Hurrah! Here I am with my new fanfiction. This time... for SNOW WHITE. You don't see these very often, and was in the middle of writer's block for my other story (They Came From Near and Far- contest on storyline, GO NOW!), when I was struck with inspiration.
So, I began to type away and this is where it got me.
This is the edited chapter. I have added more description and details. Thanks to FaylinnNorse for giving me some pointers!
Simply Wynne, Ever Sophia
Marianne looked up at her midwife with mixed emotions as she held her tiny, newborn daughter.
"Where is my husband?"
The midwife shuffled her feet, staring at the floor as she replied, "I don't know, milady."
With a sigh of frustration, Marianne looked down at her daughter fondly. The baby was a beautiful one, and would grow into a graceful young woman, no doubt was in anybody's mind. She had a full head of black hair, darker than the twilight sky outside. Her small lips were as red as a rose and her skin milky and smooth, even right after birth.
Marianne was weak, her heart beating faintly and her breaths shallow. She desperately wanted her flighty husband. She was unsure whether she would last the rest of the night, though she was thankful that her baby was strong and healthy.
She glanced over at the midwife again and rasped, "Midwife. Send a servant to fetch my husband. He has not been here at all today and he should be here now, with his child."
"Yes, milady," the midwife said quietly, rushing off to send a fourth servant to find the king.
Marianne stared at her baby, softly speaking to the child. "You're such a pretty thing. So tiny. You'll be such a glowing young woman. I only wish I could live to see it."
When the midwife returned to the room, the queen was even weaker. "Milady, allow me to take the child from you. Rest and we will send His Majesty in as soon as he arrives. You need your sleep."
"Of course, of course," Marianne whispered, her eyes fluttering as the midwife took the baby from her arms. As she was about to leave the room, Marianne called weakly and urgently, "Her name is Sophia Wynne."
When the king had finally been found, Marianne was barely able to survive for much longer.
He stepped into the room, showing no emotion. He stared at his baby coldly and his wife without affection. "It is a girl," he said flatly. He had been endlessly praying for a male heir.
"Sophia Wynne," Marianne insisted, wanting him to understand, willing him silently to bid her wishes. "Her name… Sophia… Wynne…"
The king stood above her, the doctor across from him and the midwife at the foot of the bed, still cradling Sophia. Marianne took a shuddering breath and was suddenly still. The doctor felt for a pulse and looked up at the king.
"Your Majesty," he said quietly. "She is gone."
It was only months before the king was remarried. It had been expected, for rumors of the king having a mistress had been flying about for months before the birth of the princess. He paid no mind to the rumors and gossip, only doing as he wished. He did not care if the marriage was far too soon after the beloved queen's passing.
The woman in question was French, and undeniably beautiful. Her hair was golden and bright with sharp, cold, gray eyes. When she arrived at the palace a month after the queen's death, she persuaded the king to officially name his baby.
"Name her something French."
"Her mother wanted her to be Sophia Wynne."
"How plain!" she cooed, pushing back a stray hair from the king's forehead.
He stared at his daughter in her crib, silently sleeping. He had begun to feel a twinge of guilt for the relationship he had with his wife. "Marianne really wanted it to be…"
"Marjolaine," she said quickly.
The king looked distressed. "But Sophia Wynne was…"
"Marjolaine Sophia." The woman grinned prettily, continuing to toy with the king's hair. She wouldn't allow his emotions over his wife's death to get the best of him. She would win him over. She always did. "Combine them. It's very pretty."
"Cosette, I really think Sophia…"
She pursed her lips, becoming frustrated. She changed her tactics. "Do you remember why you visited me, darling?" she asked, her accent thick. "Your wife was so needy. She didn't want to have fun. Why do you want to do her will now?" She smiled again, still cooing, "Darling, you want to see me happy, don't you?"
He frowned, nodding while she spoke. "Of course… But she was my wife, even though she didn't please me, she gave birth to my daughter…" He looked back at the woman next to him. Her face was so pretty… He could not refuse anything she asked. She was truly the fairest woman he had ever met. "But that doesn't matter, I suppose. You will be my wife soon, and the girl should grow to know you as the woman who will raise her, her mother."
She smiled as the records keeper entered the room. "The king has decided the dear girl's name now. Marjolaine Sophia. Isn't it pretty?" She spelled out Marjolaine for him carefully, smiling at the king.
"Marjolaine Sophia?" The records keeper had been initially informed that the name would most likely be Sophia Wynne.
"Yes," the king said, frowning at the baby's cradle.
The records keeper sadly scribbled out Sophia Wynne and replaced it with the new name. He was surprised to see the king choose a different name. The midwife had claimed the queen was insistent on having her daughter named Sophia Wynne.
The king continued to watch the baby's cradle, even after the records keeper had left, and after the French duchess retired to her rooms.
"Sophia," he whispered, momentarily wondering why he had given in to the Frenchwoman. Just as quickly as the curious thought came, it left. The king stood and walked out of the room, not looking back.
As soon as Marjolaine Sophia had turned twelve, she was sent away to finishing school in France, as her stepmother wished.
"You'll become the young woman your father and I will be proud of," her stepmother assured her.
Marjolaine Sophia didn't understand why her parents never were around. She didn't understand why she had to leave for them to be proud of her. She wanted to stay at home with a governess and learn her studies that way. However, her stepmother considered that to be a common way of learning and would not have her daughter be taught like a commoner.
"You're far better off than just merely having a governess," the woman would coo.
So Marjolaine was sent away the day after her twelfth birthday. When she arrived at the school, she fit in terribly. She found no friends or solace there, only teasing and cruelty, from both teachers and students.
"Marjolaine, you slouch too much. Sit up straight!" Her etiquette instructor would always pull Marjolaine's shoulders back with so much force, the girl ached for days after.
Her embroidery instructor always came from behind and startled an already embarrassed Marjolaine. "Marjolaine, your stitches are awful. Redo them!" Her fingers bled nonstop.
Her skin was the only feature that her teachers did not criticize. She had once overheard an instructor of hers and the headmistress discussing her. The instructor had said, "Marjolaine may not have the skills to become a great, accomplished woman, but her pale pallor will be the envy of all court women. Most women go to great lengths to have skin as white as hers."
Her peers, however, did not find it at all appealing.
"Marjolaine is so pale!"
"As white as snow!"
Snow White was now the only name she went by amongst her peers. In the dining hall, girls would call out, "Snow White, with skin so fair, sit with us!"
The most envied of all girls, Penny, had never spoken to Marjolaine before. She had angelic blonde curls that framed a round, delicately blushing face. One day, however, she sat down at Marjolaine's empty bench at lunch, a cloud of lavender scent joining her. "Marjolaine," she said with a smile. "I simply adore your frock today. It's very becoming."
Marjolaine just stared at the girl.
With a flourish, the girl presented an envelope. "You're invited to my winter party," she said with a grin. She stood, saying, "I must return to the girls now. They might get jealous. Farewell, Marjolaine. See you."
"Goodbye," Marjolaine said quietly back. When the blonde-haired angel was gone, Marjolaine opened the envelope with shaking hands. She had never been invited to anything before.
When she unfolded the invite, however, her rising heart fell.
As if, Snow.
Unless you can suddenly live up to your name, that is. Real snow is quite welcome.
Marjolaine's eyes filled with tears as she held the paper. Marjolaine did not understand why she was so unwanted wherever she went. She then began to realize she was not as pretty as Penny, with her pale blonde curls and bright, rosy cheeks. Though her skin was pale, she had nothing else to be envied. Girls like Penny had no worries but frocks and making themselves the top of the pyramid, the cream of the crop. Marjolaine, however, struggled.
When she returned home from her first visit, her stepmother only praised her manners and lack of speech at the dinner table. "You've grown into such a lady!" she would exclaim.
Marjolaine soon fell into the life of silence and every year was the same. Marjolaine was tormented at school and returned home to be ignored even less than she was at school. She grew to enjoy her solitude at the castle and stayed indoors continually, where she could always be alone. When she was not alone, she yearned for her stepmother's approval and her father's affection. As she grew older, however, the approval was seen less often from her stepmother, yet more affection was given from her father.
The year of her sixteenth birthday came about. Her stepmother, the queen, was getting frustrated with her inability to bear children and an heir for the king. The king himself was growing old and his health had worsened as the years passed.
Weeks before Marjolaine was to return to school, her father summoned her to his chambers. "Sophie," he said, looking up from the papers surrounding him on the bed.
Marjolaine had always adored her father for it. For calling her Sophie. It made her feel loved and special.
"I don't want you to return to school. I would like for you to continue your education here."
The doors opened and the queen entered. "You wished to see me, darling?" she asked.
"Cosette, Sophia will not be returning to school."
She stared blankly at the king. "But, dearest, Marjolaine needs her schooling."
"She can continue her studies at the castle. I want her nearby." He paused, coughing. "I am dying. She needs to be here when it is her time to take the throne. She can spend the time at home meeting possible marriage matches as well. If I die suddenly, she will need to be wed soon after becoming queen."
The queen gave Marjolaine an icy look. "I'd love to have Marjolaine here."
The king nodded wearily. "I will have the housekeeper informed that she is going to be staying at the castle from now on. Sophia, we will get you companions. Now I ask for you both to leave me. I feel fatigued and must finish this paperwork soon. Thank you for coming."
The women gave small curtsies and left the room. Marjolaine curtsied again as her stepmother brushed past her and walked briskly down the hall.
Marjolaine was beginning to realize that things were going to become very different quite quickly.
I am quite pleased with how this is starting off. Chapter one has been started, and is going very well indeed. I am quite far along with it. You should anticipate a new chapter soon. I promise to not get writer's block.
If I do, then off with my head!
...Please don't actually hunt me down.
Aaand now it's time for you to review.