Romance Fan Fiction / Other Fan Fiction ❯ An Unusual Wedding ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

An Unusual Wedding


The Wonderful Seven, Alain, Bertie, Reggie, Marion And Sella found themselves on a lush Green meadow in front of a magnificent sandstone Manor house, L shaped with three powerful round towers on its corners And a crenellated curtain Wall with a sturdy oak gate, guarding the triangular courtyard with some large trees peeking over the curtain Wall. 

'My ancestral home, Lockwood Hall,' Marion waved at the building, smiling gently. 'Lovely, isn't it?'

'Oh Yes, my dear,' Bertie smiled brightly.

Marion strode resolutely to the gate. Bertie with Reggie, Sella, Mechtildis, Meritxell, Aziz, Tegest, Wali, Simon And Alain followed her.

Marion knocked a large ring shaped door knocker on the gate resolutely.

'Yes?' a slightly suspicious male voice asked.

'Watt, it's me, Lady Marion,' Marion announced brightly.

Peeking hole opened in the gate, And then the gate squeaked open. Watt, a tall sturdy middle aged man with fiery red hair, in a green doublet, Green hose And a red hat with a yellow feather, s grinned broadly at them.

'Good Gods, my Lady!  We thought you we're dead, we all grieved so much, And Lady Eleanor most of all! ' he shouted cheerfully.

'Well, I'm not,' Marion smiled gently. 'I was abducted by an evil wizard, but a Knight errant saved me.'

She nodded at Bertie smiling fondly.

Watt looked Bertie over And nodded grinning broadly.

'And I'm betrothed, Watt,' Marion added smiling gently. 'This is my fiancé, Lord Bertram de Wooster, the Marquess of Elissar.'

Watt gaped.

'Marquess? And he's a Knight errant!?'

'Yes, Watt,' Marion smiled gently. 'And these are his friends, and my friends too.'

Watt nodded, still dumbfounded.

'Well, I'm going to see my aunt,' Marion said resolutely. 'Where is she?'

'In her chamber, my Lady, praying for you in the Chapel,' Watt said gravely.

Marion nodded resolutely.

'Well, I have very good news for her,' she stated And motioned for Bertie And her friends to come in.

They entered the courtyard. It was lovely, with lush Green lawn, some willows with a swing among them, And the sturdy Lindens by the curtain Wall. The Palace had large arched windows, intricate carving And a staircase turret with pointed roof in the inner corner.

'Its like my home, Castle of Ainay le Vieul,' Mette remarked.

Marion nodded smiling gently.

They crossed the courtyard And entered the staircase turret, climbed a slender sandstone winding staircase with ornate railing, And from a dark wooden landing entered a room on the right. It was a splendid chamber with dark beamed wooden ceiling, walls painted with red climbing roses, a blue And red Oriental carpet on the floor, some dark wooden carved chairs, tables And chests along the wall's And a large dark wooden carved four poster bed with a red canopy in the middle of the room.  short plump Lady in a wide long red dress embroidered with golden flowers And in a tall white horned headdress was kneeling by a window where an altar with two golden candlesticks was placed in a niche with lovely stained glass windows. 

'Aunt Eleanor,' Marion called softly.

Lady Eleanor whirled around swiftly And clapped her hands.

'Marion! You are alive And well, my dear child!' she exclaimed beaming.

'Yes, Aunt Eleanor,' Marion smiled gently. 

Lady Eleanor beamed And looked at Marion's friends.

'And who are these?' she asked eagerly.

'Well, first, my fiancé, Lord Bertram de Wooster, the first Marquess of Elissar,' Marion announced, taking Bertie by his hand And leading him forwards.

'Fiancé?' Lady Eleanor frowned.

'Yes,' Bertie said firmly. 'We have a formal engagement And I intend to seal our union with a temple ceremony as soon as possible.'

Lady Eleanor looked at him dubiously. 

'Aunt Eleanor, I was in captivity of a Hydra Warlock,' Marion explained. 'And one of the maidens also in captivity with me, Lady Sella Violet, a fairy, said that she had a friend who was a Knight errant, her former Fiancé, Lord Bertram de Wooster.' 

'Former Fiancé?' Lady Eleanor frowned. 

'It's a sad story, really,' Marion said gently. 'Bertie was betrothed to Sella, but she fell in love with a fairy Knight And accepted his proposal, but Bertie took her refusal so well, he congratulated her And gave her a brotherly embrace!'

Lady Eleanor nodded quietly.

'Well, I asked Sella if she could send a message to Bertie, And she sent it, And Bertie came with his friends And slayed the warlock with the help of Reginald, his familiar,' Marion nodded at Reggie. 'Bertie gave the warlock a blow in the neck And Reginald finished him with a blow to the base of his skull with his claws. And while Bertie was Fighting the Warlock, he never took his eyes off me! And then he introduced himself courteously And told me all about his feats And travels. And then Bertie proposed to me, he asked for an official engagement, and I accepted. Bertie's friends, Reggie, And Sella were our witnesses, they can ascertain that everything was in order. At our engagement feast Bertie served me food courteously And told me all kinds of sweet things. Bertie slept alone in the lord's chamber that night, he insisted on Temple ceremony. And when we came with Sella to her home city of Layenar, the Chief of the Council of Elders invested Bertie with the title of Marquess of Elissar, well, she wanted to create him the Duke of Elissar but Bertie declined!'

Marion looked fondly at Bertie.

Lady Eleanor looked impressed.

Bertie took a deep breath.

'Lady Eleanor, your nièce is the most lovely, gentle and clever Lady that  I've ever seen,' he said gently but firmly. 'I've already sworn to be with her till death us Do part. 'And all those sayings will I overswear'.

Lady Eleanor beamed.

'Oh, Lord Elissar!' 

'I'll be very Happy to be your nephew, Lady Eleanor,' Bertie smiled brightly. 

'And I'll be Happy to be your aunt, Bertram,' Lady Eleanor said softly.

'Bertie please,' Bertie asked gently.

'All right, Bertie,' Lady Eleanor beamed.

Reggie coughed gently. 

'Oh, right,' Bertie said sheepishly. 'My friends,  Prince Aziz Ibn Malík abd al-Hassan, Baroness Mechtildis de Châteauroux, a Dame Commander of the Order of the Temple of Sagrada, Dona Meritxell de la Cabrera, Princess Tegest bint Khalil abd al-Salif, Sir Wali Ibn Khalil abd al-Salif, Mechtildis' bodyguard, Rabbi Simon bar Levi, Master Alain le Merle And Lady Sella Violet.'

'Lady Sella Violet?' Lady Eleanor asked looking at Sella.

'Yes,' Sella said gently. 'I'm Happy that Bertie found his true love at last, I felt so sorry for him!'

Lady Eleanor nodded gently.

'Mechtildis shall be my maid of honour And Meri, Tegest and Sella will be bridesmaids,' Marion supplied.

Lady Eleanor nodded.

'And who will be your best man, Bertie?'

'My mentor And my best friend, an old friend of my Uncle Wilfred, Reginald Gray,' Bertie smiled gently. 'He'll be here soon.'

Lady Eleanor nodded.

'And why Do you have a familiar, Bertie?' she asked curiously. 'Are you also a wizard, or was Reginald gifted to you?'

'Neither,' Bertie smiled brightly.  'Reggie was my Uncle Wilfred's familiar, now my uncle was a wizard. But Uncle Wilfred died suddenly of a heart attack, And Reggie could die because a familiar dies when his master dies suddenly, if he can't find a new master immediately. So Reggie waited till  came from Wroxeter to come into my inheritance, And he explained his predicament to me. Well, I  couldn't let him die, so I gave a drop of my Blood to him, And he became tied to me for life.'

'Oh, Bertie,' Lady Eleanor smiled gently. 

Marion And Reggie looked fondly at Bertie.

'So when will the wedding be?' Lady Eleanor asked briskly.

'As soon as possible,' Bertie said at once. Marion nodded firmly.

Lady Eleanor smiled gently.

'All right, several days, then, it's the least that is needed to make all the preparations', she nodded. 'The wedding feast, the ornaments, the invitations...And I'll need to meet with the best man.'

Bertie nodded smiling gently. 

'But Oh, you all need rooms!' Lady Eleanor said frantically. 'What a mess, what a mess all this is!'

'Well, at least I have the most splendid best man in the world,' Bertie observed smiling brightly. 'Reginald is sure to keep everything in order, he'll never lose the rings, And he is most proper person I  know.'

Reggie looked at him with a smile in his eyes And whispered, 'Thank you, my Lord. '

 Bertie smiled gently at him.

Lady Eleanor rang a crystal bell. a plump short maid came in.

'Anne, call Robinson here, please,' she ordered. 

'Yes, my Lady,' Anne nodded And left.

Some time later a tall, strong man in red velvet doublet And hose shimmered in And looked at Lady Eleanor.

'Yes, my Lady? ' he asked calmly.

'Robinson, Lady Marion is getting married to the Marquess of Elissar,' Lady Eleanor announced, nodding at Marion And Bertie. 'Please make all the necessary preparations for the wedding And prepare rooms for Lord Elissar And his friends.'

Robinson looked at Marion, then at Bertie, the Wonderful Seven, Alain And Sella, And nodded calmly.

'Yes, my Lady,' he said And left.

Reggie looked after him with approval. Bertie smiled gently And caressed Reggie's feathers. Reggie closed his eyes. Lady Eleanor looked at them smiling gently.

'Well, we'll go to the courtyard meanwhile,' Bertie smiled brightly.

'By all means,' Lady Eleanor smiled.

They left the Palace And sat down on stone benches in the courtyard.

'Well, that went great,' Bertie smiled, sighing with relief.

'And you doubted it?' Marion smiled gently. 

'Well, as my aunt is an old huntress...' Bertie smiled sheepishly. 

Marion nodded smiling gently.

'Your aunt is nice, Marion,' Meritxell observed smiling brightly. 

'Yes,' Marion smiled gently.

Reggie flew off Bertie's hand, hovered in the air, his outlines blurred, And in the place of a formidable goshawk appeared the tall strong dark haired man in a black long robe trimmed with brown fur And held by a silk crimson sash, spotless white pleated shirt peeking in the opening of the robe, And large black velvet beret on Reginald's head. 

Bertie nodded at him smiling brightly.

And at this moment there was a flash of Bright white light. When it faded, in front of them stood a large purple cat with fiery Green eyes. He was dressed in a red sleeveless doublet with basted e edges And a basted golden collar, with a golden belt with a brown purse on it, with a dark blue golden trimmed shirt under the doublet, black high boots And a puffy red hat with golden trimming And a large who blue feather. In his right hand the cat was holding a long brown e wooden staff with golden ending And a dark blue ribbon in a Bow tied around it.

He removed his hat And bowed deeply. 

'Master Ayrell Lavender, staff fencer,' he said gently. 'I'm your new familiar, Baroness Mechtildis.' 

He looked at Mette, unerring.

'Glad to meet you, Master Ayrell,' Mette smiled gently. 

'At your service, my Lady,' Ayrell said calmly.

Bertie looked at Ayrell, dumbfounded. Reggie smiled gently.


'Reginald!' Ayrell smiled gently And embraced Reggie. 'So your master is getting married at last!'

'Yes,' Reggie smiled gently. 'And I'm his best man, Ayrell.'

He returned Ayrell's embrace fondly.

Ayrell smiled gently.

'Congratulations, Lord Elissar, both on your engagement and your new position,' Ayrell said gently, disentangling himself from Reginald's embrace. 'Reginald And I are old friends, Lord Elissar.'

Bertie nodded smiling gently.

'You wanted a familiar like Reggie, Mette, well, you got one,' he observed.

'Yes, indeed,' Mette smiled gently.

'That was your request, my Lady, a familiar like Reginald?' Ayrell smiled gently. 'Well, we are really alike.'

'Yes, I see,' Mette smiled gently.

Ayrell went to Mechtildis' side And stood there, grasping his staff firmly. 

'Well, Ayrell, I have to go And speak with Lady Eleanor, the bride's aunt, as Bertram's best man,' Reggie said apologetically.

Ayrell nodded.

Reginald went up the elegant spiral staircase And entered Lady Eleanor's chamber. He approached Lady Eleanor And bowed deeply, removing his béret. 

'Reginald Gray, Lady Eleanor,' he introduced himself gently.

'Glad to meet you, Lord Reginald,' Lady Eleanor smiled gently And proffered her hand to him. Reginald replaced  his beret And kissed her hand gently.

Lady Eleanor smiled gently to him.

'Are you a lawyer or a scholar, Lord Reginald?'

'Scholar, Lady Eleanor, And I also dabble in magic,' Reginald answered calmly.

Lady Eleanor nodded smiling gently.

'So you are an old friend of Bertie's uncle, Yes? '

'Yes, we were friends for many years, And I feel responsible for Bertram,' Reginald answered calmly. 'He's my ward in some ways, though of course he is of age, being 28 years old already.'

'I quite understand, Lord Reginald,' Lady Eleanor smiled gently. 'Marion is the Lady of the Manor,  but she's still my child.'

Reginald nodded softly.

'Lord Reginald, Do you live at Oxenford?' Lady Eleanor asked curiously.

'No, I live in Worcestershire, near Bertram,' Reginald answered gently. 

Lady Eleanor nodded gently.

'So you And Bertie are from Mercia, Yes? '

'Indeed, Lady Eleanor,' Reginald answered softly. 'Bertram went to Oxenford, he's a Bachelor of Arts.'

'But he chose to be a Knight errant?' Lady Eleanor frowned.

'Bertram likes to help people in need, Lady Eleanor, so when he inherited his uncle's Manor,  he decided to travel the world And fight monsters, tyrants And evil wizards.'

Lady Eleanor nodded smiling softly.

'And Fighting one of them he met Marion, his destiny.'

'Quite so, Lady Eleanor,' Reginald smiled softly

'So, Lord Reginald, Marion And Bertie want to marry as soon as possible,' Lady Eleanor said briskly. 'Children! So, I trust you to make sure that Bertie is presentable at his wedding, though, to say the truth, he's a quite a dapper gentleman as it is.'

'Sometimes too dapper, if you understand what I mean, Lady Eleanor,' Reginald smiled softly.

'Yes, I understand, young men these days!' Lady Eleanor smiled gently.

Reginald nodded.

'I assure you, Lady Eleanor, that Bertram shall be presentable for his wedding,' he said calmly. 'And I'll keep the rings safe, And nobody shall dare to make a nuisance of themselves at the wedding feast. The maid of honour shall help me with _that_.'

Lady Eleanor nodded.

'So, I trust you to commission the rings, Lord Reginald,' she said briskly.

Reginald nodded calmly.

'I beg your pardon but I have to take leave now, Lady Eleanor,' he said gently. 'Important matters await me, you understand.'

Lady Eleanor nodded with some regret.

'I understand, Lord Reginald, scholars are very busy people.'

'Quite so, Lady Eleanor,' Reginald nodded softly, bowed deeply And left.

He descended the spiral staircase And went into the courtyard and to Bertie. 

Bertie looked at him expectantly.

'All is well, my Lord,' Reggie said calmly. 'I made a proper impression on Lady Eleanor, she trusted me with your proper appearance on the wedding day And with the purchase of the wedding rings.'

Bertie grimaced slightly at the words 'proper appearance' but smiled brightly. 

'Right ho then,' he said gently And proffered his hand.

Reggie smiled gently, his outlines blurred, And the magnificent goshawk settled on Bertie's hand.

Ayrell smiled gently looking at them.

'Now I beg your pardon, my Lord, but I have to see a dwarven master about the wedding rings,' Reggie said softly.

Bertie nodded smiling gently.

Reggie flew off Bertie's hand And disappeared.

'A dwarven master, Eh? ' Mette smiled gently. 'Reginald really cares about you, Bertie.'

'I know,' Bertie smiled gently. 'Sometimes I wonder if I deserve it.'

'Now now, come on, Bertie,' Meri smiled brightly. 'You know you Do! '

Bertie smiled sheepishly.

'This is a lovely little castle,' Aziz observed smiling gently. 'Not like the Royal Castle in Jergath the Great or magnificent forts of Kh'Saaba, but quite nice nevertheless.'

'It isn't a castle, it's a Manor house, Prince Aziz,' Marion corrected him gently.

'Oh?' Aziz raised one eyebrow. 'Very well, if you say so.'

'And what's the difference? ' Tegest frowned gently.

'No difference really, it's just some of these fortified houses are called manors And some castles,' Bertie explained. 'It's strange, really, but there it is.'

Tegest And Aziz nodded satisfied.

'These things are peculiar, aren't they?' Simon observed gently. 'The difference in cultures. In Jazirat it's called a castle if it's fortified And a Manor if it's just a country house. It isn't so in the Western lands, I see.'

Marion nodded gently.

'We have nearly constant wars here, you see, so even manors need to be fortified,' she explained gently. 

Aziz, Tegest And Simon nodded gently.

'You have a lovely place here, Lady Marion, I'll describe it in detail when I'll be composing a song about your wedding,' Alain smiled brightly.

'Thank you, Master Alain,' Marion smiled gently at the young minstrel.

Wali listened to all this silently, then turned to Ayrell.

'So Baroness Mechtildis has two bodyguards now, And one of them is a fairy,' he observed gently.

'Yes, it seems so, Sir Wali.' Ayrell nodded gently.

'I trust you to Guard Dame Mechtildis as well as I Do,  Master Ayrell,' Wali said gravely.

'Of course, Sir Wali,' Ayrell said firmly.

Wali nodded gravely.

Sella listened to them quietly, smiling gently.

Reginald appeared in a tall dark cave lit by torches and the red light of a blazing furnace. His outlines blurred And he was in his human form again.

Sturdy dwarf with fiery bushy red hair And beard, in a Green tunic And a sooty apron, was busy at the great furnace, holding a red hot Sword in the furnace with great tongs, a basin with water ready by the furnace. Tongs, hammers, chisels, pièces of wire And all kinds of unfinished Metal things we're lying around.

Reginald approached the Smith And bowed deeply, removing his beret.

'Oh, Reginald!' the dwarf shouted cheerfully. 'What brings you here?'

'Good afternoon, Master Thorold,' Reginald said politely. 'I have a very important commission for you this time. My master is getting married And I want you to make the wedding rings.'

'Really now?' Thorold laughed heartily. 'Never thought it would happen!'

'Yes, my young master was most unfortunate in love matters till now,' Reginald admitted softly. 'But this time he met a young Lady who suits him. She's gentle And clever, And she doesn't want to make him into something he isn't or to make him to Do dangerous And ill advised things. And she is most beautiful and from an old noble family. They have an official engagement and the wedding is to be celebrated in several days time, so please Do your best, Master Thorold.'

Thorold nodded gravely.

'Very glad to hear that,' he said smiling brightly. 'So how Do you want the rings to be?'

'Well, I think gold bands with No stones but with a gentle floral ornament,' Reginald said thoughtfully. 'No inscriptions either, but some magic that doesn't let the gold fade with time.'

Thorold nodded grinning broadly.

'Will be done, Reginald,' he promised firmly.

Reginald nodded gravely.

'Good afternoon, Master Thorold.'

'See you, Reginald!' Thorold grinned brightly. 

Reginald nodded, turned into his main form And disappeared.

He reappeared in the courtyard of Lockwood Hall, flew to Bertie And settled on his hand.

'The rings will be ready in time,' he informed Bertie. 'Gold bands with floral ornament, No stones And No inscriptions.'

Bertie nodded gently.

'Thank you, Reggie,' he smiled brightly. 

'Don't mention it, my Lord,' Reggie said softly.

Marion smiled fondly at them. Meri smiled brightly. Mette, Aziz And Simon smiled gently. Tegest grinned broadly. Alain smiled dreamily. Wali And Ayrell smiled softly. Sella looked at Bertie dreamily.

'Dwarven rings,' she smiled gently. 'Bertie, you deserve them after all your suffering in love!'

'Ah, er, quite,' Bertie said sheepishly.

Mette looked at him smiling gently.

Robinson approached them quietly.

'Your rooms are ready, ladies And gentlemen,' he announced. 'Come with me please.'

They nodded, rose And followed him. Marion came with them to see everything was in order.

'Your room, Lord Elissar,' Robinson announced showing Bertie to a large room with tapestries with hunting scenes among lush Green woods, a red And gold Oriental carpet on the floor, dark wooden carved tables, chairs And benches along the walls and a large four poster with blue curtains in the middle of the room. 'This is the Green Room, it is the best room in the house, as you are Lady Marion's future husband.'

Bertie nodded blushing. 

Marion looked fondly at him.

Reggie looked at him with a smile in his eyes. 

'Well, so long, what?' Bertie smiled brightly.

His friends nodded And left. Bertie looked the room over, went to each of the windows, saw that they were overlooking the lawn And the old oak forest in distance, then sighed, contented And settled into one chair, Reggie still on the great glove on his left hand.

'Now that's a splendid room, what? ' he smiled brightly. 'Good view, tapestries And all!'

'Indeed, my Lord,' Reggie said softly.

Everyone got lovely rooms with Oriental carpets, tapestries or murals And four posters. Aziz, Tegest, Wali And Simon looked at their rooms curiously, not being quite accustomed to western houses, but found them lovely. Mette, Meri, Sella And Alain, on the other hand, were in their own element And settled in their rooms quickly. Marion left for her Aunt's chamber.

'Oh, Marion!' Lady Eleanor smiled gently. 'Robinson is taking care about the wedding feast And decorations. What about the rings?'

'Reginald commissioned them already,' Marion answered briskly. 'Golden bands with floral ornament, without stones or inscriptions.'

'Reginald has a very good taste,' Lady Eleanor nodded gently. 'Is he married, Do you know, Marion?' 

Marion nearly laughed from surprise. 'I don't know, really, Aunt Eleanor, ask him yourself.'

Lady Eleanor nodded gently.

'Good that you have your wedding dress done already, Marion,' she smiled gently. 'Bertie will be presentable at the wedding, Reginald said, And I trust him completely. He looks already fine as it is, though, that fashionable short rose doublet with wide scalloped sleeves And golden front with little flowers, golden belt And blue hose! Reginald said though that Bertie goes over the top in fashion  sense sometimes.'

'Yes, Aunt Eleanor, he can put a whole foxglove on his hat, for example,' Marion smiled gently.

'Young men!' Lady Eleanor shook her head, smiling indulgently.

'Yeah,' Marion nodded smiling fondly. 'But for the most time he listens to Reggie in the matters of fashion, And Reggie has a very good taste.'

'That's a very good familiar he has,' Lady Eleanor observed.

'Yes, really,' Marion nodded smiling gently.

Merry hustle began in Lockwood Hall. The cooks were busy in the kitchen, preparing wonderful meals for Marion's wedding feast, and merry smoke went out of the kitchen chimneys. Servants we're busy with cleaning the Manor house, polishing the silver, sweeping floors, dusting all the furniture and carpets, others were putting flower garlands on all the walls. Lady Eleanor was writing invitations to all the neighbours And sending messengers to deliver them. Marion was trying on her wedding dress, a dark blue silk one with round neck, long tight sleeves with white tippets, high waist with a girdle from golden plaques with pearls And long full skirt embroidered with silver lilies on the hem. Marion turned around in front of the mirror, trying on various earrings, necklaces And brooches. 

'What Do you think about these Pearl drop shaped earrings with this emerald necklace And this diamond brooch, Alice?' she asked her maid, trying all this together. 

'Excellent, my Lady,  excellent!' Alice smiled broadly. 'Lord Elissar would be stunned!'

'Wonderful, Alice,' Marion smiled gently. 'Now I'll better take it off, or Bertie might come in And see me, And this won't Do! '

Marion took off the jewelry And her wedding dress, Alice helping her with laces in the back. Marion changed into her blue dress with round golden trimmed neck, high waist, full long skirt And short pink sleeves, the one she was abducted in, the one she met her Bertie in. 

And in that moment she heard wonderful singing, it was charming, it seemed to call her somewhere, out of the Manor house, to the nearby stream.

Marion frowned. It had to be some spell. She couldn't resist it, but she still could think reasonably. 

'Alice, Alice!' she called. 'I'm going to the Willeran Stream, tell Lord Elissar to come there, And tell him to bring his familiar with him!'

Alice frowned but went to search for her mistress' Fiancé.

Marion went out of her room, down the winding staircase, across the courtyard And into the lawn. Nobody paid notice to her, she was the Lady of the Manor, she went wherever she pleased, And everyone was busy.

Marion crossed the lawn And approached the stream. A tall slender young man was sitting there And singing the charming song. He was dressed in a Green puffy doublet embroidered with golden flowers, Green hose And a Green hat with a blue feather. Marion approached him, unwilling.

'Come here, my pretty maiden, sit near me,' the young man smiled with a dashing smile. Marion approached him carefully And sat down on the grass near him.

She knew from the legends who he was, he was Lord Halewyn, a fairy who lured maidens to him to drown or behead them afterwards. She only prayed Bertie came in time, that he understood her message, or Reggie explained everything to him.

Lord Halewyn smiled with a cruel smile, seized her And dragged her to the stream.

And at the Same moment Bertie appeared, running as quickly as he could, Reggie flying over him swiftly. Bertie saw the awful scene, reached the stream in several long leaps And drew his Sword quickly. Reggie meanwhile pounced on Halewyn And started clawing his Face with his fearsome claws. Halewyn wailed in pain. Bertie raised his Sword And cut Halewyn's head off with one swift strike. Halewyn's body disappeared immediately. Bertie looked at Marion bewildered And asked, 'What on Earth was that!?'

'Lord Halewyn, my lord,' Reggie explained calmly. 'A fairy who lures maidens to him with a magic song And then either drowns them or beheads them.'

Bertie shuddered And drew Marion into his embrace.

'I was sitting in my room when Alice, your maid, came there And said that you asked me to come to the stream and to bring my familiar with me. I didn't understand anything, to tell the truth, but Reggie told me very gravely to run here as quickly as I can if  want to save you in time, my dear! And so we came here And saw, well, this!'

Marion looked fondly at them.

'You are so clever, my dear,' Bertie said fondly.

Marion smiled gently to him.

'Now let's go back to the Manor house, my Knight.'

Bertie smiled gently to her, took her by her hand, And they went back to Lockwood Hall, Reggie flying swiftly over them.


Bertie And Marion returned to the Manor house hand in hand, Reggie flying over them. When they entered the courtyard, there was a crowd in the middle of the yard, headed by Lady Eleanor.

'Marion, my child, what happened!?' Lady Eleanor exclaimed aghast. 'I was sending invitations when Watt ran in And said that 'Lord Elissar was running out of the house at full gallop, his familiar flying behind him!'

'Lord Halewyn tried to drown me, Aunt Eleanor,' Marion said calmly. 'And Bertie saved me again.'

'Lord Halewyn!? Oh dear Gods!' Lady Eleanor clapped her hands in horror. 'And what of him.'

'Gone,' Bertie said succinctly. 'I beheaded him, And he just disappeared.'

Lady Eleanor nodded quietly.

'Now let's all dine, shall we? I wrote all the invitations,' she said briskly. 

Bertie and Marion nodded gently.

Everyone gathered in the Great Hall of the Manor house. It was a large room with dark wooden Vault, Bright tapestries on the walls, Shining suits of armour And dark wooden carved chairs along the walls. In the middle of the hall was a long dark wooden table covered with a spotless white tablecloth. On it we're standing large bronze flagons shaped like bulls or griffins, silver dishes with roast pork, roast fish And lamb, herb salad with violets And borage flowers, orange meatballs, blancmange, cherry And apple pies And ornate gingerbreads, And lots of silver plates, goblets, spoons And forks. Lady Eleanor was sitting at the head of the table, Marion And Bertie by both sides from her, And Aziz with Meritxell, Mette, Tegest, Wali, Simon, Alain And Sella immediately beneath them. Reggie was sitting on Bertie's left hand, And Ayrell was standing behind Mette.

'Wonderful great hall you have here, Lady Eleanor,' Bertie observed gently.

Lady Eleanor nodded smiling gently.

'So you have a familiar too, Baroness Mechtildis?' she asked curiously. 

'Lady Liara Rosebud, the Chief of the Council of Elders of Layenar, granted him to me,' Mette explained gently. 'He is Master Ayrell Lavender, staff fencer.'

Ayrell bowed deeply.

'Glad to meet you, Master Ayrell,' Lady Eleanor said gently.

'Pleased to meet you, my Lady, ' Ayrell said gently.

'So Prince Aziz, are you royalty or like a Duke?' Lady Eleanor asked curiously.

'I'm a very distant relative of the King of Kh'Saaba, without any significance whatsoever,' Aziz said gently.

Lady Eleanor nodded.

'And you, Princess Tegest?'

'I'm a grandnièce of the Chief of my clan,' Tegest explained smiling brightly.

Lady Eleanor nodded smiling gently. 

'This Kh'Saaba of yours, where is it and what's it like?' she asked curiously.

'It's far in the East, in the south of the great peninsula of Jazirat,' Aziz explained smiling gently. 'It's a fertile land, with fields And dense forests. It has many mighty forts, And it's capital, Jergath the Great, is splendid, with it's tall white Royal Castle, great Temple, many palaces And villas And the great bazaar.'

Lady Eleanor smiled dreamily.

'And you, Dona Meritxell, where are you from?'

'I'm a daughter of an hidalgo from Aragon, Don Aldemaro de la Cabrera,' Meritxell explained smiling brightly. 'I have one brother, Don Alberto. Our castle, Serralunga d'Alba, is tall And pink.'

Lady Eleanor nodded gently.

'And you, Baroness Mechtildis?'

'I'm from Occidentia,' Mechtildis explained gently. 'My father is Baron Adalbert de Châteauroux, And I have two brothers, Baron Bertrand And Baron Gilbert, one sister, Baroness Phoebe, And a maiden aunt, Baroness Clarissa. Our castle is much like Lockwood Hall, but it has octagonal Wall And large gardens with all kinds of roses, Bowers, chartreuses and Herb gardens.'

'Oh, it must be so charming!' Lady Eleanor smiled dreamily.

'Oh Yes,  it is,' Mette smiled wistfully.

'Baroness Mechtildis, so your Order is some kind of religious order?' Lady Eleanor asked curiously.

'Yes, our Order is for protecting pilgrims going to the holy places,' Mette nodded gently. 'I was a page to our Grand Master, Duke Albermond de Dorbagne, And my teacher in magic was our Grand Hospitaller, Fra Denis de Villeneuve.' 

Lady Eleanor nodded impressed.

'I say, Do you have proper attire for the wedding?' she asked carefully. 'Well, you, Baroness, shall be dressed in your habit, of course, And Lady Sella's dress is splendid enough, but what for you, Dona Meritxell?'

Meri looked at her blue sleeveless gambeson trimmed with gold, white wide shirt, creamy breeches And red high boots with golden spurs.

'I have excellent dresses, Lady Eleanor,' she smiled brightly. 'I'll think I'll wear the one with tippets, the one in my heraldic colours, per pale Barry azure And vert And bendy purpure And gules.'

'Oh, splendid!' Lady Eleanor beamed picturing the slender young Lady with curly auburn hair in a dress with blue And Green bars on one half And purple And red diagonal stripes on another half And with tippets on the sleeves. 

'Thank you, Lady Eleanor, I think so too,' Meri smiled brightly. 

A tall thin white haired man in a purple robe, Father Gernot, the chaplain of Lockwood Hall, coughed gently.

'I understand that you, Baroness, shall be the maid of honour, And Dona Meritxell, Princess Tegest And Lady Sella shall be the bridesmaids,' he said gently. 'But who shall be Lord Elissar's best man?'

'Reginald Gray, an old friend of my uncle's And my mentor And best friend,' Bertie supplied gently. 'He's a very busy man, but he shall be at the wedding without doubt.'

'Lord Reginald is a scholar, a most proper man,' Lady Eleanor added. 'He's commissioned the wedding rings already.'

Reggie looked at them with a smile in his eyes.

Father Gernot nodded gently.

'Master Alain, and you are a minstrel?' Lady Eleanor asked gently.

'Yes, I belong to the School of Troubadours of Dorbagne,' Alain smiled brightly. 'I'll play my lute at Bertie And Lady Marion's wedding feast, And I shall composé a song about their wedding.'

Lady Eleanor nodded beaming.

When they were sitting in the courtyard after the dinner, Marion asked Sella gently,

'Sella, can you bring our steeds from Layenar? My dresses are in my saddle bags, naturally.'

'Of course, Meri,' Sella smiled gently. 

'Oh good Gods, I nearly forgot to invite my Aunt Diana!' Bertie said with horror. ''If I forgot her, she would never let me hear the end of it, she'll go mad!'

'Your aunt the huntress?' Marion smiled gently.

'Yes, Lady Diana Travers from Brinkley Court,' Bertie nodded gravely. 'She always speaks in such a voice like she's talking with someone Riding after hounds half a mile away!'

Marion laughed gently.

'Better late than never, Bertie, I dont think you would actually forget her.'

'No, I suppose not,' Bertie smiled gently. 'I love my old flesh And Blood, such as she is.'

Marion nodded smiling gently.

'So I have to bring Lady Diana here too,' Sella observed. 'Brinkley Court, Worcestershire, Mercia?'

Bertie nodded smiling brightly.

'All right, I'd better be going then.' Sella nodded And disappeared

Some time later Sella appeared with a tall slender middle aged Lady in a dark blue  high collared wide velvet dress And a broad brimmed blue hat with a red feather.

'Bertie, you old hound, what's all this!?' she boomed. 'You are getting married, in Wessex, in several days!? What the Hell happened!? Don't tell me it's a joke!'

'No, it's not a joke, Aunt Diana,' Bertie said meekly. 'I'm getting married to a maiden I saved from an evil warlock. We have an official engagement. She is the most lovely Lady in the world. Her name is Marion Wardour. Oh, And I've been created the Marquess of Elissar, Aunt Diana.'

'Glad to meet you, Lady Diana,' Marion said gently, rising And making a curtsey. 'I'm Marion Wardour, the Lady of Lockwood Hall.'

Lady Diana looked at her, then at Bertie, then at his friends, And shook her head in bewilderment.'

'Well, it seems the young oaf chose right at last,' she commented. 'Now introduce me to your friends, Bertie, And tell me all about all this warlock And Marquess stuff. I always get to know everything last, it seems!'

Marion smiled gently.

'Please sit down, Lady Diana, and we'll tell you everything.'

Lady Diana nodded grinning broadly And sat down on a stone bench. Bertie started to tell her everything, aided by Marion, Reggie, Meritxell And Mette.

At last Lady Diana shook her head in awe.

'Well, well, well, that's an amazing story. It's high time though that Bertie got some friends who don't try leeching from him or a real Lady who doesn't try to make him Do something awful!'

Bertie shrugged his shoulders, smiling gently.

'Thank you, Lady Diana,' Marion smiled gently. 

Sella at that time reappeared in the courtyard with five horses And two draconian steeds.

Lady Diana looked at the abzulim in awe.

'Now that's some steeds!' she declared loudly.

'Thank you, Lady Diana, mine is called Merjan, and Wali's is called Sultan,' Tegest smiled brightly. 'They're like familiars to us, except they cannot speak.

Lady Diana nodded smiling broadly.

'Can I take a ride?'

'Well, Lady Diana, abzulim tend to throw off one who isn't their master,' Tegest explained gently. 'One has to be very athletic.'

'Old huntress here, Tegest,' Lady Diana grinned broadly. 'I think I'll try.'

Tegest nodded smiling broadly.

Later Meritxell was showing her heraldic dress to Marion, turning around in front of mirror in Marion's room.

'Oh, Meri, it's wonderful!' Marion said smiling gently. 'You shall be a most lovely bridesmaid! '

'Thank you, Marion,' Meri smiled brightly And went to look out of a window at the lawn where Lady Diana was Riding Merjan seemingly without effort, looking majestically on the draconian steed in her blue hunting attire.

'Some aunt Bertie has,' Meri observed. 'Now I see what he meant!'

'Yeah,' Marion smiled gently. 'Now let me show my wedding dress to you!'

'Of course, Marion,' Meri smiled brightly.

'Alice, my wedding dress, please,' Marion asked gently.

Plump short red haired Alice in her Green dress went to a dark wooden carved chest, took out the blue wedding dress And held it out for Marion to don it.

Marion removed her wide long red dress embroidered with silver roses, left in a spotless white linen shift, put the red dress on a chair And put on the splendid blue wedding dress. Alice laced the blue dress in the back.

'Well, how Do I look?' Marion asked smiling gently And turning in front of the mirror. 

'Splendid, Marion, splendid!' Meri smiled brightly. She stood behind Marion And looked at them both in the mirror. Marion smiled gently, Meri smiled brightly, they looked perfect.

Bertie escorted his Aunt Diana to Lady Eleanor's chamber. Lady Diana looked at the room And at Lady Eleanor with approval.

'Lady Eleanor Wardour, Marion's Aunt, my Aunt Lady Diana Travers née Wooster,' Bertie introduced them courteously. 

Lady Eleanor looked Lady Diana over And nodded.

'Glad to meet you, Lady Diana,' she said gently.

'Glad to meet you, Lady Eleanor,' Lady Diana boomed. 'I'm very Happy that our children are getting married, Marion seems like a nice lass.'

'And your nephew is a real gentleman, Lady Diana,' Lady Eleanor smiled gently. 

'That he is,' Lady Diana smiled broadly. 

'And your family, won't they come?' Lady Eleanor frowned.

'No, And this wedding is far better without them,' Lady Diana informed her. 'My husband Tom is always complaining, either about royal taxes or about someone buying some sliver pièce right before his nose. And my daughter Angela is always quarrelling with her Fiancé Hildebrand Glossop, because Hildebrand is always saying to her that she looks like a goat in her new horned headdress, or that she looks like an unsheared sheep in her new dress. I don't want nuisances like a that at my dear nephew's wedding!'

'I always try to reason with Brand, because he is my childhood friend, And Angela is my cousin,' Bertie supplied. 'Though to tell the truth, they're usually reconciled due to one of Reggie's plans, but I'm always the one to put them in action.'

'Now Bertie would never say anything like that to a lady,' Lady Diana continued. 'He always tended to fall in love with most unsuitable lasses who either tried to order him around or to Do some preposterous errand for them, or both,  And he would never as much as raise his voice at them!'

Bertie blushed deeply at these words.

Lady Eleanor nodded smiling gently.

On the morning of his wedding Bertie opened his eyes, yawned broadly, stretched lazily And looked at Reggie who was sitting on his dressing table.

'Good morning,  Reggie!' he said brightly And then blinked. 'Oh Gods, Reggie, I'm getting married today!'

'Don't worry, my Lord, everything shall be all right,' Reggie said gently. 'You are to be married to a wonderful Lady whom you love with all your heart, I'm your best man, And Baroness Mechtildis is the maid of honour. Everything shall be great.'

'Thank you, Reggie,' Bertie smiled brightly. 

He rose clad in his creamy shirt And his white braies, washed his face and hands from a brass jug And combed his auburn hair carefully.

He looked at his pink doublet, blue hose And  golden belt with his Sword laid out neatly on a table nearby, smiled brightly And went to the table. He took his clothes, sat on the edge of his bed,  put on his blue hose, put on his pink doublet And hooked it up quickly, girded himself, put on his red pointed shoes with golden spurs on them,  straightened his clothes And rose for Reginald to inspect his appearance.

Reggie looked him over long And fastidiously and then nodded.

'Everything is in order, my Lord,' he concluded.

Bertie nodded smiling brightly.

'Now shall we go, Reggie?'

'Indeed, my Lord,' Reggie said gently.

Reggie's outlines blurred And he was in his human form again.

Bertie And Reggie left the Green Room And headed for the Manor Chapel. 

Lady Diana was already waiting there, splendid in her dark blue dress And her broad brimmed blue hat.

'Good morning, Bertie, you young hound, good morning, Reginald!' She boomed. 'You both look splendid!'

'Thank you, Aunt Diana,' Bertie smiled gently.

'Thank you, my Lady,' Reggie smiled ghostly. 

Lady Diana smiled broadly at them.

At this point Marion appeared, attended by her bridesmaids And her Aunt. 

Bertie's breath caught in his breast. Marion, tall And slender, with a chaplet of white lilies on her long loose golden hair, was dressed in a long wide dark blue dress with round neck, tight sleeves with white tippets, sliver lilies embroidered on the hem And a golden belt with pearls, a diamond brooch on her breast, drop shaped Pearl earrings in her ears And a viridian emerald necklace around her white neck. She looked at Bertie's stunned Face fondly. Bertie looked tenderly at her.

Behind Marion was Mechtildis, tall And slender with large radiant blue eyes, in a white wimple And her wide purple robe with a stole adorned with diagonal crosses around her shoulders. She smiled gently at Bertie, he returned a gentle smile.

Meritxell was in her heraldic dress, her short curly auburn hair like a halo around her head. she smiled brightly at Bertie, he returned a Bright smile. 

Tegest, tall, strong And with dark curly hair, was in a teal vest trimmed with gold And held by a pink sash, in purple loose trousers And red babouches. She grinned broadly at Bertie. He smiled gently.

Sella, tall and slender, with her large violet eyes And long violet hair, was in a long purple dress with v neck And tight sleeves lined with black fur, with a golden girdle And golden embroidery along the hem. On her head was a black velvet gable Hood with a purple veil. She looked at Bertie dreamily. He smiled gently at her.

Lady Eleanor was in a long wide Green dress with high collar trimmed with brown fur, And with a golden net on her brown hair. She smiled gently at Bertie, he returned her gentle smile.

Aziz, tall, slender And dark, in a Green robe with golden net pattern, Rabbi Simon, tall And thin, in his black robe And black skullcap, Ayrell And Wali stood behind the bride, bridegroom, relatives And witnesses. Many neighbours, gentlemen in bright doublets And hose, And ladies in long Bright  dresses, horned And heart shaped headdresses, chapelets And veils, stood behind them.

Reginald approached the sturdy oak door of the Chapel And knocked on it gently but firmly.

Father Gernot opened the door with a gentle smile.

'Welcome to the House of Gods!' he declared solemnly. 'I see the bride And the groom are present?'

Bertie and Marion nodded firmly.

'I must ask you, Bertram de Wooster And Marion Wardour, are you of age?' Father Gernot asked gently. 

'I'm 28 years old,' Bertie nodded.

'And I'm 24 years old,' Marion supplied.

Bertie looked tenderly at her.

'Are you related?'

'There were no Woosters in my family,' Marion said firmly.

'And there were no Wardours in my family, well, till this day,' Bertie smiled gently.

'Are your parents or wardens agreeable with your marriage?' Father Gernot continued.

'My Aunt Diana agrees to my marriage,' Bertie said firmly.

'My Aunt Eleanor agrees to my marriage too,' Marion said firmly.

Father Gernot nodded solemnly. He opened the door widely, And the wedding party came in. Guests  sat down on the benches. 

Marion went down the aisle accompanied by Mette, Meri, Sella And Tegest. Bertie looked at her in awe. 

'Bertram,' Reginald prompted gently.

'Oh,' Bertie said. He hesitated.

'Bertram, I am by your side, I won't lose the rings, I'll remind you if you forget something, ' Reggie said gently. 'Go to your bride and don't worry about anything!'

Bertie nodded firmly And started walking down the aisle, Reggie by his side.

Bertie stopped in front of his bride And took a deep breath.

Marion looked gently at him. He smiled gently.

Reggie, Mette And other bridesmaids stepped down.

Father Gernot looked at the young couple smiling gently. 

'Bertram, will you take Marion as your lawful wedded wife?' he asked solemnly. 

'I will,' Bertie answered d firmly. 

'Marion, will you take Bertram as your lawful wedded husband?'

'I will,' Marion said smiling gently.

'Lord Elissar, what's your full name?' asked Father Gernot. 

'Bertram Wilfred,' Bertie supplied.

Father Gernot nodded.

'Repeat after me, 'I, Bertram Wilfred...'

'I, Bertram Wilfred, take you, Marion Adelaide, to be my lawful wedded wife, for poorer for richer,  for better for worse, in sickness And in health, till death us Do part, And therefore I plight thee my troth, ' Bertie repeated firmly.

'I, Marion Adelaide, take you, Bertram Wilfred, to be my lawful wedded husband, for poorer for rocher,  for better for worse, in sickness And in health, till death us Do part, And therefore  I plight thee my troth,' Marion said gently.

'Rings,' Father Gernot asked.

Reginald reached into his robe And produced two Shining golden rings with a gentle floral ornament. He proffered them to Bertie.

Bertie took one ring And put it on Marion's ring finger gently.

Marion took another ring And put it on Bertie's ring finger gently.

Bertie smiled fondly at Marion And she at him.

'What Gods joined No man shall part,' Father Gernot declared. 'I therefore proclaim you man And wife.'

Bertie beamed at Marion, she smiled gently. 

'You may kiss your wife now, Lord Elissar,' Father Gernot smiled. 

Bertie leaned, blushing gently, And kissed Marion delicately on her lips.

Then he straightened And took Marion by her hand.

'Ladies And gentlemen, the Marchioness of Elissar!' he declared smiling brightly. 

Marion smiled fondly to him.

Lady Eleanor sniffed. Lady Diana grinned broadly. 

Chorus burst out in a hymn, something about divine love.

The Great Hall was decked with garlands, And the table was magnificent. There were roast pig And lamb, capons And geese, venison, quails, oysters seeped in milk, Herb salads with violets, borage And Rosemary, full fried pikes And salmon, blancmanges and colourful striped jellies, gingerbreads And cakes, And heaps of buns. Lady Eleanor sat at the head of the table, Bertie sat to her right And Marion to her left, a dish with a mountain of stacked buns between them And in front of Lady Eleanor. Reginald sat by Bertie's side,  Lady Diana by Reginald's other side. Mette sat by Marion's side.  Meri, Aziz, Tegest, Wali, Simon And Sella sat immediately beneath. Other guests sat father. Ayrell was standing behind Mette.

Lady Eleanor, Lady Diana And guests looked expectantly at Bertie And Marion. Bertie blushed deeply, rose And leaned to Marion. Marion rose too. As Bertie was six feet two inches tall, he easily reached over the mountain of buns And kissed Marion tenderly. Everyone aww'ed looking at them.

Lady Eleanor sniffed looking at them, then turned to Reginald.

'It's so sweet seeing our children happily married, isn't it, Reginald?'

'Certainly, Lady Eleanor,' Reggie smiled softly. 

'I say, are you married yourself, Reginald?' Lady Eleanor asked gently.

Lady Diana bit her lips so as not to snort.

'No, Lady Eleanor, my profession prevents that,' Reginald said softly.

'Oh, I quite understand, Reginald, learned clerks can't marry,' Lady Eleanor said sadly.

'Quite so, Lady Eleanor,' Reginald smiled gently.

Bertie And Marion heard this exchange And barely contained laugh as they sat down.

Reginald rose holding his goblet.

'I know Bertram since his childhood,' he started smiling gently. 'He's a wonderful young man. He's generous, brave And gentle. He's a parfait gentil Knight, as one esteemed Lady once said. And one day he saved a maiden from an evil warlock. That maiden was Marion, a gentle And lovely Lady. And now they are wed. They are the most lovely young couple the world has ever seen. To Bertram And Marion de Wooster, the Marquess And Marchioness of Elissar, ladies And gentlemen!'

Bertie blushed deeply. Marion smiled gently.

'Thank you, Reginald,' she said gently.

'Thank you, Reginald, you're the truest friend I ever had,' Bertie said gently.

'Don't mention it, my friends,' Reggie smiled gently And sat down.

At this point Alain, who was standing on the minstrels' gallery with other musicians, made a sign to them, And as Alain started playing his faithful lute, other musicians joined them, playing viols, shawms, flutes, bagpipes and drums. They played a tender And gentle love song, 'But tell me how to woo thee, love.'

Bertie reached for oysters in milk, took one And passed it to Marion.

'Thank you, Bertie dear,' Marion smiled gently And swallowed it.

'Not at all, my dear,' Bertie smiled gently.

Lady Eleanor And Reggie smiled gently.

Meri smiled brightly.

'I'll tell you a funny story about Bertie,' she grinned. 'When we all were going to Layenar to save Sella from the Hydra Warlock, Bertie suddenly saw a purple foxglove in the Dalrymalla Woods And immediately picked it up And put it in his hat. Reggie told him that first, it didn't suit him, And second, he had a bad premonition. But Bertie can be stubborn sometimes, so he just shrugged it off. But some time later we met a Garde Champêtre, a demon groundskeeper put there a long time ago by a wizard called Eliar the Blue Gray. That groundskeeper was a tall hairy demon with a snake whip. And he declared we all we're trespassers And Bertie was a thief! Of course Bertie fought bravely with the Garde Champêtre with his Sword,  And Reggie with his claws, And Tegest with her Rumh halberd, And we defeated it. And then Bertie apologized to Reggie, of course.'

Bertie blushed with embarrassment.

Reggie smiled gently.

'I'll tell another story about Bertie,' Mette said gently. 'Near the Arwarden Castle,  where the warlock lived, we met a Frozen King. It's something that looks like a Frost monster, but it's really some poor sod who stole something from an Ice Queen And was turned into that being by her. Reggie told us that And told also that if one casts a Fire Spell on a Frozen King, it turns human again. So I cast Create Fire on the Frozen King, And he turned human again. I healed him immediately. He was Master Rupert, a groundskeeper of the Dukes of Elissar who owned the Arwarden Castle a long time ago. When he found that many years passed he was very distressed, naturally. And Bertie immediately gave fifty gold coins to him! Master Rupert left very pleased.'

Bertie blushed again.

'Speaking of  Master Rupert, Bertie, as you're now the Marquess of Elissar, aren't you his Lord now?' Meritxell asked gently.

'Oh, to think about it, Meri, you're quite right!' Bertie smiled brightly. 'I think I'll take him back into service!'

Marion smiled fondly at him, And so did Reggie.

Meri smiled brightly to him.

Bertie blushed. Then he rose And started singing in his pleasant light baritone.

'If doughty deeds my Lady please,

Right now I'll mount my steed,

And strong his arm And fast his seat,

Who bears frae me the mead.'

'But tell me how to woo thee, love,

O tell me how to woo thee,

For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,

Tho' ne'er another trow me.'

He looked at Marion tenderly at this point. She smiled gently to him

'If fine attire delights thy eye,

I'll dight me in array,

And Guard thy chamber all the night,

And squire thee all the day.'

'But tell me how to woo thee, love,

O tell me how to woo thee,

For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,

Tho' ne'et another trow me.'

'But if true love can win thy heart,

I've never broke a vow,

No maiden lays her skaith to me,

I've never loved but thou.'

'But tell me how to woo thee, love,

O tell me how to woo three,

For thy dear sake nae care I'll take,

Tho' ne'er another trow me!'

'I should think you already wooed me, Bertie, seeing as we're wed,' Marion smiled gently.

'Oh, er, quite,' Bertie said looking at the Shining golden band on his ring finger And sat down blushing deeply.

'Lord Elissar, And where is that domain of yours And what does it look like?' asked one tall slender young man with short blonde hair, in a purple puffy doublet, yellow hose And a dark blue broad brimmed hat. Bertie recalled the young man's name, Sir Kenneth de Braose, he thought it was.

'Er, somewhere in Eastern Plains, north of the elven town of Layenar, Sir Kenneth,' he smiled gently. 'There is the Arwarden Castle, where the warlock nested, a very large impressive affair from brown sandstone, with a powerful crenellated keep, And very cozy inside too, tapestries, Oriental carpets, dark wooden carved furniture, large four posters And all. And around it, well, there are Eladria Glades, a marshland, we found a treasure there, by the way, but I refused my part, of course. And to the north of it are some woods.'

Sir Kenneth nodded.

'And where shall you live after the wedding?' asked one buxom middle aged Lady in a long wide Green velvet dress with scalloped sleeves And high scalloped collar And in a white horned headdress. Lady Margaret Arundel, she was called, he thought.

Bertie looked at Marion.

'How my wife wishes,' he smiled gently. 'What say you, Marion?'

Marion looked thoughtfully.

'Well, as we have three domains now, I think we shall travel from one to another, staying s for some time where we like,' she supplied gently. 'Is that all right with you, Bertie?'

'Oh, quite,' Bertie smiled gently.

Marion smiled fondly to him.

'Three domains, Lockwood Hall, this March of Elissar And your hereditary domain, Lord Elissar?' Lady Margaret asked.

'Yes, Malvern Hall, in Worcestershire, Mercia,' Bertie supplied gently. 'It's a Manor house too. It's a tower house, square, from yellow sandstone, with four corner turrets And a stepped gable roof, in Malvern Hills, pleasant Woody Green hills.'

Lady Margaret nodded satisfied.

And at this point one tall strong red faced young man with fiery red hair, in a crimson doublet And Green hose, rose And roared:

'Marquess of Elissar! How Do we know who he really is!? Some stranger came And charmed Lady Marion, how Do we know that he isn't an evil wizard And not an imposter!?'

Bertie gaped.

'We know because there are reputable witnesses to ascertain that, Lord Everard,' Reginald said in a calm ominous voice. 'His Aunt Lady Diana, Lady Sella Violet, And his friends. He is indeed the first Marquess of Elissar. And let me remind you, Lord Everard Fotheringhay, that he is the present Lord of this Manor, And as such, he has the full right to have you thrown out of this house. And if you don't behave yourself, I shall gladly do that, And the maid of honour shall help me with that. '

'Certainly, Reginald,' Mechtildis said as calmly And ominously. 'And if you don't recall it, Lord Everard, I'm a Dame Commander of the Order of the Temple of Sagrada.'

Lord Everard Fotheringhay opened And closed his mouth several times like a fish, And then sat down quietly.

Bertie looked at Reggie gratefully. Reggie smiled gently to him. Mette smiled gently to him too.

'Everard, I know that you're jealous,' Marion said firmly. 'But I'm wedded now, And you have to deal with it.'

Lord Everard nodded meekly.

'Everard had too much to drink,' Lady Eleanor snorted. 'Behave yourself, Everard, or this house will be forever closed to you.'

Lord Everard nodded, sullen.

'Reminds me of my daughter's Fiancé, Hildebrand Glossop,' Lady Diana snorted. 'The Same appearance And the Same manners, or lack of them.'

'Yes, that's true,' Bertie nodded smiling brightly. 

After the wedding feast Alain started playing a merry dance tune, other musicians joined him. 

Bertie looked at Marion smiling gently.

'Shall we, my Marchioness?'

'Of course, my Lord,' Marion smiled gently.

Bertie took her by her hand And led her out to the dance floor. He bowed to her deeply. Then he raised their joined hands And circled around her swiftly. She circled around him slowly And gracefully.

Reginald looked at Lady Eleanor.

'Shall we, Lady Eleanor?' he asked gently. 

'Of course, Reginald,' she smiled a bit sadly.

He led her out into the dance floor, bowed to her deeply, And they started si circling around each other.

Meritxell danced with Aziz, Wali with Tegest, Rabbi Simon with Mette, Ayrell with Sella.

When everyone tired of circling, Alain played another tune, a carole. Everyone stood in a circle And linked their hands together And circled round And round, singing a merry song.

When the night fell, Reginald coughed gently.

'Bertram, I think it's time for retiring,' he suggested gently.

Bertie blushed deeply hearing this.

'Er, I suppose you're right, Reginald,' he said sheepishly.

Marion looked tenderly at him.

'Yes, Bertie,' she said gently. 'It's time. Let's go to our chamber.'

Bertie blushed again but took her hand firmly.

'If you say so, my dear,' he said gently.

He led Marion to the Green Room, Reginald following them.

As they entered, Reggie closed the door behind them, his outlines blurred, And he was a magnificent goshawk again. He flew to a table, settled on it And turned away delicately. 

Bertie looked at his bride, took her into his hands tenderly And carried her to the magnificent four poster bed. He deposed her on the bed gently And sat down near her delicately.

Marion looked him over with a long tender look And started unhooking his doublet. He blushed And removed the Lily chaplet from her head. Marion unhooked his doublet, he strew it off. Then  Marion turned around. Bertie understood, unclasped her emerald necklace And put it on the dressing table, then unlaced her dress. Marion removed her dress over her head, left in a spotless white shift. She was slim And curvaceous, like some goddess in this white attire. Bertie drew her into tender embrace. Marion unlaced his shirt. 

Next morning Bertie opened his eyes And yawned lazily. There was a warm soft weight on his chest. He looked down smiling. Marion was lying on his chest, slim And milky white, covered by her long golden hair. Bertie caressed her soft hair.

Marion smiled And opened her eyes.

'Good morning, husband,' she smiled gently.

'Good morning, my Marchioness,' Bertie smiled brightly.

Reggie turned his head.

'Good morning, my Lord, good morning, my Lady,' he said gently.

'Good morning, Reggie,' Bertie smiled brightly. 

'Good morning, Reginald,' Marion smiled gently.

'My Lord, your hair is in disarray,' Reggie said softly. 

Bertie felt his hair with his hand. Naturally it was dishevelled, all standing up in curls. 

Marion looked at his hair And smiled gently.

'Yes, you need to comb, Bertie,' she observed, looking at his auburn heap of curls.

'Eh, Yes, of course,' Bertie blushed.

He removed Marion from his chest softly And looked around. His clothes were neatly folded up on the dressing table, starting from his braies And his shirt.

He looked at Reggie gratefully And started to dress. He put on his braies And shirt. Marion looked tenderly at him from the bed. Bertie washed his Face And hands And combed his hair into the normal slightly wavy state. Then he put on his hose, doublet, belt And shoes.

Marion meanwhile put on her shirt. She washed her Face And hands And combed her long golden hair neatly. She then donned her dress.

'Bertie, help me please,' she called gently. 

Bertie came to her, nodded And laced her dress neatly.

Marion put on her emerald necklace And stood up.

Bertie offered his hand to her.

'Shall we go, my Marchioness?' he asked gently.

Marion nodded smiling gently.

Reggie flew to Bertie And settled on the large glove on his left hand.

Bertie smiled to him. They left their chamber.

They walked to the Great Hall. Lady Eleanor was already sitting there.

'Well, how did you sleep?' she asked gently.

'Er, very well,' Bertie said blushing.

'That's right,' Marion smiled gently.

'And where's Reginald?' Lady Eleanor asked curiously.

'He left,' Marion supplied. 'But he can tell you everything was all right.'

Bertie nodded blushing.

Reggie looked at them with a smile in his eyes.

'Well, I'll order breakfast,' Lady Eleanor smiled brightly. 'You two need some Restoration after the last night, Eh? '

Marion nodded smiling. Bertie nodded blushing.

Later Bertie with Reggie, Marion, Sella, Lady Diana And Lady Eleanor we're standing outside the gate of Lockwood Hall. Mette, Meritxell, Aziz, Alain And Rabbi Simon on their horses And Tegest And Wali on their abzulim were clustered on the lawn. Ayrell was standing by Mette's horse.

'Well, so long, what?' Bertie smiled brightly.

'So long, Bertie,' Meri And Mette smiled gently.

'Au revoir,' Marion smiled gently.

'Au revoir,' Reggie said softly.

'Au revoir!' Meritxell smiled brightly.

'Au revoir,' Mette smiled gently. 

They spurred their steeds And rode off. 

Bertie And Marion stood in front of the gate, waving And looking after them till they disappeared among the trees. Reggie looked after them too with a smile in his red eyes.