One Month Later
Matilda was proud of her son and the way that he had handled the events leading up to his official rule as king. Sorting out the mess that he had found when he arrived home had been a long and difficult job. For several days, he had sat on the judgement seat from morning to night, passing out penalties to Charlie's various followers after listening to their testimonies and the charges against them. Finally, he came to his brother. The prince had been exiled with the promise that if he was seen within the borders of George's kingdom again, he would be executed without question.
Once the traitors had all been taken care of, the whole kingdom wore black for two weeks in honor of their lost monarch. The days of mourning were difficult for Matilda--a constant reminder of her loss. But once they had ended, the inhabitants of the kingdom settled in to welcoming their new king. The castle was decked with bright banners and the townspeople were in high spirits--eating sweet rolls and waving pennants. The streets were festooned with streamers and flowers. It was the king's coronation day.
The Queen Mother had spent hours with her Ladies in Waiting--doing her hair, picking jewelry, putting on the dress that had been made for this occasion. Now, she was sitting on one of the benches in the gardens, surrounded by a crowd of courtiers and other guests that had been specially invited to the coronation. She looked around and spotted a familiar face. Working his way towards her was a tall, elderly man with a tawny beard and a knobbly staff with a green stone embedded into the top. He was followed by a pheasant and a boy.
"Herford! Amaranth! Er...Devon." Matilda stood as they approached and hugged them both. She looked at the boy. "How's the wizard training going?"
He smiled. "Good! I can move things around now and soon I'm going to learn fireballs! Mr. Herford told me I could."
Matilda raised an eyebrow and looked at the old wizard. He shrugged. "I teach him what he wants to learn."
"You live in a wooden house, Herford." Matilda reminded him.
"Oh, I've fireproofed it. Don't worry."
Jack, Cindy, and Pete Weisgarber approached through the crowd and Amaranth immediately made his way over to Pete. "Hey, guess what I'm going to learn!" He said and the two boys wandered off to talk about their apprenticeships.
"You'd think those two were brothers." Matilda commented.
Cindy looked in the direction the boys had headed. "They practically are. It seems like every night either Devon is over for dinner or Pete is having dinner with Herford." She nodded to the wizard. "Hello Herford."
The crowd started moving into the chapel, where the coronation would be taking place. "Oh! It looks like they're starting." Herford said. One of Matilda's Ladies in Waiting came over and urged the Queen Mother to hurry to her seat at the front. Marissa and Stephen had already taken their places.
The ceremony was beautifully performed and joyfully celebrated as the Castle Joley and her kingdom welcomed their new king to his throne.