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  1. #21
    Edward Moore



    Hampton Court

    Edward nodded his head to Marcellus when he said he was proud of Agnes. She definitely look the part of a young maiden at Court.

    "As you should be."

    All fathers should be proud of their children. Edward was proud of his. Even the one he didn't actually claim. Deep down, he knew Emma was more his then Henry's. Not that he'd ever say that out loud. He smiled to Agnes and nodded his head.

    "That I have. I was dear friends to the late king, his Majesty's father. He was like a brother to me and I miss him dearly."

    His friendship with King Theodore II had secured his place in Court. How he missed his friend. He had been to have just about anything he wanted back then. Now, he had to be a little more careful. While he was one of the few at King Theodore II's ear, his son, King Theodore III, had others wanting a spot next to him. A thought hit him and he said.

    "Your Eminence, I wonder if Queen Esther is looking for more ladies. If she is, I am sure your lovely daughter would be an excellent addition."


  2. #22
    Emma Montgomery


    Hampton Court

    Emma felt her heart race when her mother asked if she was ready. No, she supposed she was not, but it would have to do. She was anxious and slightly scared of the idea of leaving her parents, but still, she had to be ready, even if she did not feel as such.


    "Yes, mother", she murmured in response, stepping behind her parents, where she would be able to feel safer and look around her before actually greeting anyone.


    Her gaze laid on Humphrey. She was not particularly fond of him, but he seemed nice enough. She then saw Cardinal Drake and some young lady she had yet to meet. Wondering who that would be, Emma decided that she would only greet the young woman if her mother did so.

    Seeing Katherine Moore made Emma feel a little more relaxed. Not that she particularly like the woman, but she was a familiar face, and, from what Emma could remember, always polite.

    She was really interested in talking to Edward, but that could wait. For now, at least, she moved the other side of her father and looped her arm with his. She knew Henry was very fond of getting close to her, so she would allow him this happiness for a while. She would soon be leaving him, after all.

  3. #23
    Victoria & Henry Montgomery



    Hampton Court

    Victoria could see in Emma's eyes she was nervous but didn't comment on it. Emma had been raised properly and knew her place. It was time for Emma to stop being a child and prepare for life as a wife. Preferably the wife to the future king of France.

    Henry patted Emma's hand with a smile. Soon, she'd be gone. Although she was always closer to Victoria then him, he did love her. She was his little girl. It made him sad to think that perhaps next Christmas she'd be in Court was a married woman.

    Victoria and Henry both scanned the crowd. Victoria saw Edward Moore speaking to Cardinal Drake and his daughter. She was very curious was that about and planned to speak to Edward about that. Victoria then tried to locate the French ambassador in the group. She wanted to make Emma put on a great impression.

    Henry saw Katherine talking to Humphrey Heron and seeing her brought smile to his face. She was always so lovely. Such a dear friend to him.

  4. #24
    Humphrey Heron



    "Yes, thank you, Your Grace," Humphrey replied. "Louisa and her family are quite well. She birthed another daughter last year, so they have four children now - all have survived so far, thank God."

    Humphrey knew that his sister had been very fortunate indeed. Childbirth could be very dangerous for women, and he had to admit he felt anxiety as well as joy every time he heard his sister was expecting again. Although Humphrey would have enjoyed being a father himself, he sometimes thought it was a blessing in disguise that his own wife had never become pregnant; he might have lost her even sooner to the dangers of delivering a child. Louisa was doubly blessed - and doubly unusual - in not yet having suffered the loss of any of her children, either.

    "They live in London, so I'll be able to spend some time with them while I'm here as well," Humphrey added with a smile. Seeing his sister and her family always brought good cheer to his heart. "Congratulations on your new grandson! Have you been able to visit and meet the new arrival yet?"
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  5. #25
    Agnes Drake and Cardinal Marcellus Drake



    "Your Grace is too kind," Marcellus said, inclining his head slightly in a display of humble acknowledgment. "I admit, the thought had perhaps crossed my mind a time or two."

    Only her carefully schooled ability to refrain from showing emotions prevented Agnes from indulging in an eye roll. Her father schemed constantly for how to get her into the royal family's circle, and becoming an attendant to the queen was the most obvious path to that goal. It had been far more than a passing idea for the Cardinal - it was a plan he desperately wanted to set in motion.

    "What think you, my dear daughter?" Marcellus asked, turning to Agnes. "Would you wish to serve in the queen's household?"

    "Of course, Father," Agnes replied. "It would be a great honor, to be sure."

    And indeed it was a high honor. Not that Agnes could have said no, regardless of her personal feelings on the matter. One did not refuse such a gesture by a queen, if it were to be offered - nor would her father give up on his relentless quest to improve their position.

    "We could hardly ask such a great favor," Marcellus said demurely. "But if someone were to feel the whisper of God calling him to put in a good word for my daughter, we would be most grateful."

    This time, Agnes had to fight very hard to suppress the eye roll. She couldn't help thinking that God would be very surprised by most of the things the Cardinal attributed to Him for his own gain.

  6. #26
    Katherine Moore



    Hampton Court

    "That is wonderful, your Grace. Congratulations to your sister and you all very blessed."

    Katherine replied to Humphrey with a smile. She always thought children were a wonderful thing. Louisa was truly blessed to have four healthy children. Childbirth was a dangerous thing. It was highly possible that either the baby or the mother would not survive. For Louisa to have done it four times, was a true blessing. Katherine had lost one child, her only daughter, shortly after her birth. A part of her never recovered from that and she missed the little girl every day. Thankfully both her and Edward's sons had survived into adulthood.

    Katherine smiled when he said his sister lived in London.

    "That is nice. I am sure she and her family enjoy your visits."

    Katherine thought very highly of family. She enjoyed spending time with her own. Especially with her grandchildren. She nodded her head, a smile on her face, as the conversation turned back to her grandson.

    "Thank you, my husband and I are very proud of him. We were able to visit for a little while on our way to Court."

    If Katherine could have had her way, they would have spent the holiday with the new baby, but that wasn't going to happen. Not when the King invites you to his place for Christmas time.

    "I hope you spend more time with him after the holiday."

  7. #27
    Edward Moore



    Hampton Court

    Edward gave Marcellus a smile and replied.

    "Thank you, but I am just stating the fact. From what I see, Lady Drake would make a fine addition to her Majesty's ladies. If you so desire it, my lady."

    Edward told Agnes with a smile. Making it appear she would have choice, which deep down, he knew she wouldn't. Daughters did not get a choice in this world. Not if their fathers had their minds set on something. Actually, looking at Agnes, was making the wheels in his head turn. She was a lovely young woman. It was pretty common knowledge that Queen Esther had not produced an heir yet. Rumors were running rapid that she was barren. Perhaps, King Theodore would taking a liking to this young woman. Of course, given her past, she could never be a queen. But...she could prove that the failures in a heir were the current Queen's fault and not his Majesty's....

    'Don't get a head of yourself, old boy. One thing at a time.'

    Edward told himself. Edward smiled when Agnes agreed to the idea. He nodded his head to the Cardinal.

    "Perhaps someone will."

    While he wasn't that religious of a man, Edward could feel the 'whisper'. He saw that Victoria and Henry Montgomery had arrived. Along with Emma, a girl that his eyes. Now there was a girl that could be a Queen. More thoughts were forming in his head. He gave a bow to the Cardinal and his daughter.

    "I have enjoyed our chat but if you will excuse me, I did promise my beloved wife I would find her a drink."

    He'd get the drink and encourage Katherine to talk to Henry, they seemed to like each other well enough, and he'd talk to Victoria about Lady Drake. And what she could do to help secure Emma's place in society, along with their own.

  8. #28
    Emma Montgomery


    Hampton Court

    Emma looked at her mother for a moment, and then at her alleged father. She smiled at Henry when he patted her hand. He was a nice man, she had to admit that. He had always treated her well, and Emma was sure that he loved her dearly, even though she didn’t spend too much time with him. That, and she would probably be out of his care soon, and into the care of a husband. Hopefully a royal husband who would one day get her a place on a throne.

    With a soft sigh, Emma looked around. She was curious about the new faces she could see. Maybe the French ambassador would be there already, and mother would introduce her. She would have to make the best possible impression, and the girl thanked her mother mentally for taking so much care of her education.

    For now, though, she really wanted to mingle a little with those select few she liked of all the people who were present.

    Of course, she would never dare to move from her place without her mother’s permission.

    “Mother”, she requested quietly, “may I greet some family friends?”, the girl completed, waiting for her mother’s reply and, probably, her directions on who she should greet first.

  9. #29
    Victoria & Henry Montgomery



    Hampton Court

    While there were many things that Victoria did not like about Henry. For one thing, he wasn't ambitious at all. For another, he was rather boring at times. She did have to say he was a good father. Especially when it was very likely that Emma was not his child. He did care very deeply for Emma. Victoria was sure he was saddened that, by hopefully this time next year, she would be betrothed. Maybe even married.

    Speaking of marriage, where was that French ambassador? Victoria wanted to make his acquaintance. As soon as possible. She was going to be on a mission to find him. Make sure he told his master about a very charming English lady. Victoria nodded her head to Emma.


    "Yes, of course, my dear. I see Uncle Edward is here. I remember you wanted to speak with him."

    Victoria said, pointing out Edward Moore to Emma. He was currently talking to Cardinal Drake and his daughter. She knew Emma wanted to chat with him. Henry made a small face how Victoria referred to the other man. He did not like how close his wife was to the other Duke. Or that his daughter went to the Duke of Suffolk more for advice then her own father. He sometimes wonder if Victoria would rather be married to Edward. And if Emma would have preferred to be raised by Edward instead of him. But Henry never voiced those thoughts. Besides, Henry wasn't totally innocent in his friendship with Katherine Moore either. Or that he would sometimes wished Victoria could have been more like her.

    Victoria saw the look on Henry's face and gave him a disapproving look. He cleared his throat and said.


    "Yes, I am sure his Grace would like to see you, Emma. He is very fond of you."

    As usual, Henry gave in to what the women of his family wanted.

  10. #30
    Humphrey Heron



    Humphrey smiled when Katherine said she and her husband had a chance to visit their new grandchild. Although he didn't know Katherine well, Humphrey had a sense that she valued family as much as he did. Humphrey might have no children of his own - and since he did not have intentions to remarry, assumed he never would - but he was a fond uncle to his sister's children, and Louisa and her family were always close to his heart.

    "Thank you, Your Grace," he replied when Katherine wished he would have more time with them after the holiday celebration. "That is indeed my intention. Of course I am grateful that His Majesty chose to invite me for the festivities, but I make no secret that I find the atmosphere of court... rather exhausting. I shall need to recuperate from so much sociability afterward."

    Humphrey smiled to indicate the comment was not intended to be a serious one. In truth, it was not the socializing that Humphrey found tiring, it was the endless fakery and jockeying for position. Although Humphrey himself merely observed from the sidelines, at times people insisted on trying to drag him into some scheme or another. Perhaps this visit he would be more fortunate.

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