Breaking off the Chains

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of this story. It's called fan fiction for a reason.

Note: This is the beginning of that plot bunny that was nagging me but I don't have time tonight to finish the whole thing. So this is a sort of teaser or at least the first part. But I will put up the rest of this before next Sunday, for sure.

This happens in medias res and I really don't want to get into the details. Hopefully, I threw in just enough to make this comprehensible. If not, may I request that you just go with it.

And also, I am rubbish at writing action sequences so I will leave most of this to your imaginations.

Hope you like this nevertheless. Any feedback is much loved!

"No."

It was happening again.

This time, the nightmare was real, though she did not want to believe it. For a moment, Regina stood paralyzed with horror at what was taking place before her. She stood, rooted to the spot, trying to convince herself that this wasn't real, that this couldn't be real.

Not now. Not again.

All she could do was stare, a cold fear gripping her that she had not felt since she thought Henry had died, a pain she had not felt since she had had to give Daniel up for the second time. She had never imagined she would suffer this way again, and so soon.

"What's the matter, darling?" Cora asked with a sinister smirk, "where is my powerful, little queen now?"

All of it had happened so quickly that there was barely time to react properly to everything. Cora had managed to find a portal from the Enchanted Forest into Storybrooke, following behind Emma and Mary Margaret without their knowing. She had arrived in town and immediately began wreaking havoc all over the place.

Her powers were as strong as ever and she brought with her a great malice, which threw the whole town into darkness and chaos. And she had not come alone, for she had brought along an army of horrible creatures to assist in her fight. Wraiths and ogres and other monsters followed in her wake and the whole town was occupied with fighting off these fearsome enemies.

Charming, Snow, and Emma led the fight against the beasts, aided, to their surprise, by Rumplestiltskin and Regina. The rest of the town rallied behind them and defended themselves bravely.

But at length, Cora's true purpose was revealed, and to Regina's horror, her mother had gotten hold of Henry. The boy struggled in Cora's grasp but he could not get away. He threw a look at Regina, begging for help, and wordlessly allowing her to use magic again.

And so the queen had summoned all her powers to duel her own mother in order to free her son. The battle had been fierce but Regina had never been more determined in her life to rescue anyone from her mother's clutches. And by the strength of her will and her love for Henry, she managed to tear him away from Cora and hand him to Emma for safety. The blonde woman understood the gravity of the situation and despite the boy's protests, took him to where she could protect him better.

Regina then faced her mother for the decisive battle. Magical blows were exchanged, sparks and flames of all colors filled the air as the two powerful sorceresses unleashed their magic and showcased their remarkable abilities.

But in a moment of miscalculation, Regina stumbled, giving Cora the perfect opportunity to deal a fatal blow. Before the younger woman could deflect it, however, someone managed to push her out of the way.

"Archie?" she cried incredulously.

He smiled back at her in relief. They had both miraculously avoided Cora's strike, but just barely.

"I wasn't about to let you go through that alone," he said simply.

Before either of them could say anything else, Archie was lifted in the air by a great force and tendrils of bluish light began to coil tightly around him.

"Well, well, well," Cora remarked with interest, "and what do we have here?"

"Let him go!" Regina screamed in rage, getting back on her feet and taking a defensive stance, "your issue is with me. He's not involved."

"Unfortunately, he is now," Cora replied, "he should have thought better than to jump in."

Regina looked worriedly at Archie as he struggled in the magical chains that held him. Then, she glared at her mother and threw a fireball at her. Cora deflected this easily and stood in front of the helpless figure in her clutches.

"Now, now," the older sorceress remarked, "I have something in particular planned for you."

And then, Cora raised her hand towards Archie's chest and took a position all too familiar to Regina. The queen's eyes widened in complete horror.

"No."

Cora glanced at her daughter and shook her head.

"But, my dear, how disappointing," the mother commented coldly, "after all these years, you've still succumbed to the same weakness."