Title: Pippin and the Beast

Author: Anemone Frost

Email: Weepingwillow987@aol.com

Pairing: M/P

Rating: PG-13 (Eventual R)

Summary: 1/? A poor hobbit stumbles across a supposedly abandoned castle and upon entering, finds himself captured by a beast. However, he makes a pact with the creature that will soon involve his son, Pippin.Feedback: Yes, please, but keep it constructive.

Warnings: Mild violence

Archive: Ask first.

Disclaimer: Characters belong to Tolkien.

A/N: This fic was up a while back before I decided to take it down. People were emailing me and asking for this fic to be placed back up. I didn't realize that it had been so popular. New chapters should be coming soon. So, here it is.

Obviously this is an AU fic based off the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Written from a challenge by a friend and for fun. Hey, it's a change from my fics drowning with angst. ;) However, this will contain slash, which may be icky for some. Merry and Pippin are not cousins in this fic. If you don't like slash or this story idea then hit the back button. Flames will be laughed at.

Once upon a time, there was a prince by the name of Merry who lived in a tall castle in the Old Forest. He was a spoiled prince, vain, and extremely cruel to those around him. Any outsiders, hoping to seek refuge from the dangerous night, where cast away unless the prince found their looks appealing, which left them to face the hazardous forest. Those he allowed to stay, male or female, would often have to bed with him as payment for his 'generosity'. The infamous behavior of the prince spread over the Shire and to other distant lands.

On a cold winter night an elderly, female hobbit came upon the castle. The servants allowed her inside, and she begged the prince to let her spend the night, just to get out of the bitter cold. Prince Merry scoffed at the elderly hobbit, disgusted with her hag-like appearance, and demanded that she leave at once.

Her form instantly grew bright, and she changed into a tall, slender, beautiful Elf maiden. Prince Merry, stunned by her beauty, instantly fell before her feet and apologized for his wrong doings, knowing what fearful powers the Elves possessed when enraged. The Elf denied him, telling him it was too late. Chanting softly, the prince doubled over in pain as a blue glow formed in his chest. His arms and legs elongated, turning his hands and feet into massive claws. The pointed tips of his ears expanded upwards and became covered in sandy fur while a long busy tail broke out of the back of his trousers. His mouth grew into a snout and white fangs slipped through his gums.

Once the transformation finished, Merry was left in a state of disgust and despair at his changed appearance. The prince wept and pleaded with the Elf to change him back, but she denied him. The Elf told him the curse could only be broken if someone was able to look past his horrid appearance and fall in love with him.

The Elf left him and most of the servants fled in terror at the sight of their prince's transformation. Only a few that were loyal to Prince Merry remained in his service, though even they were petrified by his frightening form. Merry, horrified and repulsed by the loss of his hobbit form, locked himself away in the castle, bashing all the mirrors that he came across. Despair was frequent in his mind. He doubted anyone could fall in love with a beast.

Time passed, and no one ventured into the Old Forest due to the legend that a beast now dwelled there.

Ten years later.......

In a small community of Crickhollow there was a hobbit by the name of Paladin Took, who had three daughters by the name of Pearl, Pimpernel, Pervinca, and a son called Pippin. Paladin's wife, Eglantine, had died giving birth to Pippin, leaving behind a poor family. However, the father loved his children dearly, though Pippin was his favorite much to his sisters' distaste and spent anything that could be spared to buy them gifts. He was preparing a trip to Bree and asked his children what they wanted.

Pearl, the eldest and most spiteful toward Pippin, was the first to make her demand, "Bring me back a beautiful stylish dress, father. I want to make all the other lasses jealous."

Pimpernel was the second to speak. "Bring me back a dress too, father."

Pervinca, the youngest of the sisters, stated. "Bring me back a pale blue scarf."

Pippin shook his head, smiling. "You don't have to bring me back anything father. Your safe return will be a great enough gift for me."

Paladin grinned at his son's remark, though the sisters frowned. "Son, there must be something that you want."

Sighing, Pippin gazed out the window at the frozen garden in the falling snow. "I miss the flowers. I wish I could have a rose. They're so beautiful."

"I doubt there are any growing, son," Paladin murmured. "But if I happen to see one I shall pick it for you."

So, Paladin mounted his steed and headed out into the wilderness. He often left his children alone to tend to the house, since they were old enough to fend for themselves. It was an unnaturally harsh winter, and Paladin sought the quickest route, which was through the Old Forest. He was aware of the tales of a beast that lurked in a castle, how the trees seemed to come to life during the night in certain areas, and how wolves thrived off lost victims. However, he was confident that he could make through before nightfall.

He entered the woods and after hours of traveling, he became lost. Night would soon fall, and he gazed around anxiously for shelter. In the distance, he saw a vast castle worn with age. He didn't like the idea of staying, but he had no other choice. Wolves were howling behind him.

Paladin entered through the rusted gate and glanced around the courtyard. He gazed up at the vast towers rising up from the castle. Several of the stone figures, far too worn from the weather to be made out, were cracked and scattered about the courtyard. There were gaps in areas of the building where stones had crumbled away. If the castle was inhabited, the caretaker wasn't doing a good job of tending to it.

The hobbit's worried gaze fell upon something unexpected. There, amidst the glimmering snow, were a row of roses, glowing blood red in the moonlight. It was an odd thing to see roses thriving in such freezing conditions, but he had heard the forest was a strange place. Pippin's request came back to Paladin, and he dismounted, stepping toward the row to pluck one of the of the roses. As he rose back up a sharp, prickly sensation coursed down his spine. A dark shadow was looming over him, and he slowly turned, his eyes widening in terror. A beast stood before him, resembling a wolf somewhat, baring sharp white teeth in a snarl.

"Who are you?!" the beast roared. "What are you doing trespassing on my grounds and destroying my garden?!"

"I— ugh— " Paladin stuttered.

"Do you know what penalty I have for lurkers like you?!" Merry growled. "Death!"

Paladin gasped as the beast grabbed him by the collar, hauling him off the ground. "No! Please don't kill me! I have three daughters and a son! Their mother died in labor! Please, I can't leave them alone without saying goodbye!" Tears sprung to his eyes. "I meant no disrespect toward you! I was only venturing out to Bree to buy them gifts, and I became lost along the way!"

"What gifts did they ask for?" Merry inquired, suddenly curious.

"Pearl and Pimpernel asked for dresses," Paladin answered, shaking violently. "My youngest daughter, Pervinca, asked for a blue scarf and my son, Pippin, asked for a rose."

Merry's brow furrowed in thought. `An odd gift the lad wanted.' A pang of pity went through him. "You have trespassed on my land, and you shall still forfeit your life for it. However, I will allow you to return home to say farewell to your children, but you must return in one month. If you fail to do this, I will hunt you down and kill you before them." He lowered the trembling hobbit to the ground. He snapped his fingers, drawing out a male hobbit. "Isengrim, bring down several dresses from the guest rooms and a blue scarf for this hobbit here. No need to trim a rose; it seems you've already done it yourself, whoever you are. You may stay here until morning since it's too dangerous to travel at night."

Paladin bowed before the beast. "Oh thank you— "

"I care not to hear it!" Merry snapped. "Remember our bargain. Return in one month."

The next morning Paladin set out for home, carrying two dresses, a scarf, and a rose. He had no intentions of returning to the castle. The beast would never find him.

Once home, he presented the gifts to his children and never told them of his encounter with the beast. Pearl and Pimpernel were joyed over the gorgeous, flowing gowns; one pink and the other green. Pervinca wrapped the silk scarf around her neck and marveled at its beauty. Pippin took the rose, setting it vase of water and hugged his father while thanking him repeatedly. Pearl snorted, and the other two snickered.

"What sort of gift is that?" Pearl laughed. "A rose? You should have asked for something more valuable, Pippin. Why do you always ask for such frivolous things?"

"Because he's a fool sister!" Pimpernel chuckled.

" A fool of a Took!" Pervinca giggled, causing the other to burst out in laughter.

Pippin ignored them and headed off to his room. Paladin gazed out at the falling snow and shuddered at the memory of the beast.

A month passed, and there was no sign of the beast, leaving Paladin in a confident state. The horrid creature would not come for him. On the second week, Paladin was sitting beside the crackling hearth while Pippin and Pervinca were fixing dinner. Pearl and Pimpernel were near their father, knitting. Heavy footsteps approached the doorway, and it slammed open, cracking and sending pieces of wood flying into the air. The hobbits jolted with fright, and a tall shadowy figure covered in a cape stormed through the doorframe as snow billowed in. The three daughters sprang together and huddled in the corner while the stranger approached their father.

"You!" a large, furry hand pointed at Paladin. "You broke our agreement! One month passed, and you did not return! Now you will pay, and your children will have to watch!"

"No, please!" Paladin begged.

The beast ignored him and rammed his fist across the pale face. Paladin was sent spiraling into the floor, blood dribbling down his nose. Pippin shrieked and instantly ran to his father's side, blocking him from the beast.

"Get out of the way!" the Merry snarled.

"Please, do not harm my father!" Pippin pleaded.

"He broke our agreement," Merry grumbled. "He wandered onto my lands without permission. He must pay the penalty."

Pippin thought for a moment. "Then— take me instead! Spare him!"

Merry was shocked by the response. He wanted to release his rage on the older hobbit, but he was enticed by Pippin's beauty. The thought of having the young hobbit in his possession, in his castle, in his arms— it was too good to pass up. He could fulfill another type of punishment using the young hobbit.

"Very well," Merry replied. "I will take you to my home, and you will spend the rest of your days there."

Merry hauled Pippin off, who wept the entire way. Paladin looked on in utter despair, but the three sisters were grinning from ear to ear. They comforted their father, though all three were pleased from the outcome with the beast. Finally, they would be rid of their brother.

To be continued.