Hafsa Haroun
Authored by Lyla (she/her)
Nejem ✥ Currently Offline, last seen Dec 16, 2017, 08:55 PM
Nejem
Duchess of Meiros
The Shadow of Suncourt
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The Most Serious of all the Ladonic Knights. Just ask her. The oft-forgotten tryhard little sister of former Crown Prince of Nejem, Amal Haroun, Hafsa has spent most of her life trying to prove that she is better than her dysfunctional family. Once an accomplished scholar (sort of) she is now deeply dedicated to the protection and expansion of the empire, along with her cool dragon friends.
Name
Hafsa Sarai Haroun
Titles & Offices
Ladonic Knight, Scholar (master of history and astronomy)
Address As
Ser, Your Grace
Gender
Cis-woman
Orientation
Demisexual, Panromantic
Age
29 years
Birthdate
November 11, 445
Faction
Ladonic Order
Marital Status
Absolutely not
Reputation
A prickly know-it-all who is absolutely judging you, but would probably be a good ally in a fight.
Hearsay
Hafsa Haroun is actually her eldest brother's bastard daughter (false). Hafsa Haroun does not support any of the potential Haroun heirs' claim to the throne of Nejem (true). Hafsa Haroun tricked her way into the dragon riding program (???). Hafsa Haroun spent nearly a decade in Zhaoshang sleeping with a married woman while her family thought she was attending University (1000% true). Hafsa Haroun secretly aided/funded Theodosia Naguib's treasonous campaign (false, but interesting.)
Traits
Serious, dedicated, temperamental, generally exasperated
Mental
Strengths
Hardworking, intelligent, courageous
Mental Weaknesses
Arrogant, petulant, stubborn
Motivations
Somehow simultaneously bring honor to and completely separate herself from her family, probably by being The Best™ dragon rider in the realm.
Secrets
She sort of hoped Theodora Naguib's rebellion would prove successful, and the Harouns would be removed from power. She is glad (ish) that Priya of Persad didn't die during the Battle of Nenesht.
In Public
Hafsa is an accomplished scholar, but she is mostly known for being the petulant younger sister of the former Prince of Nejem and the late emperor. More recently, she was named a Ladonic Knight, which has garnered some attention.
In Private
Hot-blooded and stubborn, Hafsa is a force to be reckoned with. She is determined and incredibly hardworking, with a deep-running and often rather unattractive competitive streak (read: Very Sore Loser). At her best, she is a fierce and loyal ally, but her pride is easily wounded, and she tends to sulk when things do not go her way.
Family
Something in her wants to be proud of House Haroun, but Hafsa has never quite been able to manage that. It is simple enough to blame their recent fall from grace for Hafsa's instincts to distance herself from her family, but in reality she has never had much patience for her their antics, or found any real pleasure in their company. Though she is less different from her relatives than she would like to imagine, Hafsa has always felt like something of a black sheep, and for most of her life she was only particularly close with her brother Nijad. She has not taken his death lightly, nor has she forgiven her family (or herself) for failing to protect him.
Politics
Glorian
Religion
A little unsure. If nothing else, she views religion as a fascinating and powerful social force which has shaped the history of the realm. As such, Hafsa has a healthy respect for the gods, though she harbors some doubts as to whether they truly exist.
Physical
Features
Please complete this field
Height
5'8"
Build
Athletic. Some might say imposing.
Physical Strengths
Please complete this field
Physical Weaknesses
Please complete this field
Pets
Taj - a red and blue Tecuini Dragon
November 11, 445 Birth.

Summer 454
Her nephew's form is disgraceful - his feet too close together, his elbows sticking out at odd angles as he swings a tiny wooden sword at imagined foes in the yard. Hafsa watches with thinly veiled disdain, before pulling herself to her feet with a martyred sigh.

"Let me show you."

Musad blinks up at her, confused. Her assistance may be unsolicited, perhaps even unwelcome, but Hafsa is bored, and besides, he is doing it all wrong. When, after a moment, he fails to hand her the little sword, she lunges for it, tearing the crude wooden toy from his hands and leaving her unfortunate playmate sprawled on his back in the dust. He blinks again, then runs off bleating to his mother like a frightened lamb. Hafsa wants to laugh, but she can't quite manage it.

She has gotten into more and more trouble since Shamas and Nijad went away. The lack of suitable playmates makes her restless.

Her father will be furious.

459 Hafsa leaves home to begin studies at the University of Nejem

462
Hafsa earns her first mastery, in the field of Astronomy

462
She is not so foolish as to expect a grand homecoming. Still, Hafsa imagines her father studying the tattoo now encircling her wrist with just the subtlest trace of a smile bending the hard line of his mouth. She imagines something like pride in his voice as he tells friends over dinner that his daughter has earned her first mastery from the University of Nejem.

It is the most hopelessly naive sort of daydream. The Duke of Meiros already has an accomplished scholar for a child, not to mention a duchess, a knight, his beloved heir... Hafsa has, as ever, come along too late to be of any consequence. She remains in Suncourt just long enough to pack a new set of bags and prepare for the journey to Lucenna, where she buries herself once more in her studies.

465
Hafsa earns a mastery in the field of History

465
Hafsa begins studies at the University of Zhaoshang

466
"That isn't right. Let me show you."

The voice cuts through Hafsa's frustrated focus like the crack of a whip, and reluctantly she tears her eyes from the parchment in front of her - a rough sketch of a longbow she is designing as a part of her studies in zhaoshangese weaponry. Hafsa's eyes narrow. In truth, her design has hit a snag, but certainly she does not appreciate some stranger so rudely pointing it out.

Apparently unburdened by concern for propriety, the stranger impatiently indicates Hafsa's sketch.

"The balance is off. Your arrow will never fly straight."

Infuriatingly, she is exactly right, but Hafsa cannot bring herself to be gracious about it.

"I don't recall asking your opinion," she snaps, blood boiling as she observes this stranger's air of cold, casual superiority. The woman only shrugs.

"I didn't take you for an idiot, but if you would rather pursue independent mediocrity than collaborate, be my guest."

Then she turns on her heel and walks away, leaving Hafsa to stare, flushed and speechless, at her retreating form. For days afterwards, the image of a sleek black braid swinging against the elegant curve of a stranger's back is seared into Hafsa's mind.

472
Love turns out to be nothing like the old fairy stories she has always heard. Hafsa is glad of it. The stories are ridiculous and boring, but the real thing sets her ablaze.

She has been a student for years, but nothing has ever challenged her, nothing frustrated and confused and inspired her like this woman. Somewhere along the line she abandons her books. She forgets her courses, though she swears someday she will find time to complete her third mastery. Soon. Eventually. When she is not so busy learning the sorts of things that can only be taught by this extraordinary woman.

They fight viciously and often. Hafsa usually loses. She is not quick-witted enough to keep up. She is too sensitive. She lets hurt feelings and wounded pride tie up her tongue and get in her way. ______ understands. She is patient with her. She never lets her get away with being less than her best, never shies away from an argument, but somehow Hafsa doesn't mind, because even at their worst they come together like stars colliding. It is a wonder to her that the snows don't melt from the sheer, overwhelming heat of them. Most miraculously of all, ______ always manages to be forgiving, even when they've about torn one another to pieces.

Even when Hafsa does not deserve it. Perhaps especially then.

468 Hafsa's brother, Nijad Haroun, is named emperor of Ilium

471
"That child is a monster."

"That monster happens to be my son, which means both of us are stuck with him. I suggest you find a way to get used to that, my love." Though her tone is genial, there is an edge to her voice that is not lost on Hafsa. She only rolls her eyes, watching warily as _____'s slender hands wring the water from a limp, foul-smelling rag. When that is done, she gently runs her fingers along the angry purple bruise blooming on Hafsa's cheekbone - the result of a well-aimed wooden toy sent flying directly into her face by what she considers to be a particularly hateful little boy.

Hafsa winces, then pulls away entirely when the rag nears her face.

"It reeks," she whines. Her companion is unperturbed.

"It's soaked in herbs. To help with the swelling."

"Which herbs, exactly?" It occurs to her that she should probably know this, and having to ask does not improve her mood.

"Hush."

Hafsa cannot help but grumble.

"I hate children."

"Hafsa, hush."

"You hate children!"

Then a pair of lips presses hard against her own, flooding her with warmth and smothering any further complaints, and Hafsa is quiet.

February 473
She wakes unceremoniously just before dawn, gasping at the sudden chill as the furs are torn away from her bed. She opens her eyes to the face of the woman whose arms she fell asleep in, now staring down at her with a look full of more venom and fury than she has ever seen.

"Get out," she hisses.

Hafsa, half asleep and confused, does not move.

"Your brother has murdered the empress. Get. The hell. Out."

Spring 473
Wartime does not suit her. She has not spent any significant time in Nejem since she was a child, and having her whole family stuck in one place makes her itch. Everything has changed, and it all feels exactly the same. Amal looks worn and weary - his wife still a disapproving scorn, his sons as tiresome as ever. All of them have children of their own now, save Hafsa and Nijad (but they do not speak of Nijad.) All of them feel to her like strangers.

She cannot leave, and so she slips through Suncourt like a shadow, quietly seething. She hates this feeling, of being trapped. She hates the way she is hushed when she asks what could possibly make anyone think her brother capable of the monstrous crime he stands accused of. She hates the suffocating heat.

When they lose the war, it is almost a relief. At least now it will be over.

Almost.

May 473
She is supposed to face this moment with quiet dignity. The goal is to strike the perfect balance between pious shame and unshakeable pride in her house. Hafsa cannot. She feels neither pride nor shame, but a queasy mix of helplessness, and betrayal, and loss. Given time, these feelings harden into a cold fury, which is marginally more manageable. For the moment, though, she is choked and trembling, and up to the very last moment, she expects Nijad's wife, or their brothers, or the Gods to intervene. No one does.

Nijad's head rolls from his shoulders, and none of his family dares to make a sound. Each of them, she decides in this moment, is infinitely more guilty of murder than he could ever have been.

February 474
She presents the idea to Amal as a way to restore some honor to House Haroun, and it works exactly as intended. He would rather keep her close, but the opportunity is too big to pass up. In truth, Hafsa isn't sure whether she cares anymore for the "honor" of her house. She wants honor for herself, certainly, but if everyone in the realm were to forget she was a Haroun... Well, that would hardly be any great tragedy.

She is restless, and that restlessness manages to stir up a long-forgotten sense of ambition, something that had somehow slipped away from her during her university years. Dragon riding lights the fire once more. Hafsa can feel herself straining at the leash, suddenly desperate to throw her whole weight behind something, anything, (but especially this.) It is a chance at greatness, a chance to truly rise above the disgrace of her family and make her mark as a hero of the Ilian Empire.

Ambition brings her to the Asterian Islands. Pride keeps her there, even when she is exhausted and sore, and certain her instructors expect her to fail.

Beyond all that, there is something in the eyes of the magnificent little feathered monstrosity who lays claim to her (for he makes it clear that she is his, and not the other way around) that Hafsa cannot shake.

Together, she is certain, they will perform wonders.

Summer 474
updates to come
Face Claim
Lupita Nyong'o
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Harm
Up to and including No harm / minor harm only