~*~*~*~ The Pride of the Convent ~*~*~*~

Chapter One: Secrets

Genre: General/Action/Romance Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: All of the stuff you recognize from a piece Tamora Pierce has written belongs to Tamora Pierce. Makes sense, eh? If I owned what she did, I wouldn't be a struggling writer. Got it? Good.

Author's Note: An Alanna goes to the convent story, but not in the way you'd expect. It will be romantic, but the question is, who will be in love with whom? My first Tamora Pierce, and a short chapter. Sorry.


A hand was offered to Alanna, and she slid her into it and let the man kiss her.

"Lady Alanna," he said, "Might I have the pleasure of this dance?"

"Of course, my lord! I would be delighted!" She smiled a feminine, dainty sort of smile and stood gracefully and was whisked about the ballroom of the convent. She smiled the whole time, looking into the man's eyes.

"Good!" came the harsh voice of Daughter Alice. "Next, Delia! Hurry up!"

Lady Delia of Eldorne batted her lashes, smiling. The man walked over to her and requested the dance. He led her around the dance floor until, "Nicely done, Delia! Trycia! Go!"

A young blonde walked, shyly to a chair and sat, waiting to be courted by her dream suitor. Instead she got Kevyn, the man that ran the practices with them. Trycia wasn't too good of a dancer. In fact, she wasn't too good at simply standing near a man. It scared her.

Poor lass, Alanna thought. She can't help it.

"Work on it Trycia!" came Daughter Alice's scolding.

Trycia sighed and walked over to Alanna, looking sullen. Alanna comforted the girl the best she could. After all, she could dance just fine.

"Trycia, why don't you come to my room after studies, and I'll help you," Alanna offered, looking at the girl pityingly.

"Would you really do that Alanna?" Trycia asked, face bursting with joy.

"Of course!" Alanna smiled, white teeth gleaming. I would have had to dance with ladies had I become a knight anyway. She shuddered. Those times were long past, but yet, she almost felt sad at the missed opportunity.

Finally, after fifteen other girls had been spun around the dance floor until they, and Kevyn alike, were dizzy, Daughter Alice dismissed them for the evening.

Alanna walked daintily around the corner, and then kicked off her healed shoes and ran to her room, where she quickly closed the door. A package was lying on her bed, wrapped in brown paper. She grinned devilishly and tore off the note.

Sister dear,

How is convent life treating you? I trust just as well as palace life is treating me! Jon and I went to fend off some bandits that were ravaging a small village near Corus. I didn't get too badly injured, only a sprained wrist and a few bruises. Jon was wonderful! He slew three of them. I only got one, but still, we managed to scare the rest off! I used a bit of sorcery, but, Jon and I needed a laugh! Ah, you would have loved it. At least, I think you would have. Sister, you've changed, I think. Are you finally giving up your dreams of adventuring and fighting? I should hope so sister. I daresay, if you got injured, if have to come after you and then I'd have to kill you myself! I miss you terribly! Oh, these are the breeches you asked for, and the tunic, along with a little something else. Do enjoy, and remember, you owe me something as well!

Love always,


Alanna sighed. Oh how she missed him! She tore the paper from the bundle and a pair of tan breeches fell out along with a dark green tunic, that was soft to the touch. She silently thanked Thom and lifted the final item from the paper. A new, dark cloak, of a lightweight, but warm wool. She noticed the violet sparkling around the edges. Magicked. She could only guess, or try to find out what the cloak would do… Knowing Thom, it was probably weather proof, blade proof and magic proof.

Now, she had to hold up her end of the deal, and that would not be as easy. She quickly locked the garments in her trunk, which she locked with her Gift, just to be sure and was about to leave when Trycia knocked at her door.

A stream of unfriendly words went through her head, but she said none of them aloud. She knew what the penalty for cursing was, and she sure couldn't afford it. A month, castle bound. There was no way she'd deal with that.

So, instead of climbing out her window, which she was very inclined to do, she took a deep breath, put on her grandest smile and opened the door. Trycia was standing there, wringing her hands.

This is going to be a long night, she thought, followed by more curses.

The girl left right before supper and Alanna shook her head. The girl was shaky, and extremely shy, but nice, nicer then most of the ladies at court. Maybe Trycia had improved, a little bit. It was doubtful though. Alanna ran a brush through her hair and went down to supper. After supper, she excused herself, claiming she was tired.

She hurried back to her room, shut the door and locked it and then opened her trunk. She took out the new clothing her brother had sent her and exchanged the dress for them, adding hose, a shirt and a leather belt. Immediately, she felt more comfortable. She pulled on a pair of soft leather boots and went over to her mirror. She blinked three times in succession and her eyes shifted to a brilliant shade of indigo. She ran her fingers through her hair, which darkened to a chestnut brown. She shook her curls and laughed and returned to her trunk. She withdrew three gleaming daggers and put one in each of her boots and one at the small of her back. She put a few coins in her boots and tossed her cloak over herself.

After making sure the coast was clear, she closed her door behind her and left, leaving into the city that surrounded the convent. Tonight was going to be fun. She needed to relax, and she knew one place where that would be easy. An inn, called the Sighing Minstrel. She grinned, indigo eyes glinting as she stepped into the inn.