Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
Wow...I did not expect the reaction I got from posting this story, I was really just trying to do something different and experiment a bit. The amount of people complaining about it did honestly shock me and I did wonder if I should bin this story and start again.
But then a lot of you brilliant people started writing, telling me to stick to it and that you liked it...offering me support which honestly made me feel a great deal better. I would shout out to all of you but there were so many...so to those that supported me whoever you are...thank you.
So just for you...I am carrying on this story.
I am sorry to those that don't like it but I am sticking to my work, if you want a Male Harry story then I just posted a Star Wars Xover story Legacy of House Ordo. Maybe that will be more your thing.
Also just to make sure you all understand it, Meera and Harry are the same person but Meera only has the memories of Harry up to their current age. She gets more memories as she gets older and since she hasn't turned 11 yet she can't remember Hogwarts or the Magical World in general.
And before anyone says why she remembers all the knowledge that was downloaded into her brain when she was Harry is because that is Procedural Memory, dealing with general knowledge and how she does things...like how to ride a bike, do maths etc. Life Memories is what you call Episodic Memory...I did look this up I promise although I admit I have stretched it a little.
Warning – Serious Catelyn and Mordane bashing ahead.
Chapter 2 – Forgotten Secrets
Winterfell, the North...288 AC…
The Broken Tower had long been abandoned as it was too expensive to repair and of no use. So when Maester Luwin had requested use of it for his and Lady Meera's experiments Lord Stark had no issue with it. He had no idea of course that his daughter was a very active participant in the experiments and was in fact its motivator.
Cauldrons bubbled as the old man and young girl watched as the different mixtures brewed, Luwin looked at his fellow experimenter and smiled with a slight tear in his eye. He had thought great strides forward would never be made in his life time but here was a whole new wave of potions and elixirs that could potentially change the way people treated ill-health, injury and disease in Westeros.
With him as her helper Lady Meera had created potions that dealt with physical paralysis, cleared skin of acne, replenished blood after illness or injury, heal bruises, heal burns, treat a common cold or fever, calm those of an anxious or unstable disposition, help plants grow faster and keep wounds from becoming infected. Not to mention salves that cured boils and healed wounds while keeping them clean.
They were only going getting started though as they experimented with different ingredients and ways they could be combined. It was incredible work but had required a new glass garden to grow ingredients, that had honestly made him fear their experiments would be stopped before they even truly began.
But then Lady Meera had solved that problem...by discovering a way to make glass.
The look on her father's face and that of the other Northerners had been almost comical as she asked for the materials that she claimed to have discovered in her reading, there had been a few laughs of derision aimed at her but all had been silenced by a glare from Lord Stark who had agreed to get them once to see if it could be done. So amounts of fine sand, limestone and others had been sent for and once they had arrived with his help Lady Meera had gone about making them into glass and to the surprise of everyone...had succeeded.
When she had presented the sheet of clear glass to Lord Stark and the other Northern lords they had been struck speechless for a moment before cheers had near shaken the rafters. Lord Stark had immediately ordered much more of the materials with the intention of building new glass gardens for Winterfell and other keeps with the rest of the Northern families helping to pay for it. This was the opportunity that they had been desiring for so long...to be free of the need to import food from the south and become more self-sufficient not to mention save potentially a lot of lives in the harsh winters to come. He was given a free hand to recruit how ever many men were needed to make it work as long as glass was produced quickly, no longer would they be stopped by the ruinous prices of Myr...they could do it themselves. The Free City had protested but no one in the North paid them heed, they had more important things to think of.
Especially the recent birth of young Brandon Stark, it had brought much celebration to House Stark, Winterfell and the North to have another son in their house.
Work on the potions had regretfully stopped while he and other men under Lady Meera's direction had started producing as much glass as possible, it had been a strange sight to see a young girl of barely seven instructing fully grown men on how to make glass but as new glass was produced it had become a wondrous thing to witness, new glass gardens were being assembled in every Northern settlement such was the investment into it.
Lord Stark had even allowed two gardens to be built to make ingredients for their potion experiments, partly in the hope that these potions and salves would be products that they could export to make up for the money spent on the glass gardens aside from the money they now saved on not having to trade for food.
Luwin smiled though as he saw his young partner making notes on how different potions reacted but frowned a little as the girl seemed rather subdued today for some reason.
Meera was more quiet than normal, her feelings were unsettled and many thoughts and words whirled around her mind wildly.
More memories of the other place had started to surface and the abuse given to the boy named Harry that she knew somehow had once been her was horrible to see, the lack of affection and violence both physical and mental that he had been subjected too was terrible.
That was one reason, the other being what she had overheard last night.
She had been hungry and wanted to get something small to eat so she had crept out of her room to go to the kitchens when she had come across the open door to her parents' room and heard their voices raised and regrettably she had listened.
"Ned this has to stop!" Her mother had said with anger. "She spends more time with the maester on these concoctions than she does actually learning to be a lady." A sigh from her father was heard next.
"Cat she's her own person! She has too much of the Wolfsblood in her to be anyone else, besides she has the smartest mind I have ever seen and the greatest will. She needs to explore what she is capable of. Besides thanks to her we can make glass now, do you have any idea how great a boon that is to the North?" He said imploring her to see his point of view but as Meera listened her mother did not care in the slightest for that.
"No lord or knight will want her! Why would any man want a wife that is smarter than him or questions him! To be so wilful!" Catelyn shot back with frustration in her voice. "And having so many glass gardens will mean the Riverlands lose the trade with the North, do you really want to anger my family like that?" She said with an edge of threat.
There was a harsh silence after that, Meera was close to tears at hearing her mother talk about her like that. They might not be as close as perhaps they should be but she was still her mother, to hear her saying that because she was too smart no-one would want her stung hard.
She was so hurt that she almost didn't hear her father's response.
"My daughter is no southern flower, she is a Northern woman who is strong and smarter than any man you care to name. Any man would be lucky to wed her, not to mention you don't follow your own advice do you? After all have you any idea how wilful you sound right now?" Father said with a grim and annoyed voice.
Meera had fled after that with tears coming from her eyes, she hadn't wanted to have all this knowledge inside her mind. She didn't want to cause trouble between kingdoms and she certainly didn't want her mother to hate her.
She had laid in her bed awake all night curled up as her thoughts whirled inside her head, she sniffed as doubt entered her mind but so did an intense anger crept into her soul.
Why should she be guilty? She hadn't done anything wrong!
It was she realised just like Harry had gone through when she had been him, he had done nothing wrong and yet those horrible people punishing him just because they could. Only in her case her mother wanted to create a biddable little girl in a woman's body that would do whatever a man told her too.
That wasn't her.
Her sniffling stopped and she fumed about her mother's idea of what her own daughters should be; stupid, biddable and devoted to the Seven. Little dolls that she could control.
Maybe her anger was speaking for her but Meera refused to let that happen to Sansa and Arya.
She had shot a dirty look at her mother that morning at breakfast and the woman had the nerve to glare back at her but a look from her father made her back down. At least he was on her side she consoled herself with.
But that was not the only thing on her mind.
So she turned to Luwin and told him.
"I had the dream again."
Luwin nodded having been told of this before, an island somewhere near Skagos that was not on any map he had seen. For a time he had thought she meant Skane but this other island had a forest which Skane didn't. He like her was mystified about her dreaming about this strange island and Meera was certain it existed. Few ever went that way for chance of encountering the cannibals that lived on Skagos and Skane, so the idea of an island not being on the charts was not impossible.
"I want to try one last time to see if it exists, there are a lot of maps and charts in the library. Maybe we should look through them. I know it is unlikely but it would lay my thoughts to rest." She asked him with a pleading look.
He looked uncertain but finally nodded in agreement, so she smiled and doused the flames around the cauldrons. Her on-going project to remake potions and the like from her previous world was going slowly but it was moving. Some of the ingredients didn't exist here so she was using her knowledge of chemistry to find useable substitutes and Luwin was always willing to help her, he was the only person as excited about discovering things as she was Meera thought with a smile.
So they then retired to the Winterfell Library which was no where near as large as the Citadel but it had many older books that were difficult to find anywhere else in the world. This was a good thing for those that liked reading but it was very poorly organised from years and years of many people just arranging things as they liked and no-one had bothered to reorganise it. That was something both Meera and Luwin vowed to do when they had the time.
The maps they wanted were scattered all over the place and it took quite a long time to find even half of them but as the sun began to fall under the horizon Meera discovered one final map tucked inside a very old diary left by one of the Starks when they had still been Kings of the North. She was carefully as she laid the old chart on the table and unrolled it. She and Luwin saw the rough but incredibly detailed map of the North and its coast must be thousands of years old and yet still in reasonable condition despite its age. The outer edges of the parchment were lined with runic symbols and while they meant nothing to Luwin but Meera with her knowledge from another world knew they were preservation runes, which would explain how the map had lasted so long.
She studied the map keenly, seeing Winterfell and the Wall easily marked along with settlements that no longer existed and houses that were extinct like House Amber, Greenwood, Fisher of Stony Shore and Ryder. She scanned the coast and saw it was surprisingly accurate with even small islands and reefs marked carefully. Luwin was amazed and knew the Citadel was going to debating the capabilities of the First Men closely now as this map easily predated the Andal Invasion and showed a level of sophistication that many had thought beyond them.
Meera was however a little disappointed as she looked hard and it seemed to confirm the island didn't exist, that she was really just dreaming it all. She gave the area in question one last look and then gasped in surprise.
Not far from Skane and Skagos, there it was.
It had no name but the map showed it did exist.
"We need to go there." Meera said excited as maybe she could find out more about her strange existence and why she was dreaming of this place. Ludwin however frowned and said.
"Lady Stark, this is an unusual discovery but still it is unlikely to mean anything. Given the proximity to Skagos I doubt many will live there or that it will have any resource worth exploiting." Luwin warned her but she glared at him.
"Something is there that made me dream of this place, if I want the dreams to stop then I need to find out what their source is." She told him sounding far older than her young years.
Later as Meera showed the ancient map to Lord Stark who was very impressed, more so when he saw that the author of the map seemed to be his own ancestors. He was surprised to find an island that was not marked on any later chart but that was unsurprising as it was far from the normal shipping lanes and hardly anyone wanted to go there anyway.
It would probably be a waste of time to mount an expedition there to see if the map was accurate but Ned in his bones knew this was important somehow. So with his daughter's pleading eyes looking at him for a decision he said.
"Very well, I will make the arrangements."
The beaming smile his daughter gave him was enough to bring one to his own face, she had already secured her place in Northern history by giving them glass and new medicines so he felt like he owed her this one trip.
He would have just sent a party of trusted men to go but seeing the glares both his daughter and his wife were sending each other he decided it was best to lead the expedition himself and take Meera with him. Normally he would never take a young girl let alone his own daughter on such a potentially dangerous trip but the way that his daughter and wife were staring at each other...like they really disliked or even hated each other made his heart break. Mother and daughter should be one of the most strongest and most of sacred bonds but here it looked like the pair of them were genuine in this dislike of each other. Especially as his wife had just announced that she had once again fallen pregnant and would likely give birth within a few moons, so he was eager to relief any stress this could place on her.
Perhaps some time apart, even a week or two would be best for them all he thought with hope that this could yet be remedied.
While their father wrote to the Manderlys and a number of other houses to arrange the expedition Meera decided to spend time with her family.
She smiled as the familiar comfort of having her siblings close wrapped itself around her. Seeing Robb and Jon sparring with Ser Rodrik, seeing Sansa only three namedays old sitting close by while she drew back her bow and arrow before letting it fly. Little Arya was still too young to be here with them according to their mother who kept her in the nursery, however she was already showing the signs of being just as wilful as her eldest sister trying to escape so she could explore Winterfell.
Meera smiled as she held her bow and let the arrow fly, the applause from Sansa very welcome. The little red haired girl looking longingly at the bow and said mournfully.
"I wish I could do that."
Meera knew the girl was close to their mother but the wolfsblood as their father called it still held strong inside her.
"I will teach you." Meera said proudly and Sansa looked surprised and asked her with pleading puppy dog eyes.
Meera laughed and said eager to teach her little sister.
"Absolutely, we are the She-Wolves of Winterfell. We need to show everyone who is best."
Above them they had no idea that an audience had gathered, Ned looked down at his girls with a slight tear in his eye and a smile on his face. He was proud of them, proud of their bond knowing that his pack was strong enough to weather any thing.
However at his shoulder Catelyn was not smiling at all, in fact she was frowning deeply at this. In her eyes this was unacceptable, it was bad enough that Meera was too wild and difficult to ever be a true lady let alone get married as was her duty to this family but now she seemed to be trying to corrupt Sansa with her ideas and wilful ways too.
That she could not allow Catelyn thought darkly, she had high hopes for Sansa. She would be very beautiful when she grew up and was sure to catch some Great House's eye maybe even a Prince's she dared hope. Prince Joffrey would be of a similar age and she dared yet hope that maybe her Sansa might be his queen.
But that wouldn't happen if Meera corrupted her. The Royal Family would take one look at her and run away in disgust, of that Catelyn was sure of that. Such a savage and barbaric girl she would never find a husband that would be able to deal with her.
She wanted better than that for her girls. Sansa and Arya would be graceful ladies true to the Seven she swore quietly to herself, Meera have the time she was convinced was punishment for some sin she had committed.
Winter's Dance, the Shivering Sea…A Couple of Weeks Later...
The ship loaned to House Stark by House Manderly cruised gently through the ice cold water of the Shivering Sea, everyone was wrapped up as warm as possible as they maintained a watch for this mysterious island.
"This is a fool's errant." Wendel Manderly, the captain of the ship said as he warmed his hand on one the fires that had been carefully set up around the main deck. The GreatJon who had insisted on joining them however as rubbed his hands over the fire said.
"There are plenty of legends that say that an island was here once, said that falling star crashed in that area during the Age of Heroes." GreatJon told him with his usual loud baritone, the man was far more familiar with the North's ancient past than Wendel or even Ned. They had always fascinated him as a boy and a part of him dearly wished for the time that the North had been free of the south.
"Well it still seems pointless." Wendel said with annoyance. A light mist made seeing ahead more difficult than they had hoped. He cast his eye to the young girl of seven who was apparently the one that made them come out here on this waste of time, she was typically Northern with dark brown hair that she had tied up in smaller braids. Her skin was pale and her eyes a light grey as they scanned the horizon for sign of the island. She had refused to go to the cabin as her father had wished and instead stayed on the bow looking out, her father had more sense and stood around the fire with them.
He was shocked when a short time later when the girl called out. "THERE IT IS!"
They all turned to see an island looming out of the mist. It was larger than they had thought it would be, even from here they could see it was covered in a dense forest. This was unusual given the harsh climate but more surprising still was the large spire that they realised was no tree as they got closer.
"Is that a tower?" Lord Stark asked as they got closer, many of them stared hard and the GreatJon took a look through some Myrish glasses.
"It is. Made of stone and in the Old Men style." He marvelled and wondered what the hell this could mean. Who would build a tower on such a remote island? Let alone one so far from the routes ships travelled.
"Well then, maybe this trip will be worth it after all." Wendel said with his curiosity now piqued.
There was nowhere deep enough for the ship to moor itself so they anchored off the stony and cold beach before coming over in smaller boats. Meera was sitting at the front, staring eagerly ahead to see what might have drawn her to the island.
"Meera, when we land you stay with us and do as I tell you." Ned told her sternly and she looked back as if to argue but nodded silently. She might be strong willed but in this she would listen to her father since she had no idea what they could be facing. Or else she would probably never be allowed to go anywhere ever again she thought.
They left some men on the beach and began moving slowly into the forest, it was surprisingly dense but there was a path lined with stones that were marked with runes that seemed to lead towards the tower from the beach. Warding runes to keep animals away Meera recognised from the large reserve of knowledge she had from the other world, this was a good thing as through the brief gaps in the foliage Meera saw all kinds of animals and some she thought might be dangerous.
Her father was confused as he did not understand what kept the animals away, he could see them approach the path occasionally but none crossed it. The island made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and he was seriously regretting bringing his daughter and men here at all. Some force kept him moving though despite wanting to turn back and leave, he could not stop himself from moving forward.
The island was not very large so it didn't take long to get to reach the centre and with it the tower, there was a wide open space surrounding it and all of them looked up to see a tower that stood easily as tall of the outer walls of Winterfell. Windows were doted along the four sides and again they were wondering who in their right minds would build a tower all the way out here?
However their breath was stolen by what lay at the foot of the tower.
"Fucking hell!" The GreatJon said as he stared in disbelief at what lay before them. "A fucking dragon!"
What was left of one anyway Meera amended as they all looked at the dragon that was easily bigger than the ship they had come on. From snout to the tip of the tail it had to be at least fifty feet long with teeth as long as bastard swords and a maw that could eat aurochs whole in one bite. It would surely have been a truly fearsome beast in life, maybe even greater than Balerion the Black Dread Meera thought although she had never seen the famous dragon's skeleton it certainly looked to be at least that size from what she had heard.
"It must have been here for centuries." Ned said never having heard of dragons around this way before and was sure to make enquiries with Luwin and the Citadel. Dragons had been a rare sight in the North even before their extinction and this one must he reasoned have been here for a special purpose.
"Regardless it is long dead now, maybe answers lie inside." Meera said, it was an interesting discovery but not she felt what they were here for.
"I would rather not leave ourselves cut off if something is amiss. You men stay outside and keep watch." Ned ordered a few of their men and Ser Wendel who nodded, firm in their loyalty to their liege lord while Meera, Ned, the GreatJon and a few others ventured to the great wooden door that was covered in preservation runes and a few others that Meera could not identify.
She was about to stop the men from coming closer till she could study the runes a little more when the door suddenly swung open on its own. Her own nerves made her take a step back but she drew on her courage and despite words of her father and others stepped inside.
It was a simple chamber, nothing elaborate about it at all except that stone tablets lined the walls. All over them were more runes but before she could look at them more closely the GreatJon stepped past her with his broadsword drawn, ready to deal with any possible threat to his liege lord's daughter only to frown at the tablets before stepping closer to get a better look.
"These are written in the runic language, the Old Tongue." He said with awe, it was a language that had stopped being used in the North over three thousand years ago. The only place it was spoken these days was beyond the Wall by some of the Wildlings. "That means this place is at least three millennia old Ned." The GreatJon told them.
"Then we had best be careful." Ned said, more curious than ever at what this tower was supposed to be.
A scream from one of them men made all of them jump and anyone with a weapon immediately went for it expecting some animal attack or a hidden enemy of some kind, only to see that the man had tripped over a skeleton near a set of nearby steps. The GreatJon snarled at him.
"It's quite dead you mother-fucking idiot." The GreatJon scolded and the man instantly shrunk beneath his power gaze and voice. Ned however decided to examine the skeleton, it had to be hundreds of years old, preserved by the cold here on the island and shelter of the tower. You could tell little about him now of course but his armour provided some clues to his identity, a painful and worrying reminder.
The armour was made for a man with black steel and had accents of deep royal purple with dragon styled pauldrons, helm and cuirass. A snarling dragon and he was not the only one to make the connection.
"A Targaryen!" Ser Wendel said in surprise, that did make sense Ned supposed given they were the last dragon riders but he knew of no dragons that had gone missing around here from his history lessons.
"No." Meera said surprising them all as she took a closer look and saw a leather satchel beneath the skeleton and gently pulled it out. "Targaryens had red on their armour and the symbol on this satchel is from another House."
She held it up so they could see and indeed it was not the three headed dragon of House Targaryen, instead it was a single dragon with a more serpent-like body in purple. No Targaryen had ever used that sigil and as Meera opened the leather bag she pulled out a book that looked like it was a journal. She carefully opened the book and started to read, thankful that she had bothered to learn how to read High Valyrian. The others waited with baited breath to hear what it said, the silence was almost oppressive.
"His name was Vaegon Belaerys, the last date puts his death around four hundred years ago. He was here to scout Westeros ahead of an invasion by the Freehold." She told them and they all blinked, however before they could reflect on that she continued. "He was going beyond the Wall to map the area when something there injured his dragon, they tried to fly south but crashed on this island where his dragon died and he was fatally injured by the beasts here."
That sent a shiver through Ned, a dragon was almost impossible to take down without another dragon or an extremely lucky shot with a scorpion. Neither of which the Wildlings had so the fact that something beyond the Wall could injure a dragon worried him greatly as while dragons might be extinct whatever had killed the one outside might still be there. He made a note to himself to send a letter to Benjen and Lord Mormont at the Wall to keep their eyes open. However a laugh from Meera made him look at her with confusion.
"What is so funny?" He asked her not sure if his daughter grasped whatever danger this could pose. She looked up from the book and told them.
"The Targaryens rewrote their own history. They didn't foresee the Doom, there were no dreams by Daenys the Dreamer at all. They were sent by the Freehold to establish a launching point for the future invasion prior to the Doom in exchange for a large portion of land after it was completed."
"Why would those inbred fuckers lie about their own history!?" The GreatJon said with annoyance, he had a great disdain for southerners in any case but the Targaryens after they had kidnapped and killed good northerners especially Lord Rickon, Brandon and Lyanna Stark the GreatJon reserved a special kind of disgust for them.
"To make them seem special...like they were chosen to rule or blessed by the Gods." Meera said drawing on her knowledge of religious practice, politics and more to see the reason. "If they had a 'vision' of the disaster to come it would make them seem special, like they had been chosen for great things and had been made to survive for a reason and be more important than just being sent to make an outpost for an invasion that didn't happen. Aenar Targaryen according to this was always a schemer and a practised liar, a lot of the Freehold looked down on him."
They all took a moment as they had just discovered that if this journal was correct then a part of the history that they had all been taught was wrong before Meera looked down at the dead Vaegon and realised something about his armour that she had missed the first time. Wiping away some of the dust she saw it had not even begun to rust and had very distinctive ripples patterns in the metal that she had only seen once before.
"Father! The armour look at it." She said suddenly feeling very giddy at the discovery. He came over and then saw what she had and his eyes widened.
"Its Valyrian steel, the sword too."
A gasp went through them all, the false history forgotten for the moment as they realised that the only true set of Valyrian steel armour in the whole world that was known to exist was right before them. Ned was grateful that had only brought men he could trust as the sheer importance of this discovery made the entire trip worthwhile.
However Meera was distracted from this by the song or perhaps a tune, she looked and it seemed to be coming from up the stairs so she started up in search of the source. The others were so focused on the armour that they did not even notice.
It was a long climb but not until the top did she find another chamber, it was rather more decorative than the one below though as murals of what looked like Northern history were painted onto all the walls of the chamber. It was beautiful in a simple kind of way, showing the battle against the White Walkers, the Children of the Forest and the building of Winterfell and the Wall.
But what drew her attention was what lay at the centre of the room.
Sticking out from a block of stone in the middle was a strange golden spear, she didn't know why but she was drawn to it the moment it caught her eye. Almost against her will she moved forward until she was within reach of the spear and without a second thought grasped it in her hand pulled it free of the stone.
It was incredibly light Meera thought with astonishment, it hardly weighed anything and came free of the stone easily. She gave it an experimental twirl and it seemed to hum as it moved through the air. She smiled, thinking it was perfect.
However that soon changed when it started to burn her hands.
She was caught by surprise and cried out in pain as it seemed to grow incredibly hot, she tried to let go but her hands would simply not release the spear no matter how hard she tried.
One of her father's men heard her screaming and ran straight to her aid, seeing the spear in her hands he went to try and pull it free but the moment he touched it an invisible force seemed to throw him back against the wall. The rest of the party who had come up right behind him saw it happen with wide eyed looks at what appeared to be real magic right in front of them.
Then as suddenly as it had started it just stopped and the spear fell from her hands, she looked at her hands expecting to see her hands horribly burned but gasped when she saw they were completely unmarked. She blinked and turned them over several times to make sure her eyes were not deceiving her but her father demanded looking angry.
"Meera! I told you to stay close, I had thought an animal was tearing you to pieces." He said fuming at her disobedience. She instantly fell very stupid and scared as while her father was known to many of the Quiet Wolf he was not without a fierce temper.
"I'm sorry father." She said her voice quivering with sudden fear and regret. "But I heard the spear and when I touched it." She said gesturing with her hand towards the prone spear but when she did that it leapt from the ground into her outstretched hand.
She stood there in shock at the spear's sudden actions with her father, the GreatJon and Wendel while the other men did the same but helped the hapless man who had been thrown back just moments ago. For the first time she really looked at the strange spear and took in how unique and strange it truly was.
It was easily six feet long with a deadly looking three prongs on the end with the central one nearly twice the length of the other two, it was not made of any metal like she had seen before either. It looked like gold but was far lighter and it had a strange warmth to it, like it was filled with magic just waiting to be released.
There was also writing on the side in the same runic language as the tablets below, she sighed as she knew they were never likely to read it. However as she thought that the characters seemed to gain greater meaning to her instinctively, she couldn't understand it but somehow she knew what each of the ancient symbols meant. Reading the writing on the side of the spear she spoke it aloud.
The word did not mean anything to most of them but the GreatJon immediately gasped and moved forward to look as close as he dared go to the spear. He stared intently at it, taking in every single detail and a tear rolled down his cheek and a huge smile appeared on his face.
"I never expected to see it in all my lifetime, to see the real Gungnir."
"Gungnir?" Ser Wendel asked with annoyance, staring with suspicion at the spear in the young girl's hand.
"Yes Lord Umber please enlighten us." Ned said worried at the strange spear that his daughter had in her hands and the fact it seemed to have powers that he had never heard of.
"Bloody Jon Arryn not telling you the history of our homeland." The GreatJon said with annoyance briefly but continued to speak before Ned could defend his foster-father. "Gungnir is the legendary weapon of Bran the Builder, it fell fully forged from the heavens and found him worthy of using it. It bestows great power to the wielder, let's them read the language of runes and much more. Brandon used it to help build the Wall, Winterfell, Hightower and Storm's End not to mention conquered much of the North, when he was at the end of his life he hid the spear away. Saying that it would reappear to one of his descendants when the world was in great danger and its power was needed again...and that it would only be wielded by one it found worthy." The GreatJon said with a look of pride came across his face as he looked at Meera who was now near open mouthed with surprise as she looked at the spear again. Now aware of the great legend attached to this weapon.
Ned however was feeling a great deal of anxiety, he was Northern in his attitude towards magic knowing it was not all evil like the Seven liked to believe. After all his own castle and the greatest man-made structure ever built the Wall had been created by magic, however the idea that his daughter was now in possession of a magical weapon of such power and legendary status…the Seven he knew would raise a hell of a commotion over it all and goodness only knows what Catelyn would think, he had brought her along solely to try and ease the tension between them before trying to restore their relationship.
This he knew would only make the situation worse.
"Meera, sweetling." He said gently. "Maybe you should leave the spear here, it could bring you a lot of trouble."
He instantly knew how that suggestion had gone over with the look of angered shock from both her and the GreatJon.
"Ned. You can't be serious." The GreatJon said with surprise and a little anger. "This weapon is one of the most important pieces of Northern history ever! It was wielded by the founder of your house and like I said before it was only supposed to reappear when someone worthy came along at a time when the world itself was danger. She was destined to have it."
Meera herself despite the strangeness did not want to be parted from Gungnir, she already felt attached the spear especially after her quest to find magic had largely hit a dead-end. She didn't know what the spear could do yet but it was something she was eager to explore.
"No I'm keeping it." Meera said quietly. "It came to me in dreams and it drew me here for a reason. I can't say I'm comfortable with the idea of the world being in danger but this is staying with me."
She looked up with her eyes blaring their stubborn grey fire, making Ned feel a stab of pain as he could see Lyanna staring back at him through her eyes. The way she had rejected marrying Robert despite his and their father's pleas and stern words, a look that said she would not be moved from her position and regret that he had not listened to her words stabbed at him. If he and his father had been more willing to bend then she would have likely to his mind not have run off with Rhaegar at the first opportunity, so many people including Rickard and Brandon would have lived if they had.
He did not want that for his own daughter.
He was reluctant to let her keep the spear given it was going to likely cause a lot of trouble later but he knew in his bones that if he forbade her to keep it, she would only find some way to hide it. He felt far older than he had before setting foot on this island suddenly and with resignation said.
"You may keep the spear but keep its abilities secret for now, I do not want those that would wish you harm to know about it." He told her sternly and was rewarded with a big beaming smile on her face and a tight hug. He could not stay stern with her for long and was soon smiling too while the GreatJon chuckled in his deep baritone.
"The She-Wolf of Winterfell." He said under his breath. Meera felt a small bit of pride at that, she was proud of her heritage and would she swore privately to herself to make her family proud. Then a thought randomly occurred to her as she remembered the tablets and everything else they had found on this expedition.
"We should take it all with us." She told them eagerly, they looked at her confused for a moment before she explained. "The tablets, the dragon rider's armour and the dragon skeleton. We can turn the dragon bone into bows, the tablets I think I can translate in time and who knows what they might contain. As for the dragon rider armour, that is priceless." She said, knowing the value of such a thing plus the matching sword would be incredible. While having it for House Stark would be a great symbol of status she realised its true value might be in selling it. It was said that a full set of Valyrian steel armour would have cost as much as an entire kingdom even before the Doom so it stood to reason that if they did sell it, it would make a lot of coin for the North.
Ned did like the idea of making dragon bone bows from the skeleton as they were supposed to be amongst the best in the world and the tablets seemed harmless enough, however there would be no end of trouble if it got out that House Stark had a full suit of Valyrian steel armour. Thieves would be lining up for a chance to steal it and so while he agreed they should take it he had to insist on something.
"When we get back to Winterfell we will hide the armour in the crypts till we can decided what must be done with it. Brick it up in one of the passages to deter people who want to steal it."
Meera and the GreatJon smiled in agreement of his plans, glad that he did not have to worry about any more argument.
While Ser Wendel and a couple of men returned to the ship to get additional help in moving the vast dragon bones and the tablets they stripped the dragon rider's body and gave him a burial, feeling that he deserved that much.
While looking for a large enough stone to act as a headstone Meera peered into the forest and saw a large rock near the stone circle that would be perfect.
"Over here." She called out and a bunch of Umber men came and between them lifted the stone to carry it back over the stones that lined the path and area around the tower when all of a sudden a loud roar sounded. All of them looked over to see an enormous bear with fur as white a snow charging straight at them.
The men yelled and moved as fast as they could to get back over the line but one of them tripped and fell, the bear was moving as fast as a horse towards him and Meera with no thought for herself rushed forward to help him but seeing the bear so close she raised her spear in what was probably a futile gesture at warding the beast off.
The force of impact almost knocked her over but with strength no seven year old girl should possess she pushed back and impaled the bear on her spear. The Snow Bear shuddered and groaned but stopping dead however the runes glowed red for a moment as the beast died and she stared at it with confusion before pulling it free. The Umber man looked up in awe and said as he got to his feet.
"Thank you my lady, you saved my life." He said and she suddenly feeling self-conscious told him.
"Think nothing of it."
He was going to say more when they were distracted by a sniffling near the tree just to their right, turning to look they saw a pair of wolf pups curled up at the base of the tree. Meera carefully crept towards them and peered around to see a dead wolf that must have been the size of a pony. Her breath caught in her throat as she realised that this must be a direwolf, the sigil of her house. Looking down at the little pups who were probably starving and cold unlikely to survive without their mother. Her heart ached for them so with the spear still in her hand she scooped both direwolf pups in her arms and felt them cuddle into her for warmth.
"I'll protect you little pups, help you become big and strong." She told them quietly, her heart aching for these two poor little pups that had lost their mother and carried them back over the line, the Umber man looked at her with surprise. She told them.
"Please get the stone, it will be safe now."
They looked at her and the two pups in her arms with a strange look before doing as she requested. She stood as they did so and waited for her father, the GreatJon and Ser Wendel came back. She did get a thrill out of seeing their faces when they noticed the two small pups in her arms.
"Meera! What the devil have you done now!?" Ned asked exasperated, not sure how much trouble it was possible for a child to get into in a day. The spear and everything else had been enough to drive him to breaking point...now there was this.
"They are direwolf pups, a snow bear killed their mother." Meera said and hugged the two pups closer to her. "I'm going to take care of them."
"Aye my lord, she saved my life when the snow bear came." The Umber man she had saved said, she shot him a thankful look. The GreatJon smiled widely in pride at the daughter of his liege lord while Ser Wendel just shook his head, knowing this girl was going to be a legendary member of House Stark but couldn't decide if it was going to be as a trouble maker or as something else more heroic.
Ned wanted to kill them both as he knew that without their mother both pups were unlikely to survive, but at the same time they were direwolves the very symbol of his house. It didn't seem right to just kill them or abandon them, and as he already could feel his head throbbing with the stress of today and all the revelations. So he made her promise.
"You will train them yourself, you will feed them yourself and if they die you will bury them yourself understood?" He demanded and she eagerly nodded.
"Thank you father I will. I promise." She told him beaming from ear to ear, he just shook his head knowing this girl was going to hell to deal with as a later years if she was this bad as child.
Winterfell, Two Weeks Later...
"Make way for Lord Stark!" the rider said as he rode ahead of their far larger procession, it took four large wagons to carry all the tablets, the armour and the dragon bones the latter of which they had to render down before packing. They would get a lot of very good bows out of it all.
Meera sat on one of the wagons as her father led the column with her two new direwolf pups in her lap. She smiled down at them as they seemed to look around at all the new sights and smells around them. She gently rubbed their small heads and they nuzzled into her, clearly enjoying the attention.
The long carts did bring a lot of stares she noticed without concern, the dragon bones were hiding the armour and the men who knew had been sworn to secrecy. It would be secure before the day was out and the weapon-smiths around the castle would begin to render the dragon skeleton down for bows. The idea of translating the tablets and maybe even establishing a Rosetta stone for the runic language interested her, wondering just what the tablets had to say. It hadn't brought any clarity on her past life but at last she could sense magic more clearly now.
That brought her thoughts back to her new spear which was in the bundle just behind her, she could actually feel the magical energy running through it. Not like a wand although how she knew that feeling was another mystery to her, but the energy had a raw and primal feel to it like lightning held in a bottle. She was a little scared of it, the feeling of power that it gave her when she was holding it and wondered if it was safe to use. The GreatJon she reflected seemed to think so but his knowledge of the spear was based on barely remembered legends, there was no telling just what the realities of the spear would be. The only think she knew for certain so far was that it allowed her to read runes and seemed to give her strength beyond her body.
She just hoped the tablets said something that could enlighten her Meera thought with a slight frown before feeling the pups shift as if sensing her mood. However before she could reassure them she heard a voice that she had hoped to never hear again.
"This is where a bastard belongs if he has to curse the world with his birth."
She looked up startled to see the horrible bitch Mordane was standing there in front of the stables looking in triumph, she looked over to her father was likewise stunned at her reappearance after he had exiled her from the North. Meera glared, wondering if he had caved to her mother's demands and allowed the septa back.
"I thought she was forbidden to return to the North?" Meera asked with anger. Her father soon got over his surprise and now looked thunderous. He dismounted his horse and walked over to the stables, his loud footsteps alerted Mordane to his presence, she turned and curtsied.
"Lord Stark, I was not aware you were returning so soon. Your Lady Wife was kind enough to convey your apologies for your ill-spoken words." Mordane said with a smug smile, not seeming to realise just how thin the ice she was standing on really was.
"Did she indeed." Lord Stark said with anger written clear across on his face. However that became all out rage when he saw just who Mordane had been speaking too.
Stood with a shovel in his hand was Jon, covered in horse manure and looking both frightened and miserable. He was dressed in rags and had several bruises across his shoulders. Ned and Meera who had now dismounted the cart to see what was going on were shocked and horrified at the scene before them and wondered how much Jon had been subjected too since they left.
Ned while sometimes he did set menial tasks for his children to do did it only to build character and occasionally as a punishment but what Jon looked to be going through was pure abuse, he hoped that time away from home would improve the situation now he realised it had only made things worse. Seeing a hopeful look in Jon's eyes was enough to break his heart after the defeat and fear that had been there just before.
"Jon go to the maester and get yourself cleaned up. We will talk later." He said kindly to his secret nephew who instantly looked very relieved and moved away to do as he was told while Mordane just stared in astonishment and more than a little anger at his interference. Ned then turned to Jory Cassel. "And take the septa to the cells where she is to remain until I can deal with her."
The Septa spluttered in surprise as she was dragged away be Jory who smirked at her, like many in Winterfell he did not like her presence at all. Ned then saw Ser Rodrik and Maester Luwin coming over.
"Maester Luwin, Ser Rodrik. Perhaps you can tell me what has been going on in my absence?" He asked them, wondering what in the hells had been going on. Both men frowned but it was Ser Rodrik that answered.
"After you left on your expedition my lord Lady Stark welcomed the septa back, saying you had granted her that boon. The Septa then promptly punished Jon for not only accidentally spilling water on the her before but also her banishment. She has also forbade Lord Robb and Lady Sansa from going to the Godswood and insisted they learn from the Septa."
Ned nodded as he understood but did wonder what in the world his wife had been thinking? Had she just assumed that he would agree to this when he returned as she had already done it? Or that she would somehow convince him to accept it?
For all her talk of Meera being too wilful Ned had never met anyone with a more headstrong nature than Catelyn, she did and said whatever she wanted most of the time without ever considering the consequences. She clung to her own opinions whatever evidence to the contrary was shown, her attitude towards Jon was a case in point as was her ill-judged assumptions on how things worked especially here in the North.
He sighed knowing that once again an uphill battle lay before him and was unlikely to have anyone warming his bed for the foreseeable future.
So he went looking for his wife, deciding it was better to get it over with. He found her sitting without a care in the world in their rooms while Sansa and Arya worked on their needle work, when his daughters saw him arrive they both jumped to their feet and dropped what they had been doing immediately to give him a hug which he eagerly received. As he held his two youngest daughters though he looked at Catelyn who had the nerve to smile proudly like she had accomplished something. Not wanting to have his children see him likely fight with their mother he told them with a conspiratorial whisper.
"Your sister and I brought back something extraordinary from our trip, perhaps you might want to see it before it is gone." He suggested and at the mention of something 'extraordinary' would instantly grab their attention and beaming at him they ran to see the dragon skeleton while they had the chance.
That left Ned alone with his wife.
The fact that his smile had disappeared the moment their daughters were out of sight made Catelyn aware straight away that he was not happy about something and it was not hard to imagine what it was.
"Why was Jon mucking out the stables with nothing more than rags on his back in the frigid cold while the Septa that I banished from my home stood over him yelling insults, not to mention I suspect hitting him? I can only give you this one chance to explain yourself Cat before I take action."
She looked affronted at his demand that she explain herself when in her view she had done nothing wrong.
"I merely corrected the education of our children and punished the boy for his transgression, Sansa was very happy to have Septa Mordane back." Catelyn said with pride in her voice. Ned felt annoyance and anger that whatever words he used did not seem to penetrate her skull and was again forced to state the obvious.
"Cat that was an accident! I made the decision to banish the Septa for striking my children and not only did you see fit to reverse that banishment the moment I was gone, but that you allowed her to do it again…" Ned said his frustration and tiredness with the situation starting to get to him. "You make me look a fool in front of my lords and regardless of it being the North or the South, no foolish lord rules for long. History teaches that, so first thing in the morning Ser Cassel with escort Septa Mordane to White Harbour where I will request Lord Manderly put her on the first ship he can. I care not where it goes but as long it is nowhere near the North."
Catelyn looked ready to interrupt him but a glare from his eyes made her step back in fear, not something he wanted but it got him the peace he was so desperate for.
"Now I will tell you what we found on the mysterious island our daughter found." He told her and explained the dragon skeleton, the spear, the armour and the direwolf pups. He kept the fact that the spear was magical from her though as given how badly she reacted to Jon he didn't want to see how she reacted to the magical spear their daughter had acquired.
"Ned you can't let her keep them! They are wild beasts! You cannot let them near our children!" Catelyn near screeched which Ned felt his ears protest at but he shook his head.
"We will watch them closely but if they are raised right then they will become great protectors for our children. I know they could be dangerous but having the symbol of our family here in our home seems right." He said, knowing in his gut that those direwolves were going to be very important somehow.
Meera meanwhile was showing off her two direwolves pups to her siblings, they like her had been in awe of the adorable little pups the moment they had seen them and now both were enjoying the attention being lavished on them by all of the Stark children.
"They are so adorable." Sansa gushed, gently rubbing behind their ears which made the little pup lick her fingers.
"Yes...they...are." Arya said with bright eyes in her still developing words.
Jon and Robb, the former having finally been able to take a bath and get a change of clothes both stayed silent but lavished attention on the pups too. No doubt she thought wishing they had direwolves of their own.
"When the dragon bone is rendered down we'll have the best bows in Westeros." Meera said excitedly. "More than enough for each of us to have one."
Jon and Robb smiled, liking the idea while Arya was so excited she hugged her sister so tightly it could have strangled someone. However when Sansa caught her gaze her smile fell.
"Mother says that's not how ladies behave." Sansa said slowly like she was struggling with her own reluctance to learn. "That we should only learn to sow, sing, dance and run a household."
Meera and the rest of the Stark children all stared at her and frowned which only made Sansa look away looking guilty and a little upset that she couldn't join them, mother had been very demanding in that regard since Meera and father had been gone. Meera's face as her irritation with their mother rose became very stern.
"You will learn." She told her with a tone that could freeze water which made her siblings all look at her with surprise. "Mother doesn't even follow her own advice, she brought Mordane back here after Father banished her, embarrassing him in front of all the Northern houses. We can be far more than just babe making things that dance when we are told. I don't care if I have to drag you down to the yard by the ankle every morning past mother's door, you will learn and if she has a problem with it then she can take it up with me." Meera told Sansa, who looked shocked her sister would go so far just for her before smiling and throwing her arms around her. Meera would have hugged her back but a yelp from the pups made them jump back as the poor things were accidentally being crushed between them. That of course led to the two pups receiving even more attention as all the Starks present did their best to reassure them.
Sadly that it was the Stark children themselves that were in need of reassurance when days later the ravens from the south arrived. They were all sitting together eating their morning meal, Meera gently fed her two pups little bits of meat and milk with her fingers, smiling at their little happy barks while her siblings took turns in helping. Smiles were on nearly every face, even Ned had one as he saw how much his children loved the little pups.
One person however was not smiling, Catelyn scowled at the attention they were giving the beasts as her own 'pet' Mordane had once again been banished.
Maester Luwin came in with a grave look on his face as he passed the letter to Ned who read it and the smile disappeared. He frowned and then accepted the news with a resigned look. He saw all the people in the hall, even his own children and wife stare at him, waiting to here just what had come.
"The Iron Islands have rebelled, the country is once again at war. I have been ordered to call my banners and join with the King and the rest of the kingdoms to put down the uprising."
There was an audible gasp as the news sunk in, once again in the lifetime of some the men would be leaving to fight and some would not be coming back.
"Ned, can't you choose someone else to lead the North? Maybe the GreatJon? There is no reason for you to go." Catelyn said, not wanting her husband to go again to war or worse not come back. He shook his head though.
"They're my lords Cat, I have to lead them." Ned told her, sad that once again he would have to go off to war. It might be good too see Robert and Jon Arryn again but the circumstances soured that.
"Maybe you should ask Wyman Manderly to help run the North while you are gone father." Meera said, surprising them all. "He is a very clever man and could teach Robb a great deal about ruling and take the strain off mother, he has two sons so one can rule White Harbour while the other leads his forces. That frees him to help here."
Meera however had a very different reason for suggesting it, one she didn't share with her family. She knew her father would come back, she could feel it in her bones but what did worry her was what mother would do if she had the power to rule Winterfell again. The pups would be either throw out or killed, Jon only the gods knew what punishment he would get and that went for her as well. Wyman Manderly was one of the smartest men the North had and could no doubt teach them all a lot but also he was a wise man too, one capable of keeping Catelyn in check.
It struck her for a moment that she had actually called her mother by her name, she wanted a good relationship with her mother...she really did but she was starting to realise that it was her mother's way or not at all. She did hope they could meet somewhere in the middle but her mother remained as unmoveable as a mountain.
Meera saw her mother's glare aimed solely at her, not only for the suggestion that she wasn't up to running Winterfell but also for not trying to convince father not to go. She returned it just as intensely, a fact that was not missed by Ned and the others in the room.
Ned was especially unsettled by the look of near hatred that seemed to be passing between them, the situation was getting worse and he was concerned about how much the situation could deteriorate without him there. Wyman would hopefully be able to keep the peace Ned thought with some doubt, but the man was very good with words and numbers if anyone could do it Wyman could.
So he resolved to send the letter to Lord Manderly as soon as possible to ask him to come to Winterfell, he only hoped that his war against the Greyjoys did not go on too long.
There we are, the end of chapter 2 and I hope you all like it, please give a review to let me know what you think.
The idea of having Wyman Manderly running Winterfell during the Greyjoy rebellion was inspired by ffdrake who was very kind in letting me use it. So thank you again!
While Catelyn I doubt would hit Jon I wonder if Mordane would? Also in regards to her punishing Jon she would believe a Septa over a bastard, that he did it on purpose rather than by accident.
The spear Gungnir is something from Norse Mythology and has a number of abilities, can't wait to show them to you all. I looked through a few different weapons before settling on that one.
Next Chapter- Meera discovers the secrets of her spear and Ned makes a decision about his children.
Till next time...