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Faith - northernlass49

Chapter 3

Ghost scrambled to his feet, ran to the closed door and began to paw at it frantically. There was a sharp knock as if in response and a soft voice called out from the other side asking Sansa if all was well.

“Open the door quickly!” Sansa hissed, trying not to disturb Torrhen who had now fallen asleep in her arms.

The hapless nursemaid opened the door and was almost knocked over by the direwolf brushing past her. She stared after Ghost with frightened eyes before turning back to Sansa, her hands held out to take the sleeping child from her mistress’ arms.

Sansa tried to remain calm in the face of Ghost’s abrupt departure. She quickly tied the laces on the bodice and gave instructions to the nursemaid to remain with Torrhen until further notice. Sweeping her cloak around her she left the room determined to find out what was happening outside.

She met a guard running up the stairs as she was about to descend them. His face was red with exertion.

“Milady, the maester has instructed me to fetch you. You must come to the yard immediately”, he puffed out.

“What happened?” she asked sharply as she followed after him.

“I don’t rightly know”, he replied, “Lord Snow instructed us to either take shelter or move outside the castle walls for safety before the dragon descended into the yard. I was inside the kitchen when I heard the screams”.

He paused for a second to catch his breath.

“As far as I know, his lordship was the only person in the yard when it happened”, he added with a small catch in his voice.

Sansa felt the blood drain from her face and she grabbed at the man’s arm for support.

“Take me to him…now”, she whispered huskily, her voice thick with emotion.

He nodded silently and patted her hand.

Sansa moved as if in a daze. When they reached the entrance to the yard, he restrained her from moving further.

“Please, milady, it’s not safe”, he pleaded.

Viserion was crouched in the middle of the yard, its long tail twitching ominously and the air around its body shimmering from the heat that it gave off. The only sounds she heard was the low pulsating sound that emitted from the dragon and the murmurs of the crowd that had gathered again in the doorways.

Sansa’s eyes strained to find her husband, hoping that he was still alive and had only passed out due to the pain but she could see no sight of him. Sam appeared suddenly by her side and drew an arm around her shoulders. She clutched at his hand as she let out a loud sob of pain and grief.

“There, there”, he said sympathetically as he gave her a quick squeeze. “He dashed out before anybody realized what he was doing. I expect he was dazzled by the sight of such a fantastical creature and wanted to touch it. We tried to stop him but it was too late, poor boy. Mercifully he died quickly of his wounds. It wouldn’t do to have him suffer long”.

Sansa gaped at Sam and impatiently brushed at the tears that were forming in her eyes. Jon had been his best friend since they both served with the Watch. And although Sam’s words were kind and reassuring, they were all wrong .

“Who are you talking about?” she gasped.

Sam turned to her, confusion showing in his face.

“Did the guard not tell you?” he asked.

“He said that Jon was alone in the yard with the dragon”, she said as she stared at him intensely.

Sam’s face changed from puzzlement to horror as the meaning of her words sunk in.

“Oh, no, no, no…”, he sputtered. “Jon’s not dead!”

“Then who is dead and where is Jon?” replied Sansa frantically.

“The man who died was a young wildling who recently fled the Gift. Well, he may have been a man in years but really, inside, he was still a little boy”, explained Sam, tapping the side of his head with his finger. “He was a little tetched”.

Sansa scanned the yard as Sam rambled on about the poor dead man. Within minutes she saw a head full of dark curls begin to bob up and down, partially obscured by the great beast.

“See, there’s Jon”, said Sam in a relieved tone, pointing as the man stood up.

Jon barked out some orders to a couple of guards who responded uneasily. They approached him with clear trepidation. Jon, his face impassive, stood by the dragon with his right hand stroking its scaly head as the men knelt down and arose seconds later bearing the charred body of the victim.

They removed the body from the yard and took it outside the castle gates, grabbing a lit torch on their way out. Within minutes smoke appeared above the wall as the body was burned to ashes.

Sansa was itching to run to Jon, to run her hands over him, to reassure herself that he was unscathed. Instead, she waited for a signal that it was safe.

Jon gave the dragon a final pat and let out a whistle. Then he strode across the yard towards her with Ghost trotting at his heels. He gave Sansa a small smile and held out his arms to her. She rushed at him and drove herself into his arms. As he closed them around her she sobbed into his chest.

“I thought you dead”, she cried.

“Hush, my love”, he replied soothingly,”as you can see I am very much alive”.

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