"I wish you didn't have to leave, Betha." Marguerite said watching her sister looked around her peach chamber.

"It's my duty, Margot, or so father says." Elisabeth said picking up a severe black gown with a lace on the sleeves.

"I suppose you're terribly angry at him." Marguerite said sitting down next to the velvet case where Elisabeth was busy throwing her clothes.

"I'm not angry. Well that's a lie. I'm seething, but I'm mostly disappointed. I thought I could escape this fate like Marie did."

Marguerite began playing with her fingers. "I don't think Marie is off the hook yet."

Elisabeth stopped and looked inquiringly at her younger sister. "What do you know, Margot?"

"I heard Father discussing it with his council. He wants Marie to marry a Prince of Aestous."

"Isn't there where her mother, Queen Theresa, was from?" Elisabeth asked.

"Stop acting like you didn't know that Betha. You're obsessed with Marie."

Elisabeth let out an impatient noise that sounded suspiciously like disapproval.

"I am not obsessed with Marie, Margot." She said.

"Sure. Then why do you try to look like her, act like her, speak like her. Should I go on?" Marguerite said conversationally.

Elisabeth threw a pillow at her sister. Marguerite laughed and threw one back at her. Before they knew it, they hadn't gotten into a pillow fight. Ostrich feathers went flying everywhere. There was a knock at the door.

"Enter." Elisabeth said, trying to catch her breath, while Marguerite slapped her across the heavy with a particularly heavy pillow.

Helene opened the door. She stepped over expensive gowns and arched her eyebrows at the sisters.

"So I take it, you're getting a lot of packing done?" she asked.

Elisabeth and Marguerite laughed. They looked at each other sneakily and then turned to Helene and began hitting her with pillows.

"I-will-not-play-this-little-game-with-you-two!" Helene shrieked.

She held up her hands in surrender. The two sisters stopped and shook each other's hands. It was well won victory.

"Well what did you come for, Helene?" asked Elisabeth, beginning to pick up her gowns off of the floor.

"Queen Cosette wanted to know how you were faring with your packing. She was worried since you insisted on doing it yourself and I also brought you a visitor." Helene said opening the door and beckoning to the person on the other side.

Princess Vivanna, the youngest of King Henri I's children and youngest sister of Elisabeth toddled in, holding her blanket.

"Viv!" Elisabeth shrieked and ran to her toddler sister. Vivanna held out her arms and was promptly scooped up into her sister's waiting arms.

Elisabeth kissed her dark curls. Vivanna looked remarkably like her mother, Cosette, but like Marguerite she had inherited Henri's stunning blue eyes.

"I missed you so much, Viv!" Elisabeth whispered to her sister. "Did you have a good time with your Grandpere?"

"Yes." Vivanna said, catching a handful of Elisabeth's blonde locks and pulling them. Elisabeth faked being hurt and kissed her round cheeks.

"I'm going to miss you so much, Viv." She said rubbing the toddler's back. She turned to Marguerite and Helene.

"I'm going to miss you all, all my sisters and my troublesome little brother and even Marie. Hell I'm even going to miss Madame Phillipot."

Helene laughed, but Marguerite was silent.

"You'll have Helene and you can always write to us." Marguerite whispered.

Elisabeth bounced Vivanna in her arms and turned to her sister. Her companion since she could remember. She wished she could bundle up Marguerite and take her along to Albabias, but she knew she shouldn't.

"I'll write every day, I promise."

Marguerite suddenly came over and wrapped her arms around both of her sisters. Little Vivanna protested at the closeness.

"I love you, Betha. Always remember that." Marguerite whispered.