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The Grand Duke Alexandre

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Snow was falling all around outside, little Alexandre, at the age of nine, could just see the prints of the little animals that lived in their garden, but he giggled thinking about how Pierre would try and chase them off in the morning. "What are you giggling about son?" A deep but gentle voice spook up from behind him, causing Alex to jump and spin around. His heart raced for only a moment when he thought he was in trouble, he was supposed to be in the ballroom, but calmed when he saw who it was. Prince George Washington, The Dowager Emperor, or to Alexandre and his brother James, "Abuelo!" Alexandre took off running for the older man, jumping into his arms.

George caught the boy with ease and spun him in the air. The sound of laughter filled the hallway where they stood before George stopped and held the boy in his arms as Alex wrapped his legs around his middle. "Do you have to go Abuelo? I don't want you too. " Alex pouted, sadness in his eyes. "Yes my boy," George nuzzled his hair. "I've been here far too long and they need me in Paris." He said. George Washington had duties of his own as the Dowager Emperor and they all place in his home in Paris with his young ward. But George couldn’t help the many holidays he took to America, his old home, to see his son’s family; mostly little Alexandre. His favorite little grandson that since birth, George had always had a close relationship with the boy.

“But I don’t want you to go!” Alex sniffled and hid his face away in the man’s chest. “Can’t I go with you?” George chuckled at the muffled words, he removed the boy and placed him down, kneeling in front of him “I promise you will when spring comes. You and your brother, I will take you to see all of France and the garden made to honor your grandmother. All of it my boy.” It was then that George reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out a box with a ribbon on it. “Here.” He handed the young Duke the box. Alexandre’s eyes were filled with a soft light as he took and slowly opened the box, only to have his eyes go wide in shocked. “Abuelo!” He giggled and removed the gift.

In his hands was a music box carved of oak and filled with fine silk and gold. On the sides were gold stars, as well as pictures of all the constellations in the night sky, on the top of the box was a painting of a long snow white quill in front of a snowing night skyline. When opened, the same long white quill could be found spinning around as it wrote on a brown book. It was a gift made just for the young Duke, for his love of writing, who by the age of four could write a whole story; people called the boy a prodigy. And so, this music box was made with the quills he loved so, as well as the season of his birth.

Alexandre’s eyes took in every single inch of the gift, gluing it into his memory. “I hope you like it, and it plays our song.” George smiled and turned the key for the box, it started making a beautiful lullaby before the old Prince started to sing with it. “Far away, long ago, glowing dim as an ember.”  Alex smiled up at his Abuelo before joining in. “Things my heart used to know, things it yearns to remember . And a song someone sings; Once upon a December.”  They both laughed then George nodded down at the box. “There’s something else on there.” He told him. Alex raised his brow and looked down at the inside at the little book the quill was writing on. There were actual words on them, just big enough for someone staring in could see them. “Juntos en París, Para Siempre.” Alexandre’s eyes widened as his head snapped up to look at the old man “Abuelo!” He jumped up and hugged his grandfather.

“What is the commotion?” Princess Rachel Hamilton appeared in the doorway of the ballroom, along with Prince James and their older son Heir Jamie. “What do you have there hermanito?” Jamie asked and Alex quickly got up to show him, showing off the music box as their parents bid George a farewell. It wasn’t till it was too late that Alexandre saw he was gone. “Abuelo! Stop!” He went to chase after but was stopped by his mother. “I believe I am a Princess without a dance partner.” She told him, “Princess Rachel Mary Faucette-Hamilton.” His mother bowed. “I am the Grand Duke Alexandre Roberto James Peter Faucette-Hamilton, and I will dance with you Mama.” He said proudly, taking his mother’s hand and leading her into the ball.