Secret Children 11: Cracked Diamond

By Desert Mouse

Diamond rose from the steps out of the dungeon with a heavy heart. She didn't like it when she had to punish the other girls in the castle. But she didn't have any other choice, if she didn't keep order in the castle then things would start to fall apart.

"I should have time for another round before supper." Diamond thought exiting the stairwells leading to the lower levels. Several times a day she patrolled the castle, checking in on each of the girls and several of the most important supply rooms. Since the kitchen was the closest area to her she decided to start with that.

In the kitchen she found that Holly was busy preparing supper and it looked like it would be ready soon. Rose was back helping her by washing some of the pots that Holly was already finished with. Everything looked peaceful despite the excitement that had just happened.

"Are you girls all right?" Diamond asked. Rose turned around briefly to nod before going back to her pots and Holly didn't even bother to turn. She was heavily focused on her cooking.

"She frightened us a little but we are fine now." She replied. Diamond left without saying a word, and passing through the dining area she found that it was empty. Not wasting any time she checked the grand ball room before heading upstairs.

On the second floor the first place she checked in on is the common room, because normally there is someone resting. But not this time, so she headed towards the music room. She could hear music coming from inside so Diamond knew that she would find someone. And it turned out to be Violet practicing for the upcoming festival with Jade. Her twin sister Sakura sat nearby watching with a brilliant smile on her face and her tail wiggling with excitement.

"No sense in bothering them." Diamond thought about to leave, but when she took one more glance inside she saw that Sakura was looking at her with a curious look on her face. Diamond almost expected her to walk up to her, but when that didn't happen she left anyway.

"I'll just check in on Emerald and Ruby and that should be good until after supper." Diamond thought walking from the music room to the girls bedrooms. She poked her head into Emeralds room where the castle's healer was watching over Crystal.

"She fell down the stairs." Emerald commented when she heard Diamond enter the room. She looked at the older girl.

"I heard. Is she going to be ok?" Diamond asked more out of curiosity then concern. The truth was that she wasn't really that worried, she had faith in Emeralds ability to heal and there had never been any real serious injuries in the castle in the past nine years.

"It was just a little fall. I'll have her rest here tonight and she will be fine." Emerald replied.

'Let me know when she is awake, I would like to speak with her." Diamond requested before leaving the room and heading to Marigolds sleeping quarters. Before she even reached the door she could hear someone grumbling to themselves inside.

"It isn't fair." Diamond stopped just outside the door, reluctant to interrupt before she at least got to hear what Ruby thought was unfair.

"Indeed what is unfair? That you have to undo the damage you caused to Marigold's room" Diamond thought curiously.

"It was just a little joke, I shouldn't have to miss evening meal." Ruby mumbled to herself almost as if she could have heard Diamonds thoughts.

"Perhaps that is harsh. I'll ask Rose or Holly to bring her some food after they eat." Diamond decided walking past the room with only a brief glance inside to confirm that Ruby was working hard.

With a sigh Diamond turned around and headed back to the stairs with the intention of going up to try and find where Sapphire might be cleaning today. Instead she almost ran into Sakura.

"You watch alone in darkness, ever vigilant. Forced always standing, always strong but never embraced." The little girl spoke in her rhythmic voice.

"You have no idea little one." Diamond thought sadly.

"Time long past, emptiness created holding many hats never resting." Sakura said looking at the older girl with a bright smile. Sometimes even Diamond wondered how she could always seem so happy. But the child's words made her think about the past, how things had been in the beginning when she was only seven but thrust into the position of being responsible for them all to survive. It would be several months before Holly or Sapphire would be ready to help her. And even back then it was easy to see that Marigold and Lily would have no interest in taking some of the pressure off. But those four were still two years younger than Diamond and everything fell on her shoulders.

It was hard for her to adapt, and Diamond was only able to do it because she had been mature for her age. The man that locked them up told her that's why she had been chosen, he believed she could make it work in the early stages.

"It wasn't easy but I managed, and when they were ready Holly and Sapphire were both eager to help out." Diamond thought trying to pull herself away from the pointless memories. There was no use in dwelling on the past, it wouldn't help them now.

"You better run along. " Diamond said patting the child on the head. It would only be a matter of time before Jade came looking for her. So Diamond decided to continue on with her lonely patrol.

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