"Your mother would like to speak with you, Your Highness."
I looked from my book to see Thompson, one one the guards regularly on duty. "Thank you, Thompson," I said, putting down my book. "Do you know what it's about?" I walked towards the door.
He shook his head.
In the throne room, Mother sat on her throne with two men on her right. One was my tutor, Mr. Cobbler, and the other was a young man who looked vaguely familiar. He watched me as I approached them, seemingly recognizing me.
"Good morning, Mother," I said once I had reached them. "And good morning, Mr. Cobbler."
Mr. Cobbler smiled, but looked tired. "You remember my son, Julian."
Julian! Suddenly I realized why he looked familiar. "Of course!" I said, turning to him. "My, it has been a while, hasn't it?"
He smiled back at me, although a bit nervously. "It is nice to see you again, Your Highness."
I would have to tell him not to call me that, but not here in front of my mother.
"As you know," said Mother. "Mr. Cobbler is planning on retiring and I have deemed his son as a suitable replacement."
I turned to Julian in surprise, he wasn't that much older than me, was he?
"I just finished university, Your Highness," he said quickly. "And I realize that I will probably not be able to teach you very much more the you know already, but I will be able to supervise and help you as you pursue your studies on your own."
I couldn't help but smile at that. Julian had always been quite wordy as a child, but now he was practically eloquent. "That sounds perfect," I said smiling and turning to Mother, who looked satisfied.
"Lovely, that's settled then." She turned to Mr. Cobbler and Julian. "Would you join us for dinner this evening?"
Mr. Cobbler bowed his head. "We wouldn't want to intrude, Your Majesty," he said quickly.
"It wouldn't be intruding at all, Mr. Cobbler," I said. "It's quite a casual affair, and you two are practically family."
"It is the least we can do after all of the years you have worked here," my mother added.
"Very well," Mr. Cobbler conceded.
"You will be coming well, Julian?" I said as they were turning to leave. "I would very much like to catch up."
He smiled nervously again. "Of course, Your Highness, I would enjoy that."
As he and Mr. Cobbler left the room, Julian glanced and I smiled.
Mother looked happy. "It will be nice to have that boy around again. You two have always gotten along and I like him very much."
I nodded in agreement but couldn't help but think that he was not really a boy anymore. The Julian I knew had grown up.
That afternoon, I had a bit of a hard time keeping my mind on my books. My mind kept straying to memories of Julian and I when we were children. We would run in the gardens and explore the castle. Once we even splashed around in the fountain, although neither of our parents were very pleased with us afterwards.
I wondered what he was like now. Clearly, he was well-educated and eloquent, but was he still the kind, loyal Julian that i remembered? The boy who loved puzzles and mysteries and always protected me, whether it was from the mud that would have surely given our capers away, or from the geese that so frightened me when I was small.
Closing my book because clearly I was not getting any reading done anyway, I redirected my gaze to the window that looked out over the garden. Two figures stood near the rose patch. As they walked nearer, I saw that the one man was Thomas, the head gardener, and the other was... why it was Julian.
They took leave of each other and while Thomas headed back to the garden, Julian stood still for a moment. He looked around, his eyes gliding over the castle. Too late I realized he would see me seemingly spying on him. We locked eyes for a moment and I quickly waved at him. He hesitated a moment, but then waved back.
Julian knew he shouldn't be so nervous around the royal family, but he did. He felt so out of place here, like he didn't quite belong. It was all well and good when he was a child, running up and down the halls like it was nothing, but now he had grown up. Now he knew about royal protocol and had responsibilities.
Normally he would have gone up to the royal library. Libraries always soothed him, but she was there and he wasn't quite sure how he felt about her yet.
So, instead, he walked the halls, reacquainting himself to the familiar castle.
Apparently she was very bright, the princess. He had heard that a lot from his father. Thisnl served only to make him more nervous at the prospect of teaching her.
But really none of that would matter if he kept feeling so darned nervous around her!
Hi everyone and thanks so much for reading the first chapter!
So I've always loved Anneliese and Julian's relationship and wanted to explore more of how it started. I hope you'll all join me as I do that. I promise to post regularly and I won't leave you hanging.
Also, if y'all are interested in more Barbie stuff, I have a Barbie tumblr account (see above) and a YouTube channel where I post Barbie lyric videos (Barbie Music Lyrics). Come and say hi, I'd love to chat.
Love you all!