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Mountain Lackluster

A week after my conversation with Aegon the First, the tourney began. With warriors, knights and fighters of every walk of life began to fall in line to sign up; I pondered why I was even doing this.

§Because you’re bored.§ Balthazar sniped.

I gave an absent minded nod as I finally reached one of the tellers, a man in his twenties, with a bald head and missing two of his front teeth. He took one look at me and paled at the sight.

Hm.

Must be the arm.

“You all right, there?” I asked curiously.

“Your— your arm!” The teller stuttered.

“Yeah. What about it?” I asked nonchalantly, rolling my eyes at a reaction I had grown quite used to.

“It—It’s covered with black scales!” He exclaimed dramatically.

I stopped for a few seconds to stare at the man in absolute boredom, in the hopes of conveying how silly this man sounded, right now.

“You must be new here.” A man said from behind me. I turned to see a somewhat rotund man in both armor and a red robe of sorts. It honestly looked so worn I was even surprised he still wore it.

It almost looked like he was a… Red priest of R’hlorr?

They were here? Already?

Wait, no.

My moment of panic ended when I realized who this man was. One of the King’s drinking friends.

“Thoros of Myr, was it?” I greeted with a nod. “My apologies for holding up the line like this.”

“Blackscale.” He greeted back with an easy grin. “It’s all right.” Then, he turned to the teller. “This is Harry Potter of the Blackscale. You would be quick in allowing him entry in this tournament, unless you wish to suffer his ire— and all of ours, as well.”

“I— That is to say— I mean.” He quailed when he realized that almost everybody was now staring at him angrily for stopping the line.

Visibly composing himself, the teller finally said. “Which competition do you choose to sign up for, Ser?”

“Melee, and I’m not a knight. I’m just another fighter.” I said simply and the teller began to jot things down hurriedly.

“No jousting or archery?” Thoros asked from behind me, looking curious at the choice.

“I’ve never fought on horseback, and I’ve never been much good with a bow.” It was a lie. I’ve never even touched a bow to know if I was good or not. “But, put me in direct, close range combat and I will never lose.”

“Bold claim, Blackscale. However, can you back it up?” Thoros said, and many others behind him either grunted or scoffed at me— though their eyes lingered on my arm for a moment before shaking whatever chill they had felt off.

“Done.” The teller said, giving me a quick, embarrassed nod, before looking ahead of me. “Next competitor, please!”

I absently listened to the crowd’s chatter as I slowly made my way to the melee fighting ring. The tournament grounds were situated a few hour’s journey from the city in a large clearing that was about three miles across.

In this clearing, two different areas had been prepared. The first was the melee field, a round, circular area of ground, grass and gravel, which I currently stood in. Wooden bleachers surrounded me from all sides, and at the very center of the large clearing, between the jousting and melee fields, there was the Royal box— a two story box in which the King and his children sat, as well as the various nobles he had invited.

The other field was for both jousting, archery, and other assorted competitions such as knife throwing, wrestling, what have you.

I didn’t really bother figuring it all out, to be brutally honest. I cared nothing for riding on horseback while smacking someone with a long wooden stick. As for the archery competition, what good would a bow do me if I could simply fire bolts of Lightning whenever I wanted?

Things to consider.

“—Crowds have already gathered? So many.” I heard a familiar voice from my right as the voice strengthened, overwhelming the endless chatter of my fellow contestants and the crowd itself.

I turned to see Jory, standing next to me and looking bemused.

“I thought Jon was going to enter.” He said with a smile.

I suppressed a wince and addressed my Captain.

“We made a bet on it.” I said, smiling back and clasping the man’s arm for a moment. “He lost, so I get to compete in his stead.”

Jory snorted in amusement. “What was the bet?”

“Long story. It would probably take too long to tell, and—” I smiled, pointing at the King and his court, who had begun to take their seats as the large ring became packed. “—It’s about to start.”

In actuality, the story was pretty short— and anything but fun.

A few nights before today, Jon and I had learned that he was immune to fire. Not just his own fire, but all fire, everywhere. He stuck his hand in a brazier and nothing happened. Incendio also had no effect on him.. Now, sure, that might be an offshoot of his new power, but— and here’s the interesting part— he couldn’t even allow his body to be hurt by fire.

Now, what exactly does that mean?

As you may or may not have known, I had always been capable of using my own Lightning to damage myself in some fashion, to cauterize my own wounds, more often than not; and, if an outside source of electricity impacted my form, it would hurt— unless I ate it, of course.

Jon couldn’t, and that was the strange part of it all.

At first I thought it was simply a mental issue— perhaps his mind was set on keeping his body safe from any flame. However, after a few hours of stressful testing and woolgathering, Jon admitted that he had never been burned in his life, strangely enough.

On its own, that admission might have been considered slightly strange, but still acceptable. It was in the realm of possibility, after all. Some people spent their whole lives without any burns.

However, the fact that Jon took a burning carpet and didn’t feel anything but gentle warmth from it told another story entirely. I conferred with Aegon the First, and even had Jon meet him to confirm it.

It was quite the strange test. Aegon had circled the fellow teen, examined his facial features, eyes and pushed his fingers against Jon’s chest, before finally announcing his result.

Jon was of Targaryen descent.

“The blood is strong in you.” Aegon had said to Jon’s dawning look of realization and horror. “It sings to me.”

This begged the question: just who was the mother? It couldn’t have been Elia Martell, as she was not pure Targaryen. Perhaps it was the Mad King’s wife? No, that was too farfetched, and quite impossible, as Ned was a young man fighting a war, at the time, and had never even met Rhaella Targaryen.

For obvious reasons, it wasn’t the Stormborn girl, either.

Was there some unknown Targaryen that Jon and I did not know about?

Aegon, for his part, had shed some light on the situation.

“Prince Rhaegar.” He said, nodding to himself as he gazed upon Jon once more. “Yes, now that I think of it, the similarities are strong between the two of you. You have his lean figure. I can see him in you.”

“No.” Jon shook his head. “Impossible. Eddard Stark is my father.”

“Perhaps…” Aegon the Conqueror allowed, still circling Jon. “I can only reveal to you what my own knowledge consists of, young dragon wolf.”

Aegon continued, not noticing Jon mouthing the words “dragon wolf” in sheer disbelief. “Before, and during the war called Robert’s Rebellion, Rhaegar and his father the King had been obsessed with magic, and prophecy.”

Prophecy. Of fucking course, it was prophecy.

“Oh boy.” I said back then, shaking my head in dismay. “Here we go.”

“I do not know of its full contents, but there was a prediction made concerning a prince that was promised to combat the forces of darkness.” Aegon said slowly. “The prophecy also spoke of how his song was that of ice and fire.”

Now, those particular words held meaning to me. There was only one other person who had used those exact words; the three eyed Raven I had spoken with while communing with the heart tree in Winterfell’s Godswood.

“I knew Rhaegar was quite set on a certain woman from the Stark family— Lyanna, her name was?” Aegon continued. “Perhaps you are the result.”

“My aunt Lyanna.” Jon choked, as he was trouble even accepting the idea of it all. “She was kidnapped by Rhaegar. That’s what everyone says! There was no way she would’ve allowed…”

“Rhaegar was unstable in his last days.” Aegon said gently, yet uncompromisingly. “He was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill that prophecy, even if she was not.”

Jon shut his mouth and shook his head, looking even more furious at the revelations and the sudden turn his life had taken, now.

Unsurprisingly, he ended up responding by hiding away, not signing up for any of the tournament competitions, to the confusion of his immediate family and friends— except me.

Hence the little play I was putting up for everyone.

I doubted King Robert “All Targaryens Must Die” Baratheon would appreciate such news being bandied about in his face; best to keep suspicion off of everybody.

I glanced at some men on horseback that had come with us, and down at the blunted blade I had picked up beforehand, Erebus shrunk and left in one of my pockets; the melee required you to have a blunted blade so you didn’t kill all of the competition.

Still, accidents happened and some people died; but, with the blades blunted, the fatalities were minimized.

The King’s voice grabbed all of our attention as he began greeting the Lords, Ladies and whoever else managed to find their way here.

“This tourney’s in honor of Ned Stark taking over as my hand!” He gestured grandly at the man in question, who seemed busy trying to avoid everyone’s gaze. Next to him, Sansa and Arya sat, waving at me and Jory beside me.

We waved back with a smile.

“The melee’s first!” He shouted unnecessarily, but it seemed to get the crowds in the bleachers going, as they all cheered. I felt my pulse rise, much like it did before any game of Quidditch or a good fight.

“Fight for the honor of your families, or rather the money involved!” A lot of people laughed at this. “Most importantly of all, fight well for your King!”

The horns blasted as we all took our positions at the edge of the large circular field. When the horns would boom again, we were supposed to run forward twenty paces into the center of the circle, by which time we would all attack each other.

I took the time to look around and see who had actually come for this melee. Thoros in his priestly robe and armor combo, with his…flaming sword?

Heh. Nice!

“Aye.” Jory smiled, looking in the same direction I was. “I remember that sight when we stormed the castle at Pyke. Thoros was the first in with that sword of his. I’ll remember it until the day I die.”

I grunted in reply, gazing at the others.

There were a few mounted riders, some dual wielding swords, a few with great swords, and a giant of man. He wasn’t as tall as Hagrid, but I would have said the man was eight feet tall, bulky and imposing in his heavy armor, wielding a greatsword easily in one hand.

Who—

The horns boomed for the second time, signaling the start of the melee. There was no time for me to wonder any longer, as we all dashed to the center of the arena.

Shouting, grunting, and the sound of blades clashing erupted all around me as I ducked under a sword thrust, grabbed the offender’s arm and used his own thrust’s momentum to fling him into a man that had been attempting to sneak up on me.

The two flew back, entangling into each other and slamming into a small group of people who were exchanging strikes at a fast rate, bowling them over and drawing a laugh from the crowd.

Another man came, slashing left, and right, but I smacked his blade away contemptuously before smashing an uppercut into his chin, knocking him out instantly.

I heard a shout and looked around to see a flash of Jory downing a mounted knight with a few strikes before I was surrounded by men wearing Lannister colors, rushing me all at once.

I smirked and sheathed my sword, meeting their charge with my own— the best way to break envelopment is to puncture through it. Lightning surged into my muscles and nerve pathways throughout my body, and I used the energy to further my dash.

they tried to block my path by having men from outside reinforce the spot I was trying to escape from, but it didn’t do them any good— I smashed through their line, swerving aside to avoid a blow from a rather sharp looking dagger one of the men I hadn’t tackled had drawn.

An assassination attempt within the confines of a melee?

It made sense. They could simply claim I had died in all the confusion.

I repaid the man’s attack by continuing my swerve to launch a spin kick which connected to the man’s shoulder, cracking the bone and sending him flying to the middle of another fight in the melee, which earned him a few deep and painful cuts before he dropped into the land of unconsciousness.

“What else you got!” I shouted challengingly as I blocked a sword slash with my right arm, before grabbing onto it and pulling the attacker forward— another Lannister lackey— and landing a roundhouse punch into his face, dropping him like a sack of potatoes.

The Lannister envelopment suddenly broke as a trio of mounted knights tore through the remainder of their line and they were forced to fend off the onrushing attackers that came from behind them.

“Heh.” I allowed myself a smirk before I began to dispatch each of the Lannister men. Melee, this may have been, but these guys needed to pay.

“All right, Blackscale?” I heard Thoros’ voice from the side as he clashed blades with a Lannister man and elbowing him in the face. “I saw the envelopment and convinced a few of the old boys to break through it.”

I smiled back as I grabbed a sword mid-thrust and pushed hard, smashing its pommel against my attacker’s face, who dropped with a loud moan of pain which joined the general cries of battle and the crowd’s cheer. “Much appreciated!”

We cut down three others before breaking off to rejoin the rest of the melee. The Lightning in me writhed and roared as I drank in the noise, the smells and sights, dodging below a side swipe and rolling forward to avoid the follow up lunge, before spinning and lashing out with a sweeping kick that took my attacker off his feet.

A punch to the head, and the attacker was out of it. I quickly dusted myself off and took stock of my current situation and surroundings. I was a little dirty and scratched in places, but otherwise I was completely fine.

I could see Thoros tearing through a few Dornish men with his flaming sword, jeering and laughing as he did so. Nearby, the gigantic man was just smashing people aside like they were made of wet toilet paper.

I began to make my way to the both of them, almost negligently punching, kicking and elbowing my way through the raucous brawl that had erupted in between us all. A heavyset man grabbed me from behind and attempted to lift me in what I thought was going to be a suplex— only I didn’t even let it get that far.

His attempt failed, as a continued stream of Lightning charged elbows to the face seemed to dissuade him of his notions— or of consciousness, really.

I was joined by Jory, who looked a bit worse for wear, but could still move easily.

“Do me a favor?” I asked as blocked a sword strike coming from Jory’s back, before kneeing the offender in the stomach, causing him to fall to his knees and vomit uncontrollably. “Ugh. Disgusting!”

We moved away quickly; Jory parried a diagonal slash to the left and nimbly positioned himself so his foot reached in front of his attacker’s, tripping him. Added with a push, the man found himself in a collision course with my clothesline, which sent him down to the unforgiving earth, his entire body spasming from the impact before he fell to darkness.

“What is it you would like?” Jory asked. “Because I’m in this to win the money.”

“Oh, that’s fine!” I laughed even as I grabbed a short sword with my scaled right hand and tore it out of my attacker’s hand, before smacking him in the face with and pointing at the giant of man still tearing through the fighters around him with ease. “I want to fight the big guy.”

“Gregor Clegane?” Jory asked, somewhat astonished. “You want to fight the Mountain, himself.”

So, this was the Mountain That Rode, huh?

Lord Lannister’s mad dog. The man who raped the Martell Princess after killing her children. The man who supposedly pushed his brother’s face against an open fire, disfiguring him permanently.

The levity and fun I had been feeling were replaced by scorn and disdain— and no small amount of anger.

“Yes.” I said simply, finally drawing the blunted blade I had been provided with. “He’s mine.”

“Fair enough!” Jory didn’t argue. “I’ll keep the rest off your back, and try not to interfere with your fight.”

I smiled slightly, before turning grim once more and brandishing my sword in Gregor’s direction. “Thanks, Captain.”

I didn’t wait for his reply as I tore through men, left and right, smashing the flat of the blade against the back of their heads, which stunned them for a few moments, or even completely knocked them out.

I wasn’t giving my strikes any precise aim; more simply, I was smashing hard in the general area before moving on. I heard Jory’s shouts from behind me as I dodged past a surprised slash— and found myself face to face with the Mountain’s fist.

I pushed against his fist, which allowed me to minimize whatever damage he was about to inflict on me; but, unsatisfied, Gregor slashed horizontally with his greatsword, in an attempt to cleave my head off of my shoulders.

I easily managed to duck underneath it, though I felt the vibration of the air around me, a sign of the man’s true force. From it, I inferred that this man had not held back at all during this entire melee.

Knowing that the men around him were smaller, weaker, and less durable than him, Gregor still used his full force on them. Did he want the money from the melee that badly? Last I had checked, he was the head of House Clegane, a House that was quite rich thanks to aid from House Lannister.

Was it the glory and recognition? He had those, too.

Maybe, he loved the fight so badly that he never held back? It made sense, that was probably why he was called a mad dog, to begin with.

Still, if he wasn’t holding back, I supposed I shouldn’t be, either; not against a rapist and child murderer, anyway.

“Out of the way, runt.” The man grunted irritably as he tried for a diagonal slash in an attempt to slash me from hip to collarbone. An attack so slow I simply stepped aside to avoid it. “I said, move!”

“I don’t think so, Clegane.” I said lightly as I danced around the man’s attacks, the Lightning which coursed through my nerves increasing my perception so much it seemed as if the man moved at the speed of a particularly speedy snail.

“Stop running, damn you!” Gregor got angry, and his swings turned wild and frenzied as he tried harder and harder to kill me, though he found no ground. I peppered him with punches to the ribs, stomach, and crotch every time he overextended.

For every time he overreached, I smashed my blunted blade into his armored arm, denting it in and bruising the man underneath, which enraged him even further.

I faintly noticed that the sound of battle around us had ground to a halt, as the remainder of the melee simply watched our battle unfold. The crowd, on the other hand, seemed to be cheering, more loudly than ever, at the clash they were witnessing.

Teen versus Titan. Ant versus Giant. David versus Goliath.

Most of them seemed of the mind that the Mountain would win, as he always did against small opponents. They could not penetrate his armor, while he could simply weather their blows until they tired themselves out and were, then, vulnerable to his slow attacks.

But, a few, like the King Robert, like Ned Stark, like a certain white haired Lord Commander of the Kingsguard… They had other ideas.

After seeing me dispatch the Kingslayer, and Selmy with relative ease, the people in the know had a feeling about what was going to happen now.

“Nice one, Clegane!” I ducked underneath his sword, grabbing his outstretched hand and pulling him forward into my extended foot, tripping him and sending him face first into the dirt. I leapt back from the wild grab he made as he rose back up, spitting out sand and gravel as he charged me once more.

Dodge. Parry. Block. Parry. Dodge. “Almost had me, there! But not quite!”

“Shut up!” Clegane roared, furious beyond measure.

“What’s wrong, Clegane?” I laughed derisively as I backed away from a downward slash meant to cleave me vertically in two. “Can’t you keep up with the big boys?”

He roared again and bull rushed me, though I easily avoided that by leaping to the side.

“What, can you only win a fight when you’re killing babies and helpless mothers?” I smirked, though there was no humor in my voice, any longer. “Hold on. Let me do you a favor.”

I stood still, held my blade high in the air, before sticking it into the dirt by my side. The crowd gasped, scoffed and jeered at the extremely arrogant move, while Clegane, himself, got even angrier, though he waited for me to say whatever I was about to say.

“No sword. You see?” I smiled in what I thought was an indulgent manner. “I mean, I don’t know what else I can do to make this fight easier on you. You seem like you need every advantage you can scrounge up. Heh, who knew the Mountain was so dreadfully weak…?”

That seemed to do the trick, as the Mountain rushed me like the mad dog he was portrayed to be, his greatsword slashing down furiously. I heard a few ladies scream in horror at the sight and suppressed a smirk, as I responded by standing my ground, and simply lifting my right arm to intercept it.

There was a loud clang as his blade clashed against my scales, sending sparks out— but that was all. I had stopped his blade with my arm. Too shocked to even process what had just happened— let alone react to it— the Mountain couldn’t even defend against the Lightning charged Breakdown Fist which slammed into his chin, shattering the bones and imparting enough force and momentum to sending flying a few feet backwards, while also liquefying his brain.

By the time the large man had smashed into the ground with a loud thud and the roars of the crowd hit the remainder of the melee participants, Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rode, was brain dead.

And then, the crowd erupted.

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