The royal wing was being remodeled. They’d talked about renovations for years, but Rosemary had never believed them. The faculty of Ever After High wasn’t exactly known for their ability to speedily deliver and keep promises. Somehow, through a strange kind of magic that Rosemary had never heard of, they remodeled the royal wing, and she wasn’t sure that she liked it.
“Four people to a room,” Rosemary’s best friend forever after and cousin, Gallant, groaned, “I can barely stand this idiot.” He jerked his thumb at his best friend, Duke. Rosemary raised an eyebrow, but Duke just shrugged. It was true, and Gal wasn’t the most personable person either.
“It’s not that bad,” Rosemary tried to look on the bright side. Really, she did.
“Not that bad? Care to tell me who you’re sharing a room with?”
Rosemary sighed. Okay, it was that bad. She’d never really been close friends with anyone in her grade, but the rooms were specified by grade. She’d asked to be changed to the Junior room, but Headmistress White had insisted that it would be good for Rosemary to get to know girls her own age. After all, it was her Senior year and all that jazz.
“I actually like Alex,” Rosemary pointed out. At least, she thought that she liked Alex. She didn’t really know her.
“And, I’m sure you love Honeycrisp White.”
“Honey isn’t that bad,” Duke commented.
Gal snorted. “I forgot that you dated her.”
Rosemary remained silent. She didn’t like to think about Duke’s ex-girlfriends. He hadn’t been seeing anyone the entire summer, choosing instead to spend time with Gal and renew his friendship with Rosemary, and she’d loved it. She’d forgotten how much fun he could be to hang out with.
“That really is a horrible name,” Rosemary said, more to herself than the other two boys.
“It’s not as bad as Jonagold.”
“I’m glad that I’m not a White,” Gal announced, “My mother was actually good at picking names.”
“Sure, Gallant Brilliant Charming .”
“You have a problem with that, Rosemary Evangeline Chrysanthemum Charming?”
“What are you two doing?” What would have inevitably been a fight was halted by the appearance of Sage Wood, a short girl a white afro and brown eyes who just so happened to be Rosemary’s best friend...and Gal’s recent girlfriend.
“They’re calling each others’ names stupid,” Duke said.
“And have any of you found your rooms?” Sage asked, walking over to Gal and hooking her arm through his.
“No,” Gal said with a sheepish smile that Sage returned. It made Rosemary want to stab out her eyes with a fork. She settled for rolling them.
“Neither have I,” Sage announced, “Let’s go find them.” She dragged Gal off, leaving Rosemary and Duke to follow behind. Duke smirked as Rosemary fell in step beside him.
“What?” she asked.
Duke’s smirk grew wider. “I didn’t know your middle name was Chrysanthemum.”
Rosemary hit him in the shoulder. “And you’re not going to tell anyone that it is either.”
Duke shrugged. “I don’t know about that, Rosie.”
Rosemary hit him again.
“Do you like Rosemary?”
Duke glanced up from the trunk that he was unpacking, unsure that he’d heard his best friend right. “What?”
“Rosemary,” Gal said, “Do you like her?”
Duke shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. She’s cool.”
Gal sighed. “Let me rephrase that. Do you have any romantic intentions towards my dearest cousin?”
“No.” Duke shook his head. “Why do you care anyways?”
“Because,” Gal said, “unlike the rest of your girlfriends, Rosemary is my cousin. I care about her, and I don’t want to see her hurt.”
“I don’t want that either,” Duke said, “Rosie’s my friend too.”
It was true, Rosemary was Duke’s friend, and he didn’t want to see anything happen to her. Still, it stung that Gal didn’t trust him. If Duke were interested in Rosie(which he wasn’t) he should be allowed to date her. True, his track record wasn’t the best, but Gal was his best friend forever after. Best friends supported each other. After all, Rosemary had been supportive of Gal and Sage, despite it making her life more awkward.
“Oh,” came a voice from the doorway, “It’s you two.” Duke turned around to find Jackson Beanstalk, a tall boy with dark hair, standing in the doorway of the room. “I was hoping that I wouldn’t end up with you guys.”
Gal placed a hand over his chest in mock offense. “I’m offended. I was looking forward to the pleasure of your company all day, wasn’t I, Duke?”
“It was all that he could talk about,” Duke agreed
“I’m sure that it was.” Jackson rolled his eyes and placed his bag on top of one of the empty beds. “I, however, was looking forward to not getting in any trouble this year.”
“Turning over a new leaf?” Duke raised an eyebrow. Jackson Beanstalk wasn’t exactly known for his ability to stay out of trouble. He may not have been quite as much of a troublemaker as Gal was, but he wasn’t very far behind. He was notorious for skipping class, and for his ability to consume alcohol without getting drunk.
“No,” Jackson said.
“That's more like the Jackson Beanstalk I know.”
“To be fair,” Jackson said, “my mom wants me to be more responsible this year. I was planning on acting good until Buttercup O’Hair’s party.”
“Isn't that tonight?” Duke asked.
“I'm sure that you can make it a whole ten hours without doing something stupid,” Duke reassured him.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Jackson’s voice dripped with sarcasm.
“Now that I think about it,” Gal said thoughtfully, “Headmistress White might’ve put us all in the same room to better keep an eye on us. Quick, is Big Brother watching?”
“My mom wouldn’t do that.” The three occupants turned to find none other than the golden boy of Ever After High, Jonagold White, strolling into the room with a trunk being carried in by songbirds.
“Shoot me now,” Gal groaned and sank down on top of his bed. “We’re rooming with Jon White.”
“I can hear you,” Jon said as he began unpacking.
“I know,” Gal said, “It was kind of the point.”
“What did I ever do to you?” Jon asked.
“Nothing,” Gal hummed. Duke shook his head at his best friend. Gal’s reason for disliking Jon White probably had something to do with Jon’s summer fling with Gal’s cousin, Lavender, a few years back during an ‘off’ period with Alex. Needless to say, it hadn’t ended well for Lavender. Gal never forgot when someone hurt a person he loved, and Gal loved his cousins very much.
“I hope that Rosemary is having better luck than us,” Gal murmured, and Duke found himself agreeing.
Rosemary was not, in fact, having better luck. Her roommates were a very, very eclectic mix of people who were just not designed to get along, much less share a room together. There was Alex Cupid, the head of the cheer squad and easily one of the most popular girls in school, Honeycrisp White, the valedictorian and star of the Ever After choir, and Buttercup O’Hair, a girl who partied harder than anyone with the exception of Jackson Beanstalk and dabbled in the theatrical arts. Place them all in a room and it was worse than Hell itself…well, maybe not Hell. Purgatory, definitely.
Rosemary tossed one of her knifes at her bedpost and smiled as it embedded itself in the wood. She glanced to the center of the room, where Alex and Buttercup were arguing over something trivial. Apparently, Alex and Jon had broken up(again) over the summer and he’d gone on a date with Buttercup. Rosemary sighed and shook her head. This was why she didn’t do relationships. They were too complicated, and they ruined friendships. Not that Buttercup and Alex had ever really been friends.
“Guys,” Honey’s melodic voice cut through the sound of arguing, “I think that we should agree upon some room rules.” Surprisingly, Rosemary found herself agreeing with Honey. “I think that we can all agree to no drugs or alcohol in the room.”
“And no boys either.” Buttercup glared at Alex. Obviously, Buttercup still had some sort of feelings for Jon.
“Two of my best friends are guys,” Rosemary piped up.
“I agree with Buttercup, Rosemary,” Honey said, “We should try to refrain from having boys in the room. It’s just better that way.” Rosemary conceded. She could hang out with the guys elsewhere.
“So, no boys, boos, or blunts,” Alex said, “Sounds good to me.”
“Also, we should all be nice to each other,” Honey said, “Put our roommates feelings above our own.”
“Hell, no!” Alex and Buttercup said at the same time. They turned and glared at each other.
Rosemary met Honey’s eye and smiled apologetically. “You tried,” she said. Honey sighed and flopped down on her bed as Alex and Buttercup continued to glare at each other.
They met up with Sage and Rosemary in the auditorium. Gal took the seat next to Sage, leaving Duke to sit next to Rosemary, who was weaving a throwing knife through her fingers. “How’re your roommates?” Duke asked as he sat down.
Rosemary sighed. “Would you believe that Honey White is the best of them? I don’t even like Honey.”
“What’s wrong with Alex and Buttercup?” he asked. Neither of the girls were that bad in Duke’s opinion. Then again, neither was Honey. She was a bit of a control freak, and an obnoxious know-it-all, but she really wasn’t that bad.
“Buttercup went out with Jon over the summer,” Rosemary explained.
“That explains it.” Duke nodded. Alex and Jon were in one of those relationships with more breakups than actual dates. Often when they were broken up, one of them would go on a date with someone else, leaving the other to despise that person. If you asked Duke, it was stupid. He had never broken up and gotten back together with a girlfriend, and he didn’t plan on doing it.
The lights of the auditorium dimmed and Headmistress White walked on stage, the students in the audience quieting as she tapped the microphone. “Hello,” she said once the student body was quiet, “Welcome to Ever After High.”
Duke leaned over to Rosemary, whispering, “Here comes the destiny speech.” Rosemary let out a quiet laugh.
“Once upon a time,” continued Headmistress White, “Ever After High was a place for the children of famous fairytale characters to learn about their destinies and prepare to fulfill them. Now Ever After High is the place for you to come to create your own story, whether it be the story of those who came before or a new one. The choice is up to you.”
“Do you think that she means that?” Rosemary whispered.
“No clue,” Duke said, “She’s hard to read.”
“Those of you that are new to Ever After High will find that you are welcome everywhere,” Headmistress White said. Rosemary snorted. “If you have any questions feel free to ask anyone. Now, for a word from your Senior class president, Jonagold White.” Jon White made his way onto the stage as his mother moved to the side.
“You going to Buttercup’s party?” Duke asked Rosemary.
She nodded. “Sage is DJing, so, yeah. You?”
“My fellow students,” Jon White said, “on behalf of the Senior class, I would like to welcome you to Ever After High.”
“Twenty bucks says that Jon and Alex break up at the party,” Rosemary said.
Duke grinned. “You’ve got yourself a deal, Rosie.”
Something was bothering Gal, Sage could tell. She had been dating him for two months and she wouldn’t consider herself a good girlfriend if she couldn’t tell when something was wrong. “What’s wrong?” Sage asked her boyfriend as they made their way out to the Dragon Games field. Neither of them were on the team, nor did they plan on joining it, but Professor Poppa Bear had asked Gal for help taking care of the dragons since Gal was his best Beast Training and Care student.
“Nothing,” Gal said with a shake of his head.
“Sure,” Sage replied sarcastically, “Come on, Gal. Tell me.”
“Fine,” Gal huffed, “Do you...do you think that Duke likes Rosie?”
Sage stopped in her tracks. “What?”
“It’s dumb, I know. I just get this feeling that Duke and Rosie...I don’t know.”
“What do you mean ‘you get a feeling’?” Sage asked.
Gal shook his head. “It’s nothing. My mom said that magic can sense magic, and I just get this feeling when I’m around the two of them...It feels like magic.”
“But that’s not possible,” Sage said, “Neither of them have magic.”
“I know,” Gal said, “which is why is confuses me.”
“Maybe you’re just imagining things,” Sage suggested.
“Maybe I am,” Gal murmured, “I don’t know why I’m worried. It’s not like they’re an item. I doubt that they will be. Can you imagine that relationship?”
Sage giggled. “Yeah. It would be terrifying.”
“Indeed it would,” Gal agreed and the two of them resumed their trek to the dragon stables.