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The Dragon's Heir

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After the war ends, after the Wall falls, after the Night's Watch is no more, Jon goes back to Winterfell. It hasn't been his home, not for years, but it's the only one he has left.

Well, there's always King's Landing, but Jon's still trying to ignore that. It was bad enough when a suddenly no-longer-dead Rhaegar Targaryen and his sister Daenerys appeared in the northern skies, each riding a dragon, their distinctive silver hair streaming behind them. It was even worse when they told him that the dragon must have three heads, and the third, riderless dragon was meant for him. But worst of all was when King Rhaegar burst into tears and threw his arms around Jon, declaring him "the prince who was promised."

Jon was quite sure Princess Daenerys was shooting him dirty looks at that point.

Rhaegar went on to explain that he was Jon's father, and Lyanna Stark his mother, and to be honest, Jon doesn't remember much of what followed, because there was lots of weeping (from Rhaegar), lots of dirty looks (from Daenerys), and not, Jon felt, an unreasonable amount of abject horror (his own, of course).

Thankfully, the Others chose that moment to make their attack. Jon, ever mindful of his duty, climbed on the back of the third dragon, Viserion, and flew into battle alongside his newly found family. The battle was horrible, the dragon was ... unpleasant, and when Jon got near King Rhaegar he heard him muttering about how Jon didn't have purple eyes. "Of course I don't!" Jon shouted. Luckily, Viserion went into a nosedive in an attempt to eat a mammoth, and Jon fell off the dragon, hitting the ground hard enough to put quibbles about eye color out of his head.

Dragons, Jon had to admit, were useful in battle. Especially against ice monsters. And the cache of dragonglass that Rhaegar and Daenerys brought from the Red Keep was very helpful too. When it was all over, and they stood with the other survivors amid the wreckage of the Wall, Jon thanked them for their help.

That was when King Rhaegar embraced him again and called him "my son and my heir," and Princess Daenerys shrieked in outrage, and Jon passed out from the injuries he sustained in the fall from Viserion.

When he woke, King Rhaegar and Princess Daenerys and all three dragons were gone, and Jon had convinced himself it was all a pain-induced hallucination. But then Sam handed him a letter. "From your father," he said, and darted away before Jon could question him, and to be fair, Jon didn't blame him.

Especially not after he read the letter, which contained both a poem praising Jon's bravery, brilliance, and boldness in battle, and an invitation for Prince Jon Targaryen to join King Rhaegar in King's Landing, and take his rightful place by his father's side.

Jon's cheeks were burning as he fed the letter to the flames of his fire, and he wasn't sure if it was from the heat of the blaze, or from the memory of the verse that described him: "His hair as black as ink, his body strong but slight, moving faster than a blink, dragon heart burning bright."

Maybe if he forgot all about the entire thing, so would King Rhaegar.

 

|~|

 

Of course, King Rhaegar doesn't forget. He sends raven after raven to Winterfell, reminding Jon that his home is in King's Landing now. Each letter is full of poems, and of promises to sing Jon all the songs he's written about him, when they reunite. There's also something about a harp of Jon's own, and that's usually when he crumples the letter in his fist.

Jon finds it easy to ignore them all, mainly because he's so busy, helping Bran and Sansa run and rebuild Winterfell, training in the yard with Arya and Rickon. It's easy to convince himself he's still Jon Snow, and the Targaryens have nothing to do with him.

But sometimes he goes down to the crypts, and he stares at Lyanna Stark. There's comfort in finally knowing who his mother was, even if that goes hand in hand with the discomfort of who his father actually is. His father — uncle — had never spoken much about Lyanna before, and now Jon understands why, but still, anything Eddard Stark had said about his sister in the past had led Jon to believe she was like Arya, not just in looks but in temperament. And he can't imagine Arya wanting anything to do with someone like King Rhaegar.

Jon finds himself shaking his head at his mother's likeness. "Why? Why would you do that?"

He has to leave the crypts immediately thereafter, because he's positive she winked at him.

|~|

 

It's Sansa who bursts the bubble of Jon's denial.

She calls him to her solar one day, and she looks most put out, as she thrusts a letter into his hands.

Jon doesn't even have to read it to know it's from King Rhaegar, he can tell from the wax of the seal. "What does he want?" he ask, and he's horrified at how petulant his own voice sounds. Not horrified enough to stop it, and really, even more horrified at the thought of the King writing to Sansa.

"You," she tells him, folding her arms across her chest Since they've both returned to Winterfell, Jon has gotten along very well with his former sister, now cousin. They're much closer than they were as children, but now he hears a tone in her voice that reminds him of when they were young. "He wants you to go to King's Landing."

"Oh no. There's far too much to do here —" he begins, but Sansa interrupts.

"If you don't go, he says he's coming here. With Princess Daenerys. And all the dragons."

Well. When he thinks about such a visit and all that would entail, Jon decides that would be perfectly awful.

Sansa evidently thinks the same thing. "So you're going."

"I don't want —" She must be tired of that petulant tone too, because she interrupts him again.

"I don't really care what you want, but they're not coming here."

He can't blame her, really, considering what happened the last time a king visited Winterfell. His misery must show on his face, though because when she speaks again, it's in a much kinder voice.

"Winterfell will always be your home, Jon, no matter who your father is. But you can't ignore him forever. He's the King! Just go and get it over with, and then you can come home."

"I don't think that's part of his plan, Sansa. If I go, he wants me to stay there, he says so in all his letters. He thinks I'm a prince! The prince who was promised!" It's still completely ridiculous to even think about, and Jon remembers that poem and he can feel his face getting hot just at the thought.

Sansa gives him a sympathetic smile but her words are not at all comforting. "Well. He's right. You are." She must see the outrage on his face though, because she hurries on. "You're a still a Stark, though."

"You're not helping."

"I'm sorry. But you're going, and you should go soon."

"How soon?" He's hoping she'll say "next month" because that will give him time to plan an escape, but it's a vain hope.

"If you start getting ready, you should be able to leave the day after tomorrow." She points to the door. "So you had best go and start preparing."

"Sansa…"

"Go. And don't get any ideas about running off. I'm sending Arya with you, as your escort."

Perhaps Sansa knows him better than he had thought. "I don't need an escort."

"Call it company then. Now go," she says firmly.

And Jon makes his way out of her solar, hoping for a massive blizzard, or a wildling raid, or a dragon to carry him off. Anything to spare him having to spend time with his father.