Lirian was queen of ice and snow, her lands robed in white mists and frost. Winter was cold in Lirian’s heart, fitting for her rank. She condemned who must be condemned to save who must be saved and never let it pain her. Such was the lot of she who would rule over the icy lands.
But as she swept in from another long day in councils, divying up what supplies there were, knowing she was deciding who would live and who would die, she let out a sigh as the heat of the roaring fireplace at the far end of the great hall began to thaw the chill off her skin and warm her furs to a tolerable temperature. There was a small child sitting near the fire, a fierce scowl on her dark face, black crow feathers growing from her black hair.
“Seiran,” said Lirian.
The child looked up, scowl vanishing into an expression more neutral than blank. The child stood and curtsied.
“Never mind that.” Lirian waved off the gesture and moved closer to the fire. Her gaze stayed on Seiran and something in her heart felt warm. “You had a pleasant day?”
Seiran shrugged indelicately. The child had only a feral grace, but she was beautiful to Lirian anyway. “You didn’t,” she said, more brazenly than anyone else might.
“I did not,” Lirian agreed. She reached out a hand to stroke her fingers through soft feathers and hair.
Seiran sighed quietly.
They stood in the silence together as their iciness thawed.