Okay guys, if you've read my story The Grey Prince, I'm sorry to say I won't be continuing it. Instead, there's this story, which has basically the same plot as that one, except that it's modified to be in canon with the winter finale. Hope you guys like it. Please Review! Reviews are the lifeblood that keeps writers alive! Sort of…

It was with a somber step and a wounded heart that Regina found herself walking home alone down Storybrooke's mostly empty streets.

The sounds of celebration of revelry could be heard from Granny's a few blocks down. There Snow White and her entourage would be eating, drinking, and partying themselves silly in the name of the day's victory. Their savior and her mother had returned home safely at last. No doubt the Evil Queen's absence was the farthest thing from their minds. Why on earth would they care what she was up to? It wasn't as if she'd been integral in their return, or had saved them from a horrendously painful death on their way through the portal.

Regina felt a rueful smile curl her lips. Honestly, what had she been expecting? To be welcomed into the ranks of the 'heroes' with open arms? Of course not. Though it wasn't as if she actually wanted to associate herself with the dwarves, werewolves and cretins her stepdaughter called friends. But nonetheless, her heart had been filled with a brief flicker of hope.

"I was right" Henry's voice rang in her mind. "You really have changed."

He'd hugged her then, wrapping his arms around her middle in a gesture that nearly had her weeping for joy right then and there in Gold's shop for all to see. She wouldn't have minded, she was so happy. For weeks now she'd feared that her son was forever lost to her, yet now he showed her the first genuine sign of open affection since he'd gotten hands on the accursed book of fairytales that had cemented her in his mind as an evil monarch.

Her heart had been crushed shortly thereafter.

Of course he'd left her to join his biological mother and her parents to celebrate without her.

Why would he invite her out to eat when he had Snow White and Prince Charming to dote on him?

With each click of her heels down the sidewalk, she fought the tears building up against the floodgates of her eyes. It seemed no matter what she did, it wouldn't ever really matter. She had been replaced. Henry had a new family to love him, and she'd been left alone to mull over the feelings that slowly tore at her soul from within.

Nightfall was beginning to fall across the humble Maine hamlet. Passing cars had their headlights switched on, businesses were beginning to close down for the day, and spattering's of children chased each other in droves, playing away the last few hours remaining between the end of the school day and the arrival of suppertime.

All of it made Regina feel sick. Angry, disgusted. Things had reverted to the way they were just before the curse. The smallfolk of the kingdoms were happy amongst their families and friends, enjoying the simple pleasures of a life filled with love and acceptance while she alone had her happy ending ripped away from her and was left to her misery.

No matter, she told herself firmly, schooling her face to a cool collected state free of cumbersome emotion. She had more important things to worry about at the moment. Like her mother.

Cora may have been prevented from coming through the portal, but Regina knew better than to think that was the end of it. It was far, far from it. She knew her mother better than anyone. Cora would find a way through. Somehow, somewhere, she would make it to Storybrooke, and when she did, everyone would be in danger. Everyone. Henry included.

A pulse of barely surprised anger shot up Regina's spine. Anger intermingled with cold, hard fear.

Of all the complex feelings that chased one another like ravenous beasts through her mind, those regarding her mother were without a doubt the most polarizing.

Since Daniels death so, so long ago, Cora had done everything in her power to destroy everything she held dear and to trap her in an existence devoid of all happiness, married to a man she did not love, and forced to mother the girl responsible for the death of her beloved.

She'd had been trying to live out her own ambitions through her daughter. Ambitions of power and status that had never once crossed Regina's mind during her youth. She hadn't dreamed of power. She'd dreamed of love and marriage and children, of a life with Daniel.

In the end fate had shown that it held her in the highest of contempt, and had seen fit to tear these dreams to piece with Cora as its grizzly tool.

Despite everything however, Regina still loved her mother. Somewhat at least. It was entirely irrational, she knew. By all means she should despise her with her entire being and want for nothing more than to end her. But a remnant of a daughter's love still stained her heart like a troublesome splattering of blood across pure white canvas. It couldn't be removed.

Yet these feeling meant little to nothing at the moment. They wouldn't prevent Cora from doing what she'd always done, destroying everything in her path.

Love was weakness, as she'd always said. And her unstoppable rampage would only be ended when she'd stripped her daughter of every bit of 'weakness' she could sniff out. Namely, Henry. The one she loved above all else.

Unless that was, Regina ended her first.

Defeating Cora would prove an incredible challenge, even for a witch as powerful as the fear Evil Queen. But she was determined to do it with or without Rumpelstiltskin's aide.

Approaching the front door to her home Regina slipped the key into its hole, turned, and pushed inside.

Immediately upon entering she knew something was off. A crackle of magical energy hung heavily in the air, so thickly that just a whiff of it made Regina's hackles shot up like spears. Through the archway into the sitting room she could see an abundance of loose papers swirling inches above the ground as if carried by a low flowing wind.

From within the study the sounds of labored breathing could be heard.

Regina tensed dangerously.

With but the flick of the wrist fire crackled between her fingers, hot and deadly.

Some fool with a bit of magical talent had invaded her home it seemed. And they would be dealt with swiftly.

In three strides Regina was in the sitting room doorway. Hardly glancing at the figure sitting in the shambled remains of the coffee table and heaps of ruined books she used her free hand to lift them into the heir, limbs encased in telekinetic bonds.

"Well hello there" he said almost cheerfully. "I was wondering when you'd get back. Sorry about the mess. My portal sort of exploded outwards when it dissipated. Don't worry, I'll fix everything though." He smiled. "It's good to see you."

Regina's eyes narrowed. The figure floating a few feet above the furniture wreckage was a teenaged boy, probably around sixteen or seventeen considering the light dusting of facial hair across his chin.

His hair was a chestnut brown, and his eyes were an eerily familiar hue that the former queen couldn't quite place where she'd seen before. These details however were overshadowed by the boy's attire.

Almost the entirety of his body was covered in silvery armor consisting of shiny steel plates connected at the joints by dark iron bolts. Chainmail could be seen peeking out of the space between plates, and a sword in a scabbard hung at his belt.

Just before the heart laid a heavy metal kite shield, whose surface was painted with an intricate sigil painted on it's surface. Beneath it was secured a bulging rucksack tied off with a length of rope.

"Who are you?" Regina demanded icily. The fire in her fist intensified.

A brow crept up the boy's forehead. He laughed.

"You really don't recognize me. That's understandable I guess. I am at least twice as tall as I was before, and my voice has dropped. But really….you of all people can't tell it's me?" He sounded disappointed. His gaze drifted above Regina's head and stayed there a moment, transfixed. "There still there… 'course they are. The damn viewings never lie do they?" His face became a mask of the utmost sadness, smile turning to a frown.

Suddenly he sputtered for breath as an unseen hand wrapped itself firmly around his throat, squeezing tightly.

"Answer the question" Regina snapped. "You'll find that I have no patience for games, boy. So please, tell me who you are and why it is you deemed it wise to enter my home uninvited?" She let up on her choking grip a tad. Just enough to let him speak.

"I had to come to you first, you know" he half gurgled through his constrained windpipe. "Had to. I could've gone to Emma, to my dad, even the Blue Fairy. They'd of been good options considering all the crap that's about to go down around here. But I had to see you again. It had to be you. Do you really not know who I am? It's me….mom. It's Henry."

The force gripping his neck tightened severely.

"You do have a death wish" Regina seethed. Burglars, even magical ones apparently, had no common sense when it came to not pissing off a powerful sorceress.

Then, out of nowhere, Regina felt her grip lessen slightly, being challenged. A faint glowing radiated from the boy's irises. He had magic as well, and was prying her off his throat.

"You're awfully violent for someone who's supposed to be swearing off magic. It's okay. You've had sort of a rough day. That's partially my fault. I'm sorry, leaving you alone to go to dinner with the others. That was awful of me. I was just a kid. I didn't understand I was hurting your feelings. I-"

"Enough!" Regina interrupted him, furious. "You come into my home, destroy my possessions, and then claim to be my ten year old son? I have to say, of all the petty scum I've dealt with, you're perhaps the boldest. Pity you'll be dead soon. Your magic is almost admirable, loosening my hold on you like that. Oh well. Goodbye."

She raised her hand to incinerate the boy once and for all. But she couldn't. Midway through the motion of flinging the fistful of fire, her arm was frozen midair. Suddenly she was completely immobilized. A faint aura surrounded her entire body and he couldn't move.

The telekinesis holding the boy broke completely, and he fell to the ground where he staggered for a moment before regaining his composure.

"For the record I could've done that at any time. You've got decades of experience on me but in terms of raw power I have you beat by a teeny bit. I can prove who I am by the way, that I'm Henry, Henry from the future. Now I know what you're thinking" he said just as Regina was about to let loose with a stream of curses, and magically sealed her mouth over.

"Time travel magic doesn't exist. It hasn't ever existed, and anyone who says otherwise is just rehashing old wives tales. Two words mom. The Chronos Invictus ritual, found in old scrolls in an old library buried beneath the deserts outside Agrabah. I have 'em in my bag. Gonna need 'em for the return trip back home." He paused for a moment, thinking.

"Oh right, proving it's me. Almost forgot about that. When I was four I threw a tantrum because I was moving up a year in school. You told me it would be good to be with kids my own age. I was four, my friends were still three. The first in a long line of lies you told me growing up, which include making me think I was insane…." He trailed off for a moment.

Why'd I travel back in time? Because I remember it. I remember today, from the perspective of my ten year old self. I remember meeting an older me, looking just like this" he gestured to his armored attire. He glanced up at the clock hanging on the wall. "Speaking of which, I have to get going. If I remember things correctly, and I do, then right about now little me is at the diner having a seizure. My magic is manifesting for the first time. Not fun seeing as I have absolutely no control." He paused, and his face once again took on the utmost seriousness.

"I'm going to leave you here, okay? Cora and Hook made it here through another portal. There about half a mile out in the harbor, and they'll be here anytime. You're not ready to face her. Not yet." He glanced up, gazing out the nearby window in anticipation.

" I love you mom. Remember that, okay? I've forgiven you…for everything. Younger me'll take some time, but he'll come around eventually. Trust me, I know, because I remember it that way. We'll talk later, okay mom? See you in a bit. Love you."

Reaching down he swung the rucksack over his shoulder and strapped the shield to his forearm. Coming close, he pressed a kiss to Regina's forehead before leaning back a moment, looking her in the eyes. Even in her constrained straight, Regina felt herself tremble beneath his gaze. This really was Henry. Despite the blatant impossibility of his presence, he truly was. He had Henry's eyes, Henry's tone, and the same way of looking at and speaking to her that it made her heart melt.

And then like that the adolescent Henry sprinted out of the sitting room, drawing his sword as he went. Regina heard the telltale sound of the front door swinging shut behind him, and was left completely alone once again.