The white gown flowed around her, soft and folded almost to perfection. It would be to perfection before the wedding tomorrow. The seamstress was on the floor, making the final corrections to the length; it wouldn’t do to have her trip and fall whilst walking down the aisle, now would it?

Belle wondered what it would feel like, to be married. A ring on her finger, telling the world that she belonged to someone. Because even if he belonged to her just as much, the rest of the world would never see it that way, would they?

“What if I’m making a mistake?”

The words were soft, but Mrs. Potts, who’d been moving around the room like a whirlwind, stopped.

“Dear child, what are you on about?” she asked. She came up to Belle, looking quite concerned but with a gentle smile on her face. Belle loved her dearly.  After growing up without a mother, Mrs. Potts was quickly becoming a mother figure in her life.

“The first time I went outside of my village, I end up finding—” Belle hesitated. What had she found? Him? Love? Life? Or was it all just a matter of it being so exciting, so different from everything she’d ever experienced before? Living her own fairytale – of course she’d love it. But really, weren’t there other things she wanted to do with her life?

“Love,” said Mrs. Potts. “You found love.”

“Yes, but...” Belle stopped and looked at Mrs. Potts, eyebrows knitted with worry. “What if it was just the first different thing that happened to me?”

Mrs. Potts’ face softened and she looked at the seamstress. “Would you mind leaving us for a few minutes?”

“Of course, madam,” said the seamstress and she left without another word.

Mrs. Potts led Belle to sit by the window and sat down in the chair opposite her. She didn’t speak, but waited for Belle to say something.

“I love him,” Belle said softly. “But what if I fell in love with him just because everything here is so new? It’s nothing like life in the village. But I thought… I thought I’d see the world. That I’d see other countries and meet other people, have long adventures before settling down.”

Mrs. Potts reached out and took her hand. “What makes you think that you can’t have those adventures with him by your side?”

“I don’t know.” Belle stared out the window at the beautiful grounds around the castle. Now summer, it was like looking at an explosion of colors. Flowers in every color she could imagine grew in perfect order. She wondered if her life would be kept within the same kind of order; perfect yet within borders.

Mrs. Potts patted her hand. “I could tell you it’s all pre-wedding jitters, but I’m sure that won’t help you. So I’ll say instead that it’s perfectly natural what you’re feeling. You’re entering a new phase of your life – I’m sure it will be different than what you planned. Life seldom turns out the way you planned.”

Belle had to smile slightly at that; surely Mrs. Potts hadn’t planned on spending years as a tea pot.

“That doesn’t mean,” Mrs. Potts continued, “That it doesn’t turn out well. The enchantment was a curse placed upon us – but it brought us you and you bring the Prince happiness. We never know what life has in store for us – that’s part of the excitement.”

Belle gazed at her, fears slowly abating. She loved him and he loved her – she knew that beyond a shadow of doubt. Mrs. Potts was right: there was no reason why she couldn’t have adventures with him – be they travelling, or having children, or simply getting to know each other every day for the rest of their lives. If it was within his power to give her, he wouldn’t deny her anything. And really, would it be so bad to belong to him? After all, she knew his heart belonged to her, and that was all that truly mattered.

Belle smiled and bowed her head to Mrs. Potts. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, child,” Mrs. Potts said. “Now, let’s get that dress fitted and perfect – and then you can get married.”

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