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Nov 13, 2019 4:27 AM
change the way the story's told
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The people of Louisiana think that black people are prone to being stupid and evil and disgusting, so they don't want their children to be around them! It is very sad but we must recognize their quaint cultural folkways. They don't separate out hair color, that's ridiculous, and also people shouldn't have blue hair.

The person on the other end of that number was specially chosen by the king to handle problems related to the VKs! Depending on what the problem is, you might get something about Auradon explained to you, or someone else might get something about the Isle explained to them, or you might get a gift that helps fix your problem, or you might get transferred to a new host family, or someone might go to jail. 

When you are in jail you are alone for 23 hours a day so you have lots of time to think about what you've done wrong and how you can do better! You have access to improving literature no matter what and writing implements if you don't abuse the privilege. You will get three meals a day and all your health care taken care of, of course. You can spend one hour a day outside with the other inmates but your conversations will be monitored to make sure they will help you both become better people.

The Catholics believe that the bread and wine turn into the body and blood of Jesus, their god. (It doesn't look or taste like meat, and it isn't meat to a chemical inspection. It's only meat in a magical sense.) You're not allowed to eat the bread and wine unless you are Catholic because it desecrates them, just like normal people think murdering someone in a temple would be desecrating it.

Food in shops is not free, you have to pay for it. If someone has given you food, it is always free, and if there's a misunderstanding you can talk to Charlotte and you won't get in trouble as long as it is a sincere misunderstanding. 

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All of that kind of makes sense if he squints at it except for the bit about blue hair, why shouldn't people have blue hair, why is orange okay but not blue, is it just blue or are there other colors of hair people shouldn't have — 

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You should only have colors of hair that naturally appear on people's heads!

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Evie has naturally blue hair! Uma has naturally blue hair! Nico has naturally blue hair! People naturally have hair of all kinds of colors! 

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Colors of hair that naturally appear on human heads. Part-humans should dye their hair.

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Evie is all the way human and Mackenzie is all the way human but from the woman's tone this seems like a good place to decide he'll ask Charlotte about it when he meets her. 

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Then he will be guided to a train!

He is given a bag. It contains:

-His clothes, freshly laundered.
-Several other sets of soft and brightly colored clothes, in his size.
-Three fiction books: Robin Hood, The Amazing Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the Fox and the Hound.
-Several textbooks: A Guide to Auradon Culture for Beginners, Elementary Math For Adults, Middle-Grade Social Studies For Adults, Elementary Science For Adults, Cinderella's Best Literature And Writing: An Anthology, Safety Rules for the Internet, and Remedial Goodness.
-A set of toiletries.
-A few bottles of water.
-What he might recognize from entertainment news as a fully charged smartphone.
-Two hundred dollars.

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He doesn't really watch entertainment news but he keeps the weird glass thing in a safe place; he's not sure how much you can buy with two hundred dollars but he keeps it tucked carefully away. 

The other VKs aren't on this train. He kind of wishes he'd gotten to see them again, less because they have much to say to one another and more because it just — feels wrong to leave without a word. 

He doesn't talk to anyone on the train. He reads. He isn't really sure how he feels about the fiction but the math book is much less interesting than the ones he'd found off the barges. 

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Instead of seats, the train has bunk beds, so he can sleep when he gets tired.

A trolley comes with food every three hours; two dollars gets him a snack, fifteen dollars gets him a meal, and he can also buy a hat that says I <3 New Orleans or a stuffed alligator. 

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He doesn't know how long this much food and money needs to last him; he'll try to sleep when he gets hungry. 

(It's the first time in he doesn't know how long that he's slept without having Nico and Nat and Legion and Queenie right there with him. He doesn't think he likes sleeping alone.) 

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And in the morning the train arrives at New Orleans, he disembarks, and he hears a voice with an accent very similar to Nat's calling "Sasha! Sasha son of nobody! Is there a Sasha son of nobody around here?"

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He turns and — 

— wow that is the most impractical dress he has ever seen in his life —

— walks toward her and says "yes, hello!" 

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"Hello, darling! You must be Sasha. I'm Charlotte and this is my dear husband Ralphie."

Charlotte is quite obviously middle-aged, in spite of her best attempts to cover it with a layer of thick makeup. Charlotte does not appear to have heard of the idea that your hair should be a natural color; the blonde she is is not a blonde that any full-blooded human has ever been. She has the curvy build of a woman who likes her meals, wide hips and thick thighs. Her breasts jut forward like the prow of a ship. Her features are still obviously quite pretty.

Ralphie is a decade younger than her and has a meek expression.

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...wow. 

Okay. 

"Yeah," he says, "I am. You must be Charlotte La Bouff?" 

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"Well, aren't you just a delicious little slice of peach cobbler! Isn't he, Ralphie?"

"Well, I--" 

"Of course he is. And we'll collect your things and take you to breakfast right away."

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He'll help with collecting his things as much as Charlotte lets him. 

"What's a peach cobbler?" 

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"Oh, buttercup, you are in for a treat. Isn't he in for a treat, Ralphie?"

"Darling, I--"

"Of course he is. We'll get Tiana to cater a dinner and he can have all the peach cobbler his heart desires."

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Poor Ralph. 

"I still don't know what that is." 

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"Well, it's a dessert, darling. Made of peaches."

"It's very good," Ralphie adds, taking advantage of a rare opportunity to complete a sentence around his wife. 

"Don't you have peaches on the Isle?"

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"Not really? Sometimes they get to us but usually they rot first. The pits are good projectile weapons, though." 

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"Oh, that's terrible, dear. I'm glad you had fun using it in games!"

(She and Ralphie escort Sasha to Yet Another Limo.)

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Sasha isn't at all sure he'd call them games and he's very sure that it wasn't fun but he's just not going to get into that. 

He gets into the limo. This one does not appear to have candy, which is a shame, but they're bringing him somewhere where there'll be food so it's fine. 

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Charlotte can entirely maintain her own conversation without anybody else's input.

Sasha learns about her opinions on his cheekbones ("exquisite"), his clothing ("not your color, dear, we're going to have to take you shopping"), princes (she approves), being a princess ("and I said to Ralphie, Ralphie, I have noblisse oblige to the common folk now that I am a member of the royalty, and I simply must do what that nice young Asher suggests and provide a home to the VKs--"), Asher son of Tiana ("well, I'm a married woman, but just because I can't order is no reason not to read the menu, that's what I've always said"), her age (in defiance of all logic, thirty-five), Tiana's cooking ("we'll fatten you up, darling") and a particular complicated social drama featuring zero names that Sasha recognizes (it includes the phrase "bless her heart" an excessive amount; from context this appears to be a synonym for "fuck off"). 

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Charlotte is... a lot. He takes careful mental notes on the proper use of "bless her heart" and wonders what Asher is like and nods along when she suggests shopping and does his best to follow the drama but is slightly hampered by having zero context and watches the city out the window until they get to breakfast and out of the car. 

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And Charlotte will chatter their way to the La Bouff mansion (this is, apparently, what mansions look like when they aren't rundown and decrepit) and to the dining room which, like a surprisingly high percentage of Auradon so far, is covered with food. 

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