A/N: I had these written while I was writing The Necklace, just for fun, but I decided to post them for everyone else's enjoyment. I'm debating whether or not to post Mia's; I don't like it as much as this one...oh well, if I introduce a character I like enough, there will be another anecdote. Read on!


Ten-year-old Christopher of Harries was more than a little cramped, but the body warmth his twin was giving off was welcomed gratefully in these drafty rafters. He surveryed the scene below him, pushing his loose curls out of his eyes. His father was there, with his King's face on, talking to Lord Jamison. Amelia's hand crept into his, and he squeezed it reassuringly. Conversation drifted towards them.

"...understand what the obligations are? I will not stand for a flighty child to train, I warn you. With all due respect." The gravelly tones, more than a little angry, must have been the lord's.

"Jamison, Amelia is hardly ignorant. She has been raised in court, and the two princes are in training. And excelling, are they not? The prince Christopher will be there with her also, and this is her one desire. Perhaps if you talked to her, you would see." The deep, commanding boom was his father's voice. He had heard it so very many times, but rarely directed at Chris himself.

"Talk to a girl of ten? I will not. I hardly question your orders on a daily basis, Majesty, but I put my foot down now. A girl, even your girl, would be a hinderance, not an asset! I've seen the Crown Princess, the lady Samantha. I'll not have a girl primping and acting the princess in my barracks, sire, and that is my final word!" His father looked angry, but the lord looked angrier. Finally, his father spoke, in a calm, even tone.

"I wish to have Amelia train. You may speak to her as you will, inform her of any rules you wish imposed, and she will follow them, I promise. You are a valuable asset to the Kingdom, Jamison, and I do not wish for you to tender your resignation over my daughter." For a moment, there was silence. And then, after Chris thought his sister would burst with impatience, the lord spoke again, stonefaced.

"Nor do I, sire. I will allow the princess to train, on certain conditions that I will make known to you in good time. She will train as the older princes are, no titles, no special treatment for her station or gender. I will decide other rules and present them for your approval and inspection before training starts. If she cannot keep up, or I receive complaints of inappropriate behavior, I ask permission to dismiss her."

"You have it. You are dismissed, my lord, with my thanks." The lord bowed stiffly and retreated. Moments later, his father did the same. Once he was gone, Mia hugged Chris so tightly he thought he would burst.

"Chris, did you hear that? I'm going to train! I'm going to be a night, just like Carl and Jon, and you! This is wonderful! Splendid!" Chris made her release him with some difficulty.

"I told you there was nothing to worry about, silly! Here, go tell Mother, I want to go watch Carl train." Mia nodded excitedly and scampered down from the ceiling. He followed, a bit more stately.

By the time he was out in the hallway, Mia was gone. Good. He headed towards the barracks, not to watch Carl train, but another errand that he knew his sister wouldn't appreciate if she learned of it. He opened the large wooden door of the plain grey building with some difficulty, and winced when it slammed shut. He faced a long hallway with significantly smaller doors set in it. It was an altogether forbidding-looking place. He had better get used to it though; he could very well be spending over four or five years in this building. Perhaps more, if he failed to measure up.

He shook that thought away. They had already achieved one victory today; he shouldn't think of failure. Instead, he continued on his task, and tried to find Peter's room.

It wasn't a hard chore, just long. Each door had a small plaque with a page's name on it. All he had to do was find Peter's...but there were an awful lot of doors to search.

It figured that Peter would be the very last room. Chris scowled. Did the gods do this to him on purpose? He really was in a bit of a hurry, and had already wasted enough time trying to find the stupid door in the first place. He knocked gently. No answer. He knocked again, harder this time. Peter should be in here, most pages took advantage of the days off to sleep, or work...he knocked more insistently. Finally, at long last, a sleepy-eyed Peter opened the door.

"Chris? What in fate's name are you doing? I was trying to sleep!" complained his friend. "Trust me, when you're a page, you'll understand."

"That's what I wanted to talk about. Can I come in?" The eleven-year-old ruffled his fingers through his already tousled black hair.

"Wha? Oh, I suppose. What do you want to talk about?" Chris came in and shut the door behind him. Then he sat in the hard wooden chair that seemed standard supply for every room.

"Lord Jamison is letting Mia train," he said, without preamble. Peter looked awake at that, eye widening.

"Mia? A girl? Oh, wait, that's your sister, isn't it?" Chris nodded. He had been friends with Peter for a few years, but he had never actually introduced the two.

"My twin sister. She'll be joining training with me. I need to ask you a favor, though." Peter shrugged.

"Depends. What's the favor?"

"Nothing big. I just want you to go easy on her. She's going to need all the friends she can get, and it'll be that much easier if she has one from the get-go."

"Being a page isn't supposed to be easy, you know," said Peter.

"Well, girls aren't supposed to be pages, so there's an exception to every rule. Please, Peter? She's so excited!" Peter considered for a moment.

"Fine. I'll try to be friends. At least, I won't bully her, and I'll try to get the others not to, as well." He made shooing motions with his arms. "Now get out of my room. I need sleep. Good lord Jamie is going to put me on night sentry duty all this week, and I intend to take advantage of every spare minute. Go on, now!" Chris bounced out of the chair and headed for the door.

"Thank you, Peter! Oh, and don't tell her I was here, will you? I'd rather she not know." With that, he shut the door and dashed out of the building, into the sunshine.