Avey's Castle of Hope: Part Two
Part Two: Hope Fades
Avey paused at the door of the castle. Would Rosalina Siara really want her to bring the stray Doglefox into the Castle of Brightvale? She gazed down at Hope, who stared up at her with deep eyes that said, "What are we going to do now?"
"Oh, Hope," Avey sighed. "Rosalina Siara would never accept you. She despises petpets!"
The glimmer of trust in Hope's eyes was too much for Avey, and she mustered just enough courage to push open the door. She glanced around, but no one was in sight. With little tiptoeing steps, she made it to the kitchen. "Hello, Belinda," she said, poking her head in. "Where is Rosalina Siara?"
Belinda the Lenny maid laid down her mixing bowl and wiped her batter-covered wings on a towel. "She's gone out, sweetie. Violette, Monroe and Phillip too. To the royal dinner of King Hagan, they went."
Avey gasped. "Oh, no! Am I too late? Rosalina Siara told me not to be late!"
Belinda clucked her tongue. "Nonsense, dear. It was of short notice, and her majesty thought you'd be more interested in something else." She beckoned Avey with a wing to follow.
Avey's head cocked slightly and she followed the old Lenny maid. Down the hall they went, and up some stairs too. They passed the tall flower pot where a certain little Doglefox was tucked secretly away. He peeped out as Avey went past, and Avey put a finger to her lips as a signal to keep quiet. Perhaps she wouldn't have to tell Rosalina Siara after all.
"Where are we going, Belinda?" Avey asked. They walked up the long staircase and stopped on the floor where her and Violette's room stood.
"Ah, you'll see, dear." Belinda put a wing to her mouth to hide her secretive smile.
"Can you give me a hint?" Avey asked, for she loved surprises. Her paws clasped together and her eyes sparkled with delight.
"We're going to your room," Belinda said.
Avey was confused. "But my room's back there," she said, pointed down the hall. "We passed it."
Belinda giggled. "No, we didn't, dear. This is your new room."
Avey gasped as the door opened to a bedchamber with sky-blue walls and a huge canopy bed with satin canopy curtains that stood against the wall, waiting for her to rest peacefully in it.
"Oh, my..." Avey was awestruck. "My very own room? ....Oh, my."
Belinda laughed. "Yes, dear. Do you like it?"
Avey was amazed. "Like it? I love it! It's magical." She padded up to a wooden bookcase, waiting to be filled with Avey's faerie-tales. And a trunk sat at the foot of the canopy bed, waiting to be filled with Avey's treasures. Her suitcase that she had arrived with sat on the bed, waiting to be unpacked. "Oh, Belinda! It's better then I had ever dreamed it would be!"
"I'm so glad you like it, Avey. Miss Rosalina Siara tried her best to find a good one, one that you'd like. Did you know, child, that Rosalina Siara made you and Violette share a room because she wanted you two to get along? She thought it would help you bond!"
Avey looked at Belinda, her mouth hanging open. "No kidding?"
Belinda left Avey to enjoy her new room, with its blue velvety curtains and shining wood-furnished trunk, wardrobe, and bookcase.
She firstly filled her bookcase with all her books she had brought from the Lost Desert, bought from the Brightvale Books, or received as a gift for her birthday. Then she hung her clothes, which wasn't much of anything, in the wardrobe. Rosalina Siara had gotten her a bunch of new dresses and gowns, though, which she placed in the back to keep them safe.
Then she placed her button collection on the cute little wooden side table by the bed, along with the lamp Avey had enjoyed so much. Roses dotted the shade and made Avey feel at home. Her most valuable possession she placed on the bed, where she would keep the nightmares away at night. Mitten's crooked seamed mouth smiled at her, and Avey smiled back. When all was complete, Avey lay down on her new bed, the rose-patterned quilt soft from a recent washing. She breathed the smell of rose petals, which were placed neatly in a vase near the window. She noticed that there was balcony too, perfect for dreaming on.
With her new room to think about, Avey had completely forgotten about a little someone still hiding in the plant.
Avey sprang out of bed and flew down the hall and then down the staircase. She stopped when she heard the voices of Rosalina Siara, Violette, Monroe and Phillip.
They must have just arrived, Avey thought.
She tiptoed around the corner and pushed aside the leaves and flowers of the plant. "Hope?"
A little face peeked out at her, and she sighed in relief. She picked up Hope and stroked his fur, quickly making a dash to her room. "Oh, Hope!" she whispered. "I can't believe I almost forgot about you."
Showing no hard feelings, Hope nuzzled Avey's cheek in understanding.
Avey shut the door behind her, panting for her breath. She placed Hope on her bed. "Oh, Hope," she sighed. "That was a close one."
Suddenly the door flew open. "Avey!" Little Phillip cried delightedly.
Avey, with a gasp and cry, hastily threw the rose-patterned quilt over Hope. "Uh, hi, Phillip....." she stammered nervously. "Have fun?"
"Oh, Avey!" Phillip said gleefully. The little royal Zafara's tail was swishing back and forth with delight. "You should have been there!" He quickly took a glance around the room. "Wow, your new room is stunning, isn't it, Avey? King Hagan is the wisest king I've ever seen."
"Oh, please, Phillip," Violette grumbled, quite agitated, passing by the room and entering without a care to knock. "All he does is tell us boring old advice and ask us to impress him with our wisdom. You're lucky, Avey, for not having to sit through his never-stopping chatter."
"Violette, have you no appreciation for our great king?" Phillip asked, amazed that someone could speak that way about someone so wise and powerful.
"Phillip!" rang Rosalina Siara's voice. "Come here, please!"
"Coming, Mother!" Phillip called, glancing a another surprised look at his sister before leaving.
"That Phillip has no idea what he's saying," Violette said, brushing her purple hair away from her eyes. "I would have much rather gone to that dirty pound of yours."
Avey frowned and her heart ached, knowing that today would be her last journey there.
"So, are you happy to have your own room?" Violette asked, heartlessly. "I know I sure am!"
Avey, who was struggling to keep the wiggling Hope still, nodded. "Oh, yes.... I am. It's... rather quite... lovely," she said through gritted teeth, trying to get Hope to settle down under the covers. He slashed at Avey's paws through the quilt covers, trying to escape.
"Yes, it is, and... WOULD YOU KEEP STILL??" Violette snapped, her eyes flashing at Avey who was trying desperately to keep a wiggling Doglefox to stay under the covers.
Hope finally got what he wanted, and wiggled out and off the bed.
"A Doglefox!" Violette shrieked.
Avey tried to grab him, but he had already scampered away and off to the kitchen!
Violette gasped, and Avey started to run after him. "Hope! No! Come back!" she cried desperately. "Rosalina Siara will-"
"Oh, Avey, not again!" Violette admonished. "You know how Mother hates it when you bring strays into the castle! I mean, first it's a Puppyblew with a broken paw, then it's a Gruslen with a cracked tusk, and I'll never forget the time where Mother found that hungry Spyder crawling in her soup." Violette sighed. "And now, it's a Doglefox! He's a filthy one too." She grimaced, glancing at the trail of muddy paw prints he had left behind on Avey's fury blue flooring.
Before Avey and Violette had even reached the kitchen, they heard screams and cries and kitchen utensils falling to the ground.
"WHO LET THIS DOGLEFOX INTO MY KITCHEN?!?!?!"
Avey winced. Rosalina Siara did not sound too happy.
Avey, with tears of grief in her eyes, proceeded down the long walk to the Brightvale Meadow. It was a lush green valley, with roses in bloom and violets sprouting up making purple patches everywhere.
Hope walked curiously beside her, sniffing every flower and chasing every fluttering Buzzer that happened to buzz past. Avey, with a heavy heart of sorrow, sat down under a fruit tree.
Catamaras swam peacefully in the streams and Wadjets slithered calmly through the grass. Mallards quacked happily by the pond and Cirruses floated without a care in the bright blue sky. Avey knew this was good place to let Hope go.
Hope padded up to her and nuzzled her paw, unknowing that this was their good bye. Rosalina Siara had forbidden petpets in her glamorous castle and quickly scolded Avey and warned her to take it as far away as possible so that it never should return and ruin her kitchen again.
Hope whimpered, which made Avey cry. "Oh, Hope..." she sobbed, taking the Doglefox into her arms. "I'll miss you." She kissed between his eyes, and he licked faithfully at her falling tears.
"Don't cry," his whimpers said. "I'll keep you happy. I'll be there. Please don't be sad."
Avey wept bitterly. She wanted to keep her new friend with all her heart, for she had never had a petpet before that Rosalina Siara had let her keep.
Her newsboy cap had fallen from her head and her glowing turquoise antennae quivered with each heart-breaking sob that jerked from Avey's throat. Then something comforting brushed across her arm and she looked up into the face of Hope, the white Doglefox with a newly blossomed red rose in his mouth. Avey took it and felt life draining out of her. She wept dolefully when she remembered she could no longer visit the pound and see her friends there. She could no longer see Gem or Keke, and never again would blissfully she skip along the fields with a basket of goodies crashing against her knees. Avey felt her hope fading.
Hope barked and whimpered, and Avey stroked his white fur for the last time.
To be continued...