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We Ride with the Tide

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Anger ran through the Wharf Rats like a plague, watching Uma not only get beaten by Mal, the pixie who turned her back on her own people the second she got a taste of privilege, but being driven off by the spoiled boy-king who didn’t understand. It was an anger that was a burning in their guts and bones, the need to feel powerful again after watching their captain lose, the need to destroy, to take out their pent up frustration on everything around them.

They didn’t blame their captain, they just hated how the system was stacked against them, against her.

The second they realized they’d lost a rigged game their swords were out. The Wharf Rats ran through the streets of the Isle, destroying anything in their path, be it person or object. The streets ran red with their anger, clouding their minds even more.

Gil and Harry were no exceptions to the anger, the latter taking pleasure in their exploits, his face and body animated with mania heightened by his anger. Gil was silent, apathetic, as his anger ran through his veins, a force giving him strength, his eyes burning to anyone who knew him well enough.

Every few minutes they would kiss, make out with the taste of blood and sorrow and anger on their lips, before continuing their violent rampage. Evil turned them on, the fire in each of their eyes making them just as attracted to each other as they were to their destruction. The two ran shoulder to shoulder through the marketplace, wishing only that their captain could be there to see them.

Pirate yells could be heard all over the Isle and as the night grew longer the anger ebbed away into sorrowing defeat.

Gil and Harry make their way back to the ship, kicking pieces of broken crates and wood as they go, threatening the odd person that crosses their path but otherwise saying nothing.

It wasn’t until they got back to the ship that Gil spoke.

“What’s going to happen now?” Gil asks as they step aboard the ship, untouched by the previous rage. All the crew knew better than to hurt their own ship. “Will Uma be stuck outside the barrier and us inside?”

“Stop talking,” Harry says instead of an answer, sitting down on the deck. Gil follows him, knowing that Harry is just as worried as he is.

They sit in silence as, one by one, the other Wharf Rats returned to the ship, nodding at their acting captain and Gil, who is technically the second mate but no one really calls him that, their faces a mixture of tired and enraged. Everyone is still angry about the defeat.

“Let’s go,” Harry stands up as the last crew member disappeared below deck, “I don want to be up here anymore,”

“Yeah, let’s go,” Gil nods and follows him below deck.

The boys pass crew members leaning against doorways, drunk off the bad liquor they keep in their beds for times like these when they need to forget, giving nods to the few they link and ignoring the rest. Harry moves people out of his way with his hook, Gil following closely behind, used to the idle threats.

Gil stops in front of his own room, ready to spend some time on his own, when Harry grabs his arm, dragging him further down the hall to the captain’s quarters.

He doesn’t say anything as he’s dragged inside, the door shutting behind him, Harry in front of him. He doesn’t say anything as Harry discards his hook on a table and pushes him forcefully against the wall.

“Now, what am I going to do with you, eh?” Harry’s hand grazes Gil’s jawline before meandering down to his throat, grazing his Adam's apple before continuing down his arm.

Gil says nothing, tilting his head up slightly to meet Harry’s eyes, something burning in his gut. He loves it when he’s pushed around by Harry and Uma, loves knowing that they do it because they want to, because they want him.

“I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Gil says, all brash, wearing his heart on his sleeve like always.

Harry smiles, manic and proud, and leans forward.

The two boys melt into the kiss, letting it start off sweet until their aggression begins heating the air between them. Harry bites at Gil’s lip as Gil moans into the kiss. pulling Harry closer by the hips, Harry obliging, pressing Gil against the wall, no space between them. Everything about Harry is hot, from his hands roaming Gil to his mouth, which is slowly taking Gil apart. When Harry pulls away to tug off his jacket, Gil chases his mouth for a second before shredding his own.

They come back together, Harry spinning the strong boy around until their walking towards the bed, connected by their biting mouths and entangled arms and hips pressing together. They take off each other’s belts, letting the swords and leather drop onto the floor as they continue kissing, Harry shoving Gil back until he’s lying down on the bed.

Gil laughs as Harry straddles him, continuing to kiss the boy, hands heavy under his shirt. The aggressions ebbs off until the kisses turn back to sweet instead of bruising. The two boys hold onto each other in their captain’s bed, missing her more than either of them can say.

“She’s coming back,” Harry says into Gil’s neck, head positioned over his left side. Gil nods, undoing the bandana around his head, letting his blonde hair cascade around his neck. Harry’s moves his hand behind Gil's head to run through it. “We’re her crew,”

“Yeah, we’re her crew,” Gil repeats, his voice heavy as he holds Harry closer, “How’s she gonna get back through though?”

Harry shifts to look at Gil for a second, something dark, almost like fear, in his eyes, “Gil, sometimes it’s better to not ask questions,” He says instead of answering.

“Oh, right,” Gil nods, dropping his head onto the pillow on the mattress, just letting himself feel Harry’s body pressed against him, letting himself forget the worries and troubles that plague his mind.

They fall asleep together like that, and if anyone had looked in they would think Harry soft, the way he’s holding onto Gil like he’s a lifeline. Without Uma around, he’s the only lifeline Harry has.

Morning dawns on the island and a figure slips into the captains quarters, wearing a turquoise ball gown stained with dirt at the bottom, braided hair hanging around her shoulders, dripping with salt water.

Harry opens an eye, arms wound around Gil’s neck, and stares at Uma. His heart swells, seeing her back where she belongs, with her crew on the isle, with him and Gil.

“You’re back,” Harry says plainly, “Knew you’d be back.”

“I’m not leaving you guys,” Uma replies, stripping off the gown before letting it crumple to the floor in a heap.

“We didn’t know if the barrier would let you back in,” Gil says, opening his eyes to look at her.

“You know I would have found a way back,” Uma gives him a look, “I don’t leave people behind.” She pulls on her typical outfit, the purple net shirt and blue corset/dress piece, before sitting on the bed. The two boys sit up to meet her, Gil’s hair falling around his shoulders in waves.

Uma makes a note to see if she can convince him to stop wearing the bandana.

“We gonna burn that dress?” Harry eyes the crumpled fabric on the floor of the cabin, a smile gracing his lips as he imagines it going up in flames.

“No,” Uma follows his gaze, “We’re making curtains out of it. Show those idiot royals what I really think of their fancy clothing.” Gil laughs at her words and Uma pulls them both into a hug, “Auradon’s a fucked up place.” She says lowly, almost a murmur, barely intended for their ears.

“We saw you turn into a sea-witch,” Gil changes the subject as bluntly as he can, “Saw you grow, with scales and tentacles and everything.” He looks at her now, legs and all, remembering the goddess that she was outside the barrier.

“I changed back when I came through the barrier,” Uma answers his quiet question, underlying his words because she knows Gil can’t express himself properly, “Which is one way. People can get in, but we can’t get out. Not without help from outside.”

There’s silence. Harry breaks it.

“You missed a party,” He says, his smile returning to his face, “We were all upset after you lost and we had a party,” He knows she knows what party really means, the destruction and carnage they brought to the isle after her defeat, “It would have been better with you there.”

Gil nods in agreement, his arms slipping around Uma’s and Harry’s waists.

“Sorry I missed it,” Uma says dryly and the three chuckle.

-

It takes a day or two before the limo comes back, and another day until Uma realizes what that stupid, good for nothing, lovesick king is doing. First Dizzy is taken, then more of the younger children, then some of the older ones. All kids, daughters and sons of villains, who had been on Mal’s good side before her betrayal.

“We’re going to make it hell for them,” Uma decides, standing at the bow, watching the limo leave the island, Harry by her side and Gil at her back, “I don’t care how. They don’t get to take others and leave us here like we’re nothing.”

“We don’t have a bargaining chip this time,” Gil says, and Uma knows he’s just thinking aloud but his words still grate her.

“No, we don’t,” Harry nods his head, “But we have swords and knives and chaos,” He gives Uma a smile and she nods.

“I think that’s enough.”

The next time the limo comes to the isle, the Wharf Rats are ready. They spring when the guards leave the car, smashing the windows, stealing what they can, breaking what they can’t. Harry sings ‘if you can’t take it, break it,’ under his breath, softly reminiscing of the last time the traitors were on the isle.

Gil’s face is impassive as he watches them pillage, the stoic guard waiting for the rich Auradonian guards to return. Harry laughs as he takes the candy, spilling it amongst the glass shards littering the ground. He pulls Gil into a forceful kiss before returning to the wreckage.

Gil almost smiles, watching them. But then the guards show up, ruining their fun, being trailed by a small girl, 10 years old, carrying a small bag. Gil’s sword goes out to stop them from running forward, to stop them from attacking the Rats.

“I wouldn’t come any closer,” Harry immediately says, his face impassive, his eyes burning. Gil smirks.

The guards don’t heed the warning, moving forward and the Wharf Rats fight them.Gil’s face turning from impassive and concentrating to smiling in a heartbeat, the adrenaline of fighting getting to him. Also Harry’s influence, but he tries not to acknowledge that.

The fight is bloody and short, the girl leaving in the broken limo, none of the guards dead but quite a bit of them hurt.

Harry latches onto Gil as they walk back to the ship, carrying their spoils with them. That night the Rats pretend to feast like kings and for a second it feels like justice had been served.

“Gil,” Uma passes Gil some food, letting her hand trace of the burn mark on his flesh, letting him know that she’s here for him. He stares out across the water, at the palace and the golden light coming from it.

“We deserve to have the same chance as them,” Gil says quietly, “We shouldn’t be stuck here, trapped behind a barrier.”

“We shouldn’t have to grovel to them for a chance to get out,” Uma agrees, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Cheer me up tonight?” Gil asks, slowly, unsurely, and Uma wants to kiss him right then and there, to show him that she loves him more than anything, that she’ll never turn him down or away.

“We both can sweetheart,” Harry’s the one who answers, coming up behind Gil, hands at his waist, “Don’t worry.”

That night Gil worships his captain and first mate, and the pleasure him right back. That night everything slots into place, they can wait to get off the isle as long as they have each other. They will never leave each other. And they will find a way off, even if the limo probably won’t come back again.

-

The limo keeps coming, the fights getting bloodier and bloodier as more children are taken, are chosen by some divine god, to Auradon. The anger in the Rats veins fuels them, the knowledge that they are somehow not worthy of being chosen, they are like all other children on the isle but because they decided to stand up and fight they cannot leave.

The anger burns in Harry most of all, and his mania worsens. Uma keeps him in check, keeps him sane when he’s fighting, and Gil keeps him balanced when he’s not himself.

Soon it’s known that the only way anyone gets off the isle is by witnessing the Wharf Rats try to ruin it, try to ruin the chance and the limo.

Uma smiles at the power she has at her fingers, knowing that everyone knows who she is. Even working at her mother's restaurant doesn’t ruin it for her. The isle is her’s, her home and playground, and she will get her crew off it someday if only to come back and free the rest of her people. Harry and Gil come first, then her crew, then her people.

The Wharf Rats still rule the Isle, running terror through it, their home base much more the ship than her mother’s restaurant now. The last of her crew moves into the quarters below deck, Gil continues the repairs to the hull and building the ship, everything slotting into place.

Now they just need an actual plan to get off the isle, a way for all of them to make it out. Because there’s no way anyone is getting left behind.

-

It comes as a surprise when the guards show up at the docks.

They fan out, 6 guards all dressed too pristinely for the Isle, their pockets already picked clean by miscreants on their way over.

Harry paces the deck, his eyes burning at them, wanting nothing more than to rip their perfection apart. Gil leans against the mast, his own face impassive, watching Harry strut.

“You’ll be wanting to leave,” Harry smiles, all vacant and manic, and motions with his hook to the tunnel the guards at the end of the gangway to the ship came out of, continuing to move, unable to stop, “Before Uma gets out here and the fun really begins.” He laughs, and the guards look unnerved.

“Whats this about me and fun?” Uma asks, stepping out of the entrance to the lower decks of the pirate ship, eyeing the guards, “Do we have visitors?” She knows why they’re here, figured Ben would send them to either get them to stop or to collect her, to bring her over to be part of his ‘solution’.

“From Auradon,” Gil gives her a smile, answering her because it’s the only thing he can do.

“Come to tell us off have you?” Harry yells to them, “You should have brought something more than just yourselves for that lesson!” His hand moves to his hip, to his sword, when Uma stops him with a hand.

“What do you want?” She asks, keeping Harry behind her, his eyes already darkening at the prospect of another fight. Gil comes up on her other side, ready to protect her back as always.

“King Ben of Auradon would like to cordially invite Uma, Daughter of Ursula, to accompany the royal guards back to Auradon for the next school term at Auradon Prep.” The guard at the front reads off a scroll.

Uma’s laughing before he even finishes. Harry and Gil join in, and her crew follows. The guards look even more unnerved.

“Like I told Ben last time,” Uma waves the guards off with a hand, in control like always, “I’m not going.” Gil and Harry smile, knowing what she means, what she’ll never say. She’s not going to leave them, leave them or the crew, behind.

“King Ben insists that you accompany us back,” The head guard tries again, looking like he’s going to stop forward but stopping at the last second.

“And I insist that you all leave,” Uma hisses at them, “Before my crew makes you,” There’s a second where the guards all look at each other before standing straighter.

“Now can we fight them?” Harry whines, his blood boiling, Uma smirking, the crew member all drawing swords. Gil draws his own but remains behind, waiting for Uma’s orders.

They all wait for Uma’s orders. Even the guards, watching her, instantly knowing she holds the power.

“Get them,” Uma says, and hell is unleashed.

The guards go back to their limo, still pristine which is unusual but the pirates were busy in other areas, broken and bleeding, the message Uma sends to Ben clear in their minds.

Aboard the ship, the crew celebrates their victory, cracking open cheap liquor they steal from the barges and mix.

“To the sea!” Harry yells from one of the ratlines and the crew cheers, repeating the words. The air is electric, their happiness inebriating them as much as the alcohol. They need each other, nothing more, and in that moment it’s as clear as always.

Uma grabs Harry and Gil, the two of them stupid drunk, leaning on each other, and drags them back to her cabin. She kisses Gil first, Harry pulling off her jacket from behind, his lips pressing against her neck as she backs Gil up against the wall.

They dance around each other, shedding clothing as their lips and limbs tangle together, falling on the bed, enthralled with each other.

Uma bites marks into her boys, claiming them, and Harry does the same, biting more than just one mark into Gil’s body as he whines, moans at the sensation. Uma kissed Gil as Harry moves to her, biting a mark into her neck.

Uma and Harry’s fingers trail along the burn mark on Gil’s hand, just once each, reminding themselves why they’re worth it, why they’ll always be worth it. They all share a smile, soft and forgiving, reminding themselves why they chose this.

Then skin touches skin and the haze of sex overtakes them, Gil pressed against the bed, bowing and begging for his masters, his king and queen. They don’t waste time with him, nipping and biting, taking the time to tease.

“Yeah, you like that, don’t you,” Harry licks the lines of Gil’s abs, Uma biting another mark into his neck. Gil moans obscenely, the sound going straight through Uma. She loves it when he’s under her, controlled by her.

Harry smiles wickedly and dips even lower, Gil’s noises becoming more desperate and breathy. Uma chuckles and bites at his earlobe.

“You know the rules, Gil,” She says lowly, dragging a hand down him chest, “You get your pleasure when we get ours,” Gil will do anything for them, she doesn’t even have to hear it to know it, but if Gil doesn’t like something they stop immediately.

That’s the way it goes, balancing the line between controlling him and loving him.

Harry comes back up to kiss Uma, tongue hot and heavy but letting her dominate, letting Gil watch.

Their skin becomes slick with sweat as the night wears on, keeping Gil on the edge as Uma fucks herself on him, Harry kissing along his neck and shoulders, deepening the bruises already showing, kissing Gil when the noises become too much. Then they change and Harry is the one over him, using Gil’s mouth, Gil’s wicked mouth which says the sweetest things but does the dirtiest.

They let Gil find his own pleasure, help him ride it through to the very end, the love he holds for them evident in his eyes. They sleep soundly that night, tangled together, the love between the three as clear to see. They belong to each other.

The next day the guards return and the crew's expression darkens.

“King Ben of Auradon would like to cordially invite the Wharf Rat known as Jayleen to accompany the royal guards back to Auradon for the next school term at Auradon Prep.” The head guard reads off a scroll.

“No,” Jayleen says immediately, giving her captain a nod, “I refuse.”

The guards don’t leave without a fight, and the Wharf Rats give them a fight.

The guards continue to come back, continue asking the crew to come to Auradon, continue to be turned down, and continue to run away from the fight. It takes 2 weeks, until all of the 12 members of the crew minus Harry and Gil have been offered the chance. Until they’ve all turned it down.

The next time the guards arrive, King Ben is with them.

“And to what do I owe this pleasure?” Uma laughs, pointing her sword at the king, “I already told you I’m not coming.”

“Please Uma,” The king responds, “Please just come and help, be part of the solution.”

“Don’t make me repeat myself,” Uma hisses in answer, Harry and Gil stepping up to her, swords drawn. “I’m not going, I told you, I’m getting there on my own.” We’re getting there, the words going unspoken but true.

“How?” Ben presses, “How, when you don’t have the wand or a bargaining chip or a way off?”

“I’ll figure it out,” Uma bites out, “I don’t need your handout.”

Ben flicks his eyes around the crew, “And the rest of you?” None of the crew say anything, and Ben turns his eyes on Gil, “What about you Gil?”

All eyes turn toward the happy son of Gaston, the protector of the crew, the lover of the ship and crew. Uma looks at him, really looks at him, and thinks about how he would flourish in Auradon. She doesn’t let herself dwell on that though because she knows he won’t go.

Just like she knows her crew won’t go, not one by one. They’re a family, they stick together.

“No,” Gil says, staring down Ben, his smile dropping off his face, “No, I won’t go.”

“Why?” Ben presses, utterly confused, “You don’t belong on the Isle, you know that Gil. You’re pure and lighthearted, this Isle crushes things like that.”

“I won’t go,” Gil repeats.

“But why?” Ben takes a step forward on the gangplank to the ship and Uma and Harry tense up, ready to defend Gil if necessary, “There’s nothing for you here.”

There’s a tense silence, Harry moving to grab for Gil, who looks about a murderous as he’s ever been. Harry and Uma know it’s not true, know that Gil has them and will always have them, but it’s a question as to whether or not he knows it.

Gil doesn’t answer, and they have theirs.

“He has us,” Uma answers for him as Harry grabs his hand, not caring who sees him pull the stronger boy in, “He has the crew and the ship and he doesn’t need Auradon.” Uma takes Gil’s hand, the one with the sword, and holds on, willing the boy to understand how much they are, “Now leave, all of you, go back to your golden towers.” She spits poison at them, the hatred burning in her eyes.

How dare he accuse them of not caring about Gil. How dare he.

Ben’s face is shocked and his mind is whirring at Gil’s words. The guards back away, they have learned by now to heed the warning of the crew, but Uma can see Ben thinking. She can physically see him putting the pieces together in his mind, their words and protectiveness, how the crew won’t leave her side. The boys are her’s to protect, and the crew is family. They don’t leave without each other.

And if they don’t go together, they don’t leave at all. Uma isn’t Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos. She won’t turn her back on them and they won’t turn their backs on her.

“If I offered all of you,” Ben says slowly, like he’s unsure if the words are right, “The chance to come to Auradon together, would you take it?”

“Not good enough,” Harry says immediately, still wrapped around Gil. It’s what Uma was waiting for but she know’s that Harry is right.

“As soon as we get over there, you’re going to split us up,” Uma’s eyes are harsh as she speaks, “Not good enough.”

“Bring the ship with you,” Ben answers immediately, his desperation clear. Uma doesn’t know why he needs them so badly, but it’s clear that he does, “The whole crew plus the ship. Will you come to Auradon then?”

That’s what Uma’d been waiting to hear. She answers for them all, sure and confident, Gil taking his spot behind her, Harry smiling like a maniac next to him.

“In a heartbeat.”

Chapter Text

The people of the Isle come to see them off, some because they just want to see some people getting out, others because they want answers as to how, and a small portion to sabotage it.

Uma expected all three groups, enough to take down the gangplank the night before and have the ship moved over slightly so that no one could jump aboard. She planned for the people trying to ruin their change, trying to set fire to the ship or cut the sails from afar. She waits on the deck of the ship, watching the people on the docks, daring them to try anything in the open as her crew moves around her, tying things down, getting ready to embark. As soon as the barrier comes down enough on their side for the ship to slip through.

Ben informed them Fairy Godmother would do it at 10am sharp. Harry’s watch says at 1 minute to 10.

Uma sees a head of light blue and her eyes focus on a girl, a girl not known to come this far over on the isle. Hyacintha, the daughter of the greek lord of the underworld, smiles and nods at Uma, a silent blessing for their voyage. Uma is unsettled by the lack of anger in the girls eyes, only a quiet stillness.

Cynth wasn’t known on the Isle for her calm, but Uma ignores it, nodding back to her before looking towards the rest of the crowd. When she glances back, Cynth is gone.

“You ready captain?” Harry asks, smiling manically as he shows her the pocket watch. It reads 10.

“Lets get out of here!” Gil yells and the crew roars in approval. Spirits are high as the last few sabotagers attempt to ruin this for the Wharf Rats. Gil smiles, hugging Harry before reaching for Uma, his face alight with delight and hope.

Harry looks at the blonde boy, the love he has swelling in his gut, drowning out the fears and worries that had kept him up the night before, everything that could go wrong in Auradon for the crew. Harry just lets himself be happy as Gil is happy.

Uma looks toward the two boys she’s sworn a private oath to protect with her life and lets herself be happy too.

There’s a shimmer around the barrier and then a section of it melts away, big enough for the ship to get through and not much more more.

“That’s our cue,” Harry laughs.

“Take us out Harry,” Uma points and Harry nods to the crew members in the mast. The sails drop and Harry steers the ship out of the harbor, through the hole in the barrier. Uma can hear people jumping into the ocean behind them, knows it’s others trying to get off the prison island, but doesn’t care.

She and her crew are out. That’s all that matters.

The barrier closes once she ship is through, and Gil lets out another yell, the bright sun beating down on them as the clouds disappear. Uma smiles and reaches up to grab at his headband, pulling it off, letting his blonde hair tumble down. In the sunlight it looks golden, he looks golden. Like a god.

The crew lazes about as the wind blows the ship towards Auradon, the harbor Harry’s been steering it towards since they got out.

“You sure you want to play along with them?” Gil is the one that asks as they get close, lying down on the deck, watching the sun sparkle off the sea, “We could always just head a different way and forget about Auradon. We ride with the tide, remember?”

Harry and Uma exchange a glance, unused to Gil sprouting actual good advice, or solid thinking. It’s bad of them to think it, but he’s not known for being smart out loud. Something about being off the island must be the reason for the change.

“They still have the wand,” Uma sits down next to him as Harry steers, “They can wish us back onto the isle if we don’t do as they say,”

“Right,” Gil nods, “So we’re still prisoners. Our cage just got bigger.”

Uma and Harry still at his words, the realization of their true meaning hitting them. How in holy hell did Gil, of all people, manage to pick up on that?

Uma grabs his hand, the burnt one, and tugs Gil close, “This cage will be easier to break,” She says, a plan, well less than half a plan if she’s being honest but it’s still a work in progress, forming in her head as she holds onto him, “We have more chances to get the wand here. More chances to figure out a way to make sure we never get sent back there.”

“More changes to make sure everyone else gets out,” Harry supplies, something dark burning in his features. How the hell didn’t they realize it? How the hell did they not see that Auradon was just another cage, only in this one they wouldn't be able to be themselves, they would have to conform to princes and princesses.

It made him want to change course, but he knew the consequences would be worse.

“Get my dad and siblings out,” Gil nods, thinking aloud softly. Uma nods at him. Gil had the best relationship with his dad out of most villain kids, Gaston LeGume being one of the few adults on the isle to actually care about children in his own way. He grew up in a small french town where the culture had been to care for all children. He’d even taught his children french as a second mother-tongue.

Something Gil had mildly taught to the crew, just simple commands and ship directions, but enough.

It was also something Uma had forgotten until that moment, the language never really sticking with her the way her mothers Old Mer lessons had.

“Get Uma’s mom out,” Harry supplied again. Ursula, while being a terrible mother, wasn’t a bad person despite everything she’d been accused of. It wasn’t Ursula’s fault the little redhead hadn’t bothered to read the fine print of their agreement, and Ursula had told her the consequences up front.

“Get CJ and Harriet,” Uma looked at Harry, his siblings names calming something in him. While his dad was dead, gone and the only thing Harry had left of him was his hook and memories, his siblings had been scattered across the Isle causing mischief and grief. Harry loved them, but could never keep up with them.

“How?” Gil doesn’t take his eyes off the fast approaching harbor, where a small group is waiting for The Forgotten Revenge to dock.

“Later,” Uma says, partially needing time to think of a solid plan, partially worried that the people on the dock will overhear. Gil and Harry nod before Harry looks up at the crew on the mast, locking eyes with Bobby.

“Let the crew know there’s a meeting tonight. We’ve got some news,” Harry orders. Bobby nods and passes along the message in a mixture of french, english, and whistles.

Harry steers the ship into the harbor and docks it, the Wharf Rats jumping down to tie the ship into place, and anchor dropping smoothly into the ocean.

And, with the sun beating down on their backs, Gil’s hair flowing in the light breeze, Uma’s fingers tapping against the hilt of her sword, and Harry’s hand running over the curve of his hook, the Captain and her First and Second mate drop the gangplank.

-

King Ben is waiting for them at the bottom, a wide smile gracing his face despite the bad blood between him and the pirates. Evie stands next to him, smiling as well, but her smile is tight around the edges. The other original villain kids, Mal, Jay, and Carlos, stand behind the two. Fairy Godmother, wand in hand, is standing off to the side.

Uma sneers, Harry smiles widely, and Gil stills his facial features.

“Welcome to Auradon,” Ben smiles at all of them. Behind Uma, the pirates fan out on the gangplank and the ship, facial features akin to distrust.

“Nice to finally be here,” Uma’s words are biting, and she glances from Ben to Evie to Mal and back again, “With the ship no less.”

“If you are ready, we have cars waiting to take you up to the school,” Ben motions where a large, plush bus is waiting on the road next to the harbor. Uma sneers at it but says nothing. Ben continues, “We’ll give you a tour of the campus, talk you through your classes, answer any questions,”

“Will we be able to chose our classes?” Someone asks from the ship, Jayleen, the sneer evident in her voice.

Gil’s eyes light up at the thought, his surprise showing through his mask. Uma smirks and Harry nods along.

“Aye, we’ll be able to chose what we want to learn, right?” Harry looks to Gil for a second before smiling. On the Isle they weren’t allowed to chose their classes. Auradon was supposed to be different.

They were supposed to be free here.

“You’re other school,” Ben starts.

“Serpent Prep,” Uma supplies the name with a harsh smirk.

“Right, Serpent Prep,” Evie continues for Ben, finally speaking up, “Sent over your transcripts. You’ve been placed in some of the standard classes along with one class specifically designed to help villain kids adjust to Auradon life,” She looks down at the files in her hands, “But there are a few slots for classes you can chose. Why don’t we discuss that up at the school?” Ben motions to the busses again as Evie stops speaking.

There’s a tense silence as Uma thinks over the princesses words.

“How do we know the ship will be here when we get back?” Harry sneers, mistrust clear in his eyes. The other pirates nod a murmur together, their mistrust back.

Ben sighs heavily, “You have my word that the ship won’t move,” He says honestly, looking at Uma, “From one leader to another.”

Uma mulls it over, thinking. Mal huffs but doesn’t say anything and Harry’s eyes slim as they look at her. The silence stretches.

“Uma, you have no reason not to trust us,” Evie attempts to smile at the pirate queen and Uma looks at her. “Not over here.”

“We also don’t have any reason to trust you,” Uma tilts her head, looking at Ben, “Considering the history between us and your girlfriend,”

He shuffles nervously. The silence stretches.

“We’ll come,” Uma says finally, her point made, “But if the ship isn’t here when we get back, or it’s vandalized, or anything happens, we’re going to have problems.” She steps off the gangplank.

“Your weapons,” Fairy Godmother motions to the swords they all carry. Uma huffs and pulls her’s out of it’s scabbard, passing it backwards to Harry, who pulls his own out before handing them to Gil, who pulls his own out before handing them backwards. The cycle continues until all the swords are being carried by a single crew member.

Uma nods to Gyps, who’s holding all the swords, “Put them below deck,” Uma turns back to Ben, “If they go missing we’re going to have problems.” Ben nods and Gyps returns.

“And the hook,” Fairy Godmother motions to Harry.

Gil hisses under his breath and Uma looks at her blankly.

“The hook stays with Harry,” She says, no room for argument. Fairy Godmother looks at her, surprised by the defiance, and a staring contest ensues. Eventually Fairy Godmother buckles and nods at Uma.

She starts moving towards the buses. The rest of her crew, all 12 of them, follow her, Harry and Gil directly behind her and the others behind them.

They file into one of the buses, sneering at the cleanliness and plushness. Uma sits down, Harry and Gil piling into the 2-seater behind her, squishing them all but refusing to have one of them sit alone. Not here, not among potential enemies. Not in a slightly larger cage with different rules.

The other pirates file into the seats by two’s, and it’s pure chance that Jayleen and Bobby end up directly behind Uma, Harry, and Gil.

“Cap,” Bobby leans over the seat, “Where are we meeting tonight?”

“On the ship,” Uma says back as the last of her crew enters the bus, “I don’t care what they have planned for us up at that school, we’re staying with the ship, we’re staying together.”

“Galley?” Bobby nods slowly.

“Yes,” Harry is the one who answers, playing absently with his hook with his free hand, “Galley. Six bells, last dog watch.”

“Got it,” Bobby nods and retreats, whispering the instructions to Jayleen. Uma can physically hear the information being passed around to her crew, the noise almost deafening with it’s meaning and implications.

The noise stops as Ben, King Benjamin of Auradon, steps onto the bus, followed by Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay.

They all stare at the group. 4 traitors and a king. The former Villain Kids stand awkwardly in front of the stares while Ben seems unaffected by the silence and takes a seat in front of Uma. He looks at the three squished into a seat and frowns.

“You know those seats are made for two people right? Gil, you wanna sit next to me?” Ben says earnestly, looking at the boy on the end.

“Gil, get up,” Harry barks and Gil rises. Harry pushes him into the aisle before moving out of the seat himself. Harry shoves Gil back into the seat taking his own seat on the end, giving Ben a cruel and vacant smile, “Gil doesn’t need to move, but if you want to sit next to me I’ll be more than happy to oblige.” He runs a hand over the curve of his hook, a barely-veiled nonverbal threat. Uma throws her legs over Gil’s, pulling him closer, sitting idly on his leg. Harry presses against his other side.

“Okay everyone!” Fairy Godmother steps into the bus and the mood is broken. “Mal, Evie, Jay, Carlos, please take a seat,” The four slip into seats, sitting by gender, “We’re departing in just a few seconds. Is everyone here?”

“We’re all here,” Uma answers before anyone else can, “My crew don’t leave people behind,” She looks at Mal for a second before looking back at Fairy Godmother, “Can we get moving?”

“What’s the magic word?” Fairy Godmother smiles, and Uma tenses. There’s a silence that stretches over the bus.

“Okay then,” Fairy Godmother’s smile dips slightly as she turns, “Bus Driver, take us up to Auradon Prep.” The door closes and the bus starts moving.

The drive up to the school take no time at all, barely 2 minutes, and Uma thinks they really could have walked. She memorizes the route outside the window, preparing for when she and her crew will have to walk both to and from the school to the harbor.

The bus stops in front of an ornate stone building, a statue of Adam Florian, Ben’s father and Gil’s dad’s enemy, out front. The building looks more like at castle than a school but Serpent Prep wasn’t much of a school so maybe they’re all like this over here.

The original villain kids bolt out of the bus as soon as it stops, Fairy Godmother exiting after them. Ben stands up but waits until Uma, Harry, and Gil are in the aisle before actually moving to leave. The pirates exit the bus to find a group of villain kids and aura don kids waiting for them. They stick close to the bus, instinctually fanning out protectively.

“Welcome to Auradon Prep,” Ben smiles at them, motioning to the building, “This is the administration building and nurses office, most of the classes and dorms are in buildings behind it.” Uma nods and Gil tries to ignore the statue in front, “Farther behind are the sport fields, art block, and the forest that the school backs onto.” Ben blushes slightly, “It’s a fairly large campus. We’re giving you a full tour, so don’t worry.”

“We’re not worried,” Harry is the one who replies, baring his teeth in a smile that it’s friendly.

Uma hums in agreement as the people standing there look unnerved, even the kids from the Isle. Uma’s gang was known and infamous, and Harry Hook is the most infamous of all. Ben just smiles, it unnerves Harry and surprises Gil. He didn’t think the son of a beast would be this nice. Maybe Auradon really is different.

“Shall we begin?” Ben leads the way, and the pirates follow.

-

The campus was large and sprawling, almost lazy in it’s design and execution. Uma watched as Gil was introduced to the dorm kitchens, open to all students whether they were housed in the dorms or not, and the cafeteria. She marveled at how the boy’s food obsession could translate into something over here.

If he wanted to he could join the cooking class, Ben had said, and Gil’s face had lit up at the thought.

Ben was very accommodating to the pirates, Uma noticed, which made her even more suspicious of him. What could he possibly gain by keeping them there, in Auradon?

They were brought into a classroom last, with papers piled on a desk in the front, papers that looked like schedules in packets.

“Okay, so this is the last thing,” Ben motioned to the papers, “Each packet is personalized for each of you, with what classes you’ve already taken at Serpent Prep influencing where we place you in the school system. There are empty spots available for your own choice of classes, so if you please come up and grab your name. Each packet also contains the list of classes so you can choose.” He stepped out of the way and the pirates approached the table, save for Gil, Uma, and Harry.

Their packets were brought to them by Jayleen and Bobby with smiles, which they returned, and Ben watched the interaction. It was unusual that the pirates showed actual emotions, and when they did it was brought on by their own crew. He figured he needed to get to know them better to understand the bond between them.

Across the room, Uma, Harry, and Gil hunched over their schedules.

“I’ve got remedial goodness for pirates first,” Uma muttered, looking down at the table.

“Same,” Harry nodded.

“I’ve got it too,” Gil pulled off the schedule and started flipping through the classes.

“It’s probably a class for all of us,” Uma sneered, “Trying to teach us how to behave over here.”

Harry grunted disapprovingly, looking through the rest of his schedule. “I don’t have the faintest clue what most of these are,” His eyes land on one, “Except I’m in history of the high seas, that’ll be a fun class.”

“Me too,” Gil smiles, checking his schedule, “Uma?”

“I’m in magic training at that timeslot,” Uma huffs, “At least I get to learn magic.”

“That’s actually a new class,” Ben approaches their table. All three look at him, “Magic isn’t used much in Auradon anymore, and if it is it’s taught by private tutors. Too many kids were coming out of the Isle with magical abilities they didn't know how to control, so we added a class for them here. Anyone who shows magical affinity gets put in the class, and then they switch out once it’s not needed.”

“So basically you teach us how to contain it and then we’re on our own?” Uma raises an eyebrow.

“We teach you how to channel it in a way that causes the least amount of disruption possible.” Fairy Godmother interjects, “Magic has no place in society anymore, it’s more of a cheat than anything else, so we teach students how to control it and that they don’t need it in order to succeed.” She smiles.

“Kind of ironic coming from the woman who used magic to lock up our parents,” Gil comments, looking back down at his schedule. Fairy Godmother blinks at him but he doesn’t seem phased, instead looking at Uma, “I’m in a class called Ecology, Uma, do you have it?” He asks.

Harry looks between him and Fairy Godmother warily before, “Nah mate, she and I are taking Marine Biology,” Harry answers him, pointing to the schedule, “We’ve all got a blank period together though, so we’ll be hanging out then.”

“You gonna take any extra classes Harry?” Uma asks, ignoring both the King and Fairy Godmother, who are still standing before them.

Fairy Godmother moves away but Ben stays where he is, looking at them.

“Well, we know Gil is going to take that cooking class Ben mentioned,” Harry smiles slightly, motioning to Ben before looking at Uma, “But I don’t know. Nothing interests me.”

“Same here,” Uma nods, “I might just keep my two free spots,” She looks up at Ben, almost as if she’s asking permission but Ben know’s she isn’t.

“Whatever you want to do,” He manages to say with a smile, now knowing what she wants him to say. At his words she frowns but says nothing.

Ben turns to Gil, “Which cooking class do you want to take?”

“There’s more than one?” Gil’s eyes widen, almost comically.

“Yeah,” Ben smiles and flips the class list over to show him, “We have three. One’s for food, one for desserts, and a new one all about unusual cuisine,”

“Cuisine?” Gil furrows his brow.

“Unusual food Gil,” Uma corrects immediately, “Cuisine means food.” Again, Ben wonders about the bond between them.

“Oh,” Gil looks over the options, “I don’t know. I don’t want to make desserts, but I don’t know which would be cooler, making regular food or unusual food.”

“I’d say go for the unusual food mate,” Harry gives his input, “No sense in being ordinary.”

“Then I’ll do that,” Gil smiles at Harry, completely trusting his judgement. Ben watches the three of them for a second before clearing his throat.

“Okay, well that class is during this timeslot, which happens to be one of your free timeslots which is good,” Ben checks his schedule, “So I’ll let Fairy Godmother know, okay?” He puts a hand on Gil’s shoulder comfortingly.

Gil smiles at him, open and honest which is unusual considering past interactions, but Ben isn’t unnerved by it. Gil seems genuinely happy and grateful and Ben smiles back before going over to talk to Fairy Godmother.

Uma, Harry, and Gil go back to talking between themselves, before Bobby and Jayleen come over to inform the three of the most popular classes within the crew.

The whole crew is in the remedial goodness class, as it turns out, and they’re split evenly between marine biology and ecology. Uma is the only one taking the magic class, the rest are in history of the high seas. For the other classes they’re divided but everyone has at least one other crew member in their classes. Everyone except Gil, who’s the only one taking the unusual cooking class. Their cook onboard, Gyps, is taking the regular one, which is at the same time.

“Okay, if everyone’s finished,” Fairy Godmother claps her hands at the front of the class, expecting the group to look at her. They don't and she claps again. It’s only when Uma hisses at them that they turn their attention to the reformed fairy at the front, “If everyone’s done, we can head back to the bus to take you back to your ship,” She motions to the door.

Uma is the first to get up, but she stops in front of the fairy, “We’d prefer to walk back down, stretch our sea legs and all that,”

Before Fairy Godmother can say anything, King Ben jumps in, “Of course, whatever you’re most comfortable with,” He nods at Fairy Godmother, who looks pained but agrees.

“Of course,”

“Good,” Uma nods once and leaves the classroom with Gil and Harry at her heels, the rest of the crew tailing.

-

Everyone dispersed as they got back to the ship, a 10 minute walk from the front of the school which Uma was glad for, exploring the harbor and the shops around it. Uma, Harry, and Gil made their way down the docks, taking note of the shops.

Harry slings an arm around Gil, his hook hanging lazily against the blonde boy’s neck, and Uma laughs at them softly.

“You know, we could always just go back to the ship and have some fun,” Harry murmurs to Gil, who goes red at the thought.

“If we did that we’d be messed up for the meeting Harry,” Uma looks at them, humor in her eyes, “You know the crew would never let us live it down,”

“Herman wouldn’t let you live it down you mean,” Gil says smugly, “And he happens to love me,”

“Yeah, but Midd doesn’t,” Uma grunts back, “Besides, we don’t need the meeting derailing while our own crew make jokes about us,”

“No we don’t captain,” Harry agrees, “I still think we could just have a little fun in the cabin beforehand,” He whispers to Gil.

“I heard that Harry,” Uma says, grabbing Gil’s hand and dragging them along the docks.

Harry says nothing but smiles smugly. Gil pokes him in the side and smiles back.

-

That night the crew gathers in the galley, jaunty and restless from a day in Auradon without activity. Their exploration of the docks revealed a bar at one end, fish shops, a small grocery, and a few trinket shops. Everything was clean and bright and the pirates couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into it.

After Uma had a talk with them.

She sits before them all, Gil leaning against the wall at the back, Harry by her side. She watches the crew as they quiet down.

“Listen up,” She says once the room is at a reasonable volume, “We may be in Auradon, but we’re not free,” Theres a shout from the crew, murmurs and confusion.

“LISTEN!” Uma yells, “Just listen.” The room quiets again, “We’ve traded one cage for another. Gil realized it this morning,” Uma feels a flash of pride for her third in command, one of her loves, “On the isle we were trapped but we could do what we want. Now that we’re free we have to act in a certain way. Or else we get sent back,” Uma looks at each one of her crew members as she talks, punctuating her words with the looks, “The only way we become free, free to do what we want and go where we want, is to destroy the barrier between the isle and Auradon.”

“How do we do that?” Vale, one of the crew, asks.

“We get the wand and we use it,” Uma says, “We use it to destroy the barrier and then we destroy the wand. Make it so they can’t put it back up, make it so that we can’t be sent back.”

The crew murmurs and nods in agreement.

“We’re going to have to play nice while we’re here,” Gil speaks lowly, “Right?”

“Yeah,” Harry grunts, “Unfortunately.”

“It’ll be worth it,” Uma hushes both of them with a look, “Playing nice will be worth it when everyone is free. All your families, all the people we left behind, and most importantly ourselves.”

The crew nods again.

“Now,” Uma leans in closer to them and drops her voice, a wicked smile on her face, “Here’s the plan.”