The True Measure of Character and Confidence
Disclaimer: I, Sokai, do not claim ownership to the workings of Rainmaker Entertainment, in relation to their "Barbie" movie series (or, indeed, anything else of their creation), specifically (in this particular case), "Barbie: Princess Charm School." However, I can and DO claim to own this story and its inspired ideas FROM said movie.
Note: Glad to see that this is gradually becoming an interest (at least, as personally indicated to me, by way of review and all, rather than continued hits). My thanks to you, those steadily reading. It should also be noted that, IF you continue to read this story that, yes, there most probably will be long chapters, as that is a part of my writing style. I do not honestly set OUT to make them long, but once I have my chapter outlines and visualization down, that's usually how they turn out.
Again, those who are more seasoned readers to my overall works on here, are used to this, and thankfully enjoy it.
Anyhow, I hope this chapter, sixteen pages at least, this time, is also favored, like its predecessor.
This chapter was created/written in October 2011.
Chapter Two: The Royal Family Secret
Alexandra Privet was never one to beat around the bush. If something needed to get done or a conflict needed to be remedied, she simply took care of it, without issue. Forthrightness had always been a rather strong forté of hers, naturally, alongside tip top punctuality, proper protocol, and, above all, respect.
Which was precisely why she'd always excelled at what she did for a living, guiding and nurturing the young minds of every princess and lady royal-to-be to pass through the halls of the kingdom of Gardania's prestigious, and world renowned Princes Charm School.
Taking the helm of most any, particular situation, and then doling out whatever appropriate tasks about it was quite normally a walk within the proverbial park for the likes of such a headstrong, honestly remarkable woman, just as it generally was quite easy for her to abruptly point out the potential flaws within others, particularly her students, if only in order for them to work toward hopeful improvement.
Evidently, however, it was becoming quite the difficult feat to not only fully own up to her own shortcomings, but to also actively seize control of the moment at hand in order to rectify them, once and for all. . . .
Alexandra was still no fool, however. She was well aware that none of what she was about to do, or say, more specifically, was going to an immediate 'breeze,' as many of her past students seemed to delight within such terminology, she'd always noticed.
And she did, if she could be further honest with herself, one day intend upon alerting Viscountess Delancy to the bit of . . . 'information,' for want of a better word, despite naturally feeling rather quarrelsome about it.
And especially after nearly eighteen years of having kept it to herself, naturally.
The young girl's mother, Dame Nikole Devin hadn't been of any assistance within its regard, as well, or rather, she had, as 'mum' had evidently been her favored of all words currently within existence.
But then, that, at least, had never been of any sort of surprise to Alexandra, as, Heaven Bless her, the former fellow charm school instructor, now remanded felon, had always been rather insufferable, with her eyes eternally on the prize . . . which, in this case, had always been the Gardanian Throne during her later years.
Indeed, Alexandra had always known that this day would come.
It had to.
She merely had not counted upon having to now suddenly share it with the formerly thought to be deceased Princess Sophia, as well. . . .
Alexandra elegantly sat, perfectly poised and tranquil, as always, upon the gold rimmed and red cushioned old fashioned chair set behind the large, mahogany executive desk inside of her ground floor, private office to the charm school. And sat before her were the two, rather important girls in question, who presently looked anything but serene, themselves.
Little did either of them know, however, the feeling was quite mutual, at least, on the inside, as Alexandra dearly felt as though she were meant to jump, head first, into a seemingly never-ending pit.
And that's precisely what she was more or less about to. Whether or not she would make out all right in the end would deplorably remain to be seen. . . .
It had only been around a minute or so when the trio of women first arrived back into the now quite secluded charm school, and then into the establishment's headmistress's equally desolate office (at least, where other persons were concerned, as there were shelves upon shelves of important looking textbooks set all around them), but it instead felt like a lifetime and more had already passed.
And with none of them seeming to dare make a move to speak, the elapsing moments were steadily becoming that much more agonizing.
Finally, Alexandra swallowed down both her pride, as well as her regrettably mounting and uncharacteristic nerves, and opened her mouth up to speak.
". . . . I can only imagine what the both of you girls must presently be thinking, Princess Sophia, Viscountess Delancy," she said (surprisingly to herself, at least, all things considered), within the usual calmness her velvety voice would possess.
Blair and Delancy simultaneously shared a momentary gaze towards the other, before tardily returning each of their attention back onto their former headmistress and nodded, also unanimously.
"W-Well . . . to be perfectly honest, Headmistress Privet, I don't believe that either one of us really know what to think at the moment, if you'll forgive us," Blair murmured slowly, the first to find her voice between the two Princess Charm School graduates continually sat before the older woman.
Seeming to have located a bit of steady resolve within her cousin's statement in that moment, Delancy, too, at last found herself able to speak, as well, discreetly clearing her voice before doing so.
". . . . I would have to agree with Bl – Princess Sophia, Headmistress Privet," she said with another incline of her Jasmine tinted hair, this time a bit more firmly than before, as she appropriately returned, given the present company, to referring to her cousin by her royal title. "I do wonder, though . . . if this doesn't have anything to do with yesterday's revelations, and eventual coronation of The Princess?"
At this, Alexandra abruptly stiffened, and although the occurrence had barely lasted a mere second, it had not managed to go unnoticed by neither blonde sat before her. However, out of continued respect for their once charm school instructor, and even perhaps a bit of trepidation about it, they each seemed to prefer to let the incident slide.
And although internally grateful that each girl had, Alexandra nonetheless had no other choice but to draw attention onto Delancy's query, as it was quite relevant. . . .
". . . . And by that, you mean?" she responded to the young girl's inquiry with one of her own, her pale green eyes focused calmly upon her, while her heart began to beat a tad bit faster, within contrast.
After all, if whatever Delancy's present train of thought happened to be pertaining to such an eventful day, if right, Alexandra would need to provide a sound explanation. However, if the girl turned out to be wrong, she would still need to provide a substantial sort of explanation.
But, no matter what, this needs to be done . . . for both their sakes, Alexandra thought within furthered resolution and self-encouragement, before then beginning to listen to a rather nervous appearing Delancy . . . which was, in truth, an occurrence the older woman was not admittedly used to, considering how traditionally confident and rock solid the young Viscountess tended to be, as a part of her positive traits, at least.
Much like her. . . .
"O-Oh, well, I merely meant that . . . perhaps it was suddenly discovered by Parliament or whomever else that Princess Sophia really isn't the true heir to the Gardanian Throne, after all," Delancy replied a bit hesitantly, her remark sounding more like a question once more.
Her lightly toasted cheeks instantly became inflamed thereafter, as she then looked from Headmistress Privet to Blair, the both of them appearing to be a bit taken aback by her words. She then quickly shook her head, before smiling faintly and looking pleadingly towards each.
"I-I didn't mean it the way that it sounded!" Delancy promptly apologized, feeling her face regrettably growing more hot as a result. "I merely meant that -"
"- I believe I understand what you meant, Viscountess Delancy, and I can assure you that there was no mistake. In fact, the Magical Crown of Gardania can, and did assure you, and everyone else within the kingdom that there indeed had been no mistake made during yesterday's coronation," Alexandra soothingly interjected with a raised hand and light smile of her own, before suddenly rising to her feet.
"M-Ma'am?" Blair asked with a rapid blinking of her blue eyes by way of coaxing the authoritative woman to continue, watching after her with steady confusion coursing through her.
It's now or never, Alex, the brunette mentally nudged herself, her heart skipping a beat as she just then realized that she had used a nickname for herself not uttered by anyone else for quite some time now . . . indeed not ever uttered by anyone else in general, except by him. . . .
Viewing that as some sort of cosmic sign, Alexandra exhaled slowly, moving from behind her impressive, wooden desk and placed herself squarely before the two, still awaiting blondes seated in front of her.
"I . . . that is, how to begin. . . ." she started out strongly, before uncommonly trailing off, as she allowed herself another few moments to properly gather her thoughts. "I suppose yesterday's coronation would be as good a place as any. . . . Now, then . . . I am quite positive that the overall news, especially that of what . . . Dame Devin had evidently perpetrated against the Royal Family had been rather shocking to you both, and understandably so, am I correct?"
Both Blair and Delancy made no effort to verbally respond, and instead once again merely gave a shaky nod within unison as a way to suffice.
Evidently feeling satisfied by the simple gesture, they then each watched as Headmistress Privet continued.
"The entire kingdom, I'm sure, extends their avid condolences, and is now presently within renewed mourning over the loss of Queen Isabella, and King Reginald . . . although, I dare say that no one throughout the entire country of Gardania could possibly better understand, and even appreciate the gravity of such recent developments upon you both . . . than I," Alexandra curiously revealed with a slight cock and tuck of her head, as she now warily gazed upon each girl through the corner of her green eyes.
She then paused a moment, allowing her former students a bit of time to register her rather poignant words, and wondering if either of them fully comprehended her intended meaning. However, the overwhelming perplexity now riddled upon the girls' faces told her otherwise, and so she decided to start over.
". . . . Dear me . . . I suppose I am regrettably finding this impending deliverance to be a bit more challenging than I had originally anticipated, or indeed cared for," Alexandra spoke softly within open admittance, more so to herself than to the duo of blondes before her, slowly raising a faintly quivering hand up to the side of her head and gently ran it against her brown colored locks.
Blair, apparently seeming to finally catch on to her respected mentor's previous statement, suddenly gasped sharply before shakily asking, "A-Are you . . . that is . . . are you trying to tell us that you are . . . also a member of the Royal Family, Headmistress Privet?"
It was then Delancy's turn to immediately suck in her own breath just as strongly, her face instantly scrunching up into an expression which appeared to be intermingled with, at least, to Alexandra, dismay, concern, and even . . . betrayal, the last of which the older woman could not honestly fault her upon, especially, for presently experiencing.
Alexandra folded, then unfolded her slender fingers, before interlacing them together once more as she settled them against the front of her smoothly ironed out skirt, and slowly licked her lips as she finally released her little more than a decade old secret within its entirety to the both now greatly affected girls.
". . . . That would be correct, Your Royal Highness," she responded respectfully, inclining her head a bit within furthered acknowledgment towards the new princess of Gardania, before sliding her eyes towards a still, far more stunned looking Delancy by comparison to the other girl. "Both you, and Viscountess Delancy are keenly aware that Dame Devin is the sister of the late King Reginald, of course, making her The Princess's aunt by blood. . . . However, what neither of you are aware of is that The King had . . . has another sister . . . me. . . ."
At this, Delancy at last broke free of her formerly mute state, as she abruptly stood from her seat and rapidly shook her blonde colored head within blatant outrage, and even rejection.
"No! B-But that can't be! I-I mean, I have lived within the palace all of my life, and naturally know more about the Royal Family and its history – Or so I thought – than Princess Sophia, by comparison! And I have never once heard anyone make mention of The King's 'other sister,' not even from my own mother!" she cried within continued unease, blindly backing away from the tall brunette across from her, as though she were now peering at a ghost.
Blair gazed up at her cousin with profound sympathetic understanding and worry, as while the sudden news of their added lineage was naturally daunting to her, as well, she was fully aware that it would be much more earthshaking to the other girl, for all of the reasons she had just then stated, herself.
Seeming to be along the same thought pattern as the cornflower haired princess, Alexandra nodded slowly, her own countenance now reflecting that of affinity, as well, as she hesitantly took a step toward a continually retreating Delancy.
"I don't . . . that is, I am not honestly all too surprised at all that your mother, Dame Devin, would not have ever personally passed mention to me, not even during your earlier youth, where you would have been much more likely to lose such a memory, naturally," she began tardily, pulling back the hand she had momentarily then extended out to the greatly affected viscountess before her, "but it is quite assuredly the truth. I am indeed the sister, the youngest sister, of both your mother, Viscountess Delancy, and your father, Princess Sophia. . . ."
". . . . B-But then . . . why wouldn't Dame Devin ever tell Delancy about this, or any of your shared family portraits be seen about the palace by her, if they indeed exist? A-And, why . . . why wouldn't you have told her, yourself, a lot sooner than now?" Blair asked, weakly at first, before finishing with a bit of defensive, familial sort of protection on her cousin's behalf.
Alexandra took no offense by the girl's a tad uncharacteristic coarseness, however, as she understood perfectly, given the present circumstances. She merely exhaled softly, looking upon a now slightly scowling Blair a moment, before keeping her green eyes firmly planted upon a still rather shaken up Delancy, who now stood closest to the sealed office door.
Although she did, in fact, owe them both a full on explanation, she felt that it was perhaps most deserving of Delancy, as the girl had spent the majority of her life living within such close proximity of yet another relative she had never before realized to be that of her own.
". . . . Sophia, Delancy . . . I am truly sorry for all of this," Alexandra started with another exhale, as she surprisingly dropped the formalities regarding both girls, "and I do hope that you will one day understand that, in addition to the fact that it had never been my intent to set out to hurt either one of you . . . or, as the case had always been up until recently, solely you, Delancy, as I, like the rest of the kingdom, had believed your cousin to have perished with The King and Queen. . . ."
Alexandra watched with an increasingly heavy heart as her now revealed niece, Delancy, tightly squeezed her soft brown eyes shut a moment and shook her creamy blonde head once more, while her other niece, Sophia, or 'Blair,' peered up at her without so much as a blink.
A part of her mildly yearned to rewind time for a moment, in order to prevent the undeniably tense situation now laid before them all from ever happening; however, she instead put on a brave face and willed herself to go on.
"You see . . . I suppose I should start at the very beginning, regarding our, that is, King Reginald's side of the family, in order for the both of you to better understand how we'd each gotten to this point, perhaps," she stated as calmly as she could, clasping her hands together in front of her once more. "Our family, the Devin Family, had originated within the country of Urien, which, as you know, or should, is neighbored to the north of Gardania. Generations upon generations of our ancestors had always hailed from there, beginning within humble standings, to the more . . . affluent settings of which my brother, sister, and I had always been more accustomed. Our father, your grandfather, Donald, and indeed his father before him and so on, in fact, was an avid art collector, financier, and, more primarily, a banker . . . and through the Devin Family's evidently universal, shrewd savvy for business - At least, on the male side of the gene pool, as my mother, Radana, for example, had been quite content as a homemaker – our overall legacy was greatly assured. . . ."
Once more did Alexandra grant her two family members a few moments to interpret the beginning half of her long tale. She watched as Blair's facial expression thankfully began to relax a bit, while Delancy's, however, remained just as rife with overall consternation, as she turned her lithe body away from both women, a tad.
Alexandra's felt her finely waxed eyebrows raise within surprise then, as the more affected girl then unexpectedly treated her with a quiet inquiry.
". . . . If The Princess's and my shared family has always hailed from such important standings, anyway, then why did my mother . . . feel the need to do what she'd done?" she openly pondered, a bit sickly, craftily omitting the headmistress from the equation, both Alexandra, as well as Blair had taken notice of.
The brunette watched as the avidly caring princess finally rose from her own seat and moved around it in order to rejoin Delancy by her side, hesitantly resting both hands upon her shoulders in comfort.
Alexandra felt herself frown a bit at this, suddenly feeling far more like the 'Black Sheep' of the less than unified family than she liked . . . especially given that her vague 'sin' of sorts greatly paled within comparison to that of her older sister's, naturally. . . .
"Well . . . I don't suppose I can fully answer that for you, Delancy, though I dearly wish that I could," she stated gently, furrowing her brows once more upon further reflection of the evidently quite diabolical Dame Devin. "All that I can say for certain is that your mother had always been quite in favor of the high society life, and always seemed to want more and more, despite the vastly comfortable settings we had all grown up within, originally. . . . It simply never seemed to be enough for her . . . which I suppose is part of the reason why she had concluded to journey here to Gardania, alongside our brother, who had bravely decided that he'd wanted a life of his own, beyond the originally intended and natural inheritance of our family's business . . . which, last as I understood, is now instead within the hands of some distant relative of ours or another."
Alexandra gently bit at her smoothly glossed lips, before continuing.
"Your grandfather was, of course, not at all pleased by Reginald's rather unappreciated decision, effectively disowning him in the process . . . and after he'd left home, left Urien altogether, they never did see one another again," she trailed off a moment, gazing vacantly down at her plain, black stiletto pumps, as the palpable relevance to such an event between father and son was that much more great, due to what would soon follow years later. "I had never been too keen upon the 'Ritz and glitz' of it all, you understand, preferring things to be much more low key, and so I, too, had ventured out to more or less find myself, not too long after Reginald had departed . . . something which, I believe, had been far less impacting upon our father, as he had never intended to entrust his legacy to me – Or Nikole, after all. And then, true to form, Nikole, being the middle child, and having always possessed quite the penchant for general theatrics and desiring to be the constant center of attention, had abruptly left home, as well, following Reginald's lead, as I'd stated earlier. . . . Sometimes I wonder if she had just chosen to remain where she was, surrounded by her usual, familiar comforts and had simply been content with that, what Life would have made of her, instead. . . ."
Alexandra exhaled heavily to further illustrate her obvious disappointment over her elder sister's poor, roughshod choices, vigorously rubbing at her left temple and about to speak once more, when Blair then beat her to it.
"S-So . . . then if my father was evidently not of royal blood, or even grew up here within Gardania like me, how and, when did he manage to meet my mother?" she naturally queried, appearing to have become far less resistant to the ongoing familial revelations which continually unfurled before her, than how she'd started out.
Even Delancy, too, seemed to have relaxed a miniscule bit, as she then returned her full attention onto her newfound, biological aunt and looked upon her with a good deal less conflicting emotion.
Perceiving this to be a good sign of sorts, Alexandra smiled faintly, before it slowly broadened into one of fond reflection.
"That had always been one of their fond memories, actually," she revealed warmly, her overall demeanor beginning to become a tad lax, as well, as she then gingerly leaned a bit against her desk. "It was during Queen Isabella's sixteenth birthday ball. Quite honestly it appeared as though everyone within the entire kingdom had been within attendance, Nikole and myself, included. I had been visiting my siblings at the time, especially my brother, I will admit, as he and I had always gotten on a good deal better than either of us had with our sister, for reasons more or else already stated. . . . Anyhow, the pair had been living together for a little while then, as well, nonetheless, as Nikole never really had been one for honest labor . . . and dear Reginald, being the loving, downright doting older brother he had been, took her in, while taking on various odd jobs to help support them both, until he figured out precisely what he wished to do with his life. He had always been quite gifted with his hands, anyhow."
Blair lightly smiled at this, feeling, for the first, real time, an honest familial connection towards her parents, in this case, her father.
It made her wonder if it was perhaps from him where she had gotten her own sort of knack at tinkering with various objects and appliances, in addition to her generally sound sense of a good work ethic.
She suddenly found herself wishing, more than anything, to be able to ask the lost king first hand. . . .
Blair had been so entranced within her private thoughts that she'd nearly missed out on the rest of Headmistress Privet's ongoing tale.
"Your father absolutely adored dancing, Sophia, you should also know, and so whenever the opportunity had arisen, he was usually the first one to do so, with or without a provided dance floor, or even appropriate setting at that," she remarked within fondness, another exhale escaping past her lips before continuing. "It certainly hadn't been the young eighteen-year-old Reginald's intention to ever directly cross paths with the then Princess Isabella, naturally, intending simply to enjoy the wonderful, rather impressive festivities with the both of his sisters as his 'dates,' as it were. However, crossed paths they did indeed, quite literally, as, Bless her, The Princess, while within the middle of a waltz with, I can imagine, had been one of her many suitors at the time, accidentally bumped into him . . . and Reginald hadn't even been actively on the ballroom floor then! And the poor man she had been dancing with had nary a chance to direct them within any other direction, as she had effectively been leading him, rather than the other way around. . . . Your mother hadn't honestly terribly been the most gifted of dancers, Sophia, even during her later years. . . ."
Blair, before she could stop herself, let out a soft chuckle at this, her cheeks growing a bit rosy as she, indeed all three of them realized just how strongly she could relate (even right down to the bumping into a handsome young man within the process) . . . which made her once again feel a renewed surge of emotional connection toward the family she had regrettably never known.
"While I couldn't necessarily personally discern whether or not it had been love at first sight between the two of them, I can attest that there certainly had been a good deal of moments where cheeks were positively flushed, as well as downright gawking on both ends," Alexandra further disclosed with a fond simper, her pale green eyes growing a bit twinkly at the continued memory. "And although having never quite honestly been the terribly suave sort of 'ladies' man' - As far I had known, at least - Reginald had absolutely become a prince within the making, as it were, that evening, the way he'd ended up pretty much monopolizing the young princess's attention upon bravely asking for that first dance. . . . They would both always openly state how they had each found their best friend, their soul mate within each other, you know. . . ."
Hesitating a moment, Delancy roughly cleared her throat, it feeling quite dry by this point, as she then asked, ". . . . And my mother? Had she ever been as lucky, herself?"
Both Blair and Alexandra gazed with a mixture of sympathy, as well as slight awkwardness, as the remaining female made reference to her absent father, someone Blair had admittedly wondered a bit about from time to time, long before she had eventually realized her familial ties to either individual.
And while she had fleetingly desired to pass mention to him during her earlier conversation that same day with her cousin, she had thought it wise not to do so, especially given that neither Delancy, nor even Dame Devin had ever made any sort of open acknowledgments to the man's lacking presence.
"I . . . would surmise that such a personal query would need to be answered by your mother, instead, Delancy, at least fully, anyhow," Alexandra began with a bit of diffidence of her own, turning her body a bit to the side in the process as she briefly looked away from the expectant girl, "however . . . I'd like to believe that there might have been a time when even she had found a bit of true happiness, as well, yes. . . . Your mother certainly appeared to be quite smitten with your father, Diggory, at the time of their premiere meeting, anyhow, I can recall, about two years after we had all first made the Royal Family's acquaintanceship. The two had met when they were both nineteen-years-old, around the same time your mother had luckily – Or perhaps even engineered, given that Princess Isabella was being steadily courted by your Uncle Reginald by that time, as well – her name being chosen during the 'Princess Charm School' lottery."
Now this was something Blair was finally a tad familiar with, recalling when both Hadley and Isla had revealed such a similar background story concerning Dame Devin. She then began to wonder if Delancy had always been aware of this particular news, herself, at the very least, given her rather hostile opinion she had openly shared with her upon their first meeting, all about the charm school's equal opportunity notion.
Blair did not have to wonder for very long, however, as she then listened as Delancy let out a slightly startled gasp at her side, before looking upon her to watch as her soft brown eyes slowly widened a moment before stating, "You mean . . . my mother had entered this charm school's 'lottery' when she was younger? I-I . . . I never knew that. . . ."
Blair lightly bit her lip a moment, wondering whether or not she should personally divulge the tidbit of information her two best friends had shared with her about it many months prior, or to keep it to herself. Instead, however, she bravely took a chance and decided to reveal it, feeling that perhaps if it had been heard from her, instead of Headmistress Privet, then the overall sting might not be as resonant.
". . . . S-She had, Delancy . . . Isla and Hadley told me about it during our first week of classes," she said slowly, eying her cousin attentively and dropping her hands away from her shoulders, lest the other girl might wish to suddenly become a tad temperamental. She felt her cheeks grow a bit flush as both Delancy, as well as Headmistress Privet, focused their attention onto her. "W-Well, I mean . . . I just assumed that everyone knew, really, that is, based upon the fact that those two knew, and they don't even hail from this kingdom. . . . They told me that . . . that even though Dame Devin had successfully graduated with the rest of her 'Princess Charm School' class, in the end, none of the princesses had chosen her to be their lady royal . . . not even my mother. . . ."
"Princesses Hadley and Isla most likely knew of all of this due in part to the fact that their own mothers had been within the same graduating class as Dame Devin, and the still Princess Isabella, Sophia. . . . And she had not been chosen by her, Delancy, because The Princess had desired that that position be filled by me, I'm a tad reluctant to admit," Alexandra remarked quietly, before Delancy might have been able to make any sort of following statement over her mother's regrettable as well as humiliating rejection, even at the hands of her own soon-to-be sister-in-law. "It had been both hers, as well as my brother's hope that I would have entered the school's lottery for myself, alongside Dame Devin; however, Reginald, of course, and then later, Queen Isabella, knew that such a life – A royal associated life – was not for me. . . . By that time, too, when I had finally moved to Gardania, as well, I had discovered my niche, my passion for teaching, enriching the minds of so many youths . . . especially that of young girls, as I felt that it was very important to alert each of them to their own self worth and capabilities at an early age. . . . I suppose that that could have been a part of the reason why I had been appointed the position of headmistress a few years later, once the former had inevitably retired, due to old age."
". . . . So everyone was rising up, while my mother steadily began to fall," Delancy murmured suddenly, a bit more so to herself, as she seemingly began to comprehend the rather hazardous inner machinations of her mother.
Alexandra blinked within surprise a moment, before slowly nodding within slight agreement.
"I . . . suppose you could say that. Not long after their dual graduations, Princess Isabella and my brother were finally married, with Diggory, your father, Delancy, having been chosen to be his Lord Royal upon Reginald's having become prince," she said with another nod, at last straightening her posture once more as she gently pushed herself from off of her desk. "The two men had evidently become fairly good companions while within attendance at 'Prince Charming Academy,' you understand, which is precisely why Dame Devin had been awarded the chance to meet Diggory at all, as the pair now ran within the same circles. Reginald had not necessarily been required to enroll at the establishment, that is, before he could marry The Princess, and she . . . and in fact, not even the rest of the remaining Royal Family had ever tried to persuade him to do so, but he'd insisted. He'd tell her, and anyone else who would listen, that he wanted to make absolute certain that he be the best 'Prince Charming' she could ever hope to know. . . ."
Both Blair, as well as Delancy felt themselves becoming increasingly sympathetic toward their shared aunt, as it was clear that recounting such tales about her lost sibling was quite blatantly heartbreaking for her to do.
They watched, a bit helplessly, as the older woman suddenly turned her back to them both and curiously raised a hand to her face, undoubtedly in order to wipe away an oncoming tear from her eye. The slightly atypical moment was over as soon as it began, however, as Headmistress Privet already turned back around, her wheat colored complexion noticeably a bit flushed now, however green eyes completely dry.
"My . . . apologies, girls . . . I'm afraid that I had not anticipated that openly reliving such memories, even after so many years, would unknowingly affect me so," she confessed, a bit shamefacedly, before awkwardly clearing her throat. "But, then . . . I suppose it is also a good thing that I am. After . . . After Reginald's demise, I . . . I'd honestly all but erased him completely from my mind, the grief had been too great. . . . And Queen Isabella . . . she had admittedly become my greatest friend as time went on, as we had shared a good deal in common, despite my dislike of being within the spotlight as would often occur while openly spending time with her, and naturally now having become a part of the Royal Family. . . . However, we did so enjoy the company of each other, especially where it pertained to the charm school and further nurturing every princess and lady royal-to-be who would arrive through these halls. She would often assist within teaching a few of the classes, herself, whenever time permitted, I'll have you know. . . ."
Blair softly smiled, a bit forlornly at that as she continued to listen, once again feeling more and more rueful that nearly everyone else within the kingdom of Gardania appeared to know both her mother and father far greater than she, their own daughter did.
. . . . And I have Dame Devin to 'thank' for that, she suddenly heard herself think, her heart lurching within her chest within alarm, both at that, as well as the undeniable bitterness which then began to ice over within her veins.
Blair promptly felt guilty for it, as well, then, as she looked over at Delancy within the corner of her eye. She knew that it was neither girl's fault, what Dame Devin had ultimately chosen to do, nor would Delancy perhaps blame her for feeling as she presently did about it, she was sure . . . but she did not desire for the other girl to ever become privy to it, lest Delancy then begin to take on her mother's ultimate transgression as her own. . . .
". . . . I'm almost afraid to ask this, but . . . when, exactly, did my mother decide to regrettably plot her 'vengeance' of sorts against the Royal Family? Was it before, or after she had brought me into this world with the help of her husband?" Delancy asked, a bit hollowly, her own contempt for the now imprisoned woman in question evidently beginning to creep to the surface, if only for the moment.
Both aristocratic teenagers watched as Headmistress Privet's cheeks curiously began to grow a bit rosier at this, causing her to look down at her re-laced hands a moment, before returning her gaze onto them both.
"Well . . . to be terribly honest, your mother had never actually gotten married to your father before you were born, Delancy . . . or, at least, had never the chance to," she revealed, as delicately as she could manage, partially wishing that the reason being had been due to what both girls were most likely presently thinking, rather than the actual truth she was about to then impart. "As I said earlier, I really do believe that your mother and father had shared something quite special between them at the start, at least, as special as can be expected, given . . . well, your father's rather modest beginnings, and your mother's high maintenance and princess-like mentality she had always possessed, indeed having always originally intended to one day marry a prince, herself. . . . But clearly, there had just been something . . . perhaps rather intriguing about Diggory which had ultimately persuaded Dame Devin to give him a chance, a move which greatly surprised not only myself, but our brother, Reginald, as well, for all of the reasons previously mentioned."
Alexandra, and then also Blair, watched as Delancy's formerly tight-faced expression then greatly softened, as she listened on about a tenderer side to her mother she most probably had never seen, nor indeed even known about prior to now.
They then observed, and rather lamentably, as her countenance became marred once again, this time by the profound scowl which then began to darken it, most likely within the furthered reflection that her mother and father had evidently never gotten the chance to make their union legal.
Delancy hadn't the need to ask as to precisely why that had been, however, as her aunt had then merely pressed on and finally yielded the answer.
". . . . They had at least gotten engaged, I can tell you, shortly before learning that you would soon be arriving, Delancy . . . but, unfortunately, I believe that, by that time – Perhaps even a good while before, as things had seemed a bit 'off' about their relationship over time – your father had evidently become less and less forbearing, as well as forgiving towards your mother's . . . shall we say, 'demanding,' as well as demeaning nature, as she appeared to have become far less accepting of his 'mere' position as Lord Royal, even if it had been quite an important position, all the same. . . . And of course, I suppose couple all of that, with the fact that said responsibilities may have been getting to him, along with unexpectedly preparing to be a first time father, and . . . I'm sad to report that not only did he ultimately call off his betrothal to your mother, indeed the overall relationship, but he'd also abruptly resigned from his state, before decidedly returning to his homeland of Utari. . . . You can understand, of course, how positively mortified your mother now was, Delancy, and even the Royal Family by extension for a time, as it had been quite the scandal for a little while . . . an unwed, more or less jilted relative of theirs who was also now with child. . . ."
Both Blair and Alexandra appeared to be every bit as sympathetic as moments prior, while Delancy now suddenly looked positively blanched, as she unexpectedly let out a sharp cry and roughly shook her Jasmine tinted head.
"N-No more! I-I can't listen to any more of this! Any of this! It's just . . . all too much!" she exclaimed with profound downheartedness, heatedly rushing toward the closed maple door to Headmistress Privet's office, and roughly opened it.
"Delancy, please! Wait a second!" Blair fruitlessly pleaded with her effortlessly distraught cousin, starting after her as the other girl swiftly fled the vicinity without another word.
"Sophia, don't! . . . . Just . . . let her be, for now," Alexandra gently advised, coaxing her remaining niece to stay where she was.
She watched with saddened eyes as Blair continued to stand within the open doorway with a hopeless expression of her own, as Delancy's emotionally affected frame gradually became smaller and smaller the further she'd distanced herself away from them both.
Only when Delancy could no longer been seen did Blair finally turn back around to face her mentor, her aunt, and flashed her a leery sort of expression as she blindly closed the door behind her.
". . . . You should have let me gone after her. She shouldn't be alone right now, not now, after everything we've heard today, and also experienced just yesterday . . . it is getting to be too much, like she said," she said weakly, trailing off into a light murmur as her blue eyes became downcast, towards the smoothly polished wood floor beneath her.
Alexandra nodded slowly within ample understanding, as well as commiserations, hesitating a moment before approaching the Gardanian Princess and placed herself at her side.
". . . . I concur wholeheartedly, Sophia, believe me . . . and if it were within my power to take away even a smidgen of the undoubted pain you both now feel for all of this, I would," she began quietly, stopping herself a moment, before willing herself to awkwardly settle a hand onto the younger girl's shoulder, "however . . . I could no longer, in good conscience, keep silent about all that I knew . . . about being of relation to you. . . . I had planned upon, as I'd said, telling Delancy all of this one day, most probably after her coronation as the new princess of Gardania, when I'd felt that perhaps a bit more of maturity would have been granted onto her as a result, and thus allow her to better handle this situation. . . ."
Blair, who had immediately looked up within surprise upon the feeling of the normally physically shy headmistress's hand upon her shoulder, slowly shook her head at this and asked, "But, then . . . didn't you think that it would have been much easier to have let her know about this, well . . . honestly since day one? What would have been the issue or harm in having done so?"
Exhaling heavily, Alexandra then moved away from the rightfully inquisitive girl, back to her desk, and finally took a seat once more. She roughly rubbed at her temples once again, as well, before she then spoke.
". . . . In retrospect, I suppose I should have, of course . . . however, and I am quite penitent to admit this, although at the same time a tad thankful that Delancy has now left the room within the nick of time, as it were . . . but, I suppose I was a bit shameful, regarding my continued biological relation to her mother," she revealed, voice barely above a whisper as she slid her pallid green eyes away from the young blonde stood before her, and onto the surface of her desk, instead. "By that time, when Delancy had been born, that is, Dame Devin had completely changed, once and for all, and into the . . . well, quite vindictive and manipulative woman I'm sure you had observed her to be for yourself. . . . At first, I suppose I could not have blamed her much, her transformation, given the sore hand Life had thus far dealt her. I'd merely figured that that newfound, cold-hearted nature she now possessed was perhaps a survival tactic, in order to prevent any further heartache or disappointment from anyone, or anywhere. . . . It was also around this same time when both your mother and father had become the new queen and king of Gardania, after your grandmother, Queen Charisma's passing. And so, it had perhaps been done as a sympathetic sort of gesture when your parents had given the title of 'Dame' to Nikole, and, when she was born, the higher title of 'Viscountess' to Delancy. . . ."
". . . . A-And . . . you? Weren't you given any sort of noble title, having evidently been the more 'favored' relative of my father's . . . and my mother's?" Blair asked tardily, doing her absolute best to dismiss her aunt's previous confession of having been quite ready to do the same sort of sentiment to the then infant Delancy, merely due in part to her shared genes with her mother.
She could feel her insides beginning to grow uneasy, the longer she remained and listened to the overall, sorted past of her birth family's history, making her wonder if she could withstand doing so for much longer, before she too, fled the scene, much like her cousin before her.
Alexandra slowly gazed back up at her niece and nodded, just as lethargically.
"Actually, yes . . . I was. A 'dame,' as well . . . although, clearly, I had never honestly worn my courtesy title with as much regard as Dame Devin," she stated, a bit wearily, as though her continued admissions were beginning to weigh heavily upon her at last, as well. "In fact, I do recall almost . . . downright pleading, if you please, with your father and mother not to bother on my behalf, at least; however, I believe it had also been Reginald's way of sort of 'giving back' to both Nikole and I, especially to her, now that he was King and had the regal authority to perform such acts. Plus, it'd appeared to mean a good deal to him – And to Queen Isabella, I remember – that it be done, and so . . . I simply gave in. Of course, with all due respect to them both, naturally, just because I had allowed them to bestow onto me such noble recognition, did not mean I had to continually 'tote' it around with me everywhere I went, as it were. I had spent a profound amount of effort, and years building up the reputation I still have today, thankfully, as a good teacher, a good headmistress, and I did not wish for anything else to overshadow that . . . which was why I go by the surname 'Privet,' instead of 'Devin,' as it had been my mother's maiden name, God rest. I suppose I thought that it might have helped to further differentiate myself from the overall royal lifestyle the rest of my family were now fully immersed within. Seems to have done the trick, as I cannot honestly recall the last time anyone, outside of Parliament, of course, has ever openly made any sort of connection to my kinship. . . ."
Blair, who had been wondering after the older woman's difference within last name, although she had naturally assumed that it had been that of a possible husband yet to be cited, slowly nodded as her only response, before the other woman continued.
"I'd never married, myself, you understand, or had any children of my own, having always been more so preoccupied with my life's work, and all, which has sort of become like my 'baby' in that way, anyhow," she further revealed, evidently having somehow read the younger girl's thoughts moments prior. "I've never once had any regrets about this, mind. Besides, I was merely content with being an aunt, when the time came, although it did appear to have been quite the struggle within the beginning for your mother and father, until at last having had you, one year after Delancy had been born. . . . Again, I can sadly attest that I had felt a bit more elation upon your arrival than your cousin's before you. . . . I regrettably had honestly felt so . . . absolutely certain that any child of Nikole's would most probably grow up to be quite identical to her, by way of personality, even misgivings . . . whether her children liked it, or not."
". . . . So, then, that's why you kept your distance from Delancy in all this time," Blair finished within seemingly growing comprehension, as she moved over to her empty, previous seat and sat down again.
She wasn't honestly sure if she cared to hear anything further come out of the older woman's lips, lest her overall perception and ample respect for her completely diminish, as it was now admittedly beginning to. . . .
". . . . Yes . . . and no, Sophia," Alexandra responded curiously, lowering her hands away from her temples and placed them gently onto her lap. "That is to say, yes, I will own up to the slight prejudice I'd possessed against Dame Devin's child, well before any of her developmental skills had even begun to settle in. And, of course, said prejudice regrettably deepened, once Nikole had begun to cruelly make remarks over how Delancy was beginning to look more and more like Gardania's Heir Presumptive, as your mother and father had yet to conceive then, and also due to the fact that there were no other living relatives eligible for the position. . . . Nikole's newfound, more or less cutthroat behavior was positively barbaric within my eyes, delicate circumstances of her past or no . . . and I had done all that I could to shield the both of your parents from her undermining nature, which hadn't been all too difficult, as Nikole had always presented a much more jovial and respectful sort of disposition whenever within their presence . . . especially The Queen's, with whom she still so desperately wished to earn better favor with in all that time, like the kind I had experienced in her stead. . . ."
Blair, feeling almost petrified within her spot to carry on with the inquiry she was about to pose, slowly licked her sandpaper dry lips as she asked, ". . . . So, then . . . I suppose that's when Dame Devin more or less . . . snapped, after my parents were finally able to have a baby of their own, and I unexpectedly came along, huh?"
Alexandra gazed upon her niece within astonishment a moment, perhaps at her given choice of words, before weakly nodding within confirmation.
". . . . For lack of a better term, yes, Sophia . . . evidently," she trailed off into a whisper, looking away from the young princess once more as she regrettably, although quite understandably felt her green eyes beginning to water for the second time throughout her heartbreaking tale. "I hadn't known that Dame Devin had been the culprit of your parents' untimely accident, of course . . . no one had . . . not until yesterday, naturally. . . . But I'd still had quite the nagging feeling about it, especially given her previous statements of blatant resentment towards them both and their standing, and desiring for her daughter to be ruler, not their own. And she had been the last known person to see them alive, as well. . . . And then, there was the way she suddenly seemed to gain a much stronger inner resolution than I'd ever seen her possess throughout our entire lives together, just when everyone else around her were naturally beside themselves over the tragic loss of the entire, remaining Royal Family. . . . Not once did I see her ever shed a tear about it, or display not even a moment's worth of natural vulnerability . . . although majority of the kingdom, and even myself, I'll admit, had merely believed it to be due to her desire to hold everyone together, and assure them that Gardania will somehow go on, thanks to Delancy . . . and, of course, by extension, her, also then having decidedly made herself a fellow teacher for the charm school, something I did not prevent purely out of relative sensitivity. . . ."
At this, Alexandra abruptly squeezed her eyes shut, before turning her brown head to the side within furthered shame as she continued.
"I should have followed my initial instincts about everything at the time! After all, Nikole has always been a natural born follower, not a leader . . . no matter how she'd habitually try her best to portray and have everyone believe otherwise, if her past track record is of any furthered indication, given that she'd decidedly followed after our brother to Gardania, for no other real reason except that she could," she breathed, with a bit of uncharacteristic hotness, before just as atypically abruptly slamming a clenched fist onto her desk, while still keeping her head tilted away from a now startled Blair. "If only I had confronted her with my suspicions then, then perhaps you could have been found long ago, and justice would have at last been served! But . . . I had been, by then, far too consumed within my own private grief that I had honestly shut down, burying myself within my work more than ever before . . . as well as having grown even more emotionally distant towards my remaining niece, as a result, although now more so within the great fear that she, too, might one day be lost to me. . . . Becoming sentimentally attached was now quite crippling for me. . . ."
Blair felt her heart beginning to warm towards her newly discovered aunt once more, as she further began to realize that the woman was no more perfect than what Blair had originally perceived Delancy to be, herself, and that honest mistakes had been made on Headmistress Privet's end, as well.
". . . . I don't think you should blame yourself any further, though, about any of this . . . and especially not about Delancy," she stated softly, silently debating whether or not she should get up from her chair, in order to physically comfort the rather afflicted woman before her. "It . . . may not have been the best course of action, no . . . but at least you were still there for her, in your own sort of way, having lived within the palace together all of her life. And I'm sure that, once she's had a bit more time to let everything properly sink in, she'll forgive you, and then you can finally see for yourself that she honestly is nothing at all like her mother, as you'd thought . . . and perhaps what had always been portrayed."
Alexandra, taking a moment to quickly wipe away at her now moist green eyes before looking upon her princess, slowly then did so, a mildly hopeful expression suffusing upon her lightly reddened face.
". . . . Do you honestly believe that she will? It's . . . It's different for you, all of this, perhaps, as you hadn't grown up within the palace, side by side with an unknown, remaining relative, who continued to willfully keep you within the dark about such knowledge. . . . So, of course, you can be far more understanding about all of this than she," she remarked, a bit vacuously, before turning the rest of her body back towards the smaller girl. "No . . . I believe that it will take far longer than 'a bit more time' for Delancy to forgive my admittedly poor, and selfish judgment, if at all . . . especially if she'd ever learn of my initial reasoning within the first place. . . . However . . . I will say that there were a few times when I had made attempts to reach out her as a child, beyond the typical teacher-student variety, that is . . . but by then it was even too late within Dame Devin's eyes, as she had more or less explicitly barred me any sort of relationship with her daughter, besides that of an instructor. She'd stated, a bit rightfully so, that if Delancy hadn't been good enough to associate with right from the start, the way our brother's child, you, had been within contrast . . . then I will never be good enough to them both, other than to act as Delancy's future headmistress, as well as future royal subject once she would be crowned princess. I was sorely miffed at the time, of course . . . but I can't honestly say that I can blame the woman for having said so. . . ."
". . . . Y-Yes, but . . . you said so, yourself, that Dame Devin had never really been an easy person to get along with, and that you two basically were never very close, yourselves . . . not like what you'd shared with my father," Blair began softly within disagreement, shaking her cornflower colored head for further emphasis, "s-so it shouldn't have honestly been that much of a surprise to her that you might have shied away from her, and her extended family. . . ."
It was then Alexandra's turn to object, shaking her own head as she rose to her feet once more, moving around the desk and placed herself at Blair's side, while gazing, a bit lamentably at her closed office door.
". . . . Nevertheless, it was still wrong of me to have placed my tumultuous feelings towards her mother onto Delancy, as well . . . even now, right up until the abrupt, recent change I did manage to take note about her, within the last few days," she rebutted with a heavy sigh, continuing to stare after the sealed door, as though almost willing for the girl in question to magically return. "And, honestly . . . I will not be surprised within the slightest if she never sees fit to forgive me. . . ."
Silence then fell upon them both, quite honestly a bit of a shared blessing, as well, as the pair were naturally feeling quite emotionally raw, and more or less spent because of it. Headmistress Privet seemed to be at last finished with her extended tale of woe, as she did not make another, renewed move to speak again, even after the seconds turned into gradual minutes.
And Blair would have honestly left it at that, eventually excusing herself from the room, had it not been for one, final nagging sort of inquiry which had then come to her, in light of recent revelations. And so, awkwardly clearing her throat, she looked up from her previously steady gaze upon her smooth hands within her lap, and fixated her periwinkle colored eyes onto the older woman still standing at her side.
". . . . U-Um . . . I do have one last question, Headmistress Privet, if you won't mind," she began delicately, evidently not having caught sight of the slight wincing motion the brunette then made which, further unbeknownst to her, had more so been due to the fact that the young princess continued to refer to her as 'headmistress,' rather than the mild hope to now be called 'Aunt Alexandra,' "but . . . is . . . I mean, is that why you'd had been so willing to tutor me throughout this past semester? Because you perhaps already knew who I really was, obviously well before I – And, indeed, the rest of the kingdom had?"
Alexandra blinked within honest flabbergast at this, inclining her brown colored head to at last return the younger woman's stare.
"D-Dear me . . . I suppose I can understand how, and why you would now think along these lines, Sophia, but . . . to tell the truth – Once more, of course – the answer is no, I did not," she replied lightly, before her lettuce green eyes softened, and a warm smile began to crease her wheat colored countenance. "Granted, I had fleetingly surmised that you did hold a considerable resemblance to Queen Isabella when you and I had first met, mind . . . and clearly Dame Devin had thought precisely the same, as I can now better comprehend her profound eagerness to have you expelled from the charm school straightaway. . . . But, as for my tutorial assistance . . . I must admit that I had eavesdropped upon a particular conversation you were within the middle of having with Princesses Hadley and Isla about your adopted family, on the day I had been on my way to your dorm room to deliver the unfortunate news of your impending expulsion. . . . If you can forgive the intrusion, however brief, I must also tell you that having listened to you express such love, care, and concern for your mother and sister, as well as for their overall well being, had been rather admirable and uplifting, indeed. . . . As I'd told you during the following day, you truly did possess quite a great deal of character, and still do . . . just like your mother, I now realize. . . ."
Blair felt her cheeks instantly become drowned within a sea of redness upon listening to the respectable woman's kind words, and admittedly could no longer maintain their shared gaze because of it.
She then, perhaps within the continued spirit of emotional honesty, at last then uttered the words she had kept solely within ever since learning of the truth about her genealogy, due to a mixture of wishing to remain as affectionately loyal as always to her adopted family, in addition to remaining as emotionally sound as she'd somehow managed to maintain in all that time, thus far.
". . . . I wish I could known her . . . known them both," Blair whispered remorsefully, lightly beginning to ring her small hands together out of furthered discomfort, as Alexandra once again slowly placed a hand upon her shoulder within admittedly futile solacement.
". . . . I know . . . I know," she whispered back, her heart beginning to crumble all over again, perhaps just as profoundly as she was certain her orphaned niece's was within that moment.
Neither woman said anything more after that, or indeed even could, as the overall gravity of the situation had at last become too much to crawl out from underneath. And so they remained within silence, side by side and simultaneously trapped between a tragic, unchangeable past, and an uncertain, admittedly daunting future. . . .
End of Chapter Two
(A.N. Good job, Miss Privet: you'd bravely, more or less, anyway, finally revealed your family secret to the girls. =) She and Dame Devin honestly favor one another, some, face wise, just as she, Miss Privet, does to King Reginald, in my opinion, based upon the Royal Family Portrait within the movie. Plus, the way the two interacted with one another during their slightly private moments together, to me, it just went a tad beyond that of fellow colleagues...obviously not happy about it fellow colleagues. =) That, and while not as strong as Miss Privet's, Dame Devin, herself, did appear to have a slight accent, as well, although it was honestly more so made to be that of a 'snooty Diva' socialite sort of 'accent,' yeah. But for the sake of my story, I can now just say that the two accents are more or less the same, or at least originally hailed from the same vicinity, before Dame Devin's head got too big, or even bigger, and she'd decided to adopt the aforementioned sort of tone.
Anyhow, I'm quite pleased with how this chapter had come out, story/unfolding wise, especially her comments all about Dame Devin's personal nature, back then and now. Not saying that it's unanimously the case, but I've personally found a good deal of middle children to be quite the handful...namely, my brother, and my brother's on/off girlfriend, so thought I'd make HER one. It would lend a bit more to her 'Miss Diva' and spoiled/childish behavior established within the movie, especially her motivations for wanting to bump Queen Isabella, and even her own brother... I've placed the siblings' ages to that of around one to three years apart, that is, Reginald had been one year older than Dame Devin, who is about three years older than Miss Privet. So I'll probably give both ladies the current ages of forty-one – Yes, like Ellen – and thirty-eight, respectively, just as a head's up. Also decided to make the present enrollment ages for both male and female charm schools to be between 17 to 19, the oldest, with Reginald just having technically made the cut off by the time he'd enrolled and later graduated,with having turned twenty during the overall process. Besides, he was the soon-to-be dual ruler of Gardania; I don't think anyone super super cared. LoL
Oh, right. And I know that, majority of the time, really, it's usually the positions of females elevate, while that of males pretty much remains as is, where kings and queens are concerned. You know, a prince becomes king and then, in turn, his bride becomes queen; however, on the flip side, a princess becomes queen and her guy remains at whatever previous royal status he'd had, thanks to that whole 'Kings are just more awesome/have higher recognition than queens, sorry' mentality, blah blah.
Anyhow, but in this case/this story, and their 'world' therein, I'd decided to scrap that, and make Reginald rise on up alongside his gal, and become king. =) Oh, and also having given him that whole non-originally royal background, anyhow, too.
And I know that it's also a bit like, "Well, how the heck could they NOT have known about Alex being of relation to the Royal Family, herself?" But it's probably like she'd said, herself, that over time, thanks to her having done such a bang up job to downplay all of that and instead draw sole attention onto her teaching career, it became less of a more well known fact over time. I know that I don't personally enough information to count upon my one hand about The Royal Family in England, for example, although I suppose I naturally wouldn't, as I do not hail from there...but my husband does, and he, as well, doesn't know of them inside out, so there. =)
Besides, I'm sure, given the few scandals they'd attracted, the Gardanian Royal Family, I mean, in my story, anyway, I highly doubt they'd be that much more forthcoming about their naturally private information, after all.
But, yeah. Once again not honestly sure anyone's even read to this point here, so I'll end my blurb here. Next update whenever.)