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Message in a bottle

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“Mateys! We ride with the tide!”

Harry’s call to arms echoed in the minds of the Wharf Rats, hours after King Ben had announced that the barrier was coming down it seemed that nothing of the sort was coming – no sign of Uma, or The King anywhere near The Isle, the bridge, or the surrounding seas; Noone was coming to release the pirates from their Auradon installed prison sentence.

As the morning sun began to disappear behind the dark clouds above The Isle, so did the Rats scarper back to Ursula’s chip shop and their sheltered hovels to nurse their wounds and wounded ego, leaving only two behind to watch the waves lap against their broken and marooned ship. Harry and Gil, Uma’s most loyal, and most lost without her orders, and her praise to fill their days.

“Boy, Uma must be having lots of fun if she is taking so long” Gil broke the silence, smiling without a care that they had been abandoned, likely not even aware that Uma wasn’t coming; his big white smile simply put there in happiness that his Captain and boss was out there having fun doing wicked things with her freedom.

Harry rolled his eyes, he knew better than his dimwitted friend, if they hadn’t razed Auradon with swords and fire by now, chances were that Uma had failed whatever she had put in motion during the cotillion. And now he wasn’t Uma’s first mate, he was… Captain? Was that how it worked? Did he now step into her shoes like some kind of pirate Vice President?

“Yeah, loads of fun I’m bettin’” Harry drawled, venom dripping as what had been hope and excitement twisted in his gut to form disappointment, regret and something darker, tinged with smoke that tasted bitter on his tongue with only a thought – Betrayal. Uma had jumped through the barrier, their one and only chance, one he could have taken with her but she had gone on her own, abandoned them and left them to the dark tides of The Isle of the Lost where they had to fight not for fun, but just for a meal and as much as Harry enjoyed tormenting the locals, it meant nothing if he had nobody to praise him for his work, or tell him who to torment that day.

Harry was lost and it hadn’t even been a day since Uma had gone.

“You think so Har? Do you think she’s made the King beg for his life? Or maybe she’s Queen? Queen Uma” Gil said the title with such reverence you could tell he only wanted the absolute best for the woman who had lead him, fed him and been one of his only friend’s since childhood.

The blonde spun on his feet, boots squeaking on the wet wooden pier as he turned to face Harry, finally peeling his eyes off the Auradon horizon, wanting to plan their first day together in the land that they had only ever seen through dark skies and restless waters.

“Yeah, Queen Uma. Queen of her side of the bloody barrier!” Harry snarled, tossing his sword at the pier with a clatter that made Gil jump in surprise, the blonde bending down to pick it back up only to have it knocked out of his hands by the swipe of a hooked hand.

“Yeah but that side is Auradon, Harry. Queen of Auradon!” Gil almost laughed at the thought of Uma sitting atop a throne, the wonderful thought of he and Harry either side of her commanding the people as her left and right hands. He could almost taste the food that they could get from inside the castle, food Gaston had loved to point out was much better than the leftover slop they got on The Isle. Gil might even get to try, dare he say it? Fresh eggs!

The smile was practically wiped off of Gil’s face as the cold steel of Harry’s hook suddenly struck him across the cheek, snapping him out of his reverie enough for him to notice that Harry was not excitedly waiting for freedom or battle, but seething before him.

“You’re dreamin’ fishbait! She ain’t coming” Harry practically spat at the other, brandishing his hook in Gil’s face. “Uma is not coming” he repeated himself, trying to get the notion through Gil’s decidedly thick, well, everything – especially his skull.

Gil was having none of that though and simply brushed the hook aside and cupped Harry’s face “I trust her” he said and brushed his thumb across the other’s high cheekbone in a gentle, soothing touch that only someone uncorrupted by the evil of the island could muster. He truly believed that Uma would not abandon them, simply because if he were in the place of the sea witch, Gil wouldn’t abandon them.

Harry was disarmed by the gentle gesture and felt his face heat up with more than just frustration that he had missed out on the greatest battle of his lifetime. They didn’t do kindness, or gentle, but here was good old Gil, so thick in the head that not even the purest evil that the world could bring could infect him.

“And you trust her too” Gil added, the smile returning to his face, eyes turning back towards the sea where he could see the cruise ship that the cotillion had taken place on pull into a harbor far in the distance, certain that Uma was walking off that boat with either blood on her hands, or a crown on her head.

“Yeah… I do…” Harry said quietly, though his certainty was of another kind, resigned to the fact that he could either trust Uma by her word, or judge her by the actions of the villain kid she was. It was hard to place your trust in evil, but he had a shining beacon beside him to help him calm. For now Harry was not going to rampage through the island with rage and hurt; For now.

Gil crossed his legs underneath him and sat on the pier, patting the spot beside him for Harry to join him should he wish to join him in waiting for Uma.

With a huff Harry plopped down beside Gil, he’d give Uma the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was still tied up in battle and just hadn’t gotten to the island barrier situation yet. He’d wait for the moment, but soon he’d have to go and rally the tired and beaten Wharf Rats, and he wasn’t certain he would be able to hold them together if she truly weren’t coming back.



“So this list is every villain kid you can think of that deserves a second chance to come to Auradon Prep?” King Ben asked when Evie had brought the beautifully written list of names to him on blue rose printed stationary to him, she knew the children who would benefit the most from being away from the island’s miseries and of course their villain parents who had earned their places in that misery.

“Yup! It’s not every kid on the island or anything, I don’t know everyone” Evie gave her hair a flip, knowing that she was popular enough to know most of the villain kids that were either the right age, or deserved a second chance. On the very top of that list being Dizzy Tremaine whom Evie knew would love Auradon Prep, and simply no longer having to sweep up after her evil grandmother.

“But you’re certain they are all safe to come here?” Ben had all the reason in the world to be cautious, after all when Mal and the others came they had almost brought down the barrier and ended their peace when Maleficent broke through to the side where magic still existed.

“Look, Ben, if safety was the issue, you wouldn’t have asked Mal and the others here. They are villains, but we both know we can learn good just as much as we learned bad. Give them a chance” Evie put a comforting hand on Ben’s shoulder with a soft smile, knowing it was hard to invite literal evil into his kingdom, but it was for a good cause.

“That’s true…” he hummed for a second, still unsure but he knew he had to be King right now and had to make a decision to keep his word to Evie or go back on it for safety concerns. Knowing he wasn’t the type to lie it was merely a second before he was signing the bottom of the page and adding a wax seal to press his ring’s sigil into and making it an official royal decree under his rule.

“I’ll have this sent to Lumiere and he will organize them to be collected” Ben smiled and set the paper down into the out tray on his desk for the former candelabra to collect and put into motion. There would be a lot to organize, they had to get rooms together for the villain kids, as well as sort out the timetables for their classes as well as prepare Fairy Godmother for the larger size to her Goodness 101 class. It would take some time to get everything together but they didn’t have to get everybody all at once, which would make things a lot easier to manage over time, but that was something for his court to work on, all Ben had to do was make the decision and that was done.

Evie cooed in delight, giving Ben a tight squeeze and beaming at him “Thank you Ben, you have no idea how much this means to me – means to them” she could already picture sweet little Dizzy on this side of things, the girl never really fit in on The Isle, and now she would have the chance to blossom without being repressed.

“Just let me know the second there is any trouble, I-I mean if there is any trouble” Ben stumbled, hating that even after dating Mal for so long and even visiting the island for himself he still automatically assumed that trouble would follow wherever the residents roamed.

He awkwardly adjusted the neck of his blue and gold tie, feeling bad for assuming things, especially when Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos had proven to be wonderfully positive and exciting additions to Auradon since they arrived.

Evie gave a sigh, shaking her head in a way that made her pretty blue hair fall over her face, mildly insulted that even after saving Auradon – twice mind you – the villain kids were still just that to the locals, villains.

“You just focus on King stuff, okay Ben. I’ll focus on villain stuff” she was basically going to take the fall for any wrongdoings from the kids on that list if anything did go wrong, not Ben. She had far more to lose than the prettyboy King if anybody tried to repeat trying to take over the world. Getting sent back to The Isle was not something she wanted and she was banking on the fact that the other kids would feel the same too much to misbehave.

“Okay- okay. Let Mal know that I’ll be back late tonight. Court will probably have a conniption when they see this list” he tapped on the signed and sealed paper and turned to the other papers on his desk that needed his attention before he would head off to put everything in motion.

“Yeah… Good luck Ben” Evie gave a soft sigh and headed for the door, closing it with a soft click behind her. This was going to be a huge step for Auradon, but she just had the feeling that it was the right thing, the fair thing to do. And Evie was nothing if not fair.



Two weeks, Harry had watched for two weeks as Auradon flag waving limousines came and went, kidnapping villain kids and whisking them away to that pretty pink princess hell; Two weeks he had waited with Gil at the pier for Uma to usher them to a swashbuckling victory over those royal bastards that were stealing away his friends and victims like they were toys to be collected.

Uma had jumped the barrier, and he wanted to repeat the action but the security had been increased along the entrance where the broken bridge gave way to a magical golden road, he wouldn’t be able to easily slip past them, let alone make the swim to the other shore without getting his ass eaten like he was fish food – Sea witch Harry was not. If only they had a ship that wasn’t full of holes and marooned against the rocks, he might have had enough time to sail out. But who was he kidding, they would probably lose half the damn ship if he tried, he’d never sailed a day in his life. Some pirate he was.

“Raugh!” Harry let out a growl of annoyance and swung at the television in the chip shop with his hook, sick and tired of waiting, and watching others get the second chance he and Gil, and Uma deserved. Except Uma no longer needed her second chance, she had found hers and taken it on her own terms.

Gil swallowed the overly cooked hardboiled egg he had been chewing on and looked at his friend with concern, he had become more unhinged as the time passed and without Uma to ground him, Gil was afraid that Harry would do something drastic just to get the edge of his anger blunted.

“Come on Harry, you have to eat something or Uma will get mad at you for wasting her food” the blonde made an attempt to put some eggs in front of him, but the other just snarled in distaste at it. Gil was certain he hadn’t seen the other eat anything that didn’t have some sort of alcohol content since the first limousine had collected Dizzy, and bread soaked in stale beer did not sound nutritious or appetizing in the slightest.

“Uma can’t do nothing about what she can’t see” Harry seethed, knocking the metal cafeteria plate covered in Auradon’s unwanted and leftover food off the wooden table in Ursula’s chip shop. It didn’t even seem to bother anyone but Harry that Ursula had taken the news of Uma’s disappearance and failure to bring down the barrier like someone had told her they had ran out of clams.

Did nobody around here care that Harry’s world had crumbled around him and he was the one expected to pick it up like he had been the one to break it himself.

…In the latest news: Auradon’s newest upcoming jewelry designer Dizzy Tremaine has made a huge splash after her designs made their debut at the recent Auradon Prep cotillion…

The reporter on screen didn’t get the chance to finish her report on the girl as Harry’s hook smashed through the glass, sending jolts of electricity through the angry pirate. “Traitorous curl!” he yelled, shaking his hand from the jolt of electricity that had ran through the television through his hook and right to his gloved fingertips.

Dizzy had never been one of their crew, but she was Isle born and raised, her defection to Auradon and willingness to do so under King Ben’s rules and reign boiled his blood.

“When I get my hook on those Auradon freaks, I’m going to feed them to the sharks!” Harry pointed at the smashed television, storming away from it like it had personally insulted him. Gil following on hasty steps behind him, having risked electric shock to remove the hook from its destroyed electric prison, making sure his friend had his most precious possession for when the adrenaline wore off and he cared about its presence more than he cared that he was breaking inside.

Stop following me Gil! I don’t need a babysitter, and I certainly don’t want you trying to calm me down!” he barked, snatching the hook from the blonde before continuing his path down cobblestone streets towards somewhere, anywhere that didn’t remind him of Uma, knocking shop wares from tables and stacked belongings into piles of mess as he wrote a path of destruction all the way to Mal’s hideout. Not much of a hideout if everyone knew where it was.

“I’m not- I’m not gonna babysit you Harry” Gil breathed out, watching as Harry threw his boot at the sign that would lift the gate to Mal’s former hideout and storming up the stairs one shoe on, one shoe off. Harry was the one that would follow Uma to the ends of the earth, obey every command with glee, he was supposed to be the brains and Gil the brawn but drunk Harry was something completely different, drunk Harry did stupid things, things even Gil knew were stupid and that was a feat for him.

The blonde hesitated for only a second before following Harry, taking the steps two by two only to find the pirate standing in the middle of the graffiti filled room, shaking visibly. Was he…crying?

“Ha…haha…hahaha!” Gil winced as Harry slowly peeled into a demented laughter, staring at the mural of Mal with a fire in his eyes that Gil knew meant Harry wanted blood – he wanted
Mal’s blood and no other would sate his bloodthirst.

“Harry… you alright?” Gil dared to step closer to the other, watching Harry in this state was nothing new, but it was harder to watch when he was unable to call Uma over to quell the rage of the pirate. And Gil was certain he couldn’t flash a smile that could disarm Harry if Harry was already completely raw with emotion like this.

“Alright? Alright!?” Harry spun to face Gil, eyeliner smudged and blue eyes raging as he stormed at the other so fast that Gil stumbled backwards, barely avoiding tripping over his own feet as he found himself pinned between an angry pirate and paint covered wall. “I’ll be alright when the barrier drops and Mal’s crew are dead and buried!” he bared his teeth at Gil, hoping to frighten the blonde so that he could drink and destroy in peace.

“Well if Uma-“ Gil tried, immediately being cut off by a finger over his lips, tasting salt and bitterness on the other’s skin.

“Uma, what?” Harry glared at the mention of their Captain’s name, what was Gil going to suggest Uma did to fix the problem that Uma was currently not even present to do. “What is our dearest Captain going to do exactly when we are stuck here and she’s out there having the time of her life?” Harry backed off, glancing around Mal’s hideout and spotting the graffiti that had been crossed out crudely – a perfect rendition of Uma in black ink crossed out in red – stumbling over himself to touch the mere picture of what had been by his side since he was a young boy.

He was the picture of misery, one shoe, smudged eyeliner and smelling of beer and blood. But even the image of Uma was something that called loyalty, and contentment out of a boy so angry at the world he could slaughter every man in his path just to take his place by her side again.

Those blue eyes softened from blood thirst to something warmer, sadder, less hellfire and more warm seawater, looking at her it was like a piece of him was temporarily glued back in place.

“Why’d you have to go… we were a team… a posse… I’m supposed to help you raze the land” Harry whispered, bare fingertips brushing over the facsimile as if she stood before him. He was so confused, he was her most loyal friend, but right now he despised her for running and not taking them with her. The two thoughts conflicting and making him teeter back and forth between anger and loneliness.

“I’m going to go find some food, stay here okay?” Gil could see that the other drew comfort from Uma’s portrait and risked a soft hand on Harry’s back, giving the other a little squeeze before backing away to leave Harry to his whispers with Uma. It reminded him of when his friends would plot misery and mischief after Mal’s crew had left for Auradon, except there was no plotting; It was just Harry talking to a wall.