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Cinders

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Daughter doesn’t believe in fairy tales.

He hadn’t as Magotte, because there’s only so much magic you can believe in when you live in a brothel, and the magic you know that’s not being wielded by rich, powerful, harmful men is called opium.

(There’s another “magic” that some of the girls you know are said to have, but you don’t want to learn that, not yet)

He has the magic now. He could possibly count as one of those powerful, harmful men (though he’s still not rich), and he’s met rich and powerful men who aren’t harmful (who’d let themselves be killed rather than risk hurting someone, someday). But the other kind of magic, the magic of belief, of rightfulness, where the bad are punished and the good win, and the little girl gets to become a princess, that kind of magic is still foreign to him. The little girl never became a princess because her prince was separated by too much time, and if you want the bad to be punished, you need to do it yourself.

And he did.

But this once, just this once, he wants to believe that he’ll have his happy ending, and if no one will save the sad prince, then he’ll damn well do it himself.

He may not have a fairy godmother, but he’s grown up with a mentor dragon, and it’s about time he used some of that fire for something other than revenge.