|Never Go Home Again
Author: Vaneria Potter PM
Marian got her Happily Ever After, but what about her family?Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Fantasy - Marian - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,117 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 01-01-12 - Published: 12-20-11 - id: 7656902
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own the Black Jewels Trilogy, associated works, or any of the characters. No profit is being made.
Summary: Marian got her Happily Ever After… but what about her family?
NEVER GO HOME
I wasn't proud of what I did, when I gave my eldest daughter to those Aristo Warlords, but what choice did I have? Let them have a useless Hearth Witch who did nothing important, who wore only the Purple Dusk, or sacrifice an Opal Priestess-in-training or a Green Healer-in-training?
I didn't want to give Marian to the Warlords – a Hearth Witch saved on hiring a housekeeper, after all – but we would have lost everything if I hadn't. My position as a fourth-circle guard barely supported the cost of my daughters' training, and we relied on the income from Dorian's shop for the rest. Gambling was a way to supplement that a little, but it had been a bad night for me, and I had racked up too much of a debt.
Marian, for all of her gentle nature, had a very strong will, stronger than that of her sisters. She would never be broken. I had expected that they would have their fun and return her, and everything would go back to normal. I had seen the dangers of my gambling and ambition, and would make an effort to change. I would be able to buy Marian a few of the books she liked, and buy new jewellery for my younger daughters so that they wouldn't need to borrow Marian's all of the time.
But Marian never came back, and the bodies of the Aristo Warlords were found as little more than human-shaped sacks, every bone in their body shattered, according to the sick-looking Healer's examination.
If something had done that to five dark-jewelled Warlords, what hope could there be for a Purple Dusk Hearth Witch?
Dorian cried, and we all spent the appropriate amount of time mourning, but life went on. My younger daughters completed their training, and were becoming quite respected in their areas. But then Terrielle started to become dangerous, and when Mirian narrowly escaped being attacked, I moved my family to Kaleer, to the village of Riada.
That was when we found out the truth.
It was so simple.
Dorian was going through her moon-time, my daughters (don't think of Marian…) certainly didn't know their way around a kitchen, what cooking I knew was suited only for the Eyrien war camps, and our maid had just left, so we were going to the Tavern for a meal.
We were early, beating the evening rush, and had just sat down when the doors opened to admit an Eyrien toddler, closely followed by an adult male wearing Ebon-Grey jewels. The tavern-keeper looked up with a grin. "Prince Yaslana!" She quickly hid a grimace at the sight of the scampering child. "How is Marian today?"
I felt a pang of grief at the name, drawing my attention as Prince Yaslana waved a hand, grabbing the toddler by the leg just in time to stop him from crashing into the crude chandelier. "She's feeling a bit under the weather, but still protesting that she's fine and doesn't need to rest."
The tavern-keeper's husband stayed out of his wife's reach. "Ah, all women do that sometimes, and even Hearth Witches are allowed to be ill once in a while. Bread and a few pies should last you until she's back on her feet."
Marian's body was never found, only a lot of her blood, so much that Tirian had said it would be nearly impossible for her to have survived, and a Healer, even one in training, would know. Now, a Hearth Witch that shared her name? Marian was not a very common or popular name. If Marian had been found by an exceptionally powerful, dark-jeweled Healer and brought to Kaleer, perhaps she merely didn't have the means or opportunity to return home. Did I dare to hope?
The question kept me awake all night, and I knew that it was bothering Dorian, too. Mirian and Tirian had not been paying attention, and we had not mentioned it to them, not when we couldn't be sure. I went to work, where I was now a Third-Circle guard, and asked for the next day off, to take care of some family business.
I needed to know.
It wasn't hard to find Prince Yaslana's eyrie. As the Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih, it was a matter of record, since people had to go to him with complaints. My mind was a whirl the entire flight to get there; was this Marian even my daughter? Was I wasting time on a vain hope? If it was my Marian, would she hate me for what I did? What was her relationship to Prince Yaslana? Marian had always been quiet and shy, combining with her status of Hearth Witch to leave her with few, if any, friends. Warlord Princes, especially those who wore Dark Jewels, were intimidating on the best of days, and Marian's experience could have easily left her terrified of males.
A friendship between Marian and Prince Yaslana was possible, but unlikely. My daughter was probably his housekeeper. It was all Hearth Witches were really good for.
I landed in the courtyard and received the first of several shocks. The toddler from the Tavern was rolling around in the snow, playing with several actual wolf pups. Spotting me, the all paused, before the boy howled in one of the most piercing voices I had ever heard. "Mama!"
The sound of footsteps came from inside, and an Eyrien woman emerged, wiping her hands on a dishcloth. "Daemonar, what in the Darkness – "
She spotted me and we both froze. It was Marian, the Hearth Witch daughter that I had never appreciated until it was too late, the eldest child who I had thought dead. It took several tries, but I forced my vocal cords to co-operate. "Marian."
Marian's lips tightened and her face took on a closed, shuttered look. "What are you doing here?"
I may have deserved that. "I heard of a Hearth Witch named Marian. I had to know if there was even the possibility that it might be you."
She didn't take her eyes off me, even as she addressed the boy. "Daemonar, go inside and find your father. I'll be in shortly."
The boy and the puppies obeyed, leaving us alone in a very awkward silence. Ah, all mothers liked talking about their children, didn't they? "So, the boy is your son? You must be proud."
Marian didn't miss what I was trying to do, but she did soften slightly. "Yes, Daemonar is my son. Wild as any Eyrien boy, at times, but I couldn't be happier than I am now."
Now she was just being insolent and snippy. I was about to snap at her, when there was a loud crash from inside, and what sounded like it might have been a hastily aborted curse. I jumped, but Marian barely flinched, sighing slightly. "You might as well come in, while I see if anything was broken this time."
Her posture was still tense as she led the way into the eyrie, heading straight to where Daemonar and the pups were standing next to a tall, muscular Eyrien man, all staring guiltily at a shattered vase. The man sighed and Vanished the wreckage. "I hope you like explaining that to your mother, boyo."
Standing quietly behind them, Marian laughed softly. "Don't worry, Lucivar, I've been trying to think of an excuse to get rid of it for a while."
They all spun around, one of the pups tangling his own feet and falling flat. The man's face gentled at the sight of my daughter, but went chilly when he saw me, his voice a bit too soft. "Who is he? Daemonar said that he seemed to know you."
The boy fluttered up on shaky wings, Prince Yaslana catching him almost absently. I winced inwardly, very aware of the power difference between a Purple Dusk Warlord and an Ebon-Grey Warlord Prince. This was going to be painful. "I am Marian's father."
I was sure that icicles would be forming on the furniture at any second, as cold as the room suddenly turned, and I had the feeling that my life was about to get a lot shorter. Daemonar fled his father's arms, hiding behind my daughter as the man Called in an Eyrien war blade.
Ironically, it was my daughter, the one with perhaps the most cause to see me dead, who was the one to save my life. "Not here, Lucivar. It doesn't matter anymore."
The prince looked at her incredulously, both war blade and temper still very much present. "Yes it damn well does! That fucking bastard sold – "
He cut off as Marian looked pointedly at their son. 'No killing in front of the children until they were old enough to go to the War Camps', I suppose. He crossed over to wrap a protective arm around her. "Fine. But we will be dealing with this later."
Marian had always possessed a fair instinct for how far she could push. "Of course." She turned back to me. "Come back two hours after sunset tonight. Daemonar will be asleep by then. I want to know how my mother and sisters are."
Marian wanted to know about her mother and sisters, but not me. I suppose I deserved that. Though not as finely honed as Marian's instinct, I also had some idea of when to stop pushing. Antagonizing Prince Yaslana, who already seemed on the Killing Edge, was a bad idea, and a tactical retreat was probably in order. "I will see you then."
I debated the wisdom of sharing the news with Dorian, not wanting to bring her pain if Marian never wanted to see us again, but finally decided that it would be better to just tell her. Dorian cried, in relief and in the remembered pain of a lost daughter, but insisted on coming with me that night, as did Mirian and Tirian when they overheard our conversation. I wondered if that was the best idea – I didn't want to overwhelm Marian, after all – but consented.
Our family would finally be whole again.
A/N: OK, one chapter is up, but I don't know if I should leave it here, or add another one with the actual confrontation between Marian's past and present families.
This is my first Black Jewels fanfiction, so please be constructive when telling me that it sucked epically. For those of you who haven't read my other stories, I enjoy writing 'outside perspective' and 'sympathy for the devil' stories, and I've always loved Marian as a character. While it is probably a good thing that we never heard about her family again, I always wondered what happened to them. Were they part of the 'Tainted' Blood who were wiped out? Did Marian's mother or sisters ever wonder what happened to her? Did her father ever regret what he did? Marian's family might have treated her like a servant, but I don't see any parent just handing his daughter over to be killed, especially when he might have to explain her disappearance to his wife and other daughters.
Marian seems to be a very gentle person, with a sort of 'Out of Sight, Deliberately Out of Mind' attitude as far as unpleasant family members go. If nothing else, she would at least want to know why it happened, since I don't think anyone ever actually told Marian the details. If she can forgive Luthvian for everything she did, then she can tolerate her family long enough to get answers.
I'm going away for Christmas on the 22nd, and won't be back until after New Year, so I'm posting several updates now to tide you all over. Reviews make wonderful Christmas Presents!