Moat Cailin, 293 AC, Harry's POV

Harry was intently looking at the plans for reconstructing the dilapidated castle. He had arrived at Moat Cailin for over two years now. The once strong and ancient stronghold of twenty towers and enormous walls had been reduced to a pittance by the ravages of time. There used to be a wooden keep as well, which had rotted away and only 3 towers amongst the original twenty stood today. Harry had taken up residence in the Gatehouse Tower, the largest of the remaining towers.

The thralls who were rescued from the Iron Islands had been settling around the castle. Harry, who wanted to provide a place for the rescued thralls, had ordered the construction of a large village to accommodate them. Since most thralls had hard laborious tasks provided to them, they had taken to farming and tilling the fields readily. While initially cowed, scared and uncertain about what was to happen to them after the Ironborn rebellion, all of them had been immensely thankful and grateful to Harry.

Harry was particularly upset about the 'salt-wives' amongst the thralls. Some of them had been clearly abused to such an extent that they seemed dead from within. While he had initiated several rehabilitation plans, and ensured the safety and security of those folks, he realized not everything would be smooth sailing or easy, as several of these people had been abused for years altogether.

There were several families who were thralls as well as isolated people who the ironborn had captured. It would be better if he were to assign some responsibilities and leadership roles to a few, to ensure that these people were well cared for. Theron was one of the thralls who had more of an administrative role in the Iron Islands. While Harry had been in Winterfell, he had ensured that these people were well settled around Moat Cailin and Theron had come forward and acted as the de-facto head of all the thralls. Upon reaching Moat Cailin, Harry had come to an uncomfortable realization. Many were used to the old ways and had assumed Harry while a kind and generous lord would also have expectations from them. As a result, on his first night in Moat Cailin, two of the women had come to his chambers to "offer" comfort. They were clearly afraid but also had resolve in their demeanor, which led Harry to believe this was not on a whim, but the girls were sent after being told what was expected of them.

Harry had provided them with a hot meal, and asked his castellan to arrange rooms for the girls to sleep for the night. He had gently rebuffed their awkward advances and the following day had summoned Theron to set his expectations clear. He had left Moat Cailin after that to meet the mountain his return, he felt that he was able to sort the matter out quite well, as there was no repeat occurrence again.

Harry had discovered that the weirwood trees had magic surrounding them sometime back. Drawing in the latent magic from the trees, he was able to make lands surrounding the Moat arable. He passed it off as blessing of the Old Gods, while using he had created a ritual to ensure the magic suffused the land gradually. He proceeded to ask the thralls who knew farming to till and work on the land, so they could grow their own food. They had readily taken up the task at the prospect of growing their own food and Harry had provided several food crops like rice, paddy, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. The magic would ensure that the crops grew well and the land did not lose its nourishment.

There were small makeshift constructs which the thralls had made to stay around the broken towers, Harry had started to build concrete houses similar to the developments he had made in other villages of the North. Lord Reed, Lord Manderly had at his request sent some of their builders and stonemasons and Harry had requested for the rest from Winterfell. Gradually over time they had managed to build quite a few houses made of stone and wood for the residents of Moat Cailin.

A tavern had also been made which was large and was managed by a few retired Winter Wolves who chose to serve Harry even after they could not continue to go on patrolling and taking escort jobs. Harry had gladly invested money in the tavern. The atmosphere of the tavern was lively and jolly with men and women coming for food and liquor after a hard day's work. Ale, beer, wine and food went all around and the atmosphere was lively. Harry also used to join them many times, and would often play his flute. His soulful notes were always welcome and the folks at the tavern would be eager to listen to him play.

Over time many new people came in to settle in the area. Harry with his extensive connections with the merchants had turned the settlement into a town. He had also created another base for the Winter Wolves here, and the previously dilapidated ruin was eventually turning into a bustling settlement. His nickname of the 'Black Wolf' had stuck around and the folks had called the place Wolf's Den.

Harry had Jon accompany him to Moat Cailin. While his father was skeptical, Harry and Jon had convinced Ned that this was the best choice for Jon. While Jon wanted to join the Winter Wolves, Harry had denied his request instead asking him to hold off making any major decisions and had for the time being made him his sworn shield.

Jon had grown to be tall and wiry but strong. He was quite dangerous with his sword Red Rain, the sword he had taken after slaying Dunstan Drumm during the Greyjoy Rebellion. He was quite deadly and could dispatch bandits and brigands while patrolling with ease. He also had developed a keen sense of scouting and learned quite a lot from the Wolves and Harry personally believed Jon would be capable of much more.

Harry himself, now of age, had grown into a powerfully built man. He also, like Jon, had an athletic build than a more heavier frame. His swordsmanship had improved even more, with him incorporating his magic to help him in his fights. While his magic would signal him danger, he practiced his skills in also reading the surface thoughts of his opponents while in battle. This would result in him being devastatingly dangerous while he was patrolling and often he could use ravens and other birds and animals to help him with scouting.

He had greatly improved his trade with Essos and the Riverlands and would also contribute to a majority of the taxes the North had to pay to the Iron Throne. The mines in the northern mountains had ensured that they would have a steady supply of minerals. While most mines did not have much gold or silver, there were many other metals that could be found which were highly useful for trade and various reasons. Overall, he had lowered their imports and had increased their exports and had built a great economy for the North, something many were grateful for, as for the first time in many years, the Northerners did not have to be frugal and rigid due to necessity. With more and more of the small folk moving to the North for a better life, the population of the North also had increased. With his father and Robb's help, they were able to establish several new villages and towns with some towns developing special artisan skills under Harry's patronage.

Almost all of the lords were quite happy with his actions. There were a few who were still wary of House Stark and by extension him, but Harry had made the resolve to unite the North as one.

Moat Cailin, Jon's POV 293 AC

Jon after the rebellion had taken up with the Winter Wolves. While his father Eddard was wary about sending Jon to Moat Cailin as Harry was yet to establish the fort properly, both Jon and Harry had insisted and Eddard had finally relented, probably thinking it might be good for Jon.

After the Greyjoy rebellion, Jon had created somewhat of a reputation for himself for slaying Lord Drumm in single combat. The valyrian longsword Red Rain which he had acquired was mainly the cause for that. Robb, as the acting lord had declared that Jon would be the rightful owner, earning a scowl from his mother, Robb had insisted on it and the Winter Wolves had also praised Jon. The smallfolk had also started flocking to him whenever he would head over to the town. Jon was used to seeing Harry being mobbed by the smallfolk with him playing the flute and being the Sword of the North. So Jon was quite surprised at how quickly people had taken to him.

He remembered being quite shocked when his father and brother returned from the War. Harry had another valyrian steel sword with him and he was given a title, 'The Sword of the North'. He had immediately gone on to hug them, being relieved they were okay. He was not surprised that the king had decided to give Harry a title. Jon always thought that the title was so apt for Harry. Harry had changed the face of the North from such a young age. He was kind, he was generous and he was so protective of his family. People in the castle and eventually in the town had stopped calling him bastard. Even Theon, who would often derive sick pleasure in calling him a bastard had stopped calling him that. Jon could not prove it, but he was sure that Harry had done something about that.

Harry was called to be blessed by the Old Gods. He could enchant armor, he could actually perform magic. While Jon had never seen Harry perform magic blatantly, much of what he did, he did by carving these things he called as runes. Jon knew Harry would use blood as he had seen one of the initiations of the Winter Wolves, but felt Harry could possibly be capable of more.

But Jon knew that despite all the fame and all of the accomplishments, to his family and friends, he was always 'just Harry'. He never paid much heed to the difference between them, him being a second born son and Jon being a bastard. Harry would train with him and would keep telling Jon how Jon eventually should join the Winter Wolves. While Jon was still thinking of joining the Night's Watch so Harry had decided for a trip to Castle Black. After the trip, Jon had not brought up the topic of joining the Night's Watch again.

Upon arriving at Moat Cailin, Jon was told that his initiation was to be done. Harry then proceeded to perform the ritual and Jon took the oath. After the ceremony ended and Jon wore the amulet, he felt an energy course through his body. Harry told him that he would need to rest and would be fine the next day. Jon had woken up the next morning feeling more agile and light. He tried to test it in the training yard. He was faster and could make more powerful blows with his sword. After a few days, Jon realized why it always seemed to him that the wolves never seemed exhausted.

As Jon walked up to the tavern, he could hear the sound of the flute played by Harry. Jon would often hear Harry play this tune, and it was hauntingly beautiful. There was complete silence at the tavern as Harry played. Jon remembered Harry would tell him that he had composed the tune from a real story. As Harry finished, Jon could see a few folks with tears in their eyes. As Harry had developed Moat Cailin, slowly people had flocked to here. Many folks would also come from the south and settle. Over time, a bustling town was created and Harry currently was building outer walls for the city he would eventually develop the town to. Slowly a tavern was built and bards also often came to ply their trade here. As Jon recalled there already were a few songs on Harry. "The Wolf and the Kraken" was a great song and often Sansa and Arya would mercilessly tease Harry as Harry would get embarrassed when anyone mentioned the song. Jon walked up to Harry and asked, "Did you get any letter from father?"

"Haven't received ravens since this morning. " Harry said. "That reminds me, I have to write to the citadel for a maester. Would need someone to take care of things", Harry added sheepishly.

Harry gestured and both left the tavern to take a walk around town. As Harry walked next to Jon, he said, "The outer wall will be built and secured within the next month. After that I was thinking of going to Winterfell."

Jon was happy to hear that. He had missed Robb, Arya, father and the others back at Winterfell. "That's great. Do you have something in mind? " he asked Harry.

Harry had a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I have to speak to my father. We all soon will be adults, you, me and Robb. I wanted to see more of Westeros. We should travel to most of the Great Houses. "

"I don't think the Dornish would be very happy to see us ." Jon said amused at Harry's idea. Besides, how will father allow both of you to gallivant across Westeros. He will have to take care of Winterfell while you have to take care of Moat Cailin."

"You let me worry about talking to father." Harry said, smiling at Jon. "There is a good chance that King Robert might announce some big tourney soon."

"A tourney? And we would take part? In what? Jousting? While I can handle a spear from a horse it doesn't seem I would be fond of jousting. " Jon pointed out.

"You can always try it out " Harry said easily as they stood near the corner of the path, watching a few children play in the streets. "Besides, there is also a melee and that is what is interesting."

"The tourney could be for just anointed knights," Jon pointed out. "Besides, won't Lady Stark call out the grave danger of Starks venturing south?"

"Oh please, don't be so superstitious" Harry said testily.

"Says the guy who literally performs feats of magic." Jon deadpanned.

"Okay, you have a point there maybe." Harry states while deep in thought. "But I can say for sure that there are no curses which afflict us Starks on this. It was pure bad luck and a very mad, mad king."

Harry paused, and then looked at Jon. "But that won't deter me from going south!"

Jon gave in and finally said in a resigned manner, "Alright. I'll come with you. I should make sure that both of you don't end up in places you don't want to be."

"Great! You do that! So we leave for Winterfell in a fortnight. I will have everything finished here by then." Harry nodded. "I shall see you later then" he said as he left for his solar again. Jon went back to the tavern for more ale and food. As he dug into his supper, his mind was running through all the new possibilities of the next few weeks. He was soon taken away from his thoughts by the fold in the tavern who would insist on hearing stories from his time from patrols.

Small Council, 293 AC, Stannis' POV

The Small Council chambers are dimly lit, adorned with ornate tapestries depicting sigils of noble houses. Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, sits at the head of the table, poring over stacks of parchment. Stannis Baratheon, the stern and rigid Master of Ships, sits at his right, his eyes fixed on a map spread out before him. Across from Stannis, Peter Baelish, known as Littlefinger, leans back in his chair, a sly smirk playing on his lips. Varys, the eunuch spymaster, stands near a bookshelf, observing the others with his enigmatic gaze.

The members of the small council all gathered into the small council chambers. Robert was unsurprisingly absent from the gathering, as he often chose to skive off such meetings calling them as "counting coppers." As Jon started speaking about the finances of the Iron Throne, Stannis was quite surprised to see the amount of money Robert was splurging. They already owed a significant amount of gold to the Lannisters, who had 'graciously' footed every expense of Robert.

Stannis did not believe in such meaningless and frivolous spending. Wine, women, expensive items and interests, Robert seemed to be more happy drunk than trying to rule the seven kingdoms. Stannis was broken out of his reverie, as Jon started speaking.

Jon Arryn rubbing his temples said, "The debts of the Iron Throne continue to weigh heavily upon us. We must find a solution to this predicament. We already owe a significant amount of gold to the Lannisters. It is prudent we solve this crisis before this poses a severe problem in the realm."

Stannis gruffly responded, "The Crown's finances have been woefully mismanaged for far too long. Our fleets are in disrepair, and we lack the necessary funds to maintain them. As the master of ships, I feel this is a big problem and we will be exposed and unprepared, worse off than the Greyjoy rebellion."

At this, Lord Baelish looked uncomfortable as he spoke, "My Lord Jon, I can assure you that I will look into this and ensure we have enough to ensure the finances do not seem to be mismanaged" he added tersely.

Varys, smirking subtly could not help but chuckle and add in, "Mismanagement, indeed. It seems some people have their own priorities when it comes to the realm's coffers."

Raising an eyebrow, Baelish was quite waspish with his response, "Ah, Varys, always the one to notice the subtlest of corruption. But tell me, my dear spymaster, can you even comprehend the concept of manhood?"

Varys: (simpering) Ah, Lord Baelish, your concerns for my manhood are as impressive as your reputation for financial integrity. As Stannis looked to break the pointless argument, he heard the doors of the small council chambers open with a slam and in came Robert.

The entire room went quiet upon seeing the King enter the Small council chamber. The Small Council chambers remain dimly lit, with the air thick with tension. King Robert Baratheon sits heavily on his throne at the head of the table, a goblet of wine in his hand. The other council members, Jon Arryn, Stannis Baratheon, Peter Baelish, and Varys, are gathered around, waiting for their King's command.

Robert raising his goblet said, "My dear advisors, I have reached a decision that will lift the spirits of the realm and bring joy to all. I hereby announce a grand tournament to be held in the honor of Prince Joeffrey's nameday."

Such an expense would definitely push the Iron Throne in further debt. Not agreeing to this, Jon intervened, "Your Grace, with all due respect, the realm's coffers are already strained. Holding a grand tournament at this time would only worsen our financial situation."

King Robert, being as dismissive as he usually was when it came to matters of finance, waved his hands away, "Jon, my old friend, you worry too much. We'll find a way to fund this tournament, perhaps with some sponsorships from noble houses or by securing loans. The people need something to celebrate, and a tourney shall provide just that."

Jon Arryn was quite resolute and stuck to his point, "Your Grace, I understand the importance of keeping the people's spirits high, but we cannot overlook the dire state of our finances. It is my duty as Hand of the King to ensure the stability of the realm."

Robert disagreed and leaned forward and said,"Stability, Jon? Stability is one thing, but what good is it if the people have no joy in their lives? This tournament will bring them together, inspire hope, and distract them from their troubles. It's exactly what we need." Not seeing an alternative solution, decided to try and convince his elder brother, "Brother, I must agree with Jon. The finances of the realm are not stable, and we can ill afford to indulge in such costly endeavors. Our priority should be repaying our debts, not hosting lavish events.

Robert was a demon in battle, bettering and destroying his enemies and a fantastic general. However, he was not exactly known for his patience. Feeling many of the Small Council opposing his proposal, he lost his temper and bellowed, "Enough! I've made my decision, and it stands. This tournament will proceed, and the people will have something to look forward to. We'll find a way to fund it, even if it means cutting back on some unnecessary expenses."

The room falls into an uneasy silence as the weight of the King's decision settles upon them. Jon Arryn, though concerned, resigns himself to the fact that his counsel has been overruled.

Bowing his head he accepts Robert's order, "As you command, Your Grace. I shall make the necessary arrangements for the tournament."

Robert nodded, as he stood and left the Small Council. Jon rubbed his temples, no doubt to stave off the incoming headache. As they all realigned their plans to fit in the tourney, Jon looked old, tired and weary. As the Small Council meeting came to an end, Stannis started to move away to be at Dragonstone. After Shireen's miracle recovery, he was not wasting more time, he wanted to be back to his family.