Oh, oh, when I was younger. Oh, oh, should have known better.
If one were to ask Ophelia of her thoughts of her time at Elsinore, the lady-in-waiting would be quite afflicting. Although she was considerably content with the privilege that she'd been born into, there was rarely a time in which the nymph felt as if she belonged. She did not appear to mind waiting after the deeply revered Heiress Gertrude, attending to her every need, it was often monotonous. There was rarely a change in Her Highness' routine, and while Ophelia did not mind the duties given to her, the thought that she was intended for more could not help but dawn on her on infrequent occasions. She did her best to jostle those ideas once they occurred. After all, if she made idle for too long, she would become victim to the pryings of the fellow maidens she was surrounded with, but could never quite blend in with.
If not for the advisory office that her father Polonius held, their family would be dirt poor. Ophelia was not alive during the misfortune in which her father and brother Laertes suffered for their current wealth, and as a result, knew only the confiding castle walls of Elsinore. She knew very little about her mother. Simply that she perished in childbirth and that she resembled the woman in an incredible amount of ways. But because her origin was that of the commonwealth, she was more often than not the target of leisurely scrutiny. It must have been a hobby to point out her every gaping flaw. From the way she danced devoid of grace or control, to how she was always late, to the mere way she smelled - which was the most common jab. Ophelia wasn't much drawn to pearls or jewels, and even if she was, her family couldn't afford it. Most attire worn was provided by the court, but many maidens adorned their luxurious locks with stones or perfume by their own possession. Ophelia often would opt to garnish her ginger combers with violets and rosemary, her only aroma coming from the lilypads she sailed aside. This earned a frequent chuckle that failed to stifle itself from her ears, but she told herself not to care until it became her truth.
Besides, today she couldn't focus on the feeble-minded critiques of those who could never quite understand her. Today was a special day for Elsinore's Royal Court. Princess Hansina, along with her good friend Horatio were returning home from their studies today! As they've been away since the winter, and it was now approaching the warmest days of summer, their furlough was well-earned.
Hansina, often going by the masculine Hamlet, had always been fond of Ophelia, and Ophelia had responded the same. Entering the highest of riches and liberties as a lady-in-waiting was quite daunting when seldom anyone entertained the idea of kindness to her other than her father and brother, but Hamlet was different. A natural leader of all people, no matter how big or small, Hamlet was the first person outside her bloodline to give Ophelia a chance at friendship and offer her a smile. Even now, she remembers their first official meeting fondly. It was at Hamlet's going-away celebration of her sailing off to school the following morn, and Ophelia and her family were in attendance by request. Ophelia was a newly aged twelve years old and had not a clue on what to do at such a gathering except keep herself flush against the wall, with Laertes by her side. About halfway into the party, Hamlet approached her, a glimmer in her azure irises as she requested that such a lovely young girl like herself did not keep herself hidden, such as a wallflower would do. With encouragement from Laertes, Ophelia timidly joined, blending in with ease. Every vacation was filled with moments like these, and very seldom did Hamlet deprive her of the joys of youth whenever she returned home.
The day of her arrival always brought the whirling chaos of thousands of workers, maidens, countrymen, and beyond to assure her arrival was as celebratory as the eyes could see. Her Majesty begun planning as soon as her latest departure had ensued, it was a good passing of the time, and a way to keep busy without having to put in any attested effort into the affair. It showed to all be a bit much, as Hamlet would usually retreat away from the celebration as soon as it ceased. She would never admit it, but the lass was quite timid at times but could be extroverted when called upon.
She was scheduled to arrive half past the current hour of one, right as the sun was shining it's brightest rays of the fickle days. The streets grew so crowded that from a bird's eye view, you couldn't even see the dirt that rested on the ground. Ophelia was never one much for crowds, but these sorts of events were almost entertainment within itself, seeing just how many people could fit in the refinement of the narrow cobblestoned streets of Elsinore. Being near to Her Highness always proved to have a good view of the grand entrance, as it was prime for Gertrude and King Hamlet to greet him with open arms. It was always a tradition, but it was explicitly vital in this case. The princess was turning nineteen in a matter of days, and a celebratory festival was required for such a milestone. The prior noise that once resided reached a hush, anticipation trembling at the forty-foot wooden gates swinging open. The reserved chatter was valued for only a short time before the expected blonde was spotted, mounted atop a white as snow steed, with Horatio in tow not far off behind her.
Ophelia watched in awe, her porcelain palms clasping together in applause as the ever-present simper upon her lips stretched out into a beaming grin. The genius was just as breathtaking as she remembered her, if not more so. Golden tendrils had been spliced for a shoulder-length style, dancing in the wind to become the ideal picture frame of her face. Contradicting as always. Sharp cheekbones complimented a button nose, cinnamon freckles dusted upon her fair complexion. But of all the masterful beauties she displayed, it was her eyes.
Hamlet was a master of many gifts, but lying was not one of them. Not to Ophelia. She knew to look in her orbs of lagoon blue and could see past the facade often propped up for protection. To an outsider's glimpse, Hamlet was a stalwart of a prospective ruler, with exceeding potential to become a monarch for her people. Ophelia did not deny any of those things, but she knew there was more than that - far more.
Demounting from the horse she rode upon, the future heir approached her parents, who lent their wholehearted embraces to her, congratulating their daughter on coming so close to the end of her final term. Which, respectively, was a hearty squeeze from King Hamlet, and many kisses upon the face from Queen Gertrude, which Hamlet, of course, demurred at in her embarrassment. She was rather charming when bashful, the faintest of crimson bringing color upon her cheeks.
"Mother, that is most unnecessary-" Hamlet had begun, her nostrils scrunched as pearly chuckles rolled off her tongue like Sunday morning bells, which never failed to cause Ophelia's stomach to flutter all about. However, Hamlet's sentence was interrupted as her gaze browsed over the ladies-in-waiting, until landing on Ophelia. Oh, curse her heart for jumping. The inception of a smile quivered upon the right-hand corner of her mouth, a soft nod transferring in her direction. "Milady." She politely muttered, her smile widening at the familiarity of her dear colleague. Her gaze remained upon her until she was distracted once more, becoming whisked away by the clutter of dozens of commoners, begging for a greeting from the long-awaited princess.
Welcome home, my Lord.