Pearl White ~A One Direction FairyTale~

You think you know how the story goes. Snow White meets some dwarves, eats an apple, falls asleep, gets kissed by a prince and lives happily ever after.

If only my life were that simple. My name's Pearl. Pearl White. And unfortunately for me, I'm never even going to get to meet my prince. Because his name is Liam Payne, and he's a member of the boy band One Direction.

Cover made by the amazing user NathanielStanley! Thank you so much!

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10. Christmas

I ask the front desk how long Liam's staying.

"Oh honey, no one stays at St. Mungos for less than a year, so my best guess is he's here to stay." Great. Means I'll be bumping into him a lot, so I might as well apologize for my rudeness. I knit an extra scarf in three days straight, practically falling asleep in the lobby, and wrap it up. Part of me is curious, but part of me doesn't care why he's here. It's probably just a publicity stunt anyway, or if not, some weird charity thing at worst. Maybe research for an acting role, I hear members of One Direction are starting to branch out now.

Christmas time comes. We get special privileges and meals to celebrate, including a great big stuffed chicken and cranberry jelly for each room.

When I present the Hopeful Seven with my scarfs, each painstakingly hand-knit, to my surprise there isn't a dry eye in sight. Smithy begins bawling, and Allen offers him a tissue.

"It just means a lot to him," says Thom, smiling, while wiping away a tear. "He does see you like his daughter a bit. Hell, it means a lot to us. There's nothing more thoughtful than something handmade, and it must have taken you such a long time to make seven scarfs."

"We got some gifts for you as well," says Twitch shyly.

"Aw really?" I say, surprised.

We combined our savings, says Oliver through sign language. I sign back, Thank you!

"And we got you two gifts," announces Allen. He smiles. "Though you can't get a tattoo of one, we are indeed presenting you with red roses." 

With a flourish he uncovers a live, miniature red rose bush, and a pair of pruning scissors.

"We work in the gardens come spring," says Smithy, wiping his eyes and mustache slightly, "And we thought you might want to get a head start."

I'm somewhat awed and terrified by the concept. Taking care of a live plant. All of the plants in Belgravia were fake because Celia never had time for upkeep. It made me sad seeing all the cloth after growing up in France in the country. Papa liked to garden. He personally took care of the greenhouse, growing orchids and exotic plants. He'd promised me to show me when I got older, but that promise never happened. All those plants he'd spent hours tending to, adorning the conservatory died from lack of water, and Celia threw them out, one by one, muttering about dirt under her manicure.

"If that's not enough," interrupts Thom, "we got you something else that's live."

In a small plastic container, I can see a small, tiny fish with vibrant colors staring fiercely at me through the plastic.

"You got me a fish?" I exclaim, excitedly. I've never had a pet. Celia never let me keep one.

"A betta, aka a Siamese Fighting Fish," Twitch informs me. "Poor little guy has a nasty case of fin rot that you'll have to stay up on top of, but he was the most active fish in the store, so we got him."

"And here's the tank," says Allen, moving a box to my desk near the window. We spend the next hour setting up the water and adding a couple of decorations that the Hopeful Seven bought me as an extra gift, including a little pirate figurine and a leaf-hammock.

"I'm going to name him Bluebeard," I say, tracing the plastic of the tank.

Thom snorts. 

"Such a bold name for such a little fish."

"He's a fighter!" I retort. "Look, his fins are deteriorating and he's still so active, swimming back and forth."

"He's like us," says Charlie, thoughtfully. "He's got a rough time, but he's still here, and very much alive."

I nod. 

"And he's going to get better," I add on. "He just needs someone to take care of him, don't you Beardy Baby?"

Twitch laughs. 

"Did you just coo at a fish?"

"So what if I did? He's cute, look at the way he gets so angry."

"Maybe you should feed him."

I toss in a couple of pellets, then give all the guys a hug.

"I need to go now," I mention suddenly. "I need to give Liam his present."

Allen raises his eyebrows.

"Got a little crush, have we?"

"Shut up, I don't. It's a peace offering. I was a right git to him last time,"

"I'll say," mutters Twitch.

I stroll down to room 205 and knock on the door. For some reason, my heart is pounding and my palms are sweating. I'm nervous! I try to take a deep breath. I'm being silly again. Someone opens the door.

"Hello, is Liam here?"

"You're the twentieth to ask for him today, I swear," mutters the man at the door. He looks sweaty and disheveled.

"Sorry, is he not here then?" My voice comes out tiny and small, and mentally I kick myself for being such a coward.

"Nah, you'll be wanting to go to the common room on this level, then, he's glued to the telly as usual."

"Thanks."

"Have fun." He closes the door and I walk down the hall. There he is, surrounded by women and presents no less. Great. What a womanizer. Isn't he still dating Danielle Peazer?

I take another deep breath. I'm judging again, being overly critical. He's not as bad as I'm making him out to be, hell, I'm just being a jerk again because I used to be so embarrassingly infatuated with him.

"A peace offering," I mutter, and hold out the package to him. I look at the other gifts. Beats by Dre, a ridiculously expensive watch. Looks like these ladies have blown their paychecks on impressing him. As he unwraps the gift, I grow redder and redder, wanting to sink further into the ground. My scarf suddenly seems ratty and shoddy.

"Did you make this?" he asks, and smirks. "It's...cute, but you know what would be cuter?" he drawls. I can smell alcohol on him. He's been drinking, breaking the no drugs policy.

"What?" I ask, quietly. Even though I want to escape, my feet are rooted to the ground with my disdain for him.

"If you-" he pauses and swallows hard. "Woah, some of that jack just-just came back up," he laughs. The other girls titter too. Hah, hah, hah. He's a right comedian, he is.

"If you just went back into that room over there," he pauses again to swallow, "Took off all your clothes and gave me a blowie."

I give him the most enraged glare I can muster.

"You look familiar, have we met?"

"No," I say icily. 

"Yeah, I remember, aren't you that chick from the magazine, yeah that was like a while back."

The girls stop tittering, and start looking at me. Great. I don't want people to treat me like this, all fake and stuff for attention, like a commodity to be bought and bribed.

"You are mistaken," I say coldly. "And you are all drunk, so I will be popping down to the lobby to inform the superiors of this."

Before the girls can register what I've said, I dash down all the stairs to the first floor and quickly tattletale on them. Childish, yes, but worth it. All my previous misgivings about Liam disappear. He's an arsehole, all right. The girls are expelled from St. Mungos. Not their first time drinking apparently, nor their tenth. Liam is just given a suspension of privileges and a slap on the wrist.

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