Mind = blown. Ella realizes that she could marry him, escape her awful family, be of a high enough station that no one would give her orders, and basically everything would be awesome.
BUT. And it's a big but. Her obedience spell could be big trouble for Char.
Like, she could be forced to betray state secrets or even to assassinate Char. It's not as though she could keep the spell a secret for very long in court, which is full of spies and prying eyes.
If Char knew about the curse, he could keep her safe…how? By locking her away from human influence forever?
Or he could renounce the throne so his younger sister Cecilia would rule, but enemies could still use Ella to get to her.
Basically, there's no way for her to be in Char's life and keep him safe. Maybe if she ever gets rid of the curse, but not until then.
She ruins a bunch of paper by crying on it, but finally composes a letter that she thinks will get the point across.
She writes as though from Hattie's perspective (making sure to misspell a few things), informing Char that Ella has eloped with a rich man. She'd never taken Char's letters seriously and had read them aloud for everyone's amusement.
Ella encloses a short letter from herself to Char, which Hattie had supposedly found and included. Ella tells Char not to look for her and makes sure to write it in her characteristically witty style so he'll know it's authentic.
She has Mandy mail the letters but doesn't tell her what's up. When Mandy returns from the post, she finds Ella sobbing.
She tells Mandy what she's done, and Mandy mournfully agrees that it's the right thing.
But then Mandy decides that it's just about time to even the score with Lucinda. So, Ella hides behind a curtain, and Mandy summons Lucinda.
Now, Mandy tells a little like: she's got a bet with another fairy, see, and she needs Lucinda to tell the truth: is she too afraid to try out (1) being a squirrel and (2) being obedient for six months?
Lucinda rises to the bait and transforms herself into a squirrel. Mandy has a good laugh.
Is this going to prompt Lucinda to remove the curse? At least, Mandy says, maybe Lucinda will stop doing harmful magic.
Come on, isn't there some kind of fairy council that can take Lucinda's power away?
Anyway, here comes a letter from Ella's dad. He can't come home, because he's too busy trying to find her a rich husband. Awesome.
Also awesome: Ella gets to see, thanks to the fairy book, that Char is burning all their letters. She also sees his journal entry calling her a deceitful, dishonest minx.
Ella survives the next six months by writing letters to Char about her life but never mailing them.
Lucinda is due to arrive back in her own form soon, so Ella hopes she'll be able (and willing) to remove the curse.
Hattie gossips to Ella about Prince Charmont's return in a month, and how his parents will be holding three masked balls in his honor—and so he can choose a bride.
Finally, Mandy summons Lucinda. She shows up bawling. Her time as a squirrel for three months and as an obedient child for three months had been horrendous.
Mandy interrogates Lucinda about her experiences, and asks whether she would consider taking her "blessings" back now that she knows firsthand how terrible they are. Ella steps out from behind the curtain (despite having promised not to) and says yeah, Lucinda should take back the spells.