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Summer Nights

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Harry had heard about lizard-lions from Lyanna but he hadn’t expected them to be… this big. He had pictured crocodiles in his mind, perhaps bigger than normal crocodiles, but not this… Not roughly 21 feet long and capable of running a long distance. These creatures looked almost like velociraptors but less feathery. Definitely the same amount of teeth too as one of them turned to look up at him, its beady reptilian eyes narrowed.

The low, evening sun glinted off its hide and Harry froze as it raised its head to look at him.

He met its eyes, kept his broom steady underneath him, and watched as it studied him. They were about at eye level with each other and Harry had just taken off to do a little scouting ahead. He had left King’s Landing with Lyanna and baby Jon five days ago and they had already accumulated twenty people behind them.

So… here he was, face to face with a lizard-lion from a few feet away. It chirped quietly, deep in its throat, before running off. Harry stared at it, his shoulders tense, before turning back to the road. 

 


 

“Sooo… lizard-lions… I thought you were joking,” Harry remarked, his voice faint as he flew back into their camp. 

Lyanna looked up at him and snorted, drawing the attention of a few of their people. 

“I told you they were big,” Lyanna teased.

Harry grinned, idly thinking about the creatures. “Wonder if they could take a rider.”

Lyanna’s eyes widened as she stared at him. “You… Lizard-lions would eat you.”

“It’s just a thought.”

“I do remember hearing tales of the Marsh kings and how they rode them,” Lyanna added after a minute of thought. “I think I shall stick to horses though.”

The people that they had taken in were mostly smallfolk and mostly all men, some injured from fighting in Robert’s Rebellion while others had been terrorized by roving bandits. Neither Harry nor Lyanna had cared at all about what side the men had fought on but since the first group of men they had encountered… Lyanna had argued for taking them in.

There were five more people that when Harry saw them, he raised an eyebrow at her.

Lyanna shrugged and Harry sighed.

“More strays.”

“Aye. More strays.”

Harry’s lips twitched up into a grin as he lowered down to the ground. The new men and two women’s eyes widened as they saw him, their mouths opening and closing.

“Mi’lord…” One of the women trailed off, keeping her eyes downcast.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” Harry replied, walking over to the group of new stragglers and looking the men and women over. There were two children amongst the lot, one boy and one girl, who both stuck close to their parents. “My magic is my own and I promise it’s not dark magic.”

“His magic is the farthest you can get from the maegi in Essos or the shadow binders,” Lyanna remarked, combing her fingers through her long hair. Jon was in her lap, holding up his arms and waving them around. She smiled and lowered one of her hands, letting him grip her fingers. 

The glowing stag leapt from Harry’s fingertips again, whinnying eerily as it trotted around the perimeter of their camp. The men and women that had first come to them still hadn’t gotten used to his presence, their eyes going wide each time he used visible magic in front of them.

“Shadow binders?” Harry echoed, his eyes narrowing in question.

“No one really knows anything about them,” Lyanna said, lifting Jon into her arms. “There’s also the Faceless Men. There’s so many different things in Essos, like the Red God and his priests.”

Harry raised an eyebrow. “Faceless Men?”

“They pray to the Stranger,” one of the men spoke, shaking his head in disbelief. “Strange folk they are.”

“What are the tales of the First Men? I’m intrigued,” Harry said, poking the flames of the fire in the center of their camp. “I would like to know of my new home.”

“The First Men were here even before the Andals and even before the Valyrians,” Lyanna explained, as she lifted Jon to her breast. “Do you mind?”

Harry shook his head. “No, of course not. Go ahead.”

A few of the folk in the camp turned their eyes back to their friends and families, minding their business.

“The Starks are descended from the First Men, from Brandon the Builder,” Lyanna continued, stroking Jon’s back. “They’ve been around for thousands of years…”