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Fanfic / The Dark One's Keeper

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The Dark One's Keeper is a Once Upon a Time fanfic by fringeperson.

Belle, rather than her father, contacts the Dark One to rid her home of the ogres - and she does it years earlier. Naturally, this changes things. Them included.

The fanfic can be found on

The Dark One's Keeper provides examples of:

  • For Want of a Nail: Because Belle decided to take the initiative and make her deal with Rumpelstiltskin (several years before even he anticipated), there have been alterations to certain events.
    • Having built up years of trust with Rumpelstiltskin, they were both able to fool Regina into thinking that she and Belle were planning against her, recreating the fight they had in "Skin Deep”. Because all of it was faked, Belle was never captured by Regina, leaving Belle to further impact the story.
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    • As Elvira, she was able to dig into Emma’s files and through quick searching an educated guessing found out that Henry’s biological father Neal Cassidy was actually Baelfire and that Mr. Gold was Henry’s grandfather. This leads to her inviting him to Storybrooke, allowing him to learn about the situation long before the curse is broken and making amends with his father and Emma, leading to her breaking the curse early.
    • Because Baelfire came to Storybrooke long before the cruse was broken and thus Mr. Gold did not need magic to track him down, Mr. Gold did not need magic returned to Storybrooke. When Hook came to poison Mr. Gold with dreamshade it was Belle that returned magic to Storybrooke to use the magic candle to save him and kill Cora.
    • Having known about the Dark One’s brand, Belle was able to resurrect Rumpelstiltskin without either her or Baelfire dying tragically.
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  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Downplayed. Having been her only friend for years, Belle developed a fondness for Rumpel just as he does for her. It is not until the moment the Dark Curse takes them does she confess that he loves them and they spark a relationship not long after they regain their memories in Storybrooke.
  • The Jeeves: Having been in his service since she was fourteen, Belle acts as Rumpelstiltskin's maid and scribe. She does the laundry, the cleaning, gardening, organizing and record-keeping, managing to keep track of all of his deals and anticipating his every need. She managed to read every book in his library and, due to a photographic memory, was able to learn every magical skill and theory while being smart enough not to practice it willy nilly. By the time the Dark Curse is struck, she has become the only person he really trusts with anything. This is all made even more apparent as Elvira, being able to attend to all of his needs both at work and at home without his magic and a bad leg.
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  • Luxury Prison Suite: While still not pleasant, the dungeon with the Charmings keep Rumpelstiltskin in was acclimated to house Belle with him so that she can honor her deal with him. Because of this, Grumpy made sure her housing was much more cozy.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Due to knowing how Rumpelstiltskin works (and having seen her fair share of blood killing and cooking the animals they keep in the barn), Belle only pretended to feel sorry for Robin Hood as he was being tortured in a plan that she and her master concocted to find out why he would do something as blatantly dumb as break into the Dark Castle and steal something from it. This can also apply to virtually all of her actions, standing by and doing nothing to better or worsen the various situations the people around her are in out of an awareness that things will be different in the long run.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Rumpelstiltskin implies that Belle is a descendant of Taran and Eilonwy.
  • The Runaway: Belle contacted and made her deal with Rumpelstiltskin as a young teenager without her father knowing as has not seen him since.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Since Mr. Gold did not need to send Emma down to return magic to Storybrooke, Belle was the one who ventured down to face Maleficent, who was able to bargain with her for the golden egg she was guarding.
  • Techno Wizard: As a carryover from her record-keeping skills as Belle, Elvira is shown to be an expert with her laptop, being able to hack into Storybrooke’s camera feed and was even able to learn everything about Emma Swan through all of her official records within a day of her arrival in town.
  • Undying Loyalty: A defining trait with Belle. She is possibly the only person to ever keep her end of the bargain with Rumpelstiltskin without ever trying to find a way out through bargaining or flat-out trying to run. She ignores nearly every opportunity presented to her to escape her servitude to Rumpel out of the obligation she made with him and has since become his closest friend and the only person he truly trusts.


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