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Wolf of Numenor

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Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell and its lord Mace Tyrell or how most people saw it his mother lady Olenna. Its mighty walls and towers were a sight to behold and its gardens were supposedly beautiful enough to rival any other. The garden was filled with many species of flora, everything from white lilies to the golden roses that sat on the Tyrell banner. The sweet sounds of birds chirping were broken by a sound of swords clashing, two men were fighting each other. One was Loras Tyrell, the Knight of the Flowers and the other was a man called Jon Snow, bastard of Winterfell. As the two men sparred with one another they were being watched by ser Loras's sister Margaery who was sitting under a large lemon tree drinking wine. The two men were going at it, neither was backing down. Margaery carefully watched them, Jon seemingly managed to match every move Loras threw at him and the same could be said for Loras. The two swords collided, their faces centimeters from each other.
"Ready to give up?" said Loras.
"Only in your dreams," said Jon. The two men continued slashing at each other. Both men were talented swordsmen, their skills almost evenly matched. Although of the two Jon has proven to be slightly better with the sword and Loras slightly better with the lance. As Margaery continued to watch them, lady Olenna came to the garden with several of her servants. She set on a chair next to her granddaughter and looked at the two knights.
"Dear God, they are still going at it."
"They been at it since noon, I'm surprised that they had not collapsed from exhaustion by now."
"Men, they always see each other as rivals and nothing more," said Olenna as she used a fan to cool down.
"It is natural for brothers to see each other as rivals,"
"I still don't know why your father agreed to foster that boy. If he was a prince or a lord, I would understand but a bastard,."
"He may be a bastard, but he is still Lord Eddard's son, we were on the losing side of the war, this was a good way to regain some favor."
"The north is on the other side of the continent, we are here, down south, anyone of the Northmen could have fostered him. Why us?"
"That was father's choice, and besides Jon has been nothing but good with us. I enjoy his company and so does Loras, they are thick as thieves."
"Well, let's hope he does not forget under whose roof he had lived for years once he returns to his father."
Margaery smiled at her grandmother "He won't, I know it." As the two women looked at each other the sound of someone falling to the ground caught their attention. Both men were laying on the ground, breathing heavily.
"It seems that their stupidity finally caught up with them." said lady Olenna, a small satisfied smirk on her face.
"It seems it has," said Margaery.
Both men were laying down and panting, both too exhausted to even try to get up.
"I… will… get… time Snow."
"Only... in... you… dreams pretty boy." The two turned their heads towards each other and laughed.
"Men," said Lady Olenna in a disapproving tone. As the two helped each other get up, Margaery came to them.
"I think it's enough for one day, wouldn't you say?" Loras looked at Jon.
"For today, yes, but as soon as the next tourney starts I'm going to be the victor, and I'm going to unseat you, Snow."
"Let's make a wager then If I win you have to tell everyone in Highgarden that I m better than you."
"And what if I win?" asked Loras.
"You have already bragged to the entire kingdom about your skill, what more could you ask for?"
Loras thought about it for a moment, then he finally came up with his reward.
"That sword you bought two years ago, the one that you always keep locked in your chest. I want that as my reward." Jon was slightly insulted by the request, he received that sword for his name day from lord Mace. But he agreed to the proposal, the possibility of beating Loras was too good to pass on.
"Agreed," said Jon, and the two men shuck hands.
"Well, now that that's settled, we have a trip to prepare for. Lord Eddard was named the new hand of the king, I'm sure your father will be glad to see you, Jon." Jon's smiled faded, he now had a serious expression on his face. It's been years since he last saw his father, not since he came here. Lord Mace raised him like his own son, Jon wasn't certain how would his father react, how will he react once they finally see each other again. Would his father even recognize him?
"Let's go and change, I feel like someone threw a bucket of water at me," said Loras.
"Aye, lets," said Jon
Later that evening Jon was looking at the stars from the balcony of his room. He was still thinking about the eventual meeting with his father. He still remembers somethings from when he was in Winterfell, he remembered Robb and how they would run through the Godswood together, he remembered maester Luwin and the wise words he gave them and he also remembered the hateful gaze of lady Catelyn every time she saw him going near Eddard or her. He lowered his head and sighed. Then he felt a pair of hands envelop his chest. He did not flinch because he knew who it was.
"What's wrong?" asked Margaery in a soft and caring voice as she was putting her chin down on his shoulder.
"I always know when something is wrong with you, so tell me."
Jon sighed once more. "It's my father, this will be the first time we meet since I left to come here. I don't know how will he react when he sees me. What will he think of me?"
"He is your father Jon, he will be proud of the man you have become." her voice was sincere, she thought everything would come alright.
"I'm bastard Margaery, Ned Stark's bastard. I'm the only thing that stains his good name."
"Why does it matter that you are a bastard, you are who you are Jon. You are one of the best, most honorable men I ever met. He will be proud of you." Silence filled the room for a few moments.
"And how do you know that?"
"I know that because my father is proud of you, I'm proud of you." Jon turned around and looked into her brown eyes. Margaery's words seemed to take effect, the worry and fear started to go away.
"You are proud of me, you say?"
"Most honorable you say?"
"What about the best looking?"
"Well, that would have to be Loras, but you are a close second."
"I'm hurt my lady," said Jon in a sarcastic manner.
"You might be second, but you are mine." She moved her head closer to his, their lips only inches apart now.
"Really." With that final word he brought his lips to hers into a passionate kiss, they stayed like that for a long moment before Margaery decided to take it elsewhere. She slowly leads him to the bed, not breaking the kiss for a second. Then she spun them around and pushed him towards the bed. Margaery started to slowly undress while Jon watched with an eager smile on his face. Once she was done she climbed onto the bed and then onto him. They stared into each other's eyes for a long moment before she once again brought her lips to his. As they kissed, she started undoing the buttons of his shirt.
Later they were laying in bed, her head was resting on his chest and his right arm held her in a tight embrace. They wondered if they could stay like this forever, just the two of them, laying here without a care in the world. Then a thought crossed his mind. Jon lowered his head down to look at her. "You think your grandmother knows about us?"
"Trust me, she knows. There is nothing that goes on in this castle that she does not know about."
"And does she approve?"
"I think not," Margaery thought about it for a second, her grandmother does not like Jon, but she never made a big fuss about it. "but let's not dwell on that, all that matters in here." Jon smiled and kissed her curling brown hair.
"I love you, you know that," said Jon.
"I love you too," said Margaery.

Chapter Text

It was several days before the Tyrells, and Jon would have to set off to the capital. Most were slowly preparing themselves for the journey while Loras, Garlan, and Jon were practicing jousting against one another. On one side stood Loras in his shining green and gold armor while Jon stood on the opposite side wearing the black and gray armor of house Stark, Garlan watched the two from the side, being beaten by both moments earlier. Loras rode his yellow stallion while Jon rode on top of a large black horse. They looked at each other through their helms as their squires gave them their lances. Each took him, and for a moment, they stared at each other until Loras decided to be the first to charge immediately after Jon did as well. They lined up their lances aiming at the other's shield, sigils of their houses on them.

The first strike went to Loras, hitting Jon straight in his shield's center, but the wolf did not fall. They were given new lances, and they charged again; this time, Jon was hitting the target, and Lora's strike only missing for a few centimeters. But the Tyrell did not fall. Once again, they took their lances, staring at each other with determination. This time Jon was the one who charged the first determent to beat Loras this time. The horses ran towards each other, their riders aiming their weapons at one another. As Jon's lance hit the target, he felt Lora's lance hit him as well; for a moment, he felt weightless as he traveled through the air and then falling on the ground hard. For a moment, he did not move, still trying to figure out what happened. Then he saw Loras riding towards him and stopping next to his head. He dismounted and knelt beside his friend and took off his helm.


"I hope you through a better fight when we get to the capital; I would hate to see people have their opinions of the great Wolf of the south crushed once they see me defeating you this easily." Said Loras with a satisfied grin on his face.


Jon growled in pain for a few seconds before answering, "Shot up and help me up." Loras laughed and gave his friend a hand and pulled him up. Jon took off his helm and looked at his foster brother.


"What?" asked Loras.


"I'm going to beat you, just you wait."


"Ha, like that's ever going to happen, might as well give me the sword now." It was then when Garlan joined the two.


"I hate to agree with him, Jon, but my brother is right. You are good with a sword, but when it comes to a lance, Loras is better." Loras instantly turned to his brother.


"Hey, I'm just as good with a sword as he is, maybe even better," said Loras.


"Sure, you are," Garlan said sarcastically. "You might be able to keep up with Jon when you spar, but if you were in a real fight, Jon would win."


"And how do you know that?"


"You show off too much; I used to do that as well until I learned my lesson. Jon fights how a knight should fight, not showing off and using every opening that presents itself. That showing off yours could be just the opening your opponent needs."


Loras laughed. "As if anyone could defeat me." Jon loved Loras like he would his own brother, but sometimes he knew to be a real arrogant fool.


"Last time I checked, I defeated you in the melee in the Oldtown tourney three moons ago, and before that at Ashford."


Loras's smile faded. "You were lucky; I lost my balance at Oldtown."


"Luck had nothing to do with it, pretty boy it was all skill," said Jon with a smug grin.


Annoyed, Loras grabbed Jon by the arm and started messing with his hair. "Skill ha." Garlan watched them and laughed at the two grown men acting like ten name day children. "These two will never change." thought Garlan. He was first surprised when their father decided to bring Jon to Highgarden. At first, he detested the thought of a bastard growing up in their home, but he grew to like Jon over time. He did not see him as a bastard anymore; he was just Jon. His relationship with Jon wasn't as strong as the one with Loras, those two being practically inseparable since Jon arrived, but they were close, and he would happily call Jon a friend.


"You two make such a cute couple," said Margaery as the three men turned their gaze to her.


"Really?" asked Loras as he stopped messing with Jon.


"Indeed, one of you would fit perfectly in a wedding dress," said Margaery as she looks at Loras.


"Why me?"


"Let me see, "Margaery pretended to think for a moment. "Well, Loras would look far better in a dress than Jon; he does not have the grace to pull it off." Garlan tried to hold on to a laugh as Margaery gave her brother a smirk.


"I'm hurt, my lady," said Jon with an over-exaggerated tone.


"It's true." the four laughed for a moment. "Now come on, father wants to see you three. Better not keep him waiting." As the followed Margaery, she turned and gave Jon a lovely smile, and he returned it.


The Tyrells were prepared for their journey to the capital. Mace was his typical self, boasting to people around him how his son will win the tourney before it even begins, and lady Olenna who did want to go to the capital, mostly to personally get the measure of the new hand and to see if he would present an optical or an ally but she hated the thought of the arduous journey that will take. Jon and Loras were doing last-minute preparations while Margaery was ready to go. Jon was going around his room, tossing things around, trying to find something. All his thinks had been ready except one. He was starting to be frustrated by the fact he could not find it. He continued to look when he heard someone's voice coming for the door.


"Looking for something?" asked Margaery.


"Aye, my helm. I can't seem to find it anywhere," said Jon without looking at her, just continuing looking around.


"The black one with green vizier?"


"Yes, that one."


"You mean this one." Jon turned to see Margaery holding his helm in her hands. She gave him a mischievous smile.


"You took it?"


"Not really; you left it in my room yesterday." Jon approached her with a smile on his lips also.


"What would I do without you?"


"Get lost somewhere or forget something more important." Jon started reaching out for the helm, but she moved it out of the way.


"I thought you came here to give it back."


"I am, but it's going to cost you." Jon leaned in and gave a soft kiss.


"Is that enough?"


"You can do better than that." Once more, their lips touched; this kiss was more prolonged and passionate.


"Was that better?" said Jon as he looked into her eyes. His dark purple meeting her brown ones.


"It was." Said Margaery as she gave Jon his helm back, a satisfied expression on her face.


Lady Olenna, Margaery, Mace, and Alerie traveled inside a lavish carriage while Loras, Garlan, and Jon rode in front of them. The oldest Tyrell brother Willas decided to stay home and watch over the Reach while his family was gone. The rest of the retinue consisted of household guards and servants. The journey was long, but for Loras, Margaery, and Jon, there never seemed to be a dull moment. The group made stops in whatever castle they could. When they could not, large tents would be raised. On one such occasion, they stopped on the border between the Crownlands at the Reach. Loras and Jon were sitting in Lora's tent drinking wine and remembering all the crazy shenanigans they used to get up to when they were boys.


"Remember that time when..." said Loras


"When you somehow accidentally managed to get 6 horses inside the garden." Both Jon and Loras laughed. "It was a good thing that the stable hand found them, or they would have eaten the whole garden.


"Well, no, but if I remember correctly, that wasn't just me," Loras smirked. "I was thinking about the time when we snuck out of the castle and came back two days later."


"Your father sent out a search party to try and find us."


"Yes, but we came back. Shame about ser Arlan; I heard that he still believes he saw ghosts in the forest that night." Both men laughed. Jon stopped laughing and looked at his cup, his mind lost in his own thought for a moment. Loras gave his friend a concerned look; he knew something was bugging him. During this entire trip, his friend has been having these episodes of not quite being there with them.


"Alright, spit it out Jon, you been having something on your mind the entire trip; I can feel it, so tell me what it is?"


Jon shook his cup slightly, the wine moving around as he did. "You know me too well. M-My father will be there."


"I know, he is the lord hand," said Loras, slightly confused.


Jon sighed, "That's the thing, Loras, he will be there. I have not seen him in almost ten years. Yes, we do correspond through ravens, but this will be the first time we meet in a long time. What is he going to think about me?" For a moment, Loras looked at his friend before grabbing his shoulder.


"Listen, you don't need to worry yourself about that; he is your father. He will be proud of you," said Loras, his voice sincere.


"How do you know that?"


"You are his son; trust me when I say it will be fine."


"Margaery said the same thing."


Loras smirked, "Well, if my sister said it, then it must be true. She is never wrong, after all." They chuckled. "Don't worry about your father; you should worry more about that sword which I will take when I beat you," said Loras with a smug smile.


"The wall will melt before that happens. Besides, I got an advantage over you."


"And what would that be?" Loras said as he raised an eyebrow.


"I don't show off as much."


"We will see Snow, we will see." the men continued laughing.


In the next tent, Lady Olenna set with Margaery and Alerie, the loud laughter was heard as if it were coming from their tent. Margaery and Alerie were pleased to listen to the two having a good time, while lady Olenna not so much. She disliked how her stupid son brought this bastard into their family, and she disliked the fact that everyone seemed to adore him. Mace saw him as a fourth son, Loras as a brother, and Margaery was seemingly in love with him. She knew about it for a long time; as children, they were fond of each other, and a few years ago, it got even more severe. The boy was handsome and well mannered, she will give him that, but he is still a bastard. Margaery was to be queen one day; she can't let a bastard ruin that. With little luck, his father will send him back to the North with the rest of the Starks where he belongs; until then, she will remain patient. Olenna snapped out of her thoughts and turned to her granddaughter.


"Remember dear, when we arrive in the capital, make sure to spend time with the prince." Olenna knew about Roberts's obsession with having a Stark bride in his family. She found out that he intends to arrange the marriage between lord Eddard's daughter and his son, but that will not happen. She will make sure that the prince picks Margaery.


Margaery smiled softly at her grandmother, "I will, grandmother, don't worry."


"Get to know him, make sure you leave an impression."


"I will, grandmother." Margaery knew that her grandmother always wanted her to be queen and that she will do whatever it takes to accomplish that. She, too, wanted to be queen one day, but she also wanted Jon. Jon was different from other songs on noble lords not just because he was a bastard, he was right, he was kind, he made her laugh, he wasn't stuck up like most other lordlings, and he loved her for who she really is, not for what she represents. To him, she was not Margaery Tyrell, the golden rose of Highgarden; she was simply Margaery, and to her, he was not a bastard; he was Jon. She knew her grandmother disapproved of their relationship, but she had put up with it for years now, never saying a word, pretending to not know about it, but she did. That gave her hope; maybe she will find a way to get both things one day. Then a third voice was heard laughing along with the two others; it was Mace.


"Great, now he has joined them," said Olenna, annoyance clear in her voice.


"Let the men have their fun," said Alice. Laughing echoed through the night.


Days passed, and they finally arrived at the capital, the greatest city in Westeros, Kings landing. As they approached the city's entrance, they could see the tourney ground where the tournament will be held. Both Jon and Loras watched the place intensely; this will be the place of their greatest triumph. The entourage entered the city through the King's gate. Seeing all the people and the things that they were doing amazed Margaery. She always liked seeing what ordinary everyday people were like, and she was ready to help them in any way she can. The city itself seemed a lot bigger than she remembered, the last time she visited, she was still a little girl. Lady Olenna and Mace expected to be greeted by the King and queen, but to their surprise and lady Olenna's disappointment, they were met by just Lord Eddard. She did want to find out what lord Eddard was doing, but she also expected personages of their status to be met by the royal family, not just the hand. Lord Eddard stood there with his household guard. The Tyrell procession stopped and out of the carriage came out, lord Mace, his wife lady Alerie and his mother, Olenna.


"Lady Olenna, Lord Mace, Lady Alerie, the king welcomes you to the capital," said Eddard while doing s slight bow.


"And yet the king is nowhere to be seen, my lord," Olenna said. The hand lifted his head to look at the queen of thorns.


"The king had some other matters he had to attend to; he sends his sincerest apologies."


"I sure he does." the sarcasm was evident to all present. It was well known to everyone that Robert did little to no actual ruling since the rebellion. It was Jon Arryn who ruled the land while Robert drank and whored himself. Now it was Ned Starks's job to rule, and Olenna knew that the King will still be doing the same things as he always does, even when he should at least do something as simple as meet her and her family.


After a few more pleasantries were exchanged between the lord hand and lord Mace and Lady Alerie, Ned asked: "Is Jon with you?"


"I'm here, father," said Jon as he approached the group, Loras, Garlan, and Margaery beside him. The two men stared at each other for a long moment. Ten years had passed since they last saw each other. Eddard could barely believe the sight in front of him. The boy he remembered was now a man with long black hair and striking violet eyes. He looked so much like his mother, but he did not know that. "He must not know that," thought Ned.


"Jon," said Eddard as he walked towards the lad. "You are a lot taller than I remember." said the lord with a smile.


"And you a lot shorter than I remember." Both men chuckled. Then Jon turned and pointed towards Loras, Garlan, and Margaery, who stood next to him. "Father, these are Ser Garlan, Loras, and lady Margaery."


"It's a pleasure to meet Jon's father," said Margaery with a soft smile on her lips.


"It's an honor, my lord," said Loras. He was excited to finally with Eddard Stark the Silent Wolf, the man who defeated ser Arthur Dane. Over the years, they grew a fascination with the man from the stories Jon had told him. He still adored men like ser Barristan Selmy, but the Silent Wolf was something else. An aura of mystery surrounded the man. Here in the south, most people knew how good each knight was, the tourneys were continuously held, and there was always someone who was well known for their abilities, but no one knew about lord Eddard's skill, how good he truly was. Obviously, he was good enough to beat the Sword of the morning.


"I welcome you to the capital lady Margaery and ser Loras, lord Garlan," said Eddard. Before anyone could say anything more, lady Olenna's voice was heard.


"Lord Stark, could you please escort us to where we will be staying? My old bones won't last much longer standing here like this."


"As you wish, my lady. Follow me."

Chapter Text

Lord Eddard led the Tyrells through the city towards the Red keep; the Tyrells and other such important guests will be staying in the guest wing of the keep or the maiden vault. Being the second wealthiest family in Westeros and knowing what sorry state the realm finances were, Ned thought it a good idea to gain the Tyrells favor. As they traveled to their destination, Margaery took in the sights of the city and its people, while Jon and Loras japed with Garlan and Mace. Once they were at the Red keep. He dismounted from his horse and watched as the Tyrell women exited their carriage and were greeted by the king's brother Lord Renly Baratheon and lord commander of the Kingsguard Ser Barristan Selmy. Eddard made his way to them.




"Lady Olenna, lady Margaery the capital has been made brighter by your present," said Renly as he kissed lady Olennas hand.




"Am sure it has," said Olenna smirking at the young lord's words. She gave a good look at him. He looked like his brother the king, but he seemed more refined and less of an idiot.




"My lady," said Barristan as he bowed.




"Lord Renly, it is an honor," said Margaery as she curtsied.




"The honor is all mine," said Renly as he kissed her hand. Then he turned his gaze to the four men that stood behind them.




"Lord Mace, it is an honor to have someone of your status come to this celebration. My brother will surely be pleased." The lord of the Reach felt his ego grow with the man's words.




"I would never miss something as grand as this, my lord," said Mace. Olenna smirked at her son's stupidity. If she had not given birth to him, she would have wondered if he was truly her son. But the lord of the Stormlands was at least a good kiss-ass, that was certain.




Renly smiled as he looked at the two brothers. "Ser Garlan, Ser Loras, it's good to see you again."




"Likewise, my lord," said Loras.




Only then looked at Jon. He immediately stood out when he saw him; his black hair and purple eyes made him seem even more unique than he thought he would be. Comparing Ned and his two daughters to this man, it was apparent that the younger daughter was his sister, and there was some resemblance to Ned, the older sister looking more like a Tully than a Stark. "And you must be the infamous Jon Snow, the Wolf of the south. You have created quite a reputation for yourself. They say that there is no man alive that can beat you in a dual."




"People talk and sometimes exaggerate, my lord," said Jon with a smile.




"More than sometimes, I would say, but we will see how much of it is true and how much is not very soon. My brother is itching to see you fight. Once he heard that Ned Starks's son will be competing, he was in such a joyful mood, it was like you told him that the hand himself will be participating." Renly looked at Ned, who now sported a more severe expression. While the Wolf and the stag talked, Loras could not help but stare at the knight in front of him. Barristan the Bold, the man who was a living legend, the man who epitomizes what a knight should be. The man who jousted against prince Duncan, the man who singlehandedly rescued king Arys from Duskendale. He was so respected that Robert even pardoned him and gave him the title of lord commander. Lora's dream was to once become just like him, a knight who everyone loved and revered, a white cloak on his beck, and a worthy king to serve.




"I have also heard some interesting things about you, ser Loras," said Renly.




"I hope they were good things." japed Garlan.




"Only good things are spoken about me because bad do not exist," said Loras.




Recently returned his gaze back to lady Olenna, who was giving him an odd look. "Forgive him, my lords, ladies, I have taken enough of your time. I hope to see you all during the feast this evening. I have some things that I must take care of." Then lord Renly and Ser Barristan went on their way, exiting the keep leaving lord Eddard alone once again with the Tyrells.




"Please follow me," said Ned. The Tyrells were led to the guest wing of the Red keep. The rooms where they were staying were lavish, but Olenna found them not to her standing for some reason. The servants brought their belongings to the rooms while Ned watched as they got settled in.




"All to your liking?" asked Ned.




"They will have to suffice," said Olenna looking around, unamused look on her face.




Ned looked at Jon, who was standing with Margaery in her room. "Jon, your room is this way," said Ned, and Jon started to follow. Ned brought him to a nearby room decorated with the sigils of House Stark. Jon looked around and was amazed by it.




"You did this?"




"Aye, I thought it would be good to get a bit of a northern feel while you are here."




"Thank you, father."




"No need; you are my blood. It's the least I can do." Jon turned around and embraced his father, Ned doing the same.




"It has been so long. I have missed you terribly, father." Jon said with tears in his eyes.




"I missed you too, son."




"It has almost ten years." Ned broke the embrace and put his hands on Jon's shoulders. "When I last saw you, you were a boy. I still remember the sad look on your face when you rode out of Winterfell. Now you are a man."




Jon stayed silent for a moment, just looking at his father. "How are Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon?" Jon and Robb were good together when they were children, Sansa loved her older brothers, and her, Arya, and Bren were still very little when Jon left, and Rickon was born after he left, but he wrote to them as much as he could.




"Robb and Rickon are good, Robb is the acting Lord of Winterfell now that I'm here, and Bran..." Ned paused; Jon immediately noticed something was wrong.




"What is it? Did something happen to Bran?"




Ned sighed. "Before I left, Bran..he… fell off a tower and was injured badly."




Jon looked at his father; worry and fear filled him. "How badly?"




"Lewin said he will never walk again." Jon was in shock, his brother had been injured, and he did not know about it.








"Lewin said he will recover, but the damage has been done. His mother told him not to climb that high, but he did not listen. I'm happy he is alive." Jon starred at the floor, he was happy that his little brother was alive, but it still pained him to hear what had happened to him. Jon lifted his head and looked at his father.




"And Sansa and Arya?"




"They are here with me."




"Really?" Jon was surprised; no one had told him that his little sisters would be here. At least there was some good news. He doubted they even remember him, Sansa maybe, but Arya no.




"Aye, they are here in the keep. Sansa is with the princess, and Arya is with Septa Mordane, and after that, she should be with her water dance instructor."




"Water dance?" Jon asked, confused.




"It's not as it sounds. She wanted to learn how to use a sword, so I hired a Bravossi instructor to teach her."




"So she is still as wild as I remember?"




"More," said Ned, and the two men chuckled.




"Come on, you can see them if you wish. I have sent some of the guards to bring them to the solar, and after that, I have something to give you."




"I would want that very much," Jon said with a smile. The two Starks walked through the hall when Loras met who was exiting his room.




"Where are you going, Jon?"




"I'm going with my father to see my sisters."




"Mind if I accompany you?"




"Leave him be, Loras, let him spend some time with his family. You can't have him all for yourself all the time," said Margaery from inside the room.




"Fine, but I still would want to meet them."




"You won't worry," said Jon and continued following his father. Jon and his father went to Neds solar, where the girls were waiting. Two guards stood in front of the door, each with a sword on his belt and a shield that bore the Wolf of Stark. It has been a long time since Jon saw that image. One of the guards opened the door, and Ned and Jon entered inside. They found two girls, the older one beautiful with red hair and the other younger one with black hair. He starred at his sisters for a long moment; they grew up. Sansa looked like a proper southern lady, bearing and composure spot on, while Arya seemed different, but he knew that already. Arya was never the one who liked rules or told how she should act, even when he was at Winterfell.




"Hi Sansa, Arya." said Jon




"Girls, come and meet your brother," said Ned. The two girls looked at him. Jon feared how they would react, would they even remember, would they except him. Sansa gave him an odd look while Arya took a step forward.




"Hello there, little wolf," said Jon with a smile.




"Jon!" The little girl rushed towards her brother and embraced him, and he did her. It was years since she saw him last; he honestly did not expect her to react this way. Seeing this brought a smile to their lord father's face. For a moment, the two Starks stayed like that before Jon broke off the hug and turned to Sansa.




"Little sis."




"Snow," said Sansa in a tone as cold as the wall itself.




"You changed; you look like a proper lady now," said Jon, a large smile still on his face.




"I'm a lady." Jon walked towards her wanting to embrace her, but as he was about to, she took a step back.




"Sansa?" Jon looked at her, confused.




"You are a bastard; I will not let you touch me."




"Sansa!" growled Ned. "He is your brother."




"Half-brother, father. My mother is Catelyn Stark but not his." Jon looked at her, not sure how to react, what to say. He just stood there frozen, a look of hurt on his face.




"Sansa, apologize," ordered Eddard.




Sansa crossed her arms. "I will not, father. Because there is nothing for me to apologize for."




"You are a bitch, you know that," said Arya. Sansa immediately gave her little sister an angry glare.




"Arya!" shouted Ned.




"He's our brother!" said Arya, her voice loud, and she was determent to put some sense in her sister.




"You brother, maybe not mine." With that, Sansa stormed out of the solar, Ned shouted for her, but she just ignored him. Arya gave her sister an angry and disappointed look as she exited the room while Jon just looked on with disbelief. When they were little Sansa, and he was practically inseparable, she was always there by his side; what happened to her?




Ned sighed and took a seat at his desk. "Arya, go return to your lessons."




"But father, Jon is," Arya said disappointedly.




"I know you will have time to spend with him later, I promise. Now go, I wish to talk to Jon."




"Don't worry, little Wolf, I will find you later. I promise," said Jon and gave his sister a smile.




"Fine." Arya walked out of the room, as angry as her sister.




Ned looked at Jon, who was looking at the open door. "Forgive me, Jon, I did not think it would end up like this," said Ned as he shook his head. His intention was to bring his family together. He thought that his daughters would feel more at home if one of their brothers was with them. This was not supposed to go like this. He would need to have a talk with Sansa later; she needs to learn somethings.




Jon turned to look at his father. "There is nothing to forgive, father," Jon paused for a second. "What happened to her? When we were kids, it was..."




"What do you think?"




"Catelyn?" Jon remembered the woman well. Ever since he could remember, her shadow always looming over him. When he was in Winterfell, she took every opportunity to chastise him for every little thing and remind him that he is nothing more than a bastard, that he is not a Stark, and that he will never be a part of that family. He remembered crying himself to sleep almost every time that happened. She hated him just because he was not hers because he was a Snow.




"Yes. She… has kept a tight grip over the girls since you left. Arya, unlike Sansa, could not be tamed." Jon found it funny that the woman who was wary of his existence now had a problem controlling her own daughter. Maybe it was for the best that she came with their father; here she could be would she really is a wolf. "I tried to talk to her, but she refused to listen."




"At least Arya has not changed," said Jon




"Aye. Listen, do not hold it against her; Sansa is good. It will just take her time to worm up to you again. You have been gone for a long time."




Jon shrugged. "I know, father, I know. They have grown up. Forgive me, I have not congratulated you for your appointment as the new hand."




Ned smiled, "Thank you, son."




"Have the girls grown accustomed here?"




"They have. Sansa spends most of her time either on lessons or with princess Myrcella; they are becoming good friends, it seems. And she has also spent time with the prince."




"The prince?"




"Yes," Ned sighed. "Robert wants to wed her and his son. She is fond of him, that is for certain."




"And what kind of a man is the prince?"




"He is Robert's son," said Ned. The boy had his father's fury; he was not entirely sure if that is a good thing or bad.




"And Arya?"




"As I said, I have gotten a Bravossi swordsman to train her. Before we left Winterfell, she made it quite clear that she wanted to learn how to use a sword, and she refused to take a no for an answer." Jon chuckled at the thought of Catelyn arguing with Arya over that. "War is easier than daughters, mark my words." Jon started laughing, and soon Ned joined in. The tension of the previous situation is now almost gone. Jon knew not to hold anything against people he loved, especially his family. The two men spend several more hours in the office just talking; Jon felt good that he was finally talking to his father. It was not as he feared it would be; Ned was compassionate and relaxed; he was his father.




"I almost forgot; I have something for you."








"Come with me and see." Once again, Jon followed his father, this time to the stables. Jon wondered if his father's gift would be a horse. He already had a good horse who was bread by Willas, but he would very much appreciate it if so. They stopped in front of a strange-looking pen where two strange dogs lay. Jon looked at them, not sure if he saw right.




"Are those?"




"Aye, they are, dire wolves." Jon looked at the cubs with astonishment. There has not been a Direwolf seen south of the wall in centuries. He remembered the tales his uncle Benjen used to tell them when they were kids, about how the dire wolves could still be heard and seen beyond the wall. One was gray with yellow eyes, and the other one was bigger, with snow-white fur and blood-red eyes. The white one stared at him intensely.




"How did you get them?"




"We found the pups near Winterfell. Their mother was killed by a stag, and Robb suggested that we keep them. One for each of the Stark children."




"These are Arya's and Sansa?"




"The smaller one is Sansas; the white one does not belong to anyone yet."




"But you said everyone got one, so where is Arya's?"




"There was an incident during our travel here. Her wolf bit the prince and..."




Jon looked at his father's shock in his eyes, "You didn't."




"No, of course not; I would never kill a Direwolf. Sansa and Arya would never forgive me if I did. The Wolf ran off somewhere, but something had to be done about the other two after that. The queen wanted them to be put down, but I persuaded Robert to keep them alive but in a cage. I promised that I will find a solution to this problem once we reach the city. "




"And your solution is to keep them in a cage; they are a living breathing sigil or your house."




"They are in a cage, for now; once the tourney is over, I will give them to you." Jon was stunned; his father would just give him two dire wolves.




"But that one is Sansas," said Jon.




Ned lowered his head. "I know, but it's better for them to go with you than to stay here; it's just a matter of time before another problem is caused."




"Father, I don't know what to say."




"Say nothing; just promise me you will take good care of them."




"I will, father, I promise."




"Good." As they looked at the wolves, Jon noticed that the white one was staring at him. Jon knelt and put one hand through the cage's bars, trying to reach the white Wolf. The Wolf came closer and licked his hand, to which Jon smiled.




"He makes no sound whatsoever; he is completely silent. He does not whine of howl, only bares his teeth sometimes," said Ned.




"White and makes no sound just like a ghost," said Jon with a smile as he looked at the Direwolf.








"You sure we can't let them out? They might behave better around me."




"No, the king has made it clear."




Jon got up, still looking at the white Wolf and the Wolf looking back. "Shame, wolves are supposed to be free, not trapped in a cage."




"I know, but that how it must be for now." The two men watched the wolves for a bit longer before going back towards the tower of the hand. After spending some more time talking in Neds solar, the two parted ways, lord Eddard's duties preventing them from spending more time together, but Jon also wanted to check up on Loras and Margaery. As he made his way back to the guest wing, he saw a member of the Kingsguard walking in front of him. The shiny gold armor almost the same color as his hair. As they were about to pass each other, the Kingsguard stopped him.




"You must be Ned Starks bastard." said the knight with a smirk.




"Aye, I'm."




"Ser Jaime Lannister." said the knight. The Kingslayer Jon thought he had heard the stories about the man, about his skill and how he broke his oath and killed the mad king, how he let Elia and the Targaryen children be slaughtered by the mountain. The man with no honor.




"Jon Snow."




"I hear you will be competing in the tourney."




"I will."




"It must be hard being the stain on your father's name, doing everything you can to make yourself look like the opposite." Jon did not say a word. He only angrily stared at the man. "A bastard competing against his betters, better give up while you can," Jaime said smugly.




"I might be bastard, but at least I'm not an oath breaker."




"Do you know how many people have called me that and lived?"




"Many I imagine considering that everyone calls you that, Kingslayer."




Jaime grabbed Jon's arm and pulled him closer. "Be careful, Snow; there is no telling what can happen to someone during the tourney; accidents happen."




"Ser Jaime," shouted Barristan as he walked towards the two. Jaime let go of Jon and took a step back.




"You are late for your shift," said Barristan.




"Forgive me, lord commander, I was just having a talk with the young Stark here," said Jaime as Jon glared at him.




"Well, I suggest you get moving."




"As you say, lord commander," Jaime said with a smirk and left with Ser Barristan, leaving Jon to stare at the man. After a moment, he decided to continue where he was going, the thought of the Lannister's words still in his mind. He made his way back to the Tyrell rooms; once there, Loras quickly pulled him into the dining room; Margaery and Garlan were also there enjoying some arbor gold.




"So what did your father say?" asked Loras.




"Nothing really, we spoke about my siblings and me, about home."




"Did you see your sisters?" asked Margaery.




"Aye, I did." by the tone of his voice, Margaery knew something was not right.




"What happened?"




Jon took a seat next to Garlan. "It seems that Sansa does not like me. I thought she would be happy to see me as much as I'm here, but that wasn't the case."




Garlan put his hand on Jons's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Jon."




"I'm sorry too," said Margaery.




"There is nothing for you to be sorry about," Jon sighed. "It will just take time, I hope."




"Don't worry, Jon, all will turn out all right." Margaery's words at least brought some comfort.




"Where is lady Olenna and lord Mace?" asked Jon.




"Grandma is taking a nap, and father and mother are with lord Renly, I believe," said Loras.




"So, what will we do now?" asked Garlan.




"I don't know about you, but I need some rest," said Jon and made his way back to see the room. The three Tyrells looking on, concerned as Jon left.




"Maybe we should all get some rest; there is going to be a feast this evening after all," said Margaery.




Jon lay in his room, trying to get some sleep before the feast, but he was having little luck with it. His sisters and the Kingslayers words echoing in his head.




"Stain on his name."




"He is not my brother."




He got up and sat at the side of the bed, rubbing his face with his hands. Was this all he was, a bastard? Were his sister and the Kingslayer right? He could not get the thoughts out of his head. Not being able to sleep, he decided to get dressed and to go find Arya. He put on some elegant gray pants and a black shirt and made his way to the tower of the hand. Once there, he asked some servants where he could find her, and they pointed him in the right direction. Soon he found Arya with her instructor Syria. He watched from the door as he gave her instructions and taught her how to wield a blade. The style he was trying to teach her seemed strange to Jon, but he knew that it was a Bravossi style he was teaching her, not Westerosi.




"You need to be perceptive, move with grace, and command your fear." said the Bravos. As Arya tried to strike him, Syrio quickly blocked the blow and, with one move, knocked her on her ass. "Never rush; always be prepared because there is no telling what your opponent might do next."




"Got it," replied Arya with a slightly painfilled tone. Jon chuckled at his sister, and the two noticed him.




"And who is the laughing man?" asked Syria.




"That's my brother Jon," answered Arya.




"You think it is funny to see someone fall on their ass?"




"Maybe," Jon said with a smile.




"Then take her sword, and let's see how you fare." Jon looked at the Bravossi and then back to Arya.




"Alright." Arya smiled from ear to ear; she was about to watch her brother face off against Syrio Forel. Syria handed Jon over the wooden sword, and both men prepared for the fight. Jon was the first to attack, and Syrio dogged it easily. Several more strikes from Jon followed, each being dogged or blocked by the Bravossi swordsman. As the fight went on, Jon noticed that Syrio was not attacking. He was just defending himself, and soon it was made clear why. As Jon tired, he made another attempt at disarming Syria, who used the opportunity to catch Jon off guard and attack. In a few quick moments, it was all over, and Jon was lying on the ground, his sword in Syrio's hand. Syria brought the blade to Jon's neck, and Arya laughed.




"Yield." said the Bravos.




"I yield," replied Jon, and Syrio helped him up.




"You are good, but you can be better."




"I see that."




"That will be all for today; you can go now," Syrio said to Arya. After parting with the Bravossi, the two Starks made their way to Arya's room. They talked and japed on their way there. Jon was happy that at least one of his sisters was fond of him.




"Fighting with a sword?"




"Yes, I wish to learn it more than anything."




"They did not teach you at Winterfell?"




"No mother forbade it. Ladies do not fight with swords, she said. It was only when we came here that father brought someone to train me."




"He seems like a good teacher."




"He is."




"Why did father get someone from Bravoss to train you?"




"He thought it would be better to use a thin blade and so brought Syrio because his fighting style was better for it."




"Well, it seems he was right," said Jon as he rubbed his back, to which Arya chuckled.




"You think it's funny, don't you?"








"Well, then how about this." Jon grabbed Arya and started tickling her. Tears and laughter started coming out of her.




"Stop it, hahaha, please, hahaha, stop." As Jon continued with the tickling, a servant girl came in, and Jon stopped, much to Arya's relief.




The servant girl bowed. "Forgive me, my lord, but I been sent to prepare lady Arya for tonight's feast."




Jon nodded and turned his attention back to his sister "Sorry little Wolf, but it seems we will have to end it here. I will see you at the feast."




Arya crossed her arms. "I don't want to go to the feast."




"You have to; you are a lady after all."




"I'm not a lady," said Arya, slightly angry.




"Well, you have to, and besides, you want to meet my friends from the Reach, right?"




For a moment, Arya stared at her brother as if to say no, but in the end, she knew she wanted. "Yes, I do."




"Then better get ready, and we will meet you there."




"Fine," said Arya. The servant girl walked beside Jon as he exited and started preparing Arya for the feast. The thought of his little sister in an elegant dress made Jon chuckle. As he was making his way back to his room, he came across Sansa. She was walking with one of the Stark household guards when Jon decided to greet her.




"Hi Sansa," Jon said, his voice a bit shaky but with a smile on his lips.




"Snow," Sansa said. As she was about to pass by him, he stopped her.




"Sister, wait," She turned around and looked at him, "I wish to speak with you ."




"There is nothing for us to talk about. Now, if you would excuse me, I have a feast to get ready for." She said and continued walking towards her room; the guard gave Jon a look of sympathy and continued along. Jon just watched as they disappeared around the corner, a feeling of disappointment in him. When he reached the rooms, he found that all the Tyrells were present and almost ready for the feast. As Jon was about to go to his room to change, Loras came to him, the knight dressed in an elegant outfit that proudly showed off the colors of his house.








"Almost, just need to change."




"Well then, come on, don't keep us waiting," Loras said with a smile. Jon entered his room. His outfit like one Loras wore, but the breeches were made from a darker fabric. Then he heard the doors open.




"You look good," said Margaery as she approached him.




"Presentable?" Jon asked with a smile.








"Who is accompanying who?" asked Jon.




"Mother and father, grandma will be with Garlan, and I with Loras."




"So, I'm to be the lone wolf then," Jon said with a smirk.




"For now," Margaery said as he put her arms around Jons's neck. "Maybe later..."




"Come on, you two, we need to get going," they heard Garlan say.




The group made their way to the great hall where the feast was being held; once the large doors opened, they realized just how many people were there. As they entered the room, the herald announced their arrival.




"Lord Mace Tyrell lord of Highgarden, lord paramount of the Reach, warden of the south, lady Alerie Tyrell, Ser Garlan Tyrell, lady Olenna Tyrell, Ser Loras Tyrell, lady Margaery Tyrell, and Ser Jon Snow. The group made their way to their table, which was positioned in the middle. On their side close to the high table sat the Lannisters and other lords from the West, and behind them sat some Vale lords, one the other side close to the high table sat the Stormlanders, next to them the lords of the Riverlands and some crownlands lords. What few Northmen decided to attend sat at their own table. On the high table sat the king and queen in the middle, with their son and heir prince Joffrey, princess Marcella and prince Tommen to the left while Lord Eddard, Sansa, and Arya sat to the kings right, lord Renly with them also. Jon looked around to see if he knew anyone here, to his surprise, he found that he knew many of the people present. At the Stormland table, he saw Beric Dondarrion; among the Riverland lords, he saw Patrick and Jason Mallister and a large group of Freys. "You can always count on Freys to come in large number." he thought. Among the Vale men, he was Robar Royce, his brother Andar and a man he assumed was their father. At the Lannister table, he saw what he two Lannisters, an enormous man with a sigil of house Crakehall who could only be the Strong boar himself and some men from house Prester and Brax. At their table sat Hobber Redwyne, some men from houses like Hightower, Appleton, Fossoway, Dunn, Redding, and Graves. He jousted and fought against most present here. What surprised Jon was what there was also a few Dornishmen presents, but they kept to the side at did not mingle with the others much. He looked at Arya, who seemed upset because she had to wear a fancy dress, while Sansa was the opposite. She also looked at the prince, who, by the looks of it, took more after his mother than his father; he seemed as bored as the queen.

On the other hand, the king was drinking like it was his last day on earth; his father noticed it but did not say anything. He just smiled and laughed at what the king said. The dishes prepared for the feast were elaborate and tasty, and there was also no shortage of wine and ale. The first hour they spend eating, talking, and japing. Margaery, Loras, Mace all seemed happy, but Olenna. The queen of thorns thinking it was an insult for them to be placed in the middle and not where the Lannister's or the Stormlanders were sitting. When they were finally allowed to mingle, Jon and Loras decided to say hello to Lord Beric. As they made their way to the table, Jon could feel like someone was watching him but shook it off, thinking it must be the sheer number of people.




"Lord Beric," said Jon. Beric turned around and greeted the two knights with a smile.




"Lads, these are Ser Loras Tyrell and ser Jon Snow," Beric said to men around him.




"My lords." both Loras and Jon said and bowed.




"Come sit with us." The two knights joined the group, and one man, a Mertens, gave them two cups of wine. "You come here for the tourney?"




"Aye, my lord, we do," said Jon.




"It's going to be good riding against you once more. I still have to repay you for Ashford."




"If luck is on your side like it was on mine that day, then you will," Jon said, and Beric laughed.




"Aye, luck it was. I'm looking forward to facing you as well, Ser Loras."




"If we do face each other, the better man will win," Loras said with a smile.




"We will see Ser, we will see. You remember my squire Edric right?" Beric said as he turned to look at the blond boy that sat next to him.




"Yes, will do," said Loras. "Dayne, right?"




"It is my lord." the boy said excitedly.




"Your uncle was the Sword of the morning," said Loras.




"Yes, he was." the boy said in a more serious tone. Jon looked at the boy and, for a moment, could not help but feel sorry for the boy, mostly because his father was the man who killed his uncle Arthur Dayne.




"You are Ned Starks boy, right?" asked a man that sat opposite of him.








"Lord Bryce Caron." the man said and offered his hand, which Jon took.




"It's an honor, my lord," replied Jon.




"Will you be competing in the melee Jon?"




"Aye, Loras and me both."




"Then good luck to you both," Bryce said as he raised his cup.




"Thank you, my lord," said Loras. Jon again turned his gaze to the high table, where he saw his father looking at him; Jon smiled at Ned smiled back. Loras and Jon spent some more time talking with the Stormlanders, each eager to test their metal against each other. As they were about to leave, Beric spoke.




"Send my regards to Garlan and lady Margaery," said Beric.




"We will," said Loras. The two made their way back to their table, where Margaery and Garlan met them. Loras had expected his brother to move around more, but he spent most of the night at their table.




"What does lord Beric say?" asked Margaery.




"He sends his regards to you and our brother," said Loras.




"I hope with meet in the joust, the last time we rode, he unseated me, and my shoulder hurt for a week."




"We remember," said Jon as he, Margaery, and Loras started laughing.




"What so funny?" asked Garlan.




"Don't you remember what happened when he unseated you?" asked Margaery.




"I do; I fell to do the ground hard."




"You also rolled almost all the way back to the starting line," said Jon.




"We will see how you do once you face him."




"I did face him, and I won," Jon said smugly. Then Jon felt a sudden pull on his sleeve; he turned around to see Arya looking at him.




"Hello, there, little Wolf. What are you going here?"




"You said if I dressed and came here that you will introduce me to your friends."




"I did, didn't I? Well, come and sit beside me, and I will introduce you." Arya did as Jon told her and sat between him and Garlan. "This man right here is ser Garlan." Arya turned her head to look at him.




"My lady," said Garlan.




"This is lady Margaery," said Jon, and Arya turned to her.




"I always wanted to meet one of Jon's sister; you are simply darling," said Margaery with a smile.




"I'm not darling," Arya said and crossed her arms, which made people around the table laugh.




"This man here is ser Loras." Arya looked at him for a moment.




"He is too pretty to be a knight," said Arya.




"Aye, he is, but we all have dreams, some more realistic than others," said Jon and Arya; Margaery and Garlan chuckled.




"She is a bold one," said Loras.




"She is Jon's sister, after all," said Margaery.




"That over there is Lord Mace and Lady Alerie." Arya looked at the two, who both gave her a soft smile.




Arya then looked at the old lady sitting next to lord Mace. "Who is that?" Arya asked.




"That is our grandmother lady Olenna," said Margaery.




"The queen of thorns?" Arya said as she looked at Jon.




"Yes, that is what some people call her," said Garlan. Arya spent the rest of the feast with Jon and the Tyrells. She found them all to her liking, especially Margaery and Loras; both seemed like a lot of fun. She was happy that her brother had such good friends. Then finally, septa Mordane came for her. It was time for her to go to bed. As she took the little girl away, she gave Jon a disgusted look, but he did not pay much attention to it. As a boy lady, Catelyn and the septa always looked at him like that. Soon after Arya left, they were joined by Lord Renly. The lord of Storms' end at first seemed like any other noble, trying to get under someone's skin, in this case, lord Maces, but over time, he proved to be more fun than Jon anticipated; he seemed especially fond of Loras.

Chapter Text

He woke up the next morning, his head hurting like someone had hit him with a mace. He tried to remember what had happened during the feast. First Arya left, then Renly came, drank, laughed, then Margaery went and soon so did her parents and grandmother leave him, Loras and Garlan with Renly. "Gods, my head hurts," he thought. It seems that Robert was not the only Baratheon who liked to drink, but it appeared that Renly could hold himself better. He also remembered the King shouting something about his father and Arthur Dayne. Jon moved to the edge of the bed and put his feet on the floor. He got up and stared shakily, walking towards a small table with a water jug and some glasses on it. He poured himself a glass and drank it quickly and immediately after a second one. After a moment, which he used to collect himself, Jon went to the chest and pulled out some fresh clothes, put them on, and left his room, heading for the small dining room in between the rooms. There he found Garlan with a glass of water in his hand; he looked to be in the same condition as Jon was.




"Garlan," said Jon as he sat at the table.




"Jon," replied Garlan.




"When did we return?" asked Jon.




"I don't know," Garlan hiccoughed. "All I remember was coming here with you."








"Must have stayed with lord Renly," Garlan grabbed his head. "Gods, I knew I should have stopped after father left." Jon chuckled at his friend's words, Loras not being in much better condition. As the two of them tried to piece together what happened last night, lady Alerie entered the room.




"Good morning, boys; it good to see you awake."




"Morning lady Alerie," said Jon.




"Morning, mother."




"Have you seen Loras anywhere?" asked Alerie?




"No, we haven't; Jon and I are just trying to figure out where he could be ourselves."




Jon got up from the chair. "I'm going to try and find Loras. You stay here and try not to fall over."




"Very funny," Garlan said sarcastically.




"Thank you, Jon." said lady Alerie. Jon left the dining room and went to the first place he thought Loras could be, his room. Once there he opened the door and went inside to his surprise, he found the room empty. It seemed that Loras had not been here since they left for the feast. He gave another good look around to make sure Loras is not sleeping behind the bed or something, but he found nothing.




"I hope you are not sleeping in the garden again." During Margaery's name day two years ago, Loras got so drunk that he somehow ended up sleeping in the castle garden, only to be discovered by Lady Olenna, saying that she was displeased by her grandson would be putting it lightly. He exited the room and started walking towards the garden, passing servants and guards in the process. It seemed that many of the guards were Lannister soldiers because of the queen, no doubt. While walking through the hallway that leads to the gardens, he came across another member of the Kingsguard. He was fatter than a knight should be, especially one who is tasked with protecting the King. The knight was bold and had a flat nose. By his appearance, Jon deduced his to be Boros Blount or Boros the Belly, how some people called him.

Jon, like many other people, wondered how a man like this could become a Kingsguard. He understood why a man like the Bold was in the Kingsguard, and even the Kingslayer was well known for his skill, but Blount was not. As the men passed each other, the Kingsguard did not even pay attention to who was passing next to him; Jon only smirked because he knew if they met on the joust, the Belly would fall. As he finally reached the gardens, he looked around to find Loras put. Instead, he found Margaery there will some of her ladies like Elinor Tyrell and Mira Forrester. Jon was always good friends with Mira; it brought them both comfort, knowing that there was another northerner in Highgarden. As he approached the group, they turned to look at him and smiled, and he smiled back.




"Lady Margaery, lady Mira, lady Elinor," Jon said with a slight bow.




"Ser Jon," said Margaery with a smile. "What brings you here?"




"I'm looking for your brother, my lady, but it seems I found something else," Jon said with a smile.




"You and my brothers stayed at the feast for quite a while. By how Garlan looked this morning, I would say you had fun."




"Indeed, it seems like that. Although it looks like we lost Loras somewhere."




"Don't worry about my brother Jon; he must be somewhere around here."




"Oh, I'm not worried about him; I'm worried about other people here," Jon said with a smirk, and the ladies chuckled.




"Well then, you better get going, noble Sir; people need rescuing from my brother."




"As you wish, my lady. My ladies." Jon bowed and continued his search. He could hear them laughing as quietly as they could, but he still heard them, and he smiled. He spent another hour looking around the keep; as he was about to give up, he remembered Lord Renly. If he was the last with Loras, he must have an idea where he went. Jon asked one of the servants where Lord Renly's room was, and she told him where to go. He got to the door which was supposed to be the lord's room, and he knocked, but no one answered; he knocked again and again, no one answered. He could hear some noise coming from inside, so he decided to test his luck and go inside. He opened the door quietly and entered inside. He saw nothing until he saw some clothes on the floor, he recognized the shirt that lay on the floor. Walking where the trail of clothes lead, he found himself in the bedroom, and there he saw him.




Jon stood at the door and sighed, "Truly, Loras." Jon said, his voice a bit louder than usual. Loras immediately opened his eyes and looked around to see Jon at the door, Renly following seconds later.




"Snow? What are you doing here?" asked Renly, surprised to see Jon here.




Loras sighed and put his head back on the pillow. "It's alright, it's just Jon."




Renly looked at Loras. "You sure?"




"Yes, I'm sure."




Jon snickered. "You seriously could not wait one day. We just got here, and you already found someone new to sleep with."




"Only the gods can judge me," Loras said as he then felt the headache. "My head."




Jon laughed, "I know how it feels."




"What do you want?" asked Loras.




"Your mother is looking for you," replied Jon and tossed him the green trousers he found on the floor.




Loras groaned. "Fine, I'll be there. Just give me a minute."




"Take your time, pretty boy," Jon said and left the room. Sometime later, Loras came to him fully dressed. "Shall we?"




"Yes." The two men started making their way back to the guest wing.








For him, the feast was unnecessary, not all of the lords have come yet, and the tourney starts in a few days, so that's when all will be present. He was glad to see his daughters having fun; seeing Jon being greeted warmly by the Stormlanders brought a smile on his face, and it seemed that the Reach lords were especially fond of him, the Tyrells particularly. He was fostered and knew well what bond that could make, and it appears that Jon had built that bond with the Tyrells; Ser Loras and lady Margaery seemed to get along with Jon splendidly, and he was glad for that. A few years ago, when a raven came to Winterfell carrying news about Jon being knighted was one of the proudest moments of his life; he was proud of Jon and the man he had become. His mother would have been proud of him. When he decided to have Jon sent to be fostered in the Reach was one of the hardest decisions he had ever made, but he knew that was the best option for him. Catelyn brought constant misery to the boy and whatever he told her fell to deaf ears. For a time, he thought where to send the boy; the North seemed to be the best option, the Vale might have been an option, but he found few houses that wished to foster a bastard, the Riverlands were not much better, the Stormlands were too dangerous, and the West was out of the question. During the Greyjoy rebellion, and he even spoke to Jorah Mormont about it, the once noble lord now traitor happy to accept Jon. Then when the rebellion ended one night, Robert brought it up while Lord Mace Tyrell was with them in the officer's tent, the lord being instantly interested when he heard that one of the sons of the Warden of the North needed to be fostered. Robert jokingly offered lord Mace to foster the boy who took it seriously.




"Lord Stark, I would be honored if you would let me foster one of your sons." said lord Mace.




"I'm not sure, my lord; I'm still considering who to send him to. I would honestly wish for the boy to stay in the North."




"With all due respect, my lord, you would not find a better place for your son than Highgarden. I have three sons and a daughter, so he would not be alone."




"I don't know, lord Tyrell; I would have to think about it."




"As you wish, but when you reach a decision, please tell me."




"I will, my lord."




He spent the next two days thinking about it. The North was Jon's home, that is where he should stay, but the more he thought about the Tyrells offer, the more it seemed like a good opportunity; even if he remained in the North the shadow of him being a bastard of their lord would always loom over him primarily because of Cat. If he went to the Reach, he would have an opportunity to be his own man, to make a name for himself. Lord Mace might not be the smartest man, but he is a good man, and he will honor his word; he will keep Jon safe. Mace can maybe offer Jon a better life than he can. The next day he finally decided to talk to Lord Mace and give him his answer.




Lord Tyrell entered Ned's tent, "My lord," said Ned.




"Lord Stark," replied Mace.




"Take a seat; I wish to speak with you." Mace did as ask and looked at him.




"This is about the fostering, isn't it?"




"Aye, it is. I have given your offer some thought and came to a decision."




"And what would that be?"




"I will accept your offer of my son being fostered by you, but there is something you should know first." Mace looked at him inquisitively. "It is not my firstborn son I wish to foster. It's my second son Jon."




"No matter, I would still be honored."




"My lord, my second son is Jon Snow." Mace looked at him, a bit disappointed. "I would understand if you refuse."




"Snow or not, he is still your son, and I would like to bring him to Highgarden." Lord Maces' words surprised Ned, he doubted that Mace would accept it, but he did.




"Thank you, Lord Mace," said Ned happily.




"Don't mention it, my lord."




After he returned to Winterfell, he summed Jon to his solar. As he sat there going over some letters from his bannermen, the door opened, and in came Jon; the boy seemed slightly frightened, probably because he thought he did something wrong and was about to be punished.




"Father," Jon said in an almost whispering tone.




"Jon, sit." The boy walked to one of the chairs and sat in it, looking at his father.




"Have I done something wrong?"




He was surprised by Jon's words, "No, why would you think that?"




The boy shrugged, "I don't know."




Ned looked at Jon intensely. "Is there something I should know?" Jon looked at him and then lowered his head. "Jon?"




"L-Lady Catelyn, she said..." Ned sighed; he loved Cat, she was the mother of his children, but he hated her behavior towards Jon. He might not have been her son, but she could at least not have made the boy's life hell with every opportunity she got. Now he was glad he will be sending Jon to the Tyrells, as far away from her as possible.




"Jon, I call you here because I have something to tell you."




Jon lifted his head and looked at him. "What is it?"




"I have arranged to have you fostered. "Jon's eyes went wide open in disbelief; for a moment, he just stared at Ned.




"Where will I go, the Glovers, the Mormont's, the Umbers?" Jon asked excitedly.




Ned shооk his head, "You will not be fostered in the North."




Jon's excited expression was replaced by a frown. "Then, where?"




"Highgarden with Lord Mace Tyrell."




"But that means… that I won't be able to see you or Robb or Sansa."




"I know Jon, but I have already spoken to lord Mace, and he agreed."








"Jon, you will like Highgarden; lord Mace even has three sons and a daughter, so you won't be alone." Jon looked at him, his eyes tearing up.




"D-Do you really wish me gone that bad?" For a moment, Ned was taken back by the boy's words. He would never do something that would harm him in any way physically or emotionally.




"Jon, why would you think that?"




"B-because I'm not like Robb, I'm a Snow," Jon said through his tears. Ned got up, walked up to Jon, and knelt beside him.




"I'm not doing this because of that; I'm doing this because I want you to have a better life than I can give you because you are my son, you might not have my name, but you have my blood." He said in a calming tone. "Lord Mace will make you have everything you need."




"Will I ever be able to see you again?"




"Of course, fostering does not last forever. Who knows, you might even be taken as his squire and one day knighted."




"But I'm of the North; how can I be a knight?"




"You heard that lord Jorah was knighted by the king." The boy nodded. "I don't know what will happen there; your fate is yours to choose. The only thing I know that there you will have a better life than here." Ned and Jon starred at each other for a moment before Jon jumped up from his chair and embraced Ned, still crying, but when he hugged back, the tears became slower until they stopped.




"Thank you, father."




Now almost ten years after those events, while he sat in his solar in the Redkeep, he could not help but think that it was the right decision to make. He heard tales of Jon's exploits, but when he saw how people reacted to him during the feast, how they greeted him and laughed with him, he knew his mother would be proud of her son as much as he is.








He and Jon walked to the guest wing. Once there, they found all of his family awake sitting at the table.




"Morning to you all," said Loras.




Morning son." said Mace and Alerie.




"Where have you been?" asked Margaery. Loras gave Jon a quick look; he cursed himself for not coming up with an excuse. It was one thing to sleep with someone but to drunkenly spend a night with the King's brother.




"I found him with some of the Stormlanders from last night; it seems they continued the feast long after we left," said Jon with a smile.




"Well, it's good that you are here with us again," said Alerie.




"Jon said you asked for me," said Loras.




"I did. I need you to go to the city and get some gifts for the royal family, I sent a servant yesterday to order them for me, and I now need to pick them up."




"Why do I need to go? Why not Margaery or Garlan?" Loras asked, annoyed.




"Because we are to have a meal with the queen and the prince, which only leaves you," said Olenna. "You also said yesterday that you would need to go get some armor, so while you are there, might as well do this."




"Fine, let's go, Jon."




"Why me?"




"Do you have anything better to do?"




Jon smirked, "Calm yourself, of course, I will go."




"Come on then," said Loras, and the two exited the dining room.




Loras and Jon were walking along the city streets, their guards and some servants behind them. Harlan, the man who initially ordered the gifts, told the two where they could find the shops. So far, they have gotten several delicate fabrics for the princess, a golden necklace with emeralds and rubies in it, and now all that was left was to get a sword for the crown prince and a dagger for his younger brother. As luck would have it, Harlan went to Tobho Mott for the Sword and dagger; he did not need to order one to be made because last time Mace was in the capital, he ordered a new sword forged for himself, but due to being called back to Highgarden he had to leave before it was finished but told Motto to keep it with him and over time he just forgot about it until Alerie remembered and thought it would be a good gift for the prince. As the two friends and they retinue arrived at the shop, they were warmly greeted by the smith.




"My lords, it is an honor to have you in my shop. What can I do for you."




"We came to pick up a sword for lord Mace, and we need a dagger, something a bit nicer to look at," said Loras.




"Of course, my lord. The Sword has been sitting in my shop for quite some time. I honestly did not think that lord Mace would come back for it," Motto turned around to look at his apprentice. "Gendry, go get lord Mace's sword and get one of our best daggers too."




"We will also need two pairs of gauntlets, and I will also need a thin sword for someone of smaller size," said Jon




"The gauntlets for the tourney?"








"I can have them done by the melee day."




"Good, thank you, master Motto," said Loras. Soon the apprentice returned with the Sword and a dagger. The Sword was a work of art, the blade perfect. When Harlan went to pick it up, it still had a rose on its hilt, so it had to be removed and replaced with a stags head. The dagger was excellent, the scabbard made from ironwood and ivory, and the handle plated with gold. "Fine gifts both." he thought. Loras asked how much they own the smith, Motto told the price, and Loras and Jon paid for the Sword and the dagger and the gauntlets upfront.




"The sword I can have done maybe after the tourney is over," said Motto.




"Thank you again, master Motto," said Jon. As they were about to leave, a man approached the shop, seemingly having some trouble walking; when he came closer to Loras, he realized why; he reeked of ale.




"Motto!" the man shouted.




"Thoros." said the smith.




"I come for my swords." the man muttered.




"I have them here," Motto went to the wall, where several swords were stacked and picked up four; he put each in its own scabbard and handed them to Thoros. "I swear I can run my shop solely by making swords for you."




"Using flaming swords is good when fighting opponents but bad for my purse," the priest laughed. "But I don't care, here is your gold Motto." the smith took the gold and gave the swords over to the man who, after few more words with the forger, left. Loras and Jon looked at him as he walked away.




"So that's the great Thoros of Myr, the red priest," said Jon.




"Doesn't look like much, looks like a drunk to me," said Loras.




"Don't be fooled, my lords, Thoros might be a drunk, but he is good with a sword, especially with a flaming sword."




"I'm not worried about him; once the melee begins, he will be the first one I throw out," said Loras, and Jon chuckled. Loras turned his gaze from Motto to Jon, "What's so funny?"




"Oh, nothing."




"You think I can't beat him."




"I never said that," Jon said with a smirk.




"But you are thinking about it."








"I will beat both you and that priest."




"Only in your dreams." Loras glared at Jon. "Come on now, we have everything we need. Let's get back to the keep."




"Fine, but I will prove you wrong," Loras said determinately.




"Sure, you will," Jon replied with a smirk still on his face.








The last night's feast was more fun than she initially expected. Garlan, Loras, Jon, Mira, Elinor were all having a good time, and so did she, although her grandmother seemed less than pleased. She looked at the high table to see the King and queen and their children. The queen was beautiful, and her children inherited her looks. The crown prince was tall, handsome, with the typical golden hair and green eyes of house Lannister. Comparing him to his uncle, who was guarding the King and queen that night, they looked very similar. By the looks that both the queen and the prince bore on their faces, they did not have much fun during the celebration, unlike the King and the two younger children. Meeting Jon's sister was probably the best part of the night; she had she had gray eyes and brown hair like a true Stark, she was also a little rebel by its looks. She did and said whatever she wanted, not afraid of what might happen.

On the other hand, Jon's other sister looked like any other southern lady, well-mannered and sticking close to her father for most of the night. Both she and Sansa danced with the prince, the prince might have been a good dancer, but he was not the one she truly wished to dance with. It was Jon who she wanted to be with but knew that they could not do something like that publicly even if they grew up together, particularly not in front of her grandmother. The prince seemed charming and gallant, but she had overheard from some servant girls that he had quite a temper. Now, as she and her family went to have a meal with the queen and the prince, she wondered what she will see, will she see the courteous prince of something else. Once they reached a door where two Kingsguard stood, they opened the door and were allowed into a small private dining room. There she saw the prince sitting next to his mother and sister. Walking in, she greeted them and gave a warm smile, which they all returned. The meal was pleasant enough, the queen and her parents talked, she spoke with the prince whose behavior had not changed from the night before. He was pleasant and his little sister even more so. While they all seemed to be having a good time, she noticed how her grandmother was looking at the queen and the prince; she was sizing them up. Her grandmother was a seasoned player of the game, and she took every opportunity to see what the potential competition was made off. The queen's father, Lord Tywin, was well known throughout the land for the way he raised his family back up and made it one of if not the most powerful in all the Westeros. The man was ruthless and efficient, had an excellent mind for warfare, and plotting something his firstborn son did not inherit by the looks of it. He also was not afraid to break an oath to get what he wants, which he proved during the sack of King's landing. Both Olenna and Margaery knew that Cersei fancied herself as a female version of her father but how much of that was true were yet to be seen, and by the looks of it, her grandmother was doing it right now.




"Your dress is so pretty, lady Margaery," said Myrcella.




"Thank you, princess, your dress is beautiful as well." the little princess smiled, and she smiled back.




"I hope your journey here was not too hard for you, lady Olenna." said the queen.




"At my old age, your grace, many things aren't easy, but I must bear it. Something you are will find out one day." The queen's smile disappeared.




"Will, your father, be attending, your grace?" asked Alerie.




"Unfortunately, not, he is too busy with his obligations in the west."




"Shame, I sure he would have loved to be here with you and his grandchildren." her mother said with a smile.




"That I'm certain of." the queen said, and a smile returned.




"Will you be participating in the tourney, my prince?" asked Margaery. The queen immediately turned her gaze from her mother to her.




"I originally intended to compete, but I pulled out in the last minute, my uncles will be participating, and it would look bad if I unseated them in the first round." the prince said smugly.




"How noble of you," said Margaery.




"I would like to face off against Uncle Jaime, but it seems that will have to wait."




"I'm certain if you faced him, you would win."




"I would." the prince said, a smug smile on his lips.




The rest of the meal went well, the parents talking, she trying to leave a good impression on the prince, and her grandmother doing what she does best, making sure the Tyrells are on the winning side of things, although she had kept her tongue on a short leash almost the whole time. When it was finally over, she and her family parted with the prince, prince, and the princess. Everything going as she had expected; the prince seemed pleased with her and even the queen.




It was past noon now, and Jon and Loras had returned from the city, the gifts her mother asked for in their hands. The fabrics they bought and the jewelry they brought will make a perfect gift for the young princess; prince Tommen might be little, but he will surely appreciate a fine dagger and for the crown prince a sword that looked more like a work of art. When her father took the blade in his hands, he remembered that it was the one he ordered from Motto.




"Wait, this is mine?"




"Aye, father, that is the one you left here in Motto shop when you were last here," answered Loras.




"Then why is it a gift for the prince?" Mace asked, confused.




"Because you have no use for a sword, and it will look better around the prince's belt than yours," said Olenna. Her father looked at her only to lower his head in submission when she gave him a scolding look.




"As you wish, mother."




"So, how was the city?" asked Margaery.




"Good, there are so many shops and some many items that someone could buy," said Jon.




"You will have to show me around."




"We won't worry. As Loras and Jon told Margaery and Alerie about the sights in the city, a Stark guard arrived.




"My lords, my ladies, forgive the intrusion, but lord Stark has sent me to bring his son." Jon looked at the guard.




"Did he say why?"




"Forgive me, but no."




"Tell him I will be there in a moment," said Jon, and the guard nodded and left.




"Is everything alright, Jon?" asked Margaery with a worried tone.




"I think so; he must just want to talk with me now while he has time."




"Can I come with you?" asked Loras.




"Leave him be, little brother," said Margaery.,




"Oh, come on, he said that he will take me to meet his father when he could; I don't see why he can't do it now." Margaery glared at her brother and he at her.




"Alright, you can come with me, just don't do something to embarrass me in front of my father."




"Why would I do that?" Loras asked with a smirk.




"Come on, pretty boy." Margaery and her family watched as the two exited the room and went to meet with Jon's father.








As they walked through the corridors towards the tower of the hand, she could not help but feel excited by the fact that she was about to meet Eddard Stark, The Silent wolf, in person. The tales he heard about him from other people and Jon all painted him as this honorable man, a skilled commander and a master of the blade, which was supported by the fact that he defeated Arthur Dayne in single combat. Once, he asked Jon why his father refuses to participate in tourneys, to which he replied by saying that when his father fights, he fights for real and that there is no telling what he would do to someone if they faced off against him. Now, as they reached the door of the hands solar, he could not help but feel a bit nervous. Two guards stood in front of the door, one opened the door, and they went inside.




"Father, you wished to see me," said Jon while lord Stark was going through some papers on his desk.




"Aye, I did," said Lord Eddard as he lifted his gaze from the papers to his son and then to Loras.




"Father, this is Loras, lord Maces son," said Jon.




"Lord hand, it is an honor to meet you," said Loras and bowed.




"The honor is mine Ser Loras. Come, sit." They did as they were told and watched for a few more moments as lord Stark went through the papers. Loras looked at the brown-haired man; the first thing he noticed about him was the dark gray eyes, like pools of beaten steel. Eddard was much shorter than Loras thought he would be, but then Jon was not really tall either, so that was another thing he got from his father.




Lord Eddard sighed, "I'm going to need to call Baelish for this."




"Is everything alright, father?" asked Jon.




"Yes, nothing for you to worry about."




"What did you wish to talk about?"




"I called you here to tell you that I had a talk with your sister."




"How did it go?"




"As well as you think, but she did listen to what I had to say," Eddard sighed again. "If you wish to talk with her yourself, she will be with the septa Mordane."




"Thank you, father. Is that all you wished to tell me?"




"I was hoping to be able to talk with you some more actually," Eddard looked at Jon and then at Loras, his cold gray eyes sending a small shiver down Loras's spine. "So you both will be competing in the tourney?"




"Yes, we will," said Loras.




"Aye, father, I know how you feel about the tourneys." Eddard raised his hand, which made Jon stop.




"Yes, I don't like tourneys, but I can't stop you from participating; you are grown enough to make your own decisions."




"Thank you, father."




"Besides, I don't think you would even listen to me if I told you otherwise." lord Eddard said with a small smile.




"Aye, I probably wouldn't; I would never pass a chance to beat this sorry sob right here," Jon said as he pointed at Loras.




"Hey, I'm not the one who is going to lose; you are," Loras said.




"When the wall melts, pretty boy," Jon said with a smug smile. Their bickering was interrupted by a laugh coming from lord Eddard. Jon and Loras turned to look at the hand.




"Father?" asked Jon.




"Sorry, I could not help myself. You two just remind me of Robert and myself when we were young. Robert was always the one who claimed that he can beat anyone, and I was there to keep his head from going to the clouds."




"But he did defeat prince Rhaegar," said Loras, which made the lord more serious.




"Aye, he did."




"I overheard him last night talking about the Trident and your fight against Arthur Dayne," said Loras.




"The king likes to talk about the old days."




"But you fought Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the morning, and you defeated him. If I did so, I would make sure everyone knows it from me."




Eddard looked him straight in the eyes; Lord Starks's eyes seemed to change somehow now; they were even colder and judgmental. "Arthur Dayne was a good man and a loyal one; he deserves better than for someone to be boasting about his death." Eddard's words made Lora's gulp; this was not how he wanted his meeting with Eddard Stark to go.




"I'm sorry, my lord, I did not mean it that way," said Loras, his words a bit unsure as he spoke them.




Lord Stark sighed, "It does not matter what you meant, the past is in the past, and that's where it should stay."








She was starting to regret coming to this city, the long road was grueling enough, but the thought of being greeted by the royal family should have made it worth it until it was not. The King and queen did not even bother to show up, leaving it instead of the new hand to it for them. She was glad to meet the man but was annoyed by the audacity of the King and queen. The fat oaf seems to forget who's lands feed the seven kingdoms, all that would take for them to throw the realm into chaos could be to stop exporting their food to the other kingdoms. At least the King's brother had some basic courtesy to show up and formally greet them. Seeing him spin her stupid son around his finger proved that he was not a total idiot like his brother. The rooms they were given were suitable, but she knew that the best ones were given to the Lannisters and their underlings. Then at the feast, they were placed in the middle instead of close to the high table where they belong. At least Margaery had an opportunity to dance with the prince, and she even managed to get them invited to a meal with the queen and prince, proving that her granddaughter takes more after her than her incompetent son. One thing that she despises is the way how her granddaughter looks at the bastard; she had barely taken her eyes off him the whole night. Margaery is supposed to marry the prince and become the future queen, not to be smitten by some bastard boy from the North. She knew that he was popular among the noble ladies even if he was not a true born son, but she could not let Margaery throw everything away for him. Series proposal of getting gifts for the prince and his siblings was a good idea. The meal with the royals went well although she could see through the queen act, it took her almost her whole will not make a comment that could possibly insult the queen, but it was all worth it in the end, Margaery had left, and good impression on the prince and he seemed pleased with her. Now, as she sat in her room drinking tea, she thought that everything was falling into its place. All that remains is to move the bastard out of the way.

Chapter Text

As he and Loras exited his father's solar, he could not help but smile at his friend, Loras seemingly jumping with excitement. The conversation took an odd turn when Loras mentioned Arthur Dayne and his father looking at him as if he just insulted Robert or Jon Arryn, but he understood that Arthur Dayne was one of the most honorable men to ever live in Westeros, so no one should mock him. The conversation took a turn for the better moments later when Jon changed the subject, and it seemed to work; in the end, Loras and his father seemed to get along just fine, which he was glad for, Loras maybe even more than he.




"Do you want to go grab something to eat before we spar?" asked Loras.




"No, I think that I will try to find Sansa," replied Jon.




"As you wish, good luck."




"Thank you, I'm going to need it." As the two parted ways, Jon went to see if Sansa is at her lessons with the septa. As he went to the room, he heard septas voice speaking to Sansа and then chastising Arya for something she had done. Jon remembered his time at Winterfell and how the septa would treat him; she was not much better than lady Catelyn. Now, as he stood leaning at the entrance of the room looking at his two sisters, he could not help but smile. Septa might have hated him, but at least she is good with them. He knocked on the door, which made the septa turn her attention from Sansa's embroidery to him.




"My lord," she said. Both Sansa and Arya turned to look at him.




"Hey there," Jon said.




"Jon!" shouted Arya quickly got up from her chair and ran to hug her brother. Jon could see that the septas look turned from welcoming to one of disgust.




"Hello, there, little wolf."




"What are you doing here?" the little girl asked excitedly.




"I just came to see what you and your sister were doing."




"Septa Mordane is making me do embroidery."




"Every proper southern lady should know how to do embroidery." said the septa.




"Well, I'm not a southerner nor a lady," said Arya, which made the septa grimace.




"You should take your lessons, little wolf; they are important," said Jon.




"But they are boring. I would rather train with Syria."




"Well, both kinds of lessons are important, the one the septa teach and ones that Syrio does," Jon said this but wasn't sure if he really meant it. He disliked the septa as much as she did him, and to be honest, she was a preacher of a foreign religion, which northerners did not look kindly to.




"Forgive me, septa, but I wished to speak with my sister. Alone."




"That is not possible; they are having their lessons now." the septa said in a dismissive tone.




"Our father has given me permission." she glared at him for a moment before relenting and nodding. "Arya, go with the septa."




"But you said you wanted to talk."




"Yes, I did, but I want to talk with Sansa."








"If you give us some time to talk, I promise that I will bring you to my next sparing session with Loras." Her eyes went from disappointed to excite as she looked at him.




"You promise."




"Aye, I promise."




"Fine, I will leave you two to talk," Arya said and exited with the septa. Jon watched as the two left before turning his gaze to Sansa.




"We have nothing to talk about," said Sansa.




"Yes, we do, Sansa."




"No, we don't," she said as she got up from her chair and started walking towards the door, only to be stopped by Jon stepping in front of her.




Jon gave her a pleading look. "Sansa, please, you are my sister; tell me why you treat me like this."




"Why? You wish to know why?" She snarled.








She stared at him for a moment and then spoke, "You left Jon, you just left. You were my brother, and you left, I loved you more than any other, and you just abandoned me." tears started flowing out of her eyes as she finished the sentence. Jon stared at her, not knowing what to say. "Say something! Tell me, what's your excuse!"




"I-I didn't want to abandon you; I would never just leave you like that."




"But you did, didn't you?" the hurt was apparent in her voice.




"Father wanted me to be fostered."




"You could have said no; you could have asked to be fostered somewhere in the North."




"Father, he had made the arrangement with lord Mace long before I left."




"Why, why would you leave so far away?"




"Because my father wanted something better for me because I wanted something better for myself, better for you."




"What?" she asked, confused.




Jon sighed, "I'm a bastard, I will always be a bastard, I'm the only stain upon our father's good name. Lady Catelyn had made sure I never forget that to always know that. If I stayed, you would have to bear the shame of being seen with your father's disgrace."




"Jon?" she took a step closer and looked him in the eyes.




"I left in the hope that one day I could return home more than just a bastard, that I would make a name for myself, to make our father proud, to make you all proud. The hardest thing I did in my life was leaving Winterfell, watching you all as I rode through those gates, not knowing when I would return."




"Jon I-I..."




Jon lowered his head and looked at the stone floor. "You have every right to be angry with me, little sister, I'm not going to ask you for forgiveness, but I will ask you to give me a chance to prove to you that I care about you, that I'm still and always will be your brother." They stared at each other for a while. What she did next, he honestly did not expect. She put her arm around him and brought him in a tight embrace, tears still flowing down her cheeks.




"Jon," she paused, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." He embraced her back.




"There is nothing to be sorry about; it is I who is to blame."




"No, you are not." They stayed like that for a moment, which left like hours before she broke off and looked him in the eyes again. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."




"Don't worry, Sansa, I promise to never abandon you; know that I will always be there for you."




"Thank you, big brother." Jon smiled at Sansa, calling him brother; for a moment, he doubted that she will ever call him that again.




"What now?" she asked.




"I think it would be a good idea to get our sister before she tears the septa apart." Sansa laughed, and he joined her. "And after that, I think we should visit the wolves."




Sansa looked at him, stunned, "You know about them?"




Jon smiled. "Aye, father showed them to me after I arrived. They are beautiful, especially your one."




"Lady in a fine wolf, but the white one is different than the rest of them. Father and Robb originally found five with the mother and him to the side. The runt of the litter Theon called him."




"Hey, just like me."




"No, you are not," she said as she punched his shoulder.




Jon made a hurt sound. "And I thought you were a lady."




"Am a lady. "She said smugly as she continued walking next to him.








She did not know what bothered her more, Robert or his stupid tourneys. Every time there is something to celebrate, he throws a tourney even when there is no real reason for it. Her foolish husband enjoyed seeing men beat each other with weapons and knock each other off horses while she did not; she hated it. The only good thing about it all was seeing Jaime in all his glory putting people in their place. The feasts were dull affairs each night the same thing, her oaf of a husband drinking himself into a stupor with other supposed subjects while telling tales of a time long past, when he was once the great Demon of the Trident and now a fat drunk, unlike her brother who only seemed to get better with age. Her beautiful son inherited their looks and personality, which made him perfect; he was going to be a great king one day. But for now, she must put up with the fat fool's whims and wishes. Her father would have made far better hand than lord Eddard, but at least since he arrived, there seemed to be a voice of reason next to her husband. His oldest daughter was a beautiful young girl. If Robert truly wishes for Joffrey to marry her, at least he had picked a good one.

On the other hand, the younger sister was a complete beast; how Lady Catelyn had not disciplined her was beyond her. The feast carried on, and more and more lords filled the hall, and she did not really care until the Tyrells arrived, which did surprise her a bit. She knew that Robert still saw them as dragon supporters, proving that his mind is still stuck in the Rebellion, which could only mean Lord Eddard invited them here. That night she watched as the Tyrell daughter looked towards them at the high table and locked eyes with her son. She gave him a soft smile, which he returned. Lady Olenna was there as well, and the old crone seemed to watch her constantly, only removing her gaze to either look at lord Stark or his bastard. The boy was handsome that much was obvious, and even if he was a bastard, she noticed that several daughters of noble lords keeping their eyes on him. Later she told Joffrey to ask Lady Margaery for a dance to see how the Queen of thorns would react. Joffrey was a magnificent dancer, and the rose followed him every step, but Olenna's expression did not change; she revealed nothing. After Olenna, Mace, and his wife left, she sent a servant to invite them to a private meal tomorrow, which they accepted. The next day she asked her children to have guests with them, and soon they arrived, Olenna, Mace, his wife, daughter, and second son. When she asked about the whereabouts of the third son Alerie told her that he went to the city with the bastard, a bastard mingling with his betters. Maybe Lady Olenna was not as smart as the stories would have people believe. During that time, she concluded that Mace was a bigger fool than she had thought he to be, his mother and old shrew with a long tongue who does not know her place while Alerie and the children seemed friendly enough although the way the daughter spoke and looked at her Joffrey made it quite clear what she wants, she wants him. All the stupid talk got on her nerves, and she had to plaster on a smile for most of their time together, but it was worth it in the end; she knew what their endgame was. Like Sansa, Margaery was pretty enough, but she had something the Stark girl didn't have ambition, which was clear. She would still need more information, which she knew how to obtain; a few more hours with the prince would not hurt. As she was standing looking out onto the city below, a glass of vine in hand, the door of her room opened, and the all too familiar sound of armor was heard behind her; seconds later, the door closed, and she turned around.




"So how did the meeting with the Tyrells go?" asked her brother.




She put the wine glass on a small table near her. "The roses and going after Joffrey," she said with a tone that made her distaste of the Tyrells clear.




"So, what's the problem?"




"The problem is that we can't let them have him, especially not that old hag Olenna."




"Afraid of a bit competition?" asked Jaime.




"You know what the old rose is like, the girl might be a good match, but if Olenna has her way, the Tyrells will have too much power."




Jaime took several steps towards her and looked her in the eyes. "Relax, Robert might be stupid, but at least that is working to our advantage. He still sees the Tyrells as dragon supporters, and he is obsessed with the Starks. As much as I don't like Ned Stark, his girl seems like a good match for Joffrey, and the Stark has no ambition."




His words brought some comfort and eased her mind. "You are right, at least one good thing to come from Robert, but I'm still going to watch over them. I have already got a number of my spies watching them as we speak."




"Them and that bastard boy." She saw the bastard during the feast; he moved around like he was the prince, and people acted like he was. It is Joffrey who should be adored like that, not some bastard boy from the North. The bastard will be participating in the tourney, so they will have an opportunity to teach him a lesson.




"Ned Starks bastard is flying too high; I think someone should knock him back to the ground," she said as she cupped his cheek.




"I'm going to enjoy that very much and also seeing the look on Stark's face," he said with a smug smile and brought their lips into a passionate kiss.








After she and the septa left Jon and her stupid sister alone, she had expected to hear shouting coming from inside, but there was none. Septa took her to another room, where she continued with her damn embroidery. She hated it, she hated septas teachings; a lady must do this; a lady needs to know that all she wants is to learn how to use a sword and get her wolf back. Stupid prince, stupid Sansa, should have never left Winterfell; the only good thing that came out of all this was meeting Jon. She did not really remember him, but she knew what Robb, Sansa, Maester Luwin, and father had told her and her mother's stories, which always depicted Jon in a bad light. So far, Jon seemed good; he reminded her a lot of Robb. The stories she heard about him all said he is a great warrior and can best any knight. It was funny to watch Syrio knock Jon on the ground, but he did last much longer than she did, and Syrio did seem like he was really trying to avoid and block his strikes. Every few seconds, she would stop with her embroidery and try to listen for any signs of them arguing, only to be told by the septa to not pay attention to the bastard and to get back to her lesson. When she called her brother that it did anger her, but she kept quiet, not wanting to cause any more trouble for Jon, Sansa being enough. As she returned to her work, she heard someone talking and laughing in the hallway. It took her a second to realize that the voices belonged to Jon and Sansa. "Jon and Sansa, this can't be right." she thought. She saw next baffled her even more; Jon and Sansa came through the door with smiles on their faces.




"Come on, little wolf don't you want to see the wolf with us?" asked Jon. She looked at them both like something was wrong with them, and they noticed.




"What is it, Arya?" asked Sansa.




"What did you do to him?"




"What do you mean? I did not do anything."




"Jon, tell me if she had done something to you," Arya said, the sentence sounding more like an order than a request.




"She did not do anything, little wolf; we just had a talk and came to an understanding." She looked at them both as if she was taking a measure of them.




"Arya, for god's sake, he fine; I did not do anything to him," Sansa said, slightly annoyed.




"I will go with you just to make sure."




"You can't you still have your lesson." said the septa. She looked back at her only to see the septas gaze turned towards Jon in a look of disapproval.




"I think he had enough lessons for today; we can take one day early," said Sansa.




"My lady." said the septa in protest.




"Don't worry, all will be fine; our big brother is with us," replied Sansa, and the three of them left, leaving the septa with a look of annoyance and anger on her face. As they were making their way to the stables where the wolves were kept, the three Starks came across Ser Jaime and Ser Meryn.




"Lady Sansa, lady Arya, Lord Stark," said Jaime addressing each one; when he looked at Jon, he gave him a smug smirk. She knew that what he said to Jon was only to mock him.




"Ser Jaime," Sansa said and did a curtsy while Arya and Jon only stared angrily at the Kingslayer. As the two knights passed next to them and went on their way, the Starks looked at them, especially Arya.




"Smug prick," said Arya.




"Arya!" shouted Sansa.




"What? He is." Jon could not hold his laugh at his little sister. After Jon composed himself, they returned to where they were going. When they arrived at the stable, Sansa immediately ran towards the cage where her wolf was being kept.




"Lady," she said as he approached the cage and grabbed the bars. The she-wolf got up and walked to lick Sansa's hand. She started giggling at the wolf's show of affection. Jon and Arya stood behind her for a moment before Arya knelt beside her sister and started feeding the wolf sausages they picked up from one of the servants, which the wolf ate greedily. Arya smiled at the gray wolf. She looked at the white one; the wolf was staring at Jon and Jon at him, blood-red eyes meeting dark gray. This wolf was different from the rest in more ways than one; he was completely white, his eyes were red instead of yellow, and he never makes any sound. Father had originally wanted to keep him for himself but then decided to give him to Jon when he finally arrived.




"You know that he is yours right," said Arya as she looked at Jon.




"I know little wolf father, and I spoke about it."




"You did?" asked Sansa.




"Aye, we did; we have also spoken about me taking Lady we with also." Sansa turned from her wolf to look at Jon, a look of shock on her face.




"You can't!" Sansa said in a pleading tone.




"I'm sorry, Sansa, but my father had made his decision. He thinks that I should watch over her, at least for now." Sansa stared at her brother, tears slowly forming in her eyes.




"Why can't she stay here?"




"A city like this is not a place for a Direwolf, let alone a cage. She needs to be free."




"I know, but-but I want her here with me." Jon moved closer and put one hand on her shoulder.




"I know you do, but it better like this, and it's not forever you can come to visit. By the time you are older, you might even get her back."




"You think so."




"I know so." Jon pulled Sansa into a hug. "I know it's hard, but that's how things must be for now."




"I know," she said, sobbing.




"Don't worry, I promise to take good care of her, and I think Willas is going to enjoy having two dire wolves around the castle to obsess over."




"Lord Willas?"




"Aye, he is good with animals; he breeds hounds and horses, so having a chance to look at something that has been considered as a myth by Maesters would be too good to pass. And lord Mace is probably going to boast to everyone that he has two mythical wolves walking around his castle."




"Thank you, Jon."




As she watched the two of them, Arya could not help but think about her own wolf; she had to chase it away to not be killed by the stupid prince. At least she is safe somewhere out there, free like she should be. When her father said that the two other wolves will be put inside a cage, she protested but to no avail. Father said that the king had made himself clear and that the dire wolves must be kept in a cage or killed. She was really starting to hate the royal family, the king, the Queen, and the prince. The Robert she saw was not the man they were told about; he was not a great warrior who could lead armies or beat a dragon prince, he was a fat man who likes to drink too much, and the Queen was an arrogant bitch who only cared for herself and her precious son. If she were her father, she would have never left home, never left her mother, Robb, Bran, Rickon.




After her siblings broke off their hug, Arya asked: "So what are you going to name him?"




Sansa looked at Arya and then back at Jon.




"Ghost, his name is Ghost," replied Jon.




"Ghost," said Arya and chuckled. "It's obvious why."




"Yeah, I think it suits him." The wolf looked at Jon as if to confirm it. The three of them stayed there, feeding the wolves and having fun for a while until a servant came running to them.




"Ser Jon." said the servant. They looked at him, thinking that maybe something is wrong.




"What is it?" asked Jon.




"Ser Loras has sent me to look for you; you are late for the sparring session."




Jon slapped his forehead, "Loras, I forgot."




"He is waiting for you in the courtyard."




"Alright, tell him that I will be there in a minute." the servant nodded and went on his way.




"Do you really have to leave?" asked Arya.




"Yeah, if I leave him there alone, I'm never going to hear the end of it."




"Alright," said Sansa.




"Wait, you said you will take to watch you spar."




"I did and will, so come on. Sansa, you wish to come with us. I'm sure Loras would be happy to meet you."




"Ser Loras," she said, her cheeks becoming read.




"Yes, now come on."




"Alright," replied Sansa.




"You like him, don't you?" teased Arya.




"L-Loras." Sansa stuttered at the thought of the knight. "He is one of the best knights in the land and certainly in the Reach."




"But not the best," said Jon.




"And who would that be?" asked Sansa while looking at Jon, her eyes narrowed.




"Yours truly," replied Jon smugly.




"As if," said Sansa.




"What me to prove it?"








"Fine, I will beat Loras now and prove it to you."




"I have to see this," said Arya. In a fight between her brother and the knight of the flowers, she knew who would win, but she still wanted to see her brother trashing the Reach rose. As they arrived at the training area, they could see ser Loras coming towards them.




"Where have you been?" he asked, clearly annoyed at her brother.




"I have been spending time with my sisters," the knight looked at the two of them. "Loras, I want you to meet lady Sansa and Arya you probably remember from last night unless you were too drunk by then."




"I remember the little she-wolf, too pretty to be a knight she said," Loras said with a smile and then looked at her sister "Lady Sansa, it is an honor," he said as he bowed and kissed her hand.




"The honor is mine Ser Loras," Sansa replied and did a perfect curtsy while blushing.




"I hope your brother had told you about me."




"He told very little Ser." Loras looked at Jon.




"You hurt me, Jon," he said in an over-exaggerated tone.




"Quit whining and let us do what you dragged me here for."




"Aye, let's give these noble ladies a show. Ready to lose Snow."




"Only in your dreams, pretty boy." The two moved towards the wall where a group of swords was stacked, and each took one and put on some protective gear. Sansa and Arya moved to the side. The two men quickly made their way to the center.




"Shall we?" Loras asked with a small bow that someone could easily find mocking, and Arya did so.




"I think we shall, to five Loras?" said Jon.




"Aye, five it is."




Loras attacked first, aiming for Jon's right arm only for the strike to be blocked easily. The next several strikes were aimed towards Jon's shoulders or chest, but he parried them all. It was then when he went on an attack. One quick slash towards Loras's chest, but the knight blocked it as well, then Jon made several consecutive strikes towards the Tyrells left shoulder only for them to be blocked. As he was about to attempt the move again, Loras prepared to block it, only for Jon to switch the side of the attack in the last second to strike the right shoulder and leg quickly. Both Arya and her sister looked amazed at the move and how fast their brother had pulled it.




Jon took a few steps back and smiled at Loras. "It that the best you got," Loras smirked at went on an attack once again, this time managing to score a point when he caught Jon on the thigh. For the next few minutes, no one scored a point until Jon managed to get behind Loras and strike him across the back. Loras turned around to face Jon and moved several steps to the left. The two carefully watched each other waiting for the other one to make a move. Jon moved towards Loras and made a quick attack at his chest, which the Tyrell avoided.




"They are going at it again." a female voice was heard saying behind her and Sansa; they both turned to see a beautiful brown-haired woman and several other people behind her. Arya recognized her as ser Loras's sister Margaery. She smiled at them as she came closer and looked at Arya. "Hello, Arya,"




"Hello, lady Margaery."




Margaery then turned to her sister, "Forgive me, I'm Margaery Tyrell, and you must be Jon's sisters Sansa."




"Lady Margaery," said Sansa stunned.




"Yes," said the woman with a soft smile.




"It is a pleasure, my lady," said Sansa while doing a curtsy.




"The pleasure is all mine, lady Sansa. Jon has told me a lot about you."




"Really?" Sansa asked, blushing slightly.




"Yes, he did; he called you his favorite sister."




"Hey," Ayra said, clearly disappointed, "Why I'm not the favorite one?"




"You did not spend any time with Jon as I did," replied Sansa. As much as she hated it, Arya knew that her sister was right; Jon left long before she could remember. The sound of swords clashing turned their attention from each other back to the fight. The three girls watched as swords collided, again and again, each of the two knights in front of them refusing to be the one who loses. As Loras was about to make a move towards Jons's left leg, Jon quickly managed to get out of the way of the attack and hit Loras at the arm and then on the hand, making him drop his sword. As Lora's sword fell to the ground, Jon moved his sword towards Loras's neck.




"Yield," said Jon.




"I yield," replied Loras. Jon bent down and picked up the sword from the ground, and handed it back to Loras. "We said to give you did not need to do that."




"Well, we do have an audience, so I thought I give them a big finish," said Jon with a smile.




"And you say I show off."




"You show off too much; I show off when I need to."




"Yeah, yeah. I'm still going to beat you."




"We will see."




Watching her brother fight ser Loras was exciting, mostly because her sister and Lady Margaery were there. Lady Margaery probably knew how good Jon really was, but seeing Sansa's face when the Tyrells sword fell to the ground and Jon pointing his sword at Lora's neck was priceless. Her brother was not someone to be pushed around, and she will be the same. Comparing Jon with Robb, it was apparent that Jon was the better fighter of the two. She wished that they could have met sooner or that they at least visited Highgarden with father. But her brother is here with them now; there is no pint dwelling on the past.








When she got up this morning, she did not even think that she would willingly spend time with Jon. For some reason, Arya took an immediate liking to him as soon as she saw him, while she was still hurt and refused to even talk to him. When he arrived to speak, she wanted nothing more than to leave, but he stopped her, and she was now glad that he did. She never really thought about how he felt about leaving or why he did it, she just thought he left because he wanted to, but after hearing his reasons, she could not help but feel like a fool. When they were little, he was always the caring brother who was still there when she needed him; he was always there to help even when her mother wanted him as far away from her as possible. Realizing that everything she thought and was told by her mother was wrong and that he was still the same brother she remembered made her angry, angry at herself that she even considered those things and how she initially treated him when he arrived. She still remembers the day when Jon left.




They were standing in the Winterfell courtyard, she, Robb, father, and even mother. She held a small doll in her hands as she watched him say his goodbye to father, then to Robb, and finally her.




"Good luck Snow, the next time we see each other, you will be a knight," said Robb, and she could hear her mother groan in disapproval.




"When I get knighted, I will return, and then we can truly see who is better."




"I will be happy to do so." Then he came to her.




"Don't worry, little red, I will be back."




"You promise?"




"I swear on my honor." He patted her on the head and gave her one final hug before walking towards his horse. As she watched him walk away, she could now hold herself back any longer, and she ran to him, embracing him from the back.




"Don't go, please." she cried, her eyes filling with tears.




"I must my winter rose, but I will be back."




"Please." she pleaded even more. She could feel his body stiffen. As they stood there, their father approached.




"Sansa, your brother must go."




"Why can't I come with him?"




"I'm sorry, Sansa, but you can't, you are too little to be fostered, and I wish you here with your mother and me. Your brother will return."




"I don't want him to leave."




"Sansa." her father said, his voice a bit more commanding. Not wanting to make their father angry, she let go of Jon and proceeded to watch as Jon mounted his horse and slowly rode away, turning around, giving them one last look as he went through the gates. As soon as Jon was out of sight, her mother stormed off back into the castle while she, Robb, and father stayed there in the yard, silently watching. Later that night, as she and Robb were making their way back to their rooms to take rest for the night, they heard shouting coming from her father's solar. At first, they were reluctant, but, in the end, their curiosity got the better of them. They looked at each other and decided to venture close.




"It should be your son who is fostered in Highgarden, not some bastard!" they heard their mother shout.




"Jon is my son." their father replied.




"Robb is your trueborn son, your heir, not that bastard."




"I made my decision; Robb will stay here with us."




"By the seven Ned do you have any sense, Robb should have been sent to the Tyrells, and we could have maybe even arranged to him to marry their daughter."




"Enough Cat, even if I wanted to change the deal, it is too late to do anything now. Jon will be fostered by Mace Tyrell, and that is final." After that, they heard footsteps coming towards the door, and they quickly made their way to their rooms.




Now, as she watched Jon beat ser Loras Tyrell with lady Margaery and Arya beside her, she could not help but be amazed by her brother; he was skilled, very skilled. He might even be able to be the winner of the tourney. After the fight had been finished, they long with lady Margaery, and ser Loras went to where the Tyrells were staying. They sat there for a while, just talking; she was most interested in the topic on the Reach and the tales of its knights and balls. Lady Margaery and her ladies answered her every question, and even Jon helped. She was surprised when she found out that one of the ladies was Mira Forrester, the daughter of one of her father's banners. Soon they were joined by Ser Garlan and seeing the comradery between her brother and the two Tyrells brought a smile to her face. She especially took a liking to ser Loras; he is exceptionally handsome, with golden eyes and long, flowing brown hair and a beautiful smile. She remarked how Margaery and ser Loras look like they are twins even more than the Queen and her brother. She noticed that Margaery and Jon were getting odd looks every so now and then, and she also saw the way Mira looked at him.

Chapter Text

Tonight's feast was in full swing; lords were drinking and talking, music was playing, and everyone seemed to be having a good time, especially the king. Jon's father was sitting right next to the king as he did the night before, and he put on a smile, but she could see he was not genuine. She had heard tales of Lord Eddard Stark and what kind of a man he was; he was similar to Jon but more serious, which he had to be considering his new position and everything the poor man went through during his early life. She truly felt pity for Jon's father; he had lost his father, brother, and sister during that war, not something that any man should experience. Comparing Jon with his father, there were apparent similarities in looks and personality-wise; both had dark grey eyes, long face, dark brown hair, both seemed to be fair and extremely honourable, even more so than the lords of the Reach or the Vale.




The queen seemed to be unamused, just like the last time, and the prince too. She looked at the two Stark girls sitting next to their father; during the short time she spent with Jon's sisters, she noticed that they were complete opposites of each other. The older one was more ladylike and more than a bit naive to the world's true ways, while the younger one was wilder and more like Jon in some respects; she liked them both. As she turned her gaze from the high table to look around once more, she noticed several more lords from the Stormlands, Riverlands, and even the North had arrived. The number of Northerners was small, but they had their table, and they looked like they were having a good time. The people around their table were the same as yesterday, with only new faces being Lords Sloane and Orme.




As she continued to look around, she also noticed several noble ladies looking in their direction, more specifically at Jon. She knew that look well, and she found it a bit amusing that they thought they had a chance at getting him. She turned her gaze towards Jon and her brother. Jon and Loras were their typical selves going around and talking and having fun with everyone they could, from people at their table to the Stormlanders. They were sitting at their table when Jon looked over Loras and stared behind him for a long moment.




"What is so interesting that you are looking?" asked Loras.




"The people at that table over there and Northmen," replied Jon. She and Loras turned to look at the table, there weren't many of them, but they sure knew how to get people's attention; they were almost as loud as the music.




"You know them?" she asked.




"Aye, I do," answered Jon. "The man over there is Torrhen Karstark, second son of Lord Rickard Karstark, the man next to him is Halys Hornwood, the man sitting at the end is Leobald Tallhart. The large man is Smalljon Umber, and the woman next to him is Dacey Mormont."




"Smalljon? That man looks like he is a giant," said Garlan.




"The Umbers are like that; they have giants blood flowing through their veins."




"Giants are nothing more than a myth," said Loras.




"And what do you know about the North and what's beyond the wall?" asked Jon raising an eyebrow at him.




"I know what's real and what is not; the Umbers are big, so what?"




"You won't be saying that once he hits you in the head," said Jon.




"So, the woman is lady Dacey Mormont?" she asked.




"Aye, I remember her and her mother coming to Winterfell when I was a boy; she was always nice to me," Jon said with a smile. "She will probably be fighting in the tourney."




"A woman fighting in a tourney?" asked Loras surprised.




"Yes, so what about it?" asked Jon.




"A tourney is no place for a lady."




"I think you will find out northern women aren't like ones from the Reach," Jon said with a smirk.




"What's that supposed to mean?" asked one of the Reach Lords.




"It means that Dacey Mormont is as deadly with a mace as she is beautiful in a dress," replied Jon.




"You are right about one of those things," said Richard Orme as he looked at the northern woman. Margaery had to give it to her. She really was beautiful, and if what Jon said was right, she was also deadly. She knew little about ladies of the North, she was told a few things by Jon, but she always thought they were just like southern ladies; it looks like she was wrong.




"Well, I'm going to say hello, my fellow Northmen. Does anyone want to accompany me? Loras? Garlan? Mira?"




"Yes, I will go," said Mira.




"So, will I" answered Loras.




"I wish to meet other people from the North as well," said Margaery. As their small group made their way to the northern table, she could feel her grandmother's eyes watching her. When they were a few meters from the table, the people turned around to look at them. The large man stood up and took a step towards Jon. He and Jon just stood there looking at each other in the eyes for a moment, both having severe expressions on their faces. She, Loras, and Mira stood behind Jon and silently watched the two, not knowing what to expect. Then out of nowhere, the large man burst out laughing and grabbed Jon and brought him into a tight embrace lifting him off the ground.




"Jon Snow!" the man said, laughing. "The last time I saw you, Lad, you were up to my knee."




"Well, it seems not much has changed then," replied Jon, and the man laughed even louder, and soon the other Northmen started laughing as well. Moments later, the Umber put Jon back to the ground.




"It's good to see you again, lad."




"You as well, Smalljon." then Jon looked at the people at the table "Lord Karstark, lord Hornwood, lord Tallhart, lady Mormont it's a pleasure to see you again."




"You too, Jon." said the group.




"Let me introduce you to lady Margaery Tyrell, ser Loras Tyrell, and some of you probably know Mira Forrester, lord Gregor's daughter."




"It's a pleasure to meet you all." said lady Dacey with a soft smile on her face.




"Aye, same here." said the Karstark.




"Please, the pleasure is all mine," replied Margaery as she did a curtsy.




"It is an honour to meet other of Jon's countryman," said Loras.




"Enough standing around, come sit with us," said Smalljon in a booming voice, and so they did.




"Long time was passed since we last saw each other, Jon," said Dacey with a smile.




"Indeed, it has Dacey, the last time we saw each other was on Robbs eight name day."




"Aye, I still remember your father's reaction to seeing Robb covered in  cake from head to toe."




She looked at Jon with a questioned look. "What did you do to your poor brother?"




Jon chuckled. "I nothing, Dacey here was playing with Sansa, Sansa got a bit too excited and somehow by accident knocked the cake on Robb while he was standing right in front of it. We never heard our father laugh so hard until that day."




"So, your good little sister was a trouble maker when she was smaller, just like Arya," Margaery said.




"A bit, but it seems that Arya is on a whole other level compared to Sansa. Father says she is more like our aunt Lyanna than him. Lady Catelyn disapproves of her behaviour, and the same can be said for the septa."




"A little she-wolf," said Dacey.








"I heard that people call you the Wolf of the south." said the Karstark.




"They do; it originally started as a jape by some of the Reach knights I competed against, but it soon spread, and I kind of took it as a title."




"Well, in that case, here is for the wolves." said the Hornwood and lifted his cup. "To wolves!"




Other Northmen lifted their drinks and shouted, "To wolves!" and quickly drank the contents of their cups. She looked at Jon holding a cup of wine, which Smalljon gave him, a large smile on his face.




It seemed like where ever they go people always seemed to be like this around Jon, he was naturally charismatic, kind of like Loras, but without the arrogance, people still flocked to him; countless times, men that lost to him in the tourneys would be found later sitting with him in some tavern acting as if he was their oldest friend. Loras was courteous too, but Jon just seemed to be better liked by the people, even if he was a bastard. The only ones who are always reluctant to be around him at the start are the knights of the Vale or River lords, but even they loosen up once they get to know him a bit. Seeing the Northmen not behave towards Jon as an outcast but as a trueborn son of their liege lord brought a smile to her lips. She enjoyed seeing him happy and not thinking of himself as a disgrace because he was not one.




"So, you come for the tourney?" she asked the northerners.




"Aye, we do, my lady, and with a bit of luck, we will be the winners," said Smalljon.




"I, Smalljon, Dacey, and Leobald will be participating." said the Karstark.




She looked at lady Dacey. "You will really be fighting in the tourney, my lady?" she asked, stunned.




"Aye, I will; I look forward to seeing what the south has to offer," said Dacey.




"By the looks of it, not much," said Small Jon with a loud laugh.




"I never thought I would see I lady fighting anywhere, let alone in a tourney. The North sure is different from the Reach," said Margaery.




"Aye, they are," said Jon.




"To the North!" shouted Small Jon as he lifted his cup.




"To the North!" the other Northmen replied, including Jon.








As they sat with the Northmen, he found them more and more to his liking. They were like Jon; they were honest, quick to laugh, and fun to be around, especially Smalljon, the man always seemed to have a good jape or a fun tale to tell. Now they were all listening about the time when he and Dacey went to the celebration that lord Manderly threw three years ago. He spoke about the feast, and during it, he got into a fight with a Flint only to awake in the morning almost naked in the harbour hugging a roasted dear leg.




Dacey explained that during the fight, he grabbed a deer leg and used it as a club against Mores Flint; the fight ended several minutes later when Smalljon hit Flint on the head and sent him flying several meters back before falling to the floor. For the rest of the night, he carried the leg as if it was his family's ancestral weapon.




"No one tried to stop the fight?" asked Margaery, surprised.




"Why would they, it was fun to watch, and some of us there even took bets on who is going to win." said the Karstark with a small laugh.




"But how did you end up in the harbour?" he asked.




"I'm honestly not so sure either; I like to believe that be beautiful maiden took me there," said Small Jon as he looked at Dacey.




Dacey laughed. "Only in your dreams Jon."




"Better there than nowhere." the Umber said, to which Dacey replied by giving him a strong punch in the shoulder.




As they continued to talk, he noticed Margaery looking at Dacey; he knew that look; it was one of fascination. To be honest, he was fascinated by her as well. All the ladies he met were typical noble ladies you would find anywhere, but if what Jon said was true, Dacey Mormont was anything but ordinary. He was a bit excited by the possibility of fighting her in the melee. "I will go easy on her." he thought.




The sound of lord Hornwoods voice was suddenly interrupted by the voice of the herald.




"Lord Randyll Tarly, Samwell Tarly, and Dickon Tarly!" the herald announced the new arrivals as they entered the great hall. He watched as Lord Tarly entered, his younger son right next to him with the older one behind them. The Lord had his usual disinterested expression on his face. Randyll Tarly was a loyal bannermen to his family, but he personally found the man to be a bore. He was a skilled soldier, that was true, but the man really did not know how to have fun or take joy in anything that was not war-related. His younger son was somewhat like him but not as a hard case, but his older son was altogether another story. Samwell is fond of music and songs and prefers books over weapons, he is also brilliant, but his father refuses to acknowledge it because it is not war-related. As the Tyrell passed their table, Jon got up and walked towards Samwell.




"Sam!" said Jon with his arms outstretched.




"H-Hello Jon," replied Samwell.




"It's good to see you again, Sam," Jon said as he embraced Samwell.




"Y-You too." The two of them became friends five years ago when their father threw a ball and a feast in their mother's name. Lord Tarly arrived with his wife and sons as all other nobles did. Sam was kept to the side mostly by his lord father until Jon approached him and started talking to him. Little by little, Jon warmed up to Sam, and for the next few days, he, Jon, and Sam went everywhere together. Samwell was sad when his family had to leave, but Jon promised that they would see each other again, and it was true. The Tarlys came to the next several celebrations his family threw, and Sam spent even more time with them, even Margaery and Willas. Willas seemed to get along with Sam perfectly, probably in no small part because they were both men of knowledge. Sometime after that, he and Margaery asked their father if Sam could spend some time with them at Highgarden, to which he agreed and made the request fromLordd Tarly, who reluctantly agreed. Over the years, they all became good friends with Sam.




"Samwell, quit standing there and come here," ordered Lord Tarly. Sam turned to look at his father with worried eyes.




"It's alright, Lord Tarly, Sam will." Jon was cut off by the Lord.




"I said," lord Tarly started in a slightly annoyed tone, and that was when he decided to intervene.




"Lord Tarly!" he said as he got up from the table and started walking towards him.




"Ser Loras." replied the Lord with a nod.




"I'm sure my father would like you to sit at his table; you can leave Sam in our hands. He will be safe, I assure you," he said with a soft smirk. TheLordd did not say a word. He only looked at his son and Jon and continued on his way to the Reach table.




"Thank you," said Sam.




"No need for that, Sam," said Jon.




"Come to Samwell, sit with us," he said, and the three of them walked to the northern table and sat down. Jon introduced Sam, and the people greeted him fondly.








She carefully watched the bastard and his little group of north men that sat with her granddaughter and grandson. She disliked the fact that her precious rose was mingling with those northern savages. Just giving them one look is enough to see them as what they are, but her grandchildren seemed to follow the bastard around like lost puppies. Everywhere he went, Loras would shadow him, Margaery too. The worst thing about it all was that she still had to formulate a good enough plan to get rid of the bastard safely. She knew she could not just outright kill the boy. That would be too suspicious, and the fact that the fat stag was obsessed with the Starks did not help either. If even a hint of her involvement reached Robert, she knew her house would be done for, Robert might have pardoned them after the war, but she knew that if anything was to happen to any of the Starks, he would immediately start a war. Soon, the dancing began, and her granddaughter got up from that accursed table and walked back to theirs. Shortly after that, the prince arrived and offered her a dance, which she accepted. Seeing her granddaughter dance with the crown prince brought a small smile to her face. Margaery will make a good queen someday; she will make sure of that.




As the dancing continued, she turned her attention to the bastard who was looking at Margaery over his shoulder. She scoffed at the thought of him being with her granddaughter; she was the golden rose of Highgarden, not some tavern wench.




"Be careful grandmother, your eyes might fall out if you stare at the Jon any longer," said Garlan.




"Do stay quite Garlan, this is not your business." She said in a scolding tone as she continued to watch the bastard.




"Mother is everything alright?" asked Mace.




"Yes, Yes, Mace, just shut up." She started looking around the room to see if there was anything interesting. The high table was the same as yesterday; other tables were pretty much the same with maybe a few additions, but what caught her eyes was seeing how certain young ladies looked at the bastard. She knew that look all too well; after all, she was a young maiden once. A plan started formulating in her head, if she got one of those girls to seduce the bastard, she would have what she needs to end the relationship between Margaery and that bastard. All she needed to do now was find the right one and push her on the right path. She looked at the Lannister table and saw Payne and a Brax girl looking at the northern table. "Maybe:" she thought. She continued looking around. She noticed a Cole, Bolling, Hasty, Piper, Haight, Blackwood, Waynwood, Hunter, and more girls looking at him. All were possible candidates, most of them were pretty enough, but she needed someone he might be genuinely interested in. She will wait patiently and see what will happen, he will slip up eventually, and when he does, she will have what she needs to set her granddaughter on the right path. Margaery will be the future king's wife, and nothing will stop her or her house from growing strong.








It was good seeing Sam again, the two of them have been friends for years, and he liked the young Tarly. Sam thought himself a coward, but he knew that was not true; just because he was not good at wielding a sword does not mean that he is a coward. His real talents lay with his mind. When Sam first arrived, he was a bit nervous, but about an hour later, he was much more relaxed and in an in-depth discussion with Lord Flint about the Wall and what's beyond it. The Flints had a deep history with the Wall and the Nights watch almost of the Starks, and he was glad Sam had someone to talk to.




He silently watched as Margaery danced with the crown prince; seeing them together did make him more them a bit jealous. He wanted to be the one she danced with, the one she gave that charming smile, but he knew that could not happen in public, he might have been fostered in the Reach, but he was still a bastard. If people saw them together, the word would quickly spread, and Margaery's reputation would be soiled, and he could never do something like that to her; he loved her too much. He was just going to have to put up with that. Maybe if his father asked the king to legitimize him and if he became a true Stark, then they would have a real chance instead of hiding their love for each other. Lady Olenna knew about them Margaery told him as much, but she seemed to put up with it; the real reason for that he knew not, but he was glad for it; it gave them more time together and did not need to answer to the queen of thorns.




Soon he returned his attention back to the people at his table. It has been long since he talked to some actual Northmen beside Mira. He liked her; she was a good friend to him since she first arrived at Highgarden. She almost immediately knew who he was and treated him as if he Robb. He told her that she should not address him as such for obvious reasons, but she persisted. In the next few weeks, they grew to know each other, and they were both glad to have a fellow northerner in this new place. At first, he wondered how someone from the North could end up as one of Margaery's handmaidens, but he soon found out that Mira's mother and her family were from the Reach and suffered greatly for their loyalty to the Targaryen's during Roberts rebellion. Due to her family relations to the Reach and House Tyrell, she came to Highgarden.




Mira and Dacey talked to each other while Loras was talking to Small Jon, and they were glad that they were all getting along; Loras even seemed less arrogant than he usually would be when meeting new people, probably because these were his kinsmen.




"When we meet on the field, do not expect me to hold back just because you are Jon's friend," Small Jon told Loras.




"I do not expect you to; I welcome a challenge," Loras said with a large green.




Small Jon and Lord Hronwood looked at each other and laughed. "You almost sound like a northerner." said lord Hornwood.




"Maybe he is," Mira said, and they continued laughing. "Seriously, all the time he spent with Jon, I would be surprised if he did not pick up some of his behaviour."




"We will see about that," said Small Jon.




"Aye, we will; I would also like to see if you are truly still a wolf; I pray that so much time in the south did not soften you up," said Hornwood.




"It has not, believe me," he said. "It's going to take more than southern sun and some flowers to kick the wolf out of me," Jon said, to which the Northerners laughing while Loras only looked at him with an odd look. He put one hand on Lora's shoulder and said: "Relax, I did not mean anything offensive by that."




"Oh, I know, but it will still motivate me more to beat you."




"Not if I get to him first," said Dacey with a smile.




"I welcome any of you to try and defeat me but know it will not be easy," Jon said.




"It does not need to be easy; it just needs to be satisfying," replied Loras.




They spent some more time at the northern tale before he, Loras, and Sam made their way to the Tyrell table. Margaery was sitting there beside her mother and father, who was currently talking toLordd Orme about something the lesser Lord did not seem too pleased about. As they sat down, he could see the scornful gaze that lord Tarly gave to his son, but he told Sam not to worry about it.




"Are you well, dear?" lady Alerie asked Margaery.




"Yes, I'm just tired; I think I should back to my chambers."




"Do you need help; I can get some gourds to take you back."




"No, it's fine, mother, Jon, will help me, won't you, Jon."




"Aye, I will. You have no need to worry, lady Alerie."




Lady Aleirie smiled, "Thank you, Jon." They both got up from where they sat and started walking towards the large door of the hall. She walked first, and he was right behind her.




As they reached the door, a loud voice was heard yelling, "Jon Snow!" He and Margaery both turned around to see who it was, only to realize that it was the king himself who said his name. "Come here!" Jon gave Margaery an uncertain look, to which she nodded, and he started walking towards the high table while she trailed behind him, waiting for him at the door. When he came to the high table, the king was met sitting in the middle with his father and the queen sitting at his sides.




"Your grace," Jon said as he bowed. He looked up at his father and then to the king, who was eyeing him carefully. The first thing that fell to his mind that was the reason for being called here was that he had done something wrong.




After a long moment, the king spoke, "Gods Ned, he looks just like you when you were his age. A true Stark, there is no doubt about that." The king said as he turned his head to his father.




"He is." replied his father in his usual calm tone.




The king turned his gaze back at him. "Will you be fighting in your father's tourney, boy?"




"I will, your grace."




"You think you have a chance at winning?" asked the king.




"If the gods allow me, yes."




"Gods!" the king laughed. "The boy really is just like you, Ned. Melee or the joust?"




"Both your grace."




"Then I wish you luck in both, and may you bring glory to your father and your house."




"I intend to your grace." Jon looked at his father, who had his usual neutral expression on his face while his sisters were both more than happy by the looks of it. He and the king spent the next ten minutes talking, the king acted as if he was talking to an old friend, but he knew that he had to cut this short a lady was waiting for him.




"Your Grace, I must apologize. I have to cut out time short; there is someone I have to escort back to their chambers."




"Whoever it is, they can wait." said the king. Jon frowned at that.




"Your Grace, I gave my word, and I'm a man of my word."




The king laughed again. "You are just like your father, fine you can go, but I expect you to be here tomorrow; our talk is not over."




"As you wish, my king," he said as he bowed and then started walking back where Margaery was waiting for him. Honestly, he was slightly surprised that she waited for him, but he was glad for it. They exited the great hall and made their way back to their rooms in the Maiden Vault.




"That was unexpected," Margaery said as they were walking.




"Aye, it was."




"The king acts as if you were your father."




"The king may act as he wishes."




"To be honest, you do look like a copy of your father."




"Oh, really?"




"In the looks department, yes, but there are differences, I believe, differences that make you who you are."




"You like those differences?"




"Very much so," she said as they reached the door of her room. She then suddenly grabbed the collar of his jerkin and pulled him into a kiss. The kiss was passionate and long, her lips so sweet. They pulled away to catch their breaths and stared at each other's eyes. He quickly pulled her into another kiss and opened the door behind her. As they slowly made their way inside the room, he closed them and followed her to bed. She stared quickly, taking off his jerkin and trousers, tossing them on the stone floor. Once they hit the edge of the bed, their lips parted once more. She gave him a mischievous smile before she tossed him onto the bed. They looked at each other with desire and love in their eyes. She took off her green and gold dress, giving him a perfect view of her. He stared for a moment.




"You like what you see?" she asked.




"You are beautiful, Margaery."




"I am aware of that, my wolf," she said as she climbed into the bed and kissed him once more.




They lay together, her head on his chest and his arm pulling her into a tight embrace. She sighed, which made him look at her.




"What is it?" he asked.




"Nothing, I just wish we could stay like this longer."




"We stay a bit longer, but I must return to the feast. If I don't, people are going to start asking questions."




She put one hand on his chest. "I know, but all this hiding, it's grating; I want people to see our love, Jon."




"I'm aware, but you know what would happen if people found out that you were with me," he said with a sad look on his face. She did not say a word; he knew that she was aware of that too. He remembered the night he confessed his love to her, the joyful expression on her face, and tears of joy in her eyes. She embraced him, kissed him, and told him that she had the same feelings for him for a long time. That was the best night of his life, and the ones that followed were close to it. Now, as she lay beside him, he could not help but smile at the memory. She lifted her head slightly to look at him and noticed the smile.




"What's so funny?" she asked.




"Nothing, I just remembered how all this started." A smile then appeared on her lips too.




"Yeah, I remember it as well; that sure was magical."




"That's one way to put it."




"You think it wasn't?"




"No, I do." he lowered his head and kissed her cheek. They stayed like that for a short while before he decided that it was about time he returned to the feast. He started making his way out of the bed, but then he felt her arms around his waist.




"Just a bit longer, please," she begged.




He sighed, "You know we can't."




"Just a few more minutes, please." She looked at him with her eyes full of longing.




"Alright." He returned to their original position and stayed like that until she fell asleep. Then he carefully made his way out of the bed, making sure he did not wake the sleeping beauty next to him. After putting his clothes back on, he silently opened the door, walked out of the room, and started walking back to the great hall. Once there, he sat back at the Reach table.




"Is Margaery alright, Jon?" asked lord Mace with evident concern in his voice.




"Don't worry, my lord, she is fine, just a bit tired, that's all."




"What took you so long?" asked Loras.




"I ran into some of my father's guards from Winterfell; we started chatting and lost track of time." The rest of the night went as it did before; soon after he arrived, lord Mace and lady Alerie left with lady Olenna right behind them. As lady Olenna passed him, she gave him a scornful gaze, and he knew why. Fooling her is not that easy. As he continued drinking and talking with the lords of the Reach, we felt someone hit him in his side; he turned to look at Loras.




"What?" he asked.




"See those girls with Renly over there," Loras said as he pointed in the direction of the Stormlands table.




"Yes, I do. What about them?"




"I need your help with them."




Jon smiled. "The blond of the redhead."




"The brunet."




"Seriously again."




"What?" Loras asked, slightly annoyed.




"Fine, you are my friend, and this is why I will do this for you but don't blame me if the king finds you in his brother's bed tomorrow."




"Don't worry about it, I will be careful. Am I not always?" Jon just gave him a rugged look and then proceeded to get up and follow Loras to the other table.




"Ah ser Loras, ser Jon, thank you for gracing us with your presence." said lord Renly.




"It's nothing, my lord; we just saw that you were having a good time and decided to join you."




"Good sers, let me introduce you to the ladies; this is Sarra Lannister and Alisanne Staedmon."




"A pleasure," Jon said as he took Sarra's hand first and kissed it and then did the same with Alisanne. Loras did the same after him.




"Sit then and drink," Renly chirped. Jon sat next to the girls, and Loras sat next to Lord Renly.




"So, I hear from Beric that you will both be participating in the tourney."




"Aye, we will, my lord," Jon replied.




"I will be participating too; I look forward to meeting you there."




"It would be an honour to face off against you, my lord," Jon said.




"I saw you at the tourney in Oldtown during the last year's harvest festival; you did great, and from what I hear, you have gotten even better since then."




"You flatter me, my lord."




"It's true, he is one of the best swordsmen and riders in the Reach; he is the only man who can come close to beating me," said Loras.




"If what I heard was right, he did beat you at Ashford."




"He got lucky at that time."




Jon smirked, "Luck had nothing to do with it."




"Some people say that you are the new Arthur Dayne." said the Sarra.




"People tend to exaggerate my lady," he said with a smile.




"Well, I doubt that so many people would exaggerate ser," said Alisanne.




"If I have to admit, then I would say that I'm good with a blade, but I doubt that I will ever be at the same level as the Sword of the morning."




"Never underestimate your skill ser, Jon, it does not look good when you go it," said Renly.




"He is just modest," said Loras.




They spend the next half an hour talking with Lord Renly and the ladies with Loras using every opportunity to direct the subject towards him. He knew why Loras was doing it, but he was starting to get annoyed by it. Then lord Renly got up from his seat.




"Noble lords ladies, I'm sorry to say that I must leave you."




"Why?" asked one of the lords.




"I'm not feeling well, my lord; I fear that I had a bit too much to drink this night, and my legs are starting to get shaky." Only then looked at Loras. "Ser Loras, if you would be kind enough to help me back to my chambers, it would look bad if I fell down a set of stairs in front of the view of some esteemed guests."




"As you wish, my lord," replied Loras and helped the Renly out of the hall. He knew that it was all a farce, but it seemed that one else was the wiser. When Loras and Renly exited the room, his attention was returned to the two ladies sitting next to him when Sarra spoke.




"Do you intend to win the tourney ser, Jon?"




"Aye, I do."




"Facing off against ser Loras will be a challenge."




"I'm not that worried about him, my lady; we grew up together. I know his every strength and weakness," he said with a smile.

Chapter Text

Ned was sitting in his solar once again, going through the books Baelish gave him. The master of coin had been with him, but he left to do his other duties. The crown was almost bankrupt; the only reason it was not was thanks to Tywin Lannister and the Iron bank. He remembered the day he arrived at the city to find it already sacked by Tywin Lannister. The old lion might not have any honor, but at least he did not touch the treasury. At the time, there were two million golden dragons in the vault and other treasures that belonged to the Targaryen's; now, it was completely empty. He needed to find a way to fix this and fast, or the realm would suffer the consequences of Robert's actions. His friend might have been a good warrior and a commander, but more and more, it looked like he was a terrible king.




All this thinking about the various problems was giving him a nasty headache. He closed the book and rubbed his head. "It would be good to take a small break." he thought. The door opened, and in came Jory Cassel.




"My lord." said the captain with a bow.




"What is it, Jory?"




"My lord, it the day of the archery competition; the king is demanding you attend. If you don't leave now, you will be late."




He sighed; he never liked tourneys; to him, they were pointless endeavors, but he must oblige if the king asks. "Tell the king that I will be there shortly."




"As you say, my lord." Jory bowed and started exiting the room.




"Jory, where are Sansa and Arya?"




Jory turned around and looked at him. "I believe they are in the gardens with Jon and the Tyrells."




"The gardens, thank you, Jory."




"Is there anything else you need of me, my lord?"




"No, you can leave." The man bowed and exited the room. So Sansa is with Jon, he smiled at the thought. He was glad that they made amends so quickly. Catelyn is a good wife and a caring mother, but when it came to something like bastardy, she hated everyone who was like that, especially Jon, and tried to make Sansa like that. Thank the old god's that she failed. It was good that he sent him to Highgarden, where he was far away from his wife, and he had the room to grow. Raising him as a bastard was not the best solution, but it was the safest; Howland is still refusing to talk to him after all these years; the only thing he did was send men to fight during the Greyjoy rebellion, but since then nothing, not even one celebration or simple visit. He knew why. The thoughts of his sister and Jon made his heart warm and hurt at the same time. After a long moment, he brought himself back to reality and shook his head. "The past is in the past." he thought. "We must focus on what is now and what is to be."




He got up from the desk and moved towards the door; once he opened them, he was greeted by three of his household guards standing at the door. Two followed him, and one stayed to guard the solar. They were making their way to the gardens.




Once there were his two daughters sitting next to a weirwood tree with Margaery Tyrell and her two-brothers sitting with them. Jon was sitting in between Margaery and Sansa. He started walking towards them, only to see him approaching and quickly get off the ground.




"Father," Sansa said as she did a curtsy.




"Lord Stark." the three Tyrells said.




"Lady Margaery, Ser Garlan, Ser Loras," he said as he slightly bowed his head. He then turned to his children. "The king has asked me to attend the first day of the tourney, so I came to see if anyone would like to come with me."




"I will, father," Sansa said.




"I think I will join too," said Jon.




Arya looked at Jon. "If he is going, then I'm going too."




He turned to the Tyrells. "Will you and your brothers be accompanying us, lady Margaery?"




She nodded. "We will, my lord. Our father and mother are probably already there."




"Then after you," he said, and the Tyrells started walking out of the garden will him and his children right behind.




As they exited the Red Keep, more of his household guard joined them and some of the Tyrell men at arms. The now sizeable group made their way through the city to where the tourney grounds were. His eldest daughter was in front of him with the two Tyrell brothers while Arya was with him and Jon was in behind with lady Margaery. He looked at Sansa, who was currently paying close attention to some story ser Loras told about one of his tourney wins. Sansa loves tales of brave knights in shining armor. There were little such knights in the North, but there was plenty here in the south, and he would have to pay close attention.




"Stupid," Arya said.




He turned his head to her, "What?"




"She is stupid, obsessing about pretty boys in armor." Ned chuckled slightly.




"Now, Arya, that is no way to talk about your sister."




"What she is. Once I am done with my training, I will be able to knock any of them on the ground, ass first."




"You are a lady Arya; ladies do not fight knights."




"I'm not a lady father, you know that." Ned sighed; he knew that he was not going to win this conversation. If he did not know better, he would say that Arya was Lyanna's child and not Jon.




As he was thinking about his daughter, a laugh coming from behind caught his attention, it was lady Margaery. He quickly realized that he was laughing because of something Jon had said, who currently had a large smile on his face. For a moment, he could have sworn that lady Margaery tried to grab Jon's hand but quickly chose otherwise.




They continued walking until they reached the tourney grounds, where people were already gathered. They looked around to see where they could sit and noticed Lord Mace waiving to them. The three Tyrells went to join their family, and so they followed.




"Mother, father, grandmother." said lady Margaery.




"Sit, darling, the contest is about to start." said lady Alerie; when lord Mace saw them approaching, he instantly got up from his seat.




"Lord Tyrell," Eddard said with a bow.




"Lord Stark, it is good to see you again." Lord Mace said with a large smile.




"As are you, my lord. I trust your stay in the capital has been well so far."




"It has, my lord, don't worry yourself about that. Come sit with us." He sat next to lord Mace, Sansa sat next to Loras, and Arya next to Jon and ser Garlan. He could see Robert just arriving with the queen and his sons and daughter. Then the herald walked in the center of the contest ground.




"Noble lords, ladies, people of all the realm I welcome you to the tourney of Kings Landing of 298 AC to commemorate the naming of Lord Eddard Stark as the hand of the king of our great King Robert I Baratheon. The tournament contests of a joust, melee, and archery contest. The prizes are forty thousand gold dragons for the winner of the joust, twenty thousand dragons for the runner-up of the joust, twenty thousand dragons to the winner of the melee, and ten thousand dragons to the winner of the archery contest. The first event is the archery contest, which will begin shortly." the herald then finally ended his announcement.




He had told Robert that the rewards offered to the winners were too high, and he had told the king as much, but Robert was his stubborn self, did not care.




After the herald left, the contestants walked onto the shooting range. There were many of them, from Reach to the Westerlands and even from Dorne.




"Who do you think will win, my lord?" lord Mace asked him.




"I'm not sure, my lord; I hear that ser Balon Swann is skilled with a bow, but so is prince Jalabhar; any of them could win."




"Well, I believe that Ser Simon Ashford will be the victor; he is one of if not the best archer in the Reach." lord Mace said proudly.




"We will see, my lord," he said and returned his gaze back to the field.








She sat and watched the archery competition go on, men shooting arrow after arrow at the still target in front of them. Some of them genuinely had talent, but most others did not. It was only thanks to people with her now that she could keep the boredom away. Her father was talking with lord Stark since they arrived, and she could see that lord Eddard was not the man who preferred to speak a lot, unlike her father. "The Silent wolf indeed." she thought. The contest continued, and soon not even Jon or Loras could keep her mood up, so she came up with an idea. She turned to her father with a smile.




"Father, Jon, Loras, and I will be going to the city. I wish to see the markets."




Her father looked at her, slightly surprised. "Right now, but the contest is not yet over."




"Archery is your field of interest father, I would like to see the markets. We won't be long, I promise."




Father looked at her and then Loras and Jon. "Fine, you may go but do take guards with you for protection."




"Thank you, father." she bent down and hugged her father, a large smile appearing on his face.




"Can I come with you?" Arya asked as she looked at her and Jon.




"Don't ask me, little wolf, ask father," Jon answered.




Arya turned to her father. "Can I, please." Lord Eddard gave her a questioning look but then nodded




"Yes!" the little girl shouted. Margaery chuckled at the young Stark girl's reaction.




"Shall we?" asked Loras.




"We shall," she replied, and they were on their way back to the city with a number of their guards and Margaery's ladies right behind them. Loras and Jon walked first with her and little Arya right behind them. They walked until they reached a large market near the center of the city. There were all kinds of vendors selling everything from delicate silks to food. Margaery went from one stand to the other excitedly, looking at all the wares on offer; for a moment, she felt like a little girl again. Loras and Jon, too, were looking around. She stopped looking at the stands to see if Arya had found anything interesting for herself, but she found the little girl only looking around with an unamused look on her face. She left the stand where she was currently standing and walked to Arya.




"Found anything you like?" she asked.




"No, not really." the girl said with an unamused tone.




"There are so many things here; there must be something here for you."




"What I like can be found in the street of steel, not here."




She gave the girl a soft smile. "There might be no weapons here, but I know something you might like."




"What?" the girl asked.




"Candy apples."




"I never had candy apples."




"Really?" she asked, genuinely surprised.




"Yes, there aren't candy apples at Winterfell."




"Well, there is a stand over there that sells them. Would you like to try one?" Arya smiled and nodded. Margaery offered her hand, and the little girl took it, so they went to the apple stand.




"Two candy apples please," Margaery said to the vendor; the man gave them, and she paid for them. She took the apples in her hands and gave one to Arya. The little girl took it, gave it a look, and then took a bite from it. After a few seconds of chewing, Arya swallowed.




"This is delicious." the girl said with a smile. "I wish we had these back home."




"Well, you have them here," Margaery said as she took a bite from her apple. The two of them ate the apples quickly and then bought two more.




"What about us?" Loras asked as he and Jon walked towards them.




"No, non for you," Arya said, and Margaery smirked.




"You really care so little about your brothers," Jon said.




"We do," Margaery said.




"We are hurt," replied Loras.




"Oh, quit acting; if you want some, buy them,"




"We will," said Jon. "Two apples, please," he told the vendor and paid for them. Now all four of them were standing there eating candied apples. Once they ate, they looked around for a bit more before they continued to the street of steel to pick up what Jon and Loras had ordered made by the smith Mott. Arya grew immediately excited once Jon told her where they were going next. The little girl looks at the smith shops with awe. She really was the opposite of her older sister.




They walked around the street until Jon and Loras stopped in front of a shop. Seconds later, a man came out to greet them.




"My lords." the man said with a bow.




"Master Mott," said Jon. "Is our order finished?"




"Aye, it is ser, the gauntlets are done."




"Good, we will have them then." The man nodded and turned to look inside the shop.




"Gendry, get those gauntlets for the two lords." Moments later, the apprentice came out with the order. Then he turned to Jon, "The sword you asked for will be made in a matter of days, my lord."




"I'm no lord." said Jon "Only a knight."




"Well then, ser, what I said remains; you can come after the tourney is over to pick it up."




"Thank you, master Mott, you have been of great service," said Loras.




"No, thank you, good Sers, for coming to my shop. I wish you luck in the tourney."




"Thank you again," said Jon, and they were on their way back to the keep. The archery contest must be over by now.




"You ordered a new sword?" Arya asked her brother.




"Aye, I did."




"Will I be able to see it once it's done?"




"You will, little wolf," he said with a soft smile. While they were walking along the city streets, they came upon a rundown part of the city that housed the city's poorest inhabitants'. The smell coming from it was horrible; by looking around, she could see that this was clearly not the best place for one to live.




"What is this place?" she asked.




"It's called Flea Bottom; it's the poorest district of the city," said Arya. "Many people live here, but few seem to care." As she walked around, she could feel her gut tighten slightly, all these people living in such conditions; it truly pained her to see this.




"No one helps them, not even the king?" she asked.




"How much I know no," said Arya.




"My lady, I suggest we leave this place; it not suited for you to be here." said one of the guards that accompanied them.




"I agree with him, Margaery," replied Loras.




She turned around and gave him a sad look then she heard a voice. "Could you spare a coin, milady?" Margaery turned back to see a little girl, no more than seven name days old, looking at her with pleading brown eyes. She was a scrawny little thing, clearly malnourished, and was wearing some rags that could barely pass as clothes.




"Of course," Margaery said and took per purse and pulled out few silver stags, knelt, and handed them to the little girl. "What's your name?"




"Lana milady," the girl replied.




"Lana, a beautiful name; my name is Margaery, and these are for you."




"Thank you, Margaery." said the girl with a large smile. It warmed her heart to see the little girls smile. Then out of nowhere, someone grabbed the little girl's arm and pulled her towards them.




"Lana, what did I say, don't bother other people. Forgive her milady." the woman said with a bow of her head.




"Sorry, mommy, sorry milady." the girl said in a small, sad voice.




It took her a second to shake off the surprise and say, "It's nothing to worry about." she gave them a reassuring smile. The woman was about to say something, but Margaery cut her off by continuing, "I gave Lana a few silver stags, and I want to give you some as well." She took out ten more and gave them to the woman, who looked at her with shock.




"Why would you do this?" the woman asked.




"Because someone should care, make sure you and your daughter get a proper meal."




The woman nodded franticly and thank her for the help she offered. Margaery saw more children on the street and started walking to each of them and handing over coins. Soon Jon and Arya joined in as well and some of her ladies. Once she ran out of coin, she looked at her bother, who was standing with the guards, a severe look on his face. She gave him a scornful stare, and after a few seconds, he joined them as well. She honestly did not know how much money or how many people had they handed out coin, but the happy looks and the words of gratitude proved that it was worth it. It was late when they finally returned to the Red Keep. They went back to the guest wing, where they were met by her parents with worried expressions, Jon's sister still with them.








The damn archery contest was a pointless and boring affair for which even lord Eddard seemed to have little interest. Even her granddaughter thought the same and left as soon as she could, although she took the bastard with her. When the contest was finally over, she thanked the gods that she did not need to put up with her son's stupid blabbering anymore. They quickly made their way back to the Red Keep while lord Eddard stayed with the king.




She did expect her granddaughter to have returned by now, but she shook it off, her golden rose knew how to take care of herself, and she had an excellent detachment of guards with her, even that bastard. After an hour or so, Mace started asking where they could be nonstop, to which she had to shut him up more than once. After another hour or so, even she was beginning to get worried, the sun was setting, and they were still not here. As Mace was contemplating sending guards to look for them, they heard footsteps coming from the door.




"Where were you?" her son asked the group of youngsters.




"Don't worry, father, we were just exploring the city, nothing else," Margaery said.




"Exploring the city? You got us worried; we thought you would return quickly. You missed the competition." Margaery looked at her while she gave Mace an annoyed look and then at Alerie, who was relaxed compared to Mace.




"We are sorry, father, we just lost track of time, that's all."




"Well, it's good to see you are safe if something..."




"Oh, for god's sake, Mace, they are fine, enough with your stupid antics," she said to her idiot son.




"But mother, "he said, and she gave him a scornful look. "Yes, mother," Mace said as he lowered his head.




"Now, tell us what you were going for the entire day," she asked her granddaughter.




"We went around the city markets," said Loras.




"And I know that there is more," said Olenna.




"We also went to Flea Bottom," Margaery replied.




"Why would you go their child?" she asked with a feeling of disgust in her mouth as she asked.




"It was by accident," said Loras.




"You weren't hurt?" she asked in a genuinely concerned tone.




"No, grandmother, we just helped some of the small folk there after seeing the condition they lived in."




"Helped?" asked Alerie.




"We gave them some money, lady Alerie," answered Jon. For a moment, Alerie was concerned, but after Jon answered, she was relaxed again.




"Fine, but don't go there again my child," said Mace.




"Why not? We should help those people if we can." The little Stark girl said, and everyone in the room looked at her.




"Child, it just." started Mace.




"Just what, that they live in worse conditions than us, they need help," Arya said in a serious and a bit louder tone.




"Little lady, I suggest you keep to your manners when talking to grownups," she told the girl.




"I'm no lady, and my father says that you should always do the right thing when offered the choice." She looked at the girl, she was far from pretty, and she had a long tongue, but there was something there; it could just be bravery or the famed wolf's blood of the Starks. She looked like her father and seems to have picked up his sense of honor and justice.




"It seems that this one more of a Stark than the older one," she said with an amused look on her face. "But you should know when you should say something and when not."




The girl glared at her. "I will say what even I like, and I know I'm right." She looked at her with a small smirk on her lips. She likes girls with a bit of fire in them more than normal ladies who do whatever they are told.




"I think that's enough, Arya," Jon said.




"Fine," the little girl crossed her arms in protest, "but you know I'm right."




"You are." Margaery said to Arya, "We will try to help."




"Thank you, Margaery," Arya said.




"Come on now, let's get you back to father," Jon said as he put his hand on Arya's back. She grunted in protest but did as she was told.




After the two left, she chuckled, and her family looked at her. "The girls if brave, I will give her that."




"Jon said that she takes after their aunt Lyanna," Loras said. Lyanna Stark, the woman that was the cause of Robert's rebellion, she-wolf they called her. The one Rhaegar took and who her family is looked down upon by the rest of the realm because they remained loyal. There is no point dwelling on the past; all she can do now is make sure her family regains influence and secure a crown for Margaery. A rose will sit beside the next king, not a scared fish in wolf's clothing.




She was sitting in her room, eating small pieces of cheese, again thinking of a way to get the bastard out of her way. There was no shortage of stupid girls who were infatuated by the boy, but she needed someone to whom he would be attracted, someone similar to Margaery in some aspects, someone that could get him away from her granddaughter for good. The problem was that, according to what she saw, he did not feel anything towards any of the noble ladies that approached him during the last few days. He was courteous, but he did not show any sign of affection towards them. As she continued to think, she heard voices coming from the other side of her door. She instantly recognized one as Elinor and the other as the northern girl Mira.




"Alright, out with it; who is he?" asked Elinor.




"I don't know what you mean," said Mira.




"Don't think you can trick me, I know that look, you also have been staring into space; you're sweet on some lad. Who is he?"




"Why should I tell you?"




"Oh, come on, we been friends for years, Mira, you can tell me." For a long moment, there was silence, and then Mira spoke.




"I-Its, Jon."




"Ha, I knew it."




"You knew, how?"




"Oh, come on, you weren't really subtle about it. I think everyone but Jon had noticed the way you look at him."




"You think there is a chance he knows?"




"I don't know, but I doubt it. Man can be stupid; you need to be more direct with them."




"I don't know; what are the chances of him feeling the same."




"You won't find out if you don't ask. Trust me, Jon might be a bastard, but he is one of the best-looking men I have seen, and he is the only man that can beat Loras in a duel. He is also the son of your father's liege and the king's hand. Where is that brave Forrester? I know, I never thought you would lose your courage because of a man. Tell him how you feel and see what happens. "




"I will think about it, but thank you, Elinor, you are a real friend."




Olenna smiled; she had her girl, the one to get the bastard away. She has pretty, looked somewhat like Margaery, and best of all, she was northern, and she knew that she and Jon were good with each other. She got up from her chair and started walking towards the door. She was the best option, the betrayal might hurt Margaery more, but it is needed for her granddaughter to become queen.








"You should not talk like that to your elders, especially if it's lady Olenna," Jon said to her.




"Why not? People need help; helping them is the honorable thing to do."




"It is, but you should show more respect to people, even more, if they are a ruling family like the Tyrells."




"People are stupid, especially lord Mace. Even his mother thinks so, and she is an old shrew."




"Arya!" Jon raised his voice at her. "No one is perfect, but they are good people, and lord Mace is a good man." She did not respond, she knew that she was right and that he was right, but she refused to acknowledge it. They moved through the hall of the Red Keep towards the hand's tower in relative silence. Then as they turned the corner, they came across the one man both she and Jon were hoping not to see any time soon, the Kingslayer. As he approached them, a large grin appeared on his face.




"Lady Stark, Lord Snow." the man said as he came closer.




"Kingslayer," Jon said, and the man stopped.




"You did not participate in the contest today; I was kind of hoping to see you at work, Snow."




"I'm a good archer, but the sword it was my skills truly lay, which I will prove in the melee tomorrow."




"I saw you leave the contest leaving your father with the fat flower." the man said, the grin still on his face.




"We wanted to go around the city for a bit."




"And for that, you need your little sister to protect you, the little she-wolf." The Kingslayer said, and she knew that he meant the last part as a mockery. She was angry; she wanted to say something back but first looked at Jon, who had a smirk on his lips.




"That's the best you got, Kingslayer; I guess it's true what they say about you; you didn't inherit your father's wit, you really are the stupidest Lannister." This seemed to cut deep, and the grin that was there moments ago vanished; a look of anger had now replaced it.




"Listen, bastard, you better watch what you say. If you wish for a fight, then I would happily oblige and throw your bastard ass in the dirt."




Jon was still smiling, "I would never cross my sword with an oath breaker and a coward like you, but even if I did, I know that I would beat you."




"You really believe so?"




"I know so Kingslayer."




The man took a few steps forward and grabbed Jon by the arm. "You think you are clever bastard, you think just because your father is the hand that no one can touch you well you are wrong. Accidents do happen during tourneys, especially during the melee." Arya glared at the man in white; he was more akin to an arrogant beast than a noble knight. If she had a blade right now, she would use it; no one threatens her family.




Jon pulled his arm and got it out of the Kingslayer grasp. "I will be careful, but I do advise you to watch out; the chances of accidents during the joust are also common."




"I will enjoy beating you." said the man irritated.




"You will try, and you will fail. Now, if you excuse us, Ser Jaime, we have to get back to our father."




Jon pushed his way through the Lannister, and she followed right behind.




"This isn't over, bastard."




"It's not, but it will be," Jon said, not even bothering to turn around, but she did, and she showed her tongue to the man and continued to follow her brother.




The two of them got to the tower of the hand without any further interference and entered their father's solar. There they saw Sansa sitting in a chair with Jayne next to her, talking and giggling while father was sitting at his desk talking to Jory and Vayon Poole. Sansa stopped laughing and looked at them.




"Where were you? You missed the finals of the contest," Sansa said.




"You know where we were," Arya replied.




"Yes, but what took you so long?"




"We visited the markets around the city, and later we went to Flea Bottom and helped some of the people there," said Jon.




"Flea Bottom, you should not have gone there; it's not the safest place in the city," said Jayne.




"For you maybe," said Arya. She liked Jayne somewhat, they knew each other their whole lives, but she was the same as Sansa, always acting ladylike and dreaming about some brave knight that would come and make her his lady. She was stupid, just like Sansa.




Jon looked at her, raised an eyebrow, and then returned his attention to the two sitting in front of them. "So, tell us who won the archery contest, was it Ser Simon or prince Jalabhar?"




"Neither it was a man called Anguy; he defeated both prince Jalabhar and Ser Balon in the final round."




"Anguy, if I remember correctly, he is one of lord Beric's men. Beric did say that a friend of his would be participating in the contest." Jon said.




"Shame Ser Balon did not win, but he was close," Sansa said with a sigh.




"Well, the melee is tomorrow, and there would be plenty of knights there. For whom are you rooting for?"




"I'm rutting for ser Robar Royce; I heard that he is probably good enough to even defeat ser Jaime." Arya could feel a sour taste forming in her mouth as Jayne said the Kingslayer name.




"I'm rooting for ser Loras," Sansa said proudly.




"Loras?" Jon asked, amused, "You would choose him over your own brother?"




"You are my brother, so you don't count," Sansa said with a smirk.




"I'm hurt, little sister, but know that I will prove you wrong once I defeat Loras tomorrow."




"I would like to see you try."




"But you saw me beat him in a dual a day ago."




"You are good. I don't deny that, but I still feel like Ser Loras went easy on you."




"Hey, our brother beat the flower fair and square while both were fighting to truly win," Arya said as she narrowed her eyes as she looked at Sansa. This was one reason she thought Sansa was stupid, immediately when she sees a knight with a pretty face and shiny armor, she feels that he is the best fighter in the realm. The truth is that you don't have to have a pretty face or fancy armor to be good with a sword; for that, it takes practice, time, and talent.




Jon crossed his arms. "Went easy, did he? The truth is I went easy on him, and after that little spar I had with Arya's teacher, I would have to think twice before going easy on someone or ever underestimating someone again. If you said that Garlan had a chance of beating me, then I would agree, but you chose Loras, so no."




"We will see, brother, we will see."








Tonight, there was another feast just like before, but this one seemed to be bigger because all of the attendees were here, and the king was in an especially good mood even compared to previous nights. During the night, he called a toast in the name of the victor of the archery contest and in the name of the new hand Lord Eddard. The Forrester's have been loyal bannermen of House Stark for centuries, so she knew the tales of their family well. Lord Eddard had the typical looks of a Stark with dark brown hair and grey eyes. Comparing him with Jon, who was sitting right between his father and the king, she could see the uncanny resemblance between the two.




The king took an instant liking to Jon and had begun to treat him as if he were lord Stark himself. When they first arrived at the feast, the king immediately called Jon to the high table and seated him next to him. Both she and lady Margaery looked at the high table and could see that the queen and the crown prince had displeased expressions on their faces as they looked at Jon.




Lady Sansa and Arya looked more than pleased to see their brother sitting with them while lord Stark had an odd look on his face as he continued to stare at the king and his son. The king burst out laughing, hit Jon on the back with his hand, and then took another sip from his cup.




When the dancing finally started, the noble lords and ladies took to the floor, knights dance with fair maidens, lords with their lady wives, and the crown prince first with lady Sansa and soon after with lady Margaery.




During the dancing, Jon had made this way down from the high table and sat with Loras at our table. She did not know how long she stared at him, but he noticed at gave her a warm smile; she could feel her cheeks turning red. She was usually the stoic and brave one of their group of ladies, but all that seemed to be needed to take that away from her was one smile from Jon.




She contemplated what to do for a moment, so she looked at lady Olenna who gave her a silent nod.




She looked at Jon once more and got up from her seat, and walked towards him. She stopped only a few steps from him, her courage leaving her all of a sudden. She stood there until Garlan noticed her.




"Mira, what is it?" Garlan asked, and Jon turned around to look at her.




For a moment, she did not say anything, but then she could feel her courage return to her. "I came here to ask Jon something."




"What is it, Mira?" Jon asked with a puzzled look on his face.




"I wish to ask you if you would dance with me?"




He stared at her with that puzzled look for a second before a warm smile returned. "Of course, my lady." He got up and offered her his hand, and she took it.




Jon was as good of a dancer as he was a warrior. Back at Highgarden, Jon would frequently dance with noble ladies from all around the Reach and even from some other kingdoms, but she never asked him, and the few times he asked her, she politely declined for being too embarrassed or scared.




Now, as she danced with him, she could not help but feel stupid for declining his previous offers, but she also felt happy as their hands touched as they moved around the dance floor. She gave him a content smile, and he returned it with a smile of his own.




As they continued to dance, she looked at lady Olenna who had a barely noticeable smile on her lips. She always thought lady Olenna cruel and shrewd, but now she saw a good woman underneath.

Chapter Text

Alla, Mira, Elinor, and Megga were walking through the part of the tourney grounds where the tents housed the brave knights who will be competing in the melee later. The area with the tens looked like a small city made from cloth with banners of various houses adorning them. There was the green apple of house Fossoway of New Barell, a golden tree of house Rowan, a purple unicorn of house Brax, the purple lightning bolt of house Dondarrion, the silver arrows of house Hunter, and many more. But the tent they were looking for was the one with the golden rose of House Tyrell.




While they were walking, she was reminiscing about the events from the previous day, she had a good time during their little trip around the city, and she had not forgotten the people that lived in Flea Bottom and that they needed help. It would take some persuasion on her part, but she could make her father give the people what they need the most. The feast was enjoyable for the most part; while she danced with the prince, she even saw her grandmother smile.




The only thing she found odd was Mira and Jon dancing that night. She knew that Mira liked dancing, but she chooses who she danced with carefully and that she never danced with Jon before, declining his offers every time. Mira is good friends with Jon, so she did not see a real reason for the refusals, so once she asked why she did so, Mira refused to give her an answer. She might not know what or why she changed her mind, but she was happy that her friend finally got over whatever was holding her back.




"Here we are," said Alla, and Margaery was brought out of her thoughts. They stood in front of a large green and gold tent with a vast golden rose at its entrance. From inside, they could hear several voices and the rattling of armor being put on.




The group walked in and met the sight of Jon and Loras putting their armor on with the help of their squires, with Garlan standing in front of them.




Garlan turned and looked at them as they came in. "Margaery, come to wish these sad sobs a good fortune in the melee," Garlan said half mockingly.




"Indeed, brother I have, we all did actually."




"Well, they are going to need it."




"I'm going to need not luck," Loras said as the squire put one last piece of his armor on him.




"Trust me, you are going to need it if Smalljon or the Strongboar hit you in the head," said Jon.




"They are not going to get a chance," replied Loras.




"Let's hope one of them doesn't hit you in the face because that's all you really have besides your ego," Garlan said with a smile.




"I have many fine qualities besides my face, brother, and don't you forget that."




"Oh, I won't."




The fitting of the armor was done for both. Loras wore an ornate green and gold armor decorated with several roses, while Jon wore green and gray armor like one Loras wore but with a bit fewer details and a wolf's pelt around his shoulders. Both had their swords in their hands; Loras was a castle forged blade with a rose on the hilt, while Jon wielded a sword her father gave him as a gift a few years ago. The long sword has a snarling wolf's head as a pommel. Jon loved that sword so much that he barely took it out of its chest back at Highgarden, so seeing that he was going to use it in this tourney was a bit of a surprise.




She looked at Jon, "You are really going to use it?"




Jon looked at the sword. "Yes, it's been sitting in my room for too long; a sword should be used, not just be there to gather dust. And besides, if there is the slightest chance, I might lose it to pretty boy here might as well use it."




"It's going to be mine by tomorrow's end," Loras said proudly.




"Not if I can help it," Jon replied.




"We will see who gets the sword tomorrow; today, just try to keep your heads down."




"We will try," Jon said with a smirk, "Won't we, pretty boy?"




"Aye, we will," Loras said with a smirk as he looked at Jon.




"Well, we came here to wish you both luck out there today, and please be careful both of you; I would hate to see you get hurt."




"Don't worry, Margaery, we won't," Loras said in a reassuring voice, and she gave him a satisfied smile in return. She loved both and could not stand seeing either of them hurt or worse due to something like a damn melee. Then she looked at Jon.




"He is right; we will be fine." He might say that, but she was honestly scared for his life, especially after he told her about the run-in he had with the queen's brother after he and Arya left. When he told her about the accidents, her mind started to think about all the possible things that could go wrong during the fight, which got her even more worried about his life than before.




"The melee will start soon, so I suggest you two better get going," Garlan said to Loras and Jon.




"Aye, we should," Jon said, and her group of ladies moved to the side to let the two brave men pass.




Jon came closer to her, "Jon, stay safe." she said in a concerned tone.




"I will, I promise." he gave her one last reassuring smile and put his green and gray helmet on.




"Good luck." each of the girls said.




As Jon was passing by Mira, she looked at him, "Take care out there, Jon."




"I will, Mira, don't worry."




Moments later, the two were gone leaving them in the tent with only Garlan.




"Come, there is no point lingering here; let's get to the stands and watch." She nodded, and they all started following him to the stands.








The two of them were making their way to the melee arena, their armor shining as they walked, a real shame it would get all dirty and pounded by swords in a matter of minutes. As they walked, he noticed that Jon was silent, more than usual.




"What's on your mind?" he asked.




"Nothing, just thinking about the melee," Jon replied.




"Jon, I know when something is on your mind, so tell me." Jon did not say anything. He just pressed on. "This is about the Kingslayer, isn't it?"




Jon turned his head to him, "You know?"




"Margaery told me this morning she was worried, and I can see that she is still worried."




"I know that I'm good in a fight, but I can't shake the feeling that he will try something."




He put his hand on Jon's shoulder, and they stopped. "Don't worry, the Kingslayer is not participating in the melee, and even if he does try something, I will be there to guard you back."




"Thank you, Loras."




"Besides, if you get hurt or get kicked out early, then there would be no real point in participating in this melee." Both started laughing. He loved Jon like a brother, and if anyone tried to hurt him, they would have to go through him first; he won't let anything happen to Jon out there today.




As the two continued to laugh, a voice was heard from behind them, "Well, if it isn't the bastard."




Both he and Jon turned around to see two freckled, orange-haired men standing in front of them.




"Horas and Hobber Redwyne," Jon said.




"Aye, and you better stay out of our way during the melee, bastard, or we will have to put you in your place."




"Get a grip of it, you two," Loras said as he crossed his arms. "You better scurry off, or I will have to repeat the lesson Jon taught you at Oldtown.




"Stay out of this Loras; this does not concern you," Hobber said, or is it Horas, he can never tell.




"It concerns me a great deal, actually."




"Enough, If you wish a fight, I suggest you save it for later when we are in an actual arena," said Jon. "Or would you prefer I just knock you out here where there are fewer spectators?"




"Watch your tongue, bastard." one of the twins growled.




"We will meet you on the field, and we will put you in your place for good. A bastard thinking, he is on the same level as trueborn, who has heard of that." With that, the twins made their way to them and pushed their way through them, grazing Jon's arms with their shoulders.




"I really don't like those two," Jon said.




"I know, come on, let's repeat the lesson from Oldtown for them," Loras said, and they continued their way.




As they entered the melee grounds, he could see some of the other participants they will be facing. He immediately noticed the two giants in full armor, the Strongboar, and Smalljon Umber; gods know who would win if those who clashed. There was also Dacey Mormont standing beside Smalljon and the Karstark and Hornwood, a man he identified as Robar Royce, his father Yohn, Patrek Mallister, Thoros of Myr, and a large number of Freys. Of course, the Freys would come in number; that was the only thing they had.




Jon leads them to where the northern party was standing. "Smalljon, Dacey."




The northerners turned their attention from future opponents to them. "Jon!" Smalljon shouted.




"It's good to see you two," said the Karstark.




"Aye, you too," he and Jon replied.




"Looks like this won't be easy," said Jon as he looked around.




"It shouldn't be; the difficulty only makes it more fun," said Dacey as she lifted her Mace and put it on her shoulder.




"Well, I wish you all good fortune today," said Jon.




"Aye, to you two as well," said Smalljon.




"Know that if we meet, we won't hold ourselves back." said the Hornwood.




"We don't expect you two," Loras said.




Then the herald came to a platform and started to speak. "Noble lords and ladies, people of the realm, I welcome you to the melee of the hand's tourney in the name of our good King Robert I Baratheon." Loras looked at the royal lodge where the king and queen were sitting, the king having an anxious look on his face while the queen had her typical unamused look on hers. As the herald continued to talk, Loras did not pay much attention; instead turned his head to Jon.




"How do we do this, the usual?" he asked.




"Aye, like always," Jon answered, and Loras nodded.




"Now let the melee begin!" the herald shouted, and the battle began.




He turned around and positioned himself behind Jon, their becks now almost pushing against each other. "Let's win this," said Loras as he blocked an incoming attack from an unfamiliar knight.








He was standing behind the fat oaf and his sister; it was his shift to guard the king during the melee. Robert needed to be talked out of participating by Ser Barristan and Eddard Stark; the fat moron had not the skill nor the coordination he once had, so if he joined the fight, he would have lost easily; on the other hand, Robert getting knocked on his ass would be something to see. The man who disrespected his sister at every turn, the man who did nothing but whore and drinking himself into a stupor. Rhaegar should have been king; he should be sitting on the iron throne, Aegon and little Rhaenys should be alive.




He sighed; there is no point reminiscing about the past and what could or should have been. The reality is that the Targaryen's are dead, he is played his part in their demise, and now his sister is queen thanks to what he and his father did. He can still see the dead bodies of Elia and her children wrapped in Lannister cloaks. He did not believe that his father would do something so cruel, and that proved just how little he knew; Tywin Lannister proved that there is not a low that he would not stoop to get what he wants.




He looked at the fat king who was deep in his cups already, impatiently waiting for the melee to start. Then he looked at his sister, the one good thing to come out of all the chaos, he was finally with the woman he loved.




"Are they waiting for the father to come personally?" Robert asked with a raised voice; the man honestly had little patients when it came to anything, even less so when it came to fighting. He looked at Cersei, who watched Robert with contempt; she hated the man more than he ever could. The field filled with contestants quickly, and soon then the herald finally came out to the field and greeted the participants before explaining the rules of the melee.




"Poor fools." he thought. "If he was there, he would take the day in a matter of minutes." The only man that can beat him is Barristan, and he is not participating. The opportunity to teach that bastard boy a lesson was a good reason enough, but he had to guard the king, and Barristan said no when he asked to be relieved of his duty for the day.




Thinking about the bastard made him look around and see that he was indeed there beside the Knight of Flowers and more northern savages. One of them could give Clegane a run for his money. The bastard will lose, that is certain, and he will enjoy watching it.




As the herald continued to speak, Robert got up from his chair and started shouting, "For god's sake, enough talking, get on with it so we can watch these men fight." The herald nodded, and Robert sat back into his chair and took another sip from his cup. Soon enough, the fight began.




Bronze Yohn fought a man from house Orme, his son merely a few steps beside him fighting a Leygood, Thoros only watched for a few seconds before he lit up his flaming sword and charged into the fray looking for his first opponent, but most he came across just got out of his way until Patrek Mallister clashed his sword with him.




One of the Redwyne twins was fighting one of the Freys while the other Freys were trying to use their number to their advantage and ganged up on a knight he knew as Bryce Caron.




He searched for the bastard and the rose and found them fighting back to back against two opponents. It looks like the strategy is to fight together and see how long they hold up—a foolish plan and one that will not last long in this fight.








Margaery sat with her family, her father, and Garlan, barely able to contain their excitement over the upcoming melee; she wasn't as keen on it as she was about the joust. She looked around the crowd and saw the king and queen sitting there; the king seemed as excited as her father was as he began to drink while the queen wore the usual bored expression she wore every night.




"On whom did you bet, father?" Garlan asked.




"On Loras, of course, you?"




"I put my money on Jon," Garlan said with a smile.




"You bet against your brother?" grandma asked.




"Jon is better of the two, so yes," Garlan said, and her grandmother just nodded and turned her attention back to the field.




"Well, whoever of them wins, we will be proud of them, won't we, Mace?" her mother asked.




"We will, my love." father said with his usual smile, to which grandma made a sound of disapproval.




She looked at the field where she could see many knights from all the realm competing for the glory and reward that came with it. Looking around, she was lady Dacey knocking a man to the ground with a hit from her Mace.




The Karstark was fighting a knight from house Thorne while the Hornwood was fighting a Farring. She looked for Smalljon and found him battering Lyle Crakehall.




Jon and Loras were using their usual strategy of fighting as a team until there were fewer opponents to fight. Loras quickly making short work of his opponent and made him yield, and so did Jon, but soon enough, they were attacked again, this time a man with a long ax and a sword and shield.




A member of the Kingsguard was even fighting Ser Arys Oakheart was facing off against Ser Ronald Gaunt and had the man in the dirt in moments.




She turned her attention to where they were sitting; her ladies were all looking on with excitement and worry as Jon and Loras faced off against everyone else. Samwell sat there with them and looked on with concern while his father sat on the other end, stoic faced as ever. Her father and lord Eddard were both quiet, carefully watching their sons fight through the mass. It really seemed like her father and lord Eddard had a good relationship with each other.




Garlan snickered as Jon knocked the man with the ax on his back, kicking the weapon away and putting the edge of his sword to the man's throat.




"T-They are doing good so far," Sam said.




"Aye, they are but let us hope it stays that way. They never fought most of the men fighting here today, and that gives them a big disadvantage," said Garlan.




"B-but they will win, won't they?" Sam asked.




"We will see," Garlan said as he crossed his arms.




What Garlan said made her more worried than she was before. Jon and Loras were both capable fighters, but they never fought or even seen most men here fight. Men like the Strongboar and Thoros of Myr had a reputation for a reason, and seeing the red priest wield his flaming sword did little to alleviate her fears.








He was sitting with his fellow Stormlanders, watching the melee going on. There were men with talent and those with none. In the old days, Gerold would use an opportunity like this to seek potential recruits for the Kingsguard, but does days were gone; now, the new members of the Kingsguard were chosen at a whim. The men sitting beside him were excitedly watching the fights and cheering for their selected champion.




The king was more than excited, he and Lord Eddard barely managed to talk him out of joining the melee himself, and he needed to do the same to Ser Jaime. He knew well about the animosity between the new lord hand and his fellow member of the Kingsguard, which seemed to be carried over to the lord's children, and letting the man participate in the melee could bring nothing good.




Returning his gaze to the field, he saw that two of the north men were thrown out of the fight and that the Strongboar was clashing with the northern giant while the lady was fighting a man from house Brax. Bronze Yohn was fighting Thoros, and by the looks, the Knight of the Vale was losing.




What surprised him somewhat was the duo that the young Tyrell and Ned Starks bastard made, fighting side by side against everyone. He heard tales about them, but this was the first time he actually saw them fight, and he was impressed not just by their skill but also by their comradery.




What also surprised him was the hand was not sitting at the northern stand or with the king but with the Tyrells but considering that his son was fostered by Mace Tyrell, it was only a small surprise.




The crowd cheered, and he quickly turned to see what had happened, Thoros knocked Bronze Yohn to the ground, and the man yielded. The red priest promptly moved to his next opponent, Ser Arys.




Strongboar wielded his greatsword with great skill and strength, and the northerner was not to be taken lightly either. The two were almost matched in size and strength. The northerner tried to slash across the Strongboar's left arm, but the Crakehall managed to parry it and push the Umber back with a hit of his shoulder. This seemed to agitate the Umber, and the man charged forward to bring his sword down hard only to be blocked by Strongboar.








The damn Freys decided to go for him and Loras; the fact that they had still here baffled him. Two of them attacked simultaneously, and he managed to parry one and block the other, kicking the second one in the chest and pushing him back so he could focus on the first Frey. The man tried to feint an attack on the right to read the attack quickly and block on the left. Seconds later, the man was without his sword lying on the ground.




"Yield!" he said.




"I yield, I yield." the Frey said, and he quickly returned his attention to the second one.




This one posed even less of a challenge and was out of the arena in a blink of an eye. Leaving only one more on his side and three that Loras was currently occupied with.








Everywhere he looked, Freys, there indeed was no end to them. One of them charged at him, and he only moved to the side and hit the man with his sword on the back; he turned around only to be hit once again, this time on the chest.




"I yield." the Frey said.




"I accept your yield Ser," he said with a small bow and returned to the other two.




The first one yielded after two hits in the head and the other one after four consecutive strikes to the arms. He looked around for a second to see Jon still with him fighting a hedge knight; seeing his friend with him relieved him of his worry, then he heard a voice.




"Are you going to stare at him all day, or are we going to fight?" he turned around to see Dacey.




Loras smiled beneath his helm. "A knight does not fight a lady..."




"Don't give me that crap," she said, annoyed.




"But you are no ordinary lady now, are you?"




"No, I'm not," she said and swung her Mace towards his head, which he barely missed.








Her brother was fighting a man her father said was Balon Swann, the Knight was good, but it seemed like Jon was pushing the man into a corner. Without anywhere to go, Jon attacked relentlessly, and the Knight's weapon was out of his hand, and Jon's sword was pointed at his neck.




"I yield," Balon said.




"Thank you, Ser, that was a good fight." she heard Jon say.




"Aye, it was." and the man-made his way out of the arena.




Dacey Mormont was fighting Ser Loras, and honestly, she did not know who to root for; on the one hand, Dacey was a northerner, and she liked the woman; on the other hand, Loras was Jon's friend, and she was starting to like him also even if he was an arrogant pretty-faced knight.




Her father barely moved during the fighting, only observing it and responding to Lord Maces' comments from time to time.




She heard her sister make a concerned yelp as Dacey's Mace clashed with Lorass sword.




"Gods, I hope she does not hurt him," she said.




"So, what if she does? This is foolish; you can't win if you don't fight."




"I know it's just..."




"Well, seeing Loras gets knocked on his ass by a lady would be something to see," Garlan said with a chuckle.








There were fewer and fewer competitors on the field, the only ones remaining were Smalljon, Lyle Crakehall, Thoros, Jon, Loras, Dacey, Arys Oakheart, one of the Redwyne twins, and Robar Royce.




The two giants were still fighting, and the crowd seemed to love it, the sight of two giants clashing. Thoros was fighting Ser Arys, the Redwyne was moving towards Jon while Robar was looking around to see who was to be his next opponent.




He was honestly more than a bit concerned for Jon and even Ser Loras. Every man here wanted nothing more than to win, and he knew that Smalljon wouldn't really hurt Jon, but he wasn't so sure about someone like the Strongboar.




Robert watched the whole thing with excitement, his foster brother always like nothing more than to fight and drink.




The crowd cheered as ser Arys yielded to Thoros. "Let's hope that that flaming blade does not get too close to Jon." he thought.




Peter Baelish




This tourney cost the crown a small fortune. Ever since his dual with Brandon Stark, he ceased to see the point of two men hacking at each other for someone's amusement, but that was the only thing that brought the king joy beside whores, and who was he to deny the king what he wanted.




The crowd watched the two giants clash, each refusing to lose to the other. He had to admit, they had the strength but no real brains, by the looks of it.




Once Arys Oakheart was beaten, the noble Robar Royce took his place fighting against the red priest.




What intrigued him was the Tyrell and the bastard beside him. He heard stories about the Knight of the flowers and the bastard of Winterfell. The boy being sent to Highgarden after the Greyjoy rebellion and, over the years, rose to become one of the best tourney fighters in the Reach.




Most of the Tyrells had nothing against the boy once he arrived, all but lady Olenna, who by what he heard was not too pleased with having a bastard roaming around her castle.




The boy was good with a sword. That much was obvious.








"Bastard!" he heard someone shout. He looked to see one of the Redwynes charging at him. Their swords clashed, helms only inches apart. "You are going to eat dirt once I'm done with you, bastard."




"Let's see if you can," he said and pushed them apart. The Redwyne circled around him slowly before attacking again, only for him to dodge the attack. The Redwyne struck several more times, with each blow being dodged.




"Fight coward," Hobber said, and Jon could notice that the man was panting. This was his chance.




He went on the offensive, attacking with several quick blows to the arms and legs. He tried to gain a hit on the head, but Hobber managed to block his attack. The Redwyne attacked again, only for Jon to move out of the way and send a quick and hard blow to the man's head, which sent him falling to the ground.




"Yield!" he ordered.




"I yield, but this isn't over, bastard."




"I think it is."




As he looked around, he could see that Royce had been beaten by the red priest, and the same was true of Smalljon.




"I'm going after the priest." he heard Loras say as he passed him.




"Wait, Loras," he shouted, but his friend did not listen.




"Thoros!" Loras shouted, and they clashed swords.




He looked behind him to see if Dacey was alright, who was currently get up from the ground.




"You alright?" he asked.




"Aye, I'm fine. The bugger caught me by surprise; he is good."




"Aye, he is." Jon looked at Loras as he fought Thoros.




"Good luck Jon," she said.




"Thank you, Dacey."




The Strongboar




Only four of us remained the crazy priest, the flower, the bastard, and him. The fight with the Umber took longer than he had anticipated, but it was a good one, and it was a long time since he fought someone close to his size. In the end, he had to headbutt the northerner, hit him with his sword three times in the head and shoulder, and pull his legs under him to make him yield.




The flower was fighting the priest, which only left the bastard wolf for him to fight against. Honestly, he was impressed by the bastard for making it this far; the boy proved to have some skill. The bastard noticed that he was looking at him.




"Shall we?" the boys asked.




"You are brave and foolish," Thoros said to the boy.




"There is a little difference between those two." the bastard said and started moving towards him.




The boy tried to slash at his left leg, but he managed to block it with ease and pushing the boy back.




"Is that the best you got?"




The boy laughed, "Not even close." and he attacked again.








He loved this, fighting a worthy opponent with the crowd cheering you on; while there was no better feeling than being between the legs of a good woman, this came a close second. The Tyrell boy was tough as they came, and he enjoyed fighting someone on his skill.




"Getting tired old man?" the boy said arrogantly.




"I can do this for hours, boy."




"Be careful what you wish for, priest." the boy said and brought his sword towards him once more, blocking it with his flaming blade.








The red priest was relentless; his strikes looked wild and random, but to anyone who with skill could recognize that this was a dance and Thoros was the Master of It. Ser Loras was skilled and blocked and parried the priest's attacks, but the boy was young, and his lack of actual battle prowess was starting to show, not to mention the over-exaggerated movements did him no real good in a fight with a seasoned fighter like Thoros.




The priest's sword came crashing down once more, the flames growing higher; the Tyrell tried to move back, but it was too late, and as Barristan watched the flame get close to the young man's helm, he shuddered, Ser Loras in moving back to avoid the fire had given Thoros the opening he needed, and in seconds the Knight was on the ground, and within seconds more had yielded as Thoros pointed the flaming sword at this chest. It only left to see who would face the priest in the final, Lyle Crakehall or Jon Snow.








Watching Tyrell get his ass kicked by the drunken priest was fun. All that remained now was for Lyle to give the bastard few strong hits and throw him out of the melee. The bastard was lucky to have lasted this long as it is.




Lyle swung his greatsword at the boy once again, but the bastard dodged it and quickly hit the bigger man on the shoulder. He watched the fight go on, Lyle swinging and slashing with all his strength, but the boy either avoided it or managed to block it; he also seemed to be picking up speed.




"The boy is good, really good." the king said with a laugh while Jaime stayed quiet.




He could barely believe it; Lyle swung his sword towards the boy's left arm only for the bastard to dodge it and quickly moved behind the large man scoring three consecutive strikes to the man's knees, which made one give away. Then the bastard moved back to the front again and hit the chest, shoulder, and arm hard. He put the sword to Lyle's throat.








"I yield." the Strong boar said, and the boy helped him up.




"I guess that only leaves us," Thoros said.




"It seems it does." the bastard said, and the priest charged at him.








Garlan knew that his brother would not be the winner of this melee; there were just too many fighters with more experience, talent was not enough in a fight. He's showing off might have given the crowd a good spectacle, but it had proven to be a grave mistake when fighting against someone like Thoros of Myr. Garlan saw at least two opportunities that Loras could have used against the priest if he had not shown off, but now it does not matter, he lost, and he might learn something from it.




Jon was the one facing off against the priest, and after holding back for most of the fight, this was the fight Garlan knew would put Jon to the test.




He watched as the priest swung low and high, sweeping arcs, feints, and parries, but Jon stayed strong and matched the priest at every turn.




The fight continued for what felt like hours but was much shorter. The crowd cheered the two fighters on the Reach, North, and Stormlands for Jon while the people of the Crownlands and other kingdoms cheered for Thoros.




He heard Margaery and the rest of the girls gasp in worry as Thoros pushed Jon back, again and again, nearly cleaving off his head with a devastating swing.




Lord Eddard stayed silent, but he could see the look of worry on his face as well as on his father.




"Come on, Jon!" his father shouted.




"Yeah, Jon, you can beat him!" Jon's little sister Arya shouted as well.




After a moment of respite, Jon went on the offensive and got a few good hits on the priest, but this seemed to only make the priest fight harder. After several strikes of his flaming sword, Jon found himself on the ground, his sword barely out of Reach. The priest started lowering his sword down on Jon. The crowd gasped in shock and awe as Jon caught the flaming sword in his armored hand's inches from his head. Several people got up and watched the sight in front of them standing, including the king.




"Did you see that?" he could hear the king shout, "Ned's boy!"




The red priest looked on as surprised as everyone else before Jon let go of the sword, kicked the priest back with his leg, and rolled over to pick up his blade. Then Jon moved with all his speed and managed to score another hit on the man's shoulder and head before he could recover. Jon took a step back to allow the man to get back up. Thoros pulled himself up, but it was apparent he was exhausted. The priest took off his helm and looked at Jon.




"That was a good fight boy, you have a fire in you. I yield." the priest said just as the flames on his sword went out.




"I thank you, sir, I look forward to facing you again," Jon said.




"Aye, me too," Thoros replied.




The king laughed loudly. "Ned's boy, I knew he would win."




"Lord, ladies, people of the realm, I give you the winner of the hand's tourney Ser Jon Snow." the herald announced, and the crowd cheered for the victor, the one who cheered the hardest was probably the king himself, followed by his father, Lord Mace. Jons sisters, Margaery, and her ladies cheered excitedly while lord Eddard just sat there with a look of relief on his face.




"JON, JON, JON." he could hear a group of people shouts. He looked at them and saw his brother Loras, lady Dacey, Beric, Smalljon, and other Northmen with them, all with happy expressions on their faces.

Chapter Text

After the melee was over and Jon being proclaimed the winner by the king, Jon left the field with Loras and several others. At first, she wasn't scared much, but once Jon started fighting real opponents, she became terrified, especially when he fought the red priest. The very thought of Jon getting hurt by the flaming sword made her stomach turn. Once the priest started lowering his sword towards Jon, she gasped, and so did Margaery and the other ladies. Margaery seemed as concerned as she was, maybe even more.




When the crowd started dispersing, they took their leave to but not to the keep, but to the Tyrell tent; lord Stark left due to the king wishing to speak with him. There they found Loras and Jon taking their armor off with Dacey and lord Beric with them. Arya and Sansa rushed to embrace their brother, and she honestly had to restrain herself from doing the same.




"You won; I knew you would win," said Arya.




"I told you I would," Jon replied with a smile.




"I was so scared when you fought the priest. Did he hurt you?" Sansa said.




"I'm fine, just a few bruises," Jon replied.




"There are more than just a few bruises," Loras said, concerned. "Look at his hands." Sansa took one of Jon's hands a looked at it, a cut stained with blood on it.




"Jon," Sansa said worriedly. Arya took the other hand and saw the same thing.




"It's just a scratch, nothing more."




Margaery stepped forward. "It's more than just a scratch Jon. What you did was incredibly dangerous and foolish." Jon lowered his gaze from her but, after a moment, pulled it back up.




"I will be fine, Margaery, believe me, all of you," Jon said as he looked around the room.




"You need a Maester to take a look at that." Mira finally said.




"I will once we are hack at the keep."




"Well, seeing that there is no point talking about your wounds, let me be the first to congratulate you on your victory," Elinor said.




"Thank you, Elinor," Jon said.




"Actually, you aren't the first; lady Dacey was the first," Loras said.




"Second then."












"That was me, my lady." said lord Beric.




"Fine, but I'm the first of this group to congratulate you."




"That you are my lady," Jon said with a small smile.




Before anyone could say anything else, a noise was heard behind them, and they all turned to see what it is. To their surprise, they saw the king enter the tent with lord Eddard, lord Mace and Garlan behind him with ser Jaime and Barristan beside him.




"Your grace." they all said and bowed to the king. The king approached Jon and started laughing. The two lords stayed behind.




"Ha-ha, I knew you would win, boy; you are just like your father."




"Thank you, your grace," Jon said as he bowed his head.




"It's been a long time since I saw a Stark fight, and gods, was it all worth it. When you knocked that Redwyne boy on his ass," the king continued to laugh. After he composed himself, the king continued, "Balon Swann, the Strongboar, and even Thoros, you have skill, boy."




"You flatter me, your grace."




"Real skill and balls, the way you caught that blade as it were nothing, gods I wish my son was like you."




"It was instinctual your grace."




When the king realized it, "Your hands, are they hurt?" the king asked, concerned.




"Just a bit," Jon said, and he showed the king his hands.




The king looked at the wounds before turning to lords standing behind him. "Ned, where is Pycelle? He was right behind us."




As the king said that the old Maester walked in alongside Mira, it looked like the elderly man could barely walk. "I'm here, my king." the Maester said, slightly winded.




"Took you long enough," the king barked. "The boy is injured. See what you can do." The Maester nodded and slowly approached Jon. He took both of Jon's hands and examined them closely.




"The wounds themselves aren't too deep, some ointment to keep it from getting infected, and some bandages will do just fine." Mira breathed a sigh of relief because it was nothing serious. "What perplexes me is that they are no burn marks on his hands; the sword was aflame, so when it pierced the gauntlets, it should have left burn marks, but there are none."




"Master Motto must be a better smith them, we thought," said Garlan.




"Indeed." said the Maester skeptically, "You got lucky young Ser; I will take care of this now, and then you will be on your way."




"Thank you, Maester " Jon said. The old Maester dressed Jon's wounds while the king continued to speak with Lord Eddard and Lord Mace and Garlan with Loras.




"That's it." said the Maester as he finished. Jon squeezed his hands into fists. "Any pain?"




"A bit but no need to worry; it will pass," Jon answered.




"Your grace, that is all." the maester said as he turned to the king.




"Good, will he be able to joust tomorrow?"




"I believe so; there might be some pain but nothing serious." said the Master.




"Thank you, Pycelle, you may go." The old man nodded and slowly exited the tent. Then the king returned his attention to Jon.




"With that done, I wish to congratulate you for your victory. You made me and your father very proud." the king said in a booming voice.




"Thank you, your grace, but I could not have done it without Ser Loras; he had my back during the fight."




"Nonsense lad, you won, don't sell yourself short." Jon looked at Loras and was about to say something when lord Eddard intervened.




"My king, you should return to the keep; you have to prepare for the feast." The king turned to Lord Eddard.




"For fuck sake, Ned, can't you just give me a minute to congratulate your son on a well-deserved victory."




"I'm aware, and you did so."




"Alright," the king returned his gaze to Jon. "Lad, do something like that again, and I might just name you to the Kingsguard." the king said and smiled. Mira looked at the king and then to his two Kingsguard; ser Barristan had a look which seemed like he agreed with the king, while Ser Jaime had a displeased frown on his face.




Jon looked stunned at the king's words, and so were lord Eddard and Loras. "M-My king, you honor me."




"When the time comes, and a place opens in the Kingsguard, I will consider you for it, having Ned's son as a Kingsguard with his daughter as a wife for my son would be a great thing indeed."




"Thank you, my king."




"We will talk more during the feast."




"As you wish your grace," Jon said and bowed. The king turned and started exiting the tent with his Kingsguard and hand behind him; they all bowed as he did.




With the king gone, lord Mace walked up to Jon and shook his hand. "Great work out there, Jon, truly great work."




"Thank you, my lord."




"Loras and you both did great. I'm proud of you both."




"Loras might have lasted longer if he hadn't charged at the red priest like a fool," Garlan said.




"I could have beaten him if the damn sword wasn't on fire," Loras argued.




"No, you couldn't." the answer came not from Garlan but from Margaery. "I'm just glad you did not hurt yourself."




"It would have been a shame if he lost that pretty face of his," Jon said as he put on hand around Loras's neck.




"Fine, I lost, no need for you to rub it in," Loras said, annoyed.




"You are the one who always brags about his victories; you can let us have fun with you at least this once," Garlan said.




"It's more than once," Loras said as he crossed his arms.




"Alright, come on guys, we hurt his ego; let's top it before he starts crying," Jon said with a smirk.




"You...little," Loras said as he brought Jon's head into a lock.




"Hey, get off me!" Jon yelled.




"Not until you apologize."




"Apologize? They started it."




"Yes, but you finished it, so you have to apologize."




"Fine, fine, I'm sorry," Jon said, and Loras let go. Both looked at each other and started laughing. Soon everyone else joined them.








"A bastard, a damn bastard, won the melee," Cersei growled as they walked through the halls of the Maegors holdfast. "The boy must have cheated somehow."




"Even the damn priest and Lyle yielded to him, fucking cowards. If I was there, I would have made sure the boy never picked up a sword again."




"Why didn't you?" Cersei asked, and Jaime gave her an annoyed glare.




"The lord commander refused to give me a permeation to switch shifts with someone."




"Why should you listen to that old fool? I'm the queen I would have given you permeation."




"He is the lord commander; only he or the king can do that," Cersei growled in annoyance and turned her gaze back to the hall.




"Since that stunt, the bastard pulled with catching the flaming sword everyone is talking about him like he is the prince and not Joffrey, Joffrey should be worshiped like that, not some bastard from the North."




Jaime sighed. "The bastard is better than I expected," he admitted.




"First Robert follows Ned Stark around like a lost puppy, now he is doing the same with the damn bastard." She stopped and grabbed him by the hand, "You will do what is needed tomorrow and knock that bastard to the dirt where he belongs."




"I will," Jaime said with determination.




"Good, now escort you, queen, to her chambers," she said with a mischievous smile on her lips.








They made their way back to the keep and went to their rooms to prepare for tonight's feast. Once she made sure everyone was in their rooms or elsewhere, she quickly made her way to Jon's room. She opened the door and found him half-naked, putting new clothes on.




"Margaery?" he asked, a bit surprised. She ran to him and gave him a greedy kiss. After a long moment, they broke for ear, and she slapped him. "What was that for?" he asked angrily.




"That was for doing something so dangerous and stupid; I almost ran to you when you caught that sword."




The angry glare turned into a mischievous smile ", So my lady really cares about me."




"Of course, I do, and don't you ever do something like that again," she said, the latter part sound more pleading than commanding.




He cupped her cheeks, "I won't, I promise." She could feel tears feeling her eyes.




"I don't want to see you get hurt; I don't know what I would do if something happened to you."




"You won't lose him ever; I promise to be there beside you, always." She brought her head to his chest, hearing his heart.




"My brave knight," she said with a whisper. They stayed like that in each other's arms until a knock came from the door.




"Jon, you in there?" a voice asked; it was Mira. They looked at each other. If she enters, they will be caught, and she knew what that would mean for both of them. They stayed silent, not knowing what to do. After a long moment that felt like an eternity, a second voice spoke.




"He must be with his sisters," Elinor said.




"Yes, I will see him later before the feast," Mira said, and they could hear the footsteps going away from the door. Once they were sure the two ladies left, they breathed a sigh of relief.




"That was close," Jon said.




"I know," he turned her attention from the door back to Jon. "I really wish we wouldn't need to hide as we do."




He sighed, "You know why we must." Jon said sadly.




"Why does it matter on what side of the sheets you were born? If someone is a good person, why should anyone think lesser of them because of their birth."




"That is not how the world works, Margaery."




"I know, but I wish..." she said, her voice desperate.




"I know My golden Rose, I know ."








That melee was one of the best he had seen in a long time, Ned's son participating made it even better. He saw the Stark children in Winterfell and all, but little Sansa looked like their mother with red hair and blue eyes, no son with Stark features. But once he heard about the son who was fostered with the roses would be fighting in the tourney, that raised his interest. The first time he saw the boy, he was taken back to the time of the rebellion. It almost scared him how much the boy looked like his father, a complete copy. The boy's mother left nothing of herself in the boy; he was all Stark. The boy even reminded him of Lyanna.




During the melee, the boy fought beside the rose; there was a bond there. It was apparent, but the damn flowers were dragon lovers. Having the boy on his Kingsguard would be a too good opportunity to waste. All these Lannisters around him made him sick; replacing some of them with the Stark would be a good idea.




The boy won the day; even when everyone thought he would lose, he refused to surrender. Grabbing the damn blade was not something anyone would be brave enough to do, but the boy did it, nonetheless. Seeing the face of both Lannisters beside him as the boy did, it was worth every gold dragon in the kingdoms. The boy had nerves of steel, just like his father.




"Are you sure he is not a trueborn, Ned?" Robert asked his best friend, who was sitting beside him at the high table.




"I am my king," Ned said in his usual serious tone.




"The boy looks more like you than your firstborn son, no offense."




"None taken, your grace."




"What did I say, Ned, enough of that your grace business."




"Fine you-Robert."




"The boy did well; he is skilled with a blade," Robert said, laughing.




"He did."




"He is the son of the man who defeated Arthur Dayne after all, gods what I would not give to have been there with you when you finished him off."




Ned frowned. "Arthur Dayne was a good man..."




"He was a damn dragon loyalist," Robert said, annoyed at his friend for defending the dead knight.




"So was Barristan, if you recall." his friend said.




"Barristan had the common sense to see that once I killed Rhaegar, the war was over and that we have won and that fighting for a lost cause only meant death, unlike the three fools you faced in Dorne."




"Those men were brave and loyal, and will not discuss that anymore," Ned said as he glared at Robert with those dark gray eyes. Robert knew why Ned did not want to discuss it any. Further, the same memory pained him also, the woman they both lost.








Her stupid grandson got his ass handed to him again, and the bastard won yet again. Loras might have a talent for the sword, but he was precisely the same as his father when it came to having brains. She noticed the look her granddaughter had during the fighting; anyone could see it; she did not even try to hide it. The only good thing was that so far, her plan to split the two of them was going along; all she needed was for young Mira to use her charms on the boy, and after a rump or something, one of the servants will inform Margaery of what they saw, and that will be the end of that damn affair. She was in no hurry; the best-laid plans are the ones that work slowly and bring the exact results you want.




The bastard winning the melee was not a surprise; he was always better with the blade then Loras. What did surprise her was when he caught the flaming sword; the boy had more luck than brains. For a moment, she hoped that the priest or the Crakehall would injure him or even kill him, but she had no such chance.




Mace told her later also alarmed her; the fact that Robert was considering the boy for a place on the Kingsguard was aggravating because if Margaery became queen, the bastard would still be there beside her, and she could not do anything to change it. If Rhaegar had won and his son was alive, Margaery's hand would go to him, but now she must fight even more to get her granddaughter onto the throne.




"That was spectacular." his son roared as he entered the small dining room where she was sitting.




"It was father," Garlan replied.




"The way he beat the Strongboar, fabulous," Mace said as he clapped his hands.




"And knocking the Freys on their asses."




"And did you see the final blow he gave to the priest?"




She could not take this anymore; her son's shenanigans were annoying her to no end. "Everyone saw that Mace; I think the whole kingdom saw it," she said with venom on her tongue. Her son and grandson looked at her. "What are you looking at? If you have something smart to say, say it. If not, keep quiet; I need to think."




"Yes, grandmother." Garlan said, "Come on, father, let's go and have some wine on the balcony to celebrate."




"A good idea Garlan."








They were about to go to tonight's feast; they were only waiting for Loras and Alla. Lord Mace and lady Alerie were happy with his victory, and so were the rest of them. The one thing that bothered him was his father's reaction or the lack thereof; his lord father did not even congratulate him when they were with the king; he did not even give him an approving smile.




Everyone knew how lord Eddard felt about tourneys, but he honestly thought his father would be glad to see him participate and even win, but by everything that accrued so far, that was not the case. At least his fellow northerners were more than glad for him.




"You alright?" Maege asked him, which snapped him out of his brooding.




"I'm alright, Maege, perfect, actually."




"Good, you looked so lost for a moment there."




"Just thinking about the joust, nothing more."




"Either you or Loras is going to win."




"I don't know the competition is steep; I heard that the Bold and the Kingslayer are competing as well."




"We believe in you both and Garlan, right Elinor, Mira." She looked at the two girls beside her.




"We do," Elinor replied.




"I believe in you, Jon," Mira said with a kind smile on her lips.




"Thank you all of you," Jon said.




"I need to thank you, Jon," Garlan said as he put on hand around Jon's shoulder.




"What for?" Jon asked.




"You made me a rich man."




"You are rich."




"Richer than," Garlan said with a satisfied smirk.




"You bet on me?"




"I did."




"You bet against your own brother?" Jon asked, surprised.




"Why does everyone why it strange? I knew who had the best chance of winning and put my money on him, so what?"




"Maybe with that money, you could buy something for a certain lady," Elinor said with a smile.




"I will buy my lovely wife something she deserves." Elinor's smile was still there but not as bright.




They talked for several more minutes before Loras and Alla arrived, both in their finest clothes.




"What took you so long?" Jon asked Loras.




"You can't rush perfection," Loras said smugly.




"Everyone is here good, now lest go, we better not be late; it's rude to keep the king waiting." Lady Alerie said. Lord Mace went his wife and lady Olenna, Garlan with his wife, and Margaery with Loras with the girls and him behind them. Suddenly he felt someone's arm be put under his.




"Mira?" he asked as he looked at her.




"It looks bad when the champion comes to the feast alone," Mira said with a beaming smile.




He returned her a smile, "You are right, thank you, Mira."




They made their way to the great hall where the herald announced them as they entered. The Tyrells sat at their table, and he was seated next to Mira when the herald announced the arrival of the king and queen and the royal children, his father, and sisters with them. Sansa saw being escorted by the crown prince while Arya was with prince Tommen and by the looks of it, she hated every moment of it. The royal family made their way to the high table and sat down. He was talking with Mira and Megga when the king stood up, and the room quietened.




"Ser Jon, your king, wishes a word with you." the king thundered. Everyone at their table looked at Jon as he walked towards the royal table and stopped a few steps from the king.




"My king, my queen, my prince, princess," Jon said with a bow as he looked at each one of them.




"Ser Jon, let me officially congratulate you on your victory in today's melee; it sure was more entertaining then I thought it would be, isn't that right?" the king said, and sounds of confirmation were heard around the hall, especially from the Northern and Stormlands tables.




"Your grace, you congratulated me once already," Jon said.




"Aye, I did, but this is official, where everyone can agree."




"Thank you, my king," Jon said.




"Jon, my boy, come sit here beside your father and me; your place is here, not with the roses." Jon frowned a bit because of the king's words about his foster family but did as he was asked.




As he passed his sisters, he greeted them and did the same to his father, who only gave him an acknowledging nod.








Jon sat next to him and Robert once more, and he was more worried than he had been in a long time. He knew the risks that fighting in the melee brought, and he was afraid for Jon during the whole ordeal, but the worries he had now were small compared to those. The fact that Jon grabbed a flaming sword and that it had not left a single mark concerned him greatly.




Only Targaryen's could have immunity to fire and heat, and not all of them had it throughout their history; Aegon the unlikely proved that when he burned to death at Summerhall. Now it seemed that that ability manifested in Jon. So far, no one suspects anything, which is good. Jon having the looks of a Stark is what truly helped in keeping the secret. The only ones who knew about it in Westeros beside him were Howland and Benjen. He knew they neither would say it even under threat of death, but if someone even remotely suspected something, that would be a significant problem.




Another thing that worried him much was Robert's wish to make Jon a Kingsguard. It was an honorable calling, there is no doubt about that, but having Jon anywhere near Robert posed too great of a threat.




The sooner this damn tourney ends, the sooner Jon can go back to Highgarden, where he is safe, far away from Robert.




"Is everything alright, father?" Sansa asked, concerned.




"It is; there is nothing for you to worry about," he reassured her, and she nodded.








After the meals were over, the time came for dancing; the lord and knights took their partners by the hand and went to the dance floor. Father danced with their mother, Garlan with Leonette, once again the prince came to ask his sister for a dance. As Margaery went past him, she told him to ask Jon's sister for a dance. Seeing that no one has yet done so, he got up from where he was sitting and went to the high table.




"Your graces, lord hand."




"Ser Loras." Lord Eddard said.




"I come to ask your daughter to dance with me if you would allow it, my lord."




Sansa turned to her father and gave him a pleading look "father, please."




"You can go." Lord Eddard said, and Sansa immediately jumped up from joy but quickly composed herself and started acting more ladylike. She took his hand, and they made their way to join the others who were dancing.




They danced for a while before he noticed that Jon and Mira had joined them, he did not know who asked who, but his money was on Mira.




When the dance was done, he took Sansa back to the high table. As they passed the musicians, a brilliant idea came to mind. Sansa noticed his grin.




"What's so funny?"




"Oh, nothing. I just have an idea." She looked at him, confused.








Garlan finished his dance with Leonette and brought her back to their table; soon enough, Jon returned; Mira continued to dance with a young man he knew as Teobold Ashford, Simos's younger brother. For a time, he spoke with Sam and his brother before he noticed that Jon had not taken his eye of Margaery since he sat down. He put his elbows on the table and leaned towards Jon.




"You should ask her for a dance," Garlan said. Jon taking his attention off Margaery and turning it to him.




"What?" Jon asked.




"I said you should ask her for a dance." Jon looked at him as if he were crazy.




"I can't."




"Why?" Garlan asked.




"You know why," Jon replied.




"Oh, come on, you dance with Mira and some others already; why not Margaery?"




"I just can't." Garlan grinned and brought his head to Jon's ear.




"If it's about keeping your little secret, I don't think one dance we reveal it to all the realm." Jon leaned back and looked at him, stunned, his face pale.




"How do you know?" he asked in a low voice.




"I'm her brother; it's my job to know," Garlan said with a smirk.




"And you are allowing me to ask her to dance with me, why?"




"Oh, for god's sake, Jon, I noticed how she had been looking at you every time it's time to dance; she is practically begging for it." Jon gave him an uncertain look, and Garlan sighed. "Listen, you are the winner of the melee; that enough is the reason for any of the ladies here to dance with you. Mira asked you, and no one bat an eyelid, so go there and ask her."




Jon looked as if he was giving it thought before he raised his head, "Thank you, Garlan; I don't know what to say."




"Say nothing; we will talk later," Garlan said, to which Jon gave the nod and rose from his seat and walked towards Margaery.








She just finished dancing with Humphrey Hightower when out of nowhere, Jon came to her offering his hand.




"Lady Margaery, a dance if you will?" she looked at him, shocked; she never anticipated he would be this bold with him always saying that we must keep it a secret. She took his hand without even noticing, and soon they were moved around the dance floor.




There was a large smile on his lips, and she felt the same on hers. She wished this so badly for a long time, but he always stayed away; it was certainly worth the wait. They danced, and she could feel people looking at them. During a slower part of the dance, she looked at her family; her mother had a small smile on her face, while her grandmother, in contrast, had an angry frown. Garlan also had a smile on his face.




Jon leaned in and whispered into her ear, "Garlan knows."




She moved her head back a bit, her eyes wide "How?"




Jon shook his head. "I don't know, but he said we will talk later." She just nodded and presided to dance. That was a slight shock, but it did not ruin the moment.








They reached the king table, and Loras let Sansa return to her seat next to her father and sister. Then he turned to the king.




"My king, I have a proposition to make," Loras said.




The king raised an eyebrow, "What is it?"




"First, you would need to call Ser Jon here." both the king and lord Eddard gave him an odd look before the king called for Jon in his booming voice, which somehow managed to be louder than the music.




"You summoned me, your grace," Jon said as he walked up to him.




"Aye, your friend here was a proposal which includes you."




"Me?" Jon asked, surprised, and looked at Loras. "What it is?"




"The music here is good, but I thought you should grace this hall with your voice, my friend."




"You want me to sing?" Jon asked.




"You sing?" Sansa asked.




"Maybe a little," Jon answered.




"A little," Loras scoffed, "You know how to play a harp sing better than most bards that graced Highgarden."




"You play the harp?" lord Eddard asked.




"Yes," Jon answered, and for some reason, Lord Eddard's face turned even paler than it was before.




The king looked at them both for a moment. "If you are as good as your friend says you are Jon, then I ask you to sing,"




Jon sighed, "If you wish your grace."




"And sing something jolly I'm fed up with what they are playing right now." the king said, and Jon turned to walk towards the musicians, Loras following right behind.




"Why did you do that?" Jon asked.




"Oh, come on, why do you always try to keep your musical skills secret? People love a good bard." Jon did not answer. "What song will you sing?"




"Something everyone knows," Jon said as he came to the musicians. He explained what was going on, and they nodded in agreement. Soon Jon took a harp from one of the musicians, tuned it, and started to play.




A bear there was, a bear, a bear!


All black and brown and covered with hair.


The bear! The bear!




Oh, come they said, oh come to the fair!


The fair? Said he, but I'm a bear!


All black and brown, and covered with hair!




And down the road from here to there.


From here! To there!


Three boys, a goat, and a dancing bear!


They danced and spun, all the way to the fair!


The fair! The fair!




Oh, sweet she was, and pure and fair!


The maid with honey in her hair!


Her hair! Her hair!


The maid with honey in her hair!




The bear smelled the scent of the summer air.


The bear! The bear!


All black and brown and covered with hair!




He smelled the scent on the summer air!


He sniffed and roared and smelled it there!


Honey on the summer air!




Oh, I am a maid, and I'm pure and fair!


I'll never dance with a hairy bear!


A bear! A bear!


I'll never dance with a hairy bear!




The bear, the bear!


Lifted her high into the air!


The bear! The bear!




I called for a knight, but you are a bear!


A bear, a bear!


All black and brown and covered with hair




She kicked and wailed, the maid so fair,


But he licked the honey from her hair.


Her hair! Her hair!


He licked the honey from her hair!




Then she sighed and squealed and kicked the air!


My bear! She sang. My bear so fair!


And off they went, from here to there,


The bear, the bear, and the maiden fair.




When he finished the song, all eyes were on him, from Reach lords to Northmen. For a moment, there was silence, and Loras could see that Jon felt uncomfortable but soon came the claps and cheers from all around, even the king.




"More! More!" the crowd demanded.




"You must please your audience Jon," Loras said.




Jon sighed and smiled. "Boys Jenny of Oldstones."








The day had been eventful, that was for sure. The melee was a joy to watch, and seeing them finally beaten by someone much younger brought a smile to his face. He agreed with the idea of naming Ned Stark's son to the Kingsguard once the time was right. The boy is skilled, but he is young and still has a lot to learn.




He was just making his way back to the great hall from escorting princess Myrcella and prince Tommen to their room when he heard something that made his heart stop for a moment. A voice so familiar yet different in some way singing Jenny's song.




And she never wanted to leave, never wanted to leave.


Never wanted to leave, never wanted to leave.




They danced through the day.


And into the night through the snow that swept through the hall.


From winter to summer, then winter again.


'til the walls did crumble and fall




"No, impossible," he thought, "Rhaegar." He practically ran to the door of the great hall. Once inside, he saw that it was not the silver prince who was singing but Ned Stark's son. He put his finger on the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath.




"Everything alright, Ser Barristan?" a man asked, and he looked to see Yohn Royce standing in front of him.




"Yes, it just seems that my old age is getting to me, that's all."




"Well, don't let that discourage the Bold," Yohn said and laughed.




"Ser Barristan," Lord Renly said, Loras Tyrell beside him.




"Lord Renly, Ser Loras," Barristan said as the two men walked past him.








A man was overlooking the festivities from a private balcony in the great hall; people were acting as they always did during such thing, eating, drinking, and now listening to the young man with an almost magical voice.




"Well, this is interesting." the man murmured to himself as he continued to listen to the young man sing.


Chapter Text

In their tent, he and Garlan were getting their armour put on for the joust, with Loras keeping them company. They could hear the crowd cheer in anticipation for the jousts to start. He and his squire were putting his breastplate on when Garlan's squire can running in, Garlan sending him to check the lists one last time.




"Ser Jon will be facing against Jaren Frey, Ser Garlan will face William Mooton, and Ser Loras is with Meryn Trant after lunch," the boy said.




"Good, thank you, now help me with my armour," Garlan said, and the squire complied.




"Meryn Trant, not the first choice of a knight of the Kingsguard I want to fight but so be it," Loras said.




"And who would you like to face, the Bold?" Jon asked.




"Why not? The more renowned, the better."




"Sometimes I wonder if you are just pretending to be that arrogant or are you really that arrogant," Garlan told his brother.




"Like you wouldn't like to face a legend like the Bold."




"I would, and I know I would probably end up in the dirt after two or three tilts. If the man can unseat someone like Arthur Dayne or Gerold Hightower, he is no laughing matter."




"I know, I know, I'm just saying I would like to face off against him; I never said that I'm certain I can beat him."




"Looks like the thought of getting his ass thrown into the dirt humbled him somewhat," Jon said, and he and Garlan chuckled.




"Laugh, all you want. I will be in the finals, but we will see about you."




Today, no one arrived in their tent to wish them luck, all doing so before they left the keep. It was because of that that Mira's arrival surprised the three of them.




"Mira?" asked Loras.




"I just came here to wish you luck," Mira said, looking at Garlan first and then at him.




"You already did but thank you for looking out for us," Loras said, sending her an appreciating smile.




She walked over to Jon. "I wish you good fortune out there today, j-just make sure you don't get hurt," Mira said in a pleading tone.




"I won't. You have nothing to worry about."




"I know, but still, I can't help to be worried for you," Mira said, her eyes sparkling slightly.




Then Loras spoke, "Jon come on, we have to go, the joust will start soon," Jon looked at Loras and then at Mira again.




"Take care out there and show them what a northerner can do," Mira said.




"I will," Jon said as he put on his helm and exited the tent leaving Mira there. He knew something was off about what just happened bit right now; he did not have time to think about it; the joust will be starting in mere moments.




They arrived at the stable where their horses were already saddled by the two squires, Jon's brown destrier Winter and Garlans yellow steed, both bred by Willis.




"Ready Ser Jon," said Will.




"Good, thank you, Will, let's get going," Jon and Garlan mounted their horses and rode towards the tiltyard, Loras walking with the two squires behind them.








They were sitting in their stand nervously, anticipating the beginning of the jousting. In actuality, she was nervous while her father and her friends were excited, including Jon's sisters while his father sat silently beside hers just as he did the day before, a grim expression on his face, but she could see it in his eyes he was worried as well. Mira arrived and sat next to her, a happy smile on her lips as she looked on.


She waited until she saw Garlan and Jon riding into the tiltyard. Jon was akin to the Gardener Kings of old striding forth encased in green plate and golden mail. Large circular rondels, enamelled gold-and-green in the sigil of House Tyrell, protecting the vulnerable juncture of arm and breast. A skirt of lobstered metal covered him from waist to midthigh, while a solid gorget encircles his throat, all his fastenings were gilded, and the greenish steel was burnished to such a high sheen that it shone like a freshly plucked emerald in the light of the rising sun. While large couter's protected his elbow and arm, these were also gilded. About his shoulders was a great cloak sewn from countless layers of cloth-of-gold, so heavy that it barely stirred even when he charged, so large that its drape covered most of his stallion's hindquarters when he took the saddle. No ordinary clasp would suffice for such a weight, so the great cloak was held in place by a matched pair of miniature roses upon his shoulders. His kite shield is massive oak-and-steel bearing his personal sigil, the wolf of house stark reversed quartered with the Rose of Tyrell. The great helm he wore was crested by gilded antlers, much like king Roberts giving him the appearance of an ancient forest god proud and wrathful. His charger is a stallion with its own gilded armour. The destrier has a blanket with enamelled green scales and gilded crinet and chamfron and green silk bardings decorated with the Rose of Tyrell. Garlan trotted onto the field wearing similar armour but far less grand though his mount was equally as splendid a tall white mare clad in silk bardings proudly displaying the Rose of house sewn in golden thread.




Margaery saw her father smile at Jon choosing to wear their house colours; Lord Eddard had no reaction while Sansa looked in awe at the elaborate armour. Jon and Garlan took their positions opposite of their opponents.




"Jon is facing a Frey, not even a challenge," Margaery thought. She looked at Garlan, who will be facing a Morton. She was sure how her brother would do because she had not heard anything about Lord Morton, but she believed in her brother. She continued to look at Jon as he sat on his horse, waiting for the joust to start.




The herald came to a platform and started to speak. "Noble lords and ladies, people of the realm, I welcome you to the joust of the hand's tourney in the name of our good King Robert I Baratheon. The reward for the winner of the joust is forty thousand gold dragons for the winner of the joust, twenty thousand dragons for the runner-up of the joust."




"Stiff competition, is it?" a man said, and Margaery turned to see Lord Baelish standing beside her.




"Lord Baelish, what a surprise," Margaery said.




"What brings you to use, my lord?" her grandmother asked.




"I saw lord Eddard sitting here with you and thought to join if that is alright with you."




"Of course, Lord Baelish, Lord Mace?" said lord Eddard.




"You are free to join us, my lord," father said, and the master of coin sat next to Lord Eddard.




"So, your brother and Ser Jon are participating, my lady," said lord Baelish. She knew it was not a question, but she acted as it was.




"They are, my lord."




"And your other brother, Ser Loras?"




"He will be jousting later after lunch, my lord."




"Ah, the best for last," lord Baelish said with a smile. "Wouldn't you agree, lady Olenna?" The Vale lord turned around to look at her grandmother.




"The best is always saved for last lord Baelish." her grandmother replied, and the Lord turned his gaze back to the tiltyard.




Soon enough, the herald was done with his speech, and the jousting began.




Jon kicked Winter into motion, the destrier galloped with full speed towards the other Knight. Holding his lance high, Jon came close to the Frey and scored a direct hit at the man's shield, launching him off his horse and to the ground. Jon went to the Frey as he rolled in the mud and offered him his hand, only for the Frey to decline it before he got up and slowly walked away from the yard. Jon got back upon his horse and rode back to his squire, and exited the yard as well.




Garlan likewise scored the first hit on the Riverlord, but his opponent still sat on his horse. The two picked up new lances and once again charged at each other. The second hit was what was needed for Mooton to fall off his horse. Like Jon, Garlan rode to the Knight and offered him his hand, which the Lord took. After a nod, the two parted, and Garlan rode to join Jon.




She watched several more jousts like the man Arya said was the captain of the Stark household guard Jory unseat Horas, ser Jaime beating ser Andar Royce, and ser Barristan unhorsed a man she did not know. Soon Loras, Garlan, and Jon all arrived and joined them.




"You won, Jon," Sansa said excitedly as she hugged her brother.




"You doubt me, little sister?" Jon asked.




"No," she said with a smile.




"I knew you didn't."




"So, who are you fighting next?" Arya asked.




"I don't know, we need to wait for the first round to be over to see who goes to the next one."




"I heard that ser Jaime said that he will defeat everyone here and win the joust, including you, Ser Jon," lord Baelish said. Jon's face went serious, and she felt the worry return.




"He will try, my lord, but he will not succeed," Jon said with determination.




"Brave words, but ser Jaime is one of the most skilled knights I have seen; he is as good as ser Barristan."




"Skill with a weapon is not all that is required for jousting, my lord, a man has to be an excellent horseman as well, and you must never be too confident; that can make you underestimate your opponents."




"You speak from experience, I take it," Lord Baelish said.




"Yes, although I'm not afraid to admit that I'm not as experienced as some of the men here, and when fighting someone, you also need a bit of luck on your side."




"Words of a true knight, wouldn't you agree, lady Margaery?" Baelish said.




"Yes, they are, my lord," Margaery said with a courteous smile.




"Damn it!" Arya said, and everyone turned to look at her.




"Arya?" asked Sansa.




"What? Allyn just lost," Margaery turned her head to see the Northman on the ground and ser Balon riding away.




With Jon and Garlan done, the rest of the jousting was not so interesting, probably because back home, they have tourneys like this all-time as her father loves throwing them. They watched for a bit more before she finally grew bored and asked her father to leave for the keep until it was time for Loras to ride, and her father agreed. Loras and Jon joined her and Arya while Sansa and her ladies stayed to watch the knights compete.




Once they reached the keep, her plan was to rest for a bit and have lunch before going back to the tourney grounds, but what Arya said next caught her attention.




"Jon, let's go see Ghost and Lady," the little girl said, looking at her brother.




Jon thought about it for a second, "Let's, it has been a whole day since we last checked on them."




"Ghost and Lady?" Margaery asked.




"Yes, they are Sansa and Jon's Direwolves," Arya said.




"Direwolves?" Loras asked, stunned.




"Yes," Jon replied.




"Direwolves are a myth," Loras said.




"They are not; two of them are here," Arya said; Margaery noticed that the little girl was a bit annoyed by Loras's refusal to believe.




"If you don't believe them, come with us and see them for yourself," Jon said.




"Fine, lead the way to these dire wolves."




Seconds later, they were following the two Starks through the halls of the Red keep and to the stables. They came to an end where a sizable cage was found, and two enormous beasts lay in it. The smaller one had grey fur and yellow eyes, while the bigger one was all white, and its eyes were blood red. The white one was staring at her, and its eyes unnerved her while Loras looked on in awe.




"R-real Direwolves?" Loras said, surprise evident in his voice.




"Yes, what else could they be," Arya said.




"And they are yours?" Loras asked.




"The big one is Jon's, and the other is Sansas," the little gild answered.




"Where is yours?" She asked, expecting to see the third one if Jon and Sansa had theirs.




"Arya wolf bit prince Joffrey and she had to be chased away, and these two now have to be kept in a cage because of it."




"He beat the prince?" Loras asked.




"He deserved it; he attacked Mycah and me."




"Why did he attack you?" Margaery asked; she could not see the reason why the prince would want to harm a little girl who was the daughter of the king's hand.




"He is a little shit, that's why," Arya said.




"Arya!" Jon said in a chastising tone.




"You know I'm right."




"That may be, but we can't talk like that about the prince in the Red keep nonetheless."




"Fine, but I'm right," Arya crossed her arms, and Margaery smiled at the girl's reaction. But what the girl said did concern her; if the prince had a temper, that would have to be railed in.




"So, what's going to happen to them?" Loras asked.




"They are coming with me once the tourney is over, but I still need to inform lord Mace; I hadn't had the time to talk to him about it."




"Willis is going to lose his mind when he sees them," Margaery said. Williams loves animals, and having an opportunity to see these two up close would be too good to pass.




"Yeah, but I think grandmother is not going to be happy with having two oversized wolves running around the castle," Loras replied.




"They listen to what they are told, most of the time," Arya said, the last part a bit quieter than the first.




"It's going to be alright no one will get hurt because of them, I promise," Jon said, and she nodded.




They spent some more time watching the wolves, Margaery became frightened when Jon put his hand through the bars of the cage to pet his wolf, but she relaxed once she saw that the wolf did not bite him and only licked Jon's hand.




After returning to their rooms and having lunch with their family, they returned to the tourney ground to watch Loras compete.








His squire helped him put his armour on, and he was thinking about the man he will be facing off against it a matter of moments Meryn Trant. Not the best example of the Kingsguard by what he heard, but at least it was not Blunt against who he was to fight; that would just be an insult. The Bold, the Kingslayer, Arys Oakheart are worthy opponents, but it does not matter. They will face each other in the second round. There are plenty of talented jousters in the Reach but facing off against the Kingsguard was a dream come true.




Once done with the armour, they went to his horse. His squire helped him mount the horse and make his way to the arena. As he finally made it to the tiltyard, he looked to the stands and saw his friends and family smiling at him. He picked up the lance and moved to the end of the run, looking down to see Ser Maryn at the other end. He wore his silver armour, which is decorated with sapphires and twining black vines. His mail was silver, and his shield was green. Golden roses adorned the crest of his helm.




Loras raised his lance and faced the tiltyard; at the herald's order, the horses began to charge; his lance hit the centre in Kingsguard shield forcing the other man to stumble but not fall; he barely even felt the hit from Trant. He made his way back, and his squire handed him another lance; he charged yet again, this time the lance hit true, and he watched as Ser Meryn Trant was unseated.




The crowd cheered as he pulled out a rose from his saddle and rode a lar around the yard, finally stopping in front of his sister and giving it to her before exiting the yard and going back to his tent.




Still in his armour, he waited in the tent with Garlan and Sam, keeping him company until Jon joined them, bringing news about the lists.




"So?" Loras asked as he looked at his friend in anticipation.




"You will be facing against ser Arys Oakheart, Garlan will be facing Jason Mallister, and I will be riding against Ser Aron Santagar."




"A-Another Kingsguard." Sam stuttered.




"Maybe they are evaluating him for a possible candidate," Garlan said.




"Maybe, who knows?" Jon said with a smile.




Being a member of the Kingsguard was a great honour; some of the greatest knights in history were Kingsguard. He knew that chances of him fathering any children were nonexistent, and he was the third son, so the Kingsguard would be a great opportunity, and if the king made good on his offer, Jon would be a part of it too. And he would be close to Renly; he knew that they have not spent much time together, but he knew that there was something more between them. Renly would probably make a better king than Robert.




"If that's true, then I will give them a show which will prove that I'm worthy of the place in their brotherhood," Loras said as he got up from his chair and told the squire to pour them some wine. He offered each cup to one of the men standing there with him. "To victory," Loras said as he raised the cup.




"To victory," they roared, even Sam. He looked at each of the men there, his brother Garlan, his brother by choice Jon, and friend Sam, his little fellowship.




The next day he jousted he faced Ser Arys of the Kingsguard. Out of three of them, he would be jousting first, facing ser Arys in the second round, a formidable opponent and one more experienced than he was according to what he heard from people.




He looked at the man in front of him, a knight clads in a white cloak and intricate suit of white enamelled scales, his fastenings for breastplate and other pieces made of silver, a white shield in his hand. "Now this is a Kingsguard," Loras thought.




His squire handed him his lance, and Loras gripped it tightly in his hand, pointing it in the direction of his opponent. Once the herald gave the mark, both kicked their horses and rode towards each other. He saw his lance break at the Kingsguard shield, but he also felt the same on his; ser Arys sat on his steed unmoved. He grabbed the second lance and charged once again at the Knight, his opponents doing the same. Again, the lance hit the shield, and again the Kingsguard still sat on his saddle, but Loras saw that he needed to readjust himself.




"One more will do," Loras thought as he took the third lance and charged at the White Knight. He felt his lance hit ser Ary's shield dead centre, and the Kingsguard came flying down from his horse. A cloud of dust rose when the man hit the ground. The crowd cheered for Loras and no one more than his family. He rode up to ser Arys and gave him a hand which the Knight took and lifted him off the ground. He pulled a rose and made hi haw around the tiltyard before stopping in front of the royal family and giving the rose to princess Myrcella.




He rode out off the tiltyard, at the entrance he was met by Jon.




"Good luck, "Loras told his best friend; Jon just nodded and rode on to the field.




He got off his horse and watched from the side as Jon prepared to face ser Aron. The Dornishman had a reputation as a skilled fighter and jouster and was the master at arms of the Red keep for a reason.




Jon took his summer isle wood lance inlaid in silver and readied himself to face off the Dornishmn. The lance originally belonged to Loras, but he lost it to Jon in their wager in Oldtown. Loras had no doubt Jon would return it but right now, the lance was going towards the Knight from Dorne. Jon scored a good hit, and Loras saw that ser Aron clutched his shoulder for a moment before grabbing a second lance and charging at Jon.




"The Dornish really are crazy," he said to his squire. Just like before, Jon's lance stayed true and struck home, sending Ser Aron off his horse.




"Victory for ser Jon," the herald announced to the cheers of the crowd.




As he looked on at his friend Garlan approached on his yellow steed. "Wish me luck, brother," Garlan said.




"You don't need it," Loras replied reassuringly and watched his brother ride to take his place at the tiltyard. Garlan would be facing Jason Mallister, Lord of Seagard. The Riverlord wore armour of indigo chased with silver, and his helm is decorated with the wings of an eagle.




Jon and Loras watched from the side as Garlan charged at the Lord with the full speed of his destrier. The first hit landed well for him, but it did so for the Lord as well. The second and the third did as well, but it was in the fourth ride that the winner was decided. Lord Jason scored a direct hit on his brother's shield and unseated him.




Loras looked at his family, all having a look of concern on their faces, which vanished once Garlan gut up and walked off the field.




"Guess I should have wished you, luck brother," Loras said as Garlan approached him, his horse's reins in his hand.




"Maybe, but I doubt that would have helped; the man is truly a worthy opponent," Garlan said as he looked back at lord Mallister.




"Well, there is still us two, so one of us three will win the joust no matter what," Jon said.




"Aye, now let's go back to the tent and get out of this armour; that's enough for me for today," Loras and Jon nodded and followed Garlan.








She was delated when Jon won, but now, as he left with Loras and Garlan, she could not help but smile. She was happy that he won, as did everyone else around her, especially Jon's sisters.




Now they all watched the second round of the day Loras was facing off against ser Robar Royce, son of Lord Yohn. Sansa told her that she had met Lord Yohn and ser Robar's brother Waymar when he decided to join the night's watch, stopping at Winterfell on their way to the wall.




She watched as Loras rode fast towards the Vale knight, his lance in hand. They both scored a direct hit at each other shield, but neither moved an inch. They took new lances from their squires and charged once more, hitting each other shield once more. Ser Robar quickly took the next lance and rode towards Loras as fast as his steed could carry him, but it did not help him much. Loras hit the centre of the bronze shield, and the Knight of the Vale came crashing down to the ground. Loras helped ser Robar up and rode off the field.




"Jon will be riding next," Mira heard Sansa say, and she felt both excited and scared at the same time. He will be facing off against Lord Jason Mallister, the man who already proved that he was more than a match for Garlan.




"Let's hope Jon avenges me," Garlan said from behind her. They all watched as Jon rode to the field with anticipation.




"Come on, Jon, you can do it!" shouted Arya as he passed them; he just smiled and brought the visor of his helm down. All of them here wanted Jon to win, but no one so as his two little sisters, by the looks of it. Arya kept cheered Jon on while Sansa looked on nervously, her hands shaking slightly.




"All is going to be alright, Sansa," Mira told the red-haired girl.




Sansa looked at her with uncertainty in her eyes. "I believe in my brother," Sansa said, turning her gaze to Jon, "but I'm still worried for him; Garlan lost to lord Jason after all."




"Well, maybe Garlan should have tried harder to win," Mira said to Sansa, trying to reassure her, to which she could hear Garlan chuckle.




Mira watched as Jon took his lance and readied himself for the joust. On the herald's mark, both Jon and Lord Mallister charged at each other. Lord McAllister's lance was truer and hit dead centre while Jon's hit a bit to the side. Jon manoeuvred Winter around to face Lord Jason and charged once more. This time Jon's lance hit the mark and unseated Lord Mallister. The crowd cheered Jon's name.




After watching ser Jaime unseat Bryce Caron and ser Barristan defeat a rider from the Riverlands, the time came to watch lord Beric face off against Thoros of Myr. Lord Beric was good friends with Jon and Loras, so she was a bit afraid for the man's safety, especially after Jon. She half expected to see a flaming lance wielded by the red priest, but it was only a normal one. She watched as Thoros unseated Lord Beric in four tilts. Lord Beric harboured no resentment for the man by the looks of it and took the priest's hand when he offered it and walked out of the field together.




They watched in horror as Ser Gregor Clegane jousted and killed ser Hugh of the Vale. Ser Gregor's lance rode up and was driven through Hugh's throat, killing Knight instantly. Everyone around her was in pure shock, even lady Olenna. Mira hoped that neither Jon nor Loras would need to face the Mountain that rides.




The next opponent, Jon, faced was a man called Lothor Brune. The Knight did not last long against Jon being beaten in two tilts, but she could see that Brune scored a good hit on Jon's shoulder when Jon returned his lance to his squire and grabbed his shoulder as he rode out of the tiltyard.




Loras faced off against Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard, his silver and white armour shining in the sun. The two knights charged at one another, and their horses galloping at full speed. The first four lances hit the target for both. It was only at the fifth hit that Loras managed to unseat the Kingsguard.




After the final joust of the day was over, a new was compiled made from the day's victors. Jon sent his squire to check who he and Loras will be facing on the morrow. The boy came running back inside the tent.




"Ser Loras will be facing ser Barristan, and ser Jon will face ser Jaime," the boy said.




"Finally, someone truly great," Loras said.




"You will be facing the Kingslayer," Sansa said worriedly.




"Yes," Jon said.




"Teach that man a lesson in some manners; he needs it," Arya said.




"I will, little wolf, don't worry," Jon said with a soft smile.




"My son and Jon facing the two best of the Kingsguard, I'm proud of you both," Lord Mace roared, embracing both of them.




"Well, if they lose tomorrow, at least I know Jon avenged me today. Thank you for that," Garlan said.




"You are welcome, my friend," Jon replied, smiling to Garlan.








The next day the jousting continued, and everyone was more than eager to see who would win. Jon will be facing ser Jaime, and Loras ser Barristan and several other knights will be facing off as well.




She was honestly praying to the gods to keep the two knights safe, especially after what the Mountain did to ser Hugh; that man scarred her to no ends.




Loras came out first clad in his shiny armour, a large smile on his face. He stopped his horse just opposite of the lord commander of the Kingsguard. Ser Barristan was a legend, the most dutiful Knight in all the kingdoms. He might prove a challenge even for Loras.




In seconds, the two were racing towards each other; it was Ser Barristan's lance that hit home a fraction of a second faster than Loras's did, taking some of the force out of Loras's strike. During the second, third, and fourth ride, both lances broke, hitting the centre every time. During the fifth ride, the Bold scored a better hit, Loras's slightly off the target. This must-have brought something out of Loras because Loras scored a perfect hit during the next tilt and the old Knight went flying off his horse.




For a moment, Loras looked back at the Knight as if he was concerned, but as soon as the Bold gut up, he seemed to relax. The crowd cheered relentlessly for the Knight of the flowers. The crowd was so loud that she was barely able to hear what the two were saying.




"I always hoped to have a chance to face you, Ser Barristan; it was an honour."




The old Knight straightened himself and looked at Loras. "The honour was mine, Ser; I wish you further luck in the tourney."




"Thank you, Ser Barristan," Loras said and rode off but not before taking a rose a rode a lap around the tiltyard. She could see that all the ladies present look on eagerly, hoping he would give it to them. The first went to Margaery and the second to princess Myrcella. He finally stopped in front of them and gave it to Sansa; the girl's eyes widened in excitement as Loras outstretched his hand handing her the rose.




"Thank you, good Sir," Sansa said.




"Thank you for taking it, my lady," Loras said with a smile and rode away. A large beaming smile stayed on Sansa's face for the rest of the joust.




They watched as Lord Renly faced off against Sandor Clegane, the Mountain's younger brother. She did not like the Hound anymore than she did his massive brother, the man having an evil look to him. So far, lord Renly did really well, so she and the rest of the girls hoped he would prevail, but it was not to be. The Hound unseated the king's brother in three tilts.




The next two to ride against each other were Jon and Ser Jaime.








He rode out at the field, watching his family and the Tyrells as he waved him and cheered him on.




He could even hear the king doing so. Jon looked at the man in front of him, clad in white and silver of the Kingsguard, a smug smile on his face. The slight burning sensation in his hands was still there, but it did not bother him much.




"He thinks he already won," Jon thought "well, time to prove him wrong."




He turned to see Margaery looking on worry in his eyes, while Sansa and Arya were giving him encouraging smiles. As he moved Winter forward, he was relieved to see Margaery finally smile, finally he looked back to see Kingslayer, who was clearly not concerned. He lined up and got ready for the tilt, felt Winter underneath him prepared to go, he moved his foot in the stirrup, and they set off.




The man in white raced towards him on his horse, aiming his lance at Jon's shield. Jon's lance hit first, but ser Jaime hit was stronger. They turned around and rode towards the other once again. Again, both lances stayed true, but Jon felt a slight sting in his shoulder. The next three tilts were the same, lance hitting and Jon's shoulder stinging worse and worse.




He could see that the Kingslayer noticed this and once again charged at him. Jon rode to meet him, and he hit the Kingsguard, but so did he. The pain that shot through his arm made him drop his shield, and he could hear the gasps from the crowd, but he had no time to think about it because before he could turn his gaze towards the crowd, he saw the Kingslayer ready to charge at him again, and he decided to meet him head-on.




"I will not lose," Jon told himself determinedly.




As they charged at each other, Jon noticed that Jaime aimed for his shoulder once more, and an idea hit him. Just as the lances were about to hit their targets, Jon moved to the left, just enough for the lance to barely miss his shoulder. For a split second, he thought he would fall, but he kept a tight grip on the reins. Jon's lance hit the Kingsguard and sent him flying through the air and hitting the ground.




Jon rode past the fallen Kingsguard, who was trying to pull himself up. "It seems that gods favour me today," Jon said.




"This isn't over, bastard," the Kingslayer growled.




"It is, it finally is," Jon replied and made his way back to the tent where Loras and Garlan were already waiting with a Maester.




"Are you alright, Jon?" Loras ask as he came into the tent, concern evident on both his and Garlans faces.




"Hurts like hell, but other than that, I alright," Jon said as he sat down on a chair, taking off his helm. Garlan poured himself a glass of water a drank it in one go.




"If you could take off his armour so I could look at the injury," the Maester said. Jon nodded, and with help from his squire and Loras, they quickly pulled Jon out of his armour. As the Maester examined his shoulder, the rest of the Tyrells and his sisters arrived, even his father.




"Jon, are you alright?" Sansa said as she came running in.




"I'm fine little sister," Jon said reassuringly, and she relaxed, but the hissing sound I made when the Maester put his fingers over his shoulder undid that.




"What do you say Maester, is he alright?" Jon's father asked.




The Maester straightened himself and turned to the lords and ladies behind him. "NothingNothing is broken, but he will feel pain in that shoulder for at least a week. It seems that Ser Jaime held nothing back when they rode."




Jon looked at the bruised shoulder; it hurt but not as bad as it did at the field. A small price to pay to teach the Kingslayer a lesson.




"Will he be able to participate further?" Loras asked, and the Maester turned to him.




"I don't recommend it could get even worse if he does," the Maester answered.




"Jon?" Loras said as he looked at him.




"Thank you, Maester, but you are right. I will continue with the joust."




"Jon," his father was worried. "You are hurt,"




"Don't worry, father, it's nothing I can't put up with," Jon tried to reassure his father and himself.




"But you can get even more hurt," Sansa said with a worried and pleading look in her eyes.




"I promise I will be fine, the Maester will give me something for the pain, and I will return to the joust as good as new."




"Don't put yourself at such a risk, Jon," Margaery said. He could see that she was both angry at him and afraid in her eyes. She will never let him hear the end of this.




"I will be fine; it's not the first time something like this happened. Besides, I was already jousting with two cut hands."




His father sighed. "There is no way of talking you out of this, is there?"




"No, I will joust, and I intend to win," Jon said, and Eddard shook his head.




"Don't be so stubborn," Margaery said in a commanding tone.




"I won't get any more hurt; I will be fine," Jon said, but he could see that Margaery was not convinced.




"I advise mixing some milk of poppy with wine; a drop or two will suffice. It will be enough for his pain." said the Maester.




"Thank you, Maester, you may go," Jon said. The man nodded and left the tent. As the man left, everyone watched Jon with great concern, especially Margaery and Jon's father. Jon was glad to see his father worried about him, but he also felt terrible for making him worry. After more pleading from lady Alerie, Margaery, Mira, and even Lord Mace, Jon reassured them once more, and they gave up from trying to change his mind from joust further, but it was apparent they were not happy.




"Jon take care, please," Mira said as they exited the tent and went back to the tiltyard.




After the group left, leaving only him and Loras in the large tent. Loras put a drop of the milk of the poppy in the wine cup and handed it to Jon, who downed it. His best friend just stood there, eyeing him.




"What?" Jon finally asked, not being able to suffer the irritating stare coming from Loras any longer.




"You are really stubborn," Loras said.




"I know, I been told us much," Jon replied.




"No, I mean seriously, you are stubborn. Trust me, no one in the world would want to face you in a joust more than me but not like this; the Maester said it could get worse."




"For god's sake, I will be fine; I already told you this," Jon said; he was really starting to get annoyed at everyone treating him as if he could lose his life. "It's just a hit from a lance; it happened before."




"Aye, It did but not like this; you never needed the milk of the poppy. You are not at your full strength."




"I said I will be fine," Jon growled.




"Why do you want to win this so badly?"




Jon sighed and looked at the ground. "Because this time it's different,"




Loras took a few steps towards him and put his hand on Jon's shoulder. "This is about your father, isn't it?"




His father was one of the reasons, yes, but not the only one. He wished to teach the Lannister that he is as good if not better than he is and prove to his father and himself that he is worthy of Eddard Starks's son. And the most important reason was Margaery to win it for her. "Aye," Jon answered simply.




"Jon, your father already sees you as his son, he said as much, and even the king does, most of the kingdom does," Loras tried to reassure him.




"Aye but not all, there are as many who think me nothing more than a bastard, a creature born of lust and nothing more."




"Why should you care what a bunch of idiots think? You have your father's blood; hell, you even look like him. The way things have transpired, I wouldn't be surprised if the king legitimizes you tomorrow."




"Aye, I do, but there will always be a shadow over me; lady Catelyn is not my mother even if Sansa, Arya, Robb, Bran, and Rickon are my brothers and sisters. I don't even know anything about my mother."




His father never told him anything about his mother when he was at Winterfell, and since he left for the Reach, the chances of that became even smaller.




"If you truly wish to get hurt over proving something, be my guest but know I will not carry you on my conscience," Loras said.




"I don't expect you to."




Loras stared at him for a moment before speaking again, "You really are an idiot."




"You are an idiot," Jon said. They eyed one another before both burst out laughing.




Loras composed himself first. "Just don't get yourself killed,"




"If that was so easy, someone like you would have done it by now."




"The Mountain won his joust; I will be facing him, and you will be facing his brother after lunch. So, you should have some time to rest until someone tries to destroy your shoulder again."




"The Mountain?" Jon asked, "Are you sure you can beat him? He looks like a man that can take a hit from a boulder and walk it off."




Loras chuckled, "size and strength aren't the only things needed; a man needs to skilled in the saddle, and having smarts never hurt either, something you proved out there moments ago. To everyone, it looked like you were falling off your horse, but I saw what you really did; you avoided the hit."




"And so what if I did, are you going to tell the king," Jon said with a grin.




"The king would just laugh in my face, but I don't really care. By what Margaery told me, he deserved it."




The Bold




The semifinals of the joust and the two Clegane's would be facing Ser Loras and Ser Jon. He was honestly concerned for Lord Stark's son seeing that he had dropped his shield, and by what he heard, his shoulder was in bad shape, but he still persisted with participating; the boy was brave that much was true. Barristan heard someone compare young Jon to him when he was young, and he could see the similarities,




Now he stood beside the king waiting for ser Jon to face off against the Hound. He disliked the man but hated his older brother even more, doing whatever the Lannisters told them. He was not far off from that nowadays.




The Hound rode to the field wearing his dog-shaped helm, and soon after, the young man did as well. Barristan could see that the shoulder still bothered Jon but not as before. "The master must have given him something," he thought. Barristan was brought out of his thoughts by the king's laugh.




"The boy almost lost his shoulder and still refuses to back down. Why haven't the gods given me a son like that?"




The queen looked at Robert with disdain in her eyes. "You have a better son."




King Robert burst out laughing. "Better? Joffrey was disarmed by Ned's little girl woman."




The queen only glared angrily at the king before turning her head away from him. The king looked at the queen for a few more seconds before turning his attention back to the field.




The horses moved at the command of their riders and ran towards their opponent. The first tilt went to Jon, as did the second and third, but soon Barristan could see that the shoulder was taking its toll after all. The next several tilts went to the Hound. So far, Clegane had taken six hits and was still unmoving as he was in the beginning.




"Give up, boy," Barristan heard Sandor shout.




"I can, I won't," the boy replied and charged again.




Two more tilts went by, and one was taken by the Hound and the other by Jon. By the time of the ninth tilt, he could see that Jon could barely hold his shield while Sandor too seemed a bit exhausted; getting hit so many times was finally getting to him.




It was on the tenth and last tilt that the winner was decided. Jon's lance hit the Hounds shield and sent the large man flying off his horse, but Jon was barely sitting in his saddle by now.




"The first finalist Ser Jon Snow," The herald announced.




The boy turned to Clegane. "Well fought, Ser," Jon said as the crowd cheered.




"I'm no Ser," Sandor said, walked off the field.




The next to ride was the senior Clegane and Ser Loras. Gregor was massive in comparison to ser Loras, but the size was not all in a joust. Barristan was proven right Ser Loras unseated the Mountain, but he noticed something was off about the horses.




"The second finalist Ser Loras Tyrell," the herald announced.




After Clegane fell and Loras rode around the field, ready to give his next rose to some of the ladies present, Clegane hacked the head off his horse and proceeded to attack the Knight of the flowers.




Ser Loras was caught off guard, barely managing to pull out his sword in time but block the incoming attack, but that was not enough because, in seconds, the young Knight was lying on the ground and the towering figure of Gregor Clegane standing over him sword raised to finish him.




Barristan grabbed his sword and was ready to stop this, but he was too slow; he could only watch as the blade came down towards the Tyrell knight. As everyone watched in horror and then, a man came running, and a sound of swords hitting each other was heard. He watched with wide eyes as Jon stood next to Ser Loras, sword in hand, blocking the Mountains greatsword.




Clegane pulled his sword back and took another swing, this time aimed at the Knight who Barristan now saw was Jon Snow. Swords clashed, and the noise echoed through the tiltyard while Jon was moving Gregor away from Loras. Jon spun around and slashed the Mountain across his back. The large man turned around and swung his greatsword again. This blow was strong enough to knock Jon's sword out of his hand. Without the weapon, Jon could only avoid the strikes. He spun around the Mountain and now stood in front of the king. It was now that the king finally decided to intervene but not how Barristan thought he would.




"Lad, take this!" Robert shouted as he got out of his seat and walked towards to field, tossing his hammer to the young Knight. Jon took it a swung it towards Clegane, who blocked it. Sword and hammer clashed, but finally, Jon got the upper hand and struck Gregor's sword hand, which made the massive Knight drop the greatsword, grabbing his hand. Then Jon spun around, drove the hammer into the Mountains leg causing the man to scream in pain as his leg was shattered. Then seeing the man barely standing, Jon stopped.




"That would be enough," the king said.




Tywin Lannisters dog glared at the king before he pulled himself up from the ground and limped away. The king looked at Jon, who was on one knee in front of him, the king nodded, and Jon rose. Loras Tyrell approached his friend.




"I owe you my life Jon," Loras said.




"You owe me nothing," Jon replied. Loras looked at Jon before turning his gaze to the king.




"Your Grace, I owe this man my life, so I will not joust him..."




"Loras," Jon said, confused.




"… but knowing him, he will never accept such a victory, so I propose if your grace would allow it for us to share the victory in this joust."




The king looked at them, first at Loras and then at Jon again. "It is unorthodox," the king laughed, "but I will grant this request Ser Loras, for you and for Jon."




"Thank you, your grace," Both Jon and Loras said and bowed, then Loras raised Jon's hand, and the crowd cheered.




"The victors of the tourney of Kings Landing of 298 AC Ser Loras Tyrell and Ser Jon Snow," the herald announced, and the crowd cheered even louder.




"Your grace, a queen of love and beauty still needs to be crowned," a lord shouted.




"Aye, it shall be done. Who will do it?" the king said, looking at the two young men.




The two looked at each other before Jon spoke: "You already gave out three roses. I think it would be right for you to finish it." Loras nodded, got back on his horse, and grabbed a lance taking the crown of roses. He rode a lap like always before stopping where the Starks and the Tyrells were sitting, giving the crown of roses to Lord Eddard's elder daughter Sansa. The Knight of the flowers also glanced at the king's brother sitting with Lord Stark.

Chapter Text

"To Jon and Loras!" people around them shouted; lords from the Reach, Stormlands, North, and even the Riverlands were seated around them at the Reach table, it had gotten a little cramped, but neither he nor Jon really minded it, something he could not say for his grandmother who left almost immediately once lord Beric and a large group of Stormlanders joined them, Left and Right escorting her back to their rooms.




Father was in an excellent mood and was conversing with Lord Jason Mallister and Pakster Redwyne while mother and Margaery were discussing something with lady Dacey. Smalljon had put Garlan up to a drinking game, and Loras doubted his brother could beat the giant. Jon was sitting on the other end of the table, laughing along with his sister Sansa, Elinor, Samwell, and even Dickon. Everyone was in a good mood, and he was grateful for that, considering what happened earlier that day. He was sitting with Renly opposite of his father and mother.




"Two Clegane's downed in a single day, you and Jon make quite the pair," Renly said. "The people are still gossiping about him using my brother's hammer."




"I could not ask for a better friend; he is always there to watch my back when I need him.




"And also, sometimes when you don't need him."




"You are not going to let that go, are you?"




"I'm just messing with you; he is a good lad. My brother has taken a liking to an idea of having a Stark in his Kingsguard, so when either one of them kicks the bucket or is dismissed from the service, either he or someone else could take that place," Renly said, looking at Loras.




"You mean me."




"I do, yes."




"Honestly, I would love nothing more, but," Loras looked at Jon, "there is still time for that."




"Well, if I was king, I would name you lord commander."




"Oh really," Loras said, looking deeply into Renly's eyes.




"Sure, why not? You are a skilled fighter and would look good in a white cloak."




"I'm honored, Lord Renly," Loras chuckled. "Who knows, maybe one day you will be king."




Renly looked at the high table, moving his gaze to his brother and then to the crown prince. "That is an unlikely scenario."




"Well, if it even happens, you will have my sword and the Reach."




"Surely, you jest?" Renly asked, surprised.




"No, my lord."




"I would never go against Robert, our relationship might not be perfect, but he is still my brother."




"Willis, Garlan, Margaery, and Jon are my family, and I would never do anything to hurt them," Loras said.




"Well, I will drink to the man who saved you today," Renly said as he raised his cup. "To Jon Snow."




"To Jon," Loras said and raised his cup; the two cups clanged when they hit each other.




"So tell me, why didn't you joust him? By the looks of it, you could have defeated him."




"I didn't want to fight a man who just saved my life," Loras looked and Jon, "and besides, he is not at his full strength; winning like that would not mean anything."




"Truly noble of you, a knight from a tale truly," Renly said the last part said in a seductive tone.








His shoulder hurt like hell, but the milk of the poppy did manage to alleviate most of the pain. He and Loras shared the victory, and he was honestly glad he had not faced his friend because he would have probably lost in one or two tilts being in the condition he was now. The Hound sure did a number on him. Seeing his sister smile when Loras crowned her made it all worth it; she had not stopped smiling since. Everything was how it should be; he had the best friend a man could ask for, he had Margaery, and his family loved him.




When Loras was attacked, he acted on instinct, and for a moment, he thought he would not make it, but the gods had blessed him this day. Honestly, he does not know what he would do if he lost Loras., he was the first person who did not treat him as a bastard beside Robb and Sansa back at Winterfell.




He looked around the table and saw that everyone was happy, from lord Mace to Lord Beric. Loras and Renly were sitting together and laughing, seeing his friend happy with someone brought a smile to his face. "It may work out," Jon thought about the two.




As usual, the dancing started on time, and once again, people took to the floor, elegantly moving across it. The first person he asked to dance was his sister Sansa, then with Elinor, Jon even managed to persuade Arya into dancing. The one he truly wanted to dance with above all was Margaery, but he knew he danced with her already once and twice might cause people to start asking questions. Not even Garlan can help him this time. The final person he asked for dance was Mira, knowing she would probably want, judging by the last two times.




They danced, and when the time had come for the dance to end, she grabbed his hand firmly. She looked at him, an uncertain look on her face. "Jon, could we have a moment?" she asked. The first thing that came to mind was that something was from due to her expression, but she nodded. "Not here; I think it would better to go somewhere quiet.




"Lead the way," he said and followed his friend. They made their way out of the great hall and to the hallway outside; there was no one there right now. He looked around and then to her. "What is it Mira, is something wrong?"




"No, nothing is wrong, I just..." She said, and took a deep breath, "I just..."




"Mira, you know you can tell me anything, you know that?" he told her in a sympathetic tone.




"I love you," she said in a barely hearable tone.




"What?" Jon asked, confused.




What came next, he never expected. She brought her arms around his neck and pushed their lips into a kiss. Jon was taken back by the suddenness of the action, and he did not know how to react. Finally, he got a grip on his senses, put his hands between them, and removed Mira from him. She looked back at him with a surprise in her eyes.




"Jon?" A voice said, but it was not Mira's; he looked at his right to see Margaery and Loras standing there with shocked faces. He did not know what to do; his mind completely froze. He knew how this looked like, but it was not like that. "Jon?" Margaery said once more, tears starting to fill her eyes.




He finally got the strength to speak, "Margaery, this is not what it looks like."




"Margaery?" Mira asked, confused.




Jon and Margaery stared at each other for a long and painful moment, Loras only staring at him. "Why?" she asked in a hurt tone.




"I swear this is not what it looks like." His words fell to deaf ears, and the next thing he saw was Margaery running away from him.




"Margaery! he shouted, hoping she would stop, but she did not. "Margaery wait," he begged, but nothing changed, so he ran after all. They ran through the Red keep until he caught up with her and grabbed her hand. She looked back at him, tears in her eyes.




"Let go!" she ordered.




"Margaery please," he said.




"Let go!"




"Just listen to me, please!"




"Listen! Listen! I don't need to listen. I saw enough."




"What you saw was not what happened."




"Really, so you and Mira did not just kiss in the middle of the hall," she said, tears still flowing down her cheeks.




"I did, she did, but it was not what you think."




"Really, then tell me what it was?"




"She kissed me; I wanted no part in it."




"Then why did you leave with her?"




"She asked me to go with her; I was concerned," Jon shouted. He looked at her with pleading eyes. "Margaery, please, I swear I would never do anything like that to you; I would never wish to hurt you like that."




She looked at him with an angry glare; he was not sure if she would believe him, but her look soon softened, and instead of a glaring angry woman, there stood a woman with a hurt and sorrowful look on her face.




Silence filled the ear on the long corridor as their eyes met; Jon was hoping that she would remember how much he loved her and that what happened moments ago was something he would never do.




Margaery sighed. "I-I believe you," Jon let go of her arm, "but I still want to hear it from Mira. Get her and bring her to my room; we will talk there." Jon relaxed and thanked the gods she decided to use her reason and not act on anger.




He nodded. "I will," he said and left to find Mira. Lucky for Jon, it did not take long for him to do so; Mira was on her way following him and Margaery, a confused Loras by her side.




"Jon," Mira said as he approached.




"Come, Margaery wishes to talk to you," Jon said.




"I-I sorry, I didn't know," Mira said, her voice truthful.




"I know, let's just get to Margaery's room and get this over with." Mira nodded and followed Jon, looking at the stone floor the entire walk to the Tyrell quarters.




"What happened back there?" Loras asked; he was clearly surprised, confused, and everything above.




Jon sighed, "It's a long story, we will tell you everything, I promise."




"You better,"




They made their way to the Tyrell quarters in quiet until they entered Margaery's room, finding her standing in the middle of the room, her arms crossed, the angry glare once more on her face.








She stood in her room waiting for Jon and Mira to arrive, he was furious, but her fury wasn't just directed at Jon and Mira. It was directed at herself. She knew Jon; she knew he is not the man that would try to seduce another girl, and she was angry at herself for thinking that could even be a possibility. When she saw them, she had never felt more betrayed in her life; sadness and anger all came to her in that single moment. She will get the answers she seeks. Soon they arrived with Loras with them; Margaery immediately turned her gaze to Mira.




"Margaery I..." Mira started but was cut off by Margaery.




"I know you are going to say you are sorry, but first, I want an explanation. Why did you kiss Jon?"




"I-I did so to show him that I love him." Margaery felt her anger rise again, but she told herself to calm down; now, with a cooler head, Margaery stared to put the pieces together, the dancing, the hand-holding, the worry, shy moments it all made sense now. She put the tow and two together, and he could see that Jon has done so too.




"How long?" she asked.




"I don't know, I been feeling like that for some time now, but I never tried to act on those feeling, afraid that," Mira paused, "afraid that they won't be returned. And it seems I was right to fear that," Mira said; Margaery could see that she was on the verge of tears. Jon looked at Margaery, whose expression softened and was not looking at Mira not with anger but with remorse and pity.




"Mira..." Margaery started.




"I'm sorry, Margaery, I did not know you had feelings for Jon. If I did, I would never…," Margaery let reason take over once more and looked at her friend, Yes she was in love with the same man as she was, but Mira had no clue that Jon and Margaery were together, the northern girl acted on her emotions just like she did and she could not be blamed for that.




Margaery took a few steps towards her friend and brought her into a hug. "I know, what's done is done, but I don't blame you for it. Something like this was bound to happen eventually." She was still a bit angry, but Margaery understood.




The two broke the hug, and Mira wiped her tears with her sleeve, "I'm sorry truly, Margaery."




Margaery looked at her with a forgiving look in her eyes. "I know and enough of that."




"Why, why do you two keep it hidden? You love each other, right?"




"We do, but it's more complicated than that," Jon said, looking from Mira to Margaery.




"We wish nothing more than to be able to stop with the mummery, but we can't." Margaery continued.




"Why?" Mira asked.




"You know why," Jon said, bowing his head.




"Oh, "Mira said, finally realizing why. "I promise that I won't tell anyone about this, I swear to you both."




"Thank you, Mira," Margaery said.




"Yes, thank you," Jon said.




For a moment, the three of them just looked at each other, not knowing what else to say, Loras being the one to fill the silence. "So, are you going to tell me how long has this been happening?" Margaery and Jon looked at each other, trying to determine who will give Lora the answer. In the end, Jon was the one to speak first.




"A few years now," Jon said sheepishly.




"You two managed to keep this hidden for two years!" Loras said, stunned. "I don't know if I should be glad for you two or angry for keeping it from me; I'm your brother Margaery..."




"We are sorry for keeping it from you, Loras. We just… weren't sure how you would react, how you would feel about us being together," Margaery said.




"You are my sister; all I want is for you to be happy, for both of you to be happy. Frankly, I've kind of relieved it's Jon and not someone else." Loras snickered, "And you chastised me for being with Renly."




"You are with Renly?" Margaery asked, surprised.




"Yes, I thought you figured it out by now," Loras said.




Margaery thought about it and noticed a pattern, every time her brother and Renly would spend time with each other during the feast or the day and after the feast would leave together or separately, Loras returning to their rooms later or in the morning. "I saw you two were getting along but never thought you two were sleeping with each other. He is the king's brother."




Before Loras could continue, a knock was heard coming from the door. "Yes?" said Margaery.




"It's me. Can I come in," Garlan said from the other side of the door.




"Yes," Margaery said, and her brother came in.




"So, what's going on here? Father had gotten worried when you all left and have not returned."




The four looked at each other, Loras beating the other by speaking first. "Jon and Margaery are together," Loras said bluntly.




"Yes, so?" Garlan replied.




"Wait, you know?" Loras asked.




"Yes, I was the one who encouraged Jon to dance with Margaery the other night," Garlan answered.




"How did you figure it out?" asked Margaery.




"You two aren't exactly subtle as you think you are, stealing glances every chance you get, the smiles, and besides my room is just down the hall from Jon's, I hear things." Margaery blushed deep red and turned her gaze away from her brother in embarrassment.




"Does anyone else know?" Jon asked.




"Grandmother for certain, Willis too, and I think mother suspects something going on between you two," Garlan answered. Margaery wasn't worried about Willis; she knew that her brother would never do something to split her and Jon up, but what did worry her was that besides lady Olenna knew everything, her mother was in on the secret as well. Alerie was a loving mother, but Margaery still feared the possibility of her mother telling her father.




"Seriously, I'm the only one who did know about this?" Loras said, clearly annoyed by the fact that the entire Tyrell family knew about their little secret but him.




"Lord Mace?" Jon asked.




"Father is clueless," Garlan said, and Margaery felt relieved. Jon built and good relationship with her father, the man being like a second father to him, but she still feared what the man would do if he found out that his daughter was in Love with a bastard. Lord Mace might be cheerful by nature, but not even he would let that slide; if he found out, he would probably send Jon back to the North, far away from her.




"At least I wasn't the only one," Loras said.




"Why is Mira here?" Garlan finally asked.




"She kissed Jon, and Margaery and I saw it; we were sorting things out when you arrived," Loras explained.




"You kissed Mira?" Garlan said, looking at Jon, a hint of anger in his voice.




"It's not his fault; it's mine. I did not know that Jon and Margaery were together. I'm sorry for the trouble I caused," Mira said, and Margaery could see Garlans face soften.




"You have nothing to apologize for; I already told you that," Margaery said in a carrying tone.




"Well, if that is done, I suggest you come back to the feast, or should I tell father you retired for the evening," Garlan said.




"The night is still young; I say we return to the feast," Loras said.




Margaery could see that Mira was hurt because of what happened; she loved someone who did not love her. A broken heart is a hard wound to heal, but mother always says the music is a good cure for the problems of the heart. "Fine, let's go," Margery said, and they all followed Garlan back to the great hall. On their way there, a thought came across Margaery's mind.




"Mira, before you always repressed your emotions towards Jon, what made you change your mind?"




Her friend looked at her.




"Elinor was the one who first encouraged me to go for it," Mira answered.




Margaery chuckled slightly, "Of course it was Elinor."




"And lady Olenna did as well."




"My grandmother?" Margaery asked, surprised.




"Yes, she sat me down, and we talked, and she told me to follow my heart, not to miss a chance." Margaery stopped walking gears started turning in her head. Her grandmother was responsible for this; she should have known. Using someone as a tool in her plan to split them up was low; using her friend was even lower. The anger came back tenfold; her own grandmother was responsible for this.




"Margaery?" Mira asked, concerned.




"I need to talk to my grandmother," Margaery said and stormed back towards the Tyrell rooms, Mira, Jon, and Loras looking at her as she did.







Olenna sat in her room annoyed at the events that transpired today, her grandson being attacked being just one of them; what truly bothered her was that now everyone sees the bastard boy as a hero, a warrior reborn. She was not ungrateful for him intervening and saving her grandson from Tywin's mad dog, but if Clegane knew how to actually use a blade properly instead of just swinging in around, maybe her bastard problem would have been solved, but she had no such luck, for now, all hopes rested on the northern girl.




As she continued to think about the potential future her plan might bring, she heard a commotion coming from outside her door.




"Forgive me, my lady, but lady Olenna said that she wishes not to be disturbed," said Left.




"I don't care; I need to talk to her. Now!" Margaery shouted. "Get out of my way."




"My lady," said left, and then the doors opened, and I came Margaery, a look of anger she had never seen on her granddaughter's face.




"You," Margaery said as she glared at her. Olenna looked at Left, who stood at the entrance and motioned him to leave, which he obliged.




"What happened, dear, what made you so upset?" Olenna said in a caring tone




"You know well what," Margaery said with fire in her eyes.




"I have no idea what you are talking about."




"Don't lie to me; I know about your little plan."




"My plan?" Olenna faked her surprise.




"Do me a basic courtesy and don't lie; I know you too well." Olenna changed her expression to a stern look.




"Fine, if that's what you want. So, what do you know about my plan?"




"You talked Mira into going after Jon; well here a some new for you, it didn't work,"




"Damn useless northern girl," Olenna thought, "Can't even seduce a man right." She and Margaery continued to stare each other down.




"So, what's your excuse? Why would you do this to me?" Margaery said in a hurt and angry tone. Olenna felt terrible seeing her granddaughter upset like this, but it was for her own good she had done this in the first place.




"I did it for your own good girl, the world is not a fairy tale where true love prevails, he is a bastard he has nothing, he is nothing, you are a daughter of a lord paramount and will be queen one day."




"I love him!" Margaery shouted.




"Love will not get you far in this world. You wish to be queen, I know that, but you can't be that with that boy following you around like a dog; he is a burden."




"Jon is not a burden; he is loving, caring, honest. He loves me for who I really am."




"You wish to be the queen, don't you?"




"Yes," Margaery answered.




"Then you cannot have both Love and the crown; that is not how the game works. You can't sit beside the king during the day and have the bastard in your bed by night."




"Why not? Kings had affairs; why not a queen?"




"And how would you do that?"




"Jon will join the Kingsguard."




"And is that what you have installed for him, to be a glorified mistress for the rest of his life. Kings have affairs, yes, because they can, but a queen cannot. This world is not kind to women; a queen can be easily replaced. You can't have both."




"I can, and I will! Do something like that again, and you will regret it, grandmother." Margaery said and stormed out of the room. The way Margaery said those words made Olenna take them seriously; her little rose has thorns after all.




"Poor love-struck child," Olenna said to an empty room.








Arya and Jon were walking through the keep going to see the wolves. With the tourney being over, it was a matter of time before Jon returned to Highgarden and took the wolves with him. They spoke to Lord Mace and his wife about them, and although reluctant at first, lord Mace agreed to Jon's proposal, Margaery Loras helping Jon convince his father to let the wolves stay at Highgarden.




"News arrived from Winterfell Bran is awake," Arya said with a cheerful smile, and she could see a joyful expression form on Jon's face when he heard that.




"That's great; I knew I would pull through."




"Yes, me too."




"When will you be leaving?" Arya asked her older brother.




"Soon," Jon replied.




"When will we see each other again?"




"I'm not sure; maybe you could persuade father to send you to Highgarden with me; I'm sure lord Mace would love to have another ward."




"You certain?"




"Yes, I'm certain."




"Maybe I will, you and Loras are a better company then Sansa, that's for sure."




"So, you finally took a liking to Loras, Sansa practically loves him, but you, that's a surprise," Jon said with a smirk.




Arya punched Jon in the leg. "I'm not like Sansa, he is just a good warrior, and he is your friend who refused to fight you in the joust; he might be a pretty face after all."




Jon chuckled. "That he is."




"You were so brave out there; you refused to back down even when injured. Are you always like that?"




"Pretty much, I never back down from a fight."




"Father called you stubborn."




"Maybe I'm."




Arya paused for a second, "I overheard father saying something."




Jon looked at her, interested. "What did he say?"




"He was sitting alone at his desk; he said that you are as stubborn as your mother."




"My mother?" Jon asked, surprised.




"Aye." Arya could only guess what was going on through her brother's head right now. They rarely spoke about Jon at Winterfell and never about his mother.




Jon's lips formed a sad smile. "At least I got something from my mother; everyone keeps saying I'm a copy of our father; it would be nice to have something from my mother." Arya could not help but feel pity for her brother; he never knew his mother, never knew anything about her; no one should go through life without a mother.




She decided to change the subject. "So what will you do once you leave?"




"Spend some time in Highgarden, maybe fight in another tourney; one thing is certain I'm going to spend a lot of time with Willis at my back."








"As soon as the Direwolves arrive, he is going to be all over them. He breathes horses and hawks and generally loves animals."




"The Red viper broke his leg, right?" Arya heard the tale from some servants in the keep a while back.




"It was an accident, they jousted, and Willis's horse fell on top of him," Jon explained.




"Shame, such bad luck," Arya said; she could not picture herself as a cripple.




"He might have lost his leg, but he still has his mind which is sharper than any sword, believe me. He is a lady Olennas grandson and heir for a reason, not just because of his birth."




They arrived at the stable where they fed, petted, and talked to the two wolves trapped there. She had to push away her wolf, but she felt comfortable knowing Jon would take them far away from this city and the king, queen, and prince.




"What's father been up to? I had barely talked to him since the joust," Jon said.




"I don't know, he and Jory went somewhere, the street of steel, I think."




"Father went to get something made?"




"I don't know, maybe."




They spent some more time with the wolves before leaving, returning to the tower of the hand.








Margaery was furious; she had not slept the entire night; all she could think about was her grandmother and her wish to separate her and Jon. Her mother came and asked what was wrong, but she told her it was nothing and sent her on her way. She did not know how to calm down; her grandmother's plan racing through her mind.




Manipulating Mira was wrong; the fact her grandmother used one of her friends made her furious even more. She poured herself a glass of water and sat down in a chair, trying to regain her composure when the doors opened, and her knight in shining armor came in.




"Margaery, is everything alright? Lady Alerie says you have not left the room the entire day."




She looked at Jon. "Close the door," she told him. He gave her an odd look but did as she told him.




"What's going on?" Jon asked.




Margaery sighed. "It was my grandmother who told Mira to go after you; it's she who was behind it all along." Jon looked at her, stunned, they both knew Olenna disapproved, but they did not think she would do something like this until now.




"Lady Olenna," Jon said.




"I took care of it; she is not going to separate us; no one will," Margaery said as she put the palm of her hand to Jon's cheek, looking into those dark gray eyes.




"What did you do?"




"I told her to stay away, or she will regret it if she tries something like that again," Margaery answered. Jon did not say a word only looked at her with uncertainty in his eyes. They talked a bit more about Olenna's plan before Jon, not wanting to talk about it any further, decided to change the subject.




"Remember your idea to help the poor of Flea Bottom?" asked Jon.




"Yes, I have been preoccupied with the tourney and being worried sick about you to give any more thought, unfortunately," Margaery said.




"Well, I have an idea that you might like, Loras and I have won a great sum of coin in this tourney, coin we don't really need compared to the people living in Flea Bottom, so I thought we use it to buy food and medicine and give it to them."




"Loras agreed to this?"




"I have not yet told him, but I have no doubt he will join us."




"Using the king's coin to feed the people he won't, that's brilliant; I can talk to my father and ask him to match your winnings."




"That would be even better."




"So, we have a plan now; all that remains is to talk to father and buy the supplies."




"I will see it with Loras."




Margaery gave Jon a quick peck on the lips. "It seems you have more in your head than just swords and songs, my white wolf."




"White wolf?" Jon asked.




"Yes, I think it sounds better than Wolf of the south, and your wolf is white, so it kind of suits you."




"White wolf," Jon said once more, "I will think about it."








The boy had the wolves' blood like his mother and Brandon for sure, he was as skilled on a horse as his mother and as stubborn, he was injured twice, yet he refused to back down. When Jon started singing, time stopped, and he swore he was back at Harrenhal, hearing Rhaegar sing; their voices were different, but the way he sang it was like listening to Rhaegar.




He kept this secret for all these years; if someone was to figure it out, the war would be inevitable, and he would be forced to choose between a man who was his brother by choice and his nephew, who he swore he would protect.




"Maybe sending him to Highgarden wasn't such a good idea," Eddard muttered to himself.




As he continued to go through the events that happened before his foster father's death, the door opened, and in came one of his guards.




"My lord, your son is here to see you," the guard said.




"Send him in," Eddard ordered, and the man nodded and left the room, Jon entering moments later.




"You wished to see me, father?" Jon asked.




"Yes, take a seat," Eddard said, pointing at the chair in front of him.




Jon sat down, looking at him. "What's this about?"




"I just wanted to see if you are alright," Jon's hands were still bandaged up, and by the way he moved, Eddard could see that his shoulder was not getting better as fast as he had hoped.




"I'm aright, father, just a few bruises, nothing more."




"Jon, Arya told me about Ser Jaime and what he said to you," Eddard said, and Jon immediately frowned.




"They deserved it," Jon said bitterly.




"That might be so, but later fighting against both Clegane's while you were still hurt..."




"The Hound was just an opponent in the joust, and the Mountain wanted to kill Loras. What was I supposed to do to watch my friend die?"




"It was noble of you to save Loras, I don't deny that, but it was still perilous; the Mountain is not like most men you faced; he has no honor; he is nothing more than a mindless killer."




"I know, father, that's why I had to stop him."




"Jon, don't take this the wrong way I-I'm just worried about you."




Jon's frown softened. "I know, father, and I'm sorry I made you worry that much, but doing so was the honorable thing to do."




"That it was."




There was a moment of silence before Jon spoke again, "Father, what was my mother like?" Ned looked at Jon, his eyes wide; he was unsure what to say to the boy. "Father?" Jon's asked, but still, no answer came. Jon's expression became one of sadness. "She was stubborn, wasn't she?" Ned was even more taken back now.




"How do you know that?" Eddard asked, doing their best to keep his composure.




"Arya overheard you saying in."




Eddard sighed, "Now is not the time to talk about your mother."




"But father," Jon pleaded.




Eddard gave him a stern look. "We will talk about your mother some other time."




"As you wish, father," Jon said, displeasure clear in his voice. "Do you need anything from me, or I'm free to leave?"




"You are free to leave if you wish," Eddard answered.




"Thank you, father," Jon said and left the solar.




This was not how Ned wanted things to go; it seems that everything was getting worse and more complicated since he arrived south. He asked himself what Jon would do if he ever found out the truth.




Two days later








With the tourney over, his family started packing their belongings and would be departing the capital in a few days, while he, on the other hand, has decided to stay for a while more to keep Renly company.




"Almost done packing, are we?" Loras asked Jon as he entered his friend's room.




"Yes, it's a long ride back to Highgarden. You sure you want to stay here?"




"I'm, it's been a long time since I was last in the capital; I think I will stay for a while longer."




"And it's not just about Renly?" Jon asked with a smirk.




"You don't get to question my choices; I'm still getting over the fact that you have slept with my sister." Loras paused. "So Margaery told me about your plan and what you intend to do with the coin we won."




"So, you are not against it?"




"Why would I be? Besides, you don't say no to Margaery." Both men chuckled.




"That's true," Jon said.




"Margaery wanted to stay and help with the supplies, but grandmother wants to go home, so we tasked Harlan with making sure everything goes according to plan, and I might stop by to see how things are going while I'm here."




"Loras Tyrell, the knight of the people, has a good ring to it, doesn't it," Jon said with a smile.




"It does, as good as the White wolf," Loras said with a small grin.




"She told you about that?"




"She did, it does suit you somewhat, but I still say Wolf of the south is better."




As they continued to jape with each other and talk, Jon's sister Arya ran into the room, a distressed look on her face.




"Jon!" the little girl shouted.




"What is it? Has something happened?"




"Father, he was attacked," the girl answered quickly.




Loras's and Jon's eyes went wide in shock. "What, by who?" Jon asked.




"Jaime Lannister." Loras looked at his friend, a look of shock changing to one of fury; his eyes hardened; they look completely black now.




"Is father alive?" Jon asked.




"He is, but he has been wounded while fighting."




Jon's fists clenched. "Where is the Kingslayer?"




"I don't know; lord Baelish just brought father in."




"Father is in his rooms with the Maester."




Loras looked at Jon, fury still on his friend's face. Jon turned around and went to his chest, opening it and grabbing his sword. "What are you going to do?" Loras asked, concerned as Jon put his sword belt around his hips.




"First, I'm going to see if father is alright, and then I'm going to hunt and skin that lion."




"Jon, he is a Kingsguard and the queen's brother."




"That man just attacked my father, don't tell me you wouldn't do the same if that happened to Lord Mace," Jon was right. If this happened to his father, he would do the exact same thing.




"I'm coming with you," Loras said.




"What?" Jon asked.




"Lord Eddard is a good man, an honorable one. I will go with you to see him, and after that, I will help you find the Kingslayer."




"Thank you, Loras," Loras nodded.




"Where is Sansa?" Jon asked.




"In our room with Harwin."




"Good, she is safe," Loras quickly walked to his room, grabbed his sword, and met Jon in the hall.




"Let's go," Loras said. As the three of them walked through the hall, they came across mother, Garlan, and Margaery. He could see their surprise at them brandishing swords in the middle of the hall.




"What's going on?" mother asked.




"Lord Eddard has been attacked," Loras said and could see the confusion on their faces.




"By whom?" Margaery asked.




"Ser Jaime."




"Is he hurt?" mother asked.




"Yes," Loras said.




"Arya listen to me; I want you to stay here with Margaery and lady Aleire until someone of father man comes for you."








"No buts, you are staying here. Margaery, Lady Alerie, I would be grateful if you would do this for me."




"Of course, Jon," mother said.




"What are you going to do?" Margaery asked.




"Check on Jon's father and then hunt the culprit down. He needs to answer for his crime," Loras said. They all gave them worried looks as they continued to the tower of the hand.




Once they arrived at where Lord Eddard's solar was, they were met by a dozen Stark guards standing opposite of the Lannister household guard and one Kingsguard, every man had a hand on the hilt of his sword; it looked like as if a fight could break out at any second.




"Let us pass," Jon said to the Lannister men.




"Why should I?" said a soldier in red armor.




"That man is the hand's son; show some respect Lannister," Allyn said. The man turned around to see him and Jon standing there. Realizing who they were, the Lannisters moved to the side and let them enter the hands solar, the King and Queen already there.




"Father!" Jon said as they entered, seeing lord Eddard laying on his bed unconscious, a bandage around his leg. He quickly ran to his father's side, passing the royals without a word.




"Your graces," Loras said with a bow.




"Ser Loras, why are you here?" the queen asked.




"I came here with Jon when we heard what happened."




"With a sword," the queen said as she looked at his blade.




"Yes," Loras said coldly and returned his gaze back to Jon.




"How bad is it?" Jon asked as he moved his gaze from his father to the king.




"Pycelle says that he will pull through. Don't worry, lad, your father is a strong man," the king said.




"What will you do with the Kingslayer?" Jon asked.




"The Kingslayer fled the city immediately after the attack, so right now nothing."




"Nothing?" Jon asked, agitated.




"My brother's actions were justified," the queen said.




"The coward fled; your brother is a man without honor!" Jon shouted.




"Careful, remember who you speak to; Lady Catelyn abducted my blood, and your father attacked my brother."




"Lies, my father would never attack a man unprovoked."




"He was returning drunk from a brothel when it happened." the queen said.




"Enough woman," the king said.




"My father is not a man who would do either of those things, your bother on the other hand."




"You will not talk about my brother like that bastard," the queen said angrily "your very existence proves otherwise," the queen said in a mocking tone. Jon grew even more agitated.




"Enough woman!" the king shouted, "Leave, now."




"I will not."




"You will, and you will do it now!" the king said in a booming voice. The queen only glared at her husband and left the room.




"Loras get the horses ready; I will see with Alyn if some of the men could come with us."




"You will do nothing, lad," the king said.




"What? You can't be serious. My father has just been attacked, the man you see as a brother."




"I'm aware, but I can't let you start a war. If you do that, the kingdom will be split in half."




"Are you really ready to defend a man who has done honor, who already killed one king, he attacked the hand, what will stop him from doing the same to you when it's convenient."




"Enough lad, as you king, I command you to stay here and not chance after Jaime Lannister. Once your father I awake, I will settle this with him."




"But your grace."




"My decision is final; you will abandon this notion of revenge and go back with the Tyrells, is that understood?"




"It is your grace," Jon said bitterly and stormed out of the room, Lora's following close behind. Most of the Lannister soldiers were gone; only a few and the Kingsguard remained. Loras could sense the fury coming from Jon; he had never seen his friend this angry before. Jon might want nothing more than to kill the Kingslayer right not, but he will follow the king's command. One thing was certain Jon now hated the Lannisters almost as much as the Martells do, especially the twins.

Chapter Text

Throughout the ride to Highgarden, he felt as if his family was denied justice, that he should have gone after the Kingslayer, but he had to obey his king's wishes, so he had to go back with the Tyrells while Jaime Lannister walked free. Lord Mace agreed to stay in the capital until his father regained consciousness, which happened seven days later after the attack. Jon and his sisters were overjoyed to see their father awake and up, although he had to use a cane due to his injury. After another two days, they had to leave for Reach. Jon thought about the moment before they left the city.


"Why can't you stay?" Arya asked sadly.


"I have to go back to Highgarden with lord Mace but don't worry, I will be back," Jon reassured his little sister.




"I promise," Jon said and hugged Arya. After her time came to say goodbye to Sansa.


Sansa and Jon looked at each other "I'm sorry how I reacted at. First, it was stupid of me," Sansa said.


"There is nothing to be sorry about; I'm not mad at you."


Sansa smiled and hugged him. "Thank you, brother," Jon smiled too at the sound of her calling him that. After a moment, Sansa pulled away.


"You will take good care of Lady?" Sansa asked.


"I will; you have nothing to worry about; she will be safe. Maybe you could ask your father to visit, and you will get to be with her again," Jon saw Sansa smile at the thought.


"That would be nice; I would love to see Highgarden and spend more time with Margaery."


"I'm sure she will be happy to oblige," Jon said and could see his sister's eyes sparkle with excitement.


"Sansa, if you ever need help, just send a message, and I will be there for you," Jon said.


"My big brother to keep me safe," Sansa said, "I'm safe here with father and the prince, but if I ever need you, I won't hesitate to ask."


The next person he said his goodbye to was Loras. "You sure you don't want to go with us?" Jon asked.


"No, as I said, I will spend a few more weeks here, and then I will return," Loras answered.


"Fine, but take care and don't cause any scandals that might reflect poorly on us,"


Loras chuckled. "Don't worry, I won't."


Jon turned his gaze towards his sisters, who were talking with Margaery, "Keep them safe."


"I won't worry about them. They are incapable hands," Loras smiled.


"Thank you, Loras," Jon said and hugged his friend. Then he heard a sound of a cane tapping on the stone. He looked over Loras's shoulder to see his father coming to escort them. First, he went to lord Mace, Lady Alerie, Olenna, Margaery, Garlan, and then came to them.


"Ser Loras, I was informed you will be staying, is that right?" his father asked.


"It is my lord," Loras answered.


"Could you give us a moment?" father asked Loras. Loras looked at Jon and then again at lord Eddard.


"Of course, my lord," Loras said and made his way to his family.


"What is it, father?" Jon asked.


"I wanted to wish you safe travel back to Highgarden and to tell you to keep out of trouble," father said in his usual calm tone.


"Trouble, I don't know what you mean," Jon said.


"I was young once, too; I know how it is; I just want you to stay safe."


Jon sighed. "I will, father."


Lord Eddard looked at his daughters. "You made them happy; it's good for them to have a brother here. Thank you for taking a chance with Sansa; it must have not been easy."


"It was not, but she is my sister, and she came around. She is still that girl I remember from Winterfell." Jon said fondly.


"She is," father said with a small smile. "And thanks to you, Arya is more determent than ever to learn how to use a sword; she wants to be good enough to beat you."


"I will gladly anticipate the day when I will face here one on one." Both Jon and his father laughed at the thought.


"Jon, get on your horse; we are leavening!" said Garlan from his horse.


"Thank you, father, for everything. I hope we see each other again soon."


"Aye, me too," As Jon mounted his horse, he felt his father's hand on his leg. "Listen, the next time we see each other, we will talk about your mother." father said, and Jon was taken back by what he heard. They are going to talk about his mother the next time they see each other.


"Father, I..."


"I promise, now go and safe journey," father said, and Jon nodded. As he rode beside Garlan, he looked back and waved at his family and Loras, and they waved back.


"We will see each other again, soon." he thought.


It took them about three weeks to come back to Highgarden. On the first day of the journey, the wolves were kept in their cage, that night when he brought them food, he watched them eat in that cage, and he could not watch it any longer. He took the key to the cell and opened the iron door to let the two wolves out.


They slowly came out of the cage, weary of their surroundings. Yellow and red eyes stared at him; he was unsure how they would act if they would even listen to him. Jon took a step back and watched as Ghost walked towards him, stopped at his right arm, and licked his hand; soon, Lady followed. As he walked through the camp towards his tent, the wolves walked calmly beside him, attracting curious and surprised glances as they went.


"He let them out," one of the men said.


"They aren't attacking," another said.


"They are actually listening to him," the third said.


They came to Jon's tent and entered it. Jon sitting in a chair pouring himself a glass of wine; Ghost stood in front of him, observing him with those blood-red eyes while Lady immediately jumped on the bed. Jon chuckled. "You are Sansa's wolf, alright."


As he looked at the two Direwolves, he was thankful to his father for giving them to him; he never even dreamed of having a Direwolf, let alone two, one was still Sansas, but she is with him. Jon looked at the two wolves, who seemed happy to be out of that cage. He understood, no being should be kept inside a cell, let alone one like these.


He just rested his head on the back of the chair when he heard a gasp coming from the entrance; Jon quickly moved his head to see who it is, finding Margaery there.


"So, it's true, you let them out," she said as she looked at the wolves with awe, Lady and Ghost looked back at her. Lady tilted her head to the side while Ghost looked at him, asking if Margaery was allowed to come in.


Jon got up from his chair and walked to Margaery, who still watched the wolves with both awe and slight fear.


"I did; it's alright they won't bite well I think Ghost won't, but by the looks of it, I wouldn't try to get Lady off that bed," Jon said as he looked at the wolf on the bed who lowered her head on the sheet.


"They are listening?" Margaery asked, intrigued.


"Following more like, I think that they see me as the one in charge, so they keep close."


"One of the guards informed my father, and when I heard, I needed to see it for myself."


"Well, they been good; no one has been bit or eaten alive so far," Jon said with a small smirk.


Ghost gut up from the ground and walked up to Jon and Margaery, looking at Jon first and then at Margaery intensely with those red eyes. Then he moved even closer and put his head beneath Margery's hand, and she ruffled his fur.


"Someone's a cuddler," Jon said as he looked at the wolf and Margaery fondly. He was glad the wolf seemed to like her.


"What does your father say about me releasing them?" Jon asked.


"He is worried but also excited; he wants to know if you can control them," Margaery answered as she continued to pet GhostGhost.


"I think I can, and what do the others think?"


"Mother is same as father, Garlan is excited to see them out, and grandmother wants them back in the cage," Margaery said, and by the tone, Jon could tell that she was still more than angry with her grandmother; Margaery has not said a single word to Olenna since they left the capital. Due to the delay, Margaery managed to deliver some of the supplies to Flea Bottom personally and visit several orphanages in the process. The people were grateful for her help, Lord Mace agreeing to match the winnings of the tourney.


"Maybe I should get Ghost to pay your grandmother a visit later in the night; he doesn't make a single sound when walking, breathing, none whatsoever."


Margaery laughed. "As much I would like that, no, that would only do more harm than good."


"Fine, but know my offer still stands," Jon said as he put one hand around Margaery's waist and pulled her closer.


"I will remember that," Margaery said with a smile, GhostGhost moving away and joining his sister on the bed. She looked him in the eyes, brown meeting grey, and brought their lips into a deep kiss. After a long moment, they parted, searching for air. Margaery looked at the bed. "It seems the bed is already taken."


"Indeed, it is," Jon said.


"No matter Highgarden is just a few weeks away," Margaery said with an all too familiar smile on her lips.


"It's going to be good being back home," Jon said.


"Yes, it will."


As Highgarden cane into the view, he could not help but smile; he missed the sight of it and the river Mander that flows beside it. He took a deep breath, smell of roses all around, certainly a thousand times better than the smell of Kings landing. As they rode into the castle, he rode next to Garlan while Lord Mace, his wife, Margaery, and Lady Olenna were in a carriage behind them.


When they entered the keep, the first thing they saw was the group of people waiting for them, steward, soldiers, and servants with Willas in the in front, a welcoming smile on his face.


"Brother, Jon, I welcome you back," Willas said as they dismounted and walked towards him.


Garlan hugged his brother. "Thank you, Willas; it been a long journey back." The two brothers broke their embrace. "Where is Loras?"


"He stayed in the capital with lord Renly," Garlan told his brother. Willas nodded and proceeded to hug Jon next. "It's good to see you, Jon."


"You too, Willas," Jon replied. They broke the hug just in time for Willas to see Ghost and Lady entering the castle, his eyes almost going out of their sockets at the sight of them.


"Wait, are those?" Willas asked in disbelief.


"Aye, they are."


"Gods, look at the size of them," Willas said, amazed as the wolves approached them, all the servants taking several steps back as the wolves did so.


"The white one is mine; his name is Ghost, and the gray one is Lady."


"H-How did you get them?"


"My father gave them to me; all the Stark children have one."


Willas looked at him inquisitively. "But you have two?"


"No, Ghost is mine, Lady belongs to my sister Sansa."


"Then why is she with you?" Before Jon could answer, he was cut off by lady Olenna.


"Oh, enough with the wolves, the journey in that damn box was hard, and all I want is a bath and some rest. So Willas, if you would kindly."




After Willas greeted each member of his family, they decided to take it inside. "So, how was the tourney, father?" Willas asked as they took their seats around the table, the wolves laying behind Jon.


"It was splendid, utterly splendid; I enjoyed watching the competition; it was certainly different from what we usually have here."


"Different?" Willis asked. "How different?"


"Well, there were two winners in the joust," lord Mace answered.


"Two?" Willis asked. "How so?"


"Jon and Loras shared the victory," father answered.


"Loras sharing a victory, now I heard everything," Willas said with a laugh.


"It's true, he refused to fight Jon after he saved Loras from the Mountain," Garlan said.


"The Mountain, what happened?"


"The mountain lost it after Loras unseated him in a joust for the finals and tried to kill him, but Jon managed to get to him and fight off the Mountain,"


"Has Loras been hurt?" Willas asked, concerned.


"No, he is fine, thanks to Jon," said Margaery as she looked at him.


"Thank you, Jon, for watching over him," Willas said.


"It's nothing; I would never let anything happen to Loras," Jon said.


"So, what else happened at this tourney, so fat it truly was different."


"Jon won melee," Mace said proudly.


"Let me guess, Loras?"


"No Thoros of Myr," Jon said.


"The Red Priest, doesn't he wield flaming swords?"


"Aye, he does," Jon answered.


"He caught it Willas, he actually caught the flaming sword in his hand," Mace said.


Willas looked at Jon. "Let me see." Jon showed Willas his hands, both palms having recently healed scars on them. They were not bad, but they were noticeable.


"You crazy fool."


"It paid off; I won."


"There should be burns around the scars," Willas said as he continued to look at Jon's hands.


"Master Mott did a fine job on those gauntlets," Garlan said. "Jon unseated Jaime Lannister in the joust also."


"Impressive, Jon," Willas remarked.


"That's nothing compared to what Margaery has done," Willas looked at his sister. "She helped the poor of the city with my and Loras's winnings from the tourney, and Lord Mace even matched it."


"My little sister, caring as ever," Willas said with a smile.


They talked more about everything that happened to them while they were in the capital. Everything from spending time with Jon's sisters to begging him to forfeit the joust after his injury. During their talk lady, Olenna left the room.


"What happened here while we were gone?" Alerie asked.


"Nothing much, just a bunch of petitions and managing the castle nothing as exciting as your time in the capital by the sound of it."


"It sure was something, and I can wait until something like that happens again," Margaery said as she looked at Jon.


"You all aren't going to let me hear the end of this, would you?" Jon asked.


"No, what you did was brave, yes, but also incredibly dangerous both times," Lady Alerie said.


After reciting the tourney's events, the group went to their chambers to freshen up before dinner. During the dinner, it was apparent to the Tyrells that there were two large wolves in their midst, all but Margaery, who fed the one called Lady with meat from her plate. Willas was amazed by the wolves' sheer size, the white male being much larger than the gray female, and the most exciting thing about the large one was that he was an albino. He also noticed that the wolf did not make a sound when he moved, its blood-red eyes carefully watching everything around him.


Willas spoke to Margaery about the wolves before dinner, and she said that Jon had them under control and that there was nothing to worry about. The Maesters claim that Direwolves are a myth, but he always believed that there was some truth to the tales from the North and the presents of two such creatures proved that. Who knows what other species lived in the far North?


He was excited about the possibility of watching and studying the Direwolves. "Maybe the rangers from the Wall could find more and have them brought here," Willas thought. For now, he would have to settle for these two magnificent beasts.


After dinner, they all retired for the evening, his family being tired from the long road. He was on the way to his room when Margaery asked him to accompany her and Jon to her chambers.


"What is this about?" Willas asked but seeing that both his sister and Jon were here with him together and the looks on their faces, he could make an educated guess.


"You know about Jon and me," Margaery said; the way she said it, it was more like a statement than a question.


Willas nodded. "I do," Both Margaery and Jon looked at each other with concern.


"How long?" Jon asked.


Willas walked to a chair and sat down. "Since the beginning," he said with a small smile. When Margaery and Jon first fell in love, he found out soon after. "You did a good job a keeping it a secret, but I have eyes of a hawk little sister; I notice things and so those Garlan."


"We know about Garlan," Jon said, "Loras also knows."


"Loras figured it out?" Willas raised an eyebrow. "I guess I won the bet with Garlan,"


"Wait, you two had a beat over us?" Margaery asked, more annoyed than surprised.


"When Garlan first found out, he approached me to confirm his suspicions, and after that, with Loras being the last of us three, we decided to have a little water; I said that Loras wound figure it out and Garlan said that he won't."


Margaery crossed her arms. "Well, neither of you won, we told him."


"You did, shame, a thousand golden dragons, were on the line," Willas said with a smirk.


"A thousand, that could have fed the poor for weeks," Margaery said.


"Well, at least he knows now," Willas remarked.


"Aye, he those," Jon said.


"You don't have anything to worry about from me; I would never dare to something thing to hurt you two in any way," Willas said in a sincere tone. "Your secret is safe with me."


"Thank you, brother," Margaery said.


"Yes, thank you, Willas," Jon said.




A few days had passed since they arrived back in Highgarden, and she spent as much time with Jon as she could, to make up for the time they lost while in the capital and to spite her grandmother. Margaery lay beside Jon in the bed, looking at his long face; she moved her head closer to his chest." My knight," she thought. Margaery never thought she would know real love; she was a daughter of the Warden of the South; she always knew she would have to marry a powerful lord of a prince, that was until Jon rode into the castle.


When she saw him, Margaery knew something was different about him; at first, he didn't look any different from anyone she saw before until she gazed at those eyes, eyes that glittered like the dawn.


Jon bowed. "Lord Tyrell," he said in a calm tone.


"You must be Jon Snow," her father said as he looked at the boy. "You look just like your father."


"You met my father?" Jon asked.


"Yes, we fought together during the Greyjoy rebellion," Over the years, Margaery realized her father had not been on the front lines like the king and lord Eddard but stayed behind to command the rear. She was glad for it; her father is not a warrior Jon's father or Randyll Tarly are.


"My father is grateful to you, my lord, for agreeing to foster me," Jon said, and her father's chest puffed up.


"It's nothing, now lad; I will introduce you to my family," father said as he put one hand on Jon's shoulder. "This is my lovely wife, lady Alerie Tyrell."


"My lady," Jon said with a bow.


"Jon," mother replied. Mother never called Jon a Snow or done anything to undermine him; to her, he was like any other child that came to foster with us.


"This is my eldest son Willas," father said as he pointed at her brother.


"My lord," Jon said.


"Welcome to Highgarden Jon Snow," Willas said.


"This is my second son Garlan."


"My lord," Jon said, but Garlan did not reply. He only looked at Jon with suspicion.


"This is my youngest son..."


"My name is Loras," her brother said and offered his hand to Jon. Jon looked at the hand and then to Loras hesitantly. "I won't bite."


Then Jon shook her brother's hand. "Jon, Jon Snow," Jon said with a smile.


"And this is my sweet daughter Margaery."


"My lady," Jon said. Margaery looked at the brown-haired boy; everything seemed normal except those sad purple eyes; she could see in them that he was not truly happy to be here.


"Lord Jon," she said.


"I'm not lord my lady, just a Snow," he replied.


Before she could say anything more, her father beat her to it, "Let's get you inside, the road was long, and you would probably like to rest."


In the years that followed, they became closer until neither could deny what they felt for each other anymore, true love. "If only he was a lord or a prince, then they would not have to hide," she thought. Their story remained her of prince Duncan and Jenny, a prince and a common girl who fell in love and the crown prince gave up his crown for love, maybe she could do the same.


Jon moved slightly and opened his eyes; she moved her head up to look at him. "Morning, princess," Jon said with a smile.


"Morning, my prince," she replied, the same smile on her lips.


"Sleep well?" Jon asked.


"Yes," she said, but in truth, she did not sleep much at all; the only thing she could think about for the last few weeks was what would be her grandmother's next move. Lady Olenna is not a woman who accepts defeat.


"It's almost dawn. I should be back in my room soon," Margaery said. She has been living in Highgarden her whole life, so she knew when the servants were not circulating as much threw the castle and when the guards made their routes, returning to her quarters would be an easy task.


"Stay a bit longer," Jon said as he rubbed his hand over her back; she loved when he did that; she loved his touch.


"Maybe a bit more," she said and huddled closer to him, her head still laying on his chest. All she wanted was to stay like this, in this perfect moment, to never break apart, to stay with him, but she knew that was not possible. Soon that sweet moment came to an end, and she had to return to her rooms. She put her nightgown back on and left the door but not before giving Jon one last kiss for the night.


Margaery snuck her way back to her room and laid back into her bed; she fell asleep but missed the warmth that was next to her moments ago. She dreamt about her sitting on a throne as a queen and Jon standing there beside her in shiny white armor. "My knight, my love," she said in her sleep.


When the servants finally came and woke her, she dressed up and walked to break her fast with her family. Willas and Garlan were already there, and so was mother. Margaery sat next to them and waited for a servant to bring her meal.


"Morning, little sister," Garlan said.


"Morning to you all," Margaery replied. Soon Jon and her father arrived, lord Mace being his usual jolly self. "Morning, father."


"Morning sweating," her father said and kissed her on the head. As they all ate and talked about their plans for the day, the castles Maester Lomys arrived, carrying a piece of paper in his hand.


"My lord, a raven has arrived from the capital," the Maester said.


"From Loras?" mother asked.


"No, it's from the king," they all looked at each other; what could possibly the king want now just after they left. Garlan stood up, and Lomys handed him the message, Garlan taking a moment to read it.


"What's it says?" father asked.


"King Robert is dead," Garlan answered, and shock and surprise were on everyone's faces.


"How?" asked Jon.


"It does not say, only that Joffrey is the new king and that we need to come and swear our fealty to him." Margaery looked at Garlan; she could tell there was more,


"Garlan, what are you not telling us?" Margaery asked her brother.


Garlan sighed and looked at Jon, his expression sad and heavy "Lord Eddard has been arrested for treason."


Jon jumped up from his seat, "What?"


"There must be some mistake," Margaery said. She did not know Jon's father that well, but by the time he spent with her family Margaery knew he was not a man who would betray someone, especially the king. Margaery looked at Jon with worry, an expression of utter confusion and disbelief on his face.


"My father would never do something like that; he would never go against the king."


"Something must be wrong, a mistake surely," Mace said.


"That's what says here, we are to come to the capital and swear our fealty to King Joffrey Baratheon."


"What about my sisters? What has happened to them?" Jon asked.


"Doesn't say."


"If anything has happened to them," Jon said. Margaery put one hand on Jon's shoulder.


"They are safe; this is some mistake."


"My lord, I also have a letter from Ser Loras," Lomys said and presented the note, Garlan grabbing it and reading it out loud.


"Somethings happened, coming to Highgarden with Renly."


"What's going on? What happened in the capital?" Mace asked frantically.


"We will wait for Loras and find out from him," Willas said.


"You can wait; I'm going back and getting my father out of there," Jon said, turned, and started walking away.


"Jon, you can't just do it all by yourself; we don't even know what has truly happened," Willas said.


"I don't care; my father and sister have been imprisoned for no reason; my father is not a traitor, everyone knows that."


"We do, but it would do them no good if you got yourself killed in the process of rescuing them."


"I'm getting them out of there. If my life is the price, then so be it."


Margaery was terrified now; she was worried about Sansa and little Arya's lives, but hearing Jon say his life did not mean much to him shook her to her core. No, she cannot lose him, he might think little of his own life, but she cared more than anyone could know.


"Jon, please," Margaery said in a desperate tone, and he looked back at her. "Don't do this."


"What else am I to do?"


"You wait for Loras and Renly with us; we will learn of what happened and make a plan from there," Margaery answered.


"I can't wait," Jon said, looking at her, anger and sadness in his eyes.


"Jon, I beg you to listen to me," she said, pleading.




"Listen to me!" she shouted. She looked around and saw that everyone was taken back by her reaction, even Jon.


After a long moment of just staring at each other, she heard Jon finally says: "Alright,"


"We must let cooler heads prevail, right now. We know nothing of what transpired; running into a battle blindly will only get you killed," Willas said.


"Fine, but as soon as Loras arrives, I'm going to Kings landing to save my father," Jon replied.


"Noted," said Garlan. They all looked at each other for a few more seconds before Jon turned again and walked out of the room. Margaery felt fear, confusion, sadness all at the same time. For a moment, she thought that this was her grandmother's work but shook it off when she realized that this was not how her grandmother did things; Olenna did things more subtly.




As soon all hell broke loose in the capital, he and Renly made a run for it. Loras wanted to ensure the safety of Jon's sisters, but Renly urged him on, telling him that they had no time right now, and he reluctantly agreed.


They rode for ten days until they reached Highgarden, fifty of their guards with them. During the ride, he regretted leaving Jon's family alone, breaking his promise, but he told himself that they would come back and free them.


As they rode into the castle courtyard, they were met by his family, Margaery running to him and embracing him. They broke the hug and looked at each other.


"What happened?" Margaery asked.


"King Robert is dead, killed in a hunt by boar, Joffrey rules now," Loras replied.


Jon walked up and grabbed Loras by the shoulders. "What happened to my father? Why has he been branded a traitor?"


"Lord Eddard tried to commit a coup, but he failed and is now imprisoned," Renly said as he approached them.


"Lie, why would my father betray the king?"


"Because Joffrey is not the king, he is not Roberts's son," Renly said.


"What are you talking about?" Margaery asked.


"Joffrey is not a Baratheon, he is a bastard born of incest, Robert is not his father Jaime Lannister is. "Renly said, and Loras could see the shock on his family's faces.


"The Kingslayer," Jon said.


"Aye," replied Renly.


"Is-Is my father alive?" Jon asked.


"As far as we know, yes," answered Loras.


"The Lannisters won't risk killing him; he is too valuable as a hostage," Renly added.


"My sisters?"


"Taken prisoner as well," Loras said.


"We need to do something," Jon said as he looked at all of them.


"With the children not being Robert, that means that Stannis is the next in line for the throne," Willas said.


"No," Loras said, and everyone looked at him with confusion. "We have a better king here," everyone looked to Renly.


"You want to take the throne for yourself?" asked Mace.


"Yes, Stannis might be next in line, but he would not make a good king; Robert proved that good soldiers don't always make good kings, and that is certainly true for my brother."


"And you want us to help you get the crown," Garlan said.


"Yes," Renly said firmly.


"Renly is the best option," Loras said.


"If you want the crown, so be it, I will help you as long as you help me free my family from the Lannisters," Jon said.


"I will help you; you have my word," Renly said.


"Come inside while we talk over this," Willas said.


They informed his grandmother of the situation and how he wanted them to act. During the conversation, he revealed nothing about what she thought about that, only asking for more details before asking to speak with Renly in private.




The news she received from her grandson and lord Renly was surprising, to say the least, and she wondered how she was not the one to figure it out first. The Baratheon's always have black hair and blue eyes, while the Lannister have blonde hair and green eyes. Besides that, the children had not a single Baratheon feature; they were all Lannister. And with Renly wanting to crown himself king, an opportunity showed itself, a way to get what she wants.


If Renly wishes to be king, he will need a queen to rule by his side, and with that, she will partially solve her problem; the bastard will have to be dealt with later.


"You wanted to speak with me alone, my lady," Renly said as he looked at her.


"I did," Olenna said, readjusting herself in her chair. "With everything you told me, I'm still in doubt if my family should get involved in this."


"You know as well as I that that boy has no claim to the throne, and you know what kind of a man Stannis is; I'm the best option."


"Who is there to support your claim?" she asked.


"The entirety of the Stormlands."


"Tell me, what do we have to gain by supporting you?"


"If you declare for me I will, you will gain the favor of the true king, I already intend to make Lora's lord commander of my Kingsguard, and I'm going to need a hand, lord Mace might just feel that role."


Olenna laughed. "My son cannot run a castle, let alone be a hand to a king. If you wish our support, then I have a term of my own."


"Tell them, my lady,"


"Margaery, my granddaughter, she is to marry you and become your queen. If you agree to that, then House Tyrell and the Reach will stand behind you." Olenna looked at the would-be king, he seemed reluctant at first, but he quickly changed his tune.


"I will marry Margaery and make her my queen." Olenna smiled.


"It seems we have a deal, your grace."


With the deal struck, Olenna concentrated on the future, Margaery will be queen, and with the Stormlands and the Reach together, they could easily take the capital and defeat anything Tywin can throw at them. The Starks might even declare war on the Lannisters, which will catch the lions in a trap. With Tywin focused on the Riverlands and the Starks, taking the throne would be easy.


Later she had a word with her son, who Loras already convinced to join Renly with the same promise, Margaery as queen. With a bit of luck, the bastard will die in some fight, and if he does not, she might just arrange for it to happen, but this time she will make sure to use someone capable.

Chapter Text

The allegiance of House Tyrell had been secured, but he needed the entirety of the Reach to stand behind him if he is to take the throne from the Lannister pretender. Tywin has the Westerlands behind him, the Starks have the North, the chances of that crazy wench Lysa Arryn interfering are almost none, and Dorne will stay out of it as they did so far. The Iron Islands are worthless, and the Riverlands are already on the defensive. The Stormlands are powerful, but the Reach has more coin and soldiers, which we do need.




For now, his plan is to ride to each of the most powerful lords of the Reach and ensure their allegiance, Hightower's, Fossoway, Ashord, Bulwer, and Tarly. Master tactician like Randyll Tarly joining him would be a great boon; he gave Robert his soul defeat during the rebellion. After all of that is done, he will march with his army to the Stormlands and gather further support there before making his way to the capital and taking it.




"We are ready," Loras said as he stepped into the room.




"Good," Renly walked to Loras and gave a quick kiss. "Thank you for this; I owe you so much."




"You owe me nothing. You are the true King. Now let us not keep the other waiting," The two of them walked to the entrance of the great hall, the doors opened, and they walked in. Lord Mace was standing on the far end of the room with his two older sons and daughter beside him; soldiers, servants, and lords were present all around. They walked up the steps and stopped in front of his future father in law. Renly bowed on one knee as Mace took a golden crown with a ring of roses. On its front is a stag's head made of dark green jade with golden eyes and antlers. Silence filled the room before Mace spoke.




"By the law of this land I lord Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden, lord paramount of the Reach crown you Renly Baratheon the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm" Mace placed the crown on Renly's head, and Renly stood up moments later and turned to the crowd.




"A bastard pretender sits on my late brothers' throne, a bastard that shares no blood with me, one born of incest. Help me retake my family's throne, and I will give you all the riches and glory you could ask for. Stand with me, and I will stand with you, fight with you side by side, and we will return what's has been taken from me."




There was a short silence before someone shouted, "For King Renly!" soon, others joined.




"For King Renly, for King Renly, for king Renly!"




Renly looked at Loras, who stood with his siblings behind their father, and smiled. Once the noise died down, Renly decided to immediately make a proclamation.




"Lord Mace, step forward," Renly said, and the Lord did as ask.




"Your grace," Mace said.




"From this moment onward, you will be my hand of the king," Renly said and presented the Lord the hand's pin.




"You honor me, your grace, I will serve dutifully and faithfully."




"I have no doubt about that, my lord."




Then Renly walked up to Margaery and offered her his hand, and she took it, and they walked to the front. "The hand's daughter, the beautiful lady Margaery will be my queen," The room erupted in cheers. "And last but not least, the lord commander of my Kingsguard will be Ser Loras Tyrell."




Loras walked to them and bend the knee. "I Ser Loras Tyrell, hereby swear on my honor and my allegiance to protect the King and his family. I will do my duties until death, and through that time, keep all secrets of the King safe. I will not speak unless spoken to, I will take no wife, father no children, and I will defend the King's land or pay the price."




"Rise Ser Loras, lord commander of the Kingsguard," Renly said, and Loras rose to his feet. Renly looked at the crowd of cheering people and spotted Jon Snow looking proudly at Loras. "Ser Jon Snow step forward," Renly said and could see that the knight was surprised but still did as asked.




"Your grace," Jon said as he bowed.




"Ser Jon, I wish you to be the second member of my Kingsguard." Jon's head went up, a look of utter surprised on his face.




"Your grace I..."




"Don't say anything, Ser Jon, only that you except," Renly said with a smile.




"I do. I Ser Jon Snow hereby swear on my honor and allegiance to protect the King and his family. I will do my duties until death, and through that time, keep all secrets of the King safe. I will not speak unless spoken to, I will take no wife, father no children, and I will defend the King's land or pay the price."




"Rise Sir Jon, knight of the Kingsguard," Renly said, and Jon rose to his feet. Loras persuaded Renly to name Jon to the Kingsguard, and he was not wrong; Jon was one of the best fighters Renly saw in years, and the fact that he and Loras make an excellent duo could not be ignored. Renly looked at Margaery, who had a soft smile on her face. "My love Margaery and I will be wed in three days after that; I will focus on reclaiming what has been stolen from my family," Renly said, and the crowd cheered, this time even louder.




Later after the festivities were done, he retired to his room with Loras. They entered the room, and Renly immediately went to the table and poured them two glasses of Arbor Gold.




"You did great out there," Loras said.




"Thank you, I do have a neck for inspiring people," Renly replied.




"That you do, and thank you for Jon, he will be a great asset, I promise."




"I don't doubt that I saw him fight. Maybe if I had a hundred of him, I would not need an army."




"Well, you still need coin, and as I said before, I have an outrageous amount of money to give you."




Renly sighed. "Men will die in this war."




"Men die in every war; they die every day. There is always a war somewhere in the world."




"I will have to fight Stannis if I'm to take the throne," Renly said with regret in his voice.




"People love you because of who you are; you are a kind, generous man. Stannis has the personality of a rock; people will never follow him."




"My brothers always told me that I'm not like them, not strong enough; Robert would say that any man that has not gone to war is not a true man," Renly said with clear annoyance, but there was also sadness in his words, he still loved both of his brothers.




"Robert is dead, and a little shit sits on the throne that belongs to you."




"I honestly prayed to the gods for Robert so live, but they did not hear my prayer," Renly said in a remorseful tone.




"The way I see it, we win this war, we will all get what we want."




"And what do you know about war?"




"I don't know much about the war, but I do know something about fighting, and war is just a great fight."




"After I wed Margaery, I will go to Hornhill first to speak with Randyll Tarly."




"Randyll Tarly is the most boring man in the history of boring men."




"And one of the best military minds in Westeros, I will need him to win. I see the best course of action is to take the Reach army, capture the Stormlands, get more troops there, wait for Tywin to exhaust his resources fighting the Tullys, and then strike the capital. We take the city, take the Lannisters hostage, free Ned Stark who will grant us the North and then focus on subjugating the Westerlands."




"A good plan, there is only one problem with that plan."








"Tywin Lannister has pretty much occupied the Riverlands, Edmure Tully is trapped in his castle while Jaime Lannister sits outside of it. Unless someone intervenes, Tywin will score an easy victory."




Renly put his hand on his chin. "You have a point there, let's hope that Ned Stark's heir is a warrior and not a coward, but knowing the Starks, it's the former. But what even happens, we will prevail."




"We will," Loras said determent.




"With you by my side, I don't doubt it," Renly said.




"Now, your grace, the time was come to go to bed. Would you like me to guard you in front of the door or from inside the room," Loras said with a mischievous smile.




"I would feel a lot safer if you stayed here, lord commander," Renly said and smiled back.








She did not know how to feel about everything that had happened; on the one hand, she was delighted that she will be queen in a matter of days, but on the other hand, she will marry a man she does not love and who loves her brother. A loveless marriage between the King and queen is one reason this is happening in the first place.




When Loras first came to her with the proposition, she wasn't sure what to do, but after explaining and Loras saying that Jon will be in the Kingsguard with him, she agreed; this way, she would get both her desires the crown and Jon. It was a perfect plan that no even her grandmother would go against; she would be queen after all.




Renly naming her father his hand was a bit of a surprise, but she was happy when she saw her father's joyful expression. Loras and Jon being in the Kingsguard, was an excellent choice; they are some of the best fighters in the realm and would do their job dutifully.




But she still felt fear; for Renly to take the throne, they would have to fight a war, and that would bring both Jon and Loras in danger. Maybe Renly will not be like Robert and would stay in the rear with the guards while other warriors fought. She could not stand the thought of losing either her brother or her love.




"You will be queen soon," said Elinor, sitting opposite from her at a table in the gardens.




"I will," Margaery said.




"Does that mean we would have to call you your grace every time we speak to you?" Mira asked.




"I don't know, maybe only in public, but I'm still me even with a crown on my head," Margaery said with a smile.




"You will look beautiful with a crown," Mira said. Mira gave up her attempts to take Jon just as she said, much to Elinor's annoyance.




"Am not already beautiful?"




"You are…your grace," Mira said, and they chuckled; she will need to get used to people calling her that.




Margaery was getting all she ever wanted, what her grandmother and father wanted too, and she could now almost dance with excitement. She will get to be the queen of Westeros and keep the one man she truly loves.




The wedding that happened days later was spectacular, father sparing no expense. Renly looked dashing in his enameled green armor and the stag crown on his head, but she could not shake the wish for someone else to be standing there instead of him. Margaery wore a snow-white dress as her father escorted her through the sept to her future husband. As they stopped in front of the Septon and Renly, her father took off her maiden cloak that was in the colors of her house.




Renly then placed a cloak of his own house colors about her shoulders.




"With this kiss, I pledge my love," they both said and kissed. The kiss was not like when she kissed Jon; the kiss was quick and unemotional, whereas when she kissed Jon, it was full of passion and love. But that much was expected.




"… and take you for my lord and husband," Margaery continued.




"…and take you for my lady and wife," Renly followed.




"With the blessing from the gods, I now pronounce you to be man and wife; you are now one flesh, one heart, one soul, now and forever." the Septon said.




The wedding feast was large, and she honestly had fun; Renly was charming, kind, and had a good sense of humor. They danced several times, and every time there was a smile on his face like he truly loved her, but she knew that that was just a mummery, and she was glad for it. They shared the bed together that night, but nothing happened.




Renly spent another two days in Highgarden before he finally had to ride out to meet with the nobles around the Reach; only some managed to come to the wedding due to it being so sudden. Loras and Jon being his Kingsguard, would accompany Renly on this journey; Margaery knew there was little threat in the Reach for them, but she still worried.




She was standing in the courtyard with her ladies and father, saying farewell to the group of riders that will depart in mere moments. Renly was in his full battle plate with a helm adorned with a pair of golden antlers while Loras and Jon wore their usual armor.




"Safe journey, husband, and come back to me quickly," Margaery said to Renly.




"I will, my love, I promise," Renly said and kissed her cheek.




She turned to Loras, "Stay safe, don't do something stupid while you go and talk to the lords."




"I won't, for who do you take me for, little sister? You have my word," Loras said with his usual confidant smile.




And then came time for Jon. "Take care and please come back safe," Margaery said almost pleadingly.




"You have nothing to worry about. We are just visiting few castles to speak to their lords; there is no real danger there," Jon tried to reassure her.




"I know," Margaery sighed. "Just promise me you will stay safe and that you will keep them safe."




"I swear on my honor, my queen," Jon said, and she almost wanted to hit him for saying the last part. She will need to get used to him calling her queen instead of Margaery now.




"Lord hand, I entrust you with taking care of the remaining preparations," Renly said to her father as he goes on his horse.




"Everything is in good hands, my king," father said. Soon they all mounted their horses, and she watched as they left the castle, an additional two hundred men going with them on this journey for the King's protection.








It took them several weeks to reach the sits of all the great houses of the Reach. Renly proved to be a skilled negotiator, quickly getting support from all the noble families, Ashord, Hightower, Oakheart, and even Tarly. Lord Tarly being the hardest to persuade but, in the end, he agreed to support Renly.




"Why should I support you, my lord?" Randyll Tarly asked from behind his desk.




"He is king," Loras interjected. Renly and Jon looked at Loras before the King returned his attention to the Lord in front of him.




"Your liege lord Mace Tyrell already supports me," Renly answered.




"You are fourth in line."




"Roberts sons aren't his, they belong to Jaime Lannister, and Stannis is not made to be a ruler."




"Your brother sent me a letter claiming the same thing. What proof of the children's illegitimacy?"




"I'm all proof I need, a Baratheon always has black hair and blue eyes, Robert has them, Stannis too, and my father before us. No matter who the mother is, the Baratheon looks are always the same."




Lord Tarly looked like he was thinking about it. "Tell me why would I don't support your brother, Stannis is next in line, and he is a proven battle commander, while you are a green boy," Jon could see that the shrewd lords comment did not please the King.




"I have the Stormlands at my side, Stannis has nothing, and I already have the support of Lord Mace and several other houses. Margaery is my queen, and Ser Loras and Jon are in my Kingsguard" Lord Tarly placed a hand on his chin and looked at us both. "You are a military man, Lord Tarly, you know better than anyone that you need soldiers to win a war, and Stannis was none, he doesn't have men, and he doesn't have a fleet, few ships at best."




"What is your plan for the campaign?" Lord Tarly asked, and Jon could see that Loras was starting to get annoyed by the man's reluctance while Renly remained calm.




"March from here to the Stormlands, gather more bannermen, and stamp out any resistance, and then move towards the capital and take it. If the Lannister attack us, they would be met by a superior force and would be defeated," King Renly said, and the Lord still seemed reluctant.




"Which other houses have joined you?"




"Houses Orme, Oldflowers, Footly, and Dunn, but they were at my wedding; you are the first lord I decided to come to."








"You gave my brother Robert his only defeat; you are the best commander in the Reach: I could use a man like you; I would be honored if you joined me, and I swear your loyalty will be rewarded."




The Lord appeared to think about it some more, for a long moment, nothing by silence filled the air.




"My liege lord supports your claim, and then so will I, house Tarly will stand behind the crown," Tarly said, and the King smiled.




"Thank you, my lord; I swear you made the right choice."




"I will start gathering my men immediately, and when the time comes, me and by bannermen will join your host, my king."




Lord Tarly offered them to stay the night, and they took it, sleeping in an actual bed being better than in a tent. Dickon was charged by his father to lead them to their rooms, being the Kingsguard he and Loras would stay guard in front of the king chambers in shifts.




"So, where is Sam?" Jon asked Dickon.




"He is in the library," Dickon answered.




"I will take the first watch, Jon; you can go and rest," Loras said.




"Fine, I will come and relieve you in a few hours, you should get some sleep too," Jon replied, and Loras nodded. Dickon showed Renly and them where they would be staying the night, and Loras took his post while Jon asked Dickon to guide him to the library. Once Jon entered the library, he immediately spotted Sam sitting at one of the tables, a selection of books scattered around him.




"Sam," Jon said, and Sam screamed and fell off the chair he was sitting in. Jon chuckled a bit and went over to help his friend up.




"Jon, what are you doing here?" Sam asked, surprised.




"I'm here with King Renly; we have come to ask your father for his support in taking the throne from the Lannisters."




"King Renly? I heard something was going on at Highgarden, lady Margaery being married to him, right?"




"Aye, she has; we intend to get all of the Reach and Stormlands and march on the capital."




"So, you serve Renly now?"




"Aye, as his Kingsguard, Loras too." Sam's eyes went wide.




"You are a Kingsguard, that's great. I'm happy for you."




Jon smiled, "Thank you, Sam."




"How long will you be staying?"




"Just this night, then we will be back on the road; we got more houses to visit."




"It seems you all got what you wanted, Margaery, you, Loras, I'm glad to hear it."




"Thank you, my friend," Jon looked at the table filled with books. "What are you reading?"




"Oh, it's a book about the Dance of Dragons; I'm halfway through it already."




"By Maester Sivit?"




"Yes, you read it?"




"Aye, I did; Willas gave me the book for my twelfth name day, an interesting read."




"It is; that's why I took it."




They spent the next several hours talking and japing, the japes coming mostly from Jon. Jon liked spending time with Sam; his friend had a sharp mind and has accumulated vast knowledge over the years. If you wish to have an intellectual conversation, Sam was the man for it. It was then when he realized that the time for his shift was probably near.




"It was great talking with you, Sam, and I'm sorry to cut our time short, but I have a king to guard now."




"I understand," Sam said with a small smile. "Go, do your duty." Jon nodded and started walking towards the door.




"See you in the morning," Jon said.




"Y-Yeah, in the morning," Sam replied, and Jon left to relieve Loras. When he arrived in front of the King's chamber, his friend was standing in front of it, hand on the hilt of his sword, standing proud.




"I'm here to relieve you, lord commander," Jon said with a smirk.




"Very well, Sir Jon," Loras said with the same expression on his face.




"I never thought I would call you commander," Jon said.




"Well, get used to it; you will hear it a lot more once more join our ranks."




"Hopefully, Renly will choose men based upon their skill at arms rather than the whims of his counsel."




"As long as they are better than Blunt or Trant, they have a chance. It is up to the King who is named to the Kingsguard, but I do have several candidates on my list."




"Who?" Jon asked, intrigued.




"That's for the king and me to know; for now, you will find out if they are accepted."




"Fine, just go to your room already and let me do my job."




"Your job is to guard the king; take it seriously," Loras said in what he hoped to be a severe tone.




"I take it as seriously as you," Jon said, and Loras left for his room.




The next morning, they said their goodbyes to the Tarlys and continued onward to the next stage in their journey.








With the Reach's loyalty, secure with the exception of the Redwynes due to Horas and Hobbar were being kept as hostages in the capital by the Lannisters. The plan was for Loras to lead the vanguard when they decide to move out and for father remained in the Reach with ten thousand men to guard it in case, the Lannister tried to attack them, also close the Rose rode to cut off supplies to the capital to cause famine and weaken it.




As soon as Stormlanders heard that Renly was crowd king, they immediately started flocking to Renly's banner, the first being house Penrose and Caron, sending messengers to Renly. During this time, Renly made a new addition to the Kingsguard, surprisingly Robar Royce, the knight of the Vale appearing one day and proclaiming his loyalty to Renly and soon after Lord Bryce Caron.




Now, Renly, Lord Mace, Loras, Jon, Lord Estremont, Lord Wensington, Lord Mathis Rowan, and Lord Tarly were in the King's solar looking over a map and disusing the potential fight they would have if Stannis decided to challenge them and what will they do with Tywin Lannister.




"Robb Stark has marched south with a large army; he intends to free Lord Eddard and his sisters from the Lannisters," Renly said.




"This is good; it means he will probably side with us," Estremont said.




"I'm not certain yet, knowing Eddard, he will probably support Stannis if we don't persuade him otherwise," Renly said, but Loras knew that was unlikely considering that Renly asked Lord Eddard to support him just before the coup and was declined. Maybe the son will be more cooperative. With Jon, they might be able to persuade Robb to join them.




"Jon, do you think you could talk to your brother about joining us?" Loras asked.




"I think so, it's been years since we last saw each other, but we both want the same thing, so I believe he will join us," Jon said.




"Glad to hear it," Renly said with a smile, "My lords, I think it's enough for one night; I believe we would all profit from some rest."




"As you wish your grace," Tarly said, and all left the tent but him.




"You really think it's possible for the Starks to join us?" Loras asked Renly.




"I highly doubt it, but they can at least wear the Lannisters out."




"You think that Ned Stark's son is capable of doing that?"




"He doesn't need to win every battle. He just needs to bloody the old lion's nose."




"And then we come in and take them out."








"You don't think we should hurry this up a bit? Ned Stark might support Stannis, but he should not be a prisoner, and the same goes for his daughters."




"With an army this large, it will take us at least a month and a half to reach Kings Landing, and it will get only larger."




"I know, but still, maybe we should take this more seriously; we are at war."




"I'm taking this seriously; let me worry about the war; we let our enemies tire out, and then we strike; what's the hurry?"




"I made a promise to Jon. I would keep his sisters safe, and I failed. I should have taken them with us when we fled," Loras said, full of remorse. Ever since they found out about what happened, Jon hasn't been himself completely, he is trying to hide it, to act normal, but Loras could see through his friend's facade, and he understood somewhat; he would probably be the same if something happened to Margaery.




Renly stepped closer. "Nothing is going to happen to them; they are too valuable. Everyone knows that."




"I'm aware of that, but I still, they are children trapped in the lion's den. Jon has asked me, when we mean to rescue them, what am I supposed to say to him?




"Tell him it will be soon; when I sit on the throne, he will get his family back safe and sound," Loras knew that there was nothing more he could say about the matter; all they could do now was wait to march for the Stormlands.




"As you wish, your grace," Loras said and exited the room feeling Renly's gaze as he did so. When he left the room, he found Jon waiting for him.




"What did he say?" Jon asked with a concerned look on his face.




"He said that it will be soon, but first we need more troops,"




"We have enough troops, we can assault Kings Landing tomorrow, and the city would fall; what are we waiting for?" Jon asked.




"Stannis has pressed his claim also, Tywin has a large army in the Riverlands; if we are to win, we have to be patient, to do things accordingly." Jon frowned; it was easy to see he disapproved of how slow everything was going.




"Patient! Patient! You want me to be patient when it is the lives of my family that are at stake. Every day we linger here, it's one more day my father rots in a dungeon." Jon snarled. His anger caught Loras off guard. He did not expect it from his friend.




"I know," Loras said, bowing his head. "I understand."




"You understand?" Jon shouted, "No, you don't understand because it's not your family that is in the hands of our enemy. After years I finally got to see my father and sister, and as soon as I left, they were arrested."




Loras sighed. "You are right. I don't know how it is, but I can sympathize with you; I want to help you free them more than anyone, but this is war; we can just blindly charge at something and hope for the best."




Jon looked at Loras with sorrow in his eyes; he put his back to the wall and sat on the stone floor. "Before I left, I promised Sansa I would be there when she needs me, that I will always be there when she needs my help. What I'm doing now?"




Loras lowered himself and sat next to Jon. "We will get them out; Lord Eddard is strong. He will endure, Arya well," Loras chuckled slightly. "Arya is Arya, I doubt they are able to contain her in some room, and Sansa is stronger than you think," Loras said, trying to reassure his friend.




"I just…if something would happen to them, I would never forgive myself."




"I know it's hard, but you can't just think about the worst; there is always hope."




"Starks don't do well in the south," Jon said sadly, and Loras knew what he meant; his grandfather and uncle both died in King Landing, and his aunt died in Dorne.




"You did well in the south, better than most southerners."




"I'm not a Stark; I'm a Snow."




"Not this again," Loras said, annoyed. Every time Jon felt sad or depressed, he would go to his bastardy, claim that he is nothing more than a bastard. "Is your father, Ned Stark?"




Jon looked at him, "Yes."




"Is Robb Stark your brother?"








"Are Sansa and Arya your sisters?"








"Then you are a Stark, may not be my name, but by blood and judging from what I saw, I heard you look more like your father than Robb does. If you ask me, that story about your father and Ashara Dayne just might be true." Jon looked at him, surprised but quickly returned his gaze back to the floor.




"Ashara Dayne threw herself from a tower; the baby was a stillborn girl," Jon said sadly.




"What if the baby lived and was a boy?"




"The boy would still be a bastard."




"The boy is the most stubborn fool in the world."




"Fuck off," Jon said.




"The boy who can't see when a girl is smitten with him."




"Stop it."




"The boy that pissed himself when he was ten."




"That's enough!" Jon said, agitated.




"Enough of your melancholy; we will get your father and sisters back, win this war and get back to me throwing your ass to the dirt."




"I think you got that reversed," Jon said, his face softening.




"Maybe, but until then, I suggest we grab something to drink, Robar is taking this shift, so the two of us are free for the night." Jon looked at him, skeptically, "Don't look at me like that, let's go. Wine will help you get the bad thoughts out of your head."




"Fine, lead the way," Loras smiled and proceeded to walk to his room with Jon.




The gods must have heard his words that night, but instead of granting him that wish, they decided to play a cruel joke. Loras was sitting with his father and Margaery in the hands solar when the Maester arrived with a message from Kings Landing.




"What's it says?" Mace asked.




"I think it's best for you to read it for yourself, my lord," Lomys said and handed father the scroll.




Lord Mace's face went pale as he read the message.




"Father, what is it?" Margaery asked in a panicked tone, but father did not answer.




"Father?" Loras asked.




"L-Lord Eddard had been executed for treason," Mace Tyrell said, and Loras could not believe what he heard. There was no way that this was true; the Lannisters would never kill their most valuable prisoner.




"A lie, a ruse of some sort," Loras said.




"They would never, the Lannisters would never," Margaery said, stunned. The only thought going through Lora's head now was Jon, how he would react. We waited here too long, and now a good man is dead because of it.




"Jon," Margaery said, a look of despair and worry on her face. After a long moment of silence, Mace spoke.




"He needs to know; we can't keep this from him."




"You are right; I will tell him," Loras said.




"No, I will," Margaery interjected.




"Then we both will," Loras said, and Margaery nodded; they soon left their fathers solar and headed towards Jon's room. They entered just as he was about to go replace Robar.




"Margaery, Loras, what's going on?" Jon asked. They stayed silent, not knowing how to tell what they just learned. "Margaery?" Jon asked, and Margaery ran to him, embracing him, tears started flowing down her cheeks.




"I'm sorry, Jon," Margaery said.




"Sorry for what?" Jon asked, confused, "What is wrong, what has happened?"




"Jon, your father, he, he was killed in the capital." Jon's eyes went wide in shock.








"I'm sorry, Jon," Margaery said again.




"This is not true," Jon said.




"A raven just arrived with the news; Lord Eddard was executed for treason by order of King Joffrey. I'm sorry." Jon did not say anything. He just stared at Loras. Loras walked over to Jon and Margaery and embraced them, Jon not reacting, just staring into nothingness.


Chapter Text

Loras stood with Garlan and Willas, looking over the castle walls at the army that was camped outside. A formidable host that would soon march to war. They will take the throne from the Lannisters and make them pay for their crimes, the murder of Lord Eddard in particular.




Garlan turned to Loras. "How is he?" his brother asked in a concerned tone.




For the first few days, Jon was almost out of it; he barely ate or slept, spending most of his time in his room with only the wolves for company. The wolves only allowing Margaery and him into the room. Now it's been weeks since the terrible news about the fate of Jon's father, and his friend was taking it as you could expect, he returned to his duties as a Kingsguard, but everyone could see that he wasn't well. "He's hurt, angry, he is blaming the Lannisters but also Renly for it. He lashed out at Renly yesterday, telling him that only a coward waits this long to step in a fight.




"How did Renly react?" Willis asked.




"Renly just had him excused from the room."




"He is not angry at one of his Kingsguard lashed out at him?"




"A bit, but he knows it is not easy for someone to lose a father; Renly lost him when he was a boy and grew up without him. Jon needs to blame someone for his loss."




"It won't get easier from here," Garlan said.




"We received word that Robb Stark had defeated and captured Jaime Lannister and freed Riverrun from the siege," Willas said.




"When?" Loras asked.




"Around the time of lord Eddard's execution. The reports say that he was around twenty thousand men with him," Willas answered. Robb Stark captured Jaime Lannister that gives him an option of trading him for Jon's sisters. He is probably tempted to kill the Kingslayer to get back at the Lannisters, but he will not do it if he is smart. Robb must be feeling the same way Jon does, even worse because, unlike Jon, he spent his entire life with their father.




"We cannot change what has been done, but we can make sure it does not repeat again," Garlan said.




"If Robb manages to continue with his victories, he just might cripple Tywin for good," Willas said.




"Aye, maybe. Let us hope that the gods hear it and grant our wish this time," Loras said.




Loras finished his talk with his brothers and went inside the keep looking for Jon. He first went to Jon's room but did not find him there, next he went to see if he is in the great hall, but Jon could not be found there either. Loras ran into his father and mother and asked them if they saw Jon, but they said no. Then he finally remembered where his friend could be the Godswood. Jon always spent more time there than anyone else in this castle; that was the Northman in him.




His instincts proved him right, and he found Jon sitting next to the Three Singers, both wolves at his side, Lady laying on the ground while Ghost sat next to Jon, who ran his hand through the wolf's fur. The look on Jon's face was sad, hurt; he stared at the ground like he was not even there.




Jon must have heard Loras approach him because he lifted his head and looked at him.




"Hello," Loras said.




"Hello," Jon replied.




"How are you holding up?"




"As well as the last time you asked."




"I'm just checking up on you. Can you blame me for being worried?"




Jon sighed, "You are right, thank you."




"You are welcome. How long have you been here?"




"Long enough. It soothes my heart," Jon paused. "I remember back in Winterfell when father would take Ice and go into out Godswood, sit next to the weirwood tree and polish the blade; he said the silence there helped clear the mind."




"And does it?"




"A bit, but not much."




"I know it's hard, but you have to move on; you can't let this consume you."




"It's not me I think about; it's Sansa and Arya; they had to watch as their father was executed. I'm old enough to cope with the hurt, but they are just children. What if Joffrey decided to kill them too?"




"I don't think he will now," Loras answered.




Jon looked at him, confused, "What do you mean?"




"For once, I brought you some good news. Your brother has freed Riverrun and has taken Jaime Lannister as his prisoner."




Jon jumped up, both wolves looking at him as he did. "You lie."




"Why would I lie about that? With the Kingslayer in his custody, your brother has leverage over the Lannisters. If Cersei and Tywin want to keep Jaime alive, they must keep Arya and Sansa alive. If something happens to them, his head will roll, and Cersei would lose her lover and Tywin, his firstborn son. Their best option is to demand a trade."




"Even if that happens, the war will continue; Robb will not rest until he has Joffrey's head. There is a saying in the North, the North remembers, they never forget."




"Well, the war has started well for everyone but the Lannisters; your brother just might defeat and capture Tywin next," Loras said reassuringly. "If that happens, Joffrey would have to surrender; he would not have anyone left to fight for him."




"You are right, but my brother is new to war as we are; one victory does not make you a conqueror."




"Maybe not, but it's still better than a defeat, and with the Riverrun secure, the Riverlords will join your brother, and then his host will outnumber the old lions considerably."




"You are right there, but we can't underestimate Tywin; he knows war all too well and will do whatever it takes to keep his blood on the throne."




"Aye, that is true, "Loras said and looked at the wolves. "Come, I think you been here for far too long; by the looks of it, you almost left a handprint in Ghost fur how much you were petting him."




"Let's go," Jon said. As they were making their way through the castle corridors with the wolves behind them, a thought came across Loras's mind. "I meant to ask you something."




Jon looked at him with a raised eyebrow, "What is it?"




"You have taken the vows of a Kingsguard, and with it the vow of celibacy. Are you still going to be with Margaery?" Loras asked, and Jon gave him an odd look.




"I'm a knight, and I always take my vows seriously, but I can't just leave Margaery; she means too much to me, and considering that Caron is still the lord of Nightsong and a Kingsguard, I think our vows are rather flexible."




"Whatever you do is up to you but considering what I heard from Garlan, Margaery would probably kill you after a week if you went celibate," Loras said with a grin.




Jon growled, "I should really tell Garlan to keep his mouth shut or take a room on the other side of the castle, as far away from him as possible."




"Just be careful, she is queen now, and even more eyes are on her now."




"I know, no need to worry about us; we have been careful so far."




"Yeah, and pretty much the entirety of Highgarden knows it."




"So, four people know our secret, so what?"




"When more people know a secret, it's not a secret anymore. Its information." Jon looked at him, surprised.




"From whom did you steal that quote?"




"Why does every time I say something smart you think I stole it from somewhere?"




"Because I spent my life with you, and I know you too well. So, tell me, who was it, your grandmother, some Maester?"




Jon stared at Loras, and after a moment, Loras gave in to the cold stare. "Willas, it was Willas," Loras said, admitting defeat.




"I knew it," Jon said with a small smile. It was good to see him smile again. Ever since they were children, it was always like this, Jon would get upset over something, brood it the corner, Loras would come to him, talk to him, manage to cheer him up somewhat, and soon he would be back to normal but Loras knew that Eddard's death would haunt Jon for quite some time.




"Hey, have you been having those dreams again?" Jon told him about strange dreams that started shortly after he got the Direwolves. He would see himself running through the woods, hunting, and would even sometimes feel the taste of blood in the mouth.




"Not in a few days. I don't know what they are, but I'm certain they aren't normal dreams."




"What, you think you are becoming a wolf?" Loras asked jokingly.




"Maybe, but not exactly that. I remember Old Nan telling us stories about wargs and greenseers."




"And you believe in those bedside tales?"




Jon looked at the two wolves. "I don't know, but Direwolves were a myth not so long ago, and here they are now, in Highgarden of all places."




"Just tell me when you start seeing the future; we could use that to place good wagers," Loras said, and they both laughed at the thought.




"We should probably stop with those; it's getting unhealthy."




"But it is fun, and plus getting coin from watching someone who annoys you get thrown into the dirt is a good thing."




King Renly




The news of Robb Stark marching south to free his father did not surprise him but what did surprise him was that the lad managed to win two victories against the Lions, capture Jaime Lannister, and wholly destroy one Lannister army all in several days. What infuriated him somewhat was the news of Robb Stark declaring himself the new king in the North, which does pose a problem; the best solution for that would be to keep to this original plan to let the Starks and Lannisters deal with each other, and when they are at their breaking point he will swoop in with his vast army and deal with them for good.




The other thing that concerned him was about to be resolved as soon as Jon Snow arrives. He had his suspicions about Margaery and Jon at the tourney, but it was not until Loras drunkenly hinted at their relationship one night after the Tyrells left that his suspicions were confirmed. Loras is a good man and lover, but he does tend to let his tongue roll when he has one too many drinks.




Renly heard a knock on the door, "Enter," Renly said, and Jon Snow made his way into the room.




"You asked for me, your grace," Jon said.




"Yes, I did, come, sit. I wish to talk to you."




"If this is about the lashing out, I'm sorry about that, your grace, I-I was angry."




Renly looked at the man in front of him with pity. "No, it's not that, but I do understand that it's not easy for you; I wanted to talk about something else with you."




Jon looked at him, inquisitively. "What is it?"




"You and Margaery, "Renly said, and Jon immediately tensed.




"How do you…,"




"Know?" Renly interjected, "When you spend as much time in King Landing as I did, you tend to notice small things," Jon looked at him with a hint of fear in his eyes.




"What do you intend to do?" Jon asked.




"As you know already, Loras is the one I love; I married Margaery to ensure the support of House Tyrell and their bannermen; I will not pry into her business, it's her decision with who she is with, but there is one thing that I will make clear," Renly said, the last part in a much severe tone.




"Which is?"




"I don't want you fathering a child with Margaery. I will not have a bastard pretending to be my heir. Also, I'm quite certain that after this is over, people will pay more attention to how the royal children look, and having a Stark like a child with a Baratheon father would immediately raise questions. The queen having someone else's children is what caused all of this to begin with," Renly leaned across his desk. "Have I made myself clear?"




"You have my word, your grace," Jon sighed. "I promised myself that I would never father a bastard as my father did, and I intend to keep that promise," Jon said, and Renly could see that his words were genuine, that he genuinely meant it. Renly felt pity for the man; being the bastard son of the most honorable man alive must take its toll. But if Robb Stark refuses to bend the knee, he could easily legitimize Jon and make him the true heir to Winterfell and the North. Then he would have a lord of Winterfell that would be solely loyal to him.




"I take it she had been drinking moon tea so far?"




"She has your grace."




Renly nodded, "Good."




"Would that be all your grace?" Jon asked.




"Just one more thing, if you ever disrespect me like that again, you will lose your place on the Kingsguard."




"I understand your grace; it won't happen again."




Renly motioned his hand to allow Jon to leave. "You may go."




"As you wish your grace," Jon said and left the room. Renly was pleased by what he heard; he knew that Jon's honor would stop him from having a bastard with Margaery, but he wasn't so sure about the other thing, that worm Baelish did say that the Starks had quick tempers, and it seems he was right about that. Maybe he could use that in some way.




Time passed, and he was ready to move out; with the Reach and the Stormlands, his army numbered around a hundred thousand, more than enough to conquer Westeros all over again. Now all that remained was for him to pick the time to strike. If Dorne joined him, that would be a great boon, but he knew that the Martell's had no love for his family and that their chances of joining him were small.








Jon hated the waiting; Renly took his time with tourneys and feasts while the real war was being fought by his brother Robb in the Riverlands. "Maybe he should join him," Jon thought but quickly dismissed that idea; his brother was fighting Tywin, and to reach the capital, Robb would first have to go through the Lannister line. Renly also had a much larger army than Robb.




His days became a routine, guard the king or queen, spend time with Loras, Garlan, Willas, and if he was lucky to spend some private time with Margaery, which was getting more difficult with all the people that are now occupying the castle. They spend the most time with each other when he is guarding her, which did surprise him a bit after the conversation he had with Renly, the king did say he would not intervene, but Jon did expect at least to be put away from Margaery, which did not happen.




It was an afternoon, and he was guarding Margaery when she asked him to come into her room. Margaery sat in front of a looking glass and started brushing her hair.




"Nothing yet?" Margaery asked.




"No, still nothing," Jon said as he sat in a chair next to the window.




"It just a matter of time; you will be on the march soon."




"I would love to believe that, but considering what Renly was done so far, I'm more certain he just wants to rule the Reach and not the seven kingdoms."




"Well, the war will come to us eventually."




"Scared?" Jon asked.




"No." She replied.




"No? "Why is that?" Jon asked, intrigued.




Margaery put her comb down on the table, got up from the chair, and walked up to him, sitting down in his lap. "Because I have a brave Kingsguard to protect me," Margaery said with a sweet smile; her smile could always brighten his day.




"A Queensguard then," Jon said with a smirk.




"That would be nice, to be the sole ruler of the seven kingdoms," Margaery said jokingly.




"What if you could be?"




"To be like Rhaenyra, I wish."




"If you would be, I would be your fateful guard."




"My brave knight of love," Margaery said and kissed him.




"I took my vows; I'm not allowed to have a relationship," Jon said.




"A relationship is based on emotions; if you truly love someone, you will overcome any obstacle to be with them," Jon looked her in the eyes and smiled softy; it never ceases to bring him joy whenever she says something like that. It truly made him believe that they would be together forever. "And you are also good in bed."




Jon chuckled. "What would you do if I went celibate or left?" Margaery gave him an odd look.




"Where is this coming from?"




"I told you I took a vow," Jon said smugly, and she laughed.




"Like you would last a month without me."




"You would not fare better."




"Well, I know that won't happen because we will stay together; celibate or not, I would love you either way," Margaery said.




"Me too," Jon responded. Jon heard the clanking of armor coming towards the door, and he and Margaery quickly got up, Margaery sitting in the chair. Moments later, the door opened, and in came Ser Robar. Jon and Robar became decently acquainted since he joined the Kingsguard.




"Your grace," Robar said and bowed to Margaery, then he looked at Jon. "See, Jon, the king requests your presents."




Jon nodded, "I will be there," he looked at Margaery, "Your grace."




"Ser Jon," Margaery said, and he left with Robar to the kings solar. There he was met by the king, lord Mace, Lord Tarly, and Loras.




"Your grace, my lords," Jon said as he bowed to them. Renly and lord Mace both had smiles on their faces while lord Tarly gave him a strange look as if he were looking for something.




"Ser Jon, right on time," king Renly said.




"You asked for me?"




"I did," Renly said, "I wanted to personally inform you that we will be moving out tomorrow," Jon's eyes went wide.




"Finally," he thought.




"We will move out and meet up with the rest of the forces at Bitterbridge and will move out for the Stormlands from there," said lord Tarly.




"Excellent," was all Jon would say, his excitement getting the better of him.




"The lord commander will lead the vanguard with me," the king said, "the center will be commanded by lord Tarly and the rear by Lord Estremont. Lord Mace will stay behind with ten thousand men to guard Highgarden in case of an attack.




"A solid plan," Jon said.




"It is," lord Mace said.




By the next day, the army departed Highgarden and was on the march towards Bitterbridge. The sheer size of the army did make them travel slower, but that was not an issue. It took ten days to reach Bitterbridge; there, Renly decided to set up camp. More lords and their bannermen joined them, and they now had sixty thousand infantry and thirty thousand cavalries at their disposal. Without the Redwyne fleet, their naval capabilities were almost nonexistent, but the king did not care much about that; the strength of his army was more than enough.




More men were named to the Kingsguard, now called the Rainbow guard, men like Emmon Cuy and Guyard Morrigan; the final spot was always intended for Ser Barristan Selmy, Renly hoping that the veteran knight would join him as other of his countrymen did, but he didn't, the old knight simply disappeared.




Jon sat with Loras, Margaery, and king Renly in the royal tent, eating their diner and listening to Renly and Lora's talk.




"Are all of the bannermen here?" Margaery asked.




"Yes, they are," Renly said as he took his wine cup and took a sip from it.




"Ninety thousand, no one had seen such host since the days of Aegon, the conqueror," Loras said.




"Aye, but you remember what Aegon did to that host as the field of fire," Jon said.




Loras scoffed, "The Lannisters don't have dragons, armies win wars now, and we have the largest one."




"You are right, Loras. With all my bannermen here, I have decided to honor the occasion by throwing a tourney in their name," Renly said. Jon looked at the king, raising an eyebrow.




"Do you think it's such a good idea, your grace? I mean, we are at war; you would risk getting your fighters hurt before any real battle even starts," Jon pointed out.




"Jon does have a point," Margaery said.




"It will only be a melee, and you have nothing to worry about. I assume you will be participating, ser Jon," Renly said. Jon thought about it for a moment; he usually would never decline an offer to join a tourney but considering what happened the last time and the fact they were marching into battle, he decided to go against the king's wishes.




"No, your grace, I will not," Renly looked at him disappointingly.




"Why not?"




"As I said, we risk getting hurt just before the battle; I wish to be at my full strength once we face against our enemies."




Renly leaned back in his chair. "Shame, I truly wanted to see you fight again, but I will respect your wishes."




"You will see me fight, on the battlefield but not on the tourney ground," Jon said, determent.




Renly took another sip from his cup. "I look forward to that."




The melee started two days later; the participants included everyone from Loras to Ronnet Connington. The fighting was fierce; Jon was not there to back Loras up as they usually did, but his friend was doing great, using a long axe instead of his usual sword. In the crowd of men fighting, he could make out a tall figure in heavy armor wielding a Morningstar, bashing everyone who stood in the way. The king cheered Loras on during the whole thing.




Jon and Bryce stood guard next to the king and Margaery watching as the fighting went in, with every second less and fewer participants remained. The knight in blue armor wielding a Morningstar went for Ser Ronnet. Jon knew that the knight in blue armor was not a man, but a woman, Brienne of Tarth; he met her briefly when they were still at Highgarden. There was some commotion involving her, which Lord Tarly settled. Jon felt pity for her; it was not her fault that the gods decided to make her as they did. Ser Ronnet fought valiantly but was unseated at the end.




Now it was Loras against the tall woman. Loras fought, but Brienne's ferocity won her the day, Loras yielding in the end. As a reward for the victory, she asked to join the Rainbow guard. To Jon's surprise, Renly granted this and gave her the final spot on his Kingsguard. "She is a good fighter, that much no one could deny," Jon thought as he looked around and saw that the knights were not too pleased with the king's decision.




"Your Grace!" a knight said as he approached them. "I have the honor to bring you the Lady Catelyn Stark, sent as an envoy by her son Robb, Lord of Winterfell." Jon looked at the king, who had a look of interest on his face, while Jon could only feel surprised.




"Lord of Winterfell and King in the North, ser," Lady Catelyn said as she came from behind the knight. She has not changed much from when he saw her last, the Tully red hair and blue eyes he remembered all too well. The king exchanged pleasantries with lady Catelyn before he offered her to refresh herself. Jon was almost glad that she had not paid any attention to him until she turned her gaze to Bryce and him. Lady Catelyn stared at him, eyes wide like she just saw a ghost. The king looked at her and then to him, an amused look on his face.




"Quiet the resemblance, don't you think, my lady," Renly said. "A spitted image of his father."




"Jon," Catelyn said, and Jon could hear the disgust in her voice.




"Jon has been among the first knights on my Kingsguard; he has proven more than capable fighter. You could say that we are Robert and Eddard come again, to unseat a vile king and bring peace to the land." Lady Catelyn did not say anything. She just nodded to the king and took her leave.




That night he sat beside Robar and Bryce; Lord Caswells keep was small, but it did not need to be big to have an abundant feast. People were drinking and eating, the bards were singing, and Bryce had talked Robar into juggling knives. Men were swearing vows and telling how they would be the first through the gates of Kings Landing. Lady Catelyn sat with the king between Lord Mathis Rowan and Ser Jon Fossoway. He could see her talking with them and the king, and every so often, she would look in his direction.




He had to give it to Renly. He did a good job pretending to truly love Margaery, even feeding her a morsel or kissing her on the cheek, and she was as good at the mummery as Renly was. Soon Renly and lady Catelyn left the great hall. When they returned, Renly had a look of fury on his face.




"Marshal the men, we ride for Storms End at once," Renly shouted.




"What has happened?" Loras asked, concerned.




"My brother is besieging Storm's End; a rider just came with the news."




"It will take time for the whole army to march there, your grace," said Brienne.




"That's why I will be taking only the cavalry; the footmen will remain here until I deal with my brother."




"As you wish, your grace," said lord Tarly and left to get the troops ready. Soon they all went to prepare for the ride ahead. Each member of the Rainbow guard put his armor on and met the king at his pavilion. When Randyll Tarly arrived with the news that all twenty thousand riders were ready to depart, Renly and Loras said their goodbye to Margaery and left with the other royal guards leaving him with Margaery. He could see it in her eyes, the fear, the uncertainty. He took her hands.




"I will return, me, Loras, Renly, we will all return safely."




"How can you say that with certainty when you are riding into battle," Margaery said.




"I'm not certain of anything, but I know that I will take more than some wannabe king to keep us apart."




"Don't risk yourself; stay behind if you can," Margaery pleaded.




"I don't know if I can; my place is with the king. If he is in the vanguard, that's where I would be."




"Just...just come back to me alive."




"I will, I swear; Jon said as he tugged a stray lock of her hair behind the ear, and she gave him one last kiss before he departed, hoping that this would not be the last kiss they share.








Catelyn went with king Renly's host towards the Stormlands and Storms' end. If she manages to persuade him to ally with her and her son, the Lannisters will lose quickly, and they would avenge Ned and bring her daughters back to her. Having the bastard around only increased her hurt; every time she saw him, she would see Ned, the boy looking more like Ned now than any of her children. She knew he would be with the Tyrells, but she never expected him to be on Renly's Kingsguard.




She could catch the bastards throwing glances at her, but she just ignored them. After a long and hard day or riding, they decided to stop and make a camp for the night and continued in the morning. Her tent was set up, and Ser Robar was assigned to be her guard. So far, the bastard stayed away from her, so when he came into her tent that night, she was more than a little surprised.




"Lady Catelyn," the boy said in a respectful tone and bowed.




"What do you want?" Catelyn asked.




"I came here to talk to you." It was only then that she saw the wolves behind him. One was large and white, the runt of the litter, but the other she recognized instantly; it was Lady.




"Why is my daughter's wolf with you?"




"Lord Eddard and Sansa agreed that I should watch over the wolf while they were in the capital, and once I arrived, both Ghost and Lady were given to me."




"She doesn't belong to you; I will bring her back with me where she belongs," Catelyn said in a raised tone.




"Forgive me, my lady, but I can't, Lord Eddard and Sansa entrusted me with her safety, and I intend to give her back to Sansa personally once this is over," Catelyn could see the stern, determined look on the bastards face, the same look Ned had every time someone tried to persuade him against some decision he thought was right.




Catelyn knew she would not win the wolf back, so she decided to ask what he wanted. "Talk about what?"




"You wish to make allies out of the North and south, you wish to free Sansa and Arya, and I wish the same thing. I could help you with your plan."




Catelyn looked at him, "Do you?"




"They are my sisters as much Robb is my brother; I wish nothing more than to see them safe again and to see those responsible for our father's death punished."




"Why should I listen to you?"




"Listen to me or not, know that I love my sisters, and I will do everything in my power to protect them." Catelyn looked in the bastard's eyes; they looked so much like Ned's, hard as iron, cold and judgmental.




"Renly is one with the army and with the capabilities to wage war; what can you do?"




"I serve as his guard; he will listen to me."




"Kings rarely listen to anyone boy, why would one listen to a bastard?"




"Because I'm loyal, I swore an oath to King Renly and, on my honor, I will keep it," Jon said, and Catelyn dammed him; he even sounds like Ned. She could not bear the hurt any longer.




"Leave," she said in a stern and sad tone. "Leave now."




He looked at her with a cold expression on his face. "Fine," Jon said and took his leave. He stopped at the entrance. "I gave Sansa a promise that I will be there for her when she needs me the most, and I intend to keep that promise," Jon said without even turning to look at her, and once done, he left. A part of her hated the bastard and wanted nothing to do with him, but she also hoped that what he said was true and that Renly would genuinely listen to him.








They rode as fast as they could to reach and relieve the siege of the seat of House Baratheon. Ser Cortnay  Penrose was the commander of the garrison there, and the king was sure that the man would never yield to Stannis in which he was proven right when the keep finally came into view, the crowned stag of House Baratheon waving proudly over the ancient walls.




Lady Catelyn managed to persuade King Renly and Stannis to parley, but that did not do anything, both brothers refusing to back down. Blood will be spilled tomorrow, and the victor will be decided; the logical assumption was that Renly will win due to the strength of numbers.




He and Emmon were standing in front of the king tent when they heard a scream from the king tent. Soon they and some men at arms came to see the king died in the arms of Brienne and drenched with the king's blood; Ser Robar gave a cry of horror. "Wicked woman!" screamed Ser Emmon. "Away from him, you vile creature!"




"Gods be good, Brienne, why?" asked Ser Robar.




Brienne looked up from her king's body. The rainbow cloak that hung from her shoulders had turned red where the king's blood had soaked into the cloth. "I . . . I . . . "




"You'll die for this." Ser Emmon snatched up a long-handled battle axe from the weapons piled near the door. "You'll pay for the king's life with your own!"




"NO!" Catelyn Stark screamed.




Everything was happening so fast, Emmon attacked, but Brienne took the king's sword and fought back against Emmon and the men at arms. He stayed back, not knowing what to do. As he as reaching for the hilt of his sword be was stopped by lady Catelyn.




"Robar, no, listen." Catelyn seized his arm. "You do her wrong; it was not her. Help her! Hear me, it was Stannis." Robar looked at the woman. Stannis, how could Stannis be responsible for this?




"Stannis? How?" Robar asked.




"I do not know. Sorcery, some dark magic, there was a shadow, a shadow." Lady Catelyn said, and for a moment, Robar thought she was mad but then remembered that Stannis had a sorceress with him. Could she be responsible?




He looked at Brienne once more, who was still fighting; he could not think of any reason why she would do this thing.




"She is innocent, Robar. You have my word, on my husband's grave and my honor as a Stark!" Robar looked at Catelyn once more and saw it on her face, she was telling the truth. Soon more men came into the tent, all coming for Brienne.




"I will hold them," Robar said. "Get her away." He turned, took his sword, and joined the fight. Lady Catelyn took a brazier and knocked Emmon out. The two women managed to leave while he bought them time. Once the lord commander and Ser Jon arrived, he stopped, Ser Loras looking at the king's body in horror.




"No!" Loras shouted. "No!" Loras went to the body and took it into his arms.




"What happened?" Jon asked.




"That whore killed the king," Emmon said as he got up.




"Who?" Jon asked.




"Brienne," Emmon answered. Jon looked at him, not believing Emmon.




"Are you certain?"




"She stood with the body, blood all over her hands."




Jon looked at Robar. "If this is true, then why did you defend her?"




"Because Brienne wasn't capable of doing this, Lady Catelyn claims that a shadow made out of some sorcery killed the king, and I believe her."




"Sorcery?" Jon asked.




"Stannis," Robar said simply. Robar could hear sobbing coming from Ser Loras.




Jon looked at him and Emmon, not knowing who to believe.




"It was the whore, I swear it," Emmon said.




"Your duty was to protect him!" Loras shouted angrily.




"Lord commander we..." Robar started.




"You were supposed to keep him safe!"




"It's the bitches' fault," Emmon said.




"You failed, so it's your fault," Loras said as he let go of the king's body, took out his sword, and attacked Emmon. Emmon did not have time to react before he was cut down by Ser Loras. With his final breath, Emmon still claimed that it was Brienne that killed the king.




"Loras, stop!" Jon shouted.




Robar managed to pull his sword out just in time to block a strike aimed at him. He tried to defend himself, but the fury of Ser Loras was too much, and before he knew it, he lost his weapon and was on the ground, Loras's sword coming towards him. At that moment, he thought that this was it, this was how he was going to die by a blow from Loras Tyrell, but the finishing strike never came; instead, it was blocked by a sword belonging to Jon.




"Loras, stop this madness!" Jon shouted. Loras did not respond. He only pulled his sword back to attack Jon. Jon defended himself but did not attack. "Stop this!" Jon said, once more. They fought, swords clashing; the expression on Loras's face was one of pure fury and hatred. Jon tried, but he was holding back too much, and that proved to be a mistake. Like he did, Robar Loras disarmed Jon and kicked him to the ground, lifting his sword over his head for the finishing move.




"Loras," Jon said with terror on his face. Loras looked at Jon, lying there on the ground defenses. At that moment, clarity seemed to have been restored in the lord commander.




"Jon," Loras said with barely a whisper. Loras looked at Robar and then to Jon once again. "What I'm doing?" Loras said and lowered his sword dropping it on the ground, falling on his knees soon after. "Jon, I'm sorry," Loras said with tears in his eyes.




Jon lifted himself off the ground and loved to Loras, "It's alright."




"I-I almost killed you, how can you say that?"




"Because I know how it is to lose someone you care about."




"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Loras said, through his tears. Jon did not say a word and embraced Loras, the lord commander crying on his friend's shoulder.

Chapter Text

With Renly's death, they knew it was just a matter of time before all the men who came with them declared themselves for Stannis, so Jon, Loras, Robar, and those who still followed them quickly made their way back to Bitterbridge, but not before they allowed Loras to bury Renly in a spot in the woods.




They thought that Stannis would have them executed for being members of his brother's guard, but no such action was taken. All the while, Loras was stricken with grief, and Jon understood; he even started blaming himself for Renly's death. Loras regretted killing Emmon is his rage, while Robar continued to claim that it was not Brienne that killed the king but Stannis. Robar stated that by saving him from Loras, he now owned a life debt to Jon, which Jon shrugged off. When they finally arrived, they were greeted by worried Margaery.




"What happened? Is the battle over?" Margaery asked as they got off their horses.




"No, there was no battle," Jon said sadly. "Renly is dead."




Margaery gasped. "How?"




"Robar claims Stannis killed Renly, while ser Emmon claimed is was Brienne,"




"I don't know her, but she seemed honest in her intention to serve Renly, and would Stannis really commit fratricide just to gain more men?"




"I don't know. Robar says that Lady Catelyn saw a shadow killing Renly."




"A shadow?"




"We aren't certain ourselves; all we know is that Stannis had some kind of sorceress with him when we parleyed."








"Yes," said Jon.




"It's my fault; I should have been there for him; I could have saved him," Loras said.




Margaery walked up to her brother and embraced him. "You don't know that, if this was truly magic, then you could have died. Also, I could not endure losing you."




Jon followed Margaery, Loras, Garlan, and Robar to Margaery's tent, where they were seated at the large table, silence filling the ear. After a long moment, Garlan spoke.




"What do we do now?"




"I don't know," said Jon.




"What are our options?" asked Margaery.




"We can stay out of the war; joining Stannis is out of the question; maybe we could join with Jon's brother," Loras said.




"I don't know if it's up to us to decide," Garlan said.




"And what should we do then?" Loras asked.




"I don't know," Garlan answered. As they continued to contemplate their options, lord Tarly walked into the tent clad in full plate.




"Lord Tarly," Jon said with a bow of his head.




"What can we do for you?" asked Margaery.




"As you are aware, there are many soldiers in this camp that belong to the houses that now follow Stannis; I came here to ask what you intend to do with them."




"We could..." Jon started but was cut off by Loras.




"They betrayed their king, have them all killed or captured," Loras said, anger in his eyes.




"Loras," Jon said. Jon knew how his friend felt, but these men were not guilty of any crime; they were just following who they saw as their liege. Jon looked at Loras, hurt, hate, and lust for vengeance all presented on his face. Jon knew that nothing he could say now would dismay Loras; he could just hope that lord Tarly went easy on the poor men.




"They swore to follow Renly, and they betrayed him; they deserve to die for that." Lord Tarly did not say a word; he only nodded and left the tent. Soon the crays of battle echoed through the camp, lord Tarly making sure all of the Stannis supporters were either dead or in cages in a matter of hours. When an envoy from Stannis came demanding an oath of fealty, Loras immediately executed him.




Several more days past and some of the lords started leaving to return to their keeps. Margaery and Jon advised Loras to return to Highgarden to speak with Lord Mace on what to do but to their surprise, he was the one who arrived to greet them, lady Olenna with him.




"Father, what are you doing here?" Margaery asked, surprised.




"We heard what happened, so we came immediately," Mace answered.




Margaery looked at her grandmother. "Grandmother too?"




"Yes, I did child, I was concerned," Olenna said. Then a man's voice was heard coming for the carriage from where Olenna came out seconds before.




"Lady Margaery, you have my condolences," said Petyr Baelish as he stepped out and stood next to Mace.




"Lord Baelish?" Jon, Margaery, and Loras asked in surprise.








"What are you doing here?" Loras asked.




"I have been sent to negotiate with house Tyrell by Lord Tyrion."




"You were sent by the false king," Jon growled.




"No, lord Tyrion sent me, and you too have my condolences, Ser Jon, lord Eddard was a good man."




"Then why did no one help him?" Jon said, gripping his sword.




"Lord Eddard asked Janos Slynt and his city watch for aid in his coup, but the lord commander betrayed him in the last moment. Lady Sansa and I pleaded for lord Stark's life, and we thought that king Joffrey would let him live but what happened no one could predict. I tried to stop it, I swear, but the guards stopped me, and I watched as Lord Eddard died." Baelish said in a sincere tone, and Jon wanted to believe him.




"What about my sisters?" Jon asked.




"Lady Sansa is safe, I assure you that, but no one has seen lady Arya since Lord Eddard's arrest."




"That means she escaped," Margaery said enthusiastically.




"Gods, I hope so," Jon said.




"If you were so supportive of the Starks, then why are you not In chains as well?" Garlan asked.




"I had to swear my oath to king Joffrey to ensure that there was someone to watch over Lady Sansa. I spent my youth in Riverrun, and we were weary close. I did what I had to do to protect her daughter when no one else could."




Jon knew about Petyr being fostering with the Tullys, and he seemed on good terms with his father when they first met. To Jon, it appeared like lord Baelish really did try his best to help his father and sister. But the fact that he was sent here by their enemies unnerved him. "Why would they send him here?" Jon asked himself.




"I suggest we find somewhere to sit, my lords, or you will have to carry me," Olenna said. "Loras take care of the horses, would you," Loras nodded and did as asked by his grandmother. Margaery leads the way to her pavilion. As he and Robar were about to enter, Lord Baelish told them that they would have to wait outside, that this was between him and the Tyrells, unfortunately. Jon wanted to disagree and to enter, but the look that lord Mace gave him told Jon to stay outside. Lord Baelish walked inside and closed the tent's entrance, leaving Jon and Robar outside. Jon had a bad feeling about this; something was wrong.




"I don't like this," Robar said.




"Neither do I," Jon replied.








As they entered the pavilion, her grandmother asked them to talk in private, so Margaery walked them over to a section of the pavilion cut off from the rest by a wall. Margaery sat behind a desk, and Olenna sat on a chair in front of her.




"What is it grandmother, tell me why lord Baelish is here?" Margaery asked in a stern tone.




"Lord Baelish is here to offer an alliance between our house and Baratheon."




"When did he change sides for Stannis?"




"I didn't mean that fool, I mean king Joffrey Baratheon."




Margaery looked at her grandmother, shocked. "Joffrey? You know as well as I that he is not a Baratheon."




"Where is the proof of that? All that we heard were the words of two men who wanted to be king. Joffrey is the king who sits on the throne."




"The Lannisters killed Jon's father, they imprisoned Sansa. How can you even think about something like that?"




"Renly is dead, and we need to pull ourselves out of the mud child if we don't, we just might join him. We need to look out for our own family."




"Father will never accept this."




Olenna shifted in her seat. "Your father has already agreed to it."




"What? He would not," Margaery said, shocked.




"He did; I made him see reason."




"My father would never betray Jon by siding with the people who took his family away from him."




"As I said, I made your father see reason, even he if was reluctant at first."




Margaery stared at her grandmother with contempt. "Neither I nor Loras nor Garlan will agree to this."




"You still wish to be queen, don't you? Well, a second hand was seen given to us, we help the Lannisters, and you will be wed to Joffrey and become his queen."




Margaery stood up, "I will never marry a monster," she shouted.




"You will be you want your little bastard to live," Olenna said in a calm tone. As soon as she heard her grandmother say it, fear engulfed her.








"If you don't go through this deal, I will make certain that Jon has an accident."




"You wouldn't,"




"I would, child," Olenna sighed. "I know how this looks like, but I'm doing this for your own good. You are Margaery Tyrell, my granddaughter; you are destined for greater things than to be some bastard's plaything."




"I'm not this plaything, and I will never turn my back on him; I love him, and he loves me."




"I told you once before love does not get you far in this world. What will you do, run away with him, somewhere where no one can find you? You are a lady of noble birth, the daughter of the richest family in Westeros, how will you live, selling fruits in a market like a commoner. Your place is not at some bastard's side; you were born to be queen."




"I will not leave Jon."




"Then he shall not see the next sunrise," Now Margaery was starting to be terrified for Jon's life.




Margaery stared at her grandmother, tears in her eyes. "How can you be so cruel?"




"I'm not cruel, my child, I'm practical; you can't have both things you desire; we spoiled you to believe you can but not this."




"I will tell father."




"Go ahead, but know I also made it quite clear to him that his options are."




"Loras will stop you," Margaery said, and she knew she was starting to sound desperate.




"He won't have a chance because you will make the bastard leave once and for all if not."




"I will not push him away," Margaery said, tears flowing down her cheeks.




"Oh, for god's sake, child, you know your options, so chose, take the offer and the crown you always wanted and save the boy's life or don't take it and be responsible for his death." Margaery could not stop crying now, her grandmother had her in a corner, and she did not know what to do. Margaery's heart started breaking apart at the very thought of doing something like this to Jon, siding with those to kill his father, but she knew it was the best option for his survival. Olenna would make good on her promise, if not sooner than later.




"I...I….," Margaery said.




"What is your decision? Better make it quick, lord Baelish is waiting." If she did this, she would lose Jon, and he would hate her forever, but he will stay alive. Margaery felt her heartbreak, but she was not doing this for her; she would save Jon. She would do anything to save him, even this, that is how much she loves him.




"I... I…. I agree. I will take the deal," Margaery finally said.




"Good, I knew you would come around, now I suggest you clean yourself up and inform the bastard you the new arrangement and make sure he leaves.




"I-I will," Margaery said, and Olenna left the room. After Margaery made herself representable again, she walked out of the room and outside, finding Jon standing with Robar a few meters away from the entrance. He looked at her, and she almost started crying again. She approached them slowly, trying to keep herself composed. "Ser Robar, could you give us a moment, please?"




"Yes, your grace," the knight said, and she did not feel the joy in people calling her that it was a shame now.




"What is it Margaery, what did Lord Baelish say?"




"He offered an alliance between house Baratheon, Lannister, and Tyrell."




"What? Lord Mace would never take it."




"He did," Margaery said and could see the disbelief on Jon's face.








"They are the best option; they agreed to make me queen if we join them."




"Margaery… you wouldn't," Jon said, and she could feel her heartbreak even further.




"I did, I took the deal, I will be queen."




"How can you say that? They killed my father; they are holding my sister's captive." Jon garbed her by the shoulders. "I know you, Margaery, you don't really mean this; they are making you do this."




"They are not; I always wanted one thing more than anything, to be queen and that the Lannisters can give me that."




Jon let go of her and took a step back. "What about us? You know I cannot side with my father's killers."




"I know, and that's why you will leave."








"You will leave and never return."




"You don't mean this; you love me as I love you."




"I don't love you, I never did; you were just a plaything," Margaery said and could see the words hit Jon like a stone.




"Margaery..." Jon said.




"I have a chance to be queen again and will pick that over a bastard any day."




"H-How can you say that?"




"I can because it's true, leave, and never show yourself in front of me again."




"Margaery..." Jon said, pleading.




"What are you waiting for? Leave."




"You don't mean this,"




Margaery took a step closer. "Get it in that stupid head of yours; I'm done with you, I'm to be queen, and I can't have you there to jeopardize it." Margaery could see the shock and pain on Jon's face, and she felt the same, her heartbreaking more every second.




"Is that how you truly feel?"




"Yes," Margaery said simply and watched as Jon bowed his head.




"As you wish, my lady," Jon said, and she watched as he walked over to his horse, mounted it, and rode into the night. When she could no longer see him, she fell to her knees and started crying again, the onlookers looking at her concerned, but she did not pay them any attention; she was too busy drowning in her grief.




She just pushed away the one man she truly loved, and it hurt her more than any pain she experienced in her life.








"You would give us what?" Loras shouted.




"Crown for lady Margaery," lord Baelish said.




Loras slammed his fist at the table. "You dear come here and offer us an alliance with the wary people who started this war, who killed good men."




"King Joffrey did make some questionable choices at the start of his rain, but he is wiser now, I assure you."




"Questionable choices? He killed lord Eddard!"




"Quiet Loras," said Olenna, glaring at him, and he returned the look back.




"No, I won't be quiet, yes I did not know lord Eddard that well, but I know Jon, and by the looks of it, they were the same, good and honourable, not traitors."




"Eddard is dead; that does not concern us," Olenna said.




"Does not concern us, does not concern us!" Loras said, angry, "How can you say that!" Loras turned to his father, "Father, you knew lord Eddard; you fought together. You can't possibly agree to this." The lord of Highgarden did not say anything at first, just looked at his son.




"That's the best course of action to take," Mace said and bowed his head.




"Margaery won't stand for this," Loras said, and as if on cue, Margaery walked back into the pavilion, her dress dirty and eyes red. "Margaery they..." Loras started but was cut off.




"She already knows," said their grandmother. Loras looked at his sister, not believing what he heard.




"Margaery?" Loras asked.




"I-I do, and I have accepted the proposal." Loras stared at her, disbelief painted on his face.




"But Jon."




"Jon has no say in this," Olenna said. Loras looked at each member of his family before stopping on Garlan.




"Brother, please, you must see this is wrong," Loras pleaded to Garlan, hoping he would be the one to listen.




Garlan sighed, "It's not my place to decide; it's fathers."




Loras stared at his family, eyes filled with confusion and pain. "How can you do this?"




"We need to look out for ourselves. That is all that matters," said Olenna.




"And forsake our honour, side with killers. What will Jon say when he hears about this, we have been his family for almost a decade; what will he think of us?"




Loras looked at his family and could not help but feel ashamed; for a long moment, silence filled the room until Margaery spoke.




"J-Jon left,"




Loras turned to her, "What?"




"Jon left, I told him, and he left."




Loras slammed his fist on the table, "How could you? What has gotten into you, Margaery?"




"She is going to be queen once we reach King Landing," said lord Baelish.




"The crown, you do this because of the fucking crown!" Loras shouted.




"Enough, boy!" Olenna said in a harsh tone; once Olenna snapped, her fingers, and two Lannister thugs entered the room. "Take my grandson to his tent; once he is cooled off, he will rejoin us."




Loras glared at his grandmother; he always knew she was a player of the game and would do what she thinks is necessary to see our family prosper, but this was not it; this was making a deal with the devil. One brute grabbed Loras's arm, but Loras pulled it away; he gave one last disgusted look to his family before storming out of the pavilion.




That night he could not find any sleep, his mind focused on what his family is doing for the sake of power, and he never felt more disgusted to be a Tyrell. The deal with Renly was one thing, he was kind, good, a man who cared for the people, not a spawn of an evil queen, a person who killed people at a whim. He was tempted by the chance to get back at Stannis, but he pushed that thought to the side. He kept thinking about all of that, and soon he found out that he could not bear to be part of it; Jon's brother is fighting for justice, and if he sided with the Lannisters, that would mean he would have to fight his best friends brother and possibly Jon, that is something he would never forgive himself.




Loras decided he would not take part in this anymore; he put his armour on as quietly as possible, packed a bag with things he would need, and finally put his sword on his hip. He moved the canvas door and saw two men at arms standing in front of his tent. "This will not do," Loras thought. He moved back and thought of a way out. Taking his sword, he cut the back of his tent open and snuck his way out. Loras carefully moved between the tents, making sure no one followed him or had managed to see him. When he finally managed to get to the stable, he immediately went to Bluebell.




"It's alright, girl, we are just leaving this place," Loras said as he put the saddle on the horse's back. Once everything was done, Loras took the rains and started leading the horse outside, only to be met by a figure standing at the exit.




"Robar," said Loras in a calm tone.




"Lord commander," Robar said. The knight was in armour just like he was.




"Don't try to stop me from leaving; it's not gone end well for you," Loras said and put his hand at the hilt of his sword.




"That is not why I'm here," Robar replied as he took several steps towards Loras, and Loras could see that the knight had a bag with him just as he did.




"Going home?" Loras asked.




"No, I'm going in the same direction you are going."




"And that would be?"








Loras looked at the knight, confused, "Why would you go after Jon?"




"Ser Jon saved my life, I own him a life debt, honour demands that debt be repaid." Loras knew Robar was an honourable man, and this proved it without a doubt.




"And what will you do once you find Jon? Just follow him."




"That was your plan, wasn't it?" Loras hated to admit it, but Robar was right; that was his plan.




"Get on your horse; we ride," Loras ordered. For a moment, he felt like the lord commander again.




"You know where Jon left?" Robar asked.




"I overheard the soldiers saying he went up the Roseroad," Loras answered.




"I heard the same. You think he intends to join Stannis?"




"I don't know, but let's hope we catch up with him in time."




"He has a good head start," Robar said as he mounted his horse.




"Then we should ride fast," Loras said as he got on his horse, and they rode out of the stables and out of the camp. To their relief, no one had tried to stop them, and they rode out of the camp with ease.




Kings Landing




The survivor




A son of Rhaegar Targaryen so close to Robert Baratheon and did not even know it, he laughed when he first noticed it. He always knew about the relationship between the prince and the she-wolf. It was not hard to put the pieces together, crowning her, writing to her, meeting her in the Riverlands, and finally running off with her. The two spent a year with one another, and something was bound to come out of that relationship, and it did, a boy. The lie that has been told about the kidnapping only worked due to people's stupidity and greed.




Arys might have been mad, but during his reign, the realm was mostly stable, and it did not suffer compared to the rule of the Baratheon's, more specifically, Joffrey. The boy has no regard for human life and would kill whoever he pleased if Cersei and Tyrion were not there to restrain him. He would have probably put half a city to the sword because of that riot if Tyrion were not there.




When he saw Jon Snow, he knew instantly that he was Rhaegar's son; Ned Stark was a good man but not a good liar; it was only due to his integrity that everyone believed that the boy was his bastard and not the son of the prince. The boy looking like his mother did help in that endeavour. The boy had his father's skill, maybe even more than that. If he even doubted the boy's heritage, they were put away once he heard that the young knight had no burn marks from the flaming sword of Thoros of Myr.




Now, with the pieces set, he can finally start his game. Olenna will take the deal Tyrion offers her; the old bat would do anything to see her blood on the throne, which means Jon would have to be moved out of the way. He knew the Tyrells cared too much for the boy, so they won't harm him. They will just push him to the side or banish him. He would have approached the Tyrell's with the truth, but they have proven to be less than trustworthy.




He still remembers that day, the battle, watching helplessly as The Usurper brought his hammer down and killed Rhaegar. At that moment, as he lay down bleeding on the field, he thought that all was lost, and he was ready to accept his fate and join the prince. But the gods, it seems, had other plans for him; a group of Dornish knights dragged his broken body off the field during the retreat. He was in and out of consciousness for a long time; by the time he finally came to, Tywin Lannister had already taken Kings Landing and killed Elia and the children. The fury and hate he felt for Robert Baratheon, Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, Hoster Tully, and Tywin Lannister at that moment he had never felt in his life, traitors and liars all of them. By the time he was in a condition to do anything, Ned Stark had already in Dorne and soon came back with the word of his sister's death and a bastard boy in hand.




The boy will probably go to his family in Riverrun and help them with the war while he will do what he can from here to make sure the boy survives and put the events into motion, knowing Littlefinger will do what he can to destabilize the new alliance for him. The man is smart and ambitious but careless, which was proved by what happened with Lord Eddard. All he must do is to keep his key assets alive and informed; he should probably contact his friends in Essos.








Everything felt so wrong, all that she ever dreamed of gone, her father dead, Arya missing, everything was terrible. The night of Stannis's attack, she felt as frightened as the day her father was killed. When she heard that the Tyrells broke the siege all pushed Stannis back, she dared to dream it was Jon and Loras who came to rescue her, but she had no such luck; it was indeed the Tyrells but lead by Tywin Lannister.




The queen kept a watchful eye over her, and Joffrey repeatedly abused her, but she still hoped that someone would come for her, either one of her brothers Robb or Jon. At the ceremony where Lord Tywin was named the saviour of the city and saw Margaery, Garlan, and Lord Mace.




Days past and then one day a servant came telling her that she had been summered by lady Margaery to her rooms, Sansa accepted the invitation and went to Margaery's quarters; she needed to know what happened to Jon and why the Tyrells were all of a sudden in league with the Lannisters.




Sansa came to the door, and the servant opened it, allowing her inside, there she found Margaery waiting for her.




"L-Lady Margaery," Sansa said as she entered.




"Sansa," Margaery said and went to her. "Are you alright?"




"Yes," Sansa said, trying to act normal as best as she could.




"I'm so sorry," Margaery said and embraced her. It felt like forever since anyone did something like that.




"What for?" Sansa asked. She could feel the tears coming.




"For your father," Margaery answered.




"M-My father was a traitor; my brother and mother are traitors too," Sansa said, and Margaery released her and looked at her.




"Sansa, what are you saying?"




"My family are traitors; I'm loyal to the true king Joffrey."




Margaery put her hand on Sansa's cheek, a concerned look on her face. "What did they do to you?"




Sansa could not hold it in any longer; she finally broke into tears, and Margaery embraced her once more.




"We…. Where is my brother? Where is Jon?" Sansa asked. There was no answer for a long moment, so she asked again, "Where is Jon?"




Margaery then finally answered, "I don't know," her voice barely a whisper, but Sansa could notice the sadness in it.




"What do you mean, you don't know. He was with you."




"He was but not anymore; he left," Margaery said, and Sansa broke off and took a step back.








"He had to," Margaery said simply.




"If Jon or Robb isn't here, then what I'm to do?"




Margaery took a step forward and took Sansa's hands into hers. "Stay strong; you will get through this, I swear to you."




"How?" Sansa said, crying.




"I will help you; stay close to me. I will be queen soon, and if you are with me, I can protect you."




Sansa looked at Margaery; she was to be queen, which means she would marry Joffrey. The Tyrells betrayed Jon just so they could have excess to the crown. It infuriated Sansa, but she knew there was nothing she could do about it; Margaery was indeed her best option for safety now. She was starting to hate southerners and wished to have never come down here in the first place.

Chapter Text

He did not know how long he rode, only that he rode as fast as the horse could carry him, only stopping when the Winter was at the point of collapse. Dismounting, he found a small creek and let his horse quench her thirst and rest some, all the while the conversation with Margaery playing in his mind over and over, every word, every sentence again and again, and it pained him greatly. Jon wished it to stop, but it could not.




"Why did she do that?" he asked in a distraught tone looking at Winter, the horse's sigh being its only answer as it continued to drink from the creek. Jon did not think he could get more miserable than when he first heard the news of his father's death, but now he felt even worse because the hurt came from the people he trusted the most, the people who were like a family to him, Mace, Loras, Garlan, and what hurt the most Margaery.




Margaery's dream was to wear the crown one day. He knew that since they were children, but he never thought she would be so desperate for it to actually betray him as she did, to go against every moment they shared together. He saw it in her eyes; she did love him but then why did she shun him as she did and side with a pack of murderers. Everything felt like some bad dream, but he knew it was real.




As Jon continued to drown in the poll of despair that were his thoughts now, Winter lifted her head and brought it to his. "Thanks, girl, but it's going to take more than that to cheer me up this time," Jon said as he looked at the black stallion. Thinking about his horse, he thought about Willas; it seems even the kind Willas took the side of the Lannisters at the end and threw away everything he had with Jon out of the window.




Loras will do as his father tells him to and join the Lannisters, maybe even become a Kingsguard again. The betrayal of the brother he chose hurt as much as Margaery's. He could not hold his rage any longer, finally letting out a desperate, disgruntled scream that filled the warm night ear. "Damn the Tyrells, damn them so seven hells," Jon shouted and then fell to his knees in grief. He thought the Tyrells were his family, that they loved him, that they cared about him, but in the end, they showed their true colors; who would love a motherless bastard anyway.




He was born out of lust, a stain on his father's name that no one will ever honestly care about. He let himself be deluded by the possibility of a beautiful woman loving him and having a father who encouraged him and was proud of him. He thought he had that with the Tyrells, but fate proved his dreams and hopes false.




After reflecting on the Tyrells, he finally started to wonder what he is to do now. Honor demands justice for his father; Stannis now had a large army, and from the last news he had heard, he was beaten back by the Lannisters and had fled to Dragonstone, which only left his brother Robb. His brother and the northern army are in the Riverlands, and to get to where he would have to get through the Crownlands held by the Lannisters or the Reach, where he is too well known. "Maybe by sea," he thought.




Seeing that Winter was too exhausted to go anywhere further, Jon decided to make camp in the woods nearby; they would provide shelter if it rained and from any who would be sent to look for him, if any. As he approached the woods, he realized that in his haste to leave, he left any provisions he would need. Looking at the moon, he decided it would be best to leave that concern to the morning, after getting some rest and, if possible clear his head a bit, but he doubted the latter.




Tying his horse to a tree, Jon let her graze the grass. "At least you have something to eat," Jon said sadly. He put his back to a tree and closed his eyes, trying not to think about the events that transpired but having little luck with that. As he continued to try and regain some strength, Jon heard a sound coming from the bushes behind him. It seemed that Winter heard it too because her head was lifted high, and she was on alert. Jon listened to the noise again and got up.




"Soldiers sent to capture him," he thought. "Or some beast from the wood," Jon unsheathed his sword and looked in the direction from where the noise was coming from. Expecting for something to lunged at him at any moment, he readied himself for a fight. More noise came, and the bushes in front of him started to move; fear began to fill Jon's mind. The bushes moved once more, and a head popped out, yellow eyes staring at him. Jon lowered his blade.




"Lady?" he said in disbelief. Moments later, Ghost's head popped out of the shrubs, a large hare in his mouth. "Ghost?" Jon said, and the two wolves came out of the brush and walked up to him. He left the wolves alone, he left them, thank the gods they are unharmed or captured and put in cages again. Jon looked at the wolves, who looked back at him, yet another promise he could not keep, to watch over them. What would Sansa say if she knew about this?




Ghost took another step and put the hare in front of Jon's feet. He could not believe it; he was the one that was supposed to take care of them but now it was the opposite; they were watching over him. Kneeling, he took the hare and petted Ghost and Lady on the head. "Thank you," Jon said, and he could have sworn that Ghost nodded.




Jon prepared the fire and skinned the rabbit without any further delay, putting him to roast over the fire. When the hare was finally ready, Jon took it off the fire and split it into three pieces, taking one for himself and giving the other two to his trusty companions.




"At least I know you won't ever leave me," Jon said as he watched the wolves eat, and then he took a bite from his share. The hare was enough to set his hunger at ease for a time. As soon as the sun began to rise, Jon awoke to find Ghost missing, with Lady sleeping soundly next to him. Soon the white wolf came back with another rabbit. "You are good at this," Jon said as the wolf gave the hare over to him. Lady's yawn was the sigh that she awoke, and Ghost immediately went to his little sister. After eating the rabbit and having a drink from the creek, Jon, his group of animal companions went further up the road, not knowing what it would lead them, but one thing was certain it led far away from those who betrayed him.








Olenna just woke up, got dressed with the help of a servant. She had a good night's sleep; her family was back in the game, and they were going to win. Renly death was unfortunate, but she did not care much about it, seeing that a second hand had been given to them. She decided to go break her fast when Right entered the room.




"My lady," the giant said, and by the tone of his voice, she could tell that something had happened.




"What is it? She asked.




"Ser Loras is missing," he answered.




"What?" Olenna looked at the large man, not sure if she heard him right.




"He is gone, my lady."




"Explain," she ordered.




"Ser Loras left the camp during the night, accompanied by Ser Robar. "Thoughts started running, threw her mind as she heard that. Olenna thought that her grandsons' bond with the bastard might pose a problem, but it seems she underestimated his stupidity. She sat down on a chair and started to think. Loras would go after the bastard, that is certain, but why would Robar go with him. Olenna lifted her head and looked at the Knight.




"How did he get past you and your companion?"




"Ser Loras cut the back of his tent and snuck out," Right explained.




"You are useless; you could not keep one boy inside his room," Olenna said, displeasure and anger evident. This just had to happen when everything was starting to go right again. "Did no one see him? Why didn't anyone stop him?"




"Ser Loras was seen when he was leaving the camp with Ser Robar, but one dared to stop and ask where they were going."




"Damn it, Loras, you and that stupid bastard," Olenna mumbled. "Why didn't anyone notify me earlier?"




"We weren't aware that he left the tent; it was only when I went to check up on him that we found out that he was gone, and after asking some of the guards, they said they saw Ser Loras leave during the night."




"Listen to me and listen to me carefully, get some men to go and find my grandson, and bring him back here."




"At once, my lady," the nameless Knight said and departed.




"Unharmed," Olenna added, again he nodded and left.




Damn it, everything was going how it should be, and now this, even when not here, the bastard ends up messing with her plans. When Littlefinger first arrived and gave her the offer, it was like the gods themselves gave her a second chance. Persuading her stupid son wasn't easy, but she managed, Willas and Garlan too; with Margaery, it was more problematic, but the girl knew her choices and made the right one. She knew Loras would be the hardest to win over, and he proved that last night, but she never expected him to go after the bastard.




The riders will find him and bring him back here; once they do, she will deal with her unruly grandson personally, but until then, things can't be stopped, they are to march out soon, and they would see Margaery crowned.








"Ya! Ya!" Loras shouted to Bluebell to make her go faster, Robar riding right behind him. It was days since they set out to find Jon, and still, they had no success at accomplishing their task. At first, Loras thought they might catch up with Jon in a day, two at most, but Winter proved to be one of the fastest horses Willas ever bred, and Loras cursed his brother for that; there no telling how far Jon could have gone.




The travelers they came across were little or no help, non-seeing a man matching Jon's description. Their best lead came from a woodcutter that said he saw a knight on a large black horse ride past several days ago. Following this lead, they went to a small village just at the side of the Roseroad near the border with the Stormlands.




Asking the smallfolk if they saw Jon yielded little results; no said that they saw him or that they even glanced at him. He and Robar were trying to figure out their next course of action when a little boy came to them.




"Excuse me, milords," said the boy. They turned to look at the boy.




"Yes?" Robar asked.




"I heard you were asking about a knight on a black horse."




"Yes, do you know anything?"




"I might, but what I know is going to cost you," the boy said with a smirk. They were looking for Jon, and here comes some brat asking for money to give them the information they desperately need.




"Listen, boy, we need..." Loras started but was stopped by Robar.




Robar took a silver stag out of his pouch and tossed it to the boy, who caught it in his small hands, a large smile on his face. "Speak," Robar ordered.




"A knight passed through here late last night; he rode atop a black horse and had too large dogs with him."




"Dogs?" Both Robar and Loras asked.




"Yes, a large white one and a smaller gray one, but they were still bigger than any dogs I ever saw."




"The Direwolves," said Robar.




"They must have gone after Jon when he fled the camp," Loras said, "Where did they go?"




"Up the road," the boy said.




"He is going to Kings Landing," Robar said, and Loras could hear the worry in the Knight's voice.




"We need to catch up with him before he does," Loras said.




Robar looked at the boy and raised an eyebrow. "How do you know this when everyone else we asked had not seen a thing?"




"I sometimes sneak out of the house to play with some other kinds; I returned later than normal and saw the knight ride through the village. I hid once I saw the dogs." The boy said, and Loras understood the boy's fear; any sensible person would cower when a wolf that is almost the same size as a horse starts coming towards you.




"Well, it seems we have a new lead; mount up, my friend, we ride," Loras said to Robar, and they were quickly riding fast to catch up to Jon before it's too late. They rode as fast as they could before deciding to give the horses a small break. Dismounting, Loras took out a paunch with water and took several sips from it, handing it to Robar when done.




"I meant to ask why you joined Renly in the first place. You are from the Vale, and your kinsmen decided to stay out of this war."




Robar lowed the paunch from his lips and look at Loras. "Because I'm like you," Robar said, and Loras raised an eyebrow. "I'm not the firstborn son; the chances of me being the lord of Runestone are small. A second son must find his fortune elsewhere. My younger brother Waymar joined the Nights watch.




"Jon once told me that his uncle Benjen is the first ranger at the Wall. The way Jon described it, joining the Night's watch in the North is seen as an honorable calling, while here in the south, it is seen as a punishment.




"My brother went voluntarily, thinking that his future is there, that he might become the next Lord commander."




"So where is he stationed, Castle Black, the Shadow Tower, Eastwatch?" Loras asked.




Robar sighed. "He was stationed at Castle Black, not so long ago, he led a party that went ranging beyond the Wall. They… the entire party disappeared. Lord Commander Mormont sent a letter sometime after notifying us of my little brother's faith."




"I'm sorry to hear that," Loras said. It was evident by Robar's eyes that he missed his brother and that he regretted not being there for him. That is why Loras was going after Jon to keep his brother safe.




"Enough about my brother," Robar said remorsefully, "the horses have rested; he should keep going."




"Aye," Loras said and mounted Bluebell, Robar doing the same to his horse, and they continued their path. The way they were told meant that Jon had taken route south, down the Kingsroad.




Night fell, and they were still riding in what they hoped was the way where they would finally catch up with Jon. As they rode down the Kingsroad, Robar suddenly stopped his horse. Loras turned to the fellow knight.




"What is it?" Loras asked, possibilities racing through his mind, everything from it being nothing to a potential ambush.




"Smell that? It's smoke, and it's coming from close by." Robar said.




"It could be Jon," Loras said, hoping that it might be true.




"Possibly," Robar replied.




The two knights dismounted and tied their horses to a nearby tree, proceeding to find the source of the smoke. Soon they found a man sitting next to a fire, cooking some dear meat, a large deer stood cut open several meters away, and an old farm horse lay on the group sleeping. The man was larger and taller than Jon, but he may yet have some information. Loras carefully stepped out of the brush, not wanting to cause any brash reactions.




"Hello there," Loras said, and the man immediately turned, their eyes locking.




"W-Who are you?" the man asked.




"Just a traveler who is looking for a friend," Loras said calmly.




The man looked at Loras from head to toe. "You are lying. You are a lord."




"A Ser actually," Loras corrected the man, "but I'm not lying. I'm looking for someone."




"No, you are a lord, and I'm guessing that this land belongs to you as does every fucking tree and animal, right?"




Loras looked at the man, confused, "Excuse me?"




"Well, I caught that deer; you have plenty more, so leave me be!"




"I just need to ask you if you saw someone," Loras said calmly.




"Like hell, you think me an idiot," the man growled. "I know what happens when a normal person tries to hunt on some lord's land; they get their hand cut off or worse. I'm not losing my hand." The man said, took a skinning knife from his belt, and rushed at Loras. Loras was surprised by the man's reaction, but it was uncoordinated and slow. Loras only moved slightly to the side in the last second and made the attacker trip over his outstretched leg, falling face-first into a tree, knocking him out cold.




"Well, that was certainly interesting," Robar said as he moved out of the brush.




"It sure was," replied Loras




"A poacher?" asked Robar.




"Most likely, but we might still get something out of him. Get the ropes; we will tie him up, so he doesn't make any brash choices anymore." Loras said, and Robar did as ask. After tying the poacher's arms and legs up, they decided to wake him up, splashing water on his face to do so. The man shook his head and opened his eyes.




"What the fuck?" the man said.




Loras, with the water punch still in his hand, knelt next to the man. "Now, let's try this again," Loras said, and the man started trying to break free of his restraints to no avail. Loras sighed. "You are not going to rip through those ropes, my poacher friend."




"I'm not a poacher," the man said.




"Then, who are you?" Loras asked.




"Grenn, my name is Grenn," the man answered.




"Well, Grenn, the way I see it, you hunted in this land without the permission of its lord."




"Who gives a shit about one deer? The lords have more than they would even need."




"That might be true, but it's still the law," Loras said.




"Fuck your law, you highborn cunt" Grenn said, and soon the tip of Robar's blade found itself in front of Grenns neck.




"Show some respect; this is Ser Loras Tyrell you are addressing," Robar said, and the man looked at them, anger filling his eyes.




"Never heard of him."




"Never?" Loras asked surprised, he thought that everyone knew who he was by now. Grenn looked at Loras and then at Robar with those rage-filled eyes. "What about my red armored friend here, Ser Robar Royce?"




"Never, and you can that your title and cram it up to your ass."




"You are not a smart one, are you?" Robar said.




"I'm smart," Grenn replied, spiting a bit in Loras's face.




"By the looks of it, not so much," Loras said as he wiped the spit off his face. Robar pushed his sword into Grenns neck a bit further. "Now listen to me carefully; we honestly don't give a damn about you; all we need to know is if you saw a man with two large wolves with him."




"Why should I say anything to you?"




"Because as I said, we don't give a damn about you, but we need information. If your answer satisfies us, we won't kill you," Loras said, trying to sound intimidating. The man's looks changed from anger to fear.




"If I tell you, you won't kill me?"




"No," replied Loras.




After a moment, Grenn spoke. "A man, a knight rode past here an hour ago, with two wolves."




"How do we know you are not lying to us?" Robar said.




"The knight wore green armor, the wolves were big, really big, one was white, and the other dark gray," Grenn said fast.




"That's Jon," said Loras.




"Aye, an hour ago, which means we can catch up with him," said Robar.




"Yes, but what do we do with him?" Loras said as he turned his gaze from Robar to Grenn.




"He is a poacher; this is the Kingswood, so the nearest lord should deal with him," Loras answered and got up.




"But most have turned declared Stannis," Robar said.




"Well, they still might know what basic courtesy is, and we are doing them a favor."




"Please don't; they will kill me or send me to the Wall," Grenn begged.




"Then you should now have poached," Loras said. Loras and Robar managed to get the heavy man on to his horse and lead it out of the small camp to where they left their horses. Mounting up and securing Grenns horse to Loras's, they rode once again, Jon being so close to them this time.








It was hard for him to talk about to his brother to Loras; he loved Waymar as any brother should love, making it that much harder. Waymar was the youngest of the three of them; when he first decided to take the black, Robar tried to talk him out of it, telling him that there are other possibilities out there, but Waymar would not listen, he wanted to become a Nights watchmen, and no one would persuade him otherwise.




Saying goodbye was hard, hearing the news of his disappearance even harder. When the raven first arrived, he wanted nothing more than to lead an army and deal with the damn wildlings once and for all, them being the only thing that could have killed his brother beyond the Wall. But eventually, he calmed down and accepted the fate that the gods bestowed his brother. Waymar died fighting; Robar was sure of that. All that was left to him is to find his own path in this world.




Joining the Kingsguard of Renly Baratheon was the opportunity he was waiting for, become a guard to a king meant respect and prestige, and he immediately went for it. But all that came crashing down when Renly died, and he would have joined the king if it were not for Jon, the man saving his life in the last second. He owed Jon a life debt, and he was intent to repay it.




While riding after Jon, he had to put a cloth over Grenns mouth to keep the poacher from yelling and swearing anymore; now, all he heard was some mumbled noises. They finally spotted a figure in the distance; soon, they could make out a rider and the two wolves behind him.




"Jon!" yelled Loras excitedly, but the rider did not stop. "Jon!" Loras cried once more with the same result. With no sigh on any response, Loras kicked his horse into a fast gallop, Robar doing the same but still minding that their new friend did not fall of his horse.




Jon must have heard horses approaching him because he turned around to look at them. As they closed the distance to just a dozen meters now, they slowed their horses.




"Jon," Loras said once more, an excited look on his face. Robar was pleased that they finally managed to catch up to Jon. Riding closer, Jon watched them with a surprised and suspicious look on his face. It was then when the two wolves took several steps closer, snarling and growling at them, all of the sound coming from the smaller one, while the other did not make a sound. This spooked the horses, and both he and Loras took them several meters back. Loras and Robar looked at Jon both with uncertain looks on their faces.




"Why did you come after me? What do you want?" Jon asked.




"We came to find you," Loras said.




"Why, so you could use me as a hostage just like my sisters."




"Dear gods, no Jon," Loras said, take back by his friend's words.




"Then, why?" Jon asked.




"We came after you to make sure you are safe," Robar said.




Jon looked at them with suspicion, "And why would you do that? The Tyrells made it clear that I'm no longer wanted," Jon said while looking at Loras.




"That's not true, Jon," Loras said.




"Not true, your family made it clear that all the time I spent with them meant nothing, that I meant nothing," Jon said bitterly.




Loras got off his hoses and tried to walk to Jon but was stopped by the two wolves. "I can't imagine how you must feel right now but know I'm not here to bring you back in chains; we did not come all this way just to harm you, Jon."




"Then, why did you come?"




"As Robar said, we came here to help you to keep you safe."




"And why would you do that Loras, why would you and Robar want to help a bastard," Jon barked.




"Because you are not a bastard, not to me, you are my brother Jon, and you do not abandon your brother when he is in need of help," Loras said, and Robar could see Jon's expression soften a bit.




"Why would you go against your own family?" Jon asked.




"Because they proved that they care more about power than actual family," Loras said, and Robar could see how hard it was for the fellow knight to admit that "You are family Jon, my family. They can say whatever they want, but that will never change that," Jon's expression softened some more.




"And why is he here?" Jon asked, looking at Robar.




"You saved my life the night king Renly was murdered; I owe you my life."




"You owe me nothing, Ser," Jon said.




"I disagree; you saved my life, and honor dictates that I must return what is owed," Robar said, and he could see the surprise on Jon's face.




"You came all this way because you see me as a brother and a life debt?" Jon asked.




"We came here because we care about you, Jon, don't dismiss us," Loras said. Robar looked at Jon at could see hurt, confusion, and hope all in his eyes.




"Truly? This isn't some deception?"




"No, we swear on our honor, it's not Jon," said Robar.




Jon looked at them for a long moment, like he was thinking to either believe them or not. Then finally, he spoke.




"I-I believe you," Jon said.




Loras sighed, "Thank you, Jon," the Tyrell said in a sincere tone. "Now, could you recall the wolves? I don't like the way Lady is looking at me like I'm her next dinner." A small smile appeared on Jon's face, and he whistled, the two wolves immediately backing down and going back to him.




Jon dismounted and walked over to Loras, embracing him tightly. "Thank you, Loras,"




"There is nothing to thank me for, you are the brother I chose, and we will stand together always," Loras said.




Robar dismounted too just as they broke off the embrace. Jon turned to him and offering Robar his hand, which Robar took.




"Thank you, Robar. I honestly did not think you would be the one to come after me."




"Well, that only means we did not get to know each other as well as we should."




"You are right; thank you again."




"Don't mention it."




Jon looked at Robar and then at Loras. "How did you find me, anyway? Did you really track me down all the way or just went on luck."




"We tracked you down," Robar said.




"It wasn't easy; you left few trails to follow," Loras added.




"That was for a reason," Jon replied.




"Yeah, but we did have help," Loras said with a smile.




"Help from who?" Jon asked.




"From our new friend here," Robar said as he walked over to Grenn and lifted his head by the hair, the man growling in annoyance.




"Who is he?" Jon asked curiously.




"A poacher we caught, he led us to you after some careful negotiation," Robar answered.




"Careful negotiation? You didn't put ants in his bits, did you?" Jon asked Loras.




"No, that happened only once, but now that you mention it, that would have made a good idea."




"I'm not even going to ask to who you did that," Robar said.




"So, what do you intend to do with him?" Jon asked.




"We will hand him over to the nearest lord, and he will deal with him," Robar said, and Grenn immediately started mumbling through the cloth.




"What he is saying?" Loras asked, and Robar removed the cloth.




"I'm not going to the Wall, you cunts, release me!" Grenn shouted, and Robar put the cloth back.




"That's enough of that," Robar said.




"So, what do we do now?" Jon asked.




"I don't know, we were hoping you had a direction."




"I don't," Jon said.




"You didn't think about going anywhere, joining Stannis or something?"




"A bit but not really; my mind has been thinking about other things," Jon said sadly, and Loras put one hand on Jon's shoulder.




"I'm sorry, Jon, I truly am."




"You have nothing to be sorry about; you are not the one who betrayed me."




"But still, it was my blood who did, and I'm sorry." After a small moment of silence, Jon asked what they are to do next.




"The way I see it, it's best if we first drop our new friend off and see it from there," Robar said.




"To who do we give him?" Loras asked.




"I believe castle Hasty is nearby; we can drop him off there," Robar said.




"Now that I think about it, most of the Stormlands have declared for Stannis; what is to stop them from attacking us the moment we step foot into the castle or near it."




"I don't know, but house Hasty is an honorable family, from what I heard. If we come with a criminal with no intent to do wrong, I don't believe they will harm us," said Robar.




"Well, if that's the best option we have, then so be it. Let us just hope you are right," Jon said.




"I suggest we do that in the morning, it is late as it is, and we been riding all day long," Loras said, and Jon agreed that they all would profit from some sleep. They made camp in the woods, sharing the food he and Loras had brought with Jon; the wolves seemed not to like dry meat and going off to hut for themselves. After some more talking, they decided to put one man on watch duty just in case. Loras being the first one, Robar being the next one being woken up two hours later.

Chapter Text

Jon felt the softness of the bed he was on and the presence of someone lying next to him. Opening his eyes, he saw her face, relaxed, and it looked angelic to him. Moving a loose strand of her hair away from her face, she finally opened her eyes and looked at him, smiling.




"Jon," Margaery said softly.




"Good morning, my love," Jon said as he planted a kiss on her head.




"Did we oversleep?" She asked, still in the process of waking up.




"No," Jon said with a small smile. "Dawn just broke a short while ago."




Margaery moved closer, snuggling up next to him, putting her arms around Jon's waist. "Good, it means we have some more time."




Jon put his arm around her and planted a gentle kiss on her head. She was here, next to him, in his room in Highgarden. As Jon continued to look at the sleeping beauty next to him, a pleased look on her face, he wondered if everything that occurred was just a bad dream, if there was no war if his father was still alive, Sansa and Arya safe. Then all started to shake, and he felt someone arm on his shoulder, calling to him.




First Margaery vanished and soon the room. Feeling the shaking intensify, his eyes opened again, sunlight hitting his eyes. In front of him knelt Robar calling his name.




"Jon, Jon wake up," Robar said.




"I'm awake, I'm awake, what is it?" Jon asked frantically.




"Riders approaching," Robar answered.




"What riders?"




"Tarlys," Loras answered as he came closer and walked towards them, "At least twenty."




"It looks like your father did not appreciate you leaving in the night," Robar said to Loras.




"More like my grandmother, but that doesn't change a thing; we can't let them find us," Loras said.




"We are too close to the road; how far off are they?" Jon asked.




"About thirty lengths," Loras replied. That was not much of a distance, so they did not have time to ride away or move further in the forest; their best course of action would be to lay still and wait for the riders to pass.




"Loras make the horses lay down behind those bushes over there as low as they can, Robar, you do the same," Jon said. "We can't run, so we will just have to let them pass us." Both knights nodded and proceeded to do as asked, both managing to let their horses lay low, Jon doing the same with Winter and the poacher's horse.


After that, Jon approached Grenn, the man still tied up and gagged. "Listen to me carefully, I need you to stay silent, or we are all going to be in trouble, understood?" Grenn just nodded, and Jon proceeded to move to Ghost and Lady, who were lying next to each other.




Soon the thunder of horses galloping was heard, and it was getting louder by the moment; a dead silence filled the camp as the group waited for the Tarlys to arrive. The first rider passed and then the second and the third, with the rest following close behind. Jon counted eighteen men pass; he waited for a moment before he lifted his head up. Just as he thought the danger had passed, two more riders came, Jon, lowering himself down immediately.




Jon looked through the tall brush as the soldiers were about to pass them until Bluebell neighed and the two riders stopped. Jon looked at Loras, who had a scared look on his face. Turning his gaze to the road, Jon saw that the riders were looking in their direction.




"Did you hear that?" the first rider said.




"Yes," the second answered. The first one moved slightly towards them, gazing from side to side; Jon held his breath as the soldier did so. Moment after moment passed, and it felt like they were about to be caught, then the second soldier's voice was heard again. "Probably just some forest critter; come on, Markus, we have to catch up with the others."




The rider stared in their direction for a moment longer before he turned his horse around and proceeded to join his comrade. "I could have sworn I heard a horse."




"Maybe it is a stag or something, come on. We need to move forward; they have a good head start; we need to ride more to catch up with him. You know what Lord Tarly said."




"Fine, let's go," The man said, and Jon and the company watched as they rode away, Jon letting a sigh of relief once he was sure the riders were far away.




"That was close," said Robar.




"Indeed," Jon said as he got up, taking Winters reins making her get up also. "We should probably wait for a while to let them put a decent distance between us, and then after that, we will head to castle Hasty."




"A solid plan now; let's eat something," Loras said. While they were breaking their fast, they talked a bit about what occurred in the camp after Jon left and how Loras and Robar managed to track him down. Jon tried to be careful; he knew that he could be a potential target with the Tyrell siding with the Lannister, a hostage even.




"By the looks of it, Olenna did not take your departure well," Jon said, a hint of amusement in his voice.




"That much was to be expected," Loras said. "When I first heard why Baelish came, I thought that my family would reject it, father, Garlan, Margaery. I thought they would be against it, but it seems I underestimated my grandmother's lust for power. Father always did whatever she told him to do, for this once I thought it might be different, but I was wrong; it stayed the same. Garlan just kept quiet, and when Margaery told me that she took the offer and that you ran away, I felt such anger and disdain for my family," Loras sighed. "It's the first time I was ever ashamed to be a Tyrell."




Jon could do nothing but look at his friend; he could not offer any words of consolation because the way Loras felt was like how he felt, only the feeling of betrayal still hurt.




It was noon when they finally mounted up and continued their way; the journey to castle Hasty should not take them long, two or three hours at most. They rode with Loras overseeing the poacher this time. Jon rode first with Ghost and Lady to his sides with Robar and Loras behind him. The journey was not long; the banter between the three of them and the occasional mumbles from Grenn made it more interesting than it had been for days.




"What do you know about the Hasty's?" Jon asked.




"I know that they have a good reputation, that they are an honorable family," Robar answered.




"Anything else?"




"I have heard that Ser Bonifer Hasty had been a talented jouster in his youth, and according to some sources, he was in love with queen Rhaella. After she was married to Aery's, Ser Bonifer gave himself over to the faith and formed a group known as the Holy hundred. His younger brother and sister run the castle."




"You think they will stay true to their word?"




"I do,"




As they neared their destination, the walls of castle Hasty could be seen in the distance, and an army camp was sent up around it.




"Maybe this isn't such a good idea," Loras said.




"It seems you are right," Robar said.




Jon gave the castle a closer look, and to his astonishment, he saw the banner of Renly Baratheon on its walls, the Baratheon stag in the colors of House Tyrell waving proudly in the soft wind. Looking at the camp, he saw that it was not the same Baratheon banner that the men there fought under; it was the stag on the burning heart of Stannis Baratheon.




"It seems not all of the lords of the Stormlands have sided with Stannis," Jon said. His two friends came a bit closer and saw what he saw.




"Well, I'll be damned," Loras said.








He could not describe how happy he was when they finally caught up with Jon and seen him unharmed. Jon's distrust was reasonable considering what happened but, in the end, his brother realized that what he said was true, that Loras was there for him, to be at his side like he always was. They were lucky to find Grenn; Loras was thinking about setting camp for the night when they saw the poacher. If they did that, Jon would have avoided them for who knows how long; it was ironic that they owed their success to a criminal.




Loras took the first watch just in case something or, more likely, someone came towards them. He felt relieved that during his watch, nothing happened. During that time, he found his mind returning to his family's actions; Jon meant a lot to them all everyone knew that, well, to everyone but his grandmother. There was no question about it, Olenna was behind this, but as he thought about it more, he started placing more and more blame on his father and his brothers for not standing up to his grandmother, Margaery, for saying she loved Jon but then choosing the crown instead.




Loras always thought that if anyone stood up to their grandmother, it would be Willas, he was the oldest, the smartest, the heir, but now Loras could see that his brother had no backbone just like his father, doing whatever Olenna told him to. The more he thought about it, the more agitated he became; only when he realized that it was time for Robar to take over that he started calming down.




Laying down on the ground, putting his head on the sack, he thought how Jon just feel about all of it if he felt like this. Closing his eyes, he let the sleep take him away. Hours later, Jon woke him up to take over, and he did, the first rays of the sun coming over the horizon. Watching the rode carefully, he saw nothing, so he looked at his companions. Robar was sleeping tightly, as was the poacher, while Jon twisted and turned from side to side several times before settling down. Loras could swear that he heard Jon call out Margaery's name in his sleep.




"Damn you, Margaery," Loras thought; Jon deserved better than this. Margaery has always been raised with the notion that one day she will be queen, father said it, grandmother said it, and now she will but at the price that should not have been paid. Jon loved Margaery with all his heart. That much was evident, and Margaery did too, or at least that's what he thought.




As Loras returned his gaze back to the road, he saw a cloud of dust in the distance; looking closer, he saw the shapes of horses and men riding them. Moving quickly, he shook Robar awake and told him to wake Jon. Standing behind a tree, Loras looked at the riders once more, and he could make out the huntsman as their sigil.




"Tarly," Loras growled and made his way back to the camp. They hid as best as they could and waited for the riders to pass. Holding Bluebell's reins, he felt nervous as he watched the Tarlys past one by one until only two remained. Then suddenly Bluebell neighed, and Loras thought that they were caught, that they would have to kill these two men if they intended to remain free. He thanked the gods once the riders left, they were not caught, and none of his countrymen would need to lose they live today.




After a while, they continued their journey, riding to castle Hasty to hand Grenn over. What they found there he could barely believe, the Hastys refusing to bend the knee to Stannis, Renly's banner still on the castle walls.




"It seems that Hasty is not an option anymore," said Robar.




"Aye indeed, we can't go there with an army at its gates," said Jon.




Loras thought of Renly, of the promise Loras gave him, a promise he could not keep. Staring at the banner, a feeling of guilt washed over him.




"So, what do we do now?" asked Jon.




"We can't do anything; we don't have any men with us. It is not honorable, but we can't do anything for them now; we need to continue forward," answered Robar.




"No," Loras said.




"What?" Jon and Robar asked, looking at Loras.




"I said no," Loras said.




Jon rode closer to Loras, putting his hand on Loras's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Loras, but Robar is right; there is nothing the three of us can do against an army."




"Maybe not, but I'm not leaving without getting it a closer look," Loras said, and he rode forward.




"Loras!" shouted Jon, but Loras ignored it, continuing to ride forward.




"Oh, for god's sake," said Robar and rode to join Loras, Jon following right behind.




They rode into the woods that surrounded the castle; standing at the edge of the tree line, they observed the camp.




"It's just three of us Loras, what can we do?" Robar said, but Loras tuned him out. Watching the camp, he could see the soldiers preparing for an assault. Loras guessed that there were about five hundred men in the camp, maybe more. Looking at the castle walls, he could see arbalests with their crossbows pointed at the men below. Stannis's men had siege ladders and a battering ram.




"Those gates won't hold that ram for long," Loras said, and the two other knights looked at the ram. He could hear Jon and Robar talking, but he paid no attention to it until he heard something coming from behind them.




"Loras," Jon said, and by his tone, Loras knew something was wrong. Turning around, he could see ten armed men standing in front of them; a tall, thin, older-looking man stood in the middle, looking Loras directly in the eyes.




The day before




Ser Lucas Hasty




When the news of Renly's death had reached him, he refused to believe them; there was no way that the king could just be killed like that in the middle of his own camp. So, the only reasonable explanation was that it was a ruse either by the Lannisters or by Stannis. Lucas never really liked Stannis, he met the man several times over the years, and each time he wondered how he and Robert were related. Where Robert was fun and jovial, Stannis was unpleasant and too stern for his liking. When he met Renly, it was easy to see that he was Robert's brother, the same easy smile and jovial nature, whereas Lucas had never seen Stannis smile not even once.




Bonifer was the official head of their house, but ever since he took to the faith and swore not to have any heirs, the responsibility of leading their house fell to him. When the time came to choose which king his house would follow, he declared for the man who was his liege Renly Baratheon, sending his sons along with five hundred infantry and two hundred cavalries to the king. He would have joined personally, but he could not fight, not since he lost his arm during the rebellion.




Lucas was ready to ride out to Storms End and see the truth for himself when an army under what he could only guess was Stannis banner marched and encircled his castle.




Now, as he stood on the Wall of his keep overlooking the camp, he knew that there would be a battle; Renly was alive. There was no doubt in his mind about that, and he will stay loyal to his king. News of this force has undoubtedly reached the king and his sons by now; all he had to do is hold out until reinforcements arrive. The walls were sturdy, the garrison numbered two hundred men, and his sister, ever the vigilant one, made sure that the castle's stores were full enough to last a prolonged siege.




"My lord look," one of the soldiers said, and he gazed in front of him; three horsemen rode towards the castle gates with a wight flag.




"They want a parley, then let's parley," Lucas said and proceeded to walk down a stairway down to the castle courtyard. "Open the gates," he told the men, and soon the gates opened. Stepping forward, he could hear crossbows being cocked on the walls and soldiers walking behind him. He stopped in the middle of the road and looked at the three riders, two he did not know but the one in the middle he recognized.




"Lord Simon Fell, what brings you to my castle?" Lucas said.




"King Stannis has tasked me with bringing you to heel; you were supposed to swear your allegiance to him, and yet you refused."




"Stannis is not my king; Renly Baratheon is my king."




"Renly is dead, my lord; his forces have all pledge themselves to Stannis, we'll all but you," Fell said.




"You think me stupid; there is no way that anyone can get past an army that large and kill the king in his own tent. Stannis will have to do better than that if he wants me and my men to follow him. Fools attempt at a trick, and it seems that even bigger fool follows him." Fell grimaced at the insult.




"Your son has already pledged your men to king Stannis. Renly is dead, my Lord; Stannis is your rightful king."




Lucas scoffed. "Duncan is my heir. He would never do that."




"Indeed, my lord, your eldest son shares your stubbornness, while the younger has seen reason."




"What have you done to Martin?" Lucas said worried, had they hurt his son?




"Nothing, my lord, unlike you, he swore to the rightful king after Renly's death; he and his rides follow the same king as I do."




"Could this be true? No Martin was brash but not a traitor," Lucas thought as he looked at the Lord. "If true, then why did not Stannis send my son to persuade me? Instead, he sent you," Lucas said.




"The king's decision is not yours to question my lord; your duty is to follow him," Fell said.




"You and your king can go fuck yourselves all I care until I see real proof king Renly is dead my loyalty lays with him. King Robert named Renly the Lord of the Stormlands; Stannis has never been my liege, which will not change today. Attack my castle at your own will but know I will not fall on this day."




Lord Fell laughed slightly, Lucas glaring angrily at him. "You are a cripple with barely a few hundred men at his side. If we attack, we will take the keep; why condemn good men to death if you can save them with one simple gesture?"




"I told you already until Renly's body is in front of me, I will not bend the knee. Even if my son did so, I will not. House Hasty stands behind Renly Baratheon."




"In that case, you will join him, my lord," Fell said.




"You can come and try, my lord, but you will not succeed," Lucas growled.




"I thought you would see reason, but instead, you chose defiance; I'm sorry, my Lord, but king Stannis has made his orders clear. Because we are countrymen, I will give you one day to reconsider. If you do not know that I will be forced to take the keep."




"Feel free to try," Lucas said defiantly.




"The deaths of these men are on your hands, my lord," Lord Fell said before he turned his horse and rode back to the camp, the two other men beside him. Lucas spat on the ground and walked back into the keep, the gates being closed as he did. He looked at his master at arms.




"Double the guards tonight," Lucas ordered.




"Yes, my lord," the man said.




Moving as fast as he could, Lucas made his way to the great hall where he found his wife, youngest son, and sister. Looking at them, he knew that if the castle fell, they would be captured, but an even worse thought crossed his mind. He shook his head; the castle will hold, it has to, at least one of his sons will arrive, and once they do, this will all be over. Walking to the table where his family sat, he tried to give them a reassuring smile.




"So how bad is it?" his wife asked.




"At least five hundred men, maybe six hundred, Lord Fell is leading them. He says that Renly is dead."




"We already heard that," his wife said. "Maybe it's true."




"There is no damn way someone could get past thirty thousand men and the Kingsguard and kill the king. Stannis is lying; our son might have fallen for it, but I will not."




"What about Duncan?" his sister Bethany asked.




"It's nothing about Duncan; it's Martin. Fell said that he already had to bend the knee to Stannis."




"Duncan was with the infantry at Bitterbridge the last we heard, right?"




"Yes, he was. By now, he must be heading this way; we need to hold out until they reach us."




"You think we can hold out that long?" His wife asked, fear clear in her voice.




"We must," Lucas said and looked at his son. "Alex, come with me."




He and his son made their way to the Lord's solar; Lucas told his son to open the chest at the back of the room and help him with putting the armor on. Almost twenty years have passed since he wore that armor last; it was at Ashford that he lost his right arm to some Tarly knight. He honestly thought that he would never put it on again, but now his home and family are threatened, and he would have to fight even with just one arm.




Lucas looked at his son, the boy's uncertainty clear by the look on his face. "You have nothing to worry about. Help will come; your brothers will return," he said, trying to do his best to reassure his son.




"But what if help does not come, what if we are left all alone?" Alex asked.




"We have strong walls and a capable garrison; we will hold," Lucas said with grim resolve.




"As you say, father," Alex replied, nodding his head as the last piece of armor was put in its place and helped Lucas with the sword belt. Wearing armor and with a sword at his hip, Lucas was ready for what is to come.




"Tell your mother I will be on the battlements with the men tonight; you are to stay with her and your aunt, is that understood?"




"But I want to fight; I can help, father," Alex said in a pleading tone.




Lucas put his one hand on the boy's shoulder. "I know you can, but I need you to stay with your mother. If worse comes to pass, they will not harm you."




"But father,"




"Don't argue with me boy, you will do as I say," Lucas said in a stern tone. Sighing, he continued, "Keep your mother and aunt safe."




The boy looked at his father, a determined look in his eyes. "I will, father."




"Good, now let us go."




Exiting the solar, they walked together until they separated in the great hall, Alex going to his mother while he went to join the men on the walls.




"My lord," said his master at arms with a hint of confusion, probably not expecting to see him like this.




"Have the men been doubled as I asked?"




"They have, my lord," the knight answered.




"Good, let us hope that Fell will stay true to his word and not attack until tomorrow," Lucas said, looking at the direction of the camp. "Where the hell are you?" he thought.




Bonifer Hasty




The hundred declared themselves for Renly Baratheon first, as did his family, Lucas always liking Renly more than Stannis. Stannis might be the next in line, true, but having a priestess of a foreign god at his side made Bonifer sure that the course his brother took was the right one, his gods are the seven, and he will not fight for a foreign god.




When the word of Renly's death spread, he did not believe it at first, but when all of the host that was with Renly sided with Stannis, he knew that he and the hundred need to make themselves scarce. Speaking with his nephew that night, he tried to talk him into returning to their family, but the boy refused, saying that Stannis was the king now and that he would side with him as will his father in time.




Bonifer laughed at that; his brother was a stubborn man, siding with Stannis was not an option, but his nephew scoffed at his words and said that his father would have no other choice. They argued some more before the boy stormed out of the tent, leaving Bonifer alone.




With no other option, Bonifer ordered the hundred to get ready to leave, and leave they did. The journey back to his family's castle took longer than he expected because they had to avoid several large contingents of Stannis's army and once, they came near the castle, they saw that it was under siege.




"This is not good," said Olden, one of the hundred.




"It seems I was right; my brother still refuses to bend the knee," Bonifer said.




"What are we to do?"




"We need to get a closer look at the situation," Bonifer said and took a dozen men with him into the forest to see if there was any chance of aiding his brother. Moving through the trees, he heard voices coming from in front of him. Moving carefully, he and his men came closer and found four men, three on the ground looking at the camp and one tied to a horse.




Just as they were few meters away, one of the three turned and looked at them. Calling the man's name next to him, he immediately recognized who the three were, but what were they going here?




Bonifer looked at the brown-haired knight in the middle "Ser Loras," he said with a nod. The three looked at him, two making themselves ready to pull their swords out. "We are no threat; you have my word."




"And who's word do I have?" Loras asked.




"Ser Bonifer Hasty, lord of that castle behind you," Bonifer answered calmly.




"I thought you sided with Stannis," the man who he knew was Ser Robar Royce said.




"Only my nephew, myself, and the Holy hundred won't follow him, for the god he now worships, and I will not go against my family."




After a moment of silence, a dark-haired man that could only be Jon Snow spoke. "If that is so, then you will aid your family trapped in their keep."




"I will Ser, I will not let my family suffer in any way," The three men looked at each other as if to see if the others agree with trusting him, and then Ser Loras spoke first.




"Your brother refuses to join Stannis. Why is that?"




"Lord Stannis had never really had good relations with the Stormlands to begin with, and my brother dislikes the man for his own reasons."




"So, you have a hundred men with you?"




"That is correct, Ser Loras."




"Then my friends and I will aid you in any way we can in lifting this siege."




Jon Snow turned to Ser Loras. "Loras, there are five hundred men out there; what can a hundred men do?"




"How many of your men are mounted, Ser Bonifer?" Loras asked.




"All of them,"




"Hundred mounted knights, Jon, that is not a small force compared to what is there."




"Five to one is not big to you?" Jon asked. Bonifer understood the young knight's worry but decided to not say anything about it for now.




"Trust me on this, would you?" Loras said. Jon stared Loras in the eyes for a moment before nodding.




"Fine, I'm putting my faith in you; you better not get me killed," Jon said before whistling, and then out of nowhere, two large beasts past Bonifer and his men. The men immediately taking steps back away from the beasts, stunned looks on their faces. Had they been behind them the entire time?




"Are those?" one of his men asked.




"Aye, Direwolves," Sir Jon said. He knew about the Stark bastard and his Direwolves and even saw them once while in the camp at Bitterbridge, but now seeing them closer, he could see just how large they truly were; a beast like that could tear a man apart in seconds.




Shaking off the astonishment, Bonifer spoke to the knights, "I thank you, good Sers, but if we are to help my brother with just my men, we are going to need a plan. Considering you already gave the camp a look, do you have any suggestions?"




"Come and look for yourself, Ser Bonifer," Ser Jon said, and he moved. The camp surrounded the castle, and by the looks of it, it housed somewhere around half a thousand men. The siege equipment was there, a ladder and a ram. If that ram got near the gate, the gates would not be able to hold out for very long. He also noticed another thing that no trenches were being dug or spikes placed around the camp to act as a defense measure. Being confidant is good; being too confident will get you killed.




"So?" Ser Loras asked.




"No outer defenses for the camp, but that ram will pose a problem if it gets near the castle gates," Bonifer said.




"We should make a plan then," Ser Robar said.




"Aye," said Bonifer. As the three started discussing the possible plans, they had two advantages, the element of surprise and the lack of defenses that will come it much easier to attack. As they continued to talk, Jon's voice cut them off.




"We wait," the knight said, and they looked at him confused.




"Wait, what do you mean?" Loras asked.




"We wait for the attack to commence; once most of the men are at the walls or near them, we attack, we outflank them and push them at the walls. They will be caught between two forces, so their numbers wouldn't do them much good compared to being in an open field," Jon said.




"Hammer and anvil," Robar said.




"Aye, hammer, and anvil. The castle will be the anvil, and we will be the hammer."




"It's a risky plan, but in war, every plan is risky," said Ser Bonifer.




"Anybody have anything to add?" asked Ser Loras.




"I do have one more thing," said Jon.




"Go on,"




"Do you still have Renlys banners with you?" Jon asked Bonifer.




"Some yes," answered Bonifer, raising an eyebrow.




"What are you thinking, Jon?" asked Robar.




"Well, all three of us are still in the armor of the rainbow guard, so if we are seen at the head of the force, carrying king Renly's banner, that might cause panic and confusion amongst the enemy forces."




Ser Loras thought about it for a moment, a strange look on his face but eventually nodded, and Bonifer ordered his men to tell the other the plan and to get themselves ready.




"What will we do with him," Ser Robar said as he pointed at the man that was tied to a horse. "We can't just leave him here."




Ser Jon walked over to the man and pulled a cloth out of the man's mouth. "Can you fight?"




"Not very well," said Loras with a smirk.




"Fuck you, I know how to fight," the man shouted.




"Then you will help us," Ser Jon said.




"Jon, he is a poacher," Loras said.




"I know, but we need every man we can get for this, and as Robar said, we can't leave him here."




"Why would I fight for you? You want to hand me over to some lord who will cut my hand off or send me to the Wall."




"Fight with us, and we won't hand you over, you will not be tried, you have my word," Jon said.




"What good is your word to me?" the man said.




"I'm a knight and a northerner. My word is my bond, I tell you again, fight with us, and we won't hand you over." The poacher agreed far quicker than Bonifer thought he would. Ser Jon took a knife and cut the man's bonds.




"Don't try to do anything stupid again," Ser Loras said while the poacher glared at him.




"Fuck you, pretty boy," the man said and got a laugh from Ser Jon.




"Come on now, it's in everyone's best interest for us all to get along; the sooner we are done with this, the sooner we all get back on your merry way," Sir Jon said, and all of them nodded in agreement.

Chapter Text





The Holy hundred might be a group of pious knights, but they were well equipped and disciplined considering their origin. Hasty told his men to ready themselves for battle; the horses were being mounted, swords sharpened one last time, men moving into formation. He stood with Loras, Jon, Bonifer, and two others of the hundred; they were going over the plan one more time.




"When the battle starts, we wait for Stannis's forces to reach the wall; once the fighting is at its thickest, we attack. We go straight to the center, towards the gates, once that part of the army has been taken care of, we move to the side to finish the rest," Loras said, pointing at a drawing in the dirt.




"My brother will send some of his forces out as soon as we rout the main force and give them a way out of the keep," Bonifer added.




"Good, we are going to need more men to pull this off efficiently," Jon said.




"I do have something that might help us even further," Robar said.




"Say it, don't keep us in suspense," Loras said.




"By the banner, I have seen, I believe lord Fell is the one leading these troops, so I thought that we should focus on him; if he is slain, they will be left without a leader."




"Cut the head off the snake," Jon said.




"Precisely," Robar said.




"Lord Fell will probably be in the center of it, leading his troops as they attack the gates. Our plan doesn't change much; just take care of him if you get the chance," Bonifer said, and the rest nodded.




"All is ready, Ser Bonifer," a man said as he approached them.




"Now we ride to battle then," Robar said.




"May the Crone light our way, and the Warrior gives strength to our arms," Bonifer said, and his men repeated the verse with equal fervor.




"Men of the faith indeed," he thought. He was a follower of the seven but not a devout one like these men. His father always said that their house descended from the first men and not the Andals and that they have relations with the Starks of Winterfell. Once he first saw Jon, there was no doubt that they shared blood, Jon looking like his younger brother Waymar, with the same hair and gray eyes. His own eyes were gray too but much paler than Jon or his brothers. That was the second reason he decided to go after Jon; he owned the man his life, yes, but when he looked at him, he could see his little brother, the one that should have been here alive and well. He could not help Waymar, but he will not fail Jon, they were kin and brothers of the Kingsguard, and Robar will do what is needed to keep Jon safe.




He and Jon walked up to their horses to find Grenn there, the hundred have him some armor and a sword to wield in the ensuing fight. Green was looking at the blade when Robar approached him.




"Ready for what is to come?" he asked, and Grenn looked at him.




"Yes," the man answered.




Looking at how he held the sword, Robar had to ask. "Do you know how to use that thing?"




"Of course, I know how to use a sword; you stick the pointy end into the other man," Grenn said, and Robar did his best not to laugh. What Grenn said was right, but it was more complicated than that.




Robar patted the man and the back. "Just don't get yourself killed, alright?" he said with a small smirk.




"You think I can't take care of myself?" Grenn asked, agitated.




"Have you ever been in a fight with a professional swordsman?" Jon asked, but Robar already knew the answer.




"No," Grenn said, and Robar could see that some of the anger was gone, now replaced with uncertainty.




"Listen to me, stay close to us, Robar, Loras, or me," Jon said, "You will be fine with us, but you will still have to fight, understood?"




"Yes," Grenn said, more relaxed this time. They mounted their horses and proceeded to fight through the woods towards the castle.




Robar now sat in his saddle, his horse moving beneath him, Jon, Loras, and the hundred by his side. They stopped at the edge of the woods and watched as the attack on the castle commenced. The men with ladders stormed the castle first, several carrying the ladder with others using their shields to cover them. The men who defended the castle rained a volley of armors at the attackers, the arrows finding their targets, but that was still not enough to slow the advance.




The attackers used their own archers to fire at the defenders at the wall, with mixed results, the castle walls proved good at keeping its defenders alive for now. Robar knew that timing was everything in this situation and that they still needed to wait.




The attack intensified, and the ladders were now at the walls, with the ram being slowly moved towards the gates. The men started climbing the ladders with the Hastys trying to falter their attempts by shooting more arrows and tossing rocks at them. The ram coming even closer to the gates.




Robar felt nervous; it wasn't that he was scared of fighting; on the contrary, he loved it, but this would be his first real battle since the Greyjoy rebellion, and back then, he was just a squire and did not see much action.




More men started climbing the ladder, and the ram was now in the position, the defenders tossing oil and firing flaming arrows to stop it but with little effect. The sound of the ram hitting the gate rang through the air for the first time, and soon for the second time. Looking at the fighting, he saw that the time was right; most if all men were near the walls, and in the distance, he could see the banner of their leader, Lord Fell.




Ser Bonifer readied his lance and nodded to the man beside him. The man took a horn and blew into it. The loud sound it made echoed all around him; that was the signal to attack. Ser Bonifer charged, and his men followed, he Loras, Jon and Grenn right beside him. Renly Baratheon's banner waving amongst the riders that charged at the force of their late king's brother.




"For House Hasty!" Robar heard Bonifer shout.




"For king Renly!" Loras shouted afterward. They charged towards the castle at the enemy in front of them. He could see that they were trying to scramble a defense, but by the time they could even try and do that, the hundred had already hit the first of the attacking forces in the back.




Ser Lucas Hasty




The night was restless, for him and for his men. Some tried to get some rest but most failed, the possibility of an attack lingering on their minds. Most of the soldiers either were with him on the battlements or in the other parts of the castle. Walking along the wall, he could hear Fells men laugh and sing as they have already won. His father always said confidence was a good thing, but too much of it will get you killed, and now he hoped that that was true.




Fell stayed true to his Word that night, and he did not launch a surprise attack; even if he did, they would have been ready for it. Now when the first rays of the sun breaking the trees, his mind drifted between the thoughts of his family and the battle that would start in a matter of hours. If the castle is taken, his family will be taken prisoner, and knowing Stannis, he will probably lose his head for this act of supposed defiance.




"The castle will hold, even if I have to hold it myself," Lucas said to himself.




With the dawn, he ordered all the remaining men to the walls, the banner of king Renly Baratheon in the hands of the man beside him. He looked at his men; some had dark circles around their eyes from the lack of sleep, others were nervous, some showing it more than others. Lucas was nervous himself, but he knew he could not show it; his men needed to see their lord standing strong even if he was a cripple. Turning around, he looked at the remainder of his men.




"Men!" Lucas shouted, and all eyes turned to him. "These men down there come here speaking falsehood trying to get us to abandon our rightful king; they come here to take our home from us because we refuse to bend the knee to someone else. These men are nothing more than traitors and turncoats, men who chose a lord who worships A heathen fire god. We are knights of the Stormlands; we will never bow down to any foreigner. We will stay strong, and we will fight for King Renly."




"For king Renly," his men shouted and could not help but feel pride at that moment.




"Man, the walls, not one of them steps on the walls of this castle," Lucas shouted.




They were ready and waiting for the attack to commence, his archers in the front to make sure anything that tries to get near the wall receives an arrow. Once the attack began, Stannis's soldiers rushed at the walls with ladders, he immediately ordered to fire upon them. His archers and arbalists had mixed results; at first, it seemed that the constant hail of arrows would be able to keep them off his wall, but soon the men around the ladders formed a shield wall around themselves, and the ladders started quickly getting nearer the castle.




As if that was not bad enough, the ram was getting nearer as well. Ordering the archers to fire upon it did not damage it. Sadly it was fashioned from sturdy oak and bronze. It was then the first of the ladders hit the wall in front of him and the man beneath started to climb up.




"Don't let them get on the wall!" Lucas shouted. The arbalests fired arrows while other soldiers tossed rock or spilled hot oil on the attackers. The ear was filled with sounds of battle, men screaming, orders being shouted all around. More ladders made it to the wall, and more men started climbing up. When the man in front of him fell to the ground, an arrow sticking out of his eye, Lucas took his sword he walked forward to the edge of the wall, finding one of Fell's men almost at the top he plunged his sword into the other man's beck. A scream of pain was heard coming from the Fell until he fell off the ladder to the ground below. Looking down, he could see more men climbing up and even more ready to do so after them.




"Persistent bastards," Lucas heard Alister, his master at arms, say as he shoots a crossbow down one of the ladders.




Looking around, Lucas could see that his men were fighting bravely, but even more than that desperately. Fell had a large force by far, but they were holding; the only thing that could turn the tide was the ram. When he realized it and looked towards the ram, it was not at the gates. The soldiers were pouring oil over it and trying to set it ablaze, but soon he heard the noise, the sound of the ram hitting the gates.




If the gates broke, they would be done for; Fells men would rush in and kill them all. Then the sound of the ram hitting the gate was heard once more. Looking down at his soldiers below, he could see that several of them were there at the gates, trying to support it as best as they could. As the third hit came in, the men were pushed back but immediately returned.




At that moment, Lucas prayed to the seven, mother, crone, warrior anyone that would listen; he prayed for aid because he feared that they would not be able to last long. He heard a horn being blown at that moment, he thought it was one of the Fells, but soon he was proven wrong.




"My lord, look!" shouted one of his men, pointing over the wall. Taking steps forward, he looked to where the man was pointing and saw raiders coming from the woods. Lucas frantically looked to see who they were; once he saw the stag of his king, he thanked the gods for answering his prayer.




"Reinforcements are here; push these bastards back to Dragonstone," Lucas shouted. Looking around for Allister, he finally found the knight down with the men at the gates. "Alister, take as many men as you can and charge out; help has arrived."




The knight nodded and organized as many men as he could, some on horses while most were still on foot. The aiding cavalry broke through the first lines, and it was then when the gates of his keep opened, and his soldiers rushed out to meet with the loyalists.






Once he saw the banner of his love, he felt regret, shame, and hurt. Renly should be alive, he should be here leading his men, ruling the seven kingdoms, but instead, he was dead. At first, his rage was directed at lady Brienne, but due to Jon's and Robar's words, that rage faded, and he started to believe what Robar said about the shadow. Stannis had that damned sorceress with him, and to Loras, he looked like a kind of man that would kill his own brother for power. Renly was ready to face Stannis in the field, but he would have never killed him; what Stannis did prove that he was a coward, a man without honor.




As he made his way through the woods, he knew that there was no chance that they could help the Hastys, but he still wanted to see it up close. When Ser Bonifer arrived with his men, they gave them what they needed, an opportunity. With the hundred, they could attack the unsuspecting forces and aid the Hastys, killing as many of those damned traitors in the process. Loras was determent to get some sort of revenge; he could not kill the man but denying Stannis castle Hasty could just be it.




Jon was right when it came to the numbers, but his friend did come up with a brilliant plan; Fell might have the numbers, but all that would take to win would be a strong cavalry charge that will break the lord's forces and allow the Hastys to come out and join them. Lord Fell was the leader, and Loras knew that the man would need to die, and he was the one that was going to kill him.




The charge was disciplined and caught momentum fast, the hundred proving to be more than just a group of pious men wearing armor. The attack caught the Fells off guard, and while some of them tried to stop the charge, it was to no avail; the raiders cut through the men on the ground like they were nothing. According to Jon's plan, they pushed towards the gates, more and more troops being diverted from the walls to try and stop them. Jon's wolves tore through men and horses like they were made from parchment, tearing flesh and ripping off limbs. Loras could see the panic in the eyes of men who faced the Direwolves.




The gates of the castle opened, and he saw men wearing the sigil of house Hasty ride out to join them, catching the Fells even more off guard. Threw out the fighting, he could hear some of Bonifer's men shout that the Kingsguard was here, that king Renly send aid to the castle, which did have the desired effect, the confusion amongst Fells men only increased.




Looking around, chaos was all around him; moments earlier, the Fells were storming the castle, and now they were caught between the forces. Arrows rained from the castle directed towards the traitors. He could see a group of riders charging at them, lord Fells banner with them. Loras and Jon were joined by several of the hundred, and they rode to meet them.




Loras's sword clashed with lord Fells, the sound loud enough to be heard over the sounds of battle around them.




"Traitor!" Loras shouted as the swords continued to clash. Loras put all his strength and fury into his blows; this man was going to die. During the fight, the lord fell off his horse and hit the ground; Loras dismounted his horse and ran towards the knight. Fell tried to reach his sword, but just as he was about to grab it, Loras put his foot down on it and directed the tip of his blade to the lord's head, his helm falling off when he hit the ground.




Loras looked at this man, a man to turn his back on his liege lord, who immediately ran to another king, a Kinslayer, a traitor to his own family. He may not be able to kill Stannis on this day, but this man will have to do.




"Ser Loras," Fell said, and Loras pushed his sword into the man's neck and watched as the life faded from his eyes. Pulling his blade out, Loras let the body fall to the ground. Moving away from the dead body, he found Bluebell and mounted her up. Looking around, he could see that most of the castle garrison had joined them. The men in the center were being massacred. Loras charged at the nearest Fell soldiers he could find and cut him down.




Loras rode around the battlefield and could see that the battle was dying down, most of the troops moving to the flanks. Finding Robar, he asked about their situation.




"We broke the center, the left flank surrendered as soon as the word of you killing lord Fell reached them while the right is in retreat, Bonifer has sent his men with some of the castle garrisons to take care of them."




"That is good to hear. What will we do with the ones that surrendered?"




"That is up to the Hastys to decide; it's their castle that was besieged."




"Aye, now let's go and find Jon and Ser Bonifer," Loras said.




Finding Jon and Bonifer, they told Loras the same thing as Robar, and after that, they rode towards the castle. Entering the courtyard, they were met by men weary of battle but still standing at attention. As they rode in, the wolves entered alongside them; their fur was covered in blood, it was barely noticeable on Lady due to her dark coat, but Ghost looked akin to a demon with his white coat covered in the gore of battle. The guards in the yard look warily at the wolves but took no action. Soon a man with only one arm approached them, his face filled with gratitude.




He looked at each of them before he settled on Ser Bonifer.




"Bonifer," the man said, disbelief clear in his voice.




"Brother," Bonifer said, a soft smile on his lips. Dismounting, the knight approached his brother and embraced him. "Surprised to see me."




"Yes, a bit; I accepted my sons to come, but you are a sight for sore eyes too, brother," the man said.




The two broke their embrace, and Bonifer looked at the three of them. "Lucas, I want you to meet the men who orchestrated this attack, Ser Loras Tyrell, Ser Jon Snow, and Ser Robar Royce."




"Ser Lucas, it is an honor," Loras said with a slight bow.




"The honor is all mine, lord commander; I can barely believe that the king sent his own Kingsguard to lift the siege of my castle," Lucas said, astonishment clear in his voice. Loras looked at his two friends; all three now bore sad expressions on their faces, as did ser Bonifer.




"Forgive me ser for being the bearer of bad news, but king Renly is dead," said Loras. Lucas's smile faded and was replaced by a stony expression.




"So, it's true then," Lucas said.




"You heard?" Bonifer asked.




"Aye, I did, but I refused to believe it; there was no way that a single man or a group could make it past the entirety of the reach's army and kill the king."




"If what Ser Robar says it's true, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is the king was not killed by a man but a shadow," Jon said.




"A shadow?" Lucas asked, confused.




"Stannis has a sorceress with him, the one who preaches about that fire god of hers. It was she who used some form of terrible sorcery to kill the king; there is no other explanation," Robar said. It took several moments for ser Lucas to come to terms with what he just learned and then looked at Loras.




"Then all these men died for nothing," Lucas said.




"Not for nothing ser, you stayed true to you vows, the vows you pledged to your king. Because of his actions, Stannis is a Kingslayer now, and we all know how gods feel about Kingslayer. These men died warrior's deaths, fighting to defend their home. No one can say anything bad about them, their deeds were brave in the eyes of men and even more so in the eyes of the gods," Loras said. Looking around the tired and stoic faces of the garrison, he did his best to offer words of encouragement.




"Their deeds are great in the eyes of the warrior for certain," Bonifer said.




After a long moment, the silence was broken by Lucas sighing. "Thank you for your words Ser Loras; I believe that a better place to talk would be inside, and I would like to tell my family that we are safe now."




"Indeed ser," Lucas said.




Lucas turned to one of the men beside him. "Alister, I leave the things here in your capable hands.


The man nodded, "As you wish, my lord."




Loras turned to Robar. "Robar, could you help them?" A simple nod was the answer from Robar. Robar stayed with the man and took Grenn with him while they dismounted and went towards the great hall. Entering it, they found a boy, younger than Loras or Jon in armor and with a sword in hand, behind him two women sat at a table.




"The battle is over; we have won," Lucas said as they entered the room.




"Father," the boy shouted and ran to his father. After breaking their hug, the boy looked at them and then at Ser Bonifer. "Uncle Bonifer, you came," the boy shouted again.




"I did boyo, I could not just leave you not, could I?" Bonifer said.




"Ser Loras, Ser Jon, this is my youngest son Alex," Lucas introduced them. The boy looked at them, his eyes glistening.




"The lord commander of the Kingsguard," the boy said excitedly. There it was again, that title, the title Renly gave him, to act as the commander of his personal guards, to ensure the safety of his love in which he failed, and every time someone called him by that title, the memory of that failure came back, the memory of Renly's lifeless body in his arms.




"Not anymore, I'm afraid, the king Renly is dead," Loras said, and the boys beaming smile vanished.




"So, what's going to happen to us now?" a female voice asked. Looking up, Loras saw that the two women now stood in front of them.




"Good Ser, these are my wife Mary and my sister Eliza," Lucas said.




"My ladies," Lucas said with a bow.




"Ser Loras, Ser Jon," Mary said, and both she and Eliza curtsied.




"Stannis is many things, but he is not stupid; once the Word reaches him of the failure of the siege, he will know that he would have to send even more men to take the keep, men that he desperately needs to fight the Lannisters. He will not risk good men on this castle, Jon said, and Loras agreed with him. This castle was too insignificant compared to the fight with the Lannisters; one small unruly house is not a threat.




"We thought that either Duncan or Martin would arrive before you, brother," said Eliza.




"Martin has sided with Stannis," Bonifer said.




Mary turned her gaze to the floor. "So what Fell said was true. Why would he do that?" The woman said, tears starting to form in her eyes.




"He is a young fool, and like any young fool, he seeks glory, and he thinks fighting with Stannis will get him that," Bonifer said. "I tried to talk him out of it, but he is as stubborn as his father."




"One trait that seems to do both good and bad in our family," Lucas said.




"What about Duncan? He was at Bitterbridge with the infantry," Eliza said.




Loras sighed. He knew that he had to tell the truth. "Most of the men belonging to the houses that swore fealty to Stannis have been captured by lord Tarly and are being held still at Bitterbridge."




"My son? We did not turn to Stannis," Lucas said.




"I'm sorry, but we had no way of knowing that; we were astonished once we saw that you still fought under Renly's banner," Loras said.




"If my son is hurt..." started Mary but was cut off by Loras.




"I assure you, my lady, your son is alive and well; lord Tarly made sure all of the nobles were captured alive," Loras said. Tarly might be one of the most boring men alive, but he is honorable; he will not harm any prisoner under his care. Loras ordered the traitors to be killed or captured, but luckily Tarly kept the carnage to the minimum, there was fighting, yes, but the surprise attack caught most off guard, including the Hasty men.




"Your son and his men will be returned to you in time," Jon said.




"Can't you do something, send a raven to your family to order their release, we stayed loyal after all," pleaded Mary. Loras would want nothing more than to be able to do that, but that was no longer possible.




"I-I can't," Loras said.




"Why not?" Mary said in an angry tone.




"Because my family has sided with the Lannisters, the three of us left the camp at Bitterbridge once my family's actions were made clear."




"You went against your own family? Asked Eliza, by her tone, Loras could tell that there was doubt in her.




"Yes, I did."




"Why?" asked Mary.




"Because I refuse to fight beside killers and oath breakers," Loras said. What he said was true, but there was more to it than just that. "You have my word as a knight that what I say I true."




All eyes were pointed at Loras at that moment; every look was different; one was doubtful while the other was frightened. Suddenly Lucas spoke.




"I believe you, Ser Loras. You aided us in defending my family's home, and my brother trusts you, and so will I. This day has been hard for all of us; I suggest we get some rest, and we will reconvene in the evening for a meal. I will have someone prepare your rooms for tonight."




"We are grateful, Ser Lucas, thank you."




"It the least I can do."






Robar returned to the castle hours and joined them in the great hall. At the table sat he, Loras, Robar, some of the hundred and even Grenn. This was his first real experience of real battle, some of the scenes he saw still on his mind. Their silence in the hall was broken by someone's voice.




"You first battle?" a voice asked, and Jon and Loras turned their heads towards the men of the hundred.




"Yes," said Jon.




"Word of advice, don't think much about it; there is no point to think about every man you killed. That will only cause you more grief. The names Edward by the way," the man said, offering his hand to Jon.




"Jon," he said and shook the offered hand.




The man chuckled, "We all know who you are," Edward said and took another sip of his drink.




"You been in battles before?" Jon asked the man, but he already knew the answer.




"Yes, my first was at Stony sept, during Roberts rebellion, fought for lord Arryn on that day."




"So, you are not an original member of the Holy hundred?" Loras asked.




"If by that you mean that I'm not amongst the first who joined Bonifer, then yes. There are always a hundred of us, but some die, others leave to find a new path, and others come to take their place. Most are still the original members who founded the hundred with Bonifer, but there are also us who joined later," Edward said and took another seep of the ail in his cup.




"I have to say your plan worked better than I expected," Edward continued.




"You doubted it?" Jon asked, a bit insulted.




"Yes, following a plan made by a green boy that has never seen real battle before was not something I thought I would be doing when I first got up this morning."




"But it worked," Jon said.




"I did, but you were lucky. Most plans rarely survive the first contact. That's why you always need to have a backup plan."




"Thank you, I will have that in mind the next time I plan out a battle," Jon said with a small smirk.




"So, tell me how it was?" Edward asked, excited to hear their answers.




"It was how you expect a battle to be, fighting, blood, chaos, men dying around you," Jon said with a severe tone.




"What about you ser Loras?" Edward asked.




"The same as with him, but there is one thing that I did not expect," Loras said.




"And that is?" Edward asked curiously.




"The smell, why did it smell so bad after the battle. Bodies do not decompose that fast."




The man took a large sip from his mug before setting it back on the table. "Men shit themselves when they die, boy, that's not something they teach you in a castle. You learn that by yourself when you first go into battle."




"Well, we know that now," Jon said. He exchanged a few more words with Bonifer men before they are returning their attention to themselves. Jon looked at his companions; Loras was in a good mood, his first battle not affecting him as strongly as Jon. Robar sat next to him, drinking some wine and talking to Grenn. Grenn did well out there; he stayed close and watched their backs.




"You did well; you should be proud," Jon said as he looked at Grenn. Grenn looked at him, his eyes glistening with pride.




"Thank you, I only did as you told me," Grenn said.




"And that's what kept you alive if you left us, who knows what would have happened to you," Loras said.




"I could have survived on my own," Grenn spat back.




"Enough you two, Loras quit messing with him," Jon said firmly.




"Fine," Loras said and back down but with a small smirk on his face.




It was then when the doors of the hall opened, and ser Lucas and Bonifer arrived back. The two Hastys walked towards them and sat down.




"I have to thank you again, good Sers and especially you Ser Jon for helping us keep our castle; House Hasty is in your debt," Lucas said.




"You don't owe us anything; we did it because it was the right thing to do," Jon said.




"And yet you have my gratitude all the same."




"We wouldn't have been able to do it without your brother's help, he and his men and the true heroes," Robar said, and a thought crossed Jon's mind.




"How bad are the loses?" Jon asked.




"We caught them by surprise, but the fighting was still fierce; a quarter of my men have been killed or injured. It would have been more if the men from the castle had not stormed out to aid us," Bonifer said, a grievous expression on his face. Jon understood the knight's feelings; those men who gave up their lives today were his brothers, with whom he fought, ate, and drank for years; it will take time for that wound to heal.




"Who is this man? We did not have the pleasure of meeting earlier," Lucas said while looking at Grenn. Jon looked at Grenn and could see that man tense somewhat.




"This is Grenn; we met him on the road. He helped me and Loras track down Jon; after that, he helped us in the fight," Robar said, and Grenn relaxed.




"Well, you have my gratitude Grenn," Lucas said with a smile.




"Thank you, milord," Grenn said.




"The proper term is my lord," Loras said with a smile.




"My lord," Grenn said. "There is happy."




"Very much so," Loras said.




"Your rooms have been made for you, and I had the servants prepare hots baths for all of you. You will surely want to wash up after a long journey and a battle," Lucas said.




"We would, thank you, Ser Lucas," Jon said.




The hot bath was a pleasant thing, after all, that time on the road and his first battle. A servant helped him take off his armor, and he immediately dipped himself into the hot water. After washing off, he put on some new clothes that the Hastys provided, he made his way back to the great hall. Lucas threw a small feast to celebrate their victory, the hundred and some of the castle garrison all present.




He was led to the high table where he was seated right next to Ser Lucas and Ser Bonifor. To Lucas's left sat his wife, son, and sister, while on the right it was him, Loras, Robar, and Grenn. He would not help but smile at how Grenn looked at the fine clothes he was given; he looked like a knight in those.




Toasts were held for them and the fallen. There was drinking, and soon there was singing. Jon could hear the Hasty's talking about their two sons, the older one at Bitterbridge was safe Jon was sure of that, but the younger now followed Stannis, which means he is going straight to war and unlike the battle that they partook today, these ones will be massive and with a lot more carnage. Jon felt terrible that he could not help the Hasty's any more that he could, but there was nothing he could do about their sons now.




Loras nudged him with his elbow. "Jon, you should sing something; you have a better voice than these guys," Loras said.




"I'm not in the mood Loras," Jon said.




"Oh, come on, we won a battle today; we should celebrate at least a bit."




"No," Jon said.




"Come on, one song that is all I ask of you," Loras pleaded. After several moments Jon finally gave up and agreed. Standing up, he made his way down the high table and took a lute from one of the men. He was not as proficient with the lute as he was with a harp, but he was good enough. Jon decided to sing a song that would honor the men who fought and died today. He tuned the lute and began playing a tune, and soon be began singing.


Where now the horse and the rider


Where is the horn that was blowing?


Where is the helm and the hauberk?


And the bright hair flowing?


Where is the hand on the harpstring?


And the red fire glowing?


Where is the spring and the harvest?


And the tall corn growing?


They have passed like rain on the mountain,


Like a wind in the meadow.


The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.


Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,


Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?


When Jon finished, he saw that all eyes were on him, he turned to the high table and looked to Loras, who had a satisfied smile, and soon the clapping started. Jon looked to the two ladies, who both had tears in their eyes, and even some of the men around him.




Ser Lucas stood up and lifted his glass. "To Jon Snow, the wolf of the south!" The knight shouted.




"To Jon Snow, the wolf of the south!" the people in the hall shouted afterward. Loras still sat in the chair, a satisfying grin on his face.






Ever since she arrived in this accursed city, she knew she had to hide her displeasure and hate. The Lannisters were the worst group of people she ever met, but she had to hide it, to put on a false smile and be a good lady like she always was. She cursed her grandmother and her family for doing this; they were so desperate to get a crown that they sided with people who killed a good man and imprisoned his daughter. When she first arrived and found out that only Sansa was here and that Arya escaped somehow, she was relieved. The little wolf proving to be too much for even the Lannisters to handle.




Trying to get through to Sansa was more challenging than she thought; after learning what happened between her family and Jon, the girl basically threw her out of the room. Margaery could hear crying on the other side of the door and felt shame for what the girl endured. If only her family sided with the Starks instead of the Lannisters.




Margaery spent her time on the road to Kings Landing in depression, but once she reached the city, she decided she needed to pull herself together, this was a nest of vipers, and one mistake here could be fatal. Her only allies in this place were her ladies and her brother Garlan; she did not trust her grandmother anymore; in truth, she barely saw her since Bitterbridge. Garlan said nothing since they had allied with the Lions, but that was Olenna's work, and Margaery did not blame her brother.




She met the queen and the king with her brother, finding the queen to be what she expected arrogant and in constant need to control all that she deemed her though she was very skilled with words. The king was polite and charming, but she knew what was really hiding beneath, a monster. His mother seemed to want to keep her son under her control, but Margaery knew people, and maybe, just maybe, she could influence Joffrey in some ways. The crown will give her the power to change things for the better.




Maybe she could persuade the king to offer Sansa to the Starks in exchange for peace or finding some other way to prevent further bloodshed once she is crowned. She needed to talk to Sansa first. This all could have been easier if Loras was there with her, but she was glad he went after Jon; they will keep each other safe as they always did. Margaery might not be able to watch over Jon and Loras, but she could protect the poor that still needed the most help.




Jon, her heart ached still every time she thought about him, but he was alive because of what she did. Maybe she could have told him, but that could have caused problems that her grandmother would have dealt with. She never thought her grandmother capable of murder, but now she knew she was wrong.




After another day of false smiles, mummeries, and pleasant words that hid completely other meanings, she returned to her room to rest. She undressed and lay down on the bed. This was not how it was supposed to be; all her original plans and desires were gone, destroyed with Renly's death. Renly was the one way she could stay with Jon, and that all went away. Maybe it was foolish to think that having true love and the crown as possible. Maybe her grandmother was right; Jon would have spent the rest of his life as a glorified mistress, just like Jaime Lannister.

Chapter Text

They had left the castle of lord Hasty five days ago, after the victory feast, and now they were a league away from the ruins of Summerhall.




"I still don't understand why you want to go to a place in ruins, Jon," said Loras, as they stopped to let the horses rest near a river.




"I told you why.  I dreamed of ruins and books and distant lands. Then I saw a castle in flames with a dragon coming under it," replied Jon, caressing his horse.




"We should go, Jon. Soon the sun will set, and we better not find ourselves in the woods or open field at night, since Stannis' men may be lurking around here," said Robar, stopping Loras from whatever the Knight of Flowers wanted to say.








When they reached the destination, Jon stopped for a moment to admire the ruins of this castle, which was built by order of Daeron the good, during the Dornish reign.




"High in halls of the kings who are gone-"




"Jenny would dance with her ghosts," finished Jon. "I wonder if she is still there, in those ruined halls of a summer castle, dancing with her ghosts."




"Doubt it," replied Robar, snapping the reins, riding forward, followed by Ghost, and he and Loras, after a look, did the same.




By every step that he was approaching these ruins that had no more than forty years ago housed the royal family, Jon could feel a strange feeling, as if something was calling him, luring him. An ancient force that hopes to reveal some great truth to him. But what Destiny can a bastard from the North have?




Getting down from the horse, Jon tied him to a tree, and turning to his friends, "Robar. You go hunting. Loras and I will gather some wood for tonight."


Robar nodded, and after getting rid of the armour, he took his bow from the horse and walked away in search of game. Jon and Loras took of their armours too, placing them behind a ruined wall, and with some leaves on to hide them, before moving away in different directions.




A few moments later…




As he was gathering the faggots for the fire, Jon was looking at this ruined castle, that despite being burned by wildfyre, the walls were still standing. Putting down the faggots that he gathered, Jon started to wander the ruins, and his skin was shuddering for the emotion and the dread that he was feeling. Many people perished in that inferno; King Aegon was one of them, then there were some of his sons, and of course, there was the Lord Commander, Ser Duncan the Tall, who gave his life, trying to save as many as possible. At least according to the tales.




Running his hand over the destroyed of the hallway, with closed eyes, Jon had a strange feeling that he could hear them. The Targaryen's were crying out in torment, desperate to escape. Jenny of Oldstone was calling Prince Duncan's name, and in the end, a beautiful voice singing a lament about this tragedy. Jon immediately opened his eyes, shaking his head. This was only in his mind. There was nothing her, just ruins. Nothing magical.




However, as he was ready to go back, Jon heard something from the ruins' deepest part. A voice saying, "Come, son of the Dragon. Your Destiny awaits."




But Jon didn't follow it and returned to where he placed the logs, picking them up and moving away, back to the camp.




An hour later…




The night was already upon them, and the coldness was rising. He found a good spot where they could make a fire sheltered from the wind, and now they were sitting around it, eating the stag that Robar hunted for them, throwing a log from time to time to keep the fire alive, and he suddenly hears Loras said, as he looked around, "I really don't like this place."




"Are you scared of some ghost, knight of roses?"




"Fuck you!" Loras snarled.




"No, thank you. You are not of my taste," replied Robar, chuckling, before biting a long piece of meat.




"It's not about that; it's just that this place has a golly air. As if the souls of the one who died are still here," the Knight of Roses replied, looking around, and they could hear the cracking of trees, the moving of branches from the winds, and the rising of sleeves.




"Maybe you should make a circle of salt around you so that the ghosts stay away," muttered Robar jokingly, and a small chuckle escaped him.




This was a cursed place for sure, but it was a perfect place to hide from Stannis' men since he doubts they will come here.




"Jon?" he hears himself called, and looking in the direction, saw that it was Robar. "It's everything all right?"




"Yes. Just thinking about the enemy," he replied, shaking the head, and placing remnants aside. Stretching for a moment, he said. "I think we should go to sleep. Tomorrow we need to leave at first lights, and we need to be well-rested if the enemy should block our way." And the Knight from the vale nodded, as Jon lay down next to the fire, and looking up at the heavens studded with dots of light, wondering what fate awaits them.




"Hello my child," Jon heard of a voice of a man,  that was noble and sonorous like the clanging of soft bells,  and he immediately woke up, however, not finding himself among the ruins of the castle, but in a grand marble hall.




Looking around, he saw a man in a blue robe, with eyes like glittering stars, sitting upon a great throne and holding a sceptre of sapphire.




"Who are you?" shouted Jon.




"I am Manwë, King of the Valar and of Arda, and one of the eight Valar. I've been following you all your life, my child. I have felt your sufferance, and I saw your search for your place in this world. But you shall not in this accursed place, but maybe in another world, yes."




"What do you mean?" asked Jon, even though he was full of questions.




However, suddenly, he was no more in the grand marble hall, but instead, he found himself before a great White Tree. And immediately after, the White tree started to burn, followed by a catastrophe destroying an island; he could hear the screams of the dead and dying, knowing their doom was at hand. Then fast forward, he found himself on the shores of a land and in the distance, he could see a great fleet of white ships with black sails approaching, their sails bore a strange sigil, to whom it belongs he cannot say.




"They are the faithful. Who seek a new home on the shores of Middle earth," the same voice said to him. "And it's there that your Destiny awaits you. You will join their ranks and gaining glory through them."




At hearing those words, Jon immediately asked in a high voice, "How do I get there!"




"The answers are lay within my child. But remember to never lose sight of the Star of Eärendil.  The brightest of the stars.  However, before you leave these lands, you must seek the daughter of the sun and bride of fire. Their futures are intertwined with yours and shall be your greatest joy."




"Where can I find them?" asked Jon, even though he should ask who they were.




"In the halls of the Lord of spices, you will find the bride of fire, in fear and danger, ready to escape and find happiness with a wolf," the voice said, and in his mind appear the face of a young girl with pale skin, silver blond hairs and purple eyes, before he continued, adding, "Go to the old palace in the kingdom of the sun. There you will find the daughter of the sun, who is the prisoner of a vile father who forces her to endure a destiny that isn't hers." And this time appears a beautiful girl, with olive skin, large dark eyes, and long, thick black hair.




"Remember, my child. The key to the shores of Middle Earth is in these ruins," the voice said, and before he could ask something else, everything disappeared, and he woke up, gasping for air and panting.




His friends woke up too, and they ask in a worried tone and at the same time, "Jon, what happened?"




He didn't reply immediately, as his head was hurting like hell, and trying to figure out what happened, but once the normal breath returned, he said, "Someone appeared to me in the dream, showing me where my future lies."




"Where?" asked Loras eagerly.




"In the Middle Earth."




"What is Middle Earth?" asked Loras making a face and made him laugh, but he restrained himself, and shaking his head, he got up, saying, "I do not know. But the key to getting there is hidden among these ruins, and it is up to us to find it."




After making a torch, Jon with Ghost started to search for God's knows what, followed by Robar and Loras, who at the same time said, "I heard that Prince Rhaegar in his youth often came here. And we know he loved books –"




"And raping and kidnapping," Jon snapped, remembering the stories regarding the Dragon Prince.




An hour later…




They searched around the ruins for a very long time, and his friends were starting to get bored, wanting to go back to sleep, especially Loras, but then, stepping on it, Jon found an Iron door on the destroyed floor of a small ruined room, and opening it, he saw that stairs were leading somewhere under the ruins.




"Over here! I think I found something," said Jon, and his friends rushed to him. Pulling out his sword, Jon started to descend the dangerous stairs, slowly and walking in front of Ghost. It was very dark now, and the only thing that was making light was the torch that he had in hand.




"We are behind you, Jon," whispered Robar, barely enough to be heard, as Jon descends in the gloomy basements.




When he reached the floor, Jon started to look around and realizing that it was a library. There were hundreds of books; some looked as if they had never been touched, others were decaying with dozens of pages missing, with a table and some chairs in the middle. The shelves and the stone walls were full of webs, and the air around was cold and smell of dust and closed.




"What is this place?" asked Robar, looking around.




"I don't know, but we should light the torches that are on the wall and see what we can find."




"Do you know what we have to look for, Jon?" asked Loras, approaching one of the shelves.




"No. But I supposed it should be a map, or maybe a book, who knows. But anyway. Maybe we will find some interesting books down here and can take them with us."




"Do you want to bury the sword and become a Maester, Jon?" asked Robar, laughing, and so did Loras, as Jon, ignoring them, approached the table.




Someone has been here apparently, although it had been decades judging by the thick coating of dust on the scrolls and maps. At that moment, as he was looking at them, his gaze was caught by a map that had the name of the Middle-Earth.




"Loras. Robar. Come here," he called, and once they were near, he handed them the torch. I think I found something," he said, bringing the map closer, and by leaning on the table, to have a better look.




There were strange names of lands that he never heard, like the island of Númenor, or Harad, Rhun and Khand.




"What a strange land," Robar said, looking as Jon passed it to him, before taking the opened book that was there. The sheets were already falling, and the writing to fade. It was also written in a strange language that he didn't know; however, he could see some notes on the sides.




'As a reward for their suffering in the fight against Morgoth, the Valar, the guardians of the world, gave the Edain a land where they could live sheltered from the dangers of Middle-earth.'




"Fuck!" muttered Jon.




"What is it?" asked Robar at hearing him.




"Well, it seems the so-called Middle Earth is a dangerous place.




"Doubt it's more dangerous than Westeros. With its plotting and the fucking lords fight over an Iron Chair," said Loras, and Jon could feel anger in it. And he didn't blame him for that. The Throne took away his lover. Jon himself felt that since Margery choose the Throne over him.




His friends moved away to look at the other books, as Jon keep reading the one he had in his hands.




'Most of them crossed the sea; guided by the Star of Eärendil,'




Star of Eärendil. It was the same star that Manwë asked him to follow to find the way to Middle earth.


'they reached the large island of Elenna, the westernmost of the Deadly Lands. There they founded the kingdom of Númenor.'




"it's a kingdom," said Jon, as he turned to read the title of the book. 'The kings of Númenor.'




"What?" asked Robar.




"The island. Númenor. It's a Kingdom. Like Old Valyria, it seems," replied Jon. "And this book is about their kings."




"I wonder if there are dragons there too," said Loras, and that is what Jon wandered too. "Rhaegar Targaryen spent a lot of time in these ruins, according to the tales. He must have read these books too." And Jon though if the Dragon Prince was the one to write these notes on the sides.




An hour later…




It was already dawn when they left the library in the basements, taking the most important books, which some were about the history of Westeros and others about Middle-earth, and of course the maps, they left the basements, sealing them so that no one will be able to destroy the books that were still there in the future.


After a good meal, they got ready to leave the ruins behind, and once they put on their armor, secured the items, he said, "We are riding to Stonehelm."




"And from there?" asked Robar.




"We take a ship to the harbour city of The Tor, in Dorne. I have to meet someone at Sunspear before leaving for Essos," Jon replied, snapping the reins and riding away, followed by Ghost and by his friends.




Several days later…




After a long ride, they were nearing Stonehelm, but their path was blocked by a dozen men bearing the sigil of the Baratheon stag enclosed within a red heart surrounded by orange flame.




Drawing his sword, Jon charged at them, and so did his friends, knocking them down with the horse, as Ghost attacked them from other sides, ripping the throats of those who were on the ground.




Jon rode through their ranks several more times, removing half a dozen heads before dismounting his horse and hacking off the limbs of several Baratheon men at arms.




Once they were almost all dead, and cleaning the sweat from his forehead, Jon saw Robar and Loras approach, "That coward of Stannis Baratheon is scared to face us himself," cursed Robar, as he cleans his sword.




"Yes, but doesn't matter. Once we take the ship, we are going to leave this bloody land behind," Jon replied, cleaning his sword and patting Ghost's head, who had the snout full of the enemy's blood, before heading back on the horse. "Let's go. And leave these dead to the crows."







The burning sun of Dorne was high in the sky as Arianne was spinning her spear, sparing with her brother, Quentyn, under the watchful look of her uncle Oberyn, the Red Viper of Dorne.




When she decides to start and learn the ways of the shield and spear, she never expected it to be so tricky, and the heat of Dorne was making it harder and harder to breathe. But above all, she didn't expect that her uncle will be so demanding.




"Enough!" shouted her uncle, stepping between them. "What in the seven hells are you doing. Your movements are clumsy and slow. In battle, you would have already been killed a couple of times. He uses a sword and you a spear, and yet no one of you seems to use the advantages of their weapons."




"I'm trying," Arianne replied, annoyed by his words. She was putting everything she had in this to prove herself.




Oberyn sighed, leaned to her ear, whispering, "You wanted to prove to your father that you aren't a defenseless maiden who can't protect herself and Dorne. You wanted to show him that you are a viper, ready to strike when provoked. So, prove it. Prove that you are stronger and better than Quentyn."




She nodded as he moved away, and spinning her spear, Arianne retook her position. Now she will wipe the floor with this pompous fuck.




On the other hand, her brother, smirking, started to round her changing side now and then, until he decides to attack her first with some slashes from the right and left, then try to break her guard with his shield.




Arianne defended herself, and when she saw him make the wrong step, she started to attack him with the spear, pushing him back until he stumbled and fell on his ass. Arianne, pointing the spear at his neck, "Now you are dead, frog face," which she knows will anger him, but he could do nothing.




"Enough!" said her uncle, approaching. "Well done, nice. You will be a great ruler of Dorne one day."




She smiled at his words and saw a servant approach, who said to her uncle, "Prince Doran wants to see you, my Prince."




And her uncle nodded, but before leaving, he said, "For today, it's enough, but remember what we talked about. Now go and take a hot bath. Your muscles need to relax." With that, he left, as Arianne, turning to her brother, helped him get up, and at the same time, hears him say with a warning tone, "I will make you pay for this."




"Keep dreaming, little brat," she replied, smirking, hitting his ass with the spear, and moving away.




She really needs a good and warm bath and with it a release, but first, she wants to find out why her father needs to speak with her uncle.




When Oberyn entered the Great Hall, he saw his brother resting on the couch, with a goblet of Dornish wine next to him on the table, and a happy expression. The captain of the guards, Areo Hotha, a bearded priest from Norvos, had come here with his good sister, Mellario, but when she left, he remained here in Dorne and is following Doran like a shadow. And that is what he is doing right now. Standing behind him like a shadow.




Filling himself a goblet of sweet Dornish wine, the best in this word, Oberyn asked, twirling the goblet, "You want to see, brother?"




"News from Pentos has arrived."




"I suppose they are good news since you are in a happy mood," said Oberyn, taking another sip and sitting on the other oversized couch.




"The alliance between the Dothraki and Viserys Targaryen was successful. Soon the girl will marry the Khal and together will sail for Westeros."




"Good. The time for revenge has come, and Lannister blood will be spilled on this land and inside that cursed city where our sister died."




"I heard that you have started to train Ariane in the way of the Dornish spear," Doran said calmly, and Oberyn tried to avoid his look. Of course, he knew. "May I ask why?"




"Precautions, dear brother. I do not want my niece to have the same fate as Elia."




"Why should she be? Aerys is dead. The Lannisters will die soon, and so will the Baratheons."




"Viserys Targaryen," muttered Oberyn, twirling the goblet before taking another sip. "He is mad as his father and-"




"You want me to marry a madman?!" came a screaming voice from the entrance, and he saw his niece, with an expression of rage marring her beautiful face. And it seems she still was in her training clothes, but her hairs were down. "Father. tell me that I heard wrong, and you do not want me to marry a mad man."




"Of course, you heard wrong, daughter. Now recompose yourself and sit down. We need to talk."




Arianne hesitantly sat down on the opposite couch, as Oberyn was looking at her, trying to figure out what she is feeling. Her breath quickened, and her chest was moving fast also because of the fast beat of her heart. Sweet could be seen on her temples, but that was because of the too much training she has done today.




"You are going to become a queen soon. You will marry Viserys Targaryen because I say so, and you will not listen to the rumors' that are said around regarding his madness."




"I won't do it, father! I'm your rightful heir, and according to the law of Dorne I-"




"You are my daughter and will do as I command," his bother said calmly.




"Have you lost your mind besides your spine, dear brother?" asked Oberyn crossing his legs and placing an arm over the top of the back couch? "I saw how he treated his sister. He slaps her, insults her, and treats her in the worst way that could be imagined. do you really want that fate for Arianne?"




"Everyone needs to make a sacrifice for the future of the house and- "




"then marry him yourself, or make that frog of your son do it since you love him so much!" shouted Arianne getting up, but his brother, keeping the same composure, said calmly, "Areo. Please escort my daughter to her rooms and put loyal guards at her door. She will remain confined there until Viserys Targaryen lands on the shores of Westeros."




"I'm a prisoner now, father?"




"Yes. Until you will learn how to behave and see that this isn't a punishment or a cage. I give you the opportunity to become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms."



"Just like my aunt Elia?! Who was butchered like a dog?!" screamed Arianne, as Aero was dragging her away.




Despite her being already very far away from the Great Hall, Oberyn could still hear the screams and curses of his niece, and turning to his brother, he said, "This is a mistake, brother. And you know it. The boy is just like Aerys. He was like that since the beginning."




"Doesn't matter. Once she had a son and a daughter Viserys Targaryen will die."




Getting up, Oberyn shakes his head and left the Hall, without adding another word because he knew it was for nothing. His brother's mind was already made up.










Daenerys was sitting on Illyrio's palace's terrace, eating her meal, and reading a book about dragons.  Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History by Septon Barth, to be precise, and she was so fascinated by how he describes them. Of course, there were less pleasant parts of the book to read, like, for example, what happened to Princess Aerea Targaryen.




"Good morning, sweet sister," came the voice of her brother, who sits at the table, as a servant brought him a meal, as he keeps saying something, but she didn't reply immersed in the book, which made him very angry, and took the book from her. "When I speak, you listen."




"I was listening-"But she couldn't finish, as he slapped her cheek. "Never interrupt me, sweet sister, or you will wake the dragon." And she lowered her head, placing a hand on the burning cheek, that was red because of his slap.




"As I was saying before you interrupted me, I speak with Illyrio, and he informed me that the Khal will be her in a few weeks. Now he is dealing with a rival in the far east. But he is eager to see you, and I'm of course eager in receiving my army."




"I don't want to be his bride," she muttered, knowing perfectly that she may anger, but she needs to try.




"I don't care what you want, sweet sister. I only care to take back my Throne, my Kingdoms, my crown. And destroy the usurper and his dogs of course," he replied, making here release a sigh of defeat, but then feel his hand on her chin, and rising up, he asked, "Do you know how we are going to get that, sweet sister?" she shakes her head. "With Khal Drogo's army. I will let his whole tribe fuck you, all 40,000 men and their horses too if that's what it took."




"I thought I was supposed to be your queen."




"You will. One Day. When the seven Kingdoms are ours, I will kill your husband and all the bastards that you will bear him."




Daenerys wanted to throw up at hearing that. He only saw her as that a broodmare to be sold to the highest bidder for him to get what he wants.




"Now leave, sweet sister. I need some time alone to plane our vengeance," he said, in a boring way, and she immediately got up, ready to leave, with her book; however, he grabbed it from her grasp. "You don't need to read this. The only thing you need to learn is how to please the Khal with your body.




She didn't reply, running away and trying to keep her tears at bay. At least until she will be alone, in her chambers and away from her brother's gaze.




Once she was alone, he chambers, Daenerys close the door behind her, locking it, and sitting with the back at it, sobbing silently. She hated him. He was a monster. She hated her brother for what he wanted to do to her.




She wanted to run from him. Hide in some lost city of this world, and away from his cruelty, but she knew she couldn't, because alone she won't have a long life. She would be raped and perhaps even killed after they had their fun. In good or in bad, he protects her in his own way.




At the end of this day, when the sleep claimed her, Daenerys dreamed of her shadow lover. Young, strong, and caring. She knows he was a good man, but she didn't know who she was, only that he bears the coat of arms on his chest of a white wolf with red eyes. Her wolf. Her shadow lover.

Chapter Text


Jon and his party were approaching the shadow city that lies outside of Sunspear, the seat of House Martell, that bore the emblem of the Rhoynar sun pierced by the Martell's spear.




"So, it's a Dornishmen you need to meet, Jon?" Robar asked as they dismounted their horses and made their way towards Sunspear's main gate.




"I would say more likely a Dornish woman. The daughter of the Prince, I would guess," Jon replied, looking around. A hand holding the reins, and the other on Ghost's back. As they were walking, Jon could see, hear and also feel the judgmental looks of the people, and the murmurs of wonder and hatred they had toward Ghost, firstly because of his great size, and secondly, he was sure was because of the hatred that they may have against the Starks because Rhaegar had shamed princess Elia when he ran off with his Aunt Lyanna.




"What in the seven bloody Hells is that?" came a voice of a woman, and turning to the side, he saw a group of three, sitting under a tent of a merchant quay. The woman that spoke had close-set eyes and rat-brown hair, tied in a knot. She was wearing brown riding leathers that accentuated her long legs and a mottled sand silk cloak of red and gold. She also held a beautiful spear fashioned from ashwood with a bronze head.




The one on her right was a woman slim and slender as a willow, with olive skin and high cheekbones; her straight black wore in a long braid, which pulls back from a widow's peak. Her eyes were dark, large, and lustrous, while her lips were red as wine and curved in a silken smile.




Instead, the third had golden hair and deep blue eyes, with dimpled cheeks. She was wearing a cream and green gown with long lace sleeves.




"So, Boy? Are you deaf?" she asked, spinning her spear, before




Clearing his throat and glancing at his friend, "He is a Direwolf from the North. My friend, my family."




"And does this friend had a name, Ser?" asked the golden-haired girl, looking at him with great curiosity.




"Yes," replied Jon chuckling, and caressing his companions soft mane. "This boy is named Ghost, and he can be very fearsome when it needs but at the same time gentle and playful."




"Ghost? A fitting name considering how he looks," she said, approaching him, but Ghost bared his fangs, and the girl immediately stopped.




"Why doesn't he growl?"




"Because he is mute," replied Jon, even though he was the only one to really hear him. "That's one of the reasons why I named him Ghost. But may I ask who you are?"




"The Sand's Snake," replied the girl with the angry look, and seeing his confusion, she added, "Never heard about the Sand snakes of Dorne, boy?"




"He is a knight, Obara. I think it would be proper to address him as 'Ser,'" the slender on, only to receive a glare and a harsh and sharp reply. "I will address him as I like, Nym."




"I heard about you but never had the pleasure of meeting such a fair maiden," he replied, breaking the tension between them. "However, my name is Jon Snow."




"The famous Jon Snow?" asked the golden-haired one, whom he didn't know the name of yet.




"I would say yes, but may I ask what your name is, my lady?" not really knowing how to address her.




"Tyene Sand, bastard of Prince Oberyn Martell."




"We all are his bastard," replied the girl called Nym, and approaching him, more, she asked this time, "What business brings you here, Ser Jon?" And he could feel the title and the name said like a mockery.




"Curiosity," replied Jon, resting his hand on the table, pondering if he should reveal his true intentions, but in the end, he said, "And of course, I was hoping for an audience with the Princess."




"Hmmm…" the slender woman started to round him for a moment before saying, "The Princess indisposed at this moment; however, you've come at the right time."




"How so?"




"The Princess is held prisoner, and we would like your help to free her, and maybe escape to Essos."




"Why should we do that?" asked Loras, stepping forward, and who till now was in silence. He and Robar, who added, "Forgive my friend, my Lady, but what he meant is that we already have a lot of enemies. Why would wish to make an enemy out of Doran Martell?"




"Well, Ser…?"




"Robar. And he is Ser Loras."




"Well, Ser Robar, I suppose after Sunspear you will go to Essos to escape your enemies, so why not help us in freeing the Princess."




"We will," replied Jon, not wanting a fight with the snakes, considering the Princess is part of his destiny. "But you need to find us a ship, and Ghost needs to be on it since I doubt he would pass unnoticed through the city's streets."




"For the ship, you will need to ride till Planky Town, which is a few miles away from here," replied Nym, but the other one, Obara, keeps glaring at him.




"Good," he nodded, before turning to Loras, saying, "Loras, you will take our horses and Ghost to this Planky Town. With the help of Lady Tyene, of course. Robar and I are going inside."




However, the Knight of Flower nodded, giving a glare to the other two girls as he left, while Jon and Robar, pulling up the hoods, followed the two women.




Days came and went, one after the other, so many that Arianne lost count of how long she had been imprisoned in the Spear Tower, and she felt she was going crazy. After trying to escape countless times, her father had iron bars nailed to the window and small opening carved into the door through which meals could be given. This tower was a prison, a luxurious prison.



She found herself spending more and more time abed since nothing else she could do until she reached the point where she did not rise at all except to use her privy. The meals the servants brought grew cold, untouched. Arianne slept and woke and slept again and still felt too weary to rise. She prayed to the Mother for mercy and to the Warrior for courage, then slept some more. Fresh meals replaced the old ones, but she did not eat them either. Once, when she felt especially strong, she carried all the food to the window and flung it out into the yard, so it would not tempt her. The effort exhausted her, so afterward, she crawled back into bed and slept for half the day.




And in these long nights, she dreamed of him. Her knight. He was tall, handsome, with dark hair and purple eyes. She dreamed of him climbing this Tower ripping off the rails and freeing her from this cage. And other nights, she dreamed of him coming to this Tower to make love to her. She dreams of his cock licking her sensitive parts, his cock thrusting deep in her tight cunt, and fucking her roughly. But when she wakes up, every time she realizes it was only a dream.




The Sand Snakes couldn't visit her under pain of death, while her brother came from time to time to gloat.




As she was sitting on the chair and looking out the railing window, Arianne heard her door unlocking and saw Areo Hotha enter.




"The prince has called for you, little princess."




She nodded, and once out, Areo Hotha escorted her to the Prince's solar, it seems, and entering inside, he saw her father sitting at his table in front of a cyvasse board. "I see you look quite good, daughter, replied her father, as he moves a piece of the game. "Imprisonment suits you well."




But she didn't reply, crossing her arms, and glaring at him, while are Hotha was standing between them. What did the bearded priest think? That she will kill her father? She wasn't a kinslayer.




"I know you may think that I do this to punish you, but it's not true. I do it to protect you. A great future awaits you as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms."




"Don't say that you do this for me, father, because it's not true. You do this for yourself.  Your lust for power clouds your judgment, and you do not see the people who you are hurting and making suffer."




"Since when becoming the most powerful woman of the Seven Kingdoms suffering?" he asked, this time looking up at her, but she scoffed, ignoring his question. "Why did you summon me, father? Because if it's to tell me this, I would rather go back to the Tower."




"No. I summoned you here to ask a simple question. Will you try to oppose this alliance?"




"Of course, I will," she chuckled, approaching him, but Areo Hotha stepped between them. "So, if you had nothing else to say, I would like to go back to the Tower and spend my last days starving and in loneliness. At least death is better than a Mad King as a husband."




Her father chuckled and nodded to his captain, who led her back to the Spear Tower.






Jon was sitting at a table in one of the taverns of Sunspear, with a mug of Dornish wine and a good meal, that by now was already finished, waiting for the Sand's Snake to come and inform him where to go from here. Before coming here, they had wandered the streets of Sunspear for a while, exploring it at best, for curiosity and at the worse search for the best way to flee.




And as he was waiting, Jon wondered what the Princess of Dorne looked like. He heard she was a quiet, beautiful woman, older than him, but a stunning woman. And some tales said that behind her beauty and charm, she was deadly as a viper, luring men to her nest and using her best weapons to achieve her goals. But upon learning of her imprisonment, he doubts the rumours were true.




"Do you really think we can trust them, Jon?" Robar asked, bringing him back from the thoughts.




"Well, I don't know. But I think we will find out soon," Jon replied, nodding towards the door where he saw a man dressed in a fine scarlet tunic embroidered with golden thread, and looking straight at them, as he finished all the content of the cup, before cleaning his mouth.




In order not to arouse too much suspicion, Jon did not get up to greet him, but was the man, who sits in front of him, asked, "Are you, Jon Snow?"




"Yes, I am. Who are you?" Jon asked, filling their cups again, and the man took his cup and took a sip, releasing a moan of pleasure, "Dornish wine.  The best in the world." Spinning the cup, he said, "I heard many tales about you, Snow. From the Wall to the southern costs of Dorne, the men sing about the bastard that won the tourney of the hand and fought the Great Mountain, defending a flower, though I must say that I'm surprised. I thought you were taller and bulkier."




"Sorry to disappoint you. Did the Sand snakes sent you?"




"Yes," replied the man, placing the cup aside, and looking him in the eyes, said, "Tonight we are going to free her from the Tower of the Spear.  The guards will chase her, fight her, and you will have to help her."




"I still don't understand why we should help you," intervened Robar, leaning forward, but Jon glancing at him, said, "Forgive my friend, but he is a skeptical man and doesn't really trust anyone. May I ask what your name is?"




"Oberyn Martell, brother of the Prince," replied the men, before turning to Robar saying. "from your appearance, you hail from the Vale, a Royce, I would say, judging by the runes on your chest."




"Yes, Robar Royce."




"Well, Robar Royce, I know you are enemies of the Iron throne considering you sided with Renly Baratheon, and for sure you aren't one Stannis' men, and that means you want to leave Westeros. My niece needs to do that too, and the lands are quite perilous for a woman alone. And especially my dearest niece, my brother doesn't know what you and your friend look like. But I will pay you for your service as a sellsword considering that is what awaits you in those lands, the man said." Placing a little bag with coins on the table.




"We will do it, don't worry, and I promise she will be all right," replied Jon, wanting to prevent an argument between the two. Filing the cups again and waving for another, the Prince of Dorne asked, "How was it? Fighting the Mountain."




"Fucking difficult, but I managed to wound the beast, shattering his leg with the king's hammer," replied Jon, taking a sip from his cup and hearing the Red Viper of Dorne chuckle at that.




"Surely a sight to behold without a doubt. I would have liked to see the mountain leave limping. However, I would like even more to see his head cut off from his body, and preferably these hand should wield the executioner sword."




After finishing the contents of the cup, Jon nodded and said, "Make sure to mark the ways towards the outside of the city because these alleys are labyrinthine.






Arianne was lying on the bed and looking up when she suddenly hears noises outside her door, shouting and the clash of steel. She got up, searching for something to defend herself, but when the door opened, she saw the Sand's Snake enter.




"What are you doing?" she asked, lowering the object in their hand and approaching them.




"What does it seem? We are freeing you," said Tyene, putting away a vial that was undoubtedly full of some kind of poison, and Obara placed her weapons on the bed.




"Quickly. We don't have much time," said Nymeria, placing some clothes on the bed that seems to be similar to the one her cousins were wearing. "Wear these. It will help you to escape the city watch."




Arianne immediately obeyed, slipping on the Dornish dress and cape of the same color before taking the spear that her uncle Oberyn gifted her when she started to train.




"Move your ass, Princess. We don't have time," came Obara Voice, and Arianne immediately started to move, following her cousin. Outside she saw that guards were lying on the ground, dead or sleeping, and heard Nymeria say, "We hired the Wolf of the south and his companions to help you leave Dorne."




"Leave? Why should I leave?" asked Arianne as they exited the Spear tower and looking around to see if there were guards on the streets.




"Well, do you want to marry the Mad Targaryen?" asked Nymeria, starting to move fast through the narrow alleys that made this city a labyrinth and almost impossible to leave for those who don't know it.




Arianne shook her head, following her cousin, and at the same time wondering if this southern wolf that wanted to help her was the same one that fought the Mountain at the tourney of the hand.




They ran right and left through the alleys, fighting the city watch when encountered, until they split for the last part when they reached The Threefold Gate, but finding it closed. Panic overtook her as she heard men running towards her, and taking a position, she was ready to defend herself.




But then she heard the great door start to open and a hand grabbing her, before starting to run, followed by the city watch. Another man began to shoot arrows towards the enemy to cover their run, and then she heard the one that was holding her say, "I'm Jon snow, Princess Arianne, and I was hired to take you safely across the narrow Sea."








Riding at a fast pace, they reached Planky Town and immediately took the ship that awaited them for Essos.


And now Arianne was leaning on the borders of the ship, looking towards her homeland that was left behind. She will miss Sunspear, the Water Gardens, her cousins, and her uncle, who helped her escape, but since her father was adamant about this, she prefers losing her land than be forced to marry a Mad man.




"Is everything all right, Princess Arianne?" came the deep voice of the Southern Wolf, who stepped next to her.




"Yes. Just giving one last look to my homeland," she glanced down for a moment before adding, "You know,  according to the law of Dorne, I should have been the one to rule these lands, but my father, in all his hunger for power decided otherwise, tying me to a madman and a cursed throne."




The boy didn't reply, and when she glanced at him, he looks into eyes as brown as aged oak deep and soulful, "What if I tell you that a greater destiny awaits you than ruling some sand land. What if I tell you that in your future lies the exploring of lands far beyond the great sea.?"




"I would call you a madman or a liar," she replied, lying course, and that made him laugh, and she laughed with him for a while before asking, "Where are we heading?"




"To Pentos."




"Why?" she asked as her heart was beating fast. She knew who was in Pentos, and she really didn't want to see Viserys Targaryen.




"There is someone I need to meet in the palace of the Lord of the spices."




"Illyrio Mopatis?" she asked with a raised eyebrow, and the boy nodded. "If you are planning to meet Viserys Targaryen, I would ask you to drop me off in one of the cities on the route."




"No. I don't intend to meets this Viserys Targaryen that you mentioned," replied the boy, shaking his head, before leaning forward, stopping only a few inches from her face.  He started to glance between her lips and her eyes for a moment, making her uneasy. "It's the silver-blond hair girl who lives in his halls that I need to meet before sailing west."




"Daenerys Targaryen?" she asked, backing away from him as he approached her until she hit the wooden Wall of the deck. Placing the hands on either side of her head, the boy looking her straight in the eyes and whispered, "Yes. Then once we save her from her mad brother, we sail to this new land."




Licking her lips, Arianne looked at him for a moment, loving how the moonlight was casting a shadow over his face. It caused his eyes to twinkle like stars; Arianne chuckled before asking, "Why should I sail with someone that I barely know?"




"Because our destiny is sealed. Mine. Yours and Daenerys. We are destined to find this new land to rediscover lost secrets and perhaps the truth of life," he replied, leaning closer and closer until she could feel his hot breath on her lips and her core getting warm. Her nipples, hardening, and she shivered, not because of the cold rather excitement.




When the boy wanted to speak, Arianne wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing him in a heated kiss, not believing herself that she was doing this, but knowing perfectly that it was what she wanted, what her body needs. She wanted him inside her, but she won't let him win this easily.




They kissed for a very long moment, and his hand snaked towards her hips and grabbed her ass before she pushes him away, grinning.




The boy looked at her in confusion, and before he could complain or ask about why she stopped, Arianne placed a finger on his lips, stopping him, and giving a seductive look, she walked towards the door that leads below deck, all the while swaying her hips seductively, hoping that he would follow. If they must fuck, at least it will be in a chamber on a bed and not in front of everyone. She wanted this to be memorable since this young knight would be her first.








Jon stood there watching as she disappeared, still stunned and confused by what happened. He wanted her, and he knew that she wanted him too but couldn't understand why she stopped him.




"You should follow her, Jon," came Robar's voice as he leaned against the edge of the wooden rail of the ship. "She wants to fuck you. But she wants to do it in her chambers."




"How do you know?"




"Because she wanted to fuck you the moment, she placed her eyes on you. Every woman that lays her eyes on you wants to fuck you," replied Robar, chuckling, and Jon rolled his eyes. "And I would dare to say even the Red Viper of Dorn wanted you."




Jon chuckled, shaking his head, and entering inside, pondering if to go to her cabin or go to his and had a good night of rest. But in the end, decided to go to her room. Why waste such an opportunity with a great beauty like her. But first, he needs to steal a jug of wine from the captain.




A few moments later…




After procuring a jug of Arbor gold, Jon headed to the cabin that was assigned to the Princess. According to the captain, it was the best cabin on the ship after his, of course, worthy of a princess.




Once at the door and ready to knock, Jon heard moans from the inside, so without hesitation, he tried the door to see if it was locked, and since it opened, he entered and gasped, stunned by what he was seeing. The Princess was lying on the bed with her legs parted, touching herself and moaning, which made his cock stir in his trousers.




Not knowing what to do how to react, Jon cleared his throat to make his presence known, but the Princess didn't stop from pleasuring herself, and at seeing the wetness and hearing the moans, Jon put the jug to the floor and rushed straight to the Princess's parted legs, and lying on his stomach, he placed his lips on her dripping cunt without hesitation, making her gasp, and moan in pleasure.




He started feasting on her wet cunt, giving her long licks, but at the same time looking up towards her.






As the wolf was feasting on her cunt, Arianne felt so much pleasure that she was biting her lips till blood was drawn to prevent the screams. She has used her fingers to pleasure herself, but his tongue was magical, and she wondered where he learned this little trick.






He started to lick, suck, and bite at her pearl before thrusting two of his fingers inside, making her gasp and arch her back at the sudden intrusion since his fingers were bigger and longer than hers.




Arianne put the pillow on her face to silence the screams of pleasure that the wolf made her release, and she felt that her peak was near. Then she felt another finger being thrust inside, until she really couldn't resist, and came all over his mouth.




She laid there panting and trying to come down from the seven heavens where he took her. She felt him get up from the bed, and when she opened her eyes, she saw him quickly undress.




Arianne starts to run her eyes up and down his muscled body, drinking in his form, until her eyes widened at the sight of his long thick cock, which was standing proud and strong. Seeing his size, she didn't know if she could take him all, but she will try by all the seven.




As he starts to stroke himself, her wolf said, "I hope the princess of Dorne is enjoying the view and that what she is seeing isn't a disappointment."




Arianne smiled widely, shaking her head quickly and biting her thumb before crawling towards the edge of the bed on all fours. She wanted to do something that she heard men loved a great deal, and considering that he pleased her so much with his mouth, she should do the same.




No doubt realizing what she wanted to do, Jon snow approached the bed, positioning his cock a few inches away from her face, shaking it for a moment, and her mouth was watering at the sigh. Biting her lower lips, Arianne glanced up at him, seeing his eyes full of lust gazing at her with a smirk on his handsome face.




So, taking a breath, she placed her hand on his rigid member, hearing a gasp from him and starting to move her hand slowly. Her hand couldn't cover him completely, only the high part, and seeing the precum coming from the tip, Arianne leaned down and began licking it. It wasn't an unpleasant taste, a little salty, but it seems her body was eager to swallow more.




He lets out loud groans as she moved her hand on him, and her lips were touching the tip, not ready to take him in her mouth. However, because of her high speed of stroking, Jon brought his hand on her head, pushing it down, and Arianne instinctively opened her mouth, and strangely loving to have him inside. His cock was warm and soft and hard all at once against her tongue; she tries to relax her throat, hoping to take more of her lover's cock into her mouth.




"Arianne…" he moaned as his hand beginning to tangle in her dark tick and curly hair.




He was at her mercy by now, doing little more than grunting sharply as she tries to take more of him inside her mouth before coming up sputtering a little because he's far too big and she's far too inexperienced. She doesn't let it deter her, immediately taking him back in to do what seems more comfortable and drawing his head past her lips again.




She can hear him moaning her name, gripping her hair, and there's a heavy twitch at her tongue as he gets impossibly bigger. She closes her eyes, relaxing her mouth to take in as much as she's able, and then she felt him take hold of her hand and start to move his hips, thrusting his cock in her mouth deeper and deeper, making her gag for a moment, as she placed her hand on his thighs, and when squeezing, she was sure that her nails deepened in his flash.




Then all it comes, when he pushed on last time, holding her head down, and a wave of hot fluid started to shoot deep in her throat, and Arianne tried to swallow as quickly as possible, even though it was damn difficult.




"Arianne…"  he groaned, starting to move out his cock; however, she took hold of the base and started to suck him till the last drop dribbled out, and he moaned, "I cannot take anymore."




She smirked, cleaning her mouth with the back of her hand and swallowing what remained of his seed, as he dropped next to her, sitting, and pathing; his cock now was semi-hard, and his breathing heavy.




"Gods…" "how…many…"




"You are the first," she said, knowing what he wanted to ask. "I hope I didn't disappoint you."




"Gods, no," he replied, turning towards her, before crushing his lips with hers and starting to kiss wildly, just like on the deck. His hand was on her jaw, but then slowly started to descend, first on her back-neck, then towards her ample breast, squeezing them, making her moan in his mouth.




"You are far too gifted, my dear Viper," he said, making her giggle, and deepening the kiss till her lips were swollen and bruised; she flipped them over, so she was on top, "I want to ride you."




He didn't reply, just laid there mind clouded by lust, a hand on her right breast and looking down in her eyes. "You are my first, but I want to be on top my first time. To take my time."




He nodded, lying on the back, And Arianne straddled him. Her huge breasts were swaying hypnotically, and she saw how lustfully he looked at them, which make her smirk. One day maybe she will let him fuck her tits, but Tonight she wants to ride him.




As he placed his hand on her hips, Arianne rose a bit on her knee before taking his rigid member in hand and start to stroke him over the wet lips of her pussy, before stopping at the entrance and slowly put in. Gods, only the tip was in, but she already felt full and stretched.




Glancing down at him, Arianne started to descend slowly, feeling how his thick cock was stretching her more and more, making her pussy burn because of the pain, even though it was bearable. The rumors she heard about having a man inside were different. Some said the pain was unbearable the first time. Others said it was pleasant if it was done correctly. She was likely to agree with the latter now. But then suddenly, Arianne stopped as she found more resistance.




Glancing down at Jon Snow, she saw him tensed, squeezing his eyes and teeth, as he rested his warm hand on her hips, and she wondered what was the matter. Wasn't he also enjoying this experience?




"Why are you tensed?" she asked, as she was stopped mid-way.




"It's because…. when done slowly…it's damn painful," he barely replied. "And…your cunt is smothering my cock."




"Oh," well, then maybe she should descend in one, swift thrust and be done with it. So, taking a long breath, Arianne did that. Forced herself down, releasing a long scream of pain, and she felt unintentional tears come down.




"Arianne…Are you all right?" she heard him ask, and she nodded, despite the pain she felt course through her core.




"It's body isn't used to have something so big inside."




She braces her palms against his chest, starting to rock back and forth, enjoying the way he moves inside her, touching the sensitive parts. She starts to increase the speed of the movement, running her hand through her hair and feeling him move his hand from her hips to her huge breast, squeezing them pinching her nipples.




"Jon…. mmmm….," she moaned, and before she knows it, Arianne was riding him wildly as if he was a Dornish sand steed. The tip of his cock was kissing her womb, and her breasts were jumping at the rhythm, but then suddenly he changes position, making her yelp, and Jon to increase the speed of his thrust.




Her come was near, as he was fucking her hard and fast, making her moan his name loudly. "Joooon…." And scratching his back, digging her nails in, until she reached her peak and come all over his cock.




On the other hand, Jon Snow was still thrusting in her wildly, Her ample breasts were swaying at every thrust, and she placed her hand on them to stop, but Jon pushed them away.




"I… …want…. ….to see them…"




And she smirked, closing her eyes, and feeling the second wave of pleasure coming, until he suddenly stopped, pulling out, starting to stroke himself quickly, before shooting a lot of seed on her belly, tits and some landed on her face.




After that, he dropped next to her breathless, as Arianne was panting and running her hand over where he spilled his seed. They didn't speak, only enjoying the silence; she felt drowsy, so she laid her head on his chest and let sleep take her.




She felt sore and yet satisfied, knowing this to be the best night of her life.






Near Myr...golden Company Camp…




Jon stood outside the Commander's tent, arms crossed in front of his chest, watching as Rhaenys trained with Aegon and other men at arms.




She was wielding a double axe, its haft wrapped in fine Essosi leather while the head was wrought to resemble snarling dragons the blades glittered in the sweltering sun, while her brother was using a bastard sword, of similar make it guard was shaped from a single piece of bronze and engraved with ancient runes. When they started training, Jon was against the use of real blades during the training, but the Princess said there was no fun in playing with blunt swords. When they claim Westeros, the fucking lions and stags will not use blunted blades.




"The young Targaryens are becoming rather skilled. Young Rhaenys' determination suggests she will be a great warrior queen in the near future," said Strickland, the Commander of the Golden Company, as he approaches him.




"Yes, it is true, but only if we can put them on the throne," replied Jon, hearing groans coming from the training yard and seeing Aegon with his ass on the ground. Laughing, the young Princess helped her brother get up and dust himself off before saying something to him in Valyrian, and Jon smiled as he went back inside the tent, followed by Strickland.




"Any news from Pentos, Ser Harry?" Jon asked, filling two goblets of wine and offering one to the Commander.




"The time to set sail for Westeros is coming up... The Khal is on his way to Pentos with part of his Khalassar to marry Daenerys Targaryen. The commanders of the Golden Company have all been invited to the wedding".




"Good. This is the perfect moment to invade Westeros," said Jon, looking at the map of the continent.  The Lannisters are fighting on two fronts, and the crown is held by a mad king little more than a child. Aegon will take it without great difficulty."




"Jon?" Ser Harry called him. "Viserys Targaryen has invited us to the Khal's wedding."




"I have heard from Illyrio. We will go there with 50 men," he replied, looking towards Ser Harry, who leaned down on the table and, looking him in the eyes, said, "Are you going to take him with you?


"No. Aegon-"




But Jon couldn't finish as they heard the Princess's voice from the entrance of the tent stop him, saying, "Take him where?"




He saw her quite exhausted, full of sweat, her hair was still gathered in a ponytail, and he noticed that she was not accompanied by her brother, surely still out there licking his wounded pride.




"Have you finished battering your brother, Princess?" Jon asked, chuckling, and she nodded, placing the double axe down and approached the table. He, in the meantime, filled another goblet of wine this time for her. Surely, she will be very thirsty.  Although he hated her Mother, Jon could have never left Rhaegar's children to the mercy of the rebels, and above all, abandoned them to a fate worse than death. He failed their father, but by the gods, he will not fail the children.




"Well, Jon? What's going on? Where do you want to take him?" she asked, taking a sip of wine.




"Your uncle Viserys has invited us to the Khal's wedding," replied Jon, and seeing the unpleasant face the Princess made. He was not a fool. He knew what young Rhaenys thought of her uncle, and especially of the marriage to the Khal. If it was up to her, the little Princess would have jumped on a horse and rode straight to Pentos to rescue her aunt from a cruel destiny like that and plant her axe in Viserys' skull.




Taking a sip of the sweet Myrish wine, Jon said, "We decided that only the Captains are going to Pentos, but you and Aegon will stay her with Ser Harry and-"




"No, no, no," she stopped him, raising her hand and shaking her head. "I'm coming with you."




The temperament of the dragon is clearly expressed on her face. Waking the dragon, some would say, and she did this when she didn't get what she wanted.




So, sighing, Jon passed a hand over his face, replying, "You can't go to a place as dangerous as that, Princess. Viserys know nothing about you or about Egg. If he finds out that you survived the Sack, that you are alive and powerful, he is going to kill you, and he is going to kill Aegon."




"Aegon can stay here, but I'm coming with you, Jon. There is no room for debate," replied the Princess, drinking all the content of the goblet, before crossing her arms and glaring at him in a defying way.


Jon glanced at Harry for a moment, who shrugged his shoulders as he did not know what to say, and releasing another sight, he murmured barely enough to be heard, 'Stubborn as her father.' Before looking at the young Targaryen, "All right, Princess. We are leaving tomorrow at first light with a ship from Myr and fifty men." Rhaenys smiled in victory before taking her axe and leaving the tent.




"Well, I really hope that he won't see his brother in her," Ser Harry said, drinking all the content of the goblet and leaving the tent too. That is what Jon hopped to, but he doubted that he will remember his brother's face. After all, he was just a small child, and above all, he had his father's madness.










Daenerys found herself on her knees in front of a great black stallion raised on his back legs, as around was ruling the chaos. Destruction of cities, crying of children and women, screams of victory, and a man emerging from the devastation with flowing hair, cooper skin, and a fierce sword.




Was he the Khal of Khal's, she wondered as he stopped in front of him and looking down at her, with deep black eyes that were striking fear in everyone? His body itself was intimidating, tall, and muscular. If her future husband looked like that, she hoped the gods would take her life because she didn't want to marry him.




"Do not worry, my child, because you will not marry that man," came the voice of a man that was noble and sonorous, like the clanging of soft bells. "This is not your destiny, Daenerys Stormborn. Your destiny lies in the west. You will join the wolf and the sun for the journey to the Middle earth."




Daenerys was still sitting on her knees, listening to the man's voice while around here everything stopped, and heard the man ask, "But now I ask you, my little child, what is it that you want and miss the most?"




"My mother," Daenerys replied immediately, and without hesitation. "She died birthing me, but I want to see her. Even if it is for a glimpse moment. I want to see her face."




"And you will, my little child," the men said, as everything around her started to disappear and she found herself shaking and called out, before everything went dark, she heard that same voice say, "Your lover is coming, and soon you will no longer be alone."




And Daenerys immediately woke up gasping, hearing a servant say, "Are you all right, my lady?"




She nodded, taking long breaths, wondering what had just happened. Who was that man, and why did he ask what she wanted and missed the most, considering that dreams never come true?




"My Lady. Your brother wants you to join him in the garden for the meal," the servant girl said, and Daenerys nodded, getting up to dress and get ready, wondering what her cruel brother wanted.




A few moments later…




With the hand intertwined in front of her belly and the head bowed, Daenerys entered the terrace overlooking the garden and heard her brother said, "You are late."




"I'm sorry," Daenerys replied, sitting down, and the servants filed her a plate.




"I have good news, sweet sister," Viserys said, taking a sip of wine. "The Khal is on his way to Pentos with 200 Dothraki." She glanced at him for a moment, seeing the manic grin plastered on his face as he keeps sipping wine. "And in addition to that, the Captains of the Golden Company will be attending the wedding, which means that they agreed to pledge their loyalty to me."




Daenerys didn't reply, minding her business and instead of thinking about what the voice said. Your shadow lover is coming. But it is really true. Is her white wolf coming to rescue her from a cruel brother?




Before the conversation could continue, they got interrupted by one of the guards, "Forgive me for interrupting you, magister, but a woman has arrived, claiming to be the mother of his grace and the princess."




And Daenerys immediately get up, turning towards the entrance, seeing a beautiful woman, with long silver-blond hair and lilac eyes, entered breathless and wide-eyed.




"Daenerys," the woman said her name with tears in her eyes and opening her arms.

Chapter Text

"Daenerys," Rhaella said her daughter's name, with trepidation.  The little girl in front of her, who had an expression of shock on her face, was so beautiful and reminded her so much of herself before her marriage to Aery's. But she could see that her daughter had the same shade of haunting violet as her father though her eyes weren't marred by madness.




The girl opened and closed her mouth for a moment before running to her and wrapping her arms around her mother, starting to sob. Rhaella did the same, hugging the trembling little girl, and she was crying silently, and kissing her forehead.




The little girl looked up at her with tearful eyes, but before she could say something, Rhaella hears her son, "Who assures us that you are really our mother?"




Leaving her daughter, Rhaella started to approach her son, sitting at the table, and drinking his wine without even looking up at her.




"How can you say this, Vis. Did you forget me?"




"No. I didn't forget my mother. I said that I don't know who you are. My mother died giving birth to this wh-" she slapped him before he could finish and say that word, therefore making him spill the wine on the Magister.




"How dare you address sister that way?!" she shouted with hands on her hips, and as the terrible memories of Aery's started to resurface.




"I will call her as I like. She is my sister; I raised and took care of her since the moment Ser Willem died. Where were you, mother?" he asked, getting up and crossing his arms.








"Wait. I do not care where you were, nor who you are for what it's worth. I have more important things to do than hear the stories of a madwoman who claims to be our mother."




"Madwoman? Viserys. Why are you behaving like this? I'm your mother," she said, approaching him and place the palm on his burning check, but received only coldness in return. That didn't stop her from trying to convince him that she genuinely was his mother, "Viserys. I'm your mother. I carried you for 9 months in my womb, raised you, loved you, and protected you from your father's madness. Rhaegar-"


"Oh, I know what mother did," he cut her off. "And I know what she asked me a long time ago. Protect my sister, reclaim my throne, reign Fire and Blood on the Usurper and his dogs." Pushing her handoff from his check, "So you see, mother, that's what I'm doing."




"Viserys. Please. We have just met again. There is "




"I'm sure you are hungry and tired," her son stopped her and turning to the Magister. "Illyrio, give my mother a room and some food."




"Of course, your grace," the man replied, waving with his hand, and a servant entered.




Rhaella was speechless and, knowing that there was Nothing she could say, for now, released a sigh, said, "All right, Viserys. I will leave you to your business." Then taking her daughter by the hand, added, "Come Daenerys. Join me in my chambers and keep me company during the meal. I want to know everything about you."




"No. She stays here," her son intervened, breaking their hold. "Until the Khal's arrival, you and she will stay apart. I don't want your influence to trigger a rebellion in her."




"What do you mean by the Khal's arrival?"




"Daenerys is going to marry the Khal in less than a week, in exchange for an army of forty thousand Dothraki."




"What did you say?" Rhaella asked, thinking she had heard wrong.




"Khal Drogo has an army of forty thousand men. Yes, they are savages, but they are feared, and he is the best among them. But to gain it, I need to give him something in exchange. A queen. Daenerys will be his Queen."




"Do you want to sell your sister to some savages?" asked Rhaella, not believing what she was hearing. "And for what? An iron chair for which there are no guarantees of victory?"




"The people drink secret toasts to my health, mother. They cry out for their true King to come and save them. They are sewing the banners of the three-headed dragons ready to rise when the true King comes."




Rhaella started to laugh at the foolishness of her son, who seemed to become madder than his father was, and shaking her head, she replies, "You are a fool for thinking that, Viserys. The common people pray for rain, health, and a summer that never ends. They don't care what games the high Lords play."




"All lies," he objected, shaking his head. "They are waiting for the dragons to return, and I am the Last Dragon. Whoever stands in my way shall know fire and blood."




"Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon. You are Nothing more than the shadow of a Snake," Rhaella replied with contempt in her voice, hearing her daughter warn her, but she didn't care. "Your father, in all his madness, would have never sold his daughter or his sister to some savages."




"My father, in all his glory, failed to destroy the lion," replied Viserys, But Rhaella ignoring him, took her daughter's hand, "Come Dany. We are leaving this place of madness," starting to head toward the exit of the garden terrace. But their path was blocked, and she heard her son say, "You are not going anywhere."




"Of course, we are going. I will not sit idle as you sell my daughter to the savages," she said through clenched teeth and pulled Daenerys behind her.




"You will do what I command, Mother. Both of you will. Daenerys will seal the alliance with the Dothraki, while you can whore yourself to a Lord of the Seven Kingdoms or the commander of the Golden Company, Ser Harry Strickland."




"What happened to you, Viserys? What made you become this man that I don't recognize."




"Exile, dear mother. I have run across the Free Cities of Essos hiding from the Usurper's assassins and taking care of that whore who only needs to spread her legs and deliver me the army," he replied, approaching them, and Rhaella tried to step in between him and her daughter. "She knows very well that it is never good to wake the dragon." And Rhaella could feel Daenerys grip on her upper arm, tightening, and glancing she saw her lower her gaze and almost tremble.




"And you should learn that too, mother. You strike the dragon once. Next time I will cut off your fucking hands," he added, smirking, before turning to the guards saying, "take my mother and sister to different chambers. They will be confined there till the day of the wedding."




And they were dragged away from each other as she called her daughter's name, and her son's name, till she was thrown in too a room.




Falling to the floor, Rhaella started to sob in anguish. Her son had become the very monster she had feared, and if she did not act, her daughter would be the whore of some fucking horse savage.






Narrow Sea…




It had been a few days since they had left Dorne, trying in every way to outmaneuver the ships sent by Sunspear, but without success, they were still pursuing them. Jon spent a lot of his time on the quarterback's dock with the Captain, and she instead spent her time lying on the bed reading one of the books he had.




"Your father will never stop until he has caught you, it seems," she heard Jon as he came through the door, as the ship rocking a bit.




"I know he won't. He wants pure Dornish blood on the Iron Throne. The child born from the union between Viserys and I would have married and the child born from the union between my brother Quentyn and Princess Daenerys."




"Why refuse such a high title?" Jon asked while unbuttoning his tunic. "You would have been the most powerful and influential woman in the Seven Kingdoms."




"Because I wanted what was mine by right. The throne of Sunspear. Ruling Dorne was all I ever wanted."




"And now?" he asked, leaning on the bed, with his face a few inches from hers, and she, licking her lips and glancing between his lips and eyes, replied with a grin, "Your cock." Wrapping her arms around him and pulling him in a heated kiss and settled between her legs.




His hands start groping her body, from her ample bust to her supple thighs, and she could feel herself beginning to get wet, but suddenly they stopped at hearing a knock at their door, and Jon got up immediately.




"What is it?" he asked, opening the door.




"We are under attack, Jon," said Loras Tyrell, breathless, before running away, and Jon immediately grabbed his sword, running after him, and the same did Arianne with the spear.




Once outside, Arianne saw the chaos, as their ship was boarded by two more, and the crew falling under the enemy's swords. Her wolf was fighting with furry and killing one after the other, and Arianne herself started to fight with the grace of a water dancer, but they were too many of them, and she felt a sharp stab on pain in her thigh where an arrow had pierced her garment,  Arianne yelped in pain and fell over, she was about to rise again until she felt the tip of a blade at her neck, and then a voice spoke out, "Pull your sword down, or this beauty will die."




And Jon and his men threw down their swords before being clapped in irons and forced to kneel.




"Take everything of value. We need to leave before the Dornish ships arrive," the same man said as they were pushed to another ship.




"Are you all right?" asked Jon, crawling near her, and examining her wound, before ripping a piece of his chemise and wrapped it around her thigh.




"Who are they, Jon? Pirates?" she asked, and he nodded, "Will they kill us?"




"More likely sell us before raping you," he said, and her heart immediately started to beat fast, but "Do not worry, my Princess. I won't let that happen."




As the men were loathing their ship from top to bottom, she supposes the leader approached them. He was tall, lean but very muscular with long dark hair and a well-oiled beard. He walked towards Arianne and smirked, "A Dornish Princess are you, eh? I heard you are good at sucking cocks and love fucking all the time."




She didn't reply, spitting in his face, and the man rose up laughing and cleaning his face, "I like the fighting whores. They make things more exciting and foreshadow a wild night in bed. Don't they, boys?!" and those who were around started to laugh. "Let us leave. King Heraklion's will want his spoils."






A few hours later…




The pirate ship on which they were taken prisoner docked at a port of the stepstones, and they were led in chains into what seemed to be their nest.




During this brief captivity on the ship, Jon noticed that they were not the only prisoners. He saw two other women also in chains and gagged. One of them had dark hair and haunting violet eyes. While the other had silver-blonde hair and two mismatched eyes.




Once they were brought into a large cavern, Jon saw a man sat upon a throne, with a hoard of gold around him, and several more men around him all dressed in sumptuous robes. They started to approach the throne, slowly or as slowly as the chains permitted, and he heard the man say, laughing and in a Bravosi accent, that Jon couldn't match, as he raised his hands, "Welcome. Welcome to Heraklion's Palace. The King of all Pirates."




They stopped a few steps away from the throne, and Jon could finally see him clearly. He was a middle-aged man with dark hair and a scar on his forehead. He was wearing exotic, colorful robes that reeked of heavy perfumes and wine, his fingers adorned with rings of many metals from silver to steel and even gold, and a great necklace of golden chains hung from his neck, and on his head, there was a golden crown. Next to him, Jon could notice a great battle axe of tyroshi make no doubt plundered from some pompous noble.




"It is a costume to bow when in the presence of a King," the Pirate said, and the got hit by his men, making them kneel. "Yes. Now that is better. Who are you, my friend?"




"Jon Snow."




"Jon snow? Hmmm. I heard of a certain Jon snow who fought against the Pretender Stannis Baratheon," the Pirate said, from upon his throne. "And I heard that he is offering a high ransom to whoever captures you and your friend and hand them to him."




"I also heard that he hangs the pirates," replied Jon, as he could feel his friends tense beside him.




The Pirate started to laugh with malice that befitted a man so vile before waltzing down the steps of his throne and began to approach them. "But as I can see, you are not the only spoils that my men took from your ship. What we have here?" the man said, grabbing Arianne's jaw. "A real beauty we have here, eh? Long, thick black hair, dark eyes. Full lips and quite a large bosom. Royal blood, boys, eh? I've never shoved my cock into a royal cunt, especially a Dornish one."




"Don't you dare to touch her!" Jon snarled, trying to break his chains to no avail.




"Oh! We have a fighting wolf here, eh?" the Pirate said, laughing, and those who were there laughed too. "Well, I see that this whore matters a lot to you. I will enjoy it even more, when I take her bloody tonight," the Pirate King said, grabbing Arianne by the hair after giving him a kick on the chest, making him cough blood. Ghost immediately growled from the cage bringing all the attention to him. "Well, Well, Well. A dire wolf thought these fucking mongrels were legend. I always wanted one."




"You will die before dusk, King of the Pirates," came a woman voice, and looking in the direction, Jon saw that it was the one with the Valyrian features.




"Who are you?" asked the Pirate approaching her, but Jon, getting up slowly, said, "King Herackleons. I challenge you to single combat," and everyone present there started to whisper.




The man turned to him, letting Arianne go, and chuckling, said, "Ha! Why should I accept it? You are my prisoners anyway."




"Because if you don't, your men will see you for what you are. A pompous, arrogant son of a whore who can't fight and who owes these riches to them." The men around them started to laugh, and Jon could see how the King of the Pirates struggled to keep his anger at bay and how his pride was outweighing his common sense.




"So be it. Let's fight. And before dusk comes, Herackleons will drink from your skull."




"If I win. You will let us go free," said Jon, knowing perfectly that they will never do that, but it was something to lower the guard.




The man nodded, taking his axe and a shield in hand, as Jon took his sword from the pile of spoils, and without armour, stepped forward.




With a grin on his face, the Pirate King started to move from side to side, brandishing his axe, trying to lure him into attacking, but Jon was not that stupid. He knows very well to never make the first move. Especially when you are not well-armed




The man charged at him with a roar, giving sweeping, powerful strikes, and Jon tried to parry or dodge them when it was possible. The man was older than him, maybe stronger, but was smaller and slower. He will need to tire him down and strike.




However, suddenly a wall of fire burst up, scaring everyone who was in there, and catching Herackleons' attention, giving Jon the possibility to take advantage of the distraction and Jon gripped his sword with newfound vigour and swung with all his might cutting through tunic, skin and then bone Herackleons head rolled onto the ground his body fell limp and useless the so-called pirate king had fallen.




It was mass confusion as the pirates bereft of their master started a frenzy of slaughter eager to claim the riches of the compatriots without wasting any more time; Jon immediately set out in search of the key so they could leave this god's forsaken place.




"Jon! Behind you!" he heard Robar shout and managed to turn in time to dodge the blade of his aggressor. It was the jailor, a squat man with deep-set eyes and a flat nose. He wielded a jeweled dagger.




The Pirate kept attacking him very fast, and Jon could barely pair. The man was and deadly but lacked skill; after dodging several strikes, he saw an opening and managed to cut the jailor across the belly causing his entrails to spill onto the floor.




Now that their captor was dead, Jon bent down and took the keys, rushing immediately to free his friends and his lover, before turning his attention to the cage where Ghost was chained and freed him too. Looking around, he saw plenty of burned bodies, melted gold, and the hall looked like a real living hell. The flames were not extinguished, but almost every Pirate was dead or dying.




"What in the Seven Hells happened?" asked Loras, stroking his wrist.




"I conjured fire to distract them," came the voice of the other captive, and looking in that direction, he saw the woman with Valyrian features approach them, still in chains.




"Who are you?" asked Jon pointing the sword.




"Shiera Seastar is my name. Bastard of Aegon IV sister of the black dragon, bittersteel, and the bloodraven."




"Impossible. Aegon the Unworthy lived almost a hundred years ago. You look not more than thirty name days," said Loras.




"Yes. I have lived for many an age thought it was not a life of freedom I was held captive by the mages of the undying house for they craved the secrets of my blood alas I only escaped recently," the woman replied. "However, I would say we should leave now before more pirates come; they will have no doubt heard the commotion our little skirmish caused."




Jon nodded, unchaining them, and unchaining several more prisoners hoping they would provide a distraction while they escaped.




After taking their goods that had been stolen, their armour, the chest with the books, and their weapons, they all scrambled to the docks climbing on one of the empty ships that were destined for Pentos. Maybe now the Dornish ships will not follow them, and words will reach Stannis that they died with the pirates.






"Where have you been in the last few years, Lady Ashara?" asked Arianne, filling some goblets of wine and offered them to the two women. "We thought you killed yourself?"




"That's what I made them believe. I could not stay in Starfall, let alone Westeros. There were too many memories and sadness. I lost my baby. The man I loved married another woman. I lost my beloved brother. So, I decided to leave Westeros behind and wander across Essos, visiting every city, before stopping at Qarth."




"So, it's there that you too meet?" Arianne asked, taking a sip.




"Yes. I was a prisoner of the warlock, but with Ashara's help, I managed to leave that cursed place, taking the ship and going in search of the white wolf with red eyes that I often saw in my vision inside the tower."




"So, you are here for Ghost?" Arianne asked, knowing that Jon will not be pleased with this.




"Yes. We searched for the wolf, but I think the vision was referring to the boy. Jon Snow. Is he your lover?"  Shiera Seastar asked, with a smirk on her lips, and sipping from her goblet.




"Well, if you mean that since we left Dorne, we fucked, then yes," replied Arianne, feeling her cheeks flush with embarrassment.




Before they could continue, they got interrupted by Jon, who entered the Cabin with a smile on his face. "The Capitan said that in a few days, we should reach Pentos if the wind is on our side."




"So, we are traveling to Pentos, eh?" asked Shiera, getting up and approaching him as Jon untied his sword from the hips.




"Yes," he replied before turning to Lady Ashara. "But I don't remember your name, my lady."




"Her name is Lady Ashara Dayne of Starfall. My lover," replied Shiera, and Arianne could see that he was taken aback by that revelation, but not because of her saying that the woman was her lover, but the fact that there were rumours regarding the fact that Ashara was his mother.




Approaching the bed and swallowing, Jon asked, "I would like to ask you something, my lady, but you don't have to answer if you don't want to."




"I know what you want to ask, Jon. And the answer is no. I am not your mother. And I do not know who she was. I wasn't even aware that Ned Stark came to Starfall with a baby when he brought my brother's sword."




Jon nodded, sighing and sitting down on the bed next to her.




"So, you are heading to Pentos to meet the Dragon?" asked Shiera, approaching them.




"I'm heading to Pentos to find the palace of the Lord of the spices and save Daenerys Targaryen."




"Good, we share a common goal then," Shiera replied, sitting on the bed, before taking a long sip. "But first. I want you to tell me everything you learned about the land of Middle-Earth."








Several days later…








They were standing outside Illyrio's mansion, waiting for Khal Drogo to arrive. Rhaella could see the impatience on her son's face caused by the Khal's delay, and that made her laugh, but at the same time, her heart was full of anger because of the fate that her son was forced on her daughter.




"Smile," Viserys whispered nervously, to Daenerys, as his hand falling to the hilt of his sword. "And stand up straight. Let him see that you have breasts. Gods know you have little enough as is."




Daenerys give a forced smile and stood up straight, then she heard Viserys ask, "Where is he?"




"The Dothraki are not known for their punctuality," the fat Magister replied, with his fake smile, but then she heard horses galloping and saw a host of what must be the Dothraki come riding up.




The Magister starts to approach them, greeting in language, and say, "May I present my honoured guests? Viserys of House Targaryen, the third of his name. The rightful King of the Andals and the First Men. Dowager Queen Rhaella of the House Targaryen. And his sister, Daenerys, of the House Targaryen."




"Do you see how long his hair is?" Viserys said, leaning towards Daenerys, but Rhaella could hear everything. "When Dothraki are defeated in combat, they cut off their braid so the whole world can see their shame. Khal Drogo has never been defeated. He is a savage, of course, but he's one of the finest killers alive.  And you will be his Queen."




"Come forward, my dear."




Rhaella wanted to grab her daughter's hand and run away, but she knows they had no possibility. So, she remained helpless as Daenerys was ambling towards the Khal with fear in her eyes, and Rhaella herself was frightened by the big man on the black stallion.




But after a moment and cursory glance, the Khal turned his horse and rode away, as she immediately climbed down the stairs, "Where is he going?"




"The ceremony is over, my King."




"But he didn't say anything. Did he like her?"




"Trust me, Your Grace. If he didn't like her, we'd know," that the Magister headed back inside his palace, and Rhaella did the same, pushed by the guards, as her son dragged her daughter in. time was getting short, and she had to get around right away. This very night.






A few hours later…




Once she was sure that night had fallen, Rhaella blows out almost all the candles she had in her room and, taking on a piece of cloth wrapped around a wooden stick, set fire to the curtains and the bed.




"Help! The fire! Somebody helps me!" Rhaella shouted before grabbing her knife, and she saw guards burst in, shielding themselves with the hands from the heat of the fire. There were only two, so Rhaella charged at one, cutting his throat, before turning at the other, stabbing him several times, before pushing him into the fire; the man started screaming before running toward the window, jumping out.




Then she rushes down the hall, taking the small crossbow from the dead guard and making her way to her daughters' room. She needs to be quick least Viserys stop her.




She saw only one man guarding the door, though she hears screaming and the sound of more guards rushing through the halls. So, trying to aim at the neck, Rhaella shot the crossbow, and the man fell to the floor holding his bloodied neck.




Throwing the crossbow down, Rhaella run to the door, trying to see if it was open, but it was not. Bending down, she started to search on the dead body for the key, she was breathing fast and trembling.




When she finally found it, Rhaella immediately got up, unlocking the door, and saw her daughter, who was lying on the bed, immediately got up, cleaning her tears. "Mother?"




"Come, Dany. We are leaving this place," Rhaella said, grabbing her daughter's hand, and they left the room, starting to run through the hallways towards the main door.




They ran and ran, but just as she was about to open the door, Daenerys was grabbed by Viserys, and she felt a firm slap on her cheek, making her fall to the floor.




"You aren't going anywhere, whore!" Viserys shouted, giving a slap to Daenerys too, and despite the pain from the slap and the fall, Rhaella immediately got up, pushing Viserys away, who stumbled, falling to the ground, hitting his forehead.




"Dany," Rhaella immediately rushed to her daughter to help her got up and hear her son scream. "Guards! To me!" and they immediately got blocked by some guards.




Two other guards helped Viserys to get up, who looked like a mad man, and putting his hand on his wounded forehead, he shouted, "You'll pay for this!".




With that, he left, running away, while Daenerys was dragged back to her room, and Rhaella was taken and locked in another room, without candles, and without large windows. Almost a dungeon, but more comfortable.




Now alone, Rhaella lay on the bed, crying. She failed in helping her daughter run, and now Daenerys will be forced to marry that rapist savage.






Day of the Wedding…




The wedding started at dawn, on the cliff near Pentos. Tents were erected, meat and wine were offered, and fights were held right in front of the newlyweds.




Rhaella has never taken her eyes away from her daughter, who's expression resembled a court fool beaten by his master, not the proud daughter of Valyria she would have raised. She wanted to spare her this fate, but that madman would not heed her words. Not even when she offered herself instead of Daenerys.




"Who are those guests?" her son asked, pointing in a direction, drawing her attention away from Daenerys and to a group of what seems more Westerosi judging by the attire. There were three women and three men, but what cough her eyes was the young one seated between them. He was lean, clad in full plate, and a sword on his hip. He had long dark hair and dark violet eyes. He was a handsome young man.  But as she looked at him from afar, she felt that she had already seen him somewhere but could not remember where. Or maybe he reminded her of someone dear to her.




As she was looking at the young man, Rhaella noticed his fixed gaze on her daughter, Daenerys, who was looking down, and the same did the girl leaned on his shoulder and whispering something. At that moment, something came to her. A plan that may free her daughter from the Khal's grip. So, getting up, she was ready to go to the young man but was stopped by Viserys. "Where in the Seven Hells are you going?"




"To speak with some people that are not savages or you," she replied, shaking his grasp, and resuming her walk. As she approached them, she started to see some resemblance with a man long gone but never forgotten. Her sweet Rhaegar. Her First Born. The only difference was regarding the hair since the young man had dark hair, and maybe in some parts of the face.




Stopping in front of them, Rhaella said, "Good day, young man. May I join you?"  and saw him give a quick glance up and down her body.




"Of Course, Queen Rhaella," replied the woman with the Targaryen features, moving a bit away to make space for her to sit down.




"How may I help you, your grace?" the young man asked, sipping from his cup and looking her in the eyes.




"Well, I'd say that before we get there, you should introduce yourself."




"Of course. Excuse my manners, your grace," he said, taking her hand and giving a kiss on the knuckles. "My name is Jon snow. A sellsword from Westeros." A bastard from the North, she thought. "And these are my companions. These beautiful women are Princess Arianne Martell, Lady Shiera Seastar, and Lady Ashara Dayne." And Rhaella was stunned and speechless. Two of them should be dead, according to the tales. And the other one, the Princess, should be in Dorne, waiting for her son.




She recovered from her shock when she hears the young man continue introducing his companions, "Then there are my brothers in arms: Ser Loras Tyrell and Ser Robar Royce." And the two young men raised their cups in a toast. "And then there is this boy. My best friend. My Family. Ghost." He added, pointing at the dire wolf.




"A pleasure to meet you all," she replied, giving them all a glance, before returning her attention back to Jon snow. "You mentioned that you are a sellsword, am I right?" and he nodded. "So, I wondered if I could hire you."




"How much gold did you have?"




"Nothing. But I can give you one night," she said, trying to be as convincing as possible and offering the only thing she had.




The young man looked down, twirling his goblet, and Rhaella placing her hand on the thighs, said, "Not many can say to have bedded a queen. You may be one of the first to have such a high opportunity."




Taking a sip, the young man replied, "A very tempting offer, and only a fool would refuse it. I am that fool. I don't like to sleep with women for gold or because they are forced to do it."




"Please. I beg you to help me. If you want, I will lie with your men too, Ser. Just help me save my daughter from a cruel fate," she begged, taking his hand and feeling tears trickled from her eyes.




"You don't have to sell yourself, Queen. That is the reason we are here," said young Martell, grinning. "So, I suggest you stay as close to us as possible because soon the seven hells will break out."




Rhaella nodded, even though she was confused by her words.






The Dothraki ate, drank, and fought each other to the death, while Jon pondered the perfect moment to provoke his enemy.




Suddenly, as he looked around, it was announced the arrival of the members of the Golden Company, and in fact, he saw about twenty men arrive, waving the banner of the golden skulls on a spear with a black background, led by an older man he was portly, with a big round head, mild grey eyes and thinning grey hair that he brushed sideways to cover up a bald spot, and with him, he noticed a young girl. Maybe twenty years, who resembled Arianne a great deal, with hair as black as obsidian did in an elegant braid that fell almost to her waist.  She glanced at him for a moment before continuing, and Jon, on the other hand, heard the two women next to him gasp.




"What is it?"




"She looks like little Rhaenys," both replied at the same time, as he glanced between them and saw the widened eyes.




"Who? Rhaenys Targaryen?" he asked, getting a better glance at the girl, clad in armour, and a double head axe on her back, as the company was offering the gifts to the Khal, before heading to spot opposite to theirs, giving him a chance to take a better look at her. She was still smiling as she looked at them all, but this was false as a celibate whore, she was angry, and she hid It poorly.




"The dusk is coming. When do you intend to act?" asked Queen Rhaella, who was quite impatient.




"Soon. The Khal will not leave his wedding feast alive, and he will not touch your daughter. I swear to you," replied Jon, fixing his armour and putting his hand on the hilt of the sword concealed under his cloak.




Suddenly he heard howls of lamentation and saw a large cage brought forward by some men led by a relatively wealthy merchant. Everyone stopped from what he was doing, looking in wonder at the cell's content, the same way they did when he came with Ghost by his side.




The merchant said something in Dothraki, and he hears Arianne point out, "He looks like your wolf Jon." And getting up, he saw clearly who was in the cage. It was Lady.




In that same moment, the Khal got up to approach the cage, looking in wonder, but since the merchant moved away a bit and was a few steps from them, drawing out the sword and pointing at his neck, Jon said, "Free the wolf or I will cut your throat."




The crowd around them started to whisper as the Dothraki took their arakhs in hand, ready to attack them.






Rhaenys was watching what was happening in front of her with great attention, taking her axe in her hand, ready to jump into the fray should an opportunity arise to kill that rapist Khal.




As she looked at the young man who himself had a wolf, Rhaenys also glanced between her aunt and her uncle, who in the meantime got up from his seat, and had a hand on the sword, as well as the tall blonde man next to him.




The Khal started to shout words in Dothraki, as the dire wolf was freed chaos erupted The dark-haired boy killed the merchant by slicing his throat, the women and the two men that were with him started to attack the Dothraki with fire and their weapons.




Next to her, Rhaenys heard Jon pull out the sword and say, "We need to leave, princess." But she, ignoring him, with an axe in hand, jumped into the fray, striking right, and left killing every Dothraki in her path, trying to reach her aunt's position.




She stopped for a moment to look around and saw the Khal fighting with the boy, who was clearly having great difficulty fighting a larger opponent, and so leaving the matter regarding her aunt aside, she runs to help him.






The Khal was nimble as a jaguar and wild as an aurochs, and despite sustaining several grievous wounds, Khal Drogo did not stop from attacking him; he was an enraged bull. Charging at him and knocking him to the ground, and began unleashing a flurry of punches trying to pummel Jon to death.




Then suddenly, the Khal's assault stopped, as he saw the girl, Rhaenys, push the horse savage off him, but was knocked she too when the Khal slapped her. Jon tried to recover from the punches, shaking his head, grabbing his sword, started to attack the Khal until he saw an opening and cut off the Dothraki's hand; it was then Rhaenys swung her axe with tremendous force slicing him from cock to stomach, the Khal fell to his knees covered in blood and his own entrails looking up he faced Jon with a look of defiance on his face though this didn't last long as Jon removed the Khals head.




He was breathless, tired, and in pain because of the punches, but nevertheless, he tried to stay focused and saw the girl run towards Rhaella and Daenerys Targaryen.








Rhaella was hugging her daughter and staying hidden as the battle erupted all around them. She saw the Khal dying and was glad, but they needed to flee right now. Escape her son while they still can. "Dany. Let us go."




And getting up, they started to run, trying to avoid the blades and the men fighting or burning. The sellswords of the Golden Company were fighting against the crazed Dothraki.




Suddenly, Rhaella was grabbed from behind and knocked to the ground, screaming. "What have you done, whore!" shouted her son, ready to strike her with this sword, but was immediately stabbed by Daenerys, who was crying and trembling. "Your little whore! How dare you attack your King!"




"Leve her!" screamed Rhaella in tears, trying to get up, but in that same moment, the White Direwolf jumped on Viserys, knocking him to the ground and starting to rip into his shoulder, as her son was screaming in pain. Another wolf came, the one from the cage, attacking him between his legs and ripping away what made him a man.




"Daenerys!" the woman from the golden company bend down next to her daughter to see if she was hurt before helping her up, and when she saw Jon snow was running towards them, his sword stained with blood.




"We need to leave. I have a ship in the harbour of Pentos," he said, helping her up, and Rhaella, taking her daughter's hand, started to run after him, as well as the others.








When they reached the harbour, they saw the city was in chaos as the horse lords were driven into a blood frenzy by the death of their Khal; Jon immediately shouted to the Captain, "We need to leave. Now!"




And all the crow started to run back and forth, getting ready to sail, as they were waiting for everyone to climb on.




When everyone was on, and the ship finally took sail, Jon released a sigh. What a dam day this was. Coming here, he never expected to unleash such chaos, but seeing lady in the cage made him mad.




"Are you all right, Jon?" asked Robar stepping next to him, and Jon saw his companion was coated in blood, the runes of his armour flecked with gore.




"Yes. Just some scratches here and there. Fortunate that we were wearing plate; otherwise, the Dothraki would have killed us."




"Ser Jon," came the Queen's voice as she approached, and turning, he saw that she looked a real mess, "Thank you for helping us."




And he nodded, "I hope you and your daughter are well."




"Yes. Just a little shaken because of the fight."




"Go and rest, your grace. I will come later to speak with you and make sure that you both are all right," Jon replied, seeing Loras coming, and the woman smiled, moving away.




"Where are we sailing now, Jon?" Robar asked as Jon turned his attention to the horizon.




"West. We search for Middle Earth."

Chapter Text



"So, all our plans have collapsed because of a bastard from the North and his companions," Illyrio said, walking alongside Varys in the remains of what could have been the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo.




It was a sinister image, blood, body parts, and corpses everywhere, when they lost their Khal, many Dothraki began to plunder the City and fight among themselves, becoming a feast for the crows.




"I don't think so, my friend; certainly, this is a major setback for our plans, but they are not completely ruined; we still have Aegon," Varys said in his usual tone of voice.




"But without the girl, how can we prove his identity?" Illyrio said, unconvinced.




"Well, it will really be complicated, but not impossible, we will have to create the right circumstances so that Aegon can return to Westeros and claim the Iron Throne, this War of the Five Kings will have to continue longer than planned when the Kingdom has bled enough, the discontent of the common people to the games of the great lords will not wait, they will remember the stability that the first Targaryen kings brought to the continent, and there will come Aegon, Prince Rhaegar is still remembered with affection and loyalty by many And when the news that his son is alive and ready to claim the throne, the little lordlings and the nobles unhappy with the Lannister rule will join him ... We also still have Dorne, when Prince Doran discovers that his nephew is alive, will support him to regain the throne ".




"You are rarely so optimistic, but at this moment, we have nothing left but to be patient and choose our next moves with more care; however, I would like to know what interest that northern bastard would have in Queen Rhaella and her daughter to risk so much to prevent this wedding? "




"I don't know, maybe he decided to act as a mercenary and was hired by someone loyal to the Targaryen's to save them. If so, I will send my little birds to gather information ... Or maybe he had some wild fantasy about having a mother and daughter at the same time. "




"I don't blame him if that was the case," Illyrio said with a smile on his face as if imagining the scene in his head.




"By the way, what happened to Prince Viserys?" Varys asked suddenly. To which Illyrio only put on a devious smile.




"I really don't know; the last thing I saw of him after that wolf stripped him of his manhood was that he was dragged away by the remains of the Khalassar; I don't know what they might want with a eunuch who is also about to lose an arm, the bastard wolf almost ripped it off. "




"You don't sound sorry for the horrible fate of your guest," Varys said, arching an eyebrow.




"Please, Varys, you have no idea how annoying he was and how many times I was about to have him executed by my guards every time I heard the phrase" Wake the Dragon "from all the horrible and stupid people I have met in my life, that piece of shit bears the crown, it was rather amusing that Viserys was left maimed, a eunuch and absent a Khalassar whose Blood Riders seek revenge for the death of their Khal .. . You couldn't have come up with a more appropriate ending. "




"Don't underestimate me, my friend; you really shouldn't do it," Varys answered an amused while they continued talking about what was the bloody wedding.




King's Landing...




Margaery sat gazing at the moon in her chambers as she prepared to sleep after another day of charity on the streets of the City, sharing food with the people of the Capital or hear of the suffering of the smallfolk. Made her realize how miserable they all would be as long as that cruel and twisted bastard born of incest is still on the Iron Throne; unfortunately, she had no way to stop it.


She had managed to assume her role as a kind and benevolent queen rather well. Still, she knew that sooner or later, Joffrey would seek to torment her in the same way as Sansa Stark; in those moments, in addition to apprehension, she felt anger and frustration at the weakness and ineptitude of her Father and her grandmother's machinations for putting her in this situation, she no longer had any desire to be queen, especially if she will be the queen of a monster like Joffrey.




Her thoughts undeniably strayed to Jon and her brother Loras.


It had been so long since she saw them that it seemed to her as if centuries had passed; Margaery still dreamed of those days in Highgarden when the three of them were together, while they pretended that she was a Princess and Loras and Jon competed to be the one. The knight who would rescue her. And despite loving her brother, Margaery always wanted Jon to be, after all, she was not a Targaryen, she couldn't marry her brother nor did she wish to, and despite knowing it was just a fantasy, Margaery always From the bottom of her heart, he had always yearned to find a way to be with Jon despite his bastard status ... But her grandmother had done her best to shatter that fantasy.




Her heart still trembles when she remembers those distant days like dreams, longing for the tranquility and happiness of yesteryear.




... There is no point in crying for what has already been; I made my decision for Jon's sake, knowing that he is safe is enough, now I must do my duty ...




Still, she couldn't help but worry about them and also his family except for her grandmother and, to a lesser extent, her mother, who only cared for Garlan. Since Renly's death, her brother, Jon and Robar Royce became outlaws who had rebelled against the crown, since Jon would never kneel before those who murdered his Father, Loras on the other hand, would never kneel before those who killed Renly and Robar would never abandon his brothers in arms, so the three are Wanted by both the Lannisters and Stannis Baratheon, the last he had heard from them was that they were headed for Dorne.




... At least the Martells haven't declared their support for either side; there, I hope they are safe ... For a while, at least ...




After sighing and remembering her sorrows, Margaery prepared to sleep and regain her energy for another day, trying to improve the image of a man who they were already beginning to call "Aerys III" and dealing with the paranoia and stupidity of her future good-mother who repeatedly tried to undermine her family so as not to lose the power she believed she had. Still, it seemed that Cersei Lannister could not understand that they were not her enemies, although fortunately for House Lannister, Lord Tyrion was perfectly capable of keeping his sister at bay. And his nephew ... Most of the time.




Despite his deformed appearance, the little Lord possessed intelligence and political cunning worthy of his Father in the words of her grandmother.




Margaery cleared her mind of political matters and took one last look at the night sky, where despite the foul stench of the City, the stars could be appreciated; that was one of the few pleasures she could allow herself there.




Margaery's eyes were lost in the bright sky until they reached a star different from the others, her light was ... So pure and bright even compared to the others, almost as if it were a small silver sun, strange as it was. For Margaery somehow, she felt that that star somehow watched over everything from above, as if pushing away the darkness.




... Jon, brother, wherever you are, I wonder if you take the time to appreciate the stars, especially this one ... Wherever you are ... May the warrior give you strength and the Mother protect you from any danger ...




With those last thoughts and one last look at that beautiful and curious star, Margaery finally lay down on her bed and let her exhaustion get the better of her.




The Sea….


After escaping the wedding and the maddened Khalassar, all the noble-born companions had been placed in a room and began to talk among themselves, as Jon, Loras, and Robar decided the course of the ship.




"Rhaenys ... My granddaughter," Said Queen Rhaella looking at her older granddaughter for the first time in more than a decade; the plump little girl who laughed when they tickled her feet had been left behind; this was now a woman, tall, with bronzed skin, beautiful and dressed like a warrior. Rhaella still remembered Rhaenys' ferocity in fighting the Khal when she decided to help Jon Snow.




"Grandmother ... How is this possible?" Rhaenys said, unable to contain her tears to see again the grandmother she believed to have lost at the end of the Usurper's War.


The happy smile on Rhaella's face darkened at her granddaughter's question, and she sighed through tears.




"My child, I am afraid that I am not ready to give that answer to you or your aunt; there are memories that are very painful and bitter, so to accept them it is better to wait for the wounds to heal, and I am not talking about the body, or of the soul ... I will answer your question, soon but please wait, I am finally reunited with members of the family that I thought I had lost, let's not ruin this meeting by talking about bitter things. " Said the Dowager Queen hugging both Rhaenys and Daenerys, who were listening to everything in silence.




In the room were Princess Arianne, Ashara Dayne, and Shiera Seastar, who had a glass of red wine and watched with joy and satisfaction the reunion between the Targaryen's.




"Grandmother, I wasn't the only one to survive ... Egg ... Aegon too," Said the Princess to the amazement and shock of everyone in the room.




"How is it possible?" The ancient queen asked, still unable to believe it.




"It was Lord Varys; he had us taken out of the Red Keep and replaced with decoys before the Lannister forces sacked King's Landing."




"The spider," Said Rhaella, still surprised; the Master of Whispers never inspired her confidence even though she genuinely respected the eunuch abilities she hadn't forgotten after all those years when Varys began to whisper poisonous words of her infidelity. It wasn't true, of course. But it caused Aerys to unleash his anger on her, she knew that The Spider must have his reasons to carry out all his plans and that he surely planned to take advantage of all this, but now she could not help feeling grateful towards Varys because thanks to him, she not only has her daughter back but also her grandchildren.


"Did the spider take you both in?" Arianne asked, interested while taking a sip from her glass of wine.




"No, for two years, we were in the house of Magister Illyrio Mopatis ..."




A startled sound from Daenerys reminded them of her presence, and she was not the only one; Rhaella just understood why that cheesemaker supported her idiot son; he was in cahoots with Varys.




"I knew there was something about that cheesemaker that I didn't like." Said the queen with narrowed eyes.




"I think so, but he gave my brother and me a safe haven, food, and education, then when Aegon learned to talk and walk, we were handed over to Jon Connington's care."




The sounds of surprise continued as soon as the Princess said Connington's name as no one in Westeros, with the possible exception of her relatives, had spoken or mentioned that name in close to a decade.




"The griffin is still alive?" Princess Arianne asked in surprise.




"The last I heard from her is that he drunk himself to death after robbing the Golden Company." Ashara Dayne added.




"That is what the news we received in Dorne as well." Second Arianne.




Who is he? "Daenerys asked shyly.




"One of your brother Rhaegar's few true friends, my dear, Jon Connington served as your Father's Hand during the rebellion, but after failing to stop the Usurper, your Father stripped him of his titles and lands and exiled him," Rhaella replied to her daughter's question, to which the young Princess just nodded and stayed behind her Mother.




"That was a lie that Varys spread so that Jon would stay hidden without problems while raising my brother and me ... He is not drunk," Rhaenys said, fiercely defending her only father figure.




"This has been a journey of significant events; we came here only to rescue Princess Daenerys, and instead, we also met Queen Rhaella and my dear cousin who all believed dead ... the gods love their jokes. " Arianne said, giving another sip of her glass of wine.




"The same could be said of your presence cousin, tell me what you are doing here so far from Dorne?" Rhaenys said, arching an eyebrow.




"Cousin, for many years I thought you were dead, now I discover that you are alive; it is a reason for celebration, not mistrust, don't you think?" Arianne said with a smile, to which Rhaenys only shrugged and hugged her tightly, remembering the last time they were together.


"The gods are good, Queen Rhaella; they are giving you back the family you lost." Ashara Dayne said, looking at the scene with a smile.


... Yes, for the most part ... But my children, Rhaegar, will still be dead on The Trident and Viserys ... Oh Viserys, how different you would have been if I had stayed with you ...


The Dowager Queen thought with remorse at the thought of her two sons' fate, one acting impulsivity, and the other turned into a younger version of their Father.




Rhaenys and her cousin separated, and her granddaughter went to Shiera Seastar, who only remained silent watching the scene.




"I'm afraid we haven't had the pleasure, Lady ..."




"Shiera Seastar. Bastard daughter of King Aegon IV."




Hearing her, Rhaenys's eyes widened, and she was so surprised that she took a few steps back.




"Impossible, Aegon the Unworthy lived more than 100 years ago; you cannot be his daughter ... You are far too young."




"Young? Appearances are deceiving Princess, but I swear by the Old and New Gods that my words are sincere, I am Shiera Seastar, and I am on this journey together with Ashara to finally find my destiny and purpose in life."




Rhaenys expression did not change much, but she did not seem very convinced of her "ancestor" words and decided not to get more information from her; sighing, Rhaegar's daughter turned to her aunt.




"I'm glad I was able to stop you from marrying that rapist Aunt Daenerys, the trip from Myr was worth it."




"Myr?" Queen Rhaella asked, confused.




"That's where our troops are, The Golden Company." Rhaenys said with a smile when she saw the expression of astonishment that appeared on the faces of all the women (including Shiera), and it was not difficult to guess why the Golden Company was founded by Aegor Rivers "Bitter Steel" to place the descendants of Daemon Blackfyre on the Iron Throne, so finding out that they now support the last of the Targaryens comes as a surprise.




"How is it possible that the Golden Company is supporting them?" Rhaella asked in surprise.




"Connington managed to reach an agreement with his commander, Harry Strickland, who has told us that more than 100 years have passed and the exiles of the Blackfyre Rebellion just want to go home, they no longer care which Dragon they support, besides the Blackfyre are history, Ser Barristan Selmy killed the last of them many years ago. " Rhaenys said in a dismissive tone.




"Still, this is quite a surprise," Rhaella said in astonishment.


Rhaenys continued without taking importance and decided to clarify their doubts about the people who helped them save their aunt.


"Whose ship is this? And where is he going? From what I could tell, three knights are in command here; one of them carries the emblem of House Tyrell, another that of House Royce, and the last one is the one that was accompanied by the albino wolf. Who are they? ... Mercenaries?"




"They are, Loras Tyrell, Robar Royce, and Jon Snow," Rhaella replied.


"Then Grandmother, order them to take us back to Myr, Aegon and I have been preparing to regain the Iron Throne for our house; Jon Connington and other companions have raised, educated, and trained us both to claim our kingdom and to rule it, we must go with my brother Aegon and plan our invasion, the 7 Kingdoms are crumbling due to a civil war, the Usurper's dogs fight each other, while his brothers claim the throne for themselves, it is only a matter of time before the small folk are clamoring for the return of our house," Rhaenys said with passion in her voice and fire in her eyes.




... It's hate, it's anger, my granddaughter has fed on them for years …


"Unfortunately, cousin, this ship is not heading to Westeros, or any known land, all of us who are on this ship will go to a land west of the west ..., Or so Jon says," Arianne said.




"A new land? That sounds like the ravings of a madman" ... Besides, we must return; Aegon needs us! ... Grandmother, you hired those mercenaries; how could they not obey you? "Asked Rhaenys, alarmed.




"I didn't hire them," Rhaella said in a whisper.




"How?" Rhaenys asked incredulously.




"I tried to hire them in the middle of the wedding, offering the only thing of value I possessed... My body, I offered to spend a night with him, but he refused; he said he was coming to save Dany." Said the queen.




"But why would he do that for me? I don't even know him." Daenerys said, confused.




"I don't know, dear." Her mother answered.




"Jon says that meeting me and you Princess Daenerys is part of our destiny, that it is our destiny to accompany him to this new land, a land where we can achieve much more than we could ever hope to achieve in Westeros," Arianne said, watching the reactions of the Targaryens trio.




"Absurd, you say that the bastard did all this to follow a fantasy?" Rhaenys said, increasingly annoyed with her cousin.




"A vision rather, he told me it was from someone named Manwë who visited him in a dream."




"You seem to know him well, Princess Arianne." Mentions Rhaella staring at her, to which the former heiress of Dorne smiled.




"I do; he is my white wolf and the love of my life."




"Did you fall in love with a bastard?  ... What would my Uncle Doran say about that?"




"I don't care what that loathsome bastard has to say; he planned to marry me with Viserys to get rid of me despite knowing what kind of person he was and put my fool brother Quentyn on the throne Sunspear; as soon as I refused, he locked me  In a tower hoping that I would break and consent to be sold like cattle, thanks to my uncle Oberyn and my cousins who managed to get Jon and the others into the City I was able to escape. Otherwise, I would most likely experience the same as you, queen Rhaella. "




The queen wanted to deny the words of the Princess of Dorne, but she has witnessed the cruelty of Viserys firsthand and preferred to remain silent.




"Anyway, it's ridiculous that we follow the bastard on his ... Adventure, we must go to my brother and fight to get back what belongs to us! I'll go and demand that he takes us to Myr myself.




At which point, Rhaenys' inner Dragon emerged as she stormed out of the cabin, leaving Rhaella and Daenerys worried.






Jon's cabin


After leaving Lady with Ghost, Jon returned to the deck with Loras and Robar to find their way to Middle Earth upon arrival. He saw his brothers in arms reading the books about Númenor and Middle Earth that they found below. Summerhall, which surprised him in the case of Loras because he was not exactly fond of books and less so of navigation, although he could be a competent navigator when necessary.




"Well, my friends, my sister's wolf has settled in with ghost and shouldn't cause us any inconvenience; she was always the meekest of her siblings."




"Splendid, now why don't you help us set the course for this new land of yours," said Robar without paying much attention.




"I am really intrigued by these books; I never heard of Middle Earth or Númenor; how was it possible that the Targaryens could get their hands on these books?" Loras said without taking his eyes off the pages.




... That's a good question ...  Jon admitted, but at that moment, they heard the footsteps of someone approaching quickly, and after a few knocks on the door, it opened without waiting for an answer.




... Whoever it was has no manners ...




 When the door opened completely, Jon saw the face of the woman who helped him kill Khal Drogo. Rhaenys Targaryen ... She was a beautiful woman, but unlike her cousin, she had a fierce countenance and carried herself like a warrior. Despite being the last Dragon's daughter, her appearance was entirely Dornish except for the eyes that glittered like pale opals in the low light.




"Good evening, my Lady," Jon said, pretending to be polite.




"Good evening Sir, I would like to know where we are going."




"At this time, we are heading to distant lands to find ... Well adventures and a purpose in life."




Although the young woman did not change her face, Jon found some irritation in her eyes.




"I understand that you work as a mercenary and would like to hire your services."




Interested, Jon raised an eyebrow.








"I want you to take Myr and me and the others."




"That will not happen; this ship will continue its course and will not stop or change it regardless of the gold you off me."




The young woman gripped her axe and restrained the urge to cut off the bastard's head, but she knew that if she did, his companions would kill her; Rhaenys saw them fight and knew that by herself, she would not have a chance against both at the same time.




"I had already been warned of that answer, so I want to sweeten my offer; I understand that because of your surname, it was not easy for you in Westeros, which causes you to seek better lands as part of some childish fantasy, but tell me if I could give you a better life, would that make you change your mind? "




"How does my Lady plan to do that?" Jon asked, amused.




"I am not just a Lady, I am Rhaenys of the House of Targaryen, daughter of Rhaegar and Elia Martell of Dorne and sister of the true king, Aegon the sixth of his name, the rightful king of the Rhoynar the Andals and the First Men, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and protector of the realm. " She said proudly before the trio of knights who looked at her in amusement, clearly not impressed.


"Well, in that case ... Your Highness excuse our lack of manners." Ser Robar said, bowing to the Princess.


"Aye," Loras said, copying his friend.


"I see, so Rhaegar Targaryen's son survived too...." Jon muttered.


"So Ser Jon, this is my offer to take my family and me to Myr, and you and your friends pledge their loyalty to my brother's cause. In return, you will be legitimized, and you could be given land to start your own home."




Jon watched his friends for a few moments, and they shrugged, implying that the decision was his.




The opportunity to be legitimized was something that he had always longed for, to be recognized as a true Stark, "Jon Stark" however, failing the king he swore to protect and losing the love of his life, He had come to accept that bastards would never be seen as anything but second best. During the time he traveled with his friends, he felt that he had no purpose other than to survive, but after Manwë vision, Jon thought that he had a real purpose. Now with his friends who faithfully accompanied him and with his new love Arianne and the young Daenerys who, according to Manwë, she too is part of his destiny.




Jon's decision was already made. He just needed to acknowledge it himself.




"It is a tempting offer, Your Highness ... But unfortunately, I must reject it, for me there is nothing left in Westeros bastard or legitimate my future is not there, neither Arianne's nor Princess Daenerys', I know it's difficult to understand,  I hardly understand it myself ... But believe me Princess, all of us who are sailing now ... We will see things that no one else has seen, and we will pledge ourselves to a cause far greater than any could imagine, you and your grandmother, as well as the Lady Ashara Dayne and Shiera Seastar, the moment you took this ship with us ... They joined in this trip, I'm sorry, but now you are with us. "




Hearing the fervor with which Jon defended his cause for a moment, Rhaenys felt self-conscious and impressed since he spoke with the charisma and charm of a king, but when she regained her composure and understood that there would be no returning, Rhaenys lost all reason and threatened Jon with her axe.




"Take me back to Myr now, you bastard!"




While Jon remained unmoved by the outburst of the Princess, both Robar and Loras drew their swords and pointed them at Rhaenys, and when things started to get out of hand, Queen Rhaella suddenly appeared along with Arianne Martell and grabbed a surprised Rhaenys, who dropped her axe which was quickly taken by Loras.




"What? Grandmother! Arianne!"




"Rhaenys, that is enough," Her grandmother said wearily.




"He doesn't plan to take us to my brother; he'll force us to go to that crazy dream of his!"




The queen stared at him, and Jon sent her an apologetic look.




"I know my granddaughter, but even so ... He and his friends have saved our lives, we have a blood debt to them ... In the eyes of the gods, if you kill them without paying the debt, you would not be better Than a Kinslayer. "








"Rhaenys, I know you want to go back to your brother, but Jon is not your enemy; when I escaped from Dorne, my first impulse was to go with my Mother, I thought that maybe she could make my Father come to reason and eventually return to Dorne as his Princess, but Jon convinced me to give this trip a chance, to make a proper name for myself beyond my surname or inheritance. " Arianne said, trying to calm her cousin.




"I will not abandon my brother," Rhaenys said forcefully.




"No, but Jon's words do not mean that you will not see him again, maybe on this journey you will learn something that can help him to reconquer the Seven Kingdoms, and you will never know if you kill Jon since it seems that he is the only one that knows where we are going. "




Rhaenys just stared at her grandmother and cousin for a few minutes, and sighing, she turned to Jon with a look of contempt.




"This is not over, you bastard." She said, leaving the cabin. Followed by a smiling Arianne, who shot Jon a flirtatious look.




In the end, Rhaella watched Jon for a few more moments and started to retreat as well, but he stopped her.




"Your Highness, do not think badly of me, I do not wish to hold you and your family against your will, but this is a journey that Princess Arianne, your daughter Princess Daenerys and I must take; the fact that we now share this journey with you and Rhaenys. .. It was ... An unforeseen consequence ... But I have learned that nothing was a coincidence, just like my companions and I was at the wedding of your daughter and the Khal, you were there, and we met, and then we ended up on this ship our destiny awaits us in Middle-Earth, I know it is a lot to assimilate, but I swear on my honor that I will not allow you and your daughter to suffer harm, I promise. "




Queen Rhaella did not change her expression except that she only nodded and left as well, leaving Jon, Loras, and Robar in the cabin.




"Well, Jon, among other things from this moment on, those beautiful damsels from House Targaryen will try to kill you ... I don't think you can sleep anymore ... Or away from the Princess of Dorne."


Said Loras with amusement.




"Forget about that, let's go back to our conversation; what have they found out about how to get to our destination?" Jon said without looking away from where Queen Rhaella stood a few moments ago.




"Well, unfortunately, nothing concrete, except for some maritime routes that will serve us when we get there ... But nothing on how to get there." Loras answered.




Jon's heart began to shrink.




"So, we don't have anything? ... We'll just sail West then."




"Well, I really don't think it's that simple; you will see in one of the volumes written on that island of Númenor there is a passage that relates that to find Middle Earth, three requirements are necessary," Robar said, sparkings Jons interest.




"Three requirements? Which ones?"




"According to the passage, you first need to follow the course set by Azrubel, or Gli-Estel, both names are titles in different languages of the same thing," The Star of Hope. ""




... It's like Manwë told me in my dream ...




"According to the book, it is a very bright star that can be seen shining on the horizon both in the day and at night; if we find it, we can trace our route."




"Well, what about the others?"




"The second requirement is strange, it only says ... We need the blessing of the Greater King and the third that when we are about to reach our destination to be able to travel the last stretch, we need one of the Aratar to guide us," Loras said.




"Aratar?" Jon asked, confused since it was the first time he had heard that term.




"I don't know what it means either; all I know is that if we don't find the right star, we'll die sooner or later," Robar said, having some wine.




"Well, in that case, let's find the star," Jon said, coming out on the deck of the ship, followed by his confused friends.




Jon began to see the stars in the sky, frantically searching for the correct star, but after a few minutes, he realized that he didn't know which star he was looking for since they all looked the same insight; he was already thinking about giving up and waiting to tomorrow when suddenly... He saw it, brighter than the others, shining so brightly that it looked like a small sun of pure silver, Jon did not know how much time he lost seeing that star, but he was brought back to consciousness by his friends.




"Jon, Jon, are you well?" Loras said, shaking Jon.








"What happened?" Loras asked in bewilderment.




"I think I found our star," Jon said, pointing to the reigning star in the sky.




"Are you sure?" Loras asked.




"Yes, can you chart a course with that star?"




"Yes, I think so."




"In that case, we already have the first step."




Three weeks later...




Jon and the others were sailing for the next few weeks and had not found land even though, according to Loras, they were going in the right direction, but that left them a problem... The food was starting to run low. Arianne had managed to keep her cousin Rhaenys under control, but Jon knew that she would kill him at the first opportunity, so Jon was on his guard while she was close to him. Queen Rhaella and Princess Daenerys, on the other hand, faced the trip in silence and did not speak with Jon or his friends, however on more than one occasion, Jon watched Daenerys looking at him curiously more to want to approach talking to her the Princess remained her gaze and returned next to her Mother.


As for Shiera Seastar and Lady Ashara Dayne were the ones that were best dealing with their stay on the boat, although that can be because they seldom left their cabin; on more than one occasion, Jon went to try to talk to them and stopped at the door when listening to sweet moans, Jon was just ashamed every time that happened what was very often.


But at that moment, the main problem was the food; Jon would try to get better acquainted with Rhaenys to no avail.


"How long will our food last?"




"three days if the calculations do not fail me," Robar answered.




"We have followed that star for weeks. We have not seen anything," Loras commented, annoyed.




"I know, Loras, but we are heading in the right direction. I feel it." Jon said, sure of his dreams.




"Well, how do we solve the food problem then?" Robar inquired.




"We will have to fish until we find land, even if it is just an island."




"And do you think we'll find her Jon, just like that?" Loras asked skeptically.




"If you have a better idea, Loras, I would like to hear it."




The Knight of Flowers didn't answer and just made a face at Jon. Who, in the meantime, noticed how a bird was on the boat?




... I think I'm starting to get delirious because I would swear that that bird has been following us for days ...




The next day when they could no longer hide the food shortages from the ladies, the complaints were immediate, in fact, this time, not only Rhaenys tried to attack Jon, but Arianne threw a fork at his face for the amusement of everyone on the boat. And just when they were starting to despair, a miracle happened.




They found land.




It couldn't be Middle Earth; it was rather a small island, full of vegetation. When they saw it, everyone began to get excited about possibly finding food.




Upon arrival, everyone got off the ship, including Queen Rhaella and Princess Daenerys, who were already tired of sailing; Princess Rhaenys was forced to disembark by Jon, who did not trust her to be alone on the ship.




"You'll pay for this humiliation, bastard."




"Maybe but not today; come on, Princess, come on."


Jon and Rhaenys were the first to disembark, and the moment Jon touched the seawater, he could swear there was a voice coming from the water:




... Jon ... Jon ... Tonight ...




It was a powerful, attractive voice and seemed to be full of wisdom. If Manwe's voice in his dreams seemed to come from the wind, this voice seemed to come from the water calling him, but he did not feel threatened by it.




"Jon, are you alright?" - Rhaenys Targaryen's voice took him out of his trance, and Jon noticed that she was watching him with curiosity.




"What happened?".




"I just want to know, you stood looking at nothing."




"No ... It's nothing, let's go on." The Princess just shrugged as they walked along the shore, and the others joined them.




Due to the small number of crew members, they all went to explore the island as a group and soon found a great diversity of fruits and freshwater sources, which filled everyone with relief.




"Praised be the gods." Said Loras pulling an apple from a nearby tree and giving it a bite; everyone saw the expression of satisfaction on Loras's face, and even Princess Rhaenys began to laugh.




"What? It's delicious." He said before continuing to eat his apple. Lady Ashara and Shiera, who were carrying baskets, started collecting them.




Exploring the island did not take them long, Three hours at most, and they were amazed by its beauty, green pastures, and soft land, along with the fruits and the various freshwater springs, but the best was apparently in the center of the island, a spring of hot water, which filled many of them with satisfaction.




It was decided that the ladies would use it first while Jon and Robar carried the supplies to the ship while Loras stood guard.




At nightfall, two bonfires were made several meters from each other, the women at one and the men at another, Jon and Robar managed to catch dinner, and with the fruits, they were able to have a decent dinner.




But despite everything, Jon only thought about the mysterious voice he heard when he arrived on the island.




"What are you thinking, Jon?" Robar asked, finishing dinner and putting his plate and cutlery aside.




"When we got to this island, I ... I think ... No, I'm sure I heard a voice in the water." He said, observing the expressions of his friends.




"A voice," asked a confused Loras.




"Yes, a voice like that of a man in dreams, Manwë ... But it was different; Manwe's voice seemed to be in the air, but it came from the water, and it was like water, mysterious, powerful, and deep."




"And that voice ... did it tell you something?" Asked an intrigued Robar.




"He just said my name and said ..." At Dusk, "Jon replied, confused.




"What does it mean?". Loras asked, interested.




"I don't know ..." Jon started to say until a scream made them react; they took their swords and went with the women who were looking in the direction of the ocean.




"What happened?" Jon asked, dashing to Arianne's side.




"The sea ..." His lover answered, gesturing towards the sea.




Seeing him immediately, he faced Arianne.




In the sea, a giant whirlpool began to form, but that was not the most incredible thing, but the water in the whirlpool seemed to shine, it was as if the stars in the sky were spinning in the water ... until it exploded and a figure emerged from the water.




He looked like a man of great age and wisdom, but he was much bigger than any man, clad in glittering mail that resembled the scales of fish; with his right hand he could hold the boat, but in his left, he carried a mighty six-pronged trident, his great beard shone like cascading silver and seem to ripple like the tides, and on his head, he wore an ornate helm crested with the wings of a great sea-bird.




"Greetings Westeros travelers, my name is Ulmo, the Lord of the Waters and the Depths." The being spoke with authority, although there was kindness in his voice, which Jon soon realized was the same one, he heard in the water.




"By the seven hells, Jon, what the hell did you get us into?" He heard Loras said in alarm. He drew his blade as well, clearly shocked by the man who emerged from the ocean. The queen held her daughter close as the young Princess was obviously terrified while Rhaenys brandished her axe, ready for a fight.




"All you have traveled a great distance to come to this island, but still have a part of their journey to go, this island was prepared for you, so that you could rest and replenish yourself... Now I´m a friend, so I ask you to sheathe your blades. You have no need of them."




Upon hearing those words, everyone was surprised. Was this island for them? Steeling himself with courage, Jon approached the imposing being while Arianne tried to stop him.




"What are you doing?". But Jon ignored her.




Getting close enough, Jon cleared his throat as much as possible.




"I am Jon Snow; my friends and I came in search of Middle-earth because I was told in a dream by someone named Manwë that our destiny is there with The Faithful."




"Those words are true; your destiny and that of your friends is there; however, before continuing, you must understand the history of the place you are going to as well as the history of the world in which you live."




"What do you mean? What story?"




"The history of the origin of this world Jon, the history of how it was created, because that history has a considerable weight for those who live in Middle Earth, as in those who live outside of it."




Jon turned back and looked at his companions, who nodded but did not drop their weapons. Sighing, Jon nodded.




"Tell us, great sea god."




"It is an ancient story ... At the beginning of time, when there was nothing, only a void, there was Eru Ilúvatar, the One God. From his thought, he created to us the Ainur."




"Ainur?" Jon asked, confused.




 "The Ainur, the Holy Ones, who were offspring of his thought, and we were with him before anything else was done., each one of us represents an aspect of his thought, I, in particular, represent the sea and all the sources of water, the ocean, rivers, and lakes, the water is my blood and flesh... After a while, our creator instructed us in music, and Eru proposed to us to play a song and, when we played it, the music overflowed from Ilúvatar's abode, falling into a void and from then on there was no longer a void as it was filled with life. So, while Ilúvatar was listening, pleased that there was no there were failures, one of us, Ainur, Melkor, rebelled against the subject proposed by Eru ".




"Melkor?" Jon asked, confused by the name.




"The first and most powerful of all the Ainur, for he was granted more power and wisdom than the rest, but this greatness filled him with pride and ambition, he wished to weave the thoughts of his own imagination into the music and discord the theme of Ilúvatar. The dislocation grew worse and a violent storm formed around the throne of Ilúvatar. Then Ilúvatar arose and raised his left hand, stopping the subject abruptly, thus being born a second different subject. But Melkor's discord continued to rise and fought against the Ilúvatar theme again, and Melkor prevailed, and many Ainur became discouraged and stopped playing or changed their music to follow their own, spoiling Ilúvatar's intentions. "




"What does that old music have to do with us?" Arianne asked, steadying herself next to Jon.




"Everything my child, while we played and Melkor caused their disagreement we could see visions of a new world being born with trees, land, water, air, things that did not exist until then and suddenly the" Children of Ilúvatar "appeared, the Elves and Men, to these The latter belong to you, and only Ilúvatar himself participated in your creation. "


"Elves?" Shiera Seastar asked suddenly.




"The first-born sons of Ilúvatar, beings similar to us Ainur in beauty and immortality, but almost identical in appearance to that of you men," Ulmo answered.




"What happened to Melkor and Great Music?" Jon asked, interested.




"He continued causing discord in the Great Music and drawing others to him until Eru could not tolerate it anymore and stopped the music, and reprimanding Melkor for his action, but still Ilúvatar turned the notes into real matter and thus this was created. world, except that it was not what had been planned thanks to Melkor's discord, we were all so enraptured by the vision of the world that we now call "Arda" that Ilúvatar used his power to really create it, and so it happened that some of the Ainur continue to dwell with Ilúvatar more


Beyond the confines of the world, but others said goodbye to Ilúvatar and descended to the world.


Ilúvatar imposed on us as a condition that from then on the powers that he had granted us be limited and subject to the world, forever, until the world was completed, in such a way that we were the life of the World and the World the life of us. And for this very reason, we are called the "Valar," the Powers of the World."




At that moment, Jon' remembered his dream and how Manwë had introduced himself as the king of the Valar.




"That means..."




"That's right, Jon, Manwë is our king, The First King as designated by Ilúvatar as his representative in this world when he was just beginning to form as we saw it ourselves for the first time, dark and report that gave us to understand that our task was to finish it and make it the same as the vision that Ilúvatar showed us, now we Ainur are divided into two categories, the first one is the Valar, we are 15 in total, and we are the ones who were granted more power and authority in this world, the other category are the Maiar who would come as our assistants and servants, they are more numerous than us Valar ... In fact, the ancient spirits of the forests that your people adored were actually Maiar related to the forests."




Ulmo's words astonished everyone, especially Jon, who could not finish assimilating this revelation about the gods he was taught to worship.




"However, not everything went as expected, because with us it was Melkor who at that time was Valar number 16, at first we were all delighted to know that he would come because we believed that with his help completing our mission would be easy, but we soon realized that Melkor's intentions were impious because in him greed arose and I wish to complete this world to rule it and subdue everyone under his designs. Naturally, we opposed him, Manwë, more than all the others because, in Ilúvatar's mind, he is the Melkor's younger brother and the first.


Instrument in the second theme that Ilúvatar had raised against Melkor's discord yet he cared for his older brother but Manwe's love for Ilúvatar is so deep that he would not allow his brother to break what Ilúvatar had arranged, so Manwë was chosen as our King and Lord of Arda, but the power of Melkor was formidable even with our combined might we couldn't stand against him, every time we created a mountain Melkor crushed it, when seas arose, he evaporated them, due to his influence this distant world Much of being what had been planned, but when everything seemed lost appeared with a shrill laugh Tulkas the Horned, the most warlike of all our kindred and with his help Melkor was temporarily defeated. We all rejoiced to finish our work and prepare the world for the arrival of the "Children of Ilúvatar."




"But that didn't last, did it?" Jon asked, feeling what was to come.




"Sadly no, although the world was finished, it was dark because at that time there was no Sun or Moon, to be able to illuminate the world, Varda the wife of Manwë, the one in charge of creating the light and Aule the Blacksmith of us Valar, the Lord of all minerals under the earth, they jointly created two huge lamps at the ends of the world, at the end of them Manwë consecrated them and they were called Illuin and Ormal, then began what we call "The Spring of Burning" where the world began to live and we basked in the glory of the two trees in our first abode, the island of Almaren located in the center of Middle-earth , but Melkor did not rest, but created a huge underground fortress and attracted some Maiar to his cause, when we realized his treachery it was too late and Melkor struck the first blow, he destroyed the two lamps collapsing the pillars on which they were built, and the resulting cataclysm forever changed the shape of the world dividing it into 4 great regions, Middle Earth, Aman, Westeros and Essos".


Everyone listened to Ulmo's tale of the origin of the world and how it came to be what it was; such was the interest it aroused that not even Arianne and Loras dared to interrupt Ulmo.


"That prompted us to seek another home in the land of Aman, and there we founded ... Valinor, our second Kingdom that is even more beautiful than Almaren, although I must admit that I do not live there, but in the depths of the ocean and came only to debate matters of the utmost importance, my brothers and sisters. The sisters fortified Valinor to avoid a possible attack from Melkor and never go through the suffering of losing their home a second time, as the rest of the world was left in control of Melkor, forcing my brothers and sisters to put their creations on A deep sleep. one in charge was Yavanna. "


"Yavanna?" Jon asked, interested.


"Aule's wife and the queen of the Earth, Aule is the Lord of everything that is underground, Yvanna is the lady above everything that grows in it, she created animals and plants, when we went to live in Aman, she put her creations to sleep until such a time as the world healed from the horrors of those terrible battles, we all knew that it was a matter of time before the Elves woke up in the world because it was already over, after a few millennia, Orome another Valar known as the great hunter, discovered the first Elves in the easternmost part of Middle Earth in a beautiful region that would later be called Cuiviénen, when they saw Orome for the first time they fled scared and soon we understood why , having control of the Middle Earth Melkor did not lose the time and he found the Elves before us and tried to turn them against us, when Orome returned to Valinor and told us about his discovery Manwe contacted Ilúvatar and he ordered us to regain control of the world at any cost, and that is what we declared the War on Melkor and we destroyed his fortress Utumno and chained Melkor in great rings of steel forged by Aule, Melkor was taken to Valinor where he felt sorry for Manwe being sentenced to remain in prison for three ages.




"Ages?" Jon asked, interested.




"They are the way we measure time; an Age is approximately three-thousand years, Melkor was imprisoned for nine-thousand."




"Why didn't they execute him?" Rhaneys asked suddenly.




"None of the children born from the thought of Ilúvatar can be killed, although a rebel Melkor is a Valar and is tied to Arda and his destiny, he will live the same as this world lives."




"What happened after?" Jon asked.




"With Melkor in prison, my brothers and sisters wanted the Elves to live with them in Aman and enjoy eternal peace since they had long desired their company; however, I opposed it because I felt that they should develop by themselves and we should let them be, but my brothers had already made their decision, so I accepted it, Orome returned with the Elves, and three ambassadors were chosen to go with him to Valinor and convince his companions of the wonders that they would see, as well as the 3 clans of the Elves the Vanyar, the Noldor and the Teleri, three representatives were chosen, Ingwë for the Vanyar, Finwë for the Noldor and Elwë for the Teleri, they saw the splendor and glory of Valinor, but above all, they saw the "Two Trees of Valinor, "Ulmo said with sadness and melancholy in his voice as if he remembered something painful which surprised everyone.




"What is it, Lord Ulmo ?" Jon asked.




"Yes, I just remembered a bitter memory."




"What was special about those trees?" Loras asked, intrigued by the reaction of Ulmo, who seemed to compose himself, but the sadness did not leave his face or his voice.




"When Melkor destroyed the two lamps that illuminated the world this dark and cold, in order to return the light, Yavanna used all her power to create her masterpiece, a pair of trees, one of silver color called Telperion and a few days later a second Golden colored tree named Laurelin, together they illuminated the land of Aman like suns of the purest light under its light the Valar and the Elves were happy, there began the Ages of the Trees when this world was young and without suffering.




Then with his trident, Ulmo called the waters, and they took the shape of a mirror in which a splendid image began to appear, a hill with beautiful pastures and there were the largest and most beautiful trees that the travelers of Westeros had never seen: The tree White cast silver light on the ground, and it glowed. Its leaves were dark green and brilliant silver underneath, and its branches were adorned with glittering flowers that showered the land with silver dew.




The golden tree was just as magnificent except that it did not have golden flowers but fiery fruits that seemed to radiate heat of their own.




Faced with such beauty, Westeros travelers felt self-conscious, and Princess Daenerys was only able to murmur a phrase between tears:




"What a beauty," So simple and so true since no one dared to contradict it, then Ulmo dissolved the image, and again everything was dark.




"When the three ambassadors returned from Valinor and told all the wonders that dwelt there, most of their clans went with them back to Aman, and they three became the kings of their respective clan, and after many problems along the way and the desertion of many Elves, the rest managed to reach the neighboring continent Aman, where they were happy, and learned from us as well as us from them, but unfortunately that joy and that peace would not last forever. "




"What happened?" Robar asked, spellbound by history.




"Melkor served his sentence and was released by order of Manwe."




Ulmo's response surprised everyone.




"How could he make that decision after everything Melkor provoked?" Queen Rhaella asked, dumbfounded and everyone murmured in agreement.




"Because Manwe is not Melkor, he could not understand the evil of his older brother because he was free from it."




The ladies, Rhaella, Ashara, and Shiera, started to give a sign of disapproval.




"I was one of those who opposed the release of Melkor, but it is not in my power to defy the decrees of the Greater King, and Melkor was released and allowed to walk freely about on Aman, and at first it seemed that all his evil had been cured, all who sought his help and advice benefited enormously, but it was many years before we realized that his wickedness had only increased. "


 "What did he do?". Jon asked.




"He tried to win the hearts of the Elves, but the Vanyar too close to Manwe and Varda did not listen to him, and the Teleri were despised by him as weak. Only among the Noldor, fervent students of Aule and always ready to learn, Melkor had many willing ears. And he taught them many dark things and spoke to them about war and weapons, things they should never have known, his main instrument and ironically opponent was Fëanor, son of King Finwë ".




"Fëanor?" Jon asked curiously.




"Finwë the first Great King of the Noldor had two wives in his life, his first wife was Míriel Serindë who died giving birth to his son Fëanor, and many years later he remarried Indis the beauty of the Vanyar Clan, Ingwe's niece who gave Finwë 4 children plus two sons Fingolfin and Finarfin and two daughters Findis and Lalwen, but among all Finwë's offspring, Fëanor was always the most loved but who never looked favorably on his stepmother, and his half brothers and sisters, of Melkor, took advantage of this discord and increased with his lies Fëanor's distrust towards the children of Indis until he ended up threatening his brother Fingolfin in front of all Aman, even in front of Manwe himself, he called to pity Fëanor in front of him and the other Valar and thanks to this it was not long before he traced the origin of the conflict, Tulkas ran off in search of Melkor, but he had already fled and hidden, while Fëanor was exiled for twelve years for threatening his brother".




"Fëanor was powerful in all the arts of mind and body, it was among Elves and Men who had not yet been born in the world, the most powerful son of Ilúvatar that there was or will never be again, he possessed unmatched skills in the art of smithing and in the song, Creating many things of great beauty and power but his masterpiece was three gems of incomparable beauty, the Silmarils. "




And again, Ulmo created a mirror, and this time three brilliant gems appeared that seemed to emit a mixture of silver and gold light.


Shiera wept in all her life. She had never seen gems of such purity.




"These gems were created with a material more resistant than diamond, and the light in them is the light of the Two Trees that Fëanor somehow managed to introduce into them, making sure that it would never be lost, Varda consecrated them so that no evil hand could touch them without great pain, but Fëanor began to develop an obsessive love for his creations, forgetting that the light in them had not been created by him. These gems aroused Melkor's greed, and he wanted to claim them for himself; he finally had a chance when Fëanor and his children were summoned to a party to reconcile with Fingolfin and Fëanor did so reluctantly, but at that moment Valinor was darkened, because Melkor who had remained hidden from the wrath of the Valar, sought the help of Ungoliant a dark spirit that in ages past served Melkor and then deserted him, Ungoliant took the form of a monstrous spider, and her food was light and beauty, together and taking advantage of the trees being unguarded Melkor and Ungoliant destroyed them, Melkor drove a dark spear strongly into them, and the sap gushed out like a fountain, Ungoliant saw it all, and the trees died, withered, and their light was lost to the world living now only in the Silmarils of Fëanor."




Upon knowing the two Trees' fate, Jon and the others felt a great melancholy learning the beauty that was lost due to Melkor's evil, and they understood Ulmo's sadness when he told them the story.




"Melkor and Ungoliant later attacked Formenos, the fortress of Fëanor, and there Melkor killed Finwë and stole the Silmarils when this reached Fëanor's ears, the anger and pain seized him and affected his judgment and demanded us the Valar to act against Melkor."




"Did they?" Ashara asked, raising one of her eyebrows.


"It wasn't that simple, mortal woman, this world was on the verge of breaking down during our wars against Melkor before the Elves woke up, fighting him again carelessly would have been catastrophic for all the beings of Arda, but Fëanor did not want to understand This and after gathering all the Noldor he and his seven sons pronounced an oath so terrible that it forever marked the course of the ages, in that oath made in the name Ilúvatar and with Manwe and Varda as witnesses, Fëanor and his sons committed themselves To retrieve the Silmarils from whoever had them and kill whoever denied them the jewels, Fingolfin and Finarfin as well as their children did not support that oath but still followed their brother on his quest but only to protect the rest of the Noldor from his selfishness, Melkor and Ungoliant had fled back to Middle Earth after stealing the Silmarils and Fëanor tried to do the same but to this he needed boats, so he went to ask the Teleri for help who had become great sailors, knowing that the Valar did not support Fëanor's company, the Teleri tried to make Finwë's son see reason but he refused to listen. And when the Teleri refused to surrender their ships and unleashed a horrible battle in the City of the Teleri Alqualonde in which the Teleri were massacred and their ships stolen, this being the First Slaughter of Elves against Elves, Fëanor only gave ships to his closest followers and abandoned his two brothers and his hosts who had to travel a vast, dangerous and fragile ice road to reach Middle Earth ".




Hearing about Fëanor's actions, Jon, Robar, and Loras couldn't help but recall the dispute between Stannis and Renly that ended with the second's death.




... It seems that sibling disputes are inevitable, even between other races ...




"It seems to me that I have already spoken a great, this has been a meaningful conversation, but I am afraid it is not over, the next day I will come to finish my story and give you the council that you and your companions need, for tonight rest.




"Wait ..." Jon said, trying to talk more with Ulmo, but he dissolved in the water, leaving everyone onshore surprised and momentarily wondering if they had dreamed.


"Well, Jon, I must give it to you; this is a trip like no other in the history of the Seven Kingdoms," Said Robar recovering from the shock.




"Aye, it will," Jon replied.

Chapter Text




The next night.


"So, Jon, did you have a bad night?" Asked Robar making fun of Jon's situation after Lord Ulmo left, all the ladies began to pepper him with questions about Middle Earth and about what he spoke to Manwë in his dreams, and although Jon had already told them everything he knew, they did not stop asking him questions about the King of the Valar.




He spent most of the night answering questions and only managed to sleep for a few hours before being awakened by Loras and Robar at sunrise so he could practice and continue loading supplies onto the ship.




"I don't know. Why not answer their questions while I sleep?" Jon asked, growling, to which Robar just shrugged.




"It is not just me who has the interest of the King of the Valar. Clearly, Princess Rhaenys and her grandmother now see you as someone valuable so rejoice now they do not want to kill you." Robar said.




Jon was going to respond when they heard Loras' complaining about loading the ship by himself.




All the ladies of House Targaryen were relaxing in the hot water spring except for Lady Ashara and Shiera Seastar, who were making a small breakfast while also deciding to prepare everything for the journey to middle-earth after the great sea god finished his tale.




Knowing that caused Jon amusement because after hearing the story of the beginning of the world and the evil of Melkor, all misgivings and grievances about the journey seemed to have vanished or at least very well hidden. 



"They may have accepted their situation, but they still don't trust me; I hope that after tonight that starts to change," Jon thought.




-------------------------------------------------- --------




Next night…




Everyone was waiting patiently for Lord Ulmo to return, eager to hear the conclusion to his tale, and this time Arianne was by Jon's side just like Robar and Loras, while Queen Rhaella was in front of her daughter and granddaughter and Ashara Dayne and Shiera Seastar were a bit apart from everyone.




"Why us, Jon? Why the ... Valar?" they called us to this... Middle Earth". Arianne asked, looking at the ocean.




"I don't know, Ari, I don't know… Did you ever think that your life would turn out like this?" Jon said, looking at the ocean when he felt Arianne's intertwine their hands, and Jon turned to see his love smiling at him in amusement.




"Falling in love with a bastard and giving up my birthright to go to a new world while hearing the tale of creation from an ancient Sea god? no." Arianne said with some amusement.




Jon just smiled.




"It's rather exciting", And he kissed her with all the passion he could muster.




Their kiss was observed by the rest of the ladies who had diverse reactions; Queen Rhaella observed them interested since she could not understand how a Princess like Arianne could have left everything behind, including her inheritance to follow Jon Snow on his journey, there was something in that young man that Rhaella was attracted to, when he told her that she and her family were obliged to accompany him on his journey for a few moments she considered letting Rhaenys kill him and return to Myr but instantly something inside her felt Disgusted and alarmed to even consider hurting him, she couldn't explain why she felt that way about that young mercenary from the North. Is it because he reminds her of her son Rhaegar? Rhaella did not know, but she kept thinking about it as she watched them and seeing them kiss with such passion stirred a great deal of resentment in her as she remembered her own story with Bonifer, Bonifer, it was so long since she thought about her old love it seemed a lifetime ago but she had wondered how her life would have turned out had she not married Aerys.




"I hope you are suffering wherever you are, Father; because of you and Aerys, I lost far too much." Rhaella thought with satisfaction




Princess Rhaenys, on the other hand, was upset with the scene, her cousin Arianne in love and turned into the lover of a bastard; she could accept that they were lovers because she knew that in Dornish culture, it is typical for both men and women to have lovers before and after the marriage. So that Rhaenys could accept it even if she had never had a lover since her mentor Jon Connington was careful. 

She knew that when they landed in Westeros, a marriage alliance would be necessary; Rhaenys always knew that either she would end up marrying Willas Tyrell, the heir of Highgarden or her cousin Quentyn it was an essential measure to secure the iron throne as the golden company couldn't conquer a continent, which was hilarious if you thought about it, all plans for her were ruined, so it seems that her years of resentment and jealously over Aegon's destiny were for nothing. Still, Rhaenys could reluctantly understand why Arianne was drawn to the bastard. He is undoubtedly attractive but is that enough to fall in love? No, not at all; maybe Jon Snow has his uses




For Ashara Dayne and Shiera Seastar, the image only brought back memories of melancholy; when Ashara saw Jon Snow for the first time, she felt as if she was at Harrenhal waltzing with the quiet wolf, if only their love had lasted. After the dance, she had been attacked by a drunk Brandon Stark, Ned's older brother the wolf proceeded to abuse her for the remainder of the night; the memory of that day still haunted her, but that was nothing compared to the outrage of the next day when the idiot He came to sense and realized what he had done, he began to weep and beg for forgiveness, he said that he did not know what he had done that he had drunk too much. Still, Ashara is from Dorne, and she learned that being drunk does not change a person only brings his true self to the surface. Ashara understood that Brandon Stark was just stupid, foolhardy, arrogant, pathetic young Lord; the only thing he had going for him was his appearance, charisma, and talent with a sword but little else; at that time, it was said that he was engaged to Catelyn Tully from House Tully. Still, that girl would have to be very foolish if she thought her fiancé was a good match or that she would be happy with him. She told him to leave lest she summons the guards, and the cowardly wolf fled without hesitation. 

Ashara remembers that at that moment, She felt genuine pity for the northern realm, then a weeks later, she discovered that she was pregnant, which dashed her hopes of happiness. Though the child in her womb was not to blame for having come into the world. Although Ashara loved her even though she had not been born yet, she decided to return home where she had to tell her father about her pregnancy; Ashara will never forget that night, the night her father agreed to marry her to her rapist just to enhance the prestige of House Dayne, Ashara had always known that her father was very ambitious. Still, she never imagined to that extent, But it seemed the gods had a sense of justice as Brandon's temper ultimately led to his and his father's death when the Mad King executed them both because Brandon had threatened his son.




Rhaegar had kidnapped Lyanna Stark and started a war that brought an end to three hundred years of Targaryen rule; upon learning of the horrendous and brutal deaths of Brandon and his father, she could not help but be horrified by the madness and cruelty of the King, after a year of war her daughter was born dead causing her terrible pain that however was only the beginning of her misfortune, the Ashara's older brother, Ser Arthur Dayne the Sword of Morning and the pride of his house, had died at the hands of her beloved Ned. Still, shock and horror gave way to disappointment when Ned explained the reason for Arthur's death. Rhaegar had left him, Lord Commander Gerold Hightower, and Oswell Whent in the Tower of Joy guarding Lyanna Stark, even though the war ended and Eddard was Lyanna's brother and wished to take her home, alas, the guard refused and inciting the death of three good men.




Her stubborn and fanatically loyal brother ended up wasting his life in a stupid and unnecessary fight for "loyalty" to Rhaegar. How many times had Ashara told her brother that he should leave the Kingsguard? Not to waste his life and his talent putting them In the service of a mad and cruel King, Ashara like everyone else could not wait for Rhaegar to be crowned King, but after the war that he and his father ended up causing in which Elia and presumably his children died ... She felt nothing but hatred towards the last dragon for his sheer stupidity, but that was not the worst of it ... Ashara asked Ned if it was true that he had married his brother's bride, Catelyn Tully, to which he replied yes, that's when she couldn't resist it anymore, she had lost her honor, her daughter, her brother Arthur and now she lost her love, Ashara tearfully rushed towards Ned and begged him to take her with him to Winterfell did not mind becoming His lover because many Lords had lovers but the honorable Eddard Stark replied that he could not because he was not going to further dishonor his wife, so after a bitter farewell he handed over Arthur's sword and left leaving her heartbroken, that same night Ashara made an extreme decision:




In a moment of madness, she jumped from one of her balconies to end her life when suddenly her fall began to lessen. She heard a gentle voice on the wind, telling her that it was not yet time for her to leave this world, that she would meet two people in the East. The latter would help her find true happiness. After that, Ashara fell asleep on a rock on the shore. When she woke up, she thought it was all a dream and did not know whether to believe it was something else. Still, when she discovered that everyone believed her dead, she decided to take advantage of it to live a life free from the intrigues of Westeros and her ambitious father, so she decided to go looking for those people in the East, in Essos without knowing if the voice was real or a delusion in her moment of madness.




The first months in Essos were lonely and challenging. Still, she ended up arriving in Qarth, where after an incident with the sorcerers of the House of the Eternals and some merchants from Asshai, she ended up finding Shiera Seastar, who was supposed to have lived more than a century, imprisoned in the House of the Undying, after helping her escape from those witches they fled to Pentos as Shiera knew that they would look for her in Lys. They decided to stay together and travel the world; their relationship finally changed after years of travelling. Soon they became lovers; at first, it was strange because Ashara was not used to a woman's touch, but soon she began to enjoy those encounters with Shiera, and in a short time, she felt how the emptiness inside her heart faded. If that voice spoke truly, Ashara still had to find someone else to feel complete. She hoped to find him on this journey.




For Shiera Seastar, observing the love and passion between Jon and Arianne reminded her of her almost forgotten youth, when she was the most beautiful and desired woman in the seven Kingdoms; she never married because she considered marriage a mockery, but she had many lovers, and numerous Duels fought to obtain her favour what a stupid and vain young woman she was it had been a little over a century. However, She still remembered him, her beloved Bryden.




She knew that he loved her and how it amused her to make him jealous Until he was sentenced to the Wall and separated from her forever, Shiera was not in Westeros when the incident with Aenys Blackfyre occurred but was in Lys, the land of her mother and returned four months after Brynden was exiled to the Wall, she went North as fast as her carriage could take her but to her surprise, Brynden always refused to receive her day after day she wanted desperately to see her brother. still, he declined, until after three days of begging, Brynden had agreed to meet her; he had changed a lot in those months he was paler and far grimmer, and her attempts to console and seduce him were met with hostility as Bryden sneered at her saying she was finally free of him and could be the slattern she always confessed to being.



After Bryden's fierce rebuttal, she decided to leave Westeros because she had already lost the only person she would have stayed for, the only one who always loved her unconditionally not for her beauty but for her personage, the only one who was still there for her now he was gone.




She remained in Lys in her mother's old house for some years lamenting her separation from Brynden, as the years went by she realized that she did not seem to age, there were already many rumors in which she supposedly bathed in blood to maintain her beauty and although at first that caused her amusement, now she was intrigued, she decided to investigate the history of her mother's family and ended up discovering the stories about her great-grandfather in which it was stated that she came from the West from an island called Númenor in which the Inhabitants enjoyed almost complete happiness and free from all danger in addition to enjoying a life up five times" that of normal men, intrigued by the story of her great-grandfather, Shiera tried to investigate more but unfortunately the story did not explain much, saved that Númenor was a gift from the "Powers" to the men who aided them in wars against someone they called "The Dark Enemy", which for Shiera was confusing her great-grandfather's diary also described the island as immensely beautiful and exuberant and it was near a place called "The Middle Earth" about which her great-grandfather had left no more information, all this was beginning to make sense, his great-grandfather was branded as crazy from her stories but she herself was verifying that this was not true, she was almost 60 years old and still had the appearance of a young woman of at least twenty name days, so from that moment Shiera focused her efforts on seeking the island of Númenor to gaze upon the island of her kindred.




For this, she began to get maps of the world, but none included The Middle Earth or Númenor, so she began to delve into the Arcane Arts, some too dark but none brought her closer to Númenor and what is worse, her continuous efforts attracted the attention of the inhabitants. Of Lys, who branded her a sorceress and to get rid of her, they called the witches of Qarth who were intrigued by the power she possessed. Although she gave a good fight, in the end, she was captured and taken to the House of the Eternals where she was imprisoned for many years, being subjected to cruel treatment and experiments by those witches who wanted the secret of her youth; fortunately, the abuse of magic left those men without carnal desires, so they did force themselves upon her.




It had been so many years that Shiera had lost hope of being free when she was taken by Qarth, a prized trophy for those damned sorcerers; along the way, she met Ashara, who took pity on her and helped her escape after fleeing the city and evaluating her options Shiera realized that she had nothing left and could no longer return to Lys since it would be the first place where they would look for her, so she decided to accompany Ashara on her trip and see the world, after all, she had a lot of free time, and in one year her relationship with Ashara changed from best friends to lovers, she had not taken a lover since Brynden rejected her, but it had been decades. So although Shiera would treasure the memory of Brynden forever since it was largely her memory that allowed her to endure captivity, she knew it was time to move on.




But thinking about him was still painful, so seeing that kiss between Jon Snow and Arianne Martell brought back the memory of Brynden and with him all her previous life; she knew of Dornish women's reputation, so she hoped Arianne wasn't as silly as she.




For Daenerys, the image confused her; Jon Snow was everything she had expected from a knight, he was courteous, gallant, skilled with the sword and kind ... He was everything she had read that a true knight should be and also he and his Friends saved her from marrying Khal Drogo and yet she had not thanked them directly, in fact, she had not even spoken with them when Princess Arianne told her that their destiny was to accompany Jon to Middle Earth, she had been surprised And scared, she had never heard of that place, Viserys never told her about it, so why now she has to go there with Jon Snow and Arianne Martell? What is there? She had dreamed of a knight with a white wolf and red eyes by her side, and she had no doubt that it was Jon Snow, this gallant knight would save her from a life of misery and bring her happiness but seeing Jon with Arianne, Daenerys began to feel an irritation emerging from her chest, and she began to wish that Jon would leave Arianne and come with her, that thought surprised her.




... What else can I do if he was loved by another? ...




Daenerys Targaryen was jealous of Arianne Martell, which was incredible and amusing, considering that she had not even had a conversation with the object of her affection.




... I must talk to him ....I've waited far too long for this happiness ...


-------------------------------------------------- -




Jon and Arianne were so close that they hardly noticed that the sea had started to glow again and form a whirlpool.




"Jon, look..." Robar said, pointing to the ocean.




"Now it begins ..." Said Jon




At that moment, the majestic and enormous figure of Ulmo appeared from the sea, and his appearance was the same as they remembered it; this time, the Lord of the Waters approached the travellers of Westeros, and they were not scared.




"Greetings, I hope you have rested; I have come to finish my story so that you can leave."



"As I told you before, Fëanor captured the Light of the Two Trees to make the three Silmarils, when they were destroyed by Melkor and Ungoliant, we quickly realized that with the Two Trees had perished, their Light survived only in the Silmarils so in order to restore the Trees and thwart Melkor's malice, Yavanna asked Fëanor to renounce the Silmarils so that they could break apart and the Light within them would break free and revive them. But Fëanor stated emphatically that he would not give up his Silmarils of his own free will and proclaimed that if the Valar were to force him to do so, we would be no better than Melkor, so the Trees remained dead. "




Ulmo's explanation filled everyone with indignation at Fëanor's enormous selfishness.




"So, he allowed their beauty to be extinguished?" Queen Rhaella asked, annoyed.




"Yes, however, ultimately, Fëanor's selfishness made little difference, as a messenger from Formenos arrived to break the news of King Finwë's death and the theft of the Silmarils."




Hearing that, everyone felt a surge of satisfaction as they tried to imagine Fëanor's frustration.




"At that moment, Fëanor stricken by grief for the murder of his father and the theft of his creations called Melkor" Morgoth, "which means Black Enemy of the World, and from that moment onward none would address him by his true name," Ulmo said.




"Morgoth…" Jon said in a solemn voice.




"The rest, you already know, with the death of Finwë, Fëanor became king and instigated a revolt against us."




"Yes, he came to Aman where the seafaring Teleri lived and demanded the use of their ships. When Teleri refused to give or lend their vessels, Fëanor ordered the Noldor to take the ships. The Teleri resisted, and a battle broke out, in which many of the Teleri were slain "




"While the hosts led by the brothers of Fëanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin were forced to travel the Helkaraxë an ice road, an extremely fragile passage between the Middle Earth and Aman in that journey many Noldor died, but the worst was yet to come"




"Worst?" Princess Rhaenys asked.




"We could not forgive or let the Alqualondë massacre go unpunished, so Namo was in charge of punishing them," Ulmo said with pity.




"Namo?" Jon asked, intrigued.




"He is one of the Valar, he is our Judge, although he assumes that work only by order of Manwë, he is in charged with the judgement of the elven dead, his residence is the Rooms of Command, an immense and underground fortress that it is impossible to escape without his permission. Therefore it also acts as a prison. It is precisely there where Morgoth remained in chains for three ages; the fortress is so feared by both the Ainur and the Elves that no one dares to approach it, such as the fame that most people call him Mandos after his home even though that is not his real name."




"Sounds rather harsh," said Queen Rhaella intrigued.




"It is the punishment of the Noldor is the proof ... While they began to sail on an islet, Mandos appeared and one and said the prophecy that would condemn the Noldor."




"A prophecy?" Shiera asked, intrigued.




"A" curse "is a better term; it was called the Doom of the Noldor or the Curse of Mandos. In it, they were warned that if they continued their violence against their kindred, they would not recover the Silmarils and, furthermore, that they would suffer great pain and tragedy in their fights against Morgoth so that either they returned to Aman to face the judgment of Manwë or suffer a catastrophic defeat. After this, Ulmo raised his trident, and a voice was heard in the minds of the Westeros travels; it was powerful like Manwë and Ulmo, but there was no kindness in it; it was cold, stern, and forceful:


 Tears unnumbered ye shall shed, and the Valar will fence Valinor against you and shut you out so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor, the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them, it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be forever.

Ye have spilt the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood, ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in death's shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken.




When they returned to reality, they were all disturbed to hear what the Curse of Mandos was and Jon and Arianne looked worried as if they had been there.




"Before this, some of the Noldor who did not participate in the slaughter repented and returned to Valinor to be judged, among whom was Finarfin who was forgiven and became the new High King of the Noldor of the few who remained in Aman, but Fingolfin and his sons, as well as the sons of Finarfin, decided to continue in the case of the latter because more than anything they were united by a great friendship with the former, but Fëanor and his sons affirmed that even then despite the curse the Noldor would achieve feats in Middle-earth worthy of being sung forever," Ulmo told them.




Hearing that last part, both Daenerys and Ashara gasped in sadness and horror.




"Did they carry on despite being cursed with defeat?" Loras asked in amazement.




"Unfortunately, the pride of Fëanor brought much pain to his people in the following centuries during the battles against Morgoth. However, Fëanor himself met his death shortly after this curse was cast, and his spirit is still imprisoned in the Rooms of Command. where it will be until the world ending." Ulmo said solemnly.




The knowledge of Fëanor's destiny filled everyone with surprise and shock as they tried to imagine such punishment, an eternity of captivity ... Sometimes, death is really the kindest destiny.




"However, we Valar faced a greater problem at that time ... With the destruction of the Two Trees, the world was once again dark and cold and despite the efforts of Yavanna and other Valier the trees could not be healed without However Telperion produced the last silver flower and Laurelin a last fiery golden fruit ... Aulë created a container for each one and Varda consecrated them to be placed respectively in the safekeeping of Tilion and Arien, two of the most powerful Maiar, those containers became the Moon and Sun, "Ulmo said gravely.




Knowing that great truth, they all turned their gaze to the sky and observed the pale and bright full moon, knowing that it was the container of the last that remained of the white tree of Valinor shocked them as Jon regained his composure, he realized that they were leaving something vital aside.




"What happened to Morgoth?" Curious wonder what Ulmo sighed before letting out a slight laugh, and the sea stirred.




"They returned to Middle-earth with Morgoth hoping to escape and leave his promise to feed Ungoliant unfulfilled. However, Ungoliant saw his plan and stopped him before reaching his destination. She demanded that he hand over the treasure of Formenos to satisfy her hunger as he had promised, and Morgoth reluctantly gave her the lesser treasures he had stolen, and the spider took on a monstrous and enormous form so horrible that Morgoth was filled with dread, but still, he did not give him the Silmarils that he had hidden in his right hand. With his refusal to surrender the Silmarils, Ungoliant attacked Morgoth, weaving a dark web around him. Morgoth screamed so loud in pain and anguish he woke up his most deadly servants, The Balrogs. " Ulmo said grimly.




"Balrogs?" Jon asked curiously.




"Renegade Ainur, who decided to serve Morgoth, were corrupted to such an extent that they became demons of fire and shadows wishing to burn the world around them ... But they were not his main servants; that infamous position belonged to another Maia. Traitor, his name is ... Sauron," Ulmo said with repudiation in his voice.




"Sauron?" Princess Rhaenys asked.




"Long before the world began, Sauron's name was originally Mairon. At that time, he was the most potent Maia in the service of Aulë, and he learned much from Aulë in the ways of the forge and goldsmithing, becoming a great craftsman and builder of the students of Aulë. In fact, he was among the most powerful Maiar, if not the most powerful of all.




"During this time, Mairon was as Ilúvatar had created him: good, pure, and uncorrupted. His greatest virtue was his love for order and perfection, his dislike for any disorder. However, this would also turn out to be the cause of his downfall, for Mairon saw in Morgoth the will and power that would help him achieve his own goals and desires faster than if he pursued them alone. However, while Morgoth wanted to control Arda, Marion desired to dominate its inhabitants' minds and wills." Ulmo said with some sadness




After swearing allegiance to Morgoth, Mairon maintained his appearance of being faithful to us but served his master in secret. It was only when Morgoth established his strongholds in Middle-earth that Mairon left Valinor and openly declared his loyalty to him by taking a new name Sauron, then he is a known enemy of ours and the Peoples of Middle-earth. "




"Is he still there ... in Middle Earth?" Jon asked.




"Yes, he is one of the dangers that threaten Middle-earth, but don't think about it now, listen to the end of my story, in the times before Morgoth was defeated and imprisoned, he created in addition to Utumno a second fortress called Angband that was initially intended as a means to protect against a possible attack from us, and put it under the command of Sauron. However, early in the war, we waged to defend the elves; our assault swept through Angband without much difficulty and forced Morgoth to flee to his main stronghold at Utumno." Ulmo said




"But something went awry, yes?" Asked Jon. To which Ulmo nodded.




"The underground vaults and caverns of Angband were left relatively intact after our attack, as we were in a great rush to capture Morgoth to keep the newly awakened elves safe. After Morgoth's defeat at Utumno, the Balrogs reached Angband and went into hibernation on its ruined foundations. Sauron also remained in the ruins of Angband with the Balrogs, having been in command of the fortress when it was attacked. However, we do not know where Sauron lived during Melkor's imprisonment, only that when he was attacked by Ungoliant, his scream brought the Balrogs out of their slumber in the darkest depths of Angband. Like a storm of fire and shadows, they came to their Lord's aid and chased Ungoliant away, but Morgoth called them to his side, and Ungoliant escaped. Then Morgoth encircled the Silmarils in an iron crown that from that moment on was never removed, but the weight of such a lofty prized was crushing him, and he declared himself King of the World and began to rebuild and fortify Angband and Sauron returned to his side as his lieutenant. in the wars of the First Age". Ulmo said, pounding his trident into the beach with some fury causing the tides to stir.




"The First Age?" Arianne asked.




"The First Age of the Sun also called as the Ancient Days, this age began with the first sunrise, in those ancient times a landmass existed in Middle Earth that was called Beleriand, there the elves who did not go to Aman accepted Living under the command of Elwe who was called Thingol, Elwe was one of the ambassadors of the elves who went to Aman and saw with his eyes the Light of the Two Trees and when he returned he managed to convince most of his people to follow him, but on the way to Beleriand, he got lost in a forest, where he met Melian de Los Maia with whom he fell in love and fell into a deep trance enchanted by the beauty of Melian that lasted many years. While Elwë was still bewitched, her people were divided. On the one hand, most took their leader Elwë's younger brother, Olwë, who led them to Aman. But a small part of the Teleri stayed in Beleriand, waiting for their great King Elwe.




After many years Elwe came out of the trance in which he was and, together with Melian, found the rest of his people who still awaited him; Thingol and Melian became the kings of what was called the Gray People, or Gray Elves, the Without giving. They founded their kingdom in the great forest of Doriath, and from there, he became the Lord of Beleriand, and all the elves recognized him as their sovereign; it was during his reign that Morgoth returned to Middle Earth, but the elves were not the only thinking creatures who lived in Beleriand at that time, there were also the Dwarves ".




"Dwarves?" Queen Rhaella asked.




"The adopted sons of Eru, in primaeval times before the elves awakened, Aule in a moment of despair and impatience to have someone to teach his art and unwilling to await the arrival of the Children of Ilúvatar. Thus Aulë made the Dwarves as beings of short stature because the form of the Sons to come was not yet evident in his mind and because the power of Morgoth was still at work in Middle-earth; therefore, he wanted them to be strong and unshakable. But fearing that the other Valar would reprimand him, he worked in secret and first made the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in a palace under the mountains of Middle-earth, but nothing escaped the eyes of Ilúvatar. When Aulë completed his work and, feeling pleased, began to instruct the Dwarves in the language that he had invented for them, Eru rebuked him and made him realize that in his powers, Aule could not create life, and therefore his creations only lived when he focused his thoughts on them and when he did not they were Simple statues, full of guilt for sinning arrogance Aule offered his dwarves to Eru and tried to destroy his creations only to have them cower and beg for mercy upon seeing Aule's humility, Ilúvatar made his dream come true and gave him to the dwarves a life and a soul of their own ". Ulmo said with some pride.




"However, Ilúvatar was unwilling to allow the Dwarves to come before the Elves and decreed that Aule's creations should sleep beneath the mountains and should not come out until the Firstborn had awakened. This dream ended a century after the elves woke up in Cuiviénen".




"Are dwarves as skilled as elves?" Jon asked.




"They are master craftsmen of unmatched talent, no other race can compete with their prowess in mining and in the forging of steel and iron, except the elves of Valinor who study with Aule but even they cannot surpass them, except Fëanor, when the elves and dwarves met, they quickly made various alliances, and Thingol hired them to build his palace and arm his army, their incomparable skill allowed them to build fortifications of incredible strength and beauty, as well as fierce swords and mail that never rust that way. The Sindar were ready for whatever war had to be fought, and Melian used her power to encircle this dominion with an invisible wall of shadows and bewilderment. The land of Eglador was thereafter called Doriath, the guarded kingdom. it was a fence of enchantment or "the Girdle of Melian" " and thanks to her, they had no threats for a long time. "




"But thanks to Morgoth, they captured her," Jon guessed.




"Yes, in the tragic" War of the Jewels, "also called" The Wars of Beleriand, "Ulmo said with great sadness.




"He talks as if this is his fault" They all thought.




"Morgoth still wanted to conquer and dominate the peoples of Middle Earth, so he sent his armies in the hopes of seizing the territories, but he met the opposition of King Thingol, who was well-armed for war. However, the armies of Morgoth was composed of evil creatures that had multiplied, and although they were repelled, the forces of Thingol suffered great losses; that was the battle of Beleriand, and at the end of it, the Noldor led by Fëanor arrived in Middle Earth, and the Sindar rejoiced believing that they had been sent by us and without knowing the shadow and the weight they were carrying ".




"The Curse of Mandos," Shiera said after a moment.




"Yes, it was during the second battle that the curse began to take effect since in that battle it was where Fëanor met his death at the hands of the Balrogs and this his sons were left to fulfil his oath of vengeance, and his fiery spirit reduced his body to ashes, and he went to the Rooms of command, it was during that great battle amidst the blood and death, that elves, dwarves and even Morgoth himself witnessed the first rising of the moon."




"That would have been quite a show," Robar said with some amusement.




"When the moon passed through the sky a total of seventeen times, Anar, the sun, appeared in the sky for the first time, and it was at that moment that your kindred appeared," Ulmo said solemnly.




"Our people?" Jon asked.




"Men, also known to the elves as the Atani the second people, the followers, The Lesser Sons of Ilúvatar."




Instantly a renewed interest washed over Westeros' travellers as they learned how their race was involved in the wars against Morgoth.




"Men awoke in the far East of Middle-earth called Hildorien. When the Sun first rose in the West, Men began to wander towards it, a journey that culminated with some of them arriving in Beleriand centuries later. "




"Did the sunrise in the West?" Arianne asked, confused, to which Ulmo shrugged.




"Valinor is in the West of the world, so the first sunrise was in the West, not in the east. Originally, Arien should have directed the Sun incessantly from West to East and vice versa, always remaining in the sky, but my servants under the sea liked its Light so much that they tried to snatch the Sun from Arien, so we decided to change this decree, that each night the Sun would descend to the distant seas of the West and would re-emerge each morning in the East so that the world could rest at night."




"OH," Said the Former Princess of Dorne.




"Going back to our history ... When the lol first came out in the Wild West, the Men began to wander towards it, a journey that culminated with some of them arriving in Beleriand centuries later ...  as with the elves Morgoth approached the Men and incited them to worship him and shun Ilúvatar, and they obeyed. Although all were seduced by Morgoth, some Men repented and escaped; these men were called the Edain, "The friends of the elves," and allied with them in the wars against Morgoth; these men were the first to reach Beleriand. "




... This is how it began ... This is the origin of humanity, allies against a common enemy ... Jon asked excitedly.




"The entire First Age practically consisted of the wars of the elves, dwarves, and men against Morgoth and his dark hosts, but due to the Curse of Mandos, everything ended in tragedy; my brothers and sisters were in charge of strengthening the defences against Morgoth but also to ensure that the Noldor could not return to Aman, leaving them to fate, "Ulmo said regretfully.




Jon and the others were surprised to hear it.




"And the men?" Queen Rhaella asked, but Ulmo didn't answer.




"Did they also abandon them?" Ashara Dayne asked in horror.




"To my eternal shame, yes," Ulmo said with genuine remorse.




"But why?" Jon asked.




"After what happened with the Noldor, we did not want to get involved in the development of Ilúvatar's minor children, but for my part, I did not abandon them and try to guide them whenever I could, but those of your race are not like the elves. They cannot understand the designs of the Valar, so their ancestors could not understand me when I spoke to them; however, I managed to convince my brothers to lead various tribes of men to the Outer Lands, the so-called Essos and Sothoyros, to allow them to live free of Morgoth and that men could not reach Valinor. "




"And what happened?" Jon asked.




"They settled in those lands and gave birth to hundreds of different cultures, but immaculate and pure ... Until men corrupted by Morgoth learned to navigate, arrived and enslaved them, those corrupt men brought with them Morgoth's perversions, cruelty, betrayal, mistrust, envy, greed, unbridled ambition, lust, and depravities, once enslaved like a plague, Morgoth's wickedness also spread to the human tribes that we try to preserve starting in Sothoryos then in Essos and from Essos to Westeros ...  bringing ruin to Ilúvatar work," Ulmo said sadly.




Hearing that, all the ladies felt genuine regret for knowing the origin of human corruption while Jon, Loras, and Robar clenched their fists in frustration at understanding how the man fell from grace and imagining how great humanity could have been if it were not for Morgoth.




"In Beleriand meanwhile men and elves fought various battles against Morgoth and many notable stories occurred, but the most important were those of" Beren and Lúthien "as well as the" Fall of Gondolin, "now pay close attention as both are the most essential part of the story, "Ulmo said seriously:




"Lúthien was born during the Years of the Trees, at the end of the first age of the Chaining of Melkor. She was born in the Forest of Neldoreth under the stars, and niphredil first grew at the moment of her birth.

She would often dance in the woods while her friend Daeron, the minstrel of Thingol, would play his flute. Daeron came to love her, and while she enjoyed his company, she did not return his love. During such an occasion she was discovered by Beren as he wandered the woods of her father's kingdom and instantly fell in love with her. Daeron chirped out a warning, and she hid. While he searched for her, he accidentally laid his hand on her arm. He caught her alone some months later, and they grew to love one another. When Lúthien took Beren before her father, he was appalled that his royal daughter should wish to wed a mortal, and as is recounted in the Lay of Leithian so set Beren what he thought was an unachievable task, to recover a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth himself. So Beren left Doriath in pursuit of his hopeless quest."




"That King was an ass," Jon thought.




"At the end of many sacrifices in which even Beren witnessed the death of friends who decided to help him in his task, he was saved by Lúthien herself, who escaped from Doriath to provide her love aid. Both defied the horrors of Morgoth in Angband and finally won the Silmaril of his crown and the approval of his marriage by the Father of Lúthien ... Although unfortunately, his actions later resulted in the death of both.




"Why?" Daenerys asked, intrigued.




"Because knowing that one of the Silmarils had been recovered, the children of Fëanor demanded its return, but Thingol refused to do so, involuntarily the king had unleashed the Curse of Mandos on himself and on his kingdom."




Everyone was horrified at Ulmo's words.




"Later Beren died fighting to defend the King from one of Morgoth's creatures and Lúthien, disconsolate, died of sadness a short time later, then she herself went to Mandos where she sang for him, achieving a feat of moving him and he spoke with Manwë who asked his Lord to take pity on the elf he offered Lúthien two options:




Because of his fatigue and pain, he could leave the Rooms of Commands and go to Valinor to dwell there until the end of days. However, Beren would not follow her there. Because the Valar were not allowed to avoid the death that is the gift of Ilúvatar to Men. But the other possible choice was returning to Middle-earth and taking Beren with her to dwell there once again, without any security of life or joy. She would then become mortal and be subjected to a second death, the same as he, and before long, she would leave the world forever, and her beauty would be no more than a memory in song.






"Did she choose to give up her immortality for Beren?" Rhaenys asked, moved.




"Yes, they both had a son named Dior who was the heir of his grandfather and finally Beren and Lúthien, her romance with Beren was one of the great stories of the Elder Days and that continues to be told even now many years after his life," He said Ulmo.




"It's a beautiful story," Daenerys said with tears in her eyes.




"And tragic not only for its end but also for its consequences ... Upon learning of his feat the eldest son of Fëanor, Maedhros proposed a great alliance of men, dwarves and elves against Morgoth which was called the" Union of Maedhros "That union was joined by men who came from the East and who had been corrupted by Morgoth, feigning loyalty, they joined the Union only to betray it in the Fifth Battle of Beleriand, the Nírnaeth Arnoediad," The Battle of Countless Tears "where The peoples of Middle-earth suffered a crushing and catastrophic defeat leaving Morgoth as the undisputed power of Beleriand, in that moment many tried to return to Aman, and they succeeded when they entered the Rooms of Command as all perished drowned. As for the Kingdom of Doriath, it passed into the hands of Dior, who married Nimloth, and together they ruled as Thingol and Melian once did; they had three children, the youngest is Elwing, and they all lived in peace until the children of Fëanor attacked and destroyed the kingdom to recover the Silmaril from Beren and Lúthien, that was the Second Slaughter of Elves against Elves ".




Everyone was silent for a few moments until Shiera turned her gaze to Ulmo.




"Lord Ulmo, a few moments ago in the history of Beren and Lúthien, you said that death is the gift of men, but what do you mean?"




"I am afraid that this answer must be discovered on their journey, and it is vital that they do so, now ... I have one more tale to tell, and then you must continue your journey, and Jon must pay attention to this story."




"This story is about the city of Gondolin, the most beautiful city ever built in Middle-earth, its King was Turgon, son of Fingolfin and grandson of Finwë ... Turgon led a group of elves and formed a coastal city in the region of Nevrast on the shores of Beleriand however I appeared before him and ordered him to build a hidden kingdom like that of Doriath but even more elusive, and for this, I showed him the hidden valley of Tumladen hidden behind some mountains. After fifty-two years of secret labour, Turgon led his people to their new home in Gondolin, where he ruled for over five hundred years, largely ignoring the events of the Wars of Beleriand. "




"Did you help him?" I ask Jon.




"Yes, I knew that hope would come from Turgon to defeat Morgoth, so I set out to help them, but I warned them not to fall in love with their works because Turgon was also under the Curse of Mandos, and I could not delay its effects. " Ulmo said with some sadness.




"But he didn't listen, did he?" I guess Jon.




"About two hundred years after the creation of Gondolin, Turgon's sister, Aredhel the" White Lady of the Noldor "who had been a skilled hunter in Aman felt the longing for the forests and the wide lands asked her brother Turgon for permission. To go out into the wider world. However, Turgon was unwilling at first, fearing for his safety and for the secrecy of his kingdom. Finally, he relented, giving her a small escort of Lords among his people for the protection and made her promise not to search for the sons of Fëanor, but Aredhel ignored her brother's plea and, betraying his trust, went to look for the sons of Fëanor again."




"But what does this story have to do with me?" Jon asked, but Ulmo ignored him.




"Aredhel, who was temporarily separated from the others, ended up getting lost in the Nan Elmoth forest, which was the same forest in which Melian and Thingol met centuries ago, there lived a blacksmith elf of such a capacity that only Fëanor surpassed him, his name It was Eöl, he used his magic to retain Aredhel and managed to convince her to marry him by staying together for many years, leading to a son, Maeglin, "Ulmo said, unable to hide the disgust in his voice.




"Finally, Aredhel wanted to return to Gondolin, so she and her son escaped from Eöl, but he discovered them and began to follow them; they finally reached Gondolin (not realizing that Eöl followed them all the time) and were greeted with glee by everybody. Eöl was also discovered and brought before Turgon, but instead of accepting Turgon's judgment to stay and live in Gondolin, he attempted to kill his son for disobeying him with a poisoned javelin hidden in his cloak. Aredhel stood in front of him and was beaten by him, and due to his poison, she died that night from the wound."




A sound of exaltation was heard on the island as Ulmo recounted Aredhel's fate.




"The next day when Eöl appeared before Turgon, he found no mercy and was thrown from the city walls, before being thrown, however, he cursed his son to share the same fate, and as for Maeglin, he proved to be the son of his father with the passage of time as Maeglin was now an orphan, but Turgon held him in high honour, and in Gondolin, Maeglin learned and taught much he became a highly esteemed elf prince, even founding his own house. " Ulmo said with some pride.




"But one hand does not wash the other," Loras said without thinking, and the Lord of the waters was amused by the comment while Loras was reprimanded by his companions with their eyes.




"No, I suppose not, Maeglin was one of the most powerful Lords in Gondolin, but his greatest wish was to take as his wife Turgon's daughter, his first cousin Idril. But his desire was in vain because Idril was his first cousin, and, as such, the elven society is not like the Valyrian. They considered that the kinship with Maeglin was too close to allow a romantic relationship. Also, Idril was very aware of Maeglin's thoughts about her and despised him for it. "




"But that didn't stop him, did it?" Queen Rhaella asked.




"No, but at that time, I sent to Gondolin a messenger, a son of men named Tuor, whose father died in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad and his home claimed by the traitorous men who took his people as slaves, after he grew older. He managed to escape to the old home of Turgon there; I presented myself before him as I do with you now and sent him a mission to remind Turgon of the Curse of Commands and to warn him that Gondolin's time was over. But, upon arrival, my warning was ignored by a proud Turgon partly on the advice of Maeglin who immediately felt mistrust towards Tuor, that sealed the effect of the Mandos Curse on the city."




A sound of disapproval came from the Westeros travellers.




"Years passed, and Tuor rose rapidly in honour in the city, being of great height both physically and spiritually and having had the privilege of speaking directly with me, many in the city held him in high esteem. Seven years after arriving in Gondolin, Tuor fell in love with King Turgon's daughter, Idril Celebrindal, who loved him too. Turgon, who already regarded Tuor as a close relative, gave the couple his blessing. They were married in a celebration of great happiness, this being the second union of men and elves after Beren and Lúthien and soon after their only son was born ... Eärendil the Blessed ... Better known as Eärendil the Sailor "Ulmo said proudly.




"Eärendil?" Jon asked.




"Yes, sometime after Eärendil's birth, due to his own recklessness, Maeglin was captured by Morgoth's servants while searching for metals outside the City limits, something that Turgon forbade. Maeglin was brought to Angband before Morgoth himself, who knew that Maeglin lived in Gondolin and was eager to know its location. He threatened Maeglin with unimaginable torment, and although Maeglin was not a coward, Morgoth's threats intimidated him, and he betrayed Gondolin's location and weaknesses in exchange for his freedom. Morgoth was delighted to learn this and to further encourage Maeglin and ensure both his silence and further assistance, Morgoth promised him the rule of the city as the hand of Idril and the deaths of Tuor and Eärendil once Turgon was gone. Overthrown. Out of jealousy, Maeglin eagerly agreed to this deal, thereby sealing the worst betrayal of the Elder days. Later, Morgoth released him, and Maeglin returned to Gondolin without arousing suspicion. When the hosts of Morgoth attacked the city a year later, during the sack, Maeglin tried to capture Idril and kill Eärendil but was stopped by Tuor, and the two fought on the walls. But Tuor prevailed and threw Maeglin from the Wall to his death, thus fulfilling the curse that his father cast on him.




"He deserved it," Rhaenys said with satisfaction.




"Rhaenys ..." Queen Rhaella said disapprovingly.




"The survivors of Gondolin went to live in the same place where the survivors of Doriath lived forming a single village under the command of Tuor and Idril, and after some years when Tuor was already old, he felt the longing for the sea he finally built a ship called Eärrámë and sailed west with Idril. Where despite his status as a mortal, when Tuor arrived with Idril in Valinor successfully breaking through the defences, Tuor became the only man to be accepted as one of Ilúvatar's Firstborn, gaining an immortal life in Aman until the world I finished"




Hearing that, everyone was surprised by the story of Tuor and Idril when they learned that a mortal man had gained immortality.




"But in Middle-earth, other problems happened, Eärendil and Elwing, the granddaughter of Beren and Lúthien met, fell in love and married, having two children, the twins Elrond and Elros, when Eärendil got older, he began his journey in search of his parents who had gone to sea earlier. For this, Eärendil built a white ship called Vingilótë, but in his absence, his home was attacked by the sons of Fëanor to recover the Silmaril from Beren and Lúthien, this being the Third Slaughter of Elves against Elves and was by far the most cruel of the three since in that place there were few soldiers and more than anything women and children "Ulmo said with an icy voice.




A sound of rage and outrage came from the Westeros travels, mainly from Rhaenys and Rhaella, who couldn't help but think about King's Landing's sacking by Tywin Lannister.




"Helped Elwing to escape by turning her into a bird and send her with her husband, together they sailed to Valinor, and because Elwing had the Silmaril in his possession, they managed to reach their destination safely once there they were brought before us, and I had to intervene to save them from the wrath of Namo, then Manwë spared their lives but ordered them to remain in Aman and never set foot on mortal lands again, but the most important thing is that by having both the blood of elves and men they were given the opportunity to choose which race they wanted to belong to, elves or men, Eärendil leaves the decision in the hands of his wife, Elwing chose to be one of the Elves, but Eärendil would have preferred to be one of the Men; However, for the sake of his wife, he chose to be one of the Elves. "




"How incredible ..." said Robar, amazed by the story.




"Then, on behalf of the elves and men who suffered in Middle-earth because of Morgoth, Earendil ... And we concede it to him, we assembled a vast army of elves and Maiar and sent him to Middle-earth, where Along with the elves and men who could still fight, the most violent war in the history of the world was fought, The War of Wrath, in which in the end Morgoth was defeated, his hosts swept away like leaves in the wind, still the war it lasted more than forty years, after which all the land of Beleriand was destroyed and devastated ending up sinking into the sea ", said Ulmo with calmness.




A groan of surprise was heard from Jon, Loras, and Robar as despite fighting in the War of the Five Kings, they never imagined a conflict like the War of Wrath.




"What happened to Morgoth?" Arianne asked.




"The Battle was ended and from the ruin of the North great clouds arose and hid the stars, the Valar drew Melkor back to Valinor, bound hand and foot, and blindfold; and he was brought to the Ring of Doom. There he lay upon his face before the feet of Manwë and sued for pardon, but his prayer was denied, and he was cast into prison in the fastness of Mandos, whence none can escape, neither Vala, nor Elf, nor mortal Man. Vast and strong are those halls, and they were built in the West of the land of Aman. So there was Melkor doomed to abide. Although Morgoth was banished from this world, the evil he conceived could never be utterly destroyed and will continue to bear its black fruits until the end of days; thus, the First Age of the Sun ended with the defeat of Morgoth and the destruction of Beleriand together with its descent to the sea and with that my story ends," Ulmo said, clearly weary of recounting such a long tale.




For a few minutes, nobody said anything, and they looked at each other in silence, trying to process the information.




"What happened to the Silmaril?" Shiera asked.




"One of them is carried by Earendil, who crosses the skies in his white boat by order of Manwë and Varda taking care of the Sun and the moon. Thus he became a new star, the star of hope, the brightest star in the firmament. " As soon as Ulmo said this, Jon, Loras, and Robar jumped up and looked towards the sky to the amusement of the Lord of the Waters.




"Jon?" Arianne asked, confused.




"We followed that star, and we got here ... It's that," Jon said, pointing to the star of Earendil, and all the ladies could see it excitedly.




"If the Light of the holy jewel brought you here, but you should not follow it from now on, I will guide your ship; otherwise, you will end up arriving in Valinor in the Blessed Kingdom, and I am afraid you have not been given permission to go there. Ulmo said with authority.




"What happened to the other two Silmarils?" Ashara asked.




"The last two surviving sons of Fëanor Maedhros and Maglor were bound by his Oath to retrieve them. Though heartbroken from the burden of that terrible Oath, they conspired to sneak into the victorious army's camp, where they slaughtered the guard around the Silmarils and led them away. The camp rose up against them, and although they were willing to fight to the death to keep the gems, they were allowed to leave. But they soon discovered that due to the detestable actions they had taken in retrieving the jewels, the first the Kinslayings, they could not hold the Silmarils without suffering terrible pain. And so Maedhros threw himself and the Silmaril that he carried with him into a pit of fire, and Maglor threw his into the sea, being lost until the end of days." Ulmo said.




All the women sighed in frustration upon learning the fate of the Silmarils.




"What should we do now"? Jon asked.




"Jon, just as the birth and the works of Earendil were the climax of the First Age of the Sun, your arrival and that of your companions in Middle Earth is the climax of this Age," Ulmo said with pride.




"This Age?" Jon asked.




"We are in the year 3320 of the Second Age of the Sun, great events are about to occur, and you and your companions will be needed," Ulmo said in a well to do tone.




"What should we do?" Jon asked.




"Cultivate, when you leave this place, you will reach the Gray Havens, a city of elves under the command of Cirdan the Shipbuilder, look for him and ask him to teach you the most essential of Middle Earth, the place you will go may not be Westeros or Essos, but it doesn't mean it doesn't have its own dangers, learn the Quenya and Sindarin elven languages, learn all you can and then look for Elendil "The High One", and you will know what to do," Ulmo said sagely.




Then Ulmo waved his trident, and a small pool of water appeared before Jon. In it were various objects a magnificent golden band the stone upon it was red as fire, a great sword whose blade glittered like ice and battle-axe almost as magnificent its haft was fashioned from heavy oak, and its head was double bladed inscribed with Sindarin runes of wraith and valour and finally a warhorn shaped like a conch with an emerald in the centre.




"What are these things?" Jon asked,




"This is Narya, the red ring forged by Celebrimbor in the foundries of Ost-in-Edil take this ring, young knight," Ulmo said, "for your labours will be heavy, but it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it, you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill. 


And this mighty weapon is the sword Ringil blade of Fingolfin whom we loved above all others, and this is Dramborleg that was wielded by Tuor kindred of the great hero Húrin; both are relics of the First Age, when you meet Elendil present him with these heirlooms and deliver a message that all faithful shall be rewarded, as for the conch it is a gift from me to you, Jon, should you need council look for a lake or river and touch the conch. I will appear unless Manwe forbids it, It is time to go, I know we will meet again, and I wish you all luck on your quest, noble heroes, know that Manwë watches over you as he has been doing since you left Essos "After that, Ulmo returned to the depths.




"Why would he and Manwë favour a bastard? What's so exceptional? Who is Jon Snow Really?" Rhaenys thought perplexed.




The following day everyone boarded the ship, and it began sailing towards the Grey Havens.


Chapter Text




It had been two weeks since Ulmo the Lord of the Waters left after telling them the origin of the world and the course to guide them on their journey, just as Ulmo had warned them they had stopped following the Star of Eärendil and instead had let the Sea guide them as Ulmo asked since if they had not done so, they would all have reached the lands Valinor. Even though they all wanted to see the kingdom of eternal light, something in them warned them not to put that prohibition to the test; outside of that, they were excited about the trip even Rhaenys had stopped acting hostile towards him almost.


It was sunset at Sea when Jon was watching the horizon, waiting for the moment when he would finally see Middle Earth, and occasionally he was looking at Ringil it was a beautiful sword that glittered like pale ice; he was so focused and lost in thought that he did not notice that someone was approaching him.


"Did you require something, lady Targaryen?" Jon turned to the voice only to see Daenerys Targaryen watching him shyly, she was dressed in a delicate sky-blue dress her hair is tied up with a braid, and she was wearing a little gold tiara on her head, she really looked like a queen of the freehold. The fact that the Princess spoke to him for the first time astonished him since they began their journey to Middle-earth; she has not been separated from her mother.


"Princess Daenerys," Jon said, bowing.


"Ser Jon ... I came to apologize; you and your companions saved me from the marriage with Khal Drogo that my brother imposed on me, and I have not thanked you," Said Daenerys remembered the monstrous Khal and the mere fact of becoming his wife it still terrified her.


"You don't have to thank me, Princess; I am a knight, a knight must protect those who cannot protect themselves; I just kept my vows," Jon said with a smile, inadvertently causing Daenerys to blush.


"But I must! All this time, I have ignored you and your friends even though you saved me from a life I did not want; I owe my freedom, especially to you who killed the Khal. Thank you," she said before bowing low.


"Princess Daenerys, please, you shouldn't do that; I'm just a…."


"You're A true Knight Jon Snow one of wisdom and valour ... No matter what my niece says about you," Daenerys said, thinking of her niece Rhaenys with a slight annoyance, while Jon thought of his last and unsuccessful effort to win her friendship, she practically threatened him with a kitchen knife to get him to stay away from her.


"Thank you my lady though I believe your niece doesn't care for me," Jon said sarcastically, much to Daenerys amusement.


"Yes, well, Ser, you practically kidnapped her and forced her to come on this trip, considering our family's history not the finest choice for her first outing," Daenerys said, arching an eyebrow.


"No, I guess not."


"Can I ask you a question, Sir?"


"Of course, Princess."


"What is he like? ... Manwë, I mean," Asked the Targaryen Princess with curiosity; since the appearance of Ulmo, she has wanted to know what the king of the Valar is like. Jon just watched her for a few moments pondering his answer and sighed.


"In my dream, he seemed ... Like a true king ... he was seated on a polished throne in a room of pure white marble, and he wore robes the color of the spring sky, in his right hand he held a sapphire scepter, and his eyes seemed to be made of stars, but even brighter and were as fearsome as lightning that fell in a storm. " Manwë's description filled with emotion to Daenerys she had to restrain herself from to jump like a girl in her the desire to see and know the Greater King for herself has just risen.


"It sounds truly beautiful," she said excitedly.


"It is; for a few moments, I thought I was hallucinating, but my friends did not desert me despite how strange it all seemed," said Jon with a smile remembering the loyalty of their friends.


"They are very loyal to you," Daenerys said confidently.


"Yes, I have known Loras since we were children since we grew up together in Highgarden while I was a ward of his father, we had many adventures, and he did not care that I was a bastard and Robar met him when the three of us We were part of the Royal Guard of King Renly Baratheon, at first it was only Loras and me, he was the Lord Commander, and I was his right-hand man, but over time we met Robar and became friends, now they are both my brothers in everything except in the blood, frankly ... There are days when I wonder how I managed to have friends like them", said Jon cheering the Princess with the story of their friendship.


... I think I know ... Daenerys thought sweetly.


Just when Daenerys was going to ask Jon something else, Ser Loras appeared with a small harp.


"Jon, sing us something!" Said the Knight of Flowers, hoping to hear his brother's charming voice.


"Loras, I'm not in the mood tonight."


"Come on, Jon, you haven't been in the mood for a long time, sing something, plus what's a boat trip without a song?" Loras said, insisting.




"I'd like to hear him sing Ser," Daenerys said shyly, averting her gaze to what Jon sighed and accepted.


"Very well," he said, approaching the center of the deck, and at that moment, the melody of the harp caught the attention of everyone on the ship, which caused them to stop whatever they were doing to listen to the song."


Day is new, bright my eyes,


but journey long before me lies.


Farewell, friends! I hear the call.


The ships beside the stony wall.


Foam is white, and waves are grey.


Beyond the sunset leads my way.


Foam is salt; the wind is free.


I hear the rising of the Sea.


Farewell, friends! The sails are set,


the wind is east, the moorings fret.


Shadows long before me lie,


beneath the ever-bending sky,


but islands lie behind the Sun


That I shall raise ere all is done.


lands there are to west of west,


where night is quiet, and sleep is rest.


Guided by the Lonely Star,


beyond the utmost harbour-bar,


I'll find the havens fair and free,


and beaches of the Starlit Sea.


Ship, my ship! I seek the west,


and fields and mountains ever blest.


Farewell to Westeros at last.


I see the Star above my mast. "


At the end of his song, Jon left Arianne and Daenerys crying with emotion for the beauty of the piece and Loras happy, while Shiera asked Robar if he knew that Jon had that talent for music, to which Vale's knight replied that he used to entertain King Renly occasionally at banquets.


While Rhaenys, Rhaella, and Ashara watched Jon as if they had seen a ghost.


"For a few moments, I would swear that ..." Lady Ashara began to say.


"Like me, the similarity between the two is extraordinary," Queen Rhaella said on the verge of tears.


Rhaenys just clenched her fists, but when she heard Jon start singing again, she was saddened and returned to her cabin.


"Rhaenys ..." Queen Rhaella began but was gently stopped by Ashara.


"I'll talk to her ... At least listen to the rest of the song" After that the Dornish Lady went to comfort the Princess.


... Why does this young man from the North so resemble my beloved son? ...


Later that night, Daenerys was lying on her bed, remembering how Jon entertained everyone with his lovely voice.


... He's everything I ever dreamed of ... I know he's with Princess Arianne, but I can't forget him ...


Daenerys thought about it while sleep overcame her, and while she slept, she began to dream of her wolf knight, while he smiled and kissed her, not realizing that he was directing her to the bed where he laid her down and kissed while he was undoing the knots of her dress.


... Mmmm ... Jon ... Said the Princess, who, while sleeping, placed her right hand on her bust and squeezed her nipples that had become hard, and her left hand went to her thighs until reaching her most sensitive area ...


The next morning Daenerys woke up with the first rays of the sun peeked through the small porthole and more relaxed than she had ever felt in her life but noticed two things, her nipples were so hard that they poked through the fabric of her night shift, and the area Between her thighs was totally soaked, Daenerys was very confused until the memories of the dream she had the night before began to come back, filling her with embarrassment.


"Did I have ...?" At that moment, the sound of the door was heard, and her mother's voice came from outside.


"Dany, are you decent? I'm coming in" The Rhaella was dressed in a simple Essosi dress and had come to take her daughter to breakfast, but to her surprise, Dany was still in her bed.


"Are you not ready yet?"


"I'm sorry, mother, I'll be ready soon," Dany said, nervous about being found in such a state by her mother. Rhaella studied her daughter carefully and realized that something was wrong.


"Are you an well little dragon?" She asked, clearly concerned as her daughter's face was the color of their sigil.


"Yes, mother, I'm fine ... I'll join you soon enough," Dany answered quickly to get out of that shameful situation.


Rhaella was confused but quickly noticed that her daughter's nipples could be seen through the fabric, and considering how nervous she was, she was quick to get to the point and smiled slightly in amusement.


... My daughter is already a young woman; it is typical for these things to happen from time to time ...


"Breakfast is served dear, hurry up," said the Queen without losing sight of her daughter's reactions.


"Yes, Mother," Daenerys nodded forcefully.


While everyone had breakfast (except for Robar, who acted as a lookout), Daenerys kept her eyes on Jon as she watched Princess Arianne by her side behaving in a flirtatious manner with him; the sight of it filled Daenerys with jealousy and frustration, something that was clearly noticed by the other ladies Rhaella, Shiera and Ashara watched with amusement Daenerys her affection was plain for all to see, this continued until Jon eyes clouded over. It looked like he would fall from his chair, but he rose to his feet clearly excited, surprising everyone; instantly, Arianne and Daenerys approached Jon, clearly worried.


"Jon?" Arianne asked.


"Are you well?" Daenerys asked, scared.


Jon struggled to pull himself together and sat back up, rubbing his temples.


"I could swear that I just heard the voice of Lord Manwë ... In my head," He said something disturbed, but as soon as he said these words, the others jumped up from the table.


"He ... did he say something?" Loras asked.


Jon was about to answer when suddenly Robar came running.


"Jon! You must see this… We have arrived! " Trying not to fall down the stairs, Jon pulled himself together and went on deck, followed by everyone.


"Be careful, Jon," Ashara said, worried about him.


"I'll be fine, my lady," Jon said firmly.


Rhaella looked like she was going to second Ashara's words, but she decided to remain silent, although her expression indicated that she was worried about Jon; seeing the behavior of her grandmother and her aunt and that of her cousin Arianne Rhaenys narrowed her eyes.


Soon everyone was on deck and excitedly watching a vast strip of land in the distance; this time, there was no doubt ... They had reached Middle Earth.


"Well, Jon, we are here," Loras said, excited seeing his new home.


"Yes, Loras, Robar ... My brothers, we finally arrived," Jon said, holding back the tears of emotion.


"We will see what fate holds for us," Robar said solemnly.


While the three knights looked at the horizon, the ladies (including Rhaenys) observed the territory with different emotions, excitement, anxiety, fear, but of all of them, Shiera Seastar was the happiest because, with their arrival in Middle Earth, her dream of contemplating the island of Númenor, the land of her relatives was getting closer and closer.


It took them about forty minutes to get close enough to see a city that shone like a spike of silver; as they neared the shore, they got a better look at the city; it was the most splendid place that Westerosi travelers have ever seen, it was clearly a port city built deep within the bay, its design was unlike any that Westerosi has seen with wide roads hanging gardens with flowers of every shade and high towers of white stone topped with glittering golden domes, the ships anchored in the harbor were so finely carved that they seemed to be made of silver with prows in the shape of a swan and their sails fluttered in the breeze it appeared they were woven of fine silver, the waters were a dazzling blue like the evening sky, and even the air itself seemed to warm and welcome them, relieving their fatigue.


"It is magnificent," Rhaenys said, self-conscious at such splendor.


As they reached the shore, they noticed that residents were gathering to greet them.


"They don't look pleased," Loras said, preparing his sword, Robar and Jon doing the same, although the latter didn't want to ruin their arrival by starting a fight.


When the ship finally got close enough to shore, it magically stopped, and the residents started aiming bows at them, at which point Rhaenys approached Jon.


"Give me a dagger now."


Seeing the situation, a reluctant Jon nodded and handed him a dagger.


When it was clear that they had to get off the ship, Jon marched in front of the others and watched the archers; there was only one word ... Beautiful.


They all looked like men, but their skin was smooth and perfect, without blemishes, their eyes were sharp and fierce, but the most curious thing was their ears; they were pointed. Their posture was perfect and conveyed an air of grace and strength.


... They must be elves, the first-born sons of Ilúvatar ... Jon thought excitedly.


Jon started walking towards them calmly, and suddenly one of them shot the ground a few inches from Jon as a warning.


Loras drew his sword and approached to help his friend, but Jon stopped him with a gesture.


"Please, we are not your enemies, we are travelers, we seek ..."


"Silence strangers; you will speak when allowed," Said the one who had shot the arrow.


... Even their voices are sharp ...


Seeing the situation, Robar and Rhaenys were also preparing for a fight, even at that moment Jon felt the soft fur of Ghost brushing his hand and heard a slight growl and observed Lady next to Princess Daenerys and Lady Ashara; the wolf was nervous but willing to fight if necessary as her time in captivity had mostly changed her, the elves were surprised by the Direwolves, and their bows tightened, it seemed that the fight would break out when suddenly a loud voice was heard. Behind the archers and they moved away to let another elf pass only that this one had even more bearing and strength in their presence.


He was very tall and wore the most magnificent armor that Westerosi had ever seen; it was a pearly white color, and although he had no jewels in it shone like a diamond, his hair was blond of color even more golden than the Lannisters, in fact in appearance and bearing the elf was very similar to Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. Still, his smile conveyed kindness rather than arrogance; the elf had an expression of authority and majesty that took his breath away, he seemed to be a little older than Jon, but when he saw his eyes, he realized that it was not like that because they were deeper than the darkness of a lake.


"Greetings travelers, I am afraid that to pass, you will have to show me the ring that you carry if it is not the correct one, you will be clapped in irons," He said with authority, and even his voice was beautiful.


Hearing the elf's words, Jon instinctively pulled out the red ring that Ulmo gave him, and when the elf saw it, he smiled, clearly pleased that it was the correct ring.


"Welcome travelers from the outer lands to Mithlond or as its people call it the Gray Havens; my name is Glorfindel, and I come on behalf of Lord Círdan; he awaits you in his study."


"He's waiting for us?" Jon asked, surprised. And the elf now known as Glorfindel nodded.


Jon glanced at his friends and ladies, and they all nodded; Arianne made Jon take her by the arm and gave him one of her typical glances.


"Come on, my white wolf, we have already come this far," Said the ex-princess of Dorne.


Jon gave his love a smile and a kiss on the forehead.


"Let's go, everyone."


They all followed Glorfindel through the city, a city that everyone watched in amazement; the buildings were made of marble and wood but were built in such a way that it seemed that they had been cultivated in nature instead of being built.


"This place is extraordinary ... Not even the Vale can equal its beauty," said Robar.


"Nothing in Westeros can compare to this city," Queen Rhaella said.


"" I wonder what Círdan will be like. " Shiera asked without losing the details of the city.


They all followed Glorfindel around the bay and looked at all the elves that were there and realized that they had not seen any children, only adults, finally after several minutes they reached a different part of the port, while the bay was full of silver boats in this place the elves were building new ones, sawing the wood, assembling the ships, everyone worked diligently and ignored them. Still, there was an elf who was watching the whole process; he was tall and had silver hair, Like the other elves, he had a beautiful appearance, but his face had the most similar to wrinkles that they had seen in an elf so far, even so, his face did not seem to be of age, he had a countenance even more remarkable than that of Glorfindel. However, many would assume he was a warrior. It was clear he was of noble blood clad in fine blue robes woven with patterns of flowers and stars and cuffs lined with fur.


"Lord Círdan, I brought those lord Ulmo spoke of," Glorfindel said with a slight bow.


Círdan, the shipbuilder, directed his gaze towards the party, and Jon soon understood that Círdan was even older than Glorfindel. However, Círdan gave him a warm smile and turned his gaze to us. His smile widened.


"Greetings and welcome guest, you are all strangers from the Outer Lands; I have waited for you for months; I hope your trip has been pleasant."


For a few moments, no one knows what to answer until Rhaenys steps forward.


"How did you know we would come?"


The elf did not change his face; he just stared at them as if trying to study them all, but in the end, he approached the Princess.


"I had a dream, a dream in which the Valar told me about strangers who came from distant lands, they ordered me to take them under my care and teach them about Middle-earth, those strangers would appear this morning in a ship without insignia nor emblems, they would all belong to the lines of men, and they will be mighty in thought and deed since they guided them here, I will know of their coming for their leader shall bear the ring of fire freely given to lord Ulmo champion of the seas so I welcome you to the Grey Havens friends and allies."


For a few moments, nobody said anything, and only the sound of the waves was heard.


"Well, we're here," Loras said.


"Yes, indeed, but I'm afraid they haven't shown up, and I don't know where they come from because the Valar didn't deem the knowledge useful, but I know you had a very long journey and must be exhausted, please come with me to my residence to rest and if you wish you can have breakfast, "Círdan said with kindness.


"I'm afraid we've already had breakfast, sir," Queen Rhaella said, politely declining the offer.


" Well, in that case, you can still rest, now kindly follow me travelers" They all followed Círdan and Glorfindel finished by reaching the highest tower in the city, which shone so white that it seemed to be made of pearl; it was so much that its shadow covered a large part of the harbor while its light illuminated the other.


Faced with such a splendid construction, the Westerosi watched everything wordlessly. They all entered the spacious estate, and Círdan put everyone in the care of his household, who prepared a hot bath for them and took each one to a different room, although Queen Rhaella insisted on being placed with her daughter and granddaughter. Lady Ashara and Shiera Seastar asked for a room for a single room; only Arianne had a room of her own, while Jon and the others each had their own room where they had already prepared the hot bath; after soaking in the marble tub, Jon dried off and fell onto the fine bed of cotton and goose down his exhaustion from the journey, and the calming waters lured him into a deep, dreamless sleep.


He does not know how long he slept, but when Jon woke up, he felt more rested than he had remembered in months when suddenly the sound of the door disturbed him, and he recomposed himself, opening the door Jon found a servant waiting for him with a simple tunic of burgundy thread.


"You must prepare yourself. Lord Círdan wishes to speak with you and your friends."


Jon nodded and quickly changed into the offered clothes; he was guided through the tower's corridors until he reached a large study full of books overlooking the Sea. In that study, Círdan and Glorfindel talked in a language that Jon did not recognize and assumed that It was one of the languages that Ulmo told him to master; Jon did not take three steps when they both turned their gaze towards him.


"I hope you have rested," Círdan said with genuine kindness to which Jon smiled slightly and nodded.


"It had been a while since I rested like that; I really appreciate it… By the way, where are the wolves that came with us? Jon said, asking a question while bowing to Círdan.


"You don't have to thank me, and as for the wolves, we let them roam free despite their appearance. They do not seem dangerous, although I admit that in my entire existence in Arda, I had never seen wolves of that size; my curiosity can wait now. We just have to wait let your companions arrive so that we can start our conversation since the Valar told me of their arrival in a dream; I have had a desire to meet them since the end of the First Age the Valar have not intervened directly in the affairs of Middle Earth."


"Yes, Lord Ulmo told us that," Jon said, and as he did so, an expression of surprise crossed the elves' faces.


"So, a Valar brought them here ... One of the Aratar," Glorfindel said.


"Aratar?" Jon asked, confused, remembering that term in one of Númenor's books.


"They are the 8 greatest Valar in Arda; they are the most powerful Ainur who descended at the beginning of the world; Lord Ulmo is one of them," Círdan said.


"And Manwë too, isn't it?" Jon said sure of his answer but was surprised to see the elves' shocked expression.


"How did you meet the Elder King?" Círdan asked, clearly shocked at Jon's statement.


"I met him in a dream. It was he who told me to sail west and come to Middle Earth."


"You are the first of the line of men to speak to the King of the Valar even in a dream," Glorfindel said solemnly while Jon was taken aback by his statement ... Was he really the first mortal man to speak to Manwë? ..


At that moment, Loras and Robar entered the room, and like Jon was dressed in the elven fashion, they were followed by Queen Rhaella, Princess Daenerys. Lady Ashara and Shiera Seastar all dressed in silk dresses and with some seashells as improvised ornaments; only Ari and Princess Rhaenys were missing. When Daenerys saw him, she smiled at Jon, and he smiled back, making her blush.


At that moment, Arianne and Princess Rhaenys entered, both dressed in silk, but while Arianne moved gracefully and without discomfort, Princess Rhaenys seemed quite irritated, and Jon had a good idea why ... She did not like dresses, she was a warrior like her forbear Visenya Targaryen.


... Or like Arya ... Jon thought wistfully as he remembered his wild and stubborn little sister.


... How she would have loved these fair lands from the troubles of Westeros ...


But at that moment, as if the blindfold fell from his eyes, Jon looked closely at Rhaenys and gasped; he knew that she was beautiful, but seeing her dressed as a real Princess, the difference was abysmal; her body seemed more curvy and slender, her hair was loose and seemed soft and smooth like a thin layer of satin, her olive skin was free of imperfections, tall, regal ... What else could she say to describe her? She was a Targaryen princess despite her Dornish heritage.


... And Arianne's cousin, not to mention that she wishes to see you dead ... A voice in his head said.


"Well, now that we are all here, we begin," Círdan's voice brought Jon out of his internal debate. Arianne, who noticed the enraptured look that her white wolf gave her cousin, her expression was one of jealously and amusement, but in the end, Jon was hers. Although she was fully aware that Daenerys has been trying to get her attention, Arianne was not yet ready to share their bed with another woman, and less so if it was her cousin Rhaenys or Daenerys Targaryen; Arianne may have certain ... lustful desires Jon helps satisfy ... But she is not like her uncle Oberyn or Ellaria ... not yet so Arianne decided to give a warning to Jon, he sat beside her and smiled, reaching over she put a hand on his thighs and squeezed them, Jon suppressed a groan of pain and turned his gaze to Arianne who gave him a warning look.


... understood... Jon thought with some pain.


"Jon, are you well?" asked Robar, confused, seeing Jon with a pained expression.


"Yes, well, Lord Círdan, what do you want to know?" Jon asked, regaining his composure.


Círdan and Glorfindel, who noticed what happened, were internally amused, and the boatbuilder nodded.


"I want to know who you are? Why did the Valar called you from the outer lands?" Asked the elf.


"I'm Jon Snow; they are my brothers in arms and best friends Loras Tyrell and Robar Royce," Jon said as his friends nodded.


At that moment, Queen Rhaella stood up and erect as the Queen she was decided to introduce herself and her family.


"I am Rhaella of the House of Targaryen, Dowager Queen of the 7 kingdoms of Westeros, they are my daughter Daenerys of the House of Targaryen and my granddaughter Rhaenys of the House of Targaryen," Said the ancient Queen with the greatest possible dignity.


Arianne followed her lead and stood up.


"I am the Princess Arianne Nymeros Martell of Dorne, one of the 7 kingdoms of Westeros, heir to the Spear of the Sun and future ruler of Dorne," She said, the latter with sadness more as a protocol than for something real because she had abandoned her birthright.


Being the last to appear, Lady Ashara Dayne and Shiera Seastar decided to perform together.


"I am Ashara of House Dayne, a vassal of House Nymeros Martell."


"I am Shiera Seastar, bastard daughter of King Aegon IV who has died more than a century ago; I am ... Distant relative of Queen Rhaella as well as her daughter and granddaughter," Said the beautiful Targaryen bastard.


"You are Numenorean," Glorfindel said in amazement.


As soon as he said this, Shiera's eyes widened with surprise and excitement as she realized that the elf had recognized her as a Numenorean.


"Yes" Shiera replied with happiness.


"No mortal man or woman can live more than 100 years and retain their youth unless they carry the blood of Númenor in their veins; this is a surprise, the only men of Númenor that we have seen in great numbers are the Faithful "led by Elendil, how could a stranger from the Outer Lands carry the blood of the noblest bloodline of the Second Born? " The elf wondered.


"Because my great-grandfather came from Númenor, I don't know how he got to the continent that we call Essos, only that he got there as an old man, he lived there the rest of his days and had a family from which I descended. Since I found out about the island of Númenor, it has been my wish to see it for myself, that is why I am on this trip, and now my heart is happy because my wish will finally come true."


As soon as Lady Shiera said this, the others realized that something was happening as Círdan and Glorfindel's expressions darkened, and for a moment, Jon seemed to perceive sadness on both elves' faces.


"It seems to me that we should leave that conversation for another time, my lady," Glorfindel said quickly.


"Indeed, well, they have already told us their names, and I realize that they all have nobility in their surnames ..." Círdan began to say.


"No, I'm not a noble ... I'm a bastard," Jon said quietly.


Arianne gently took Jon's hand and leaned on his shoulder while Loras and Robar each put a hand on one of Jon's shoulders.


"That doesn't seem to matter to you and your friends…" Círdan began.


"I am his lover; he is the love of my life," Arianne replied, proud but blushing.


Arianne's response made Jon, Rhaenys, and Rhaella blush while the others held back their laughter except for Daenerys, who seemed to want to strike the Prince of Dorne and jump into Jon's arms.


"Well ... My point is that your companions don't seem to care about your bastard status, so you shouldn't pay any more attention to it ... But carry on," Círdan said gently but somewhat amused by Arianne's audacity.


From that moment on, Queen Rhaella, along with the help of Lady Ashara, told the two elves a very brief version of the history of Westeros but still the most essential, starting with what Ulmo told them about the tribes of men that intend They tried to protect from Morgoth but were still corrupted and as Westeros came to be populated by men and its structure, how seven kingdoms ended up dominating that continent, and then how those nations were unified by Aegon the Conqueror, House Targaryen and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, arrived from the neighboring continent of Essos after the fall of their Valyrian home. Two hundred and eighty-three years after Aegon's conquest, the Targaryens were overthrown by Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, Hoster Tully, Jon Arryn Tywin Lannister in a civil war known as the War of the Usurper after the decadent, cruel. Erratic reign of Aerys II Targaryen whom everyone called the Mad King, who along with his Rhaegar were the ones who started the war, Rhaegar for kidnapping the fiancé of Robert Baratheon who was also Eddard's sister, also, the mad king brutally murdered the father and the older brother of the latter out of sheer cruelty to the former by burning him alive and his son strangled while trying to save his father.


Jon realized that for the ladies of House Targaryen and Lady Ashara, it was harrowing to talk about the rebellion because they lost everything in it. Still, they could not ignore the role that their own family played in the uprising, but the most affected was Daenerys as she was confirming what everyone said about her father, that he was utterly insane and that his madness and cruelty caused many unnecessary deaths. Still, when they came to the brutal looting of King's Landing by Tywin Lannister (who decided intervene in the war only when there was already a clear victor) and describe the cruelty of his men, Jon realized that the faces of both elves became a cold mask and Glorfindel clenched the hilt of his sword with force.


Then Princess Rhaenys recounted how Ser Amory Lorch and Gregor Clegane brutally murdered the girl and the baby that were used as decoys for her and her brother before Clegane raped Rhaenys' mother, Princess Elia, and then smashed her skull; both elves were clearly horrified by such actions, not since the wars against Morgoth or the Orcs they had heard such savagery.


-Death for men is not the same as for elves, so we cannot be sure how they will be judged when they die, but I do not know to worry, my ladies. From my own experience, I know that the justice of the Valar will reach us all sooner or later; I know that Tywin Lannister and his vile servants will be no exception.- Glorfindel said, regaining his composure.


-Yes, Lord Ulmo has already told us what the justice of the Valar in charge of Mandos or Namo is like since that is his real name; I am sure that justice will reach Tywin Lannister and all his work sooner or later, just like to my husband.. wherever he is now" Queen Rhaella said with a sad smile.


-After our family was expelled from Westeros, we spent almost twenty years in exile in Essos, gathering resources and preparing to recover what belongs to us, while the usurper Robert Baratheon sat on the throne of our family until, according to sources, he killed himself hunting a wild boar while he was drunk ... I don't know whether to laugh at such a ridiculous death or cry in a rage because we cannot take revenge on him for having killed our father, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. - Princess Rhaenys said.


Neither Círdan nor Glorfindel said a word, and from their expression, it was impossible to know what they were thinking; they just listened quietly to everything waiting for their guests to finish their story.


At that time, Robar took command of the conversation and told them about how the war that would become known as the War of the 5 Kings began, with the kidnapping of one of Tywin Lannister's children by Eddard's wife "Ned "Stark, Catelyn and how this triggered a fight between both houses and then the death of Eddard Stark when he discovered that the king's children were not really his, but rather bastards born from the relationship of Queen Cersei Lannister with his brother twin Jaime Lannister, upon learning of Ned Stark's death, Rhaenys gave a laugh that without imagining it provoked Jon's ire.


Jon knew he was in trouble because neither Queen Rhaella nor Princesses Daenerys and Rhaenys knew that he was Ned Stark's son; they only knew he was a bastard from the North, he had told Arianne after their first night together, and To her joy, she did not care, but she did not know how the others would react if they knew that he was the son of one of the leaders of the rebellion. However, knowing Princess Rhaenys, she will try to kill him while he sleeps or at that very moment probably.


However, if she continues to mock his father's death, Jon will remind her why you do not enrage a wild fucking wolf.


Meanwhile, Robar continued with the story, as the North and the Iron Islands decided to become independent and as the king's brothers disputed the throne for themselves even though the youngest, Renly, had no right to it.


Finally, Loras told them how Renly married his sister Margaery and enlisted the support of his house, House Tyrell, and how he, Jon, and Robar were part of his personal guard, but the honor was short-lived when Renly died from the sorcery of his brother.


A flash of reproach appeared on the elves' faces as they remembered the actions of Fëanor and his sons in the First Age.


Like Jon, Loras and Robar became outlaws fleeing from the Lannister and Stannis Baratheon, who increased his strength because when Renly died, his standard-bearers went over to him none of the three wanted to serve him or the Lannisters.


Then Jon told them about how he planned to meet his brother Robb and help him in his war. Still, he had a dream of Manwë, and how this suited him and his friends to sail west in search of Middle-earth and meet with the "Faithful "Explaining to Jon that they had to take Arianne and Daenerys with them, so they had to rescue them first from Arianne's father who wanted to marry her to Viserys, Daenerys's brother, and Daenerys herself from a marriage imposed by her brother. Lady Ashara, Shiera, Queen Rhaella, and Princess Rhaenys were found on the way.


"On the way? You bastards forced me to come with you!" The Princess replied indignantly for the amusement of all.


"And that is all our history, Lord Círdan. We sailed along the path traced by the star of Earendil and reached an island where we could refuel after our food almost exhausted; there, Lord Ulmo appeared before us and told us all about the origin of this world, the Great Music of the Ainur, the Ages of the Lamps, The Ages of the Trees, the Awakening of the Elves and the binding of Morgoth, then the darkening of Valinor and the events of the First Age of the Sun including the Awakening of Men and the War of Wrath. He bid us farewell and stressed that we should find Elendil "The High" and give him the message that the "Faithful will be rewarded," Jon said, remembering his encounter with Ulmo.


"Of all the Valar Ulmo is the only one who has cared for elves and men alike from the beginning, if he and the High King asked you to find us ... A great young destiny must be in store for you," Círdan said with admiration.


"I don't understand what they want from me. .. Or us, "Jon continued.


"You will know in due course. Did Lord Ulmo tell you anything else, Jon?" Círdan asked.


"He told me that he will find you and that my friends and I will learn the languages of the elves, as well as everything we can from Middle-earth before looking for Elendil ... And he gave me some gifts."


"'Gifts?" Glorfindel asked.


It was there that Jon, Loras, and Robar took out the gifts from Ulmo.


"This is Tuor's axe," Glorfindel said, surprised as he believed he would never see that axe again.


"Do you know him? Loras asked.


"Yes, I taught Tuor to use it when he lived in Gondolin. We trained together, and we fought together; I would recognize this axe wherever it was," Glorfindel said, crying fondly.


"If you know Tuor, that means you lived in Gondolin," Loras said without believing it.


"That's right, I was the lord of the House of the Golden Flower, one of the noble houses of Gondolin," Glorfindel said proudly.


Everyone was left speechless, knowing part of Glorfindel's past and knowing that he has lived since the First Age.


"And here is Narya ..." Círdan said as he suddenly laid eyes on Jon's sword.


"It cannot be," Glorfindel said.


At that moment, Jon drew the sword and seeing its faint blue glow, their eyes filled with tears as they saw Fingolfin's blade for the first time in thousands of years.


"Oh, if my eyes deceive me ... It's Ringil," Glorfindel said.


"I never expected to see this sword again ... May I?" Círdan said excitedly, and Jon nodded, the ancient elf wielding the sword in admiration.


"This sword is the most famous among our people and the mightiest among our kindred it was forged in the smithies of Aulë  in ages past, and until now no mortal hand had wielded it ... It is the only weapon that managed to wound the Dark Lord Morgoth not once, but eight times, the last one cut his foot, leaving him lame, since none of the wounds inflicted by Ringil completely healed "


As soon as he said this, the eyes of all Westerosi widened in surprise since they had never imagined that the sword was so famous.


" I didn't ... know," Jon said, unable to speak of the shock.


Without letting go of the sword Círdan, he went in search of one of his books, and when he found it, he opened it on a sheet, in it there was an old drawing of someone wielding a mighty sword that he understood to be Ringil against a vast black figure that was swinging a colossal war hammer.


"Morgoth ..." Jon said when he saw the black figure.


-Yes, and the other is Fingolfin who fought bravely but, in the end, ... It was not enough, those days were very dark, the shadow of Morgoth stretched all over Beleriand, and the Eldar tried to repel it ... Without success, it was After the fourth Battle of Beleriand where the Noldor were beginning to lose ground, Fingolfin challenged Morgoth to single combat outside the gates of Angband but did so in such an insulting way that had Morgoth not come he would have seemed weak in front of his captains. So Morgoth marched forth to meet the high king, and though Fingolfin was mighty he was crushed by the great hammer Grond ... though the dark lord was victorious Fingolfin severely wounded him, he did not die because the children of Ilúvatar's cannot be slain, but the rest of his existence was diminished" Círdan said, closing the book.


For a few moments, no Westeros said anything until Círdan returned the sword to Jon.


"May it serve you well Jon, you will never use a better sword again, as this is Aulë 's own creation."


"But I can't accept it; it's too much ..." Jon stuttered


"Jon, if Lord Ulmo thought to give you such a weapon, it is because he considers you to be worthy, do not belittle yourself," Círdan said reproachfully, and Jon nodded and accepted the sword with thanks. In contrast, his friends nodded in recognition, and the ladies who were watching in silence, Arianne, Daenerys, and Ashara, were smiling, with the exception of Rhaenys, who had an indifferent look.


"And this horn?" Glorfindel's voice drew everyone out of the moment.


"It is Lord Ulmo's greatest gift if I blow this conch, I can summon him should I require counsel," Jon said, and it was such a surprise that both elves had that Círdan dropped the book to the ground and Glorfindel almost fell. Faints.


In front of them was a young man, a mortal who was granted the honor by one of the Valar to speak with him when necessary ... The ring and the sword showed that he was not normal and that the Valar had plans for him, but to speak with Manwë directly even in a dream and now speak with Ulmo when required, not even Tuor had that honor ... Who is this young man? -


With those words in mind, Círdan decided to take him under his wing from now on and teach him and his friends everything he needed to know.


"King Gil-Galad needs to know about this immediately, Lord Círdan, a conch that allows you to speak with Lord Ulmo ... I never imagined such a gift," Glorfindel said, looking at the conch in fascination.


"Yes, this is truly monumental," Círdan said as Glorfindel left the room after saying goodbye to everyone with a bow.


"Farewell, Jon Ulmondil. May we meet again," He said, and with one last look at the conch, he withdrew.


"Ulmondil?" Ashara asked.


"In the tongue of my kin it means Friend of Ulmo, Well, this has been an important day, but for now, it will be better to keep Ringil and the concha secret, to know of an artifact that can call a Valar to Middle-earth could bring a lot of commotion, "Círdan said calmly.


"We get it ... And what about the rest, will you teach us?" Jon asked.


"Of course, they will learn everything they can learn here, especially shipbuilding and navigation since it is a tradition that everyone who lives here learns such a trade; in terms of languages and history, I will put the best tutors. that you have, when they learn that you were sent by the Valar, they will be eager for the privilege of teaching you."


"Thank you for everything, Lord Círdan. Jon said with a shy laugh."


"Don't worry, I only fulfill Ulmo's wishes, now if you don't mind, I have matters that require my attention, you can ask one of my servants to show you around the city or if you want you can eat something, welcome to the Middle-Earth?" Círdan said with kindness, and the Westerosi thanked him and began to leave the room, but before leaving, Jon could see the Sea and felt something curious; since he spoke with Ulmo, being near the Sea filled him with peace, as if he had found a new home, something curious because I had never thought a great deal about the ocean, but now I couldn't get it out of my head."


"Maybe my mother was born of iron or ... It's like the Elder King told me ... The Sea calls all the Faithful" After that, Jon left the room, leaving Círdan alone with his thoughts.

Chapter Text

6 months later


When Jon, Loras, and Robar had decided to undertake their journey to Middle Earth, they hoped for untold riches and great battles, tests of their courage; they knew that their new life there would not be easy ... But they certainly did not expect to be "tested " in such ways.




During the last months, the three knights and their companions had been instructed by the elves on various subjects, from lore, healing, and of course navigation, but for the ladies, they had also received classes in the art of weaving (to the despair of Rhaenys ) since according to Cirdan all the sails on the ships that Jon and the others have seen were made by the sailors' wives.




The one in charge of teaching them was an elven noble named Aveneri, one of the few Noldor who lived in the Gray Havens and who was said to have been an apprentice to Miriel Serindë, the first wife of King Finwë; she was a demanding teacher, but her talent was incomparable, the best weaver In Middle Earth, many elves came to learn from her, the ladies of Westeros really did their part to learn how to weave like the elves, Queen Rhaella and Lady Ashara being the only ones who really seemed to have great talent. However, Arianne Daenerys and Shiera weren't bad at it and had a particular ability, but in Princess Rhaenys' case, it was like seeing Arya in Septa Mordaine's classes again, much to Jon's amusement.




For Jon, Robar, and Loras, there were shipbuilding and navigation classes, and since this city was built mostly by Teleri elves, there was no doubt that they were true masters of this art; not even the Ironborn could compete with the knowledge of the Teleri in the domain of navigation.




But the most incredible thing was that Cirdan had stepped in to instruct them on the arts of the Elves, they must have suspected Something from the beginning, all the elves wanted the honor of teaching the "envoys of the Valar" but they hardly listened that it would be Cirdan himself who would teach them the "arts of the Teleri" their smiles changed, they were empty and their eyes expressed compassion ... And Jon and his friends did not take long to find out why, Cirdan was an extremely tough teacher, demanding and not He accepted any kind of excuse, and he expected from them nothing less than absolute perfection, however he was also patient and understanding since he understood that as mortals Jon, Loras and Robar would find it difficult to learn like the elves and despite everything Cirdan was an excellent teacher ... In the short time that Jon and the others had been under his tutelage they were sure that they had already become the best sailors that Westeros, Essos and Sothoryos had ever seen.




"Damn you, Jon, why in the seven hells did we follow you here?" Said a sore and exhausted Loras, who was carving a piece of wood with his face drenched in sweat.




"I didn't know it would be like this ... I'm sorry," answered a breathless Jon, who was sanding the mast of the ship.




"Stop complaining, or I'll throw you both into the fucking bay," replied Robar, who was sawing wood.




For months, the three of them had been learning everything about boat building, and at the beginning of the last month, Cirdan decided to put them to the test ... They had to build their own boat; at this moment, they were finishing the deck.




The abominable task had had them working non-stop for the past month; if it weren't for their newfound love of the sea and their respect for their master ... They Most likely they would have given up by now.




But although shipbuilding was laborious, it was not the most complicated thing they learned in the Gray Havens that infamous honor went to the language classes, Quenya and Sindarin, the languages of the elves, the Quenya invented by the elves who live in Valinor and used by the Valar themselves as well as improved by Fëanor. Simultaneously, Sindarin was the language of the elves who did not go to Valinor and instead dwelt in Beleriand under the command of Elu Thingol and Melian la Maia during the First Age.




The two languages have an interesting but conflicting history, which all Westeros travelers quickly realized; their language teachers told them that when King Thingol discovered the slaughter of Alqualondë by Fëanor and his host, he banned Quenya in his entire kingdom (which was all Beleriand) as long as he lived for it, no Sindar spoke Quenya nor did he have to respond to the language when it was spoken, that forced the Noldor to learn Sindarin to communicate.




The three warriors were continuing their work until they heard a familiar voice.




"JON!" Hearing the voice of his beloved Arianne, Jon left his work and turned his gaze to the shore where he could see Arianne with Lady Ashara, both of whom were amused to see Jon, Loras, and Robar work tirelessly, but each carried some food baskets.




"Shouldn't you be weaving, my ladies?" Robar asked, clearly annoyed at being interrupted.




"Unlike you, Ser, we already finished our lesson, and knowledge of your great efforts, we decided to bring you some food," Ashara said, arching an eyebrow.




Hearing the word "food," the three knights practically jumped from their ship under construction and snatched the food baskets from the ladies and, forgetting their manners, began to devour what was inside.




Seeing the grotesque sight, both Arianne and Ashara took a step back in horror.




"Lord Cirdan must treat them worse than our teacher Aveneri treats us," Arianne said, surprised at Jon's voracity.




"He's a great teacher, but he's very demanding," Jon said, finishing a sandwich.




"He has us working all day, our muscles ache ... But we learn important things," Robar said.




"Yes, I assure you that there will never be sailors in Westeros better than us," Loras said.




"Sure, if one day we return, you can teach the Ironborn of Elven shipbuilding," Arianne said with amusement.




"Of course, Princess Arianne," Loras replied apparently without noticing the sarcasm of the Dornish Princess as Jon, Robar, and Ashara shook their heads.




... Fool ... It was everyone's thought.




"By the way, Lady Ashara, how is Shiera?" Jon asked, concerned about the pretty Targaryen bastard.




"She's doing better even though the discovery was a great shock," Ashara replied with pity.




"I don't blame her, discovering the fall of Númenor ... That destroyed her dream," Jon said sadly.




"For more than a century, She tried to find the island of her kindred ... And when it finally looked like she was going to do it ... It's not fair," Ashara said, clenching her fists.




It was there that everyone remembered that night.








A month had passed since their arrival in the Gray Havens. They had all quickly adapted to the elven lifestyle; as Cirdan had warned them, many elves treated them with reverence and were eager to teach them or answer any questions about Middle Earth; they had fallen into a routine, mornings were spent learning Elvish languages, and in the evening Jon, Loras, and Robar were learning of shipbuilding, and the ladies learned to knit as elven women and no longer turned to look up into the night and only when it was time for dinner.




That night they were all dining in the main dining room of the White Tower, which was what they called the residence of Cirdan; the dishes were all dishes that are used to eat in the sea, seasoned fish, various roasted mollusks, and a soup with pieces of crab ... All exquisite, whoever prepared the food could well cook for a king ... Everyone was having dinner quietly that was when Ashara Dayne noticed the drawing of a beautiful white boat that was flying over some swans.






"Jon ... Has Lord Cirdan ever told you about this ship?" The Dornish lady asked curiously.




Jon, who was so exhausted that he could barely lift his cutlery to eat, managed to see the painting of the ship, and although he had seen the painting many times, he never asked Cirdan about it, so he could not answer.




"I'm afraid not, my lady ... Lord Cirdan has never told me anything about that ship."




"But it will surely be important .." Ashara insisted.




"It is ..." Cirdan's voice surprised Jon and Ashara, who turned their gaze to the old elf who was looking at them with a smile.




"Lord Cirdan," said Queen Rhaella rising from the table as a sign of respect, and everyone followed her example.




"I hope you enjoy your dinner ..." He said as he smiled to see Jon, Loras, and Robar so tired from sawing wood that they could barely stand.




"Excuse me, my Lord ... I was just curious about the painting of that ship," Ashara apologized.




Cirdan took his place at the table, and the others sat after him, seeing his painting, Cirdan's eyes filled with nostalgia, and he turned his gaze to his guests.




"I painted that many years ago ... Before the sun and the moon rose, Just after Morgoth was sentenced to three ages in the Halls of Command," He calmly told his guests, who were surprised to know that their host was really ... Ancient.




"That was centuries ago," Arianne said, trying to recover from shock as she realized that Cirdan has lived longer than men have been in the world.




"Yes, it is true, I was only a child when Lord Orome, the Great Hunter of the Valar, appeared and won the friendship of my people, in those distant times we lived in the Far East, I remember the night that Ingwë.  Finwë and Elwë were chosen as ambassadors, and when they returned to us telling us about the wonders of the Blessed Kingdom and the beauty of the Two Trees, we chose them as our kings and began our march; my heart burned with the desire to see such beauty with my own eyes, but My people, the Teleri, were the most reluctant to leave, in the end, the majority accepted and after a few years of following a stormy road we reached Beleriand."




"And King Elwë was lost," Princess Rhaenys recalled aloud.




"Yes, despite my desire to live in Valinor, my loyalty to my king prevented me from continuing; when my king was finally found married to Lady Melian, I decided to continue on my way, but it was too late, and all my relatives had departed," He said the old man sadly and everyone was moved by his story.




"I'm sorry to have reminded you of these sad memories Lord Cirdan," Ashara said remorsefully, but Cirdan smiled at him gently.




"Not at all; it has been so long since I thought about these memories that I thought I had lost them.  ... After overcoming my disappointment, I tried to reach my relatives by perfecting my ability to build ships, and after a few months, I thought I had created the one that would take me to Aman. Still, at that moment, a message came to my heart from the Valar, who warned me that my ship could not withstand the journey, nor could any ship built in the coming years, but that if I was patient, my skill would get better and better. My works would be remembered for many ages and remembered in innumerable songs from that moment on I submitted to the desire of the Valar and accepted their request, it was there that I had a vision of a ship ... Of that ship in fact ... Although in the last years of the Elder Days was when I finally built them ... The name of the ship is Vingilótë ... It is Eärendil's ship," Cirdan said without losing sight of Jon's reaction.




A sound of surprise was heard from the mouths of the Westerosi as they never imagined that their host would create the white ship that crosses the skies.




"Did you build Eärendil's ship?" Jon said, his eyes wide in amazement.




"We built it together; I knew Eärendil since he was a child when his parents Tuor and Idril left him in my charge and just like you and your friends are my apprentices. He was also my apprentice, and I taught him everything I knew about navigation ... Oh, I remember that Elwing sometimes badgered me because her husband was obsessed with the sea ... And I could only agree with him, "Said the noble elf, remembering with fun those moments with his former proteges, such memories they made him shed tears of longing at the thought of how much he missed them both but knew he would see them again, even if he had to wait for a few more ages.




While Cirdan was lost in his memories, Westeros' travelers did not recover from the shock of knowing the lofty bloodline of their host, and at that moment, Jon, Loras, and Robar shared the same look ... The three thought the same; they would put more effort into his lessons so as not to embarrass Cirdan, no matter how difficult they were.




At that moment, Shiera Seastar decided to ask Cirdan for a favor, one she had long wanted.




"Excuse me, Lord Cirdan, I would like to ask you something" Shiera's words made Cirdan's heart shrink because he already knew what she would ask for, and although he had avoided this conversation, he no longer had any choice. He should tell Shiera the truth no matter how painful it may be.




"I know what you are going to ask of me ... But I cannot fulfill your request" The old elf's words surprised everyone.




"But why?" Shiera asked, confused.




"Because Númenor no longer exists," Cirdan said with genuine sadness.




For a few moments, the dining room was silent, and no one said anything, and the old elf sighed.




"How?" Shiera asked in shock.




"Do you know of Numenor's origin?" Cirdan asked, to which Shiera replied, "No."




"The island of Númenor was created by the Valar as a gift to the Edain at the end of the wars against Morgoth after the War of Wrath," Jon said, remembering the Summerhall book. That caused all the ladies to look at him with curiosity as Jon never told them that. But before they said anything, Cirdan raised his voice.




"Yes, the origins of the kingdom of Númenor go back to the time when Morgoth was defeated in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. The devastation caused by the conflict in Middle-earth caused Beleriand to sink under the waters, and the Elves who remained in Middle-earth fled east and founded the kingdom of Eriador while others returned to Amman as the Valar decided. Lift its ban. Men could not go to the Blessed Realm, but the Valar, in an attempt to reward the Edain for their bravery and amend their abandonment to them since their awakening, granted them new land to live in; Elenna Island. He was between Amman and Middle earth: he did not belong to either, but he was closer to Amman. Osse a Maia in the service of Ulmo raised her from the depths of the sea; she was also strengthened by Aulë and enriched by Yavanna. The Elves of Amman who lived on the island of Tol Eressëa also assisted in its preparation, and the result was a wealth that exceeded even Valar's original intention so much that they called it "Andor," "The Land of the Gift." Once it was all over, the Star of Eärendil shone in the West to guide the Edain on the long journey to their new home, reaching Elenna in the thirty-second year of the second age, the year the kingdom of Númenor was founded. "




Everyone listened, intrigued by Cirdan's tale, but Queen Rhaella, Shiera Seastar, Princess Rhaenys, and Jon realized that there was sadness in his voice.




"Their first king was Elros the son of Eärendil"




"Elros?" Shiera asked excitedly, and Cirdan nodded.




"He and his twin brother Elrond as well as his parents who were given the option to choose which lineage of the Children of Ilúvatar they wanted to belong to, Elrond chose to be counted among the elves and at this time he lives in Lindon as second in command of King Gil Galad, but his brother Elros chose the mortal destiny of men, to live a brief time in the world before abandoning it."




"Why did he reject immortality?" Asked Princess Arianne in surprise.




"Elros always felt more attached to the people of his grandfather Tuor, but really only he knew why he made that decision ... However, due to the blood of Lúthien, Idril and Nimloth in his veins, Elros was blessed with an extremely long life even for a Numenorean ... He came to live 500 years," Cirdan said with satisfaction as he contemplated the expression of his guests when they learned the story.




"500 years?" Loras repeated, hardly believing it.




"Yes, partly because of this and because of his lineage, the title of Elros as king of Númenor was Tar-Minyatur, which means ..."




"The first and highest in Quenya," Daenerys replied sheepishly.




"Correct, I'm glad you pay attention to your lessons," Cirdan said, congratulating the Targaryen princess, causing her to blush for her praise while Rhaella complimented her daughter on her command of Quenya.




"What happened to the others?" A still shocked Shiera asked.




"Also all the Edain who went to live in Númenor were granted a long life, compared to the other men about 5 times as long, but they were forbidden to travel west and see the blessed kingdom, a decision in which many elves including me did not we agreed because we wanted equal treatment for both races."




"Lord Ulmo also stressed that prohibition to us, but why?" Jon asked.




"I really don't know, the Valar ... They have never given a forceful answer to that question ... But ... It's the same, the Númenóreans at first didn't care about that prohibition, and over time they became right-handed. Sailors... In fact, the Númenóreans were the only people among men who could compete with the elves in art, war, shipbuilding, and navigation; they traveled all the lands of this world except of course those of the West, but after many centuries of sailing the Númenóreans began to resent that prohibition and the friendship that our peoples cultivated over centuries began to deteriorate "Cirdan said with melancholy while the others began to feel a knot in their stomach.




"The Numenoreans did Something wrong… Right?" Ashara Dayne asked, looking at her lover Shiera with concern.




"Insane ... It is a more appropriate term ... During the reign of the 18th king Tar-Calmacil he rejected the tradition of taking a title of King in the Quenya language and took the Adûnaic name of Ar-Belzagar, and from hence the repudiation and disdain of the Númenorans for my people and the Valar increased every day until reaching the 20th King of Númenor Ar-Adûnakhôr who forbade the use of Quenya and Sindarin in Númenor, "Cirdan said.




"But why if both peoples had cultivated a great friendship?" Shiera asked, becoming more and more nervous, losing her composure.




"Shiera ..." Ashara started to say, but Cirdan silenced her with a gesture.




"Because they began to fear death excessively" It was the response of the old elf that brought everyone the memory of the story of Beren and Lúthien and how they had heard that death is "The gift of men."




"Did the fear of death lead them to madness?" Loras asked, confused.




"Yes, they began to envy the immortality of my people, and in a short time, the long life that they were granted by the grace of the Valar was not enough since they wanted to live forever and enjoy their possessions forever ... But that was contrary to the will of Eru because he did not create your people to be immortal, and that led the Númenóreans to resent the so-called "Gift of men ... Death," The elf replied.




"Why is death called a gift?" Princess Rhaenys asked without understanding anything.




"I'm afraid explaining that will take us too far off-topic, so we'll have to leave that question for another time ... All you have to understand is that the Numenoreans' fear of death peaked during the reign of Ar- Pharazôn, the last king of Númenor, the most powerful of all and the proudest "This time the voice of the elf had not only sadness but also disappointment."




... I don't like this ... Jon said, looking at Shiera, who was getting more and more nervous.




"A little over six years ago, Ar-Pharazôn accomplished an incredible feat ... The greatest feat accomplished by a mortal," Cirdan said with slight admiration in his voice.


"What feat?" Shiera asked excitedly.




"Sauron, Morgoth's lieutenant in the First Age, decided to rise on his own and achieve his master's goal ... Conquer Middle-earth."




Surprise was present on the faces of Westerosi.




"It was approximately 500 years after the War of Wrath, Sauron emerged in the East and believing that the Valar had forgotten Middle-earth and those who dwelt there. He began marshalling all evil, hoping to emulate the host of his master. It was in the far East he was worshiped as a god of men by those who did not journey West, he spent the next centuries amassing a great army before venturing to the land of Mordor, the easternmost of the Lands near the West, there he unified his hosts and built a feared fortress called Barad-dûr from where he planned his conquest."




Cirdan observed his guests and checking to see if their interest had waned; he sighed and continued with his story.




"Sauron has always known that men were far easier to manipulate especially in regards to wealth and power, but still he tried to tempt the elves into servitude since we are longer lived and wiser than men, "Cirdan said with some shyness as Westerosi rolled their eyes.




"Yes, I expected that reaction, well ... Sauron changed his form and took on a fair visage and called himself Annatar, the" Lord of gifts "a Maia in Aule's service. But some of the Elves among whom I include myself did not trust him; others were King Gil-galad and Elrond, in that fair form he offered to instruct us in the knowledge of the Ainur to preserve the beauty of Middle-earth, but he was rejected in Lindon and here in the Gray Havens ... Yet he befriended the elven smiths of the Eregion, including Celebrimbor lord of Ost Edhil and kindred to Fëanor he was the greatest smith among the Noldor, the great smith welcomed him with open arms and thus Annatar instructed them in the ways of metalworking and runes."




"But being who he was, his intentions couldn't be good," Robar replied. And Cirdan's face turned to steel.




"No ... Under the supervision of Sauron, Celebrimbor created his masterpiece ..." The Rings of Power "that like the Silmarils in the First Age, these rings have brought great bloodshed ... Due to our rejection of him, Sauron only participated in the creation of sixteen rings, seven for the Dwarf Lords in stone halls and 9 for the kings of men doomed to die ... After completing his work, Sauron returned to Mordor where he secretly forged a master ring to rule the lesser rings and the wills of their bearers ... That Ring is known as " The One Ring. "




At that moment, Jon's eyes widened in surprise as he remembered Ulmo's words about his red Ring... It was forged by Celebrimbor.




Seeing Jon Cirdan's reaction, he was pleased by her sharpness as I guess Jon understood what he was subtly trying to tell him.




"You're sharp, Jon ... Alright ... Do you understand?"




"Yeah ... I think so," Jon said without a voice.




"Jon?" Arianne asked, worried when she saw her white wolf with such a sour expression. And it was not the only Ashara; Queen Rhaella and Daenerys also worried about Jon's expression.




"Narya, the ring that Lord Ulmo gave me ... You were there, you must remember it ... This ring was forged by Celebrimbor," Jon said, looking at the face of a surprised Arianne.




"That means that ring was also forged by Sauron," Guess Shiera.




"No, child .. . After returning to Mordor, Sauron believed that there were only sixteen rings of power, but he underestimated Celebrimbor ability, and he forged three more rings, three rings for the elven kings under the sky those rings were Narya, Nenya and Vilya, the rings of fire, water and Air respectively, those rings were created solely by Celebrimbor, and therefore they were free from the stain of Sauron "Cirdan explained.




"Why were these rings of power special?" Rob asked.




"The rings given to men and dwarves have the power of sorcery as they grant their bearers powerful magical abilities, become invisible and gave them the ability to influence the will of people ... And the ability to extend their lives beyond their natural limits, but elven rings are different."




"In what sense?" Rhaenys asked.




"Elves value the beauty of this world more than anything else ... For us to see the world around us change while we always remain the same is the cause of many sorrows ... In many ways, elves, at least those of my age.  .. We envy the "Gift of Men," Cirdan said with a slight smile on his face.




... He envies death ... How long has he lived or what things have he seen to think like this ...? Although as he described it, immortality seems to be exhausting ... Jon thought calmly.




"And that is the power of the elven rings, they can preserve the beauty of the world and make it ... Immaculate, saving us the pain of seeing things around us change and wither away."




At that moment, Cirdan called a maid who was quietly watching us and listening to everything and asked her to come to his study for Something, the maid nodded, and after several minutes she returned with a dusty tome. With a gesture all Westerosi They approached Círdan, and he showed them drawings of finely created rings, a group of nine, one of seven and another of three, the last being the most beautiful of all encrusted with fine jewels and instantly everyone recognized the Ring of fire.




"Narya," Jon said, pulling out the Ring.




"Yes, the rings for the elves that Celebrimbor created ... The most beautiful and might of the rings forged ... Except for one," Cirdan said, turning the page and showing a simple gold ring with some strange inscriptions.




"This is the One Ring forged by Sauron in the Land of Mordor."




"What do those marks mean?" Queen Rhaella asked curiously.




"That is the black speech of Mordor, the language invented by Sauron and spoken by his servants, I will not pronounce those vile words here, but in the common tongue it says:




"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,


One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness, bind them.






The strange phrase filled everyone with a mysterious horror, and Cirdan closed the book staring at Jon.




"Ten years after the creation of the Rings of Power of men and dwarves, Sauron created the One Ring to control the bearers of the other Rings ... It was there that he discovered that Celebrimbor had created other rings without his knowledge."




"Something tells me he wasn't too please," Jon replied.




"No, as soon as he put on the One Ring, we realized his betrayal, and the elves quickly took off the rings that prevented him from enslaving us since although these three rings were created only by Celebrimbor, their forging involved some of the arts taught by Sauron. Therefore, they too are linked to the One Ring, and their bearers are susceptible to its influence, which is why we refuse to hand them over ... As a result, ... His wroth was terrible; Sauron sent emissaries demanding that we return all the rings of power, including the last three arguing that as they were created thanks to his knowledge, they were his by right ... But we refused, and Sauron declared war on us, devastated the region of Eregion, and seized the rings of men and dwarves."




"But not from the elves?" Arianne asked.




"No, Celebrimbor had taken them out of the city first and handed them over to King Gil-galad for safekeeping, a wise decision but unfortunately it did not save Celebrimbor from Sauron's wraith robbed of his prize he decided to make an example out of Celebrimbor, Sauron mutilated the corpse of the great smith and used his corpse as a battle standard, "Cirdan said, shedding a tear as he remembered the fate of his companion.




A groan of horror came from Daenerys' mouth. She clutched her heart in terror and was comforted by her mother while the others felt great sadness.




"I will speak no more of the war against Sauron because it had nothing to do with Shiera's question; I know that I have deviated from the history of Númenor, but I did it so as it was Sauron who played a role in the destruction of Numenor, "Cirdan said looking at Shiera who again became nervous.




"What happened next?" Queen Rhaella asked.




"As soon as he recovered the rings of men and dwarves, Sauron gave them to greatest kings of men and the fathers of the dwarves, the former he attracted with promises of power and immortality and the latter with great riches."




"And did they believe him?" Daenerys asked, shocked to which Cirdan nodded.




"Sauron can be very ... Persuasive ... And he knows how to take advantage of anyone's weaknesses to achieve his goals ... In the case of the dwarves it was their desire for great riches, in the case of men the fear of death."




"Again, the fear of death?" Loras asked.




"I already told you that death is Ilúvatar's gift to men, it is not up t