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Prologue II

Life goes on, it gets so heavy
The wheel breaks the butterfly

Every tear a waterfall

In the night the stormy night she'll close her eyes

In the night the stormy night away she'd fly

As a young child, Sylvia filled her loneliness by carrying out long conversations with her invisible friend, Stuffy. She couldn't remember a time when she hadn't been with him. He was funny, they'd play hide and seek all throughout the castle; he was a great hider, she'd never be able to find him until she had to leave for lessons, then he'd jump out boast he was the greatest hider to ever wander the castle halls.

Sylvia liked playing with Stuffy, he was her best friend. When her mother was away and Septa Bryda was snoring in her chair, Stuffy always had a new game to play, like Catch the Dragon, or One, Two, Three, Knock on Wood or Ten Little Knights. Sometimes he'd let her win, sometimes he just smirked while she pouted at his victory.

She talked to him at night, turned over on her side, small hand scratching at the cool satin sheets, whispering into the dark to her friend.

"Mother says I'm to have a new brother or sister," she whispered into the room, dark but for the candles flickering by her bed, threatening, always threatening, to gutter out. Sylvia paused as Stuffy answered. "I know I hope this one isn't like stupid Joffy." Joffrey, her younger brother, was a terrible playmate. He cried when he didn't get his way, when she or Stuffy bested him at games or teased him or said no to him. When she talked to Stuffy, Joffy laughed at her or called her a stupid girl or even ordered his hound, Sandor Clegane, to knock some sense into his halfwit sister. The Hound never did, she was his princess after all, and her sworn shield, Ser Fredrik Ravenback, would have fought back if the large monstrous man raised a hand to her.

Joffrey had a cruel streak too. He liked to kick her little dog, Spots—(Sylvia had wanted to name him Meraxes, after Rhaenys Targaryen's dragon, but father bellowed out curses to her and would have hit her for even mentioning the Targaryen name, had her mother not stopped him and taken the hit for her). Joffery's emerald eyes gleamed when he threw his tantrums, as if enjoying the shocked look on her face, enjoying her tears when he called her such cruel, dirty names no matter how many times she ordered him to stop. He threw her dolls against the walls, insulted Stuffy and hit her with his small, but hurtful, fists and there was nothing Ser Fredrik could do about that.

Once, when Joffy, Sylvia and Stuffy were having a pretend royal tea party with iced honey milk, savoury meat pie with flaky crust, lemon cakes and sweet fruit tarts between them, Joffy tried to take the lemon cake she set before Stuffy.

"No, Joffy! You can't eat that! That's Stuffy's!" she yelled at her small brother. His golden curls brushed against his shoulders, his chubby little hands clutched the lemon cake tightly, and the lovely green eyes that mirrored their mother's, narrowed in defiance and outrage. Joffy couldn't see it, but Stuffy was glaring at her little brother as well.

"You're so stupid! You and your pretend friend can't tell me what to do! I'm going to be king and when I'm king I'll cut off your toes for even mentioning it!" The five year old hissed out. They glared at one another for a moment when Sylvia reached over the table, quick as a snake, and tried to grab the cake from Joffrey, her long black hair falling over her shoulder and dipping into the pitcher of sticky honey milk. "Let go! Let go! Let GO!" the golden haired child screeched. His onyx haired sister didn't listen and they continued to fight over the lemon cake. Finally, Joffrey's smaller fingers couldn't hold on any longer and let go, so abruptly that Sylvia lost her footing and fell back.

Landing painfully on her back, the cake flying out of her hand and splattering all over the stone floors, Sylvia was dazed a moment when Joffrey yelled again.

"I'm telling mother!" as was his custom, Joffrey ran out of the apartment in search of her. Sylvia bit her lip, afraid what this would bring. Mother always took Joffy's side on things like this. From the cradle, she'd taught the boy he was to be a king, and kings can make or break any law they wish, the truth was what the king said it was and that he lies in a bed with his enemies, snuffing them out when they grow too bold. Watching father do as he pleased with no care of what anyone else thought or what embarrassment he may inflict upon his wife, agreed with mother's lessons. It was only when Joffrey went too far with his taunts—calling her halfwit in front of hundreds of eyes, or hitting her, or bringing up Stuffy in the middle of Court—that Cersei ever stopped it, taking Sylvia away from her nasty brother as if she was the one being insolent and later telling Joffrey that even kings should not shame their family in public, for it was a shame to him as well.

Mother would leave Joffrey with a septa after those soft words, and take her away to have a lemon cake or walk outside in the gardens under the warm sun or brush and braid her hair; her hands, always gentle, made Sylvia forget being upset at Joffrey. That was Sylvia's favourite time with her mother, the times when it was just the two of them: no Joffrey, no Uncle Jaime, no father...just the two of them. Those quiet, happy times with her mother felt too few, because Joffrey always had more command over her attentions than her and being queen always summoned Cersei away for whatever reason.

Mother always seemed to be more like to believe Joffrey than her, the story of what truly happened would be twisted and stretched into a pale image of what had happened. Sylvia didn't understand; because Joffy would be king one day, he was always right? Because he was a boy? Because he was younger? Why was mother always siding with him, always spending more time with him, always talking to him with sweet praise? But, being young and innocent as she was, and because she did not know she had lost her twin in the cradle, Sylvia did not see that when Cersei looked at her children, she saw Joffrey and thought of Jaime, and when she looked at Sylvia she thought of the boy she'd lost. Because this is how it had always been, Sylvia was usually not bothered by it for very long; Stuffy always cheered her spirits and made her smile, and there was her Septa Bryda who would tell her stories about animals that wanted to be knight or gentle queens who fell in love with brave kings from far off exotic places.

"No Stuffy, we can't." Sylvia admonished, giggling when he suggested they take the new baby and put it in a basket and lease it into Blackwater Bay for fishers or mermaids to keep, if it turned out like Joffy. "I don't know...maybe we can put Joffy in a basket and put him out to sea and keep the new baby and teach it to be good and how to skip stones and how to sneak past the guards and find the skulls." She paused. "No dummy, all the dragons are gone, father always says so." Her conversation with her invisible friend continued for another hour before Sylvia's eyelids began to fall. "I wish you were my brother," the little princess whispered into the darkness before falling asleep, dreaming of a happier place that she would forget once she awoke.

Her mother was huge with child when Joffrey...hurt the kitchen cat. She'd been walking through the halls with Ser Fredrik, on her way back from her high harp lessons, when she heard her mother screaming.

"Joffrey! Oh, oh my poor, poor son, my poor little prince," she heard Cersei cry, her voice laced with nothing but fear and sadness for finding Joffy in whatever state he was in. Sylvia and Ser Fredrik froze where they stood, Sylvia's crystal blue eyes widening in fear. What had happened to Joffy? Was he alright? Was her mother alright? Her thoughts raced and Ser Fredrik took her hand and rushed her past the door where she'd heard her mother.

"Best come along, princess." He advised as he tugged her hand away.

"No, I want to hear." She hissed, pulling her hand from her calloused one. A loud slapping sound echoed through the halls and the knight swore under his breath.

"You bastard! How dare you touch my son! I'll gut you from—!"

"You'll not want to hear this," Ser Ravenback said gravely, knowing, at least vaguely, that whatever harm had been done to the prince, Robert Baratheon most like had a hand in it. No one else would dare touch the boy, fearing his mother's untameable wrath. He knew mothers had a tendency to go a little mad where their children were concerned, but he had no doubt Cersei Lannister would kill for her children. She'd get away with it too. Ser Ravenback looked back down at his young charge, knowing the small, strange child should not hear the violence to come between her parents.

"Yes!" The girl screamed insistently, stomping her small foot beneath her yellow little lady's gown.

"No, come along." He grunted, pulling once again on her little arm. Sylvia glared at him beneath her dark lashes, as if her scathing look could sway the seasoned warrior. Suddenly, he hauled her up in his arms and walked away down the corridor, hoping that his footsteps would ensure the child did not hear the shouts behind them.

Unfortunately, the maids see the dark bruise under young Joffrey's eye and see that his two front baby teeth are gone, and whisper to one another. The kitchen hands see the cat is missing and then find its gutted body, and whisper to the maids. The maester who attended the boy and gave him milk of the poppy to help the pain, hears Cersei speaking angrily to her twin brother in the next room. She says Joffrey was only curious and doesn't know why Robert was so horrified since he brings back gutted carcasses whenever he goes hunting. The maester whispers to the whore that visits him later in the night, and the whore whispers to the cook who pays for her the next night and soon the truth of the shouts from that day reach Sylvia.

Ser Ravenback knows he failed when the girl asks him to take Spots, her little mutt away, a scared look in her eye. He knows he failed when she didn't speak to Joffrey for days and barely met his eye for weeks after he killed and eviscerated the cat, not out of fear mind you, but too disturbed to go back to the way things once were between them. He knows he failed when she doesn't call her brother 'Joffy' ever again.

When Myrcella was born, talk of betrothals once again arose at the Small Council's table.

Sylvia was growing into a pretty little lady, and in a few years time she'd be ripe for marriage. The Martell's would be a wise choice, seal their loyalty with a marriage bed and bloody sheets. But the idea of sending his favorite to Dorne, to be ward of the House that hated them above everything evil and cruel in the world, was not an idea that sat easy with Robert. He barely saw the girl and his interest in her had waned as the years passed, but he did still care a good deal for her and didn't want her to suffer in whatever marriage he arranged.

The Tyrell's were too ambitious and Robert found delight in destroying their hopes that their house would ever marry into the crown. He laughed at their anger, delighted as they stewed in their rage, unable to protest the king's choice.

Mayhaps Jon Arryn's son when it's birthed from the Tully girl's belly? Robert loved Jon Arryn more than his own dead father, and a marriage between his daughter and his potential son would bind their houses together. His daughter would be Lady of the Eyrie one day, mistress of an impenetrable castle, married into one of the most honourable houses in the realm. But it was common knowledge the younger Tully girl had a weak womb, miscarriages and stillbirths were all she had begotten Jon Arryn and no one knew if this child would make it to term. Sylvia couldn't be kept waiting for a son that may take years to birth.

Cersei wanted a Lannister for their eldest, but Robert refused with an angry growl; he surrounded by too many fair haired Lannister shits already. He hated the entire emerald eyed lot of them and their arrogance was not something he'd condemn Sylvia to; her mother, uncle, cousins and grandfather were enough. Perhaps the girl Cersei birthed the month before, but not Sylvia... not his daughter. Greyjoy had once been an option, but after that bloody spat which had left all the salty runts of Balon Greyjoy dead but for the youngest, Robert and Cersei finally agreed that a marriage between Sylvia and Theon would be mad.

Any other house would not match up to Sylvia's status; all the other houses were too small, too poor and too greedy for a princess.

And then there was the north and that tasted sweet as wine on Robert's tongue. Immediately, he thought of Ned and his boy—Robb they named him, in honour of Robert—was only about a year older than his daughter. A smile came to Robert's lips as he took another long swig from his cup. Ned was the best man he knew, honourable, steadfast, knew exactly what he was and had no illusions. If his son was anything like Ned, Sylvia would be well cared for and never misused. He could see Sylvia happy in this match, sweet child she was, not like her mother or her father.

Binding a Stark to a Baratheon...it was always meant to be, until Lyanna was stolen from him. Robert looked down at his cup and felt the burn—still so fresh after six, nearly seven years—begin to flame up inside him. Sylvia and this Robb Stark would not fail where he had. Robert didn't care if it was selfish ambition or if Cersei or his daughter protested. Stark and Baratheon would still be bound by blood.

The next morning Jon Arryn walked down one of the red stone castle halls, talking with wise old Maester Pycelle about this match Robert had decided upon, the match Ned Stark didn't even know about and therefore may refuse.

"I doubt the princess will suit the north," said Jon Arryn. "It's too cold, too harsh for a soft hearted southern princess." It was common knowledge about the castle that Sylvia talked to herself, this fictitious apparition she called by name and played with and talked to. Her wits worried Jon Arryn. He had never known a child to talk at nothing and act as though her playmate was real. Perhaps it was some deformity of the mind developed before birth? Perhaps her brother had been the sane one. He feared the Starks would see Sylvia as a lame horse they'd been sold and take it as an insult. He worried for what this child may endure in the harsh, cold lands of the north, from children that did not know her, and did not know how kind and sweet she could be.

Pycelle nodded his fuzzy head. "Oh," he murmured, his voice tired as it always was. "Yes, yes, my Lord. But I think with the change, the girl may finally relinquish this apparition of hers and play with real children."

"Yes, there are few children within the castle walls for the princess to play with," Jon Arryn agreed. Sylvia had Joffrey, but she hated the boy with his bullying and for the most part he got away with the way he treated his sister as Robert would be too drunk and Cersei favoured her son above her other children. Robb Stark was a child too—Ned's son—but still a boy, still learning, still foolish. If Sylvia was to travel north and mention that silly apparition to him, Jon knew nothing good would become of it. "But a few playmates are more acceptable than none."

"Mmm. My lord, if I may inquire, is his highness aware of his daughter's...wild imagination?" Pycelle asked.

"Even if Robert knew how far it went, he wouldn't care. He wants a Stark and a Baratheon married, and he will get it, with either these two children or children born in the future." Jon replied regretfully. If Robert listened to him on this, he would wait a few years, break the princess of her odd imaginings and then proposition a marriage between her and Robb Stark. But tell Robert Baratheon he couldn't, shouldn't or mustn't, he would do it to spite you. Robert was dead-set on this betrothal, no matter what Ned said.

As the two older men walked, a handmaiden passed them by, one of Cersei's spies. By the afternoon, the queen had gotten hold of this new information and was furious at the idea they would send her eldest child away to some stranger in a cold waste of land.

"I thought you hated the girl." Jaime said snidely from Cersei's bed. He watched his beloved sister pace; one hand rested on the pommel of his sword, as he wondered why she worried so much over Robert's child. He knew she hated every one of Robert's bastards and Robert himself most of all, so why did she worry so much over her inky haired daughter? Jaime didn't much care for his children, his heart only truly belonged to Cersei, and it burned him to know that Robert's daughter—a part of Robert—had a portion of her heart that was inaccessible to him. Jaime felt that piece of Cersei was stolen from him, by the daughter of a drunken fool.

Many times he tired to remind himself she was half Cersei as well, he could see it in the child's fine features, but everything about the little girl irritated him for reasons he knew were foolish. He didn't want to hate her, for Cersei's sake, but he also wished she would hate the girl as well, to know the hurt she cut him with to have and love a child of Robert Baratheon's.

"You know I don't." The queen snapped, never stopping her pacing. "If I hated her, she would have died beside her brother." Cersei pushed away the stab of pain thinking of Steffon gave her, focusing more on her anger, at Robert for selling Sylvia like a whore, and at Jaime for saying nothing useful or comforting to her. Cersei stopped and turned to her brother, hating how much she wanted him even now as he simply sat at the end of her bed, beautiful and golden. "You, best of all, know I do not hate Sylvia anymore than I hate Joffrey or Myrcella."

"But you do not care for her enough to reign in Joffrey when he makes her cry." He saw Cersei flinch at that and bit his tongue in regret as she turned away from him. He had half a mind to take her into his arms and kiss her and touch her until she stopped worrying over the onyx haired child.

"Joff will be king," Jaime said as he stood. "He is ours, he looks like us. Sylvia is Robert's, she looks like him." He continued softly, slowly walking behind her Jaime took hold of her soft hips. "People will talk, they'll whisper, wonder why Sylvia and Robert's bastards look exactly like him and why Joffrey and Myrcella have golden hair and emeralds for eyes." He whispered into her ear. "Send the girl north, the whispers will quieten with no one to compare Joffrey and Myrcella to." Cersei tensed as Jaime began to bunch up her dress and pull upwards, but remained frozen as he whispered his silky words into her ear. "Our children will be safer when she is gone and married." At that, Cersei wretched away from Jaime, glaring at him fiercely.

"You think I care what people whisper?" she spat. "You think I believe you care what they say? No one would dare speak such things openly; Joffrey and Myrcella are as much Baratheon as Sylvia."

Jaime bristled. "Well in that case you should marry Sylvia and Myrcella both off as quickly as you can. If they're as much like Robert as you claim, they'll have their legs spread open with half a hundred men between them by the time they're twelve with as many bastards in their bellies."

Cersei scowled at her twin for a second, and then she raised her hand and struck him across the face as hard as she could. Jaime only smirked, her slap having no affect on him.

"Why did I even call you here?" she hissed at him.

"Because, my sweet sister, you want me to do something to stop Robert from selling your daughter to Eddard Stark."

"And now I see how useless that was." Cersei snapped before storming from the room, her silk skirts swaying behind her.

Within the month, ravens had been sent to Ned all the way in the north, and before any had been received back yet, Robert had announced to the entire Court that Sylvia Baratheon and Robb Stark would be wed the year after she first began to bleed.

Four and a half years later

Sylvia slouched in her chair as Bryda brushed her hair, not paying attention to the old woman's humming. When she was six, when father told her she'd be fostered at eleven by Ned Stark, his best friend, four years seemed a lifetime to her. Now at eleven, it seemed all too soon.

Mother was with child again, and it seemed that she wouldn't meet her brother or sister for a few years. The thought made her very sad. Despite her and Stuffy's fears, Myrcella grew into a sweet, kind girl, incapable of guile or the cruelty that came to Joffrey so easily. Sylvia loved to play with her sister, loved her pretty blonde hair and sweet trusting smile. From the moment she saw the little thing, sleeping soundly in her cradle, mother watching carefully from her bed, tired looking and in her nightclothes, Sylvia decided she couldn't let Joffrey hurt her like he had the cat. Myrcella was so small and innocent, and Sylvia loved her from that day, and would until her last.

She worried, now for her sister, and the new baby coming, what Joffrey may do. She didn't trust her brother. At times he was like a snake: calm, luring you in under a false notion of gentleness. Other times he was as clumsy as a lion: moving too quickly, acting too brashly, too harshly, shocking you at the suddenness of his pounce. He had grown quite a bit, the malice of his childhood nature had calmed a bit, mother had taught him a king must be patient, save your strength, wait to strike at the proper time—still, whenever he looked at things, whenever he looked at her, she could see that same disturbing gleam in his eye.

Septa Bryda began to split her hair into three sections, preparing to braid her hair like she had done for years, but Sylvia paid her favorite septa no mind. Mother had many loyal knights around her, as did Joffrey, as did Myrcella. And Joffrey had become tamer with his taunts to Sylvia and never jeered at Myrcella as badly as he did with Sylvia. Although she tried to assure herself Myrcella's sweet nature would remain untainted by Joffrey's poison, she still feared. She could never tell her mother of her fears, to insult Joffrey was to insult Cersei.

"Don't worry, child. You'll carry your family with you in your heart when you go." Septa Bryda murmured gently as she braided the princess' soft hair. Truly, Septa Bryda was more than a governess to Sylvia, she loved her. For nearly every time Joffrey had made her weep, septa Bryda had been the one to wipe away her tears, she became the one she went to whenever something exciting happened in her young life, and septa Bryda never turned her away when she was too busy. She would miss her terribly when she left.

Despite the love she felt for her septa, Sylvia felt like being rude. "Except I won't, will I?" Sylvia grumbled back shortly. "They'll be here and I'll be all the way up north, alone and cold. Mother says it's just a cold waste there."

Septa Bryda chuckled. "Oh, my little dear, you're mother is just trying to frighten any joy out of you for going, because she doesn't want you to go."

"That doesn't make sense!" The child bit back.

"Motherhood never does." It was quiet a moment, but for the soft cries of the gulls outside in the harbour. "At least you can bring your 'friend' with you." The septa offered carefully.

Sylvia looked down. Stuffy was still her greatest friend, although as she got older and she became more aware of the views of people, she talked to Stuffy less and less. Jon Arryn said children weren't supposed to have imaginary playmates, to stop pretending and to never mention it in front of the Starks. She hated the old man then, with his bushy white eyebrows and rank breath. He sounded just like Joffrey, always telling her normal people aren't daft enough to have a friend like Stuffy. But what was wrong with Stuffy? She liked him and that's all there was to it!

Yet later at a feast, she remained quiet, looking down at the platter of food before her and nowhere else. For the first time she was aware of the eyes on her and wondered what they saw. A mad little girl? A lonely princess? Someone to pity, someone to mock in secret? Afterward, in their private apartments with her mother, Sylvia asked for the first time if Cersei thought she was mad.

Cersei knew of the invisible friend her daughter played with, but knew it to be a silly childhood game that called for no real worry. She'd forget in time, she thought, she's just a child after all. This question Sylvia posed to her mother was one long awaited. When Sylvia finally began to notice that other children had flesh and blood companions, she'd begin to let go of this apparition of hers. Myrcella would be a suitable companion.

"My love, you are a Lannister and a princess," said Cersei. Even though Cersei knew full well her daughter was a Baratheon, she resented admitting it. "You are too good for imaginary friends. There are many other things for you to play with, including your sister."

"But I already do—"

"Hush! I will not have you be made a mockery of; we are lions and we do not concern ourselves with the opinions of sheep, but neither will we endure their ridicule." Sylvia looked down, biting her lip. Her mother sighed and tipped her child's head up and gave her a soft, tight smile. "No my sweet, you are not mad, but do not hold onto this thing of yours forever. You'll be a woman soon, and women put away childish things." Sylvia nodded in understanding, and that night, ignored Stuffy when he tried to talk to her.

She had been eight then, and now she was eleven, being made ready to be shipped away in the crate that was a wheelhouse off north. She found as time went by, Stuffy's visits became fewer and fewer, but this made her sad. Sylvia wanted to play with him, talk to him like she used to, wake up and know he was there so they could keep each other safe from scary things that lived in the dark...but at the same time...she couldn't. She talked to him every now and then like she used to, more often now as the day for her departure grew closer, but it there was a divide between them now, a divide that didn't feel natural.

Suddenly, the door opened, making both the old septa and the young princess turn to look who had come.

Cersei stood in the wake of the doorway, she wore a green gown that complimented her emerald eyes, a gorgeous jewelled belt encircling just below her breasts, making her swelling stomach all the more noticeable. She eyed the septa cryptically. Cersei never cared for the old crone; her daughter was far too close for her liking. Cersei had always been a jealous woman; she did not share, and having her daughter attached to this old hag as she was stung her. She had half a mind to ask Jaime to be rid of her as he had Robert's whores, but Sylvia would ask questions and would most likely cry for her and that would be worse still.

"Leave us." Cersei ordered curtly. Curtsying as deeply as she could, septa Bryda left without another word or a second glance.

Cersei and Sylvia looked at one another a moment, Sylvia in her chair, drumming her little fingers on the wood of the arm rests, Cersei standing by the door, hands clasped in front of her. Cersei knew her daughter didn't want to leave, but it couldn't be helped, not now at least. For the past six months as Sylvia's departure grew closer as the days passed by, Cersei dreamed of killing Robert and ascending her son to the throne and having him make the arrangement void under his decree. Yet all the while, Jaime's words from long ago whispered in the back of her mind. Our children will be safer when she is gone and married.

The queen felt as if she was being torn two different ways, between her love for her golden children, and her love for her black haired daughter. She thought and thought until she began to see Jaime was right, even though she knew he only said what he did out of spite for the girl. Their children would be safer if their black haired sister was gone, when there was nothing to compare them to...it would hurt to lose her daughter to strangers, the other half of her sweet Steffon, the one bit of him—the one bit of Cersei's dead hopes and dreams—taken away from her. But losing Joffrey, Myrcella, this new child in her belly, Jaime, her power and then her head would destroy her in one crashing, painful blow and she would not let that happen. Even if it meant sacrificing one child to a marriage she did not want.

"Here," Cersei murmured, stepping behind Sylvia and taking over the task the septa had left half finished. Sylvia always had such pretty hair, she thought as she twisted and weaved the black ink of her daughter's long hair. Gently braiding her eldest's hair, Cersei let out a sad sigh. She loved her daughter, she knew that deep in her heart, but she had to let her go—not for any benefit of Sylvia's, but for Cersei's.

"I'm sending Ser Ravenback with you, north; he'll keep you safe where I cannot." The queen told her. Sylvia was happy at that; at least she would know one face. "Don't expect much from this boy," Cersei said without enthusiasm. She had vowed no daughter of hers would suffer the same fate she had, but her blasted sex made her weak in this world where men's cocks decided everything. "If you do, you'll be disappointed. If you love him, love him carefully. Men are like snakes, my sweet. You can love them for years, do everything you can to make them happy, but still...they can turn on you in an instant and I cannot protect you from that." She finished her work, bound the end of Sylvia's hair tightly with string, and turned her child's head to face her. "I do not say this to scare you, my love. But that is how the world is sometimes." Cersei said looking into her daughter's blue eyes, the eyes her black haired twin had shared. Cersei pulled away, as she always did when she remembered Steffon.

"Come," Sylvia jumped off the chair, walking with her head held high beside her fierce mother, hoping she looked braver than she felt.

"Will I visit?" Sylvia asked as they walked down the stairs to the front gates of the city where her wheelhouse, filled with her belongings, a septa and Ser Fredrik, were waiting. The child's voice betrayed her, breaking as her fears and sadness swelled like an ocean's wave inside her.

Cersei looked back at Sylvia, clenching her jaw when she saw her daughter's eyes well. "Don't cry. Tears are the weakness of your heart made bare. Bad people, wicked people, will use your weakness against you." Cersei truly didn't want to frighten the child, but she was leaving her and going to some strange place where there could be danger and malice every way she turned. Sylvia had to be ready for it; the time for childish naivety was coming to an end.

The girl sniffled, wiping her eyes on the sleeve of her dress, hoping mother wouldn't object to that. "Yes, you will visit," Cersei said with a sigh as she began walking down the stairs. "Many high born girls flower when they're thirteen; when you flower, we will come north to see you be made a wife." She sneered as if the notion tasted foul in her mouth. Doubtfully, Cersei wondered if giving the girl up, letting her leave, would take the ghosts of her painful past with her, and finally let her get a peaceful nights sleep without awaking from too sweet dreams of her lost son, and the life she wished she had.

Sylvia said nothing, but silently counted the years until she was thirteen, as she and Cersei continued their way down the stone steps.

Princess Sylvia Baratheon looked through the pale yellow gossamer curtains as the wheelhouse slowly shook its way down the kingsroad. Her septa, a stern looking woman in a plain yellow dress, quietly sewed something across from her. Her guard, Ser Fredrik, road outside with a dozen others, enjoying the scenery outright while she watched through a veiled window. In a month's time she would be gone from the beautiful warmth of the south, and thrust into the desolate cold of the north. Her heart broke as she watched the Red Keep grow smaller and smaller behind them, feeling as though she left a part of herself behind.

Hello again, thank you so much again for everything :)

I was, very timid about this chapter...I got such a great response from the fist part I AM TERRIFIED this one will be a bummer :'(