harry smiled when he saw the display of control that the queen apparently could demonstrate.
“I am also worried about our son, believe me. But they are right.” The queen crossed her arms “We must trust Ben.”
"Besides, I agreed that Harry and I would respect Mal's decision." Uma smirked "I never said that you, the current king, would do the same. You can act as you wish. The Council may make the decision they want."
The expression on the man's face was pure poetry. All the tension in his muscles disappeared abruptly. Harry openly laughed at the situation and to his surprise, the queen joined him. Uma silently denied, but she wasn't hiding her fun.
“I would have liked to have people like you around me when the idea of the Island was proposed.” The king confessed after a long silence.
Uma lifted her chin, inviting him to continue.
“The idea of the Island of the Lost was a decision in conjunction with most of the leaders of the other nations of Auradon. Although originally it was going to be a prison, with a security system and guards." The man looked at his wife. "I was initiating my reign and it was the first decree I had to pass and it sounded like something right. I wanted to guarantee everyone's safety. Belle's safety.”
The queen laid her hand on his shoulder in the form of support.
"So what happened?" Harry asked "Did you forget to follow your plan?"
Uma denied thoughtfully.
"Fear." She concluded "Who would want to work on the Island of the Lost where even a God is locked up?"
“We put the villains there and activated the barrier. But no one could guarantee that everyone's magic was blocked. The king confessed.
"And many of them, like Gaston, never needed magic to be a threat." The woman remembered, shuddering.
"When it was detected that children were being born there..." King Adam looked at them and denied "My pride blinded me. I didn't want to admit that we had done wrong. I didn't want to admit that I made a mistake. And it was easier to assume that you would be as bad as your parents. ”
“It was much easier to judge everyone on the Island as the worst kind of living being. Although not everyone had made the same kind of mistakes." Harry crossed his arms. "You turned your back on us."
"Believe me, Uma has done a great job of reminding the Council that since Ben invited her to the meetings." The king confessed.
Their Goddess smirked.
The queen nodded and bowed her head.
"We got used to pretending that nothing bad was happening."
“Although the decision of the Island was something decided by the majority, I signed the decree. And I am responsible for all this.” The king looked at Harry and then at Uma “Ben is going to need people like you advising him.”
Belle smiled softly and leaned down to kiss his forehead.
“Deep down, I knew all this was wrong. That's why I insisted so much on Ben taking the throne so quickly." The king denied and then looked at his wife "That's why I demanded so much from him. Because Ben would inherit so much pressure and obligations, so many demands and requirements. I didn't want the Council or the other kingdoms to devour him alive and use him as a puppet.”
“Trust me, we are aware that this place is not paradise. I have already seen how the Council works and I admire how Ben is calm in the face of so much madness." Uma looked at Harry "I would suggest a little scare to remind those people of their place."
"I'd love to." He widened his smile as he shortened the distance between them. "That's my specialty." He tilted his body to reach her lips. To those lips stretched in a cruel smile.
Queen Belle cleared her throat. He sighed theatrically and stepped back.
"Why didn't you tell us this before?" The man wanted to know.
"What you were my plan B?" Uma shrugged "I wanted to show you, King Adam, that you aren't very different from the people you locked up. But that your son is completely different from you.”
The door opened. The king and queen tensed when they see that it was Mal who entered. The girl didn't look at them. Instead, she approached Uma. Harry, knowing the magnitude of damage that Mal could generate, stood protectively behind Uma. He would have wanted to do the same with Ben when he was alone with Mal. But he had to trust Uma and Ben. Mal looked at him, aware of his threatening presence. But he noticed resignation in her features.
"You win." Mal looked at the kings "If they want to send me back..."
"What happened?" Uma crossed her arms "You don't want the wand anymore?"
“You knew this would happen. Ben is too noble for one of us to come and destroy his world. And he's so good." Mal closed her arms against her chest "I'll take away the spell I put on him. It will take time and you may not want me close. But, I can do it. Just give me time.”
"We'll take care of that." Uma answered confidently "I don't need you, Mal."
And she didn't say it to hurt her. Uma was just pointing out a fact. Harry admired that attitude of her. Not for a second did she doubt that the two could break the spell. He wanted to have that security.
“You always knew.” Mal denied, amused at her misfortune, a painful smile formed on her lips as she realized what the true power of the sea witches had been. Not their magic. But their intelligence “You knew I was going to lose. From the beginning. Since we arrived here. Since we left the Island, you knew that the past, I, had no power over you. I still need to understand that.”
Mal looked at him and as always was strange. They had a natural resentment since she and Uma had begun their friendship. They were children of villains, accustomed to 'If you want it, take it. And if you can't take it, break it.' Harry had never been able to do that last when it came to Uma. Even when she became very close to Mal. He agreed to share her and thank the fate when she returned to his side. But Mal hadn't accepted that. She shared nothing. Not even an association. So, he suspected, Mal had broken Uma. She had betrayed her. For not being able to have her. So the fact that she looked at him was as bizarre as unexpected. Mal just denied, as if she didn't understand why Uma had him by her side. Or why Ben preferred him. Finally, Mal looked over her shoulder and her posture softened as if she could see through the walls, to a specific point in the castle.
"I see it is very easy to fall in love with Ben..."
Uma and he understood the meaning of that particular glow in the eyes of their former enemy. He imagined how it would have been if their roles had been reversed. And they had to be who saw Ben, the noble prince, offer his help, but still, they would have had to turn away. Harry imagined, with a weight on his chest, how it would have been to have to move away from Ben, from his hand extending in his direction, promising him a chance and having to turn his back. Because it was very easy to fall in love with Ben, but that didn't mean that the prince would correspond in the same way. And that imaginary scenario weighed on his mind.
He looked at that in Mal, the possibility that had opened there, of loving him, and how she made the decision she felt was right. Put distance between Ben and her. Because for the first time 'If you can't take it break it.' wasn't an option for her. Although it didn't seem like it, Mal had matured while they didn't see her.
"Yes, it's easy to fall in love with Ben." Uma agreed "I'm not going to deny that I love him. That Harry and I do it."
And something in Uma's tone told him that she had also noticed how Mal was taking a step back to not fall. To not fall in love.
Mal nodded, there was some respect from her in the way neither of them denied their feelings towards Ben. Something that had never happened on the Island. Something that came from there made them much stronger. Something that, perhaps, had always made them indestructible, but they could finally admit it out loud. Mal looked at the kings.
"Well? Can I say goodbye to my friends before you lock me up?”
"We won't send you back." The queen spoke "If you want to return, it's fine. But if not, you don't have to.”
Mal looked at the woman and stepped back defensively.
"You know?" Harry confessed "Sometimes, I would like to go back, too. I miss my family. But I don't want to lose what I have here.” He looked at Uma. “I choose to stay here, but…”
"A checkpoint." The queen looked at her husband, her eyes shone with that intelligence that the tales always mentioned in her "The barrier should have a checkpoint so that people can enter and exit."
“I intend that the Island of the Lost doesn't remain a prison. That is our home.” Uma explained aloud “But it will be a transition that will take time. Meanwhile, a checkpoint for entry and exit would be fair.”
“You sound like a whole queen.” Mal joked “You're already making decisions.” She looked at them “So? What will you do with me?”
“There is no evidence that you have done something wrong. Even the heroes have made bigger mistakes than a love spell. If someone punishes you for what you did, they would have to lock up many important people in Auradon.” Uma looked at the king and then at the girl “What do you want to do?”
Mal was surprised. Maybe, because that should be the first time someone asked her that sincerely. Harry looked away, uncomfortable with the feeling of empathy he felt. A lifetime of doing what his father expected of him had made it difficult but necessary to choose his path.
“…I need time for me. You all speak of an opportunity and I haven't taken it. I want to talk to my mother and... look for that opportunity. Maybe not in that order.” Mal shifted uncomfortably, thinking of her mother's anger, and whispered “I understand why Ben conquered you.”
"But we don't share him." Harry warned, resting his hands on Uma's shoulders.
She smiled with fun, showing a facet of her uncommon. A girl without defenses, smiling at the happiness of others. Mal nodded and left the studio. Harry suggested that some guards escort her. He didn't trust Mal. Not yet. Maybe never. Luckily, King Adam accepted. When that was fixed, Harry took Uma's hand, impatient to go in search of Ben.
"Let's break that spell." She ordered.
He nodded. Because at least, Uma could do it. He wanted to see their prince and return things to normal. To their new normal.
"One more thing." The king looked at them, especially at his joined hands "How do you plan to break the spell?"
The queen laughed.
"Dear, how did I break your spell?"
"Yes, I understand that." The man framed an eyebrow. "But which of you...?"
"Both." The woman explained "I think that is quite obvious."
"Not for the press." Harry shrugged, not really caring side get across it is to advertising. After all, it was Uma who enjoyed the main attention, he preferred the element of surprise.
"Public opinion never interested me." The queen looked at them "Ben is fortunate to have found a leader and a free spirit like his companions."
"Both?" The man asked surprised. The gears in his mind still moving.
Harry rolled his eyes. That explanation would be very long. Although it was a pleasant surprise to know that Ben's mother accepted him. Free spirit. That was a very poetic way to describe it. But maybe it was the right one. Harry was a pirate on the mainland. Without a ship. Without a crew. Without a map. Without a plan. But no less strong. ‘Free spirit’ sounded like something that went with him.
"You go for Ben. I will stay with my husband and explain everything."
Before leaving, Harry stopped and looked at the woman. She inspired that kind of peace he had felt in Ben. They also had the same kind of sweetness.
“Gaston always talked about your beauty. But he should have talked about your patience and intelligence.” He confessed.
The woman smiled softly.
"Harry Hook, you should admit to yourself that there is more nobility in your heart than daring in your veins." The queen bowed her face. "Can my son also prevent you from jumping into a fight with a single gesture?"
"His simple presence brings me my peace."
“Yes, I must adjust your belt. Ben just looks at him.” Uma shrugged, pretending that bothered him. But he knew her, her Goddess smiled secretly.
"Harry, I hope your simple presence will bring adventures to my son." The woman looked at Uma and there was a glow of pride. "Thank you for reminding me that I should not resign myself to what others expect of me."
Uma shrugged and pointed his chin at the king, who looked with admiration at his wife. Most likely he was remembering the reason he had fallen in love with Belle in the first place. At least that was what Harry hoped was happening in that man's mind.
"You are still in time to start your own adventure away from all this." Uma responded and left the place.
Harry winked at the queen and followed the proud girl who was becoming the future queen of Auradon and the Island of the Lost.
"You still want to save everyone." He commented, watching the turquoise braids move to the rhythm of his walk "Up to them."
"It's Ben's family and he loves them." She looked over his shoulder. "Like you love yours."
He smiled dangerously. Without responding. Harry hid in his smile so he didn't have to confess. Of course, he loved his sisters. He longed to train with Harriet and compete with her. He missed getting into trouble with CJ and fighting at his side. And, although Harry wouldn't say it out loud, he missed his father. Especially the father he had been before he drowned his guilt and memories in alcohol. To the father who was under paranoia and resentment. The man who didn't see Peter Pan in his son. That father who taught him to use a sword and improve his balance with a hook. The father who made him love the sea and the supernatural beings that came from there.
Uma stopped in front of a huge door. She was very sure that that was Ben's room. After all, she knew how fate worked. If a prince could find the villain's lair, they could find Ben's room. But when Uma turned, he felt the ground disappear beneath his feet.
She slid to the floor and Harry knelt in front of her. Uma's hands were shaking. Even inside the castle, Harry could hear the storm shaking the city. She looked at him for a second and then closed her eyes. Harry stroked her arms, slipped his fingers over her skin to help her release everything she had stored in her chest. Uma was no longer under on stage. There were no longer enemies or audience. They were alone. And only there, she was allowing herself to feel.
"I was so scared..." She whispered. "When I heard Ben sing Mal's voice, I panicked. But I couldn't show it. I couldn't let myself feel it.”
And he knew why. Uma was always in control. She was the reason between the two. Harry hugged her, thinking about how controlled and safe she had been all that time, so as not to worry anyone. Not even herself. Because showing weakness against an enemy could make her lose.
“I didn't want to scare Audrey. She would kill me if she knew her best friend was in danger. I didn't want to lose to King Adam. I didn't want to disappoint you. So I just acted. Because I'm good at solving things. So I worked as things went by and refused to feel.” Uma looked at him “I didn't want-”
"Darling..." He whispered against her forehead " Here I am. You don't have to hide anything from me.”
"I don't." She whispered resentfully.
A resentment towards herself. Because that was Uma, too critical and lethal to herself so that no one else could hurt her.
“But everything happened so fast. It all happened with too much chance of it going wrong. And not only we were at stake, but the Island and Auradon" She hugged him by the neck and hid her face on his shoulder. "Tell me the truth, Harry Hook. Did I do it? Everything is okay now?"
'Calm my mind, as only you can do it.' Those were the words between the lines she was saying.
He smiled against her hair. Uma was a superhuman being. Despite the fear and worry, she had been analytical, strategic and determined. He hugged her tightly against his body. Long ago, despite her confidence, she would never have been so sincere with him. Uma would never have let him hug her that way or allowed him to see her fears.
“You did it.” He swore “You handled all this with devilish perfection and terrifying strategy." Harry broke away and kissed her forehead. "And most importantly, you finally didn't do it alone. You trusted Ben, Audrey, and the others. You trusted me. You delegated tasks and trusted us. You, Uma, are amazing.”
She closed her eyes and nodded. Harry could imagine how she repeated his words in her mind, appropriating them. When Uma looked at him, she was once again the determined Goddess capable of ruling the world. He smirked and helped her up. Harry knew he would follow Uma until the end of the world.
She looked at him and bit her lower lip. There was something else. Harry waited for her to formulate her ideas.
“Will you stay with us?” She tensed slightly as she said those words “You said you missed the Island and preferred to stay here. But choosing to stay would be to resign you.”
Harry quickly understood what she meant, but never thought it was Uma who feared he was going to leave her. She not only feared losing Ben but him. That idea shook him. Harry took her chin and looked for her eyes.
"You're right. I am one of the few people born to live and enjoy that piece of chaotic land that we call home for a long time. I left the Island for you. I choose Auradon for Ben.” He slid his thumb down her soft cheek.“ Darling, if I can stand by your side and admire your accomplishments, I resign myself to a life of heroes. If I can receive the love and peace that Ben radiates, I resign myself to a good life. Of course, I choose you. It was never an option not to do so. Also, I have forged a life here. Here, I have friends, plans and a future. I have you."
To his surprise, Uma blushed. And he couldn't help kissing her. Harry had always felt that he was the one who was chasing impossible. That, if he didn't stop following Uma, she would leave him behind. That it would be very easy for her to forget him and continue to another port where she would be equally adored and idolized. Because it was inevitable to do so. When Uma made him feel safe, he experienced a deep bliss, but a part of him considered it a reward for his good behavior. That prize could disappear if he failed. So, he constantly struggled for her. Not to be left behind.
But his Goddess was also afraid of losing him. He, who was not a prince, did not have a ship, was not a king, had no crew. She also feared he regretted having followed her there. And knowing it only motivated him to be more devoted to her.
"I choose Ben and you. You, above any treasure, crown, kingdom or nation."
"We're going to break that spell." Uma whispered against his lips.
"It will be a pleasure."
And he opened the door of the room, making a theatrical bow to pull a smile in her pretty lips.
Harry had to remind himself that this was a prince's room. But even so, it was like a small apartment. Uma had gotten a glorious house for them and yet it looked like a hut compared to that room. Harry had become accustomed to Auradon's ostentation. He hadn't even blinked when they entered the castle. But Ben's room smelled and felt like him. Big, modern and cozy. Big, but not lonely. Modern but classic. Cozy and warm. Uma had decorated their house with an ancient and magical style, taken as a relic of the oil paintings. Uma showed her domain inside their home. Instead, Ben's room invited relaxation and comfort, it was almost impossible to be upset or defensive with soft colors and great lighting.
Ben was sitting in a small table, near a window that showed the sea and the Island of the Lost. He had his eyes fixed on an open box of chocolates.
"She spells me, right?" The prince spoke without looking at them.
Harry heard the pain in his voice. His feet advanced rapidly toward the prince and took his face. Ben was too close to feel betrayed, but there was a deep sadness in his eyes. He was no longer drunk with false love. Ben looked at him and hid his face against the palm of his hand. Harry felt a stab in his chest when he felt him in such intimate and private contact between his fingers. He never thought he would have someone so good, beautiful, and intelligent trusting him.
Uma sat on the table, on the other side of Ben and slid her fingers over his hair, relaxing him. A painful sigh escaped from Ben's lips, on the palm of his hand. So long and sincere that even Harry felt the desire to sigh.
"Yes, she spells you." Uma looked for the prince's eyes. "Mal wanted the wand."
"I know... That was much more important to her than me..." He touched his chest. "This is so strange. It hurt. Even when I am aware of how false this is, it hurts.”
"How did you notice?" Harry felt intrigued by his mind.
Ben looked at them and his cheeks blushed softly. But he didn't take his eyes off.
"I think, if she had spelled me before I met you, I wouldn't have noticed." The prince confessed. "But now, I just needed to compare what I feel for you and what I feel for her and..."
Ben denied it as if it were all he needed to say. Which was strange, coming from a boy obsessed with stories and adventures, always frank about his feelings and his desire to be loved and loved. So, it was curious that Ben didn't want to put everything into words. But, on the other hand, it must have been strange that suddenly and out of nowhere, his heart yelled at him that he was deeply in love with the person he barely knew.
"When you know the real gold, it's easy to recognize the fool's gold. With that ability to distinguish treasures, you have the possibility of becoming a pirate." Uma slid her index finger along Ben's nose to cheer him up. "How do you feel?"
“I keep thinking about how strange this is. You have explained to me how things were between Mal and you.” Ben looked down but didn't turn away from their touch “I feel a traitor for feeling something for her. Even if it is fool's gold.”
Harry wanted to kiss him. No, he wanted to push him to the bed that was near and make a mess of him. Because that level of loyalty was impossible to find. Not even in Auradon should loyalty be more valuable than love.
"I knew that you would convince her not to continue with her plan." A glow of pride showed up in Uma's eyes.
Ben straightened, surprised. The prince got up, almost knocking down the chair and looked at them with genuine surprise.
Harry leaned against the table and shrugged.
"Of course." He replied "You are Auradon's secret weapon. We trust you."
Ben ducked his head and put his hands on the table. Uma stroked his hair.
“I have always been consumed by the shadow of my father and the other leaders. Everyone has wanted to protect me. Forever. The people around me think they should make the decisions for me." Ben clenched his fists. "I know I'm not a warrior and I'd rather be a diplomat. But that should not mean that I need to be saved. It's not the kind of story I want to live.”
Uma closed her grip on the prince's hair and forced him to look at her. Ben groaned. She was still sitting at the table, gaining height over Ben. Instead, Harry slipped, invading his personal space and repairing the way Ben narrowed his eyes when he was trapped by them. That huge bed was sounding tempting every second that passed.
“You can see the good in other people.” Uma explained with total certainty “You want to do the right thing. That will get you in trouble, but it will also be the way you can get out of them.”
"You don't need to be saved." Harry whispered against his ear, widening his smile. "Forget your fairy tale and stay in our pirate story."
Uma hit the table in frustration. Even she had been surprised at her action. Ben looked at him and Harry smiled wickedly.
“You are ours.” Uma corrected, not wanting to admit anything. “It is enough that I restrained and distracted myself, to not coming here and hitting her. You should reward my good behavior. On the Island-”
"You're not there anymore." Ben stroked Uma's cheek, causing her to close her eyes.
"I'm not that island girl anymore." Uma looked at him "We're not who we were on the Island anymore."
Harry smiled because it wasn't a bad thing. It wasn't about nullifying who they were, but about accepting who they became.
"Besides, we trusted that Mal is allergic to physical contact that implies some sexuality." Harry confessed.
"So how are you going to break the spell?" Ben looked at them hopefully and sat down again as if preparing himself for an answer that wasn't what he longed for. Hopeful but ready to resign.
The boy had grown up in Auradon. Undoubtedly, he had fantasized about such a moment, where feelings were put to the test.
Uma cocked her face, amused. Harry noticed some chocolate on Ben's lips. He slid his middle finger along the line that formed his mouth and then licked the rest of the chocolate on his finger. To his surprise, it wasn't as sweet as he imagined Ben would prefer. The taste was bitter and strong, but sweet enough to leave a pleasant sensation in your mouth. Ben's eyes sharpened, following his tongue. Harry gave him his most dangerous smile.
"Ask for it." Uma ordered.
Ben turned in her direction. He had to lift his face to meet the face of their Goddess.
"Please, beloved, kiss me."
Uma smiled and looked at the box of chocolates. She bit a piece, taking her time and smiled at the not so sweet taste. Ben breathed through his mouth expectantly. Uma slipped her hand on the table, in his direction. He laid his hand on hers. She licked her lips, looking at Ben.
"That's my name." She took the prince's chin. "Tell me if it works."
Ben nodded a few inches from her face. The prince hadn't been able to contain himself and had shortened the distance between them. Harry smiled. He could understand. Madly in love was a state of supplication and torture. Uma tilted her face and devoured Ben's soft lips. She held him by the neck to leave him in his place and eat his mouth in that gesture. Ben groaned and held on to her thighs. There were his claws. The prince was breathing heavily, letting himself go through the whole experience until Uma released him. Ben gasped like a drowned man.
Harry wanted to know how the prince felt. Because it seemed very likely that he no longer remembered anything, especially Mal's name. But Ben got up.
"There is still some of the spell left." The prince explained, showing his fangs.
Harry didn't know exactly what was going on until Ben took his hand and pushed him toward the colossal bed of golden and blue sheets. Harry sat on the edge, trying to assimilate what was supposed to be happening. Especially because in his mind, Ben had always been who would be in that position. When he looked up, he found Uma pressed against the prince's side and both whispering something he couldn't hear. But when Uma looked at him, with that demonic smile of hers that awoke his fantasies, he suspected where everything would go and a smile formed on his lips.
Ben walked to him, looking much bigger and more imposing. Harry had seen his fangs and sharp pupils, but at that moment he noticed the long hair and slightly curved and backward horns possibly six inches long. His face had the features of a predator. Uma walked towards him, taking off her jacket. Harry imitated her, feeling warm emanating from inside his body. Uma climbed into his lap, smiling with complicity when their hips met. A shadow surrounded them and he met Ben, standing in front of him and behind Uma's back.
Harry tried to say something cynical and mocking, but nothing came out of his mouth at the prince's intense gaze. No, that was a king. One for which he was very willing to fall to his knees. Ben took him firmly from his face, forcing him to arch his back and stretch as much as possible. Uma kissed the collar of his shirt to weaken him further. Harry didn't know what to do. That was wrong and the right way. Honestly, he was the kind of person who enjoyed not knowing what to do and letting them do what they wanted with him.
Ben was a powerful being. It wasn't just a mind full of intelligence. He was someone strong. When Ben pushed him on the bed, he could feel the strength of the impact without hurting him. Uma slid over his body, making him gasp when she licked his neck. Ben rested his strong legs on each side of him, climbing into bed. He watched as the prince took Uma from the hips, causing her to arch her back and he pressed against her ass.
Uma was a powerful being. A thunder echoed out of the room and he recognized her joy announcing in Auradon. She stretched until she reached his ear and laughed maliciously against his skin, promising him a new kind of domination that he hadn't thought possible. Ben's claws caressed her sides, over her shirt and causing her to move over him and create friction on his body. Ben invaded his vision completely.
"Do not flatter yourself. It's not your lucky day... yet.” The prince joked.
Harry laughed as he remembered the day Uma had said the same thing to Ben. At that time, it had been he who had pressed his hips against the prince's perfect ass and caught him against Uma. Now everything was different.
"I think it is my lucky day." He commented maliciously, lifting his hips tentatively, feeling Uma trapped between them and sighing against his chest.
Ben raised his eyebrows and took his chin. He felt the curved claw scratch his skin. Many would believe that that was a curse. The fangs, the horns, the pure instinct. But Ben was in total control of that dark and dangerous side that inhabited him. The word beast was wrong. Harry knew what he was seeing and was a demon. An angel and a demon. Harry knew demons and knew something about them. He slid his fingers through Ben's horns and he groaned, thrusting them with his body, trapping them against the bed and breathing against his lips. Horny.
"My lucky day." Harry repeated. Two powerful beings wanted him. What more could he ask for?
"Break the spell, pirate." Ben looked at him, his eyes shining with desire and something else "Take away my curse." A gleam of hope lit his hazel eyes "Love me."
"Whatever my majesty orders." Harry kissed him, clinging to his horns and feeling Uma's fingers lift his shirt.
Ben relaxed and he could feel him smile against his lips. Two powerful beings loved him. Harry was a damn lucky man.
Someone shook him. He opened his eyes, meeting Uma, sitting next to him and staring at him. A smile formed on his lips and he stretched lazily. Harry was sleeping on his chest, creating a pretty pleasant temperature contrast. Uma always had her body temperature slightly lower than other people. Harry was always warm.
"There is no time to sleep." Even so, Uma looked at him with concern and stroked his face, making him smile "How do you feel?"
Ben slid his fingers through the pirate's hair. He could still remember how he felt before the power of the true love kiss. Ben couldn't stop smiling. They loved him. Both of them.
"All right. No curses. No trace of fool's gold.” He smiled at the mark of his fangs on Uma's neck. He had done that and she had sighed in such a way that the simple memory thrilled him “Without unwanted curses. Just the right one.”
She laughed and winked at him.
“It was time for you to accept who you are. I have to say, the dominant side of you is very attractive.”
Ben closed his eyes. For the first time, he had accepted himself completely and it had felt good to notice the versatility of his situation. He had never wanted to be like his father, but he had realized that he couldn't reject a vital part of him. Ben wasn't like his father. The beast inside him was a feature of him that he shouldn't deny. He could be dominant. A smile formed on his lips when he saw the marks of his claws on Harry's shoulders. He could be dominant when the occasion required him.
"Audrey send me a message, we must meet her." Uma made him react.
"How long did I sleep?"
"Just a little nap." Harry replied without opening his eyes. "Enough for you to recover your energy."
"Were you awake?" Ben asked when the pirate nodded and straightened his body, he sat down, feeling refreshed.
"After Mal's curse disappeared, you were exhausted and we decided to give you a few minutes of rest." Uma explained "You slept very quickly."
He nodded, looking at them. They looked young and relaxed. Like two teenagers his age. Concerns had disappeared from their eyes. He had stopped Mal. He. Uma and Harry had relied on that he could solve the problem. And it had worked. Ben hadn't needed to be saved or rescued. He had finally been able to feel comfortable with himself and with the role of the future king. Ben felt he could take care of Auradon without the need for others to be constantly telling him what to do. He had gained self-confidence.
"We just talk." Ben remembered "Mal and I just talked. About our family, about the expectations that her mother had in her, about my father. We both have a lot in common.” He looked at Uma.“ The day you and she fought outside your house, she cried. Mal confessed that to me.”
"Did she cry?" Harry asked surprised.
"Did Mal confess that she cried?" Uma corrected.
He nodded. He could still remember Mal's face, the way she had confessed everything while eating chocolates with him. She had also looked younger than normal. Almost like a little girl. A lonely and abandoned girl. Mal had looked at him with resignation.
'You are very good. So I hope you will be a good king.'
"She misses her mother." Ben looked at them "When I opened the opportunity for you to come, I never thought anyone would want to return to the Island." He denied "No, Mal doesn't want to go back, she... Mal just misses her mother and who she was on the Island."
Harry frowned, looking at the messy sheets. The pirate always did the same. When it came to personal emotions, Harry locked himself. Ben wanted to take his face and tell him it was okay to speak, to confess that he had the name of Harriet and CJ on the tip of his tongue because he loved them. Ben had created a strong family love for the Hook sisters thanks to Harry's stories. So he could only imagine how his young pirate felt. Instead, Uma was intrigued by the concept of someone missing their family. The two were very different in that. Harry thought about his family, his sisters, and father. Uma no. She was satisfied that a barrier prevented her and Ursula from constantly fighting. Both situations were understandable.
"We have a lot of work to do." Ben said out loud.
“I'm glad because I have reached a conclusion. If you are adult enough to be king, you are to be in charge of the destiny of an island. Our home.” Uma rose with energy “Luckily, you have help.”
On the way to the exit, Ben was surprised to see his mother having a serious talk with his father. She looked like she was teaching him. And her father watched her with fascination. Uma greeted his mother from a distance and she made a farewell gesture, still talking. Ben looked at the sea witch with intrigue, but she just shrugged and smiled mischievously. He decided not to press on the subject. Uma would eventually tell him what had happened. Harry rested his arm on his shoulders and carried him out of the castle.
Where he met Audrey, Chad, Jane, and Lonnie. His friends, those with whom he had grown up all his life, seemed ready to storm a castle, rescue prisoners and declare the independence of a nation. They looked armed but didn't use their swords against their 'prisoners '. Evie, Jay, and Carlos were sitting on the grass, resigned and talking quietly among themselves. When Carlos looked at him, he jumped up.
"We are ready."
Evie looked at him and nodded.
"They think you're going to send them back to the Island of the Lost." Audrey explained, moving towards him with her sword in hand. "They think you're going to punish them for the actions of the curse that Mal threw at you.”
"Why does everyone think I'm going to send them-?"
He stopped. His guests still believed that their stay was temporary. Just a test. They felt part of a trap and not in something safe and stable which they could cling firmly.
Ben advanced to them. They didn't want to return to the Island. But they were willing to do so. Without protest. Without fighting.
“You are citizens of Auradon.” Ben explained “You belong here or where you want to live. You are not prisoners.”
"And Mal?" Jay tensed "We haven't seen her. Is she-?"
"Didn't she come out?" Uma sounded worried "Mal said she would leave..."
“She told me that she wanted to explore this world. Yes, Mal misses her mother and her life but she is not ready to face her.”
And apparently, she wasn't ready to face her friends either. Evie smiled wistfully, possibly understanding the same as him.
"So she doesn't want the wand anymore?"
“She just wanted her mother to be proud of her… she doesn't want to disappoint her. Without the wand, she isn't ready to see her.”
Evie, Jay, and Carlos exchanged glances and nodded. They must understand Maleficent's relationship with Mal. Perhaps that was why they hadn't stopped her in her plan. They hadn't dared to ask Mal to sacrifice her feelings for them and their happiness in Auradon. Especially when the last ingredient had been a tear that Mal had for her mother. Maybe the rest of them didn't have the best relationship with their parents, but they could understand that Mal wanted her mother to be proud of her.
"Did Mal leave us?" Carlos asked confused "She didn't say goodbye."
Evie hugged the boy protectively.
"She's not good with all that feeling." Jay reminded him, resting his hand on his shoulders.
“And she must have believed that leaving was the best for us. Mal didn't give us the option to follow her. She left us here, to live our lives.” Evie sighed in resignation “And maybe she feared that, if she stayed too long, someone would change his mind and lock her up.”
Ben said nothing. He was beginning to understand the kind of constant insecurity that the people of the Island experienced and why his guests always acted as if it were their last moment of freedom. Mal was afraid he would be persecuted. She knew that the spell on Ben would be temporary and she had feared that when he was released, he would order to capture her. But he didn't want to hurt her. He could only imagine her position, wanting the recognition of a parent who only hoped she was exactly like her. Ben could empathize with that. He just hoped that Mal would allow herself to be herself. In Auradon, on the Island of the Lost, in another kingdom or wherever she wishes.
"I must admit that I am surprised." Harry commented, ignoring his former enemies and that should be the kindest thing he could offer "Audrey, you have something interesting here." And he pointed to the armed group standing behind her.
The princess smiled proudly. Even Jane was carrying a sword with enough mastery. Because of her posture and pride, Audrey looked like a pirate with her little crew.
"Although they surrendered in the second they saw us." Audrey admitted "They came by their own decision. I think you should consider that.”
Ben nodded. That had been very noble of them. Evie, Jay, and Carlos could take advantage of all the confusion to flee or hide. But they had gone there, ready to face the consequences of Mal's actions.
“I give you my word. Neither Mal nor you will be punished. There was no damage. Just a sign that I should do something for all my people.” Ben explained.
Evie hugged him, grateful. He could feel that she would miss her best friend. Ben wanted to tell her that Mal had talked countless times about her and how this opportunity was good for Evie. How Mal didn't want to ruin her friends' lives. The friends she had been able to appreciate since they had left the Island. Or rather, the friends that Mal felt were finally hers since they left the Island. Ben knew that Mal had the potential for great things, but she only needed time.
Ben watched Jay, Evie, and Carlos leave. Audrey and their friends kept their swords and she laid her hand on his shoulder.
“I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but I think you should meet with people from the Island.” Audrey looked at Uma and Harry “People who still live there and start their integration.”
"You are going to need an act that shows that the Island of the Lost and Auradon are one nation." Uma advanced to him "I will go with you, I will be your translator."
“Or, you could give an announcement.” Harry suggested “On the Island, we could watch TV. You could give an announcement proposing that you will meet with representatives of the sectors. My father always told us about pirate confederations. The captains met and created agreements so that all ships and crews were governed under the same code of laws. You could do something similar.”
"But let them be descendants." Audrey pondered "Not villains. But descendants. People who were born and lived on the Island. You could take your Auradon committee, future leaders who were born and lived after the barrier.”
Uma smiled at the prospect, she must already be thinking about possible people who could be part of that confederation. Ben nodded and looked at Jane.
“A meeting on the bridge?" He consulted "A safe zone. Do you think it's possible?"
Jane nodded, taking note of the idea. A neutral place for descendants would be the best chance to show that they were interested in creating new ties.
“I will talk to my mother to create a checkpoint. The barrier wouldn't be completely removed, but something like a door would be created.” Jane analyzed “We could also create security protocols. For all. Only those invited to the meeting could attend. I'm sure Carlos could help me by creating something.”
"Technology and magic." Uma nodded "I like that idea. That way no one curious can intrude, nor can anyone escape.”
"But the meeting shouldn't be on the bridge." Harry smiled dangerously "But on a ship and the high seas."
International waters. Outside the territory of any kingdom. Ben nodded, that sounded better. A meeting between descendants of Auradon and the Island of the Lost, to guarantee solutions.
“Jane, could you schedule a press conference in an hour? I want to call representatives for everyone." Ben spoke firmly "We will treat this as a merit contest and let the Island choose its method. But by the day of the meeting, we will meet both parties to generate a solution.”
Uma took his arm and looked at him with a dangerous but pleasant smile.
"A solution that will take effect on the day of your coronation."
He wanted to tell her something. To ask them something. But he held back. He wanted that the day he would become king to be important for Uma and Harry. He looked at the pirate, who was talking to Jane about the type of ship they should use. Ben remembered the letter he received from them long ago and the promise to sail. He never believed that they would fulfill that promise on a diplomatic and political trip.
Although, if he was sincere. When all that started, Ben never believed that Uma and Harry were going to have that impact on his life. In all Auradon. He was glad he was wrong. Ben was glad that fate had taken him by surprise.
"So, it's decided." Jane announced "A call will be made at the press conference."
"The Council is going to hate this." Lonnie commented amusedly.
"But that's how we know this is a good idea." Chad commented "I always said that those elders didn't know what they were talking about."
"Chad!" Audrey looked at him "Your grandfather is on the Council."
"And for that reason, I keep what I say." Chad looked at Ben "Do what you have to do to keep us together."
Ben looked at his friends and the people he loved. Never before had he felt so supported in his decisions. Thus he wanted to build his kingdom, with an undifferentiated union between all. Future kings and queens, warriors, magical beings, nobles and people of any origin. All united and with the same opportunities. All of them creating a change. Not a happy ending, but a better beginning.
Uma walked on deck. The sea breeze surrounded her like a second breath of pure energy. She advanced and felt the sea roar beneath the bark that broke the waves. Uma had always wanted an agile and fast ship, which implied something small. But Auradon had huge ships, even those for battle. But all that also had its charm. The ocean was bending perfectly at its speed. The sails were swollen and the sun warmed her skin.
Harry was leading the crew, feeling in his element. Even when the Island of the Lost was incredibly close and it was impossible to miss the target. But Ben had given the order to take a long tour and Uma could feel her core vibrate with emotion. They passed near her house in the port and moved away from the city. The white sand and vegetation quickly greeted them. A hat fell on her head and she touched the shape it had. A pirate hat. The captain's hat. She looked at Ben, dressed gloriously like the future king, who was smiling like a child by her side.
"We are sailing to a meeting, not on an excursion." She reminded him, staring at the sea.
"I know. But from your first letter, I imagined Harry and you on a ship, like this. I never thought it would be such a wonderful sight.” He slipped his fingers imperceptibly over a strand of her hair.
She laughed maliciously.
"You don't need to try so hard. You already have us..." Uma took his hand and kissed his palm "Hanging from your fingers."
Ben approached her so fast that she felt chills. The prince adjusted her hat and took her face.
"How do you feel?" Uma asked so he wouldn't notice that her heart was racing.
He smiled, showing his fangs and his eyes quickly sharpened. He slid his claws through his hair to hide his horns that were just appearing. In a blink, everything disappeared and he looked at her with content enthusiasm.
"The training has done me good." Ben whispered and looked at her with concentration, quickly changing the subject "You always look at the sea with eagerness, but lately you look at peace."
"When I crossed the barrier for the first time, the call of the sea was very strong." Uma looked in Harry's direction, following his strong accent on the deck. "I feared that if I came to its call, I would never return to the mainland."
“I understand you.” Ben laid his hands on her shoulders. “From a very young age, I thought the beast would be irreversible if I let it take control. I always ran away from it and everything that meant. I was educated that every instinct and impulse as something bad. Until I met both of you.” He smiled. “Now I know it's a valuable part of me.”
Uma nodded and stepped back so he could look at the ocean next to the future king.
“The ocean is part of me, but so is the mainland.” She stroked the wood of the railing and leaned dangerously towards the sea, her feet barely holding her on the ground. “I belong to two different worlds. The ocean and the mainland, to the island of Lost and an Auradon."
To a pirate and a king.
She looked over her shoulder. Jane had organized a rustic deck table for everyone who came to attend. On the ship was Audrey, of course, representing royalty, Lonnie as a member of the descendants of heroes, Harkie, as a representative of those connected to the Gods and Opal as a representative of those who used magic. From what she had learned, the merit contest had been difficult. Many descendants of Auradon had been waiting for the moment to start their own story and adventure.
Audrey was proud to have defeated Artie, King Arthur's son for her position. All the sacrifices she had made to be the future queen of Auradon and the moving speech she gave about writing her own story and caring for the greatest kingdom of Auradon, which was formed by her father's and mother's, managed to win the heroic prince without knowledge of politics that had prepared all his life to fight with beasts and villains that would never come.
Lonnie had been an incredibly wise decision. She was a warrior and a survivor. Uma looked at her with her corsair style. Lonnie was born to have a saber in her hand and her body in perfect balance with the movement of a ship. A noble heart and fire in her chest. She did represent the strength of a dragon.
Uma knew little about Harkie, beyond that he was a huge boy, grandson of Zeus, impatient for the adventure and with a very cunning smile. She could feel a small link to the descendant of the Gods, which only ensured her theory that her mother had been linked to Poseidon or some God of the Sea before being locked up on the Island.
Opal was another story. She was the adopted daughter of that voodoo witch who had sold her home. Opal reminded her about Freddie if she was born outside the Island. A girl very devoted to magic, willing to break the rules and was excellent for reading people. Opal hadn't apologized for her mother's actions, but she had said she wasn't surprised by the cryptic way in which her mother acted. She had also promised not to throw Uma into the sea. Which was a very thoughtful promise on her part.
"We have a good group of representatives here." Ben laid his hand on hers.
"Not all of them would be my type of crew, but it's a start."
"I've been thinking..." Ben looked at the sea. " If this goes well, I would like to rely more on this confederation than on the Council my father created."
Someone leaned next to her. Uma knew immediately who he was because she had been used to him doing exactly that. Be a pillar by her side.
"Keep your Council." Harry advised " Everyone knows that you have to respect the past to learn from their mistakes."
"That's so mature of you." Uma looked at him with heartfelt surprise. " I hoped you would suggest we throw all those old-fashioned ones overboard."
Harry laughed openly, with malice. Uma admired his dangerous, well-groomed teeth.
“My father raised me and he expected us to choose our crew correctly at some point. "Harry explained as he took his hook and swung it back in his hand. " That was the reason he kept Mr. Smee as his first mate. His wisdom and experience helped my old man long to survive his service to Blackbeard or earn the respect of John Silver.”
“I remember that Captain Hook told us as children that we should keep an eye on the port from which we started and another on the port where we want to arrive.” Uma observed the Island of the Lost with solemnity “So we wouldn't drift.”
And she had listened to that lesson strongly. To the point where she always walked through the port, looking at her nation, thinking that one day she would return for every piece of treasure that Auradon was missing.
"The funny thing is that all that intelligence didn't help much and he became obsessed with a child who could fly." Harry laughed lightly, taking away all the years of hard neglect he had to live.
The watchman's whistle announced his arrival. The sea was as expectant as she was of what would be in the port.
Harry caught her attention and Ben whispered something behind her. On the other side of the barrier, at sea, was one of Captain Hook's ships. Lost Revenge was in a glorious state, full of descendants struggling with the unpredictable weather of the Island to keep the ship parallel to them.
"I think we hadn't predicted that..." Jane appeared next to Ben, looking at her notes. "The idea was to build a bridge from the entrance of the Island to us..."
Uma laughed with malice and searched the ship's deck, through the barrier, for familiar faces. Harriet appeared in her glorious form, dressed in her best captain outfit and made a theatrical bow in her direction.
"Allies." She whispered to herself.
For a small moment, she had thought that it could be Captain Hook in an attempt to attack them. That had always been a possibility. Like her mother. But Harriet had a huge crew pointing their guns towards the Island and harpoons towards the sea. They were protecting the opportunities of the Island so that no one escaped while they held that meeting.
"I think you'll have to get used to shaking your plans." Harry announced energetically and returned to see the crew. "Prepare a bridge. Parallel position!"
Jane let out a scream that could be emotional and nervous at the same time. She ran to Opal to seek advice. Uma advanced to them, although she found the two girls very well synchronized. They were going to extend the barrier to cover the makeshift bridge between the two ships and create the checkpoint there. Ben approached her and extended a copper bracelet. Uma held a sigh and held the accessory heavily.
"You know it is necessary." The prince reminded her.
"... The necessary things do not make me happy."
They watched as Jane and Opal extended the barrier. Lost Revenge and their ship kept in absolute silence. Harriet made a sign and the harpoons approached the edge. But the barrier created a tunnel around the wooden bridge that fell on both decks. The sea was protected. Harriet stood on the bridge and crossed her arms, waiting. Jane wanted to move forward, to welcome them, but Uma held her arm.
"Only one captain receives another captain." Harry appeared on her other side. " Important members are received by the first mate and the rest by the officer in turn."
Uma looked at Ben. He had to welcome the members of his confederation. But the prince advanced to her and offered his arm.
"Together." He asked.
She looked at Harry and he smiled wickedly, giving orders to the crew to follow the protocols. There was always an elegance in those kinds of encounters that Harry stood out well with his wild style and confident so attractive. They weren’t a type of protocols between the nobility. Those were high seas protocols. She and Ben advanced to the bridge. Without guards.
Ginny appeared next to Harriet. When Uma saw them together, she felt in a mysterious dimension. Harriet had a huge resemblance to Harry, of course. Interestingly, Uma and Ginny could look like sisters. The same ebony skin, the same shrewd look and full of a secret joke. The same kind of dangerously and childish smile at the worst time. And the same way to manipulate people. Ginny had perfectly messy black hair that only gave her a greater air of dominance.
She and Ginny looked at each other with recognition and a promise of partnership. Ginny walked to the center of the makeshift bridge and Uma shortened the distance between them.
" Nice accessory." Ginny smiled with that dangerous kindness that she could show " What does Harry think of all this?"
"He loves it." Uma looked at Harriet and gestured for her to look at her companion "Nice accessory."
Ginny laughed maliciously against her ear. She was taller than Uma. Harriet approached and whispered something to Ginny, who cocked her face to look at Ben. At that moment it was that Uma noticed that Ginny was wearing one of Harriet's red jackets and not something like her mother's cape. Maybe she had joined Harriet's crew.
"Don't worry, little prince, things are like this here all the time." Ginny took a smart step back, giving space to Harriet.
As always, Ginny had poisonous lips and a sharp attitude. Although it was nice to see that she had finally stopped being aggressive with Harriet to get her attention and was now her partner. Harriet smiled with amusement, entertained by Ginny's poison and stood in front of Uma. She was imposing, but distant. Glorious in her role as captain.
“A confederation? Your prince has been hearing Harry.” Harriet spoke dangerously serious.
Uma understood what was happening and smiled.
“He is our prince. Harry enjoys the loot just like me. Together." She corrected." Don't worry, I won't tell Harry that you were being the overprotective sister you deny being."
Although Harriet shrugged, it was obvious that she had relaxed. Uma wanted to laugh. Harriet's overprotection was legendary for who was a good observer. Very subtle. From distance. But Harriet would give her life for her siblings. Harriet watched the people moving on the deck across the bridge. Uma knew when she saw Harry. The softness on the edge of her mouth gave her away.
"With Freddie, taking care of the Island while we're not there." Harriet looked at Ben. "Clay Clayton, Ginny Gothel, Hadie, and I will join you."
The son of Hunter Clayton, the daughter of Mother Gothel, the son of Hades and the eldest daughter of Captain Hook. If the Council were there, they would have preferred to jump into the sea infested with sharks.
Uma smiled. That only promised something interesting.
Ben advanced to them and stayed by her side. He was searching the crew for the other two people who had been mentioned. Uma looked at Hades's son. To be a demigod linked to death, he was someone very enthusiastic and sweet. At least, the few times Hades allowed him to leave his domain. By habit, she took Ben's arm. That gesture caught Harriet's attention but she said nothing.
"That is very interesting. Among us, we have a descendant of Zeus. Harkie always wanted to meet more people in his family. He will be happy to meet Hadie.” Ben commented.
“Then he must adore Uma. We all suspect that she is a descendant of Poseidon, Amphitrite or both.” Harriet looked at her with something similar to the pride she professed to her family.
Uma had to stop herself. The time in Auradon had unleashed her mental chains. She had to remember that on the Island it wasn't common to smile sincerely or touch other people. If the desire was there, you must transmit it safely, like Harriet always did.
"My mother never told me about her relationship with King Triton. But from what I've been able to understand, they are half-siblings." Uma explained to Ben "Not that it matters too much, right?"
"Uma..." He looked at her in that very own way of him, as if Ben were willing to sacrifice everything to change his past. She denied. That didn't matter. That didn't matter anymore.
Ginny called Clay and Hadie. The last was the youngest of the group. If Uma remembered well, Hades' son was a year younger than her. But he made up for it with energy.
"We've created a security system for all of us." Ben explained, showing his copper bracelet he was already wearing.
"This is interesting." Uma looked at her bracelet and guided them to the ship belonging to the Auradon naval.
Upon reaching the deck she turned. The tunnel formed by the barrier came symbolically there. Jane and Opal were making the magic flow. Uma made a sign so that his guests would not take another step. They might not notice, but the barrier was there. The checkpoint.
"Everyone on deck!" Harry shouted.
Quickly all the ship's staff stood in front of the makeshift bridge. From Lost Revenge the crew tensed. Harriet raised her arm to stop them and everyone was silent. Uma looked at all those people on the other ship. Many of them stared at her as if waiting for her orders. She watched them with confusion and concentrated on Harriet, who obviously was the Island representative.
"This little thing is a perfect mix of technology and magic designed by Jane, a talented fairy." Uma continued, pointing to the embarrassed girl on her right "And by Carlos, one of our most talented inventors."
“The union of Auradon and the Island of the Lost. Interesting. Clay leaned casually on his rifle.
Like his father, Clay was a hunter. Unlike his father, he had never caught a single animal or attacked a gorilla or a leopard in his life. He was more interested in the skill, ingenuity, and strength needed.
"And the obvious question is, how do we know it's not a trap?" Ginny asked the question as if it were inevitable and not as if she believed that "Is there any kind of demonstration?"
Ben gestured to Harry and he raised his hand where he carried his hook and closed the copper bracelet on his wrist. All his weapons fell to the ground immediately. The entire crew imitated him and the same thing happened. A roar of swords and rifles fell. Clay whistled impressed and as a sign of goodwill, he launched his gun towards Lost Revenge, where someone caught it.
"Some of us use magic." Uma looked at her bracelet, not wearing it.
“Will this limit it?” Ginny crossed her arms “I looked forward to this moment. I refuse to-”
“Uma made me notice that.” Ben advanced until he was in front of his guests. “The bracelet will not nullify your magic unless it is used to attack others. Also, it creates a magic field around you to protect you.”
Uma closed her bracelet. Her daggers, darts, and saber fell to the ground. She didn't blink and raised her right hand. The ocean stirred and the bridge that linked both ships moved slightly. Ginny subtly held on to Harriet, who had a better experience to balance her weight on a ship. Uma looked at Hadie and with her left pinky made a cross on the same side of her chest.
"I swear this is not a trap and this meeting will be safe." Uma took a deep breath. "I give you my word."
Harriet almost didn't let her end and extended her hand. Jane handed her a bracelet and when she put it on a series of small arms and two sabers fell into the sea. The pirate watched as she lost her weaponry and crossed the checkpoint, straight towards freedom. Ginny took the next bracelet and just before crossing the barrier she put it on. A dagger fell to the ground and she took a deep breath enjoying her freedom. Her gray eyes shone like silver and she looked at the people around her.
"Fascinating." Ginny put her hands on her hips. "Mother wasn't wrong."
"Do you have magic?" Uma asked.
It had always been a myth if Mother Gothel had had some kind of magic or not. She took Ginny's smile as a yes.
“I don't think you understand, but I can read the magic. And if I can read it, with enough time I could understand and manipulate it. Like Mother with Rapunzel" Ginny looked at her "I can feel that you are powerful, Uma. Many types of magic flow in you"
"You aren't going to lock me in a tower." She teased.
Ginny smiled with perfect innocence. Only who knew her would know that her pretty face was lying.
Clay returned to Lost Revenge saying he was going to throw his weapons there. Hadie took his turn and impatiently put on his bracelet and crossed. His blue hair lit for a few seconds and he approached the edge of the deck.
“I can feel buried treasures. Cursed treasures and spirits taking care of them.” The demigod looked at her with infinite gratitude.
Uma took note of that. Hadie had inherited his father's power to attribute the riches of the dead and to detect them. That money would be of good use soon.
Clay returned completely unarmed and with his bracelet in place. So, when he jumped over the bridge to deck his arrival was impeccable.
"I hope they have vegan food because I'm hungry."
Jane and Opal sighed in unison. They began to fix the barrier while the rest showed up. In a few minutes, they were all sitting. Harry was leading the ship to the high seas and Jane could give the welcome that she was practicing for hours. Ben sat on one head of the table and Harriet on the other. Uma didn't participate, stood behind Ben, with her hands on his shoulders. She took the place that Harry had always occupied with her. Uma could understand why he did that. That was a perfect way to protect their important prince and make it clear to everyone that she would give her life for Ben.
She didn't speak at the meeting. Harriet looked at her constantly but kept her attention on Ben. In the future king.
"Mostly, the Island responds to us." Harriet pointed to Ginny.
"Although many follow us for you." Clay clarified, with a soft smile.
Ben looked at her and she pointed to her face, confused.
"Yes." Hadie looked at everyone present "All-"
Ginny tapped her glass of water to interrupt him.
“That isn't important now. But the highly commented and planned transition.”
Uma bit her tongue. That wasn't her place. She, like Harry and Mal's gang, was a gray dot in all that. They had already lived on the other side of the barrier. But the people sitting there needed to know each other and destroy rough edges. Her presence there was to show her people that she trusted Ben and remind Auradon's representatives that she had lived among them proving time over time the true value of those born on the Island.
She was there to protect Ben if necessary.
So, she just listened. Uma did one of the things in which her species was really good. She listened to everything and looked at the dynamics that were presented there. She was pleased to see that not all the members of the new confederation were political, fighters or loyalty. There was a good balance there. Audrey was there to defend Auradon in the same way that Ginny would. Harriet and Opal were more analytical. Clay and Lonnie were there to be strategic. Hadie and Harkie were practical. Ben listened to everyone and intervened before something exploded. He had experience with the Council, but that was different. They were different. They were there not to throw blame, but to give solutions. They all knew that it wasn't their fault that what had happened, but of their predecessors. She watched Harry command the entire crew. Veteran navigators paid attention to the good instinct of the pirate who had taken the ship away from the mainland. They were in an area without laws to creating new ones.
Some temporary and flexible laws to respect the culture of the Island and its own method of justice that was very different from Auradon. An accelerated educational system to the descendants of the Island who hadn't been able to attend classes because they had to work or beg. Uma was surprised to hear Harriet talk about health, food, and economy. She was taking the duties of a captain and increasing them to the needs of all. Ginny said they would have to mobilize the villains to another place because many descendants didn't want to leave the Island, that was their home. Clay debated with Lonnie for a long time about security and how they could create a transition with that. Harriet and Uma stared at each other and smiled.
"The pirate code." Harriet ordered "We will impose very clear rules that we will gradually increase. It's going to be tough, but we'll confiscate weapons and create vigilance groups.” She pointed to Clay "Well organized groups.” She looked at Ginny. "We have to remind them that all this is for the barrier to be removed. We must win the trust of the descendants by giving them a common enemy. The true villains, the reason we were born imprisoned. Our freedom in exchange for the true enemies to pay.”
The discussion expanded on those villains who surely had paid their sentence living on the island and what to do with the descendants who commit theft or succumb to violence. Ben talked about fair trials, from person to person. Even if it takes time, that would be fair. So, villains should be mobilized to different retention centers depending on the danger and power they have.
Opal waited until the end to talk about shelters and orphanages. The little ones should leave the Island first. The sick and those who need some help. Physical or psychological help. Opal had spoken with some magical beings, witches, fairies and other magic users to create a clinic and care centers. To everyone's surprise, it was Hadie and Harkie who offered to help with the children. Divine blood seemed to have good use to deal with children with a lot of energy. Audrey suggested seeking the support of other demigods for this entire project.
Uma gestured to Harry and he commanded the crew to direct the ship back.
"Something you should be clear about." Ginny spoke staring at Ben. "Not everyone will take your chance. I don't believe that evil is inherited. If you hadn't made this transition, eventually new villains would emerge from Auradon.”
“She is right.” Lonnie watched everyone seriously. “Many villains came from a good family, from noble or seemingly good people. Many heroes were born from cruel and petty families.”
“So, you must be ready for threats to arise. Especially in this change. The important thing is that whatever happens, don't stop what we are doing here. Don't give us hope you could take away." Harriet rested her chin on her hand and smiled dangerously. "But this is a good start. As soon as communication such as the internet is restored, we can keep communicated more easily." She took a deep breath."Although I am pleased that we meet on a ship."
"If you like this, we can do it constantly." Ben got up and stepped aside so Uma stood by his side. "The agreements we have reached will become effective on the day of my coronation. By that time the bridge will be constantly visible and a control point will be created."
"By then we will have the children and those who need medical attention." Hadie nodded.
"The previews night you will have to move the villains to another place." Clay suggested and smiled at Audrey. "I hope your castles have dungeons."
"We'll manage." The princess responded with a dangerous smile and then looked at Ben. "I've been researching experts on this subject. I think you'll be surprised beyond the stars about the place I found." She teased.
Uma nodded. She knew she could trust Harriet and Ginny to have all the villains located.
"One more thing." Hadie smiled enthusiastically. "What we want is the official union of the Island of the Lost as a state of Auradon."
“You already belong to Auradon. You have always done it.” Opal realized what they meant and held his breath. “Oh, not as a prison, but as a true place. Well, this sounds interesting and I am totally in favor of what they are planning.”
"In favor of what?" Ben asked.
"When Auradon became a single kingdom, you chose a king, right?" Clay smiled enthusiastically. "We did the same."
Uma crossed her arms.
"Does the Island have a king?"
"A queen." Ginny corrected with a dangerous smile.
Uma looked directly at Harriet, who rose elegantly and laid her hands on the table.
“The only way we have been able to maintain control on the Island and defeat Maleficent has thanks to our queen. What she symbolizes. What she means to the descendants. It hurts me to admit it, but I just wouldn't have done it on my own.” Harriet raised her chin.” Everyone on the Island demands that our queen be recognized as such.”
Ben looked at the descendants of Auradon. They all nodded. That was fair. After all, the other kingdoms also had kings and queens.
"Then, on the day of your coronation, you will also crown our queen." Ginny stood beside Harriet.
"But we want to be traditionalists." Hadie jumped out of his seat with emotion. "The only way the descendants of the Island of the Lost will accept to be part of Auradon will be if they are treated as equals. We don't want to be treated as a lower class. And there is only one way that doesn't happen."
Uma felt the ship stop. Again, parallel to the Lost Revenge. The crew put the bridge between both ships again. She tensed instead. It had already been a titanic task that she recognized Ben's hierarchy. She didn't see herself respecting and following the orders of a queen. Much less if everyone smiled so mockingly in her direction. Whoever they had chosen as a queen should be someone who would put her in a terrible situation. Harriet and her group knew that their bracelets would protect them from her reaction by the time they finished their idea.
“Is this a kind of threat?” Audrey asked, crossing her arms “It seems fair to me that they have a representative, like the other kingdoms. And, in reality, I retract my previous ideas. Many of you should be able to inherit the titles of your parents. But I don't like where you are going.”
“No, this is not a threat. In the beginning, I was against this.” Harriet looked at his brother and then at Uma ”But Ginny convinced me that it was only formalities.” The pirate raised her chin, looking at each Auradon's descendants ”But now it seems to me that our request fits well with everything we are talking here.” Harriet stared at Uma. ”The Island screams your name and they call you as their queen. You left and instead of turning your back or just seeing for the people you care about, you decided to make a change. You never forgot them, us. And they respond to your hard work with loyalty. They shout your name, Uma. You are the Queen of the Island of the Lost.”
"The way you destroyed Maleficent's plan without attracting anyone's attention was pure mastery." Hadie flattered with a wide smile that made him look younger and his hair lit slightly in a blue fire "Maleficent and her villains fell into confusion. Their descendants distanced themselves from them and suddenly it was you who had the leading role. Maleficent aspires for Mal to do something on the day of the coronation. That is her last hope.”
"So, we must get her off the Island before that." Audrey understood "Her and all the villains."
Uma raised her hand and drew everyone's attention. A dangerous smile formed on her lips and she watched everyone. She could hear the song of the sea calling her name.
"Do you want me to be crowned as Queen?" She repeated.
"Traditions." Ginny recovered her mysterious smile "Auradon will officially recognize you as the queen of one of their kingdoms. That will guarantee all our descendants equal rights and opportunities. But as a gesture of goodwill for the atrocities committed and so that the damage that was done in the past is never forgotten." She looked at Harriet.
"And because of that, something like the Island of the Lost won't happen again, we want two more things.”
"The list is increasing more and more." Audrey whispered sarcastically.
But Uma knew that look in the princess' eyes. She was positioning herself protectively around Auradon's safety. Audrey wanted to break the prejudices she had been taught all her life, but neither was she willing to put her people in danger. Uma respected that. She respected that note of sarcasm that concealed concern.
"We want a queen, a marriage and an exile." Harriet explained "Uma as our queen, she marrying the future king of Auradon and the exile of King Adam.”
"That is what we want as a guarantee that our freedom won't be taken away." Ginny tilted her face and one of her innocent but incredibly wicked smiles formed on her face "We won't accept anything else."
Harry laughed loudly at Uma's scream of despair from behind her desk. He and Ben looked at each other, sharing the fun.
"I don't see what your concern is." He defended himself. "If you are adult enough to get this house, you are to get married."
Harry dodged the book she threw at him.
"I'm going to kill Ginny..." Uma looked at the papers she had there. "When the Confederation agreed that we all have the same rules. I didn't think that Ginny would be so kindly dedicated to forming the rules about me.” She shook the documents with indignation.
Ben got up and walked to the young woman. After the meeting they had had, Harriet and her delegates returned to the Lost Revenge. They would have kept the bracelets that still worked within the barrier, but the idea of not being able to be armed was something that none would accept. Not yet. Like any villain, they didn't let anyone recover after their conditions. Maybe Ben was spending too much time with Harry and Uma, but he found fascinatingly elegant the way they had given their menacing conditions and then left with the last word. Harry had to approach the table so Audrey could explain to him what had happened. He hadn't stopped laughing until Uma threatened to throw him into the sea. All of that was perfect. He didn’t understand what the real problem was. After all, Ben and Uma got married was a perfect plan. That had always been clear to him.
Fortunately, Ben looked much calmer about the whole thing.
When they returned to Auradon, Uma took him and Ben and returned to their home in the port. Away from the castle. She returned to her office to analyze the situation. And for that, the security of the castle had to mobilize there because Ben didn’t plan to leave Uma alone. Harry, on the other hand, thought it was funny that she was taking all that seriously.
Ben took the most recent papers Ginny had sent and read them aloud. Harry leaned back in his chair, hearing the prince's calm voice expose the terms and conditions of the future royalty of the Island of the Lost. Harry smiled when he noticed that his sister had given some ideas to all that.
The person who became the leader of the Island of the Lost would only be one person and always elected. The position of king or queen won’t be hereditary.
“That is a good point that Auradon doesn’t have.” Ben pointed out “My father was chosen to reign. But I'm going to be king because I'm his son. It isn’t very fair.”
Uma contained a growl. That wasn’t the part that bothered him.
Ben kept reading. The interesting part was that whoever represented the Island of the Lost could maintain as many couples as they wanted as long as that didn’t generate preferences. Marriages didn’t grant another person power, voice or vote on the Island of the Lost.
“They want you to be treated as a consort king. That's not fair.” She hit a heavy golden book “In Auradon if you marry me, you can share your power with me.”
“Which I will do. That is unquestionable.” Ben looked at her seriously. “We would reign as equals.”
Harry watched as Uma blushed visibly at that statement. But Ben was right, there was no doubt that she would rule over Auradon. Another thing she wouldn't admit was that if it was any other person with whom they joined her; she wouldn't have complained about the difference in power. She was a queen who dominated alone. But Ben had shown, again and again, that he would never fight against his partner.
"Everything is a technicality because Ben also rules over the island. After all, we're going to be recognized as another state. Another kingdom. But all under one leader. What Ben decides is the law.” Harry pointed out “All these rules have no real impact. Darling, don't stress yourself so much. Not even the exams or meetings with the Council make you so stressed.”
“But each kingdom has its own laws." Ben corrected "As long as you don’t break the main laws of Auradon, each kingdom is handled independently. In that sense, Uma would reign the Island in her own way. And they are right to not want someone to destroy the progress that is being made."
"The advances that are happening thanks to you." Uma clarified looking at all the papers that had arrived from the Island. "My first decree will be to have a Prime Minister." She hit the papers and whispered hatefully Ginny's name.
Ben laid his hands on her shoulders, searching to reassure her. She took a deep breath but didn't dare look at him. Harry looked at them. His two beloved leaders had many tasks to do. They stared at the books and papers with that powerful intellect that Harry considered incredibly attractive. He would give everything for them. He would protect the Island of the Lost and all Auradon to ensure that their legacies were eternal.
"If this isn’t what you want..." Ben dared to say.
"This is what she wants." Harry corrected, jumping on the back of the chair and advancing to Uma. "This is exactly what you want, darling."
She looked at him. Uma had a small ink stain on her chin. Her fingers were black because in an outburst of frustration the inkwell had spilled. Despite the stress, she didn't look tired. Uma fed on power and control. Now, she was getting an unlimited source of all that. But still, she was tense. Uma didn’t answer and returned her attention to the papers. Harry noticed the worry on Ben's face. He should never have imagined that his marriage, something so fantasized and romantic, would be reduced to a political demand. To an imposition. Again. They had rescued him from an arranged marriage. It must be strange that he ended up in another. But even so, he tried to be positive.
Uma was hurting their prince without realizing it.
Harry took her chin with the edge of his hook. She looked at him with a warning.
"Queen of the Island has a nice touch on the tongue, don't you think?"
“That doesn't matter.” Uma closed her hand in his hook “ People can't decide over us.” Uma looked at Ben. “This is just a cruel joke. They are waiting for us to despair so they could laugh at our expense. They just want to push you and make you uncomfortable. They want to make you suffer."
He and Ben looked at each other. Deep down, Uma knew that wasn’t true. No one was playing. And after the last meeting, it was obvious that at least those who belonged to the Confederacy weren’t interested in hurting Ben. Harry walked to face her and sat over the desk and pulled her to do the same and sit between his legs, using his back for support. Ben sat in the chair she had been occupying and took Uma's legs so she could rest her feet on the armrests. They waited. They were patient. Uma closed her eyes.
“We swear to give you happiness. And of course, I want to get married." She clenched her fists. "But why isn't anyone mentioning the exile? If your father finds out-”
“He already knows.” Ben took her hands to get her attention. “The day we arrived, I talked to my mother on the phone and explained the situation. She and I agree that an exile in exchange for all the descendants who went locked up from birth is a very short price to pay for peace. Also, you and Harry got them the idea of traveling and having adventures. With my coronation, they will no longer have reasons to stay in Auradon. And, honestly, for their safety, I'd rather they were away."
"I knew you had inherited that brilliant mind from your mother." Harry rested his chin on Uma's shoulder. "Our king is a glorious diplomat. It doesn't need us to solve anything.”
Ben laughed, blushing.
"Wait, are you saying that she convinced your father to accept the exile?" She asked surprised.
“Yes, it was difficult, but my mother was firm in her youth and now she has been again. They will leave in our coronation. The word exile won’t be used, but they won't come back.” Ben smiled slightly sadly.“ I'm going to miss seeing them every day, but it's part of growing up. Most of the descendants live away from their parents." He stared "It’s just right. And finally, I can use the private plane's budget for personal use.” He joked.
Harry reached out and laid his hand on Ben's. Although it was fair, they were his family. But Ben was going to be a good king. Harry could never do something like that. That's why he respected people like Ben and Uma. They weren’t selfish.
“Now that you said what worried you." Harry whispered against her ear and looked boringly at the books and letters around them. "Do you feel better? I would like to organize your last party as singles.” He looked at Ben“ One for you two. Private. Of course.”
But to his surprise, Uma didn't laugh and instead looked at Ben. That was always a terrible sign for him. Lately, he understood well how Ben felt at the beginning when he saw Uma and he communicates with looks.
“No, now we must discuss another issue. You.” She looked at him.
“Are you going to ask me to marry you? My queen, I wait for a path of petals, a romantic dinner and live music before you take out a ring.” He joked and when he saw the smile on Ben's lips, he tensed. “I'm kidding, my majesty. No one needs to ask me to marry. Absolutely nobody. Just make sure your bed is mine too and I will be satisfied. I don't need marriage."
Uma looked at him with delight. Of course, she did. Even he had noticed how nervous he had sounded.
“Why don't you want it?” Ben asked “ Uma and I have been working on modifying marriage laws for weeks of all kinds of relationships. Auradon is somewhat behind and being the kingdom that is based on true love, it looks bad that it has outdated laws."
“You said you wanted to be a consort.” Uma turned her face to look at Harry “That implies being a companion. A husband." She smiled mischievously. "I always told you to read more books. Or maybe, deep down, you want the petals path, the romantic dinner, the live music, and a ring.”
He felt his cheeks light up. They were both talking about marriage as if it were the most logical thing in the world. The next step for them. Ben was treating the subject as if he had already made the cheesy question and Uma spoke the same as when they planned to be pirates: With logic and decision.
“I will say this once and I will say it clearly.” Harry looked at them. “You flatter me. But there is not a single benefit in marrying me with an audience.”
Ben and Uma looked at each other and smiled. Which could be very bad.
"That means you want an intimate ceremony." Ben concluded.
"One where we pay full attention to you." Uma laughed maliciously. "That's appropriate for you."
He looked at her with alarm. It didn't make sense that she was talking about marriage so naturally. Uma was the kind of person who needed help saying, 'I love you'. But there she was, suddenly relaxed at the concept of joining their lives.
"What's wrong with you?" He wanted to know "With both of you."
Uma looked at Ben and then at him. She turned enough to take his face and force him to stare at her.
“Let's be logical. My biggest fear was that Ben's parents canceled everything and they send us back. But Queen Belle knew how to handle the situation. So, my next concern is this marriage.” She pointed to Ben. “Look at him. He wants to get married. This is not forced on him. I admit that it isn’t something I had planned so quickly. But to be crowned queen and marry Ben is the price to pay to start the transition before one year of our arrival here? I will do it. I will marry the person I can save with a simple kiss.”
Uma tilted her face to look at Ben. He had approached them, leaving the chair. He was listening to her closely. He and Ben looked at each other. The prince wasn’t offended by that logic. Because he read between the lines. It was equally beneficial for Uma to be a queen than to bond with him. For her, Ben was the prize.
“I know we have agreed to leave fairy tales in favor of a story about pirates and Goddesses.” Ben explained and stroked his cheek. “Since the meeting with the Confederacy, I have been thinking. I am not a pirate, nor a god. I am a prince, a future king, I belong to this world of fairy tales. So instead of leaving behind what I am, I want us to join our stories." The prince kissed Uma's forehead and she relaxed in his arms "Myths, pirate stories, and fairy tales. Let's have everything. "
“All our life we have been a team, you and me.” Uma reminded him “But when we came here, we made a deal. Now we are the three against the world. Together. If Ben and I are getting married, rest assured that you will take that step with us.” Uma settled against his chest to look at him and it was obvious that she wasn’t going to accept a negative.
Ben eliminated all the distance between them. Harry felt chills go down his spine when he noticed his sharp pupils. Uma's hand went up to his leg, causing the chills to rise again and transform into a liquid fire in his veins.
"Do you want to know why I am talking about marriage so relaxed?" Uma whispered against his ear.
Ben reached the other side so fast that his growl made him vibrate.
“Because we knew you were going to fight this. Sharks aren’t easy to catch. But with the approval of my parents along with the knowledge of your sisters about our situation, there is only one thing left.” The prince clarified.
Harry closed his eyes. It wasn't fair when they attacked him like that. He wanted to whisper their names, ask them to stop talking and just subject him to them. Harry wanted to ask them to stop playing with his expectations. He was already crazy about them. They didn't need to torture him anymore. But on the other hand, the reason he was so deeply in love with them was because of the way they planned everything and the way they talked. Hearing them was his ambrosia. So, he couldn't beg for silence because it would be worse torture.
Harry was an expert in creating scenarios where he always won and the others lost in one way or another. Except when they two joined forces. And he was grateful for that.
“You know that I love it when you work together. But I don't know how to feel when they do it against me.” Harry confessed, feeling a part of him trapped in a way that he wasn't quite sure how to feel.
He hadn’t thought about getting married. It wasn’t something he had thought possible. Then, that had been something possible for Ben and Uma. He had seen it that way from the beginning. Uma and Ben would be a powerful couple. But Harry didn't need those big deals, signed papers or things like that. He was a pirate. He took what he wanted. Although in that case, he thought, he had been taken by whom he wanted. Not that he was complaining. But marriage wasn’t his thing. Although Harry wasn't sure what he needed.
"We'll take care of you." Uma took his face and smiled at him. "You just let your king and queen take care of you."
"You're ours, Harry." Ben made him shiver at the way he said his name against his ear. "You belong to us, right?" The prince growled and took his hand, tentatively biting the fleshy part of his palm.
He nodded, looking at them. A goddess and a demon. Two Monarchs. Two leaders. Harry had bragged that he could take care of them, but at that moment it seemed like it was the other way around. Although if he watched well, Ben and Uma were stressed and were using him to relax their minds from all those obligations. And he was flattered to be their distraction and means of relaxation.
Harry thought about giving a minute of silence to Jane, Audrey, and Chad. Who should be organizing all the changes that would be necessary for what was once a simple coronation for Prince Ben. But it was good that, with that, Ben and Uma could relax a little. Delegating was always important. Even if it was at the cost of distracting Harry until he went a little crazier. Ben liked to prolong things and Uma had found entertaining on their power game while Harry was fighting with his pride. He was a sadist by nature, he enjoyed torturing others. So that role was new to him and Uma knew it. That's why she enjoyed giving it to him so much.
Ben breathed against his neck. He suspected that predators should act like that to memorize the scent of their prey and never lose it. He exposed his neck more. But Ben just laughed against his skin and climbed next to his ear, growling with desire right there.
“The beast inside me wants to mark you. It screams 'mine'. My fangs want to leave their mark on you, pirate.” Ben whispered against his ear, in such a way of treating him with such possessiveness and at the same time despair “Accept me”
Harry clenched his fists and forgot how to breathe for a few seconds.
"Well?" Uma came so close to his mouth that he licked his lips "Ben and I want to make it clear to everyone that you are ours." She smiled. "Don't you think you're lucky? You can say that you belong to us. We want the world to know that you fulfill all our whims. Our precious, lethal, and perverse pirate."
He found himself nodding, looking at her lips, following the ascending and descending form that they moved so close to him. She sharpened her smile and bit her lower lip. Uma and Ben covered his hand. Uma smiled more, enigmatic and beautiful. Ben brushed his fangs against his neck. He almost lost all his sanity.
“Do you accept that we take care of you?" She asked sliding her nails over the palm of his hand "We will treat you very well."
“And everything that is ours will be yours. That includes the bed.” Ben promised against his ear, almost biting him.
"I accept." He whispered.
Some electricity went through him. Uma laughed and turned away victorious. Ben sat back in the chair. Harry blinked in surprise and looked at her.
"We won." Uma looked at Ben. "It's good that we change the laws so that group marriages are taken into account."
He blinked in confusion. Ben didn't look at him, he was always again the good boy, hiding his face in a book. Uma waved his right hand, the one that had covered his.
The realization that what happened shook his core.
Harry had agreed to marry them through a magical contract.
"Sneaky witch." He whispered surprised "Clever prince."
Harry raised his sword to resist Lonnie's attack. She moved gracefully, as the nymphs in the forest were supposed to do. Lethal and agile, Lonnie mixed different fighting styles. He should always follow her, turn in place and keep his eyes on her at all times. Lonnie was amazing with a sword. Fast and strong. A dangerous combination. Harry sustained another attack and sought to unbalance her. But she jumped as a defensive method and he attacked again. Lonnie laughed with delight. When Lonnie did that, she reminded him of Uma. They enjoyed fighting.
Jay approached them, ready to train. Uma was beyond, fighting five rookies and destroying them in combat. That was the way Uma let her stress out. Lonnie smiled at Jay and asked about Carlos. But the poor boy was busy with others creating everything necessary for the checkpoints that would be used to get in and out of the Island. Jay couldn't help that much, so he was there, doing the same as the rest. Draining energy.
"You're good with two people." Jay joked, showing his sword. "Do you think you can deal with Lonnie and me at the same time?"
That was Jay's attempt to bring peace to their dynamic. They had been friends in the past. Before Mal and Uma were friends and then distanced themselves. But they had turned away for obvious reasons. Jay was a cheater and disloyal. Something Harry would never allow in his crew, let alone in his circle of friends. But those reasons had disappeared. The strongest fact of all that was to see Jay with a smile and sword in hand, ready to train and have fun.
"I don't think you can keep up with Lonnie , but let's do this." Harry offered.
Lonnie laughed and looked at Jay. They both nodded and to his surprise, they attacked him with incredible synchronization. Lonnie used Jay's strength to reach the height or as a shield. While Jay sought to focus Harry’s attention on him and his body in constant motion, only so that Lonnie could attack him quickly and from different points. People began to surround them. Spectators and others were eager. He looked at Uma among the audience, with her arms crossed and a special glow in her eyes.
Uma made a gentle descending gesture. He ducked, dodging Jay's attack. He smiled dangerously and jumped towards Lonnie, gaining ground with rapid attacks. Uma moved her face slightly to the right and he blocked Jay's sword. She ordered him to attack backward. Harry did it and knocked Lonnie down without knowing she was there. He kicked Jay and rested his foot on his belly, pointing his sword at Lonnie's chest. They looked surprised and then laughed. Harry bit the air and Lonnie accepted his hand.
"You completely changed your style." She pointed out "I hadn't seen you fight like this."
"Because you haven't seen him fight alongside Uma." Jay jumped up.
"But she wasn’t in the practice."
Uma advanced towards them. He took her hand and leaned down to kiss the two turquoise bracelets that surrounded her wrist.
"I don't need to be with him to fight together." She took his chin and smiled proudly.
"Do you already know where the prisoners will be relocated?" Lonnie asked, stretching her muscles. "It's not like I want to complain, but it's weird to have my parents here and see them every day."
"Yes, but it's confidential." Uma replied, crossing her arms.
"Oh, but the future Queen of the Island does know." Jay joked, resting his arm on Lonnie's shoulders.
Uma shrugged, very satisfied in her power status. He was also aware of all the plans. Ben and Uma were similar in the way they developed their ideas. They could spend long periods of silence and then give long speeches to form their ideas. Harry had heard them discuss rehabilitation centers, orphanages, detention centers, and prisons. They couldn’t create or adapt places in such a short time, so they had expanded their possibilities.
Harry had been surprised by the last decision. Audrey’s idea. He had felt small at the concept. Space. Ben had come to the Hawaii headquarters of the Galactic Federation. Aliens. Harry shouldn't even be surprised at the concept. He lived among supernatural, magical and immortal beings. Life outside the planet shouldn’t be such a complicated concept. The most dangerous villains would be locked in a galactic prison where others knew how to deal with beings of incalculable power, dangerous individuals and minds endowed with incalculable danger.
Carlos was helping in all that. He and Jane were joining their knowledge to create protection and control mechanisms to mobilize villains. The existence of the Galactic Federation should be slightly secret. Harry didn't understand that very well, nor did he care. If it was a secret project, it sounded much better.
Besides, Ben had told him that there was a place, it was like a dimension, so to speak, called Etherium. A place where you navigated among stars. For him, that was much more interesting than a space prison. Ships that inflated their sails by the power of the sun and the other stars.
The training ended, Uma stayed chatting with Lonnie, preparing her to take the leadership of the team for a few days while she got used to her duties as queen. Harry smiled to himself. He had suggested that the future kings take a break from studying. A few weeks at least. Because from the beginning, student life hadn’t been the priority for Ben or Uma. Just one more path for their goals. And now that they were fulfilling one, they should balance their routines with it. Although it was true that Harry wasn’t interested in his school life, at least he could deal with it as in the past, as an obligation. Also, Auradon Prep had its positive things.
He turned to the changers and prepared to go to the castle. Ben hadn’t given himself a moment of rest and it was his duty to take care of their majesty. One last glance at Uma indicated that she would take her time with Lonnie. What caught his attention were the four rookies who continued with all their uniforms, including their masks. Uma and Lonnie kept talking and technically there should be no one there anymore. The rookies were still armed and the leader gestured for one of them to cover the exit. The others advanced towards the girls, each with a curious sphere in their hands.
Harry didn’t hesitate. In a second he took his hook and stood behind the leader, closing his hook on their neck, letting them feel the sharp weapon.
"I would stop your friends, mate."
He froze when he heard the leader's voice. Bells. Their voice sounded like soft bells. But the other three stopped.
"Uma!" He shouted when he looked at one of their enemies tried to drop one of the bombs.
But Lonnie was quick and in a fluid movement, she caught the bomb without exploding it and threw it back at the person. The bomb exploded in purple colors and they immediately fell asleep on the floor. The mask came loose and they saw a beautiful girl with pointed ears and white hair. The person that Harry had captured struggled to let go and their voice kept ringing like bells. Lonnie and Uma took two training swords, ready to fight. But one of the mysterious newbies took the sleeping girl in their arms. Harry looked over his shoulder, to who should be watching the door.
"You must be kidding..."
Fairies. Their enemies were fairies. Fairies in human size. That was all he thought when the fairy, without the uniform, flew in his direction, knocking him to the ground. Harry was able to prevent his hook from killing the leader when they both fell. Uma ran in his direction, ready to help him. Lonnie managed to steal one of the bombs from the fairies and made good use of her sword. Harry received a heavy hit to his face from the leader. The fairies spoke, with their voices that sounded like musical bells. He sought to sit down, confused and felt Uma's hand on his back, seeking to lift him and took him away from the enemies. But still stunned he heard one of the bombs fall near him. All he could do was knock Uma down and cover her with his body. Harry hid her against his neck so she wouldn't breathe the contents.
They heard footsteps run and something caught his ankle. He sat down and watched a curious plant grow monstrously on the ground. One of its vines was getting tangled up his leg, climbing dangerously up his thigh and squeezing firmly. Harry slid on the floor and struggled to let go. Lonnie came to his side and cut the root plant. Uma got up and kicked the bush that was already wilting on the other side of the place.
"They ran away." Lonnie looked at the exit "Those fairies..."
"Neverland Fairies." Harry looked surprised. "My father always told me about them... But why they do this?"
Uma helped him up, looking towards the exit. Lonnie picked up swords and they left the place. Harry could see, in the distance, among the trees, fly small beings of light. They had returned to their original size.
"We have to go with Ben." Uma ran to the car waiting for them.
The three got in and the driver drove quickly to the castle.
Ben's family had designated private cars with drivers for him and Uma. No limousines. And all for security. Although they usually only used one car. Harry preferred to keep one of them with his company at that time of stress. Besides, it seemed funny to have a driver. He was fine with a motorcycle. But Uma had forbidden him from getting on something that wouldn't protect him in an accident. Using weapons, jumping from high altitudes and fighting powerful enemies was fine. But not a motorcycle. Uma was adorable when she cared for him.
When the car reached the entrance of the castle, they were surprised to meet Audrey, Chad and Ben armed. Ben looked at them and it was an immediate reaction. He and Uma advanced to the future king and let him check their faces. Harry was the one who looked most injured and had his pants ripped. But nothing bad. Only then did he realize that he still carried his hook with him. He was about to hang it on his belt, but Ben stopped him.
"Someone moved my family's armor." Audrey approached, guarding her sword.
"Not all." Chad had a red cheek someone had hit him. And his perfect clothes were stained "Only the four that are in Ben's office."
"Audrey was helping me document the increases in supplies for the Island." Ben explained.
Since the announcement that the Island of the Lost would be officially part of the states of Auradon, the other kingdoms were compensating for the years of neglect until the Island could be solved like other kingdoms of Auradon and had something to propose in foreign trade.
"Chad was helping us not to get bored with so much paperwork. And suddenly the armor attacked.”
Chad smiled proudly. Audrey looked at him with approval and then looked at them.
“When the armor moved, it was Chad who fought with them until we got our swords.” Audrey put her hands on her hips. “Disarmed, he could hold them for long enough. One of the armors dropped his helmet and we could see their faces.”
"And when they spoke. Their voices sounded like bells." Ben recalled "They tried to attack us with bombs. One froze the whole place.”
"Luckily one of the fairies dropped another bomb that was like sunrise and the ice melted." Chad recalled.
“It didn’t fall. You took it.” Audrey stroked his red cheek for a few seconds until she remembered she was facing other people and returned her attention to them. “When the guards arrived, they transformed into little fairies, their armor fell and they flew away.”
"We thought maybe they tried to attack you." Ben looked at them. "And we weren't wrong."
"They just wanted to attack Uma." Harry corrected.
Audrey crossed her arms. Almost offended that they didn't want to attack him. That was the kind of friend he appreciated.
"They weren't like the fairies in here." Chad looked at Ben. "They're not like Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather."
"Although they could change their size and shape like them and Maleficent." Ben recalled, leading them back to the castle.
Uma and Harry looked at each other. Lonnie advanced to Ben to deliver the bomb she had confiscated. For security, Ben guided them inside the castle to speak with greater privacy. But upon entering, it was Audrey who took Harry by the arm, surprising him by the sudden action. Audrey's gaze shone mischievously and made a gentle gesture toward Ben.
Audrey adjusted her perfect hair with apparent planned indifference.
“At least Ben had the decency to tell me all about.”
He looked at her with intrigue. Audrey stared at him again and then at Ben and Uma.
"I didn't know we should warn you." He confessed and then smiled dangerously. "You're a curious girl."
"Yes, I am. But more when it comes to the life of my ex-fiancé." Audrey seemed to ponder the matter. " Although it was quite obvious what was going on between you. But I would have liked you to announce your relationship formally with your friends before marriage.” She smirked “I feel offended that neither Uma nor you had said anything to me.”
Harry looked at her with intrigue. Although it was true that they were simply changing their relationship naturally. At least on his part, he didn't think they should announce to their friends what was going on.
“Isn't it common to talk about your love life this with your friends on the Island?"
“It was always just Uma and me. So, I wouldn't know what to tell you. Maybe was normal there. Maybe no. I don’t know, darling.”
The princess looked at him with melancholy and she gently pressed his arm as a show of support.
"Well, you can count on me."
He smiled broadly.
"We've realized that." Harry leaned toward her. "Does that mean you'll tell me about Chad and you?" He whispered.
Audrey laughed and let go of him, muttering an 'I don't know what you're talking about' that made him chuckle.
"They didn't use wands." Uma said when everyone settled in the room.
"That kind of magic is like the one Neverland's fairies use." Harry dropped into a chair. "It seems some aren’t very happy with you two getting married."
"I would be surprised if this kind of thing didn't happen."
He tensed when he saw King Adam standing at the entrance, watching them. Ben got up, ready for what might happen. The king noticed it and raised his hands in the form of surrender.
"The guards informed me of what happened." The man explained.
Ben nodded and walked until he was standing behind the chair where Harry was still lying. Audrey and Chad tensed slightly in their places, although they were much better at hiding their discomfort. Lonnie, on the other hand, didn't know what to do. Uma sat on the edge of her chair, staring at the current king.
"I just wanted to give you a recommendation." The man explained, without entering the room "Don't take all this very personal."
Harry framed an eyebrow.
"They tried to kill our future king and queen." He growled.
But Lonnie denied. Audrey got up from her chair and began to walk around the place, admiring the empty armor that was there.
“They were armed with dull swords.” Lonnie recalled “And their bombs were not designed to hurt. Just to knock us out.”
“When I was chosen as king of Auradon, many small groups attacked me.” King Adam explained “I recommend an investigating and raising security."
“If they are neverland fairies they can have something against Uma’s species to be queen. Fairies and mermaids don't get along." Harry meditated out loud. "Or that's what my father used to tell me."
"It's a good option to investigate." King Adam looked at his son. "I just wanted to suggest that."
Ben nodded but said nothing. He waited until the man left the room to rest his hands on Harry's shoulders, seeking support. If Ben was going to say something, he never knew, because Audrey caught their attention.
"Doesn't it give you the impression that all the armors are moved?"
Chad got up and examined the rest of the armor. Harry noticed that it looked like they had wanted to walk, but they had frozen in the first step. Uma got up determined and took place at the nearest desk, looking for paper and what to write with.
“Could someone call Fairy Godmother? If we are going to investigate this, we need to write to the Fairy Queen in Neverland and I would like to know if I should write in a special language or not.” Uma looked at them and sharpened her smile “I am flattered that they see me as a threat. But we must make it clear that no one threatens my fiancé or leaves my... ” She staggered on what title to put him and then smiled mockingly, staring Harry in the eye “Neither leaves our consort hurt without receiving a very diplomatic warning from me for not being able to control her people.”
Well, if Audrey wanted a formal announcement, she would have to feel satisfied with that from Uma.
Harry crossed looks with Ben. That was their Goddess.
It almost seemed like an eternity had passed since he had imagined that scene. Of course, at the time when Ben didn't even know how they looked. So this far exceeded his expectations. Evie had done a great job and he should undoubtedly pay her more than she had asked because he was seeing the Queen of the Island in all her glory.
Uma wore gold and turquoise crown that collected her hair back to expose her face. At that moment her hair began with a very dark color of blue that almost looked black. And little by little, between curls and braids, her hair changed to an intense turquoise color at the tips. The crown maintained the concept of the sea and land. All of her was wearing gold. Long earrings, one hung a star-shaped figure and a skull-shaped one on the other. Her throat had a fine chain with a simple white pearl resting there. But her neck had a collar woven between skulls, turquoise and starfish. Death, treasures and survival. Uma wanted to keep the concept of the Island in everything she wears.
Uma looked at him through the mirror reflection, where she was testing the flexibility of her outfit. Evie had given her a blue-green vest and a material like leather, that closed exclusively on her torso, exposing her belly and arms. Underneath she wore a top like scales woven with golden thread and pale cyan color. At her waist, she wore a gold chain with three stones. A ruby, a turquoise and a sapphire. Right at the hip, she wore incredibly short, tight shorts the same color as the vest and something similar to a belt made of a gold fiber net. On the back, the belt had a fabric that emulated the waves of the sea, from a light blue to a perfectly white and reached to the back of her knees. Uma was wearing long gloves to the elbows and pirate boots to her knees. Evie had commented that maybe they should look for a similar but more modest model since it would be an elegant ceremony. But Ben refused. Uma was dressed the way she would for an important event on the Island of the Lost. That was the elegance of her people and it was something that Auradon should accept. Uma looked like a queen, a pirate, a Goddess, and a warrior. All at the same time.
He approached, still looking at her in the mirror reflection. Ben stood behind her and kissed her shoulder. Her ebony skin glowed in those colors, the gold dust that seemed to inhabit her veins only stood out more. She was like the Gods he had known. Uma shone. She stepped aside to stand side by side in the reflection. That would be the image that they would constantly give as king and queen.
"You look good." Uma whispered against his ear "I think this goes more with you."
Ben looked at his reflection. Evie had wanted to give him a mixture of nobility and strength. He wore pants down below the waist that fitted his legs and the shape of his hips. And according to Harry, it also highlighted the shape of his ass. Underneath he wore a white shirt with the internal edges of the old gold color that happened to be visible on the collar of the shirt and the edge of his sleeves. His royal blue jacket was long with gold cross buttons and a small collar. Everything was tailored and he felt more adult in front of the mirror, ready for a battle and to give peace. Uma had been very specific in his outfits, all his clothes must be made of a special material that could be stretched. That way he should no longer wear slightly baggy clothes that made him look younger. And he noticed the difference at that moment.
Harry entered the room at that moment. For some reason, he had offered to escort Evie and Doug out. Harry was still wearing the outfit that Uma and Ben had insisted to wear on having their coronation day. Ben smiled when he saw the pirate. Because Harry looked exactly like that. Like a daredevil pirate. Harry wore a wine-colored shirt that instead of buttons had black straps that fitted his waist and hips and showed a deep V-neck. His black pants were dangerously tight and with cuts on his knees. His pirate boots and long scarlet jacket only highlighted his dangerous smile and a mischievous gleam in his eyes. Harry looked elegant and imposing. Evie had suggested that the outfit has something more of the nobility like Ben's or royalty, like Uma's. But they had wanted to make it clear who Harry was. A pirate. Part of the Island of the Lost. Without any pretentious title. All the glory and wonder Harry showed was by his own effort.
Harry advanced to them and stood at his side. The reflection in the mirror showed a prince deeply in love with a Goddess and a pirate. Harry leaned down to his ear, looking at him through the mirror and gave him his shark smile.
“Look at you. Now you’re the king.”
Ben shivered. Uma and Harry were strong and incredibly skilled. It would be very easy for them to take control of everything. It would have been very easy for him to let them take control of every problem that came their way. And a part of him thought it would be like that. Especially at the beginning and the entire Mal incident. But it hadn't been that way. They had supported him to be the king that Auradon deserved. They had wanted him to be the king that the Island of the Lost needed. Harry took his hand and raised it to his face, kissing his ring.
They looked at Uma, who was biting her lower lip. He and Harry guided her to stand between them. The reflex showed something different. A dangerous queen who had two servants madly in love with her. Two pillars protecting an incalculable force. Uma didn't look away from the mirror and stroked their chests, slowly, sending chills all over his skin. Uma radiated the same power she would give if she were sitting on a throne. She looked at them with satisfaction.
"My boys." Uma said proudly, raising her chin.
He and Uma looked at each other and in sync pulled Harry to be among them. Another change in the mirror. One very interesting. Harry wrapped his arms around his waist. Uma pressed against his side and Harry played with the gold chain on her waist. Ben took advantage of the height difference to rest his arm on Harry's back. Uma was holding Harry possessively. They looked at each other through the reflection in the mirror. She and Ben had eliminated all space between them and Harry. In his eyes, the reflection showed a relationship, diverse, different and strong. Harry looked at them as if they were a superhuman revelation. He seemed captivated by them. The pirate could be chaotic and impulsive, with a strong effort to flirt with death and danger, but there was the most loyal and devout person in all words. The fact that they were by his side, that they were a queen and a king being held with such delicacy and pride, said a lot about Harry.
"I have a surprise for you." Ben announced.
"I would love to believe that we can go home." Uma separated from them to look for her previous clothes. "But I know it's not that."
Harry laughed wickedly. After the attack by the fairies, there had been a clumsy attempt by Audrey's maternal kingdom to close their trade as a protest. And because who was managing that kingdom was Audrey's grandmother, it had been obvious that all that had been a whim that Audrey had to go and settle with her grandmother. Someone had also tried to sell false evidence to a newspaper that Uma and Harry had robbed nobles and that was why they had been able to get the house where they were living. Ben didn't even want to think about all the videos that had been uploaded to the internet lately, annihilating their relationship from any possible angle. As his father had said, small acts of rebellion that they had to accept.
"No, but something I hope will encourage you." Ben promised.
An hour later, with much more comfortable clothes and a basket of food that Harry had not released when Ben confessed that he had prepared everything that was there, Ben led them to the port and then to a small sailboat waiting for them. Harry was the first to ascend the ship and as if he had known it for a lifetime, he began to prepare it. Uma crossed her arms at his side, admiring how the pirate took off his jacket to work more comfortably.
"Should we fight to know who the captain is?" She asked.
"Let him be." Ben asked, fascinated by the way Harry treated the sailboat with such mastery "This is his element."
"You like the ocean too." Uma looked at him "Your room has a view to the sea and your office towards the Island of the Lost."
He nodded, helping her up the sailboat. The sea moved the ship very easily. It was one of the things he preferred of sailboats compared to larger ships. Nothing was predictable or boring there.
Harry looked at them from the helm expectantly. Uma made a gentle gesture with her hand and the sailboat sailed quickly. Ben had to hold on to her not to fall. It wasn’t the first time he was pleasantly surprised by how strong Uma was. She looked at him with fun, helping him balance. Uma guided him to starboard, letting the sea breeze cool him. Ben admired how they moved at the same pace as the waves and maintained a perfect balance as well. She sat on the deck, removing her shoes. They admired the sea and the way Harry handled the waves masterfully, leaving the Auradon coast on their right all the time.
"Where do you want to go, majesty?" Harry asked.
The pirate was radiant. His hair was chaotic. And his smile was huge. Ben indicated one of his favorite places, not too far from there. Uma must be helping their navigation because they did it in half the time of normal. Harry and Uma searched for the best place to sunbathe. Ben took off his shirt when he saw Harry do the same. They both stayed in their underwear, while Uma sat there, with her chin on her knees and a feline smile on her lips. Harry had an incredibly athletic and dangerous body. The type of body that highlighted his scars. Ben had seen the pirate-like this before, in the changing rooms, but now he looked stronger and healthier. Much more alive. Ben swallowed, concentrating on the relaxed tide and the calm atmosphere.
Uma looked at Harry and made a single gesture.
Harry looked at him and removed his underwear. Ben quickly covered his mouth and slightly hurt his nose at the gesture. He turned his face away, flushed and took a couple of steps back. Ben took a deep breath, controlling the impulse to look.
"Ben..." Uma called him.
But when he looked at her, he noticed that Uma had taken off her blouse and skirt and that at that moment she was unbuttoning her bra. Ben looked to the side and took a deep breath. Very strong. Harry's malicious laugh shook him. The pirate was close. Very close. So much that he was hardly surprised when he felt his fingers traverse the edge of his underwear.
"Is this too much for you?" Harry whispered in his ear.
"Ben." Uma called him "Close your eyes, let Harry guide you."
He heeded. After all, he trusted them. Harry's hands advanced him to the edge of the step where she was. Uma put her hands on his shoulders and made him kneel. The beast inside him grunted with approval because he could feel the girl's knees brush her arms. He was that close. Uma took his face. Harry rested his hands on his shoulders, standing behind him. Ben wanted to feel surrounded and alarmed. He wanted to feel confused and helpless. Ben wanted to justify his nervousness in some way. But he wasn't like that for them. But for himself.
"Tell me if this is too much for you." Uma spoke over his face "We will stop the second you say so."
He nodded. They would never be too much.
"Relax." Harry leaned down and whispered against his ear “It's just us. We are still us.”
"Why are you so worried?" Uma took his chin "What do you think is going to happen?"
"Is not that." Ben confessed, feeling his fangs brush his lower lip "I had never been in such a situation and I don't want to make any mistakes."
"And what kind of situation do you think this is, majesty?"
Ben smiled and shrugged.
"I don’t know. You are unpredictable. But I don't want to do things wrong.”
Uma held his face firmly and he groaned painfully when she kissed him. Ben closed his hands tightly, feeling his claws dig into his skin. She was so delicate in that kiss, so soft and in control, that he was guided by her and chased her lips.
"That is a good answer." Uma flattered “We know that Auradon has very outdated concepts. Love is pure and the body is a protected temple.”
"But this is just skin." Harry stroked his shoulders "We're still in the middle of the sea and there's nothing wrong with your body, in your body's reactions or in all of this."
“Shared nudity shouldn’t mean sexuality.” Uma promised.
Ben clenched his eyes. There was nothing wrong. That made sense. Harry acted as if it was perfectly normal to want someone and make it clear all the time. Uma didn’t hide the passion and mastery she exercised in the bodies of others. There was nothing wrong with the nakedness of their bodies.
"There should be nothing sexual in this." Uma explained “And there is nothing wrong if you want something sexual about all this. Ben, this is your body and you must accept it. Completely. All the time. That is the only way you can be in control of the beast that is within you. "
She lightly struck his chin. Ben opened his eyes as if it was an irremediable order on her part. He was on his knees, between Uma's legs, who was completely naked in front of him. More beautiful than ever. Not because of the eroticism of her body. But for the security, she radiated. The control she showed. There was nothing to hide who she was. Her hair was curled by the sea breeze and she only wore her bracelets and the fine necklace with the lonely pearl.
"You can see." She lay down, totally confident. “You can explore. You can satisfy your curiosity. I am yours and I trust you.”
Harry's hands released him and the pirate climbed up next to Uma, leaned down and kissed her belly before sitting there and looking at him. Without words, inviting him to do something.
Ben looked at them. It wasn’t a comparison, but he noticed how different they were. Where Harry was firm, Uma was soft, where the pirate was sharp and strong, Uma was curvy and delicate. The afternoon sun, not so direct or intense, created soft shadows on them. Harry was incredibly attractive. Uma was undoubtedly beautiful. Ben slipped the tips of his fingers over her leg, going up to her knee and reaching her thigh. Her skin bristled. Uma looked at him, saying nothing. He moved and admired Harry from all angles, touched his back and more confidently entertained himself with the sharp shape of his hips. The pirate arched his back and sighed, reacted to his contact, but remained relaxed. Uma turned, lying on her stomach and he stroked her back. With full hands, he descended all over her back, through the delicacy of her waist to her hips and closed his grip on her arse. She lifted her hips and lightly rubbed her thighs together. Uma looked at him relaxed. Her body reacted naturally to him, but she was there, watching him calmly.
"Thank you." Ben confessed, still feeling in his fingers the sensation of touching them.
Uma sat down and caressed his face. Ben buried his face against the palm of her hand and breathed her essence.
“So hungry for affection. So shy about your body.” Uma commented.
Ben laughed against her hand and closed his eyes. He didn’t look at them when he removed his underwear and gathered his legs against his chest, feeling his hot cheeks.
But he could feel Harry at his side, stroking his back to reassure him. And he could feel Uma stroking his hair patiently.
"Don’t force yourself to do anything." She reminded him.
Ben nodded and slowly lowered his legs and lay on the deck. The sun wanted to warm his skin, but he could swear that his blush was all over his body for that moment.
"Do you want us to put sunscreen on you?" Uma suggested.
He nodded. And it was the most pleasant experience of his life. Two pairs of hands caressed him gently, without any morbidity. No one would believe that such softness could exist in them both, but Uma and Harry tried to keep him calm and safe. Harry whispered in against his ear every place he would touch him, in case he wanted him to stop. Uma hummed a soft melody and moved her hands like the waves of the sea. They touched his whole body and it was the most relaxing sensation he could live. When Ben had the encouragement to open his eyes, he found them so focused and calm, that he wondered why all his life he had thought there was no purity in shared nudity.
"There is no secret between us." Uma commented sometime later.
They were lying on the dust jacket, after eating the snacks he had prepared. The sailboat moved easily. Harry was lying on his right leg. Uma was sitting between his legs, using his back chest. Ben was stroking her waist in small circles, just like he did with Harry's hair.
"Thank you." He repeated, closing his eyes.
“This is a future investment. If you get used to our bodies, you won’t get clumsy in the future.” Harry joked, without opening his eyes.
"This is a trick I had to learn with Harry." She joked.
The pirate protested through his teeth.
Uma stopped laughing. They were right. In the middle of the sea, far from politics, subjects, and danger, that level of trust was pleasant. Fearless. No secrets. Only absolute loyalty.
Harry and Uma had fulfilled every deal they had given him. He had found his happiness with them.
The night used to be one of the most terrifying moments for the descendants on the Island. The villains were accustomed to take greater control or perform the worst acts at that time. When someone was born on the Island, they quickly learned to hide when darkness came. Growing up, those who formed strong groups, began to take the night as their own, facing the old villains for a little fun.
But that night would be different .
Uma looked at the armored trucks that in absolute silence were entering the Island. Agents led by a man named Cobra were ready to take the villains. To verify the quality and usefulness of the protection measures created for that mission, Uma had entered one of the trucks and Harry had to get her out of there immediately. They worked. The whole truck had its own magic barrier. Uma had been accustomed for so long to have control of her magic, that a few seconds inside that prison had been torture.
Each truck entered the bridge and a member of Harriet’s crew boarded them to guide the driver to the direction of the villains who would be transferred. Jane and Opal were holding the barrier to create a secure entrance. Harriet had her ship by the bridge, with a part of her crew guarding the port and the waters. Although once again, Jane and Opal had only opened the barrier for trucks to pass. Nothing could fly above or swim below. Uma discovered Clay on the ship. She hadn’t imagined that he was part of Harriet's crew.
Harry stood by her side, with his hook in sight and another hand ready to take his sword. The operation was silent. The last truck entered, and Harriet climbed into it. Jane and Opal closed the barrier. Lonnie walked from side to side, with her small preventive army, ready to fight if necessary. Harkie was waiting at the meeting point, where the villains would be transferred by the Galactic Federation. Audrey was at the castle, monitoring everything and giving orders.
Ben appeared at her side and took her hand, giving her a gentle squeeze to cheer her up. The transfer of the villains had been designated by her. That was her mission. Her work. Uma was taking care of her people and bringing some stability to the place. Uma just hoped she was doing the right thing.
"How do you feel?" Ben asked.
"My old man will be locked up with his entire crew." Harry spoke out loud "I do n't know how to feel about it."
"But it will be temporary." Uma lifted her chin “Captain Hook needs psychiatric attention, not imprisonment. And the majority in his crew have already served their sentence. This is only temporary.”
"I know. Harriet, CJ and I know that, for the safety of many, he should be locked up." Harry distractedly touched his sword. "I don't think it's a good first impression that my father ran around teenagers to rip their shadows off."
Uma moved her pinky and closed it in the curve of his hook. They didn’t look at each other. But she could feel Harry much more relaxed.
"If I don't have to see my mother, I'll be fine." Uma confessed.
Something she liked about Ben was that he understood. Perhaps, initially, he would have insisted that the family was important. But Ben had heard and understood that he couldn’t force blind loyalty in them to people who had hurt them.
“I just hope this ends quickly. Tomorrow is your coronations and marriage." Harry looked at them with a dangerous smile. "I haven't even had time to buy you a gift."
A mixture of emotions was born in her chest. That was happening. They were no longer simple plans or logical decisions. Tomorrow, at that time, she would be married to Ben. Uma would be crowned. Her hand closed more tightly in the prince's hand.
"I think I haven’t apologized for my people." She said in a neutral and distant voice “I know this is what you want. But it’s not fair to be forced. We get you out of a marriage arranged to enter another.”
Ben took her hand and kissed her bracelets. Just about the accounts of a different color. She looked at him and noticed the deep love he had in his heart. A reckless, ridiculous, impulsive, and overflowing love.
"I think it's something of the Island." Ben confessed "Order me things I want to do."
She silently denied . Her future husband was the type of person who would find something positive, even in being tied to a mast .
“The wedding gift you already have it.” Uma gave the pirate's chin a light touch.
"Oh? Really?" He smiled dangerously "And what is that gift I will give to my future king and queen?"
Ben rested his arm on his shoulders and leaned in Harry's direction .
" First, become our consort." The future king reminded him.
“And Ben and I have been talking. After the coronation and the wedding, we will need someone to take care of us.”
Harry bowed, letting out his dangerous shark smile.
"It will be a delicious honor."
Uma rolled her eyes. Ben didn't know what he was getting into. She didn't know if the future king of Auradon was ready for them in that regard. But she suspected that the beast inside was anxious to appear.
Lonnie whistled. That was the sign that the trucks were returning. Jane and Opal reopened the barrier. Uma counted each truck and contacted Herkie to be ready. She recognized several descendants accompanying the agents. Only trusted people from Harriet. The last truck passed, and she frowned.
"A truck is missing." Harry tensed.
The truck with Harriet.
" Of course, one is missing." She looked at the sky, thinking about destiny.
It never made things easy.
"Get ready." She ordered.
Lonnie nodded and her group prepared.
Her cell phone vibrated, and she looked at Audrey's name.
' Everything in order?'
" If you were going to call every minute, you'd better come here." Uma replied although she couldn't help smiling. The last truck appeared.
' No, it's better like this. But if you need help... '
"Will you come with an army ?" She joked . The truck passed the barrier .
' Something like that. '
Uma frowned at the mysterious way the princess had sounded. The truck passed by and Harriet nodded in her direction, indicating that there was nothing to worry about. She could feel Ben and Harry relax at her sides.
"If you have a hidden army you should share it with me." She watched the truck move across the bridge "I thought we were best friends."
Audrey laughed across the line. She smiled slyly .
And the truck began to move strangely , zigzagging until it stopped .
"Please, let it be anyone but her ..." Uma asked any deity in charge of her destiny. Not her mother. Please.
' Who? Uma...?’
Harriet got off the truck, pointing at the agent with her sword. Uma advanced when she saw the pirate order the agent to open the back door. She felt dizzy. But she noticed the worried face on Harriet. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Uma raised her hand to stop everyone. The agent opened the door and almost fell to the ground. Cruella de Vil had CJ, pressing a knife against her neck. After her. appeared Jafar , Evil Queen, and Maleficent.
"I think I need that help ." Uma spoke seriously to the phone .
' Tell Opal that I need her .' Audrey answered without asking questions and hung up.
"Look at that!" Maleficent observed around "What a beautiful night to bring us freedom!"
"Let go!" Harriet pointed her sword at Cruella " If you hurt her, I swear I will use your skin as a coat."
Harry took another step, tense. But Uma held his arm .
"Jane, let Lost Revenge cross." She ordered, without looking at anyone but CJ, who was watching her without a hint of fear "Opal, Audrey needs you."
She didn’t have to look. Uma could feel the ship move and the shouts of the crew order everything. She shoved Harry to go to the ship. Lost Revenge needed a Hook leading the crew.
"Little witch, do you think we are afraid of you?" Maleficent approached, smiling smugly “A ship, a handful of armed people and you. You’re nothing to us .”
Uma heard Ben growl. She looked at him without taking her face away from the villains. Ben had transformed and looked intimidating. It was still him, but bigger, much more imposing and wilder. At that moment, Uma was aware that his claws, fangs, and horns could be lethal. Although she had seen him like that before, that was the first time she noticed how intimidating and dangerous he could be.
" What did you do with the perfect prince ?" Evil Queen shouted with indignation and displeasure .
Uma smiled .
"We release him." She tilted her face “And if you don't give up, you're going to regret what you've done. Because, honestly, I would consider it pathetic to have a hostage. But it’s you. This is what we should expect.” Uma denied.
Jafar smiled dangerously and waved his hands. Sand soldiers appeared on the bridge in a blink of an eye. Maybe he was no longer a genie, but he was still a sorcerer. One who, like his companions, had had twenty years to prepare himself. Evil Queen took out a small jar and when she opened it let out blue smoke. She let the bottle roll on the floor. The soldiers appeared armed. And behind all that was Cruella, dangerously sliding her knife into CJ's soft skin. Harriet stepped forward, ready to fight. That caused a handful of soldiers to attack her.
"You can't win." Maleficent looked at Ben “Even with that beast boy. You’re no match for us. All we want is our stuff and we will give you time to hide before we take Auradon.”
“I had already heard that your visits were always unpleasant and full of unwanted things. I think it's pathetic that you don't improve your game.” Uma smiled "But I will still be clear with you: We will never give up." She took another step forward. "Now you are a threat to our home."
Her blood pumped hard. She took her sword but kept it down. Ben was on her right, with no weapon other than his own body. She could feel Harry on the ship and approaching their position. Harriet was struggling to get to CJ, even when she was defeated by number. Jafar was whispering a spell to keep his sand soldiers solid. Evil Queen had taken the agent's weapon. A gun. And she was pointing it at their head. Maleficent had her eyes glowing . Cruella, on the other hand, was laughing, enjoying the scene and her erratic movements were cutting CJ's delicate neck. But there was the youngest of the Hooks. The impulsive and wild CJ. The same girl who at ger three years old shouted ' Sharks!' and jumped into the sea to play with them. But at that moment she was still and calm, with her hands firmly clasped to Cruella's arm and thus create some stability. CJ was looking at her, without blinking, without fear. Because CJ knew she was going to be rescued. Her siblings and Uma were there. She didn't have to worry.
"Let's make this easy." Maleficent opened her arms and smiled wickedly "We will hand you over CJ if you give us our stuff. If you hurry, Harriet won't be very hurt.”
She heard Ben growl. They had talked so much about Harriet and CJ. They had told him so many anecdotes about them that his reaction didn't surprise her. Ben already saw the Hook sisters as part of his family and a piece of his life. The strong instinct of protection that the prince showed was something worth admiring. In the past, Ben would have insisted on finding a peaceful method for all that. After all, Uma had said it, Ben was Auradon's heart. But lives were in danger. The whole transition, their plans, their future, was in danger. But above all, Ben was ready to face a dragon to save the sister of the man he loved. And Uma understood that feeling.
"Oh... you are in serious trouble." She whispered "All of you."
Lost Revenge passed the barrier. She heard them. To rhythm. They shouted her name. Uma . The barrier went up again. Opal advanced to her position and knelt, touching the ground she began a spell. Uma closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath. Uma . She could feel the power pumping inside her. It wasn’t magic. That was something better than magic. That was leadership and loyalty. Uma . The swords hitting the deck and Harry's voice leading all the voices. Uma . The Island of the Lost shouted her name and were willing to fight the most powerful villains with her.
“It's our time, we up next! " Uma raised her sword and pointed to Maleficent “I am the Queen of this town. You don't scare us anymore. ”
The crew shouted his name loudly . A cannon fired into the air. She smiled and took another step forward.
“I'm the queen of this town. Stand up to us, you don't stand a chance.”
The sound of metal made her look over her shoulders. From the ground, in shadows, appeared the armors she had seen everywhere. But now they moved, armed and in position. The army that swore to protect Sleeping Beauty's descendants were there. On her left were Audrey and Chad, as if the shadows were an ascent platform for them. Uma looked at Jafar. Now she also had an invincible army.
"There's no negotiation. I'm not here for debate.” She pointed her sword at Cruella “Do they need more demonstrations? Just look at Ben's face and ask yourself how much patience we have left.”
The future king of Auradon growled loudly. The sound was so wild and animal that she shuddered to her core. Maybe Harry was right. Something demonic lived in Ben. Something capable of scaring her if they were enemies. But now, she just felt more powerful. Because Ben was on their side, willing to fight for CJ, for them. Cruella must have understood, because she took a step back, stopping her laugh.
But instead, Maleficent started laughing hard. The fairy became a huge dragon that took off and growled in their direction, showing green flames from her mouth. The bridge was occupied by Jafar's army. Evil Queen and Cruella kept their hostages secured behind all that protection. Harriet had stopped for a second when she saw the dragon, which caused the sand soldiers to gain ground against her.
That would be a good time for fate to turn back in their favor. Uma took a deep breath. That's how fairy tales worked, right? In the last battle, everything was solved. Absolutely everything. So, she would take the fortune in her hands and suck everything in that encounter. That day she would have the Island of the Lost and Auradon join forces. She wasn’t going to win on her own. She was no longer alone. Fate had given her a common enemy, an army, friends, a ship, a pirate who loved her and a prince willing to use all his instincts to fight at her side. Uma smiled. That was the perfect time for fate to lift them like the heroes of the story.
That night, she was going to get her '...a nd they lived happily ever after ' even if she had to forget all her plans and lift the sea with her own hands.
Greetings little ones!
One of the things I liked to write about this chapter was to change the context or meaning of some parts of 'What's my name?' and 'It's goin' down'.