The red curtains, made from thick velvet, are pulled apart by the maid and the morning sun attacks my face through the window.
"Time to wake up, my Lady", she says.
I try to stifle a yawn before getting out of bed and sit down at the vanity to be prepared for the day. It's the rule of being the young Lady of the castle, to never be difficult or talk back. Always sweet, always kind and always innocent. My duty is to be beautiful and the only talents that are allowed, are the ones I need to be a good wife and mother one day.
My hair is being braided by one servant while the other is picking out my dress. When I'm all done, there's a knock on the door. One of the servants opens it up to the guard standing outside.
"My Lady", he says to me and bows. "Your mother and father have an urgent matter to discuss with you and young Lord Fergus. If you would follow me to the dining hall."
I give a courteous nod before following him out the door. When arriving at the dining hall, my mother and father are already waiting at the breakfast table with my older brother Fergus. It's 4 years between us, and he pretty much ignores me to be with his friends. When there are girls around, I simply don't exist. If that wasn't enough, we look nothing alike. He takes after our mother's side, while I take after our father's.
My hair is black like a raven, Fergus' is brown like chocolate. My eyes are bright violet, while he has hazel ones. My skin is fair with a porcelain feature, and his skin is light brown with sunkissed freckles.
"Oh, Arya. Good", my mother says when she sees me. "Sit down, please." I do as I am told like I always do. Mother straightens her shoulders while giving me and Fergus a serious look. "We have some news to share. Starting from today, this castle will not only be our home but also one for another young boy."
Fergus was in the middle of drinking his juice and choked on it, causing him to spit it all over the table.
"Fergus!" my father bellows.
"Sorry father, but ... I don't get it?"
For some reason, I feel nothing.
"When will this boy arrive? Who is he?"
"He is already here, he came during the night. Up until now, he's been living with the Arl of Redcliffe."
"Why did that change?" Fergus asks.
Mother exchange a quick glance with father before she clears her throat awkwardly.
"That's not important right now."
It's enough to pique my curiosity, but before I can ask about it, a servant comes through the door. Beside her is a boy looking very similar to my brother.
"Fergus, Arya", my father proclaims. "Meet Alistair."
His eyes meet mine for a second. I catch a hint of pink on his cheeks before he turns to greet my parents and brother. I can't help but feel that this boy will be a problem. His eyes showed clear signs of mischief. He and my brother teaming up can only mean one thing:
There's trouble ahead.