AN: Just letting you all know, This is an AU so it might not line up with the shows cannon. This is something that came up in my head after watching Beauty and the Beast a couple of times and listening to the soundtrack nonstop.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land,
There was an Evil wizard that lived on the outskirts of a kingdom called Knighton.
The wizard had an army of human followers and monsters made from stone, and a plan to attack and take over knighton, thinking nothing could stop him.
But then, one winter's night,
His apprentice had a say in the matter,
Repulsed by the idea of darkness and cruelty of the wizards rule,
The Apprentice tried to persuade his master to have second thoughts.
But the wizard just ignored him,
And laughed at him mockingly.
Seeing no other option,
The apprentice took the wizards staff and destroyed it,
Taking away the power he needed to take over the kingdom.
In a fit of rage, the wizard placed a curse on the apprentice
For he had seen that he was weak and had no use.
He transformed him into a hideous beast,
And placed a powerful spell on the castle that they lived in,
And all his human followers, leaving the now cursed apprentice and all traitors as hideous creatures.
The wizard and his stone army disappeared, never to be seen for years.
Ashamed of his monstrous form,
The Appentice concealed himself inside the castle,
With a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world.
A Rose that grew in the darkness of the castle,
Became an indicator of the curse,
Which would bloom for many years.
If he could find someone to love,
And earn their love in return
By the time the last petal fell,
Then the spell would be broken.
If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast
For all time.
As the years passed,
He fell into despair, and lost all hope,
For who could ever learn to love… A Beast?
The roosters crowed as the sun rose over the town of Knighton. The people awoke; ready to start the day like the day before. People exchanged good mornings and hellos as they walked passed each other; grownups going to work or children going to school.
One young man in particular was already up before the roosters; just finishing some morning routine push ups and getting dressed for his duties. Clay Moorington was one of the five newly graduated Knights of the Knighton, and he took his new position very seriously. He had to be up at the crack of dawn to serve the kingdom; weather it would be guarding the king, queen and princess or assisting Merlok the wizard. Knighton was a peaceful place and hardly ever had anything dangerous happen, so Clay lightly assumed that must of his duties wouldn't be too dangerous or life threatening. Still, he was going to be the best he could be at his duty as a knight.
As soon as he finished dressing, Clay grabbed his sword and shield, strapped them on his back and ran straight to work; exchanging hellos and good mornings with the people he ran past.
"Can't be late on the first day." He thought to himself as he jogged through town. "First day on the job has to be a good one."
While Clay ran towards the castle, a pair of strangers among the townspeople were watching him. A hooded man with dark a violet robe watched from a lamppost as the knight started coming towards him and his Accomplice. The other man was dressed in slightly fancier clothes, with curly hair going down to his shoulders with a moustache and short goatee.
"There's that Moorington boy, now." The hooded man spoke with devilish smile under his hood. "He's probably going to the castle now for his first day of work. Yet little does he know that he'll be changing jobs soon."
"I wouldn't be too sure of that, capo." The other man spoke with an Italian accent. "Knights are very loyal to their peers. They would go so far as to sacrifice themselves for them."
"Don't be so sure of yourself, Roberto. I can be very persuasive."
Roberto watched and leaned against the lamppost as the hooded man took out a cane and hunched over; making himself look elderly and frail. He walked into the street as Clay ran closer. Clay immediately stopped in his tracks as the seemingly elderly man walked into his path.
"Oh, I'm very sorry, sir." Clay apologised; thinking he almost ran into the elder.
"Why, whatever for, young man?" The hooded man put on an old sounding voice and made sure to keep his face hidden.
"I almost ran into you. I was just on my way to the castle."
"Oh, you're one of the new Knights. Am I right?"
Clay nodded politely.
"Yes, it's my first day and I don't want to be late." He was about to take off.
"Well, if you don't like it, you can come talk to me and I'll have a job offer you." The hooded man offered, making himself seem sincere.
"That's very kind of you sir, but I've pledged my loyalty to the royal family and the royal wizard." Clay explained as he was about to walk off.
Roberto stopped leaning on the lamppost as he laughed at the end of the Knights' sentence.
"You mean Merlok the wizard?" Roberto laughed as he walked over. "That old fool needs all the help he can get."
The hooded man was tempted to laugh with his accomplice, but Clay glared at him with a resentful stare.
"Don't talk about Merlok that way!" Clay responded in a spiteful tone.
The hooded man stopped smiling through his hood and looked up at Roberto.
"Yeah, don't talk about Merlok that way!" He shouted as he hit his accomplice on the arm with his cane.
Roberto let out a painful yelp as he rubbed his now sore arm.
"Merlok is not a fool. He helped me get where I am today." Clay tried to defend the wizards' honour.
Just as Clay stopped talking, a loud explosion came from the castle; catching the attention of several townspeople. The knight looked up with wide eyes before he started running again. When he was gone, the two men looked at each other blankly before breaking out in laughter.
Clay got to the castle in record time, even though he felt breathless when he stopped running. The king and queen were outside the castle with the other Knights and a group of squirebots. Clay walked towards the others as they watched a tower of the castle being clouded by smoke.
"What, happened?" Clay asked as he caught his breath.
Macy, Arron, lance and Axl turned to face Clay when he spoke.
"Merlok's been messing with fireworks again." Lance answered, turning back to look at the tower.
"He's ok, but he set off the fire alarm and we had to get out." Axl added.
"We can go check on him when the smoke is cleared up." Macy added before noticing how worn out Clay looked. "Are you alright, Clay?"
"You don't look too hot, man." Aaron added with concern.
"I'm fine." Clay reassured. "I just ran as fast as I could when I heard the explosion."
King Halbert let out a worried sigh as he looked at the smoky tower.
"I should be used to this by now, but I swear; it gets worse every time!" The king paced as a squirebot held an umbrella over him.
"Now, Eggred; Merlok knows what he's doing." The queen reassured the worrying king. "The castle isn't going to go up in flames."
"Yeah, dad; you can't make fireworks without black powder." Macy stated with a cheery grin.
Before the king could respond, a squirebot dressed like a fireman poked his head out from the door.
"Merlok says it's safe to come back in now!" The small robot announced.
Taking that into account, the king and queen and the Knights went inside to make sure Merlok was still in one piece while the group of squirebots quickly followed. Without anyone noticing, two children followed them inside the castle.
When they made it upstairs, the Knights quickly opened the door leading into Merloks study chamber. Clay and Macy started coughing as smoke blow out from the room while Lance took cover.
"Careful; that smoke almost got into my hair!" The rich knight called out angrily.
Clay and the others ignored him and went inside the smoke filled room.
"Marlok?" Clay called out.
"Are you ok?" Axl added in.
Just then, a cough came from the smoke and the silhouette of an elderly man appeared through it.
"Oh dear." The silhouette spoke as he waved his wooden staff around. "I must've put a little too much black powder in that batch."
The smoke began to fade as the wizard waved his staff over his head and soon disappeared completely; revealing the silhouette to be Merlok. The Knights and the royal family looked around the room with wide eyes; seeing books and papers scattered everywhere.
"Whoa, what a mess!"
Everyone heard a new voice behind them and turned around to see who it was. Standing there were two children; a boy and a girl named Robin and Ava.
"Hey, what are you guys doing here?" Aaron spoke with cheerful surprise.
"Shouldn't you two be at school?" The queen questioned in a strict but firm tone.
"Uhhhh... well, the teacher didn't show up to class, so we got a free period." Robin explained shyly; rubbing the back of his neck.
Ava raised an eyebrow at robins' attempt at lying.
"Actually we heard the explosion and hurried over here because we wanted to make sure Merlok was ok." Ava told the truth; making Robin blush a little.
The queen let a brief sigh and shook her head; glad that the children showed concern but slightly disappointed that they would run out of school like that.
"Well, it's nice that the both of you wanted to make sure Merlok was ok, but you can't miss out on your studies." The king explained as he was about to take them back to school.
"Dad, missing out on one lesson isn't going to hurt anyone." Macy stopped her father in his tracks.
"Quite right, Macy my dear." Merlok agreed; brushing some dust off of himself. "Besides, if you let them stay a little so they can help me clean up, I can put a good word for them with the headmaster when they're done here."
The king wanted to disagree as everyone looked at him, but he was not up for it after such a tiring morning. He just let a brief sigh.
"Alright, but please don't burn the castle down!" The king requested.
"Clam down, Eggred dear." The queen took her husband by and the arm and led him out of the room. "Let's go tell the townspeople what happened."
When the king and queen were gone, everyone began to help Merlok clean up the study.
"So what were you working on Merlok?" Robin asked; picking up a hand full of paper.
"Well you see, Festaville is having a fireworks show in a couple of weeks." Merlok explained as he resumed his work. "And the mayor asked me to make some of my famous flaming dragon rockets for the event."
Festaville was one of Kington's neighbouring towns. It was famous for holding different shows, carnivals and festivals throughout the year.
"Why don't you just use one of your firework spells? Those are less likely to blow up the castle." Lance questioned; cleaning his nails instead of cleaning up.
"The mayor asked him to do it, Lance." Macy corrected; shoving a pile of paper into Lances arms.
"Yes, that's quite true." Merlok continued; putting powdery ingredients into a container. "But as much as I love that spell, it's nice to do things the old fashioned way once in a while. Now where did I put that fire salt?"
Merlok looked around on his desk for the missing ingredient. Clay spotted a jar with red powder under the table with contents inside that looked like what the wizard was talking about.
"Is this it, Merlok?" The knight asked as he reached for it and handed it to the elderly wizard.
Merlok looked at the jar as he examined the contents inside.
"Yes that's it; thank you, Clay." The wizard took the jar and opened it.
While Merlok gently placed a small amount of the fire salt in the firework shell, Clay thought about what happened on his way to the castle.
"Something happened on my way to the castle today." The Knight began to explain.
"Really? Like what?" Robin asked while Clay got everyone's attention.
"I ran into that old man again. He tried to offer me a job." Clay explained.
"Does he wear a dark purple robe that covers his face?" Ava questioned; putting paper in the recycling bin.
"And does he hang around with an Italian guy? I've seen them around town a few times." Lance added.
"Yeah, and that guy he hangs around with said something quite insensitive about Merlok." Clay answered back.
Merlok stopped what he was doing and looked up at Clay.
"Really? What did he say?" The wizard asked, as if it wasn't about him.
Clay hesitated for a moment before he answered.
"He called you a fool." The knight answered unwillingly.
"Hey, he can't say that!" Robin shouted angrily, dropping the papers he picked up.
"Calm down, Robin." Ava put her hand on the boys shoulder.
The Knights agreed with Robin.
"Oh, I won't worry about what one person said." Merlok went back to his work. "There will always be doubters. But no matter what anyone says or does to you, it shouldn't stop you from doing what you love and makes you happy."
Clay and the Knights stopped and thought about Merloks words. Robin calmed down and continued picking up loose paper. Merlok carefully placed a teaspoon of black power in the firework shell and sealed it inside. The wizard smiled in Triumph.
"I think it's done." He proclaimed; getting everyone's attention.
Merlok gently picked up the now finished firework and made his way to the balcony outside. The Knights and the two children followed him as he placed the firework on the balcony floor.
"Everyone stand back; I'm going to test this and make sure it works." Merlok warned as he gently pushed everyone back.
Everyone braced themselves as Merlok snapped his fingers; making a small flame in his hand. The wizard gently lit the fuse before running back inside. Everyone watched with suspense as the fuse became shorter and shorter, until disappearing into the shell. Everyone expected it to go off, but nothing happened.
"It didn't go off." Axl said; sounding disappointed.
Merlok scratched the side of his head with his staff.
"But I'm sure I got it right this-"
Within a split second, sparks erupted from the bottom of the firework and in a matter of moments; it flew high into the sky like a rocket with a high pitched whistle. Everyone ran onto the balcony to watch the firework do its thing. When the firework reached the peak of sky and stopped whistling, it exploded into a flash of colour and light. The Knights and the children watched in awe and excitement as the red, yellow and orange explosions took the shape of a dragon and flew in circles around the castle. The townspeople down below stopped what they doing and looked at the show above; cheering, laughing and applauding before the big finish. Robin stood on his toes as he watched the colourful sparks disappear.
"Merlok, that was insane!" The boy jumped up and down like he was on a sugar rush.
"Yeah man, that was wicked awesome!" Aaron added, smiling like an excited child.
Merlok laugh heartedly.
"Well if you think it was great now, wait until you see it in the night time." The wizard spoke proudly of his work.
"Are you going to make more of those?" Macy questioned with excitement in her voice.
"Indeed I am. And When I'm done making them, pack my bags and get a carriage ready! I'm off to Festaville first thing in the morning!"
AN: Just some things you might need to know about this AU. Merlok and You-know-who are still alive here.