Author's Notes: I do not own Avatar the Last Airbender but I do own Zokar. This first chapter will be mostly backstory and the dialog will begin in the next chapter.
"…the greatest disease and the greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody to no one."- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Zokar was the second child of Prince Ozai and Ursa. He was born eleven months after the birth of his older brother Zuko, the whisperers said it was because the prince was disappointed in what he saw as weak talent in Zuko and wished to have a child whose firebending abilities equaled his own. If he desired that then was destined to again be disappointed. When Zokar was born those in attendance remarked that the child was unusually large for a newborn, an indication they said of great future strength. But when the child was presented to the fire sages they made a terrible pronouncement; the child was not a bender. The news shocked both the family and the nation. The royal line was descended of Agni, their bending was proof of his favor and their divine right to rule, and so what were they to make of a child who could not bend?
Ozai was furious; the child was a failure and an embarrassment. He now had twice as many children as his brother but of the two one was weak and the other was the first none-bender in the history of the royal line. He hated the child for not being a bender; both because it embarrassed him in front of his father and because it weakened his chances of appearing a better choice for the throne than his brother. While his fears were partially allayed by the birth of Azula he never warmed to the boy.
Zokar was a quiet child keeping mostly to himself. To the disgust of his father he showed an intense interest in books. As soon as he could read, which he learned to do months ahead of Zuko, he spent his days in the royal library. He could be found there almost anytime he wasn't with his tutors. It was his refuge from the rest of the world, and from his family.
His father continued to view him as a failure. If anything, his son's interest in books rather than war or politics made things even worse between them. The boy was not even useful as a means to secure a political advantageous marriage. The child was known to be a non-bender and to be despised by both his father and grandfather because of it, any family approached would see the proposal as an insult. If anything Ozai's hatred for the boy grew with the passage of time.
Ursa's relationship was more complex. It could be said by an outside observer that she neither hated nor loved the boy. Unlike Ozai, she did not see his lack of bending ability as a weakness, and she was proud of his early mastery of reading. But he also made her uneasy. Outwardly he was a calm, almost emotionless, child. He never responded to the scorn of his father nor the insults hurled at him by his siblings, he seemed to not even hear them. But his mother knew different; she saw the pain deep in his eyes, and then she saw that pain turn to rage. It was not the wild rage of Ozai and Azula, it was the patient, cold rage that bided its time but when it came it destroyed all in its path, in a way that scared her more than Azula's obvious cruelty. Ursa tried but she was never able to connect with her son.
Azula was perplexed by Zokar, on the one hand he was not a bender, and father always said that made him less than her. This, combined with her natural cruelty, led her to torment him on an almost daily basis. It was she who gave him the nickname 'Ash'. It suited him, she said, because it was like him: without fire, cold and dead. However, he never seemed to respond to any of her jabs. Even stranger was what she saw of his relationship with their parents. He did not seem close to either their father, as she was; or to their mother like Zuko. Unlike his siblings, who both tried to win the affection of the parent they were not close to, Zokar seemed indifferent to his lack of relationship with them. Azula could not understand him and was conflicted about her feelings for him. She really did think of him as inferior to her; and even to Zuko, who could at least bend. On the other hand, when she saw how he seemed unaffected by the opinions of others she, who lived for it, was nonplused and even a little envious.
Zuko was also conflicted regarding his younger brother. He felt sorry for Zokar and the scorn and insults that he endured; but he had to admit that it felt kind of good when his father said that Zuko was at least better than Zokar, or when Azula teased Zokar instead of him. Also, he feared Zokar and his cold detached attitude. Zuko also resented the way his brother always made him feel like he was the younger one of the two. So he would on occasion join Azula in her tormenting of him.
Iroh gave little thought to Zokar when he was younger; the child was so quiet it was easy to overlook him at times. Later, when he looked at the boy with the eyes of a grieving father, he saw something else. He saw a child that could grow into a monster just like Azula; worse in a way; because while she was crazy he was perfectly sane and all the more dangerous because of it.
Of all the experiences in the first twelve years of his life two stood out as having the greatest impact on his future actions. The first occurred shortly before his mother's disappearances. A servant was discovered to be an Earth Kingdom spy. The man was dragged before the Fire Lord who burned to the man to death personally. Ozai had insisted that the children come and watch the execution, over ruling Ursa's protests. Azula looked on with savage glee, enchanted by the violence and the savage display of firebending. Zuko was horrified by the event and had nightmares for weeks, much to his father's disgust and Azula's amusement. Zokar was as silent as usual, and whatever he thought, he kept to himself.
The second event occurred the next day. While he was walking to the library Azula saw him and saw the look of deep thought on his face. She asked him if he was thinking of what they had seen and if he was envious of seeing something he could never do himself, while reminding him that she was a prodigy which was why father loved her and not him. He never said a word; he just stared at her for moment then lunged. Azula shot a fire ball at him but, while indeed a prodigy, her bending was not yet as strong as would one day be. The fire hit him but barely seemed to singe him. His hand shot out and wrapped around her throat, while at the same time pinning her to a pillar. As she felt the effects of oxygen deprivation she struggled in his grasp but it was no use. She had never realized just how strong he was. All the while he stared at her never saying a word, just staring at her with an unreadable expression on his face. Just as she was about to lose consciousness he released her. As she slumped to the ground he continued his walk to the library never saying a word or looking back. That afternoon after lunch he went to the guards and asked for a sword.
Author's Notes: Well there is the first chapter. I think it was a little forced in places but please bear with me. For this character I drew inspiration in part from several stories I have read including: In the Mad House by Ciceronis, which I highly recommend, Game of thrones by G.R.R Martin. Please leave review and keep following and may Jesus bless you.