Daenerys welcomed the warmth of steaming water as she sank herself further into the bath. Her journey to Castle Black had been arduous and she breathed in the sweet fragrance being emitted by the burning candles and the oil she applied. Her haste to reach Castle Black had served her well and even though a mere day had passed since she laid her eyes on Jon Snow, Daenerys felt blissful in his presence.
She finished her awaited bath and wrapped herself in her cloak as Lady Melisandre made her presence known.
"Lady Melisandre, you make no noise to get yourself noticed. It can give a fright to the weak-hearted."
"Making it one of my many flaws; My Queen."
"We should discuss what is needed and be on our way. I am in need of rest."
Daenerys settled herself on a chair adjacent to the hearth with Lady Melisandre occupying the one opposite her.
"You can begin. I hope that my time will not be trifled with."
"Are we alone with no prying eyes?"
"I gave you my word, Priestess. Don't think on it weakly."
"Of course, My Queen. But before I begin, there is a story you need to hear."
Daenerys gave a slight nod as the woman opposite her began her narration.
"A long time ago, there lived a girl whose beauty was blinding causing men from lands beyond to seek her hand in marriage. Her innocence and purity was a trophy to be claimed. But she hid love for a mere stable boy in her heart. Her Lord Father promised her hand in marriage to the King but the girl's heart belonged to another.
She decided to elope with the one she loved but he broke her heart. He was nowhere to be found so her purity was touched by the Prince. But the love in her heart remained and as time elapsed, it turned into hatred. Sadness and melancholy poisoned the blood in her veins hence she breathed her last during childbirth. A lovely Prince was born but as time passed; the darkness within the Prince manifested in his mother reared its ugly face. The Prince was hated by all which drove him mad.
As the Prince suffered from his demons, another won his subject's heart. This boy was the son of a mere stable man without the presence of noble blood. But he won the heart of many and wrote his destiny as a Prince whose brightness led his people to redemption."
"Do you know what meaning this story holds, My Queen?"
"I am afraid not."
"There are always two sides of the same coin, Daenerys. Kings can either be borne by birth or by their actions. Magic can be either shrouded by darkness or illuminated by Light. In this story, one man chose to walk into darkness and the other in light. One is King by birth and the other by his actions. But both were touched by magic, the blood of both could invoke the bad and the good."
"Lady Melisandre, I am in no mood for riddles."
"And I am not presenting you one, Daenerys. I am showing you that the ones who wield Magic can be a dangerous opponent or a powerful ally. The ones whose magic is shrouded in Light are rare and one who is King by blood and right is rarer. Its men like these who write History. You know of such a man, Daenerys. He will protect you till his last breath, but there will come a time when you will be required to stand beside him. Don't falter when the time comes."
"Are you talking of Jon?"
"Remember, My Queen. His love for you will protect your innocence but it's your love to him which will be responsible for bringing to Westeros a King by blood and bond."
Daenerys reeling mind could not register the absence of Lady Melisandre. As she settled herself within the furs for a well-deserved sleep, her thoughts gave shapes to darkness which engulfed Jon as she looked on with a pained expression.
"I will not bend my knees in front of a mere girl! You showed me the path to the Throne and now you tell me to serve that Targeryen wench. Tell me one reason to not drive my sword through your gut."
"I have always believed in you, My Lord. You are a true King but your men will falter at the strength of hers. Caution is required when dealing with a Dragon."
"What game are you playing, Melisandre?"
"I am showing you a way to the Iron Throne, My King. It starts by bowing in her presence. I need you to be patient."
"I am done being patient. You said that the North was where I start my journey but Jon holds greater command. I will not have another refute my claim."
A knock disturbed their talk as Ser Davos entered with a letter clutched in his hand.
"What is it?"
"My King, this letter was sent by Queen Regent herself. I caught it at the hand of a Brother in the Night's Watch."
"I suggest there is information underneath your ramblings?"
"Forgive me, M'Lord. The letter writes about assassination of Lord Commader Snow. The Queen Regent has promised a surplus amount of wealth to the one who kills Jon Snow. His men plan to betray him."
Stannis Baratheon gave allowed a smile to play on his lips.
"Ser Davos, inform the Men of Night's Watch that the one responsible for Jon's death will be appointed as the new Commander. I will make this promise."
"But, My King, Lord Commander Snow has been more than hospitable. Killing a man of his talents in cold blood- -."
"I would have allowed you to defend him if Jon had not stood as a hurdle to my Throne! He protects the Targeryen wench and every man in Castle Black knows that Jon Snow does not die in battle. He fights till all his enemies lie at his feet. Let the Brothers of Night's Watch make him bleed while his beautiful wench bleeds by your hand. Make sure you get it done this time, Ser Davos."
"We can keep her as a prisoner. She is merely a girl."
"Did you get bewitched by her beauty? You were ready to strike at her at the courtyard and here you stand questioning my orders when I am giving you the opportunity to let her blood taste your sword."
"Ser Davos speaks right, My King. The Targeryen girl will be much beneficial as a prisoner. Killing Lord Commander Snow and Daenerys will not yield any advantages."
"You listen to me, Witch. We have sacrificed hundreds in the name of Your God. Now it's my turn and they will die as my sacrifice. I believe Your God will accept them with gratitude. Now leave, both of you!"
Stannis looked out towards the clear night sky as the door to his chambers was closed. He knew that he would regret his decision many a days to come but not today.
"Jon! Wait up!"
Jon Snow whirled around to see a breathless Daenerys running towards him, her heavy cloak weighing down on her. He smiled, taking in Daenerys' enthusiasm to reach him giving her the appearance of a young girl.
"I can't believe you made a Queen run after you!"
Jon chuckled as he heard her speak between heavy breaths.
"You dare laugh?"
"No, My Queen. I wouldn't dare to."
"You are not as innocent as you portray yourself to be, Lord Commander Snow. As your punishment for finding me amusing, you should take me atop the Wall."
"Daenerys; its 400 feet high. The temperature will drop drastically. Your experience with the cold is limited. Adjustment to such extremes requires time of which we have plenty."
"I am going with or without you."
Jon had been raised among Starks who were known for their courage but never had he seen someone as stubborn as Daenerys. Before he could stop the Mother of Dragons, she went ahead leaving and firmly planted her feet in the carrier which propels them to the top. Jon followed her and planted his feet firmly in front of her.
"Daenerys, you are impossible. Did anyone ever tell you that?"
"I am the Mother of Dragons. I get what I want and besides, Jon Snow, an easy win spoils the fun. Now get in."
Jon didn't have time to recollect his thoughts as Daenerys held him by his cloak and pulled him into the carrier. Jon's cheeks gained a deep red colour as he found himself too close to Danereys so he quickly shuffled to the end of the carrier, convincing himself that the colour of red painting his face was due to the cold. The ride to the top was quiet and Jon followed Daenerys out as they reached the top.
Danereys walked in front of him to the edge of the wall and Jon stayed a step behind afraid that she might fall.
"Daenerys, don't move any further. The ice might collapse and I don't want you plunging to your death on my watch."
"The view is spectacular. Come closer, Jon. It's beautiful."
Jon had manned the Wall several times and he wasn't privy of the view but he moved forward to stop Daenerys from inching closer to the edge. He stood beside her and observed the view. It was spectacular with the sun shining weakly through the clouds and the tress partially covered in snow. Jon felt the harsh wind cut at his cheek and turned to look at Danereys who was bearing the cold well. Her hair was a tangled mess due to the cold wind and her face had turned a shade of pink.
As Jon looked at Daenerys, he finally figured out Lady Melisandre's words to him. Daenerys was beautiful and fierce like Fire who was already melting his icy heart. His heart leaped in his chest each time he saw the woman beside him and even though Jon knew that they could not be together, a huge part of his silly heart wished that he was the only one meant for her. It wasn't until he felt a warm hand in his that he looked away from Daenerys and realized that her hand was in his, while she looked on ahead.
Jon wanted to protest but he didn't. Instead, he held on to her hand a little bit tighter revelling in her warmth. They stood at the edge of the Wall for a few minutes before Daenerys started leading him towards the right side of the Wall.
"Daenerys, where are we going? It's a harsh weather, we are heading back."
"I am fine. And don't you want to see my children?"
"My Dragons, Jon. They are my children."
Jon was led by Daenerys to another edge on the Wall with a deeper level of ice. The temperature had dropped further and Jon could feel Daenerys slightly shiver as she held on to his hand.
"Now stand here, Jon. Not too close to the edge but not further than a few feet from the edge."
"Daenerys, you are shivering. Let us go down, I beg of you."
"My blood is warm, Jon. I am a Dragon, after all. I will let you take me wherever you desire after you meet them."
Jon didn't waste any time to argue and instead let watched as Daenerys muttered the name of her children under her breath with closed eyes. For a minute, Jon thought that she might be slipping out of consciousness but she opened her eyes and looked towards the horizon. Jon followed her gaze.
At first he thought that a dark cloud of snow was hurling its way towards them but the mass in the sky gained higher altitude. As the mass came closer, Jon could see that it was a massive bird, with leathery wings shaped like a bat and a longer snout. Its scales were black and the creature was adorned with golden eyes. The creature flew in closer and landed on the edge of the Wall, looking majestic and regal with expanded wings.
Jon knew Daenerys was a Queen but when he saw her nuzzle the creature's head, there was no spark in her eyes. Instead, it was replaced by warmth only a mother could provide to her child. She looked tiny in front of the magnanimous creature but she wasn't afraid of him. Instead, she embraced the creature instilling feeling of jealously within Jon.
"Come here, Jon. He might be intimidating but he is just a child."
Jon walked in closer to him while the creature watched him intently with his eyes. Jon extended his hand to place it on his snout but the dragon turned his snout towards Daenerys after billowing a puff of hot hair towards Jon from its snout.
"I guess he doesn't find you pleasing yet. His name is Drogon and he is the most troublesome among the three and the most loved."
Drogon seem to have agreed with the comment because he nuzzled his snout even further in her hand.
"I guess he agrees. Where are his brothers?"
"Rhaegal and Viserion are too pre-occupied with their hunt. They will come when they are done."
"How did you know?"
Daenerys walked up to him as Drogon started complaining about Daenerys' diverted attention. Drogon slowly approached Jon and observed him as his mother placed her hand in Jon's hand again.
"We share a bond as deep as blood, Jon. I can see what they see and I show them what I require. It's a strange relationship but I am at ease knowing where they fly. I did face a lot of difficulties in their discipline but they will always be my children and a mother can't abandon her children."
Jon was taken aback as Drogon turned his complete attention towards him, staring him intently with his golden eyes. After a minute, his snout came to rest at Jon's hand urging him to give him a pat. Jon placed his hand on Drogon's snout and felt his scales. Drogon looked content in having someone to pat him as he closed his eyes and allowed Jon to scratch his neck.
"I have a direwolf known as Ghost. I have raised him like my child and there have been several instances when I can see through Ghost's eyes. I thought they were mere dreams but now I am not too sure."
"Our dreams hold a deeper meaning than they portray. They can show us the past, the present or the future."
Daenerys approached Jon and placed her hand on Drogon's snout as Drogon enjoyed the attention of both Jon and Daenerys.