Flaming Ember - An X-Men: Evolution fanfiction.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the X-Men.

Chapter 1

Berlin, Germany

Mischa Wagner stood in the darkness of the attic bedroom she shared with her mother. Her clothes were ragged and threadbare. Moonlight shone through a hole than ran along the hemline of her dress, but none of her features were visible in the still darkness of the room. Footsteps could be heard, pounding up the stairs towards her, but, still, the four-year-old stared, transfixed, at the object that danced freely in the palm of her hand: A tiny, pale-blue ball of fire.

"Mscha – nein!"

Mischa looked up as the room was suddenly flooded with light to see her mother standing in the open doorway.

"Mama," Mischa said, closing her hand, causing the ball of fire to vanish.

Mischa's mother, Kiara Blaze, stared at her daughter with wide, frightened blood-red eyes. At the age of nineteen, Kiara was startlingly thin, her dark hair that was shot through with streaks of blood-red and bright yellow was thick with grease, the black scales that covered her body had long since lost their luster, and she learned long ago to always to keep her wings folded against her spine in their current household. Her face was gaunt with the skin spread taut across her cheekbones, which jutted out at sharp angles, and her expression was, at the moment, panic-stricken.

"Mischa," Kiara said, rushing over to her daughter and grabbing her by her shoulders. "How long have you been able to do that for?"

"Not long," Mischa said quickly. "Tonight was the first time, I swear. It is not the only thing I know how to do, though."

"What?" Kiara said, looking even more distraught than before.

"Now, now, Kiara," a man's voice said. "I believe young Mischa's powers could prove valuable to us."

Kiara and her daughter both looked up to see an elderly man dressed in a priest's robe standing in the doorway of their bedroom.

"Father Viktor?" Kiara asked, looking at the man inquiringly.

The Xavier Institute

Bayville, New York

Professor Charles Xavier sat silently in front of the machine that was Cerebro. He stared at the map of Europe on the screen with all of its flashing dots. He was focused particularly hard on the dot that was flashing over Berlin, Germany.

Professor Xavier spun around in his wheelchair as the doors of the Cerebro chamber slid open with a hiss. Beast, Logan, and Ororo entered the room. The doors slid shut behind them.

"You called, Professor?" Ororo asked.

"Indeed I did," Professor Xavier said, turning back to Cerebro. "You see, over the course of this past month, Cerebro has been picking up on anomalies in Berlin, Germany that suggest a mutant is present there."

"So?" Logan said, looking unconcerned as he leaned against the doorjamb. "There are mutants all over Europe. Why should this one be any different?"

"You don't think it's one of Magneto's men, do you?" Beast asked the professor with raised eyebrows.

"Oh, no," Professor Xavier assured him, smiling. "This mutant's powers have only just begun to manifest themselves."

"Then why are we so worried about it?" Logan said, frowning.

"Yes," Ororo said, "and why are we keeping Scott and the others in the dark about this?"

"What kind of mutant are we dealing with here, Charles?" Beast asked, crossing his arms.

Professor Xavier typed a name into Cerebro and brought up an X-Men profile sheet that none of them had seen in years. The three behind him stiffened. The subject on the screen had long ago become a taboo in the Xavier mansion and none of them believed that the professor would dare to bring it up.

"Five years ago," Professor Xavier said, "the mutant known as Kiara Blaze disappeared from this property without notice –"

"It wasn't without notice," Logan interjected. "Bobby Drake let her leave and then he watched her fly off into the sunset."

"We have, as of yet," Professor Xavier said, ignoring Logan's outburst, "been unable to locate, but I believe I may have found a lead that is worth following up on."

"In Berlin?" Ororo said doubtfully with raised eyebrows.

"Yes," Professor Xavier said, bringing up another mutant's profile. "You see, the powers that have been manifesting belong to a very young girl by the name of Mischa Wagner." He hit the "Print" button on Cerebro.

The room was silent for a moment as the Professor printed out the mutant's profile. Then Logan said, "Did you say this kid's name was Wagner?"

"Yes, that's right," Professor Xavier said, knowing he would have to explain little more.

"And how old is she?" Ororo asked.

"She only just turned four, actually," Professor Xavier said, handing them each a copy of the girl's profile.

"She's a teleporter?" Beast said, looking impressed by what he read.

"Yes," Professor Xavier said, "but she also displays several characteristics of a pyro as well. Just this evening, I discovered that she has the ability to conjure fire."

"She must have gotten that ability from her mother," Ororo said, still reading Mischa Wagner's profile.

Logan looked up from the papers in his hand. "All right," he said, looking at the professor. "Now, I've just got one question for you – who's going to tell Kurt?"

A/N: Alright. Now, just to be clear, I'm not entirely sure if this is actually going anywhere. I'm just posting it as an experiment due a request from a reader. So read and review the chapter, answer the poll I've set up on my profile, and we'll see what happens from there.