♥ Yuki (Yukio) Shimizu
Yuki is Simon's current boyfriend—intelligent and versatile, pleasant and quiet, deceptively lazy-seeming, and a liar. The two of them live together in London. Their neighbours probably wonder about the two nice young men in number 28, but nobody further afield would ever have cause; they are both resolute that they shouldn't broadcast themselves.
Simon adores him; he truly believes in him; he is completely devoted. He has misgivings, but he blames himself for them; he feels guilty for them; he manages them away. And he has a lot to manage, because Yuki's a manipulative, psychologically abusive fuckhead—clever, adept and charming. He's been terrible for Simon, to such an extent that the CDC might well, in the long term, end up good for him.
Yuki knows Simon is hiding something from him, but believes he could tell if it was anything important. He thinks he can read the other boy's mind, and often he can. He knows what he's doing to Simon, and sometimes even feels guilty about it. Undemonstrative by nature, he does love Simon obsessively, though more because he makes Yuki feel so very special than for his own sake.
Rejected by his family in Osaka, he's skipped the country to build a new life for himself. He's very, very insecure, obsessed with not being alone. He wants someone who will love him and be with him; he wants someone who will never, ever leave him. So when he finds Simon, he befriends him, he charms him, and then he webs him up and keeps him.
He won't ever feel bad enough about what he's doing to stop. He takes Simon for granted; he thinks the English boy's happy enough. And if he's not, he ought to be. And if he left—if he left, then Yuki would have failed again. And then he doesn't know what he'd do.
— Anton Hewitt
Decently smart and middlingly attractive, with brown hair and brown eyes and a sunny smile, Anton is Simon's best friend at Eton, and later his first real boyfriend. He's the son of a doctor, a good social class or two below Simon, but neither of them mind.
The two of them first really talk in front of the school's First World War memorial, where Simon is picking out his dead great-uncles who he's heard about all his life—and more distant relatives too, and several other family names he recognises. Anton, who's seen his dormmate tucked away on his own and come to see what he's up to, is a bit dazed by the torrent of information, but after that they're friends.
He genuinely cares about Simon; he isn't stringing him along. But he's much more like a Kinsey 2 or 3, and finds it easier to deal only with girls. Withdrawn from school after the fight with Simon, he revises at home and takes his exams at a local testing centre. He drops a couple of grades, but he still gets into a London college to do art history—which suits him fine, as his original application to Oxford would have been far too close to Simon's orbit.
He never really forgives himself for the things he says to Simon when they break up, but he moves on with his life and does well.
+ Jamie (James) Enderby
A strawberry-blond boy some six months younger than Simon, he's Simon's father's first cousin, and Simon's first cousin once removed. His family home is a large house in Chelsea, modern and gated, and ruled by three white Persian cats which Simon adores.
Jamie's father is the only real friend Simon's father has, and the two families visit back and forth constantly. The two of them go to school together. Jamie is Simon's best friend until they're thirteen, stands by him come what may, and as an adult is one of only two people who he fully confides in.
He's science-inclined; he studies maths at Imperial College in London. He likes fractals. He goes on to be an investment banker, but we shan't hold that against him. His girlfriend is a PhD astrophysicist with an interest in exoplanets. Simon meets up with them often.
+ Molly (Margaret) Kenwood, the Hon.
A bright, laughing, fashionable young woman, Molly is Simon's aunt and his father's younger sister, born in 1974. She's still at boarding-school when her parents divorce, and her mother retains custody and half her husband's wealth. They do very well out of it.
Only twelve years older than Simon is, she's more of an older sister than an aunt to him. She jetsets a lot, and is more often out of the country than in it; however, when she's around, she'll collect Simon and Jamie from school and drag them out for the day. These trips tend to be startling or strange in one way or another; she's either very good or very bad for Simon's political awareness. She writes letters and brings them gifts (including Simon's first pair of angora rabbits, after his Christmas gift of a goldfish drops dead).
Whether she does anything for a living is unclear; people presume she lives off her mother. With Jamie, she's Simon's other confidante in the present day.
— Piers Edward Enderby Kenwood, Lord (11th Earl) Kenwood
And, to quote C S Lewis, he almost deserves it. This is Simon's father. Not raised to be emotional, he finds happiness with his wife, who he meets at Oxford. The two of them are devoted to each other.
They have a daughter successfully, but Piers is very aware that he needs a son—and besides, the two of them want a little boy regardless. Suffice it to say that things do not go to plan; he leaves the hospital with a son, but with no wife. He's never the same again.
He has a vast idea of tradition—of the centuries the family has existed, and the rights and responsibilities that go along with it; he's imbued it into Simon, though it's fair to say the whole process backfired. He's terrified of being the end of his line. He keeps a picture of his wife on his desk, turned face-down. Simon sometimes sneaks in, lifts it up and looks at it.
☹ Claire Kenwood, Lady (Viscountess) Wraysbury (d. 1986)
Simon's mother, born Claire Wilson, a quick, affectionate young woman with dark blonde hair. She comes from a middle-class family. While she has a degree in history, she marries Simon's father almost at graduation; they're madly in love.
She dies from a placental abruption, while Simon is being induced in 1986. It's made clear that this is his fault, and he blames himself.
— Jan (Janine) Katharine Wilson Kenwood, the Hon.
Simon's sister, older by three years and the bane of his young existence. She goes from being parented mainly by her mother, with frequent paternal involvement, to being raised by a nurse—and she blames the tiny interloper in her nursery.
She alternates between petting her baby brother for any watching eyes, and tormenting him mercilessly. Simon's first memory is of screaming as she pinches him. He has many, many later memories of her insisting to him that he killed their mother.
She goes to a boarding-school on the south coast. She rides horses competitively and obsessively, with middling-to-good results; she'd like to go to the Olympics, but she simply isn't good enough. As an adult, she lives in Highgate in London, across the city from Simon; this is very much for the best, as the two of them loathe each other and won't speak unless it's made necessary.
Her hair is mid-brown, not as fair as her mother's but nowhere near as dark as her father's and brother's.
— Jackie (St John) Kenwood, Lord (10th Earl) Kenwood (d. 1999)
This is Simon's grandfather, and the source of his hated middle name. He was rushed out as a replacement heir in 1921, shortly after both his elder brothers were killed in the First World War. He's named St John for the dead heir, who was John known as Jack; you may be getting the idea that this is a family that's screwed up about tradition and inheritance, and you would be correct.
His own father dies not long afterward; Jack inherits at seven years old. He goes through Dartmouth as the Second World War is breaking out, and enters the Royal Navy as an officer; he survives, marrying at the end of the war. Unfortunately, his wife is killed in a mysterious cupboard accident, leaving no issue. He doesn't marry again until he's almost 40; his new wife, Kitty Enderby, is only 21; she bears him three children, including Simon's father and his aunt Molly, but divorces him in 1985 leaving the family in near-ruin.
+ Kitty (Katharine) Kenwood, Lady (Countess) Kenwood
Born Kitty Enderby, this is Simon's grandmother. She marries his grandfather in an equitable exchange—his title for her share of her family's wealth. He is twice her age. Unfortunately, she divorces him, taking considerably more than she came in with.
Simon has run into her a few times, more often at social events than while visiting with the Enderby family. She's not unlike her daughter—a bright, flashy older woman who gets about a lot. She's always been very kind to Simon, which won her his heart forever—though he's not without an awareness of events.