Regina Mills held her daughter's arm in a vice grip, terrified of what would happen if she let go and hoping the pale skin would not bruise when she finally was able to. They had to run as quickly as possible. Magic was of no use, as it would only alert those after them to their presence. They didn't need help.
She couldn't lose her daughter. Never again. Not after the so-called "Charming Couple" had kidnapped her after years of trying. Charming. As if. Her step-daughter had been trying to kidnap her child since the girl was born because of some wild prophecy that said her daughter was part of a whole and would bring down the evil forces on earth. Regina's entire pregnancy Snow had been convinced she was having twins because of that prophecy. Nothing anyone said made a difference.
Her daughter had been dubbed a savior of all the realms before she had even been birthed. But then again, Snow had always thought prophecies held more truth than what was right in front of her. She'd been obsessed with them as a small child as well, no matter how hard Regina had tried to convince Leopold it was bad for the girl to believe such things. Regina had kept Emma safe for fifteen years. Fifteen years and one misstep and Snow had managed to kidnap her child — it had only been for a short time, less than a day, but it had been an eternity in the eyes of Regina. Magic had not been able to keep her girl safe in this realm, so the once Queen was falling back on a plan she'd made more than a decade before. She would keep her child safe in another realm. She would do what she had to, even if it meant losing everything else.
"Mama, they're close. I can feel them," Emma said tearfully, trying to keep up with her mother, as quickly as her much shorter legs allowed. Her magic was strong and she could physically feel the approaching hoards of people through the very earth they walked on. Her time with her step-sister had not been kind to the teen. Snow was bizarre in ways Emma could not explain. Though not magical, she'd stunk of dark magic, which had greatly confused Emma. David, while an idiot, had not had the same scent about him. He just listened to Snow and did whatever he was told. He was a sheep. A follower. He lived on Snow's demands.
"They won't be able to find us where we are going. We will be safe from them," Regina said softly.
The two did not stop running until they came to a clearing and a stone well. The "wishing well" of another realm, connecting this world to many others with the right source of magic. A world Regina had fled to in order to keep her unborn daughter safe. Once again, Regina would be trading dimensions for the safety of her child. There was nothing more important to Regina than Emma's safety. This time it was different though. The Queen had the last multi-realm bean left in existence. They would go where distant relatives before them had gone centuries before. Where no one could find them, hopefully.
"Mama, what if they don't remember?" Emma asked, her voice shaky. She knew very little about where they were going and what she did know she'd learned in the last half hour.
"A witch — which is what they are known as where we are going — never forgets. They, like us, are immortal. Zelda, Edward, Thomas, and Hilda will welcome us with open arms. They will give us sanctuary. No one from here will be able to find us. Sweet girl, I won't promise things won't be hard — they do things differently where we are going, and we will be strong compared to them — but we will have the opportunity to thrive there."
Regina knew what the new world would bring, to an extent. She'd never stopped checking up on her cousins. Well, Zelda she hadn't ever stopped checking on. Eventually she had been unable to find Thomas and Edward, and Hilda only now and again. It would be an adjustment for them all. But safety mattered. It mattered more than anything else right now. She dropped the bean into the well and pulled Emma close to her.
"Hold onto me tightly, baby, it's going to be a bit of a rough ride."
And with that, they were gone, no trace of them in sight. The winds were still, and the water in the well did not even ripple. No lights flashed. It was a very ordinary scene — as if nothing had happened in the area at all.
By the time Snow White and David Charming made it to the clearing, fully intending to make kill shots to the Queen and take the princess with them, the gate was closed. The two villains masquerading as heroes continued running, searching for two people who were no longer even in their realm. And just as Regina had willed it, the duo and those who followed them had no clue, and wouldn't for quite some time.
Zelda Spellman stared at her niece, Sabrina, with trepidation. Zelda had known since Sabrina was five years old that she was paying for her own upbringing with the raising of the girl now. It was like staring into a looking glass centuries before. Sabrina was exactly like Zelda had been at the age of fifteen. It made the elder woman both proud and frustrated beyond belief to be responsible for raising such a child — so disobedient at times, so much like Zelda it was unfathomable to most that she wasn't born to Zelda herself.
She had known when Diana — Sabrina's biological mother — was pregnant with the child she would be the one raising her. Magical law did not allow for a mortal to raise a witch. Even if Diana and Edward had not been killed, Sabrina would have been hers, as magical law dictated. Zelda often wondered her her girl would be so much like her had she been raised by her mortal mother. The truth was, however, that she was almost absolutely sure Sabrina would have been the same, if not worse.
Zelda had never explained that to Sabrina though. It would crush her, to know her fantasy was all made up. To know that, no matter what, Zelda would have been the one raising her and her birth mother would have, more than likely, died before she was fully grown. Sabrina had always dreamed of what it would have been like to be raised by her biological parents, so Zelda hadn't the heart to explain the way things would have been. What was the point? They were dead and it was not to be regardless.
Zelda was the head of the Spellman family, being the eldest, something in magical culture that was still valued today. It was up to her to raise Sabrina, something she and Edward had talked about at length before Sabrina was ever born — it had been planned that Diana would care for Sabrina until she was six months old, with Zelda keeping her every weekend so it wasn't a hard adjustment for the baby when she was given to Zelda permanently. But, then Diana and Edward had been killed on a weekend away to Italy. Sabrina was effectively hers from that moment on. Sabrina was, in all ways, Zelda's daughter. No matter what, though, Sabrina did not see Zelda as such, and Zelda blamed herself for that — and perhaps a bit of Hilda who had relayed tales of glory of the late Spellmans, not helping Sabrina adjust in the least.
But, yes, Sabrina was, whether she wanted to admit it, exactly like Zelda. Right now, it truly frustrated Zelda. As much as she wished she could give Sabrina the freedom she desired, it was not possible nor probable. She would not be a good parent if she let the girl do as she pleased all of the time, despite what the girl believed. And whether Sabrina wished to admit it or not, she had plenty of freedom for a young witch. Just because her mortal classmates were given so much free reign did not mean Sabrina would or could be afforded the same. She wasn't a mortal. She was a witch. She would live for eternity unless something dreadful happened, and then there was always Zelda's Cain Pit.
"Aunt Zee, seriously, you have to let me go hang out with Harvey," Sabrina whined her arms crossed over her chest. What her aunt didn't seem to understand was that Harvey needed her. Her boyfriend needed her just like she needed him. She was absolutely sure, in her fifteen year old mind, that she would die if she was kept from him for much longer. In fact, she was pretty sure he would cease to exist if she couldn't go see him as well. It truly was dreadful that Aunt Zelda didn't understand the damage this could do to the young couple.
Zelda pinched the bridge of her nose with one hand and took a long drag from her cigarette with the other. She detested hearing whines coming from people, but especially Sabrina. The child knew exactly what octave to whine in to grate on Zelda's absolute last nerve. The shrill sound of it was like nails on a chalkboard.
"Sabrina, you are staying home because I said you are not going out tonight, as it is much too late for you to go galavanting around, as well as the fact it is a school night. You also know whining is never going to get you what you want from me. I detest whining. Do remember I do not have to do anything other than feed, shelter, and water you."
"Aunt Zee," Sabrina whined shrilly again and drawing out Zelda's nickname, causing the older witch to raise a brow, which then raised up even further when Sabrina stomped her foot.
The teen in front of her thought she was grown, but she was still merely a child. Witch children, even half witches like Sabrina truly believed she was, were not grown at the age of eighteen like these silly mortals liked to believe their own children were. Though, Zelda thought to herself, the mortals didn't live nearly as long as witches and warlocks did. Sabrina wouldn't be fully grown and into her full powers for many more decades. Even Ambrose was not considered fully grown as of yet, and he was nearing a hundred.
"Stop whining this instant, Sabrina, it is unbecoming of a young witch."
Sabrina refrained from rolling her eyes, knowing well it would lead to her being in trouble and definitely not leaving the house like she wanted to.
"I am fifteen, why can't I go hang out with Harvey? It's not like we are going to be doing anything but talking," Sabrina said, and then looked to her left and twisted a ringlet of hair around her finger — the teen's tell, the give away she gave when lying. It caused Zelda's eyes to narrow a smidgen.
"I see, and …" Zelda stopped mid-sentence when she felt a strange magical pulse. One that was stronger than anything she'd encountered in quite some time. "Something is happening."
Zelda went to the door and opened it, just as a portal opened up and spit out two people in the Spellman Cemetery. Her eyes did not leave the two beings suddenly on their property, her defenses up immediately.
Portals were not common here. Zelda herself had not seen one since she had come to this realm centuries before from the Enchanted Forest. Yet here one was, about two feet above the ground, vanishing as quickly as it appeared.
"Sabrina, get Hilda and Ambrose and tell them to come quickly. And then go to your room and stay there. Now."
"But Aunt Zee …" Sabrina wanted to know what was going on, too! When would Aunt Zelda realize she wasn't a child?
"Now, Sabrina Spellman! I shan't tell you again!" Zelda commanded in a voice Sabrina knew better than to disobey right now, no matter how much she wanted to do so. Her hands were raised, but she could feel the power in the air. The older woman needed Ambrose and Hilda down here with her immediately because if these witches decided to attack, she would be outnumbered in more ways than one. She wouldn't last long if they decided to use magic against her, and she point blank refused to allow Sabrina to be caught in the crossfire..
Moments later, Zelda, Hilda, and Ambrose were standing on the porch, hands raised in wait. They knew only one thing — the witches in their presence were powerful. Very powerful. Zelda felt an inkling of remembrance in her very being, something she felt her own magic remembered, but the two were not yet close enough for her to be able to tell whether they wished to do her family harm or not.
The oldest of the duo, a tall woman with dark brown hair and ruby red lips and a smirk gracing her lips as the younger one, a young girl with long blonde curls, stood back, just far enough away that Zelda could not make out any of her features.
"Well, well, well, as I live and breathe, Zelda Spellman, Hilda Spellman. And you, young man, I do not believe we have met."
Zelda lowered her hands and stepped forward off of the porch and onto the grounds, where the light was shining bright and made it possible for her to truly see the woman in front of her, "Regina? Is it really you?"
Regina smirked and nodded once, as had always been her way. Zelda felt the tension leave her shoulders immediately.
"It has been centuries — we thought we would never see you again, dearie!" Hilda said excitedly.
"Don't call her dearie," the young blonde snapped from behind Regina, white and yellow smoky magic surrounding her, making her hair fly high, causing the brunette to turn around with a raised brow.
"Emma Swan Mills!" Regina fussed at her girl, letting her know well her tone and attitude would not be accepted, just as it wouldn't have been at home. Emma didn't know much about their new realm, but she knew well enough that Zelda was the head of the Spellman family and Emma owed Zelda and Hilda respect just as any other adult in her life — well, the ones who didn't wish her harm.
"Aunties, what is going on?"
"Sabrina! What explicit directions did I give you, young lady?" Zelda asked, turning around to face the teenager who had just come running out of the house. Sabrina had felt the magic pulse from the other teenager and wanted to know what was going on more than she wanted to obey her aunt at the moment. Not that it had been a hard decision — if you wanted to know something in this world, you pretty much had to figure it out yourself. If she waited on Aunt Zelda to give her information, she'd be waiting forever, she was sure.
The two teenagers stared at each other. Knowing well, without being told, they were related somehow. They looked almost exactly alike. It was an odd feeling.
Emma started walking toward the other teen, stopped only when Regina reached out and grabbed her arm. She knew this was her family, of that she had no doubt, but she was still cautious by nature. She always had been, but moreso since Emma had been born.
"It looks like we have a lot to talk about — away from prying young ears," Zelda said, eyeing her niece and the child with Regina.
Regina nodded. Still the same Zelda, that she was sure, and that she was thankful for.
Regina did a quick check, sending her magic throughout the house before letting Zelda send Sabrina and Emma upstairs to Sabrina's room. It was then the three women convened in the kitchen to talk. Ambrose was there as well, though standing back. He didn't know who this woman was, but it was obvious the aunties did and he wanted to know what was going on. This woman he did not know sent a chill down his spine in the best way possible. He wanted to know her, learn from her. He could tell that much just from the way she oozed power. He could easily fall in lust with her, he was certain. Maybe she would be up for a tryst with him and Prudence Night ... he couldn't very well keep Prudence out.
"What has happened in the old world, Regina?" Zelda asked, taking a long drag from a cigarette. Regina's eyebrow rose and she waved a hand, snuffing the cigarette out. Zelda glared at the slightly younger woman with disdain. Regina had always been the one to refuse her more mortal desires like smoking. In the past, when they'd all lived in the Enchanted Forest, it had been Zelda's love of magical mushrooms Regina always took from her. Here, her vice was smoking. Regina hadn't changed an ounce, that was nearly certain.
"Oh Zelda, you've not changed a bit. Smoking is terrible for your health. Moreso than those bloody magical mushrooms you used to enjoy so much. Anyways. We left the old world more than a decade and a half ago, right before I birthed Emma. But I made a mistake, or Gold did something — I am not sure which — but everything transferred from the forest to the new land we escaped to. Snow and David wouldn't stop trying to take Emma. Several days ago, they managed to kidnap my child and I knew it was time to come here, where there were more magical people. Where they would be less likely to travel. I've had it planned for quite some time. Emma is weary of other magical people, with good reason. Hilda, when you called me dearie, it triggered her because that is what Gold has taken to calling us. Forgive her for her disrespect," Regina said.
She had so much more to tell, but she was exhausted. Traveling, especially magically, was beyond tiring at the best of times. Add to it the stress she and Emma had been under — it was an ordeal, to say the least.
"Yes, your little step-daughter. Always such a … peach," Zelda said sarcastically. She had detested the child the moment she laid eyes on her, when she was no older than eight. The girl had had no manners at all, especially for a royal. Zelda, though temperamental at best, usually did not mind children. Snow had been the exception. She was a horrible little creature even then.
Regina laughed lightly, "I should have let that horse go with her that day. Had I known what it would cost me, and how long it would take to pay the debt of saving her, I never would have. Such a vile little girl, even then. Too much pandering from her father. He let her get away with murder, literally," Regina whispered, before taking a sip of her tea Hilda had placed in front of her. She enjoyed the tangy bitterness of whatever the blend was.
"Aunties, what is going on?" Ambrose asked finally, staring at Regina. He had yet to take his eyes off of the mysterious woman in their kitchen. New people were scarce in the magical world and this woman was definitely new despite the aunties knowing who she was.
"Oh really, Ambrose, do calm yourself down. You are being very melodramatic at the moment. This is Regina. She is family. From the old world," Zelda said.
"From Europe?" Ambrose asked, eyes squinted suspiciously.
"No, nephew, the literal old world. The Enchanted Forest. She was the Queen there. Not as many people had magic in the old world. You were born here, in this world, we were not. Regina, this is Thomas' son, Ambrose. He is, well, under house arrest for trying to commit terrorism against the Vatican nearly 75 years ago," Zelda said. Regina didn't even blink. It didn't surprise her that a son of Thomas would attempt such a thing.
"And Thomas? And the girl? Sabrina? What about Edward?" Regina asked.
"Sabrina is Edward's daughter. Thomas and Edward have both passed on, with no chance of being taken to the Cain Pit."
Regina nodded solemnly. It was not always easy to bring back someone from the dead. It was impossible after Zelda had left with her Cain Pit centuries ago.
"Who is Emma's father, Gina?" Hilda asked, wishing to know more of the world they had left behind so long ago.
"That is a story for another time, Hildie," Regina said sadly.
"May Emma and I stay here?" Regina finally asked Zelda.
"Of course. We have several spare rooms. Emma can stay in the room beside Sabrina, and you may have the one across from Emma's. You may, of course, decorate them as you wish."
"I need somewhere to put the vault," Regina said offhandedly.
"The vault? You brought the bloody vault with you? How did you manage that?" Hilda asked, standing up and nervously busying herself with making more tea. She was nervous by nature, and the vault Regina owned had always made her nervous. The amount of magic and power harbored within its walls was infinite.
"Of course I brought the vault, Hilda! Everything is in the vault. It is tethered to me — well, tethered to my magical core. I simply need somewhere to place it. And since you have a cemetery, I was hoping you would not mind if I put in a mausoleum. That is what I did in the last world. Father's body is buried in it as it is, and I want him nearby." Regina had always been close to her father.
"Of course not, go ahead and do as you need. Regina, I am sure you need rest, and we should check on the girls. Sabrina being quiet for too long is usually not a good sign, to say the least."
Regina smiled at Zelda, thanks written in her tired dark brown eyes. Being away from Emma long made her nervous right now. They were in a new realm and she had to get Emma back on a routine, where she thrived. That meant school, homework, set times for meals. She needed to get her adjusted to this new world. She needed to become adjusted to this new world. To living with family she hadn't seen in centuries. It would be an adjustment for all around.
To living without her love, after they had spent nearly their entire lives together in one way or another. It would not be easy, but she was adjust. She had no other choice. Emma needed her, and Emma was all that mattered now.
Okay, so when I started this story, I honestly thought Ambrose's father was Zelda and Hilda's brother and that his name was Thomas. However, I am almost certain now that I actually read that on a story somewhere on here since I have found nowhere else mentioning him — not on wiki, the show, anywhere. He is important to the story, so if anyone can tell me where I found him, kudos to you and I will give whoever invented him credit where credit is due. Especially since it is driving me nuts I cannot figure out where I read about him. Thanks for reading!
"So, let me get this straight. You are supposedly a half mortal, half witch. You will have a dark baptism the day you turn sixteen, which is where you will sign your name in the Book of the Beast. And you will supposedly come into your powers fully on that night. What's the point?" Emma asked, a questioning look on her face trying to figure it all out.
"It's the way things have always been done here. I don't know. I go to public school, Baxter High, and one day I will go to the Academy of the Unseen Arts, when Aunt Zelda makes me. I don't really want to go," Sabrina said with a slight shrug. It wasn't something she talked about often — not wanting to go to the academy. Aunt Zelda had said she would go to the academy and stop going to public school. It wasn't really the teen's choice because Aunt Zelda was her guardian in both the mortal and immortal world. That meant a great deal more in the immortal world, too. In the magical world Aunt Zee was in charge always, but especially until she was considered fully grown. Ambrose was nearly a century old and wasn't considered grown yet. And honestly, who else was she to talk about this with? Ambrose sometimes, but her friends were all mortal and wouldn't understand even if she did try to explain.
"I would rather go to the Academy by the sounds of it. Public school is torture and Mama is insane about school and good grades. Magic isn't that difficult to learn, though I do wish I could read Elvish better than I do now. I am okay with Latin and read Fae better than English, but really, magic is a lot about emotion. Public school is also about emotion, in the fact it's a pain in the emotional ass."
"Young lady, language."
Emma, startled at first, and then looked toward the door expecting to see her mother, but instead it was Zelda — Emma shrugged her off immediately, much to the surprise of Sabrina. Most people were afraid of Aunt Zee. Emma was most decidedly not.
"Hello, may I call you Zelda?" Emma asked with a smirk once she realized it was, indeed, Zelda, and not her mother. She stood up and looked around for her mother, thinking she was probably not far. Thankfully, she was no where in sight.
"You may call me Aunt Zelda or Aunt Zee, just as Ambrose and Sabrina do. Regina is across the hall. Go to her now," Zelda had a feeling she was looking at another Sabrina. It was uncanny how the two looked so much alike. Virtually even the same size. Zelda wondered silently if Emma held Sabrina's penance for misbehavior. She suspected not, with the way Regina was, but then again, most people would not have suspected Sabrina be so defiant at times either since she'd been raised by Zelda's firm hand, and the girl definitely kept even her aunt on her toes.
Emma quickly went to find her mother. Her safe place.
"Whoa Auntie Zee, that was a bit intense for someone you are not in charge of isn't it?" Sabrina asked, her arms crossed over her chest, mimicking her aunt without even realizing it.
"Emma and Regina will be living with us, Sabrina. Emma will be my charge just as you are. You will be the charge of Regina's just as you are mine and Hilda's. It will take some getting used to, but I am sure you will be able to show Emma the ropes of Greendale without your usual havoc."
"So does this mean I can go hang out with Harvey? I will take Emma with me," Sabrina asked with a glimmer of hope.
Zelda looked toward the ceiling. Her upbringing indeed twofold, she was paying for, indeed.
"No, Sabrina. Not today. That is final. And if you pester me about it again, I will not let you see him for quite some time."
Sabrina closed her eyes and growled low under her breath. This was so not fair.
Emma walked into the room across the hall and found her mother there, sitting on the side of the bed. Regina opened her arms to the girl, who then practically dove into them.
"We need to rest. You may stay in here for now, and then we will get the room beside Sabrina's, across from here, settled for you, sweetheart," Regina said. Emma nodded, toed off her shoes and then climbed over her mother and into the middle of the bed. It did not surprise the elder. She was used to laying on the side of the bed when Emma slept with her. Her girl was a bed hog.
Regina did the same with her heels, though she truly felt in need of a bath or shower. Right now, however, she was not so sure she would be able to get through one or the other without falling asleep. So, instead, she climbed beside Emma and wrapped her arms around her child.
"Mama, will they accept us here?" Emma asked sleepily, reaching her hand up to play with an earring in Regina's right ear, much as she had done as a baby when breastfeeding or needing comfort. Right now it was because the girl was extremely tired and did not have her baby blanket. Regina was too tired to settle the vault right now, which was where Emma's baby blanket was at.
"They already accept us, Emma."
"No, not Zelda and Hilda. Others. Others who were born here and not in the Enchanted Forest."
Regina gently caressed Emma's cheek and thought as she looked deeply into the girl's green eyes.
"I will know a fair share of those who were born in the Enchanted Forest, which means that, while I may not know those born here, I will know of their families. Remember, at the time they lived in the forest I was Queen. Many will remember me even if I do not remember them. That does not mean things will be easy here, but it does mean we will live without Snow and Charming attempting to take you from me again. Being safe is what is most important here."
"I just want us to be happy, if we can be without being whole," Emma said sleepily, her fingers moving slower now as they rubbed Regina's ear and tears falling down her cheeks.
Within minutes, both were asleep.
Regina and Emma slept the next 24 hours. Not unusual after traveling as they did, it was possible for Regina simply because she knew they were safe inside the Spellman home. She had not felt this safe falling asleep in many, many years - not since Snow and Charming tried to kidnap Emma. It was comforting. She dreamed, however, of what was missing. As safe as they were, she would never again feel whole. It was hard to accept.
The time the two slept gave Zelda and Hilda time to prepare. They needed to make sure there was plenty of room for the new additions. Plus, they well knew Regina Mills. The woman hated clutter of any kind. So they would need to make sure there were areas in the house just for her — she would need her own study, just as Zelda had. Hilda's domain was the kitchen.
"Do you think they will be happy here, Zelds? Regina does hate clutter and prefers a lot of white. We don't really do a lot of white. What would the point even be with Ambrose and Sabrina? Those two are terrors when it comes to cleanliness, and then only you are able to make them clean up after themselves properly. Maybe Regina isn't as much of a clean freak now as she was …" Hilda trailed off.
"I assure you, I am very much still in the habit of keeping my space tidy and clean, Hildie. Emma, however, is not. I must stay on top of her if I wish for her room to remain even slightly bearable," Regina said with a devilish smirk. She found it amusing Hilda thought their home was cluttered. It was dark, yes, but Zelda and Hilda had always preferred darker colors. The house was not dirty in the least.
Though not truly liking to clean her body magically instead of showering, Regina had done so before coming down the stairs, as well as changing her clothes into a pair of fitted pants and a red silk blouse that fit her form perfectly. Her black heels clicking as she came into the kitchen, Regina stopped at the table and rested her hands on the back of one of the kitchen chairs.
"All of our things from our home are in the vault. I won't be able to pull them out until I can set it up. So, if possible, could I do so now? Once Emma is awake, there are things she will want immediately."
Among those things was her baby blanket. Regina well knew her daughter's need for the comfort. She had fallen asleep with her only because of the comfort Regina's self had brought. If she was to sleep in her own room, she would need her baby blanket under her head when sleeping at all times. It was not pleasant to be around the girl when she didn't have access to the blanket. No matter how hard Regina had tried to break her of the habit, Emma refused to give it up, and she would not try ever again. Not after Emma had explained why she needed it — a piece of her Mama always right beneath her head. Regina had melted at that, and never tried to dissuade its use again.
"Of course. Ambrose is most helpful when told to be so. Would you like his help?" Zelda asked.
"I suppose if he can follow directions," Regina said. She was not going to lose anything within her vault because of someone not paying attention.
"Oh, he will. He is very powerful, even with his powers currently bound. He shouldn't be able to perform any magic at all with the binding spell they used on him, but he is able to do most of what he could before, though with less force," Zelda said. Regina nodded.
"Very well. He may help. As long as he does not meddle."
Zelda nodded and then looked at Regina thoughtfully, "Given permission, he would love to learn more of the old world. He is well educated, and I know the books you have in the vault, plus your teachings — it may do us all well if you were to teach him some of the old ways." Zelda was thinking many things when asking Regina to teach Ambrose. But, if Sabrina was to stay protected, and now Emma, it would do them all well to have another know the old ways.
It was true, too. Ambrose learning the old ways, as well as learning to read Elvish, Dwarfish, and Fae would be helpful in ways no one here understood. Most of the people from the old world, though, had forsaken their past teachings. They were well forgotten and would be quite useful if displayed when the need arose.
"If he can act with decorum, I'd be happy to teach him. He should well know I am a strict task mistress during lessons," Regina replied, causing Zelda to laugh.
"Regina, the boy has lived with me for the past century. I raised him."
"Fair enough," Regina replied with a twinkle in her eye. "I've truly missed you all. I wish Edward and Thomas were still here. Do tell me what happened."
Regina took the time then to finally sit down, legs crossed as she did, knowing the story she was about to be told would more than likely be quite long, one filled with a bit of heartache.
Hilda busied herself around the kitchen, something she had, even in the old world, done when she didn't want to talk about something, so Regina's gaze lined up with Zelda's immediately. Zelda and Regina were so much alike — both dominate in personality, the two had argued often growing up, though it had eventually brought them closer before Zelda had left the Enchanted Forest. Both woman were maternal to a fault, however, and it was that fault that put them on edge. It was Emma and Sabrina and Ambrose who were their weak links because neither would let harm come to their charges, no matter the consequences to themselves. Those three were what and who mattered above all else.
"As far as we know, Thomas is dead and has been since well before Ambrose was housebound here. There was never a body found. We were just told he died after going into a cave in search of some magical object he believed would bring either chaos or peace to the world. While we know, to an extent, why Ambrose became caught up in the trouble he did, we also know he was constantly looking for his father or a father figure to follow. He missed out on growing up with his father and it hurt him greatly. He was dropped off here by Thomas when he was little less than a year old, telling me nothing other than to please take care of his son. We've no idea who his mother is. We never saw Thomas afterwards. Edward — Edward is dead, along with Sabrina's mother, Diana. The two died in a plane crash while traveling to the Vatican to see the Anti-Pope. Edward was to share his manifesto for witches and warlocks when the plane went down, along with his life's work.
"The problem, now, however, just as it was then, is that Edward married Diana at all and dared have a child with her. Diana was mortal. Sabrina is half mortal, half witch if you will. I realize the concept is bizarre, but for some reason, here it matters, whereas in the old world it did not," Zelda said, quickly lighting a cigarette and taking several puffs from it just in case Regina snuffed it out as she had the day before.
"That doesn't make any sense. Why would they believe a magical person born from a mortal is any less powerful? Have they lost all of their senses in the last several centuries?" Regina asked. Perhaps mortals here were different, though. In the Enchanted Forest everyone had knowledge of magic, plus so many different types of people lived there — from dwarves, fairies, and giants to elves, shapeshifters, and ogres.
"Many from the Enchanted Forest died during the witch trials here because of stupidity and laziness. You know many of the originals were magic, yes, but only simple magic was doable for most of them. Parlor tricks, if you must. Thirteen alone were killed here in Greendale, many in Salem. It was a massacre. Then the warlocks summoned the Dark Lord and cursed the lot of us to do his bidding. It isn't a horrid deal though. Things are tense at times, but we have been safe for the most part for the last couple centuries. There are some witch hunters out there still, but very few realize that is what they are and live normal lives," Zelda said, flicking the ash from her cigarette into a nearby ashtray.
"They came here and lost their minds. What sense had they at all that they would brazenly prance around doing magic when they were not strong enough to defend themselves against?" Regina asked rhetorically. "Oh Zelda, don't you dare light another cigarette in my presence right now. You just smoked one and are already about to light another one. What have you if Sabrina or Ambrose took up with the habit?"
Zelda's brow raised, but she put the cigarette down beside her, "They wouldn't dare, or I would know the reason why."
Regina shook her head and tried to hide a smirk. She felt good being back with family, though there was an ache in her heart she just couldn't shake.
"Gina, tell us about Emma's father," Hilda asked at the exact moment. Regina simply sighed, a tear going to the corner of her eye, but not daring to fall. Leave it to Hilda to know when to ask a question at the exact wrong time.
"Emma was a magical conception. Maleficent is her other parent."
Zelda dropped her teacup she had just picked up and stood, both hands on the table as she leaned forward as far as she could. Her eyes alight with something other than sorrow.
"Mal is still alive? Where is she?" Zelda asked frantically. Mal had been her best friend in the Enchanted Forest, and she had not truly made another friend since. Hilda was frozen behind them, wondering why she had asked. Regina had a tear slide down her cheek, finally, nearly breaking an unbreakable dam.
"She found Emma and then went to throw the hoards off of our scent so we could get away. I have no idea if she is even alive. I promised her I would keep Emma safe, even if it meant I had to leave her behind. No matter how hard it would be to leave. When it came down to it — I am ashamed to say I didn't think about anyone other than Emma when I jumped through the portal with her. Not myself. Not even Mal," Regina said in a whisper, her tears now coursing down her cheek as much as she hated to show a weakness such as it, even in front of family. The dam had broken and she was honestly not sure if there was anything that would be able to repair it or the sudden hole in her heart.
Hilda went over to the chair closest to Regina and sat down, quickly placing her hands over Regina's to offer what little comfort she could with so many unknowns and knowing Regina wasn't one often for public displays of affection.
"Gina, Mal would have wanted it no other way. Zelda and I know that and we haven't seen the Dragon in centuries. But she was always the love of your life and you hers, whether you wanted anyone to know about it before or not. Most of us did, even when you were married to Leopold. I was afraid he would —" Hilda stopped, leaving the rest of her sentence unspoken. Regina knew exactly what she wanted to say though. Her dead husband had been cruel, but in the end, Regina had won.
"No, I birthed no child from him. I made sure it was not possible at the time. I had enough trouble dealing with Snow and her antics, especially as she got older and her behavior became more erratic and testing. She never did really grow up though. Leopold died not long after you left. Mother killed him," Regina said with a smirk of satisfaction on her face. It had been a good day indeed. To never have to deal with Leopold again — it had been a blessing, even if her evil mother had not meant it as one.
Zelda was not shocked that Cora had killed Leopold. Cora was a witch in the worst ways, and she knew the woman hadn't killed the king for her daughter. It would have only been for Cora herself. No matter how badly Leopold treated Regina. Zelda well knew just how badly he had treated Regina, though, having more than once cared for Regina when she was too weak to do so herself. Magic as strong as Regina's did not matter when you were too weak to utilize it, when you were broken from the inside out. When a man who was supposed to care for you tortured you for his own greed and pleasure. Zelda had been there during Regina's worst, always so Maleficent wouldn't see her bruised and broken more than usual.
"And where is the lovely Cora?" Zelda asked, hoping the demon spawn of the Dark Lord himself was nowhere near their world now.
"Quite dead, her ashes spread in the Enchanted Forest. She killed Father, so I finally killed her," Regina said, taking a sip of tea as if she had just told the duo she had baked a nice cake.
"Uncle Henry? Oh why would she?" Hilda asked frantically, her hands wringing together with anxiety. Henry had been, by far, her favorite relative. The man was mild mannered as she was, and they bonded over many things they both enjoyed before Hilda had left the Enchanted Forest.
"Because I loved him and not her. But, life does go on. Once she was gone, Mal and I became one. I eventually became pregnant with Emma and we moved dimensions before I had her. But like I told you before, I either made a mistake or Gold meddled in everything because we ended up moving nearly everyone in the forest to the new world. Which is why we are now here."
"Do you think they would be able to follow you this time?" Hilda asked.
Regina shook her head, "I was not as naïve this time. No one other than Mal and I knew we were jumping. We trusted no one else. Emma didn't even know what we had planned. She is just a child and I could not put that added stress on her as well."
The three settled in silence, drinking tea, all deep in their thoughts.
Regina set her cup down and then stood up, facing the two women.
"Let's get on with this, then. Where is Ambrose?" Zelda snapped her fingers and suddenly Ambrose appeared, book in his hand.
"Auntie Zee! I was in the middle of something …" Ambrose stopped mid sentence when his aunt's brow and glare told him to quit while he was ahead. He did, but with a deep sigh. Just because he was under their domain and housebound shouldn't mean that he had to be at their beck and call at every single moment. He knew better than to say that aloud, however.
"You will help your Aunt Regina construct a mausoleum in order to place her vault within it. It will be in the cemetery, right outside of the boundary fence. You are not allowed to touch a single thing without her permission or you will have to answer to me," Zelda said sternly.
Ambrose nodded. He wasn't one to go head to head with Auntie Zee often. That was all Sabrina. He had learned the hard way decades ago.
Sorry about the spacing being wonky on this chapter. I will fix it as soon as I can.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It took less than an hour to construct the mausoleum with Regina and Ambrose both working on it. Ambrose was now in awe of Regina. He had never seen magic so easily manipulated by anyone else. He knew one thing — he had to learn from her. He had to learn how to manipulate magic how she was doing it, without uttering a single word, with barely a flick of her wrists. It was amazing.
"Are you going to help or continue to gawk at me? Now that the building is constructed, the vault will be much harder to place since it is a purely magical object. I will need to know you are truly able to assist me with placing it," Regina asked.
"You are just like Auntie Zee," the boy muttered under his breath.
"I am sure Zelda would have let you slack off much less than I have been. Now, stand here. I need you to stand in place and I am going to flip the tether to you. Do you know what a magical tether is?" Regina asked, not unkindly. She was already well aware of the vast differences between them all.
"I heard you talking to the aunties about your vault being tethered to you, but other than that I am not sure. If it was tethered to you so when you jumped from one world to the next, the vault would follow you. And the contents traveled as well?" Ambrose asked.
"More or less. The vault is connected to me magically and there were a few things connected to the vault magically as well, so when it came with me, those objects came with the vault. But you are correct."
"So, what if someone is in the vault when we bring it here? Will it bring the person here or will it leave them behind? Can people be tethered to one another like the vault is tethered to you?" Ambrose was now in his element. He had so many questions, and knew he would for as long as she would entertain them.
Regina stopped and looked at him suddenly with a pained expression. It was possible to bring a person in a tethered object, but not possible to tether a person to another person. She had tried with Mal.
"No one else knew about the vault other than my wife. I attempted to tether her to me and Emma, but it did not work, unfortunately."
Ambrose realized then the conversation was over for the time being, so he stood where he had been told and then looked over to Regina, "Auntie Gina, how will you transfer the tether over to me then?"
Regina smiled and then moved to stand in front of him.
"I am going to move the tether from my magical core to yours. It will not be exactly pleasant, but it will not take me long to settle the vault where it needs to be. The tether will pull at your core and feel like it is nudging out of your chest."
"Does it feel like that for you?" Ambrose asked, wondering if it was an unpleasant sensation at all times.
"Not exactly, but I created the tether, so it is different for me than it will be for you. You are having a tether transferred to your core, one you did not make, so there will be an added stress. Whatever you do, however, you cannot let the tether go. It is possible to push the tether away, but I must ask that you not. Everything Emma and I are is in this vault. We need everything in it, that I assure you," Regina stressed to Ambrose. She had to trust he was capable of this. There was no other way. Emma, while strong magically, was not big enough to do what needed to be done in order to keep the tether in place for the few minutes Regina would need to drag it to into place.
"I can do it. I won't let it go," Ambrose promised.
Regina nodded, "You do this, and I will teach you everything you want to know. Zelda said you love to learn. I love to teach those who are willing."
It took less than a minute for Regina to move the tether from her magical core and gently push it into Ambrose's own. She knew he would struggle. It would not be comfortable for him in the least. But she moved it as gently as possible and then moved his hands to hold onto the electric rope holding the tether in place.
She whipped around and moved things magically so quickly, Ambrose could not truly see what she was doing. But the mausoleum was moving, shifting, getting ready to hold something greater than itself.
Regina then grabbed the electric rope with Ambrose and turned, "I need you to walk behind me, slowly. I am going to place the vault inside the mausoleum, but if you move too quickly, it could destroy the contents of the vault, as well as the vault itself."
Together, the two moved slowly, just as Regina had said, though the pull in Ambrose's chest was beginning to cause fatigue. The amount of magic it was taking him to hold this tether was unlike any he had ever experienced. It was when Regina made one move more and then moved to place her hands on the ground in front of the mausoleum that the tether wrapped around Ambrose's core let go. He could feel the vault being placed, and when he finally felt it leave him completely, he was exhausted. He fell to one knee and tried to slow his breathing down.
Once Regina knew the vault was secure, she turned and went quickly to Ambrose to make sure he was okay. She helped him stand and then looked him over.
"How the hell did you manage all of that in heels?" Ambrose asked, still breathless.
Regina laughed, "Oh dear boy, I do everything in heels."
She then helped him stand, just as there was a thud coming from behind her. Ambrose immediately felt new magic in the air — the electrifying spark of magic clattering through the atmosphere.
It was coming from Regina.
And then the door to the mausoleum slammed opened and someone stumbled out, falling to the ground after what would eventually be known as the worst way to travel anywhere. The woman stood, shakily, the sun blinding her slightly after leaving the dark vault she'd been in for nearly 48 hours.
"Mal!" Regina screamed, and went running toward her love. They crashed together in a force that should have knocked at least one of them over. Arms were wrapped around and chaste kisses were had. Ambrose wasn't even sure he should be watching the scene in front of him, but he couldn't look away. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his aunties and Sabrina running out of the house. Emma must have still been asleep.
Zelda and Hilda stopped once they saw who it was, with Zelda grabbing Sabrina before she could run past her. Ambrose had no doubt she'd been told to stay in the house, but, at no surprise to Ambrose, she had not listened.
Yeah, there it was. A swat from Auntie Zee and a finger pointed back at the front door. Ambrose shook his head when it was obvious his dear cousin was backchatting Auntie Zee. It was obvious because the stubborn teenager was rewarded with several more swats. Ambrose shook his head. That girl never learned. It took Auntie Zee walking her back to the steps of the house with yet another additional swat and something whispered in her ear before Sabrina walked in the house, slamming the door behind her.
Zelda and Hilda then quickly walked over to the new mausoleum, and, in turn, to Regina and Mal. Ambrose continued to stare at the happenings in front of him. It was like watching a movie.
"Are you hurt," Regina asked, kissing the blonde woman in her arms between words.
"No, I just need to turn so my dragon can become accustomed to this place," Mal said, her breathing erratic as her dragon became fretful within. Ambrose's eyebrows rose. Turn? Dragon? What the hell was this?
"Zelda, is it safe here for her to do so? Will she be seen?" Regina asked.
Zelda muttered a long phrase in Latin and moved her hands around the property. A field rose around them. Ambrose could feel it, though he could not see it.
"Now you may, Maleficent," Zelda said. She'd be lying if she said she didn't want to hug the woman herself. But things in life changed, and she wasn't sure it would do for her to hug her long ago best friend.
What happened next would continue to be one of the most shocking things Ambrose Spellman had ever seen. The other woman suddenly changed into a deep purple dragon — with wings, horns, and scales. She was bigger than the house. She was absolutely beautiful.
Her wings flapped, stirring up dust and debris. She took off, flying a complete circle around the house before landing in front of Regina and changing back into the woman she had been moments prior.
It was one of the most magnificent things Ambrose had ever witnessed. He was in awe of these two women, their magic something he had never seen before.
"Mommy!" Emma screamed from the front porch, running as quickly as she could to both of her mothers, propelling herself through the air and into their arms.
Tears were had by all three. They were together, something they thought would never be possible again.
Emma refused to leave her mothers now that they were together. She had thought she would never have both of her mothers again when she was told Mal had lured the people after them in the opposite direction before they jumped through the portal. But now, they were together, and she didn't want to be apart from them for a single moment.
Sabrina was sitting in the kitchen, on the counter with her legs crisscrossed, watching the trio intensely. They interested her in ways she didn't understand. Their dynamics, power, obvious care for one another — it was all intriguing to the teen.
"So, how are you both biologically Emma's moms? I mean unless one of you is male — how else would that work?" Sabrina asked with curiosity. She wanted — needed — to know more. Aunt Zelda had given her an in depth 'where babies come from' when she was younger and still brought it up occasionally, but this was definitely not covered.
Zelda froze and turned toward her niece. She really wished the teen would have asked her about such things in private, later.
"They're both woman. They had sex and then I happened," Emma hissed as her eyes rolled and her fingers began twitching. Who did Sabrina think she was? No one could say anything before Sabrina questioned the conception of Emma further.
"But how does it work? If there is no man there is no ... um ... um ... sperm," Sabrina asked, her face turning red to the roots of her blonde hair as she looked towards Aunt Zelda, expecting her to answer her question. She had not wanted to use any slang she normally would have used with her friends when Aunt Zelda was there to hear. But, Aunt Zelda was always pretty open with her about sex and any questions she had.
"It's a magical conception. They're both very powerful. It's possible. Just because you don't understand it doesn't make it wrong or mean it can't happen," Emma snapped.
Thankfully, Emma was sitting on Mal's lap and her mother felt the magic about to leave her daughter for the other teen. Mal was able to discretely tap Emma's hip, letting her know she would do well not hexing the girl. The magical people of this world would have to grow accustomed to them as it was, but Mal and Regina knew they were going to have to talk to Emma about being more discreet if she was already trying to hex someone. Zelda would have to talk to Sabrina and Ambrose as well. Things would change, even if it wasn't a drastic change, and change was often hard, especially on children.
"How powerful can you be? I mean Auntie Zee is powerful. She's one of the most powerful in our coven," Sabrina said, staring at Regina and Mal.
Emma stared at Sabrina and wanted to shake her head. This girl asked too many questions. She was nosy and honestly a bit annoying. It was like having a conversation with herself as it was — if herself was daft enough to cut her hair short, which she'd never do. It was too curly to even dare think of doing such a thing.
Before Mal or Regina could say anything, Emma poofed over to Sabrina, grabbed her, and then poofed both of them out of the kitchen.
"What was that?" Zelda asked quickly, standing up. She'd not seen anything like it, even before coming to this realm. This was new magic. Magic she was not accustomed to. Magic that possibly just put her girl in danger. She turned to Regina and Mal, questions asked without more words coming forth.
Regina sighed and stood up, her hand on Mal's shoulder, "She teleported them up into Sabrina's room. Emma knows she's not allowed to teleport without permission, but it was something she obviously thought would show Sabrina how her magic is different. Emma knows most of your magic relies on Latin spells, whereas ours is focused on emotion and has evolved greatly since you left. I will be back shortly."
Regina then teleported to her daughter and Sabrina.
"Bloody hell this is going to be amazing," Ambrose said, sticking his hand in a bag of chips. It was like watching a soap opera. This was the most fun he'd had in weeks.
"Language, Ambrose," Zelda said, reaching for a cigarette. Her boy knew better than to use such language. What was with her children lately?
"Wait until the Weird Sisters find out they're not the most powerful at the academy now," Ambrose said with a snort.
Mal looked at him, "What is the academy?"
"The Academy of the Unseen Arts, Auntie Mal. Sabrina doesn't go yet, but it's because she's half mortal and didn't want to give up her mortal friends yet. It's where we learn magic," Ambrose said, smirking, shoving more chips into his mouth.
"Ah. Regina and I are, most likely, going to continue to have Emma go to mortal school. We teach her during her magical lessons."
Ambrose nodded, but he had a feeling Emma was the opposite of Sabrina. The academy was, after all, one of the top magical schools in the world. And Emma seemed like she would fit in quite well.
Thoughts? Thank you for all the comments. I appreciate them all. ☺️
Regina stared at the two girls in front of her, arms crossed over her chest. They were standing side by side looking up at the older woman.
"Emma, you know better than to teleport without asking, especially with another person who has never teleported. What if she would have gotten sick?" Regina lectured.
"I didn't get sick, that was amazing!" Sabrina said quickly. She was already planning all of the ways she and Emma could use this incredible power to their advantage. She also secretly hoped Emma would be able to teach her how to teleport. Would her magic ever be strong enough to do it? She surely hoped so.
"Sabrina, that is not the point, young lady. I would think growing up with Zelda as your guardian that you would know the difference between right and wrong," Regina said with a piercing look.
"Mama," Emma whined. Why was her mother lecturing someone they barely knew? Relative or not, it made Emma uncomfortable that her mother was being so bossy to someone else.
"Hush, Emma Swan Mills," Regina said, turning to then look at Sabrina.
"I do know right from wrong. I just find your magic extraordinary," Sabrina said meekly, with a shrug of her shoulders, a light blush showing up on her cheeks. This woman intimidated her in the same way Aunt Zee did. It was unsettling.
"Uh huh, I see. Both of you back downstairs. Take the actual stairs this time," Regina said, motioning to the door.
She had a feeling the two teenagers were going to give all four adults in the home a run for their money.
By the weekend, the three new additions were settling in well at the Spellman home. Regina had easily completed the rooms Zelda had given them — a bedroom for Mal and herself, a bedroom for Emma, and a study each for both adults. Regina had definitely lightened up the rooms, except her personal study, which she preferred to be a bit darker in muted browns and tans, since it was where she did most of her thinking and the warm colors calmed her.
Emma's room matched her room from before — it had been something Regina had known she would need in order to adjust to life in this new world. The walls were pale yellow, her canopy bed white, with lavender colored bedding. Her desk, dresser, and bookshelf, all white, graced the room as well.
But Emma had yet to sleep in the room. She had spent every moment possible with her mothers, clearly afraid to let Mal out of her sight. They had tried to talk to their daughter, but it had not been going well. Emma had always been a stubborn child, though what choice did she have, considering who her mothers both were. Emma had been stubborn from the moment she was born, deciding to come into the world breech. Had it not been for their magic, Regina well would have had a much harder birth with her.
It was the first time they had set eyes on Emma, however, when they finally decided upon her middle name, her downy hair so blonde it was white, curling around her head like feathers — Swan. Grace and beauty. Sacred to the Roman goddess of love, Venus.
So Emma Swan Mills it was. It was an unusual middle name to be sure, but it just fit their girl.
Things in Greendale were going well, though adjusting to their new reality wasn't always easy on any of them.
It was the evening Emma was told she would be going to Baxter High School Monday morning with her cousin she blew up, however. Regina and Mal had already enrolled her earlier that day, after they'd purchased a new Mercedes for Regina. Mal was waiting on her own car — she had her eye on one, but was waiting until the right time to snatch it up. Regina couldn't wait because she refused to drive a hearse around when she needed to go somewhere.
"I am not going to a mortal school here! You cannot be serious! There is a magical school here, so why would I need to even think about going to a mortal school?" Emma argued.
"Mortal, Emma? Really? You have gone to school since you were five years old," Regina said with an arched brow. They had not called non-magical people mortals before, though they had all come from the Enchanted Forest and did live much longer than normal humans here. Else, Regina would have been rid of Snow long ago.
"It is what they are here! You want me to be adjusted here, well I am! They are mortals here, just as we are immortals. I don't want to go to school with Sabrina. I want to go to the academy," Emma told her mothers. She knew enough to know what she wanted and needed, and that was not to go to some silly mortal school when she only wanted to learn magic. Only needed to learn magic.
"Emma, this is not going to be a discussion we have. It is already set. You were enrolled this morning while Mama and I were out," Mal told her child, who was quickly moving toward a temper tantrum because she was not getting her way, as she was ought to do at times when she felt very passionate about something. "I won't go."
And there it was. A dare, of a sort, coming from the mouth of their fifteen year old babe. It was not appreciated in the least by either mother.
"Excuse me," Regina asked, standing up from her chair, her hands on her hips. They had been lenient with Emma since coming here, and it was now, as it had in the past when they'd been a bit slack with her, biting them back. Giving her an inch made her think she could take a mile. Too much give and not enough structure had them in this place again, as it had several times in the past when the two parents felt they'd done something to make Emma's life harder than it should have to be. And now, they had to correct the behavior.
"I won't go. Sabrina doesn't want to go to the academy and she isn't being made to go there. I would rather go to the academy and you don't care!" Emma hissed at her mother, also now standing.
"Emma Swan Mills, enough," Mal said, reaching up to put a calming hand on her daughter, trying to use her dragon to calm her daughter.
Her daughter, however, was not having it. She knew given the chance her dragon mother would use her dragon against her, effectively calming down Emma's own dragon. But, Emma wanted to be angry. She wanted to be pissed. She shrugged the hand on her shoulder off, and took a wide step away. She didn't want anything from her mothers right now except for them to listen to what she wanted, not what she didn't.
"This is not fair! You can't just demand I do something I don't want to do just because you are my moms!" Emma screamed at them, her frustrations showing in her wet eyes, clenched fists and red face.
"That is exactly why we most certainly can," Regina said, taking a step forward, about to reach for Emma.
But, without further thought about obeying her parents, the girl ran out of the room, slamming the door behind her, making the walls shake. She was absolutely over her parents right now. They were both being beyond unreasonable.
"Mal, we are going to have to reign her in sooner rather than later. Why she believes her attitude and behavior is appropriate, I do not know," Regina said with a sigh, turning around to sit beside her wife on the bed.
"She has gone through a lot recently. I want to hold her and never let her go — I want to hold you and never let you go. Because I thought I was never going to see you again," Mal said, tears falling, but then sighed. "But you're right. She cannot behave this way."
They had yet to actually talk about how Mal had been able to come with them because it was a conversation they had wanted to have between the two of them, without prying young ears. Regina leaned over, her forehead touching Mal's, their eyes both closed as Regina gently held the face in front of her.
"Tell me how you did manage, please. I truly thought I would never see you again. We thought we would never see you again. But, it doesn't excuse the way Emma is behaving. Telling us she will not go to school — My Dragon, we can't let what has happened to us dictate the way we allow her to behave," Regina said softly.
Mal nodded, well aware of what her love was saying.
"I changed into my dragon and lead most everyone else away. The only ones who didn't follow me were the Charmings. Once I felt you go near the well, I realized I was by the vault. I burned a complete circle around the vault, the flames impossible for the hoards to pass through, and went down into the vault. I didn't know if it would work, but I hoped and prayed — I willed it be the entire time I was in there. I was so afraid I would never see my child again, that I would never make love to you ... it was the longest hours of my life.
"The fires continued, and I felt you leave the realm. But I remained. For more than a day. And then I felt the tug. I couldn't leave the vault. I would have preferred I died inside it least I never see you and Emma again. But I felt the tug and I held on. It was, perhaps, the worst magical transportation I have every experienced, but it was my chance. The only chance I had to be with you again, and I could not spoil that," Mal said with a sob at the mere thought of losing her family.
Regina wrapped her arms around Mal and held her close. Complete they were, and that mattered a great deal.
Regina went to Emma's room and knocked on the door lightly before entering. She knew her child well and Emma would not tell her she could come in. She and Mal respected Emma's privacy to a point, but they were still her mothers and her behavior was uncalled for and did not make them feel she currently deserved the freedom of privacy. Regina desperately wanted to avoid Emma slipping into old habits when she was unhappy with them.
"You could have waited until I said come in," Emma said from her bed, where she was flipping through a book. Regina knew she wasn't reading it just by how quickly she was turning pages, so as she sat on the side of the bed, she moved to take the book from Emma's hands. The teenager sighed and loosened her grip, but then her hands had nothing else to do but sit in her lap and her eyes had nothing to do but stare down at them.
So, she continued to stare at them instead of looking at her mama until Regina lifted her chin and made Emma's green eyes look into her brown ones.
"We need to talk about your little display in our room, Emma. What is going through your head, baby?" Regina asked, moving her hand to work a curl behind her daughter's eat.
"I don't want to go to mortal school here. Even before, I went to a private school, but now you want me to go to a mortal public school when there is a magic school close — one of the best in the world, according to Ambrose," Emma said, trying hard to keep the whine out of her voice, knowing Mama would not appreciate it one bit if she did.
"Your magic is not like theirs is, Emma. You will be able to learn with Mom and me —"
"But that isn't what I want! Why force me to do something that will make me miserable? Mama, I want to go to the academy. I need to know more about magic here. I don't need to know more about geometry," Emma said in a harsh whisper.
"Young lady, your mother and I must look out for your best interests, even when you do not agree or understand them. This is not your decision, and you would do well to watch your tone and behavior, Emma Swan Mills," Regina said, a brow arched and her mouth firm.
"You can try to make me go to mortal school, but I won't go," Emma said, bravely glaring at her mother.
"Emma Swan, you will do as you are bid. This behavior is most unbecoming," Regina said, standing up, knowing she was going to continue to be pushed by her daughter until she put a stop to it. Regina went toward the door when she heard the ugly words leaving her child's mouth.
"Your bitchiness is most unbecoming," Emma hissed, then realized exactly who she was talking to. She immediately jumped off of the bed and took several steps back. She had never, not in her fifteen years of life, ever uttered such a horrible, mocking phrase to either of her parents. She didn't know what was about to happen. The uncertainty of it now made her anxiety rise. Why in the world had her brain let that sentence leave her mouth?
"Emma Swan Mills, I am not sure what is going on right now with you, but rest assured, Mom and I need to talk and you need to go find a corner in my study and wait for me with your nose in it," Regina said evenly and calm. But the disappointment was laced throughout her words like silk threads.
Emma didn't say anything, but quickly poofed out of the room and into the study she was now dreading.
Regina shook her head. Yet another thing added to her daughter's growing list of transgressions, all because Emma didn't want to have to walk past her mother. In the long run, it would just add more trouble to the teen's plate.
As the brunette walked down the hall, down the stairs, and then into her study, she thought long and hard about what might be going on with Emma. While at times Emma did get in trouble, it was not often, and usually only when something was bothering her. But this was a new realm and Emma very well be simply pushing her mothers to find out where the line for her behavior was here. Regina made her way to her study — She was making sure that was, indeed, where Emma was.
She was happy to see Emma actually had, for once today, listened to her orders, she walked back to the stairs and up to see Mal.
Sabrina stared at Aunt Zee and thought briefly about how she could ask to go out tonight. If she was at home with just Aunt Hilda, she would no doubt be allowed to go see Harvey, Roz, and Susie. But since Aunt Zee was home, there was no way Aunt Hilda would let her out of the house without discussing it with her elder sister and Sabrina's primary guardian. Zelda was the head of the family and even Aunt Hilda wouldn't cross her — though actually Aunt Hilda was much less likely to cross Aunt Zelda than Sabrina and Ambrose were. It was life in the Spellman home.
"May I help you, niece?" Zelda asked, flipping the page of her newspaper and never looking up. The child had been trying to work up the nerve to ask her something for the past five minutes. Her unasked question leaving the air heavy and tense.
"Umm," Sabrina started, suddenly unsure of herself. Lately, Aunt Zelda hadn't been letting her go anywhere with her mortal friends. It was becoming quite tiresome, especially since it just wasn't fair for Aunt Zelda to keep her from seeing them. What right did she even have to do so?
"I'd like to go hang out with my friends," Sabrina muttered in way of asking permission to do so.
Zelda looked up at her young charge and shook her head slightly.
"Not tonight, Sabrina."
She could feel more than see how angry her decision made her niece, but it was going on suppertime and the girl was only fifteen. Mortal or immortal, she needn't be galivanting all over town so late in the evening.
"But, Aunt Zee—"
And there came the whine because of Zelda's negative answer.
"Anything else?" Zelda asked, effectively cutting her off.
Sabrina said nothing. She simply turned and started stomping away.
"My Queen, we cannot allow her to go into a chasm of disobedient behavior where she will be unable to pull herself out. Remember the summer after she turned 13?" Mal asked her pacing wife.
Even the mention of that summer dredged up memories of a time when Emma's sole purpose for waking up every morning was to push every button, break every rule, and defy every comment. It had not been a good year for any of them. It had only been two summers before, but one they well remembered and would never forget.
"We need to nip this in the bud," Regina said quietly. Neither enjoyed punishing their daughter, but it was a fact of life at times. Emma, while sweet and much more gentle in nature than her mothers most of the time, was a force to be reckoned with when it came down to it if they let her have free reign. But, Regina had seen what that kind of child rearing could do. She'd seen that in Snow when she was married to Leopold. The girl had no boundaries, no rules. Regina refuses to let her child become that.
"I am going to chat with Emma before supper," the Queen said, leaning over to peck her Dragon in the cheek before heading to her study, knowing well this was probably going to be a rather long evening.
What happened next would be ingrained in the memories of the two currently fifteen year olds for the rest of their immortal lives.
Regina walked into her study to find Emma still standing in her corner, but her arms were crossed and her stance defiant. It was going to be one of those days, it was already apparent. To be fair, however, Regina should have realized it was that type of day when such a vile word came out of her child's sweet mouth, but they had only been in their new home for a few days and she had honestly thought Emma would be a bit introverted as she was want to do in new situations.
Emma had been in the corner for fifteen minutes — one minute for each year of her life — but Regina could tell the child had not thought about her actions as she knew to do.
"Come here, Emma," the mother said, sitting on the couch near a fireplace. They would talk first, as always, and go from there. Regina well knew she would be doling out at least fifteen swats to Emma's naughty backside, though. There was no way she could let Emma get away with her actions, or it would snowball as it had in the past.
Emma walked slowly over to the tan leather couch and stopped in front of her mama, just far enough away that Regina couldn't pull her over her lap without Emma seeing it coming.
"Come sit, we need to have a long discussion."
Emma sighed. This was exactly what she did not want. She was in a mood and a long discussion didn't sound like fun when she well knew she'd have to hold her temper if she didn't want to add to her consequences.
The teen finally sat down beside her mother, but just stared out the window. She hadn't been allowed to leave the grounds yet. They had to adjust first, make sure everyone was on the same page.
"What is going through your head, little one?" Regina asked, placing a hand on Emma's knee. The girl took a deep breath and was getting ready to speak when her mama suddenly stood up and went to the window.
"What in the world," Regina said, and that was when Emma saw a foot dangling from the second floor, right in front of the window. It could only be Sabrina— the windows hadn't been there before and she had, no doubt, not yet realized they were there now. Plus it was a red patent Mary Jane, and Emma was pretty sure Ambrose wouldn't wear those.
"I'll be right back," Regina said, going to find Zelda and get Sabrina.
And that gave Emma an idea.
Working quickly, she poofed outside, right under Sabrina.
"Hey, Mama just went to tell Aunt Zelda you're trying to sneak out. Want some help?"
Sabrina jumped the rest of the way down and met Emma's smirk with a huge smile.
"Can we poof away from here and go hang out with my friends?" Sabrina asked.
Emma gave one small nod, gently took Sabrina's arm, and before Regina had even made it back to her study or Zelda made it outside, the girls were gone.
Zelda felt the magic pulse through the house and knew instantly it was one of their resident teleporters. Zelda was not yet accustomed enough to Mal, Regina, and Emma to be able to tell who the magic belonged too, however. She suspected, though, it was the youngster, as the magic didn't feel as powerful as Regina's or Mal's had when they had used it around her. In the centuries since they had lived in the Enchanted Forest, Regina and Mal's magic had changed and evolved. Zelda honestly wondered how, but knew it was a conversation for a later time.
Regina knew instantly what was going on as she stepped into the kitchen where Zelda was sitting, a forgotten newspaper and cup of tea close by.
"I was coming to tell you Sabrina was sneaking out of her window; however, it seems Emma just teleported them away from here," Regina said, her frustrations all too obvious on her face at the behavior of her teenager as of late. She was building quite a list, and it was not going to end in her favor. The thing that frustrated Regina the most was that Emma had to know she'd be in trouble. There was no way she thought she would be able to sneak out and back in without punishment.
Zelda sat at the table and smoked a cigarette, quite possibly at least the tenth or so of the evening. Sabrina had only ever snuck out one other time, about six months before, and Zelda had made sure she regretted it the moment she came home. To say she was shocked Sabrina had done so today was a bit of an understatement; however, Sabrina had been pushing buttons for several weeks now, long before the new additions were added to their home.
Zelda hated spanking the girl, despite her obvious need for consequences and the fact groundings (such a bloody mortal punishment it was) never did nor had worked on Sabrina. The little lamb perhaps believed she was more mortal than witch, but she was oh so wrong.
Zelda well knew Sabrina only believed she was being raised by her aunt out of necessity, but the truth was so much more than that. Sabrina knew no other parent — she knew Zelda as her parent, having lost her parents at less than three months of age — but Sabrina was still stuck on the idea that the only parents she had were those who were now deceased, killed in a plane crash so many years ago.
It did hurt Zelda at times, though she had never let it show. She'd been the one to nurse every fever; she'd stayed up every night of painful teething; she'd wiped every tear; gone to every school event; helped with every homework assignment; bathed her; loved her unconditionally. She still did everything Sabrina needed her to do and would continue to do so.
And the truth of the matter was, Edward and Diana would never have been allowed to raise Sabrina. It was a secret she would never tell the teenager, but it was fact. It never would have done to have Sabrina raised by a woman who would die long before she reached full maturity, with mortal and immortal beings aging so drastically different. While bittersweet for the wee infant, it had been a true blessing to have Sabrina come to her at three months instead of later, after she was weaned from her mother. The latter would have been much too hard for Sabrina to understand; especially, when she was no longer allowed to make contact with her mortal mother.
"I truly am paying for my upbringing with Sabrina," Zelda said, flicking ash from her cigarette. Regina laughed lightly, despite the fact she was not happy with her child, or for that fact, Sabrina. The Queen knew exactly what type of child Zelda had been.
"Should I have pulled her in the house immediately?" Regina suddenly asked. Sabrina was not her daughter — she was, in every sense of the word, Zelda's. But had she decided to grab Sabrina mid-escape, she wouldn't be on the lam along with Emma.
Realization came over Zelda quickly.
"You came to get me because you were afraid of stepping on my toes where Sabrina is concerned."
Regina smirked slightly, "Zelda, you've not changed a bit and you have always been fiercely maternal and always protective of your family. While I was surprised you'd not birthed a child yet, Sabrina very much is your daughter. I did not want to cross boundaries we had not discussed. I am not a queen here. I am family. I am a mother."
Zelda thought of what Regina was saying. No one had ever come out to say those words to her. And there was many a time she'd needed to hear them over the years while raising Sabrina.
"Sabrina doesn't look at me as her mother. I am simply her overly strict Aunt Zelda who makes her follow far too many rules," came a whispered reply. She refused to let even her closest family know how much the fact did, indeed, torment her at times.
"The thoughts of an ill-mannered child at best, dear Zelda. We have all had those thoughts aimed toward us by our young," came Dragon's voice from the doorway.
Zelda and Regina looked up at the entering blonde, who took an empty seat at the kitchen table.
"We need to discuss, before the two miscreants get back, how we are going to go forward. I assume you can fill in Hilda when she gets back from the bookstore, but we should have had this talk before we slept the second day," Mal said finitely.
"The girls are already thick as thieves it seems, and causing trouble together. While Emma is ours and Sabrina is yours, there may come a time when our parenting needs to become more interchangeable. I am not suggesting we parent as you do, nor you us, as I am sure our styles are not all that different, but only that we present a united front with them," Regina said, ever the royal when it came to addressing people. "If one of us catches either girl misbehaving, we need to nip it in the bud immediately. While I am not sure how Sabrina will react to being caught misbehaving, I well know there are times when Emma needs a time out or a warning swat before she will behave accordingly."
Zelda laughed, "You've met Sabrina, she doesn't think she is ever in the wrong until it is quite clearly biting her on the backside."
Regina and Mal smirked. They had assumed as much.
"How do you punish Sabrina, Zelda?" Mal asked.
"With the palm of my hand or the back of a sturdy brush if the behavior warrants it, though it rarely has and only a couple swats with it at the end. I despise mortal punishments such as groundings. It simply makes us all miserable while the one being punished is forced through an endless punishment it seems. I have grounded Sabrina only twice, and once was to my person, as she thought she was a bit too big for her britches," Zelda said, remembering the time a nine year old Sabrina had decided she was her own boss. It had taken a long two weeks one summer to make her realize it was not true, and Zelda very much was the boss of their home.
It was a title she now shared with Mal and Regina. They were, in status and life, all equals.
Zelda easily remembered the first time she'd had to take her naughty child over her knee. It had not been a decision she had taken lightly …
Growing up with witches meant some people in your family was centuries old — Zelda and Hilda both were. They were raised during a time when corporal punishment was the only way. While it was no longer the only way, it was often the best way, Zelda found early while raising her children. It taught naughty young witches and warlocks that their actions have consequences. Ambrose had been her first child, and relatively easy, though even he had been over her lap a few times. It did not ever seem to take him long to learn his lesson, however. Zelda honestly couldn't remember a time she'd had to teach a lesson to him more than once.
Sabrina was something else entirely. Zelda wished greatly that they'd never told her she was half mortal when she was four years old. Up to that point, Sabrina had only received a swat or two here and there, most punishments only a timeout.
But then Zelda had explained she was half mortal and would be going to mortal school for a while. It was as if the child suddenly realized she was different — she realized she lived with a foot in two worlds. At least in her mind that was what it meant.
Sabrina had always given Zelda a run for her money. But she was strict with the child, just as she had been with Ambrose. For some reason, however, at the age of five, Sabrina really started pushing even more buttons — testing her aunt to the limit. It was the day Sabrina had run away that Zelda knew she would have to give the girl her first spanking.
Zelda had told the tot she could not go over to Susie's house for a sleepover. Zelda wanted her girl at home at night, where she knew she was safe. She'd been told she could go until eight o'clock, at which time Zelda would come pick her up. Eight was rather late for the five year old, whose bedtime was at that exact time, but Zelda wanted to give her the sense of independence, even if it was only a pinch.
Sabrina had still been upset. So, instead of going to Susie's house as she was supposed to, she ran away and hid. When Zelda went to pick the girl up and learned she was not there, it had made her heart stop. It was raining, as it did often in Greendale, and it was January.
Three hours later a very wet, cold Sabrina had found her way home, crying. Ambrose was the only one still home, the aunties both out looking for Sabrina.
Ambrose had quickly called Aunt Zelda, who told him to run a warm bath and start getting Sabrina ready for bed. He did just that, tossing the wet clothes off of the girl in the hallway, fearing she'd get sick if he didn't get them off of her soon. Her muddy Mary Jane shoes and socks were stripped off, then her coat and dress. She shivered, and latched onto Ambrose as he wrapped her in a towel before heading up the stairs.
Ambrose had Sabrina in the shallow bath by the time Zelda came home and took over. Ambrose saw the dried tear tracks on his aunt's face, but knew better than to say anything. He honestly felt a bit sorry for Sabrina — he had a feeling he knew exactly what Aunt Zelda was going to do to his cousin before the night was over.
Zelda knelt on the floor beside the bathtub and began washing the little girl, staying silent at first. It was nearing midnight. She needed to warm Sabrina up, wash and dry her hair, and feed her. She needed to talk to her, find out where she had been and why. But most of all, she needed to know her girl was okay. She needed to tuck her into bed — Zelda's own bed this night— and watch her sleep.
"I'm sorry, Aunt Zee," the little one whispered, her chin trembling.
"Why were you not at Susie's house when I came to pick you up?"
A fresh wave of warm tears started to fall down the little pale cheeks.
"I wanted to show you I could stay out all night by myself," came the whispered reply.
Zelda closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Where were you?"
"I don't want to say," Sabrina mumbled, staring down at her hands which were folded together under the water.
"You realize you're in a lot of trouble, my little witch, correct?"
Wet curls nodded as her lips were set into a pout. She knew. She just didn't know what that meant. She was pretty sure she hadn't ever been in real trouble like this before.
"Where were you?" Zelda asked again.
A small sob left Sabrina, her body shivering after. Zelda quickly rinsed her off, giving her time to think, and then lifted her out of the water and wrapping a towel around her small body before sitting the child on her lap.
Sabrina leaned into her aunt, placing her face in that strong neck, wanting comfort she craved, whispering almost silently, "The mines, but I got scared."
Zelda's breath hitched at that, her eyes closed. The mines were so dangerous — dangerous even for the men working them. She wrapped her arms tightly around her girl, hugging her close to her.
And that was the day Zelda knew, without a doubt, she would have to punish Sabrina just as she had Ambrose. Just as she had been punished. And Hilda, Edward, and Thomas.
It was the day she realized her girl, her little witch, would do just about anything to prove a point …
"While I believe most punishments should be by the girls' own parents, I see no reason we should not begin said discipline by lecturing, time outs, etc., immediately if the main parent is not around at the time," Mal said, knowing well Emma would push buttons, even Zelda's and perhaps Hilda's now that they all lived together.
"I must agree. Sabrina does not do well when made to wait for me to get home to punish her if I am not already here. She tends to get in more trouble during the anxiety of waiting. Hilda has never punished her other than sticking her in a time out, and that day Sabrina had pushed even Hilda to the edge," Zelda said in amusement, remembering well how frustrated Hilda had been when she'd set her eyes on Zelda and immediately muttered, "Discipline this naughty babe immediately," right before handing a six year old Sabrina over to her and then turning to pour herself a drink. Sabrina had been hiding Hilda's familiars around the house and had even taken several of them outside. When asked about it, Sabrina had told Hilda she'd never find them and had then laughed before running off, daring Hilda to try and catch her.
Hilda did catch her and then put her in the corner for a time out, but Sabrina wasn't having it and had told her Aunt Hilda she wasn't the boss and she didn't have to listen to her. Needless to say, Zelda had had the tiny tot over her knee for quite a lesson in respecting her elders once she found out how Sabrina had been behaving with Hilda.
"Then I believe we all agree, so what will we do with the girls when we get our hands on them?" Mal asked, knowing full well what the girls had coming once they were found. They deserved every swat they were about to receive.
Thoughts? Ideas? Questions?
I will not always update this quickly or this much. But I have had a lot of feedback, plus, this chapter was written and only needed a few tweaks to get it ready to post.
It was well past suppertime when Sabrina realized she was going to be in trouble when she got home. That, plus her growling stomach, made her instantly nervous. Because she and Emma had been gone for a couple hours, and, as of yet, had not been found.
She wasn't exactly sure what that meant. Was Aunt Zelda not looking for her? Were Aunt Regina and Aunt Mal not looking for Emma?
Sneaking out was not usually something she did. Normally she just stayed out later than she was supposed to — better to ask forgiveness than ask permission. She had never gotten in major trouble for staying out later than she was supposed to.
Now, however, the mere thought of the disobedience she'd incurred upon herself had her stomach fluttering. She was going to have quite a tab to pay once Aunt Zelda got ahold of her. The thought made her extremely nervous — to the point she felt a bit sick to her stomach. Perhaps this hadn’t been a good idea after all.
"Brina, your cousin looks so much like you it's scary," Harvey said as he leaned over and kissed her cheek.
Sabrina looked over at Emma, talking animatedly to Roz about some random book Sabrina could not care less about. Emma apparently loved to read as much Roz did, although she knew Emma said she read Fae better than English. It was obvious she'd read quite a bit of English books as well.
"Do you think your aunt will let you go out tomorrow night? We can go eat and to a movie," Harvey asked.
Sabrina looked up at him and smiled, "I can ask. I'm not quite so sure why she's gotten so strict lately. It's driving me insane. And now with Aunt Regina and Aunt Mal, it's gotten even worse I think. The only one with any sense is Aunt Hilda."
"Brina, Emma and I are going to go over to the bookstore to get coffee and look at the books, want to come?" Roz asked excitedly. It was not often she got to talk to others about her interests the way she did with Emma.
Sabrina nodded before standing and grabbing Harvey's hand, leading him behind Roz and Emma into the nearby bookstore.
It wasn't until they were in the store, standing at the coffee register about to order when she realized agreeing to come into the bookstore would be her — and Emma's — downfall.
"Oí! What are you lot doing in here?" Hilda asked with a cheery smile.
Emma stared, eyes wide as she turned to look at Sabrina.
"Aunt Zelda let you leave the house after supper, Sabrina?" Hilda busied herself with the drink order she'd just taken, and within moments she placed the four drinks in front of the teens, making sure to hand Sabrina and Emma theirs directly.
Sabrina's silence was enough of an answer for Hilda. No, Zelda had not let Sabrina out of the house and by the looks of things, Emma had not had permission either.
"I'm off in half an hour. You'll stay here until I get off and we will go home together," Hilda said, never losing her cheery voice, before walking back to the coffee machine.
Sabrina said nothing, only turned and walked with Emma and her friends to a group of chairs. Emma leaned over and whispered, "Did she give you tea instead of coffee?"
Sabrina took a sip, sighed, and nodded.
"We could leave ..." Emma said quietly, biting her bottom lip in thought and worry.
Sabrina looked at her with wide eyes, "Don't even think about it, Emma. Aunt Hilda — she's not scary like Aunt Zee or even your moms — but once she gets upset, Aunt Zee gets madder. The worst trouble I've ever gotten in has been when I have pushed Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zee found out."
Emma sighed. She'd known she'd be in trouble before the day was over, but she hadn't expected to be back at home until much later.
"Do you think she will call my moms?" Emma asked.
Sabrina shrugged. This was new territory for her as well. She couldn't believe she hadn't remembered Aunt Hilda was working tonight.
Sabrina's stomach growled again. This was going to be a long half hour. Honestly she was regretting sneaking out now. She should have listened to her Aunt Zee when she was told no. But it was so hard at times to listen when she wanted to do something else.
The half hour dredged by horrendously slow. Harvey and Roz both kept asking the girls what was wrong — but both said they were just tired. The two mortals let it go and continued chatting with one another. Harvey even moved to pull Sabrina onto his lap — a move that did not go unnoticed by Hilda.
Hilda looked at her niece and then the clock. She covertly muttered a phrase in Latin and watched the clock jump forward ten minutes.
"Alright then, Sabrina, Emma, let's go home, loves. Sounds like you could both use a bite to eat."
Hilda left no room for negotiations, and both girls knew it.
"Later, guys," Sabrina said weakly, while Emma simply gave a small wave.
The ride home was silent. Both girls were deep in thought and Hilda wasn't ready to hear any nonsense. This was a side of Hilda that Sabrina had seldom ever seen. She was just completely silent. It was odd and a bit terrifying, especially since the older woman was usually chatty even when a bit upset.
The teens both climbed out of the car hesitantly before walking up to the porch when Hilda pointed towards the door.
Now Emma and Sabrina were standing right outside the front door. It was quite apparent to Hilda that neither girl wished to go in, meaning her thoughts had been correct when she had assumed neither of them had permission to be out. The guilt had been rolling off them both in droves at the bookstore when they'd finally realized she was working. Sometimes it was good to be a empath and feel the emotions of others. Not that Sabrina and Emma would agree with that statement now.
"In you go," Hilda said, opening the door magically and then pushing them both gently inside and toward the kitchen. Hilda knew exactly what she was doing.
It turned out the kitchen was the literal last place they wanted to be — because there sat Zelda, Regina, and Mal. And not one of them looked pleased. To be honest, they looked downright pissed.
"Found this lot at the bookstore trying to order coffee. No worries, I gave them herbal tea and honey," Hilda said, then gently pushed the two girls further towards the three women waiting for them in the room.
"What on earth were the two of you thinking? Sabrina? Have you lost all sense? Not only were you deliberately disobeying me, but you risked your own fool neck in doing so. What do you have to say for yourself, young lady?" Zelda asked, her right hand on her hip as she stood near the table, her left settled firmly on top of it.
"I ... umm ... see, Aunt Zee ... I ..."
"Save it, Sabrina. What are my main rules in this house?" Zelda asked, not wanting to hear any excuses leave the girl's mouth. She wanted facts – nothing more, nothing less. It was best to get this mess over with so they could put it behind them. Sabrina knew she was in trouble and she knew why. The question would be whether the teenager would make it harder on herself by trying to lie.
Sabrina blushed as she looked around the room. This was awful. Her aunt could not be serious — was she really going to lecture her in front of everyone? That wasn't fair. She'd rarely ever been lectured in front of anyone else, even Aunt Hilda.
"I am waiting, young lady. If you think your stalling is going to earn you any favors, you are quite wrong."
Sabrina fought the urge to roll her eyes as she shifted back and forth uneasily. She knew the rules. She knew which ones she'd broken (technically all of them) and she knew what she'd done was wrong. But this was embarrassing.
"Aunt Zee, can't we go talk in my room?" Sabrina whispered, her eyes never leaving her Aunt Zee.
"You well know better than to ask me that. What are my rules?" Zelda asked again. "I am nearing the end of my patience with you, Sabrina Edwina Diana Spellman, and if you value your ability to sit, you will answer the questions I have asked."
Sabrina really turned bright red then and looked at her aunt angrily, tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes. She was beyond embarrassed that Aunt Zelda would so blatantly mention how she was punished still, even though she wasn't a little kid anymore. She was fifteen! She was practically an adult — well, by mortal standards anyways, and she was half mortal! She wouldn’t be an adult by witching standards for decades.
"Aunt Zee, you're not being fair!" Sabrina yelled, then turned to run out of the kitchen. She was not fast enough, however, and Zelda magically stopped her in her tracks and turned her around. All it had taken was a simple flick of her wrist. When had Aunt Zelda learned to use magic without using Latin?
"The rules, Sabrina. I shall not ask you again." Sabrina took a deep breath and tried to control her frustrations and questions. She was already in so much trouble, and Aunt Regina, Aunt Mal, and Emma were just watching the whole thing play out.
"Be respectful. Don't put myself in danger," Sabrina muttered under her breath, but refused to look up at her aunt now and simply stared at the floor instead.
"Was that so hard, Sabrina?" Zelda asked.
Sabrina didn't say anything else. She was too angry at getting caught and being in so much trouble. She wanted to snap at her aunt and tell her it had been hard, but knew better.
"Emma, what are your rules?" Regina finally asked, more than pleased Zelda's rules mimicked the ones she and Mal had for their own daughter.
"The same," Emma whispered. She had lost most of her bravery now that she was back in front of her parents.
"Sabrina, what is your consequence for breaking my rules so brazenly?" Zelda asked. If Sabrina wanted to play this out, she would be more than happy to allow it.
Sabrina’s head snapped up. She glared and then crossed her arms, making her look even more petulant. She was pouting, and that fact was not lost on her Aunt Zelda. She was absolutely not answering that question here. That was for certain. Aunt Zelda couldn’t make her.
Zelda pulled out a chair from the table and sat in it. Sabrina stared at her then, unsure of what she was doing.
"Come here, Sabrina. Since you wish to continue to disobey me, we will begin your punishment here," Zelda said, though she was bluffing. She'd never punish Sabrina in this way, other than a smack or two if needed in the moment, in front of others, but the child need not know that.
"No," Sabrina said with a shake of her head, tears stinging her eyes, though her feet betrayed her as she stepped closer to her aunt.
She was at Zelda's knees when she finally stopped, surprised that her aunt took her hands in her own and looked her in the eye — Sabrina could see the disappointment in those eyes and it was painful in a way she couldn’t understand.
"I should not have to default to scare tactics to make you obey me, little girl. What is usually your consequence for breaking the rules in such a grand fashion?" Zelda asked, moving both of Sabrina's hands into her left, and placing her right — her swatting hand — on Sabrina's hip in warning.
Sabrina sniffed, and looked nowhere but at Zelda before whispering, "You spank me."
It came out in almost a silent whisper, and a tear dripped from Sabrina's cheek and fell onto Zelda's lap, blooming into a flower on the fabric of her skirt.
"Yes, naughty little girls who do not listen and break the rules get a spanking. Now, you need to go up and put on your pajamas and then go to my room and put yourself in the corner. I shall be up shortly, understood?"
Another tear fell. A bouquet of flowery tears was beginning to take shape on that skirt.
"Yes, Auntie Zee," Sabrina sniffed.
Sabrina then turned and fled out of the kitchen and up the stairs as quickly as she could, not daring to look at anyone else in case she physically died of embarrassment.
"Emma, go do the same and come back down and find your corner in my study," Regina said, leaving no room for an argument. She, too, fled the room quickly, having wanted to leave the kitchen long before now.
It wasn't until then that Hilda came back into the kitchen, changed from her work costume into normal attire.
"I'll whip up some supper while you two take care of the girls. Have you lot eaten supper? I know Sabrina and Emma have not. Poor dears, stomachs just rumbling from hunger. It wouldn't do to feed them before punishment. They'd not eat a bite," Hilda said, moving around the kitchen with ease.
"I'll help you," Mal said, moving to do whatever Hilda needed as Zelda and Regina left the kitchen, one headed to her bedroom, and the other headed for her study.