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The Heir of Longbourn Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction

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                     The Heir of Longbourn
                         By Kendra Crispin

                           Jump to new as of May 25, 2000
                           Jump to new as of May 29, 2000
                         Jump to new as of December 18, 2000


                                        Prologue
                            Posted on Friday, 21 April 2000
   Over eight and twenty years ago, Mr. Thomas Bennet of Hertfordshire met a Miss
Frances Gardiner, also of Hertfordshire. Mr. Bennet was of a mind to get married, and as
          Miss Gardiner was a very handsome girl, he soon proposed to her.
             *sigh* We all know what is to happen because of that action.
 Soon Mr. Bennet realized that his new bride was not of an understanding or intelligent
 nature. She did not understand his humor or his teasing her, nor did she know when to
               hold her tongue. Frequently, she spoke in a shrill manner.
       Ah, Dear Old Mrs. B... She could make someone go deaf with that voice!
              When things did not go her way, she fancied herself nervous.
                                Well, we all know *that!*
 She was also in the habit of spending more than she ought. Mr. Bennet had to curb his
wife's spending habits very firmly. And so all of Mr. Bennet's hopes of domestic felicity
were destroyed. His only comforts were his mother, Mrs. Robert Bennet, his three sisters
   - Anna, Rachel, and Grace - and the entertainment he could find in his wife's silly
                                       behavior.
For the comedic entertainment value she gave would have cost Mr. Bennet a fortune at
                                   the theatres!
His mother, whose name was Rose, could at times curb her daughter-in-law's habits, but
                                    not often.
             After all, it's very difficult to get Mrs. Bennet Jr. to give way.
But he soon received more comfort. A year after his marriage, a son, Andrew, came into
the world. Declared the handsomest boy ever seen, he was expected to be a credit to the
                                      family.
 Five years after Andrew's birth, five sisters came one-by-one into the world. First came
 Jane, a golden angel to all who knew her. Two years later came Lizzy, the apple of her
  father's eye besides Andrew. Two more years later, Mary came into the world. Only a
 year later, Kitty followed, and finally, two years later, Lydia marked the last child Mr.
                          and Mrs. Thomas Bennet would have.
                   And now you can learn what became of them all.
  What became of Mr. Bennet's sisters, you ask? Anna was as unlucky as her brother in
marriage. She was persuaded to marry a Mr. Collins, a distant cousin of the family. At the
time he had seemed to be a good man, but he soon turned out to be a misery and illiterate
man. Anna gave birth to a son, William, but she died soon after. A disagreement quickly
  came between the families, and Mr. Collins cut all ties to his late wife's family. None
were terribly sorry to not have to deal with him, but they were worried to varying degrees
                           about what would become of William.
 If they had known then what he would become, do you think they would have kept up
                        ties with their disagreeable relation?
  Rachel and Grace were far more fortunate. The year her nephew William was born,
  Rachel married Sir John Edwards of Yorkshire. Sir John was an intelligent man with
  good humor and wit, and so he and Lady Edwards were very happy. Three children,
    Tom, Anna, and Rose, came into their household, making their lives complete.
Grace made an even more fortunate alliance. At the same time that Sir John was courting
 Rachel, the family's distant cousins, the Bennets of Greenwood in Devonshire, came to
   visit. Longbourn had come into the Bennet family when a lady-in-waiting of Queen
  Elizabeth, who had been given Longbourn, married the second son of the then Earl of
      Greenwood. Ties between the families had been weak, but the current Earl, Sir
 Christopher, chose to reconnect with the Longbourn cousins. He quickly became good
friends with Sir John and Mr. Bennet, but Miss Grace caught his eye and later his heart.
He had the good fortune to capture hers, and so they were married on the same day as her
 sister and Sir John. Five children were born to them, Adam, Henry, Grace, Andrea, and
                                           John.
   Getting tired of all these family ties? Do not fret. I am moving on to other things.
All of those boys went to Cambridge at sixteen. After Andrew graduated, he felt a wish to
increase his family's wealth. He chose to enter into business with his uncle, Mr. Gardiner.
 His uncle and his business partners all saw the young man's keen business sense and put
 it to good use. Soon the business was booming. Mr. Bennet invested some of his money
     in it, and saw a handsome profit. He found himself able to increase his daughter's
fortunes to six thousand pounds each and double their dowries. Andrew promised himself
                       that he too would increase his sisters' fortunes.
When Andrew was two and twenty, he was able to purchase a nice house in Gracechurch
 Street, where his uncle lived. After the house came into his possession, he went back to
 Hertfordshire to see his family. While there, he surprised nearly everyone by proposing
marriage to his old friend Charlotte Lucas. Few had suspected an attachment between the
two, and even fewer could believe that Andrew was in love with plain Charlotte. But he
  was, and despite all her professions about being unromantic, she gave up every one of
 them when she married Andrew. Most ladies who had met Andrew wailed in protest of
                              his "not marrying one of them."
     And he did nothing expect be himself. Not that his smashing good looks hurt.
   Sir William and Lady Lucas were delighted with the match. Charlotte would be the
 Mistress of Longbourn one day, and Andrew's future wealth prospects were excellent.
Charlotte's brothers were relieved that she would not end an old maid, and the girls were
happy because her marriage allowed them to come out a year or two earlier than they had
                                   thought they would.


                    Chapter 1 - Andrew and Charlotte's wedding
                             Posted on Friday, 19 May 2000
                                      Five Years Ago
I cannot believe this, Charlotte Lucas thought to herself. I am to married in less than half
an hour. To Andrew Bennet, of all people! Even though she had been engaged for over a
month, she still felt like pinching herself to be sure she wasn't dreaming. Andrew Bennet,
the most attractive man in all of Hertfordshire - and probably one of the handsomest men
                   in all the land - loved her and wanted her for his wife.
      Earning Charlotte the wrath of almost all of the single women and girls of
                                   Hertfordshire.
   She was in her room, for the last time as Miss Lucas, waiting with her bridesmaids.
Celeste, at seventeen and the maid of honor, would be Miss Lucas after today. Also in the
room were Jane Bennet, not yet seventeen, Lizzy Bennet, barely fifteen and out, the two
Miss Callaways - Samantha and Phoebe - and their elder sister, Kathryn, who had gotten
               married over two years earlier and was the matron of honor.
 I do not need to describe Jane and Lizzy as we all know what they look like by heart.
               However, a description of the others is perhaps required.
Celeste had dark hair like her sister, but she had green eyes, a fairer complexion, and was
the prettiest of the Lucas girls. Kathryn, with her red hair, sparkling dark blue eyes, semi-
  fair complexion, playful wit, and extensive intelligence, was spoken of as a flame that
 drew men in like moths. Samantha was a golden, blue-eyed beauty similar to her cousin
 Jane, but was considered not nearly as handsome. She was a quiet person, but had plenty
 of wit and intelligence, and was quite lively among those she knew well. Phoebe was by
       far the liveliest of the Callaway girls, with curly brown hair, gray-blue eyes, a
              complexion similar to Kathryn's, and a ready wit and intelligence.
The Callaways were a wealthy family of Hertfordshire and related to the Bennets because
 of Rose Bennet. She had been married to Mr. Walter Callaway before she had married
    Robert Bennet, and when Mr. Callaway died, leaving her with two sons and two
 daughters, she remarried after two years had passed. She loved her second husband as
      dearly as she loved her first, which set a standard for all of her children and
                                      grandchildren.
      And now onto the important stuff: Charlotte's last moments as Miss Lucas!
"Are you nervous, Charlotte," asked Kathryn, who was one of the most perceptive ladies'
                                     in the group.
   Charlotte sighed, "Yes, I am. I never thought that I would be able to marry for love
 because I am a plain girl. I always assumed that I would have to marry for comfort and
    material considerations. It is a shock that I have found someone as wonderful as
                                         Andrew."
 And thank goodness! As several people have said, she didn't deserve what she got in
                         the novel! It was grossly unfair!
  Jane and Lizzy smiled. They had always known their brother to be among the best of
           men, and were very happy that he was marrying their good friend.
 Kathryn, however, knew that Charlotte had not told her everything. "Is that all that is
worrying you?" When Charlotte paused Kathryn had an idea of what was bothering her.
                         "Is it about the wedding night?"
                           Oh, yes...that all-important topic...
Charlotte turned crimson, and the other girls blushed a bit as well. They all knew exactly
 what Kathryn meant. It took Charlotte a minute to compose herself enough to answer.
 "My...mother told me about it, but after she talked to me about it, I am a little uneasy
                                        about it."
 You get the feeling that Lady Lucas' talk was similar to what Mrs. Bennet would be
                                   likely to give?
 "Very well." Kathryn looked down to calm a blush of her own. "Let me say this much,
  Charlotte - and I suggest the rest of you listen carefully as well." Here she looked up
   again at Charlotte. "Most of society considers it as a...wifely duty." They heard her
 disdain towards that term. "However, you know that Andrew loves you and will never
hurt you, and if you love your husband, then you shall never think of it as a duty. Do you
                                      understand me?"
         Understanding washed over the faces of all the other girls in the room.
                                      As it should!
 Though Kathryn was three years Charlotte's junior, she was "the old hand" of the group
as far as matters of marriage were concerned, as she had been married for over two years.
   Furthermore, her husband had defied the wishes of some of his family and friends to
         marry her, so the girls knew that there were truly good men in the world.
 I sense you are all curious about the circumstances. Patience...that will be in a later
                                        chapter.
 Charlotte took Kathryn's hand and squeezed it. "Thank you, Kathryn. You have set my
            mind at ease. If anyone would know the truth about that it is you."
            "And I wish you and Andrew to be as happy as Tom and I am."
  Celeste laughed. "My, we certainly have had a little muddle for some time. Jane and
 Lizzy's father is named Thomas, Sir John and Lady Edwards' eldest son is called Tom,
 Kathryn calls her husband Tom - although he can also be known as Lord Derby, thank
 goodness - and her son is called Thomas. And if I heard him correctly, Lord Derby has
             both an uncle and a cousin named Thomas." She laughed again.
Quite a lot of Tom's and Thomas', don't you think? I'm in a bit of a muddle, too. Lots
      of characters. But I'll keep track of who's who. I'm the authoress. (grins)
 "It does make for interesting conversations," Lizzy archly observed. "Although to make
     them truly interesting we need to get that uncle and cousin of his into our group."
  Laughter and a general agreement to her statement followed. The laughter went a long
                     way towards easing the rest of Charlotte's worries.
  A good thing, too, because no bride wants to faint from worry on her wedding day!
 All of a sudden, there was a knock at the door. Charlotte took a deep breath. "Come in,"
                           she called out. Her mother came in.
                        "Charlotte, it is time to go to the church."
                                        Showtime!
"I am ready, Mother." As she spoke, Charlotte realized that it was true. She was on longer
 worried about the rest of the day. It would all turn out happily for all. Well, she thought
       with a small smile, for all except those who wanted Andrew to marry them.
           Yes, there was no way those ladies would be pleased today. (grin)
The ladies gathered all the items they required for the day, and then left. Charlotte paused
 to take one last look at the room she had grown up in, the room that one of her brother
   William's children would one day grow up in. She sighed, thinking of all the fond
                memories the room held, before walking out to her future.
A much happier one than she usually gets. (cheers from the Dwiggies and the RoP'ers)


Meanwhile, at the church, Andrew Bennet waited for the bridal party to arrive. With him
  was the rest of his family, the Gardiners, the Edwards', the rest of the Callaways, the
Bennets of Greenwood, the Richardsons, the Phillips', the Gouldings, and other families
 of Hertfordshire and friends from London. Also present were Lord Derby and his twin
                                children, Thomas and Katie.
 Andrew passed the time by pacing the area next to the altar, under the eye of the Lucas'
parson, and most of the male guests. After several minutes of watching his son pace, Mr.
Bennet said, "You shall wear yourself out, Andy. I do not think Charlotte would want to
        be met by a completely tired groom." Andrew simply glared at his father.
                 He wasn't in a mood for his father's sarcastic humor.
Lord Derby, however, took pity on his cousin. "Cousin, your worries shall leave you after
 you and Charlotte exchange vows. Just take a few breaths to calm yourself. She shall be
                                  here any minute."
                    Yes, we don't want you to faint, either, Andrew!
 Andrew paused and considered that. He remembered the day Kathryn and Lord Derby
   were married. His lordship's father had given him the same advice that day. He also
 recalled hearing about Kathryn's having been completely nervous about the whole day,
worries that were only calmed by a talk with her mother. He nodded a thank-you, and his
                              pacing slowed considerably.
                    Now he just had to work off the nervous energy.
Both of those two young men could be described as tall, fair, blue-eyed, and looking like
   a Greek god, but the similarities went no further then that. Both had short hair, but
Andrew's hair was straight and Lord Derby's was curly. Andrew's eyes were a deep blue -
 similar to his grandmother, sister, and some of his cousins while Lord Derby's were a
  lighter yet more intense blue. His lordship's features were more softly defined while
                    Andrew's were somewhat more sharply defined.
Yipee! I'm going to have to think twice about how I describe characters from now on!
                 But I'm sure I've set a few ladies into drooling fits.
Suddenly, the rest of the group came in, with Fanny Bennet in the lead. "The Lucas' and
the bridesmaids are here, Mr. Bennet! We must take our places. Oh, Andrew, straighten
                                     your jacket."
              Well, we had to be graced with her presence sooner or later.
  Mr. Bennet rolled his eyes at his wife's behavior, and his mother and son returned the
 gesture. The rest of guests quickly took their places. A few moments after, Lady Lucas
led the rest of her children to their seats while her two eldest sons, William and Michael,
 went up to the alter as they were standing up for Andrew as Best Man and Groomsman.
Once everyone was in place, Sir William led Charlotte down the aisle. The young couple
paid little attention to anything except each other. While Charlotte thought, He has never
   looked more handsome, Andrew was thinking, My dearest, you have never looked
                                           lovelier.
                     *sigh* The romantic sentimentality we all love.
 The two barely remembered the ceremony after that. It went perfectly in the eyes of all
  who attended, and the reception afterwards was just as lovely. Finally, the newlywed
 couple left for London, and joyous farewells were exchanged, along with promises of
                                         visits.
 If I tried to tell you everything that happened that day, I would go on for weeks, and I
          don't think you want me to do that. Not when there is so much to cover.
 It was already dark when Andrew and Charlotte Bennet arrived in their London home.
The servants Andrew had hired all greeted them, some of them had worked at Longbourn
and went with Andrew when he purchased the house. Charlotte had first seen it when she
   and her parents went to London for wedding clothes, and she loved it. Now the task
                       before her was to make it into a real home.
 But we all know that Charlotte is an active, useful person, so she will have no trouble
                                       with that.
Andrew turned to his new wife, looking at her with infinite tenderness, and Charlotte felt
her insides melt. "My dear, shall we...go to bed?" He was uncertain about how ready she
was for this aspect of their marriage, particularly after the talk he had with his father, who
           urged him to be careful when broaching the subject to his new bride.
           Mr. B. did not want his son to go through what he did in marriage.
  "My love, I am more than ready." At his slightly surprised yet happy look, she said,
  "Kathryn set my mind at rest on the matter. Shall we?" Her husband's answer was to
  smile, pick her up into his arms, and carry her to their room. And so began their life
                                         together.
 I think I just heard some of the Dwiggie ladies faint clean away. Or am I very much
                                      mistaken?


                                       Chapter 2
                           Posted on Thursday, 25 May 2000
                                       The Present
Tired from a long day of work, Andrew Bennet collapsed into a chair in the library of his
 London house. It was April and spring was in the air, but business was busy and he had
much work to do. He knew that it was not gentlemanly to slouch, but he was too tired to
                                        care.
                   Rest assured that he looked as handsome as ever.
  It was a good time for the family. Through keen business sense, hard work, and some
   luck, he and Mr. Gardiner had built one of the best lines of trade in the land. People
                          sought their advice on business deals.
    And as Andrew had promised himself, he had increased his sisters' fortunes. His
investments and his father's had allowed them to ensure that each girl got ten thousand
pounds. Furthermore, their generous uncles Sir John and Sir Christopher had each put a
 legacy for each girl into their wills. Sir John put down two thousand for each, and Sir
Christopher put down four thousand each. And all four men helped increase the dowries
                                  to a respectable level.
  For now I shall let the reader decide what a "respectable level" means in this case.
None of his sisters' were married yet. He had thought that sweet Jane would have married
by now, but he knew as well as most of his family did that she had just not met the right
                                         man yet.
            Hmm...one who has a similar disposition? Whom shall that be?
  Lizzy had certainly not met the right man yet. None of the men whose intelligence
equaled hers caught her fancy. She could not see any of them as more than a friend. She
             needs someone who will make an excellent sparring partner.
As one authoress had a character in another story say about Lizzy, "Whoever marries
                               her is in for a ride."
Mary...well, she's become more of a lady in the past few years, but who would be a good
 match for her? Probably a clergyman, because she is still into Fordyce's Sermons. But
   who would be able to handle her ways? She is still in the habit of giving advice and
lessons from books she has read. But at least she has become far better in conversations,
                             playing, singing, and dancing.
                               Yes! There's at least that!
 Kitty...I knew from when she was young that she would follow Lydia's example unless
wrested from it. Jane and Lizzy took on the challenge of making her into a lady, and they
have succeeded. Kitty is now very much like Lizzy, but with more of Jane's goodness. I do
                               not know who will suit her.
                                   Oh, I have an idea...
  Lydia. Here he groaned. She takes far too much after Mama. At least Grandma and
Father can keep her reasonably in line. Mrs. Bennet, Sr., Andrew, Jane, Lizzy, and even
Kitty had pressed Mr. Bennet for a long time to curb Lydia's behavior as it would likely
  cause disgrace to their family. Finally, after some additional pressure from Mother
Bennet - as she was also known - Mr. Bennet began restricting Lydia when her behavior
went out of line. He did give her a great deal of leeway, but if she did cross the line, she
             could expect to not be allowed to stir out of the house for days.
                             Yay! Go Mr. B.! Go Mother B.!
Before his thoughts could go much further, he heard the sounds of his family approaching
            the library, and then heard the doors open, and a stampede entered.
  Well, it always sounded like such, but he never minded. It was *his* little stampede
                                        after all.
"Papa!" Four of his children exclaimed that as they ran into the room. The fifth was in his
mother's arms - having been woken up from sleeping by his siblings' noises, but he didn't
                          cry - as she walked behind her brood.
 Andy was the eldest at four and was the splitting image of his father. He had the same
 good-natured face and blond hair, although he had his mother's dark eyes. Edward, his
        twin brother, looked like his aunt Lizzy, but with his father's blue eyes.
 It made for a very interesting appearance that was sure to attract the ladies' when he
 was grown. Whether he could compete with his brother in light of their father's effect
                on women is an issue that cannot be resolved at present.
 The girls' were also twins, and were two years old. Little Charlotte, called Lottie by her
family, looked like her mother, but had her father's eyes and was quite noticeably prettier.
 Rebeccah, called Becky, looked like her grandmother Bennet, but was already far better
  behaved. She had a very quiet manner, whereas the others were bolder. Although all of
                them were bundles of energy packed into small packages.
    Which made child-proofing - if there was such a thing at the time - important!
The baby's name was Robbie, and he resembled both of his parents. He had his mother's
 hair, mouth and complexion, and his father's face, eyes, and disposition - as far as they
                                      could tell.
  But as they are both so good at seeing what others' are about - and since they have
         four other children - how could they be wrong about their youngest?
  After Charlotte walked in, Jane, Lizzy, and Kitty followed. They had already been in
 town for a month and were to spend another three months with their brother, sister-in-
                              law, and nephews and nieces.
 Partly to get away from their mother, who had been driving them up a wall with her
                   adamant cries, "Find wealthy husbands, girls!"
By the time Kitty had walked in, the girls' were in their father's lap and the boys stood at
either side of the chair's armrests. They asked their father many excited questions about
how his day went, and their mother and aunts put in their own questions as well. But the
 children's interrogation of their father was interrupted by the housekeeper telling them
                                    that dinner was ready.
   They all sat down after Charlotte had the nanny, Mrs. Smith, take the now sleeping
   Robbie to the nursery. The girls had been deemed just mature enough to join them,
                       marking their first time at the dinner table.
                       Which Lottie and Becky were ecstatic over.
As they started eating, Andrew inquired as to how their day went. Charlotte spoke about
what the children did - with them putting in a few words of their own, Jane spoke of the
visit from Mrs. Gardiner, and Lizzy talked of plans for a shopping outing the next day.
  Kitty had been given the task of telling Andrew of the news from family members. She
told him about every bit of new information they had, saving the most important piece for
                last. "Oh, and Tom and Adam got married three days ago."
                                  No, not to each other!
 Andrew, who had been about to put a bite of meat into his mouth, put down his fork in
                                 shock. "What?!"
 Charlotte nodded, "It is true. We had letters from Aunt Rachel and Aunt Grace today."
Kitty continued, knowing her brother wanted details. "They and their parents and siblings
were visiting a family who is old friends of theirs. They are the Fitzwilliams of Matlock
                                     in Derbyshire."
           Bet you thought they wouldn't appear for a while, did you guys?
            "Matlock? That's Derby's mother's family," Andrew commented.
"And they, unlike his mother, Lady Elizabeth, and aunts Lady Anne and Lady Catherine,
                   approved his marrying Kathryn," Lizzy observed.
                  You'll have to wait for more information about that.
"Anyway," Kitty resumed, "they were married at five three days ago. Tom married Lady
 Deborah, and Adam married Lady Cassandra. Both ladies are the daughters of the Earl
 and Countess of Matlock, whom we met at Derby and Kathryn's wedding. Remember
                                     them?"
"Yes. We all liked them very much. I'm sure Mama had hopes of Jane catching Viscount
 Avon's attention, but that was not to be." Andrew shot a teasing look at Jane, who just
                               smiled and rolled her eyes.
  "And since then, she has been hoping that Lizzy and I would catch Adam and Tom's
                       attentions, and now that, too, will not be."
 "Ah, but Jane, you and I never felt anything more than sisterly love for them, and they
 only held brotherly love for us. It would never have been even had it not been for Lady
                              Deborah and Lady Cassandra."
  And we all know that they both hold firm where they believe themselves to be right.
     Andrew put the conversation back on course with, "When shall we see them?"
Kitty answered, "At the ball at Lord and Lady Northamptonshire's. The Matlocks will be
                      there, as will the rest of our family in town."
           Lydia will certainly be sore at missing the ball, don't you think?
"Good. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Charlotte, that Charles Bingley came to my office
                                        today."
           "Oh? How is he? He is not quite three and twenty now, is he not?"
  "He is, and he has quite matured these past four years. He and Jane would get along
 wonderfully now, just as they did when they knew each other briefly for Timothy and
                                    Clara's weddin...

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