Disclaimer: Emma, all characters, places, and related terms belong to Jane Austen, Working Title Films, Blueprint Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, and Focus Features.
Author's Note: Inspired by posters for the new Emma film.
Match Made in Heaven
It was a loud – dreamy? – sigh which interrupted Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley arguing over each other, a reminder they were not alone. Silently, now the picture of regency dignity, they turned away from each other and focused on their tea. Across the table Harriet Smith sighed again then smiled brightly.
"Oh, dear Miss Woodhouse, Mr. Knightley. I do declare you act like an old married couple!"
The result of Miss Smith's remarkable statement was the gentleman choking on his tea and the lady almost dropping her cup.
"Miss Smith!" Mr. Knightley gasped hoarsely. His countenance flushed a bright red – whether from anger or something else entirely was up for debate.
Emma exclaimed, "My dear Harriet!" Her ringlets bounced as she giggled, setting down her tea with a faint clank. "We do not! We are brother and sister!"
Harriet wrinkled her nose in an adorable fashion. "Only through marriage, so not truly," she pointed out.
"What are you saying?" the lady and gentleman asked in unison.
"Just…," Miss Harriet fluttered her handkerchief enthusiastically. "Miss Woodhouse I have heard everyone describe you as being handsome, clever, and rich."
While confused, Emma bowed her head at her friend's compliment.
"And you, Mr. Knightley," Harriet said, bravely meeting his gaze, her handkerchief waving even more, "you are also handsome, clever, and rich. Have not you noticed how often you talk in unison, finish each other's sentences, only argue with one another? Obviously, the two of you are a match made in heaven!"
The brunette-haired young woman trembled in her chair with excitement. She grinned as she observed Emma and Mr. Knightly gaze at each other, back at her, then at one another once more in astonishment.
"I…I had not noticed we did," Mr. Knightley spoke first.
"Nor I," Emma's voice was quiet.
Harriet did not breathe as the look stretched out between them for an endless moment.
"Never had I thought of us in that light," Emma mused.
Mr. Knightley blushed anew, appearing almost shy as he replied, "I confess the thought had occurred to me."
Color flooded Emma's face. "Really?" she whispered.
"Only once!" the gentleman hastily said.
She seemed to deflate (curls and all) at his words. "Only once."
He swallowed hard, hesitated a second. "Actually, more than once…," he trailed off.
Emma's expression softened. "It is not a terrible thought, is it?"
"No, not at all," Mr. Knightley agreed with a gentle smile. "Ah, perhaps we may—"
"An excellent notion."
Their twin smiles brimmed with growing wonder and possibilities as they rose from the table and left the room arm in arm.
Harriet remained frozen in her chair for nearly half a minute after the door shut behind Emma and Mr. Knightley. Finally, laughing joyfully, she leapt up and threw her handkerchief into the air.