For days, Nyra locked herself in her room and bid her servants to bring her food, water to bathe, water to drink, and anything else she needed. She couldn't get over the fact that everyone was suddenly going to leave her. Her father was going south with Sansa, Arya, and Bran. Jon was going to the Wall to take the Black. Only her mother, Robb, and little Rickon would stay. Nyra was still uncertain of her future, and Eddard refused to speak to her about it. It only made her think that she was staying in Winterfell.
Finally, after five days of solitude, Ember forced Nyra to leave her chambers. The wolf snarled and growled and howled until, finally, Nyra got up. She opened her door, expecting her wolf to bound out, but she merely stared at her owner. When she tried to close it, Ember jumped up and snapped her muzzle. "What! What do you want?" Nyra snapped, glaring at her direwolf.
Ember sat down and licked her chops, staring up at Nyra with smoldering eyes. "Fine, I'll leave." She snapped, stomping down the stairs of her tower and out into the courtyard. She turned to her wolf, fuming at her stubbornness. "Happy?" She snapped.
Footsteps crunched closer and Ember whined, nuzzling Jon's leg. He watched Nyra with intense grey eyes. "Hey, Nyra." He said softly.
Nyra stiffened, her back straightening into proper lady posture. "Jon," she nodded.
He looked pained as Nyra tried to walk away. "Nyra, please," he reached out and grabbed the older girl's arm, but jerked away and hissed in pain. "Ouch! Gods, you are burning!" He exclaimed, reaching out again.
Nyra looked down and touched her own arm, feeling only warmth. "It's fine, I feel fine." She said curtly, trying to run away again.
Jon stepped in front of her. "You are not fine, Nyra, you feel like fire! Literally!" He reached out and touched her neck gently before jerking away again. "Do you have a fever?" He asked worriedly.
"No, I do not. I am fine." She dismissed him again, but he continued to fawn over her.
"You're steaming, Nyra. Look." He pointed at her skin, which was indeed steaming.
"What in the seven hells?" She muttered, holding up her arm. Ember whined again, and she seemed to notice her for the first time. Her flaming fur was slick with sweat and her tongue lolled out of her mouth as she panted. "Oh, my room must've been so hot! Ember, I'm so sorry!" She exclaimed, leaning down to pet her wolf.
Ember shied away from her touch, growling when she tried to come closer. "We need to see Maester Luwin, Nyra, you're not okay. I think you may be ill." Jon held his hand out, his eyes wide with worry.
She sighed. "Fine, but it's probably nothing. I feel fine, Jon, I promise." She said quietly, walking past him and his outstretched hand.
Jon huffed. "Nyra, wait." He called out, jogging to catch up with her. "What's wrong? You've been avoiding me for days." He said, looking at Nyra.
"Nothing," she quipped.
"Please don't lie. I know when you're upset. We grew up together," he said.
"Exactly," she said hotly. "We grew up together. All of us, and suddenly Jon Arryn dies and we're all leaving each other. Father, Bran and the girls are going off to Kingslanding. You're going to the Wall for some reason, and I don't even know what I'm going to do. Mother will most likely try and marry me off to so lordling if I don't go with Father, who'll marry me to someone in Kingslanding." She paused to take a deep breath.
"And, that stupid queen hates me for some reason!" She whispered. Jon's jaw dropped. "Oh, don't act so surprised." She snapped. "She truly is stupid, clever, but stupid. She's got Robert wrapped around her finger, even if he doesn't think so. I'll bet that it was her, that wretched woman." Nyra spat.
"For gods sake, Nyra, keep your voice down!" Jon exclaimed, looking around to see if anyone else heard her.
"Oh, shove it, Jon. You're leaving as well." She sighed in defeat, rubbing her throbbing temples.
Jon looked pained as he stopped. Nyra slowed to look at him. "I'm sorry, Nyra, I truly am. I don't belong here. As soon as Father leaves Lady Stark will dispose of me." He repeated.
"Yeah, you've said." She replied drily. "I can make sure she won't, Jon."
"What if you go to Kingslanding? What then? I can't go with you, the queen would never allow of it, and I sure cannot stay here." He said, taking a few steps closer. Nyra watched him with wary eyes.
"The Wall is no place for boys," she spat, hoping to hurt him a little, and feeling guilty when he winced.
"And I won't be a boy anymore, Nyra. I'll be a man."
"You won't be able to have a life, Jon. You'll be there for life." She said, her voice rising in desperation.
"That's kind of the point," he said.
"You won't be able to have a wife or a son or a daughter. All of the beautiful opportunities for you. You're throwing your life away, Jon." She whispered, tears stinging her eyes.
"I don't need a wife, Nyra. I don't want to marry." He lied, the words bitter on his tongue.
She straightened. "You will." She whispered before turning and stalking towards the maester's tower.
"Well, she seems fine," Luwin said. "There's nothing physically wrong with her, other than her excessive temperature. She has no signs of a fever or any illness. I cannot fathom what might be wrong with her." He finished his examination, taking a step back to allow Nyra to think.
"I told you that I'm fine," she said, rubbing her arms.
"I do not believe you are, Lady. You are burning hotter than any human might, even with a fever." He muttered, going over to his table, which was littered with open books. He turned towards his steward. "Send for Lord Stark, please." He ordered. The stout boy nodded and scurried away.
Nyra jumped up, nearly knocking over her stool. "What? There's no need to fetch Father," she rushed. "I am fine."
Luwin raised an eyebrow. "Your reaction leads me to believe you are not," he said slyly, a small smile on his lips.
Nyra sighed in frustration. "Men," she muttered.
Jon sat silently beside her, his eyes boring into the floor. He chewed on his cheek until he drew blood. He winced, letting go and opening his mouth. Nyra's eyes jumped to him. "Are you alright?" She asked, sitting back down.
Jon nodded without looking up. An awkward silence filled the room. Luwin flipped through books, looking for a remedy. Or an explanation. Probably both. Eddard burst into the room, his eyes wild with worry.
He spotted his eldest and rushed for her. "Nyra, are you alright?" He asked, grabbing her face and immediately recoiling from the heat. His face paled as he gulped. "Leave us," he ordered. Luwin opened his mouth to protest, but one look from Father shut him up. Jon stood up and bowed at his lord father before leaving.
"Jon," Eddard said. Jon turned to face him. "Send for the King. Tell him it's urgent and alert him to where we are." He ordered.
Jon's eyes widened. "Is she alright?" He asked quietly, his eyes meeting Nyra's.
"She's fine. Hurry along now," he said gently, reassuring his bastard son even though he wasn't sure if she was.
"Father? What is this?" Nyra asked, moving from her stool. When Eddard didn't answer, she intensified her stare and forced him to look at her. "Answer me, Father." She commanded, knowing it was a risk to speak to her lord father this way.
He looked up at her in surprise. "When the king arrives," he promised. She nodded and believed him, even though a part of her knew he'd never reveal everything.
After three long minutes, the King finally entered the room, his cheeks flushed from the cold wind. Or maybe it was from the wine, who knows. "What is so urgent, Eddard? I was in the middle of something," he snarled, pointing at the wine stains on his tunic.
Jon was winded behind him. He tried to wiggle into the room, but Robert stopped him. "Is this the bastard? You have no business here, boy." He said disapprovingly. "Run along, bastard." He sneered.
Jon bristled and made a move to leave, but Nyra stood and floated over in pure grace and fury. "Do not speak to him that way," she said calmly. "He may be a bastard, but that does not mean anything. You know nothing about him, and unless you plan to, I suggest you treat him with respect." She snapped, wading into dangerous waters.
Robert stared at her with wide eyes. Jon paled and Eddard hissed in a breath. For a split second, rage and fury seeped into the king's eyes, but, within a second, it was replaced by laughter and pride.
"You've got a fighter, Eddard." He bellowed out a laughter as he clapped Nyra on the back. He cursed and drew his hand back. "What in the seven hells!" He exclaimed, looking at his red hand.
Nyra continued to glare at the fat man before her. "We've got a problem, Robert." Eddard said gravely, moving to stand next to Nyra. He nodded at Jon, who quickly left the room.
"I can see that, Ned." He grumbled. "It seems she takes after her mother," he slurred.
Eddard tensed beside Nyra. "My mother?" She asked quietly.
"Not now, Robert," he warned. "It's not the time."
"Then when is? She's seventeen, Ned. I think she deserves to know. You kept her true name from her, deceiving me in the process. You told me that she knew, Eddard, yet when I got here, it was clear she had just figured it out." He said, moving to the seat that Nyra had vacated.
"Stop acting as if I'm not in the room!" Nyra snapped. "I deserve to know what is wrong with me!" She fumed, her skin burning even hotter.
Robert and Eddard paled even further. "Calm down, Nyra. It's okay." Her father cooed.
"Do not tell me to calm down," she warned, holding her hand out. "I am burning up, even though I do not feel it, everyone else can. I burned Jon when he touched me, and you and you! I want to- no, I demand to know what is going on." She stamped her foot.
Robert chuckled softly. "She's just like her mother, Ned," he said fondly.
"My mother, who was she?" Nyra asked.
"Not now," Ned protested.
Nyra exploded in rage. She cursed and spat at the men sitting before her, surprising both of them with her ferocity. She stormed out of the room, oblivious to the blackened handprint she left on the wooden door. The corridor filled with sweltering heat as she rushed down the stairs, but it didn't affect her.
Only when she burst into the frigid courtyard did she realize how hot she was. Steam hissed off of her and the peasants milling around stopped and stared in wonder and fear. She hesitated only to gather her skirts and nod for Ember to follow her. She trailed behind her, keeping her distance from her burning master.
Nyra sighed and collapsed into the snow when she was away from prying eyes. The snow melted and soaked her grey dress. Something was wrong with her and everyone refused to tell her what it was. She'd have to figure it out for herself, she decided.