007. A Pig-Like Dragon

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Aemma had spent most of the day watching Joffrey. The babe didn't do much other than sleep and cry. He was rather good at both, Aemma had to admit. Aemma thought she would love babies. After all, she loved when Luke was a toddler and got to dress him up and force him to play with her. But babies were different. They were more... useless. She couldn't even hold the baby, with her mother keeping a keen eye on her to ensure Aemma didn't try anything. Aemma had assumed she would be allowed to hold the baby if she proved how patient she was. So, she spent her entire morning watching the baby with her mother.

"What are you doing out here, princess?" Ser Harwin asked, taking a seat beside her.

"Joffrey sneezed in my face," Aemma grumbled, sliding further down the bench, "And mother wouldn't even let me hold him,"

"Babes are delicate and mothers are rather protective of their newborns," Ser Harwin explained to her, "You should have seen her with you,"

"They're not delicate. They're bouncy and unkillable," Aemma argued, crossing her arms, "Father dropped me once, grandfather told me, and I just bounced,"

Ser Harwin let out a roar of laughter, causing Aemma to crack a small smile. Aemma always loved the way Ser Harwin laughed, it was always so hearty and it never felt like he was laughing just to be polite. It was similar to hers, in a way, where the laughter would escape from their mouths as they tilted their heads back with delight. She liked that they had similar laughs. 

"That is true," Ser Harwin grinned, ruffling Aemma's hair, "And your mother didn't let him hold you for months,"

"Was I a pretty baby?" Aemma asked, moving her eyes from the garden to Ser Harwin, "Joffery isn't very pretty,"

"You were the prettiest," Ser Harwin promised, a glint of pride flashing through his eyes, "Still are, my princess,"

Aemma glowed under the praise, turning to give Ser Harwin a tight hug. 

Her real father, Laenor Velaryon, was always caught up in Lord's duties, leaving him little time to spend with Aemma and his other children. Aemma would try and spend time with her father, often asking her mother if Laenor was meeting with people or if he was free. Laenor was always busy. 

On the other hand, Ser Harwin always had time for Aemma and her brothers. He was always patient with them, always willing to have them follow him around when they were bored. Aemma had spent many days as a child with Ser Harwin.

"Princess," Ser Harwin regretfully pulled away from the hug, "It appears Aemond might be having a meltdown,"

Aemma frowned, looking out into the gardens. Ser Harwin had been the first to notice Aemma enjoyed Aemond's presence, and Aemond needed Aemma's attention to stay happy. He was always notifying the other if one of them was upset or in need of company. 

"Aemond?" Aemma called, getting up from her spot and running towards the boy.

Aemond, who looked like he had lost a fight to a fire, was angrily walking through the gardens with his head down. Upon hearing Aemma's voice, he paused, allowing Aemma to catch up to him. 

"What happened to you?" Aemma asked, 

Aemma's fondness for Aemond often left her blindsided to his darker side, the side that was filled with Targaryen rage and impulsiveness. Every time it reared its head, Aemma seemed to miss it completely. Almost acting as though it didn't exist. To her credit, Aemond was rarely angry around her. 

"They gave me a pig," Aemond spit out, his words like venom.

"To eat?" Aemma asked. 

"No! Aegon and your brothers," Aemond seethed, his jaw tense, "They said they had a dragon for me, that 'the gods provide'. They gave me a pig!"

Aemma's worried look broke into a barely concealed smile. She tried to compose herself as Aemond looked at her incredulously, his hands curled into fists. 

"That's funny," Aemma said, a short laugh escaping her lips, "Did they dress it up?"

"Aemma! They made me a fool!" Aemond practically shouted, turning his head away from Aemma so she wouldn't bear the brunt of his anger, "I can't stand it anymore,"

Aemma softened, cusping his face in her hand as she wiped away the stray tears. 

"You are a Targaryen, you are no fool," Aemma told him softly, bringing her hand down to grasp his, "We can marry, and Greensmoke will be as much yours as he is mine,"

"But he's not mine," Aemond said, almost pleadingly. Pleading for her to understand, "He will only do as I ask by your command, not mine,"

Aemma nodded, taking a deep breath. 

"I know, he's not truly yours," Aemma agreed, guiding him towards an empty seat, "But one day, there will be a dragon in need of a rider. And you will be that rider,"

Aemond nodded, trying to control his breathing as he sat beside Aemma. Aemma watched him concernedly. She knew there was a chance he may never be a dragon rider, and the idea broke her heart. 

"My brothers did not mean to upset you like this," Aemma said softly, absentmindedly protecting her brothers, "They're just a bit stupid, is all,"

Aemond cracked a small smile, glancing at Aemma. 

"Yes, they are," Aemond agreed, his breathing normal again, "Not as utterly stupid as my brother, though,"

"No, no one is as stupid as your brother, Aemond,"

Authors notes:

Aemma is a daddys girl, what can I say.  But also, Aemma is so far into her own denial it's gonna take a lot to convince her Harwin is actually her dad.



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