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To The Light, Shadows Disappear, For Freedom Is Here

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With the barrier broken and excitement flying through the air people are still distracted. It’s only a matter of time before things go south. The minute Mal realizes this, she screams internally and rushes to find her friends.

“Oh magic, I messed up so bad.” Mal shrieks, as she catches up to Evie, Jay, Carlos with Dude sleeping in his arms, Harry, Gil and Uma.

Evie, Jay, Carlos, Harry, Gil and Uma look at her for a minute, unsure of what she means.

“What do you mean?” Evie asks curiously.

“I didn’t think of the consequences I would bring once the barrier was destroyed. I’ve put several VK’s in danger.” Mal says, voice rising in volume with every word.

The group looks at each other in complete panic, before Uma takes control.

“Okay, we can fix this. Do we have a place they can hide so that they’ll be safe?” Uma inquires.

“My cottage, it’s big enough for all of the kids, they can stay there.” Evie says.

The group quickly spreads word to every VK to come to them. Once that was done, Mal quickly casts a spell.

“Protection would be keen, open a portal so that we can be unseen and brought to the place I know is safe for us to flee, so we can protect those in need.” Mal says.

A large purple portal opens and on the other side is Evie’s cottage. Before anyone can go through, Hades appears.

“What’s going on?” He asks.

“Absolute destruction, if we don’t move now. Come with us, please, Dad.” Mal says urgently.

Hades has no idea what’s going on, but he knows there is a time for action and a time for questions, so he nods, and everyone rushes through the portal.

Once the group lands inside the cottage, Dude jumps out of Carlos’s arms and onto the ground, and heads towards the kids. Mal tells everyone to make a lot of room, and gather anything that they think is useful. Evie, Jay, Carlos, Harry, Gil and Uma all run in different directions.

Next, Mal casts a protection spell on the cottage, “I cast a vow of protection on this place, so only Evie can say who enters this space."

Then, Mal and Hades head to the kitchen to see what they have in terms of food, leaving Dude alone with the kids.

When Hades and Mal enter the kitchen, they find a ton of food. Without missing a beat, the two of them begin to sort out food for everyone. Hades has no idea what to do, so Mal quickly shows him what to do without saying a word. Once he seems fine on his own, Mal works on her own pile of supplies. The entire time that Hades is working he periodically looks at his daughter for any indication that she’ll explain what’s going on, but she seems to preoccupied with her work to remember he’s there. Hades wonders if this is what Mal felt like growing up.

Once they’re done with the food, Mal levitates the food, then jesters for Hades to follow her. When the two of them enter the main room is completely emptied, there are pillows and blankets covering portions of the floor. Mal heads to a large bench in the center of the room and places the food on it, Hades does the same, grateful that the kids are to occupied by everything else to realize that he’s there with them, otherwise they would never touch the food. He looks around the room and sees some of the older kids distracting the younger ones. He wonders how often this type of thing happens to the kids. Considering the way, they are handling things and how organized they seem, he figures they do this quite frequently.

He himself has only delivered those strange packages to drop-off points, and hidden some of The Isle kids from their parents for a few hours, and that was only when he was in disguise. The reason he did this, was so he could prove to himself that he was good with kids.

Once Mal’s hands are empty, she looks around the room. Carlos and Evie are walking around with a checklist, so that Evie can repair the clothing on the kids and first aid kit, so Carlos can tend to their injures. Harry and Gil are switching between gathering supplies and observing the kids. Mal doesn’t see Uma so she assumes that she’s still gathering supplies.

Later on, the bowls full of food are empty, the floor is covered completely, and the kids are just sitting around and talking quietly.

Figuring now is a good time to talk Hades guides Mal back into the kitchen.

“Okay, what in the name of the underworld is going on? I could feel your magic humming on your skin ready to act, and your panic from where I was standing.” Hades says sounding annoyed, but the tone of his voice is filled with concern. Mal doesn’t answer because she’s too busy shaking, panicking, and beating herself up for not seeing this coming.

Hades’ eyes go wide with shock as Mal crumbles to the ground. He is immensely grateful that everyone else’s too distracted to notice that he is on the ground and pulling his daughter into his arms.

“It’s okay. I’m here, I’m right here. We’ll figure this out.” Hades says more confident then he feels.

Mal passes out a few seconds later. Hades curses in Greek and quickly whispers a spell, “We are in trouble, get us to one of my daughter’s friends on the double.” Then the two of them disappear in a puff of blue smoke.

The two of them end up in one of the bedrooms, where Uma is gathering any pillows and blankets she can find. Uma turns around just in time to see Mal and Hades land.

“What happened?” Uma inquires, as she drops everything she’s holding and kneels down in front of Mal.

“I don’t know. I just asked her what was going on and she started panicking.” Hades explains, tightening his grip on his daughter with every word.

“Alright, just put her on the bed, give me a few minutes to gather up everything and bring it downstairs. Once I’m done, I’ll explain everything.” Uma says, then she turns back to her task.

Hades nods, and does as he’s told. Then he pulls-up a chair and sits beside Mal and takes one of her hands in his own.

Hades doesn’t know how much time has passed, but the next thing he knows, Uma is back in the room with him.

“So basically, we didn’t think of what the consequences would be when the barrier went down. So, we grabbed every VK and brought them here. Mal probably is feeling immensely guilty right now, and the minute she wasn’t busy and let herself think about it, she went into a panic attack.” Uma explains.

“Okay, so how do I help?” Hades asks, he feels silly and embarrassed for asking a teenager for help on his parenting. He’s starting to think leaving Mal with Maleficent was incredibly selfish on his part. Nevermind the fact that he was threatened by her if he tried to take her. 

“Keep her distracted, for now. The rest of us can handle things for a while. Once she’s okay bring her back downstairs.” Uma orders.

Hades nods, and Uma leaves the room.

Mal wakes up roughly ten minutes later.

“Hey, Mally.” Hades says gently.

“What happened?” Mal inquires.

“You had a panic attack and I brought you here.” Hades explains.

“I can’t stay put, I have to go back downstairs.” Mal says, as she tries to get out of the bed.

“Hold it, Baby girl, your exhausted, the others can handle things for a while. Besides, your no good to them if you’re completely drained.” Hades says firmly.

“I have to atone for the mistake I made. I should’ve thought this through.” Mal argues.

“You were excited no-one is blaming you for not thinking about this.” Hades says, tone still firm.   

“This is not the first time we have done something like this. I’m still responsible for all of this.” Mal says, while still trying to leave.

“Mally.” Hades says, then he pulls her into his arms.  

Mal melts into the embrace instantly and sobs.

“It’s not your fault, Baby girl. We will handle this. I’m not going anywhere, I promise.” Hades says protectively. Hades knows he has a lot to make up for, but he has a feeling that this is a good start.

When Mal and Hades get back downstairs, Mal decides that she needs to talk to Ben and make a plan. So, she tells Evie, Jay, Carlos, Harry, Gil, Uma, and Hades, that they are going to talk to Ben and tell him everything they went through on The Isle, because she has a feeling that if there weren’t other witnesses nothing was going to be done.

Then the group tries to settle in for the night. Carlos, Jay, and Dude set up a movie for the kids and say they’ll stay with them.

Evie ends up doing the same after she tries to go sleep in her room and got worried about the kids.

Uma, Gil, and Harry end up sleeping in one of the guest rooms after Evie showed them the room. The three of them change into clothing Evie left out for them, and head to bed. They end up sharing the bed.

Mal and Hades end up sharing the room that Hades had placed Mal in earlier. Neither one of them can sleep, so they just start talking.

“I know this is kind of a dumb question, but why did you leave?” Mal asks.

“She threatened me. Leaving you with her was not the original plan. I was going to take you with me and find a way to get every kid off The Isle. Then she told me in no uncertain terms, ‘Leave with her and you’ll be a dead man. God or not, my group will hunt you down and find a way to kill you.’ I didn’t know she told you I was human until you found my ember.” Hades explains.

“Did you ever miss me?” Mal asks.

“Yes, Mally, you were my whole world the minute you were born. You were something I loved the minute I saw you,” Hades says earnestly.

No-one sleeps that night. Everyone either has nightmares, or is nervous about what tomorrow will bring for them.      

In the morning, the group contacts Audrey, Lonnie, and Jane to watch the kids, they agree and Audrey is very willing to do anything to make things right. After everything is settled the group sets off to Ben’s office.  

As the group nears the door that leads to Ben’s office, they discuss the plan again.

“Let’s go over the plan one more time.” Uma says.

“Okay, we are putting an end to something that should have been dealt with a long time ago.” Mal says, determination burning in her eyes.

“We plan to ask Ben to remove parental rights of every villain who has ever abused their kids.” Carlos states.

“I freaking knew it. They were being ignorant from the start.” Harry growls out, clenching his teeth and fists in anger.

“It’s not that surprising, the majority of Auradonians only care about their own.” Hades says with a snarl.

“The adults are the ignorant ones. Their children however, are more curious and in this case, it’s a good thing. I did some snooping during my first week here and found out that, according to some of the AK's  they have had suspicions about The Isle and have been shipping supply packs there for years.” Jay says.

“How?” Gil asks intrigued. Uma and Harry look curious as well. It is surprising that people had managed to do things to help the people on The Isle without any of the royals getting suspicious.

“Magic may be banned on The Isle, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t weak-points in the barrier, or older methods of transporting things to places. Smee was one of the main distributors, along with some of the orphanage kids, and any VK that was quick on their feet. I was a part of it before I came to Auradon.” Carlos says with a smile, remembering how great it felt to help others.

“Impressive. Just one question, why?” Uma asks she didn’t think any of the AK’s cared about the kids on The Isle.

“Because the Auradonians may believe that the villains are dangerous and need to be kept away, but that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees.” Mal says.

“If we can get a discussion going about this, Smee will be one of the testifiers. Once the evidence is presented, and things are settled, healing can begin for a lot of VK’s.” Evie says, eyes sparkling with hope as she speaks.

“So, is everyone ready?” Gil inquires.

The group nods with a determined look on their faces.

“Okay then, let’s do this.” Mal says.

The group walks into the office, as they enter Ben looks up and greets them. Then he pulls Mal into a hug and grins, Mal can’t bring herself to smile back.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Ben asks.

“We need to talk. Now that the barrier is down, there are going to be a lot more problems. I should have realized this, but it seems the joy I felt when it happened blinded me.” Mal says with an annoyed tone.

“What do you mean?” Ben inquires.

Mal doesn’t answer, she just looks down at the floor in shame. Hades wraps an arm around her waist and tries to figure out how to explain everything.

Suddenly Uma starts talking.

“Yesterday, Mal realized that everyone of the Isle kids would be displaced by their parents with the barrier opening.” Uma explains.

“What do you mean?” Ben inquires.

“They don’t have anywhere to go. The majority of the VK parents are abusive, and would have kicked them out the minute the celebrating was over. Point is, there’s now a bunch of kids in Auradon, who don’t have a place to stay without your help.” Uma says, folding her arms across her chest.

“Oh my god. This is bad. Did the kids sleep on the street last night?” Ben asks urgently.

“Ben, it’s okay. We gathered them up and took them to Evie’s cottage. They didn’t sleep in the cold.” Mal says as calmly as she can manage.

“Before you suggest that we set the VK’s with some Auradonians, I just want to say that placing them with a stranger is not going to make any VK feel safe. In fact, it will probably make the situation worse.” Uma says pointedly.

“What do you think we should do Uma?” Ben asks, eager for any ideas on how to help the kids.

“Auradon needs to build a safe place for the displaced kids of The Isle. One with heating, clean water and food. These kids need somewhere where they will be looked after. But more importantly, somewhere they will feel safe.” Uma replies.  

“I think it’s a good idea. We need anyone who is sympathetic to this situation that is willing to help, and we need to hire chefs, and we definitely need to have some counselors on hand to help the kids cope with the trauma they have suffered.” Mal says passionately.

“Mal’s right, it’s not like we can set up our old methods from The Isle.” Gil says.

“What do you mean?” Ben asks.

“Some of the AK’s had suspicions about The Isle and have been shipping supply packs there for years.” Gil says.

“Oh.” Ben says shocked.

“Yeah, and without their help a lot of people would have ended up dead.” Carlos adds.

“We also want you to take away the parental rights of every villain who has ever abused their kids.” Evie says.

“Smee was one of the main distributors, along with some of the orphanage kids, and any VK that was quick on their feet. So, as long as we tell the kids we are doing it, they will testify before the counsel.” Carlos says.

“Okay, I’ll talk to Fairy Godmother, my parents and the counsel. Is Evie okay with housing the kids for a little bit longer?” Ben asks.

“Don’t worry, we can handle it but we need more supplies” Evie says.

“I’ll get some delivered as soon as possible. Is there anything else I should know before I get started?” Ben asks.

Harry steps forward and asks the question that has been on the groups mind since this whole thing started.

“Just a wee question that no-one in this room wants to think about, Benny-Boy. What’s going to happen to the villains that continue doing evil?”

“You can’t put the barrier back up. That isn’t fair to anyone.” Jay states.

“A new system for villains who break the law needs to be put in place. And as long as we make sure it doesn’t become another Isle everything should be fine.” Uma states.

“That’s a great idea. I’ll tell everyone and come and get you when things get started.” Ben says.

The group nods in agreement.  

“Everyone deserves a second chance. If they mess up, they deserve to be brought to justice.” Jay says, voice determined, and eyes glowing with protectiveness.

As the group leaves, Ben pulls Hades aside and starts talking.

“You were right, you know. I promise I will do everything I can in order to make things right.” Ben swears.

“The past doesn’t matter anymore. What matters to us now, is people trying to make things right.” Hades says.

Ben nods, then the two men part ways.

On the way back the group see positive change, it’s small things but it’s progress none the less. Out of the corner of Mal’s eye she sees Jaffar, The Evil Queen, Cruella, Gaston, and Captain Hook.

Thinking quickly, she casts a spell, “Transport us back to home base, so the bad guys won’t see us here in this place.” Then the group disappears in a puff of blue and purple smoke. When the smoke clears the group is back at the cottage.

“What happened?” Evie asks.

“A group of our parents are looking for us.” Mal says tightly.

Everyone tenses up and huddles together. Hades squeezes Mal’s hand.

Gil turns white, starts shaking and crumbles to the ground. Uma and Harry are at his side in an instant.

“Gilly calm down, It's okay, you're okay.” Harry says soothingly.  

“We’re not going to let him hurt you, okay?” Uma says.

It takes a while, but eventually Gil calms down.

“We better hope for all of our sakes, that things get started soon.” Mal says.

Everyone nods in agreement.

The trial happens three days later. The minute the VK’s and AK’s that helped out on The Isle are permitted to speak all hell breaks loose. It is a screaming match, every single type of abuse and punishment anyone can think of is told. The thing that begins a discussion is someone saying a long and passionate speech.

“To hell with your reasoning. Because of your paranoia of villains, several kids were beat, and starved, and who knows what other horrible nightmarish things. If you, dear counsel, want to make change, prove it. Atone for your mistakes and help them recover.”

No-one knows who spoke, but it is enough to get them to approve on everything. In the coming months, the jail is built, and after a while villains are incarcerated.

The safe haven is constructed and given everything Mal, Evie, Jay, Carlos, Harry, Gil, Uma, and Hades wanted. Dizzy and Celia help out with making accommodations. Harry meets Squishy and Squirmy and they get along well. Smee gets a home in Auradon and lives there with his sons.

It’s an improvement no question, but everyone knows there is a long way to go. In the end though, they are happy that things went so well. The Isle is united with Auradon and every kid who grew up on The Isle has a better chance at living and are safe from danger. That’s more than anyone could have ever asked for.