March 12, 2016

In Which Henry Can't Answer for the Dead

January 6, 1198

"Aunt Mona." However Dea might have felt about her aunt--she'd been a child of five when Mona had been sent away, so if she didn't have enough memories of her to form an opinion, then Lord knew Henry had no cause to guess it--she paid her a familial kiss on the cheek as opposed to a more stately greeting. For her fellow queen, however, a stately mutual bow was merited. "Your majesty."

"Your majesty," Queen Anna replied in kind as Henry edged around the women to the hearth-facing bench. On Dea's request, Henry had greeted the women himself and led them to the study. Willott had been given the day off; he was more Dea's man than Roderick's now, as he'd been more Roderick's than Ietrin's, but the absurdity of the situation may have been too much for a loyal steward serving his third generation of monarchs to handle. Better to leave the greeting to the shiny new prince consort.

"Please, have a seat, both of you." Dea gestured to the other bench. She waited for her guests to seat themselves, then made her way to her desk from behind Henry, fingers grazing his shoulder as she brushed by. He smiled. He could keep up with political talk about as well as he was expected to, but it wasn't really his realm. All he could bring to this meeting was support.

But, given the women's agreeable manner and Dea's own level-headed views of the issue at hand, that would not be so difficult--or unpleasant--a task. "I think it goes without saying that no matter what anyone thinks, congratulations are in order to the two of you for having fooled the world for so long."

Anna replied with a shy smile. Mona, though, wasn't all that eager to focus on it, her eyes falling to the children on the floor. "Sparron and Jedaline, I take it?"

"My babies," Dea confirmed with a fond grin their way. "Say hello to Auntie Mona and Queen Anna."

Sparron and Jedaline relented a couple of mumbled greetings, then resumed their more interesting game. They were both rather like their mother, Henry thought: focused, independent, full of potential. Every minute he spent with them was all the more reason to give them the golden childhood that Dea's own father had denied her. A cordial first exposure to the workings of royals would do them well.

"Yes, that's... well, that's part of why we decided it was time to end this. The children. Anna's children deserved to know their mother's name, and how brave she was to go along with my scheme. And my children... uh, that is, if you think it appropriate..."

"They will have their place in the line of succession," Dea assured her aunt. "While Grandfather would have been furious about all of this, I don't believe he was the sort to cast aside a blood tie."

Henry had never met King Roderick. But, from what Dea had told him, that would have been rather close to home for the old king. "Forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, but King Roderick did know what it was to be denied his place in line. He may not have been the kindest or cleverest of men, but I doubt that was a fate he would have wished on anyone."

"Yes--and if nothing else, he didn't care for disruptions in order. I won't pretend to agree with more of Grandfather's politics than I do, but to ensure that his grandchildren have their place in succession--however unlikely it is that they'll ever inherit--is a rare posthumous gift I can give him."

"But would he have forgiven me?"

A question only a dead man could answer. And while Henry knew--thought he knew, at least--what he himself would do as a father, he couldn't answer for a dead man he'd never met.

But Dea had known her grandfather.

And by now, Henry knew Dea well enough to trust her judgment.




Van said...

...I should make up bingo cards for my reoccurring ailments. :S

Ekho said...

Are you alright? I hate getting sick all the time, distracts from accomplishing anything you actually work hard for!

This is just the sweetest, I haven't read up on Henry or his and Dea's story, but he obviously loves and respects her. I think this was the ultimate closure for Mona and Anna, I mean - for so long they've been 'living a lie' or at least playing the part of each other - I like to think this will take some weight off their shoulders, even if its theoretically. I do want to see the reactions of some of the other Naronians though !

Van said...

Heh. I always seem to be that sort of sick that is sick enough to be annoying but not sick enough to be excused from doing things. XD

Henry and Dea are a good match, as they both have exactly what the other one needs. Dea's very much a "head" person while Henry's definitely a "heart" person, and they do a good job of not only balancing each other out, but showing each other the value of the other side.

As for Anna and Mona... yeah, it's about time. It's been long enough that any scandals will be of a social scale rather than a political one, and it's not as if either marriage could easily be annulled at this point, so being able to breathe easily and be honest with their children is the more important thing now.

Suffice to say that Lorn and Ricky will at least sort of graze the topic in the next post. ;)

Winter said...

I could see Roderick forgiving Mona. He wasn't the world's smartest father, but he did care about his own children in his way. Anna, Devidra, Adrius, Zareth, and the entire Carvalli people... not so much. He'd be hiring guards to pull a "get off my lawn" at any Carvalli who crossed into Naroni until and unless someone with two brain cells calmed him down, I think!

Van said...

Oh, yeah, the other people involved probably wouldn't have gotten such an easy pass from Roderick. Mona might have been able to save Zareth from any explicit punishment on the grounds of "Please, Daddy, I love him!", but any interaction between the two would have been tense.

As for everyone else? Yeah, I think it would have taken all the lords and then some to restrain him.

And to say nothing of how Ietrin might have taken it... :S