As I couldn't get what happened next out of my head I decided that both parts would be better posted in fanfic rather than off topic. As I don't know how to move things around on the boards I have simply reposted this part here
"Derry had never regretted for one instant his decision, made on the very day of his knghting, to become Morgan's aide and knew that his life had been immeasurably richer for it. Far more dangerous too, of course, but that he considered was a fair exchange for being so much nearer to the centre of power. He was grateful too for the real friendship that he enjoyed with Morgan which went far beyond their mutual obligations as lord and vassal. He had never held Morgan responsible for his trauma at the hands of Wencit, and he would indeed have been mortified had he known of the burden of guilt that Morgan still carried.
Morgan never flaunted or abused his rank and he was a good lord to all his subjects; he could though, Derry considered, on occasion be remarkably insensitive to the feelings of others. This opportunity to enjoy a gentle joke at his Grace's expense was just too good to miss.
Derry had never lost his passion for horses and he kept a weather eye on the ducal stables especially when any mares were likely to drop their foals. He loved the grace and beauty of the Morgan's family's own mounts - and counted himself privileged beyond measure to be given his pick of the stables up to and including Morgan's own mount. Had Derry but known it, Morgan was just a tad jealous of Derry's abilities to control the stallion without the benefit of the Deryni powers which Morgan himself needed. However he also had a soft spot for the work horses; those patient beasts of burden who carried on the work of the ducal estates and enabled the people to be fed. Beautiful, however, they were not.
In this year of Grace 1127 a goodly number of mares were in foal and as the evening of March 31st drew on it became clear that two of that number would be likely to drop their foals in the early hours of the next morning. It was then that a cunning plan formed itself in Derry's head.
Morgan had returned to Coroth to join his family for the forthcoming Easter feast - taking a much needed break from his demanding work in Rhemuth for King and Council. He was tired and in truth be told more than a little grumpy. Doubtless he had not even stopped to think that Richenda would have everything well in hand before he began double-checking the arrangements for the festival and suggesting improvements. Richenda had born it well and with her customary skill brought her lord's thinking round to hers. Only a tightening of the lips betrayed any feeling at all and then only if you knew to look for it. And Derry did.
"Well, then, my Lord," he thought, "a little April Fool will do you no harm and maybe even some good." But what he would do had not become clear until that evening. Catching Morgan's eye during the evening meal in the great hall, the other nodded to him to approach. He bowed to both Duke and Duchess, for although he valued the informality he was allowed in private, he would never have dreamt of being anything other than punctilious in such a formal setting - he wondered whether Morgan knew that if he was at all annoyed with him, he bowed far more deeply than at other times.
"Milord, the mare you put your R'khassi stallion to - she's about to drop. I'm minded to be with her until she does, unless your Grace has any other need of me?"
"No, that's fine, thank you Derry. And - thank you. It's a labour of love for you, I know, but I do appreciate your trouble." Morgan smiled in genuine gratitude; Derry bowed again lest his own smile be suspect.
Derry did indeed stay with the beautiful mare while she was labouring. What he had failed to mention was that he spent time too with another mare. Not a lady this time but a stout, plain country work-horse whose foal, as plain and ordinary as his mother, was born shortly after midnight and immediately began to suckle. Assuring himself that all was well with the pair he returned to the highly bred, yet equally placid lady in the Duke's own stables. With care he eased the long elegant legs of the foal straight in the birth canal and soon a beautiful thoroughbred colt wobbled to his feet and sought sustenance from his mother. Another stallion fit for a ducal household. Once he was replete, and ensuring that he had been fully accepted by his mother, Derry carefully lifted the colt in a blanket and carried him to the working stables where he repeated the process with the other foal. Neither mother seemed in the least concerned, used as they were to the security, but also the peculiarities of the humans that surrounded them.
He then carefully hid himself away in the tack room and waited. As he expected at first light on this first of April Morgan himself came to check that all was well. His expression on seeing the fruits of his careful breeding programme was something that would stay with Derry for a long time."
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