Chapter Seven::An Old Friend

3.5K 113 1

Several days, if not weeks, had passed, and every morning Raina's new routine consisted of practicing with a certain someone. He was there every day, waiting in the practice ring, two swords in hand, waiting for her. They'd fought a lot, and every time he'd won somehow. He'd started making it easier for her, but that didn't prevent the distractions she faced when fighting him. The recurring flashbacks to when they were younger haunted her through these fighting sessions, so much so that sometimes she would simply zone out in the middle of a fight, which usually ended with her on the floor and him holding his blade to her throat, chuckling at his easy victory. She couldn't help it, and she certainly couldn't stop it, but she wasn't sure she wanted to. He was one of the only good things about her past life, spending months on end in Winterfell with him and his brother Jon had been the highlight of most of her years, even if they were only childish antics, it still meant the world to her, even now. And although it hurt knowing he didn't remember that, or at the very least recognise her, she wouldn't trade those memories in for anything, because they were all she had anymore.

This morning was like any other, having awoken early and made it down to the ring before the King, Raina practiced with the bow for a while. It had been days since she had trained with her weapon of choice, having been focused on her duels with Robb, and this morning was the perfect opportunity to change that. Lining up a shot, it was seconds before the arrow had hit the bullseye, and again only seconds before she had another arrow perched on the string. She was a master with the bow, Eddard Stark had always said, and she had Robb to thank for it. Even if he wasn't the best, he had tried and since then she had improved a lot. Splitting her previous arrow in two, her second arrow hit the bullseye as well. Raina glanced at the bow in her hands, admiring each carving that had been drawn onto it. Arya had been the first to carve her initials onto one of the handles, telling Raina that it was for good luck, and then the two youngest Starks had followed, and when Riana wasn't looking, RS and BS had joined the AS that had previously been there. Robb and Jon weren't given much of a choice as to whether or not their initials joined the others, as Arya practically forced them to do it when she stole Raina's bow. Sansa was the last to carve on the bow, but Raina had insisted. The other's all had done there's and as it was the last time she was due to see the Stark's for sometime, she thought it only right to have all of the children's initials on it. Arya had also insisted that she name the bow, and having struggled for sometime as to what to call it, Raina found herself stuck, at least until Arya sent her a letter.

The letter told her of all the things the Stark's had been up to over the years, including the names of all their direwolves. Arya couldn't have been more thrilled at the prospect of having her own pet, something of her own, and she was so thrilled that Raina was the first person she told, wanting to share her excitement with an old friend. Raina had feared she had influenced Arya fair too much, and upon hearing of Arya's love for archery and fighting, she was almost positive it was because of her that Arya had been so inspired, but she didn't mind. She was glad Arya had not been dragged into a life of sewing and dresses. It was the list of direwolves that gave Raina the idea for the name of her bow. Greywind. She couldn't help it, and loving the name Robb had given to his new pet, Raina thought it would bring her good luck, or at least remind her of Robb whenever she practiced. Back then she couldn't have known she'd be seeing him again, and not in these specific circumstances, but at least the bow could serve as a reminder, if not of him, then of her previous life instead. Not that there was much she wished to remember, but at least those times with the Starks would always be commemorated.

Lining up and shooting several more arrows, Raina found herself soon in someone else's company. "You're early," He chuckled, coming to stand beside her as she shot multiple arrows at once, forming an almost perfect straight line along the target. "You're late," She challenged, not taking her eyes off of her next arrow. The King chuckled a second time, watching as she shot the target again and again. After successfully shooting all but one of her arrows, Raina turned to Robb with a small smile. "Well, what are you waiting for, your grace, go get the swords." Laughing at her orders, the Stark boy nodded, walking over to the rack whilst she lined up her last shot. She would have easily shot it and gained another bullseye had the arrow not been broken. She had brought the arrows and the bow with her when leaving Deadwood Motte, but the last time she had used these specific arrows had been with the Starks, with Brandon. She couldn't help but laugh, remembering that Rickon had been sat with the quiver in his lap whilst she helped Bran line up a shot properly. And now, with the arrow head barely attached to the arrow, she realised why he had run off in such a hurry. Moving to collect all of the arrows, she removed the quiver from her back and placed the bow against the nearby fence.

Once done, she turned to face the King whom had been watching her intently. She had hoped perhaps it was for a specific reason, but her hopes died down when he stated that he had merely been thinking about something, not anything more. Readying her sword, Raina decided that this would be the day that she beat him, and not just once or twice, every time. She was done losing to him. She had always been capable of beating him, and although they had been children then, and Robb had indeed had a lot of real practice since, she was sure she could continue her old winning streak now. Slashing and swinging both blades, the two parried and dodged for several minutes before either of them gained a real blow. It had been Robb, striking her shoulder quickly. It hadn't hurt, but it had aggravated her. He was getting cocky; and she was sure to bring that to a swift end. Ducking beneath his blade, Raina swung at his hip, hitting him straight in the gut. He chuckled at her success, and went to hit again, only to be hit in the leg. Trying her best to disclose the smirk appearing on her face, Raina hit him multiple times afterwards, before bringing him to the floor, and making sure he was unable to trick her like he had done several times over the past few days. "Nicely done," He commented, clambering to his feet.

This carried on for sometime, and like she had hoped, Raina had won each round. The King was admittedly in shock, but he was yet to admit defeat. Each time he'd been struck down, he'd gotten up again, slightly dirtier than before. And this time, Raina was sure it would be the last. After allowing him one strike at her, Raina pulled off a move she had not enacted since she was younger, and brought Robb down instantly. She held her sword to his neck only to admire his shocked expression. Him being rendered completely speechless made Raina laughed. "Perhaps that is enough practice for today, your grace," She taunted, lowering her blade slowly to watch him try and formulate words. Taking his sword from him, Raina walked back to the rack, placing both blades back in their slots before turning to face the King who was now on his feet. "What about archery?" He offered, glancing at the bows that had been shoved into a wooden crate beside the targets. "Do you not have some official business to attend to?" Raina questioned, quickly becoming aware of her own bow still being against the fence. "Not today. I have always wanted to be a better marksman. My brother, Bran, tried, but i was never a very good teacher." Robb reminisced, moving towards the crate. Retrieving a bow, Raina smiled at his enthusiasm, and had to restrain from correcting him. He had been a fairly decent teacher to her, even when Jon was the better marksman, she had always prefered her lessons with Robb.

Watching him line up a shot, he released the arrow almost as quickly as she had done, only to find the arrow barely grazing the target and flying straight over the fence. They both laughed, him from embarrassment and her for no particular reason besides the fact it was genuinely funny. "You see my point," He chuckled, gesturing to his previous failed attempt. Shaking her head at him, she approached slowly, offering him another arrow. She couldn't remember much of his teaching methods, or Jon's for that matter, but she knew that some of the things he was doing were definitely wrong. Instructing him to correct his stance, and lower his elbow, Raina took another look at this arms. "Relax your bow arm..." She stated slowly, watching his previously tense arm loosen as instructed. "Shoot." She said once he was in a good position, and watched quietly as the arrow at least hit the target this time. It may not have been a bullseye but it was an improvement. "You're a good teacher," Robb smiled, turning to face her with a proud grin. "Thank you, your grace." She smiled, shifting awkwardly on her feet, she hadn't noticed before how close she had gotten to him, or that he was much taller than her. He had grown since their last meeting, when they were still children, but she hadn't realised by how much until now, when she was forced to stare up at him. "Who taught you, your father?" He asked, moving away from her in order to retrieve his arrow. "No, old friend."

✓ | WOLF'S BANE (R.STARK)Read this story for FREE!