Disclaimer: I don't own Swan Princess or the characters in it. :P
Author's Note: These are random thoughts came together after watching Swan Princess 2. So… R&R, if you don't, I'll keep writing anyway, and trying to squeeze this in, cuz I want to get these thoughts on paper. My other fanfictions are on hold cuz they need more development and more thought put into them.
The king stood on the balcony, looking at the gray sky. It was going to rain soon. He was growing impatient, scared and excited at the same time. Was there even such a feeling? Was that even possible? He quickly moved from the balcony and settled for pacing back and forth. He hadn't heard anything from the midwives for a while and was wondering if his wife was alright. They had told him that they would take care of everything, but still…
The sound of glass shattering and screams caused him to immediately run to the door, but before he could even touch the handle, the door flew open.
The monarch was surprised to see his friend, Walter, head of the Royal Archives. Walter was normally a rather quiet man, tall, brown haired and fair in complexion, and his eyes seemed to always be closed, a rather strange habit that he had picked up when they were young, which served as a warning signal to the king. He had learned that the closed eyes meant peace and balance and open eyes meant fear and terror. The king stared into large frightful green orbs, which could only mean…
"Walter! What happened?" King Albert yelled, grabbing the shoulders of his shaking friend.
Walter lowered his eyes, before saying. "Her Highness…"
Another scream was heard, this time, the voice was recognizable. Rosella! Without a second thought, King Albert ran to his bedchamber. He quickly went through the door and pushed aside the thin silk curtain that was covering his wife. Nothing could've prepared him for what his eyes saw. A long solid red line ran up from her belly to her collar bone. Her head was tilted and her eyes were distant. Her beautiful golden hair was disheveled with portions of it crimson red with her blood. The midwives were crying, but he could not hear them. He just stared in disbelief. He noticed her hand hang off the bed, and quickly grabbed it, hoping that there was some life left in her.
But it was cold.
Hot tears began to escape his eyes. Sadness began to consume him, but it was soon overpowered by anger. His eyes narrowed and he turned to one of the midwives.
"Who did this?" His voice was stolid. When the midwife didn't respond, he cried: "WHO DID THIS?!!!!"
Walter walked in and placed his hand on his friend's shoulder and shook his head. "Whoever it was, disguised himself well. All I could see was the silver emblem of a dragon that was attached to the sheath of his sword…Albert…"
Again the king's eyes were flooded with tears. He closed them and gnashed his teeth. Why? How could this have happened? Where were the soldiers? How could that person have gotten in here? Questions bombarded his mind, but he knew one thing for certain: Whoever this assassin was, he or she was after the throne and tried to kill the heir along with its mother. He knew he would soon be next…but he didn't care, he would at least be with her.
He heard a light cough and he immediately looked up. "Rosella?" She was alive?
His wife moved slowly and averted her eyes to her husband. "…My…love…cough…"
"Shh…don't speak. It will be alright." He wasn't sure if he was trying to reassure her or himself by saying that.
"…baby…" She bent her legs more and began to push. Her child was the only thing on her mind—having the child live was more important than her own life. More blood began to flow from her wound. She felt weak, but the queen kept on.
"Stop it, you'll kill yourself!" Albert ordered. He wanted to pin her down, he wanted her to live, but he hesitated when she let out a loud cry. He turned toward her legs and noticed a small circular thing emerge. However, his wife's head flopped onto the bed—she just couldn't go on.
One of the younger midwives went in and with her small hands, began to gently pull the rest of baby out of the mother. The child's cry became more evident. Somehow, the child had survived and…
"It was a boy."
Albert took off his cape and wrapped the child in his arms. He looked back at his wife who was breathing heavily and gave her a weak smile. "See? You did well."
She glanced at her son and nodded. Her mission was complete. She saw her son for the first and the last time and began to close her eyes.
"Rosella?" No answer came. With his free hand He touched her face and stroked it gently. Her face, although pale, looked peaceful and happy almost. She used the last of her energy to birth their son. He wouldn't let her efforts go in vain!
Albert turned to Walter, and handed the crying baby to him. "Take this child and leave this place, no one must know about his existence. Go far away from the castle, but still within the kingdom. He must live on." He looked at the midwives. "This child died and was killed with his mother. That is the answer that you will tell others, for now. Understood?" They all nodded.
He then looked at his son. He wanted the boy to be safe, but never forget where he came from. No, he didn't want the child forgetting his mother's final act of love. He meandered to the dresser that was in corner of this room. When he opened the top drawer, a small porcelain chest sat comfortably on top of immaculate clothes. He opened the chest and pulled out a necklace—the design was that of two lions surrounding a sword. It looked rather simple to the naked eye, but it was more elaborate at the tip of the sword, with small engravings. "This is a family heirloom. It is the key to his past, present and future." Albert gave the necklace to Walter as well.
"What…about you, Your Majesty?"
"The assassin will come again to finish his mission. I will stay." He looked at his dead wife. "I made a vow that I would never leave her, and I intend to keep that vow!" His eyes became serious. "Take the catacombs; it should lead you to an alternate entrance to the stables. Make sure you aren't seen. Now go!"
The sky shook, as the thunder boomed. The rain poured heavily as Walter rode into the night. With one arm he steered the steed and with the other, he covered and protected the baby that was nestled within his coat. He didn't want to be in this rain for too long, or the child could die of pneumonia. After two hours he came upon a quiet town. Being a learned man, he figured it must've been the town of Dassal, a good 60 miles east from the capital. He gently petted his horse, figuring it was tired, and allowed it to walk into the town.
Walter carefully got down from the horse and sought shelter under a large tree. He sighed. It was most likely that the king was killed, along with the midwives as well. The country will soon be in turmoil, and there was nothing he could do, not until this child came of age. He wondered if he should raise the boy on his own. Perhaps, he could be his surrogate father, but what would happen if he was recognized by someone? They could put two and two together, and kill the boy. No, he had to find a humble home for him, but where? Everyone was inside due to the harsh weather and not only that, it was terribly late.
The sound of a door opening caught his attention and he hid, behind a tree. His quick movements caused the baby in his chest to squirm and cry. Earnestly he tried to hush the child, but the baby only lived for self, and just continued on wailing.
Walter heard the voice of a woman. He panicked, and slowly moved farther into the darkness, so the cry would sound distant. He watched as the curious female edged closer, but seeing nothing, sighed and turned back into her home. Just as quickly as the cries came, the child soon fell silent, asleep and in its own world. The older man quietly pressed forward toward the house and peered through the window. He was surprised to see that the woman was still awake. What for? He wondered. His eyes followed her as she moved from the door to a table with a lone candle on it. She sat down and buried her head into her arms. Was she…
The head of the Royal Archives glanced around the room and his eyes fell upon a picture of two individuals, a man and a woman, that nestled on a piece of black cloth. It was then that he noticed her ebony garments. It only meant one thing…
He couldn't help but feel sympathetic, being a widower himself for 12 years. Then a thought came into his mind. He glanced at the baby boy sleeping against his chest and then at the crying woman through the glass. This baby needed someone to take care of him and this woman needs to love someone—it was a perfect match in Walter's mind. He walked over to the front door and took out the baby from his chest. Gently he placed the infant on the steps in front of the door. He placed the necklace around his neck, and kissed his head.
"Farewell, my prince."
He knocked on the door and quickly hid behind a tree. He watched as the woman opened the door and was bewildered by the sight of the crying infant. She picked it up and looked around, seeing if there was anyone around. She then took the child inside and shut the door.
Author's Note: A little deviation from Derek and Odette, I know, but they will be seen in the next chapter, I just needed to introduce this first. That is why this is just the "Prologue". R&R and I'll try to write the next one when I have time. K?