Ben stood in front of the trio, looking somewhat afraid of them but this time with Mal and Evie either side of him as though they were his security. He clasped his hands together behind his back and offered a smile to the jeering glares that Uma and Harry were giving, Gil was just watching with a cocked head.
”I would like to invite you to join us at Auradon, for a chance of redemption.”
Gil’s face lit up, he made as though he was going to walk forward but Harry quickly held out his arm in front of Gil. Gil looked down at the hook that was pressed against his chest and then looked back up to the other trio, he stepped back.
“There’s got to be a catch,” Harry hissed between Gil and Uma, Uma nodded slowly and then inspected Ben.
“What’s in It for us?”
”Warmth, sunshine, delicacies you would never have tried,” Evie clapped her hands together and offered a smile, “look, we thought the same thing you guys do no, but I promise this change would be for the better,” she glanced at Gil who was pulling a face, “I mean… Gil, Gil you would do so much better to be away from those two brothers of yours, there are people in Auradon that prove being dopey isn’t a bad trait.”
“Dopey?” Gil looked to Uma curiously.
“Don’t call him dopey,” Uma glared at Evie.
”I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I just meant-”
”Uma,” Harry placed his hand on Uma’s shoulder, “may I talk to you, alone for a moment,” he nodded his head to the side. Harry pointed to Gil with his hook, “stay right there, alright?”
Harry and Uma moved out of earshot but still in sight of the Auradon trio, he spared a look to Gil who was patiently stood in the same spot before turning finally back to Uma.
“I hate to say it but… That blue haired viper makes a good point, Gil would be better off in Auradon.”
“Are you suggesting sending Gil alone?” Uma whispered, she looked to Gil who was actually physically twiddling his thumbs.
“I’d never suggest such a thing,” Harry held Uma’s hand as he spoke, he dropped his head and briefly closed his eyes, “as much as we find him a nuissance, I’d sacrifice the Isle life for Gil’s happiness.”
“You know, in Auradon,” Uma pulled up Harry’s other hand by the hook, “they’d want to case this up in a museum.”
Harry looked at the hook and slowly ran his tongue across his lower lip as he thought, he held the hook with both hands and slowly approached the Auradon trio, “you’d confiscate my hook, wouldn’t you,” he ran his finger along the silver.
“Well, I could arrange for it to be cased in your room,” Ben shrugged, “if you’d prefer, Mal explained the meaning it has to you.”
Harry tried to keep a straight face, he gave a small nod and then ran back over to Uma, “don’t tell anybody else that I said this, but I’m willing to risk casing my hook for Gil to be happy.”
“You literally dove into water to fetch the hook,” Uma hissed, “Harry, are you sure?”
“Suppose we give it a chance,” Harry pressed his lips together, he placed his free hand on Uma’s shoulder again, “if we don’t like it there we can request to be sent back.”
Uma crossed her arms and pouted, “I suppose, all for the sake of Gil?”
”Face it Uma, we both know, with all his mistakes, with all his silly words,” Harry paused briefly, “Gil is important to both of us, and he deserves better than the way his brothers treat him.”
“He’s different from them,” Uma nodded, “perhaps you’re right. Okay, for Gil.”
Harry and Uma shook hands and then walked back to Gil’s side with straight faces, “we’ve discussed the options,” Uma started, drawing sword from it’s sheath and watching as Mal and Evie prepared for a battle, instead she dropped the sword and let it clatter on the ground, “we’d like to take you up on your offer.”
Harry smiled and followed Uma by dropping his own sword to the ground, Gil did the same. Harry and Uma caught the bright smile that showed up on Gil’s face, and they’d be lying if they said it didn’t bring a bit of joy to their hearts.
Ben’s face lit up as the trio accepted the invitation, he turned to Mal with a smile and the daughter of Maleficent offered a smile back to him - even if she did have a slight feeling of doubt.
In the ride back to Auradon, Gil had found joy in the candy that was supplied in the limos, he turned to Harry and Uma with a smile as he stuffed more candy into his mouth. Uma was sat in a position that showed she was clearly uncomfortable with the exclusive treatment, but still when she saw Gil’s joy she smiled.
“This stuff is really good,” he spoke with a full mouth, Harry tapped Gil’s cheek and let out a small laugh.
”You’re clearly going to have a great time,” Harry whispered.
”I think we all will,” Gil shrugged, he placed a hand on Harry’s knee, “it’ll be a cool experience.”
* * * * *
Once out of the limousine and stood in front of Auradon prep, Gil’s excitement had hit the roof, he turned suddenly to Uma and Harry, “this place is already so much better than Dragon Hall!”
Harry looked to Uma and gave her a small smile, “we stick together, and we make this place ours. Just like taking over a ship!” He grabbed her hand and smiled, the smile dropped when the bumbling Fairy Godmother made an appearance.
“Hello,” her chirpy voice made Uma wince, “I’m glad you’ve accepted King Ben’s offer, although,” she pointed to Harry’s Hook, “I’m afraid we’ll have to take that…”
Harry held the hook back, “Ben said I can keep it case in my room, not in some museum.”
“It’s true Fairy Godmother,” Ben smiled, he turned to the trio, “you will be located in rooms opposite each other, Gil and Harry will share one, Uma you’ll be sharing with Drizella’s daughter D-”
”No,” Uma groaned, “not Dizzy.”
“Or I can arrange for you to have a room alone,” Ben offered.
“I’d much prefer that, if you won’t let me room with those two.”
“It’s strictly prohibited,” Fairy Godmother added quickly, “although you will of course be allowed to visit them.”
“I’d visit them even if I wasn’t allowed,” Uma shrugged.
”We’ll show you to your rooms,” Evie smiled to the trio, “come on!”
Gil continued to look around in fascination as they made their way through the halls of Auradon Prep. Harry put on a smile as he watched his friend overjoyed with the new surroundings - perhaps Gil’s happiness would eventually pass onto him. Uma seemed to be hiding a smile, Harry was just forcing his.
Uma truly wanted a world like this, away from the Isle, in a bright and happy world - she wouldn’t admit it but Harry knew she did. He held his hook in both hands, knowing he’d be casing it up soon enough and it wouldn’t come to use, sure it was sad but was there ever a point where Harry was actually able to use his hook? Uma loved to tell him he could hook people but in the end he never got to. Promises were always broken so he couldn’t be that disappointed.
Ben pushed open a door and nodded his head to Gil and Harry, “this is your room, we decorated it. Hopefully you approve.”
“It’s cool,” Gil whispered as he rushed inside, the room was mostly red, one bed had an orange duvet cover and yellow pillows whilst the other bed had a red duvet colour and black pillows.
“Personalised,” Uma commented as she looked at the boys room, there was already a case set up at the side of the room, empty and waiting for the hook.
Harry looked to Ben, “let me guess, you’re going to be keeping the key aren’t you?”
”I am,” Ben nodded, “it’s for the best.”
”Of course,” Harry growled as he moved over the case, Ben followed him and unlocked the case, Harry looked down at the hook in his hands and then slowly placed it into the glass cabinet, “I can’t believe I’m letting you do this.”
“We’ll find something to take your mind off of it,” Ben promised, flashing a smile to Harry, “perhaps Tourney?”
”Tourney?” Gil looked up as he sat down on the bed with orange sheets, “what’s that?”
”A whole lot of fun,” a comment came from the doorway, Carlos had showed up holding a dog in his arms, “it’s uh… Nice to see you guys.”
“You’re holding a dog,” Harry cocked his head as he looked at Carlos.
“This is Dude,” Carlos smiled as he made his way towards Harry, he held Dude out cautiously, “my first Auradon friend.”
Harry slowly reached out and ran his fingers across Dude’s fur, “it’s an odd sight to see you with a dog.”
“It’s not odd any more,” Mal added as she leaned against the doorframe, she turned to Uma, “hey, let’s show you your room.”
As Mal led Uma away, Gil rushed to follow. Harry stayed back in the room, he was still holding his hook and Ben was still stood by the cabinet, it was the pair alone in the room now.
“You trust me to stay in the same room as the hook?”
”As I said, there’ll be something to take your mind off of it,” he placed his hand gently over Harry’s wrist, “so yes, I trust you.”
“Not scared of me after our time together in the Isle?” Harry taunted as he placed his hook into the cabinet, Ben closed the case and locked it.
Ben turned with a small smile, “well now that you don’t have your hook, I’m not,” he let out a small laugh, Harry just frowned, “I was kidding,” Ben defended himself quickly, “I’m a little bit nervous around you, but for reasons different than you’d think.”
“Either you’re scared of me or you’ve got a little crush on me,” Harry scoffed and let out a laugh, he began to walk away but looked back when he didn’t hear Ben laugh. Ben was looking at him with wide eyes and a slightly open face, Harry raised an eyebrow but Ben finally let out a laugh.
“You wish,” Ben patted Harry on the back as they exited the room.