Summary: Mother, sister, daughter, lover, friend—a sentence piece exploring who exactly Alianne of Pirates Swoop is.
It didn't matter that she'd been chosen by Kyprioth to (forgive a parent's pride) single-handedly overthrow the corrupt government of the Copper Isles. It didn't matter that she'd effectively joined the ranks of legends with her parents. It didn't even matter that she was a grown woman who knew her own heart—George Cooper was still not ready to accept the fact that he was about to give his little girl to a crow.
They'd never had the smoothest of relationships, but as Alanna listened to her daughter talk about her work with a glow in her face that she'd often felt on her own, she'd never felt prouder of being Aly's mother.
No matter how much she grew, no matter how many boys she'd kissed, no matter how many wonders she'd done—she was still his baby sister and it was his job to look out for her. If this meant inventing a new spell that would allow them to communicate across the ocean, then so be it. Thom's always loved a challenge anyway.
When she first disappeared, Alan was terrified. After the first week of feeling for her, he realized she was unhurt and alive. Then, all he felt was fury. If Aly had to go and get herself kidnapped, didn't she have the sense by now to get him kidnapped alongside her?
He'd thought he'd feel distant with her. After all, she was Alanna's child with all of George's charm and wittiness—the quintessence of what he could have and never would have. Then, she climbed into his lap with a boldness that was all Alanna and a smile that was all her own and he realized that he played the role of the indulgent godfather quite well.
She knew she spoiled Aly, but the little girl was the only child who saw Kally behind Princess Kalasin, and the way her goddaughter made her birth-daughter laugh made it impossible for Thayet to refuse her anything. It didn't help that the little girl was so charming.
7. Uncle (Gary)
Was it an exaggeration to say that she got her brains from him? Yes, most definitely. Was he going to say it anyway? Watching as the little girl rattled on about the way the weather would affect imperial relations with Tusaine, (a subject he'd lectured about to her wide-eyed rapturous attention), to the clerk who still didn't understand the difference between short-termed and long-termed trade, Gary had to admit the answer was probably another yes.
8. Uncle (Raoul)
Like with Alanna, he never had to worry about her in a fight—her way with knives reminded him of days being dumped on his back by George—however, unlike with Alanna, he had to deal with broken-hearted trainees who wouldn't stop moaning the—ahem—charms, of his honorary niece. The last thing he wanted was George Cooper getting protective and reverting to his practice of taking ears.
9. Aunt (Buri)
When people remember Aly in Corus, they remember a social butterfly and witty flirt. They didn't realize she had an honorary aunt who wouldn't hesitate to dump her on her backside during their daily training exercises if the girl didn't stay in shape.
10. Aunt (Daine)
Aly may have gotten the crow's help because of Kyprioth, but she won their friendships all on her own. Remembering all the fireside chats about animal etiquette she'd had with the always curious Aly, Daine had to smile with pride.
11. Uncle (Numair)
As far as the Gift went, hers was unique—George's Sight with Alanna's power was a heady mix—but no where near his level. Still, as he taught the blossoming girl how to protect her mind, he had to admire the persistence she put into developing her mental "castle." Few people would have had the raw stubbornness it took to utilize their inner fires into something actually useful.
12. Cousin (Kalasin)
She'd grown up knowing she had to be a princess before she was Kally—and that was why Aly was so important to her. When she realized that she could never be a knight, it was Aly who held her tight and promised that they'd run away and join the Shang if Kally really wanted to. She didn't, but the fact that Aly offered was enough to prompt a giggle from her lips and for her tears to dry. She'd heard her father telling Thayet that he needed Alanna around to make him laugh, and now, as she watched her best friend and cousin sleep, Princess Kalasin thought she knew what he meant.
13. Cousin (Roald)
He'll never tell anyone, but she was his first kiss. They were both just children and she'd just caught her parents in a private moment, and naturally wanted to try it out herself. Poor Roald didn't know what hit him until it was too late—and a grinning Aly was scampering away to "practice" on someone else.
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