A/N: Well, as promised, here's my other Fairy Godmother fanfic. This one's a one-shot. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think! The song is 'Letting Go' from Jekyll and Hyde.
Facing up to the truth
That it is time to part
Giving way to the day
That well may break my heart
It's not a thing I choose
To win, I have to lose
She struggled against tears, but it was a losing battle, and the salty drops dripped down her cheeks. It had been a long, long time since she had really cried over anything. It had been a long time since there was anything worth crying over. But she was weeping now, silently so that no one else would hear.
They were sending him away. The one and only thing she really held dear to her heart, and they were sending him away from her. The businesswoman in her said that Harold was right; it simply wasn't a good image for a fairy godmother to have a son. The practical part of her knew that if she was going to remain as the official Fairy Godmother of Far Far Away, it was best if as few people as possible knew about her connection with young Charming. Her professional side knew it was best to send him away for a while.
But the mother in her didn't know any of those things. The mother in her screamed that she was doing the wrong thing, that she should keep her little boy with her no matter what bargains had been made. Yes, she wanted him to be king one day. She wanted him to have the very best of everything, and ruling a kingdom the size of Far Far Away was certainly the very best. It would be a perfect kingdom, with her as the Fairy Godmother and her son as ruler. But could she really bear to part with him?
'It's only a few years,' she told herself, wiping tears from her eyes and sniffling. 'Besides, at least Harold has to part with his child soon, as well. That's part of the bargain. Charming will learn to be the best prince in all the land, he'll rescue the maiden from the tower, and then we can all finally live happily ever after.' Looking in the mirror, she touched up her makeup to hide the redness in her nose and the slightly swollen appearance of her eyes.
"Fairy Godmother?" the intercom in her office buzzed in, and she turned towards it, annoyed.
"What is it, Jerome?" she snapped at her young desk clerk. She could almost see him cringing through the speaker.
"Ze carriage has arrived..." he added hesitantly, and she flipped the intercom off without replying. Another wave of tears threatened to hit her, and she steeled herself against it. She was going to be brave for her little boy if it killed her. After checking her appearance in the mirror one last time, she fluttered out to the gardens where she knew her son would be.
Sure enough, there he was, crouched down to peer at something underneath a protruding tree root. The seven year old grinned when he caught sight of her and pointed at the ground.
"Mum, come and look at this bug!" he exclaimed, reaching for her hand and pulling her over to look at his discovery. She set her feet on the ground, which put her being just over a head taller than her son. It didn't matter to her that in another couple of years, he would outgrow her small stature; he was always going to be a little boy to her. "Think I should take it with me? Maybe it's magic!"
She couldn't help but chuckle at him; he was the light of her life and never failed to make her smile in her darkest hours. "I don't think so, pumpkin. Better leave it here...maybe it will have found a friend by the time you get back," she added, her voice nearly cracking on the last word. The blond boy didn't notice the brief hint of emotion. She hesitated, reaching a hand out to smooth down a lock of his wavy hair before continuing in what she hoped was a cheerful tone. "The carraige is here."
"Really?" he asked, excited, and her heart sank miserably. Of course he was excited; he was going off to be trained as a knight, something that all boys his age dreamed off. He was getting to have his very first real adventure! She had tried to make it seem as though he was getting a very great privilege, not as though he were being sent away from the only family he knew. Still, it didn't ease her own pain to see him so happy about leaving.
"Yes, really," she answered, forcing a smile. "Now, have you got everything packed?"
"YES, Mother! That's the fifth time you've asked me today," he replied, a little exasperated.
"All right, just wanting to be sure," she said. "It should take them a couple more minutes to finish loading things up," she added. This time, her voice really did crack before she finished the sentence, and she had to turn away quickly to hide the tear falling down her cheek.
"Mummy?" the young boy asked, concerned. He reached out to touch her arm with one hand. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, sweetheart!" she replied, unable to sound convincing with a voice thick with tears. A moment's silence passed between them before Charming spoke again.
"I'll be back, Mummy," he reassured, pulling at her arm until she turned to face him. Her lip quivered for a moment before she threw her arms around him, resting her tear-stained cheek against the top of his head.
"I know, precious," she whispered. She held him for a long moment, briefly considering throwing away the bargain she had made with Harold and giving up the fairy godmother business entirely to become a full-time mother. She had always managed at being a pretty good parent, in spite of the fact that she hadn't wanted a child in the first place. It wouldn't be so bad...she could just go back to plain old potions as a source of income and keep her darling boy home with her. But the practical side of her kept reassuring that she was doing what was best, both for herself and Charming. He would get the training a true prince deserved, and she would have her chance at becoming a real success.
Sighing, she kissed the top of his head and released him from the tight hug. He looked up at her with his father's brilliant blue eyes and smiled. "Don't worry, Mum. I'm going to become a grand knight, you'll see!" The boy withdrew a short wooden sword from his belt and began brandishing it against an imaginary foe. "And I'll defeat loads of evil stuff, dragons and everything! Then I'll climb to the highest room of the tallest tower and rescue the fair princess, just like you said!" he exclaimed, climbing a tree as he spoke, and she smiled a little again. Ever since he was a baby, she had told him tales of knights and braverism, and he took every word to heart. He jumped down from the short limb he had been standing on, bowing before his mother in the fashion of any true prince, his wavy hair falling down in front of his eyes before he straightened up and grinned at her. "Then we'll all live happily ever after!"
"Happily ever after," she agreed, nodding as she reached forward to straighten his hair out once again. Behind her, there was the sound of a throat clearing, and she turned towards the noise with an annoyed expression shockingly unlike the tender look she had worn a moment before.
"Pardon..." the young elf said hesitantly. "But...madam, the luggage is loaded and the driver says he will not wait much longer..."
"Fine," she snapped, turning away from him again immediately. Wincing a little, the desk clerk retreated back into the cottage. The Fairy Godmother cupped her son's face in her hands, looking him square in the eye so that he had to pay close attention to her. "Now, you be a good boy," she said, trying to keep her voice steady. "I've taught you all these years how a proper prince should behave, and now you're going to learn all the tricks of the trade that go with that. Remember, dear...you're of a higher class than the other boys. You're Prince Charming," she finished, moving her hands down to his shoulders and holding him at arms' length. He grinned at the last comment and nodded his head; he knew he was a prince, although she HAD lied a little about the circumstances of his birth, telling him that the reason he was unable to claim the throne was that she and his father had been married in secret, and his father had died before they were able to proclaim their wedding vows publicly. She wanted him to grow up proud.
"I won't forget, Mum," he replied. A moment of silence passed as they gazed at one another, each one memorizing the other's features, then she pulled her son into another tight hug. He hugged back just as tightly, and she could sense that a part of him was scared in spite of his excitement.
"Don't forget anything, Charming," she murmured. "Especially that I love you, very much."
"I love you, too," the young boy replied, his voice muffled against his mother. A horse whinnied loudly from the front of the cottage, and the pair broke apart, each of them holding back tears this time. "I'll be back for holidays, of course," Charming said suddenly, almost apologetic. His mother smiled and nodded quickly.
"And your instructors know how to get in touch with me if anything happens," she reassured, more as a comfort to herself than to her son. She paused for a brief moment, then reached behind Charming's ear and pulled out a small disc about the size of a large gold coin. The trick made him grin, as it always did, and she smiled back as she pressed the disc into his palm.
"What's this, Mum?" he asked, looking down at the shimmering object.
"If you ever need me, you can contact me through this," she said, her voice taking on a somewhat urgent tone. "Now, I'm not technically supposed to let you take anything like this with you, so keep it well hidden, and don't use it unless it's an absolute emergency. Do you understand?" He nodded in response, carefully putting the disc in his pocket. "Good. Now, you'd better hurry before the driver leaves."
Hand in hand, they walked through the cottage. However, once they stepped through the front doors, Charming let go of his mother's hand, wanting to appear grown up and brave. She walked with him as far as the footbridge; the carriage was parked just on the other side of it. She stood in the center of the bridge, on it's highest arch so that she could watch the carriage as long as possible. Her son climbed up into the carriage.
"Goodbye, Mother!" he said, waving out the window as the door shut behind him.
"You be a good boy!" she called, just before the driver cracked his whip and the horses began to trot away.
"I will!" he called, the upper half of his torso still leaning out the window. She waved frantically as the rig headed towards a bend in the path that would take it deep into the forest and out of her sight completely, her wings fluttering quickly as she flew up off the bridge a few feet in order to keep her eyes on her son as long as possible. Not that it really mattered; her eyes were bright with tears again, and they blurred her vision. Even after the carriage disappeared behind the trees, she continued to wave, her hand slowing in it's fervor until it stopped completely and fell down limp to her side again. She lowered herself down until she once again had both feet on the bridge, and her wings stopped fluttering. For a moment, she looked around, almost hoping that there would be a friend there to comfort her, someone to share her sense of loss with. But without Charming...she was alone.
Her face crumpled, and she covered it with her hands, bowing her head as she sobbed.