chimney tree

sitting inside one of my favorite coffee shops with one of my favorite people. it’s raining outside, my dream house is right across the street, i have ben howard playing, and i have time to simply d r e a m. it’s been a while since i’ve had the privilege of time to myself.

i’m dreaming of this house right across the street: it’s wood shake siding, brick chimney, big trees surrounding it, warm lights in the attic, and small front yard. it’s secluded while simultaneously being in the middle of the city. i dream of owning a home just like this very one; minneapolis is good at combining city living + lots of trees and lakes, so i’m thankful that that dream isn’t so unrealistic here. i dream of filling the house with a family and lots of food and laughter and love. i dream of slow sundays where the house smells like warm soup and pjs are worn all day. i dream of waking up early and walking across the street to the coffee shop i sit in right now to have a cup of coffee while i read the newspaper. i dream of flower boxes and cozy friday nights and favorite songs floating throughout the house. i dream of quiet, rainy saturday afternoons where we keep the windows open to hear + smell the rain while we read books and soft, classical music plays in the background. i dream of walking our pup through the neighborhood with friends and then having them over for dinner + wine + real conversation out in the front yard under string lights. i dream of you, of you, of you doing all of this alongside me. my heart hurts with how far i feel from you, with how far all of this dream feels. at the same time, though, my heart is hopeful for this. for you.

How Is Your Heart?

For @marauders-mess, who requested NSFW AU’s of the emissary!stiles or feral!derek variety - here’s a bit of both! Hope you enjoy it :)

by @sylvesterelle


Explicit - AO3

Derek thought it’d feel like weightlessness. That’s how it felt after the fire - like so many of the strings grounding him had been cut, like he was one strong breeze away from oblivion.

So when the unthinkable happens and the unbreakable breaks, Derek doesn’t understand what he’s feeling. Doesn’t understand that instead of weightlessness, there would be nothing but weight. The weight of his pain, of his loss, of the sudden, inexorable truth of his own isolation.

And then Derek doesn’t understand anything at all.

Or: the AU where Derek goes feral after the death of his alpha and only the power of ~true love~ can bring him back.


Derek thought it’d feel like weightlessness. That’s how it felt after the fire - like so many of the strings grounding him had been cut, like he was one strong breeze away from oblivion.

He coped by holding on to Laura with everything he had. He poured his strength into their connection, not only as sister and brother, but as alpha and beta. Laura was his anchor in every sense of the word, an unbreakable tie, a final stronghold against whatever lay on the other side of humanity.

So when the unthinkable happens and the unbreakable breaks, Derek doesn’t understand what he’s feeling.

Doesn’t understand the crushing pain exploding in every bone, muscles screaming from the strain and mind suddenly empty of everything but the barely conscious cry of too much and I can’t and please.

Doesn’t understand that instead of weightlessness, there would be nothing but weight. The weight of his pain, of his loss, of the sudden, inexorable truth of his own isolation.

He doesn’t understand it, but he feels it. Feels it until his teeth crack from clenching and his vision tunnels to black. Until his skin tears and the shift rips through his body, bones breaking and rearranging in a last ditch effort to survive the pain.

And then Derek doesn’t understand anything at all.

-

They get the call during one of Stiles’ summer emissary lessons.

He’d started training soon after Scott and the pack put Peter down once and for all, unwilling to ignore whatever spark Deaton said he had if it could be used to protect his friends.

They’d started simple – theory of magic, taxonomy of supernatural creatures, duties and traditions of a pack emissary. Only recently has Deaton let him in on the good stuff, all the protective runes and floaty light balls and Harry Potter-esque spells that fill Stiles with shameless nerd joy.

He’s in the middle of practicing his levitation at the vet’s office when “Werewolves of London” rings through the room, shattering his concentration. The jar of dog treats drops back to the table and Stiles sighs as he digs his phone out of his pocket, ignoring Deaton’s disapproving look.

“This better be good, Scotty,” Stiles says. “I was in the middle of kicking gravity’s ass.”

 “Oh sweet bro, you finally got it?” Scott asks, dopey grin carrying loud and clear over the line.

 “A whole 3 inches, buddy – just you wait, I’ll be floating your furry ass in no time. But what’s up, you know I’ve got wizard training until 6.”

“Sorry man, but I think you’re gonna have to cut it short. We’ve got a problem.”

Stiles frowns, exchanging a glance with Deaton. “Hold on, I’m putting you on speaker.”

He sets the phone on the table and leans back, crossing his arms. “Alright, what’s going on?”

“Isaac and I heard howling during our perimeter run and followed it back to the Hale House. There’s a wolf here and we think it might be an omega, but there’s something wrong with it, dude.” Scott says, voice concerned.

“Like foaming-at-the-mouth, rabies-infested wrong?“ Stiles asks, raising an eyebrow.

“I don’t know dude, maybe. It looks sick – it’s all skinny and dirty and won’t respond to either of us. It straight up tried to eat Isaac when he got too close to the porch. And the howls, man, I’ve never heard anything like it.”

Deaton frowns, leaning closer to the phone. “Did they sound aggressive, like it was calling out for reinforcements?”

“No man,” Scott says, “it sounded miserable.”

-

 Ten minutes later, Stiles is turning off the main highway and onto the dirt road that leads to the Hale house, hidden but for a blackened chimney rising above the trees. Deaton agreed that the wolf needed further evaluation, but declined to come with Stiles.

“What, you’re just going to send me off on my own to deal with some strange, possibly feral, probably dangerous werewolf?” Stiles had asked incredulously as Deaton handed him a few herbs and bundled him out the door.

“You’re more than capable to handle a single rogue omega, Stiles. And if anything does go wrong, Scott and Isaac will most likely be able to protect you.”

Most likely?” Stiles had squeaked, but Deaton had already closed the door.

Now, with a sigh, Stiles reaches over to rummage through the lacrosse bag on the passenger seat, double checking he has everything he needs. Mountain ash, mistletoe, rowan, and several types of wolfsbane – enough to incapacitate and more, if needed.

Hopefully it’s not needed.

Stiles can see the wolf standing on the porch as soon as he pulls up, its hulking figure blocking the charred doorway. He - or she - is big, way bigger than any natural wolf has a right to be, but beautiful; it’s almost completely black, marred only by the silvery gray patch on its chest and the tips of its ears, with eyes the same purplish-blue of lightning during a summer storm.

Deaton explained what that color in a werewolf meant in Stiles’ very first lesson, and he reflexively tightens his grip on his bag as he eases out of the Jeep. The second he sets foot on the ground, the wolf’s head snaps in his direction. It bares its teeth in a silent snarl, and Stiles can’t help the shiver that runs through him when he meets the wolf’s gaze. There’s nothing human in those eyes, but there is something - not quite a familiarity, but an awareness that raises goosebumps on his arms.

The wolf tracks Stiles’ movements as he cautiously moves to join Isaac and Scott at the far edge of the clearing.

“Hey,” he greets them quietly, eyeballing the fresh blood on Isaac’s hand. “I take it we haven’t made any progress with Stranger Danger?”

Scott shakes his head. “Not even a little. It nearly took Isaac’s arm the last time he tried to approach.”

Stiles nods and considers his options. The easiest thing would be to sedate it with a mild dose of wolfsbane, but he’d have to get pretty close and he’d prefer to avoid getting his face chewed off today, thanks.

Unfortunately Deaton made clear that this was part and parcel of being an emissary - the magic and the runes and the occasional threat of death or light maiming included. Stiles sighs in resignation as he slips his bag off his shoulder, digging around till he finds the tin marked ‘wolfy Xanax’ in sharpie. He stands back up and hands the bag to Scott.

“Cover me, dude.”

The wolf starts growling Stiles advances, scraping its nails against the wood and baring bloody teeth in warning. Stiles hesitates for a moment, internally debating if it wouldn’t be better to set a mountain ash perimeter around the house and call Deaton for backup, when a gust of wind ruffles through his hair and kicks up leaves, swirling in the direction of the house.

The wolf abruptly stops growling, lifting its head to sniff at the air. Whatever it scents makes its eyes grow brighter, a plaintive whine building as it searches for the source.

Stiles takes advantage of the distraction and moves forward, muscles tensed and ready to jump out of the way in case the wolf lunges. But it doesn’t lunge – doesn’t even start growling again. Just sits there with a slightly dazed look on its face, whining high in its throat.

When Stiles gets within arm’s reach and the wolf hasn’t done anything more threatening than aggressively sniff the air, he pauses, slipping the tin of wolfsbane back into his pocket.

“Stiles, what are you doing?” Scott calls from behind, voice filled with concern.

“I just want to try something – give me a second.”

Slowly, Stiles reaches out a hand. The wolf rears back at the movement, eyes wide but making no move to attack. Stiles resists the urge to flinch and keeps his palm flat, trying to project the calm, collected vibes Deaton has so fruitlessly been trying to teach him.

Tentatively, the wolf leans forward, nostrils flaring as it inches closer. Stiles stays still as the wolf bumps its nose against his palm, rubbing against him until Stiles’ hand is cupping its face. He gently rubs a thumb against the wolf’s cheek and makes soothing noises in the back of his throat, taking the opportunity to look the wolf over.

Up close, it looks more pathetic than terrifying. Stiles can see the leaves and ash matted in his coat, the imprint of ribs against its side, only partially hidden behind the tangled fur.

Stiles crouches down, giving the wolf a searching look. “How long have you been on the run buddy? Where’s your pack?”

The wolf gives a small wag of its tail, but no other sign it can understand him.

Stiles frowns, taking in the wolf’s eyes that show alertness, maybe even intelligence, but no recognition. “You can’t shift back, can you? Do you even know who you are?”

“Hey, you calmed him down – awesome!” Scott calls happily behind him, bounding across the clearing. “Should we take him back to Deaton’s or-“

Before Stiles can shout a warning, he’s knocked on his ass, the wolf caging him with its body and snarling at Scott, who’s frozen mid-step in front of the porch with his eyes comically wide.

Well, comically in any situation where Stiles is less likely to have his face bitten off.

Scott raises his hands in a placating gesture and backs away, grimacing as the growling continues until he’s back at the tree line.

Slowly, the wolf lets its hackles drop and turns back to Stiles, pushing its nose under his hand until he resumes stroking over its back. The wolf makes a pleased noise deep in its chest and pushes in closer to snuffle under Stiles’ ear.

“Uh, good Wolfy, good-,” Stiles takes a second to peek under his tail, “boy. I’m not going to hurt you, just relax and we can - oh god, that’s your tongue, that is definitely your tongue, c'mon man, at least buy me dinner first,” Stiles jokes weakly as the wolf licks at his face.

Stiles can see Scott and Isaac stifling giggles across the clearing and he musters up his best glare - the effect lessened, admittedly, by the 200 pounds of fur perched in his lap.

“Aw, he likes you,” Isaac coos, pulling out his phone to send incriminating photos to the rest of the pack.      

“I will strangle you with your scarf,” Stiles replies calmly, patting the wolf on the head as moves on to his neck.

This close, he can see the dried blood on the wolf’s muzzle and paws, the burs tangled in his fur and scratching at his skin. He can’t tell how long the wolf has been like this, why he’s on his own, but he’s willing to bet it’s been a long, long time.

“Who are you, buddy?” Stiles asks, ruffling his ears. “What happened to you?”

The wolf just whines against his neck and wiggles closer, licking an affectionate stripe up the side of his face.

Read the rest on AO3

Aural Free Association

I recently came across Paul Eluard’s “Some Words Which Up Until Now, Had Remained Mysteriously Forbidding For Me” and found it to be one of the most remarkable surrealist poems I’ve every read.  See if you can pick up on what he’s doing:

The word cemetery
For some men a dream of glorious interments

The word cottage
You find it frequently
In classified ads and pop songs
It’s wrinkled a little it must be an old man in disguise
It has a thimble on its finger it’s a sheathèd pet parakeet

Neurasthenia a word lacking all shame
Blackberry jelly fleck between two staring eyes

The word Creole all clad in cork by lying on satin

The word bathtub drawn
By a pair of thoroughbred horses uglier than crutches

Eluard seems to be enacting a kind of “homophonic translation”, that is, translating (or transposing) words based only on how they sound. Or, rather, on the associations the sounds of words call to mind, disjoined from semantic content. Wonderfully disconnected and far-reaching images spring from the words as they are filtered through his mind:

Lacemaker delicious melting word hammock trellis ransacked

The poem reveals a further implication of the Surrealist concept “L’un dans L’autre” (the one within the other) by suggesting that words hide within themselves images or links to other objects and other words.

Such as procedure fulfills the surrealist idea of “L’un dans L’autre” at a very high level because, while it is disconnected from the rational brain functions operating in analogical thought, it retains formal connection between the terms, as the word and the associated objects are supposed to be intrinsically conjoined through the form of sound. 

Eluard walks us through this procedure, holding our hands as it were in the early part of the poem by explicitly stating the associations are emerging from the words, but later in the poem he removes the word “word,” eliding the syntax and creating a more muscular texture:

Olive-tree tall chimney inside a tambourine of light
The keyboard of sheep muffled in the field

Fortress malice in vain

Poisonous mahogany curtain

Coffeetable elastic grimace

Hatchet unfortunate bet on the dice

While we still infer “word” in the phrases, Eluard has taken off the training wheels. We are no longer, or not just, free-associating from words but that these associations exist somehow in the world. The signifier and the signified are no longer disjoined. The generative power of language has led to a new seeing of reality.

Trying It Out

Eluard is showing us an entirely novel way to interact with language and access the surreal. This almost inexhaustible storehouse of language is always there are ready, containing within in the secrets of the marvelous. All we have to do is listen.

Try it for yourself—it’s harder than I expected! 

Say a word out loud over and over until its denotations and connotations quiet in your mind and the sonic texture of the word beings to emerge. What do those sonic textures suggest to you? What image or other words? When you get a phrase or image write it down.

Here’s my first attempts:

The word watermark a duck walking by a charcoal-stained barbecue pit.

Rioja a man sighing with relief after a horror film.

Umbrella a buddhist monk with long hair dragging along the ground.

Biplane rubber racquetball volley

Granola an old farmer in Sunday clothes driving a Model-T to church

Try it yourself! Do one or several and send them for posting.

3

Petit papa noël,
Quand tu descendras du ciel,
Avec tes jouets par milliers…

S’il te plaît, ne coupe pas mon oreille

ℋ𝓸𝔀 𝓽𝓱𝒆 𝓦𝓪𝓻𝓵𝓸𝓬𝓴 𝓢𝓽𝓸𝓵𝒆 𝓦𝓲𝓷𝓽𝒆𝓻 𝓥𝒆𝓲𝓵

Every champion and elf in Suramar liked Winter Veil a lot…

But Gul’dan, who lived on the Broken Shore did NOT!

Gul’dan hated Winter Veil! The whole Veil season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

 It could be his posture was just not right. It could be, perhaps, that his spikes stank of blight. 

But I think that the most likely reason of all, May have been that his heart was two sizes too small. 

But, whatever the reason, his heart or his spikes,
He stood there on Veil Eve glaring with spite,

Staring down from his tower with a sour, demonic frown
At the magic-hearted elves below in their town,

“And they’ve conjuring cheer,” he snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow is Winter Veil! It’s practically here!”

Then he growled, with his orc fingers nervously drumming,
“I must find some way to keep Winter Veil from coming! 

For, tomorrow, I know all the elf girls and boys
Will wake bright and early. They’ll rush for their toys!

And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
There’s one thing I hate! All the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! 

Then the elves, young and old, will sit down to a feast.
And they’ll feast! And they’ll feast! And they’ll FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!

They’ll feast on Mana pudding, and rare River Beast,
Rare River Beast is a feast I can’t stand in the least! 

And then they’ll do something I hate most of all!
Every elf down in Suramar, the tall and the small, 

They’ll stand close together, with Nightwell ringing.
They’ll stand hand-in-hand, and those elves will start singing!“

“And they’ll sing! And they’ll sing! And they’d SING! SING! SING! SING!”
And the more Gul’dan thought of this Nightborne Sing,
The more Gul’dan thought, “I must stop this whole thing!

Why for two lifetimes I’ve put up with it now!
I must stop Winter Veil from coming! But how?" 

Then he got an plot! An awful plot!
Gul’dan got a awfully demonic plot!

"I know just what to do!” Gul’dan laughed in his throat.
“I’ll make a quick Father Winter hood and coat.”

And he chuckled, and cackled,“What trick could be better?
With this coat and this hat, I’ll look just like Father Winter!”

“All I need is a reindeer.” Gul’dan looked around.
But since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.

Did that stop Gul’dan? Hah! The warlock simply said,
“If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll forge one instead!”

So he took Murky the Murloc, and he took some black thread.
And he tied a fake horn on top of his head.

Then he loaded some bags to stuff away shlock
On a ramshackle sleigh and he summoned his murloc 

Then Gul’dan said “LOK’TAR!” and the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the elves lay a-snooze in their town.

All their windows were dark. No one knew he was there.
All the Nightborne were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first little house of the square.

“This is stop number one,” the old Gul’claus hissed,
As he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney, a rather tight span.
But if Father Winter could do it, then so could Shadowmoon clan

His spikes got stuck once, for a minute or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue

Where the little elf relics hung all in a row.
“These relics,” he growled, “are the first things to go!”

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile not the least bit angelic,
Around the whole room, and he took every last relic!

And he stuffed them in bags. Then Gul’dan, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney.

Then he slunk to the salt room. He took the elf’s feast!
He took the mana pudding! He took the river beast!

He cleaned out that salt room as quick as a flash.
Why, Gul’dan even took the last can of Nightfallen hash! 

Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
“Now,” grinned Gul’dan, “I will stuff up the tree!”

As Gul’dan took the tree, as he started to shove,
He heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast, and he saw a small WHO!?
Little Anduin Wrynn, who was no more than twenty two.

He stared at the Warlock and said, “Father Winter, why,
Why are you taking their Veil tree? Why?" 

But, you know, that old orc was so smart and so slick,
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!

"Why, my sweet little boy king,” the fake Mr. Winter lied,
“There’s a light on this tree that won’t light on one side.

So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
I’ll fix it up there, then I’ll bring it back here.”

And his fib fooled the boy. Then he patted his head,
And he got him a drink (destiny), and he sent him to bed.

And when Anduin Wrynn was in bed with his cup,
Gul’dan crupt to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!

Then he went up the chimney himself, the old liar.
And the last thing he did was set all alight with fel fire.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks and some wire.

And the one speck of cheer that he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.

Then he did the same thing to the other elf houses,
He began to set fire to highways and courthouses! 

It was quarter of dawn. Most elves still a-bed,
The Nightborne still a-snooze, when he packed up his sled,

Packed it up with their presents, their ribbons, their wrappings,
Their mana and their epics, their transmogs and trappings!

Ten thousand feet up, up the side of High Mountain,
With every intent to pour gifts off like a fountain 

“All worlds will burn!” he was fiendishly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Winter Veil is coming!

They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the champions and elves will all cry boo-hoo!

That’s a noise,” grinned Gul’dan, “that I simply must hear!”
He paused, and Gul’dan put a hand to his pointed ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.

But this sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!

Every elf n’ champion down in Suramar, the tall and the small,
Were singing without any presents at all!

He hadn’t stopped Winter Veil from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And Gul’dan, with his green feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. “How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without relics!
It came without packages, boxes, or epics!”

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.
Then Darkness Incarnate thought of something he hadn’t before.

Maybe Winter Veil, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Witner Veil, perhaps, means a little bit more!

And what happened then? Well, in Azeroth they say
That Gul’dan’s small heart grew three sizes that day!

And then the true meaning of Winter Veil came through,
And the warlock found the strength of ten orcs, plus two! 

And now that his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light

With a smile to his soul, he descended High Mountain
Cheerily cheering “ZUG! ZUG!”, oh who could recount it?

He road into Suramar, He brought back their toys.
He brought back their cheer to the elf girls and boys.

He brought merry mirth to champions abound
He made wrongs right to elves by the pound 

He brought everything back, all the food for the feast!
And he, he himself, Gul’dan carved the roast river beast!

Welcome Winter Veil. Bring your cheer,
Cheer to all champions, far and near.

Veil day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to grasp.

Winter Veil will always be
Just as long as we have we.

Welcome Winter Veil while we stand
Heart to heart and hand in hand.

~

ℳ𝒆𝓻𝓻𝔂 𝓒𝓱𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓶𝓪𝓼 𝓪𝓷𝓭 ℋ𝓪𝓹𝓹𝔂 ℋ𝓸𝓵𝓲𝓭𝓪𝔂𝓼 𝓽𝓸 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓶𝔂 𝔀𝓸𝓷𝓭𝒆𝓻𝒇𝓾𝓵 𝒇𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀𝒆𝓻𝓼

𝓨𝓸𝓾 𝓪𝓻𝒆 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝒇𝓪𝓶𝓲𝓵𝔂 𝓽𝓸 𝓶𝒆.

Arya and Loneliness

There’s something incredibly depressing about how much Arya longs for company and companionship. She loves being around people, makes friends wherever she goes-

Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends with anybody.   Sansa, AGoT

Cat had made friends along the wharves; porters and mummers, ropemakers and sailmenders, taverners, brewers and bakers and beggars and whores. They bought clams and cockles from her, told her true tales of Braavos and lies about their lives, and laughed at the way she talked when she tried to speak Braavosi. She never let that trouble her. Instead, she showed them all the fig, and told them they were camel cunts, which made them roar with laughter. Gyloro Dothare taught her filthy songs, and his brother Gyleno told her the best places to catch eels. The mummers off the Ship showed her how a hero stands, and taught her speeches from The Song of the Rhoyne, The Conqueror’s Two Wives, and The Merchant’s Lusty Lady. Quill, the sad-eyed little man who made up all the bawdy farces for the Ship, offered to teach her how a woman kisses, but Tagganaro smacked him with a codfish and put an end to that. Cossomo the Conjurer instructed her in sleight of hand. He could swallow mice and pull them from her ears. “It’s magic,” he’d say. “It’s not,” Cat said. “The mouse was up your sleeve the whole time. I could see it moving.” Arya, AFFC

And yet she often feels alone.

The wolf pup loved her, even if no one else did.  Arya, AGoT

 If only she could climb like Bran, she thought; she would go out the window and down the tower, run away from this horrible place, away from Sansa and Septa Mordane and Prince Joffrey, from all of them. Steal some food from the kitchens, take Needle and her good boots and a warm cloak. She could find Nymeria in the wild woods below the Trident, and together they’d return to Winterfell, or run to Jon on the Wall. She found herself wishing that Jon was here with her now. Then maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone. Arya, AGoT

The rest of the time, they ate in his solar, just him and her and Sansa. That was when Arya missed her brothers most. She wanted to tease Bran and play with baby Rickon and have Robb smile at her. She wanted Jon to muss up her hair and call her “little sister” and finish her sentences with her. But all of them were gone. She had no one left but Sansa, and Sansa wouldn’t even talk to her unless Father made her. Arya, AGoT

Jaqen was gone, though. He’d left her. Hot Pie left me too, and now Gendry is leaving. Lommy had died, Yoren had died, Syrio Forel had died, even her father had died, and Jaqen had given her a stupid iron penny and vanished.

Where would she go? Winterfell was gone. Her grandfather’s brother was at Riverrun, but he didn’t know her, no more than she knew him. Maybe Lady Smallwood would take her in at Acorn Hall, but maybe she wouldn’t. Besides, Arya wasn’t even sure she could find Acorn Hall again. Sometimes she thought she might go back to Shama’s inn, if the floods hadn’t washed it away. She could stay with Hot Pie, or maybe Lord Beric would find her there. Anguy would teach her to use a bow, and she could ride with Gendry and be an outlaw, like Wenda the White Fawn in the songs.

But that was just stupid, like something Sansa might dream. Hot Pie and Gendry had left her just as soon as they could, and Lord Beric and the outlaws only wanted to ransom her, just like the Hound. None of them wanted her around. They were never my pack, not even Hot Pie and Gendry. I was stupid to think so, just a stupid little girl, and no wolf at all.

So she stayed with the Hound.  Arya, ASoS

There is no place here for Arya of House Stark, she was thinking. Arya’s place was Winterfell, only Winterfell was gone. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. She had no pack, though. They had killed her pack, Ser Ilyn and Ser Meryn and the queen, and when she tried to make a new one all of them ran off, Hot Pie and Gendry and Yoren and Lommy Greenhands, even Harwin, who had been her father’s man. She shoved through the doors, out into the night. Arya, AFFC

Most days, she spent more time with the dead than with the living. She missed the friends she’d had when she was Cat of the Canals; Old Brusco with his bad back, his daughters Talea and Brea, the mummers from the Ship, Merry and her whores at the Happy Port, all the other rogues and wharfside scum. She missed Cat herself the most of all, even more than she missed her eyes. She had liked being Cat, more than she had ever liked being Salty or Squab or Weasel or Arry.  Arya, ADWD

That’s why the “lone wolf dies but the pack survives” is an Arya quote, I think. I mean it is no question an Arya quote in that it appears only in her narrative and is repeated in her thoughts (though it is also a Ned quote because he says it.)

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