-1I was sitting in the palace library reading an old book of some fire nation history, it was very late at night and the library was completely dark except for the fireplace which I was sitting next to. I was just about to close the book when all of the sudden I heard footsteps. I looked up to see my eight year old niece Azula standing in front of me. She had her arms wrapped around herself as if she was cold, and her brown hair was hanging in front of her eyes.
"Is something wrong Azula?" I asked.
"Father is trying to burn Zuko again." She said in a cold tone with no emotion at all.
I quickly stood up and raced out of the room leaving Azula there staring at the fireplace. As I ran through the maze of hallways I only had one thing on my mind and that was rescuing my nephew from his evil father. Yes… evil. My brother is pure evil. But he wasn't always that way. In fact if I think about it hard enough I can remember the way he used to be. I remember my little brother… my best friend. And if I go far enough back into my memories I can picture him the way he was so long ago. I can picture a brokenhearted thirteen year old prince standing next to a palace window and staring out into the night waiting and watching for his parents and big brother to return home. He has been standing there for hours as if in a trance. But then a servant breaks him out of his thoughts.
"Prince Ozai…" The servant said. "It is very late and your parents would probably want you in bed by now."
The prince nodded and walked away from the window. As he walked down the dark hallway to his bedroom he wondered why his parents hadn't let him go to the important fire nation dinner meeting with them. It was a very important meeting… the fire lord and his family would be having dinner with all of the high generals of the fire nation military. But someone would be missing from the fire nations family. Him. But he didn't really feel like part of the fire nations family anyway. He was always overlooked by his parents. His older brother Iroh was the favorite child. Iroh was the first born and he was always getting more attention and more presents than Ozai ever did. But Iroh was against his parents behavior completely. Iroh loved his brother and he tried to make his parents pay more attention to his brother but they never listened. And although Iroh disapproved of it, his parents treated their servants better than they treated their second born son Ozai.
Ozai had been in his bedroom sleeping for a few hours now when he felt someone shaking him.
"Brother get up!" Iroh said in a harsh whisper.
Ozai slowly opened his eyes. "What… Iroh?"
"Are you ok?" Iroh asked.
"What do you mean am I ok?" Ozai sat up in his bed.
"I mean… I know you really wanted to go to the meeting tonight and…" Iroh's voice trailed off.
"Of course I'm not ok!" Ozai said finally becoming fully awake. "And I can't believe you lied to me… get out of my room!"
"Wait a second Ozai… I'm on your side. And mother and father lied to me. I made them promise that they would let you go and…"
"And they didn't! And you didn't do anything about it!" Ozai yelled.
"Ozai Shhhh! Mother and father are trying to sleep! And I thought you were going! They told me that a servant was bringing you!"
"Your lying!" Ozai accused. "You didn't want me to come!"
"Why wouldn't I want you to come?"
"Because father wanted to have you show off your firebending for his friend General Shyoo! And you wanted the attention all for yourself!"
"That's not true Ozai! The meeting was no fun without you!"
"Get out of my room!!" Ozai shouted.
"Fine I'll get out! But only because I'm afraid your going to wake mother and father!"
As I turned the corner into another hallway I could hear the faint sound of my nephew screaming. I had to get to him before his father seriously hurt him. I wonder what he did to set if fathers temper off this time. Anything could have made his father mad. Just the sight of Zuko could make his father mad. Ozai has never been happy with his son. He has only smiled at him once. It was right after Zuko was born. Ozai had walked into his bedroom where his wife Ursa was resting on the bed holding their brand new baby. He approached the bed slowly and gazed at the child that was in his wife's arms.
"Would you like to hold him?" Ursa asked holding the baby out to her husband.
"Yes…" Ozai said and took the baby from his wife.
"I've decided to name him Zuko. Its kind of after my grandfathers name Roku but you switch the U and the O and replace the R with a Z." Ursa smiled. "That is if its ok with you."
"I think it's a fine name." Ozai said. "I think it makes him sound strong. He's so beautiful… so perfect… my perfect first born son." Ozai smiled at his son but his smile quickly faded. His face turned pale and he handed the baby back to his wife and sat down on the bed.
"What's wrong Ozai?" Ursa asked in a puzzled tone.
"Its just… what I just said… my first born son… I don't want to repeat my fathers actions. I don't want to be like him. My father neglected me because I was the second born. And if we ever have a second child I don't want to do the same thing."
"Your not like your father. You different… that why I married you." Ursa said and leaned over and kissed her husband on the cheek. "And besides… do you really want another child? I have the feeling this one is going to be so much work."
"Yes in fact… I do want another child as soon as possible. I have to prove to myself that I'm not like my father, and I will treat my second born just as well as I treat my first born."
I finally made it to the room where my brother and nephew were. I ran in and saw Zuko hiding under a table and Ozai's hand was consumed in fire which he was about to throw at his son. I quickly lunged at him and knocked him on the ground. Then I quickly scooped up my nephew and began to run towards the door. But someone was in my way. It was Azula standing in the doorway.
"Bring my son back to me brother!" Ozai roared. "He hasn't completed his punishment."
"I won't let you harm him!" I shot back. "Do you realize what you are doing Ozai? You've always said you didn't want to repeat fathers actions! Father abused you because you were his second born and now you are abusing Zuko because he is your first born!"
I started to exit the room again when Ozai shouted
"Wait! You can take that filthy child away but my daughter stays with me! Come here Azula."
I looked down at Azula and mouthed out the word RUN and pointed out the door with my eyes. But she did the opposite of what I said and walked over to her father. Then she turned around to face me with a mischievous smile on her face as if she was pleased that she had disobeyed me. I quickly ran out the door with my nephew in my arms.
"Come closer Azula. I need to tell you something." Ozai sat down then lifted his daughter onto his lap.
"You are a very special child. Do you know why?"
"Because you are my second born child. Your brother and uncle are first born children so their souls are dirty. But we can destroy them and cleanse the earth of their filthiness. Will you help me do that Azula?"
"Of course I will daddy." Azula smiled. "But how?"
"We will discuss it when you are older sweetheart."