Once Upon A Time in Brightvale: Part Three
***Part Three: Happily Ever After After All***
For several days, Phillip was ill with Neomonia. Everyone was quiet and didn't say much. They went about their daily business in silence.
One day while Avey and Violette were alone in their room, a miraculous thing happened.
Avey sat quietly and still, pretending to read. She glanced at Violette, who was lying in her bed staring at the ceiling. Violette sighed.
"Hey..." Avey said. Violette didn't look up. "Hey, Violette..." She stopped herself. What was she doing? Violette was going to hate her even more! But part of her wanted to speak. Part of her wanted to talk to Violette. She wanted to get past the boundary between them. "Violette, I'm sorry I came here," she said gently.
Violette sighed again. "No, Avey. I should be sorry."
Avey just stared at the Royal in surprise. Was Violette actually speaking to her? Speaking to her nicely?
"I know you hate me, Avey. I've been so mean to you since you came here."
Avey shook her head quietly. "Oh, Violette, I don't hate you."
"Really, Avey. I wish we could... start over."
Avey smiled. "I'd like that," she said, then she paused. "I think you're so lucky, Violette."
Violette finally looked up at Avey.
"I do," Avey said softly. "And I think you're pretty, too. I love your gowns, her eyes, and especially your castle."
Violette blinked her bright purple eyes. "Really?"
Avey nodded. "I really like you, Violette. Even if you don't like me."
Violette frowned. "I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I was a jerk and-"
"It's okay," Avey said. She sat down and pulled out her book, the one about a princess. She opened it and started reading, then glanced at Violette who was starring guiltily at the floor.
"Do you like to read, Violette?" she asked.
Violette thought about it. "I... I don't read much. Besides, Mother says reading about castles and princesses is silly." She giggled softly. "Imagine that! I'm a Royal who can't even read about royals!"
"That is silly," Avey said.
And for the first time, they smiled at each other and laughed.
"Avey?" Violette whispered into the darkness. "Do you think... do you think Phillip will be alright?"
It was past midnight but neither girl could sleep. All around them was an anxious, waiting silence that lay heavily and stirring in the quiet castle.
Avey hugged Mitten closer, suddenly very scared. "I... I sure hope so."
They were silent for a while.
"I'm scared, Avey," Violette whispered. "Come over here with me."
Avey threw the covers off and walked over to Violette's bed. She shivered, and smiled at Violette as she sat on her bed. She smashed Mitten against her in fear.
"What's his name?" Violette asked quietly.
"Mitten." Avey held up the tattered rag plushie. "Stacy gave him to me when I was only two years old."
"He's cute," Violette said. "And seven years is along time to have something like that." She frowned. "I have nothing from my childhood. Mother says keeping such silly things is pointless."
Avey held Mitten, remembering Stacy. "Stacy used to tell me lots and lots of magical tales," she whispered. "She always took me to see Faerie plays and dances." She smiled at her memories. "I wish I could be Faerie. Don't you think Faerie Xweetoks are simply wonderful, with their sparkling wings and eyes glowing with magic?"
"That seems kind of faerie-taleish," Violette said. "But maybe one day, you will."
Avey shook her head. "I doubt that. Stacy could never afford such a thing."
Violette looked away.
"What's the matter, Violette?" Avey whispered. A sudden sadness swept upon her and she came into realization. They were silent for a moment. "Stacy isn't coming back... is she?"
Violette nodded silently. "I overheard Mother telling Belinda the other day that Stacy had decided she was going let you go... forever..."
Avey stared at the floor. "Figures," she said quietly. "We were poor."
Violette suddenly felt sadness for Avey. She had come along way from her owner that loved her enough to create her. And now, she was going to have to go someplace else... perhaps even farther away.
"It was probably for the best," Avey said with a mournful sigh.
"Where will you go?" Violette asked.
"I don't know. Not the pound." She shuddered. "Stacy would never do that. I'm sure of it. She has family in Terror Mountain. Perhaps maybe... I don't know."
Violette managed a weak smile. "Well, wherever it is, I sure hope I can come visit you."
Avey smiled back. "Me too."
The next day, things seemed gray and sad. Phillip was still ill and Dr. Lert had just arrived to check on him.
"Well, I hear there is one cure for this type of Neomonia," he said. "But it only grows in the deepest part of the Lost Desert. It's a tchea fruit leaf, and its powerful pulp is the only remedy to cure Neomonia type three."
Everyone looked at each other in dread. Who would go all the way to the Lost Desert?
Avey had heard of the tchea fruit leaf, having come from the Lost Desert herself.
Rosalina Siara sighed in despair. "Well, what can we do? The Lost Desert is millions of miles away and..." Her voice trailed away.
Violette sniffled a tear.
"I'm sorry," Dr. Lert said as he left. "Maybe I can find something at the hospital to help until..." He shook his head.
Things weren't looking so great for the Castle of Brightvale.
The next day, Violette and Avey shuffled quietly and sadly up to their room. Violette plopped onto her bed and sighed, tears running down her face.
Before she knew it, Avey was crying, too. "Oh, Violette," she sobbed. "We mustn't cry. We mustn't... We must be strong..."
She walked numbly over to own bed, pealing off the covers with her heart wailing in fear and worry.
She threw her tattered blue newsboy cap onto the floor in sorrow, something fluttering out of it catching her eye.
She sat up and watched it flutter to the ground before she went to examine it.
"What is it?" Violette sniffled.
"I don't know..." Avey picked it up. It was green, she realized. And...
Avey gasped. In her paw... was a tchea fruit leaf.
Dr. Lert spooned the tchea fruit leaf pulp into Phillip's mouth. It wasn't much, but Dr. Lert said it was better than nothing. Everyone crowded around and watched in silence as Phillip chewed and swallowed. Suddenly, his eyes fluttered opened and he whispered, "Mother?"
Rosalina Siara sighed in relief and threw her arms around her little Royal. "Oh, Phillip!" she cried. "Oh, Phillip! My baby..." And they were lost in a muffle of tears.
Violette soothed her brother's forehead and Monroe fluffed his pillow.
Avey smiled at the happy Royal family. Dr. Lert walked up to her and asked, "Avey, where ever did you find the tchea fruit leaf?"
"It was in my hat," she explained. "I guess it followed me from the Lost Desert."
Dr. Lert smiled. "You're a hero, Avey."
Rosalina Siara went over to Avey and threw her arms around her. "Oh, Avey, dear! You have saved Phillip!" she cried. "Stacy would be so proud."
Avey smiled but then pushed Rosalina Siara away. "Miss Rosalina Siara, I know Stacy is never coming back... and I know I can't stay here forever... and she has some relatives in Terror Mountain that-"
"Avey, child! What are you rambling about? I'm not going to send you away," Rosalina Siara said with love.
"Oh, but I could never stay. I'm not-"
"Royal? I know that. But perhaps it's time to... let loose a bit. We want you to stay Avey." Rosalina Siara's eyes were warm and shining.
Avey was stunned. She looked from Rosalina Siara to Violette to Monroe to Phillip and to Dr. Lert.
"What do you say, Avey? Do you want to be a Royal?"
Avey smiled and uttered only one word, "Yes."
A few months later in Neopia Central...
"Where are we going?" Avey asked, laughing. She was blindfolded and Monroe was leading her to a 'surprise', whatever it could possibly be.
"You'll see," he said. "Don't peek now. There are the others, just over there."
Avey heard the other Royals and Rosalina Siara whispering secretively, and suddenly something was placed in her hand. At first she didn't know what it was, for she had never held one before. The blindfold was taken away by Monroe and Avey gasped in glee at what lay in her hand.
A paint brush! A Faerie paint brush! She could hardly speak. "Oh, Rosalina Siara... I could never accept this... I mean..."
"Nonsense, " Rosalina Siara said. "It's yours."
"They don't have royal Xweetoks," Phillip explained. "But Violette said you've always wanted to be Faerie."
Avey smiled. Then she stepped into the Rainbow Fountain. In went a plain yellow Xweetok, out came a beautiful Faerie one. Avey's wings fluttered and pixie dust sprinkled off.
Everybody stared in awe.
"Wow, Avey," Monroe said. "You're stunning."
Violette looked at Avey from head to toe, admiring how beautiful she had become. And you know, she didn't feel not one twinge of jealousy.
"You're beautiful, Avey," Phillip breathed. Now he wanted to be faerie too! He wanted to fly and have graceful wings like Avey!
"You most certainly are, dear," Rosalina Siara smiled. "But you're missing something. Something every royal should have..." She reached into her bag and pulled out a sparkling pink tiara.
She placed it gently on Avey's head. Avey laughed in a delightful giggle. "I'm magical. Just like a faerie-tale! Princess Avey!"
"Princess Avey!" Phillip chanted. "Princess Avey! Hurrah for Princess Avey!"
Avey twirled around and laughed joyfully. Never had she been this happy!
"For being one of the Royals now, you sure are weird," Violette said. She threw her paws around her sister. "But I love you all the same."
They all laughed and headed home to their awaiting Castle of Brightvale.
The life of a Royal always had a happy ending, no matter what anyone thought.