The Queen's Apprentice
"You ought not to let her boss you around like
that," Sir Reginald of Lawrence said matter-of-factly as he watched his
friend, Prince Harry, scrub the stone floor at the entrance of Castle Brock.
Harry looked up from the gray sudsy water and blew his brown hair out of
his piercing blue eyes.
"Well, I don't really mind it, Reggie," he
shrugged as he rinsed out the rag and moved on to another stone.
Reginald rolled his light brown eyes and sighed. He leaned forward
in his chair to get Harry's full attention. "Excuse me, your highness,
but you happen to be a prince, remember? Princes don't normally scrub
the floors of their own castles."
"Would you rather I commanded you to do it?"
Harry asked. Reginald's smile quickly faded. "I thought not,"
laughed Harry. "Look," he said, putting down the scrub brush.
"She asked me to do it, so I'm doing it. To tell the truth, I'd rather
wash the floor than be off doing my princely duties!" And with that
he lowered his head and returned to his task. Reginald stood and
shook his head of rust-colored hair.
"Have it your way, then, my friend, but I
am off to more adventurous things." And he walked past the prince into
the castle foyer. The large, open room was rather dark, being made
completely of stone and having small windows. Candles hung on the
walls and from the ceilings, giving off a glowing light and casting shadows
everywhere. Burgundy velvet cloth decorated the mantle above the
large stone fireplace, and burgundy-patterned rugs were strewn over the
"You might at least wipe your boots off before
you go tramping around in there!" Harry shouted after him from the
terrace. He had put down the brush once more and stood up, walking
outside to survey his father's castle. It was a grand view.
The impressively large gray stone castle covered a lot of land. Many turrets,
gables, and towers gave it a decorative front. This was not just
a fortress; it was a home. Green hills stretched for miles and gently
blowing pine trees framed the castle grounds. It was peaceful here,
Harry knew, but he was not happy as he had once been. He felt that
his stepmother, Queen Gabrielle, was an evil woman, but he went on pretending
to be happy in the face of his father and his friend. King Henry had been
ill for months, and he was so in love with her that Harry dared not reveal
his true feelings.
Reginald was so deep in thought, he barely
heard his friend's call. He was gazing up at the portraits of the
royal family above the mantel, hands behind his back. The truth was
that Sir Reginald, cousin to the prince, was worried. Ever since
King Henry had remarried, a change had come over Harry. He no longer
had that look of pride and happiness that he saw in this portrait, painted
just over two years ago. Harry's mother had been dead for many years when
Queen Gabrielle appeared one day out of the misty morning fog. She
was a good deal younger than Harry's father in fact, she was scarcely
older than Reginald and Harry's own twenty years. The whole kingdom
thought she was beautiful with her black hair and bright green eyes. Reginald
had to agree, but he didn't like her. There was something suspicious
about her, about the way she made Harry work like a common servant and
obey her without complaint. And King Henry doted on her. Reginald
was determined to find out why the whole kingdom seemed to be under her
spell. He turned right and headed for the tower.
Still outside, Prince Harry squinted into the distance.
Was there a figure approaching? Yes, it appeared to be a young woman.
Harry wiped off his wet, soapy hands on his white tunic and set out to
"You little fool!" Gabrielle shrieked as she
threw down the heavy volume, Spells for the Sorceress in disgust.
The book narrowly missed the figure cowering on the floor. "You've
mixed it all wrong there's too much wolf's bane." She pointed a
long slender finger, trembling in rage, at the glass vial in question.
The potion inside was turning a sickly greenish color and giving off a
foul stench. "Four months and you still can't get it right!" she
ranted. "He should have been long dead by now!" The young apprentice slowly
got up from the floor, straightened her simple pink dress, and pushed her
dark blond hair out of her face.
"I I'm sorry, your highness," the girl stammered.
"I seem to have mistaken it for the, the worms wort again."
"You certainly have," the Queen observed dryly,
calming down. "Well, clean it up, Petrenella," she said in a sugary
tone, "and just don't let this happen again, hmm?" She put a finger
under Petrenella's chin and smiled.
"No, my lady," the girl whispered, nearly
"All right, then. I must go now, but
I'll return tonight to see that my special potion is ready." With
a swish of her blue velvet cloak Gabrielle descended the staircase and
was gone. Crying softly, Petrenella dumped the ruined potion out
the window, and gazed down the many flights to the bottom. The wild
red roses directly under the window were immediately burnt and withered
where the green fluid had touched them. Wiping her eyes with her
sleeve, she opened the book once more, talking softly to herself.
"Let's see now, hemlock that's the one in the green bottle. Three
drops . . ." She was being so careful to get it right, her brow lowered
in concentration. Just then, Sir Reginald stepped from the shadows.
He had been hiding behind a bookcase watching the entire scene, and now
he confronted this strange young girl.
"What is that," he asked levelly, coming round
the large wooden table where she was working. Startled, the girl
spilled some of the potion on the wooden floorboards, leaving a black burn
"Oh no!" she cried, highly agitated.
"Look what you've done what I've done. She'll be furious!"
She tried in vain to wipe up the remains of the liquid, but only succeeded
in burning a hole through her apron. Flustered, she realized that
Reginald was still standing over her, watching every move she made.
She straightened and tried to look him in the eye but quickly lowered her
gaze. She had never seen such a handsome man before. "Who,
who are you, sir?" She asked quietly. Reginald stepped forward
and put a hand on her arm.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you,"
he began, as he saw that the poor girl was trembling. Surely she
was just a pawn in the Queen's plans. He would not believe that this
beautiful, innocent face was capable of any evil. "It's all right,"
he insisted softly when she still did not calm down. "I'm not going
to hurt you." Finally she looked up into his warm brown eyes and
then gave him a weak smile. "That's better," he laughed. "My
name is Sir Reginald of Lawrence. I'm the prince's cousin."
They were silent for a moment and he realized how pompous he sounded.
Rocking back and forth on his heels, Reginald coughed uncomfortably.
"Now it's your turn," he said politely.
"Oh! Petrenella. My name is Petrenella,"
she said shyly. Reginald held out his hand and she put her small
fingers in his.
"I'm pleased to finally make your acquaintance,
Miss Petrenella." He glanced around the dark, shadowy tower at the
tall shelves of spell books and jars of mysterious ingredients. He
raised a perfectly arched eyebrow. "So tell me, Petrenella, why are
you working for the Queen?"
"Well, I guess you could say I'm a kind of
apprentice," Petrenella began hesitantly. "I I'm just no good at
sorcery! That's the second time today I've managed to ruin that potion!"
She burst into noisy tears as she glanced at the mark on the floor.
"Here now!" Reginald exclaimed, rather at
a loss from this sudden turn of events. "Don't do that!" He
fumbled in his pocket and finally produced a dingy handkerchief.
Leading her to a rickety wooden chair, he gave her the cloth and she sat
and wiped her eyes.
"Oh, I'm dreadfully sorry, Sir Reginald of
Lawrence!" she sobbed. "I didn't mean to cry, but you saw for yourself
how clumsy I was with that poison. Why, imagine what could have happened
if it had landed on you or me, instead of the floor!" Reginald turned
his head sharply in surprise.
"Poison!" She nodded. "Listen
here, Petrenella," he said seriously, "I need you to tell me what the Queen
is up to, and why you're making this poisonous potion. I need to
know for Prince Harry's protection. Will you tell me all you know,
Petrenella? Will you do that for me?" he asked, intently staring
at her face.
"Sir, I am forbidden to tell anyone about
this. She'll kill us both if she finds out!" Reginald shook
"No, never mind that, you must tell me now.
I promise you, you'll be kept safe. And by the way," he added as
an afterthought, "call me Reggie."
"Well, Sir Reggie," Petrenella said, "I'm
glad that I can tell you this, because I didn't want the Queen to succeed
in her evil plot, but I had no one else to tell. She keeps me locked
up here and I'm forbidden to see another soul!" She paused.
"Shall I start from the beginning?"
"Please," he said encouragingly.
"Well then," she said, "I am an orphan.
I have no family left in this world except my elder sister, Rowena.
And really I have no idea at this moment where she is or whether she is
alive at all. After our parents died, we stayed in our cottage, in
a kingdom far from here; Lannika do you know it?" she asked, looking
up at him.
"I've heard of it, yes," he replied.
"We Rowena and I we were the most beautiful
maidens in that land," Petrenella said quickly, blushing furiously.
"But Rowena is far more beautiful than me! Oh, I mean, I don't mean to
say that I am beautiful! Please, you mustn't think badly of me,"
she pleaded. Reginald allowed himself to study her small face the
large green eyes, turned-up nose, rose pink lips, all framed by long, wavy
dark blond hair. She was so delicate, fragile even.
"I think you are beautiful," he whispered.
As soon as he realized he had said it, he turned pink all the way up to
Petrenella blushed even more and stammered,
"Oh, uh, thank, thank you."
Reginald cleared his throat to break the spellbound
silence. "Yes, well, you'd better continue. So, you two were
the most beautiful girls in Lannika . . ." he sat down in the little chair
opposite her and gestured for her to go on. Thankfully she resumed
"Right. You see, Gabrielle was jealous of
us because Prince Ewan, the ruler of Lannika-"
"The Queen? Gabrielle, you knew her?" Reginald
"Mm-hm," Petrenella nodded, getting into her story.
"Yes, she wanted nothing more than to be Queen. But the prince was
in love with my sister, Rowena," her voice softened. "They were to
be married." She paused. When she spoke again her voice was harder.
"Gabrielle took revenge with her magic."
"So she is a sorceress! Reginald exclaimed.
"She literally has Harry under a spell! Oh, but please go on with
your story," he added quickly. She smiled and nodded, looking down
at the burn mark on the floor and swallowing hard.
"Yes, she's a sorceress, from a long line of dark
witches. But all her charms and potions couldn't capture Prince Ewan's
heart. His love for Rowena was true. They decided to journey
to a far away kingdom to avoid Gabrielle's wrath, and I was to go with
them, of course. In fact, I think they meant to come here.
We planned so carefully. Everything was arranged quickly, and we
had only to wait for nightfall. Rowena was leading the horses, two
chestnut stallions, and Ewan and I carried some of the baggage. Castle
Lannika was beautiful in the moonlight. The lake gleamed and the
swans slept as they glided over the silent waters. I turned back
to say goodbye to it all the large cream-colored stone palace, the expansive
flower gardens we had just passed the castle grounds and shut the gate
behind us. When we turned around, there she was, blocking the path.
Gabrielle, she," Petrenella hesitated, then took a deep breath to steady
herself and went on. "She was furious! But it was a cold, unfeeling
anger. I was so frightened! She raised her arm and pointed
her wand directly at Rowena. She was determined to kill her," she
whispered, then stopped. Reginald took her hand once more.
"What happened then?" he asked gently. Petrenella
shook her head.
"Rowena just stood there, ready to fight her, as
if she could. She's so brave like that, so strong, not like me.
But Gabrielle wasn't about to make it a fair fight. One spark from
her wand and Rowena would have been done for." Petrenella looked
up and met Reggie's gaze. "Just as she shot the sparks from her wand,
Prince Ewan stepped in front of Rowena," she said, dully. "Gabrielle killed
him. He's dead." She stood and walked to the window, looking
far away into another time and place, remembering the scene that awful
night. Reginald put his arms around her and silently held her as she cried.
"He must have been a very noble man," he said solemnly.
"He was," she sighed, wiping her eyes again on the
already damp handkerchief. "I think Gabrielle was in shock after
it happened," she continued. "It gave us time to escape. I
dropped the bags and tried to pry Rowena from Ewan's fallen body, pleading
with her to get up and come with me. I was so afraid Gabrielle would
try to hurt us again. But she just sat there, ruining her burgundy
gown with the dew, staring down at the wand in her hand. And Rowena
lay there sobbing, holding Ewan in her arms; she wouldn't listen to me.
We all lay there in the dark, wet grass, it seemed like hours passed.
Finally, Rowena's sobs quieted. She stood up with a determined look,
and glared straight at Gabrielle, daring her to stop her. But Gabrielle
didn't move. Rowena and I lifted Ewan's corpse onto her horse and
took him back inside the castle gates. Then she mounted the horse
and rode off, looking back at me just once." Petrenella was struggling
fiercely to hold in her endless tears. "I never saw her again."
Reginald waited a moment in respectful silence.
He heard the call of a robin in the birch tree near the tower window.
Water dripped somewhere and mice scurried in the corners looking for crumbs.
He could sit here forever with her like this, but they had to press on;
Harry's life might depend on it. "But the Queen how did you come
to be here with her?" he asked.
"Please understand," Petrenella explained,
"I'd never been separated from my sister. I was lost without her,
hurt and confused that she'd deserted me. I wandered into the forest
that night and lay down and cried until I thought I would die. When
the dawn came, I finally slept, exhausted. I think it must have been
near midday when I woke, the sun was shining hotly on my salt-dried face.
And then a shadow passed above, blocking the light. When I opened
my eyes I saw that Gabrielle was standing over me. She had recovered
from the shock somewhat, and though she was masking her fear, I could still
see it in her eyes. Get up!' she commanded me. Where is your sister?'
She grabbed my arm roughly and pulled me up to face her. Where is she?'
she nearly screamed it, she was losing her temper. I don't know,' I told
her, and she could see that I was telling the truth. So be it,' she said
softly, and a new light came into her eyes. You will come with me,' she
said suddenly and decisively. I'm going away from this place. They
have already found his body and it's not safe here. Yes,' she said
slowly with a wicked smile, you will come with me. You will help
me with my plans.' She turned away from me and spoke to herself then. I
shall be Queen yet,' she whispered." Petrenella searched Reginald's
eyes for understanding. "I had nothing else to do, nowhere to go, you see?
Perhaps she would have killed me if I'd refused her, but I didn't even
think of it then. I thought if I could live, I would have the chance
to search for Rowena. But that was over a year ago now, nearly two.
You know the rest of the story." Petrenella folded her arms about her as
though she were cold and sat back in her chair.
"The two of you came here, to Brock," said
Reginald. "I remember the day she appeared out of nowhere, making
everyone pity her for her bedraggled state and then admire her for her
beauty." Reginald searched his memory. "I don't remember you,
Petrenella. I've never seen you before today, or believe me, I'd
have come sooner!"
Petrenella smiled. "Well, she kept me out
of sight, yes. She told me to go hide in the forest until she had
secured her position as queen. I found a little abandoned cottage
there in the woods, and by day I gathered all her potion ingredients."
"Gabrielle must have seduced King Henry with her
potions," Reginald said, putting the pieces together, confirming what he'd
suspected all along.
"I mixed many of them myself," Petrenella admitted.
"She taught me all the rules of sorcery; I suppose you could say I am her
apprentice in the dark magic. All those charms worked on King Henry,
just as she had wanted them to work on Prince Ewan. Gabrielle got
her wish she is Queen," Petrenella said, discouraged. She
fell silent, her little hands twisting the hanky in her lap.
"But the poison!" Reginald suddenly remembered,
standing up. "Who is it for? What does she mean to do with it?" Petrenella
jumped from her chair so quickly that it fell back with a crash.
"Oh, the poison!" she exclaimed. "What time
is it, Reggie?" Both looked toward the window at the rapidly setting sun.
"We've lost track of the hour! She'll be here soon!" She wrung
her hands in distress. Reginald took her by the shoulders and turned
her to face him.
"Then we must hurry. This is no time to fall
apart, Petrenella," he said, looking deeply into her eyes to give her his
strength. "Be brave like Rowena, like Prince Ewan. Now tell
me," he said, taking her hands, "who is the poison intended for?"
"For King Henry," she responded immediately. She
let go of his grasp and paced back and forth across the wooden floorboards.
Reginald blinked in shock.
"The king?! Why, I thought Harry was her target
all this while!"
"Well, he'll be next that is, if he gives her
any trouble," Petrenella said grimly. "Gabrielle wants the king out
of her way. She does not love him and has no use for him now that she's
got her crown." Reginald gaped, he could not speak. He was
trying to think of some plan himself to fix this dangerous mess.
Suddenly his eyes narrowed as realization dawned.
"His illness!" he gasped. "She's poisoning him!" He turned
to face Petrenella. This girl was helping the queen to mix the potions;
she had said so herself. She was helping to poison the king.
Petrenella could read these thoughts transparent in his face. She
spun away from him, praying silently that he would believe her.
"Oh, Reggie," she sighed so softly he wasn't sure
she'd spoken. "I know what you're thinking. And it's partly
true; she tells me to mix the poison, and I do." She turned now and
met his gaze bravely. She was not lying, and she would hold her head
up no matter what he thought. "I've been mixing it wrong now for
months, for as long as she's been asking me to make it. He'd be dead
now if it were in her hands alone. I know he's been rather sick,
but believe me, Reggie, I've kept the king alive all these months."
And Reginald did believe her. He opened his mouth to reassure her,
but before he could, he heard another voice from the doorway.
"I believe you, Petrenella, and I thank you for
the service you have done my father," Prince Harry said as he stepped forward
and bowed his head to her. "When I tell him of this, he shall reward
you greatly." Petrenella was overcome. She was not quite sure
of herself in front of the prince, and some of her shyness came back.
But he seemed such a kind man, and Reginald was there with his hand on
her arm, supporting her.
"I thank you, your highness," she managed to say
as she curtseyed. Prince Harry now gestured to another figure waiting
impatiently in the doorway, a young woman with long blond curls and dark
brown eyes. He crossed to her and offered her his hand. Together
they came into the light, and Petrenella gasped in shock.
"Rowena?!" she breathed, her legs nearly buckling
under her. "Is it really you?" She found the courage to approach
her and touch her as though she were a ghost.
"Petrenella!" Rowena cried.
"You're real, you're really here!" Petrenella
exclaimed, as the sisters joyfully embraced.
"I will leave you to your reunion now," Prince Harry
smiled. "Come, Reginald," he said, turning to his friend. "We
must go find my father and tell him what has happened." With one
backward glance at Petrenella, who at the moment did not even know he existed,
Reginald hurried to follow his friend. Harry had that sparkle back
in his eye, his shoulders were square and his chin uplifted. Prince
Harry was back!
Petrenella worked more quickly and accurately than
she ever had before. Rowena helped her to mix the ingredients, and
soon the vial was ready. Correctly done, the liquid was a brilliant
royal blue color, quite beautiful and deadly. Every
now and then Petrenella would glance at her sister to be sure that she
was really there. Rowena now gave her a reassuring smile and stood.
"Gabrielle will be here soon. It's time I
went downstairs." The sisters shared a hug once more, then Rowena
moved towards the door. "I'll be there, hidden behind the curtain,"
she said. "Don't worry, it's going to turn out all right. I
can feel it." And then she was gone. Petrenella steeled her
resolve. Just these next few hours to get through, and, if their
plan worked, King Henry would be saved. She had just placed the stopper
in the bottle when she heard slippered feet on the stair. Gabrielle
entered the tower room, dressed in dark green taffeta, her bejeweled, pewter
crown firmly upon her raven hair.
"Is it ready, Petrenella?" she asked. Petrenella
placed her own slippered foot over the charred mark on the floor and tried
"Yes, my lady," she said. "I've got it right
here for you." And she held up the vial for Gabrielle to see.
"Why, my dear girl!" the Queen exclaimed, pleased.
"It actually looks like you've managed to get it right!" She took the vial
and examined it in the fading light. "Yesss, it's perfect!" she looked
at Petrenella. "We may make a sorceress of you yet, my dear."
"I have the goblets right here, your highness,"
said Petrenella, pushing the tray forward on the table. "Shall I
pour the wine?"
"Yes," said Gabrielle, smiling, "yes, do."
Petrenella moved to fill the glasses with the dark red wine, and the Queen
carefully measured a few drops from the vial into the right-hand glass.
The blue swirled into the red and then mixed until it was invisible.
Gabrielle replaced the vial in its holder, and as she did so, Petrenella
switched the glasses so that the poisoned cup was now on the left.
In doing this she moved her foot. The Queen looked down at the hole
in the floor and narrowed her eyes.
"Why, this wasn't here when I left you earlier,"
she said. "Did you have another mishap, Petrenella?"
"I I, yes, my lady. I spilled a few drops.
I'm sorry! I didn't mean-"
"Quiet! Never mind, my poor girl. I
spoke too soon. You are a clumsy, bumbling misfit who will never
properly master the dark magic!" Gabrielle was angry, but she reined
in her temper with effort. "However," she said calmly, "I will deal
with that problem later. Tonight," she said, now smiling wickedly,
holding the glass up in the dim light, "tonight, the king will finally
die! And I shall reign supreme over all of Brock!"
Petrenella shuddered inwardly as the queen laughed
evilly. She took up the tray of wine glasses and started down the
stairs. Tonight the queen was allowing her to masquerade as the new
serving maid. Petrenella would get to witness what she had helped
Gabrielle to accomplish. Or she would witness the queen's undoing,
Petrenella thought silently to herself.
"Try the wine, my dear, it's excellent," King Henry
said across the long rectangular supper table. "I've never tasted
any quite like it." He smiled as he raised his glass to his beautiful
queen. Gabrielle's eyes glinted as she also picked up her goblet.
"No, Henry, it's of a different stock, this is.
I'm so glad to see that you're feeling so much better tonight, darling,
so happy! Let's make a toast to your health!" Gabrielle said, smiling
brilliantly. King Henry nodded his head and took a deep draught of
his glass. The queen watched him with narrowed eyes . . . the poison
was so diluted in the wine that it would take a few minutes for it to work
its magic. He'll be out of my way in just a little while, she thought,
taking a sip from her own glass. Prince Harry watched her from his
side of the table. She had drunk some, but was it enough?
He stood up quickly and lifted his goblet.
"And I propose a toast to you, Queen Gabrielle,"
he said. She looked up at him indulgently. My, that charm potion
was working well on the boy. He kept busy with his chores and never
complained. Now he was gazing at her in admiration. Oh, this
was too, too easy. Gabrielle smiled sweetly and took up her glass
"Harry, how sweet of you, dear," she purred.
They all drank from their glasses again. Gabrielle put hers down
and gazed at King Henry once more. Why wasn't the man falling out
of his chair by now? Surely Petrenella had mixed that potion right
this time. It had looked right. If that girl had messed up
her plans again . . . She felt a sudden rage within her, and then
a strange terror. The room was spinning around her. Pushing
her chair back, Gabrielle stood up and glared madly from Henry to Harry
to Reginald on the other side of the table to Petrenella standing in the
"Who what what's happening?" she
panted, clutching at her throat in panic. She doubled over, gasping.
Trying to straighten, she glared at Petrenella and lunged at her with all
the strength she had left.
"You did this, you! I'll kill . . .
you!" Gabrielle cried fiercely, struggling with Petrenella.
Reginald rushed over and freed her from Gabrielle's grasp, as Harry tried
to contain the queen's wild thrashing. King Henry stood by, his eyes hard
as he watched the death of the woman who had tried to kill him. Suddenly
Rowena stepped forward, throwing back the velvet curtain that had concealed
her. She resolutely stared Gabrielle down as the dying queen sank
to the floor.
Rowena!" Gabrielle gasped weakly, her eyes
still burning with fury. She tried to rise up on one arm as she hissed
in hatred. "You should have died that night . . . You should have
died! Not Ewan . . . not him!" She was crying now, hysterical,
thrashing, but her every move was getting weaker, every whisper an effort.
Rowena looked down at Gabrielle, and her voice held
no trace of pity. "Gabrielle," she said calmly, steadily, "You are
the one who will die now. I've come back to destroy your evil, hateful
darkness. To have revenge for Ewan!"
"You cannot destroy me, you idiot!" Gabrielle seethed,
her chest heaving. She moved to pull her wand from her sleeve, but
she could not reach it. Feebly, she stared up at Rowena, her eyes
glazing over, her breath slowing. Everyone stood motionless,
their eyes fixed on Gabrielle. She was sprawled upon the floor, her
dress and hair flared out around her, the crown resting several feet away
from her where it had fallen. She lay still.
"Is she dead?" Reginald asked quietly. Rowena
bent down to search for a pulse at the white throat. After a moment
she straightened and nodded.
"Well, Harry, how do I look?" Reginald
asked as he turned around to see himself in the mirror from every angle.
"You ought to look well enough," Harry laughed.
"You've been looking in that mirror for an hour now at least!"
Reginald looked offended. "See here,
Harry! I've got to look my best! It's not every day that Sir
Reginald of Lawrence gets married!"
"No," said the prince, fiddling with his collar,
"and it's not every day that Prince Harry of Brock gets married, either.
So stop looking at yourself and come fix my collar that's an order!"
Reginald rolled his eyes and gestured for Harry to turn around.
"All right, your highness. No need to
get bossy with me," he said as he stepped back to look at his work.
"Well, it's done. You look almost as good as me!" As the two
laughed, King Henry opened the door and stuck his head in.
"Are you two still in here? Don't you
know the ceremony is about to begin? For heaven's sake, come on!"
Reginald and Harry looked at each other and ran for the door.
The double wedding ceremony between Sir Reginald
of Lawrence and Petrenella of Lannika, and Prince Harry of Brock and Rowena
of Lannika was the most celebrated event Brock had seen in years.
The new additions to the royal family were enchantingly beautiful, intelligent,
and kind. Eventually, Harry and Rowena ruled Brock as King and Queen
for many years, and the land prospered. As for Reginald and Petrenella,
they lived happily ever after in their large estate near the castle.
And neither of the couples ever went anywhere near magic again!
I would like to thank my entire Creative Writing class for giving me their
opinions and suggestions to improve this story. (That includes Terry
Heller!) Also, thank you to Liz Nicklos, my friend and writing center
consultant, for helping me to come up with the ending of this story.