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The Princess in the Tower

Author's note: So this is actually like a story within a story.  In another book I was writing, the main...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

So this is actually like a story within a story.  In another book I was writing, the main character was reading a book about Princess Hannah and Sir Frederic, and I figured, "Hey, I can work with this!"  So this is the story a main character in another story was reading, if that makes any sense at all.

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 16 17 18

Chapter Eighteen

In an audience with the king and queen, and anyone else who wished to hear (which was a great many people), the two men and the princess told their stories.
First, Sir Theodore stood and told the story of how a competition was held among the kingdoms, to determine who the fairest maiden was. It was a friendly tournament, and no one grudged the other, except Morgan. It was between Morgan and Theodore’s wife at the end, and when Morgan lost she promised that the queen’s descendants would pay, and she cast the curse on the queen and vanished.
And so Sir Theodore traveled far to find the witch, and end her life and the curse. But Morgan was prepared. She had spent long hours in the making of this curse, and only one thing could stop it. As the knight drove his sword through her body, she cast a spell on him and changed him into a great dragon to carry out the curse placed upon his own descendants, and she mocked him in her dying breath, telling him that his life had been wasted, and that the curse would not die with her. And he remembered not his human life, until Frederic saved him.
“And that story,” he finished, “I will let Frederic tell.” He paused. Then he looked at the king and said, “I expect that this is the part where I offer you my sword and service, and pledge myself to you, Your Majesty. And I would. But I have already pledged my service to Sir Frederic.”
Frederic blushed. “It’s just Frederic,” he said.
The king smiled. “Perhaps there may have been a time when I would feel insulted to have a noble knight offer his service to a squire. But not now. Now, I say that you could not have chosen a better person to serve. But enough! What about Frederic’s story, and what has my daughter been doing alone in that tower for four years?”
Hannah laughed and told of her not so exciting tale, but she included almost every detail and all the most interesting mischief she accomplished, and tried her hardest to make it seem not half as bad as it was. And when she was finished, Frederic told his story.
All who listened were amazed by his courage, and all who knew him before stared at him, and didn’t recognize him. And the king knighted him, and he was no longer Frederic, the lonely boy who set out to accomplish the impossible, but Sir Frederic, the renowned and courageous knight who never allows defeat.
Prince Augustin, soon afterwards, returned to his kingdom. He had been present at Sir Frederic’s knighting, and for Sir Theodore’s and Princess Hannah’s stories, but he would not hear Frederic’s until his wedding day. His leg had healed enough for him to walk on it with no cast, but he retained a limp and a cane for the rest of his days. However, despite his disability, he remained a terror when mounted and in battle and a cheerful and just king.
Sir Frederic and his fiancée, Princess Hannah, attended his wedding, and the prince’s bride was indeed beautiful, and the prince himself, with his blond hair and blue eyes, was agreed to be the handsomest prince in all the land. And after the wedding, Sir Frederic retold the story of how he rescued the princess in the tower to all present, and so Prince Augustin heard it for the first time, and was amazed.
“There’s a hero hidden in you, Frederic,” he said. Frederic only grinned and kissed his princess.
And through Prince Augustin’s marriage to the princess of Krillo, those two kingdoms became one.

The day of Sir Frederic’s and Princess Hannah’s marriage was the happiest the kingdom of Cyndira had ever known, and all the people agreed that never was there a more fitting couple than the rescued and the rescuer. A week prior to the wedding, Prince Augustin came with his wife, and the happy princess informed the royal family that she would bear a royal baby.
“We will name him Frederic,” Prince Augustin told Frederic.
“No, we will not,” Prince Augustin’s wife responded, playfully smacking him in the arm. “Because we don’t know if it will be a him. But if it is, we might name it Frederic,” she added with a smile to the knight.
“And what if it’s a girl?” Princess Hannah demanded.
The other princess laughed. “Well, then we will name it Hannah, of course!”
On the morning of the wedding, King Oliver paced the floor uneasily, and Queen Margaret laughed at him. “What are you worried about, Oliver?” she asked her husband. “We’ve triple checked to make sure everything is arranged, Hannah is happy, Frederic is happy, I’m happy, I know you are, although you’re hiding it now in your pacing. Why are you pacing? What’s worrying you?”
“Worried? I’m not worried. I’m just nervous,” the king replied. “What if she’s not ready? What if he’s not ready? I mean, Frederic’s an honorable and good kid, but do you think he can be a prince?”
“I think he can be anything,” the queen said. “Even Hannah’s husband. Do you?”
The king sighed. “Yes. Yes, I trust him…”
The queen looked knowingly at her husband, and she smiled. “I know what you’re really afraid of. You’re afraid of losing her again, but to a man and not a dragon.” The king looked at her, and his eyes confirmed this. Queen Margaret laughed gently and said, “Well, she is eighteen now, and she can fend for herself, and Frederic will not keep her away from you.”
Nodding, King Oliver took a deep breath. And watching the love that his daughter used to gaze at Frederic, and the love returned to her through his gaze, his fears dissolved, and he began to view Frederic as a son.

A year later, Prince Frederic and Princess Hannah bore a son, and they named him Theodore, and he was perfect. Prince Augustin and Prince Frederic remained friends for the rest of their lives, and the daughter that Augustin’s wife bore grew up loving Theodore, and through their marriage when they were older, Jorlington became a part of Cyndira.
Frederic became one of the best kings the kingdom had ever known, and it grew under his diplomatic and conquered gains, until it became the largest kingdom in the land. And he and Hannah never stopped loving each other, and when Hannah had twin daughters, they laughed at the thought that they would never have to part with them.
Sir Theodore remained in Frederic’s service, and the two became friends, and Frederic never saw Sir Theodore as a knight under his command, but as a friend ready to help. Many people argued whether or not the scales and eyes of the dragon Theodore became were remnants of the man he had once been, or if the hair and eyes of Theodore were remnants of the dragon he had once been. Sir Theodore himself did not remember, or he would not say, and Princess Hannah often thought that the knight enjoyed the argument centered on him.
The tower that Hannah had lived in began to fall into ruins after the magic left it with the curse, but it remained standing. No one visited that tower ever again, but if someone could look inside, he would find 1432 marks on the floor, an unmade bed, a stack of clean dishes, a wardrobe with no clothes inside, a floorboard half removed, and a diary under the mattress. And he would wonder at these things, and climb down a rope tied to the foot of the wardrobe, and stand at the entrance to a giant cave, and look up at the black tower and watch as a breeze stirred the open window panes and fluttered the tattered window curtains and the rope that hung forever by the tower’s side.

THE END
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 16 17 18


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