Welcome back to the Norrington legacy! For those of you just tuning in, this saga is Victorian themed with all the handicaps that follow. 1) no pre-marital or extra-marital woohoo within the legacy family. 2) males inherit except in extenuating circumstances. times are changing 3) no modern appliances or electronics... you get the picture. The grand manor you see before you, gentle readers, is the home of Mr. Severus William Rutherford. A neighbor to the Norrington family and he has sportingly agreed to host this chapter for us. Though why he insisted we arrive after dark is beyond my delicate comprehension. It has been whispered that he's a bit eccentric. Shall we let ourselves in?
Ah, here is our host. Mr. Rutherford? Mr. Rutherford, Sir? If I may... could we have a word? Meet Severus. He's a relatively young man, in his early thirties and quite accomplished as well. The last of his father's bloodline, he is consistently being encouraged to take a wife by his maternal uncle.
But the brooding gentleman prefers his quiet solitude, with only his hired help for company. He enjoys his books and has no desire to share his immaculate home with some vapid female. Which Miss Poppy Harrison is not. Housekeeper of the home, Poppy takes no nonsense and has been looking after Severus since he was a boy. She keeps busy running the manor to her Master's strict standards... so much so that it's near impossible to get a picture of her face.
And here's Mr. Oliver Wilkes, the houseman. Just out of his teens, Oliver has no intention of devoting his entire life to the Lord of the house. He simply hopes to make enough money to secure himself a house and then he'll find a wife.
He seems to have a taste for older women if his inappropriate fancy for Poppy is to be judged. But she'll have none of it.
Both Poppy and Oliver help Severus run his Antique shop in town. It is a fine establishment and I recommend it to all in search of odd and interesting curios.
Ah, Mr. Rutherford, We seem to have your attention at last. Would you be so kind as to give our fair readers a recap on the goings on of the Norrington family? "Hm, the Norringtons... yes I suppose. You will be leaving straight away wont you? I dare say I'm not one for company and have no desire to play host to unwanted guests." So it's been said. You have my word; we will be off just after.
"I'll have you know I introduced myself to Mr. Norrington when he first purchased the plot next door. Say what you will but I'm not above being neighborly... "And I'm afraid I found him to be drastically uncultured and unkempt. We had not a thing in common. I've not made such an effort since." Be that as it may, could you please continue with the recap Mr. Rutherford? "Very well."
"Last I heard, the man succeeded in expanding his ridiculous brood. Four children spawned from the loins of his long suffering wife and two more from the workhouse. Though why anyone with an ounce of common sense would allow that pauper to adopt... Moving on... “ There's the eldest boy Asher Michael, who despite his unfortunate upbringing may make something of himself yet..."
"Trace happens to be one of the orphaned mongrels Mr. Norrington brought home. At least the boy has the sense to keep silent and off my property."
"Miss Abigail Virginia shows great promise. I can not find fault with this young lady in the making."
"Though the other adopted spawn, Miss Lora, will make some utter sap a wonderfully dutiful and brainless housewife. She smiles so often it causes my own face to ache in sympathy."
"Then there's Miss Alice Mackenzie... There's certainly something odd about that little girl. Though I imagine it stems from her being far more intelligent than of her siblings. I'm sure that would cause anyone to stand out."
"Lastly, there is Miss Annie Winnefred and what can be said about an infant? I just pray she stays out of my trees when she's old enough to run wild. Though, considering the rest of the tribe, I don't hold much hope for that. “ Whatever Mrs. Norrington was thinking when indulging her ridiculous husband, I can not say. She must have the patience of a saint, that woman."
"Word is, Mr. Norrington has now gotten it into his head to set his children up for higher education." sniggers "I must admit myself amused at such a notion. Though I suppose the man is to be admired his lofty goals. It is, after all, the dreamers that make progress possible." That's high praise indeed coming from you, Mr. Rutherford. "Let it not be said that I am stingy with my compliments."
"That will be all Madam." Oh... oh yes. Of course. We'll just leave you to your... never mind. So yes, let's get back to the Norringtons and see if the kids will get into private school. Shall we?
So Stuart had invited the dreaded headmaster for dinner in hopes that his children would benefit from a private education. (I forgot to catch his name. I think it's BJ so we'll call him Bartholomew Jones) "Asher dearest, Mr. Jones has arrived. Could you please call your sisters in from the cold. I'm worried they're frozen through by now." "Yes Mama."
"It was an accident sister, I swear!" "I would believe you Alice if not for that little smile of yours." Me too.
While Bartholomew was unimpressed with the Norringtons' home, he was charmed by Asher. The two had quite the conversation while Stuart looked on in awe. He was proud of his son's ability to hold his own with the upper crust of society. (by unimpressed I mean he gave us 8 points for the tour. ouch! and Stu kept losing points schmoozing. does anyone but me and Evy like him at all? lol. anyway, he claimed that it wasn't a suitable environment for a child. despite the fact that they're happily raising six of them)
Lora tried to improve the ambiance by playing some of her best songs. And dear Trace helped out by showing absolutely no interest in the proceedings at all.
Dinner was somewhat strained. Evelyn felt quite insulted by the Headmaster's attitude. She knew they were poor but that gave him no right to look down upon she and her husband. It took all of her good breeding to smile and play the perfect hostess when all she wanted to do was pour her dinner in Mr. Jones' lap. Stuart was blessedly oblivious to Bartholomew's obvious disgust and carried on with pleasant conversation.
But it wasn't until Stuart excused himself to put Annie to bed that the headmaster showed any interest in dinner conversation. Of course it was with Asher. He was just the sort of boy ol' Barty could see at their esteemed establishment. The boy was charming and witty. He was sure to make many friends in the future.
Mr. Jones begrudgingly gave dinner 50 points but it was Asher who saved the night. He schmoozed the pants off of that man. The children were accepted with one minute left on the clock. After hearing the good news, Evelyn was more than pleased to point the rude headmaster toward the door with a charming smile on her face.
"How did it go Papa?" "You've been accepted, Trace. Thank you for all your uh... all your help." "You're quite welcome Papa."
"Did you hear Annie?! I'm going to private school! Is not that wonderful? Just think of all the doors that shall be opened to me now!"
And so Winter slowly melted away to Spring and the guardian of the house was forced to give up his post. And all before he'd managed to make a friend.
The children began spending much more time out of doors, their small home far too cramped for six growing youngsters. "Oh Papa, you're home! Will you please pay catch with me?" "Uh... why don't you ask your brother dearest?" Yes, Asher and his matching personality thoroughly enjoyed a rousing game of 'hit me in the face' with his younger sibling. He and Alice were the only two who understood the humor. Their father watched from the relative safety of his greenhouse. (by matching, I mean exactly the same. yet they act so different)
Did I not tell you Annie would be different? Here she is escaping her crib to look for troubles unknown. I worry this independent streak of hers will follow her through adulthood. (Annie also was the first to show any interest in the toilet. only she never made it there. she was always intercepted by her well meaning family. lol)
With the snow gone, even Trace could be found outdoors. Though he only trusted his father with a ball. He was far too serious to be rough housing with his rambunctious siblings. Oh, Alice seems to have found a vict... I mean friend to play with. And it's the son of my Simself, Liz. Little Tristan Denbow.
My apologies young man. I should have given you proper warning. Oh Alice...
Lora found enjoyment in Spring cleaning. Which of course wasn't much different than Winter cleaning or Autumn and Summer cleaning or even everyday cleaning for that matter. But, it made her happy.
Ah... and pray tell whose birthday would it be now?
And Abigail is about to turn thirteen. A young lady, old enough to leave the nursery and have her own room. If only there were enough space in the house. Make a wish pet.
And she did grow up lovely, did she not? A fair English rose I would say. I imagine many a young man will fall victim to this one. She greatly desires the family life and seeks a husband who works hard and looks after himself. There is nothing more repulsive than a man who has let himself go. (reminder: 5 neat, 2 shy, 6 active, 7 playful, 6 nice)
And Trace as well? My my. Well get on with it young man .
Wow! Did he grow out of his awkwardness or what? I did not see that one coming. Trace predictably took after his mother with a want for knowledge. But he isn't above wanting a wife who can cook and keep house (both Abby and Lora have spoiled him for all women I think). And like his father and brother, he fears the undead... the smelly ones at least. (reminder: 5 neat, 8 outgoing, 6 active, 3 serious, 3 grouchy)
Annie too?! It is truly a busy day. The last toddler about to become a child. No wonder Evelyn has such a wide smile. And here she is in all her glory. Her first matter of business... the loo.
Pray tell, what is the matter Stuart? Oh I see... Four girls to see married, four dowries, four suitors to seek out. Yes, I do feel your pain there.
While Stuart broods on his looming responsibilities, Evelyn hums a little tune. Her last baby has grow up and she finally has the time to finish earning her skills. It is indeed a bright day. So happy she is about being able to read to her heart's content, she doesn't even notice the ridiculous dance her older children have discovered and are trying to master. Perhaps it's from France. (dancing will become all the rage in the Norrington household with so many teens running around)
"Trace, what seems to be the matter?" "You do not want to go in there Abby. Please just take me at my word." "Why ever not?" "Asher..."
Asher Michael Norrington! Honestly, you forget yourself young man! (on a side note... look at that boy's chest. damn he is lovely !all lean and catlike. yum)
Spring was officially here and the pond had thawed. While Alice and Annie celebrated with water fights and a rousing game of 'Three Musketeers'... Abby had other things on her mind. Abigail... No! You're just a girl. I know you are looking forward to having a family, but give it a few years my dear child.
Ah, Spring, when a young man's fancy turns to love. On this particular day, Asher met Miss Olivia Gordan (Tosha Go). Feeling the compulsion to make a good impression, Asher began talking about music and cultured things. But found he was uncomfortable pretending to be something he was not.
And so he told the truth about how their family started with his father, practically camping like a gypsy on the lawn. Olivia listened patiently, not giving away any of her thoughts on the subject. "I do apologize for talking so much Miss Gordan but I am simply so pleased to meet someone new. I have very little time for socializing outside of school."
"That is quite alright Mr. Norrington..." "Asher, please call me Asher. Mr. Norrington is my father." "Alright, Asher. What are your thoughts on Geography? I have a great interest in other cultures and foreign policies."
Meanwhile... "Trace, you're well learned aren't you?" "You could say that." "Then tell me, is there any such thing as ghosts?" "Of course there isn't Annie! Whoever put such nonsense in your head? Life beyond our plane of existence is a romantic notion made up to entertain the empty headed masses. You'll do well to forget such idle fancies and stick to the logic of science."
"So, what about creatures from outer space?"
Back outside Asher and Olivia were getting along like a house on fire. They both had aspirations for higher learning and travel and adventure. She agreed with his father's belief of living off the land and respecting nature. She even had a keen interest in fish. Asher was smitten. Soon the sun had set and Asher realized how inappropriate is was for them to be out after dark. "I hadn't realized how late it was. You must think me so uncivilized Asher." "Not at all Miss Gordan. This has perhaps been the best conversation in all my life. It's such a shame to see it end."
"Perhaps we shall talk again Asher." "I certainly do hope so. Goodnight Miss Gordan." "Goodnight to you kind Sir." Olivia surprised him when after a moment's hesitation she hugged him and then quickly excused herself, cheeks burning red. Asher stood there on the walkway staring into space for several minutes only muttering one word... "Wow."
Elsewhere in the house, Evelyn had quietly grown up with no fanfare but pleased as a peddler with a penny. Why, you ask? Simply put, she was guaranteed to have no more children. Ah, middle age is a fine time for a woman with half a dozen offspring, is it not Evy?
"Papa?" "Yes love?" "Isn't it my birthday?" "Indeed it is." "So... where is everyone?" So young perfect Lora was turning thirteen with only one wish on her sweet little mind...
"Papa... I feel strange." "Must be the icing. It left me feeling poorly as well. Have a sit and read dear, it shall distract you."
'And Lady Genevieve lay back upon the grass, her golden tresses fanned out in a halo around her body. Sir Galahad leaned in and breathed lustful hot air upon her fair face. "Will you wait for me my love?" "I shall count the days." She promised and then spoke to herself in a sinful whisper. "But not the Knights ."' Yes, apparently she wished for an endless supply of suitors, for perfect Lora rolled romance of all things. Now the little dear can think of nothing but kisses, kisses and more kisses. I always knew she was hungry for love. Abandonment issues. Her dream Knight (at least one of them) must be an artist with a dashing mustache. But no werewolves need apply. (reminder: 4 sloppy, 4 shy, 4 lazy, 7 playful, 6 nice)
At least there are still some innocents in the house.
"Oh Lora, I'm awful sorry for missing your birthday celebration last night. I was... preoccupied." "I quite understand brother. Do you happen to remember my first day here?" "Yes... I believe so. Why?"
"AUUUGGGHHHH!!" (I'll say it again... I love these kids!)
"Miss Gordan, what a pleasant surprise. To what do I owe the honor of your company?" "I had heard you were leaving for University shortly and I worried I would miss you." Oh that is absolutely darling. You two are so sweet together. (though I will say that's not Olivia's best angle)
"Excuse me Madam, but I am attempting to woo here." My apologies. Do carry on.
Perhaps it was because he was leaving in only hours that emboldened Asher to kiss his lady fair. Whatever the reason, it was well received. Olivia seemed just as smitten as Asher. (twas true. she's crazy about him. and quite forward about it as well) "I would like very much to write to you while I'm away. Perhaps even visit on occasion. Would you consent to my suit?" "But of course. I look forward to it." "Shall we seal the deal?" "Oh, yes please!"
What can be said other than they're a match made in heaven. *sigh*
"So I will write you once a week. I suppose this is where I must bid you adieu." "Goodbye Asher."
And so our firstborn arranges for a carriage in order to leave the nest. And for the first time he begins having adult oriented wants: earn money, win contests, go to college. My Asher has grown up. Sob! The family gathers around to say goodbye and father and son share a poignant moment. Evelyn watches her boy leave while Stuart listens to his girls natter on about how fortunate their brother is to be traveling and seeing the world.
"Asher wait!" "Alice, the carriage is waiting. I'll miss my train." But he does wait and grants his little sister one more hug and a kiss to her forehead before telling her to behave. And then he was gone. I know Alice... I'll miss him also.
Despite the gaping hole made by Asher's absence, life moved on in the Norrington household. And it was Stuart's birthday this time around. Everyone seems thrilled except the birthday boy... oh and Alice of course. She didn't take her brother leaving too well. Stuart reluctantly blew out his candles and watched the smoke rise and fade, much like his youth.
"Well? How do I look?" "As handsome as the day I married you dearest." "Most dashing Papa." I agree Stuart. You aged quite nicely though I believe you've acquired a most jaded air to your person. I think you've taken Asher leaving as poorly as Alice. Don't worry yourself so. He'll return in a few years, wife in tow. I promise.
Later on as the children sat down for dinner, Abby made an announcement: "I was thinking of choosing a more sophisticated style. I am a young lady now and should look the part. What do you think would look nice on me Lora?" "How about a big, floppy hat that covers your face?" "Hush Alice. Just because you're out of sorts."
"Honestly Alice, a hat? How unfashionable. However would any young men see her pretty hair?" Annie sighed. "Is she serious?" Meanwhile Abby's stomach growled painfully. She had been purposely missing meals in order to lose a couple inches on her corset.
"When was the last time you ate a full meal Abby? I trust that any future suitors will find that sound disturbing at best. No matter how attractively thin they think your waistline to be." "Oh Trace, what would you know about it? The only love you've ever had is with that chess board." "Well it certainly has more sense than any of you girls." Lora continued to prattle on. "Now if she were to consider shoes, that would be an entirely different matter..."
Stuart watched his remaining children bicker with a depressed sigh. With Asher gone, the balance of the house was shifted. And it would only get worse with each departure. That's right Stuart. Focus on getting those girls married.
Olivia was also missing our resident adventurer. awwwwww
Evelyn ordered her daughter to play something cheerful in hopes it would improve the mood in the house. And during the distraction, Abigail decided to slip into town unchaperoned and without permission. What is she up to? Will Alice and Stuart ever smile again? Tune in next time to find out. ( thanks again to all the talented cc makers out there. most especially MTS2 and All About Style) ------->
And here are the outtakes from Olivia and Asher's mating dance... "Would you allow me the pleasure of courting you, Miss Gordan?"
"I fail to see the humor in that request." "Oh, You were serious." "Why yes I was. I would like very much if you would step out with me." "Alright kind Sir, I'd be delighted."
"AAHHHHHHHH! This isn't what I had in mind!"
"How could you Asher? I thought you were a gentleman!" "I do apologize. I'll admit to some unruly behavior. My home has always been a bit of a madhouse and my parents have never bothered correcting my behavior. But I shall attempt to curb my exuberance in the future." "Well then, you're forgiven. Shall we continue our outing?" "With pleasure."
“ Asher!!!” lol. thanks for reading, see you next time around.