Castle Of Lilies

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Chapter 18

Lillia's PoV

I wake up early, not able to sleep knowing she's in the same building as me right now. So I lay in bed reading some books I picked out from my personal library. Oh it makes me so happy to say that.

After reading for an hour or so, I check the time and see it's just after eight, so I get out of bed and go to my wardrobe, trying to decide what to wear. Eventually I settle on a short, blush pink, halter neck, open back dress, with my hair thrown up into a messy bun on top of my head. Then I grab my pink heeled boots and zipping them up, leave my room and head towards the breakfast hall.

As I'm walking away I hear a familiar voice ask "Excuse me Ma'am, do you possibly know where the breakfast hall is?"

Turning around I see a lost looking Genevieve who's eyes widen at realising it's me.

"Lillia? Um. I didn't know you were in the rooms next door. Never mind about breakfast, I'll find my own way."

Feeling a swell of pity for her I say gently "It's fine. Come on, I'll show you the way."

She nods falling into step with me, the only sound the clicking of my heels.

"So why aren't you rooming with Zachary?"

"We aren't married yet."

"I know. But I just thought that..."

"Well you thought wrong." She snaps at me and we fall silent again.

We enter the breakfast hall to see everyone already there, all of them politely chatting.

I take my seat to the left of Lola, June sitting next to me, Dalia opposite me, smiling goofily at Miles sat next to her, who's smiling fondly right back. Next to Dalia is Alex, then Penelope, then Genevieve, next to June sits Nathan, and finally next to Nathan, Zachary.

All of us dressed in finery. Miles in a pale blue shirt and sandy chinos, Dalia dressed in a simple orange flowery dress, suiting her tan colouring perfectly. June next to me is dressed in a blue jacket, with a matching straight blue skirt. Nathan is matching her in a blue suit, with shorts instead of trousers. Zachary is once again in a waistcoat and hideous orange shirt and orange shorts. Alex is dressed in a simple white shirt, untucked and flowing over a pair of khaki green shorts. Penelope is the odd one out, dressed in a bright yellow ball gown, that flows to her ankles, the sleeves hideously puffed up. Genevieve is wearing a simple grey top with a faded yellow skirt.

Beside me Lola is wearing a red dress that reaches her shins, that has a halter neck covered with sparkles. At the head of the table Leon is wearing a similar outfit to Alex, a midnight blue cotton shirt and white shorts. Breakfast is rapidly brought out, trays full of waffles and pancakes and fruit and toast and cereals and bacon and eggs and sausages and beans and tomatoes and hash browns. Anything you could think of was brought out. All steaming on plates and platters carried by bustling maids and butlers all dressed in a rainbow of colours. As we all take what we want, the table is silent, until Dalia asks me excitedly "So. Are you excited? Nervous? How are you feeling?"

I laugh a short sound, "Nervous if I'm honest. I mean what if I mess it up D?"

She dismisses me with a wave of her hand "You! You are not going to mess it up. Because you have royal blood. You will be fine. And anyway. You'll have me to guide you and June and Lola. And we are going to support you through it."

I smile at her weakly, knowing it's true but still feeling nervous. As the table falls silent again Penelope speaks up, a fake smile plastered on her face "What exactly is happening today?"

Lola gives an equally fake smile in return before announcing proudly "Lillia here, is being crowned today."

Zachary splutters and Nathan whacks him on the back as he coughs. "Pardon?"

"I'm being crowned princess this afternoon." I say calmly.

He nods his head slowly, before excusing himself and leaving. Alex speaks up for the first time nodding his head, "Well that's wonderful. I'm happy for you Lillia."

I smile a real smile at him and Penelope huffs beside him. I turn to Leon and ask "Do I need to wear anything specific? And do I have to say anything?"

"No clothing regulations. And for responses, I'll tell you how to respond before I ask you anything ok?"

I nod relieved I don't have to have anything memorised.

"Well if no one minds I'm going to take a walk through the gardens."

I exit the hall and breathe out a breath I didn't know I was even holding. With a little bit of help from a few maids I eventually find myself in the royal gardens.

And it is so much better than the Loutocian ones. I mean the Loutocian ones were amazing, but these are extravagant. Everywhere you look there's a different coloured flower or plant. Never ending. Just everywhere. The different smells around every corner, every step. The number of different flowers there are astounds me. So much that I really want to know what they all are. So quickly running inside I skip through the corridors to the great library and ask the lovely librarian what botanical books she has. She gives me all the volumes on flowers and I take the first book and run back to the gardens, and start reading and matching. Chrysanthemums, daisies, roses, buttercups, lilies, forget-me-nots. Every species of flower you can think of I find in the gardens. I stay there for hours, just breathing in the flower filled fresh air, until it's time for me to go to the throne room ready for my crowning.

Rushing along the corridors I get more and more excited yet nervous with every step I take, and as the doors open my brain screams at me to turn around and run I'm that nervous, but I walk in and the doors are quickly shut behind me. Looking ahead I see Miles and Dalia sat together as always, Lola sat in her throne smiling, Leon sat next to her a knowing look in his eyes. Ascending the stairs I smile, my excitement finally taking over.

Leon stands and says "Today we crown you, Lillia June Lola Quartz, crown princess of Corallone. Do you accept this title? Respond with Yes I do."

"Yes I do."

"Lillia, do you promise to do what's best for this kingdom?"

"I do."

"Do you promise do what's best for your people?"

"I do."

"Do you promise to abide by all of this kingdoms laws and rules?"

"I do."

"And finally, do you Lillia June Lola Quartz, accept that if one day you become Queen then you will have lives weighing on your shoulders?"

"I do."

"Then by the power invested in my as King Leon Quartz Of Corallone, I pronounce you Princess Lillia. Welcome to the family."

I smile, not believing it's real. Not until Dalia runs up to me and says " Oh my word! Your a princess like me, we can gossip about princess stuff now."

I laugh at her reaction before Lola says "You dear, need a crown. Come on, we'd better go and pick one."

I follow her with a smile to the crown room, where thousands upon thousands of crowns and tiaras lay in shelves, just waiting to be chosen.

Lola says from in front of me "So one side is gold, one is silver..."

"Silver." I sat immediately and she chuckles.

"Well you want the left side then. And then you have tiaras and crowns."

"Can I ask exactly what the difference is?"

"Well a tiara is a more delicate, less formal kind of thing whereas crowns tend to be more formal and heavier." Lola answers with a sympathetic voice.

"Tiaras then."

She nods and points to the section I'm stood in front of, "That section there. I'll leave you to it."

Then she leaves me alone to decide.

Looking at them all I see headband types, more crown types, ones in between them both. After spending a few hours trying most of them on, I finally decide on a headband, that has a delicate beading and intricate swirling shapes formed with the silver, finished with a trail of diamonds standing up on my head. After leaving the crown room I re-enter the throne room to see Zachary on his knees in front of Lola and Leon, begging for redemption and forgiveness. Lola spots me and says smugly to Zachary "Well, I think that we should let the Crown Princess decide don't you?"

"Crown? Crown princess?"

He turns around to see me stood, I pass him and take my seat upon my throne. He turns pale, obviously thinking that I'll immediately reject him. But I'm not that heartless so instead I say "I can't decide unless I know what you did."

He pales even more before clearing his throat and saying defeatedly "I was 25 when it happened. I was stupid and a fool and I regretted it immediately. But I was out in town partying one night as I used to do. I was a bit of a wild one. And Lola was with me. Taking her one night a week off from studying, and so I said she could join me and she did. But she said not to tell anyone she was the princess, so I agreed and out we went. Drinking, dancing, having a fun time. Then I get chatting to one of these guys and I'm a little bit, ok a lot, tipsy by then and I let it slip that Lola was the Princess. This guy, he went up to her and started dancing, like he just saw her and liked her. Then he started being handsy, but not the good kind. So I went up to him, not content with how he was treating her and punched him in the face. It turned into a full blown fight and turned out he had a knife. So we were outside and he drew this knife, and I avoided it with a few scratches but then all of a sudden, Lola here, jumps in between us, and this knife slices her abdomen. She collapses and she had to go to hospital, in there for two months recovering. And when she wakes up she's furious, not surprisingly, and so she says "I don't want you in this kingdom until you've settled down and got a wife or are at least engaged. And so I left."

I look to Lola and she nods once, her hand clutching Leon's. Making my decision I say calmly "Zachary. I think you should be allowed redemption but once married, you should live in Loutocia."

His face lights up at my decision before he nods eagerly, "Yes ok. That is wonderful. Simply wonderful."

Then he leaves, practically skipping. At this point Dalia comes up to me and says excitedly "Oohh. Lillia, at the party you get to meet my family. You're going to love my mum and dad and my sister and my two brothers. Ok so, my mum is called Paulina, she's really sweet but try not to get on her bad side, my dad is called Rhys, he, well he doesn't have a bad bone in him. my older brother is called Owen, he's a formidable beast who is overly protective, my younger brother is called Xavier, he looks like a stone but he's sweet really and my younger sister is called Soraya, who is sweet but only once she trusts you. And I'm sure she will, you're a very trustworthy person."

I nod my head, smiling at her own infectious smile and the way she speaks so fondly of her family, "D, I'm sure I'll love them. They sound amazing."

With us all gathered for lunch the first one to notice anything is Alex who aptly says "So Princess Lillia huh? It suits you."

I thank him smiling. The next person is Penelope who asks about my crown "Where's it from?" She says curiosity coating her voice.

I look to Lola who says "I think it was actually from Bamberall, isn't that funny Dalia?"

Dalia looks at the crown before saying "It does look awfully similar to the ones we have made yes."

Then the table falls silent, and not long after lunch is over and we all head to our respective rooms.

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