The coming days are busy to say the least. Sno is working hard alongside Marian and Esther to make sure everything is perfect for the guests when they arrive. Marian has never been much of a cook, so she has busied herself with the cleaning and organizing. She has swept and mopped the grand hall and the dining hall twice. She has found the best players of musical instruments in the land, and she has made sure that all the proper guests received their invitation to the Coronation Ball.
Meanwhile, Esther has prepared a great roasted Hog, with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits from the royal garden. She has prepared the cider and gathered the nicest center piece for the table. Finally, everything is ready.
As the guests start to arrive, Sno greets them individually. She gives each of them a warm hug. Then takes their hand, and thanks them for coming. Most of them smile and bow or curtsy to her, since she is the Princess.
This evening feels different from the other balls thrown by the royal family. It might be the ages of those in attendance. Maybe it is her nerves. Either way, Sno has butterflies in her stomach. She feels nauseous and dizzy all at the same time.
Regina is ever present in the background, quietly judging all the guests in their formal attire without their knowledge. Then, Charming arrives. Sno graciously approaches him and pulls him into a hug.
“I’m Sno. Thank you so much for coming, please enjoy your evening.” she utters politely, Charming continues into the castle.
Sno is then startled by a beautiful woman, who follows behind him. She remembers her from the other morning. Bowing her head the woman stops and smiles.
“You must be Sno. I’m Lady White. I’m very pleased to be here with you tonight.” she states with a large smile.
“I’m pleased you are joining us tonight Lady White.” Sno says as she gives the foreign queen a warm hug.
Sno is surprised that Charming has brought his Mother, especially since this is a Ball for children in the kingdom, those who are her age. Regardless, she smiles back and hopes to make the best of the evening.
As the night progresses, Sno feels a connection with Charming she cannot explain. At dinner, she sits near him and she could swear her heart is going to flutter right outside her chest, because its beating so fast. After dinner, she knows she has to talk to him. As he makes his way to the cider table, she casually ambles closer to him.
“Enjoying yourself?” she asks quietly, attempting to catch his glance.
Charming, who is staring at the floor, looks up. He meets her eyes and smiles.
“Why yes. Thank you for asking.” he replies still smiling.
Sno looks away. She can’t explain this feeling inside of her, but she isn’t sure how to talk to him. He seems so standoffish, almost like he doesn’t want to be there. Twirling a strand of her hair, Sno prepares herself on what to say next, Suddenly, there is a loud ruckus in the main hall.
“I don’t even know why you are here!” Regina yells loudly.
“Well, of all the rude, inconsiderate, over bearing…” Lady White replies
Sno cannot focus on what on her thoughts because she is distracted by the commotion. Sno can’t believe it. Regina is having a heated argument with Charming’s Mother, Lady White! She hangs her head in mortification.
“This cannot be happening right now..” she mutters to herself.
Charming looks just as embarrassed as Sno feels. He is ashamed and he wants to say something and stick up for his Mother, but that means he would have to stand up to the Queen of another land. He knows that is improper and and would strain the tenuous relationship their families have built.
So instead, he puts his head down and makes his way to the dining hall, leaving the older women to argue with each other. Sno also makes her way to the dining hall. She hides near the counters shaking her head. She tries to pretend it isn’t real, that she is imagining it, but the arguing is loud and can be heard by everyone.
“And what is with your gown!? Surely you could have found something more appropriate than that!? Our servants wear nicer garments than those!” Regina continues.
Lady White is almost in tears at this point, and excuses herself to the garden. Regina nods in satisfaction before retiring to her bed chamber.
“I’m so sorry about my stepmother.” Sno squeaks as she and Charming stand together in the kitchen.
“This was not how I imagined this night” she offers further.
“Don’t worry about it.” Charming replies demurely. “Surely they know it was inappropriate and will make amends somehow. Although I don’t think my Father is going to take too kindly to someone being so mean and nasty to my Mother. Even if she is a Queen herself.” Charming says with a chuckle
Sno smiles ruefully.”Its a shame, That a fight its the last thing I will remember about tonight..” she adds hanging her head.
Charming grins. “I think I can change that. Would you dance with me?’ he asks putting out his hand.
Sno thinks she is going to faint, when she places her hand in his hand, it is like a bolt of lightning shoots right through her. The dance is over before she realizes it ever started. Charming brings her hand to his lips and kisses it. Sno wonders if he too had felt that jolt.
“Goodnight, fair lady..” Charming whispers in her ear as everyone begins to leave.