Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.
Here we go, I have been planning this one for a while now. A lot of people that have been following my stories have been requesting a Targaryen, Baratheon or Stark centric story and while the first two have appeal I decided to do a Stark based one.
Magic and Science will play a part in this story and I decided to bring in some Nordic folklore too which you will see in following chapters. Pairings are a little spotty at the moment but I appreciate suggestions.
I only hope you guys like this story as much as you did my last three.
Here we go...
Chapter 1 – One Mistake
Ministry of Magic, London, 2005…
Harry was yawning as he had yet to fully wake up but regardless was rushing to get to work on time, he had been up late on a surveillance job and had not really gotten much sleep so his mind was a little dazed.
The sight of one of his oldest and greatest friends coming right at him at some speed was something he would normally be glad of but right now he needed to get to his office. Hermione however grabbed him and said in a fast voice that she reserved for when something was really bothering her.
"Harry! Thank god you have to help me! My volunteer isn't coming and I have my presentation today and..." She said so quickly it was hard to keep up with her and so Harry had to literally untangle himself from her arms and grip both her shoulders.
"Hermione slow down and start again, from the beginning." He told her with a smile, he loved her like the sister he never had but she really needed to not worry so much he thought with resignation knowing she probably would never change. However this time she took a deep breath and explained her problem in a manner he could understand.
"Sorry Harry, its just my volunteer has backed out and I have my big demonstration this afternoon. You know my project with the Penseive." She told him and his blank look made her sigh before she explained again. "I thought that maybe we could use specially made penseive as a teaching tool. So I made two special ones, one of them acts like a library you just rest your head in it and think about what information you need and if its in there it will appear so you can mentally read it. Another allows you to download small quantities of knowledge directly into the brain. Its my best chance to be taken seriously and actually make something that's going to be useful but I won't get another chance if I can't do it today." She told him looking like a kicked puppy which instantly made him sympathetic
"Wow Hermione, this is impressive. Look its going to be okay, instead of sitting here worrying you should be out there looking for another volunteer. I know its hard but that's the best thing you can do at the moment." He told her, where she would find someone at such short notice that could take over would be a problem but it was her only chance at making her deadline.
Hermione seemed to take this on board but not in the way he had hoped.
"Harry could you be my volunteer?"
Harry was taken aback for a moment and was about to say that he had a meeting but the sheer begging hopeful stare she was giving him completely undermined his coming refusal and he could feel himself caving to her demands. Reluctantly he sighed in resignation and said.
"Alright but you need to explain to my boss."
Hermione beamed and hugged him again saying thank you over and over again before dragging him off to find his supervisor.
A few hours later Harry was doing his best not to nod off as Hermione gave a lecture to a room of wizards who looked to be at least twice their age. Harry wasn't nervous as he had faith in Hermione and her attention to detail, apart from the one incident in their second year with the polyjuice potion which still made him chuckle a little. Still even that had only made her more careful.
"So to that end I have created the library of knowledge from both the muggle and magical worlds in the Penseive that will allow Mr Potter here to review all the information within. Imagine the possibilities it creates for record keeping and transferring knowledge." She said but then she started explaining the theory of what she had done and he couldn't keep up with her.
But while he was distracted by Hermione and the audience was focused on her, Hermione's assistant a Pureblood who had been forced on her was supposed to be readying the pensieve for the demonstration.
The library of knowledge that Hermione had gathered was very extensive, using a modified version of the spell used to copy memories she had gathered it from not only knowledgable witches and wizards who had agreed to share it with her and even from herself. But she also secretly visited and extracted knowledge from professors at Oxford, Cambridge and other universities before wiping their memories of her of course. So not only had she gained a great deal of information but it was very detailed and expansive.
The Industrial Revolution, farming techniques, history spanning the entire world, science, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, potions, runes, diplomacy and more. There was enough here to fill hundreds of books stored within a single if large bottle. This was of course the library bottle, one that you stick your head in and merely think about whatever it is you want to know and the information appears.
Now this bottle was what Hermione had brought with her by herself today and left the viewing pensieve to her assistant. The problem being that he was not a particularly attentive person and had grabbed one of the two prototype pensieve models not being able to tell the difference between them.
The one he had grabbed was not the library pensieve...but the download pensieve, the one intended to simply download small amounts of information into your head.
The assistant might have been forgiven for his mistake as the two were at first glance identical but as Harry sat ready to place his head into the bowl filled with silvery, pulsing liquid the thought crossed his mind. "Had he got the right one?"
However at the last moment he merely shrugged and dismissed the thought, not thinking it a big deal.
However as Harry lowered his head in the silver liquid he would soon know it was a much bigger deal than he could have imagined.
As the liquid swirled around his head Harry's eyes opened wide as a rush of information filled his brain at a speed well beyond what it was capable of processing. His head was shaking with the sheer amount of information being forced into it. Hermione still with her polite smile on her face turned around only to frown and then look in horror as she realised what had happened.
Before she could do a thing though a blast of accidental magic blew outwards from Harry as he leapt to his feet, roaring like an enraged animal. People and objects were thrown back by the sheer force of it and as they were trying to recover Harry ran from the room in an enraged and almost animalistic state, his brain overwhelmed by the amount of information that it had received.
He was desperate for an exit, looking for a way out of the building and was running like a beast through the Department of Mysteries. He just had to get away, that was all he knew.
He eventually reached the chamber with the Veil of Death as it was known. Feeling increasingly trapped and panicked by being unable to find a way out he rushed towards it, no one was around to stop him as he plunged into it.
No one knew where or when it went, so no one would ever know what became of Harry Potter. Only in the next few decades would a complete translation of the runes that were engraved on the frame of the Veil reveal that it was not just the 'Veil of Death' but the 'Veil of Death and Rebirth'.
Riverrun, Westeros...281 AC…
Catelyn Tully, now Stark screamed her lungs out as she pushed as hard as possible. Her first but hopefully not the last pregnancy was thankfully at its end but to her surprise and that of her family still present she had not one but two babes inside.
The first one, a son she was proud to say was easily born but the second was proving far harder to get out of her and her face was red with sweat and effort.
The words of the midwives were lost in her pain and effort as she once again pushed with all her strength, finally paying off.
"A girl my lady." The Midwife said with adoration as she wiped the blood and fluid off the babe who was awake and alert, staring at them with a curiosity that looked strangely intense on the face of a babe. Nevertheless they wrapped her up in a blanket and handed her over to her mother who saw the brown hair of Eddard on her head. That brought a frown to her face as she had always imagined that a daughter of hers would have looked like her but her son did resemble her she consoled herself and it would do well to have at least one child that looked like her beloved husband.
Holding both her children, one in each arm she saw her father and younger brother enter the room, really she knew that her father should be away fighting alongside her new husband and Robert Baratheon but he had entrusted their forces to his brother, her uncle Brynden. Her father was no fighter, she knew that and could count of Uncle Brynden's loyalty. It was worth it to her at least to have her father here to see his first grandchildren born she thought with pride.
He smiled wide at the sight of the two babes in her arms, not least she knew because her son was going to be Lord of the North one day, his grandson tying them close to their powerful neighbour and could Catelyn imagine only dream of the day when Lysa would give Jon Arryn a son so their blood would connect them to the Vale too.
"Have they been named yet?" He asked as he came over and sat next to her, Edmure bless him just looked at the two babes with confusion. Not really sure what to say or do around babes, something Catelyn felt was adorable and made her love her brother more.
"Not yet, I thought Robb for my son." She thought knowing her husband however little time they had together would like her naming their son after his best friend who had stuck with him when the Mad King had tried to destroy them. Hoster nodded in agreement before telling her.
"It would be better then to give the girl a Northern name."
Catelyn agreed with her father, it wouldn't do for the second child to have a Riverlands name after the first had a Stormlander name. So she paused for a second, her knowledge of Northern names was quite limited, she liked the sound of Sansa but she wanted to give that to a girl that looked like her as petty as it sounded. No she searched her memory for a suitable name and finally came up with one.
"Meera. Meera Stark." Catelyn said finally and Hoster nodded in approval, it was a respectable choice.
Winterfell, the North 285 AC...Three Years Later…
Meera Stark, an adventurous child was she.
That was what everyone said about the Stark's only daughter and they were right. The girl was a rarely ever still, always moving and seeking out something to entertain herself with.
However no one knew that inside the small girl's head a much stranger mind was at work. Meera knew that she had not always been here, that she had come from some other place and that she had been someone named Harry before. However when she tried to picture more of that world it became fuzzy and warped, she could conjure up images of a cupboard of some sort and a family of people that seemed to her to be thoroughly unlikeable but little else she scratched her head in frustration before going back to exploring the Godswood and considered just what she knew without anyone bothering her while concealing herself.
And it was a lot she thought with amazement, her mind had been very confused and chaotic at first not able to make sense of it all but after a year or so it had finally settled. She impressed her tutors by how quick she had learnt to speak and walk, leaving her twin brother Robb and half-brother Jon in the dust not to mention how well she did at numbers and writing and reading.
Ludwin had called her a miracle child as he had never heard of a child mastering these basic skills so fast.
That led her to think about the world she had found herself in.
It was primitive, medieval even she thought compared to her last world. So many things that had they had taken for granted did not even exist here such as indoor plumbing or frequent bathing she thought with a shudder. It was part of several regions that made up the continent of Westeros specifically called rather appropriately...The North. It resembled Scotland in the other world with bits of Norway and Sweden here and there. It was ruled over by a family known as the Starks who she was now a part of. Other families ruled parts of the North but the Starks ruled over them all.
There were other kingdoms to the south including the Riverlands where her mother in this world was from and north of Winterfell was a great wall that separated them from the great untamed wilderness beyond. She had been studying them but all looked to be as primitive as the North or even worst than that she thought with annoyance.
It would not have been so bad if she had been able to use her magic to compensate but every time she tried to do even the most simple and easiest magic that most witches and wizards could do even without a wand nothing happen! She had tried and tried even trying to make a makeshift wand with a weirwood branch but nothing had worked, she was incredibly frustrated and had punched the tree itself in anger.
Then it had happened the moment her fist impacted on the bark, she literally felt magic exploding inside her head and casting her senses well beyond her old limitations and a flurry of images rushed through her mind at lightning speed. It had been the most disorientating and draining thing she had ever felt apart from when she had arrived in this world. But then when she had been desperately clinging to some sense of control an old male voice had broken through the chaos and spoken to her.
"I did not foresee you, or that you would be this strong. Any way listen to my words and I will help you control your greensight."
"Who are you?!" She asked confused and wary but desperate to break free from the dazzling and disorientating array of images that was searing themselves on her. He answered with a bemused.
"I am what legends would name the Three-Eyed Raven child. Now stop asking questions and pay attention if you want to break free of this vision."
In the end she had listened and done as he told her, bringing herself back into the now as she now realised instead of being shown images of the past, present and future in a constant blur. He was a sorcerer that claimed to be over a century old and somewhere beyond the Great Wall to the north but despite his reluctance to tell her more about him she had been grateful for his help as she managed to reclaim a lost part of herself.
She had been both relieved at finally finding some way to channel her magic but it was so limiting she thought with annoyance. She could probe events past and present with the Weirwood tree but future events were often muddled and confusing unless they were just about to happen. The Raven had told her that she lacked the 'Eye' to see such things which honestly made her laugh for a reason she didn't quite remember.
But there was another ability that she did rather enjoy, skinchanging.
When he had told her that she had the power to put her mind into that of an animal she was shocked, such magic had never existed or at least been remembered on her own world but here it was possible. Under his guidance she had practised with animals that scurried around the wood, owls, rats, squirrels and the like. Being able to see through their eyes, smell, touch, run and even fly was a breathtaking experience that she honestly loved more than any thing in the world. She had seen Winterfell, the great castle that was now her home from places that no human could ever reach without help.
She fell backwards into the snow and smiled, the fact that it snowed all the time in Winterfell delighted her as she could have snowball fights with her two new siblings. She honestly had never imagined having brothers to play with or how that would feel until now but honestly the carefree joy of it was some of the most happy moments in her life.
Her two brothers were so different and yet the same it was strange, physically they looked nothing alike. Robb had red hair while Jon was dark brown almost black, Robb had blue eyes while Jon had grey, Robb was stocky while Jon was lean and more graceful.
While she was Robb's twin many looked at her and assumed she was from the same mother as Jon given how alike they were, but the three of them were inseparable and loved spending time together. When she heard boots in the snow she got to her feet half expecting to see them there so they could play here in the Godswood where the Old Gods of the North were worshipped, however she sighed when she saw her father Eddard Stark standing there instead and knew this was going to be another talking too about not going to her lessons again.
Eddard Stark or simply Ned to his friends was a family man.
Everyone in the North and many beyond that knew that he lived first and foremost for his family, he loved his wife and children with all his heart and would literally die for anyone one of them in the blink of an eye.
So to find out when he returned from Dorne that his new wife had given him not one but two children, a son and a daughter he had been thrilled. However much Jon's appearance had soured things he had never been a happier man then on that day when he had 'three' children in his family. While the bitterness Catelyn carried towards Jon had made him think of telling her the truth more than once he did not know how she would react, so he held his tongue especially given the deathbed promise he had made to Lyanna to protect her son. It was a constant thorn in his side but was eased by the fact that all of 'his' children got along as true siblings, seeing them play together brought him both joy and sadness.
Happiness that his children had such a strong bond, yet sadness as it reminded him of what he himself had once had and would never experience again.
Right now though it was his errant daughter that he had to think about.
Of all his children she stood above the others, not simply because she was the only girl but because her intelligence towered over them. Ludwin himself was astonished at how fast she seemed to learn and had thought her to be cheating at first till they realised how quick she really was, reading as if she were a woman grown and dealing with text and numbers that would make even his head spin with the ease of any maester. Ludwin had remarked that it was a shame she had been born a girl and at the Citadel with such a mind she would have stood well above the others, rising to a leader of the organisation before she was forty.
And it was not just her intelligence but her ability to use it creatively, her idea of using a four year crop rotation system had sounded silly at first, using turnips to restore the soil and be able to use the same earth all the time to produce crops. Many had thought her mad but to humour her they had tried it on one farm and to their great surprise it had worked better than any had ever hoped.
Now it was the norm across the North, especially within the glass gardens so more food could be put on their plates. It was not enough to feed the entire country and as such they were still heavily dependant on southern trade but not to the extent they had been a decade ago.
"You are still skipping lessons or so the Septa and your mother tells me." He told her with his eyes stern as he had yet another visit from the septa and wife angry that his wild daughter had not only refused to spend time learning to sew, dance, sing and of the Seven but also had gone to the yard and started using a bow.
The scandalised expressions on their faces was almost comical, like a young girl refusing to learn how to sew and instead would learn how to shoot would bring the damnation of the Seven Hells down on them all. He himself knew that many Northern families allowed their daughters to learn archery as it was good for them to have some way to defend themselves if needed, not to mention in hard times it was expected for women to join in hunting when food was scarce.
She did look sheepishly at him before saying with a resigned moan.
"It's so boring though! To think if they had their way I would be a broodmare for some lord who did nothing more than make babies and spend my time serving his every whim. Its not me!" She said with frustration.
Ned nodded in understanding having seen his sister argue with his father about many of the same points far too many times before. A stab of guilt ran through him as he had long thought that if he and the rest of his family had been more supportive of Lyanna then maybe she would never have ran away. He however suppressed it as it did no good to dwell on the past. He went to speak again only for his daughter to say again with anger on her face.
"The Septa said we should never come here and even cut the Weirwood down as it is a blasphemy against the 'Real' Gods! That any who still follow the Old Gods are simpletons who need to be taught better. She insults the whole North and mother agrees with her!"
Ned instantly froze at those words, while more understanding of other religions than some given his southern education he was still a firm believer in the Old Gods and was insulted that someone had said that. He knew Meera could be lying or exaggerating but somehow felt that she was telling the truth, he had seen the look of derision the Septa had given others when she thought no one was looking or the disgust towards the Godswood. Many times he wondered if having her here was a good idea and maybe he should teach his children more about their Northern heritage himself but he had let it be to avoid conflict with his wife who was determined to see them raised in the southern way. It had been a little more peaceful as Cat was now about to bring their next child into the world and had been confined to bed for the meantime, her fears for their child's health where echoed by his own but Ludwin had assured him all would be well.
His lords had been angry at this, especially about the Sept being built here but he had pushed those concerns aside to keep harmony in his home. So he put his hand up to stop his daughter ranting and to her credit she did stop before he told her.
"Very well go to see Maester Ludwin and practice your history and geography. This time." He added with a stern edge to his voice, making sure she knew he would not be so lenient next time she disobeyed instructions. Meera nodded and rushed off while he watched thoughtfully.
Meera had been glad that her words had stopped yet another lecture, she loved her father but he honestly made her worry sometimes if he was going to die of stress before his time. He worried so much for all of them and tried to find some balance between the North and South for them but so many times he was worn down by their mother.
She did her best though to hope that maybe he would find some middle path for the sake of his health as she made her way to the maester's chambers.
Ludwin smiled as he saw his three young students work on their numbers, Robb was competent enough and coming along well for a boy his age. Jon meanwhile was actually brighter than him although he would never dare say such a thing aloud for Lady Stark to hear but he perhaps in the years ahead Ludwin thought would make a good steward for young Robb, maybe even study at the Citadel...he was bright enough to be a maester Ludwin thought with pride.
But the brightest of all of them was without a doubt the young lady Meera, never had he seen someone master their words and numbers so quickly before. While Jon and Robb were still learning to add and take away, she had already mastered multiplication and division. She could write in her own hand and read like an adult and was devouring books from the library at an impressive pace. He had even had to send for more challenging books from the Citadel to keep up with her!
She was special he thought with regret that she had been born a girl, had she been a boy then they would likely have been a great maester before they turned thirty perhaps even a grand or arch maseter. But much to his sadness she had been a girl and was cursed with the views of the world, he sighed and hoped that maybe she would find some way to use her obvious intelligence to its full potential.
Her choice of clothes was a sign she had the will to find it he thought with some mirth.
This girl had no intention of being a lady, at least the sort of lady her mother wanted her to be. She refused to wear dresses, instead choosing breeches and other clothes for boys and once when Lady Catelyn had taken those clothes away leaving only dresses, young Meera had shown that she could actually sew but only by tearing up the dresses and stitching them into more boyish styles.
Ludwin wondered if the new child that was due to be born any day now would be so belligerent whether it was a boy or girl. The girl had been given free reign as her mother had been confined to bed and insisted the septa stay at her side...afraid for not only her own life but that of the child too.
A sharp knocking at the door made all of them look up sharply as a maid burst into the room and announced out of breath.
"Maester Ludwin, Lady Catelyn has gone into labour."
Ludwin rose to his feet quickly, knowing full well where his duty was right and rushed off leaving three shocked children behind. Robb spoke first.
"Do you think it will be a brother we get today?" He asked keen to have a younger brother and said as much. "I hope its a brother, we can all play knights together."
"It might be a girl." Jon said quietly, he and Robb quite enjoyed playing knights but who knew what the gods would given them this day.
"It is going to be a girl, a girl they will call Sansa." Meera said with confidence which made the two boys look at her confused.
"How could you know that?" Jon asked, not sure how she would have guessed anything that certain. Robb too looked confused and wondered if she was making it up.
She smiled and went back to reading her book not telling them she had seen it with the Weirwood, she was starting to learn Valyrian. Not because she needed to but because she was bored of everything else.
Hours later as they supped in the main hall at long tables that again felt rather familiar for some reason to Meera they were greeted by the sight of Septa Mordane coming through the door. The hall was quiet with few people around and the three of them were soon going to bed, the septa walked past without a word, glaring at both Meera and Jon before going to get her meal. Jon kept his head down eager to not start trouble but Meera just glared right back as if daring the septa to do something.
However Mordane just went and got her food before sitting to eat near the door, since they were already finished and wanted to go and see if they were getting a sibling tonight or not the three of them got up to leave. Jon picked up a jug of water in case any of them wanted a drink later but as they walked past Mordane on their way out Jon tripped on an uneven stone and the jug flew from his grasp. Time almost seemed to slow down as the jug fell and water splashed all over the septa.
There was silence for a moment as it all sunk in, broken when a shriek came from Mordane who rose to her feet and with a strength none of them had believed possible struck Jon hard with her hand. The much smaller and younger Jon was knocked to the floor as the enraged septa loomed over him snarling with her nostrils flaring like a beast as she screamed at him.
"YOU DISGUSTING LITTLE BASTARD! I KNEW YOU WERE A CURSE ON THIS WORLD AND WILL HAVE LADY STARK GET YOU BANISHED FOR THIS."
Robb was paralysed at the scene before him, never having seen something like this before as Jon stared up in fear at the septa. Meera however with no regard for herself stepped quickly between them and shouted.
"IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! HE DID NOT MEAN IT!"
This unfortunately only made the enraged Mordane angrier and without missing a beat she swung her hand straight at Meera who received a blow to the face for trying to defend her brother. Mordane just continued screaming as Meera glared defiantly back at her.
"YOU LITTLE WITCH! NO MAN WILL EVER WANT A PRIDEFUL AND DISGUSTING GIRL LIKE YOU! IF YOUR FATHER HAD ANY SENSE HE WOULD PACK YOU OFF TO THE SILENT SISTERS TO SPARE YOUR SIBLINGS ANY FURTHER CORRUPTION!"
"ENOUGH!" Another voice shouted which instantly drew all their attention, at the door to the hall stood their father Lord Stark and his face was twisted with anger. All of them stopped whatever they were doing and the emotion of the moment drained away.
"Lord Stark-" Mordane said quickly, hoping that he had not been here long enough to see what had just happened and was about to say Jon had thrown the water at her but Lord Stark cut her off with an angry voice.
"I saw you strike both my son and daughter for what was clearly an accident. For a septa you seem strangely unwise and judgemental, guards take her to her room and keep her there till I have time to deal with her." Lord Stark ordered and the guards without even question moved forward and with a forceful nudge pushed her forward. Whatever words she tried to say were blissfully ignored as Lord Stark stared his children who all looked to their feet, even Meera after she had helped Jon up.
"Is this the sort of thing she usually says or does?" He asked them sternly and they stayed quiet for a moment. Robb and Jon were too emotional to talk but Meera did.
"She rarely hits us but those words are often said in a quiet whisper so other s cannot hear." She said, she was hoping he did not see through her half-truth. She did say such things but usually to herself and since she had only hit them once it was rare. She knew in her mind this was the best chance they would ever have to get rid of Mordane.
Her father stared at her intently for a moment not sure he believed it but unknown to Meera she did not need to worry. He had disciplined his children from time to time but never would let anyone else lay a hand on them. Seeing her standing over Jon and Meera like that had infuriated him beyond measure and the only reason he had not banished her straight away was that it was late at night and he was intending to send her south of Moat Cailin, far from Winterfell. But right now he was intent on something else.
"Come with me to meet your new sister." He said with his face relaxing into a smile as they all looked at each other excited and rushed forward to see the newest member of House Stark for themselves. Ned followed at a more sedate pace until they arrived at the room where Catelyn lay on the bed with her newest babe wrapped in blankets. She didn't even notice Jon and instead showed Meera and Robb the tiny face.
"My darlings, meet your sister Sansa."
Meera smiled, swearing a vow to herself that she would do whatever she had to so her family would be safe. She might be only a child but regardless she would do her best to make sure her little sister, her brothers and her parents stayed safe.
Robb and Jon meanwhile looked at her in surprise and confusion, given that she had correctly predicted that not only that a girl would be born and that she would be named Sansa. They looked at her with questioning eyes, not sure what to make of it in their young age.
Meera was smiling quietly to herself the following morning as she saw Septa Mordane leave, she had a feeling that maybe she should have been more honest with her father but regardless Mordane had struck her and Jon. Father would never tolerate that.
"I will have to find us a new septa I suppose to teach you about the south." Father said as he stood next to her watching the septa leave. "Your mother will demand no less." He was facing more than a few arguments he knew telling her that he had banished Mordane.
"Why though?" Meera said dreading the idea of yet another stuck up woman coming here. Seeing her father look at her surprised she said. "All Mordane ever taught us was to be like Septas, nothing real just fairy stories from the Seven and making knights into pillars of purity and that we should never see marriage as anything but a means to have children. Why do we need a septa?" Meera said her voice almost pleading at the end.
Ned was surprised to hear her speak so well, like an adult. Ludwin had already told him she was bright and he had seen that himself but never had he realised she was so ahead of her age. Still she was a child so he did his best to explain to her.
"Your mother wants you to have a southern education since she came from there herself. A septa is to her mind the best teacher."
However the look of anger crossed his daughter's face made her seem older than her three years.
"She wants us to worship the Seven! To believe everything they say is true. We have learned more from Maester Ludwin on the south than we have ever from Mordane. All she teaches are stupid fantasies that I know are not true! Ludwin can teach us more than she ever could and you know a lot of the south! You could teach us or find someone who could." She said with her eyes wide and begging by the end.
Ned was taken aback at the passion and force in her words, reminding him of Lyanna very much in that moment. Her words had been forceful too especially when she had been betrothed to Robert, her rejection of it had shaken the rafters of the great hall but their father had refused to budge. A stab of pain went through him as he considered that maybe if they had listened and not forced her into such an arrangement she would not have run off with Rhaegar so quickly.
He also frowned at her words about what the Septa had been teaching them, he had heard words to that effect but never that it was not being balanced with real world. The fact that some knights and lords were worse than what you would find at the Nights Watch or that those that did not believe in the Seven were heathens that needed to be converted. He had agreed to allow the septa here only so his children could get a balanced education but now it seemed to be lacking.
"Very well, we will make other arrangements but do not think you are not in trouble young lady." Ned told her.
She was not in the least upset though and smiled widely rushing forward to give him a hug which he could not help but return.
"You can't do that!" Catelyn yelled at the top of her voice two days later when finally she had learned Mordane had been banished, Ned was surprised that she had not understood when he had told her that she had struck both Jon and Meera right in front of him.
"Cat, she struck our daughter and Jon over an accident and was negligent in their education. She did nothing to temper the Seven's ways with reality or teach them of the North in any way. I cannot have that in our home." He said trying to get her to understand but she just looked at him with fury twisting her face.
"Our daughter needs a good beating to set her straight, she will never get a husband acting the way she does and as for the bastard..." She started to say but stopped when she saw the dark expression come over his features. Realising she had overstepped her mark she changed tactic. "They must receive a proper education, it is only right."
"Right for the south Cat but without any reality. Is the Mountain a noble and glorious knight? Or Tywin Lannister? Not to mention the Mad King or Rhaegar?" He said pointing out the most obvious examples he could think of in the moment which did make her frown. "But this is the North Cat, a land of the Old Gods and the First Men. Building the sept and having a septa raise my children nearly caused an uprising Cat." He then added to try and make his point however she just glared and said.
"You are their lord, they will follow where you follow."
He sighed having had this argument with her several times before, she didn't understand that the North worked differently than the other kingdoms of Westeros. The Starks had held their position for so long by being good lords to their vassals and honouring their loyalty, not to mention defending their way of life when it was threatened. Allowing a sept to be build in Winterfell had in some ways made them worry the Seven was creeping its insidious way into the North. A couple of houses did worship the Seven in the North but they were in the minority.
"Regardless you can teach of the Seven if you want but they need to learn more about the North, I will teach them that and that is the end of Cat. We must present a strong union at the Yule Feast." He said but she pouted like a petulant child and stormed out of the room, Ned sighed knowing it would be a while before his bed was warm again.
The Yule Feast was enough to distract him though as it was only a month from now. It was a rare festival held over twelve days once every five years to honour the Old Gods for their blessings, it brought all of the noble families here to Winterfell and was a good chance to build ties between houses. He was certain to get a few betrothal requests for Robb and Meera, perhaps even for Jon. Sansa's birth just prior to it would make the festival a true celebration he thought. The birth of his second daughter giving him a great amount of joy, enough to chase away any worries he had for the moment.
A Month Later…
The main or great hall of Winterfell was full of laughing, shouting, talking and drinking as most of the Northern houses had brought their families together so they could celebrate the Yule Festival. For veterans of the last war it was a time for them to catch up and share the same stories from the Rebellion that they had all shared before. Others it was to build connections between different families, rivals resolved and created and for those that were related it was a reunion.
There was a lot of drinking, yelling and laughing as was often the case whenever Northerners got together, Ned was smiling as he conversed with the GreatJon, Rickard Karstark and Howland Reed three of his oldest and most trusted friends. Given how big the North, so large you could fit some of the southern kingdoms inside it and still have room to spare it was difficult to see all of your lords. Sometimes years would go past between seeing them but it could not be helped he thought sadly.
He saw his children enjoying themselves which only widened his smile, Sansa was too young to come of course but Robb, Jon and Meera were laughing with their peers. The children of all the noble families which could attend were all sat at the same table which was by design, hopefully friendships could be born and alliances formed that would last for the rest of their lives.
However the sight of his three almost four year old daughter arm wrestling with the much older and larger Alysane Mormont while the other children placed imaginary bets on who would win made his eyes widen. Especially when his daughter managed to beat the much stronger Alysane somehow, but rather than being angry both girls gave each other a hug and then took a deep drink. The sight was not missed by his friends who laughed at the sight.
"That's quite a girl you've got there, she's going to be really something." The Greatjon said slapping him on the back so hard that he stumbled but recovered and smiled sadly.
"Yes, she will." Ned aid with worry that his girl who had so much of the Wolfsblood in her was not going to follow the same path of his own siblings who had carried it. His heart ached with memories and images of what might have been if Brandon and Lyanna had been more careful with the hotness of their blood and desperately he hoped his own daughter would not meet a similar fate.
Maester Ludwin was reading the latest publication from the Citadel, a book that was sent to all maesters once a year detailing any advancements or discoveries made in the last year and future plans. It was rather bland and uninteresting, progress at the Citadel was painfully slow sometimes Ludwin thought with a frown. One would have thought that all those learned men would make better progress than this but it seemed to move painfully slow. Ludwin sighed as he put the pointless book down and wondered whether he would see any great discovery within his lifetime as unlikely as it was.
The castle was however a brighter place these days he thought with a slight smile, Lady Catelyn had not wasted any time after giving birth to young Sansa in getting pregnant again. Now House Stark had three ladies to fill its ranks Meera, Sansa and now Arya. The septa had yet to be replaced and it remained a point of contention between Lord and Lady Stark but the people of the castle and the North in general he noticed did not seem upset by her absence.
He was broken from his thoughts by a small knock at his room's door he called out to enter and was unsurprised to see young Meera Stark standing there with a bright smile on her face.
"Lady Stark, I believe your lesson with me is not till tomorrow." He said but guessed she was going to ask for another book, her reading was almost gluttonous in how many texts she read he thought with astonishment. It was rare he found someone that read even more than him, she had already gained a rudimentary grasp of Valyrian and in a year or so he believed she would be fully fluent in speech and the written word for most of the dialects but was even talking about learning Ibbenese when she had finished. Not content with having two languages she was already thinking of a third. Ludwin was constantly wondering if her mind had a limit.
However she surprised him with something else.
"Actually Maester Ludwin I want to discover a few ideas I had. If you could get the ingredients I have some experiments I'd like to try out. Maybe we can make some useful elixirs and such." Meera told him, he was surprised and wondered just what she had in mind. He had not had a chance to experiment on anything in years.
Little did he know that this girl was going to draw on the vast number of potion recipes in her mind to bring their benefits to Winterfell and in time the rest of Westeros. His wish about seeing great discoveries in his time was about to be answered.
Well, I hoped you enjoyed the first chapter of Northern Wind. It went through a few different versions before I settled on this one but I only hoped that you all enjoyed it. Please let me know your thoughts by reviewing.
Also I should point out she only has the memories of Harry up to their respective age. She won't remember Hogwarts until she turns 11 and so on.
Next Chapter – Meera starts making her mark on the North and an ancient secret of Brandon the Builder is rediscovered.