Title: Queen of the Night
Character/s: Ygraine, Arthur
Summary: Ygraine discovers something disturbing
Word Count: 400
Prompt: Bingo, prompt: 'Ygraine'
Author's Notes: This ficlet is inspired by two movies— maybe it's possible to guess which ones?
Queen of the Night
Ygraine passes through the corridor towards the royal chambers. It is night, and the castle is quiet, its rooms emptied of servants and courtiers. This suits her. She hasn't been able to sleep much lately, anxieties keeping her awake. Uther, distant and angry, has started looking straight through her. Everyone else appears completely on edge. Her pregnancy, which was such a joy to her, has become a source of discomfort and doubt. When did everything change ? What happened?
Suddenly she hears a cry.
There's a child, a baby wailing in the night. What is it doing here, so close to Ygraine's chambers? Passing the royals' door, she moves to the room where the baby's cries already are being stilled by soft murmurs, a comforting quiet voice.
Curious, Ygraine enters and looks at the woman who is about to nurse a newborn while whispering sweet endearments. Who is she? Why are they here? And why do they look slightly blurry, as if enveloped in mist?
"There, there, sweet princeling," she hears the woman say. "Be easy, little Arthur. Your may be motherless, but I've got what you need."
Her inquisitiveness suddenly laced with dread and worry, Ygraine moves even closer, staring at the two. The woman with the infant does not look up or acknowledge Ygraine's presence, but shivers and pulls her shawl tighter, as if she's suddenly freezing cold. She starts humming. "Hush now, Prince Arthur, don't you cry... don't be afraid, harm will pass you by..."
"Who are you?" Ygraine asks. "Is this your child?"
The nursing woman doesn't respond.
"Answer me!" Ygraine raises her voice, reaching for the woman's shoulder, wanting to shake her. Her hand slides right through the other's body. A ghost! The woman is obviously a ghost, and the baby must be one, too.
Afraid, Ygraine backs away. These must be long-ago royals, visiting from beyond the grave. When was there last a Prince Arthur in Camelot? She has never heard of him. That's what she and Uther have decided to call their son, so soon to be born.
Ygraine leaves and hurriedly returns to her bed. She sinks weightlessly into its cloudy comfort of duvets and either-down pillows. Why is it always so cold? Why are there ghosts in the castle?
Closing her eyes, pushing the questions away, she fervently hopes that everything will go back to normal once her precious child is born.