Conversation Fragments

Fragments of conversations between Margot and her mother Morgana.

Part 1: Occurs the evening after Margot spends the night with Kendall.

"Sweetheart, how was your day? I hear you are practicing often." Morgana compliments.

Margot's face is aglow, absolutely radiant. "My days have been magical… wonderful…" she beams. She sneaks in as her mother is being prepped, pressing a loving kiss to her cheek. She sits close by. "I practice the sword, and I've spent a lot of time in the library and studying for the Ball. I've played with Erin and visited with Barabel…" the last is said with a little trepidation, Margot's eyes going to the women attending to her mother. "And, I've had the extreme pleasure of spending time with Lord Kendall."

Her mother nods and raises a hand, "Ladies, would you excuse my daughter and I. I will summon you back when I need you." With a curtsey they left and soon the two women were alone. "Come and tell me about this young man that has you shining." She encourages.

Margot waits for the attendants to give them some privacy. Rising from her chair, Margot goes to sit at her mother's feet. "Oh Momma. He's wonderful!" she gushes. "He is so incredibly intelligent and enchanting. He has been most generous and patient. And he is so handsome and graceful." Her eyes shine at her mother. "I find him quite pleasing… even beyond pleasing. I'm quite fond of him."

"You sound absolutely smitten, my dear." Her mother compliments with a warm smile, stroking her daughter's dark hair. "But you know such things have challenges. He's of Thelbane." Her mother lets the implication hang.

“I am,” she confesses softly, radiating with affection beyond that which her mother witnessed when she spoke of the boy named Dominic at the Academy. “He is not of Amber, and while this is now my home, neither am I. When we spend time together, it is not Amberite and Chaosian… it is beyond even Lord and Princess. We are just… we. He is Kendall, and I am Margot… and the world with all its rules and pretenses just… fades away.”

"But you are Princess Margot and he the son of a Duke of Thelbane. In your personal dealings, its wonderful to be you and he, but you are the daughter of a king. And you are of Amber. That will make more sense when you walk the Pattern."

"Is he not an appropriate suitor?" she asks frowning slightly. "He told me that he had asked for permission to court me and that you had granted it."

"I did not say anything to counter that, love. The point I make is that you are not just Margot and he Kendall. This will be more than a courtship of people, it will be a courtship of kingdoms. And I need to convince your father."

"If it is a courtship of Kingdoms, would it not make sense to further ties with a potential ally?" Margot asks slowly. "Momma, I really care for him… and I want to officially claim him as my lover…." her expression hints to something more to say, but she hesitates. She is quiet for a few breaths, "Would Papa really loathe him so much to deny my heart's joy? If he could bring me the kind of elation that you and Papa have… shouldn't I be allowed the same? Regardless of where he claims home?"

Her mother gives her a stern look, "Your father could love him entirely and still deny you, if it were for the better of the realm. Take him as a lover but be discreet. Your father and I found our happiness; it didn't start out that way." She softens a bit. "My dear, you are a princess, it comes with perks and prices. But please don't expect your father to give you the world just because he rules. It's much more complicated than that."

"I don't expect Papa to give me the world," Margot utters softly. "I…" she just lets the words trail off. "He makes me feel cherished… precious… beautiful… priceless." She swallows. "We consummated our commitment to one another last night…" It is a quiet confession. "Of course we will be discreet. I… just wanted you to know from me my actions and desires before they become the buzz about Court. It is unwise for you and Papa to be unprepared when whispers make it to your ears."

Her mother looks a little surprised, "Margot, did you use any form of birth control?" She asks frankly.

"He was careful… any seed spilled was not while we were joined," she explains slowly, "But… I wanted to discuss this with you as well. Are there herbs or anything else that I may do to protect us during our loving?"

"That's not using birth control. And he's got one child on the way as it is." Her mother says, obviously vexed. "We will have you see a doctor immediately." Her mother says, ringing a bell and asking a servant to bring her personal doctor to come. In the meantime she will work on a spell to determine if Margot is pregnant."Margot, I appreciate your innocence, but you need to stop being naive."

With Gana's old doctor from Lyonesse being summoned, the spell weaves giving off sparkles of silver and gold as the Queen gestures towards her daughter's tummy. The answer given, not for the moment yet a hidden desire is there… and with a Amberite, that is all it takes to become pregnant.

"Yes, Ruddy." Eifion says, still using the pet name he picked for Gana when she was young and always showing up at his door with this bruise or that scratch. Pushing up his glasses, Gana's welcome gift when he came to Amber, squinting at them both. "Are you throwing up again?"

Margot rose from where she sat at her mother’s feet, watching with dismay as her mother's golden lights danced about her abdomen. “Were it was a planned bedding, birth control would have been used… I would have asked you or Desrianne or someone versed in the arts of staving off pregnancies how to avoid such a fate.” Margot stated through a tightened jaw.

“Last night… It. Just. Happened. We laughed, and danced, and fed each other foods from Chanicut. We sang to each other children’s songs. We told stories and taught the other little catch phrases. Desire tempted us and we embraced her with open arms. Neither one of us expected our evening to end as it did. It just did. And it was awe-inspiring.” Margot explains with no hint of shame or regret.

Her breathing is deliberate, trying to calm her emotions. Her eyes flicker to the ancient man that has joined them. “That is why I’ve asked you about birth control now; so that future encounters do not end with seed planted.”

"It will help if you don't want to be pregnant." Her mother interjects.

It is now Margot's turn to look surprised, "I don't want to be pregnant," she responds slowly, brows furrowed. "If I did, I wouldn't be talking to you about birth control." Margot's eyes flicker once more to the elderly doctor witnessing their conversation.

"He didn't just take me, Momma," she implores. "It was…. it was a decision we agreed upon together. He didn't behave in any manner or employ any techniques to force himself on me or that would make me feel guilty in lying with him. I wanted to be with him. Up until the last moment before we joined he was … gentle and concerned about my well-being… whether our union was what I wanted. At no point throughout the night did he act selfishly… he granted me the freedom to explore him and experiment and the power to stop our play at any point in the evening without pressure, guilt, or shame," Margot explained with quiet passion, eyes shining. "He is a wonderful man."

"Such passion will suit you well when you mix it with your head." Her mother says coolly. "Remember, Lady with whom you speak." She chides. "Of course he is wonderful. He wants to marry a King's daughter."

"I tell you not to wish for pregnancy for that is the one thing that will insure you of a child." She holds up a hand, "You are in Amber and not some Lord's daughter. You are Margot, scion of King Eric and his Queen Morgana. You need to deeply consider what that means and how it plays upon your conduct."

"Am I speaking with my mother or My Majesty the Queen?" Margot asks softly, "I only know how to behave as I have been taught. It was never my intention to disappoint you so greviously. Please, enlighten me as to how you wish your scion to behave… is there a book or something where I can learn this? Someone to mimic? You told me to go and learn… to find my way. And I come to you as a daughter trying to understand these… wonderful feelings I have for another…" She draws a deep breath, calming herself.

Her mother sighs and looks at her hands for a moment, "Margot, what disappoints me is that you bedded a man so quickly." She says softly but honestly. "It makes me wonder how rash you are. I did not see you so."

"I understand I have made a rash choice in what I have done. I am trying to address my errors so as to not bring shame to you or Papa… or further shame. I wanted my lover to be my choice, not some portent that falls from the mouths of babes with guardian dolls. I do not wish to be a pale substitute for a man's desires who cannot have what he truly wants…. Prince or not."

"Maggie, how can you think you would be any's pale substitute…." She frowns and then flushes and looks out a window. "You grow up quickly, I would not have you hurt." She finally says. There is a sigh and she looks at Eiflon before looking at Margot, "You are much like me…very much like me. Please be discreet, Margot. I had not thought the two of you would move so quickly. I need to convince your father of this suit. Do you understand?"

"Of course, Momma," she answers quietly, eyes following her mother's gaze out the window. She is silent for several moments, "Will you tell me how to use the birth control?"

"Doctor Eiflon shall. Let the most skilled, skill you. And understand, my pearl, how we beget children is by wanting them. Wait until you are married. There is nothing romantic about bastards."

"Yes, Mother," Margot responds obediently. She shifts where she stands, swallowing. "Will I be able to share with you…? Or talk to you about things… intimate things? Things that a daughter confides in her mother? Joys and worries? I… there are other things I want to talk to you about… concerns weighing heavily on my mind. I really want your advice…" she lets the words hang in the air, waiting for her mother to give her a sign to continue.

"Yes, if you agree not to bed him again until I've spoken to your father, which will be this evening. I will tell you tomorrow what he says…unless he calls you to him before that," her mother says. And then she smiles and reaches over and strokes her cheek. "Now, tell me everything."

She smiles at her mother's touch. "You know that I care deeply for Lord Kendall," Margot remembers his title. "I would like to talk more of these… feelings… but maybe later. There is something that distresses me… things that I don't think directly relate to me… but they do to Prince Corwin."

Her mother leans forward and takes her hand. "Tell me! Is Corey in danger?" she asks with obvious concern.

"Momma, I saw how you two looked at one another when I first met him only a few days ago." The words leave her lips in a hushed whisper. "I don't wanna to lie with someone only to know in my heart that he hears your name when he says mine." Margot's eyes are filled with dismayed horror; terrified to be forced to be the White Rose's lover, terrified to see how her mother feels for another man. "Am I bound to be his lover regardless of my personal feelings? Is this the expectation because I agreed to accept Greyswandir as my swordmaster? I… I don't… If that was the cost for accepting such a gift, I will return it now and release Greyswandir of her obligation…" The look in Margot's eyes is near panic. "I accepted her tutelege with the understanding of committing three hours a day, nothing more."

Her fair skin takes on a greyness. "Oh Margot…" she shakes her head. "Its not…" She stops and starts and then says in a whisper. "He's not my lover. My oath on it. He is not nor has he been."

She breathes deeply for several seconds, regaining some composure. "To say Corwin is a poor match for you is an understatement. He's a poor match for any woman." She laughs nervously and then clears her throat. "When I first became pregnant with your sister Erin, I was very depressed. Sometimes that happens to women, the hormones and all." She explains, "Corwin's lady, Lorraine, was also with child. We had something in common. And Corwin and I became friends. He kept me from the dark places in my mind. Later when she died, I returned that."

Her mother straightens her shoulders, "I will not deny my fondness for him or that there is some attraction." She smiles a bit. "He's looks a great deal like your father and I leave it there."

"And even if I were not in love with your father and devoted to him, I would still not be his lover. Because that would…spoil what is between us." She shakes her head. "But that is beside the point. Of course you do not have to be his lover. I would urge you not to be and now because of your commitment to Lord Kendall, you have all the more reason to refuse his suit."

Relief overcomes her face, and her body relaxes.

"The sword teaches you and that is something that I am reluctant to advise you to return. I will leave that to you to decide. You may consider telling Corwin that you have heard this rumour and for your own piece of mind you mean to be forthright."

Margot nods, finding comfort and logic in her mother's council. "I will see to make an appointment to meet with him sooner rather than later. I do not wish there to be… any misunderstandings between he and me."

"But have…have someone with you. They don't have to hear the words but have them within distance to aid you. I trust Corwin, I don't trust his blade."

"What would the sword do…? Would it hurt me for returning it to its Master? Why?" Margot pales slightly.

[break in the thread]

"Would his loyalties be to you or his house? Which comes first? Which do you want to have come first? And where would you reside?" Morgana asks.

Margot is silent as she contemplates her mother's questions. "I can only hope that he would be loyal to his heart, Momma." She thought carefully. "I know that until he was given leave to return or visit Chaos, he would remain in Amber… given the nature of things, concerns such as residence would depend on the terms of the alliance and agreement. I would like to visit Chaos…" she admits. "I understand that there is a difference between Love, Loyalty, and Duty. I cannot answer where his will lie, only where I want to be in his heart. I know I would be - that I am - more than a means to a political end. But I do not know his answers. Perhaps we can ask him together."

"Where his heart and where his honour lie aren't always the same. Neither of you are just people. You need to consider the politics. You need to see that there is more going on than two people falling in love, assuming he is. He has political ambitions; you need to realize that you further them."

"I know, Momma," she admits with a sigh, "Nothing is ever as fairy tale as it seems. A union with Lord Kendall means an alliance with one of the Houses of Thelbane. This can go far to ease and heal, or it can add greater tension. It is a gamble. It puts a Chaosian in the Noble House of Amber. Of course it advances his political ambitions; but will it not advance anyone's political ambitions that takes my hand?" Her question does not come in defiance; rather her tone is thoughtful, considering all that is being said and asked.

"All of that is true. I just want you to 'see' all of it. If you end up marrying a man you love, all the better, but I'd like for you to be disappointed before a wedding rather than after.'

Margot nods, "I do. I just want to … I want to be allowed to marry to the man I love." She raises a hand, "I know that may not be what is my fate; but, if I have a voice in any of the decisions to be made… I'd rather he be someone I know and have a fondness for," she replies softly.

"We would want that for you as well." She says gently.

Margot smiles, looking relieved. "That's all I ask, Momma. When suitors come forth, and alliances are considered, and negotiations begin, that somewhere in all of that I have a voice, too. I want to have a part in deciding my fate. Whether it be with Lord Kendall," her eyes betray her desire, "…Or another, I want to be active in the process."

Part 2: Occurs after Kendall's final confrontation with Louella.

"I am sorry I've created more stress for you and father," she apologizes softly. "I was only trying to…" she let her words fall off. "Princess Fiona offered her expertise when we first met in Amber…" Margot offers, "I had not answered her then, though I doubt she would find guiding me through the trials of life at Court to her pleasure."

"Its not about her pleasure." Her mother says simply. "Take up her offer. It won't be to your pleasure either, but you need, you must learn."

"As you wish, Mother." Margot responds dutifully. "It was my intention to ask her for an audience to discuss this very issue. I was penning my letter to Princess Fiona when Lady Genoveve brought me to you. Shall I wait for you to discuss this with her?"

"No you may continue." Her mother says with an incline of her head.

"Am I to remain in my chambers until arrangements have been made? I mean," Margot breathes searching for the words, "What are my boundaries while I am being educated and others have to manage the damage and disgrace I have brought to the Royal Family?"

“You won't be seeing Kendall." Her jaw tightens. "Don't ask about poisons or obscure ways of murdering people. Learn about the noble houses, Amber's history and meet the rest of the family. You'll continue to travel with your normal guard and staff."

"Why am I not allowed to see Lord Kendall?" she asks softly, heartache flavoring her voice.

"He killed the woman that was carrying his child last night. She was an honored member of the Knights of Ten Thousand and the Queen's guard."

"What happened? Was it in self-defense? Surely, he wouldn't have murdered someone in cold blood… let alone someone who was carrying his child. Where is he now?" Margot expression becomes confused; concern and horror without any understanding. "What will become of him?"

"You are forbidden from seeing Lord Kendall again. You are forbidden from any contact with him. No notes, no messages, no magick, nothing. If I find you do, I will exile you, Margot." The temperature in the room drops considerably.

"As for Lord Kendall, I appreciate your defense of him. You've known him for how many hours? Did he tell you about this woman and the child before he took you to bed? Why would you doubt he could, given he's the one that put you on path to investigate poison, yet failed to suggest how you should inquire about it discretely. Has he told you what he thinks of Amber and our family? Has he told you his House's part in the War?"

"He told me that poisons were something to be discussed discreetly. I asked if he would share with me and he was reluctant to do so. Why would I not trust the servants of the Crown - your personal physician?" Margot asks, trying to maintain an even tone and her composure.

"As for the war, he told me that Chanicut was involved in the outskirts of the battle itself… and that he personally knew very little of it, save that it was not a topic to be discussed. It is my understanding that Chanicut were part of the planning, but also did not agree with how events were carried out. I've also asked about the War, and yet, no one wishes to give me that vital piece of history either." Margot's tone cools with the lowering of the temperature.

"And as for our family, frankly, the discussion hasn't come up. He finds you regal and eloquent, he enjoys Fiona. Nothing more has been discussed. He finds Amber… static. Only in that Chaos is more fluid. He has done nothing to insult this place, paint a dark picture or try to put hate in my heart for Amber. HE has been the one who has tried to explain the nuances of Court when no one else is willing to spend time with me. HE has been the one to explain different cultures and try to help me through my own cultural shock in coming to a place I know nothing of, have no friends, have nothing to find comforts. I am a foreigner here, no different than Lord Kendall. And at least he has tried to help me learn some of the navigations when everyone else in the family is too busy and foisting me off on assistants, or servants, or other people because I am unworthy of their time." Her words come quickly, though she is careful to not raise her voice to the Queen.

"Ah, he's really very good." Her mother notes, "He's, of course, played on your vulnerability. As for being unworthy…Margot…be realistic. We’re monarchs. You've known this for a long time. You should have learned discretion. Fiona will help foster that."

"Did the child survive?" She asks, calming herself.

Her mother breaks their eye contact, "No." She says softly, "Had I been right next to her, maybe….but even then. He used Logrus on her as he stabbed her in the back with his dagger. It should not have been failed, just the stabbing, it was the use of Logrus that murdered her and the baby."

Margot is silent for several moments. "Are you certain that what happened wasn't out of self-defense and that he was not attacked first? Surely one of the elite guards could have managed a Lord where he on the offensive…" she asks softly, her heart mourning for her loss and his.

"Margot, I am sorry for your loss. I know this hurts and it will hurt for a long time. But you will survive it." Her mother says with some gentleness.

"Mother, please, let me see him one last time… just to say good-bye. For closure." Her voice wavers, and when she tries to meet her mother's eyes, hers are filled with pained emotion wanting to trail along her cheek. "I love him. I know what happened is horrible, but I don't believe in his heart he is a monster… he is gentle. I know this." She pleads. "Please, a few moments alone is all I ask for… and then I will abide by your wishes to never see him again."

"No." Her mother says firmly. "If my mood improves I will consider telling him you said good bye."

"And if his actions prove justified? If he acted in an effort to protect himself?"

"That status will not change anything in regards to you and him. Margot, do you really think someone as 'charming' as Lord Kendall got into that situation on accident? Of course….he's never told you about her or the baby…" She shakes her head. "It seems that he had more secrets than even I guessed."

"I think there are many sides to a story. I believe he was forthright and genuine and sincere when we talked. He answered my questions honestly. About Chaos, Chanicut, his family. Growing up. All of it." Tears escape her eyes. "I don't understand why if he acted to protect himself why I must be forbidden to see him."

The Queen sighs. "Margot, you will never see him again. Do I make myself clear? Do you understand the consequences?"

"You make your self clear, and no, I don't understand. Any of this. He was an acceptable lover yesterday when I told you. Should he be proven innocent or at least justified in his actions, then I don't understand why I cannot love him and be loved by him." She admits, wounded. "But, I will honor your wishes…"

"Margot, you're stretching it to say he was an acceptable lover. You had already taken him as one, you were asking for forgiveness, not permission. I told you I could not guarantee it."

"I didn't realize telling you who my lover was asking forgiveness. I thought you would have preferred hearing it from me rather than someone else." Margot responds simply. Margot's eyes meet her mother's, a storm of emotions rumbling behind them: ache, resignation, distant. There was a time when Margot felt she could confide anything, and her mother would guide and support, love and comfort. In this moment, all of that vanished; she stood before the Queen, not her mother, and that bond that was so strong seemed to crumble. She had much to mourn; the loss of her lover as well as the loss of her mother. Here she was truly alone regardless of what others would say. Trust was a luxury of home; and no matter how many times people told her Amber was home, it was a lie. Everything here was a lie.

Yet, no more tears are spilled in the moment. Margot's expression becomes utterly neutral, save for the slight tightening in her jaw. "If there is nothing further to discuss in this matter, I am certain that your schedule need not be set askew by topics dead." Margot dips in to a formal curtsey, awaiting to be dismissed.

Her mother gives her a long look and then waved her hand towards the door.

Rising, she says nothing, backing out of the room with her head held high and eyes staring beyond the Queen. She exits expressionless, allowing the door to shut silently behind her.

Part 3: Occurs just before Margot walks the Pattern.

A light knock and one of the Queen's attendants comes into Margot's presence.

"Her majesty Queen Morgana."

Her mother enters, walking more slowly than normal but there is a warm flush to her face. She smiles, "He really thinks you're going to sleep at a time like this. Silly man." She reaches out hand. "I hope he's told you once you start, you don't stop."

Margot was found sitting in front of the fire that barely roared combing through dampened hair. It was obvious to her mother that the Princess had just finished taking a bath."He did," she answered simply. Rising, she accepted her mother's offered hand. "Grandpa recommended that I rest and contemplate while I wait for him to collect me."

Her mother kisses her cheek and squeezes her hand. "Have you eaten? It's taxing." She sits on the edge of the bed. "Margot…go somewhere safe when this is done. Perhaps the realm of your birth. But do not stay here."

"I have not, I don't have much of an appetite given all that has happened this day," she admits sadly, the darkness of mourning teasing at her emotions. "What comes, Momma?"

Her mother retrieves a hair brush from the sleeve of her gown and gestures for Margot to turn so she can brush her hair. "Exactly, I do not know, but it will an end and a beginning. I grief for the losses we have experienced and those to come."

"The pattern will give you the power to protect your mind, move through shadow and manipulate it. Use it and all your skills to be safe." Her mother cautions.

Taking her mother's silent direction, Margot sat before her. There was simply nothing as marvelous or soothing as her mother combing her hair. Truly, she didn't know what to say at her mother's advice; a slight nod of her head her mother's reply.

"Was the man you spoke with on the Balcony… was that THE Oberon?"

"I don't know, not for complete certainty. I would suggest you be wary of him as well as of Her. Her display was odd at best." Her mother admits. A change of subject as the thought comes, "Do you have Corwin's sword still?"

"Yes, but only because I have not had the time to return it to him," she explained. "He will need it more than I will…" she rose, retrieving Greyswandir from the place she kept it secreted away. Holding it out to her mother, "Please, you will see him before I will…"

Her mother shakes head. "No, you need it. If Corwin wants it, he will retrieve it. Wear it at all times and Nevermind any remarks. This is about survival." She says sternly.

It was clear in her daughter's expression that she was disappointed, this being all that she could truly off to the war effort. After all, if it could give them an advantage, no matter how small… or even help shore up their disadvantage…

Still, she returned it to its place obediently.

For once her mother sees fit to explain. "You need to survive this, Margot. That sword will enable that. And I know you can use it, be it to defend yourself or what you love."

"But if it may be used to keep Corwin, or Papa or you alive… then it IS defending what I love." her voice caught and she turned away to compose herself.

Her mother puts a hand on her shoulder. "I know. Just keep it until he asks for it back, please." Her mother unfolds her into a hug. "You just make sure you are safe."

Several moments pass in silence. "I understand, Momma." the princess finally replies, resting her head upon her mother's shoulder.

"If you do you are wiser than I, my pearl." She says with love. "Now where do you imagine you shall go once you are in the middle of the pattern."

"I… I haven't given it much thought…" she admitted, breaking the embrace and moving slowly toward the hearth. "Someplace safe, I imagine…"

"To Kendall?" Her mother asks.

She hesitated at the mention of his name. "I … don't know. It is a … consideration." She finally admitted.

"If you will truly be safe there, then go…with my blessing." Her mother says and tries to smile.

She turned, facing her mother. There were tears, threatening to cascade but not yet given permission to fall. Her lower lip found itself trapped between her teeth. Her voice was little more than a whisper when she answered her mother and Queen, "Thank you."

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