Winx Club Forever
Milly's Secret is the forty-second issue of the Winx Club Comic Series.
On their way to Dark Lake Academy, the Winx experience many problems, especially thanks to Serenia and its infamous storms. After taking a wrong turn, the Winx seek shelter from the storm in a lonely manor. There, they befriend a quiet scullery maid named Milly and they do not take too kindly to how Milly is mistreated by her aunt and two cousins. So, once they are gone, the Winx take it upon themselves to sneak Milly to the debutante ball to enjoy her eighteenth birthday. Milly attracts a lot of attention upon her arrival, including attention from a prince named Hargon, so the Winx do what they can to keep the two together for the whole night. Things take quite take an unexpected turn, however, once Milly finally reveals herself, as the ball attendees are shocked to learn that Milly had been their kingdom's long-lost princess.
Tecna is worrying about the roads, complaining about how they should have taken another taxi. Stella claims that she would not have known that the taxi driver would have gotten drunk at the first stop and tells Tecna that leaving him to sleep at the inn was the only way they could get to the school on time. Stella then asks if Bloom if she is okay with driving, to which Bloom insists that she is fine and advises Stella not to distract her. Stella asks if the Dark Lake Academy they need to get to is far away, but Bloom insists that it should not take them less than a half hour. However, thanks to the storm, they are running late. Tecna insists that Faragonda should not have sent them on that trip and complains at the fact that they need to write a report and return to Alfea during the same storm. Musa claims that she prefers this trip over going to school and Flora agrees, but claims that Serenia was supposed to be a beautiful kingdom. Tecna becomes upset with how much it has been raining and claims that they may end up with fevers at this rate. Bloom then tells the girls that they have hit a fork in the road.
As the girls figure out which road they should take, since there is no sign on the pole, Stella conjures up a coin and flips it. If the coin lands on heads, then they take the left road and, if the coin lands on tails, then they will take the road on the right. The coin lands on heads, so Bloom turns the car towards the road on the left as Stella claims that her intuition tells her that this road will get them to the academy in a flash.
An hour later, the girls are still driving down the rough roads, as they start to doubt Stella's decision. Stella insists that it is not her fault since she just tossed a coin. Flora suggests that they turn around and take the other road, but Bloom cannot turn because the road is too narrow. As the girls start to complain, Stella catches sight of a light on the top of a nearby hill. Bloom drives the car towards the light but, once they reach it, they find themselves in front of a mansion, rather than Dark Lake Academy.
Stella then takes the opportunity to see if anyone who lives in the mansion could give them directions to Dark Lake Academy and exits the car. She knocks on the door and impatiently waits for someone to answer in the pouring rain. As she complains about her hair becoming a total mess, a younger-looking blonde girl opens the door. Stella invites herself inside as she asks the girl if she and her friends are on the right road to Dark Lake Academy, and the girl simply says no. Stella asks if she means that they are not on the right road, but the girl claims that she does not know because she is never allowed to leave her room. She then claims that her "little birds" do not mention anything about an academy and suspects that Stella and her friends may be on the wrong road. Musa calls for Stella inside the car, asking what they should do now, to which Stella tells her that they are on the wrong road. Since it is already too dark to continue driving outside, the blonde girl invites them into the mansion to stay for the night. Once all of the Winx are inside, the girl introduces herself as Milly. Bloom introduces herself and the Winx as Milly takes them up to her room, where she claims that it is much warmer.
However, before they reach the stairs, the girls are met by a much older-looking woman, who asks Milly who the Winx are. Milly tells the woman, Lady Cordelia, that she is just trying to give the Winx some warm tea as they have just come inside to shelter from the storm. Cordelia demands for Milly not take more time than necessary, as she already has so much work to do.
Up in her room, Tecna asks Milly who the cold old woman was, and Milly reveals that Lady Cordelia is her aunt. She adopted her when she was really young and now Milly lives in the mansion with her and her two daughters, Villania and Rospunda. Milly insists that Cordelia takes good care of her as all she has to do in order to return the favor is do chores, which causes Stella to realize that Cordelia makes Milly do all the chores while she and her daughters leave the easy life. Milly insists that she would not know what to do otherwise as Cordelia has taught her that the outside world is a cruel and wicked place; that she would be safe if she stayed working in the mansion forever. Bloom then asks Milly if she is always all alone, to which Milly claims that her little bird friends always keep her company. She then directs the birds to sit atop the fireplace in order to warm up as she explains to the Winx that they will sometimes even stay with her to sign for hours on end.
Suddenly, the grandfather clock in her room begins to ring, which means that Milly needs to get to work on her two cousins' dresses for a party that will be starting within the next hour. Stella asks about the party and Milly explains that it is the debutante ball that her aunt and cousins will be attending. She then grabs a pile of dresses from a chest and scurries out of the room. Bloom offers to help her get the dresses get ready, but Milly claims that Cordelia will become enraged if she gets any help. Stella then follows Milly out of the room, as Bloom asks where she is going. Stella claims that she is going to find out the truth as to what is going on in the mansion and she advises the others to stay in Milly's room.
Milly arrives in her cousins' room where Villania scolds her for wasting bits of their time. Rospunda asks Cordelia if she will be the most beautiful woman at the ball, to which Cordelia insists that she and her sister will be the best. Villania then claims that the truth is that she is more beautiful than Rospunda and the two sisters start pulling at each other's hair. Cordelia warns them to stop, reminding them that the debutante ball is important for anyone who wants to marry within the high society crowd and adds in that even Prince Hargon will attend. She then tells her daughters that they should try their best to be chosen as Hargon's bride as it will have them be set for life, and Rospunda adds in that they will finally be able to get real servants to do all of the housework instead of having to deal with Milly's incompetence. As Milly works on the dresses in the corner of the room, Villania asks Cordelia if Milly will be staying home and Cordelia confirms that Milly will not be attending the debutante ball with them; even ordering Milly to keep the mansion tidy before they return. Stella, who has been eavesdropping on them the whole time, decides that she has heard enough and heads back to Milly's room to tell the girls.
When she returns, Bloom asks where Stella could have gone and Tecna asks if she was able to find anything out. Stella claims that Milly is being treated worse than a slave to Cordelia and her daughters as they take it easy and complains about how unfair the situation is.
A little while later, Cordelia, Villania and Rospunda are ready to head out. Cordelia tells Milly to clean her daughters' rooms before they get back from the ball. Rospunda then knocks a vase over on her way out and tells Milly to clean it up as well. Before they are gone, Cordelia tasks Milly with cleaning the garage as well, since there will be mud everywhere thanks to the storm.
Milly returns to her room, where she insists that Cordelia and her daughters are not mean and only joke around her. Milly claims that it does not bother her, but Stella thinks otherwise. She then asks Milly how old she is, as she may be older than she seems, and Milly reveals that she has turned eighteen today. Stella and Musa urge Milly to sneak out and go to the ball since it is her birthday, but Milly does not want to because she believes that everything outside of the mansion is dangerous. Stella claims that that is only what Cordelia wants her to think and Musa agrees, telling Milly that Cordelia and her daughters have made her think that way on purpose. Stella tries to convince Milly that the outside world holds her future and that she is a lot more beautiful than she believes. She then suspects that Cordelia keeps her confined within the mansion because of her beauty, but Milly still believes that she cannot leave the mansion. Aisha proclaims that the Winx will go to the ball with her in order to teach her the ways of the outside world and Musa agrees. Flora promises Milly that they will make her a wonderful gown to go to the ball in and Bloom promises that they will teach her how to dance. Milly starts to cry, claiming that she is too ashamed and does not want high society people seeing her, to which Stella suggests that she wear a mask with her gown.
A short while later, Bloom and Stella have come up with a design for Milly's ball gown as Flora and Musa fit her into a rather plain green dress. The girls then cast a spell on the plain green dress, turning it into a beautiful white gown laced with many pink and purple ribbons with blue and purple frills at the bottom. Stella then hands Milly a matching pink mask and Milly asks if the Winx are still coming with her to the ball. Stella confirms this, claiming that she would never miss a party.
A little while later, all of the girls are waiting for Stella in the car outside of the mansion. Luckily, Bloom was able to get the car started after experiencing some problems. As Stella squeezes herself in the back seats with Flora, Aisha and Milly, Tecna urges Bloom to start driving. Bloom, however, realizes that they do not know the way to the palace. She asks Milly if she knows the way but, having spent her life cooped up in Cordelia's mansion, she does not. The girls begin brooding in the car until one of Milly's bird friends starts chirping from outside the car. Milly then suggests that her bird friends may know the way to the palace and she asks them to show her and the Winx the way there. The birds begin flying in front of the car as Stella urges Bloom to pick up speed so that they do not arrive too late to the ball.
Soon enough, the Winx and Milly manage to arrive at the debutante ball, and they end up attracting quite a bit of attention.
Milly asks the girls what she should do, to which Stella claims that all she really needs to do is sit around, look charming and wait for a handsome stranger to ask her to dance. The Winx then put their wings down, so that they do not attract too much attention away from Milly for being fairies. As they try to ease Milly into being comfortable at the ball, Villania and Rospunda start to become upset with how much attention the mysterious girl is getting. Cordelia urges them not to get upset but Rospunda cannot stand how much attention the mystery girl is getting when she has not even done anything. Many of the young men begin talking about how beautiful the new girls are, especially the mystery girl, and begin crowding around her and the Winx as they attempt to introduce themselves. Stella tells Bloom that there will be trouble if they all start flirting and tells the girls that they should wait by a nearby balcony as they leave Milly to meet with any cute young men. Milly becomes terrified at the idea of being left all alone, but Stella insists that they will be keeping an eye on her.
A little while after they have hidden on the balcony, Stella notices that the best-looking boy at the ball has noticed Milly. The boy then bends over to introduce himself as Prince Hargon and asks Milly to dance with him. Milly glances over to the balcony, where the Winx are urging her to take Hargon's invitation and Milly agrees to go dancing. However, her dress got caught under the leg of the chair she was sitting, causing a piece of her dress to rip when she tries to go dancing with the prince. Milly panics and runs off looking for Stella to help her.
As Stella tries to fix the tear in Milly's dress, Bloom alerts the girls that Prince Hargon's admirers are approaching.
Rospunda approaches Hargon and tries to convince him that he should be dancing with her since he is available now. Hargon tries to refuse her advances until another girl butts in, claiming that Hargon should dance with her since she is as free as a bird. As the two girls try to get Hargon to dance with them, Bloom suggests that Flora go keep him occupied so that other girls do not try to drag him away from Milly. Flora then approaches Hargon, telling him that her friend will be returning and that she sent her in order to apologize for running around. As Flora takes Hargon away from the two other girls to dance, she offers to tell Hargon all about her friend; obviously catching his interest.
As she dances with the prince, Bloom and Stella signal to Flora that Milly is ready to come back in. Hargon asks for the mystery girl's name, but Flora insists that she must be going. Stella urges Milly to go back to the prince but, as soon as she steps back inside, she bumps into a waiter, causing her to be drenched in water. Stella volunteers to keep Prince Hargon occupied as Bloom and the others try to repair Milly's gown a second time. Stella begins dancing with Hargon as he begins to think that the mystery girl is becoming more and more mysterious thanks to her mask.
Meanwhile, Bloom uses the heat of her Dragon's Flame to dry off Milly and her soaked gown.
Stella enjoys her time with the prince as Villania and Rospunda are becoming more and more impatient as they ask when their turn to dance with Prince Hargon will be.
Once they are all set, Bloom tells Musa that she will go signal Stella that Milly is all set to go back into the ball, however, none of her signals work as Stella has become so absorbed in dancing with Hargon, even asking for another dance! Musa then steps in, grabbing Stella by one of her pigtails as she pulls her away. Bloom scolds Stella for taking too long as Musa eases Milly back into the ball.
Milly struggles to make it towards Hargon as she tries to apologize for getting a bit dizzy. She sheepishly enters Hargon's embrace as he tries to assure her that he will not let her fall and, soon enough, the two of them begin dancing all throughout the ball.
From the balcony, the girls happily watch the two of them dance, as Bloom fawns over how cute of a couple they make.
Later, the clock bells ring throughout the ball, signifying the end of the evening. Rospunda and Villania are upset at the fact that Hargon has been dancing with the mystery girl all evening as they wonder about what they should be doing now. Suddenly, the royal announcer proclaims that Prince Hargon will publicly declare his love for the mystery girl and that he will agree to take her on as his fiancee once she reveals her true identity.
The mystery girl excitedly removes her mask, revealing herself to be none other than Milly! The crowd is shocked, but what shocks them is that Milly bears a striking resemblance to their Queen Aldesia. The nobles begin to swarm around Hargon and Milly as they suspect that Milly is actually Aldesia's daughter, Princess Iris, who was kidnapped shortly after her birth. Somebody within the crowd then cheers for Princess Iris' return as the Winx try to make sense of the drastic turn of events. Stella asks who the princess must have been kidnapped by, to which an old nobleman approaches the girls, telling them that they never found out who kidnapped Princess Iris and that all they knew was that she was taken from her cradle many years ago, leaving the kingdom of Serenia without an heir. Later, when the king and queen had died in an accident, a man by the name of Count Neropulos took over as the regent. The old nobleman then explains that Neropulos has had free reign over the kingdom but now that Milly, Princess Iris, has returned, all of that can change. Stella points towards an angry old man making his way through the crowd, as he demands that Milly is not the princess until they find proof of such a claim. The royal announcer approaches Milly, claiming that Princess Iris has a small heart-shaped birthmark on her left shoulder and, when he checks Milly's left shoulder, he and Neropulos find a birthmark that fits the description.
The crowd starts cheering for the return of their princess until Rospunda and Villania spring from their seats, insisting that Milly is no princess. Cordelia tries to get them to be quiet, but Rospunda reveals that Milly has been a servant in their mansion and claims that she should have stayed there. The crowd then turns on Cordelia, realizing that it was her who kidnapped Iris when she was a baby and that she and her daughters have been keeping her prisoner; even declaring them as enemies of the state! Cordelia tries to defend herself, but Neropulos calls on the royal guards to apprehend her and her daughters.
After everything that happened, no one felt like dancing anymore. The girls are comforting Milly on a sofa as she tries to take in all of what happened. Despite everything, Milly still believes that Cordelia and her daughters do not deserve to be imprisoned. Stella tells Milly that she is being too good for them and Bloom agrees, telling Milly that Cordelia and her daughters deserve to be punished if the accusations against them turn out to be true. Milly wants to talk to them in order to get the whole truth, but Prince Hargon believes that it may not be possible right now. Believing that this is strictly her business, Milly asks the Winx to help her. Bloom is unsure until Hargon cuts in, telling Milly that they could try to get her close to Cordelia. As Hargon and Milly leave the ball room, the Winx follow closely behind in order to keep them safe.
However, when they arrive at the prison, the prison guards refuse to let them see the prisoners, as they have been instructed to do so by Count Neropulos. Hargon suggests that they give up, but Stella uses a spell that puts the guards to sleep. She tells them that the spell wears off in half an hour so they will have to act quickly.
As Milly, Hargon and the Winx make their way down to Cordelia's prison cell, they hear Neropulos claiming that he had to arrest Cordelia before she said anything. The group hides in the shadows as Neropulos tells Cordelia that he will allow her and her daughters to escape before morning. That way, there would be no trial and no one will truly know what happened. Cordelia then demands Neropulos to set them up with money before she and her daughters have to live in exile because keeping Milly locked up in their mansion was very risky. Neropulos reveals that he would have preferred to have Milly killed as a baby until Cordelia tells him that they needed to raise her and wait until she turned eighteen in order to see if the prophecy came true or not. However, neither of them can understand how Milly managed to come to the debutante ball and ruin all of their plans.
From their hiding place, the group hears everything and realizes that Neropulos and Cordelia were working together so that Neropulos could take control of the kingdom after the king and queen's deaths. As Neropulos tries to let Cordelia and her daughters escape, Hargon is overcome with rage and lunges at Neropulos with a nearby spear. Cordelia, Villania and Rospunda try to escape but Hargon corners them. However, while doing so, he accidentally lets Neropulos escape. The Winx give chase and Neropulos tries to stop them by ordering any nearby guards to stop them, claiming that they are assassins. One of the guards tries to stop them, but Aisha uses her Morphix in order to trap him in a bubble.
Before the Winx can catch up, Neropulos releases a demon from a blue jar. The Winx arrive and Neropulos exclaims that if he cannot rule over the kingdom then nobody will. The Winx transform to combat the demon, but are almost burned by its fiery breath in the process. The girls then use all of their power to attack the demon in order to prevent it from destroying the kingdom. As the demon is being sucked back into its jar, it grabs Neropulos and drags him in, too. Stella puts the lid back on the jar and adds a bit of extra magic so that it stays on forever. Now that this whole ordeal has been dealt with, the Winx return to Milly and Hargon, where they learn that Milly has been recognized as the true heir to the Serenia Throne and that she and Hargon are now engaged. The girls congratulate her now that she is officially the Queen of Serenia and Milly thanks the Winx for everything they have done for her. Suddenly, an old man comes into the ballroom and asks Stella if she is the Princess Stella of Solaria. He then explains that he has been looking for them from Dark Lake Academy and asks what they have been doing, as he has been waiting for them since yesterday. As the girls leave, Stella lists the many things they accomplished within the past two days and claims that that should be enough for the old man.
- "Let there be a beautiful gown, elegant and well made... and just as fine as the design... That this be an evening forever remembered, near and far, as the night beautiful Milly, brighter than any star!" - Used by the Winx to transform Milly's plain green dress into a beautiful white ball gown.
- Dragon Fire Heat - Used by Bloom to dry off Milly's ball gown.
- Power of the Light - Used by Stella against Neropulos' demon.
- Power of the Dragon - Used by Bloom alongside Aisha against Neropulos' demon.
- On page 16, as the Winx agree to go to the debutante ball with Milly, Aisha's eyes are brown instead of blue.
- Throughout the issue, whenever Musa is in her Enchantix form, her hair retains its dark blue color instead of gaining a shade of purple and the borders of her Enchantix wings are purple instead of yellow.
- On page 22, as Stella tells Milly that all she needs to do is sit and look charming, her outfit is completely orange, her pink gloves are missing, most of her hair is missing, and her Enchantix wings are a completely different shape.
- Throughout the issue, whenever Flora is in her Enchantix form, the insides of her wings appear more orange and blue than simply being green.
- Throughout the issue, whenever Bloom is in her Enchantix form, the bottom pair of her wings will go missing.
- On page 33, as Rospunda and Villania insist that Milly cannot be a princess, Cordelia's color palette is all wrong. Rather than having white hair and a blue dress with a purple shawl around her arms and waist, her hair has turned purple and her dress is now a bright green with a yellowish-green shawl.
- On page 39, as one of Neropulos' guards tries to stop the Winx, he warns them to stop chasing him or else he will shoot them, however, the guard is holding a spear.
- On page 41, as the Winx go into their Enchantix, Flora is in a rainbow top and a light pink skirt, instead of her pink floral dress.
- On page 42, as the Winx try to keep Neropulos' demon under control, Tecna's hair is so long that it reaches down to her waist in one of the panels.
- On page 43, when Stella is putting a bit of extra magic on the demon's lid, her gloves are the same color as her skin tone, instead of being a more pinkish color.
- The Winx
- Alfea Staff
- Faragonda (mentioned)
- This issue is heavily inspired by the old fairytale, Cinderella, as Milly's life greatly resembles the life of Cinderella, the character. The only difference is that Milly turns out to be a princess who was kidnapped at birth, which sounds more like what happens to Rapunzel in most retellings of the story, whereas Cinderella was never a princess and does not become one until she marries the prince.