Aurora wandered mindlessly through the luscious green forests of the moors, admiring how they had changed in the past week since her crowning. She never believed they could be more beautiful than they already had been.

Her mind wandered far beyond her feet, which steadily carried her to the largest cliff overlooking the waters. Aurora felt that wherever she may be in the world, she would always know the way to this cliff, for it had a special place in her heart.

It was Maleficent's cliff. An upon it stood the most extravagant tree in all the moors. Aurora admired the place her godmother had chosen to live. Maleficent's tree was truly one of a kind. It swayed often when there were no winds. Its leaves changed colours so rapidly, at the strangest of times. Sometimes they even fell to the ground.

It was not long before Aurora had realized that the tree was, in fact, a part of Maleficent. It swayed when she was near, as if in excitement. The colours of the leaves were affected by Maleficent's feelings and emotions. They fell when Maleficent was troubled. Aurora soon realized that this tree held all the feelings that Maleficent kept hidden inside her; feelings that she never expressed with anything but her eyes.

As Aurora approached the tree, she smiled. Its leaves were a pure, emerald colour, meaning only one thing. Maleficent was happy. Aurora sat on a stump next to the tree and placed her hand gently on the trunk. She began to softly sing a melody that she had heard Maleficent sing to herself long ago.

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream. I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam. And I know it's true that visions are seldom all they seem. But if I know you, I know what you'll do, you'll—"

Aurora stopped abruptly when she saw the branches of Maleficent's tree start to sway, faster and faster. It was not long before a figure in the sky was soaring toward her, hair flying out behind her powerful wings that brought her safely to the ground.

"Aurora," Maleficent said, concerned. "What brings you here?"

"Nothing godmother. I was wandering aimlessly and my legs brought me here. I guess I missed you."

Maleficent's eyes relaxed, but her expression did not change. "Beastie, I saw you just yesterday. You cannot mean to tell me you missed me so soon."

Aurora smiled at her godmother. "Oh but I did! So much! Are you enjoying your wings, godmother?"

Maleficent nodded. "Thanks to you, I am."

It was true that Aurora had freed Maleficent's wings, hidden in a high room in King Stefan's castle. And for that Maleficent owed Aurora everything. For there was no certainty that she would have lived if she did not have her wings to free her from King Stefan's evil grasp.

"I'm so glad," Aurora replied.

The corners of Maleficent's lips curled slightly upward. She looked at Aurora and admired how strong and yet gentle she was. She was quite confused, yet relieved that Aurora had forgiven her. After all, she had cursed her. But as Aurora grew, Maleficent came to love the child and wanted nothing more than Aurora's happiness. Unfortunately, Maleficent knew that Aurora was never to be truly happy until she knew the story that plagued the first 16 years of her life.

"Aurora," Maleficent started. "I believe it is time for me to tell you what I should have told you long ago. It is not a happy tale, and I do not wish to tell it, but I must."

Aurora stood up and walked toward Maleficent. "If you will tell me, godmother, I will listen." Aurora noted that the leaves of Maleficent's tree were not as green as they were just moments ago.

Maleficent sighed softly and sat on the stump Aurora had been sitting on a moment before. She beckoned Aurora to come forward. "Come Beastie, and sit in front of me. I will braid you hair."

Aurora did as told and sat on the grass with her back against Maleficent's legs. Maleficent's fingers gently gathered her hair.

"Aurora, I wish to tell you my story. It does not have a happy beginning."

Aurora paused, and braced herself for anything that was to come, although she knew that nothing would ever derail the love she felt for her godmother.

Maleficent began her story. "I was not always the way I am today, Aurora. I was like you once. I was blissful and carefree as I wandered about the moors. There was never anywhere else I wished to be. I used to soar above the clouds and over the lands, looking for problems that only my magic could fix. I loved everything in these moors."

Aurora smiled at the thought of Maleficent's childhood. How she wished she could have seen her at that most wonderful time.

Maleficent continued. "The day I met your father brought about a change in me that I never felt possible. That day I will never forget."

"Did he hurt you, godmother?"

Maleficent's eyes laughed, and she shook her head. "Patience, Beastie, you must not jump ahead of me. No, he did not hurt me that day. He had been caught stealing a stone from the diamond lakes of the moors. I made him return it to me and walked him back to his lands. He promised he would return to me one day as well."

Maleficent sighed softly as she translated her memories to words. "Six weeks later, he did come back. And he continued to return as often as he could. We spent our time together, walking, talking, and playing various games we taught each other. It was a happy time. And as time went on I began to care for your father, as he did for me. On my 16th birthday, he gave me a gift. A gift he called…" Maleficent struggled to speak the words aloud. "A gift he called 'True Love's Kiss."

Aurora gasped. The leaves on Maleficent's trees had acquired a red tint. Embarrassment? Anger? Aurora wondered silently. "Godmother! You-… you loved him once?"

"As much as I detest admitting to it," Maleficent said solemnly, "yes."

"Why do you detest love?" Aurora inquired. She was confused, for loving was the one thing that came most easily to her.

"I do not detest love, Beastie," Maleficent continued. "I detest expressing it, because the heart is so weak and easily betrayed. And this was my fate. Aurora, you must understand your father's world. It is a place of greed and lust for power. This power consumed even your own father, who I knew to be so caring and generous. You do not have this greed, because you grew up in and around these moors, where such emotions did not exist. At least among most."

Maleficent saddened at the thought of her vengeful past, praying deeply in her mind that Aurora would not hate her with what came next. "And this, Aurora, began the time of my evil. For many years after the kiss, I never saw Stefan. Until a time when the king wanted me dead, for reasons I never understood. He tried to take the moors. I stopped his army, and left him on his deathbed. He offered his throne to the squire that would avenge him and hunt me down. And the throne was what your father wanted most dearly.

"Stefan came to me, and begged me to listen. He told me the king wanted me struck down, and that he was there to help me. I was foolish. After all those years, I forgave him so easily, because my heart betrayed me. Under a drug, my wings were taken from me by Stefan, and I lived. There was a time when I cursed his cowardice for not being able to kill me then. Though I have reconciled with that thought, for I would have never seen your smile if not for your father's choice."

Aurora turned slightly to look at her godmother and smiled. Her eyes glanced above her to see the leaves a dull green, with brown seeping from their veins. Maleficent tied the ends of Aurora's hair with some grassblades, securing them with magic. "Your hair is done," she said to Aurora.

Aurora felt the intricacies of the braid Maleficent had formed. "Godmother, I didn't know you could braid like this. It is beautiful! How did you learn?" Aurora asked hopefully.

"Many years I spent alone, Aurora. I had all the time in the world to fuss over my hair," Maleficent replied.

"Let me do yours now, godmother!" Aurora said hopefully.

"No, Beastie."

"Why not?"

"I-...I-...don't like to be touched."

"Oh." Aurora's heart sank slightly, but in her mind she expected nothing less. Part of her was certain she had seen the leaves flash a dark shade of purple, almost black. Fear? Anxiousness? Aurora accepted her godmother's plea, for she knew she might never receive the kind of affection she wanted from Maleficent.

Maleficent sighed, knowing she had hurt the girl's feelings, and saw how hard Aurora was trying to hide it. She cursed herself in her head. Why did she have to be so stubborn? How was she ever going to really love again if she had no trust in others?

"I-… alright Aurora. You may braid my hair," Maleficent said quietly.

"Oh godmother! Thank you!" Aurora stood up behind Maleficent and began to gather her hair. Maleficent closed her eyes, reveling in the feeling of another doing the job she had always done herself. It felt strange, but safe. She trusted Aurora.

"Please, godmother, continue your story," Aurora asked.

"Alright Beastie. After my wings were taken from me, I became overcome with darkness, hatred, and revenge. I truly hated Stefan then, for betraying my heart. I… I made many mistakes, Aurora, and they began here. I should never have let my anger best me, but I gladly accepted it. I became ruthless. I was the evil in this world. I longed to hurt others the way I had been hurt. It is a feeling I never wish for you, Aurora. I sought to avenge myself, and the opportunity arose at your christening. I cursed you, so that your father would suffer. I hated you, or rather, the idea of you, for you reminded me of his evil doings."

"That's why you call me Beastie..."

"Yes. But the hatred that comes with that name disappeared long ago. I had never expected to love you. You stole a part of my heart most unexpectedly. I—what is it, Beastie?"

Aurora had suddenly stopped braiding Maleficent's hair, for she had never heard her godmother express her love for her aloud. Her eyes held one brown leaf above her head that had flashed emerald a second before. She felt a warmth in her chest and had the desire to wrap her arms around her godmother, but she restrained her temptation. "Nothing godmother, I was distracted. Continue."

"I realized as you grew that I made a horrible mistake. One night, I tried to revoke the curse. But it would not work, for I made it so nothing in this world could ever change it. The thought of me regretting it had never crossed my mind. Your sadness when you discovered I was the evil in your world hurt me many times more than the rejection by your father. I swore then that I would never let my hate consume me again.

"As you know, the curse did take you, and you pricked your finger on a spinning wheel and fell into a deep sleep. I brought the boy with me. Phillip. True love's kiss was the only way to break the spell and I had hoped he might be the true love that you needed. I was wrong. I gave up, and faced my fate that I had brought on myself. I said my goodbyes to you. I swore to protect you as you slept peacefully. I kissed your forehead. And you awoke."

Maleficent's voice lowered as she ended her story, until the last sentence was barely a whisper. She turned to silence. Aurora continued to finish Maleficent's braid. After several long moments, Aurora spoke.

"So you were never my godmother after all," she said.

Maleficent's heart sank. She had hurt the girl, as she knew her story would. "No, Beastie," she whispered. Maleficent's eyes became watery, but she held her tears.

Aurora paused. She brushed a dead leaf off of her head that had fallen. "I do not wish to call you godmother anymore."

It took Maleficent everything she had to keep the tears from falling. Although Maleficent knew she would never be Aurora's true godmother, she had been in love with the idea. It was something that brought her closer to the girl, something that gave her a place in Aurora's world. She did not want to lose that connection. But inside she knew she deserved it. "I understand. You may call me Maleficent, as everyone else," she said softly.

Brown, dead leaves continued to fall around them slowly. For a moment Maleficent wondered it Aurora knew of her connection with the tree.

Aurora tied the end of Maleficent's braid in an intricate, loose knot to hold it. She lowered the braid between Maleficent's wings, which had sunken slightly from some apparent weight that Aurora could not feel. But she could see it, from the leaf covered ground that hid green grass in piles of brown. Maleficent's tree had no more leaves.

She walked around Maleficent and turned to look at her. Maleficent stood up with her head bowed down, and met Aurora's gaze.

"You misunderstand me," Aurora said quietly. "I do not want to call you Maleficent or godmother, because those titles no longer reflect the way I see you. " Aurora spoke even softer as she reached out to take Maleficent's hands. "You forget that I grew up without the one person I needed most." She looked down, nervous for Maleficent's coming reaction as she said, "I want to call you… mother."

And with that Aurora slid her arms around Maleficent and rested her head on her chest. Not a moment passed before Maleficent's own arms tightened around Aurora, enveloping her in a warm embrace. Aurora began to cry.

Maleficent lowered her to the ground, and sat with her, her arms holding Aurora as near as possible. She felt Aurora's tears soak through her clothing, as she kissed the top of her head softly. "You may call me whatever your heart desires, Beastie. I will be whatever you need in this world."

Maleficent held Aurora tightly, until sleep befell Aurora. The last thing Aurora saw that night, before her eyes closed, were new buds forming on the branches of Maleficent's tree.

Maleficent let her tears down silently as she held the sleeping girl against her. A barely audible whisper escaped Maleficent's lips before sleep came to take her.

"I love you, Beastie."

Aurora awoke to birds chirping in the skies, and pixies singing in the water below. A soft stroke on her head brought her eyes to Maleficent, still holding Aurora in her arms.

Aurora noted the lush emerald leaves above her, somehow looking greener than ever before. She took Maleficent's hand and looked up at her. "Good morning, mother."

Maleficent's lips curled upward more than they had ever curled in a long while. She smiled down at her beastie, raising the tops of her cheeks to meet her watering eyes. A single tear slid down her cheek as she softly said, "Good morning, Beastie."

And from that day on, no matter how troubled Maleficent became, her leaves never fell. Even the brownest of leaves found strength to hold on, for Maleficent's heart was whole once again.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is NOT, I repeat NOT a femslash story. I have been seeing them a lot lately between Aurora and Maleficent, and I must say, I find them quite disturbing. Homosexual relationships do not bother me, but one between a 16 year old girl and a 30-40 year old woman does. Sorry. Those who like them, by all means continue to read and write them, but do not confuse this story with one of those stories. The relationship between the two is nothing more than a mother-daughter connection. Thanks!