Author's Note: This movie, and the wonderful writer that is kohee (seriously, have you read Sketches? Read it. I do not know this author, nothing is in it for me. I just enjoy that story so much I feel I must promote it) have caused such an inspiration for me. I simply felt compelled to write this. At any point, this is, as the description said, a tale of how The Princess and the Frog might have gone without them being turned into frogs. I'm still undecided on whether Dr. Facilier will show up or not (but I adore him so much that if I can reasonably bring him into the story, I most certainly will). It's something to surprise me as well as anyone reading. Plus, this story lets me write things for Charlotte, whom I did adore. When I can find reason for it, quotes and variations on scenes from the actual movie will come into play.
Prince Naveen seemed to glide off the boat into the midst of the gaggle of girls waiting for his arrival. Lawrence grumbled, but said nothing, too distracted with trying to keep the luggage secure while keeping up with the lively prince. He cursed the royal's love of music, and jazz music itself. It had been a key factor for Naveen choosing New Orleans, of all places, to find a bride.
"Sir, couldn't you have found a girl at home?"
"Relax, Lawrence," Naveen strummed his ukulele absentmindedly as he walked the streets, the melody perfectly contemplating a band performing nearby. "We are here to have fun. Loosen up…" he patted his servant on the back, sending him sprawling into the band. The luggage fell about, clothes and some sheets of music littering the streets. But Naveen was too busy laughing to notice, for Lawrence had gotten his head caught in a tuba. "Ah-ha!" he laughed, "You are really getting into the music now!" he said into the tuba's mouthpiece. "I made a joke! See, because your head is stuck in the tuba?"
There was a low grumble as Lawrence attempted to push the tuba off his head. "Some assistance?" He hissed. Naveen ignored him. "Sire?" he repeated.
But Naveen had already taken off in the direction a traveling band was headed, smiling at the members as he joined his ukulele to their music. They beamed back at him, motioning for him to come with them.
"Sire?!" Lawrence fumbled, but finally managed to remove the tuba from his head. "Sire, come back! What about your things?!" Lawrence started to chase after the prince, but realized that both of their clothes were strewn about the New Orleans streets, and the idea of someone looking at his…unmentionables greatly unnerved the man. So he began to gather their things up, stuffing them back into their suitcases and trunks, hoping he'd be able to catch up to Naveen while carrying his heavy load. He sighed, wishing more than anything that he could be back at the palace and maybe at least serving someone, anyone, that wasn't Naveen.
Naveen was having a much better time than Lawrence was. The girls in America, especially here in Louisiana, were even prettier than the girls back in Maldonia. Though not all of the girls had seen his picture in the paper that morning, announcing his royal arrival, his charm was more than enough to ensure that every girl near him swooned. He tried to cozy up to a pretty waitress he spotted, but she rolled her eyes and continued her job, refusing to even give him a second glance.
Naveen shrugged, wondering for a moment what that girl's problem was, but immediately went back to flirting and showing off his ukulele playing. He paused after a while, finally realizing Lawrence wasn't with him anymore. "Where did he go?" he wondered aloud, looking around.
"!" The sound came from far away at first, but it was clearly someone running in Naveen's direction who was shouting. "PRINCE NAVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!" Lawrence was running so hard and was so distracted that he wasn't watching where he was going. He nearly crashed into Naveen and his groupies, but Naveen grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled him back.
"Where is our luggage?" Naveen asked, looking around. "You just had it, no?"
"No, I –"
"So you don't have it?"
"You don't have our luggage," Naveen repeated.
"Of course I do!"
"But then, why is it not here? You can not have our luggage without having our luggage, Lawrence!" Naveen let out a laugh and patted Lawrence on the shoulder. "I think you spent too much time on that boat, my friend."
Lawrence groaned. "The luggage is being taken to the same place we will be staying tonight," he said through gritted teeth. He'd never found Naveen's jokes all that funny, and being forced to go along to help Naveen's search for a wife was making him testy. "Which could also solve our ….I mean your financial problem."
"You have a way to restore my fortune?" Naveen smiled, and hugged the other man. "Achidanza! What ingenious way have you devised?"
"I have found a wife for you." Naveen's face fell with those words. He knew, of course, that it was the only way to get his fortune back. But marriage? The idea made him nauseous. Who wished to tie themselves down at the mere age of twenty?
"Is there not some other way?"
"Afraid not, sire," Lawrence was not willing to even attempt to look for another way, especially if it might take a long time to succeed. The sooner the prince was married, the sooner he could return to Maldonia. And then be bossed around by his wife and whatever spoiled children they have, Lawrence thought to himself with a shudder.
"So, who is this the lady I must woo? She is beautiful, yes? I may want my old life back, but I will not marry one who is not at least close to as beautiful as myself," Naveen tugged on the vest he wore, seemingly striking a pose. Lawrence thought he might gag.
"Well, her father, a mister La Bouff, has invited us to stay in their home. She's single and very rich. I haven't found any other information," Lawrence admitted.
Naveen threw back his head and let out a puff of air slowly through his lips as he thought things over. "I do not know about this, Lawrence. Marriage! Of all things. Oh, what could be worse?"
"Well, sire, the other option. You know…employment."
Naveen shuddered so violently Lawrence momentarily thought he was suffering from an ailment. "Marriage it is, then," Naveen said, sighing and throwing his head down.
Tiana set a fresh plate of beignets before Big Daddy La Bouff, but nearly dropped them when her best friend, Charlotte La Bouff came clambering through the door.
"Tiana! You'll never guess what happened!" She pulled out the morning's newspaper and pointed at a picture of a handsome, dark skinned man with a crown and charming smile. "He's Prince Naveen, and he's coming here! What am I sayin', he's already here! Tell her what you did, Big Daddy!" she said to her father.
"He invited him to stay with us!" Charlotte interrupted. "And then, guess what he did. Tell her, Big Daddy!"
"Well, tonight we're --"
"We're gonna have us a Masquerade Ball! And then the Prince is gonna see me and we'll fall in love and get married and I'll be a real princess," Charlotte said, clasping her hands together, a dreamy look overcoming her face.
Tiana chuckled. "My mamma always said the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach," she offered jokingly.
"Oooh, that's it!" Charlotte squealed, jumping up and down in her chair before launching herself at Tiana and hugging her. "You can make your amazing, man-catching beignets…we'll serve them up tonight and then I'll catch me a prince!"
"Lotte, I don't know…" Tiana started to turn her friend down, but Charlotte was already in her father's wallet, seizing a wad of cash. She practically forced the money into Tiana's hands.
"Is this enough?" Charlotte asked hopefully. Tiana stared at it. This was the most money she'd held in her life. Some of the bills were for larger amounts then she'd ever seen in person. More to the point, this was enough for her to finally get that riverside warehouse she'd been eyeing to buy and open up a restaurant in.
"Yes…yes, this is enough," Tiana readily agreed.
"Well, then, it's settled!" Charlotte exclaimed. "I'm gonna be a real princess soon enough. Watch out, Prince Naveen, your true love's a-comin!" She launched herself out the door, a whirlwind of energy ready to take out anyone in her path.
Tiana smiled fondly after her friend, then went in the back to turn in her apron for the day.
"This is it, Momma. This place," Tiana held her hands up high and twirled around. "I put in my bid already. Everything's coming together. Daddy may have never got his dream, but I'm gettin' mine."
Eudora frowned at her daughter. "Your daddy may have not gotten everything he wanted, but he had what he needed. He had love, baby girl. Don't ever forget that."
Tiana smiled. "I know. I know he loved us both so much, but I guess that's why I want this so badly. It's like a way of keeping Daddy with us."
"He's always with us," Eudora said softly, but she did pull her daughter in closer. "But I know what you mean."
"Everything's working out," Tiana said, "Charlotte gets to be a princess, and I get my restaurant. Things are finally going my way. I'm almost there, momma. We're gonna fix this place up, and then my whole dream, everything I've worked for…it's going to all work out."
Author's note: I've only seen the movie once, so lines are not going to be exact. I'm sorry. And yeah, Naveen's a jerk here, but hey, he was at the beginning of the movie too, right? (In fact, I wasn't sure they were going to be able to redeem him, but now he's my absolute favorite Disney prince.) …I'm still not sure if I feel sorry for Lawrence or don't like him.