Hello again! So Songbird won by miles, and as promised, here it is! I am really looking forward to writing this, and don't worry, I will not neglect the Sun :)
Please review and favourite! I love hearing what you all think. Also, I do not own any GRRM's work. However Lucien, Elise and Elyn all belong to me.
Lucian Hardy was a formidable man. Tall and broad, commanding a presence that turned all eyes to him. Grey hair pulled back, frown lines like scars, it did not matter he was only a minor Lord of the Crownlands. His green eyes were wickedly sharp.
"My daughter, Elyn. She was beautiful, it is true- she had many suitors. I denied each one. Do you know why, your grace?"
King Jaehaerys swallowed, but hid his fear as best he could. This was no normal meeting.
"She was my only heir. My wife died years ago and I did not see fit to remarry. Elyn was all I had, all I needed. She was smart, she was beautiful, she was mine."
Lucian turned to face the weak king. His disgust was evidenced only by the slight curl of his lip. This man was not worthy of the crown. Thin and short, balding white hair and watery eyes. King indeed.
All he could see was the chestnut hair of his daughter, her laughing smile, eyes glinting like green jewels. The way she pulled him from his work, from his thoughts, sitting on his knee as a child, pulling at his hair. She was so precious, all he had left, and she was gone.
"She killed herself, tied a noose around her throat and swung from the rafters. I was the one who found her body. She was supposed to have written a list of possible hand-maids. It was written, perfectly done, sat upon her table with the ink still wet. My Elyn. Even in death she was all a father could ask for."
"I am sorry for your loss," the King said, eyes large and shining.
"I do not want your pity," Lucion retorted.
Jaehaerys drew himself up, trying to imitate the raw power of his ancestors.
"Then what do you want, my Lord?"
Lucian glared at him with such hate Jaehaerys felt himself wither. If looks could kill.
"Your son raped her. I took him into my hall, gave him food and a bed, and he destroyed her. Put a bastard in her belly for all to see.
"Aerys Targaryen. If he was a different man, I'd have cut off his cock and fed it to the crows. But alas, he has the dragon-blood. So I must settle with something else."
Jaehaerys held his breath, cursing his son's foolishness. Lucian was no real threat, could hardly field a thousand men, and yet, somehow, Jaehaerys knew his son's mistake would cost them dearly.
"Legitimise the girl as a Hardy. She may be a bastard, a bastard of a rapist as well, but she is my grand-daughter and all I have left of Elyn. Her mother could not bear to touch her, but I do not have that freedom. She will inherit or my House will fall."
Wincing, Jaehaerys opened his mouth to protest, make a sweeter deal, offer him a new wife. He could not have a rogue Targaryen, no matter the name, roaming his kingdom.
"Do not think to deny me this. If I remember correctly, she is not the only Targaryen bastard. I understand there are those would pay dearly for her to wed, in time. Do not think you are the only family she has."
Curse this man and all his cunning, Jaehaerys thought. For centuries the Blackfyres had plagued his family, until even now. He knew better than any other what they would pay for a Targaryen wife, bastard or no. Their claim would grow stronger and he would grow weaker.
"Are you threatening the Iron Throne, my Lord?" he asked softly.
Lucian walked forward until there was hardly an inch between them. He towered over the King.
"Yes," he hissed. "Oh, you want to kill me? Such a shame. My grand-daughter, wherever she may be, will be left only with my most trusted servants. Travelling across the Narrow Sea all on her lonesome. I weep to miss her wedding."
Jaehaerys scowled, rage stirring within him. This man held all the cards, and there was nothing Jaehaerys could do but obey his commands.
Damn his son and his whoring ways.
Elise was a beautiful girl, scarily so, and Lucien watched with pride as she grew. There was a part of him that would always resent her for her father, but here, in their halls, she was Elyn reborn.
The girl in question sprinted into the room, hair damp with sea-water and face wet with tears. She barrelled into his side and he knelt to her level.
"What is it girl?"
She sniffled, lavender eyes wide a doe-like.
"I was swimming," she sobbed, hiccupping. "And one of the boys pushed me and said I was a bastard. I hit him and said he was lying but then he said his Mama had told him so it must be true."
He assessed her face stonily, wiped away her tears and shook her shoulders. She stared up at him.
"You are a bastard."
The girl gaped at him in shock, jaw dropping. Her tears had stopped, and he wondered how long it would be before they started again.
"Your father raped your mother. Do you know what that means?"
She shook her head silently.
"That means he bed her when she did not want him to. Then she became pregnant, and had you."
The girl did not understand what that meant, clearly, and her lip quivered. But he was gladdened to see her eyes were dry.
"Was he a bad man?" she asked quietly.
He nodded, face blank. He did not care if this was cruel. This was the truth, and he was a firm believer that children that were lied to made ignorant adults. Whatever grief she felt now would be lessened over time, at least.
"What happened to my Mama?"
"She killed herself."
Elise gasped, eyes filled with confusion.
"Because she did not want you. And she did not want to keep living," he said calmly. "Sometimes, when you are very upset for a very long time, you don't want to be upset anymore. It is wrong, but sometimes we think wrong things when times are hard."
The girls face crumpled, but under his scrutiny she pressed her lips together in a shaky white line and held her breath. Tears welled in her eyes, quivering on her lashes like rain drops, but did not fall. He nodded firmly.
"Many people will say many things about you in your life," he told her. "But if you know the truth, if you know who you are, then none can take that from you. You are Elise, daughter of Aerys Targeryen and daughter of Elyn Hardy. Let no one tell you otherwise."
His counsel was meaningless at the time, but as the years went by, Elise held those words close to her heart, like a bird whose song was a light in the dark.