Charming smiled as he looked down into the face of his newborn daughter, sleeping peacefully in his arms. Just one week ago his True Love, Snow White, had given him the best gift he'd ever received, Princess Emma of Misthaven.
She was perfect. Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, perfect little rosebud lips, bright eyes, the typical bluish-gray of newborns (Charming was fully convinced Emma would one day have her mother's beautiful green eyes). He was utterly and thoroughly smitten. His love for this tiny creature in his arms was greater than he'd ever thought possible.
Snow White leaned over him, her long, dark hair falling over his arm. She kissed his cheek. "It's time," she said with a grin. "The naming ceremony starts in ten minutes. Probably best if the little guest of honor isn't late.
Charming looked up at his wife, and on impulse reached up with his free hand and brought her down for a quick kiss. "Thank you for our daughter. She's everything I could have ever wanted."
Snow leaned into the kiss, returning it for good measure. "Well I had a little help. You had something to do with our little miracle. Now let's got introduce her to the kingdom."
Charming reluctantly laid Emma in her bassinet, let Snow fuss with the baby's long, white gown, and then walked with his family to the great hall where subjects from far and wide had come to pay their respects to the newborn princess.
A hush fell over the assembly as king, queen and princess made their entrance. Snow White got to her feet, looked regally over the assembly and then smiled. "It is with great, great pleasure that King David and I would like to introduce to you our daughter, Princess Emma of Misthaven!"
A joyful cheer rang through the entire hall, and little Emma startled for a moment, her tiny hands splaying wide, before settling back into peaceful slumber. Charming smiled down at her before lacing his fingers with his wife's and addressing the waiting assembly. "We know you're all eager to meet our daughter. She'll be holding court for the next two hours (or until she wakes demanding her breakfast, whichever comes first). Please, come! Share our joy!"
Charming watched as his kingdom queued up, eager to catch a glimpse of Misthaven's newest royal. It was a long blur of well wishes and gifts, only a few people truly standing out in Charming's mind—the dwarfs bowing deeply and vowing—through Grumpy, who was acting as their spokesman—to protect the little one with their lives. Granny, presenting Snow with a lovely baby blanket, pure white, garnished with Emma's name emblazoned in purple letters. Red hugging Snow tightly and then offering to babysit whenever they wanted. Gepetto and seven-year-old Pinocchio ooing and ahing over the baby before presenting Charming with a small wooden swan they'd made for the occasion. Jiminy Cricket landing on the edge of the bassinet, peering inside and then chirping excitedly.
Following the residents of Misthaven came foreign dignitaries, most notable, the king and queen of Arendelle and their tiny daughter, Elsa.
Emma slept peacefully through it all, regally unaware of the adoration she inspired. It wasn't until much later, as the dignitaries made way for ordinary subjects of neighboring kingdoms that the baby woke. The sailor Brennan Jones and his sons Liam and Killian had only just been announced when Emma let loose a wail. Before his father could stop him, three-year-old Killian sprinted forward and peered into the bassinet.
"Don't cry baby!" he said, patting her on the head and then kissing her silky forehead. Emma quieted immediately, peering up with unfocused eyes at the little boy who'd addressed her.
Snow laughed softly, turning kind eyes on the little family. "It would seem our Emma has found herself an admirer."
"My apologies," Brennan said, clearly embarrassed, calling Killian back to his side. "My lad is exuberant in his affections and has yet to learn decorum."
"No harm done," Charming said, smiling easily at the little boy with his mop of black hair and his bright blue eyes. "It would seem Emma is as enamored as your Killian. Her mother and I have yet to find a way to soothe her cries so effectively."
Brennan bowed and then led his sons away, making way for the final guests of the morning, the fairies. Tiger Lily stepped up, looked into the bassinet and smiled gently, waving her hand and producing a dreamcatcher that she waved over the infant.
"May your dreams always be sweet, little one," she said, "and may your future be bright and rosy."
After bowing, Tiger Lily made way for Nova, who squealed and clapped her hands together in delight. Waving her wand, she said "May you always follow your heart, little Emma. It will never, never lead you astray."
Finally Blue, head fairy, stepped up and looked indulgently at the little princess, but before she could bestow her fairy blessing all the candles in the hall went out with a great puff of wind, and the great hall door burst open. With a collective gasp, the assembly shrank back as the candles came back to life in time to illumine none other than Fiona, the Black Fairy, regally gliding in, a deceptively sweet smile on her lovely face.
"Oh my, what a lovely gathering," Black said in a soft, sweet voice. "Imagine my dismay at not receiving an invitation." She tsked softly, frowning in mock sorrow. "Just an oversight; I've no doubt. No matter. I've arrived now, and I'm fully prepared to pay my respects to the tiny princess."
Charming felt his chest pound, the need to protect screaming through his veins. He drew his sword as Snow reached into the bassinet and clutched her tiny daughter to her chest.
"You are not welcome here, witch," Charming growled, as throughout the hall his knights drew their swords, prepared to defend the royal family.
With a simple wave of her hand, Black sent the swords flying before they disappeared into thin air. "Now is that any way to address a guest?" she asked with a tiny pout, walking purposefully toward the dais, the entire assembly parting to make way for her.
Charming took another step forward, shielding his family with his body. "Stop right there. I will not let you harm my daughter!"
Black stepped up and caressed Charming's cheek. "Oh I have no intention of harming anyone," she laughed softly, breathily. "I merely wished to see the child. And now that I have, allow me to provide you with a little warning. Your daughter will grow up, lovely, kind, spirited. The perfect princess. But beware! The final battle is looming. She is prophesied to be my nemesis and make no mistake. I will destroy her. And once I do, once the final battle is won, all the powers of the universe will be mine!"
Thunder ripped through the great hall and Black reached for her wand, prepared to…well, Charming didn't even want to think about what she might be prepared to do with it. But before she could move further, Blue jumped into action, using her own wand to call Black's wand to herself.
"Enough!" Blue shouted. "You are not welcome here! You will not destroy this kingdom!"
With a wave of her wand, combined with Black's wand, Blue opened a portal, a wide, gaping blackness lay beyond. With one final wave, Black was hurtling through the air and through the portal.
But before she disappeared and the portal closed behind her, she shrieked "This is not over! I will be back, and when I am, the final battle will be worse than anything your precious little princess, the 'savior' could even imagine."
-Well here we go! It's the start of another multi-chapter! This one will eventually be Captain Duckling (once, you know, the two of them grow up and fit into that role.) The first chapter was obviously inspired by the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty, but that's probably as far as that parallel will go.
-I'm going to end up with 3 WIPs this summer ("Under the Apple Tree", my OQ fic, this story, and a CS honeymoon MC I'll start tomorrow), as well as the usual Fluffy Fridays. The only way I'll be able to keep up with it is to set a regular update schedule for myself. This Captain Duckling story, which will end up being somewhere around 8 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue, will be updated every Wednesday.
-Up next: 25 years later, the Charmings throw a birthday party for Emma, but the event is marred when it's discovered that the Black Fairy's wand has been stolen from the armory. The Black Fairy begins to make good on her final, ominous warning.