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by the riverside

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Daenerys Targaryen had learned very quickly that no matter how she acted, no matter how good she was, she was the entitled bitch in the eyes of the townspeople that would never be accepted as a businesswoman, as a leader, or as a person. It was part of being a woman, as she was told, that the only people that would accept her immediately were people that were ahead of their time, and there wasn’t many of those sorts of people in any small town near the riverside.

She learned to accept that quickly, running her business in a way that would give the people enough money to make sure that they never starved.

The people by the riverside never starved when Daenerys Targaryen was around, and yet they still didn’t care for her.


She accepted by the time she was thirteen that she’d never be able to make anyone like her, and carried herself like she knew that. That didn’t stop her from being lonely. When her father died and her brother Viserys was ‘tragically’ killed in a carriage accident, she inherited her family’s riches. “Surely you don’t know much about business. Just sign the control over and we’ll take care of your money.”


“To be honest,” Daenerys said, “I don’t trust anyone with my money so that sounds like a terrible idea.” Her brother and her father never really thought that teaching her anything about business would prove useful, she was too soft, she wouldn’t have the heart to be a good businessman.


Daenerys was better, of course. Becoming the owner of most of the major stores that were in the main part of town, and of course inhabiting an apple orchard and a lemon orchard.

The Riverside never saw war, it never saw prices raise, when tariffs for something raised outside of the town, Daenerys took it out of her vast riches until she could negotiate better prices. She also tried to make sure that every child got a fresh basket of apples when the season came. So, it wasn’t uncommon to see kids playing amongst her orchards. Something they were allowed to do as long as they didn’t hang on the branches or anything like that.


There was one child that spent more time in the orchards than any other. Lyanna Snow didn’t play much with the other children, but liked to catch glimpses of her whenever she was around. Daenerys didn’t ever say anything to her. Something told her that she would be embarrassed if she told her she could see her staring. It wasn’t of any harm to her, so she let her stay around. Whenever Lyanna felt like it would be okay to talk to her, Daenerys would talk to her.


***


Daenerys had a habit of staring at the rushing river that twisted and wound through the border of the town, and Jon could always see her from his house. Lyanna would always sit there in the morning when she was eating her breakfast, watching the woman in the morning. “What do you think she’s doing?” She would ask her father. He always had an answer relative to I don’t know. There was something about her that fascinated Lyanna.


Maybe it was her hair.


Maybe it was the way she looked like there was always something up her sleeve, or the fact that she looked so regal compared to anyone else. Any time Lyanna saw her, she thought that that would be the closest she would ever get to seeing someone that was royalty.


One day she would actually work up the courage to talk to the woman, but until then she would just stay looking at her from afar.


***

Perhaps it was her beautiful silver hair or her purple eyes, maybe it was the way she looked like she had seen way too much in her life time. Jon Snow was always busy. He’d been criticized before for not having the time to find a wife to ‘tame’ his daughter. It seemed to be an ongoing theme for his sister to talk about how he needed to find a wife and how she was not growing up to be a proper lady.

Whenever Lyanna was around him though, she never seemed like she needed that sort of thing. Jon had taught her how to read at a very young age, and she spent most of her days devouring every bit of information that she could find. She’d watch him when he set to work, trading furs, learned how to argue prices with him and often helped him get better deals.


Today was not one of those days, though.
A storm had rolled in about some time last night, and the most that Jon could do was make sure that there were no leaks in the roof and that Lyanna stayed warm inside of the house.

That was all he could do. Storms like these could last a long time, the river could overflow and damage property. The idea of the thing washing everything away was one of the anxieties of the town. So much so that Daenerys had started construction on several dams that would stop water flow from reaching property.


Even still the storm that came this day might be too much for the dams involved. He stayed in the main room and watched the outside as the water came down.


***


Daenerys Targaryen was never afraid of storms. When she was born, she had been told many times that it was one of the worst storms in the world. She used to play out in the rain when she was a child, when it was way too dangerous and most men wouldn’t dare to be out and about.

She had never been scared of that. Never been scared of anything. “You’re thinking about something,” Ser Jorah had gotten in town when the storm began, bringing some sweets from a land over.


She had welcomed him with open arms, wanting the only friend that made sure that she wasn’t lonely. “I’m always thinking about something.” She said.


“Mind telling me what’s troubling you?” She turned and smiled at him. That probably wasn’t enough to convince him that she was fine though.


“Just hoping the rain doesn’t do much damage to my trees.” She said.


“They’ll be fine,” He told her, “you know that there’s been worse storms here and they’ve always been fine.”


“I suppose that you’re right.”


“I am.” He told her. “Have you eaten today?” She thought back for a minute. She supposed that she hadn’t.


“I’ll make you something,”


“You don’t have to do that,”


***


The rain cleared up later and Lyanna immediately went outside when it did. No one ever really asked where she was going, but everyone knew. She went to the orchard, half wondering if the trees would still be okay when she got there. Birds chirped, sun shone down through the leaves and dappled the grass below her. She didn’t expect to run right into Daenerys herself when she turned the corner. The two of them collided. “Oh,” Daenerys said. “Sorry.”


“No, I’m sorry. I should’ve watched where I was going.” She smiled, looking up at the woman who was in front of her. There was something tragically beautiful about her. Like she was hiding something behind the exterior of a silver haired goddess.


“What's your name, little one?” Daenerys asked. 


“Lyanna,”


“Lyanna?” Daenerys said, “Snow's girl. Right?” She nodded, wondering for a moment if she was going to get her father in trouble.

“Shouldn’t he be looking after you more carefully?”


“I'm nine, I can take care of myself.” Daenerys raised an eyebrow.


“Is that so?”


“Yes,”


“Well, that’s great. Now, your home is a little bit away from here isn’t it?” Lyanna nodded, wondering if she was going to send her back. She didn’t want to go back. At least, not yet. “I can't send you home without inviting you for some tea and pie. Would you like some?”


“Of course.”


“Right. Of course. Come with me then,”