The morning of Sara and Henry's wedding dawned bright and clear—or, as clear as a London morning could ever be. Henry's parents had come to town a week before, and had taken to Sara immediately. His sister Tabitha and her husband Matthew had also come.
The wedding was simple, but the wedding breakfast was a merry affair. Henry had of course invited the Carmichaels. The eldest son, whom Sara had once christened Claude Harold Hector, had actually been an acquaintance of his, as they had attended Oxford together. Even Donald, who had once given Sara a sixpence at Christmas, had come down from Harrow for the occasion, and could be found deep in conversation with Lottie who, no longer at the Select Seminary, was attending under the aegis of Ermengarde and her aunt. Little Rose, the baby of the Carmichael family at seven years old, was heard to say that the-little-girl-who-was-not-a-beggar was dressed like a fairy princess.
"It is like a fairy tale, isn't it?" Sarah said, holding Rose close to her side, her grey-green eyes sparkling. A faraway look came into them. "The princess in exile, saved from an evil witch's tower by a handsome prince—I do enjoy telling that story." She looked thoughtful. "Perhaps I should write it, so that more people who what it is like to be poor and neglected."
"You'll read it to me, won't you?" Rose begged, and Sara laughed, returning to earth.
"You could read it yourself, Rosa."
"But I like how you read books," Rose answered stubbornly. She should know; she begged Sara to read her one or tell her a story every time the Carmichaels visited the Carrisfords.
"Of course I'll read it to you," Sara agreed.
"But not right away," Henry interjected with a smile. "First, the prince and princess are going in their pumpkin carriage to the coast, and then across the sea on an enchanted ship, to the south of France." He and Sara exchanged a secret smile. Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael, standing beside them, pretended they hadn't noticed.
"And they lived happily ever after," Rose sighed, contented.
Everyone laughed. "I think this particular fairy princess is in for a change of occupation, though," Henry observed. "She's going to become a fairy godmother." Plans for the Ralph Crewe Home were well underway, and he and Sara would begin working in earnest on the project upon their return from the bridal trip.
Becky and Geoffrey had been married earlier that spring, and were to accompany Henry and Sara to France. They followed their master and mistress with the luggage as Sara and Henry set out in the first carriage.
"So, Mrs. Eshton," Henry said as he began unpinning Sara's traveling hat. London flowed past their carriage windows. "Are you really going to write that fairy story when you return? Won't it be hard to relive those times enough to put the words on the page?"
"No," Sara answered, setting her hat aside on the opposite seat. She turned back to meet his eyes. "If a princess had never had any trials, she wouldn't have any story. And with no story, I wouldn't have had this happy ending."
Henry pulled her to him. "You are not a princess anymore, my love," he whispered as he leaned in to her. "You are a Queen."
I'm so sorry it took me so long to finish this story! Looking back, it's certainly not the best writing I've ever done, but it was fun. I hope you enjoyed it!