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Life in Interesting Times

Chapter Text

 

 

 

The clap of thunder from the direction of Harrenhall made Arya jump out of her skin. She looked across the burned down fire to where the Hound slept and saw him awake, eyes wide and mouth open. Again lightening lit up their camp site with a queer greenish purple light. Somewhere by the tree line Stranger trumpeted and reared up on his back legs.

 

“We’re leaving!” Clegane barked at her and the scrambled to get gather the saddle bags and horse tack.

 

The air around them crackled. Arya saw little lights streaking through the forest and was shocked to see they were moths, glowing with some magic light. She felt the pressure in her ears change and she dropped her jaw seeking relief.

 

“Where are we going?” she cried at the Hound.

 

“Away” he snapped back loud enough for her to know his hearing was effected to.

 

This was his fault. There was no need to have gone this far south to get to the Saltpans. Even with the Trident between them and the cursed castle, Arya had begun to feel it's presence. She couldn't see its towers, but it was still close, out there, waiting for her like a monster in the night.

 

Another flash of lightening made Arya see greenish purple spots. Wasting no time the Hound scooped her up and plopped her in the saddle before mounting up behind her.

 

Stranger threatened to bolt and she could feel Clegane’s muscles were tense at her back.

 

They set off at a hasten trot, the Hound wary of hazards in the forest. After a few minutes the storm seemed to have died down. The woods became eerily quiet making Arya very happy when they broke through the treeline and onto the road. The stillness muffled all noise; all Arya could hear was her own ragged breath. She knew the Hound was breathing only because she could feel the billow of his ribs behind her.

 

Suddenly in the distance they spied a white glow entering the road from the trees. As it got closer she could make out that it was just a white horse, its coloring bright against the dark woods.

 

“Keep your head down and don’t fucking speak,” Clegane snarled at her as he pulled his hood low on his face to hide his scars. He didn’t need to snap at her, Arya knew what to do.

 

As they got closer, the rider on the white horse hailed to them.

 

“Hello!” came a woman’s voice.

 

Arya’s head shot up and she stared at wonder at the riders; sitting behind a tall figure with it’s hood pulled over it’s face was a young woman a little older than Sansa. She had a pretty face and her hair was white with a stripe of black.

 

Sandor Clegane stopped Stranger a healthy distance from the riders. Stranger and the white horse regarded each other.

 

“Excuse me, sir,” said the woman. “We appear to have lost our way. Could you tell us where we are?”

 

“North of the Trident and a week’s ride from the Saltpans,” rasped the Hound. His voice was like a saw on wood.

 

“The Trident?” the woman asked obviously confused. “How far from is that from Quirm?"

 

"Quirm?"

 

"Pseudopolis?"

 

"What?"

 

"Ank-Morpork?”

 

"You'll find no pork here, girl"

 

“Nevermind.” The woman said with defeat in her voice.

 

 

The hooded man in front of her urged the white horse.

 

COME BINKY.

 

As they passed Arya swore she could see a flash of white and two glowing blue eyes under the hood. She felt a cold shiver run down her back, she felt the Hound shake behind her.

 

The rider paused behind them and the cloaked figure turned.

 

I'D LAY OFF THE WINE IF I WERE YOU, SANDOR CLEGANE.

 

And with that they vanished.

 

“What in the seven buggering hells was that?!” Arya shrieked as soon as the crickets resumed chirping.

 

The Hound shook his head and tried not to tremble under his armor.

 

Without words they both swore never to speak of the encounter again.