Beauty and the Beast: A Marauder Retelling
Once upon a time,
In a far away land,
There was a young prince by the name of James. His parents, the King and Queen, had died on their way home from one of their diplomatic travels. He was but a boy of ten years of age. With each passing year, despite the staff's efforts to love and care for him, his grief turned him into bitterness. He was no longer the sweet and caring boy the staff remembered.
A few years later, there was a frigid winter's night, and a loud knock on the large doors of the castle startled the prince out of his reverie. As the staff was preparing his meal, the prince answered the door irritably.
He threw open the doors to find an old beggar man, dressed in rags and a worn, old cloak while shivering violently.
James asked "Who disturbs me at this hour?"
The old beggar man said "I b-beg your pardon, your highness. I did not wish to disturb you, but you see, it is very cold this night, and I seek a place to stay until the blizzard passes. C-could you see it in your heart for me to stay for the night so I may rest my old bones?"
His eyes twinkled despite the darkness, which James found peculiar, but he said coldly "No, you may not seek shelter here, old man. This is not a place for peasants to stay."
The old beggar man asked as he reached into the pocket of his cloak "Not even if I bestow upon you a small gift of gratitude if you were to provide shelter for me?"
The man brought out of the pocket of his cloak a beautiful, pure-white Lily. It seemed to glow a slight golden tone as the man's long, slender fingers held the stem gently.
James sneered as he asked "That's it? Only a mere flower? Not gold or jewels? What do you do you take me for, old man? A fool?"
The old man said "Certainly not, your majesty. B-but it is all I have to offer, and though it may seem simple for your taste, the appearance does not matter. It's is what is within that matters."
James scoffed, and said "I do not care. For the last time, no, you may not seek shelter here! Now, go! Leave me be!"
As the prince slammed the door in the old man's face and began to walk away, the doors burst open. The old beggar man was there no longer: A tall, elegant warlock stood there instead. He wore gold half-moon spectacles and long, deep purple robes of a silk. He also had long, white hair and a beard that seemed to be just as long. He seemed to glow as he stared down at the prince.
The look he gave James was not menacing nor kindly; it was rather a look a disapproving father would give his child when they did wrong.
The man said "I had rather hoped there would at least be a little kindness in your heart, young prince. Now I see that you have no love in your heart, and therefore I shall try to rectify that."
James was stunned at the appearance of the warlock, and before he could say anything, he found himself going through a painful transformation.
The warlock cast a spell upon the prince, as well as the staff and the entire castle.
The warlock had turned the prince into a beast: an appearance to match his heart.
The warlock told the prince: "Until you can learn to love another, and earn their love in return, the spell will remain. Because of your appearance, I can't imagine you will be able to leave the castle, so I will give you this mirror that will show you anything you wish to see. This flower, the very one you thought of as the pathetic gift of a beggar, will be a reminder of your time as a beast. By your twentieth year, if you have not learned to love nor gained someone's love in return, the spell will become permanent, and the last petal of this Lily will fall. I now bid you farewell."
With that, the warlock disappeared with a swish of his cloak.
The prince turned beast fell to the floor and cried for the first time since the news of his parents' death. He cried for himself, for the staff at the palace, (who had also been transformed), but most of all the question burning in his mind:
"Who could ever love a beast?" he said quietly.
As seven years past, his anger grew into despair. Would he ever be a human again, or was he to become a beast permanently?
I hope you like it so far! The next part is yet to come! Thank you for reading!