AN: Hey all so here I am with another chapter, and wow it's been a while. Still better late than never eh, I got to it eventually, all the reviews and messages wore me down and forced me to sit down and overcome my lack of motive and write this chapter. Genuinely I can't remember what it was that put me off this story, I imagine the reason was petty and inconsequential, but honestly I can't remember.
Still as I said here's the nect chapter, better late than never, I hope you all enjoy it and leave a review.
Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.
( - )
She would not be alone in this though, Melisandre and Stannis would soon meet up with her, and with her help the Prince that was promised and the Azhor Azai would unite. An army devoted to the Light would be forged, and the enemy would be defeated.
Melisandre's smile faltered at that thought. The enemy, it appeared that just as the followers of the Lord of Light were growing stronger, so to were the servants of the Dark One. Already things beyond the Wall were moving far faster than she thought they would. More than that though, there was a new threat. One that seemed to dwell in the very heart of Westeros.
Frowning at that thought, Melisandre looked away from Stannis and his right hand man, her gaze instead once more looking out to the horizon, this time the other way, in the direction of the Seven Kingdoms.
( - )
( - )
(At Hardhome, the Land Beyond the Wall)
There was a dour, miserable look on Ygritte's face as the red heard looked around at her stark and unfamiliar surroundings. She was in Hardhome, she knew that much, but this wasn't the haunted ruin she had heard about in her youth, as she wasn't in some rickety wooden shack, with holes in the roof and cold wind whistling through the gaps in the walls.
No, instead she was in a building made of stone, looking like something that had been molded out of bare rock. Furthermore the place was warm, almost cozy, so much so that she had stripped off her furs as they were too hot, and were making her sweat. Hell she even had a window, one which had some kind of strange, see through material in it, material that was as hard as rock, but which still allowed her to look outside. Not that the view was much to look at.
No, this wasn't the Hardhome she had heard about in her youth, instead this was a fully fortified camp, one with walls, and all manner of odd creatures in it, from the hulking, bearded giant of a man that stood well over nine feet tall, to the half horse, half human beings that had slaughtered her raiding party.
Furthermore she had seen other odd things since she was captured, the only one of her party left alive, and had been taken back to their base. She had seen gnarled, squat, green skinned, sharp toothed beasts like nothing she had ever seen before, and humans, though not like any of the free folk she had ever seen before. They were too tall and pretty, they looked like what she imagined southerners would look like, only these men and women weren't pussies.
No they were dangerous she had seen that much, perhaps as dangerous as the White Walkers and their ever growing legion of the dead.
A few moments later Ygritte was knocked out of her thoughts when she heard the sound of heavy footsteps outside, following on from which the heavy wooden door to the room was flung open and a broad-shouldered bear of a man, clad in a full suit, of thick plated, silver armour entered the room, the armour and the thick fur cloak he was wearing over the top making him so broad that for a moment she thought he wouldn't be able to fit through the doorway.
The man Ygritte grudgingly admitted to herself was pretty, he had full head of short dark coloured hair, a somewhat chiseled face which was partial covered by a short, neatly maintained beard, and dark intense eyes. He was also someone of importance, she could tell that much from the powerful aura he was giving off. This was a man who was used to giving orders, and used to them being followed to the letter.
Tensing at this realization, Ygritte got to her feet and raised her fists, she might not have her bow or knives, and this man might be armed, armoured and twice the size of her, but she would go down fighting all the same, she would not meekly take whatever shit he was here to pull.
"Relax." The man said abruptly, before he pulled what looked like a thin stick from his gauntlet and waved it.
Ygritte flinched at this, assuming that he was going to try and hit her with it for some reason. Only for her flinch to turn into a sharp intake of shock and a sudden wave of fear as a large wooden chair suddenly appeared out of nowhere, as if by magic.
Settling himself into the chair, the man gave Ygritte and amused look. "My name is Neville, can I ask yours?"
"What was that?" Ygritte replied bluntly, backing away from the imposing man now, watching as he absentmindedly sheathed his wand back into his gauntlet.
"Magic of course." Neville replied pleasantly, guessing what she was asking about. "So now I've answered your question can you answer mine?"
Ygritte frowned as she heard that, not moving from her positon on the opposite side of the room to this man. Magic, this man could truly do magic. He was far more dangerous than she had thought. "Ygritte."
"Ygritte." Neville nodded, the smile on his face not fading despite the obvious fear on the red head's face as she pressed herself backwards against the opposite wall of the room. "Please relax, I am not here to hurt you."
"And why not? Isn't that what people like you do? You take women." Ygritte shot back, after all that was how most Free Folk hook up, the men steal themselves a wife, sometime whether they want it or not. Though sometimes it's the woman that steals themselves a man. And when a tribe defeats another tribe, then the men and women of the victorious one take whatever they want.
A flash of distaste passed across Neville's face at her words. "I already have a partner, and neither myself, nor any of the others here have any intention to 'take you'. As I said before you are safe."
Ygritte scowled at that, after all what was wrong with her, she was a damn good-looking woman in her prime, one that was ripe to start spawning brats, any man would be lucky to have her. "Why is it because you're all pussies!?"
"No, it's because we are not savages." Neville replied, his tone turning slightly harder now, uncaring of the way Ygritte flinched at his words, before she then snarled at him. "Now, as I was saying I am here to talk, nothing more.
"And why would I talk to you, your creatures butchered my people and took me captive!?" Ygritte snarled, a little pissed off about the savages comment, it was a typical southern way of thinking.
"And your people ambushed my own. But I am not here to argue about the specifics, all that matters is your people attacked and my people defended themselves and were victorious. They also captured you and brought you back here." Neville replied calmly.
"Fuck you!" Ygritte spat on the floor at that, her face contorting in anger.
"Very well, I had hoped to do this the nice way." Neville sighed, once again pulling out his wand as he did so. He was never as good as Harry when it came to using the mind arts and compulsions to get information out of people. Despite that though he was still a wizard, and was more than capable of using his wand and brute force magical power to force the answers out of people.
"What are you going to do?" Ygritte asked a sliver of fear entering her voice now as she saw the implement he had used before to cast magic in his hands. She had pushed him too far, she knew that the moment he pulled out that stick.
"I want answers from you in regards to your people, your culture, the different tribes in the area, and the different creatures that roam these lands, on top of that I want to know about your myths, your legends and your gods." Neville replied with a tired sigh, absentmindedly spinning his wand in his hands as he did so. "I had originally hoped to do it by talking it out peacefully with you. But apparently you don't want that, so now I have no choice but to use magic to force the answers out of you. It's a pity really, as this type of interrogation tends to cause mental damage, and that's honestly the last thing I want to inflict on people. Often times it's better to be dead than live on in that state." There was a dull, deeply sad look on his face as he said this, like he was already deeply regretting what he was about to do.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Ygritte cried out a flash of true unadulterated terror passing through her at his words. "I'll talk, I'll tell you everything. I'll tell you about the tribes and Mance Rayder, about the creatures in this land, about the army of the dead and the White Walkers coming south, I'll tell you everything. J-just don't use magic on me!"
Neville's eyes sharpened at Ygritte's words, after which he sat up straighter his tone intense and uncompromising. "Tell me everything."
And that was just what Ygritte did, for what felt like hours she told the armoured man everything she knew, and she didn't dare to leave out one detail, the haunted look on the man's face when he spoke of this 'mental damage' spurring her on, as honestly she didn't want to experience whatever it was that could make someone as imposing as Neville look like that. Pain she could handle, but something told her that what this man could inflict would be worse than that.
"So this Mance Rayder attempted to unite all the Free Folk tribes did he?" Neville asked softly, sitting back in his chair now.
"For years, but it was pointless. All the tribes he gathered together, and most of the ones in the far north have all been wiped out now. We don't know what happened but something made the White Walkers stronger, it all started around thirteen or so moons ago, probably longer ago than that. But anyway, whatever it was, it was like before they were only half awake. Now though, now they are coming south faster than ever, their legions of the dead growing all the time. Mance saw this, and had us move south too, trying to stay ahead of them. We, me and my band, were sent to scout Hardhome out for a temporary base for a while. A base we would attack then attack the Wall from when we are ready." Ygritte replied quickly, her way of talking and accent a little rougher than what Neville was used too, but still easily understandably.
"So something recently strengthened the White Walkers, and it happened thirteen months or so ago." Neville muttered to himself, already he had a very good idea of just what had caused these White Walker creatures to gain strength, even if Ygritte only had very vague and unhelpful knowledge on them. After all that was around the time that the Order had arrived in the world. Somehow their arrival must have had more wide ranging affects than they had thought. Though still Neville wasn't sure of the specifics or why. "How many of you are there?"
"Five thousand or so." Ygritte shrugged, it was a large enough number, but originally there had been nearly twenty thousands, most of them were dead though and now part of the ever-growing undead legions. The enemy was moving too fast, and there group never had more than a few days, a week at most to rest, before the enemy was on them once more, and every time they did catch up they whittled away at their numbers.
"And you want to attack the Wall with that many people?" Neville asked, his tone barren of judgement.
"It's either take the chance and be slaughtered there, or be hunted down like animals and killed by the Walkers." Ygritte spat bitterly, they really were in a bad positon.
"Five thousand people." Neville muttered to himself again, it was not exactly a small number, and they were probably made up of quite a few women and children too. Five thousand people and they were all going to die one way or another, unless he did something.
"This Mance, is he desperate?" Neville asked thoughtfully.
Ygritte sent him a flat look at that. "Of course he's fucking desperate, we all are!"
"Well if he and your people are willing to swallow your pride I may have a way for you all to escape the north and live." Neville replied after a few moments, Tracey wasn't the only one who could make executive decision for the good of their community. Beside he doubted anyone would complain if he provided House Albion with five thousand more workers, all of whom he would need to ensure had sighed a loyalty contract to House Albion.
"What are you talking about!?" Ygritte asked, anger warring with hope as she looked over at Neville suspiciously.
"If your people are willing to let go of their pride, I can get you beyond the Wall without you have to fight." Neville replied after a few moments, already thinking of what he would need to do to make this plan a reality.
"And what would you get from this? What would we have to do?" Ygritte replied suspiciously, nobody did anything for free, everything had a price.
"Well for starters you would have to willingly bind your loyalty to my people, after which you would be clothed, fed and taught skills, skills that you would then use to work of your debt to the Iron Island and House Albion. That is the price of you and your people's lives." Neville replied bluntly.
"You would enslave us?! You think anyone would accept that?!" Ygritte spat, sudden fury flashing across her face.
"I wouldn't call it that. I would say it was indentured serfdom of a single generation of your people whilst you pay off your debt to us. On top of which you won't be forced into agreeing to these terms, this will all be optional." Neville replied simply.
"What choice is there, it is between this 'indentured serfdom' of yours and death?!" Ygritte replied bitterly.
Neville shrugged at that. "That is for your people and this Mance to decide. Once I have hashed out the terms of the deal I will send you back to your people. What this Mance and your people decide from there is up to you."
Ygritte scowled as she heard that, but she didn't outright refuse.
( - )
(In the Hand of the King's Office with Ned Stark)
The Hand's tournament, it was a decadent affair, one attended by hundreds of knights from all over the Seven Kingdoms, all of them strutting around on their horses like proud peacocks, wearing brightly coloured surcoats and gleaming armour.
Already the city of King's Landing was filled with people, as men, women and children lined the streets cheering the competitors on and waving pennants which bore the sigil of their chosen champion. On top of that women could also be seen hanging out of windows catcalling and shouting to the noble looking knights that rode past, some of them offering 'rewards' if they came out the victor.
For these few days King's Landing, the bubbling cauldron of dissent and corruption had practically become festive. In fact the city felt busier than ever as people came from all over to attend the tournament that the King was running to honour his new Hand.
For Ned Stark it couldn't come to an end soon enough, he wanted it out of the way and for things to return to what was at least relatively normal.
At the present, the Hand of the King was in his office, whilst his steward and sworn man Jory was standing just outside keeping away interlopers. The two of them, clad in leather and mail despite the heat of the day, had not been down to watch the ongoing tournament yet, instead they had both been busy doing other things. Plus neither of them had all that much interest in watching those preening, pampered summer knights hit each other with sticks, even if the watching crowd of peasants did enjoy it.
No, Ned had more important things to deal with than that, including the recent news that Stannis had abandoned Dragonstone, much to Robert's rage. Already he had had to send a new garrison to the island to hold it, and had had several meetings with Varys trying to find out where the damn man had gone, as well as to put together plans on how to deal with the possible Targaryen threat across the Narrow Sea.
On top of that he had just received word from home that Robb wanted to bring forward his upcoming nuptials to the first day of the next month, only three weeks hence. Something he was of two minds about, after all to him it seemed a little rushed, and maybe a bit improper as it would not give either Ned or Lord Albion time to attend the union of their Houses, not that they would have likely have had time to attend if it had been three months from now, not with everything that was happening of late.
On the other hand the reason behind the request concerned him, personally he suspected that Hannah was likely pregnant, hence the haste. It was not an uncommon thing as some did not wait until their wedding night to consummate, but it was concerning all the same, his son's first born could not be allowed to be illegitimate, even by a technicality. It was for that reason that he had grudgingly given his permission and sent a raven back to Robb earlier this morning.
He had been so busy in fact that he hadn't even gone to the tournament being run in his honour, his daughter, Sansa, though was another story as she was currently in the stands watching the tournament under the ever watchful eye of Septa Mordane and some of his other retainers that Ned trusted wholeheartedly.
Currently Ned was in his office sitting on his comfortable chair pondering over the things he had learned whilst he had been going about his business.
Earlier today, instead of watching the jousting he had gone with Jory to look into Jon Arryn's last known location before he was killed, going off of the information Baelish had passed over to him. Once again following the breadcrumbs that would lead him to Jon Arryn's killer and just as importantly the reason for his death.
The blacksmiths he had gone to was popular enough, but nothing special, neither was the man who owned it, he had been a thin, rangy elderly man, one that had a nasty air about him. Despite that though the blacksmiths he owned had had a good reputation for making armor and weapons, so there must be something to him. Even if Ned wasn't entirely sure why Jon Arryn had bothered going to see him.
Or at least that was what he had thought at first, right up until he had met the man's apprentice. Ned had known Robert since they were children, both of them having been sent grow up in the Vale under the guidance and ward-ship of Jon Arryn. It was for this reason that Ned had understood Jon Arryn's interest almost instantly, the boy, this Gendry Storm, he was the spitting image of Robert during his younger years.
From talking with the boy, it appeared that Gendry was one of Robert's many bastards. No doubt, considering he was around sixteen or seventeen, his mother must have been one of the first prostitutes Robert had ever had relations with following his marriage to Cersei. The boy had all of Robert's features, far more than Robert's other legitimate children who looked literally nothing like him, from the thick, dark hair to the piercing blue eyes and the muscular build, which had been further enhanced by his time working as a blacksmith.
Were he born under different circumstance Gendry would have been the Heir to the throne. Unfortunately though he wasn't, he was a bastard plain and simple. Nor did his heritage explain why Jon had visited not only one, but several of Robert's bastard children that were scattered all throughout King's Landing, Baelish had been very helpful in that regard too, providing Ned with a lot of information about Arryn's movements just before he died. The snake like man proving himself far more honourable than Ned had expected, and more like the good man Catelyn had claimed him to be.
Nor did Jon's odd movement connect to the book containing the lineage of all the great Houses of Westeros that Pycelle had pointed him too. Ned knew that there had to be something he wasn't seeing, some connection between Jon Arryn visiting Robert's illegitimate children and the book. Some secret that was dangerous enough, like Lord Albion and so many others had implied, that it had gotten Jon Arryn killed?
A few minutes of silent contemplation later and his thoughts on the matter were interrupted when there was a brief knock on the door to his office, after which Jory came in and bowed.
"My Lord, her Grace the Queen is here to see you," Jory said, sending Ned his lord an uncomfortable look as he did so, before he moved aside and allowed the ever regal and beautiful Cersei to enter the room before leaving, the woman in question gliding forward like she owned the place, a number of Lannister Guardsmen noticeably waiting outside.
"Your Grace," Ned said, getting to his feet and giving her a brief bow of respect.
"You're missing out on the tournament my husband is honuoring you with," Cersei commented idly as she looked around the room, her sharp green eyes flicking to the open book Ned had just been reading.
"Putting my name on it doesn't make it mine. I was against the tournament from the start since it was an unnecessary expense. The Crown has only just gotten out of debt due to the generosity of Lord Albion, it does not need to be put in that situation again," Ned replied stiffly, noticing as he did that Cersei's eyes widened minutely at that piece of information, but only for a moment, before a conniving look flashed across them.
"Well, anyway I only came here during a slight reprieve in the tournament because I believe we should put what happened on the King's Road behind us. The ugliness of it all with the fighting and dragging everyone out of their beds like that to face Robert like common criminals. It was a little over the top one might say, eve I will admit as much. Still, mothers do tend to go to the extreme when it comes to their children." Cersei said in an amiable tone, her mind flashing back to the argument about the butcher's boy and the wolf, one that had required Lord Harry Albion to weigh in on, much to her displeasure.
"There was no harm done," Ned replied amiably with a nod of his head. "I am more than happy to draw a line under it and forgive and forget."
Cersei smiled at that, before she gave a very slight incline of her heard at his magnanimous offer, her gleaming green eyes not leaving him for a moment as she did so though.
"Speaking of the children, how is Sansa, is she settling in well?" Cersei asked curiously.
"Sansa? She seems to be doing fine, from what I've seen she likes it here," Ned replied, with Cersei sending him a slight smile at that.
"She's the only Stark who does," Cersei then remarked, a hint of humour entering her voice now.
"What are you doing here?" Ned finally said after a few seconds of silence, he didn't trust this woman at all. Though to be honest he didn't trust a single person in King's Landing, not even his supposed allies like Harry Albion and Petyr Baelish, not entirely anyway. Both of the men like everyone else in King's Landing were vipers, and they almost certainly had their own agenda in helping Ned uncover the truth of Jon Arryn's death.
"I might ask the same of you. What is it you hope to achieve in King's Landing? Besides helping my husband to not make a bigger fool of himself then he already has for nearly the past two decades," Cersei replied, the humour leaving her voice now, to be replaced with a slightly acidic tone, her green eyes flashing as she couldn't stop herself from glancing at the book on Ned's desk for a moment, before her gaze then flickered back to Ned.
"Jon Arryn was murdered, and I intend to find out who did the deed and bring him forward to face the King's Justice. To do otherwise would be an insult to his memory. Besides, Robert called on me to serve as Hand of the King, and as such I will do so until he dismisses me," Ned replied sharply, his face now stoic and his tone uncompromising.
Instead of snapping as she heard that, Cersei instead shook her head in amusement.
"I know what you are doing when it comes to Robert. You can't change him. No one can change him. Once he sets his mind on something it stays there until the deed is done. He will do what he wants, which is all he's ever done. The best you can ever do is pick up the pieces left in the wake of his actions," Cersei eventually said, her tone now definitely holding a mocking lilt to it.
"If that is my job, then so be it," Ned replied trying not to think of the old adage about how 'when the King's shits and the Hand wipes', a particularly vulgar expression, but one that was not without merit, if not literally.
"Well, take care Lord Stark." Cersei said after a few moments, her green eyes gleaming as she once again met his grey eyed gaze. "As I'm sure you've noticed King's Landing is not Winterfell, things are done differently here, and power is not always based on the strength of a man's arm."
"Yes that much has been made clear to me." Ned replied dryly, after all it seemed everyone in power that he spoke to seemed to give him that same advice, only in a slightly different way.
"I'm glad, after all I would hate for you to trust the wrong people, especially those who come to you in the guise of friendship." Cersei replied, her words just as enigmatic as she probably wanted them to be.
Ned narrowed his eyes at that, uncertain who she was speaking about, after all her words could apply to most people in the Capital, including the Queen herself.
"Take care Lord Stark, and I do hope you make it to the Hand's Tournament, it would be a shame if you, as the Hand of the King, didn't get to see any of it at all." Cersei continued, a false smile on her face as she turned to leave, the look in her green eyes inscrutable as she gave him one last linger look before she disappeared.
Ned stayed still as he watched her go, his thoughts flowing thick and fast as he tried to work out just what the conniving woman was up to. Even as he glanced down at his book, the one she had seemed very interested in.
Tapping his fingers on the book as the door closed, Ned once again tried to work out what everything meant. All of a sudden though his eyes suddenly widened as he began to connect the dots. Cersei was blonde haired and green eyed like all Lannisters, whilst Robert had black hair and blue eyes. None of the children had any of those traits though, not any of his trueborn children anyway, his bastard children though all had those traits, his features having bred true.
Suddenly a dangerous and insane thought hit him, one that brought into question the parentage of the Crown Prince, the Prince and the Princess. Flipping open the book Ned began reading, he had to be certain before he said anything. This idea if it was true, wasn't something that one could just blurt out.
( - )
(With Harry and Daphne)
"It's not particularly entertaining to watch is it?" Harry said quietly to Daphne as the two of them sat in the stands watching the tournament take place, both of them now wearing clothing fitting of a Lord and Lady of their status. Something which definitely caught the eye of many of the others that were sat around them in the Noble seats, some of whom had already dropped by to greet them, or rather to try and court favour from the wealthy Albion family, and their growing influence and power at Court. "It's not exactly quidditch is it?"
"No, the lack of brooms makes that obvious." Daphne replied sarcastically, aware of the eyes that occasionally shifted over to them, which is why she was maintaining a respectable sitting distance from Harry and not cuddling up to him like she wanted too, after all as far as the Court knew the roguish Lord Harry and striking Lady Daphne were both unattached. "Though I like it, it's very quaint."
"It's just two grown men hitting each other with sticks." Harry replied, sipping some wine from his goblet as he watched another tilt, Ser Loras Tyrell unseating some Vale Knight with ease. "Where is the artistry of true combat, whether it be by sword or otherwise? Where is the elegance, and the intensity? Jousting is just a bit bland really isn't it?"
"If you say so." Daphne replied rolling her eyes as she did so, before she gave a bright smile and a kind nod to the preening Ser Loras Tyrell as he paraded past the nobles' stand and looked her way. "So anyway, what's gotten you so whiny?"
"I'm not whiny, I just don't particularly want to be here." Harry replied, looking sideways at Daphne. "I would prefer to be back on the Iron Island's with James, or else back at the Red Keep furthering our cause."
"You think I don't want to be back with James?" Daphne asked her eyebrow raising, even as she applauded the next set of knights that rode up to joust. "We will return this evening, now we have a portal set up between our manse in the City and the Pyke we can go back and forth with ease. For now we need to make our presence here now, and as you said before, further our cause."
Harry grumbled at that but nodded. It was true that they had set up a stabilized portal to the Pyke, but not just from their accommodation in King's Landing, they had also setup other ones from the base in Hardhome, the growing garrison in Harrenhal, Tracey's main brothel in King's Landing, Padma's manse in Sunspear, and from a heavily warded room in Winterfell. All of them connecting to a large chamber in the Pyke, the chamber acting as a nexus point for them to cross to and from.
"I suppose," Harry finally admitted, knowing as he did that he was being slightly truculent, though to be fair he was only in his mid-twenties. Tapping his finger on his chair, Harry took his eyes off of the lists and instead looked around the tournament field.
At least half of it was filled with the commoner's stands, they covered one whole side of the lists, and were nowhere near as nice as the one Harry and the other Nobles were in, and lacked the cushioned seats and only had standing room available. The other half of the field was filled with the noble's seating, most of which had cushioned benches for them to sit on, with the wealthier, and more important Lords and Ladies also having chairs. Of course a large portion of the stands was reserved for the King and his family.
Suffice to say there were a lot of people present, and the whole affair was very noisy, as unlike him most of the other spectators seemed to be loving the spectacle, including the King himself who kept shouting and roaring his pleasure, though that might also be in part due to the fact that by now he was absolutely hammered.
"Lord Albion, Daphne." A warm soft voice suddenly spoke up from just to the side, catching both Harry and Daphne's attention as they broke off from their conversation and instead looked to see who had spoken, Harry absentmindedly dispelling the 'muffliato' spell he had cast with a wave of his hand. Once again thanking the ritual he had undertaken to bind his old wand to the bones of that arm, as he looked over and sent the speaker a curious smile.
The speaker was a very attractive, lithe, young woman with long, waist length, shiny brown hair, and deep, doe like hazel eyes. Margery Tyrell, Harry knew her the moment he saw her, and he had to say, she truly was a beauty, and from her posture, and the smooth, sweet tone of her voice she knew it.
"Lady Tyrell." Harry said warmly, standing up and taking her proffered hand as he did so, brushing his lips against it as he gave her a short, but proper, bow. "It's a pleasure to meet you, I've have heard ever so much about you from both Daphne and Fleur."
Margery smiled coyly at that, batting her long eyelashes at Harry, before she pulled her hand back, making sure to softly brush the palm of Harry's hand with them as she did so. "And I you Lord Albion, they both spoke very highly of you too."
"Please call me Harry." Harry replied with a crooked smile, his gaze flicker over to the smirking Daphne for a moment, before he looked back to Margery, attempting not to ogle her too much, though she didn't make it easy with her having worn a very revealing dress, one which was made out of some kind of flimsy, gossamer material.
"Harry then." Margery smiled, looking to Daphne now, her smile widening as the slightly older woman reached out and took her hands.
"It's wonderful to see you again Margery, I'm glad you could make it." Daphne said, a smirk on her face as she squeezed Margery's hands before realising them, both of them then sharing a sly smile. "I hope your Grandmother is well."
"She is as well as ever, though she does seem to be getting impatient in her dotage." Margery replied, her gaze flicking back over to Harry now, the musical lilt of her voice not hiding the pointedness of her response.
"Well patience is a virtue," Harry replied easily, before he gestured for both Daphne and Margery to sit down, after which he took his own seat. "At the same time though, it is also said that good things come to those who wait."
Margery tilted her head to the side as she heard that, before smiling. "I hope so."
She was as sharp as Daphne had said, that much was obvious to Harry as he settled down in his seat and listened to Daphne and Margery talking, both of them making small talk as the jousting continued on.
That being said her arrival at the Capital was obviously not just for the tournament. No, like she said she was here to ensure Harry, and by extension House Albion fulfilled their end of the bargain.
Which was only right really, Harry and his group had benefited greatly from the Tyrell's alliance, they had gained power, influence and wealth, they had even gained a seat at the Small Council and the King's ear. The Tyrells would get what they wanted though, already a plan was in the works, a grand scheme concocted by Harry, Daphne, Tracey and Blaise, one that would see to it that the Tyrells not only got what they deserved, but that House Albion would truly rise to the top.
All their plan needed to work now, was for them to just knock one domino over, and then allow the rest to fall. Once that was done their control over Westeros would be all but complete, and then they could finish consolidating their assets and then look further abroad to Essos and the Lands beyond the Wall.
( - )
(Elsewhere in King's Landing)
There was a glum look on Tracey's face as she saw a number of armoured golems loading up some large wagons in the courtyard below. Several of her girls doing the same as they moved some of their own belongings into the wagon too. A further fifty armoured golems were also down there, waiting in the courtyard in formation, patiently standing around waiting for the caravan to set off.
If she were to be honest with herself, Tracey knew she was going to miss King's Landing, running the spy network and the brothels had been great fun, the city was ripe for her games and the girls in her brothels were game for anything, all of them far preferring Tracey's kind, gentle hand as oppose to Baelish's cold, callous one. After all for one Tracey didn't force girls into the life, nor did she deal in slaves, instead she gave opportunities to those who were interested and then protected and educated them. Truly she loved it here.
Still for the good of the Order, and her Noble House she was heading to the Vale. For one she needed to put a leash on that mad bitch Lysa Arryn, and then set up the sham union between the brat Robyn Arryn and Katie Bell. It wasn't exactly going to be difficult, if she could break a mind like Baelish's then the half mad Lysa would be easy.
Nor was the Eyrie an unpleasant place from what she had heard. That wasn't the problem though. The problem was that the Vale just wouldn't be the same as King's Landing, the Nobles there were not as experienced in politics and manipulation, it would be too easy for her to work her magic there. Nor were there any brothels for her to play with, yet anyway. After all at least a dozen of her girls had wanted to come with her too, and who was Tracey to say no.
Another sigh left Tracey's lips at that thought, before she turned away from the window, and back to the room, her gaze trailing over her now barren office, and the mirror like portal that was in the corner. It was an innocuous enough artifact that looked just like a very ornate mirror, unless you said the right words to activate it of course, after which it would become a swirling blue portal, one that which had a destination that was fixed to the Pyke back on the Iron Islands.
Yes, she would definitely miss her time here, though maybe once her job in Vale was done she would return. Somehow she didn't think Fleur would be all that bothered if Tracey wanted to take her old role back.
A light chuckle left Tracey's lips at that thought. Fleur, for all her Veela heritage was nowhere near as suited for this kind of work as Tracey was, and the silver haired girl knew it.
"It's just a shame I'm going so soon." Tracey said to no one in particular, walking back to the window now as she saw the golems had finished their packing, and were now waiting along with the rest of the human guardsmen, whores, maids and servants she was bringing along with her. It was time to go. They would be heading out of the city and meeting with the other wizards and witches that would be accompanying them to the Vale, after which they would then use magic to make their journey far quicker than normal.
"I'm going to miss all the fireworks." Tracey muttered, staring out over the peaceful landscape of King's Landing for a moment, before she turned away and headed down to the courtyard below.
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AN: So what did you all think? I hope you enjoyed it, it took me several hours to write it. But yeah anyway I hope you're all well and what not, and sorry for the delay.
So yeah other than that I hope you all leave a long review as I love to hear from you. Plus there was a lot happening this chapter, most of which will be pretty important going forwards.
On another note I recently received a review asking me to put a warning on the story due to some of the characters have a darker and more realistic view on life than in canon, something that comes from experience war and death. To which I say the review was very polite and I appreciate it, even though it critical. But yeah the name of the story is the Road to Hell, part of a very popular saying. The title wasn't chosen at random, it was chosen due to how it relates to the story.
So yep thanks for reading hope you review etc. and I'll see you later. I am hoping that the next update will take no where near as long as this one took, hopefully I don't lose my passion for the story.
If you have any time please do check out my other stories, there are some you might enjoy.
Thanks for reading, catch you all later.