Hey guys, this is my first ever non-one shot story in the JAFF fandom! The idea's been stuck in my mind for quite a long time and under the encouragement of some friends, I've finally managed to complete and start posting it. Since the story's already finished (it's only got 12 short chapters), I'll be posting every Tuesday and Saturday after today. The Tale Of A Rose is basically a P&P variation of the classic Beauty and the Beast. I hope you find it enjoyable/interesting :)
Beta credits to Felicia.


"But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it."
– C.S. Lewis

The Tale Of A Rose

Prologue

Long, long ago, in the faraway northern kingdom of Pemberley, lived a very wise and just king, who ruled together with his beloved wife, who was the most gentle and kind. They brought peace and prosperity to their land, and their people loved them dearly. In the third year into their rule, the Queen gave birth to a son – Prince Fitzwilliam George Darcy, the heir to the kingdom. The king and Queen wanted more children, but soon gave up hope after the queen's fourth miscarriage. Knowing that they couldn't have more children, the couple paid all their attention to their little son that he wanted for nothing. Soon, the baby grew up into a very cheerful and bright young boy. He was kind forgiving like his mother, smart and persevering like his father, and was always very curious. But the young boy always felt very lonely when roaming the grand halls of the castle alone.

On the boy's tenth birthday, the King and Queen threw him a magnificent birthday celebration, and invited men and faeries from all over the world. When the time came for the faeries to present their presents, they came forth and asked him what his biggest birthday wish was.

"I wish I could have a younger sister to play with and to take care of," the young boy whispered into the ear of one of the faeries. When his wish was made known, it greatly distressed the King and Queen who wished for nothing but their son's happiness. But a young faerie quickly stepped forward to reassure them that their son's wish could come true, though at a great price. The King and Queen loved their child too much to worry about the price, so they eagerly agreed to the young fairy's demand.

Soon enough, the Queen was with child and the whole kingdom was overjoyed. They celebrated the news with extravagant festivals, balls and parties. But their happiness did not last long, for after a few months' time, their Queen died while giving birth to her second child – a beautiful daughter. Fitzwilliam insisted for and was given the permission and right to name his beloved younger sister, and came up with the name Georgiana, after their mother, Anne, and their father, George.

The King mourned for his wife's death. He became bitter and resentful and neglected his duties, his health and his children. Although the babe did manage to bring some semblance of light and laughter back to the family as she grew into a young girl, the castle was never the same without Queen Anne.

The eleven-year-old prince took care of his younger sister and never stopped blaming himself for his mother's demise. A year after the queen's death, the King had set sail on a diplomatic tour of neighbouring countries but never came back. His ship had crashed into a great rock, Fitzwilliam was told.

Prince Fitzwilliam Darcy, who was only twelve years old, barely a teen, had to succeed the throne, take over the kingdom and bring up his one-year-old sister. The young king, although burdened with great expectations and responsibilities, still took time out from his kingly duties to spend time with his sister. Princess Georgiana soon grew into a beautiful, gentle, and shy young lady, and at the age of twelve, already had many suitors – young princes and lords from nearby and faraway countries – asking for her hand in marriage.

At the age of thirteen, Georgiana met nineteen-year-old George Wickham, a lord's bastard son. Believing herself in love, she agreed to run away with him to a neighbouring country to wed in secret. Fitzwilliam, who had heard rumours about George's mother – a witch who lured Lords and rich men into her bed with dark magic and enchantments, discovered them in a small church just in time to interrupt their vows. When Fitzwilliam pronounced that George was not to receive a penny of Georgiana's inheritance, a title nor a place within Pemberley's Court, George immediately dismissed the priest and laughed at the young princess's naivety. He was arrested and thrown into the deepest and most feared-off dungeons right away.

Georgianna was inconsolable for weeks, and the siblings' relationship grew even closer, with the young girl vowing to never keep any more secrets from her brother.

Life returned to normal for the Darcys after a few months, until one day, George's mother went to the King demanding her son to be freed. Fitzwilliam declined her request and she promptly turned green with rage. The witch, with a wave of her staff, casted a spell onto Fitzwilliam and turned him into a horrifying beast.

"There is only one way to break this spell, and that is for you, an ugly beast, to find true love before your twenty-ninth birthday," she said while laughing at him. Then with another wave of her staff, she disappeared into a cloud of green smoke, leaving the sound of her cruel and cold laughter echoing within the four walls of the great hall.

When Georgiana heard the witch's maniacal laughter and the beast's sorrowful howl, she hurried into the hall only to find a horrid beast clawing at his fur and tearing his clothes apart.

"Georgiana! It is I, Fitzwilliam, your brother! I will never hurt you. Please don't run away from me!" he called out after her desperately, when he heard her scream of fright. She hesitantly approached the beast and listened to his account of the incident. She soon realised that he spoke the truth and immediately burrowed herself in her brother's furry but still comforting arms, sobbing uncontrollably.

"Oh brother, what have I done? This is entirely my fault! If only I was not so blinded by George's hateful and deceitful charms!" she cried.

"No, Georgiana, please don't blame yourself, everything is going to be alright," he said, trying his best to sooth his little sister and recompose himself. "I'm sorry that you have to go through this too – to rule an entire kingdom at the tender age of fourteen… I wish I had been a better brother, maybe… maybe then, I would have prevented all this from happening!"

"You can't say that! Oh, brother," she hiccupped and spoke between sobs. "I'm so sorry! What are we to do now?"

"It's all right little one; everything is going to be fine. I'll find a way to break the spell, and while I do that, you'll rule the kingdom in my stead. You'll make a great queen," Fitzwilliam said reassuringly to her, though his words sounded forced and hopeless even to his own ears.

"Please don't leave me alone, I will never know what to do without you!"

Months passed by, Fitzwilliam locked himself up in the West Wing of the enormous castle where everyone, except his sister, was forbidden from ever entering. Georgiana, after calming herself and accepting this reality, listened to her brother's advices and ascended the throne as Queen soon after.

Three years went by; Georgiana's visits to Fitzwilliam greatly lessened: from being at least a couple times every day in the first few months, to once a week, then slowly decreased once a month, and then they stopped altogether. Georgiana had moved to live in another castle that had not been lived in since their grandparents' time. Her last letter to him that was dated three months ago, had told him the news that she had fallen in love with Prince Charles Bingley II of Netherfield, who was one of Fitzwilliam's most loyal friends, and that their wedding was to be held in a week. She had expressed her regrets that her most beloved brother would not be able to attend her wedding and to witness her joy. It comforted Fitzwilliam to know that his little sister will always be cared for, though he knew he would miss her comforting presence most acutely.

Fitzwilliam felt lonelier than ever. He had no contact with anyone from the outside world at all, except occasionally, with his sister, but most importantly, he had no clue how he would ever find love.

He had but a little less than half year left – five months and a week, to be exact, to find a lady, fall in love with her, and make her fall in love with him, or he would forever remain a beast.


Well, what do you think of Georgiana's dwindling visits? Think Darcy's going to succeed? Leave me some comments!