Different Paths to Destiny

14 Behind Closed Doors

Robb had a raven sent to the Freys asking if they could negotiate a truce. Two of Walder's sons arrived in a timely manner a few days later. My plan was to meet with them alone and work out the details of the truce before we met formally with Robb and the Tullys. As I walked through the guest wing of the castle I heard voices coming from one of the halls. "Foreign born, huh?" One of the voices asked. I walked down the hall slowly.

"Bet you think you're better than us. Probably wishes she never came to Westeros, don't you?" The other man asked. I recognized him as one of the very few Bolton soldiers that had ridden with us to Riverrun.

"Let's see if you foreign bitches are as good as they say you are," the first man said. I stepped around the corner surprising them. The first soldier was holding Talisa up against the wall.

"Unless you plan on testing that theory by having her tend to the knife I am about to stick in your eye, I suggest you let the lady go," I said calmly.

"We're your soldiers. You can't hurt us," the Bolton man told me.

"My soldiers do not harass innocent women, who happen to be part of the King's court, in the halls." Neither of the men made a move to release Talisa and I pulled one of the daggers from my belt. "Really it's your choice. I am quite sure you'll both look lovely with one less eye."

The men let her go reluctantly and walked past me without saying anything else. Talisa watched me leave and then turned to me. "Thank you, my grace."

"You helped me, it was my turn to help you," I told her. "And please, call me Amina."

"Amina, these soldiers are getting out of hand," Talisa told me.

"Clearly. They need to fight, we all need to fight. You cannot win a war without fighting. But the Bolton soldiers are the worst of all. The whole lot is rotten. If only we didn't need them I would send them back to the North, or kill them." I cleared my throat. "I'd kill the ones that deserved it."

"You don't have to pretend to be a lady around me, your grace, I understand. Women do not receive the respect they deserve in this world."

"Is it different in Essos?" I asked.

"No one gets respect in Essos, you have to earn it."

OoOoO

After I escorted Talisa to her quarters I continued on to visit the Freys. I knocked on the door and waited in the hall until I finally heard shuffling inside. The door swung open and Lothar Frey stood in the doorway. "What do you want?" He asked.

"I am your Queen, it should not matter what I want," I said annoyed.

"Forgive me, your grace. How may I help you?" He asked, though he sounded quite bored. I pushed through the door and saw his bastard brother Black Walder sitting at the table.

"I would like to discuss the terms of this truce," I said.

"Do we not have a meeting with the others this afternoon?" Lothar asked limping towards me.

"Yes, this is merely a formality."

"This doesn't seem very formal to me," Black Walder said.

"Do not try my patience; I have already threatened to stab two men today. I do not have time to talk around this business," I snapped. "What does your father want in exchange for the help of his armies?"

"He doesn't want to help," Lothar said.

"I am sure there is something we can agree on. He would not have sent you if there wasn't something he wanted. New lands perhaps? Or a new match to wed one of his daughters?"

"What lands and which man do you have in mind?" Black Walder asked curiously.

"Harrenhal?"

"Harrenhal is not in the North," Lothar observed.

"No, it isn't. When we win this war location will not matter," I told them. "As for which man, my uncle Edmure is available. I should think he would make a suitable match for one of your sisters."

"Edmure has refused to marry a Frey for quite some time. What makes you think you could change his mind?" Lothar asked.

"He has been looking for a way to get back into the good graces of our King. I would think that with a bit of prodding my family should be able to get him to agree to it."

"And we can have Harrenhal immediately?"

"Not quite, as soon as we have no strategic need for it shall be yours."

The brothers looked at each other for moment before Lothar nodded. "I believe these terms will work for our father."

"Alright, that settles that then. I'll see you all at the table." I started to leave but stopped and turned back. "One more thing, these terms were your father's idea."

OoOoO

That afternoon I joined Robb, Catelyn, Edmure, Brynden and the two Freys in the council room to discuss the terms of the agreement. As I sat down I gave Robb's arm a squeeze to let him know that my talk with the brothers had gone well.

"Our father has instructed us to tell you that your alliance can continue if his terms are met," Lothar said. He glanced at me pointedly and I cleared my throat. I should have asked if they were convincing actors before I left.

"Lord Frey requests Harrenhal," Black Walder said.

"I don't think-" Edmure started to say.

"Harrenhal is a small price to pay for an army," I said cutting him off. I looked over at Robb. "I'm sure that is a very plausible trade."

Robb nodded. "Harrenhal is not in the North but it is his once the war is over and we have no strategic need for it," he said, echoing what I had told the Freys earlier. I may not have mentioned giving away Harrenhal when I was telling Robb about my trade beforehand, but I knew him well enough to know what his reaction was going to be.

"There's something else," Black Walder said.

"Of course, what is it?" I asked.

"Not a what, a who."

We all looked at Edmure, who sat clueless until he realized the whole table was staring at him. He laughed and shook his head. "No."

"Our father requires Lord Edmure to wed Roslin Frey," Black Walder said. I almost snorted, I hadn't told the brothers to let Edmure pick a wife and I found it quite amusing that he would have his choice made for him. "We depart for the Twins in the morning; we need an answer before then. The wedding must be in no more than a fortnight or this alliance is ended."

"We're in the middle of a war, we do not have time to make trip in the wrong direction," Brynden said.

"Father is old, it would be nice for him to see his prized daughter wed before he dies," Lothar told them.

"We wouldn't have to take all the men, leave some south. It would make the trip back and forth quicker. The Twins are not that far of a destination. If we move quickly we could have this whole business taken care of in a fortnight," I told them.

"Please excuse us while we discuss it," Robb said. We waited until the Freys were out of the room and the door closed securely behind them.

"Absolutely not," Edmure said. "At the very least that old ferret could allow me the privilege of choosing my own bride."

"We do not have the luxury of privileges," I said. "We need to move on Casterly Rock as soon as possible and we need the Frey army to do that."

"This is your fault," he said pushing away from the table. "You have hated me since you were a little girl and now that you are in a position of power you are trying to ruin my life."

"You sound like a spoiled child," Brynden said. "It is a wonder we don't all hate you. Oh wait-"

"My answer is no," Edmure said again.

"His demands were very clear," Robb said. "If you refuse, our alliance with the Freys is dead."

"When I say no, Walder will surely change his mind and allow me my choice. He has always wanted me to wed one of his daughters, which will not change now."

"You are willing to risk all our lives, the outcome of this war and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms on your ego?" I asked.

"Amina is right; we do not have the time to wait. You will marry Roslin Frey," Robb told him. "You said you wanted to make amends for Stone Mill."

"I have something less permanent in mind," Edmure said.

"Like what?" I asked. "Were you planning on having a feast or issuing a public apology? Had you done as Robb asked we might be winning this war right now. But as it stands we are severely outnumbered and on our way to being in an early grave, if the Lannisters have their way."

"We must do this now or we are lost," Robb told him.

There was a long pause. I was beginning to worry that Edmure was more stubborn than I could have possibly imagined. Finally he spoke, "I'll marry her."

OoOoO

Daenerys and her soldiers were still on their march when I arrived. "Good, you came when I called," my sister said. "Missandei, bring the woman forwards."

"Yes, Khaleesi," she answered.

"Besides the Unsullied there were other slaves that came with me when they were freed. Missandei and I have been talking to them and this one stuck out as something particularly useful to you."

"For me?" I asked.

Missandei returned with the woman. She rattled off something to Daenerys and the woman in Valyrian. "This is Kaeshai, her mother was from Westeros and moved here as a little girl. Kaeshai has a gift. The direct translation to the common tongue is eyes of all things. You may know of those with the sight."

"I don't believe I do," I told her.

"Those with the sight can see things in the future, the past and the present many miles away," Missandei explained.

"And this woman possesses that gift?" I asked. "Does she speak the common tongue?"

"No, only Valyrian."

"Can she control it? What she sees and when she sees it."

"She can influence what she sees but the visions come randomly." Missandei glanced at Daenerys. "But she can-"

My sister cut her off. "We do not partake in black magic here. I have seen the affects of it firsthand."

"All magic has a price," Missandei said. "Black or white."

"We will be content with hearing Kaeshai's visions. We do not need to see them," Dany told Missandei. She walked off to talk to Barristan, leaving me alone with Missandei and Kaeshai.

"What did she mean by see them?" I asked.

"I don't think that-"

"Missandei, is there a way to see them?"

"Yes, but it is dangerous. There is the possibility of getting trapped in the space between."

"It is worth the risk. How can I trust a foreigner to tell me who and what they see? The people of Westeros will be foreign to her; she may not understand her visions the way a Westerosi would." I explained.

"Daenerys will not be pleased."

"Daenerys does not have to know."

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