A.N: I'm back! Promotional exams are over, and I have sudden inspiration for this story xD No worries, I am working on new chapters for the other stories too, so I foresee that updates are not very far off! But anyway, I was inspired to write this piece while I was reading Jeanette Winterson's Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, while I was on my way home. I had wanted to complete the story first before I upload it here, but seeing that I was missing from here for so long, I might as well put it up and declare that I am back, haha.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except for my fingers. All credit goes to J.K Rowling for coming up with the amazing world of Harry Potter. And also, not forgetting whoever who came up with the original tale of Beauty and the Beast, and its numerous variants and plays.
Anyway, review and let me know whether I should continue=)
The Story behind Beauty and The Beast
Generations and generations, and I really mean generations,of muggle children have grown up not at all unfamiliar to the fairytale story, Beauty and the Beast.
The beautiful story of how the love of one woman transformed a monstrous beast at its brink of death to a dashing prince, the magic of it all, forever remains just as it is, a fairytale to the ignorant world of Muggles.
But for the hidden Wizarding world, they knew much better. For the story, or to be more exact, the history, has been passed down from one generation of wizards to the next. The history behind the story, the origins of it all.
For the beauty was not just any beauty, but a witch.
And the beast? A Veela.
In the year of 1120, in a little-known wizarding town hidden from the rest of the world.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there lived a wealthy merchant with three of his daughters. And not surprisingly, they lived in a mansion in the busy, wealthy part of a wizarding town. They enjoyed a life of luxury and materialism, and it did not come as a wonder that two of his daughters turned out to be spoilt, rich brats; after being waited on hand and foot for their entire life thus far.
The father, being out on trips so very often, he thought that gold and silver and the very best that he could afford was enough to show his love. He never thought that there was more to love than that; he only knew love as wealth. And all the love he could give to his daughters was that. The older daughters did not mind at all; money and beauty was all that mattered to them. The father was just pleased that his daughters handled his frequent absence so well, for that meant to his shallow, materialistic mind that he was doing the right thing.
The youngest however, was different. And she was also the worse of his worries. She never seemed to be happy, no matter how much gold and silver he showered upon her. No amount of jewelry nor the finest of robes could bring a smile to her face. Not since her mother disappeared.
Hermione remembered a conversation that she once had with her father, while she was still young and ignorant.
"Father, what happened to Mother? Where is she?"
Draco smoothed his mustache with one hand, the other folded across his gold studded robes, thinking hard over how to bring across the story to the young child. Hermione continued to tug at the sleeve of his robe persistently and impatiently, a frown intruding upon her innocent, delicate features. Finally, he heaved a sigh, and with one warm, large hand softly upon his daughter's head, he began.
"Child, your mother was a brilliant witch of her age." Draco patted her head. "She was clever and beautiful...Alas, it was sad that she perish'd young."
Hermione understood, despite her young age. Her eyes widened and began to tear. "Mother is...dead?"
Draco nodded, his head heavy as though it was made of lead. He continued, his voice low, cracking painfully occasionally.
"The old castle in the forest, you know? The one that Father always tell you never to go near? The devil of a king kill'd her, he did." Draco paused for a moment. Hermione slowly glanced up into her father's face.
His eyes were red.
"They are evil, pure evil, them who lives in the horrid castle. They turn into horrible creatures, real horrible when they are angry, and feed on many a man. Your brave mother tried to stop them horrid creatures one day when she could took it no more. You were still very young. But she went…and she n'ver came back."'
Hermione was furious, furious and upset. Her mother was dead, probably eaten up by one of "them horrid creatures". She wanted to avenge her mother, she wanted revenge. But she did not say anything, did not breathed a single word.
Her hands were clenched tightly in front of her best white dress robes, the one with lace trimmings. Draco looked down upon his youngest child. He was aware of how the young girl was feeling; he could feel the strong emotions radiating off her. Draco never could really understand her, no matter how hard he tried. Or so, he told himself that he had tried. She was the brightest, without a doubt, but there was something about her, something that Draco could never understand, in the little time that he gets to spend with her. Well, whatever little time he have at home would be spent with her, seeing that his other daughters were seldom at home.
Hermione was different; she never cared for money and riches, never played with other children, never laughed, never smiled.
Hermione never stopped hating the "horrid creatures" that killed her mother. Which was why she studied magic so hard; well, at least partly why. Aside from being her interest, magic was also, in her opinion, the only way of defeating the creatures to avenge her mother's death. Her sisters had laughed at her innumerable times for working so hard, learning so fervently, but she never stopped.
They never could understand why. And she never bothered to explain. Her sisters were happy as long as they have their pretty dress robes and shimmery jewelry. Being the youngest child, and also the cleverest, there always exist barriers between her and her older sisters. They never could get along. Well, they had never even got along with each other.
Her older sisters, named Pansy and Lavender, were always off frolicking into town to mix with the sons and daughters of the rich, shunning the poor. Pansy was the oldest, and the worst. Lavender was no better, being under Pansy's influence.
Hermione, on the other hand, never liked to mix with them. She found them to be haughty and shallow, superficial and irksome, and would rather spend her time alone in her room practicing her wand-work and perfecting her spells. Her sisters always thought her to be strange and weird; her sisters who had never seen the importance of knowledge and learning, not when they have oodles and oodles of money on their hands.
Money to them equates fun, and fun? It equates life.
That was all in the past. The past, when she still could see Draco and spend time with him, when she was still a young, ignorant child. Now, at the marriageable age, Hermione have not changed. She was still introverted and kept to herself, but she has grown to become a fine young woman and a marvelous spell-caster, living up to her mother's reputation. Though few people have seen her, saved for the servants, it wasn't a secret to the townsfolk that Draco's youngest child was a living, breathing goddess.
Nothing has changed; Hermione have not changed, but circumstances did.
Draco was dealt a huge blow, so huge that he had to collapse into the chair, when his servant brought news that his entire fleet was destroyed in a storm. Everything started to collapse all around him; his fortune was gone, his gold, his silver, his riches… Everything was lost…
And that very day, life turned for the worse for the family. Pansy and Lavender became grouchy and bad-tempered, and could be heard everyday squabbling and quarreling. The servants, after learning of Draco's loss of fortune, left one after another. In the end, the family was forced out of their mansion, forced to live in a small farmhouse at the very edge of the woods. Hermione remained constant despite all the changes, and kept to her spell-books as usual.
Then one day, Draco rapped lightly on the old wooden door leading to Hermione's room.
"Child, is it al'right if Father enter?"
Draco silently opened the door and entered. Hermione was sitting at her desk with yet another old spell-book; a candle burning low at her side. A cold draft came through the poorly-boarded window, threatening to snuff the weak flame out.
Hermione turned around to face her father, her hair pulled back with a piece of string, clothes well-worn. Yet, her radiance still shone through her plain attire.
Draco sat down on the thin mattress of the bed; a simple rack made of old planks which creaked its disapproval. His face, aged and weary, shone with hope that Hermione have never seen for a long time
"My child, I was brought good news! One of the trading ships that Father sent out long time ago surviv'd the storm, or so I was told. Come sunrise, Father would be heading down to the port to see if there is anything of value left. Perhaps we may find ourselves to still be of worth of a few hundreds of gold! My dear child, do you desire anything? I've promised your sisters jewelry and fine robes as they have requested. And dear Hermione, what would you like? How 'bt a fine new robe for a fine young lady?"
Hermione paused for a moment, looking into her father's shining face.
"I desire nothing extravagant, dear Father. I yearn for nothing, except for a simple, red rose. I have read about them, and it would be nice if I could have one, a rose pure and simple."
Draco, though slightly taken aback at his youngest child's simple request, promised nevertheless. And then came sunrise, and Draco trekked off towards the port in high hopes of the return of his riches.