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city tonight (through the lights)

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Harrenhal stands proud, not so high as Winterfell nor even the Red Keep but Lyanna cannot doubt that there is power here, holding this keep is something to be proud of.

 

Shella Whent seems to think so when she greets them, welcoming them to the celebrations. The Tourney at Harrenhal was to be the greatest tourney of the century, and it would likely be one of the last great celebrations of this century too - it was 298 years after Aegon landed, after all. 

 

In two years, a new century would be upon them. Lyanna doesn't think of that for now, instead she thinks of this century, of now.

 

Rhaegar graciously thanks Lady Whent for hosting the tourney - it was in his name, as it was celebrating the fifteen years of his reign. And Lyanna too thanks the elder lady, who kisses her hand and says, "It is a pleasure to host the two of you, your graces. Queen Lyanna, I believe there are guests awaiting you - both of your elder brothers are there now, I believe." 

 

That brings joy to Lyanna; Brandon and Ned in one place, with her, after them all being apart for so long. It was like a dream come true. In fact, the only thing which could better it was if Ben was here too.

 

But Sworn Brothers of the Nights Watch don't often attend tourneys, especially not ones hosted in the Riverlands. 

 


 

Her brothers haven't changed much after so many years, all things considered. Brandon's hair was beginning to grey, just a little and there were lines on Ned's face but they were still her brothers, and what more could she want?

 

When she enters the room, Lyanna is quickly embraced by Ned, who is far taller than he used to be. Once he let her go, Brandon - who now has a cropped beard, which he didn't have last time they spoke - picks her up, spinning her about and Lyanna laughs like she was young again. 

 

Lady Ashara and all the children laugh, Ned wears his warm smile which Lyanna has so missed, and it is only Brandon's Catelyn who remembers her courtesies, and it is only she who notices that Rhaegar has come into the room. 

 

Lyanna smiles at the younger children, the elder are apparently without, in the yard. Ned's youngest two are there; Alyn is a handsome young lad, who tells her he is one-and-ten now, and his little sister, Robyn, is two years younger and has Ashara's pretty face and Stark colouring.

  

Both of Brandon's children are older, Catelyn tells her politely, and have gone to watch some of the men train for the tourney. Her eldest brother grins at her and asks if she'd like to see the horses. Lyanna says yes, without really thinking, and returns the smile Rhaegar sends her way. He knows how much she loves riding, after all. 

 


 

Of all her children Jon looks the most like her, like a Stark, and she's almost forgotten how much a Northerner he truly looks, but now that he stands beside Brandon the resemblance is uncanny. Jon is fifteen and looks exactly like Brandon did at that age. Next to him is Vaena, who is thirteen, and has dark-silvery hair and Rhaegar's eyes and face.

 

She is little like Lyanna and her elder brother in looks but her mannerisms are all Brandon, that is easy to see now.

 

As for her other children, Aenar had been fostered at Storm's End since he was eight. It's been hardly a year since then and so Lyanna is sure he will look much like he did a year ago - much like Vaena; dark-silvery haired, violet eyes and fair skinned.

 

She shall see for herself soon enough though, for Lord Robert and her goodsister, Princess Shaena were bringing their family to the tourney too - and as Robert's ward, Aenar was coming along.

 

Lyanna and Rhaegar's other two children were both like him in colouring but she in looks. Lyna had just turned four hardly two moon ago and her brother, Lucerys was her younger by a year, the babe of their little brood. And gods, he looked so like Jon but for his silver-brown hair and bright purple eyes.

 

Her youngest three are away with their grandmother. Normally, Lyanna would hate to burden Rhaella with her younger children who were even more excited than usual, but she sees how true Rhaella's smile is when she is with the children. And she so does love to see her goodmother smile.

 


 

Going to see horses with Brandon were some of Lyanna's best memories of her childhood and that's why she was so happy to go see some with him now. (It is different now from when they were children, of course; he was the Lord of Winterfell now and she Queen of the Seven Kingdoms - and there was a Knight of the Kingsguard following behind them, Ser Barristan.)

 

Jon and Vaena do not seem nearly so thrilled - but then, as the Crown Prince and eldest princess they have grown up with far fancier breeds than any you might find up North.

 

Besides, they saw their Uncle Viserys and practically ran away to see him - their sworn shield, Ser Arthur and Ser Jaime, respectively - could hardly keep up. Viserys had been off in Dorne for many moons, visiting his betrothed, the Princess Arianne. 

 

On the way to the Northerners' stables, Lyanna and Brandon pass through where the children are. It isn't just their's though, but many highborn children, some watching the lords and knights practise, some playing around. Lyanna is happy to see it, children so deserve to be as joyful as these ones are now. 

 

"Where might your children be, Brandon? Pray tell me you haven't lost them already," Lyanna japes, her hand in the crook of his elbow. 

 

Brandon's laughter booms loud as ever. "Unfortunately, no I am not so lucky," he jests in reply. "Oh, over there by young Ser Renly, I see them."

 

She looks over, eyes squinting so to see in the bright sun light. She does see two older children with flame-coloured hair. They seem to be talking with one another (and purposely not speaking with any of the others in the yard.)

 

"Well," Lyanna says, "we must go speak with them. The last time I saw Celia she was but a babe, still speaking her first words, and Cregard could just barely crawl."

 

Her brother shakes his head at that, fondly enough. "They walk and talk enough now - too much for an old man such as I to bear, really."

 

Lyanna laughs at that and tells her brother of his greying hair. Brandon japes, saying that she should blame the children and the stress they have placed upon him.

 


 

 

By the time he has finished his mocking rant about his children, they have reached the young lord and lady in question. 

 

Cregard and Celia are but a year apart and have Brandon's look and eyes, but Lady Catelyn's firey-hair. Really, they could be twins. 

 

"Your grace," they both say, the two of them standing up, Cregard to bow and Celia to curtsey. They're as polite as their mother, Lyanna notes with a smile. 

 

"My lord, my lady, you have grown so much since last I saw the two of you. I have missed you both very much." They murmurs words of agreement. "I must ask, my nephew and niece, do you find the other children boring, you are so far away from them?" Lyanna jests.

 

Her nephew half nods, and looks as though he truly is bored of the whole tourney already - Cregard looks bored of her too, actually.

 

Lady Celia is perhaps just as enthusiastic about the other children, but is less obvious about it. "Never, your grace, we simply wish to watch Ser Renly and some of the other knights spar."

 

"You do, you mean," Cregard counters, smirking - so like Brandon! "The whole of the Riverlands must surely know you have a fancy for Ser Renly - you were practically drooling over him earlier!" 

 

Celia looks rather outraged, Lyanna sees with not a little amusement. "Need you be so cruel?" She asks her brother, she looks now quite flustered. Lyanna thinks they look most like Brandon when they are less demure, more like children. 

 

"Oh, I apologise, sister of mine, but I doubt you have much of a chance with Ser Renly - I hear he had little interest in women -" Cregard grins, apparently pleaded with how annoyed his sister is. Oddly, it reminds Lyanna of Brandon and Ned when they were young.

 

It is Celia who seems to notice that there are others around - their father and the queen, to be precise. "I apologise for my brothers ridiculous behaviour," she tells them solemnly, back to being polite again. 

 

Back to being too wise, too revered, too mature for children of fourteen and thirteen respectively, Lyanna thinks with a sigh. It is as though they don't much like Brandon.

 

Children shouldn't build up such a wall against the world; and not against their father either, Lyanna thinks, looking at Brandon who seems quite unfazed that his children have turned from being rightfully childish, as free and spirited as he himself, to being as drawn back and formal as perhaps...Rhaegar.

 

At least, Lyanna thinks in a vain attempt to comfort herself against such thoughts (like: she can only imagine how lonely these two must be, if they cannot even be themselves with their father, and even their aunt; or like: is there a reason they find their father so difficult to be children around, has he done something to them?), they have each other, at least.

 

"You need not apologie," Lyanna tells them fondly, smiling at them. "I was most amused."

 

Brandon nods, he too is smiling a little but his children are not - not genuinely anyway. Cregard bows again, and Celia curtseys and they both wish Lyanna and Brandon a good day. 

 


 

 

Lyanna almost asks Brandon about his children - about why they act like that, if it's just her, or just he, they are like that with - but he is already bringing her to the horses, where many of the guards who were there when she was growing up, who watched her grow, and some of the young guards are boys who grew with her are there; men she hasn't seen in at least a decade!

 

These are men she has truly missed, especially those such as Vayon Poole, who Ned was once quite close to, and the Cassels, Ser Rodrik and Jory especially.

 

(Brandon tells her that Ser Rodrik - harsh, strong Ser Rodrik, who could scare just as well as he could teach - had a young daughter, named Beth, who he absolutely doted on.)

 

Lyanna doesn't forget about Cregard and Celia, and how she must speak to either Brandon or Lady Catelyn about them...but she does push them from the very front of her mind. Anyway, she might well be over thinking it - just, she has an odd feeling.