Written in response to the 30 minute 'fairy tale challenge' for HP Short Fics.

Beauty and the Beast
by Beth H.
(c) January 2006

He knew what he looked like.

There was no insult - no slur - that any of his near-infinite detractors could come up with that he hadn't already thought of for himself when he looked in the mirror each morning.

Cadaverous, hunched, sharp-boned, sallow-skinned, sunken-eyed, greasy haired.

Only his nose had never bothered him. He thought it gave him character.

He also knew he was alone in that belief.

And as for his personality, well...the less said about that, the better. Even he wouldn't have cared to be alone with himself for an extended period of time.

His mind was good, he knew, but he was no intellectual. Far too many years had been spent perfecting his skill in three areas of magic: Potions, the Dark Arts, and the Mind Magicks of Legilimency and Occlumency to leave time for other pursuits. He had a vague notion of where the other European Wizarding communities were located, had heard of Shakespeare (but had never met the man), and liked the odd tune on the WWW, but it couldn't be said he would have made a particularly stimulating companion for anyone.

Except, perhaps, for someone who shared his concerns. His interests.

His feelings.


She knew what they said about her.

Colourless, flat-chested, shapeless, hatchet-faced, dried up old maid.

Few saw her as a woman possessing even the slightest glimmer of compassion, of sensitivity, of any of those softer virtues generally ascribed as belonging to the fairer sex.

If pressed, they would admit to recognizing a certain ability in Transfigurations, a competitive spirit, a loyal heart, but none of these things were particularly valued by the opposite sex, and she had long since resigned herself to being alone.

Unless, perhaps, she was able to find someone who shared her concerns. Her interestS.

Her feelings.


He could make potions that would allow the drinker to become the most beautiful person in the world.

She could do much the same thing with transfiguration.

He never had need of those potions.

She never had cause to lift her wand.

No transformations took place when they entered their rooms at the end of the teaching day. None were needed.

In each other's eyes they saw nothing but beauty.

Comments, critiques, chit chat: beth-h @ mrks.org

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