By Wit & Whitby
[Open] [CW] A ball at the Ennington Manor - Printable Version

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A ball at the Ennington Manor - Catherine Ennington - 10-09-2021

[CW: unhealthy body image]

The Ennington Manor was full of light and cheerful noise. Carriages drove up the long driveway, past a perfectly kept lawn and newly planted roses and more exotic flowers, to the porch, where they were received by footmen who held their doors open and showed them in. Once inside they were led into the great hall, where they were announced upon entering. 

Nobody not worthy of being announced had been invited. Only the richest families (and bachelors, especially bachelors) in Whitby - minus the Carringtons - and as far as Scarborough, Middlesbrough and York had received the golden framed invitation to the first ball of the Whitby season, which celebrated the eighteenth birthday of the Enningtons' youngest daughter, Catherine. Cathy had begged her papa and mama to throw the first ball and draw this attention to her coming of age. If she couldn't be presented at court, at least she should have a formal debut in Whitby. Oh how jealous all the other girls had to be! Even her sisters hadn't had such a grand debut and they already resented her for it. But all was fair in love and war, and a girl who wanted to make it in this world had to be shrewd and dedicated and not worry about the cost. 

Cathy was all those things. She had half-starved herself for the past few days to get her waist even smaller. Her lady's maid had reluctantly tight-laced her, reminding her mistress of the doctor's warnings and begging her to consider her health. But Catherine hadn't yielded. Her teachers had always told her and her classmates when their waists were measured that being a true lady and finding a good man required sacrifice. She would have to look perfect. And if that also required her to spend a full day working on her hair and face and checking that every fold and ribbon of her gown was perfect, then that was but a small additional sacrifice. All her life had been leading up to this. She couldn't waver now. 

She stood at the top of the stairs, hidden behind a corner and peeking out every now and then at the increasing number of guests down below. Servants were walking around offering food and drink on immaculate silver trays. The musicians were playing a quiet background tune. Cathy knew that there was a big ballet show in store to surprise their guests with. But first, she would make her big entrance, once enough guests had arrived. She could feel butterflies in her stomach and her head going foggy.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Quentin North - 10-11-2021

The invitation to the ball had arrived at Quentin's manor in Edenhall and at his abode in Whitby itself. He supposed that they didn't want him to miss the event. Reading through it he had some vague recollection of bumping into the subject of the party's celebration a few weeks prior. Which he didn't think had any particular bearing on his invitation, he was a Marquis of course they would invite him, it did, however, make him take a second look at it where he normally might have simply ignored it.

Grand parties like this were rarely enjoyable for him but he did have to attend them from time to time. Indeed, considering his recent betrothal there was some pressure for him to turn up to some pressure from her parents. Of course, he didn't want it to be a big deal or the focus of the evening and if it was young Catherine's birthday he could perhaps slip in early with Claire be announced and then fade into the background of the party until it was time to leave. Letting the young woman take the spotlight when she arrive.

So with that in mind, he'd arrived nearly as soon as the doors opened with Claire on his arm so they were announced to a nearly empty room. Now he was standing in the large and well-decorated ballroom of the Ennington's enjoying a drink at a table near the back and out of the way. Watching as the rest of the guests filed in.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Raisa Dmitriev - 10-11-2021

The company had been asked to perform as well as be there for the party.  She had said she was honored to be asked.  She and the group had put together three numbers to perform for the gathering.  The costuming had been chosen with a consideration of sparkle and light and delicate.  Raisa had selected a lovely but not as shiny dress to change into after performing.  Kirill would stand as her companion at the party, as the rest of the group would also partner up and mingle.  Though at the moment they were back warming up and waiting for the signal for them to come out and perform.

She was ready to start in an antique rose costume of a filmy material that would float as she danced.  Kirill was in a matching outfit to dance as her male lead.  The material had sparkling shinies all through it.  Her hair was up with diamond pins and ribbon around the bun that was of the same color as the rest of her outfit.  Warming up, she leaned onto Kirill's shoulder and lifted her leg up behind her as far as she could.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Claire Devereaux - 10-13-2021

This was the first day that they were going to a function together that her fiance had been invited to, but not her. It was alright because he was with her anyway, and she looked stunning in a shimmering, copper ballgown that was a one-of-a-kind that she recently had made. Her hair was elegantly coifed and her face was fresh and glowing. There was something different about her that Quentin might notice that wasn't just from the ballgown.

Her eyes met his as they sat down and she smiled, "I am glad you brought me here, I haven't danced in some time. I would love it."

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Douglas Gordon - 10-13-2021

Douglas had picked a few of the events that he would attend, if only briefly, and this was one of those.  He had dressed in his formal kilt suit.  The plaid was his family's pattern.  His hair was carefully combed but continued to be a bit wavy.  He walked in as one of the later guests, but that was typical for him.  When he was properly announced, he glanced around and began to mingle with those he had met previously.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Lailani MacKenzie - 10-16-2021

Whether or not to come to the celebration was debated by Lailani. She did not have much reason not to attend. Sure the young Hawaiian Scottish had other things she could have been doing such as reading or exploring Whitby. 

Unfortunately none of that was productive, at least in the eyes of her father. The man who she was so similar to in many ways such as their stubbornness at times made it clear to Lailani through writing that such an event would help her find a husband.  It was not necessarily the idea of finding a husband that pricked Lailani’s annoyance but the implications that came with becoming someones.. wife.

Still the raven haired royal ali’i decided to attend this event, not to look for a husband as her father would want but to simply be around others. Lailani wore a ivory silk satin two-piece dress that had asymmetrical bold sun ray and cloud pattern on the skirt of Japanese influence. Befitting Lailani as someone who enjoyed learning about the exotic world which of course included Japan. 

After having been properly announced, Lailani’s mind wondered to the random thought of whether their was a woman on the other side of the world who had just been announced as well. Seemingly senseless quick thoughts such as these were nothing new to Lailani’s active imagination. Fortunately when the lass had heard a relative of her’s being announced a smile of delight sprang up on the woman’s face as she promptly caught sight of Douglas whom she approached and greeted with a warm “Aloha Dougie” not caring about formality when it came to family.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Arthur McPadraic - 10-17-2021

Of course Arthur was there with his wife Elaine and two of his daughters, Florence and Isobel, two blonde, slender young ladies of eighteen and seventeen who looked alternately proud and daunted. He had left Alexandra at home. He had given his eldest daughter up as a hopeless case. His new objective was to keep her out of sight, so that she wouldn't attract gossip and ruin her younger sisters' prospects as well. At least Florence and Isobel were sensible. They had spent the full day preparing themselves, helped by their maids and mother-in-law. Even though this was nothing more than a country dance compared to court (Florence had been presented last year, and this would be Isobel's season), there were a few eligible bachelors in the neighbourhood and they knew what they had to do, unlike his eldest. Arthur was looking into colleges on the continent.

He looked around. Some people of interest. Sir Quentin North among them. But he was accompanied by a young woman. Arthur should have acted quicker and have found a way to be introduced to the gentleman, so that he could have introduced Florence. Then there was that Scottish Earl, Lord Gordon. He was always surrounded by parents and young ladies alike. But he hadn't shown interest in any of them yet, and his Florence was both more beautiful and more refined than the lot of them. It was an opportunity that could not be missed. Not to mention he could use the lord's support or patronage of his new project. He had to make sure to be introduced to the Earl tonight.

Arthur looked around for people he knew who could form an opening in the ranks. He turned to Elaine. "I have to go talk to some people. Take the girls for a walk around the room." Elaine was a fair and delicate creature. Not yet twenty-five, she was closer in age to her stepdaughters than to her husband, yet she turned to the girls authoritatively, and hooking arms with each, she said: "Come on, girls," and led them away to parade them front of potential suitors. Arthur, meanwhile, went to talk to some friends to slowly work his way up to the Earl.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Douglas Gordon - 10-18-2021

Douglas looked up hearing the familiar voice and recognizing the nickname with a grin.  He moved toward her and gave her a hug, also not caring about proper rules when it came to family.  "Lani!  It is sae good tae see yu. When did yu get in Whitby?  Why dinna yu telegraph me tae say yu were coming tae visit?"  He glanced around.  "Yu must come by the cottage and visit soon.  Per'aps a picnic oot as I paint.  We 'ave much tae catch up on, lass.  Sae much." 

He had written to Lani when his mother had died and let her know he was traveling once he got her inheritance settled.  He had not been able to stay home as he grieved her, and the traveling and shows in London and other cities over the last few years had been good for him.  He had sent Lani letters often, as he had taken up the letters his mother had sent regularly to the young cousin.  When he had decided to stay in Whitby, he had let her know but had not known she would come visit.

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Quentin North - 10-24-2021

Thus far his plan to avoid attracting too much notice was going well. Despite being the highest-ranked member of the nobility present he was not being inundated with aristocrats looking to earn his good grace. It was a welcome change that he thought might have as much to do with deliberately arriving early as it did with arriving with a young woman already on his arm. Frankly, if all his balls going forward could be like this he wouldn't complain in the slightest.

"Well, once the dancing commences we most certainly can do so my dear."

The big man responded to Claire with a warm smile as she settled down next to him at the table. They were quickly graced with refreshments, wine and appetizers to help pass the time while the dancing troop prepared and the rest of the guests file in. Quentin accepted a glass of white and some canapes both of which were placed on the table and ignored for the moment since he'd just done so to not be rude to the server.

"I must say, Claire, you are looking absolutely radiant in that dress."

Quentin added, there was something a bit different about her today but he couldn't pin it down. A glow about her features, perhaps due to the way her dress complimented her complexion or mayhap it was just the excitement at being at a formal ball with her betrothed?

RE: A ball at the Ennington Manor - Catherine Ennington - 10-31-2021

Catherine peeked out when the Marques Quentin North was announced, but drew up her lip in disgust when she noticed a lady by his side, who was announced next. Who did this Miss Deveraux think she was, to disrupt Catherine's carefully laid out plan? She should have acted quicker. They should have hosted an event earlier.

When all the guests had arrived, her father came up. He was a short and rather round man, who had sported a large moustache a decade ago, but had a clean shaven face now, all up to date with the latest fashion, and looked ruddier for that. Despite his short stature and flustered complexion, he had a way of carrying himself with authority, and when he tapped a spoon against a glass that had been handed to him for the purpose, the noise was soon copied by others and the murmur below died out.

"Dear friends, family, esteemed guests," he projected his voice. "I would like to welcome you all to this ball to celebrate the start of the summer season, but also," he raised his voice a little here, "to celebrate the coming of age of my youngest daughter, Catherine," he held out his hand and Catherine glided towards him, uncomfortably aware of how red her face was. Her father continued: "- who has recently turned eighteen. She will be joining social events from now on, so let's welcome her."

Catherine blushed even deeper as he father walked her down the stairs. She felt light in the head and worried that she would faint. She had been looking forward to this moment so much, but hadn't realized how terrifying it would be to have all those eyes fixed on her. Some people applauded in a gesture of welcome and approval. Others shouted a welcome. Some girls glared. Other girls whispered among each other and giggled. She suddenly wasn't so sure if she liked being the center of attention.

"Goodness, dear, stop blushing," whispered her father. She had to look her best. Her parents had high hopes for her, and her red face did not help towards fulfilling those. "We'll go see the Marques first, but since he's as good as claimed, we'll go to the Earl straight after that, before any of these jealous young ladies get to him."

"Yes papa," whispered Catherine, even more flustered under the pressure. She was thankful when they reached the bottom of the stairs and she hadn't fainted.

"And now," said Mr. Ennington, projecting his voice once again. "May we have a waltz?" Immediately the musicians started playing a waltz. Some people started making their way to the dance floor. Young men approached Catherine, but she only accepted dances with two men whom she wasn't interested in, but who were important enough to 'increase her market value'. She wrote their names in her little book and followed her father to see the Marquess.

"My lord, how kind of you to accept our invitation," said Mr. Ennington with a small bow. Catherine curtsied, batting her lashes shyly at him, and then looked at Miss Deveraux. "That is a beautiful dress, Miss Deveraux," she said with as much grace as she could muster.