He was being summoned. Lord Petyr Baelish fought with the smirk that threatened to overtake his sharp features, carefully schooling his face into impassivity. What an irony. Years of planning, of waiting patiently, like a coiled serpent, and here he was, poised to just be handed what he'd been clawing at for the past decade. He'd made deals with devils far more unsavory than he, had lied, stolen, cheated, and killed. The Gods were fickle, holding that coveted seat just beyond Petyr's clawed hands for their own twisted amusement, only to tie a bow about it and present it to him when they grew tired of the game. Petyr almost had to laugh. All his scheming, all the meetings in dark, smokey rooms with unsavory people, the exchanges of coins, favors, whispers, it had amounted to nothing. Wasted effort. Still, Petyr was no fool. He didn't look this gift horse in the mouth, at least not where he could be seen doing so.
No. The ledgers, he'd pore over later. He'd already familiarized himself with the majority of their contents, Lord Grafton had entrusted more and more to the slight man over the years as Littlefinger had proven himself invaluable time and time again. Powerful men needed men like Littlefinger. Rich men needed men like Littlefinger. He had a gift for breeding dragons, not unlike the Targaryens themselves. He could simply rub two of them together, and spawn a third. Or so it appeared. Really, it was an elaborate game of sleight-of-hand, of moving coin from one investment to the next, borrowing from one House, from the Iron Bank, purchasing goods, holding onto those goods until he'd amassed nigh-monopolies, selling when the prices were high. Petyr was both clever, and unburdened with excess scruples, and was not above playing games with the lives of smallfolk for his own personal gain. Currently, he'd been stockpiling grain. Soon...very soon, that grain would be worth its weight in gold. More than. At which point, Petyr would begin to sell.
And not a moment before. The Starks were always right, come enough time. Winter was coming, and it came for them all, its grasp sharp and cold, turning their breath to puffs of smoke. They were all of them dragons in the winter. Clack, clack, clack. The heels of Petyr's boots echoed against the stone halls of the Red Keep smartly, announcing the slight man's presence far before the Kingsguard or any heralds could. It wasn't every day that Petyr had an audience with the king; however, assuming all went well with his meeting today, the frequency of said meetings would increase. His garments were both plain and rich; the fabrics richly dyed, finely woven, yet unadorned. At his collar, the silver mockingbird pin glinted in the light streaming through the tall windows of the hall leading to the solar in which he was to meet His Majesty. Petyr suppressed the curl of his lip at that thought. He was a loyal servant. Soon enough, he reached the doors, nodding coolly at the knights standing outside, Ser Oswell Whent, and Ser Barristan Selmy. "I am here to see His Majesty," Petyr said, probably unnecessarily, as they were undoubtedly aware of the King's schedule. With a nod, they stepped aside, and pushed the door open before him, announcing his name.
Petyr stepped through the threshold, and bowed upon sighting the king. "Good morning, your Majesty," Petyr greeted, a smile playing upon his lips. The way the light played upon his face made it seem as if the smile even reached his eyes. "I am aggrieved at the news of Lord Grafton's, ah...demise. He was a good man; we worked hand-in-hand for years. I like to think I knew him better than most." Ah, politics: insincere platitudes peddled by insincere men. Petyr was lying through his teeth. Grafton was boring; a man who preferred the company of numbers and figures to other men. He was sharp, sure, but not quite clever enough to sight the inconsistencies in Petyr's own numbers and figures. Just the sort of person Petyr like to surround himself with. Men just smart enough to hold their own; but not quite bright enough to justify their suspicions of him.
"I cannot imagine that you called me here to discuss old friends, however."