Vidia can be nasty and selfish, but is she a thief? When she is falsely accused of stealing Queen Clarion’s crown, she begins an investigation that leads her on a wild-goose chase to the far corners of the Home Tree. Will Vidia be able to clear her name in time?
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Every fairy and sparrow man in Pixie Hollow had received the same invitation. It was handwritten on linen in blackberry juice.
It was going to be the biggest celebration Pixie Hollow had seen in a long time. So, on the day of the party, the Home Tree was abuzz with activity. The Never fairies went all out getting ready to celebrate the Arrival Day of their beloved queen, Clarion, whose nickname was Ree.
In the kitchen, on the ground floor of the Home Tree, the cooking- and baking-talent fairies were whipping up the seven-course royal Arrival Day dinner. The menu included dandelion leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, and spices; oven-roasted minipumpkin soup; and potpies filled with dwarf mushrooms and mouse Brie. Dulcie, a baking-talent fairy, was churning out batch after batch of her specialty, the most delicious poppy puff rolls in all of Never Land. And for dessert, she made a ten-layer raspberry-vanilla cake with buttercream frosting.
Meanwhile, the polishing-talent fairies were hard at work in the Home Tree lobby and the dining hall. Every brass plate, every doorknob, mirror, window latch, and marble floor tile was polished until the fairies could see their reflections just about everywhere they looked.
The decoration-talent fairies and the celebration-setup fairies zipped about the dining hall. They moved the tables and chairs. They draped the tables with gold tablecloths and delicate lacy spiderwebs. They sprinkled flower-petal confetti on every table and across the floor. They hung colorful balloons in the arched doorway.
The light-talent fairies did double duty. Some of them set up the firefly lanterns that would fill the room with thousands of dancing points of light. Others did a practice run of the light show they would perform for the queen at the party. They skillfully flared and dimmed their fairy glows to create a dazzling display.
The sewing-talent fairies were putting the finishing touches on the queen’s dress. It was a full-length masterpiece of the finest silk, decorated with pale pink rose petals, the softest green leaves, and freshwater pearls.
Even Tinker Bell, a member of the pots-and-pans talent, was helping out. The cooking-talent fairies needed every pot and pan they could get their hands on. So Tinker Bell had risen early that morning. She finished fixing all the broken pots in her workshop on the second floor of the Home Tree. Then she returned them all, making several trips between her workshop and the kitchen.
On her last trip down to the kitchen, Tink met up with her friend Rani, a water-talent fairy. Rani had been working in the kitchen all morning long. She was using her talent to help out with lots of little tasks, like getting the water to boil faster on the stove.
“Rani!” Tink called. “Do you have time for a break?”
Rani looked around the kitchen. Things seemed to be running smoothly. She didn’t think she’d be missed if she stepped out for a few minutes.
“Yes,” Rani replied. “I do have time. Let’s go out back and whistle for Brother Dove. Maybe he can fly us down to the beach.”
Rani did not have wings, you see. She was the only Never fairy who didn’t. She had given them up to save Mother Dove’s egg–and Pixie Hollow itself. Ever since then, Brother Dove had been her wings. Whenever she wanted or needed to fly somewhere, Rani just whistled for him, and Brother Dove came to her.
Tinker Bell and Rani left the kitchen through the back door. They stepped out into the late-morning sunshine. It was a
glorious, clear day.
Tink took a deep breath of fresh air. “It’s going to be a beautiful–”
“–evening,” said Rani, finishing the thought. She had a habit of finishing
others’ sentences. “The perfect night for a party.”
Just then, there was a rustling in the brush overhead. Both Tink and Rani jumped.
“Is it a hawk?” Rani cried in alarm. Hungry hawks were the greatest threats to the Never fairies’ safety.
Instinctively, Tink flew in front of Rani, shielding her. She strained her eyes and gazed up into the brush. She wanted to get a better look.
Then, as she made out the shape of a fairy among the leaves, Tinker Bell relaxed. She put her hands on her hips.
“That’s no hawk,” Tink said with a laugh. “It’s Vidia.”
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