Author's note: Integra's first encounter with a monsterin the basement of the Hellsing mansion. Written because I really liked the scene in the anime of the red eyes in the mirror in young Integra's bedroom. As a writer, it made me think 'How did Alucard know Integra existed?' And then, I wrote this fic. Dedicated to my sister. Because I wrote it on her birthday. And also, because she introduced me to vampires/horror fiction at a very young age. I have her to thank for my obsession today:)
"Stay here, Integra."
Arthur's voice was soft but stern as he addressed his now eight-year old daughter, Integra. " I know it's Sunday," he added with a sigh, " but, I really need to check up on my experiments before we attend church."
Arthur started to turn but then stopped and regarding the young child, said, "And yes, it's important that you wait for me. Here."
He made the last word a firm command, hoping that she would think twice about disobeying it. So far, his daughter had always listened to him. Arthur doubted that she would do anything different today.
Both father and daughter were in the great room of the opulent Hellsing mansion. It was late Spring so Integra was seated in one of the generously tufted chairs, staring into the large, now empty fireplace. With a quick glance backward, Arthur hurriedly left the room to attend to what he often referred to as his 'work below'.
Dressed in her Sunday best, Integra smoothed her blue dress, looking down at her white patent leather shoes. Her eyes moved further up, to her lap, where a leather-bound edition of the King James Bible rested comfortably. She regarded her surroundings for a few moments and then stood, letting the Bible clatter to the floor. Hastily, Integra glanced around and picked up the Bible, placing it on the chair. Walter, the Hellsing butler, was notorious for having very good hearing. She wanted to follow her father downstairs and see all of the things in the basement that required her so much of her father's time. For several years, she had started down the stairs but was stopped each time by either a maid or the meddling butler. Integra hoped he did not hear her making noises so that she could explore unimpeded this time.
Integra made her way out of the room, down the hall and to the door leading to the basement stairs. The door was made of dark wood and was very heavy. Creaky too. Integra had to use all of her strength to open it. The door groaned slightly but opened easily as small, childish fingers clasped around the brass doorknob.
With still no butler in sight, Integra looked down, into the mutely lit basement below. Taking a deep breath, the young girl, with a look of determination that belonged on a much older face, descended into the forbidding darkness. The stairs were large, the railings non-existent and the path to the bottom, treacherous. Nonetheless, Integra didn't let any of these things stop her from making the journey downward. Taking one stair at a time, she used every ounce of concentration that she could muster. On the last step from the bottom, she hesitated and misstepped, tripping and falling to the unforgiving stone floor. With an audible thud, Integra landed, feeling more dismay than pain as her right knee scraped against the cold floor. Since it was dark, she put her hand to her leg, testing, trying to assess her injury in the darkness. Her hand came away wet, bloody. No stranger to spills, the athletic girl's first thought was of how to explain this injury to her father in the future. Well, best to think about that later, she sighed. Perhaps, then, she could think of a plausible lie. Integra wiped her hand on the lower part of her dress and stood up. It was a small cut that was probably already caked with blood. Why worry about a small hurt when there was an entire exciting world waiting for her, she reasoned.
With nary a second thought, Integra stood up and walked further into the basement. To her dismay, she found that it was rather dark, damp and tunnel-like. At least here, where she was. Well, this is boring, the young girl thought to herself. I bet that's because all the interesting stuff is further along. The thought of the possibility that a thrilling adventure lay just out of her grasp, gave her enough courage to continue on in the intimidating darkness.
Integra walked until she soon came upon a door that looked to the young girl, almost like the entrance to a prison cell. Covering the door was something scribbled in large, white letters. Even at so young an age, Integra was a good reader. She immediately recognized the symbol. It was the seal of Hellsing. And it covered every inch of the massive door. Almost glowing in the darkness, it seemed to call to her, urging her to reach out. To touch it. Integra's small hands, sticky with the remains of the previous accident extended toward the door. The young girl's fingers felt smooth and warm against the cold wood of the door. Hesitantly, with shaky fingers, Integra began to trace the white painted lines of the seal. Slowly, it seemed to the young girl that the surface was warming. Becoming hotter to her touch. Yes, that was definitely it, Integra thought as she was lulled by the quickly heating surface. Suddenly, the door became hot, almost burning under the young girl's fingers. Integra tried to pull her hand away but it felt as if her flesh was being seared into the door. Panicked, she opened her mouth to scream but the scream came away wordless, dying on her lips as her eyes tightly closed.
Images. Integra's young mind was bombarded by vivid, color pictures. Scenes. All moving too quickly. Was that a forest? Someone on horseback? There was a war. People were screaming. Dimly, Integra could smell something. Burning. On fire. Yet, each time she tried to lock onto an image and make sense of it, another, more frightening one took its place. Integra felt like she was in a car going very fast. No, something faster. This must be how someone on a spaceship feels, she thought quickly. Hair. Dark hair. Black hair. Black eyes. A suggestion of a face. It…smiled. Then, seemingly, Integra felt a large shock, a jolt shoot through her body. The reaction to it moved Integra's hand, allowing it to lose contact with the seal and the wall. The young girl staggered backward and almost fell again, save for the cold, stone wall which provided her only support. Integra eyes flew open and she gasped, breathing with difficulty, as if she had been drowning and had suddenly now, emerged.
She leaned against the stone wall, hugging it for support and to clear her head. Integra turned and ran quickly, hoping that the path she took would lead back to the basement stairs. She reached the stairs in record time and began to ascend but felt something cool at her back. A breeze. Or was that a laugh?
Cautiously, Integra stopped and turned back toward the darkness. Yes, it was definitely a sound, she decided. A whisper, soft and sibilant, slithered through the murky gloom. Words. She began to make out words. But what was it saying? Concentrating, she blocked out all thought and listened to the wind. Yes. There is was. She could just make it out. An iciness crept up Integra's spine as she suddenly heard the message in its entirety. "I'll be waiting for you, Miss Integra.".
Integra's sudden sharp fear gave way to a stamina she had not thought she possessed and she found herself running back up the stairs, toward the door and the sunlight beyond.