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It was clear to me that making the King's council wait was something Robb should not do again in the future, especially if the wait was an hour-long. I could feel the anger and annoyance rolling off of each member as we entered Robb's study and from the looks we were receiving I knew that this meeting had better be worth it. All the usual members where there along with Samwell, Jon, my grandfather and Sansa, Robb had thought that these four also had a right to know what was going on at Winterfell and considering Robb had talked with Jon about Jamie Lannister he felt it fitting that Jon be here.
I had asked him to include Sam in the meetings as it was obviously that Jon told him everything anyway and my grandfather was becoming an important part of my life whether Robb wanted to accept it or not. My grandfather had given much information about my childhood and it was something we were grateful for even if Robb wasn't showing his gratitude. Sansa was a different matter, but I had convinced Robb to allow her to be part of the council considering she was old enough to listen to matters about the north and make decisions on her own. I also wanted her to feel part of something at Winterfell and not hang around her chambers all day - she was coming far from the quiet girl I had first met but she still had a long way to come to become an independent woman I knew she wanted to be.
My eyes flew from each council member noting that most of them just looked bored and not angry and when my eyes settled on Tyrion I could tell that he was amused. It seemed that he knew what had kept his King. I could tell from his eyes that he was amused by the matter as they shone with mischief and they way they would travel between Robb and I with raised eyebrows and suggestive look, I rolled my eyes at him, holding Eddard close to my chest as I turned to see what Robb would say for our late arrival.
"Eddard needed his mother's attention and I wanted to wait for her before coming here. Sorry for the wait." he muttered making his way into the room and resting in his chair behind the desk as he left me standing by the door appalled by his answer. He decided lying to them and blaming his son was better than admitting that he wanted to fill his wife's belly with another babe. Eddard whined as he heard his name being mentioned and he pulled his head back to search for his father, something he tended to do if he heard his father's voice in the same room as him but could not see him.
Catelyn raised her arms when she heard Eddard and I knew that she wished to hold her grandson, she always liked to hold him when she had the chance and sometimes I just needed the space from Eddard. There was no doubt that I loved my son but I just needed a few minutes to myself sometimes because he could be a lot to handle on his bad days. I handed Eddard over to his grandmother with a kiss to the head before turning to face Robb giving him a glare as I approached the hair beside him.
"Robb do not lie to your council and tell them that your son wanted my attention." I muttered to him before turning to face the members of his council and given them a soft smile. "Your King does not know when to stop his lies, he thought it easier to blame his son and not himself. But enough about my husband and his false tongue shall we get on with this meeting?" I asked them feeling the corners of my mouth tug up when Robb placed his hand on my knee and gave it a squeeze. I knew he did not appreciate me for telling them about his lies but I was not going to let him blame our son.
"It seems my wife has decided to get this meeting started so let us bring forth why we are here." I watched as Robb flashed his eyes towards Tyrion, who gave him a slight nod before looking back at the rest of the council. "Jamie Lannister has been brought into Winterfell and now we have to decide what to do with him."
Silence filled the room after Robb's words and I could see how they were effecting everyone differently with the news that Jamie was within Winterfell. Sansa looked frightened to hear that Jamie Lannister was within the same castle as her and that scared her so much that the colour drowned from her face and left her face pale and looking sickly. Maester Steel didn't seem to be bothered by the news that Jamie was within Winterfell but it wasn't that surprising to me as he was the one that tended to him when he was brought into the dungeons. I had made it my point that Jamie not be left down there without being treated and with my skills at being Robb's wife I knew how to get my way with him and make sure that Jamie got treated. I needed to do this for him because I still remembered the time he killed his own man and risked his life to save me and Eddard when he was still inside me.
My grandfather didn't look to keen to be having the King's Slayer in Winterfell but I knew that he still believed that Jamie Lannister was dangerous and would bring no good to those that were in Winterfell. I could see where he was coming from but he needed to understand that the world wasn't a safe place and no matter how hard we tried there would always be something out there that could harm us.
Jon seemed calm about the situation but I knew that he had spoken to Robb about Jamie before the meeting started. Jon had a grudge against Jamie Lannister for pushing Bran from the tower and I knew that it was because of that why Jon and Robb were so adamant that Jamie be punished. Samwell looked confused and I knew that he had heard about Jamie but he had never met him before and I had got to know Sam and I knew that he never liked to judge someone before meeting them.
My eyes flashed from Sam as he sat there patiently waiting for someone to speak and I turned to look at Lord Umber who was sat near the door, his arms crossed and looking bored. I knew his thoughts about Jamie, it was obvious to most people what his thoughts on Jamie were and I had to agree with them slightly. Jamie Lannister had broken his vows, he had sired children with his twin sister no less and it was disgusting. There was so much about that man that it made me want to spit up vile but I couldn't forget that he was the one that insured that my son was brought into the world.
Many people in Winterfell would have agreed with Lord Umber and I knew the outcome to what he wanted. It would end in Jamie Lannister's death and I couldn't have that. I would do whatever it took to protect that man and if it was to save him from loosing his head then I would. He saved my life and Eddard's life I at least owed him twice before we became even again.
I looked around the room again noticing that Robb was watching everyone carefully, he tended to keep his eyes on Tyrion or Sansa as he watched everyone to see what they would make of his news. I gave Robb an encouraging smile before the shrill laugh of Eddard filled the room and I looked over to see Catelyn rocking her grandson on her knees and smiled as she felt everyone's eyes on her as she played with her grandson. It was unusual to see Catelyn look so happy after everything she went through in the last year but when she was with Eddard it seemed she forgot about that.
I knew Catelyn didn't really care what happened with Jamie, she had liked him at one point even if she wouldn't admit it. She was thankful to him that he wanted to protect her girls and she was further more grateful that he had helped to save Eddard and me from being killed. She loved her family and she was thankful to those that helped her protect them. She also owed something to Jamie and she would help me prevent him from being killed.
I knew that there was one person here that didn't really care about Jamie and that was Gendry. No one could blame the boy, he didn't know much about the Baratheon family only that of which Arya taught him and he had heard when he stayed at Riverrun with us before moving up north. He had no opinions on this matter but I knew in the end he would do what he thought was right.
That only left Tyrion now and I knew that he loves his brother and wants the best for him but I didn't know if he would put up that much of a fight when it came to saving him. There were many time that Jamie was meant to save Tyrion yet he never did but there was one thing I knew about Jamie and Tyrion. Jamie truly loved Tyrion and would do anything for him, Tyrion knew that, I knew that, Jamie knew that and to her dislike Cersei knew it as well.
"We should just kill him." Lord Umber hissed out without any warning scaring Sansa as his voice startled her and she released a small squeak of surprise. She was still frightened of what the Joffrey boy had done to her. She wasn't naïve any more but there was still a bit of naïvety in her but it would soon be washed away with the dangers in the world. They would wash away anything sweet but I had hope that it would not have any effect on Eddard or any future children Robb and I had.
"No, there is more to this than just killing him." Robb muttered looking over at Jon and I knew he was hoping that his brother understood what he was about to do. Jon gave him a soft nod and if you weren't looking it would barely be noticeable. Lord Umber seemed to find Robb's words disappointing and useless as he stood from his chair and shuffled through the room to stand in front of Robb's desk.
"You listen to me boy, that man, if you can call him a man has ruined the lives of many. He has killed many of us northern men and you just want to forgive him for his past crimes? He pushed your little brother from a tower, it was an attempt on his life and you are just going to sit there and let him go just because you feel you owe him! Where does your loyalty lie?" Lord Umber shouted making it clear that he was angry with the choice Robb had made. I could see Robb trying to hold in his own anger as he clenched his fist together in balls before slowly standing from his chair and resting his hand on the desk as he lent forward to get closer to Lord Umber.
"You're asking me were my loyalties lie? I am your king and you may be part of this council but you are not my hand. That man you want to kill saved my wife's life, he made sure that my son was born. I owe Jamie Lannister my life for letting me keep those two." Robb spat making sure that his temper didn't flare as he spoke down to Lord Umber. He was acting like a true king here, he was keeping it calm even though his anger was climbing. "The next time you question me about the life of some man I am keeping prisoner you think about what he has done in his life before you decided to sentence him to death. And I suggest you think carefully Lord Umber."
I knew when I married him, he was a remarkable man but in this moment I actually got to see what the gods had blessed me with. This was a man who hated his prisoner but was standing up for him and doing the one thing he thought was right even if it went against his wishes. Tyrion was smug about the whole thing and if Lord Umber wasn't watching me carefully to see my reaction I would be smiling large and letting him know that he had just been served.
Lord Umber's intentions were clear but he was letting his sons deaths cloud his judgement. Many men in battle said that the younger Umber's had died at the hand of Jamie but people told lies in the heat of things and in those times anyone would have given anything for Jamie to be killed.
"Lord Umber, I understand that you want your revenge," I started, climbing from my seat and walking over to Catelyn. I gave her a soft smile as I took Eddard into my arms and she returned my smile with one of understanding. Facing Lord Umber with Eddard safely in my arm I stared at the man who seemed to have such dark eyes. Eyes full of anger, revenge and loss. "But look at the babe here and tell me that you would have been happier not to have your Prince, look me in the eye and tell me you would not be bothered by my death." His eyes twinkled with remorse before they turned to steel again but I did watch as he lowered his eyes to Eddard. "Your vengeance will only lead you onto a path of destruction and we need you more than your loss of mind. Become better than Jamie Lannister and don't fall into his trap. He wants you to kill him, he wants you to become like him. You are better than that and you will be brave and show him." I told him wrapping one arm tightly around Eddard and reaching out with my other to rest my hand against Lord Umber's arm.
My words didn't get much of a reaction off him but they did get through to him when he gave a soft nod and walked back to his chair, dropping down into it with a defeated sigh. Robb's hand took my hand in his and I looked up to see that he had moved from behind his desk and was leading me back to my seat. As he helped me down he placed a kiss on Eddard's head before giving my hand a squeeze and turning to face the council again.
"We need to make a decision and I wish to do so before the night is over." he ordered looking to everyone quickly before setting his gaze on Tyrion again. In the end I think we all knew that it would be Tyrion to make the final decision. It was his brother and to keep Tyrion strong and on our side we had to let him decided what was best.
"We cannot send him to the wall. He broke his vows to the Kings guard it would not surprise me if he would do it with the Night's Watch." Tyrion told us in his normal, casual tone not sounding effected that this was his brother's life that we were talking about. It was as if it was a normal conversation and not something with a near importance. "Your best hope with Jamie is to ask him what he wants. Does he want to go back to our whore of a sister and that devil son of his or does he want to fight for the north to one day make sure he has his freedom? I think he will make the right choice and I am more than sure that it will become a benefit to the north to let him decided." Tyrion suggested keeping his eyes low as he spoke as if he didn't really want the attention on him but he had no choice because his king as his opinion.
No one spoke after Tyrion, but they were all thinking the same thing, even Lord Umber. If Jamie Lannister was on our side then one day if there was another war we would benefit from that. We needed him more than we wished to admit and it would be a safe idea to ask Jamie o stay and fight for us. To bow down to Robb and acknowledge him as his king.
"It is sorted then," Robb announced sitting down in his chai and pulling a black parchment towards him, taking his quill into hand. "Jamie Lannister will be given the choice to stay at Winterfell and join the North or go off and find the exiled King and Cersei." Robb's handwriting was clear to me as I watched him scrawl down the same words that he spoke. He lifted his head and looked at everyone again before looking between Jo and Tyrion. "I wish for you two to join me when I go see the prisoner, you can leave now."
Without a word the council left and once they left the study the silence in the room made me feel uncomfortable. Robb wasn't doing anything. He had stopped writing, I was afraid he had also stopped breathing but I could see each breath he took with the rise and fall of his shoulders. He was questioning himself. He was wondering if he did the right thing by near shouting Lord Umber and he was questioning whether he had done the right thing about Jamie.
"You did the right thing Robb, you shouldn't have to question yourself about it. You are a King not a Lord anymore, you did what was best for your people." I told him placing a hand on his shoulder in hopes that my words helped to sooth the nerves growing inside of my husband. I hated it when he got like this always second guessing himself. Robb only nodded at my words and turned to take Eddard from my arms, his hand safely behind his neck as he cradled him to his chest. He was a good father just as he was a good husband and king. "We should go back to our chamber, dinner will be served soon and Eddard needs changing." I added hoping this thought would cheer him up. Robb was always wanting to fill his belly with something to eat and I couldn't wait to eat either.
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