The Palace

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(A/N) Ok so this chapter, and possibly the next chapter, takes place before ATLA. Right now is pre-Zuko Banishment. According to the internet, Zuko was about 13 when he was banished, so yes in this chapter he's quite young, as are you. This chapter will have a one year time skip and the next chapter will have another time-skip to the timeline that ATLA runs on. I hope that's not confusing.

(Y/N)'s POV

Moving into the Fire Nation Royal Palace was not fun. People really would expect me to be excited to move into a 'real life palace' right? Wrong. First of all, the only reason I'm moving in, is because three days ago, my parents were killed, right in front of me. But, yay! Palace! Second of all, even though Fire Lord Ozai and my Father were close friends, I had never spoken to Ozai, and I have never stepped foot into the palace (until right now, of course). Basically, I'm moving in with complete strangers. But, yay! Palace! And finally, Ozai is scary. Seriously. I mean, the things I've heard about this guy? I think I'd rather live alone in my dead parents' house. Unfortunately, Ozai insisted to take me in. What am I supposed to say? No? He'll probably kidnap me or something. So, there I was standing in front of the Palace, with a bunch of servants around me scurrying around with getting my stuff, preparing to take it to my new chambers. One servant held my mothers' jewelry box, among a couple hundred (exaggeration) boxes. I watched as the delicate gold box moved around, until it eventually started hurtling towards the floor. I lunged, and caught the box in mid air. I looked the servant in the eye, "This stays with me." He cowered and nodded, before scampering away. I felt bad, I didn't mean to scare him. But I guess the servants around here are jumpy, not that I blame them. I took a deep breath, straightened my clothes, and clutched mom's box in my hand before walking through the doors. I was told to wait for a servant to show me my room, but honestly, I didn't really care. So I set out to find my room on my own. Bad idea? Maybe. But I have a ton of those, and usually I pull it off.

I was roaming the palace when I overheard a conversation between two servants.

"Have you seen (Y/N)? She's the girl Ozai's letting live here, but I can't find her. He wants to see her. He's going to kill me isn't he?"

"Calm down, I'll help you find her, come on"

Oh man, I'm totally screwed. I quickly hid behind a pillar, and set down my jewelry box, hoping for them to pass. I really didn't want to go to my chambers, and I definitely didn't want to speak with the Fire Lord. I started to back away when I heard a voice in my ear.

"What are you doing?"

I closed my fists and ignited a light flame before turning around and aiming it at the person behind me, I was greeted by a boy, probably around 12, which is a year older than me. His hair was long, and pulled into a ponytail. He wasn't exactly dressed like a servant, but I had no idea who he was. "Who are you? What do you want from me?"

"Who am I? I live here, and you're the one threatening to burn me. I should be asking you those questions"

Wait, he lives here? I lowered my fists. I'm pretty sure I almost set the prince on fire. I cleared my throat. "My bad. I'm (Y/N), and apparently I live here now. And I'm guessing that you're Prince Zuko? Sorry for trying to burn you." I said while kneeling to pick up my box.

"So you were the one those servants were talking about? The one my father wants to see?"

"What? No... I'm sure The Fire Lord doesn't want to see me..."

"They literally just said," he cleared his throat, "'Have you seen (Y/N)? She's the girl Ozai's letting live here, but I can't find her. He wants to see her.'"

"I have no idea what you're talking about my name isn't (Y/N), it's, uh" I looked around and saw a girl holding a fan to her face, "fan!"

He raised an eyebrow "you just said your name is (Y/N), besides, what kind of name is fan?"

"Uh, what? Sorry I can't hear you? Wait I'm sorry I think I hear someone calling me. Got to go, bye!"

"H-hey wai-"

I didn't hear the rest of his sentence because I got out of there as fast as I could. I came by these huge doors, so you know, I opened them, as people do. The room was huge. It was filled with black pillars, and the floor was all black too. My eyes glanced up to see a fire wall, and behind it, was Fire Lord Ozai. Wow. You've got to be kidding me.

"(Y/N)! I've only seen you in the paintings your fathers sent me." He sounded like he was trying to sound hospitable, but he gave me bad vibes. "I sent for you a while ago, but never mind you're here now." There was a young girl near him, with a seemingly permanent sneer on her face. "Azula, show (Y/N) to her chambers." The princess flinched at the mention of her name, then rolled her eyes and showed me to my room. She also gave me bad vibes. On the way to my room she tripped as many servants as she could. She seems a little bit crazy. But I didn't tell her that. She'd probably burn my face off. She left me in my room. By the time we got there everything I needed was set up. I sat on the bed with my jewelry box and traced the design with my thumb. The box was mostly gold, but in the center there was a red dragon, and a blue sea serpent circling each other. The dragon was my fathers family seal, and the serpent, my mothers. My father had the box made for my mother, and gave it to her on their wedding day. He told her from now on, this symbol would be our family's seal for the generations to come. I sighed. I had my mom tell me that story hundreds of times when I was 7. I lifted the lid to the box and looked at all the jewelry. I dug through the jewelry and took out my mothers' favorite necklace. It was a simple gold chain with our family seal on it. It wasn't the most extravagant piece in the box, but it was really all I wanted. I undid the clasp and put it around my neck, struggling to redo the clasp around my neck.

"Do you need some help with that?"

I turned around and saw a familiar face. "Prince Zuko! You've got to stop sneaking up on me like that."

"You could just call me Zuko," he said walking behind me and reaching for the clasp of my necklace.

"Alright Zuko, what brings you here?" I asked him while he clasped my necklace

"Just wanted to see how you were doing," he finished clasping the necklace "there, I did it"

I turned around and looked him in the eye. "I'm fine, a little shaken up, but I'll live,"

"I'm glad to hear it, Fan" He smiled

I laughed, "me too" I smiled back.

[ONE YEAR LATER]

It's been a year since I moved into the palace. Honestly, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I mean it's not amazing, but I have friends. And by friends I mean friend. Zuko. Either way, that's still more friends than I've had my whole life. Depressing? Maybe. True? Yes. But anyway, Zuko and I headed towards the Throne Room, which is also the War Room? I don't really know. This place is weird. But anyway we headed towards the Throne/War Room (much to my dismay I really didn't want to be there). Zuko heard that there was a meeting with his Father and the generals and he wanted to be a part of it. I held a glass of water, because honestly, that room is so warm. We were stopped by the guards, which Zuko was not happy with, but I was fine with it. I try to avoid Ozai as much as possible. Zuko groaned in frustration and turned to his Uncle Iroh who was trying to convince him not to go. Personally, I wasn't really paying attention to the conversation but apparently, Iroh made him promise not to speak. I chuckled at the thought. Good luck with that. We entered the room and the meeting started. The meeting droned on and I swirled my finger in the water. Suddenly I felt Zuko shift, and then get up speaking out against a general. "Zuko...no" I muttered quietly under my breath. Ozai glared down at Zuko, fire in his eyes. There was only one way to settle this. Agni Kai.

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