Emotions warred within me. Sadness. Despair. Self-Loathing. Anger. Fury. Rage.
I wanted revenge.
An understatement, if there ever was any; I wanted to find Cersei and rip her to shreds, before feeding them to her father Tywin and her son Joffrey. Then I wanted to tear their hearts out and stuff them down their throats.
But, I had to clamp down on my anger.
Anger would serve no one, right now.
Control was the key.
“Focus.” Erebus chided as I exited the Hand’s Office.
I took a few breaths to calm and center myself, once more.
No, I was still weakened, though I could feel my power slowly increasing. The fight against the assassin, while a little challenging, was not as difficult as I had expected it to be. Sure, he was faster than anyone else I had faced— with the possible exception of Jon, though he was pretty close— but that still was nowhere near even my weakened power.
I clenched my left fist.
Only a light twinge of pain.
Was it healing that quickly, or was it the adrenaline flowing that dulled the pain? I had no way to accurately tell, at the moment.
Not that it mattered; there was only one thing I had to focus on now.
Finding Arya, Sansa, and Jon.
Of the three, Jon was most likely the one in any immediate danger, but I trusted in his skills.
He could kill one of these assassins. I taught him well.
On the other hand, Sansa and Arya… Well, Arya was fairly decent, from what I’ve seen from her “dance lessons”. But, she wasn’t good enough to fight grown men with years of training.
And the less said about Sansa’s skill and athleticism, the better.
The first thing I did was reduce Ice to the size of a toothpick, before placing it in one of my pockets. Then, I incanted. “Point me Sansa Stark.”
The wand jerked towards the general direction of the Stark quarters, which was a few floors below my current position. Okay, she was close by.
“Point me Arya Stark.” The wand jerked and pointed outwards, outside of the Red Keep, and possibly outside of town.
I frowned, and incanted one last time.
“Point me Jon Snow.” The wand did not move from its previous direction.
So Jon was possibly with Arya? I had no real way to tell, as a general direction didn’t really reveal all that much.
It was possible the two were together, but it was also possible they were miles apart, just in the same direction.
I shook my head. Sansa was the closest to me. I would get her, first, and then we would find the rest of them.
There. That was a plan.
Or a semblance of one.
So I moved.
I made my way down stairs, not giving any of the fallen Stark men any lingering gazes. They were dead, I could not help them. I turned to the right, into the small corridor that led into Sansa’s room.
I redid the Point Me spell and my wand jerked to point inside her room.
I approached the door slowly, carefully.
“Sansa.” I whispered when I reached the door.
“Sansa!” I whispered more urgently, opening the door.
A great loud grunt was heard, and the flash of steel alerted me to the presence of an attacker. I instinctively raised my right arm to block. The great sword crashed against my arm, sparks flying as it grinded against my hardened scales.
“No, don’t!” I heard Sansa’s scream as the man holding the sword realized who he had tried to kill just now.
The man in question being none other than Sandor Clegane, the disfigured Hound. My gaze quickly flitted across the room. Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, was dead, her throat slashed open. Septa Mordane was also dead, as well as a few servant girls.
Clegane was alone in the room with a terrified looking Sansa.
Was he trying to— no, otherwise there would have been noise. Plus, aside from what seemed to be a spatter of blood on her face and dress, Sansa looked fine.
Clegane backed off, though he kept his sword out.
“Didn’t think you’d come, Potter.” His deep voice came out from his horribly disfigured face.
“What are you doing here, Clegane?” I asked as he stepped aside, allowing me entry in to the room. “Here to take revenge for your brother, or are you here on the orders of Joffrey? I thought you’d still be with him at… Wherever the stupid shit is, right now.”
The man in question snorted at the questions.
“Hardly. I hated my brother more than anyone.” The Hound retorted with a snarl when mentioning his brother. “I swore my service to House Stark after I witnessed the events of the melee. Lord Stark did not accept.”
“So, why are you here?” I asked again.
“Just because he didn’t accept my services doesn’t mean that there’s not a debt owed, Blackscale.” Clegane said simply, before glancing at Sansa, whose facial expressions had shifted from terrified to hopeful. “You and the Starks have done more to punish my brother than anyone I’ve ever known.”
I turned to the distraught Sansa, giving her a hug and rubbing her back.
“Sansa.” I said before she could start crying or speaking. “We need to go, okay? We can’t stay here, not after what happened.”
“I— I—” She stammered, looking like she was on the verge of a breakdown.
Poor girl was in shock.
“I know.” I backed away and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “But there’s no time. Guards could come here at any minute. We’ll have plenty of time to figure out what to do after we get out of here. All right?”
Sansa closed her eyes and shuddered, before looking at me with those scared, blue eyes of hers.
“I promise.” I tried a different route. “We’ll find Arya and Jon and get as far away from here as possible.”
The mention of her siblings seemed to do the trick, as her gaze turned to steel, reminding me of her father for just a moment, before her unease settled back in.
She nodded, and made to follow me.
“Hey, hey.” The Hound said, sounding irritated. “You think you can just walk out of the Red Keep, just like that? Guards are everywhere. We can’t even make a move without every shit in this castle knows about it.”
“Good point, Hound.” I said, eyes un-focusing slightly as I recalculated what the plan ought to be. I turned to him. “You’re coming with. You watch over Sansa, and I clear the way. You kill any fuckers who try to grab her. We’re going to try and sneak our way past some of the guards, but if push comes to shove and hiding is not an option, then I’ll kill them.”
The disfigured man mulled it over. “Sounds better than any plan I’ve got. What the hell… Let’s do it.”
I smiled, and motioned for the both of them to follow me. I surreptitiously waved my wand over their feet with the Silencing Charm so that no one could hear their loud footsteps. If Clegane noticed that his armor was as quiet as the blackest night, he didn’t give any indication.
Fine by me.
We made our way to the base of the Tower of the Hand, moving past the dead Stark guards. I heard a few gasps from Sansa, the shocking imagery destroying what little self-control she managed to retain.
And, who could blame her?
The people she’d known her whole life were lying dead everywhere.
I motioned for Clegane and Sansa to stop when I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. I unsheathed Erebus and slowly inched forward.
“You think the Tower’s been cleared yet?” One of them asked.
“Yes, the signal was given.” The other replied. “Our orders are to capture the Stark bitches to hold them hostage.”
“Heh.” A third started, and was about to say more when I turned the corner and swung the sword right through his neck, detaching his head from his body. Lightning coursed through my body as I dodged an impromptu charge from one of them, tripping the fool for good measure before driving Erebus straight down into his back, severing his spinal cord.
The rest of them, six more, it seemed, drew their swords.
At their back, a Kingsguard stood. Not Jaime, not Selmy, either.
One whose name I never cared to learn.
They began to circle my form as one of them made to attack me. That way I’d be kept occupied while one of them stabbed me in the back.
I was having none of that. I grabbed the man’s sword with my right hand, ignored his yelp of surprise and pulled, sending him colliding with the man trying to get behind me. The two fell in a loud clatter of metal against stone.
I pointed Erebus at them.
“Leave nothing behind, Erebus!” I snarled hatefully at the rest of them. “DARK STREAM!”
Darkness poured from the blade, washing over both downed men and the ones charging me with loud, defiant roars. Their roars turned into frightened screams which were cut short as the Darkness consumed them whole, leaving nothing behind but frosted stone.
I cut the flow of Darkness. It was the first time I had used that on actual people. It was… incredible.
Nothing of them was left behind.
Another silent moment passed, and I heard my sword burp.
“Mmm…” I had the distinct feeling the demonic sword was rubbing its belly contentedly. “Good meal, I haven’t had human in a while.”
I opened my mouth, and shut it.
There really was nothing I could say to that.
“What the Seven Hells was that, Blackscale?” I heard Clegane’s awed voice come from behind me. I turned to see him and Sansa, who were greatly shocked by what they just witnessed.
“My true power. Or a fraction of it.” I said simply, smiling despite the situation. “I don’t really have time to explain, but Lord Ned knew of my powers— that’s part of the reason he requested my services.”
“Now, come on.” I said and led the way again. “There will be time for questions later. Escape first.”
“Fair enough.” Clegane said. Sansa kept quiet, most likely moving on autopilot at this point.
What came next were a few tense minutes walking quietly through the hallways and corridors of the Red Keep, avoiding guards here, and there with a few applications of the Confundus Charm.
I entertained the thought of using the Disillusionment Charm on myself, Clegane and Sansa, but thought better of it. I wouldn’t be able to track their position, and they wouldn’t be able to track mine.
Eventually, we reached the entrance of the Red Keep, still packed with guards, though they were no longer dancing. Did the spell fade, or were the men taken away?
It didn’t matter. All of these fuckers were dead.
“I’m going to kill them all, but I have to get my horse, first.” I said calmly. “You two stay back.”
Clegane immediately complied, knowing better than to argue with me at this point, and pulled the distraught girl with him.
No sense in giving them a target, I thought before tapping my wand over my head, initiating the Disillusionment Charm and walking past them towards the stables of the Red Keep, where Geryon was standing there, looking directly at me.
Through my Disillusionment Charm.
I shook my amazement off quickly, before patting the horse on the head and explaining what I wanted him to do.
“You come here after I use my Roar, okay? You remember my Roar, right?” I whispered to the horse gently.
“Okay, good.” I smiled and gave him another pat on the head, before going back to the guards and finding the best possible spot to do the most damage before they could even react.
I counted at least 20 men on the ground in front of me. The archers were still the same— three on each side. My left hand still stung from the arrow that had torn through it just a few hours back.
I sheathed Erebus,
A Dark Stream could not cover this much range. The archers, I could kill easily with well-placed bolts of Lightning; the remainder of the guards, well…
There was only one thing that would do the trick.
I smiled and pointed my hands at each group of archers and called on my powers. Lightning shot of my hands, splitting into six different arcs which immediately overtook the archers, who could only scream in shock (heh, pun) and pain as they fell down, spasming uncontrollably as they did so.
“What was that!?”
Amongst cries of fear and bewilderment, I took a deep breath, charging my lungs with Lightning.
Incidentally, the great collection of power forced my Disillusionment Charm to come undone.
If they had a few more seconds, maybe they might have made it to me and stopped me.
“Lightning Dragon’s Roar!“
A great blast of bluish white Lightning burst forth, encompassing an incredibly wide area, tearing through stone and soldiers alike. Their screams were short as the Red Keep shook with the force of my attack, which exploded with a thunderclap against the gates, almost completely atomizing them.
I stopped the flow of energy and examined my handiwork for just a second.
The Lannister guards were there one moment; the next, they simply weren’t. The sheer force of my Roar had destroyed them, as well as digging a trench in the red stone which stretched from my position to that of the gates.
I took a deep breath and spat to the side.
Good riddance, I thought before motioning for Clegane and Sansa to come out of their hiding spot.
They quickly complied, as Geryon also trotted over to me, giving Sansa and Clegane a single glance, before looking back to me.
“You two get on Geryon, I’ll lead the way.” I ordered the two.
Sandor opened his mouth but I cut him off. “No questions! Do as I say.”
He nodded, but obeyed by helping Sansa up on the horse, with him sitting behind her.
I channeled some Lightning into my legs, gave Geryon a single look, and took off at a sprint, the loyal steed following me with ease despite my greatly enhanced speed.
Judging by the sound of bells and marching, I assumed we’d gotten out of there just in the nick of time.
“Too close for comfort.” Erebus rattled within his sheath. I nodded imperceptibly, fully in agreement with the powerful sword.
“This fucking brat is right out of the damned storybooks.” I heard Clegane grumble as I incanted. “Point me Arya Stark.“
The wand pointed to the north-west. I followed its trajectory as best as I could, weaving in through the streets, Geryon trotting along behind me at great speeds.
Eventually, a few minutes later, we reached one of the gates leading out— the Iron Gate, if I remembered correctly. It was on the north wall, and connected to the Rosby road, which would lead us to Rosby, along the Blackwater Bay.
I redid the spell again. The wand definitely pointed outside.
I nodded, and used a Summoning Charm on the gates, not waiting for them to open as I made a break for it, running as fast as my legs could take me. The gates flew open with a loud groan, half a second before we ran through the open space, too fast for the guards to react.
I heard a few whizzes of arrows, but they fell extremely short as we slowed to an enhanced jog.
“Point me Arya Stark.” I used the spell again, and it pointed north-west again, though the wand moved further east as I kept going forward.
“Point me Jon Snow.” I tried for Jon.
Same thing occurred.
I relaxed an infinitesimal amount. They were both at the same place, meaning they were together. I wanted nothing more but to find a bed and rest, or sit on Geryon’s back, but neither of those options was available to me.
No rest for the wicked, it seemed.
Twenty minutes of silent running passed before I tried the spell again.
My wand pointed west to a hill which looked to have a series of caves— one of which was tinted in a flickering orange, the sign of a fire. Jon and Arya had stopped for the night. I gave a glance up at the steadily darkening sky.
Night was indeed falling.
I took a short breath, before running to the cave in question.
As I got closer and closer, I made sure to use the Point Me spell again, just in case I was crashing on someone else’s party. The wand pointed exactly in the direction of the cave.
Good enough for me.
“Okay.” I said slowly as I motioned for Clegane and Sansa to dismount. Clegane did so first, before grabbing Sansa and carrying her bridal style— oh, she had fallen asleep on the trip here.
Not surprising, this entire ordeal was very exhausting, even to me.
I was surprised she was even able to keep up this long.
Still, how exactly to approach them?
I moved towards the cave; Clegane and Geryon followed along, walking over the treacherous ground with an ease acquired from months upon months of traveling.
“Arya! Jon!” I called out. “It’s me, Harry!”
I opened my mouth to speak again, but was cut off by a small, brown haired blur diving in my arms and sobbing.
“Harry!” Arya said, looking up at me, tears falling freely from her eyes. “Jon, you have to help Jon! He protected me and now he’s hurt! Please!”
My blood ran cold.
“What’s wrong with him?” I asked but shook my head.
How the hell would a little girl know what’s wrong?
“Take me to him.” I said before she could say any more. She sniffed and grabbed my hand, leading me into the cave towards the fire. I rejoiced in the warmth for a second before my eyes landed on Jon, whose skin was deathly pale even under the orange light of the fire.
I let go of her hand and knelt next to my friend, looking over his body for a few seconds.
His clothes were completely shredded, his body cut, bruised and slashed all over. His skin was pale, and clammy to the touch. He was sweating hard, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t the fire causing it.
“He protected me…” Arya said as Clegane placed Sansa on a pile of furs, before taking a seat, himself. “A man tried to kill us. He changed his face and Jon fought him and he shot fire but the man shot something at Jon and, and…”
I pulled the little girl in a hug, comforting her as best as I could, while casting diagnostic charms on the comatose teen.
“It’s okay, Arya.” I said. “I’m going to fix him up like I did with Bran.”
“You did that?” She sniffed and looked hopeful.
“Yes.” I confirmed, pulling back and giving her a smile. “Why don’t you go lie next to your sister, and I’ll make Jon better again.”
“It’s not safe, here.” Clegane cut in, looking outside with an uncertain look in his face. “If I was lookin’ for escapees, this is the first place I’d look.”
I nodded. It was a fair point.
So I pointed my wand at the entrance and cast the strongest Muggle Repelling Charm I could. The entrance shimmered for a few seconds, before dying down. A quick mental check, and I realized the spell had taken hold.
“That should keep anyone from checking the cave.” I explained before turning back to Jon and re-casting the diagnostic charm.
“What did you just do?” Clegane asked.
“It’s a spell that discourages people from entering the cave.” I said simply as I took in the results of the diagnostic spell.
“Jon’s running a high fever.” I said to myself, before turning to Arya, who was sitting next to Sansa, but staring right at Jon. “You said he was shot? By what?”
Arya pointed to a spot next to Jon; darts.
“And, what happened to the man who did this?” I asked calmly as I pulled out the Murtlap Essence and spread it over the many cuts and scratches I could find.
“Jon burned him to death.” Arya looked at her brother again. “With blue fire.”
“You believe me?” Arya sounded incredulous.
“Yes.” I nodded distractedly, staring at the swollen puncture wounds caused by the darts. “I’m the one who taught him how to do it. Now, be quiet for a second.”
I wracked my mind for a solution.
“Okay, so the poison is circulating through his blood stream.” I thought to myself, trying to bring the whole situation into focus. “I have no antidote, so the only wait to do this would to pull the remaining poisons out of his body the hard way. A weak, modified Summoning Charm should do the trick.”
The fact that it would put Jon in extreme pain didn’t escape me.
However, it was either that, or Jon’s death.
A simple choice.
“Don’t be alarmed.” I said, pointing my wand at his puncture wounds and slashing them open with a weak spell. “I’m going to pull the poison out of his body, but it will hurt. A lot. Do you understand?”
Sansa slept soundly. Clegane grunted in understanding. Arya nodded quickly.
I looked at Arya pointedly. “That means he’s going to thrash and scream. Keep calm.”
She nodded again, more slowly this time.
Satisfied with her answer, I focused back on my friend, and took a breath.
It was now or never.
“Accio poison.” I incanted and watched a haze of purple exit out through his puncture wounds. Almost immediately, Jon’s body began to twitch and spasm. His body curled up in the fetal position while his hand went over his heart.
I suppressed a wince, hoping that the poison hadn’t made it that far.
I was wrong.
Jon twitched and writhed in agony for what seemed to be an eternity, but probably was around half a minute. After a few seconds of not seeing any poison come out, I ended the Summoning Charm and re-cast the necessary diagnostic spells.
Already, his body temperature was lessening with every moment, which was good. I threw in a few Calming Charms to help him along, before covering him up with a sheet. I turned to the rest of our assemblage.
“That should do it.” I said. “I—” I stopped for a moment as Arya hugged me tightly.
I smiled softly, and patted her on the back as she tried her hardest not to cry.
“Don’t worry, little one.” I said. “Jon will be up and about after some rest.”
“Thank you…” Arya sniffled.
“Anything for you guys.” I replied and rubbed circles on her back. Her breathing began to even out as her exhaustion settled in, and she fell asleep. I gently carried her and placed her next to her sister, conjuring a sheet to cover them both.
And then I sat down.
“Magic.” Clegane said as I finally began to relax.
Jon wasn’t in mortal danger, any longer. Sansa, and Arya were safe.
We were safe.
I kept my promise to Lord Ned.
“Can’t imagine you could create some bread and wine for me, eh, Blackscale?” Clegane asked jokingly.
I nodded, stuffed my hand in my pocket, placed the items on a conjured sheet before incanting “Engorgio!“
The loaf of bread grew as big as a medium sized dog, while the jug of wine grew to about two times its original size. I followed up by conjuring a few mugs.
Clegane’s eyes widened at yet another feat of magic he didn’t think me capable of.
But he tore a piece of bread off and filled his cup anyway.
“I was only joking, Blackscale. Didn’t think you’d actually create food out of nothing.” He said as he dove into his food.
“I could take it back, you know.” I said with a tired smirk, moving to take the food away from him.
“No, it’s all right.”
“Tch.” I grabbed a piece of my own and dug in, relishing the taste as if it was my first time eating. “Thought as much.”