“Oh no.” Jane breaths, hands over her mouth as she stares at her mother’s stone form. “What are we going to do now?”
“Hope Mal figures out something.” Doug answers. He hopes he sounds confident. He definitely doesn’t feel it but he and Evie have been working on this whole ‘fake it till you make it’ strategy with confidence and so far it’s worked for everything else.
“But I thought this chick was meant to be, like, super powerful? Don’t we need her?” Gil asks, frowning at the statue.
“Gil, my mum is stone .” Jane points out. “She can’t help us.”
“Sure she can, we just have to make her not stone.” Gil smiles like it’s just that easy.
“Gil, buddy,” Doug starts, placing a hand on Gil’s shoulder in hopes it might help him understand, “that’s what we needed Fairy Godmother’s help doing.”
“Oh, really?” Gil says. “I thought we were just trying to find her wand.”
“We know where mum’s wand is, in the museum.” Jane says, gesturing to the building behind her. “It’s probably what she was trying to get before…” She trails off, looking down and sniffling. Everything seems so bad right now - Audrey’s turned evil, Gil and Harry snuck off the Isle, her mum is stone.
But, she supposes, it could be worse. Sure, Audrey’s evil but they’re working on stopping her, and the stone thing. And Gil and Harry seem nice. Well, Gil seems nice, she’s not sure about Harry yet. Plus the VKs remembered her birthday! Actually a lot of people remembered her birthday this year - and for real too, not just because her mum reminded them.
Wiping her eyes before she can really start crying, Jane gathers up her strength and smiles at her stone-ified mother. “Hey mum, I don’t know if you can hear me right now but we’re going to fix this. I’m not sure how yet, but I promise. It’ll be okay.” She assures, not entirely sure which one of them she’s talking to.
“So if the wands in there, why don’t we just get it?” Gil asks, completely missing Jane’s heartfelt moment. He’s staring at the museum, hand on his chin like he was trying to think. At some point he’ll get the gravity of the situation, Doug just hopes it’s before Jane snaps.
“Last time I tried to use the wand I was completely out of control.” Jane protests, still completely calm as she shakes her head. “I don’t think I should risk it.”
“I can do it.” Gil says, smiling wide. His grin doesn’t falter even as Jane and Doug frown back at him.
“You can’t use Fairy Godmother’s wand Gil.” Doug says. “You don’t have any magic.”
“Sure I do.” Gil says. “I get it from my mum.” He adds in way of explanation.
“Your mum?” Doug repeats.
“Yeah, my mum.” Gil confirms. “She’s the witch.”
“Huh.” Jane says. “I’ve never thought about the VKs having two parents. But I guess they must have.” She admits.
“Most of us don’t.” Gil assures, though neither Jane or Doug find it assuring. Especially not with how easily he says it. “Even Uma doesn’t know who her dad is. And I’ve never actually met my mum, but dad told me.” The Auradon kids are silent a moment, not sure what to say. Finally, Doug speaks up.
“You said she was a witch?” He asks.
“The best.” Gil nods.
“Then it’s worth a shot.” Doug shrugs.
“I’m not sure.” Jane protests. “I mean, the wand’s dangerous! Are you sure you can handle it?”
“Probably.” Gil says. “Uma helped me studying magic. We could never actually do anything on the isle, but I bet I can do stuff now! Oh, do you think I can turn into a dragon?” He asks, excited.
“I think that’s just a Mal thing.” Doug says.
“Aw, that would have been so cool.” Gil pouts. “Oh, but Uma can shapeshift too. Maybe she can teach me.” Doug was pretty sure that was an Uma thing, but he decided not to crush Gil’s dreams this time. For all they knew Gil wouldn’t even be able to do magic, let alone magic of their scale. Still, it was worth a shot. Desperate times and all that.
“I’m still not sure this is a good idea.” Jane says.
“What other choices do we have?” Doug points out. Jane opens her mouth to reply before sighing.
“Okay.” She says. “Come on, it’s this way.”
The wand is kept under a glass case these days, one charmed so only a select few people can lift it. Mal and the VKs had assured Fairy Godmother the barrier was fine, they hadn’t been able to get through it, but Fairy Godmother hadn’t been convinced.
Being blood, Jane has no trouble lifting the glass. Which she thinks isn’t the best idea, since it was kind of her fault there were security problems, but right now it’s pretty convenient.
“You have to be really careful.” She warns Gil, clutching the glass as he steps up to the wand. “It’s incredibly powerful, and if you can’t control it the magic will go all haywire. Which’ll just make things worse, and then Audrey will know we’re here.”
“You worry too much.” Gil teases. “Wow, this is really the wand. You know, Uma would do anything to get her hands on this.” He says.
“Gil…” Doug hesitates, suddenly remembering there’s an entirely different reason they should be nervous about this. Even if Gil can’t use the wand, he can probably outrun them. How long will Uma stay on their side if she has the wand?
But as Gil takes the wand, he doesn’t take off running. And magic doesn’t start going haywire. But it’s clearly there. Doug and Jane both watch as the wand reaches out to Gil, glowing orange as it meets the magic inside him. Jane even takes a step back as Gil’s magic awakens, feeling the sheer power tucked away inside this happy-go-lucky villain kid.
Which witch did Gil say his mother was?
“I’m not going to run off with it. Uma doesn’t need it now, Mal’s going to get all the kids off the isle.” Gil claims, unaware of what they’re seeing. “Let’s go try it out! I’ve always wanted to do real magic.” He bounds off ahead of them, rushing back to the stairs and to Fairy Godmother.
“Gil, wait up!” Doug calls as he races after Gil.
“I really don’t think we should be running in the museum.” Jane protests, even as she too runs back to the steps. She can’t help the excitement bubbling in her chest. Maybe, just maybe, Gil really can do this.
When they reach him, Gil is standing in front of Fairy Godmother tapping her wand against his lips.
“Don’t run off like that man, what if something went wrong?” Doug scolds.
“I tried bippity boppity boo, but it didn’t work.” Gil frowns. “And I don’t think I read any spells about turning people back from stone.”
“Bippity boppity boo is my mums spell.” Jane explains, slightly out of breath. “It’s a personal thing.”
“Oh, right! So I have to do this like my mum would have!” Gil grins then frowns. “How would my mum do it?” He starts muttering to himself and Jane feels her excitement dying. Gil clearly has the magical power to this, but he didn’t seem to have the training.
Except, a small part of her whispers, she didn’t have the training and the wand just went wild for her. So why isn’t it going wild for him?
“I got it!” Gil grins. He shuts his eyes and raises the wand. An orange rose grows into existence, floating in front of Fairy Godmother. Jane and Doug can only watch as the rose grows and blooms and petal by petal it dies. As the last petal falls, Fairy Godmother begins to glow. The glow is so bright they have to look away.
When Jane opens her eyes again, there is no stone statue in front of them.
“Mum!” She cries, running up to hug her de-stoned mother.
“Jane, are you alright? What happened?” Fairy Godmother asks, hugging her back just as tight.
“Audrey turned you to stone, but Gil saved you!” Jane explains, turning back to Gil. The pirate is staring at the wand, an awed smile on his face.
“Magic is awesome!” He announces, turning to the grass near them he raises the wand again. It glows orange and roses sprout from the grass, shades of orange and red and blue. “They’re going to love these.” Rushing down the stairs to his roses, Gil doesn’t even seem to notice the others.
“Who’s Gil?” Fairy Godmother asks, frowning at the young boy.
“Gaston’s son.” Doug reports.
“Gaston doesn’t have any magic.” Fairy Godmother frowns deeper.
“His mum is a witch.” Doug explains.
“What else can I do with this?” Gil wonders aloud. By the time they’ve walked down the stairs he’s turned the roses into flower crowns. Well he’s turned one into a flower crown using blue roses, the orange and red flowers he’s worked into a pirate hat.
“Gil, is it?” Fairy Godmother greets, smiling. “Thank you for helping me, but may I please have my wand?” She asks, holding out her hand.
“Oh, right.” Gil says, handing it over without trouble. “Here you go, sorry I forgot it wasn’t mine.”
“That’s alright.” Fairy Godmother claims. She raises her wand to fix everything but before she can magic rushes from the world.
“Whoa, what was that?” Gil asks, eyeing his hands.
“What was what?” Doug frowns.
“Magic.” Jane grins. “Mal did it.”
“Awesome! I knew they could do it.” Gil cheers. “Oh, we should go find them. Uma and Harry are going to love these.” He says, holding up the rose hats.
“Uma?” Fairy Godmother frowns.
“She’s on our side now mum.” Jane explains. “You’ve missed a lot.”
“Can I do it?” Gil asks, reaching out for the wand.
“I’m not sure that’s the best idea.” Fairy Godmother says. “Teleporting is very hard. Besides, we really must check on everything else first. I trust that Mal and your friends have the situation handled, but there’s a lot of people waking up right now. We should help them.”
“I guess that makes sense.” Gil accepts, though he seems a little saddened by the thought.
“We should go to the lake, that’s where my party was.” Jane speaks up. “There’s a lot of kids there.”
“Wonderful idea.” Fairy Godmother smiles. “And I suppose we can teleport. Gather close children.” That perks Gil up and soon they’re at the lake, helping Auradon’s young princes and princesses catch up.
After the enchanted lake, they start to make the rounds of the royal castles. It’s easy to tune Fairy Godmother out as she repeats the same story over and over for each royal couple. Instead he looks around. The castle’s are amazing, huge and clean and sparkling with things Gil thinks Harry and Uma would love to have. But he doesn’t steal any of it, because Jay said they can’t do that here and Jay was pretty nice.
As he’s scoping out Sultan Aladdin and Sultana Jasmine’s house, he hears a soft sniffle. Checking to make sure the attention isn’t on him (it isn’t) Gil starts to follow the sound.
“Hey there.” He greets the sniffling little girl he finds. She’s curled up in the hallways with a tiger, clearly trying to be quiet as she cries. The tiger growls at him as he draws closer but Gil lifts his hands in a surrendering manner. “What’s your name?” The little girl looks up, wiping her eyes.
“...Jazlyn.” She mumbles. Gil walks closer as the tiger calms down, sitting next to her.
“I’m Gil.” He smiles. “Why are you crying?”
“Mummy and Daddy turned to stone.” Jazlyn sniffles.
“That sounds scary.” Gil agrees. “But they’re not stone now.”
“But what if it happens again?” The little girl cries.
“Then I’ll make them not-stone.” Gil promises. “Like I made Fairy Godmother not-stone.”
“You did? How?” Jazlyn asks, starting to calm down as Gil keeps talking.
“Magic.” Gil grins. “I’ll show you.” He hesitates, tapping his chin as he thinks of something he can do. Then he notes the golden bracelet on Jazlyn’s arm. “Can I borrow that?” He asks. Looking a little confused, Jazlyn hands it over. Gil shuts his eyes and focuses really hard on the bracelet, thinking of changing it.
When the magic fades, he’s holding a small golden doll.
“She’s so pretty!” Jazlyn squeals, fear completely forgotten as she looks at the doll.
“She’s a pirate.” Gil says, holding her out. “And she’ll protect you if anything bad happens.”
A few minutes later, a panicked Fairy Godmother finds Gil and Jazlyn playing doll in the hall. She relaxes as Gil looks up, a little ashamed her first thought was that he was up to something but relieved he’s not.
“I think it’s time we head back to the others.” She says.
“And I think it’s time Jazlyn got some rest.” Aladdin adds, unbothered by the VK being so close to his daughter. “Thank you for looking after her.”
“No worries.” Gil grins.
“Daddy, mummy look! Gil made my bracelet into a doll! She’s a pirate!” Jazlyn says, holding out the doll for Aladdin and Jasmine to see.
“It’s very pretty.” Jasmine smiles. “What do we say?”
“Thank you for the doll!” Jazlyn says, giving Gil a hug he happily returns. Fairy Godmother frowns a little to see he used magic again but… well, she supposes tonight is not a normal night. And he doesn’t know their rules, she’ll let it slide.
Maybe, she adds as she thinks of all the destruction, maybe her rules are outdated too. Maybe magic shouldn’t be brushed under the rug the way it has been.
But that’s a thought for another day.
“Gather round children, let’s go home.” She says.
“That dolls really impressive.” Doug tells Gil as they stand with Fairy Godmother. “You know, Evie and I should try our hands at making dolls clothes.” He adds, mumbling more to himself now.
“You’re really good with magic.” Jane says, sounding a little jealous.
“Uma and I stole books from the witch school.” Gil says. “They weren’t very helpful though.”
“Perhaps I’ll let you have a look at my spellbooks child, when things have settled down.” Fairy Godmother tells Jane.
“Really?” Jane smiles, excited. Fairy Godmother just smiles, calling out Bippity Boppity Boo. In the next moment Jane’s good mood falls as she sees Audrey laying still as death on the bed.
“Uma! Harry!” Gil greets, unaware of the tense and sombre mood. “I made you guys these.” He says, holding out the rose crown and pirate hat.
“Gil, this was not a time for weaving flowers.” Harry frowns, even as he takes the pirate hat to look it over.
“I didn’t weave them.” Gil says. “I used magic! And I made Fairy Godmother not stone!”
“Huh.” Mal says. “I guess you weren’t lying about your mum.”
“Does he look like he can lie?” Harry huffs, glaring. Of course, in any other situation admitting that would be even more of an insult but Mal doesn’t call him on it. She doesn’t have the energy to bicker right now. Secretly, neither does Harry.
Attention turning back to Gil and the pirate hat, Harry puts is on. “I think you forgot about the thorns sweetheart.” He points out, then smirks. “But I like it.”
“You are disturbing.” Uma rolls her eyes at him, placing on her own crown.
“You guys look great!” Gil grins.
“If he was able to do that then perhaps…” Leah asks, hopeful, but Mal shakes her head.
“The ember won’t work for him.” She says. “It only works for Hades and his blood.”
“But you were using the ember.” Gil remembers, confused.
“She’s Hades’ daughter.” Uma reveals after giving Gil a long minute to try to figure it out himself. He didn’t.
“That’s so cool.” Gil grins. “Today’s a day for parents, hey? I mean, you used your dads magic, I used my mums, she used her mums curse.” He lists, unaware of the way Queen Leah flinches. “Wait does that make her a VK now?”
“Sorry about him, he doesn’t have great social graces.” Jay apologizes as Harry pats Gil’s shoulder, passing along the semi-coded ‘stop talking’ message. Despite that, neither seem bothered by Gil’s words. None of the VKs do.
“Dear, who did you say your mother was?” Fairy Godmother asks, wanting to draw the conversation away from Audrey and what the Aurdon-locals would never want to admit.
“The witch.” Gil answers. “From dad’s story.”
“The Enchantress.” Uma corrects.
“Fancy witch.” Harry mumbles.
The room freezes at the admission, but Gil hardly notices as he starts talking about magic with Uma.
“And I thought my dad got a reaction.” Mal mumbles, rolling the ember in her hands.
“Everything's ready.” Ben announces a short while later. At first Gil doesn’t look up, too focused on looking over Celia’s cards. He doesn’t feel any magic from them and when Uma let him hold her necklace he didn’t feel any magic in that either. Mal even let him handle the ember, and yeah, nothing!
But he can remember the rush of magic he felt holding Fairy Godmother’s wand. It was like light running all throughout his body. He can feel some of it even now, as he makes a purple and black flower bloom for Celia.
“When do we leave?” Uma asks and this time Gil looks up.
“Now.” Ben says, tone sombre. “We don’t have time to waste.” He adds, looking to the sleeping princess.
“I get it Kingly, it’s fine.” Uma nods. “Come on boys.”
“We’re leaving?” Gil asks, frowning a little. “But, Mal said…” Everyone’s face is answer enough, even for Gil. No one else was getting off that isle.
“I’m sorry.” Mal says, quiet. “It’s not safe.”
“It’s okay.” Gil assures, managing a smile. “Thanks for letting us stay, even for a little while. The grapes were really nice. Especially the bush ones.”
“Berries buddy.” Jay says, pulling Gil into a tight hug. It should be weird, he thinks, just two days ago they were enemies. Hugging him back just as tight doesn’t feel weird as all. “Those ones were berries.”
“There’s so much food here. I’d never remember it all.” Gil jokes as he pulls away.
“You could stay, if you want.” Uma says. “If that’s allowed.” She adds, looking to Ben and Mal.
“Of course.” Ben assures. “Any of you are welcome to stay.”
“Stay?” Gil frowns. “Are you?”
“No.” Uma shakes her head.
“Our home’s the isle.” Harry confirms. “But there’s no magic there, or good food. Ya could have those ‘ere if ya stuck around.”
“But I wouldn’t have you guys.” Gil frowns, genuinely confused. “Why would I want that?” Uma laughs lightly, shaking her head with a smile and wrapping an arm around Gil’s shoulder.
“No idea.” She smiles. “Come on, let’s go make sure you didn’t burn the isle down without me.”
“Oh the desire was there.” Harry claims, wrapping an arm around Uma’s other side.
“Take care you guys.” Mal calls. “I might actually be upset if something happened to you.”
“You too princess.” Uma smiles. “And maybe help us out on this end, yeah? Maybe a little more real food and less garage.”
“We’ve just finished arranging the supplies for those boats, they shouldn’t be too much longer.” Ben assures.
“Good.” Uma nods.
“Let’s go.” Celia says, taking a brave step and wrapping her elbow with Gil’s. She relaxes a little when he just grins. “I miss my dad.”
It’s a quiet trip back to the isle, this time shoulder to shoulder with guards. At least they still have the breakfast spread.
They know for sure they’ve entered the barrier when the magic flowers on Uma and Harry’s heads wilt to ash. Even the single flower in Celia’s hair fades away to nothing.
“Aw.” Gil pouts, hand coming up to Harry’s head where the pirate crown just was. “I thought maybe they’d stay.”
“It is a magic free zone.” Uma sighs, hand on her necklace.
“Magic was so cool.” Gil complains. “Why does Auradon get all the cool things?”
“Ya know, ya could probably catch the ride back in still. If ya really want magic back.” Harry mumbles, not quite meeting Gil’s eye.
“Auradon has all the cool things, but not the coolest things.” Gil says, shaking his head. “You guys are the coolest things.”
“Whatever ya big cheesy ball.” Harry huffs, but Gil can see him smiling. Even Uma’s smiling, just a little, while she rolls her eyes.
“Gross.” Celia says, faking a gag at their affection. But she’s also eyeing them with a little bit of jealousy. If Gil remembers right, Auradon still has two of her coolest things. It hurts to know she’s lost her sister and her best friend, but Gil’s not convinced the barrier really will stay closed. Something tells him Mal’s just not that cruel.