Alfred thought about it and decided to travel back and see that woman. Perhaps she had found something out. He headed to the address but was nervous of going inside. He had never been in such a house before. He hesitated.
He decided to wait a bit until either he got his courage up or until someone came outside. A woman left the house and looked at him intently. Alfred hoped she wouldn’t send him away. Instead, she returned inside, then came out again a short time later and left.
Hivera came out. Perhaps the woman had told her.
“Alfred! How nice to see you. Will you come inside?” Alfred shook his head. He had changed his mind. He didn’t belong here.
“Never mind, we can talk out here.” She studied him, much as the other woman had. “I think you look like your father, only you have blue eyes, which is strange.” “You know who my father is?” Alfred asked in shock.
Hivera asked him again about what he knew. Alfred had been told that his father had spent time in prison – he’d got that much out of his mother before she stopped herself. “I heard.. I heard a rumour that… that he was imprisoned for treason. But I know that traitors are executed so that didn’t seem right.” Hivera smiled. She knew it. She had known all along. “Yes, I know who your father is.” She proceeded to tell him.
She said that his father was accused of attacking the queen, which she felt was a lie. If that had been so he would have been executed but he was released after just nine years. She didn’t explain why the queen would lie – it didn’t seem to make sense, but the tale tallied with what he had heard. He couldn’t take it all in.
“How do you know this?” “Because your father is my father. You are my long-lost brother.”
Alfred was astounded, speechless. Finally, he stuttered “But, but.. how… why… why..”
“Why are you living with the person you think is your mother and not with your real family? She’s not your mother. You were taken from your real mother as a baby and given to that woman to raise, probably for money.”
“I don’t understand… Why?” Alfred’s head was reeling.
“Because the law says only two children per family, even though the queen has two sisters – huh.” Alfred could think of nothing to say. He shook his head. His mother wasn’t his mother? He was confused. He wanted to leave, to think about all this. He made a clumsy apology and made an attempt to flee. Hivera restrained him just a fraction. “When you’re ready, I’ll take you to meet them – your parents.” Alfred ran.
Hivera didn’t chase him. She knew he’d be back eventually. In the meantime, her wedding was coming up. But she had found her brother and was happy. Just imagine the look on her parents’ faces. She was so pleased with herself.