How long had he been flying now? He should have rested days ago, the last time he passed a small island in the middle of this vast, gloomy, glassy sea. Every time he felt the need to stop, his left foot would remind him. You are taking her home, you can't stop, not now. Not now.
It was a relief when he finally entered the warmer airs closer to Essos. The winds lifted the membranes of his great black wings, taking the strain off his shoulders and carrying him onwards across to the place he'd nested in whilst his brothers languished in chains underneath the Great Pyramid. While his mother had done it for good reasons, she believed, it was cruelty overall. She came to understand that, albeit very late, and she would not chain her children ever again.
Mother ... It was not known to Daenerys if dragons celebrated their mothers in the wild, they weren't when her ancestors tamed them as new hatchlings were given to children as soon as possible to start the bonding process. But she had hatched them, he remembered his first glimpse of life outside his egg, of a world bathed in fire, the scent of roasting flesh and burning oil, of dying screams ...
And a pair of pale hands that came out of the fires in front of him, and picked him up. Held him to her breast, looked down at him with shimmering eyes filled with wonder, even as her fabric skin turned to ash and disappeared. She turned her head to look at the other eggs, with a gold and a green face emerging, his brothers. Both dead, both dead at the ends of the enemies. One he had to fight against as a living corpse, both he witnessed the dreadful demise of. All he had left was his mother.
And now he didn't even have her anymore.
His nest was close. He could smell the charred bones and scorched earth, even through the mists that shrouded the former capital, the place known as Old Valyria. He had flown here many moons ago, whilst travelling the continent of Essos, searching for food and making nests wherever he decided to land. A dragon was born to be free, they would often tell his mother, you will need to let them go. He would go, but he would come back. And now, he brought his mother back to this place.
Ash and bracken lifted off the ground as he made his landing, a clumsy one as he tried to land on his right foot alone, his wings keeping his left side aloft as he gently put his mother's body down before moving his foot away to steady herself. Despite the scent of blood and death lingering on her clothing, he stared at her, waiting for a sign of life. Somehow, he wondered if the flight had revived her; her scent always lightened and fed through the joy she felt when atop the world on the back of her favourite son.
Nothing. He uttered a glutteral growl of irritated disappointment, his tail swinging round and knocking over some overgrown rubble. His nest was a flat piece of land surrounded by half-fallen towers and buildings, most of which were claimed by the elements and smothered in climbing vines. The earth itself had hosted many rare and exotic blooms in better times, but was nothing more than a weedpatch that had grown hearty by the volcanic dust from the Doom belched out by the Fourteen Flames. He had been drawn here by the warmth of the magma, still crawling through the veins of the world underneath the island. It was a gloomy place, the sun never coming out for more than a few hours at a time, if at all, content to shroud itself with a cloak of clouds, in mourning for the once-mighty empire it looked upon. There was nothing much to hunt, what prey there were from abandoned livestock had been quickly devoured when he lived here, and odd men who stank of decay fled the first time he torched one for trying to attack him.
He would need to watch for them, he brooded. They might come for Mother.
He turned around in his nest, pushing some stones out of the way that had been knocked over in his absence, and settled down to rest his weary wings. As soon as he was comfortable, he reached over to his mother, and with all the gentleness of a giant with a newborn, pushed her underneath his wing to protect her from the rain that rumbled overhead.
He would find someone to heal her, he decided. After he rested, he would fly to Meereen, and find someone to help ...