They had thrown a blanket over two chairs and were huddled beneath it, wrapped in giggles and whispers. Joffrey had lessons with the maester which was the only reason that their den had not been thrown down and destroyed. It was a little cocoon, a world where Joffrey did not exist, but they still pressed close together the way that very young children do, clambering over each other, a mad tangle of arms and legs.
“We should put something in his bed,” Myrcella said fiercely. “Something slimy.”
Tommen’s eyes were wide at her daring, excitment and fear mixed equally. “No…” he whispered. “We can’t. Can we?”
“We could.” It was a game, of sorts. They named horrible fates for their brother, the most terrible things that they could imagine, but it was only pretend and when it was over, Joffrey was still there.
The blanket shook again with their giggles.
“No, we could put something in his food and make him sick so he has to stay in bed,” Tommen said quickly, nearly choking on the words they came out so fast.
Myrcella’s little green eyes birghtened suddenly. “We could.”
Her brother’s mouth opened, mouthing ‘what’ but not even daring to say the word aloud.
They snuck out of the den, Tommen trailing behind and looking fearfully from side to side as Myrcella snuck to a drawer that they were not supposed to open. She had been ill some weeks previously and the maester had dosed her with a purging medicine. Lying in her bed, she had watched her mother tuck the remains of the powder away in the drawer.
Her hand felt around inside. The paper packet was still there. She snatched it up and ran quickly to Joffrey’s chamber. She emptied the entire packet into a jug of water and scurried back to Tommen on silent feet.
Her little brother gasped in awe at her daring and they giggled about it together all day - even after Joffrey came back and yanked the blanket away.
Joffrey spent the next two days shut away in his chamber while the maester tried to discern his illness. Cersei worked it out first. She saw the empty paper packet next to Joffrey’s water jug where Myrcella had left it, caught up in the giddy whirl of her own cleverness. There were endless lectures from the maester and the septa. Their mother alternated between shouting at them and weeping in relief that her eldest son was not about to be carried off by some unknown malady.
Through all of it, they exchanged a secret look. They had run fearlessly around the Red Keep for an entire day and it had been worth everything.