Why hello there! This is my first Lost in Austen fic, not my first fic in general , though, so don't stress (hopefully it is correctly spelt and grammatically correct for the most part). This will be a predominantly Wickham/OC plot line though I will also weave in some A/D and J/B. It might start off a wee bit Mary Sue as I want to follow the series plot line, just by injecting my OC and her own little (major) plots and twists. Hopefully, if all goes and is received well, I will do a sequel which will be life after the events of the series. Enjoy :)
Disclaimer: this will be the single and only disclaimer for the entire story. I do not own Lost in Austen or Pride & Prejudice. All characters belong to Guy Andrews and Jane Austen respectively. Any unfamiliar plots, subplots, characters and settings are Copyright of Confetti (me) and any resemblance to real people, places or events are purely coincidental.
Chapter One: If you are a Knave, I am surely a Helicopter.
I think I have lost my mind.
I can honestly say I know how Amanda Price must have felt when she walked through that damn door in the bathroom. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience. The similarities between our situations are uncanny.
The basic overview up to where I am currently standing, which is in no other than the servant's quarters of Longbourne believe it or not, starts off roughly fifteen minutes ago.
I returned to my lovely, spacious, midtown London apartment (at least as spacious as an apartment in upper working class London could be- much to the disapproval of my ridiculously loaded family) only to be greeted by a very familiar, very fictional, very not mine apartment. It was none other than Amanda Price's. And who ever should answer the door?
You guessed it. Gemma Arteton. Or Elizabeth Bennet I suppose, for the sake of the plot line.
I would like to take this time to mention that I am a very mature, logical and calm 22 year old. I proved this when I grabbed the door handle and yanked it closed. I proceeded to hold it closed for a further 6 and half minutes, shaking my head and muttering about the impossibility of my situation and, of course, my apparent lack of sanity.
See? Cool, calm and collected. Sort of.
I slowly let go of the door and took a deep breath. Of course I would be hallucinating. I had been told by my mother that I was reality's version of Amanda Price, all absorbed into a fictitious world, praying for it to become reality. Strangely enough she encouraged it; encouraged the want for a Georgian world that was so clearly not mine, all with a smug, knowing look in her eyes.
That's where we disagreed.
I just liked the story line. To be honest, I also got a kick out of watching someone flounder around while trying to make things work one way and accidently making things worse. It made me feel better when things were shitty.
The only similarity I would personally conclude would be that of the boyfriend. Liam and I had been together since I was 19 and he was 24. At first it wasn't an issue, we were both happy living a casual lifestyle; work during the week, party on the weekend and shag like rabbits when we could.
But alas, I decided my love of reading, which also benefitted my career greatly, was infinitely more interesting than the boring, lack lustre relationship it had become. Even at 27, Liam wanted to stay out into the wee hours of the morning while I wanted to stay home.
Yeah, there was definitely some strain there.
I was jolted from my critical evaluation of my life and sucky relationship by the door opening once more. This time it was Elizabeth who opened it and I took that moment to skitter back against the opposite wall.
She frowned quizzically at me and I just held my breath and tried to make no sudden movements.
Jesus, Miranda, get a hold of yourself.
I mentally slapped myself.
"May I help you?"
"Urgh," I managed to get out. Wow, eloquent. She probably thinks we are stupid now.
We? Who is we?
"Are you looking for Miss Price? I'm afraid she has left for my house already," she smiled carefully.
"Urgh…" God, don't start drooling. Just breath, you can handle this.
"Oh!" I jumped, startled at the sudden noise in the quiet hallway. "How improper of me, I am Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but you may call me Lizzy."
She curtsied deeply and looked back up with an expectant smile. Oh, right.
"Um, Miranda Lloyd," I curtsied back, thankful for my theatre phase for once in my life. "If you don't mind my asking, why are you in my apartment?"
Her look of undisguised shock morphed into a frown as swung the door open wide to let me in. when I stepped into what I thought would be the familiar entrance hall, I was met by a completely foreign environment. Where there would normally be an artwork lined hallway was an open plan living room.
"You also live with Miss Price? I was only aware of one other occupant."
"No, no, no, no, there has to be a mistake. Where is my apartment? Why is this here? What is going on?" I whispering by now and spinning around erratically, taking in the unknown apartment.
"Would you rather talk to Miss Price? If it is meant to be, I believe that the door will open freely for you. It seems to be rather temperamental but I have faith it is the hand of fate."
By this stage I had decided that I must have been high as a kite, possibly bought a spiked coffee or something. May as well go along for the ride, right?
"Sure, why not?" I laughed nervously. She lead me to the bathroom, quickly pulling the chord for the light once to turn on, then twice more so it flickered off and then on again. Apparently she was still as fascinated by the contraption as she had been in Lost in Austen. But I guess I really were right at the beginning so it made a little sense.
"Before you go, take these," she picked up a pile of clothes from on top of the toilet seat and handed them to me. There was a dress, a pair of brown leather gloves, a bonnet and a cropped checked jacket. She turned and left the room, closing the door softly with a click.
Well, came the voice I was learning to discern as my conscience, also known as Maggie May, better get to work. This could take a while.
Hush up, Maggie, I grumble back.
I put on the beige, muslin dress and fastened the buttons of the crop securely. It was surprisingly loose on my flat chest and thin, curve-less figure. It was so true, women in the day where definitely larger than the modern ideal of average. Not that Lizzy looked big, by no means, she was tiny.
If there was one thing I wasn't changing, it was my shoes. Sure, I didn't expect women of the nineteenth century to wear six inch heels, but they were tan, and pretty, and cost me a small fortune so they were staying.
I ditched the bonnet, slipped on the gloves and pulled the door open once more but paid no attention to whether or not Lizzy returned or left me to it. Taking a hesitant step forward, I reached the edge of the bathtub. I checked over my shoulder to see her standing by the doorway, and encouraging smile on her lips which somehow pulled the smallest of smiles from me.
I lifted my skirts and stepped into the bathtub, almost losing my balance and gripping the wall for support. I knew if this didn't work, I would look like an absolute idiot. Why didn't I check that it would open before I dressed up like a nut job and consented to step through the door like fucking Alice?
Maybe I was on opium. I don't recall any illicit substances though. I was very anti-drugs. Definitely spiked coffee.
One deep breath later, I was resting my fingertips against the blue wood panelling. I hadn't even put any pressure on the latch before the door was swinging open and hitting the door with an almighty bang!
"Oh, come on! Why don't we just wake up the whole house hold!"
Lizzy giggle in the background and when I looked she was trying to smother it with her palm.
"Laugh it up while you can, Elizabeth," I sang whilst taking a literal leap of faith and landing in the dim hallway.
That's where I was now. Servants' quarters. Longbourne. Nineteenth Century Georgian England. Fifteen minutes. All on the same page?
I turned around to face the door and watched as Lizzy's peering face was suddenly whisked from view by the unencouraged slamming of the door.
That wasn't final or anything. Not at all, Maggie May. Not. At. All.
I followed the hallway until I reached a set of stairs. I tried to descend them as quietly as possible but of course each step I took creaked and groaned like a troll and probably alerted the entire household that a twenty-first century intruder was traipsing around their house.
Though, by now they would have to be used to it wouldn't they? I mean, Amanda had materialised from the servants stairs, should they really be surprised if I did too?
Methinks not. But that didn't mean it would be the favoured opinion.
I followed my memory of the episode to a room on the same floor that I was willing to bet was Mr Bennet's library. If I knocked I would have to explain myself to Mr Bennet, and Amanda was as much a stranger to me as she was to Claude Bennet so she would be no help.
Yet, the alternative of wandering around the house and inevitably running into the overbearingly loud Mrs Bennet basically raised my fist for me. Without even realising, my knuckles rapped on the wooden door three times.
The low murmur of voices I had begun to pick up on suddenly ceased and a new, grouchier muttering picked up as it neared the door. Clearly, Mr Bennet thought I was either his meddling wife or silly daughters, come to harass him in his sanctum of peace.
Tough luck, bucko.
The door was ripped open and before he could begin his tirade he paused and let out a gust of air.
"You are not my wife." Good observation.
"Nor are you one of my goats." Harsh.
His frown deepened as his confusion reached new heights. A second strange, outlandish girl appearing in one night? He was going to have to check the servants' quarters for any secret tunnels or doors that actually worked. He shook his head, clearly he had been reading far too much John Dwight.
"Well, dear, please come in. Are you an acquaintance of Miss Price? Perhaps you travelled together?"
Amanda looked at me in shock. Clearly she recognised me as a fellow outlander of the twenty-first century.
"No, sir, although I believe we share a mutual acquaintance in your daughter, Miss Elizabeth." Thankyou again theatre phase!
"I see," he rubbed his chin with his thumb as he took a seat at his desk. "And if you two do not know each other, yet are both here to see Lizzy, who has gone to stay with Miss Price, who is here…" he trailed off.
"I agree, the plan seems to have a flaw," I mumbled. He nodded his head emphatically.
Amanda took a deep breath. It appeared the magnitude of the situation was setting in as her eyes widened and her complexion turned ashen.
"Oh dear, are you quite well?"
"I do feel a bit-" she paused and looked at me helplessly, "-unusual. Might I go back upstairs?"
"Of course, in fact, why don't you both see to it you get some rest. You may take Lizzy's room. She has claimed the bed to be tolerable soft." We headed towards the door and I was thankful I would be able to have some time to explain my situation to Amanda. "My dear, may I have a word with you?"
I looked down at Mr Bennet's hand resting lightly on my elbow. I looked up at his blue eyes and couldn't help but smile and nod. There was a naturally calming, trusting warmth in his eyes that left me helpless to do nothing but as I was told.
You're even starting to sound like you belong here, Maggie May scoffed.
Beat it, Maggie.
Amanda looked over her shoulder and smiled encouragingly as she walked through an arch way towards Elizabeth's room. I turned and walked towards a bookshelf as Mr Bennet closed the library door and once again took a seat at his desk.
"I believe I never got your name," he began.
"Miranda Lloyd, sir," I turned away from examining the spines of the books, curtsied lightly and bowed my head. I was getting the hang of this.
"Any relation to King Walter and Queen Emmanuelle of Italy?"
To start with, why did the Italian king have such an English name? And the queen, hers was French, wasn't it?
This was all too familiar to be coincidence.
In my world, my paternal Grandfather was a major international business tycoon but was originally from Italy. He had married my English Grandmama who insisted on naming her only son after her own father, leaving the Italian air to the multi-billion corporation named an Englishman. He was currently CEO of King Lloyd Enterprises.
My mother was French, through and through. Her maiden name had been King before she was married and coincidentally, her father had been a partner of King Lloyd Enterprises before he passed.
The coincidences were too many for it to not be significant. They could only logically be my parents in this alternate universe. Not that much was appearing logical at this point. But mama had always encouraged me to believe in this world. Oh, Jesus. It can't be possible…
"They are my parents," I whispered incredulously. Holy shit, my parents are Italian royalty!
His eyes widened significantly but his expression softened quickly enough and he looked at me with understanding.
"Ah, I see."
"You do?" I asked hopefully. I didn't even understand at this point.
"You do not want the shadow of your parents or your birth rights hanging over you," he conceded.
"Your conversation and lack of want for your status is refreshingly elliptical." He looked at me with admiration before shaking his head slightly and standing up once more. He gently guided me to the door. "I shall see to it the guest room is made up. Mrs Hill," he called as she passed by with a basket of laundered sheets, "please see that Miss Miranda is shown to the guest room."
With one last squeeze of my shoulder he retreated back within the library and left me to follow Mrs Hill through the same arch Amanda had taken and to a room in the opposite corner.
Once the housekeeper had turned down the sheets, she curtsied and excused herself with a genuine smile. I couldn't help but smile back. These people! They were all so damn nice!
With a frustrated huff I walked back out of my room, mindful to try and keep the noise to a minimum despite the heels I was currently sporting, and headed in the direction I had seen Amanda aim for.
I knew I had found the room when I saw Kitty and Mary hurry out of the door way, whispering and snickering at the strange behaviour of the even stranger woman now in their sister's room. They spared me an equally as strange glance before rushing down the stairs, assumedly to tell their other siblings and mother.
I knocked lightly on the door frame as I slowly walked towards Amanda. She was sitting on the bed with her phone out, waving it around in an attempt for reception. I hadn't been smart enough to bring mine, even if they hadn't even been invented yet. God, electricity didn't even exist. Had Faraday even been born yet?
"Amanda?" I asked slowly, fighting the urge to smirk as she jumped at the sound of my voice. "Sorry, bad habit."
"It's alright," it definitely didn't sound alright. This time I couldn't help the smirk that escaped, or the slight chuckle.
"Um, you seem to know who I am, but I have no idea who you are."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," I muttered, walking towards the lace curtained windows on the other side of the room.
So I told her everything. I told her that it wasn't just her stuck in Pride and Prejudice, that I had somehow landed myself in Lost in Austen and that she was the main character. I also included what I knew of the Italian hierarchy and the link that seemed to connect them with me; both in this reality and mine.
Yeah, she was pretty speechless after that.
"I really want to tell you that you're a nutter and you should probably see someone about this delusion," she started and I rolled my eyes, "but given the situation I'm in, I really don't think that's fair. As much as I don't want to, I believe you."
I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding. I was surprisingly relived to know I now had at least one ally in this crazy, messed up place. Honestly, I considered Mr Bennet as much of an ally as Amanda, too, but he didn't understand exactly what we were going through. It was nice to have someone who understood.
Even if she was fictional.
Amanda took in the appearance of Miranda. She was stunningly beautiful, that much was obvious. She was wearing the same outfit that Elizabeth had worn on her second appearance but somehow they suited her much better, even if they were a little big in some areas.
Her long caramel hair was just a shade darker than her tanned skin and Amanda couldn't help but feel slightly jealous of the creature next to her. One thing was for certain, with a beauty like this around, she had no idea how she was going to keep this story on track. The chance of straying eyes had just sky rocketed and there was nothing Amanda could do about it.
And to be related to Italian royalty? The coincidences of her reality so closely matching this new unknown, fictional version were uncanny. She understood, and agreed, to keep it quiet though. As per Miranda's request, she would only call her Miranda in private and Miss Miranda in public.
The last candles upstairs had just been blown out, leaving the second floor in darkness. Miranda said a soft goodnight before breezing out of the room and off to her own.
Amanda couldn't help the surge of pride she felt as she watched the younger woman. Somehow, their camaraderie in their circumstances and almost two hour long conversation had created an almost sisterly bond between the two. And Amanda was fiercely protective of her family.
I returned to the guest room and blew out the candle with a smile on my face. What was this place doing to me?
The last thing I thought of before I drifted off, was how nice it was to have an older sister. Especially one like Amanda Price.
There we go, first chapter complete and out :) constructive criticism welcome, straight out abuse? Not so much… any suggestions or ideas, character names or situations, please message me or review, I would love to hear from you all! Even if you just want to say hi :) next chapter will depend on reviews, general reception to this story and of course, how much time I find. See you soon!