A/N: Hi everyone! I'm new to this fandom, I hope I will do it justice! I know the story wouldn't be nearly as interesting if Joffrey hadn't killed Ned... But this idea just wouldn't leave me alone, because I can't help but feel if Ned had survived, he would have been president of the 'Arya&Gendry rock!' club :D Sorry if this has been done before. This is me trying my hand at GoT fanfiction, being really nervous about it, and begging for reviews!

I will try to keep them in character, but what are fanfictions for, if not to write and read things the actual writers would never give us? :) (BTW, in case anyone was wondering, I'm not one of them, none of this is mine, not even Gendry – damn, I hate disclaimers)

You're safe on the spoilers front if you've seen the first two seasons of the show and/or read the first two books. It will be mostly AU after 1x09 anyway

I want to say a huge thank you to dismembered constellations for beta-ing this story and for being really patient with me :)

I need to stop rambling now because the author's note is going to be longer than the prologue. The first chapter will be up soon, I promise.



"My mother bids me let Lord Eddard take the Black, and Lady Sansa has begged mercy for her father."

There was a moment's hesitation as King Joffrey seemed to consider his next words, and Arya felt the apprehension turn into terror as she allowed herself to think, for the first time, that her father could die before the end of the day. Her prayers were answered.

"The Night's Watch does need strong men. Let the traitor die protecting us from the evils that lurk beyond the Wall."

The relief was such and the roar from the crowd so loud that she didn't hear a word that was said after that. Just as she was about to climb down from her vantage point and run into her father's arms, she felt a strong hand grab her wrist and drag her to the ground. "Come with me."

The voice was vaguely familiar and didn't seem threatening, but she still struggled out of sheer habit until a hard slap across the face left her almost unconscious. She felt herself being pushed against a wall and recovered just enough to understand what the foul-smelling old man said next.

"Didn't you hear the King? Sansa Stark is now his hostage, and if he gets his hands on you, you will be too. Is that what you want, boy?"

For some reason, that got a reaction from her.

"I'm not a boy!"

The man she now recognised as Yoren, of the Night's Watch, pushed her harder against the wall and she glared at him.

"Not a smart boy, that what you mean to say?"

That's when she saw the knife in his hands and decided maybe it would be smarter to keep her mouth shut for the next few minutes... or years. As he cut her hair with his blade, she heard him mutter "North, boy. We're going North."

And that's when she really stopped struggling. Because North meant home, and that was all that mattered right now.