This story originally started out as a straight up prequel story, but now I have decided to make it a full-on fan fiction that expands the Beauty and the Beast universe. It is a "semi-prequel" as it will eventually explore life during and after the events of the movie. The first couple of chapters are very original character-heavy(which I know can be a major turn-off for some readers), but please give this story a chance.
June 5th, 1686
Theseus smiled to himself as he heard the ever familiar loud and cheery voice of his student. Former student, he corrected himself. He sipped his tea and turned to page 357 of Pottering Around!: A Journey Through the World of Ceramic Pottery. Moments later, an attractive blonde woman who appeared to be her early thirties burst into the room, almost knocking over a thousand year vase.
"Good Evening, Ariana," Theseus said, not looking up, as he turned another page.
"Good Evening, Theseus. Reading again? You should take a break once in a while. You'll go blind. It's a lovely night out. Why don't you go for a walk?"
"What are you doing back?" Theseus asked, ignoring her rambling, "I thought you'd be in the Americas by now. Isn't that what you've always said you'd do? After you finally finished studying, you'd go on a long, long trip around the world where "there'd be no boring old men to bother you.""
"Yes, well, I was going. I had my bag packed and everything. But then I -" she paused as she noticed a bottle of wine and two glasses sitting on the small wooden table near where he sat.
"You knew I was coming back."
"You assume that I would bring out my best wine, and my finest glasses just for you? You are presumptive, my dear Ariana."
"Who else would you be expecting?"
"I do have a life outside of you, you know."
Ariana sat down and sulked.
"Ariana, I have mentored you for over a century now. You're a big girl now. You can make it on your own."
He poured wine into the two glasses and handed one to her.
"Now, why are you here?"
"Well," she sat down and sipped from the glass, "I went for a walk today. Just along the river. I saw a young lady sitting by the riverbank, reading a book. She actually reminded me of you a bit, so I stopped and watched her for a while."
Theseus raised an eyebrow
"You watched her?"
"Yes. Mortals are fascinating. The way they go about in their lives, ignorantly living in peace, while they have no idea what we do for them. Anyway, meanwhile, a young man rode by on a horse, with an older man. I think it was his father. And as he passed the young lady, I saw it," Ariana whispered with an excited tone in her voice.
Theseus could only stare at the younger woman in confusion.
"IT! That little red spark. The sign that they are destined to be together."
Theseus shook his head. While she was a brilliant enchantress, Ariana was so idealistic when it came to romance.
"You can't see that kind of thing, Ariana. It's just your imagination running away with you again."
"I can! I have a talent for it! Anyway, I couldn't bear to think that these two could just go on with their lives and not know that they came so close to meeting their soulmate. So I... knocked him off his horse. The young lady heard his screams of pain and looked up from her book, and she rushed over. Love at first sight." She sighed wistfully.
Theseus, however, did not look as impressed.
"You should know better than to mess with love, Ariana. Don't make trouble."
"I was just helping them. Imagine if they went their entire lives without meeting."
"If they were truly meant to be together, they'd find each other eventually."
"I don't see what's so wrong with helping them. They'd probably have never met each other if I didn't step in."
Theseus fingered some of the books in his shelf.
"The Chinese say that an invisible red string is tied around the ankles of those who are destined to one day meet. The string may twist and stretch and tangle, but it will never break."
"Exactly! If it can't break then why is it wrong for me to push things along a little. What if they didn't meet each other until they are both old and about to die?"
Theseus sighed in defeat. There was no reasoning with Ariana when it came to this kind of thing.
"You're just a romantic at heart, Ariana. A troublemaker, but a romantic."
"It's just a part of my new life's purpose."
"Your "new life's purpose.""
"I've decided to devote my life to doing good deeds. Rewarding the selfless and punishing the selfish. Making the world a better place."
"Oh, Ariana. That's noble of you, but you shouldn't interfere like that. Besides, you'll probably have another "new life's purpose" next week."
"You're going to miss me when your next student comes. I wonder who it'll be. Some boring bookish young man, I suppose. Someone just like you. The son you never had. "
"There is no "next student"."
"I think I'll retire to the countryside." Theseus spoke as he circled the rim of his wine glass, "A nice little cottage, some daffodils in the garden."
"How boring," Ariana tried to say derisively, but instead had a dreamy look on her face, "I didn't finish telling you why I came back."
"No, you didn't. Well, make it quick. It's much too late. I'm old. I need to sleep."
"You know how I knew that little spark was a sign that that young couple were soulmates? I've seen it before. Many, many times."
Ariana placed her empty glass down and slowly moved towards her old mentor.
"And you know, every time I saw it, I was with you. And I never knew what it was, until now. How could I have been so ignorant?"
She forced Theseus's glass from his hands and placed it down on the table. She moved even closer to him and put her face directly in front of his.
"What are you doing, Ari-" Theseus began to say before he was plunged deep into a kiss by his former student. She pulled away and smiled devilishly at him.
"You can't fight fate, Theseus."