Arya had known Braavos for two days but she yearned for home. She had made it through the rough journey to Braavos but standing at the pier looking out towards Titan's Daughter, Arya couldn't fathom living in Braavos. She had roamed the city in guise as a boy but Winterfell was where she belonged. She missed every part of the cold in the heat of Braavos. So she remained at the docks making them her favourite place in the city.
Arya had decided to send another night aboard Titan's Daughter when she heard the screams. At first, she had dismissed the faint screams as her imagination but as she looked towards the far end of the pier, she let out a small scream of her own. On the wooden piers sat the biggest flying creature she had ever seen, with dark scales and red eyes. When it screeched, a scorching flame with golden edges was emitted from it.
Arya had heard the tales of dragons but none of those tales had done justice to the majestic creature. She slowly approached the crowd forming around the creature and noticed that the Dragon had a rider. She watched the Silver Haired female approach an Imp who looked familiar. Arya would have recognized him anywhere so she hid in the crowd before he could catch her line of sight.
That night, Arya Stark dreamt of her direwolf, Nymeria. She felt the wind ruffling her hair as she ran beside her. But slowly the wolf turned into a dragon soaring above her and Arya felt caged again. She wandered the streets of Braavos with her thought running back to the Silver Haired woman she saw on the piers. Arya wanted to be like her, fearless and feared at the same time. Arya was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice the quiet footsteps of the hooded figure falling in step behind her.
Daenerys knew that she could not trust a Lannister, much less a kinslayer but she needed Tyrion. As she descended on the parapets on the back of Drogon along with Tyrion, she had convinced herself of a very idiotic decision. Drogon went to join his brothers as Daenerys and Tyrion were joined by Ser Barristan and Jorah in her chambers.
Daenerys walked up to Jorah, shackled and led by GreyWorm.
"Ser Jorah Mormont, you are pardoned of your crimes. Your shifty activities helped me to secure a contact with Lord Varys for which I am thankful. But beyond that, I have no further use of you. You are to leave this city and never return; do you understand? If we cross paths again, I would not be merciful."
Daenerys had felt pain when she lost her beloved husband and son, she had been broken down when she heard that she couldn't bear a child and even though she had believed that she wouldn't grieve any more, sending Jorah away had her reeling in pain. But she didn't betray her emotions. She turned away from the face of the man she had trusted and cared for as he was led away from her chambers leaving her with a confession of his love for her.
"Ser Barristan, this is Tyrion Lannister. He is to be appointed as my advisor from today onwards. Lord Varys has decided to stay in Braavos though I am not quite sure of his motives. It's better if a watch is kept on him. That will be all for today."
Daenerys turned around and saw the seeds of doubts regarding Tyrion in Ser Barristan's face but he didn't outright question her judgement. After Daenerys gave him a slight nod assuring him of her trust in Tyrion, the knight took his leave.
"Missandei, show Lord Tyrion to his chambers. Make sure he is well cared for. And Tyrion, we have a lot to discuss."
"I think that you have already made a decision, My Queen. Anything I say otherwise is not going to convince you to forfeit. The North is where you wish to go and I shall go with you and guide your every step."
"You just escaped the clutches of the Seven Kingdoms by killing your own Father and you are enthusiastic to go back, Tyrion? You really are a strange man."
"The bells of the citadel might have sounded in King's Landing but I know my father, My Queen. He is not one to die by a wound of a mere two arrows on the privy. I am no kinslayer and you might not know this, My Queen, but I am a married man. My wife is of the North and even though she escaped the clutches of power, she is still missing. I am in need to make sure that she has survived well, at the very least."
Daenerys was taken aback by the emotions in Tyrion's voice.
"Do you love her?"
Daenerys heard the scoff which escaped his mouth as she asked him this question.
"I don't even know what love is anymore, My Queen. Sansa is someone I had always looked from afar and felt her pain because she suffered at the hands of my mad nephew. That's pity in my dictionary. But I owe my beautiful wife a release from what she didn't desire so yes, I will go back. If that will be all, My Queen, I shall take my leave."
"Daenerys, you can call me Daenerys."
Tyrion gave a slight bow and left Daenerys in her chambers. Daenerys had been wrong about him; Tyrion Lannister was more than what he let people to believe. It was then she was interrupted by Ser Barristan.
"What is it that it could not wait?"
"My Queen, it's about your dragons."
"What about my children?"
"You should see this, My Queen."
Jon Snow now stood in front of his brothers as the 998th Commander of the Night's Watch with Samwell Tarly by his side. As Jon looked over his brothers, few in number with dwindling hope, all he thought of was the words spoken by Ygritte. 'You know nothing, Jon Snow.' He did know nothing as he bellowed words of encouragement to his brothers in arms. He was lost in every way and the words of the Lady in Red haunted his thoughts.
There was a part of Jon which doubted his actions and a part which begged him to go back to Winterfell, but he was needed at the Wall. He needed to complete his duties and then afford any other thoughts. Jon's first action would be to send Sam away to become a Maester. He knew his friend would do it justice. Jon wrapped up the speech and started the walk to his quarters with Sam following closely behind.
"Lord Commander Snow, it has a nice ring to it."
"Sam, to you and to everyone else I will be Jon Snow; nothing more."
"You are not a bastard anymore. You are a Lord and if you would have let Lord Stannis legitimize you, you would have been a Stark. Why didn't you?"
Jon stopped in his tracks abruptly with Sam bumping into him as Jon whirled around to face Sam.
"My entire childhood I was called a bastard. But Robb never cared, neither did Bran, Arya or Rickon. Sansa might have avoided me as she grew up but she was only learning what she was taught. Winterfell has been my home and its walls contain the memories I always want to remember. If I could have gone back and changed their deaths, I would have; anyday but I can't but the least I can do is take revenge for the atrocities done on them after I complete my duty and withhold the honour of Night's Watch but being Lord of Winterfell, I will be dragged into this barbaric war in which I lost everyone I ever loved. Do you want me to leave, Sam? Is that what you want?"
"I don't want you to leave, Jon. I would never but I want you to see that you are not a mere bastard anymore. You never were. Look around you, Jon. You will see you are meant for something bigger, just remember that."
Jon could see Sam's determination to present him a challenge but Jon was too tired to delve on his words so he took his leave and reached his quarters in which he found Lady Melisandre.
"Lord Commander Snow, I have been waiting for you."
"My Lady, does Lord Stannis require my services?"
"No, Jon. Lord Stannis is too busy sulking over your new title. Tell me, Jon; do you really intent to stay at this wretched place when the one you seek lies beyond the seas?"
"The woman in my dreams is my imagination taking its flight; nothing more."
"If you believe her to be, I won't convince you to be otherwise. But know this, there is a battle headed your way. I saw it in the flames; you need fire to survive, Jon. You will liberate all of us but only when Fire melts the Ice. Their union will weave a beautiful song. So when she finally comes at your aid, follow your heart. Don't choose to follow your duty because it will shed your blood."
Jon watched as Lady Melisandre gave a curt nod and prepared to leave but Jon's answer stopped her.
"Lady Melisandre, my Lord Father taught me about honour. He said it runs in my blood. I know why you stay. You stay to make us believe in what you think is the truth though secretly; you thirst for the blood of kings because they feed your magic. You burn men alive and destroy the Old Woods in the name of your God. Yet a woman of such power entertains me in every turn. This part is not one I can understand."
"That is because you shine in the fires, Jon Snow. You are meant to be a saviour and if I were to believe what I saw, a worthy King in all your right. There is deep magic abound in your blood, one even I can't understand. When the dead walks, Jon; the world of men will crumble and no one can escape it, including me. But there is still hope for us and I am looking at it."
"I am no more than a bastard, My Lady. You believe in Stannis to be the One True King but here you stand telling me words he should hear."
"There will come a day, Jon Snow, when a bastard like you will change the course of history and even Stannis can do nothing of it."
Before Jon could ask what she meant, Lady Melisandre left his chambers. Jon removed his belt holding Longclaw and his cloak and slid under the furs. It had been a long day and all he needed was sleep but when he closed his eyes, all he saw was a field of snow and a dead rabbit being devoured by him. In times like these, he was happy to know that his direwolf was satisfied with his meal.
"My Queen, you should reconsider this. They are dragons; for them flying is their need. We can find out some other way. Don't do this."
Daenerys would have done anything to find another way but right then, she couldn't think of any. Her dragons had burned a child alive and she will be damned if they burn another so she locked up Viserion and Rhaegal with Drogon still on the loose. She did not need anyone to tell her to change her decision, not even Ser Barristan. Her heart had already been scarred when she locked up her children.
"They are my children, Ser Barristan. And when children get unruly, mothers need to discipline them. I would like to be alone now. Allow no one into my chambers."
Daenerys walked into her chambers and curled up in her bed. She had not shed any tears but now they were flowing freely. Putting on those chains on her children had left her exhausted and all she needed now was comfort. But in truth, she did not have anyone she could lay her shoulder on and cry. If only, the elusive Jon Snow was here. Somehow, Daenerys felt she would be safe with his arms wrapped around her. She dried her tears and tried to lull herself to sleep when she was interrupted by Tyrion.
"Lord Lannister, I have no wish to speak to anyone right now."
Daenerys made it clear but was surprised to see Tyrion walk to the far end of her chambers and poured two glasses of wine followed by seating himself beside her and offering her the drink.
"Drink, Daenerys. It is needed. Ser Barristan told me what happened. Release your dragons, let them fly."
"Did you not hear what they have done? I will do no such thing. They need to learn and this way they shall."
"There are other ways to teach them, Daenerys. But for that you need to learn first."
"Tyrion, I am two minutes away from losing my temper. It's best that you leave."
"I will after you have heard what I need to say. You are a Queen because it's in your blood to rule but good rulers are not made from their blood, they are made from their ability to rule. You need to know how to rule, Daenerys. You might have liberated the slaves and made an example of the masters but you forget that not everyone is what their status perceives them to be. There is good and evil everywhere, from the slaves to the masters. You need to see what they see and make show them what you believe in."
"This doesn't help my dragons. I am the Breaker of Chains. I have liberated them from a life no one deserves."
"You might have liberated them but you also slaughtered the ones who didn't deserve it. Your city retaliates against you because good people might have died to be the mile markers. Slaves might be free but some would have led a life of prosperity at the hands of their masters. To rule is to sleep on a bed of nails, suffering is your redemption."
"And do not even think that I have not suffered enough. I am not a girl who was married to a Khal anymore; I am what I am because I have seen pain."
"Exactly, so see their pain. See what it is that they desire and then show them a better world. It's the same with your dragons, Daenerys. You are their mother; they share a bond with you which no one can revoke. See their world and then show them the world you have created for them, make them believe in it. Go into the streets, look around and show the people down there that the world you want to create for them is one they can live in together."
That's why Daenerys found herself on the streets of Meereen, clocked and hooded with Tyrion by her side. She was surprised by whatever she laid her eyes on. There were slaves who still followed their masters and played with their children even when their collars had been removed. There were masters who treated their slaves as equals and there were some slaves who bound their masters.
"You see, Daenerys, they have created their own world with no rules. You might have freed them but now they don't know what their freedom means. They don't have a purpose but if you give them a purpose, they will see clearly. You bond with your dragons needs to become stronger like the bond with these people. Call upon your dragons, see what they desire and then make them see what you think is correct. Be strong, Dragon Lady."
Daenerys had her reservations about Tyrion Lannister but she smiled knowing that she had made the right decision by keeping him by her side. As she was led by him towards the city square, a meekly woman dressed in rags approached her.
"You are the Mother of Dragons, aren't you?"
"You speak the common tongue well. I am Daenerys Stomborn of House Targareyn."
The woman gave a slight bow and addressed Daenerys as Her Grace.
"There is no need for a bow. Please, call me Daenerys. You are older than I am by many ages."
"Daenerys, your destiny does not lie here; your Fire needs it's Ice. But you must hurry; the flame of his life gets dimmer every day. Save him and make him yours as the Fate of the Kingdoms depends on it. The three headed Dragon will roar so will your heart for him. His blood is magic which you can carry."
"Who are you? What is the meaning of all of this?"
Daenerys watched as the woman walked past her and continued walking. A few feet away, she turned her head and gave Daenerys a warm smile.
"I am no one of importance, Daenerys. It's true that you have three mounts but only one of them is for love. Catch him before it's too late."
Deanerys wanted to follow her but her legs felt like lead. She could not move an inch until Tryion shook her arms.
"Deanerys, are you okay?"
"Tyrion, did you listen to what she said? He is in danger."
"Daenerys, what are you talking of? It's only been you and me, there is no her. You closed your eyes for a minute to savour the sun. There is no one here."
"Tyrion, I need to get to Drogon."
"Are you ready to show them your world?"
"I am. If Drogon can see, Rhaegal and Viserion will follow. Lord Lannister, we leave for the North. In two days time."