August 26, 2013

In Which Morgan Determines the Settling Time

September 5, 1182

"And what are you doing here? Going to help Grandpapa with the tax records?"

The household had spent the duration of Morgan's stay so far in the sluggish sobriety of mourning, but Lord Severin had resolved to keep little Viridis's gloom exposure to a minimum. It was a nice gesture, but Morgan didn't see much of a point in it; at not even a month, how could Viridis ever remember her first days of orphanhood? Morgan didn't recall being a baby--and from what she knew of her early years, that was a lucky thing.

"Of course you are. I'm sure you're a natural with numbers. Quick, what's six hundred and thirty-eight divided by seventy-nine?" The baby blew a couple of spit bubbles; her grandfather clapped in that faux-delight most reserved for infants. "That's right! Eight-point-zero-eight, rounded to the nearest hundredth! Can you say 'decimal number'?"

Viridis squirmed. She was such an active newborn. Morgan struggled to smile as she wondered if her own little girl would have been so restless had she been a live birth. "That might be a mouthful for her yet."

"Probably not for long, given that fantastic collection of Arthurian legends CeeCee and Lyssa keep raving about! I don't think any of the kids here have ever loved a book so much. Present from your bookseller husband, I take it?"

"Yes, Lonan gave it to me shortly after we married." Poor Lonan. She liked to think he told those stories to little Greta now, in time with her readings to Lord Severin's children and grandchildren. Somehow, it made them both feel nearer. "I had to sell most of my things after my father-in-law threw me out, but I couldn't bear to part with that book."

The baby blinked, and Lord Severin took the chance for a sympathetic nod. There wasn't much to say to that, though, and for her own sake as much as his, Morgan didn't want to leave off on such a note. "I've been thinking about writing my own version, though. I'm going to need to occupy myself somehow, and it's probably not the best idea to handle herbs around a baby."

Lord Severin frowned. Had she spoken too soon? She knew that he was Viridis's guardian, but she'd just assumed that as the person feeding her... "Well, if Viridis lives with me, that is. While she's nursing, anyway."

"Of course. It would be impractical otherwise, and I'd be happy to sponsor your writing on top of your wages. And you're welcome to stay here as long as you like." He reached for the baby and tickled her beneath the chin, prompting a coo. "Though I was wondering if you would maybe prefer staying with my daughter Vera and her family? She's about your age, and I think you two would get along. She and her husband also have only one child so far, so her household isn't nearly as hectic as this one, even if the quarters are a little closer. Sorry, I hope it doesn't sound as if I'm trying to get rid of you."

"Oh, no. It might be a good idea, actually--though I'd be sure to stop by to read to the kids in any case."

"Good to hear it." His mouth curved--not quite a smile, but probably the closest he could manage for a knowing adult.

"Though perhaps I might meet Vera first?"

"Certainly. We'll pay her a visit tomorrow."

"Very well." So. Vera. Perhaps they would be friends. After so much time alone, that was such a strange thought. "I suppose we'll work out the arrangements once things settle down a bit."

Once the loss of his daughter was no longer so fresh. Once his son-in-law's father arrived to collect the preserved body from the nuns and bury him beside his lost love. Once Morgan could look at Viridis, the little baby she'd come to love, and not think of the daughter she'd never had a chance to know. It would be a while.

Lord Severin sighed. "I'm sorry that we didn't meet under happier circumstances."

As if it was his fault. But Morgan nodded. "Likewise."



Van said...

A few short posts in a row here. The one after next should be longer.

Mimus said...

Alas, Searle didn't meet his mother on his sickbed. :(

Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree with Morgan on the subject of Viridis never remembering that time later.
Sure, she will never actively remember anything, but she could always remember on a subconcious level which could lead to anxiousness when she becomes an adult. The first few years of a child are very important for a person, if I remember correctly...

Van said...

Searle's mother is probably waiting for her husband to die so they can resume their usual patterns of wild arguments and angry sex in the afterlife.

I think I've heard of studies that correlated newborn's health with how much affection they were given, against controls who got the same non-emotional comforts and basic care. Maybe there's something similar that could be said about how the people around the babies act in general?

But I think Viridis is young enough that she still has the vast majority of her formative years left.

Pen L. Opie said...

I never wouldda thunk Sad Searle would die before Creepy Searle. Was Viridis the first of her generation of Naronians to die? *thinks*

That preview of Sunny Searle not looking so terribly sunny is intriguing. I don't know what Sparron's done now, but I reckon he deserves whatever he's about to get. :S

Van said...

Yeah, Searle the Sad sort of had a "lonely old man who keeps waiting for the death that never comes" quality to him. But things happen. :S

Well, several Dovians have died, but not many we've seen (and how broad is generation here? Searle and Viridis are first cousins, and half of his siblings are dead). In terms of born-and-raised Naronians? Well... I guess there's Thetis's son Byrn, Octavius and Holladrin's Pandora, and (temporarily) Farilon? I don't think I'm missing anybody, but I could be wrong?

Yeaaah, Sunny Searle doesn't look to be quite his usual self there... :S

Winter said...

Severin seems to be doing okay, all things considered.

I'm glad Morgan will be with little Viridis for now. Viridis is probably attached to her, and some continuity won't hurt Morgan either. I hope she gets on with Vera. (And I hope she starts that book, because I have just the oddest feeling that it might be really good... ;)!)

Van said...

Severin is coping, if only out of necessity. He's no stranger to loss, but I think he learned after the whole post-Alina phase that life goes on, and he has to at least try to go with it. :S

Morgan and Viridis will be good for each other. They may even remain close when Viridis gets a little older, which would of course be good for both of them.

As for Morgan and Vera, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't at least tolerate each other. And yes, I think it would be a good book... ;)