Disclaimer: Norrington does not belong to me. He belongs to Disney. Now I ask you, what good is he doing them? I could certainly put him to much better use!
AN: I had absolutely no intention of writing another Norrington story but this popped into my head while I was driving along and it would not go away. Evidently, I am determined to pair him up and while I wish it could be with me, sanity forces me to admit that he is a fictional character and therefore must have a fictional paramour. I hope that you enjoy it. Please give Katherine a chance.
"How the hell did I get roped into this?" James asked himself for the tenth time in the past few hours. It was not that the evening had been a total disappointment. The dinner had been first rate and even the conversation had been more than tolerable. There had been a slightly uncomfortable undercurrent running through the evening, but James dismissed that as the strain caused by having to rely on a stranger for a favor. No, the problem was the young lady sitting quietly across from him. When Governor Swann had asked him to escort his friend's young daughter to Port Royal James had assumed that the girl in question was about ten or twelve. Certainly the Governor had made it sound that way declaring her a delightful young girl who though prone to high spirits was sure to grow into a beauty one day. The Governor it seemed had been wrong on all accounts. The woman before him could no longer be called young or for that matter even a girl. James would guess her to be at least twenty-four if not older, most definitely not a girl. Nor had she grown into a beauty. Her drab brown dress hinted at a shapeless figure and her face was certainly nothing to write home about. He supposed that she had decent bone structure but it was difficult to really assess her looks because she kept her head and gaze perpetually angled towards the floor. As for the high spirits, the young lady had uttered no more than twenty words all evening and even that had appeared an effort.
Perhaps the Governor had mistakenly thought that it was her sister that he was to be escorting? Although at seventeen she was also a little old to be described as a girl, she certainly possessed the beauty and vivacity that the Governor seemed to remember. Yes, the younger Miss Thompson was certainly a looker and he imagined that she had a fair amount of suitors. Her golden hair fell in pretty ringlets and her cornflower blue eyes fluttered with flirtatiousness. She had engaged him in constant conversation and possessed that particularly appealing trait that some females had of making a fellow feel special, as if he were the most interesting man on Earth. James reflected for a moment that it was one of life's cruelties that one sister should inherit all of her parents' best features, while the other appeared to receive none.
"Yes. Well, we greatly appreciate the service that you are performing for us, Commodore Norrington," Mr. Thompson boomed in his hearty voice. "Her mother and I are in your debt. We had begun to despair of ever finding a suitable protector for her on her journey, then Swanny happened to write that you were going to be in England and that perhaps you might do us this favor. Good old Swanny, always finds a solution to every dilemma."
"Yes, Governor Swann is a very resourceful man," James agreed formally, while secretly damming said resourceful man for landing him in this mess. The trip itself would not be so very bad but it was a surety that he would be further pressed into duty upon arrival in Port Royal. James pictured a series of dull evenings escorting the elder Miss Thompson to balls and introducing her to Port Royal society. Now if it had been Miss Violet Thompson rather than Miss Katherine Thompson, the obligation might have proven enjoyable.
In what was evidently meant to be a conspiratorial voice, Mr. Thompson continued, "Katherine has had many unsuccessful seasons and as yet remains unmarried. With Violet entering her second season and now quite old enough for marriage, we thought it best to have Katherine out of the picture. Folks will insist on clinging to the outmoded notion that the eldest should be the first married and we do not want to hurt Violet's chances of making an excellent match."
"Am I not blessed with the most loving poppa and mama, Commodore Norrington? They do so look out for me." Violet prettily arranged her skirts about her while managing to flash a bit of ankle in his direction. "Of course, I shall most dreadfully miss dear Katherine." She slid a look at Katherine that at first appeared malicious but that James assured himself must be one of care and concern. "Poor Katherine, perhaps she will have better luck finding a beau in Port Royal."
Here, a tight lipped Mrs. Thompson added, 'Yes. I do hope that Katherine has the good sense to take advantage of the change in scenery to remake herself, so to speak. Her father and I would be most disappointed if she did not."
James felt a moment's pity for the young woman. She was being talked about as if she were not even in the room. Though she had voiced no objections, the manner in which she clutched her fingers tightly together and the slight trembling of her shoulders indicated that she was not immune to the slights perpetrated. James supposed that this was a last ditch effort to find her a husband. It was not unknown for desperate parents to ship their unmarriageable daughters off to regions where eligible men greatly outnumbered the available women. In a dearth of femininity, even the drabbest sparrow could attract attention. James smiled to himself at the thought of her as a sparrow. He had been trying to think of an apt description and it had finally come to him. He felt a moment's disquiet comparing her to a sparrow, but he attributed it to the associations with Jack Sparrow. His lips quirked in amusement for there could not be two more dissimilar beings on this planet than Captain Sparrow and Katherine Thompson.
"We are counting on Katherine changing her ways and making a suitable match. The alternative does not bear thinking about," Mr. Thompson stated in what was almost a threatening tone and fixed his gaze on his eldest daughter.
Quietly, she murmured, "Yes, father. I shall endeavor to be a most dutiful daughter and make you proud of my behavior. Perhaps Violet will become engaged to Sir Huntley and I can come back to act as the maid of honor."
Mrs. Thompson choked on her sherry and Mr. Thompson's eyes narrowed; even Violet's face took on a petulant look. "Yes," James mused to himself, "There is definitely an undercurrent in this household." He had the uncomfortable experience of feeling as if he were the one person in the room who was missing the punch line of a joke. Well it did not really matter, for tomorrow he and the elder Miss Thompson would sail for Port Royal, and the only currents would be those belonging to the ocean.