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Faith - northernlass49

Chapter 1

Sansa awoke with a start. She sat up and turned her attention immediately to Torrhen but her infant son still slept soundly in his cradle. Ghost appeared to be sleeping, too, in his usual spot near the heir to Winterfell but his ears were twitching as he sensed her movements. He had been Torrhen’s self-appointed sentry since the day the young boy had been born a scant three moons past and he was rarely off duty. Ghost opened his red eyes and raised his head as Sansa rose from the bed and crossed over to the window. She opened the shutters, breathing in deeply the cold, early morning air and noticed that the yard was strangely silent. Something was amiss.

Normally the air would be filled with the sounds of the animals waking up. The cock would be crowing, the chickens would be clucking and the pigs would be snorting. By now the mourning doves should have begun their early morning lament. Then her attention was diverted by the sight of a man crossing the yard and heading towards the main gate. It was Jon. He stopped by the gate to speak to the guard on duty. They exchanged a few words and then the both of them raised their faces to the sky, dimly lit by the sun was that was peeking over the horizon, casting its rosy hues over the freshly fallen snow.

Sansa gently closed the shutters and dressed quickly. She paused by the door and glanced back at Ghost. She knew instinctively that he understood the meaning of her look -- guard the boy. Then she quietly closed the door behind her, hurried through the corridors and out the door to join her husband.

She found Jon pacing restlessly on the battlement. She croaked out his name to get his attention, her voice constricted by fear. He turned in response to her call and she could see that although there was tension in his jaw, there was no fear in his face. She relaxed a little. He opened his cloak as a silent invitation to join him. She drew the cloak around them both, grateful for the added warmth and comfort. He leaned down and kissed her deeply, his breath warm and sweet. She closed her eyes briefly as she wrapped her arms around him and leaned into his chest, letting the rhythm of his heart soothe her ragged nerves.

As she raised her eyes to meet his, she saw the unspoken question on his face. Ghost, she mouthed in response. He nodded and returned his gaze to the sky.

“Although”, she added out loud, “even Ghost won’t be much of a defense if it all goes wrong”.

He shook his head slightly.

“It won’t”, he replied with small smile.

“How can you be so sure?” she asked in a tremulous voice.

“I have faith”, he replied simply.

Faith, mused Sansa, was not normally a word in her husband’s lexicon. As a boy, Jon emulated her father in all respects, including worshiping the old gods. But as he grew older, he became more pragmatic in his outlook on life as duty and honor and, later love, became his guiding principles. Faith, prophecy and dreams normally had little sway in how he conducted his life. But lately she had begun to wonder if the red priestess had influenced Jon more than he realized.

“She will be very angry when she discovers that it has gone”, said Sansa with a deep sigh. “She will come looking for it and then she will learn the truth”.

“I know”, replied Jon grimly, “and I’m ready for whatever may come”.

They felt the wind pick up as the sun rose higher in the sky. The air moved like waves crashing on the shore. Sansa ducked her head and pressed her face into Jon’s chest as he held her fast, fearful that the fierce winds might pull her from his grasp. The sentries scurried from their posts to take shelter from the unrelenting blasts of cold air.

There was a shout from one of the men as he pointed at a dark object moving rapidly through the bright blue sky towards the castle. At first it appeared to be a bird of enormous girth and wingspan. That is until it emitted fire from its enormous maw. A dragon has come to the north, thought Sansa, and it will either save us or destroy us.

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