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Cecile Desrosiers

"Why would I want to read books that I already remember the ending to?"

0 · 236 views · located in Conte De Fée Academy

a character in “Fairytale Highscool”, as played by Zitacamron95

Description

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Name: Cecile Desrosiers

Fairytale Character: Beauty

Age: 16

Stance on Destiny: Neutral towards it

Appearance: She stands at 5'5'' and weighs about 149lbs. She always pulls her hair up into a pony tail just to keep it out of her face, and she wears a pair of square, light blue, framed glasses. She tends to only wear her light pink uniform jacket when it's cold, otherwise she just walks around with the bow and the button up. When she's allowed to wear something other than her uniform, she usually picks a comfy pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

History: Cecile grew up with divorced parents and her father having custody over her. She rarely saw her mother, and when she did it always ended poorly. She understood quite well why her father had complete custody over her. Her dad was a very good engineer and had won a few awards for his ideas. Cecile was very close to her father, spending quite a bit of time with him reading her books while he was busy with his work. Still, the girl may have read a lot, but she valued experiences over her fictional stories. She loved it when her father had the time to take her to a museum, a zoo, or even a fair that was in town. When she was in middle school, some guy started to try and get her attention through some very weird ways. At one point, the weirdo even tried to propose to her, which unlocked a very strange memory. It was uncomfortable, and she didn't much like the fact that she was remembering things that she knew she couldn't have been part of. After that Cecile was given a full ride scholarship to Conte De Fée Academy. She wasn't too happy to be going there, but figured that new experiences were always a good thing. Still, it was hard for her to leave her father behind.

At school, Cecile had a hard time adjusting. The school staff seemed to encourage her to read all these books, and focus less on talking or meeting new people. She was rewarded for being quiet and reserved. Which made her feel uncomfortable. Any time she tried to read a book that was recommended to her by one of her teachers, she'd have another flash back to already having read the book before. It annoyed her so much, that she would go out of her way to read things the teachers would never even tell her about. She started to read less fiction and more nonfiction, and made sure that it was something her former self hadn't read before. When given the opportunity, Cecile tried to make some friends and tried to not be stuck in this box that the school was trying to put her in. While she didn't really mind the fact that she was Beauty, she did mind the fact that the school wanted to her to be exactly like the former Beauty.

So begins...

Cecile Desrosiers's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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And they all lived happily ever after. The line in every fairy tale that made many people's eyes roll. How could two people that just met get married and live happily ever after? They barely knew each other to start with. Would they truly be happy? Still, it was the dream that many people sought after, that many people wanted. There were young girls that wanted prince charming to sweep them off their feet, or rescue them from terrible dangers. There were men that wanted to be that prince. The problem was, nobody could be those princes or princesses, not when they already existed in the real world.

Conte De Fée Academy was a private boarding school with a very low admission rating. The only way to get accepted was to literally be a fairy tale character. They were tracked down, it was unknown how this was possible, but they did. After one of the reincarnations of these old fairy tale characters had their first memory of one of their past lives, they received a letter to join the school. If they chose to ignore it, the school would send a representative to come pick up the child. That rarely happened, though. Most of the students wanted to go to an enchanted place like Conte De Fée Academy. Most of them wanted to find their prince or princess, or just to live out the destiny they were given.

The school wasn't that different from any other high school. It was easy to tell who was part of the prestigious crowd and who wasn't. Sebastien Beauchene, also known as Prince Charming, was at the top. He may have not seemed like it, with the unkempt mess of black hair, or the way he carelessly dressed. Still, he was at the top. With him was his two princesses, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Of course, his brother was also considered part of the top of the food chain...when the two boy weren't fighting. Nobody messed with them, nobody argued with them, and certainly nobody had the guts to fight them. They were the classics, they were the most famous stories heard around the world. They were the ones that got all the attention.

It was the start to another year of school, not that it really felt like there was any difference between school time and break. Sebastien hadn't gone home at all due to having to spend his summer taking extra classes and not even classes that he failed, he aced all his classes. Plus, his parents were busy with their business and didn't really have much time to spend with their kids this summer, so the boys decided it was best to just stay at the school. Even though classes would start at nine o'clock am sharp, Sebastien was still sleeping at eight forty-five. His limbs tangled in his blankets and his alarm clock thrown clear across the room. The curtains were tightly shut to keep the sun from shining on his eyes. It wasn't until a hard knock came from his door, that he actually stirred.

"What?" Sebastien growled. His eyes not opening, and his body barely moving to the noise.

"Sebastien, if you don't get up right now, you're gonna be late!" A familiar voice yelled from the other side of the door.

"So what? They aren't going to do anything about it, Olivier," Sebastien called back.

"Get up right now," Olivier growled.

"Fine, if it'll stop you yelling through the door like a lunatic," Sebastien rolled his eyes. He couldn't sleep anymore anyway, not with his brother at the door screaming. Sebastien glanced around the room, it was decorated with his own posters mixed with the elegant decorations that the school had already put up for the new prince charming. Paintings of the storybook Charming were on the wall, some had been removed and were thrown into the back of his closet. There was even a glass case that held the original Prince Charming's sword, the one used to slay the evil witch Maleficent.

It took a few minutes for the boy to finally untangle himself from his blankets and get out of his bed. He grabbed his shirt and slacks and threw them on, then opened the door. "Give me a sec, I've gotta brush my teeth. You mind getting my backpack ready?" Sebastien mumbled.

"Yeah, just hurry up, and don't forget your glasses" Olivier shook his head as he walked into the room and tried to find the notebooks and folders that they had gotten from the school store to be prepared for school. Olivier knew that within a few weeks these notebooks would be basically destroyed and the folders would be ripped in half. It wasn't like Sebastien would destroy them himself, he just wouldn't take care of the bag, that the folders and notebooks would never leave, would get thrown everywhere and torn through when Sebastien tried to look like he was paying attention in class.


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Olivier had finally gotten his brother out of the bed and into the school house. He felt like a babysitter with the way he always had to make sure his brother was up and at school. If he didn't know where Sebastien was, he'd get teachers from the grade above asking where his brother was. He didn't know that suddenly he had become the person that had to watch over his brother's every move. He didn't like the fact that he was constantly having to deal with his older brother being a child and the school just left it up to him to take care of it. If he just said he didn't know where Sebastien was, he'd have to leave class and go find him. It was as if the school cared more about where Sebastien was than his own schooling and his own life.

Olivier sat down at one of the empty seats up front, and pulled out his notebook and folder. He knew that he was barely on time, having to walk his own brother to class in the ten minutes they had to spare and with his brother being a grade above, his classrooms were all on a different floor. Olivier needed to start waking his brother up earlier than he had, but there were some days that he felt like just leaving Prince Charming to fend for himself. It never taught anyone a lesson, other than himself though. Once again, he'd be the one to have to leave class in the middle of a lesson and get his brother out of bed and to class. His brother would never have to learn that he can't just be late to everything.

"Sebastien being trouble again?" Anneliese, or Snow White, asked. She had watched Olivier enter the classroom with a sour look on his face. She figured that it was her prince not getting up on time and trying to skip class. It was nearly a daily occurrence, and almost everyone knew it was.

"Yeah," Olivier sighed, "I'm kind of sick of it honestly. He can get up on time for everything else, but when it comes to class he just sleeps for as long as he possibly can. How can you stand him?"

"Because he's so sweet," Anneliese smiled, "You'd think that growing up with him, would make you used to the way he acts."

"I'm not, because he's terrible. He used to be able to get himself up for school, but ever since he's outside the gaze of our parents, he started acting like he could just test everyone to the limit," Olivier huffed.


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Cecile had found that she had come to class early, it was a little irritating. She had vowed to try and be as different from what she'd think the original Beauty would do. Still, there she was early for class. This was ridiculous, it was as if habits from her past controlled how she acted now. She just wanted to feel like she could be different and that her whole life wasn't ruled by what the school perceived of a story book character. She felt like she needed to know more about Belle before she could agree with the school that reading all day was the only thing she ever did. Cecile had to be sure that Belle actually did only read books and didn't try to be social with the other people out there, or try different things. There was an entire world that had new things to try and ways to learn things outside of books.

The young girl still sat down at one of the desks, there were a few people that were in the class too. It didn't make her feel any better knowing that the majority of the class was still getting ready, or sleeping. She shook her head, and pulled out her notebook for the day. Most likely, they'd be teaching something that she already knew about or didn't care about. It was rare that she ever took notes about the class. She had instead started to write her thoughts down on paper. She had written down memories that she had of her past life, and tried to connect as many of them as she could. She also had a list of what books she had actually read and which one she was sure her past lives had already read. Cecile already had ten notebooks filled with different things and they were hidden in her dorm somewhere so the staff wouldn't just see them and think she might be rebelling against her destiny. All she wanted was more of an explanation and reasoning when it came to her destiny.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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His fingers glossed over the hem of the uniform skirt and they subconsciously tugged on the material, unaccustomed to the way the loose fabric hung from his hips. It wasn’t loathsome to wear such a thing, as he imagined it may be more comfortable when the temperature rose with the sun, but the implication of why he was wearing it was what crawled underneath his skin; they wanted to dictate who he was, demanded that he be molded to fit a certain shape, one defined countless years ago. Staring at his reflection Claude stood in one of the Academy’s empty stairwells, gazing at his cascading locks of his long hair – and he had always let his hair grow longer than the usual boy, but it extended past his waist now in its unruly chaos – and he watched his reflection press its lips together, and he wondered how far his identity will be pushed, if he’ll end up forgetting who he once was.

The reflection was a stranger to him, and in careful, quiet steps he walked up the stairs and through the corridors, refusing to make eye contact with the passing students, his hands clasped tightly onto his bag. At least he would be able to live away from his stepmother’s watch, and because of their age differences he wasn’t placed in any classes with Eveline or Marcelle; that could be enough of a temporary comfort for now, until he is able to see things clearly, and understand what to do next. No, more important than that, until he discovers who he really is, not what other people think that person is. His hands relaxed, but his heart murmured within his chest, and he stood outside of the classroom for a moment, collecting courage from the bottom of his feet.

“…he started acting like he could just test everyone to the limit,"

Traces of a conversation entered his frame of reference, and his eyes grazed over the interior – the faces of his new peers, the tied curtains, the polished white floor and stainless surface of the desks. This would be the first time attending a school for him, his entire life spent learning within the walls of his father’s home, and he lingered in the doorway before finally crossing the threshold, simultaneously anxious and remarkably detached. What did he think of people, of being around such large groups of them? He didn’t know – he didn’t know a single thing about this, so he bit the inside of his cheek and walked forward, because there’s nothing he could do about it now. All he needed to do is find a seat, and he paused beside a girl with straight brown hair, a notebook on her desk, the pages filled and seeming to contain something complicated, something unknown to him.

“…Is this seat taken?” He asked, awkwardly speaking in this new voice, soft like cotton and pale like the evening sky, and he subconsciously touched the back of his neck, unsure of how to continue. Hesitant, Claude pointed to the seat beside the girl, gesturing towards what he was talking about.

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The sunlight was filtered through glass, and with the remnants of sleep dusted on his eyelashes Artem looked through the window, watching a gentle breeze rustle the branches of trees and how finches took to the sky with their tiny, strong wings. This wasn’t unusual for him; he typically was among the first of his classmates to arrive, and after reviewing notes and homework he would rest his head on the desk, letting the warmth of the sun lull him into a brief sleep. But today the nap did him no good, and spending so many of the night’s hours awake settled into his bones, the subtle ache nurturing a regret for not simply skipping today, despite the certain importance he placed on his education.

“Late night?” The teasing words were spoken in fluent Ukrainian, and he refused to look away from the scenery beyond the classroom walls, knowing all too well that there was a girl with short red hair beside him. Groaning in reply Artem rubbed his forehead, and he listened to Nadia sit at the desk behind him, the arrangement of him sitting in front of her consistent since primary school – it made it all too easy for them to cheat, or share quiet conversations during monotonous, drawn out lectures. “Yeah, and not a very good one. For a guy with a motorcycle he was really boring.” Muttering into the sleeve of his blazer he answered her, and then he reached into the pockets of his trousers, pulling out a watch of polished black, and placed it in Nadia’s open palm.

“Not a bad grab. Want to go to the pawn shop after school?” Leaning her head against her arm the girl – now known as Maid Marian's most recent form – pocketed the luxury watch. Regardless of the similarities in their upbringing (and admittedly, in personality) unlike Artem’s clean, organized uniform Nadia's was the opposite, displaying herself as openly rebellious with her pink blazer tied around her waist, her skirt rolled up an inch or two, and the top two buttons of her shirt undone. He raised his eyebrows, humming while regarding the stolen watch with a false pensiveness before finally sitting up, looking away from the girl. “I wanted to leave campus anyways.” He responded simply, switching back to the school’s common tongue of French, and he watched the students fill into the classroom one by one.

A blonde girl, one with her lips deviously curled and who wasn’t Gabrielle Leroy stepped inside, her green eyes wildly bright and vigilant, as if committing the building to memory, or maybe it was the faces of those within it. “Who’s she?” With her voice quieter now Nadia leaned forward to comment on the bizarre sight, and he could image her face scrunched up in confusion. He on the other hand kept his expression indifferent and unchanged, but he too felt just as perplexed because of how rare it was for an upperclassman to enroll. Biting his bottom lip he took note of her face and moved on, only budging from his spot when Sebastien finally pulled himself him, and as if it all came naturally Artem raised his hand in greeting – because today was the first day of his final year here, and he might as well start shaking the school up, beginning at the top of the totem pole.

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“You don’t have to worry about me.”

It was typical; all of them returned home for summer break, and then once they reunited Casper would pull the most pitiful expression, as if a person fretting over him was the biggest tragedy to ever occur in the history of the world. Sighing dramatically Zhihao rubbed his face with his hands, and beside him Devika muttered on about friendship and family and all the good things in the world, occasionally unknowingly slipping into her native tongue – not that it bothered any of them. The group of three stood outside of Casper and Devika’s classroom, each of them nearly late, but none paid any mind to the passing time when their friend wore such a solemn, defeated expression. Zhihao ran his fingers through his hair, disheveling it more than before, and looked at the shorter boy with his eyes narrowed and his lips pulled into a thin line.

“Of course we’re going to worry about you.” He insisted, placing his hands on the boy’s shoulders to force him into the classroom. “You’re the one who doesn’t have to worry. I swear, you’ll go bald before you graduate.” Laughing lightly they wandered inside, Casper’s mouth contorting into a disapproving frown and Devika following close behind, already heading towards the desks the two occupied near the front. After gently patting Casper’s back he glanced over to the clock, counting the minutes he had left, and thus he came to terms that he was going to be at least a couple minutes late. “Oliver, Anneliese.” He greeted the two underclassmen, successfully silencing his friend’s complaints, and from the corner of his eyes Zhihao watched him practically deflate, his shoulders slumping for good measure.

And also from his peripheral vision he saw Cecile, the girl that the school insisted he would marry, the girl who would break the curse he was destined to inherit, and his stomach twisted uncomfortably within. From what he knew the reincarnation of Belle wasn’t an unpleasant person, nonetheless he did his best to avoid her along with the whole destiny thing, and returned his focus back to the reincarnations of Snow White and Cinderella’s Prince, clearing his mind with an easygoing smile. “Good to see you two again. How was your summers?” Polite and casual Zhihao leaned against Devika’s desk, the girl now pulling a textbook from her bag while Casper seemed to float lifelessly in the background, as if dissatisfied with the current situation and the lack of someone scolding him.

But when he paid the boy more mind he realized that it wasn't how they spent the summer separated that was bothering the boy, but instead it was the new addition to the classroom – a petite girl with long, messy hair who stood next to Cecile’s desk, a girl with a face he didn’t recognize. About to address the fact Zhihao opened his mouth, already going through the possibilities of who the mystery student could be (Alice? The Sea Witch? The Nightingale?), but Devika beat him to it, her youthful and girlish voice whispering;

“Cinderella.”

And for a second his heart stopped; it was like he could feel destiny shifting the course of their realities with such fluid ease, leading them all to the same place, bringing even the elusive Cinderella to the Academy without any warning. Now she was in the same classroom as the reincarnation of her prince, seemingly unaware and apparently more interested in finding a place in the small room to call her own. Somewhat shocked Zhihao coughed into his sleeve before he turned to Olivier, his eyes wide and mind half lingering on Cecile – until he forced those thoughts out of his head. “Dude.” Right, this is all he could say, and suddenly he got the feeling that this semester was going to be more than just another year of annoyingly pushy adults – and boy did he wish that the peace would last just a bit longer.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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Sebastien rubbed at his eyes as he walked into the classroom, clearly still tired or just not looking forward to school. Either was a big possibility for him. He knew that he had this last year and then he'd be done, graduating with even a few college credits under his belt and he'd finally be able to go back to his family. If the school didn't have anything else ridiculous in mind for him, like forcing him to stay at the school until Sleeping Beauty was put under her sleeping curse, then forcing the two to marry. He didn't even know if he wanted to marry any of the girls that he was destined to marry. He loathed this destiny thing more than anything else, it gave him such a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach and left a bad taste in his mouth.

The current Prince Charming scanned the room, being one of the last people to enter the classroom with only a few minutes to spare before the teacher started class. He caught Artem waving at him and had no idea how to respond. He was quite sure that he didn't talk a whole lot with the current Robin Hood. The two of them were in different crowds, but it would have been rude not to do something. Sebastien finally just responded by doing the same action, and looking away. He figured that there was a reason for the sudden change, but he didn't have the energy to over analyze a simple action.

Before Sebastien could even move any further or lay eyes on a seat, a young girl with blonde hair had him in a tight hug. He blinked for a moment unable to figure out what had just happened before his arms wrapped around the girl in a natural response. Gabrielle Leroy was one of his best friends since he got to Conte De Fée, and apparently the first girl he'd marry. Though, he'd like to avoid that part if he could at this point. He had no idea if he would even be able to make her happy for the rest of her life, and with the destiny he had, he didn't want to end up having to divorce her later because things aren't working out. He'd end up losing a friend, and breaking her heart.

"I've missed you so much," Gabrielle said, squeezing him tighter.

"I've missed you too, Gabe, but you are going to break my ribs if you continue to squeeze any harder," Sebastien muttered. With that the young girl released and the two took seats where the girl had saved for the both of them.

"How are you doing? How was your summer? Tell me everything," Gabrielle continued turning fully to talk to the boy.

"Uh...I've got a headache. My summer was fine, I stayed here the entire time and...that's it," Sebastien shrugged.

"Oh, you've got a headache? Have you eaten breakfast yet?" Gabrielle asked rummaging through her bag.

"No, didn't have the time, I woke up like ten minutes ago," Sebastien buried his head in his arms.

"Well, here, to tide you over until lunch," The girl placed a granola bar on the corner of his desk. Sebastien gave a grunt in reply, reluctant to move from the comfort of his arms that he was now using as pillows.


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Olivier looked up at Zhihao and nodded when he greeted the two. Anneliese gave a smile and a wave. The two had both taken to setting up their notes for the day and organizing their things. They both were thinking of a response to how their summers were, trying to figure out what to say. Anneliese had a lot to say, but knew that Zhihao needed to get to class otherwise he'd be late, and she'd feel like it was her fault, while Olivier had to try and figure out how to explain that he had to stay at school because of his brother and had to find a nice way of saying it. He still held a grudge against his brother for making the both of them stay around the school for the entire summer because he decided that now was the time to buckle down and take classes that he didn't even need to take. Even he didn't try that hard at school, and it was ridiculous that he couldn't have gone home on his own and seen his family without Sebastien being there.

"I had a great summer, my brothers were so happy to see me again and we got to spend a bunch of time going to a fair that was in town and going to the beach. It was great," Anneliese spoke up first with a grin on her face as she remembered everything she had gotten to do that summer. She had been so reluctant to return to school, having to leave everyone behind again, but she only had a few years left. She knew that she'd have another break soon to go visit them again and have just as much fun.

"Mine was alright, I was stuck here all summer. Sebastien said that our parents were too busy this summer to have us go back home, plus he wanted to take a few classes that the school was offering over the summer for some college credits," Olivier sighed, clearly not happy by the situation. He barely got to see or hear from his parents and with Sebastien having more contact with them it already made him mad. All he got was the occasional phone call, and would have been so much happier going back home and at least being able to do something different from the options that were around the school.

Zhihao seemed distracted by something by that moment, staring at one of the other students, so Olivier turned to look as well, seeing the new girl asking Cecile for a seat. His mouth opened just slightly as his brain quickly connected on who she was. The old memory that still gave him such a warm feeling came back into his mind. It was as if he just relived the moment of him and his princess dancing for the first time. He could still feel the butterflies in his stomach and the pain of his cheeks as his stupid grin made the muscles in his face ache. It took him forever to tear his eyes away and pull himself out of that happy memory.

"I know," Olivier whispered back to Zhihao. He wanted to go over there and introduce himself, but he felt like that was a little weird, and he knew that she'd want time to settle in. This was a new school after all, and it'd be a little overwhelming with all these people trying to crowd around.


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Cecile looked up from her notebook at the girl asking to sit down. She gave a smile and nodded, "Yeah, of course you can." She had no idea who the girl was, and knew that she must have been new then. It was a little weird to see someone enter the school so late, but it couldn't have been that uncommon. She was curious to know which story the girl came from and who she was. Though asking all of that probably would have come off as strange and weird, plus it still felt weird to just ask someone what story they came from. It wasn't something that felt right to ask, even though she had been around for two years and had to answer that same question when she first got to the school.

"I'm Cecile, or Cici, I don't mind being called either," Cecile decided on introducing herself to the girl first. It should probably be the new girl's choice whether or not she wanted to introduce herself. "I'm Beauty, or Belle since she's the most famous reincarnation, from Beauty and the Beast." It felt strange to have to say that out loud still, it didn't feel right to have to say something like that. She didn't know that much about Beauty, but the school encouraged them to just identify themselves as their story book characters. It did feel too much like the school was trying to pull them away from being their own person and more like they should just conform to who they once were.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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Breathing a sigh of relief, Claude hung the bag from the back of the desk chair and moved to sit down, soon folding his arms over his desk, his fingers entwined together. So this was going to be his life… He tugged on a strand of his hair and listened to the noises around him; the girls in the back were muttering about a potential marriage proposal, the clocks ticked incessantly, and the conversation from the front became hushed. With a small frown he glanced back at the girl beside him as she introduced herself, her expression seeming earnest, like she was potentially someone he could trust within the school.

Or at least, not bother him with devotional ideals on destiny – he didn’t have any prior experiences to relate this one to, and groups of people were more like mysteries to him, or a faraway concept that couldn’t be applied to his own life. When Cecile told him that she was the reincarnation of Beauty his eyebrows twitched upwards, both surprised and wholly unmoved, because that’s what it all was, right? They were fairytales and born from magic, that was what they all shared in common. “My name is Claude Levêque.” He kept his voice soft, and the tone slowly sunk into him, becoming more natural and less surreal, and he remembered how thankful the Academy was that he had a technically unisex name, of all things.

Claude hesitated after his introduction, wavering between the decision to give Cecile an answer or not, because he knew how it may define him, and how it felt like revealing a precious secret, one that couldn’t be kept any longer. “C- ” He began, pausing partway into the name, and with his cheeks turning red the edges of his lips raised into an awkward smile, his eyes swooping to stare at the floor. “I’m…Cinderella.” The name was spoken quieter than he intended, and he looked up at her bashfully, before turning back to his desk and reorganizing the distance between his notebook and pen. “Is this place…decent?” And on impulse, he couldn’t resist asking, his eyes still focused on the paper and details of his shoes.

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He could read the manifestation of Charming’s confusion like a map, and once the gesture was returned Artem curled his arms on the desk, soon laying his head back to rest. With his eyes darting back to the birds perched outdoors he shifted his attention away from his classmates and the dissonance of their chatter. Simple things were like dulled silverware to him, and he never grew fond of normalcy and lighthearted conversation, couldn’t set roots in what was to him, limp and lifeless. Yet, despite the monochrome personality of his environment, the corner of his mouth twitched into a smirk, something that vanished as soon as it appeared.

“Sebastien Beauchene? Really?” Nadia questioned was what he assumed to be his sanity, her disbelief masked in calm Ukrainian, and to that he only justified her frown with a thoughtful hum. He ran his fingers through his hair, rustling the dusted parts of his brain, and conjured memories and locations as well as the habits and quirks of a select few students. Particularly Gabrielle, her teeth were pointed and her fire was only tamed by one other, and if he really wanted it wouldn’t prove to be too difficult to…encourage her to help him out, so long as the right conditions were met. “The new girl is watching him.” He continued, and Nadia turned her head to the side, looking to the student who seemed transfixed on the school’s Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty.

Becoming close to another person had its benefits, and he thought that was the reason Nadia and him matured into such an admirable pair; as if picking up ESP signals she took out her phone, played with it for a moment, then stealthily took a picture of the unknown fairytale. Patient, Artem waited, viewing the crows as they cleaned their feathers and observed the world, some staring back at him unblinking, and he wondered if they knew that they were being watched. A minute later he was having his friend’s phone shoved in front of his face, a sent text message being put on display for his approval, to which he nodded, satisfied.

[ text -- > Gabrielle ]
[[ img attachment ]]
looks like you’ll be competing again soon~


He glanced upwards to catch her doubt, and he got the very strange feeling that right now he was only playing with matches – that if he wasn’t careful, something was going to burn and turn into ash. “I’ll be fun.” Attempting to reassure her Artem returned to French, signifying the end to their secrecy, and smiled lazily. All he wanted was a reason to shake the order a little, that’s all, and he flipped open his notebook, pen in hand and teacher walking through the door, his mind already returning to thoughts on math and history, more than ready to continue on with the day.

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With a shot of pain shooting up his legs Zhihao snapped from his reverie and turned his head in the direction of Casper, who had definitely just kicked him. Completely unphased the boy mouthed something along the lines of ‘go to class’ or ‘ow my ass’ (he was never talented at reading lips, but he could safely assume it was the former), and beside him Devika smiled sheepishly. Nodding reluctantly (because he really didn’t want to go to class – he wanted to chatter on endlessly about summer and all the great stuff they’re going to do together over the semester) Zhihao looked back to Olivier, and give him a sympathetic look – because he truly felt sorry that destiny had suddenly fallen into the boy’s lap.

Like Olivier needed to deal with magic shenanigans on top of taking care of a lazy older brother.

“Well, I wish you luck with that.” He offered, his smile lopsided and, despite his pessimism, genuine. “I should go to class…I guess? See you guys later.” Adding a drop of effort he waved cheerfully – or perhaps it was simply comically fast – and he began his trek to his classroom, keeping his hands in his pockets and eyes everywhere but the space directly in front of him. But, as fate would have it, he was again driven from his daydreams by the sound of his teacher speaking his name, and he stopped just outside the classroom door, one eyebrow raised as of it communicate ‘i’m maybe a minute late, why are you doing this to me’.

“The school counselor wants to see you. There’s something wrong with your visa, and they need to sort it out.” For a minute Zhihao didn’t move, slowly processing how their typically strict teacher wasn’t lecturing him about being late on the first day, and once the train wreck of ‘visa’ hit him he scrambled, clutching the strap of his bag before nodding (and muttering something unintelligible) and turning 180 degrees, thus speed-walking in the direction of the Academy’s office. By the time he arrived at the counselor’s office the situation caught up with him, and he felt himself frown in confusion, because it wasn’t like him to have trouble with his visa.

Nonetheless, he walked inside, voicing an apology for being late as he sat down across from the desk. It wasn’t unusual for there to be a problem with visas after all, and it wasn’t impossible for the paper work to be damaged or for there to be a delay in the process, but when he looked up at the counselor he froze – realizing two things. First, for some unknown reason there as a lit candle beside a single rose, and for a second unknown reason the woman sitting at the other side of the desk wasn’t the school counselor, who was a kind, older woman who certainly didn’t have long, jet black hair or intricate tattoos winding up her arms. His heart pounded, and he opened his mouth to say something – anything – but a chilling wave flushed over his body and silenced him, because he knew it was too late. He knew Olivier wasn’t the only person running into destiny today –

He dropped to the desk like dead weight, and the world became pure white, then slowly it darkened, as if a shadow was looming over him. Above him the flames flickered, and he fell into unconsciousness, wading into those dark waters, submerging himself in familiar warmth, reminding himself how this had all happened before – and like that, he slept.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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Sebastien had closed his eyes and was about to drift off to sleep when he could hear a soft gasp come from Gabrielle. He opened his eyes again and thought that she must have been in danger with the way that gasp came out. it still was audible for most people, but the old Prince Charming seemed to jump out at the slightest sign of his princesses or his brother being in danger. The hair on the back of his neck rose and he tensed up, even though he hadn't even moved from his position of laying down on his arms. The moment that he noticed that Gabrielle wasn't actually in any danger, he relaxed again. Still, now any tiredness he had was gone.

He didn't seem to pleased about that and just grabbed the granola bar that was still sitting on the corner of his desk. He ate it as if he was angry at something. "What's going on?" He asked between bites. He scanned the room, as if he was still looking for danger that didn't exist. He accidentally glared at a bunch of people before finally relaxing completely again and laying his eyes just on Gabrielle. He knew that there couldn't be anything that bad going on, the girl was just angrily glaring at her phone and then over to some other girl. Sebastien at this point was more curious as to what had gotten Gabrielle so angry rather than trying to protect her from some imaginary danger.

He cleared his throat to get the girl's attention, and the blonde finally turned her head and looked at him. "O-Oh, it's nothing," Gabrielle quickly answered. She tried to be as sweet as possible in her response. She even gave as much of a smile as she could possibly manage for being so angry. "It's stupid, really," Gabrielle tried to reassure. It only got a nod in response from Sebastien as he continued to stare at her with a curious look. He had no idea what he could possibly do in this situation so he just decided to stay out of it for now. He didn't know what was going on, and he really didn't want to know what was going on.

"Okay, if you say so," Sebastien yawned as he stuffed the wrapper from the granola bar into his backpack and stretched out a bit. When the teacher finally appeared, he adjusted his glasses and already looked as if he was bored of this place. Before the class could even get started, the teacher had spotted a late Zhihao who was then quickly directed somewhere else to figure out visa issues. That seemed like a harsh thing to deal with on the first day back to class, Sebastien felt sorry for the poor guy. He was already late, and now he was sent away with bad news. He knew though, that this school would do anything to keep their students in the school, so it wasn't extremely terrible.

Sebastien was about to go back to focusing on what was going on, but then he got a phone in his face. Gabrielle had her phone in Sebastien's face, showing him the text that she had gotten from Anneliese. A smile began to play on his lips as he read the message.

[ text -- > Gabrielle ]
Cinderella has entered the building.
Olivier is so excited.

He couldn't be more happier for his brother as he saw the good news, that smile on his face though, was wiped off his face when the teacher had noticed him and Gabrielle clearly not understanding that class had started. "Gabrielle, give me your phone, right now. Sebastien yours too," The teacher growled. Gabrielle rolled her eyes and walked up to the front to give the teacher her phone. Sebastien rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, not moving from his seat.

"Sebastien..." The teacher glared at the student.

"I don't have my phone on me, you can search me if you want," Sebastien snapped.

"I better not see it then," The teacher huffed and finally went back to his lecture.

"You won't, because I don't have it on me," Sebastien muttered quietly as he rummaged through his bag angrily looking for a pencil and his notebook.


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Olivier closed his eyes and let out a slow breath. He had no idea what to say to Zhihao about the whole thing, not when he wasn't as disappointed about it as Zhihao made it sound. He was actually excited about this whole thing, it would be his chance to prove that he was better than his brother. He'd be starting his relationship with his princess before Sebastien even chose which one to start with. He was going to make sure to throw his brother from the top of his throne and be extremely happy while doing so. He'd been quietly waiting for this moment, but he just had to figure out where to begin. He wanted to make sure that he beat his brother in something and he was going to prove it to everyone that he could do just that. He was going to make sure that everyone knew that he was better than his brother and that there was no reason for him to be under his brother's shadow. He just had to calm himself down from all the excitement that was racing through him at the moment. He had to stop himself from beginning to shake and fidget.

When Olivier finally opened his eyes again, Anneliese was smiling at him. He had no idea how to respond to her reaction, so he just looked down at his desk. He had to try his best to repress all the memories that were flooding him, none of them were new to him. They were all memories he had remembered a long time ago. They were all great memories of the ball, they were the first memories he had remembered from his past life. It had been so warm to him, that he had gone back to the memory several times after the first time he had remembered it. Still, now was not the time to day dream. He glanced back at his princess one last time before turning forward as the teacher walked in and got ready for the day. He did notice that Anneliese was busy sending a quick text to someone though, which seemed slightly odd for the girl. She wasn't one to text at all during class, even if it was before class had officially started.


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Cecile smiled faintly when Claude had problems saying which fairy tale she came from. It wasn't like she was smiling from her embarrassment, she was just happy that she wasn't the only one to have issues with the whole fairy tale introduction thing. "It never gets easier, it always feels like the strangest thing to have to say your actual name and then follow it up with your fairy tale. You're going to be asked that a lot today, though. I'm sorry about that," Cecile muttered as she went back to her notebook and started writing up some more things on the lines. She had an odd habit of both writing and talking, and it made it look like she wasn't paying attention but she was and she was definitely not writing notes on the conversation she was having. That was just strange, and it was very obvious if anyone looked over that there was probably a very minimal chance that she was writing notes about her conversation, there were strange sketches in the margins and her handwriting was all over the place, sometimes she didn't even write within the lines and would just write wherever there was room.

She glanced over when Claude had asked if this place was decent and thought about a response for a moment. That question could be directed toward anything, and there were a lot of things that Cecile was too interested in, but she figured that she would just give a general answer about the entire school. "Well, schooling wise...I haven't paid attention to the teacher's lectures since my first day here. I remember learning most of these topics from books already, so it doesn't really help to listen to the teacher. Still, the students here are pretty nice, most of them are really laid back. If you ever have any trouble with any of the lessons, I'd suggest going to Anneliese over there with the silver hair. She's got the best grades and is a great tutor. Um...I suggest not angering Sebastien Beauchene, he's like the top guy at this school. He could legitimately make your life terrible if he wanted to, though he doesn't seem like the type to get angered very easily. There are plenty of activities to do after class, you can go out to the town, there's a bus that shuttles students over every half hour. There are also a few clubs and sports teams that happen after school as well, drama club, gardening club, tech club, track and field, and football."

Before they could get into the specifics of the school, the teacher had walked in, ready to start class. The teacher demanded that everyone needed to be quiet so that they could get started right away. A few minutes later, something felt wrong to Cecile. Something wasn't sitting right all of a sudden, like there was something that was getting started that she wasn't too ready for. It was like she could be in danger, and every muscle tensed and relaxed way too quickly. She glanced over at the door thinking that maybe she should excuse herself in case she had gotten some kind of illness, but it had passed so quickly that she wasn't too sure if there was anything to worry about.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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A chorus of noise reverberated within the cafeteria, the tones of different languages blending together into a meringue of pure, unintelligible sound. His body felt heavy in the reprise between chemistry and literature lessons, and the mess of people surrounding him did nothing to encourage him to wake from his sluggish state.

“Coffee is the silver lining of France.” Artem mumbled, rubbing his eyes soon after placing his tray of vegetables and grains on the table – a contrast to Nadia’s generous slice of pizza and pile of berries, and he continued to marvel over how the girl could stomach the greasy abomination. School cafeteria’s never mastered comfort food, yet the girl sitting across from him bit into the triangle of overbaked and nearly brunt cheese without a problem. “Though for you, I’m sure you prefer early onset diabetes.” The remark earned him a swift kick to the shin and a lopsided smirk, and he chuckled softly before drinking his coffee (the staff brewed it strong, just as he liked it, and he sweetened it with a hypocritical amount of creamer).

“As if you’re any – ” Her retort seemed to dissolve into nothing, her lips parted on the final word, one she never spoke (though he could assume well enough) and frowning he bit into one of the few things the cafeteria got right: freshly baked bread. Indifferent to drawing attention to himself Artem turned his head to follow Nadia’s gaze, and his focus fell onto a certain duo that was all too famous around the school, or infamous, depending on the context or people asked. The school’s resident Sleeping Beauty and Snow White naturally drew attention, and by the scowl which practically blossomed across Nadia’s lips he figured something happened between lectures for the girls to ruffle Maid Marian’s feathers (not that it took much, even a nasty look could ignite a vengeful rage in his friend).

He shook his head in response, but didn’t bother turning away; after all, he thrived on chaos and was never bothered by the yapping of tiny princesses. “You think Gabrielle has met the evil step-sister yet?” They were in ear-shot now, but he didn’t attempt to lower his voice, keeping his tone level and calm as he simply aired his thoughts to Nadia and sipped on his coffee. Nadia hardly flinched, and he thought the two of them must look like a pair of predators, cornered in their little piece of territory with their eyes sharp, and vigilant.

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It never gets easier.

Cecile’s words rose into his mind throughout classes, disrupting the flow of concentration he had attempted to maintain, and instead of coasting through the first day of school he found himself walking to the cafeteria with his shoulders slumped and heavy with the weight of anxiety. It never gets easier. Could he really settle into the role of Cinderella? The woman seemed so distant to who he was now, her heart purer than his own; she had been patient and gentle with even those that tormented her, and he had tainted his heart with isolation and cowardice. He could hardly connect himself to his past lives, yet in this school he was expected to play the part, to introduce himself as Claude, the reincarnation of Cinderella, and to continue dressing as a girl – continue living as a girl, with his hair long and eyelashes curled, and no one the wiser.

That weight grew and his shadow clung to his ankles, as if dragging him down and making it difficult to even lift one leg and put it in front of the other. Claude inhaled slowly outside of the cafeteria doors and rubbed his palms to soothe the frayed nerves. Cecile was nice enough, and she had given him plenty of kindness and advice, and the idea of pursuing the gardening club sparked a sliver of excitement within him. At least he could return to a former comfort here if nothing else, and he debated on fleeing from the crowds to discover this hidden garden and those that tend to it, but he did not know the building or property well enough and would most likely become lost in the maze of porcelain and roses.

It was almost too much –

People everywhere, laughing and eating –

They reminded him of tropical birds, flocking to their friends and singing in different tones, in different colors.

He smoothed down his skirt and lingered at the doorway, his stomach weak and empty and no longer craving any food, and the sourness gathering at the back of his throat told him that if he did eat, he may just throw it up. When he breathed the air felt hot and humid, and he searched the crowd for someone – anyone – that could help him navigate this mess, but the girl with snow white hair was with another, and he couldn’t pick out Cecile among the packs of uniformed students.

It was true, he was too sick to fly away from home.

Was running from his step-mother’s grasp worth leaving the protective walls of his father’s estate?

Claude bit his lip and prayed it was, even with the feeling of being smothered overwhelming him, and the noise of students drowning out his thoughts. He focuses on their faces and found a classmate he recognized, a boy of orderly appearance and dark hair. Wasn’t his name Olivier? Claude hesitated for a moment, wavering between the hallway and the cafeteria, but the memory of seeing the boy speaking with Anneliese gave him the strength to walk forward. If Snow White had such a friendly demeanor and shining reputation, then shouldn’t her friends be just as amiable and kind? He smothered his worry before he could flee and he approached the other boy, and once he was close enough he spoke – forcing his voice above a whisper, and keeping himself at an arm’s length away.

“Excuse me – ” He paused and stood awkwardly next to the taller boy, and he felt for a moment thankful for his long hair, for it felt like a shield or blanket that separated him from the rest of the world. “…I’m in one of your classes...um….” At a loss Claude shifted uncomfortably, feeling the pangs of regret bang against his rib cage, the temptation to run strong, yet his legs remained still with his feet firmly planted on the ground. “I’m Claude…Levêque. I’m kind of…lost? I wanted to find the school’s garden before class resumed but…there aren’t any maps.” His explanation felt like it was twisting off of his tongue in uneven, confused strings of consciousness, and he clasped his hands behind his back, hoping that the boy was kind enough to point him in the right direction and not ruin his lifelike the Beauchene character that Cecile warned him of.

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There was numbness lingering at his fingertips, as if ribbon had been curled around his limbs, becoming slack and wrinkled as he floated to the surface of his subconscious and broke through the barrier between dream and reality.

His lungs filled with oxygen, the cool air lulling him from the spell’s soft hold, and once the serenity of sleep waned from the cold sheets and sterile smell his heart pounded within his chest, and he shed sleep off in a violent jerk. Sitting upright, with his hair tousled and eyes wild, Zhihao woke in the infirmary with nausea taking control of his stomach and pain permeating throughout his body – like growing pangs, dull thuds resounded within his bones and joints in an almost rhythmic fashion. What had happened? He tore his gaze from the posters advocating for flu shots and healthy practices and looked to the woman sitting beside his bed, her hands occupied with a foreign book and fingers decorated with delicate gold rings.

The rise and falling of his chest relaxed, and the woman said nothing as he pieced together the puzzle. Around her forearms were runes tattooed in white ink, and for a seasoned witch she seemed to nestle herself comfortably into a dated stereotype, however perhaps that was the purpose of the eyeliner and the amethyst hanging around her neck – venomous snakes wore yellows and blues proudly to warn their prey, and sitting quietly she seemed just as deadly as a sleeping viper.

“…Why?” Zhihao finally asked, examining the threads in the sheets before grasping the material in his fists. He thought he would find fury in this moment, but when his life was predetermined all he could feel is overwhelming disappointment, as if he could do nothing more than helplessly surrender to fate. “I didn’t say a word to you. I haven’t even seen you before.” He continued to challenge the logic in the curse, because it was nothing like the cause and effect from his history. Always had he warranted the backlash, yet this time he simply walked into a trap.

The witch didn’t look up from her book and he ran the pads of his fingertips across his hands, feeling his now dry skin and wondering when his body would become disfigured into that of a beasts’. “I know you cursed me. I swear, I can feel the magic running through my veins. So, why do I still look human?” A thread of hope presented itself to him, but he only barely tugged on it, not wanting to be swept away before facing the ugly truth. He heard the book close and the woman stand from her spot, and he looked up at her, waiting for a response, staring at her pensive expression with his own sullen visage.

“Something went wrong.”

Her voice was like a pin dropping, echoing in his mind and squeezing onto his heart. Something went wrong. He tore the sheets off of himself as she walked to the doorway, but he didn’t follow her,because even if he had spent all this time running from destiny he at least knew that once the act was done the witch would never undo the spell – only he was capable of that. “You should take care of the rose. It’s beginning to wilt.” There was something regretful in her voice, but Zhihao didn’t question it, and he looked to glass case sitting on the end table, how it protected the red rose inside, the petals already browning at the edges. His body went cold, and he stayed silent as the witch left the infirmary, didn’t flinch as he heard her heels click against the hallway floor – he could only sit and stare at the rose, staring at how his destiny manifested before his eyes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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Sebastien strolled in behind his two friends, his meal on his tray. He had intended on just skipping lunch so he could head over to the dorms and pick up his cellphone, since the teacher reminded him that he had forgotten it. He knew that it was practically useless during classes, but he still liked to have it on him. It made him feel like he was close to his friends and family even when he was far away from them. They could always call or text him and that's something that made him feel a lot better. Still, he wasn't given the opportunity since he was quickly found by Anneliese and Gabrielle, who insisted that he should eat lunch. He knew that the girls were only concerned with his health, but it did annoy him that the two couldn't leave him alone for a moment and let him just figure out what he wanted to do on his own.

He could already feel the eyes on him, he knew that it was mostly freshmen. He could make out a few of the whispers as people pointed and said "There he is. That's Prince Charming." He had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. Like it mattered who he had been in a past life. He could hear girls whispering about how they dreamed he was their prince. They had no idea what kind of person he was other than the stories that had been told so many times that nobody knew what the true story even was besides the people that actually lived it and they were still trying to figure that out. Still, he didn't shrink away as he heard these comments or glare rudely at anyone. He kept his posture the same as it always was and his head held high. He didn't let his eyes wander to anyone he heard whispering knowing what that could cause. Instead he just kept his gaze on the back of the girls' heads he was following.

That was when the two had decided to stop and Sebastien nearly ran into the two of them. He was able to stop just before his tray hit the girl's backs and noticed who they had stopped by. It was easy to hear the groan that escaped from his lips, though Gabrielle and Anneliese just seemed to ignore it. Gabrielle slammed her hand on the table and glared at Nadia, "Are you trying to start shit again, street rat?" Gabrielle growled, using her own personal nickname for Nadia. "Do you think a step-sister would even be able to break what Sebastien and I have?"

The prince that stood behind them looked irritated and glanced at the exit doors of the cafeteria that lead outside. It was a better exit strategy than the other exits that just lead back into the halls. "I thought you two wanted me to eat. I need to sit down to do that," Sebastien attempted to stop the girls before they could even start. They didn't even look like they acknowledged his existence, so he let out a sigh turned for the doors outside. It was a way better option than having to stay inside and listen to Gabrielle yell at Nadia again and listen to Anneliese start up a lecture on how uncalled for all of this was. He couldn't understand how much those three could just fight all the time. It gave him a headache.


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Olivier glanced around the cafeteria looking for where his brother might be. He knew that if Sebastien got into any trouble during lunch or ended up trying to skip evening classes, that it would all fall back on him. He hadn't expected that it would be so hard to find his older brother on the first day of school, but it had been more difficult than he had anticipated. He didn't remember it being so chaotic on the first day. Was it always this crowded? Were there really this many people that had no idea what to do at lunch time? Still his brother wasn't exactly short and could easily be spotted in most crowds.

He was caught off guard when he heard someone quiet speak up to him. He blinked and looked over at the girl beside him and had to keep himself from shaking. He hadn't exactly been ready to introduce himself to his princess or say anything. But what really made him go so weird was the excitement that shot out of him just by the sight of her. He couldn't really explain what was going on, only that his heart started to pound and he could feel his palms sweat. He had to concentrate just to make sure that he held the tray in his hands steady, just so it wasn't visible how excited he actually was. He felt like it would be weird to have to explain it out loud.

When she didn't recognize who he was, it felt like a something pulled his heart down into the pit of his stomach. He felt like he could just faint or cry or both. His face had gone a little pale but he had been able to maintain the soft smile that had crept onto his face when he first laid eyes on the girl. He had just assumed that she would recognize him immediately, like he had with her. He thought that it would be so simple that it would kick her memories into place and she'd remember who he was. When that wasn't the case, it kind of disappointed him. He couldn't figure out what was so wrong with him to even assume such at thing, but he couldn't stop himself from feeling so disheartened by it.

"Oh, I-I'm Olivier Beauchene, I'm-" He stopped himself short from introducing himself as his fairy tale character. He was just going to come out and say that he was her prince. He had to stop himself before he made things awkward and likely made her feel uncomfortable. "I'd be happy to help. This school can be quite a mess to navigate when you're new. I got lost at least twenty times before I was able to get the hang of this place. Here, I'll show you where the gardens are." Olivier slowly made his way to the exit to the outside. "It isn't too far from here, some of the students actually prefer to eat near it during lunch."


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Cecile couldn't concentrate the rest of the day, her mind still falling back to that feeling she had of something wrong. It was like a ghost had continued to pass through her over and over again, making her feel so uncomfortable but having nothing to blame it on. She couldn't place where it was coming from, or what was responsible for the feeling. All she knew was that no matter how hard she tried to keep to a topic in her notebook another shiver would roll down her spine and leave her confused. She tried through class to keep herself busy, but it just continued to get worse the more she thought about it. She wanted to raise her hand and tell the teacher she had suddenly gone ill, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Not when she'd be forced to go to the nurse and try to explain exactly what was going on.

Minutes felt like they were taking hours while she had to sit there in the classroom trying to pass the time quickly. She kept glancing at the clock and with nothing moving fast enough she was left to just try her best to focus on something. It was the most excruciating thing. She almost didn't want to know what was going on with her, thinking at this point that it must be something terrible. She just wanted it to pass and to never have to worry about it again. Yet, it continued and continued. The feeling seemed to grow worse when she noticed that she hadn't seen Zhihao around between classes. She had gotten used to the fact that they'd pass by each other all the time. It was like the school made sure that they kept in contact, like they were trying to force them to interact with one another in a gentle way.

Finally, when lunch rolled around, Cecile couldn't keep herself from knowing what exactly was going on. She wouldn't be able to do anything with herself until she knew. At this point, she had convinced herself that it had to have something to do with Zhihao in some way. She headed straight for the main office, concerned that the staff had done something with him. She had respected his wishes to stay away, but there was still a part of her that cared about him. She didn't want anything bad to happen to him, and honestly, she had been cheering for him. She hoped that he was able to avoid his curse and if that meant they weren't ever going to be together than that didn't matter to her. She had memories of how bad it was when got cursed, how much it seemed to make him so depressed. She didn't like that.

The front desk directed her to the nurse's station and the uncomfortable feeling started to turn into a bad one. She slowly walked into the room, having just missed the witch that had cursed him. She kept her eyes on the ground expecting the worst, but when she finally made a quick glance up she wasn't sure what she was looking at. Zhihao looked absolutely fine, he looked human. But, she could see the rose in the glass case and knew what that meant. "A-Are you alright?" Cecile spoke up, her words just above a whisper and still sounded as if it had been difficult for her to get out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sebastien Beauchene Character Portrait: Olivier Beauchene Character Portrait: Cecile Desrosiers Character Portrait: Claude Leveque Character Portrait: Artem Kondratskyi Character Portrait: Zhihao Lu
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Nadia’s temper was like a match – strike her just right and she’ll burst in uncontrolled energy and breaths of phosphorous. When Gabrielle barked at her, with her shoulders straight and teeth showing, his friend responded in a furrowed brow, aggression etched into her face, much like a mirror image to the Princess’ enmity. Her thin lips stretched into a sneer and he didn’t have to look to know how Nadia’s fingers snapped into her palms, as if her body needed the reminder of pain – of her fingernails biting into her skin – to placate the rage, preventing her from leaping upwards and breaking the other girl’s jaw.

But he knew Nadia like some people knew the Bible. He knew how she loathed fistfights, with all the blood and bruises and broken bones, and more importantly he remembered how when they had first arrived in France she had vowed to never hurt another person like that again. He had thought she was admirable then, because his closest friend burned so hot and brightly that there were times where she couldn’t help but burn the world down to bone and ash.

“You keep talkin’ like that and your little prince will be running to that step-sister.” She was growling, eyes narrowed and posture wound and taught, and he knew she would snap sooner than relax, that her insults will blossom into what sailors would consider masterpieces. “Doesn’t the school give you lectures on that nasty mouth? I’m sure they’re sweating, wishing Sleeping Beauty could be perfect like their Snow White.” From his peripheral vision he saw Nadia smirk, but he had begun to tune out the bickering, allowing it to transform into white noise as he followed Sebastien Beauchene with his eyes, the dark haired prince exiting swiftly from the minefield, holding himself as he always did, as if everything rolled off him. No, it wasn’t that simple. Sebastien was untouchable, the academy couldn’t scratch him – no one could, and the boy walked around as if he could leave this entire world behind and erase the Prince Charming title from his name. Or at least, this is how it seemed from so far away.

People were more like stars and photographs, from a distance one can only see an afterimage, or an illusion that was stained into their memory. Artem felt something within him writhe. It was that familiar, radiating pain of curiosity, and desire. He wanted to see Sebastien up close, he wanted to peer underneath his aloof visage and dive into a sea of dreams and nightmares. For why? Artem curled his lips inwards and stood, shifting the weight of his backpack on his shoulders and leaving his tray of food. The girls hardly paid his departed any mind as their voices became more irate and louder, and he followed the path Sebastien had taken, walking outside the cafeteria with his eyes squinting from the sunlight.

The sun was warm and the air was cool but he didn’t bother unbuttoning his blazer quite yet, and instead he approached Sebastien leisurely. His heart was beginning to pound faster than before, yet on the surface he showed no sign of anxiety. “Hey,” He began, confident and at ease, but he didn’t stop walking, instead the closer he got to Sebastien the slower his pace became. “If you need headache medicine, I keep some in my bag. For obvious reasons.” His eyebrows quirked with the confession, because admittedly the arguments became overwhelming for even him at times, although boredom was more often the cause to the migraine than any shrill noises. Once he was only a couple feet away from him Artmen stopped moving and brushed his fringe back, the strands of his hair sticking up haphazardly before settling back into their usual form.

“Walk with me?” Artem asked, quieter, but no less confident.

They were worlds apart, Sebastien and him. The Prince and the Thief, both illustrated as heroes in their own right; one of wealth and the other of poverty, one destined to marry again and again, the other fated to steal until his dying breath. But even without destiny and the past clinging to their souls they were still so different, and he could be too much like a moth attracted to light, enthralled by the unknown and breaching barriers and all he wanted to do was cross this boy’s path, before destiny could sever their connection for good.
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Tightness in his lungs – no, there’s wire wound around his trachea, pressing into the soft flesh and suffocating him. Why did he do this? The other boy was still as he stared, searing holes into his flesh, and his heart pounded once, twice – five times (oh, numbers, count). He tries to overwhelm the noise with the resounding echoes of numbers – one, two, tree…thirteen, fourteen – and he felt the dreadful fear creep up his back, as if adrenaline had leaked into his spinal fluid, polluting it and his mind. Each action had a consequence and he could be wandering into an iron trap – he should have been careful. Claude bit his bottom lip to fight off the urge to embrace every little negative thought. He breathed, counted to five, and slowly exhaled.

There was that name, Beauchene. But the given names were different; the student Cecile had warned him of was named Sebastien, describing him like a minor God, a force of nature who could spark destruction with the snap of his fingertips. Were they related, or did they share a surname? Should he be just as wary of Olivier Beauchene as Sebastien? The twists of nerves felt more like birds in his stomach, like canaries had flown down his throat and in their panic, poked holes into the organ to escape.

But his voice. There's no gust of wind or swirl of a hurricane – there's warm cedar, glistening moonlight, pressure building up on the back of his head like he's deep underwater, his body bursting, brain swallowed by euphoria.

“…Thank you.” Relief ebbed at the panic that had filled his core. It was a kind response, far more than what was expected, and feeling flustered he tugged at the hem of his skirt, before smoothing the material down with his palms and forcing a tiny, embarrassed smile to pull at his lips. Why did he feel the way he did? He saw stars fade from his vision, and the eerie sensation of entering the surreal eased back into reality, his feet on the ground and heart murmuring at its usual lackluster, jittery pace. It must be connected to the side-effects of reincarnation, but he couldn’t make sense of it. It was just noise, wavelengths he couldn’t understand. Would he ever?

Suppressing the thoughts Claude followed Olivier, peering outside the door before daring to explore, and immediately he breathed in deeply, practically savoring the fresh air. “It’s much nicer out here…” No – he was muttering himself – he felt his cheeks burn and he tore his eyes away from the boy to look towards the trees, trying to brush his awkwardness off with faux naivety, and he let his head fill with a whirl of thoughts. Olivier didn’t introduce himself as a fairytale – what did that mean? Was there bitterness and loathing? Didn’t Cecile say that having pride in one’s fairytale was normal here? He couldn’t help himself, the curiosity tugged at him, and carefully he observed him from the corner of his eyes.

“Do you work in the garden yourself?” Yet he couldn’t will himself to ask about the fairytale. Let it be. Something in the back of his head told him that, and he couldn’t say anything more than that. Let it be.
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Was this shock? One way a person develops post-traumatic stress disorder is as a consequence of cortisol flooding into the brain. It's like a dam breaks and the chemical fills into the caverns of emotion and memory, stimulating action, forcing remembrance. Afterwards, right when you think the world can retain its former semblance of balance, it plummets. It leaves the host susceptible to hypervigilance, to having razor sharp nerves, to reacting to similar stimulus with a racing heartbeat, sweating palms, even flashbacks. Was he going to become like this too? He curled his fingers, testing to see if he was still in control, and – right, he already behaved that way, only being overly wary didn’t protect him from further trauma.

He’s wrenched from these pessimistic thoughts by her voice – her quiet voice, he resurfaces to the sound of Cecile and slowly blinks away from his hands and the rose as if on a delay, readjusting to the settings of their world.

Maybe he was being a bit dramatic.

Zhihao balls his hands into fists and nothing within him responds. His heart doesn't clench, there's no looming wall of sorrow and doom, no wildfire of awful, unforgivable rage. Oh the things he had dreamed – no, they’re the things he’s done. The memories are like rancid fruit, the sweetness that she had gifted him with overwhelmed by the guilt and horror he carried on his shoulders, and they’re two things he can’t help but fear realizing again in this lifetime. “Yes, and no.” He responds finally, speaking as if someone carved into him and took out a chunk of his soul. He couldn’t muster any of his carefree smiles, couldn’t simply shrug his shoulders and brush this one off. The promise had been to no longer hurt people, to not live another life where he holds her back and drags him down with her. And he suddenly wants to scream at her, his face contorting in synchronization with this eruption of emotion. He wants to hurt her with his words, hurt her so horribly that she’ll leave the country and be happy somewhere else, a place where she might write books and do the things she’s always dreamed of.

He had never felt like that before, like screaming until his throat goes sore or wanting to hurt someone so terribly, and meaning to. Ashamed, Zhihao looks away, swings his legs off the edge of the bed and then grabs the glass case, focuses on studying the rose petals and how many of them were beginning to lose their luster, the red fading – probably day by day.

“Do you think sugar water will help them live longer, like regular flowers?” He asks, forcing himself into his usual personality although it falls short. Now he doesn’t want her to leave, and this wasn’t the first time he wanted to talk to her, but the curse and his own futile rules had kept him away. However they had moved on past that, he had become cursed, Cecile had found him (like she always did), and he desperately wanted to will her away as much as he wanted to pull her closer. “…She said something had gone wrong. The witch, I mean, she said that. And cursed me, though I have no idea in what way.” Zhihao explains, returning from the distant place he had been cast off to and carefully, as if she could turn him to stone, he turned back to Cecile, searching for something in her face, but he didn't know what he was looking for.