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Royal Lessons With Queen Fyora


by alistair_returns

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When it came to giving out punishments, no one approached them with higher care and delicacy than the Illustrious High Queen of Faerieland Herself. Fyora knew the most effective consequences for any of her royal student’s actions would be one that taught them the importance of giving back to their fellow denizens of Neopia. But even she knew from the look on the two celebrated Water Faeries’ faces in her courtroom that a little more convincing was required for this particular case.

     “I must interject, my Queen,” a rather heated Marina stated, “Surely there is some mistake. This brute of a Peophin threw multiple Exploding Snowballs into my healing springs. Not only is this a huge danger to the Neopets who visit for healing, but also one snowball shattered the Golden Statue, which is destruction of public property!”

     The Royal Peophin prince lounging on a nearby Fluffy Cloud Sofa rolled his eyes as he shined his golden hooves, “Shattered is a severe overstatement, I only knocked off the wings. You’d think with all the knowledge you Water Faeries claim to accrue, you’d know that Water Faeries don’t HAVE wings. If anything, I made an improvement!”

     Marina didn’t have to bite her tongue for long as her much calmer sister fountain faerie continued for her, “and on that same day, Leo Astarion was also caught pouring some Camouflage Wocky Hair Dye into my rainbow fountain springs, making all the Neopets who came to paint themselves that day covered in patches of green.”

     The young Peophin couldn’t help but give out a cackle, “Oh come on, Naia! You have to admit that was hilarious. They all rushed to the Healing Springs thinking that they had caught a mass outbreak of Hoochi Coochies!”

     “Prince Astarion,” Naia gasped in shock, “there is nothing funny about any Neopian disease, especially Hoochi Coochies. You speak in very poor taste.”

     “I could say the same thing about the questionable blue highlights in your hair, and yet here we are!”

     Marina looked ready to blast some magic from her Orb of the Water Faerie at the brash Neopet when the ever-patient Queen shouted, her commanding voice echoing in the royal chamber.

     “Enough! I will not have petty quarrelling in my halls, do you understand? You are all better than this.”

     “But surely you see our concern, my Queen Fyora,” Naia pleaded, “your punishment for the reckless prince is to have him work with us in the springs. Healing neopets of their ailments under Marina’s supervision? Painting Neopets all the colours of the rainbow under mine?”

     Naia spoke her next words quietly to Fyora as if to tread more carefully, “Surely Leo’s actions show he would prefer to cause harm to Neopia rather than heal it.”

     The faerie queen’s grand pink wings flickered as if taking in Naia’s words. Fyora already had so much more pressing matters of Neopia on her plate; the Grey Crisis spreading, Orion’s visions & magical Lyre, and even helping Luxinia with New Faerieland. Yet when she still saw a glint of hope in the Peophin Prince’s eyes, who was currently averting his guilty gaze from hers.

     “He may be too proud to admit to this,” Fyora smiled proudly, “but Leo Astarion’s knowledge in restoration faerie magic is the strongest of any student I have ever taught. I have no doubt that he will be nothing but an asset under both of your tutelage and guidance.”

     Marina stifled a cynical snort as her tail created ripples in the creek passing through the royal chamber.

     “I have high doubts of that, Your Majesty. What guidance can we give to a Neopet that clearly refuses to be taught? Besides,” Marina turned to shoot an icy glance like a Turtum about to hit a bullseye, “Prince Astarion’s parents lost their kingdom to ruin, are you really going to trust in their son to restore anything?”

     “Don’t you DARE speak ill of my parents!”

     The Royal Peophin’s bellowed his words like a it was a command. The sudden rage was like a huge wave crashing against the shoreline at high tide. Though his anger suddenly turned to panic as he realised his sudden outburst meant he had embarrassed himself in front of the royal court. All three powerful Faeries glared at him, the worst coming from his teacher the Queen. Fyora’s brow was quite furrowed as disappointment burrowed into his soul.

     In an attempt to save face before his tears betrayed him, Leo cast a Status Cling in the room; a rather weak and simple light faerie spell, but still strong enough to shatter three Pink Faerie Vases that were adorning the walls. The prince then retreated into the creek, his powerful Maractite tail helping him swim swiftly downstream until he could no longer be seen from the royal chamber.

     The Queen let out a sigh before returning to her royal demeanour, “Naia, I need you to follow Prince Astarion; that stream leads to your Rainbow Fountain where I suspect he won’t be hiding far.”

     Naia gave a respectful bow before swimming downstream. Marina couldn’t help but grin smugly at her point being proven. A grin immediately removed by Fyora’s chiding.

     “Marina, I should expect better from a Faerie in your position. We are to bring life and joy to Neopets, not to bring cruelty and judgment. Now I must insist that you start preparations for the prince to begin working at the Healing Springs, effective immediately. Have I made myself clear?”

     Humbled by her wizened queen’s words, Marina nodded before excusing herself upstream. Fyora put a hand to her face; this meeting’s squabbling weighed heavy on her mind. She had always been right and just in her punishments, so she hoped this wasn’t her first mistake.

     *****

     Naia was an incredibly fast swimmer who could have easily caught up to Leo in moments, but after the events in the castle, the Water Faerie decided to take her time. She needed time to both to think over Fyora’s decision, as well as give the Peophin some space to cool off. Once she arrived at her fountain, she didn’t expect to hear…Music?

     A faint low baritone drawl floated through the air. At first, Naia heard simple scales, then as she followed the sound to its source, cascades of water surrounding her were filled with a spectacular one-Neopet concerto. Peering through the waterfall that she had chosen to spy on the scene, Naia was surprised to see it was Leo playing on the Cello. She saw his eyes were closed, not only to focus on the complicated piece he was playing but to centre his focus and peace after losing his temperament earlier in Fyora’s court.

     He stopped playing and let out a deep sigh from a quiet sound distracting him. Trickles of small splashes could be heard in a small pond nearby. Leo turned to see a small yellow Dartail struggling to jump out of the water, making little clicks and whines of frustration.

     “Oh Abigail,” Leo spoke with a doting tone, one of a mother comforting their crying child, “what has got you so saddened, little one?”

     The Dartail stared upward. Leo followed Abigail’s eye line to see a small rabble of Carmarillers fluttering around some vines hanging above the springs. A warm smile came upon the prince.

     “Are they your friends?”

     Abigail clicked as she shook her tail. An idea came to Leo’s mind.

     “Haha, why haven’t I done this sooner? You must want to play with them!”

     Grabbing a nearby paintbrush and swirling it in a rainbow spring to imbue the magic, Leo began Abigail’s transformation. Her yellow skin became a rich royal blue. Her antennae grew longer, letting out a cerulean glow. Finally, two glorious wings appeared out from the fins on her back, the hombre of pink & blue sparkling like a sunset on the sea.

     Abigail began to hum in glee when she saw the wings. She fluttered out of Leo’s hooves, circling in joyful dashes around his head.

     “Okay Abigail, get those wings nice and strong for me,” Leo chuckled, “I want you to be able to fly as freely in the air as you do in the water.”

     The now Faerie Dartail saluted the noble Peophin with one of her antennae before zooming past to join her Carmariller friends. Naia smiled seeing the troubled prince looking so fulfilled helping the little Petpet. The Water Faerie quietly ducked away as Leo returned to the Cello. She had to report this back upstream at once.

     *****

     It had only been three days, but to Marina it felt like 25 years. She had to admit that Leo was great at healing Neopets that came in from the Battledome, but this was the third morning in a row that the bratty prince had swapped her shampoo with Bubbling Healing Goo, turning her smooth blonde hair into a gloopy green nest.

     As she was washing out the last of the goo, she spotted the prank-loving Peophin talking to a very small Yellow Kacheek. She wasn’t ready for Leo to cause another incident in the Healing Springs, so she decided to supervise them to make sure he wasn’t up to something nasty.

     “…So how old did you say you were turning today, little hero?”

     The Kacheek was still a little too coy to speak but he was also very proud of how many fingers he was showing the prince healing his wounds.

     “Wow, 6 years old! That’s so many!”

     Marina scoffed at hearing such a jovial sweet tone from the Peophin. Surely it wasn’t sincere.

     “You must have been very brave going into the Faerie Caverns on your birthday,” Leo chose his words cautiously, ensuring the Kacheek didn’t get too shy to be honest, “But why were you in there all by yourself? Even I don’t go in there without a friend or a faerie.”

     The Kacheek took a couple of seconds to take a deep breath before confessing his secret, “B-because my classmates said that if I d-didn’t find treasure, they’d throw Exploding Snowballs at me.”

     The look Marina saw on Leo’s face was one she did not expect. In merely a couple of seconds, he reacted in shock. Then reflection. Then Shame. Sorrow. Pity. Before finally ending on a gentle warmth Marina had never seen before.

     “You know what? I have a birthday present for you,” Leo playfully whispered the next bit to the Kacheek, “but you have to keep it a secret, okay? Princes aren’t allowed to give out royal presents freely like this.”

     The little one crossed his heart at the prospect of a birthday gift from a noble prince. Marina stifled a gasp with her hand when she saw the Peophin pull out a small necklace. Not just any necklace though; merely the most powerful and rarest Water Faerie artefact known to Neopia.

     “Do you know what this is, little one?”

     The Kacheek nodded, “That’s a Thyora’s Tear!”

     The Peophin smiled, “That’s correct! So you must know the legend of Thyora and the Water Faerie? Well, if your classmates try bullying you again, I want you to hold this up just like Thyora did in the story. Not only will it protect you from any Snowballs they throw at you, but also that you’re friends with a royal prince who will get your classmates in big trouble if they try to boss you around ever again.”

     The Kacheek’s eyes glowed in wonder at the tear that was now wrapped around her neck, before giving Leo a huge hug. He let out a big laugh before reminding the Kacheek that this was a big secret. The only other person who knew of the prince’s kindness was a Water Faerie, whose jaw might as well have been on the floor.

     Marina pondered that maybe Naia was right about giving Leo another chance. She also knew of another Faerie who would probably like to hear of this.

     *****

     Leo was very confused as to why his teacher was summoning him to her office in the Hidden Tower. She was behind a pink marble desk, purple quill floating magically above some books being filled out by the Illustrious Queen. Fyora didn’t even look up from her notes when she spoke.

     “Ah Leo! I’m glad you’re here, I have good news. Your punishment has to be lifted effective immediately! You no longer have to answer to Naia & Marina at the springs. That’s all.”

     Leo was a little stunned by this sudden change; it hadn’t been that long, and this royal meeting was definitely the shortest he had ever had.

     “That’s all? W-what do you mean that’s all?”

     The Queen flicked a wrist as another book replaced the last one. She then looked up to her student.

     “I received reports over the past week from Naia & Marina, and we have come to the conclusion you have learnt your lesson. You are now free to do as you please. Well done, Leo!”

     The prince felt like he was short-circuiting like a Robot Cobrall dancing in Piper Panic. The Queen smiled at her student’s befuddled state, then raised from her desk to start placing the books she was working on behind her. Because she knew her student well, she started counting down under her voice.

     “Three…two…one…” *SMASH*

     She feigned surprise when she saw that the Royal Peophin had once again Status cling the Pink Faerie Vases that she had just replaced.

     “S-see, Your Grace? I haven’t learnt anything! I’m still reckless! And rambunctious! A-and…” Leo hesitated but kept the façade going, “…And will only bring harm to Neopia. So, obviously, I still have to continue my punishment. Yeah…”

     Fyora looked in pity as young Peophin echoed Marina’s words the week prior. He was holding onto something that hurt him, and she knew there was one last lesson her student had to learn so he could let it go. With a flick of her regal staff, the pieces of the Faerie Vases put themselves back together as the Queen began to speak.

     “Prince Astarion, for what reason did you paint your Dartail Faerie, granting a fish the ability to fly?”

     Leo was shocked Fyora knew of his private moment with Abigail, “I…I wanted her to be happy playing with her friends.”

     Fyora smiled, “And how did a small little Kacheek come to possess the most powerful defence magics known in the Neopian faerie realm?”

     Leo lowered his head to the floor like a caught Puppyblew, “I didn’t want him to get any more hurt. Hurt by bullies like…like me.”

     Fyora was now close enough to lift the prince’s chin so they made direct eye contact.

     “You’re going to make an incredible King one day, Leo. And feeling good about doing the right thing is nothing to be ashamed of.”

     The words seemed to wash away whatever selfish pride the prince had left.

     “Now,” Fyora continued, finally getting to the point, “did you enjoy working at the springs with Naia & Marina?”

     Leo nodded.

     “Would you like to continue working there, healing neopets and bringing them joy with new paint colours?”

     Leo finally smiled and nodded once more.

     “Good,” Fyora backed to her desk, content that the Peophin had finally learnt his lesson, “Then go heal this world, my student. Once Neopet at a time.”

     Leo bowed once more before diving out the window of the Hidden Tower into the creek, once more swimming downstream. Yes, the Queen thought as she sat at her desk. She had always been right and just in her punishments after all.

     The End.

 
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