This is a fanfic of the 2009 movie of Wuthering Heights
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or storyline, and lots of the speech is a direct quote from the 2009 movie and/or the book
N/B: In particular, if someone could tell me whether I've got Hareton's voice right and how I could improve on his chapters, that would be great. Thanks, folks =]
It was a dark, dreary, grey afternoon – but even had the sun been shining, Catherine Linton would still have felt miserable. The simple reason was that her cousin, a boy only six months younger than herself who might have been a true friend to her, was at this very moment being removed from her house, and it seemed very likely that she might never see him again.
She watched from the window as, down below, her father helped her cousin, Linton, into the carriage that had been hastily prepared. Only this morning had her father returned with Linton after the death of Linton's mother Isabella, and now already they were leaving again. Her father had said it was something to do with Linton's father, a man she hadn't even known existed and certainly knew nothing of him, and a man she detested at this moment for coming between herself and her cousin.
Linton looked so small, all the way down there, his pale face framed with long, light hair, and a blanket pulled tightly around his thin shoulders. She had long dreamed of finally meeting her cousin, and had been slightly shocked to find him in such a state of frailty and illness, but even after only knowing him a moment she had already developed a strong affection for the boy.
As the carriage pulled away, Catherine's companion Nelly turned to her, offering words of comfort.
'He's gone, Nelly,' Catherine replied sadly. 'My cousin has gone.'
Already the house felt emptier without him. She walked slowly to a chair and sat, imagining the long, bumpy journey that awaited her father and cousin – and they were already so tired from their earlier travelling! Catherine had wished to accompany them to Linton's new home, but her father forbade it on the grounds that it would be a long and arduous journey, and there was nothing to be gained in her joining them. Linton had seemed as reluctant to leave Catherine as she was to let him go, but even he had admitted that, if it was to be a long journey, he had better rest than speak to anyone, and Catherine's presence might indeed be a hindrance rather than a help.
And so she had let them go alone, and now here she was, already impatient for her father's return, and wishing he would have Linton with him.
'Why did Papa have to take Linton away?' she asked Nelly quietly.
'Come now, chick,' Nelly replied. 'Why don't you read something to me?'
Four miles away, the inhabitants of the forbidding house of Wuthering Heights moved as if treading on eggshells. As it got later and later, Heathcliff's temper had taken a turn for the worse, and Hareton knew from years of hard experience that at times like these, it was best to avoid Heathcliff.
'Damn that Linton, where is he? If they do not come soon, I shall have to ride out to them. Hareton! Get the horses, and tell Joseph to ready the carriage. Quickly, boy!'
Hareton hurried from the room and into the kitchen, where Joseph sat by the fire, smoking.
'Mister Heathcliff wants you to ready t' carriage,' Hareton said.
'Aye,' nodded Joseph, but before he could so much as get up from his seat there came the sound of horses hooves on the cobbled courtyard outside. Immediately the two men turned and left the kitchen to follow their master from the house.
'Ah, you've brought it, have you?' mocked Heathcliff when the carriage came to a stop and a man Hareton supposed must be Mr Linton climbed out. 'I feared I'd have to come down and fetch my property myself.'
'One footstep on my land, and you know what would happen to you,' warned Mr Linton, and Hareton nearly cringed. To provoke Heathcliff, with him in such a mood! It was nothing short of suicide. But, to his surprise, Heathcliff seemed to let the insult pass after only a glare in Mr Linton's direction.
'Well, let's see what we can make of it.' Heathcliff leaned into the carriage to inspect whoever was in there. Hareton only caught a glimpse of a pale face before Heathcliff's head came between them. 'Oh God, what a beauty!' exclaimed Heathcliff. 'But damn my soul, it's worse than I expected – and the Devil knows I wasn't very hopeful.'
'Looks worse than you,' Heathcliff observed to Mr Linton, and Hareton realised that Mr Linton indeed looked frail and ill, with grey in his hair and lines on his face. He could be no older than Heathcliff, and yet Mr Linton seemed ten or fifteen years Heathcliff's senior.
'Do you know me?' Heathcliff continued, to the occupant of the carriage.
'No,' came a thin, high voice from inside. Heathcliff's son wouldn't last long at Wuthering Heights, Hareton was sure of that now.
'Well, your mother was a wicked slut to keep you in ignorance of the father you ought love,' Heathcliff said gruffly, leaning into the carriage and slinging his son over his shoulder.
'How dare you!' exclaimed Mr Linton violently. 'I shall carry him.'
'Give over! You have hardly the strength to carry yourself.'
Mr Linton, apparently seeing the truth of Heathcliff's words, wisely held his tongue, but he couldn't stop the look of apprehension and worry that clouded his face as Heathcliff roughly put his son on the ground between Hareton and Joseph, motioning for them to take him in. It seemed as though Linton might suddenly fall to the ground from fatigue and illness, so Hareton quickly moved to his side to support him and between them, he and Joseph half carried, half dragged the boy into the hall of Wuthering Heights.
'Don't leave me!' shouted Linton pathetically as they took him. 'I can't stay here – I can't stay here! Don't leave me, Uncle Edgar!'