I was rewatching The Swan Princess and got an idea for a Strange Magic AU.
Roland is a sorcerer who wants to marry a princess and become a king. He’s not picky about which princess, but his first attempt is with Marianne.
Roland is Bog’s court wizard and Marianne is betrothed to Bog to unify their kingdoms, which share a border. Roland assumes Marianne will be glad to marry him instead of “that ugly cockroach” and is unaware she genuinely loves Bog. (They got to know each other during the betrothal rather than meeting for the first time on their wedding day.)
When Marianne refuses to marry Roland, he spirits her away to his private estate and turns her into a swan.
This was a terrible idea.
With the physical power of a swan backing up Marianne’s own innate ferocity, she attacks him. Fearing for his face, he changes the spell and makes her a frog instead. She still won’t marry him.
Bog assumes Marianne ran away because he was too ugly to marry. Roland helps this impression along. Griselda is suspicious but has no evidence. Tension increases between the kingdoms since they are both suspicious the other is responsible for Marianne’s disappearance, but because they are also both deeply dependent on one another for trade and defense, war is avoided.
A few years later, Roland tries his luck with another princess, Dawn, whose small and isolated kingdom also hoped to forge ties with Bog’s kingdom through a royal wedding. Dawn is in love with one of her court minstrels, Sunny, but willing to marry Bog for the good of her people. Bog is reluctant and trying to avoid her because he’s still pining for Marianne.
Dawn is as indignant at Roland’s proposal as Marianne was. If she were going to break the contract it would be for the one she truly loves, not for some guy she just met!
Dawn’s gentler nature, however, means Roland feels safe turning this princess into a swan.
Trapped on Roland’s estate if she wants to continue turning human by night, Dawn meets Marianne, who immediately adopts her as a little sister. They test the ‘kissed by a princess curse antidote’ by having human-Dawn kiss froggy-Marianne on the cheek. It works, and Marianne breaks into the estate’s house to steal food, clothing, weaponry, maps, and travel supplies. They set off to try and get to Bog’s castle before sunrise, since they have no way of knowing until moonset if Marianne’s kiss on Dawn’s cheek also broke that curse. (Unfortunately the estate does not have horses for them to steal.)
They both turn back into animals by day and conclude their curses got tangled up with one another. Marianne rides in Dawn’s claws and they fly back to Bog’s castle. Dawn doesn’t turn human that night, but Marianne does, and finds Griselda.
Griselda is shocked and thrilled Marianne has returned, and happily lends her armor and a sword so she can storm the throne room and attack Roland, while Dawn and Griselda go looking for Sunny, who was part of Dawn’s retinue when she came to meet Bog. They’re hoping True Love’s Kiss will work, since Kissed By A Princess has so far had mixed results.
Marianne takes Roland down (again) with some help from Bog. It is unclear if Roland’s death (remember, he committed treason by sabotaging Bog’s political marriage and risking the kingdom going to war, twice) or Sunny’s kiss that breaks the curse on Dawn.
After revealing to her family that she’s alive and well, Marianne sets up ties between her kingdom and Dawn’s, officially since she “owes” Dawn for helping break the curse, but mostly because she cares about her adopted sister, and also so Dawn’s kingdom won’t get annoyed at Bog’s kingdom for turning down the marriage contract in favour of renewing the original contract between Bog and Marianne’s kingdoms.
There is a double wedding.