"Beastie!" Maleficent heaved a tired, impatient sigh.

"I wasn't in that much danger," Aurora ducked her head defensively, already ready for what was sure to be another very long, boring lecture from her godmother. Aurora had, once again, nearly fallen into danger while exploring parts of her human domain. Even though she spent most of her time in the Moors, every once in a while, she would go out to explore the human kingdom. It was not this choice to explore the human kingdom that bothered Maleficent, though. What bothered Maleficent was what little concern Aurora seemed to have about her own safety.

The girl was not stupid. She knew the wicked ways of men. She had seen it firsthand! And yet for some reason, the girl would waltz carelessly around the town in a blind and overly trusting confidence that only young, innocent children should have. Of course Maleficent knew Aurora had a naturally open, friendly and trusting disposition, but she still expected more from the girl. She thought that Aurora, of all people, would have a good head on her shoulders and know when to lay low, if only for the sake of a slightly safer journey through human lands. But no, Aurora was just as reckless as any immature child. The proof was in her latest expedition out beyond the borders of the Moors.

Aurora had gone into the kingdom's market square just to socialize with some of her fellow humans. During this time, she was nearly robbed and mugged (separate incidents) because she refused to keep a more wary eye on her surroundings. Although the kingdom was doing better with Stefan dead, reparations weren't going to happen overnight. There were still many rogues and thieves lurking the streets and it was only Aurora's nimble strength and speed that got her back to the Moors before any real harm befell her. But even though she had come home unscathed, when Maleficent heard the tale of Aurora's carelessness, she was quick to lecture the young girl.

"I've told you and told you and told you! You can't go dancing through life so mindless and careless!" she cried. "You need to keep-"

"-keep my feet on the ground, head out of the clouds, eyes straight ahead and mouth shut," Aurora interrupted in a deadpanning tone. "I know."

"Then why-?" Maleficent began, gritting her teeth at Aurora's flippant behavior.

"Don't I do it?" Aurora again finished her godmother's question before it could be asked completely. "Why am I so careless?"

"Yes," Maleficent growled through her teeth, patience running thin.

"Oh, I don't know, godmother!" Aurora sighed, sounding genuinely frustrated. Not with Maleficent, but with herself. "I don't know why I'm so… careless and airheaded! I don't mean to be. All I want to do is go out for a walk and meet some of my people! I don't know why that has to be such a challenge! I just can't seem to keep my focus where it should be! I just get so caught up and carried away, but I don't know how or why!"

The girl heaved a tired sigh and Maleficent's irritated expression faded away (to some degree). While she was still deeply disapproving of Aurora's foolhardy actions, hearing the sincerity in the girl's voice made Maleficent realize that Aurora, although certainly not stupid, really wasn't as wary or alert as she ought to have been. But that wasn't really her fault, per se. In the Moors, it was very safe to travel just about anywhere, so long as you were respectful. In the human kingdom, though, such niceties weren't always afforded and you could be attacked on sight, for no reason at all. Of course a girl raised in the Moors would be unused to such backwards thinking! But though Aurora's careless nature was forgivable, that it didn't make it any less dangerous. Maybe Aurora was stronger, smarter and faster than most of her subjects, due mostly to her life in the Moors, but she wouldn't be able to finesse her way out of every danger. Not forever, at least.

"I understand it must be frustrating for you," Maleficent finally sighed. "Trying to learn how to be a human when you've spent so much of your life living as one of the Moor folk. But you still need to be more careful. We've talked about this before! How many times have I had to give you this lecture? How many times have we gone over safety precautions about what you should do if you ever visited the human kingdom?" Maleficent's motherly side was coming out in spades as she cocked her head and continued to chide Aurora gently.

"I know, I know," Aurora hung her head, but it was not totally out of shame. Although Aurora did feel bad, to some degree, she also was really tired of hearing Maleficent go on and on and on and on about the evils of humanity. Even if it was all true, it got tiring to hear. Like she, herself, had said, how many times had she given Aurora this lecture? How many times had they gone over this very topic? It was all very tedious to Aurora now and she was hoping that if she looked apologetic enough, Maleficent would hurry along and let her go already.

But Maleficent was not stupid and she knew exactly what Aurora was doing. Although Aurora was genuinely, and generally, a good, kind, honest and moral person, she was still a teenage girl and, like all teenage girls, she could be rebellious, impatient, immature and petty. Maleficent knew full well Aurora was only saying sorry now to try to evade any further lecture or punishment. Well, that just wasn't going to stand! Although Maleficent hated disciplining Aurora just as much as Aurora hated being disciplined, it had to happen in order to instill into Aurora's head the severity of what she had done. Ignorance was no excuse. Aurora had to start being more careful, before something else might happen to her.

"I think that in light of what you have done, I am going to request that you stay away from the human kingdom for two weeks, and that Diaval will keep an eye on you at all times until your punishment is over," the Dark Fairy decided.

"Awwww! What? You're grounding me? No! You can't!" Aurora whined, opening her mouth in dismay and horror.

"No, Beastie, I've made up my mind on the matter," Maleficent replied sternly.
"But-!"

"No buts," Maleficent interrupted again.

"Godmother-!"

"No godmothers either!" Maleficent continued, frowning at Aurora. Aurora's mouth continued to hang open, but she could think of no further protest. Despite herself, Maleficent smirked at the sight. There was her sweet little Aurora, mouth open like a frog's as her face scrunched up like a baby troll, about to throw a fit because its parents wouldn't let it engage in another mud fight. It really was quite cute, Maleficent couldn't deny.

"Oh, do close your mouth, Beastie," Maleficent teased. "You don't want to let the flies in!" in response, Aurora made another indignant gasp but could still think of nothing to say, so she finally closed her mouth with a reluctant pout. Maleficent had to bite back a laugh now. If Aurora had looked silly before, the pout was even more adorable. But instead of laughing, Maleficent only shook her horned head in amusement before turning to saunter off. She gestured for Aurora to follow her.

"Come, Beastie, let us fetch Diaval. I am sure he will be more than happy to play the role of your bodyguard for these next two weeks!" she said.

"Two weeks!" she heard Aurora whisper to herself in disbelief and outrage, but then she heard the telltale sounds of Aurora obediently tromping after her. She didn't need to turn around to imagine the pout on Aurora's face. The thought was enough to bring out a smile on her own.

AN: To Qiralyn Cassette, here's your "Maleficent chides Aurora for going into danger and Aurora tries to get out of it". This was a cute, fun little fic to write and definitely adds some more "mother-daughter cliché moments" for them. Hope you liked it!

(Also, this is set after Maleficent 1 but before Maleficent 2)