013. Tongue-tied

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Aemma stood with her family, tugging uncomfortably at her dress. Most commonly dressed in red and black, she stood before the court in a colour most unfamiliar to her. Velaryon Blue. She kept close to Daemon, glancing at him every so often for assurance that the whole ordeal would go well for her brother. Daemon, however, seemed entirely elated by the situation. 

"Though it is the great hope of this court that Lord Corlys Velaryon survive his wounds, we gather here with the grim task of dealing with the succession of Driftmark," Otto Hightower stood by the throne, as though he had any right to it. 

Aemma glanced at the Greens, her eyes immediately catching with Aemond's who had been staring intently at her since he arrived. Aemma hardened her gaze, turning her attention back to the grandfather snake. 

"As Hand, I speak with the King's voice on this and all other matters," Otto Hightower said, taking a seat on the throne. Aemma snorted at the same time as Daemon, glancing towards him with a smile, "The crown will now hear the petitions. Ser Vaemond of House Velaryon,"

Aemma watched coldly as Vaemond took centre stage, the smug look that seemed a permanent fixture on the old man's face irking her even more than it usually did. 

"My Queen. My Lord Hand," Vaemond smiled, causing Aemma to roll her eyes at the niceties, "The history of our noble houses extends beyond the Seven Kingdoms to the days of Old Valyria. For as long as House Targaryen has ruled the skies, House Velaryon has ruled the seas. When the Doom fell on Valyria, our houses became the last of their kind. Our forebearers came to this new land, knowing that were they to fail, it would mean the end to their bloodlines and their name,"

Aemma closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose as she took a deep breath. Once she finally opened her eyes again, she looked towards Luke. Who appeared all but confident. Her heart bled for her brother. It was his age that allowed him to become so caught up in the whisperings of others, his age that allowed him to be scared of what others thought. She just hoped it wouldn't drag him down for too long. 

"I have spent my entire life on Driftmark defending my brother's seat. I am Lord Corlys's closest kin, his own blood, "The true, unimpeachable blood of House Velaryon runs through my veins,"

"As it does in my sons, the offspring of Laenor Velaryon. If you cared so much about your house's blood, Ser Vaemond, you would not be so bold as to supplant its rightful heir," Her mother cut through Vaemond's speech before Aemma had a chance to audibly groan at the man's antics, quick to defend her children, "No, you only speak for yourself and for your own ambition,"

Aemma nodded along, having learnt long ago how important it was to support one's own family. There had been a time she had been riddled with anger for her mother, riddled with anger for many people due to her questionable birth. That anger had died as Aemma grew up, knowing her mother was one of her closest allies. 

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