"His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Stephen Augustus Lancaster IV, Prince of Estrines," Lord Albelin bowed as my parents and new baby brother stood at the front of the court. Lord Albelin had been my father's Lord Steward since I'd been born, so around eight years when Stephen arrived. Stephen was nearly a month old on his name day, which was also the first time I saw him. My Aunt Estelle had been responsible for me while my parents were preoccupied with the new baby. Aunt Estelle had no children, she and her betrothed were not even married yet. For this month, I stayed up well past my bedtime, ate only what I wanted of dinner and skipped nearly every morning violin lesson I had. She never chastised me, even when she should have. "Where are the other three babies?" I asked Aunt Estelle during my brother's formal introduction. I refused to stand when Lord Albelin instructed the court to rise. My feet were stuffed into hard leather dress shoes, my toes crushed together. Stephen Augustus the Fourth, Lord Albelin had said. The Fourth. Who were Stephen Augustus one, two and three? I thought of the two babies my mother delivered stillborn just a few years back. Maybe they were one and two, but where's three? My mother was holding only one baby. I tugged at Aunt Estelle's dress, "Am I Stephen Augustus, too, Aunt Estelle?" She tilted her head in confusion. Maybe she didn't hear me, the entire court was now clapping for my baby brother. I was Ophelia. A girl. Plus, I was almost eight years old, wouldn't I know if I was Stephen Augustus One? After the ceremony, Aunt Estelle and I left with my parents. This is when I met baby Stephen for the first time. My fingers curled over the edge of the bassinet and I stared at him wide-eyed. I had never seen a baby in person before. He was smaller than I thought he'd be. My Aunt Estelle and I sat with him for the rest of the evening. "Aunt Estelle, why is Stephen number four?" I asked her. We sat in Stephen's nursery while he slept. It was a large nursery, almost as big as my room. She smiled and sat beside me on the floor. "Baby Stephen is named after your father, Stephen the Third. Your father is named after his father, your Papa, Stephen the Second. Papa is named after his father, Stephen Augustus Lancaster, the first of his name," she whispered. "Oooh," I cooed. I didn't quite understand. Stephen had father's name, who had his father's name, who had his father's name? They must have really liked the name Stephen. "Who was I named after?" Aunt Estelle paused for almost a minute. "Well," she started. Paused again. "You aren't named after anyone," she finished, finally. I only stared at her. "When your parents were expecting you, they were prepared for a baby boy. They hadn't thought of any girls names, because they didn't think you would be a girl." "Why did they think I would be a boy?" I couldn't understand what she was saying. How could they have known either way, that I'd be a boy or a girl? Isn't the birth a surprise every time? My questions pained Aunt Estelle. She explained that there were rituals, prayers. Persephone, the goddess of fertility and childbirth. My parents practiced the rituals, spoke the sacred words. Prayed to the Gods for a baby boy. She assured me that my parents loved me very much, and reminded me of the stillborn babies again. There was one other stillborn before me, too. "You might have been your mother and father's only baby and only boys may succeed to the throne. It is just the way of things," she frowned. It certainly has been the way of things. That was ten years ago, almost to the day. I am sat beside Aunt Estelle again, along with her Lord husband and two children. Lord Albelin instructs us to rise and this time, I do. My feet are still stuffed into hard leather dress shoes and they hurt just the same. I am no longer an unruly eight year old. It is not proper for me to remain seated while my brother, His Royal Highness Stephen Augustus Lancaster IV, Prince of Estrines is introduced to the court. This is just The Way of Things. We bow our heads while my brother meanders his way to the front of the court. He turns to face us and nods to us once before taking his place on my father's throne. We lift our heads and take our seats as well. This is our rehearsed respect for our future king. Stephen had always been a small boy, but today he looked especially frail atop that throne. He shifted uncomfortably. This year is the first year my brother will receive the court's gifts without being accompanied by my parents. He was now ten, no longer a boy. This will be an important year for him. One-by-one various noblemen offered their gifts. Silks and gems and armour. I paid little attention until my name was announced. "Your Royal Highness, Ophelia Elizabeth-Rose Lancaster, Princess of Estrines," Lord Albelin requested. The court rose, Lord Albelin smiled at me as I made my way to the front of the court. I stopped and bowed my head towards Stephen. I presented Stephen with a soft leather-bound journal. For only ten years, he had become quite the writer. He jumped to his feet to retrieve the book. I also handed him a handful of jacks and a small rubber ball. Stephen smiled and we immediately stooped to the court floor so I could show him how to play. Stephen was very good, better than me, even. We stood together and composed ourselves. We hugged and I lifted him from his feet for a moment. I bowed my head again. These were not proper gifts for a future king. These were not silks and gems and armour. This was not the proper way of things. I turned to face the court before making my way to my seat. A few older noblemen sighed and murmured. Others giggled and snickered. I resumed my seat beside Aunt Estelle and she wrapped her arm around my shoulders and pulled me close for a moment. She understood the way of things. Thankfully, the ceremony was coming to a close. My father presented Stephen with the same rapier his father presented him on his own tenth name day. The entire court stood to clap as it was fastened to my brother's waist. He resumed his seat clumsily for his final gift. Lord Peccoth approached my brother seemingly empty-handed. "Your Highness, I present to you on your tenth name day a Caspian colt," he bowed quickly and turned towards the back of the court. I turned as well. The doors opened and a large man stepped inside. He brought with him a small horse. I tilted my head. I had either never seen a man so large or a horse so small. When they passed, I noticed that the man was not of abnormal height, the horse was just a small horse. A baby, as well. The horse was not even saddled. I imagine they didn't make saddles that small. Stephen jumped to his feet and rushed down the few steps towards the horse. I smiled. The noblemen in attendance shifted in their seats and murmured to each other. The Prince was not to descend the steps until announced, until we stood for him. This was not the way of things. The man leading the horse did not look phased. He stopped before the boy King and bowed just slightly at the waist. He wasn't from around here. In fact, I'd spent many hours around the stables and I'd never seen him before, not once. "Who's the new stable man?" I nudged Aunt Estelle. She only shrugged. The man turned to face the court and bowed at the waist again. The same older noblemen murmured again. It seemed she wasn't the only one curious about the new stable man. He led the horse out. "Does anyone else have anything to present to Your Highness, Prince of Estrines?" Lord Albelin asked the court. The court was silent. "All rise." The noblemen scattered once Stephen had left. I was making my way towards the end of the court when I caught my father's eye. I sighed aloud. I was hoping to sneak back to my chamber undetected. He motioned for me to sit with him at the back of the near-empty court. "You were not required to present a gift," he said to me with a frown. I just stared at him. "It's not proper for you to present him with toys during court." I shrugged. "Why do you do this?" he asked, exasperated. "It doesn't make any sens--" I started. "You can go." He interrupted. I stood quickly and turned on my heels, stomping my way past nosy noblemen. I headed directly for my bedroom and kicked my shoes off. Stephen was sitting on my bed, waiting for me. "Can you show me how to play again?" He asked, jacks in hand. I smiled.