Alright, another story challenge, this time from kvdsouza. I have to admit I am a bit lazy right now, so I won't repeat all the details, but I will give you some of the main points.
- This story is a fem!Harry/Rhaegar story, set in the years before Harrenhal.
- Fem!Harry has been reborn in Westeros as Lady Senna Peverell, who has Valyrian ancestors.
- fem!Harry's name is Senna Peverell
- Senna has certain gifts from her first life (not just her magic)
- Senna has a phoenix, who had been the bonded familiar of her Valyrian ancestor
- Senna has dragon eggs
- there is another prophecy involved as well
Of course there is more, but I already mentioned, I'm lazy right now. So ask kvdsouze should you wish to known more about the challenge.
Alright, I do know that fem!Harry is not everyones cup of tea, so if you don't like it, just leave. I will not bother with those who can't accept this and complain about it.
Okay, let us begin...
It has been one of the strangest moments in my life, when my wife and I had been lead through the streets of Myr towards the estate of the young woman that every living soul in the city only called the Jewel of Myr. There was such reverence in their eyes and in the way they spoke of her, I couldn't help myself but anticipate seeing her. Yet I already knew, that even should she be the one we've been looking for, the Magisters of Myr would be loath to let her go.
~excerpt from the journal of Steffon Baratheon – Lord of the Stormlands~
"They are coming," the deep rumbling voice whispered in her ear.
Senna tried to ignore it, like a buzzing fly, annoying but ultimately harmless. As a little child she had been scared by it, but as she grew up to become a stunning young woman, her memories slowly returned and the voice changed from a constant tormentor to an annoying but reliable companion. Or whatever the incarnation of Death should be called.
"This is the third time. The third life and once more you have sent me to a world where I have to endure the same trials, again and again," Senna moaned, as she left the potion's lab to gather some more plants from her herb garden.
"I can only send you to these worlds to start anew, whatever happens there is your bad luck, mistress," Death chuckled darkly.
It was always the same argument. By now she often rued the decision to unite the Deathly Hallows in her first life as Harry Potter. It had bound her to Death as his Master... at least it had enabled her to defeat the great evil of her first existence. The consequences of her actions only hit her, when she regained her memories in her second life. Death had played a wicked game with her. Whereas she had been a boy in her original life, Death had seen it fit to change that for her second and now even her third existence.
But some things never change. In all the lives she had to face great evils. And in all three lives she had to grow up without parents. And though, much to her surprise, she now once more had a name that had been connected to her first family. This third world had shaped up to be the strangest and most dangerous of them all.
"They will come to take you away, mistress. And this time, you cannot deny them," Death continued, as she tried to ignore his warning.
Senna did not wish to think about it. This new prophecy. Another feverish dream of a fraud, only this time the fraud had been her own ancestor, who had lived countless years before she had even seen the light of this world.
So she ignored Death and instead she cared for her plants. In her first life she would have never enjoyed Herbology and Potions as much as she did now, but when Death tried to ease the burden on her shoulders, he had seen fit to gift her with a plethora of things from her first life. The magical plants were just the best part of it. With the potions she could brew, she had helped the people in Myr, her people, on numerous occasions. And she had vowed to continue doing so, no matter what the future might bring. If there was one thing all three incarnations of her had shared, it was the urge to help people in need.
"Your time in Myr has always been been limited, Senna. You cannot fight it. You are the legacy of Valyria now and as such your fate lies elsewhere," Death continued.
Senna sighed in exasperation. The thought of leaving scared her, especially when things truly follow the pattern of that damned prophecy.
A flash of fire appeared next to her, but Senna was not alarmed. No, her face lit up with joy, as she saw her faithful phoenix companion on her shoulder.
"Fawkes! You've finally returned. I've missed you, my friend," Senna cooed, as she caressed his soft plumage.
The majestic red and gold bird must have felt her distress and decided to return to her side once more. For nearly a year he had been away from her, doing whatever a burning bird does in his free time.
"Of course the flaming chicken returns now," Death sighed.
"Hush you, Fawkes has been with me for longer than you have," Senna chided softly, her attention still on the bird, who obviously enjoyed her ministrations.
"Only because unlike him, I knew no to butt in when you were just a drooling babe with no memories of her past lives," Death replied indignantly. "And I can't believe that you insist to call him by the name of the old fools' bird. This phoenix belonged to your ancestors."
"I like the name Fawkes better," Senna replied defiantly.
Death chuckled, "No, you just can't pronounce his real name."
"Just go and die in a ditch, you evil specter."
"Unlike you, I can't," Death chuckled once more.
"Doesn't mean that I can't hope you will," she proceeded to ignore Death once more and returned her attention on the phoenix instead, who trilled contently as she petted him.
Fawkes stayed for a few more moments, before he suddenly lifted off from her shoulder and hovered a safe distance above her. She was surprised at first, but as she looked around in her garden, she saw why he had retreated.
On the terrace, just outside of her herb garden, stood one of her servants. Roro, the head of her family's servants, a former slave, who had been set free when Senna had insisted on rewarding the man for his loyalty, despite her guardian's warnings.
"Lady Senna, Magister Varghan is here with some foreign guests to see you," Roro said, as he waited obediently for her to leave the garden.
It was the primary rule in the Peverell estate, that no one is allowed to enter Lady Senna's garden. No matter how often the servants tried to dissuade her from doing the manual labor herself, she wouldn't budge on this.
"So this is it. No more running, I guess," Senna muttered, as she left her garden. But as she looked at herself, she saw that her dress was not even close to be considered proper for meeting a Magister of the ruling Conclave of Myr. Neither would it make a good first impression on whatever guest he has brought. "I will join them shortly, after I have ensured that I am presentable. See to it that my guests have all they could wish for. I will not be known as a bad host."
"Of course, Lady Senna. It shall be done. I will send Alia and Lanna to assist you," Roro said, before he bowed and left as swiftly as he had come.
Senna smiled, as she watched him leave. Roro was truly the epitome of reliability and loyalty. Without him the whole estate would likely burn down within in a fortnight. But her time to ponder this was cut short. She had to get ready. Magister Varghan was her greatest supporter in this city and akin to an uncle. Letting him wait would not do at all.
Steffon Baratheon was seldom surprised. He was well versed in the customs of the Westerosi nobility and that of the Free Cities, though he had not left the Stormlands since the war against the last Blackfyre pretender. But when his king, Aerys Targaryen, had sent him out to find a befitting bride for his son in the Free Cities, he had little hope that he could possible meet the man's criteria.
Volantis, Lys, Tyrosh, Pentos, but not a single girl that would be worthy of the heir of the Seven Kingdoms. He was about to return home face the wrath of his king, when he had heard the rumors about Myr's most sought after noble lady. A true Valyrian beauty, hailing from one of the oldest family's in Myr.
And now he was here, to meet this so called Jewel of Myr. A girl revered by all the people, rich and poor, slave and free. The girl that the Magisters of Myr guard most jealously. Had it not been for Magister Varghan begrudgingly agreeing to let him see her, he would have never gotten a chance to meet with Lady Senna Peverell.
When he and his wife had arrived at the Peverell estate, it became even clearer just what kind of lady they were here to see. It was one of the biggest estates in the city of Myr, showcasing wealth and pride for everyone to see. Sitting on a hill, slightly above the rest of the city, her home did look like the summer retreat of a royal family.
And the place was certainly guarded like a fortress. He was sure that he had seen no less than three dozen guards patrolling on the streets surrounding the estate alone. Their insistence that he had to come unarmed and without his own guards only was further prove of the importance this girl had for Myr.
As they entered the estate, they saw a majestic banner flying proudly above the main building. The banner was a golden bird on a crimson field. And as the banner fluttered in the wind, it looked almost as if this bird was rising into the sky, to reach the sun itself on its way.
"That banner," Magister Varghan began, "Is the banner of Lady Senna. Before there was only the Peverell banner, but Lady Senna disliked it and the history behind its creation. And now… the Phoenix banner. It is Lady Senna's very own sigil. The golden Phoenix, a depiction of a bird that has been by her side since the day she had been born," the Magister explained.
"I've never heard of such a creature. Are these birds native to your land?" Cassana, Steffon's wife, asked. She, just like her husband, looked in awe at the intricate red and gold banner.
Varghan laughed, though no to mock, as he assured quickly, "Lady Senna is the only person who has ever managed to capture one of them. In fact, her Phoenix is the only one ever found," he explained. "But come now. I have no desire to make the lady wait. Her time is precious."
"The people of Myr seem to love her dearly," Cassana commented.
"That would be putting it mildly. Before she had been born, the Peverells had been seen with great suspicion. Old blood often follows strange traditions and rituals. Rumors of dark sacrifices were common and most people quickly left, when a Peverell made an appearance."
"But not the young lady," Cassana prodded.
Varghan laughed again, "No, not our beloved lady. Lady Senna has grown up without the wretched influence of her family, due to her parents demise when she had been a girl of four. I've been assigned as her caretaker, ever since the conclave had taken control of her fate. Unlike the damned rest of her family, she has blossomed into a beloved figure of our city. And she did it all by herself. She knew that she could not free her family's slaves due to the suffocating influence of the magisters, but she has always treated them better than anyone else in the city. And she helps the sick and poor whenever she can, using whatever ability she has. Truth be told, a word of her would be enough and the commoners of Myr would rebel to instal her as queen of Myr. But the Magisters and powerful families desire her affection even more than the poor and unfortunate, so they do not fear her… as they most likely should."
"You will have to see for yourself," Varghan said, a mysterious smirk on his face and a mischievous glint in his dark eyes.
It was a very unsatisfying answer, but Steffon knew, that he would have no choice but to wait. He doubted that the Magister would be forthcoming on this topic. But what he had said so far had been quite enlightening. Now he was even more eager to see this lady with his own eyes. And from the way Cassana looked, she felt the same.
The servants inside the lady's not so humble home seemed all in a hurry, yet they never looked disorganized, as they arranged everything to accommodate their visitors.
Strangely enough, there were no guards inside the estate itself. He would have expected armed men at every entrance, yet there were none. Only servants, but they watched the visitors every movement. Were there guards hidden amongst these people or were they just exceptionally loyal and protective of their lady? They were obviously slaves, collared and branded, just like all the others in the city, but they without a doubt adore their mistress.
Soon enough the servants had brought food and drink. Various delicacies from the Free Cities and beyond and likely some of the finest wines money could buy in Myr. But Steffon was not here to feast and drink, his whole attention was focused on meeting the lady.
And his wait shouldn't be too long. Soon enough a door on the far side of the large room opened and a group of female servants entered, all dressed in fine myrish lace and silk. But these girls could not even hope to catch anyone's eyes, when their lady entered after them.
The Jewel of Myr, a well deserved name. A true Valyrian beauty, with pale blond hair, like cascades of pure silver that fell onto her shoulders and eyes like dark amethysts. King Aerys would do anything to get his hands on this girl. Her face was quite lovely to look at and though her womanly curves were not quite as prominent as for other ladies her age, she carried herself with a grace that seemed almost otherworldly. Dressed in a silvery gown of silk and myrish lace, her looks would even put Queen Rhaella to shame.
"May I introduce, Lady Senna Peverell, last of ancient and most distinguished House Peverell," Varghan introduced, as he approached the girl. He kissed her cheeks in greeting, an almost intimate gesture that made it clear, that he was certainly close to this lady and would likely speak on her behalf, should she need a man to do the speaking for her. She did not look like she would need him for that, though.
"I greet you, Lady Senna. I am Steffon Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and the Stormlands, envoy of his majesty, King Aerys Targaryen…"
"I am well aware of who you are, Lord Baratheon. My dear friends have informed me of everything you have done, since you have left your ship in the harbor," Senna replied evenly. "But I must ask you, why did you request to see me?"
"My lady, the king has sent me with one specific mission to the Free Cities. One that I had not hoped to fulfill… until I was granted the privilege to lay eyes upon you."
"You are searching for a bride for that spawn of his!" Varghan stated blatantly.
Senna smiled at the protective streak of her pseudo uncle. He often reminded her of Sirius Black, from her first life. Though he was much… less smooth in his attempts to woo women and slightly more round than high in stature. But Varghan, just like Sirius, would die to protect her. She just hoped that he wouldn't follow Sirius example in that regard. Fortunately he was already too old to fight himself… that did not mean, though, that he wouldn't send his sons in his stead.
"Prince Rhaegar is the heir to the throne," Steffon said, as diplomatic as possible. "And as such his father wishes to find the best suitable wife for him."
"And now, the Phoenix has to be guided by the noble stag," Senna heard Death whisper in her ear again. Of course he would start quoting that darned prophecy now of all times. "You can't run from destiny, Senna."
"This is my home, Lord Steffon. I've been born here in Myr. It is where my family has begun… and where it will end," Senna said, a hint of sadness in her voice. Of course she had always wished for a family of her own. But she also knew that the Peverell family would end with her. The male line was extinct and she was the last to carry this name in this world. One of the last connections she had with her first life, doomed to disappear for ever.
"I can understand your feelings, Lady Senna. No one likes to give up their home. But please consider our offer. King Aerys would be beyond delighted to have you as his daughter in law. And there is no finer man in the Seven Kingdoms than Rhaegar Targaryen," Steffon told her with conviction.
Senna remained silent, as she weighed her options. Death was insistent that this was the moment of truth. She would either follow the prophecy or suffer the consequences. But leaving the only home she had known in this world to marry a total stranger… this reeked of the incestuous pure blood traditions she had learned about in her first life.
"It's not like you have a choice, Senna," Death whispered again.
"Just leave me alone," Senna muttered, slightly louder than she had wished.
"I beg your pardon?" Steffon asked. He had heard her, but he wasn't sure what she had really meant by this.
"I..." Senna was quite embarrassed by this and quickly turned away from her guests. Oh how she cursed Death. She had obviously made a fool out of herself. "I need time to think." She said brusquely, before she stormed out of the room.
"Did I say something wrong?" Steffon asked, still confused by the lady's sudden reaction. Just why had she left so suddenly? Was there something he should know about?
"This meeting is over, Lord Baratheon. Lady Senna has spoken and you will wait for her answer… on your ship," Varghan said, his voice leaving no room for argument.
This meeting with Lady Senna had certainly taken a strange turn, but Steffon would not be deterred this easily. This girl was exactly what they had been looking for. Noble birth, great influence in her home country and the blood of ancient Valyria in her veins. If he could win her over, her presence might take some great burdens of the king's mind… before it shatters even more.
Senna, meanwhile, had retreated to the gardens once again. But instead of the herb garden, she had gone to the terrace furthest away from the main building. From there she had an excellent view over the city and the harbor. Ever since she had been a small child, she had loved to watch the ships come and go. But now she could also see the ship Lord Baratheon had arrived upon. The heavy Westerosi ship stuck out like a sore thumb between the light merchant ships around.
Fawkes had returned to her side once more and sang a soothing song for her. A small smile tucked at her lips, as she closed her eyes and allowed the music to calm her. In this moment, she did not realize that she was still very much visible to the people below on the streets and that the man who visited her was among those who watched her with great interest.
"Here you are," Magister Varghan had come and stood next to her now. "Quite the exit. You should have seen the dumbfound look on the face of that audacious man. Seriously, to come here to win you as a trophy for that prince of his."
Senna smiled sardonically at him, before she answered, "He is a man with very strict orders from his king. And apparently I am the only girl fitting the king's high standards."
"You are fit to be a queen, my dear. But he will never get his hands on you. The conclave won't allow it," Varghan assured her.
"And what if I want to be their queen, uncle?"
"Do you? I only know so very little about your family's history, but weren't your ancestors quite clear in their dislike of the Targaryens?"
It was true. After Valyria had been lost, her family had been among the last of the Freehold's nobility. When Aegon Targaryen set out to conquer the kingdoms of Westeros, he had all but ordered them to follow him, for the sake of their shared Valyrian culture and ancestry. But of course her ancestors had refused and settled in Myr instead. There had been no further direct contact ever since, except for a handful of fights between Peverells and Targaryens in the many conflicts between Westeros and its eastern neighbors. And now this foolish but noble stag had come to claim her, the last of her family, to be the wife of a Targaryen. Death truly loved his ironic stories.
"The time has come for me to accept that House Peverell and its proud history will end with me. Clinging to the past is not healthy and will only destroy my future. But I'm not sure where that future will take me in the first place," she sighed deeply, her eyes wandering towards the Westerosi ship once more. Was there even a choice in this? Most likely not…
"Whatever you choose, my dear, I will do whatever I can to protect you," Varghan stated.
And again, the man reminded her so much of Sirius. The same kind of devotion to a child that is not even of his own blood. It only made her wonder, what her father had done, to inspire such friendship and loyalty in this magister. When she had been orphaned, he had taken her as his ward, to fend of the attempts of other magisters to gain control over her family's fortune. He had raised her, protected her and even now he continues his vigil over her as if she was his own precious child.
"I will leave you to your thoughts, for now at least. I have to return to the conclave. They will want to hear about this meeting," the magister muttered. He went over to hug her once more, which she gladly allowed him to do, before he turned and left.
"I really have little choice in this matter," Senna said once more.
"Do we ever?" Death whispered once more. "Not unless you wish to see this world suffer. It may not happen in your lifetime here, but it will happen, unless you do your utmost to prevent it. You should have learned that there is always truth in the prophecies."
"So this Baratheon is the noble stag? And that Targaryen prince is the dragon..."
"That would be correct. Ironic, once more a stag appears to influence your life, just like James Potter," Death chuckled darkly, "Quite surprising that you still oppose this."
Senna grimaced, as she clearly heard the mocking note in that statement. She couldn't escape that darned prophecy when she had been Harry Potter. Neither could she avoid the second one in her life among the gods… and now she was supposed to be a queen? She never wanted any of this. All she had ever hoped for was a chance to have a family of her own. Someone to love and someone who loves her back equally. But apparently her life wasn't meant to be that easy.
"So it is settled. I surrender myself to my fate once again," there was a grim determination on her elfin features now. She would do what it takes, but she would not allow others to dictate her life as they please. They want a queen? She would give them one to remember for ever.
The conclave of the magisters was in uproar, as Magister Varghan recounted the meeting between the presumptuous lord and their precious jewel. They loathed the very idea that anyone might come to take her away from Myr, from their sphere of influence. More than half of the men in attendance had their own plans to push the lady towards one of their sons. Her power, her influence and most importantly, her wealth would crush the balance of power for the noble families in Myr and whoever managed to snatch her away, would without a doubt be able to claim the crown of the city of Myr and its lands. It was too good an opportunity to waste. Unless, of course, the lady decided herself that she wished to leave. They knew that they would never manage to keep her against her will, not with those strange powers of hers.
"We should chase this interloper out of our city! Burn his ship and send him into the sea to drown for this audacity," one of the older magisters raged, as he stood before the other members of the conclave.
The rest sat in a half circle in front of him, some supporting his words quite ardently, whereas others showed no open interest at all. But those few who agreed were enough to fill the dome like hall with tumultuous clamor.
"And then what? War with the Iron Throne? We've seen enough trouble with those Targaryens and their accursed spawns. Just send him back, without our precious lady and forget about him," another magister stated, much more calmly and reasonably.
"Varghan, you've spoke with Lady Senna, what is her word on this man's proposal?"
Varghan scratched his bald head, as he weighed his words. He did not want to trouble Senna with ill chosen words that might not even begin to describe her own state of mind. And he wasn't sure whether he had read her correctly.
"Lady Senna is… torn on this matter. She is well aware that the time of the Peverell family has come to an end, but it seemed that she has yet to come to a conclusion where the legacy of the Peverells will end," Varghan stated cautiously.
But his words alone were enough to cause another uproar in the chamber. Of course the Magisters wouldn't be happy about this. To them there was not even the question where she should stay. Myr is her home and her obligation. But the possibility was quite real, that she might just as well leave and never return here.
A ripple of voices went through the crowd, when suddenly the very person they were arguing about had entered their chamber. Lady Senna had arrived, much earlier than Varghan had expected. But her appearance was very much welcome, as it ended the quarrel among the magisters.
"Lady Senna, we are delighted to have you among us," one of the magisters said silkily, as he watched the young woman with greedy eyes. Varghan would have demanded a duel from the offending man for this blatant disrespect, but he was far past his prime and no longer able bodied to do such a thing. So he had to settle for glaring at the man and putting an end to each of his schemes that involve Senna. It would be his pleasure to crush his dreams.
"Honored Magisters, I come here to discus the very topic that you have been arguing about just now. The ominous offer of Lord Steffon Baratheon," Senna said loud and clear.
"So you've come to ask us to get rid of this presumptuous fool, Lady Senna. Fear not, he will be gone before the sun sets this evening," one of the more eager magisters assured her.
But Senna only rewarded him with a benign smile, before she shook her head. "No. This is not my wish."
A shocked silence settled in the chamber. Even Varghan looked at her with wide eyes. Had she decided to leave? Was this it, was this her last appearance in this chamber, where her ancestors have caused havoc and spread hatred and fear?
"I have the wish to further pursue the proposal of Lord Steffon. Make no mistake, I have yet to decide whether I really wish to marry that Targaryen prince, but at the very least I wish to travel to Westeros and see this man myself. I cannot and will not marry a man I've never met before. Therefore I request your blessing to leave for King's Landing," Senna said.
She had not decided to marry. That was something good, at least partly. But the magisters were still quite displeased, that she had decided to leave, even though it might be nothing more than a visit to another great city. Unless, of course, the Targaryens decide to keep her by force, which they might very well try to do. They would learn how futile that is, though.
"Are you sure that is wise, Lady Senna," Cossomo, the oldest man in the council asked her. "For all we, know those Westerosi know little of honor. We cannot in good conscience allow you to go to their city on your own." Many of the other magisters voice their agreement, but Senna would not be deterred.
"Than I request that my visit to King's Landing to be treated as a political envoy, to discuss new trade agreements with the Iron Throne," Senna declared.
Varghan smirked as he saw through her plan. Myr was a trade city. It was their main source of income and they were quite proud of that. Getting new treaties with the kingdom in the west could prove very profitable. Not to mention that the envoy would include a magister to lead these talks and no less than a hundred men as an honor guard and several ships to protect the envoy.
"This does not change the fact that we cannot trust the Targaryens with your safety," Cossomo insisted.
"I am very well able to assure my own safety, but if it eases your worry, I will put my life in the hands of a guard of your choosing. But my point stands, I will travel to King's Landing and meet this prince they want me to marry." And she left no room for arguing. Lady Senna Peverell had spoken and they knew that she would go, no matter what they would say. She was actually quite amiable and considerate when she proposed the envoy and the guard.
Varghan looked around and he could see that most of his contemporaries were far from happy. But at the very least one of them would be with her, to keep an eye on Myr's precious jewel. In the end a shaky majority agreed to her proposal, much to her obvious delight.
"Honored magisters, I thank you," she inclined her head in respect, before she turned around and left as quickly as she had appeared.
"This child plays with us as if we are nothing but puppets in her hands," Cossomo stated, quite amused. "You better go and see to it that she actually does wait for the conclave to decide on who to send as the envoy," he told Varghan, who nodded in return.
Senna seemed quite eager to leave all of a sudden. And he had learned long ago that an eager Senna was often a careless Senna. A lady like her should never be unattended when she is careless. So he did not argue. He left and followed her back to her estate.
Steffon had waited for three days after his meeting the mysterious lady, but every day passed without word from her or any of her servants. He was about to give up hope and prepare for his trip back to Westeros, when a young boy asked to see him.
The boy was a slave, but one who was well dressed and fed. Had it not been for the collar and the brands, he might just as well have been from a smaller merchant family. But he had only seen few slaves that were cared for this well. Almost all of them work for Lady Senna in her estate.
Much to Steffon's relief, the boy carried a sealed letter addressed to him. The wax seal showed the sigils he had seen on the banners of Lady Senna, the strange birds that the magister had called a phoenix.
The letter itself turned out to be an invitation to dinner with the lady in the evening, but it said little else. He couldn't be sure what she had decided, but it was something. He would find out what she would do, he had no doubt about that.
So when the sun had begun to set, he was once more at the gate of her estate, accompanied only by his wife. The guards let them pass without much fuss and soon enough they were greeted by the head slave of the lady.
He lead the guests to a lavishly decorated dining room, where a long table was already aching under the many different drinks, fruits and other foods that had been prepared. Several other people were already present as well, among them Magister Varghan, who spoke quietly with an old man, who was dressed in a similar fashion. If Steffon would have had to guess, he would have said that the old man was a magister as well.
The last to arrive was the lady herself, but her entrance was no less grand than the last time. Clad in a dark dress, her hair braided in intricate patterns, she exuded a feeling of royalty that Steffon had only ever seen from those of the highest birth.
"Lord Baratheon, I am glad that you have accepted my invitation. I had feared that my long hesitation might have caused you to leave," Senna said, as she approached the lord of the Stormlands.
"I wouldn't have dreamed of it, Lady Senna. It is a privilege to be in your presence once more," Steffon replied cordially.
"Let me introduce you to my other guests. This man is Magister Cossomo Mercor, our honored elder in the conclave," she motioned towards the old man Varghan had been talking to and the man nodded in greeting. "You have already met Magister Varghan, of course."
"It is a pleasure to met you again," Steffon greeted.
"Of that I'm sure, Lord Baratheon," Varghan replied snidely, though he obviously stopped from showing his dislike so openly, when the lady sent him a veiled glare.
"Let's move on the my other guests," she said quickly, as she guided Steffon's attention towards the two younger guests, "These are Mero and Talea, firstborn son and daughter of Magister Varghan."
Steffon watched these younger guests closely. Especially the boy and how he would often sneak glances at Senna, whenever she wasn't looking. Some sort of childhood crush? She seemed rather oblivious to it, so he wouldn't worry about any possible trouble in the future.
"Now let us eat and drink and be merry. After that we can discuss what you have really come for," Senna announced, as she gestured towards the table, where the servants had begun to serve the food.
So they spent the next few hours feasting on the exotic food that the lady had her servants prepare and made polite small talk about Myr and the Seven Kingdoms. There was some probing from the magister's children and some rather blunt questions from Varghan himself, though the real danger at the table was the oldest guest. His questions seemed simple enough, but they followed a pattern that Steffon recognized almost too late.
Only once everyone was satisfied, the conversation finally turned towards the topic that interested Steffon the most. He could see that even his wife was anticipating the final choice of the lady. The success of their mission now rested in the hands of this girl and though they would return to Westeros no matter the outcome here, they both dreaded King Aerys reaction, should they fail their task.
"We should stop the idle smalltalk and get to the point of this meeting," Senna said, as she saw that all her guests were well fed and content. Her own nervousness was rising, as she knew that her next words would without a doubt change the lives of many people… for better or worse, no one would be able to tell for years to come.
"So you have considered our offer," Steffon asked.
Senna nodded, "I have. At this moment I cannot in good conscience agree to marry this Rhaegar Targaryen."
Steffon's shoulders slumped in disappointment, as he heard this. So the answer was no and their search for a wife had failed. He looked at the magisters that sat at the table, both to Senna's left and right. It was more than likely that these men had pressured her to decline. Of course they wouldn't allow the precious Jewel of Myr to leave.
"No, you do not," Senna interrupted, with a light laugh, "I said that I cannot agree to marry him at this moment, because I won't be bound to a man that I don't even know. Which is why I will travel to King's Landing to meet this prince of yours. Should he be worthy, I will agree, otherwise I will return to Myr."
This didn't sound too bad, Steffon thought. She was willing to consider Rhaegar at the very least. Of course the king would be displeased by this. A woman deciding whether she will marry a man or not, outside of Dorne this was not just uncommon, but even highly frowned upon. But once the king had seen this exceptional young woman, he would do anything to keep her, that much was assured.
"I understand and I would be happy to have you with us on our way back to Westeros," Steffon replied, a pleased look on his face.
But the lord of the Stormlands had to frown, when Magister Varghan suddenly chuckled darkly. "You do not possibly expect us to send her alone with you. Foolish man, Lady Senna will be well protected and accompany an envoy of Myr that will negotiate new trade agreements with that king of yours."
Steffon's frown deepened. So those magisters took this whole jewel thing even further. Lady Senna was their bargaining chip for more beneficial agreements with the Iron Throne. How very cunning. But why was the lady only smiling at this, when he would have expected her to be outraged by this turn of events. The man's words more or less meant that she was just like the slaves, a commodity to be traded for wealth. Something did not add up here. But he could only hope that whatever they were planning, it wouldn't affect the Seven Kingdoms in a bad way.
"So you will leave Myr with the first flood tomorrow morning,"Varghan continued.
"And when does the lady intend to visit King's Landing?" Steffon asked, quite displeased with this bothersome magister.
"When ever the lady wishes to do so!"
"Magister, please. We are not here to quarrel," Lady Senna finally interjected. Her voice was calm and collected, but Steffon could see the raging emotions in her eyes. The way she looked at him spoke of great worry, but it was soon enough replaced with determination. "I shall make preparations for my journey posthaste. It shouldn't take more than a week for me to follow you, which should give you enough time to prepare for my arrival."
"Thank you, Lady Senna. I can assure you that all of King's Landing will wait for your arrival with great anticipation," Steffon replied cordially. "I will personally see to it that everything will be prepared and that your time in the capital will be as enjoyable as possible."
"Good. Now that this is settled, let us continue with our little celebration here," Senna said jovially, as she raised her cup of wine, "A toast to the future, whatever it may bring!" And so they all drank, each one of them with different thoughts about the meaning of her words.
Steffon himself was just glad that this waiting game was over. He would return home, to see his sons… but first he would have to go and see King Aerys. He knew that this whole task to find a bride had not been as easy as they had hoped. In fact he had expected to fail and incur the king's wrath because of it. But now that he had actually succeeded, at least partially, he could return to the court with his head held high. If all went well, the Seven Kingdoms would soon have a new queen, one that might be just the kind of new blood that the royal family needs.
A/N: So much for today. I hope you all liked it.
I will try to avoid the usual mistakes. Senna won't be mary sue or anything like that. Just wait and see how she will fare, once she has left her safe home.
And yes, Senna does have to look this way. Aerys would only ever consider a girl of true Valyrian descent, so Senna needs to look the part. The only reason why he chose Elia in the first place was due to the traces of Targaryen blood she had inherited from her ancestor Daenerys Targaryen.
Of course there have been a number of OCs at the moment, but their number will decrease drastically in the future. It was unavoidable, due to the fact that we hardly know any characters from Myr.
Okay, stay tuned for the next chapter. Cya...