"What is it?"
“I don’t know about this,” Jasmine said, doubtfully, studying the box that Ariel had handed to her. “Fighting magic with magic?”

Ariel could understand what she meant but “It’s the only way,” she insisted.

Ramses nodded. “She’s right, Jasmine. From what people tell me, Maleficent’s magic is pretty powerful; we’d need an equally powerful force to counter it. Besides, the spell’s only meant to bring Naveen to you; True Love’s Kiss will do the rest.”

Jasmine nodded, understandingly. The three of them were standing over the cover of one of the great statues of Ra in the temple. It was late evening, the only time when Jasmine had been free to be alone to meet them. She put the box on the floor. “Facilier said to stand back when it’s opened,” Ariel remembered, prodding at the thing with a reed she held about a foot away from the box. She managed to flip it open. Fire shot upwards. Ariel turned to Jasmine. This felt a bit like those voodoo games she used to play with Ramses when they were children, she reflected. “Do you have something of his?”

Jasmine nodded and held out a scrap of material. “This was torn from him by Maleficent the day she turned him into a frog. It’s a piece of his shirt sleeve.”

She tossed it, and, like a feather on the wind, it floated down into the casket. Immediately the flames curled around it, eating it up until it was nothing but black dust. For a second, the fire seemed to die down and then suddenly green smoke shot upwards. Magic swirled around like water as something began to rise from the smoke.

“What is it?” exclaimed Ariel, suddenly worried that Facilier might have tricked them.

“I don’t know,” stammered Ramses.

“Naveen?” whispered Jasmine, her breath catching in her throat, hardly daring to hope.

And then a dark green frog leapt from within the confines of the smoke and landed on the floor with a loud flop. The magic shot back inside the casket which promptly sealed itself and was still.

“Ashtidanza!” exclaimed the frog, shaking its head.

“Naveen!” cried Jasmine, darting to the floor at once.

“Jasmine?” The frog looked up at her. “How..?”

“It worked!” Ariel couldn’t help punching the air in triumph.

“What is going on?” asked Naveen, looking around. “Where are we?”

Ramses smiled and crouched down. “Allow me to explain, my friend. You’re in Egypt. I am Prince Ramses and this is my wife, the Princess Ariel. You were turned into a frog by Maleficent’s magic...”

“Yes, that part I remember very well.”

“And she then took your love, Jasmine, as her personal slave.”

“Faldefalzona!” exclaimed Naveen.

“I’ve been praying every day I’d find you again,” sighed Jasmine, looking down at her lover.

“Well, Ariel went to a medicine man in town and he gave us this casket to find you and bring you to Jasmine,” Ramses finished.

“Well, I am very grateful for your help,” Naveen said, proudly, hopping up to Jasmine.

“True Love’s Kiss can break the spell,” Ariel put in.

“In that case,” Naveen looked up at Jasmine, “I know I must look hideous now in this form...”

“You’re still my same, wonderful, handsome Naveen,” she replied and then she kissed him.

Ariel held her breath. For a second, the kiss seemed not to have worked and then, in a burst of green light, it was not a frog but a man who stood before them, kissing Jasmine.

Ramses laughed in delight. “Well, Maleficent might have some powerful magic but it seems that love is more powerful still!”

Naveen looked down at himself and grinned. “It feels good to be back,” he declared and then Jasmine flung herself into his arms.

Ariel clapped her hands in delight. “I’m so happy for you guys!”

“Maleficent’s not going to be very happy, though,” Naveen pointed out.

“Which is why we have to leave right now,” Jasmine told him.

“We have camels waiting,” Ramses replied, pointing the way out of the temple, “and two of my men will take you as far as Cairo. From there, you need to find your way into Saudi Arabia and through Iran and then...”

“Home free,” smiled Naveen. “I think we’ll be alright.”

“Well, the camels have plenty of food and water and supplies in their saddle bags,” Ariel said. “I can’t think of anything else you might need, but if you can, we’ll be happy to provide it.”

“But Maleficent won’t be happy we’ve escaped,” Naveen pointed out.

“Leave that to us,” replied Ramses. “We have a plan.”

“You’d better hurry; get a head start,” Ariel advised them.

Jasmine hugged her. “Thank you so much. I don’t know how we can ever repay you.”

“If we’re ever in your neck of the woods, I’m sure you can find a way,” replied Ramses, with a grin as Naveen wrung his hand, gratefully. “Good luck to you both.”

“Thank you,” Naveen replied, “and the same to you.”

“Go on now, go,” Ariel insisted. “Quick, before someone sees.”

Jasmine and Naveen clambered aboard the camels and the two guards to escort them saluted Ramses and Ariel and then led the way out of the city. Jasmine turned back once to wave at Ariel, and then Naveen slipped his arm around her waist and she rested her head on his shoulder as they disappeared into the moonlight.

“Do you think they’ll be alright?” asked Ariel, pressing close to her husband.

“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Ramses replied, hugging her. “I see something of you in Jasmine.”

“Is that a compliment?” she teased.

“Yes,” he replied, kissing her. “And now there’s just the matter of Maleficent.”

“Yes, I was meaning to ask, what is this plan you have for dealing with her?” asked Ariel, turning to him.

“I don’t know,” Ramses confessed. “I said that to reassure Naveen.”

“Well, we need to think of something, and fast!”
"Thank you so much!"