Jane first encountered a boggart when she was just eight years old. Locked in the red room, thoughts swirling, she later believed she had gone mad. Little did she realise that it was a magical creature she'd encountered.
The second boggart was in a store cupboard at Lowood. She'd been sent to retrieve more chalks after Charlotte had dropped some. However, upon opening the door, she found herself faced with a black cloud. It swarmed in front of her like a coming storm, and she instantly remembered seeing the same thing in the red room. Although this time it wasn't Uncle Reed who'd appeared; she'd become desensitised to her lack of her family since. Instead, she was faced with a different corpse. It was carelessly positioned on the chair, a head of messy ginger hair lolling to the side. The body was small and wore a grey dress mirroring Jane's own. Slowly, Jane edged around to see who it was, and upon recognising the face, screamed.
She was held down and scolded until she stopped. "HELEN! Helen!" She had no voice the next day, and couldn't have spoken even if she'd been allowed to.
When the third boggart came, she was more prepared. The swimming dark cloud warped and twisted before transforming into a woman. She wore her grey hair in a tight bun, and upon first glance Jane thought it was Miss Scatcherd. Only when she blinked a few times did she truly see who it was.
"It is my fourtieth year of work in this institution," the lady cried, stumbling forwards with a limp, "so I know best, and you will listen to what I say, and there will be strikes for anyone who does not." The voice belonged to Jane Eyre. She clasped her throat, checking she had not spoken, but Jane realised it was the lady in front of her; an older, stricter Jane. A Jane who never left Lowood.
"Go!" Jane cried, but the old lady remained in front of her, staring with disapproval.
"You will not interrupt! You will-" yelled the woman. Jane began to ignore the scolds, changing her focus to what she must do. On the two previous occasions, Jane had not had to face the nightmare - she had either blacked out or been pulled away by those who did not seem to notice it was there. Jane thought it her own personal demon, following her through life.
"Please go. I don't know why you're here - if it is to intimidate, to scare, to make me feel small, know that you are no longer achieving that. I am but seventeen years old, and much grown from my younger self. You do not scare me, phantom, so leave me to rest." Heeding here words, the creature twisted away and vanished, leaving Jane alone in her bedchamber.
Though Jane was not scared of the boggart at the time, it began to haunt her dreams, and she would often wake with shallow breaths and a heavy heartbeat, having encountered the feared creature once more in her sleep. It was often in her thoughts, so it was unsurprising that when accused of "meeting your people" by a tall, dark haired stranger, Jane had felt her pulse rise and hairs on the back of her neck prickle, making her pause before she replied.
He did not understand her hesitation until a later date. The man, Edward Rochester, had been walking the halls of Thornfield in search of Grace Poole when he had heard the sound of crying from one of the rooms. He was about to leave them in privacy when he realised whom the room belonged to. With little thought of modesty, he knocked the door and called out-
"Jane! Jane, are you well?" In a scuffle the door had rattled open and the young woman leapt forward to clutch at him.
"I thought you were gone," she whimpered, tears wetting his shirt.
"Why would I be gone Jane? You know full well I intended to stay for the hunting season." Edward was confused - Jane was usually so proper, yet here she was, clinging to his shirt and crying, and not caring that the actions were scandalous. She then stepped back to look up at him and smiled gently, clearly relieved from the source of her tears.
"What is wrong Janet?" he asked, reaching to hold her cold hands in his. "I was just walking down the corridor to get some air after a long conversation with Miss Ingram when I hear the cries of a chick fallen from her nest. What had knocked you?" Jane smiled at his playful image.
"I am well, sir. No knock. Simply someone played a trick on me - gave me a letter telling that you had left, with no expectation of returning for a fair few years. Now I see it was untrue... And I am sorry for holding you so. It was improper. Please, accept my deepest apologies."
"It is no worry," he replied, with a hint of guilt from having enjoyed holding the girl. "What does concern me though is that letter. Do you have it on your person? I wish to examine the handwriting and see if I can deduce the sender. It was a cruel trick and they shall pay for it." Jane glanced around the room but the result of her search was evident.
"I'm afraid I do not have it. I must've misplaced it." Edward frowned, his brows arching, but decided irregardless that he believed he already knew the letter's source.
"I will sort this Jane. Good day to you," he wished her, letting go of her hands and leaving firmly, walking straight up to the third corridor. When he had gone, Jane stood for a moment, thinking, and realised the letter must've been a trick of her imagination, like the phantom had been in the past, and that today she simply hadn't noticed the swirling black cloud before the letter had appeared.
That was the first time Edward met her phantom, as such. However, it was on a later date that he truly encountered the demon. On a dark, moonlit night he had stood at his window, the shadow of cries for Jane still on his lips. He often called out to her at that hour, at the time he had done on their wedding night when he had found her empty chamber.
"Jane," he whispered, about to return to his grief, when he noticed a presence in the room. It seemed to be a misplaced shadow, floating beside him. When he turned he found the girl he had been calling for standing in the shadow's place.
"Edward," spoke the girl softly.
"Oh Jane," he cried, wrapping his arms tightly around her and holding her to his chest. He moved then to kiss her, bending down and holding her to him as their lips met. It was then he felt a sharp pain, and the girl leapt back, blood on her teeth.
"Do not touch me, you cruel man!" she cried, pointing a finger at him.
"Jane," he stuttered feebly, hand to his bleeding lip. Meanwhile the girl was wrenching pins from her hair, allowing it to fall in ragged locks about her.
"I would be with anyone but you," she insulted, spitting on the ground between them. "You broke my heart!" she yelled, falling forwards and lunging her arms out to thrash at him with her nails. He held to her wrists to protect himself.
"Jane, please, Jane," he called, but she did not hear him. She was erratic, fighting his grip, threateningly biting towards him. The image reminded him all too much of his wife upstairs.
"This isn't you, Jane," he comforted, "this isn't you. You aren't... You aren't real. This is my imagination." His words caused the girl to freeze, and before he could so much as utter another word she vanished and he stumbled forwards, off balance now no longer holding her still.
"Oh Jane," he spoke painfully, falling to the floor and nursing his now swollen lip.
Many miles away in a quaint cottage sat a young woman. She was quiet and reflective, sat alone in her room, accompanied only by the light of a candle... Until something floated in through the open window. She recognised the demon immediately, and simply awaited its form so she could then cast it away with her words. The cloud morphed into two figures - Mr Rochester and herself. They stood at the foot of her bed, so close she was sure they'd be able to feel the breath of the other on their cheeks. Although Jane could've sent them away, she couldn't help but watch the scene, eager to see what the phantom presented. She maybe expected what then played out, but that didn't reduce its intensity for her to watch.
The couple had moved backwards onto the bed, Jane lying amongst the sheets as Edward held himself over her.
"I'm already married," reminded Edward.
"I don't care," Jane replied as she removed his jacket.
"It's a sin," he insisted, watching her carefully but not stopping her ministrations.
"Then sin with me," she pleaded, grasping to his shirt and tugging the buttons undone. At this Edward began removing Jane's clothing.
From the armchair came the voice of the observer.
"You see my darkest thoughts, phantom. You see my fears; fears of things happening. This one indeed I fear... But I know myself. I have control. Do not think you can tempt me - I know your devilish ways, wishing to draw me from the light. I am resolute in my decision. So leave me be, phantom, for this possibility shall not come true." The figures disappeared.
"Miss Elliot?" A knock and a call from St. John sounded at the door. Jane opened it to him.
"Are you with someone? I heard you talking."
"Prayers, Mr Rivers, no more." Despite the reasonable explanation Mr Rivers remained unconvinced.
"If you wish to talk, I'm sure Dianna and Mary would oblige to."
"I am quite well, Mr Rivers, do not fear. I would, if you please, return to my quarters - it is quite cold."
"Of course. Good night."
"And to you," she spoke, watching him leave before shuffling back inside, holding her nightclothes tight about her.
It was months later that Jane saw Edward again. He was staying in a cottage with John and Mary. When she saw him walk through the door she grinned, reaching out a hand despite the great distance. However, he remained unphased, no recognition on his face. Jane faltered; how could he not see her? It was then she noticed the stick he held to tap in front of him as he walked.
"This cannot be true," Jane whispered to herself. Mrs Fairfax had not mentioned any injuries. It had to be a trick of her mind, or the nightmare that followed her around.
"I believe Edward to be alive and well. Why show me this, phantom? I do not fear Edward, and do not fear for his health. He is a strong man, not faltering. Please leave me demon. I wish to see Edward again. Truly." The man did not disappear. The man did not even flinch. Although he seemed to of turned towards her voice he had walked no further, and when she'd finished speaking he'd grumbled 'oh curses' before stumbling back into the house.
Jane watched as a candlelight soon warmed an upstairs window, and she knew that was where Edward would be.
"You are no ghost," she whispered.
An hour passed, and after a long conversation with John and Mary, Jane found herself standing at the threshold of Edward's room. His eyes were blank and stationary but his head turned to her entry. She was shaking and the china on the tray she held rattled.
"John? John, is that you?" Jane stepped closer, placing the tray on a side table and picking up the glass of water. Carefully holding a napkin below his chin, she rested the glass on his lips and poured him a little water to drink. He did so briefly, but paused to think. Suddenly he reached up to her hand.
"That... That is Jane Eyre's hand." She laughed, placing down the glass so she could place her hands on his collar.
"Is it truly you?"
"I am come back to you sir."
"Oh," he gasped, grasping to her and holding her. Though his hold wavered and he held back to question her.
"You are a phantom?"
"Here to torment me?"
"No sir," she replied calmly.
He smirked. "Edward, Jane, not sir."
"Edward," she laughed, reaching a hand to his matted hair. With the movement he leant forward to kiss her... And she kissed him too.