restored castles

Daria Cohen and the Element of Surprise

I am absolutely obsessed with this animation series now. It is one of my favourite videos on youtube! And I strongly encourage that animation lovers see her other works! The one work that first attracted me was her graduation film, The Night. 

The animation shows a chase between a vampire (Duke of Vaults) and a girl (Missi) who wanders into his castle and is narrated by Aurelio Voltaire’s titular song. Their designs are simple and beautiful, with their movements and motives enriching the characters. 

Daria Cohen’s unique story telling ability is her element of surprise and unexpectedness. Viewers and fans are left in the dark about the characters’ feelings and plans as well as the direction the story is going. Tropes are subverted and the characters incite new emotions and ideas in us by action instead of telling - a very brave and effective storytelling method. 

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I’ve been thinking about this ask I reblogged from @madaboutasoiaf​ and what her anon said about Westeros benefiting from Rhaegar being Jon’s father as opposed to Ned which I wanted to address, but I did not want to take away from the points about Robert in the original post so I thought making a new post about it would be more appropriate. Here’s the bit I want to talk about:

Doesn’t that make Rhaegar the winner and Ned the loser, especially since Jon and Westeros are going to benefit more from Rhaegar as his father than Ned in the end?  

Besides my absolute rejection of the idea that the narrative, at any point, means to frame Ned as the loser in the story or that we’re meant to see him that way, here’s the irony in this line of thinking: Ned Stark did more for the War for the Dawn than Rhaegar Targaryen. Oh, Rhaegar sired Jon alright, but he did little beyond donating his sperm to create him. But the one who saved Jon’s life, that ensured that this one small infant would survive and grow up to be the man who will save the world? That was Ned Stark and the love he had for Lyanna. That was Lyanna and the absolute faith and trust she had in her brother.

Rhaegar failed the realm he wanted to save, and could have failed the little boy he fathered specifically to be a weapon against the Others so easily, did fail his two other children whom he believed were to be instrumental to the war. Rhaegar Targaryen could have been the king who saved Westeros; he had a prime opportunity and the necessary knowledge to do so. He was one of few who knew that the realm was already under siege and that a war for humanity’s very survival was coming, and the only one with enough authority and clout to really make a difference. Rhaegar could have significantly evened the stakes in the War for the Dawn by putting his focus to overthrowing Aerys since he recognized that the realm needed a better royal leadership if it had any chance to survive. With Rhaegar’s knowledge of the upcoming war, he could have had the monarchy spearhead a long-term plan to strengthen the Night’s Watch and the other Westerosi institutions so they could be prepared for the coming war. He could have used royal authority to dedicate resources to the Night’s Watch and set maesters to research the threat and how best to counter it. He could have established a line of communication with the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and the Starks of Winterfell so he’d know the second the invasion began. Westeros could have had nearly a decade and a half to prepare for the Others: dragonglass could have been mined, food and weapons shipped to the Wall, the closed castles restored and manned, warriors directed to join as the Watch ceased to be a penal colony and the honor of service in it was restored, etc. Westeros could have had a much easier time mobilizing for the threat had it had a king that believed in what others thought legends and old wives’ tales. Instead, Rhaegar undermined the realm’s chances of actually being prepared for the Others. He instigated a war that weakened the same institutions that could have faced their threat by bleeding the realm in a conflict that could have been avoided. He squandered his knowledge and acted as if acquiring a few children was the be-all, end-all of his responsibility to the realm…. and the kicker is that even those children were not properly protected.

Compare that to Ned who, unlike Rhaegar, did not know that Jon would play an important part in saving humanity, or that a war with a mystical enemy was coming, when he saved the life of one small infant and raised him with all the qualities that made him the hero Westeros needs. Look at Jon’s actions at the Wall and how driven he is by Ned’s teachings. Jon picked service in the Night’s Watch as a purpose because Ned had impressed upon him the honor of serving the realm on the Wall, a belief left over by a residual ancestral memory of the true purpose of the Wall and why the Night’s Watch is important. He was adamant on saving as many of the free folk as he could because Dad stressed the value of every single individual life, and that condemning someone to die should never be easy and the cost should never be ignored. I fully believe that Jon’s heroics should be attributed to him, that his courage and empathy and forward thinking is something to commend Jon on, but Ned was the one who raised this man and who shaped who Jon came to be – a hero who stands up for the weak and innocent and who is going to save the world, not because Rhaegar Targaryen sired him for that purpose, but because Ned Stark taught him to do the right thing, and because Ned Stark did do the right thing when he saved this small helpless innocent for love and for honor - because the life of that one bastard boy was everything, worth the lies and the shame and the pain it cost Ned. And that one life spared will mean life to the realm at large.

Westeros might have been better served with Rhaegar as king, but it is far better served with Ned as Jon’s father. It was Ned’s love that saved Jon, his honor that he passed onto his son, and his values and teachings that enabled Jon to be the hero Westeros needs.

4

Winter Celchu visiting the Castle Lands
Berta, Bridal Fall 2017

• EXCERPT FROM WINTER, THE QUEEN’S SHADOW BY DR. BRIGHT STARFELL •

“…The correspondence between Winter and Leia has always been abundant, still amount of letters that survived to this day is simply staggering. Even separated in their later years due their duties to New Republic and Crown of Alderaan respectively, Lady Chelchu proved to be constant presence in the Queen’s life if only through the letters exchanged between the two. Be as it may, the correspondence between the sisters gives us ab unique firsthand account of their relationship during their lifetimes. 

Then again Winter was a diligent correspondent, and many of her letters to various people did survive. She wrote frequently to her adopted parents until their death in 22 ABY and 27 ABY, those letters perhaps gave us the clearest insight into Winter’s life, since she trusted Bail and Breha with her thoughts,  feelings and fears more then anyone else. B
ut perhaps most interesting is Winter’s relationship with Leia’s children. I is well known that Lady Celchu doted on the three of them, but she had a special bond with the twins having been large presence in their early years…”

Carew Castle, Wales

The present castle, which replaced an earlier stone keep, is constructed almost entirely from the local Carboniferous limestone, except for some of the Tudor architectural features such as window frames, which are made from imported Cotswold stone. Although originally a Norman stronghold the castle maintains a mixture of architectural styles as modifications were made to the structure over successive centuries.

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The Falcon and the Wolf Part 2

Summary:  This is an AU where you and Dean have been separated by a terrible curse for over two years.  You’re banding together with some old friends and old enemies to bring down the person responsible in hopes of removing the curse.  If you missed Part 1 get caught up HERE.

Characters: AU!Dean x Reader, AU!Sam, AU!Crowley, AU!Gadreel, AU!John, AU!Charlie, AU!Abbadon, AU!Cas, AU!Metatron (mentioned), AU!Rowena (mentioned), AU!Kevin (mentioned), AU!Cain (mentioned), AU!Arthur (mentioned), AU!Jess (mentioned)

Word Count: 3592

Warnings: blink-and-you-miss-it smut (I don’t know either guys), canon typical angstishness?

A/N:  This is partly inspired by one of my favorite childhood movies Ladyhawke, though I’m taking it in a different direction.  This will be a multi-part series.  This is my first AU series, so feedback is very much appreciated!

Thanks to the fabulous beta @wheresthekillswitch, you are so wonderful! I don’t know what I’d do without you!

Thank you to the amazing @arryn-nyxx for the BEAUTIFUL aesthetic you created!  You capture a feeling with color, light and pictures that I can rarely find with words.

My tags are open so send me a message or an ask if you’d like to be added to the list!

Crowley moves out from the back of the cave.  His black scales make him hard to see but his eyes give him away.  Glowing green, they watch you as you move closer.

“We’ve been looking for you.“

“Well, you’ve found me,” he says turning to go deeper into the cave.

“Wait, we need your help.”

“My help?” he whips around, his huge face mere inches from yours.  “Why should I help you?  Like you helped me when I needed it?”

“I’m sorry, we should have…” you say backing away.

Crowley laughs flapping his huge black wings.  The wolf growls at your side, his hackles rising, as he steps in front of you.

“Shut up dog.  I’m just teasing.  Besides, it’s not so bad being a dragon.”

“Really?”

“Of course, it’s bad!” he roars and the smell of dead meat fills the cave.  “It’s awful!  Why do you think I’m holed up here?”

“That’s why we’re here,” Sam says stepping up next to you.  “We have a plan to get you back to your old self.”

“And just what is this plan?”

“First, we need some information from you,” you say.

“Darling, information doesn’t come cheap.”

Rolling your eyes, you raise your crossbow and squeeze as a bolt zips out, hitting Crowley in his front leg.

“Ow! Hey, that hurt!”

“I’m so sorry princess,” you say lowering your arm.

“Y/N!” Sam gives you a look.

“What?” you shrug.

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Fic: Give These Clay Feet Wings

Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Characters & Pairing: Lumière/Plumette, Mrs. Potts

Rating: PG

Word Count: 1000

Summary: The curse is broken, but the cursed still have to mend.

Author’s Note: I was nine when the animated Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991, and I’ve shipped Lumière and Plumette since before she had a name and when she was Babette on Broadway. The live-action version is my favorite depiction yet and I just had to write a little fic. Enjoy! (Or on AO3, if you prefer.)

Give These Clay Feet Wings

Down.

A word meaning the softest of feathers, but also a direction. The latter meaning the one in use as Plumette’s wings cease to fly.

She tries not fear as she falls into Lumière’s arms. For all his amorous declarations that she makes him weak, he has ever been her strength. The curse is stronger, though, and his light is fading. She won’t see it snuffed out entirely, if she turns inanimate first–one small mercy granted to her. His face, handsome even cast in bronze, will be her last sight before her eyes stop seeing.

If only it weren’t etched in sorrow…Plumette would dust it away, shine him up if she could, but her wings are unmovable ivory. The handle of a cleaning tool, elegant, but useless. Rubbish, like Cogsworth said.

Lumière holds her like something precious until she becomes an object to be set down, and forgotten.

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That’s How a Moment Lasts Forever - Post-BatB Oneshot

“Grandfather?”

“Mmm?”

“Why do you keep so many tea sets?”

The old man chuckled, leaning back in his armchair as he watched his littlest grandchild.  While her two older siblings had chosen to play outside in the snow, she stared at his bookcase, which, instead of being filled with books, was lined with teapots and teacups made of wood, porcelain, and china.

“Well, you know your father’s a potter; he gives me the ones that no one wants.”

“But do you even use them?” the girl asked.  “They’ve got chips and cracks in them.  They wouldn’t make good tea.”

“You are definitely your mother’s daughter,” the old man replied.  “I suppose…I keep them because they deserve a home, a place to belong.”

The girl raised her eyebrows.  “You make it sound like they’re alive.”

“Well…” The old man’s voice took on a spooky tone.  “Sometimes they talk to me at night.”

The girl laughed. “No they don’t!”

“No, they don’t,” he agreed, laughing in return.  “But can’t an old man have his hobbies?  I like antiques!  I’m a collector, always have been!  You see that?” He pointed at a tiny, intricately decorated box on the mantel above the fireplace.  “It plays a lullaby if you open it. The king’s grandfather made that for me when I was a boy.”

“Really?” The tea sets were momentarily forgotten as the little girl ran over to the mantel and seized the box in her hands.  

“Careful!” The man raised a gnarled hand, but there was no need; the girl set the box down with the utmost care.  She lifted open the box, revealing a tiny, incredibly detailed replica of a rose.  The rest of the inside was gold and cornflower blue, with a castle painted on the inside of the lid.  She located the winding handle on the side, and with a nod from her grandfather, wound it up and let it play.

At once, a little melody, strong but sweet, began to emit from the box, causing the rose to rotate slowly in place.  The girl sat, entranced by the box, while the man closed his eyes and hummed along.

“You won’t find a box like that anywhere else,” he finally said.  “That’s why it’s special.”

The girl waited until the last notes faded away, then looked up at her grandfather to ask him a question.  But what she saw startled her into concern rather than curiosity.

“You’re crying, Grandfather!”  She rushed forward, drawing out her handkerchief to wipe his tears away.  The song was beautiful, yes, but it wasn’t a song that should be cried over!

“Ah, well…” He smiled and let her wipe away his tears.  “You are very kind.  My mother used to sing that song for me.”  He didn’t need to say the rest.  

“Oh,” the girl whispered.  “I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t know,” the old man reassured her, smiling.  “Besides, I let that old box play every day, and you don’t see me crying all the time, do you?”

“No,” the girl answered, grinning.  “You’re very cheerful.”

“Well that’s good,” he exclaimed.  “I’m glad I didn’t grow up to be an old grump like my father did.”

They sat in silence for a few more minutes; she admiring the music box, and he gazing at the tea sets in the bookcase that he kept so well polished that the imperfections shone in the light.

“Do you want to know the real reasons behind the tea sets?” he asked suddenly, waking the girl from her short-lived reverie.  “Why I look after them like I do?  You have to promise not to laugh or walk away.”

The little one shrugged, but sidled up to her grandfather’s armchair.  “Okay.  Tell me.”

“Do you promise not to laugh?”

“I promise.” Her eyes gazed up at him, wide and trusting.

“It’s because I used to be one myself.”

The girl sat there, eyes wide, lips parted slightly in surprise.  She wanted to ask if it was a joke, but the old man looked completely serious.  And she was just at that age where she was learning to take care of herself, but still young enough to believe in fairy stories, if they were spun the right way.

“How?”

The old man’s lips curled into a real, genuine smile, one that only children would understand.  “Magic.”

“What happened?” the girl’s voice was barely a whisper.

“Well…sit back a little, and I’ll tell you,” the man replied.  “I was your age when this story took place.  It started with a spoiled prince, an old enchantress, and a young farm girl who saved us all…”


“You used to work at the castle?” the girl said after he had finished his tale.

“Well, it was mostly my mother; she was the head housekeeper.  I followed in the steps of my father, became a potter, and when I had your father, I taught him as well.  Hopefully your older siblings will carry on the family business for me.”

“I bet they will.”  The girl slumped in her chair.  But soon she straightened up again.  “Was the queen really an inventor?”

“Best in the world,” he replied.  “She’s the reason why you have a fountain behind your house for laundry.”

“Is the Enchantress still alive?”

“I have no idea. Probably.”

“Were the musicians really world-famous?”

“Of course they were.  Why would they lie?”

“Maybe to gain favor with the prince.”

“No, they’ve been in the paper before.  I have clippings, if you’re really that skeptical.”

“Wow…” For a moment she was lost in her own daydreams of what it would be like living with famous people.  But then another thought stole her mind away.  “Could Plumette really fly? Like a bird?”

“Even after the curse she could float for a while, if she wanted to.”

“And Lumiere?”

“What do you want me to say about him?  The man was an eccentric old codger right up until the day he…”  The man paused for a moment, lost in the past.  “Until he died.”

The girl pondered the word in silence, while the other sat in his armchair, thinking of times and thoughts that his granddaughter would never understand, no matter how much she listened, or how much she learned.  She would never learn to appreciate time as he had, especially now, after all these years.  And he was the last one, the one given the most time to contemplate what had happened.  Everyone else had already passed on.  

Sometimes, they would come to him in his dreams, as young as he remembered them that day: newly human and full of happiness.  Lumiere would ask him how old age was treating him, Chapeau would clap him on the back and comment on his family, his mother would wrap her arms around him and tell him how proud she was of him.  How proud they all were of him.

But Cogsworth always told him the time, how time was running out.  Tick-tock, there’s not much time left.  And though he always asked what Cogsworth meant, the old majordomo never explained himself, only kept repeating the same thing over and over again.  Even now, Cogsworth was still as incessant as a real clock.

And yet…though he had time well-spent…it never seemed like enough.  Well, not until now, as his youngest grandchild sat next to him, visions of magic and curses dancing in her head, the very age he was when the curse was cast.  Filled with the wonder of a story that would die with him.

“I have a special task for you, little one,” he murmured, and the girl’s eyes lit up.

“What is it?” she asked.  “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

“Don’t forget the story I’ve told you today.  Not a single word of it.  Write it down somewhere, make it a book.  And tell your grandchildren.  And have them tell theirs.”

“All right,” the child said.  “Is it that important?”

“I don’t want anyone to forget them,” he continued.  “They taught me a lesson; I am sure they will teach others too.  You’ve probably been told that nothing lasts forever, haven’t you?”

“That’s right,” she said.  “Mother told me that.”

“Well…this story only happened in a moment, out of all the time in the world.  And when I die, the days I’ve lived will disappear.  But now that I’ve told you, you can tell other people, and those people can tell other people, and the story will last longer than any of us.”

He wasn’t much of a storyteller at this age, but he could do this much for his family.  He didn’t live his whole life just to die without people really knowing what happened all those years ago.  It wasn’t just some curse; lessons were learned, and love was restored to the castle.  

“Okay.  I promise I’ll do it.  And my children will do it too.”  

Chip smiled and closed his eyes.  He could picture them now, in the castle, carrying out their duties, royalty and service alike.  Some would call them ordinary, but to him they were the most important people in the world.  They didn’t deserve to be fleeting.  They deserved to live on.  Through story, through song, through legend.

That’s how a moment lasts forever…when our song lives on.

Inevitable

Thank you to @kick-it-in-the-ass-cas for the Drarry short fic prompt: Hardcore angsty Harry looking for a sign on the Astronomy tower, Draco in the shadows or flying, and a huge gust of winds sends Harry flying over the edge, but is saved by Draco. Friends to Lovers. 

Apologize that I did not include the Marauders bit that you wanted, but I hope you enjoy the read anyway. ;)

Read it on AO3 here.

Harry Potter stands at the edge of the Astronomy tower, looking over at the scene that greets him. He’s leaning on the other side of the railing, his hands the only thing keeping him from the fall below. It’s rather serene, the view. The rocky hills surrounding Hogwarts are growing darker in the twilight, the sky above slowly revealing its vast number of stars. Below it, the lake is still, its waters calm and twinkling with the sun’s remaining light. Harry can only wonder at how calm the world around him seems to be. Quiet. As though everything is fine. As though the world isn’t falling apart.

And maybe, Harry muses as he leans farther away from the railing, maybe it isn’t. Hogwarts had been rebuilt–Harry had seen to that. Every stone had been repaired, the walls of the castle restored, every painting and statue returned to its former glory. The grounds had slowly but surely healed itself from the battle. Yet Harry, who had worked tirelessly to put the broken pieces of his home back together, feels as though he might have missed something in the process. That maybe he missed repairing something vital. But, for the life of him, Harry doesn’t know what it is.

He recounts, in his waking moments as often as he does in his nightmares, the last seconds before the familiar flash of green blinds him and then there’s nothing, how calm he had felt. He had accepted it with all his heart. He’d never before been so sure about anything in his life. But after seeing his parents, after seeing Sirius and Remus, he had known that that had been where his whole life had been leading up to. To these last moments of his life with the people he longed for the most.

He closes his eyes then and shivers, the cold, biting wind whipping through his hair and clothes, freezing his hands which still held tightly onto the rail behind him. Harry can almost picture them in front of him again. He imagines how warm their hands might feel, how comforting it would be to be in their arms. He lets out a shaky exhale and opens his eyes. The sky is growing darker, the ground-level almost not visible in the late evening.  It is then that he spots it. A flash of bright blonde something at the edge of a protruding tower, before it seems to disappear behind it. He narrows his eyes to get a better view, but there is nothing there. Harry frowns. He must be imagining things.

The wind seems to get colder, harsher the longer he stands there on the edge of the Astronomy tower. He doesn’t always think about his parents, or Sirius and Remus. Sometimes it’s Fred, or Cedric, or Dumbledore.  It’s always someone he couldn’t save.

Just then, a powerful gust of wind suddenly tears through him and Harry’s stomach drops. He realizes, rather belatedly, that his hands have slipped from their hold on the railing. He takes another fraction of a second to realize what’s about to happen and then he’s falling, the breath in his lungs freezing at the sudden drop. Oddly enough, the feeling is comforting. If he thinks hard enough, he can just imagine that he’s riding on his broom, racing toward the ground as though he’s just spotted the shiny, golden snitch.

But he’s not on his broom, and he’s not playing Quidditch, and Harry can’t help the shout of panic that leaves him. The ground is coming up rapidly–too rapidly.  What has he done? When he sees a flash of blonde again, he thinks he’s gone mad. This is not how things are suppose to end. What will Ron and Hermione think? How can he just leave them like this? He shuts his eyes tightly, seeing the ground only mere moments away.

“Potter!”

Harry gasps, his eyes flying open, his hands reaching. Someone grabs hold of him by the waist. He sees the tail end of what looks to be a Nimbus, platinum blonde hair also coming into view before he’s pulled against a warm body and they flip in the air, upside down on the broom, and Harry can tell there is no time to pull up. They crash hard onto the ground, Harry’s fall cushioned by the body that’s under him, the person’s arm wrapped securely around Harry before it slips away. Harry’s ears are humming, his limbs shaky, his heart beating hard and fast that he can feel his pulse at his temple. He pulls away slowly. Draco Malfoy groans before opening his eyes and looks straight at Harry. His expression is unreadable. Then his face contorts into rage.

“Potter, what the fuck?! Did you really think you can just go and off yourself like nothing? Like the whole world won’t be in an outrage that their Golden Boy has decided to fling himself off the bloody tower?”

“I wasn’t trying–” Harry starts.

Malfoy’s voice grows steadily louder, his eyes flashing dangerously as he jabs a finger in Harry’s chest. “How dare you?! After all that’s happened! YOU–You think you’re so fucking  special. And here is another chance for the world to have your attention. That’s what it’s always been hasn’t it?!” Malfoy is breathing harshly, blond strands of hair sticking to the sides of his face.

“Malfoy, you’re hurt.” Harry goes to grab Draco’s arm where the sleeve was torn. His skin from his elbow to his wrist is badly scratched and small trails of blood are running down his hand and to the ground.

“Don’t touch me!” Malfoy snaps, pulling his arm away from Harry and wincing.

Harry waits for Malfoy to continue his yelling, but the blonde only stares at him, and Harry swears he’s never seen such an expression on his face before, of hurt, and something in Harry’s chest stirs because he knows he’s the one who’s caused it. But then a cold mask replaces it and Malfoy turns away without another word.

x

Harry spends the next few weeks in a sort of daze. At first he’d been worried that Malfoy would tell the whole school about the incident, or at least to Pansy, who would then proceed to tell the whole school about the incident. But so far, Malfoy has done nothing. Nothing except stare at Harry during times when he thinks Harry isn’t looking. Harry can feel that silver gaze on him, at first sharp and seething, during classes and as he walks through the halls. But slowly, the weeks go by and that same silver gaze starts to feel different. Multiple times Harry has met that stare, looked fixedly back at Malfoy until he turns away, a light color staining that pale face and Harry is alarmed to think he wants to see more of that.

One time in particular, during an hours long 8th-year game of Find the Snitch, Harry returns safely to the ground, hopping off his broom just a few steps away from Malfoy. Harry can’t help but stare at him; Malfoy is wearing a simple shirt, but the fabric sticks to his lean frame like a second skin. Harry’s suddenly finding it hard to swallow and when Malfoy turns to look him up and down slowly, Harry’s body practically hums with the intensity of those light grey eyes. When Malfoy turns to head over in the direction of the showers, Harry excuses himself from Ron, Dean, and Seamus, and hurries to catch up.

“Malfoy! Malfoy, wait up!”

Malfoy stops, his broom thrown over his shoulder casually, and he honors Harry with a bored expression. He doesn’t say anything and Harry suddenly feels his face heating.

“I, erm, I was wondering whether you had a partner for the potion’s research thing due in a few months?”

Malfoy raises an eyebrow and considers this. “I do not.”

“Oh! Oh, well, that’s great. I mean, not great, but…great for me…what I mean to say is…”

“Fuck’s sake, Potter, get on with it.”

“Do you want to be my partner?”

x

That December, the final day before everyone is off for the holiday break, finds the pair of them at the front of the class, presenting their potion’s research to their peers. Harry is impressed to say that their findings are a lot more thorough than he could have ever imagined, and he even might go as far as to say that it rivals the research presented by Hermione and Neville. He and Draco leave the class feeling very light on their feet (Harry more obvious than his blond partner) and head over to what has become a familiar path to their favorite study spot–an alcove at the top of the Astronomy tower. The hallways are festive, decorated in celebration of the holidays, with flurries of snow falling lightly in some areas of the castle. Harry and Draco laugh at one unfortunate pair of 5th year students who have gotten trapped in the doorway of a classroom, an enchanted mistletoe hanging right above them.

“Will you be leaving home for hols?” Harry asks nonchalantly as they climb the steps to the Astronomy tower, secretly wondering whether Draco has decided to stay at Hogwarts, which would mean that Harry should make up an excuse to stay as well. Maybe he can say that he wants to get more potion’s research done? No, Ron won’t buy that for a second. Maybe he can say that he needs some space? No, Mrs. Weasley would storm into the castle, taking that as a hint that he needs more smothering.

“Yes, actually. I’ll be visiting my mother in Paris.”

“Oh,” Harry says, heart sinking a fraction. “That’s good. Yeah, I’ll be leaving, too. Spending time with the Weasley’s. We’re planning on having Hermione’s parents over for Christmas. That should be interesting.” They climb the steps silently for a bit. “You know, this was fun. I didn’t know you knew so much about how there’s really only a fraction of a difference between medicine and poison. You’re more intelligent than I ever gave you credit for.”

“No surprise there,” Draco says, rolling his eyes good-naturedly.

Harry grins and his heart almost stops at the smile that lights Draco’s face. It is a genuine smile, one that Harry has been privy to only a handful of times. And each time they leave Harry breathless, longing for something that is quite out of his reach. Harry swallows past the lump in his throat and follows him to the top step and through the archway until Draco’s hand suddenly shoots out.

“Potter, don’t–!”

“What–?” But it’s too late. Harry feels it. The pull of magic where they stand. He tries to step out of it and finds that he can’t move out of its range. When he looks up, a lone mistletoe wrapped in red ribbon curls innocently from the top of the archway. He feels his face grow hot. Draco is staring up at the mistletoe, his mouth hanging slightly open. “I suppose it’s safe to assume you weren’t the one to put that up there?” Harry tries to joke, but Draco only looks at him with wide eyes, his face growing pale.

“N-no, of course not. Don’t be ridiculous,” Draco says, clearing his throat and looking anywhere but at Harry. “Was it you?”

“No!”

They stand there for a minute, unable to move out of the archway, until Harry breaks the silence. “What do you suppose we should do?”

“Well, considering the circumstances in which we find ourselves, I’d say there is only one thing we can do.”

Harry’s heart beat quickens, his eyes dropping to Draco’s mouth, to his lips which were pink and wet, and back up again. Draco notices this movement, and furrows his brows in confusion. After some hesitation, in which Harry’s holding his breath for Draco’s next words, Draco reaches a hand into his pocket and takes out his wand.

“We have to destroy the Astronomy Tower.”

Harry almost sags, cursing himself silently and letting out the breath he had been holding. “Yes, of course. Of course, that’s…that’s obvious. Tear down the Astronomy Tower.” He takes out his own wand.

Malfoy’s breath of laughter stops Harry in his tracks. Malfoy’s hand covers his mouth, his shoulders shaking before his laugh fills the room. His eyes are crinkled in amusement and he shakes his head at Harry.

“What?” Harry can’t help the small breath of laughter that leaves him, too, Malfoy’s mirth contagious. “What in the world is so funny to you?”

“Potter,” Malfoy says, gathering himself, and shaking his head again, “we are not going to destroy the fucking tower. Are you mad?” Draco’s voice is laced in amusement. “It’s a bloody kiss. We won’t die from it…”

Harry blinks, his eyes widening at the implication. Draco smile is still on his face, but it fades the longer Harry stares. Suddenly Draco shifts on his feet, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he swallows, and Harry realizes that his lack of response has made Draco unsure. Harry stows away his wand, his hands slightly shaky, and steps forward. He waits carefully to see whether Draco is going to make a joke of this as well, but Draco seems glued to the spot, his eyes traveling across Harry’s face before stopping at his lips.

“Just get on with it…” Draco whispers.

Harry leans forward, closing the last few inches between them. The first meet of lips is tentative and warm. It’s just a quick press of lips, yet the touch sends shivers down Harry’s spine, his stomach doing  odd flips, and his hands are clenched against the urge to deepen the kiss. It ends much too soon. Harry pulls away and he feels the enchantment of the mistletoe fade, yet he doesn’t move further. Draco doesn’t move either, but continues to stand there facing Harry,  his cheeks an endearing shade of pink.

Harry doesn’t know who moves first, but the next second Draco wraps his arms around Harry’s neck and Harry pulls Draco closer with his hands at his waist, their mouths meeting again in a hot, slick embrace. Harry moves them to the wall, pressing Draco against it as their tongues slide together. Draco’s hand runs through Harry’s hair, pulling it almost painfully and Harry groans. He responds by grinding his hips against Draco and Draco has to pull away to gasp, exposing his neck.

Some time later, Draco manages to pull himself away with a warm hand on Harry’s chest. He has to calm his breathing before he manages to say,

“I’ll see you after the holidays, Potter.”

“See you.”

x

Their first time together is in Harry’s private room. It’s late spring now, the night outside is cool, and a light breeze comes in gently through the open window. The only light in the room is from a sole burning candle, and it casts tempting shadows across the length of Draco’s back. He’s laying on his stomach, shirtless, a book lying unopened in front of him. He stares at Harry contemplatively, his head resting on his arm.

“What is it?” Harry asks from his seat on the armchair. He places the book he’d been holding on the bedside table–he hadn’t been taking in a word of it anyway.

“You surprise me, is all.”

“I do?”

Draco nods, but doesn’t say anything further.

“Care to elaborate?”

Draco smiles almost shyly before turning on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. Harry’s rakes his eyes over Draco’s chest, to the toned abdomen that flexes with his every move, and down to the soft blond curls that disappear underneath Draco’s skin-tight jeans.  “Harry. I’ve been coming to your room for weeks now. I’ve stayed the night a few times. I’m here right now lying half naked on your bed,” he pauses here, seeming to wonder whether to continue. “But you haven’t made a single move to take things any further between us. Why is that?”

Harry’s heart almost stops. Take things further between them? Is that what this is about? Draco sneaking into his room every night, presumably to study, fainting falling asleep on his bed so he wouldn’t have to go back to his own quarters? Harry doesn’t mind, of course. Far from it. He chews the inside of his lip, willing his body to behave itself as his lower regions have taken particular interest in where the conversation is heading. He clears his throat.

“I assure you, it’s not from lack of interest.”

“What do I have to do, then?” Draco asks softly, one hand sliding down his chest. “To take you over the edge?”

Harry can hardly believe his ears. Draco is here offering himself, why is Harry not jumping on this opportunity? Of course Harry has been wanting this. Every single time they kiss, Draco’s lips driving him mad with how much more Harry wants. Harry looks away, towards the open window where he can just make out a full moon in the distance.

“Do you remember…the beginning of the school year?” Harry asks quietly. Draco’s smile fades quickly and he sits up. “That day…that day on the Astronomy Tower?” Draco nods, reaching a hand up to tuck a stray strand of blond hair behind his ear. Harry has to close his eyes, clearing his throat against the hard lump that has formed there. “You…you saved me that day, Draco.”

Harry hears Draco’s sharp intake of breath but he keeps his eyes shut. He doesn’t want to see how Draco will look at him. They’d never talked about that fateful day on the Astronomy tower. Draco hadn’t brought it up to anybody, and Harry had preferred to pretend as though that day hadn’t happened. But he realizes now that he has to say it, to explain what happened, so Draco can decide whether he wanted to stay. When he opens his eyes Draco is staring at Harry, those intense silver eyes piercing him so thoroughly that Harry wonders whether he’s trying to read his mind. Harry has to look away. He picks at the frayed edges of the armchair.

“I wasn’t in a good place. There was so much…so many dark thoughts running through my head constantly…I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep,” Harry says, shaking his head. “I didn’t know what else I could do, Draco. And…and then you were there. You just happened to be there on that day for some inexplicable–”

“I knew,” Draco whispers.

Harry’s head shoots up.

“What?”

Draco doesn’t meet his eyes. He bites his lip hard and Harry longs to run a finger across it, to smooth the indents left behind.

“I had taken to flying around the grounds. One night you happened to be there in the Astronomy Tower, just sitting there, staring at nothing. The next day I wondered whether you’d be there again so I flew by…just out of curiosity. And there you were. I don’t know what made me want to come back. I suppose I just wanted to see what you were up to. But other times I would see you staring over the edge, coming closer to it every night and I began to wonder…”

Harry’s stomach lurches and he feels sick. Had he really been there all those times? What must Draco think of him? He leans forward, his head falling in his hands but Draco continues.

“That day. Harry, that entire day I knew…I could feel it somehow. You had this look in your eyes the whole day, during classes…I thought why can’t anyone else see it? I had half a mind to walk up to you…But I knew if I stopped you then you would see right past me…I didn’t think…I should’ve…” He stops, his voice choked, and Harry’s heart breaks to hear it.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done,” Draco says more calmly. “If I hadn’t been there.”

Harry finally looks up, feeling the burn at the corners of his eyes. His hands shake as they clench in fists in his lap. “Draco, I don’t even know what to say,” he confesses, his heart in his throat. “You don’t understand how much that moment means to me. That you were there, when no one else ever even noticed I was gone. You…Draco, you mean the world to me.” Harry waits until Draco meets his eyes. “Thank you.”

Draco exhales and he slides off the bed, coming over to Harry, who reaches his hands up and welcomes Draco onto his lap. They kiss, and this time it’s so much more, the intensity leaving Harry shaking. Draco’s hands are at either sides of his face, and he straddles Harry, his knees on either sides of him. Harry holds him tightly, wanting to bring him closer still. Draco’s tongue explores Harry’s mouth so thoroughly and he moans, a delicious shiver running across his body and to his groin. Unable to hold back any longer, Harry hooks a hand under Draco’s leg, the other wrapped firmly on the small of his back and he lifts him to take him back to the bed. He places Draco gently on top of the covers, lifting his shirt and throwing it on the floor before he moves on top of Draco. He kisses the corner of his mouth, the sides of his face, and when Draco turns his head to give Harry better access, Harry slides his tongue down to his neck, nipping the skin there and marveling at the sounds leaving Draco’s lips. They undress each other slowly, Harry working his way down Draco’s body before he slips the impossibly tight jeans down his legs and onto the floor to join his own trousers. They pause then, their breaths mingling hotly as they see each other completely naked for the first time. Harry has to admit that he’s more scared now than he has ever been before and his heart jumps in his chest at the adoring smile on Draco’s lips. He wants it to be good for Draco, he wants to take care of him, to make Draco fall apart in the best way possible.

When Harry enters him a while later, it is with the utmost care; Draco’s eyes have fluttered closed, his hands, his nails leaving hot trails on his shoulders as he grasps for purchase. Harry has to fight his urge to just go, he knows Draco is still adjusting to him, but then Draco opens his eyes, and their faces are so close that Harry can see just how long his lashes are against his skin, his cheeks burning hot and pink with exertion.

Harry…”

Harry finds it surprising how much his heart wants to burst at the way Draco says his name, as though that one word, his name, holds so much meaning. Harry begins to move, taking his cues from the sounds of bliss coming from Draco, and Harry wants to swallow each one of them whole. He kisses Draco, wanting him to taste himself on Harry’s tongue. Harry pulls away, burying his face in the crook of Draco’s neck, knowing he won’t last much longer. He knows the exact moments before Draco loses himself. His hands have traveled to the back of Harry’s neck and he pulls him back enough so that their eyes can meet. Draco’s breathing hard and fast, his eyebrows furrowed, and his lips parted before his eyes fall closed and his head tilts back. Harry reaches up quick, his hand on Draco’s face and kisses him, muffling the sound of pleasure that leaves him. And Harry follows right after, his body shaking with every pulse, and he can’t help the words that fall from his mouth, a truth he’s known for a long time, to settle at the edges of Draco’s lips.

“I love you. I love you.”

“Me too.”

My thoughts on BatB 2017 - Part 2: The Ending

Part 1: The Songs | Part 2: The Ending | Part 3: The New Scenes | Part 4: What I Loved | Part 5: Things That Bothered Me


* MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD *

The Reunion/Transformation/Ending

I won’t lie to you, the final sequence was a bit of a letdown for me. I am sure I will warm up to it in time, but as it was…I just didn’t feel it was intense enough…romantic enough…satisfying enough…

The reunion scene in the original animated movie is so powerful and so damn romantic: the Beast climbs to reach Belle, her small hand almost disappears in his big clawed one, he strokes her hair, she relaxes under his touch and you can see that for one precious moment the entire world disappeares for them.

Originally posted by partofyourtaleasoldastime


The live-action version just doesn’t do it justice. I had a very clear idea of this scene: Belle running into Beast’s arms as soon as he gets to her, Gaston attacking him from behind, Belle saving the Beast’s life and dragging him to the balcony… I need to see the movie again to be sure but I didn’t get the feeling of love and urgency I have every time I watch the animated version. They didn’t even touch that much in the new movie? And there was no “Romeo and Juliet” moment which was a shame since the movie referenced the play several times.

I don’t know if I am happy with the fact that in the 2017 adaptation it’s the Enchantress who reverses the spell. The Beast dies, his servants turn into lifeless objects, the rose loses its last petal and then Belle says “I love you”. Witnessing her proclamation, the Enchantress restores the Beast to life and to his human form and as he and Belle kiss, the servants become human again and the castle is restored to its former glory: much like in the original movie. Still, with Belle admitting her love after the last petal fell, the Enchantress’s intervention felt too much like a deux ex machina to me.

It doesn’t help that Dan Stevens’s screen time after the transformation is way too short and his and Belle’s dialogue is limited to a very short exchange during their celebration dance when she teases him “How would you feel about growing a beard?” - to which he laughs (actually he gives almost a Beast-like growl, which is cute). It’s not a terrible line - unlike some other people I wouldn’t interpret it as “she tries to change him already” or something like that (which would be very ooc for Belle too, so she is joking). But it doesn’t fit the scene either. This was a perfect chance to reference some of their past dialogues, Belle could quote Shakespeare and the Prince could answer her, they could make plans to travel the world together, or she could ask his freaking name, but no, we get a teasing line regarding his appearance. Like I say, it’s not too terrible, it just feels flat. And hey, he’s still nameless, I am so fucking angry about that.

Cinderella’s prince gets a name in the new movie but one of the most iconic Disney characters remains simply “the Beast”? How fucking hard is it to finally make the name “Adam” canon?

Also, no second kiss and no swirling Belle around. Oh my gods, I am such a romantic thrash. But I did miss it.

The Hunter & The Huntress

Summary: Modern twist on a classic tale of Beauty & The Beast. In a small town in the middle of nowhere, Gaston (Luke Evans) and his team of hunters fight off beasts that roam near their home. They keep the towns people safe and maintain order, till one night a young girl goes missing in the woods.

They send search parties after search parties into the forest to find the girl, but with no luck. Over time, reports of other young woman to roll in and the town begins to panic.

Gaston and his team decided to go deeper into the forest than they have been before. They find themselves face to face with beasts they’ve never seen before. When Gaston loses more than half his team, he decides to reach out for help.

Word gets it a master hunter name Eric (Michael Fassbender) and he heads off to aid the town. He brings with him a team of skill hunters, including his two sons, Michael (Tom Hardy) and Gabriel (Jai Courtney) and his daughter Belle (Crystal Reed).

The townspeople, couldn’t believe a female hunter could exist. People begin to harass Belle and tease her that she was only good for bait. However, Gaston sees Belle for who she really is, a beautiful huntress. But he’s not the only one that takes notice, the beast now has his eyes set on Belle.

Can Gaston, Belle, and the hunters stop this beast rain of terror and retriever the missing girls? Or will the beast over power them and claim Belle for his own? Find out in, The Hunter & The Huntress.

(Banner created by me using canva.com. Transparency done by @wadeyourebarelyalive)

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Tale as old as time (A short Batb fanfic)

I’ve mentioned in a few of my Beauty and the Beast headcanon posts a headcanon in which Belle and Adam’s daughter and Lumière and Plumette’s children put on plays for the castle and the villagers. This cute little scene kept playing in my head so I thought I would write it out and share the fluff.

If you’re interested, my related headcanon posts are here, here and here.

Summary – Adam and the children put on a little play as a surprise for Belle’s birthday.

A/N – I hope you enjoy this silly little fanfic! Writing it made me happy at the very least. Ready? Alright! Here we go…

Originally posted by imwhe

It was a joyous evening at the castle. The dining room was alive with the sounds of friendly chatter as a crackling fire danced in the fireplace. Prince Adam had invited their closest friends from the village to the castle for a dinner party in celebration of Belle’s birthday. Plumette and Belle were having a lively literary discussion with Père Robert, while LeFou and Stanley laughed with the Potts family. At the end of the meal Lumière gave Adam a conspiratorial signal and a smile. Adam stood, clinking his glass for an announcement.

“I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight to celebrate my beautiful wife’s birthday. Now, if you would all kindly adjourn to the library, the princess and her friends have prepared a little entertainment for us tonight.”

“Entertainment?” Belle asked curiously, as they got up from the table.

Adam just smiled and offered her his arm. “You’ll see.”

As they made their way into the library, they found Lumière’s seven year old son, Soleil setting up a makeshift stage, his twin sister Luna sorting through a box of handmade props with Belle’s daughter Rosie. Chip was standing by patiently as the two girls used his lanky arms as a costume rack.

“Ah! Welcome madames and monsieurs! Welcome. Welcome. Come, come. Sit. Make yourselves comfortable. Help yourself to some cake madame!” Soleil greeted, wheeling over a cart of desserts to the adults as they seated themselves. “As you all know, I am Soleil. I will be your story teller for this evening. In honor of the lovely Madame Belle’s birthday, we would like to present you with a tale near and dear to all of our hearts. A tale as old as time, yet not so very long ago… Are we ready, mademoiselles?”

Rosie and Luna gave him a thumbs up from their “backstage” behind one of the couches.

“Très bien! Than it is without further ado that we present the tale of “Beauty and the Beast!””

Belle looked over at Adam as they applauded, her eyebrow raised inquisitively. He chuckled as he handed her a piece of cake.

“Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a young prince lived in a shining castle” Soleil began. He offered Adam a hand up from the couch and led him out to the makeshift stage. Adam shot Belle a wink.

“Although he had everything, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. Then one winter’s night an old beggar woman came to the castle…” Soleil continued as Luna entered the stage in a hooded cloak. “And offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold! Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince turned her away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for true beauty is found within. When the prince dismissed her again, she revealed that she was truly an enchantress! As punishment for his cruelty, she turned the prince into a beast and placed a spell on the castle and all who lived there…”

Chip held up finger puppet versions of the enchanted castle staff over the top of the couch, improvising a quiet falsetto chorus of reactions for them.

Luna tossed back her cloak, waving her fingers at him. “Uncle Highness, bend down.” She whispered. Adam bent over so that she could reach his head. She placed a fluffy hat on his head to turn him into the “beast.” Luna led Adam to the side of the stage, Adam playfully baring his teeth with a little “grr” at the crowd as he made his exit.

Belle glanced over to Plumette, doing her very best to control a laugh.

“Now the rose the enchantress had offered was truly an enchanted rose. If the prince could learn to love another, and earn their love in return before the last petal fell, the spell would be broken. As the years past the prince lost hope, for who could ever learn to love a beast? Well…” Soleil explained “As fate would have it, there was a certain young maiden of exceptional mind and heart living in a nearby village.”

Rosie entered the stage, her nose in a book.

“While the maiden was exceedingly beautiful and kind, her village thought she was incredibly strange because she loved to read. They were a simple minded people, lacking in imagination as well as literacy, which left the maiden feeling quite alone. She longed for adventure beyond her quiet provincial life and for someone who understood and shared her interests. This village was also home to the villain of our story, a brutish huntsman adored by the village for reasons unknown.”

Stanley began to raise his hand as if to volunteer. LeFou immediately pulled his arm down.

“That’s not funny.” He chided. Stanley grinned and shrugged in surrender.

Instead of calling for a volunteer from the audience, Soleil produced a red handkerchief from his pocket and began to tie it around his neck as he continued his narration.

“Now the huntsman was a vain sort of fellow –Narcissus himself didn’t enjoy his own reflection as much as this guy– and when he found himself taken by our fair maiden’s beauty, he vowed to make her his bride.”

Soleil puffed out his chest and sauntered over to Rosie.

“Mademoiselle it is time you get your head out of those silly books and focus your attention on more important things… Like being my wife!” He stated in an exaggerated macho voice, knocking the book from her hands.

“Ew, no!” Rosie said in disgust, picking up her book and walking away. This drew several chuckles from the crowd and an audible snort from Adam off stage.

Soleil removed his handkerchief and continued his narration “Unsurprisingly, the maiden had no interest in marrying the huntsman. Despite her many firm refusals, he would still persist in demanding her hand. While the huntsman sulked over her rejected, our heroine went in search for her missing father, who had not returned from his trip to the market the day before. She soon found herself in a mysterious castle, where her father was being held prisoner by a beast after attempting to pick a rose from the castle garden as a gift for her. Knowing her father would surely die if he stayed in the castle dungeon, the maiden took her father’s place as the beast’s prisoner. This beast of course was none other than our enchanted prince.”

Luna held up a sign from behind the couch that read “Ooooh!”

Adam entered the stage again to stand next to Rosie. They both crossed their arms, making silly, antagonistic faces at each other.

“The maiden and the beastly prince were off to a rough start. But as time passed, they found they had more in common than they realized. They soon became friends, and then perhaps something even more…”

Adam and Rosie allowed themselves to laugh at the silly faces they had been making. Adam took his daughter’s hands and began to dance with her. From behind the couch Chip made the finger puppet staff dance along the couch with them while Luna held up a sign that read “Awwwww!” producing a mix of “awwws” and laughter from the audience.

“While the maiden had finally found a kindred spirit in our enchanted prince, she missed her father terribly. They soon learned through the use of a magic mirror that her father was in great danger as the huntsman had taken him captive until he agreed to promise him his daughter’s hand in marriage. The beastly prince immediately granted the maiden her freedom so that she might save her father, even though he feared it meant losing her forever. The maiden tried to reason with her father’s captor, but they soon found the huntsman had riled an angry mob and was off to attack the castle!”

New puppet versions of an angry mob started marching across the back of the couch.

“The huntsman had come to slay our beastly hero, having learned the enchanted prince had gained the maiden’s affections when he could not!” Soleil explained, once again tying on the red handkerchief.  “There was a mighty duel!” Soleil began to scale one of the bookcase ladders to duel with Adam.

“When our beastly prince was distracted by the return of his love, the huntsman took a dirty shot and blasted the prince in the back. Pow!”

Adam pretended to stumble back and lay on the floor.

“But the castle’s enchantment was causing it to crumble, and the huntsman soon fell to his doom! Aaaaaah!…” Soleil jumped off the ladder to the floor.

Rosie knelt by Adam as he lay on the floor doing his best not to smile. “I love you.” She said sweetly and kissed his forehead.

Soleil undid his handkerchief as he concluded his narration “With the maiden’s declaration of love coming as the last rose petal fell, the enchantress returned and lifted her curse!” Luna danced in and started tossing rose petals and confetti around them. Adam stood up and removed his beast hat, picking up Rosie and twirling her around happily. Then setting her down, he walked to Belle, adding to the narration.

“With the spell broken and their humanity restored, the castle celebrated for weeks on end. The prince and the maiden were wed. And…”

Belle smiled as Adam took her hand and brought her to stand with him. “And they lived happily ever after.” She finished.

The couple smiled at each other as their friends cheered, the children taking their bows. Rosie came and joined them, hugging her mother.

“Did you like our show?” she asked.

“I think it might be my new favorite play.” Belle replied with a smile.

“I told you this would win out over Romeo and Juliet.” Adam congratulated his daughter.

Belle crinkled her nose at his playful ribbing, but couldn’t help but smile. “Happy Birthday, Belle.” Adam said, kissing Belle’s hand.

Turning to their friends, he added “Who wants more cake?”

A Lanayru Sunset

Author: Lizziebearfanfiction (Me)
Rating: T/M (Language, Mild Sexual Content)
Genre: Romance
Pairing: Link x Sidon

Description:

Sidon hadn’t been around the last few times he visited the Lanayru region – off on business, as he was the newly appointed ambassador for the Zora, now that Zelda had restored the castle and taken her place on the throne. They seemed always to switch places, Sidon and Link. When one was at the castle, the other was at the sea, thinking of him.

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Beaufort Castle

Beaufort Castle is located near Beauly in Inverness-shire in Scotland. There has been a castle on this site since the 12th century. The original castle was built by the Byset family, but ownership moved to the Fraser’s in the late 13th century and it became the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. The castle was besieged by the English in 1303, and then attacked and burned by Oliver Cromwell’s forces in the 1650’s. Simon Fraser, 12th Lord Lovat inherited the castle in 1699. Simon Fraser believed in the Jacobite cause and found himself exiled to France and then imprisoned for carrying messages to Scotland. He returned to Scotland in 1714 and renounced the Jacobite cause in return for his estates and a full pardon. He planned to construct a new house, but the construction was never started due to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, in which Lovat had continued his allegiance, regardless to telling the English Crown otherwise. Simon was captured and executed after the Battle of Culloden and the title of peerage was attained, but restored in 1857. Beaufort Castle was razed by the Duke of Cumberland. The castle was considered forfeit and run by the Forfeited Estates Commissioners, this commission was appointed by parliament and in charge of disposing of confiscated estates. A small house was built on the site of the demolished castle around 1746 to house the estate manager. In 1774, the house was returned to Lovat’s son, Simon Fraser of Lovat, who commanded the 78th Fraser Highlanders for the British Army. In 1815, the estate was inherited by Thomas Fraser of Strichen who commissioned the house to be extended. It was his son Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat who built the baronial mansion that is seen today, which incorporated part of the 18th century house. The castle was sold in 1994 to meet inheritance taxes. Beaufort Castle boasts 23 rooms, a private Catholic Chapel, and a stone wall of the original Dounie Castle. The property once sat on 189,500 acres with walled gardens and ornamental walks, but the land was divided into 39 lots when the estate was sold. The castle is not open to the public.