Chapter 1 : Servant Boy
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This story is set in the mid- to late-1800s in a well-to-do wizarding town.
Everything you recognize is property of JKR. Everything you don't recognize is property of me. Stealing is bad for your conscience.
A party was being held tonight, in recognition of Winifred’s older sister’s engagement. Her sister, Celine, was marrying a nobleman, a son of her father’s friends. He was stony-faced and hard. He was the kind of person who didn’t acknowledge things like emotion. As Winifred watched Celine standing beside her fiancée, she wondered if she knew what she was getting herself into.
She was probably aware of what she was getting herself into. Celine was deeply in love with the man. Clark was his name. She had been interested in him since she was eleven years old. At that time, even seven-year-old Winifred could see that Clark had no interest in her sister. Yet she pursued him all the days of her life, and now the two stood before Winifred, a modest silver band on Celine’s finger.
Clark sat with his parents on one side of the long dining room table, and Winifred’s family sat on the other. The two fathers sat at the heads, so they could stare each other down, fighting for patriarchal roles.
Twenty-five-year-old Clark was fighting a grape with his fork. Winifred watched, wide-eyed; she’d never seen anyone try to eat grapes with a fork. She supposed that before they’d come to Winifred’s home for this party, his mother and father had told him to be extra fancy.
Meanwhile, Celine used her fingers to eat her grapes, as grapes should be eaten. Her mother looked at her out of the corner of her eye, but she didn’t say anything. It was too late to correct such behavior now.
Winifred was expected to eat only a few grapes at dinner, and possibly a couple of cubes of cheese. The corset that pulled at her insides beneath her dress made her nearly completely unable to breathe, and her mother had been advising that she lose a bit more weight, or else no respectable suitor would want to marry her.
Already eighteen, Winifred was quickly losing her appeal to self-respecting Pureblood men. She didn’t talk enough, her mother said. Men love to engage in an intelligent conversation. She wasn’t quiet enough, her mother said. Men are supposed to be superior. She wasn’t thin enough, her mother said. Men love a girl he can hold with one arm. She wasn’t healthy-looking enough, her mother said. Men love a girl with flush cheeks and bright eyes.
Perhaps Winifred wasn’t meant to marry. Celine was far prettier, anyway. She always had been, and now that she was marrying, she always would be.
Winifred stopped eating grapes when she had three left on her plate, and folded her hands in her lap. She pretended to be paying attention while the fathers shouted across the table about the market in town, and Clark and Celine played footsie beneath the table.
The servant boy, hired by Winifred’s father for this night only, was dressed in pressed robes provided by Winifred’s family. He would only be paid a few knuts for this night’s work, but he didn’t mind. Winifred didn’t know much about him, but she knew that he wasn’t wealthy, and he wasn’t of pure blood. According to her father, that was all she needed to know about him.
The boy came around the table, filling everyone’s glass with wine. The parents began sucking it down almost immediately.
When the boy reached over Winifred’s shoulder for her glass, she could smell his intoxicating scent. He smelled clean, nothing like she’d expected a poor, mudblood boy to smell. She wanted so badly to look up at him, make eye-contact to find out what sort of secrets were hiding in his mudblood eyes, but she stayed facing straight ahead, and mumbled a quick “thank you” when he put her glass of wine back down in front of her.
When he moved on to fill Celine’s glass, Winifred took her glass to her lips, taking but a sip. She watched the boy fill Celine’s glass, and his eyes smiled at Winifred for a flickering second.
When he was finished filling everyone’s glass, he disappeared into the kitchen without a backward glance.
Tonight was the first time Winifred’s father had hired this young man. He had hired other mudbloods before, but never this one. Never one with such an intoxicating scent. Never one with such an invisible appeal. There was a mystery about him that made Winifred want to explore more about him. But he didn’t appear again all night until Winifred’s father called him by name.
“Edgar! Bring more wine!”
Edgar. A nobleman’s name for a mudblood. Such an intriguing concept. Winifred longed to ask him how he could live with a nobleman’s name.
He appeared again from the kitchen, holding a freshly opened bottle of wine. By that time, everyone was well on their way to being lost in the punishments of drinking alcohol, except for Winifred, who still had the full glass Edgar had poured for her the first time.
He filled everyone’s glass a second time, skipping over Winifred. She wished she’d needed more so that Edgar would have to reach over her once more and she would be allowed to be in close contact with him.
But alas, he filled everyone’s glass and then disappeared again, without even so much as a glance in Winifred’s direction.
Another hour passed and Winifred’s corset was beginning to make her feel faint. She unfolded her fan and began cooling herself, trying to stay attentive. Her father summoned Edgar again, ready for another glass of wine.
When Edgar came out of the kitchen this time, Winifred almost fell over. She fanned herself harder.
Winifred’s father asked Edgar to simply leave the bottle on the table this time, so that he wouldn’t have to wait for Edgar each time.
When the meal was finally over, it was around eleven PM, and Clark’s family was expected to leave. All three of them were slurring their words and their eyes, though they could barely be kept open, were bloodshot and red. Edgar kindly ushered them out the door, and that was the last of his duties for the night.
Before he left the mansion, there was a split-second in which his eyes connected with Winifred’s, and a silent message was conveyed.
As soon as the door was closed, Winifred bid her family goodnight and retired to her bedchamber, locking the door behind her and hiding the key in an unused drawer. In the mirror, she looked at herself and for the first time, smiled pleasantly.
She sat on the seat by the window and fanned herself, waiting and thinking about the servant boy, Edgar. She wondered what his skin would feel like. Would it be slippery and slimy like a toad’s because he is a mudblood? Or would it be smooth and creamy, a matching feature to his scent?
She wondered what his voice would sound like. Would it be deep and soft, the type of voice she’d imagined a person with his eyes would have? Or would it be harsh and scratchy like a mudblood’s?
She wondered why she wondered these things about a mudblood, when she’d only ever seen him once.
Perhaps it was because there was an electrifying connection between the two of them. It was an instantaneous, mutual attraction. A passion ignited that needed to be tended to. When he’d reached over her to pour the wine, was he getting close to her on purpose? She could feel something from him. It was common between them, certainly.
Winifred flinched when a rock smacked the windowpane. She looked out the window and Edgar was standing in the bushes beneath her third-story window, in beggar’s clothes. She pushed the window open and took a few moments to just admire the shining pale skin of his face, contrasting with the dark night.
Then she brandished her wand and silently conjured a ladder. He was a bit tentative but with another look in her eyes, he climbed the steps and was in her bedchamber within a few moments.
He closed the window. Then he stared into her eyes with a penetrating power. He reached out and touched her bare arm. It was exactly as she’d imagined. Smooth and soft. Gentle yet protective.
Winifred extended her arm to touch Edgar’s face. Up close, she was actually allowed to look at him, to touch him, to feel him. There was a tinge of scratchiness to his face, but the stubble on his cheeks made it exciting for her to be with him.
There were no words exchanged. The kisses were tentative at first, so new. All the bloodlines were forgotten in the instant their lips fused. They were neither mudblood nor Pureblood. They were just lovers then.
They explored each other through luring, exotic kisses. Her arms snaked around his neck like she had been meant to do so, and he tugged the side of her dress off her shoulder. His lips traversed down the side of her neck, onto the now bare shoulder. Not long after, her dress was off and laying in a heap on the floor.
The pair hobbled over to the bed and fell, Winifred first. She lay beneath him, the corset still clutching at her, making her pant. The shadow cast on Edgar’s face was becoming in the darkness as he was hunched over her, and the whites of his eyes shined brightly like a lion finding its prey.
Then, he pounced. He swooped down in one motion and caressed her neck with his lips. At the same time, Winifred found a hole in the back of his tattered shirt and tugged on it until it tore in halves with a loud rip!
Bare-chested, Edgar fingered his way down her back, arched in his grip. He untied the corset, his lips still working. All at once, the corset was removed and Winifred was freed. She made an exasperated sound as her organs were released from the cage, and her panting came faster.
His fingers tangled in her autumn-colored hair, the two rolled over and over like children playing on a hillside. Finally the games stopped and there was a moment of intense attraction in which Edgar looked in Winifred’s eyes, and another silent permission was granted, before their attraction was consummated.
When the sun peeked its shiny eyes into the window of Winifred’s bedchamber, the body beside her stirred. It was his time to go.
Winifred rolled over into the warm spot where his body once was and watched him dress as she fought with the sheets that tangled in her legs.
He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on his trousers. “Must you leave?” she said, the first words spoken between them since their first encounter.
Edgar turned to look at her and the early-morning light cast becoming shadows on his face. The light scrambled and hid in the corners of his smiling mouth.
“Worry not,” he said, standing up. He gathered the ripped shreds that were once a shirt. “I will return.”
With that, he descended the ladder out the window and disappeared into the morning dew-covered fields.
Winifred sighed and pulled the sheets up over her bare body, suddenly cold despite the sun.
For the weeks following, Edgar and Winifred found creative and secretive places to meet. Their reunions were always kept secret because they weren’t supposed to be together. Should anyone find them together, they would both be severely punished. The consequences of the time were in no way forgiving. But with Celine’s recent wedding, her parents were more concerned with making sure Celine was properly tended to, leaving more time for Winifred to be forgotten. In some cases, her parents didn’t even notice that Winifred had slinked out of the room to meet with the servant boy in a dusty pantry or a dirty road.
But oh, the passion! The raw, untainted emotion that pure attraction gave the lovers! As long as they were together, it didn’t matter the time or place. They expressed their love in an attic at midnight or in a field in the early hours of the morning. Since they had so little of it, they didn’t waste their time talking. Their bodies were the only language they needed.
And it was the thrill of getting caught that kept the intensity alight. The possibility of being seen together as Mudblood and Pureblood, sharing an experience that is meant to bring two people together as one, was exciting for both of them.
Yes, things were going swimmingly for the young lovers.
About a month into their escapade, Edgar and Winifred were tucked away in a broken-down shed not far off from Winifred’s father’s property. The hay stacked in all corners of the small room kept them safe from the winter cold.
“Are you cold?” Edgar said, pulling her small frame closer to his, a smirk on his face. He proceeded to kiss her lips hungrily.
Winifred pushed him away gently.
“What’s the matter?” he said.
Tears had pooled in her eyes by now and her body shook. She hugged herself, not wanting to be comforted by him.
For a few long, drawn-out seconds, the only sound in the shack was the wind whistling between the cracked boards.
Finally she looked him in the eye and said, “I’m pregnant.”
He let go of her immediately.
He stared at her as though she were some sort of contagious mutant. “How – how could this have happened?”
“I suppose the passion just... ran away with us.”
Edgar got to his feet and started pacing the small space, his hands on his hips.
“What are we going to do?” said Winifred.
He considered for a moment, then turned to her. “You cannot have a child.”
“What? What are you suggesting?”
“You’re too young, Winifred! The child will never survive under your care!”
“And what of you? Aren’t you going to help me? This child is yours as well.”
“No. It cannot be mine.”
“I have no relations with a man beside you!” she screeched. His nonchalant attitude pulled her heart out. Her heart only ever beat for him. She sincerely loved him, and he was merely playing games.
“I cannot have links to irresponsible young women such as yourself.”
She lunged at him, trying to get a scratch at his face. He caught her by the arms and threw her into another pile of hay. “How dare you!” she screamed. “You – a dirty mudblood – talk down to me! Remember your place, Edgar!”
“Remember yours! I may be a mudblood, but there are far worse things to be. Even a mudblood like me has some self-respect. I will not be associated with a floozy!”
Edgar made for the door of the shack, ready to leave.
“Wait!” Tears were streaming down Winifred’s face now, and the desperation clawed at her raw throat. “What of the child?” He paused at the doorway. “Think not of me, then, but of the child.”
There was silence. Not even the wind howled.
Then Edgar left the shack without another word, leaving Winifred behind. She called to him after he left, but when she peered out the doorway, it seemed as though the harsh winter had eaten him alive.