A/N: I published this story on my old account but deleted it. However, I found a copy of it and decided to repost it. There are a few small edits, but nothing significant has been changed.

Disclaimer: I don't own Ella Enchanted.

A Fairy Godmother's Love

Throughout the many years of my life, I had served as the fairy godmother to dozens of children, but it was rare to see a child cry so hard in my arms. Though, Ella wasn't a child anymore. She had grown into a Lady, just as all my godchildren had. A Lady who had received a proposal from a prince, and broke his heart and her own just to keep him safe.

"It'll be alright, Lady. It'll all turn out fine in the end," I whispered into her hair, wanting to comfort her. It was my duty to protect my godchild any time she needed it, after all.

"How do you know? Fairies can't read the future, you said so yourself," Ella cried.

She could be so prickly sometimes. "Perhaps it won't turn out fine, I don't know for certain." I moved my hands to pat Ella's shoulder. I remembered back when her shoulders were tiny, when everything about her was tiny, back when she was just a babe. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, when she cried because she was hungry or tired. Not because of a broken heart.

"I suppose I should try to control myself. It is unbecoming of young ladies to cry and wail endlessly, Manner's Mistress would say," Ella said after several minutes of tears. She took a deep breath, recollecting herself.

I dried the last of her tears from her face. "Now Lady, your stepmother is having guests over for dinner tonight," I told her, standing up.

"So?" Ella snapped. I narrowed my eyes at her. "Sorry. It's just that- it's just that my heart is broken, Mandy."

"Even when your heart is broken, there's still work you must do." I knew that all too well.

"Have you ever had your heart broken?"

"As a matter of fact, I have. It wasn't something that kept me from doing my job," I said. What kind of question was that, asking me if I had ever had my heart broken? Of course I had, it was a part of life.

"Alright, alright," she said, standing up. "You still cooked right after my mother died, so I guess I shouldn't mope over a lost love."

I was no stranger to lost loves, I thought. But my heart still stung when the thought of the death of any of my many godchildren, and it was good of her to think of that. "Good lass," I murmured, and we made our way from my chamber to the kitchens.

Lady sulked for most of that day. But the next day, she seemed to have somewhat cheered up. Probably just putting on a mask to hide her pain, I thought. At noon, I asked her to the market; I needed a chicken to roast for dinner. She nodded and I handed her a few KJs to pay for the meat.

"Is this enough to buy more passiflora?" she asked darkly.

It would serve the mistress right, I thought. But all I said was, "I think once was enough. Don't buy passiflora, Lady." She nodded, looking disappointed, and left the kitchen. I know she hated my orders, but there was some mad part of me that thought that if I frustrated her enough, she would find the willpower to break the curse. Wishful thinking, I know.

I poured the potato soup I had made into three bowls. One for Hattie, one for Olive, and one for the Dame. As I put a sprig of parsley on each of their bowls, Nancy entered the kitchen. I smiled, having grown fond of the spunky maid. "Good afternoon, dear lass," I said.

"Hello, Mandy. Got any letters you need delivered?"

"I don't believe so."

"Nothing to send your admirer?" Nancy teased. Lady and I had told her about Ella's correspondence with the prince. She knew the truth behind the lie we had told the mistresses. It was one of her favorite things to joke about.

"No, he'll have to go without hearing word from me for today," I said, smiling. "I sent the letters to the post yesterday. I don't think it will be necessary to send another bunch so soon after."

"Oh, I know, but I found a letter in Ella's room, one addressed to the prince. Those two have gotten awfully close, haven't they? Wouldn't want to delay the correspondence of two young lovers, would we? I daresay he'll propose any day now, and then Ella will laugh at Dame Olga from her throne."

"Don't say that!" I snapped. Nancy looked taken aback. Perhaps it was wrong at me to snap at her when she didn't know the weight behind her words. But I brushed that thought from my mind; I had other matters to consider. Why would Lady write another letter to the prince, after she had sworn to herself she wouldn't? "May I see it?"

"Spying on your scullery maid, I see," Nancy said as she handed me the letter.

"Not spying, just investigating." I tore open the envelope and read what was written inside.

Dearest Char, darling Char, beloved Char,

If by some trick of fate this letter falls into your hands, you will most likely not even open it. For in no more than a week, you will hate me till the end of the world. I'll not be the girl you loved, but the girl who only thought of you as a ploy to gain wealth. But that is not true.

I can't marry you because I would put you in great danger. The fairy Lucinda cursed me with obedience at birth. She was the one who cursed my father and stepmother with eternal love. If I was your wife, an enemy of the kingdom could use me as a tool to bring about the downfall of Kyrria. To save you, I penned a letter in Hattie's hand. It will trick you into thinking I only care about your wealth. I suspect it will break your heart, and for that I apologize from the bottom of my soul.

Now that I have explained myself to you, I am now free to explain how much I love you, Char. You are kind, gentle, and generous. I admire the way you dedicate every inch of yourself to the service of others. Laughing and joking around with you is as natural as breathing. You are not perfect, but I found the good in you, and the bad I don't overlook. I love everything about you, from the freckles on your nose to your compassionate heart.

I am also free to tell you the truth about my life. Mum Olga (the name she ordered me to call her) and my stepsisters have exploited my curse and made me their servant. It is not so bad to be a servant, many people are. I simply resent the fact that they are using me because of Lucinda's curse.

You should also know that Mandy, my beloved cook, is a fairy. My fairy godmother, in fact. However, she holds a grudge against something called big magic. She only does simple, household spells. Mandy is what makes life at Mum Olga's manor bearable. She makes it clear to my stepfamily that if they were to seriously mistreat me, they'd have her wrath as punishment. So in terms of physical abuse, the most I receive is a slap in the face if I get too snarky.

Char, I may break the curse someday, but till then we cannot be together. Forget the ogre tamer who made you laugh. What a king you'll be someday, but you'll rule better without a cursed queen. Let your heart be free from me, and the kingdom will be free from me.

I wish I could do as I have asked you to do. I'm incapable of moving on; my heart will be yours for forever and beyond. I love you Char, simple as that. But as of now, I am too cursed to marry.



"Are you crying, Mandy?" Nancy asked, sounding concerned.

"Oh no." I wiped the tears from my eyes. "But I don't think Ella meant for this letter to be sent."

"Seems like a waste of ink and paper, then."

"I don't mind providing ink and paper for her," I said. "Put this letter back in her chamber, just the spot where you found it, please." Nancy nodded, a perplexed expression on her face. But despite her confusion, she obliged.

Now that I was alone, I could let tears fall freely down my face. The stubborn, mischievous, wonderful girl I had known since the day she was born had grown into a brave and compassionate woman. Lady had fallen so deeply in love she would sacrifice her happiness. And she handled the situation of her curse with such strength and humor. But that didn't mean she was unbreakable. As her stepfamily misused her, I did nothing to help. Sure, as she said, I stopped her stepfamily from physically abusing her, but what good was that? Not enough, certainly. It was my job to protect her, and I couldn't save her from the curse or a broken heart. Although I knew big magic would make any situation worse, that didn't stop my desire to lift the gift of obedience and set Lady free.

My sadness and shame turned to anger as I thought of Lucinda. The thoughtless fairy who ruined the life of my girl, as well as countless others. If Lucinda had the sense not to give her the "gift", Lady would be queen, no doubt. But no, all she could think of was herself and being showered with thanks as she took away someone's free will. I clenched my fist as I thought of the fairy's magically altered face and obnoxious sing-song voice. Thank goodness she was foolish enough to be tricked into turning herself into a squirrel. If she hadn't, I may have succumbed to temptation and done it myself. Take an eye for an eye; fight big magic with more big magic. My sense told me it was wrong to indulge myself even in thinking about doing big magic, but in my wave of emotions I couldn't help myself. In my head, I knew that my grudge, as Lady put it, came from a place of logic and reason. But my heart yearned to right the wrongs done to those I loved.

Nancy reentered the kitchen, interrupting my musings. "I put the letter right by her bed, where I found it. Is the soup ready to be brought to the mistresses?"

"Yes," I said. As Nancy took the tray and walked out the kitchen, I prayed that, one day, Ella would have the power to defy my order and buy passiflora.