A Girl Of Too Much-Muchness
Haraella Targaryen thought of her mother as a score of music that flooded off the stave. A thing that gushed and poured, unfettered. Naturally, this was only Haraella's mind running wild, a fantasy formed to fill in the void of a twice-over orphan girls imagination. She never knew the woman called Jenny, Haraella had no memory of her apart from a faint sensation of blackened fingers on her face and the overwhelming scent of copper and heat.
And something that roared so loudly, her eardrums felt as if they would burst in her skull.
Jenny, Haraella was told much later by Sirius Black, died two weeks after giving birth to her at Saint Mungo's, the burns to her body too much to bare even with the potions and charms the Healers slathered her in.
She died holding her babe.
It must have hurt to hold Haraella so, so much of Jenny's flesh was ruined and ravaged by flame, but she did… She did, and there was something sweet in that knowledge, to know Haraella was once wanted so much, and, anew, the music overflowed.
No one knew, exactly, what had set the Forbidden Forest aflame that late summer night, as no one, particularly Aurors Lily and James Potter who had been sent to investigate the raging fire and put a hasty stop to it, knew how a pregnant lady ended up prematurely giving birth in a nest of dead leaves and strange egg shaped stones at the heart of the inferno.
No one knew, and Jenny lived only long enough to give her child a name, to leave behind a necklace in the shape of a dragonfly, and a thousand more questions.
Sometimes, Haraella's fancy gave her eyes of blue, as rich and deep as a summer's sky or a sea at calm. Sometimes, her thoughts gave her a curly auburn head. It wasn't until she was older, and not necessarily wiser some would say, Haraella realized she had painted Jenny with Lily's face.
It didn't matter, Haraella came to understand. They were both her mother, in a sad sort of way. The woman who held her pained, and the woman who would not step aside, they mingled and tangled in her mind, in her dreams, in her wishes, threading and weaving until one could not be detached from the other.
Jenny and Lily, Lily and Jenny, and all roads between.
It was storming out at sea, and the madness was nothing to what was raging inside Haraella. She stood at the surf tormented shoreline, behind her a small hastily dug grave for a thoughtlessly lost friend.
One of her best friends, true and kind and too good for this world.
Dear, darling, dead Dobby.
Haraella scooped the sand from beneath her feet, as she had held Dobby's hand as he had slipped away from her, and she gripped it tight, watching the grey skies roll and spin to something darker, something bleaker. A handful of sand, and Haraella held it tight in her palm, so close, and yet, how it still fell through her straining fingers to the lashing tide at her boots.
She wanted her mother then.
Both of them.
She wanted Jenny, the woman who held her even though it hurt, and she wanted Lily, the one who loved her enough, adopted her and sang to her, who died because she would not stand aside.
She wanted them with a frighteningly burning desire, the desire of an orphan girl alone in the world, the wants of a child in search of home.
Haraella wanted to go home. She was scared, and tired, and hurt, and she just wanted to go home.
Yet, she could not.
Haraella had no home.
She never had, not truly, and so, she stood at the shoreline, before a friend's grave, and she clasped at sand that could not be held.
It took Haraella a long while to realize there was no thunder that evening, the storm in the sky was cold and callous and calm in the only way nature could be, and the roar was simply her shattered sobs howling in her chest.
Her fist squeezed tighter, until her fingers bled blue and numb, and still the sand fell through her grasp.
Haraella, as a child, was a skinny little thing, awkward and angular, cautious and charming by turns. Her eyes were too vivid, an odd green resplendent, and her mouth was dimpled too harshly, her grin too toothy, her knees too knobbly, and her hair, a platinum white more silver than blonde, with a strange strip of red at her temple, was too wild.
She was a child of too much-muchness, and Aunt Petunia, in her world of perfect order, where everything had a place and a time and a use to be had, despised her for it.
Clearly, Haraella did not understand this at six. She only understood she was different, and to the only family she had known for any amount of time, that was bad.
That was wrong.
She hated herself too, in the beginning. She dreamt of having straw coloured hair like Aunt Petunia, and that tight lipped smile of Uncle Vernon, and Dudley's round ruddy face, and she dreamt she was cut up, snipped and clipped and stitched back together into something right, something loved.
Haraella only began to think otherwise when she was seven, and, escaping from Dudley and his mean friends in the garden, she climbed up the cherry tree at the far back.
She held the trunk between her hands, bark scratching at tender skin, Dudley jeering below, and-
And she looked up.
She saw the garden next door, strewn with flowers of every colour and every petal, and she saw the road out front, over the hedges, tarmac almost glittering silver in the sunlight, and she saw a car, shiny and boxed, and-
And she saw so many pleasant places, places not her cupboard, with its damp and its dark, and not the kitchen, with the frying pan that spat grease at her arms.
The world was suddenly so very frighteningly, brilliantly bigger than she had ever known.
Than she had ever thought it could be.
There were rivers out there somewhere, babbling and blathering. The sky washed to blue and mauve and black at night, and every colour in between. Dusty roads, and roads that bend, and roads that go nowhere at all and everywhere at once.
Haraella wanted a bigger tree, a huge tree, a tree she would climb, and climb, and climb, and further and further, and more and more, she could see.
She promised herself she would see it all one day, everything she never thought existed, she would see it all and then some.
That night, on her cracked cot, a bruise forming on the slope of her jaw from Dudley's thump, a threadbare blanket flung about her form, grasping at the dragonfly necklace around her thin neck, Haraella dreamt she could fly.
She also dreamt of a strange sad boy, always so sad, with a harp in his lap and a song in his eye. A song he could not sing because, like Jenny, Haraella had his music that flooded from the stave.
She dreamt about him a lot in the years that came. Funny little dreams of flower crowns and white-clad knights, and a sad, sad song. Sometimes, rarely, she dreamt that they both flew, high into the clouds and up, and up, and up until they could kiss the sun and stars.
Four years later, at age eleven, Haraella hatched a dragons egg, one Hagrid found in a black market tavern, the very same that was stolen from the little nest of leaves and strange egg shaped stones she was born in, an act not seen or done in seven centuries, and unexpectedly, flying was not simply a dream.
It was there, at her fingertips, in her too much blood.
They said that girl had fire in her eyes. Haraella heard that a lot in her relatively short life. Her teachers, her friends, her foes, they all said the same. That girl had fire in her eyes, too much-muchness, and they spoke it in warning, in vigilance, in alarm.
That girl had fire in her eyes, and it was something to be ashamed of because that was how the story went, was it not? Little girls were to be seen not heard, and women were something pretty to spill in, and never to spill out. Magic and muggle, crofter and Queen, girls and women, they were never meant to get angry, not to men, and when they did… Well, the woman was wrong.
An angry woman was hysteric. An angry man was passionate.
An angry woman needed to be told to calm down. An angry man was simply standing his ground.
An angry woman was just a little girl throwing a tantrum. An angry man had merely been pushed too far.
An angry woman was something crazy, and a man was always there to tell her so.
Haraella was not wrong. Haraella was not hysteric. Haraella would not be told to calm down, or be put to the wall face down. Haraella was not throwing a tantrum and she would not go quietly. Haraella was not insane... She was tired.
Tired and angry and hurt more than she could ever say.
Haraella had fire in her eyes, and it was deep in her soul too, and it was the only thing that kept her standing through it all. When Sirius died. When Dobby died. When Fred died. When Moody, and Remus, and Tonks, and so many other's she couldn't remember their faces but danced with their ghosts each night in her strange, strange dreams. When she was forced to run, and had a locket drip poison in her ear. When she learned she had been raised to die, raised as a lamb to butcher, the Passover goat in a pretty silver coat.
She was sure if it ever went out, if the spark of fire in her soul ever ceased, she would freeze dead. So she kept it there, the anger, the heat, in the heart of her chest, she kindled it with sad memories, faces of those she loved and lost and dreams she thought she would never see satisfied. She kept it close and near, and carried it with her wherever she went, and she let it blaze.
The fire kept her moving, kept her planning, kept her winning. Haraella Targaryen was a girl with fire in her eyes, and soon a fully grown dragon to breathe it real.
Voldemort never stood a chance.
He never stood again at all.
Not when she came wheezing back to life in the arms of Hagrid, tired and angry and hurt and too many things to tally, and whistled her dragon Lilennys, her mother's once more joined as one, bound in fire and fury, down from hiding in the clouds.
Voldemort barely had enough time to scream.
For, most of all, Haraella was a girl with hellfire in her soul, both beauty and beast, equally valiant and villain, jointly friend and fiend, a little bit mad, and a tiny bit brilliant, and she was a girl who was pushed too far for far too long, a girl who wanted her mother, and her father, and James and Lily, and everything she never had.
Most of all, she wanted to live.
Many had heard the story of the baby born in the worst forest fire in living memory. The baby had little wealth, no lands, no army, and no home. An easy target for a rising Dark Lord, a painless pawn for old men to move across the board. A babe with only a name.
By the end of the war, in a hailstorm of ash and slag and sand that slipped through fingers now scorched to jagged glass, that babe died, and rose as something else.
Haraella knew she could not stay. There was a calling in her from a young age, from the moment she clambered up that cherry tree and saw a world bigger than her cupboard, a little lighthouse in the dark illuminating her way back to shore, and she was helpless against the current dragging her back.
The call was only made harsher by her short stretch with the resurrection stone.
She saw her mother that night, amidst a field of silver-haired spirits.
Jenny, sweet Jenny, who had mud on her feet and grass stains on her skirts, and a crown of wilted lilies in her sunset hair. She rose beside Lily, the two eerily analogous, and she wept at her child raised to die.
You get up! Do you hear me, my dragonfly? You get up again, and do not go gently into that sweet slumber. I am not ready to have you in my arms again, not for many more years. You. Get. Up.
It was a curious experience. So many faces, those she knew, Lily who smiled so sadly, and James who winked, and Sirius who grinned and Remus-
She had not known Remus had died until she saw him standing there, with those gone.
Another grain of sand slipped, and the dagger twisted.
And faces she never knew before, faces in different shapes and shades of her own, cast in moonlight and starshine and something burning.
Three stepped forward out the sea of silver, red and black.
A tall, broad shouldered man, powerful in appearance, purple eyes glinting from short cut silver hair. Charismatic and commanding, in the way Haraella was charming and cautious in turns, a crown of dark steel duty-bound upon his head, set with square cut rubies.
He was flanked by two women, hauntingly magnificent. A woman with her long silver hair bound up in golden rings and braids, her gaze slightly darker than the mans, a more harsher, austere kind of beauty, sensual and passionate as she was stern, serious and unforgiving. Haraella had her dimples.
The last was of Haraella's height, and beautiful in the way beauty could hurt to gaze upon. She wore her hair, as wild as Haraella's, loose and down her back and waist, her gaze somehow brighter than those she stood beside. Slender, she had a kind countenance, graceful in her steps, playful in the twist of her hips, with a curious, almost impulsive flight to her lips.
They told her one thing, and one thing only.
You are not alone.
Haraella had not known how desperately she had needed to hear that until she had, until it burrowed and nestled below her skin, where it grew roots and armoured her.
Haraella Targaryen was not alone.
A thousand lives before her spread, and a thousand more to come. She was only one link in a great silver chain.
You are not alone.
And perhaps, just maybe, it meant something more.
Haraella had not seen her father in the crowd of ghosts and shades.
Haraella Targaryen left in the same season she came, summer, only nineteen years old. It was easier than she thought it would be. She packed a sack, locked up Grimmauld Place and left the key to little Teddy in a letter, and she flew away on the back of Lilennys.
She wanted to find a part of herself, the part she did not know. She wanted her music to bleed off the page and be caught by another stave.
She wanted to find home.
She needed to.
Haraella could not walk Hogwarts halls without seeing Dumbledore fall from the astronomy tower, or Snape bleeding out between her fingers in the boathouse, or Remus routed below rubble, or the Weasley's weeping over Fred's corpse in the Grand hall, or children, innocent children, falling around her to the ring of Voldemort's laughter.
Her school was overflowing with terrible memoirs, dreadful remembrances that dug in deep, and an even worse kind of expectation.
They wanted her to become an Auror, they wanted her to join the Ministry, they wanted her in Saint Mungo's, and Gringotts, and the Daily Prophet. They fought over her like she was a leg of lamb tossed between rabid dogs, tugging and wrenching and yanking until only gristle remained.
Haraella did not want to become an Auror. She'd had her fill of blood and war. Haraella did not want to join the Ministry, she was sick to her stomach of Machiavellian politics. She did not want to heal when she was still so broken herself, and she did not want to count coin, and she did not want to sell stories of people who wished to be left alone.
Haraella wanted home.
And so… She left.
Yet, she did not leave behind Ron, or Hermione, or Neville, or the Weasley's Sunday lunches. Haraella took those with her, in a way, in her memory and her commemoration.
She was leaving, she was not leaving them, those she loved. Not really. Not truly. Not ever. She took their good times, and their bad, and those ugly moments too, and she bound them up tight and she put them with the fire in her soul, where they could be kept safe and warm.
Haraella had tried to stay for months after the war, long aching months of lingering and melancholy. Of course she had to try, for Hermione, for Ron, for Molly and her children, for Teddy and more. They were her reasons for struggling, and none of the reasons she had left.
But Haraella wilted.
They could all see it.
Haggard and haunted, and something sad, she became… Less, as the months trundled on.
It got so awful that Hermione was the one to ambush her one late Saturday night, backed by the Weasleys and Andromeda. They told her to leave, to find air to breathe that wouldn't choke her. Haraella remembered how she had tried to argue, how her mouth had opened, and no words willingly came forward.
In the end, she merely nodded.
They hugged her, they kissed her cheek, and they wished her good luck.
Haraella, in turn, promised to come back one day. A week, a months, a year, a lifetime from now. Perhaps when she was old and grey, and Lilennys had lost her teeth, but sometime, somewhere, somehow, she would come back, when the memories didn't burn as bright as they did, and the nightmares didn't suffocate as much.
She just could not stay, not right then.
Haraella did not know where she was going in the beginning. There was no place or land firmly set in her mind, only a mood, chasing a feeling, racing a sense-
She wanted to be that child again, atop the cherry tree, seeing things she never knew existed, and vowing to see more, of discovering home.
And she found a tree… Of sorts.
She was in Mongolia, flying Lilennys across the wide open plains, when the idea hit her, or more aptly, she hit the idea at a ramshackle stall. A witch at their provincial wizarding market was hocking family tapestries, lineages weaved in gold and silver and pine coloured threads.
Haraella asked her how she made them, such pretty draperies, thinking it might be a good gift to send back to the Weasleys, and fighting down the memory of the one in Grimmauld Place now etched all in dead black.
A simple charm was what she was told, and a single drop of blood.
Camping out on the cold steppes, beneath Lilennys great wings, a leaf of parchment on her lap, and dragonfly necklace around her throat, Haraella cut her thumb, held it above the paper, and whispered the spell more song than murmur.
Abruptly, before her very gaze, Haraella did not have only one name… She had hundreds.
Naerys's, and Aegons, so many Aegons, and Jaehaerys's, and Daerons, and Viserys's, and Aerys's, and Rhaella's, and Rhaegar's, and Duncan-
Her father's name was Duncan.
She never knew that.
She never knew a lot of things.
She never knew she had a cousin called Viserys, and another called Rhaegar, curiously inked in red -Haraella did not quite know what that shift in ink meant-, and grandparents too, and-
And it was all, for a family tree, a tangled thorny knot. Cousins and Aunts wedded to nephews and uncles, brother's bedding sisters and-
She wove her fingers around the dragonfly necklace at her breast, and she squeezed like she once squeezed the sand, hoping to catch a storm in her palm.
Her father's name was Duncan, and it was the only true thing she could focus on. There was something in that name, a bravery, a gentleness, something that reminded Haraella of… of home.
You are not alone.
Her father's name was Duncan… And he was alive, his branch etched in green not dead black and-
Rhaegar was alive, despite the strange red hue of his name, and so was Viserys, and Aerys, and Rhaella, and something budding beneath, a little girl unnamed so far, not yet out the womb.
Suddenly, Haraella was not chasing a tree, or a feeling, or a sense.
She was chasing a name.
She hunted for him, from Australia to the Antarctic, from Mexico to Morocco. She landed, she searched, and she asked only one question.
"Do you know a Duncan Targaryen by any chance?"
They all said the same.
No, or what kind of name is Targaryen?
Mine, she thought, and my father's too. It was a nice thought, a thought she could think, finally.
Still, Haraella searched, filled with hope and promise, she glided and combed from jungle temple to New York city sky scraper, and back all over again.
And it all went rather tits up over the Atlantic ocean, nearly fourteen months later, where she flew right into the heart of a storm and got struck by lightning three times over.
A.N/ So here's a little peak of Haraella. This story will most likely be split into two main P.O.V's, with the chapters alternating between Rhaegar and Haraella. Simply put, odd number chapters will likely be Rhaegar's, and even will be Haraella's.
For all those who followed, favourited and reviewed, thank you all so much. I really didn't expect people to like this fic, as it is a bit more loose and, especially as we go on, a little more lighthearted than my typical work. I really, truly, hope you enjoyed this chapter. I had so much fun writing it, and I hope, even if it's just one line, you found something that made you smile.
If you have a spare moment, please drop a few words into the little box down there. They keep the muse from whining. Until next time! Stay Beautiful! ~AlwaysEatTheRude21