Seated on a small wooden stool within the depths of her parents room, Amelia watched herself in the large vanity mirror that stood opposite. The young princess’ gaze drifted over her features idly as she waited, before turning to the small patch of grey scales that marred her otherwise fair skin. Twisting her head a fraction to get a better view, Amelia would bring a hand up to probe at the rough edges of the scales, where they began to creep around the edges of her jaw and cheeks. The scales were firm under her fingers, and rough to the touch – a palpable manifestation of her family’s claim to the throne, and proof that she possessed the blood of the divine dragon
“Don’t pick at it, Amelia. You know better than that”
The princess quickly dropped her hand, looking sheepish as her mother stepped into view. The similarities between parent and child was immediately obvious; they both had the same blonde hair, the same blue eyes, and the same gentle features. Of course, the two were hardly identical. The queen’s face was marred by the lines and wrinkles of age, and she seemed possessed of a lithe grace that her young daughter had never quite been able to emulate.
The queen shot her daughter a dry look, their eyes meeting briefly through the mirror, but said nothing more. Instead, she moved to take up position behind her daughter, kneeling down with a brush in hand. Slowly, she would reach out and begin to run it through Amelia’s hair. The two sat there in silence for a moment, the young princess trying to resist wincing every time her mother forcibly untangled a knot. After several moments, her mother would speak again.
“Amelia, I want you to tell me about what happened the other day. The incident with the stable hand” she would finally offer.
Though she often tried to spend time with her daughter in this fashion, the queen had an ulterior motive for inviting her here this day. The princess, unfortunately, seemed unwilling to comply. She immediately fell silent, shaking her head with no regard for her mother’s task of brushing her hair.
"Amelia" the woman repeated, exasperation clear in her tone. Still, the child refused to respond. Setting the brush aside, the queen would rise to her full height and step around in front of her daughter, kneeling down before her.
"This will not do, child. You are destined for greater things, but you shall never accomplish them if you spend all your time dwelling on a single mistake” she would utter softly. Reaching out, she would gently brush back a stray lock of her child’s hair. Relenting, Amelia would finally look up, meeting her mother’s gaze. Tears twinkled in the corners of her eyes now, threatening to spill forth.
“Oh, my poor dear” the queen would finally relent, pulling her daughter into a gentle embrace. She would pat the back of her daughter’s head gently, cooing softly as she tried to soothe her upset child.
“You have a great heart, Amelia, but will only discover it to be so through trial. Such has always been the way of our family. If you can speak with those you trust, it may very well help to ease your burden. Emotion is not a sign of weakness, no matter what your father may tell you, and a problem shared is a problem halved”
The small child only nodded in response, face nuzzled against her mother’s collar.
Amelia woke slowly at first. A soft groan escaped the princess as consciousness returned, and she quickly buried her head back in the pillows, silently willing the waking world to abate and sleep to return. Several moments passed in silence, before she would finally give in when it became apparent that the opportunity had passed.
Now twenty-three years old and a woman grown, the princess was a far cry from the young girl she had once been. Still protesting the day's beginning, the princess would slowly push her upper body up off the mattress, hair falling about her face in messy ribbons.
"Why now?" the girl grumbled softly to herself, bringing a hand up to rub at her eyes idly for a moment. It had been a great many years since she and her mother had spent time together like that, and now she was awake and aware of the disparity, it was somewhat jarring.
Doing her best to push such thoughts from her mind, the princess would finally throw back the covers of her bed. With a considerable measure of reluctance, she would shuffle across to the edge of the mattress, before finally rising. Dressed in nothing but a relatively thin nightgown, she would take a moment to stretch; a soft yawn escaping her mouth unbidden in the process. Wandering towards the far side of the room, she would draw back the curtains covering her window. Early morning light streamed into the room, and Amelia was forced to spend a few seconds blinking rapidly as she waited for her eyes to adjust.
From the looks of things, the sun had just finished rising, which meant it wouldn't be long until Veikto arrived to rouse her and help her prepare for the coming day. Whilst the former was clearly not necessary today, both her assistance and presence would be welcomed with open arms.