Secondhand Cookies

In which Haft gets a cookie that was meant for Peridan, because it wasn’t good enough for the Pevensies

In the Center of the Courtyard
~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**
You can easily discern this as the center of the royal gardens – a great
fountain decorates the courtyard’s center point. It is a scuplture of a grand
lion, standing over the water’s edge. This lion is not insignifigant though –
it is an artist’s tribute to the ruler of all Narnia, and a portrait of a
noble character.

At all four points of the compass a paved path leads to the corners of the
courtyard, North, East, South and West. To the east lies the entrance to the
grand hall of Cair Paravel, and to the west, the gates of the castle. North
and South lead to flower gardens, where one might sit for a spell.

The sides of the paths here are lines with decorative posts and ribbons,
leading from east to west to form an aisle (going delicately around the
fountain). It appears that the garden to the east has been set up for some
kind of ceremony.
~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**
You can go: North End of the Courtyard <N>, South End of the Courtyard <S>,
Royal Gardens <E>, To the west courtyard <W>
Contents: A daughter of eve with honey-colored ringlets (Avery); A son of adam
with blue eyes (Peridan); and Fountain.

Peridan walks through the courtyard in the early evening.

Haft heads from the north, looking well-exercised.

Avery sits on a shaded bench, her ankles crossed. She holds a book, but her focus is on the shrubbery across the pathway.

“Peridan pauses as he sees Avery. He makes his way towards her. Once he is closer, the man grins as he says, “Is that an interesting shrub. Milady?”

Haft heads in the direction of the visitor’s quarters. He catches sight of Peridan and Avery in conversation and allows himself a small smile as he continues on his way.

Avery looks up, blushing a little. “Indeed, sir.” She stands to curtsy.

Peridan bows, “I apologize, I didn’t meant to startle you.” He finally notices that they are not alone and he straightens to call out, with a slight grin, “I say, Haft, not even stopping to say hello to your old commanding officer.”

Haft pivots, returning the grin and approaching. “Didn’t want to interrupt, my lord.”

Avery turns toward the Guard, offering him a smile. “Nonsense, Haft. You are always welcome.”

Peridan nods, “Well said, Lady Avery.” He dips his head toward Haft, “It is good to see you, Haft.”

Haft bows. “You as well, Commander. I can scarce believe it’s been a whole year.”

Peridan says, “Peridan rubs the back of his neck, “Yes, though I am glad the year has been uneventful.”

You say, “Has it? We had a bit of excitement in town, not that it’s something to relish.”

Avery frowns a bit, nodding. “Yes, we did.”

Peridan glances between the two, “Yes, I did hear about something that happened awhile back.”

You ask, “Nasty business. Wish we’d caught the man. You know the king was right there fighting the fire with the rest of us?”

Avery pushes some gravel with the toe of her slipper, listening. “Mm, yes.”

Peridan chuckles a bit, “That doesn’t surprise me one bit. My uncle is a noble man.”

You say, “None better.”

Linor bounds into the room with a plate of cookies “Hello!”

Avery nods again, smiling to herself. “He is a good King.”

Peridan turns as the Weasel approaches, “Ah, hello there.”

Haft turns as well.

Linor says, “I heard talking and I know that you enjoy baked goods Lord Peridan, and I thought that I would bring my latest batch for you to sample. They aren’t quite good enough to be served to the royals yet, but I like to think my cookies are getting better.”

Avery looks at the Weasel and grins, casting a glance at Peridan. “Lord Peridan isn’t the only one fond of cookies, you know. So he’ll have to share.”

Haft bites his lip at the Weasel’s explanation.

Linor exclaims, “Of course! I brought enough to share. I don’t think I’ve met you before. I’m Linor and the cooks here are teaching me how to bake.”

Peridan chuckles, “You know me too well, Miss Linor.” He reaches to take a cookie. “May I introduce Lady Avery and Guardsman Haft. They are both visiting from Archenland.”

Linor exclaims, “Welcome to Narnia! I’ve never been to Archenland. Is it really warmer there? Or was that just before the winter? And do you have different kinds of cakes and cookies there?”

Avery bows her head. “Well met, Linor.” She laughs at the questions. “It can be warmer. We have many different kinds of cakes and cookies, and I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t met a dessert I didn’t like. Your cookies smell delicious.”

Linor exclaims, “Oh I haven’t met a dessert I didn’t like either! Some maybe that weren’t made by the best cooks, but that isn’t the desert’s fault.”

Peridan takes a bite, “I can attest that they taste delicious as well.”

Linor asks, “Do you think I’ll be able to have my cookies at a royal feast someday soon?”
ggg

Avery glances at Peridan, grinning. “Are these /your/ cookies or do you plan to share?”

Peridan smiles at the Weasel, “I bet the head cook will incorporate them in a feast some time.” He then grins at the Lady, “Milady, I am not blocking the tray.”

Avery plucks one from the tray. “I can see that, Milord. You just seem to be enjoying them so much.” She takes a bite and chews, trying not to laugh.

Linor asks, “Was I interupting something?”

Haft watches, evidently amused.

Peridan shakes his head, “Not at all, though I’m afraid that I must be on my way. I need to return to my cottage.”

Linor exclaims, “Then take some cookies with you! But leave some for Haft and Lady Avery.”

You ask, “You don’t live here in the Cair, Commander?”

Avery looks a little disappointed, but she nods, finishing up her cookie.

Peridan grins as he takes a few cookies, “Thank you, Miss Linor.” He turn to Haft, “No, I have a little cottage in New Anvard which is a few miles northwest of the castle.”

Linor says, “Just doing my job M’lord.”

You say, “Oh, well, have a pleasant evening.” He bows.

Avery curtsies. “Good evening, Lord Peridan.”

Peridan says, “Thank you, Haft.” He turns to all those gathered, “I hope everyone has a good evening.” He does bow to Lady Avery with a grin, “Keep me posted with those shrub activities.”

Avery nods, smiling herself. “I’ll do that.”

Peridan begins to eat a cookie as he makes his way home.

Haft blinks in confusion.

Peridan strolls along the western path.

Avery watches him go, shaking her head slightly. She looks at the Weasel. “Your cookies are very good.”

Haft turns to Avery. “Shrub activities?”

Linor exclaims, “Thank you! It helps having plenty of good ingredients. It’s hard to get chocolate in the forest.”

Avery’s cheeks color with Haft’s question. “Oh. He caught me staring at a shrubbery is all…It’s just…nonsense.” She laughs, turning her attention to Linor. “What other sort of things do you like to bake?”

Linor says, “Mostly sweet things, but I’m getting better and better at cake”

Haft looks perplexed, but doesn’t press, only saying, “Just so you don’t annoy any bramble dryads.”

Linor says, “Oh, I learned not to annoy them the hard way. They don’t like it when you play in their branches, they say they tickle. ”

Avery says, “Cake? Oh, lovely.” She chuckles. “I’ll be sure to keep my distance from brambles, then.”

Linor says, “I do a lot of them with berries for the humans, though I like them with fish for myself””Avery says, “Ah. Yes, I would prefer the berries.”

Linor says, “Most daughters of Eve and sons of Adam do.”

You say, “Oh, I don’t know. A nice seared trout is nothing to sneeze at.”

Linor says, “Nothing in the kitchen is to be sneezed at. Calya taught me that on the first day. No sneezing on food”Avery says, “I like fish…just not with my cake.”

Haft eyes the Weasel. “What happened to your tail?”

Linor says, “Oh that? I think I just spilled a little batter on it. It happens. A lot.”

Linor says, “I get excited and tip over bowls sometime.”

Avery laughs. “Well, I think the pink color suits you very well.”

You say, “Just so you ain’t stirring with her tail.”

Linor says, “Well, I hold the spoon with my tail.”

Avery gestures to the tray of cookies. “May I take a few for my brother?”

Linor exclaims, “Of course! Take as many as you want.”

Avery smiles and takes a few. “He’ll enjoy them. Thank you, Linor.”

Linor says, “You’re welcome. I’ll be taking some for my own brother”

Avery says, “Perhaps I will see you around the castle again.”

Linor says, “Perhaps you will. I’m often in the kitchen.”

Avery smiles. “Well, until next time, then.” She nods to Haft. “Good evening, Haft.”

Haft bows. “My lady.”

Avery picks up her book and leaves the Courtyard.

Haft turns back to Linor, eying the tray. “May I?”

Linor exclaims, “Of course! You could have from the begining”

Haft smiles. “I didn’t want to presume. You offered them to a lord, after all.”

Haft takes one. “Thank you.”Linor says, “But this is a free country and it wasn’t a formal setting. Besides, I made a whole batch.”

“Yes,” Haft says quietly, “I know. But Lady Avery is from one of the noble houses of Archenland, and customs are a little different there. For the present I am in her service and would not wish for her to feel embarrassed, or for Lord Peridan to be embarrassed on her behalf. Thank you for the cookie. Have a pleasant evening.” With that, he proceeds on his way.

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