On her wedding day, Ella couldn't have wished for more. She had everything, a prince, a palace, jewels and riches beyond imagination. But a hole fills her heart, yet she doesn't quite know why. On the other hand, Snow White is trapped in a loveless marriage with her supposed 'prince charming.' Meanwhile, Lady Tremaine, Ella's evil step-mother, still holds a heart full of hatred for her step-daughter. So when Lady Tremaine decides to call up some family to help brew up a spell for revenge, will all of the fairytale characters happy endings be in jeopardy?


7. The Seamstress- Cinderella

Ella woke up the next morning on the hard wooden floor, her hair tousled and tangled beyond belief and her breath not smelling all too good. It was funny how she no longer lived in the cellar in her step-mother's house but in a castle and yet, she still felt more comfortable sleeping like a maid. She groaned inwardly as she saw the sun rising. Ella hated the new day, it just meant that she had to be trapped in these palace walls longer. She was really starting to hate palace life and it was only the second day. Being constantly waited on, having to have good posture, dressing beautifully wasn't freedom; royalty just seemed like one big painting. You had to act all stunning and rich on the surface but in the inside, you never really did anything useful.

Ella stumbled to her feet, trying to smooth out her impossibly long hair. She hadn't cut it since her mother died for she always said that Ella looked marvelous with long hair. It was sort of a moment of her, a memory but sometimes, Ella looked wistfully at boys, wishing that she didn't have to groom herself for so long each day. Walking quietly out of her room so she wouldn't disturb Char who was still passed out like a baby on the floor (she would tease him about that later), she tip toed into the room just across the hall which was apparently her closet. Ella had had a hard time believing that, she couldn't honestly comprehend why a whole room would be dedicated to clothes. But as she opened the door, she was proven so wrong that is surpassed the definition.

Racks and racks of gowns and dresses lined the wooden walls accompanied by rows of only the most exquisite shoes. There were huge glass cases all dedicated to the royal jewels and Ella couldn't help herself; she stared at the rubies, diamonds and emeralds the size of her hands. She looked at the chains of pure gold and silver, the collection was truly magnificent. 

Suddenly, she heard light footsteps behind her and her head whipped around to see a middle aged woman who had such a tight corset that little veins popped out on her neck. She had grey hair pulled back into a tight bun and her eyes were a dull blue. She wiggled her finger in a scolding manner at Ella.

"Nah, ah, ah, your highness. You must let me help you pick out your outfits and get dressed every morning. I am your new ladies maid, Lady Lucinda and it is my duty to teach you how to become a royal, m'lady." She said, curtsying respectively.

Ella rolled her eyes, this was going to be a long day. "Can I call you LuLu?" She asked childishly. If Lucinda was going to treat her like an infant, she was going to act like one back.

Lucinda's glare was like steel as she looked back at Ella. "Absolutely not. You, m'lady, seem to have a lot to learn. Now, let us pick out your gown."

Even Lucinda's walk annoyed Ella. She ambled so slowly and quietly that Ella wanted to pull her hair out. Lucinda held her arms perfectly in front of her as she reached a single hand to sift through the dresses.

"Can you please pick out a dress before tomorrow?" Ella whined. She suddenly remembered long ago, before her father died, when her nanny Beatrice used to pick out her clothes for her in the morning. She would squirm around constantly and when Beatrice finally got her into the gown, Char would usually start throwing rocks at the window from outside, telling her how she for once looked like a girl. Ella would clamber down the stairs and start tackling him right away until both of them were covered head to toe in mud. Eventually Ella had ruined so many dresses that Beatrice didn't even attempt to dress her anymore. She just stuck some play clothes on her and out Ella ran.

The young princess smiled secretly to herself, remembering the good old days. Lucinda turned around at her, studying her figure when she whipped back to the rack and pulled out the most hideous looking dress that Ella had ever seen. She actually gasped and doubled over laughing. When she stood back up, her giggles ceased immediately when she saw the expression on her lady's maid's face.

Her face went white, imagining all the retorts Charming would come up with. "Wait, you actually want me to wear that?" Ella questioned, her voice in awe.

LuLu's scowl only deepened.

"What, so you want me to look like an over-stuffed parrot?" She asked with a tone that sounded as if she tasted something bad. Eyeing the gown, Ella shuddered, it was a floor length outfit with so many ruffles that Ella thought she might drown. Each little ruffle was then colored with all the tones of the rainbow and eve just looking at it gave her a headache.

"I'm sorry, LuLu, but I really have to run. That dress is giving me a headache and I won't be needing your surfaces today, goodbye." Ella said very quickly, closing the door to her closet tightly behind her, hearing Lucinda's protests.

She ran straight back into her room, closing the door and breathing heavily. It was all too much. She didn't mind the thought of someone helping her pick out her clothes but the fact that everybody expected so much of her... She was never cut out to be a ruler and for as long as she remembered, Ella had kept to herself, doing tasks for her survival, no one else's, really.

Sinking to the floor, she felt tears burning behind her eyes. She wasn't ready for this, for this life of expectations. It scared her, more than anything. She didn't want to let a whole kingdom fall just because it rested on her shoulders. Heart pounding, she thought about the day when she would be queened. Her fairy tale ending was never this life, this life of bliss and royalty. All she wanted was to live in a small cottage with Edward in the country side. The thought was so absurd that Ella laughed harshly aloud and she heard someone stir. 

Clamping her mouth shut, she completely forgot that Char was still sleeping in here and the last thing that she wanted was for him to see her cry. Wiping her eyes severely, she stood back up and tip toed over to him and knelt down next to his ear. She remembered all the sleepovers they used to share and how he would be able to sleep through a war if one came about. The only thing he couldn't sleep through, though, was Ella's voice, because when he heard her voice, it usually only meant that she was about to give him a noogie or something.

Leaning her head right next to him, she inhaled deeply just before she started screaming her famous 'wake up' song. 

"Wake up, wake up, wake up, you lazy butt! The sun is shining, I feel like crying, wake up!" She hollered in an off key tone, screaming and laughing as his face contorted into absolute grumpiness. He leaped to his feet and grabbed a freshly fluffed pillow straight from the bed, whacking it right over Ella's face. She laughed and laughed until her stomach hurt as her continued to hit her with the pillow until feathers were flying everywhere. Ella had always used to sing that song every morning to the servants when her step-mother had made her into one. It usually made them all grumpy but she always noticed how they snorted and grinned about it afterward.

"Was that really necessary?" Char groaned, his outfit from yesterday all askew.

Ella grinned. "Yes it was totally, absolutely desperate. A lady named Lucinda tried to dress me up like a parrot and I needed your knightly heroism." She replied contentedly, sitting on the bed looking completely innocent.

Char rolled his eyes. "I'm sure you could've handle it yourself, Ella."

Ella's eyes darkened. "Well someone's testy today." She countered.

"Did you just say 'testy'?" Char teased, trying to hide a smile as Ella's face went beet red.

"Seriously, what's your problem?" She demanded, glaring at him.

He sighed, lying down on the fluffy white bed, looking up at the ceiling and it all came to Ella in a rush.

"You didn't see Ayla last night, did you?" She pondered, making a little 'o' shape with her mouth.

Char didn't reply, he just shook his head glumly.

Out of the blue, someone started knocking on the door. "Your highness, I must insist that you come and dress now!" A muffled voice screeched behind the door. Ella rolled her eyes and then smiled evilly to herself.

"Oh Char, stop it, oh Char, I love you so much." She gasped, making kissing noises.

All the noise behind the door suddenly ceased as she heard Lucinda clacking away down the hall.

"Well that solved that." Ella smirked, dusting her hands off as if she did something significant.

Char's face was bright red. "Ellie, what were you thinking?" He exclaimed in disbelief. 

"Well we are 'married' and I often find that when someone is listening in to that 'sort of thing' they find themselves in an uncomfortable position very quickly." She answered easily. "But not to worry, you can still go give Ayla that one last kiss. She works down at the seamstress, right?"

Char's face lit up. "You would really do that for me, Ellie, you would let me see her once more?" 

Ella pinched him softly on the arm. "You really are a pin-head. Of course you can go kiss her, it's not like, betraying me or anything. We're not really 'married' unless we're in love." Ella replied, making air quotes as she said the word married.

"You are the best, Ellie-bellie and oh, by the way, you may want to come down to her shop with me." Char remembered hurriedly as he put a new shirt on. Ella had seen him shirtless so many times now that it didn't even make her flush.

"Wait just a second, did you just say something about a ball?" She knew the answer already but that didn't stop her from hoping that it had changed in the last two seconds.

"Yes, I'm sorry, Ellie. I know you don't like these sorts of things but my father insists that it's tradition to throw a royal post-wedding ball." He turned, apologizing to Ella sincerely.

She just groaned and flopped down on the bed as Char glanced at himself in the floor length mirror beside the bed, trying hopelessly to fix his hair.

"Honestly Char, you look fine. Can we just go?" Part of Ella just wanted to complain but the other part just really wanted to get out of the castle walls. She was a free spirit, just like old Beatrice would say and there was nothing in this world (or probably the next) that could pin her down.

Char gland back at her nervously. "You sure I look decent?" He asked, his eyes trailing back on his image in the mirror.

"Honestly, Char, when have you ever been one to care about your appearance? You look like a master piece, now come on, I'm sick of this place already and I haven't even been here for two days." She cried exasperated, yanking his arm.

They were practically sprinting down the halls, or at least Ella was as she felt her wings cry for freedom and endless blue sky. She could almost taste it, the outdoors, the sunshine, the laughing children-

Char grabbed her around the waste and pulled her back. 

"What are you doing?" She growled a little too harshly.

"Are you really going out like that?" He asked skeptically.

Ella glanced down at herself, barely batting an eye when she looked at her simple commoners clothes. She had nearly forgotten about being a princess all over again-but she couldn't care less. It was when she was in these clothes that she felt truly comfortable and happy, not in some frill-dilly over sized marshmallow outfit.

"Yup." She replied simply just before she dashed away. 

Ella was a mere fifty feet away from the back palace doors, five seconds, four seconds, three seconds, two seconds-

She burst outside, inhaling heavily into the windy air. Christmas time was coming soon, in about two months, and everything in the Kingdom of Follia was finally starting to cool down.

Follia had always been known for it's beautiful winters- the sun still came up every day, glistening on the crisp and pristine snow. It was never too cold or too warm in Follia, for in the winter time, it was just nippy enough to wear a slight coat and a hat and in the summers it wasn't so hot that you would come back to your home red faced and parched. Sometimes it annoyed Ella, though, everything being perfect. It certainly made life terribly boring occasionally. 

Ella's legs cried to run, to leap, to soar, but she knew she couldn't do that to Char. She knew that she couldn't start sprinting around the palace grounds no matter how hard she wanted to. If she would start behaving herself in a 'royal manner,' it would be for no one but him.

He walked out infuriatingly slowly and primly, just like he had been raised to. She bit her tongue, trying not to insult him for his lingering ways. He chuckled slightly when he looked up at her.

"Don't worry Ellie, I know you want to criticize me for my behavior. It certainly shows in your slightly strained face." He grinned, raising his voice no higher than a whisper.

Suddenly everything that had been bottled up inside Ella for the past forty eight hours really started to fell heavy. The wedding, her step-family, Edward, palace life, Ayla... the list went on and on and she felt a sudden urge to just... scream. 

So she did.

She yelled and screamed and punched her fists in the air. 

"I am out, I am out of that place!" She hollered all the way down the pathway to the carriages. Char's footsteps even sounded nervous behind her as he hissed her name over and over but Ella didn't pay any attention.

When she finally arrived to the carriages, though, she was thoroughly out of breath. Catching up to her, Char whispered in her ear,

"Please, Ellie, for the love of all things, don't do that again."

She just nodded happily, she wouldn't do it again but for now, she felt a whole lot lighter.

A baby blue colored carriage with gold lining pulled up in front of them and immediately a footman opened the door, slightly bowing and lowering his eyes. It was funny how every time Ella saw a carriage nowadays, she felt depressed as she remembered that fateful night she went to the ball and a royal chariot had transported her there. Climbing in, she settled down on the satin seats, getting a slightly funny look from the reins man. Ella ignored the glare and looked out the little window, pulling down the silk curtains that hid them from the public eye. The dark and gloomy scene of the cart was suddenly lightened up as Ella peered curiously out at the village they drove by.

The cobblestone path was slightly bumpy and Ella wished that she was walking right then when someone caught her eye. The carriage stupid abruptly, waiting for some horses to pass and she got a good look at the person. It was Anastasia, her kind step-sister that Ella had grown to love. She was trying to walk inconspicuously and immediately Ella knew why. She was linking arms with the baker boy, Tom, whom she had fallen in love with. Out of Drizella and Anastasia, Ana had always been the prettier one with her long, strawberry red hair and emerald green eyes and therefore the candidate that Lady Tremaine wanted to so desperately marry off the the prince. Ella had always been curious of where she had gotten her looks from, though; it had certainly not been from her step-mother. 

Smiling to herself, she felt happy for Ana, she had finally felt what true love was like and ever since then, Ella and her had gotten along much better. Of course, Ana had always been a bit more loving (and stupid) than Drizella but once her heart was captured by someone she was never aloud to love, Ella and her had shared a lot more in common.

Finally the carriage came to its final stop, the horses neighing impatiently at the front. Hopping out, Ella felt right at home with the villagers in her simple outfit and happy, hard working mood. Char wasn't as 'skippy' as she but he walked out and politely slipped his hands in Ella's. The rest of the kingdom still thought that Ella's and Char's wedding had been a happy fairy tale marriage so they still had to act like they loved one another.

They walked hand in hand towards the village shops, passing many merchants and various stores. The scent of fresh bread and newly picked flowers blended together creating one of Ella's favorite aroma's. People scrabbled about with their daily work, talking and laughing with ease as they sold and bargained with others. Heart longing desperately for these kind of days, Ella absentmindedly squeezed Char's hand tighter as they sifted their way towards the seamstress shop.

It was a quaint little block of a place, built out of plain stone. The display windows, though, held stunning dresses that were truly a work of art however, nobody could afford such masterpieces so it wasn't particularly busy when they approached it. 

Just as they were about to open the door, an unfamiliar voice to Ella shouted "Char!" gleefully. His head whipped around and he easily put on a smile for the stranger even though Ella could see impatience in his eyes.

The man pushed through the crowd hastily and arrived nearly breathless to the royal couple, his tufts of blond hair falling clumsily over his face. He was a little pudgy around the edges and he really was mostly bald. Despite his unprofessional look, he was dresses quite richly.

"Char, it is so wonderful to see you, listen-" He began. Ella must've accidentally wrinkled her nose at him as he gave her an odd look.

Char obviously didn't want to go through the whole, good-day-this-is-my-wife thing so he quickly greeted the man back, cutting off any words that he was about to say to Ella.

"Good day Gordon. I know what you want to speak to me about so let's make this quick." He stated in a very business like tone. Turning to Ella, he rolled his eyes in the smallest manner and she grinned. "Darling, you can go ahead inside, I will meet you in a few minutes." Char said formally.

Ella curtsied politely before she opened the little wooden door as it dinged a bell. As she walked in to the reception area, it was silent apart from the tick-tick-ticking of the ancient grandfather clock. An odd feeling of something formed in Ella's stomach as she couldn't quite put a name on the emotion but something told her that ringing the bell on the desk wasn't a good idea. Instead, she started snooping around a but, looking for any sign of human life.

Making her way towards the back of the store and running her hands over the richly colored fabrics, her ears pricked up as a female sighing sound drifted through the walls. Quickly checking to see that Char was further engaged, she pressed herself up to the wall next to a door she heard the sound from. 

The entrance was ever so slightly ajar and Ella slipped her shoes off as she tip-toed to the slit. Peering in, she saw that the room was dimly lit but their was certainly a girl with dull-coppery hair pushed up against a wall, kissing someone. Ella stifled a gasp as she realized that this must be Ayla, the girl Char loved. She couldn't believe that she, Ayla, was betraying the sweetest and most honest man of all times and just as she was about to march in, her heart sank so low that she thought it might shrivel up.

The boy kissing Ayla was Edward.

Her mouth went dry as tears quickly prickled behind her eyes. Pressing her back against the wall again, she knelt to the floor trying the catch her fast, raggedy breaths. He, her Edward, her farm boy, was in that closet kissing that harpy.

They had last seen each other yesterday and even though Ella had said that they couldn't see each other again, she knew deep down that they would. Didn't he know that too? Didn't he even love her enough to see her again in secret?

One of the last things that she had loved had been ripped slowly off like a bandage, hard and painfully and replacing that feeling of sadness that she felt was anger. Blinding hot rage in the pit of her stomach. How could he, he of all people, he who cried at her wedding, do this to her?

Ella's eyes were now blinded with tears of rage as her muscles tensed stressfully. Slamming the door of the closet open, she marched in the room that now held two very surprised and nervous people. Firstly, she had to think about Char, never herself, for she had vowed that secretly after they had said "I do." Plowing her elbow into Ayla's neck, she shoved her straight into the wall, looking at her straight in the eyes.

"Your Ayla, aren't you?" Ella asked, deathly quiet.

When the girl didn't answer back, Ella pushed harder, making a weird, strangled squeak emerge from her throat.

"Answer me; are you Ayla?" She yelled this time and the girl with coppery hair nodded furiously.

"So tell me this, seamstress, are you or are you not currently cheating on my best friend Prince Charming?" She questioned her like a teacher would to a child.

The girls eyes dropped and searched the floor as if it had all the answers.

"That's good enough as a yes." Ella muttered tightly as she released Ayla and whipped her fist back, punching the girl that had betrayed her best friend right in the nose, making blood appear straight away. 

Ayla screamed, falling to the floor in tears as she cupped her nose, desperately trying to wipe away the flow of blood.

Edward knelt to the floor with her, rubbing her back soothingly and Ella could take it no longer. She yanked his scrawny figure up by his shirt collar and stepped away like she couldn't really believe it was truly him. She stared at his eyes but his also quickly diverted to the floor as his face turned into a shameful expression.

"How could you?" She hissed, her voice venomous. Burning tears now flowed freely down her face in clear steams as her heart began to darken.

"Ella, I... you... I thought we were done." He stuttered cowardly.

"And that makes it alright to start snogging some hussy not a day later?" She screamed, her voice shattering.

"I thought, that for once in my life I had actually found someone who truly loved me, who truly cared for me, who would stay with me not matter what. Well, looks like Ella's wrong again." Ella said, laughing harshly.

"Ella, please, can I-" Edward began. 

Ella's face morphed into mock happiness. "Of course Edward, you can certainly feel how much I love you now." She cried as she walked up to him in a love sick way.

"I love you this much." She whispered into his ear just before she lifted her leg up and kicked him as hard as she could in the groin.

Edward yelped and screamed like there was no tomorrow.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" He yelled, hunched over. She let herself enjoy the sight for about a minute before she hauled him back up.

"Now scram, you little snake, before I show you some more of my generous love." 

Edward didn't even look back at Ayla or Ella before he hobbled out of the back door in the fastest hobble that she'd ever seen.

The minute he was gone, she sat down next to Ayla, crouching in a very violent manner. Sticking her face right up to her's, Ella felt her hot breath on her cheeks sticky with tears. Whispering very lowly, Ella began to speak.

"Now, listen up, kiddo. Char is about to walk in that door and you are going to go out there and and tell him that the shop is closed. You are then going to wink at him in that I'm-a-love-sick-puppy manner and I'm going to leave. Understood?" 

Ayla only nodded furiously and Ella noticed contentedly how her nose was slightly askew.

"I'm going to keep this quite for Char's sake and Char's sake alone, you little harpy." She sneered, pulling herself to her feet. Grabbing Ayla's arm harshly and pulling her up, the two girls headed out to the reception and Ella started chattering eagerly about a dress that didn't exist. 

Ayla just looked at her baffled and Ella couldn't believe how stupid she was just as Char made his way in, his eyes widening as he saw Ayla. His hands twitched at his side and Ella could've sworn she could see his heart beating through his shirt.

She looked intently at Ayla and she looked back confused. Thankfully Char didn't seem to notice the odd exchange between the two girls, he only had eyes for the girl with coppery hair. Ella's foot stomped on Ayla's which seemed to jog her memory.

"I'm going to close the shop now." She said way too flatly, as if she were memorizing lines. Ella rolled her eyes as she glanced at Ayla winking at Char in a way too exaggerated movement. She stomped outside, banging the door close behind her as her 'husband' didn't even notice. 

She walked forlornly down the busy and bustling streets, grateful that she wore commoners clothing as now one seemed to notice her. She made it about half a mile before she collapsed in tears on some random step of a back porch.

She cried. She screamed. She ached. Once again, fate had snagged up all that was dear to her, scrunched it up in a little ball and laughed right in her face. Ella could here her heart cracking straight down the middle and she was sure that it was now and officially beyond patching up. Edward had been her one last dream, her one last hope and now even that was gone. No more fantasies now, no more yearnings. Only emptiness. Hugging her shoulders in the dark alley way, she thought about how cruel 'happy endings' were and as she thought, her very soul hardened, creating a new barrier that would keep out pain but also love. A sacrifice, maybe but Ella thought it more of a compromise. Now nobody could break her except her memories.





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