A/N: Howdy! This is my way to cope with the 'loss' (i.e. conclusion) of the long-beloved project known to me as my 'little D story' and to you as Portrait of the Hunter. Here you will find a 'cliffsnotes-summary' chapter guide and many 'deleted scenes', which are really just parts that got as far as the typing stage before they were edited and/or rewritten. Sometimes only a few words or sentences were changed, but I'm always curious about what authors edit and why… and if you feel that way too, then I hope you will enjoy…
Chapter 27: Special features!
Chapters 1-8: the most important choice
Chapter 9: witnessing war
Chapters 10-13: the Samantha ordeal
Chapter 14: questioning religion
Chapters 15-20: becoming a hunter
Chapter 21: given a mission
Chapters 22-26: doing what must be done
A/N: And now we'll jump right in with the chapter guide and deleted scenes! (if you're feeling impatient, scroll down and only read the best deleted scenes: the one deleted from Chapter 11 and the one deleted from Chapter 19.) Originally, I thought I wanted to start the story before D's mom died. I changed my mind because I didn't feel up to the task of writing D's mom as a convincing character.
Alternate Chapter 1: Stories
Transylvania, circa 1800
The child stared up at his mother, his stormy eyes seeming out of place in his adorable little face.
"Is that true?" he asked in a tiny, reverent voice, and it was obvious that to him, the answer was of utmost significance.
The old woman laughed, happy lines crinkling her pale skin. "but of course it is, my darling," she said. "Only the true stories last so long."
"Am I… interrupting?" the cold voice from the doorway was rich and regal. The woman and her child looked up expectantly at the tall, broad-shouldered figure that entered the room.
"Not at all," the woman said kindly. "I was just telling D a bedtime story."
"About a big boat, for all the animals in the world," the boy supplied.
"That story?" his father asked. "I'm surprised. I would have thought that one was far too… frightening."
"Frightening?" The woman laughed. "Noah and the ark? The dove with the olive branch? The very first rainbow? How could that frighten our brave little boy?"
Dracula's eyes gleamed like red glass. "If you were… not in the big boat… and you saw with your own eyes, the creatures drowning all around you, thrashing in the water, men and women screaming, pushing their children onto the rooftops, as the heavens spilled forth that inescapable punishment… it would be frightening. And, don't forget the curse that went along with that precious rainbow. Whosoever takes human blood--"
"--Should not tell bedtime stories," the woman declared. D frowned at his father, as his mother hugged him closer and smoothed his hair reassuringly. "Really, dear," the woman admonished. "Must you speak like that in front of D? I swear, You're the only frightening thing around here!"
Dracula smiled and picked up the book he'd been looking for. "Quite right," he agreed, and vanished.
The old woman sighed and tucked her son into bed. The child had a heartbreakingly solemn expression on his face. He turned his deep blue eyes to meet his mother's. "I don't like father's stories," the boy admitted.
Chapt 1: Visitors
D is a little boy (of comparable maturity to an 8 or 9 yr-old human) when Jonathan Harker visits the castle. D finds Harker's shaving mirror (which Dracula finds later and breaks), and later runs off into woods to visit Mrs. Belus and her daughter Tasia.
Chapt. 2: Gifts
It is Tasia's birthday, and she wants a kiss from D. On his way home, D is followed by his father's wolves, and in an angry outburst he accidentally discovers that he has the dark gift: he can project a sort of destructive energy. Later, D is present when the three beautiful female vampires want to 'kiss' Jonathan Harker. D realizes that he hates his father (for giving a human child to those three).
A/N: And now, a disturbing scene cut from the end of Chapter 2… once again, D is present as the events of Bram Stoker's Dracula unfold. Actually these particular events are THE most chilling in the entire book, in my opinion. Ultimately I decided to leave this whole part out because, A) no matter what ol' Bram says, it's totally uncool for Dracula to be eating children, and B) it was simply too awful, too graphic a scene, and I didn't want to traumatize poor little D just yet…
Deleted from Chapter 2
A month passed, and D knew that the human man was a prisoner in the castle. D often thought about trying to help the poor man escape, but simply could not think of a good enough plan. What made it worse was his father's peculiar behavior. Ever since the night that the Vampire King had given a human child as a gift to his two daughters and Aloisia, he had been extremely temperamental and downright dangerous to be around. D had avoided his father at all costs, fearing that something horrible was about to happen.
And then one night it did. D had finally worked up the courage to face his father. He was going to ask, politely, that the human man be allowed to go back home to his foreign country. Without that distracting presence in the castle, surely D's father would settle down, and things would return to normal…
The door to his father's room was open. D slipped inside, intending to wait there until his father returned. He didn't wait long. Dracula appeared in the room, once again carrying a large sack over his shoulder. D's eyes widened as he realized what that must mean- another human child, brought here to be slaughtered-- and a voice in his young heart told him that this was the time to be brave.
"Father!" he called out. Dracula whipped his head around to glare at his son, his expression crazed and wicked, eyes burning and fangs bared wolfishly.
"Why are you here?" Dracula roared, barely able to form the words properly around the aching teeth in his mouth. D had never seen his father this way before. He was like a savage, sick animal… D was terrified, and began to back away.
"Father, what's wrong with you?" D cried, his voice shaking.
"I must drink," Dracula snarled.
"No!" D cried out. "You promised! You promised you wouldn't drink anymore blood!"
"That promise served its purpose! And now I MUST be free of it!" The deranged creature tore the heavy sack apart, revealing a boy much smaller than D, a human boy with wide eyes and red, tear-stained cheeks, who was doing his best to scream through the gag in his mouth. D realized then that his father really was going to kill the crying child, and D felt like screaming too- but suddenly he couldn't make a sound, and all his courage left him- trembling and gasping for breath, he turned to flee from the horrible scene—
"You will stay!" Dracula commanded, and D found himself held firmly in place. "Watch!" his father ordered, and D was physically forced to obey. Unable to look away, D watched as the vampire lifted the terrified child into his arms. He heard the single sharp wail as the gag finally came loose. It was the very same cry that would haunt Jonathan Harker's nightmares for the rest of his life. As soon as the awful sound left the child's lips, it was cut off, as the boy's fragile throat collapsed between the vampire's jaws. D watched the small body spasm, the little arms and legs flailing wildly for an instant, just an instant, before falling limp. It was seared into D's mind- the helpless little body, and the vampire –his father!– grotesquely connected to its throat, drinking, gulping, sucking out the sweet red life.
Though it was over in an instant, it had seemed like an eternity. The little human boy was dead, with his tears still wet on his face. The vampire lifted his head. D couldn't move his eyes away from the child's neck. It looked as though a steel trap had sprung shut on it. It was… torn open… the skin… ruptured, ripped apart… surely no ravenous wolf, no gnashing tiger, no natural carnivore, could have torn that soft neck open more viciously.
"Put him down," D cried out, his voice weak. "Let him go- put him down!"
"He's dead," Dracula said simply, turning away from his son, the small limp body still in his arms.
"Just… leave him alone!" D insisted, his voice a hoarse whisper now. "Put him down! Leave him alone, leave him alone!"
Suddenly D was jolted out of his hysterics by the sound of a woman's scream from the courtyard far below. D raced to the balcony to look, and sure enough, just inside the gate there was a woman in peasant's clothes, gasping for breath. She looked up at the castle, and even from all the way up on the balcony, D could see the desperation in her eyes as she cried out- "Monster, give me my child!"
Dracula came to stand beside his son, looking down on the woman as she fell to her knees, screaming. "Give me my child!"
"You see?" Dracula said. "History carefully wrought, how quickly it fades! They have forgotten their place, and now I must witness obscene insolence such as this. I have been remiss in my maintenance of their… respect."
The woman stumbled up the stairs, and began beating her fists uselessly against the massive wooden door. Dracula stared down at her for another moment, and finally called out to the wolves, who answered him eagerly.
A/N: and that's where I ended it. But in case you are curious, here's what Jonathan Harker reports about what happened next: (taken straight from Dracula chapter 4.)
"…Before many minutes had passed a pack of them poured, like a pent-up dam when liberated, through the wide entrance into the courtyard.
There was no cry from the woman, and the howling of the wolves was but short. Before long they streamed away singly, licking their lips.
I could not pity her, for I knew now what had become of her child, and she was better dead."
A/N: the next deleted scene is from chapter 8, scroll down if you don't want to bother with the chapter summaries…
Chapt. 3: Proof & Justice
Dracula has been stealing and killing children, and the local humans finally find out about D and ambush him at the Belus's cottage. D's teeth are the 'proof' that he's a vampire, and the people want to do 'justice' by killing him, but they don't cut his head off all the way…
Chapt. 4: Close enough
D heals, and discovers that a nameless demon, (who had been trapped in an enchanted arrow) is now lodged in his left hand. The very talkative hand identifies D as a dhampir, but tells him that he's 'close enough' to human to be able to choose between good and evil.
Chapt. 5: Plans
Now D is a lanky young teenager, comparable to a 13 or 14 yr-old human. Dracula wants to have a strategy meeting for a hundred nobles, and puts D in charge of renovating the castle. D meets the now-grown-up Tasia and her young children, Samantha and Geoffrey.
Chapt. 6: The Celebration
D is welcomed by Tasia's family, and enjoys spending time with them. But Dracula tells him that he's too old now to act like a human, and he must now become a full vampire. At the gathering with the hundred nobles, Dracula tries to force D to drink the life out of a human, who happens to be… Tasia!
Chapt. 7: Darkness
Using that mysterious dark power, D resists his father and attempts to rescue Tasia, but ends up unconscious. Dracula swears to protect Tasia's family in exchange for her life, and bites her-- and when D wakes up it's too late for her. Dracula arranges it so that the hundred nobles think it was D who killed her, and then D runs away.
Alternate Chapter 8: Lost and Found
"Stop being so stubborn!" the demon in D's hand scolded. "You've got to eat."
"I don't want to," D murmured, his voice flat.
"At least drink some water!"
"I don't want to."
"So you're saying you want to die? What about those children?"
Silence filled the woods where the dhampir slouched weakly against a tree. His horse grazed nearby. He had been riding for four days. Each time he stopped to let the horse rest, his motivation to keep going decreased. The voice from his hand kept up an incessant, obnoxious commentary the entire time, sometimes berating and insulting him, sometimes faking sympathy, anything to illicit a response. But D wasn't in the mood to argue.
"I swore to myself I would protect them," D said quietly. "But maybe the best way I can do that is to stay away from them forever."
"Look, we've been over this before. You're feeling guilty about Tasia's death. Who wouldn't? But ultimately, it's not your fault."
"It's my fault."
"You're impossible! Will you please come to your senses? You could do a lot of good for those kids- for the whole world really!"
"What good can I do."
"Think about it, D. You've got amazing abilities. You've got intelligence, strength, that dark magic energy stuff, and let's not forget me."
D didn't reply. He stared straight ahead. He was slipping off.
"Help!" his hand shouted as loudly as it could. "HELP!"
"Do you hear that?" the boy asked his brother. The taller boy frowned and stopped his horse. The two brothers sat silently for a minute. "There it is again. Someone's calling for help."
They listened as the cry repeated.
"That's far off," Timothy said, already tugging his horse around. "There's nothing that way but wilderness, most likely a traveler got lost in the night. Let's go see if we can find him." Aaron nodded and together they rode in the direction of the sound. They had gone nearly a mile when the calls for help suddenly stopped. They rode on warily.
"Look! A horse!" Aaron said, pointing ahead. The black horse watched them approach, and when it decided that they weren't a threat, it returned to grazing. Timothy dismounted and walked over to the animal, talking to it softly. The horse showed no signs of fear and let the taller brother pat its neck and shoulder as it fed.
"Saddle marks," he noticed. "But where's the saddle?"
"And where's the rider?" Aaron asked.
Timothy and Aaron looked around the woods carefully. Timothy squinted at a strange shape at the base of a tree. It could have been just a shadow. "Over there," he said. As they approached they realized that they had found the lost traveler. They broke into a run. "Are you alright?" Timothy called.
"Water," gasped a wheezy voice. Aaron knelt beside the young man on the ground and tipped his waterskin to his mouth. The lost traveler opened his eyes slightly but closed them again without seeming to recognize where he was. Aaron immediately gave him another sip of water.
"Poor fellow, he's nearly done himself in. Look, there's his saddle, and it's a nice one- but no saddlebags or water or anything! He can't be any older than you, Tim, and he's more than two day's ride from the nearest farm, out here alone—I wonder what could've happened to him!"
"He's in a bad way," Timothy said, "But he'll live. We should camp here for the night and look after him. It's nearly sundown anyway. We'll make up for lost time tomorrow."
Aaron nodded and poured a little more water into the stranger's mouth. D swallowed it and opened his eyes again. "Thank you," he muttered.
"Don't mention it, old chap," Aaron said kindly.
Timothy frowned. "That's strange," he said.
"His voice- wasn't it a bit eerie?"
"I suppose if a chap's nearly died, he's allowed a bit of an eerie voice, Tim."
"No, I mean… I'm sure that's not the voice we heard calling for help."
Aaron looked around. "You suppose there's someone else lost out here?"
The forest was silent.
"…No," Timothy said after a minute. "It must have been him."
D woke up to the smell of blood. A tall boy was skinning a rabbit nearby, while a slightly younger boy was feeding small sticks to a newborn fire. The evening was cool and damp. D saw that they had caught and tethered his horse for him, and now it grazed calmly with two other horses. His eyes rested on the younger boy. He was 13 or 14 years old, with shaggy brown hair and a round, childish face. Feeling D's cool gaze, Aaron looked up. "Hello," he said. "There's water next to you. How're you feeling?"
"Hungry," D admitted before he could stop himself. The odor of the dead rabbit was suffocating him. He reached for the waterskin and drank deeply.
The tall boy grinned, holding up the carcass. "We'll eat supper soon. I'm Tim, and this is my brother Aaron. You're pretty lucky we found you."
"You'd be a goner by now if we hadn't. What happened to you anyway?" Aaron asked.
D hesitated, then took a quiet breath. "Four days ago, a friend of mine died. …I guess I was trying to run away from my grief."
Timothy nodded solemnly. "Didn't work, did it?" he asked in a low voice.
"No," D said.
Timothy put the rabbit on a spit and Aaron balanced it over the fire. The three of them sat quietly for a while watching the flames.
A/N: I deleted that scene because I decided that D shouldn't need 'help' deciding to go back to Tasia's family, and I didn't want the story to get overly cluttered with new characters. But I was still reluctant to get rid of it, because I liked the idea of D being rescued by two teenaged boys (who are about the same 'age' as D himself at this point), and the three of them having a heart-to-heart, camping out in the woods.
Chapt. 8: Madness
D goes back to Tasia's family, and learns that his father has already sent his condolences for Tasia's death. The situation made Tasia's husband lose his mind, and he rants to D about the 'madness' of being human. D helps Tasia's family move to England.
Chapt. 9: Fortune of War
It's WWI, and D is caught in the first poison gas attack- which is when he discovers that the demon in his hand can do a nifty trick. Later, D fights at Verdun, but realizes that he's not interesting in killing the enemy. His father sends him a message and forces him to leave the war behind and go claim his 'inheritance'.
A/N: The next scene is an example of one of the many scenes left out of the WWI chapter… and no, I won't subject you all of them. Some lines from the paragraph at the end made it into the final draft, actually, so it'll probably sound familiar.
Deleted from Chapter 9
Ypres, Belgium, 1915
Flat on his back on a dusty wooden pallet, covered by a muddy woolen blanket, D wished he could sleep but knew it was hopeless. The man next to him had been coughing violently all week and from the sound of it now, he wouldn't live through the night. With a faint sigh, D sat up and studied the dying man. His skin was rotting in several places. D couldn't ignore the stench. It seemed to be everywhere- the odor of decay, mold, urine… it was inescapable. It was a marvel that all the men weren't dying from it as this one seemed to be. The sick man looked up at D with lucid eyes, and reached towards him feebly with one hand. D took his hand gently, having no need to fear disease or infection. "What's your name?" he asked softly.
"James Cooper," the dying man wheezed. D couldn't think of anything else to say. James Cooper closed his eyes, his cough raspier than ever. D sat with him all night. Just before dawn, he finally stopped coughing, and D heard the last beat of his heart. In the silence that followed, D felt numb. He had seen a lot of dead people over the past few months. Slowly D got up and went to find the sergeant.
"Excuse me, sergeant," D asked, finding the gruff old man at last.
"What is it, son?" the grey-haired sergeant asked, squinting at D tiredly.
"Another man died in his sleep last night, sergeant."
"What do you want me to do about it?" the sergeant asked gruffly. D said nothing. The old soldier tried not to take any special notice of the young draftees, but he couldn't help but notice this one. He'd been watching the tall, pale young man from the moment he'd marched in carrying more gear than a mule. The sergeant frowned. "Alright, let's bury the poor bloke."
The buried him right into the wall of the trench.
Chapt. 10: Departures
Samantha overhears D telling her grandmother that his father is the 'King of the Vampires' who killed Tasia. Mrs. Belus dies, and Samantha asks D what happened to her parents, but he won't say. Later that year, Samantha disappears, and D promises to find her.
A/N: The next deleted scene is a family moment back in England soon after the war.
Deleted from Chapter 10
York, England, 1919
"Won't you stay another week?" Mrs. Belus asked for the third time that morning. D put down his coffee so gently that the cup didn't even clink against the saucer. He seemed to be staring at something invisible in the middle of the table. Mrs. Belus interpreted this to mean that he was debating her offer. She wiped her hands on her apron and drew a hopeful breath. "It would do such wonders for the children, after all."
D shook his head slightly. "I have imposed upon you too long already," he said tonelessly.
"Nonsense! Lord have mercy. After all you've done for us…"
"I should be on my way," D said uncomfortably, standing up. He didn't want to get into an argument that would inevitably call up painful memories.
"Are you leaving?" piped a young voice from the doorway. It was Geoffrey, still in his nightdress, his round brown eyes shining with worry.
"Yes," D said quietly, and the boy's brow furrowed in disapproval.
"Why?" the 8-year-old asked.
Mrs. Belus decided to save D from explaining himself. "Mr. D has to manage his business affairs," she said kindly. "But I'm sure he'll come again soon, won't you, dear?"
D nodded solemnly.
"Come back as soon as you can," the boy instructed eagerly.
"I will," D said, with the slightest of smiles. With a final nod of thanks to Mrs. Belus, he took his leave of the kitchen and headed for the stables.
"Really, I didn't think being rich would make you so rude," D's hand grumbled. "They treat you like family. Why can't you just relax and enjoy it?"
"Mrs. Belus is older," D remarked, almost absent-mindedly.
"In case you didn't know, that's how it works with humans," the hand sneered.
"Staying with them for three days, four days… it's too long. I can see them growing and changing around me," D said, staring off at the horizon.
"Is that what bothers you?"
"Yes… especially Samantha." D's voice died to whisper.
"Hmm. She is practically identical to her mother, so I guess seeing her makes you regretful? Nostalgic, perhaps?"
"I just feel out of place," D said, and left it at that.
Chapt. 11: la nuit de Paris
D tracks Samantha to Paris, where he finds vampires living amongst the humans. D meets a young vampire named Brassai, who says he can help D find the girl. Sure enough, he finds her in a shady bordello, where she is ill with a fever. D rescues her and takes her back to England.
A/N: oh, THIS scene! From the Paris chapter. I confess, I love this next deleted scene. But it didn't belong in this story. Oh man, you should see the heaps of scribbles and scratched-out lines that finally produced Chapter 11. I swear, if there ever was a 'real' vampire, it was that Brassai guy. If you haven't checked out his photography yet, I have two words for you: Google. Search!
Deleted from Chapter 11
Paris, France, 1925
D stopped. The vampire moved past him silently, and D knew that within moments he would be lost in the crowd. D turned.
"Wait," he commanded gruffly. The vampire stopped as though frozen, and then gracefully turned one shoulder to D, and tilted his head toward the dhampir, studying him with measured fascination, as though he were a painting on display in a gallery. They way he held himself so utterly still in such an elegant pose made people take a second glance as they passed by. D realized that they were attracting attention and it frustrated him.
"Get out of this city," D said tersely. The vampire stared at him with eyes like cold wine. Bristling, D spun on his heel and hurried on into the night.
D froze as he became aware of an evil aura somewhere below him- most likely in the lobby. A vampire- two of them- three- four- and now they were heading up the stairs. D knew they were coming for him. He looked desperately around the room. He knew he could jump out the window if he had to, although he was loathe to do so in front of the people who would inevitably be passing by on the street below. There was a chair he could easily break apart for makeshift wooden stakes…
"Oh, lovely," D's hand grumbled, sensing what was going on. "That chap you were so cordial to in the avenue last week is probably their ringleader. Nice move, D, getting on us such good terms with the locals right away."
"Shut up!" D hissed. The vampires were on his floor now, at the end of the hall. And then, before D could think of what to do, they were right outside his door.
There was a polite knock.
If ever D felt inclined to sweat, it was now. "Yes?" he asked softly, hoping his voice communicated confidence that he did not feel.
"Ah," came a voice through the door. "May we come in?"
D moved fluidly across the room, and, hardly believing it at he did so, he opened the door.
Four vampires stood expectantly in the hall, staring at him in cool curiosity, all of them as still as stone. Two were male and two female. All four were dressed fashionably, all in black. D realized in secret disgrace that he was also fashionably dressed all in black. He resolved on the spot to buy something in blue as soon as possible.
"Yes," D repeated quietly, averting his eyes lest any of them notice that they were not red. He stepped aside as the four of them filed into the room. They stood perfectly spaced from each other in a semi-circle, which would have been extraordinarily unnatural for humans, D noted with disgust.
"We'd like to welcome you to Paris," one of the females murmured huskily.
"We've been watching you every night since you arrived," one of the males added. D felt a twinge of annoyance. "And you have demonstrated to our satisfaction that you will not endanger our society."
"Society?" D repeated.
"Yes. You must join us and obey our rules, if you wish to remain in our city," said the other female in a musical voice.
"I have no wish to remain in this city," D said sincerely. All four vampires were silent.
"Then why have you come?" asked the husky-voiced female.
"I'm looking for a human girl," D said gruffly, unsure of why he saw fit to divulge that information to the vampire quartet.
A spark of interest gleamed in all eight red eyes. "A certain one?" the other male asked.
"Yes, a certain one," D said impatiently.
"Will you leave once you've found her?" asked the female with the musical voice.
"Immediately," D promised.
"We shall help you find her," the first male vampire declared regally.
Chapt. 12: Warmth
Samantha recovers and (inevitably) falls in love with D. D is having some trouble with the sunlight, and his hand tells him he needs to take care of his vampire side by avoiding daylight, drinking blood, or burying himself in the earth. D picks the last option, and afterwards he is able to recognize and appreciate Samantha's feelings for him…
Chapt. 13: Truth
Our hero is about the same 'age' as a 16-yr-old human at this point. Samantha tries to seduce him, and finally D tells her the truth. She gets angry and asks him to prove it. D gives in and wants to bite her- but a powerful charm (that Dracula put on Samantha when he promised to protect Tasia's family) stops him, and once again he runs away.
A/N: Aurgh! The Samantha chapters… frustration to no end! But we all survived, didn't we? For the record, D had some typical teenager feelings of attraction towards her, but did NOT fall in love with her. I hope that was clear. Here's one scene from Chapter 13 that had to be rewritten. This version was just too… nice. Sigh! I'm a waf-lover after all.
Deleted from Chapter 13
York, England, 1926
"There's no point in hiding the truth from you any longer," he said, looking out at the moon. "I'll tell you everything."
By the time he finished his incredible story, she'd been exhausted of her fear, and her head rested comfortably against his shoulder. She had listened silently throughout, showing not the least bit of disbelief.
"You're really a hundred and sixty years old?" she asked at last. D nodded.
"That's so sad," she whispered. "To live so long, and yet not really live…"
"My life is a pseudo-existence," D told her. He focused on his reflection in the windowpane. "Look at me in the glass," he said softly. She did so, and her eyes widened in surprise. His reflection was that of a semi-transparent being- the furniture of the room behind him was dimly visible through him. "Vampires have no reflection at all," he said.
"But why?" Samantha asked.
"I don't think anyone knows."
They stood in silence for another moment. Finally D sighed. "Well, I guess I'll take you to bed," he said, turning away from the window.
She giggled slightly and D blushed. "I meant I'll take you to your bed," he corrected, "where you shall sleep by yourself."
"Wait," she said, and D stopped. "I don't understand why you must deny yourself everything," she said.
"You aren't afraid of what I am?" D asked quietly.
"Knowing the life of sorrow you've led…I want to love you more than before," she answered. D considered that for a moment, and then shook his head.
"You deserve someone who can love you back," he said at last.
Chapt. 14: Seek and ye shall find
D feels guilty about being tempted to drink blood, so he excludes himself from human society and tries to figure out exactly what the connection is between vampires and Christianity. A priest tells him to go to Naumburg cathedral, where he meets a suicidal vampire (who is practically obsessed with religion) named Aldrich Raban…
Chapt. 15: The tide will turn
Aldrich Raban is the second-oldest vampire in the world and considers Dracula his brother. He explains to D what the future will be like: vampires will take over for a while, but are doomed to die out eventually. He asks if D has a purpose for existing, and suggests that he should become a vampire hunter.
Chapt. 16: Winging it
Vampire hunter training. Aldrich takes D to a small Polish village where all the people have been massacred by low-class vampires… and D isn't able to kill any of them. Aldrich reviews the basics of how to kill vampires, and teaches D how to heal himself faster.
A/N: ok, here's a brief scene with Aldrich… he's so cool!
Deleted from Chapter 16
Several minutes later four vampires came out of the chapel. Aldrich locked his eyes on one of them and with the sound of metal scraping metal he slowly unsheathed his sword. The vampires halted, sneering at him, baring their still-bloody fangs.
"Look, another fool," snarled the first. "What do you want?"
"To kill you," Aldrich replied good-naturedly.
"Ha! We'll make short work of you too!"
Aldrich held his sword in his left hand and held up his right index finger. He squinted and with a quick movement he traced a cross in the air. Two slashes ripped open across the vampire's forehead in the shape of a cross. Blood began to pour out, sizzling as the flesh burned at the edges of the wound. The vampire shrieked and fell to his knees, scrabbling uselessly at the bleeding, burning wound. The other three looked momentarily stunned. Then all three charged Aldrich. He rolled his eyes, and then with one swing, he decapitated all three of them. Their bodies hit the ground and exploded into dust. Aldrich whirled his sword around, and approached the final vampire, who was still screeching and clawing at its bloody face.
"I'm just sorry I haven't time to give you the death you deserve," Aldrich said evenly. Not even looking at his victim, he drew a silver line in the air with his sword, disconnecting the weaker vampire's head from its body. Both head and body burst into dust a second later. Aldrich sheathed his weapon and brushed some dust off his sleeve.
Chapt. 17: Aldrich
Aldrich tells D a story from his past, about a time that he was rescued by a little girl. Aldrich ended up killing her-- the moral of the story being 'don't show pity or mercy to a vampire.' But D sees it differently. (in the books and movies, D spares a vampire occasionally, and clearly has a soft spot for any human who pities a vampire.)
A/N: Now here are a couple of lines that probably should not have been deleted from the end of chapt. 17…
Deleted from Chapter 17
Ninth-century Bavaria (Germany)…
They should have…Forgiven him? Such a preposterous thought had never occurred to the creature. To be forgiven… for what he was… that wasn't possible. That wasn't what forgiveness was for, that wasn't how it worked! He wasn't human, he wasn't supposed to be human… and he wasn't supposed to be 'forgiven' for that.
At last the yellow-haired child stepped back. "Aldrich, because of them nails, you are really stuck there," she said astutely. "I don't think I can get you free."
"That's all right," Raban said brokenly, not believing what he was about to say. "Perhaps it's better if I stay like this."
…and Naumburg, Germany, 1942
Aldrich was stunned. Why had he kept the name given him by the child? Was it because he wanted to remember a little girl who mistakenly thought that he was entitled to forgiveness? Or was it because, secretly… impossibly… absurdly… he wanted to be forgiven?
He shook his head in amazement at the young dhampir's insightfulness. D seemed to like the idea of a human pitying a vampire… Aldrich simply could not understand it.
Chapt. 18: In Control
Aldrich tells D to kill him, but then beats D in a fight and realizes that he has to teach D what it's like to be bitten by a vampire. D finally discovers that he can control the dark power of his birthright. D's training is complete, and Aldrich finally kills himself.
Chapt. 19: Slings and Arrows
D rides away from Naumburg, pondering how much the world has changed and wondering how he'll be able to adapt to it. Suddenly he's shot and captured by a human vampire hunter named Hesselius… who was hired by Samantha.
A/N: Originally, when D got captured by Hesselius, I had him wake up in the back of a truck, rather than in an underground bunker. In that draft of the chapter, Hess had an assistant, and I used her to address something that I kept meaning to get around to in this story: the confusion over the correct pronunciation and spelling of the word "dhampir".
Deleted from Chapter 19
D awoke to the jolting motion of a truck over uneven terrain, and the pungent smell of cigarette smoke. He wasn't surprised to find that he was trapped in a steel cage-- but he was surprised to find himself guarded by a beautiful woman. She had cascades of styled coffee-bean-brown hair and eyes like pools of sepia ink, which were gazing straight into D's own. Lazily she blew cigarette smoke in his direction before turning her head towards the front of the truck.
"Hey Hess?" she called. "Your vampire's awake."
"Splendid," replied a cheerful voice from the driver's seat, which was well out of D's line of sight. "See how he's feeling, will you?"
"How're you feeling?" the woman asked D, bringing the cigarette to her lips.
D was at a loss. "I'm… fine," he said.
"Says he's fine," the woman reported in a loud, bored voice. "Want me to get started on the paperwork?"
"Yes, thank you, that would be wonderful," the driver replied.
D watched, dumbfounded, as the woman took a clipboard and a stack of papers out of a large leather purse. For a few minutes she scribbled down dates and figures and checked boxes on various typewritten forms. Finally she flipped to a new page, and looked up at D.
"Date of birth?" she asked in that same bored tone.
D tried to come up with a good reason to be uncooperative or dishonest, but couldn't think of any. He blinked once or twice.
"December first, 1764," he answered softly.
"Home of record?"
"…Romania," D replied.
"Mother's maiden name?"
"…I don't know," he admitted.
The woman sighed, releasing a cloud of cigarette smoke. "Hess?" she called. "He don't know his mother's maiden name. Can I skip that block?"
"Was he born before 1800?"
"You can skip it then," said the driver, who was apparently named 'Hess'. The woman returned to her work for a few more minutes, and then picked up something that looked like a large flashlight. She pointed it at D.
"Close your eyes," she instructed. "This'll sting a little."
Still not fully confident that he knew what was going on, D obeyed, and for a brief instant he felt a warm light on his face. He heard the woman click the flashlight off. "Huh," she said, and turned the light on again. "Hey Hess, I think your light's broke," she called to the front seat. "He ain't even flinching."
"Just mark that down as a zero," the man's voice replied. "It's because he isn't a vampire."
"Could've fooled me," the woman said, looking at D again. "So just what the hell is he?"
"He's a half-breed. A dhampir," Hess explained.
"Danpeer?" the woman repeated, and from her tone it was clear that she'd never heard of such a thing. "Well, shit, I guess I better make a note on all these forms." She flipped to the first page and looked up at D. "Just how do you spell that, Danpeer?"
"It's dhampir," D corrected with precisely the right inflection- and immediately he wondered if he had sounded snobbish.
Obviously, he had. The woman narrowed her eyes and very slowly blew cigarette smoke out through her pursed lips. "Look, I'm from Chicago," the woman said, her tone flat. "And I don't need none of your French lessons. It could be 'damn-queer' for all I care, I just want to know how you spell it."
Taken aback, D spelled it out for her. It was a rather unusual word, and there was no reason why D should care how people pronounced it. Quietly he decided not to correct anyone on that point ever again.
A/N: …and so that's my explanation of why, ten thousand years from now, people are calling D a 'dunpeal' and D just goes along with it. Ok, one more deleted scene.
Chapt. 20: Blood and lust
Lefty convinces D to use the taste of his own blood to augment his strength so that he doesn't stay locked up as Hesselius's prisoner. It works, and D decides to let Hess take him back to England, but they wind up in Naples, where D reaffirms his conclusion that he won't ever fall in love with a human. (had to throw that in. Poor D!)
Deleted from Chapter 20
Naples, Italy, 1945
Hess grabbed D by the sleeve and dragged him into the bar, which was smoky and loud and packed with soldiers. The men were laughing, and of course, drinking- all of them full of the enthusiastic, guilty joy that comes from being alive when you know of so many others who are not. The war was over, and these soldiers were celebrating their survival.
"I'll get us a drink!" Hesselius hollered above the racket, and ducked away into the crowd. D made his way towards the wall, where tall-backed booths housed the less rowdy revelers. Suddenly he felt someone's eyes on him, and looked over to see a drunken middle-aged man staring at him, wide-eyed and slack-jawed in shocked recognition. The man downed the last of his beer and practically came running at him.
"It's you!" the drunken man exclaimed, grabbing D by the arms. Before D could think of anything to say, the drunken man laughed and shook his head. "No, no, of course not, sorry about that. Gave me a right good scare, that you did, that you did!" he laughed and pulled D into a sloppy hug. "You're the spittin' image of your old man!"
D found himself instinctively taking a step back. "You know my father?" he asked quietly, holding the drunkard at arm's length and cautiously searching his watery eyes.
"Know your father?" the man repeated, laughing. "I owe my bloody life to 'im! Why, it's been nigh thirty years but I'll never forget. Saved my life at Verdun, he did!"
"oh," D said, taken aback. Verdun— the word kindled his memory, and his eyes softened as he recalled the scared, skinny teenager that this man had been, in the darkest hours of that previous war…
"Bet you never knew your dad was a regular hero back then," the man went on. "Bet he never talked about none of that with you or nobody else, neither. Quietest guy I ever met! Often wondered if he made it through. From the look of you, I guess he did after all!" He clapped D firmly on the shoulder. "Here, let me buy you a drink!"
A/N: that was a "must happen" scene and there'd already been a lot of those, so I ended up taking it out… and that does it for deleted scenes! Here's the rest of the chapter summaries:
Chapt. 21: The Challenge
After nearly 20 years, D meets Samantha again. She tells him that he did the right thing by running away, and says she wants him to go and kill his father. D accepts the mission. (Sam's conclusion that everything is Dracula's fault is echoed by D ten thousand years later in book 2)
Chapt. 22: Memory
A year later, D is on his way home, with Hess tagging along. Hess reads to D from Bram Stoker's book, even though D says he already "knows the story." Dracula dreams of the day D's mother died, and wakes to find that his son is coming home…
Chapt. 23: Beautiful monsters
On their way to the castle, D and Hess are chased first by wolves and then by monstrous flesh-eating horses. They make it to the castle, where the three beautiful female vampires meet them. Hess decides to distract them while D goes ahead.
Chapt. 24: Destiny
Lefty makes a last-minute effort to consume the four empedoclean elements (fire earth air water) in order to be able to help D if worse comes to worst. But there isn't any water around. At last D finds his father in his underground sanctuary. Dracula reveals his scheme for the future, and evades D's first attacks.
Chapt. 25: A Battle fought
His sanctuary destroyed, the Vampire King fights his son under a stormy night sky. D is severely wounded, and Dracula decides to turn him into a full vampire. But once D loses consciousness, Dracula changes his mind, and actually kills D. But then the rain falls- and Lefty is able to bring D back to life. D stabs his father through the heart and Dracula vanishes.
Chapt. 26: A Promise kept
D learns that he is now the master of the castle in his father's place. He finds Hess on the verge of becoming a vampire, and 'does his job' by ending Hess's life. Later, D makes his way to the Belus's cottage to visit Tasia's tomb, since he promised Mrs. Belus that he would. D has found his purpose. He will always be a vampire hunter, until his mission is complete…
A/N: Some final notes from chapters 24-26. In case you haven't read them, I figure it's only fair to tell you what ideas I borrowed from the books. First of all, about Dracula- at the beginning of this story he appears old, with white hair. That's straight from Bram Stoker, of course: Dracula regains his youth when he drinks blood. By the end of this story, he's looking as young as D. Also straight from Bram is the fact that Dracula can walk in the sunlight. Lefty's ability to generate life-force by 'eating' the four elements is from the VHD books (and the first movie, although I didn't understand that scene until I read the books). Dracula's little spiel in chapt. 24 about the future and wanting to explore the possibilities of vampire genetics through the use of science… that's all inspired by the second book. Also, when Dracula tells D to learn to throw faster, that's a reference to a skill D demonstrates in the books. Likewise, Dracula's deadly trick with the lightning (using his body to channel the electricity): D learns how to do that, and that's one of my favorite little moments in the fourth book. When D gets back to the castle and his clothes 'heal'… um… I guess that's from watching Meier's clothes heal in Bloodlust. I figure that's a talent reserved for vampires, but now that D's the master of Dracula's castle, it applies to him too. But only in the castle. Let's see… what else… Vivaldi and Mussorgsky are my second and third favorite composers, behind Dvorak.
And now, finally, I would like to dedicate this story….
I got a postcard in the mail this week, from Düsseldorf. I immediately recognized the scrawly cursive on the back. The postcard reads like this: "Düsseldorf has been a nice place to visit. 5 days of walks along the Rhein to/from Alstadt. Drove to Köln—magnificent 2 spire cathedral dating from 1200s. Took 600 years to build. German food was highlight- I'll cook for you someday I hope. –DAD"
Why he was in Düsseldorf I have no idea, but my dad is the coolest person ever!
And so, I would like to dedicate this story to my Dad, for being my hero, reading me very old fairytales when I was small, and for inspiring my love of castles, cathedrals, history, legends, and most importantly, stories.
Thanks to everybody who reviewed! Blue skies and tailwinds to all of you!