parlor maid

Mac Ruaidh - Part Four

Part One, Part Two, Part Three

One of the horses lost a shoe in the upper field so Jamie had to bring her back to the stable early in the afternoon.

“I’ll do the job for you if you’ll go to the kitchens and grab summat to eat,” Harris offered rubbing a hand on his belly.

“And why can ye no go to the kitchens yerself?” Jamie asked with a laugh. “Afraid of Cook are ye?”

“No afraid, man,” Harris shook his head but grinned as he pointed out, “but up the house they have a habit of givin’ you better than the rest of us when it comes to food. You’ll likely come away with a bit of meat where I’d get cheese and bread at most and far more likely a hand smacked.”

“Fine,” Jamie agreed. “I ought to check on Willie anyhow. He’s been cuttin’ a tooth and––”

But Harris waved Jamie off as he started leading the horse to a stall where he could work on replacing the shoe.

Jamie rolled his eyes and gladly headed toward the house. Willie should be wide awake from his afternoon nap––assuming the poor lad had been able to sleep at all––but tired or not, he always greeted Jamie with a broad smile and a gleeful squeal. No matter how physically exhausted Jamie might be after working with the horses all day, spending that short time with Willie before he went down for the night was the best part of Jamie’s day.

As had become habit, Jamie stopped to wash up in the bucket of rainwater by the back kitchen door before heading into the kitchen. Cook poked her head out at the sound of him and smiled with relief.

“You did get word then,” she said, wiping her hands on her apron and ushering him into the house.

“Word? Word of what?” Jamie asked, immediately on edge. He looked to the corner where Sabrina and one of the kitchen maids took it in turns to keep an eye on Willie throughout the day. “Something’s happened?”

“The lad’s just been fussy with that tooth of his,” Cook explained. “He was loud enough it caught the mistress’ attention and she offered to take him for a spell, see if she couldn’t get him to calm and give the girls a break.”

Jamie’s mouth formed a tight line as he nodded. “I see. So she’s got him in the parlor, then?”

“Aye and I think Miss Isobel is with her. They’ve not had callers today so the boy’s providing a bit of diversion for them.”

Jamie tried not to snort derisively as he made to brush past Cook.

“If it’s not word of the babe that’s brought you to the house…” she began.

“Harris. He’s after a bite and is convinced ye give me better than ye’d give him were he to come himself.”

“Fool,” Cook muttered and shook her head as she started to fetch and assemble a basket for Jamie to take when he went back to the barn.

But Jamie had already passed through the kitchen and into the main house doing what he could to straighten his clothes into something presentable as he headed for the parlor. One of the maids spotted him coming and ducked in to give her mistress a warning though he could hear Willie’s uncomfortable whimpers from the hall.

Lady Dunsany and Isobel were sitting side-by-side on a sofa with Willie in Lady Dunsany’s lap squirming and red-faced from having been crying. Isobel had a damp cloth in her hands and appeared to have been either wiping Willie’s face with it or letting him chew on it––perhaps both. Seeing Jamie, she pulled the cloth away from the baby and fiddled with it nervously in her hands, the twisting motion releasing some of the water from the cloth and creating a wet spot on her skirts. Lady Dunsany showed no self-consciousness as Jamie entered the room and actually rose to greet him.

Willie spotted Jamie and broke out into fresh tears as he reached eagerly for his father.

Jamie was only too happy to take him and hold him close, letting the lad rub his face into his shirt and sob himself into exhaustion against his neck. Jamie was shocked at the heat emanating from the small body and raised a hand to Willie’s forehead. It was more than just the heat of a child worked up and crying; he was feverish.

“I know,” Lady Dunsany said with quiet concern. “I’ve already sent for the physician to come and have a look at him.”

“A physician?” Jamie asked skeptically as he shifted Willie in his arms and rubbed his back. The lad’s crying dropped to a persistent whimper as though he feared the adults would forget his complaint if he stopped making noise. Jamie looked down at Willie who reached up and pulled on his own ear with frustration––perhaps because he still didn’t have enough hair to make the gesture worthwhile.

“You needn’t worry about it MacKenzie,” Lady Dunsany insisted with a brief movement of her eyes to glance at her daughter without turning her head to look at her directly. “He is a friend of the family and even cared for Isobel here when she was a small.”

Jamie offered as polite a smile as he could manage. “I have no doubt as to the fellow’s credentials,”––which he didn’t; he was sure the physician was as practiced as most of his profession but if he’d learned anything from Claire it was how little such men knew about what they were doing––“ma’am, my concerns are more… financial in nature.”

“We’ll take care of it,” Lady Dunsany assured him, an assurance that she supplied fast enough to catch her daughter by surprise. “Having so recently suffered the loss of a child, I should hate to see anyone else suffer in a similar manner,” she explained with a little too much practice. Isobel flushed with embarrassment and uttered a low, “Mama.”

“I thank ye for yer offer,” Jamie continued with practiced civility coating the iron of his will, “but I’d like to see how he does wi’ me tonight before ye go to the trouble of bringin’ in a physician to see him.”

“It’s no matter now. I already sent for him––invited him to dinner too, so if it indeed turns out to be nothing, it’ll be no bother for him.”

Jamie’s teeth clenched tightly even as he smiled and nodded to Lady Dunsany. “Then I’ll take Willie here to have a rest until yer physician arrives. Dinna want him passing his fever on to anyone else should it prove dangerous.” A lump of fear formed in his chest just alluding to such a possibility and he fought the urge to cross himself and say a prayer right there in front of the two ladies. He only waited until he and Willie were out of the parlor and headed back to the kitchen to start muttering the prayers of the rosary in Latin and then French to himself, pausing briefly to ask Cook to pass the message along to Harris that his son was ill and he would not be able to finish with the horses that evening.

“So long as he gets this basket I don’t think he’ll mind,” Cook said to ease Jamie’s conscious. “You take care of your little one and if you need help or advice, don’t be shy about asking.”

Jamie nodded before turning and heading up the stairs to the quiet of the servants’ quarters, blissfully empty at this hour of the afternoon.

Once in his room, Jamie took Willie and laid him down on the bed, checking him over as he wriggled and writhed, gnawing on his hand and drooling on everything. No matter which part of Willie he touched––arm, back, foot––he was hotter than he should be.

“Open yer mouth there, a bhailach,” Jamie said as he tried to examine Willie’s gums. Wet fingers closed around his and Jamie was able to just make out the spot where the new tooth was getting ready to break through before Willie bit down hard. “Ifrinn!” he exclaimed, pulling his finger free of the babe’s mouth and shaking some feeling back into the digit. Startled, Willie began to wail again, his hand going back up and rubbing at his ear. He was beginning to make the skin around it red with the chaffing.

“Is it yer ear then, mo chiusle?” Jamie asked quietly, hoping a calmer tone would soothe him. He gently turned Willie’s head to examine the ear. There were no cuts or scrapes to it that he could see but an earache…

He remembered staying up with wee Kitty a time or two while she’d been teething but he’d been living in the cave for the bairns that came after her. Still he thought he recalled…

“Claire,” he breathed her name as the memory washed over him. It hadn’t been Kitty and teething but Maggie who had developed an earache at one point. When Claire worked out how best to treat it, she’d mentioned that some children had a tendency to develop ear infections when they teethed––during her nurse’s training she had treated a few children who suffered from them.

“How is he?” Sabrina asked meekly from the doorway. There was a different brand of fear written across her face, the fear of seeing something familiar and horrible starting all over again.

“I need clean cloth and some water to boil by the hearth here if ye can fetch it for me,” Jamie requested as he picked Willie up and began to rock him soothingly. Now that he had an idea what was wrong, Jamie felt the comfort of at least having a plan to follow. Sabrina nodded and turned away.

“Christ, Claire,” Jamie murmured as he pressed his cheek to Willie’s feverish head. “Help me do this well. Help me do as you would, did I have ye here.”

When Sabrina returned with the requested materials and had set the water to boil, Jamie sent her back for some goat’s milk; they had already started weaning Willie and it seemed an easy way to keep Sabrina busy.

“All right lad,” Jamie crooned as he laid Willie on the bed again and placed one of the cloths beneath his head. “I ken this’ll hurt a bit,” he explained as he retrieved a flask of whisky from the table drawer by his bed. Lord John had given it to him before departing at the end of his last quarterly visit but Jamie, unsure what to make of the gift, had put it away with no intent to drink it. “Putting it to medicinal use seems fair enough, though,” he whispered as he curled the end of a second piece of cloth and dipped it into the whisky.

Securing the flask again and setting it aside, Jamie leaned over Willie, took a deep breath, and apologized. “I’m sorry for this, mo chiusle.” He turned Willie’s head to the side so the bothersome ear was exposed and fed the end of the whisky soaked cloth into it before squeezing to release a few drops. As the alcohol hit the child’s inflamed inner ear, a screaming wail filled the room and the small body fought to get away from Jamie, the source of the pain.

“Hush, hush, hush,” Jamie tried to soothe him, rubbing his belly. Tears rose in his own eyes at the anguish of Willie’s cries. Rubbing the whisky left on the cloth on his finger, Jamie slipped it into Willie’s open mouth and rubbed it into the gums over his budding tooth.

The screaming cry quieted and Willie sucked at Jamie’s finger, the tears sliding down his cheeks and drying as his body shook with the effort to calm his sobs. Jamie smiled down at him even as he dreaded the prospect of repeating the procedure in another few hours. “Tha’s better now, no?” He pulled his finger from Willie’s mouth and the baby smacked his lips. “Aye, ye’re a true Scot now, eh? Got a taste for fine whisky already.” He tried to wink at Willie who blinked and smiled back at him.

“Is he feeling better now?” Sabrina asked as she brought in the goat’s milk. “Lady Dunsany came running to the kitchen and seemed about to come up when she heard him hollerin’ like that just now.”

“If she asks, ye can tell her he’ll be fine,” Jamie said. “I’ve got all the help I need.”

Sabrina nodded and watched Jamie as he pulled off Willie’s clothes until the babe was in naught but his clout. Willie grabbed his foot and pulled it to his mouth, chewing on his toes and twisting to look at Sabrina. Jamie took one of the clean cloths and soaked it in the goat’s milk for a moment before giving it to Willie to chew and suck on, taking the free end and tickling Willie’s belly with it then the abandoned toes.

She slipped out of the room and left Jamie to watch over his son in peace.

“Thank ye, Sassenach,” Jamie whispered when they were alone again. “Ye’re always wi’ me when I need ye.” He could feel the warm weight of her in his chest, loosening the knot of fear over Willie’s fever as the boy yawned and the milk soaked cloth slipped out of his mouth. The wetness stuck to his nose as he tried to get it back into his mouth on his own. Jamie took it from him for a moment to soak it with more milk and then helped him find the tasty end again.

“Stay wi’ me, Sassenach,” he breathed. “Please? Stay till I’m sure.” He brushed his fingers over Willie’s forehead as his eyes closed. Repositioning Willie on the bed, Jamie took the cloths that had been used and slipped them into the small pan of warming water to be sterilized, grinning at the thought of the smile Claire would wear to see him following her instructions without argument. She would keep him company while he watched and nursed Willie. She would nudge him in the right direction until his son was well again, helping him protect Willie from whatever quack Lady Dunsany might send.

The Interview - Anastasia AU with Jason Todd

Prologue | Journey to the Past | Once Upon A December | In the Dark of the Night | Trainwreck | If I Can Learn To Do It | The Nightmare | The Interview | The Ballet | The Reunion | The Reward | At the Beginning

Tagging: @noctem-vincere, @cait-writes-stuff, @avengerdragoness, @kamuithedragonlord, @birbs-and-the-bat, @hey-haylee, @queen-of-all-the-fandoms, @queenstrife, @jadedhillon, @books-netflix-and-pizza, @ti0261, @keeping-up-with-the-fandoms, @sad-horchata, @tigerb103, @futuremrsgoode@kazuha159, @littlemercedesstuff, @fangirling-over-all, @just-another-fandomite, @blxkestnight

Roy was the most excited he had been in a while. Ever since he had realized in the backwoods of Russia that this scheme would bring him back to his teenage crush, he had been even more excited to go through with it. Just thinking about being with Kori again warmed his heart and sent butterflies into his stomach.

He was not the only one with butterflies in their stomach though. Y/N was in a hidden state of panic. She tried to focus on the buildings they were passing as the car navigated down the streets of the city, but the sites were blurred by her busy thoughts. What if she wasn’t good enough? What if she froze up? What if she was asked a question she didn’t know the answer to? What if the Empress didn’t like her? What if-

“Hey,” Jay’s voice was soft as he took her hand and rubbed it. “Relax. You have done better than I even dreamed you could and you will blow them away. They will have to believe you.”

Y/N softened under his careful ministrations. She let out a nervous chuckle. “I know, I guess I just am anxious because it seems like everything I have been dreaming of is riding on this interview.”

Jason nodded thoughtfully. Just remember, even if you aren’t her, Roy and I wouldn’t abandon you, and you are in Paris so you are one step closer to finding your family regardless of what happens.” He lifted her pendant and smoothed his thumb over it. Y/N almost teared up at his encouraging words. Things had changed after her nightmare. Well, things had been changing since the trainwreck, but something in both of them had truly shifted after Y/N nearly died. Roy hadn’t said anything when he saw Jason sitting with bloodshot tired eyes on Y/N’s bunk, but he had given him a curious look.

Jason had explained what happened later and Roy’s face had gone pale. The event had been a wake up call to both of them about how much they truly had come to care for their “Grand Duchess”.

The car they were riding in jolted as it stopped in front of a pleasant house in a quiet neighborhood. Roy jumped out and hurried to the door as Jason got out and helped Y/N out. She drew in a shaky breath as she surveyed the house. Jason gave her a comforting smile as he placed her hand on his arm.

They made their way up to the door as it opened and a maid cheerfully greeted them.

“Madeline, who is that at the door?” A gentle feminine voice asked. A beautiful tall woman appeared behind the maid. She had long fiery hair and smooth orange toned skin. Her eyes were a vibrant green with no visible pupil.

“Kori!” Roy cried happily as he reached for her hand. She scrutinized him for a moment before realization dawned on her face. “Roy? Roy Harper? It is grand to see you, my dear friend.” She said as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Roy blushed a deep red as a wide grin spread across his face.“I want to introduce you to some friends of mine,” Roy said as he gestured for Jason and Y/N to step forward. “This is Jason Todd, my business partner, and, may I present to you, the Grand Duchess Y/N.”

Y/N smiled politely and shook Kori’s hand. If Kori had scrutinized Roy, she was studying Y/N. Her intense gaze searched Y/N’s face. “Well, she certainly looks like a Romanov.” Kori said under her breath. “But anyone can look like a Romanov. Resemblance means nothing if you don’t have the memory to back it up. Come, let us sit and talk.” Kori led the way to the parlor where the maid was setting up the tea.

They all sat as Kori began her questions. Mostly about her family and preferences that Y/N had in her childhood; stuff that only the real Grand Duchess would know. Jason knew Roy was a little nervous, but Y/N was doing beautifully and had yet to stumble once.

“I have one more question,” Kori said as she put down her teacup. “It may seem a little odd, but indulge me for a moment: how did you escape the palace during the siege?”

Jason felt his heart drop as sweat beaded on his temples. They hadn’t prepared her for this and it was going to be their downfall.

Y/N’s squinted and her eyes grew distant as she thought over her answer. “We were in the playroom because I had forgotten my music box. Grandma followed me because she was afraid I would get left behind. We were trapped in there. The soldiers were coming down the hall, but a boy appeared out of the wall and showed us the way out.” Y/N scoffed as she finished the thought. “Sorry, ‘a boy appeared out of the wall’? What kind of answer is that?” She chuckled.

Kori just smiled and nodded. She began to gather the tea things onto the platter as she let silence fall in the room.

“So, did she pass?” Roy asked in breathless anticipation.

“She knows things only the Grand Duchess would know.” Kori said with a shrug.

“You hear that, kid? You did it!” Roy said as he playfully poked Y/N’s shoulder. “So when can we meet the Empress?”

Kori’s smile faded. “The Empress had declared she will meet no more candidates claiming to be her granddaughter.”

“But you said Y/N passed the test.” Roy said in confusion.

Kori thought about their predicament for a moment. “Have you ever seen the ballet?” She asked Y/N. Roy opened his mouth to question her when Kori continued. “The Empress loves to watch the Russian Ballet troupe when they are in town and they are playing Cinderella tonight. We have a box at the theatre, in fact.” Kori gave Roy a pointed look as she said this.

Roy smiled widely and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You are the most beautiful intelligent woman I have ever met, Kori.”

Jason faked a smile as he left the house. His head was reeling as he took a seat on a nearby bench. Titus, who had been left outside during the interview, ambled up to him and nudged his leg. Jason absentmindedly scratched his head as he gathered his thoughts.

“She’s the real thing, Titus, we fucking found the real deal Grand Duchess Y/N.” He muttered under his breath. He could never tell her that he had been that boy. The one who opened the secret door for her. The one that had winked at her that awful night when the traitor had crashed the ball. He had found his missing princess and had been stupid enough to fall for her. How was he ever going to let her go?

Requiem for the King

An interlude between Agni’s death and real!Ciel’s appearance at the manor. Partially inspired by @white-queen-lacus‘s candy = ring theory and @dorkshadows‘s magnificent post about real!Ciel being a malicious, Machiavellian brat of epic proportions :) 

- mod Nina

Phantomhive Manor is silent as he walks down the east wing, an expression of mild curiosity fixed on his youthful features. Usually maids and caretakers bustled about dressed in their dull black garb—chamber maids, parlor maids, house maids, and footmen moved behind artificial shadows; they were Phantomhive servants and they know how to disappear.

He turns a left corner, eyes glossing over the original paintings of Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rubens, and Boucher. There’s even a rare Holbein hanging above his mother’s favorite Ming vase; how the earl obtained it, no one knows but the work of Henry VIII’s most celebrated court painter is a status symbol that cannot be ignored and Vincent Phantomhive was ever so fond of his petty gags. The duke of Westminster had a near tantrum when he learned who the mysterious buyer was—Ciel ought to know, he was there the day his father hosted a dinner party specifically for the unveiling of Holbein’s 1527 Lady with a Squirrel and Starling portrait.

“Truth be told, I despise this painting.” Vincent mused after their guests had gone and it was just they two, father and son, standing in front of Holbein’s work. “Unimaginative, dull—and the lady’s not much of a beauty is she?” He inquired with a devious half-smirk.

“Then why did Mr. Holbein paint her?” Ciel inquired curiously, tugging on his father’s hand. “Surely there were other ladies with a face more pleasing to one’s eye.”

“Of course there were but Mr. Holbein is an artist—and not just any artist but one employed by the great king himself. He painted a true aristocrat, Ciel—a woman whose cost far exceeds her aesthetic value.”

Ciel frowned. “So she’s ugly?”

“Oh yes.” Vincent smiled, perfectly charmed by his son’s perception. “Quite. But artists seem to enjoy it when only they can find beauty in monstrosity. It’s a wretched cliche.”

“Then why not paint a wicked woman with a fair face whose beauty actually attracts men?” He stared at the plain faced maid with the sharp nose and dull eyes. A squirrel in her lap. A bird to her side. “Do you suppose that’s why the starling’s on her shoulder? Because she so resembles a tree stump?” Ciel looked up at his father, sapphire eyes wide with curiosity and cruel mischief.

Vincent was mildly surprised by his son’s viciousness—innocent, yes, but vicious nonetheless. A troubling, albeit necessary, trait. He decided, gathering his son into his arms. “Tell me Ciel, who do you think is the most beautiful woman in the world?”

“Besides mummy?” Ciel responded dutifully, with a practiced smile on his angelic face. After all, those were the sorts of answers good boys gave—the sort of answer his little brother might give—and Ciel was nothing if not observant. His theory was further reinforced when Vincent laughed—a rare, charmed laugh that signified Ciel had said the right thing and smiled the right smile.

“Yes,” he nodded, “besides your mother.”

Ciel pretended to think. It was obvious really—the year was 1883 and the most beautiful woman in the world was the American vaudeville star Lillian Russell. But he could never bring himself to admit that since she was, by all accounts, crude, careless, classless, and vulgar. Always a perpetual fixation in the American tabloids, making sure photographers caught sight of her in either a new bodice or with a new beau, it didn’t really matter—they were both fairly changeable when it came to Lillian Russell. In Ciel’s opinion, a lady should be two things—beautiful and loyal. And he already had someone like that.

“I think Lizzy’s prettiest.” He answered at last—and, while Ciel was certainly no pillar of veritable truth, he was at least being sincere. Lizzy was pretty and wonderful and fun to be around—much more fun than his sickly younger brother who could do little more than snivel in his bed and beg for a story.

It was a shame for him to put up with but Ciel had decided long ago that he would be the perfect heir, and being the perfect heir meant all sorts of things. It meant being intelligent, well-spoken, clever, cosmopolitan, courteous, and kind. Society, it seemed, liked kind people and while Ciel didn’t think you could get very far by exposing your bleeding heart every day, other people did. And, annoyingly enough, a good majority of those “other people” were powerful lords and businessmen whose influence was something he would one day need.

Thus, it was with careful consideration that, in addition to his daily lessons and time spent with father, Ciel made a conscious effort to be kind—to show empathy and generosity because these were good Victorian virtues. Because it was expected of him.

(But sometimes, when no one was looking, Ciel would laugh a mirthful, misshapen chuckle, because they all seemed so impressed when he did so little.)

These are Ciel’s thoughts as he continues down the hallway to his father’s study, a slight frown marring the perfection of his fair face when he notices how the air has become heavy with copper, how the scent of his mother’s waterlily perfume now rings with a metallic edge.

Strange, Ciel muses when Tanaka does not appear outside to greet him. Has father called a meeting of the aristocrats?

He opens the door himself and barely flinches when he is met by a scene of succinct chaos—cleverly done chaos, his mind corrects, since the room’s furniture is still intact. All the books still lined on their shelves; the coffee table still holding a silver tray and two porcelain teacups.

But the lights are off. The fireplace has gone cold. And Tanaka is not here.

Ciel inhales and nearly gags when the scent of waterlilies and rust meets his nose. It doesn’t take long for him to notice the shadowed lump laying a few feet away from him and as he comes closer, he realizes that they are bodies.  

Two bodies.

One is a man with a sapphire ring; the other is a woman with fair strawberry blonde hair.

Father. Ciel is aghast. Mother.

A biting, brutal stab of realization quickly follows. Someone’s coming—someone’s still here.

Ciel moves forward, approaching the dead body of his father with something akin to frustration. This was the Queen’s Watchdog—the aristocrat of evil—and here he lies, cold and weak and dead. The blood pooling around Vincent’s still form is enough to horrify Ciel because he is still young and because the blood has begun to seep into his favorite Turkish rug. The same rug Uncle Chlaus sent them from Ankara, after wrapping up a case that involved a dead queen, her butler, and a vial of black poison.

Or was it Ankara? Ciel bends down to examine his father’s right hand. Perhaps not—it could have been Istanbul. Still, he winces when he feels a gush of coagulated blood cling to his fingers, this carpet used to belong to Elizabeth of Bohemia—the winter queen herself. And now it’s ruined. Utterly and completely ruined. Ciel grimaces, giving one harsh pull of the hand before the polished sapphire falls free, tumbling into Ciel’s hands as he observes the precious stone with an expression of calm repose.

There it is! He smiles, marveling at the weight of this ring—this symbol of terror and damnation worn only by the queen’s chosen watchdogs. He thinks it strange that such a cold object could radiate warmth as he slips it onto his right thumb. It is, of course, three sizes too big but Ciel doesn’t mind. He will soon grow into it.

He smiles again—and that’s when he hears them. Voices, vague and indistinguishable, coming closer with each second that he stands there, wearing his father’s ring. My ring, he mentally corrects but decides this isn’t the time or place for technicalities.

They were coming.

It is without thought or delay that Ciel opens his mouth, pressing the still bloodied ring to his lips to give it a temporary kiss goodbye. It takes him only half a second to taste the coppery aftermath of his parents murder but he ignores the blood and swallows the ring whole.

Who stole the candy from my tummy? 

“That’s enough Polaris.” Ciel observes, tucking the gun into his breast coat pocket. He didn’t like guns—was never too fond of them and the mess they made. Knives were much cleaner and could be swift as a flying bullet if one knew how to use them well enough.

He approaches the wall and Polaris bows, handing him a particularly sharp incision blade. With one smooth, practiced motion, Ciel stabs the knife below the question mark before stepping back. He is still not satisfied but this will do for now.

“My lord?” Polaris approaches and Ciel turns away from the carved message.

“Let’s go.” A strange smile appears on his lips. “I have a reunion to attend.”

25 Favorite Photographs of Grand Duchess Olga {12/25}

Of both her parents, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna was much closer to her father. Olga idolized her father and wore a necklace with an icon of St. Nicholas on her chest. Though she also loved Alexandra, her relationship with her mother was somewhat strained during her adolescence and early adulthood. Parlor maid Elizaveta Nikolaevna Ersberg told her niece that the Tsar paid closer attention to the children than Alexandra did and Alexandra often was ill with a migraine or quarreled with the servants.

The Isolated Heart

Author: dandelionsandroses (starveinsafety)

Summary: When Katniss Everdeen had signed up to become a servant on The Mockingjay, the shipped tasked with bringing the Crown Prince, Peeta, to the east she had never expected to find herself, shipwrecked and lost on a desolate island with the very boy she had been charged to serve. ‘Historical’ AU, Shipwrecked!Everlark.

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Making Today a Portrait Day

Frohana week - Frozen Fandom Month - with significant contributions from grrlgeek72, hostess extraordinaire.

“Can’t you just sneak up on him or something?”

“Your Majesty, it’s an addition to the royal gallery, an oil painting, a royal portrait, not some slap dash watercolor you throw up on an ice box in the kitchens. I cannot just ‘sneak up on him.’ He and his,” Pieter, the royal portrait painter sighed, “and his animal.”

“The animal is a reindeer, and his name is Sven. He’s part of my family as well.”

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