kitchen_maid: (Stronger Than I Look)
Under ordinary circumstances, it's generally considered a good thing to not have a man (who is not the King) emerging from the Queen's wardrobe.

In this circumstance, it's a bit of a disaster to not have a man (who is not the King) emerge from the Queen's wardrobe (which is not just her wardrobe, after all).

He was right behind her. Mal was right behind her.

He should be here.

But he's not.

Maybe he stopped to get something, or the door from Milliways stopped him from coming through, though it's certainly never stopped any of her other guests from coming through and she has had quite a lot of them over the years.

Amy steps back into the wardrobe and sticks her head through the door back to the end of the Universe. It looks like the time she just left. People seem to be where she remembers having seen them.

No sign of Mal, not as far as she can see, not even when she stands on tiptoes and cranes her neck.

She wraps her hand around the door frame and leans in as far as she can to look around to the sides.

She even tries calling his name.

(And then she waves, briefly, at a patron she does not know, who watches all this with a quite bemused impression.)

Well, this is a problem.

Amy steps back into her wardrobe, making her way carefully over the shoes, sits down on the window seat, and thinks.

If he's not in Milliways, then it's reasonable to assume (though not certain) that he's somewhere in Ambergeldar. Or at least, it's not unreasonable to assume it.

And there's no harm in looking.

There may be great harm in not looking.

Right.

Amy stands up and crosses to the door, barely aware of the change in her mean and bearing, as she moves from being Amy to being Amethyst.

"Pardon me," she says, to the page in the hall.

"Your Majesty!" he replies, bowing very low and, if Amy knows anything about Royal Pages, probably wondering why a Queen is bothering to ask his pardon.

"Would you please find Lord Stefan and tell him that I need to see him in my study? Immediately."

"Of course," the page says, and rushes off to do just that.

Because he might wonder about her asking his pardon, but no Royal Page has to wonder what a Queen means when she uses a word like immediately.

Amy heads down her hall to her study.

And hopes that, wherever Mal is, he's all right . . .
kitchen_maid: (Queen and Mother)
There are certain undeniable advantages to being a queen. One of them is that when you say you want something done or made (or, that matter, undone or unmade), it tends to get taken care of pretty quickly, and without question or comment or complaint, and with people's absolute best effort having gone into it.

Most recent case in point: Amy asked for a free standing piece of stained glass ("not too big") of wisteria blossoms, with a chain so that it could be hung in or in front of a window. And, not quite a week later, receives it -- a fairly glorious work of art, pieced together from purples and greens and blues, that positively glows when the sun hits it, and throws patches and pools of color across the floor.

Amy wraps it up very carefully, ties it up with a pale purple ribbon, and tucks a note under the bow:

Laura, For your window, and the world outside it. Amy
kitchen_maid: (*Ambergeldar)
Post One -- Amy invites Parker to Ambergeldar

Post Two -- [OOM: In Ambergeldar, Amy disrupts an important meeting on vegetables so that her husband can show the new field to the Mother of Ambergeldan Football. Parker's inspection of the field, however, is interrupted by a rather unexpected sort of touchdown.]

Post Three -- [OOM: In Ambergeldar, immediately before this, Amy receives a most unwelcome communication.] Amy comes to the bar to find help.

Post Four -- [OOM: Amy returns to Ambergeldar with some rather improbable help. Tom Riddle, 494, and X-23 set out to rescue Parker (oh, and Perry, too). Logan Echolls and Meg Ford make plans to question the palace staff. And Parker and Perry assess their situation.]

Post Five -- [OOM: While Parker and Perry plot their escape, their would-be rescuers face their first challenge. Meanwhile, back at the palace, Meg and Logan's investigation makes slow progress, and Ingress pays a visit in her Official Big Sister capacity.]

Post Six -- [OOM: Their escape attempt having failed, Parker and Perry come up with a Plan B. On the road, the rescuers stop for the night, and discover that a wizarding tent is never a bad thing to pack. And in the palace, Logan and Meg take a wrong turn during their investigations. Amy receives that news with no small amount of concern.]

Post Seven -- [OOM: Logan and Meg explore their new accomodations, and make some interesting discoveries. Back on the road, X-23, 494, and Tom meet one of the locals, and agree to rescue someone else, too. Meanwhile, Parker and Perry open negotiations with their captor.]

Post Eight -- [OOM: The only thing worse than commiting treason is being stupid about it. And as the rescuers near the dragon's mountain, they come under attack. And no sooner has that battle passed, then they are faced with more unexpected arrivals.]

Post Nine --[OOM: There's a way these things tend to end. First, the villain is defeated. And then the heroes have a party.]

Post Ten -- Everyone returns to the bar.
kitchen_maid: (*Ambergeldar)
Even with the chief conspirator rather definitely dealt with, there is rather a lot that has to be addressed in the wake of an attempted royal coup. The others involved must be located and taken care off, a nervous populace must be reassured.

Arrangements must be made for the room and board for Norman the Royal Dragon of Ambergeldar.

The heroes of the day must be properly thanked and acknowledged. (Which means finding a new Protocol Officer who can throw together an appropriate ceremony and celebration, immediately.)

In the meantime, however, those heroes have earned a bit of a rest. Amy made sure, personally, that everyone had a room, fresh clothes and anything else they want.

She also has the Royal Family's Sitting Room set up for their use. The room is full of comfortable chairs, and has a lived-in feel, with Perry's books and Amy's handwork and several of Merry and Susan's toys scattered about.

There is also, on a long, low table, rather a lot of food -- bread, meat, cheese, a couple of pies and a tray of other pastries, fruit from the palace greenhouse, pots of tea, pitchers of apple cider and milk and wine.
kitchen_maid: (Amethyst Regina)
Amy hears them arrive. You can't march a company of soldiers up to a castle without making a fair bit of noise. Armor, after all, clanks.

"That will be Maximilian," she says, to Stefan.

"Yes."

"Hand me the state crown, please," Amy says.

Stefan brings it over. "I still don't like your going out there, Your Majesty."

"Your objection, my lord, has been duly noted." Amy settles the most formal and impressive of her crowns on her head. Then she stands up and smiles. "Let's go see what that blasted traitor has to say for himself, shall we, Stefan?"

Stefan shakes his head slightly, and offers her his arm. He escorts her out onto the balcony that overlooks the main entrance to the palace.

Amy steps up to the edge and looks down. In the wide courtyard below, her husband's Evil Uncle sits on his charger, sunlight glinting off his armor and the small coronet that is his right as a count. There are roughly thirty soldiers behind him.

Amy can't see all the people watching from the palace windows, but she know they're there.

The room she gave Meg overlooks the front of the palace. Meg is trying to work the tangles out of her just washed hair when she hear the commotion outside. She takes one look out the window and, barefoot and in her dressing gown, rushes into the hallway. The guard at the door starts to object; Meg ignores him and knocks once on Logan's door, then opens it and says, "I think you better come see this," she says.

Logan spares a moment for a short, remorseful look at the tray that a chambermaid has just delivered from the palace kitchens, and follows her back across the hall. If Meg is out and about, and dressed like that, she probably has a good reason.

Looking down at the balcony and courtyard below, he has to admit that she does.

It's awkwardly, unnaturally quiet. Amy waits. Maximilian waits. Everyone else waits. Finally, very slowly, Maximilian dismounts and bows. (Not as low a bow as he should have offered, but low enough to prevent her from reacting to the insult he has offered.)

"Lord Maximilian."

"Your Majesty. I was most concerned, madam, to learn of my beloved nephew's abduction. I grew more concerned when you did not send for me. I fear you have received very bad advice. It is my duty and my great honor to aid you at such times. Perhaps Her Majesty, in her great distress, forgot that fact."

"How fortunate that we have you to remind us," says Amy. "We do not doubt your concern, and indeed suspect that in many ways it was second only to our own, upon hearing the details of this abduction. Perhaps in your distress, Uncle, you have forgot that it is forbidden to bring armed men to the palace without permission."

"These men are hear to assist me in reaching His Majesty. With all due haste. I did not mean to offend you."

"Still, we did not send for these troops. Nor do we require their assistance. You will dismiss your men, Uncle. You will leave your personal arms with the guard. And then we would speak with you, in a more private setting."

"What, Majesty, cannot be said here?"

Amy looks over at Stefan, and he shakes his head slightly. Do not go into it now.

"We will discuss that in a more private setting," Amy repeats. "And we order you to dismiss your men."

Before Maximilian can answer, one way or another, the shouts begin to go up. "There look!" "Dragon, dragon!"

Amy looks over, first concerned. And then puzzled. Are there people flying in on that dragon?

And then one of them lifts a hand in a gesture Amy would know anywhere, and she smiles.

"My men will no doubt be needed to kill this beast that has killed the king," Maximilian says, but he, too begins to look concerned as the dragon flies closer and closer.

And then, loud and clear and very regal, Perry calls down from the back of the dragon. "We fear, Uncle, that the reports of our death have been somewhat exaggerated."

Norman flies close enough to balcony to let its passengers scramble off (some with more grace and dignity than others), and then perches on the roof, watching everyone with calm yellow eyes.

The courtyard is in utter chaos. Half the men with Maximilian turn and run, most of the rest lay down their arms. Maximilian's horse makes a mad dash for Away From The Dragon. There is a general hubbub coming from the palace windows.

"Amethyst?" Perry inquires, polite and formal, as if had simply happened to enter the same drawing room. The wink is lightning fast, but Amy knows to watch for it.

Amy bows her head, slightly. "Welcome home, Algernon."

Lord Maximilian is fast. He's very fast, and perhaps he would have pulled it off, if he had been dealing only with the people he was used to dealing with. Because while Lord Maximilian is fast . . . X-23 is faster.

She has been scanning the crowd in front of the palace since even before Norman set her down. So when Lord Maximilian starts to bring the crossbow up, X is already moving toward the most likely targets. She keeps an eye on Maximilian, watching for him to fire, calculating trajectories and . . .

The crossbow bolt that would otherwise have gone into Amy's heart buries itself in the back of X's shoulder.

X keeps her body between a stunned Amy and the shooter, sweeping the other woman's feet out from under her, and dropping both of them behind the relative safety of the balcony's balustrade.

Parker barely has time to gasp before 494 has knocked her safely down as well. And if a certain visit to Manticore taught her anything, it was that 494 is not going to do something like that without a damn good reason. She may not have any idea exactly what's going on, but she's staying down till someone tells her it's safe to get up.

"Sorry if that bruises," 494 mutters, keeping his hand pressed to the back of her neck. "This really isn't actually as cool as it looks in the movies." He pauses for a laugh, the words spilling out a mile a minute. "Well, that's not entirely true, when I'm out kicking ass, it's definitely cooler. But it looks like our help might not be needed for long . . ."

"Just tell me when we're not being shot at. And for heaven's sake, keep your head down," Parker tells him.

Perry and Lord Stefan both duck, the latter moving to defend the former. Only Tom is still standing, wand out, casting a shielding spell over the balcony and its occupants to protect them all from further harm.

"Oh, God, Laura, you're hurt," Amy says, pulling her wits back together and focusing on what seems to be the most immediate problem first.

"It is okay," X tells her. "I heal."

Amy would probably argue this point, but before she can, Logan yells from the window above, "Amy! He's getting away!"

Perry, crouched down next to his wife, looks at Amy and raises his eyebrows. She nods once. And then they both stand up.

In the ever increasing chaos, Maximilian has made a mad dash for the outermost palace gate.

"Norman," Perry says, calmly, "as we need no further proof of his treachery, we would appreciate your doing us the great service of dealing with our uncle."

There's a bright, dangerous grin from the dragon, and then, so fast that the people watching see only a blur from the roof to the ground, he swoops down on Maximilian.

A moment later, in the sudden shocked silence, Norman the Royal Dragon of Ambergeldar sits back contentedly, burps, and spits out Lord Maximilian's coronet.
kitchen_maid: (Stronger Than I Look)
Amy sits at her desk with her eyes closed, and pinches the bridge of her nose.

Stefan waits, respectfully, for her to be ready to turn her attention back to the myriad of problems facing them.

"No word from Maximilian yet?" she asks, eyes still closed.

"No. I expect him later today. He's not an early riser."

Amy opens her eyes and moves her hand to her forehead. "No word from Lord Riddle and the others?"

"It's too soon for that, Amy. You know that."

"And Logan and Meghan?"

"No sign. We've searched--"

"Search it all again."

"As you wish." He pauses. "Amy, you may have to accept--"

"No, Stefan, I don't. Whatever it is, I don't have to accept it. Not yet."

Stefan looks like he's about to argue, but before he can, there's a commotion in the hallway.

"Stefan, please," says Amy, with a nod towards the door.

Stefan quietly turns the key, and then, dagger drawn and ready, opens the door.
kitchen_maid: (*Perry - Neutral)
The trip back to Amber is, in Perry's opinion, much more comfortable than the one to the mountains. It's far less awkward to ride on the dragon's back than to cling to the end of its tail. And he's not worried about getting eaten when they land, which means he's free to enjoy a rather remarkable view of his kingdom.

He's scanning the landscape below when he spots a odd-looking party on the road. They seem to be surrounded by . . . well, Perry would suspect they were gnomes, if they weren't all standing so still.

"I say, Norman," he says, "if you don't mind, I think we had better check that out."
kitchen_maid: (Amethyst Regina)
"What do you mean, they're missing?" Amy demands. "How is that possible, Lord Stefan? They were guarded by someone you assured me was trustworthy."

She's pacing her study, where she's been all day, meeting with various ministers and messengers, with Lord Stefan always on guard at the door.

Fifteen minutes ago, however, one of the palace guards arrived and asked to speak to Lord Stefan. There was a rushed and whispered conference at the door, and then Lord Stefan informed Amy that Logan and Meg were missing.

"Your Majesty," Lord Stefan says, but that's as far as he gets before Amy cuts him off again.

"Personal friends of mine have somehow vanished, without a trace, from a room in the middle of my own palace."

"I am aware of that fact, Your Majesty," Lord Stefan says.

"How did this happen?"

"The guard went to help the maid who brought them tea. When he came back, they were gone."

"And your perfectly trustworthy guard--"

"Will be dealt with. You have my personal assurances. But I do not believe he did anything with the intention of allowing any harm to befall his charges. We've all been rather . . . well, security in the palace has not truly been a concern. The guards should not step away from their posts, Your Majesty, but they do, if someone needs help with something. I think he simply forgot that circumstances were--"

"He forgot? That the King had been kidnapped?"

"Amy, please," Lord Stefan says. "Your anger is both reasonable and warranted, but--"

"I know, Stefan," Amy says. "But it doesn't solve anything." Amy takes a breath, holds it for a moment, and tries to calm down. "Is there any chance they left or were taken from the palace?"

"No. All the entrances to palace itself and to the grounds are guarded. All with at least three guards. No one gets in or out without authorization. They have not left."

"So they're in the palace somewhere."

"Yes, Your Majesty."

"I want every inch of this building searched. Every corner, every closet, every inch, Stefan. The search does not stop until they are found."

"Of course. I'll order it immediately."

He steps into the hallway, though the door is open and even as he speaks to the guards posted there, he never takes his eyes off Amy.

Amy sits down at her desk, and tries to focus on reading over the latest reports coming in from around the kingdom -- about who saw what, about what stories are circulating, about the mood of the people, dozens and dozens of odds and ends.

There's nothing that could be called definitive.

There's been no further word from Maximilian.

Logan and Meg are missing.

"God, Perry, I need you right now," Amy says, under her breath.

"Majesty?" Lord Stefan asks, coming back into the room. "I'm sorry, I didn't hear."

"Nothing," Amy says. "I'll want regular reports on their progress."

"Of course," Lord Stefan says. "We will find them, Amy."

"You'd better, Stefan," Amy says, and goes back to her reading.
kitchen_maid: (Perry (His Majesty is Highly Skeptical))
It was always a long shot.

Perry and Parker waited until they could hear the dragon snoring (and good heaven can dragons snore) and then slipped out of their cave prison.

The mountainside was steep and there was rather a lot of it to get down ("highest mountain in the kingdom, I think" Perry told Parker, offering her his hand over a particularly treacherous bit of ground.) It was very slow-going, but they were managing.

And then . . . they heard the snoring stop.

Moments later they were both scooped up and, in under a minute, returned to their starting point.

Which is where they are now.

The dragon snorts a chastising puff of smoke at them and stomps off. The sheep looks over at them and Perry feels . . . oddly reproached.

Perry dusts off his trousers and sits down on a rock.

"Well, what shall we do now?"
kitchen_maid: (*Susan - Little Lady)
Susan is not happy.

She doesn't like this room, she doesn't like being able to go outside, she wants to see Daddy, she wants to see Mama, all the grown-ups are whispering all the time and no one will tell her anything.

Merry is boring. Susan is bored.

People keep calling her poor child and Susan is not a poor child; she is the Princess Royal of Ambergeldar.

She's also pouting in a way that princesses are not supposed to pout. And no one is telling her to stop.

Clearly, something is very wrong.
kitchen_maid: (Amethyst Regina)
Amy stays longer in the nursery than she planned to. (Amy always does.)

Eventually, though, she sets out to join Perry and Parker on their tour of Ambergeldar's first football field (with improvements).

She'll cut through the gardens, and she's almost to the door that leads into them when someone takes her arm, firmly, just above the elbow. Startled, Amy turns to find Lord Stefan, commander of the palace guard. "If Her Majesty would please come with me," he says, and Amy's guessing from the grip on her arm that no is not really an option.

"Lord Stefan, what's going on?" she asks.

"Not here," he says, quickly and quietly. And then, with a slight nod to the guard nearby, he says again, "If Her Majesty would come with me, please."

Amy lets him lead her up the back stairs (the ones she used to use when she was a kitchen maid), to Perry's study and then into a small windowless room beyond it. Perry calls it the War Room; it's easy to secure, hard to break into, a place from which the King and his advisers can deal with an invasion. Amy's been inside it maybe twice in her life.

"Stefan, what is going on?" she repeats.

"I'm afraid we don't know, Your Majesty."

"The children? Are they--?"

"Rosalind is getting them," Stefan says. Lady Rosalind is Amy's best friend and Stefan's wife. "I want you all here until we know more."

"Why don't you tell me what you do know?" Amy says, and only a fool would mistake it for a request or a suggestion.

"Not a lot, yet," he says. He pulls out one of the chairs at the small table in the middle of the room. Amy stays on her feet. Lord Stefan sighs. "The reports are confused and contradictory at this time. But it appears there was a sighting of a dragon, who may have . . . made off with His Majesty and your guest." He gestures to the chair again. "Please sit down, Amy."

Amy doesn't so much sit down as she sinks into the chair. "A dragon? Who took Perry and Parker?"

"I'm very sorry, Amy."

Amy waves the sympathy away with one hand. She'll be sorry later. Right now, she needs to be Queen Amethyst of Ambergeldar.

"Hired, do you think?" she asks.

Stefan nods. "They're not native to the area around Amber; we've not seen one near the capital for thirty years, at the very least. I think it's a bit much of a coincidence that the first one to wander this way in three decades just happens to take the King. But I don't know who hired it, or why. Or if the kidnapping was the endgame or just the first step. And I cannot imagine that anyone could kidnap a king without some help from inside this palace."

"So I can't trust anyone here," Amy says.

"You may trust me, Amy," he says. "You cannot imagine I had--"

"Heavens, no, Stefan," she says. "You're Perry's oldest friend. You, Rosalind, Lord Terence. Marta."

Stefan nods. "For now, that's as far as I'd be willing to go."

There are three sharp raps at the door, a pause, and then two more. Stefan waves Amy up and behind him, draws his dagger, and opens the door a fraction of an inch. Then all the way, to admit Lord Terence, the court magician and his father-in-law.

Lord Terence, with a bow, hands Amy a sealed letter addressed to Perry. "This arrived, for His Majesty. In his absence, I took the liberty of delivering it to you."

"Arrived from where?" Stefan asks, coming over to look at the letter.

"It was in the Council room. One of the pages found it."

Amy turns the letter over. The seal pressed into the wax is the Royal Seal of Ambergeldar. Perry's, in other words. She breaks it, unfold the letter, and reads it through.

"It's from Perry's Uncle Maximilian," she says. "It's a ransom note. If Perry wants my safe return, he will abdicate immediately in favor of his uncle. Only he uses a lot more words." Amy hand the letter to Stefan. "I take it things have not gone according to his plan. A bit overconfident, and not a little bit stupid, to send the demands before he's sure he successfully kidnapped the correct target."

Amy paces the length small room, then turns to Lords Terence and Stefan. "Right. Well, Maximilian has not been at court for weeks, which means there's definitely someone else involved, and we don't know who it is. We're going to need outside help.

"Lord Terence, you will wait here, please, for Rosalind and Nurse Marta and my children. You will all stay here until we know more. If anyone tries to break in, if anyone so much as threatens the Prince and the Princess, you have my permission to kill them where they stand. Or at least turn them into frogs or something."

Lord Terence bows. "As Her Majesty wishes."

"Lord Stefan, you will come with me."

"Where are we going, Amy?"

"To my rooms. There's something I need to get."
kitchen_maid: (Queen and Mother)
Perry's schedule is quite full today. It has been quite full for several days now. And that's for a kingly definition of quite full; Perry doesn't really have days off. But the last week or so have brought meetings stacked back to back, from very early to rather late, straight through most meals.

Amy's not entirely sure why -- there's nothing she's aware of that should require this much of her husband's attention at the moment. (And if there were something like that, she would most definitely be aware of it, and in the meetings as well.) But a lot of minor things seem to have piled up at once for Perry, and Amy's attention is focused, at present, on the thousands of details involved in her mother's upcoming State Visit.

She's asked Parker to visit partly because she's fairly certain Perry will postpone some meeting or other in order to show off his new football field. Amy's worried -- he's looked entirely too tired lately, and he needs a break. Besides, he's somewhat ridiculously excited about the whole football plan, and he hasn't had a chance to visit the field since they finished the moat. (Amy's gone, every day, at his request, so she can dutifully report on the day's progress to him in whatever time they manage to snatch for each other.)

She leaves Parker in her parlor for the moment, and goes to tell Perry that they have company.

The page -- James something? Amy can't remember -- outside the Council Chamber seems very reluctant to let Amy in. "Lord Julius said they were not to be interrupted," he tells her, frowning.

Lord Julius, the Protocol Officer. Not a good person to invoke, when speaking to Amy, who does not like him. Besides, neither Protocol Officers nor pages, even senior ones, give orders to Queens. "Did he? And did His Majesty tell you that he did not wish to be interrupted, even by the Queen?"

The page turns very red. "Ah, no, ma'am. Your Majesty."

"Then stand aside," she says. And pray that she doesn't report this to the man in charge of the pages.

Amy enters the Council Chamber to find Perry sitting at the head of the table, listening to a report on . . . cabbage? Neither he nor any of his ministers notices her right away, which means that either cabbages are much more interesting than Amy thinks, or they've all been lulled into a stupor. She suspects the latter.

"Please pardon the intrusion," Amy says. A dozen men all try to be the first to scramble to their feet (one does not sit in the presence of a standing Queen), and Amy tries not to smile at the sight. "I need a moment of His Majesty's time."

"Is anything wrong, Amethyst?" Perry asks, already halfway around the table.

"No, Algernon. Just something that could not wait."

"Excuse us for a moment, gentlemen," Perry says, and escorts Amy out into the hallway to a chorus of of course, Your Majesty.

Perry glances at the still red-faced page, and then, in response to Amy's slight shake of the head, continues across the hall into an empty stateroom.

"Oh, Perry," says Amy, as soon as the door is closed, "cabbages?"

He nods, glumly. "And before that, it was radishes."

"Oh, Perry."

Perry shrugs. "In light of the problems with the storm and the rationing two years ago, the minister thinks we should pay attention to our vegetables, apparently."

"And a written report . . .?"

"Would not let him hear his own voice drone on and on. Now, what did you need?"

"I wanted to let you know that Parker is here for tea. I thought perhaps, if all matters vegetable can be postponed, you might want to show the field. And see what she thinks of it."

"Now that is a good idea." Perry grins and kisses her. "I knew there was a reason I loved you."

"And I was under the impression there were several," Amy tells him.

"Don't fish for compliments, Amy darling. It's unbecoming," Perry says, and kisses her again. "Give me five minutes to tell Lord Julius to reschedule the next few hours and I'll be right along."

"We'll be in my parlor."

Perry, it turns out, needs only three of those minutes, and comes bounding into Amy's parlor unannounced and looking happier than she's seen him in more than a week. He starts talking about the football field almost before Parker can finish saying hello. Amy, laughing, tells them to go on ahead and she'll catch up; she wants to tell Nurse Marta that Susan will be joining them for tea when they get back.

(She also wants to give Perry a chance to talk through some of his enthusiasm while she's gone -- he talks a lot about the football field, and Amy has heard all of it many times.)

Perry cheerfully tells her not to be long, and offers Parker his arm. She can hear him all the way down the hallway.

Amy grins and heads for the nursery. She'll have to make that up to Parker later.
kitchen_maid: (Smug and Serene)
Amy has learned, by now, to take advantage of the odd windows that open in her schedule, when she's not supposed to be anywhere doing anything Queen-like, but when Perry is off doing something King-like, and the children are asleep or occupied with something that even Mama isn't interesting enough to pull them away from.

She should have about an hour now, and she only had to waste five minutes of it declining to meet with various courtiers and ministers and the Protocol Officer, all of whom have also learned to notice when the Queen's schedule has a blank spot on it.

But Amy has a guest with whom she has not gotten to spend nearly enough time, and so in her opinion, this part of her schedule is booked and has been for some time.

She shuts herself in the Queen's Parlor, and tells the page outside that Lady Parker and only Lady Parker will be joining her for tea.

And then she takes off her shoes and settles in by the fire, sitting so that she cannot see the desk piled with correspondance and reports for her to review and so on.

And waits for her guest.
kitchen_maid: (*Ambergeldar)
The christening of HRH Merriman, Crown Prince of Ambergeldar, goes off with all expected pomp and circumstance. Certain things, most things, have been drastically scaled back, in light of last fall's ruined harvest, but the public parts of the christening are not. Amy and Perry have decided they are good for morale.

Prince Merriman has thirty godfathers and ten godmothers and while most of them are exactly the sorts of people one would expect to see, a few raise eyebrows. Really, one must wonder where on Earth the Queen meets all these people. Even the archbishop looks a little intimidated by the first of the prince's godfathers -- the one whose name he shares -- an impossibly dignified man who makes the usually impossibly dignified archbishop feel like the youngest of the altar boys.

There are whispers and nudges about the woman only a few here know as the Lady Door, whose dark and somewhat fantastic garb has more than one courtier wondering if the King and Queen have actually arranged a fairy godmother for their son. Her husband looks slightly uncomfortable, glancing up at stone saints and stained glass, but who wouldn't be, married to a fairy?

There's a bit of commotion in the middle of the service, when the very bored Princess Royal escapes her nurse and goes tearing down the central aisle. Before any of her various utterly mortified nurses can react, Logan (who is, after all, her godfather) sweeps the now delighted princess up, grins and winks at the Queen -- in the cathedral! scandalous! -- and carries Susan out to chase ladybugs in the cloister garden.

And when all the pomp and ceremony are over, after almost everyone else has filed out, when the whole cathedral smells of just extinguished candles, the Lady Ingress slips back in, finds what seems to be the middle of the room and calls out, in nonsense syllables, just to hear the echo. (Her laughter echoes, too, a moment later, as does Tom's, when he comes to collect her, and the verger gives them stern looks which they completely ignore.)

The reception in the palace that follows is considerably scaled back from that thrown for the prince's older sister. Amy and the protocol officer have argued over almost every detail, for weeks, but in the end, this is an affair in keeping with the difficulties facing the kingdom. The fare is lighter, the pile of gifts is smaller, and it ends an hour before sunset, to save the cost of candles to light the rooms.

But it would be wrong to say that the event is austere -- there's laughter and conversation, meetings between old friends and new. The Lady Rosalind links her arm through Meg Giry's almost immediately; it's been far too long and they've ever so much to catch up on, and has Meg heard that the former Beast she named "Fluffy" married Princess Persephone of Plumblossomburg last month?

Henry Wellard, too, has been here often enough to have made friends with a group of noble younger sons who've gone into the Ambergeldan Army and Navy, and if there are more of these noble younger sons than one might expect to find here, well, surely the Queen had her reasons for inviting them.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds makes quite the dashing figure at his godson's christening, and wisely refrains from telling his godson's mother that he's worn his "boy whore" clothes in honor of the occasion. Inana could no more look out of place in a room like this than she could fly around it, and it is quite reassuring to see that the Queen knows some respectable people.

Later, when the sun starts to set, the King and Queen and their children and friends will adjourn to one of the smaller parlors, and here there will be candles, and the laughter and conversation will continue late into the night.

All in all, not a bad way for a prince to be named.
kitchen_maid: (Older!Merry)
It's not often, really, that Merry gets to take a holiday. Not a real one (though Papa says that kings have to learn to see a couple of hours as a holiday, and a real one at that).

But this? This is a real holiday, out of Ambergeldar, visiting Queen Cimmorene and Daystar. (Daystar, like Merry, is a prince, but Mama says that princes don't have to call each other "prince." But he still has to call Daystar's Mama "Queen Cimorene," because that's polite. He asked why he didn't have to call Mama "Queen Mama," and she said there are exceptions for family.)

The Castle in the Enchanted Forest is ever so much more fun than the castle at home. There are a lot fewer people who worry about things like whether or not you've spilled jam or torn your clothes, and Mama usually hands her crown to Willin when they get there and doesn't put it back on till they leave. (Merry thinks Mama looks prettier without the crown.)

At home, he almost never gets to wander off without people following him and, as Papa puts it, "Your Highnessing him half to death." But here, Mama and Queen Cimorene just tell them to stay out of trouble and go off to have tea.

Yes, this is a real holiday.
kitchen_maid: (Pen/Writing)

Their Majesties
King Algernon Peregrine Humphrey Archibald Lysander Ferdinand Percival Hugh
and
Queen Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne
of Ambergeldar

request the honour of your presence
at the christening of their son

Merriman Peregrine Caspian Hulderbrand Thomas Henry Hugh

at half after ten o'clock in the morning
Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels
Amber, Ambergeldar

kitchen_maid: (OOC)
Questions for Amy, Hannah Griffith, Angela Montenegro, Trina Echolls, or Betty Roberts? This is the place to ask them.
kitchen_maid: (Curled Up)
Amy came out this afternoon to check on the status of various boats. She's not sure what to do about the Hope -- she's hoping Caspian has left instructions with Mal. In the meantime, all she can do is make sure it seems to be safe and secure.

As for the Black Pearl -- Amy is at an utter loss. She's not sure how a ship that size got into the lake in the first place. And, having got there, she can't imagine getting it back out was a simple case of walking it out the front door.
kitchen_maid: (Amy -- How Did I Get Here?)
IFeelLikeAJoan: Carolyn would be kicking ass and taking names. I can just see her and certain characters.
ElsinoreQueen: Turn her loose on Merriman
IFeelLikeAJoan: Now THERE'S an image.
meofz9: oh my gosh
meofz9: that might break my head in a good way.
IFeelLikeAJoan: Carolyn: "No one said that living forever would be all it was cracked up to be chere."
ElsinoreQueen: Carolyn: Now, have a donut.
IFeelLikeAJoan: Merriman: *....the HELL?*
ElsinoreQueen: Carolyn: Take the donut, Light Man.
meofz9: Booth: I'd listen to her, if i were you.
ElsinoreQueen: Merriman: But you are not me, I am happy to note
meofz9: Booth: Thank God. Still. It's better than having her hold it against you forever.
IFeelLikeAJoan: Carolyn: "This boy Wellard is supposed to be your responsiblity if that fancy coat is any indication, and you've let him be knocked unconcious, ripped in half by some witch, and sucked into hell?
IFeelLikeAJoan: Who gave you this job anyway? Do they know about your track record?
meofz9: Carolyn: He might be dead, but he's still a minor, as far as I can tell.
IFeelLikeAJoan: And he clearly can't take care of himself!
ElsinoreQueen: Carolyn: And did you have his parent or guardian's permission before you took him across interdimensional lines?
IFeelLikeAJoan: What's that? He was a druggie too? Oh, this just gets better and better......
meofz9: Carolyn: By the time I'm done, you'll be lucky if you ever get so much as a glimpse of Henry Wellard.
meofz9: Booth: I told you to take the donut...
IFeelLikeAJoan: *dies laughing*
ElsinoreQueen: I have to share this with Star
IFeelLikeAJoan: *gasps for breath* Oh yes.
IFeelLikeAJoan: Carolyn to Wellard: "Come on bebe. We're going to find you some sane people" *grumbles* "Old one of the light my sweet Aunt Myrtle..."
meofz9: *dies*
ElsinoreQueen: We're INSANE
meofz9: but AWESOME
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