A/N: If you come into this chapter with low expectations you should not be too disappointed.
Our Blades Are Sharp
63: Proud to be Faithful
The reveal stayed with him long after his betrothed and her brother left with Lady, trailing behind them. Domeric had stayed at the godswood to think and pray on this news.
Her words weighed heavily on his heart.
One of the few times Domeric was caught truly off-guard. It was not a feeling he liked. That surprise shifted into a number of thoughts and feelings, including disappointment, but even that did not last, seeing Sansa before him, hearing her words, her tone.
Wargs were villains, monsters used to scare children, stories out of legends, frightful tales to startle you in the dark.
Sansa was none of those things, and he hated that she doubted him, them, even if it was for a heartbeat. Sadly, their time was interrupted leaving him alone with questions and thoughts on her confession. It was not just his betrothed, he thought about, but her siblings too. They all had wolves so he wondered if they all had the ability.
If Shaggydog was here I would've saw it.
Rickon had told him that the day he returned to Riverrun. Domeric dismissed it as the babbling of a child, but now it was his confirmation that the rest of Lord Stark's children must be wargs too, including Jon.
The wolves and their masters tethered by legends and magic.
He opened his eyes to see the weirwood looking down at him. Its mouth was giving him a red smile.
Skinchangers, Domeric recalled their supposed connection with greenseers and the Children of the Forest. He pushed himself to his feet. The next time I kneel in front of this tree, I shall have Sansa by my side, and we shall be husband and wife.
The thought made him smile. Warg or not, it did not change how he felt about her. Nothing would.
Perhaps it should, The soft spoken voice of his father came to him. She lied to you.
She was scared.
He could hear the light scoff of his father ringing in his ears. I thought I taught you to be the Lord of the Dreadfort not a lord's fool.
Domeric did not allow his father's criticism to stick. I am not him.
It was a noise that brought him out of his contemplation. He looked around the empty godswood for the intruder, but saw no hint or sign of them. It was when he turned back to face the weirwood did the noise come again. The snapping of twigs beneath moving feet, and a rustling of bushes surprisingly close to him.
Golden eyes looked at him through the brush before grey fur followed to reveal the interloper.
"Lady," Domeric greeted the direwolf, Or Sansa.
He looked the wolf over as if there was some physical clue or resemblance that would allow him to know that it was his betrothed in there instead of just the direwolf. The silent inspection turned up fruitless as Domeric couldn't discern anything. Not that I know what I'm looking for.
Domeric did not forget how he came to the godswood to speak to his betrothed. It had been Lady who had come to retrieve him. She was the messenger for Sansa's invitation.
I was summoned by a wolf. He had thought the direwolf's behavior was odd, but it had not been the first time, she had behaved in such a way. He had grown to accept it, and had used it at times to help him when it came the fighting they saw.
"Was it you fighting those battles, Lady?" Domeric asked the wolf in front of him. Or was it my betrothed?
The direwolf responded to her name and came closer to him. Those yellow eyes shone with a hue of understanding.
Is that my clue? He frowned, trying not to feel frustrated. Will I ever know if its wolf or Sansa with me?
Lady pressed her head beneath his hand. It got a smile out of him, and he patted the thick fur of the direwolf's neck. "I could not ask for a better battle companion." He emphasized his gratefulness, by reaching to where the direwolf liked right behind her left ear.
Lady preened at that.
This is the direwolf, Domeric was certain or as certain as he could be. The idea that it wasn't felt too ridiculous. This whole ordeal seems absurd.
Plucked out of one Old Nan's stories, he felt. I will speak to Sansa. He decided, I'd very much prefer to know when I'm dealing with a wolf or my wife. Mayhaps, she could scratch the ground three times.
He wanted to laugh at it all.
It would be easier if Sansa was here to help explain it, but she was gone. So he was left on his own for a time to try to make sense of all this.
"If you are to fight beside me," He told the wolf. "Then I may have to give a longer look into that potential armor." It had been a curiosity when he funded the initial research of it, but now he did not like the notion of his wife warging into her wolf in a battle without it.
What happens to a warg when the wolf dies? He shuddered before he stomped down on that thought.
Domeric already worried when it was just Lady going into battle. He was fond of the wolf and knew from the beginning there seemed to be something special between the wolves and their masters. Jon had said they were a gift sent by the Old Gods.
Still, I never expected this. He admitted. They were legends, myths, how was I to know the truth of it?
And now that he knew it, it seemed so obvious looking back at all the clues in hindsight. It was right in front of him, but he didn't look for it, because there was no need. Who'd think Lord Stark's children to be wargs?
Domeric turned to the weirwood tree. Half hoping the mouth would move to give him the answers he sought to calm his curiosity. It did not. Its red eyes and smile looked back at him as if his question was nothing more than a jape.
"What are we to do, Lady?"
The direwolf did not answer him.
What am I doing? Domeric thought was the better question to ask. I'm talking to a direwolf in the Riverrun godswood unsure if its beast or bride that I'm speaking to.
This time he did laugh. How else could he respond to all this? If not mirth than madness.
I would make a strange sight, he conceded, Alone in the godswood and laughing.
Enough, he decided he had spent enough time on wargs for the evening. Time with Sansa would help to give him the information he needed so that he could properly plan and weigh what to do. Ideas on how to potentially seize the advantages of a warg were already spinning in his mind: serving as scouts or messengers or spies, but for now he let them rest.
Besides, I have more enticing distractions ahead of me. He touched the pale bark of the weirwood tree. I love a maid as red as autumn with sunset in her hair.
Tomorrow night, I will stand here to wed. His smile grew. I'll be hers. She'll be mine.
Domeric walked into his room to find the unexpected guest sitting at his table.
"Forgive my intrusion, Lord Domeric." The ailing man made to stand but Domeric raised his hand to stop him.
"Are you well?"
"I am dying," He let out a weak laugh. "I am as well as I can be, Lord."
Domeric felt foolish. "Forgive me, Maester."
"There's nothing to forgive, Lord Domeric." His hand was holding something before it disappeared into the pockets of his grey robe.
"I'm a selfish man, Domeric."
"In my youth, I indulged more in my vices than my studies," He met Domeric's eyes with a pensive stare. "I was smart, but I cared more about compliments than service. I did not care for the people. I did not wish to help others. I learned for myself. It was all for me, anything I learned or did was to help me. No one else."
It was difficult for Domeric to picture this Uthor: young, arrogant, selfish. He had heard little of Uthor's time before the Dreadfort. The maester would dismiss it as not necessary and that his services and life were solely tied to the Boltons and the Dreadfort.
My life began anew when I took my vows to serve this castle.
"War," Uthor answered soberly.
"Lord Domeric with every choice you make, every action you take, you are defining who you are." Uthor pushed himself from the table with some difficulty. His arms shaking at the stress, but before Domeric could so much as take a step in his direction, the maester righted himself. "It is a perilous path we all must take."
He thought about crucifying the Mummers, about how Robb and Lord Stark thought him cruel or mean for such an act, but Domeric did not think so. Those actions were done justly and for the right reasons even if they could not or would not see it. Those acts didn't poison me, they strengthened me.
In their eyes, I'd be defining myself as a Mummer, and I am not that.
"I have something for you," Uthor's words pulled him out of his musings.
"Uthor, you-" Domeric began, but the maester silenced him with a look.
"In the south it is traditional to give gifts before a wedding." He then slid the links off his narrow frame, pulling them over his head with some difficulty. "And I will give you this."
"Your maester's chain?" Domeric asked in dismay.
"Yes," Uthor held out his hands, "Take it."
Domeric was about to protest but he knew the stern response he'd get, so he gingerly took it.
The links clanged against one another. There were several different ones in a variety of colors. He spotted silver, black iron, iron, brass, bronze, and when he got to the last one, his fingers brushed against it. "Valyrian steel."
"It may not be made into a fancy sword, but the Valryian steel should remind you, all these links should remind you that the mind can be as sharp as any blade."
"This is a kingly gift, Uthor," Domeric looked up from gifted chain. "I will treasure it."
"You are a good man, Domeric." Uthor nearly lost his balance, but he caught himself. A grimace of pain passed over his face.
Domeric had instinctively reached out to help steady the maester but it was not needed.
"Thank you," Domeric found the words suddenly difficult to say not because he was not grateful, but for the ugly reminder that Uthor's life was nearing its end.
"I-I," He paused suddenly like he didn't know what to say or what he was saying.
"Uthor?" Domeric took a cautionary step towards him.
"I wish you a good night," Uthor then bowed his head and left.
The chains jingled in Domeric's hands. His fingers went over the different metals, but they lingered on the valyrian steel link. The mind can be as sharp as any blade.
Domeric smiled at the wording. It was not the first time he heard the maester say such things. Remembering it as a boy, all the different ways Uthor would say it in a way similar to House Bolton's words to try to get him to remember and take his lessons seriously.
Our minds are sharp. A sharp mind is as dangerous as a sharp blade.
Your intelligence is a sword with a sharp edge and a long reach.
There were others and Uthor instilled all of them into him and their importance in hopes he'd heed them.
Domeric put the links down onto the table. I'm pleased to say I have.
She was standing in her sister's room. Arya was trying to be patient. She was really trying.
"It's time to break our fast," Arya's stomach chose that time to voice its agreement.
Sansa didn't seem to hear her. She was gliding around her room, unable to stop smiling.
Lady watched from where she lay on the bed. She glanced at Arya, before turning away uninterested.
Mother had sent Arya to fetch Sansa so that they could break fast together as a family. She wasn't even allowed an apple or a piece of bread before Mother sent her on her way.
"I am not ready."
She looked ready to Arya. Her older sister did not share that opinion and was staring at her reflection with a scrutinizing gaze.
Arya wanted to sigh. She wanted to eat.
I wanted her to be happy, remembering those thoughts and hopes from the day before. Arya was happy that Sansa was happy. She was pleased for her sister, she really was, but she was also hungry.
Arya really wanted to roll her eyes. "I want to eat."
"You can go."
She couldn't. "Mother told me to get you."
"And you have."
Arya frowned. She doubted Mother would let her eat if she came back to the solar without Sansa.
Her stomach grumbled. She grumbled.
"There's some food on the table," Sansa looked over her shoulder towards her sister, still smiling.
"What?" Arya turned to see she was right. She moved at once to see bread, apples, grapes, among other delicious things. It looked like the food had been picked at, but very little had been taken.
"Help yourself," Sansa encouraged her.
Arya did. She took a large and loud bite into an apple before sitting herself down. "How did you get this?"
Sansa raised an eyebrow at Arya's decision to talk while she was chewing. "I asked for it."
Arya doubted Mother would approve. She said as much.
"Mother wasn't up when I made the request," Sansa revealed, there was a twinkle in her eyes.
"Did you sleep at all?" Her sister didn't look tired. She was practically glowing with excitement.
And this isn't even for her wedding, Arya suspected this was just a preview of what's to come. She took another bite of the apple and poured herself some of the iced milk that thankfully was still somewhat cold and decent.
"I did." Sansa was tidying up her vanity and making sure nothing was out of place.
Arya ate the apple to its core before putting it aside. She took one of the pieces of bread and spread jam on it. She bit into the bread, pleased at the sweet taste. She looked around the room while she chewed and that was when she noticed something on the nearby chair.
It was red, but there was a strange, but large looking white dot on it. Arya couldn't exactly tell since a blanket was partly covering it.
Curious, she wiped her hands and moved to retrieve it. "What's this?" Arya pulled out the cloth that caught her eye from under the blanket.
"Arya, don't," her sister protested, but it was too late.
"Why?" Arya didn't understand. She looked back at the red cloak she was holding and that was when she realized it wasn't really a white dot, but an outline of a white wolf. The stitching was skillfully done, but much of it had been hidden by the blanket.
"It isn't finished," Sansa moved across the room and took it with a quick tug.
"That's a wolf."
"Yes," Sansa's back was to her. She had opened up her trunk and was trying to fold it or more likely hide it. "It was an old cloak of mine, I thought I could turn it into something more useful."
Sansa sighed, but still did not turn to face her. "It's supposed to be a bride cloak," She answered, "For Jon." She closed the trunk. "It isn't much and it looks terrible," She shook her head, embarrassed at it being seen before it was complete and perfect.
"I haven't had much time recently," she admitted at trying to explain why it wasn't the expected flawlessness that Mother and Septa Mordane would praise endlessly.
"When I heard Jon became a knight and then he had picked his own standard. I realized he'd need one for his marriage." Sansa turned to face her. "It's silly now," She let out a weak laugh, "Since he's now a lord and will probably have a new one made or will commission a finer one for him and his house."
Arya had been quiet throughout her sister's explanation. Countless times while she spoke, Arya wanted to roll her eyes or interject at how silly her sister was being and sounded, but Arya didn't. She let Sansa finish. Now, that she was done, Arya found herself more incredulous than anything else.
"A finer one? There won't a better one," Arya repeated in disbelief, "He'd want that one." She pointed to where Sansa had buried it in her trunk.
"It isn't finished."
"When you finish it, stupid," She said the last word with a smile to show she did not mean it.
Sansa looked taken aback, but Arya knew it wasn't for the insult but her actual answer. She recovered smoothly, a mischievous smile played on her lips. "I never thought I'd see the day you'd compliment my needlework."
"It's my wedding gift to you."
Sansa laughed, "How thoughtful, sister." She picked up a few of the grapes, "How long do you think we have before Mother sends someone else?"
Arya shrugged, "A little longer." She bit into her bread, feeling a dribbling of the jam down her chin. She blotted it with her finger instead of a napkin.
"Arya," Sansa groaned.
She stuck her finger with the jam on it out towards her sister in warning.
"Don't," Sansa warned. She scooted her chair a few inches backwards.
Arya could only laugh at her sister's growing exasperation. She had no intention of ruining her sister's dress, but it didn't mean she couldn't have a little fun first. She moved forward her finger threateningly ever closer. "It's not your wedding dress."
Sansa ended up surprising them both when she tossed a grape at Arya to defend herself. It hit her square in the face before it dropped on her lap. Sansa looked surprised at what she did.
Arya looked from her sister to the grape that was now resting on her lap.
"Arya, I-" Sansa began what probably was a very sincere and polite apology, but it was never finished as Arya started to laugh before she scooped up the grape and ate it.
Sansa was startled at first, no doubt at Arya's reaction, but it didn't last, she was soon laughing with her. Looking relieved that Arya wasn't mad at her.
"That was a good throw," Arya praised, once some of the mirth subsided. She let out a breath and drank some of her iced milk.
"Thank you," Sansa inclined her head in a manner more fitting for genteel southern women being complimented on their needlework and not their food throwing.
Arya grinned towards her sister, and made a show of wiping her still dirty fingers on a napkin.
Sansa rolled her eyes, but she was smiling.
"Is Mother still upset with you?"
"She is not," Sansa ate one of the remaining grapes. "She loves us more than she dislikes Jon."
It wasn't fair. "I wish Mother would," Arya trailed off in how she had hoped and prayed Mother would change when it came to Jon. I love Mother. I love Jon. Why can't they...
"I know," Sansa's eyes shone with understanding. "You must remember that Mother was raised under the Light of the Seven. They preach caution and mistrust when it comes to natural children. They speak of treachery and deceit and other evils that lurk in their hearts."
"That's not Jon!" Arya protested hotly, angered at just the idea of Jon being linked to such things.
"He's not any of those things," Sansa agreed, "We have been blessed to have a brother like Jon." An odd looked passed over her face, but it did not linger. "Not all are as fortunate."
"We follow the Old Gods, not the Seven," Arya would never follow a faith that tried to tell her Jon was evil.
Sansa's lips were pressed together in thought. "You remember Domeric would speak of his brother?"
"I do." It had been one of the reasons why she had liked him when she still saw him as just the Bolton ward. He did not judge Jon and spoke of his own bastard brother and the friendship he wished to have with him just like Arya and her siblings had with Jon.
"That brother, that bastard was going to kill Domeric." Sansa's eyes darkened. "He was going to prey on Domeric's good heart and then put a knife in it." Her poise could not hide her fury. "Thankfully, the bastard was put down before his ill schemes could be realized."
"I'm glad," She didn't want to think about Domeric dying. He was a brother to her, and to think that his own brother of blood could think and do such an act made her stomach sour. "I'm glad he's dead."
"I am too." Sansa's smile was vicious. "Hopefully, Mother will one day understand and see Jon for the blessing he is to our family," Sansa observed, "but others such as that bastard have tainted it and Jon is unfairly made to carry that burden."
Arya hoped that day was sooner rather than later.
"Now come," Sansa stood up, "We have a meal to attend with our family."
"And then a wedding to prepare for," Arya smirked at how her sister reacted to that welcoming reminder. Her smile grew and her eyes sparkled.
"That I do," Sansa agreed happily.
Arya found herself sitting at her sister's vanity. It was just the two of them for the moment, Mother would be along shortly.
Sansa wielded the brush with a deftness Arya wanted to accomplish with Needle. It had been her sister who had offered to do the task of fixing Arya's hair even though she had her own preparations that she needed to see to with her wedding only a few hours away.
Arya didn't protest and that had been enough for Mother to concede to Sansa's request, but not before warning them not to dawdle. So she sat still and patiently for her sister. The other day, their roles were reversed. Arya had enjoyed that time with her sister even if was spent brushing hair and not doing something more fun.
"Did Mother tell you?"
"That I'm to make you a lady?" Sansa feigned a heavy sigh, "Yes, quite the impossible and unenviable task."
Arya stuck her tongue out when her sister's reflection was on her which made her giggle.
Sansa then flopped some of Arya's fair to fall over her face which gave her a mouthful of her own hair. She scrunched her nose, and quickly closed her mouth, removing said hair. Arya then parted her hair since it was draped over her face like a curtain so that she could properly glare at her sister's reflection.
"Oops," Sansa said without an ounce of sincerity. She was smiling when she pulled Arya's hair out of her face, but not before brushing it thoroughly to remove any knots or tangles.
"It'll be at the Dreadfort," Arya had only heard stories about the Bolton's castle. Whether they be from Old Nan or Maester Luwin, she couldn't deny she was curious about it and wanted to explore it. Domeric had only told her passing things about his family's castle. It was none of the interesting stuff.
"It will be," Sansa seemed happy at that.
My perfect sister happy to be the Lady of the Dreadfort. Arya wanted to snicker at the idea of telling a younger Sansa of her fate. She'd probably faint.
Now, its all she wants. Arya did not doubt that.
"Do you think Domeric will let me see the flayed skins?"
"Oh, Arya," Sansa sounded more resigned than surprised. She was unbothered by the thought of flayed skins or the dark secrets that lurked within the ancestral seat of the Boltons. "Yes, but only if you practice your courtesies."
Arya laughed. "I will."
"That'll be our secret once Mother asks about your impressive improvements."
Mother would be scandalized, Arya was certain with a grin.
"Or to your betrothed," Sansa added, but she immediately regretted it. Her smile dipped in an instant. Regret flickered in her eyes, while a worried look spread across her face.
Arya tensed in her seat.
"I'm sorry," Sansa quickly apologized. She had stopped in her brushing. "I'm sorry about all of it, not just the jape," her tone cracking. "I'm sorry about the betrothal."
They hadn't talked about it since Arya came to Riverrun. It was a delicate matter and neither seemed willing to want to mention it. Arya had not wanted to sour the precious reunion with her family when she arrived at Riverrun or her sister's pending wedding.
"I know," Arya said quietly. She discussed it with Mother at Winterfell, with Father at Riverrun, and with Jon on one of their rides. "I'm not mad at you, and I don't blame you."
Betrothals win battles just as easily as swords, little sister. Jon had reminded her.
I'd rather be the sword, was her sullen reply which made her brother laugh.
Father had told her of his doubts as well as its merits with how the Freys got it. He did not say he would dismiss it outright, but that the Freys were going to need to be more persuasive to justify him sanctioning a betrothal when their help was already demanded by their liege lord.
He had also echoed to Arya that Sansa was not to blame for Lord Frey's greed or ambition.
Your older siblings would have joined you, he had told her, if not for their own betrothals.
"Thank you," Sansa's worry melted away. "I despised myself for having to do it." Her eyes glistened. "I really tried to get another arrangement but I could not."
Whatever stubborn and selfish anger that still tried to root itself in Arya's heart towards her sister for the betrothal withered in an instant at her sister's tone and tears. She was not sure what else should or could be said, especially because Arya did not want to discuss it.
If I don't discuss it then I don't have to think about it, she thought stubbornly, even though she knew it was foolish to try to hide from it. It stilled helped her mostly forget about it. As well as the fact that she had not been approached by any of the number of Freys who were in or around Riverrun.
Relieved, Sansa continued her work with Arya's hair.
"The Frey," Arya would not call him her betrothed, but she still made a face at having to refer to him. "Why has he not approached?" Not that I'm not glad he hasn't. Does he think me ugly? She squashed that quickly, I don't care, she was quick to say. Horseface! Horseface! Jeyne's teasing tone filled her ears. Arya wanted to look away from her reflection, afraid she'd see what Jeyne always said she was-ugly.
Sansa's expression shifted in an instant. Her reflection was smiling and her eyes were no longer glistening with tears, but in amusement. "Domeric," she answered, "He had words with him."
"Yes," her smile turned into a smirk. "And as you can see they were quite effective." She giggled, clearly entertained at how her betrothed had intimidated not just his squire, but his kin to keep their distance from her sister.
"I'm thankful," Arya would have to ask him when given the chance.
"There," Sansa's voice brought Arya back to look at her reflection to see her sister had finished. She had patiently and gently brushed out the knots and tangles and put a ribbon and simple braid that Arya had to admit was nice.
"Thank you," She meant it, continuing to look at her reflection and how different she could look. She may not want to be a lady like her sister, but it did not mean she liked to be called Arya Horseface.
Sansa's hand went to Arya's shoulder and gave it a soft squeeze in silent understanding.
She'd rather not have to wear a dress and have her hair braided, but since it was required Arya would rather have it in a look she could tolerate. Something her sister had skillfully done. "I don't hate it."
In a few hours, I'll be in my dress, she tried not to make a face at the reminder. She could already imagine the teasing she'd get from her brothers. She'd make sure to hit them or stamp on their feet. In a few hours, we'll all be in the Godswood for the wedding.
"Are you well?"
"Yes." No. She didn't know where this sudden sadness came from that seemed to wrap itself around her like a snake. "It's just you're getting married."
"I am," Sansa confirmed with that smile she always wore when talking about it-pretty and bright.
"You'll be leaving," Arya found herself saying. "Us, home, Winterfell," She continued, not liking how she kept talking or the tears that threatened to come into her eyes as she was forced to look at all the changes that were happening to her and her family.
It coiled and squeezed tighter. It wasn't unhappiness directed at her sister, because she knew how much she longed for this day, but at the change that would follow.
This was not like her goodbyes for Bear Island. Arya was going to return to Winterfell to see them all, but not Sansa. And after her, Jon will leave, a cold voice whispered inside her. To start his life with Dacey.
Everything was changing and she hated it. Not including this stupid war, she thought bitterly, why can't we just go home? She wondered, she didn't like the idea of her brothers and father staying in the south fighting.
This isn't our home. This isn't the north. It's all different. And what was worse was it would never be like how she remembered it.
It will never be the same again, she felt something cold and heavy shift inside of her at that sad realization.
"I'm not leaving," Sansa began before Arya gave her look, "You are seeing it the wrong way." She amended with a slight smile.
"What do you mean?"
"It's more that Domeric is joining us," Sansa pointed out. "He'll be a part of our family for good."
Arya hadn't considered that.
"I will miss Winterfell, you, Mother, Father, our brothers," Sansa said, "But Domeric and the Dreadfort are my home now."
Arya scrubbed at her eyes. Silently cursing the betrayal she felt when wetness touched her cheek.
"And you will not be rid of me so easily," Sansa's finger wiped the tear away. "You'll be joining me at the Dreadfort," She reminded her, "And just like Winterfell was your home, and Bear Island, the Dreadfort will be yours for awhile with me and Domeric."
"The Dreadfort?" She repeated, unsure how to think at having to call the Bolton castle her home even if it was only for awhile.
"Yes," Sansa told her. "And see this future as what's being added into our life and not taken from it."
"I will," Arya felt some of the cold knots in her belly unravel.
"Good," Sansa then leaned forward, "Besides I'm sure after your time at the Dreadfort, you'll be glad to be rid of me."
"Perhaps," Arya grinned, it turned into laughter at Sansa's feigned outrage.
The sisters stopped in their giggling and turned to see Mother standing in the doorway with a smile
Arya slid out of the seat but not before grabbing her sister's hand and squeezing it in gratitude.
Mother's eyes settled on Sansa, "It is time my dear," she told her, "It is time for us to begin."
Of all the places to have her nephew's wedding. It had to be at the trout's castle.
A jape by the gods that she did not find amusing.
She had just left the little trout's room. The girl was giddy and smiling, humming and happy about her wedding. Her mother plying her with sweet words and useless compliments while preparing her and the dress.
Pretty in white without thought or worry in her empty little head, Barbrey was happy to leave to check on her nephew. She did not miss the relief on the mother's face when she announced her departure. At least the daughter had enough sense to look disappointed.
And why wouldn't the mother not be relieved? I was there like some dark warning, She was garbed in black. A cautionary example to brides who marry their husbands during war. A pretty reminder that men are mortals and wedding vows serve as poor shields in battle.
Stark took my first husband from me and didn't even have the decency to return his bones to the seat of his ancestors, A slight she would not forgive, but he had room to carry the bones of his sister. Gods forbid she was left to be buried in the sand.
Now Stark threatens to take my nephew from me in another war. She would not have it. Domeric was too dear to her. A nephew she felt as strongly for if it had been her and not Bethany who had carried the boy. I watched him grow.
I will not see him die. I will not see him buried. She nearly stopped in her steps at the dark thoughts that hounded her. Barbrey pushed forward in her approach to her nephew's chambers. She would protect him at any cost. Before, she thought Dom's greatest threat was that bastard lurking in the woods with his peasant mother.
A bastard, Roose would not remove. It had been a minor issue then, but one she would have dealt with if her good brother would not. She would not risk her nephew's life on his misplaced empathy.
I would've sent men out into the woods and put that mad dog down. The bastard was no kin of mine. The bitch of a mother too for her stupid and poisonous greed at thinking her son was worthy of the Dreadfort. A threat to my blood would be dealt with harshly. She would not care what Roose thought of it or if he believed it some attack on him or his lands. Barbrey would not allow anyone to take what was her nephew's rightful inheritance.
My sister sacrificed enough to put her blood upon the Lord's seat of the Dreadfort. How many sons and daughters was she forced to birth and then bury? Sometimes, Barbrey wondered, did her sister accept her death so readily because it meant she could be with all the children she could not keep. The ones who were placed in the grave instead of the cradle.
Bethany, strong and kind, but clever, oh so clever, she thought fondly of her oldest sister, and the schemes she'd get into when they were younger, usually at the expense of their brothers. She would not forget the day when Father made the announcement of her betrothal to Roose. Bethany was brave, accepting her father's plans, and vowing to do her part to insure the marriage was fruitful. She was the oldest and knew her role to House Ryswell and their father.
You'd be proud of him, Barbrey knew she was. In looking into her nephew's eyes, she saw her sister, and sometimes it hurts to see, but she would never stop looking.
It would be Domeric marrying into the Stark line instead of me. Father wanted her to be Lady of Winterfell, but Stark wanted a trout. Willem was good, young, and amenable, but he was not Brandon.
She thought of the tender touches and rough hands. One from the husband she had, the other from the husband she wanted. Now, they were both in the ground.
Brandon's niece was marrying her nephew.
The girl, she felt her mouth twist. There was something beneath the trout coloring, she'd begrudge her that, where a wolf seemed to lurk. The girl did defend Domeric from her father's misconstrued sense of justice.
She was loyal to her nephew. And has proven not to be as foolish as her mother, but she could not overlook the girl's looks. A young version of her mother, the woman who stole Brandon from her. They were not her sins, and deep down Barbrey knew she was being unfair to hold onto that grudge and direct it towards her.
She's the reminder of what was taken from me. What I could've had if the grey rats did not overreach themselves. And that she could not forget. As the Lady of Winterfell, there would've been no sept in Winterfell. No foothold for the south to try to plant itself in the north. No insult to the Old Gods would've been allowed to disgrace the heart of the north.
And perhaps it would've been my daughter marrying Domeric. A marriage of cousins that would've further tied Winterfell to the Dreadfort. A daughter of mine and a son of Bethany's. She did not let the idea linger since it was a worthless notion to ponder. Dreams such as those were built on sands that had been washed away by the tides of time.
Barbrey had arrived to her nephew's chambers and left her ghosts at the door. His voice welcomed her after she knocked and she opened it to see that he was thankfully alone. She was in no mood to deal with that grey rat, who had tried to worm himself into her nephew's life.
They will do anything to get any sort of power or control. She would not mourn him when he was gone. You do not weep for the mice that the cat kills in the kitchens.
Domeric smiled. "Aunt Barbrey."
She returned his smile. His eyes with that smile, and she could see Bethany in her mind's eye, about to tell a jape or reveal her latest trick on one of their brothers.
"You look handsome," She moved forward to further appraise him.
He stood tall in his family's colors. He wore a black doublet slashed with pale red silk. There was no sight of the flayed man upon him, but his doublet was glittering with small cut rubies resembling blood drops that had been sewn into the cloth. She was proud to see the carved horse head of House Ryswell, as an amber brooch that kept hold of his red cloak.
His thick dark hair was well brushed. He had cut it so it fell just past his ears now. His face was pale and smooth. His smile cut into the plainness of his features to give him a more handsome look.
She heard the servants and other gaggles of girls who in speaking of his betrothed would talk endlessly of her beauty, and how lucky he was. In their gossip, she heard how they spoke of her nephew's looks and how the girl was marrying someone not worthy because he was not some handsome fool.
The wisdom of the ignorant, she dismissed with disdain. What would pretty do when the harsh snows came? What purpose could pretty be when winter's winds were cold and blowing?
No, keep such things to songs and stories. Useless things to entertain the dimwitted such as these chattering servants with their tongues that wag too freely. The threat of a lash would silence such insolence.
Barbrey moved closer to her nephew, the boy who felt more like a son to her. She cupped his cheek, "She does not deserve you." She saw the way his eyes reacted and the movement of his face as he prepared to defend her honor and his choice, so she added, "But I am happy for you," she dropped her hand so that she could place a kiss upon his cheek.
"Thank you, Aunt Barbrey."
"And I insist that I am the first lady you dance with after your wife."
He chuckled, "You have my oath."
"Good," She stepped aside when she noticed the cloak on his bed. She moved to inspect it, remembering the night when Roose cloaked her sister in the godswood of the Dreadfort. It was dark pink. The flayed man was upon it, proudly in stiff red leather. Around it, was rubies splattered upon it like blood drops, as if a splash of blood stained the cloak.
Rubies, she frowned, It had been garnets for her sister. Her mouth twisting further at the dirty truth of it-Garnets were good enough for Bethany, but not for the Starks. No, they deserved rubies.
She ran a finger over one of the freshly sown rubies, wondering how long Roose had been working on these changes. Since the night he sent Domeric to Winterfell, she concluded wryly. He trusted him and Domeric had not failed him, she thought proudly, He's never failed them.
"The cloak my father used for mother," He said softly.
"He did," She looked to her nephew to see his dark eyes were hiding his thoughts from her, but the turn of his mouth showed his mood. "She would be proud of you, Dom."
He turned away from her to ponder that where his expression could not be read. His eyes going to the window where the sun's reddish glow was beginning to fade and darkness was seeping in.
The wedding was drawing near.
They may have been in the Riverlands, but in the north, their weddings were preferred to be set at night. This would be in the sight of the Old Gods and not the Seven. In the godswood the servants were still preparing to accommodate the number of guests expected to attend. Riverrun's godswood was a garden for leisure and not of worship nor was it to host weddings especially one of such importance. The union of the two most powerful houses in the north-Stark and Bolton to be witnessed by all the north and several Riverlords had come to attend to pay their respects to their allies.
More like helping themselves to the food and ale.
It did not matter to her. It was the Starks who needed to feed them, and it was the Tullys that had to host them. The Riverlords came without prejudice to this wedding, but she knew amongst the northern nobles several would watch the wedding in stony silence or grumble into their goblets. None of them pleased at how close the direwolf and flayed man had become.
She heard the talks of Lords such as Karstark and Hornwood, and their unease of a direwolf residing in the Dreadfort. Some had allowed themselves the foolish thought that Stark would sever the betrothal between their houses after her nephew's handling of the Mummers. She wanted to laugh at such delusions, believing those lords should replace their furs with motley.
In her thoughts, her nephew had moved to where the Bolton cloak rested on his bed. His fingers were skimming the material. There was a hue in his dark eyes, while his lips were curved upwards.
A blind man could read that look. In the ensuing silence, Barbrey just smiled at the sight of her nephew's happiness and hoped her sister could see it too.
He could not shake the smile from his lips as he made his way through the Riverrun corridors to fetch his daughter. Amused, at the path that had been laid out for him. It was here his family started when he married Cat, all those years ago. He was fortunate to have survived the war and returned to Winterfell. There he and her raised five wonderful children.
And here I am back where it started, he mused. This time to see my daughter marry.
The only sound breaking his contemplation was that of his cane rapping against the stone floor as he moved in the direction of his daughter's room. He had tried to leave the cane, but his leg could not take the weight. He had stubbornly practiced many times the night before. Rehearsing the steps and the length of his walk without it, much to Cat's displeasure, and it could not be done. His leg could not take the weight or the strain of so many steps. Disappointed, he accepted his limitations and kept the cane.
Now, it was time.
Time, he wanted to chuckle at the word, and how these years seemed to slip through his fingers like water. He closed his eyes and in his mind's eye, he could see a red faced, red haired babe, a precious little thing, his first daughter. A beauty, and he thought the perfect symbol of the love that he and Cat found for one another. Robb was born from duty. Sansa was born from love.
Sansa, smiling at the girl who grew before his eyes. At five she seemed to know all her courtesies and manners, a proper noblewoman. She's better than many in the south, Cat would praise and his little girl would primly smile, curtsy, and be gracious with the compliment.
She had a kind and gentle heart. His oldest daughter, and perhaps he indulged that gentleness when he should've grounded it, hardened it. Prepare her for the ways of Winter and of the north, but still she bloomed beautifully.
And now she was to be a wife, he reflected, a Bolton bride.
Marrying a Bolton. If you were to tell him her fate when she was a girl of ten and three, on the cusp of womanhood, he would've laughed, dismissed it as nonsense. Or if you told him that he declined a chance for his Sansa to marry the Crown Prince. That Ned would choose a Bolton over a Baratheon for his daughter, another sign Ned would think this messenger mad.
Joffrey turned out to be neither a prince or a Baratheon, but Ned did not know that when he declined his friend and his king's offer.
At Winterfell when the king made the suggestion, Ned never considered breaking the betrothal with the Boltons.
A decision he did not regret despite Domeric's earlier stumble with the Mummers. His words were wrought with grief, and a defiance that Ned knew all too well in youth. Age will temper it. The pride and anger of a young man and their determination to prove themselves. He was disappointed by Domeric, but he understood the follies of the young, and accepted his future good son despite his poor handling of the sellswords.
And Sansa still chose to defend Domeric, he did not forget the words Sansa had spoken. His little girl with polished etiquette and unbound kindness was now defending the gruesome acts and displays of crucifixion. It was a startling thing to witness. To compare this young woman before him, from the sweet, little girl she once was.
Her tender heart had hardened.
He looked up to see his youngest daughter approaching. "You look beautiful, Arya."
A shy smile flickered across her face before it slipped away like summer snow. "I don't want to look beautiful," She proclaimed. "And Mother will not let me carry Needle."
Ned chuckled. "I would certainly hope not." He cupped her cheek to get her to meet his eyes. "Is there any reason you need a sword to attend your sister's wedding?"
Arya bit her lip and tried to look away as she mumbled something that suspiciously sounded like intimidating Freys.
"What am I to do with you, girl?" He asked her in amused astonishment. She flashed a smile and her grey eyes shone in a way that had him think of Lyanna. He bent down and kissed her hair. "Why are you out of your sister's chambers?" He then took her hand and led her back the way to said room. "And more importantly why are you out of your Mother's sight?"
Arya looked down for a heartbeat at being caught. "Mother was telling Sansa what to expect on her wedding night."
"Arya," Ned was surprised by her bluntness in regards to speaking of such a private matter so openly.
"What?" Arya asked, "I didn't hear any of it, but I-"
"That's enough," he warned her, but there was little sternness in his tone. "Let us speak softly about such things, Arya," He then changed his mind, "Or better yet let us not speak of them at all."
She shrugged, either uncaring or undeterred. That was when they reached the door.
Ned knocked. "Is the bride ready?"
"You may come in."
Arya was the one to open the door. Slipping into the room first, and Ned followed. His eyes found his wife first since she was nearer to them. He could not help but admire how she looked in her dress.
He greeted her with a light kiss, and her fingers curled around his arm. Her smile was warm when their eyes met.
"Cat," he breathed out her name. Savoring his wife in front of him, never allowing himself to forget how close he was to losing it all while he was in the Black Cells.
She squeezed his arm, sensing where his thoughts were dwelling.
He put his hand atop hers, silently grateful to be with her once again.
The sound of Sansa calling for him pulled him away from his wife. He turned to look at his oldest daughter for the first time in her wedding gown.
He took her in silent dismay, struck at the young woman before him.
A babe to a bride, he thought wistfully, too quickly.
In his mind's eye, he was holding her close to him in her swaddling clothes. Her eyes blinking up at him, and now here she was watching him with the same bright blue eyes, a woman grown, dressed for her wedding.
He reflected, but it was not laced with sadness, but of pride. It was a warm comfort that settled over him that helped to soothe away the expected tinge of melancholy that often came about with change.
This was a dress for a northern wedding.
She was garbed in white lambswool and lace. Her long sleeves were patterned to resemble the bark of a weirwood. The high collar was excellently embroidered to show swimming blue trouts on the left and running grey wolves on the right. There was a sprinkling of pearls and garnets sewn along the bodice. The fusion of jewels mingled perfectly to honor her past and future ties.
On her pale neck was the ruby necklace her betrothed had gifted her. It sparkled in the light. Sansa's hair was a cascade of auburn curls that fell down her back and shoulders in soft ringlets.
"Sansa," he said, "You are beautiful."
She beamed at the compliment. "Thank you, Father."
He knew it was not vanity that made her respond in such a way, but relief and pride. She had worked long and tirelessly on this dress with the belief that it would be held in the north in the godswood of Winterfell. It would look simple or plain to some southerners, but there was an elegance in it that revealed his daughter's skill.
"The cloak," Cat's voice sharing the same sentiment that he was feeling. She held it out for him.
"Aye," Ned felt his voice go dry.
The cloak was long, white and ermine with a fierce direwolf embroidered upon it in silver thread. It was old and faded, but the pearls stitched into the cloak of his ancestors shone brilliantly.
The cloak I used for Cat. He moved to clasp the cloak upon her shoulders knowing it would not stay upon her for too long. The clasps were Tully trouts and when they were clasped, he stepped back to see her appearance was complete.
Lovely in white, he thought, ready and poised.
"Rickon?" Cat asked him.
"Robb's seen to him," Ned left his oldest and youngest together to get ready. "They'll be in the Godswood."
Cat nodded, "Then we will go too." She held out her hand and Arya came to her. Cat wrapped her arm around their youngest daughter. She looked back at them. Her blue eyes shimmering when they looked between him and their daughter. He nodded to her in understanding, knowing all too well the emotions that were filling her in these quiet moments together. She smiled and they left.
"Are you ready?"
"I am." She answered without hesitation.
Am I? His question did not linger when he felt his daughter put his hand on his arm. He smiled down at her. "Then let us be off."
The walk from her chambers to the Riverrun godswood was a blur.
She had dreamed of her wedding so many times she lost count. Since she was a girl she conjured this day, this moment. Then it had been a southern prince. She thought of all the pageantry and decadence. She saw it as an escape from the dreary north. A chance for her to leave Winterfell and go somewhere better.
How things can change.
Amused at how her dreams diverged and she could not be happier for it.
She turned to her father. His grey eyes gleamed with amusement with the slight upturn of his lips. He inclined his head and her eyes followed to see they were near-very near.
Finally. She was elated.
In her dreams she had never felt this. With all the minstrels, and knights, feasts and tournaments that her mind could conjure it could not compare to what she felt right now. The warmth that burned through her was as hot as the sun while those dreams had brought a mere candle's flame.
"You are glowing," Father whispered to her.
She smiled, "I know."
Father patted her hand. "I'm proud of you, Sansa."
"Thank you, Father."
They stopped a few paces away from the doors that would lead to the Riverrun godswood. A pair of guards who were standing at the ready to open it for them, now looked puzzled.
He turned to face her. "This is no simple thing," he said softly, "but it makes it easier knowing how much you care for him and he for you."
As excited as she was for her future with Domeric there was a small wistful string that tugged at her heart, reminding her of what she was leaving behind and the change that was ahead of her. She hugged him. "I love you, Father."
He held her the best he could while still having to hold his cane. When their embrace ended, his grey eyes were soft in the light. "I will not keep you anymore," He promised, "Out of fear you may just drag me."
Sansa laughed, "I will not."
"I'm glad," his hand held hers, "And I'm glad this day has finally come for you." He then put her hand atop his arm and they moved forward together.
The guards were respectful when they neared, opening the doors and bowing their heads.
To Sansa's astonishment the godswood was brimming with people. It was crowded, many were clustered around the edges with only the slightest hope of seeing anything of importance, but still they came to bear witness to this day.
The people parted when she and father appeared through the doorway. She saw the pathway cut through the godswood, lit with torches. Burning beacons that were guiding them to Domeric who was waiting for her.
It is time, the giddy excitement thrummed through her like a harp's string being plucked.
Music was playing. The beating of a hidden drum that seemed in rhythm with her heart. The sweet sounds of lute and pipes joined in tune, inviting them to come. The minstrels were out of sight, but they played through the dark night that cloaked Riverrun.
Tradition demanded she walk, while desire wanted her to run. Sansa tempered that urge. She knew of Father's pain and walked in step with him to make sure he felt as little discomfort as possible.
She remained poised in her approach not letting her eager heart betray her. She glanced this way and that and noticed the Riverlords had been placed further back. She saw the bright red hair of Lord Piper. Dressed in his family's colors, he looked like a blue candlestick, his hair the burning flame.
The Freys were next. Many did not care to hide their thoughts or wants in how they looked or smirked in her direction. Not letting the weasels sully this night even for a second, she turned but not before seeing her companions who she had taken from the Twins, tasked in finding them good marriages. Amongst their smiles, it was Lady Walda who stood out, but not to her size, but enthusiasm as she gave Sansa a quick wave. Nor did she miss the slight waggle of Walda's eyebrows, or how the smile turned impish.
Sansa returned the smile without blush.
Walda's eyes betrayed her own heart when they flickered over to a giant who stood further away.
More faces in the procession turned to the bride and her father.
There were the Mallisters, proud and true. Lords Bracken and Blackwood, but the infamous quarrelsome lords paid their rival no heed from where they stood with their respective families.
Closer, She felt the calling of her heart as they neared the final twist of the pathway where the weirwood would come into view.
Where he came into view. The observation brought her a silent thrill.
The light of the stars illuminated from above while the torches of the path showed her the gap between her and Domeric was closing still.
He stood waiting, but his face remained hidden due to the divide between them. He was a dark and patient shadow in red and black.
Her heartbeat quickened, propelled by haste and want.
Lords of the North were now turning to face her and her father. Sansa could not see all their faces, and the flickering flames made it difficult to make out their family's colors.
She could not miss the giant that was Smalljon Umber, who had come to the wedding while his father stayed behind with the northern forces that had fought at the Green Fork. The flames of the torches barely reached him, casting his face in a ruddy glow.
Lord Karstark was bearded and solemn. His three sons stood around him, looking reserved, but all four tipped their heads to her.
The Mormont women were dressed for feasting instead of battles. They remained proud and fierce, lean or stout in their dresses. They looked like warriors still.
Her eyes did not linger and her glances lessened since with each step she was moving closer to him.
Sansa felt the skimming of her pulse beneath her skin and her heartbeat drummed with excitement against her chest.
Jon was the first of her family that she spotted. He stood tall and handsome and beside him was his own betrothed, Dacey who looked lovely in her green dress.
When Sansa passed, she did not miss how Dacey's hand was clasped with her brother's. Jon gave her a smile, and nod.
I am close.
Lady Dustin was next. She was dressed in black and watching her closely. Sansa met the stare without wilting. Her future aunt arched an eyebrow towards her in silent inspection. Then a slow but noticeable smile touched the Lady of Barrowton's lips. It lingered for a blink before it slipped away.
Sansa found a spot of grey in the dark between the gaps of the Ryswell guests, but she knew it was Maester Uthor. Sick and dying, the maester of the Dreadfort was still determined to see her and Domeric wed. He dipped his head to her, hiding the wetness on his cheeks.
Then there were Uncles Edmure and Brynden. They greeted her with smiles. Grandfather Hoster could not attend, but she had met with him earlier in the day. He was bedridden, but she was fortunate because when she visited, he was lucid. She had held his hands while he talked to her, and she had thanked him for his wise and kind words. Sansa then kissed his forehead and promised to visit again.
Mother was next. She was wearing a proud smile, but there were tears in her eyes.
Robb, Rickon, and Arya were all together. Her eldest brother frowned at her for a long second before it turned into a smile. It nearly made her laugh. Rickon was grinning, but he fidgeted, bored at standing still and being quiet. He was holding Robb and Arya's hands to insure his good behavior.
Her sister despite her stubborn belief to think otherwise looked pretty in her grey dress. Their eyes met before Arya rolled her eyes but a smile was quick to follow.
Undeterred by her mischievous sister, Sansa returned the smile.
Just within the reach of the light, she saw the direwolves. Shaggydog looked restless, but he was between Ghost and Grey Wind. Nymeria was on Ghost's other side, where she let out a small huff. Lady was on Grey Wind's other side. Her precious direwolf looked regal. Through their bond she could feel Lady's desire to come closer to them, but she stayed where she was.
Family, friends, and everyone and everything seemed to flee her mind when her eyes moved to the spot in front of them where he was standing and waiting for her.
Domeric Bolton, her betrothed, the man she loved. She thanked the Old Gods for putting her on his path. There was no other who could claim my heart. He is mine. I am his.
He was dressed splendidly in black velvet and red silks. The rubies powdered upon his doublet sparkled in the starlight. His dark eyes seemed to glow in the torchlight with a warmth that was hotter than any fire.
She felt a flush creep on her cheeks when his eyes met hers, and the smile he gave her sent a bolt of heat straight through her.
It was only the whispery voice of Lord Bolton that pulled her attention away from him. It was softer than a light breeze, barely disturbing the now quiet of the Riverrun Godswood, but in her excitement it was as loud as a shout.
"Who comes before the Old Gods this night?"
"Sansa of the House Stark, comes here to be wed," Her father answered. "A woman grown, trueborn and noble. She comes to beg the blessings of the Gods. Who comes to claim her?"
"I do." Her betrothed stepped forward instantly. "Domeric, of House Bolton, heir to the Dreadfort. Who gives her?"
"Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and Warden of the North," he squeezed her hand, "Her father."
"Lady Sansa, will you take this man?"
"I take this man," She said the words as soon as Lord Bolton finished asking the question.
Her father stepped back and relinquished his grip on her. Accepting that she was no longer under his protection and that he yielded those rights to the man in front of them.
The man I love.
Domeric was smiling and waiting for her. He took her hands in his.
They're warm, was her first thought. She held them tight in front of all the guests. A wonderful reminder that they were bound together and no longer had to fear rebukes or watchful eyes.
Our love is no longer leashed. An exulting truth that excited her to her very core.
Domeric guided her to the weirwood tree where they knelt as one, bowing their heads in submission.
Thank you, she said to the Gods of her father. The Gods of her ancestors who watched and guarded Winterfell for thousands of years. My Gods.
The leaves rustled above her and she knew it was their blessing. The slim weirwood tree was looking down at them with a smile as if pleased and approving of the match set before it.
The seconds of silence that followed she prayed and she thought of all she wanted to have and see with him. The future she had yearned for that for long felt like a distant dream it was now upon her, upon them.
I am his. He is mine. Her smile grew, and warmth bloomed in her chest.
It was curiosity and temptation that caused her to slip into her wolf as easily as she had the pale doeskin slippers that she wore. She saw herself kneeling beside Domeric. Her in white and him in black and red. Even in prayer, she could not miss the contentment on their faces and seeing her together with him was a very satisfying glimpse. Then it was over. The sensation was quick, but she's grown familiar with it.
He gently squeezed her hand to signal it was time.
She returned the gesture when they rose as one.
Domeric's fingers slid out of her grip to undo the clasps of her maiden cloak, removing the direwolf of House Stark from her shoulders. He was quicker in placing over her, the bride cloak of House Bolton. He kissed her cheek when he fastened the clasps.
Sansa's heart fluttered at the touch of his lips upon her skin. A giddy tremor went through her.
She knew what was to come but she still let out a soft gasp of surprise when he scooped her up into his arms.
The music broke through the silence. The beating of drums, the pipes and lutes joining in to remind the guests of the fun and festivities to come. She found the first song they began to play fitting.
Two hearts that beat as one.
Spurred forward by this immeasurable happiness that swelled within, she kissed him with the freedom that only a husband and wife shared.
It earned a few hearty cheers and a bawdy joke from those who had seen it.
Domeric proceeded to carry her to the Riverrun hall for their feast with a wide smile.
The guests who followed were chattering and conversing loudly to one another. The music mingled with the voices and laughter.
I entered the godswood Sansa Stark, she observed, And I leave it Sansa Bolton.
A/N: I did a mixture of books and show for the wedding with a liberty or two sprinkled in.
There are wars to come. This is the calm before the storm. Those events however will happen in the sequel, so try to enjoy these few remaining chapters of everyone being happy.
If you could leave a review that would be great since this chapter was a pain to write.