Her favourite memories were from the peaceful years before she joined the war, while she was still a child, and her family was whole. A time before thoughts of Galbatorix, Eragon and the Varden had consumed both her conscious and unconscious thoughts. The time when her nightmares were easily soothed by a warm embrace from her mother, or her father running his hands over her hair, whispering sweet nothings in her ears.

She, her Mother and Father had often forayed into the thick forest surrounding the city, spending hours chasing each other through the cool, soft grass, picking daisies and the occasional stray rose, learning small pieces of magic, or simply spending time together.

Those were the days when she had loved and hated openly, before the events that had slowly but surely closed her off from the world, hidden behind a mask of ice and stone.

Today she stood in the forest surrounding her home once again, blood dripping from a cut high on her brow, her bow in her hands, an arrow nocked, and her ears straining to pick up the faintest clue as to where the bastard soldiers were. Their red tunics should be showing up like, well, fire against a forest, but for some stupid reason they weren't.

Somewhere to her right, a branch snapped loudly, and she whipped around, arrow fletching grazing her cheek. Who she saw standing there nearly knocked the air from her lungs. Eragon and Saphira stood there, a sneer upon the man's lips, and a malicious light in the dragon's previously warm eyes.

And then, it hit her. They were well and truly slaves to Galbatorix, their hearts and minds warped by the darkness of the King's own heart.

She snarled, pointing the arrow at his heart and releasing it. A moment later, it stopped about a foot away from its target, and dropped to the ground. He looked at it, a smirk pulling at one side of his mouth. He looked up, eyes boring into her soul, scaring her in a way they hadn't before. Barely opening his mouth, he quietly murmured a few words that she couldn't discern.

Arya was dead before she hit the ground.

A/N: Ta da. This was so much easier to write than last chapter, probably because I've been in Arya's head so much while writing the horrid Emerald Rider. Which, by the way, I DO plan on finishing, and eventually re-writing, much, much better. Tell me, any suggestions as to who's POV I should write next? Reviews are love, and love makes the worl go 'round. Not to mention they make me update faster!