Company of Swans:

-a-

The Welcome interruption of a stranger

(The rare jewel of true love – original title)

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Summary: Professor Morton won't let Harriet marry Rom, so Rom has to somehow convince the man. While doing so the professor's class overhear what their teacher has done to his own daughter and they get angry and now have added incentive to hate him, thanks to Rom. They all know Harriet as a good girl and even like her. Now they know how he treated her, that the rumours are all true they decide - along with their personal ulterior motives - to do exactly what Rom had threatened to do. The grab him, debag him and throw him in the schools fountain in the courtyard for everyone to see.

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This is my first Company of Swans (a book by Eva Ibbotson) fan-fiction.

Although I read the book years ago and I kept meaning to write a story for it, I never got round to it till now.

It is just a little rewrite and added detail of the ending events of the book, which lead up to Harriet and Rom being together.

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Disclaimer: I do not own Company of Swans

-A-

"I'm sorry Professor, I couldn't stop him" A flustered looking woman dressed in a neat grey dress stated as a handsome man brushed her aside and barged in to the lecture room.

"It's okay, let him in" The professor angrily growled at his incompetent assistant.

The woman retreated and exited the room swiftly, leaving Professor Morton and his students alone with the mysterious calm looking man.

"What is the meaning of this Sir, why have you forced your way in here when I am in the middle of a lecture?" Professor Morton puffed out his chest and angrily addressed the strange man who was silently and stoically walking up to him while piercing his own angered gaze with an icy glare.

From the look on the students' faces it was a very boring lecture at that. Most of the students were slumped in their seats with lost and faraway gazes, some were even sleeping at their desks. Now startled by the amazing man who had dared to defy the professor, the students perked up out of their dazes and stared at the stranger.

The students looked surprised yet interested at the sudden and welcome interruption.

The man finally reached the professor at the front of the room and he placed something on the lecture stand before turning to face the old fool of a man. Professor Morton took an involuntary step back from the man in unknown fear.

"Professor Morton, I presume" The man said, addressing the middle aged chubby man before him.

His voice made everyone in the room shiver. It was rough and his tone was tainted with darkness.

His cold eyes revealed the vast knowledge this man possessed and hinted that he was older than he seemed. Those round orbs flashed with anger and even a little pain as they settled on the professor.

It was clear this man was enraged about something, but judging by his current facial expression he was hiding it well. His fists did not go unnoticed however, as they were clenched at his sides, but at least he was no longer shaking with barely contained anger as he had been when he first entered the room. No, it was Professor Morton who was now reacting badly and showed his outright distaste and anger of the mysterious man.

" Yes I am Professor Morton. Now tell me, who are you Sir? Who are you to dare interrupt me?" The professor roared as he spat the words out with as much vehemence and venom as he could muster directed at the insolent man before him.

The man ignored the professor's questions again and continued. "You dare to speak to me that way again, Sir, and I will debag you in front of your students and throw you in the fountain in the courtyard for everyone to see." He threatened and the professor went silent almost instantly as he chose to listen over being humiliated.

"I have seen what you have done to your own daughter. With these eyes I saw how Harriet was near to the edge of madness because of your actions. You locked her away because she dared to dream, because she wished to have a life of her own and live outside of your strict and cruel regime. It is no wonder she ran away in the first place." He fixed the man with another piercing glare, which crushed what little of a heart and soul the old fool had. That look made the professor feel ashamed by what he had done, even though he was still set in his belief that what he did was the right course and was necessary discipline wise considering what Harriet had done.

Rom continued talking as he stared the man down and enjoyed the look of discomfort and fear on his face. "Now that I have rescued her from that prison she will be okay and back to herself again in time. I will protect her and not let her out of my sight. Count yourself lucky professor, for if anyone but you – her beloved father – had done such a thing to my Harriet I would not have hesitated to slowly and painfully kill them and rid the earth of such scum. But the events are as such and I promised that I would not harm you. However, that deal is only void as long as you sign this." He pointed to the piece of paper, which he had slid on to the lecture podium earlier.

The professor stood, wide-eyed and too startled to argue with this man.

"Now professor, or I will proceed to tell your students every detail of how I found your daughter locked away out of sight and out of mind and the exact horrifying condition she was in when I rescued her. After all, I don't think you would like me to go in to great detail as to how she was half starved and n the brink of madness, falling from sanity." He did not care that the students had heard every word he had just said as he pushed the man in to hurrying up. Seeing the look of shock and fear momentarily overwhelm the cur in front of him pleased him greatly and he calmed considerably, sure that he would soon have what he came here for.

Shakily, Professor Morton pulled his glasses on and stood at the stand and read through the document. His eyes went wide in realisation. The man stood before him was Romain Paul Verney Brandon, the rich man who owned Stavely Hall and apparently he was also Harriet's mysterious lover too.

"It can't be so bad that your daughter is to be my wife, my love and installed as the rightful mistress of Stavely, surely. Now, Professor Morton, please sign the marriage certificate, now. While being calm Rom was less violent and more patient with the man. But still he wanted to just hurry up and leave and be with Harriet, his soon to be wife.

He knew that Harriet's father did not care for her happiness, only for her obedience so he didn't waste his time to care to explain to the man that they were in love and she would be taken care of. Because no doubt he didn't care.

Finally the man finished writing his signature and handed the document to Rom dumbly, still astonished by the turn of events that were unfolding before him. Little did he know that the worst was yet to come.

Rom politely thanked him and hurried from the room with such grace and silence that he could have been a ghost. As soon as he was out of the room, closing the door behind him the Professor began to shake himself away from his daze and attempted to get back to his lecture and daily humiliating of his students.

But before he could even begin his students arose out of their desks and swarmed around him, a mob of angered young adults. They had heard everything the man, Romain Verney Brandon, had said to the professor, including what he had dared to do to his own daughter.

Most of the people in the class knew Harriet or by now knew of her. She was a sweet and caring young woman and this abomination of a man, of a father even had harmed her so.

The rumours were true then, they had concluded. The man before them was a monster but they would soon put him in his place.

He wasn't so powerful when he was against those stronger and more wilful than him.

Working together with no reluctance and as one they happily formed a small mob and preceded to take a cue from Rom and do exactly what he had threatened to do.

They carried him out to the courtyard of the university and in front of many people they dragged him to the fountain, debagged him and threw him in before retreating in to the quickly gathering crowds to admire their handiwork from afar so as not to be blamed and get in trouble for such an act.

It was a matter of minutes before everyone had heard and had gathered to see for themselves what had happened to grumpy old Professor Morton and laugh at him.

It took even more precious minutes for the professors to stop sniggering and take action and usher the students away in to their classes as they helped the poor startled Professor Morton out.

His students calmly walked back to their class to gather their things and call it a day, happy with themselves and sure that that was the last they would see of the Professor, for a while at least.

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Rom stalked through the halls of the university, retreating to his car with relief.

He now had Harriet, his dearest love, and she would soon be his wife. Everything was going so well.

He climbed in to the car and the driver set off for Stavely hall.

Turning in his seat with a huge childish grin on his face, which was so alike little Henry's; he faced his love and embraced her tightly. How he had missed her these past months. It had almost killed him to be apart from her for so long.

He showed her the document, signed and sealed and she too smiled in pure joy.

From that moment onwards they would be together and happy, overcoming anything in their way, for they could not be separated, not truly, no matter how far apart they were.

They had a rare thing and it was called true love.

-A-

So, that was my first Company of Swans fan-fiction, a one-shot of a detailed account of exactly how Rom got the Professor to sign the document so that he could marry Harriet and the events that lead up to the Professor's debagging.

I hope yah liked it.

My next Company of Swans one-shot will be up soon ^^

I am also writing a short story after that for Company of Swans.

I hope yah would like to read those too.

Thanks for reading. ^^

Please review.

…Anie