A/N: Hi! Happy Jily Trope Fest! I realise I am still not done with my two-years-old submission for the Jily Royalty Fest, but I have a really good outline for this one and it's considerably shorter so I will actually finish this in the foreseeable future. Amazing, right?
Thanks a million to my amazing beta, Liv ( anakin-pls on Tumblr) and shoutout to Kristian ( fetchalgernon) and Linds ( snapslikethis) for creating this!
Okay. SO. Basically this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I'm really nervous about this! I hope you like it!
Neither the characters involved nor the ending of the infamous tale were agreed upon by the citizens of the three remaining districts of the land, but there were a few things that were known for certain, the first of which was that it occurred many years ago (and here was where the storytellers began arguing, for no one was exactly sure how many years ago it happened), on the second night after the year's first full moon. This was how they told it in the one of the most insignificant villages in the least-popular district (Cokeworth and Slytherin respectively):
Southeast of the Black Lake, the fifth-to-last time the darkness took the day and the sun did not rise till the twenty-fifth hour after it set, Gryffindor Castle stood proud in the night, its heat and liveliness mocking S's punishment to the people of Hogwarts, a beacon of hope to all those who did not know who lived inside.
Such was the case of a poor, old beggar-woman who knocked on the walls of the Castle that fateful night.
"Might the Prince grant his humble maidservant a moment's refuge from her curse?" the old woman said in a weak voice.
The guards who had opened the door laughed and sought to send her away, but the Prince heard the woman, and came to the door to see who was there.
When he heard the old woman's story, he laughed along with the guards, a laugh colder than the day-long night outside. "Shall I invite the rest of the inhabitants of your street in, too?" he said mockingly, and taunted her further, saying if the rest of her friends were as ugly as she, surely S would need only lay eyes on them and break his own curse out of fear.
But the old woman persisted, saying she would settle for the darkest corner of his magnificent Castle, that she would provide her own food, and reminded him not to be so quick to send her away on looks alone, for true beauty is found within.
"I offer you this lily," said the woman, "which has magical properties. It survives the curse every time it is upon us and will survive the next six."
"A flower that will last me one hundred and twenty years," scoffed the Prince. And once again, he turned her away.
As the Prince stepped forward to shut the door himself, the old woman's appearance melted away to reveal a beautiful sorceress, whose eyes were the colour of the clouds on the moon that night.
The Prince realised how he had sinned to the woman and fell on his face, and begged her for forgiveness.
But the sorceress had seen the wickedness inside the Prince's heart and refused. Instead, she transformed him into a hideous beast, "As harmful to the eyes as your heart to my soul," she said, and all that saw him feared him.
"You have until the lily you rejected wilts," said the sorceress, "to find a soul who you love, who will love you in return, and declare it."
While the horror of the Beast's form traveled quickly throughout the land of Hogwarts, the fate of Gryffindor Castle's household and the people of Gryffindor was unknown.
In Slytherin, the people said that all the others had died as punishment for their Prince's arrogance. In Ravenclaw, people said the spell was not only on Gryffindor's Prince, but on all the citizens of the district as well. They agreed with the general story of Slytherin, for the most part. However, in Ravenclaw it was said that the sorceress was too cruel with the young Prince.
It was Hufflepuff's whose version differed most. They said that the Prince's household remained with him throughout the curse, and were still there, waiting for someone to come and break it. They said the curse was not for a soul to love the Beast, but for a new soul. Someone who had only seen his monstrous appearance, and truly cared for the person inside.
So no part of the story was really agreed upon, and there were many who even insisted it was only a tall-tale. However, there was one thing everyone, without any argument, knew for certain: if the Prince's tale was real, he would surely die along with the lily he had refused, for who could ever learn to love a beast?
A/N: I'll upload the first chapter right now. Please let me know what you think!