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The Hawk's Triumph- Part 5
The queen strode into the room and promptly emptied her bag onto the cottage floor. The ground was immediately covered by lace and feathers.
“These were some leftovers I was able to get out of my room without suspicion.” The queen said. “I’m sure most of them would fit you,” she said looking to me. I sputtered, at a loss for words.
“M-me?” I asked.
“Why yes of course you! Who else?” she said enthusiastically. “I do suppose you are part of the Order, correct?”
“Why yes your majesty” I said, while curtsying. “I am part of the Order, but you see, Wes and I still have to prove ourselves before we can be trusted.” I said earnestly. There was no use lying to the queen, especially if she was in the Order.
“Well,” The queen started, “there’s a ball at the palace in honor of my son’s fourth birthday tomorrow, and my husband’s advisors is supposed to be there. Maybe you two could con some information out of him about the new laws their planning on solidifying.”
“Why that’s a brilliant plan, your majesty, but I happen to know the king’s advisor and he is a sly one.”Geoffrey said. The queen brushed his comments off and immediately turned to us, intent on making us worthy of a ball.
The next day, after many excuses and pleading, Anabella and Wes arrived as promised to the cottage, where the queen took them to a house closer to the palace. The queen then spent hours on them with various outfits and accessories. When they were ready the queen summoned a carriage for them and they were off.
Anabella and I climbed into the carriage. My clean breeches and doublet were soft and the color blue. There were many brass buttons and even a sheath for a sword. I had never worn any clothing of color, and was feeling like royalty. Anabella looked so pretty. She had on a dress that must have been the queens. It almost touched her toes, and very different from her usual brown petticoat.
As we went up the road, I could tell Anabella looked nervous, but so was I. So I grabbed her hand and whispered in her ear that we would do just fine.
My soft violet gown was gorgeous. It had rubies adorned on the flowing sleeves, and golden threads in the lacing. It had a low neckline and puffy sleeves too, which made it easy to move around in. I had clean bloomers under it, and comfortable shoes. I felt cleaner than I had in years. The queen had originally planes on piling my hair upon my hair, but decided against it, and instead brushed it until it shined. It now hung down my back like a curtain.
As we approached the castle, I saw many other horse drawn carriages. Most of the men and women stepping out of them were older than Wes and I, but I chose to ignore it.
“Did you ever learn how to dance?” I asked Wes in panic.
“Well,” he said,” I know a few dances from when I was a child, but I suppose I won’t really have to dance that much anyway. Besides, if I dance with you, you can help me with the steps.” He was grinning by the time he finished saying this, and I felt myself blush in the darkness of the carriage. Thank goodness the blinds were drawn!
He was right though, if I danced with him, I could help him with the steps, but what if I had to dance with the King’s advisor. I inwardly cringed and hoped I wouldn’t have to. Suddenly, Wes turned toward me.
“Anabella! I almost forgot! The queen told me to give you this before we go in. The people of the Order will then be able to recognize us”.
I looked at his hand and gasped. There, sitting in the palm of his hand, was the most beautiful brooch I had ever seen. It was made of gold and shaped like a hawk. I instantly reached for it and pinned it to my dress. Now we were ready. The carriage slowed to a stop and the driver stepped out and opened the door for us.
I took Anabella’s arm as we neared the door to the castle and stared in amazement. The castle was adorned in a million lights and ribbons. It was so beautiful, and every noble barely glanced at it. The lights played over people’s faces, and when I looked at Anabella, she looked like she was about to cr. My eyes were a little misty too. For never being close to the town, we had both made a big leap.
The doorman opened the door for us and we followed the crowd into the ballroom where many had already begun dancing.
“Don’t forget to look out for the advisor.” Anabella whispered in my ear. I jolted back to reality and started searching the crowd. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone talking to the king in earnest. But whatever he was saying had no effect on him. Anabella had spotted him too and pulled me along with her as she walked closer to them.
Neither of us could get too close, because of the suspicion, but we did catch phrases about new laws and such. We had found the advisor. Now all we had to do was figure out how to get him to confide in us.
The music started for the first major dance. I grabbed Wes’ hand and led him out into the middle of the ballroom. Thankfully, it happened to be a dance that Wes knew. As I twirled and he led, we passed many court nobles. Wes was a surprisingly good dancer, and didn’t step on my toes even once. The song ended and we all applauded.
“You didn’t tell me you could dance like that!” I said in Wes’ ear. He just shrugged and smiled.
“Well, I should go and try to get a dance with the advisor. You can go find another noble to dance with if you want.” I said casually, though I felt a burning in my chest as I suggested this. I turned on my heels and made a beeline for the judge, prepared to use pure force if needed to get information out of him.