Chapter 34

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The Enchanted Forest Many Years Ago

A month passed since the happy family was reunited once again. Snow and Charming were thrilled to finally have their baby girl back, even if she wasn't their tiny baby anymore. The proud parents were amazed by what a wonderful young lady Gracie had become, especially after being raised by Regina.

However, what they didn't know was that Gracie was struggling to keep her dark intentions buried deep. Gracie's hands twitched at the thought of holding a heart again, and watching the light frazzle out as it turned to dust. She pushed these thoughts to the back of her mind. Grace didn't want to think like this anymore, she wanted to start a life filled with only good.

One day her parents knocked upon her door, finding her gazing out of the open window at the expansive forest that never seemed to end. Gracie turned around slowly, her blue necklace grasped in her hands.

"Gracie, we have some exciting news to tell you," Snow smiled as she sat down on the bed.

"Quite exciting in deed," Charming added, joining his wife, "Not only do we have exciting news, but we also have a serious plan that we need your assistance with."

"You mean my-" Gracie paused and held out her palm, blue sparkling out of her palm like a small firework, "magical assistance?"

"Well, yes, but we don't mean to use you. You'd just be a big help to us," Snow told her daughter.

"Well I have been wanting to use my magic to actually do something. So what's the plan?"

Charming sighed and looked to Snow, who gave him a small nod, "It has to do with trapping Rumple."

Gracie raised an eyebrow at her parents before adding in a laugh, "Silly you. He's the Dark One! There's no trapping him! The only one that might have the slightest chance of doing that is-"

"You," Charming finished for her, "Everyone knows your magic is almost as powerful as his."

"Yeah, key work being almost. And anyway, why would you want to trap him? He basically helped raise me. He taught me everything I know."

"Gracie, you may see him as a good person because he loves you like his own, but he's the Dark One. He's a terror to the people of the Enchanted Forest. He has to be stopped."

Gracie turned away from her parents and peered back out the window. A cool breeze brushed against her rosy cheeks. A sudden feeling rushed through her body, and the faint whisper of her name was heard at the back of her mind. She knew exactly who was requesting her presence, and it was ironic indeed.

"Give me time to think about it," Gracie hurried to grabbed her red cloak and bow and quiver, "But I'm being summoned. Duty calls."

Gracie disappeared before Snow and Charming could interject. The couple looked at each other sadly, they didn't even get to the good news.

"How can we keep letting our little girl go out there by herself, she's barely even 10 yet!" Snow hollered.

Charming took her hand in his and pulled her close, "Gracie's used to this. She was raised by someone who's heartless, someone who could care less if their daughter was wondering around alone. Gracie is capable of defending herself."

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