Beauty and the Beast: A Marauder Retelling
In a village not far from the castle, a young woman was preparing her things to go into town to retrieve some supplies for her father, who was the village carpenter. Lillian called out "goodbye" to her father as she closed the door to their small cottage.
She sighed as she walked, breathing in the fresh air. These moments of peace were what she needed to get through the daily routine. She played with a lock of her brilliantly red hair with her fingertips as she carried the basket in the other hand. She never enjoyed walking into town, even from the first day they moved to this village. The people were kind enough to her face, but the minute she walked away they would talk ill of her as if she were some sort of old hag. She thought about what the villagers say behind her back when they think she's not listening:
"The carpenter's daughter is an odd duck, isn't she? Always has her head in a book! A book or the sky! What a strange one, she's lucky she's beautiful at least; that might get her a husband!" "It's no wonder she's so odd, with that bright red hair she sticks out like a sore thumb! She should at least cover it up instead of wearing it the way she does all the time! She wears it untamed and not even pinned up! The nerve, it's like she "Her father should've raised the child better! She's sweet enough, but she really should have settled down by now with a decent husband and a babe on her knee instead of wandering around with her head in the clouds! She's turned down that young blacksmith so many times, what's the matter with that child?"
"It's no wonder she's so odd, with that bright red hair she sticks out like a sore thumb! She should at least cover it up instead of wearing it the way she does all the time! She wears it untamed and not even pinned up! The nerve, it's like shewants to be the talk of the town!"
"Her father should've raised the child better! She's sweet enough, but she really should have settled down by now with a decent husband and a babe on her knee instead of wandering around with her head in the clouds! She's turned down that young blacksmith so many times, what's the matter with that child?"
She rolled her eyes and shrugged: "Hm, well I suppose they have nothing better to do than to gossip! All they've got is the same old boring routines day in and day out, and if they have nothing better to talk about than the fact that I'm unmarried and childless, then so be it. I know who I am!" she thought angrily to herself.
"Or do I?" She said aloud quietly. She looked up at the blue, cloudless sky. She closed her bright green eyes and breathed deeply, thinking "When will I find out what I'm meant to do with my life, other than being Papa's helper? Am I destined for a boring daily routine like the people in this town, with nothing but gossip to make it interesting, or am I meant for adventure?"
She sighed, then continued to walk into town, mentally preparing herself for more gossip behind her back. She stopped at a few shops for the usual foodstuffs and some supplies her Papa had asked for.
Severus watched closely as he saw Lillian going into the shop near his, and grinned. He said "This is it, Pete! She's here, and I'm going to go for it. It'll work this time, it has to!"
Pete, his apprentice, looked exasperated as he said "I've told you, Sev! She's turned you down so many times! Haven't you had enough? And she's so…odd. Wouldn't you prefer someone more, I don't know, normal? There are plenty of pretty unmarried ladies in town who have noticed you and would love to-"
Severus cut him off, saying "No. I don't care about them, I've told you. She's beautiful, and I must have her as my wife!"
Pete harrumphed, but said nothing else.
Severus sighed and said "She's more beautiful than any of the other ladies in town! And as the most talented, handsome man in this town, I must have her. She is dainty and kind, but she's also feisty and sturdy. I'm sure she could bear me many sons, one who will run the family business one day, and another one who will-"
Pete didn't say anything, just rolled his eyes as he tuned out his ramblings that he's heard all before, and said "Well, here's your chance, she's passing by the shop now."
Lillian walked past the blacksmith's shop. She cringed inwardly thinking of all his attempts to ask her to marry him over the past year since she and her father had moved into this town. Severus, the town blacksmith, was known for his articulate work and many praised his wares, as well as his good looks, but he was selfish and ignorant. It was safe to say that she not only had no interest in marrying him, but she also loathed his company.
Unfortunately, she saw him hurrying out of his shop. He had long, black hair tied up in a ponytail, wore his usual black apron over his working clothes, and his dark brown eyes were filled with eagerness. She had seen this look before, and she knew what was coming; her stomach filled with dread.
She fought the urge to roll her eyes, and mustered up a small smile as she said stiffly "Good morning, Severus."
He replied a little too cheerfully "Good morning, Lillian. How are you today?"
She said "I'm fine I suppose, I don't have much time at the moment, though. Papa needs-"
He interrupted, saying "Oh of course, I have something for him!"
She looked at him questioningly and asked "You...do?"
He nodded and said as he pulled out a stack of neatly cut pieces of wood from behind his outdoor table. "I do! I've had this wood for a long time but never used it, so I thought he might like to have them."
Lillian looked slightly surprised and said with a slight awe "Is this walnut wood? It's lovely."
He nodded and grinned, which she had to say seemed like more of a sneer rather than a genuine smile.
She said "I'm not really sure what to say...except than-"
He chuckled and said "There's no need to thank me! Tis a gift for the table he made for me a few months ago."
She nodded, and said "Yes, well, I'd best be on my way back, then," as she held out her arms to take the wood.
He laughed and said "A delicate little woman like you doesn't need to carry this heavy pile of wood all that way! I will carry it while I escort you home and bring it to your father myself."
She fought the urge to give him a piece of her mind and cause a scene, and instead said calmly "Severus, it's really not that far and I'm very capable of carrying it myse-"
"Nonsense! And besides, we have important things to discuss, and I have an important question for your father." He said.
She sighed heavily, and the dread that was in her stomach started to roil and churn: this was going to be a long day.
As they walked, he bragged about his latest works, and about how proud he had been that he perfectly shoed five or six horses in one day just the other week. She had just about had enough when they finally reached her cottage. She saw her papa sawing some wood outside, and she cleared her throat and said "Hello, Father."
Her papa looked up and looked at her strangely, as she never calls him that, but he figured as soon as he saw Severus that it was a signal. He saw in her bright green eyes that she was frustrated and trying to get rid of certain company.
He stopped sawing and put it on the small table next to him, and wiped his hands on a cloth that he pulled from his pocket.
He walked over to Lillian and Severus, and said "Hello there, my daughter! And is this Severus the Blacksmith? To what to I owe the pleasure of your company?"
He winked slightly at Lillian, and he saw slight relief in her eyes as Severus started to talk to him. Severus replied "Hello Mr. Evans, it's a pleasure to see you as well. I have brought you a gift to thank you for the lovely table you made for my shop just a few months back. It's one of my favored pieces of furniture!"
"That's very kind of you, and is that wood of the walnut tree? It's beautiful, and that rich color, I cannot accept such a gift!" said Mr. Evans.
Severus grinned, which seemed to put off Mr. Evans as it did Lillian, and he said "Ah but you must! I have no use for it, and I would much rather you take it."
Mr. Evans nodded and replied "Very well, I thank you."
Severus said "While I put this in your shop, do you suppose I can have a word with you alone?"
Mr. Evans looked at Lillian, who looked as if she wanted to slap the taste out of Severus's mouth.
He tried not to laugh as he said "Of course, come right in. Lillian dear, I think our breakfast is burning. Would you mind checking on it?"
Lillian nodded slowly, and her papa gave her a look that said "Trust me."
She quietly went inside the house, and Severus carried the wood into the carpenter's shop.
Mr. Evans cleared his throat as Severus put the wood on one of the tables, and asked "So, blacksmith, what did you wish to speak to me about?"
Severus smiled smugly, and said "Well, Mr. Evans, I have a certain question I've been wanting to ask you for some time now. I've seen your daughter every day for a year, and I think she's the most beautiful woman I've ever met in my life. She's different from any other."
Mr. Evans nodded, and said "She is, she takes after her mother. I think I know where this is going."
Severus nodded eagerly, and said "Mr. Evans, I wish to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage. I promise, she will never go a day hungry or poor, she will be well provided for, and you will always be welcome at our home."
Mr. Evans rubbed his chin with his hand, and said "I see. Severus, if I may be as bold as to ask, what makes you think my daughter would wish to marry you?"
Severus looked taken aback for a moment, but then said "We talk every day, she's beautiful, and I've asked her a dozen times if she would marry me, and-"
"And did she say yes?" Mr. Evans asked.
Severus said "No, but-"
"But, what? If she doesn't wish to marry you, then why would I give you my daughter's hand?" he said.
Severus's eyes had anger in them now, and he said "But Mr. Evans, I promised that she would be well cared for. What else does a young woman need?"
Mr. Evans replied stiffly "Only if she herself says that she wishes to marry you, then I will give my blessing. Until then, farewell, blacksmith."
Severus's lips tightened, and he said "I will have her as my wife one day! You will regret refusing my offer, carpenter!" before storming out of the shop and back towards town.
Mr. Evans said quietly "I doubt that, blacksmith."
As the older man walked into the cottage, Lillian looked up from her book she was reading in her favorite chair. She quickly stood up and put the book down as she said "Papa! How did it go?"
He sighed as he sat down in the chair across from her, and explained to her what happened.
She chuckled and said "Oh Papa, thank you. I'm so sorry." She got up and hugged him tightly.
He smiled wearily, and said "The only man that deserves you is someone who truly loves you for more than just your appearance. Remember that, Lillian. Trust what your heart tells you."
She nodded, and she sat on the floor beside his chair and rested her head on his leg. He patted her head, and smiled. They were all each other had, and nothing would tear them apart.
Thank you for reading! I will be posting another chapter soon! - PinkRoseKoolKat