The storm raged outside as the Master of the house sat next to the warm fire, reading a book from the massive collection in his library. The only house elf left to take care of him and the Manor had served him a warm cup of tea as he usually took before retiring to his bedchambers. The pounding rain was soothing to him; he seemed to sleep better when it stormed. Draco felt a breeze throughout the room and the candles flickered violently. He looked around the room for the intruder that had caused the disturbance, but saw none and he returned to his book, shrugging off the feeling that someone was watching him.
Minutes later his house elf burst into the room, looking as though she had seen an inferi.
“Master.” The house elf bowed deeply before continuing. “There is a woman at the front door. She is pounding on the door as if she is trying to break it down. What would Master like Addy to do?” She looked at him, awaiting his answer. He sighed deeply.
“I will take of this Addy.” Draco left the room and immediately set off to remedy the situation at the front door. Normally the house elf would answer the door but it was not her place to handle disgruntled visitors.
Draco could almost hear the pounding at the door the moment he stepped out of the library. His stride gathered speed as did his temper at the person at his door. By the time he had arrived, he was fuming at the audacity of the person. Lightning struck as he threw open the door, temporarily blinded by the flash, as his vision clear he saw an older woman on his front porch. The woman had filthy, stringy gray hair and ratted clothes that had been patched so many times it was hard to discern the original fabric. He cringed away from the woman visibly. She smiled at him and he saw that she was missing half of her teeth and the rest were cracked and colored. He couldn’t help it as he took a step back from the woman as if her ugliness was a disease.
“Excuse me kind sir, Can I come in away from this storm? I was headed home from town when I was caught in this horrible storm.” She croaked it what could be described as cheerful. Draco’s anger was still simmering after the long walk from the library to his front door and he was slightly disgusted at her appearance.
“Does this look like a hotel to you?” He asked her coldly. Her eyes narrowed.
“No, it looks like a home.” Her voice had lost its cheerfulness.
“Indeed, you are correct, it is my home. Good Evening.” Draco had let his temper get the best of him as he went to slam the door in her face. He felt a resistance as the door came to a sudden stop and he noticed she had slipped her foot in to the door to prevent it from shutting completely. He felt the door being pushed open.
“That was a mistake Master Malfoy.” She warned him. Draco watched as the ugly woman transformed in a beautiful woman with long flowing blonde hair and penetrating blue eyes and bore into him. He eyed her tall and lithe frame as she advanced upon him, wondering if she was human or not.
“Not all things in life are what they seem and not all things in life are based on beauty. I came here to see if your heart had changed and you had learned a lesson from watching your father’s mistakes and the punishments that followed. Unfortunately, you are still as arrogant and full of pride as he was.” As she finished she muttered a curse under her breath and Draco’s eyes widen with horror as he recognized the old language.
“No!” He roared but felt his skin begin to prickle as the magic took hold of him. He screamed in agony as the curse worked its way through his blood and the changes were made to his body. He remembered the beautiful woman staring at him before he passed out from the pain the curse had brought into his body.
Five years later.
“Papa, must you leave tonight.” Isabelle asked her father, Nicholas Bridges. It was late in the evening when the barn owl had arrived with the letter. Her father was all bent out of sorts as he rushed to pack his bag to depart.
“Belle,” Papa used his pet name for her as he reached out to smooth her blonde hair. “The chance of a life time has fallen in my lap; it is my chance to earn back the worth we lost all those years ago.” He explained as he took a break from throwing a mish-mash of his belongs into a rucksack. She knew her father worried day and night about money.
Before the second Wizarding War, her father had been the number one supplier of magical items in southern Britain as he supplied most of Diagon Alley. When the war came to full force, shop owners were either disappearing or found killed, most shops were shut down. Luckily her father’s life had been spared, probably due to the purity of her family’s bloodline, but his business dwindled and he was forced into bankruptcy. They had been able to keep the house but it was scantly furnished and her older sisters were doing the best they could to spend the little money the family had on such things and fancy clothing and eye makeup.
“But Papa, it is late and you should rest before such a long journey to London.” She pleaded with him but her pleas fell on deaf ears as she followed him outside to prepped the horseless flying carriage for the journey. Her papa never apparated, he was missing his foot after being splinched in his twenties. He wouldn’t use the floo network either because the sensation made him uneasy. Papa was stuck in his ways and preferred the calm travel of a flying carriage verse the other faster options. This fact annoyed her sisters to no end because papa refused to setup the floo network in the house and they were stuck doing everything the old fashioned way as well.
“Belle, go get your sisters, I’d like to say goodbye before I leave.” Papa requested. Isabelle bit her tongue to keep her response at bay and did as he had asked.
Isabelle found her sisters tithering over a letter that Anise had received from a local farm boy. Isabelle knew that Anise was just playing with the boy’s emotions; Anise would only marry a wizard and preferably a pureblood. Her older sister Angelica was pretty enough she had dirty blonde hair but her nose was a bit too long and Anise had inherited her father’s curly brown locks and hazel eyes. Mostly, Isabelle found herself to be a bit plain because she was not flashy like her sisters. Isabelle had straight blonde hair that fell past her shoulders and blue eyes. Angelica was 26, Anise was 25, and Isabelle was the youngest at 20 and this caused Isabelle not to be as close to her older sisters. Isabelle cleared her throat to get the attention of her sisters; Angelica threw a scowl over her shoulder at her younger sister.
“What do you want, Bellie?” Angelica used her nickname for Isabelle, knowing it would push her little sister’s buttons. Isabelle hated that nickname more than anything and that is why Angelica had used it.
“Papa is leaving for London. He would like for us to meet him in front to bid farewell.” Isabelle kept her voice in control to irk her sister. Angelica wanted to see a reaction from Isabelle but she wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction. Isabelle gave her sister a small smile to put the cherry on top. Angelica rolled her eyes and shouldered Isabelle as she walked through the door, Anise followed like the faithful puppy she was but stopped to smirk at Isabelle. Isabelle fought off the urge to roll her eyes at Anise for being so petty but settled for following them down stairs to meet Papa.
“My darling girls, you all are so grownup. I’m headed to London on a trip and will be back in a few days. I want to spoil my girls and bring back something from London. Angelica, what would you like?” Papa asked and Angelica pretended to think about the question for a moment by tilting her head from one side to the other.
“Papa, I’d like a new diamond choker to go with my new dress I bought last week.” Angelica smiled. Isabelle wished they would ask for something a little less as money was tight for them, but her Papa just smiled and told her he would find the most beautiful one in London.
“Anise, what would you like.” Papa asked his middle daughter.
“Hmm…” Anise copied her older sister’s movements and pretended to ponder her answer. “I would like something sparkly like a new tennis bracelet or earrings.”
“I will find something that shines as brightly as you do, my dear. Belle, what would you like?” Papa asked.
Isabelle thought of the rose bush that her mother had loved so much but it had died shortly after her mother had passed away.
“Papa, I’d like a rose.” Isabelle told him.
“A rose?” Isabelle heard Angelica snort. “That is such a preposterous thing. What would you want with a silly rose?” Angelica chided her.
“Angelica.” Papa’s voice rang out as a warning and Angelica shut her mouth quickly. “Belle, I’ll bring you the most beautiful rose in London.” Papa told her as he placed his hands on each side of her face and leaned in to kiss her on the forehead. Isabelle beamed at her father. He kissed each one of his daughters on the head and bid a final farewell. He hopped into the carriage and it took off into the night sky, Isabelle watched it until it disappeared from sight. Her sisters had already gone back inside to talk endlessly about boys, love potions, and trendy fashions.
This was written for broadwaykat's Fairly Magical Fables Challenge. I don't not own Beauty and the Beast or Harry Potter (or I would be awesome, but I'm not.) :)
Please review! So I know what you lovely's think!