It'd been a year ever since her long, excruciating journey to find and release the moon. November sighed as she stared out the window. She'd awakened early that morning, and was now sitting on a hard and rather uncomfortable stool, watching the sun rise.
Many things had changed since then.
Red returned to her shack in the wood over the hills, and continued living her life, away from civilization. Clare returned home to her lost love, which was at least one happily ever after. When November had returned home, she expected a long lecture and confinement to her bedchamber, but celebrations went on day and night as everyone cried out in joy that King January's youngest daughter had returned from her perilous adventure. And yet, she wasn't too ecstatic about how things had turned out.
She turned her head to a bed pushed beside hers, not nearly as tall (seeing that this one had only one mattress), and watched a certain somebody sleeping soundly under the sheets. Perrault, her cat friend whom bore the body of a man, turned silently in his sleep, and sighed. King January rewarded him greatly for protecting his daughter throughout the journey (which November saw unfair, seeing that Red carried the axe) and rewarded him with a gift unimaginable. Although she was betrothed to a young peasant boy, her father broke the engagement and gave her him.
This confused the poor girl. Perrault's master, a marquis, had just as much gold as she did. Why did he accept the offer? For a placement of authority? It didn't matter, anyway, because now she was the wife of a cat, and her opinion didn't matter.
"Princess, your father would like a word."
November flinched, startled. She whipped her head toward the door, only to find that the voice had come from a maid.
She'd sat there for at least four hours, maybe, watching the world around her transform during the day, and hadn't realized how fast the time had went by. Perrault was nowhere to be seen; she didn't remember hearing anything. Or maybe she just wasn't listening. She nimbly stood, stretching her aching legs, and let the maid help her dress. Afterward, she walked to the throne room, taking her time.
When she'd arrived before her father's presence, she quickly curtsied and he smiled. "Aah, November. High time you left that room of yours, eh? What were you doing in there, really?" If she hadn't known any better, she would've said her father was in a strangely bright and hopeful mood.
"Nothing, really. I was resting."
Her father's face somewhat fell, as if he were expecting a different answer, but kept his cheery mood intact. November questioned this inwardly, and waited for King January to speak again.
"Well, darling, I've been thinking."
"It seems that, well, something dawned over me last night…"
She stumbled to her room that evening, shocked with her father's suggestion. She hadn't done much that day because she was almost numb every time she thought about it, and she thought about it quite a bit. Hand shaking has she turned the handle to her--and Perrault's--room, she wasn't surprised to find him there, sitting up in his bed and staring out the window.
"Hullo," he said.
He turned toward her, like how a caring husband would if his wife was troubled. It always made she shiver when she though of him as her husband, especially since the reason he'd married her definitely wasn't for love.
"You seem displeased. Care to share?"
November flushed when the memory of her conversation with her father returned in an instant. How could she forget? What King January had pointed out, she'd never actually thought of. She should've seen if coming, though, from her father or not.
"Well, my father told me something today."
"And that'd be…?"
November stared at her tall bed. They would probably have to take down a few mattresses…
"Well, it's come to his attention that, sooner or later, we'll have the throne."Perrault blinked. Really, had he not seen the issue?
"So, just like me, one day we'll need an heir to the throne…" She could feel the warmth creep under her skin in her cheeks.
Perrault understood right away. His eyes widened. "Oh."
Oh, indeed! They stared at each other for a very long time, and all November could do was wish that it'd all been a silly, silly dream.
"Well," he finally said, straightening out his collar, and taking a glance at her bed, "we're going to need to take down a few mattresses, aren't we?"