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The Night Witch

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Brielle did her best not to compare her own dressing to that of Queen Susan the Gentle's, knowing it was futile. Her own dressage could never compare. And yet, she could not help but feel pleased at her own; it was a common sort of dress; however the fitted waistband made her feel like a proper noble lady. The bodice festooned with just enough to make her feel glamorous.

Nevertheless, Queen Susan was always the one who drew the eye first, as it always had to be. And Brielle was the one to make it happen, taking her duties as her lady-in-waiting very seriously. It had been a few years since she had been taken from her home in Archenland to be trained to become a lady in waiting, and while her heart longed to be back in the mountainous region, she couldn't imagine giving up her life in Cair Paravel.

As it was, she would be home soon. Dressing Susan for that day's outing was enough to keep her hands, trembling with excitement to see her hometown, steady enough to work on brushing Susan's hair, ensuring it was tangle free to be twisted up in a very fanciful not. Susan, as observant as ever, noticed and made the comment, "Brielle, are you nervous?"

Brielle laughed, "No, your highness, I'm not nervous."

Susan brought her hand up and rested it on Brielle's, keeping her from continuing the brush forward. She twisted in her seat, form where she sat watching Brielle's movements in her mirror, and regarded her lady in waiting with a patient smile. "It's been so long since you've been to Archenland," She said. "Since any of us have been. I bet you miss it terribly."

Brielle lowered her chin. "I do," she agreed. "And, sometimes, I find that I miss my other home as well." She looked to Susan, who lowered her chin and nodded, understanding how it felt be taken from England, her first home, before finding her real home in Narnia. Brielle had been taken in a similar fashion from her home in Oxford, respectively. Though, a bit more unceremoniously as she'd been taking a bath at the time of her emergence at the beach. "Do you feel the same?" she ventured, speaking of the latter.

At that, Susan let out a quiet, unladylike snort. Something she would never be able to do in front of anyone but her lady in waiting or her siblings. "To go back where I was a nobody? Just thought to be nothing more than to grow up to be a wife and take care of children." She lightly tapped Brielle on the arm. "Surely, you know me better than that."

"Of course, I do," Brielle replied with a haughty lift of her tone, making Susan laugh. "As a matter of fact…" she moved to Susan's side and looked down at her conspiratorially. "I couldn't help but notice you haven't needed me to transcribe any writings for you as of late."

Susan lowered her head, studying her hands in her lap. "I haven't had…much to say lately," she explained.

"I see." Brille's lips pursed as she did her best not to smile. She brought her fingers up to run over the broach that covered her throat. "And are there any messages you'd like me to relay to King Caspian today?" Her words were teasing but struck true to Susan, who's cheeks blossomed a pretty hue of pink. "Surely you've found something to say."

"I believe this is the first time I've seen my dear sister without something to say."

Brielle stiffened for a moment before turning to face High King Peter, who casually strode into Susan's room. She looked to Susan, wondering if the High King had heard any of what they'd been speaking about. Susan, on the other hand, merely rolled her eyes before standing to greet her brother.

"Honestly, Peter, how many times do I have to tell you to announce your presence before coming into my room?" Susan tipped her head toward Brielle. "We could have been having a private conversation." She tossed Brielle a little wink, making Brielle smile.

"Yes, I'm sorry I interrupted a conversation about your tea drinking habits," Peter said sarcastically.

"We do much more than speak about tea, Peter," Susan chided him. She pressed a finger to her cheek. "Though, I'm not surprised you wouldn't know that. There's not much more going on in your head other than war and sword fighting."

"Yes, but that's the best part," Peter joked back.

His eyes shifted toward Brielle, and, Brielle noted, seemed to have finally managed to ascertain her without any embarrassment. After all, it wasn't every day the Magnificent and Just Kings were summoned to the beach when a Daughter of Eve arrived, to find her sudden transportation from a calming bath after a rough day of classes had deposited her there, void of any clothes.

As a matter of fact, Brielle spotted and had to keep her upper lip from curling in annoyance, he seemed to smirk at her in greeting. She felt her stomach twist, a combination of the memory of their first meeting that she tried to suppress and from the way he looked at her. She wasn't quite sure if she'd gotten over her embarrassment but took his lead when he reached a hand out to her and extended hers.

"Lady Brielle," he greeted, pressing a kiss to the top of her hand.

"Your Highness," she replied. Then, boldly, she added, "I assure you Susan and I have been speaking of more important matters than just tea."

"I'd hope so," Peter replied with a grin. He folded his arms and lifted his chin haughtily. "There's more to life than the conversations of the, shall we say, more tedious sort."

Susan rolled her eyes. "There goes that sword-fighting mind again." She sounded less patient this time around. "What is it that you wanted, Peter? There's much we need to do before we leave for Archenland."

That seemed to revive a thought in Peter's mind, for his expression turned serious and he looked toward the lady in waiting once more. "Brielle, could you please ensure the servants are prepared for our departure?" He asked.

"All right." Brielle brought herself up from her kneeling position, being careful to smooth down Susan's many layered dress as she did so. She didn't miss the no-so-subtle request for her to leave. A private matter between a King and Queen was simultaneously a private matter between a brother and sister. "I'll leave you alone."

"Thank you."

Brielle's eyes flashed and she couldn't help but add, "And I'll have you know that while you may regard Queen Susan as just your sister, may I remind you that her proficiency with an arrow has saved you on more than one occasion? Moments, of which, I'm sure you'd be more grateful for, if it found you in a nursing bed."

Peter cocked his head in conjunction with the sudden spread of his arms. "I apologize." His words were lofty, though a bit clipped, not particularly liking the taste of the words in his mouth as he said, "For once…I was wrong."

Brielle tipped her head in response, the corners of her lips turning up. "With all due respect sire," she said, letting the words out as slowly as Peter had done. "It wouldn't be the first time."

Susan laughed, while Peter appeared to be stuck between glowering at her and smiling in amusement. It didn't help how easily Susan, who was very adept at acting like a queen, was, at that moment, acting like a sister having a good laugh at a brother. Susan, still grinning away, waved a hand towards Brielle. "That will be all."

"Yes, your highness." Brielle curtsied, turned on her heel, her dress dusting the floor as she left to find the servants and do as she was told.

Rounding the corner of the long corridor, Brielle made sure no one was watching her, watching to see that she went the correct direction, and headed toward her own bedchamber. Once in her room, she whipped back the hem of her dress and slid a long, thin, jewel encrusted sliver of wood from a holster on her leg.

Her wand.

She waved it through the air, re-organizing her room in seconds. Her books, that had been laid on her desk, lifted and floated back into its spaces. Her bed covers, which had become disheveled in her haste to get ready that morning, pulled back and tucked neatly into place. But, most importantly, her journal slid out from its hiding place and floated to her. Brielle waved her wand once more, the journal opened and flipped through pages until it reached where she'd left off.

With a half-smile, she waved her wand once more, allowing words to form on the page, taking down her interactions with the High King and Queen.

She hasn't had me deliver any messages to Caspian in a little while, Brielle noted. Which is strange for her. Her reaction to my question proved there's still something there. But she still hasn't said anything to her siblings despite my insistence. He could make her happy, I've always seen it. She just needs to allow herself to open up to that happiness, she's not being courted—though there have been many Knights, Barons, and Kings who'd been vocal about their want to make her their Queen.

I really want her to be happy. She and Caspian would be lovely together.

Brielle thought of Caspian then. The King. He was attractive, every woman in Narnia, Telmar, and most of the surrounding countries had something nice to say about Caspian's looks. Not to mention his charm to those he spoke to and how he ruled. There weren't many women who didn't have something nice—and sometimes vulgar—things to say about him.

As for High King Peter…Brielle twisted her mouth aside as she thought about His Highness. He who ruled Narnia before King Caspian. There were more than enough women that wished to be his Queen. A common sort of gossip among the servants, who did as much as they could to get the attention of him and the Just King as well.

Peter was attractive, Brielle surmised, gently running her fingertips along the broach around her neck that glowed along with the tip of her wand. Something about the way he ruled, but also held a mischievous streak when he was able to be more himself, had many young women internally screaming with excitement if he cast even a passing glance her way.

It was such a shame she had to kill him.