Author's Note: This fic is actually a fill I did for the DA2 kinkmeme. The prompt was: "Ridiculously long and absurd prompt is ridiculously long and absurd
Hawke with her family leaves Lothering a few years before the Blight and they end up in Tevinter, not in Kirkwall. FemMage!Hawke rises to power and becomes a Magister (but is not as cruel as the others, as she grew up in Ferelden with a strong moral code- She doesn't use slaves). She, of course, meets our dear friend Danarius.
There's a power struggle and Hawke kills him - which means she can have his houses, his money and- of course- his slaves. Guess who hadn't escaped yet?
That's right- I want AlreadyAmnesiac!Slave!Fenris/MagisterHawke. If there is a relationship the two, please let it be consensual! (and in my headcanon Danarius totally raped Fenris)"
Why did I decide to answer it?... I have no idea. But I wrote it, and people there seemed to like it, so I might as well put it up for y'all to read.
I split it into multiple chapters, and I will post as I edit to fix typos and such.
Danarius' corpse hadn't even started cooling when Hadriana sidled up to Hawke and informed her that she now had ownership over all of his holdings.
Hawke, adrenaline still coursing through her system so soon after the duel, turned to look at the sharp-featured woman.
"Pardon?" Hawke said slowly.
"An old tradition," came the reply, as the brunette woman gestured airily. "If you kill another magister in an officially sanctioned duel, all his property—houses, money, slaves, so on—becomes yours."
"And you are...?" Hawke asked cautiously.
"Hadriana. I was Danarius' apprentice," she clarified with a tight smile. "And yours now, if you would have me."
Hawke looked back at the bloody spot on the ground where Danarius' body had been slunk, impaled on a well-placed icicle. Someone had removed the dead man and carried him off somewhere, leaving only a messy puddle behind.
"I don't think I'm really qualified to be teaching anyone," Hawke muttered.
"Do not worry yourself overly much. You may be a foreigner and new to our ways, but already, you have carved your path to power in this city," Hadriana said with enviable confidence. "I suspect there is little you cannot do."
Hawke felt a twinge of dislike at the woman's flattery. She'd heard similar praise before—the Tevinters were much too quick to lavish compliments on those they perceived as powerful—but Hadriana reminded her of a snake, coiled in the underbrush, ready to strike at a moment of weakness.
For now, though, she might have her uses.
"His house, you say...?" Hawke asked.
Hadriana's eyes glinted with cold ambition at the chance to make herself useful.
It had been somewhat of a surprise to hear that the Amell line had originated from the Tevinter Imperium, though it made sense somewhat. It was hard to name a noble family in Kirkwall that hadn't had its roots in the Imperium. It was something more of a surprise to find out that her mother's noble lineage qualified Hawke for a seat in the Senate, and while she initially felt some mild revulsion at the thought of having anything to do with the ruthless magisters, she eventually came to terms with the fact that it was probably the most efficient way to protect her family.
She even got used to it a bit, being surrounded by blood mages and backstabbers, having to watch her every step as she navigated the convoluted Imperium politics and strict social hierarchy. She'd even recovered the old Amell estate, which had been taken over by some middling magister after the last of the Tevinter Amells died out twenty years prior. It had not been maintained properly—the magister in question could afford the estate, but not the upkeep, so he simply left the house to rot—and she'd been planning to look for new lodgings when the problem with Danarius came up.
She wasn't completely sure what she'd done to win his antagonism, but she could guess that it was probably not much. Magisters were quick to eliminate anyone they saw as a threat. He'd sent several assassins after her, until she'd finally gotten his name out of one. She'd planned merely to confront Danarius, but he chose to challenge her to a duel; and he cheated, too. He brought several other mages at the agreed-upon location, probably thinking that there was strength in numbers. Against another Tevinter magister, certainly, he might have won; but Malcolm Hawke had taught his little girl how to fight with templars in mind, meaning she knew how to face down multiple opponents using speed and her staff, even if her magic failed her. And her magic certainly did not fail her that day, as she weaved through the group of mages, all visibly sedentary creatures and not used to all that moving around while casting, and she took them out one at a time until finally Danarius was forced to face her alone.
In a final, desperate move, Danarius raised his staff and electricity began to crackle around it. Hawke knew he was preparing a tempest, so she ran towards him and cast a cone of cold. The icicles shot up towards his midsection, summarily impaling him. Danarius died with a dumbfounded expression on his face.
And Hawke got his house.
Hadriana seemed to know her way quite well around the sprawling estate. The house slaves recognized her and Hadriana, in turn, barked orders at them with the ease of long practice.
"Danarius is dead. This is your new master," Hadriana informed the frail elven girl that met them at the door.
The slave girl prostrated herself before Hawke, murmuring a frightened greeting.
"Summon the rest," Hadriana ordered, and, as the girl did not move fast enough, she swiftly delivered a kick to her ribs. "Now, you lazy cow!" she screamed as the girl scurried off.
Hawke froze in shock at this display; it was not something new, she'd seen such scenes often before, but most people at least pretended to be kind to their slaves.
"Hadriana," Hawke said in a slow, dangerous tone, "You will never do that again."
Hadriana grew very still, a flash of panic on her face.
"Of course not, Lady Hawke," she crooned in her most placating voice. "I do apologize. Force of habit, I'm afraid. Danarius allowed me to discipline his slaves. I am quite sorry for touching your property without receiving the same permission first."
Hawke's lips tightened. She wanted to say that Hadriana had completely missed the point, but ever since coming here from Ferelden, she'd had the same frustrating conversation hundreds of times.
She was lead to a large antechamber, where about a dozen slaves were lined up, most of them elven; the elves were preferred as house slaves because, as one magister had explained it to her, "they're decorative and they don't take up much room". Hawke rather thought that it was because their smaller frames made them inadequate for the harder, outdoor labor, but she had no admiration for the Tevinters' pragmatism in this regard.
"These are only the house slaves, of course," Hadriana explained, confirming Hawke's suspicion. "There are at least twice as many in Danari—I mean, your holdings up north."
A man stepped forward, and Hawke could see by his posture that he was no slave, but he still bowed nervously and sweated profusely under her scrutiny. He was middle-aged and balding, but he kept himself in trim shape, and his clothes were practical, but made of fine textiles.
"Ah, yes—Severian, the steward," Hadriana nodded. "He managed Danarius' household. He is a dedicated servant. You might wish to keep him."
"I'd want to disrupt the household at little as possible," Hawke said, and the man relaxed visibly.
"Shall I show you the property?" Severian offered, gesturing widely towards the slaves.
Hawke knew what "showing" meant; she'd seen slavers at the market plying their trade, showing potential customers what good teeth this one has, and what good calves this other one, and look at this one's strong back, and this one's still young, you can get a good twenty years out of him still. She had no desire for such a display at the moment, especially not with that... distasteful woman at her side.
"Not right now, Severian," she said, maybe a little more harshly than she intended. The steward shrunk back, unsure what he'd done wrong. "I should send a message to my family first. They might think I'm dead, otherwise."
"Ah, of course," Severian nodded, eager to be given a task. "I shall send a messenger right away. Shall I fetch the ink and paper?"
"Do that," Hawke nodded.
Of course, when Severian said that he'd fetch those items, what that meant was that he sent a slave to do it for him. The elven boy, most likely no older than thirteen, absolved himself of the task promptly, though by the stern look Severian threw him, probably not promptly enough.
Hawke wrote a simple message to Mother, assuring her that she was fine and explaining the situation in brief. She considered telling her family to come over, but it was probably too soon for that; she wanted to better assess the situation before potentially walking them into danger.
"I'd like to see the house, if you don't mind," she told Severian.
"Of course, mistress. This way, please."
Hadriana made to follow them, but Hawke turned around to face her before she could make a step.
"Hadriana, I thank you for your help, however, I think we should discuss your apprenticeship at another time," she said.
Hadriana's expression remained admirably neutral, but Hawke knew that she'd guessed correctly at the reason the woman had been following her around. She wanted a definitive answer one way or another.
"I shall send you a message soon, after I've settled my affairs," Hawke said again, as Hadriana was opening her mouth. "For now, go home and rest. I am sure it has been a long day for you too."
Though she was visibly dismayed, Hadriana found no way to argue against this unambiguous dismissal. So instead, she threw some last bits of flattery Hawke's way and made her goodbyes with more pomp than necessary.
Relieved to see her go, Hawke turned to Severian and had a long discussion about Danarius' financial status.
After seeing every room in the house, after hearing about the history of every piece of statuary in the place, the value of every tapestry, the origin of every painting, after receiving every assurance that Danarius' finances had been robust and that she had inherited no outstanding debts, after hearing a seemingly never-ending list of the slaves she now owned and all their various skills, Hawke found herself completely worn out by the events of the day.
"Shall I have a bed prepared for you, mistress?" Severian asked, coincidentally after Hawke surreptitiously yawned in her palm.
"Oh—I suppose it's a bit late to walk home," Hawke shrugged. Besides which, she had to get used to the mansion eventually; might as well start that night.
"Shall I—that is, would you prefer Lord Danarius' old room?" Severian asked, at an impasse.
"That would a bit morbid, no?" she pointed out.
"As you say, mistress. A guest room, then?" he suggested. "At least until you choose more suitable quarters?"
Severian relayed his instructions to a pair of wide-eyed slave women, who ran off to fetch new sheets and prepare the room.
"Will you be having dinner?" the steward asked.
"No, that's quite alright," Hawke waved off the offer. She didn't think she could so much as make it half-way through a plate of soup without nodding off, and she didn't think being found asleep face-first in the evening meal would do much to awe her new staff. "I'll simply have a big breakfast tomorrow."
"As you say."
When she entered the room, she was surprised to see that she was not the only one there. Kneeling next to the bed was a shirtless elf with striking white hair. His gaze was lowered submissively to the ground and his hair fell over his face, obscuring most of it, but what caught Hawke's eye were the intricate markings running up and down his arms and torso.
She realized she'd been hovering in the door frame and staring for longer than strictly polite, so she stepped into the room and shut the door firmly behind her.
"Hello?" she said softly, tilting her head to catch the elf's gaze. "And you are?"
"Fenris, mistress," he replied in a deep, rumbling voice that she would have found utterly leg-melting in any other situation. "I was Danarius' personal bodyguard." He still did not look up.
"I see." Hawke stopped a few steps away from him. "Having a bodyguard didn't help him out much in the end, hm?"
Fenris tensed, and Hawke realized belatedly that he might take that remark as an indictment. Hawke knew, from what Hadriana had explained on the way over, that for the duel to be legal, he would have had to bring only other mages along. He'd had to leave Fenris behind. But that did not mean the elf was not skilled. In fact, considering the number of enemies Danarius had, he was probably very skilled to be entrusted with this task. Which didn't explain why he was here, in her room, shirtless.
"You were with Danarius all the time?" Hawke asked on an impulse. "Even when he slept?"
"Yes, mistress," came the sedate response.
"What, really? You slept at the foot of his bed or something?"
"Yes, mistress." Then, after a breath's hesitation, "Except after he required me to service him. He would sometimes allow me to sleep in his bed afterward."
Hawke felt the taste of bile in her mouth. Whenever she thought she was growing used to these Tevinters and their barbaric traditions, whenever she thought she'd finally seen enough bad things, something like this happened, reminding her why she hated this place. She calmed her burgeoning rage by bringing up the image of Danarius, slumped over dead with that stupid expression on his face.
Taking a deep breath, she crouched down next to him.
"Hey," she said softly. "Look at me."
He turned his eyes to her; they were a soothing green shade, and filled with apprehension that he was visibly making an effort to hide.
"Do you have a bed of your own?"
"No, mistress," he replied. By the tense way he held her gaze, it was clear that he wanted to look away. She'd given an order, however, and his servile instincts did not allow him to do so. "If you do not want me here, I can sleep outside your door."
"Oh, don't be ridiculous," she scoffed.
She threw a glance around the room. It was large and cluttered with furniture of all types, including a promising-looking divan in the far corner. She went to the bed and took off the coverlet. She was still used to the frigid weather in Ferelden and would not need two blankets in the dry heat of Tevinter. Fenris was startled as she reached for him, but did not protest when she grasped his hand and tugged him to his feet.
"We'll make other arrangements tomorrow," Hawke said, showing him to the divan. "But I will not have you sleeping on the floor," she continued, giving him a firm look, as if expecting some sort of argument. It was a moot point really, since even if Fenris had the inclination to argue, it would not be with someone of Hawke's status.
"Yes, mistress," he said, meekly stretching himself on the divan as she clearly expected him to. "Do you... not wish for me to help you undress?"
Hawke huffed at this offer.
"Another service you performed for Danarius, I presume," she muttered, more to herself than him. Fenris did not mind. He was used to getting talked at, rather than talked to.
Her face softened unexpectedly just then, and she pulled the coverlet over him. She hesitated for a moment, before she gently ran her fingers through his hair.
Fenris inhaled sharply at the touch; it was something Danarius would do sometimes, as well. A small affection that signaled he would spend a long night in his master's bed. He tensely waited for the order.
"Get some sleep, alright?" she said, and got to her feet to prepare herself for bed.
He watched her unlace her robes. It was something he should have rightfully been helping her with, and it felt oddly transgressive for him to simply lie there while his mistress busied herself alone.
She looked over her shoulder at him just then.
"No peeking," she said, and Fenris flinched, covering his face with the soft blanket.
He resigned himself that night, before falling asleep, to the fact that his new mistress did not like him very much. She did not desire his protection nor his help—she did not even want him looking upon her!-and she would doubtlessly have him sold off soon.
He felt a lingering spark of outrage at this rejection. Danarius would have smothered such dangerous feelings, as they were unbefitting a slave, but Danarius was gone now. All that remained was the strange Fereldan woman, and her odd demeanor only stoked the fires that he'd thought guttered out.