This is the first fanfic I've ever written. I'm only hoping that it will improve as I continue to write this. To me, writing fanfics are odd. I'm so used to writing original fiction that - I don't know - it's just different in a way. Anyway...yeah. It's in Aly's POV - First Person.

This story was something that all came to my head just a while ago.

Oh.

Flamers - I don't fancy people like you. If you tell me I suck, tell me why. Specifics always make things better for me as a writer. But I guess there isn't much I can do after you review.

Thank you.


Prologue

(Disclaimer: Most of the characters belong to Tamora Pierce as well as the settings.)

I held my ten-year-old daughter at my side. She looked at her feet sadly. It was obvious that she knew what I was going to tell her, but it was inevitable. I cleared my throat, trying to fill the uncomfortable air but it didn't help the situation. Alanna, named after my mother, stiffened. Nawat stared at me with understanding eyes. He knew my job and what I had to do, but he didn't always enjoy it.

"She needs to leave," Nawat told her lightly, touching her shoulder. "She needs to go."

"But I don't want her to leave," my daughter said, looking up at me with her dark eyes that resembled my husband's so much. "I don't want her to leave."

It was the first time I actually had to leave the country to do my job and I knew it worried her. Over the years, she had grown rather attached to me; not how I was with my mother – at least not until I got kidnapped by pirates and was sold to Dove's family.

"I have to," I told her. I crouched a little and wrapped my arm around her slender body. "I'll be back, I promise." Alanna bowed her head, masking her face with a thick layer of Auburn hair. I could feel her shudder as she held back her tears. "But I have another week to be here." I tried to reassure her with no avail; she ran to her room and slammed the door.

That night after Nawat put Alanna, and the twins Lucian and Malachi to bed, he sat on the bed next to me and looked at me with his thoughtful eyes. I looked upon his sharp features remembering the days when he just turned into a human and tried to get used to the odd human customs.

"What is it this time?" he asked. I still couldn't believe that he used to be a crow, though I witnessed it myself when I was eighteen. "You never told me any details. Why must you go back to your parent's home?"

With a sigh, I wondered if I should tell him everything. Of course I should've, he was my husband and I hadn't hid anything so big in a long time. "There is word about the new king wanting to go to war with us."

"Wouldn't you father or mother tell you if that were true?" Nawat asked desperately. The look in his eye made my situation harder than it was.

"I would…if my father were still Tortall's spymaster, my mother, the King's Champion, and my godfather, Jonathan, the king." Thinking about it again, it was so odd that they had grown old and stepped down from their positions. I had gotten used to receiving information from my family. "Nawat," I paused and reached for his hand. "Things are very different now. I'm doing this on Dove's orders. Besides, all I'm doing is checking to see if the gossip I heard was true."

Nawat leaned over and kissed my forehead. "If that's what our Queen orders, then there isn't anything I can do about it."

"Take care of the children," I told him. "And make sure they don't get into any mischief, I've been getting complaints from several people about their ruckus."

"All three?" Nawat teased.

"Just the twins," I corrected myself with a small smile stretched across my face. It soon faded away like a distant memory; not even a ghost of it lingered. I could feel that it was late. "I need to sleep; we are planning tomorrow." Nawat nodded and blew out the candle. He wrapped his arms around me and comforted me until I fell asleep.

A sinking feeling overtook my emotions. I knew that this wasn't going to be an easy situation. I could only hope the gods were on my side.