Chapter 26

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The Enchanted Forest Many Years Ago

A little girl stood in front of a mirror wearing a huge blue dress with silver decals, making her look even tinier than she was. The nine year old smiled up at her parents as they joined her.

"Are you ready for your ball?" Prince Charming asked his daughter, "The kingdom will be thrilled to here you've returned home."

"I'm actually a little nervous," Gracie brushed a curl out of her face, "This is my first ball. I don't even know how to dance!"

Charming and Snow laughed at their child's worries.

"Well I'll teach you then," Charming held out his hand, "May I have this dance, Princess Gracie?"

"Of course!" Gracie giggled.

Snow's smile grew as she watched her two loves waltz around the room. Just as Charming had thought, Gracie was a natural. She caught onto the idea quickly as she followed her Father's steps. Gracie's blue dress twirled as they spun around Snow.

"I think you're ready now, darling," Charming said, sweeping Gracie off her feet and holding her in his arms.

She snuggled into his chest and instantly felt warm inside. This was the love she had always craved. Yes, Regina love her, but this was different. This was true love. This love could never be broken. And as Snow joined in on the hug Gracie felt even more whole.

"Still nervous?" Snow asked.

Gracie nodded while Charming placed her back on her feet. Snow put a hand on Gracie's shoulder and turned towards her husband.

"Can we have a mother-daughter moment?"

"Of course, my beautiful Queen and Princess."

He gave his two girls a kiss on the cheek before leaving them alone. Snow brought Gracie over to the mirror and pulled up a chair in front of it. Gracie sat down while Snow stood behind her.

"I wish I could've been there and watch you grow up," Snow sighed, "You've become a beautiful, young lady."

"I've done horrible things Mother," Gracie looked at her Mothers eyes through the mirror.

"It wasn't your fault, Regina tricked you into thinking that's who you were."

Gracie looked down as she fiddled with her thumbs. Snow didn't want her daughter to feel guilty for what Regina caused. She wanted her to feel happy for once, truly happy. Snow knelt down in front of Gracie and took her hands.

"No one in this kingdom holds what you did against you," Snow White reassured her daughter, "They are proud to know that one day they will be ruled by the amazing Gracie."

A small smile appeared on Gracie's features. Snow stood up and walked over to a small cabinet hanging on the wall. 

"We were saving this for when you became the queen," Snow said while Gracie tried to get a glance around her, "But I think your returning home is more important."

Snow held a tiara in front of Gracie, the light shimmering over the huge diamonds. Gracie was in awe as she watched in the mirror, her mother placing the tiara atop of her head of dark curls.

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