Author: CRMurphy PM
3 modern girls end up in Tortall and as they try to fit in they soon realize that not everything is as simple as they think it is. //Discontinued//Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Tortall - Chapters: 3 - Words: 13,597 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 12-30-06 - Published: 09-07-06 - id: 3144941
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Well here we go with chapter 3.. Leave reviews:)
Greetings, ladies of Irismere. We are made glad to receive you as our guests and would like to honor your arrival to Corus by inviting to be introduced to her Majesty. She will receive you for tea tomorrow at two thirty.
Elena looked up from the fancy script of the letter and smiled, "Her Majesty? My, we are just moving right up, aren't we?"
"Where did you get that?" Amy asked, leaning over her shoulder to get a better look at it.
"Vaughn brought it in, it was delivered to our door," Elena answered distractedly as she reread the short letter.
"Tea with the queen? This can't be good. She will know that we aren't really who we say we are and kick us out of here," Amy said nervously. "Oh, well, this was fun while it lasted."
"Shut up, it won't be like that."
"And how do you know?" Amy snapped, fiddling with the sleeve of her blue robe.
Elena rolled her eyes. "The note says that we will be introduced to her Majesty. That means that the owner of our suite doesn't already know the people who live here. We'll be fine."
"I don't know," Amy said slowly.
"I know, it's scary. I mean, what will we wear?" Elena broke into a smile, she tossed the letter onto a small table that stood next to where she was sitting. She reclined in the chair and adjusted her robe which had been found in the wagon of things that Amy's mom had been hoping to sell. It was a light pink with thick white belt and underneath was a white chemise that served as Elena's nightgown. Her black hair was twisted into a loose braid, which she flung over her shoulder as she poked through the tray of food that had been brought up for their breakfast. "Where's Blake? Sleeping in?"
"Uh, no, I think she went to that knight training thing," Amy replied as she picked up a piece of toast and bit into it. "It starts early I guess."
"No kidding. They're starting it already? We just got here yesterday."
Amy shrugged and picked up a bowl of fruit to pick through it for the grapes.
"But seriously, we need to go crazy when we go to meet this queen woman," Elena said. "I saw this light blue dress in the stuff from the wagon that I want, but I will have to take it in a little. It has this outrageous big collar and huge sleeves."
"Oh yeah, my mom was going to charge two hundred and fifty for that one because it's so fancy. Wait, you can't wear it, we have to sell it."
"We're already wearing the clothes that your mom made," Elena said, gesturing to her own pink robe and Amy's blue one.
Amy shook her head and set down the fruit dish. "This is different, we need to wear these because all our clothes were in the truck which is still with my mom, wherever she is. So we really don't have a choice."
Elena yawned. "C'mon that is so boring."
"Well that's too bad. My mom put a lot of work into those dresses, we can't just wear them all over the place. She needs to sell them."
"Well, we could wear all the clothes around, you know, like as an advertisement. And we will look so good that everyone will ask where we got our clothes, then we just tell them about your mom's store. What's it called again?" She sipped at her cup of tea and reached her toe out toward the fish pool. The fish scattered as her toe dipped into the water.
"What are you doing?" Amy said, referring to Elena's toe in the fish pool. Elena just laughed so Amy ignored it. "Anyways, the shop is called Delongpre Dresses."
"Are you kidding? That's just your last name with dresses added to the end."
Amy shrugged, "It works."
"Okay, we at least should say something like 'dress emporium' or something so it's not so boring."
"You'll have to talk to my mom about that," Amy replied.
Elena flicked the water with her toe because the fish had started to come back looking for food. The fish darted off again when she moved her toe. "I doubt she will mind. Let's call it something more creative."
Amy sighed and scanned the tray for something else to eat. She picked up an apple pastry and took a bite before she saw the cherry pastry. "She's going to be pissed about our whole impersonating the Irismere people, this is just another thing for her to kill me for. I should have eaten the cherry pastry not this apple one."
"Why can't you have the cherry one?" Elena asked, "When can keep Delongpre, but we just need to make it sound a little classier, especially if we're going to be advertising by looking completely fabulous."
"What's wrong with having an ordinary name?" Amy sighed and looked at her apple pastry, which she had only eaten a bite of. "I can't eat the cherry one because I've already started on this one."
Elena reached out and grabbed the apple one out of Amy's hand and tossed it back on the tray and picked up the cherry pastry. She held it out to Amy, "We're loaded for now. Girl, you can do whatever you want. Let's just add 'emporium' to the name or something. Not that big of a deal."
"You are totally trying to manipulate me," Amy said, reaching out to take the cherry pastry.
"Is it working?" Elena smiled.
Amy stared into space like she was hypnotized. "What is this? For some reason I am beginning to want to change the name of my mom's store. Brain cells rapidly…decreasing…losing all sense of good judgment. Your good looks and charming personality has seduced me completely."
"Finally you admit it!" Elena said.
"We will call it the Delongpre Boutique of Excellent Taste, Ravishing Style, and Stuff. Happy?"
Elena laughed. "I like it. Maybe the 'stuff' part could go, but it's better than Delongpre Dresses."
"Ha ha, fine, we will call it Delongpre's Fine Clothing Boutique. But if my mom says no, then it's back to Delongpre Dresses."
Before Elena could reply, the door opened. Vaughn stood in the door frame, his clothes rumpled and red hair hidden once again under the woolen cap. Under his arm he held a stack of firewood.
"Good morning," Amy said, "Is that for us?"
"Yeah, Kellerman told me to bring it up even though it's too warm for fires, ya know? I don't really see the point." Vaughn came into the room and opened a fancy chest where he deposited the wood.
"Oh, that's what that chest is for? I thought it was just for decoration," Elena commented.
Amy sighed, "Everything is for decoration around here, that's rich people for you."
Elena raised her eyebrows and gave her a look of disdain. "You mean, rich people like us."
"Yeah. Like us."
Vaughn looked from Elena to Amy suspiciously. "Well, I think I'll go get somethin' to eat," he said.
"Why don't you just eat some of this?" Amy said, gesturing to the tray. "We have everything anyone could possibly want and then some."
"What?" Vaughn asked, narrowing his eyes.
"What?" Amy said innocently. "What's wrong with our food?"
"Servant," Vaughn said, pointing to himself. He pointed to Amy and then to Elena. "Ladies."
Amy clapped in mock delight, "Oh you are so smart, next you can learn shapes and numbers!"
"Ha ha," Vaughn said flatly. He sank to the couch and looked at the tray of food.
As he sat down, Elena got to her feet, "Well, as much as I would like to stay and chat, I think I'm going to roll out of here."
"Where to? Don't forget our tea with her majesty," Amy said, watching Vaughn eye the tray suspiciously.
"Don't sweat it. And I am going to go wherever the wind takes me," she answered, heading into her room. "I will get all dolled up and see what kind of people live here."
"Dolled up? Since when have you have used words like that?"
"Since now. It just feels so fitting with the whole old fashioned theme," Elena called over her shoulder.
"Wrong time period," Amy said, but wasn't heard as Elena had already shut her bedroom door. Amy sighed and let herself sink into the chair. She looked back at Vaughn, who hadn't moved towards the food. "Seriously, we aren't going to eat anything else, you can go for it."
Vaughn got to his feet. "I just remembered that I haven't arranged all your trunks yet so I should probably do that. Thank you all the same, though."
"Yeah, sure." Amy fiddled with the fringe of one of the pillows she was sitting on.
He bowed sharply and disappeared into one of the bedrooms. As he did, Elena, dressed in a light yellow dress, emerged from her room. It was long and thin, with slim sleeves. She held up a small white hat and a yellow ribbon. "Which one?"
"Put the yellow ribbon on the hat," Amy said.
Elena tried to tie the ribbon around the edge of the hat, but the ribbon just fell right off. "Ug, that's never going to work."
Amy stood up and walked over to her, she took both the hat and ribbon from Elena's hands. "Grab that pin that's supposed to look like ivory," she said.
"You want a pen?" Elena asked, "Why?"
"No, not a writing pen. A pin." Amy sighed exasperatedly, "Look, do you want me to help you or not?"
Elena laughed. "Sorry, God, why are you so touchy?" She slipped back into her room and emerged again, holding out the fake ivory pin.
Amy took the pin and stuck it through the ribbon to hold it to the small round hat. "Now, just pin up your hair. Pin, not write on it," Amy said with a smile.
She took the small hat, "Yeah, yeah, funny." She walked back into her room and Amy could hear her fumbling through her things for pins.
Amy went back to her chair and sat down with a thud.
"Where's Vaughnie Vaughn?" Elena said, coming from her room, pins in hand.
"Uh, he had something to do so he left."
Elena snorted. "Bolted more like. Oh well, we're paying his salary, he'll come back. Pin my hair for me?"
"First, we're not paying anything to anyone. We don't exactly have the money, you know? And second, why should I pin your hair for you?" she asked.
"First, we're getting that Kellerman guy to pay his salary, same thing. Second, please, please, please!" She sat on the foot rest in front of Amy's chair and handed her the pins.
Amy grabbed them from her hand, "You owe me."
Elena smiled and gave small clap. "Maybe I will help you hook up with that Vaughn guy to repay you." She raised one of her thin black eyebrows.
"No thanks," Amy said disdainfully. She took a piece of Elena's black hair and twisted it up on her head, where she secured it with a pin.
"You know I could right?" she said, "I'm like the matchmaker. I can do anything if I put my mind to it."
"Uh huh well you can save your skills for someone else, I don't want any hookups." She twisted another piece of hair. Elena's hair had a natural curl so it was easier to pin up all the curls. Elena must've been scared that Amy wouldn't do her hair if she kept prying so she let her finish in silence. Amy placed the hat on top of the pile of curls and nestled it in.
"Okay, you're finished," she said.
Elena hopped up and ran to the nearest mirror. She grinned at her reflection. "I look amazing." Of course she did, her dark skin contrasted beautifully with the pale yellow.
"Yeah, yeah," Amy muttered.
"Well, I'd better go before it gets too late. I will be back!" she said, flicking open a fan and heading for the door. She was gone before Amy could yell after her.
"That fan is the wrong time period-" she said before giving up. "Never mind." She pushed herself out of the chair and went into her room.
A half an hour later she was wearing a dark blue gown. It was simple, thin around her upper body and started to flare at her hips. The sleeves were tight at the top and flared at her elbows. She slid her feet into blue slippers and headed toward the door when she caught her reflection in the mirror. Her blonde hair hung to her shoulders and she looked horribly plain. Sighing, she went into Elena's room. Elena had already started collecting all the fancy things from the trailer. She found a braided belt and wrapped it around her waist, it wasn't much better, but it made her feel a little prettier.
Amy went to the door and opened it, the hallway outside was empty. Where to go? She was about to just pick a direction when one of the neighboring doors slammed open. Amy shut her own door, hoping one of the maids would lock it because they seemed to always be lurking around. She slipped down the hall toward the sound of the opening door.
"Hey," she said, approaching the boy that was coming out of a room.
He looked up at her, then shut the door behind him. "What do you want?"
"Is that any sort of greeting for your friendly neighbor girl?" Amy said with a mock frown.
He had shaggy dark hair and ghostly white skin. "Mithros, where are my manners? Would you like to come over for a little tea party and afterwards we can gossip about the latest styles and marriages?" He rolled his grey eyes.
"Well, if that's the kind of thing you are in to-" Amy said.
"It was a joke," he snapped, "but I should have known better than to think a noble lady could've figured it out all by herself. Would you like me to spell out my reaction to you?"
"Oh could you?" she answered all smiley, wondering why in the world this kid was acting like this, they had never even met. "Oh wait, that would require you to think, but I don't think that you've quite mastered that activity yet."
He rubbed his forehead and turned so Amy could see the other side of his face. She gasped, it was nearly all covered with a purple bruise. "Look, lady, I would really like to stay here and finish our little banter, but I have things to do. Something I know that you wouldn't understand, so let me cut to the chase. Goodbye." He turned and started to walk away.
Amy stared after him, too shocked to do anything. This place was weird.
She turned and walked the opposite way of the boy, hoping to avoid that incredibly rude boy with the bruised face. She walked down the hall and went out the door at the end, outside was a large courtyard with climbing ivory stretched over all the buildings around. The courtyard appeared to be empty of others, this place didn't seem to be very warm and friendly. She walked through the courtyard and into another building, not having a clue as to where she was going. As she walked past an open door, she glimpsed shelves and shelves of books. The sight made her halt and back track a few steps, could this be a library? All intuition screamed yes, she smiled, this was better than discovering the fish pond in the sitting room of her quarters.
She walked into the vast room, it was three stories tall and the massive walls were jam packed with shelves and windows. Clustered between the shelves were small tables where people could sit and read in peace. Amy sighed happily and found that she had to sit down because she was overwhelmed by the sheer wonder of it all, she sank into a nearby chair. She reached out and picked up the nearest book so she wouldn't look so strange just sitting here, gaping. The book in her hands was something that looked almost modern, she held it up and looked at the cover. The cover was worn green leather, but the first page was illustrated. It had a picture of a red haired girl standing in the middle of tall gray buildings, wearing a t-shirt, with a black cat wrapped around her shoulders. It looked familiar, but yet like nothing she had ever seen. "Weird," Amy muttered. She set it down and got to her feet, not being able to resist wandering around in this library any longer.
She wasn't sure how much time had passed since she had come in, but she knew it was a while. Amy had toured all three floors several times before she remembered that she was supposed to go to that tea thing at two thirty, she shot out the door and through the courtyard back to her rooms. As soon as she ran into her room, Elena accosted her.
"Hey, Amy, where have you been? We have tea or whatever at two thirty and it's already five after two. My hair just likes like shit, see?" She gestured at her head, it looked fine, but she obviously wasn't satisfied.
"Uh, yeah, right. I know," Amy said.
"And you don't look so fly either," Elena added with a smirk.
"Sorry, just being honest. Now, my hair, do something!"
Amy rolled her eyes, "It looks fi-" she trailed off because she saw a slim white rectangle on the table next to the fish pond. She picked it up and turned it over, looking at the orange seal pressed onto the back. "What is this?"
Elena didn't seem to hear her, "I want it to look a little bigger because the collar of this dress is just so wide. It needs to balance, you know-"
Amy stopped listening to her and broke the seal open. She unfolded the parchment and started reading.
I'm sorry to have to write like this, but there aren't any phones up there for me to call you on. Anyways, the truck is not looking good, I don't think it will be drivable for a few more months at least. The other bad news is about your father, he's in the hospital again because he broke his arm while trying to change a light bulb a day after he was released from the hospital for his horseback riding injury. Go figure.
With your father back in the hospital I have decided not to go back to the fair. I know you ladies are old enough to handle yourselves, especially with Amy there to be the responsible one. So I am trusting you to get everything in order. Don't worry about selling the dresses if you don't feel like it, there will always be next year. Just have a good time and I will see you in two weeks!
Amy dropped the letter on the table, "Elena, this is a letter from my mom."
"What?" she asked, "Oh, I mean, that's great. What did she say? Hopefully not that we have to go home."
Amy shook her head, "No, my dad's in the hospital."
"She's making us leave, huh?" Elena said, absolutely crushed.
"My dad's alright, thanks for your concern. But no, she just wants us to have a good time these next two weeks and she will come pick us up."
Elena's face lit up, "Perfect! We're free! Big round earrings or long ones that dangle?" She held up one of each next to her face.
"Dangle," Amy responded. Talking to Elena was a lost cause. She crossed the room to the mirror. She didn't look so good. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders blandly, well, it was too late to do anything spectacular about it. She fixed her hair into what looked like a crown of braided hair and secured it with some pins.
"-and oh my God I still haven't picked my shoes-" Elena was screaming from her room.
Amy sighed and smoothed her dress, not that the dark blue cloth really needed it.
"You're not going like that, are you?" Elena said, stumbling from her room as she attempted to put on heels while walking.
"I don't have time for anything else."
"Oh, well I thought we were going to go all out and look like we are totally loaded," Elena replied.
Amy raised her shoulders and let them drop carelessly. "You can still get all dressed up, you don't need me to do it with you."
Elena tossed her head, "I thought we could do it together like we are actually friends or something."
"What?" Amy said, staring at her.
"Never mind. Let's go."
Amy shook her head, what was wrong with people today? "Er, okay." They left the room, trotting down the hall. "Do you know where we're going?"
"Yeah," Elena answered, "I was all over this place earlier. It's like a freaking maze, but I had a few guides."
"You're making friends already? That's good."
"I know," Elena said, "I've met like thirty people so far, they're all so great. They are all so into the whole old school thing but whatever, you know, it must be a rich people thing. Like they all set this thing up just to escape the modern world for a few weeks, you know? That's kind of cool."
Amy glanced at the passing doors, she was completely lost. "Yeah, it is. A little weird, though."
"It's really weird, but so are all Renaissance festivals. At least these people put in enough effort to make it believable."
"Yeah," Amy nodded.
"Look, it's the big doors up there. Wow, huh?"
Amy nodded again, she was impressed by the size of the wood doors. They were carved with a series of designs and pictures. Two guards flanked the doors.
Elena marched up to the guards. "We are the ladies of Irismere and we are here to see the Queen," she announced.
The guards reached over and pulled the doors open. Behind the door was a sitting room was that looked similar to the Irimere's sitting room, though it was a little larger and came with an old lady sitting on a couch, wrapped in expensive looking silks.
"Ah," the old woman said, "Welcome, ladies."
Elena and Amy curtsied in unison. "Hey," Elena said.
She smiled, wrinkles lining her worn face. "Come, come, sit down," she said, waving them towards chairs. "Tea will arrive shortly."
"Uh, thanks," Amy said as she slid into her seat. Elena sat with grace and arranged her skirts as neatly as if she had been doing it all her life.
"As you know, I am Queen Shinkokami. I regret to say that I do not know either of your names." Her hair was white and thin and her eyes were long and slanted, showing evidence of an Asian heritage.
"Oh," Elena said, "Well then allow us to introduce ourselves. I am Elena and this is Amy."
"Hi," Amy added awkwardly.
"It is a shame that you ladies have not been to the palace before, we can always use more beautiful girls. I heard word that there was another among you, did I hear wrong?" Tea was brought into the room, carried by a servant that set the tray down on the low table that separated the Queen from the girls.
"You must be talking about Blake," Amy said. "She would've joined us but she's doing the knight training thing."
"Oh? I was not aware of that. How does she like it?" The servant handed the old woman her cup of tea, then handed Elena and Amy theirs.
"Today is her first day," Amy replied. "I think she will enjoy it though, she's into that type of thing."
"I hear that the first couple of days can be trying for young pages, but at least she has two sisters to come home to," Shinkokami said with a smile as she sipped at her tea delicately.
"Oh, we're not all sisters," Amy corrected.
"But I thought you were all from Irismere?"
Elena jumped in, "We are."
"You would all have to be related then," Shinkokami said.
"Right," Elena said, trying to think of a response.
"That's right," Amy took over. "Elena is Blake and my stepsister. That's why we look so different, but can still be related."
"Interesting," the Queen said.
"But we usually don't make the distinction," Elena said, shooting Amy a meaningful glance. "My mom is the one that died, but Amy's mom took my in no problem. We're closer than sisters, I think."
"Yeah, we sure are," Amy validated.
"How lucky it is, then, that Blake can come home to you two," the Queen said. "My son is a knight now, he had to go through the page training too. He even has a squire of his own now, a cheeky lad that I'm sure you will meet because he's about your age and that boy is certainly loud."
Amy smiled, "Sounds like just the kind of boy my sister would get along with, she's pretty loud and obnoxious too."
The Queen let out a laugh, "I'm sure they would get along perfectly. I adore the lad but he is just too cheeky for his own good!"
"Well our meeting went well," Amy said, they were lounging in the sitting room after tea with the Queen.
"Yeah it did," Elena agreed, "We are pretty much amazing."
The door crashed open and Blake stumbled in. "Check this out!" she said, pointing to her eye.
Amy leapt to her feet, "Blake! What happened?"
"Got a black eye," Blake said with a smile.
"I can see that! How?" Amy tried to hold her sister's face steady so she could see the purplish area around her eye.
"Training. You should see the other guy." She laughed and lifted up a long sword. "Look at this."
"A sword?" Amy muttered, she was still worried about Blake's eye.
"Yeah, I already have a sword." She stepped back and swung it around.
"Let me see," Elena said, reaching out her hand. Blake gave her the sword. "Bitchin'," Elena muttered as she examined the sword.
"Elena!" Amy cried. "Blake let me see your eye, you need to do something about that."
"What would I do?" Blake said with a shrug, taking the sword back from Elena and swinging it around. "I'm dead tired though. Luckily I only have to eat dinner then start studying away, they gave me homework, can you believe it?"
"I still can't believe your eye," Amy said worriedly.
Blake ignored her, "And the guys out there. Gorgeous. They're really fit, it's so hot."
"Mm," Elena said, "Maybe I will have to stop by for a peek. You in, Amy?"
Amy sighed and crossed her arms. "No I'm not."
"Come on," Elena said with a little frown. "Please?"
"Why don't you take some of those new friends that you made today?" Amy replied.
"Oh, but we're sisters, we need to bond," Elena answered impishly.
"Stepsisters," Amy corrected.
"Ha ha, whatever."
Blake looked back and forth between them, "Wait, what about stepsisters?"
"We're telling people that we're sisters and Elena is our stepsister," Amy said. "That way we're all from Irismere and it also explains how we look so different."
"We thought of it today while we at tea with the Queen, which you missed," Elena added.
"Shucks," Blake said sarcastically.
"Shut up," Elena said, taking the pins out of her thick black hair. "It wasn't so bad. So, Amy, are we going to bond tomorrow?"
"Fine," Amy said. "We can go. But only for a little while."