Chapter Eighteen::The Queen

2.7K 79 3

A/N: We did it!! This story has reached 100 votes :D thank you all so so much for reading this and thinking that it's worth it, I am so grateful and happy you are all enjoying it. I had the idea of publishing a chapter each day for a week for a special occasion, and I feel this might be it. Look forward to that one, and have a cheeky update from me :) thank you again and enjoy!!

Stood, in a light blue and green gown, with her eyes fixated on the timid squire drenched in mud that remained cowering before her, was Renly's wife, who's name Raina did not know yet. Raina could not formulate words to answer, but merely nodded at what that the Queen's request, which she presumed was not a question, but rather a command said politely. The Queen seemed nice enough, and hardly intimidating, it was merely Raina's nerves preventing her from uttering a response, the fear of saying something wrong and ruining Robb's chances at an alliance between the North and this woman's husband. She presumed that her brief nod had been enough to spur the Queen forward on her requested walk, as it did not take long for the pair to have wandered away from the fighting ring, and to now be on a path that led towards the sea.

"It's a beautiful place, isn't it?" The Queen remarked, her eyes not daring to cross with Raina's, but instead located on the horizon. The Direwolf remained at Raina's side, protectively snarling in the Queen's direction, almost expectantly. Raina loved how Grey Wind had already attached to her, and once again her wild ideas liked to think that this was because of her friendship with Robb, or that Grey Wind sensed something familiar about her, but she knew that was probably not the case. "That it is," Replied Raina cooly, her voice having finally returned. "I suppose the North is far more breathtaking in the spring," The Queen hummed, a hint of a laugh in her tone, as she turned her view now to the shy girl walking beside her. "Aye, it is. Though not so much in the rain," Raina quipped, gaining a brief laugh from the Queen, who had also lost whatever persona she'd been trying to keep up moments before, seeming a lot more relaxed the further towards the sea they got. "In High Garden, it never rained. That was what I always loved about it there, always sunny," The Queen reminisced, and suddenly, it hit. Loras Tyrell, someone Raina had somehow recognised instantly, of course he was here, as was his sister. Margaery Tyrell was married to Renly, how had that not sunk in before? Raina felt relatively stupid for not having caught on sooner, but felt somewhat more relaxed at at least knowing her company's name. "I have always wished to go to High Garden, I have heard from friends that it is a beautiful place." Raina sighed, her thoughts drifting to her once close friend Mira, whom had traveled to High Garden a few months ago in order to serve as Margaery's handmaiden. Part of her began to wonder if Mira was perhaps here, but for some reason that hope died quickly. "It is. Though I suppose I'm bias," Margaery expressed a smile, one that hinted to a genuine liking to Raina. 

After a moment of silence, spent walking onwards and around the camp, the Queen stopped in her step, turning her attention to Raina once more. "I'm sorry. I don't believe I caught your name before," She smiled sweetly, her eyes causing a sense of unnerve to sprout within Raina, once again formulating the protective barrier she'd long forgotten about when being in the King's company. "Ray," She stated bluntly, turning her attention to her most interesting feet and the muddied ground upon which they walked. "An easy nickname," Margaery mused, continuing her walk, though without Raina at her side. "Why'd you say that?" Raina said quickly, panic setting in the bottom of her stomach. Things could go terribly wrong ever so quickly. "Well, Ray is a boys name. You are clearly not a boy." The Queen explained, this time Raina walking with her. They were far enough from any pressing ears of passing soldiers to have to worry about being overheard; however, the cautiousness did not leave Raina, but instead grew with every inch she moved with the Queen. "Is it so obvious?" She scoffed, thinking about the King's obliviousness to her gender since their first 'meeting'. If the Queen could so easily tell within moments of speaking with her, Raina was unbeknownst to how the King had missed what was apparently obscenely obvious.  "Of course," Margaery stopped once more, her attention fully on Raina now, with an inquisitive manner about her gaze, "Who could ever think otherwise?" She seemed to be observing the girls stance, her attire and hairstyle, noting down all her feminine features and presumably wondering how they could be mistook for anything but that of a woman. Raina sighed, keeping sure to look anywhere but at Margaery, hoping that her secret had not been so easily exposed, even when she knew it had. "It's complicated," Raina mumbled, her mind racing with panic and worry at what would happen if Margaery were to out her in front of the King, whom was obviously none the wiser about her true identity. "Explain it to me then." Margaery replied, a pleasant and warming expression that almost lead Raina to believe she could confide in her. "I'm good at keeping secrets," 

The Queen led Raina further away from the camp, just to be safe that no passers by would stumble across their private conversation, and to give Raina her utmost attention. Once at a suitable distance, Raina let out a shaky breath, considering whether this was truly what she wished to do. If someone else knew, someone who she was not entirely certain she could trust completely, there was a larger chance of Robb hearing the news sooner than if it were merely her and her close council. Though after some internal debate, Raina came to the conclusion that it was better to have a safe friend whom knew of the secret which had caused so much trouble in her life so far, someone safe whom she could run to whenever in need, and not have to worry about a false identity standing in the way.

 "Robb- The King. I...He...We knew each other, when we were children. We grew up very close, our two families. It's been a while since I last had an encounter with him, it being several years now since our families drifted apart. Me and Robb had been especially close back then, but a lot changed in the time we spent apart. My father tried to arrange a marriage between me and the Bolton's bastard, and evidently Robb became a King. I refused to marry Ramsay, but my father was adamant that I would go through with it, so I ran. I ran away from home and headed South. I didn't know where I was going exactly, but I knew I couldn't stay, so I kept going. When I was quite far from my father and my home, The King caught me lurking in the trees beside one of his patrols, I'd had to cut my hair and ditch my clothes in fear of someone recognising me and sending me back to my father and Ramsay, and so Robb didn't recognise me. Also with the age difference since our last meeting,  I'd grown up, and so had he. I was so scared of being found I lied about my name and where I came from, who my family was and why I was running. He believed it all, not seeing past the facade in anyway, he was convinced. I was Ray, a simple Stonemason's son, from the North, running from home in order to fight for Robb's cause. He'd taken me under his wing, let me become a squire for him and his men - we spent a lot of time together in the months of travelling South, but in all that time he ceased to notice anything. I wanted to tell him, so that he would know who I was and why I had come looking for him, but things got complicated. My father is a bannerman of House Stark and soon showed up as a member of his small council, putting me in an awkward position. And so he still doesn't know who I am, or anything that I have just told you. And if possible, I'd like to keep it that way." 

Taking a long breath, Raina spared a glance at Margaery, who had listened intently, with no interruption or need to question the story. She had instead been silent, a wise and almost mother-like look of wisdom and understanding on her face the entire time. Only once done with the retelling of the story, did Margaery dare to speak up. "And what family is it that you come from?" Her voice was so calm, with no hint of alarm or suspicion, only kindness, and almost sympathy. "House Glover. I am Raina, Galbart's youngest daughter." Raina sighed, feeling as though her name was almost a stranger to her, as she had grown so used to being called Ray for so long. "Raina. I always loved that name," Margaery smiled, reaching tentatively for Raina's cold hand, "I promise you, Raina, that I will tell no one of this. You're secret is safe with me." Margaery's smile grew, comforting Raina more than she would ever know. "Thank you," Raina, for the first time in a long while, smiled genuinely, a smile that was not given as Ray, but as herself.

"I gather you liked Robb when you were younger," Margaery observed, as the pair made for the camp once more, having spent long enough away from the two King's that the pair were probably getting concerned for the whereabouts of them both. Raina laughed, head dangling down as she thought over her replied. "Aye. I did," Was all she said, the smile still lining her face as heat rose, the fear of Margaery guessing at her current feelings arising in her stomach. "And you still do?" Margaery taunted, clutching a hold of her arm as she linked her own around it. Giggling sheepishly, Raina tried hard to act as nonchalant as possible, though knowing it was futile with Margaery, as her deduction was on point so far. "You do!" She exclaimed proudly, laughing like a child, the camp now a lot closer than it had been before. Once within the confines of the settlement, Margaery released her hold, walking casually alongside Raina so that none of her husband's men would assume anything. When they finally came to the fighting ring, where they had started their little walk, they found the two kings shaking hands, both with proud smiles etched onto their unshaven faces. Margaery turned subtly to Raina, winking with a cheap smirk before whispering, "It was lovely talking to you," She glanced towards the two men before speaking a few more words as quietly as she could, "And good luck with him," And with one final wink the Queen was off, striding to her husband's side and acting as though she had hardly acknowledged Raina's presence at all. Raina, though feeling the large weight that had been pressing against her shoulders having finally eased up, stood in the mud, hands clenched together in the cold, with the Direwolf happily at her side, waiting for her King. Like nothing had ever happened. 

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