Chapter 1

"GUINEVERE LEODEGRANCE GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE NOW BEFORE I RIP YOUR HEAD OFF!"

Gwen sighed as she clambered down the stairs, missing several steps at a time. It was standard protocol for when one of her 'charming' step-family so loudly yelled for her.

Skidding into the laundry room, she landed perfectly in front of the washing machine. The second she saw it, her eyes almost popped out of their firm sockets. Shaking her brunette curls in disbelief, she dropped down to her knees.

Right down to the level of Catrina Tregor, her modern day wicked step-mother.

"What is the meaning of this?" she hissed, in an even scarier tone, "You put too much powder in! Vivian's silk dress is now COMPLETELY ruined- and that was for her Debutant Ball!"

Gwen avoided smirking, also fighting to tell the temptation that only the higher-class had 'Debutant Balls,' and at best they were upper middle-class. The dress was also only one-hundred pounds from Debenhams, so it was not too much of a loss for the financially stable family.

"I will tell her that it was my error, ma'am," she spoke as politely as possible to avoid an altercation, "On top of that, I will apologise profusely for my mistakes."

Catrina looked at the girl for several seconds before nodding mutely. Standing up, she pulled her skirt up to avoid the soapy mixture on the ground, before exiting the room.

"AND CLEAN THAT MESS UP TOO!"

Gwen sighed and pushed herself upwards, heading over to the mop propped up against the wall. She grabbed it in-between her battered fingers and began flowing it across the floor, to-and-fro. After several minutes of work, she stopped briefly, and closed her eyes.

Once upon a time, life was not like it was now. Gwen was born to Thomas Leodegrance and his wife Eliza. Tom owned a successful mechanic store named 'Tom's Tyres,' which funded a very good lifestyle for the family. Eliza was the writer of several moderately successful books. However, their bliss was ruined when she died of a long illness when Gwen had just turned ten years of age.

Tom fell into depression, which caused his business to also suffer. However, when his daughter was eleven years old, he met a woman named Catrina whilst out shopping. They were engaged to be married within two months and his new 'love' moved into the family home. She was not alone, though. She had children.

Two in fact, both girls of Gwen's age- Vivian and Morgause. At first, the young girl was pleased to have playmates, but her happy mood soon soured when she realised that they did not want anything to do with her. They were filled with airs and graces, taught to only like the upper-class. In fact, they already talked about getting a rich husband when they were old enough.

They were civil until the fateful day when Gwen was twelve years of age. The hospital had rung and asked for Catrina (Tom's next-of-kin). From her expression, the children could tell that they were not being prepared for good news.

They were told upon arrival that Tom had been killed when his car had been hit by a lorry skidding across the road because of the terrible icy conditions. He was dead upon arrival.

Gwen felt a tear slip down her cheek as she continued mopping, telling herself the rest of the story as she did so.

There wasn't even a funeral- Catrina just paid a pittance for him to be buried somewhere moderately nice. Thing then turned downhill from there. Gwen's family banished her to the attic of their home, forcing her to become a slave. There were only two things that she could actually do: schoolwork and chores. Lots of them- an endless cycle.

Now twenty years of age, Gwen placed the mop back on the side and slid a slipper from the corner across the floor to see if it was wet. Confident it was not; she shoved it back to its original position and exited the room, closing the door behind her.

"Mother informed me that you have something to say."

She almost jumped at the sight of Vivian. The mentioned girl was very pretty, albeit plastic. She had porcelain-coloured skin with soft blonde hair and baby blue eyes, the picture of every model. However, looks can be deceiving, and this was the case with Vivian. She possessed a spiteful tongue which spat poisonous words. She had never done anything for herself in the two decades she had lived and was seemingly proud of that. Vivian was very gossipy, bitchy and a general back-stabber, as well as being one of the most self-centered people of the planet, which all in all showed she did not have a pleasant demeanor. Gwen had never really believed in the whole 'dumb-blonde' thing, but Vivian was a notable exception.

"Ah, yes," Gwen was very nervous, "You know your silk dress, the pink one?"

"The Debenhams dress?" Vivian toyed with her hair via her perfectly-manicured nails, "What about it?"

"Er, it's kinda ruined…"

"WHAT?" the blonde screamed.

"Well, erm, I think I put too much powder in," Gwen faltered, "So all the water came out. I don't think the delicate structure of the dress could take it, so yeah, it is now ripped. I would suggest that you see it, but I don't think you could, ahem, see it in such a state such as the one you are currently in, Mistress Vivian."

"HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT? YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A SERVANT AND THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE! YOU ARE GOING TO PAY FOR THAT OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET! I DEMAND TO SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY BELOVED VICTORIA!"

Gwen struggled to stop herself laughing- Vivian named all of her dresses, so that everybody knew what she was talking about. This pink one (named after the Personal Shopper who had picked it out) was blessed with this name.

"As you wish," she nodded and proceeded to open the door.

Vivian gasped at the sight and pushed past the poor girl, almost knocking her to the floor.

"VICTORIA! OH MY VICTORIA! What am I going to do?" she wailed, before crashing to the floor, holding her dress close. Tears were pouring from her eyes.

Gwen really needed to learn how to avoid laughing.

Just as her mouth opened, someone beat her to it.

"Hey, what's happened here?" Morgause entered. She was the older twin by two and a half minutes. Unlike her sister, Morgause was extremely smart and cunning. She was bothered about her looks like a normal girl, in comparison to her crazy sister. The only two things the girls had in common were the following: getting a rich husband and hating Gwen. Other than that, the pair hated each other and often undermined each other's attempts at happiness.

"That stupid servant ripped my Victoria!" Vivian found it hard to talk as a river of tears threw itself from her lids.

"Ha, nice one Gwen," Morgause laughed, "It's the first time I've ever actually appreciated your stupidity."

Gwen badly wanted to push her to the ground, but her meek nature over-powered her. Plus, Morgause could kick her ass any day of the week.

"Thank you, Mistress Morgause."

She sighed as the intelligent blonde left.

This was as good as life was ever going to get for her.

Thank you for reading this chapter and please review, as I am very proud of it! If you haven't seen it, check out the Series 5 trailer- it looks SO INTERESTING! I am buzzing for September 29th.

This chapter is dedicated to: the seven year-old boy who today died at Beamish Museum.

Semper Fi xxx