There was once a time that Harry Percy was not known as the Hotspur of the North, the fearsome warrior and kingmaker that made Scots balk in battle and was regarded by all as one of the greatest knights of his age.
There was once a time that Harry Percy was a scared little knight, overcompensating for his fear by being angry more than he usually was.
He was made a knight when he was just thirteen, by King Edward III. He had looked forward to the day that he would be knighted, he’d spent all his childhood learning fencing, riding horses, studying battle plans, everything he needed to be a soldier.
Now, he was Sir Harry Percy, but he was afraid he wasn’t good enough. He was afraid that he’d be a failure and not win any important battles and his name would be forgotten even if his father was Earl of Northumberland and he came from that famous line. He was afraid of making a fool of himself- what if he wasn’t a brave hero, and no one would be proud of him.
“Harry, what’s wrong?”
Harry looked up. Kate was standing in front of him. He was supposed to marry her in a couple of years.
“Go away Kate,” he said, going back to aggressively cleaning the horse tack he’d been standing amongst in the stable. He didn’t look up at her. Kate was pretty, with a soft, round face; long hair in a braid, and bright eyes. He didn’t want to admit she was pretty, didn’t want to think about liking being married in a few years. He wasn’t interested
“You don’t look good,” she said, not going anywhere.
“I don’t w-want to look good,” Harry replied.
“You look upset,” Kate amended. “I thought you’d be happy now you’re a knight.”
“I AM happy!” Harry snapped. “I’m just tryin’ to do w-what I’m supposed to do so everyone w-will know I’m a knight.”
Kate’s eyes widened. Harry had just admitted something that he didn’t know about himself.
“Of course people know you’re a knight,” she said carefully.
“They have to see it to believe it,” Harry replied.
“I believe in you,” Kate said, her voice almost a whisper.
Harry finally looked up. “You do?” His voice was caught, like he was about to choke.
“I always have,” she replied.
Even years later, when he was the great knight he longed to be, he remembered those words.
I believe in you.