Justinian watched as the girls’ kites took awkward flight, frequently smashing into each other. This was usually accompanied by yelling, declarations of eternal enmity, and then more smashing their kites into each other.
Somehow, it reminded Justinian of growing up in the Breakers.
“Hey, no fair!” shouted Thalia, as Malina’s kite smacked into hers again, sending the poor bird into a tailspin.
“Is TOO fair!” shouted Malina back.
“Yeah, Thalia!” said Agalia. “Stop complaining! Euphrosyne didn’t complain, when you smashed her kite!”
The third le Fidelé
sister sniffled slightly.
Thalia scowled and then jostled Malina, who promptly jostled her back. “Ohh, you’re a butt!” snapped Malina.
“Am not!” replied Thalia. “You are!”
Pelleas smiled and worked at repairing Euphrosyne’s kite. “And think of the joy that will follow when we have the actual kite festival.”
Justinian nodded slowly. “Yes. Such as the Castle burning down.”
“Oh, Sigma,” said Pelleas with a snort. “This sort of scuffling is what children do. It is how they learn, piece by piece, to deal with others. Why I used to have these sort of silly arguments with my relatives and companions, and we all grew up to be dearest friends.” He frowned. “Except for Fesnac That ass.” He shook his head, and smiled once more. “The Joyeuse kite festival was one of the highlights of my youth. Of all our youths really. A magical time to not be princes, and counts, and counts-to-be, and simply be boys. Or girls.”
Justinian regarded the King of Leonais, lost in a happy memory. “Yes, I guess it’s a pity that it’s been suspended for the last… decade.”
Pelleas turned to regard the former Sacristan. “Amfortas did that, eh?” He sighed softly to himself. “Figures. He never did like the festival. Then again, I wonder if he enjoys ANYTHING that doesn’t involve making people suffer. I suspect the answer to that is ‘no’.” He looked at Justinian pointedly. “You know, Amfortas never seemed to get into these sorts of scuffles as a child. Indeed, most of his tutors used to praise him for being so pleasant, and well-behaved. Just like a little adult, they used to say…” He shook his head. “I always put that one on his knowing just enough to fake… normality, and the children knowing just enough to stay away…”
Justinian gulped. “So… he didn’t like the kite festival?”
Pelleas nodded. “Participated one year, lost his kite, never took part in it again.” He scratched his head. “Looking back, there were a few… mysterious incidents which we probably should have taken more note of. But then, that’s more or less the story of my son’s youth.” He handed Euprosyne her kite. “They you go, dear.”
Malina, and Thalia walked to him, holding their own battered kites. “Can you fix ours now, King Pelican?” asked Malina. “Also, Agalia’s got losted.”
“Because of you!” Agalia pouted and glared at the Princess. “You are awful and I hate you!”
“No, you are!” shouted Malina back.
“I’ll see what I can do,” noted Pelleas.