Author's note: Unfortunately the school seems to be in financial trouble right now because some of the parents want to take the children away. Grimm damn it, that's some serious mess for the bros. Luckily, their newly adopted sweetheart has still some aces up her sleeve. Or dimes in her pocket to be precise.
The school is in financial trouble? That's bad. Zelda accidentally overheard her new fathers talking about selling some sculptures and paintings from their art collection and then few days later she saw on Mrs. Trollsworth's desk some letters from angry parents requesting to withdraw their children from the school. Knowing already that the school was supported mainly by the tuition fees paid by the families of students, the Quill put two and two together.
Due to Raven's Legacy day hextempore and the subsequent domino effect the school was now facing the danger of being closed for good. There weren't many possibilities. First, she and her fathers could try to force the students into obedience. But this path posed a great threat, that the calm and relaxed realm of fairy tales would take a turn into dystopian pit. And that was to be avoided at all cost. But without the real Storybook this ‚solution' would be still temporal at best.
Second, and much more peaceful and probable solution was to find another source of money for the school. That had a much higher rate of success and it wouldn't require her to play a tyrant. It meant, however, to break her secret piggy bank and even then it may not be enough. Maybe she could invest in some company. Or start her own business.
Not that the school wasn't in need of some reforms but first the school will have to survive another few years, you can't reform a closed institution. There was other less altruistic reason for Zelda to help the Ever After High. She found a new home here. She had nowhere to go. Not now after the death of both of her parents. The Grimm Brother offered her a shelter in exchange for her becoming their apprentice and ward.
So she will have to do something. It was disturbing that they didn't tell her sooner about the state of the finances but she understood why they didn't want to bother her. They wanted her to get as much rest as possible and to concentrate on her healing, both physical and mental. But she can't stay calm when her new family is at stake. So she decided to take a small trip.
This place served as her sanctuary long before the accident and her meeting with the Grimms. An island of ground surrounded by pearly glittering mist. On the island grew a giant daffodil flower. The large flower held a scarlet Chinese lampoon. It was a room constructed to look like a lantern. Zelda bought it when she was still using her dreamwalking persona Akasha. The inner of the lantern-room was filled with pillows, round, long, large quadratical, all sorts of pillows in shades of red, pink and yellow. Among the pillows and on the floor were treasure chests and bags of money. And even some golden apples. Zelda rummaged in her lair for a while until she took out one golden brick and with the gold under her orange vest disappeared back to the school.
She knocked at the door of the common room reserved specifically for the headmasters. It will be best to get this over quickly. Fortunately both of her adoptive fathers were already there. They seemed to be tired and worried but their faces lit up as they saw her. They must have discussed the financial state. I couldn't choose a better time to come up with my plan.
Still it took her a while to muster enough courage to start. But her caretakers were patient, they guessed, and were right, that Zelda must have something important on her mind when she entered so timidly instead of simply impulsively appearing in the middle of the room. „Um, I didn't mean to but I accidentally overheard you talking about, um, well, how the school doesn't have much money and that it may get even worse." Zelda noticed how their breathed in probably to say something to calm her down, but she didn't let them interrupt her: „I have some…savings." Okay, you seem to be on the right track. Just go on, tell them everything. Zelda encouraged herself mentally.
„You see I discovered my story jumping abilities early in life and Wu used my immaturity for all sorts of mischief. Sometimes I took the initiative. All in all, I visited a lot of famous rich men and creatures from legends and folk tales and history etc., etc. Let's just say I took some souvenirs with me from my travels."
„In other words, you robbed them," said Milton with a faint resigned sigh. Giles settled on a sad little smile. Though neither didn't seem to be about to punish her or scold her so she continued: „I wouldn't call it exactly robbery, more like sight stealing. After all it was very educational to see those great palaces. I skipped only the jail chambers, for obvious reasons."
She noticed their frowned a bit so she hurried with the explanation: "They had hills of gold coins and gold bricks, they didn't even notice when I took a bag of coins here, a small chest there."
The Grimm brothers hesitated. Feet were shuffled, heads were scratched and it was coughed a bit. Their apprentice was getting nervous, shall she add something or rather wait for them to talk? After a while of this heavy silence, Zelda spoke up again: „You persuaded me to come back with you, so whether you like it or not, this is my new home now. And it seems that without the surplus income it might not survive. Look guys, I didn't come here to be thrown out again. And what about you? You worked so hard here, don't you want to continue? It's such a shame to suddenly throw those two hundred years away. I already told you, I have never had any big goal in my life before but now I do, It's hard but it's rewarding. You practically gave me a reason to live. I'm not gonna give up, not now when I found something useful to do.
"Your most kind but I'm afraid your savings won't be enough," sighed Giles.
„If that's the only problem then we…then we…We can visit Midas. He touches for us some grapes and voilà we will have raw gold to sell. Or we can bring him some old broken kitchen and gardening tools. Or even some stones from the schoolyard." „Hold on, hold on," cried Giles out. His ward and pupil was getting overzealous. "We will think about your offer, okay?" Zelda sighed and nodded even though she hoped in a more final decision.
„Just don't tell Thorin where some of the gold came from, he might get mad. When I think about it, don't tell anyone." „Thorin?" "The dwarven king from the Hobbit?" Reassured the Grimm brothers. „Yeah, I unleashed Smaug on the forty robbers once and kept some of the reptile's, err, dwarf's treasure as reward," said Zelda in a conversational tone. Milton facepalmed when he heard that. „So that's where that beast came from! Do you have any idea how long it took us to capture it and take it to its natural story," groaned he. „I'm sorry," she peeped as she looked down, then she remembered something and smiled shyly as she offered the gold brick: „Will this cover the expenses? Of course there's more where this comes from," Zelda let out a giggle as she watched her older masters raising their eyebrows visibly impressed by the value of the gold she brought.
The school was saved for now but the secret gold stash wasn't bottomless and thievery wasn't something Zelda wanted to resort to, so she will have to come up with other plans eventually, but for now it's happily ever after for the school's fund.
Author's note again:
I initially wanted to put this among The Good, the Bad and the Quilly one shots but then I changed my mind. For one it's less crazy than the other one shots and secondly it's not as independent of the main plot of Saga of wor(l)ds as the others and it's a part of a character's development. To clarify: This one shot happens shortly after the end of EAH: The Legend of Zelda.
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