King of Swords, Queen of Thorns

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Sansa Stark, Mar 9, 2015.

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    Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms have had peace for seventeen long years. After King Robert Baratheon slew Rhaegar Targaryen at the Trident and a new dynasty was born, the Great Houses crawled back to their homes to let the world turn as it would. Like any smart man, Mace Tyrell knows that such tranquility will not last in a land ravaged by the greedy and the lustful. His main objective has become seeking a husband for his young daughter Margaery in hopes that an alliance can be born. With King Joffrey betrothed to Lady Sansa, who else was a suitable option the lovely Tyrell girl?

    Thankfully for Westeros and its irrefutably grim future, Ned Stark was no fool and moved quickly to bond Robb and Margaery in holy engagement. The wolf and the rose remembered one another from a Tyrell visit to Winterfell nearly a decade past, and the two kept their brief friendship alive by sending the occasional raven and inquiry to the other's well-being.

    It has been too long indeed since they have seen each other, but two hearts will become one through a mutually arranged marriage. Lord and lady will fight to fill the crowns they are given when war rages over Westeros once more.
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    Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfTraveling with King Robert's entourage was nearly intolerable. They were plagued with broken axles and incessant stops. Though he had never traveled so far South, Robb Stark - the Lord of Winterfell now that his father was Hand of the King - was absolutely certain they were taking twice as long as should have been necessary. He would be extremely glad to be rid of the royal party - not that he'd ever voice such an opinion. It was hard enough to deal with his sisters' perpetual squabbling, but to hear the king and his wife almost constantly at one another's throats was practically too much to bear.

    Leaving Winterfell for this - a drawn out journey full of problems and too many arguments to count - seemed like a foolish mistake. Especially when his brother's poor state was taken into consideration. Thankfully, they just had to make it to King's Landing and they could be rid of the royal party. They just had to make it to King's Landing in one piece.

    Their stop at the Crossroads Inn could have kept them from getting to the capital in one piece. Fortunately, the stop did not have as dire of consequences as it could have. As it was, however, had Robb the authority to do so he would have severed Sansa's ties to the Lannister family. It left a foul taste in his mouth, to see what a little monster that golden haired boy Cersei called her son was. To think that Sansa was engaged to such an incorrigible lad turned his stomach.

    Robb made an attempt to bring such concerns to his father's attention, but was rebuffed with the fact that it would be easier to terminate his own engagement than one to the heir apparent of the Iron Throne. An engagement was not something that could simply be broken, it was a holy vow made to another - and it was meant to be honored. Certainly Robb would not break his own engagement if Sansa or Arya disapproved of his intended. He couldn't expect his father to deny Sansa's elevation to a much higher station, because of a small altercation.

    Had the altercation been small, Robb would not have thought much of it. However, he knew it best not to argue and let the subject drop. Instead, the closer they got to King's Landing, the more he put his mind toward his own engagement to Margaery Tyrell. His memories of the young woman were fond ones from their childhood. It would be a joy to see her again, even if they were to be married shortly after their reunion.

    He'd made certain that his father knew that it was his desire to comply with whatever wishes the young lady had for their wedding ceremony. Though he carried the old gods as Eddard did, he wanted to have the ceremony where Margaery would be most comfortable. If that placed them in a sept, he wouldn't argue. Or, if she desired to be joined in the sight of the old gods, they could return to Winterfell and be married beneath the ancient heart tree there.

    Arriving at King's Landing and leaving the royal party behind was a weight off their whole party's shoulders. With only a handful of them traveling now, the road passed by much quicker and much quieter. There was still the occasional, "Arya, stop it!" followed by a subsequent, "Make me!" from the carriage that the girls rode in. That was nothing compared to riding with the king's large entourage, though.

    One thing that Robb took notice of quite quickly was how much warmer the air got, the further South they traveled. For a Northman, it wasn't necessarily uncomfortable, but he would be glad to travel North again. That did bring up the concern over whether Margaery would be comfortable in Winterfell. If she was used to such a warm climate, could she adjust to the cold air of the North? Or would she forever be unhappy to live in such a cold and dreary place?

    Perhaps he should have taken that into consideration sooner... But, there was little he could do about it. She seemed to have enjoyed her time in Winterfell when her family visited, though much could have changed since then.

    It was that thought which put him toward wondering about his intended. Ten years had passed since they'd seen each other. At least neither one of them knew what to expect of the other, so in that they were not alone. During his ponderings about Margaery, Highgarden crested the horizon as he rode alongside his father.

    "Ah, finally," Eddard spoke beside him. "I was beginning to think we'd never make it."

    "That makes two of us," Robb agreed. "Arya and Sansa have been far too quiet... I would not be so sure we all made it safely."

    Eddard laughed and shook his head. "Sansa! Arya! Have a look at this!" he called back to the carriage.

    Quarrelling immediately erupted from within the wagon as the two fought over who would be looking at what and out of which window. "I suppose that means they're both all right," Robb surmised, chuckling. "Hopefully they settle down once they're able to get out of that carriage..."

    As his sisters argued, Robb took in the sight before him. Tiered walls and vibrant colors, a stark contrast to his own home. No doubt that he and his father would stick out like sore thumbs in their dark, heavy woolen and leather clothes. Highgarden was a sight to behold, though. Even from such a distance, he could tell it was full of life and merriment.

    Hopefully Margaery would not begrudge him for taking her from such a place.
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  3. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseThe twittering of bluebirds woke her from a restless sleep. Mornings in Highgarden were forever her favorite, a great shimmering sun rising above the horizon dotted with fields of flowers in brilliant hues. How I will miss this place. Highgarden was everything to her, a piece of her spirit and beholder of her love. But in the absence of a suitor worthy of her attention within the city's walls, Margaery had been told to turn her gaze elsewhere in search of a more appropriate match whether or not it would require her to inhabit another place less beautiful than this.

    When the letter came from Ned Stark proposing a betrothal to his eldest son, the young lady of Highgarden was eager to accept.

    If the rumors growing in the north were true, young Robb Stark was the pride of the Lord Hand's five legitimate children. Tall and strong and honorable like his father, Robb was promised to lead the largest kingdom in Westeros to a peaceful and beneficial fruition. There were many positives to the outcome of her match with the new Lord Stark, though her heart would miss Highgarden and all it's comforting colors. She found herself wondering if flowers could bloom in vigorous winter snows.

    "Lady Margaery!" came a hurried call from one of her dear cousins, rushing up the stairs, face red with rush. "Lady Margaery, quickly! They're here, they're here!"

    "What?" The girl quickly sat up, her mouth ajar. "How? Are you sure?"

    "Scouts say they're nearly an hour out. We've gotta get you all ready, get out of bed! Come, come!"

    In a flurry of haste and precision, Margaery was guided from the warmth of her sheets and in front of the vanity where she was to prepare. The servants and family set about their work, transforming the young lady from a sleepy maid to a vision of a potential bride. She dressed in a gown of soft pink that floated effortlessly about her frame, chestnut curls bouncing and reaching to the base of her slender spine. She dabbed her finger into a pale matte substance, applying the gentle bit of melon color to her lips.

    "What if Lord Stark isn't the same as I remember?" Margaery questioned with a tiny frown. "What if he's changed and become typical to the harshness of his home?"

    "Do you really think that's the case?" inquired her cousin.

    "...No. I don't believe so."

    "Well, there you have it. Besides. He'll be tripping all over himself when he sees how beautiful you've become. How could any man say no to a woman like you?"

    Margaery gave a modest chuckle. "I hope you're right, Giselle. I truly do."

    The arrival of the Stark host was finally brought upon them, and the Highgarden Rose felt a streak of nervousness invade her conscience. Adding the final touch of a golden rose comb in her hair, Margaery was escorted to the main courtyard of stone and marble alike, standing in formation with the rest of the Tyrells and the castle staff. She drew in a deep breath and exhaled through pale lips. "You look ravishing my dear," whispered Lady Olenna, to which Margaery beamed brightly. "Thank you, grandmother. I only hope Lord Stark thinks the same."

    Moments later, the silver and white banners of the northern Direwolf floated into view. All those in the courtyard bowed their heads to the Hand of the King and the Warden of the North, and Margaery felt butterflies spawn and flitter around in her abdomen, wondering if he would be pleased.

    Gods, give me strength.
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  4. Robb Stark; Winterfell's Wolf"Are you all right, son?" Eddard inquired to Robb's well being briefly before they passed through the gates of Highgarden.

    "Fine," the young man answered after a distracted moment. Though it was a blessing to find himself betrothed to someone he was already acquainted with, there were still lingering questions regarding their reunion. On top of that, Highgarden was a beautiful place to behold, an even greater sight to take in than King's Landing. It truly was a gem and he now believed the claims that it was the most beautiful of those in the South - perhaps even in the Seven Kingdoms.

    With the Direwolf sigil held proudly above them, they passed into Highgarden and rode to the main courtyard. Wolves of the North perhaps seemed a bit misplaced in such a vibrant and decidedly more gentle place than they were used to. However, they held themselves with noble confidence. The Stark's company came to a halt together as one in the courtyard before the Tyrell family.

    Robb's questing gaze was rewarded and he quickly picked Margaery out of the bunch. There was a familiarity about her, but... but she had grown in beauty and grace. So much so, that had dismounting a horse not been a fairly simple affair, he may have been too distracted to manage the feat. As it was, he didn't have a mind about him to go back to the carriage and help his sisters out - luckily, they managed on their own. He'd heard the rumors wafting through the air, comparing Lady Margaery's beauty to that of a rose, but he found that comparison lacking. She was certainly well above and beyond the beauty of any flower.

    Eddard dismounted his horse and made sure his daughters left the carriage with some amount of civility. Already, fresh air and polite company seemed to be bringing them to better spirits. When the two girls on their feet, his attention went to the Lord of Highgarden and his family. "Thank you for hosting us. We're very glad to be amongst old friends again - I'm just sorry the rest of my family could not make it for such a happy occasion."

    Robb hardly heard his father's words, far too preoccupied with his own thoughts. "Lady Margaery," he greeted his betrothed, unconsciously smiling. "It is a joy to see you again. And might I say, you look stunning."
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  5. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's Rose"See?" chuckled the older Tyrell woman, nudging her granddaughter in the side. "I told you he would appreciate it."

    "Grandmother, hush!" Margaery tried not to laugh despite her humorously encouraging comments. Olenna Tyrell was never one to hold her tongue even if her words held the brutality of the truth. While that little quirk was problematic to some who made her most auspicious acquaintance, it was one of the young lady's favorite things about the elder Tyrell. And her words were certainly honest, for Robb Stark had nearly stumbled himself off his horse at the sight of his future bride. A blush crept up Margaery's pale cheeks. "I, hm. Thank you, Lord Stark. You certainly have the look of a man now, but I still see the curious little boy with auburn curls that I remember from so long ago." She flashed him a pleasant smile. "It thrills me to see you again."

    "And you, my lady." Ned Stark gave a gleeful grin, seeing his son and the Tyrell daughter so smitten with each other in a single glance. "You have become a sight to behold. Please, feel free to take my son on a tour around Highgarden if it please you. I will discuss matters of business with your father."

    "Of course, my Lord Hand. Thank you, and welcome to Highgarden. I am looking forward to becoming your family's newest addition." Margaery politely stepped forward and pressed a kiss to the cheek of her father-to-be before turning to Robb once more. "Come, my lord! The servants have been tending to the gardens for weeks in preparation for your arrival. They're particularly beautiful today." She slipped her arm in his, the bubbly bright little thing that she was, and led Robb through the dispersing crowds. I can feel his muscles through the cloth of his tunic. Margeary tried not to think about that too much, however, as she moved toward wrought-iron gates in intricate designs which would take them directly to her destination. She propped open the heavy swing of the opening and directed Robb through the front, taking his arm once again until they were around the corner and out of sight.

    She nearly bounced upon realizing they were alone. Instantly, she let go of his arm in favor of taking his rough hands calloused with swordplay, beaming like the little girl he remembered her as.

    "I'm so glad you've arrived!" she exclaimed in a jovial laugh, standing before the Warden of the North with his hands in hers. "How are you? How are things? How is your mother? I adored her and think about her often, I cannot wait to see her again."

    It was as if the engagement did not exist. Margaery felt natural and clearly at ease. Her prayers for strength had undoubtedly paid off, though she still hadn't the confidence to express how much she'd missed him.
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  6. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfDelicate as a rose petal... I wonder if she's inherited her grandmother's thorns, Robb thought to himself as they left the main courtyard together. He vaguely remembered hearing some of Lady Olenna's so easily barbed words for himself when he was young, and her reputation for them was widely known. However, the sweet young girl he remembered befriending in Winterfell certainly could not have such a sharp tongue. But if she did, he expected it would be a silent blade - one that struck without its victim knowing they had been in its path until it was too late.

    When they came to an abrupt stop, he faced Margaery and gave her hands a gentle squeeze. The smile set on his features was as big as it had been in what felt like ages. After his brother's accident and having to leave home so quickly after to travel with the king's party, Robb found his spirits lifting greatly in a very short amount of time. It was a relief to be in Highgarden, and he was convinced that Margaery's bright company could lift even the darkest of spirits.

    "I am quite well," he answered, letting his thumb run lightly over her knuckles. "It is a joy to be in such happy company again. There has been much to make the heart heavy lately. I'm sure you heard that King Robert and his family visited Winterfell. What you may not have heard was that young Bran fell while climbing a tower in that time. When we left, he was still in a sleep from which he could not wake. We have not yet received word as to whether or not he's woken yet, but my mother was watching over him with absolute vigilance. I am certain to see you again will bring her delight once more."

    As he spoke, he lifted one of his hands to let his thumb trail over Margaery's jaw line. His smile only wavered once, but was quickly brought back to life. The young man offered his arm to her once more so that they could start walking again. "Please, tell me how you've been. It has been far too long since we've seen one another. I want to hear all about how the years have seen you."

    Robb found that, try as he might, he could not wrest his attention from the young woman. Surely the colonnades, marble statues, and sea of vibrant blooming flowers were beautiful. However, as surely as that, there was a definite certainty that nothing could rival the lady on his arm. Perhaps given some time he could take in the other sights that Highgarden had to offer, but as of that moment, Margaery commanded the entirety of his attention.

    She had blossomed into quite the vision of a young lady. There was no doubt she was the envy of many others. In the years past since they'd seen one another, she'd often graced his thoughts, but never in the way of a possible marital match. Now Robb found himself grateful for their fathers' agreement to join the families, even if it was in an effort to curb some of the Lannisters' power. Very few were so lucky as to know their intended - at least, in the ranks of the noble families. Even fewer were lucky enough to be matched with someone as stunning as the young Tyrell woman.

    It was a blessing to be someone lucky enough to get both.
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  7. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseEven at the smallest touch of his roughened fingers brushing against her face, Margaery couldn't help but smile. Throughout her life she'd been raised under the impression that she was to do the work of seducing a worthy husband for the sake of the Tyrell house, but Robb had been the first to offer a gesture of affection. She was forever grateful, no matter how little the contact had been, no matter how seemingly insignificant. There is no work I'll have to do here, Margaery pondered with the ghost of a giggle. This will come naturally as it should. I daresay I'm attached to him already, and how could I not be?

    The young Lady Tyrell slipped her arm in his once again as they made their merry way through mazes of flower beds, cleverly trimmed hedges and marble fountains carved into the form of ancient legendary figures, butterflies flittering here and there like the ones in the pit of her stomach. Neither one of the young couple gave their surroundings too much attention. Margaery was undeniably happy to be back in the company of Robb Stark and there was joy in knowing she would rarely leave it again, so much that not even the comforts of home could distract her.

    In an instant, that beautiful smile came to a fault at the words of her betrothed. "I...had heard news that your brother was injured, my lord. Rumors fly with fact as well, in regards to what may have actually happened to him atop that tower. I simply didn't want my greeting to you to bring up such sorrow upon our first reunion. Every day I have prayed for him, as he will soon be my brother as he is yours. I can only hope for a quick and complete recovery.

    "But enough about sadness, hm?" Margaery flashed him a buoyant beam. "It is in the hands of the gods now, both Old and New. My life has been typical but less boring than it would be expected, I suppose. I have my brothers and my cousins to keep me on my toes, not to mention my studies and needlework. I even learned how to cook! A bit. Honestly, my lord, I bring you no jest. I'm no good in the kitchen but I can suffice in a pinch. I've also grown quite fond of riding horses and playing the harp. Reading gives me great joy, poetry, history, ancient myths and legends--but your letters were always my favorite. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but it's the truth. Husbands and wives should never keep secrets."

    Yet here I am, babbling like a fool, Margaery thought to her own disgrace. He must think me annoying, and if he doesn't it's a miracle. I wonder if Northern girls are as chatty as I when they're nervous.
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  8. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfRobb was more than happy to listen to all that Margaery told him. His attention didn't stray from her once in favor of their surroundings, not even for a moment. He watched the light sparkle in the lady's eyes as she spoke about the things she enjoyed passing her time with. Her bright personality would make her the most vibrant flower in the whole of the North, he was certain.

    She'll light up the whole of Winterfell. I know the people will love her; hopefully she will love the North just as much.

    If she enjoyed riding horses as much as she suggested, there would be plenty of opportunity for that. He could take her beyond the walls of Winterfell and show her some of his favorite places. She still seemed to him the same adventurous young lady he remembered her to be. He couldn't help but think she would be thrilled with the opportunity to explore the North.

    "The harp? I would very much like to hear you play," he said with a smile. Already he was putting thought toward having an instrument fashioned specifically for her. It could be a marriage present. Certainly the metalsmiths and instrument crafters of White Harbor could do an excellent job with such a task. When he had a moment, he would send off word to have such an item made. Certainly Lord Manderly would happily assist him in getting it crafted.

    When Margaery spoke of their letters, Robb's smile widened. "I always looked forward to your letters," he admitted freely. There was no shame in telling the young lady that he so thoroughly enjoyed their correspondence over the years. It had always brightened his day, to receive a raven from Highgarden. Though they kept such letters short and pleasant, it was nice to find out she put thought toward him from time to time. Had Highgarden and Winterfell not had such a great distance between them, perhaps they could have seen other other in person, rather than relying on written words and black birds.

    Now, though, they would hardly ever be apart. They would return to Winterfell as husband and wife, and watch over the North as his mother and father had done. It would be a quieter life than she knew here in the South, with the threat of winter forever looming overhead... but he was confident that he could provide the lady with a happy, fulfilling life.

    He also agreed that they needed to hold nothing back from one another. "You have my word, I'll keep no secrets from you, my lady." After a thoughtful moment, he added, "And I would hope that between us, such formalities wouldn't be necessary. I would have you refer to me simply as Robb. We are to be married in a short time... there's no need to stand on formalities until that time." It seemed silly to him, for them to maintain such propriety when they'd be made one in such a short time. They'd known each other for years, and he was certain they would benefit greatly from treating each other as friends would.
    #8 Cosmic Convict, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
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  9. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseThe newly appointed Lord of Winterfell had taken everything she'd been taught about the nature of men and flipped it on it's ungraceful head. It was certainly the most pleasant surprise, considering Margaery thought it a daunting and exhausting task to have to reign in her husband every day like her grandmother suggested would happen. It would not be so with the Stark lord. She could see it in the aquamarines of his eyes, the gentle nature of his smile. She could feel it in the way he touched her skin.

    "Robb," Margaery chuckled at last. "It'll be strange to drop such formal titles, but I agree with why you wish to. My father wants us to marry as early as tomorrow...but regardless, you are to be my husband. It would be a sad marriage indeed to have to refer to you as your title all the time."

    I will be one of the few privileged to speak your name whenever I desire. The thought made her cheeks warm and her heart flutter with hidden longing.

    As the betrothed duo strolled through Highgarden at their own leisurely pace, Margaery was sure to introduce Robb to all the little secrets and clandestine beauties that the city of the south had to offer. She dragged him through every inch of the gardens and the castle itself, where he was permitted to go, and strode through the streets of the commoners as if it was a route she'd taken every day. The people cheered her name and offered their congratulations to the marriage, commenting on how striking the couple unionizing north and south had become. She directed him to the quaint and the extravagant, convinced that one was equally as important as the other. By inviting him into the soul of Highgarden itself, she had taken Robb Stark by the finger and placed it gently upon her very pulse.

    The more she expressed to the man at her side, the more she yearned to stay.

    The brilliant golden sun began to dip behind a flowery horizon, and the pair of lovers-to-be looked on from the gardens where they'd started. Margaery rested her head on the strength of Robb's shoulder and let out the smallest sigh, content to be where she was, at peace with where she was going.

    "You must promise me that we'll bring our children here," she requested, lifting her head so she might see him clearer. "One day. I want all of them to see this place and know how important it is to their mother. Can we, Robb?"

    Will you come back with me when we do?
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  10. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfAs they walked through Highgarden, Robb took in absolutely everything that Margaery had to show him. He wasn't surprised at all, by the love she received from the people of the city. The way she showed respect and concern for everyone, high and low born, was utterly endearing. It was similar to the way he'd seen his mother and father rule over Winterfell - treating all with the value and respect they deserved. It was how he hoped to rule over Winterfell, and now the task did not seem so daunting with the young lady at his side.

    Still, guilt pricked his conscience for taking her away from this city. I am plucking the loveliest flower from Highgarden and taking her far from here - this place she loves, and that loves her in return. I can only hope to make Winterfell as warm and welcoming for her.

    The two cities were practically opposites, he came to realize as they went through the streets. His home was ancient and strong; Highgarden was bright and fresh. Despite the stark differences, he felt quite comfortable here. That could have been due in part to his current company. Margaery's eyes absolutely shone as she spoke about her home and interacted with the people. She had a true passion for this place, perhaps more than he'd seen someone love their home.

    When Margaery voiced her request while they watched the sunset, Robb turned toward the young lady. He took both of her hands in his own and offered her a gentle smile. There was no way that he deny what she asked for - not that he would want to.

    "You have my word, Margaery," he told her. "We will return to Highgarden as often as we are able to, and our children will know this city as well as Wintefell. They'll know the importance of their mother's home." Robb gave her hands the lightest of squeezes, to add a bit of weight to his promise.

    Already he knew that any desire Margaery had, he would fill if it was within his power to.
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  11. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseThe mere thought of his words becoming reality was a charming notion indeed. More often than not, or so she'd been told, men made promises to pretty girls in hope of gaining something and never returned the favor when the time came to pay dues. But Robb did not strike her as that kind of man. When he touched her hands and squeezed them tight, she felt the power and sincerity of his words course through her veins. There were no secrets within.

    Trust, she thought in the back of her mind. I trust him already.

    "Margaery, Robb!" came the harsh call from the castle of stone to their backs. The lady turned, casting her eyes up to the waving figure of Olenna Tyrell in a distant window. "Get your love-struck bodies into the damn dining hall, we've all been waiting on you!"

    "I--oh!" Margaery shot from the stone bench and helped her fianceé to his feet, a beam of glee brightening up her features. "I'd forgotten, how absolutely silly of me. My father wants to host a banquet in our honor tonight. Come, let us show you what Highgarden's hospitality truly means, hm?"

    There wasn't much choice in the matter. Before Robb could offer any sort of protest or rebuttal, the excited Tyrell girl had dragged him from the gardens and back into the warm center hall of the castle, pulling her future husband along to her great content. When the dining hall had been reached, Lord Mace Tyrell introduced them and announced the commencement of the feast, and the mix of Northmen and southerners was an amusing one indeed. A clash of cultures, of behavior and music and general mannerisms. It was enlightening from Margaery's perspective, an insight to what her life would become in the future months.

    If the North is as lively as this, I shall fit right in as their Lady.
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  12. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfThe young Lord of Winterfell could only chuckle as he was practically dragged along behind his lady. Had he been given the chance, he merely would have expressed his willingness to go and walked happily alongside her. However, her eagerness and excitement proved to be his undoing and he could only follow where she guided them. Margaery was so full of life and joy, it was utterly captivating.

    They settled in with everyone else in the hall to enjoy the food and the company. Though the feast was lively, Robb could not help but think of how the raucous of his own great hall could eclipse this gathering. The Northmen knew how to have a good time and they were not so... gentle about it, when at home. With the king's visit to Winterfell, he was certain that the Lannisters left thinking them savages. Hopefully Margaery would not mind the people of her future home being more enthusiastic about their merrymaking. As it was, though, the Tyrell family and those in attendance made for a very pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.

    True to their nature, not even their host's great hall could be spared from his sisters' squabbling. Over the rest of the conversations being had - and even those he engaged in - Robb could hear the two young Stark girls arguing first about table space, and not long after it turned to another subject he couldn't quite pick up on. Had Jon been there, he would have whisked Arya away and distracted her with something or other, but unfortunately he was even further north than Winterfell. However, the youngest Stark in attendance did eventually find something - rather, someone - to redirect her attention: Margaery's unfortunate brother, Ser Loras. From where he sat next to his fiancée, he could hear Arya trying terribly hard to convince Loras that she could indeed handle a sword much better than he could. Briefly, he glanced over to watch the lighthearted bickering between the two.

    Arya was constantly picking fights with people bigger than her.

    As appetites were sated and thirst quenched, Robb's attention went back to Margaery. There was plenty of good music being played around them, and he would hate for it to be wasted. He turned toward her and stood, offering her a hand and a smile. "My lady, would you grant me the great honor of a dance?" he questioned.

    Robb was well aware of the fact that if he did not show Margaery every ounce of respect she deserved, her grandmother would be quick to pounce. However, he did not need the threat of barbed words to be willing to show his future wife respect - she had it already, before he'd ever even arrived in Highgarden.
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  13. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's Rose"A dance? With me?" Margaery giggled at his request, playing coy in an act she had rehearsed so well, though with Robb it was less a test and more a teasing joke. "How could I possibly refuse the Warden of the North, especially when he is my betrothed?" She slipped her porcelain hand into the roughness of his and allowed him to lead her to the center of the open floor, the crowd whooping and hollering at the sight of their future Lord and Lady of the North walking hand in hand. It brought great joy to Margaery's already positive spirit to know that their union was so looked forward to, so blessed by people of Tyrell and Stark allegiances alike.

    Already, I am one of their own.

    I will make them proud. All of them.

    When Robb's hand slid around her slender waist, Margaery drew in a sharp breath and lifted her gaze to his, entirely unprepared for the onslaught of emotions that his touch could spark from within. Each crescendo of the music, each spin and turn and dip was more intimate than the last and she found herself wondering how she had lived without such chemistry for the entirety of her life, such irresistible fire. Robb spun her outwards and pulled her gracefully back in, their noses brushing at the closeness of their contact and her skin seemed to burst from the pumping currents of electricity. The depth of his chuckle vibrated in his chest and she felt it as her hands rested there, the spark he'd ignited growing into a gentle flame.

    He is transforming me, she thought breathlessly. And I shall transform him as well.

    Her laughter was light and sweet, unforced, as she and her future husband danced effortlessly to a warmhearted tune.
    • Love Love x 2
  14. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfPerhaps it was not such a bad thing, listening to Mother and learning to dance, Robb mused to himself as he and Margaery moved and spun with one another. He remembered well, complaining the entire time and trying his best to get out of the lessons. However, his mother would have none of it - and may have threatened to box his ears at one point - and the young man learned to dance. The lessons had not taken hold right away, and his instructor grew frustrated more than once with the young man who would have preferred to be training in swordsmanship. Eventually, though, he caught on and each moment of frustration finally paid off for all involved.

    Now, he was quite thankful that his mother hadn't given up on it. Ages could have past as he and his lady graced the floor with their dancing; the music could have stopped and everyone could have left the hall. Robb would have noticed none of it.

    All he was aware of was the lilt of Margaery's laugh filling his ears, and the brilliant smile which outshone everything else in the hall that graced her lips. Truly he was a lucky man, and he would be forever thankful to his father and Margaery's for setting up such a match. They seemed to fit so well together, and got along splendidly. He doubted very few other nobles who were arranged to marry had such a luxury as that.

    Already, he could feel the gentle care he'd held in his heart for her - born of childhood friendship and exchanged letter - take root to begin growing into something stronger. Not much would be needed to nurture that feeling, as it had a mind of its own and would grow as it willed. However, being so close that he could feel every breath that his lady took, and perhaps even hear her heartbeat, fostered strong roots that clutched his heart. Certainly that feeling would quickly become so ingrained there that he could never hope to be rid of it.

    But, Robb doubted very much that he would want to rid himself of it.

    Despite his enchantment with the woman before him, the young man's ears did pick up as the music began to dwindle and fade away. It left them slowing - Margaery held in his strong embrace, and Robb held in her warm one. Thoughts were few and far between, but he did manage to get a few words out to his betrothed.

    "Thank you, my lady," he told Margaery. Had the feast not been nearing its end, he would have asked her to dance to one more song with him. He was not yet ready to leave her company, though, so their inevitable parting of ways for the night was not looked forward to. "I do hope that I was not too clumsy a partner for you."
    • Love Love x 2
  15. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseTheir chemistry both in language and personality made the physical connection all the more thrilling. Margaery's heart thundered in her chest when the dance was over and their bodies were left mere inches apart, breathing heavily from the adrenaline pumping through their veins.

    "A clumsy partner?" she chuckled despite herself. "On the contrary, my lord. I don't believe I've ever had a finer dance than that." Her lips transformed into a brilliant beam, and all the partygoers who looked on erupted into enormous celebratory applause.

    "For the North!" cried some. "For Highgarden!" shouted others, and a few particularly drunken guests began demanding the bedding ceremony. It mattered little to her. She took Robb's hands in her own and squeezed them tight, eyes locked in his as she knew that with the passing of only a few hours, two would become one. Tyrell would become Stark and she would say farewell to this place, likely for years to come.

    She would face it all if it meant remaining at Robb's side, a man who appreciated her so.

    "Splendid, splendid!" cried Olenna Tyrell from the dias. "I daresay the lovebirds could be married already."

    "Patience, my lady. In time." Ned Stark beamed brightly, patting the good woman on the shoulder. "We should all get to bed, hm? Tomorrow will be quite the day, and shortly thereafter they must face a long ride back to Winterfell. I suspect the lady will need much of her rest."

    "It's Robb that'll need resting after their wedding night." Olenna flashed the pair a wink. "Unless your son is as eager for this match as my granddaughter, then perhaps they should wait an entire week before leaving."

    "Grandmother," Margaery scoffed, though her face was alight with a smile. Not even crude jokes could dampen her spirits.

    Just a few more hours and Robb Stark and Winterfell shall belong to me, and I to them.
    • Love Love x 2
  16. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfIt was heartening, to find that their match was so easily and jubilantly celebrated. The people of Highgarden and those of the North both seemed to utterly approve. It seemed they were nearly as happy as the young, engaged couple - nearly. Certainly none of them had a level of excitement that could quite compare to that of Robb or Margaery's. Out of all the outcomes that could have been thought up, this was by far the happiest.

    There was no doubt that Winterfell would host them a warm welcome after a long road back North. If the celebration here in Highgarden was any indication, the people could very well have festivities going before the pair even passed through the gate. He couldn't remember a time when an engagement was so looked forward to, and it gave him incredible hope for the match.

    Robb could only chuckle at Lady Olenna's humorous barb. He put one of his arms around Margaery, pulling her close to him once more and turned them to face the dais. "My lady, if we did end up staying an extra week, you would believe us already gone, because you would not see us," he replied with an amused smile. "So perhaps we will end up staying... it will just be a surprise for you to find out."

    He hoped that his betrothed didn't take offense to his playful banter with her grandmother. The young man wasn't surprised by his father's reaction - shaking his head and looking down, but was pleased to get a hearty laugh from the old woman. Though he never expected to catch her off guard, he did hope to keep the woman on her toes. The North produced many a stoic and flat man, but Robb Stark was not counted among them. Not only did he still have the confidence of youth, but also the playfulness that came along with it.

    His father was right, though. Tomorrow would be a full, busy one. While he was not so concerned about his own rest, he did want to make sure Margaery got enough sleep before the next demanding day. He glanced over at the young woman. "Shall I walk you to your chambers, my lady?"
    • Love Love x 2
  17. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseAt Robb's sexual joke, so unexpected from the honorable son of the more honorable Ned Stark, Margaery's cheeks grew hot and she giggled like the sweet little fool she was. His confirmation of that inner desire only spurned her own to a more dangerous heat. Not see us indeed, she thought in the back of her mind, but they'll certainly hear us one way or another. It felt odd to imagine Robb Stark in that way, his eyes glazed over with passion, his hands gliding along the gentle softness of her skin. Shouldn't she keep such imaginations for after they were wed, when such pleasures could be fully explored?

    Nonsense. Margaery was no shy maid, and while her virtue was still in tact she allowed herself a journey through the near future where two would become one and her marriage to the North would be sealed.

    "Oh, good response, boy! Margaery will indeed be happy with a man as eager as you. I'll have great-grandchildren before winter. I daresay, do you know to make a woman--"

    "Okay, grandmother, alright!" Margaery laughed in interruption. "The Hand is right, we should all get some rest. My lord husband-to-be will escort me to my chambers, and tomorrow we will celebrate our union." She couldn't resist an amused beam in Robb's direction, inwardly admiring the strength of his jaw and the sky blue hue of his eyes. "I imagine it will be one for the legends, won't it?"

    When the Stark and Tyrell had finally rid themselves of the party within the great hall, Margaery drew in a deep breath of fresh air and released, her arm wound tight around Robb's. The two spoke of everything and nothing and everything inbetween, taking the long way to her chambers so she might further expose him to the castle of her home. By the time they reached her tower and stood outside the door to her room, they were silent and content, able to revel in each other's presence and appreciate the other person without so much as saying a word. The bride took Robb's hands in hers and looked up to him with loving eyes.

    "I look forward to tomorrow very much," she told him in earnest. "I'm sure you will make me a happy wife, and I will make you a happy husband. Love won't be far off. But until then..." Margaery stood on the tips of her toes so she might smile against his skin, pressing pink lips against his cheek and letting them linger for a bit too long.

    "Goodnight, Lord Stark." She squeezed his hands and turned away, entering her chambers with a big foolish grin on her face.

    I always thought I'd have to work for love. I suppose I was wrong. Thank the gods.
    • Love Love x 2
  18. Robb Stark; Winterfell's WolfIt was a pleasant end to the day, wandering the grand halls of the castle with Margaery upon his arm. Her company was already highly valued, and the young Lord of Winterfell knew he would not tire of it. Already, he loathed the thought that they would have to part from one another, even if it was only for a night. After this, they would not have to part again. It was that thought, and his betrothed's bright smile that lifted his spirits.

    As they came to a stop before the door to her chambers and the young man earned himself a kiss on the cheek, he smiled broadly. He had heard of other lords and ladies that did not get along half as well as he and Margaery already did, even after years of marriage. They were yet unwed, but Robb found himself looking forward to it. There was truth in the young woman's words - love certainly was not far off.

    "Goodnight, my lady," he replied. Robb waited until she was safely in her room and the door shut behind her before finally turning away. If Jon was there, his half-brother would be teasing him about looking like a lovesick pup - and his half-brother would earn a (good-natured, of course) jab to his ribs. With the Rose of Highgarden upon his mind, the young man returned to the room that had graciously been given to him by the Tyrells and dressed down for the evening.

    He was not so quick to bed, however. Instead, Robb stayed up by candlelight, writing a quick missive to Lord Manderly of White Harbor. In the letter, he asked for the man's help in procuring a handcrafted, richly ornamented harp for his soon to be wife. There were few things of rich taste in the North, simply because it was not a necessity. However, he would see to it that she had something beautifully crafted just for her.

    The candle burned low by the time he was done, and after blowing it out he retired for the night. Sleep was no easy thing to come by, because of his anticipation for the next day. Though he told himself time and time again that he need not imagine what was in store - it was only a short time away - his mind could not help but run away with the thoughts. At some point, he finally managed to tame his thoughts and drifted off.

    Morning came far too quickly, but at the same time, not soon enough. It was a strange combination, but Robb did not allow it to put him off. Breakfast was brought to his room, so that he would not have to go out for it. He was not to see Margaery until it was time for the ceremony. The young man picked at the food that was brought, nerves rattling him. Committing the rest of his life to a woman was a daunting thing, but he was glad for whom his father had chosen to be his bride. It made such a commitment that much easier.

    There had been talk of him marrying one of Walder Frey's girls at one point, and he would be eternally grateful that plan had been pushed to the side.

    Robb readied himself in his room, dressing in a dark and embroidered outfit that had been made for the occasion. It was made of material lighter than what clothes of the North were usually spun from, since he was wearing it in the South where such heavy wools and leathers were unnecessary. His cloak was held together by a pair of cast direwolf heads that clasped together across his chest. Soon enough, that very cloak would be draped around Margaery's shoulders as they were bound as one before the gods.

    A knock drew his attention, and his father let himself in. "It is nearly time," Ned announced.

    Robb nodded and looked himself over in the mirror, straightening his belt for what felt like the dozenth time. "I'm ready."

    Eddard smiled and walked over to his son, clapping a hand on the young man's shoulder. "You two are very eager... I am happy for you."

    "Childhood friendship is the reason," Robb explained. "I daresay I was fond of her before the suggestion of marriage. Coming to Highgarden, I find that our friendship was right where we left it off - fostered by letters exchanged these past years. Margaery is just the person I remembered her to be."

    "Then you will make a better husband than even myself. Come, son, if you are so eager to wed, let us see it done."

    The two Stark men left Robb's chamber together. It was still a bit early, but they did not want to chance leaving the bride and her family waiting.
    • Love Love x 1
  19. Margaery Tyrell; Highgarden's RoseWhen the morning of Margaery's wedding day came round, she had hardly slept a wink. Throughout the long and lonely night, Margaery had tossed and turned and struggled to calm a mind aswirl with excitement and anticipation. Marriage to Robb Stark, the Warden of the North. What an attractive thought. Through the entirety of her young life Margaery had been taught how to woo her husband-to-be, to encourage a fruitful match that would bring House Tyrell immeasurable glory. She'd been schooled in the ways of manipulation and beneficial conversation that would ignite the opposite person into abiding by her will.

    But what of love? No one had ever spoken of that. She had read the tales and heard the songs and known all her life that such folly was more fiction than fact. Yet there it was, placed in her lap like a kitten anxious to be cherished, a life needing nourishment. I suppose this is something we will have to figure out on our own, to nurture and care for of our own accord. No manipulation needed. Never did she think Robb would require such foolish notions such as practiced love, forced love. And she had been right all along.

    The instant the sun rose above the horizons of Highgarden, Margaery fled from her chambers and dashed across the halls to her cousin's room, waking her from a deep slumber. "Come on, come on!" she giggled in her excitement. "We need to get ready! Get up!" She was met with groans and sighs of exhaustion, but Margaery cared not. She rushed to the vanity where her handmaidens would attend to her, wide awake despite her terrible night's sleep.

    "You're going to be the most beautiful bride," complimented one of the maids as time passed and the Rose of Highgarden glittered in a gown of silver and white silk. Beads of crystal made shapes of roses and direwolves around the bodice and sleeves of her marriage gown, while skirts of ivory floated out from her hips. Her hair was pinned up in the most elaborate of curled fashions, cascades of soft brunette reaching down her spine, barettes of pearl and diamond holding each strand of hair in place. "You're a vision, Margaery. Truly. Poor Robb Stark will fall to his knees when he sees you walking into that sept."

    "You think so?" the bride replied, grinning like a child. "I hope not. That would be terribly embarrassing for him."

    "But a win for you."

    "Yes," she chuckled, "and a story to tell our children."

    When the final processes of applying makeup and perfume were complete, Margaery slipped dainty feet into elegant heels and sighed at her reflection in the mirror. A vision? I hope he believes as much. She smoothed her skirts and turned to face the women who had assisted her, smiling all the while.

    "Alright. I'm ready."

    Margaery stood patiently outside the sept, her arm wrapped around her father's. She drew in a deep breath and released, knowing what lay beyond the great cathedral doors would define her the remainder of her life. She bit her lip in trepidation.

    "The Starks are a noble and honorable House," her father spoke in a quiet tone toward his anxious daughter. "This boy, he will make you happy. I saw you two last night. This is a good match. I could want for nothing better."

    "Nor I, father." Margaery smiled and kissed him upon the cheek. "I will be happy in the North, with him. Thank you."

    He patted her hand and pressed a kiss to her forehead, and shortly after the doors to the sept swung open. Margaery entered in all her regal glory, seeing her northern husband standing as handsome as ever at the end of the altar. A gracious smile settled upon her face.

    Margaery Tyrell would walk into the sept, and Margaery Stark would walk back out.
    • Love Love x 1
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