Not a prologue, but a taste of the end:

The darkness seemed to grow larger around her like some looming monster, as if the beady red eyes of a murder of ravens were boring into her back. Her fingers trembled with desperation, her eyes blurring with tears.

She heard his laughter booming in her head and tried to resist the urge to clutch at her ears. He had known it would come down to this. In a romantic comedy that had devolved into a self-fulfilling tragedy, it was oddly fitting. Oh, the irony.

How many times had she sworn her revenge against the sadistic story-spinner? How often had she cursed him under her breath, hating him for his meddling? It was as if he was watching her with glee even now, narrating her thoughts and her struggle with that disconcerting voice of his.

And he had known what she would think, how she would choose. Hues of green and blue danced across the silky black quill in her hand. The danger was too great, she told herself. But who was she to think about risk in these dire circumstances?

There was no other way. Or perhaps there were, but she couldn't bear to think of them.

She brought the raven-feather quill down to the parchment, and began to write.

Once upon a time, there was a man who died.

Here are a few things before we begin: I do not own Princess Tutu. I'm pretty sure we've both got this figured out.

This AU starts with Rue, Mytho, Fakir, and Ahiru as all human students at their school. Drosselmeyer is even more devious and evil this time around - he'll stop at nothing to get his perfect tragedy, and he'll soon start pulling all sorts of tricks. Also, Ahiru is not and has never been a duck.

Reviews are loved and appreciated! In any case, thank you for reading :)

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." C. S. Lewis

Chapter 1

"I shall write a tragedy," Drosselmeyer said to himself, "the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful tragedy that has ever been written!"

He considered the images of the four dancers captured before him on turning gears. Finally, after decades of research, he had created a fool-proof plan for his tale. It had required dedication, deliberation, and planning, but Drosselmeyer knew that the end result would be worth it.

It would be perfect. There was no chance this could go wrong.

Examining the red-haired girl sleeping fast in her bed - presumably sleeping late, as usual - he exclaimed happily, "How woeful and yet exceedingly exciting that you shouldn't know that you'll become the heroine of my tragedy!"

Drosselmeyer then looked at the dark haired girl and white-blond boy sitting outside together peacefully. "You can only imagine the glorious suffering I have planned for you two!" He cackled with intense glee. "Thank you for existing!"

Finally, with a wide smile, Drosselmeyer contemplated the dark haired boy practicing leaps across the dance floor. "You are quite possibly the most tragic character of them all! Just wait, my dear knight!"

The gears began to turn more and more quickly as Drosselmeyer prepared himself.

"I don't always write stories," he murmured, "but when I do, they are devastatingly gorgeous." There would be no turning back. Not anymore. The story was about to begin.

The incessant chirping of the birds woke Ahiru, but she lay in place for five minutes, savoring the feeling of just having woken up.

That was, until she remembered ballet class.

"I'm going to be late! I have to hurry!" She hurried as quickly as she could to the door.

It was then that the room darkened. The usually comforting room that Ahiru loved so became a place of stark white lines and undefined darkness. She shuddered and turned the doorknob, but soon discovered that it was unopenable. It was then that Ahiru felt the first flash of genuine fear.

A deep voice cackled. Poor Ahiru. She's nothing but a clumsy, naïve, bumbling little girl. She tries her hardest, but cannot dance with grace. If only…

Ahiru saw, as if from a vision, a beautiful red-headed girl standing before her. The girl wore a fitted white dancing costume and slender pink pointe shoes. Atop her head rested a small, delicate crown. Somehow, Ahiru knew exactly who the girl was. The Swan Queen.

"Odette." Ahiru breathed.

The girl smiled in return.

If only she could become something better, something brighter, something more beautiful…

Ahiru looked down, ashamed. "I couldn't! There's no way! I'm fine as I…I am…"

Deep inside, you know that isn't true. Ahiru, little duck, will you make a deal with me to become a gorgeous swan?

Ahiru couldn't help herself. She wanted to be the graceful vision before her so badly her heart ached. And yet, she refused, stubbornly holding on to her deeply-held conviction that self-pity was worthless.

"No. I don't want to. I already said, I'm fine as I am."

Your help is needed. Along with your new form will come powers you cannot imagine.

"What's the deal? Who needs me?"

You will find out. Trust me, this involves no harm to yourself.

Odette began to dance. She was breathtaking, every movement exquisite. Odette's features reminded Ahiru of her own, if they had been molded perfectly. They were the features of a perfect porcelain doll. If Ahiru could change her fate, would she?

Almost against her own will, Ahiru cried, "Yes! I want to be Odette!"

Odette's form dissolved into a sea of white weightless swan feathers floating towards Ahiru, who lost herself in the unforgiving sea of white.

Trees swayed gently in the breeze. The clouds seemed as if they could stand still for an eternity. Rue closed her eyes, enjoying the perfect weather.

Mytho, beside her, seemed unusually pensive today. He gazed off into the distance, ignoring the concerned look she gave him.

"Are you all right?"


With a pang of regret, Rue remembered the special pointe training session that was about to start in fifteen minutes. She didn't want to leave, but she had to.

"I've got to go, Mytho. See you soon."

He didn't reply, which made her uneasy, but duties were duties. She entered the building running. Quickly, she found the changing room and put on her practice clothes.

When she tried to leave, she found that the doorknob was jammed. A light tap on her shoulder was enough to make Rue whip around in shock; she knew that not only shouldn't the door be jammed, but she had made sure there was no one in the room before she left.

To her surprise, Rue found a lovelier version of herself smiling back at her. Mesmerized, Rue said slowly, "Wha…who are you?"

"Svanna." She wore a sensual black costume and matching black pointe shoes, her hair done in a neat dark bun.

"Rue… I know what you want. I know you're worried for Mytho. I know you want to be the best prima ballerina that ever lived. But mostly, I know you want power. Power to keep those you love safe. Power to protect those who need it and punish those who are deserving."

Rue's eyes widened. How could she know…so much?

Svanna came closer. "Mytho's in terrible danger. There are people who want to take his heart and use him for their own benefit. People who want to kill him."

Rue's breath caught in her throat. "I would do anything to protect Mytho. I love him."

Svanna answered, "Then allow me to help you. I have powers that you can dare but dream of." Then, seeing the skeptical glint of Rue's eyes, she said quietly, "How do you think I got in here? I can manipulate the story."

She extended an ivory palm. Rue hesitated, but somewhat recklessly she took Svanna's hand.

Svanna disappeared in a crowd of whirling black feathers. Rue stumbled backwards, but the feathers had enveloped her completely.

Perfect, simply perfect. Proceeding as planned… Rue heard a voice from beneath the shadows as she lost herself in the darkness.

"So what would you say if you knew that you'd actually knew that you'd agreed to be ballerina princesses who are also the stars of my tragedy?" Drosselmeyer mused. "Power, yes, but what power? Beauty, yes, but for what end? And here's the lesson of the day: always ask for details before making a contract. Now, let's see what comes next."