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A Mother's Love

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Galinda Upland had enjoyed a very privileged life in Oz until the day she was forced to become roommates with one Ms. Elphaba Thropp. At first, the humiliation of having to bunk with a green-skinned girl drove Galinda to bully Elphaba constantly and deny them any chance at peace, but as time rolled on, both of the girls began to warm up to one another and, eventually, they became friends. Best friends. And then they became something even more than that…

This beautiful relationship carried on throughout the years, even after Elphaba fled their college in order to start up a rebellion against their country's corrupt leader: the "Wonderful" Wizard of Oz. The two were rendered unable to see each other during this time that Elphaba was working with an underground resistance against the Wizard, but there did finally come a day when the two were reunited once more. Sadly, the circumstances were anything but good.

All of Elphaba's "wicked" deeds had finally caught up to her and the Wizard had since sent out a squadron of people to assassinate her. It was then that Elphaba and Glinda were reunited, in the thick of all the chaos.

"They're coming for you! You have to go!" Glinda cried as she tried to warn her beloved Elphaba of the oncoming danger.

"There's no point," Elphaba replied resignedly. "I refuse to spend my life running any further."

"But if you stay here, you'll die!" Glinda tried again, frantic.

"I don't care," the green witch replied stoically.

"Well I do!" Glinda collapsed into her beloved's arms, still weeping bitterly. The green witch's icy countenance melted away into sadness and pity.

"Oh Glinda, my sweet, I know it's hard, but this is how it has to be," she said, wrapping a comforting arm back around Glinda's trembling body.

"But what am I supposed to do without you?" Glinda sniffled into Elphaba's shoulders.

"Change Oz for the better," Elphaba replied, hugging her even closer. "You can do all I couldn't do, so now please, go. Go and do what I couldn't! Go and change Oz for good…"

Only a minute later, Elphaba's executioners arrived to her castle in the west. After instructing Glinda to hide, Elphaba went out to meet them head-on and, in a matter of minutes, she had been destroyed. The Wicked Witch of the West was no more. The very last thing Glinda ever heard from her was a dying scream as she was literally melted away into oblivion, the culprit being a young human girl who had thrown a pail of nearby water over the witch, realizing too late what water would do to her green-skinned target. It was a chilling cry that would haunt Glinda for the rest of her very, very long existence…

"ELPHIE!" Glinda woke with a shriek, Elphaba's own dying wails echoing in the back of her mind as she shot up out of bed at once. But in a matter of seconds, Glinda had settled back down again, a miserable expression twisting across her beautiful features. A nightmare. That's all it had been. Another horrible, terrible nightmare… Would they ever end?

"It's been years and yet still she haunts me!" the young queen of Oz lamented, finally pulling herself out of bed because she knew she would find no more rest that night. With nothing else to do, she began to pace her chambers like a rat inside a maze, only this maze had no way out. It was just an endless back-and-forth across the floor as her guilty and mournful thoughts whirled around her mind like a tornado.

But after some time, Glinda's eyes settled upon the spell book that was hiding beneath her bed. It was an ugly, evil, old thing that had once belonged to Elphaba. She had given it to Glinda right before she died, imploring the young blond to use it in her quest to change Oz for the better. Glinda had taken the book, the Grimmerie, but had never ever used it, not even once. This was due to a mix of factors. For one, she could not read it. It was written in a language she had never seen before. For another, she knew of the Grimmerie's terrifying powers. Even if she had been able to read what was in the book, there was no telling if any of the spells would bring anything other than chaos and despair anyway. Elphaba's own experience with the Grimmerie hadn't exactly been that pleasant either. And for a third reason, she was worried that even if she did manage to master the spell book, it would mentally and emotionally warp her, and turn her into something that she was not. She was worried the power would go to her head, and the last thing she wanted was to follow in her predecessor's footsteps. For all of those reasons, Glinda refused to even touch the Grimmerie, let alone use it. That was why it had been hidden under her bed for all of these years. But tonight, she found herself feeling drawn towards it, like it was calling out to her very soul…

"Oh Elphie," Glinda sighed sadly, staring at the book again. "If only you were here. You'd know what to do. Oh, if only!" then suddenly, it hit her! Like a bolt of lightning, inspiration struck Glinda. Maybe that book had something in it that could resurrect Elphaba! Glinda knew she was dabbling in some very risky magic now, but the hope of seeing Elphaba again overrode all of Glinda's fears. She dropped to her knees at once and yanked the book out from its hiding spot under her bed. It was covered in a very thick layer of dust, but she didn't care at all. Instead, she shook it all off with one impatient flick of the wrist before swiftly skimming through the pages, hoping that it would somehow know what she wanted…

A few minutes later, Glinda had found something! It really had been like the book could read her mind! Of course, Glinda could still hardly read anything on the page, but she somehow knew that it was exactly what she had been looking for: a resurrection spell. This would bring Elphaba back to her! She was sure of it! All she had to do was read it aloud and Elphaba would return.

"I'll save her and everything will be ok again!" Glinda declared happily. "Besides," she added, still trying to justify what she was about to do. "It's not like I'm doing this for evil purposes or anything, I'm just trying to bring Elphaba back. Is that really so bad?"

Well, unfortunately, it seemed like the answer was yes in this case. Intention did not matter when it came to the dark, deadly, dangerous art of Necromancy. It was the most mysterious and frightening type of magic in all of Oz! Precious few knew anything about it at all, let alone how to properly perform it. Glinda was not among this number in the slightest. This was shaping up to be a recipe for disaster. Not only was she dabbling in the most dangerous and feared magical art of all time, but she was totally untrained in it as well! She had mastered in charms, not necromancy! For this ignorance and arrogance on her part, Glinda would pay a most terrible price…

About a month after first discovering the resurrection spell, Glinda finally felt ready enough to try it out for real. She had been practicing endlessly for these past 30 days and it looked like all of her efforts were finally about to pay off! She waited until midnight to begin the chant, but the second her chamber's clock began to strike 12, she quickly opened up the book, set it on her bed and began to chant…

For a while, the spell actually went fairly well. Nothing felt wrong to Glinda and she was saying everything correctly and a thin, misty outline of Elphaba's body did begin to take shape, but that was where it all ended. Glinda had been so absorbed in her chant that she failed to realize all the green light emitting from the book. It caught the eyes of many curious servants down below and when they, accompanied by several Ozian guards, came to realize what was causing it, they went into an absolute frenzy.

"Look! Queen Glinda is trying to summon the Wicked Witch of the West!" the servants cried.

"What?! No! I swear this isn't what it looks like!" Glinda begged, whipping around in a panic and raising her arms defensively as six guards stormed into her room. With a cry of dismay, Glinda waved a hand at them and sent them all flying back out of the room. It wasn't much, but Glinda didn't have time to think of anything better. Instead, she turned around to the Grimmerie once more, desperately trying to pick up where she had left off. But it was too late. Trying to restart a spell in the middle of its process never worked. Besides, Glinda was already so stressed out from being caught that even when she managed to pick up where she left off, the spell began to botch immediately. She mispronounced words and did the motions all wrong. For that, the spell went awry in an instant. Some of the green light struck Glinda directly and she screamed in pain as she felt something piercing up out of her very skull.

"Horns!" it was one of the guards who first realized what they were, and he was right. Curling up right out of the top of Glinda's head were two, big, black horns, razor-tipped and twisted. They pushed up past her golden curls until they were painfully visible for all to see.

"She's the devil!" a servant swooned while Glinda, herself, began to feel the horns in horror and dismay.

For a moment, there was only silence, because no one knew exactly what to do next. But that moment ended the instant a particularly daring servant girl made a mad dash for the Grimmerie, shooting into Glinda's room and snatching it right up from underneath her before flying back out of the room at top speed. That acted as a spark for a major reaction, Glinda also leaping to her feet and giving a cry of outrage before boldly shoving past all of the other guards and servants in her way to get the one who had so foolishly tried to steal her spell book.

"Bring that back at once!" she commanded, using her best queenly voice, but the little servant girl refused. Instead, she continued to run until she reached the palace's kitchens, quickly tearing out the page Glinda had read and hurling it into a small fire still going in the corner of the room.

"NOOO!" Glinda howled her dismay, but it was too late. By the time she reached that tiny little fire, the pages were nothing but ash and dust. Glinda's dismay quickly turned back into fury and she hopped right back up again, prepared to face the impudent servant girl once more, but she had already escaped into the darkness. Before Glinda could even attempt to find her again, though, the entire Ozian guard suddenly appeared. Glinda was forced to surrender her search for the servant girl and focus instead upon saving her own life that night.

In the end, Glinda managed to lose the guards long enough to recollect her spell book (minus a page) and escape into one of the many secret passages threaded throughout the Emerald City Palace. For about a week, she lived in these passages and tunnels, trying to find a way out of the castle completely while also dealing with the threats of recapture and starvation. It was a rough seven days for the poor Ozian queen. Ultimately, she was forced to undergo a drastic change in appearance.

First, Glinda ditched her beautiful blue bubble gown for a ratty old black cloak laced with purple lining. It blended in well with the dark. Next, Glinda shaved off all of her hair. It hurt her heart to watch those beautiful golden curls fall to the floor, but they were too bright. They had to go. In replacement, Glinda used more dark cloth to fashion herself a hood that would conceal her bald head. Then lastly, using the Grimmerie, she changed the appearance of her wand. It was about her size, a silver staff topped with a glittering diamond star. After the transformation spell, however, it became a long and gnarled tree branch. It was wooden and rugged and rough, but it would keep Glinda from being discovered.

Another appearance change Glinda underwent, though this one was about as planned as the horns had been, was an eye-color change. Her eyes were once a big, bright, beautiful sky blue. Now, though, they were a bright, sickly green. They weren't an Elphaba-green, they were a putrid Emerald-green. Oz was Glinda sick of emeralds! And to think, all of this had happened in only a week!

"All I wanted to do was to save my Elphie!" Glinda cried to herself sadly. "Was that really so wrong?" apparently so. But it was like Elphaba had said before, no good deed goes unpunished. This was something Glinda was starting to learn just as much as Elphaba ever had. If only she had been stronger. If only she had been smarter. If only she had been faster. Then maybe all of this could've been avoided. If only she knew what to do now. If only she knew what the right decision was and what the wrong one was. If only life were that simple! If only, if only, if only.

But despite her best efforts, Glinda's escape plan failed and she was ultimately caught again. She had just finished stealing a few leftovers from the royal kitchen when she wound up getting her horns stuck in the door.

"Gah! The horns! The horns!" she cursed softly, trying to wiggle herself to freedom. It was halfway during this embarrassing little slipup that one of the castle chefs noticed Glinda and he didn't waste a second sounding the alarm. Great. Not again!

After another mad chase around the castle halls, Glinda found herself trapped in the throne room where all of this nightmare had all begun decades ago, only this time, she was all alone in her predicament. No more Elphaba, no more Wizard, no more Morrible. Just her.

"Be careful! She's crazy!" one of the guards shouted to the other as they broke into the throne room after Glinda. He raised his gun and closed in on the horned queen. The others followed suit and Glinda was backed right up into her very own throne.

The irony in being held against her own throne at gunpoint went lost on Glinda, so busy was she in trying to find another way out of this nightmare. Her bright green eyes darted wildly around the throne room in search of something, anything, that might save her. At last, then, her eyes settled upon a picture of Oz's great and mighty Time Dragon. A burst of inspiration struck her and, immediately, she began to chant. This time, though, she wasn't using a resurrection spell, she was using a transformation one. But this spell was going to be changing a little bit more than just a wand. This time, Glinda was changing her own body, turning it from human to dragon!

As Glinda finished the chant, everything in the throne room suddenly became pitifully small. She had done it! Glinda had successfully turned herself into the Time Dragon! Or at least, a dragon, since the Time Dragon was not black and pink-purple the way she was… But hey! It wasn't bad for a first time! Besides, Glinda didn't exactly have time to muse over the accuracy (or lack thereof) of her transformation. Instead, as soon as she felt her leathery wings grow, she took to the sky immediately, crashing straight through the palace's ceiling to get to her freedom…

For a time, Glinda only had one thing on her mind: escape. Leaving the Emerald City behind her, she flew as far and fast as she could, not even caring where she wound up so long as it was very, very, very far away from the Emerald City Palace. But after a couple days of flight, Glinda realized that she would need to land eventually. She couldn't just fly forever, so she needed a safe place to go. The first thing she could think of was Kiamo Ko, Elphaba's old castle in the west.

"Oh, the bitter irony!" she growled, voice far lower and louder than it had ever been before. But with no place else to go, the dragon queen continued to fly west. Hopefully, the castle would be large enough to house a dragon of her size…

Chapter Text

At last, Glinda reached the castle in the west. She landed right in front of the drawbridge and, after some difficulty, was able to open the Grimmerie and find a reversal spell for her transformation. Suddenly, the world looked a whole lot larger again. Giving a sigh halfway between relief and halfway between despair, the human-again queen picked up the two belongings and approached the castle doors. They opened up easily and she trudged wearily up several flights of stairs before finding herself in what looked kind of like a living room.

Even though it was dark, cold and empty, Glinda couldn't help but feel like she was coming home after a long day at work and the tiniest of smiles flickered across her face in response. She threw the Grimmerie and her wand down with another sigh of relief before sinking down into a nearby sofa. She had barely sat down, though, when a voice called to her from another nearby doorway and she hopped up once more in surprise.

"Ms. Glinda?" the voice was hesitant, crackly, and childish but Glinda recognized it perfectly despite having only heard it once before.

"Chistery!" she exclaimed, jumping up from her sofa. Sure enough, Elphaba's flying monkey butler appeared from the next hallway over.

"What brings you here?" he asked, beady eyes watching her in confusion and concern. He gave a rather pointed stare at her horns in particular.

"Ozian hatred," Glinda deadpanned with a snort. Upon hearing this sarcasm within her voice, Chistery knew that Glinda was ok for the most part.

"Oh, I thought it was a new fashion trend," he said, feeling bold enough to joke back. Glinda wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry because his dry sense of humor was just the sort of thing Elphaba had had before him.

"Don't be dumb," she answered finally. "Black is so out of style right now!"

"Well, I wouldn't know. Elphaba never talked about clothing," Chistery replied. "And all she ever wore was black anyway!" he added with a hoot.

"That was because she was nothing less than a giant fashion disaster!" Glinda chuckled, a few tears finally leaking from her eyes. But even though she felt beyond exhausted, grief filling every pore in her body, she found herself smiling genuinely for the first time since Elphaba had died all those years ago. Maybe now at last, Glinda had finally found a place where she could be at peace…

Another week passed and Glinda told Chistery about all of her adventures as the Ozian queen in the years following Elphaba's death.

"I know you lifted the Animal bans," the flying monkey hooted, smiling up at Glinda with his large mouth stretched wide.

"I did," Glinda agreed. "But something else happened too…" then she reluctantly told him all about trying to resurrect Elphaba. Once she finished, stating that Elphaba didn't have a chance in this world, or in any other, of ever coming back, another round of crying began.

Glinda was already weeping softly as she realized how close she had been to seeing and touching and kissing that lovely green face again while Chistery himself started to get into quite a funk. Elphaba may not have been the best person in the world and he may not have been super close to her, but Chistery still felt some level of affection for his mistress and hearing Glinda's story was quite distressing to him. But as pained as Chistery was to hear the news, he did not blame Glinda at all.

"You did your best," he assured her later that night once they had both calmed down again. "And either way, it wasn't your fault. It was the Wizard and all of his servants!" the monkey's dark eyes narrowed as he said this.

"I know, but I still feel awful!" Glinda admitted, sniffling. "And I don't know what to do and I have nowhere to go…" she broke off because she thought she was about to cry again. Chistery, however, flapped his wings and flew over to her.

"Nonsense," he said. "You can move in here with me!"

"How can I?" Glinda looked at him with eyes full of an impossibly deep sorrow. "It would only cause more trouble on you!"

"No it won't," Chistery replied. "I've been wanting some company for awhile. As much as I like the other flying monkeys, none of them are as intelligent as I am and I don't have anyone of equal status to talk to now that Elphaba is gone."

"Are you sure?" Glinda asked one last time.

"I'm as sure as Elphaba was green," the monkey nodded and Glinda gave him the most grateful smile he thought he'd ever seen upon any creature.

So from then on, Glinda had another home. Another castle. Another safe place to stay. Another chance at a happy, peaceful life. She spent her days helping Chistery look after the castle and all of its other inhabitants, monkey or otherwise, and then her nights talking with Chistery about the castle's late mistress. She left her spell book and wand tucked under the couch where she slept. She didn't feel comfortable in going to the place where Elphaba had once lived. Chistery understood the feeling all too well. It was the only room he never really tended to, just because he knew how territorial Elphaba had been of that place. Everything else, though, was explored and owned and looked after by him and Glinda together. For that week, Glinda almost felt at peace. This castle was so different from the one she left behind, but it was a very good different.

Unfortunately, it didn't last long. The citizens of Oz were too afraid of another Wicked Witch of the West to let Glinda go so easily. Instead, one night, they all came marching to her castle in the west with arms at the ready.

"Kill the malevolent mage!" they hollered as they drew near.

"What are we gonna do?" Glinda panicked peering out of one of the tower windows to see the giant mob at the door. Their torches, pitchforks, and pure hatred and determination were all ready. There could've easily been 1000 people down there and Glinda really didn't want to hurt any of them. As blind and hateful as they were, they were still her subjects. She didn't want any more bloodshed than there already had been.

"If you don't want to attack," said Chistery, sensing what Glinda was really afraid of in this moment, "we can fly!"

"Fly?" she turned to him and he nodded back, pointing to the couch where he knew the wand and Grimmerie to be.

The idea of using that hideous spell book again made Glinda's stomach churn but Chistery did have a point. It was fight or flight tonight.

"Ok," she decided. "Flight it is!" then she ran over to the couch, retrieving both magical objects. Suddenly, a dragon stood where Glinda once had. Chistery hooted in surprise. This Glinda was far different from the silly little girl Elphaba had always talked of with so much love and exasperation.

"Let's go!" Glinda cried to him, voice far lower and deeper than before. Chistery was roused by her grumbled command and he nodded, following after her as she burst, yet again, through a castle wall.

Despite the intensity of the situation, Chistery couldn't help but despair as he turned back to face the giant hole in the castle wall. If he had known what Glinda was capable of, he would've built her a proper launch pad so she didn't have to keep crashing through buildings… But now was not the time for that. They had to fly, and fast! The Ozians below were angry.

"Ahhhh! Kill her! Kill her!" they screamed in terror and anger, raising their weapons even higher. Only those with long-distance weapons were able to attack, but with Glinda being a giant dragon, their weapons didn't do much at all. At one point, Chistery almost was hit, but he dodged the arrow just in time and then flew right over Glinda for the rest of their escape, allowing her massive size to shield him completely.

"Where are we going to go?" Chistery asked, lowering himself to fly beside Glinda's massive, scaly face once he was certain that the last of the danger was over.

"No idea," she rumbled back, eye full of sorrow and exhaustion. "Should we just keep going until we find something?"

"Might as well," the monkey replied, then together, the two continued to fly higher and further and faster until they were out of Oz altogether.

Although neither monkey nor dragon would ever be able to say quite how long they had flown together, what they could say after they had landed once again was this:

"I have a feeling we're not in Oz anymore, Chistery," Glinda muttered as she turned back into a human. Chistery hooted in agreement. They were currently standing in the middle of a forest with no sign of any other life (outside of small, woodland animals) anywhere at all. It seemed like the perfect place to start building another castle. It would be much safer and emptier than before. Picking up her wand and spell book again, Glinda began to craft herself and Chistery a small castle. Out from the earth itself came the foundation, and everything that built upon it afterward. It wasn't much, but it was home. It wasn't a pretty castle, but it was safe and sturdy and that was all that really mattered.

"Thank goodness!" Glinda and Chistery said in unison as they took their first steps inside their new home.

But life just could not be kind to the duo. The two managed one peaceful month before meeting their first visitors and it didn't go well. The people looked a lot like the Ozians, but they weren't as pale or short, and they didn't wear as much green. They'd been about as friendly as the Ozians, though. There were only four of them, all young men, but every single one had been horrified upon meeting Chistery, and then they had all been absolutely petrified after meeting Glinda. Even after Glinda protested, in their language, that she was a peaceful creature, they went running.

"Hmm, we might need to blend in with the natives," she murmured that night, looking into a mirror she'd made. Admittedly, a woman with giant horns, incredibly green eyes, and a tattered black cloak wasn't the easiest thing to look at.

"Yeah, I guess flying monkeys aren't native here either," Chistery remarked, inspecting himself in his own mirror with something like indignation on his wrinkled face. Clearly, the poor reception of his physical appearance had gotten to him. It was because, though, he fancied himself quite handsome, considering the circumstances. He had found the negative reception to be quite rude!

"Guess I'd better get the Grimmerie," Glinda finally sighed. Although nothing could be done about her horns, she was able to make herself appear a little bit more human and she did finally take the time to give herself a proper clean-up. As for Chistery? Glinda turned him into a raven.

"Nice," the ex-flying monkey cawed, inspecting his new wings. He wasn't sure if he liked this new body or not.

"Sorry," Glinda shrugged, but behind her expressionless face, she was fighting hard not to laugh. Chistery looked quite silly as a bird, but if it would help keep him safe, it was worth it in her eyes.

A week later, Glinda and Chistery went through another change. The young men had returned, but this time with a large company in tow.

"Great. More guards," Glinda grunted angrily.

"Why? We haven't done anything!" Chistery cawed.

"I know, right?" Glinda agreed. "Why can't they just leave us alone? We aren't hurting anyone! I mean, we're out in the middle of nowhere!"

"Seriously!" Chistery nodded his head, still unused to how the beak bobbed as he did so. "These guys need to ease up a little and stop trying to kill us. Especially since we haven't even done anything! I don't want to move again! It's not fair or fun!"

"We won't," Glinda promised. "I'm putting my foot down!" she said, then she stalked right out of her castle and faced this new mob head on. "If it's a Queen of Mean that they want, then it's a Queen of Mean that they will get!" she growled to herself, then she made her grand entrance.

"Why are you here?" she asked her would-be attackers. She was sick of running. It was time to go on the offensive.

"We've come to vanquish you, malevolent mage!" they boomed in reply.

"Why do you call me that? You don't even know me!" she shouted back, anger rising slowly but surely. She was tired of pretending. Where was her happy ending?! She had tried her best to do and be the best and look where it had gotten her! Well, NO MORE! Today, like she had told Chistery, she was putting her foot down! She had been hurt for the last time!

"We don't need to! Your devil horns say it all!" the men answered, then they began to fire bows and spears at Glinda. Glinda ducked back in the nick of time, just barely getting inside her castle and closing the door before she would've been impaled by something. She cursed silently. She hated like crazy what she was about to do, but she had to do it, or she'd never have any chance at a peaceful life.

After running back up to her tower, she whipped out her wand and spell book.

"I'm giving you one last chance to go in peace before I punish you for intruding upon my property!" she cried down, waving the wand to accent her point. Some of the men did look ready to leave but, in the end, they all stayed.

"We will not be swayed by you, malevolent mage! We will kill you!" they cried, drawing more weapons. "We do not fear you!"

"Then we'd better fix that!" Glinda shot back coldly, then she began to chant. It was finally her turn!

Barely 30 minutes later, only a quarter the mob remained alive. The rest had been torn to pieces by crows, bees and giant thorn bushes.

"I'll let the rest of you live to tell your kingdom that I desire peace, but if they dare attack again, I will be ready," she snarled at the survivors.

"Yes, your majesty!" they cried. Hmm, quite a step up from "malevolent mage". "But what do we call you?" they asked, trembling. Glinda thought for a moment before giving them a cruel reply.

"Maleficent!" she boomed. Then, with that name ringing in their ears, the survivors of the mob went flying.

"Maleficent, eh?" Chistery crowed as his friend returned to him, wiping the blood off her face and hands.

"From now on, yes," Glinda said. "I won't use my old name anymore and I need something that will really put the fear into people's hearts."

"Well, I'm sure you've done that today," Chistery cawed in amusement as the last of the mob vanished over the hills, still terrified.

"You'll need a name-change too," Maleficent told the raven. "From now on, you shall be Diablo!" and the raven, if he was bothered by the name change, didn't show it. Instead, he only nodded again before perching himself upon his friend's shoulder. A new era was about to start for the two of them and, to be quite honest, he was kind of looking forward to seeing what it would have in store for the two of them. Thus was the rise of Maleficent and Diablo.

Chapter Text

A week after Maleficent's massacre, a letter from the neighboring kingdom arrived in the arms of a terrified squire. The letter begged for peace, promising that the kingdom would treat Maleficent as a friend and ally if she would do likewise. Still retaining some grace from her old life, Maleficent accepted the letter and a steady bond was forged between her and the neighboring kingdom. It wasn't a friendly bond, but it did ensure that there would be no war or bloodshed between the two entities.

"I guess it'll work," Maleficent grumbled as she signed the treaty. The terrified squire gave her a polite bow before fleeing her castle immediately. She watched him go, slightly amused by how cowardly he was. But as soon as he was out of sight, he went out of mind as well and Maleficent returned to what she had been doing before he arrived: expanding her castle. No longer was it just a tiny little thing on the edge of a forest. It was now a sprawling fortress at the peak of a ferocious mountain. Her powers were growing stronger every day.

"And this, with any luck, will keep people OUT!" she grunted as she finally set her wand and spell book down again. Diablo, ever at her side, cawed in agreement as they both looked out one of their many tower's windows. The ground was so far below them that they could barely see it through the foggy, misty layer of cloud that passed between the Earth and their fortress. Perfect! So Maleficent's home and her right to call it as such were safe and sure. Both she and her loyal raven friend were happy. But as always, the happiness could not last.

A few years later, the king of the neighboring kingdom had a daughter. Maleficent remained uninvited to the girl's christening.

"What an insult!" Maleficent snapped when Diablo gave her the news. "I can't let him get away with this or I will lose my fearsome image!" she shook her horned head in anger before gesturing for her raven companion to follow after her. They had a party to crash and a score to settle! "It's going down now!" she growled and on she and her trust raven flew to the castle.

Only a few hours later, the duo was back home. Just as Maleficent has suspected, the lack of an invitation had been an intentional move. The king had not wanted her anywhere near the celebration and had purposefully left her off the guest list. Although she knew why he had done it and understood, she still refused to let this act of disrespect go unpunished. This failure to invite her to the party was not just a minor insult, it was a grievous violation of their treaty. They promised to be allies and now the king was refusing to allow Maleficent into his castle.

Unable to tolerate such insolence and insensitivity, Maleficent had taken her revenge against the foolish family by cursing their daughter to an early death. Perhaps it was unnecessarily cruel, but once again, how else was Maleficent supposed to maintain her fearsome image? If she let one insult slide, more would be sure to follow until the treaty would crumble away into war. She could now have that, so she could not allow even the tiniest of infractions to go unpunished. The king had to understand just how seriously Maleficent took treaties, especially their own.

"I hope they all suffer," Maleficent grumbled coldly as she and Diablo returned home. Diablo gave her a look of concern but wisely said nothing.

16 years later, just as planned, the little princess died. But of course, nothing Maleficent ever did happened without backfiring and this curse was no exception. Apparently, just after Maleficent had left the christening, another fairy, who had been invited managed to add an escape clause to Maleficent's curse. Although the princess would die, she could be resurrected through true love's kiss.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Maleficent literally began to roar when word of what happened reached her. "They can't do this!" she sounded like a whiny child but she was too far gone in her own anger to care. "They cannot undo all of my work! I was bringing about justice! Oooooh, I'll see to this true love myself and put an end to this mess once and for ALL!" the evil queen quickly morphed back into her dragon form and flew towards the castle with every intent of stopping this prince charming from delivering his kiss.

What angered Maleficent most of all about all of this, however, was not that her revenge plan was currently being thwarted. It was the fact that this random fairy had figured out a way to resurrect someone whereas she, a trained witch in every art, had still never succeeded in bringing back her own true love, Elphaba. The idea of anybody else saving a loved one after she'd failed to save Elphaba was simply unbearable.

"It's going down!" she growled as she flew after the prince trying to save the princess. Neither of them would survive the night if Maleficent had any say in the matter, and as a giant dragon, she was sure that her odds were pretty good!

But, just because the thought of the prince saving the princess was unbearable didn't make it unstoppable. Despite Maleficent's best effort, the prince managed to kiss the princess and save her life while ending Maleficent's in the process. But Maleficent's misery was not over yet. Not even close. Instead, some time later, the evil queen found herself in a jail cell. Somehow, she had been resurrected. It was a cruel irony for her that the only person she had ever wanted to bring back also seemed to be the only one left unblessed with the resurrection that Maleficent and everyone else seemed to get constantly. And this cruel irony only became stronger when Maleficent realized that she was far from the only one to be brought back from the dead. Why did this land treat death so casually? Why couldn't Elphaba have been born here instead?

But Maleficent's wrath finally changed into real curiosity. So she and a bunch of other strangers were all in jail, but where were they exactly? Well, in time, Maleficent would learn that they were in a place called the Isle of the Lost. It was created by "heroes" for people like Maleficent and all of her many cellmates. So she had been resurrected just to go to jail? Great.

It was also then that Maleficent realized just how much the rest of the world had changed as well. She wasn't entirely sure how long she had been dead, but it must've been quite awhile, given all the new tech available to the world that Maleficent wouldn't have even imagined before now. In addition, it sounded like the kingdom Maleficent used to live near had since united with several other kingdoms around this world and they were now all united under one ruler. This superpower of kingdoms was called Auradon and their leaders were King Adam and Queen Belle.

So now, while Maleficent and these other strangers rotted away on an island jail, all of their enemies were living in the lap of luxury as one big happy family? Double great. Maleficent's only consolation was Diablo, who had also been resurrected after being killed in the same battle Maleficent died in. Seeing that Diablo had returned as well gave Maleficent a small boost of confidence. After finally gaining her bearings, it quickly became her goal to conquer the entire island. Even though everyone on it was evil, Maleficent was by far the most feared and powerful. Because of that, she considered it a right of hers to become the island's unofficial queen and she came to collect upon that right very quickly. She wasted no time in seizing power and, before long, Maleficent had become leader of the Isle and all who were trapped there with her.

Over the next few years, Maleficent gained another title to her name. She was no longer just a witch or a queen. Now she was a mother.

"She will be named Maleficent II," the evil witch said as she stared down at the child she had just given birth to. "Mal for short," she added. She continued to regard her daughter with disgust and disdain. But this disinterest with her daughter faded out eventually. As Mal's first year of life passed, so too did Maleficent's growing fondness for the child. Initially, she had done her motherly duties grudgingly but, in time, she began to warm up to her little girl and she finally began to take pleasure in looking after the child.

"Ah! Who's my sweet little baby girl?" Maleficent cooed at Mal as the two of them played together in Maleficent's tower home. Maleficent watched her tiny offspring giggle and crawl across the floor after an old rubber ball Maleficent had stolen from some other kid just a few hours ago. Mal gave another giggle once she finally had the small toy in her chubby hands.

"Awww, what a cutie," Maleficent sighed, tipping her horned head as the baby rolled the ball to her. Maleficent chuckled gently at the playful act and rolled the ball right back. Mal giggled in delight and Maleficent reached out to pat her soft, purple curls. To anyone who managed to see Maleficent with Mal, they were all left amazed. The baddest of them all had been tamed by a mere child! But for the first time in a very long time, Maleficent did not care at all what anyone else thought of her. Her mother's love for Mal was starting to bloom and it refused to stop.

But a mother wasn't all that Mal had. Diablo became an honorary uncle. It did his heart good to see Maleficent learning to love again.

"It's like seeing Glinda the Good again!" he whispered to himself as he continued to watch his mistress and niece play. He would occasionally join in, nudging the ball with wing or talon back to Mal, which delighted her to no end. She laughed as he tickled her with his feathers and Maleficent joined in, patting Diablo and Mal both as her eyes softened with affection.

"What a cutie!" Diablo said, black, beady eyes staring fondly at little baby Mal.

"Isn't she?" Maleficent agreed, expression much the same as her avian companion. Mal looked right back at both of them with a big, innocent grin.

But in what was a tale as old as time, Maleficent's happiness failed to last. Things took a turn for the worst when she and the child went out for a late-night stroll on the shores of the Isle of the Lost. Being the queen of the Isle, Maleficent feared no evil. All of the other inhabitants worshipped her and it would be madness to try and anger her. But what Maleficent didn't account for was the fact that danger might not only come from within the Isle itself. Instead, as she would learn a bit too late, she still had some very vicious enemies from the outside.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't old Maleficent," a cold, cruel voice split the peaceful night like a knife and Maleficent went on guard instantly.

"Who's there?" she snarled, snatching up her child protectively. The girl had been busy looking into the water when her mother yanked her back.

"Just an old friend," the voice replied with a sadistic amusement, then out from the shadows came King Hubert, father of the prince that had saved Aurora from Maleficent's curse so many years ago.

"You…" Maleficent croaked. In her mind's eye, she could already see Aurora and the prince, Phillip, sneering down at her through this king.

"That's right," he cooed. "I just came here to see if the rumors were true…" he narrowed his eyes as he looked at the baby in Maleficent's arms. He didn't come any closer, but another sadistic smirk graced his aged face. "My, doesn't she look just like her mother? Might I inquire as to who the father is?" he gave her a nasty smile, but she was quick to reply with a very sharp answer.

"You may inquire all you want, but you shall not get an answer!" she growled at him, holding Mal even tighter. Mal, who was totally unaware of what was going on, only giggled, perceiving that her mother was hugging her.

"Whatever," Hubert shrugged, sneer lessening slightly. "I just wanted to know. But now that I do, I am glad."

"Why?" Maleficent backed up ever so slightly.

"To repay you," he replied, voice calm and frank as ever. Then before Maleficent could even blink, Hubert had surged forward and lashed out with a knife concealed up his sleeve. Maleficent stumbled back in surprise, it was enough to even cause her to lose focus on Mal. That split second was all King Hubert needed. He lashed out again, this time seizing Mal from her mother's arms.

"No!" Maleficent cried out, reaching for her baby, but it was too late. She was already in Hubert's arms. "Oh, what are you going to do?" the witch cried, almost desperate. Her green eyes flashed, but not with hatred. Instead, they flashed with fear. For Mal. A mother's love always feared for her child. But Hubert was unmoved by her motherly concern. Instead, he only laughed at it.

"I'm going to repay you," he repeated, voice rising in anger. "I want you to know what it feels like to lose a child so young. You nearly killed my son! I want you to understand that fear and guilt and pain!" then without another word, the old king turned tail and began to run. Maleficent, naturally, ran after him, frantic for Mal's safety. Even though Maleficent knew that she technically deserved whatever punishment Hubert had in mind for her, Maleficent refused to allow her daughter to suffer for her mistakes. She was not going to lose her child. Not now, or ever!

Their chase around the Isle lasted until Hubert finally managed to make it up into Maleficent's home tower. Hubert ran up the stairs to the very top of the tower where Maleficent and Mal lived. With a gloating laugh, he held Mal's tiny form out of the tower window, 30 feet in the air. Maleficent got there just in time to see his gloating face as Mal dangled over a very cold, hard, unforgiving ground.

"No!" Maleficent cried out again, but the moment she took a step forward, King Hubert released his grip on Mal and down, down, down she fell…

Maleficent didn't remember anything after seeing Mal leave King Hubert's grip. Instead, she was only dimly aware of the wind roaring in her ears. Then the screaming of the wind was slowly replaced by the screaming of people as the entire Isle of the Lost seemed to have materialized straight out of the darkness. A hoard of villains stood before Maleficent's tower, all of them screaming and shouting and panicking.

What? What?! Why are they screaming?! Maleficent thought, annoyed. She lowered her large, scaly head to release the burden she had been carrying. Wait. What?!

"Maleficent ate her baby! She ate her own child!" one man's shout managed to reach Maleficent's ears above all of the others.

What? Ate my baby? Is he mad? the dragon thought. Then she looked down, suddenly aware of how high up she was. There, by a set of large claws, was a limp, tiny, bloody form. Maleficent's large eyes widened at once, full of horror and terror. MAL! And then it all came back to her.

As soon as Hubert dropped Mal out the window, Maleficent had thrown herself out the window too, turning into a dragon as she fell, just barely in time to save them both from hitting the ground. Unfortunately, when Maleficent scooped Mal up, some of her teeth sank into the baby's tender flesh. Horror, guilt, despair, and fear washed over Maleficent in a riptide and she let out a dragon's roar of pain and anguish.

No! What have I done?! NO! Oh no! Oh please, no! Not Mal!

But while Maleficent bellowed out her grief and terror, a group of faceless guards surged forward. Some of them grabbed Mal, yanking her away from Maleficent's razor claws while others closed in on Maleficent herself, armed to the teeth with guns, swords, nets, chains and tasers. They wasted no time in firing them all at Maleficent, immobilizing her in only half a minute. The few guards that had come forward to protect Mal quickly slipped away towards the entrance to the Isle, preparing to take the infant back to Auradon and give her proper care there.

Maleficent watched them go with another despairing roar. She wanted nothing more than to fly after them and accompany them home, but she wasn't stupid enough to think that anyone on this Isle would ever let her go for anything, not after what they had witnessed tonight. But as Maleficent continued to stare after Mal, she caught a glimpse of something dark fluttering in front of the moon. Diablo! Quickly using a basic telepathy spell, she called out to her raven companion with one last command.

Protect and follow Mal at all cost!

Yes, ma'am! Came the perfectly obedient reply, then that fluttering blob of blackness flew away from Maleficent and after the retreating Auradon guard. Although he wanted dearly to stay behind and try to help his mistress, he knew that he would be of no use to her. Besides, she would never ever forgive him if he tried to save her before going after Mal first. So with one despairing farewell cry, Diablo turned away from the Isle of the Lost and headed towards Auradon, refusing to let Mal leave his sight even once. Maleficent, meanwhile, was tortured into unconsciousness.

The next time the dragon woke up again, she had been restored to her human form. She was also in a tiny cell. She was certain that she was still on the Isle of the Lost, but it was not any place she had ever been to before herself.

"Where am I?" she asked, ignoring hating how scratchy and ugly her voice sounded.

"A dungeon in the deepest part of the Isle of the Lost," came the cruel reply of the guard watching over her cell. "You are to spend an eternity like this for infanticide! And don't even think about trying to fight because this cell is bound by magic and not even you are strong enough to break it!"

"Wait. Infanticide?" Maleficent gasped, totally missing the man's remark about the magic protecting the cell. "Oh, Mal, no…" the witch bowed her head in grief, silently mourning the loss of her daughter and her own accidental hand in it. There were no words to describe the pain, shame and guilt she felt upon hearing that she had murdered her own child. Mal was dead and it was all because of her…

But Maleficent refused to stay subdued for long. Instead, only a few days later, she managed to escape her cell. Looks like the magic reinforcing it wasn't as powerful as the guard had claimed. Or perhaps Maleficent's love for Mal was so strong that it gave her the power to break free despite the spell holding her back. She managed to summon up her dragon tail and the moment the guard opened up the door to hand her her daily slop, that tail lashed out and struck him dead in less than an instant.

On her way out, the witch wondered briefly why she had only been able to summon her tail and not turn the rest of her body into its dragon form too, but with the more pressing matter of trying to get to Auradon, those thoughts were quickly pushed aside.

"I need to get over there!" the witch muttered in frustration, peering out towards the golden, glimmering kingdom that shone so brightly off in the distance. She sunk into the shadows in an attempt to hide, still trying to think of a plan that would get her off this cursed island and to the castle…

In the end, it turned out that all Maleficent needed to do was wait. Her pain and fury had grown so great that she finally found the strength within herself to turn into a full dragon once again. The moment she was able to reclaim her more powerful form, she wasted no time in flying over to Auradon. On the trip over, she realized what it was that had made magic so difficult for her up until that point. It wasn't just fatigue on her part, a spell had been cast over the entire island to prevent any magic from being performed. Once Maleficent escaped the Isle, however, she was able to smash through that magical barrier and end its powers completely. With that barrier gone, all magic on the Isle was up and running again.

The newly-liberated Maleficent flew over to Auradon with fury burning in her green eyes. She let out an earsplitting roar that terrified Auradon and enlivened the Isle. Though some of the villains still held Maleficent in fear and contempt for "eating her own baby", the promise of revenge tempted most of them into joining her anyway and soon, the sound of countless footsteps shook Auradon as every enemy they ever had came back to haunt them in one terrifying and perfect unison.

"They tried to kill my daughter! It is time we take our revenge and make them pay!" Maleficent roared, but since nobody spoke dragon, the battle that ensued was chaotic and unorganized. It was only the fact that every criminal of the Isle wanted revenge that kept them all together. They were united not by friendship or a military leader, but by a common goal of total destruction. Maleficent had this goal as well, intending to make every last soul in Auradon pay for all the suffering they had caused her. Maleficent was not scared of the heroes of Auradon. Not anymore…

"Bring it on!" she roared. "It's going down!"

During the fight, Maleficent killed Hubert. There was nothing stronger than an angry mother, for a mother's love could be a terrifying and deadly thing. After biting his head off, Maleficent spiraled up into the air and looked down upon the warring world, wondering who to kill next… Revenge was finally at hand and she wasn't going to waste a single second more in making every last moment last! Triumph was finally hers!

Maleficent let out another mad roar and the sky suddenly turned emerald as she lit it up with as many flames as she could conjure. It was a dark day for Auradon to be sure, but for Maleficent? She couldn't have been happier! And it seemed as though her "allies", still busy pillaging and plundering down below, felt the same exact way. Victory was theirs!

Chapter Text

A couple days later, Maleficent had conquered Auradon and installed herself as its new High Queen. Those who acted as her strongest supporters, friends and allies were granted the highest honors in the kingdom. The three fellow villains that Maleficent received the most support from were the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella DeVill. They also had children about Mal's age, but Maleficent did not care about them at all. Instead, now that Mal had properly been avenged, it was time for Maleficent to establish a new era here, one that would last forever and would ensure that she would never be mistreated or run out again. Her happily ever after was finally at hand and she was not going to let anyone take it away from her ever again! This was for all the decades she'd spent running, hiding and suffering. Now it was her turn to be queen, and she was going to revel in it

But Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella DeVill weren't the only ones to become spoiled off of the riches of Maleficent's triumph. Diablo became her king consort and all of the ex-inmates of the Isle continued to plunder and pillage all of Auradon, conquering each of the smaller kingdoms that had comprised the mighty whole that had once been the great and might Auradon. Maleficent, meanwhile, remained at the capital, rebuilding it in her image. The previous form of Auradon had been too sickly sweet. This new one was darker, grittier, and fierce. It was more Maleficent. Her reign was complete!

A couple weeks into her new rule, however, Maleficent made a shocking discovery. Mal. The girl was not dead after all! Instead, apparently, the doctors of Auradon had genuinely tried to save her life, but the joy of this reunion was totally lost upon Maleficent. She was not the same woman she had been only a month or so ago. Almost losing Mal and then winning the subsequent war against Auradon had ruined all of Maleficent's progress and she was back to being the same wicked witch she had been before Mal ever even entered the picture.

Although Maleficent was happy to hear that Mal was alive after all, there was no deep, loving reunion with hugs, kisses and tears. It was too late for all that now. All Maleficent cared about was the fact that her heir had managed to survive after all. Even though Mal had been the reason Maleficent overthrew Auradon, she was not the reason Maleficent was continuing to rule the place with an iron fist.

"Bring her to me," Maleficent ordered one of her many goons once she got the news that Mal was still alive after all. The goon obeyed and brought the babe back to her mother without a second's delay.

With each passing day, Maleficent began to see Mal more as a pawn than a daughter. Although she did still care for the child, the love and tenderness she used to feel for Mal had gone cold and dark once again. To her, Mal was only an heir, a future investment. That was all. This meant Diablo was the one who had to care for Mal (emotionally and mentally speaking). It worried and hurt him to see Maleficent reverting back into the malevolent mage she used to be, but she was too far gone to listen to any of his advice about trying to rekindle her loving bond with Mal.

"I've got a kingdom to run!" she scoffed when Diablo suggested that she take the day off to play with Mal. "I haven't got time to nanny a brat!"

"But she's your child!" Diablo tried to argue.

"Bah!" came the disinterested reply, and that was that. Diablo heaved a tired and disapproving sigh, but said no more, choosing instead to fly over to Mal and keep her entertained while Maleficent continued to conquer Auradon bit by bit. She was truly rotten to the core now, all remaining vestiges of goodness gone forever.

"You know, this isn't how Glinda the Good would've reacted," Diablo cawed over his shoulder at her.

"Well, I'm not that girl," came the callous reply. "Not anymore."

"Elphaba wouldn't have wanted it either!" the raven retorted sharply, allowing Mal to play with his wings again.

"How would you know?" Maleficent scoffed. "She never had any kids!"

"Perhaps not," Diablo agreed. "And though she could be quite… hostile, she was never cruel or merciless…" but Maleficent did not reply to this, forcing their conversation to come to another abrupt end.

Further proof of Maleficent's changing opinion about her daughter came in the form of her reaction to Mal's scars. Although Mal had been fully healed from her ordeal with Hubert and Maleficent's dragon fangs, the bite marks still remained and it seemed that they would be a lasting souvenir from that horrific night. They no longer shamed or terrified Maleficent, though. Instead, she took great pride in seeing them.

"See those scars? I gave her those!" the mad queen bragged as she lifted Mal's shirt to reveal two rows of red tooth marks that lined Mal's torso. "They are proof that she truly is the daughter of a dragon!" but while she continued to lord over Mal's scars, Diablo scoffed under his breath.

"The daughter of a dunderhead, more like," Diablo muttered as Maleficent continued to admire the scars that she used to so abhor.

A few months later, a celebration throughout Auradon was held. It was Mal's birthday and Maleficent wanted to celebrate! It was not out of love for Mal, though. Instead, it was a way for her to reassert her dominance over the kingdom and, once again, rub her victory in everyone's faces. But this time, she didn't just brag about her triumph in the war. She also insisted that, one day, Mal would become Auradon's new queen.

"I saw it once upon a dream!" Maleficent bragged. "Mal will become Auradon's future queen, so I say that we should get this party started!" she raised her fist triumphantly into the air and while all of her fellow villains gave out victorious shrieks, the surviving heroes quaked in their boots.

But even though the heroes of Auradon were badly beaten and afraid, they were not ready to surrender yet. Instead, a few of them managed to put together a resistance that had been surviving through Maleficent's tyrannical rule until they could finally formulate a plot to overthrow her once and for all. Now at last, that plot was coming to fruition. What they needed was the Fairy Godmother's wand. It was the only thing strong enough to challenge the likes of Maleficent. The wand was hidden somewhere deep in the castle and with Maleficent out celebrating Mal's birthday, there was no better time than that day for the heroes to spread out and search the castle for the Fairy Godmother's mighty wand…

Maleficent and her sordid crew were back on the Isle of the Lost before they even knew what hit them. This time, though, the pain was far worse than before. Fresh food was no longer sent over to the Isle and all who lived there now had to make do on scraps and garbage that the people of Auradon occasionally dumped on them. There was also no fresh clothing or building supplies so once something fell into disrepair, it stayed that way forever. In addition, Auradon continually tried to pit the inmates against each other to prevent another unified uprising. It worked well, with alliances on the Isle being shaky at best and outright antagonistic at worst.

Worst of all though was the ban on magic. The barrier separating the Isle from Auradon was restored and strengthened to a point where no magic worked at all and this even included simple charms and basic, harmless spells. At least the original barrier had allowed some minor magic. This new one, however, rendered every last magical object totally useless. Even Maleficent's old wand and Grimmerie did nothing anymore. Suffice to say, Maleficent was furious. She spent the next 15 years raging bitterly against Auradon and she tirelessly worked on a plan to get revenge again. She also spent all those years ruthlessly grooming her daughter to be evil like her.

"You'll bring honor to us all one day," Maleficent told Mal. "I just want you to be ready for it!"

"And I will be," Mal promised with the devoted innocence of a child who hero-worshipped her mother. "I'll be as evil and wicked as I can be!"

"Ah! That's my nasty little girl," Maleficent said with an approving sneer. Gone was a mother's love from Maleficent to Mal and here to stay was a dictator's love of another pawn for her selfish chess game.

Admittedly, though, way down deep inside, Maleficent really did love Mal in her own strange and cruel little way, but it seemed to her that everyone she loved ended up dead. Because of that, she restrained herself from being too cuddly with Mal. In her mind, it was better to be hateful so that when the world's cruelty reared its ugly head, you had no heart to be broken. So that was why she was so strict and harsh with Mal. She did not believe in gentle or permissive parenting. In her world, discipline was the law. So she suppressed all of her more tender love for Mal and raised the girl with an iron fist. In Maleficent's mind, this was all being done for Mal's own good.

For worse or for better, then, Mal became the perfect example of a child raised without love. Diablo did his best to be a surrogate parent, but it still was not enough to totally counteract Maleficent's evil influence. But he was not totally left in despair. Even if Maleficent and Mal couldn't see it, he did. He saw some real goodness within Mal's heart. No matter how hard any of them tried, Mal would never truly become evil. Her mother had been Glinda the Good, after all. At the end of the day, Diablo knew Mal would always fall into the side of goodness… But that didn't stop Maleficent from trying to get the girl to go bad. Hatred had become a mother's love to Maleficent.

"Don't you wanna be evil, like me, don't you wanna be mean?" the evil witch hummed as she watched her teenage daughter running around the streets of the Isles with three others, causing mayhem wherever they went. That was her nasty little girl! She was rotten to the core and Maleficent loved it!

 

Chapter Text

After 15 years of waiting, Maleficent's plotting and patience paid off. Auradon sent out an announcement that they would accept four villain kids to attend Auradon Prep High. They were doing this because the young prince of Auradon wanted to give the villain kids a chance, refusing to hold them accountable for their parents' crimes. The first chosen set of four included Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos, the children of Maleficent, Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella DeVill respectively.

"This is our chance!" Maleficent all but shrieked when she and the others on the Isle of the Lost got the memo about Auradon Prep. "This is our chance to finally get off this stinking island and have our revenge!" then she pulled her daughter aside to give her the plan.

"You go to the school, gain their trust, steal the Fairy Godmother's wand for me and then get all of us out of here!" she cried and it was this logic that finally convinced Mal to go to Auradon Prep. She had had her reservations about going to such a snotty, snobby, frilly school, but with Maleficent giving her a direct goal to strive for, Mal managed to stomach the idea of going to school with… good people.

"I know you will make me proud!" Maleficent told Mal upon the day she and the other three were to set off for Auradon Prep.

"I'll be just as evil as you, your nasty little girl!" Mal promised, then with a final farewell to her wicked mother, she and her three closest friends set sail off the Isle of the Lost for the first time in many, many years…

Almost a year later, Maleficent had finally joined her daughter at Auradon Prep. It all happened just in time for graduation that year, which was also coinciding with a far more important event: the coronation of Prince Ben, son of King Adam and Queen Belle. It was, in Maleficent's mind, the perfect time to start another uprising, but things didn't go quite as planned… Turns out, she had been very, very wrong about Mal.

"How can you give up on everything we've ever wanted for so long?!" Maleficent thundered when Mal tried to talk Maleficent out of her evil plot.

"No! It's what you wanted!" Mal shot back. Oh, she looked so ugly in that fluffy white dress with her purple hair in a stupid little up-do.

"So?" Maleficent rolled her green eyes. Now wasn't the time for specificity anyway. They had a kingdom to usurp!

"Didn't you ever think to ask what I want?" Mal cried. It was a dangerous question, but the answer was still no. Why? Because mother knew best. Maleficent hadn't ever bothered to ask Mal what she wanted out of life because, in Maleficent's slanted worldview, Mal's opinion didn't matter. How could she possibly know what she wanted in life? She was still so young and naive! Maleficent was the smart one here! She was the sinister sorceress with all those years of experience to back her up. Mal was only a child! And a pesky little one at that!

"Please, mom, I know you've been hurting, but so have I!" Mal continued to try and talk Maleficent down despite Maleficent's obvious distaste with her daughter at the moment. "Let me show you that love is really amazing!" she was crying now.

"There is no room in your life for love!" Maleficent shot back, unmoved by her daughter's tears. Or, at least she was physically unmoved. But then, somewhere very deep inside of Maleficent, the sight of Mal crying did something to her. For some reason, hearing Mal talk through her tears made Maleficent pause. She had an excellent poker face so she was more than capable of masking what her daughter was making her feel, but as skilled as she was, even Maleficent couldn't hide her own emotions from herself. Instead, as Mal continued to cry and plead with her, Maleficent could only listen, even though she didn't want to. And with every word that Mal spoke, Maleficent began to wonder...

Maleficent thought way, way back into the past, recalling that dark and fateful night when she lost Elphaba. And then she thought about that other dark and fateful night when she almost lost baby Mal... But that was just it! That was why there was no room in anyone's life for love! Because no matter what, it seemed that life was bound to do anything in order to destroy that love! Maleficent had proof of this! And so did Mal! Both of them knew of the dangers of love and they both knew that Maleficent's plot was totally justified and rational!

But then, why was Mal crying? If both she and Maleficent knew that love was bad, why was Mal crying and talking so passionately about love? Had Maleficent not taught her to live evil? Yes. She had. But something hadn't worked, for it was quite clear that Mal did love. Deeply. And when Maleficent dared to meet Mal's eyes again, she recoiled, disturbed by what she saw. Mal loved her too. After 16 years of abuse, Mal loved Maleficent. Maleficent could see it in Mal's eyes, plain as day, and that was what scared her most of all: how certain Mal was about her feelings.

"There is no room in your life for love!" Maleficent repeated, tearing her eyes away from Mal's. Then she forced herself into her dragon form, giving one last shot at shutting down her sense of emotion in favor of her sense of logic. What was this feeling starting to bloom in her chest?

But then, feeling that familiar surge of fire enter her heart calmed Maleficent back down. This would all be over soon. Mal was just going through one of those rebellious teenager things. Maleficent would deal with her later. Right now, they had a kingdom to usurp! But Mal wasn't finished yet either. When Maleficent tried to steal the Fairy Godmother's wand from her, the others from the Isle of the Lost came to her aid.

One by one, Evie, Jay and Carlos each came to Mal's aid, helping her to keep the Fairy Godmother's wand out of Maleficent's massive claws. The little band then spent the next few minutes darting around Auradon Chapel, a very dangerous game of Cat and Mouse ensuing between them and Maleficent. But then at last, the chase came to an end. Fittingly, the final confrontation happened between mother and daughter where it had all began 16 long years ago…

"It's just you and me, mother," Mal murmured finally, holding the wand at her side as she forced herself to meet Maleficent's green eyes once again. Now they were glowing with hatred. Maleficent tried to use her dark magic to fill Mal's head with visions so terrible that she would break. This time, though, Mal did not break. Instead, she began to chant coldly.

"Evil power is as good as none when four hearts become one!" Mal uttered this chant over and over again, growing louder with every recitation of it. Maleficent had tried to ignore it at first, disregarding it as just some stupid little encouragement Mal was trying to give herself, but when Mal's voice only got steadier and louder, Maleficent was finally forced to listen.

Maleficent began to really look into Mal's eyes, not just to hypnotize or brainwash, but to actually see what was going on in that purple-haired head of her daughter's. The giant dragon saw sorrow, joy, excitement, hope, and forgiveness flash in the eyes of her daughter and, the longer Maleficent stared, the weaker she began to feel. What finally broke her, however, was the very last emotion that Mal's eyes conveyed. Love. It was so overpowering that Maleficent instinctively shut her eyes to it, unable to see her own deeds when trying to look through the eyes of love.

"Gah! What is this feeling?!" she growled to herself and she looked away from Mal in shame, closing her eyes to her own wickedness.

The moment she shut her eyes, however, she sealed her fate. The act of shutting her eyes had been an act of cowardice, surrender and defeat, but it had also been an act of admittance. Maleficent, whether willingly or not, had not only conceded that Mal was the winner of this little stare down, but she had also admitted herself as the loser, the villain and the monster. And as Maleficent's massive eyelids closed over globe-like eyes, all the weakening dragon could think about was what a horrible, evil, wicked witch she really had been. And as these almost remorseful thoughts in Maleficent's mind grew, she shrunk, until she was nothing but a tiny black lizard. Wait. What? How?

"She shrunk to the size of the love in her heart," Fairy Godmother explained to Mal once Maleficent had reached her smallest form, no bigger than the palm of a hand. Maleficent wasn't sure if this idea shamed or angered her. Wait, why would it do either? Maleficent shook her tiny head in disgust and made to run off, but before she could, some idiot boy trapped her in a glass jar, stopping her little escape attempt with ease.

"Careful! That's my mom!" Mal reproached the boy who had done this and he backed away shyly while Mal turned a gentle gaze towards the jar.

Oh great! The tiny lizard thought angrily. Now what?!

Well, Maleficent was going to stay with Mal. She became Mal's unofficial pet, allowed to stay on Mal's nightstand provided that the glass tank she now inhabited was sealed tightly. Only Mal could open it. Mal made sure to take excellent care of her mother, the Fairy Godmother having told her that Maleficent could possibly return to her old self if she ever learned to love again. The odds were slim, but Mal was hopeful. That one promise from the Fairy Godmother was all she needed to feel encouraged that she could win Maleficent's love yet!

Of course, Maleficent herself had been beyond disgusted with such an idea, but being a tiny, defenseless lizard meant that she didn't have much of a say in her own life anymore. So she was forced to become a glorified class pet, trapped in a little glass tank all the time with only Mal for the occasional company. This was a new low for the mistress of all evil and it didn't seem like it would be stopping any time soon…

Chapter Text

Three years later, nothing had changed. Maleficent was still Mal's little class pet and she was still living in that glass tank on the nightstand of her daughter's dorm room. Or at least, almost nothing had changed. Maleficent might not have grown so much as an inch over the past few years of her daughter's time in high school, but at the very least, the ex-witch had managed to find some level of peace, balance and contentedness in her life. That wasn't to say she was turning soft or going good, but she was less volatile and hostile. Time in that little glass tank with only good little Mal for company had almost mellowed Maleficent out...

As a lizard, Maleficent could not communicate back to her daughter whenever her daughter tried to speak to her, but Maleficent would still try to. It started off with Mal telling Maleficent about her day every day after school. In the first few months, Maleficent never listened to those stories, going into hiding whenever Mal would come back to the dorm after her last class of the day. But then, as the first year rolled on, Maleficent began to warm up to Mal and her other friends.

The lizard spent more time in the open and less time hiding in her tree. She would now allow Mal told hold her without trying to escape. These changes, though slow and subtle, were actually quite impressive, but Mal did not notice simply because she had since made it a personal goal to try and hold her mother for at least five minutes per week.

Maleficent never quite understood where such an idea had come from, but she guessed that it probably came from one of Mal's classes that insisted that positive and gentle, reassuring physical contact was one of the ways to build bonds of trust and love. Maleficent thought it was all a load of hooey, but it seemed that Mal had taken it to heart, picking Maleficent up out of her tank and just holding her quietly. Maleficent had never had the heart to bite Mal during these times, even though such a cruel thing was totally in-character for her. Instead, she would always allow Mal to hold her, even when it got on her nerves. But as the year rolled on, Maleficent found herself genuinely enjoying the moments her daughter would hold her like this...

Another plus that came along during Maleficent's time stuck in Auradon came in the form of her dear old friend, Diablo. He also came to visit Maleficent as often as he could. He even helped Maleficent escape her tank sometimes, picking the lock and lifting the lid open for her. But he did not do this in order to stir up her desire for revenge. Instead, he did it just to give her a chance of scenery. He was always sure to return her back to her tank when these private expeditions were done, no matter how hard she protested.

"I know how it feels to spend your life in a cage," he told Maleficent once. "Remember where the Wizard used to keep me and my family before Elphaba set us free. So come on and let me do the same for you…" then as soon as the tank door was opened, he offered her his wing.

"Shall we, milady Glinda?" he teased.

"Shut up," she replied, but she hopped onto his back nonetheless.

"Hold on tightly!" he teased as he launched them both out of Mal's dorm room window. "We're about to try defying gravity!" and with that, the two old friends went soaring over Auradon together. Just for a moment, Maleficent forgot all of her worries.

But Maleficent was still far from loving. Even after growing used to Mal's touch and Diablo's visits, she could still be temperamental and nasty. And even though she never bit Mal, she would always bite anybody else who tried to touch her. Even Evie, Jay, and Carols.

"Mom!" Mal cried in exasperation as Maleficent took another nip at Jay. Maleficent's only response was to glare up at her daughter. Mal rolled her eyes in response before carefully lowering her back into her tank. Maleficent growled at her but made no move to attack.

But as the years continued to pass, Maleficent began to dream… She had never ever truly hated Mal, she only ever pretended to, but now that it seemed that Mal was safe in life, perhaps Maleficent could try a mother's love again? Because if the danger was over, there was no need to live in fear. Besides, it wasn't like she had anything else to do! So maybe…

NO! Maleficent hissed at herself. Safe or not, Maleficent was still a villain and there was still no room in her life for love, especially a mother's love! She would not go back on her own word, nor would she betray her moral code of evil! Hate was the rule and that was that!... But she did entertain the thought of fixing her bond with Mal every once in awhile. Just occasionally. Sometimes.

But these fantasies came to an end in Mal's fourth and final year of Auradon Prep. Although more and more villains and their kids were reforming, a select few on both sides had been averse to such change. There were those on the Isle who felt that surrendering to Auradon's treaty was cowardice, and there were those in Auradon who thought letting in people from the Isle was unfair.

Those forces were small compared to the majority who supported the integration, but they were a mighty force regardless. Eventually, this political disagreement became an all-out war in Auradon. Maybe no official army had been created for any of the sides of the battle, but there had definitely been several physical attacks done by one group upon the other, and the reason was always cited to either be pro- or anti-integration. Personally, Maleficent would've sided with those trying to take over Auradon again, but as a tiny lizard, she had no power to do anything. Instead, she could only listen to the growing discussions from her little tank, whether she liked it or not.

And things stayed this way until about halfway through the year when Mal suddenly went missing. Although all of Auradon had been on thin ice for that entire year, treachery and betrayal in every corner of the kingdom, Mal had managed to stay relatively safe and out of the main argument. Because of that, even in the most politically and socially heated of times, the young girl always managed to spend at least a few minutes per day with her mother. That was how Maleficent first realized that Mal was missing. It happened when the girl failed to show up for her daily bonding session with Maleficent.

At first, Maleficent had only assumed that Mal was late. Then she assumed that Mal had forgotten, or been too busy, or been out with friends, or just not in the mood to talk at all. But after five days straight not even seeing Mal, Maleficent finally began to realize that things were a bit worse than they had first seemed…

A few days later, Maleficent finally reached her wit's end. She'd actually sent Diablo out looking for Mal earlier, but he hadn't been able to find a thing. That was when Maleficent hit her breaking point. She was filled with anger, but that anger was mixed with a real, selfless worry.

"Where could she be?!" the lizard demanded of herself. "And what am I going to do!?" it was then that Maleficent first realized how genuinely she had come to care for Mal. Although their relationship was still very strained, Maleficent had come to enjoy Mal's company and she was genuinely upset by Mal's absence. That was when she felt something begin to change within herself. Something was not the same, not anymore.

Maleficent felt a pain surge through her entire body, like she was being burnt and torn to shreds at the same time. She shrieked in agony, but there was nobody there to help her. Instead, she was forced to endure this strange torment but, then at last, it was over. After about a minute of pain, it all stopped. But by then, Maleficent was too freaked out to notice or care. Something else had caught her attention. And what was it? Well, it was the fact that she was human again!

Once Maleficent managed to wrap her mind around this sudden transformation, she leapt to her feet and ran. She needed to find Mal, but she knew she wouldn't be able to do it with any help from Auradon, or even the Isle of the Lost. No, she was going to have to go even further away if she wanted any real help. She would have to go all the way back to the crumbling castle that had been her beginning in this new world. Neither Auradon nor the Isle would help her anymore. She needed to go back to the very first castle she had ever claimed under the name Maleficent.

Maleficent spent the next week there, in that old, dark castle, practicing her magic. Magically speaking, she was very out of shape. But after enough time, she felt strong enough to conjure up some minions to help her find Mal. It felt odd seeing all of them again, especially since she hadn't seen them since her failed battle against Prince Phillip, but to see them all groveling at her feet once more wasn't totally unpleasant!

"Come on then! We have a girl to find!" Maleficent instructed her twisted army of goblins and goons, and they set out obediently, searching the entire land for Maleficent's child. Maleficent also managed to contact Diablo once she returned to their old lair. He had been delighted to hear that she was back to normal and joining the hunt for Mal.

"I still haven't found her," he confessed. "But I learned that Evie and Carols were also taken, along with their parents!" he added.

"Along with their parents?!" Maleficent echoed, concern returning to her in spades. That meant that this disappearance was mostly likely a kidnapping. Villain kids weren't the only ones disappearing now. If parents were being taken too, there was a far bigger plot at hand than any of them might have realized before.

"Unfortunately," Diablo agreed. "But we're still looking!"

"I fear that that may be all we can do right now," Maleficent replied. She hated saying it, but she was pretty sure that it was true. She, with a grim expression, raised her wand to summon up more minions. She had given the Grimmerie to Mal years ago and she hoped that the girl was still using it well even to this day, wherever she was.

At last, though, Diablo found Mal.

"She's in a secret cave about 50 miles from the school," the black bird reported. After getting that message, Maleficent wasted no time in flying to the place Diablo was talking about. It was at the edge of a large forest towards the northern part of Auradon. Just like Diablo had said, at the edge of that dark and foreboding forest, there was a small, secret cave hidden away. That cave led deep into the heart of the Earth and what she found waiting inside was the last thing she'd ever expected. It was an underground military bunker!

"Look!" Diablo whispered, flying over to one of the many makeshift beds that filled the secret bunker. He used his beak to pull the covers back from the bed and there, lying beneath the blankets, were Mal's clothes. Maleficent would recognize them anywhere! And the beds on either side of Mal's belonged to Evie, Jay and Carlos and all of their parents!

During their secret look through the underground bunker, Maleficent and Diablo were able to piece the story together. Apparently, one band of Auradon people were so against the integration of villain kids with hero kids that they actively tried to attack and kill some of the new Isle transfers. In order to protect themselves, then, the villains all went into hiding and someone finally created this bunk as a safe space for them to all congregate. But children of the Isle weren't the only ones who lived down here. Fellow allies and hero kids who supported the villain kids took up residence here as well. At the present, though, the entire bunker was empty.

"I think they may all be on missions on the outside," Diablo told his mistress as they carefully made their way back to the surface world. "If what I've been hearing and seeing are true, there are missions all over Auradon and the Isle to bring about peace and unity. I have no doubt that every single person in this bunker is currently out trying to make those missions a reality…"

From that point on, although Maleficent still hadn't been able to reunite with her daughter properly, the ex-evil witch began to take a more active role in the current social movement shaping the country. Obviously, she was still too controversial of a figure to dare step out onto the front lines, but she and her minions were more than capable of working from behind the scenes, offering vicarious aid to the students as they did their best to protect themselves and each other from any harm.

Diablo often made trips back to the Isles on Maleficent's behalf to help her see how her old home was fairing in these politically charged times. It saddened Maleficent a little to think that she was so knowledgeable on handling social justice wars and general chaos from the general public, but that was only because it reminded her of the days long since past where she had been called Glinda the Good, but fighting a similar battle: one for equality and peace against a world full of hatred and division. This was just like Oz, only under a different name. But even though this concept made Maleficent feel quite sad and nihilistic, it gave her some comfort in the fact that this fight was nothing new. It was a game she'd already played and, thusly, was a game she already knew how to navigate quite well...

"At least you don't have Morrible and the Wizard breathing down your neck this time around!" Diablo said to her once.

"True," Maleficent gave a dry laugh in response. "Thank Oz for that!"

"I'm sure Elphaba would be terribly proud of you," the raven added a moment later and Maleficent's dry smirk became serious and sad.

"I hope," she replied, then she said nothing more as she got back to work. Diablo watched her go with sorrow and pride in his dark eyes. Although she still was no Glinda the Good, she wasn't the Mistress of All Evil anymore either and that, in his opinion, was a very good thing. As the rest of the world began defying the hatred of the system all around them, so too did Maleficent defy the hatred within herself, fighting for the side of good once more. They were all defying gravity and Diablo was certain that Elphaba would indeed have been very proud of them all.

"But the war's not over yet!" Diablo muttered to himself, then without another word, he began defying gravity as well as he took a flying leap away from Maleficent's castle and back towards the heart of Auradon, the heart of the battle.

Chapter Text

Towards the end of that school year, all the opposing viewpoints and sides regarding the integration of villains into polite society finally came together in what was analogous to an epic last battle of a fairytale of old. It was quite the impressive setup, several nicely-sized armies all meeting in the Auradon courtyard to give one last shot at diplomacy before the next logical step would come into play. It was there that Maleficent, hiding in the shadows and waiting for the battle to begin, got to really see the lines drawn out clearly for the first time, but then she wasn't sure whose side was more impressive or intimidating.

On the side FOR integration there stood an array of people from Maleficent's past, friend and foe both, and that was what was really weird for her. Standing side by side, arm in arm, were people like Adam, Evil Queen, Belle, Jafar, Jay, Jane, Carlos, Ben, Phillip, Cinderella, Cruella, Evie, Doug and Fairy Godmother. Heroes and villains were side by side and it rattled Maleficent to her very core. But the biggest thing of all for her was the fact that standing at the very front of the army was none other than her own daughter, Mal.

Although this was not the first time that Maleficent had had the chance to see the girl's face, it was the first time she'd managed to see it so clearly, not being obscured by darkness or disguise. No, in a refreshing change of pace, Mal held herself such that all who looked could see her easily. What a beautiful sight she was to behold! It hadn't been that terribly long, yet she looked so different now than she ever had before. She just looked so strong, proud, brave, fearless and fierce. She looked commanding and bold, unafraid and mighty. It made Maleficent's heart swell with awe and pride. That was her little girl! Standing there in that shining armor, with a sword in one hand and the Grimmerie in the other! So, the little whelp had dragon claws after all, didn't she?

Not for the first time did a vision of Elphaba flash in Maleficent's mind as she beheld Mal, the two seeming to transpose over one another.

"Oh Elphie! If only you were here! You would love this! You'd just be so proud!" Maleficent whispered to herself. Mal may not have been Elphaba's child, but it was in times like these when Maleficent almost managed to believe that she was. Maleficent certainly would've liked for Elphaba to have been Mal's other parent and it almost seemed plausible when looking at things like this. Whether Mal knew it or not, she had always sort of reminded Maleficent of Elphaba, but now tonight, the resemblance was stronger than it had ever been before.

But the side AGAINST integration was no less impressive. Chad Charming and Audrey were the two who led that army and they had a large, fearsome band of heroes at their backs. What Maleficent noticed right away was that there were no villains on that side. It made sense, given what their stance was, but since Maleficent knew that some villains also held the anti-integration rhetoric, she couldn't help but wonder where they were. Probably back on the Isle. This battle wasn't only going to be contained to the Auradon courtyard.

When the battle began, it lasted for an entire day and night and Maleficent was quickly lost in the fray, hardly able to tell friend from foe.

"Where's Mal?" Maleficent had cried sometime during the fight. Even in the heat of war, a mother's love sung from Maleficent's body, and she was desperate to know what had become of her daughter. Mal had always been tough, but even the mightiest could fall victim to war and death. Maleficent knew this all too well. But because they were all still locked in the heat of combat, nobody had any information on Mal, and if they did, they didn't have time to give it. Because of that, Maleficent was forced to be patient and keep fighting, hoping against hope that Mal was ok.

As midnight fell over the country, Maleficent eventually came to the realization that perhaps she should've been more worried about herself than Mal. Maleficent had caught Chad trying to sneak away some time during the earlier part of the night and Maleficent wasted no time in going after him. As he tried to flee to safety, Maleficent stalked him all the way back to his hidey-hole.

"Where do you think you're going?!" Maleficent demanded. Chad gave a shriek of terror and he jumped high into the air.

"You!" he squealed in fear and fury as she appeared from the shadows.

"Me," Maleficent answered coldly.

"You are the whole reason any of this started!" Chad drew his sword, terror melting back into bitterness, indignation, anger and hurt.

"Oh really?" the witch drew her wand with an amused smirk. "I don't seem to recall starting an entire civil war!"

"If you hadn't sent Mal here, we would still be in peace!" Chad cried back, outraged by her disdainful amusement.

"No, you would still be in peace. My people would've still been suffering. Besides, I didn't send Mal here. Ben did," Maleficent countered. This time, instead of replying with words, Chad replied with actions and lunged at Maleficent, sword extended, but he was no match for an evil witch with decades and decades of combat experience...

Soon enough, Chad had chosen flight over fight again, but as before, Maleficent wasn't just going to let him go freely. Instead, she hunted him down until they found themselves all the way back at the Isle of the Lost.

"Come on Chad! This is my territory! You really think you can beat me at my own game?!" Maleficent scoffed as she turned into a dragon, looping around the desolate isle in search of that pathetic, pusillanimous prince. He really was stupid if he thought he could win here, on her home turf.

At last, Maleficent found her quarry. He was running to the tower Maleficent had lived in years ago. Maleficent glowered and returned to human form, running up the stairs and into the tower after him. She got there just in time to see Chad messing around with some of the magic trinkets from Jafar's old junkshop of stolen goods. When Maleficent saw this, her rage turned to fear.

"Put those down, boy!" she ordered. "You don't know what power they hold!" and she was right. Even she didn't know what half the objects did. Maybe once upon a time, those objects might've been nothing more than shiny pieces of trash, but with the ensuing battle in Auradon, the anti-magic shield around the Isles has been removed again and all of those objects that Jafar had collected over the years were starting to regain some of their... darker properties. Maleficent already knew where this was going, even if she didn't know exactly what each object was capable of.

"Put those down!" she repeated, but Chad only ignored her. Although he also knew the dangers of tampering with unknown, unstable magical items, he didn't care anymore. Instead, he shoved his hand into Jafar's bag of treasures and finally came back with a small black cauldron.

"Useless!" he hissed, throwing it over his shoulder. Maleficent, who hadn't moved an inch, cringed as the iron struck the stone floor. Oh boy…

Only a second later after hitting the floor, the black cauldron began to fill and bubble with a thick black liquid. It started boiling almost immediately and it spread out into a perfect circle on the floor before defying gravity and rising upward, then morphing in a vaguely humanoid shape. All the while, the liquid made a bubbling noise loud enough to finally distract Chad from his vicious search and when he turned around to see what he had done by touching that black cauldron, even he began to finally panic.

"Uh oh!" he murmured, voicing Maleficent's sentiments perfectly, but it was too late. The damage had been done...

Suddenly, right as the humanoid took its final form, a large explosion sent Chad flying out a nearby window and Maleficent herself went flying into a wall. Maleficent recovered quickly despite the violent impact with the cold, hard wall, and she managed to see the black, gooey human grow into a shape more demonic as it charged straight through the entire front half of her tower, smashing the wall like it was paper and soaring across the starlit sky and towards Auradon. Great.

"This is all your fault, Jafar!" the witch growled under her breath, then she got to her feet in preparation for another game of Cat and Mouse. Chad's fate didn't cross Maleficent's mind even once. But if it had, she would've returned to see the prince lying stunned in a dump below the window. He was alive, but very bruised, both in body and ego.

The chase took Maleficent and the demon from the black cauldron back to the heart of Auradon. She got there in time to see it ravaging the remains of the castle. It had been something Maleficent had wanted to do herself for so long, but seeing it happen again made her angry.

"Back off!" she roared and she flew at the demon, clouting him hard with her whip-like tail. The demon had just turned around to repay the blow when he paused and looked down. Maleficent did likewise and was horrified to see scores of humans looking up at them. Of course the moment this evil demon appeared would be the moment Auradon would've decided to celebrate its victory! And that was when the very last battle began.

The sun was rising in the distance by the time this last battle ended. The heroes of Auradon had adapted quickly to their newest adversity and some of the braver souls even ventured to the Isle of the Lost with the intent of rallying more troops. Even though all of them were exhausted from just finishing up a battle against each other, heroes were already reassembling and as Maleficent watched some of them head to the Isles, she silently bade them good luck. She, herself, hadn't seen any other soul there when she went chasing after Chad, but she could still hope that these heroes of Auradon would somehow find some other villains who would be willing to come out and defeat this final foe.

This really could prove to be a great common enemy between the heroes and villains, but Maleficent knew from experience how stubborn villains could be, even when confronted by their own kind. But at the moment, Maleficent was busy trying to stop the monster and evade the arrows of Auradon. She figured that they thought that she had called the monster and, naturally, they were trying to kill her.

"Why me?" she growled to herself, cursing her bad luck. But the sight of Mal looking up at her with unreadable eyes urged Maleficent to keep fighting no matter what. A mother's love could be swayed by a daughter, no matter how stubborn it was originally thought to be.

The battle was far from easy. Maleficent knew from the start that no single magical object on its own would ever be strong enough to beat this enemy from the Black Cauldron. Even Fairy Godmother's own wand had been only moderately helpful in the long run. Because of that, Maleficent had spent most of the battle trying to find multiple sources of energy and magic to help her cause. Nothing alone would work, so it was time for some crazy and creative combinations!

"I need something more powerful than magic to defeat this guy," Maleficent decided, finally reverting back to human form. She wracked her brains for something and, finally, it hit her. It was the most ironic and insulting answer ever, but just for one moment, Maleficent was crazy enough to believe it. Love. It had already done so much for all of them so far, so who was to say it couldn't help them again one last time? But seriously?! Fate was asking an evil witch to deliver this answer?! Life really did have a taste for the strangest and most ironic of jokes didn't it? But then Maleficent thought back to the end of Mal's first year here at Auradon…

"Didn't you ever think to ask what I want?" the girl's voice echoed in Maleficent's head.

"Please, mom, I know you've been hurting, but so have I!"

"Let me show you that love is really amazing!"

"It's just you and me, mother…"

"She shrunk to the size of the love in her heart."

"Careful! That's my mom!"

"There is no room in your life for love!"

"Evil power is as good as none when four hearts become one!"

Maleficent was dimly aware of Mal in her peripheral vision, yet she seemed to be cloaked in green and she seemed to be wearing a mix of armor and her coronation dress from years ago. It made no sense but Maleficent didn't care now. All she knew was that this demon had decided to bear down on Mal and her most loyal friends. Her friends. The people that had protected her better than Maleficent ever had. Maleficent's eyes widened in horror and a silent scream tore from her throat.

A bolt of green energy flew from her old wooden wand long enough to distract the demon and allow the youngsters to escape. Maleficent stood defiant as the demon turned angrily on her. When it sensed her lack of fear, it grew amused and charged towards her instead. She knew at once that she would probably die and her true feelings about Mal would follow her but, for once, she didn't care at all.

"No one mourns the wicked, but if this means protecting Mal, so be it then," Maleficent whispered as the demon readied to strike her down…

Maleficent was not around to see it, but her sacrifice paid off and her willingness to give up even her own life had been just strong enough to help destroy the demon from the cauldron once and for all. It vanished the moment it struck its killing blow, leaving everyone else in Auradon to stare up in confusion at its sudden disappearance. Only one solider in the entire kingdom had any insight as to what had happened.

"Mother," Mal gasped softly to herself and she went racing towards the smoking castle where the demon had last been seen. She ignored her friends' voices as they called out to her. She couldn't hear them over the pounding of her own heart. Instead, she ran into the ruined castle, heedless of anything other than the nagging feeling that something was very wrong inside.

Sure enough, right there before the royal throne, Maleficent lay on her back, spread-eagled, with her now-empty green eyes staring listlessly up at the ceiling. So Mal was right then. All along, it had been her mother to blame for this. And Mal had so hoped that she would change… Mal collapsed before her mother's body in despair, one sob tearing itself from her throat before she went totally silent.

Mal was dimly aware of other people eventually coming to comfort her. It was not her beating heart that drowned out their words, though, but her own sobs of pain and misery. Her mom was dead, killed by her own folly and wickedness, lying in the destruction that she had created. So, after all this time, there had been no hope. No change. No improvement. No redemption. Just lies and revenge. All along, her mother had been evil. She'd summoned this demon in one final attempt to secure Auradon's power for herself. But now she was dead, having died exactly the way that she had lived: trying to fulfill yet another evil plot...

Mal could only stare hollowly down at Maleficent's lifeless form, heart aching. Oh how she had longed for her own mother to have reformed in the same way her friends' parents all had! Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella? They all managed to come around eventually and even if they still had an awfully long way to go, at least they had gotten farther than Maleficent ever had. She hadn't seemed to have progressed at all ever and that was what truly broke Mal's heart, the realization that her mother hadn't even tried. Not once, not even a little. Mal's hope had been in vain.

While Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella managed to find it within themselves to change, Maleficent had been rotten to the core. But now she was dead, and Mal had no idea what to feel… Mal knew that she should've been glad, should've been grateful, rejoicing that goodness had saved the day again, but when faced with her mother's corpse, she had no idea how to feel, if she could even feel at all! Instead, she just… felt… heavy. She knew the no one would mourn her wicked mother and she knew that Maleficent didn't deserve it anyway, but Mal still couldn't help but cry. No one mourns the wicked? No, one mourns the wicked. Mal.

Chapter Text

"Mal," Mal finally heard one voice over the all of the others. Fairy Godmother. Mal turned her red, wet eyes to the source of the sound. "If you would like, I could show you how it happened," she offered gently. It seemed like a terrible thing to offer, but Mal agreed. It was as if, somehow, Fairy Godmother knew exactly what Mal wanted, even when Mal herself was not quite so sure. Seeing exactly how Maleficent had been killed would be hard, but it would give Mal some closure.

"Ok. Let's do it," she finally answered with words, looking up at Fairy Godmother with complete and utter trust. She had no idea what the old lady was planning, or how she could possibly grant Mal the power to watch Maleficent's death unfold, but she trusted that the woman would have a way, and that that way would be good, and gentle, and necessary for whatever it was that Mal needed at the moment.

"Excellent," Fairy Godmother's voice was soft, comforting.

She lowered her wand to touch Mal's head, but right before any spell could be cast, Mal's three oldest, closest friends arrived on the scene.

"We'll go with you," they offered. Mal was reluctant at first, not wanting to let them see something that might sway their opinion of her, but they each vowed on their lives that nothing would ever make them hate her. No matter what they would see in Maleficent's head as she died, they would never ever associate Mal with her.

"Ok," Mal finally agreed and, together, Fairy Godmother, Mal, and friends delved into Maleficent's memories to see how she really died…

By the time they came back out of the memories, Mal was hysterical. She had come to realize that she and all the others had gotten it all wrong. Maleficent hadn't been trying to take over the castle! She'd been trying to save it! She hadn't summoned that black demon! She had been trying to kill it before it could cause too much damage to Auradon! And all along, Mal and the others had assumed the worst! They hadn't realized that, all along, Maleficent had been on their side!

"And she died with the entire kingdom hating her!" Mal sobbed in despair, looking close to hitting a breaking point. But while Mal was in agony, Fairy Godmother looked elated.

"So she learned to love!" the old woman cried. "With that, there is still hope!" and then she zoomed off before anybody could ask what she meant.

In time, thought, the answer would become clear. Like Fairy Godmother had said many times before, and like everyone knew, love could conquer all. And it seemed that such a clause was still in effect, even when death was involved...

Suffice to say, Maleficent had been deeply surprised to wake up and find herself in bed, surrounded by hero and villain alike.

"What happened? Why am I here?!" Maleficent growled, rubbing her aching horns as she sat up.

"We were able to save you," Fairy Godmother answered calmly.

"From what?" snarled Maleficent, on guard at once. That face was not the one she first expected to see when waking up.

"From the beast of the Black Cauldron," said Aurora, then it all came back to Maleficent and she realized at once where she was.

"So you're all safe then?" she asked, finally taking in the faces of all those who surrounded her. It was the royal family, Aurora's family, the three other villains Maleficent had bunked with whilst on the Isle of the Lost, and their children. They all nodded.

"But where's Mal?" Maleficent asked, noting that her daughter was absent from the lineup.

"She's outside," Evil Queen said.

"Waiting for you to wake up," Jafar clarified and Cruella nodded at Maleficent over his head.

"She was too hysterical to stay," Phillip explained, seeing Maleficent's confused look. For a moment, she wondered if he had come to forgive her for killing his father all those years ago. He certainly didn't seem angry, but now really wasn't the time to ask...

"But we can bring her in now," offered Audrey and Maleficent nodded anxiously.

"I'd like to see her again," the witch confessed, but she was twiddling her fingers in a way that conveyed the opposite desire.

"Don't worry, she's not mad at you in any way," Adam promised, seeing Maleficent's worry, and Belle nodded in agreement.

"She's been worried sick, actually," the ex-queen of Auradon told the ex-leader of the Isle of the Lost.

"Really?" Maleficent was genuinely surprised but, before anyone could answer, Ben had turned to the hospital door to shout.

"Hey Mal! Get in here! Your mom's up!" then, slowly but surely, the door was pushed open...

While the others exited the hospital room politely, Mal was busy sobbing into Maleficent's shoulder.

"Oh! Mom! I'm so glad you're ok!" she wept and wept and wept. Maleficent was very uncomfortable. She felt touched, embarrassed, and ashamed all at once as Mal continued to cling to her, sobbing out her relief. At last, however, Maleficent had had enough.

"But why?" she asked finally. "Why do you care? I'm just a monster! How could you possibly have been-?" she began, but Mal cut her off.

"No you're not!" she cried. Then she explained to Maleficent how she and her friends had all seen the truth behind the fairy's seemingly-evil actions, and then her subsequent sacrifice to save Auradon. Finally, then, Mal confessed to having seen, in those memories, just how much Maleficent really loved her. This was the part that made her the most choked up of all.

"I love you," Mal admitted finally, once the story was over, eyes brimming with unshed tears. Maleficent felt her own heart melt and finally, finally she gave Mal a true smile and a warm hug in return.

"I love you too," she said and this time, she meant it. She really, really meant it. Because of Mal, Maleficent had finally been changed… for good.

But the story was far from over. Instead, proper repairs were made across the land, and all mysterious and magical objects were disposed of at once, destroyed in a massive fire never to be recovered again. The Black Cauldron was among the first of these objects to be annihilated, everything else following after into the ashes and dust. After the event with the Black Cauldron, nobody minded much. Not even Jafar, although his entire livelihood had just been set alight.

"Eh, maybe I could try running a bank instead," he said. "I mean, that's sorta the same thing, right? Selling people cheap junk for way more than it's worth and keeping all the extra change? Cheating buyers out of all of their savings with empty promises that I can't keep?"

"Ehhhh, sort of," Jay cringed a little, patting his father awkwardly on the shoulder, but Jafar looked so pleased with himself that neither Jay nor anyone else had the heart to correct Jafar about his latest ambitions. Instead, they all let it slide.

And as for Chad? Well. His body was eventually rescued from the dump in which it was lying and, after he had been fully patched up, he was sent back to work in repairs for the Isle of Lost until he learned some humility, and all of those who had followed him shared a similar fate. Each of them was fixed up, but then sent to help the Isles fix up as well. Then, on the flip side, any villain who had been wrongfully jailed or hurt or who had helped in the last battle against the demon were welcomed into Auradon, as decreed by Ben. Those who had been wrongfully attacked and those who had faithfully served Auradon received official pardons for their past sins. They had to take it slow, but nobody minded much anymore. Everyone was just relieved that the ceaseless fighting was finally done.

But then, on a more personal note, when graduation rolled around, Mal and friends finished at the top of their class.

"What'll we do next?" the purple-haired girl asked as they left the high school one last time.

"College?" Evie suggested. She had been the smartest of them all, so of course she would be the one to suggest continuing her education.

"Yeah, I swear I'm gonna try out for every sport the college has to offer!" Jay answered eagerly.

"I'm thinking about opening a vet," said Carlos, still coddling the Auradon Prep mascot. "So I'll definitely need the extra education."

"Well you know me," Ben joked. "As king, I have to go to college!"

"And you'll love it!" Ben's parents called out from the side. The group laughed in reply.

At the same time, the ex-villains' parents were having a similar chat.

"I'm going to open a beauty parlor here now that the kingdom has granted me some funding!" Evil Queen exclaimed.

"I'm starting up my bank soon!" Jafar said, still looking quite pleased with himself.

"Perhaps I can join Evil Queen in the beauty industry. Or I'll just model fur coats," Cruella said next. "Fake furs though!" she added a second later.

"What about you, Maleficent?" a new, non-villain voice asked. It was Fairy Godmother. She had overheard their chatter and decided to help them in trying to achieve their dreams, even though those dreams might not pan out the way they'd planned. It was just nice to see them planning to change the world for good instead of for worse, even if they still had an awfully long way to go.

"Doesn't matter to me," Maleficent shrugged and the others looked awed by this remark. Didn't matter? But Maleficent always cared! What on earth did she mean when she said that it didn't matter to her? Wasn't Maleficent the greatest schemer of all time? Wasn't planning and plotting one of her biggest and most defining features? What did she mean she no longer cared?!

"Maybe I'll stay here in Auradon. Maybe I'll go back to the Isle of the Lost and live my life in peaceful solitude," she shrugged again, ignoring the still-baffled looks she was receiving from her other ex-villain friends and Fairy Godmother. Ever since the reparations had begun, the Isle had become a proper jail. That is, only real and convicted crooks lived there, and this time, the crooks were looked after carefully. It was no longer a mere dumping ground for anyone Auradon disagreed with. Nor were children born on the island forced to grow up there. Or at least, they weren't forced to grow up in such squalid conditions as the previous generations had been forced to endure. For that, Maleficent considered rooming there again to be a viable plan. Her tower had been cleaned up too, after all.

"It doesn't really matter to me," she repeated and she would say no more about the topic.

But, internally, it did matter. It mattered a whole lot. Ever since the whole Black Cauldron incident, Maleficent had gotten closer to her daughter every day and now her daughter was leaving again. Maleficent wanted to keep the girl close, but she understood that such a desire was selfish. She had to let Mal live her own life for once. But truly, without Mal, Maleficent wasn't sure what she'd do next...

"You'll come with me to college!" Mal insisted, during a post-graduation party that Maleficent had been personally invited to attend.

"How? I think a horned monster isn't exactly an ideal student," Maleficent deadpanned.

"First off, you aren't a monster," Mal said firmly and Maleficent couldn't fight a small smile at her daughter. She was so glad they'd reconciled at last. "Second off, you're not coming as a human. You're coming as a lizard," Mal finished.

"You're kidding?" Maleficent asked with a snort.

"Only if you say no," answered Mal, arms crossed with a frank expression.

"You've got to be kidding," Maleficent repeated, but Mal only shook her head.

The very next fall, a small group of 20-year-olds were walking towards Auradon University. One of the five in that group had a glass tank in her arms and, inside that tank, was a tiny black lizard. Resting on top of the lid of the tank was a black bird, who cawed happily down at the lizard within. She flickered her tongue back up at him in a voiceless reply.

"I love you, Mom," Mal whispered as she sat the tank by her new bed in her new dorm.

"I love you too," Maleficent replied, this new lizard spell granting her the power to speak. Mal chuckled before skipping off to join her friends in orientation, leaving Maleficent to rest in her tank and smile. Yes, she'd agreed to join Mal in college as a lizard, but why not? It wasn't like she had anything better to do with her life, and Mal had asked her along after all. So she'd said yes. So what? It was all just a mother's love. Besides, being back at a university brought so many old memories to Maleficent and, for once, they were all good.

"It may not be Shiz, but it's something!" the raven said to the lizard as they admired Mal's dorm together.

"Exactly!" the lizard agreed. "Though I think "Dear Old Shiz" is better than whatever song this school has!" she added with a dry laugh.

"Well, I'm sure Elphaba would be proud either way," the raven cawed, cocking his head fondly at his oldest and closest friend.

"I'm sure she would," the lizard agreed. She and the raven had come a very long way together and it looked like they had quite a few years left. Their story was not ending, it was only just beginning…

"I wonder if Mal will get a green-skinned roommate."

"Sweet Oz, I hope not!"