A/N: Just a bit of fun. Enjoy or don't =)
It came after he'd finished pardoning Ned Umber and Alys Karstark. Despite vocal dissent from his Lords, Jon Snow, newly appointed King in the North, had decreed that the crimes of fathers could not stain the honor of their children. It had taken some doing, but as Alys Karstark and Ned Umber finished reaffirming the vows of their two Houses, there had been cheering and applause.
Jon had a soft smile on his face as those who had abruptly become his bannermen welcomed the young woman and even younger boy back into the fold with levity and joy rather than scorn and disrespect. The King in the North knew that they would need everyone in the fight that was to come. The Night King and the Dead were the true enemy. Conflict amongst the living, petty blood feuds and old enmity could not be allowed to stand any longer. The upcoming battle was one for survival, the survival of life itself.
And of course, in a moment of joy and happiness, that would be when everything went to shit. Jon should have been expecting something like this, but truth be told, that was merely his pessimistic side talking. How could anyone be prepared for a localized explosion of what appeared to be multi-colored magic right in the center of Winterfell's Hall? Ned Umber and Alys Karstark whirled around as the event took place only a few feet behind them.
Jon stood and gripped Longclaw harshly in its sheathe, not quite sliding it free yet even as his bannermen pulled their own blades. Everyone stared as the lightshow faded and a kneeling figure was revealed. Then, the being stood and the tension skyrocketed up another few notches. Longclaw came a few inches out of it's sheathe as Jon stared in muted horror at what seemed like a monster. His bannermen reacted no better, dozens of swords levied at the creature. However, such was the imposing nature of this new arrival, that nobody actively swung the first blow.
This was good, as it gave Jon time to realize that whoever or whatever this was, it was not necessarily a monster as first glance might make one suspect. It walked upright like a man at least, but then so did White Walkers. It didn't dress like any White Walker Jon had laid eyes on though. Instead, it was more draconic than anything else. With sharp and jagged edges as well as a menacing horned helm, Jon saw, once he got past the frightening immediate visual, a man dressed in armor and nothing more.
His bannermen were growing more and more restless though, mutterings and murmurings and swords dipping and swaying as each Northerner considered making the first strike. Jon had to say something, had to take control of the situation. Having calmed down somewhat, the King in the North modulated his voice as he called out, acting far more confident and assured then he truly was.
"Stranger! You have invaded the hall of Winterfell! State your intentions and show your face, or you will be deemed hostile."
His voice carried, strong and deep. It caught the attention of the armored intruder as Alys and Ned both stepped aside to give Jon and the creature direct line of sight. But more importantly than drawing the being's eyes to him, it also drew the focus of his Lords. The Northerners lining the hall all relaxed a tad when Jon stepped up to take control of the situation. Though none set down their weapons, not that Jon would have wanted them to.
A voice boomed from the horned draconic helm, but it spoke in a language that Jon did not know. While certainly intimidating and imposing, it actually didn't sound that threatening, causing most of the people surrounding the creature to look to each other in confusion, rather than fear or concern. Jon's own confusion must have shown on his face as he furrowed his brow.
There was a moment as the armored intruder seemed to pause. Then, he lifted up his arms, showing off black spiked gauntlets just as menacing and intimidating as the rest of his armor. That said, they were empty of weapons and his hands were open, palm out. It was a gesture of peace and none of the men surrounding the invader moved an inch as he then reached up and grabbed at the edge of his draconic helm, slowly pulling it off.
Jon wasn't exactly sure when he'd started treating the armored figure as a he rather than an it. Truth be told, the moment the being had spoken, even speaking in a language incomprehensible to Jon's ears, he'd assumed it was a man. He was not wrong. In fact, the face and hair that were revealed as the intruder removed his menacing helm were quite familiar to Jon and a number of people in the hall.
It's Robett Glover, Lord of Deepwood Motte that says what they're all already thinking, his voice quiet and his eyes wide as he breathes out a single word.
And it truly is the first thing that came to the minds of all those in the hall. From Jon to Sansa to the lowliest knight and the greatest northern lord. Even conniving, scheming Petyr Baelish, watching the proceedings from the wall of the hall, is wide eyed at the sight before him. It is the description of every Targaryen Prince that they have ever heard standing before him.
A handsome pale face with a wide smile set upon it greeted the onlookers from around the hall. A pair of distinctive purple eyes met Jon's own chocolate brown as the newly crowned King in the North stares unashamedly in shock and curiosity. A mane of silver-blonde hair reaches right down to the very top of the man's breastplate and goes no further.
The face alone reveals a gorgeous youthful man, face devoid of hair, but confidence and experience brimming in his unusually colored eyes nonetheless. There is a glance to Lord Glover as the older man speaks, but then the Targaryen's eyes go back to Jon, seeming to zero in on the most important man in the room, no matter how much Jon wishes that wasn't true.
Saying something else in that incomprehensible language of his, the man, still dressed in his menacing armor from the neck down, sounds quite jovial and altogether conversational, not an ounce of intimidation or anger or even fear in his now revealed face. When he is still met with blank looks and confusion, the silver-blonde intruder rolls his violet eyes and lifts an armored hand up.
There are a few shouts as his fingertips glow, but he is touching his lips rather than pointing at anyone else. His magic is directed at himself and it is the only reason he is not immediately attacked for his casting. A moment later, he removes his fingers and speaks again. The Targaryen (because truly, what else could he be?) speaks and his lips do not match the words Jon or anyone else in the hall hears.
"Greetings. I do apologize for the confusion and what not. I imagine that you are not used to anyone simply arriving in the middle of what appears to be a very important meeting. We should be able to understand one another now though, I do hope."
The man looks expectantly at Jon, clearly waiting for a response. After a moment of composing himself, the new King in the North gives it.
"Yes. However, your words do not match the movement of your lips. It is disturbing."
A smile spreads across the warrior's face and he nods.
"Indeed, my magic can only do so much. Rather than outright teach me your language or you mine, it is merely making it so that no matter what words I speak, you all hear exactly what I mean. Useful thing that, a spell I developed myself one lazy snowed in afternoon at the College of Winterhold."
While Jon is processing this, his bannermen are not idle. There is shuffling and mutters and whispers and all are still holding the unmasked intruder at sword point still. Once again, the head of House Glover speaks for them all.
"You have invaded the hall of the King in the North Targaryen. All of your armor and magic will not protect you if your intentions are not peaceful."
There's a pause as the Targaryen man seems to consider this for a moment before nodding. He speaks first to Robett before looking back at Jon and bowing at the waist, surprisingly low for someone who is clearly nobility.
"I am not here to commit violence against you or your King. Your grace, I apologize for the intrusion. It was not my intention to arrive here in this way in your midst. The magic I used to come to this place, to your world… it is not so exact. I had no idea where I would land before my arrival in your hall."
Before Jon could respond, and really this was getting slightly ridiculous, another of his bannermen couldn't seem to resist interjecting.
"Rubbish! You would claim to come from another world? We all know you for what you are Targaryen!"
There is a general sense of agreement from around the hall as the northerners all mutter and whisper to one another yet again, many nodding along with those words. Jon certainly can't deny feeling his own sense of incredulity at the idea that someone so close to the tales of Targaryen looks that they'd all been brought up on could be from another world rather than from the accursed dragon family. Neither he nor anyone else in the room truly knew that there was actually a place where such characteristics were common, across the narrow sea in the island city of Lys.
Still, the honest confusion on the armored man's face as he looked about and then focused back on Jon did make the King in the North feel a bit like he actually had no idea what they were talking about. His next words only firmed up this feeling.
"You've used that word twice now and I am not catching any meaning behind it. I assumed this 'Targaryen' was either a derogatory term or a word for stranger in your tongue. But I sense it holds deeper meaning. If I am a Targaryen, explain to me what that entails please, so I may defend myself properly."
Seeking to gain back control of his hall, Jon preempted his bannermen by speaking up before they could.
"The Targaryens are a family, a House. They once ruled the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in an unbroken line that went back over three hundred years. The first of them, Aegon the Conqueror, arrived on the shores of this continent and used dragons to force six of the seven kingdoms into submission during his conquest. You must understand stranger, you bear all physical similarities to records of the Targaryen House, so much so that everyone in this hall recognizes you as a member of that family. Your armor, draconic in nature as it is, does not help."
The intruder's purple eyes light up briefly as he smiles a bit wider, taking in all of what Jon has to say and almost seeming giddy by the time that the King in the North is finished speaking. Though he does pause at that last sentence, looking down at himself and letting out a light laugh.
"Ah, this? This actually isn't dragonbone. I have a set of armor made of dragonbone as well, but this is Daedric Armor. Far different truthfully."
Seeing that his little correction really isn't getting him anything but more nonplussed stares, the armored young man coughs and clears his throat, before hastily reaching down to his belt to grab a small pouch hanging unassumingly there. His quick movements are met with some tension and apprehension from those around him and swords move closer, armor clinking as the northerners react aggressively.
Pausing, the silver-blonde man looks about as if he's supremely unimpressed by all the blades pointed his way. In fact, if Jon didn't know any better he would say that until now, the armored intruder hadn't even noticed them. Ignoring the threat of bodily harm, the Targaryen instead reached into his pouch, his entire gauntlet disappearing within, impossibly enough. As gasps of shock and wide eyes fill the hall, the man pulls out an old, slightly dirty white and gold blanket.
"Please, I must ask a boon of you your grace. Have one of your men study this blanket. I must know what the words embroidered on it mean. I have waited all my life for this moment, but I think it has finally come."
There is a pause as the man in menacing armor holds out a not-so-menacing piece of cloth, purple eyes wide and hopeful. Everyone waits with baited breath, but Jon just nods and gestures for Robett to take the cloth. The Lord Glover does so, grabbing it out of the intruder's outstretched hand and using one hand to fiddle with it until he can read the embroidery that the armored man is talking about.
Robett's face goes white and Jon begins to grow concerned as the Lord sputters and scowls, an angry red covering up the white a moment later. The Lord of Deepwood Motte bites out a name and then tosses the cloth aside, taking his sword in both hands and striking.
There is pandemonium as Jon's eyes widen and he shouts for Robett to stop. But it is too late. The old northerner's sword descends on the armored intruder's unprotected head even as others move forward as well, incensed by the name on the blanket. There is no true personal hatred here, merely a bad blood that reaches back three hundred years. These are northerners that have just finished proclaiming their SECOND King in the North. And the last time Aegon Targaryen came to the North, they lost the right to have a King.
A dozen attacks on the Targaryen man's person happen in just as many seconds as Jon looks on in horror, unable to stop the immediate and ferocious response. His horror turns to wide eyed shock and awe in short order though and that is mirrored by his sister, Baelish, and many of his bannermen as not a single attack does anything to the young man.
Swords glance off of the intruder's seemingly unprotected head, sharpened blades sliding over silver-blonde looks and doing absolutely nothing in terms of damage. Those that aim for the body are bodily thrown back as they hit something an inch out from the now named Daedric Armor. Northerners are thrown into each other and the dozen men that attack the intruder end up causing a bit of a wide, empty circle to appear around his unmoving form as they knock back people and tables inadvertently.
It is only in the silence that follows the failed attack on the Targaryen's person that Jon is heard. It rankles a bit, but he has never been very prideful, so it is only a bit. Eyes wide and breath coming out shortly, Jon stares at the being before him, no longer so sure that he is facing a simple man any longer. Not even a Targaryen could have survived an onslaught like that and if Jon remembered his lessons right, Targaryens were said to be immune to FIRE at times, not STEEL.
The silver-blonde young man still standing in the same spot where he first appeared looks around with some level of amusement before lifting up his hands again, palms out to show peace as he turns his gaze back Jon. There's a cocky little grin on his face and an arrogance in his purple eyes that rubs Jon the wrong way, but the King in the North is forced to admit that the stranger has earned a bit of arrogance after that display.
"Tis alright, no harm done. Still, that's who I am? Aegon Targaryen? I suppose it rolls off the tongue nicely enough. But didn't you say Aegon was a Conqueror of some sort in this world? I can assure you, I've never conquered. Truthfully, I've done a great deal in my short life, but conquering? Not yet."
There's a twinkle in his eyes as he says it and Jon feels an urge to growl. The Targaryen, Aegon even, was clearly fucking with them, but only Jon actually had a direct view of the man's face. Well, he and Sansa. Glancing to his half-sister to see how the seated young woman was taking all of this, Jon found something he liked even less than the intrusion into his hall. Sansa Stark was staring at the armored Targaryen with undisguised interest, her eyes wide and her nostrils flared.
Jon had only seen that look on one woman before. His Ygritte, after she'd watched him accomplish a feat of strength. While Sansa was no Wildling, on Ygritte it had indicated arousal. Jon could only hope that was not the case here. Looking back to the Targaryen, he opened his mouth to speak, only for Littlefinger to finally interject.
"If I may your grace… while it is unlikely that this is Aegon the Conqueror, or some sort of… other worldly version of him, there was another Aegon Targaryen, far more recently in fact. The only son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell. He was believed murdered as a babe by Lannister men the day that King's Landing fell to your father and Robert Baratheon. Interestingly enough, if he is who he says he is, he actually has a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys Stormborn, who would be his aunt."
Both Jon and Aegon look to Petyr. The older man simply smiles and bows slightly, stepping back having said his piece. It's a testament to Baelish's ability to melt back into the background that they both dismiss him readily. Or perhaps it's his inherent sliminess that seems the two disregarding him. Brown eyes stare into purple and the King in the North looks upon another of Royal Blood.
Aegon's lips quirk up slightly.
"Well, I've accumulated a lot of titles in my life, but I've not been a King yet. I hope this Iron Throne isn't yours your Grace. I do not wish to offend, but your seat looks distinctly wooden."
His bannermen bristle for him, but Jon is suddenly able to find a strange sense of calm as he regards the young man in front of him. While it is clear that Aegon has experienced much and holds untold power within himself, Jon Snow is not some wet-behind-the-ears pup, not anymore. Smiling humorlessly, Jon shakes himself.
"The Iron Throne sits to the south. A Lannister sits upon it. If you want it, you're welcome to it. We in the North have more pressing matters to attend to."
Oddly enough, Jon could see that it was the latter half of his statement that Aegon latched onto, rather than the first half. A glimmer of interest appearing in the other man's purple eyes.
"Pressing matters you say? Now you've piqued my curiosity. Is there something I can help with your Grace? I have long been a friend of those with and without power. I'm more of a wanderer than a royal, regardless of what my blood or any of the Jarls back in my homeland might think. If there's something you need done, I'd be happy to help."
Jon pauses as silence falls in the hall as he and all of the northerners in the room realize how absolutely stupid they've been. Even he, even Jon who was NOT supposed to be overly prideful, had fallen into this trap of seeing the intruder as nothing but another enemy to be vanquished, one way or another. Just before the Targaryen's arrival, Jon had thought to himself that petty blood feuds and old enmity could not be allowed to flourish any longer and yet here he was, attempting to send their best chance at a strong ally south.
The King in the North's mouth opens and closes a few times as stunner northerners look to him for guidance and the newly minted Aegon Targaryen looked on with a patient smile on his face. Finally, Jon found the words. There could only be one answer to the offer, given what they faced.
"Yes. There is much we need done and the threat we face is not something one man, even a man like you can face alone. But your help would be greatly appreciated Aegon Targaryen."
There's some muttering around the hall, but the majority of his people seem to understand that this was a man who would be better used as an ally, rather than alienated and turned into an enemy. Aegon's smile grows wider and he claps his gauntleted hands together, startling several of the northerners around him.
"Wonderful! Though I will confess, I'm not so sure about this new name yet. Aegon Targaryen… I'll have to think about whether or not I'll lay claim to it quite yet. I've lived my whole life as someone else. For now though, please… call me Dovahkiin."
There's a pause as that word fails to 'translate'. Jon frowns but before he can ask the obvious, Aegon's smile grows another notch and he preempts the King in the North.
"It means Dragonborn in the language of their species. Seems that regardless of the world, I'm tied to them one way or the other. Now, great King in the North… please tell me what I can do for you."
Letting loose a long, low breath, Jon began to tell his story once again, explaining the Wall, the Night's Watch, the threat beyond it and the events of the last few years. He told Aegon Targaryen, as he'd told so many others, of the Night King and his army of Dead. The King in the North expected the smile to fall from the Targaryen's face. He expected derision and disbelief and incredulity.
What he got instead was a progressively bigger and bigger smile as Aegon Targaryen's grin soon seemed to split his face from ear to ear, showing off rows of pearly white teeth.