Regina was smiling, happily discussing with Henry something that Project Mongoose had turned up in these early days of the operation, when her smile fell as she saw a group of townspeople heading determinedly towards where Elsa and Emma and Mary Margaret (with the baby in her arms) were standing and conferring about something or other.
"Mom?" Henry asked, then saw "Angry mob."
"Right," picking up her pace and arriving just in time to step between the two groups.
Emma saw the look on Regina's face, and wondered if she was about to hear 'you shall not pass'...she doubted it, but it seemed situationally appropriate.
"Out of our way," cried the pieman.
"And why would I do that?" Regina asked.
"Since you're not mayor anymore," said Simon.
Mary Margaret shook her head sadly. I know you always say you go along with people so they don't make fun of any slowness on your part, Simon, but mob participation? Really? "Then maybe you can tell your present mayor why you're doing this," Mary Margaret said.
Pointing a finger, Tom Horner pointed a finger at Elsa and started to say, "It's her doing, and -"
"I see," Regina interupted, "and we will," motioning for Elsa to step nearer...though going toward Regina meant also coming closer to the mob.
"What're you doing?" one person asked.
"Calling a witness," Regina answered. "Unless that's not important for you, in which case, I suggest you leave now."
"Regina?" Mary Margaret asked.
"A little something I learned while I was Mayor," Regina said, loud enough to be heard by Mary Margaret and Henry and Elsa, but not by Leroy or anyone in the mob. "No doubt it would have proven quite useful before I cast the Curse."
"So long as its safe," Mary Margaret said.
"Safer for them than if your young son was woken by their noise."
Sometimes its easy to forget that Regina raised a baby on her own. "What's involved?"
"Sight, and memory," and Regina looked to Elsa. "I want for you to remember one of the times you encountered someone here. Concentrate," and cupped her empty palm in front of Elsa's eyes. "Focus."
Elsa nodded, staring at Regina's hands, the curled fingers, and she thought back to...
I was walking down the blackroad, as a chill set into Regina's fingers. Came to a broad sign proclaiming the border of Storybrooke, as frost magic swirled in the space between those cupped fingers.
"Whoa," Henry said, seeing what Elsa must have seen.
Emma thought, Like it's an IMAX movie, only in mid-air.
What they saw was bright light, blazing towards me, veering back and forth like an crazed elk, before it decided upon a course of action - to charge straight towards me. Racing towards me, making no effort to slow or dodge where I stood unmoving. I thrust out one hand and, with it inches away, I stopped it in its tracks.
"Leroy?" Mary Margaret asked after a moment. "You met Elsa first, isn't that what you said?"
"Yeah," Leroy said.
"Is this what happened?"
Elsa's reaction wasn't restricted to her eyes - her magic burst out of Regina's grasp, looking like fireworks to anyone else; Regina pulled her hand back.
Very nearly burned, Regina considered, looking over that hand.
"I'm sorry," Elsa said.
To Mary Margaret's question, Leroy was saying, "I shouldn't have let Sleepy drive."
"It's strangely reassuring that I'm not the only one they avoid giving a straight answer to," Regina said lightly to Mary Margaret, in the spirit of shared aggravation. To Elsa, "I would've done worse, and tried to take her out in the process."
That was the old you, Henry knew. And Archie says that if you can talk about the past, and stay calm, then that's real progress.