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Firestarter

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Rhaenys Targaryen woke up to darkness, taking in shallow, shaky breaths as she recalled her previous moments. She remembered the bad man coming into her bedroom and loudly walking in, steel boots clanging on the stone floor. Then steel sliding against steel as a sword was drawn and then she woke up with a sword through her stomach. She was about to scream when she remembered what her mother had told her to do.

Her lady mother had pushed her under the bed then had ran to her brother's room. Magic gathered around her as her emotions flew high and she glanced down at her chest to where the evil Lannister had pushed his sword in. Now there was nothing left except dried blood and dirt left from where the sword had gone through. Her innate magic had seen to healing her body, like it always did when she was hurt. It had always done so, even when she hadn't known about magic. Back when the Dursley's had not cared one whit about her. Back in her first life, as the Girl-Who-Lived.

The only thing left on her was the gown that she had worn to sleep and even that had a hole torn through it.

She frantically got up out from under of her bed and automatically whistled for her cat and Balerion scrambled out with her and followed her as she shuffled quietly to the door and opened it. She could hear the sound of steel twanging from the courtyard and flesh hitting flesh as the Lannisters slaughtered her family, the family she had been reborn in.

She was about to go out and fight, the need to help still within her, when she realized that there was a minor flaw in her plan. She was still only three years old and had stubby legs and short arms. No one would take her seriously or even listen to her, especially since most of the men in the palace were not Targaryen bannermen. She remembered her mum, Elia, telling her of the war in their land. Of how Rhaegar, her father, had stolen another woman though she hadn't really understood what her mother was telling her at the time. Rhaenys hoped her father was alright. Rhaegar always made her laugh and tried to protect her and her brother from their grandfather.

Rhaenys toddled through the hallway, with her cat Balerion behind her. She tried to keep quiet as she ran, her magic flowing around her. It was a bit wild, maybe because she didn’t have a wand yet or maybe because she needed to train it again. That made it all the more wild as a breeze flowed around her, a wind that hadn't been there a minute ago.

She finally made it to the stairs that would take her down to the nursery, where her mother and her younger brother were. She ran, hearing Balerion's claws scrape the stone as the cat ran with her. She scooped up the kitten when she reached the door to the nursery and flinched when she heard a scream from within. Sounds of flesh hitting flesh came to her ears and she narrowed her eyes, a strand of her short dark hair flying into her eyes. She pushed it away before stepping into the doorway of her brother’s nursery.

The door was open and she winced when she hesitantly stepped inside, her stomach roiling at the sight that met her. Her younger brother, Aegon, was dead on his bed. There was a hole through his chest and blood pouring out of it. Aegon's eyes were sightless in death as they stared up at the curtains of the nursery bed. Rhaenys almost hurled, her stomach rebelling, and she threw up the small meal she had had last night onto the floor.

More sounds reached her ears as she looked out onto the balcony that jutted out from the nursery. Rhaenys cried out at the sight that met her eyes. Her mother was being raped by Ser Gregor Clegane. Her shout brought the Mountain's attention and he looked up, after bashing Elia Martell's head against the stone. The rising sun dawned down on the balcony, lighting up the city beyond the balcony for her sight. She could see fires throughout the city but they were small, separate. She could hear the sounds of fighting even from up here and it scared her. Whispers of worse battles flowed into her mind but she kept those away.

“Girl, I thought Amory killed you,” Gregor muttered, standing up and drawing his sword. “That was the plan.”

Rhaenys yelped and stared at her mother, eyes blinking back tears. Elia's eyes had gone sightless in death. Her magic roared through her, feeling like fire, before the stomping of the man's boots drew her attention back. She turned, still holding Balerion, and fled. She fled back through the nursery on wobbly legs and turned right as she ran up the stairs. Her mother had told her about an escape route through the castle that was somewhere around here. Balerion yowled and scratched her, startling her enough to drop him. He ran off and she took off after him.

“Balerion!”

Her shout drew the attention of a few Lannister soldiers and they did a comical double take. A little girl with dark hair running about in the castle, with blood on her shirt. She ran past them and ran right into Ser Jaime Lannister, who was standing at the entrance to the throne room with his sword held in his right hand. A sword that had blood on it. Jaime peered down at her then walked over and hurriedly scooped her up in his other hand.

“What? What's going on?” Rhaenys asked, eyes narrowing at the sounds that were coming from the throne room and beyond. The power within her awoke too, at the threat, and she took a deep breath, wishing that her father was here, wishing that Rhaegar had never gone out of the city. Jaime didn't even breathe a word, just ran out of the family quarters, avoiding the throne room. “Jaime!”

“My father and his army is riding through the city,” Jaime muttered. “I'm going to get you out then your brother and mother. I promised.”

“Jaime, they're dead,” Rhaenys whispered, ducking her head against his shoulder.

Jaime stilled beneath her then took off further into the castle. “Keep quiet, little dragon.”

Rhaenys nodded and held on, grabbing his mail armor as he carried her out of the palace and to the cliff side. She knew of an escape route there so maybe Jaime did too? As they reached the side door, Jaime lowered her down and nudged her toward the door.

“Jaime!”

The Mountain stalked toward them, through the hallway, his sword dripping with red. Rhaenys shrieked and Balerion hissed loudly, coming to her feet. Her stubborn tom cat protecting her. She cried out when the Mountain reached Jaime’s back and just as Gregor Clegane was about to talk with the knight, Jaime ushered her behind him and pushed her toward the hidden door right under one of the dragon skulls.

“Tywin ordered their deaths, Lannister!” The Mountain shouted, trying to twist around Jaime’s side to get to her.

“Go, Rhaenys, princess of the House Targaryen,” Jaime yelled. “I can only take you this far!”

 


 

 

Rhaenys ran and ran, going down the steps and keeping to the alleys of King’s Landing. She heard screams all around her and she held onto Balerion tighter, tight enough to hear the cat yowl. She whispered a quick apology and toddled on, a lone three old running from the death of her family. She avoided the men in the red cloaks, thinking it strange to have to run from the lions this time around. She had been a lion in her first life until she had made a deal with Death and now lions were the bad guys. Or at least most of the lions. Jaime had protected her.

This time she was a dragon, though she knew she did not look it except for her violet eyes. She continued running through out the morning, taking a few breaks in small corners or one butcher shop. She huffed out short, quick breaths for a few minutes then continued on, running straight out for the gates of the city. The sun rose with her, shining its yellow light throughout the city and she later could have sworn that the sun’s glow was stained red.

The people who saw her avoided her. The girl with the blood stained night gown and the black cat in her arms was thought to be a ghost. The black cat that ran alongside her further proved their theories that she was a witch, a wood witch’s daughter, that had had a ritual go wrong. Rhaenys ran through the city, hoping that the Lannisters were far behind her. She could even hear the bells ringing and more screams coming from the Red Keep as she ran and she hurriedly wiped at her eyes and ran on until she saw a lot of horses and men coming in through the Gate of the Gods.

Rhaenys ran over to an alley to watch as more bannermen came through the gates. She looked over them and up at the gate itself, flinching at the lion banner that was flying at the top. She narrowed her eyes at the gold lion roaring on the red banner and promised herself she would find a way to wreck vengeance on the Lannisters for taking away her family, for taking away her brother and her mother. Balerion stopped in front of her and looked up at her, his green eyes dilating then he yowled.

“Hush, Balerion,” Rhaenys whispered urgently, watching as the bannermen flowed into the city. The cat yowled again and she pulled him in, hugging him against her body. “Hush.”

 


 

 

Eddard Stark knew from the very start, when he saw the Lannister banner flying at the gates, that things had gone horribly wrong. He rode alongside Howland Reed and Lord Willam Dustin and watched the surrounding city in the glowing mid morning sunlight.

“Bad omen,” Howland remarked, pointing up at the lion banner. “Lord Tywin never entered the rebellion, did he?”

“No,” Ned replied, making sure his hand was on the hilt of Ice. “Just like Lord Walder Frey in that regard. But I had hoped that the Lannisters would-”

A scream interrupted him and he halted his horse, hearing the others do the same. Their bannermen pulled their swords out and some drew their bows, knowing that the city should have been filled with Targaryen bannermen but it wasn’t. It looked like it had been raided already, corpses of dead men with the Targaryen dragon littered the street and the streets they had already encountered stunk with blood and the scent of war.

Another hushed scream drew his gaze toward the small alley to the left of them. Flea Bottom was that way but Ned scanned the alley and finally saw the source of the screams. Two boys were running around a girl, taunting her and throwing rocks at her. He winced and dismounted, holding out his reins to one of his own Stark bannermen. Howland Reed dismounted too and followed him, sword drawn.

“Hey, you two!”

The boys stopped what they were doing and turned around then fled, seeing Ned walk up with his hand on Ice. The girl stood shock still, staring up at him with terror in her eyes. Her clothes were also blood splattered, more than a few drops of blood and a hole in the shirt, that made Ned fear that the girl was injured, mayhap like she had been run through with a sword. A pained yowl drew his gaze toward a black cat that was slumped up against a wall behind the girl but his focus was on the girl.

The girl child had short, curly, black hair and light… violet eyes. “Rhaenys Targaryen?”

The girl stopped breathing in shock and scrambled backward until she hit the wall, scrabbling for something to defend herself with. Ned winced and held out his hands, leaving Ice in its sheath, crouching down to be at the girl’s level. “Rhaenys?”

The girl tentatively nodded, her eyes going wide with fear.

“I’m not going to hurt you, sweet girl,” Ned whispered, dropping his shoulders down. “What happened to you?”

Rhaenys stared up at him, her shoulders drooping. “The lions… They killed mother. And my brother. He’s dead too.”

Ned’s eyes widened at her admission then glanced up to where Howland Reed had followed him. Howland’s grey eyes were wide too, his hand on his blade.

“You ran?” Ned asked, seeing Rhaenys study him.

“Yes. Jaime helped though,” Rhaenys whispered, her eyes still wide with fear and exhaustion. “I saw Mama… They killed her. They threw Aegon against the wall. They’re both...”

“Seven hells, Ned,” Howland murmured as Rhaenys’ eyes fluttered and she fell right into Ned’s open arms. “Prince Aegon was just a babe, not even two years old. And Princess Elia… I don’t like this.”

Ned scooped Rhaenys up and wrapped her up in a cloak, feeling her small body shiver. “I don’t like this either. We should proceed with caution from here until the keep.”