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Maleficent did not like children.  They were noisy and dirty little critters.  So when Aurora brought up the topic of having some, she was not overly enthusiastic.  

 

“I don’t like children, and they don’t like me.”  She stated adamantly.  She was quite content with the status quo and saw no reason to change it.  

“You liked me as a child.”  Aurora pointed out.

“Please do not equate ‘not letting you die’ and ‘unable to scare you away’ with ‘liking’.”

“Maleficent, you would be a good mother.”

“That is a lie, and you know it.  Diaval is better at parenting than I am. Besides, faeries are not known for their maternal instincts.”  

 

Maleficent could never be swayed by force, so Aurora wisely let the topic drop.  But over the years, she chipped at Maleficent’s defense with subtle nudge and gentle hints until the faery finally gave in.  The smile Aurora gave her made it worthwhile.  Almost.       

 

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The pregnancy went smoothly, helped along by Aurora’s natural grace and sunny disposition.  Maleficent would have prefered the child (a girl of course) to be born in the moors, but there was a tradition that human heirs must be born in the palace.  So on the day of her daughter’s birth, Maleficent was forced into the uncomfortable confines of Aurora’s bedchambers.  Being indoors made her jittery-- as if the occasion wasn’t nerve wracking enough.  Aurora reminded her not to look too menacing, lest she scared off the midwives.  They were useless anyways-- a touch of her magic was all that was needed to bring her daughter safely to this world.  

 

Maleficent wrinkled her nose at wailing newborn in Aurora’s arms.    

“She doesn’t have any wings.”  She said disapprovingly.  

“She’s perfect.  She looks just like you.”  Aurora said happily.

That could not be true. Maleficent was sure she was never this chubby, wrinkled, and pink.  And the baby looked disgustingly human, even if she did have blonde hair and rosy cheeks like her mother.  Only the eyes were faery-like, luminescent green orbs flecked with gold around the pupil.  

 

They named her Dawn.

 

Aurora took to motherhood like a duck to water.  She nursed and took care of the child herself, only leaving her to the nanny when she had to attend to her duties as Queen.  The baby was too fragile to travel the first few months so mother and child stayed at the palace.  

 

Maleficent would visit at night.  From her spot on the balcony, she would listen to the sounds of Aurora voice as she sang the child to sleep.  

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Maleficent glided to a stop on Aurora’s balcony.  It was still early in the day, but this will be the first time they are leaving the palace in months and she was eager to be off.  To her disappointment, only the nanny and baby was in the room.        

 

“Your ladyship.”  The nanny curtsied to her.

 

“Where is the queen?”  

 

“She’s still in council my lady.  It’ll be a few more hours.”  

 

Maleficent ruffled her feathers irritably.  She was looking forward to spending a few days together with Aurora in the moors.  Alone.

 

She stalked over to the cradle to check on Dawn.  The baby was babbling to herself as she played with some toy blocks.  She looked up inquisitively when Maleficent’s shadow fell over her.  

 

She was quite wary around Maleficent compared to how clingy she was with Aurora. No doubt she sensed the sorceress wasn’t such a pushover.  At least the little critter wasn't stupid.  

 

An idea came Maleficent, and she smiled to herself as she scooped up the child.  

 

“Your ladyship??”  The nanny exclaimed as she strode out onto the balcony.  

 

“If the queen returns, tell her we went for a flight.”  Maleficent said as she leaped into the air.  

She caught an updraft and soared above the castle, wheeling in the direction of the moors.

 

“Gah?”  Dawn gurgled at the unfamiliar sensation of floating through the air.  Then, a broad smile broke over her face and she waved her little arms excitedly.  

 

“Woosh whoosh!”       

 

As they glided through clouds and over houses, she looked around fearlessly, taking everything in with curious eyes.  

 

Hmm.  

 

Maleficent flattened her wings against her back and dropped into a dive.   Her wings flared out right above the trees.  Dawn squealed with delight as they skimmed over the top of the canopy.  She patted Maleficent on the cheek with one chubby hand.  

 

“Gu gu.”  She said approvingly.      

 

A flock of geese passed by.  Dawn waved her arms around mimicking the flapping of their wings-- and tried to wriggle out of Maleficent's grasp.  

 

“No.  No!  You don’t have wings you silly child.”

 

“Nah!.”  Dawn cried out unhappily as the geese flew away.  Her face went from sunshine to storm clouds in an instant.  She bopped at Maleficent’s shoulder with her tiny fists and wailed her displeasure.

 

Maleficent cringed.  Babies are LOUD.  

 

“Hush.  Stop that!”  The screeching was unbearable to her sensitive ears.

 

Maleficent landed in the moors below and dropped her kicking and screaming charge on the soft grass.   Maybe she could enchant her.  But Aurora would NOT pleased if she found out.  

 

The noise attracted the attention of the fair folk.  They crept around them, looking at the newcomer with curiosity.  One young wallerbog was even bold enough to come right up to princess.  

 

Dawn stopped crying and looked at the strange creature curiously.  Maleficent was relieved….until Dawn reached out and grabbed onto the wallerbog’s trunk.  The creature back pedaled with a snort of surprise.  Dawn giggled as she hang on to the poor thing’s nose while it frantically tried to shake her off.  The sorceress groaned.    

 

Despite the less than stellar introduction, the fair folk warmed up to the young princess.  Maleficent lounged against a tree, keeping one eye on her charge as the fair folk cooed over their future queen.  Tiny water fairies twirled around leaving trails of sparkling dust that mesmerized the child, who tried to grab the sparkles in her tiny fists.  The wallerbogs started a game of tag with her, waddling just out of reach as Dawn crawled happily after them.  

 

After a while, Dawn grew tired from playing.  Her eyelids started to droop, and one yawn followed another until she could no longer keep her eyes open.  She crawled over to Maleficent and curled up in her shadow.

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“Well, aren’t you two adorable.”  

 

Maleficent was awakened by Aurora’s voice.  The queen stood before her, one hand on her hip and the other holding the reigns of her horse.  

 

Maleficent didn’t realize she had fallen asleep, but the shadows were much longer so it must have been several hours.  Dawn had crept up against her in her sleep, and was snuggled under one of her wings.

 

“Imagine my surprise when I returned to my room and found both of you gone. I heard from some pixies you had a busy afternoon.”  Aurora said with a wide smile.   

 

Bah, pixies. Gossipy little things.  Maleficent hummed noncommittally and stood, stretching out her wings.  The movement woke up Dawn, who blinked sleepily at both of them, and then held out her chubby arms for Aurora.  

 

“Hello darling, did you enjoy yourself?”  Aurora picked up her daughter and kissed her affectionately.  

 

“She wasn’t a complete terror.”  Maleficent said.  

 

Aurora bumped her nose against Dawn making her laugh.   “Did you hear that?  That’s high praise coming from your mother.”  She tip toed to kiss Maleficent on the lips.  “Thank you.”  She said quietly.  

 

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”  Maleficent said, but her arms and wings came around to surround mother and child in a warm embrace.   Dawn mewled in protest at being squished in the middle.      

 

Aurora shifted Dawn to the crook of her arm and took the reigns of her horse.  “Let’s all stay here for the night.  You can take Dawn back tomorrow”  She headed off in the direction of Maleficent’s tree.  

 

“Come along, I’ll show you how to change a diaper.”  

 

Maleficent followed after them with a sigh.  So much for a relaxing evening...