A Melted Heart

By oddfurball

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 6

CHAPTER 6:

After their visit to the Wall, Daenerys found herself pre-occupied with her council to forge plans regarding her future moves. A week had passed and Daenerys was still eluded of Jon's company. Stannis Baratheon had sworn fealty to her as Lady Melisandre had promised to her and Daenerys had caught a glimpse of Jon Snow during the ceremony. Her children had made their presence known keeping the Men of Night's Watch in fear. They spent their time beyond the Wall and came at her command but now all three of them had taken a peculiar liking to Jon.

They would visit Castle Black without her calls to them and spend hours chasing Ghost, Jon's direwolf. Daenerys had watched in amusement as Drogon engulfed Jon in his wings as Viserion and Rhaegal tried doing the same. Ghost watched on leaping and jumping towards Jon. Daenerys had wished to join them but her council were discussing plans regarding the role of Stannis in the upcoming days requiring her complete attention.

Jon also kept himself elusive of her. Whenever Daenerys passed him in the corridors, Jon kept his talk to her to a minimum discussing about her future plans. It wasn't until a week had passed that Daenerys found the opportunity for a talk with Jon. It was dark when Daenerys decided to take a stroll within the courtyard, her inconsistent meetings leaving her exhausted. As she approached the snow laden courtyard, she saw Jon practising with his blade in the dim light of a lantern.

Daenerys stood within the shadows and observed Jon. He was confident in his strides and strikes. The sword was bulky but Jon handled it gracefully demonstrating his skills in fighting. Jon had discarded his cloak and practised in his tunic providing Daenery's a view of his toned muscles.

"My Queen, standing in the shadows and not declaring yourself can raise suspicions."

"Some might say otherwise, Lord Commander Snow. It's considered an art to blend in the shadows. And I was not prying; I was simply observing your skills."

"Do you know how to fight, My Queen?"

Daenerys settled herself on the raised platform in the courtyard and was shortly joined by Jon.

"A woman has different weapons she uses, Jon Snow. Even you possess a set of skills none can beat."

"I am afraid I do not know what you speak of."

"My Dragons, they have taken a peculiar liking to you. They have even started to listen to you."

Daenerys looked at Jon and saw his gaze fixed on the lantern, his face illuminated in the soft glow.

"I can't explain it but I share a bond with them. When I think about them, they make their presence known. Even Ghost has taken a liking to them including you, Daenerys. That's even rarer. Direwolves love is strong but they share this love with few, one of them being you. That is a peculiar skill set to possess in my eyes."

"Jon, there is something I need to ask of you."

"Anything."

"My army arrives in a day's time. But they cannot linger in the cold for long. There will come a time in the near future when I will leave and I want you to stay beside me. Will you choose to stay with me?"

Daenerys could see the battle raging in Jon's mind. He stared intently at space without glancing at her.

"Don't ask such things of me, Daenerys. I have promised to never refuse your words but what you ask of me is not possible. I am thankful that your men will stand with me in the days to come but when they leave to follow you, I hope you won't harbour such thoughts. You have to leave to be a Queen someday and I wish you nothing but success and happiness but I am the person who shall stay and hear of your journey from here."

"And what of our future? The future both you and I have seen! Can you give up on it so easily? Isn't there a part of you which wants a future with me? Your family died at the hands of men who only know to spill blood, your North is being ravaged by a psychotic torturer and your sisters are lost in this cruel world. Take what is yours, Jon. Stop running away."

Daenerys saw the anger flare in Jon's eyes and she was glad that he didn't curb his anger. Instead, he raged at her standing tall above her.

"I am not running away! I have tried so hard to run away from being what I am but I have failed every time. I am a bastard, Daenerys; a bastard lucky enough to have a family who loved him. But the world sees me as what I am. When you sit as Queen on that damn Throne, do you think your councilmen will approve of your love to me? If I reclaim the North, do you think none shall question my authority? It will happen, Daenerys. I love my sisters but I have nothing to give them. I am going to avenge the death of my family and find my sisters. But after that I will return here, the Castle which has showed me where I truly belong. Nothing would give me more joy than starting a family with the woman I have come to love but I can't make her stay where she doesn't belong. You deserve better, My Queen."

Daenerys approached Jon with careful steps and compelled him to turn his head towards her and looked upon the sadness in his eyes. She placed a tender hand on his cheek.

"That decision is mine to make, Jon. You don't have a say in it. And I choose you. If you can't be by my side, then I choose to be by yours, if you would have me. We will fight in this war together, and then I shall go with you, wherever you take me. We will be together, as a family."

"Daneryes, you have travelled across the Sea to sit on the Iron Throne. I can't let you do this."

"Future is not written in stone, Jon. I might die tomorrow from a frost bite then who will lead my army? There might come a time when you will find your way, but before that, I am walking down the path I have chosen and that is you. Have you come to love me?"

"I don't know what love is, Dany. I loved Ygritte but as days pass my memories of her fade. She remains as distant past, tucked safely in a corner of my heart. But for you, my heart pounds every time you smile at me. I long to catch a glimpse of you and embrace you. Since the time we met, there hasn't been a day I haven't walked outside your quarters in the night and hoped to see you. So yes, I think that I might be falling in love with you."

Daenerys brought herself closer to Jon standing on her toes to reach his face.

"Dany, that might become my favourite word from now."

Jon felt numb when he heard the arrow being knocked off of its quiver. Before he could react, Daenerys was standing in front of him and had been impaled by three arrows, one too close to her heart. Her dress ran red as she sunk into the snow, Jon holding her fall. Jon touched her pale cheek with tears forming in his eyes. She had taken the arrows meant for him. He needed to save her; he needed to take her to Maester Aemon. He saw Daenerys' eyes close as he begged her to stay with him. But before Jon could pick her up, a sharp pain emerged from his shoulder. When he turned around, he saw his men, his Brothers with knives in their hand. Before he could comprehend what was happening, he was struck again, this time in the gut. Jon looked down at Daenerys, lying at his feet with a pool of blood forming around her and prayed to the Gods to save her. But soon his knees gave out as he received another stab in his shoulder. The blood loss made his head spin inconsistently and even though Jon unsheathed Longclaw, his slow and sluggish moves were no match for the onslaught of his Brothers. Jon fell next to Daenerys, the faces of his Men forever etched in his memory, his breath inconsistent and drawn.

Jon Snow awoke with pain emanating from every fiber of his being. His head was sore and when his eyes got adjusted to the light being emitted by the lantern in front of him; Jon mustered all his strength to find a sitting position. He ran a hand through his torso and was surprised to find a string of bandages running haphazardly from his shoulder to his middle. There was pain everywhere he touched and it took him a minute to think through the stars dancing before his eyes.

Jon registered his surroundings taking in the lavish fur around him and the large bedchamber. He had been perfectly fine; there was no reason for him to be bandaged. And that's when his memories reared their ugly face. He almost lost consciousness as he remembered the attack. Daenerys, he had to find Daenerys. He had to confirm that she was alive, that she wasn't yet another corpse he had to burn. The thought of Daenerys forced Jon to sit straighter and search the chambers for a tunic. It was then that the door opened to reveal Sam in the doorway.

"Gods! Jon, you are awake? How are you feeling? What? You shouldn't be siting, you need to rest."

"Sam, where is Daenerys?"

Jon saw the colour drain from the face of his companion. His heart sank as he took in the pale demeanour of the man standing in front of him. It was this helplessness which caused him to shout.

"Samwell Tarly, where is Daenerys?"

It was the voice of a female which answered his desperate plea. Lady Melisandre stepped into the chamber.

"There is no use fighting, Jon Snow. Your own Men betrayed you and Daenerys was a casualty."

Jon felt blood rush to his face and his eyes prick as he let the thought of her death cross his mind. It was not possible, it was a lie. Wordlessly, he placed his legs on the ground and with shaky steps started making his way outside the chambers.

"Jon, you need to rest."

"I need to see her. Sam, please. Take me to her."

"Lord Commander Snow, you need your rest. I did not save you from death to lose you to your injuries."

"I am not a Commander or a Lord! These Men betrayed me and killed the woman I had come to love. You shouldn't have saved me, Witch. It should have been Daenerys who lived. It should have been her!"

"Jon, she lives. Daenerys lives."

"What?"

"I had to hear those words from you. I needed to know that your love for her runs deep."

"What game are you playing at, Witch?"

"Follow me; I will take you to her. Tarly, make sure he doesn't die of a frostbite."

Jon found himself silently following Lady Melisandre to the East End of Castle Black. He passed the courtyard, one where he was betrayed by his Men and could see the crimson stains on snowflakes. There were patches of the courtyard which were scorched, probably by a high temperature flame.

"How long have I been unconscious?"

"It's been a fortnight. Your injuries were beyond repair and by the time I reached you had taken your last breath. It took me the entire night to restore life in you."

"I was brought back by magic?"

"It is more complicated than that, Jon. I cannot restore life in all, there needs to be magic flowing through their veins."

"How did you save us?"

"It wasn't me. After you fell, Drogon made his presence known followed by Ghost. They scorched and ripped half of the ones who attacked you. In the confusion, Ser Davos pulled you and Daenerys and brought you both to safety. The ones who were spared now lie in the cellar. Lord Stannis commands your men for the interim."

"They are not my men, not anymore. You were right; there is a price to pay for Duty and Honour."

"There is a price for everything, Jon Snow. Both of you paid it. She took the arrows meant for you hence you owe her a debt. One you would repay only by loving the woman who was ready to follow you even to her death."

Jon felt his hope rise as Lady Melisandre opened the door to Daenerys' chamber. He could see Daenerys tucked within the furs and he stared intently at the rise and fall of her chest, reassuring himself that she was alive, as he approached her. Maester Aemon sat at her bedside and gave a slight nod to Jon as he inched closer to Daenerys.

Jon had seen horrible nightmares played before his eyes but when he took in Daenerys' appearance, his legs faltered. Her pale skin was a shade of purple, her previously lustrous hair, now musty, stuck to her forehead as beads of sweat streaked her forehead. A smell of Death lingered about her as her muscles tensed and she went into a fit, her eyes closed but telling Jon of the nightmares she was suffering.

"What is wrong with her?"

Jon's gaze was directed to Maester Aemon. The old man looked conflicted by the question but answered Jon nevertheless.

"The arrows were poisoned. She was struck by three of them but she still fights. But I am afraid that her strength is faltering and she slips deeper into the shadows of Death every day."

"Maester Aemon, there has to be a cure. Why isn't it working? Where is the cure?"

"I am afraid I have not seen a poison like this in all my years. It's not of this Land. I am sorry, Jon. I have done everything I can."

Jon sat on the bed and held her hand in his as she was struck by another convulsion. He wiped the sweat on her forehead and placed his forehead against hers, begging her to come back to him. Tears flowed freely now and fell on her cheeks as Jon's pleas became louder.

"Please, Dany. Come back to me. I will never leave your hand, just come back to me."

Jon placed a gentle hand on Dany's cheek and then controlled his emotions. He walked up to The Lady in Red.

"Cure her with your magic and bring her back to me. I will do as you say if you save her."

"I am sorry, Jon. The poison has spread to her heart; it's impossible to eliminate it from her body."

"You told me that I was more than a bastard, I am meant to be a King. There is magic in my blood and my Destiny can create a new History and save this Land. But my history is incomplete without her. So I will save her. I will find a cure."

Jon took one last look at Daenerys and left her chambers. He marched to his own and started to gather all he could for his journey to the Free Cities. The Free Cities would have a cure. He was interrupted by a knock on his chambers. Tyrion Lannister walked in.

"I hear you leave to find a cure. There is no cure, Jon. It's time you give up on her."

"I need to find its origin. The men who betrayed me would have obtained it form somewhere. I would just follow the trail they left behind."

"I already interrogated them. The poison was sent to them by a raven from King's Landing. My sister put out a bounty on your head. Your men desired the money."

"Then I shall travel to King's Landing. I cannot give up on her."

"Then why did you give up on your family, Jon? Why didn't you leave when they were being butchered?"

"That is a different matter."

"Find out what you truly are, Jon Snow. Become strong and then hold Daenerys' hand."

Tyrion walked up to him and placed a sealed letter in his hand.

"I found this in your father's chambers while I was acting as Hand of The King. It belonged to your Lady Mother and it's addressed to you. I could have given it to you before but I felt that would have been useless. But now, you are ready."

Jon watched as the dwarf walked out. He carefully observed the seal on the letter and instantly recognized it as his Father's. His name was written on the parchment in a beautiful writing. It was from Catelyn Stark. John opened the letter with shaky hands.

Dearest Jon,

I have left this letter with your Father hoping that he can hand it to you someday. I know that a large part of you hates me for never truly being your mother and always treating you as a bastard. There will come a time, Jon, when you would be needed by your family. And when that time comes, I hope that your hatred towards me doesn't cloud your judgement. When you were brought to me as a babe, I left you wailing for a week. I could not even look at you but then when I finally did hold you, I felt guilty. I felt guilty for not soothing you when you cried. That guilt drove my actions, the guilt of not holding a motherless child. There were times when I would look at you and be reminded of my husband's unfaithfulness but never have I hated you for it.

This would be hard to believe but I have always prayed for your happiness, my Son. You have given me many sleepless nights when I would stay up and pray for a quick recovery from your illness. I have had many shortcomings but in my heart, I have loved you like all my children. In the future, I want you to take care of your brothers and sisters, to keep them together even when they are at each other's throats. I want you to meet a beautiful girl and marry her. Don't turn your heart into ice because of your hate for me. I need you to know that in Ned and my eyes, you would always be a Stark; you would always be my Son.

I know that you are at the Wall, mainly because of my actions but remember, Jon, you are a Stark. You belong in the North and it would give me no greater pleasure than to see you back with your family. Protect them, Jon and be with them when they need you.

You are and always will be my Son. You can give up on anything in this world but not on family. If a time comes when you have to carry forward the Stark legacy, don't hesitate. Be strong, be brave and always love us because we love you too.

Your mother,

Catelyn Stark.

Jon found himself sitting down on his bed, the letter clutched in his hands. His Lady Mother had died, killed ruthlessly along with his Brother and Jon never got to say a goodbye. He never got to say goodbye to his family, to the people who loved him the most. That was the day Jon Snow realized that he had been running in circles. His name did not matter anymore because by birth and by bond, he was a Stark, son of Eddark Stark and Catelyn Stark and now, the Future King of Westeros. That was where his Destiny was taking him, beside his family, beside Daenerys.

Jon Stark strode forward towards Lady Melisandre's chambers with a new purpose and a new identity. He entered her chambers with determination.

"My family was killed while I adopted the Wall as my new family. But now I know that my family was the reason I made it to the Wall. They are the reason I fight every day, the need to avenge them and the hope to see them again. Their love to me is the magic that flows in my blood. And now, they will be the reason I will leave the Wall with Daenerys and become a King. I know there are many wars ahead which I have to fight, but I know now who I truly am. I am a Stark and I am also the man who loves Daenerys Targereyn, without any condition. I was never a bastard."

"Now you know, Jon Snow. A True King is one who can liberate his people and you are one because of your blood and birth. Your love for Daenerys has made you stronger and helped you accept what you truly are. So save your Queen, liberate your people and sit on the Iron Throne, My King."

"How can I save her?"

"By Magic."

Jon quietly followed Lady Melisandre into Daenerys' chambers. Maester Aemon left as soon as they entered.

"Are you ready, Jon?"

"I am. What do I have to do?"

"Blood Magic is the strongest form of Magic. It can kill but it can also save a life. But one who doesn't believe in his own blood can never save a life, but you believe in it now. Give me your hand."

Jon watched amazed as the Lady in Red cut his hand and allowed it to drop in the fire. The red of his blood could be seen as it didn't burn in the flame, but instead formed an intricate circle around the Fire. The dying Fire came alive, emanating intense heat.

"Remember, My King, your love to her has brought her back. So, as long as you love her, she shall live. The day you forget your love for her will be the day Daenerys Targeryen breathes last. That's the price you have to pay for this magic."

Jon did not linger another moment as he found his way beside Daenerys whose breaths came in gulps as she opened her eyes.


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