Morgana woke up when Lilith pulled back the curtains in one brisk movement. Light streamed onto her bed and she sat up suppressing a growl. "What…"
Lilith glanced at her with the same bored expression. "It's almost midday. I was told to wake you."
"Good morning." Morgana replied.
Lilith grunted something and handed her a plate. "The court is going on a hunt later today in honor of your father. He and King Uther will be leading the charge."
"Oh, right. Okay, thank you for informing me." Morgana said somewhat stiffly. She sat up, running a hand across her neck.
After she'd eaten a breakfast of honey cakes and some tea, she allowed Lilith to pick her out a suitable outfit. She ended up with a brown and green dress and a simple leaf necklace. Morgana shook her head when Lilith made to twist her hair into an elegant bun. "No, not today. I'd rather wear it loose."
Lilith nodded and withdrew the outreached hand. When Morgana was fully dressed, Morgana nodded at her. "Thank you very much, Lilith."
Lilith didn't depart as she'd expected, instead staring at her impudently
"Is there something you want to say?" Morgana asked as she brushed her hair. She was getting sick of this girl.
" I'm just confused as to why you're still here?" Morgana asked trying not to grit her teeth.
Lilith rolled her eyes. "I'll be going with you on the hunt. You need a lady in waiting. No proper lady would go without one."
Morgana refrained from blushing. She was somewhat new to this proper lady nonsense. "Oh, I see. Well I really don't need a lady in waiting to go with me. Why don't you take the day off?"
Lilith frowned at her and Morgana held in a sigh. Nothing she did would please her.
"I'll be going." Lilith said firmly.
Morgana's patience was wearing thin and she brushed her hair over her shoulder. "Fine then. Go pack me- us a lunch for the picnic. Please." Her pleasant tone had evaporated and she no longer cared to be the one extending a hand of friendship. Lilith curtsied and disappeared from the room still looking just as impudent.
The room became incredibly stifling as Morgana paced around distractedly. She wasn't accustomed to being cooped up. She decided to use her unfriendly servant's absence to her advantage to visit Aurora, her horse since she was 11.
She found Aurora in a huge stall, being saddled by a boy about her age with dark hair and beautiful blue eyes. She grinned when she saw that he was talking to Aurora.
"-always whinging about some new thing. He has it so incredibly easy. Lots of nice food, lots of nice servants, lots of very nice women." He gave a dry chuckle at that, briskly tightening the straps. "Of course that's not all to do with him being a Prince. He does get a good workout with all that fighting."
Morgana watched the boy, amused by his mannerisms. She crept slowly closer as he continued muttering to her horse, though tending to her with a patient and gentle hand.
She waited a few paces behind him and smiled widely when he turned around, jumping at least 6 inches.
"M-m-m-My Lady." He fumbled, desperately retrieving his fallen brush. "What are you…?"
Morgana grinned. "Just checking in on my horse. I imagine I'll be riding her on the hunt and I wanted to make sure she would be in good shape."
She realized this was the boy she'd ordered to watch over Aurora.
"Oh well, I've been-I've been t-taking good care of her. I've made sure to keep an extra eye on her."
Morgana sauntered towards him, pretending to inspect Aurora thoroughly. "Mmm, yes she looks all right." She smiled at his nervous expression and looked at him encouragingly. "Thank you very much for taking such good care of her. I really do appreciate it…"
"Merlin! I'm Merlin!" He rushed at her pause.
"Thank you, Merlin." She continued.
He blushed cutely and Morgana tried not to smile wider. "And thank you for getting her all saddled for me."
Morgana turned her attention to Aurora, talking to her in soothing tones. She felt more at ease than she'd felt the whole time visiting Camelot. Merlin scurried to a corner, darting quick glances at her that made her mouth quirk up.
After several minutes she sighed, stroking Aurora one last time. Her mother would scold her if she were late.
She smiled at Merlin and said, "I hope I see you again, Merlin."
Merlin nodded emphatically and started bowing awkwardly as she turned to leave.
Holding in a giggle, Morgana left, genuinely hoping she'd see the boy again. As she left the stables she pulled her cloak closer, noting the weather was somewhat chilly.
She arrived at the castle and stumbled upon her sister, talking to the Prince himself.
Morgana watched the scene distastefully, annoyed by her sister's undisguised adoration for the blond imbecile.
She looked around for an exit route; however, Arthur spotted her and hailed her. "Lady Morgana! I believe your sister was looking for you!"
Morgause's gaze caught Morgana's and Morgana could tell she was not pleased to see her. She frowned and Morgana rolled her eyes when she realized she wanted to be left alone with the Prince. Though that was quite all right with Morgana.
"Morgana. Yes, sister, I've been searching everywhere for you."
Morgana smiled. "Indeed? Oh, I'm sorry to have made you worry."
Arthur walked past Morgana, grinning roguishly, and waved to Morgause. "I will see you ladies at the hunt."
Morgana watched him leave and then turned to her scowling sister. "Oh, if you'd only waited two minutes!" she remarked.
Morgana grinned, "Yes, I'm sure if I'd given you two more minutes he'd have professed his undying love. Tis a match made in heaven."
Morgause pouted cutely but linked arms with Morgana. "He is wonderful." She said dreamily.
Morgana sighed wearily and spent the next five minutes listening to Morgause list the Prince's many grand qualities. Her mind wandered, instead pondering whether she'd be allowed to actually hunt or if she'd be stuck with the gaggle of giggling idiots who made up the Ladies of the court.
Her father would allow her to, but if her mother interfered she'd be stuck trotting sidesaddle, talking about the Prince's stomach and chiseled jaw. He always gave in to her mother.
"Ouch!" Morgana was pulled out of her thoughts with a sharp pinch on her arm.
Morgause was scowling at her. "I don't know why I talk to you."
Morgana looked at her sister and opened her mouth, an apology dripping from her tongue.
Morgause waved her hand and said resignedly, "Never mind. Let's go to the courtyard. It's time to go."
Morgana knew that she was going to have to endure Morgause's passive aggressive attitude the entire time, and she found her wish to be able to ride with the men increasing tenfold.
Morgana found her father in the middle of the courtyard, laughing with one of the knight's merrily.
Morgana slid her arm from Morgause's and approached her father, glancing around for her mother. "Father."
Gorlois spun around, his charming smile gracing her. He seemed slightly surprised by her formality and said jokingly, "Daughter."
She found herself immediately relaxing in his presence and said hurriedly, "May I please, please ride ahead with you and the others? You cannot stick me with all of the insipid women who haven't the faintest idea how to ride!"
Gorlois' brow furrowed and he glanced around. "You know your mother wouldn't approve-"
Morgana balled her hand into a fist. "Yes, yes I know. But they'll be stopping every minute. I'll go mad, you know I will."
Gorlois grinned. "I should have expected this. I don't have a problem with it…"
Morgana gave a delighted squeal. "Oh thank you, thank you! I'll-"
"But you have to convince your mother."
Morgana groaned. "Yes, because the chance of her letting me ride ahead with a bunch of men instead of staying behind with all of the 'respectable' court ladies is so high."
Her father frowned. "Your mother wants what's best for you."
Morgana scowled up at him and grumbled, "I never get to do what I want."
He looked away dismissively, and started up a conversation with the man next to him.
With a huff of disappointment, Morgana strode back to where her sister stood and remained silent for the next few minutes. Morgause had already forgotten her grudge and was chattering away happily, oblivious to the world around her. She almost always was though.
Morgana didn't approach the conversation of riding ahead with her mother, already resigned to ride with the women. Lillith arrived a few minutes later and soon it was indicated they were to leave.
All of the knights of Camelot were there, and Morgana glimpsed the cute one who had been at the feast.
As she studied him, he caught her looking at him and a brief smile crossed his face. A smile spread across her face in answer and she found herself beginning to hope the trip wouldn't be as bad as she was assuming. Feeling more positive, she mounted her horse and stared into the distance, eager to depart.