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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11. Spring

I manage to avoid Liam mostly until March. We take separate classes, and except for the occasional meeting in the dining hall, I rarely see him. Part of me prefers it. Another, more dangerous part of me begs him to pay attention me, to notice me and my overgrown fringe, like the Liam in my dreams. But a larger part of me still wants to avoid him. He's bad news, as evidenced by the Christmas incident.

St. Mungos manages to enroll me in a night college, so I can continue my classes until the trial, so as the nights get warmer, I study fashion design, but it holds no meaning for me. The glittery world I used to be a part of just feels false, fake. I feel like Holden Caulfield, disillusioned, drifting.

"Beardy Baby" as I've taken to calling him, heals from the fin rot quite nicely, as the rose bush grows beautifully. It seems I have a knack for taking care of things, which is a nice change from all the mistakes I've made in cooking classes and business management. I feel less like an idiot by being able to succeed in something.

Celia isn't doing well. The gossip columns, once messengers and minions of her beauty, are now destroying her. There are discussions about her health, about her weight, overly critical. They know. She is thin to bone now; a picture in a bikini in the Bahamas shows her ribcage and breast implants bulging, and yet, according to "sources" she still thinks she has more weight to lose.

I cried when I saw the photo. Not out of hate. But out of fear. I want to scoop her up and make her a pot of oatmeal (preferably not burnt) and spoon feed her. It's not that simple though. Even if I did make her eat, she would vomit it up, like the time I tried to get her to eat dinner with me on my birthday two years ago. She ran the bath water to cover up her retching noises. I knew then, and I know now. And I'm powerless to help her.

Maybe she got rid of me because I was a trigger. Maybe seeing me increased her feelings of self-hate. Maybe it's my fault. She was so much fuller in figure when she was married to Papa. I try not to think about it all, but some nights I can't stop myself from worrying.

Spring comes with a sweet zephyr and some frozen rain, but the hoar frost melts and gardening begins. From the first day, I fall in love. We began by clearing the weeds from the patches in the park. Liam and I are assigned to the same plot. Apparently, it's supposed to teach teamwork.

At first, I ignore him, just focusing on wrapping my gloved hands around little saplings and crabgrass that have chosen to rise up amongst the leaves. Liam, surprisingly, is silent as well. But we work well together, without words, even if it is a little awkward. Somehow, it seems raw, intimate. After stopping for a water break, I offer up a compliment quietly.

"You're really good at getting the roots out."

"Thanks," he murmurs back, locking eyes with me for a small moment before we both turn back to the plot.

As the day goes on, we engage in more dialogue. Things like "Could you pass the bin?" or "Can you get this weed for me? It's a tad stubborn." We manage to clear our plot first as well, and sit, wiping away sweat and dirt.

"Sorry about Christmas," he mutters. "Your scarf was lovely, and I sort of ruined everything by being a drunken arse. You were right to tell too, I need help, and it's good that St. Mungos got on my butt about everything."

I flush. He knows that I told and got him in trouble. Well, how could he not? I got a whole gaggle of girls kicked out as well.

"What's your name?" he asks suddenly. "I feel like a jerk for not asking earlier, but I think it's Pearl, yes? Or am I completely wrong?"

"Yeah, you're right. I'm Pearl." I smile at him. "Sorry for being so harsh on you," I mutter and take a sip of water, managing to spill it all down my front like a klutz. "Shit," I mutter, dabbing it with my gloves, and making it muddier. He laughs.

"What?" I ask, somewhat reproachfully. "Haven't you ever seen a bit of mud on a girl? It's quite attractive, I'm told. All the rage in France." At least it was for me, a girl accustomed to running away from the tutor to make a mud pie in the back yard, squelching it under her fingers, and rolling it into cookies, and even eating it like an idiot.

I pause thoughtfully. "I guess I was so harsh on you because I expected so much more out of you, and when you turned out to be a real person, and not the stunning image in my head, I hated you for it," I say. Wow, this is turning out to be rather honest. I backtrack quickly. "I mean, I had trouble separating your public image from your true self. I expected so much more out of you, when I shouldn't have because you're human like the rest of us."

Liam's face screws into a confused expression.

"Thanks...I guess?" He laughs, and I join in.

"I'm a bit weird, I know," I joke. "Seriously, what girl knits a guy a sweater that she barely knows. So old fashioned."

He grows serious. "I loved it."

"Yeah right. I'm sure it was too ratty for you."

"No, seriously, I'm wearing it right now." He unzips his jacket, and there's my scarf in its handmade glory, the little mistakes and all.

"It's so soft," he admits sheepishly. "I was wearing a wool one before and it was so scratchy I couldn't bear it."

"Yeah, the yarn was really soft when I was knitting it," I say, mindlessly. I sound like a total idiot now. 

"Well, I appreciate it." We sit in silence. Maybe we'll actually be friends. Suddenly I'm glad that we've been assigned the same plot. Knowing this real Liam is a million times better than dreaming about a fake one.

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