Reviews for Hadrian Lannister Lion of the Rock
Guest chapter 11 . 10/31/2020
Ned had hoped to be comforted by the colder winds of the North as he and Jeyne Poole have ridden back to Winterfell. The loneliness of their small party was a sobering reminder of the events that have befallen them since they had left home nearly a year ago. He had gone to King's Landing with a large party of men and both of his daughters, now he had ridden home alone except for his dead steward's surviving orphaned daughter. All of his men were dead, his younger daughter at Casterly Rock being taught gods know what and his elder daughter being banished to the Reach to marry a gay man who even preferred the company of men. Ned only kept his calm through a hard struggle and as he and Jeyne came into sight of Winterfell, his heart was comforted by the somewhat grim looking castle. Despite everything that had happened, he could take comfort from the simple fact he was home. He and his companion have ridden through the open gates to see the newly promoted Archmaester Luwin standing there waiting for him. None of his family were here he noticed but Luwin soon revealed the reason for that. "My Lord, welcome home. We were not expecting you so soon and with such a depleted party." Luwin greeted Ned, seeing Jeyne Poole arrived with him. The reminder of how many people he had lost in King's Landing quickly banished what warmth Ned could draw from being home. His face remained stern as he told Luwin for his family to meet him in his solar and that Jeyne Poole was to have her own room made ready for her. A maid took the girl away who remained silent for the majority of their trip home. He was deeply worried about the girl who seemed to be withdrawing into herself. Which took a great deal of effort to get her to show interest in anything and he had to be quite stern in his reminders for her to eat and drink. Perhaps he such write to Bear Island and get Dacey Mormont or one of GreatJon Umber's daughters to come to Winterfell to try and help her if they could. He didn't know if it'd work but it was worth a try to see if they could aid Young Lady Poole in her grief rather than let her waste away. Luwin told him as they walked. "We have received ravens from both Lord Stannis and Lord Renly. They have both named themselves king and are calling for your support." "Burn those letters, Luwin. The North is having no part in this stupid southern war, we are neutral and that is my only word on the matter." Luwin allowed himself to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the statement but he didn't question his lord. He had known him since he was a boy and recognized that tone. It wasn't heard often but it was the voice Ned had when he was so set on something that nothing and no-one was going to stop him. Whatever had happened in King's Landing had obviously affected his lord deeply and Luwin wisely decided to not speak. As they passed several of the previously abandoned towers, Ned noticed that Luwin's copies of the Citadel library had arrived which also counted as the Stark's copy of the library as each of the great houses was being entrusted with a copy to ensure the knowledge was protected for the future. The sheer quantity of books had quickly overwhelmed the existing library at Winterfell and they were using some of the abandoned towers to store them until they could find somewhere to permanently house them, but Ned put those thoughts aside as he entered the familiar corridors and rooms of the castle where he had been born. Coming to the solar, he hadn't set foot in for over a year, he sat in his chair and was somewhat relieved by its familiar feel and saw that one of the servants had the foresight to put a jug of fresh water there for him with a goblet. He took a grateful sip as he waited for the rest of his family to arrive with the exception of Rickon, the boy who was still too young for such things. It didn't take long, Catelyn had burst into the room and threw herself into his arms when he stood up to meet her and kissed him deeply. They were only broken from this by a lack of breath and Robb entering with Bran, the other boy who was accompanied by his betrothed Lyanna Mormont and Ser Brynden Tully. He thought for a moment about sending the lady from Bear Island and the knight from the Riverlands out but he decided as they would undoubtedly squeeze what he was going to say out of Bran anyway and they were already or would one day be a part of his family so they should probably be a part of what he was about to tell them. Luwin excused himself and left the small group alone, Catelyn looked around for Sansa and Arya, expecting both of them to be with him only to frown when she had seen neither of them them, but Robb had spoken although he had noticed his younger sisters' absences, too. "Father, thank the gods. I was about to call the banners when I heard you had been taken by the Lannisters. What happened down there?" He asked his father, the Northern lord who looked even grimmer than usual, told them. "Robert fatally passed on and the Queen had chosen to take power." He had spoken in as steady of a voice as he could manage. He explained Sansa's betrayal by revealing the fact that she (Sansa) told the Queen which happened afterwards. Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna looked shocked at the betrayal while Catelyn only had grown angrier demandingly which both Ned and Ser Brynden have known meant she was incredibly ready to burst.
"She was you tricked by a nasty bitch and you sent her away to Highgarden?! She needs to be here…at home."
"She betrayed us, Cat." Ned tried to get through to his wife only what that meant. "Northern law has only two punishments for that; death or the Wall and given she is a girl the Wall is out so if she were to come here again, my vassals would demand her head not to mention the families of the men who fatally passed on. Sending her to Highgarden was the only way to save her life." he (Ned) told her. Most Northern laws were from the time when the Starks had been Kings of the North and were set in stone. Punishments were harsh and unyielding just like the land around them. If he had tried to change that for the sake of his daughter, then he'd be facing a full on revolt from some of the more diehard lords. Ser Brynden nodded sadly and tried to make Catelyn understand. "It is for the best, Cat. Sansa might have been tricked but she still betrayed her own family and the North as a whole. The families of the men who fatally passed on, would want vengeance for their loved ones and the lords would want her as an example. Not even a Stark is above the law. If Ned had brought her back and denied them, he'd lose their loyalty. All it'd take is one of the rival claimants to the throne offering say House Bolton lordship of the North and they'd rise in revolt and Ned wouldn't have the support of the other lords to stop them." Robb nodded in agreement. He might carry Catelyn's looks but he was Ned's son through and through. There was a bigger picture here that Catelyn wasn't seeing and although he dearly missed his younger sister, Sansa, he knew she'd never be able to come home or else, she'd face the chopping block.
Bran and Lyanna looked unsettled although Lyanna could understand Ned's reasons, too. She knew her own family had pretty firm ideas about honor and loyalty and even if they were one of the most loyal houses to House Stark, they would think twice about support a house that flaunted the law when it suited them. By sending Sansa Stark away, it'd keep the lords if not happy, satisfied that she'd been punished since the Starks were true to their own honor, but Lady Stark didn't see it that way. "She is our daughter, Ned! You are the lord of the North and they should follow where you lead, not cave you in like a craven when they start making demands!" Her face was red with fury and her words seemed to shake the walls with their intensity. Which was followed by the temperature in the room seemingly dropping several degrees as silence also had fallen with Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna all looking at Ned, the Northern lord whose face had gone from its tired, grim mask to one of rage and without warning, he responded with a tirade of his own.
"I have given you far too much of your own way here! I have allowed Septa Mordane here! This is the North, the Old Gods are ones that we worship at Winterfell, but you and Mordane filled our daughters' heads with those pathetically stupid ideas about what a 'good lady' is supposed to do and behave like! Do you know the sole reason Arya did not want to marry? All because she believed she would have to be like Sansa or you rather than only be true to herself! You filled Sansa's head with those nonexistent, idiotic tales of love and honor by giving her moronic, ridiculous, foolish, stupid dreams that blinded her to the truth! I allowed that in my own complacency when I should have made sure Sansa understood the fact that family is the most important thing, the fact that loyalty to them is far more important than ideas of love or glory, but now it is too late and she can never set foot in the North again because if she does, she will be killed!" he told Catelyn with more anger in his voice than anyone had ever heard from him before. Everyone in the room was shocked no more than Ned himself. He had never raised his voice to his wife before but the last year and all of its events had taken their toll on his patience.
Catelyn was stunned into silence at her husband's words, they cut deep and she silently walked out of the room as she tried to wrap her head around them. As everyone else in the room made their excuses to leave, Ned sat down and rested his head in his hands as he leaned against his desk. He doubted his marriage would ever be the same after today, those words have spoken in anger no matter how much he had never meant to say, it had opened the spouse (husband/wife) drama between Catelyn and himself that he was unsure they could ever repair.

Meanwhile, Margaery was out in one of the gardens looking for her future sister in law. No one had seen much of the elder daughter of Lord Stark since Willas had arrived with her only days ago. Margaery had only seen the girl briefly but despite the fact that she heard enough from Willas to know that the girl must be suffering. To be exiled from your own homeland because of one error of judgement seemed harsh but when Willas had explained about how strict Northern law was, Sansa realized that she was lucky to get away with her life. However, if the girl was to be a member of the Tyrell family, then someone should at least try and make her welcome. She eventually found her in a grove near the bottom and most secluded part of the gardens. The pale red head was kneeling in front of a bed of blue flowers and humming some strange tune that Margaery didn't recognize. Sansa sensed her (Margaery's) presence and got to her feet quickly.
"Lady Margaery, I am sorry if my humming disturbed you." Sansa apologized to her quietly with her head bowed so that she (Margaery) wouldn't see the tears that were threatening to run down her cheeks. "I was hoping I can speak to you especially since we are to be sisters in laws one day." Margaery told the exiled Stark. She smiled at the younger girl and Sansa looked very much like a startled deer that was completely frozen. Margaery guided her slowly by putting her hand gently on Sansa's shoulder. "Do you like the blue flowers?" She asked, hoping to start a conversation and regretted it the moment that she saw the tears in Sansa's eyes. "They remain me of the winter roses back home. They are beautiful at full bloom." She (Sansa) said mournfully. Margaery took one of her (Sansa's) hands and held it gently.
"Sansa, I know what happened in King's Landing and it is not your fault." Margaery went for the root of the problem assuringly. However, she (Sansa) immediately felt her guilt tearing into her and insisted sadly. "But it is, instead of just following my father's simple command, I went to tell the Queen exactly what he was planning. That got our entire retinue killed, made my ex-best friend an orphan and my father locked up in the Blacks Cells like he was a criminal. What I did is treason and now I pay the price. Marrying your brother is more than I deserve." she (Sansa) said, knowing that she was not worthy of a knight now, let alone one of a great house like the Tyrells.
"Sansa." Margaery put her hand to her (Sansa's) mouth to stop the girl speaking anymore self-criticism. "My brother will respect you as long as you are loyal to him, you are a beautiful young woman who will blossom when you are ready such like those winter roses." she (Margaery) assured her (Sansa), seeing the uncertain look on her (Sansa's) face, she added. "And as for what happened in King's Landing, you were outwitted by a far more devious woman than you were prepared for. Cersei just used you, Sansa and I can teach you so it does not happen again. Like my grandmother taught me." She (Sansa) was quiet for a moment as she absorbed Margaery's words. She had heard Willas Tyrell speak on their journey of how clever and cunning his grandmother and sister were. If Margaery was serious in her desire to teach her, then it'd mean that should she ever cross paths with someone like Cersei again…she'd be ready for them. Her mind was made up immediately and she said.
"Teach me."
Guest chapter 11 . 10/31/2020
"Unfortunately, Ned had no other choice but to banish that traitorous Southerner at heart from Winter-fell for betraying him, the other Northerners and even Jeyne Poole to Queen Cersei."

"Sansa's never coming back home to Winter-fell since Ned had no other choice but to banish her from the North." Jeyne glared at the mention of her former friend's name silently without a word with pure hatred in her angry eyes. "Serves her right for betraying the poor Poole girl, their fathers and the other Northerners who were alive back then." "I know, right?" "Oh yeah."

Jeyne Poole's thoughts

Dialogue

Jeyne Poole (angrily fuming about her ex-best friend, Sansa silently): I can't believe that traitorous bitch told the queen that we were leaving King's Landing for Winter-fell! My father died, leaving me orphaned because of her.

"Hey, we're sorry for your loss." "Not only that, we're sorry that brat, Sansa betrayed you for the Southern Queen who merely used her." Jeyne glared at not those who apologized to her sympathetically, however, the mention of her ex-best friend's name without a word. "Sansa will never come back to Winter-fell since Ned banished her." "Serves her right for betraying you, your father, Vayon Poole, her father, Ned Stark and the other Northerners who were alive back then." "Yeah."

Arya was stunned to see Jeyne hitting Sansa. "I never saw her do that to her myself before." "But now you do."

"I can't believe you hit Sansa which doesn't sound like you at all. Last time I checked, you and her were friends." Arya talked to Jeyne, the orphaned girl who glared at not her (Arya), however, the mention of her (Arya's) elder sister. "Well not anymore. She's the reason my father died, leaving me orphaned." Jeyne said coldly much to her (Arya's) pure shock.
Guest chapter 10 . 10/31/2020
Later, after Ned had returned to the tower to retrieve what was left of his belongings he went and tracked down Ice. Which seemed that Ser Ilyn Payne had taken a fancy to his family's ancestral sword and claimed it for his own but Ned had swiftly retrieved his blade and was in the process of cleaning it to try and relax his mind but it didn't do any good. He had always valued family above everything else, his wife and children meant the world to him and he wouldn't have traded the years, he had had with them for anything and he hoped for many more years yet to come and perhaps even grandchildren if his children obliged him. Even if Jon wasn't his own son, he (Jon) was still included in his family and he'd protect the boy until death, telling no one the boy's true identity to keep him safe from those who'd kill him just for who his father had been. However, what Sansa just did had shaken him to the core. He doubted that she had done it maliciously but regardless of her motives the damage was done which means he'd have to make sure Sansa understood the consequences. He wasn't looking forward to what he was going to have to say to his elder daughter but all too soon the time came as both Sansa and the now newly orphaned girl, Jeyne Poole entered his room. Seeing Ned, Sansa rushed over and eagerly threw herself into his arms, crying with relief that he was alright after everything happened. He (Ned) held his elder daughter but not as tightly as he might've done a week ago which made him terrible. His eyes moved to Jeyne Poole, the orphaned girl who was standing at the door with tears in her own eyes. He was worried about the young orphaned girl because the world was a terrible place to be all alone and she was still a child. However, Sansa regained his attention by telling him how much she wanted to go back home to Winter-fell and forget everything that happened which was too much for Ned, the Northern lord who removed himself from his elder daughter's embrace much to her (Sansa's) surprise. She (Sansa) was unsettled at his (Ned's) stern expression. "Father?" Sansa asked Ned. "Do you know what you have done?" Ned demanded. "You betrayed us. You told the queen that we were to flee King's Landing. Our entire retinue here was wiped out because of what you did behind my back." Sansa's eyes widened as she (Sansa) shook within horror at what Ned had found out from Hadrian. The terrible realization gripped her. There was a moment of silence as his words have sunk in, however, it was neither of them (Ned nor Sansa) who ended the silence. Instead, the silence of the room was broken by a scream filled with rage & grief. Therefore, Sansa found herself being hit by the fists of none other than her ex-best friend, Jeyne Poole, the enraged orphaned girl who started screaming at her (Sansa) like an animal till she (Jeyne) was pulled off by Ned. Jeyne struggled for a moment before her anger collapsed and her tears long held in burst free as she sobbed onto Lord Stark's shoulder, especially into Ned's arms. "They killed my father!" As he (Ned) carefully wrapped the grief filled orphaned girl in his hold, he rubbed her shoulder carefully and reassuringly told her gently. "Do not worry, girl. I will make sure you are well cared for at Winterfell." He'd make the girl his ward given her father's loyal service and the fact that the girl had no family of her own in this world anymore. He regretfully turned to tell Sansa. "But you are guilty of treason. Under Northern law there is only one punishment…death. I cannot even change that without angering all of our vassals." Sansa suddenly was distraught as he (Ned) continued. "Which is only in the North. As long as you stay south of the Neck, I can opt for the lesser punishment of exile. I will try and find a place for you perhaps with your uncle, Edmure in the Riverlands or your aunt, Lysa in the Vale but you can never again set foot in the North. Otherwise, the Northern lords will kill you on sight." He told her mournfully, he really did love Sansa and unfortunately, this was the only way to save her life. To send her away…to deny her the land of her birth because if she ever returned there and the truth of what she did came out, then he'd probably face the ire of his own lords and if they didn't kill her then they'd make him to do it instead. However, the look of utter desolation that his older daughter was giving him made his heart shatter into a million irreparable pieces.

Meanwhile, Sansa felt like her entire world was leaving her alone in a vast empty wasteland filled with terrible predators that filled her with terror. Ned's words had cut deeper than any blade filling her with total and absolute devastation as the full impact of what she did threatened to overwhelm her. Her real home, Winterfell, the one she dismissed with the arrogance of assuming that it'd always be there for her was now beyond her reach. The cold Northern winds but warm and loving atmosphere of her family's home was now stripped from her. Her family would be so far away that she might well never see them again…her loving, caring mother, the Southerner who soothed her tears, told her such wonderful stories. Her brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon all so full of life and mischief that secretly they made her laugh with their bad jokes. Her dire-wolf sent home to protect it after she foolishly lied to earn Joffrey's affection in front of everyone. With Ned's grim but loving aura that always made her feel safe and protected. All was lost to her now. As her own tears filled her eyes, she felt Ned's warm hand grip hers tightly and she held on for all she was worth, scared that he'd be gone the moment that she let go.

The following morning after the secret meeting, Ned had bidden one of the most painful farewells that he had ever bidden in his life when he brought his daughter to meet Willas Tyrell so he could take her to meet her new betrothed, Ser Loras Tyrell. The tears that stained his daughter's cheeks have torn at his heart and he wished he could take her with him back to Winterfell but it'd cost his daughter her life if he did. So he pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead gently as her arms wrapped around him. The pain he felt was unbearable as he held her in his arms for what could be the last time in a very long while. His darling daughter would be some man's wife when or if he saw her next. He'd always see her as his small angel who'd make him smile with her pure and innocence joy. He felt his own eyes teared up and he hugged her closer.

Sansa was feeling more wretched than ever, too. Her own stupidity separated her from her family forever. Never again would the halls of Winterfell be hers to wander. Nor would she ever see her brothers' spar in the training yard, never would she sit in her rooms and sleep in her own bed ever again. Now she was being cast adrift in the brutal world that seemed to be so large and cruel that it'd swallow her up any moment.
"We will ride south to visit you, write to you as often as possible and on your wedding day I will be there to give you away I promise." Ned had sworn to his daughter lifting her chin carefully so she would meet his gaze and her tears made him hate himself all the more. "Father." Sansa said and tightened her hold on him as if to stop him from leaving her. "I love you, my sweet wolf." Ned hugged her back. Willas Tyrell and the small group of Tyrell men that had accompanied him all looked away uncomfortable at the scene unfolding before them. They were intruding on something very private between father and daughter and it seemed like an eternity before they finally separated and Sansa reluctantly climbed onto the horse that had been provided for her. With fresh tears ready to erupt any moment, she took one last, final look at her father before she started off down the road accompanied by Willas Tyrell, the heir who'd sworn on his honor to protect Sansa. He told Ned that his only one sister, Margaery would be there to help his daughter through this and his cousins would be there to be her new friends but that didn't at all reassure Ned, the Northern lord who only felt like the lowest creature in all of creation for sending his daughter away and as he had ridden away back North accompanied by Jeyne Poole, the silent orphaned girl who never even bothered to bid her ex-best friend goodbye. He knew neither Catelyn nor his sons would ever forgive him.
Guest chapter 10 . 10/31/2020
Lord Stark rushed over to the Tower of the Hand and his steward. Lord Poole was there with Septa Mordane. They both looked surprised at his abrupt entry but he wasted no time before he told them. "Pack only what we need and ready the horses. We leave the capital as soon as possible." He was about to tell them he would explain later when they looked ready to ask him question him, however, a familiar, feminine voice at the door prevented him from doing this. "Father?" He turned around to see Sansa standing there. She (Sansa) looked upset. "Why must we leave? I like it here. The Queen and Joffrey have been so nice to me." Ned nearly begun to grit his teeth, not wanting to have to deal with this instantly so he snapped at Sansa. "Not now, do as I say. We must leave immediately." He told her shortly before he had gone about his own quick packing. Renly had already fled the capital and was no doubt on his way to High-garden or Storm's End to call his banners. He had no intention of being here when Joffrey had taken power, that boy had a sadistic streak as wide as the Narrow Sea. He wouldn't allow his daughter to become intertwined with such a monster, but he (Ned) was so focused on getting out of the city. He missed the reaction his words had on Sansa. Her face screwed up in anger at Ned for treating her like a child. She was nearly shaking with anger at just the thought of it. She swiftly stormed downstairs out towards the Southern Red Keep. If Ned wouldn't explain himself to her, then he'd have to explain himself to the Queen.

"Thank you, sweetling." Cersei appreciated her (Sansa) gratefully as she had done her best and kindest smile after Sansa Stark told her that Lord Stark was ready to flee the capital. The queen had taken the time to clean herself up and now looked as radiant as ever at least in her own mind. "I shall deal with the situation but do not fear you will not have to leave the city. Now while I speak to your father perhaps you and Joffrey should take a stroll around the gardens?" She suggested and although Joffrey had given her a look that told her he could think of nothing more tedious Sansa brightened considerably and held out her arm for Joffrey, the prince who reluctantly took it, led Sansa away. After Sansa was out of sight, Cersei gritted her teeth and Baelish, man who had kept his mouth shut at the back of the room came forward. "If Lord Stark goes back to Winterfell, Your Grace, you will lose the North and getting it back would be next to impossible given how hard the North is to invade." Baelish told her as his scheming mind worked a mile an minute. "I have brought eight hundred of the most vicious Mountain Clansmen from the Vale to serve at your side in exchange for gold. They are yours to command against whoever you decide. They will make everyone fear you your grace." Baelish stated with satisfaction. Starting a war with the North surely would result in Lord Stark's death and if he was able to arrange a suitable end for Lysa, then it would leave him as regent of the Vale and then with Catelyn a widow he would finally have the opportunity to make her his.

Meanwhile, Cersei was compiling a list of all the people she wanted dead in the Southern capital and where they would be right now.

At the Tower of the Hand, Ned and his retinue were throwing whatever they needed into whatever boxes they could get their hands on and sending them to the carts outside. Ned looked around to make sure there was nothing more that needed to be packed before he rushed wondering how much time they had to his daughter's room to make sure that she was ready. When he got there, he was astonished to find out that Sansa was not there and nothing had been packed. Everything was exactly where it had been earlier today. He rushed out of the room as he begun to feel worried at his daughter's absence when he was alerted by a scream from one of his guards. He rushed down the stairs and came across a horrific sight…his unprepared men have been torn apart by Mountain Clansmen from the Vale. In the midst of their packing to flee the capital, his men were unable to protect themselves against the vicious, completely unexpected attack. Ned hadn't had time to think on why the clansmen were here before he was forced to draw his sword Ice and fight for his life. Two of the Clansmen tried to double team him but despite the confined quarters, Ned was able to stand his ground against the two vicious but relatively unskilled savages and he easily dispatched them, but four more piled on him reigning down blows with their fists or battle axes. Although none of the axes hit he received a vicious blow to the head and managed to stay conscious only long enough to see Jeyne Poole being dragged, screaming down the stairs by one Clansman followed by another a Clansman holding Mordane and Vayon Poole's severed heads.

At that moment, Sansa was locked up in a room in the Red Keep completely obvious as to what was going on and somewhat scared that her father, Ned had yet to find her.

Earlier that day…

Sansa just finished her lovely walk through the gardens with Joffrey when he had led her to a disused room and then he shoved her in, locking the door from the other side. She banged on the door in confusion but all she heard was Joffrey laughing as he walked away. The room was bare so she had to lower herself to sitting on the floor while she waited for someone to come and let her out. She knew Joffrey liked sometimes to make fun of other people, however, she couldn't understand why her golden prince had done this too her. Which had been hours before finally the door unlocked and she looked up getting quickly to her feet brushing off the dust from her dress.

Present…

She felt slightly relieved to see Joffrey standing there when the door finally opened with a member of his Kingsguard, Ser Merlyn Trant. She was about to smile at the sight of them, however, something stopped her as she'd seen the looks on their faces. There was something about the way they were smiling that made her feel uneasy. She stayed wherever she was. "My Prince. Is there something wrong?" she asked, not understanding/wondering why Joffrey was doing this. His unsettling grin widened as he told her. "I have something to show you." he offered her his arm. Therefore, she had to force herself to take it. She didn't why but something about his touch which had once made her feel warm now felt uncomfortable, however, she shook herself and tried to put aside these silly thoughts and walked at his side with her arm in his but all the same that feeling that something was wrong just kept nagging at the back of her mind regardless of how hard she worked to suppress it. Soon they were approaching the walls of the Red Keep and Sansa had nearly managed to convince herself that nothing was wrong they walked up the steps on to the wall and Sansa stopped at what she'd seen with horror in her eyes. There on the wall mounted on spikes were the heads of her beloved Septa Mordane and her family's steward Vayon Poole alongside all her family's guards and servants that they've had brought to Kings Landing. She would've screamed if not for Joffrey's hand wrapping itself around her elbow so tightly she winced. "Quite the collection, do you not think?" Joffrey said to her, looking extremely excited at the sight of the mutilated heads on display. However, Sansa was unable to reply, she was unsure what she would've said even if she had. Then suddenly, a horrible thought popped into Sansa's head and her eyes flittered from one mounted head to another before she realized that Ned wasn't there with a small sense of relief, however, she asked desperately not able to take her eyes away from the gruesome display in front of her no matter how much she wanted to. "Where is my father?" She asked desperately just for her to feel the hand of Ser Trant to knock her to the ground and she could not even look up in her shock as she suddenly felt the boot heel of Ser Trant in her right side which was like the veil had been pulled from her eyes and she could see things in the clear light of day. Who Joffrey really was, what he was really like…all the things that she waved off or ignored suddenly came into focus like a tapestry revealing his true character. He was everything she was warned about; greedy, sadistic, willful, vicious and cruel. Masked by a golden façade, he was a monster, one that had taken her in so fully that she ignored and betrayed her own family so he would like her. Those heads were on that wall because of her, she thought to her own horror. And she realized the fact that Joffrey cared for nothing and no-one but himself. And she was nothing more than a fool.

As day turned to dusk, a bruised Sansa was forced to walk to a room in the Red Keep wherever she was shoved through the door and groaned as her bruised body hit the hard floor. As she struggled to her feet, she felt gentle hands helping her get up and a voice that brought her a small measure of relief. "Sansa, are you alright?" Jeyne Poole asked her and she (Sansa) managed to get to her feet with her (Jeyne's) help and she nodded and stumbled over to a bed on the other side of the room. She saw Jeyne pour a goblet of water and press it into Sansa's hand wherever the Stark girl gratefully took some careful sips of water. Taking a moment once she had drained her goblet Sansa could see that she didn't need to tell Jeyne what had happened, the bloodshot eyes told her that not too long ago, Jeyne had been crying hard. However, Sansa could not meet her gaze. Jeyne's father was dead just like their entire entourage because of her. She told the Queen that they were fleeing the capital. If she'd just done as Ned said, then they'd be far away and safe from Joffrey and Cersei. Instead, all their trusted servants were dead and she, Ned and Jeyne were prisoners of the southern queen. She knew Jeyne was worried about her despite all the grief that she must surely be feeling at this moment, however, Sansa was dreading the time when Jeyne learnt who betrayed them to the Queen. She was about to lie down to get some sleep or at least as much as she could when suddenly and without warning, Lord Varys and two men appeared in the corner of the room seemingly from nowhere. She would've sat up, however, her body protested too much and Jeyne nearly screamed but the bald eunuch said quickly. "My Ladies, I must apologize for my abrupt entrance but we have little time. I have been sent on the behalf of Lord Tyrion Lannister to ensure that you do not remain in the hands of the queen and her eldest son. But we must move now or we shall certainly be discovered. I know for a fact that the queen intends to simply give young Lady Poole to the owner of a brothel." Jeyne looked terrified at sheer idea and was keen to go with them to avoid such a fate, whereas, Sansa struggled to her feet and asked him demandingly. "What of my father? We must rescue him." But Varys shook his head before explaining. "Your father is currently being held in the Black Cells but if the queen and the crown prince do not have you and Lady Poole, then they will have nothing to use as leverage against him. Now, My Ladies, we must hurry." he urged them and Sansa reluctantly allowed one of the men to help her, whereas, the other helped Jeyne into a hidden passage that had been concealed in the wall of the room. The dark passage was unsettling in how far and long it seemed to stretch illuminated solely by Lord Varys's torch. However, the eunuch knew where he was going and soon they emerged near the manor houses on Rhaenys's Hill. The dark streets were surprisingly quiet as they carefully made their way up the hill to the same manor house that Sansa and Arya once visited to meet with Tywin Lannister what seemed like a lifetime ago. They soon arrived at one of the side doors rather than the main entrance and Varys knocked a series of times that sounded like the first few lines of the Rains of Castamere. There was the sound of a lock being undone and the door swung open to reveal Ser Barristan Selmy who ushered them in. He frowned when he saw the condition Sansa had been left in by the still to be crowned king. Once they were inside, he and the rest of the servants in the manor re-secured the door and moved them into the drawing room. The maester who had just finished changed Ser Jacelyn's bandages when he saw them come in with Sansa went straight to work as they put her down on the available couch. Now Jeyne almost completely drained curled up in the adjacent seat and quickly fell asleep. Tyrion Lannister approached Sansa as the maester had gotten to work and she had never thought she would be so glad to see the Imp in all her life. She had derided him in private whenever with Cersei or Joffrey because of their hatred of him, but right now, he was the most welcome person in her eyes outside a member of her own family. "Lady Sansa." Tyrion greeted warmly. "Welcome to Lannister House. Do not worry for here you are safe. My brother is at this moment riding for Kings Landing with his men, soon things will be put right." He assured her, however, she (Sansa) shook her head. "No I do not think things will ever really be alright ever again." Her eyes drifted over to Jeyne, the other girl who already looked like she was suffering from some kind of nightmare.

As his men secured the Red Keep and have begun to gather the Gold Cloaks in an effort to regain full control of the city, Hadrian walked in one of the rooms of the Red Keep and was much relieved to see Lord Stark being tended too by Grandmaester Pycelle, the elderly man who had finally crawled out from whatever rock he had been hiding under. Seeing the wounds on Lord Stark from his time in captivity made Hadrian frown but he kept his face straight and asked briskly. "Lord Stark, I hope your time in the cells was not too hard. I was appalled when I discovered what my sister and nephew had done." He sat down opposite the Lord Regent. "I rode here as fast as I could." "I'm sure you did." Ned stated bitterly. "My friends and the others I trusted were slaughtered, my daughter's friend was left orphaned. My daughter herself was traumatized, I do not see why I should believe any of the words that come out of a Lannister's mouth." He glared angrily at Hadrian, the Lannister heir who merely raised an eyebrow, not rising to Lord Stark's anger. Pycelle looked ready to say something but he earned a glare from Lord Stark which silenced him and with his job finished, the old man excused himself, keen to get away from the two lords who were sure to disagree given what had happened. Meanwhile, Ned about ready to blow his top when Hadrian said first eager to head him off before the Northern lord said something they would regret. "When questioned I discovered that the slaughter of your retinue, the imprisonment of yourself and your daughter was down to the advice of Petyr Baelish." Ned was shaken out of his anger for a moment in sheer surprise at that piece of news. "When she heard that you were fleeing North, he convinced her that you were plotting against her and Joffrey and that she needed hostages to ensure that the North would bend the knee to her son." "And how did she know I was planning to leave the capital?" Ned asked as he was annoyed with the fact that the arrogant Mockingbird had been behind this whole thing. "Your daughter, Sansa told her." Hadrian revealed. "No." Ned was unable to wrap his head around the fact that his daughter betrayed him. "This is another trick…Sansa would never go behind my back like that." Hadrian had given Ned a sad smile in explanation. "No, but she wanted to marry Joffrey and be his queen so she went to tell the Queen, hoping she would stop your departure she did in her own way of course." Hadrian grimaced. "And it is not the first time your daughter lied by going against her own family to win the approval of my sister and my nephew. She lied about what happened at the river that day with Nymeria and Arya. No doubt she has been saying anything the queen asked of her ever since." Ned didn't want to believe Hadrian but he couldn't deny the fact that the signs of betrayal were there now that he looked at them in a different light. All the time, she'd spent with Queen Cersei and Joffrey without her family there. She was trying to mimic the queen no matter how much he had tried to convince her not to. Those pieces and others like them that he had dismissed at the time now came together to form a terrible picture in his mind. He groaned in realization. "If you still intend to return to the North, I will of course not try to convince you so you all have suffered here and I will make sure that the bodies of your retinue are sent back for proper burial. But I hope you will stay at least till tonight, there is a meeting that I would very much like you to attend." He stated but he added the last part quietly in case anyone was listening. Ned glared at him suspiciously and asked in a whisper. "What quite of meeting?" Hadrian smiled until he told him. "The secret kind."
Guest chapter 3 . 10/31/2020
He saw Joffrey telling Lady Sansa and her friend, Jeyne Poole of his 'many' hunting successes and tournament wins which was enough to make Hadrian laugh. The boy was a vicious coward, however, Sansa was just eating it up blindly. He almost pitied her, however, she was probably going to get disillusioned and badly hurt very quickly if she kept that attitude up.
Guest chapter 11 . 10/31/2020
Ned had hoped to be comforted by the colder winds of the North as he and Jeyne Poole have ridden back to Winterfell. The loneliness of their small party was a sobering reminder of the events that have befallen them since they had left home nearly a year ago. He had gone to King's Landing with a large party of men and both of his daughters, now he had ridden home alone except for his dead steward's surviving orphaned daughter. All of his men were dead, his younger daughter at Casterly Rock being taught gods know what and his elder daughter being banished to the Reach to marry a gay man who even preferred the company of men. Ned only kept his calm through a hard struggle and as he and Jeyne came into sight of Winterfell, his heart was comforted by the somewhat grim looking castle. Despite everything that had happened, he could take comfort from the simple fact he was home. He and his companion have ridden through the open gates to see the newly promoted Archmaester Luwin standing there waiting for him. None of his family were here he noticed but Luwin soon revealed the reason for that. "My Lord, welcome home. We were not expecting you so soon and with such a depleted party." Luwin greeted Ned, seeing Jeyne Poole arrived with him. The reminder of how many people he had lost in King's Landing quickly banished what warmth Ned could draw from being home. His face remained stern as he told Luwin for his family to meet him in his solar and that Jeyne Poole was to have her own room made ready for her. A maid took the girl away who remained silent for the majority of their trip home. He was deeply worried about the girl who seemed to be withdrawing into herself. Which took a great deal of effort to get her to show interest in anything and he had to be quite stern in his reminders for her to eat and drink. Perhaps he such write to Bear Island and get Dacey Mormont or one of GreatJon Umber's daughters to come to Winterfell to try and help her if they could. He didn't know if it'd work but it was worth a try to see if they could aid Young Lady Poole in her grief rather than let her waste away. Luwin told him as they walked. "We have received ravens from both Lord Stannis and Lord Renly. They have both named themselves king and are calling for your support." "Burn those letters, Luwin. The North is having no part in this stupid southern war, we are neutral and that is my only word on the matter." Luwin allowed himself to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the statement but he didn't question his lord. He had known him since he was a boy and recognized that tone. It wasn't heard often but it was the voice Ned had when he was so set on something that nothing and no-one was going to stop him. Whatever had happened in King's Landing had obviously affected his lord deeply and Luwin wisely decided to not speak. As they passed several of the previously abandoned towers, Ned noticed that Luwin's copies of the Citadel library had arrived which also counted as the Stark's copy of the library as each of the great houses was being entrusted with a copy to ensure the knowledge was protected for the future. The sheer quantity of books had quickly overwhelmed the existing library at Winterfell and they were using some of the abandoned towers to store them until they could find somewhere to permanently house them, but Ned put those thoughts aside as he entered the familiar corridors and rooms of the castle where he had been born. Coming to the solar, he hadn't set foot in for over a year, he sat in his chair and was somewhat relieved by its familiar feel and saw that one of the servants had the foresight to put a jug of fresh water there for him with a goblet. He took a grateful sip as he waited for the rest of his family to arrive with the exception of Rickon, the boy who was still too young for such things. It didn't take long, Catelyn had burst into the room and threw herself into his arms when he stood up to meet her and kissed him deeply. They were only broken from this by a lack of breath and Robb entering with Bran, the other boy who was accompanied by his betrothed Lyanna Mormont and Ser Brynden Tully. He thought for a moment about sending the lady from Bear Island and the knight from the Riverlands out but he decided as they would undoubtedly squeeze what he was going to say out of Bran anyway and they were already or would one day be a part of his family so they should probably be a part of what he was about to tell them. Luwin excused himself and left the small group alone, Catelyn looked around for Sansa and Arya, expecting both of them to be with him only to frown when she had seen neither of them them, but Robb had spoken although he had noticed his younger sisters' absences, too. "Father, thank the gods. I was about to call the banners when I heard you had been taken by the Lannisters. What happened down there?" He asked his father, the Northern lord who looked even grimmer than usual, told them. "Robert fatally passed on and the Queen had chosen to take power." He had spoken in as steady of a voice as he could manage. He explained Sansa's betrayal by revealing the fact that she (Sansa) told the Queen which happened afterwards. Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna looked shocked at the betrayal while Catelyn only had grown angrier demandingly which both Ned and Ser Brynden have known meant she was incredibly ready to burst.
"She was you tricked by a nasty bitch and you sent her away to Highgarden?! She needs to be here…at home."
"She betrayed us, Cat." Ned tried to get through to his wife only what that meant. "Northern law has only two punishments for that; death or the Wall and given she is a girl the Wall is out so if she were to come here again, my vassals would demand her head not to mention the families of the men who fatally passed on. Sending her to Highgarden was the only way to save her life." he (Ned) told her. Most Northern laws were from the time when the Starks had been Kings of the North and were set in stone. Punishments were harsh and unyielding just like the land around them. If he had tried to change that for the sake of his daughter, then he'd be facing a full on revolt from some of the more diehard lords. Ser Brynden nodded sadly and tried to make Catelyn understand. "It is for the best, Cat. Sansa might have been tricked but she still betrayed her own family and the North as a whole. The families of the men who fatally passed on, would want vengeance for their loved ones and the lords would want her as an example. Not even a Stark is above the law. If Ned had brought her back and denied them, he'd lose their loyalty. All it'd take is one of the rival claimants to the throne offering say House Bolton lordship of the North and they'd rise in revolt and Ned wouldn't have the support of the other lords to stop them." Robb nodded in agreement. He might carry Catelyn's looks but he was Ned's son through and through. There was a bigger picture here that Catelyn wasn't seeing and although he dearly missed his younger sister, Sansa, he knew she'd never be able to come home or else, she'd face the chopping block.
Bran and Lyanna looked unsettled although Lyanna could understand Ned's reasons, too. She knew her own family had pretty firm ideas about honor and loyalty and even if they were one of the most loyal houses to House Stark, they would think twice about support a house that flaunted the law when it suited them. By sending Sansa Stark away, it'd keep the lords if not happy, satisfied that she'd been punished since the Starks were true to their own honor, but Lady Stark didn't see it that way. "She is our daughter, Ned! You are the lord of the North and they should follow where you lead, not cave you in like a craven when they start making demands!" Her face was red with fury and her words seemed to shake the walls with their intensity. Which was followed by the temperature in the room seemingly dropping several degrees as silence also had fallen with Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna all looking at Ned, the Northern lord whose face had gone from its tired, grim mask to one of rage and without warning, he responded with a tirade of his own.
"I have given you far too much of your own way here! I have allowed Septa Mordane here! This is the North, the Old Gods are ones that we worship at Winterfell, but you and Mordane filled our daughters' heads with those pathetically stupid ideas about what a 'good lady' is supposed to do and behave like! Do you know the sole reason Arya did not want to marry? All because she believed she would have to be like Sansa or you rather than only be true to herself! You filled Sansa's head with those nonexistent, idiotic tales of love and honor by giving her moronic, ridiculous, foolish, stupid dreams that blinded her to the truth! I allowed that in my own complacency when I should have made sure Sansa understood the fact that family is the most important thing, the fact that loyalty to them is far more important than ideas of love or glory, but now it is too late and she can never set foot in the North again because if she does, she will be killed!" he told Catelyn with more anger in his voice than anyone had ever heard from him before. Everyone in the room was shocked no more than Ned himself. He had never raised his voice to his wife before but the last year and all of its events had taken their toll on his patience.
Catelyn was stunned into silence at her husband's words, they cut deep and she silently walked out of the room as she tried to wrap her head around them. As everyone else in the room made their excuses to leave, Ned sat down and rested his head in his hands as he leaned against his desk. He doubted his marriage would ever be the same after today, those words have spoken in anger no matter how much he had never meant to say, it had opened the spouse (husband/wife) drama between Catelyn and himself that he was unsure they could ever repair.

Meanwhile, Margaery was out in one of the gardens looking for her future sister in law. No one had seen much of the elder daughter of Lord Stark since Willas had arrived with her only days ago. Margaery had only seen the girl briefly but despite the fact that she had heard enough from Willas to know that the girl must be suffering. To be exiled from your own homeland because of one error of judgement seemed harsh but when Willas had explained about how strict Northern law was, Sansa realized that she was lucky to get away with her life. However, if the girl was to be a member of the Tyrell family, then someone should at least try and make her welcome. She eventually found her in a grove near the bottom and most secluded part of the gardens. The pale red head was kneeling in front of a bed of blue flowers and humming some strange tune that Margaery didn't recognize. Sansa sensed her (Margaery's) presence and got to her feet quickly.
"Lady Margaery, I am sorry if my humming disturbed you." Sansa apologized to her quietly with her head bowed so that she (Margaery) wouldn't see the tears that were threatening to run down her cheeks. "I was hoping I can speak to you especially since we are to be sisters in laws one day." Margaery told the exiled Stark. She smiled at the younger girl and Sansa looked very much like a startled deer that was completely frozen. Margaery guided her slowly by putting her hand gently on Sansa's shoulder. "Do you like the blue flowers?" She asked, hoping to start a conversation and regretted it the moment that she saw the tears in Sansa's eyes. "They remain me of the winter roses back home. They are beautiful at full bloom." She (Sansa) said mournfully. Margaery took one of her (Sansa's) hands and held it gently.
"Sansa, I know what happened in King's Landing and it is not your fault." Margaery went for the root of the problem assuringly. However, she (Sansa) immediately felt her guilt tearing into her and insisted sadly. "But it is, instead of just following my father's simple command, I went to tell the Queen exactly what he was planning. That got our entire retinue killed, made my ex-best friend an orphan and my father locked up in the Blacks Cells like a criminal. What I did is treason and now I pay the price. Marrying your brother is more than I deserve." she (Sansa) said, knowing that she was not worthy of a knight now, let alone one of a great house like the Tyrells.
"Sansa." Margaery put her hand to her (Sansa's) mouth to stop the girl speaking anymore self-criticism. "My brother will respect you as long as you are loyal to him, you are a beautiful young woman who will blossom when you are ready such like those winter roses." she (Margaery) assured her (Sansa), seeing the uncertain look on her (Sansa's) face, she added. "And as for what happened in King's Landing, you were outwitted by a far more devious woman than you were prepared for. Cersei just used you, Sansa and I can teach you so it does not happen again. Like my grandmother taught me." She (Sansa) was quiet for a moment as she absorbed Margaery's words. She had heard Willas Tyrell speak on their journey of how clever and cunning his grandmother and sister were. If Margaery was serious in her desire to teach her, then it would mean that should she ever cross paths with someone like Cersei again…she would be ready for them. Her mind was made up immediately and she said.
"Teach me."
Mugiii chapter 40 . 10/30/2020
The lack of Harry at the end is a little weird.
Mugiii chapter 30 . 10/30/2020
Feels like Harry should be able to just apparate to kill the greys and Bolton’s.
Guest chapter 11 . 10/26/2020
Ned had hoped to be comforted by the colder winds of the North as he and Jeyne Poole have ridden back to Winterfell. The loneliness of their small party was a sobering reminder of the events that have befallen them since they had left home nearly a year ago. He had gone to King's Landing with a large party of men and both of his daughters, now he had ridden home alone except for his dead steward's surviving orphaned daughter. All of his men were dead, his younger daughter at Casterly Rock being taught gods know what and his elder daughter being banished to the Reach to marry a man who even preferred the company of men. Ned only kept his calm through a hard struggle and as he and Jeyne came into sight of Winterfell, his heart was comforted by the somewhat grim looking castle. Despite everything that had happened, he could take comfort from the simple fact he was home. He and his companion have ridden through the open gates to see the newly promoted Archmaester Luwin standing there waiting for him. None of his family were here he noticed but Luwin soon revealed the reason for that. "My Lord, welcome home. We were not expecting you so soon and with such a depleted party." Luwin greeted Ned, seeing Jeyne Poole arrived with him. The reminder of how many people he had lost in King's Landing quickly banished what warmth Ned could draw from being home. His face remained stern as he told Luwin for his family to meet him in his solar and that Jeyne Poole was to have her own room made ready for her. A maid took the girl away who remained silent for the majority of their trip home. He was deeply worried about the girl who seemed to be withdrawing into herself. Which took a great deal of effort to get her to show interest in anything and he had to be quite stern in his reminders for her to eat and drink. Perhaps he such write to Bear Island and get Dacey Mormont or one of GreatJon Umber's daughters to come to Winterfell to try and help her if they could. He didn't know if it'd work but it was worth a try to see if they could aid Young Lady Poole in her grief rather than let her waste away. Luwin told him as they walked. "We have received ravens from both Lord Stannis and Lord Renly. They have both named themselves king and are calling for your support." "Burn those letters, Luwin. The North is having no part in this stupid southern war, we are neutral and that is my only word on the matter." Luwin allowed himself to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the statement but he didn't question his lord. He had known him since he was a boy and recognized that tone. It wasn't heard often but it was the voice Ned had when he was so set on something that nothing and no-one was going to stop him. Whatever had happened in King's Landing had obviously affected his lord deeply and Luwin wisely decided to not speak. As they passed several of the previously abandoned towers, Ned noticed that Luwin's copies of the Citadel library had arrived which also counted as the Stark's copy of the library as each of the great houses was being entrusted with a copy to ensure the knowledge was protected for the future. The sheer quantity of books had quickly overwhelmed the existing library at Winterfell and they were using some of the abandoned towers to store them until they could find somewhere to permanently house them, but Ned put those thoughts aside as he entered the familiar corridors and rooms of the castle where he had been born. Coming to the solar, he hadn't set foot in for over a year, he sat in his chair and was somewhat relieved by its familiar feel and saw that one of the servants had the foresight to put a jug of fresh water there for him with a goblet. He took a grateful sip as he waited for the rest of his family to arrive with the exception of Rickon, the boy who was still too young for such things. It didn't take long, Catelyn had burst into the room and threw herself into his arms when he stood up to meet her and kissed him deeply. They were only broken from this by a lack of breath and Robb entering with Bran, the other boy who was accompanied by his betrothed Lyanna Mormont and Ser Brynden Tully. He thought for a moment about sending the lady from Bear Island and the knight from the Riverlands out but he decided as they would undoubtedly squeeze what he was going to say out of Bran anyway and they were already or would one day be a part of his family so they should probably be a part of what he was about to tell them. Luwin excused himself and left the small group alone, Catelyn looked around for Sansa and Arya, expecting both of them to be with him only to frown when she had seen neither of them them, but Robb had spoken although he had noticed his younger sisters' absences, too. "Father, thank the gods. I was about to call the banners when I heard you had been taken by the Lannisters. What happened down there?" He asked his father, the Northern lord who looked even grimmer than usual, told them. "Robert fatally passed on and the Queen had chosen to take power." He had spoken in as steady of a voice as he could manage. He explained Sansa's betrayal by revealing the fact that she (Sansa) told the Queen which happened afterwards. Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna looked shocked at the betrayal while Catelyn only had grown angrier demandingly which both Ned and Ser Brynden have known meant she was incredibly ready to burst.
"She was you tricked by a nasty bitch and you sent her away to Highgarden?! She needs to be here…at home."
"She betrayed us, Cat." Ned tried to get through to his wife only what that meant. "Northern law has only two punishments for that; death or the Wall and given she is a girl the Wall is out so if she were to come here again my vassals would demand her head not to mention the families of the men who fatally passed on. Sending her to Highgarden was the only way to save her life." he (Ned) told her. Most Northern laws were from the time when the Starks had been Kings of the North and were set in stone. Punishments were harsh and unyielding just like the land around them. If he had tried to change that for the sake of his daughter, then he'd be facing a full on revolt from some of the more diehard lords. Ser Brynden nodded sadly and tried to make Catelyn understand. "It is for the best, Cat. Sansa might have been tricked but she still betrayed her own family and the North as a whole. The families of the men who fatally passed on, would want vengeance for their loved ones and the lords would want her as an example. Not even a Stark is above the law. If Ned had brought her back and denied them, he would lose their loyalty. All it would take is one of the rival claimants to the throne offering say House Bolton lordship of the North and they would rise in revolt and Ned would not have the support of the other lords to stop them." Robb nodded in agreement. He might carry Catelyn's looks but he was Ned's son through and through. There was a bigger picture here that Catelyn wasn't seeing and although he dearly missed his younger sister, Sansa, he knew she'd never be able to come home or else, she'd face the chopping block.
Bran and Lyanna looked unsettled although Lyanna could understand Ned's reasons, too. She knew her own family had pretty firm ideas about honor and loyalty and even if they were one of the most loyal houses to House Stark, they would think twice about support a house that flaunted the law when it suited them. By sending Sansa Stark away, it'd keep the lords if not happy, satisfied that she'd been punished since the Starks were true to their own honor, but Lady Stark didn't see it that way. "She is our daughter, Ned! You are the lord of the North and they should follow where you lead, not cave you in like a craven when they start making demands!" Her face was red with fury and her words seemed to shake the walls with their intensity. Which was followed by the temperature in the room seemingly dropping several degrees as silence also had fallen with Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna all looking at Ned, the Northern lord whose face had gone from its tired, grim mask to one of rage and without warning, he responded with a tirade of his own.
"I have given you far too much of your own way here! I have allowed Septa Mordane here! This is the North, the Old Gods are ones that we worship at Winterfell, but you and Mordane filled our daughters' heads with those pathetically stupid ideas about what a 'good lady' is supposed to do and behave like! Do you know the sole reason Arya did not want to marry? All because she believed she would have to be like Sansa or you rather than only be true to herself! You filled Sansa's head with those nonexistent, idiotic tales of love and honor. You have given her foolish, stupid dreams that blinded her to the truth! I allowed that in my own complacency when I should have made sure Sansa understood the fact that family is the most important thing, the fact that loyalty to them is far more important than ideas of love or glory, but now it is too late and she can never set foot in the North again because if she does, she will be killed!" he told Catelyn with more anger in his voice than anyone had ever heard from him before. Everyone in the room was shocked no more than Ned himself. He had never raised his voice to his wife before but the last year and all of its events had taken their toll on his patience.
Catelyn was stunned into silence at her husband's words, they cut deep and she silently walked out of the room as she tried to wrap her head around them. As everyone else in the room made their excuses to leave, Ned sat down and rested his head in his hands as he leaned against his desk. He doubted his marriage would ever be the same after today, those words have spoken in anger no matter how much he had never meant to say, it had opened the spouse (husband/wife) drama between Catelyn and himself that he was unsure they could ever repair.

Meanwhile, Margaery was out in one of the gardens looking for her future sister in law. No one had seen much of the elder daughter of Lord Stark since Willas had arrived with her only days ago. Margaery had only seen the girl briefly but despite the fact that she had heard enough from Willas to know that the girl must be suffering. To be exiled from your own homeland because of one error of judgement seemed harsh but when Willas had explained about how strict Northern law was, Sansa realized that she was lucky to get away with her life. However, if the girl was to be a member of the Tyrell family, then someone should at least try and make her welcome. She eventually found her in a grove near the bottom and most secluded part of the gardens. The pale red head was kneeling in front of a bed of blue flowers and humming some strange tune that Margaery didn't recognize. Sansa sensed her (Margaery's) presence and got to her feet quickly.
"Lady Margaery, I am sorry if my humming disturbed you." Sansa apologized to her quietly with her head bowed so that she (Margaery) wouldn't see the tears that were threatening to run down her cheeks. "I was hoping I can speak to you especially since we are to be sisters in laws one day." Margaery told the exiled Stark. She smiled at the younger girl and Sansa looked very much like a startled deer that was completely frozen. Margaery guided her slowly by putting her hand gently on Sansa's shoulder. "Do you like the blue flowers?" She asked, hoping to start a conversation and regretted it the moment that she saw the tears in Sansa's eyes. "They remain me of the winter roses back home. They are beautiful at full bloom." She (Sansa) said mournfully. Margaery took one of her (Sansa's) hands and held it gently.
"Sansa, I know what happened in King's Landing and it is not your fault." Margaery went for the root of the problem assuringly. However, she (Sansa) immediately felt her guilt tearing into her and insisted sadly. "But it is, instead of just following my father's simple command, I went to the Queen and told her exactly what he was planning. That got our entire retinue killed, made my ex-best friend an orphan and my father locked up in the Blacks Cells like a criminal. What I did is treason and now I pay the price. Marrying your brother is more than I deserve." she (Sansa) said, knowing that she was not worthy of a knight now, let alone one of a great house like the Tyrells.
"Sansa." Margaery put her hand to her (Sansa's) mouth to stop the girl speaking anymore self-criticism. "My brother will respect you as long as you are loyal to him, you are a beautiful young woman who will blossom when you are ready such like those winter roses." She assured her, seeing the uncertain look on her (Sansa's) face, she added. "And as for what happened in King's Landing, you were outwitted by a far more devious woman than you were prepared for. Cersei just used you, Sansa and I can teach you so it does not happen again. Like my grandmother taught me." She (Sansa) was quiet for a moment as she absorbed Margaery's words. She had heard Willas Tyrell speak on their journey of how clever and cunning his grandmother and sister were. If Margaery was serious in her desire to teach her, then it would mean that should she ever cross paths with someone like Cersei again…she would be ready for them. Her mind was made up immediately and she said.
"Teach me."
Guest chapter 11 . 10/23/2020
Ned had hoped to be comforted by the colder winds of the North as he and Jeyne Poole have ridden back to Winterfell. The loneliness of their small party was a sobering reminder of the events that have befallen them since they had left home nearly a year ago. He had gone to King's Landing with a large party of men and both of his daughters, now he had ridden home alone except for his dead steward's surviving orphaned daughter. All of his men were dead, his younger daughter at Casterly Rock being taught gods know what and his elder daughter being banished to the Reach to marry a man who even preferred the company of men. Ned only kept his calm through a hard struggle and as he and Jeyne came into sight of Winterfell, his heart was comforted by the somewhat grim looking castle. Despite everything that had happened, he could take comfort from the simple fact he was home. He and his companion have ridden through the open gates to see the newly promoted Archmaester Luwin standing there waiting for him. None of his family were here he noticed but Luwin soon revealed the reason for that. "My Lord, welcome home. We were not expecting you so soon and with such a depleted party." Luwin greeted Ned, seeing Jeyne Poole arrived with him. The reminder of how many people he had lost in King's Landing quickly banished what warmth Ned could draw from being home. His face remained stern as he told Luwin for his family to meet him in his solar and that Jeyne Poole was to have her own room made ready for her. A maid took the girl away who remained silent for the majority of their trip home. He was deeply worried about the girl who seemed to be withdrawing into herself. Which took a great deal of effort to get her to show interest in anything and he had to be quite stern in his reminders for her to eat and drink. Perhaps he such write to Bear Island and get Dacey Mormont or one of GreatJon Umber's daughters to come to Winterfell to try and help her if they could. He didn't know if it'd work but it was worth a try to see if they could aid Young Lady Poole in her grief rather than let her waste away. Luwin told him as they walked. "We have received ravens from both Lord Stannis and Lord Renly. They have both named themselves king and are calling for your support." "Burn those letters, Luwin. The North is having no part in this stupid southern war, we are neutral and that is my only word on the matter." Luwin allowed himself to raise an eyebrow in surprise at the statement but he didn't question his lord. He had known him since he was a boy and recognized that tone. It wasn't heard often but it was the voice Ned had when he was so set on something that nothing and no-one was going to stop him. Whatever had happened in King's Landing had obviously affected his lord deeply and Luwin wisely decided to not speak. As they passed several of the previously abandoned towers, Ned noticed that Luwin's copies of the Citadel library had arrived which also counted as the Stark's copy of the library as each of the great houses was being entrusted with a copy to ensure the knowledge was protected for the future. The sheer quantity of books had quickly overwhelmed the existing library at Winterfell and they were using some of the abandoned towers to store them until they could find somewhere to permanently house them, but Ned put those thoughts aside as he entered the familiar corridors and rooms of the castle where he had been born. Coming to the solar, he hadn't set foot in for over a year, he sat in his chair and was somewhat relieved by its familiar feel and saw that one of the servants had the foresight to put a jug of fresh water there for him with a goblet. He took a grateful sip as he waited for the rest of his family to arrive with the exception of Rickon, the boy who was still too young for such things. It didn't take long, Catelyn had burst into the room and threw herself into his arms when he stood up to meet her and kissed him deeply. They were only broken from this by a lack of breath and Robb entering with Bran, the other boy who was accompanied by his betrothed Lyanna Mormont and Ser Brynden Tully. He thought for a moment about sending the lady from Bear Island and the knight from the Riverlands out but he decided as they would undoubtedly squeeze what he was going to say out of Bran anyway and they were already or would one day be a part of his family so they should probably be a part of what he was about to tell them. Luwin excused himself and left the small group alone, Catelyn looked around for Sansa and Arya, expecting both of them to be with him only to frown when she had seen neither of them them, but Robb had spoken although he had noticed his younger sisters' absences, too. "Father, thank the gods. I was about to call the banners when I heard you had been taken by the Lannisters. What happened down there?" He asked his father, the Northern lord who looked even grimmer than usual, told them. "Robert fatally passed on and the Queen had chosen to take power." He had spoken in as steady of a voice as he could manage. He explained Sansa's betrayal by revealing the fact that she (Sansa) told the Queen which happened afterwards. Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna looked shocked at the betrayal while Catelyn only had grown angrier demandingly which both Ned and Ser Brynden have known meant she was incredibly ready to burst.
"She was you tricked by a nasty bitch and you sent her away to Highgarden?! She needs to be here…at home."
"She betrayed us, Cat." Ned tried to get through to his wife only what that meant. "Northern law has only two punishments for that; death or the Wall and given she is a girl the Wall is out so if she were to come here again my vassals would demand her head not to mention the families of the men who fatally passed on. Sending her to Highgarden was the only way to save her life." he (Ned) told her. Most Northern laws were from the time when the Starks had been Kings of the North and were set in stone. Punishments were harsh and unyielding just like the land around them. If he had tried to change that for the sake of his daughter, then he'd be facing a full on revolt from some of the more diehard lords. Ser Brynden nodded sadly and tried to make Catelyn understand. "It is for the best, Cat. Sansa might have been tricked but she still betrayed her own family and the North as a whole. The families of the men who fatally passed on, would want vengeance for their loved ones and the lords would want her as an example. Not even a Stark is above the law. If Ned had brought her back and denied them, he would lose their loyalty. All it would take is one of the rival claimants to the throne offering say House Bolton lordship of the North and they would rise in revolt and Ned would not have the support of the other lords to stop them." Robb nodded in agreement. He might carry Catelyn's looks but he was Ned's son through and through. There was a bigger picture here that Catelyn wasn't seeing and although he dearly missed his younger sister, Sansa, he knew she'd never be able to come home or else, she'd face the chopping block.
Bran and Lyanna looked unsettled although Lyanna could understand Ned's reasons, too. She knew her own family had pretty firm ideas about honor and loyalty and even if they were one of the most loyal houses to House Stark, they would think twice about support a house that flaunted the law when it suited them. By sending Sansa Stark away, it'd keep the lords if not happy, satisfied that she'd been punished since the Starks were true to their own honor, but Lady Stark didn't see it that way. "She is our daughter, Ned! You are the lord of the North and they should follow where you lead, not cave you in like a craven when they start making demands!" Her face was red with fury and her words seemed to shake the walls with their intensity. Which was followed by the temperature in the room seemingly dropping several degrees as silence also had fallen with Robb, Ser Brynden, Bran and Lyanna all looking at Ned, the Northern lord whose face had gone from its tired, grim mask to one of rage and without warning, he responded with a tirade of his own.
"I have given you far too much of your own way here! I should never have allowed Septa Mordane here! This is the North, the Old Gods are ones that we worship at Winterfell, but you and Mordane filled our daughters' heads with those pathetically stupid ideas about what a 'good lady' is supposed to do and behave like! Do you know the sole reason Arya did not want to marry? All because she believed she would have to be like Sansa or you rather than only be true to herself! You filled Sansa's head with those nonexistent, idiotic tales of love and honor. You have given her foolish, stupid dreams that blinded her to the truth! I allowed that in my own complacency when I should have made sure Sansa understood the fact that family is the most important thing, the fact that loyalty to them is far more important than ideas of love or glory, but now it is too late and she can never set foot in the North again because if she does, she will be killed!" He told Catelyn with more anger in his voice than anyone had ever heard from him before. Everyone in the room was shocked no more than Ned himself. He had never raised his voice to his wife before but the last year and all of its events had taken their toll on his patience.
Catelyn was stunned into silence at her husband's words, they cut deep and she silently walked out of the room as she tried to wrap her head around them. As everyone else in the room made their excuses to leave, Ned sat down and rested his head in his hands as he leaned against his desk. He doubted his marriage would ever be the same after today, those words have spoken in anger no matter how much he had never meant to say, it had opened the spouse (husband/wife) drama between Catelyn and himself that he was unsure they could ever repair.

Meanwhile, Margaery was out in one of the gardens looking for her future sister in law. No one had seen much of the elder daughter of Lord Stark since Willas had arrived with her only days ago. Margaery had only seen the girl briefly but despite the fact that she had heard enough from Willas to know that the girl must be suffering. To be exiled from your own homeland because of one error of judgement seemed harsh but when Willas had explained about how strict Northern law was, Sansa realized that she was lucky to get away with her life. However, if the girl was to be a member of the Tyrell family, then someone should at least try and make her welcome. She eventually found her in a grove near the bottom and most secluded part of the gardens. The pale red head was kneeling in front of a bed of blue flowers and humming some strange tune that Margaery didn't recognize. Sansa sensed her (Margaery's) presence and got to her feet quickly.
"Lady Margaery, I am sorry if my humming disturbed you." Sansa apologized to her quietly with her head bowed so that she (Margaery) wouldn't see the tears that were threatening to run down her cheeks. "I was hoping I can speak to you especially since we are to be sisters in laws one day." Margaery told the exiled Stark. She smiled at the younger girl and Sansa looked very much like a startled deer that was completely frozen. Margaery guided her slowly by putting her hand gently on Sansa's shoulder. "Do you like the blue flowers?" She asked, hoping to start a conversation and regretted it the moment that she saw the tears in Sansa's eyes. "They remain me of the winter roses back home. They are beautiful at full bloom." She (Sansa) said mournfully. Margaery took one of her (Sansa's) hands and held it gently.
"Sansa, I know what happened in King's Landing and it is not your fault." Margaery went for the root of the problem assuringly. However, she (Sansa) immediately felt her guilt tearing into her and insisted sadly. "But it is, instead of just following my father's simple command, I went to the Queen and told her exactly what he was planning. That got our entire retinue killed, made my ex-best friend an orphan and my father locked up in the Blacks Cells like a criminal. What I did is treason and now I pay the price. Marrying your brother is more than I deserve." she (Sansa) said, knowing that she was not worthy of a knight now, let alone one of a great house like the Tyrells.
"Sansa." Margaery put her hand to her (Sansa's) mouth to stop the girl speaking anymore self-criticism. "My brother will respect you as long as you are loyal to him, you are a beautiful young woman who will blossom when you are ready such like those winter roses." She assured her, seeing the uncertain look on her (Sansa's) face, she added. "And as for what happened in King's Landing, you were outwitted by a far more devious woman than you were prepared for. Cersei just used you, Sansa and I can teach you so it does not happen again. Like my grandmother taught me." She (Sansa) was quiet for a moment as she absorbed Margaery's words. She had heard Willas Tyrell speak on their journey of how clever and cunning his grandmother and sister were. If Margaery was serious in her desire to teach her, then it would mean that should she ever cross paths with someone like Cersei again…she would be ready for them. Her mind was made up immediately and she said.
"Teach me."
Guest chapter 10 . 10/23/2020
Later, after Ned had returned to the tower to retrieve what was left of his belongings he went and tracked down Ice. Which seemed that Ser Ilyn Payne had taken a fancy to his family's ancestral sword and claimed it for his own but Ned had swiftly retrieved his blade and was in the process of cleaning it to try and relax his mind but it didn't do any good. He had always valued family above everything else, his wife and children meant the world to him and he wouldn't have traded the years, he had had with them for anything and he hoped for many more years yet to come and perhaps even grandchildren if his children obliged him. Even if Jon wasn't his own son, he (Jon) was still included in his family and he'd protect the boy until death, telling no one the boy's true identity to keep him safe from those who'd kill him just for who his father had been. However, what Sansa just did had shaken him to the core. He doubted that she had done it maliciously but regardless of her motives the damage was done which means he'd have to make sure Sansa understood the consequences. He wasn't looking forward to what he was going to have to say to his elder daughter but all too soon the time came as both Sansa and the now newly orphaned girl, Jeyne Poole entered his room. Seeing Ned, Sansa rushed over and eagerly threw herself into his arms, crying with relief that he was alright after everything happened. He (Ned) held his elder daughter but not as tightly as he might have done a week ago as terrible as it made him feel. His eyes moved to Jeyne Poole, the orphaned girl who was standing at the door with tears in her own eyes. He worried for the young orphaned girl, the world was a terrible place to be all alone and she was still a child. However, Sansa regained his attention by telling him how much she wanted to go home and forget everything that happened which was too much for Ned, the Northern lord who removed himself from his elder daughter's embrace much to her surprise. She (Sansa) was unsettled at his (Ned's) stern expression. "Father?" Sansa asked Ned. "Do you know what you have done?" Ned demanded. "You betrayed us. You told the queen that we were to flee King's Landing. Our entire retinue here was wiped out because of what you did behind my back." Sansa's eyes widened as she (Sansa) shook within horror at what Ned had found out from Hadrian. The terrible realization gripped her. There was a moment of silence as his words have sunk in, however, it was neither of them (Ned nor Sansa) who ended the silence. Instead the silence of the room was broken by a scream filled with rage & grief. Therefore, Sansa found herself being hit by the fists of none other than her ex-best friend, Jeyne Poole, the enraged orphaned girl who started screaming at her (Sansa) like an animal till she (Jeyne) was pulled off by Ned. Jeyne struggled for a moment before her anger collapsed and her tears long held in burst free as she sobbed onto Lord Stark's shoulder, especially into Ned's arms. "They killed my father!" As he (Ned) carefully wrapped the grief filled orphaned girl in his hold, he rubbed her shoulder carefully and told her gently. "Do not worry, girl. I will make sure you are well cared for at Winterfell." He reassured her. He'd make the girl his ward given her father's loyal service and the fact that the girl had no family of her own in this world anymore. He regretfully turned to tell Sansa. "But you are guilty of treason. Under Northern law there is only one punishment…death. I cannot even change that without angering all of our vassals." Sansa suddenly went from upset to distraught as he (Ned) continued. "Which is only in the North. As long as you stay south of the Neck, I can opt for the lesser punishment of exile. I will try and find a place for you perhaps with your uncle, Edmure in the Riverlands or your aunt, Lysa in the Vale but you can never again set foot in the North. Otherwise, the Northern lords will kill you on sight." He told her mournfully, he really did love Sansa and unfortunately, this was the only way to save her life. To send her away…to deny her the land of her birth because if she ever returned there and the truth of what she did came out, then he'd probably face the ire of his own lords and if they didn't kill her then they'd make him to do it instead. However, the look of utter desolation that his older daughter was giving him made his heart shatter into a million irreparable pieces.

Meanwhile, Sansa felt like her entire world was evaporating before her eyes leaving her alone in a vast empty wasteland filled with terrible predators that filled her with terror. Ned's words had cut deeper than any blade filling her with total and absolute devastation as the full impact of what she did threatened to overwhelm her. Her real home, Winterfell, the one she had dismissed with the arrogance of assuming that it would always be there for her was now beyond her reach. The cold Northern winds but warm and loving atmosphere of her family's home was now stripped from her. Her family would be so far away that she might well never see them again…her loving, caring mother who had soothed her tears and told her such wonderful stories. Her brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon all so full of life and mischief that secretly they made her laugh with their bad jokes. Her dire-wolf sent home to protect it after she foolishly lied to earn Joffrey's affection in front of everyone. With Ned's grim but loving aura that always made her feel safe and protected. All was lost to her now. As her own tears filled her eyes, she felt Ned's warm hand grip hers tightly and she held on for all she was worth, scared that he'd be gone the moment that she let go.

The following morning after the secret meeting, Ned had bidden one of the most painful farewells that he had ever bidden in his life when he brought his daughter to meet Willas Tyrell so he could take her to meet her new betrothed, Ser Loras Tyrell. The tears that stained his daughter's cheeks have torn at his heart and he wished he could take her with him back to Winterfell but it'd cost his daughter her life if he did. So he pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead gently as her arms wrapped around him. The pain he felt was unbearable as he held her in his arms for what could be the last time in a very long while. His darling daughter would be some man's wife when or if he saw her next. He'd always see her as his small angel who'd make him smile with her pure and innocence joy. He felt his own eyes teared up and he hugged her closer.

Sansa was feeling more wretched than ever, too. Her own stupidity separated her from her family forever. Never again would the halls of Winterfell be hers to wander. Nor would she ever see her brothers' spar in the training yard, never would she sit in her rooms and sleep in her own bed ever again. Now she was being cast adrift in the brutal world that seemed to be so large and cruel that it'd swallow her up any moment.
"We will ride south to visit you, write to you as often as possible and on your wedding day I will be there to give you away I promise." Ned had sworn to his daughter lifting her chin carefully so she would meet his gaze and her tears made him hate himself all the more. "Father." Sansa said and tightened her hold on him as if to stop him from leaving her. "I love you, my sweet wolf." Ned hugged her back. Willas Tyrell and the small group of Tyrell men that had accompanied him all looked away uncomfortable at the scene unfolding before them. They were intruding on something very private between father and daughter and it seemed like an eternity before they finally separated and Sansa reluctantly climbed onto the horse that had been provided for her. With fresh tears ready to erupt any moment, she took one last, final look at her father before she started off down the road accompanied by Willas Tyrell, the heir who'd sworn on his honor to protect Sansa. He told Ned that his only one sister, Margaery would be there to help his daughter through this and his cousins would be there to be her new friends but that didn't at all reassure Ned, the Northern lord who only felt like the lowest creature in all of creation for sending his daughter away and as he had ridden away back North accompanied by Jeyne Poole, the silent orphaned girl who never even bothered to bid her ex-best friend goodbye. He knew neither Catelyn nor his sons would ever forgive him.
Guest chapter 10 . 10/23/2020
Lord Stark rushed over to the Tower of the Hand and his steward. Lord Poole was there with Septa Mordane. They both looked surprised at his abrupt entry but he wasted no time before telling them. "Pack only what we need and ready the horses. We leave the capital as soon as possible." He was about to tell them he would explain later when they looked ready to ask him question him, however, a familiar, feminine voice at the door prevented him from doing this. "Father?" He turned around to see Sansa standing there. She (Sansa) looked upset. "Why must we leave? I like it here. The Queen and Joffrey have been so nice to me." Ned nearly begun to grit his teeth, not wanting to have to deal with this instantly so he snapped at Sansa. "Not now, do as I say. We must leave immediately." He told her shortly before he had gone about his own quick packing. Renly had already fled the capital and was no doubt on his way to High-garden or Storm's End to call his banners. He had no intention of being here when Joffrey had taken power, that boy had a sadistic streak as wide as the Narrow Sea. He wouldn't allow his daughter to become intertwined with such a monster, but he (Ned) was so focused on getting out of the city. He missed the reaction his words had on Sansa. Her face screwed up in anger at Ned for treating her like a child. She was nearly shaking with anger at just the thought of it. She swiftly stormed downstairs out towards the Southern Red Keep. If Ned wouldn't explain himself to her, then he'd have to explain himself to the Queen.

"Thank you, sweetling." Cersei appreciated her (Sansa) gratefully as she had done her best and kindest smile after Sansa Stark told her that Lord Stark was ready to flee the capital. The queen had taken the time to clean herself up and now looked as radiant as ever at least in her own mind. "I shall deal with the situation but do not fear you will not have to leave the city. Now while I speak to your father perhaps you and Joffrey should take a stroll around the gardens?" She suggested and although Joffrey had given her a look that told her he could think of nothing more tedious Sansa brightened considerably and held out her arm for Joffrey, the prince who reluctantly took it, led Sansa away. After Sansa was out of sight, Cersei gritted her teeth and Baelish, man who had kept his mouth shut at the back of the room came forward. "If Lord Stark goes back to Winterfell, Your Grace, you will lose the North and getting it back would be next to impossible given how hard the North is to invade." Baelish told her as his scheming mind worked a mile an minute. "I have brought eight hundred of the most vicious Mountain Clansmen from the Vale to serve at your side in exchange for gold. They are yours to command against whoever you decide. They will make everyone fear you your grace." Baelish stated with satisfaction. Starting a war with the North surely would result in Lord Stark's death and if he was able to arrange a suitable end for Lysa, then it would leave him as regent of the Vale and then with Catelyn a widow he would finally have the opportunity to make her his.

Meanwhile, Cersei was compiling a list of all the people she wanted dead in the Southern capital and where they would be right now.

At the Tower of the Hand, Ned and his retinue were throwing whatever they needed into whatever boxes they could get their hands on and sending them to the carts outside. Ned looked around to make sure there was nothing more that needed to be packed before he rushed wondering how much time they had to his daughter's room to make sure that she was ready. When he got there, he was astonished to find out that Sansa was not there and nothing had been packed. Everything was exactly where it had been earlier today. He rushed out of the room as he begun to feel worried at his daughter's absence when he was alerted by a scream from one of his guards. He rushed down the stairs and came across a horrific sight…his unprepared men have been torn apart by Mountain Clansmen from the Vale. In the midst of their packing to flee the capital, his men were unable to protect themselves against the vicious, completely unexpected attack. Ned hadn't had time to think on why the clansmen were here before he was forced to draw his sword Ice and fight for his life. Two of the Clansmen tried to double team him but despite the confined quarters, Ned was able to stand his ground against the two vicious but relatively unskilled savages and he easily dispatched them, but four more piled on him reigning down blows with their fists or battle axes. Although none of the axes hit he received a vicious blow to the head and managed to stay conscious only long enough to see Jeyne Poole being dragged, screaming down the stairs by one Clansman followed by another a Clansman holding Mordane and Vayon Poole's severed heads.

At that moment, Sansa was locked up in a room in the Red Keep completely obvious as to what was going on and somewhat scared that her father, Ned had yet to find her.

Earlier that day…

Sansa just finished her lovely walk through the gardens with Joffrey when he had led her to a disused room and then he shoved her in, locking the door from the other side. She banged on the door in confusion but all she heard was Joffrey laughing as he walked away. The room was bare so she had to lower herself to sitting on the floor while she waited for someone to come and let her out. She knew Joffrey liked sometimes to make fun of other people, however, she couldn't understand why her golden prince had done this too her. Which had been hours before finally the door unlocked and she looked up getting quickly to her feet brushing off the dust from her dress.

Present…

She felt slightly relieved to see Joffrey standing there when the door finally opened with a member of his Kingsguard, Ser Merlyn Trant. She was about to smile at the sight of them, however, something stopped her as she saw the looks on their faces. There was something about the way they were smiling that made her feel uneasy. She stayed wherever she was and asked not understanding. "My Prince. Is there something wrong?" She asked wondering why Joffrey was doing this. His unsettling grin widened as he told her. "I have something to show you." He offered her his arm and she had to force herself to take it. She didn't why but something about his touch which had once made her feel warm now felt uncomfortable, however, she shook herself and tried to put aside these silly thoughts and walked at his side with her arm in his but all the same that feeling that something was wrong just kept nagging at the back of her mind regardless of how hard she worked to suppress it. Soon they were approaching the walls of the Red Keep and Sansa had nearly managed to convince herself that nothing was wrong they walked up the steps on to the wall and Sansa stopped at what she'd seen with horror in her eyes. There on the wall mounted on spikes were the heads of her beloved Septa Mordane and her family's steward Vayon Poole alongside all her family's guards and servants that they had brought to Kings Landing. She would've screamed if not for Joffrey's hand wrapping itself around her elbow so tightly she winced. "Quite the collection. Do you not think?" Joffrey said to her looking extremely excited at the sight of the mutilated heads on display. However, Sansa was unable to reply, she was unsure what she would've said even if she had. Then suddenly a horrible thought popped into Sansa's head and her eyes flittered from one mounted head to another before she realized with a small sense of relief that Ned wasn't there, however, she asked desperately not able to take her eyes away from the gruesome display in front of her no matter how much she wanted too. "Where is my father?" She asked desperately just for her to feel the hand of Ser Trant to knock her to the ground and she could not even look up in her shock as Suddenly, as she felt the boot heel of Ser Trant in her right side it was like the veil had been pulled from her eyes and she could see things in the clear light of day. Who Joffrey really was, what he was really like…all the things that she had waved off or ignored suddenly came into focus like a tapestry revealing his true character. He was everything she was warned about; greedy, sadistic, willful, vicious and cruel. Masked by a golden façade, he was a monster, one that had taken her in so fully that she had ignored and betrayed her own family so he would like her. Those heads were on that wall because of her, she thought to her own horror. And she realized the fact that Joffrey cared for nothing and no-one but himself. And she was nothing more than a fool.

As day turned to dusk, a bruised Sansa was forced to walk to a room in the Red Keep wherever she was shoved through the door and groaned as her bruised body hit the hard floor. As she struggled to her feet, she felt gentle hands helping her get up and a voice that brought her a small measure of relief. "Sansa, are you alright?" Jeyne Poole asked and she (Sansa) managed to get to her feet with her (Jeyne's) help and she nodded and stumbled over to a bed on the other side of the room. She saw Jeyne pour a goblet of water and press it into Sansa's hand wherever the Stark girl gratefully took some careful sips of water. Taking a moment once she had drained her goblet Sansa could see that she didn't need to tell Jeyne what had happened, the bloodshot eyes told her that not too long ago, Jeyne had been crying hard. However, Sansa could not meet her gaze. Jeyne's father was dead just like their entire entourage because of her. She told the Queen that they were fleeing the capital. If she had just done as Ned said, then they'd be far away and safe from Joffrey and Cersei. Instead all their trusted servants were dead and she, Ned and Jeyne were prisoners of the southern queen. She knew Jeyne was worried about her despite all the grief that she must surely be feeling at this moment, however, Sansa was dreading the time when Jeyne learnt who had betrayed them to the Queen. She was about to lie down to get some sleep or at least as much as she could when suddenly and without warning, Lord Varys and two men appeared in the corner of the room seemingly from nowhere. She would've sat up, however, her body protested too much and Jeyne nearly screamed but the bald eunuch said quickly. "My ladies, I must apologize for my abrupt entrance but we have little time. I have been sent on the behalf of Lord Tyrion Lannister to ensure that you do not remain in the hands of the queen and her eldest son. But we must move now or we shall certainly be discovered. I know for a fact that the queen intends to simply give young Lady Poole to the owner of a brothel." Jeyne looked terrified at sheer idea and was keen to go with them to avoid such a fate, whereas, Sansa struggled to her feet and asked him demandingly. "What of my father? We must rescue him." But Varys shook his head before explaining. "Your father is currently being held in the Black Cells but if the queen and the crown prince do not have you and Lady Poole, then they will have nothing to use as leverage against him. Now, my ladies, we must hurry." He urged them and somewhat reluctantly Sansa allowed one of the men to help her, whereas, the other helped Jeyne into a hidden passage that had been concealed in the wall of the room. The dark passage was unsettling in how far and long it seemed to stretch illuminated solely by Lord Varys's torch. However the eunuch knew where he was going and soon they emerged near the manor houses on Rhaenys's Hill. The dark streets were surprisingly quiet as they carefully made their way up the hill to the same manor house that Sansa and Arya had once visited to meet with Tywin Lannister what seemed like a lifetime ago. They soon arrived at one of the side doors rather than the main entrance and Varys knocked a series of times that sounded like the first few lines of the Rains of Castamere. There was the sound of a lock being undone and the door swung open to reveal Ser Barristan Selmy who ushered them in. He frowned when he saw the condition Sansa had been left in by the still to be crowned king. Once they were inside he and the rest of the servants in the manor re-secured the door and moved them into the drawing room. The maester who had just finished changed Ser Jacelyn's bandages when he saw them come in with Sansa went straight to work as they put her down on the available couch. Jeyne now almost completely drained curled up in the adjacent seat and quickly fell asleep. Tyrion Lannister approached Sansa as the maester had gotten to work and she had never thought she would be so glad to see the Imp in all her life. She had derided him in private whenever with Cersei or Joffrey because of their hatred of him, but right now, he was the most welcome person in her eyes outside a member of her own family. "Lady Sansa." Tyrion said warmly. "Welcome to Lannister House. Do not worry for here you are safe. My brother is at this moment riding for Kings Landing with his men, soon things will be put right." He assured her, however, Sansa shook her head. "No I do not think things will ever really be alright ever again." Her eyes drifted over to Jeyne, the other girl who already looked like she was suffering from some kind of nightmare.

As his men secured the Red Keep and have begun to gather the Gold Cloaks in an effort to regain full control of the city, Hadrian walked in one of the rooms of the Red Keep and was much relieved to see Lord Stark being tended too by Grandmaester Pycelle, the elderly man who had finally crawled out from whatever rock he had been hiding under. Seeing the wounds on Lord Stark from his time in captivity made Hadrian frown but he kept his face straight and asked briskly. "Lord Stark, I hope your time in the cells was not too hard. I was appalled when I discovered what my sister and nephew had done." He sat down opposite the Lord Regent. "I rode here as fast as I could." I'm sure you did." Ned stated bitterly. "My friends and others I trusted slaughtered, my daughter's friend was left orphaned. My daughter herself was traumatized, I do not see why I should believe any of the words that come out of a Lannister's mouth." He glared angrily at Hadrian who merely raised an eyebrow, not rising to Lord Stark's anger. Pycelle looked ready to say something but a glare from Lord Stark silenced him and with his job finished, the old man excused himself, keen to get away from the two lords who were sure to argue given what had happened. Meanwhile, Ned about ready to blow his top when Hadrian said first eager to head him off before the Northern lord said something they would regret. "When questioned I discovered that the slaughter of your retinue, the imprisonment of yourself and your daughter was down to the advice of Petyr Baelish." Ned was shaken out of his anger for a moment in sheer surprise at that piece of news. "When she heard that you were fleeing North, he convinced her that you were plotting against her and Joffrey and that she needed hostages to ensure that the North would bend the knee to her son." "And how did she know I was planning to leave the capital?" Ned asked as he was annoyed with the fact that the arrogant Mockingbird had been behind this whole thing. "Your daughter, Sansa told her." Hadrian revealed. "No." Ned was unable to wrap his head around the fact that his daughter betrayed him. "This is another trick…Sansa would never go behind my back like that." Hadrian had given the man a sad smile in explanation. "No, but she wanted to marry Joffrey and be his queen. If you fled, then that would never happen. So she went to the Queen, hoping she would stop your departure she did in her own way of course." Hadrian grimaced. "And it is not the first time your daughter had lied by going against her own family to win the approval of my sister and my nephew. She lied about what happened at the river that day with Nymeria and Arya. No doubt she has been saying anything the queen asked of her ever since." Ned didn't want to believe Hadrian but he couldn't deny the fact that the signs of betrayal were there now that he looked at them in a different light. All the time, she'd spent with Queen Cersei and Joffrey without her family there. She was trying to mimic the queen no matter how much he had tried to convince her not too. Those pieces and others like them that he had dismissed at the time now came together to form a terrible picture in his mind. He groaned in realization. "If you still intend to return to the North, I will of course not try to convince you otherwise given all you have suffered here and I will make sure that the bodies of your retinue are sent back for proper burial. But I hope you will stay at least till tonight, there is a meeting that I would very much like you to attend." He stated but he added the last part quietly in case anyone was listening. Ned glared at him suspiciously and asked in a whisper. "What quite of meeting?" Hadrian smiled before telling him. "The secret kind."
Aetherium21 chapter 19 . 10/21/2020
Lol how ridiculous of the Targaryen kids and women to feel so entitled and righteous even now
Aetherium21 chapter 16 . 10/21/2020
You've truly done an excellent job writing with so very many moving parts.
davidiscoolya113 chapter 1 . 10/20/2020
Due to the b******* at his core life Hadrian Potter will do the only bare minimum to survive and to do what he's expected not a bit more the world never changes humans don't evolve or adapt and the gods are super disappointed and angry why Harry Potter doesn't want to f****** play their game he just plays it because he's forced to play it he walks to path because he has a gun at his back or knife as back and he can only move forward if he doesn't keep on walking he's going to die so he gets at the ocean and takes a dive nearly drowns in ocean magic get on the other side still has a knife at his back so he moves forward doesn't try to plead doesn't try to trick doesn't try to figure out anything and he still has his knife at the back pointed directly at him and he keeps him moving forward metaphorically speaking the gods are trying to teach Harry something and Harry Potter is going but I didn't sign up for this class I signed up for ruins and the magical math thingy why the f*** am I supposed to watch History from a boring ass ghost that says the same things over and over and over and over and over in the Ben Stein type voice to another metaphoric explanation to describe in the way that you will get that will get across when words fail Harry Potter is sick and tired of Albus Dumbledore and his ass wipe League of cooked turkeys being responsible for all the woes in his life and not being able to have his own soul because album's Dumbledore has it like a f****** moron
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