February 16, 2016

In Which Leara Chooses No One

June 8, 1198

"Now, you keep taking good care of my sister and the kids for me," Leara's youngest brother instructed a tail-wagging Jadin as he scratched the dog behind the ears. Dogs had always loved Marsden, and Marsden had always loved them right back. His mother hadn't allowed him to have one as a child--but that hadn't stopped him from raising a litter of puppies that had belonged, nominally, to their cook. "Can you do that?"

Jadin yipped. Marsden moved his hand to the middle of the dog's head and gave an affectionate pat. "I thought so."

Leara pinched the seam of her skirt between her fingers. Her youngest brother--twenty-two years her junior, younger than two of her own children--had finished his studies and would be heading back to Dovia. His graduation had been the week prior, and she and Lorn had hosted him after he'd left his residence, him and Farilon and the twins. Any minute now, the other three would finish saying their goodbyes upstairs, and then they'd be down here, bidding her the same. And all four of them would be off, back to Dovia, even though Dea had formally granted that Laralita's descendants were welcome to return to live in Naroni should they choose.

Too many years too late, alas. Marsden was a Dovian now, as were Leara's other half-siblings. Well... except for Mona. Mona, Queen of Carvallon, who raised some kind-but-strange children who asked peculiar questions they ought to have already known the answers too anyway--at least, if her one meeting so far with her nephew Telvar was any indication. Perhaps his younger siblings were a little more-down-to-earth.

But at least she'd get to meet them, finally--whenever they started. Thanks to the university, she would meet all of her nieces and nephews. Even if they were Dovians, Carvalli... whatever.

"You'll be in Dovia in August, right?" Marsden asked as he turned away from the dog and stepped up to Leara for a hug. "For my wedding?"

Leara smiled. His wedding would inevitably mean more nieces and nephews soon--these ones, younger than at least one of her grandchildren. Lord. She hoped she lived to meet them. "You know it."

"Good. Athalia only has two siblings; she'd never forgive me if she didn't get to meet all of mine."

Leara smiled. There had been times, definitely, when she had not quite been keen on their large family. But... well, she'd made a large family of her own since then. Large families had their downsides, but at the end of the day...

Well... who would she choose to let go, if given the opportunity to downsize?

"I'm sure her two siblings love her very well."

"I'm sure they do too, but they're so much younger--not that you wouldn't know how that feels."

She smacked him lightly on the arm as he smirked. "Where did you get that mouth on you?"

"Probably one of my many uncles on my mother's side," he answered with a grin. "Or perhaps one of the family dogs."



Van said...

For the record, since Ietrin's already dead, cutting him doesn't count as a downsizing option. :P

This was on the of those posts that had a point when I first thought of it, but then kind of just... stopped having a point. Main things to take away from this? Roderick's kids are all grown up now. Also, Telvar has talked to Leara...

Winter said...

Everyone is growing up so fast!

I think it did have a point. It's nice to know that Roderick's kids by Laralita are welcome back to Naroni if they like, and seeing the two sides of the royal family grown up and friendly is heartwarming. Thanks to Ietrin the Downsized, half of them were essentially banished to Dovia. And it is always nice to visit with Leara. She has much too nice a life to be seen often.

Well, the Carvalli shit is edging closer to the fan. I suppose it's good that Leara would have no reason to remember the maid sent off with Mona, the maid who looks so much like Telvar. It gives Telvar a chance to hear the truth from his parents. I'm surprised that they didn't think it prudent to tell him before he went off to school in Naroni, but it does make for more drama ;)

Van said...

Yeah, it's weird! XD

Yeah, true. The rest of the Geneva side of the family may not have always been fond of Laralita, but not to the point that they'd kick her and her children out of the kingdom--so, it only made sense that Dea would officially welcome them back. The slight posthumous spite that action would carry toward Ietrin probably didn't hurt either. ;)

Yeah, the Carvalli shit is about half an inch shy of the fan blade. Honestly, I'm not even sure if Leara and Anna ever really met, since Mona was still too young to have her own maid when Leara got married. Telvar, for his part, would rather hear something from his parents first before he started voicing any theories outright... so it would make sense that Leara, who isn't stupid but is very much a surface-level thinker, would find their conversation somewhat strange.

As for Anna and Adrius not telling... well, there are some things where the longer you take to deal with them, the tougher that dealing becomes. I think that's largely the case there, to the point where they probably figured most people would assume Telvar took after Adrius and leave it at that, and maybe Telvar would assume that Laralita was a brunette or something.