Poster: Oisin 'Fawn' Quinn
Post # 32
It seemed as though the raid had been a life time ago. Fawn had been
young, but not young enough that she'd forgotten the horrid scenes and
did occasionally still wake from nightmares. Those occasions had gotten
fewer and farther between over the years, but still happened. She had
been taken in by a kind family though that raised her as their own. A
loving mother and father that saw to her education and making sure that
she was educated in more than just books, but the ability to defend
herself should the need arise. Despite having been adopted into the
family, she was very close to her parents. She always knew she could
tell them anything and for almost six years she'd been more than content
being their daughter. As of recently though, her nightmares had changed
into something more haunting, but not necessarily in the same ways those
terrors were. She'd never really believed her brothers to be dead. She'd
always been hopeful that they were alive and well and that somehow the
Fates would bring them together. Within the past few months though, the
sense of their liveliness had grown more concentrated. As if she knew
they were out there in the world somewhere and waiting was becoming more
like waiting for the other shoe to drop, and never would. Patience for
that sense became an antsy need to seek them out. She hadn't yet told
either of her parents about her urges to seek out her brothers. The last
thing she wanted to do was break the hearts of the people who had been
so kind and loving of her for the past six years, but she felt as though
she couldn't wait any longer. It once was a nagging, but now had become
a steady pull and urge. The past couple of days she'd spent a great deal
of time to herself, trying to understand that feeling that wanted to
pull her away from the security of the life she'd come to know and was
comfortable with, to follow what felt like instinct to venture out into
the rest of the world to find out the truth of things. She had spent the
last hour or so debating, and eventually began packing just a few things
into a single sack, but stopped knowing that she needed to speak with
those who had grown to care for her. Leaving her room quietly, she
ventured out into the hall to seek out her parents with a quiet sort of
solemn feeling that equaled what could only be described as thrill;
because she wanted to find her brothers.
Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing the cook as to what they should
be served for supper this evening. She also had the other
maids there as their assignments were given for the next day as well.
She was to meet with Master Harrington, as she referred to her husband,
in the drawing room so that he could give her any further notices on his
likes to be seen done by the staff. Usually he left most things to her
discretion until he had a hankering, as he put it, or urge for a certain
meal or dessert or to see something done within the house he decided
should be changed. She stopped in the hall just before reaching the open
door to pat her hair down, which was the epitome of perfection, and
smooth down her dress before making her way in. "Master Harrington,
I hope you had a pleasant day," most likely he'd been with his
investors and keeping track of parliament.
John Harrington was a man well content with his life. After retiring
from the army, he made the money left to him by his father, grow, so
that he and his family could live comfortably. He spent his days at his
office and his evenings at home or visiting, with occasional nights for
cards. Tonight would be spent at home. He smiled as his wife entered the
room, and stood to greet her, placing a kiss upon her forehead.
"Good evening, my dear. I had a very pleasant day. I hope you
did as well?"
The house being mostly quiet, it was easy to follow the voice of her
parents greeting one another. She watched quietly as her mother did one
last sweep of her hair and dress to perfection, and reminded her that
she should do the same. Not so much her hair, but the skirt of the dress
she wore was smoothed of most of the wrinkles it'd gathered while
sitting for long periods of time. There she stood, listening to the
greetings between her elders, almost dreading how they would take the
news that she wanted to leave to seek out her brothers due to a feeling
she'd had for some time now, and had never spoken of. Eyes closed
for a moment, she took a deep breath to gather her thoughts, then
preceded to the door that stood open now, to speak with her mother and
Formality was bred into them. Her marriage arranged as what would
benefit her when young in a good secured future. John Harrington had
been pleasant to look upon and though she was not the most beautiful
woman on the market, as some referred to it as, she was considered a
handsome woman that was well educated, well dressed and well mannered. A
very good catch. She had grown to love John but the formality
remained outside their bedroom. It was the English way. "All has
gone well this day," a light flush to her cheeks for the kiss even
if upon her brow. Anything else faded away as she caught sight of Oisin. Martha
had not been able to have children of her own so when the offer came to
adopt the young teen girl, they had grabbed the opportunity. She was
immediately over to the door to fuss over her daughter. Hair was mostly
put into perfect order and a little pinching of her cheeks to bring
color to them. "On my word, Master Harrington, our daughter grows
more beautiful every day," stepping aside with her words and a wink
to her daughter as she ushered her in to greet her father.
As if this could be made any more awkward for her, the fussing had a
natural way of doing such. Her head had been lowered slightly while
coffee colored eyes drifted from her father to her mother in the process
of fussing. A process that often caused the bridge of her nose to
wrinkle. It made her feel as though she should be wearing endless
amounts of frills and preparing to take a courtly outing. She loved her
parents though, with all her heart. "Good evening, mother."
Spoken timidly in light of what this visit with both parents was to be
in regards, then attention returned to her father. "Good evening,
father." Whatever appropriate affections might have been normally
tolerated were forgotten over her own nerves at the moment.
He too, had grown to love Martha, though their marriage had been
arranged as so many were. She offered him stability as well as love.
Turning when she rushed to Oisin, he smiled warmly. "I must agree,
Mistress Harrington, she is very beautiful and certainly others have
noticed." He had received several notes concerning his lovely
daughter. "Good evening, Oisin. I trust you both have had a
pleasant day as well?"
Oisin was far from improper, but there were many moments she was less
than proper. Some habits of her life previous to this one were heard to
break and occasionally she could be found doing things that her parents
were less than fond of, such as wandering off for a nature walk alone
and not returning when dinner was ready. Regardless though, she was
proper when she needed to and they were generally patient with her
adventures. Such thoughts drifted in hopes of making this easier for
them all. Perhaps it wouldn't be nearly as bad as she anticipated.
"It has gone well, father. Thank you. It is nice to have you home
for the evening."
Martha had always worried deep within her heart that Oisin would one day
be taken from her, either by a family making claims or the young girl
that was fast growing into a woman would venture away. There was
something always sensed and even envied in Oisin and it was that elusive
free spirit she possessed. Probably what had kept her alive during the
tragedy that eventually benefited them. Her odd ways at times was the
only reason she had held off bringing her out into society at sixteen.
She was now nineteen and if it were to be, it would need to be
soon. "I have spoken with the Bradshaws as they are going to have a
coming out dance for their daughter along with a few others
and would like to you to be part." It was the first she mentioned
it even to John. Martha rarely brought a surprise.
"It is good to be home." He smiled then quieted as his wife
spoke. That was good news but he wondered how Oisin would react. He too,
knew of that free spirit, much like many of the young women of the
She looked to her mother at mention of the dance and wanted nothing more
than to shrink into herself. As much as she wanted to prolong this, it
was time to speak up. "Mother, father...may I speak with you both
regarding something that..." Had been bothering her? Bothering
wasn't the right word and the right word just didn't want to come to
her. She sighed softly, gathering her hands at her front. "May I
speak with you both?"
"Of course. Shall we sit?" He motioned toward the chairs
at the table that were arranged for just such a purpose. From the
way Oisin spoke, he felt this was a matter of some seriousness.
"Of course dear, please, let us all sit and I'll ring for some
tea." The table within the din was always set for tea. Almost
speaking at the same time as her husband brought a nervous smile. That
edge of something about to change their lives nagged at the back of her
mind. She rang the bell, calling for their maid who served their
daughter as well, "Fifi.." setting the bell down on the mantle
as she would sit across from her husband with Oisin between.
Looking between the two who'd raised her and done so well, there was
some level of regret to this, but she couldn't sit and let the sense of
not knowing or waiting go on any longer. With a soft sigh she followed
and took one of the seats gathered around. As Martha rang for Fifi, she
watched her quietly for a moment. There had always been admiration for
both of her parents. Her father the strong protector of the family, and
her mother the quiet and devout nurturer. The one who held everything
together so elegantly. Hands gathered on her lap for the silent moment,
waiting for both and perhaps the tea too, so she would have that much
more time to consider what she had to say.
Fifi came bustling into the room in a mass of petticoats and rustling
lace, the uniform of all the household servants, though she seemed to
wear hers with an extra flair. The thirty-something-year-old (or so she
had been serving the Harringtons faithfully since she'd been a girl of
Oisin's age, and now acted as something between an aunt, an older sister
and yes, a maid for the adopted girl. She'd been nearly excited as the
Harringtons themselves when they had adopted her... it seemed longer
than six years ago. Fifi loved Oisin like a member of her own family,
whom the maid hadn't actually seen in years. As such she doted on the
girl. The tea service tinkled lightly upon the tray in her hands as she
backed into the room then turned to beam a smile. "Tea ma'am. Sir.
Mistress." A wink for the lass as she deftly poured each of their
teas, knowing how each member of the family liked it just so, and
delivered the tea cups to all.
Martha had settled in her chair by the time Fifi had come into the room
and was seeing to their tea. She only waited silently as John was the
head of the family.
He had waited until both Martha and Oisin were seated before he lowered
into his chair. Once the tea was poured, dark eyes turned to Oisin and
he nodded. "Please, go on, Oisin." He then offered Martha a
slight smile before his attention was fully on the young woman he had
come to love as his own.
Oisin could always count on Fifi to keep her secrets, such as when she
snuck away from the house in the wee hours before breakfast, or when she
was caught returning her horse to the stables a mere hour before some
sort of dinner party she was nowhere near ready to present for. Among
other things like the chance to act like a girl of her age in silly
fashions or sneaking out to see a crush in secret. Once Fifi had poured
and prepared the tea, her wrist was gently grasped before she could
escape their company. "Stay, please?" The woman was as much a
part of her upbringing as Martha and John were, and she wanted Fifi
there. A deep breath and look to her father. She wasn't sure how to go
about opening this conversation, but she was going to do the best she
could. Releasing her grasp on Fifi, she turned more to the three of
them. "I...I want to first say that I love you. All of you. You are
my family and nothing will ever change that. But something has ... come
to me recently. I think it is time that I venture on my own and seek out
my brothers." The words came soft spoken and a bit more shuddered
towards the latter of what she opened with, looking to all three of them
in turn to try to read their expressions.
About to bustle off to her next chore, Fifi was arrested by that
imploring hand on her wrist. Her brow creased slightly but she set down
the tea tray immediately. "Of course, Mistress." That murmured
before she fell silent to listen. It wouldn't do to sit in their
company, her being a servant still, but she moved to stand next to
Oisin's chair. The girl seemed nervous which had her looking
concerned... and that swiftly turned to surprise when she went on. She
had to clamp her lips shut to withhold her own opinions, instead just
looked to the Harringtons with raised brows.
"Oh dear," with Oisin expressing the worse of her fears.
"My salts..." she was turning pale and on the verge of passing
out. Fifi was use to getting the smelling salts for those days that were
too much a weight on Martha's shoulders or some exceptionally surprising
news that was hard on her sensibilities.
Cue another rustling of petticoats as she rushed out of the room, to the
kitchen where a small shelf bore that vial of salts, then just as
quickly back and at Martha's side. "Here ma'am." The vial
uncorked to let the strong smell waft up to the woman's nostrils. Her
eyes were hard on Oisin all the while.
He had known this day would come, in spite of trying to pretend
otherwise. "Martha, dear. Calm yourself." He used his wife's
name as Fifi rushed out then turned to Oisin. He knew he could forbid
her, tell her to forget this foolishness, but she would not. "How
can you be certain your brothers are alive? So few survived that raid.
Where will you go? What do you plan to live on while you search?"
Oh, he'd give her money, not see her starve but could she survive on her
"Thank you," came in a hush undertone as the strong bite of
the smelling salts had her back to her senses coupled with John's stern
command she not faint in essence. It was rare he used her given name in
public and so he was a little displeased with her. She reeled in her
emotions and a quick mind to find a sensible solution. "If you are
to go I will insist that Fifi accompany you." Maybe to make sure
she stayed the proper ways as a lady and not fall from the path as would
be so easy out there in the jungle of a world and not the
safety of her family. "Bradley Harrington, Master Harrington, your
nephew, I do think he travels a lot and might be willing to take our
dear little Oisin if she is set on this adventure."
She always felt bad when her mother went into one of her fits, and that
look from Fifi didn't help much. It made her frown all the more while
looking between the three of them. First she was going to speak to her
father. "I have had this feeling for a while now, and the idea of
venturing out is not something I've taken lightly or is some whim. I
have a small purse set aside to begin my travels. I cannot say I know
for sure that they live, but I feel that they are out there, and
that they are looking for me." Then mention of Fifi was given,
along with her cousin, she shook her head. "If miss Fifi wishes to
accompany, I would not be opposed, but this is something I truly feel I
should look into on my own. I do not yet know where to begin, and that I
can only follow what my heart tells me. Which may not be the same way my
cousin will be traveling."
What? Her? It was Fifi's turn to need the smelling salts though by now
she had corked the vial and tucked it away. The maid blanched slightly
at the thoughts. Much as she adored Oisin, Fiona had not lived a day
outside these sheltered walls since coming here.. and the thought of
tramping the roads at the end of winter was daunting. But as her lips
settled into a neutral expression she'd not say a word until this matter
was settled by the rest of them.
"The idea of your cousin is a good one, Oisin and I will insist
upon that. If nothing else, he will provide escort to the lands you must
travel to. I would prefer you not be alone in the colonies but I cannot
insist he remain with you then. As far as Fifi, would you truly have her
travel to those wilds, Mistress Harrington, when she has been here for
so long. She is, I am certain, not fond of the idea of traveling away
from her home?" It was a question for Fifi though John knew that
his wife may very well insist on such indeed. Though a nearly perfect
wife, Martha could be ... stubborn.
"You must allow me this, if you have to rest your mind on these
brothers assumed dead, Oisin. Your reputation would be ruined if you do
not travel with a handmaiden, Fifi if she will go, or I will find you
another that is willing. It is permissible then for a woman to travel
and not lose their dignity." She believed or hoped at best that
once Oisin traveled and didn't find her brothers, she believed still
alive, she would return to them. She wanted her to be able to continue
to hold her head up high as all had been properly done. "These
colonies are wild," as certainly she knew. "I would not sleep
a single night nor a wink if you were out there by yourself." A man
and a woman as escort, both trusted, would see to all things properly
and her piece of mind.
Fi's throat went dry as Master and Mistress Harrington discussed back
and forth over her fate. It was true, she was not fond of traveling...
her general need for life's small comforts, along with her prodigious
diet saw to that. But when the Mistress mentioned getting another maid,
a stranger, to escort Oisin it decided her. "Of course, I am
willing." A glance down to Oisin and a small smile of reassurance
for the girl. Yes, she would go and see the girl safe, wherever her
heart led her. Which hopefully, would ultimately be back here to the
Once more she looked between the three. "Father, I would not insist
that my cousin detour his own travels just for me." Though if it
was a choice between her cousin or Fifi....She looked to Fifi, big brown
eyes going all doe like to Fifi as she agreed. "Then Fifi will
accompany me. There is no need to pester my cousin for this." Yes,
she was aware that both a male and female would be more appropriate, but
really she didn't want her cousin feeling the need to fill the role as
protector despite how wild the colonies might be. One escort was more
than enough. Fifi was familiar with Oisin's ways and habits and had a
better chance of keeping her in line than her cousin did.
"He has the means to get you across the ocean in one piece."
Which had Martha shudder just thinking about the lot that ran a ship.
Sailors. She heard horror stories from Mistress Bradshaw a few times
over. Of course the discussion captivated the lot of women that gathered at
their tete-a-tete. "Oh, but I hear he travels to the Colonies, has
business there that is prospering." While it would as there were
other rumors of rebellions against the English.
"There will be no argument in this. Bradley will escort you on
board ship and see you settled." He didn't know if she intended to
travel the colonies or not but this being winter, it would be nearly
impossible for two women. "Come spring, if you are still there,
you'll be able to journey far easier. Winters are quite," he
paused, thinking of his wife's sensibilities, "harsh and make roads
impassable. And we will expect letters from you both so we know how you
fare." He would like to lock her up in her room and keep her safe,
but no evidence of that feeling showed. He was well versed in keeping
his emotions bottled up.
Apparently, trying to avoid her cousin wasn't going to win. A silent
sigh to her father's demand. "Very well, Father." Though her
father said until spring, she would not request her cousin's presence
beyond where their paths parted ways. Not like it would last forever,
right? Perhaps getting away with her usual wanderings would be easier to
get by Fifi if she weren't the only escort. Despite her parents worry
over this, she couldn't help a small grin to the idea.
Fifi caught the subtext there; she was to essentially be their spy on
Oisin, assuring them that their daughter was not getting into serious
mishaps. She met Master Harrington's eyes at the mention of the letters
and gave the slightest of nods of agreement. Secretly she didn't much
like that grin on the girl's face either.
There was an exhausted sigh over a thought. "If you find your
brothers or even one brother alive, will you still come home, bring him
with you?" Hope against hope but she had a feeling this was the
beginning of the end of seeing their daughter. If she and Fifi ran into
unforeseen trouble, she knew Bradley could handle it and whisk the two
away to safety. "Yes, letters." Otherwise she wasn't sure how
she would find sleep the duration of this trip.
He hadn't exactly meant for Bradley to stay in the colonies but if he
decided to do so, all the better. He reached out his hand over the top
of the small table and covered his wife's hand, knowing they were both
losing the daughter they had come to love.
Not to mention the best maid in the whole county! Right?
That went without saying!
"I daresay, supper should be ready. Let us eat then decide the day
you are to leave. We will see you properly outfitted and with enough
coin to see to both you and Fiona." Using Fifi's given name as
she would no longer be the maid. She would be the handmaiden.
Oisin really tried to hide the smile that threatened just beneath the
surface, but hints of it were there nonetheless. Despite the escort, the
possibilities were endless! "Of course we will come to visit
mother. I am sure that my brothers would wish to get to know you as I
have and thank you and father for keeping me safe these many
years." She rose from her seat and went around to Martha's seat,
behind it to lean down and wrap her arms around her mother's neck
affectionately. "You've nothing to fear, mother. You and father
have raised me right and your teachings I will never forget. And I will
return home to visit frequently. I promise."
She was getting teary eyed for the gesture, her hands up to smooth
against Oisin's arms lovingly. She didn't say anything at first for being
all choked up. "I love you dearly, more than life itself, if
something happened to you," well she didn't continue or the tears
would be falling. Instead she was up to turn Oisin into a mother's hug,
safe haven that she would be leaving. The hardest part of being a
mother. The hug ending as she swiped at her eyes and bustled into the
kitchen, "you'll have me blubbering...." warned under her
He said nothing as he was over to gather Oisin into a hug when Martha
bustled away. A kiss planted to her forehead and he stepped back.
"We should prepare to dine now." He might speak to her later
on his concerns but not now. Instead, he would see to the money
and hold onto the dowry saved for her. And she would still be heir, both
his and her mother's. And there would certainly be a pension for Fiona.
With a smile, she released her mother for a better and more appropriate
hug, and she reveled in it until its end. A small kiss to her cheek
before turning to her father with full intention of a hug to him as
well. The hug greeted with a small smile to the kiss to her brow.
"Thank you, father." She knew how hard this was; it wasn't
easy for her. She couldn't ignore that feeling though. She had to find
Fiona was still a bit dazed. The Harringtons weren't the only ones whose
lives had suddenly changed between one moment and the next. Oisin's
words made it sink in. Frequent visits... which didn't signal a
permanent return to the Harringtons. Ever. Fi couldn't help but wonder
what would become of her, if and when Oisin ever did find her brothers,
but she swallowed the fears and put her mind to what had to be done.
She'd vowed to accompany Oisin as long as the girl needed her, and such
she would do as loyally as ever she'd served the family. Bobbing a
curtsy she turned to go help with serving the supper.