Hey all! Hope everyone is doing well. It's been a while; I honestly did not think I'd take so long but life and the need for a mental break kind of took over. I'm rambling, but I hope you guys have been keeping safe and taking breaks as needed - prioritize your mental health y'all.
My docs has this at 9.5k, which I didn't expect when I started writing it. Glad I could come back after so long with a longer chapter - and a pretty important one too, as it sets up a number of plot arcs going forward, some of which will be resolved earlier than others.
Harry was mentally reminding himself to keep his magic reined in, resisting the urge to cast any spells. He had expected a more vicious reaction to his presence from the woman, something more akin to her screaming fit when they had broken into the throne room, but she seemed content to stay silent. Had it not been for the hint of anger in her eyes, Harry would have been worried she had done something to harm herself.
"I want to see my children," she pressed.
He scoffed, glancing at her with dark eyes. "You're off your rocker if you think I'll let you near those kids."
"They are my children."
"In case you've forgotten, Lady Cersei," he said, irritation colouring his tone, "you had a headsman prepared to take your lives." His heart had nearly stopped at the sight of a man with his blade drawn, eyes dead and unfeeling as he prepared to carry out his task. He'd wasted no time, likely killing the man as he blasted him into the far walls of the throne room.
"It's Queen," she snapped, lips twisting in a sneer.
"For that you'd need your husband alive," Harry said dryly.
"There is a—"
"What?" he interrupted. "Gone and crowned your son, have you?"
She remained quiet, watching Harry with blazing green eyes. Not quite willing to sentence her eldest to his fate, he thought.
They had taken her to a room in the Maidenvault, large and comfortable with bedding done in pale colours with slashes of deep reds and gold. The rising sun filtered in through the window, shafts of light illuminating her golden hair.
"I've heard quite the tales about you," she finally said.
Harry smiled humourlessly, leaning against the lone pillar in the room as he watched her recline in her seat. Every new tale he heard about himself had been more outlandish than the rest, and he settled comfortably against the stone, interested in what tale the former queen had heard.
"They call you a witch. A shadowbinder from Asshai," she said. Harry nearly rolled his eyes at the rather predictable accusation. "I can't help but wonder what nonsense these Targaryens are bringing to the Seven Kingdoms."
"A wizard, actually. As to what they are bringing…" Harry shrugged. "Family."
She blinked, shifting in her seat before she suddenly laughed. "Family? So those dreadful rumours are true? Elia Martell has invited a commoner into her bed so long as he helps her take the throne."
Harry laughed darkly, pushing off the pillar to move closer. "Is that all it is for you? Always about the throne?"
"Does that surprise you?" Cersei tilted her head, hair tumbling over her shoulder. "It's all anyone in this gods forsaken city cares for. That throne, the king that sits it; all they want is a piece of it, and if you think your precious Dornish princess wants anything else – even you– then you've deluded yourself."
"And I'm to take your word for it?" he drawled.
She stood then, eyes calculating as she smiled. "Whom else should you turn to? Varys? The Spider has been spinning his own webs long before you, telling his tales to Robert while you planned your rebellion. Littlefinger?" she laughed, amusement clear in her tone. "He's a rather clever little man, I'll grant him that; a touch more helpful than most. Why would Littlefinger ever help you?"
She moved closer as she spoke, an inviting smile on her face. She was every bit as beautiful as they had said, though Harry felt nothing more than amusement at the attempt to seduce him.
"I happen to take my marital vows quite seriously," he said lightly, twisting his wrist so that his wand fell into his palm.
"All men say that until confronted with what they want," she replied.
Harry laughed, grinning broadly at the sight of anger in her eyes. "How rather unfortunate that you're not what I want."
"What can frail Elia Martell give you? Not a living child, nor lands and keeps beyond that pirate infested island. A powerful man such as yourself would tire of her—" she trailed off, blinking in surprise at her inability to come any closer.
His lips twisted, the amusement falling away from his face as her surprise turned into a harsh glare.
"Your husband is dead, and you live on the goodwill of frail Elia Martell. I'd offer my condolences for your loss but I get the sense that you could care less." Harry would not have been so blasé except for the overwhelming disdain he sensed when it came to her husband.
"Robert cared only for his whores and dead Lyanna Stark. Your wife would know about that last one."
Harry smiled, ignoring her words as he flicked his wand. The phial slipped out of her dress, floating to land in his open hand. It was short and thin, with a clear liquid swirling inside.
"Poison? Can't have you killing yourself," he said, clucking his teeth. He'd have to thank Varys for the warning. Harry turned to leave, feeling her glare on him. "A guard will bring you food."
The Spider was waiting for him as he turned the corner, stepping out from the shadows to greet Harry. Cersei Lannister's words came unbidden to his mind; Harry could not deny that there was something about the Spider that left him wary, though he resolved not to let it trouble him. Varys was a spy, and those who worked in the shadows left him unsettled.
"Lord Varys," Harry greeted. "I did not expect to see you here."
"Queen Cers—forgive me, Lady Cersei can be difficult at the best of times," he smiled.
"Plotting to poison herself is more than difficult," Harry returned.
Varys chuckled, tucking his hands in his sleeves. "The lady has always thought quite highly of herself; I fear she's overestimated her cunning."
"I doubt you've waited this long to tell me of her…tendencies," Harry said.
"Not quite. There is news from the north, my lord," he replied. The scent of lavender followed him as they made their way through the keep, guards greeting Harry as he followed the Spider's quiet lead.
"Lord Lannister is not on the move, is he?" Harry hid his frown, glancing at the bald man beside him.
He was shaking his head even before he spoke. "Lord Tywin is not yet aware that the city has fallen. Your rather timely intervention with Grand Maester Pycelle has ensured no ravens will make it to our dear friends in the West."
No ravens as of now, Harry thought. Lord Rowan had men aplenty to keep him busy, but Harry did not doubt that word of their surprise capture of the city would reach the Old Lion somehow.
Varys led him through the halls, cutting through an open corridor as he weaved his way past the multitude of guards crawling throughout the castle.
"Still camped in along the Gold Road, is he?"
"At the Field of Fire," Varys corrected. "I've done what I can to ensure Lord Tywin remains unaware of the dragons."
"Have you?" He shouldn't be surprised the man knew of Auriga and Iacomus.
"A less impressive feat than you may think, my lord," he said. Harry felt a prickle of suspicion at the sly smile on his face. "Lord Tywin has no reason to believe there are more than the two named dragons."
"Dragons have not roamed thi-the world since the days of the Dance."
"Indeed," Varys said. "Quite different, these dragons. I daresay it is an unexpected change from the tales of old."
He pressed his lips in a thin line, fingers twitching as the Elder wand fell eagerly into his palm. He wondered what else Varys knew and to whom the information had been given. You're in a city of liars, Harry, he reminded himself. Secrets were a different currency here.
"The news?" Harry asked curtly. He turned his body slight, discreetly sliding the wand back into its holster. The last thing he need was their Master of Whisperers dying from his sudden spike of anger.
"Ser Jaime is still in the Crownlands," Varys said smoothly, not pausing as he led them into the keep proper. Someone had taken the time to remove the Baratheon banners that had previously hung along the outer walls, the three-headed dragon banner once more raised over King's Landing. Soldiers with the Martell banner milled about the hall, his personal crest visible further down the hall where Harry could vaguely make out his immediate guards.
"Where, in the Crownlands?" Harry asked.
"About a day's ride from Duskendale," Varys replied. "Doubtless he will hurry once word of your taking the city reaches him."
Harry made a noncommittal noise, nodding at Garin as he fell into step behind him. "The others?"
"Scattered in the Riverlands," he said. "The men of the Vale are in Maidenpool for the most part, though a few thousand have broken off to deal with Dragon's Men in Cracklaw Point. Lord Royce and a contingent of three thousand men are in Harrenhal"
Harry frowned, estimating the distance between the three places. Maidenpool and Harrenhal weren't so far away, but thousands of men moved slowly depending on their commander.
"How many men has the Vale raised?"
"Twenty thousand, my lord," Varys answered. "Each of the Kingdoms was ordered to muster some ten thousand men for King Robert's expedition to the Stepstones."
"Yet they've raised twice as much," Harry said dryly. He nodded at Garlan Tyrell, spying the younger man stationed outside. The banners of the Reach fluttered in the air as men milled about the Tower of the Hand, where Harry guessed Lord Tarly was taking the Arryns into custody.
"An unfortunate mishap." Varys lowered his voice as he led Harry up a series of round stairs. The small tower was overlooking the courtyard outside the Tower of the Hand on one side and the godswood on the other. "Lord Tywin has a number of specially trained ravens; once the first clashes with Lord Rowan occurred, he sent a raven to warn the council of treachery."
"Treachery," Harry repeated, coming to a stop at the small corridor at the top of the tower. "Yes, I suppose that does count as such. How long ago was that?"
"Five days. At around the same time you received Lord Rowan's raven, I imagine," Varys said.
"Five days is not enough time to have ten thousand men prepared," Harry countered. He levelled a dark stare at the eunuch; he'd only been in King's Landing for hours, yet it seemed the Spider thrived on withholding information unless pointedly asked.
Bloody prick, Harry thought uncharitably.
Varys smiled. "Lord Arryn is far more prudent than his foster son was. He sent the orders shortly after King Aegon's letter arrived."
"Something we should have been aware of," Harry said lightly.
"It is not always so easy to keep others appraised of the sudden changes, Lord Potter-Black, though I shall endeavour to do so in future."
"I'm sure it'll be easier now that you no longer have to tiptoe around a different king," Harry said.
Varys smiled once more, and Harry forced himself to take a deep breath and calm his growing irritation. The young man inside was young enough to be his son, and the last thing Harry wanted was to speak to him all fired up.
"You can wait outside," Harry said, turning swiftly to the door with a lone guard bearing the lemons of House Dalt standing outside. "Garin."
The last Harry saw of them was his own knight sidle into place beside the knight from Lemonwood, Varys slinking back into the shadows to wait.
Renly Baratheon greeted him with a cheery grin, a mocking look in his green eyes. Harry didn't need to dig into the young man's head to know it was more bravado. Seeing his brother's bannermen from his window, mingling with those who had taken the city was bound to have stung.
"I suppose you've come to take the castle."
"Something like that," Harry said.
Renly had been shoved into a room smaller than those of the former queen, nothing that befit his status as a lord and brother to the former king.
"Have you eaten?"
He looked taken aback at the question, uncertainty in his eyes. "The servants brought a midday meal," he murmured.
"That's good," Harry said. He gestured at the chair opposite Renly's. "May I?"
"There's no need to stand on formality," Renly said. "Or is that something you do with all your prisoners?"
Harry smiled faintly, amused in spite of the mocking tone. "You're the same age as my son." The same colouring too, though Renly was broad of frame where Teddy was lean.
"They didn't mention a son," he said.
"They wouldn't," Harry replied. "Not many knew of me beyond the rumours."
"He knew and he didn't care," Renly told him, pride coating his words. "There wasn't a thing my brother couldn't handle with his warhammer. And now—" he faltered, turning away from him with a scowl.
"And now he's dead."
"Stannis too, I imagine. He wouldn't let you take his castle so easily; he'd rather starve than give in."
"Fortunately, your brother isn't dead," Harry said.
Renly's gaze snapped to his, disbelief on his face. "I don't believe you."
"What use would I have for your brother if he was dead?"
He laughed sharply, tossing his head back in amusement. "You think I would believe Stannis bent the knee? Stannis does not bow – not to anyone not his liege. Your princeling is not Robert; Stannis has kept to his vows dutifully despite everything. He'd rather break than bend."
"How do you explain the Stormlords outside?" Harry asked curiously.
"They aren't Stannis," Renly stated. "You'd have to be a fool to take on living dragons."
Fool, indeed. Renly didn't quite strike him as someone who thought highly of his middle brother, though his admiration of Robert was plain to see.
"Lord Stannis has amicably accepted his fate," Harry said.
"As will I," Renly said. He straightened in his chair, an expectant look on his face. "The Stormlands will need a strong lord."
Harry paused, surprise crossing his features as the words settled in his mind. "The Stormlands has an able ruler."
"Joffrey?" Renly scoffed. "Have you met the boy? Joff is like to start insurrection against the crown than amiably rule those lands. The boy is was raised to expect a crown."
"Please, tell me how you really feel," Harry muttered sarcastically.
Renly's eyes narrowed. "You don't know Joffrey. The boy is nothing like Robert and everything like his mother; vain, cruel, and spiteful to those he considers beneath him. Place that boy in Storm's End and you'll face another war in a few short years."
"Quite the fool then, if he hopes to go against grown dragons," Harry said sardonically. "A good thing that young Joffrey won't be given command of the Stormlands."
"Not given command?" Renly blinked, bemused before understanding dawned on him. "Shireen?"
Harry did not expect the guffaw that left the younger man. His irritation grew at the sight, amused disdain clear in Renly's face.
"You expect Shireen to hold the Stormlands? Have you lost all sense?"
"Are you always so disdainful of your niece?"
"Niece she may be, but Shireen is not fit to lead the Stormlands," Renly retorted. "Even Robert knew that."
"Because of her greyscale?"
"Because she is a woman," Renly said simply. "A woman with greyscale and little hope of marrying and continuing the Baratheon name. You think she would be able to rally the Stormlords to her banner? They're a prickly and proud group; what woman would be able to convince them to fight in her name?"
"I think," Harry began coldly, "you underestimate your niece."
"You think too highly of my brother's lords," Renly snorted. "It takes more than an iron fist like Stannis to rule those lands. Shireen has neither the charm nor the grace needed to coax them to her side."
"And you would?" Harry sneered. His patience for the younger man had run out. "I've heard a few tales of your ambition, but I never expected you to step over your brothers' children so easily."
Renly's amusement died, a dark look creeping on him as he scowled. "Baseless rumours," he said dismissively.
"Not so," Harry countered. "I'd trust Lord Velaryon to know what his liege truly yearned for."
Harry had not taken the whispers the Velaryons had brought with them too seriously, leaving Lord Connington to reaffirm his disdain of the Baratheons. That Renly's ambitions had been stoked, growing up in the halls of the King's court and shadowing his eldest brother had been expected. Harry hadn't believed the young man's hunger for his ancestral lands had grown with every passing year his brother failed to sire a son, knowing the laws of their land, but it seemed family meant little in the way of certain desires.
"Dragonstone was never meant to be mine," Renly snapped.
Harry smiled coldly. "Neither was Storm's End. Cheer up, Lord Renly; perhaps you'll gain command of a castle one day."
"And where is that?" Renly asked scornfully.
"At the Wall," Harry replied without missing a beat. He might have felt pity for the boy once. Now, Harry felt little beyond wanting to see the back of him.
Perhaps Stannis would be able to knock some sense into his younger brother.
He had just entered the courtyard, having gone in search of food, when he heard the murmured whispers of 'Your Grace', the guards hastily bowing as Aegon strode purposefully past them. Egg made a beeline for Harry, a pause in his step as he noticed the cloaked man beside him.
Varys dipped into a bow, words coated in a tone of reverence Harry could only hope to mimic. "Your Grace. It gladdens me to see you well and restored to your throne."
Aegon's face lacked the easy smile his son typically wore, the polite mask sending alarm through Harry. That the boy king had not paused to greet his men properly let Harry know things had gone terribly wrong.
"A feat you've played no small part in, Lord Varys," Aegon said. His jaw was clenched, suspicion plain on his face as he stared at the spymaster. "I must commend your loyalty to my House."
"I am a leal servant of the realm, Your Grace," he answered.
"An admirable trait," Aegon said stiffly. "If you'll excuse us, Lord Varys."
He turned, catching Harry's eye as he made to return to the keep. Lord Arryn will have to wait, Harry thought, falling into step with his son.
Aegon led the way into Maegor's Holdfast, walking with the confidence of someone who had lived there for years. Harry had assumed Aegon wanted to learn all he could of Aerys' court from Elia's memories, though it seemed the boy had taken other things into consideration during his time in the pensieve.
Martell men guarded the drawbridge to Maegor's Holdfast, their spears held tightly in hand as they bowed at the quickly moving Aegon. Harry slowed as they neared the two Kingsguard, pausing before them.
Arthur and Oswell stood rigid before the doors Aegon had walked through, gazes blank as they fell into the position of royal guard. Were it not for the sense of weirdness, Harry might not have stopped at all.
"I'm not going to like what I'm about to hear, am I?"
Oswell glanced at him, a dark smile on his face. "Not at all," he assured. "I hope you have the stomach to deal with this."
Harry sighed, his earlier irritation returning.
The alarm he had felt upon seeing Aegon returned at the sight that greeted him. That the Baratheon banners had not been eagerly torn from this room let him know Egg had been more preoccupied than he cared to admit, likely not admitting any other than the ones in his immediate vicinity.
"Where's Teddy?" Harry were thankfully unharmed, small scratches on their armour letting him know they had seen battle but escaped relatively unscathed.
Rhaenys frowned, worry clear on her face. "He's...running a few errands."
Harry's brow rose, seeing the look on her face as she glanced warily at her uncle. Viserys was leaning against the wall, a glass of wine in hand and a scowl on his face as he glowered darkly at something unseen.
"Do you mind putting up the spells?" Aegon asked. "I don't quite trust myself at the moment."
Harry paused, suspicious eyes glancing at his children. He waved his wand, feeling the spells take hold on the door and the windows, shifting the silencing spells to cover the walls as well. Maegor had killed all those who built his castle, yet whispers carried on the wind.
With a final wave of his wand, Harry turned to the three Targaryens, ready to demand answers.
"There are piles of wildfire beneath the city," Aegon blurted out.
"Wildfire," Harry said flatly. He chanced a glance at Viserys; the older boy was scowling fiercely, the scar on his hand stark as pale fingers pressed tightly against the cup.
"Like fiendyre," Aegon replied. "Only, not as magical – or perhaps more magical, but easily flammable and old enough to do damage. Like, a lot of damage...blow up the city and take us all with it ty—"
"Egg," Rhaenys said, voice cracking against them like a whip.
Aegon froze, staring at her with unblinking eyes. His body was taut, hair dishevelled as he ran a hand through his neat locks. Egg looked less like the king they had prepared to take the throne and more the boy that had charged headlong into a blaze of fiendfyre to defend his year mates.
Harry moved closer, hand clasping Aegon's shoulder as he peered at him in concern. There was a fine tremor running through him, and this close, Harry could hear the slight hitch in his breath.
Aegon turned away, the muscles in his jaw twitching before he pursed his lips, head tilting in Viserys' direction.
"We spoke to See Arthur and Ser Oswell," he said, a dark look in his eyes. "They think th-"
"Not think," Viserys interjected flatly. Aegon sent an irritated glance at him, huffing as Viserys waved his cup in dismissal. "Don't play the fool, Aegon. It doesn't suit you. They know. They've always known."
Oh, goody, he thought. Viserys was typically bitter when it came to the Kingsguard; that the boy was angry and on his way to being drunk did not bode well.
"What do they know?" Harry asked.
"The wildfire was placed by my father. He was a dragon, you see." Viserys smiled, face bitter and fragile as he hoisted his cup in the air. "Long live the Mad King, who thought to be reborn a true dragon. A real Aerion Brightflame, he was; only, he wasn't fool enough to drink the bloody concoction himself."
Harry sighed, closing his eyes as he counted to ten. He had barely made it to five before he turned on his heel, yanking the door open.
"Get in," he ordered.
It was a testament to his anger that they only exchanged a wary glance before nodding, their armour clinking as they entered the room. Harry had immediately renewed the spells, adding a little extra strength before he turned to regard the two knights.
"The king was fond of fire," Oswell said flatly, cutting Harry off before he could speak.
"I'm aware," Harry replied coldly. "Did you have any inkling?"
"No," Arthur said forcefully. His eyes held a mixture of anger and self-loathing, something Harry was viciously glad to see. "We knew he used wildfire to dole out justice, but the extent of his plans was not known to us."
"Because you were gone," Harry stated.
Oswell nodded in agreement. "The pyromancers weren't invited to court until we had gone. Not beyond their capacity to provide wildfire."
"Pyromancers?" Harry questioned.
"The Guildhall of the Alchemists," Arthur answered. "They are better known for their ability to create wildfire."
"Nothing like Flamel," Rhaenys interjected. "Just petty parlour tricks."
"More than parlour tricks, Princess," Oswell said. "They are nowhere near as powerful as they may have been, if we take them at their word, but they can make wildfire. The only ones capable of doing so."
"And who else might know of this?"
They hesitated, glancing once at the unimpressed Aegon before Arthur spoke. "Ser Gerold may have known. He remained at the capital longer than we did. Ser Barristan, perhaps, though I am not certain."
He hesitated, wrestling with his words.
"Ser Arthur," Harry warned. Arthur looked as if everything he had known had shattered before him; Harry couldn't find it in himself to feel a moment's pity for the man as he wrestled with his demons.
"Ser Jaime Lannister may know," Arthur said.
Harry inhaled sharply, slipping into Parsel as he breathed out a curse. "Might?"
"He was the only Kingsguard remaining in the city," Arthur reminded him. "The others had gone with Prince Rhaegar to the Trident. If the pyromancers came to court during that time, he may know."
"We're sitting in a city filled with wildfire, and the one man who may know anything of it is not likely to assist us," Harry said tightly.
"His sister and her children are in the city," Rhaenys murmured.
"Still not a good prospect," Harry sighed. "We have some forty thousand men in the city and half a million civilians. A single section going off is dangerous enough. All an invading army would need is information and a good shot before we lose half the city."
He froze, eyes snapping to his children. "The dragons?"
"Auriga and Iacomus are outside the city walls," Aegon said reassuringly.
"They won't come rushing into the city, will they?"
Aegon's lips curled. "They're rather displeased with us," he said lightly. "Good thing Teddy was there to keep them calm."
As if he had been summoned, the door opened to admit Teddy, wand in hand as he closed it and spent the next minute throwing every sort of privacy spell he knew at the door and the walls. Harry reminded himself to ask his son why he knew so many spells when they weren't in the middle of danger.
"Teddy?" Aegon questioned.
His eldest looked shaken, eyes gleaming in despair despite retaining his preferred appearance.
"I went into the tunnels beneath the city," Teddy said shakily. "Under the Dragonpit, the Sept; I spent hours combing every secret passage I could find. There's wildfire all across the major landmarks of the city."
They remained quiet, staring at the boy as he regained his bearings.
"Show me," Harry said firmly.
They locked eyes, ignoring the discomfort of viewing the memories of someone practiced in occlumency. Harry saw the jars, hundreds of them strewn across the city in different locations. Most remained within their clay holdings; there were some Harry saw glowing faintly, an eerie green colour splashing across the memory.
"You didn't use your magic," Harry noted, slipping out of Teddy's mind after what felt like a moment.
"The dragons nearly set off the wildfire," Teddy explained. "It was safer to go without."
"If it's like fiendfyre…"
Teddy was shaking his head. "No, not like fiendfyre. Greek fire, I'd guess, and probably just as magically sensitive."
Harry frowned, considering the information.
"Can it be safely removed?" Oswell asked.
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "I'll have to check."
Harry let their words of caution flow over him, ignoring the alarm in their eyes.
"Does your magic not help?" Arthur wondered.
"There's only one way to tell," Harry said grimly. "I'll need the cloak, Teddy."
"At least take a guard with you," Viserys chimed in. He'd dropped his cup on the desk, a sharp frown on his face.
"No. It'll be for the best if I go it alone," Harry denied. Bad enough he would be restricting his use of magic for the time being. Hobbling under the cloak with another adult was a nuisance he had no time for.
He frowned again, glancing around the room. "Where's your uncle?"
"Near the Street of Sisters," Viserys said. "He had some business to attend to."
"Send someone to call him back," Harry said. "We can't have Oberyn wandering around with no care."
"I'll go," Viserys volunteered.
Harry dropped the spells, watching the elder Targaryen straighten his clothes before he sauntered out.
"Keep an eye on him, will you? He's slightly volatile," Harry murmured.
Teddy grimaced, exchanging a worried glance with his siblings. "I'll go with him." He paused, turning concerned eyes on Harry. "Are you..."
"Don't worry about me," Harry hissed, nudging him toward the door. "We'll talk later."
Teddy lingered a moment longer, searching Harry's face before he nodded firmly. "Later," he promised, speeding out of the room to catch up to Viserys.
Harry sighed, cursing everyone in this Merlin damned court once more. "Ser Arthur, I'll need directions to the Guildhall."
He'd need a quiet place as well, mentally making a note to send a runner to find Ser Davos.
The guards walked in small groups of three, their voices echoing in the night as they patrolled the streets. It was eerily still outside, the air calmer than they had expected.
For the first time in near twenty years, Harry Potter donned his father's cloak. A simple disillusionment would have sufficed, but Harry trusted his son and left both wands in Teddy's care.
He walked down the twisting path of Shadowblack Lane, ignoring the shudder that passed through the guard closest to him as he followed Arthur Dayne's meticulous directions.
The city sprawled out below him, the winding cobblestone and the overlarge structure of the Great Sept reminded him of a less fantastical Diagon. What the alley lacked in homes King's Landing more than made up for, the buildings spreading out into larger establishments the further he moved from the keep.
He turned left at the centre square, the Street of Sisters leading him to the foot of Visenya's Hill. It was there he found the Guildhall of the Alchemists. The building lacked the grandiose designs of the more prominent structures in the city, the sign hanging above the strong bronze and oak doors letting him know he was in the right place.
He grabbed the bronze door handle, turning it experimentally. To his surprise, the door was unlatched, opening without a sound.
The air smelt faintly of smoke and oil, a tingle of magic passing through his spine as Harry crossed the threshold. It took several moments for his eyes to adjust to the sudden darkness. There was only a faint light, the green glow eerily reminiscent of the one he had seen in Teddy's mind.
He was not alone; the man stepping out from the dark warrens of the building was tall and thin, the faint light casting shadows on his face. The pyromancer stared at him with a feverish look on his pasty face, uncomfortably reminding Harry of the days immediately after the war had ended.
"Welcome to the Guildhall, Master Wizard" he said.
Harry paused, surprised at the form of address. "You are?"
"Wisdom Hallyne, my lord of Potter and Black," he replied. He was dressed in striped black-and-scarlet robes lined with patchy fur.
"You seem rather informed," Harry said idly. His gaze had been drawn to the dark cellars carved into the walls, the feel of magic pressing firmly against him. It was all fire; wild, eager and indestructible should it be let loose. He cursed them once more, these fools who had created it and the ones that had lived in comfort above it all.
"I knew the rumours to be true," Hallyne said, surprising Harry at his confidence. "One hears things when working uninterrupted. Your men speak of you in hushed tones, but they've told me all I need know. It is a long and difficult process, to create the substance. It is only with magic – with dragons– returned to the world that the spells to work the substance have come easier."
Hallyne looked giddy at the thought of more magic in the world; it would have been endearing had they not been so invested in creating a dangerous substance.
"Wisdom Hallyne," Harry said. "Are you the most senior of your order?"
"No, my lord. Well, I believe perhaps I might be, hmm, one of the more senior members." Harry shot an irritated glare at the man, watching him swallow quickly before he hurriedly explained. "There were a number of our masters murdered during the Sack and only acolytes for the most part. My father – and his father before him – was an alchemist; it runs in the blood, you see, which is why I am the head of our order."
He pressed his lips together, turning the words over in his mind. Dead pyromancers and an unknown number of wildfire barrels beneath the city. He swore internally, guessing that the dead Guild members likely knew what had been done with all the wildfire.
"How much wildfire did you make for the old king?" he asked, making his way deeper into the hall. The iron torches were lit, letting Harry get a glimpse of the clay jars placed in shelves between black marble columns.
"None," Hallyne said.
Harry sent an incredulous look at the man, sighing before he clarified, "For King Aerys."
"Ah, hmmm, some four thousand jars that we know of," Hallyne answered.
"That you know of?" Harry said sharply. "What use does the Guild have for four thousand jars?"
"The King required our stock," Hallyne said. "It is not for us to question his needs, my lord. The coin was paid and the substance prepared at his command."
Of course it bloody well was, he thought. The king made a request and they all scrambled to see it done. Not even Harry, with all the influence of his victory over Tom had been able to scrounge such unfettered power.
"Where are the others?"
"I do not know, Lord Potter-Black," Hallyne said. "Much of the stock prepared for King Aerys was done under the guidance of the murdered masters."
He nodded absentmindedly, moving closer to the jar as he wrestled his magic under control. It was rough to the touch, small enough to fit comfortably in Harry's hand. The clay was an inch thicker than a potions vial and nowhere near as durable.
"Carefully, my lord," Hallyne said. "The pot will shatter unless handled delicately."
Harry could feel the swirl of liquid, the dark substance as thick as pumpkin juice as he tipped the jar slightly.
"Is it supposed to be this thick?" Harry frowned, glancing at the excited Hallyne.
"Thicker," Hallyne told him. His excitement was palpable as he gestured at the rows of jars lining the walls. "The air is not quite so cold here as it is in the vaults below, but even those are not as thick as they should be. The substance runs thin like lamp oil and burns easily in the heat."
He gingerly placed the jar on the shelf, following the man as he led Harry deeper into the twists and turns of the Guildhall. Hallyne gestured at the floor of the gallery, where Harry could feel the protective enchantments that had been carefully layered. "To smother the blaze with sand should a jar explode," he told him.
There was a single lamp, hoisted high above his head and sealed with glass as they took the winding stairs lower and lower until he could no longer feel the protective enchantments straining against the floor. The ground levelled out beneath them, their breath fogging in the air as the cold wrapped around him, settling bone deep.
"No magic, my lord," Hallyne warned. Harry resisted the urge to cast a warming charm, tugging the cloak around him. His body flickered in and out of existence, though the old pyromancer's feeble light did little to show where the shadows ended and Harry began.
"It's unstable," Harry stated.
"The substance is…fickle and gains potency with age. Any spark of sunlight, or heat or, hmmm, perhaps a ripple of something like magic will set it afire. Those of King Aerys' stock are below us, the vaults flooded with water and jars sealed with wax to contain them, yet they ripen all the same. They should have been destroyed, truthfully, but our acolytes are hardly up to the task. We've lost three in the past year – two shortly after Prince Joffrey's nameday as a cellar floor collapsed to douse a blaze, the other during the Maiden's Day festivities."
He grimaced, counting back the days of Westeros as he knew them. Dany, he thought, recalling the little princess' birthday fell around Maiden's Day.
"When is Prince Joffrey's nameday?"
"The tenth day of the second moon, my lord," Hallyne said.
Harry faltered, staring blankly at the pyromancer. "You lost two acolytes and a cellar of wildfire?"
"No," Hallyne denied. "An entire batch of wildfire was lost to us."
"The older ones?"
"A new concoction, my lord. It seems, hmmm, we may have underestimated the potency of the spells with the sudden influx of magic." Hallyne smiled, excitement plain. "Now that the magic has settled, we can return to reworking the spells."
"I'd rather you didn't," Harry said faintly. There was a sinking feeling in his stomach. Finding the godswood had been a blessing; he just hadn't expected his actions on Bloodstone to have far-reaching consequences.
Harry cleared his throat. "Not for the next weeks," Harry amended. Hallyne looked uncertain, and Harry put on his most charming smile to ease his worries. "The spells may remain unstable for some time, Wisdom Hallyne – especially now that we are in such close proximity. Once the magic in King's Landing has settled, then perhaps we can see about attempting to work the spells once more."
Hallyne grinned, glee shining in his eyes. "Your patronage is much appreciated, Lord Potter-Black," he said, bowing. "We are an ancient order; having a wizard amongst us will no doubt restore our prestige. I shall defer to your expertise until such a time the magic has settled."
Harry blinked, taken aback as he registered the man's words. Elia wouldn't be pleased he had accidentally taken the pyromancers under his wing. He resolved to find a better use for them once the city had been thoroughly checked.
"Right. I'd like a jar of your latest concoction to take with me. One of those from Aerys' stock," Harry told him, turning to make his way out. He had seen enough, though he had one more task in mind.
"It is dangerous to do so without precautions," Hallyne warned.
"Do you think I'd fall prey to a jar of wildfire?" Harry asked curiously.
"Magic will only cause the substance to grow more unwieldy, and King Aerys' stock has sat untouched for years," Hallyne insisted. "A little mistake can bring catastrophe. Allow my brethren to prepare it for you."
Harry nodded his agreement, following the older man through the twists once more.
"If I may be, hmmm, frank, my lord."
"By all means."
"The Guild is a friend of House Targaryen," Hallyne said. "King Aerys took great interest in our craft, as did his father, and his father before him. It is our hope that His Grace may honour us with a visit once things are settled."
"Perhaps once the war is won," Harry said. Aegon would never enter the Guildhall if Elia had anything to say about it, nor would they allow pyromancers into the Red Keep once more. "Your Guild may operate as they have once I see to the removal of the more fragile pots."
"We would welcome your assistance, my lord," Hallyne said.
They reached the Gallery of the Iron Torches, illuminated by the flames dancing between the columns as an acolyte slowly moved forward, a small box in hand.
Gingerly, he handed the delicate pack to Harry, the pineapple shaped jar cradled by sand.
"The substance seeps through cloth, wood, leather and steel," Hallyne told him. "Lord Rossart only transported the substance surrounded by sand to King Aerys' court."
"I'll keep that in mind," Harry murmured, cradling the box closer to his chest. He tugged the cloak tighter, lifting the hood so that it covered him fully.
The last Harry saw of Wisdom Hallyne was the childlike excitement on his face before the heavy doors shut behind him.
Davos was waiting as specified, the tiny skiff sitting along the Blackwater as Harry slipped past the guards at the Mud Gate with some difficulty, carefully avoiding the Uller knight lest he spread whispers of ghosts roaming the city.
"Down the river, Ser," Harry said, dropping into the skiff.
Davos flinched, eyes growing wide as he stared at the invisible Harry. "This a bit of your magic, then?"
He sent an uneasy glance at Harry before rowing, sending the tiny vessel upriver. Every few seconds, Davos would glance in Harry's general direction as if waiting for him to make himself known. Harry remained cloaked, the jar of wildfire in his arms and his thoughts miles away.
It was an hour later that he felt the skiff come to a stop. King's Landing was far enough away that Harry could make out the distant structures rising in the skyline.
He left the cloak around his shoulders as he stepped out, tugging the hood down as his body flickered in the night. Dawn was breaking, the first rays of light soon to peak over the horizon.
He left Davos, moving as quickly as he dared until he was far enough from the river as he dared go without his wand or a sword.
Harry carefully placed the jar on the ground, stepping ten paces back.
A short flick of his hand later, the wildfire erupted, magic and fire sparking in tandem as the grass burned quickly. Hallyne had not lied; his magic fed the wildfire even more, nearly as unwieldy as fiendfyre but that Harry could tell it would eventually burn out.
The pit of dread in his stomach grew as he cast a weak vanishing spell. The wildfire sparked, the flame struggling to grow before Harry smothered it quickly.
He stood there, Ignotus' cloak wrapped around his shoulders as the flames danced in the night air. Harry wanted to scream his frustration, cursing the burden he had unknowingly taken once more.
"You look as if Death greeted you," Oberyn said, cheerily making his way to the pitcher of wine on the table.
Aegon flinched, turning away from his uncle as he exchanged worried glances with Rhaenys and Teddy.
Harry ignored them, content to stare out at the city. Harry had wandered King's Landing after leaving Davos, feet carrying him to old, unused tunnels beneath several streets. To his horror, the wildfire jars had been in place there as well, forcing him to quickly retreat. He had spent the entire night awake, turning his thoughts in his head as he tried to talk himself out of personally dealing with the wildfire. It had taken one glance at the sprawling city, the air quickly filling with the sounds of curious people as they went about their day, to know he could not hand this task off.
A sharp rap at the door signalled the beginning of their planned meeting. Harry flicked his wand once, the glamour settling in place. No longer were the dark rings or the sharp glint in his eyes visible, the lines on his face smoothing into an impassive smile as Randyll Tarly entered.
Harry cast the silencing spells once more, absently noting the presence of the two Kingsguard. Ser Oswell stared at Harry, a question in his eyes.
"You'll need to leave the city immediately," Harry said once the spells took hold. The two knights grimaced in unison as Harry confirmed their fears. "Preferably in the next two days."
Randyll's eyes narrowed. "Why the sudden hurry to leave?"
"Lord Rowan's men require assi-"
"Spare me the tales," Randyll cut in briskly. "If I am to march thousands of men away from a city filled with valuable hostages just when we've taken it, I'd like a better reason."
Harry's lips twisted, unamused as he stared at the unflinching general. "Is aiding your countrymen not a good enough reason?"
"Not when that was to be my original plan," he shot back. "Something has happened - something that has rattled you far more than you care to admit. I don't like having to contend with whatever it is that worries a wizard."
Nor I, he thought. He cocked his head to the side, considering the man before him. Elia had named him Hand and, insofar as he was concerned, Randyll Tarly had done everything that was expected of him. Beyond; Harry knew of few men who would so willingly take orders from a man not of their lands and with the sort of powers he had. Randyll had proven loyal and willing to acquiesce to using magic when it benefitted them. Harry could afford to reward that loyalty with a modicum of trust.
"There are thousands of jars of wildfire placed beneath the city."
To his credit, Lord Tarly did not react beyond the slight flash of surprise in his eyes. He was quiet for a moment, taking in the solemnity that weighed heavy in the room.
"When you say beneath the city..."
"Beneath the keep, the Dragonpit, the shops along the Street of Steel and Muddy Way, beneath the Great Sept," Harry listed. It was the last that made his eyes widen a touch before they narrowed, brows furrowing in concentration. It seemed Lord Tarly was more pious than Harry had thought.
"Two days, you say?"
"Preferably less," Harry told him. "But yes, I'd imagine it takes some time to corral some forty thousand men into a march. I understand you wished to keep your son close after so long, but wi—"
Randyll waved him off, staring absently at Viserys. "Samwell knows his duty," he said. "As do I."
"You understand, then?"
"It will not be long until the Lannisters hear of what happened here," Randyll agreed. "The better for us to cut them off before they can join with the other Rebel lords."
Relief swept through him. Harry might not have felt entirely at ease obliviating the man had the conversation taken a different turn. He was starting to like the Reacher, rigidly loyal as he was.
"You'll need to take most of the men with you," Harry said.
"Thirty thousand should be enough," Randyll replied. "Ten thousand men is enough to man the city while you are in residence."
"We've rounded up most of the gold cloaks," Ser Oswell added. "There are men patrolling the city at all hours, keeping the King's peace. It's been fairly calm."
"Except that one fight," Oberyn interjected cheerily. There was a careless smirk on his face, letting Harry know Oberyn had likely been involved in that fight.
Ser Arthur smiled thinly. "Other than that particular incident, the people of King's Landing appear rather unconcerned with the sudden change."
"Our men are not raping and looting with abandon," Randyll retorted. "Gods only know the Lannisters haven't made themselves liked in this city. My men know to expect a sharp knife if they take certain liberties."
Oswell grimaced, shifting in place, as he no doubt imagined what Randyll would do.
"Are we settled, then? Two days at most, Lord Hand," Harry said.
"I can have the men marching for Lord Rowan's camp by daylight," he replied. "I'll need a few hours to gather provisions and to know where exactly Lord Lannister was last known to be."
"Along the Gold Road," Harry told him. "If Lord Varys is to be believed, Lord Tywin is not too far from the Field of Fire."
A feral smile grew on Randyll Tarly's face; no doubt there were plans whirring in his mind, and Harry could almost taste the eagerness to see Tywin Lannister brought low.
"A fine place to hold a battle," Randyll said. "We'll need Lord Mathis to keep them there. The others?"
"Scattered along the Crownlands and Riverlands," Harry replied. "You are free to ask the specifics from Lord Varys."
Randyll frowned lightly, eyes crinkled as he thought on his plans. "If I may, Your Grace?"
"By all means, my lord," Aegon said.
"Lord Tywin will be the focus of our efforts, but we cannot neglect the other lords in the north."
"Do you suggest we split our forces?" Aegon frowned. "Lord Stark has just over ten thousand men, the Vale lords another ten. That's not counting the Riverlords."
"Twenty thousand," Randyll corrected. "It seems Lord Arryn managed to send a raven before our arrival mustering another ten thousand once Lord Tywin's raven arrived."
"Thirty thousand, then," Aegon allowed. "With the Riverlords, they may outnumber us."
"They will," Randyll said. "We may yet cut them off before they can mount an assault."
"And how do you suggest we do that?" Teddy asked curiously.
"Lord Arryn and his heir are our hostages," Randyll replied. "A raven is likely to be shot down, Your Grace, but a rider under a white banner should be granted passage to hand a message to Lord Royce."
"Will he stand down?" Aegon asked.
"His liege lord depends on Lord Royce's cooperation," Randyll said grimly. "He won't like it, but unless he wishes to continue a futile rebellion, he'll bend the knee."
"What of the others?" Viserys questioned. Harry was glad to see the young man looking better than he had the day before.
"Lady Arryn is a Tully by birth and Lord Stark's goodsister," Randyll said. "A messenger to Riverrun and Lord Stark's camp may be necessary."
"Will they fold?" Aegon asked. "Would you, in their position?"
"Unknowing of the dragons? No, I would not," he replied matter-of-factly. "Lord Stark's lands are safe; no army has crossed the Neck, nor have they forced them to submit without dragons. Lord Tully's heir remains with him, his eldest daughter safely ensconced in the North. It is sentiment and loyalty that holds them to this war."
Harry glanced at Oberyn, leaning closer as Aegon considered Lord Tarly's suggestion.
"Who'd you try to kill?"
"Some guard in a brothel," he shrugged. "His employer took offence to my presence."
"Why were you in a brothel?"
Oberyn grinned broadly. "I am a man of many talents, Harry," he said. "You've not seen a brothel when a skirmish breaks out. There are many a powerful men that find it better to hide where their pleasures can easily be tended to."
Harry rolled his eyes, biting back his words as he caught sight of Randyll's stiff countenance.
"Do you know the man?"
"A brothel keeper with the means to afford guards?" Randyll scoffed, disdain curling his lips. "Lord Baelish; he served as Robert's Master of Coin."
"A rather good thing I've not killed him," Oberyn said.
Harry found the brothel owner in question waiting in the Great Hall, a sheaf of parchment tucked in his arms. The Spider was standing beside him, their low murmurs dying as Harry's footsteps echoed in the large chamber.
He'd begged off joining the planning meeting, trusting that his absence both there and during the campaign would be explained away.
"Lord Potter-Black," Varys said, voice dressed in silky tones. "Might I introduce Lord Petyr Baelish?"
"Lord Potter-Black," he said, bowing slightly. The man was dressed in silk finery, a cloak strewn over one shoulder stitched with mockingbirds. To his annoyance, the man they called Littlefinger wore an earnest smile that did not reach his eyes.
"Lord Baelish," Harry greeted. "I hear you had an unfortunate run in with my goodbrother."
"A minor tiff," he denied. "I can understand why Prince Oberyn would be adamant on seeing to the city's surrender."
Harry smiled, falsely polite as his eyes flicked to the throne. It was large – monstrously large, if he was being truthful – with a deadly beauty to it. As far as making statements went, Harry could see the slight appeal in Aegon the Conqueror's preferred throne.
"I understand you were the Master of Coin?"
Baelish paused, before he chuckled lightly. "I had thought to retain my position."
"Did you?" Harry dragged his gaze back to the smaller man. "You are a Valeman, Lord Baelish."
"Yes. I served Lord Arryn, as is his due as my liege," he admitted.
"And how did a lord from the Fingers find his way to King's Landing?" Harry asked.
"Lord Baelish was fostered with Lady Arryn's family," Varys chimed, a sly smile on his face.
Irritation briefly crossed Petyr's green-grey eyes. "A favour to my father," he said smoothly. "Lady Arryn and I remained in touch, though my talents brought me to Lord Arryn's attention. I'm sure you can appreciate the situation."
Harry smiled, bemused. Did he think Harryhad used his magic to gain – what, a position in Elia's bed?
He made a vaguely approving noise. "In any case, Lord Baelish, I'll need the books for the treasury before a decision is made."
"Am I to be arrested? I've not taken arms against His Grace," he pressed.
"No, you haven't," Harry conceded. "Nor will you be assailed while you bring what is needed. Only, I expect you to remain within the keep."
He smiled sharply, a touch of magic making itself known as Petyr Baelish nodded quickly.
"Of course," he agreed. "If you'll excuse me."
Harry watched him scurry away, taking a deep breath as he regained control of himself. King's Landing was full of flatterers and snakes, and Harry had little patience for them with his current worries.
Green eyes flicked to Varys, the eunuch looking more solemn than Harry had ever seen him.
"A word of caution, my lord," Varys said.
"Let me guess; I shouldn't trust him," Harry said sardonically.
"Only a fool would trust Littlefinger," Varys replied. "Ask yourself how someone from such humble means has managed to amass as much wealth and power as he has."
"And you, Lord Varys?"
Varys laughed. "I am from Lys, my lord. There is no personal gain to be had for me."
The quill hovered above the inkpot, green eyes scanning the short note once more. Bloodstone was as safe as Harry could make it – safe enough that Elia would feel comfortable leaving the trunks behind as she came to deal with the last remnants of the Baratheon reign.
He hesitated, a sliver of unease passing through him as he considered what lengths he would go to.
Teddy's peeved expression did little to help.
"We've talked about this before, Edward," Harry said.
"You've never used them in years," Teddy retorted, ignoring the use of his full name. "Why are you going through that risk now?"
Harry sighed, dropping the quill in the inkpot as he leaned back in his seat. Stubbornly, Teddy remained standing, hand clenching the hilt of his sword. They were meant to travel to Lord Rowan's camp, half of the army having left the day before. Teddy had remained behind as long as he could, seeking a private moment with Harry.
"I did not tell you what happens so you could worry," Harry said.
With the passing of the cloak came the true tale of its purpose. Harry had thought Beedle the Bard's tales a joke when he had heard them. Ignotus had quickly disabused him of that notion, making Harry vow to inform his eldest once he came of age. That he owned all three cursed items meant Teddy learned of them, though Harry was determined to make sure his son never found himself carrying that burden.
"Fat chance of that happening," Teddy scoffed. "I remember what you were like the last time."
Harry softened, staring sadly at his son. For Teddy's sake, he had almost sworn an oath to never use them again. "It's different this time," Harry said quietly.
"You're Harry Potter," Teddy countered. "What can't you do that you have to resort to that?"
"The benefits, in this case, outweighs the danger, Teddy," Harry said.
Teddy turned away, frustration clear as he clenched his jaw.
Harry stood, rounding the desk until he was face to face with him. Teddy was taller than Harry now, no doubt taking after Remus in height.
"There are more reasons for me not to fall to the allure of the Hallows, Teddy," Harry said. "I wasn't lying when I said you saved me."
Teddy stood stock still, struggling for a moment before he threw his arms around him. Harry held his son close, pressing a light kiss to his unruly curls.
"Stay safe, yeah? All of you," Harry murmured.
"We will. Don't need you levelling half the country because we were injured," Teddy joked weakly.
He straightened, wiping his face quickly before his expression cleared. Harry smiled faintly, seeing the exaggerated salute Teddy gave him before he strolled out of the room.
Tywin Lannister would die but Harry wouldn't be there to see the man who had likely ordered Elia and the children's deaths meet his end.
Over half a million lives, Potter, he reminded himself.
Firming his resolve, Harry returned to his seat and picked up the quill once more, untidy scrawl adding three words to the end of the short note he had penned.
Bring the stone.
Book Renly was less ambitious for the throne than his show counterpart - at least at the beginning (he didn't have that little speech to Ned about being better suited to the throne). Here, with proof of a trueborn heir and his time in Dragonstone and Court, Renly's ambition pivoted toward taking Storm's End as the only male Baratheon. That they were constantly at war at the border only solidified his belief that he was the better option.
Varys is book Varys; constantly watching and plotting to advance his interests.
We touched a little more on Harry's years post-war. We'll see the side effects of carrying the Hallows in the next Elia chapter and explore it more deeply in the next Harry chapter.
To answer any questions/comments:
osterreicher97: ah yeah, Ned's got a few other issues to deal with. The North isn't quite as easily settled as the other kingdoms believe. We'll see what's been going on in the background in two chapters. But yeah, Jon's identity won't hold up once that first meeting happens.
CrimsonReiter: you know, I was gonna joke about it being only four but now I don't know. 666 might just happen.
red demon161: cheers! Glad you enjoyed it those bits. Renly's gamble failed here, and Dragonstone goes back to the Targs. Viserys, yeah, he's even more determined now to whip the city guard into shape. A lot of the final decisions will be made once they've cleared out the city of wildfire. The debt going to the Potter-Blacks is the easier route since Harry's less likely to rob his own kid with high interest rates, etc. For Aegon, she wants him to have some income independent of his lords. He'll already have to depend on them for a number of things, giving him some financial freedom gives him room to breathe. No, the Stepstones is going to have to be overhauled completely so that the islands are under their control. About Castamere; they're running on theories and dated knowledge. The Reynes, iirc, weren't the ones in debt to the Lannisters; most of the money went to the Tarbecks. The mines are nowhere near the Lannister wealth, but it gives them a bit of a boost initially.
Duner89: The wildfire is actually Aerys', though the rest was from the Guild. Separation of the two 'kingdoms' is necessary for the moment, though the Stepstones would fall under the Seven Kingdoms. There's too much of an advantage to having it tied to them completely than something loosely connected.
Dauntes: yeah, got to slow it down every once in a while. Things will pick up plot wise for the next little while.
Beleriond: he will. At the moment, Elia is coming in as a woman and regent to the son raised outside of the Seven Kingdoms. She'll make some initial changes, but Aegon has the greater capital as a male and a dragonrider. He'll overhaul the system as much as he can. Lol, yeah, Cersei gets good points for that one. Randyll not much of a politician, though he's caught on quickly here. They'll need a Master of War soon enough. Haha, telling a group of wizards that only one person controls the finances is dumbfounding. That'll be changed even before Egg gets to rule alone. Cheers! Shoot me a PM if you want to chat more. I think you have one or two positions more than I thought.
javi30: yeah, some of it is contrived for the plot, though the Citadel has been around almost as long as the oldest Houses in Westeros. It's practically ingrained in them not to question it. They're going to play a bigger role further in. Haha yeah, the betrothals are going to be a hassle. A delicate balance between choice and duty. Good health to you and yours!
Guest(1-10): yeah, Tywin's not going to be happy. Cersei tried and failed, and Jaime's going to be swinging between disbelief and rage when he meets his old brothers.
Jesseka89: Loooool. Honestly, there's enough space in the story that those scenes could have potentially happened. Arthur's a bit more clued in than the others about their abilities. It'll be tense with Jon for a bit. Lyanna's unfortunately not alive (I considered having her and Jon abroad at one point, where he was being raised for the throne) but we'll hear about her last moments in Ned's section. Joff is trueborn, Myrcella and Tommen are Jaime's. We'll touch on the reasons why eventually. Cheers!
belle hawk: Not if we consider Lyanna, but the reparations are for Aerys' actions. For all that Rhaegar and Lyanna ran off, he flipped and turned the situation into a civil war. Elia's meeting with Ned will be tense because of that, Ned's own situation with a few of his lords is not so great. 7 people went with him to the Tower of Joy, but there was no Tower of Joy in this situation and no Arthur Dayne to fight against.
Up next; Elia returns to King's Landing and has a few conversations.