Karin: Hey people! Here's my first chaptered story of PaTG. It's sorta AU with both events from the book and the movie semi-incorporated in it as it goes. Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: All rights to Princess and the Goblin belong to George MacDonald.

Summary: She was raised in the dark among nasty creatures called goblins. Never knowing anything else, she took the mental and physical abuse as was taught. However, a meeting with someone like herself will change everything and the truth about herself and the plot that her torturers planned with have her life spinning in turmoil as will as discovering what it means to love and be loved. Irene/Curdie


"For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart to receive it." –Ivan Panin


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Beauty Within

I.

The Girl among the Goblins

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Deep in the cravens of the mountain mines, away from the prying eyes of humans, inhabited dark creatures beyond a child's imagination. They were so grotesque that mothers would cover their children's ears if so much as a breath talked about these horrible creatures. Mischief was their purpose and evil was their essence. Nightmares were their domain and darkness was their companion.

Gnomes. Trolls. Goblins—whatever you wanted to call them, their nastiness would not change.

Despite the mountains being their domain since the humans drove them below, they shared the dim and rocky structure with the miners of the upper world begrudgingly. The miners knew how to deal with the nasty little things. Their cheerful songs frightening the goblins—cobs they know them as—back into the deep, dewy parts of the mountain.

But our story does not center around the goblins per say. Of course these tricksters play a big role in our story, but our tale begins with someone else—someone among the goblins.

Ah indeed, our story begins with not a goblin among goblins, but something entirely the opposite.

A little girl in fact. A little girl who lives with the goblins in the deepest recesses of the mountains.

She was young—only a child she was of eight years. Scrawny and pale from lack of sunlight and proper feeding. Raised by these horrible creatures since birth, she had never seen the sun nor has any knowledge of a world outside the shadowy, moist mountains in which she called her home. She was only taught that she was different. That she was an outcast among them.

She never known much—the innocence of a child being her essence—but she was always forced to remember one thing: she was to be the bride of the Crown Prince.

You probably think that this role would have given her respect and status. For she, a mere child, was to wed the Goblin Prince one day. That she had something special about her—like her noble status or overwhelming beauty.

However, the child was neither. She was not a noble or even remotely respected—she was the lowest commoner, lower than dirt in the goblins' eyes. She was not overwhelmingly beautiful—the goblins kept her covered up unable to bear her ugliness compared to their lovely selves they claimed. But she was the future bride of the Crown Prince—a fact in which both parties accepted, but that did not exclude horrible treatment towards the child—and would wed him someday.

Ah yes, that was her only purpose in her life the goblins told her. They said that was the only thing she was good for. She was far too ugly and disgusting to be useful for anything else those mischievous beings said to her.

The girl was treated horribly inside the mountains. Wearing the dirtiest rags that reached to her knees and the long, loose sleeves stopping above her wrists. Her pale face covered in a blue cloth from her nose down to the end of her hood to prevent them from seeing such an ugly creature. On her head covering her flowing gold hair was a hood connecting with the blue cloak that flowed down her shoulders towards her ankles. The same color as her scarf. She did not wear shoes, just as her fellow goblins did not, and they were forced to look at her toes along with her bruised, scarred, and cut feet in which they had inflicted the wounds on her for their amusement. Her hands, though small and soft, were not in better shape as they too were adorned with such marks. Her deep blue eyes like the night sky she had never seen, looked upon the goblins with innocence—as she believed nothing was out of the ordinary with their cruel treatment upon her despite the hurt she sometimes felt. They said she deserved it. That she was so deformed they were trying to make her look more like them this way, they lied. And like all innocent children, she believed what she was told.

But we will find out more of her mistreatment as we go along. For now, the child is busy with her daily chores such as working in the deep recesses of the mines that belonged to the goblins. Since she was so small, she easily slid through the cracked openings that the goblins could not enter. Inside those tightly closed spaces, she dug more room and gathered many rocks as she could quickly. Her heart pounding in the small space in fear. The child did not like small spaces—the goblins had locked her up in many small, dark spaces multiple times if she had done something wrong, or if they just wanted to. Each time she would fear that they would never let her out, but they always did with mocking smirks and gleeful expressions when they saw the frightened look in her eyes. They soon sent her back to work after.

Lately the child had been collecting many rocks as of late. However, not in small spaces as she was usually told to work in. She didn't ask why. She never thought about it for fear that they would lock her up again for such thoughts. It was best to just work diligently and do as she was told.

Instead of working in small spaces, she had been working with the goblins at the rock drop where all the huge rocks fell. Cutting her hands and feet on the jagged edges of the rocks while in the back of the cart while doing so.

Bright blue eyes ignored the blood dripping on her hands from a re-opened scab instead choosing to look at the vast cavern containing an enormous amount of water. It was a dam she recalled hearing one of the goblins say. What it was for, she was not certain, but she knew that it was not to have a single mistake stressing its importance to the goblins.

"Hey, Princess!" one of the goblins sneered yanking her out of her musings. "You're supposed to work! Not space out! I'm not going to have to report you to Prince Froglip, now am I?" he asked with disgust and a hint of sadistic amusement knowing what would happen to her if she was reported to her fiancée and his family.

"No, sir" she replied politely. She must mind her manners, even when she is being treated unfairly. Unless she wanted punishment, she must mind her manners like a good child. And with that, she went back to work without complaint.

Princess is what they called her. Not with respect or love—but with cruelness and mocking. They liked to scorn her as they called her this, as if they were laughing at some joke she did not know. Nonetheless, she took the mocking like the good child she was supposed to be. She was taught nothing different. She deserved it, they told her.

And yet, she knew that wasn't her real name. Of course she never voiced her opinion for fear of them trapping her in a small, dark space. On the other hand, she knew for sure that Princess was not her real given name.

It had happened when she was of three years. Sleeping on the cold, hard ground that was her bed, the child slumbered on with scarred hands and feet—back from her very first day of working.

It was when she was sound asleep from exhaustion and shivering from the cold that she felt it. Two arms wrapping around her transparently—like a warm breath of fresh spring—and a tender voice whispering in her ear.

"Forgive me, little one for allowing you to suffer. I wish I could do more than what I can" the voice of a woman said gently with kindness. Something that confused the child for she never had such an emotion shown upon her, "But I will tell you something that you must keep to yourself in fear that those creatures will harm you if you inquire about it. You—as well as I—am called Irene" With that last statement, the presence of the warmth vanished leaving the child to wonder if it was just a dream.

Even so, the child had kept the name close to her heart. Irene, she called herself in her mind, was such a pretty name. In her mind it was spoken with warmth as the woman had done that night. Not with cruelness and mocking that stung her fragile heart. She liked the name. It sounded graceful and precious.

Irene. That was what she believed herself to be known as despite the taunting title of the goblins bestowing upon her.

The giant blue, gurgling creature that pulled the cart peered at her with sympathetic eyes knowing full well of the malice the goblins inflict. The creature found he liked Irene because she did not treat him with spite or abuse him. Although she did not have much time to herself while working, she would sometimes give the large creature a gentle pat it so well deserved.

Irene simply gave a small smile to which the creature could not see due to her scarf. Not even when sleeping did she take off her cloak or scarf as she was not permitted to. At first it was hard to get used to, but soon it was easy to bear when she felt much more comfortable wearing the garments for it lessened the comments on her face that they despised and grimaced as. Indeed she looked nothing like them; so, that made her ugly in their eyes.

Shaking these musings out of her head, Irene set back to the task at hand—working. She did not want to be punished and the goblins were just looking for an excuse to report her. Also, there was to be a meeting in the Grand Hall tonight and she—for once—was supposed to attend. Irene did not think it wise that she do something wrong when she would be in the presence of all the goblins later on tonight.

Nevertheless, something would occur that night. Something Irene would not understand or be the same because of again. Something that will change all she's ever known and embark on something life changing.

And it would all be because of what will happen tonight.


Karin: So, what do you think? This idea was stuck in my mind for a while now and I wanted to try it out. Reviews are highly appreciated. Thank you.

Next Chapter: The Boy that arose Irene's Curiosity

See ya Next time!