The spy walked through the empty halls of the Ilvoran castle. She loved the early morning before even the staff was awake. She liked to roam the hallways, listening to the echo of her footsteps on the stone floor. It helped her think.
Andrea had a lot to think about these days.
Throughout the past month, it was clear that it was becoming increasingly difficult for the Devereaux family. The opinion of the people was declining; it wasn't low enough to be worried about what they would do, but it had lowered sufficiently that the people would hardly put up a fight if there were a coup.
That's what worried Andrea. There were signs that something was going to happen; she had pieces of the puzzle. She just... she needed to fit them together, to find an answer before it was too late.
At breakfast, later that morning, she stands between the King and Queen of Ilvoran as they eat and discuss. So far they've kept the children from hearing the discussion, and they've kept everyone else out of the loop as well. It was hard to know who to trust, and the three of them hadn't wanted to risk suspicion. Andrea isn't an official advisor. Officially, she is a trusted confidant of the royal family. Unofficially, she is a spy quite adept at gathering information.
It is part of what has made the Devereaux family so successful this generation.
It is not unusual for her to join the royal family for breakfast. She doesn't eat with them but stands just behind the King and Queen between their chairs so that they can speak privately while still allowing the couple to enjoy their meal and spend time with the children. Jacqueline Devereaux is thin and seemingly delicate, but Andrea has always admired her spirit. The Queen may look like the wind will blow her away, but her presence gives you the impression that she would do anything but bow over. Jaqueline is tense now. She is smiling at her eldest daughter and listening to her husband, and so it isn't easy to see, but Andrea has known her for a long time, and she's familiar with the way her shoulders have come up, drawn in with tension. "I have to wonder if it is someone on the council," Julien Devereaux remarks, staring despondently at his breakfast. Physically, he is the polar opposite of his wife. Where she is tall and thin, he is short and wide. His quick and energetic personality is in direct contrast with her calm, thoughtful demeanor. Like Jacqueline, though, he gives those around him the impression that his will is strong.
His wife casts him a sharp look, and he sighs. "I don't enjoy speaking ill of the people we hand-picked to help us lead, but we have investigated avenues elsewhere and have nothing to show for it."
Andrea leans forward now, "Pardon the interruption," she knows that they don't mind, that they keep her for her opinion, but there is still a matter of respect there for the country's leaders. She will always show them that respect. They pause, turning to listen. "I think there is merit to the idea. It is not ideal, certainly, but we would be remiss to leave any stone unturned with your safety at risk." She doesn't have to add that their safety includes the safety of their children.
"See what you can find," Jacqueline says after a beat. She's reluctant, but even she can see that they shouldn't be so quick to dismiss them simply because they are on the council. "I just hope you are both wrong."
"As am I, Your Grace." Andrea is quick to excuse herself from their presence, offering a quick bow to the royal family before doing so.