Author's note: Okay so here's my first attempt at a GOT fic, so i hope you enjoy it!
"M'lord," one of the peasants of Winter Town knelt before Edward Stark, asking for more food to feed his family. Due to an unlikely misfortune with their grain supplies, they were nearly out already. In addition to their shortage, the maesters did not believe this summer would last much longer.
"Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I will see to it that we are all well fed," Ned stood and excused himself, he needed to create a plan for his people.
After some communication with House Tyrell, they could supply the North with rations to last them until the next harvest, as well as a large sum of gold, but they wanted something in return. They wanted to unite the north's strongest house with their own, and Ned was hesitant to make this deal. While feeding his people was quite important, his eldest daughter was around the same age as the heir to Highgarden and the agreement could be arranged but he wasn't sure that marrying his daughter to Loras was the right idea.
House Tyrell was not the most notable house in all of Westeros, but they were wealthy and he had heard about how kind the Tyrell heir was and Ned had never wanted to marry any of his children to people who were not right for them. He would not marry his girls to men much older than them, he wanted to at minimum, give them the opportunity to build the love he and Catelyn shared.
Ned decided to talk to his wife about the matter because he was very torn by his options. Cat had seemed to consider the possibility of their daughter marrying a Tyrell for a moment before she agreed that it could be a wise decision.
Twyla Stark had never hated a name day gift more than this one. Catelynn Stark had been overjoyed to tell her eldest daughter of the betrothal they planned for her, unfortunately the news was not heard by excited ears. Her mother had just left her chambers with a huff, stating that she thought Twyla would be happy. And perhaps she should be, but she always dreamed of marrying for love, she did not want to mother children of a man she didn't know. She didn't even know how much she wanted to be a mother.
Her own mother's voice popped in her head, reminding her of her duty. In order to bring her house honor, she would marry and have children to be heirs for her husband. Perhaps she would not be worrying so much over this stranger if they were not set leave in the morning for The Reach. Twyla had never left the north and the long journey would only further riddle her with nerves.
Tonight would be her last night with her family, her last night in Winterfell, and her last night to be a child. She knew that not everyone would be able to attend her wedding, but she would have all of her siblings there if she could, even her unlawful brother, Jon.
She readied herself for her name day feast, fixing her dark waves into a partial updo and dressing in a green gown with fur trim. She had always been regarded as beautiful, taking more after her Tully lineage; long legs, high cheek bones, and striking blue eyes that could bring a man to his knees.
Twyla could hear the commotion coming from the dining hall and quickened her gait. She realized they had already started and felt her cheeks flush.
"Late to her own name day feast," Sansa commented, though Twyla knew her sister was in the stage of her life where she hated everyone and everything was a big deal, but she scowled at her nevertheless. "Do your think you'll be on time for you own wedding?"
By this time, all of the Stark children had turned to face their sisters. "You're getting married?" The pair of deep brown eyes that met her bright blue ones nearly broke her. It was Jon who spoke, and Twyla found herself wishing that she hadn't insisted so endlessly for his attendance to this feast, while wishing that she only had one sister.
"I leave for The Reach tomorrow," the words left her lips without emotion and she found herself looking at the leather boots she wore.
"That's a bit soon, isn't it?" Robb asked, her twin gave her a sad look.
"Indeed, probably so that I cannot be late," the glare Sansa received made her regret saying anything at all. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need wine." Scanning the tables surrounding them, Twyla's eyes landed on the pitcher and she went for it.
Jon found his legs moving without much thought. He watched as Twyla grabbed a pitcher of wine and a goblet from the table before making a beeline for the outdoors. He followed her and found her drinking her wine a bit too quickly.
"It's okay to be nervous, you know?" He spoke easily, hoping to calm her down at least a little bit. She met his dark eyes and frowned deeply.
"I don't want to go, Jon, this is my home. It's not about nerves...I don't want to leave you or Robb, or Arya, or even Sansa and Theon."
"I know," he gave her a sympathetic look and she frowned further.
"I knew this day would come one day but I thought I had at least another year," she began pacing and sighed. "I've heard Ser Loras is handsome and that Highgarden is beautiful, but I cannot find any excitement in the situation."
"Suppose it could be much worse," Jon commented, his eyes melting through her soul and she found herself thinking about how much better it could be.
"I wanted to marry for love, not for duty," she paused in front of him and he touched her arm gently.
"You are Lady Twyla Stark of Winterfell, you will make father and your mother proud, it may not be for love, but you'll love your family and perhaps Ser Loras...after time."
"Yes, like father and mother," she sighed and closed her eyes. "I just wish things were different."
"How would you want them to be? If they could be anything?" The moonlight shone over Twyla's delicate features and her long lashes touched her cheek as she held her eyes closed, seeming to imagine of how she would want things to be.
"I'd be a free girl, live further up north, not bound by honor or duty."
"A wildling?" Jon asked, almost surprised by her response.
"Yes, and I'd meet a handsome man on a horse, and we'd survive together, he'd be strong and wise—and he would smell like fresh wood and the crisp northern air." When she imagined her handsome stranger, she saw him with Jon's face and could've smacked herself. She pulled away quick enough, but also slowly enough to not raise suspicion from Jon. "Wine?" She drank another glass in one drink and poured another to offer to him, he accepted and sipped much slower than she had.
"What about you Jon Snow? If things could be different, how would you have them?"
"I don't know truly," he finished the wine and his eyes fell on her much more. You wouldn't be my half-sister Jon thought to himself. Despite the taboo of it, he had always found Twyla to be beautiful but strong and brave at the same time.
"Would you be heir to Winterfell?"
"Perhaps I simply would want to not be a bastard, be a true born son, it gets lonely sometimes."
"Have always made me feel included, like even if this wasn't my home, that I had a home," Twyla had always been close, he was nearly the same age as Robb and Twyla and had all been raised together.
"Jon I don't want to leave you," the words left her lips without permission and he moved to embrace her. Thought their upbringing, they had been close like this numerous times, but this time her heart fluttered and she squeezed tighter.
"I'll hide you in my closest, if you'd like," he offered and she broke a small chuckle but did not let go.
"I wish mother had waited until after the feast to tell me."
"You're making an awful lot of wishes tonight," Jon remarked and she loosened her grip enough to meet his eyes—as they were the same height.
"It's my name day, I can make whatever wishes I'd like."
"If there are any in my power to grant, I swear that I shall."
"Thank you, Jon."
The feast progressed and Twyla tried to keep to herself, however, Arya stuck by her side, which she couldn't say she minded. Her youngest sister wasn't bad company, she did not see the world through the same rose colored glasses as Sansa.
"Twy," at the sound of her father's voice, Twyla sat straighter in her chair and met his eyes. "I trust you're enjoying the feast?"
"Why couldn't you send Sansa away and let Twyla stay here?" It was as if Arya had been retaining all of her anger until that moment.
"Arya—" before Twyla could finish chastising her sister, their father's calming voice took over the conversation.
"One day, it'll be Sansa leaving to be the lady of another house, as will you, as highborn ladies, you all have a duty to your house and Twyla is the eldest. I want you all to have kind and strong husbands, Ser Loras Tyrell will make a wonderful husband to your sister."
"It's just not fair," and with that Arya was on her feet and across the dining hall.
"Do your share her thoughts on the matter?"
"No, father, I'm sure Ser Loras will make a great husband and I'll grow to love him...and have lots of children," she said the words out of duty, not desire.
"He will keep you safe and be kind to you, that is all I can hope for, for each of my daughters," Ned further reiterated.
"I understand why things are the way they are, it's just not exciting to be bond by the gods to a stranger, I don't even know what he looks like."
"We leave in the morning, you'll know soon enough, enjoy tonight, Twyla."
"Thank you father," Ned bid her goodnight and left Twyla alone with her wine.
The feast has ended and everyone had began to retire to their chambers, only ones left were Robb, Theon, Twyla, and Jon, each of them had ample drinks through the evening and were laughing. Twyla knew that their parents likely were allowing them to stay up later due to her departure the next day.
"Ya know Twy, your knight is quite lucky," Theon's statement sucked all of the humor out of the room.
Before Robb or even Jon could speak, Twyla took a seat on the table and spoke for herself. "Why might that be, Theon?"
"C'mon, these other two might be your brothers, but they have eyes. We've all got eyes, Twyla."
"It's quite alright, Robb, he's trying to pay me a compliment," she downed the rest of her wine.
"While implying that I would look at my own sister," Robb scoffed.
"Maybe not you, but Jon," Theon laughed like he'd just told the funniest joke in all of Westeros and quickly left, knowing he was about to experience Stark wrath like the world had never seen. Robb left the hall soon after, mumbling his annoyances with Theon's inappropriate tongue under his breath.
"One day someone will teach him to mind his tongue," she shrugged. "I won't let him bother me, though," she finished off another glass.
"Perhaps we should get some sleep soon, as well," Jon made a motion to get up and Twyla followed him towards their rooms and by the time the reached her door, she found herself pulling him through the door way, before shutting the door behind her.
"It is still my name day, yes?"
"Yes," Jon replied, eyes locked on hers.
"I've thought of a wish you can grant for me," her head was swimming. In her stomach, she felt like what she was about to ask was wrong of her, but in her heart, it felt more right than anything she had ever done.
"Anything," he replied without hesitation.
AN: Hi! If you made it this far, thank you! I understand that this probably would not have happened in Westeros, but I'm not GRRM and I do not own GOT, just my OCs. Things will diverge from the canon story and if you do not wish to read it, that is okay, but spread love not hate. Have a wonderful day!