09 July 2015 @ 04:54 pm
The Education of a Magican in Both Love and War. (1/10)  
Yes, I'm getting pulled into another fandom

Title: The Education of a Magican in Both Love and War. (1/10)
Fandom: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Characters/pairings: Mr Norrell/Childermass.
Word count: 1100/about 10,000 to 12,000
Warnings: not particular graphic mention of Napoleonic warfare.
Rating: teen

Summary: written for the prompt Mr Norrell is the one sent to serve Wellington in the Peninsular War rather than Jonathan Strange. Wouldhe prefer Norrell/Childermass Pairing.

Leaving the solitude of Hurtfew Abbey with its extensive library of well cared for and correctly stored books had been a terrible error, of that Mr Norrell was increasingly sure.

He had been sure of it upon his arrival in London and then once again upon his introduction to what was termed polite society.[1] For a time matters had improved. His position with the Admiralty had been a source of pride and Mr's Lascelles and Drawlight had seemed only too willing in assisting him in securing the desired level respectability he wished to be accorded, while the arrival of Jonathan Strange and his engagement as his pupil had only seemed to confirm to Mr Norrell that his method of studying and using magic was becoming both a recognised and respectable profession.

Indeed for a period of time through the summer and autumn of 1810 it had seemed that all he desired would occur and that the unfortunate consequences of raising Lady Pole to life would remain the only black spot upon his magical career. As beyond Lord Pole's entreaties to him to ease the madness of his wife there was only one other source of disquiet that intruded upon his newfound optimism: Childermass.

It has been Childermass who had guided his decision to confront the York Society of Magicians and to shew that magic had indeed returned to England and that he was its most eminent scholar and practitioner. It had also been Childermass who had informed him that coming to London and making acquaintance with Lord Pole and Mr's Drawlight and Lascelles would be of advantage to him.

Yet as Mr Norrell had secured his position Childermass seemed to grow more contrary in his behaviour to all those around him. His increasing lack of manners and irritability where Drawlight and Lascelles had become a source of unhappiness for Mr Norrell to the point where he had started to arrange for Childermass to be away when the other gentlemen were due to call.

Even this uneasy peace was not to last, as on a dreary morning when winter was beginning to tighten its grip on London and frost fairs were being planned within the month, that a surprizing event which was to set in motion significant changes to both Mr Norrell's and Childermass' lives occurred. [2]

"There is a letter from the Admiralty," Childermass said as he placed the letter bearing both the seal of Lord Liverpool and of the Admiralty itself on the breakfast table in front of Mr Norrell.

Letters from the Admiralty were both a source excitement, which he rarely allowed any to realise and consternation, which he was frequently most vocal about. It was a pleasing thing on one hand to know that his opinion was so highly valued in matters of such national importance, however the requests that they made of him had of late become increasingly difficult to accomplish while maintaining the gravity and respectability that he felt magicians should be afforded.

This particular letter was the most startling yet and Mr Norrell had read it three times with mounting horror before dropping it back onto the table and murmuring to himself, "It is quite impossible. I shall not have it."

Childermass who had spent this time leaning by the fire to chase the winter dampness from his clothes [3] while being able to watch his employer's reaction to the letter, said, "Do they wish for more sea beacons or for you to replicate Mr Strange's feat of horses of sand?"

"Neither." Mr Norrell picked up the letter once more and shook it as if its mere presence offended him. "They wish me to serve General Wellington."

"That is not so terrible a thing, is it?" Childermass remarked as he approached so that he might read the contents of the letter for himself. "He has favour with the Regent and his friendship may open doors that would remain closed under Lord Liverpool."

Mr Norrell gave him a sour look before crumpling the letter and abandoning it to the table once more. Leaving his seat he began to pace in a distracted manner. "Service under the same conditions should not disturb me so. No, they wish me to serve him in person, Childermass. They wish me to go to Portugal. It is quite, quite impossible," he said with determination which fast changed to an almost childlike peevishness. "I shall not do it. I shall not. They cannot make me."

Turning his attention to his writing bureau, Mr Norrell seated himself and took out quill and paper determined to right the misapprehension under which the Admiralty laboured. He would inform them in no uncertain terms that he would be of most use to the country were he to remain in London and that he had no intention of being ordered around like a common tradesman.

Childermass did not acknowledge what his employer had said, rather using the opportunity to uncrease the offending missive and read it for himself. Had Drawlight or Lascelles been present at that moment they would have been most offended with the liberties that he took and been most vocal of the fact.

As Childermass read his frown deepened, confusion and apprehension uppermost in his mind. "I had not foreseen this," he thought to himself, greatly troubled by the fact. His cards had never yet given him false hope or fear, so he told himself that the reason this turn of events had remained unheralded was that nothing would come of it and the letter would be retracted.

Mr Norrell said nothing of Childermass' reading his letter, so concerned was he at making his reply he scarce had even noticed it. Finally, with the ink barely dry upon the paper, Mr Norrell said, "I wish you to deliver this to the Admiralty this very morning." He handed it to Childermass with a look of relief on his face, "They shall read it and realise that I am not to be so ordered, and that shall be an end to this nonsense."

[1] Polite was to some extent a misnomer as while voices were not raised nor crude language used, slights, pointed remarks and even veiled threats were considered quite reasonable. This was particularly true when one or other of the parties were of such standing as to be near immune to any form of reprisal.

This surprizingly included Childermass himself whose focus had of late been directed so completely towards other matters, such as finding Vinculus, that he had not considered such a change in their lives.

[3] Childermass had been out of the house before dawn on one of his own ventures that took him into parts of London that were less than respectable.

Part two: http://the-silver-sun.livejournal.com/252166.html