Disclaimer: "DreamWorks has all the rights to the Shrek film series, which also means that, most unfortunately, King Harold and Queen Lillian are not owned by me. I only borrowed them for the sake of this fan fic. And yet, please be reminded that no money has been gained in the making of the following story."
Characters: King Harold and Queen Lillian
Brief appearance: Young Princess Fiona (at least 7)
#1) Those that are in italic are flashbacks.
#2) The setting of the story is at least a day before the arrival of Shrek and Fiona in Far Far Away.
- Caught in the Rain -
It was but of another fair day in the kingdom of Far Far Away, as the palace was making preparations for the long awaited return of Princess Fiona. By that time, (a quarter after two in the afternoon to be exact), Queen Lillian was looking for her husband, King Harold. She had searched from the study to the library, even outside the courtyard while having asked at least about three knights - and counting - about her husband's whereabouts.
She had reached a particular hall in the ground floor when she happened upon the fifth knight whom she asked with the very same question as of the previous four: "Have you seen His Majesty?"
"Yes, my Queen," nodded the knight. "I believe I've seen His Majesty near the garden grounds not less than five minutes ago."
After thanking the knight, Lilian made her way to the palace garden. In reaching there she saw Harold talking with two servants. She decided to stay inside, just standing near the door frame by the opened double doors, her eyes fixated on her husband. It would seem that Harold was indeed sharing the feeling of excitement with her about the very fact that their daughter was finally rescued from that tower and was on her way to return to them.
That was when a sudden memory came to Lillian; she remembered about that time where they had finally decided that it was time for them to tell Fiona that they were planning to send her away. It was a hard thing to do, and Harold had volunteered he should be the one to tell their daughter...
They were younger back then...
"I still don't know about this, Harold."
Queen Lillian was twisting her fingers with her other hand, she didn't seem settled about something by the looks on her face. Meanwhile King Harold, her husband, rubbed his temples with a hand as he sighed.
"It's already been decided, dear," the King said. "The location is set, we already have a dragon on the way, and all we have to do is..." He trailed off, not really wanting to finish his sentence.
"Is what, Harold?" The Queen turned to face her husband, her expressions hardened all of a sudden. "Well let me tell you then. All there is that we have to do is send our daughter away to that...that dreadful place."
Turning away, Harold didn't want his wife to see him rolling his eyes. "You're not saying it but I can sense it. Lillian, believe me, you don't have to remind me twice about how you don't trust Fairy Godmother," he replied as he started to walk away, but he was followed closely behind by Lillian eventually. "But she is the expert about these things which is why we turned to her for help in the first place about Fiona's curse." Yet still, the Queen contested this.
"But sending Fiona away to be locked up in a dragon-guarded tower for God know's how long?"
"Yes!" Harold turned sharply to face his wife as his loud voice echoed through the vast room full of portraits that hang on the walls. Lillian was silenced in an instant by the unexpected fact that her husband had raised his voice at her. "If this is the only way," continued the King, "to ensure that there will be an end to our daughter's curse, yes!"
There was a pause, as the royal couple stared at each other.
"We agreed," Harold spoke again, this time in his normal voice, "on the same thing: that we will do anything so long as it means that it will break the spell that is upon our daughter. When we finally got tired of locking her up in her room each and every night starting at sunset, we agreed that no matter what the consequence will be, we will do anything to free our daughter from her horrible transformation that took hold every night."
If ever Lillian wanted to make a response, she did not, or rather she couldn't. All the Queen did was look away from the King as hot tears fell down on her cheeks, a subtle glare was on her eyes. Seeing the tears, Harold regretted ever raising his voice in the first place, as he silently cursed himself in his mind telling himself that he should have kept his temper in check. He, too, looked away.
"I'm sorry," he apologized in a voice that was almost a whisper, but loud enough for Lillian to hear as the Queen looked up to him once again. He clenched his fists. "You're right, I should be the one to blame."
"No, Harold. What are you saying?" said Lillian shaking her head from side to side as she started walking toward her husband, reaching out a hand.
"There is no one to blame but myself," he was saying to himself when finally she came to a standstill in front of him and cupped his face in her hands, resting her forehead on his in the process.
"Ssshh, that's enough," the Queen tut tutted. "You're right, darling. For now Fairy Godmother's advice is all that we have to help our daughter."
"No, Lillian, you don't understand. I-"
Harold was cut off with whatever he was about to say when both he and Lillian heard rushing footsteps not far from where they were, as the pulled away from each other and looked toward the general direction. After a girlish laughter echoed through the halls, the King sighed after he had assumed of who it was.
"That would be Fiona," he said, reaching a hand toward his wife's face as he wiped away the tears from her eyes. "You should stop those tears. She's bound to come through this hall and I don't want her to see you like this. She might think that we're fighting."
The Queen only smiled and wiped her eyes dry with a hand. When the little princess of seven years of age finally came rushing through the hall with her maid running after her, her parents were surprised to find her soaking wet.
It was Lillian who first spoke. "Fiona, why are you-"
"You're soaking wet!" But Harold cut her off mid-way through her sentence.
The maid did a curtsy but she kept her head bowed as she spoke. "My apologies, Your Majesties. She got wet in the rain."
"I got caught in the rain, actually," corrected Fiona with a smile, her parents were already advancing towards her.
"You let Her Highness got soaked in the rain?" asked Harold before Lillian was able to say anything to the maid herself.
"My apologies, Your Majesty." The maid said, keeping her head bowed.
"Daddy, don't be angry at her," said the princess. "I insisted anyway. It's entirely my fault."
"Insisted?" repeated the King, a frown on his brows as he looked down on his daughter.
"Yes," Fiona nodded. "I don't know why, but I like getting caught in the rain. There's something so good about getting wet out in the rain." The princess was smiling one of her most charming smiles while she spoke, but something in the middle of her sentence had somehow managed to silence the King, her father.
Lucky for the King, the Queen was there beside him. "Bring Her Highness to her room and make certain she gets a bath immediately," Lillian said kindly to the maid with a smile. After the maid did another curtsy, she left along with the princess. "And have the wet floors wiped after that, please," the Queen added as she called back.
Harold just stood there for a moment, looking after toward the little princess until she disappeared into another hall.
"Harold, dear?" Lillian started to say, approaching her husband.
"She said she likes getting caught in the rain," said the King.
Lillian smiled. "Just like her father." At this, Harold also smiled, but it was a sad smile.
"She is my daughter after all." With that, Harold turned to the other side where Fiona had just came in, moved to step away as though he was to leave. But suddenly, two slender arms wrapped themselves around his waist, stopping him from making any further steps. He froze immediately. It was Lillian.
The queen held onto her husband tightly, a hurting feeling was grabbing at her heart as she spoke. "There's something you're not telling me Harold." The king's eyes widened, but he wasn't able to utter a single word even as his lips slightly parted. "I sense it has something to do with Fairy Godmother, but I won't go into that if you don't want to."
A very familiar and old feeling of guilt grabbed at Harold's chest. "But at least let me share with you one thing, Harold," the queen continued. "Share with me the sorrow about the fact that we are about to lose our daughter."
Harold closed his mouth slowly, as he reached around his wife's hand that were in front of him, held it tight and closed his eyes. He let her share with him that hurting feeling, and for as long as Fiona is away, he would share it with her...
It was such a sad memory, but then again, not all memories they shared were sad. There were many other memories they shared that were happy. There was one that still concerns the rain, and it was Harold that got wet that time. It was on a day like this one, she was also looking for him around the castle. They were just crowned as the new king and queen of Far Far Away for two months...
"Your Majesty, please! Do at least try to be careful!"
It was Nathaniel, the one in-charge of the stables and who watched over the horses; Lillian would know his voice just by hearing it because she always gets the poor man into trouble with her father back in those days each time she'd run off to the forest on horseback.
The young and newly crowned queen of Far Far Away then approached the open doors toward the courtyard, only to see her husband, the newly crowned king, riding on Hector the black horse that King Midas gave as a gift; the horse which no rider could ride...until now. Needless to say that Lillian felt fear and great concern for her husband the very moment she saw the sight. Nathaniel was close by along with two more servants, concern too were apparent on their faces as to the safety of their new king.
"Alright, Hector, alright," said Harold to the horse with a laugh. "Let's not give Nathaniel a heart attack."
The horse then stopped and stood still, allowing the servant and Nathaniel to approach him, as Harold then dismounted.
"Impressive, your Majesty," said Nathaniel, the lines on his forehead seemed to have shown more because of his concern to his king, and perhaps even out of tiredness. "You tamed Hector and was able to ride him, but there was no need go riding around the courtyard on him like that. You could have fallen."
The king only laughed, as he patted Nathaniel on the shoulder. "I'm sorry Nathaniel. Go on, then. Take Hector to the stables and make sure he's see to."
Nathaniel and the servants went to take the beautiful black horse to the stables, leaving the king standing alone at the middle of the courtyard, not quite aware of the queen's present. Lillian was hesitating whether she should call out to him or approach him, but as she made a move down the steps, raindrops started to fall. She swung around and ran back to go inside, and as she turned around again she was expecting to see her husband do the same. But he didn't, instead, the king kept standing there until he was completely soaked wet in the rain.
Finally, the young queen was decided to call out. "Harold, darling! Come inside!" she said, holding up a hand near her cheek. "You're all wet out there!" The young king looked surprised as he turned his head toward his queen, but eventually he smiled as he came running toward her as he came to a standstill in front of her.
"For how long had you been standing there?" he asked. But before Lillian could answer, he took her by the hand. "Come, let's not waste our youth while we're still young, dear. Let's play out in the rain."
"What? No," giggled the queen. "We're not children anymore, Harold."
"Oh come now, it'll be fun." He held out a hand to her with a charming smile.
She on the other hand only made a face as she returned the smile and declined softly. "Perhaps some other time, dear."
"Are you sure?" the king asked, quirking a brow. When the queen smiled once more, he gave in. "Alright, perhaps some other time then."
When the royal couple entered together, a servant maid gave the young king a towel that which he used to wipe his face, as he removed his blue tunic and handed it over to the maid. The moment the maid left, Lillian stopped Harold right before he was about to leave to take a bath.
"Darling, wait." The young king turned to face her. "Actually, dear, the doctor has required that I should have all the rest I need, which is why I declined from your request."
Harold frowned slightly. "Yes, you were a bit odd recently. But the doctor said you were fine. Are you certain you are indeed feeling well?"
"I feel fine, dear," reassured Lillian. "In fact I feel wonderful." At this she bit her lip in a most attractive way, (at least for Harold it was), and hesitated but for a moment before she said, "You see, darling, I...I'm pregnant."
For a moment, Harold looked surprised, as he stood there speechless, almost frozen in place.
"Truly?" he asked. Lillian only nodded. At this, a smile slowly appeared on both the kings lips and beautiful brown eyes. "I-I'm going to be...a...a..."
"A father, darling," Lillian finished for him with a chuckle.
Harold, without hesitation, immediately took his wife into his arms and lifted her feet off the ground.
"I'm going to be a father!" shouted the king with joy.
"Harold, please, be careful," said Lillian with giggles, as her husband put him down slowly and carefully. Neither was she expecting the next thing her husband did - he drew in closer and planted a deep kiss on her lips. When he finally drew back, he looked deeply into her eyes and said, "I love you."
"No, Harold," she said, carefully placing her hand to his cheek. "I love you."
She smiled at the last thing. When was the last time they ever said those three small words to each other? Has it been that long already that she couldn't even remember it? Although, Harold does kiss her once in a while, but not the same way as before. Or at least, back when they were younger, or newly married. Then again, when they were married, her father didn't allow them to share one room, or bed, just yet.
Harold went through, "training", as her father had called it. Spending hours at the study room with a tutor, and still more hours in reading books. From how to speak and how to move, Harold had learned not just how to act royalty, but to be royalty. And with it, of course, was learning of how to get used of being human. She watched him through those times, and she watched him changed but small bits of the old him was still there, and she still felt it there. He was still the Harold she knew, with slight changes, but she knew that he only went through that change to prove himself to her parents, and brother. To prove his love for her. But also, he changed...for her.
"Very good. Also, tell the chef that dinner for tomorrow night should be -" Harold stopped mid-sentence when he felt a small drop of something cold and liquid dropped on his head. When he raised his head to look up, along with the two servants he was speaking to, they realized it was starting to rain. When it started to pour indeed, the king along with the two servants ran to go inside, where the queen was still standing next the door frame.
"Uh, perhaps we'll talk some more for later," said Harold to the servants. "For now, see to how the red carpet is."
The servants then excused themselves as Harold turned to see Lillian by the double doors. "Ah! Lillian, dear. There you are!" He moved in closer to plant a quick kiss on her lips. "I've been wondering where you were at."
"What a coincidence," replied Lillian with a sweet smile. "I was wondering where you were at. And my wondering has led me here, eventually."
"Hmm.." The king smiled, then looked back to his wife as though he was waiting for her to say something. The queen of course took that as her cue. Since it was raining, the thought suddenly came to her.
"Darling, can we not.." She hesitated but for a moment. "Well, I was wondering, can we go out and...get caught in the rain?"
Lillian expected it the surprised look on Harold's face.
"What?" asked Harold, then started to chuckle a little. "I'm sorry, Lillian, but I thought I heard you say-"
"Yes, Harold, I just did," confirmed Lillian. Which only made her husband quirk up a brow, his lips parted. Then, he made a look of slight suspicion with his eyes as he looked closely at his wife.
"It isn't our anniversary today, is it?" he asked.
Lillian shook her head with a smile. "No, dear."
"I know!" said the king immediately. "And I should know! And I reckon it isn't even your birthday today."
It was the queen's turn to chuckle. "Harold.."
"Well you must be such in a fine mood today to ask for such a request," he said at last.
"What about the fact that we are about to see our daughter again?"
She was right of course, and Harold knew it. But as he was about to say something, his wife got to speak first.
"You see, I remember that time when you asked me to play out in the rain."
Harold slightly frowned. "I did?"
Lillian ignored the question. "We're not getting any younger anymore, we both know that, but, I just realized that I should have taken your hand back then. So please, darling? Please?"
Still hesitating, Harold looked around, then back to his wife. He smiled. "Alright, since you asked" - he offered her his hand - "then let's."
She took his hand. "To the pond?"
He thought about it. "Right, then. The pond."
"Race you there."
Before Harold realized it, Lillian had ran off, getting wet out in the rain. He ran after her a second later.
- Finis -