I had thought to take a few hours off from the tavern, to concentrate on my writing. Lalla had been asleep when I got back, so I forbore to disturb her and when I awoke, she had gone. Wandering out onto the balcony, thinking I would perhaps sit there and work, I saw the queen was in the tavern and thought I had best go and see if she wanted anything. She was alone there apart from the two children from the night before, who seemed to be finishing off the supper I had left for them. The queen was bemused by them, but before turning her attention to them, asked if I knew anything about Alec’s full moon trip. She was clearly angry about it. I told her that he had not spoken to me, and as I had not had the chance to finalise our business arrangements, I was not involved in this trip. I then explained about the children having turned up the night before, apparently without parents, and not speaking English. I asked if she had seen their like before, but she had not either.
I remembered the times I had been on foreign ports and not knowing the language and started simply, trying to get their names. This much they seemed to understand, the boy being Seven and the girl, Marida. Then Isabella cast some spell that allowed her to converse with them. We learned that they were alone and lost, possibly orphaned, but did not want to go back to where they had come from. While she was talking, I went upstairs and fetched some milk. Again, I wondered why I was so comfortable dealing with the youngsters. Maybe I am compensating for not having been part of Arthur’s life.
Meridiana came in, trying to keep out of the way of the conversation. I could not entirely tell what Isabella was talking about, but is seemed she was trying to convince them to let her cast a spell that would allow them to speak our language as well as their own. Now there was a spell I could have done with, especially in that incident in Rotterdam. I said I wished I had had that when I was studying French at school, but she said the ability had come later to her, after she had to learn French and Spanish the conventional way. The children agreed to the spell, which was given to them in the form of two sweets. We tested this by having me offer them some lunch. Amazingly, it worked.
Brigitte came in at this point and seemed most taken with Meridiana, as if she knew her. It turned into a bit of a double-act with each praising the other’s beauty, to my considerable amusement. It became evident that Brigitte knew Meridiana, but not the other way round, possibly because this Meridiana came from a time before Brigitte knew her. From the way Brigitte spoke of princes and such, it was clear that Meridiana was a vampire, which I had begun to suspect anyway.
Meridiana left shortly thereafter. Isabella asked Brigitte if she knew anything about Alec’s full moon trip, but she did not either. Isabella was quite angry and asked Brigitte to remind her to kill him when he got back, for going on a dangerous voyage while not fully healed from his illness. Somebody is going to be in trouble.
I asked Brigitte about Meridiana because she seemed to know her and she seemed familiar. Brigitte told me that Meridiana had taken over from her as Prince when she left London. Perhaps that was it. I told her that much of those months after she left were somewhat of a blur, having gotten very depressed and dropped out of socialising with our kind. It is true, I really can’t recall much of those days, until I took the decision to leave. Perhaps, along with the Isle of Legacies, the Nexus took some of my memories too.