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The White Wolf and the Flayed Woman

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To be honest, she did not think that Lord Roose Bolton would ever acknowledge her existence. Kira Snow grew up in a butcher’s shop with her mother and the man she thought was her father until the Lord of the Dreadfort came to take her away. He told her of her heritage and began to teach her how to be cunning. Kira kept her half-brother Domeric from visiting Ramsay Snow and, subsequently, she came with her father and brother for some gathering of many northern lords to go over the state of the largest kingdom in Westeros. 

She loved her new found brother. He taught her how to ride horses and to shoot arrows. Kira suspected that she was there mostly as an insult to Lady Stark, who already apparently had to deal with her husband’s bastard. She had seen Jon Snow a few times during her stay, but he had stayed further in the back, as if trying not to be noticed. She caught him looking at her when she first arrived in the courtyard. But as he shyly turned his grey eyes away, she could not be mad at him because she could not look away from him. He was quite handsome with his Stark looks, but he almost seemed more regal in his features. He had gone up to the Wall a few months ago and many thought he would take the black. But he came back. He apparently was still close with the Maester at the Wall and traded letters with him. He was known throughout the North for his swordsmanship and would be known to practice whenever he could.

That was how Kira found him as she left the Great Hall for some fresh air during the welcoming feast. He was in the yard swinging a practice sword at a practice dummy, knocking straw away. He refined yet ruthless in his swings. She started walking towards him and called out, “Would you prefer an axe, my lord? That dummy could make fine kindling.” 

Jon Snow turned around with wide eyes and a tense look on his face. When he saw her, the intensity faded into a solemn look.

“I am no lord, my lady.” She continued to step closer to him.

“And I am no lady.” For some reason that brought a smile to his face. It was the first time that she had seen him smile and it was beautiful. “Did I say something strange?” 

“No, my lady, you just reminded me of my sister.” 

“I hope for a good reason. and please call me Kira.”

“Only the best reasons, Kira and call me Jon.”

They smiled at each other, sharp blue eyes meeting the hopeful grey. They spent the rest of the night talking and drinking from a skin of wine liberated from the kitchens. They talked about their families, though Kira was far more insistent on learning more about the Starks and all the happy memories Jon had from growing up. It was then that Kira noticed Jon smiled most. It was in these moments that she knew she found the man she loved.

———

She didn’t think that she would ever end up the Lady of Moat Cailin.

Nor did she think that if she received a ladyship that it would happen like this. Standing in Lord Stark’s solar with her father and Jon Snow after having her father barge into her quarters with several guards, while Jon Snow was still there. Thankfully, the guards had allowed Jon to put on a shirt and pants and left the room for her to put on a dress. Now they stood with both their heads down as Roose Bolton and Lord Stark argued, until Jon finally spoke up.

“My lords, I take complete responsibility for what has happened. There is no need to punish Kira.” 

“No, Jon. It is as much my fault as it is yours.” She turned to Roose and put on her most pleading face. “Please, Father, I love him. Do not tear us apart.” Roose was not truly moved by her daughter’s words, but he recognized the face she put on and the determined look in her eyes. He knew he could get something out of this. His alliance with House Stark could be secured with this new opportunity.

“Lord Stark, perhaps the two should wed. I believe you have yet to award the castle at Moat Cailin to anyone. These two will need somewhere to live. Given the circumstances, I think it would be fitting that House Stark would pay for the repairs and provide half the people needed to get the castle up and running. House Bolton will supply the other half, to protect my daughter.” Ned Stark merely nodded his ascension. 

Kira and Jon were married three days later. 

On their wedding night, when they were alone in their chambers, Jon approached her with a long wooden box. “This was sent to me by Maester Aemon from the Wall.” He opened it and a dark-bladed Valyrian sword was inside. “This is Dark Sister. Before I left for the Wall, Lord Stark told me who my mother was. And my father.” Kira was silent through all of this and was looking between the sword and her new husband. “They were Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and I am their trueborn son, Jaehaerys. I told Aemon Targaryen this when I went to the Wall. I did not want to tell you for fear of what you would think.” Kira approached Jon and slowly raised one hand. Jon did not know if she planned slap him or embrace him. Then the hand closed the box. but her left hand collided with his cheek. She pulled him into a deep kiss and then when they were both almost out of breath, she broke off. “I care not for who your parents are as long as you are still the boy I met in the yard, the one I love.” Jon simply smiled and leant in for another kiss. Kira put her hands on his chest to keep him from moving forward. “Don’t you ever dare keep something like this from me again, Jon Snow or whatever your name is. Otherwise I will make sure you are the last of the Targaryens.” And with that she pulled him towards the large marital bed.

———

She didn’t think that she would ever end up the most feared woman born north of the Neck.

Sure the Boltons had a terrifying legacy as the flayers and wearing the skins of their enemies, but she gained her reputation with even cutting a single man. The War of the Five Kings would no doubt spawn thousands of songs and tales and, while some focused on the Young Wolf, it seemed as though many more focused on the White Wolf and the Flayed Woman. Jon Snow led an army of Bolton and Stark men, which was itself quite out of the ordinary as the two rival houses fought side by side, but his wife also rode with him. He led his men from the front with an albino direwolf bringing down horses and Jon made a fool of any Lannister commander that came across him on the battlefield. But the Army of Bastards, as the singers had taken to calling them, truly worked best as ambushers. It helped that any prisoners of worth would brought before Kira Snow, the Flayed Woman. She would wear a dress with the colors of her house, pink and blood red, that she never washed. She would keep her brown hair wild as she would ask the unfortunate Lannister man question after question while she skinned an animal, usually a deer. The skinning was expertly done as she remembered her childhood in the butcher’s shop. One time, Jon had gotten her a mountain lion that was killed in a hunt. She used that for a particularly high ranking Lannister, the Kingslayer. He had not given much useful information, but the lion made excellent rug for her interrogations. She would let the blood stain the dress for the next prisoner to see. She was never angry in her tone or overtly assertive, the prisoner knew who had control over the situation, especially when Ghost would circle the man in chains. He would know that the woman could turn the knife on him at anytime.

“Who are you?”

“Where are you from?”

“Who are marching with?”

“Where were you marching to?”

“How many men are there in Tywin Lannister’s army?”

“Where is Tywin Lannister?”

“Where are you getting supplies from?”

The questions would continue, sometimes for hours. A scribe would be hiding somewhere near the tent to write down anything of use. Jon would study this information for the next ambush or battle and the cycle would continue. Jon kept winning. 

Theon Greyjoy was given control of the small fleet built by the Manderly's and he raided the Golden Coast like the Ironborn he was. He avoided the larger Lannister fleets and would find ways to capture a ship that was on its one or poorly defended. He sent some of the gold and armor to his father on the Pyke. The only words on the letters that accompanied the chests were ‘This is mine. I took it like a true Ironborn.’ Thus Theon gained not only the respect of the North and the Riverlands, but also the loyalty of the Iron Islands. When tales came back that the last son of Balon Greyjoy was burning the Golden Coast, many saw this as a sign of the man to follow. Yara Greyjoy brought the Iron Fleet and blockaded Lannisport. The North seemed unstoppable. Tywin Lannister was forced to retreat to King’s Landing to repel Stannis Baratheon and the remaining Lannister forces were holding up in Casterly Rock and Lannisport. Victory was in their grasp, until it wasn’t.

———

She didn’t think that she would ever end up the Queen in the North.

For starters there had not been one in three centuries ever since Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror. She remembered the day quite well when she kneeled beside Jon as they proclaimed Robb the King in the North. Her father had started staring at her deep in thought while this was happening.

But reports had come in that Ramsay Snow, her half brother, with equipment and men paid for by the Lannisters, had taken Winterfell and had allegedly killed Bran and Rickon Stark. Robb had wanted to march back to the North in full force, but Roose Bolton told him to only take a portion of his army and attend the wedding of his uncle Edmure Tully to Roslyn Frey. Roose would continue the siege of Casterly Rock, while Jon continued his fight against the Lannister and Tyrell forces with the rest of Robb’s army.

“We cannot back down now while we have the advantage. The South is ready for peace, we can get your sisters back, your grace.” Robb was furious at this time.

“How can you say we have the advantage as my home is in the hands of a mad man, who is in fact your son?” Her father remained unfazed by the King’s outburst.

“This is merely a last ditch effort to distract us. Go north, reclaim your home. The King in the North should be in the North.” There were murmurs of ascent amongst the assembled lords. Robb looked around and sighed. “According to our reports, Ramsay has no more than forty men with him. I will take six hundred back to get him out. And I will hang Ramsay’s head from the walls.” He said the last part while staring directly at Roose, but the Lord of the Dreadfort was stoic. 

“Jon, step forward.” Jon left Kira’s side and knelt before his brother. “We have grown up and fought together. You are as much my brother as Bran and Rickon were. Today it shall be made known that Lord Jon Snow of Moat Cailin is now Prince Jon Stark of Winterfell and my heir.” The lords of the North banged their hands on the tables in agreement. The only face that was not in agreement was that of Lady Catelyn Stark. Thus the Flayed Woman became the Flayed Princess. 

Then the Red Wedding happened. Robb Stark, Talisa Stark and Catelyn Stark were dead as were the six hundred men with the Young Wolf. The treachery of the Freys led to the ascension of King Jon Stark. The lords of the North were able to delay the Lannister force being sent to the Twins and the demise of the all the Freys was overseen by the new King and Queen in the North. When pressed for information by Kira, Walder Frey said that his accomplices included Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton. 

“I saw an opportunity to get a crown for House Bolton and I took it. Don’t worry, your grace, your wife and my son had no part or knowledge in my plans.” Roose Bolton remained calm and calculated until the cut his head from his shoulders. Domeric Bolton was sent to the North to remain in the Dreadfort until the armies of the North returned.

Theon Greyjoy surprised the forty men at Winterfell by marching his force of Manderlys and Ironborn inland. He took back the castle he grew up in and avenged his friend’s death by putting Ramsay’s head on a pike on the walls of Winterfell.

———

She didn’t think that she would ever end up the Queen of Seven Kingdoms.

Kira also didn’t think that she would ever see a dragon or a white walker either. But when the War for the Dawn came she watched as Jon flew alongside his aunt. She was in Jon’s old chambers at Winterfell, watching the battle take place while clutching her son, Aemon Targaryen. Jon Stark had taken the Westerlands by storm after the Red Wedding and the Razing of the Twins. He proclaimed himself a Targaryen in the Great Hall of Casterly Rock with Dark Sister in his hand and Howland Reed arriving to affirm what Jon had said. They were marching to Winterfell to prepare for the oncoming White Walkers when they heard that not only Domeric had rallied the garrisons of the North to defeat Stannis Baratheon, but that Daenerys Targaryen had taken Dragonstone with three dragons. When Jon came back from treating with his aunt, he brought back Shiploads of dragon glass, with more being gathered by Theon’s fleet, but also all the armies of Daenerys and Dorne and her dragons. After Jon slew the Night’s King, the armies rested at Winterfell as the snow cleared. The War for the Dawn was not without casualties. Jon’s last Targaryen relative, Daenerys died, as did two of her dragons. Her armies swore themselves to Jon so that he may finish what she started in restoring the Targaryen Dynasty. Jon was moved to tears to see Sansa, who brought the knights of the Vale, Arya, Bran and Rickon all back in Winterfell.

The Tyrells and the Lannisters nearly destroyed each other through infighting and the Golden Company, who could recognize a losing side when it saw one, was far more concerned with living to spend the gold that they were paid than actually dying for the Lannisters. In the end, after a short siege at King’s Landing, Jaime Lannister had stabbed Cersei on the Iron Throne and then surrendered the city. 

She didn’t think that she would ever end up the Queen of Seven Kingdoms, be mother to five children and have nearly twenty grandchildren, reform the Seven Kingdoms with more rights to the commoners alongside Jaehaerys Targaryen III, the Restorer, or that her later years would be in a world at peace. 

She was happy and content with merely finding a man whom she loved and who loved her.