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bad things are coming, we are safe

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i. when she was born the bells rung from sunrise to sunset

she was a hard child to bear, catelyn stark had never felt so much pain while bearing a child, and would not until the day bran was born again. she screamed, and screamed and screamed and didn’t notice that eddard had rushed in to hold her steady until after the fact. she screamed and screamed because she remembered the letter from lysa, a second miscarriage, and didn’t know what to do if the same happened to her.

it was all over then, and all she felt was joy. a living healthy girl, and her stern husband’s face breaking into one of the biggest smiles she’d seen. he held them both close, kissing them both, holding them both.

a feast was prepared and the whole of winterfell was given as much as their lord could afford. 

such was praised the birth of the daughter of stark, blood of winterfell.

ii. winter lives in my bones

it was a game the children played when none of their sitters were watching. “stupid,” sansa called it, feeding one of the old hunting hounds who had followed them. “i should be inside with jeyne. instead of killing myself with all of you.”

“then go,” arya huffed, then grinned as she packed a snowball and threw it at your sister. “i bet you’re just scared.”

"of dying in this cold? yes.”

“you’re supposed to be a stark. winter lives in your bones.”

sansa huffed, but nothing came of it. robb stepped in, trying to mediate. no, sansa would not have to join them if she didn’t want. she could just watch. besides, he wasn’t so sure about letting bran and arya join either. a fight came of it, and insults were thrown, and sansa’s face grew redder and redder as most of them involved comparing the “coward” with her.

with quickness, she scooped up a load of snow and began to pelt her siblings with it. “fine just time me!” she half-screamed, still trying to keep her temper down and her ladylike poise up as she pulled off her furs. 

in only a thin, indoor dress, sansa lay down in the snow until she couldn’t anymore.

she bragged to her father the next day. only jon and arya could last as long as she.

iii. snowfalls

"robb and jon should be practicing in the field with theon. i say we strike them then.”

sansa crouched near the back of one of the barns, with arya and bran. all three children looked like they were up to no good, and septa mordane would have fainted to see such a grin on sansa’s face. bran was their commander, he led the seige upon their brother’s and theon. all three held snowballs in hand and ambushed the boys.

sansa landed the least hits, and ended up crying when theon got her with a snowball to the face, but none of it mattered when bran and arya stepped in front of her and retaliated in revenge for their fallen soldier.

she was throwing snow with a flurry, not even packing it down when arya had grabbed her wrist and they were off, the battle now extending to the rest of the castle’s land. she kicked it up as hard as she could, trying to at least make her brothers pause while she and arya found a good place to hide.

it took half the day before someone finally caught them all and dragged them, soaking wet, in front of the lady and lord stark.

sansa, afraid they were going to be in trouble, wept.

but eddard and catelyn stark only suppressed giggles, gently letting septa mordane know that sometimes children had to act like children. and sansa and arya had plenty of time to be ladies in the future.

iv. a wolf in sheeps clothing

after her father hands down the smallest, softest, prettiest direwolf to sansa, she’s immediately off with it, ready to show jeyne and beth and all the other girls her new friend. a direwolf, how absolutely rare and unique, and so fitting for a lady like herself.

as she expected, they all cooed over the puppy immediately, each begging for a turn to pet it’s soft fur and gossiping among themselves while septa was downstairs.

“i hear they can grow as big as ponies. do you think you’ll ride her one day sansa?”

“can one ride a wolf?”

“can one look elegant on a wolf?”

jeyne is the one who stands and says: “if anyone can do it you know sansa can,” and beams with pride as her friend graces her with a smile. and after everyone else had left, even allowed jeyne a small hug and a chance at carrying the wolf around.

“so what will you name her?”

sansa’s daydreams start immediately, “i was thinking jonquil, like florian and jonquil…”

“but i dont think jonquil suits a wolf. isn’t it too southern a name?”

they quickly slipped into arguing, each pulling out the names of famous ladies in story and history, each one quickly shot down by the opposing.

“i want her to be as strong and brave and elegant and beautiful as all the ladies who have stories told about them though,” sansa says finally, dejected as she holds her puppy up in the air and stares into her eyes, as though this would help the name come.

jeyne means it as a joke when she says: “well just name her lady then.” but thats the name that sticks when they call on the pup to play from day to day.

v. a castle of snow

is built one day years from this time by a girl with black hair and sad eyes.

sansa stark is dead, she says as she forms each chamber of the castle from memory. the hall she was born, the area where the snow was deepest, the fields where the boys trained, the places two girls played with a puppy while eating lemon cakes gifted to them by the chef. sansa stark is dead, i killed her.

(she breathes, safe and sound within the snow built walls far away from home)