The Curse erases memory and time
But hope remains to the pure of mind.
The White Knight shall grasp the Dark Widow's hand
And, thus, restore the land.
Henry Mills swung his legs back and forth as he watched the blonde figure of his mother, Emma, approach the castle. It had been their secret meeting place ever since she had come to Storybrooke. A place for them to meet and discuss secret business. The operation they called Cobra.
He knew deep down that Emma didn't believe his story and only played along with Cobra. She didn't believe that the people of Storybrooke really belonged in the Enchanted Forest and were living under a curse put on them by an evil queen. Nobody did. He was the only one who knew the truth. But, if he could just keep her playing along for awhile longer, he could get absolute proof and then she could do what she had come here to do.
Save them all.
"Hey kid," Emma called as she climbed the ladder to join him in the castle. She dropped her legs over the side and sat down next to him. He smiled at her.
"I need your help," he began. "I've been trying to figure something out for ages, but I just can't get it."
Emma raised her eyebrows. In the short time she had known him, Henry had had an answer for everything. Even if his answers were sometimes a little...unorthodox.
"Hmm," she said, frowning. "Must be a tough one. Shoot."
Henry opened The Book and riffled through it until he found the page he wanted. There was little writing and the picture seemed to have been torn out. He turned it slightly so Emma could see it.
"It's a riddle or something," he said. "The first part is easy. It talks about the curse. But, the second part, I'm not sure."
Emma looked closely at the rhyme and read aloud.
"The White Knight shall grasp the Dark Widow's hand and, thus, restore the land," she recited. She looked up at Henry. "I'm guessing you at least have a theory on this," she said, shifting uncomfortably on the wooden platform of the castle.
Henry stared into the distance for a minute. Finally, he turned to her with a serious expression.
"I do have a theory. But, you'll think it's crazy."
"Isn't that what Operation Cobra's all about?" Emma replied. "Believing in the crazy?"
Henry smiled crookedly and nodded thoughtfully.
"Well, we all know you're the White Knight. The one who's going to break the curse and save us." He waited for Emma to nod before continuing. "Now we just have to figure out who the Dark Widow is. At first I thought it might be my mom coz she has dark hair. But, it can't be my mom because she's the Evil Queen. And she isn't a widow. Now, I've figured out who everyone else in the book is. So, the Dark Widow has to be an outsider, right? Someone we don't know about yet."
Emma nodded slowly.
"That would make sense. Does it give any other information about this Dark Widow?"
Henry studied the book in front of him. This was the hard part.
"Maybe the White Knight and the Dark Widow are against each other, but on the same side," Emma suggested, oblivious to his unease. "Like two halves of a coin. It says they grasp hands so maybe they're friends."
Henry took a deep breath.
"There's something else. Something I didn't tell you before coz I thought you might get mad or freak out or something."
Emma looked suspicious.
"Why would I freak out?" she asked.
"Well," Henry started. "It's about your parents."
"That would be Snow White and Prince Charming, right?" Emma said.
"You're not their only kid," he said, watching Emma carefully. "This Dark Widow person is their child too. The book says so."
Well, kid, it looks like the Enchanted Forest gives me everything. First, I get parents and now I get a sister, Emma thought to herself. A strange ache filled her chest at the thought.
"So, there's a Dark Widow who's supposed to help me break the curse who may or may not be my sister? It's getting a little crowded, isn't it? Does one curse need two heroes?"
"Oh, don't worry," Henry rushed to reassure her. "There's only one real hero. The other one is just your helper."
Emma smiled affectionately at Henry.
"Thank goodness," she said. "I wouldn't want to have to share all the glory." Her smile faded and she stared off into the distance. Actually, she wouldn't mind sharing the glory, if it meant having a...
Henry watched her anxiously.
"You're not mad?" he asked.
Emma turned back to him.
"Kid, you may have some interesting ideas, but you don't make me mad," she replied, placing a hand on his head and ruffling his hair.
A few minutes later, Emma watched as Henry made his way down the hill, away from the castle. She wanted to think for a few minutes. The kid had had some wacky ideas, but this was up there with the best of them. A sister! She laughed bitterly to herself. Deep down, in places only she knew about, she couldn't deny the thought was appealing. Maybe if she'd had a sister her life would have been different. Maybe they would have gone through the foster system together. There had been times when having someone would have kept the crushing heartbreak at bay. Maybe they'd be sharing an apartment in the city right now. Maybe they'd be travelling together.
She curled her fingers into fists and shook her head. It was ridiculous, absolutely futile, to be entertaining thoughts like this. It was different when she was a kid. Fantasies like that had helped her get through it, had helped her cope. But, she was an adult! She was beyond fantasies now, right?
So why did Henry's idea make her feel as warm inside as his theory on Snow White?
Warmer than she'd felt her whole, lonely life.