Tears and Rain and I were listening to The Mob Songand we both came up with separate Merlin AU's. This is my version of it. No copy right infringement intended. I don't own Merlin or Beauty and the Beast. And when this starts, Merlin is eleven years old and Arthur's thirteen.
Once upon a time, in a far way land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoilt, selfish, and unkind.
Merlin and Arthur were running through the halls of the castle, laughing and screaming with delight. Well, Merlin was laughing. If truth be told, Arthur thought he might be getting a little bit old for running and screaming through the castle while playing tag, but he could hardly refuse Merlin. Not with his father depending on him to bring home enough money their food for the month.
Arthur had long since taken up the responsibilities of providing for his father and himself. According to town gossip, Uther wasn't exactly all there in the head, and while Arthur would admit that he may be somewhat...eccentric, he still wasn't insane. But still, what Arthur thought hardly mattered when it came to Uther finding work. No one would hire him, and even if they would, Uther probably wouldn't be able to keep the job for very long before he was fired due to the criticism that the store would receive for hiring such a crackpot.
So it fell upon Arthur to get work and put the food on the table. He had always been employed with random odd jobs that people needed doing, but his first real job, and by far his most successful, had been being Prince Merlin's personal manservant. Merlin was a real prat sometimes, well actually all of the time, but Arthur never complained or quit. Too much depended on this job. So instead, Arthur would swallow his pride, take the petty insults as they came, and also play tag with the immature eleven year old when it was required.
"Come on, slow poke!" Merlin shouted while looking behind him as he realized that Arthur was falling behind. Merlin's smile fell from his face when he looked behind him again and saw the state that Arthur was in. He had stopped running completely and was leaning forward with his hands firmly planted on his knees while panting for air. Merlin sighed and rolled his eyes as he folded his arms and immaturely tapped his foot against the cold stone floor.
"Well, it'd be nice if you got here before my funeral, Arthur. What's taking you so long?" He jibed.
"You're going...too fast." Arthur walked towards Merlin as fast as he could while clutching the painful stitches in his sides.
"I'll have to get a new servant if you keep on taking so long." Merlin said nonchalantly while inspecting his fingernails. He knew how much this job meant to Arthur which made it all the more fun dangling the threat of losing it just beyond his grasp. Merlin didn't care to suppress the mocking laugh that rang from his lips when he saw the immediate reaction he had induced with Arthur. Upon Arthur heard the risk of his job, he straightened up and sprinted over to his prince and master as fast as he cold, ignoring the pain aching fiercely in his sides.
"Finally," Merlin said exasperatingly. "Come on, I want to play in the snow."
"Yes, sire." Arthur said while bowing. He exited the front doors of the castle, and when he was sure Merlin wasn't following, slid down the wall to catch his breath, despite the bitter wind and cold. He didn't know how much more of this stupid job he could take. After he caught his breath, he wrapped his skimpy coat as tightly as he could around himself, and trekked out to the shed where the sleds and snow things were kept. They should really be kept in the castle where it's warm. He thought bitterly as snow seeped in through the holes in his old boots.
"Yes, sire." Arthur bowed and walked away and Merlin cheerily walked in the opposite direction, looking for Leon or maybe Gwaine to torture with his insufferable toe stamping and whining. He stopped and then turned around in search for Arthur again when an idea sprang to him.
"Never mind, Arthur!" He shouted. "I've changed my mind!" He swung open the doors to the castle and shielded his face with his arm when a thick flurry of snow blew onto him. Once he removed his arm, he saw an old lady standing in front of him.
"Out of my way, wench." He grumbled as he started to push past her.
"Sire, please. Let me stay here tonight in return for this rose." The woman held out a single, red rose.
But then, one winters night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold.
Merlin scoffed and looked at her disbelievingly. "I'm the prince of Camelot and don't accept gifts from such absolutely hideous and wrinkly old people. Now get out of my way before I call the guards." Merlin sneered started to push past her again, but she darted in front of him again and blocked his way.
"I warn you, young prince, do not make this mistake. Do not be deceived by appearances, for true beauty is found from within."
Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty in found within.
"I said to move! Get out of my way before I arrest you for treason!" Merlin shoved his hands forward, attempting to push her out of his way, but instead of falling, the woman vanished and then reappeared behind him, emanating a glowing white light. Merlin turned around hastily and covered his eyes from the bright light.
And when he dismissed her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress.
"A fairy!" He said in awe. He slowly removed his arm and looked at her beauty in wonder. "I've always wanted to meet a fairy! Will you grant me three wishes?" Before the enchantress could respond, Merlin was already making a list. "First I want all of the money in the world. No wait, make that the universe! Next I want to rule the five kingdoms-"
"Enough!" The lady shouted. "I will bestow something upon you, but it is not what you are expecting."
"You mean I don't get to choose? What kind of fairy are you?"
"Let me finish, young prince. You have a cold heart, and have no care for the well being of others."
Merlin started to interrupt, but the lady stopped him and continued speaking. "You are not worthy of the gift that has already been given to you."
Merlin looked around frantically, making sure that no one had heard. "How do you know about my magic?!" He whispered harshly. She only laughed in response and then again continued speaking. "And for your punishment, you shall be transformed into a hideous beast."
The fear that Merlin had experienced when she mentioned his magic was nothing when he heard this. "I'm sorry!" He said while stooping down and picking up the rose. "It's quite a beautiful rose, isn't it?" He said while nervously laughing. "Thank you so much for this! I'll go have Arthur put it in a vase right now." Merlin attempted to walk in the castle, but she wouldn't let him.
The prince tried to apologized, but it was too late for she had seen that there was no love in his heart.
"It's too late for that, young warlock. You have no love in your heart, you have made that perfectly clear to me."
"No, I said that I'm sorry! You can't do this! Guards!"
"They can't hear you. Time has frozen, and there's nothing you can do to escape your fate."
"No, please. I'll do anything!" Merlin knelt down on his knees and pleaded to her. "I beg of you, please don't curse me."
"As I have said before, it is too late."
The sorceress began an incantation and watched in pity at the warlock as he began transforming into something wretched and horrible. The snow that was falling gently turned into a fierce blizzard and dark clouds came over Camelot. A dark wave spread over the castle as all of its inhabitants changed form and the mutated prince lay cowering on the frozen steps.
"Take this mirror as a window to the outside world. Good luck, young prince."
And as punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle with a magic mirror, as his only window to the outside world.
Merlin opened his eyes as the sorceress vanished. He looked to his hands. They were even paler than before and his nails had grown thicker and longer, his fingers very slender. Merlin stood up as the wind blew his now long hair into his face. He ran into the castle and used his magic to lock to doors behind him. He curled himself up against the wall and cried as he heard the fairy's voice echoing inside of his head.
"Keep the rose, it is truly an enchanted rose which will bloom until your twenty first year. If you can learn to love another and earn their love in return by the time the last petal falls, then the spell will be broken. If not, you will be doomed to remain a beast for all time."
The rose she had offered, was truly an enchanted rose which would bloom until his twenty first year. If he could learn to love another, and earn their love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time.
Arthur trudged through the thick snow. dragging the heavy snow sleds behind him. When he reached the castle again he stopped short, wondering how it could possibly have changed so much in the short while he was gone. It wasn't possible. At least, not by natural means. This was magic, Arthur was sure of it. "Merlin." He whispered. Arthur dropped the ropes that he was holding to drag the sled into the snow without a second thought as he ran up the steps to the doors.
"Merlin!" He shouted as he pounded against the thick doors. "Merlin, are you in there?"
"Arthur?" He heard Merlin call from inside the castle. He couldn't resist sighing in relief when he heard his voice. "Let me in, sire."
"No, I can't."
"What do you mean, you can't?"
"I just can't. Go home. I no longer require your services."
"You're firing me?"
"Yes, now go! Go before I arrest you."
"Well if that would mean that you open the doors I just might stay."
"I said go!"
There was something in the way that Merlin yelled that that made Arthur take a couple of steps back. It sounded more like a screeching or roaring than yelling. He could hear Merlin sobbing now.
"Just go away."
"Just leave me!"
"Alright, I'll go. I'll come back tomorrow though, alright?" When he heard no answer, Arthur reluctantly left and went home, pondering over this mysterious behavior.
As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast?
Alright, as a kid, I always imagined the beast about seventeen years old when the movie starts. I recently came to a startling realization that he was only ten or eleven years old because of the part when Lumiere says "For ten years we've been rusting, needing so much more than dusting." Since the last petal of the rose falls when the beast turns twenty one, he would be about ten or eleven. O_o I thought it was very strange, but maybe you were one of those children who were actually intelligent and think about timelines and whatnot. No offense to all of those like me who thought that the beast was in his late teens/early twenties. I'm with you, bro!
Anyway, please leave a review and tell me if you would read more if I wrote past the prologue. It's kind of a bizarre idea, so I'm not quite sure how you will take to it. It's also insanely weird writing Merlin as such a prat, and I imagine it would also be weird reading it.