BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

PRELUDE

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story or the plot. JK Rowling own the characters, Disney (or whoever wrote Beauty and the Beast) owns most parts of the plot.

Summary: A powerful spell is cast on a wizard who must take a chance at love if he wants to survive. How will he overcome his hatred of the world and everyone in it? How will love enter his stone cold heart? Presenting an appropriation of Beauty and the Beast into Harry Potter.

The tale begins at the peak of night

T'was dark, no lamp, no sight

Magic grew with thick deception

Giving a chance for human redemption.

Once upon a time...

There lived a wizard in his mansion out in the middle of a deep forest in England, a place secret and dark. Only few ever visited him and those few only came if they desperately needed to. For this wizard was as dark as his house and his heart as hard as the metal gates that surrounded his abode. He lived alone except for the few pointed eared and snout faced servants who scuttled around in fear, doing his will. And what did he preoccupy himself with all day? Why, practicing the dark arts of course. When he was not reading about famous evil wizards in his large library, he was brooding about in his cold domain eating, drinking and feeling sullen.

Now we can get a good picture of this wizard. He was young enough, perhaps in his early twenties, but he was not happy. He hated himself and everyone. He had even hated his parents who were now as good as dead, locked up in a wizard's prison and guarded by foul creatures. That is why he had decided to live in seclusion. And seclusion is what he received, even more so after the strange coming of a visitor that changed his life forever.

One stormy night, when the hundreds of candles began to dim, there was a sudden and eerie Bang, Bang at the large wooden front doors. A wary servant jumped in fright and took up a half melted candle from the nearest table and stepped toward the entrance. It opened the door slowly and looked through the gap up into the face of a wrinkled old man, saturated from the rain and standing bent at the threshold.

The servant breathed a deep sigh of relief and hastily ushered the old man inside, greeting him with a warm toothless smile and a woolly blanket. The old man was grateful and sat on a stool by a small hearth. Some other servants, who had been spying behind the corner all the while, came rushing toward him with a mug of tea and some slippers to warm his cold feet. The old man only smiled as he accepted the small offerings and it was a while until he uttered a word.

'Is your master available?' He asked finally, after sipping the tea once.

The servants exchanged worried glances before replying. 'Master is home but must be sleeping by now. Better to stay the night and leave in the early morrow.' They squeaked.

'There will be no need to stay here this night.' Came a deep, low, shattering voice from the dark. The servants visibly shuddered.

The old man stood up slowly and looked into the wizard's stone face with a pleading expression. But before he could speak, the low voice interrupted him.

'I do not welcome travelers kindly to these parts and certainly do not invite them to stay here. You will return my belongings and leave immediately old man or you will see the grave sooner than expected.' At this he glared at the servants, who shrank away.

The old man was taken aback but stood firmly. 'I beg you to let me stay until the storm is over, sir. I cannot go outside in this weather for my legs will not hold my frail body for long. I do not ask anything more-'

'You will do as I say. I do not care for your pathetic tales. You came here of your own free will for whatever reason. There must be a reason after all this is the only place for miles. But I do not care to listen to your stories. Leave!'

'I was lost.' The old man cried.

'Leave!' Roared the wizard, eyes ready to kill.

Unexpectedly, the old man stopped quivering and he stood up straight and tall. Slowly but astonishingly, his appearance shifted and all at once he was transformed into an able bodied, confident and powerful man.

'Then it is true. You have become a very dark wizard.' Said the man, still old looking due to the long grey hair that hung loose down his back. But his face was strong and made him look younger. His eyes twinkled fiercely yet they were not unkind.

The young wizard's eyes widened and he gave a startled cry and stepped back. 'Dumbledore!'

'That's right Mr Malfoy. I have come here to right a wrong.' Said the old man calmly.

'How... why are you here?' Malfoy was confused, but still very fearful.

'I have my ways of tracking people.' Dumbledore stepped closer, unwary of any dangers that might be looming in his shadow.

'What are you doing?' Malfoy hissed suspiciously.

'With the fall of Voldemort, you are now considered to be the darkest and most dangerous wizard on Earth, even hidden temporarily in your cave. Therefore I have come to make sure you do not become as deadly as the last Dark Lord was. I will try to keep the world at peace.' Said Dumbledore gravely, reaching for his wand.

Malfoy whimpered when he did not find his own wand.

'Malfoy, your heart is cold. I will give you a chance to redeem yourself but you only have a limited time. I have a rose. You will keep this rose safe for your own protection. You have until all the petals have fallen to change your heart or you will certainly die.'

'What?' Malfoy said incredulously. 'How do I change? What do I have to do?!'

Dumbledore smiled. 'You have to make someone fall in love with you.'

Malfoy snorted. 'You must be jesting. Fall in love with me?' When there was no response his face paled dramatically. 'You're serious?'

Dumbledore nodded. 'I do not expect it will be easy but you have time. Do what you will with it and good luck.'

Dumbledore turned his back to Malfoy, aware that he was quite safe. Malfoy stood vulnerably on the last step of the stairwell. He looked shattered and cowardly.

'Please, don't leave. Stay the night, have some bread and wine. Forgive me! I was mistaken. If I had only known it was you-'

Dumbledore's voice rose above Malfoy's pathetic pleading. 'You will find a wine red rose in your bedroom. Do not move it from that place. I must leave now.'

Despite all efforts, Malfoy was unable to persuade Dumbledore to forgive him. In moments, the old headmaster had left and mysteriously disappeared into the night.

The young wizard stood helplessly in the entrance hall. An hour passed before he slammed the doors behind him, his face crestfallen. A servant stepped awkwardly closer to him and offered him a cup of tea.

Malfoy looked at the servant, disgusted to see compassion in it's eyes and suddenly all the hatred in the world escaped through a barrier and consumed his senses. He trembled with fear and rage at the fate that had befallen him. There was nothing to do. No woman would fall in love with him so he would stay forever in his home, locked away from the world and never ever let another person come near him.

Suddenly he roared. A loud, ear splitting roar that shook the mansion from roof to floor. Even the wizard was startled at the sound for it seemed alien to his ears. Then there came a sudden stab of pain in his gut. It carried through the rest of his body and he rolled into a ball with the extremity of it. What was happening?

But then it was all over and he lay panting on the marble floor, beads of sweat forming profusely all over his body. When he finally struggled to his feet he found it hard to balance himself. He felt...different. He called for a servant to come to his aid but nobody came.

'Stupid house elves.' He murmured. Then something else came to his attention. The house elves were edging away slowly, fear shimmering in their wide eyes.

'What is this?' He said to himself more that to anybody else.

One of the elves gave a startled cry. 'Master!'

There was a shocked silence. All at once the wizard spun around, rushed clumsily to the far end of the hall and reached a large mirror. Another roar rent the still air.

In the mirror was the image of a large, hairy beast with small pointed ears and long sharp teeth. A tail hung from it's backside down to the floor. The only familiar feature left from the once handsome man's face was his eyes; deep pools of grey.