For those of you who haven’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender – I don’t think you’ll have much of a problem following this story. It’s Jily set in the ATLA universe. All you really need to know about the ATLA universe is that some people can control an element, and there is a reincarnating person called the Avatar who can control all four elements.
If you do know ATLA: I haven’t written fic in this world before, so please forgive any errors.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Lindsey and Karaline for catching my errors and, more importantly, soothing my nerves.
The first time James was supposed to meet the Avatar, he skived off.
The Avatar was coming, his mother had told him, and they all had to be on their best behavior.
Of course, “Best behavior” were James’s least favorite words, right after “No,” “Because I said so,” and “Sirius can’t come with.”
James didn’t see why being able to bend all four elements meant someone was worth meeting, much less putting on his Best Behavior for. (Not that he had found anyone yet worthy of Best Behavior. He wasn’t even entirely sure what that meant.) To a nine-year-old boy, “bring balance” meant that the Avatar—some Earth kingdom ninny—existed to squash all of his fun. Or at least the fun he managed in between all the boring stuff his parents made him do as Prince of the Fire Nation.
With well-practiced maneuvers, which included Sirius distracting everyone by spouting off “uncontrollable” fire, James ducked the royal guards and ran off into the city. He met Sirius at their usual meeting place ten minutes later (near a statue that was probably of one of James’s ancestors, given his family’s self-obsession), and they continued their ongoing exploration of their neighborhood streets. Even though Caldera had hard, geographical limits—the crater on top of a dormant volcano, which only served as further evidence that James lived in the coolest place in the world—the Capital continued on at the base of the volcano, large enough to provide endless entertainment.
The guards didn’t so much find James as come running when he accidentally set fire to a merchant’s cart. It was the man’s fault, really. James had looked back over his shoulder, laughing that Sirius was never going to catch him in their game of Hide and Explode, and had run headlong into the cart. The merchant started shouting about his cabbages and threatening James with grievous bodily harm, and what else was James’s body going to do but catch fire as a defense mechanism?
Fenwick lifted James to sit on his shoulders, took a sullen Sirius in hand, and escorted them back to the palace.
James’s mum brushed the residual ash off him with one hand and sighed. Fenwick had to forcefully carry Sirius away, as usual, and James’s mum crouched down, so her face was at James’s level.
"You can’t keep running away, James," she said. "You’ve got responsibilities."
“Responsibilities” was another one of James’s least favorite words. He scowled.