AN:

This story is based on my oneshot "Desire".

English is my second language. Even though I have read the chapter several times and have let other people check it as well, I apologize for any mistakes. All possible mistakes in this chapter belong to me alone.

Later chapters are checked by a beta reader.


"The Jian, also known as "the bird that shares wings", only possesses one wing. Unless a male and female pair lean on each other and act as one, they're incapable of flight. They're imperfect, incomplete creatures. But, for some reason, their way of life struck me as profoundly beautiful. It was beautiful, I felt."

Zero Two (Darling in the Franxx)


This is the story of Beauty and the Beast. In this tale, however, it is the Beast who teaches Beauty to love, and it is Beauty who turns the prince into a Beast.


Chapter 1 - Fateful Encounter

Diagon Alley, 31.07.1991

Hagrid laughed out loud when they left Gringotts, while Harry was still speechless with admiration. All these piles of gold in his vault in the bank, not to mention the general splendor in Gringotts and the fuss and the many wonders in Diagon Alley! This whole world was just ... incredible! He wanted to see everything! What else could this day have to offer, Harry wondered.

"The best thing we can do now is take care of your purchases," Hagrid said. "Do you still have your list?"

Harry nodded ... and in the following hours the two so uneven figures visited many different shops and bought almost everything Harry would need for his first year at Hogwarts: school books - unfortunately Hagrid didn't want to buy any more books that seemed interesting to Harry ("The professors already know what you need, Harry") - nibs, piles of parchment, ink, a pewter potion kettle and a basic supply of potion ingredients. Harry also got his wand: Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches. He wanted to try it out immediately with all the spells in the schoolbooks, but Hagrid warned him to wait until he was at Hogwarts.

"Could buy your cloaks now," the gamekeeper finally said, pointing to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. "Listen, Harry, I have to do something else. Would it be okay for you to take care of your cloaks yourself? I will then pick you up right here." With that, Hagrid was gone.

Thus, Harry went alone and a little nervously to the shop door. To cover up his nervousness, he pushed the door open forcefully.

"Ah!" Harry suddenly heard a loud cry of pain, realizing that maybe he had pushed the door open a little too forcefully for in front of him was a tall man with dirty blond hair who was staring at him with rage and holding his cheek and nose. Apparently, he had hit the door in the face of the man who was about to leave the clothing store.

"What do you think, boy? You rascal!" The man's voice was filled with rage.

"Sorry...," Harry stammered. "I didn't want that. That was an accident, really..." Harry was really, really uncomfortable. Uncle Vernon would probably have locked him in the cupboard under the stairs for several days. If not worse.

"Out of the way, lad! You should be chastised, yes, really," the man continued to scold, but since Harry had quickly stepped aside, he just stormed out of the shop without doing what he had said and without turning around again.

Saved by the bell. Taking a deep breath, Hatty looked inside the shop, and saw a girl, about the size of him, with shoulder-length honey blonde hair and wrapped in a navy cloak, looking in his direction. What really captivated him, however, was her smile! It was inconspicuous, hard to see unless you knew exactly what to look for. The corners of her mouth were only slightly drawn up, and the teeth were barely visible. That was the smile of someone who would normally have given up smiling or laughing. Harry knew this smile all too well, for he had learned the exact same smile in recent years. The Dursleys had not liked it when he laughed. Not that he had a lot to laugh about. Quite the contrary.

Yes, Harry was all too familiar with that smile ... and he thought it was beautiful! Just like the ice-blue eyes of the girl which revealed suppressed joy and beamed with truthfulness. Harry was truly captivated.

Before he could get a clear thought and wonder why the girl was smiling in the first place, the girl's facial features hardened, her eyes glazing over and er smile vanishing completely. Turning her head away from him, she looked at an oncoming stocky woman in mauve clothes, who must have been Madam Malkin.

"So, Hogwarts, my dear?"

"Exactly," Harry replied cheerfully.

"Yes" Unlike Harry, the girl said that in a completely neutral, emotionless tone. Her voice was pleasant though, Harry thought.

Madam Malkin led them both to the back of the shop, where another assistant was already waiting. They were then each placed on a stool and put on long black cloaks, before Madam Malkin and the assistant began to pin the correct length for their Hogwarts robes. Finally, they were finished.

"That's it, my dear, we're going to get your cloaks ready so you can take them with you right away. Just wait here for a little bit."

So, Madam Malkin and her assistant went into an adjoining room.

The minutes passed, and neither Harry nor the strange girl said a word. Ultimately, Harry took heart and ended the uncomfortable silence. "So, are you also going to Hogwarts this year?" he asked the girl who had been standing next to him all the time without looking at him once.

"Yes."

She was really taciturn, Harry thought. At least she had turned to Harry now and was looking him in the face. Her eyes, however, still looked completely dull and empty to Harry, the glittering blue from when he first saw her completely gone, as if it had never been there. He found that a shame. Those weren't the eyes of a child.

Since the girl made no move to continue the conversation - if you could call her brief exchange a conversation at all - Harry kept talking. "Then we will become classmates! I'm so looking forward to Hogwarts. I've heard so so many great things about it. By the way, my name is Harry, Harry Potter. And what is your name?" Harry shook with enthusiasm.

This actually seemed to surprise the girl if Harry read her expression correctly. A wrinkle formed on her forehead, and for Harry it looked like she was upset. "And do you say that to impress me or what?" the girl replied in a venomous tone.

Harry was confused. "No... I just wanted to introduce myself to you. After all, we're both going to Hogwarts now…," he stammered. He didn't know what else to say.

The girl looked at him appraisingly, causing Harry to feel like he was lying on a dissection table. The girl's eyes seemed to cut right into him. Finally, however, the girl's features relaxed again, as if she had come to a judgment.

"My name is Daphne Greengrass."

So Daphne, Harry thought. He liked the name; it held something gentle and graceful.

"I am pleased to meet you, Daphne."

He held out his hand. Daphne stared at his outstretched hand, hesitated briefly, but then also reached out and completed their handshake.

Later, Harry would often think back to that moment when he gripped Daphne Greengrass's hand for the first time. Now, however, it was nothing more than the handshaking of two eleven-year-old children who had just met.

"And are you looking forward to Hogwarts too?"

"In a way," Daphne replied after a moment's thought. "It will definitely be a very educational time. And we will spend most of the year there." Daphne raised her arm and pointed to the shop window. "I think the man there is waving to you."

Harry turned his head. Indeed, Hagrid stood outside, grinning at Harry. He held up two large waffles with ice cream to show that he could not get in.

"This is Hagrid. He works at Hogwarts," said Harry happily.

At that point, Madam Malkin also came back, with two large bags in her hands, which she gave to Harry and Daphne. "So, that's it, my dear. Your robes."

Harry fiddled with his wallet to pay for his cloaks when the shop door opened, and another person entered. It was a petite middle-aged woman with honey-blonde hair similar to Daphne's, dressed in an expensive, emerald green robe. She might be considered beautiful if she didn't look as disapproving as if she had crap under her nose.

"Daughter, are you finished here?" Her voice lacked any affection and love. Harry immediately felt reminded of Aunt Petunia.

"Yes, mother," Daphne replied to the woman in an emotionless, somewhat submissive tone. Once again, the girl reminded Harry of himself. It was the same tone of voice that Harry used most of the time towards his aunt and uncle.

"Then come with me."

Daphne started to move, but Harry called after her, "Do we see each other on the ride to Hogwarts?"

Daphne stopped, turning to face him. "Maybe we'll see each other on the platform when you get there early," she said hesitantly.

"And you are?" Daphne's mother spoke to Harry coldly.

"Harry Potter, Madam. I am pleased to -," but Harry broke off in the middle of the sentence when he saw the expression on the woman's face darkening even further and she was now watching him with hardly suppressed anger. Abruptly, the woman turned away from Harry and left the shop. "Come with me, daughter!" she called out loudly. Daphne followed her mother without looking back at least once.

Harry also left the shop, where Hagrid was already waiting for him. Looking down the street, he saw Daphne, her head bowed, and her mother standing with another person, the same man from earlier that Harry had slammed the door in the face. Was that Daphne's father? Of course, after all, he had been in the shop with Daphne when Harry came in. Lovable people, Harry thought, he preferred not to meet them again. Daphne, on the other hand, was a different case. He would like to meet her again and maybe have a long, proper conversation with her the next time.

He saw that the Greengrasses started to move, and shortly afterwards they were lost in the crowd.

"Why do you look so glum, Harry?" asked Hagrid, holding out one of the ice creams cones.

Harry took it from him, starting licking the ice cream (chocolate and raspberry with pieces of nut). "Oh, I don't know," he replied quite taciturnly.

"Was the girl a new friend of yours?"

"Maybe… I don't know. We only talked to each other briefly. She said maybe we could see each other on the platform before the ride to Hogwarts if I got there early enough. I'd like to see her again… I've never had any real friends…"

He had to thank Dudley and his cronies for that, Harry thought.

"We're friends now, Harry," Hagrid said with a broad grin. "And we should get you a birthday present now. What do you think of an owl? It's always good to have your own. Loyal creatures, these owls... Oh, you talked about the platform, Harry. Remind me to give you your train ticket later, and explain how you get on the platform. But now we're going to pick an owl for you!"

That's right, Harry thought, Hagrid was probably his friend now, but, it would be nice for once to have friends his age as well. With that in mind, he and Hagrid walked down Diagon Alley.


Next chapter: Ride Into a New Future

Preview:

Harry looked at Daphne, but if Malfoy's words touched her in any way, at least she didn't show it. She was sitting straight in her seat, her face completely dispassionate.