A/N: I corrected a historical mistake at the end of the story and added a little to the last paragraph.
I've read a lot of reviews and stories with references to Vlad III Draculea, or however each prefers to spell his name/title, and decided to write my own history lesson, lol. Hope I don't bore everyone too much.
Curiosity of A Vampire
A storm had arrived upon the outskirts of London, casting its vicious wrath upon the usually sleepy countryside. Such a one as this had had not been seen in many years, and most residents wondered if they would be safe within their homes. Several trees met their doom in the storm, their roots no longer supporting them as they crashed to the ground. Power lines fell with their last quaking, causing much of the area to darken. One regal mansion, nestled before a small wooded area, sat proudly against the rush. Its heavy gates and stone walls creaked amid the unforgiving winds and pounding sheets of moisture, though they stood steadfast against the onrush.
Seras Victoria stood at the large windows in the main sitting room, watching as the trees shook with the force of the wind as the rain pelted against the glass. The power had ceased an hour before and the rain was expected to last the entire evening. She sighed, the night being longer than usual due to the utter boredom her life had brought her. She could think of little to do in the time before the sun would rise.
Leaving the window and letting her eyes browse along the walls, she beheld a few portraits hanging upon the walls. All were obviously Integra's ancestors, the former masters of the mansion, and each looked quite intimidating as they looked down upon one of the monsters they had tried so hard to destroy. She idly wondered when Sir Integra would have one made of herself, but supposed from the aged faces she had several more years before thinking of such a trivial matter.
Reaching the last of the portraits, Seras was surprised to see Alucard standing behind the figure of an elderly gentleman. Reading the year upon the bottom of the frame, she surmised the picture to have been painted a little less than one hundred years ago. Standing back and reevaluating the sight before her, she noticed he still wore the same glasses and the outfit was nearly identical to his current one, a change being in the lack of the wide-brimmed hat.
Seras smiled at his unchanging attire, wondering if he had always worn such outrageous clothing. Musing over her thought, she realized she knew nothing of her master save what she had seen in the encounters with him. Even his style of material was unknown to his fledgling and she being the communicative type was surprised she had not asked him before. With a nod of her head and a small on her face, she set out to find her sire and obtain answers to her questions.
After taking a mere few steps into the hall, Seras was startled to see her master merely sitting upon the railing atop the second story landing. His eyes were apparently closed, though he wore his glasses, and his form was unmoving. Gathering her courage to disturb his meditation, she slowly approached his still figure. After crushing the desire to tip him over the edge for his brashness, she finally stood next to his unmoving body and took a deep breath.
"Master, who were you?" Seras asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
Seras could not see if his eyes had opened or not, but he slowly turned his head in her direction. He did not speak at first, possibly processing the question she had stated and looking for the best sarcastic comment in his large arsenal.
"Are you so easily amused, Police Girl?" Alucard finally asked, the boredom in his voice clearly heard.
"But Master-" Seras began, only to be interrupted.
"Silence" he spoke lowly, glaring at his child. His glasses had fallen down his nose, revealing his bright red eyes to her curious one's. "There is no point in remembering what we were. The only time that matters is now, and what we are. Understand?"
Seras nodded her understanding and walked dejectedly down the stairs and out of Alucard's presence. Her master guarded his past life with more relish than he did the ways of vampires, of which Integra was finally forcing him to teach the young fledgling some useful skills. She had nearly mastered the art of walking through walls, though her refusal to drink blood was hindering her progress to learn any other abilities. He gave her nothing but contempt in his looks, his disdain for the lessons obvious in his narrowed mouth and biting remarks.
Seras raised her head, a stubborn and determined expression on her face. She was going to learn about her master, with or without his help. Maybe Walter or Sir Integra would be able to tell her more of his past, or at the least give her some hints. She knew by her heightening senses her master had not left his position on the rail, so she decided to search out the elderly retainer whom she supposed was doing chores somewhere around the manor.
Seras walked along the hallways, tracking her prey, but suddenly slowed her steps when she came upon the doors leading to the library. She sincerely did not wish to intrude upon Sir Integra nor Walter's filled schedules and possibly the many books in the grand library would suffice in her curiosity. Entering the room and swiftly going about her inquiry, she at first found nothing to catch her attention. However, searching through the many shelves in the far back of the room, she came across the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Looking at the aged pages and the lack of a copyright, she assumed the book to be a first edition.
Seras wondered why the library would hold such a book, the entertainment quality overriding any practical reason for its placement. Dracula did make the idea of vampires less believable to people, the tale frightening them like so many camp fire stories, but was useless as a handbook if the undead were ever to show themselves to the common masses.
Looking further along the bookcase, Seras noticed several treatises on Dracula, both fact and fiction lying side by side. Musing over the many volumes, her eye stopped on a small booklet which appeared to be newer than most.
"Vlad Tepes, an historical account" she read aloud, curiosity crossing her face. She pulled the book from its shelf, along with Dracula and several other volumes, and seated herself in the chair closest to the bookcase. Opening to the first chapter, she read of the travels of Jonathan Harker to the area of Borgo Pass, in the region of Transylvania. Upon reaching the description of the carriage driver, she quirked an eyebrow at the familiarity of the figure described. Shrugging off the strange feeling, she continued to read until she came to the encounter with the client to whom he was to do business. The sensation returned once again, though this time the strength of the feeling nearly scattered her thoughts. She repeated the description over in her mind, trying to find a connection to her troubled emotions.
Pointed nose, pale skin, lean and tall, lengthened hair...
Seras' eyes widened as she stiffened in her chair. Her mouth dropped open as the book slowly slid from her fingers, dropping noiselessly into her lap. She slowly turned her shocked eyes upon the books laying around her and the ones which were still upon the shelf, understanding entering her face. The truth had been before her all this time and she had not even thought of such an idea.
Her master was Dracula.
A short, barking laugh escaped Seras' lips at the utter stupidity she had shown. Who else but the legendary creature of the night could be so insane? Five hundred or so odd years as an immortal would certainly be a strain upon anyone's system and he truly was a perfect specimen of such a condition. She now eagerly looked about herself, knowing the information she had sought now lay within her reach. Remembering the small booklet from before, she eagerly picked up the small book and opened to the first page.
Vlad III Draculea was born to the ruling house of Wallachia, his father being the voivode of said country. His education was current with the time, being first taught by his mother and later by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, of which he was a prisoner.
Seras skimmed through the pages, his early life mostly chronicling his father's tributes to the Sultan and the many battles won and lost over those years. Finding a particular chapter which she thought morbidly interesting, the young vampire once more began reading.
Draculea's preferred method of death, as most know, was to impale his enemies and those he considered offenders atop a spiked pole. The name "Tepes" came from his enemies in the Ottoman Empire, the phrase meaning "impaling prince" and Draculea never used the title himself.
He had never used the name of Tepes on the documents he had signed? Seras was a little puzzled over why he would not want the title, his current disposition seeing no problem with being called a monster. She continued reading, knowing well she was receiving more questions than answers in her quest for knowledge.
Reports were written during and after his death of the heinous tortures wrought by the voivode during his reign. He was said to stake women atop the spikes with their children sewn into their breasts, both slowly being killed by the sharp stick. Others he would watch die as he sat and ate his dinner, a famous woodcut showing such. However, no proof has ever been found implying Vlad had drank the blood of his executed victims.
Seras snorted softly at the last passage. She had seen all the proof she needed with her own eyes, that tale obviously being true. A paragraph at the end of the page caught her attention, deepening her already muddled thoughts.
Coincidentally, most accounts of the Prince's thirst for sadistic torture are derived from those given by the Saxons, a minority group living in some parts of Draculea's lands. Unfortunately, their claims must be given some doubt, given the source is obviously biased. The Saxons were being driven from the lower Wallachia territories during the Prince's reign, Vlad wishing to break their monopoly on the trade in that area. The Saxons in retribution would not have had qualms in assigning these monstrous deeds to the ruler they so hated.
Had Vlad been the ruthless dictator everyone reports, torturing his people and enemies for his own pleasure? Suddenly her eyes stopped on one passage, her habitual breathing hitched as she scanned the last sentence.
A national hero in Romania?
Seras' eyes widened at the words, reading them over as if she couldn't believe what her senses were telling her. Surely these people knew what sort of monster he had been and now was? She read on, intent on finding a method to their madness.
The outcome of his harsh treatment toward the guilty was...honesty. No one would dare steal from each other, knowing if caught that the punishment for such acts would be severe. He had fought the Muslim Turks many times, winning several victories and protecting Christian Europe. The people of Romania respected his harsh treatments because he gave them stability and for the first time united the surrounding areas into one stable economy. He was so well respected, a legend arose that he had not really died, but was merely in hiding and would return to aid his Romania.
Seras smirked a little, remembering the tales of King Arthur's return when England would need him the most. She guessed some tales traveled beyond borders, or possibly hope never cared what nationality one was. Reaching the end of the page and noticing the sun would rise within the hour, she hurriedly glanced over the last few pages.
The Prince's rule also brought much grief upon him. He was betrayed numerous times by the boyars whom he had given rank to, a few of those conspirators blamed in his death being of a related blood line. His own father left him and his brother, Radu, for ransom in the care of the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. His wife committed suicide during a Turkish siege rather than surrender herself to the army, a disgrace which would have been too great for her to condemn herself to. His brother Radu was implicated in leading the Ottoman's to the stronghold where his wife had stayed, therefore assisting in her demise.
Seras sighed, pausing in her reading as she tried to imagine how difficult a life those in that era had to endure. She could not imagine the countless wars and constant bloodshed surrounding their daily lives and duties to ruling house of the country. Turning back to her reading and flipping the page, she saw the end of the historical account.
The direct line of Vlad III Draculea lasted through the turbulent years following his death, Queen Elizabeth II of England being one of his descendants.
Seras chuckled as she thought of Alucard as the kindly grandfather of the elderly queen, turning the page to find more amusing details about her stoic master. An index lay in the back of the book, chronicling the relatively cruel and perverse figures throughout the ages, and Seras grimaced as she read through the history known of those days.
Elizabeth Bathory, the bloody countess who murdered countless girls in the belief their blood would forever make her young. Henry the VIII of England, who executed three of his wives merely to bare a male heir. The Spanish Inquisition, torturing those accused of heresy and driving others to flee their lands. The Count de Sade of France during the French Revolution, a reveler in the worst kinds of gruesome sexual torture and the origin of the word Sadism.
The young vampire lifted her head and stared ahead of her, many thoughts traveling through her mind. After having read all those books, Seras could only come to one shocking conclusion. Her master wasn't a monster...he was a survivor.
"Bloody hell" Seras murmured under her breath, her shocked gaze still looking forward. She had no idea her master was such a complicated character, something more than the blood thirsty beast who destroyed opponents with ease and without mercy. He'd lived long after the downfall of his country, watching as the defenses fell and the times changed around his un-altering state. His once trusted followers succumbing to the call of death was an experience Seras could now relate to, being unable to fight for those no longer willing to take the aid of such a monster. Even in death he still ruthlessly killed all those who stood as a challenge to his master and her land, having no qualms with inflicting what he considered a deserved punishment.
But then, perhaps in some way his fight for his country had never really ended...
"Prying into others' pasts, Police Girl?" a cold voice spoke behind her.
Seras froze at the words, the books still open in her now quivering hands. She immediately recognized the voice as her master's, and the undertone in the voice told her he was angry. She cringed at being caught so blatantly disobeying his orders and punishment would surely come with such ire as he now showed. She gave a small shriek and jumped of the chair when an arm grazed her shoulders, swiftly turning to look at the master vampire standing behind where she had sat.
Alucard's gaze traveled over her guilty face to the book now tightly held within her right hand, his lips set in a down turned smile. Seras shifted under her penetrating eyes, her mind telling her to flee but her guilt telling her to stay and await her punishment. When he held out his hand with the palm up, she quickly dropped the small book into his waiting limb.
Alucard looked over the cover for a moment, an almost thoughtful expression on his face. He turned his head to look at her own, his brows slowly crashing down in dissatisfaction.
"Judge not lest ye be judged" he spoke lowly, his eyes boring into her own.
An audible gulp escaped Seras' throat as her hands fidgeted with the end of her skirt.
"Did I not tell you the past was pointless?" he said, moving out from behind the chair and circling her small frame. "Do not presume to know your master through the use of these worthless books." He stopped before her quivering body, shoving the book into her hands and turning away from her. Looking over his shoulder, he continued with his speech though his voice was lower than was normal for him. "My human life is unimportant, more so than even yours." The last was grated out between clenched teeth as the darkness swirled around him, showing the emergence of his dark portal.
"But you're not forgotten" came a quiet whisper behind him.
Alucard stopped his leave and turned to the girl behind him, an eyebrow raised at her tone of voice. Seras was looking sadly at the book in her hand, a few stray tears sliding down her face. She had nothing of her former life, her parents buried along with her comrades. No one would weep at her empty grave, mourn over her passing, even...remember her. Such a fate was worse than death for one accustomed to companionship and human interaction.
"Your people have remembered you for five hundred years, and I...I was forgotten with a single bullet" she spoke, slowly gathering the books she had placed upon the floor. Standing to attention once more, she placed the volumes back within their respective areas and turned to him with a sad smile. "I'm sorry I intruded upon your affairs, Master. I think I'll get some sleep, the sun will be rising soon." She moved to the door without another word, never looking back.
Alucard silently watched her leave, his eyes never leaving her retreating form as the large doors closed behind her. He turned his gaze to the books she had placed back, snatching the account of his life and opening the book to the last line, the one telling the limited lineage of his descendants. A low chuckle escaped his lips as he looked to where Seras had left. Snapping the book shut with one hand, he returned the amusing history book into its place.
"History can be quite incorrect" he whispered to the air as darkness swarmed around his form. The last of his body to disappear was his eyes, a flicker of the mocking depths showing his knowing thoughts.