Author's Chapter Notes:
This is AU because obviously I decided that Dorian and Mina needed a daughter. Hope you like Sirene!
At five o’clock on a hot July evening, the fine men of Scotland Yard found the pretty little girl wandering around the East London docks. She seemed lost and confused, and they couldn’t image where she had come from. The tallest of the three men took the little girl in his arms to inspect her. She didn’t seem lost or even frightened. He asked her what she was called, and she replied that she wasn’t called anything. They continued to question her about where she came from and who her parents were, but she continued to answer in the negative. It seemed like she’d never known any sort of family, or had any real home except “that place,” which she referred to with a wrinkle of her little button nose, as if “that place” was a bad taste in her mouth.
“You mean they never even gave you a name there?” asked the officer who’s name was Whittington and didn’t really have any patience for children. And this time, her response was different then before.
“No, Matron called me things like ‘that girl,’ and the other children called me ‘monster,’ but no real name.”
Finally, they decided to put her back in the orphanage, although she objected strenuously with many tears flowing out of her large brown eyes.
And she waited for someone to come for her, but no one did. She was three years old, the age where children are cute, and loveable. Just at the right age for someone to want them. But everyone could see what was going on with her. She didn’t seem loveable. When the other children fought with her, she would go out into the forest and find little animals, killing them and leaving them in the offending child’s bed.
Then the child would go running to Matron and she’d yell, but she wouldn’t throw a child out in the street; she wasn’t that kind of person. And the girl stayed for years. Thirteen to be exact. Then, she ran away.
He was looking at the picture again. It wasn’t his picture of course, because he’d locked that up a long time ago, but another picture. One he’d painted with no real thought to what was in the portrait. It showed a little girl, about three years of age, sitting on a high-backed chair in a dark room.
He looked down and blinked. Then he looked at the next picture beside it. He had a feeling that this picture was of the same girl in the picture before, but now she was a little older. And so it went, with his unknown subject getting older and older, until, in the last one, she was a very pretty sixteen-year-old girl. He’d titled the final portrait Sirene. Dorian didn’t know who the girl was, but he felt as if he should.
He turned away from the final portrait and went to get himself a drink. The girl in the portrait reminded him somewhat of Mina, and somewhat of…himself. The two of them had had a time, there was no doubt of that, but had something become of it? No. That was impossible. Even if it was true, he wouldn’t want to have anything to do with the child; they would only intrude upon his eternity, and he couldn’t have that. He filled the small glass to the top, tipped his head back and drained the glass, not swallowing immediately, but letting the liquid swish around in his mouth while he staggered to an armchair and collapsed, waiting for the drink to remove thoughts of his mysterious muse from his memory.
She remembered the night the policemen had brought her back to the orphanage. It was on a night just like this one. Just about as cold too. She knew where she’d go now that she was out of there. She’d go to the docks, just as she had before. For some reason, that was a comforting area for her. And in the morning, she’d ask around town to see if any of the locals that she’d never seen before could tell her anything of her parents.
She woke up with the bright sun and immediately headed straight to town. As she walked among the locals, she couldn’t help but notice the looks on their faces as she walked by. She walked from house to house, getting nothing, until, around midnight, she found herself standing in front of what looked like a deserted old mansion. She knocked on the front door and a little window towards the top opened up and she found herself looking up at a shape she couldn’t quite make out in the dark.
“Who are you?” asked a man’s voice sharply.
“I don’t know,” she responded, “I was hoping you could help me with that. I’m an orphan, and I’m trying to find my parents.”
“I don’t do acts of charity.” The voice was arrogant, and as quick as it had happened, the shape behind the door disappeared.
She stared at the door for a moment, and then put down her carpetbag, opening it and taking out a small hand axe that gleamed in the darkness. She admired its sharpness for a moment before taking the axe to the wood of the front door.
Within moments, the shape was back. “What are you doing?”
She shrugged, although she doubted he could see it. “Since you seem unwilling to invite me inside without even allowing me to render an explanation, I figure that I might as well invite myself in because it won’t make a worse impression.”
Not a minute later, the door opened, and she could see the man’s face, lit by the kerosene lamps in the hall behind him.
She was amazed by how young he was. And handsome. She could feel herself starting to go fuzzy.
“You have nerve,” he said, smiling coyly and gesturing for her to come in. She slowly put the axe back in her carpetbag, and followed him to a spacious front parlor, where she eyed all the portraits on the walls with amazement.
“Do you paint?” she asked suddenly.
He didn’t turn around, and only when he’d motioned her to a chair did he answer her question.
“Yes, I paint.”
She looked at the portraits again, lost in them.
Dorian looked at the girl again. He couldn’t help but notice that she resembled the girl in his last portrait, the girl he’d named Sirene.
Clearing his throat, he asked her, “did you want something of me?”
She turned away from the pictures, and nodded. “I’m an orphan. I’m looking for my parents, or someone who can tell me about them. I have a feeling they were from around here.”
“Would you go stand by that portrait?” he asked suddenly, pointing to the one she’d loved on sight.
She obliged and as he looked back and forth between her and the portrait, he felt a little shock. The girl in the picture and the living girl standing beside her were identical.
“What’s your name?”
She shook her head. “I’ve never had one. What’s yours?”
“I am Dorian Gray.”
Her eyes lit up. “I’ve been looking for my parents all day, and whenever the villagers would look at me, they’d mention you.”
She nodded. “And we seem to look a lot alike.”
“How old are you?”
He gasped. It had been that long since he’d last seen Mina! Could it really be?”
“What made you suddenly want to look for your parents?” he was skeptical about her assumption that they were related just by sight, even if the resemblance was almost frightening. He’d need further proof.
“Well, I ran away from the orphanage because I’m old enough to, and I have a feeling they would’ve kicked me out soon anyway. But honestly, I don’t see what is wrong with killing people’s rabbits if they taunt you for getting yelled at by the Matron when it really wasn’t your fault, do you?”
Dorian felt himself start to smile. Once more he looked up at the portrait, then down at the girl. “Darling, how do you feel about the name Sirene?”
Only Sirene is mine!
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