TITLE: THE POTTED PRINCE
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy
Fortunee's father has been arrested for using magic. Meanwhile, the King's dog has attacked the King on a hunt near her house. When Fortunee returns home, she finds her brother with the King's dog.
I froze on the threshold. "That--that's the King's dog!"
Bertrand did not move from his spot near the fire, but his knife grazed the wood he was carving as I'd asked him about the weather. "His life was in danger. Do you think I would take him for anything less?"
I've tried to reason with him," Maman said, grabbing a handful of dried lavender. "It's no use."
"The dog's life was in danger?" I said. "What about our lives? Did you know that one of the King's dogs tried to kill him?"
Maman glanced at Bertrand. "You did not tell me this."
"I was there," he said, cutting hard into his whittling with his knife. "The dog was cursed."
"How do you know that?" I said.
"He was thinking, 'Kill the Dauphin.'" He blew on his carving, scattering chips everywhere.
"The dog attacked the Dauphin?" Maman said.
"It got the King. It missed the Dauphin. The King was injured." I crossed myself. "I took your herbs."
I hung up my shawl and slipped out of my pattens, which I wore outside. The straw we strew over our floor scratched my bare feet.
"You gave herbs to the King?" She put down her herbs. "And the King, how does he fare?"
I had done nothing. I couldn't tell her the truth. I had promised the Dauphin. "The King is well."
Bertrand smiled as his knife scraped against the wood. "See, Maman," he said. "I saved the Dauphin, and Fortunee saved the King. Perhaps they will pardon Papa."
"Papa needs no pardon." Maman smashed herbs into her jar with more strength than was needed. "He did nothing wrong."
My mind turned on what Bertrand said earlier on why the dog was calm now. I stepped closer to the crackle of the fire. "What do you mean you saved the Dauphin?"
"There was a man who came and talked to the dog," he said. "He could talk to the dog's mind, like I can, but he was not pleasant."