<h1><reach>Lady Margaery Tyrell</reach></h1>
<h2>20 years old. The Little Rose. The Reach. Jessica Sikosek.</h2>
<h3>ash. 28. EST. discord/PM.</h3>
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<div class="genhead">Growing Strong</div>
<div class="gensmall">NOW THAT THE LILACS
ARE IN BLOOM</div>
Strands of long dark curls whip about your face as you run through the great briar labyrinth that is a prominent feature of the grounds at Highgarden. Loras is mere feet behind you, catching up in a race that had believed a guaranteed win. He was faster, yes, but your memory was sharper. No matter how many times you raced through the maze, you had always beaten him. Knowing he had you in speed Loras would inevitably race ahead, taking a different path than the one you had chosen; if only he had followed your lead until reaching a more familiar surrounding he might actually beat you. On more than one occasion he had accused you of cheating, though deep within the labyrinth you were uncertain how such a thing was even possible.
<br><br>He was gaining on you, but you could see the large, fluffy blooms of the white lilac bushes that flanked the entrance to the maze. Attempting to pick up the pace, a wide grin spread across your lips as you felt the inevitable win within your grasp. That defiant grin, however, quickly turned into shrieks of surprise, intermingled with laughter, as Loras tackled you to the ground. Loras!
you cried out, wriggling to get out from beneath him in an effort to secure your win, though you are both already at the entrance. A tie then?”
you giggle, rolling to lay on your back and stare up at the clouds. It is a diplomatic response for a seven year old, but then that always was your nature - or perhaps something simply ingrained in you from birth.
<br><Br>Growing up it was always Loras with whom you were closest. Only a year apart in age, he is your dearest friend and most cherished confidant. As children it was you two who entertained one another most often - Garlan and Willas already too old to be bothered by your antics. And yet you love your elder brothers just as well. From the time you were small you can recall sneaking into the library whilst Willas studied, climbing onto a chair near him and watching him read. If, at times, he found your inquisitive nature off-putting he never let it be known to you. You could hardly help yourself; Willas was the most intelligent person you knew, aside from grandmother, and you aspired to be like him one day.
<br><br>Willas, or perhaps grandmother. It was from Olenna you learned that a woman could do anything she put her mind to - more even than a man, most often. The Queen of Thorns they call her, and even as a little girl you aspire to emulate every essence of her being one day. Your own mother is sweet and kind-hearted, but it is Olenna whom holds all the power in your household. Your father insists that you will be Queen one day - the wife of Aegon Targaryen. As a child you are not aware of the gravity of such a position, but imagine it must be something like being the Queen of Thorns. It is a pretty dream, if nothing else.
<br><Br>In girlhood you have few friends outside your family, and even fewer beyond the walls of Highgarden. Perhaps the one exception is Daenerys Targaryen; in your youth she and her mother spend a number of years at your family’s home. The only daughter in a family of four, you are excited for another girl your age to play with. More than that, however, you believe that the two of you will become kin one day, if you really are to marry Aegon. You do not mention this to Daenerys, however, for no such match has been arranged as of yet, and it would prudent to make such assumptions about your father’s future success - no matter how certain he claims to be. Silence turns out to be for the best, it would seem. No such match is made for you, but you and Daenerys will become family just the same. Though she returned to King’s Landing at age ten, she would be back only a few years later, this time as Willas’s betrothed and your good-sister to be.
<div class="gensmall">IF YOU GAVE ME A FRESH CARNATION
, I WOULD ONLY CRUSH ITS TENDER PETALS
Standing inside the gates of Highgarden with your family, your soft, delicate hands smoothed the front of your new dress as you awaited the arrival of the Targaryen retinue that was accompanying Daenerys. The wedding was not for a few moons more, but it would take place here and there were still many preparations to be made. Better for everyone to be in the same location, was it not? Fifteen and a lady flowered now, you were bubbling with anticipation at the prospect of seeing your childhood friend once more, especially now that she was to become family.
<br><br>What you had not foreseen, however, was that you would become utterly besotted with another member of the Targaryen household.
<br><br>Not Aegon, despite your girlhood fantasies about being queen one day. Willas and Daenerys’s marriage would secure ties between your two houses, and thus another Tyrell/Targaryen match would be impractical. He is handsome, no doubt, the Valyrian blood strong and shining through in the form of textbook Targaryen looks. But you had yet to meet a man who caught your attention for more than a passing glance. No, rather than Aegon it was Visenya whom you could not tear your eyes away from. The mere presence of the Targaryen princess brought forth a pleasant fluttering low in your belly.
<br><br>When her violet gaze meets your own it seems so intense that you are certain she can see right through you. Perhaps she can even read your mind, knows that you were admiring the plumpness of her lips and wondering what it might be like to kiss her. She would not be the first girl you kissed, but Elinor and Alla hardly counted. It was just play, practicing so that you might know what to do when you got your first real
kiss. Somehow, watching as the Targaryen princess walked by, you felt as if she were the one you had been practicing for.
<br><Br>Surely a proper welcome was not inappropriate? You scoured the gardens looking for just the right flowers to offer as a gift to brighten her room, a gesture that was hardly out of the norm at Highgarden. Roses felt cliche, and after seeing them adorn the rooms of the palace regularly you wanted something that felt truly special. Violet stripes caught your eye, and you requested the gardener cut you enough for a bouquet. Carnations
had a unique look as it was, but these in particular matched Visenya’s dark enchanting eyes. You had expected little to come of your flirtations, but it was not long before your budding friendship with the Targaryen girl blossomed into something more.
<br><br>While you would like to have believed yourself discrete, the Queen of Thorns would always be that much more perceptive. Two days before Willas was to marry Daenerys your grandmother pulled you aside. How sad it would be if your little affair was discovered and all your prospects were lost. The Margaery Tyrell I know would never risk such a thing, and for what?
Your cheeks grew warm and for a fleeting moment you realized that you did not care about being the Lady of a great house, or even the Queen. ”Love is weakness, my dear. It is time you learned that.”
Her words stung, but there was hint of sympathy in her tone. In all the years that made up your short life you could not recall a time when you wanted to be anything other than exactly like Olenna, save for that moment. But she was right. She was always right.
Leaving Olenna’s chambers, you went straight for Visenya’s. It was a lie, telling her that you did not love her. That you were using her to get into the good graces of the future queen (for her own betrothal to Aegon had been announced by that point). It shattered your heart beyond repair to do so, and you were certain that she would never forgive you for the words that left your mouth. The betrayal you allowed her to feel. That night and the following one you cried yourself to sleep, but that was all you would allow yourself to feel. On the morning of Daenerys and Willas’s wedding you put on a brave face, determined to be your charming self once more. The world would be watching, after all, and you would not allow this pain to be in vain.
<div class="gensmall">SOFT AND STRONG, LIKE AN ORCHID'S
Dusk is falling, casting a deep, golden glow over the gardens as you run, the crisp winter air turning your nose and cheeks bright pink. You lean back against a familiar oak tree and close your eyes whilst you catch your breath. Inhaling the sweet scent of the cattleyas, you allow it to envelope you as a barrage of emotions rattle through your head. Willas is dead. The words seem impossible to speak aloud, for fear it would make them true. Tears stream down your cheeks and you choke back a sob.
<br><br>Ever the image of composure, you managed to keep your emotions in check for hours after the news arrived. Your mother was in shambles, and poor Daenerys! She had been there, at the battle. Had seen Willas afterward. You wished to comfort her somehow, but she had still not returned to Highgarden. It was not until after your mother had retired to her chambers to grieve in private that you excused yourself and headed out to the gardens to find some solitude. Willas had been your idol for so many years; intelligent and kind, he was truly born to rule as Lord of Highgarden. Later, once the initial shock had worn of, you found yourself wondering whether Garlan would be ready to take on such a task. He never had been one for glory in any form, nor had he focused quite so much on academic pursuits. Only time would tell, you supposed.
<br><br>But more even than Garlan’s abilities, another thought had slowly crept into your mind, permeating your consciousness. Your good-sister was now a childless widow; the ties between House Tyrell and House Targaryen had been severed. There was, in all of this despair, a flicker of hope. You would never be queen of the Seven Kingdoms, but you could still be a Targaryen. Moreover, given their proclivity for intermarrying, you may even birth a daughter that would one day be queen. Writing to Daenerys, it was decided that you would travel to stay in King’s Landing for a time, keeping your good-sister company as you both mourned Willas’s loss. Your motives, however, went a step further. You were determined to win the affection of the youngest Targaryen Prince, a task you felt more than capable of. The only person you felt might stand in your way was the dark princess who continued to maintain a tight grip on your heart.
<img src="https://s6.postimg.org/6huzdsdy9/marg_app2.png" class="appimage">