Disclaimer: I do not own Sofia the First.

One more Wassailia spent alone. It was to be expected. A bit of a disappointment, but a customary thing, a sort of tradition that leaves you feeling dejected by the end of it. That was how it had been for the past nine years. It had practically become a routine. Volunteer to work first thing in the morning. Deflect everyone's concerns about losing the time that could be spent with your family. Lie about having a family at all to spend Wassailia with. Listen to other people's plans and adjust the grandiosity of your supposed plans accordingly. Add something cool or interesting such as colored lights or a potluck with brothers and sisters or a big tree with many decorations. Spend the whole day working. Help people. Feel useful. Double check if there are any left over tasks. Resignedly say goodbye to your fellow Protectors in the evening. Spend the night feeling miserable that in reality, you have no family. There are no colorful lights, potlucks, sisters, brothers, decorated trees.

"Anything else I could help you with?" Chrysta asked Vega through her Enchantlet.

"Nope, no need to worry," replied Vega. "Everything is taken care of."

"You sure? I've got plenty of time."

"Yup, I'm sure. I'd like to thank you for volunteering on such an important day as Wassailia. The denizens of the Mystic Isles owe you for their safety. Now you should best go home to your brothers and sisters. They must be waiting for you."

"Oh, it's no problem. Helping people is great. I love doing it. It being Wassailia doesn't keep problems from occurring, and it certainly doesn't stop me from doing what I love. Well, if you don't have anything for me to do, I guess I'll be going home."

"Enjoy your evening, Chrysta!" Vega flashed a smile at her through the Enchantlet before disappearing.

Chrysta put the Enchantlet away before sighing. Another Wassailia was over, and it was time to return home. She stood up and brushed the snow off herself. Her thoughts occupied her as she walked up the path to her house.

After a few minutes of walking, she reached her house. Unlike the homes of her neighbors, there were no decorations on her property. The room was dark and empty, and the tree in the corner was bare. She unlocked the door and stepped inside.

Chrysta lit a candle and placed it on the small wooden table in the center of the room. Her mind wandered to the Protectors at their parties, having so much fun with their guests. Singing, dancing, watching unicorns perform magic. Playing games with each other. How lonely she felt without anyone around. Here, it was just Chrysta. She was a famous Protector of the Mystic Isles, but not even fame or a prestigious job could guarantee her happiness or company. She'd been so idealistic as a young child, as if joining the Protectors could somehow fix all of her problems. As if it could help her fit in. Of course she had friends, and it was great fun to have them. But what she searched for was something more, a feeling of belonging that extended past just her workplace. She'd thought that leaving the fairies would mean leaving her life of ridicule and loneliness. But here she was, just Chrysta, spending the ninth Wassailia in a row alone. Just Chrysta, eating not a cake, but leftovers from the day before. Just Chrysta, no sisters, no brothers. Just Chrysta, alone in a dark room with only a candle and an undecorated tree for company.

Her eyes wandered to her Enchantlet. She longed to call Vega, to beg her for entry to her completely real, not-made-up party. To meet her sisters and brothers, to eat a slice of her cake, to laugh and sing among party guests while the flashing lights from the tree illuminated the room. She knew that Vega would let her in, but this was more than just asking to go to a party. It was admitting nine years of lies to one of her closest friends. It was showing everyone who she was, a person who pretended that everything was fine when it was clearly not. A Protector's life was risky and rough, and everyone saw her as someone with all her stuff together. She couldn't keep her job if everyone saw her as a liar who cared more about her reputation than her own happiness. She needed to follow her own words. Sometimes, being tough enough meant sucking it up and dealing with it.

The joyous shouts of children running down the hill brought her back to the present. She got up and closed the shutters. It was too painful to think of all the opportunities she had missed and was still missing. The candle, the only thing visible in the darkness, danced, flickered, burned out.

I guess this is just life, she thought to herself. Every Wassailia alone. Just me, here by myself.

But that was last year.

This year was undeniably different. It had begun the same way as always, and it had almost ended the same way. She had returned home dejected, expecting to spend the holiday all alone again. But there was just one change this year, a change that had made all the difference.

This year, she had an apprentice. And that apprentice was known to be quite persistent (knowledge gained from personal experience). Whereas everyone had left her alone in the evening during previous years, Sofia had come to her home to deliver a gift to her. Upon seeing the state of Chrysta's supposed "big Wassailia party", she had confronted her about it and had found out the truth. She had departed, leaving Chrysta feeling lonelier than ever.

But then, half an hour later, she heard the sound of many footsteps outside her door. There was a knock on her door, and she opened it. Standing in the middle of the path was Sofia along with all of the Protectors and everyone she had helped that day, all of them holding out gifts.

"Happy Wassailia!" they all said.

"Wow, what a surprise," she said. "Thank you so much everyone!" She invited them all inside, a smile on her face. And for the first time in ten years, she could find herself finally agreeing with the words she had said so often, that indeed, this was a happy Wassailia.

Thank you for reading this fic! This was an idea that I had for nearly 1.5 years, and I finally finished it! Reviews are much appreciated!