Author: Regala Electra
Spoilers: AU, but a couple of canon S3 elements (aka Cooper Anderson's existence)
Warnings: Fairytale violence
Word Count: 2,138 out of 12,233
Summary: The tale of a boy who became a Beast and the second-born prince who lived in the shadow of his Thrice Enchanted brother.
Author's Notes: Story is complete and will be posted in full over the next couple of days. Many thanks to whenidance for helping this story progress into more than me emailing her "what if I flipped Beauty and the Beast around, but like even more so than expected, and incorporated a bunch of my favorite fairytales and Cooper Anderson was the most famous prince in all the land?" Major ♥ ♥ ♥ to her for the beta and to icedwhitemochas as well.
A good once upon a time can belong to anyone, though this particular tale belongs to two very fine gentlemen, and is theirs alone. Despite that, a reader may be inclined to pore through a much-loved book of fairytales that’s been in their family for years and claim this tale is a mix of many well known classics, to which the teller of this tale might be inclined to say: who’s to say all those well known classics aren’t the children of this singular story?
So, now that the smug reader is left in a fit of vexation, the story may begin.
Part One: Our Heroes
Once upon a time there was a son and his father, who lived in a stone cottage overlooking a beautiful meadow. The father was a much beloved toymaker who had a great skill for making mechanical devices. Perhaps he was a clockmaker if the story was told in another fashion, but for the purposes of this beginning, he made toys, the kind of which would delight any child and for his lonely son and the own loneliness in his heart after the death of his beloved wife, to see his son’s face alight at a new invention was more precious to him than anything.
Within a few years, the boy would learn his father’s trade and soon they would devise of much bigger creations, but the boy still had much growing up to do.
The boy had few friends during his adolescence and had no desire to join fellow boys in their play at being heroes, rescuing damsels in distress, and becoming very fine kings once they had married captured princesses. The father tried to encourage the boy but the boy would merely shut up in his room, retooling humble garments with the silks and fine threads they’d buy from traveling merchants. He was a boy much smaller than his peers until the beginnings of early manhood where he grew much like a magically-enhanced beanstalk, becoming rather tall and ever fair (not quite white as snow but rather in that spectrum of pale). His fine voice became well known as he sang with a fierceness that his father admired and feared (for what had struck that need in the boy to yearn so wildly?) and several local children formed a choir and invited him to accompany them.
There the boy made friends, of a curious lot, for indeed some of them would go to have their own adventures, but those were all stories for another time.
Alas, the boy had realized he was far more different from other lads and lasses, as he had desires that he thought ought to be unspoken. In one desperate attempt, for thinking this would please his father, he kissed a dear friend one fine Spring day on the meadow that spread yonder from the boy’s home and thus, would be easily visible to father, and once caught, he’d prove that was just as any other boy.
The plan was for naught as his father was in the cellar and missed the moment but the girl, Brittany, noticed that the boy was not truly tempted by her. She kindly asked him what was wrong, and here shall be the place that the boy’s name ought to be revealed, Kurt Hummel, for he was forced to be truthful and the readers ought to have the full truth of his identity. He admitted to Brittany that only other boys roused a fire in him that he knew was not ordinary, for they all grew up with stories, and it was boys who chased girls and never was a boy and a boy to be happily ever after.
He was fortunate in his confidant. She was a sweet girl and admitted she had a fondness for boys and girls, and that perhaps they were perfectly ordinary and everyone else was weird.
It would have comforted Kurt had she not proceeded to nibble on a blade of bitter grass.
Though Kurt thought that was merely the end of the conversation, a good fortnight later, when Kurt was tending to the rosebushes that bloomed around his stone cottage, Brittany appeared and told him of her grand luck in summoning a very considerate beggar woman with five magic beans. The first two she had fed to her cat in hopes of ridding him of his enchantment as he was truly a very magnificent Lord, hence why he always worn such fine boots.
The third she had given to one of their friends, Finn, in the hopes that he might return to his family in the sky, where all giants lived.
The fourth she had given to Santana as a special birthday present so that Santana might have anything she desired, besides Brittany, and at that, Brittany had winked to Kurt so that he was not lost on the romantic implications.
Ah, but the last. That she would give to him in the hopes of that Kurt could wish for whatever he wanted—even if he wanted to unmake how he was naturally made.
It seemed madness. But, as Kurt stood next to the roses that reminded him forever of his departed mother, and of how his father ought to have a son just like any other boy, he grasped the bean and made his wish, a touch of acid in his tone as he said it out loud, how he ought to be as awful as any other boy in the village, in fact he should never have to be afraid, he’d rather be feared.
The beast howled in anguish as its formerly finely tailored clothes ripped to shreds and the poor girl Brittany was much too shocked to give the terrified father any good answer why a monster stood in place of his beloved son.
Let us hurry along to another story, just for a moment. As everyone knows of Cooper Anderson, the dashing Thrice Enchanted Prince, it shall be simply a quick recounting.
His mother, having made the proper deal with a fellow whose name was his undoing, had married a fine king, and on a bed of spun gold that was once straw, was born our splendid prince.
His famous birth was often mistakenly counted as one of Prince Cooper’s enchantments but it was not until after his mother’s sudden passing and the hasty remarriage of his father to Cooper’s stepmother (not wicked, though it took many years for Cooper to understand she was merely a nice woman who happened to marry his father), that he was afflicted with his first enchantment.
It was his stepmother who realized the bird with the millstone around his neck was her stepson (most fortunate she realized this in time as the enchanted Cooper was wearied of his burden and moments away from dropping the heavy stone upon her head).
However it took Cooper’s younger brother, who grasped the bird in his hands and through the power of his innocent love, to free Cooper from his curse. Love always seemed to do the trick, if one paid attention to the stories.
From thenceforth, the child, Blaine, found himself a strong admirer of birds. He always kept one in his lonely rooms in high tower on the west wing of the castle. Eventually he would set the bird free once he thought the bird was in desire to seek new places and friends. It was a fair offer, he decided, for though he was often lonelier than he dared admit, he did not want to ever be the master of someone or something else, and as second-born son, was quite assured he would not ever have to assume such a position.
Yet a few more years passed before Prince Cooper fell under a second enchantment, and by that time, Cooper was a hero across nations, the prince who was not stolen by an evil troll thanks to his mother’s cleverness, who was saved from a transformation thanks to the love of his family. He was grown perhaps a bit too confident of his abilities and yet, he was ever so charming that no one could really complain that he was a touch arrogant for he had grown so handsome.
He might’ve escaped the second enchantment altogether had he not been so famished.
For when returning from a battle in which the army of the kingdom of Dalton had solidly thrashed some bitter enemies, Prince Cooper choose a different route from his compatriots and snuck into the lands of a wicked witch and ate of the fine (and enchanted) lettuces that grew there. He was soon turned into a donkey and for several months forced to endure a life as one of her enslaved transformed asses until Blaine, scarcely out of boyhood, tracked down his brother’s last whereabouts, when no one else could find him, as they dared not trespass into lands that were assumed to be governed by a most malicious witch.
Blaine suffered for a time as the witch’s servant, and after learning the witch’s secrets and tricking her into eating a salad of her own cursed lettuce, he then released his brother from that dreadful plight.
Unfortunately Cooper was still of an ass’s mind and allowed his brother up on his back as a ride and was not until they were roughly halfway back to their kingdom before his human senses took over and he set his brother down.
To this day, Blaine still privately calls a piggyback ride a donkeyback ride.
So thus recovered from such dire enchantments, Cooper, more handsome than ever before, was destined to become the beloved king of his wealthy country, though he privately felt that more adventure was still needed before he settled into the business of running a nation. Fortune came to him when his father died and left the country destitute as all their gold was immediately turned back into straw. (Those deceptive trolls! He’d bargained with the lady only to for a marriage to a king but never said the gold he’d make would last forever!)
Yes, Cooper was fortunate as he would be required to seek his fortune and perhaps find some enchanted princess with an enormous dowry that he would gratefully marry and bring back to their now poor nation. He’d be fine with gold and jewels as well, he declared to any who asked, though he was quite aware that the most memorable of heroes always found some damsel in distress.
And as a famous prince, he realized he couldn’t simply walk away and let his wicked stepmother (alas he had yet to learn his lesson that she had not a wicked spot in her kindly soul!) try to take over the kingdom while he was away.
Naturally he charmed a particularly infamous enchantress, better known as Sue the Sly, and brought her into the castle and asked that she ensure that the kingdom would be left in honest hands and no one would alter the kingdom while he was away.
This she promised, especially after Cooper gave her his autograph and a personal handwritten novella of his accounts.
Which was how Blaine became the only human not transformed into something else in the kingdom. At only fourteen years of age, it was Blaine who the curse decided would be true to his word, that only he would ensure that the kingdom remain in exactly the same condition as it ought to be for Cooper’s return.
That was her terrible curse, Sue sneered as she finished delivering the particulars of the enchantment, if he could figure out how to unmake the curse, then she was no better than a cave troll at her brand of magic. And love wasn’t the answer, she hastily added, seeing how his eyes brimmed so sweet and pretty, the perfect way to find some dashing hero in eager need of curse-breaking. She also announced he should tame the messy curls upon his head as she did not like the look of them and before she could curse his hairs to behave in a manner more pleasing to her eyes, Cooper said he’d give all his extra hair unguent to Blaine. After all, he would not have much need as he would sometimes be going to quite perilous places in search of his fortune and he might not even bother shaving some days. He said this was much satisfaction, petting a footstool that used to be one of his favorite dogs.
Thus assured that nothing would be made worse while he was away, did Cooper leave Dalton and begin his many adventures in search of a wealthy princess or, barring that, some gold or fine jewels to fill up his coffers.
As for the third enchantment? Well that takes place after young Prince Blaine encounters a particular Beast.
Part Two: The Enchanted Kingdom