A/N: Sorry for the long delays between chapters lately. I have been trying to go through and edit some of my older stories, and try and write a new chapter for them (Which is turning out harder than I thought because I have no idea where I was going with the stories.) I spent today finally posting the other chapters of this story to AO3, and editing them. Which is a good thing I did, because I noticed the entire last scene I wrote for Chapter 6 posted, so I added that if you want to go back and read it. It just explains why they are heading to the Hufflepuff fortress in the first place. I normally don't do long Author's notes, but I figured I will do a long one on this one. Both for the reasons before, and to address a couple of the reviews I have gotten. As to not make it too long, I won't be adding any names, just answering any questions or comments that really stuck out to me.
Amane is a Hufflepuff. Yes, she is brash, but that doesn't make her a Gryffindor. Hufflepuffs are people who are loyal to the core, who don't run away from hard work and can have the patience to see anything through. They believe in justice, but that doesn't necessarily mean the law. It means people getting what they deserve. They don't give up hope, and they aren't afraid to be themselves. Amane is someone who speaks her mind but will keep it to herself if it means not hurting those she cares about. Amane is an OC I started creating over 10 years ago. She is a Hufflepuff through and through.
As for Hufflepuff not being Valyrian enough. Come on, this is a fanfiction. I could make Smith a valyrian name if I wanted to. I chose Hufflepuff because it would add the most amount of humor, and made sense for an answer when asked, "what house are you from?" I am not going to change the spelling because it just adds more to the humor. I like humor in my stories.
As for why the starks hadn't heard of her, the Hufflepuffs were a Valyrian family that all but died out long ago with none being seen by the time King Robert became king. King Robert is watching the freeholds because of the Targaryens and has frequent contact with the bank. So when King Robert mentions the Hufflepuff name around the banker, he learns of the Hufflepuffs and news of the Hufflepuff fortune spreads through kings landing like wildfire because people in cities tend to gossip. By the time King Robert decides to actually go and meet her and go to the keep, she is a big topic in King's Landing. She wasn't well known until recently.
As for the whole 'crossover' topic that seems to come up a bit. This isn't really a crossover. Except between real world and game of thrones. Just adding in references for humor's sake. And for everyone that was all, 'there should be a dragon in there', I am sorry to disappoint, there isn't. Yes, she is Valyrian. But I honestly don't think she needs a dragon. But there is something in there...
And as for who Amane will end up with. Well, stay tuned. I already have how this story will end planned out, and one thing I can assure everyone is 2/3 suitors for Amane will have a happy ending. Haven't decided on the third. And one thing to be noted, my decision has been made on how the whole series ends (Yes, I know how it ends). So taking that into account, I have decided everyone's fate. And there will be potential for a sequel if you all still read my fanfictions by then. . ;) There will be more humor and adventure, but also sorrow and depressing scenes. Just stick with me, everyone.
Alright, now that this has gone on horribly long, That's enough of an author's note. I love all of my reviews, whether it be praise or constructive criticism, it keeps me going. Feel free to ask any more questions, I'll try and answer them. Let me know what you all think! Lots of love~
"We should be getting back." Jon said, as he followed Amane down yet another corridor. The dust filled halls were a maze to him, yet she seemed to have no problem weaving through the castle as if she...well, owned the place. He guessed, technically, she did.
"Just a few more corridors before you make me go back to that stifling camp. Please, Jon. I just can't handle..." Amane let out a sigh as she tried to think of the right words to stay. She didn't want to sit still. Sitting still meant thinking. Thinking about the fact that her entire family was gone. She never even got to say goodbye. She could feel her eyes start to water as she thought of her family, and a mild look of panic filled Jon's eyes.
"A few more corridors." He said quickly, hoping she wouldn't cry. He hated seeing her crying. In all the time they had spent together, she never really cried. She was always happy, with a bright smile on her face. Seeing her in so much pain and sorrow, gave Jon a tight feeling in his chest. He didn't like it. At all. So the two kept going through the winding halls of the keep before he finally convinced her to go back. They had set up camp in what he guessed was the throne room. It was the largest space with three exits, enough to guard and still be able to escape if something happened. The camp was spread out throughout the room. The majority of the sleeping tents were in the back. A small fire and a pot of stew near the front, with supplies scattered throughout.
They hadn't been back at the camp for more than ten minutes before Amane was restless. The king, Lord Stark, and the banker were all in the back of the room, talking with each other. And by how they each kept glancing over at her, she could assume the topic. She didn't like it. She didn't like the banker. He was so heartless. Amane shook her head to clear her thoughts, before she stood up, grabbing a nearby torch.
"Where are you going?" It was Ser Jaime who noticed her movements first, walking over to her as he spoke.
"To the crypts," Amane stated simply, not bothering to look at him as she began walking towards her destination.
"Not by yourself." Amane had expected the words to come from Ser Jaime, but it was Robb's voice who filled the area near them as he spoke. Amane closed her eyes and sighed as Robb, Jon, and Theon walked over to where she and Jaime were, all three casting Jaime a small glare.
"I don't exactly want company." Amane said, turning to glare at the four men behind her.
"We don't know what is in the castle, you can't go off by yourself. We will go with you. But give you space." To her surprise, it was Theon that said it.
"Just us." Robb added.
"That way you can pay your respects, without feeling overcrowded." Jon said a small smile on his face. Amane stared at the three suspiciously but nodded.
"Good. We will take her from here." Theon said, grabbing the torch from Ser Jaime, who stared at them with a look Amane couldn't quite figure out. Theon then gestured for Amane to lead on, and the four made their way out of the throne room.
"What was that?" Amane asked once they were a safe distance from the throne room. Amane led the small group through the halls towards the crypts.
"What was what?" Theon asked innocently.
"If you make me repeat myself, I am going to shove this torch up your a-" Amane began threateningly, but Jon cut her off.
"We thought it best not to leave you and the kingslayer alone together," Jon said as they entered the crypts, a look of momentary confusion crossing the three males' faces when she didn't stop but led them towards the archway in the back.
"Where are we going?" Theon asked.
"To the gold, duh. Why don't you want me alone with Ser Jaime, I don't think he would try anything." Amane said as they passed through the doorway, going down the next few corridors.
"Don't want to give the king any more ideas," Robb said, as they entered the large caverns.
"I don't think that is a good idea," Jon said to Amane, as she began walking down the stairs that were littered with gold that doon completely overcame the steps, leading into the large gold dunes.
"What do you mean, any more ideas?" Amane asked, ignoring Jon as she carefully made her way across the gold. The boys exchanged a look before slowly following her.
"He might have mentioned.. The possibility of.." Jon said as he made his way down, trying to figure out how to tell her without her getting angry.
"He told father he might marry you off to Ser Jaime," Robb said bluntly, causing Amane to stop dead in her tracks.
"He WHAT-?!" Amane's loud angry words filled the cavern as she turned to look at the three quickly. Too quickly. The gold beneath her feet slid, and she went with it. She gave a small scream as she felt her body fall and slide, the feeling of coins and Jewels stabbing her side as she slid down the large mound.
"Amane!" All three of the boys seemed to yell at once, Theon jumping forward without thinking. His movements caused all three to fall, following behind Amane as they all slid down the dune. The loud sound of coin scratching coin-filled the room, as well as a few groans and another yell from Amane as all three slid right into where she was trying to stand.
"Get off of me you oaf!" Amane growled out, not even knowing who she was trying to shove off.
"That is easier said than done, sunshine. Stop moving." Rob said as he struggled to stand as the gold and Jewels slid out from under his feet. Theon lay on the gold beside him, and as he moved to stand, he placed a hand on Robb's back and pushed down, using it to pull himself up.
"Hey-!" Amane let out a yell as Robb came crashing down on her.
"Theon!" Robb growled out angrily as he once again tried to stand.
"Sorry." Theon said, but the laughing tone of his voice spoke differently. A hand went to Robbs shoulder and pulled him up. Robb cast a thankful look at Jon, who then bent down and helped Amane stand too.
"Are you okay?" Jon asked Amane as she stood, dusting off the few loose jewels that had attached themselves to her clothing.
"Other than being squished by your behemoth of a brother? I'm fine- why are you all staring at me like that?" As she had begun to spoke, Robb, Theon and Jon's eyes all widened in a look of horror. Without a word, Jon and Robb reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her behind them as they drew their swords. Amane finally noticed the giant dune of gold and diamonds behind her was shaking, the loose coins and gems starting to slide down as a dark form emerged from the pile. All four slowly scrambled backward, trying to get hire on the dune behind them without taking their eyes off the massive form the was emerging in front of them. It was dark and large, larger than anything Amane had ever seen before, and as a head popped up out of the dune, she was horrified to see its head was as big as they were. But as the dark brown and black creature stood, her eyes went from being full of horror to being full of absolute wonder. Amane slowly stepped forward, trying to get past Jon and Robb, both of which held out a hand to stop her.
"It's a badger mole," Amane whispered in wonder, earning an odd look from the three with her.
"A what?" Jon asked, not taking his eyes off the creature in front of him. Sure, it looked like a badger. He had seen badgers before. But this thing was huge. Easily the same size as a building kind of huge.
"A badger mole. I thought they were just a legend." Amane said, pushing past their arms to step forward, as the large creature lowered its head, and let out a puff of air from its nose, causing Jon to jump forward and grab Amane to pull her back. Only that seemed to anger the creature, and it let out a ferocious growl that echoes through the cavern they were in, causing the whole room to shake. Only the shaking didn't stop. Several of the dunes around them began to move, more badger moles emerging around them.
"Jon, step back." Amane said, just loud enough to be heard over the sound of the cascading gold and jewels.
"I don't think that is a good idea..." Jon said as the badger mole let out another growl as the other badger moles in the room slowly turned to face them, some moving closer.
"Jon, for fuck's sake, please step back." Amane said, panic in her voice as she stared down the white teeth of the creature in front of her. Despite his instincts, Jon stepped back, earning a protest from both Theon and Robb as he did. But once he was back with the other two, the growling stopped. The badger mole took one giant step towards Amane, its head lowering to the ground as if to look at her. Amane slowly held out her hand as it took a large sniff, before slowly moving his nose into her hand. Amane took it as a good sign, and slowly raised her hand, petting its snout. Her eyes were wide with wonder, and the smallest hints of fear. Jon, Theon, and Robb watched closely from behind her, each holding their swords tightly.
But movement and yelling from above caught all of their attention. The rest of the caravan stood at the top of the stairs, weapons drawn as they stared down at the badger moles that surrounded the four below. The badger mole Amane was touching glanced up at their weapons and stood with a growl, stepping over the four of them as it moved towards the entrance, the other badger moles following. The badger moles stood in a row between Amane, Theon, Robb, Jon and the group that stood above them, each badger mole growling in warning as the group above them moved into a defensive position, the king and Lord stark standing behind the guards.
"Wait! Lower your weapons!" Amane yelled, rushing forwards, narrowly dodging Robb and Jon's attempts to stop her as she scrambled up the gold pile in front of her. "Stop! They won't hurt us!" Her yells caught the attention of the men above, who all shared hesitant looks. Amane couldn't hear what was being said, but King Robert and Lord Stark exchanged words before all the guards lowered their weapons. Jon, Theon, and Robb slowly did the same as Amane moved forward, hesitantly touching the legs of one of the badger moles as she passed it. All the badger moles stopped growling as she did, each of them glancing down at her.
"Badgermoles are protective creatures. But they aren't violent. If we don't hurt them, they won't hurt us. We just stumbled upon their nests." Amane wasn't sure how she knew that information, but it was there, in the back of her mind. She scrambled up the piles of jewels towards the steps, weaving through the badgers, motioning for Jon, Robb, and Theon to follow as she did. They were much more hesitant, but followed, watching the massive creatures as they did.
"You mean to tell me these...creatures... Are the guards to the Hufflepuff treasure?" The banker was the one who asked hesitantly as he walked forward into the room. Amane stopped walking, staring at him as if he were the stupidest man alive.
"No. They are badger moles. You can't tame a badger. I am telling you they probably burrowed in through the mountain and found a warm place to call home. And we shouldn't disturb them because they could probably eat us all." Amane deadpanned, earning a snigger from Theon as he came up behind her. The banker glared at Amane before turning and leaving. Amane finished her climb up the steps, coming to a halt in front of Lord Stark, as his Sons and then did the same, stopping just behind her.
"You shouldn't have gone off by yourselves." His voice was stern as he glanced down at the badger moles, who lost interest in the group and were slowly moving around the cavern below. Lord Stark then look at Amane.
"We need to talk."
A short while later, Amane and Ned Stark stood in front of her family's graves. If you could call them graves. They stood staring at the coffins and portraits for quite a while as the caravan slowly made its way back to the throne room. Ned wanted to talk to her when he was sure they were alone. He wasn't sure if he was looking forward to their conversation or not, it would all depend on her answer, he supposed. So when they were finally alone, he looked over at her. She looked nervous.
"You don't need to be nervous, lass. It's nothing bad. But it is a conversation I wanted to have with you before you made up your mind." Ned said, earning a questioning look from Amane.
"Made up my mind on what?" She asked. Ned sat on one of the stone benches in the room, gesturing for Amane to sit beside him, which she did.
"Its been almost a year since we found you." He said, his lips forming a grim line as he spoke. "I never would have expected you to make such a big impact on my family. But you have. You have brought a new joy to our lives." Amane wasn't sure where he was going with this, but she hoped it wasn't what she thought. "But now, with this, you can live your own life. You have money, and a fortress to live in. I suppose you don't need us anymore."
"Ned-" Amane started, but he raised a hand in a motion for her to be silent.
"But you don't have a family. You are more than old enough to live by yourself, even if you are a woman, your new found wealth with permit you freedom. But, I want you to consider what it would be like. Being here, alone. I've come to think of you as a daughter, Amane. And if you don't think this is what you want, you are more than welcome to stay with us in Winterfell, until you wish to marry and start a family of your own, of course." Amane felt her eyes watering at his words. God dammit, she didn't want to cry. But his words got to her. He looked over at her, noticing the tears in her eyes. But before he could say a word, Amane reached over and hugged him. Surprised, he hugged back. They sat like that for a moment before she pulled back, wiping a tear from her cheek.
"I won't lie. I have been dreading this entire journey for the sole reason of what it meant for my future. Yes, I now have wealth, but... I don't think it will really help me. I am still getting used to things here. And now that I know that my family is... gone. I didn't want to stay here alone. So if you're sure, I would love to come back to Winterfell." Amane said, her words rushed together at the end. Lord Stark gave her a big grin.
"Nothing would make me happier, Lass."
A/N: Ugh I feel like author note trash bc of how much author's notes I'm putting in here. But I'll be honest, I wasn't feeling this chapter. I almost skipped it and just moved forward to the next, but I figured it would leave some unanswered questions about why Amane was still in Winterfell if she was so rich. So I honestly hope you guys enjoyed reading this chapter more than i did writing it. The next chapter I am excited for though, it brings us to the beginning of the series! Its gonna get intense yall so bear with me!