Chapter 40

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The Enchanted Forest Many Years Ago

"Call for Blue!" Charming screamed, holding his lifeless daughter in his arms, "Someone get her quick!"

The wall of protection fell, every bit of magic protecting them leaving with Gracie as the curse approached. Charming watched the light burn out of Gracie's necklace and moved a streak of hair out of her face. He knew he had to get Emma to the wardrobe, but he couldn't get himself to leave his first born.

Snow's eyes were wide as she gripped onto her just-born child, not able to mutter a word in shock of what she'd witnessed. Just as one child was given life, the other's was taken away. A sob escaped her lips as she watched Charming helplessly try to awaken Gracie, even though she knew there was no chance he could bring her back now. Emma's cries filled the chaotic room, but they were drowned out by the pounding in Snow's ears.

"What is happening here?" Blue's voice filled the room, resulting in Charming jumping up with Gracie in his arms.

"Gracie, help her, please," Charming cried, unable to complete a full sentence.

Blue took the small child in her arms and frowned, "Her heart, it does not beat. It is gone, and crushed."

"Regina," Snow managed to speak between her cried, "I'll kill her!"

"Is there nothing we can do?" Charming yelled, "Gracie has incredible magic and you perform miracles everyday! is there nothing?"

Blue looked from parent to parent. Tragedy had defiantly struck given their tear-stained faces. But, a hint of hope glimmered on both their faces, and that tiny glimmer determined her next move.

"These children are both the product of true love, correct," Blue asked, already knowing the answer but receiving nods anyway, "True love is the most powerful magic of all, and there is something that I've read in the books that has never been done."

"Do it, we do not care what it takes!" Snow shouted, while trying to soothe Emma, "Even if it means death for us and life for our little girl. She has so much to see and accomplish."

Blue looked down at the child she held in her arms, and carefully laid her at the end of her Mothers bed, "it is settled then, I will do it."

Charming smiled down at his wife and baby, clasping his hand in hers, "We know the possibility of it not working is high, but we must take this chance. But we must hurry, the dark curse will be upon us any moment now."

"Okay, I must take a piece of each of your hearts, including Emma's," Blue told the parents', and with skeptical faces they both nodded.

Charming stood before her, his arms behind his back and chest out. Blue took a deep breath before plunging her hand into his chest, extracting his beating heart. She stared at the perfect, red heart for a moment; and even her heart pounded as she began to do magic that has never been done. She pulled a piece of Charming's heart from the rest, resulting in Charming falling to his knees and grabbing his cheat in pain. Blue took in another breath as she laid the separated piece on a cloth next to Gracie's body. She supported Charming, his hands shaking and sweat streaming down his face, and she plunged the heart back into his chest. With a gasp Charming filled with energy, the pain subsiding as he held his hand to his chest. His heart felt not different, yet he stared at a piece of it laid out before him.

Blue turned to Snow, how nodded and handed Emma to Charming. Already weakened from the birth, Blue knew this was risky. However, she also knew this family would do anything for their daughter. Blue smoothly repeated the process with Snow, who managed to keep her pain stifled. Next was the youngest, and most dangerous, heart. Blue took the infant, her hand hovering over the baby's chest.

"Are you willing to do this, and risk losing both children?" Blue asked, giving them a final chance to back down.

"We must do this, for if we haven't tried everything we have let Gracie down," Snow said, though there were tears brimming her eyes.

"Gracie would give her life for Emma, it is only fair for Emma to try to save her guardian," Charming agreed with Snow.

Blue nodded, and sank only her fingers into Emma's chest. The baby cried out as she was handed back to her father. The tiny heart, so pure and fragile, beat rapidly as Blue began to break it apart. Emma screamed as loud as she possibly could until the deed was done. Once Blue returned the heart to her body, her screams were silenced as if nothing ever happened. Charming and Snow gave each other a quick glance, as if trying to encourage each other.

"The magic left over in Gracie's body, along with the power of true love in these hearts, shall converge to repair Gracie's heart," Blue explained, placing each piece into the child's chest carefully and slowly, "Although Emma's piece is the smallest, it will become the biggest and strongest part of her heart. Without Emma's heart there was no chance this would've worked. If this works, Gracie will be bound to each of you; but her biggest binding will be to Emma. Emma and Gracie's bond will be unbreakable, and-"

Blue didn't get to finish her sentence. A bright light sprang from Gracie's chest, and a sudden breeze spread through the room. Gracie's chest rose as she took in a breath, her eyes springing open as she jolted upright. Charming and Snow stared for a second in disbelief. Blue did it, she saved their child. Gracie, still dazed from what happened, was swarmed by her parents embrace. She ended up with Emma in her arms, sitting on David's lap, as her parents showered her in kisses on her cheeks and 'I love yous.' Gracie struggled to remember what happened, remaining confused as to what was happening. The happy moment was torn away by the sudden outburst from one of the guard towers.

"THE CURSE! IT COMES!"

Gracie's eyes widened, knowing what this meant, "We have to get Emma to the wardrobe!"

David took Emma from Gracie's arms, his sword in his hands with his oldest daughter by his side. Snow had her final goodbye with her baby as the father-daughter duo raced off.

"Gracie, go put up protection around the castle again, and hold it there for as long as possible!" Charming told her, "I know the curse will be too strong to hold it up but do it for as long as you can. I love you, Gracie. I always have and I always will, in this world and in the next."

Gracie felt a tear threaten to fall as she said goodbye to her Father, running off in a different direction than him. As Gracie turns a corner, she is surprised to see Regina's guards infiltrating the castle. As she runs down the halls, sword in one hand, other hand being used to kill every guard in sight, she finally makes it out to the court yard. A few guards surround her, and using her skill with a sword she easily takes them down, receiving only a few minor cuts. As more of Regina's men begin to show, Gracie scrambled to find a safe place that she could put up a protection spell. A hidden spot behind some bushes is where she finds herself, and no guards are in sight. To her right, she sees the dark curse approaching, engulfing everything into it. Gracie lifts her hands, ready to use her magic, but a sudden jolt of her arm tears her away from concentration. Before Gracie can retaliate, she feels her necklace ripped from her chest; sudden weakness a result, and a bag placed over her head. Strong arms grip Gracie as she is dragged off, away from the castle that is only moments away from being eaten by the approaching curse.

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