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Philippa awoke again in her chamber on the morning of August 10, 1197, for the last time. The image of the skeleton staring at her still lingered. She lay there almost relishing the chill she still had from the dream until she remembered the wedding part of that vision was entirely real. Philippa turned and snuggled down into the crevasse of the feather mattress. She felt nervous despite wanting the marriage. Nervous because of everything that had happened previously and the memories still branded in her mind. Philippa prayed the skeleton was no foregleam of the future.

She wandered out of her private chambers and into the main hall, the scent of roasting boar luring her out of bed. The creature roasted on a spit, the smoke hanging in the air as the day grew warmer. Servants swatted at flies as open fires scorched the fowl and boiled the vegetables freshly picked from the garden. They curtsied and bowed as Philippa wandered through the main hall, a cramped room compared to what she had grown up with, and passed the wooden planks used for tables. White linens billowed and snapped as two young girls spread them on top. Philippa surveyed the work and smiled. Her preparations had gone a long way in smoothing out what work was left.

After making sure the wedding preparations were going well, Philippa retreated back into her chamber where her sister, Clare, helped her dress. Though her dress and arrangements were more modest than her first wedding, Philippa felt all the excitement and nervousness she missed before. She sat while one of the servants combed her hair, weaving flowers into the fair strands. Clare paced the room with her baby, cooing and stroking his head.

"I suppose in a year from now, I'll be doing the same thing you are," Philippa said.

Clare laughed. "We already had this conversation several years ago. And what you said never came true. Gratefully, I have to say."

Philippa smiled. "I say it with joy and not terror this time."

Clare sat on the edge of the bed near Philippa. "Things are now the way they should have been the first time," she said, her dark blue eyes shimmering. "You will have years to get back the happiness you've lacked. I know Edric will see to that."

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