Straw into Gold
Summary: You know that old story about Rumpelstiltskin where at the end the poor guy explodes and the miller's daughter lives happily ever after as queen? Well forget that story, because that isn't how this one is going to go. Starring Riven as Rumpelstiltskin, Flora as the Miller's daughter and Helia as the King. Yeah it's Flora Riven, AU, and a bit OOC.
Disclaimer: I don't own Winx Club or any version of Rumpelstiltskin. But I do own the ashes to the mill.
Part one: The Failed Half-Baked Plan
Once upon a time in a small town far way that no one has heard of, long before the days of fire departments and home owner's insurance there lived a miller and his daughter, Flora. They were a small but reasonably happy family and the mill made enough money to keep the bills paid and even allowed them luxuries like strawberry printed skirts and plants. Unfortunately this all ended when the mill burned down.
It was all tragically sudden, one minute they had a home and income- the next minute they were out on the streets with nothing but the clothes on their backs. No money, nor any way of making money. Not even the possibility of ever getting money again unless one of them came up with a plan.
Now, the miller had been a very prosperous miller. He was probably a very good father as well, but his planning skills were more than just slightly lacking. In fact they were terrible.
The miller's plan consisted of him and his daughter sitting by the side of the road and waiting until someone who looked wealthy passed by. When this happened the miller would then announce: "My daughter can spin straw into gold. Is that not amazing?" After catching the person's interest "And who wouldn't be interested?" the miller had argued- he would say- "Give her but three gold pieces and she'll spin a barn full of straw into gold for you."
If the rich person was still interested, the miller would then explain that his daughter's magic only worked by moonlight. "You must leave her alone and she must have no disturbances what so ever all night long. And by dawn all the straw shall be spun into gold."
"I'm afraid I don't understand father." Flora replied respectfully after the miller had told her his idea. "This plan of yours is a bit flawed. I can't even spin wool into thread let alone straw into gold. The last spinning wheel I touched broke. I have no idea…."
"No, no, no." The miller interrupted shaking his head. "You don't get it."
"Yes, father that's what I just said."
"Then listen, Flora." The miller explained carefully. "The plan is that after we receive our payment, we'll run away in the middle of the night to another province."
"That's stealing, which you've always said was wrong." Flora pointed out frowning. "What kind of role model are you? Teaching your child to lie and steal from people? You should be ashamed of yourself."
"Yes, you're right about that Flora. What I'm making you do is wrong." Her father admitted. "But, we shall use that gold to build a new mill. Then once that mill is up and running successfully, we'll save the extra money and repay the person who we stole it from. So technically we're not really stealing, we're just borrowing without telling the person."
Flora still didn't like the idea, but since she had no job experience beyond milling and being a daughter, she agreed.
So Flora and her father sat on the side of the road and waited for a rich person to pass by. As bad luck would have it the first person to pass by was the richest person in the town- okay make that the country- King Helia (1).
"Oh crap." Flora muttered to herself recognizing the royal emblem on the carriage doors. "Father, maybe we should wait for the next one."
But if the miller was bad at making plans, he was even worse at changing his course of action once he'd started. Standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms high above his head the miller called out, "My daughter can spin straw into gold! If you give us three gold pieces, she shall spin a whole barn full of straw into gold for you!"
The king gave the signal for his driver to stop the horses. "You," he called, leaning out of the window. "Both of you…er... people, come closer." The king wore fine robes of rich plum silk embroidered with jewels and gold thread. He had more gold rings on his fingers than he had fingers and his wig, which was heavily perfumed, was made up of thick black ringlets veiling his pale face. Helia drew an embroidered silk handkerchief from his embroidered doublet and placed it under his nose, for Flora and her father still smelled of the smoke from their burned down mill. "What did you say?" He ordered.
The miller wasn't sure if the king's question meant that he should now explain about how his daughter's magic only worked by the light of the moon or if the king was hard of hearing and needed everything repeated to him. Clearing his throat, he began in a loud voice, enunciating each word slowly. "My daughter can spin straw into gold. If you give us but three gold pieces, she shall…."
The king waved his bejeweled hand and cut the miller off abruptly. "Yes, yes. I heard all that. But if your daughter can spin straw into gold then why are you two dressed in rags?"
"That's a very good question." The miller replied slowly. "A very good question indeed. Why are we in rags?"
The miller hadn't anticipated this question. He was all ready to explain about how the moonlight was the only way that the magic could work. And now that he couldn't say that, he didn't know what to say. He hadn't thought about the possibility of someone questioning their appearance. Perhaps thought the miller I could explain that because of the new moon there hasn't been any moonlight?
Helia dabbed at his nose then dropped the silk handkerchief into the muddy street. Since he never used a handkerchief more than once. After the old one fell into the muck he pulled out a new one from his sleeve then turned his attention back to the miller and his daughter. "Well, I'm waiting for an answer." You could almost hear 'you insignificant slug' at the end of that sentence.
"Our mill burned down and so did my spinning wheel." Flora supplied quickly as she gave her father a sharp jab in the side with her elbow.
"Yes," The miller agreed. "And since we have no spinning wheel, we have no way to spin straw into gold."
"Hmm," The king replied. "Very well then. You may follow me to the palace. Upon arrival you shall be provided with six gold pieces and a spinning wheel along with plenty of straw." He then dropped his second handkerchief into the muddy road without even using it.
The miller nudged his daughter as they started following the carriage to the palace. "See, Flora," He said grinning. "I told you that this plan would work. And the king is even paying double what I asked."
"Yes," Flora replied dully, "So you did. And he is paying more than you asked." But she was still worried about the final outcome of this plan.
Well, there's the first part. I hope you like it. I'll be writing the second part out after I load this. So please read and review.
Oh and if you like this story- check out either The Rumpelstiltskin Problem or The Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde
1.) Yeah, I know artistic licensing. Trust me, I'm laughing too.