DISCLAIMER: As much as I'd like to own Ella Enchanted, because it happens to be the best version of Cinderella ever, I don't.

NOTE: I absolutely love this book! Why couldn't Gail Carson Levine write another book on Ella? Oh well. I guess I'll just have to read other people's fanfics. If you review, I will almost definitely read and review at least one of you stories, so review, review, review! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Ella loved Prince Charmont with all her heart, and he had just proposed to her through his letter! How could she say no? She couldn't ! Her love for him was so strong... but it would never be possible for her to live with him, to love him, to be married to him; she was cursed.

She wrote a letter to her beloved, making believe that she had married some old man for his money. She hoped that the prince would believe the lie she was forcing herself to tell. She loved Char, but he would be hurt if she married him.

That night, she packed up a few of her things, what little she still owned, and crept down to the kitchen. There, she put the letter to Char on the cutting counter with instructions to Mandy to send it. Then, she took a last look around the place she knew so well, the floors she had cleaned so many times, and the pots she had attempted to cook with. She had to leave it all behind.

She savored the memory of Mandy and the nicer girls that worked there. She would miss them terribly, but there was no reason for her to stay there after she had lost all hope of being with Char, her one true love.

So, she set off into the woods, making her way down the same path she had taken to go to finishing school and later to see the giants. She managed to travel a few miles before daybreak. When she was too tired to go on, and the sun was peeping out from behind the trees, Ella found a tree with sturdy branches, and she hid herself within its leaves. She fell asleep almost immediately.

Ella woke with a start. There were noises beneath her. She looked down only to see Mum Olga and Hattie calling out her name. Ella breathed a sigh of relief as they gave up and went back to their home. She was exceptionally glad that they had not thought of ordering her to come down if she could hear them.

Once she was sure they were gone, Ella climbed down her tree and headed out again. She walked for days, after that. She loved the freedom of no one bossing her about, but she hated the price— she would never see her Char again.

About a week into her journey, Ella opened the magic book to find a letter from Mandy inside. As she read it, she almost began crying. It said:

Dearest Ella,

You darling girl! Why did you not come to me? You know I would have come with you, but I expect you decided that you needed to do this alone. Lady, please remember that I love you like my own child. I am hurting with you right now, though I know you did the right thing. Darling, know that you may always call on me in a time of trouble, and I will come to you as fast as I can. Just remember— no big magic.


Ella missed her terribly. Ever since her mother died, she had been all Ella had. Ella loved her so much, even if she did become irritated with Mandy at times when she wouldn't use big magic. She was really happy that Mandy had written to her.

She turned a page in her book, only to see a much less welcome sight: a picture of Char burning all of her letters. She cried over this and the entry from his journal. It said all kind of nasty things about Ella and her double-facedness. He swore never to write or think about her again.

Ella closed the book and said, "It is all for the best."

"Of course it is, Dear," replied a voice behind her, right before it hit her over the head. She was knocked unconscious.

Ella woke up with a groan. Rubbing her head, she opened her eyes and looked around. She was in a cell of some sort. There was little in it. She saw two other people lying on the ground quite close by, one was a boy and the other a girl, both about the same age as herself.

She had a moment of panic when she realized that she no longer had her magic book. However, the girl in the corner stirred, and , upon seeing Ella, flashed her a grin.

"Looking for this?" the scruffy girl asked. She held up the book.

"Oh! Yes! Thank you!" replied Ella, quickly taking her precious book from the girl.

"I never saw anyone so excited about a book of fairy tales before."

"My godmother gave it to me. How did you get it? And where are we?"

"We have been caught by the Cralitch, slave traders. I overheard the man who brought you in talking to his wife. As to that book, I saw him flip through it and put it into his pocket. I snitched it the first chance I got. I figured it must be yours."

"Thank you so very much. My name is Ella. I am pleased to meet you."

"Ella, eh? You don't act like an Ella. You are too prim and proper. I bet your name is much longer than that. Tell me your real name."

An order. "Eleanor," she said. She added, "But I much prefer Ella."

"Alright... Ella it is, then. My name is Tempest, Tem for short. I got caught yesterday, but that boy there was here before I got here. He hasn't woken up yet. Maybe he's dead." She peered uninterestedly at him. "I don't really like boys."

Ella crawled over to the boy to see whether or not he really was dead, but he was breathing. She poked his arm. He didn't move.

Ella sat back on her heels and turned once again to Tem. She sat there with nothing to do, until finally, she started singing:

Floods flow from my eyes, Blood flows from my heart. I have said my good byes, Though I hate to be apart.

Why did I have to leave? Why did my love fly away? Why has my heart been cleaved? How can I keep these feelings at bay?

Floods flow from my eyes, Blood flows from my heart. I have said my good byes, Though I hate to be apart.

Ella stopped singing, and all she could do was think of Char. Her daydreams were interrupted by a voice out of the corner.

"What song were you singing?"

Ella turned to see the boy sitting up, looking at her. He looked strangely familiar, but she couldn't place a resemblance.

"It was a song of mourning for those who are dead and have left us."

"Who died?"

Me. Ella thought, but she said, "Nobody."