I don't own Avatar the Last Airbender.

There are rumours about the youngest Prince of the Fire Nation.

There are always rumours about the royal family but the ones about Prince Zuko are strange. And the rumours only grow wilder as the prince grows older.

They say he was born at midnight under a cloudless and moonless sky. They say he was born the very instant autumn turned to winter.

They say, wary of listening ears, that he was born without the spark of fire. They whisper, cautiously, quietly, he is not a firebender. Later, the rumours will change, later it will be known that the young prince is a bender, but still they will say, he bent fire late, and his flames are weak.

They say, loudly, proudly, the young prince's sister is a prodigy. There are whispers, as Prince Zuko is weak, so is Princess Azula strong. Very quietly they say, Prince Zuko is a failure in his father's eyes. A few whisper, his father tried to kill him the day he was born.

They say the youngest prince is Spirit-touched but they do not yet agree what this means. Most say it must be a blessing, from the Sun, from the dragons, from Agni, from the honoured and departed Fire Lord Sozin. Some whisper, he is cursed, the Spirits have cursed him, that is why his flames are weak but none agree which Spirit would have cursed him, the sun, the moon, the winds, the ocean, the earth, the Avatar. Why the Spirits would bless him, why they would curse, him, why the Spirits care at all spreads just as many different rumours. The war, the spirits favour it, the spirits hate it, the dragon hunts, the Air Nomad Genocide, the Fire Nation Colonies, the Southern Watetbender Raids, the missing Avatar and a thousand other reasons.

Some say, as the Princess Azula is blessed with Fire, the Prince Zuko is blessed to walk among the Spirits. Some whispered, very quietly in shadowed corners, that Prince Ozai's ambition knows no bounds, that he sacrificed his first-born child to the Spirits in exchange for a perfect second born child, that this is why the young prince is strange and the young princess is a prodigy.

A rare murmur is, perhaps, perhaps, that the prince is the Avatar but this a quiet rumour for both its treasonous nature and the little evidence supporting it. The prince bent late after all and he bends nothing but fire, Spirit-touched he might be but the Avatar he is not.

They say the young Prince is to be a trained by the Fire Sages. Some say he will be a Fire Sage himself. Some speculate, perhaps Zuko will be the Fire Lord's advisor on matters relating to Spirits. A few whisper, the young prince is a blemish, a stain, that will be quietly swept away. An uncertain, wavering rumour says, Fire Lord Azulon looks on the young Prince favourably.

They say that Crown Prince Iroh loves his nephew. What is not said except behind close doors is that the Prince's Uncle cares for him more then his own Father does. They say that Prince Lu Ten adores his cousin, that he loves him like a brother. They say that the young Prince admires Lu Ten, that he loves him with all the fierce devotion of younger brother to elder brother. Many wonder if the Prince Zuko will hold a place of honour in his cousin's court. Some say very, very quietly when no-one is listening, that Prince Zuko is Iroh's and Ursa's son, that this is why Prince Ozai hates him and the main line is so fond of him.

They say a great many things about the young Prince Zuko. Some of the rumours are true, some are false, many are a bit of both.

Thank you for the three guest reviews I received.

Each of these small prologue is sort peek at the pre-canon changes, I might write more about how Zuko's childhood was different later but I want to get to the current-time/canon-time part of the story.