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Fanfic / The Dark Lady

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The Dark Lady is a Once Upon a Time fanfic by imgilmoregirl.

As Belle spends her days in the Dark Castle, she and her master Rumpelstiltskin become close to one another, until one night of passion ends up changing their lives forever.

The fanfic can be found on and Archive of Our Own. The story continues in the sequel The Dark Children and interquel Light Moments.

The Dark Lady provides examples of:


  • Adaptation Species Change: Downplayed. Gideon is still human, but because he was conceived and born in the Enchanted Forest while Rumpel's curse was still in full-effect, Gideon was born with the same scaly-skin, as well as an affinity for magic.
    • Robin II’s name is brought up as being nothing but a coincidence, instead of being named after Robin Hood. This is because Robin Hood is not her father, with mentioning that she is a Demi-god, implying her father to be Hades.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: The Black Fairy sets the Dark Castle on fire in order to stage an “accidental” miscarriage with Belle - who did not even know she was pregnant at the time - as an ingredient to the spell.
  • Evil Is Petty: The Black Fairy's entire M.O. Aside from kidnapping Zelena's baby, she stages the miscarriage of her own unborn grandchild so that she could escape the Dark Realm, holds her now still-living grandson and granddaughter hostage in exchange for Rumpelstiltskin’s heart, only to use it to alter Rumpelstiltskin’s memories so that he does not remember Belle as being anything more than a maid. She casts a barrier that traps Belle, Mrs. Potts and the rest of the family in the Dark Castle and threaten to hurt Belle and her children if they do not pretend everything is fine.
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  • Heroic Bastard: Inspired by the story-book protagonist that he was named after, Gideon has a dream of becoming a hero, becoming especially protective of his little sister Rose.
  • Literal Bastard: Both Gideon and Rose were born before Rumpelstiltskin and Belle finally marry at the end of the story.
  • Old Retainer: After assisting in Gideon’s birth, Rumpelstiltskin hires Mrs. Potts on as their full-time maid, having been an unofficial part of their lives ever since.
  • The Powerof Love: While it was able to return Rumpel’s memories after the Black Fairy cursed him, it is made clear that the Curse of the Dark One is immune to true love’s kiss.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In-canon, Belle’s complex relationship with Rumpelstiltskin takes place after Snow White and Prince Charming succeed against Regina and Emma being born and raised in their kingdom. Regina has already been reformed and raised Emma’s secret love-child Henry up until he is four-years old by the time Belle became pregnant with Gideon.
    • The Dark Realm here lacks the Narnia Time it had in-canon.
  • Seers: While pregnant with Rose, Belle would have the same recurring nightmare of Fiona burning down the Dark Castle, with later confirmation that this is because Rose inherited Rumpelstiltskin’s ability to see the future.
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  • Unexpected Inheritance: After slaying Fiona, Rumpelstiltskin winds up becoming lord of the Dark Realm - and all of the magical resources that come with it - since he was her son.


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