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What does she do on America's Birthday? She posts fanfic about Harriet Jones, that's what she does. Pitiful, really.

Title: The Politesse of Love and Flight
Characters: Original character, Harriet Jones
Summary: Who can say "Yes, we know you," when they don't know anything at all? A story of women and wings.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and the Whoniverse is owned by the BBC is its various licensed creators. I own an original character, nothing more; what's more, I intend no infringements and will make no money with this. I do it all for love.


Advance and be recognized.

    No proper young lady would play in the coal cellar, even if her brothers dare her. Your pinafore is a disaster, and it’s that close to supper. Oh dear...well, go with Bridey. She’ll have to try to tidy you up before your father gets home.

Advance and be recognized

    There’s my girl, all pretty in – wait, what did you do to the lace? Climbing the lilac tree? Oh, for heaven’s sake, why didn’t you get one of your brothers to fetch your ball back? And why on earth were you playing with them outdoors, so close to tea? You’d think I’d raised a hooligan, not a proper little girl. Up to your room, young lady. Bridey will have to do what she can with that tear.

Advance and be recognized.

    Your father has a duty to Queen and country, dear. He’ll be back in a fortnight. No, don’t cry, he’ll be back by your birthday. You ought to be proud. Never forget, daddy has his duty, and we have ours. You wouldn’t want him to see you crying, would you? I thought not...oh, for goodness sake, use my handkerchief, not your sleeve. A proper young lady wouldn’t do that.

Advance and be recognized.

    A proper young lady wouldn’t have gone in uninvited. You should have asked your father, it’s his private study. What you could possibly want there is beyond me, it’s all those perfectly deadly political and military volumes. What book were you looking for? Oh. No, he wouldn’t have let you have it, and quite right. That’s his signed copy. By Mr. Churchill, no less! Dear heaven, what am I going to do with you? I’m almost glad he’s selling the collection. Politics. I just don’t know what to make of you sometimes.

Advance and be recognized.

    A proper host should know table and dinner party etiquette, that’s why. Now, again. Here’s the ewer, and – not to the right, dear, to the left. No, the boys don’t have to. They won’t be hosting dinner parties, that’s why. Men don’t understand the niceties, and women simply must. If you must know, they’re with your  father, at the stable. The new owners have come for the mare and your father’s bay. They’re helping him say goodbye.

Advance and be recognized.

    I know you like rambling about, but Bainbury after eight at night is no place for a proper young woman to be without an escort. If you simply must, why not let me arrange for that nice young Aylesford lad to accompany you? 
    You know perfectly well who; Cedric. Yes, he’s home on holidays and – what? He’s from a good family, young lady, a very good family, and he’s – that, young lady, is quite enough. If you don’t like his family, you most certainly shall keep it to yourself. You can consider that bicycle off limits for two weeks. When you’re quite prepared to behave as a respectable young woman, we’ll talk about returning that privilege.

Advance and be recognized.

     Because your father’s...bills... simply got ... out of hand. He had a responsibility to pay them back. An officer always does his duty, and a gentleman repays his debts.  We’ve been over this, and over this. The boys are giving him enough grief, I’m surprised at you. Even the sale of the house won’t cover his notes completely.

Advance and be recognized.

    Well, it’s small, but it’s quite charming, really. It’s got four bedrooms, a parlor, a kitchen, quite a nice garden ... and it’s close to Knaresborough, so there’ll be shops and whatnot. Your father has second cousins there. They found it for us. I know it’s a long way from here, but  – oh, for heaven’s sake, you’re acting as if Yorkshire were on the moon ... now control yourself.  There’s nothing we can do. It’s what we can afford, what with your father’s pension and the boys’ school needs. I don’t know how we’d have managed if we’d had to worry about you, too. Oh. No, no, dear, that’s not what I meant.
    My dear, I understand, I really do. You were counting on that money for school, but think of your father, please. You’re the daughter of the home, and you have a duty to make this time a little easier on him. Me? No, I’m fine, I’m fine. Really, my dear. For better or worse, as they say...oh dear, where’s my handkerchief?  Don’t make a fuss over me, for heaven sake. Not in front of the movers.

Advance and be recognized.

    I don’t know why you’re not pleased. God knows, it’s all we’ve heard for the past two years. You wouldn’t go to the University of York, which would have been much more handy.  Do you know how hard he worked to find you lodgings in Leeds? We’ve arranged for your room and board at the Hardings – oh, don’t start with that again, please. Yes, you’ll have to mind their girls, but I don’t see that it will interfere with your studies at all. It’s a reasonable way for you to earn pin-money. In fact, I’d venture to say dealing with children is quite possibly better training for ...  never mind. I know that look, and you had better control yourself, my girl. Your father’s going to be home from his walk, and I want you to thank him properly for what he’s done. It’s your duty to thank him, even if you are too self-involved to admit it.

Advance and be recognized.

    I simply cannot believe this, I simply can’t.  I don’t know what your father’s going to say. Cambridge is so far away – how on earth could you come home at the weekends? And what good can it possibly do you? Political science and economics? What on earth for?  You’re only going to be leaving once you’re married ... although I’ll admit that Cambridge is a good deal closer to Cedric’s family ....
    What? What did you say?
    You can’t be serious. Why did he break it – oh, dear God, I know that look. You broke it off, didn’t you. Oh, I can’t bear this, I have to sit down. What will his family think? What will your father say? He’ll be devastated. Oh, you selfish, selfish girl!

Advance and be recognized.

    Well, you did it. I didn’t think – well. There it is, I suppose. I was wrong, wasn’t I? And a proper degree. Your brothers couldn’t manage that. I love them, but – no, I thought they were going to come up with me, but they didn’t. Your father sends his ... regrets. I do think he could have made it here. Still, he asked me to give you this. He said you’d need a little something once you were out in the world. I’m not at all sure what he thought £250 would do, but I suppose it’s the thought that counts. He sold his Churchill volume to do it.

Advance and be recognized.

    I must say, independent life has done wonders for you. I wish you had someone to share it with, but – no, I’m not pressing you, I suppose you’ll find someone in time. Oh, let’s not fight. Forget I said anything. I’d much rather find out more about Ethan, Hume and Bronstein. Imagine, you, a senior editor at a publishing house! A little publishing house, but still.... You know, I rather think you like it because it brought you back to Yorkshire. No, I’d never tell him that. He can be rather tiresome about I told you so’s.
    Speaking of your father,  what’s this you wrote about getting involved with some Labour  group? You had better not tell him. I’m sure he’d have a stroke.

Advance and be recognized.

    He really is quite proud of you, you know. I can see it in his eyes, even though he can’t say anything. Now the boys are settled in Halifax and Oxford, they never seem to have the time to come and see us. You’ve always made the time. I’m grateful that one of my children still seems to appreciate familial duty. So does your father, I’m sure of it. All the rest? Water under the bridge now. I wish ... oh, never mind. Let’s toast your nomination. I hope you don’t mind sherry?

Advance and be recognized.

    Come here, let me fix your collar. You can’t go out on the balcony looking like – wait, wait, your hair is a perfect fright! There, that’s better. Now you look the part. Oh, my goodness, you are the part. You...you ... oh, I am so proud of you!
    I wish your father could have been here to see this. Member of parliament ... MP, Flydale North! I think he hoped one of the boys would take an interest in politics, but I don’t think he – I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be talking about him, should I? Not on your day, of all days. Oh, congratulations, my dear, you did it all by yourself! Now, go on out there and address your riding!

Advance and be recognized.

    I never said I was sorry, did I? I can’t ... no, let me finish, let me finish. I don’t have much breath these days, and I know what I want to say.
    After all these years, you’re still a proper daughter of the home. You’ve taken care of me, you’ve never said one single word against either of your brothers for not helping out, you never blamed me for not taking your side with your father – no, no, I’ll be alright. Just get me some water, and my pills. Thank you, dear. That’s much better. Where was I?
    Oh, yes. Well. I simply had to tell you. I’m sorry. And I’m so glad you got on despite your whole miserable family. Despite me. I love you. I should say that more often ... Good heaven, is that the time? I’ve kept you here that long, and I do believe I need a nap ... Now off you go to London, go argue for your cottage hospitals. I can’t imagine anyone better equipped to wear down the Prime Minister than my daughter.

Advance and be recognized.

    Of course she did it. Of course she did. Thank God. You’re working for the whole country now, too. No more Yorkshire for you, I suppose...What? Election returns. I’m watching election returns. Oh, you’re new here, aren’t you? As it happens, I do indeed know her. Well, I know her now, better than I used to, I suppose. And believe me, she’s the right one for the job.
    Hmmm? Oh, because I’ve seen her in action. She’s my daughter.

Advance and be recognized.

    Ma’am, I think it broke her heart, that non-confidence vote. She just ... turned her face to the wall after that. She’d been so proud of your work, so proud of you. She always told our new patients she was your mum. And she always said “Harriet may be the second woman at 10 Downing Street, but she’s the first one who’s done a good job.” Oh, yes, every single time. We never stopped her. Frankly, ma’am, I can’t think of anyone on staff as thought any different. Won’t catch me voting for that Saxon. Something’s not right with him, if you ask me. Too many teeth.
    Listen to me go on, you’re not here for my chin-wagging.  Here’s the last of her things Ma’am – what? Oh. Thanks, but I couldn’t. “Harriet” seems so familiar, doesn’t it? I like the old formalities, myself. My mum taught them to me, and I’m trying to teach them to my girls.
    As a matter of fact, ma’am, I tell my girls they should be like you. After all, when everything in the world seems topsy turvy – spaceships in the Thames, everyone in the world standing on their roofs, God knows what all coming next – well, it’s clear eyes, straight backs and proper manners will see us through, Ma’am.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)

I could picture Harriet the entire time, and it really does reflect what we saw on screen.

I'm glad I read this before I headed off to bed!

Finale tomorrow! And I still have some baking to do for the mini-scotcon I'm hosting in honour of it.


And Bravo again (And wheee, I got first comment....)
Jul. 4th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much for your comment! I'm tickled to hear from you. What are you baking for the do tomorrow? Do I know anyone who's coming? (Of course, you won't see this until waaay later - hope you got a good night's sleep!)
Jul. 5th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Promethea, and our resident lovebirds, Vixie and the Weeg.

TT managed to book her hols for last week and this, so she's not yet seen the Stolen Earth! And Maxie had already made other arrangements...

I'm baking biscuits (Daleks, no less), muffins and if I have time, I shall give curdled ass cake a try...
Jul. 5th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
Poor TT! Can she possibly remain unspoiled? Please give Vixen and Weegie hello hugs for me, hand another out to Promethea, and enjoy the hell out of the evening.

(Dalek biscuits? So cool!)
Aug. 3rd, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say
It's amazing
Aug. 3rd, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Just wanted to say
Thank you, mystery person; I'm glad you liked it! I love Harriet, and I hope I did these portions of her life no disservice. I publish over at Teaspoon under the name Rutsky, and I think there may be more Harriet oriented stories on the way.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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