Ursa is from the fanon 'Air'. She is the daughter of Firelord Zuko and Firelady Mai. Though she was only eight in 'Air', I have decided to age her to fifteen for this story.
Ursa is very sweet. She is kind, caring, and sympathetic, determined and protective. Always insists on helping anyone in need of assistance. Though innocent in many ways, Ursa is by no means gullible or sheltered. She understands that cruelty and evil exist in the world, but she prefers to give people the benefit of the doubt and wrong-doers a chance to repent. Even in the darkest situations, Ursa investigates for the silver lining or optimistic ending.
Ursa possesses a very strong sense of morality. She always does what she believes is right. However, that doesn't mean she can't be mischievous on occasion. When she was eight, she discovered a forgotten system of tunnels that run throughout Capital Island which she explored extensively on her own before she ever told her mother of their existence. Also, she is not above the occasional attempt at matchmaking.
'Right' and 'wrong' are clear in Ursa's mind. However, completely aware of her father's checkered past, sometimes 'good' and 'bad' are not as defined.
She takes her role as Princess very seriously; she takes great pains to live up to her job as a symbol and leader for her people, as well as the expectations of her teachers. She does not consider herself ‘privileged’ by her birth, but instead gladly shoulders the responsibility that comes with her royal station.
Her Uncle Iroh has had many influences on Ursa. She loves tea and, thanks to many vacations spent in The Jasmine Dragon, she is something of a connoisseur concerning it. Proverbs are also a big part of Ursa’s character; she finds them inspirational and assumes the rest of the world does, too. No matter the situation, she will pull a proverb from memory that will fit it perfectly. And if she can’t think of one, she’ll make it up. Often, the deep proverbs she shares stun others. For someone so young, she can prove very wise.
Ursa was the first in generations to learn a form of firebending not fueled by violence or anger. Her father developed the new method from an old form called ‘Dragon Dance’. It is not yet widely accepted, but it is the only kind of firebending Ursa knows. Because of this, she sees the beauty of fire and thinks of it as a tool, not a weapon.
She has terrific firebending skills, learned from the best mentors as well as her father and uncle. While she does not think of fire as a weapon, she is still trained to fight with it. Her fighting skills are exceptional, though she tries not to seriously harm opponents when she can. In addition to fighting and firebending, Ursa has a knack for her mother’s favored skill and has at all times a few small knives on her person.
Dealing with Grief, On Being a PrincessEdit
Apprehension crept through Ursa. She began to tremble.
“Mai said Roh-Roh and Ursa had just finished their lesson,” Suki reminded.
“Then…” Sokka hesitated. “Why wasn’t Ursa with him?”
Ursa pulled sharply away from the tunnel wall. She jerked back too far and hit her head on the opposite side. A cry of pain rose in her throat, but she bit it back. She couldn’t give herself away.
Tears began to well in her eyes. She hated to cry. It made her feel small and weak and pathetic. She had to be strong. After all, she was a princess; people expected that of her.
Ursa didn’t wait to recover. She raced along the passages she knew by heart until she came to her own room. She pulled the catch on the door and blinked as the bright sunlight blinded her. As she stepped inside, the secret door quietly slid closed behind her.
Ursa went to her washbasin. One look in the glass above showed her tear-streaked face was stained with dirt and dust from the passages. She began to scrub ferociously, trying to peel away the muck, the guilt, the sadness.
After several long moments of scrubbing her face raw, Ursa reexamined herself. Her cheeks were red and sore; her eyes puffy. But there wasn’t a trace of dirt.
The water driblets running down her cheeks reminded her of earlier tears.
“Why wasn’t Ursa with him?” Sokka’s words rang accusingly in her ears.
“I should have been,” Ursa whispered at her reflection. “If I had, maybe…” But she stopped herself. She couldn’t think like that.
That day, when Roh-Roh was kidnapped, Ursa would have been with him. But she had not paid attention in Tutor Gouitn’s class. Her mind often wandered from the stuffy lessons, but Gouitn had been especially annoyed. He forced her to stay longer until she learned the lesson while Roh-Roh –a model student– was free to leave.
That was why Roh-Roh had been alone. Ursa couldn’t help thinking it was why he was kidnapped as well. No matter how many times Mother told Ursa it wasn’t her fault, she couldn’t quite believe it.
Ursa scowled at her reflection. Small…Weak…Pathetic…It was all she saw in her face. Why couldn’t she be more like her Mother? She was strong and confident; she knew Father would soon bring Roh-Roh back while Ursa couldn’t help but wonder and worry. And then there was her Father, the Firelord, risking everything to save his son. And he was risking everything, wasn’t he? His own life, his son, even his throne.
Why couldn’t she be strong and brave and sure, like them?
Tutor Gouitn’s face was flushed bright red and blotched with furious purple; it got like that when he was upset. “Please, Princess,” he pleaded. “Try to pay attention!”
“Sorry, Tutor.” Ursa tried to look abashed. But she didn’t feel ashamed, so she couldn’t look it. Whenever she tried to fake emotions, she couldn’t put her heart into it; she felt too guilty about misleading people.
Gouitn sighed heavily. “You, my dear Princess, so try my patience.”
“Patience is the hardest virtue to master.” The words were out before Ursa could stop them.
Gouitn’s gaze turned colder. He raised an eyebrow. “Pray tell,” he insisted, expecting a wise-crack of some kind.
It wasn’t really Ursa’s fault. Both her Dad and her uncle rambled off bizarre but wise-sounding proverbs. Her head was full of them, and occasionally some something said would trigger one of the adages. Always eager to please or to lend assistance, the words would slip out of Ursa as easily as a buttered hog-monkey.
“Well, the thing about patience,” she explained slowly, “Is that people are always wanting more of it.” She could hear her Uncle’s voice, first imparting the words of wisdom. “What they don’t stop to realize is that, while their moaning about their impatience, they’re being provided with the perfect opportunity to master their patience just a little more.”
Gouitn stared at her for a moment. He blinked once, slowly. Then he chuckled. “That’s your father speaking again, I suppose.”
Ursa bristled. “No, that was me speaking,” she insisted. “But they were the words of my Uncle. They are very wise words and I was proud to repeat them.”
Gouitn realized he’d squashed the Princess’s toes and scurried in retreat. “Oh, yes, of course, Princess. I didn’t mean to imply that you-”
... Ursa forced herself to relax. She felt bad she made Tutor Gouitn race for an excuse. She hadn’t meant to. She just hated it when people implied she didn’t understand the words she spoke. People seemed to get the impression Ursa’s mind soaked up the interesting insights like a sea cucumber-sponge and that she blabbed them without realizing what they meant.
On Being a PrincessEdit
“I’m sorry,” she wept. “I’m trying, I really am. I just–”
The little girl’s words trailed off as she was caught in her mother’s arms. Mai pulled her daughter into her lap and hugged her tight. “It’s okay to cry, Ursa,” she whispered, tears stinging at her own eyes.
Was it her fault Ursa had tried to hold all that emotion at bay? As hard as she tried, perhaps Mai still suppressed her own feelings. She closed her eyes. That was the last thing she wanted to teach her children. She never wanted them to experience that helplessness. Never.
“Don’t be afraid to cry,” Mai told her, though she could feel Ursa shuddering with sobs, weeping against her shoulder. Mai stroked her daughter’s hair and gently rocked her. She held Ursa until the tears subsided.
Finally, taking an unsteady breath, Ursa looked up at her mother. “I’m sorry,” she said again, wiping at her face.
“Don’t apologize.” Her mother’s words were filled with surprising passion. Mai’s eyes softened. “You don’t have to be sorry.”
Ursa frowned. “But Tutor Gouitn says that a princess is supposed to be strong, because her people depend on her, because they look up to her for strength.”
“That may be true at times, when the people are watching,” Mai said gently. She would be having words with Gouitn about his terminology. “But princesses are human too.” She swept aside a loose strand of hair from Ursa’s forehead. “People don’t have to know everything that happens in the Palace. Here, with your family, you can be yourself.”
Ursa’s brow wrinkled in thought. “But a princess is what I am.” She looked up at her mother, puzzled. “Isn’t it?”
Mai laughed and smiled down at her daughter. “Of course you are,” she said. “But you’re not just a princess. You’re much more than that. You’re Ursa. You know far too many proverbs thanks to your father and Uncle, you’re a little too mischievous for your own good–”
Ursa blushed and giggled.
“–but most important you are a wonderful big sister, you’re my daughter, and your father and I are so proud of you. You’re so much more than a princess to us, Ursa, and we love you. You don’t have to be strong for us.”