Father calls her “little cat”. A cat in a house of fish. Perhaps her name was Mother’s idea. A reminder to her eldest that her lot is not this castle and its Tully blue waters, but some other family whom she will wed into … someday soon. Mother gave me no such reminder, though the sin of being born a daughter is something Cat and I share. Sometimes I ask myself why — Why? Why remind her and not me? — but then I watch my sister walking gracefully beside our ward, Petyr, and I see our words writ large all over her, in red ink that will never wash out. Family. Duty. Honor. Are they written on me too? I can’t tell. No one is looking at me.
The other part of her name fits. Cat is just a little older than I. She knew Mother a little longer. In this strange season of slow dying our Maester calls autumn, I look at her hair against the riotous color of the trees and find it is just a little redder than mine. Sometimes Petyr’s gaze lingers over her just a little too long. I notice a lot of little things about my sister, Cat.
Then there is Edmure. He tries to act older, though he will always be my baby brother, even on the day he weds. As he follows Cat around, he pretends to be a great leader, like Aegon the Conqueror was said to be. Edmure is uncertain around Cat, unsure where his love for his big sister ends and for his surrogate mother begins. He has no uncertainty in his eyes when he looks at me. I am just Lysa.
I am afraid. I am afraid that is all I will ever be.