WARNINGS: Fire & Blood Spoilers (don't read if you only watched HoTD!), Enemies to Lovers, Slow Burn, Eventual erotic scenes, Cursing, Canon-typical violence.


"War, death, and dragons: all synonymous. I suffered all three, for I fought a war, met death personified as the Stranger, and saw, feared and rode dragons. At first, I thought my pride and the grudge I held against my brother for marrying me into a Targaryen would be enough to keep me from getting involved in feelings. But then I met him, pure fire, and before I knew it, I had been dragged into a tragedy that was not my own.
Did you know, young Maester, that only dragonfire can melt gold with a single flame?"


PROLOGUE


Maester Juggar arrived to the Free City of Lys as the sun had passed its zenith. After disembarking —and cursing his woollen tunic and the satchel in which he carried a worrying amount of papyrus—, he walked for hours through the narrow streets of dark cobblestones and facades full of flowering vines in search of Lady Alaessa Sand's house.

The directions he had were sketchy, for the Tyroshi merchant who had led him there had been very clear that Alaessa did not want to be found and, if she had contacted him, it was not because she wanted to tell her story, but because she needed to.

The need must have been great, the young maester thought at the time he accepted the mission, for all had been unaware of Alaessa's fate since before the Dance of Dragons had ended, and her mere existence was a threat to the volatile peace of Westeros.

Perhaps that was why she had run away, putting the questionable breadth of the Narrow Sea between her and the intrigues of King's Landing; perhaps that was why she had hidden her identity and for twenty years had ceased to be the Golden Bastard of Dorne, sister to Prince Qoren Martell, wife to Prince Daeron Targaryen and lover to his brother, Prince Aemond.

Princes, princes and more princes. Lady Alaessa had lived surrounded by royal blood, but now she lived an anonymous existence as a Lysene healer. Or so he had been told.

The maester finished the interminable walk when he finally came upon a weirwood door. That was the hallmark he was looking for: white wood against a limestone façade and lilies on the balcony. The smell of incense coming from the wide-open window.

After adjusting the heavy chain around the neck, he prepared to knock on the door, but before his knuckles could graze the wood, the door opened and a woman materialised in front of him.

Beyond the wrinkles that weathered her once youthful face and the few grey hairs that ran through her black, wavy hair like silver rivers on a moonless night, Lady Aleassa was still the dornish beauty that, to that day, the bards sang about. Her skin was the colour of olive, and her eyes were like amethysts: violet, sparkling and sharp, so cunning that the maester immediately felt judged.

The Golden Bastard of Dorne was said to have been a woman who could intimidate without even opening her mouth, and Juggar could see it right then and there. It was not her physique that commanded fear, for she was rather short of stature with rounded curves, but it was her simple presence, her straight shoulders and that half smile, as if she were always teasing something or someone, that made men and women look away.

"Princess," the young maester greeted, his throat dry. He couldn't tell for sure if it was thirst or shock.

"Shut the fuck up," the Lady Alaessa insulted him in a low voice, and grabbing him by the collar of his robe, she pulled him inside her house.

Suddenly, the maester was suffocated by the princess's belongings, her exotic tapestries, the flowing silks on the curtains and the freshly cut flowers in the vases. Breathing heavily, he turned to look at the woman who was now watching him with some annoyance and felt he must apologise.

"Sorry for the delay, princess..."

"Stop calling me that", Alaessa interrupted him angrily. Then she let out a weary sigh, "couldn't they get someone more discreet?"

Juggar felt fire in his cheeks. He'd been wondering the same thing ever since he'd received that missive in the Citadel.

"Why me? I've only just finished forging my chain. Why should I be the one fortunate enough to hear Lady Alaessa's story?"

"I don't know. The message came to me directly", that was all he could say.

"There must be a reason, then," the woman concluded, and beckoned him with one hand to follow.

Juggar let himself be guided through the bright room with its lime-whitewashed walls and brown ceramic floor. The woman leaned back on a divan filled with fluffy white cushions, and before he could take a seat on the couch she had indicated, he took a moment to contemplate the marvellous spectacle that was the Princess, reclining in her fresh lilac linen dress and golden sandals.

"So Juggar," Alaessa addressed him by name, though the maester did not recall ever introducing himself.

"Yes"

"How old are you, boy? You look young," the princess observed, squinting.

"I'm nine—and—ten".

"Oh, they've sent me a child as a chronicler!", Alaessa exclaimed, and at the high pitch of her voice, Juggar jumped. "Can you believe it, Aemyra?"

The young maester looked in the direction of the princess's eyes, for she seemed to be speaking to someone else. It was at that moment that he noticed the silver-curled girl standing by the frame of the weirwood door. It was troubling that Juggar had not noticed her presence, if indeed she had been there since he had entered the house.

"Just because he's young doesn't mean he's not capable, mother". Aemyra showed the maester a smile. A smile that, for some reason, sent a shiver down his spine. "He's the same age father was when you met him, and he was already a warrior at that age".

"Mother? Father?", Juggar blinked a few times, trying to process what was going on around him.

"Excuse me," Juggar spoke to Alaessa, for some reason unable to speak to the girl, "is this young lady daughter of Daeron?"

Lady Alaessa sighed again. Apparently, she considered him a hopeless case. Or an idiot. Or both.

"Daeron was already dead when Aemyra was sired, my dearest maester," Alaessa observed with some mockery.

"I was born fifteen years ago, here in Lys," Aemyra interjected eagerly. "I'm Lysene, but I carry the blood of the Rhoynar and Old Valyria in my veins. My father is Aemond Targaryen".

"Prince Aemond died twenty years ago at the Battle Above the Gods Eye," Juggar said, more to himself than to both women.

"Are you sure, Maester?", again, Lady Alaessa was using sarcasm.

Confused, he looked first at the Golden Bastard and then at her daughter.

"A couple of years ago, Vhagar's skeleton was found at the bottom of the lake..."

"Vhagar," Alaessa interrupted with some pain in her voice, "Tell me, Maester, did they also happen to find the bones of the Kinslayer?"

"They found the sapphire he wore in his eye socket, embedded in Dark Sister's blade".

"But they found neither his skull pierced by it, nor his armour, nor his sword." Suddenly, a cold sweat broke out on the maester's back, and he had an overwhelming urge to run away from that house.

Despite the bright light streaming through the windows, there was something obscure about the place. Juggar was aware of the legends surrounding the mystical Golden Bastard image, but until that moment he had not believed them to be true, just as until three and a half weeks ago he had not believed that the woman now in front of him was alive.

"Are you trying to say that...?"

"You've brought to write, haven't you?" Alaessa spoke over, interrupting him. Juggar nodded, visibly affected. "Good," she said, then turned to his daughter. "Aemyra, sweetheart, do me a favour and bring us some wine, and tell the maids to prepare the balcony bedroom for our guest. I'm going to tell the Maester my story, and it'll surely take more than a day".


DISCLAIMER: "House of the Dragon", "Fire & Blood", "A song of Ice and Fire", their stories and all their characters belong to George R.R Martin. This fanfiction was written for entertainment purposes only and I DO NOT receive any financial benefit from it. TRANSLATION, PUBLICATION AND / OR PARTIAL OR TOTAL COPYING WITHOUT MY AUTHORIZATION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED (unless you're GRRM, obviously)