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  1. #11
    Emma Montgomery

    Montgomery Manor, Norfolk

    When Victoria took Emma's hand, the girl held on firmly and gently to her mother's. She always did so, it was as though she wanted to be able to feel that her mother was near. It had been a habit Emma had developed from the time she had been ill, and kept to any time she felt insecure or nervous. Right now, she was nervous because she knew the time had come for her to be married off.

    Sure, she knew she would be married off to a man of good standing. Her mother would never marry her off to just about any man, of that Emma was sure. She knew she would marry a man of as high standing as possible. Still, marrying a man from France meant moving away from her mother.

    Taking a deep breath, Emma repeated her mental mantra to herself. 'Mother knows best'. After reminding herself of that, the girl finally replied to her mother's words.

    "These are indeed wonderful news, mother", the girl commented, politely, showing her best smile. "I shall do exactly what I am told while we are in Court", she completed. Thinking better, going to France would definitely make her the envy of every other girl in England.

    Focusing on the Christmas celebrations, she turned back to her mother. "Will Uncle Edward be there too, mother?", she asked, curiously. "I would like to ask for his advice as well, if you allow it, of course".

    After these words, the girl fell silent, waiting for her mother's answer and planning on the dresses she would bring to Court - the best ones, of course.

  2. #12
    Agnes Drake and Cardinal Marcellus Drake



    The Journey to Hampton Court

    It was less than fifteen miles from their home at Rose Abbey to Hampton Court, but Agnes couldn't wait for the trip to end. Her stomach roiled and her insides felt knotted from the pennyroyal tea her father had brought her that morning, just in case. After all, the Cardinal had reminded her brightly, it wouldn't do to have her already with child when they sent her to the king. Agnes understood the wisdom of that, but that didn't ease the discomfort of the preemptive scouring of her womb.

    "Are you feeling ill, dear?" Marcellus asked mildly from his seat across from her. "You look positively green. Is it the motion of the carriage? I hope you're not coming down with something."

    Easy for you to say, Agnes internally fumed, but she could never speak to her father so disrespectfully. Of course he knew why she was ill, but the respected cleric not only would never admit to it, but would breezily suggest reasons like motion sickness or an ill humor of the stomach when no one had even asked the question. Her father was audacious, Agnes thought. So far, he had never truly been called to task for it, and likely never would.

    "I'm merely a bit unwell from the ride, Father," Agnes said with a forced smile. "I'm sure I'll be fine when we arrive at court."

    "I hope so," Marcellus replied, but immediately destroyed any illusion of parental concern by adding, "After all, you must put your best foot forward for His Majesty."

    "I know," Agnes said. She saw her father frowning at her shortness with him, and turned her head away and closed her eyes to forestall more conversation and avoid annoying him further.

    After what seemed like an eternity, Marcellus finally said, "Ah, how wonderful! We're finally here! Look, my dear - Hampton Court."

    Agnes opened her eyes, and the sight provided something of a distraction from her discomfort. To the young woman, the grounds of manicured hedges appeared to go on for miles, and the palace itself was the most impressive building she had ever seen, even more so than the Cathedral in her awe-struck eyes.

    "It's beautiful," she whispered. "Do the king and queen really live here?"

    "The king and queen own a number of palaces and estates," her father told her. "This one is certainly impressive, though."

    The rest of the carriage ride passed in a blur, and before long they were being helped from their carriage and escorted to their temporary quarters.

    Agnes couldn't help staring with awe at the buildings and all the people they passed. Once she had been left in her chamber to freshen up, however, the terror of what she was going to have to do here filled her. She instructed the servants to leave her, and for a moment she simply crossed her arms across her aching belly and drew in deep, shuddering breaths. She only allowed herself this brief luxury before splashing some water on her face and telling her maid that she was ready to dress to be presented to whomever her father wished to introduce her to.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #13
    Humphrey Heron



    Hampton Court, The Stables

    "I assure you, Your Grace, we will take the most excellent care of your horses," the stableman said, giving the Duke of Northumberland yet another bow. There was no hint of disrespect in the man's tone or manner - someone who worked in the king's own stables knew far better than that - but Humphrey sensed a certain reluctance in the stableman's body language that alerted Humphrey that he was hovering. Certainly the employees here knew very well how to take care of horses. Humphrey hanging around giving them endless instructions would only set them on edge.

    "Of course," Humphrey replied. "I am confident that you know your job, and my horses are in good hands."

    He turned in the direction of the other guests, restraining himself from taking a final look back. In truth, Humphrey was quite attached to his animals. He was meticulous about the maintenance of his horses, and wished he could have brought his dog to court; it seemed odd not having the animal trailing after him. Some visitors did bring pets, of course, but he doubted his lumbering old wolfhound would be welcome at the royal festivities.

    It wouldn't do to think of home, though. He was here for a purpose, and much as he might personally like the king, court could be a dangerous place. There were so many intrigues here that at times that Humphrey felt he was in well over his head. He resolved to stay out of it as much as possible, though. He would enjoy Christmas with the few genuine friends he had here, then he could go home.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 11-01-2016 at 09:38 PM.

  4. #14
    Victoria Montgomery



    Montgomery Manor, Norfolk

    Victoria held Emma's hand reassuringly. She could see her daughter's slight reluctance of being married. She and Emma were close but there was a time when all children had to leave their parents. Emma was at that age and Victoria did not want to wait too long. Especially not when the King of France was actively looking for a bride for his heir. If she could impress the French ambassador, then Victoria could be a step closer to achieving her dreams. Being a direct relative to a throne.

    Victoria smiled at Emma when she accepted what she was told and squeezed her hand in a loving fashion.

    "Wonderful, my dear child. Just be yourself and I am sure you will make quite an impression at Court."

    When Emma asked about Edward Moore, Victoria nodded her head.

    "Of course you can. I know he is quite fond of you. You are like a daughter he never had to him. I am sure he would enjoy chatting with you."


    Actually Emma was more likely to be Edward's daughter then Henry's, but neither she nor Edward would ever admit that. Although there were times when Emma would give her a look that reminded her very much of her long time lover. All that Victoria and Edward would ever admit was that they were friends, much like how their respective spouses were friends. Victoria smiled again and said.

    "Come, we must start to pack."

    When invited to Court by the king one had to dress to impress. Victoria planned for Emma to bring her most luxurious dresses. She wanted to make sure the French ambassador could definitely see her daughter on the arm of French prince.

  5. #15
    Edward & Katherine Moore



    Hampton Court

    After a brief visit with both their sons and their respective families, Edward and Katherine arrived at Court. The couple both hid their disappointment well that they had beat the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk here. Edward put on a happy face and offered his arm to Katherine.

    "Shall we mingle, my lady?"

    "Yes, my love."

    Katherine said, taking his arm. Hopefully there would someone she'd actually enjoy talking to. She did not care for the company of the same people her husband did. At first, they talked to people as a couple but then Katherine saw the Duke of Northumberland. She thought he was decent man.

    "I am going to tell his Grace hello."

    Katherine told Edward, who nodded his head. Old Humphrey someone he didn't interact with much. Especially since he tried to have to the king's ear and sometimes disagreed with the advice Edward tried to give him. Still, Edward nodded his head and kissed her cheek.

    "I shall be there in a moment. I will get us both something to drink."

    Edward told her and Katherine agreed that sounded good. She walked over the Humphrey and curtsied to him.

    "Happy Christmas, your Grace."

    On his way to find a servant boy with some wine goblets, Edward saw the Cardinal Drake and his daughter. Edward walked over to greet them.


    "Happy Christmas, your Eminence. And you to you as well, Lady Drake. My, you have grown up to be such a lovely young woman. You must be very proud, your Eminence."

    Edward asked to Marcellus. It was no secret the holy man had fathered the young woman.

    "This her first time at Court, correct?"
    Last edited by Optimus Prime; 11-08-2016 at 03:49 PM.


  6. #16
    Emma Montgomery



    Montgomery Manor, Norfolk - Hampton Court

    Emma relaxed a little when her mother held her hand. The girl trusted her mother enough to do as she was told and believe everything would work out fine. If her mother said it, then it was so.

    The girl smiled when Victoria said she could speak to Edward and ask for his advice. "Thank you, mother", she murmured softly. "I will enjoy his company very much".

    Once this little exchange ended, Emma followed her mother to her chambers. She would trust her mother to help her pick the best dresses and the best of every item she owned, from nightgowns, to combs for her hair. Everything had to be perfect for court.

    Things ran faster than Emma expected while the packing process went on. The household worked like a well oiled machine, thanks to mother, after all. And before she could think, the family was already inside their carriage to Court.

    Emma was extremely excited. Court was an exciting place. She could get to see the King and Queen - they were so splendind. She could see uncle Edward and talk to him about matters she would not speak to her father to, and that other man would not be appropriate to converse on with. And of course, now she had a chance to meet the French ambassador and impress him. That meant she could become a queen one day, and all thanks to mother's expert guidance.

    As the family reached the palace, Emma held her breath for a moment. Hampton Court was stunning, and even though she had been to court before, Emma couldn't help but be impressed.

    As soon as they got off the carriage, Emma knew she did not have to worry about her dresses. That was what servants were for. So, they were welcomed into the palace's Great Hall, where there were other people already speaking to each other. Seeing Edward made Emma's eyes light up. Since he was busy, she looked around for someone else to greet, while staying near her parents. The King and Queen were nowhere in sight so far, and Emma imagined they would only come to the hall when the time for feast came.

  7. #17
    Humphrey Heron



    Hampton Court

    "Your Grace," Humphrey replied, greeting the duchess with genuine warmth as he met her curtsy with a bow of his own. "It is a pleasure to see you again this year. Happy Christmas!"

    He didn't know Katherine Moore very well, but he had always liked her. She seemed like a kind, patient, and unselfish woman - all qualities Humphrey considered positive and important ones. Of course he did not and could not know about the state of her marriage or her feelings for someone else. As far as he knew, all was well between Katherine and the duke.

    "I hope that you and your husband are well. How are your sons?"

    Humphrey knew Edward and the couple's sons even less well than he knew Katherine, but he still felt it only polite to inquire about them for the sake of making conversation.

  8. #18
    Agnes Drake and Cardinal Marcellus Drake



    Hampton Court

    "Hello, Your Grace," Agnes replied with a curtsy and a demure smile. Marcellus greeted the duke as well, and amiably made the sign of the cross in the air between them as a blessing.

    "It is indeed my daughter's first time at court, Your Grace," the Cardinal replied. "I am, needless to say, exceedingly proud of her."

    Agnes was perhaps a trifle pale, but had recovered from her earlier bout of discomfort. She wore the green dress which had been so recently altered to better flatter her figure, and it accentuated every curve, while the color of the silken fabric brought out the color of her eyes. Since Agnes was still officially a maiden - being unmarried, she was considered virginal, whether or not she was in practice - she wore her hair loose, restrained only with a few thin ribbons decorated with pearls. She truly looked the part of a young lady of the court, despite her unconventional origins.

    "I thank you for the compliment, Your Grace," Agnes said. "I am so honored to have been invited. Your Grace has been to court many times, I am sure?"

    Agnes of course knew that to be true, but her father had always instructed her that men loved to be given a chance to brag.

  9. #19
    Victoria Montgomery



    Montgomery Manor, Norfolk - Hampton Court

    Victoria was happy to see Emma relax and believe her. It was good that her daughter trusted her. She did know what was best. An engagement to a French prince would be perfect for this family. To think, Emma might even become a queen. Of course, Victoria knew not to get ahead of herself. After all, Emma had to impress the French Ambassador first.

    "You are welcome, my dear. I am sure he will enjoy just as much."

    Edward Moore was very fond of Emma. Although, like her, he'd never admit exactly why. Some things were always kept a secret. After all, if the truth came out about them, then all the time and money she spent on Emma would be wasted. No prince or highly respected noble man would marry a child that was the product of an affair. Although if Victoria had her way, that secret would go with her and Edward to their graves. Victoria helped Emma pick out the best of everything she owned. She wanted Emma to look like she should be a queen. You had to dress to impress when you went to Court. Victoria managed their house hold very well. When she said jump, the servants would ask how high. It didn't take long for the family to get ready to head to Court. For Henry, Victoria made sure he brought his finest clothes, she didn't want him embarrassing her or Emma at Court. Everything had to look perfect.

    Victoria took Henry's arm after they were helped out of their carriage. She looked at Emma and asked.

    "Dear child, are you ready?"

  10. #20
    Katherine Moore



    Hampton Court

    Katherine gave Humphrey a genuine smile. She didn't know him well but thought the Duke was a good man. If she had to be at Court, she preferred to associate herself with good, genuine people. Not the people her husband seemed to gravitate towards.

    "We are, as I hope you are as well."

    Katherine never let on that she and Edward a had long grown bored of each other. In public, they were the image of a happily married couple. Something for the younger people to strive towards. A proud smile came to her face when Humphrey asked about her sons.

    "Both are good, my younger son and his wife just welcomed a new baby. A very healthy little boy."

    It would be very obvious that Katherine was a proud grandmother. If she had had her way she would have spent the holiday with her sons and their families. Spoiling all her grandchildren rotten. But she couldn't have that. Not when a king invited you to spend the holiday with him.

    "Is your sister doing well?"

    She knew the Duke was a widower but she recalled that he seemed to have a close relationship with his sister. Although she could not remember the other woman's name.
    Last edited by Optimus Prime; 11-18-2016 at 06:59 AM.

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