Prologue: A Jump in the Deep End
I awoke with a gasp.
Lying in bed, the first thing I saw was rotten wooden boards that formed what one could charitable call a ceiling. I shut my eyes, feeling a rapid pulse behind them and a slight ringing in my ears. My skin was itchy and slick with sweat, drenching the unfamiliar bedding and itchy covers. My body wasn't much better, riddled with cramps while my stomach rolled like I had just consumed half-cooked food.
I felt like throwing up, and I did. All over the bedsheets.
Wiping my mouth with the cleanest bit, I glanced around the room; my awareness of the world slowly coming back to me, but not fast enough. The room didn't look familiar, not in the slightest. It was dirty and bare, with wooden floors, wooden walls and shutters that had been left closed. Thanks to that, the interior was so stuffy I could barely breathe.
Where am I? The last thing I could remember was walking to college where I'd been crossing the road. There was a car and . . .
Jesus, I need some air.
Wherever I was in, it didn't look like a hospital room. Or it was and the NHS really was as bankrupt as the news claimed. That or . . . I didn't know. The pain in my stomach was soon ignored as I tried to figure what where I was – a messily chaotic room rank with the smell of sweat and shit and sick. Perhaps the person that hit me didn't want to be tried for car offenses so he abducted and threw me into what looked like a fairly large shed.
Wherever I was, I was going and make as much distance between myself and this place as possible.
With a groan, I threw back the soiled covers and sat up from the bed that might as well be solid wood for how hard it felt. That took more effort than expected and I felt faint from the effort, though not enough to stop me. Wiping the dark-hair out my eyes, I stood up, feet wobbling beneath my body. A part of me wanted to lay down, curl up into a ball and wait this out. But I couldn't. I needed to leave. That was until I looked down that I realised something. I wasn't wearing clothes – which was a creepy realisation in itself – and that that my body looked different. It was shorter and gone was my flabby body with weedy arms. It was lean and slim with noticeable muscle. My skin was tanned as well, not the pasty white that came with isolating oneself from the sun.
Almost tripping, I painfully staggered to a mirror above a bowl of water.
Looking into the polished reflection, I stared wide eyed. The first thing I noticed was my hair. It wasn't brown, it was blue; brushing down to my shoulders in curly waves. I pulled the silken strands back and if I just thought my hair was dyed an absurd colour, I was wrong. The roots were blond, so pale they looked white. Looking from the hair to my eyes, they too had changed. They weren't brown either, they were dark blue and framed by long eyelashes like that of a girl. That wasn't to mention the face itself. The face staring back at me was younger, delicate and boyish.
What the bloody fuck is going on?
I staggered back, my hands on the face that I was certain wasn't my own. It took a few moments of heavy breathing before my mind began to calm from the revelation. Ok, I said to myself, trying to take deep and steady breaths. The last thing I remember is nearly being hit by a car in jolly old London and then finding myself into a shed with a different face and blue-hair that makes me look like a Fire Emblems character. It didn't help by the fact the face that stared back at me looked bishie as hell.
That was when my mind began trying to make justifications on what was happening. Maybe the mirror was a screen or something, that couldn't have been my face. It couldn't have been a prank, could it? I shook my head and looked once more at the face before me. It was young, possibly ten years of age. That couldn't have been true. I was twenty, nearing twenty-one. Either it was an elaborate conspiracy against me, a complete hallucination, or I was suffering a serious breakdown . . . Maybe it was something else . . .
Yes, a hallucination or breakdown. That was what I considered true at that moment. To try and bring myself together, I ran my hands through my hair and splashed my face with the water within the bowl. The water was cool and for that I was thankful.
It felt stuffy in the room. It had been hot, and now there was a sheen of sweat forming that felt freezing. I shivered. The next thing I did was swing open the shutters to let some proper light and air inside.
If my luck couldn't get any worse, it didn't look like I was in London anymore. It was sunny outside, not cloudy. There were trees and long grass humming with grasshoppers with a stream in the distance. The wind that blew was refreshingly cool and clean. It smelled of grass and earth, a mildly spicy scent mixed with the sharper smell of manure.
This was getting stranger and more concerning.
It was then that the door opened and I immediately jumped backwards. Two figures men stood at the door. For a moment we both stared before I realised I was naked. I rushed to cover myself and the two intruders were quick to avert their eyes. It was clear none of us were fast enough.
"Aegon, in the name of the sweet Mother Above, put some clothes on!"
I stopped, my mind taking a moment to process that name, those words.
Aegon? Game of Thrones Aegon? It was then it struck me, the revelation hitting me like a ton of bricks . . . or a speeding car. Hot damn. I'm a Targaryen, aren't I? Or more specifically, Young Griff, for that was just what it looked like. His blue hair, those girly eyelashes, and the fact one of the older men also had blue hair. Oh fuck me.
Ok, that wasn't something I expected. I . . . something happened and I found myself in the body of a boy whose forefathers who could be called incestuous pompous twats and be completely correct in that insult. Whoever had the body before me didn't have any marks of inbreeding, but yet again, neither did the characters of whatever world he was thrown in. TV show or the books, this should be interesting. Hell, I could have been thrown into a fanfiction. I considered the latter the scariest.
Waking up in a completely different world and location, in a body that wasn't mine and with a million thoughts going through my mind, the first words that escaped my mouth were, "Oh."
Then I collapsed.
My eyes fluttered.
On their knees above me were the two men. It took a moment to focus and the world to become less of a blur. One was slim with a clean-shaven lined face. His hair was pulled back into a knot behind his head and he had grey eyes. The other man, likewise, was clean-shaven. Though like myself, his hair was dyed blue. Beneath I could see red roots and he had blue eyes. Pale-blue. I could now understand why Tyrion was unnerved in the books. There was something about them I couldn't help but avert my eyes to.
"H-hi," I said awkwardly, looking down and relieved they covered me in a blanket at the very least. At my awakening, the larger of the two men embraced me, his hold stronger than anything I'd experienced before. I struggled against it, fighting back a grimace. I never liked being touched, especially from a stranger. "Ugh . . . who are you?" I had an inkling, but it never hurt to get to get the name from the person themselves.
The man froze and backed away, his eyes staring at me. Once more, my own eyes averted. "You know." I shook my head shyly. "Griff . . . Jon. Jon Connington. I raised you since you were a child. Surely you remember. Are . . . are you saying you don't remember me?"
I simply shook my head once more. I knew of him. Knowing him, however, was a different matter altogether. I knew that he was the exiled lord of Griffin's Roost. An exiled knight who was in love with Prince Rhaegar, as well as being guilty over what he saw as his failures during Robert's Rebellion. I knew little else of the man. It was strange knowing some of the characters secrets and the like, but not knowing much else beyond that point.
He turned to Haldon. "What happened to him? What happened?" The words became louder and I pried myself from his grasp.
Haldon Halfmaester shrugged. "I don't know. I've never heard of a fever making one forget. Mayhaps he knocked his head? Tell me, lad. Do you remember anything? What do you remember before you woke up?"
I shrugged. I could remember the car, and everything before that point, well, bits of it anyway. So I got hit and found myself in Essos. It had to be. I didn't think I got to the point of the War of the Five Kings. Hopefully it wouldn't start any time soon. "Nothing really," I lied, trying to form words. How could I explain I came from another world so different from their own? To complete strangers nonetheless. Well, I knew them from the books . . . if only in part. "J-Jon . . . may I ask something? What year is it?"
"Year?" It was Haldon who answered. "The year is two-hundred-four-and-ninety, after Aegon's conquest of Westeros. Why do you ask, Griffin?"
Griffin? When I remembered I should be keeping my identity secret, well, the identity of the boy I somehow possessed. "Just . . . something that was on my mind. I think I need some rest. I don't feel well."
"A wise idea," the Halfmaester responded eagerly. "Have some rest and Septa Lemore will bring you some soup. I'm sure you're still recovering. It was a nasty fever you had. Make you have enough sleep and eat. Hopefully it'll all come back to you."
I was feeling hungry, but in no way was I tired. Far from it. The knowledge of being thrown into a world populated by zombies and dragons and ice elves wasn't going to allow me to have a good night's rest. If anything, I wanted to explore and learn about this world. If this was truly happening, if I was truly here, I needed to prepare. I couldn't afford to go in blind.
That's what I did. While Haldon and Jon Connington asked – fairly strictly – that I remain inside the small shack built on the side of the river, I didn't sleep. Instead I requested some books and surprised to learn that they were written in English, well, at least those in the common tongue. Which to be honest, I was most thankful for. One language dealt with at least.
I was midway through reading about the Seven Kingdoms when Septa Lemore walked in. She wore dull grey robes with a veil that covered her hair. Around her neck was a loose lace and on it dangled one of the crystals used by the faith. She was a fair looking woman. Her hair and eyes were dark while her skin was tanned from the sun. Something I noted quickly was that her eyes weren't purple, they were brown. There concluding it was unlike to be Ashara Dayne of Starfall.
"How are you, child?" she asked, her voice soothing. The septa took a seat beside me, patted down her garbs and looked down at the book I was reading. Her eyes skimmed through it. "The houses of the Crownlands." She hummed a sound and cupped my cheek. Her hands were warm, though the skin of her fingers were coarse. The stranger touching my face gave me the urge to shy away. I didn't know this woman as the actual Young Griff had. In many ways I pitied the people I found myself with. Unknown to them, the boy they had been taking care of was gone and in his place was another from somewhere else entirely. "I heard what happened. You forgot much after waking up. Tell me, do you know who I am?"
"Septa Lemore," was my slowly spoken answer. "I know of you. But I'm afraid to say I've forgotten much of the world around me." It was a strange feeling, like being in the middle of a dark room. I could see the shapes of what was around me but not the details. "You're a septa. A servant of the Faith of the Seven. You're here to teach me the faith and all its mysteries."
"Indeed." The smile was genuine. "I'm here to help you. Would you close your book and pray with me? Perhaps if the Seven are listening, they'll return what you've lost."
Would that get me out of here? I accepted the offer. Before I came to Westeros I was an atheist, bordering on agnostic. But seeing as I was stuck in a medieval society it wouldn't look good on me for showing that, especially as Young Griff could have been pious as most medieval people were. Damn, I knew next to nothing of the kid's personality. Well, I did know some things; Young Griff was naïve yet headstrong, he was entitled but worked with his hands, and adored candied ginger like Sansa with lemon cakes. I needed a bit more than that should they begin to notice something and then decide to perform an exorcism. Whether that'll work would be a matter of debate, though it wasn't something I was particularly eager for. "Only if you take the lead. I'm afraid after what happened, I forgot a lot of things, including much of the faith." She looked disheartened by that. "P-perhaps you'll care to teach me once more?"
Her eyes flickered, but she nodded. "If needs be. Come, child. I will teach you again." She lips curled into a friendly smile. "But only if you promise to continue being a good student?"
"I would never intend to displease." Though I may find a way intentionally or unintentionally in the future. If my estimates were correct, the War of the Five Kings would start within four to five years. In those few years I would need to learn about this world and all the skills that would be required. There was no way the world would allow me to just spend my time sailing up and down the Rhoyne. Those around me wouldn't allow me to experience peace and quiet where I could just be myself. Too many had vested interests in me now that I was Young Griff. I would be forced to play the game of thrones like everyone else.
God help me.
A/N: So I decided to have a go at SI fanfiction. I know it's only the first chapter but I would like to know what you think and if you have any suggestions. I don't plan to write the character as a Gary Sue, I hear it's fairly common and easy in this genre and it's something I aim to avoid.