ummmm...this is awkward...hi. anyone there? or more precisely, after this long long wait, is anyone left? I'm really sorry people. I'm just too addicted to reading fanfiction to bother writing my own. sorry, no really really sorry. Anyways, I hope you will like this chapter. I'm trying to make Jane a bit more real, put her in touch with the reader, so we get to know her and her surroundings. Do tell me if I failed or succeeded.
The first week of my stay at my uncle's house, though at times lonely, was by no means an unpleasant one. I was rather relieved by the absence of any cousins and overjoyed by the amount of time I could spend reading about the wonderful new world I had discovered without any disturbance.
I found my uncle a quiet man of simple tastes whose modest house lacked all the splendor of Gateshead yet was neat and clean and therefore comfortable enough. Now passing over the excitement of first acquaintances, allow me, reader, to introduce you to John Eyre.
Some call men of his position 'old bachelors' but he was nothing like an old man. By my, then, childish calculation of countenance and general bearing, I had concluded that he could not have passed his mid-thirties. Lean and tall though very healthy, he had little colour to his face, rather like myself.
After having experienced the cold indifference of my aunt Reeds friends, the unjust condescension of the servants and sheer cruelty at my aunt's own hands, I found Uncle John's warm smile and simple affectionate manner a pleasant turn, nay, a dream realized. To have someone I could call family in the true sense of the word, someone who seemed to truly love me for who I was or could become and never abhor me for all that I lacked.
All this I realised with the slow unconscious learning of a child's grasp on experience. (Though, that is by no means suggesting that I was a slow child, but the contrary!) I congratulated myself on a small discovery I made on my very first night in my Uncle's magical house which has served me adequately over the years for me to appreciate it; and that discovery was to this account:
It was natural that once the initial shock of wonders had faded and my over excited mind had time to register all that had happened and reflect on all my future prospects that had arisen from this new development, or rather more, this new turn in my life, fearful doubts would cloud my mind.
That night, rather than sinking into slumber which would have been impossible for any child who had seen and heard all that I had in one day, I sank into the abyss of my own thoughts. The reader knows that no child, least of all I, would have borne the constant neglect and mistreatment that I had received at my 'family's' hands, had he or she not dreaded the alternative: namely, for me, a lifetime of poverty and hunger with my paternal family.
Yet there I was, tucked in bed kindly by my own uncle after a warm, pleasant supper! I had always linked poverty with torn cloths, fireless hearths, numb limbs and an empty stomach; but now I was forced to question, by my current circumstance, the very nature of the word that had haunted me throughout my miserable childhood.
The apprehension that had kept me quiet for so long and forced gratitude into my unwilling mind (I say mind, and not heart, for my affection-thirsty heart could not accept the undue harsh treatment I received.) must have all been for naught if the destituteness that I feared so much did not even exist!
In spite of everything, I was in the end thrusted into my 'poor' Uncles care and despite his supposed financial situation, he welcomed me with open arms; much more so than my rich aunt at Gateshead, with all her aristocratic airs, spacious rooms and enough food to feed an entire army of servants, had.
I felt less poor here (though of course the fire still burnt in the hearth, and my clothes were soft and warm and my body nourished.) than at Gateshead, and if this was what the society called poverty, then I welcomed it with all my heart. If being poor meant to live among all the unpleasant atrocities of life, then life at Gateshead must have been more wretched than anywhere else.
Thus contented by my present place on the ladder of life, an object which had hitherto been one of torture to me and hereafter, I promised myself, shall be one of utter indifference, I continued on to analyze my encounter with all my new friends: Professor Dumbledore, Uncle John and Mrs. Prince.
As the reader already has an account of the two former, I shall carry on with the latter.
Mrs. Prince seemed like a strict matronly lady at the first glance into her severe shining black eyes and tightly wrapped hair, and the first glance had not lied. However, despite her austere appearance and exacting tone, she turned out to be a rather motherly figure and not only to me but to my uncle as well (a fact which I found very puzzling at the beginning.) She stood tall and rigid and examined me from deep dark and seemingly haughty eyes, but they were not filled with the cold dislike my aunt's usually were filled with. Her tone was harsh but not her actions, and when uncle started to converse with her, her occasional smile was not affected like aunt Reeds. Though one could hardly detect any measure of softness in her harsh features she looked serene and somewhat beautiful.
I soon learnt that the Princes were a very old family, one of the kind described as 'pure bloods' who exerted great influence on the magical society. The Eyres too, though less influential and much less wealthy due to many consecutive generations drawing on the family money, were respected as an old pure blood family. That explained my uncles intimate acquaintance with Mrs. Prince…but what explained my ignorance of her and my uncle and everything else in this world– my world? The answer was disappointing in its lack of feeling and justice. The Eyres, like the rest of the 'pure' magical community, regarded my father's marriage to a magical descendant of non-magical parentage (muggles, they are called) as unsuitable just as my mother's family considered hers to a poor man degrading. I admit I rather pitied my parent's misfortune; their cursed love; despite admiring them for their courage in their plight of freedom. Courageous or not, it must have been dreadful to be rejected by both their families. And they both died, much like Romeo and Juliet. At least those two didn't leave behind a lonely friendless daughter; for all they knew neither Uncle Reed nor Uncle John might have accepted me!
But back to the Prince family; I did not have the occasion of meeting Mr. Prince as he was currently abroad on a matter of business, at least that was what I had picked out during my uncle's conversation with Mrs. Reed. My uncle, I noticed, didn't seem to like Mr. Prince much. It wasn't very hard to see the scowl on his face when he was mentioned, but then again there was only so much I could understand from the adults' conversation without irritating them with too many questions. Not to mention that I was too excited or my senses to work properly.
What had me in this state of nervous anticipation was the promise of meeting their daughter soon. I have mentioned that I was delighted with the absence of any cousins, who would have in all likelihood seen me as an intruder and an obstacle between them and their parent's affections and would not have welcomed me; I knew only too well of the unpleasantness of that circumstance. However I longed for the company of a friend my age with whom I could talk freely and share my happiness and excitement at the prospect of going to a magical school.
Therefore, I awaited impatiently the arrival of Eileen Prince, who according to her mother, had shown eagerness in meeting me as well "as soon as I had settled in my new household".
Please review! Also tell me if I made a mistake in writing this chapter. would it have been better if I had just let readers get to know Jane as we move along, through dialogues and actions etc., or is it alright to be familiar with where we stand before moving on with the story? I really hate boring things...I hope this chapter wasn't boring. was it?