Alanna

Chapter 1

Warning: All characters belong to Tamora Pierce, and nothing is of my own!

Hey everyone, this is the beginning of a kind of well, hopefully, original fanfic. I hope you enjoy it- and if you love Alanna, just like I do :) you hopefully will! Some facts have been altered This is a re-do!

The castle was alive with excitement and gossip, not just among the lower working class, but among the nobles too. Such hype and attention was usually reserved solely for scandals and such, however, this time, the root cause was a spark of defiance in a male chauvinistic society.

It had all begun one summer evening. The pages and squires, as well as the instructors, were just beginning their evening meals when the wide oak doors that let to the dining hall were violently flung open. In stepped the renowned Roger of Conte, hair a mess, eyes glinting dangerously and cloak billowing in the wind.

"Alan, or should I say… Alanna? What have you got to say for yourself?" he had snarled viciously.

It had been a peculiar entrance, mysterious and frightening. In addition, Roger's unexpected and equally mind-boggling statement had left the dining hall in stunned silence, not so much by Roger's uncharacteristic melodrama, but by the sentence itself.

"Alan, or should I say, Alanna?"

Words that would haunt Alanna for a long time.

No one had been more surprised than Alanna herself. Yes, she was not as confused as others were, but she was exceedingly shocked and horrified.

Shock was one thing, horror was another. Her secret, one that she had harbored for a very long time was finally out and made public. Alanna felt her face turn a deadly white. "What does this mean?" Alanna asked herself, a sense of urgency evident in her thoughts. After all, it was not a matter of the consequences. Alanna never feared such insignificant details. From young, she had always believed that if you broke a rule, one should always be prepared to accept the punishments. Ultimately, however, Alanna was afraid of one thing- "What if they do not allow me to become a knight?"

Such an occurance was too good and too huge to ignore. Before nightfall, the whole castle had gotten wind of Duke Roger's sudden appearance and startling words. The question- "What did it mean?" was frequently asked among whispered conversations and open discussions. Obviously only one person could answer that question, but that one person was nowhere to be found.

Alanna had instantly been summoned to the king's private study as soon as the statement had come out of Roger's mouth. No one questioned the validity of the Duke's statement; after all, he was pictured as a trustworthy, honest and intelligent noble, charming to a fault. Everyone had instantly realised that something was afoot- it was not everyday that the Duke said something to be in the limelight.

Alanna muttered incoherent replies to her friend's questions. She got up; chin high, pride evident in her purple eyes. Slowly, she stared at each one of her friends- Gary, Alex, Roaul and lastly, Jonathan. Her gaze lingering on Jonathan's, she stared at him long and hard before whirling around, heading up the grand staircase.

Eyes fixed on the diminishing form of the enigmatic 'Alan', conversations skidded to an abrupt halt as everyone forgot what they were about to say; their words lost in their mouth. Alanna ignored the piercing stares that she was receiving. Instead, she held her head up unnaturally high, her eyes sparkling with pride and defiance. Following the ominous silhouettes of the king and the Duke, Alanna curved her way through meandering corridors and fleets of staircases.

Finally, after passing though several heavily-guarded doorways, the trio stopped in front of a door. The king twisted the ornate door handle and they stepped in. The room was moderately sized. The furniture within the confinements of the walls were made of solid teak, and by the sides were intricate designs, mainly carvings. A few taspetries hung on the walls, all of them dark and gloomy. Everything in the room was well-made and expensive, from the exquisite pen holder to the candle holders on the wall.

The king sat on an armchair and beckoned for the Duke to follow suit.

"Now Roger, exactly what is going on?" the eking asked, staring fondly at his nephew.

"This… this… traitorous, sneaking, defiant, rule-breaking, st…" The Duke replied.

"That's enough Roger," the king said, berating his nephew, a warning tone springing in his words.

"Yes uncle. This girl," Roger spat disdainfully.

The king raised a hand and stared at Roger, befuddled. "Girl? I think I must have heard wrongly. Alan a girl?"

Roger sneered. "Yes uncle. Girl. Alan of Trebond does not exist- Alanna of Trebond does."

The king's expression of silent humour was contorted to one of pure confusion. "I don't understand," he said.

"Let's hear…her speak for herself." Roger said. The king nodded and turned to look at Alanna, his eyes confused but the look of desperation was obvious and visible.

Alanna inwardly sighed. However, she possessed an indelible streak of pride and though she could feel horror and fear bubble beneath her, she kept her face calm.

"My lord, Duke Roger speaks the truth," she affirmed and paused, surprised at how strong and steady her voice was, despite the fact that she was all quivery and staking inside. "Let me explain."

The king stared at 'Alan', aghast.

"My father and my mother had two children. Twins. Thom and I, Alanna. From young, I had always wanted to be a knight. It was my dream, you understand. My dream!" Alanna's steady voice cracked momentarily. "When I was of age, my dad sent me to a convent. I turned to the castle instead, and pursued what I'd always wanted."

The king listened on, horror etched firmly on his face, while Roger just looked on smugly.

"It was all my idea. This had nothing to do with Thom," Alanna chipped in hurriedly.

King Roald instantaneously felt anger pumping through his veins. His entire years of peaceful ruling and firm support from his people could go down the drain, all because of this one incident! Barely controlling his anger, the king barked, "Guards, send Alanna to the confined quarters for holding."

Alanna felt sturdy arms hook around her.

"Lady Alanna, you will be summoned soon for a trial." The king said to her frostily.

Alanna went without a fight. Snapping at the guards, she said, "You can let go off me, I won't escape." The guards stared, confused. Instead, she shrugged off their grip. Before the doors closed, Alanna mumbled, barely audible, "My lord, I'm sorry."

The door was shut gently.

King Roald stared at Roger, shaken. "This is some sort of cruel joke right?" he said, as he buried his worried form into his arms.

Roger's smirk grew wider, but he hid it. "No, it is not," he said soothingly, "my lord." He added in, almost as though it was an afterthought.

Roger could understand his uncle's apprehension. The nobles would have a fit if they found out what had happened, which they would probably have gotten wind off by now. After all, they were all ready displeased about some new rules the king was enforcing and this on top of their current dissatisfaction… King Roald was going to have a tough time.

"How did you find out?" the king asked, retaining his usual clam demeanor.

Roger hesitated for a mere second before replying thoughtfully, "it was a streak of luck. I was passing through Trebond about a week ago. I decided to stop in for a visit," Roger paused.

The king urged him to continue.

"I mentioned to one of the servants there that 'Alan' was doing very well. The servant laughed and asked whether I meant 'Thom' and that Alanna was in the convent.

The king stared intently at Roger.

"And then everything finally fell into place. Alan's small size, the somewhat girl-like features on his face…" Roger said animatedly.

The king only groaned louder. "Thank you Roger. You may want to take a rest or something; you must be tired."

Roger, getting the king's hint, nodded, bowed, and left the room.

The Royal court went deadly silent as the door swung open and a teenaged lad walked in. He had coppery brown hair, cropped short and a pair of remarkably purple eyes. However, after scrutinizing him carefully, they realized that they had been mistaken and the 'he' was actually a 'she'. It was Alanna or more commonly known as Alan of Trebond. Followed closely behind her were two armed guards. The court begun.

Alanna of Trebond felt her heart pounding rapidly. This was it. It would determine her fate. How could I be so careless? She screamed to herself. It was a stupid mistake; an oversight. She had left Trebond as Alanna, but entered the city as Alan. She had forgotten about her past, one which people knew she existed. She, not He. Roger of Conte, that blasted fool, he had suspected something. He had checked. He went to Trebond and discovered that an Alan had never existed. Only Alanna. A stocky girl with copper hair and purple eyes...

I'm usually not this angry. The stay at prison must have gotten into me.

"Alan I mean Alanna of Trebond, why did you act as a boy?" King Roald's voice reverberated through the court.

"Sir, All I wanted was a chance to win my shield that was all. I knew you would never accept a girl, so I went as a boy." She paused. "And I don't regret it." She threw in the last statement recklessly. A gasp broke through the court and Alanna immediately regretted it. She could already hear Sir Myle's voice ringing in her ears. "Why did you say that? They would think you were impertant!"

"So you decided to go, despite fully knowing the consequences?"

"Yes, I did sir."

"Despite knowing that you would dishonor your family?" Alanna was momentarily shocked.

"Ssir, don't drag my family into this. It was me only. No one else."

"That will be all. Thank you."

--------------- (-1 hour later-)

"The court has finally come to a decision. Alanna of Trebond will immediately stop her training as a page and she shall be expelled from her training to be a knight. She is to leave the city and not return back for 728 days. She had approximately one day to do this."

Alanna felt all her courage drain out of her suddenly. Her legs buckled and she slumped into her chair for a few seconds. Her dream, all lost in a few days! She would and could never be a knight. Never. She could never train here again- with Jon, Roald, Alex... She took a deep breath before walking out of the court, chin up high, trying to ignore the intense stares upon her.

Alanna dashed to her room, and tried to be inconspicuous. She did not know what to say to her friends, her friends who had trusted her all these months, stuck up to her, friends whom she could never forget. Alanna grabbed her paltry selection of clothes, dumped them into her bag, grabbed Lightning and scurried down. Hastily, she walked out of the castle's door, out of the castle gate, and finally, with a tear drop threatening to fall, Alanna of Trebond left the city which had been her home for the past year, and a part of her died that night...

This is a Re-Do of chapter 1! Please read and review!