Today’s “Fanwork Friday” feature is a fan fic by Cupcakedoll: “The Last Princess!” It’s a retelling of Daphne’s death at the hands of the Ancestresses and what happened afterward. Here’s the first half of the story. Read the second half at Fanfiction.net!
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“The Last Princess”
~ by Cupcakedoll ~
The temple of the Dragon’s Flame rose slim and golden from the bluff. It was a tall building, all spires and pillars and butter-pale marble. The great doors were thrown open to greet the dawn, and welcome any who wanted to visit the sanctuary. But only the priestess stood there today. Daphne had composed herself, straightened her hair and the fall of her golden robe, and made sure the expression on her face visible under her mask showed only the calm confidence of one who watched the universe for the Great Dragon.
Seeing nobody waiting she sagged a little, her young face growing somber.
It had been nearly a week since the creatures who called themselves the Ancestors of All Witches began attacking realms across the universe. At first everyone had gathered at the palace and the temple, to see what they could send to help, to hear the latest news and share the fear: could the Ancestors be stopped? Would the Ancestors come to Domino? What would happen then? They needed the comfort of seeing that the sacred flame still burned in its crystal bowl and the nymphs carved high on the wall still looked down peacefully. Eight now, the ninth had faded last year.
Even the nymphs with whatever power their existence beyond death gave them, hadn’t been able to stop the Ancestors. Maybe they hadn’t even tried, Daphne thought traitorously. She shook herself and started singing to keep her spirits up as she swept the floor and seats and cleaned out the vases for flower offerings, taking the droopy ones to the compost heap out back. She was glad to have the quiet time, alone with the daily tasks.
She’d told Shayna and Politea to sleep late this morning. She’d looked so tired, after days of emergency after emergency.
The Ancestors were coming. They would come to destroy the power of the Dragon Fire, because they could never rule the universe while the flame burned. And Daphne’s family would be the ones fighting them. Mom and Dad and her Aunties and Uncles. And if they failed, Daphne and Politea would have to defend the realm. They were probably the most powerful fairies on Domino, except for Mom and Aunt Faragonda, and the only sirenix fairies.
It had been a hard quest, finding the gems of loyalty and mercy, and Mom pregnant so she couldn’t help, and Dad freaking out because both his girls were doing hard things and he couldn’t help either one. It had been scary, but now with the threat of the Ancestor Witches looming over them all, every past quest seemed easy. And it had turned out fine. Daphne and Polli had gotten their sirenix powers with days to spare and baby Bloom had been born healthy and beautiful. Daphne had loved her sister from the first moment the baby looked up at her with those big blue eyes.
Luckily her teachers understood—well, some of her teachers were her aunties, and her other teachers said part of being a priestess meant heeding your own inner voice. And Daphne’s inner voice just wanted to help take care of her sister. So she’d babysat while Mom did Important Queen Things, and then while Mom and Dad did Important Company of Light Things. Princess Bloom learned to sleep through the temple noises, the chanting of spells or the hubbub of crowds when a lot of people came seeking healing or wisdom all at once.
It didn’t feel right, leaving Bloom alone now. Even if she was with Mom and Dad and the entire palace guard. But someone had to open the temple and her friends really needed a break. Shayna would come in later and then if nothing else had gone wrong Daphne could go home. Where Dad and Uncle Hagan would be arguing over how much aid they could send to the worlds the Ancestors had attacked and Auntie Griffin would be trying to convince other witches to fight against the Ancestors.
The fire flared suddenly, and Daphne’s shadow jumped bold and dark on the wall. She spun, dropping the broom. The low flame had become a pillar of blue edged in white, stretching up through the ceiling. Daphne gaped. The flame had never looked like this before. It outshone the morning sun.
Something had gone horribly wrong.
Daphne took a deep steadying breath, stepped forward, and pushed her hands into the column of fire.
Images poured into her mind. The Ancestors were in the Infinite Ocean. They hovered around the Pillar of Balance, their presence fouling the water. Creatures fled in terror, all calling alarm, their voices overlapping into noisy chaos.
Daphne yanked her hands back, pulled free from the din.
“Sirenix box! Guardian, wake Polli, tell her what’s going on!”
Her guardian appeared long enough to nod, then vanished again. Daphne opened her phone. “Mom? They’re in the Infinite Ocean. I have to go.”
Marion gasped. “Sweetie!”
“I’ll be all right. We have to defend the pillar.”
“Yes. Of course you do. We’ll be waiting when you get back.”
Daphne closed her phone before her mother could hear her sob . She didn’t want Marion to
know how scared she was. They were sirenix fairies, with the mighty power of the ocean. They might not be able to defeat the Ancestors, but they could chase them away from the pillar.
And out of the Infinite Ocean?
How had they entered the Infinite Ocean? Witches could earn sirenix, but the Ancestors weren’t ordinary witches. Not anymore. They shouldn’t be able to reach the Infinite Ocean.
Daphne’s guardian reappeared. She said, “Please hurry, Princess Daphne. The Pillar of balance is in danger.”
Politea projected her voice into the room. “Ready.”
“Did you call your parents?” Daphne replied through the spell. They had to hurry, but some things were more important.
“Let’s just go.” Politea said, and magic flared as she teleported.
It wasn’t like Politea, to be so terse. She must be really scared. Of course she was. But as
Uncle Hagan said, was not to let fear make you useless. Daphne looked at the angry fire. “Fairy magic! Sirenix!”
And for a few moments she caught handfuls of magic and pulled it around herself like a cloak and felt all her strength and wasn’t afraid at all.
The Infinite Ocean burst around them, cool and heavy and silent.
Politea had landed behind a coral-covered ridge. Her ruby-colored wings faded almost to
invisibility in the blue light. Daphne sank down next to her friend. It hardly seemed like they needed to hide. Nothing was moving.
The area around the Pillar was empty of life. Floating near the Pillar’s top were three… beings. They looked like clouds of fouled water, one more red, the other faintly green, the third black as night. They didn’t look human. They’d been human once. Now they were just hate and destruction, smoke on the air and poison in the water.
Politea’s pale eyes were wide. “It’s them.” She mouthed.
Daphne nodded, her hair swirling in the water. “We have to stop them.”
“Yes. Of course.” Politea stuttered. Maybe she was too afraid to help. But Daphne had no chance against the Ancestors on her own. If the two of them attacked together, maybe they could drive the horrible creatures away. They were hidden for now, but it wouldn’t last. “Polli-”
A voice like sludge and rot rang in the water. “The Pillar of Balance holds the laws of nature
stable across the universe. If we destroy it, the realms will fall into chaos!”
Politea covered her ears and Daphne shrank down in their hiding place. The voices made her stomach churn.
“Or we could just…” and the thing loosed a bolt of magic at the Pillar.
The Pillar rang like a bell. Daphne thought the vibrations would shake her bones apart. On a thousand worlds the ground shook and gentle rain turned to storms.
There was no time to plan. They couldn’t be allowed to do that again. “We have to stop them!”
Politea gave a jerky nod. “All right! I-I’m with you.”
Calling power from the water around her, Daphne pushed herself up and unleashed her spell, “Grace of sirenix!”
A wave of clear light swept from her hands to engulf the Pillar. The hags screamed as the spell fought to purify their smoky bodies. For a second Daphne thought it was going to work.
Then three hideous faces turned towards her. They weren’t even hurt.
“A fairy with the power of fire and water.”
“A fairy with fire in her blood.”
Daphne fought to keep her voice steady. “You are not welcome in the Infinite Ocean! Leave at once!”
“We were welcomed.”
“We were invited in.”
Couldn’t be. The Infinite Ocean wasn’t safe, people couldn’t just be brought in. Except by
Or a sirenix fairy.
Politea’s face trembled, then settled into a smirk.
“Why..?” and the witches struck. The curse ripped into Daphne’s magic, shredding her
transformation. She sank to the seabed in pain. She tried to gather magic to heal, and found the magic twisting, stabbing her like thorns. The sirenix power itself was being warped out of shape.
Politea realized something was wrong. “You said you’d-” she began, and shrieked as her magic went wrong. “No! You can’t do this, I helped you!” Her cry became a roar as her body twisted and changed. Arms became fins, her head stretched grotesquely, and the monster Politea had become fled into the water.
“No more sirenix fairies! We will be the greatest power in the Infinite Ocean!”
Then the top of the pillar blazed green light and power moved through the water.
And Daphne fainted.