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Author: lady_leia_solo
Story: The Mondian Chronicles (Archive)
Title: Journey to the Past
Challenge: Cotton Candy #26: left behind, Strawberry #15: key
Toppings: Gummy Bunnies (#46: past from 100_tales and this prompt from Get Scribbling @ Tumblr)
Word Count: 999
Summary: Her mother had once sat here.
Rating: PG
Notes: This takes place in 1133 when Elisabeth is about thirteen. Her father, King Henri I, is married to his fifth wife: Martine Bauldry. The Valles woman Elisabeth mentions is Noelle de Valles, one of Henri's major mistresses. Anna has been dead for around 8 years when this piece takes place.


Elisabeth turned over in bed. She had had another one of those dreams again.

She sat up and sighed. She pulled the coverlet off of her and walked over to the window. The sun was hiding behind the clouds and it was a bit foggy.

“I was going to ride today,” she said to herself. She turned away from the window but as she did something caught her eye.

She walked over to her bedside table. There was a silver key sitting there.

She picked up it up cautiously.

“What the hell?” She said turning the key in her hand. Where had it come from and the better question was how did it get here?

She looked closer at the key. It had a tiny crown engraved on it and a Q right below it.

“Is this...”

Was it...the key to the Queen's rooms? It couldn't possibly be. Why would someone leave the key to her stepmother's apartments?

She wasn't always the queen.

Elisabeth shook her head. Was the key...did it open the old apartments? The apartments that had been closed off since...her mother's demise?

She looked at the door at the other side of the room. She should wake up Margot. If this key did open their mother's apartments, maybe she would want to see it too?

She started towards the door connecting their rooms, but she stopped. Maybe this was a wild goose chase? She didn't want to alarm Margot...and what if she told Father? He wouldn't be happy that someone had just left the key...or any key out for them to find.

Elisabeth ran over to her closet. She pulled down a yellow dressing gown and slipped into it. She'd go check it out and then report what she found to Margot.

***


She hadn't ran into anyone as she made her way towards the apartments. She passed her father's apartments. She wondered if he were asleep or if he was spending time with his mistress..that Valles woman.

She was tempted to open the door. But she stopped because she knew that her father rarely left his door unlocked and if he did, it was only special circumstances that one would walk into his quarters. That went for everyone except for the Queen and his major mistresses.

So she walked on. The old Queen's apartments were at the end of the corridor. She sped up as she got closer.


She took a deep breath and inserted the key into the lock. She turned and was relieved to hear a tiny click. She turned the doorknob and stepped inside.

Closing the door behind her, she looked around.

No light was coming in as the curtains were pulled over the windows. She walked towards the one closest to her and opened it.

The light streamed through.

This was her mother's sitting room. There were plush mauve couches in the middle of the room. She walked over to them and ran her hands across the back of one. Her mother had actually sat on these couches.

Leaving the couches behind, she opened the door to the next room. There was a cherry wood vanity table in one corner. In another there was a full length mirror. She walked over to it.

Anna Everart had once stood before this mirror. Elisabeth ran her hands around the paneling. She wondered what her mother thought as she stood before it. From the whispers she had caught, her mother had been an attractive woman. Elisabeth turned to the side. Her grandmere had once told her that she was the spitting image of Anna. Elisabeth had scoffed. She couldn't possibly look like her mother.

But as she left the mirror behind and walked into the bedroom, she wondered if it were true. Sometimes she caught her father staring at her with a frown on his face. When he had noticed that she was watching, he turned away.

She looked around the bedroom. In the center of the room was a huge tester bed with mauve covers on it. She walked over to it.

It was dusty but she sat on it anyway. She breathed in. It smelled of violets.

She looked at the bedside table. There was a box on it. She opened it.

Inside it was jewelry. Not the Queen's jewels, of course. Those belonged to the state, but necklaces, rings, and other things.

She pulled out a necklace. On a long golden chain were two initials: AE. Did these belong to her mother?

They had to. Why else would they be in her quarters and her mother's initials were AE, after all. But it seemed impossible. Why hadn't someone took these? Her mother's mother, Elisabetta, had told her that her father had allowed them to take her mother's things. So why was this jewelry box here which was worth a tiny fortune.

She put the necklace on and looked into the box. She pulled out a ring shaped like a rose.

The ring was beautiful. It was set with diamonds. She turned it over and was surprised at what she saw.


H + A= Everlasting.


Had her father given her mother this ring? She shook her head. It seemed impossible that her father had ever been romantic. She knew he was charming, but she just couldn't seem him as the type that would give a gift such as this.

She put the ring on her finger and closed the box. She should be going. Margot would be waking up soon and they would have to get ready to break their fast.

She stood up. Should she take the jewelry box with her? She didn't think anyone came in here anymore and she had already taken two pieces.

She tapped her fingers against the box. Technically it wouldn't be stealing. As the eldest child of their mother, the jewelry legally belonged to her.

So she scooped the box up. She'd tell Margot about the box and the key sometime later.

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