Princess Academy is one of my favorite books, but there are hardly any fics about it, so I decided to write one from the perspective of Liana. She hardly has any spotlight in the books, and I think she's a very interesting character.
Set after Palace of Stone.
Once upon a time, Liana dreamed of becoming a princess.
This was so long ago she can hardly remember it. She was a pathetic little girl who lived in the middle of nowhere and herded goats, who dreamed hopelessly of golden crowns and long silk gowns that brushed the floor, swishing against her legs as she twirled.
(But, she prefers not to recall her old life. She was an entirely different girl then, living in a world woven from hopes and dreams alone.)
She's getting married next week.
Bena comes over to help her pick out her dress and shop for wedding things, but her choices are painfully distasteful—too much lace, ugly sleeves, too stiff. In the end, Liana chooses a gorgeous gown with silk and pearls and lace, elegant sleeves and fluffy skirts of gauze. It makes her feel like a queen, noble and regal and proud. She and Bena then enter various jewelry stores, trying to find the perfect baubles for the occasion.
Liana is searching absentmindedly through a rack of jewelry when Bena asks, "Have you told your parents yet?"
"Hmm?" she says without really listening, checking out a jade necklace. No, too gaudy. She puts it back.
Bena bites her lip, a worried look on her face. She opens her mouth again, then pauses, as if searching for the right words. "You know," she says at last, "do your parents know about the marriage?"
Liana freezes. The question hits her in the face, making her flinch.
"Well, yes, of course," she says automatically, forcing her hands to keep moving. She examines a pair of earrings and hopes her voice doesn't tremble. "I wrote them a letter informing them of my betrothal, and they wrote back saying they were pleased."
She looks away, but feels Bena's gaze on her anyway.
Her betrothed has a country home in Elsby and a town home in Asland. He has twenty-eight servants in his household, owns a gem mine, and paid fifteen gold for her trousseau. She will finally be able to live the life she's always dreamed of, with a dress for every occasion and her own personal servants to wait on her.
(But she does not love him.)
She will never have to worry about anything ever again.
She does not invite any of the Mount Eskel girls to her wedding. It's not like they would want to come, anyway.
And in the end, she supposes it is better without them.
She's making her way down one of the many busy streets in Asland, on the arm of her husband, when she sees Miri Larendaughter walking in her direction.
That pitiful mountain girl, is what Liana first thinks. She's never liked Miri, especially because of the way everyone on Mount Eskel doted on her. The other girl always acted like such a stuck up know-it-all, like she was better than the rest of them.
I hear you are betrothed to Peder, she wants to sneer, but something inside her cannot bring herself to do so.
Clenching her teeth, she turns back to her husband and forces herself to laugh along gaily with him. Miri is not even worthy of her attention. She is a noble, and she won't have anything to do with commoners.
Their eyes lock, and after a second, Liana looks away. They pass without a word.
(Afterward, she finds herself out of breath, her heart pounding faster. To calm herself, she promises herself she is a queen. The words taste like sugar on her lips, so she repeats them like a mantra, once, twice, three times.)