Snow was not the fairest, by the standards of the kingdom she dwelt in. Too thin for a people who preferred curves, perhaps, or too plump for a land that favored slenderness. Regardless, she knew she was no great beauty, though her father, the king, loved her well and saw only loveliness in her.
It came to pass, as often does for royalty, that her father remarried. The politics of rulership are complex, and it did not hurt that the new queen was lovely beyond compare. Everything, some whispered, that Snow was not.
After the king died, the queen ruled the land alone, and found Snow's presence both inconvenient and embarrassing. When an emissary came from the dwarven lands seeking assistance with some great catastrophe threatening their land, the queen saw her chance and sent Snow to investigate.
Once there, Snow White -- as the dwarves came to call her -- found new purpose, for a great evil in truth threatened the dwarf-folk. With a selflessness born only half from compassion, she threw herself into danger again and again, accompanied by the youngest child of each of the dwarf clan leaders.
Each was impressed time and time by her bravery, and each in turn came to see the reckless disregard for her own safety that drove her. They came to work together, in a way the clans hadn't in centuries, to protect the woman they had come to cherish.
In time, they did succeed, and stopped the threat to the dwarven lands. Each of the clans, in reward for her service, and seeing how close their children had grown to Snow White, wanted to give that companion to her in marriage.
As it often did, squabbling broke out amongst the clan leaders, and as one the companions stood before the assembled leadership and announced:
"We shall all of us marry Snow White."
Under dwarven law, such things were permissible, but none had heard of so many marrying one person, and - worst of all - to have a child of each of the clans bound together in one union would greatly change the politics of the clans.
Snow White, seeing the devotion each of her beloved companions felt for her, stood firm. She joined them before the clans, and spoke:
"As I have put my body in danger for you, I ask that you risk something for my sake - and who can say who is the braver of us, for I ask you to risk change."
In turn, each of the clan leaders bowed to her wisdom, and in shame for their lack of courage before the woman who had saved them, and agreed. So it came to pass that Snow White and her seven dwarven spouses - for gender was a matter of little consequence to the dwarves - built a home in the forest on the side of a great mountain, never far from the entrance to the kingdom below.
The queen, as she rarely did these days, found herself standing in her bed chambers alone on a moonless night, and stood naked before her mirror, assuring herself that none in all the land could compare with her beauty still. Yet, she spoke:
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Who's the fairest of them all?"
"Always I have answered you, my Queen
But something new has changed between.
For while you may make pulses thrill
Love's eyes may see clearer still.
Many the lover you have brought here
But never let one heart come near.
While I see seven hearts in the night
And each beats now for Snow White."