He knocked against her with his shoulder, moving gently enough, but she pulled out of his way apologetically all the same. She kept her eyes down but could tell he had turned to look at her. She dropped a small curtsy. “Sorry, sir,” she said. She clasped her hands in front of her and looked at fingers as he stared. Had she forgotten anything? Her gloves were smooth, she hadn’t gotten any dust on her skirts. Maybe he was just checking on her progress. The doctor said she was healthy though a bit petite, but no one could help that. Her hair hadn’t fallen down. She swallowed. “Is there something you would like me to do, sir?”
“No.” The lord turned on his heel and walked rapidly away from her. She waited before looking up at his swiftly retreating form. Unclasping her hands, she felt a faint chill. Careful as a mouse, she made her way down the hallways, making not a sound on the rich imported rugs. She avoided the statues, vases, and oddities that were everywhere in the lord’s house. He would be angry if she broke something, even if it was an accident. But still, everything here was… so much brighter, so much more than the townhouse she’d grown up in. It was like sitting in a jewelry box. She would not mess this up. She would not make the lord angry.
She made her way to the music room. The harp was gorgeous. It sat on the floor like it had grown there. Cousin to trees with gold and diamond leaves and strings made of siren’s hair or fairy silk. She ran her gloved hands over the carvings, before taking off her gloves, and sitting on the stool. The chords hummed discordantly when she strummed them. No one had played this harp in a while. Pleased, she set about tuning the instrument. It washed the tension from her encounter with the lord right out of her mind. She knew what she was doing with music and as the strings warmed and sang under her fingers, she knew she could do at least one thing right.