|Maidenday Garden Party|
|Summary:||A party in the butterfly garden at the Hightower, hosted by Prince Dhraegon and Lady Marsei in honour of Maidenday.|
The butterfly garden is at it's most lush and colourful. Sunlight through the fountain spray makes a permanent rainbow. Butterflies and hummingbirds periodically buzz the guests. Colourful banners line the retaining wall so they might flutter in the refreshing breeze coming in off the bay. Two Kites in full flight have been tied to the Fountain's Maiden statue, the one that looks suspiciously like a very stylized Marsei. One is of a Targayen Dragon, the other a resplendant butterfly. They are high enough aloft to stay up. Servants circulate with honeyed lemon water, sweet mint tea, and a flower tisane, as well as small cakes decorated with candied flowers and less delicate bit sized Savouries.
Prince Dhraegon glides into the garden, a vision in white, eyes already on the cakes.
Miranda arrives with the party from the Tyrell estates, the various aunts and maids of Highgarden visiting for both the engagement party and the Maiden's celebrations. Lady Merryweather, a woman not too much older than Miranda herself, carries her two-year old son in her arms although a nursemaid lurks nearby to take the boy should he need attending to. The future Tyrell girl wears a blush rose color embroidered with the flowery sygil of her betrothed's house but the combs in her braided hair are the Merryweather cornucopia.
Marsei has been out in the garden for a little spell already; a few small children — young enough that the act of standing around in polite tedium has not yet been trained — run about already as well, laughing at the kites, and the Hightower lady flits among them, a swirl of soft red hair and airy blue fabric, keeping them entertained.
In comparison to all the rainbow, multicolored frivolity, Leire is a vision in… grey. Her gown, her eyes, the moonstone dangling from her circlet. She's been notably absent from the Hightower court, off on some mission in service of the Seven, her return to the tower as unassuming as her general presence. She's comfortable at the fringes, and it's a little girlchild with red hair that's first to spot her, coming running at the septa and taking her hand and picking up a conversation they must have left off months ago. Leire leads the girl toward the statue of the Maiden, touching the seven-pointed star around her neck as she quietly regales the child with a tale of her travels.
Dhraegon is visibly torn. Cake or Marsei. Cake or Marsei. He opts for grabbing a handful of cakes with candied rose or hibiscus on them and trundling towards his wife, hands open in offering.
Marsei's soft, lyrical laugh rings through children's play. It's only during the spinning of a young girl who can barely speak but decided an impromptu dance was in order that she notices the grey amid the colour; play comes to a slow standstill as Marsei stares at the returned septa. Dhraegon is normally impossible to miss, but she doesn't seem to notice the prince's approach until the child tugs on one of her long sleeves because the dance has stopped. She blinks, brightening at her husband. "Not just yet, for me," she says of the flowery cakes, but smiles down at the scattered children, "but I might know someone who would like a sweet— ?"
Bryn is once again dressed up in his red and black, wearing his Targaryen bastard colours rather than his usual simple Citadel robes. He makes his way out into the garden, his steps a bit more energetic than the adults around him, though he's much older than the other children here.
Miranda's also a bit set aback by the presence of Septa Leire. A guilty look, perhaps. Hesitation. The girl stays close to her family for the moment although she does take one of the cakes to give it an experimental nibble. Seeing as she's not in her own grey and somber clothing any longer, she feels perhaps… shame?
Dhraegon's face falls a little at the refusal of his offering, but then he remembers this means MORE CAKES for him. He beams at her and nods, happily stuffing one in his mouth. He is already chewing when it dawns on him that there was a hint in there. He squats, the layers of silk spreading out like petals of a white flower and holds out a massive hand with and array of cakes in it for the child to choose from. His smile is good humored enough. He never gave much indication of noticing there was more than one septa about the tower just generally and his espression suggests that he is completely oblivious to any tension between the Merryweather and Septa Leire. Instead he waves enthusiastically at the Acolyte, "hello Bryn! We have cakes!
A grey-hooded man with a spear on his back watches some of the children from afar, a small girl and boy in particular, who happened to be siblings. He had been hired to keep an eye on them because their mother was, quote, "going to be drinking far too much wine to be bothered to do such a thing herself", showing yet another shining example of parental aptitude among noblewomen. Then again, Ampere supposed it was still better than fostering them off to some faraway castle across Westeros like most highborn tended to do.
Catching sight of the prince who had fainted several days before, as the man eagerly eyed various pastries, the sellspear felt a bit of relief to see that he had apparently made a full recovery. The last thing a smallfolk who was hiding his Greyscale needed was for a member of a royal family to be plagued by a sudden illness while standing directly in his vicinity. Ampere imagined that his head would be on a chopping block in seconds if such a thing was discovered.
Speaking of which, a woman in grey was certainly catching quite a few glances during her entrance, causing Ampere to wince as he looks down at his own garb. He tended to wear similarly subdued colors because it allowed him to blend into environments better, but in an environment as colorful as this, he was probably better served wearing a jester's outfit.
Bryn's attention wanders up to the hooded man, for a moment, but he soon sees Dhraegon waving, and waves back just as cheerfully, walking quickly over to the large Targaryen. "Brilliant," he says at the mention of cakes. Still, he gives a bow to Marsei, and a small wave to the little girl, "Hello."
Leire and the redheaded child linger at the foot of the Maiden's likeness — or is that Marsei's likeness — for a spell, hand in hand, until the dancing and the kites and the cakes lure the girl away from the septa and back to the fray. Leire stays a little longer before the Maiden, still touching the necklace she wears around her neck, until finally she turns away to face the party at large.
But rather than Marsei or Miranda being the objects of her immediate attention, Leire spies her likeness — the hooded, solitary streak of grey among the colorful cacaphony of nobles — and meanders his way, either aiding or thwarting his attempt to camoflauge in making her approach. "Are you here to celebrate the Maiden?" she asks, rhetorically.
Miranda takes a light cup of wine, watered down modestly, and starts to circulate with her stepmother being nearby. Lady Merryweather says few quiet words to the young woman and she seems to relax a little. She heads towards the Prince and their lovely lady hostess with a soft sincere smile. "May the Maiden's gentle grace and kindness bless you both, Your Graces." Using the formal title for Marsei today. The young acolyte is recognized from their dragon-hunt and Miranda smiles warmly for him. "Oh yes, Bryn isn't it? How nice to see you again," she says. Of course, without her grey hood and somber dress, she does look very different. But the same blue eyes and gentle smile are there.
More than one child scurries over to Dhraegon, hands outstretched. If he's not careful, he'll have fewer cakes for himself. Mid-bite, the small dancing girl notices Ampere as if — to her mind — he appeared out of nowhere, and she points at him as though frightened. "You as well," Marsei meanwhile tells Miranda, smiling her friendly greeting toward the Merryweather as well as Bryn before noticing the pointing; it takes her a moment to discern that the girl is staring at the hooded figure and not Leire. The lady crouches carefully and points at the colourful kites instead, telling some story or another about a dragon with all the scary parts left out (for her sake as much as the children's).
The grey, lightly-armored sellspear raised an eyebrow at the woman's approach, and it only arched further upwards at the question she directed towards him.
"No. Maybe if the Maiden had more coin, I could be convinced." He responded dryly, before shaking his head. "Don't let my lack of faith ruin the festivities for you, though. I'm sure the Seven have done far more for you than they have for me."
Dhraegon smiles brightly at Bryn, "I liked the flowers so much when we got them for young Aelia…. I wonder if she'll come? She did seem to like the dancing at the gardens…." His smile turns to alarm as he remembers the outcome of the Magpie game. Then Leire's movenents or words draw his atention and he gives one of his high pitched semi-hysterical sounding giggles. Seeing a flock of children bearing down on his offering of cakes, he bows to the inevitable with a good natured smile and offers them with both hands.
A rather small grey man (grey clothes, grey hair) who was watching the activity around the fountain strolls closer to the other two figures in grey. A trifecta, even!
But the question was a rhetorical one for a reason, and Leire is unfazed by the response she receives. "She has something more precious to offer than coin," the septa suggests just as dryly in response, her eye ever so fleetingly meeting Marsei's from the distance between them. And then her attention is returned to Ampere, as if awaiting either the explanation for his presence or further elaboration on the slights he's suffered by the Seven.
Bryn smiles back to Miranda, and nods quickly. "Hello!" He looks curious, but has gained enough tact (barely) that he doesn't ask about the woman's change of looks. Then again, the question is pretty obvious on his face.
Miranda is used to it by now. "Ser Loryn Tyrell proposed and our families have drawn a contract in agreement," the former septa says with a tiny bit of an embarassed blush. "We just announced it last week so word likely hasn't gotten everywhere, especially if they keep you busy at your learning," she replies to Bryn.
Some of the earliest arrivals are those who used to live here, and know well what pleasure the butterfly garden affords the smallest members of their party. Lady Rowan of Goldengrove and Lady Bryony Tyrell arrive encumbered by four of the latter's children, ranging in size from a girl of seven to a baby boy who has just learned to walk; a shy young septa whose grey robes only serve to make her stand out amongst the colourful throng; and a pair of pretty nursemaids in matching dresses of Tyrell green, embroidered with that house's sigil. Favourite games are played, favourite bird-feeders are staked out, and favourite treats are begged of the circulating servants, always with the courtesy in which they've been trained by their mother and their aunt.
With five women altogether to keep an eye on the little ones as they wear themselves out, and to pass the baby from embrace to embrace when he's had enough of showing off his new trick for feminine applause, the Hightower ladies are soon enough free to seek grown-up company, arm in arm as usual, at once a familiar and an unfamiliar pair. Lady Rowan's full mourning is relieved only by the seven-pointed star pendant setting her black silk ablaze with diamonds; Lady Bryony meanwhile is wearing fresh, crisp pale lavender linen, emeralds set in gold in a salute to her husband's house colours, and her golden hair in curls. Whenever in their stroll through the gardens they pause alone rather than in company she's seen to lean up and whisper into the recesses of Lady Rowan's black Myrish lace mantilla — and by some alchemy she seems to be transferring something of her ebullient mood as well. Certainly Lady Rowan's expression seems more fluid today, rather than being set in a mask of stoic, determined tranquility: she smiles more easily when she speaks.
All this is not without its purpose. They wend their way by degrees toward their host and hostess and the circle gathered about them, arms unlinking in order that small, perfect curtseys might be offered to the most senior Targaryen prince in Oldtown — even if he is their cousin-by-marriage — and even if he is more thoroughly cake-smeared than any of the children. "Your Grace… Lady Marsei," murmurs Lady Rowan, smiling from one to the other. "It's such a pleasure to see you again, and in your own beautiful garden. The water lilies are blooming exquisitely today, don't you find?"
Ampere carefully watches the path of the grey-garbed woman's eyes before they return to him, and a small smirk formed, hidden beneath his mask.
"Unfortunately, one of the things she offers is apparently not marital vows, which rumor has it led to quite a bit controversey with a member of the Sept, recently." The sellspear notes pointedly, before a voice in the back of his head urged him to cease his cynicism. Usually he had more self-control over his own tongue, but it appeared matters of religion brought the worst out of him.
"Quite a few children here. Are orphans allowed to attend these sort of gatherings, as well?" Ampere asks abruptly, changing the topic. It struck him then that perhaps a holy woman could help him after all, so long as he could tolerate her preaching.
The nondescript gray man raises his eyebrows at the Septa's words about what the Maiden has more precious than coin, perhaps imaginng a thing rather different than the Septa meant.
Dhraegon catches sight of the newly arrived second (or third?) Septa and his head whips back and forth between them as if he's not sure he might not be imagining one.
Once the little girl becomes distracted by imaginary dragons and goes back to playing, Marsei rises slowly to her feet just in time to greet the ladies, smoothing down the front of her gown's skirt although the layers of light-weight fabric have not lost any elegance, for all her play. "Lady Rowan, Lady Bryony," she says warmly. To the mourner in particular, she adds, "The air suits you today, cousin. It's lovely to see you out, especially at the Hightower again."
Or perhaps what the little gray man imagines is precisely what she meant, only with Leire it's hard to say, and her cool, clear eyes betray nothing of her thoughts. She nods at him, when he approaches Ampere and herself, but it's to the latter she responds aloud. "Judgment is the province of the Father Above." His cynical comment receives nothing more than that neutral observation, free of scorn but swiftly offered just the same. Children prove a more palatable subject, and she says, "Celebrations in the Maiden's honor are often open only to women and girls. The festivities at the Maidenday are open to all, not only to members of the court."
Bryn blinks, but then grins, "That's good! Ser Loryn is nice. You must love him if you gave up what you wanted to do." And, to him, it seems as simple as that.
"I do love him," Miranda confesses with a blush. And from his performance in the tourney, it seems he loves her as well. "We are blessed, and I must truly thank the Seven for seeing us brought together." She smiles down at Bryn and takes a sip of her light wine. "We hope to have the wedding here, provided we can talk both our parents into it. But that's a few months away."
Dhraegon is reminded that he's supposed to have duties buy his wife's actions, he rises, hands sticky with icing and custard and goins her, ernestly reciting the memorized greeting, even though surely he has run into Ladies Margot and Byrony about the Tower. "Hello. I am Prince Dhraegon targaryen, it is nice to meet you." After some thought he adds, "Loryn used to not have puppets, but then he got us some for our wedding." This last is said in a tone that suggests 'and all is now right with the world. He studies Miranda, "Do you like puppets? And kites?"
The grey man nods back to the Septa, corners of his mouth twitching slightly.
The grey-hooded sellspear also makes note of the most recent addition to their entourage, giving the similarly colored man a small nod. He then continues to scan the crowds of children as the woman speaks, but the one in particular that he was looking for didn't seem to be there. The child's clothing would likely be of far worse quality than the others.
"How nice of them to be so accomodating. Tell me, do you keep track of the orphanages in Oldtown? There's one that I'm looking for, in particular." Ampere asks, while wondering if the Sept even remotely cared about such matters. Perhaps anyone of any standing could find faith in the Seven, but the hooded man doubted the Seven appreciated the worship of smallfolk as much as they appreciated the worship of nobles.
Miranda glances over when she overhears the word 'orphanges' but turns back as the Clown Prince cheerfully aaddresses her. "Puppets? Yes, your grace. They're quite amusing. I would take the children to see the puppet shows whenever they were playing. And kites? I haven't flown a kit since I was very young, but the ones here are very beautiful," she says sincerely as she looks up to the ones tethered to the fountain. Margot and Byrony are given a smile and a curtsey of greeting.
The hooded man's particular interest in orphans wins Leire's interest in turn. She studies him (as well she can, on account of said hood) with a noncommital look, and then indulges his inquiry. "The largest is funded by tithes received at the Starry Sept, and we of the faith care for the charges ourselves. Some swear oaths to the Seven themselves, when they are grown." Her attention drifts toward the entourage from Highgarden, flitting between some of the showiest of the Tyrells in attendance. "I myself was given to the Sept as an infant."
And then, whatever thought she'd had proves fleeting, and Leire says, "You say the Seven have offered you little; allow me the opportunity to assist you in finding what it is you seek." Or who it is, as the case may be.
A just-perceptible widening of Lady Rowan's smile: "To come to the Hightower is always to come home," she agrees, to a Hightower lady of her generation so fortunate as to have made it her home again. "… The pleasure is mine, in meeting you," she adds smoothly to Prince Dhraegon, as though it were indeed the first time she had set eyes upon him. Beside her Lady Bryony echoes the sentiment brightly, slipping her beringed hand through her sister's plain black silken arm once more. "My lord sent you most particularly his regrets," Lady Rowan goes on, "that the affairs of the Northmarch keep him too much occupied this afternoon to accept your invitation. He spoke of perhaps coming to join us later in the day if he has the leisure. I do hope you will forgive him." In this she seems as sincere as though she hadn't spent eight years of her life avoiding any mention of his name, not to mention the man himself. She has had half an eye on Lady Miranda whilst greeting those of higher rank first of all; she returns her smile now, nodding her head whilst the breeze teases at her mantilla. Lady Bryony mouths a quick 'hello' in her direction.
Dhraegon gushes delightedly, "they were a wedding present from young daevon! He's so clever, isn't he? One for each of us!" Hr must have heard the mention of orphans as well, since he sets a hand on Bryn's shoulder. He is still peering at the Lady Rowan as if trying to place her. Then his eyes go wide with alarm, "Were you in the Manse Garden? The Night of the… the stranger's Ball? Before the Plague?" He steps slowly and with what he likely mistakenly takes for stealth so he is standing behind his wife, as if her delicate form could shield his massive one."
Bryn smiles, saying, "I hope it goes well." Then, he steps back a little, so as to be out of the way was the various nobles speak. However, he smiles up to Dhraegon again as the man places a hand on his shoulder. Otherwise, though, for the moment, he just listens. Though, he does give a confused look at Dhraegon's sudden nervousness.
A hint of concern — paired with something; wonder, perhaps, a certain curiosity — mingles with the near ever-present kindness in Lady Marsei's eyes as she listens to Margot. Her expression drifts to Miranda, however, and she's on the verge of opening her mouth to speak to the former septa when Dhraegon sneaks behind her. She looks up, his height compared to hers allowing her to peek at him questioningly. "The Stranger's Ball?" she ventures toward her husband as much as her cousin. "Would Lady Rowan not have been in Highgarden?"
Ampere considers the woman's offer with a wary look, but eventually nods. "I'm not sure which orphanage he's in, it may very well be the one you just spoke of. A boy, probably around seven or eight, now. Blonde hair, his name is Kaeth. I'm aware it isn't much to go on, but I need to find him." The sellspear stated plainly, but a whirl of thoughts entangled in his mind as he spoke. Find the boy and do what, exactly?
Tell him that his older sister was dead. Tell him that she should have never went to Dorne. Ampere shakes his head, folding his arms tightly over his chest as he looked at the Sept woman once more, wondering exactly how much he could trust her with.
"…I owed a relative of his a debt, once. He's now the only one alive to recieve it."
Miranda's equally confused. She was likely sequestered in a Motherhouse then. She looks at Marsei and up to the far taller Targaryan in confusion, saying nothing.
Leire absorbs the details offered her with a cool nod. "I understand," is all the assurance she gives him, in the wake of his wary gaze. She must already have some plan she doesn't reveal to her new acquaintance. She simply tells him, "I can be found most mornings at the sept. Come and seek me out there. I'm called Leire."
The Gray Man standing with the Septa and the sell Spear has a politely social expression. Is he listening? Who can say?"
With the eyes of so many gathered to her Lady Rowan's lovely features seem to harden into an alabaster mask, her ease turning to caution. Her lips part as she regards Prince Dhraegon in his retreat; an instant later she speaks, answering Lady Marsei. "Yes, cousin, at the time of the plague and for some time before it I was at Highgarden… if I had been in the city, you of all our kin would surely have known of it," she promises her. "Only my thoughts, alas, were with you in those days." Her gaze lifts, cool and blue and quietly concerned, to the prince's face. "I'm afraid Your Grace may have mistaken me for another," she apologises, as regretfully as if it were all her own fault.
Next to her Lady Bryony echoes, "I think we did come to Oldtown not long after the plague, but that was in the next year, wasn't it? Do you remember, Lady Marsei? Just for a handful of weeks," she laughs, deliberately cheerful, "because I had Davith on the way. That's why I remember so well. We had that little suite on the fourth floor with the garlands of roses carved on the door, so I wouldn't have to walk up and down all the stairs."
Ampere grimaced underneath his mask. He didn't relish the idea of setting foot in a place of holy worship. He had accrued quite a large amount of guilt in his comparitively short years of life, but if he was ever going to seek out forgiveness for the things he had done, it certainly wasn't going to be there. Still, if this Leire had the connections and information he needed, he supposed he'd have to overlook the environment he'd meet her in.
"I will. My name is Ampere." He murmurs softly, reluctant to have his name heard by too many. The grey-hooded sellspear then reaches into his satchel and extracted several coins, before holding his hand out to the woman.
"Here, for your help. Though I'm aware you'll likely say something about having no use for monetary or materialistic rewards, so just consider it a donation to your…establishment, if you'd like." Ampere offers quickly. He didn't like owing debts, which was likely why he was willing to go through so much trouble for the one that he currently had.
Leire declines the proffered coin, but without the protestations Ampere predicts. Instead, she suggests, "Make the offering when you have thanks to give the Seven." Not if; when. She's either steadfast in her faith or sure of the plan she's already formulated to reconnect the man in gray — the one she converses with, not the one who surveils them — with the boy he seeks. And then, just as casually as she'd approached him in the first place, the septa moves away from Ampere and melts into the crowd.
Dhraegon scrunches up his face trying to remember, "I was still… dizzy from the tower lighting I think. When young Ormund was so very clever and the twins were there. I think that was Wednesday? And then…it was… maybe Friday? And there was dancing and punch and cakes and I was in the Manse garden… Oh!" His expression clears at the duel explanation by Lady and Lady wife. He gives her a rather sheepish smile as he comes out from behind his wife's skirts, and launches himself at the unfortuneate lady Rowan with sleeves flying behand him like wings as he tries to hug her.
Miranda's not the target of the hug but unonetheless she takes a step aside in surprise. She glances at Marsei and gives an awkward smile. "I must have been out of the city then; how long ago was this? I was surely in my training then."
Marsei smiles to Bryony. "I know just the room. I would have not been long back in Oldtown myself then," she says before turning to Miranda, "but during this… ball, and the lighting of the tower…" Her voice quiets ever-so-slightly, "well, I was still at Cider Hall." Out of the corner of her eye, her curious gaze has followed Dhraegon's emergence from behind her, still wondering who he could have possibly mistaken Margot for; a line of thought rather disintegrated as she brings her hand gently to her mouth, to hide either a smile or a wince as her reserved cousin becomes the subject of a potential embrace.
Ampere narrows his eyes as he watches Leire leave, sighing as he returns his offering to his satchel. Make a donation when he genuinely had something to thank the Seven for, was it? He's sooner toss the coins into an unemptied chamber pot.
Looking back past the crowds and seeing that the two children he was charged with watching were relatively safe and happily playing, he then glances at the similarly grey-clothed man beside him. "Enjoying the party?" He asks quietly.
Miranda ahs to Marsei. She knows where -she- was then. Miranda makes a small curtsey and excuses herself to return to the Merryweather and Tyrell party at hand, leaving soon afterwards with a mildly conflicted look on her face.
The Gray Man murmurs someing to the hodded Man, eyes on the proceedings with the fancy folk.
Ampere strains a bit to hear the whispers of the man beside him amongst the cheerful chatterings of the people around him, but eventually whispers his own response back.
Simply having seen it happen to other people is no preparation.
In one moment Lady Rowan is looking into Lady Marsei's eyes and giving the slightest inclination of her head, a sympathy so discreet it may well pass beneath the notice of the others gathered about them — in the next she's engulfed. Trailing silk sleeves bright against her black silk and sticky prince-hands leaving faint prints, the end of her mantilla slipping from her shoulder as after a moment's stunned rigidity her innate good manners take over and she… hugs him back? Yes. She hugs her cousin's husband, just as she'd make a point of drinking out of a finger-bowl if a guest of hers mistakenly did it first. Social life is fraught with terrible, terrible perils.
The Prince's sticky hands stay in appropriate locations, if hugging strangers can ever be referred to as appropriate. He releases her soon enough, his distress already forgotten, "Do you like cakes? I like cakes!"
It is Marsei's turn to give Margot a subtle look of sympathy, albeit for a tremendously different reason now, as the Lady of Goldengrove is engulfed and thus returns the gesture; but along with the apology in her gaze, there's a quiet amusement and fondness for the perpetrator. She's distracted, however, after watching Miranda go and catching another glimpse of grey; noticing the trio of grey figures has become a pair, she finds herself looking among the crowds for the third, but only spots the septa who accompanied the Tyrells and Margot. Her attention is not long gone when she looks again to Margot, a subtle message inferred therein along with a flit of her gaze to another part of the garden, beyond the fountain. She lays one hand on Dhraegon's forearm, the other on Margot's; the former, after giving a squeeze, lets go, while the other stays. "May I borrow you a moment, Lady Rowan?" she asks — rather, suggests — to her cousin, smiling from she to Dhraegon.
The Grey Man's only visible weapon is a rather unassuming belt knife. He's dressed right on that line between upper servant and gentleman companion. His accent suggest Crownlands lower gentry. He is in middle age and a tad portly from the looks of him. The Gray Man nods to the Sell Spear expression polite, posture casual as he leans on the parapet.
Dhraegon gazes upon his Lady Wife adoringly and turns to Bryn, "Are you in the mood for cakes? And there's lemon water if you like?"
Bryn can't help but giggle at the Lady's discomfort, though not in any mean way. He just knows Dhraegon. The young acolyte's attention wanders, though, still not quite able to keep up the illusion of interest in adult social conversation, (unless it's about dragons, academics, or other such topics of interest), despite getting closer to being one himself. Dhraegon, however, gets his attention again fast, and he smiles, "Yes, please."
The ever-composed Lady Rowan seems not to know what to do with her own hands now she's escaped Prince Dhraegon's; they flit here and there, smoothing her gown unnecessarily, coming up to rearrange her mantilla, hovering in hesitance before seizing upon one another in a grateful clasp and settling before her waist. "I am fond of certain cakes," she allows to Prince Dhraegon, having stepped by now further back from him than she stood before his outburst of friendliness, "occasionally." Thus no doubt cementing her status in his eyes as an unaccountable person. She reacts to the hand upon her arm with a sharp turn of her head to see who it belongs to; but for Lady Marsei and her suggestion she has only a small, warm smile. "Of course, cousin. Shall we—? If Your Grace will excuse me?" This to the princely perpetrator of sticky embraces.
By now Lady Bryony has suppressed both her wild-eyed look of astonishment and her incipient fit of the giggles; all that's left is the concern she can't hide, and open gratitude for Lady Marsei. "I'd better go and find Melarie," she suggests, deftly side-stepping the question of her inclusion in that little invitation. She lays a light hand upon Lady Rowan's other arm just for a moment and excuses herself in another direction with a handful of polite words.
Ampere, seeing that nothing particularly eventful was happening to the group of playing children, idly reached into his satchel and pulled out the beginnings of a small wooden elephant carving. If anyone recalled the dragon figurine he had been working on at a previous Maidenday event, they might perhaps rightfully assume that he was carving Cyvasse pieces. Wordlessly, the grey-hooded sellspear begins delicately shaving off at the elephant piece with a small knife.
The hand upon Margot's arm easily transforms into a loop about her elbow, and the two ladies of the Hightower wander through the butterfly garden, talking only once they're afar from the others, and even then only quietly.
Dhraegon flags down passing provisions and grabs plenty for himself as well as the otthers, by dint of sipply appropriating a platter. He has stuffed two in his mouth in succession before remembering to offer them around to the others, careful to put the platter at the right height for lads and ladies. Lady Rowan only occationally liking cakes earns a sceptical look, but he nods a polite goodbye before babbling at the Acolyte, "How is your next link coming? Have there been any Maester food fights in the dining hall? There weren't any weird feet and the Dolpin art contest this year."
The grey-hooded sellspear eventually progresses in his carving to a level that he thinks to be satisfactory, and quickly tucks it back into his satchel. He then returns to folding his arms over his chest and resumes his silent watch over the two siblings he's charged with. Ampere does little else for the duration of the gathering.
Bryn smiles up to Dhraegon again, and says, "Good! I'm working on nickel, that's herbalism, and platinum, that's mathematics. Herbalism's pretty easy, I already knew a lot, but mathematics is harder. Can't just memorize for that. But it's fun, really fun, doing all sorts of stuff with numbers."
Dhraegon nods, munching cakes as if he is frightened children might decend on him again to take all the good ones. His eyes go a little wide at the mention of Bryn's studies. "If ever you have trouble, you should talk to flox. he's very clever."
Bryn takes one of the cakes as well, taking a bite, though eating more neatly than his older relative. Then he says, "Thank you, I will!" Not that he often needs much help, but he's not going to out right say that.
Dhraegon drops his voice, "Have you… had any more dreams? Aelia… There was a fortune telling game at the Maidenday dance."
And almost right on the mention of her, Aelia appears, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly. She's wearing her usual blue-green dress, not party finery. But with so very many events unfolding lately, anyone might be forgiven for not having a brand new ensemble each day. She appears in good enough spirits, but is uncharacteristically not accompanied by her maid.
The butterfly garden is at it's most lush and colourful. Sunlight through the fountain spray makes a permanent rainbow. Butterflies and hummingbirds periodically buzz the guests. Colourful banners line the retaining wall so they might flutter in the refreshing breeze coming in off the bay. Two Kites in full flight have been tied to the Fountain's Maiden statue, the one that looks suspiciously like a very stylized Marsei. One is of a Targayen Dragon, the other a resplendant butterfly. They are high enough aloft to stay up. Servants circulate with honeyed lemon water, sweet mint tea, and a flower tisane, as well as small cakes decorated with candied flowers and less delicate bite sized savouries.
Dhraegon is all in flowing white silks with certain hair ornaments Peri might recognise, his long sleeves like great white wings. His hands and mouth are already sticky and he is happily shovelling in flower cakes in between talking to Bryn. Flox was… here a minute ago, but now is not in sight.
Peri is walking, in her white dress, holding hands with a large toddler dressed in a more reasonable (for a toddler) Dornish style set of clothing in a pinkish tone with a dark brown top. The child is wide eyed and walking carefully - barefoot like Peri herself. The two seem to just be quiet as they walk, enjoying the warm air and flowers.
Bryn frowns, shaking his head. "No," she answers, sounding not at all pleased about that. Apparently, he likes having those dreams. He brightens, though, at the mention of the fortune-telling game, and very curious, "What happened?"
Flocks of small children hopped up on sugar are playing a wild games of tag in and amongst guests and shrubbery.
Dhraegon blushes to his ears, "I… had a nap. Suddenly." Speak of the bird and she appears. Pale lavander eyes go wide and Dhraegon is all fluttering silks in a rush to reach the Princess, "Aelia! Is all well at the manse?" Dhraegon flashes Peri a worried, pleading look.
"What manse?" Aelia asks vacantly, even as she runs up to give Dhraegon a hug. "Where I live?" she wonders. "I am still there. And I am not to attend other festivities," she says in a mock-serious tone, furrowing her brow. Then she laughs. "But swallows are quicker than other birds."
Peri is very gentle, bending down to whisper something in her child's ear, getting a smile back. She lets him dash off to the other children and moves towards Dhraegon, giving a polite curtsy and bowing her head. "Prince Dhraegon, thank you for the invitation." This is given when the time seems appropriate. The princess is curtsied too and another small bow is given, body straightening and hands resting together.
Bryn smiles as he sees Peri, and says, "Hello!" Then, he looks to the new Targaryen arrival, blinking a moment, but finally asks, curiously, and a little confused, "Why can't you attend festivities?"
Dhraegon enfolds her in those voluminous sleeves and looks rather relieved she's not visibly harmed or distresed, "Well, this is a high nest…. It is true Swallows are very swift. Why are you not to be going to festivities, as Bryn says? Is ought amiss? A magpie seemed to be having a very nice time at the dance…. Have you met Bryn? And this is Peri, who is good at hugs." Peri earns a bright smile, and though he keeps an arm around the shoulder of his young kinswoman, he opens the other arm for a welcoming hug for Peri.
"I'm not supposed to," Aelia tells Bryn, muffled slightly by Dhraegon's wonderful sleeves and his bulk. She looks up at Dhraegon. "The dance was my favorite! But then you fell down and Jurian came and he was angry about being locked in his room." She steps back from Dhraegon and looks at Bryn and Peri. "You are Bryn and Peri," she announces. "Some swallows migrate but they say others do not."
Peri takes Dhraegon's hand, gently, giving him a more appropriate squeeze of the hand with both of hers. Aelia has likely seen Peri in the dragon door for medical treatments and delivery of very high end bath and beauty supplies. She pauses "A pleasure to meet you princess." She bows her head to Aelia, her heavy, voluminous gown a far bit better than a normal small folk garb. "I'll hug you when the princess has finished, out of respect for her personal space." she offers to Dhraegon with a genuine smile. She tilts to look over at the children, rather easily spotting hers and returning the attention to the two Targaryens in front of her. She covers her mouth at the mention of Jurian being angry, attempting to muffle a small giggle on her part. "Well I hope princess that you were not too terribly upset by Prince Jurian being angry." she offers softly to Aelia this time, concern in her tone.
Bryn smiles at the introduction, and says, "Hello." Then, he frowns a little, "That's not fair. You should be able to go to any celebration you want. Well, any public one."
Aelia hops back to get out of Peri's way. "Oh," she says. "I don't like it when he is angry because his words and calls get very hard and then sometimes new rules happen and they are always boring." She tilts her head curiously at Peri. "I'm not allowed into his chamber when you are there, also. But that is an old rule." She smiles at Bryn. "Husbands and wives are also supposed to go together."
Dhraegon assures her very seriously, "I'm all right, Little Bird. Sometimes I just need a nap, and My Crocus was there, so you needn't worry…." his eyes go wide, "You locked Jurian in his room?" And then he is giggling, all delight, "He must have been very angry!" Dhraegon drops his voice to whisper, "If you need to hide for a while, I have a very nice pillow fort." He accepts the squeeze, but looks a little wistful as he agrees, "Hugs later." He explains to Bryn, "They have sent Little Biird south to marry him." His tone suggests he does not approve of this arrangement.
Aelia hops back to get out of Peri's way. "Oh," she says. "I don't like it when he is angry because his words and calls get very hard and then sometimes new rules happen and they are always boring." She tilts her head curiously at Peri. "I'm not allowed into his chamber when you are there, also. But that is an old rule." She smiles at Bryn. "Husbands and wives are also supposed to go together." Then back to Dhraegon and she giggles in return. "He was so angry!"
Peri looks sheepish at Aelia and gets a little red across the face "It is because he does not wish for you to see him in pain. You would not want to see him snapping and cursing at me for discomforting him while relieving the pain in his leg, princess. I assure it." she offers, and pauses "If he would consent, I would be willing to escort you, princess." she offers, bowing again. "Oh princess! That is scandaous! She tilts in, hugging Dhraegon tightly and sweetly.
Dhraegon adds for Bryn's benefit, "Jurian is a swan and they bite." He looks confused by this mention of rules and chambers, but comes to an innocent conflusion, "Well, Peri is a very good healer. She came and gave me tea when Flox was sick." He gives Peri a warm hug.
Bryn blinks, and says, "Oh! You're his wife!" At least some things make a little more sense now. "Still, he shouldn't make rules like that, the matter how mad he is." Though, he nods in agreement at Dhraegon's assessment of Peri's skills, "She could get a healing link from the Citadel easy. If they took girls."
Aelia smiles at Peri. "Escort me where?" she asks. Then she blinks at Bryn. "Not yet! But almost. We were supposed to wed…um, before. But we didn't, yet. I forget why. But soon!"
Peri eyes Bryn "If I could join the citadel I'd have many links, Bryn. I'm quite clever." she offers with a wink. She takes a moment, looking over at the children and stopping for a moment to give a loud whistle, causing her child to jolt out of whatever inappropriate thing he's doing and return to behaving himself. She smiles at Aelia "To festivals or where ever you could wish to go." she offers, looking at them all. "It isn't as if I spend my entire life in the bath house." she offers again.
Dhraegon's tone suggests never if only those in power had any sense, "Just his sister for a little while yet." He says firmly, "They should. The Citadel, I mean. I do not see why a slight difference in the fashioning of the bodice makes so much difference." Dhraegon's eyes stray to the children, "Did I tell you that you and your little one gave me a really good idea and Ormund said yes?"
Aelia blinks back at Peri. "I don't think he should know," she says. "And you should go to the parties with /your/ husband," she says cheerfully, looking at the children and back. "Did you know that when a sailor dies the swallows fly him to the afterlife?"
Peri looks confused at Dhraegon. "My little one? Dare I ask what idea? Because yesterday his idea was we should sail to Tyrosh and buy all their pears because he had pear preserves someone sent as a gift and nuts for luncheon." she offers with a soft laugh. She touches over Dhraegon's hand "They do not accept women because they are afraid the maesters in training will marry the women trying to join and they'll lose two promising candidates to love." she teases. She frowns a little at Aelia "I've not got a husband princess. I'm not certain I'll ever have one." she offers softly, getting pink again. Maybe a little unsure of etiquette here.
Bryn smiles back to Peri and nods quickly. Then, to Dhraegon, "They should! Peri's as smart as any Maester. Keli..isn't as smart as me, but she's smarter than a lot of novices. Don't think she'd want to, but she still proves the point. Girls can be just as smart as boys." He looks back to Peri, looking thoughtful. "Might be right."
"That can't be right," Aelia says. She peers at the child Peri came with. "Are you a nurse?" the idea occurs to her. "Swallows have two or three eggs in warm climates, but in colder places they lay more."
Dhraegon's mouth hangs slightly open and he simply goes blank for a bit, his eyes flat and empty. Eventually he asks Aelia, "What is it like there?" Then he is smiling at Peri, all enthusiasm, "We are planning a children's garden with lots of plants with interesting textures to touch and edible flowers and different sizes of animal sculptues for climbing and soft grass so if they fall while playing it won't hurt to much! When it is ready, I would like you to both come see it." After some though he adds, "I wonder if they make pear cakes? Or pies! I bet the Pie Lady would know." Dhraegon looks cofused, "Why would they leave. Couldn't they love each other in a libray as they would in a garden?" Her tone is firm, "Keli should be whatever she wants to be." Dhrae thinks for a minute, and explains to Aelia, "Sometimes the male bird leads the snake from the nest, but doesn't return."
Peri is quiet for a moment "No, that little boy is my son. I am a healer though, and the owner of the large marble bath house in the old square, princess." She looks at her son, frowning "If I had a huband, I could very easily have two or three more children." she admits to Aelia "It would be so lovely for him to grow up with a sibling to tend him and fend off the loneliness." she's quiet "I've never been properly married. I can make you a pie tart, Dhraegon. Would you like that?" she considers "Keli is aware that she is always welcome to read and learn at my home." she smiles. "I will, if I am able and not stepping on Eonn's toes too much, help Keli in any endeavour."
Aelia looks thoughtful about Dhraegon's snake explanation, and Peri's answer. "In our family, mostly the parents live and the babies die," she says. Then she thinks some more. "Male and female swallows look mostly the same," she informs everyone.
Dhraegon gazes longing into the distance, "Pear tarts…." Dhraegon makes a distressed face and looks in the direction his wife wandered off with the Ladies Margot and Byrony, "Baby Egg vines would be better…." Then his attention is back on Aelia, "But swallows and swans are very different, and might not a swallow be happoer with another swallow… Would you like a flower cake?" He snags one from a passing servant to offer her, "And are you thirsty after your flight?"
Peri eyes Dhraegon "I seem to recall that you enjoyed rubbing my stomach when it was full of that little one." she teases. She eyes Dhraegon expression looking a little confused, as if she's trying to figure out if he's implying things. She … does look intensely confused. "When I was a child, we had these black as coal birds that had brilliant underwings of flamey red and orange that peeked in their tailfeathers. I only barely remember them. In Lys we had colorful beautiful songbirds." she muses. "Cute little blue ones that were tame as the summer is sweet. They'd come eat from your palm if you kept still with a hand of grains."
"Swallows mate for life, Uncle," Aelia says, in a rather serious tone. But then she's immediately excited about a flower cake. "Yes!" Possibly to the drink as well. Then she looks at Peri. "What are there names? Do you know pictures of them? Do you have different birds from us? Why don't we have those birds?"
Dhraegon selects a goblet of the honey sweetened flower tisane to offer his kinswoman just in case. Any implications in Peri's glance are lost on Dhraegon, alas. "Then best to find the right swallow.
A particularly brightly coloured hummingbird zooms past, stealing a strand of Peri's hair.
Peri thinks "The dark birds are from somewhere far from here. I'm not certain where. I was too young to know a name." she admits, pausing a bit "Yes, Essos has far different plants and birds and animals. The birds? Because small song birds can not handle the winds near the crownlands and likely would not survive the passing. Dorne and the stepstones have a few. I would guess that the storms in the sea keep the birds from migrating in majority and that they don't reach the Reach because of the vicious heat in Dorne and lack of foods they eat. You could likely have a pair imported and put in a sizeable cage for your amusement though?" she suggests to Aelia "We called them Blue finches. ah.. Yes I have a book on birds that came in from a friend in Lys. May I drop it off for you on the morrow? It is a very special book and at some point I should like it back." She squeaks in startled surprise at her hair getting tugged. Her hair is surprisingly long and curled the poor thing trailing that long golden brown strand. "We have those too. The red bellied spotted ones that fly from Lys to Dorne at times during the year. Its lucky to sail under them because it means the winds are favorable."
"Swallows defend their nests staunchly near mating time," Aelia says as she takes the cup, eyeing Dhraegon. Then she looks at Peri and reaches for her hand while listening to all this bird information with rapt attention. "Yes, bring me the book!" she says, barely remembering to keep hold of the cup she just took. But while she watches the bird fly off with Peri's hair, she sips from it. "The winds are favorable…" she repeats.
Bryn answers Dhraegon's much earlier question, "Maesters aren't allowed to get married." Something that hasn't really been a concern to him. Of course, he's only just turned 13. Then he says, "Oh! I gotta go, have to be back to the Citadel." He waves to everybody, forgetting the more formal etiquette, in his hurry.
Dhraegon says, "For nest making or flight?" He turns to Bryn confused, "Why ever not? I mean, I know it's scary, but it turns out in the end." But Bryn is going and the big, sticky Prince goes in for the hug.
Peri giggles cheerfully "Apparently they like my hair. If you wear those big sweet smelling orange flowers shaped like this." she gestures a cone "They sometimes will flit and feed from them." she offers softly to Aelia, smiling brightly "But not in your garden, it is too hot and dry for the little flit birds. But perhaps if you went to the maidenday gardens or visited your lovely uncle." she gestures at Dhrae with a smile "You could try it yourself. Just mind not to swat." She shrugs at Dhrae.
"Uncle?!" Aelia asks, perhaps for verification of Peri's story. Then she looks back to Peri. "But mostly I want to see the book." She sips from her cup again. "At the dance there was a cat and it pushed me a lot but it didn't bite me but I would have been too clever for that."
Dhraegon says earnestly, "Our Little Bird is always welcome here. It is… good to have a plan for what to do when you need to fly." Dhraegon's face squinches up, "Was the cat after I fell asleep?"
Peri reaches to take a big cabbage rose out of her hair very carefully, removing the special pin which held i in palce as well, offering it to Aelia. "Would you like this, princess?" she asks, smiling at Dhrae as she takes another out carefully, without asking she shifts around him to pin it into his hair, carefully adjusting his silvery gold hair as needed, preening socially it seems.
"No," Aelia says. "It was orange and it came with the man who followed me and Jurian home. But the cat wasn't there, then. It was there before. Before the game. There was also a butterfly, but that was a person." She looks at Peri. "Swallows eat mostly insects," she says, but it's hard to tell if that is agreement or disagreement. She looks curiously at the pin.
Dhraegon beams at Peri excitedly, "I do love flowers in my hair. Is that why they like you? Oh Little Bird, let's see if it works! Will you let her put a flower in your hair?" Enlightenment dawns, "Oh! you mean the cat that has decided you belong to it now? And Eonn of Rills likely followed you home as he lives there. That was the man that matched the cat. I remember the Butterfly lady, yes."
Peri moves cautiously behind Aelia, with very gentle finger she touches Aelia's hair, watching for reaction "I'm going to pin it in your hair for you. If I tug a little hard, I deeply apologize." she offers, sheepishly. She considers Dhrae's questions "It might be. I know that Dhrae likes to suckle on my finger because of the oil on it tasting good to him. But he eats my lip balms so his opinion can be disregarded." she offers absently, "There you are."
"Yes!" Aelia chirps. Probably about the flower. Although she seems in agreement about the cat as well. She further volunteers: "He said too many words to Jurian and Jurian got even madder. I think it was a bad idea." She stands still for Peri, and seems rather placid and patient about having her hair fooled with.
Dhraegon looks at Peri in alarm for three long beats and then giggles, working it out. To Aelia he says, "Her son is sort of named for me." Then it is back to alarm again, "Are you saying your brother and the cat man argued? That… isn't good. was anyone hurt?"
Peri giggles "I'll let you in on a secret princess Aelia - If you want something from Jurian, wait until after I've tended his injury and given him a leg massage. The lack of pain makes him far more agreeable." she whispers in a conspiracy riddled tone, grinning. "Also my cat well I've two, I've got Thumbkin at the baths - She's hairless and sweet tempered and often swims through the waters. I have Mouser at home. He's large and fat with mostly white but big portions of grey striped fur as well?" she offers. "Wait Prince Jurian and Eonn argued?" she eyes Dhrae wild eyed "Oh my gods I'm sorry. I don't think you would eat my lip balms or take my hand and nervously try to suckle on my pointer finger!" she gets pretty much entirely beet red.
"Oh," Aelia says vaguely, apparently not having followed the suckling conversation at all. Then she nods to Dhraegon. "Nobody fought but I thought Jurian would strike him. Instead he asked a name. The man even followed in the house." She looks curiously at Peri.
Dhraegon explains to Peri, "The Princess of Birds hasn't much experience of cats, cats and birds not being much known for friendship." On seeing Peri's distress he gives her another hug. "A name, Little Bird?"
Peri eyes Aelia "Hopefully he calms down soon." she looks tempted to say more but just leans into Dhrae's big hug, breaking away when her little one runs over to ask her something, causing immediate bowing over as the two whisper - the child asking for a drink. She shifts to get the child a small cup of someting not full of alcohol, waiting and helping the child take his drink. She then takes the glass and sets it away from the clean ones and gives the child a cake, letting him run back over to the other children before returning to stand up near Dhrae and Aelia.
"Mmm, he asked whose man he was," Aelia tells Dhraegon, "And he told. In our house he would cuff a man so insolent on the ear but I suppose if it is not his man…" She rolls a shoulder. "Have you ever seen an angry swan?"
A humingbird hovers behind Aelia, though whether her goal is the flower or her pale hair, who can say?
Peri is quiet, watching Aelia closely, realizing that Jurian may be the one facet of life where being feminine may be a vast advantage.
Dhraegon nods sadly, "They his and bite. I wish… I wish he were a gentler bird. The Cat Man serves our kinsman Daevon. I… really need to talk to them I think. Seperately."
"The Cat Man kept talking to me around him," Aelia recalls, looking at Dhraegon. "When Jurian feels angry, he remembers well…" She either doesn't notice the humming bird or is holding still to see what it will do.
Peri eyes Dhraegon "That.. sounds like Eonn." she offers with a soft laugh out of nowhere "When Prince Jurian feels angry he gets angry, yes but most of the time you can refocus that anger into something more positive and get him to calm down or be aggressively interested in something." she offers, genuinely smiling.
Dhraegon nods, "The Cat Man may have been… worried for you. Because Jurian might have been angry about the trick you played. Daevon and the Cat Man are Very Serious about keeping women safe when men are angry." He nods to Peri, "Eonn was at the dance with a ginger cat that matched him."
Aelia tries to look serious about all these things she is being told about Jurian, whether she fully understands them or not. "Of course he was angry," she says. "But I think the Cat Man was acting badly. Jurian is my brother. Also a swan."
The hummingbird opts for a souvenir. Swoop! One pale Princess hair carried off to make a nest.
Peri is quiet, shifting to sit down, hands in her lap. She shifts her feet up under her dress,looking a bit like a gigantic peony. She just sorta rolls her neck.
Dhraegon says very gently, "The Cat Man likely ment well, Little Bird, though he talks roughly sometimes, and if you ever need help and can not come here, he is a good person to ask for help."
"But it doesn't work like—ow!" Aelia looks up into the air to see the hummingbird make off with a strand of her hair. She gapes at it.
Peri whispers "It likes your beautiful hair too, princess." she offers, startling a little when her little one climbs into her lap and sits there, sleepily snuggling into the layers. She reacts to this by covering him with a few layers of the silk. Unphased.
Dhraegon is watching Aelia with a terribly sad look on his face, "How doesn't it work?" He reaches for a passing cake to nibble, collecting his thoughts, "I am not… clever, but I know this, that I'd never harm a hair on the head of my lady wife, nor speak ungently to her. I would never want to bruise her petals or cloud her sky."
"Small people don't tell big people what to do," Aelia explains carefully to Dhraegon. "It is impertinent. Sparrows do not interfere with owls."
Peri head tilts. She sort of pauses ".. Are you saying I can shout at people and tell them what to do or that I shouldn't tell people what to do? I'm very confused." she offers, head tilting the other way.
Dhraegon listens carefully to Aelia, then asks softly, "But might not an Owl protect a Sparrow if they made friends?" He gives Peri an encouraging smile.
Aelia looks confused, too. "Owls eat sparrows," she says to Dhraegon, blinking slowly. Then she looks at Peri. "I don't know what you are, but people without shoes are usually small unless it is a special kind of dance."
Peri eyes Aelia "Shoes are not common in Essos unless you are very very rich." she eyes Aelia "And my only slippers are white silk, and I do not wish to ruin them I don't think that my heavy leather boots would be appropriate on my feet. Also cool grass feels lovely on the feet." she offers, rubbing her son's back.
Dhraegon winces at Aelia's remark about shoes and smallness.
"I don't know the ways of people from far away," Aelia says. "Only the Crownlands. So perhaps you are a princess in your place and then it is all right to scold people below you. …Swallows hunt insects on the wing."
Peri is quiet "I doubt I was ever a princess, but I've been many things." she offers, looking a little uncomfortable "I did not have shoes until I was stolen. I was no more important to my former owner than a book to you." she offers, a hint of something in her voice. Wether she's getting cross or sad is hidden as best she can.
Dhraegon lays a gentle hand on Peri's shoulder, "Peri is a friend. There is room for many birds under my wings."
"Yes," Aelia agrees to Dhraegon, bobbing her head. "They all have their parts. Some eat bugs in the ground and some eat mice. And some eat the eggs of other birds."
Peri frowns at Dhrae a little "Should I be going, I'm likely breaking ettiquette by conversing." she murmurs, rather defensively holding her sleeping child, maybe a little over protectively "And many thanks again for the toy sword. He's terrorizing our home with it."she mumbles.
Dhraegon looks at Peri in some distress, "I will have Flox send more cakes around. I am glad you came to visit, Peri, and I will tell you when the garden is flowers instead of mud."
"Some birds like mud," Aelia puts in helpfully. She does not seem to share anyone else's unhappy feelings.
Peri sort of looks at Aelia, looking offended. Head tilting again. She slowly stands up, adjusting the child and shifting her arm to wrap over Dhraegon' shoulder, rubbing cheek to cheek "I'm glad I came too. I'm very glad that little Dhrae had a lovely time." she coos reassuringly, reaching to squeeze a little tighter for a moment. "I think.. I should likely be going.." she offers,giving Aelia a half assed bow, due to the child and not offering her hand, instead resting it on the child's back in a shielding way.
Dhraegon studies Aelia, "What sort of bird am I?" And then he is hugging Peri again, careful not to squish Little Dhrae. "I hope you'll visit more. I know I live in the clouds now, but we are still friends."
"Goodbye," Aelia says cheerfully to Peri, blinking once or twice at her with rounded eyes. Then she smiles at Dhraegon. "A big white owl," she answers artlessly.
Peri is quiet "I shall. Ah I'll be by maybe in the evening. I have a new oil I want you to try for me, it is sent from an island in slavers' bay and I felt it was a bit thin but it may appeal to you Westerosi sorts, with thinner hair strands and more delicate complexions." she murmurs, waving and starting off, hefting the child without any real effort.
Dhraegon pleads with Aelia, "But you must know that Owl or not, birds of our House are safe with me and I'd never hurt you, swallow or not!" He gives the departing Peri a friendly wave, then turns back to his kinswoman, "Did you want to roost here for the night, Little bird, or are you flying home."
Aelia moves to give Dhraegon a hug. "I will go home. Mae is pretending to be me in my room! She will want to go to her own quarters." She beams.
Dhraegon hugs Aelia as warmly as ever, "Let me send for a cart and walk you to it. It is a long walk and you have had a busy day, Little bird. Shall I send some cakes home with you too?"
"Yes, a cart and cakes!" Aelia requests with a post-hug hop. Hiding the cakes will be the next problem to be solved… "You are a good uncle. I am always happy about you."
Dhraegon says, "Oh good! I will have my cart brought specially. It is a very soft nest full of pillows! I am very happy about you, Little Bird. I am glad you came to my party."