France. According to Maria Antonia, I’ve never been there, but in reality, I spent three years of my life there. Of course, she could never know that, because then she’d know about Beauxbatons.
But I was to go to France with Maria Antonia. I was going as her personal maid. How she had begged her mother to let me come with her. It was quite pathetic. However, I’m quite glad she did it. I was looking forward to seeing France again.
“Katharina! Aren’t you ever so excited? We’re leaving in just two days. I have been learning French. Have you?” Antonia asked. I smiled at the girl who seemed so much younger, who was to be the Dauphine and the Queen of France.
“My grandmother was French, so I know it well already,” I lied, “I’ve already told you that.” Antonia smiled at me apologetically.
“I’m sorry. I keep getting confused. I am ever so glad that you’re coming with me, though. You’re my closest friend,” she said. I couldn’t help but smiled wider. A close friend of the French Royal family. That was better than my mother had ever hoped for me.
“I tell no one your secrets,” I assured her. She smiled at me.
“Katharina? Will you still call me Antonia, or Antoinette, in France?” she asked. I shook my head.
“My dear friend, I will have to call you Madame la Dauphine, and then Madame la Queen. Or just not call you anything. The French are very strict, I believe, and I should not call you anything that suggests I could possibly be your equal,” I told her. Antonia pouted.
“I will want someone to call me by my name,” she said. I stepped towards her.
“The Dauphin, the King, they will call you Antoinette. When your mother writes you a letter, she will call you Antonia. People will refer to you as your proper name. Just not your servants,” I told her. She smiled slightly at me.
“I hope so. But please, when there’s no one else around, can we talk German and can you call me Antonia?” she asked. I nodded.
“If you wish it,” I said, turning around, “But now I must pack the rest of your belongings.” Antonia nodded, and left me to pack her belongings. I looked around to make sure no one was around, then I whipped out my wand, and soon enough, the rest of her belongings were in the last trunk.
It was ridiculous that this vain little girl was supposed to become Queen of France. But she was an Archduchess of Austria, she was royal. People who were more fitting for the job would not ever get there, if they weren’t royalty.
It was a long ride to France, and even longer to Versailles. We had stopped in the middle where everything Austrian of Antonia’s was taken away from her, except for a few belongings, myself, and the Austrian who was to be her Master of Horse. I was in a different carriage to her, because I was a servant, but that did not matter. Along the way to Versailles, she met many family members. Louis-Auguste, obviously, who was quite ugly and fat. She also met the Mesdames Tantes at the same time. Later, she met the comte de Provence, and the comte d’Artois, the Dauphins brothers, Antonia’s brother-in-laws-to-be.
We arrived, and soon enough, Antonia married Louis-Auguste. She was officially Marie Antoinette, Dauphine of France.
Her mistress of household, comtesse de Noailles, was very strict with the French ways. It was lucky I could speak French quickly and fluently, and was very familiar with the French ways. If not for that, comtesse de Noailles would have hated me, instead of just a small dislike because I was Austrian.
The Mesdames Tantes were awful about poor Antonia behind her back, calling her the l’Autrichienne, or ‘the Austrian woman’.
The worst of everyone in the court was comtesse duBarry, the king’s awful mistress. The Mesdames Tantes, her were perfectly lovely to Antonia’s face, convinced her not to talk to her. I did not blame them. She was vulgar, and no one believed that she really had a place at court. She was only noble by marriage so she could become the mistress of the king, anyway.
I tried to curse duBarry, but, of course, only having gone to Beauxbatons for a few years, I did not succeed.
The worst of everything in France was the fact that, even though Antonia was married to the Dauphin, she was still a virgin. They had not consummated their marriage. Everyone knew how the Dauphin did not show any interest. The court was filled with gossip about poor Antonia. One day, when there was no one else in her rooms, which was not a very common occurrence, Antonia talked to me.
“Katharina, what if he does not like me?” she asked in German.
“That is beside the point. It is his duty to lie with you to make an heir. And, I do not know why anyone would possibly not like you. You are beautiful. Poor, poor, Antonia,” I replied in the same language.
“The king likes me,” she said happily.
“Of course he likes you. The Dauphin just needs to remember his duty. But, what if he is not able?” I asked. Antonia did not look happy about that.
“The crown would go to Stanislas,” she said.
“The comte de Provence?” I asked, though I knew the answer. Antoinette nodded. The door opened.
“Je m'excuse de vous,” I said quickly. She smiled at me, and the comtesse de Noailles came in.
“Madame la Dauphine, you must come to the king’s side, the Dauphin is there as well. We have been looking for you, you know you are supposed to be at your husbands side,” she said. Antoinette stood up, and then looked at me.
“Katharina, could you please take my pup dogs for a walk?” she asked. I nodded.
“Of course, Madame la Dauphine,” I said. She followed comtesse de Noailles out of the room, and I went to put a leash on her pup dogs, and then carried them out to the royal garden. As I walked, I met the Dauphins master of horse, Jacques Delacour. I knew him from Beauxbatons.
“Katharina, it’s a lovely day, isn’t it?” he asked. I nodded.
“Hello, Jacques. Yes, it is. The Dauphine has asked me to take her pup dogs for a walk,” I said. Jacques looked down at them.
“There are so many of them. Would you like me to help you with them?” he asked.
“Can you be trusted?” I asked, a smile playing on my lips. Jacques shrugged.
“The Dauphin trusts me with his horses. The king trusts me to look after the Dauphin when he goes riding. And you know me from Beauxbatons,” he said, as he took the leashes of two of the dogs. I looked around to make sure no one could hear.
“Jacques! Do not talk about that here!” I exclaimed, “Can you speak German?”
“Yes. And Italian, Spanish, and English, my Maman made sure I could speak plenty of languages,” Jacques said, frowning, “But what has that go to do with anything?”
“If you must talk about Beauxbatons, talk about it in German, and make sure Antonia and any other Austrian aren’t around,” I snapped in German. Jacques raised an eyebrow.
“You call her Antonia in German?” he asked, but at least talking in German. I nodded.
“She asked me to. And besides, I have been her maid for two years, and I am her most trusted servant,” I told him, drawing myself up proudly.
“Ever since you left Beauxbatons,” he replied. I inclined my head to say yes. The Mesdames Tantes were heading in our direction. They would not talk to us, but we needed to start talking in French.
“How long have you been the Dauphin’s master of horse?” I asked in French. He gave me a questioning look, then saw the Mesdames Tantes.
“About a year. Definitely before the Dauphine came,” he replied. At this point the Mesdames Tantes went past us.
“-It’s such a political scandal,” said one.
“I’m so glad she hasn’t talked to duBarry yet-” started another. I glanced at Jacques.
“Thank you so very much for your help with the Dauphine’s pup dogs. I’ll be sure to tell her how much of a help you’ve been,” I said. Finally, they weren’t in hearing distance.
“They are so horrible to poor Antonia,” I muttered in German.
“I heard. It was l’Autrichienne, wasn’t it?” he asked. I nodded angrily.
“They hardly know her,” I snapped.
“Mademoiselle Koller, no one does, except you, because you’ve known her since before she came to Austria. Not even the Dauphin knows her,” he said. I glared at him.
“I will thank you for not mentioning poor Antonia’s misery. I know everyone knows well about their married life, but I do not want to hear slander against her repeated by you,” I snapped, taking the leashes of the two dogs he was walking, and storming off.
AN~ Well, here's the first chapter. Again, I only added a little French, and anyone who wants to correct it, feel free. You might notice Jacques is Jacques Delacour. Well, I did that for a reason. I was looking for a French surname, and then I'm like 'duh! He can be an ancestor of Fleur!'. So yeah, he's one of Fleur's ancestors. And, of course, Jacques is the only one Katharina can really trust.
Anyway, thanks to doratonks14 who reviewed again when I lost all the reviews for this chapter!
Thanks for reading, please review!
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