A/N: Thankyou to everyone who has stuck by this story and by me with me slow updates. I do hope this is worth the wait. the only excuse i can give you for my lateness with this update is a mixture of writer's block, depression and my mum who is clumsier then I am and needed me to take care of her (she still does but I worked on this when she went to bed.) Please read and review. I will be participating in Swan Queen supernova this year as a writer. so be on the look out for a new sq story :)
Chapter 16 strength not weakness part 2:
A brief time later, Emma came too, and as she did a figure appeared out of the shadows. "Oh, thank the gods you are alright, I was worried you might have hit your head a bit too hard." Said Cora, feigning a sense of concern in her voice.
"Yeah, I am alright. Why are we locked up down here?" answered Emma.
"Well dear, I was locked up because of what my daughter's curse, don't know why the curse stripped me of my powers." Responded Cora, not really caring if the question was directed at her or not. Either way Cora was curious as to who this blonde woman was.
"Wait are you Regina's mother? I thought you were supposed to be dead." Questioned Emma, as the realisation that she was face to face with not only her future mother in law but the Queen of Hearts herself. The woman who drove Regina to curse herself with infertility. The woman who crushed the heart of Daniel, Regina's first love.
'Oh, fucking shit that's Cora! This is not good, not good at all. How in the hell do I deal with her? Can she sense Regina's magic combined with mine?' Were Emma's panicked thoughts.
"Yes, dear I am. Do you know her by chance? Tell me, how is she?" replied Cora, doing her best to sound sincere; even though her ability to feel that emotion has long since been forgotten.
"Yes, I know her; she is just such a wonderful mother, a complete goddess if you ask me. You see we share a son…" babbled Emma in her nervousness.
"Emma, as much as you think Rumplestiltskin or Blue is bad, Cora is ten times worse. Don't go telling her anything more. She will take advantage of what you say against you." Interrupted Snow. As she moved Emma so that she was behind her in a protective stance.
'I can't let Cora hurt Emma, Regina would never forgive me; I already destroyed her happiness once before I won't be the cause of it again. With Emma being connected to Regina with true love, it might make Emma powerful; but then there is that possibility that Emma is carrying a child. My newest grandchild. And oh, little Henry would be devastated if he lost his mum. He is too young to have to go through the loss of a mother.
I have to make sure Emma stays safe, she doesn't know this realm like I do. As much as I don't like that Regina is Emma's true love I can't deny it. And I can't let Cora figure that connection out. Cora will go to any length to destroy Emma; she will see her as an obstacle for Regina remaining in power. Without her heart she is incapable of loving Regina, let alone Henry who is also Cora's grandson.' Thought Snow, as she waited to see what Cora would say and do next.
"Oh Snow, so glad to see you are alright; I was getting worried." Feigned Cora, the condescending tone thick in her voice. 'The blonde has a thick aura of magic surrounding her. She might be a threat, but what is her relationship to my daughter and to Snow? More importantly how did they get here to this land? The curse is broken that much is true, seven years too early though. Doesn't matter, what does though is finding a way to the land without magic; that clearly must have magic somehow.
Need to make sure Regina isn't weakened by the sickening love crap. Make sure she is still in power. If I need to break her to get her there, then so be it. And if I can finally give Regina the heart of Snow to her in a protective box so much the better. But I can see I won't win them over as myself.
Looks like I will have to take on the guise of a trusted friend. Get the pirate to be a distraction for the blonde. He might be able to help get them to cough up as to how they got here and if it will be a way to where Regina is.' Schemed Cora, as she retreated back into the shadows, so she could teleport herself out of the cell without either Snow or Emma noticing at least she hoped they didn't notice.
"Alright you two come with me, our leader wishes to speak with you." Stated one of the armed guards, as he roughly grabbed Emma and Snow bringing them with him over to one of the yurts, where there was a covered area around a long wooden table and bench chairs.
It had a variety of fresh vegetables and some cooked meat, what it was Emma had no idea; but she was hungry enough to eat almost anything. "The meat it is chimera, a sort of part goat part salamander creature. It is hard to catch but not too bad in taste. It's not something you might eat in Storybrooke but it has its charms." Explained Snow upon noticing Emma's curious look.
Emma sniffed it and decided to just stick to the various veggies for now as the smell didn't quite sit well with her stomach. She also took a whiff of the beverage in front of her and decided that it was deemed good enough so she took a long sip. 'This mulled mead? It's no apple cider of Regina's but it will do. That chimera on the other hand smells disgusting and very unappealing. So vegetables it is. Regina would be so proud of me, eating all my veggies without complaint even.
I miss her already, and Henry our sweet boy. I wonder if he can sense that I am not in Storybrooke? What about our shared dreams will we be able to have them when I am in another realm? Ah shit they are all looking at me, what were they saying? Well I better just pay attention to their conversation again, maybe ask what it was they were asking me again…' thought Emma as she was filling her bowl with food, nibbling at some of it as she went.
"Ah, what was it you were asking me? I kind of got lost in my own mind there for a bit." questioned Emma. Looking directly into both Mulan and a dark skinned man she didn't recognise faces.
"Right, we were just asking how it is you got here?" replied the dark man.
"We came here by accident through a hat portal. We were only supposed to send through a soul sucking wraith because Regina didn't think anything much survived the curse. At most she thought her castle would still be around. Since she cast a protection spell onto it. I seriously doubt it is as strong as the one we have around our mansion back home in Storybrooke." Answered Emma briefly before returning back to eating the food in front of her.
"So, you are telling me you and this 'Regina' sent that wraith here?" demanded Aurora, her emotions getting the better of her.
"Yes, we did, but we had no idea that so much of the Enchanted Forest was still standing. It was never our intention to harm anyone. We were only just trying to save my daughter's fiancé from having her soul sucked by the wraith Rumpelstiltskin set upon her." Continued Snow for Emma who was currently shovelling every piece of the fruits and vegetables she could get her hands on.
"So, the dark one is where you are from?" questioned the dark man. Looking directly into Snows eyes.
"Yes, he is, and he has some weird personal vendetta against Regina. I am not certain as to the reason behind it. Considering my daughter broke his curse seven years earlier then what was foretold." Disclosed Snow, returning the intense stare.
"So, do you have any idea how you are going to return to your land?" probed Mulan, as she observed Emma and her uncouth way of eating her meal. 'For someone who is supposed to be a princess she certainly acts more like a peasant. A peasant who hasn't eaten in weeks at least. Thought Mulan as she silently observed the so-called saviour.
"I do have an idea, not too sure it will work but it is worth a try. It will all depend if the nursery in my old castle is still intact. Otherwise I am out of ideas for the time being." Explained Snow. Doing her best not to reveal the entirety of her plan lest someone that is against them gets wind of it.
"I will send Mulan to go with you; she can help protect the both of you. Before you start, it has been quite a while since you have been in the Enchanted Forest. It is for the best." Explained Lancelot as he gave Mulan a respectful nod so that she got that it was an order and not a request she could deny.
As soon as they finished eating, Mulan took Emma and Snow over to the weapons chest so that they could arm themselves considering there were still dangerous creatures out there. Emma retrieved her gun and grabbed herself a sword just in case. She still had her magic she could use in a pinch if needed. Snow took a bow and a quiver of arrows as well as a short sword. Aurora joined them with her concealed long dagger.
They then took off as a group being led by the warrior, Emma and Snow in the centre with Aurora picking up the rear. "Okay so what is the plan?" asked Emma.
"The wardrobe." Replied Snow eyes darting around making sure no one were listening to their conversation. They quickened their steps to catch up with Mulan and Aurora who had steadily gotten ahead of the mother and daughter.
Meanwhile back in Storybrooke Regina and her fiancé's twin brothers where currently down in Regina's vault pouring through her various magical grimoires she kept down there safely away from little fingers that had taken to pulling everything and anything out of their hiding places.
While Regina and Michael were reading intensely, James slammed the book he was currently closed in frustration. "This is useless! None of these books make any damn sense!" shouted James.
Startled by the sudden outburst Regina amusingly replied. "What did the book ever do to you Mr Nolan" Michael sniggered at the sarcastic tone of his future sister in law and the annoyed expression on his twin's face.
"Nothing really, I am just worried about Emma and mum. Do you think they are ok in the Enchanted Forest?" returned James his anxiety clear in his voice. Before Regina could respond Rumple suddenly appeared in front of the three of them in a cloud of red tinged smoke.
"It isn't them you should be worried about, who you should be worried about is Cora." Said Rumple in his most dramatic fashion.
Regina who was not amused by the dark one's presence in her vault nor his worrisome statement about her mother. Because if what he said was true then the shared dream she had with Emma about her mother attacking Emma here in her vault had a decent chance of coming true. Considering the dream about Henry's birth came true. "What?!" exclaimed Regina.
"We both know she survived your curse. Or you wouldn't be having those shared dreams with Emma…As for how I know about your shared dreams? Well dearie, I do have my own sources around town that you have no idea about. Besides that, I have something that can help you control the dreams so that you can give Miss Swan a message." Explained a disgruntled Rumple.
'I do not like having to work with these so-called heroes, but better this lot then having to deal with Cora coming to Storybrooke. I do not need some of my numerous secrets getting out if she comes. Let alone the possibility that she might want to take control of my power so that Regina isn't attached to the saviour. I need Regina to stay with Emma, because their children will be more powerful than the ex-evil queen and saviour when they combine their magic. I will use that power to cleave myself from this damnable dagger.' Plotted Rumple.
"So, what is your price gold?" questioned James looking like he has just been told he was going to get a big bag of chocolate that he didn't have to share with his siblings.
"My price is that either Emma, Ava or one of you two will go with me to New York to find my son." Answered Rumple, with a hint of desperation in his voice before he quickly composed himself before he hoped any of them noticed his moment of weakness.
"You have a deal Gold," said James before either his twin or Regina could respond with their own answer. "However, I have my own conditions to the price. I do this dark one, then you will promise to make sure Regina, Emma and my nephew as well as any future children of theirs comes to no harm whenever a villain comes to town." Continued James as he ignored Rumple's stony facial expressions as he listed his demands on him.
"Fine, what is your other condition Mr Nolan?" replied Rumple with an angry hiss to his voice.
"You will owe us a favour to be used later, that comes without you finding a loop hole or it lands us in dire circumstances no matter how ridiculous the favour." Replied James, a smug smile crept across his face as he not only saw the implications of his conditions but felt it when Rumple comprehended it all.
It was clear to see that Rumple didn't like any of it in the slightest but was resigned to the fact he couldn't find a way out of it. "You have a deal." Replied Gold, as he walked over to where Regina was sitting. He conjured a silver box chain necklace with a heart shaped pendant that held two different crystals. Gold placed the necklace onto the desk in front of Regina.
She picked it up from the desk holding the pendent in her hand. It felt warm to the touch. The kind of warmth she felt whenever she kissed Emma. Regina could feel the essence of her own magic and that of Emma's swirling around in the two crystals. She felt the magic's urgent need to merge. It comforted her, bringing a smile to her face.
"That necklace will allow you to control any dream in which you share with Emma Swan. No matter how far away, or other realm she might be in. because the connection the two of you share transcends all magical boundaries. Be sure to wear that to bed." Explained Gold, after his speech concluded he teleported himself out of the vault in his signature red smoke.
Back in the Enchanted Forest….
Emma, Snow and Mulan had come across one of the villages that reside near by the castle that Snow and Charming once ruled from before the curse was cast. They stopped abruptly when they noticed that the village was littered with the debris of some of the huts and yurts that once gave shelter to the late occupants. Upon further inspection a scruffy looking man could be seen underneath some of the debris.
"Help me please I am trapped…" groaned the man. Snow, Mulan and Aurora removed the debris from the trapped man. "thankyou…" said Hook. As he pushed himself up with his only remaining hand. He looked around and noticed the blonde woman that Cora had described to him. 'the blonde is beautiful that is for sure. Wonder if I will have enough time to get her on her back and take her? I don't care if she is willing or not. They always let me do what I want eventually.' Thought Hook as he stared at Emma.
"So, what happened here?" questioned Mulan, as she held the point of her sword at Hook's throat.
"this evil witch, she came along started ripping people's hearts out then she controlled them into destroying each other. It was chaos the only thing I could do to avoid it all was to hide. But all the fighting led to my hiding place to collapse all around me and then on top of me. I was caught there for quite a while before you lovely ladies came along. The name is Killian Jones, but I would say you know me by my more colourful moniker Caption Hook." Explained Hook as he gave Emma his smarmiest smile and a wink.
'ugh can this guy be for real? Hmm, well if hook is real does that mean Tinkerbelle and peter pan are real as well? I am getting of track here. God is he such a slime ball. I don't trust a single word that comes out of his mouth. His entire story just pinged my internal lie detector. We should just tie him to a tree and leave him to get eaten by an ogre.' Thought Emma as she listened to hook's tale.
"You are a liar, not a single word you just said is the truth. Mulan tie him to that tree over there let's leave him for the ogres you mentioned roamed the area." Stated Emma. Mulan did as Emma said without any disagreement on her part. They then began to walk off and just as they were about to be out of earshot hook shouted.
"Alright I admit I lied! Look I can give you the same deal I made with Cora…" shouted hook as he struggled with the bindings.
"What deal was that?" questioned Snow, as she held her bow and arrow pointed at his head.
"I was given these enchanted cuffs to allow me and one other to climb the beanstalk, to grab the compass. Cora wanted it, as she said it would help her get to the land without magic. Explained Hook, giving Emma what he thought of as his most charming smile.
"Fine, we will help with getting the compass. If you even think of betraying us we will leave you to be killed by either an ogre or any giant that lives above the beanstalk." Agreed a frustrated Emma. Once the deal was struck Mulan reluctantly untied Hook.
The five of them then continued walking over to the large beanstalk. Hook took out the enchanted cuffs from his satchel giving one to Emma. Figuring she would be the one to volunteer for the job. Snow, Mulan and Aurora set up their camp close by to the bean stalk. Mulan then drew a makeshift sundial in the dirt. To keep track of the time that Emma and Hook took to complete the mission. If Emma wasn't at least back down within two hours she was to cut down the beanstalk, then continue to get Snow White to her old castle to figure out the way back to her realm.
"I can read you like an open book." Said Hook as he climbed up the beanstalk.
"I doubt that, or you would have picked up the hint that I am not interested in you." Retorted Emma, not bothering to look at him. Instead she just focused on where she placed her hands as she climbed the stalk.
"now, is that any way to talk to someone only interested in talking?" countered Hook, as he checked out Emma's body while he climbed beside her. Matching her pace.
"I seriously doubt you are only interested in talking. You are a pirate after all." Replied an increasingly frustrated Emma. She was sorely tempted to conjure up one of her fiancé's signature fireballs and throwing it at him., 'Fireballs are not practical right now. But maybe a water-ball is?' thought Emma.
"Come on love, how can you resist my roguish charm? Or this handsome face?" insisted Hook. Just as they had finally reached the top of the bean stalk. Instead of replying to his obvious flirtations Emma simply conjured one of Regina's signature fireballs and launched at his crotch. He gave the most girly scream Emma had ever heard. Emma followed the fireball with a water-ball. Drenching him all over.
"What was that for?" asked Hook, as he straightened out hius outfit and checked that everything was still alright.
"you didn't get the hint that I am not interested in you in any way at all. Next time I won't be so nice as to throw a water-ball after a fire ball. I am a taken woman. So back the fuck off!" exclaimed Emma.
"fine then, let's just get this over with." Uttered hook as he led the way into the giant's castle. As they entered the large first room they noticed that the Giant had been waiting for them, but the Giant wasn't prepared for the abruptness of Emma's magic. As Emma had instinctually cast a sleeping spell on him, he fell onto the ground face first. Emma and Hook then walked around the now sleeping giant.
They crept through the castle as they searched for the famed treasure room. They soon found what they were looking for. With the compass in hand Emma used her magic to cause hook to be tied up against one of the pillars in the treasure room with no wiggle room and his hook placed further then he could reach. And out of reach of anything he could use to untie himself. Emma continued out into the main chamber, being careful of where she was walking just in case the giant had set up boobie traps.
She had almost gotten half way across the main chamber when she almost tripped a trip wire. She pulled her foot back to the rest of her body. She then stepped closer to the trip wire and as soon as she was about to step over it safely the Giant came running in. his thunderous steps shaking the ground causing Emma to fall backwards onto the trip wire.
She could hear the chains that are linked to the cage rattle as it came down from the ceiling. Just before the cage landed Emma teleported in a swirl of blue smoke in time. The large cage instead fell around the giant. Emma held her sword out towards his face. "is there any more of you?" asked Emma.
"No, I am the only one left. One of you humans killed my entire family." Cried the Giant.
"Well I am not one of those humans. I will just leave with the compass you will be able to free yourself wont you?" answered Emma.
"yes, I will be fine. What about the other human you came here with?" replied the Giant.
"Honestly? I couldn't care less what you do with him, but whatever you do please allow me to get a good head start as he is working with someone who can hurt not only me but my family waiting for me back home where I belong. Take care of yourself okay, I am sorry about what happened to your family." Explained Emma, before walking out of the castle and down the beanstalk compass kept safe in her jacket pocket.
Once she reached the bottom she interrupted what was clearly an intense argument between Snow and Mulan, Aurora was looking stressed just to the side of the arguing pair. It was clear to Emma that Aurora had tried to intervene but was unsuccessful. "I don't care if my daughter told you to cut down the bean stalk! I will not leave here without her. If I hear you suggest that I do one more time I will let one of my arrows hit you square between the eyes!" shouted an aggravated Snow.
"Woah calm down you guys. Mum I asked Mulan to cut the beanstalk if I was longer then two hours. There is no need for all the hostility." Stated Emma standing in between the two warrior women.
"you told her to cut the bean stalk down? Emma! We go home together alright? Come on let's make camp for a bit we all need some rest. We can continue on to the castle after some sleep." Replied Snow as she directed Emma over to where they had set up their camp site.
They ate some of the food they had packed with them before setting up for a guard shift schedule. Snow choosing to take the first guard shift with Aurora. While Emma and Mulan slept.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina was getting Henry ready for bed. He had tired himself out with using his magic while his Auntie Ava was babysitting him. "Mummy where is Ma?" asked Henry in a sleepy voice.
"Your Ma is with Grandma on an adventure. But don't worry they will be home soon I promise you my little prince." Replied Regina as she gave him a kiss on his forehead after tucking him into his little bed. She then walked out of the room turning on his night light as she left the room.
Regina then continued to the master bedroom to begin her own nightly routine. Her mansion felt like less of a home without Emma. And even doing her nightly routine left her feeling a vast emptiness. The shared dreams that she often had with Emma couldn't come any faster. After her shower and application of her night creams Regina put on the amulet necklace. Before snuggling under the covers and thinking of Emma.
'Regina found herself sitting out in their large family room on her's and Emma's favourite lounge suit. With Emma lying on her side with her back curled up into her front, they were watching a movie while their son henry was playing on the floor in front of them with his toys their newborn second son amusing himself with the small animals that were hung above his play mat. She could hear him gurgling away, with faint pops and sizzles as the animation spell Emma had cast on the mobile scene was activated.
"mmm, it feels so good to be in your arms again Regina. So much more comfortable then the Enchanted Forest floor where I am actually resting in the waking world." Mumbled a content Emma.
"where about in the Enchanted Forest are you? Have you met my mother yet? Are you alright? Is Snow ok?" grilled a frantic Regina, squeezing Emma in her panic.
"snow and I are ok, well as ok you can be with Giants, ogres, smelly pirates and your mother after us. We are about maybe some two days walk from the castle that my parents had when you cast the curse. We have an enchanted compass, and we intend to take the wardrobe my dad shoved me through to get home.
Oh, and captain hook is working for your mother. He tried to flirt with me, so I set fire to his crotch through his leather pants. The girlish scream he made would have had you in fits of laughter. Don't worry I didn't kill him even though I was sorely tempted. I threw a water-ball at him afterwards to shut his screams off. We were at the top of a beanstalk where an actual giant lived! I used my magic to knock the Giant out at first.
Snow threatened to shoot Mulan between the eyes with her bow and arrow for a second before I broke up their argument. How is Henry? Are my siblings helping you with figuring out how to get us home?" rambled Emma as she sat upright on the lounge, so she could be face to face with Regina.
"Henry is doing well considering he got quite upset at first when he noticed you didn't come home with us. He is missing you a lot and his magic is growing stronger every day. I might have an idea about how to get that enchanted wardrobe of yours to work but it will require you to burn it down. Then collect the ashes into a potion vial or a glass jar with a cork stopper. Then you need to travel to lake nostos. It is linked to the well here in Storybrooke.
Use your water magic to find the water that is buried beneath the sandy floor. Where you able to find any magic beans while you were in the giant's castle by any chance?" elucidated Regina.
"I did yes, while I was searching through the treasure room. I pocketed a handful of them. So, the Giants didn't destroy all of them when they had to fight of the humans that raided their castle. I don't think hook saw me take them though. hey how are we able to control the dream like this? We have never been able to do that before." Exclaimed a now excited Emma.
"excellent throw the bean in with the ashes from the wardrobe into the water then jump in while holding the compass think of coming home and you will be able to climb up through the well. I should be able to feel you come through the portal, so I will be able to greet you when you get back. I will bring your brothers with me just in case Blue tries anything. Rumple gave me this necklace with this amulet attached it is what allowing us to control this dream." Clarified Regina, she then pulled Emma onto her lap holding her close to her body.
Just as Regina lent in to kiss Emma's lips, Emma began to fade.' Causing them both to sit bolt upright from where they were sleeping in their respective realms. "Damn it! We were just about to get to the good stuff in the dream." Whispered Regina to herself. She pulled the covers of her body and walked over to Emma's tallboy chest of drawers.
Regina then pulled out one of Emma's woolly jumpers and threw it over her head breathing in her scent as it was pulled over her face. She then crawled back into bed to get a few more hours sleep before Henry wakes up. A few hours later Regina was woken up by Henry who had crept into her bedroom and managed to climb up onto her bed. Then curled his little body into Regina's open arms. "morning my little prince." Said Regina in a sleepy voice.
Regina felt a slight magical drain linger from controlling the shared dream she only woke up from a couple hours beforehand. She figured that it must be due to the magic that is infused in the amulet. She then took Henry into her arms and they walked down stairs, so they could have some breakfast. After eating Regina got Henry settled in for a bath before he was to go to his pre-school for the day.
As Regina needed to go and check on the blue fairy. Make sure she didn't try and prevent Emma from coming back home through a portal in the well. She was going to need to have the charming twins help and the youngest member of the Charming household to provide a distraction for the fairies. As payback for what blue did to Ava. Regina might be on the path to redemption, but she wasn't a saint. While Henry played with his bath toys Regina texted Michael who was Regina's favourite of the twins not that she would ever tell them that.
To Michael from Regina: you up for a little revenge on the blue gnat?
To Regina from Michael: hell, yeah, we would be up for that! What do you need us to do?
To Michael from Regina: you and I are going to sneak around the convent while your brother and Ava distract the fairies. Then as soon as we find out what Blue's next plan against us we will then organise so that blue's life will be miserable. 😈
To Regina from Michael: when do you want us there?
To Michael from Regina: meet me at the convent in an hour.
To Regina from Michael: see you then 💪
Regina couldn't help the soft laughter after reading her last text. She then made sure that Henry was clean. Pulled the plug to drain the water and got him dry and dressed. She then used her magic to get herself ready not in the mood to go through her usual morning routine without her favourite blonde sheriff around to give it a more warm and loving vibe.
She had forgotten just how lonely it was around her house without Emma to make it a home. With her loud bubbly personality and quirky ability to ramble when nervous. But having Henry home with her helps her remain centred. There is also a deep need to take revenge on the blue fairy for daring to even contemplate hurting her family. If one thing the citizens of Storybrooke can say about Regina is that she loves her family fiercely and will do anything in her power to make them happy, however goddess help anyone who dared to take her family and loved ones away from her.
Regina then took Henry out to strap him into his car seat set up in Regina's black Mercedes four door luxury sedan family car. The older sportier version died on her a month before, so Regina upgraded it to a newer model. She did smile fondly at Emma's yellow modern Volkswagen beetle. Remembering perfectly Emma's reaction to getting the bug as a gift.
Regina then took a quiet Henry with his magic suppressing band on, Into the pre-school. When he saw his little friends, he perked up a bit he kissed Regina on the cheek. Before running as fast as his little legs could carry him to go play. Regina gave one last lingering look before she left the pre-school to go meet up with Michael, James and Ava.
She pulls up behind James's Ute, and gets out of the car; then walks over to the crouched trio. "What have you noticed so far?" queried Regina as she too crouched down beside them.
"so far only Blue has come outside, she mostly has been weeding the flower garden muttering to herself. I don't think she is all there in the head you know?" explained James using his hands to indicate his full meaning to his observation.
"what about you Ava what have you managed to get from the animals around town?" enquired Regina.
"not much, Pongo has seen that the dwarf's have started to mine for fairy dust down in the mine. A few of the cats has seen Mr Gold working on some potion. Oh! And Graham's wolf saw Red and Belle go for a run in the woods last night and um, you know did some…uh…well ok red and belle were having sex in their wolf forms. The images that graham's wolf shared with me were very embarrassing to watch." Reported Ava blushing bright red as she recalled exactly what she saw in the wolf's mind.
"Gold working on a potion might not be anything as I know he is looking for a way to cross the town line without loosing his memories. Not much we can do about the dwarves really. They don't have much choice when it comes to mining for fairy dust.
Good for Miss Lucas and Miss French they needed to reconnect. It is good that Belle was able to transform successfully. Fingers crossed they conceived their first child would be good if Emma and I's second born could have a playmate other then Henry." Whispered Regina.
The four of them then took off to do their planned tasks, being careful not to get caught.
Emma was shaken awake by Snow, "Wake up Emma, we got to go." Shouted Snow, while trying to get Emma out of what looked like a very deep sleep. Mulan and Aurora were already up and packing up the campsite.
"five more minutes Regina…" mumbled Emma in a sleepy voice.
"Emma! There is no time for this, we need to get to the castle before Cora and Hook catch onto our plan." Uttered a worried Snow, pulling the furs from Emma and pulling her to her feet.
"What?! Oh yeah sure let's go Regina told me how we get home." Stated Emma flicking her wrist so that her's and snow's stuff where packed, they then caught up to where Mulan and Aurora were waiting for the mother and daughter duo. A few long hours later they arrived at what is left of Snow and Charming's castle.
"Ready to see where you come from Emma?" asked Snow as she gestured towards the decaying castle. They walked up the long narrow walkway that often required you to wait for low tide before they reached the main entrance to the castle. As they pulled open the doors the hinges groaned and squeaked from lack of use and rust.
All four women looked around at what was left after the dark curse had destroyed most of the castle. "You know I could probably fix the damage if I knew what the castle looked like before the curse destroyed it…" stated Emma as she followed Snow's lead with her being the one who knew the way around the castle.
"that would be great Emma, but I think we should wait and see if we ever manage to get back here someday. Let's just focus on getting home to our family…" replied Snow as she led them into what would have been Emma's nursery. "See this would have been your room Emma, ah here we are the Enchanted Wardrobe that Geppetto made for us. So, what now?" continued Snow, as she gestured around the room.
Emma didn't respond instead she focused on her magic. She needed to conjure a glass vial with a cork stopper. With a little effort Emma conjured the vial she was thinking of. She put it into one of her jacket's inside pockets. Emma then produced a fireball in both hands, then raised both hands to aim at the wardrobe. Emma noticed that Aurora might try and stop her from burning it down, but Mulan stopped her.
Emma finally threw the fireballs onto the wardrobe, watching it go up in flames then crumble to ash. That if you looked closely had some pink and purple lingering magical sparks coming out of it. Emma then took out the vial, uncorked it and filled the vial with as much of the ash she could. Placed the cork back in and put the now full vial into her jacket pocket once more placing a protection spell over it so that no one but her could remove it.
"why did you burn the wardrobe for?" shouted Aurora, struggling to be released from Mulan's hold.
"I burnt it because that was the only way to release the dormant magic that still lingered after I was sent through it. Why do you want to know?" explained Emma looking at Aurora with a hint of suspicion. Snow also noticed that something wasn't quite right with the Princess and drew out her own sword. Then pointed it in Aurora's direction.
"wait Emma, whatever you do don't tell her anymore of the plan to get us home. That isn't Aurora it is Cora!" exclaimed Snow as she took a defensive stance in front of her eldest daughter. There was no way Snow was going to let Emma get hurt by Cora. Even if that meant she herself died right here, right now.
With a poof of dark purple smoke Aurora turned into Cora. "Well done Snow! And thank you very much Emma you just made my job easier." Cora then scoops up some of the remaining ashes into her own vial and teleported out of the castle to find where that pirate had stored the real Aurora.
"Sorry Mulan that your friend has been taken hostage. We can try and find out where she was taken if you like?" probed Emma as she went over to a shocked Mulan. Emma wrapped her up into an embrace to try and give some semblance of comfort.
"No, it is ok, I will go myself to find her; she is my responsibility not yours. You and Snow have your families to get home to. I suggest you do so before Cora does. I don't think she has anything good planned for them. I will go find Aurora and meet you both at lake nostos." Cried a sullen warrior.
Emma teleported the three of them to outside the castle boarders so that they didn't have to deal with the raging tide outside. "Good luck Mulan watch out for Hook he is a slimy bastard." Said Emma as her and Snow took off for lake nostos, it was time to go home.
Cora reappeared in the cave that used to hold Rumple's old cell. She found Hook there on the outside of the cell making rude sexual gestures and taunting the defiant Princess. "figures I would find you here Hook, feeling nostalgic, are we?" spoke Cora in her most sultry sounding voice.
"I have a surprise for you love." Disclosed hook, as he held out a small leather bag with a drawstring holding it closed. Cora took it from him and opened the bag. Inside she saw a pulsing red heart she took it out the bag and held the heart in her hands, she squeezed it lightly. She was pleased when she saw Aurora clutch her chest in agony.
"Yes, this will do nicely." Cora put the heart back into the leather pouch, then teleported Aurora where the love-sick fool of a warrior was searching for the princess. "Now Hook dear, we will need to find a suitable punishment for you not getting the compass from that foolish daughter of Snow White…" Schemed Cora outload as she gestured with her hand a choking motion while Hook squeezed his own neck as Cora used her magic on him.
He struggled to breathe for at least four minutes before Cora released him from her choke hold. He heaved in deep gulps of air as he regained his composure.
Soon after the two of them made their way to lake nostos, they weren't the first to arrive. Emma and Snow had already beat them to the lakeside and Emma was in the process of throwing her last water-ball into the dried-up lakebed.
Just as the four water-balls lands onto the lakebed the lake transforms itself into its former glory. Emma was about to toss the vial with the enchanted wardrobe ash when she heard the tell-tale sounds of swords clashing as Snow and Hook clashed swords. Emma then turned around just in time to block one of Cora's own fireballs with the shield protection spell that Regina taught her.
"Is that all you got old woman? Your daughter can fight better then you!" taunted Emma as she countered the many fireballs Cora flung at her. The angrier that Cora got, the less focused she became on the fight going on around her, so she didn't notice that Mulan and Aurora had made it onto the scene. The heartless princess stayed out of the fight because let's face it her heart just wasn't in the fight.
Mulan though moved to help Snow take out the pirate which distracted him long enough for Snow to punch him in the jaw knocking him out. They then went to help Emma fight against Cora, but it didn't look like there was much Snow could do. From what she could tell she would only get in the way.
Mulan though had a sword that can deflect magic, so she took a stand beside Emma which allowed the blond-haired saviour to focus more on offensive spells. Causing Cora to go on the defensive. Being on the defensive was starting to tire the older witch, so instead she turned to where Snow was beginning to creep behind her to try and get over to Emma's side. "Enough of this nonsense. It appears I have underestimated you. I won't be doing that again. Instead you will give me that compass and I will go to your beloved Storybrooke." Revealed Cora as she thrust her hand into Snow's chest.
She took a firm grip onto the bandit princess's heart and gave it a squeeze to emphasise just how serious she was with her demand. "No leave her alone!" shouted Emma just before she teleported herself in front of snow that instead of Cora's hand being inside Snow's chest it was now inside Emma's.
"Oh, you silly girl. Don't you know that love is weakness?" said Cora as she attempted to pull Emma's heart out of her chest without success.
"No, it is strength!" declared Emma, which resulted in a bright white light to spread out from Emma's heart blasting Cora away from all of them.
"What was that?" questioned a confused Mulan.
"That was my light magic protecting my heart from being ripped out of my chest without my consent." Answered Emma.
"Mulan you might want to put this back into Aurora's chest. It looks like Cora had gotten Aurora's heart somehow…" said Snow as she gave the small pouch containing the heart to the warrior. "Come on Emma let's go home."
Emma gave her a smile then tossed both the vial full of wardrobe ash and the magic bean. Before taking Snow's hand into hers before jumping into the portal.
Meanwhile back in Storybrooke Regina, James and Michael were combining their magic to remove the death curse that was placed over the well. While Red, Belle and Ava where holding back Blue. Ava while distracting the fairies was the one that figured out blue's plan to stop Emma from being able to come back from the Enchanted Forest.
She had overheard two of the fairies complaining about what Blue had made them do. So, Ava then crept behind Blue and confronted her. "Why in the hell would you put a death curse into the town well?!" shouted Ava, she was loud enough to get Regina and her brother's attention who came running out of the convent.
When Regina heard what Ava shouted her first thought was to rip out the blue gnat's heart. But James beat her too it. This of course shocked them all including James as he didn't think he was capable of doing such an act. It was Regina who recovered from the shock first, she then took the darkened heart from his hands. She then held it in front of her lips "You will tell us how to get rid of your death curse!"
"it is made from fairy dust it won't be an easy task. The only way to remove it is to let it consume you." Answered Blue in a strained voice as she struggled in vain to resist the compulsion to do as she was told. Michael then conjured one of the empty heart boxes from Regina's vault into his hand. He opened it and Regina placed the heart into it. Michael then closed the lid and sealed with his own magic. Then gave it to Regina who teleported it to one of the shelves in the heart section of her vault.
"take my hand all of you so I can take us to the well fast. I am getting the feeling that Emma is on her way home through a portal in the well." Stated Regina. Michael, James, Ava and a reluctant Blue held hands with Regina who then teleported all of them to just beside the well. They could see and feel the ominous magic coming from the curse over the well. Regina let go of all their hands and focused on the well, holding her hands out in front of her concentrated on siphoning the dark magic into herself.
"We won't let you take on that curse by yourself. What do we do to help?" uttered James. As he and Michael held out their hands like Regina did.
"concentrate on pulling the magic you can feel from the curse into yourself." Muttered Regina her voice strained from the dark magic coursing through her veins. Soon three large tendrils of dark oozing green magic could be seen creeping up and all over the three of them.
Ava watched in deep concern, for she knew she didn't have the magical strength to do what her brothers and future sister in law could do. She didn't realise that Blue had started to back away from the scene but thankfully Red and Belle had sensed all the magic and came to help in any way they could. They saw Blue trying to slip away and red tackled her to the ground. Belle helped her up and took a hold of Blue's left side while Ava then joined in and took Blue's right.
The last of the dark magic was pulled out causing Regina, James and Michael to get flung away from the well. Regina got blasted into a nearby tree. Groaning Regina righted herself just in time to see Emma climb out the well followed by Snow.