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Faith - northernlass49

Chapter 2

The winds slowly abated as the dragon drew closer to Winterfell. Sansa loosened her grip on Jon’s leather vest and turned to witness the spectacle before her. She knew the creature through the songs and legends that had spread this far north – Viserion, the cream and gold colored dragon. It silently circled the castle overhead with its bulbous yellow eyes trained on the people assembling in the yard below.

“Please forgive us for what we have summoned here today”, whispered Sansa, offering up a prayer to the Seven, “and protect us from what is to come”.

Many of the servants were huddled together by the entrances to the castle, eager to see the creature long thought extinct. They gasped as the dragon exhaled bursts of flames, laying bare patches of wet earth that the thick layers of snow once covered.

They must return inside, thought Sansa frantically, for I will never forgive myself if any innocents were to die due to our folly. She turned back to Jon to urge him to direct the people of Winterfell to safety but he was transfixed by the sight before him. His eyes were vacant and his hands were raised as if in supplication. She had seen this look before when he slipped inside Ghost’s skin and she felt her skin prickle with the realization that Jon was attempting to control the scaly beast.

Her eyes darted back to the people that had amassed in the yard and she spotted Sam struggling to make his way through the gathering. She caught his eye and he stopped dead in his tracks. She shook her head and jerked her chin towards the castle. Then she laid a gentle hand on Jon’s arm and watched as a look of understanding crept over the maester’s face. He nodded curtly and turned back towards the crowd.

“All right, then”, Sam called out genially, with his arms raised at his sides and waving his hands, ”it’s time we return inside before somebody gets hurt. Single file, everyone, and pay attention to the little ones”.

There were some frowns and muttered oaths from some of the throng but eventually everyone dispersed after much cajoling from Sam. As they slowly disappeared from view, a lone woman was left hovering in the doorway with a small squalling bundle in her arms. She gently rocked the baby as she looked beseechingly at Sansa. Sam paused before her and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. Then Ghost emerged by her side, his teeth bared and his eyes fixed on the danger hovering above.

“Sam, please…”Sansa cried as she gathered up her skirts and moved to descend the steps to the yard. Sam trotted across the yard and mounted the steps as quickly as his legs would allow. Sansa met him halfway down and grasped his shoulders with great urgency.

“Stay with Jon”, she commanded,” and I will see to Torrhen”.

He nodded and continued to climb the steps until he reached Jon’s side. Sansa continued down the steps and fled across the yard to retrieve her son whose cries had now become frantic. She felt a tingling in her breasts and then a warm, wet sensation spread across the bodice of her dress. The baby was overdue for his feed and his cries had triggered a letdown of milk.

She told the anxious nursemaid to accompany her to her chambers as she swept her cloak around her leaking breasts. Then she paused briefly to issue one more order.

“Ghost, to me!” she yelled when the direwolf remained motionless in the doorway. He stood with his hackles raised for a moment longer before turning away from the entrance and following her up the stairs.

It took a few minutes of soothing words and gentle swaying to calm Torrhen down before he was able to latch on properly to feed. As she watched her son sucking contentedly at her breast, Sansa kept an ear cocked for any signs of development outside. The air that wafted in from the yard smelled of sulphur and she wrinkled her nose in distaste. She had heard tales that the atmosphere of the great dragon pits of old could choke a man to death.

As she switched sides, she could hear shouts coming from the yard. The clamor grew louder as more voices joined in. Sansa felt a knot tightening in the pit of her stomach as she glanced uneasily towards the open window. She caught a glimpse of the dragon as it descended slowly from the sky, its great leathery wings flapping powerfully. Then out of the din she heard a noise that caused her heart to skip a beat. It was the air-splitting scream of a man in agony.

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