1 Give Them A Show
This is the story of a new born baby princess with snow white hair and bright blue eyes, the story of a little girl who was ripped from her family to save her life. This is my story, the story of Amina Targaryen.
I was found in King's Landing a week after I was born. Soldiers murdered my parents and my siblings, I'm told they deserved it and from the stories of the evil House of Targaryen I'm sure they did. Eddard Stark found me, my crib had been knocked over and he was surprised the fall hadn't killed me. He should've broken my neck the moment he realized I was still breathing but he didn't. Instead he hid me away and took me back to Winterfell.
Catelyn took me in, what else could she do but help a tiny orphaned baby. She covered my hair with some sort of thick paste that turned my snowy white locks a deep brown, no one ever had to know what house I belonged to. If anyone asked Ned told them I was an orphan of the war, no home, no family, it was true after all.
I grew up with the Starks. Only a little younger than their eldest son Robb, and I guess from the moment Ned brought me home it was pretty much decided I'd be married to him when we both got old enough. I was close to the other Stark children, Sansa was the only girl then and even though we attempted many times through the years to be friends she was far more girly and prissy than I was, I like little Arya much better.
I'm not sure there's any point, me sitting here writing my story down in this tiny book. I guess I just want my story to be told even if no one ever reads it, even if it doesn't have a happy ending. Who knows? I guess I'll just have to tell it anyways at see where it leads.
"Jon! Stop it!" I squealed as he came at me again. I was furiously ticklish and I hated it when anyone tried to touch my stomach, I got quite violent too. I kicked at him and tried to claw him, but he knew me to well and quickly immobilized my arms. My kicks were feeble at best and soon I was being knocked to the ground.
"Just promise you won't sneak off like that again and I'll stop."
"No promises!" I squealed trying to roll away.
"Ami," he said warningly.
I glared at him. "How many times have I told you not to call me that?"
"About a million, doesn't mean I'm going to stop. Plus Ami is cute." He smiled and kissed me on the nose.
"No, Ami makes me sound like a five year old. I'm 17," I mumbled rolling away from him. "And I'm a Targaryen, the last one. Not some little five year-old named Ami."
"Yeah, but if you tell people that you'd be just as much of an outcast as me, even more so," Jon said giving me one of those cautioning looks I'd come to know too well over the years. I was always doing something stupid and he was always giving me that look.
"I know. But it's my birthright! I'm supposed to rule! I was supposed to have a crown." I picked up the chain of flowers I had been twisting before I was so rudely interrupted.
"And you will."
"Yeah, Lady of Winterfell. Not exactly the title I was going for."
"It's not all that bad is it?" He asked teasingly.
"It's terrible. Yes, I love Robb" I watched as Jon's face fell a bit and I poked him with my boot. "I love Robb, as a brother! I have no interested in being Amina Stark." I rolled over and stared up at the trees. "Amina Snow sounds nice, and it matches my hair." I twisted a strand of faded brown hair around my finger. I needed to dye it again, Catelyn would be mad if she noticed how light I was letting it get but I hated the way that brown mush made my hair smell for a week.
"It does have a certain ring to it doesn't it?" Jon leaned over and kissed me again, this time on my lips. I pressed my forehead to his and ran my fingers through his dark black curls. I smiled and he smiled back, a smile that lit up his eyes making them shine like stars. I was content staying here in the woods staring into Jon's eyes all afternoon but unfortunately I had other things to do.
"We have to get you back inside."
"I'd rather not."
"Catelyn sent me looking for you and she's going to get worried if we don't come back soon. You had me worried this time, I thought you'd run away without me."
"I'd never. You know what I'd do…"
"What?" He asked, always curious.
"Never mind it's silly."
"Tell me," he pressed. His fingers brushed my neck sending chills down my spine.
"If I could truly harness the power of my ancestors I'd be queen and it wouldn't matter what anyone else said, I'd marry you."
"You wouldn't," he said shaking his head.
"I would too. We could live in King's Landing; it's the prettiest palace in the whole seven kingdoms from what I've heard. Do you think Catelyn and Ned would hate me though? They took me in and saved me. I'd give them whatever they wanted, they could live in the palace too, it's big enough."
"They couldn't hate you, you're too beautiful."
"They'd hate me. I'm a Targaryen, everyone hates us." Jon wrapped me in his arms and I relaxed enjoying the moment, knowing it would have to end soon. "I'd make a good queen though. I'm not crazy like the rest of my family; I'd be kind and generous. People would like me once they got past my bloodline. But that's just it isn't it; no one will ever be able to get past my bloodline no matter what I do. I have to go on living this lie, being Amina Winterfell until I get married off and become a Stark."
"You're lucky; hundreds of other girls would die to be in your shoes."
"Let them! I'd rather run away and be a peasant than stay here and be a Lady, as long as it means that I get you." I kissed him again.
"Jon!" Catelyn called. "Did you find her? I see you sitting over there, is she hurt? Don't tell me she fell out of a tree again. Should I call the nurse?"
I sighed and got up. "I'm fine Catelyn!"
Catelyn tore through the trees till she reached us. She wrapped me in a big hug and squeezed me tightly. "You scared me to death, I was sure someone kidnapped you."
"You shouldn't worry about me so much. You know I like adventure," I said smiling.
She grabbed a handful of my hair. "You're letting your hair fade too much, come inside there's still time to set your hair before dinner." I groaned but followed her towards her rooms. "That will be all Jon, thank you."
I glanced at him once before being tugged inside for more torture. He gave me a wave which wasn't the least be reassuring and I made a face at him as Catelyn closed the door.
Before dinner that evening I was told Ned's younger brother Benjen would be making an appearance to welcome the Baratheon family to Winterfell. He rarely came around and it had been years since I had seen him last, he was part of the Night's Watch and it was hard to get away to visit your family even for a little while.
After my hair sat for an hour it was washed three times with Catelyn's finest soaps and then brushed until it shined. I was surprised to notice the smell was practically nonexistent this time and with a few sprits of a lovely rose perfume Catelyn gave me it was gone entirely, I made a mental note to steal her soaps the next time I had to put that awful mixture in my hair. My handmaidens helped me dress in a beautiful gown I'd been saving for this occasion.
The crown family coming to visit wasn't an event to be taken lightly. The entire household had been in an uproar for weeks trying to prepare for the arrival of the king and his family. I couldn't care less since I wasn't looking for a prince to marry; Sansa on the other hand was just dying to meet the young prince. I just wanted the evening to be over so I could take a long nap and go back to eating sweets again and not starving to keep a ladylike figure for this dress.
I peered out my window and noticed Jon below at sword practice, I was quite surprised by this seeing as I had just spent the entire afternoon getting pulled and prodded into pristine condition for the Baratheon arrival. I hurried down stairs and outside remembering to gather my skirts at the last minute before I stepped onto the dirty ground. "Jon!" I called. He turned at the sound of my voice and ran towards me; I tugged him around the side of the building and out of the way of prying eyes. "What are you doing playing? Don't you have to get ready for dinner?"
"I'm not invited," he said simply.
"Don't be silly," I laughed.
"I'm not. Catelyn didn't think it was appropriate to have Eddard Stark's bastard son eating dinner with the king's family."
"That's crazy! You're as much a part of this family as I am!"
"You're the future Lady of Winterfell; I'm just Jon Snow the bastard son." He played with the lace on my sleeve. "You look beautiful." He smiled but it didn't quite touch his eyes this time as it did in the woods earlier that day. I reached up and tangled my fingers in his hair again and just stared into his eyes.
"Eventually we'll be free, you and me," I said quietly.
"I hope so," Jon said.
"We will be I can feel it."
He leaned me against the walls and kissed me. "Shh." I wasn't hard to be quiet, especially when there were other things to preoccupy my mouth with. The sound of carriages interrupted us and I groaned. "Go, they need you out there.
"They just want a good show. They don't want anything or anyone to conflict their perfect little view on life. They're royals, aren't they all the same?"
"All of them but you."
I kissed him once more before slipping around the corner and into the courtyard to join the Starks and Baratheons. "Ah there you are Amina," Ned said taking my hand, he smiled at me warmly. "This is my future daughter in law, the future Lady of Winterfell."
Robert Baratheon took my hand and kissed it. "You're just as lovely as I imagined you'd be. You were just a tiny thing when I saw you last, I'm happy to see you've turned out to be such a beautiful young lady." He stepped past me and patted Robb on the shoulder. "You got lucky, of all the girls your father could've brought home this is the one he chose."
"Wedding preparations will be under way soon," Ned said smiling. "You and your family are invited of course."
"I wouldn't miss it for the world. You'll make a beautiful bride Amina; you might even rival my Cersei."
Robb smiled at me, he always had this dazzling smile but his eyes were full of blind adoration. I hated it; I didn't want to be seen as some prized vase that you couldn't touch for fear of breaking it. I was stronger than he gave me credit for; I always had been, after all I had been raised a Stark.
"Well then, shouldn't we be getting to the feast?" Robert asked with a hearty laugh.
Robb grabbed my hand and I accepted reluctantly. Just give them a good show Ami, that's all they want.