Chapter 7

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"Kindom of Ulstead, and Kingdom of Moors, I present to you, Princess Ashley Rose!" The priest announced, and the loud cheers of the people were heard as they echoed off the walls of the castle. With a signal from Phillip, the conductor tapped his stick, and the string ensemble began playing a harmonious tune.

Instantly, the folk of all kinds began their waltz across the wide ballroom, the melody a peaceful tune. Standing outside the ballroom was Maleficent, and as she watched, she decided to make her grand entrance. The doors to the ballroom flung open, and everyone gasped, afraid of a repetition of the events all those years ago, but they stopped when they realised that instead of a menacing presence, she came in peace.

She wore a long sleeved brown dress down to her ankles, bringing out her eyes beautifully. The sleeves were wider at the ends, and leather was wrapped artistically around her forearms. The upper part was a corset, wrapping tight around her chest and curves, and from hip down half was simply fabric and woven leather.

Her waist length straight ebony hair was down, her horns let out from their thick leather wrappings, and her full, crimson lips were striking against her pale complexion and high cheekbones. Her huge black wings trailed behind, dragging as she walked.

Behind her stood Diaval, in his usual full black. His tail coat was made from a beautiful velvet, the silver buttons shining, and underneath it he wore a low cut black V neck, as always.

"Congratulations, Beastie." Maleficent smiled, hugging Aurora, and Aurora grinned, "Thank you, Godmother!" With a wave of her hand, Maleficent made a small hummingbird appear above Ashley, and the month old infant babble happily as she reached for the magical creature.

"Listen well, all of you!" Maleficent turned around, her voice soft and yet resonant, "Princess Ashley Rose shall grow to be a beautiful woman, blessed with beauty, love, kindness, and intelligence. May she forever be free from harm and the evil of this world." Maleficent announced, her blessings swirling in a golden shimmer above Ashley, and the crowd cheered loudly once more. 

"Let's get the celebrations started!" Phillip yelled, his men getting ready, and everyone hooted loudly in agreement, the slow waltz changing quickly into a faster pace one.

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"Beastie, what are those?" Maleficent gestured at the men on the borders of the wall all holding torches beside what seemed like cannons, but too small to be a cannon. "Oh, those. Godmother,  you'll find out soon enough!" Aurora winked, just as another marquee came up to her with a slim cup of wine. 

"Oh, if you'll excuse me, Godmother." Aurora did a curtsy, before she waltzed off with the marquee who had asked for a dance, leaving Maleficent standing alone at the balcony, staring up at the empty skies above, the clouds covering the stars from view.

"Such a pity, there aren't stars tonight." Diaval came from behind Maleficent, finally free from some pestering women that had gushed all over his jet black hair and toned build. "Where'd those ladies go?" Maleficent spoke, her voice sour, and Diaval rolled his eyes, "Oh, I shook them off. None of them as beautiful as you could ever be."

Leaning in for a kiss, Diaval smiled as Maleficent blushed, flicking his forehead. "You never cease to amuse me, just exactly how you can be so attention-seeking and stubborn when you wish to." Maleficent whispered as she kissed him on the cheek, and Diaval winked.

Just then, a few of the weird cannons were lighted, and explosion sounds were heard. Quickly, Maleficent readied herself for a fight, when she saw beautiful sparks in the air, shimmering like how the stars would, before the faded. "They're amazing!" Maleficent marvelled, and she spun around to tell Diaval about it when she saw him behind her, down on one knee.

"Maleficent." Diaval called, and she reflexively cupped her hands around her mouth in shock. "You're the most beautiful person I have ever seen. Inside out. You melted my heart at first sight, when you saved me all those years ago. But you were cold, and bitter. So I became your servant, for I sought to break open the thorn walls, those surrounding your heart."

Taking a deep breath, Diaval continued, "And so I did. When I saw how you looked at Aurora. I could tell, you cared for the girl. Pitied her. And I found out the truth behind your heartbreak. So I began to lead you to her, that shining light that could penetrate the walls of thorn. And she did. She tore it down. But the heartbreaks, the cracks, were all the more obvious."

"So I decided, I just had to heal you. And I saw it. I saw that you were afraid. Afraid of perhaps developing feelings for yet another man. But, Maleficent," Diaval drew out the box, "Don't you see? There's nothing to be afraid of. Because I will be there. I, your loyal black raven, will always be there by your side. But will you always be by mine, Maleficent? Will you marry me?"

With the final four words, Diaval opened the box, and the beautiful gem sculpted ring shone within its velvet cushion. The fireworks were pretty in the background, and Maleficent nodded, her hair falling to cover her cheeks as tears came to her eyes, "Yes, my pretty bird. Yes!" Jumping up, Diaval grabbed her extended hand, as though worried something might happen, and ruin this fairytale moment, but nothing was going to stop them.

A furious kiss took place, as Diaval's pale lips collided with Maleficent's fresh, deep ones. Combing her fingers through his neatly parted hair, Maleficent pressed their faces together, and Diaval's arms tightened around her hips as he lifted her into the air, spinning around as they kissed, and her wings flared out naturally yet beautifully.

It was truly the moment for the Phoenix and the Raven, the two lovebirds.

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