Chapter 4 : The Stable Hand
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Dezzy pulled a gray wool cloak on over her green day dress and stepped out onto the palace grounds. It was cold, and the brisk air chilled her to the bone as soon as she stepped outside, but she started walking anyway. She wanted to get away from her sisters, who knew all of her hiding spots, so going outside seemed like the perfect way to do that. She walked to the lake that was far enough from the castle that she could have some privacy, but not so far that Mistress Helga would send someone looking for her. She sat down on a boulder by the water, watching as the tiny waves lapped up on shore. The water would freeze soon, and then she and her sisters could go out in the snow, and go skating on the ice. The trees had already lost their leaves, and the ground was hard with the morning's frost.
After a few moments of sitting, Dezzy's toes were starting to lose feeling inside her boots, so she stood and not being quite ready to return †inside, she walked towards the stables. She wanted to see of Sebastian had returned, and if he had a letter from her father. It had been a few weeks since she had written to him, and she hoped that he had found time to reply. She reached the stables, and went inside, slowly walking past the horses. She stopped to see a young charcoal gray foal that had just been born, and was laying in a stall with its mother.
"His name is Eyas," a voice said from behind her.
She started and turned around sharply to see a stable hand looking at her curiously. A slight smirk played at his lips, and his warm brown eyes were bright. He had gold hair that grew thickly on his head, and on his face in a short beard.
"It's a beautiful name," she said.
"Was there any particular reason you're in the stable, Princess Desiya?" he asked.
"I was looking for Sebastian. And please, call me Dezzy," she said.
"Well, Dezzy," he said smiling, "He hasn't returned from his trip to see your father yet, but when he does, I'll waste not a moment in telling him that you were looking for him."
"Thank you," she said.†
She wasn't quite sure how to react to this man, and was struck by the humor in his voice that she usually only heard from Bea. He looked to be only a few years her senior, probably four at most. She realized that she hardly knew all the maids, butlers, and stable hands in the palace, and suddenly it made her feel very guilty.
"I- I should probably go," she said, trying to convince herself that she had stuttered because of the cold, and that it was not from the curious feeling she got from this man. "Would you let Sebastian know that I was looking for him? I was hoping that he would have a letter from my father."
"Of course," the stable hand said with a small bow.
"Godric," he said. "Godric Gryffindor."
"Thank you Godric," she said with a smile.
"Of course, princess," he said, bowing again. His smirk was still present, and Dezzy smiled back at him before turning and walking back to the palace.
She liked Godric, she knew that much, and hoped that they could be friends. She could tell that he wouldn't treat her as if she was above the rest of the world, just because of her title, and she was excited by that fact. If he would treat the same way as anyone else, she would finally have something normal to turn to when her life got too hectic for her to handle. That normalcy used to come from dancing, because it was something that she knew everyone in the kingdom could enjoy. But now that her father had taken that away, and she could only dance in secret, perhaps Godric could replace it as something separate from life in the palace.
She walked past the lake, and smiled as she reached the castle. She thought that she could handle her sisters now that she had had some time away from them, and could look forward to going back to the pavilion to see Salazar that night. As she thought if him, Dezzy's heart gave a small flutter, and she blushed for feeling that way. After all, she hardly knew this man, and the first time he had ever seen her, she had been wearing nothing but a nightgown! But then she thought of his kindness towards her and her sisters, letting them come to the pavilion and dance the night away. She knew that they could be a lot to handle sometimes, and being thrown into the company of all twelve of them at once could be nothing short of overwhelming.
Quietly entering the palace kitchens, where she had snuck out earlier, Dezzy shut the door and took off her cloak, draping it over her arm. She crept up the stairs, and decided a quick dash to her bedroom would be best. Without hesitating, she rounded the corner, colliding with someone and falling over.
"Desiya, I'm so sorry!"†
"Lucetta?" Dezzy laughed. She had run straight into the girls' chamber maid. "That's alright, I didn't look where I was going."
"I can agree with you on that fact. Where've you been? Adella and Beatrice 'ave been lookin' all over the palace for you."
Dezzy groaned. "Can't I get five minutes of peace?"
"In a castle with this many princesses, I should think not," Lucetta laughed.
"Well, thank you for telling me. Could you take my cloak for me? I'd better go deal with my sisters before this can get any worse," Dezzy sighed.
Dezzy to the library, where she knew her sisters were waiting for her, and took a deep breath before going in.
"Alright, out with it! That's the second time you snuck out into the grounds, and we know that something's going on!" Bea cried as soon as Dezzy stepped into the room.
"Do you really have to be so forward, Beatrice?" Adella asked in a disapproving tone.
"When our little sister who, may I remind you, is just barely sixteen sneaks off onto the grounds without telling us where she's going, yes I do."
"I could disagree," Dezzy said quietly.
"You could, but it would be a waste of time. And that doesn't answer my question! Are you, Desiya Ravenclaw, sneaking off to see a man that we don't know about?" Bea asked, raising her eyebrows.
"No," Dezzy replied, blushing at the thought of her sisters accusation.
"Then why do you keep running off without telling us where you're going?"
"Have you ever thought it possible that nothing out of the ordinary could be going on?" Clara interrupted gently.
"Exactly! †Nothing out of the ordinary is going on. I went to see if Sebastian had returned with a letter for me, because I wrote to Father. That's all."
"You spent an awfully long time outside to go check if Sebastian had delivered a letter," Bea said.
"Beatrice, listen to me. I went outside to get away from all of you, because sometimes being surrounded by eleven sisters is just too much! And the fact that every time I do anything on my own, you have to go and accuse me of some horrible scandal just proves that I'm right!" Dezzy cried. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to go to our room. Alone."
"Dezzy, wait!" Clara called as Dezzy hurried from the library and up to the girls' bedroom.
She went in the room and shut the door, sitting down on her bed with an angry huff. She knew that her sisters wouldn't listen to her, and would be following her upstairs soon, and she wanted together away. Suddenly, she knew where she needed to go. They wouldn't expect her to go now, in the middle of the afternoon, and it was the perfect place to go for a few moments of peace and quiet. She had to go to the pavilion.
Dezzy stood up, and used all her strength to push her bed aside, and made the gap between it and the wall just wide enough for her to fit through.She pushed the panel on the wall back, and it fell open. She looked behind her, and when no one was coming, Dezzy slipped through the opening, pulling the panel shut behind her. She practically ran down the spiral staircase and through the silver forest. As she saw the bridge and glittering gold pavilion, a smile lit Dezzy's face. She knew that this was where she would have time to herself, and maybe she would even see Salazar. She found herself hoping that she would.
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