Disclaimer: No owny, no makey money, no happy.

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Castle Black:

As the stewards withdrew after bringing a small tureen of soup and some water, the doorway made a most unpleasant squelch! Before the eyes of the Lord Commander, eight people adorned in pristine armour melted into view.

"What is going on Stark? Who are these people in my chambers!" The Old Bear's hand rested on the stone bear's head hilt of his sword.

"My Lord, these are the Knights Seven. I came across them in the large clearing just to the south of the heart trees. They may have saved my life, and allowed me to make sense of the missing rangers. Ser Royce has been taken by the Others." Mormont would normally take this in jest, had he not seen the headless Ser Royce and grew up on the old tales. Still, he was filled with distaste for their stealing into his chambers unannounced.

"The Others, you say? We have seen neither hide nor hair of them since the Wall was raised, Benjen. There are dark times ahead if what you say is true." The Lord Commander took his hand from his sword, and stroked his thick beard. "What say you, strangers? What do you know of these happenings?"

He looked to Ron, assuming he was the leader of this band, but it was Harry that came forward.

"My Lord, we knew nothing of this land or these Others until yesterday, when we arrived here. All we received was a note telling us 'Winter is Coming, and with it, the Long Night'. Until we met the First Ranger, we didn't even understand that. You see, we are not from this world. We're from Earth. Where we come from, magic is still alive, and the age of swords and armour is long gone. I came here to look for my godfather, and my friends followed me. On arrival, he was nowhere to be found, and all we knew was to head for the Wall, and Winterfell."

Jeor Mormont, for a second, was lost for words. The very idea that people from another world- an alien concept of itself- had travelled here was absurd! And yet, they were adorned in the finest armour he had ever seen. Outlandish weapons like the small girl's (a woman, in armour, by the Gods, she reminded him of his sister!), that ungodly shield held by the man who rivalled the Mountain in height, and the shear atmosphere of solemnity that surrounded the eight before him made him pause.

"A note, you say? May I see it?"

Hermione was torn. On the one hand, this was direct correspondence from a man, a legendary figure a thousand years in the past, to them! And besides that, it mentioned their true names! On the other, this man was obviously respected, and headed the order that kept the coming apocalypse at bay, for now. Capitulating, she removed the scroll from her belt, and passed it to him. After a minute's reading, he set it down.

"Benjen, take them to Aemon. And gather the men. It's time we started to train those bastards to really fight."

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After a few brief mouthfuls of soup each, and water to quench their thirst, the group hid themselves again, and followed their companion out to the courtyard. Under his breath, he whispered, "The tower on the opposite side of the courtyard, with the slate tiling is the Maester's quarters. Once I have called the men, he will be alone. You'll have maybe half an hour to talk, but then his steward will return. Make sure you're gone by then or make sure he doesn't know you're there."

With that, he clanged the bell above the gate to call the men of the Night's Watch to him.

As the black-clad men arrived in dribs and drabs, it became clear that barely a hundred of them called the redoubt 'home'. Making their way slowly to the specified tower, following the footprints of those in front, they waited with bated breath as the steward left the tower and joined the men. Hurrying inside, they barged through the door and closed it just as swiftly.

"Maester Aemon? Hello?" Hermione called out. In the far corner, next to a small fire, sat a shrivelled, bald and shrunken old man with greyed-over eyes.

"Yes, my dear? What brings such a beautiful voice to this cold and draughty castle? And your companions, too, for that matter." He smiled slightly, as he gazed unseeingly into the fire.

"My friends and I were sent here by the Lord Commander. The First Ranger is distracting everyone whilst we talk with you. I'm afraid we don't know why, only after he read this scroll, he sent us here." The old man shifted slightly, and chuckled dryly.

"Well, why don't you read it to me, and we shall see what is so important."

After reading the scroll aloud, the Maester seemed to gain some vigour to him, as he stood as swiftly as his old bones could allow, and shuffled off into the library surrounding them. Hermione followed, as the others grouped around the small fire.

"At the founding of the Night's Watch, Bran the Builder raised the Wall to hold back the tides of White Walkers and their wights from the kingdoms in the South. With a feat of magic unseen before or since, he made a seven-hundred-foot-tall, three-hundred-leagues-long wall that split this land. You will see no blocks of ice, no means of construction. It is so thick, you could bombard it for days and achieve only snow. Only the Maester of the Night's Watch is privy to information beyond that. Brandon, or Bran as he was known, was not from this land, nor any other we had ever heard of. He was from a land known as Cymry, and later, Albion. He came here by leaping through a gateway that by all rights, should have killed him. He went on to sire the line of Stark, who took control of the North, and are now Wardens of the North. Not many know of this, and it would do well to stay that way, hm?" The old man pulled a book from a shelf in a corner in almost complete darkness, and handed it to Hermione. She nodded, and then blushed.

"Yes of course, I understand."

"Good, good. Now, that book was left by Merlin to only be read by his chosen knights. It apparently contains long-lost knowledge the likes of which this world has never seen. This ring here," He pointed to a small, almost wire-like link in his chain necklace, "means that I studied magic in the Citadel. I know most of what Westeros has to offer in the ways of magic, but I can tell, just by holding this book, that I am but a spark to the roaring inferno. Magic will soon race across these lands once more, for good or evil. I can only hope the Others do not follow. You said that you look to Winterfell next. Ask to visit Bran the Builder's tomb, there will be something waiting for you there. Now, we must head back to the fire, as these old bones grow colder by the day in this incessant cold."

Moving aside, Hermione followed the old man back to his seat, and helped to wrap him back up as he was before. Taking a small jar from the mantelpiece above the fire, she vanished the wax inside and instead conjured a small bluebell flame.

"Here. This will stay burning for a long time, Maester Aemon. Just keep it hidden, as it is bright blue. Keep it in your robes, and I hope you stay well. I will come back, soon I hope, to read through your wonderful library. Now, we really have to go, I'm sure our half-hour is nearly up." Patting his wrinkled hand, and kissing him upon his head, she stood to leave.

"Before you leave, my dear… I think that someone in the Seven Kingdoms should know. My name is Aemon Targaryen. I'm nearly a hundred and one. And above all else, I wish I could see the sunrise over Dragonstone one last time." With those words, the Maester nodded off, mumbling to himself as he dreamt.

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Back in the Lord Commander's chambers, the Seven, Mormont and Stark were relayed the information that Hermione had learned. It was decided that they should set off for Winterfell as soon as possible. The Lord Commander had one thing to ask, however.

"My Lords and Ladies, although your journey is important, I must ask for two favours."

Harry nodded.

"First, when you head south, I implore you to call as many as you can to take the black. We are in sore need of more recruits, and supplies as this winter bears down upon us."

"Of course, Lord Mormont. We understand the importance of defending the Wall, as do your men now, I take it?" Harry said. The Old Bear nodded.

"And second, before you leave, I ask that if you can, you use your magic to fortify the defences here, both of the Wall and Castle Black herself."

At that, they were surprised. Such a hardened warrior asking for blatant magic was, to say the least, assumedly unusual.

"I take it the resources needed would not be available to you, Lord Mormont?"

"No."

"Then under cover of darkness, we will see what we can do. For now, we need to find a way to take Ser Royce south with us to present the problem of the Others to the Seven Kingdoms, and take stock of any provisions you may be able to give us to see us through to Winterfell."

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That night, after darkness had fallen and the only men of the Night's Watch about were atop the Wall, the Seven stood arrayed around the redoubt. Each knew their role, and waited for the signal from Harry. Hearing a high whistle on the wind, they raised their wands. Transfiguring mud to stone was difficult, but not impossible. And what they intended to do was beyond the pale. Raising great stone fortifications from the ground, whilst shaping them to look like old stone was a draining process on Earth, but here, the stone burst into being faster than they thought. High square towers on either side of the road leading in, and walls slightly inclined to allow easy defence rose up from the mud. Hermione, as the resident Transfiguration scholar, guided the design. The wooden buildings inside the fortifications slowly petrified and turned to stone, with great heated gaps in the walls being formed. Once the stonework was finished, the Seven turned their attention to the Wall. Smoothing out the face, they transformed it into a uniformly sapphire-blue edifice that reeked of power. For a league in either direction, the Wall became unassailable, its face so smooth the brothers of the Watch saw their reflections, some for the first time. Wearying, the Seven turned their last attentions to the charming of the stonework to resist the cold weather of the North, and assault of many kinds.

"That's it, guys. Any more and we may as well sleep where we stand!"

The group lowered their wands, each drained by the impressive work. They couldn't truly see their handiwork in the darkness, but the Lord Commander would surely approve. Gathering their supplies given to them, and the still-writhing body of Ser Royce, they turned their faces to the South, and began to walk. It was a long journey, nearing two hundred and ten leagues. Twelve days of hard marching along a less-than-well-used road that was more of a dirt track. Should be fun.

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A/N: Holy cow. So, I just did the maths for walking to Winterfell and it's like 630 miles. My feet hurt after walking 10. Shame horses are hard to come by and cost like a bajillion in cash. From Winterfell to King's Landing, Nikolas Marinakis worked it out to be like 1,500 miles, "as the three-eyed crow flies". No wonder Joffrey was a cunt. He was in that stupid idea of a carriage the size of a house for like 30 hours. I'd be a cunt after like 3. Anyhoo, I give thee the 5th chapter in this, my soon-to-be-corrected-and-spell-checked masterpiece of average quality. Sayonara, baby!