Disclaimer: I sadly own neither Harry Potter, books or movies, nor A song of Ice and fire, books or series. That being said, I do own my story, for what it's worth XP
By the way, english is not my first language, so if you see mistakes, feel free to tell me about them, I won't take it badly, and I would much rather write correctly than have only nice reviews!
"High Valyrian - english"
- "Father! Look! " It was Bran, one of the pups Ned had just accepted to let him keep in his arms, pointing behind them all, three meters from the she direwolf's corpse. They all turned, wary for a threat, even though the boy's voice had not sounded apprehensive at all. Theon spoke first.
- "Get away, Bran, it could be a wildling."
- "Theon is right, Bran, come back here", Ned said, walking towards the fallen man in the snow. The first thing he noticed was that this was definitely not a wildling. The boy, for he couldn't be older than Robb, surely, was too finely clothed. He wore strange garments the kind of which Ned had never seen, but they were laced with silver and fitted him perfectly.
- "He is still alive", said Ned after touching his throat. The boy was not even colder than they were, even though he must have been lying there for at least a day, judging by the snow covering him. Ned tried to wake him without any success and turned to his men. "Help me carry him to the road," Ned said. "We shall bring him to Winterfell to be seen to by Maester Luwin. Wyl, Desmond, check around for traces of a horse, but do not go too far".
Ned and Jory picked the boy up, and behind them Robb picked up a pouch from the ground. It seemed empty but he pocketed it none the less. It was extremely strange to find this boy here, without a ride, an escort or anyone else, and a mere meters from the direwolf, too, anything could help resolve this mystery. The boy had not awoken, and so could not ride a horse. However he was lightly built and Ned tied him up his horse without any problem. Desmond and Wyl came back.
- "We've not found anything, my Lord, "said Desmond.
- "No traces, nothin'" said Wyl. Ned nodded. In this snow, it was not that surprising, but he would have preferred to have some kind of explanation for this. First the dead stag, then the direwolf and the pups (3 males and two females, gods!) and then the boy. As they rode away Jon suddenly stopped his horse, went back and got back on the ground, searching through the trees, listening to something.
- "What is it, Jon?" Robb asked.
- "Can't you hear it? It… oh!" Ned heard Jon say. He looked at where his son stood, hoping he wouldn't have to face yet another surprise. But Jon was coming out, now, and in his arms were two pups. They both had open eyes.
- "This one is yours, Snow", Theon said, looking at the white one. "The rut of the litter." For a second, Ned saw that as a good omen. There were more direwolves than he had children, now, with this last one. But suddenly the pup Jon had not claimed jumped from his arms, with more strength than Ned could have imagined for a creature that age and size. He ran, but not towards the forest as Ned would have thought, but towards them. The horses wined but stayed put, and the black little beast arrived to Ned's horse. Instead of stopping there, it jumped, and arrived on top of the boy they had found and licked his hand. There was a silence.
- "Well, apparently this one has chosen its master" said Jory Cassel with a strained voice. Ned didn't say anything more on the matter, but on the road he heard his men muttering about signs and omens. He called for Maester Luwyn as soon as they stepped foot into the castle. The old man appeared a few minutes later into the room Ned had brought the boy to. The black pup had stayed there stubbornly, licking the boy's hand from time to time.
- "You say he was in the snow for a day, My Lord?"
- "Yes. He was covered by snow, and we would probably have missed his presence were it not for Bran." - "Ah, that is most peculiar", the Maester said, examining the sleeping boy. No, Ned didn't need any more peculiar things to happen today. But he had to ask none the less.
- "What is?"
- "He appears to be sleeping. As we cannot make him up we must assume that he has been drugged, although for what purpose I cannot imagine. He is not injured and has no fever. We must wait. Depending on what drug he was fed, he should wake up some time today or tomorrow."
- "Do you have any idea who he could be? I have spent the entire ride back wondering. He is obviously highborn, or at least from a wealthy family, but from where?"
- "I cannot say, My Lord. I would imagine that we would recognize him if he was from the North."
A knock on his door woke Ned Stark up from his thoughts. It was a serving boy, the one called Oli, or something of the sort, telling him that the boy he had brought had woken up. Old Nan had been looking after him as he slept, but he had asked to be told the moment the boy was awake. He went to the room, and met on his way with Maester Luwin, that he had not sent for.
- "How is it that you knew so quickly, Luwin?" Ned asked, amused.
- "For once it is not of my doing, My Lord." The Maester answered. "Apparently, Old Nan saw fit to ask me to come as well." Ned raised an eyebrow but said nothing. They entered the room together. The boy had woken up all right. He had apparently jumped from his bed and stood as far from the door as he could, watching them with extreme suspicion, his pup growling at them.
- "The boy does not seem to speak the common tongue, My Lord." Old Nan said as she left the room. Ned raised an eyebrow. He didn't speak the common tongue? How was that even possible? He was certainly too pale to come from anywhere but Westeros or the Lands beyond the Wall.
- "Do you understand what I am saying, boy?" Ned asked, to make sure. The boy immediately turned to him when he spoke, so he was not deaf. But he frowned, and said something.
- "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are saying. Can you understand me? Where am I?" For a second, Ned was sure he had heard that tongue before. To his right, his Maester spoke.
- "I understand you, child. Can you tell me your name?" Then Luwin turned to his Lord. "My Lord, he speaks High Valyrian. I asked him his name." Ned nodded while the boy answered.
- "I am Harry Potter. Why does he have a sword?" The boy said, pointing at Ned's right hip. Now that he knew which language the boy was speaking, the Lord could understand some of what he was saying.
- "My Lord, he says he…"
- "Yes, I understand High Valyrian but can not speak it. Why would he ask such a question?"
- "He probably comes from a culture where swords are not the norm, or not at all carried by men, by the looks of it, although I do not know such a culture."
- "Where am I? And who are you?" The boy asked, interrupting them. Normally Ned would not have tolerated such conduct, but as it was, this Harry appeared terrified.
- "You are in Winterfell, this is Lord Eddard Stark and I am Maester Luwin" The boy frowned again.
- "What is Winterfell?" he asked.
- "It is the main city of the North, in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros." Said Maester Luwin. For a second, the boy frowned again, as if that didn't make any sense to him. But then his eyes grew suddenly wide and he breathed, looking at them as is he was seing ghosts.
- "Oh, I remember now" he said. "Did you find me asleep?"
- "Lord Stark found you", the Maester said. "Asleep, yes. Do you know how you ended up there?" Ned smiled a bit. Yes, clever of Luwin not to say where, exactly, the boy had been found. This way he could not lie about knowing if he did not.
- "I… uh… Well… Thank you very much for… uh… finding me, and… well… I must go, now, you know, things to do…" Ned chuckled. This boy was the worse liar he had ever encountered.
- "Lord Stark is the ruler of the North and you will certainly not go as long as you lie to him." Luwin said. The boy, Harry, Ned reminded himself, looked at them both.
- "Did you find a pouch, with me?" Ned remembered Robb pocketing it and nodded. "I will tell you if you give it back to me." Ned had thought it was empty; at least it had appeared so. He would check it for weapons and give it back. Starks were not common thieves. He opened the door to summon a servant, but found Robb, Jon and Arya waiting there instead. Ned frowned but decided against a lecture. Instead he turned to Robb.
- "Do you have the pouch you picked up this afternoon?"
- "Yes, Father" Robb said, taking it from his belt. It was small, black, unadorned and empty. Ned could not fathom why the boy would want it.
- "Father, is it true that you found a wilding in the forest and brought him back because the direwolf pup liked him?" Arya asked, almost jumping up and down.
- "He is not a wilding, Arya. Now, leave. Maybe you will meet him when he is rested." When he went back in the room the boy was less tense, but his eyes were fixed on the pouch in his hands as if it contained the best wine in the world and he was dying from thirst.
- "You will tell what we want after give this." Ned said with his best High Valyrian. The boy nodded solemnly. Ned walked towards him but the pup between them started to growl. The boy put a hand to the baby direwolf's head and the pup immediately calmed. Ned would have understood it if they had been together for a long time, but it seemed extremely strange after they had just met. Not wanting to be bitten by the little wolf, he sent the pouch flying. The boy caught it with a speed Ned could not have believed. One second he was crouching on his bed, looking almost as feral as his wolf, and the next he was standing with the bag in his hands looking much more civilized.
- "Can you use magic?" the boy asked. Ned wasn't quite sure he understood the last word correctly and turned to Luwin.
- "Did he ask about magic?"
- "He did. No, we cannot. Do you know people who can?" The boy raised his eyebrows and buried his arm in his pouch. Ned looked, utterly speechless, as the small pouch seemed to eat the boy's arm completely. When the boy took it out, he had a ring in his hand, which he put on one of the fingers of his right hand.
- "Can you say something long in your language?" the boy asked. Luwin just raised an eyebrow, but Ned answered. He had just witnessed something completely impossible, and he would not let it shock him.
- "My name is Lord Eddard Stark of the Seven Kingdom, Lord Protector of the North. I rule upon my people while obeying my King. I have six children, which I love dearly. Rickon is the youngest, and although he is still a baby he is very tenacious and playful. Then comes Bran, my second son. He is 8 years old and very intelligent. Arya is 9, and a Lady only in name. She is the most willful of my children and I do wonder sometimes how she will be happy in this world made for men. Then there is Sansa, my little Lady, always so naïve with her songs and her stories of knights in shining armors. Then there is Robb, my heir, who is…"
- "Thank you, Sir." The boy said, in the common tongue.
- "I thought you did not speak our tongue?" said Ned, wondering why he had been trying to understand High Valyrian for an hour if they could have spoken in the common tongue.
- "I did not. Now I do. It's a very useful spell, but I can only use it when I am with a native speaker and he speaks for some time without interruption. After a few sentences I start to understand, and after a few more, I can speak quite well. I will probably always have an accent, but I can now speak as well as you can." If that was true, it was certainly incredibly useful.
- "So you are some kind of sorcerer?" Ned asked. Until then Luwin had stayed silent, but he could not when his Lord said such things.
- "My Lord, begging your pardon, there is no such thing as magic anymore, you cannot believe…" The boy looked at the old man, blinked and disappeared.
- "What?!" Ned said. Luwin was looking at the place the boy had stood a few seconds before, mouth wide open. Then there was a knock on the door. Ned opened, furious to have lost the strange boy… and found that very same boy looking at him with a smile. The baby wolf howled happily and went to his young master.
The boy walked past them as if nothing had happened and sat on the bed again.
- "What are you?" The Maester asked.
- "I'm a wizard", answered the boy. "I was told by… uh… if I remember correctly, he said his name was the Stanger here and..." Without thinking, Maester Luwyn took a step back.
- "What did he say?" Ned asked, less shocked than his Maester. He didn't follow the Faith of the Seven, even though he respected them as Gods, and had not been taught to fear the Stranger in his childhood as all Southerners had. The Stranger was, fairly, the most fearsome aspect of the Faith of the Seven. He was the God of Death and Magic and all that is unknown.
- "He said he would send me to a new world. Then he said things about wolves and… stags and lions, I think, but I wasn't really listening…" Harry blushed. Wolves and lions and stags? Could that be a lie? The boy seemed truthful, and after his last attempt at lying, Ned was fairly sure he would know if he lied again. Harry yawned, blushing again.
- "Sorry, he said I would be sleepy, too." Ned nodded.
- "We will let you rest. You can stay here for now, Harry."
- "Thank you… uh… Lord Stark." Ned nodded again, gestured to Luwin to follow and left.
- "So, what do you think?" Ned asked once they were behind the closed doors of his study.
- "I do not know whether he speaks the truth or not, but what I know is that what we saw could not have been done without magic." Ned nodded.
- "He does not seem aggressive, mostly lost in a strange land. Whether he is sent by the Gods or not, he seems like a nice boy. I believe I shall let him stay for a few weeks, he is but a child and his presence cannot hurt. Now I must now speak to Catelyn. I think she will be interested."
When Harry woke up, a wet tongue licking his face, he immediately remembered what had happened. How could he not when the black pup was watching him with its green eyes? His green eyes, exactly. Or their green eyes, now. He groaned. Of course Death had to give him a baby wolf looking like a mix between Remus and Sirius but with his own eyes to boot. As if he was not strange enough as it was. Judging by the light, it was morning. He must have slept an entire night plus a few hours. Well, no matter, he had no idea what day it was when he had fallen asleep anyway. The people he had met seemed to come from some sort of strange middle age where they thought it normal to keep wolves as pets. Oh, well, it was no stranger than using owls for posting letters. He remembered quite well what they had been wearing. His magic, since the Hallows had been mixed together a year before and his ring had been created, relied a lot more on intent than on spells. Consequently he simply wished he had similar clothes as the guy who said he was "Lord Eddard Stark", and he was suddenly warmly dressed. The pup groaned at his clothes for a second, then calmed down. Harry picked him up, thinking he would have to find him a name, and went to check if the door was locked. He found it unlocked and opened it, finding a hallway reminding him of Hogwarts. He looked around but found no one. He had been lost for a few minutes, wondering if it wouldn't be best to apparate to his room again, when he was found.
- "Who are you?" Harry jumped and turned around.
- "Oh, hi, I'm Harry, and you?"
- "I'm Arya. What are you doing here?" Seeing as "here" was a small dark, dank and cold room; Harry didn't see what she was doing here, 9 years old maximum and hair in disarray.
- "I got lost. What about you?" It was then that he noticed the pup behind her, as young as his. In the dark Night was completely invisible, but hers was a brownish grey and quite obvious.
- "I'm hiding."
- "You have a wolf, too." Harry said, pointing at hers, and then turning towards the place where he sensed Night. "Night, come here." The little wolf jumped towards him and in his arms as he crouched to receive him.
- "Why do you have a wolf too?" Arya asked. "I thought only my brothers and my sister and me had wolves."
- "I don't know. He was there when I woke up, and I think he is mine. His name is Night."
- "Sansa has named hers Lady, I think it's a stupid name for a wolf."
- "I don't know. If her wolf is very uptight, it should fit." Harry said with a smile. Arya laughed.
- "You have a strange accent," she said.
- "You think? I'm not from the North, I wouldn't know. I didn't speak your language just a little while ago."
- "Really? Where do you come from?"
- "It's a secret", Harry said, smiling widely as she crossed her arms. "But if you show me how to find my way to… uh… to Lord Stark, then I will show you a magic trick from my country."
- "Will you teach me how to do it?" the little girl asked.
- "Sorry, I can't, I swore an oath." In truth, Harry had never sworn any such oaths, but the girl could not learn magic, so he could not teach her.
- "Okay, then, I will show you. My father is usually in his office in the morning. But you have to keep it a secret that you saw me."
- "I swear it." They reached the corridor where Lord Stark had his office, but as they were turning the corner a woman exited the room in their direction. They had nowhere to hide, but Arya tried to run anyway. Harry stopped her.
- "You swore you would keep it a secret!" she whispered angrily.
- "And I also said I would show you a magic trick", Harry said. He tapped her on the head.
- "Now nobody can see you except me and you."
- "I'm not an idiot" Arya said.
- "No, but you're loud, and you can still be heard. Now, shush." And Arya looked, wide eyed, as Septa Mordane, obviously looking for Arya, looked right through her.
- "Have you seen Lady Arya, young man?" the Septa asked.
- "No, sorry." Harry said, and she walked away. When Septa Mordane was well away, Arya laughed.
- "Wow, that was sooooo cool! How did you do it?"
- "It's a secret." Harry taped her head again and she was visible.
- "Now everybody can see you. Try not to get caught." And with that, Harry walked to the men guarding the office of their Lord.
- "Lord Stark is not to be disturbed", one of the two said, hand on the hilt of his sword.
- "Uh… Well… are you sure?"
- "Yes." Ok, these were not very clever guards. He had assumed that his clothes, at least, would tell them that he was "important guest" and not "boring servant" and he would be let in.
- "Can you just tell him that I'm at the door, please?" Harry asked.
- "Lord Stark is not to be disturbed." Harry blinked and pushed the door open. The two guards, asleep but stuck to the walls so as not to hurt themselves while falling, didn't protest anymore. Lord Stark had raised his head from whatever parchment he was reading, looking at Harry.
- "Hello, Lord Stark, sir, uh, I woke up, and there was nobody around, and then I came here." The boy was blushing, and Ned had seen this expression a thousand times on the faces of his children (mostly Arya, but still). The boy was amused at something he had done that was probably not entirely up to the rules. - "And how did you find my office? For that matter, how did you enter?"
- "Well, someone showed me the way here after I got lost, but I swore not to divulge their identity."
- "Arya, then", Ned said, smiling slightly. Harry grinned and messed with his own hair, looking not guilty at all.
- "I really couldn't say."
- "And my guards?" Ned asked.
- "Uh… They wouldn't let me in so… They're asleep now. I stuck them to the wall so that they won't harm themselves by falling." Ned stared at the boy. He had… what? Ned didn't know whether to frown or to laugh.
- "Will they suffer from aftereffects from… whatever it is that you did?"
- "Oh, no, they will just wake up and probably wonder how they could fall asleep while arguing with me, but that's about it."
- "Very well. Please refrain from making my guards fall asleep at their post again. So, what was it that you wanted to discuss?"
- "Hm, well, so, I woke up, and you said I could stay until then, so, I wanted to say thanks for everything, you know, finding me and stuff."
- "Do you have anywhere to go?"
- "Well, not really, but I can manage."
- "You may stay here for a few weeks, until you are fully recovered and can find your way with a map to wherever you want to go next."
- "Really? Thank you very much, that's very nice."
- "In the mean time, try not to curse my men."
- "Oh, no, I won't, I promise. Well, except if I really really need to, but not badly." Ned laughed.
- "Very well then. If you wish you should be able to find my sons Jon and Robb and my ward Theon training in the courtyard. You have my authorization to practice if you so desire."
- "Thank you, Lord Stark." Ned watched the boy leave; completely unaware that he had broken at least half the rules of courtesy. But it was refreshing, somehow, to have someone who spoke to him with respect but without any groveling. Behind Harry the little pup followed happily. Harry woke the guards up and asked them directions to the courtyard. He found it quite easily; it wasn't far, just bellow Lord Stark's office, really. There were men going around and Night was the one to find who he was looking for. The pup ran to his brothers but tripped and fell with a small yelp. Harry crouched down to get the pup and check him, but he was alright and bit him playfully.
- "Hello" Harry said, looking at the four of them.
- "Hi! I'm Bran. Have you chosen a name for your pup yet?" Asked the youngest, who seemed a bit younger than Arya.
- "Yes. This is Night, and I'm Harry, it's nice to meet you, Bran."
- "Oh, Night is a nice name. And he does look like the night. He is the complete opposite of Jon's pup."
Harry looked around and found a white wolf with red eyes looking at him from his master's leg. As Night went around bumping into things and howling happily, this wolf was silently watching from his post and seemed much older than the others.
- "I'm Jon Snow" said the master of the white pup.
- "Hello, Jon, I'm Harry Potter. And…" Harry turned towards the two other boys, not noticing the weird look Jon sent him, as he didn't even flinch when he heard his last name. Harry had no clue that Snow was a bastard's name, but he couldn't have cared less if he had known.
- "I'm Theon Greyjoy, Heir to the Iron Islands." For some reason, that boy reminded Harry of Peter Pettigrew. Always jealous, afraid, unhappy, and, in the end, traitor. - "And I'm Robb Stark" finished the fourteen year old.
- "Nice to meet you. And have you named your wolves?" he asked, looking at the three pups.
- "Mine is Grey Wind," answered Robb, and the wolf raised his head at his name. In the mean time Night had fallen off a small wall he had been walking on into a pile of grass, and was now stuck in it. Harry went to pick him up and let him go free, as Jon spoke.
- "Mine is Ghost"
- "And mine doesn't have a name. What do you like best, Fearsome or Knight?
- "I don't know. It is your choice, really."
- "But everybody has already taken the good names!" the boy exclaimed.
- "I heard someone picked "Lady" as a name. Certainly, you cannot believe this person picked a good name?" Harry said whispering loudly over his hand as if he was trying to hide a secret. The boy laughed again and Harry smiled at him.
- "Your wolf is a menace," Jon said suddenly, laughing. Harry turned to see Night trying to catch a bird and failing with quite a sad lack of grace. He was currently trying to jump onto a very small platform to catch a bird that would very obviously fly away long before the wolf could touch it. As Harry could not have a completely absurd wolf he whispered to the others.
- "No, he is a super wolf, you'll see." When Night finally jumped Harry picked him up with a silent wandless Wingardium Leviosa, stoping him from crashing a good meter away from the platform, and at the same time froze the bird in mid air. He flew Night to the platform and released the bird just as his wolf's teeth closed around it.
- "Uh, am I the only one who saw that wolf floating for a second?" Robb asked the others.
- "No, no, he is just a very gifted hunter, that's all" Harry answered with a grin. Jon sent him a piercing look that Harry ignored, watching Night fall of the platform. Well, he had the clumsy slightly mentally deficient wolf. At least he was funny.
- « So did you want anything? » Robb asked.
- « No, well, Lord Stark said I could stay here for a few weeks, and told me to come here train with you. »
- « Do you have a sword? » Jon asked.
- « No, I've never really used one. Well, except once, but that's a long story. I don't think I would really be any use with it. »
The other boys, even the little one, looked at him as if he was an alien. Harry grinned and looked around the courtaud for something he could train at.
- « I think I might not be completely inefficient with a bow, » he said. After the few first minutes where he had to learn how to actually shoot an arrow, under Theon's sarcastic comments, his hunch was confirmed. He had trained half his life to hit his mark with a wand and it was not so very different. Once his arrows actually departed from his bow, it was a piece of cake to hit center every time. The others looked very impressed, especially since it was obvious it was his first time. Harry grinned, infused some of his magic to his arrows, and send the first one in the exact center. The second one he sent so well it cracked the first arrow open, and the third one cracked the second. He stopped at the fourth, at which time everyone in the courtyard had stopped what they were doing to watch him shoot.
- « I don't think I've ever seen someone shoot like this, » Robb said.
- « Thanks. So, I think I'm done, here, not that this isn't fun, but I'm starving. Do you know if I could find somewhere to eat? »
- « I'll come with you to the kitchens, » Jon said. He nodded to Robb, Bran and Theon and they departed.
- « Have you really never used a bow before? » Jon asked.
- « I have used… throwing weapons, it helped me a lot out there. » Harry shrugged.
- « So, how did you end up in the snow? You look and speak as a highborn, but you were alone out there. »
- « I… I don't want to lie, but I would rather not say, if that's alright? I told Lord Stark. »
- « Suit yourself. » They arrived at the kitchens, where Jon asked for some soup.
- « So, what do you do here? » Harry asked, eating.
- « What do you mean? »
- « Well, do your parents work here? Why are you raised in the castle? » Jon looked at Harry, not finding any trace of sarcasm or hate.
- « My father is Lord Stark. »
- « Really? » Harry asked, eyebrow raised. « But why is your name Snow then? »
- « You don't know? »
- « If I did, I wouldn't ask. »
- « Snow is a bastard's name, in the North. » Jon said. He had thought that this boy didn't judge him for his birth, but apparently he just hadn't known. Well, now he would shun him like everyone else.
- « What? » Jon looked at the other boy again, wondering. He seemed shocked, but not at all scornful. It was the single strangest reaction he had ever had. Harry kept gong.
- « Oh, you mean your parents weren't married. »
- « Of course. What else could I mean? » Jon wondered. What else could « bastard » ever mean?
- « Uh… where I come from the fact that the parents are married or not don't matter, really. Bastard is used as an insult, but nobody really means it as not being born from a married couple. »
- « That is very strange. Where your parents married, then? »
- « Yes, but I had lots of friends whose parents weren't. Mine were a bit different, as my father was a Lord, you see, and so if he wanted my mother to be accepted by his relatives as an equal he had to marry her. But it wouldn't have mattered for me, whether they were married or not. »
- « I've never heard of such a thing. But does that mean that you are a Lord? »
- « Well, where I'm from, yeah, but it doesn't really matter here, does it? »
- « Of course it matters! I mean, you are obviously highborn, and that's a great deal. By the way, where did you get you clothes? They're not mine or Robb's.
- « I had them with me. It's part of my story I don't want to tell. Oh, by the way, what is the currency, here? » Jon looked at the strange boy, but shrugged and took a few coins from his pouch.
- « This is a copper, it's worth 8 pennies, here. And that's a silver stag, worth 7 stars. And then there is the golden dragon, but I don't have any of those."
In his world the Goblins enchanted gold, silver and each and every currency available so that no one could create any. The Gold Truce had decided it, because before that wizzarding economy was in complete chaos. A wizard could very easily differentiate between real gold and transfigured one, but no muggle could. Transfigured gold had the same texture, the same properties, and in the muggle world, the same value as real gold. So any wizard could simply transfigure some gold, sell it to a muggle, and then exchange the money for wizzarding currencies. It was said that the philosopher's stone could create real gold, not the transfigured kind, but Harry wasn't sure whether it was true or not. But in this world, if Death had told the truth and he was really in another universe, there were no Gold Truce and no Goblins.
- "I know a magic trick" Harry said. "Do you want to see?"
- "As long as you don't make any of my stags disappear, yes," Jon answered. Harry grinned at him and picked up a small rock on the ground. Il put in on the table, near one of Jon's stags. Looking at the real thing, he covered the rock with his hand and concentrated. It was very easy to copy something inanimate. He just had to let his magic inspect the template and reproduce what it had seen. He pushed his magic towards the coin, then towards the rock and closed his eyes. Once he had done it once he could probably do it any time he wanted, but it was the first time he actually created silver, even if he was just copying. His magic was used to not be able to do such a thing. He sensed when the barrier cracked and let his magic flow into the new coin. He grinned and put his hand away.
Jon was staring at the new coin.
- "Cool trick, right?" Harry said.
- "Yes. How did you do it?"
- "It's a secret, sorry. But I'll give you the coin, instead. Keep it. I have others."
- "I can't accept your money, Jon said. You're my father's guest."
Harry pouted a second, took the coin pocketed it.
- "You're not the kind to change your mind, are you?"
Jon grinned at him.
- "So, you don't happen to know where I can find some books on this… land?"
- "Well, there are books in the library. Come on, I'll show you."
Jon led Harry up two flights of stairs, along a corridor then another.
The library was quite small, to Harry, who had been raised half his life in Hogwarts. But it was clean and well lit. The old man Harry had seen before, Mister Luwin or something like that, was there, two books in his arms.
- "Ah, Jon, Ser Potter, I see you have woken up."
- "Yes. I was wondering if there were books here about the history of this land. And maps, maybe?"
- "Oh, you can read. Well, very well, please, come in. Yes, the library of Winterfell is the biggest of the North. There are a lot of books on history. Please, read any book you want."
- "Thank you."
Harry walked to some books, reading the titles.
- "I'm going to go back, Harry. I will see you later?"
- "Yes, thank you, Jon."
Jon departed and Harry took a seat after choosing three books that seemed interesting. He spent the whole afternoon reading the first one. The old man, who had left shortly after Harry had arrived, came back and looked over his shoulder.
- "You seam to read very quickly, Ser Potter."
- "Please, call me Harry. And, do you think?"
- "Oh, yes, as quickly as any Maester that I know. And High Valyrian, too. But, I would imagine that would be easier for you than any book written in the common tongue."
Until the man said it Harry had not noticed his book was not written in the language he was speaking. That was one of the troubles with the spell he had cast on himself. In the first few days, you couldn't really differentiate which language you were speaking, and tended to speak any language that your interlocutor spoke.
- "Well, thank you. What is a Maester, exactly? There are some mentions of the title in the book, but I couldn't find any explanation of it."
- "That would be because I believe every one knows what a Maester is," the old man said, smiling when Harry pouted. "A Maester is a learned man, who has studied for some years in Old Town and obtained different skills. Healing, caring for ravens, writing, reading, history, economy, politics, such arts must be learned. There is a Maester in every castle, or close enough. Some Maesters are better at some arts, other at other arts, but a Maester must have at least some knowledge of all of them."
- "Oh, ok. I had thought it was something of the sort. There was a mention of Aemon Targaryen, who didn't inherit the Throne since he had become a Maester instead. Does that mean that you must forsake all ties to your family?"
- "Yes. Once a Maester you have no other family than Old Town and the House you are sent to serve."
- "Ok, I understand. Thank you for explaining."
- "It is no problem. I am afraid my students are often more interested in running around with swords than studying with me."
- "I've met Arya, and Bran, Jon and Robb, and Theon too. Arya spoke of her sister, Sansa, I think? Does Lord Stark have more children, or wards?"
- "Little Rickon is the last Stark son to date. He has only seen three years."
- "Do they all have wolves? Why do I have one?"
Harry had left Night with Jon. The little pup would not stay quiet for more than half a second, and the library could not have stood his presence for long without burning.
- "Lord Stark's party found you fallen and asleep in the snow near a she-direwolf's corpse. There were seven pups, one for each child of Lord Stark and yours."
- "But… I mean, I think Theon has been here for longer, why do I have the pup? Not that I'm not happy, of course, he is great, but…"
- "According to Bran, the second the pup was found by Jon he ran to you, jumped on Lord Stark's horse where you had been tied up and sat on you, licking your face. You were asleep for a whole day afterwards, and the pup stayed with you all the while, groaning at intruders and licking your hand. I do not think there can be any doubt as to whom he has chosen as his master."
- "Okay, then. Oh, did you say direwolf? Is that some kind of wolf?"
- "It is the giant wolf that lives in the lands beyond the Wall. The females grow up to the size of a warhorse, and the males even bigger than that. Nobody knows how the mother could have crossed to the South undetected."
- "Wow. That's really cool. Then I can ride it and go really fast."
Harry grinned, imagining how nice it would actually be to be able to ride Night. Well, right now, except flees, he couldn't see anything riding the pup, and Night kept crashing into everything, so that wouldn't be very healthy anyway. Still. Maybe he could also turn the wolf into another pet if he needed to stay hidden. He would have to think about it.
- "It will be time for supper soon, I believe Lord Stark would like you to dine with his family, as his guest. Come, I will show you the way."
It was noticeably colder, now, in the deserted courtyard. There were two guards waiting, and Harry feared they would freeze to death. Without his warming charm he would. He sent them a warming charm too; making them pull strange faces but instantly relax a bit, their teeth stopping their click-clicks.
The Maester brought him with him to the head table. Harry saw the Maester bow and mimicked his actions but probably very badly. He made a sheepish smile.
- "Ah, Harry, welcome," Lord Stark said. "Take a seat and eat as my guest."
Harry took the last free seat after Maester Luwin had sat. It was between a little boy that could only be Rickon and Jon, who smiled at him.
- "Thank you, Lord Stark." Harry said, because he had no idea what exactly you were supposed to say.
Harry recognized most of the people at the table, except a woman and a little girl of maybe 12 or 13 who both looked a lot like Robb. Harry guessed that must be Sansa and the unknown mother.
- "So, Harry, my Maester says you have spent your afternoon reading, but the Captain of my Guards told me he saw a prodigy in the yard."
- "I wouldn't say prodigy, Lord Stark. I'm able to shoot arrows, it is no great feat. I did, however, spend the afternoon in the library."
- "You should not address my Lord husband such," said the red haired woman with a brisk voice.
Harry looked at her.
- "Uh, I'm sorry, I really have no idea how else to address him. Sorry."
- "Catlyn, it is quite alright, the boy is a stranger to our customs."
- "And he addresses me without proper title, too," the woman said.
Harry didn't wait another second. If he had to hear the woman again, he would send her an Avada and that would he it. He erected a silencing spell around himself and Jon, put his hand in front of her mouth and asked loudly.
- "Jon, what am I supposed to call the woman?"
Jon turned to him, wide eyed, then to the other people, as if he couldn't believe they weren't reacting to what he had just said.
- "My Lady, and My Lord."
Oh, well, that made sense. Harry dropped the spell.
- "I am deeply sorry if I offended you, My Lady, I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive the mistake of a man who did not know better. My Lord, please accept my apology as well for the way I have spoken to your Lordship."
It was shoo-licking but hell, he wasn't here to spend his time listening to the woman pester him. He was hungry and the food smelt great and if he had to grovel to eat, he would. He didn't know anywhere else in this universe but this "Winterfell", and so apparating would be no help at all if he had to escape. He could always fly away, turn invisible or simply stun everyone, but he rather not go to the trouble.
The woman appeared slightly appeased. They started to eat. Harry noticed very quickly that table manners were apparently quite unrequired of men. The woman did eat with her fork and knife, and so did the eldest girl, Sansa, but all the others seemed to think that such things were there to decorate the table.
Harry ate as he usually did, but erected a small protecting spell that would intercept any stray food sent his way by people talking and eating at the same time. He had become quite good at it by eating with Ron for so long.
- "So, Harry, what was it that was so interesting in those books?" Jon asked, looking at him with his grey eyes.
- "I read about the history of Westeros, and of the North. It's very interesting. The book said that there was no magic left here. Do you know if it's true?"
- "Maester Luwin says that the magic and the sorcerers have left the Seven Kingdoms. But Old Nan says that there is magic and monsters in the Lands beyond the Wall," Bran said.
- "Really? Maybe I should go there and see. How long does it take to go there?"
- "With a good horse, two good weeks, maybe a bit more. But you can't go on the other side. The Black Brothers guard the gate," Jon said.
- "I thought the Night Watch was protecting the Realm," Bran said. "Do they also keep you for going North?"
- "Well, if you're a Lord, no. I would imagine that if Father went there and asked to spend a day on the other side, they wouldn't object to it. But they can't just allow any traveller to cross," Jon said.
- "But if there is magic only there…," Harry said.
- "Some say that there are magic and unicorns on Skagos," Arya said.
- "Really? Where is that?"
- "It's an island to the North East. If you go to the Wall, you can go to Eastwatch-By-The-Sea and take a boat from there.
- "I might do that, then."
- "There is also magic in the East, in Braavos and Lys", Rob said.
- "Well, then there is lots of magic" Harry grinned. "And I have lots of places to go."
- "You can't just travel like that," Theon said, scowling. "You need money to travel, and men to serve you, and you have none of those things."
- "I don't have men, that is true, but I'm quite capable of doing things by myself. As for money, I have enough."
As Harry could apparently create money as he needed it, he was probably the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms.
In the two weeks that followed Harry talked to all the children. He ended up very close to Arya and Jon, and found that he really liked Lord Stark.
- "Harry, you have asked to see me?" Asked Eddard. Harry had been staying with them for two weeks now, and he had decided that he would tell him to stay if he wanted to, as he had become fast friends with his children, Jon in particular, and Jon could never have too many friends. That morning, at breakfast, Harry had asked if he could speak with him, and Eddard had nodded and told him to come find him in his study later.
- "Yes. Here".
Harry put the bundle he was carrying on Ned's desk. The Lord looked at it. He had known Harry had bought a sword, even though he could not imagine how he had paid for it, but still. But Harry had the right to his own sword.
Ned unfastened the clothes around the sword and opened shocked eyes.
- "I wanted to offer you a token of my gratitude, to thank you for your hospitality. You know I have magical powers. This sword I bought from the armorer, but it is now enchanted. It will not break, ever, or even chip." The pommel was a grey direwolf howling, with diamonds instead of real eyes, but when Ned picked it up the sword was almost weightless.
- "So, I had never used a sword before, but after practicing, I have noticed that no weight at all makes for quite a bad weapon. So I have decreased the weight, but not too much, so that you can still use it."
- "And you say it will never break?"
- "No. And you shouldn't try to sharpen it, either; you will just end up breaking the sharpening stone. It will not be damaged by anything. Well, except maybe another enchanted blade, I can't say, I don't really know anything about the magic of this land."
- "This is a gift fit for a king, Harry. You could buy yourself anything you ever wanted for just the blade on this."
Harry grinned at him. In his two weeks here he had finally managed to see a golden dragon. He put his hand up, concentrated for a second, and there were ten dragons in his hand.
Ned's eyebrows went to his hairline.
- "Where does that come from?"
- "I have created it. It is very easy for me. I don't doubt that I will have no trouble paying for my expenses."
- "I can say it, Harry, you are by far the strangest person I have ever met."
Harry grinned again.
- "Thank you. So, I think I will leave tomorrow, if that is all right with you. I want to go to the Wall, then to Eastwatch and Skagos. I will see from there. Probably the free cities."
- "Will you come back to Westeros, do you think?"
- "I don't know. It depends. I… I don't think I will find any of my people anywhere in this universe, but if I do I might stay with them. If I don't… I will see."
- "I understand. You are always welcome in Winterfell, Harry, be it for a day or for a year."
- "You have done more than you know for me. Without you it would have taken me months, maybe years, to find out what your Maester and your library have taught me in two weeks. I have a last gift, if you will agree to it."
- "Yes?" Lord Stark answered, questioning.
- "I can put a spell on an object, something you always wear, something that will not be lost. If you ever need me you can use it to call me and I will instantly come."
- "It is very generous, Harry. I will accept, and thank you for it. Will the spell damage the object?"
- "No. No one will be able to see that it is even there, not even you."
Harry left the next day for the Wall, riding a horse Lord Stark had given him and with Night at his side. After two hours of running and walking in the snow the small pup was tired and Harry levitated him behind him. At first the wolf was very wary of magic and of invisible forces suddenly moving him around, warming him up and protecting him from the rain or the snow. But after a while he became accustomed to it. Two weeks later when they reached the Wall, the pup seemed to sense when the magic was coming.
Harry had no problem at all to enter castle Black. From the outside of the gates he apparated with Night, both invisible, leaving the horse visible at the gate, to the courtyard. Lord Stark had told him that the Brothers of the Night Watch always needed new supplies and a horse found would not go remiss. From there he simply took his broom out of his pouch and flew to the top of the wall. He stayed there for a while, listening to the men's conversations, and then flew down to the other side.
Six moons later
Harry was sleeping, in the tent he had erected for the night, in the middle of the forest in the island of Skagos, but woke up suddenly. For a second he wondered what had woken him up, as the wards around the invisible tent had not fallen down. Then he sensed it, the spell. Lord Eddard Stark was calling.
- "Night, we will have to apparate, you're ready?"
He didn't have time to take care of his stuff. He would come back later to take it, but for now he had to go.
Night pouted a little at being woken up like that, but came to him all the same. Harry spelled himself clean and clothed, and apparated to Lord Stark.
He appeared in one of the rooms of Winterfell, Ned looking at him with tired eyes deepened by sadness.
- "What is it?" Harry asked.
- "It's Bran, he… he fell, and he is… he is… We do not know if he will wake up."
Harry nodded, but he was frowning. After he had seen Bran climb twenty times and almost died of heart attacks as many times, he had spent a whole night flying over Winterfell spelling the walls, the roofs and the fallen towers so that he couldn't fall of off them.
Could his spells have failed?
He would know as soon as he saw the place.
He followed Ned to Bran's room, where he found Lady Stark sitting beside the bed and Maester Luwin looking sad and powerless.
The Maester looked at them.
- "My L… Harry? What are you…"
- "I have come to see if my arts can help where yours cant, Maester."
- "What can you do, boy?" asked the Lady, scornful. She had not liked him, and after seeing how she treated Jon, he had not liked her much either. But her son was maybe dying beside her, and Harry had nothing but pity for the woman.
- "I am a sorcerer" Harry said. He had learned since his departure from Winterfell what the people knew of some kinds of magic and how to be seen as a "normal magic user" rather than a "freak of nature" or some kind of god.
Lady Catlyn scoffed, but Harry turned towards Lord Stark.
- "I need to be totally concentrated. I understand that your Lady wife must remain here, so I will put a bubble of silence around my head. Please try not to touch me, it could greatly disturb the healing process. I will do what I can."
Although Harry had not done it for a long while, separating the Hallows was an easy process. It was also necessary, now. He needed the complete concentration of power the Elder Wand provided for this. As he was not a very good healer, he would have to force the healing by sheer will, and seeing the crushed legs of the boy, it would be no easy feat. Still, he had to do it. He remembered Bran's shout of joy as he finally pinned an arrow where he was supposed to and his smile as he was eating the last blueberry, his cheeks covered by juice. And Bran wanted to be a knight. If he did nothing the boy might live, but he would never walk again.
He asked Night to stand guard, and erected the silence bubble. Then he turned the Wand towards the boy and closed his eyes.
He did not know how much time he spent sending his magic into the limps, asking them what they looked like, trying to repair them, then going up an inch and doing it all over again. The legs were not the worst of it, Bran also had three broken ribs, including one almost piercing his lungs, but that was far from the chaos of his shattered spine. But Harry kept going. It was like a puzzle, watching how it was before, turning something, no, not like this, the other way, no, not this way either, ah, yes, like that, perfect. Next bit of bone, yes, like this, no. When Harry was finally finished he opened his eyes just as the magic feeding the bubble of silence and his legs gave out. He crashed on the ground, asleep from magical exhaustion.
So, did you like it? I will post next chapter next week since I've already written seven of them. Do let me know if you like my Harry and the other characters too.