A/N- This idea came to me while reviewing my DIRTY WATER CHALLENGE in my forum. However, this story does not comply with the challenge. Hope you enjoy.
I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender
Fire Lord Azulon looked up as one of his many servants entered his throne room.
"Pardon my intrusion," the servant said as he bowed before the aged Fire Lord. "Captain Yon Rha has returned from the his assignment."
"Very good," Azulon said. "Send him and whomever he brought in. Then go and find my granddaughter and send her to me."
"Right away sir," the servant said before leaving.
Azulon watched as the servant left. He hoped that his plan would work. Ozai was a fool, and the old Fire Lord would be damned if he let his granddaughter become corrupted by her father's beliefs. He often wondered where he went wrong with his youngest son, Iroh at least understood that the other elements were dangerous, and more than capable of beating them. Ozai refused to believe that any element was greater than fire. Perhaps he had to much of his grandfather in him, Sozin believed much the same way. It was one reason Azulon's father had no problem wiping out the Air Nomads. What was the point of conquering the world if you wiped out the people you set out to rule over?
And despite his harsh appearance and demeanor, Azulon loved his family, even if he didn't show it often. He was ashamed that Ozai virtually ignored Zuko, but he did not interfere. In his old age, it would be cruel. He could die at any moment, tearing him away from his grandson. He had no delusions, despite his father's longevity, he wouldn't live near as long, nor did he wish to. Sozin had lingered for days in bed, ill, before finally passing in his sleep. Azulon would sooner end his own life than linger on like his father had.
Azulon was pulled from his musings as Yon Rha, Captain and commander of the Southern Raiders entered his throne room, pulling a shackled young girl behind him. Internally, Azulon raged, although he remained unchanged on the outside. Even if the child was a waterbending prodigy, there was no way she could have learned enough to pose a serious threat. There was no need for the shackles.
Yon Rha bowed before Azulon. "Your orders have been carried out." He stood up and pulled the child forward. "The girl is a waterbender, as you wished."
"Take off her shackles, then leave," Azulon commanded in a commanding voice that left no room for disobedience. He may be old, but he was still a master firebender.
Yon Rha did as commanded and removed the chains and shackles without hesitation. He then bowed to his Fire Lord before leaving the young child with the old man.
Azulon quenched the flames directly in front of him and gestured for the child to approach. "Come child," he said warmly, attempting to coax the young girl forward without force. "Let me have a look at you."
The young girl slowly approached his throne. And Azulon took the opportunity to asses the girl. Like most members of the Water Tribes, she had dark brown hair and dark skin, a marked contrast to the pale skin of most Fire Nation people. Her blue eyes shown with fear and worry. Azulon briefly felt bad for ripping this young girl from her home and family, but quickly squashed it. This was for his granddaughter, and his family came before anyone else's in his mind. The girl appeared to be five years of age, the same as his granddaughter
When the girl was standing in front of him he smiled and held out his hand. "It's okay child, I won't harm you." When the girl didn't respond he continued. "I am Azulon, whats your name?"
"Katara," the girl said quietly.
"That's a very pretty name. How old are you?"
Azulon's smile grew. "I have a granddaughter the same age as you. She's going to come here soon, and you can meet her. Her name's Azula. You miss your parents, don't you child?"
The girl nodded.
"Until you go home, I am going to take care of you for them."
The girls eyes brightened. "I can go home?"
"One day child, one day."
The door to the throne room opened and Azula came in and bowed before her grandfather. "You wanted to see me Grandfather?" she asked.
Azulon smiled. "Come here Azula, I have someone I wish for you to meet."
Azula stood and walked to her grandfather and the strange girl that was standing with him.
"Azula, this is Katara, she is a waterbender. Katara, this is my granddaughter Azula."
"Hello," Katara said shyly.
"Hi," Azula smirked.
"Katara is going to be staying here in the palace with us," Azulon explained to his granddaughter. "I want you to keep an eye on her and spend some time with her."
And so Katara of the Southern Water Tribe came to be in the care of Fire Lord Azulon
Azula and Katara became fast friends, much to Prince Ozai's displeasure. He didn't understand why his father insisted that this Water Tribe filth live and spend time with his daughter. But Azulon was still Fire Lord, so Ozai had no choice but to allow it. It seemed as though the only time the two were separated was during their respective bending lessons.
Despite not being a waterbender, Azulon took it upon himself to teach the young girl waterbending. He procured every scroll and book the Fire Nation had at it's disposal for the girl. His lessons mostly consisted of correcting the young girls form, as she often got it wrong being too young to accurately match what was pictured. But Katara spent much of her free time either reading scrolls and books provided by Azulon, practicing her bending, or playing with Azula, and occasionally Zuko.
Katara began to adopt the personality of her new friend. While she wasn't as outspoken as the princess, she enjoyed teasing Zuko, whom the two often called Zu-zu. And despite being mostly self taught as Azulon could only do so much, her waterbending skill proved that, much like Azula, she was a prodigy.
When Azula began to attend the Royal Fire Academy for Girls, Azulon also sent Katara. The fact that she was not Fire Nation was ignored, no one would dare disagree with the Fire Lord.
It was during this time that Azula and Katara met Mai and Ty Lee. The four quickly became friends, in other words Azula quickly decided that Mai and Ty Lee would be their friends.
Shortly before turning eight, Katara learned that the body was approximately sixty percent water. Without Azulon's knowledge, she began to experiment with small animals.
A few months after Azula turned eight, Azulon died. And while she was still allowed to live in the palace, Ozai cut the amount of time Azula and Katara were permitted to be together. Azula and Katara were still best friends, however. By this time, Katara had mostly forgotten her home and family in the Southern Water Tribe. And she devoted much of her time to improving her waterbending.
By the age of ten, Katara was a master waterbender, and Azula was a master firebender with blue fire. And Katara was capable of bloodbending at anytime, along with killing a person by pulling all the water out of their body. She was more ruthless, if not as out-spoken, then Azula. Were her friend enjoyed gloating and sarcastic remarks, Katara preferred silent terror, playing with her foes and torturing them from within as their blood would literally begin to boil, making few if any comments.
Shortly after her tenth birthday, she disappeared.
Iroh looked sadly at the door behind which Katara was sedated. He prayed that it was not to late for the young girl. He quickly made his way to the bridge of the ship to see how much longer until they arrived at rendezvous point.
Katara hated the South Pole. She had been dropped off here almost four years ago. And while she was displeased about being here and reunited with the family she had long forgotten, she hid it. She acted excited and happy to be returned to the freezing cold hell she had been left at. And she hid her true waterbending capabilities, she doubt she'd be able to escape if the rest of the tribe knew what she was capable of. Besides, she had spent the last five years in the Fire Nation, how could she have learned waterbending.
Her blood brother was an idiot, as was her father. Her grandmother, Kanna, Katara actually liked however, she was similar to Azulon. And her mother, though well meaning, was overbearing.
Then she and Sokka had found the boy in the iceberg and the Fire Nation ship had appeared.
Katara smiled as she recognized Zuko, though he didn't have that scar the last time she saw him, as he walked down the gangplank.
Before the exiled prince could speak, he and his mean were encased in ice and an water tribe girl stepped forward.
Zuko paled when the girl spoke with a voice he hadn't heard in four years.
There are no plans to continue this. Use your imagination to figure out what happens next.
Please Review and check out the DIRTY WATER CHALLENGE in my Forum, I also have another Avatar challenge there, AIRBENDING ACROBAT.