Disclaimer: Hellsing belongs to Kouta Hirano. Historical real people have no copyright, of course.
Special Thanks: To Lilliam Dashwood my beta reader.
The sound of her giggle fascinated him. Alucard couldn't figure out why precisely. Perhaps it was the fact that, despite her notable awareness of the role she was born to fulfill, the girl still held some childish passion for the simple things of life, quite the opposite of the rest of the pompous Court.
At times, he wondered if he should crush that innocence. Defile her as he did with many others. Defanged he might be, but his tongue was a sharp as his canines, and the girl trusted him. That was what made him stop, not the seal or the commands of his Master.
How she had him ensnared like this was a mystery. Was it her wit? Her curiosity about history? Or was it the fact that she was partly his descendant? Had he become a distant ancestor looking after his bloodline?
He didn't know, and he didn't question himself on this matter at the moment; instead, he would settle for watching her as she rode her white stallion, followed by her faithful hounds.
His presence was soon sensed by the animals, and they froze in place when they crossed near him. Seeing the young lady's unease, he stepped out the shadows. Long black hair in a rather feminine cut, white suit and a furry hat came to her sight.
"Alucard? Is that you?"
He tipped his hat, inclining his head in mocking respect. He flashed a smirk to make the Cheshire Cat envious.
"It's indeed me, Tillabet."
The expression of puzzlement that took over her features amused him. She no longer bothered to lecture him for using that pet name, one that her family had forsaken since her grandfather's death.
"You have changed… Your height… your clothes too. You look like…"
"Yes... Why did you do that?"
"War is coming… I can smell the fear on the hearts of everyone… Taste the sweet chaotic flavour in my mouth."
He laughed then, a loud and malicious sound enough to chill the bravest hearts. The opposite of Tillabeth's laugh.
She sunk into herself, quiet all sudden, gaze starting blankly at the ground.
"Where will you go, little tomboy? Stay safe with your horses and the memories of yesterday? Would the woods shield your ears from the screams of your people?"
Her response was silence once again, the future Monarch fell in a pensive mood, the blissful happiness had left her. He chuckled proud by his feat.
"Children are among the most deceiving creatures, did you know? Apparently so fragile yet cruel in their pranks and games. I shall be a child and the battlefield my playground, and the enemy my dolls."
She rose her gaze to look at him, dull eyes devoid of their former spark. Her lips turning up on a smile. He lifted a brow to that.
"So… what will you do, little tomboy princess?"
"I'll grow up."