A new Story, and this set in a world I am much more familiar with!
We have all read about the Harry Potter comes to Westeros. We love them because in many cases they unite two universes that are so huge, open and alive!
So a few things first. Hadrian (I know everybody uses that name, but I like it!) was born 279 AC, that means that he was born before the Rebellion, and before Jaime joined the Kingsguard. As we are using the TV-Shows universe, the Tourney of Harrenhal happened in 281 AC, the Rebellion started 282, and ended the same year.
A Large problem when writing in this world is that we really don't have months. So I'm using the First Month, Second Month and so on up till twelve, to help establish a time line.
The only Book elements I am using is Brightroar, and a few Lannister cousins. This will help in the long run. I am also creating OC's every here and there.
For more of my opinions and facts they are after the text.
298 AC, Seventh Month
"Lucion! If you lose again I'll kill you!"
"Have you seen his sword!"
"But Lucion I wasn't aware it was big things you were afraid of! Might explain your fascination with-"
"Fuck you Damon!"
Hadrian face-palmed. "They are Lannister's, yet they act like uncouth northerners," he mumbled he watched his cousins sparring down in the yard. Casterly Rock was warm in the sun. It warmed the stone, made it reflect all over the castle, sparing no one. It made the small breezes from the Sunset Sea truly god's sent as they offered a small relief from the unrelenting heat.
Hadrian smirked as he saw some guards stare at him from the yard, both respect and scorn in their eyes, even after all these years. Built like his father, with the same face and eyes but with black hair, Hadrian ironically looked more Baratheon then either Joffrey, Myrcella or Tommen. And he was a much better fighter than Joffrey is. He was better than Joffrey, period.
The bastard of Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer and Kingsguard to King Robert Baratheon, Hadrian had been both blessed and cursed in a single stroke. Born 279 AC, he was blessed with the Lannister blood and his father's marshal prowess, yet cursed because of his bastard status. Hadrian's mother was a women from a higher echelon merchant class, and Jaime had acknowledged him early on. He had because of his father's acknowledgement and the desperate situation with no good Heir to Casterly Rock existing, been sent to his grandfather, Tywin Lannister, for fostering once reaching the age of three.
Here Hadrian worked hard for his new name. It became clear to the Old Lion early on that Hadrian not only was a skilled swordsman, but a clever politician and tactician. That had made Tywin test his grandson, and years of proving himself had payed off. After hard work, and terrible events, he had been given the name Lannister, and became the Heir of Casterly Rock.
A lot of the lesser Lannisters, and Cersei, had been furious and objected long and loudly. But Tywin held his ground, and Hadrian kept the name. That wasn't to say that Hadrian had no supporters. His father Jaime, uncle's Kevan and Tyrion and other Lannister's did support Tywin with his decision. It was clear for many that Hadrian had what it took to rule.
"Harry! Come on down here!" Daven Lannister called to his cousin. Daven was a huge man, with a large beard that made him look like a savage. It didn't help that Daven's weapon of choice was a huge double-edged axe.
"Sure, I'll be there soon!" Hadrian called. The eighteen year old made his way to where Lannister knights and men were busy sparring with each other, and Hadrian smiled as he picked up a blunted bastard sword and joined his two cousins, having already dressed in a simple leather armor made for sparring before he left his room.
Damon and Lucion Lannister, both members of lesser lines of the Lannister's, had grown up here in the Rock, and had been Hadrian's loyal swords for years. They both had the classical looks, blond hair and green eyes, but Daven was heavier built and preferred a greatsword while Lucion used a sword and shield. Damon was Daven's younger brother, both being sons of Stefford Lannister. Lucion was a bit further away in the family tree, being the son of Damion Lannister.
"Maybe we'll actually beat him this time!" Lucion japed. He had a nasty bruise, curtesy of Damon's right fist, above his right eye. He was leaning against a weapon rack.
Hadrian snorted. "Maybe if you get more men," he said confidently.
Damon frowned. "But it's only me here…"
"Hey! What about me!" Lucion asked.
Damon shook his head. "Hadrian said men."
Lucion was suddenly up, his sword ready and shield up. "Ok, that's it! If I defeat Hadrian you stop joking about my gender!"
Damon, leaning with his hand on the hilt of his greatsword, shrugged. "Deal. Now let's go get some Harry-Steak."
Hadrian snorted. "You two are like an old married couple."
"We're not!" both shouted as they advanced on Hadrian.
"Hey Daven, you counting!"
Daven chuckled, his deep voice echoing around the yard. "I am. Give them hell."
Hadrian didn't verbally respond as he raised his sword and attacked his cousins. Both of them were ready for it.
The three swords sang as they hit and Hadrian was forced on the defensive by sheer force. Then he lashed out, his sword intercepting Damon's as he sidestepped Lucion's and struck him hard on the hip, before punching him to the ground with his fist. Damon had recovered and tried to take advantage of Hadrian's focus, but he was parried and Hadrian allowed his sword to slice Damon on the chest, leaving a nasty bruise.
The men around them applauded at their Black Lion, and Hadrian grinned as Lucion started moaning about unfairness.
"Hey Daven, how long?"
"Twenty," Daven said with glee. That sent Lucion and Damon into another round of complaints.
"You have to humiliate us, didn't you?" Lucion said.
Hadrian grinned and helped Damon up. "Best way to learn."
"Bullshit!" Lucion shouted from the ground. "How are we supposed to learn if you keep hammering us into the ground?"
Hadrian raised a single brow in amusement. "You lasted longer than before, didn't you?"
Lucion waved him off. "You just want to impress the girls!" he pointed to the balcony where some ladies were watching, and they giggled as Hadrian nodded towards them, a charming smile on his face.
"But of course, Lucion! All I do is for the ladies!" Hadrian dramatically said.
Damon placed a hand over his heart. "But what about us. You can't have them all!"
Hadrian laughed and walked away, joining some other guards, not giving his friends an answer. In return they kept bickering for minutes.
"Ok, again you blond shits," Hadrian said and his sword traveled in circles as he swung it forward and backwards as he prepared for round two.
His cousins grimaced but nodded and soon they were ready.
"I got a bad feeling about this."
"You two girls have bad feelings about everything," Daven shouted.
Hadrian grinned. "I'll go easy on you. Have to be a gentleman towards the ladies after all."
Lucion roared and charged, as Hadrian blocked his sword with his own and used his free hand to punch his cousin in the face. Lucion staggered back, but Damon was there to save him. His greatsword cleaved through the air, forcing Hadrian to jump backwards. Lucion had now recovered and they started to circle Hadrian.
"Now you are doing it right," Hadrian said and braced himself. This spar lasted five minutes, as the two idiots actually didn't go all out, letting his cousins strike out at him as he parried and dodged them over and over.
"Damon, you are overextending yourself, close your guard or a man will gut you with his sword," Hadrian said and sidestepped next attack and let his sword hit his cousin straight in the stomach with the blunted edge, making Damon fall to the ground in pain. "Just like that," Hadrian commented at his cousin's current situation.
Hadrian then grinned and jumped to the side, avoiding Lucion and then lightly stretched out his leg, sending the poor fellow to the ground in surprise flat faced. As Lucion turned around on the ground, he was met with the point of Hadrian's sword.
"Dead. You need to stop moving as much as you currently do."
"You are killing me, Hadrian. How am I supposed to win the hearts of the ladies if you beat me to the ground every single time?" Lucion complained.
Hadrian laughed and removed the sword, "I believe you are impressing them enough. I think that's Leinna Lannister staring at you," Hadrian said.
Said girl's face went red with embracement and the men in the yard roared with laughter. Damon had by now stood up and tackled Hadrian to the ground. The spar wasn't over after all. The two youths fell into the ground, Damon roaring his victory before Hadrian rolled them over and drew a dagger from his belt and placed it at Damon's throat.
"Didn't really think that through, did you?"
The older cousin laughed. "You heard me roar," he japed.
"And then there was no one left to hear," Hadrian said. "Don't ever do that, Damon. You have no idea which man have trained extensively in close combat or is wearing a dagger. Not to mention," at this Hadrian removed the dagger, "you lose focus on your surroundings," at this Hadrian smashed his fist into Damon's face.
"Was that necessary?" he moaned in pain as Hadrian picked himself up from the ground.
"Aye, pain is a damned good motivator too learn. Now go find a maestar to fix that ugly thing you call face," Hadrian said and lifted his cousin up and sent a guard to escort him to the Maestar.
"Ok lads, again!" Hadrian said and watched as the men resumed their training. Hadrian walked up to Daven how was overseeing the training yard.
"They're getting better."
Daven simply huffed. "They are too childish. I just hope they don't lose courage in their first real battle. Life is not a game."
Hadrian simply glanced at his cousins. "They are Lannister. They will learn."
"Or Tywin will verbally tear them apart."
Hadrian didn't respond, but just watched his cousins. "No. They will learn or I will tear them apart."
Hadrian spent several more hours in the yard, walking around the men and helping them improve their skills. It was a good way to raise the skill of the Lannister army, as well as helping Hadrian's popularity. A lord giving pointers to his soldiers showed that he cared.
As the sun finally started setting Daven called a halt. The men were all tired and sore, so no one complained.
"I am impressed. In this rate well have the best trained army in Westeros," Hadrian commented.
Daven wasn't a man to show emotion, or many words, but a proud smile did reach his face. "It takes time, but soon every man will be able to hold his own."
"And the levy training? How's that going?"
It had been a project started by Hadrian. Have all young men spend six months in their respective lord's castles learning the basics of the spear, sword and shield. It had been protested widely amongst the Lords, but the results were a much better organized, equipped and trained army. Daven was the overseer for the levies around Lannisport.
"They're fine. Some of the lads complain a bit too much, especially the merchants sons, but they all fall in line."
"Good, then I am off to see Grandfather. See you later," Hadrian said. Daven only grunted in goodbye.
Tywin Lannister was not a man you kept waiting. Most of Westeros feared the man, and the rest respected him. While there were people that didn't like, and indeed hated Tywin, none dared say that to his face. You only had to ask the Reyne's what happened when you attacked him or House Lannister.
Hadrian and Tywin had a relationship based on respect, ruthlessness and cunning. In his early years Tywin had always kept an eye on Hadrian's progress, but it was only when he reached ten that they had really started talking.
It had its original roots in Greyjoy rebellion, where his mother had been raped and killed at Lannisport where she lived, and the rest of his maternal family killed with her. Hadrian had spent the entire night staring at the fires below, quiet, but worried. It was one of the first time's Hadrian had spent any major time with his grandfather, and Hadrian had been allowed to stay in his solar while Tywin commanded the battle from there. Why Tywin allowed Hadrian still didn't know. Had he been any other man Hadrian would have put it on sympathy and feelings, but this was Tywin Lannister. No, Hadrian is quite certain that it had been another test. And as Hadrian had sat staring out the window in silence, not losing his composure.
But morning came and the news that his mom had been killed reach him did break him. He was only still ten. Those early hours Hadrian locked himself in his room and did cry. A lot. Even though he was raised at Casterly Rock, it was more at the pleas from Jaime then any ideas of caring for blood. For hours Hadrian cried for his mother, that he met weekly and loved dearly. Then he searched for his grandfather, and found him with Uncle Kevan and other nearby western lord's discussing their countermove.
Hadrian knocked at the door to Tywin's Solar, and he could hear how the lords inside went quiet when he knocked.
The door was opened by Kevan that gave his great nephew a sympatric smile. "Hadrian, this really isn't the time. Come back later," his uncle said and tried to close the war. But Hadrian spoke up faster.
"I want to go with the army," he said calmly, staring at his grandfather. The room fell silent and all the lords stared at Tywin.
"And why do you want to go?" Tywin had asked.
"Because they killed my mother. And I know I can't fight in the battles, at best I can shoot arrows and run errands. But I want my change to do avenge my mother," Hadrian told them.
Tywin had stared long and hard at his grandson, his face showing nothing but his eyes… his eyes glinted with… satisfaction? Pride? Hadrian couldn't place it, but he knew that his grandfather was pleased with Hadrian taking initiative.
"And if I were to deny your request, what would you do?" Tywin asked, testing him.
"I would sneak upon the ships and do what the men ordered me too. If I help a single soldier kill an Ironborn, then I'll be happy," Hadrian said and stared into his grandfather's eyes.
"Good," Tywin said shocking most in the office. "You have a goal, and you'll fight to reach it. Like the Lannister you are."
It had always been Tywin's goal to have Hadrian legitimized, as he was the only grandson that he had that was worth anything. Hadrian had been with Damon when Tywin had heard about what Joffrey did to the cat…
Let's just say that Tywin wasn't happy.
"Once Jaime gets here, you'll be his squire," Tywin revealed.
Hadrian bowed and said. "Thank you."
That had been how Hadrian came to serve in the Greyjoy Rebellion. He only saw two battles, but those he did see were bloody and savage. The Storming of Lord's Port and the Siege of Pyke. It had been a great learning experience, and was also the longest time Hadrian had ever spent with his father.
Hadrian knew that Jaime loved him. But duty came in the way, and they saw each other very rarely. And when they did see the other, Queen Cersei was usually close. Cersei hated Hadrian's very existence, and scorned him as often as she could. Hadrian personally believed that only Tywin's threat that Tommen nor Joffrey would inherit the Rock if Hadrian were too "suddenly" die was the only reason he wasn't followed by assassins everywhere he went. Seven bless his grandfather sometimes.
The corridors were cut out from the stone, decorated with painting and banners, and red carpets covered and soften the floor. The corridors went on forever, and a person not familiar with the different paths could easily get lost. But for Hadrian that had lived here for most of his life, he knew them all like the back of his hand. After minutes of walking he finally arrived at his grandfather's office. Hadrian knocked on the door to the solar and entered as he heard Tywin call "Enter."
The room was on the top of the Rock, built into one of the larger towers facing the sea, and the room was very large. A large clear window was open, letting the soft breeze cool the summer heat. The room itself was covered with bookshelves filled with books and scrolls, many of them over a hundred years old. Two large maps, one of Westeros and one of the Westerlands was pinned to the left side of the wall. A few smaller Lannister banners hanged in the room to the right. In the middle a large desk decorated with gilded golden lions at each corner, and behind a large, but comfy chair. Behind the desk sat Tywin Lannister, the Lord of Casterly Rock.
His grandfather had seen better days, sixty years old and on his last mighty steps before death. Because of that the man had started to teach Hadrian everything he knew a few years back. The old lion was bald and kept a thin mane of golden beard, dressed in the finest red, black and golden clothes, and his eyes remained as imposing and calculating as ever in the orbs of green that sent half the kingdom to bed in fear.
"Hadrian, done sparring?" Tywin asked and waved to a chair in front of the desk. Tywin always felt that his grandson spent too much time training, when he should be studying. Personally Hadrian agreed, but sparring was one of the best activities he knew that allowed him to forget the amount of stress he had some days.
Hadrian sat down and smiled. "Wasn't much of a sparring match, but it served its purpose."
"Good. Now, what is it you wanted to talk about?" Tywin said with cold eyes.
"Haven't you already guessed?" Hadrian questioned.
"I believe I have guessed correctly but speculation is only speculation. Not the truth."
"I want to go to King's Landing. Things are happening in the realm again at a frightening rate, and you'll have to excuse if I offend you in saying this. But I do not trust Queen Cersei to further House Lannister's interest."
In any relationship there were a few points two people didn't agree upon. For Hadrian and Tywin the largest was Joffrey, the second Cersei. But to be fair Hadrian had every reason for not liking Cersei. His first time in Casterly Rock the woman had nearly drowned him. Hadnt Jaime intervened Hadrian would be dead. You got to love family.
Hadrian could feel Tywin's eyes staring at him, and therefore stared right back. "My daughter is more than capable to secure the interests of House Lannister."
"Cersei isn't stupid, I agree," Hadrian said. "And she does have a great mind for conducting plots and schemes, as well as predicting short-term consequences. But she is horrible at seeing long-term consequences as well as predicting how different people will react. And with how unstable King's Landing is right now I do not want either my father, aunt or cousin to represent House Lannister."
Tywin quirked an eyebrow. "You do not trust your own father?"
"I trust my father with my life," Hadrian said and leaned on the desk. "Just not with anything political. He is too brash."
The two stared at each other again, both trying to get the upper hand. "And what politics aren't you trusting your family with?"
"The handling of our new Hand, Lord Eddard Stark."
A little over a month ago did Jon Arryn suddenly die, and King Robert had ridden to the North to ask Eddard Stark to be his new Hand of the King. The reclusive northern lord had agreed and came south a few days ago. Robert had already declared that a Tourney was to take place, and Hadrian wanted to participate. Hadrian knew that Tywin despised Stark for the honorable fool he was, and felt a bit slighted that he wasn't named Hand of the King.
Tywin scoffed. "Lord Stark is from all the reports bumbling around King's Landing like a fool, not understanding the game."
Hadrian started to shake his head. "Even more reason for us to be there and stop Cersei or Jaime, and especially Joffrey, from insulting Lord Stark. Who do you believe our King would support if our Houses came to blows, the House of his long dead love and best friend or the House that produced the wife he hates. Not to mention that any war with the Stark's would mean that we would also fight the Riverlands and the Vale."
"War?" Tywin said. "You are talking as if war would break out any second."
"You can read the winds of politics as well as I can. Don't play the fool, grandfather."
Now Tywin glared at his grandson. Hadrian didn't budge however. "You are looking out for the best interests for House Lannister, all branches. I am looking out for House Lannister of Casterly Rock. And the Crown owe us too much for me to just sit here and let it grow. Especially as things are only getting tenser between the kingdoms."
"So what, you want to make sure the Crown starts to repay their debt?"
"I like to call it economic damage control," Hadrian replied.
"But using your own arguments, if Cersei insulted Lord Stark enough so he would declare war, having King Robert in our debt would make sure that he couldn't choose sides," Tywin said.
Hadrian smirked. "Once again, short-term. The King must intervene if his vassals come to blows, and then he must pick side. Do not underestimate Robert Baratheon's love for the Starks, it might be the ruin of us. And if a war would happen we need all the money we can get. War does cost money."
"Robert Baratheon owes us three million gold dragons," Tywin harshly said. "He cannot betray us."
"He is the King," Hadrian argued. "If a war happened he can annul the debt, and then just raid Casterly Rock once he starves us out. He has the power."
"He won't see reason, very well. Time to change tactic," Hadrian thought. "Say that nothing does happen, which is entirely possible, with how much money His Grace throws away. He will bankrupt the Kingdoms in this rate."
"So you are going to stop Robert from bankrupting the Kingdom?" Tywin asked.
Hadrian snorted. "Roberts a fool. A brilliant general and warrior, but he was never suited for ruling. And it shows. He isn't only in debt to House Lannister, but the Iron Bank, the Faith, the Merchant Cartells, the Tyrell's are now also getting in on it. He is this close," Hadrian said using his thumb and index fingers, pinching them together leaving a miniscule gap, "to be in debt to so many different people he will use loans to repay his debts. And once that happens House Lannister will never get its investment back. Because he will only pay us back once every other loan is repaid. And that is unacceptable. A Lannister pay his debts. And Robert Baratheon owes us a big one, or have you forgotten?"
"I am fully aware of who owns House Lannister a debt," Tywin dryly replied.
"Then you know how important it is that we decrease the huge debt. How long can they be in debt before they drag us down too? Our mines are going dry, if I hadn't coerced you to continue digging you would be out of gold veins," Hadrian argued. When the Rock had finished the last vein, Hadrian had stubbornly asked Tywin to continue digging. A few weeks later they stumbled onto a new large one, and several more after digging deep in the bowels of the Rock, by pure blind luck. It would sustain them for a few generations, but the work was dangerous, as the workers had to move slowly to not collapse the very deep tunnels.
Tywin had furiously started investing all over Westeros and Essos, making sure that they would have a secure income for the future. It also helped that all the money stolen from the Tarbecks and Reynes, and that the hidden treasury had refined gold bars worth twenty five million dragons.
"They are family, and they will pay back once Joffrey is on the throne, knowingly or not," Tywin said. Tywin's plan was to use a small percentage of the tax the Royal Treasury gained monthly to slowly pay of the loan.
"When Joffrey- Grandfather. Joffrey is the largest moron in the kingdoms. He will make the Mad King look kind," Hadrian growled.
It was the largest sore spot between the two. Hadrian despised Joffrey because of his sadistic ways, and his incredible stupidity in politics and… well everything else. What grained on Hadrian's nerves was that Tywin knew what kind of boy Joffrey was, but his loyalty to the family blinded him. Or kept him from acting. "Joffrey is half Lannister, and he will pay his debts."
Hadrian shook his head in defeat. "He is a spoiled child with father issues. Nobody I have seen has even been remotely successful in controlling him."
"He will learn, or I will teach him myself," Tywin promises.
"A sharp lesson?"
"Perhaps a very sharp lesson," Tywin admits.
"Good. Because he needs one. He doesn't understand the circle of vassals," Hadrian speculates.
"Oh, and what circle is that?" Tywin asks.
Hadrian frowns and thinks before explaining. "Joffrey looks at the Seven Kingdoms and its regions with mostly despise. He thinks the North, Dorne and the Iron Islands are garbage cans and wastelands. Admittedly, the Iron Islands are nearly exactly that, but Dorne and the North? The two regions with the best natural defenses and the North has arguably the most experienced soldiers. Humiliating them is stupid."
"And the Starks are the Baratheon's second strongest allies," Tywin says.
Hadrian nods. "The North is not to be underestimated. If Ned Stark wanted to cut the North from the rest of the Kingdoms, he'll march his army south to Moat Cailin and he is done."
"We can sail to the coasts, attack from the sea," Tywin counters.
"We could… but for how long? The North is huge, and cold. Our men would freeze and shiver around campfires while the Northerners ride through the night and attack us with our breeches down. Invading the North is nigh on impossible. And even the Targaryen's failed taking Dorne."
"And the rest of Westeros? Does my grandson look at them with respect?"
Hadrian shake his head. "Only the Westerlands and half of the Crownlands. He tolerates the Reach and the Stormlands, and don't really care about the Riverlands. He calls the Vale weak."
Tywin frowns. "The Vale is many things, weak? No."
Hadrian shrugs. "He calls them weak because they allow the presence of the Mountain Clans to remain." Hadrian leaned back shaking his head. "How long do you think Joffrey will sit on the Iron Throne before he either insult some Lord or kills one? My gold is on less than a week."
"And the vassals?"
"How many wars will Joffrey start? How many times will our men leave their families to fight a new war for a King that never learns? They will fight quite a few times, since they are loyal, and fear us, but eventually they will be too tired and homesick. What will we do then? Kill them? Our own men, direct Lannister soldiers will also be tired, and might in the long run rise up in defiance instead for going out on another war. A Lord rule his people only as long as he can keep most of them happy and loyal. That has a limit which even fear cannot overcome."
"And what will you do, when our men wants to go home and threatens with rebellion?" Tywin asked.
"Depends, but I will not allow that to happen. For if it happens, it is already too late, and our own smallfolk will rip us apart," Hadrian said.
"And your plan to stop that?"
"When the day comes, and I hear mumbling, I will simply refuse Joffrey. The continuation of the name is what matters, and as long as he contributes to it, I will fight. But when he starts to drag it down one too many times… I will do what must be done."
"Good," Tywin said Hadrian could see that he had answered right. "You are right, of course. Joffrey is just likely to benefit us as he is to drag us down. That boy cannot be controlled, and until we find a way to do so we must be careful."
Tywin stood up and approached one of the walls, and Hadrian stopped breathing. "Hear us Roar," Tywin mumbles loudly. "The family words. Our more official motto. It means that people will hear us when we are slighted, that we will not sit back and watch anybody threaten or injure our family. But the roar must be backed up with the bite, something you do," he said and reached for a sword at its honor place on the wall behind Tywin's desk.
"A Lannister pays his debts, is the second. And that too is true. Even amongst family." Tywin carefully takes down on of the items on display and walks towards Hadrian. "It means that when somebody hurts us, we hurt them back. If somebody helps us, we help them when they need it. You also understand that."
"Gerion always wanted you to have this, and I agree. Only somebody loyal to the family should use Brightroar, and you are good enough, and understand what it means to be a Lannister, to wield it properly," Tywin said and laid the Valyrian bastard sword in front of him.
It was a beautiful sword, fully restored and having its hilt and guard rebuilt. The scabbard was red with golden threads running through it, and the sword made a clear noise as Hadrian unsheathed it. The smoky, black lines told the signs of the steel's true heritage, and Hadrian could nearly feel how sharp the blade was. The hilt was comfortable, allowing Hadrian to put both hands on it, with the lower hand slightly covering the gilded steel lion pommel. The cross guard was large, and rather thick, and made of the best castle forged steel available. Hadrian took a few swings, feeling the perfect balance.
"Thank you, Tywin," Hadrian said, his voice thick with emotion.
Then he saw his grandfather do a rare thing, he smiled, a smile that reached the eyes. "I didn't have you legitimized because you are Jaime's son, no I did it because you are the best heir I could have. You are smart, a good fighter, and priorities family, even when family is crazy and stupid. You will do your part to carry on the Lannister name and make me proud."
Hadrian chuckled. "The marriage speech again?"
Tywin snorted, actually snorted. "You are more than old enough, but no. I still haven't found a suitable match since Alysanne Lefford married a lesser Lannister and the stupid boy took on the Lefford name."
It was a sore point in Tywin's armor. When Hadrian first had been legitimized a lot of people still would think of him as a bastard, and therefor that Hadrian wouldn't inherit the Rock. So the lords looked elsewhere for betrothals, and when it finally became clear that Hadrian would inherit the Rock, most, if not all daughters were engaged or already married. Tywin had been furious. "Time to start looking outside the Westerlands, then?" Hadrian asked.
Tywin glowered at him. "Perhaps. But the decision is still mine."
Hadrian snorted. "As it always have been." Hadrian sheathed Brightroar and sat down again, the sword in his lap. "So do I have my leave for King's Landing?"
Tywin tapped his fingers at the table, clearly going over his options. "Very well, take fifty men, including your cousins that always follow you and Ser Lyle, and ride to King's Landing. Press the new Hand to make sure the Crown starts to pay back the loan, with interest. We need to earn something from it after all."
"Is it wise to press for interest? Will that not make people doubt our riches?" Hadrian said.
"It might, but most likely not. It will simply look like we are tired of loaning money without getting it back. And the interest won't be that big. A single percent should do it."
"That is thirty thousand gold dragons, Grandfather."
"And they can pay it back," Tywin said, dismissing Hadrian's concerns. "And try to bring my daughter and her oldest son back to the ground from whatever cloud they have imagined up they are floating on while you are in the capital," Tywin said.
"Like Cersei doesn't hate me enough, now I am going to try to order her around. That can only end well," Hadrian said with a voice dripping with sarcasm.
"She will do as you say, as I will send her a raven reminding her about the duty to the family she is so eager to go on about," Tywin said. "And do well in Tourney, you won the melee the last time, and I except the same result."
"As long as there aren't any new comers I don't see how I can lose," Hadrian confidently said.
"Good. Now, go and tell your friends, you have a long ride starting tomorrow," Tywin said in what was clearly a dismissal.
Hadrian smirked and stood up again. "Goodbye grandfather."
"Be well, and don't do anything stupid," Tywin said.
Hadrian left his grandfather quickly enough, knowing that Tywin didn't appreciate sloppiness or stalling. He carried Brightroar like a baby in his arms as he navigated the huge halls of the Rock. It took a little over five minutes to reach his personal quarters and he entered them without stopping. The room was divided into three parts, bedroom, study and armory. There was also a privy in a secluded area of the bedroom, and the cisterns of the Rock washed away any waste quickly enough so no smell lingered. The bedroom had a large double bed with red sheets, a few bookshelves with more enjoyable books and a two large banners. One of the Lannister Lion and one of a Black Lion on Red. It was Hadrian's personal sigil, as he was because of his hair called the Black Lion.
The study had a smaller desk designed like his grandfathers, and had maps of different locations of Westeros and the Westerlands in detail, as well as books on politics, history and strategy. The armory is exactly what it sounds like. Hadrian's personal armor, designed like Jaime's Lannister armor, as well as several swords, shields and bows hanging on the wall. A large male lions stuffed head hanged there too, a trophy after a very lucky hunt. A single set of leather armor with lions carved into it also hanged there, more for hunting then battle.
Hadrian walked towards his bedroom, where Tywin had installed a trophy holder of polished oak, where Brightroar fit perfectly, laying into the holders grip horizontal. The scabbard Hadrian placed at the holders' side, leaning to the wall. He then sat down on the bed just starring at the magnificent sword, remembering how Gerion had returned with it.
When Tywin had first about his younger brothers plan to retrieve the ancient sword his grandfather protested, loudly. But Gerion was always a free spirit, and had after weeks persuaded Tywin that he could do it. Hadrian had hugged his uncle's legs, begging him not to go. Hadrian had told Gerion that he was leaving him and his newborn daughter Joy, and his uncle had stopped at that. Then he had lowered himself to Hadrian's eyelevel and said. "I will be back, if you pray for me and keep little Joy safe, I will be back"
Hadrian had stared suspiciously at Gerion before his hand shot out and he asked "Promise?"
Gerion had laughed and shook the offered hand. "I promise."
Hadrian had no idea what had happened, but he could have sworn that Gerion glowed gold at that very moment. So for six months Hadrian had spent most of his time with little Joy, and Gerion had returned. He was wounded, pale and shaking, but Brightroar and the crown of King Tommen was in his hands. He had dropped both and hugged Hadrian hard, mumbling thank you.
To this day, Hadrian had no idea why his uncle thanked him, and he didn't either knew what had happened in Valyria. Gerion had refused to speak about it, and he died in the Greyjoy Rebellion, taking Euron Greyjoy with him. Brightroar was nearly lost again, but was recovered and taken by Tywin that had it gather dust in his office. Until now.
"The Greyjoy's" Hadrian growled in his mind. That damnable Rebellion was the cause of so much pain and success in Hadrian's life it was ridiculous. It had been a glorious day when King Robert arrived at Lannisport, with the might of the Reach, the Stormlands, the Crownlands, the Vale and the Riverlands with him. The northerners were taking boats from Seagard. Hadrian had run out of the Lion's Mouth towards his father, and Jaime had lifted him up and hugged him for a long time.
It was the first time Hadrian ever got hugged liked that by his father. Then the hype continued, as Jaime too was glad that Hadrian would squire for him, and father and son spent a week together at the Rock, happy and together.
Then the day the ships would sail came, and Hadrian was given a light armor, a bow and a short sword for his personal defense. Hadrian had seen the battle at Lords Port, but hadn't participated in it. Later as he walked in its carnage and smoking ruins Jaime had taken him to the side and explained that war was an ugly business, and no matter what the Starks thought, innocents were always killed or harmed. Hadrian had steeled his nerves and nodded.
Then Pyke came, Hadrian had ran with his father and fetched his sword and shield as Jaime went into the breach. Hadrian had only entered the breached castle once most of the fighting was over. He had gone in there, shaking like a leaf, arrow notched. He could still remember when a small side door had opened and a handful of Ironborns flanked the attackers.
He could still hear Jaime's panicked call, and he could still remember the clearness when Hadrian had on instinct raised his bow and fired, getting lucky and hitting an Ironborn in the throat. Then his father arrived and cut the rest into pieces.
Then, once the battle was over Hadrian was staring at one of the towers when one of the men trapped under a destroyed tower moved. It had been Maron Greyjoy, second son of Balon. The Ironborn had a broken leg, an arrow in the shoulder and bleeding from a head wound, but otherwise he looked alright. Hadrian had reacted on without thinking, walking quickly up to the man and before Maron knew what happened he had a sword shoved into his throat.
Hadrian could still hear the scream Balon Greyjoy and his two youngest made when they went out after surrendering and seeing Hadrian standing there, his sword buried in their family. King Robert had him brought before him that evening. Balon had been there, restrained but struggling against his guards to get to Hadrian, Lord Stark on the King's right side, his grandfather to the left. His father Jaime had left his position near grandfather and had walked up to Hadrian, and put both his hands on his son's shoulders. Guarding him like a lion guarding its cub.
"Why did you kill the boy, his father had surrendered, the battle was won," Robert asked. Hadrian had shivered, standing in front of those men had been a haunting experience.
"The Greyjoy's killed my family, Your Grace. I just took my vengeance."
Robert stared hard at Hadrian, judging him. "Hadrian Hill right? The only Lannister to die that was your family was Gerion Lannister." Many people carrying the name Lannister had been killed, but most of them were of minor branches, and were at least five generations away from the main branch.
"My mother and her family lived in Lannisport, Your Grace."
"Ahh…" Robert sighed, pity and understanding in his eyes. Then he looked at Lord Stark, who was staring at Hadrian with ill-disguised disgust, then at Tywin whose eyes showed nothing of what he felt. "You'll leave for Casterly Rock today, and never return here, Lannister."
Hadrian flinched. "My name is Hill."
Robert laughed. "You are ten and killed two squids in a single day! That is good boy! And you did it in either self-defense or in mercy. Maron fell over thirty feet, the boy must be bleeding internally! And, your grandfather has been pestering me to give you the name Lannister for a year! So in reward for doing your duty to the realm and killing a Greyjoy, you are now Hadrian Lannister!" Robert declared.
Hadrian looked at his father and was met with a warm smile, and he could see the pride in Tywin's eyes. But he also saw the disgust in Ned Stark's eyes increase and the hate in the remaining Greyjoy's. "Thank you, your Grace," Hadrian said and left Pyke with his father, heading towards the ships anchored at the coast.
Later that night, Tywin had come by and told Jaime of how proud he was over Hadrian. He was paying his debts, like a Lannister. Like a strong Lannister.
Hadrian sighed and stood up and left his room, intent on informing his friends about their in depending journey, and then to go and be with Joy for a while. He always spent at least an hour with her daily, in honor of Gerion.
He found her in her room in the upper parts of the Rock, reading a thick book in the library. This library wasn't the biggest, but it was the most remote, and tomes of every Lannister King or other notable Lannister that had ever lived. Joy´s golden hair was braided into a single pony-tail, and her green eyes focused on the pages. "What are you reading?" Hadrian asked as he entered.
Joy looked up from her book. "Life of Loreon ll, How the Lion roared, it isn't a very good book, but it helps pass the time."
Hadrian chuckled and sat down in a chair to her side. "And otherwise? Have the Septa been hard on you?"
Joy's smile faltered and Hadrian could feel the rage in his mind. "She doesn't like me because I am a bastard, she thinks I have no place learning about stitching or singing. At least not with Cerenna and Myrielle."
Hadrian placed his arm over her shoulder and hugged her. "I thought at least Myrielle was kind to you?"
"Both Cerenna and Myrielle, and Lanna are kind to me. They don't always like me but they are kind. It's just that I am so much younger then them. It makes it hard to find anything to talk about," Joy complained.
"What are they talking about? You are pretty mature for your age," Hadrian said. "You should have something in common at least."
Joy grimaced. "I am more mature then them. That is the problem, they are still stuck on fairy tales."
Hadrian shivered, realizing where this was going. "Please don't tell me that-"
"Knights and golden princes? Really? They should be over that by now!" Hadrian begged.
"No no, they are not. And they are still going over how beautiful you are, and how enchanting your green eyes are and how they will marry you and have your babies," Joy sang, her joy at seeing her cousin's growing horror too much to resist.
Hadrian stared at her before shivering, and looking around in the library, half believing that they would come out of the shadows. "They so need a new hobby. It is not happening! I am not marrying them, and aren't all of them already promised to another?"
"So why are they so dead set on having me!"
"They think you are yummy."
"Seriously, yummy? What does that even mean?"
Joy's eyes lit up with mischief. "That means that they want to devour you like a piece of cake," she sang.
"You are lying," Hadrian said.
"No. They still think that Lord Lannister will break their betrothals and marry them to you instead."
Hadrian's shoulders slumped. "They are never going to give up, are they?"
"I'll have to live with them even when they are married and have children of their own?"
"Even when I have children of my own?"
Joy gasped. "The Legendary Black Lion, who hates the shackles, thinking about his future children? Blasphemy!"
"You are enjoying this aren't you, you little rascal," Hadrian said.
Joy nodded happily, making Hadrian smiled. As a bastard she had a hard life, and didn't smile often. Hadrian saw her as his own sister, both having grown up despised, and loved by Gerion.
"So, are we reading this book?" Hadrian asked and sat down as Joy started reading loudly, just enjoying being in each other's presence.
Hours went by before Joy started to yawn, her exhaustion obvious. "Come on little rascal, let's get you to bed."
Joy tried to shake of her sleepiness. "I'm not tired!" she hotly said. Her yawn that came a second later didn't help her cause.
"Sure you aren't. But, as I am leaving tomorrow you need to be up early to say goodbye."
Suddenly Joy was much more alert. "You are leaving? Where?"
Joy suddenly smiled. "Tell Myrcella I said hello. I know Queen Cersei despises me, but Myrcella and Tommen are kind."
"That they are. Nothing like our dear aunt."
Joy hissed. "I deny any relations to that woman."
Hadrian grabbed her shoulder. "Be careful. Cersei may have no supporters in Casterly Rock, thanks to me, but such talk is still dangerous. Nobody, except my father, likes Cersei. But she is our Queen, and a Lannister."
"That doesn't mean I have to like her. Plenty of Lannister's hate each other."
"Such as?" Hadrian asked.
"Tywin and Tyrion, Cersei and Tyrion, You and Cersei, you and Lancel and many more. We are a complicated family."
Lancel Lannister was one of the few Lannister individuals that despised Hadrian. The reason was clear. If Tommen hadn't inherited the Rock, and as Tywin had disinherited Tyrion from the Rock in his mind, Casterly Rock would have passed to Kevan, and then his eldest son Lancel. Hadrian's existence had made Lancel's chance at being Lord Lannister nearly impossible.
Hadrian didn't disagree with Joy's observation. "True. But enough of that, we need to get some dinner, I need to tell Lucion and Damon that we are leaving, and then you are going to bed."
It looked like Joy tried to shot lightning bolts with her eyes. "If you behave I'll make sure the cook makes a strawberry pie for you…" Hadrian bribed her with.
There were exactly five things you could bribe Joy with. Books, Knowledge, helping her escape the Septa, pranking her female cousins and Strawberry Pie. The Pie was always the easiest option. "Deal," Joy said, closed her book with a bang and skipped out of the library, leaving a gaping Hadrian behind.
"She just tricked me… she just pulled one on me…" he said. If Lucion ever heard of this he would hear it to his last day.
He then stood up and rushed after the ten year old.
The next day at dawn Hadrian sat upon his black war-steed, Tirion, fully dressed in his armor, Brightroar strapped to his waist and surrounded by Lannister men-at-arms. Damon and Lucion rode up to his side, fully armored, carrying the Lannister Banners. "You ready?" Damon asked Hadrian.
Hadrian nodded and turned Tirion around, calling out the "Let's go!" and rode out of the Lion's Mouth. Dawn had just settled, making the banners shine like blood and molted gold, but the air was still cool. The fifty men lined up, Daven and Lucion with Hadrian at the front, and Lannister banners in the front, with the banners of Crakehall, Clegane, Payne and Brax behind the Lion.
As they got out of the hill and of the bridge leading to the Lion's Mouth, Hadrian turned his head and looked at his home. Casterly Rock was mighty, nearly twice the height of the Wall, with hundreds of towers crowning the mighty mountain, and below Hadrian could hear the small harbor inside the Rock waking to life.
Visenya Targaryen was said to have doubted if Aegon the Conqueror could have taken the Rock, and with two leagues of stone from west to east, and north to south, it was highly possible. The Rock was by far the second largest castle in Westeros, only Harrenhal had ever rivaled it. The Lion's Mouth itself was intimidating, two hundred feet high was the natural opening, and on it the Lannisters had built a strong bulwark of towers and walls a hundred and fifty feet high, making it nigh impossible to storm it. The heavy weirwood and steel gate, gilded with gold, was twenty five feet wide, and instead of the classical gate that opened by parting in the middle in too two separate parts, the Lion's Roar was a single huge piece, that was bolted to chains from underground, and using a wheel you could slide the gate shut, going out from the northern section to the southern, and completely sealing the Rock.
Casterly Rock had never fallen to an enemy. Attacking the Lion's Mouth was madness, but going through the natural caverns beneath it was worse. The Greyjoy's tried that. Too late they realized the trap as portcullises slammed down, trapping the Ironborn in small groups in cages, and Lannister men soon came with spears and bows, butchering them like animals. Not to mention that in times of siege, more portcullises could be dropped and close the harbor.
Hadrian stared at its might, before his eyes traveled to Lannisport. The city was the third largest in Westeros, only the capital and Oldtown beating its size. Lannisport was home to nearly 250 000 people, its trade, gold and fish. The city had several large manors, home to cadet branches of House Lannister, and had walls a hundred feet high with strong towers and battlements scattered around on it.
Soon however they rode to far away, and the hills of the Westerlands showed themselves. It took fourteen days to reach King's Landing, with them other nobles and knights of the Westerlands had joined up, arriving I groups or alone to join the Black Lion to the capital.
The procession had with the newly arrivals grown from fifty to nearly a thousand, with each lord having guards, many knights having squires, and just extra personal like cooks, smiths, servants and more. Hadrian hadn't actually chosen a squire, but Lucion and Damon were always there to help. But Hadrian would much rather maintain his equipment personally.
Their journey through the Riverlands were…tense. Hoster Tully had every reason to dislike and fear having Tywin Lannister as a neighbor, and it didn't help that Hadrian had to keep the Mountain on a tight leash.
The third sore point in his and Tywin's relationship. While Hadrian agreed that Gregor Clegane was an asset to House Lannister, he needed to be reined in. Allowing that man to rape and pillage as he did was dangerous, but Hadrian knew how to keep both Clegane's happy. And far away from each other.
Soon they left the Riverlands, allowing Hadrian to relax a bit. The Crownlands were much safer, at least in some areas. Soon the Capital came into sight.
This wasn't the first time Hadrian visited King's Landing, but it was the first without his grandfather. The capital at first looked was stunning. Large walls, a full harbor and the Red Keep at the top of Aegon's Hill. The second impression was the smell. It smelled waste, dead bodies, perfume and worse.
"What can smell this bad?" Lucion complained.
Damon sniffed the air. "Hey! I recognize this this scent!"
Hadrian could hear the trap, and grinned as Lucion said "What?"
"It smells like your sister after a good fuck!" Daven japed. It took Lucion a few seconds to realize the meaning of his cousins' words.
"You fuck!" Lucion roared as he tried to strangle Daven, and Hadrian laughed.
"Then the scent must run in the family!" Hadrian said.
Both idiots turned to look at him, Lucion still strangling Damon. "Huh?"
Hadrian grinned ear from ear. "You both have sisters…" he said and rode on.
The men behind them laughed, and Hadrian saw the Strongboar struggling to remain on horse, his booming laugh shaking the air. Then the two idiots understood and Lucion stopped his work on Damon and instead went for Hadrian. Hadrian simply lifted an eyebrow as he saw his cousin's hands. "Really? You really wanna try that?"
Lucion grumbled and let his hands fall down and the men kept laughing as they rode through the Lion's Gate. The citizens stopped their business to stare at the new arrivals, and also glare quite a bit at the Lion banner, but even more at the Clegane one. That the people of King's Landing hated Lannister's were no big secret. The city hadn't been sacked since the Dance of Dragons, one hundred and fifty years ago. Then Tywin Lannister had come and brutally sacked the city, ending the Targaryen's and seating Robert Baratheon there instead. And things hadn't gotten better since then.
It was important to understand that while the citizens of the capital had hated the Mad King, they had still remembered the prosperity they got under House Targaryen, and therefore the city still loved the old dynasty. Indeed, the Crownlands were a much divided region, one third following Stannis Baratheon, one third following the Lannister's and the last bunch don't giving a shit anymore.
Soon the company approached the Red Keep, and its gate opened for the Lion banner. The courtyard was a beehive of activity, with stewards and servants running around organizing, and three proud banners hang in the air. The first was the crowned Stag, proudly prancing on a yellow field. Hadrian saw the golden lion on red just below, and finally was the grey direwolf on white a bit away from the other banners. Hadrian indeed could see at least ten guards with the Stark colors, and he inwardly shook his head. "The wolf is mighty in the north, but amongst lions, stags and worse, they melt and loose."
Hadrian dismounted and was soon approached by a steward with Baratheon colors. "Ser Hadrian, quarters have been prepared for you and your men in the Maegor's Holdfast, your things will be taken there."
Hadrian nodded. "And my father? Where is he?"
"Guarding the King, my lord."
"And where would that be?" Hadrian irritated asked.
The steward frowned. "In the small council chambers, my lord. You are not welcomed there."
Hadrian grinned. "The Crown owes Casterly Rock three million dragons, and I am also here to negotiate the start to repay us. Do you want to tell the King why the terms got better for me, and worse for the Crown?"
The steward stood there stuttering before giving up. "Follow me, good Ser."
Hadrian smiled. "See that was easy. Damon! Take the men and install them at their quarters, and remember to behave!" he told them, roaring out the last part.
Damon nodded and soon Hadrian followed the stuttering fool of a steward. Soon they entered the Throne Room, and Hadrian observed the peaceful look of the Room, with wines painted on to the pillars, and at the end of the hall stood the Iron Throne. Hadrian gave it a fleeting look, it was a big ugly thing, before proceeding to the back and was soon near the Small Council chambers when he saw his father.
"Standing there till winter comes?" Hadrian said.
Jaime had been half sleeping, so he jumped into the air a bit at the sudden new voice. "Hadrian!" he called and laughed stepping up and soon father and son gave the other a quick hug.
"Hidden away at Casterly Rock, must be so boring," Jaime said his green eyes glinting with mischief.
"It truly is. Without uncle Tyrion grandfather has nothing to be angry about, or distracted, so he has had all the time in the world for me," Hadrian joked.
"You should be honored. Seven knows that you were living in one of Cersei's dreams."
Hadrian shudder. "Don't ever say that. And you know that having Tywin's full attention on you isn't exactly funny."
Jaime smirked. "He's been hard on you?"
Hadrian molded a horrified face. "Don't say that so Renly hears it. He might take it the wrong way."
Jaime laughed. "He might want sneak into your chambers," he teased.
Hadrian shuddered at the thought "Giving me nightmares? You're supposed to be on my side!"
"Or Loras might be kind enough to join. Must be Renly's personal dream," Jaime continued.
Hadrian hit his father on the shoulder. "Or I might be able to persuade your fellow Kingsguard to look the other way while I give Lysa Arryn the keys to the tower."
Jaime lost his smirk. "That's not funny."
"No, it hilarious. I remember the way she looked at you, and then at her husband," Hadrian said, grinning. "What happened really? Lord Arryn was healthy as a bull."
Jaime shrugged. "Men fall sick all the time."
"Yeah, but Arryn? It's strange, and now Ned Stark is here, bumbling through politics like a bulldog, right?" Hadrian said.
"You mean like a direwolf?"
"I believe even wolves can be stealthier then Stark, even wolves large as horses," Hadrian countered. "He is making more enemies than friends, or am I wrong?"
"If he makes any friends," Jaime answered.
"How did Cersei take the news that her golden son is marrying a Stark?" Hadrian asked grinning.
Jaime smirked. "I have to admit, that was a funny scene."
"Can you describe it?"
"The usual. Throwing things, cursing at Robert, threating servants, demanding to write to father."
Jaime frowned. "Rather well. He doesn't like her, girls is as stupid as they can be, and just as naïve. But he thinks her pretty, so maybe she has something?"
Hadrian chuckled. "So we will soon have a new Cersei. A bitter queen with an awful husband that is viewed as a pair of breast and legs?"
"Pretty much. Lady Stark was very happy about the match."
"Did Lady Stark hit the head? Southern princes and Stark girls do have a history for ending badly," Hadrian said.
Jaime nodded, "And history is looking to repeat itself. Things might get ugly."
Hadrian stared at his father. "What are you up to?"
"Now father, saying such things are dangerous," Hadrian warned.
Jaime gave his son a winning smile. "We are of course only chatting, Harry."
Hadrian nodded towards the door. "What are they talking about in their?"
"The tourney, what else?" Jaime said.
Hadrian scoffed. "Their incredibly large debt?"
"That's what some might think," Jaime dryly said. "But Robert calls it counting coppers and doesn't give a shit if he is in debt. As long as he has boars to fuck and whores to hunt he is happy."
Hadrian laughed. "Then give him a Crakehall girl and he should be set for life!"
Jaime stared at his son, mouth open. "Haha! Good one, but don't let Strongboar hear you say that."
"You know he is here, right? Half the nobility from the Westerlands arrived with me. Bloody wankers, half of them spent the journey complaining or boasting. Especially the Frey's."
Jaime nodded wisely. "The Frey are born with two talents, being annoying and ass licking."
"Poor aunt Genna."
"Poor aunt Genna indeed."
The two chuckled at that. Genna Lannister was the only person alive that could lecture and humiliate Tywin. Of course, it was a bit of a family secret, but it was so funny seeing the mighty Tywin crumbling in front of a single old and rather short woman. "Eh, personally, I believe as long as she can yell at Grandfather every now and then she is happy."
Jaime chuckled. "So are you competing?"
"I am," Hadrian said, "are you? Going to best Loras Tyrell at what he does best?"
Jaime glared at his son. "Hitting men with pointy things?"
"He can't be that good, Renly is still up and kicking," Hadrian pointed out. "But honestly, is the competition any good? I am joining the joust and the melee, cannot wait to see Joffrey's face, and Cersei, when she realizes what my newest sword is."
Jaime frowned before his eyes lit up in mirth. "Father gave you Brightroar? Ha, finally! That will be sight to see!"
Hadrian draws the blade slightly, allowing the Valyrian Steel to reflect in the sunshine. "The pride of the Lannister family, if you listen to grandfather," Jaime said.
"I still don't understand why you rejected the blade."
Jaime got a soft smile on his face. "That sword should be wielded by either the Lord Lannister or the Heir. Gerion deserved because he found it, and as I'm a Kingsguard I cannot inherit my fathers lands and titles. They pass to you, and if we are being honest, you need all the help you can get. I am still the superior sword," he boasted.
Hadrian didn't deny that. He was good, and might one day be as good as his father, but right now Jaime were still better than him. "So what? You allowed me to have it because of charity?"
"More like helping my son? Or do you not want to keep it," Jaime said with a smirk.
"In your dreams," Hadrian said and chuckled. "I'll never let this sword out of my sight."
"I think you might have too. Valyrian Steel is not allowed in the melee."
"I'm sure I can get Robert to allow me to use it. But speaking of the tourney, will any of the Stark's compete?"
Jaime laughs. "Lord Stark don't fight in tourneys, wants to keep his moves secret. None of his sons, or ward, came south so only a few of his household guards will be joining."
Hadrian snorted. "So no new challenge? Or is the mighty Joffrey joining?"
Before Jaime could rebuke his son for his words on the Crown Prince, the doors to the Small Council opened and the members of the council started to pour out, only to stop at the sight of the two Lannisters.
Hadrian could identify several of them. There was Varys the Eunuch, the Master of Whispers in his purple robes and bald head. Even Tywin wasn't sure what Varys was loyal too. Then there was Grand Maester Pycelle, a man that Hadrian despised. Pycelle claimed to be loyal to Tywin, but in reality was loyal to Queen Cersei, and his dear aunt hated him. Pycelle was more likely to poison him then aid Hadrian. That the man looked like a pervert with his beard and old greedy eyes didn't help him.
Then there was Lord Petyr Baelish, which was by far the most dangerous of all the Small Council members. Dressed in expensive clothes, with green grey eyes and a dark hair with a small beard, the man had gone from nothing to quite a lot, and was one of the richest and well informed men in Westeros. Hadrian did have a sneaky suspicion that both Varys and Baelish had Blackfyre blood in their veins. Especially Baelish was under suspicion, as the man was known to own a Valryian Steel dagger. A small poor Vale House with roots from Braavos in possession of a Varlyrian Dagger? It was a bit fishy.
Then there was Lady- I mean Lord Renly Baratheon. The man had the classical Baratheon looks, with black hair, a strong jaw, broad shoulders and deep blue eyes. The man was dressed in expensive green and yellow clothes, with small lines of black on them. Must have taken him hours to dress this morning. Or Loras helped him.
"Hadrian!" Renly called, "so good to see you! We might actually have a really good final this time!"
Hadrian smiled. "Lord Renly, are you joining the lists?"
"Of course," Renly said, "somebody must represent House Baratheon!"
"More likely to get knocked down in the first rounds" Hadrian mused quietly. Renly was living in a fairy tale, as the man had never been in battle, never killed a man. Hadrian liked the words he heard from an old guard from Storm's End. "Robert is Steel, flexible and strong. Stannis is iron, and will break before he bends. Renly is like copper, fancy to look at but in reality useless."
That was the truth of the Baratheon brothers, like stags they looked strong, but in reality they were prey to the hunters like lions and, indeed, direwolves."Is Loras going to join? Need some good competition except for my father and the Mountain."
Renly shrugged. "I know that Loras is entering, so that will be a good fight. But you aren't really here for the joust are you? You have always enjoyed the melee more."
"That is true, has Thoros gotten over his defeat from last time?" Hadrian said smirking.
Renly chuckled. "Took a nice amount of wine and whores, but I think his pride has healed. Going to knock it down again?"
"Somebody must do it," Hadrian said grinning.
"Ser Hadrian, do you have any business with the Small Council?" a strong voice interrupted.
Hadrian nodded and turned to the new Hand. "Lord Stark, I am here to negotiate a plan for the Crown to start to repay the debt you owe House Lannister."
Eddard Stark was a man that looked impressive, but in reality he looked so out of place it was painful. The North never had the time to evolve the politics that ruled the South, as they always had to fight of one enemy or the other, or the fighting the cold. It made the grey eyed lord dressed in leathers stick out like a black flower in a garden of white. "The Crown's debt will be repaid, but we really don't have the resources right now, Ser Hadrian," Petyr Baelish said.
Hadrian lifted a single brow. "Oh, I believe you need to find those resources and quickly, Lord Baelish. My Grandfather has been very generous in his loaning to the Crown, and can wait, but rumors are that the Iron Bank is growing… restless. You are running out of time, and loans are meant to be repaid."
As dangerous as House Lannister were, the Iron Bank overshadowed them. If that Bank didn't start getting paid back chances were great that they would start to support the Targaryens, or other claimants to the Throne. Keeping the Iron Bank happy was a must, but Hadrian refused to allow them to be the only ones getting their money back.
Baelish smirked. "Yes, they are. But, we are repaying them, slowly."
"Not fast enough, as your debts only grow larger to that bank. It is in the Crowns best interest to pay that debt off. And as you can clearly pay a little to the Iron Bank, you can scrape together money to pay back House Lannister. Even family has limits," Hadrian said starring at Baelish. "And Lannister's do pay their debts."
The two stared at each other, none backing down.
Lord Stark then interrupted, "If you two follow me we can surely come to an agreement, Ser Hadrian."
Hadrian eyes narrowed before conceding. "Lead the way, Lord Hand. And I'll see you later father," he said in goodbye.
All Jaime did was to smirk. "Have fun!" he called out after. And Hadrian had to suppress his own smirk at Lord's Stark frown. He really needed to learn how to keep his feelings secret. But Lord Starks hate against the Lannister's were understandable.
Hadrian had thought about it for long before he realized that the Stark's had been the House to suffer the most in the Rebellion, yet no Targaryen's were faced with the blade of a Stark. By all rights Aerys Targaryen had been Ned Starks to kill, and Jaime robbed him of that. Robbed him of his revenge.
Hadrian took his time to observe Lord Stark as they walked towards the Tower of the Hand, Baelish. Hadrian got amused as he saw the Stark guards tense at a Lannister's presence, and he could also Baelish eyes gain a small glint in amusement at the hostility. "What are you playing at now, worm?"
The walk up the tower was rather quick, if winding and tiring in the extreme heat. Stark opened the door to his personal solar, and Hadrian took a quick look around. The room was rather bare, with the minimum amount of decorations, except a huge greatsword leaning to one of the walls, and a few books and a dagger at Stark's desk.
"Valyrian Steel, Lord Stark?" Hadrian asked and pointed to the sword.
"Aye, my ancestral sword, Ice," Lord Stark answered and sat down in his chair behind the desk.
"Jealous Lannister?" Baelish asked, smirking.
Hadrian grinned. "Not at all. I much more prefer a sword you can use in combat, that one looks a bit big."
Stark nodded. "It's mostly ceremonial."
"But still, for the mighty house of Lannister to not have Valyrian Steel, must be awkward," Baelish said. "And your grandfather has been searching for so long…"
"Nah, Brightroar is more than good enough, and can be used in battle." Hadrian said laid his hand on his sword.
"It was recovered by your Uncle Gerion, wasn't it?" Stark said.
"It was, and upon his death by the hands Euron Greyjoy it was given to my grandfather, and he kept it in his office. I was given it only a fortnight ago," Hadrian revealed, and could see Baelish's eyes harden. "Good, so the mockingbird doesn't know everything". Not surprisingly. Gerion had only been home for a few months before the Greyjoy Rebellion started, and Brightroar had been used by him. And as Gerion was never involved in any of the large fights not many knew of Brightroar's existence.
Tywin had always said that you don't boast over things. Be graceful about them, and therefore in difference to many other Houses Tywin hadn't showed of Brightroar every chance he got, it had mostly gathered dust in his solar. And as good as Baelish's spies were, getting into the solar of the Lord of House Lannister were beyond them.
"Now," Lord Stark began, "what is this about starting to repay the loan House Lannister gave the Crown?"
"It is easy, House Lannister cannot and will not continue to loan any money whatsoever, and as long we don't get anything back. Our deal is simple, we want five percent back, with one more percent in interest, back every year, starting as soon as the next year starts," Hadrian said.
"That's not possible, Ser Hadrian. The Crown barley has or earn enough gold to make the realm spin, we need all our money," Baelish said.
Hadrian shrugged. "Then you won't get any more loans, Lord Baelish."
"I am sure we can think of something," Lord Stark tried to amend.
"My Lord Hand-" Baelish began.
"Enough. Ser Hadrian is right. The Crown cannot rely on Tywin Lannister's gold forever, we need self-providence, and start to repay our loans. We only need a little bit to amend House Lannister and the Iron Bank," Lord Stark pressed on. "Do you have any ideas, Ser Hadrian?"
"A few, but I really don't care how you pay back," Hadrian admitted. "But three millions is too much to just let it continue grow, even for the Lannister's. Raise the tax, have a fee for everybody wanting to compete in the upcoming Tourney, place a toll on brothels, there are a million options, Lord Stark."
"That there are. But why collect the debt now, Ser Hadrian. House Lannister isn't exactly running short of money, right?" Baelish said.
Hadrian laughed. "Not at all! My grandfather is still shitting gold, don't worry. But even Lannister's have limits on borrowing, even to family, before it gets a bit too much. It would of course also help my cousin Prince Joffrey to take the Throne with full coffers."
Stark frowned. "King Robert is still young, Lord Hadrian. He has many years to live."
"Don't make me laugh, Lord Stark. The king is heavily overweight, and drinking more wine in a single day then the rest of the Red Keep together. His Grace has maybe ten years left, and the Crown only owes more money every year," Hadrian said.
Stark was clearly not happy with his answer, but it was the harsh truth. And say what you will about the Ned Stark, he was a man of the truth. "Very well, Ser Hadrian. I and Lord Baelish will come up with a suitable plan to pay back House Lannister the gold. You may leave," Stark said coldly. Hadrian smirked and took his leave.
"Don't take too long working out an answer. I want a plan set in motion before the tourney is over, because once it is am returning to Casterly Rock," Hadrian said.
"I think that we can come up with something, Ser Hadrian. Give your family my regards. I am certain that the queen will be thrilled that you are back in the capital," Baelish said.
Hadrian smiled and felt one of his brows quirk upwards. "Lord Baelish, I am certain that my extended family loves me just as much as your extended family likes you." Hadrian said, smirking at the man. It was no secret that Baelish's foster father Hoster Tully hated the man. Why was up for debate, but with Lysa Arryn's obvious obsession for Baelish it wasn't hard to figure it out.
"Yes family relations can be so different depending on one's family," Baelish continued. Hadrian simply huffed, knowing that the little lord meant Jaime and Cersei. Hadrian and his Uncle Tyrion has known for ages what the idiotic twins were doing, and Tyrion praised the gods every day that nobody had found out. A sentiment Hadrian agreed on.
Hadrian smirked and bowed before Lord Stark before turning and extending his hand to Baelish. Baelish took the offered hand and Hadrian smirked as he quietly said. "Be careful. Or the wolf will hear the boast the little bird makes about the trout sisters. And his teeth's looks very sharp."
Hadrian could see Baelish eyes look a bit afraid before he covered it up. Hadrian gave the minor lord a razor sharp smile before he turned around and walked out, eyeing the Stark guards as he moved though the tower. As he entered an isolated corridor heading to Maegor's Holdfast he saw a Stark guard walking towards him. The guard smelled of alcohol and Hadrian begged to the Seven that the men wouldn't notice Hadrian, as the Black Lion was way too tired to deal with a drunken fool.
"What are you doing here, Lannister?" the Stark guardsman asked swaying where he stood.
Hadrian didn't even turn around as he answered "That's Lord Hadrian to you. Know your courtesies."
The Stark men guffawed at him. "Aren't you the Kingslayer's bastard? The Black Lion?"
Hadrian didn't turn around as he said. "It is Ser Hadrian, guardsman. Learn how to talk to nobility."
The Stark man spat in front of Hadrian. "A bastard lion roaring loud, but no bite."
Hadrian stopped and turned around, starring coldly in the man's eyes. "You must forgive me for what I am about to do."
"What is the little cub goin-" the man spoke no further as Hadrian stabbed him with a conjured dagger in the throat, before in quick session banishing his armor and clothes and throwing a portkey in the form of a silver coin on the body, transporting it to a brothel in King's Landing.
They will think he got drunk and died in some kind of fight that is regular in brothels.
Hadrian leaned against the wall nearby as soon as he apparated from the Tower to an abandoned corridor. Magic was hard to perform, and he could only do it in small measures. Doing what he just did, and adding the silencing and notice-me-not charm around the area to stop spies to see, and Hadrian had used his magical reserves for two weeks at least. Damn!
The dreams had started at ten years old. On the night after killing Maron Greyjoy, he dreamt of another world. Of another life. The truth, the horrible truth of why he remembered was a harsh one. Harry Potter, as his name had been, had recovered all of the Deathly Hallows, earning him the title Master of Death.
What a joke that was. It was a sadistic joke at that, and Joffrey would maybe even enjoy it. Scratch that, the little brat only enjoyed people he injured.
Nobody could be the master of death. What happened was that you mastered your own death, in a twisted way. Your body still died, but your soul lived on, and in difference to all other souls, that never remembered their former lives, Hadrian did. And one could only activate his former life's by pleasing death.
Only Life can pay for a Life.
Hadrian Lannister both despises and respects Harry Potter. The boy was brave, kind to his friends and stubborn, never giving up. But he was a fool. Not killing his enemies, but letting them live was a deadly and idiotic mistake. Not seeing that the redhead was a fool and that he leaned too much on the bushy haired girl. Not to mention the old big bearded man. That was some sloppy manipulation.
But he did remember the magic, how to cast and what the different spells did. Learning to cast the wand-less and silent wasn't easy, and very exhausting but it gave him a secret weapon that no one knew about.
Hadrian had sworn to never be that kind or manipulated that he had been as Harry Potter. Never. He was a Lannister. Hadrian Lannister, Heir to Casterly Rock and all its titles. He was a lion.
And he could match his bite to his roar.
So a basic starting chapter. Hadrian is the son of Jaime, not Tyrion, simply because I still believe that Tywin would deny any offspring of Tyrion any chance of Casterly Rock.
I also really wanted to include more Lannister's! Too often you read these stories and there are only the main Lannister's! Next chapter will be meeting Cersei, The Evil Shit That We Miss When We realized That Ramsey is Worse, and Myrcella and Tommen. As well as the Stark Household.
As for marriage, take it easy. No Margaery will jump in here. While the two would most likely work, she is jumping for Queen. Romance is open for options, just remember that Dany, Marg and Sansa is gone! And I am using the show! That really doesn't allow for many girls...
You will find out while Sansa is out later.
Now, before we continue my views on Game of Thrones need to be said, so if I bash a favorite of yours, I will tell you now.
First I am not a huge Lannister fan, indeed my favorite is Tywin and Tyrion. I simply like the ruthlessness and politics. I am a Stark Loyalist, but sadly the show busted my number one option as the new King in the North when they killed Rickon. Now I am a huge Jon Snow fan, I do like the hero, and was hyped that the R+L=J theory is TV-Cannon. Do note that I do not think that he is a Targaryen!
It's too romantic for the world of Game of Thrones. I promise you, even if Jon is the son of a Targaryen, I'm sure he is still a bastard. If he is of rape is still up for debate. And if I am wrong I am going to take the shit with grace.
But there are Stark's I hate for their stupidity. Especially the old red-haired one. Too many mistakes that she as a Lord Paramount's daughter should have seen. And her eldest son… marrying a foreign girl with no huge armies or gold to her name… stupid!
As for my view on Dany. I do not like her. Why? Because without her dragons she would be dead. And even then only Tyrion stopped her from damaging even more. I'm not saying that Jon is smarter when it comes to politics, I think that they are equal.
It's said to say, but between the current monarchs Cersei is the better politician…. Wow that world has problems! Do note that the monarchs have advisors that are good in politics and the like.
Now that that is over, next chapter will be published when it is ready.
Read and Review!