Author's Note: This is a one-shot I did...I don't know, a few months ago. I decided to put it up because it is a fanfic (and I got a request) so here it is! This is actually told from Anna's point of view, and takes place shortly after Velkan's death.

Disclaimer: As always, I don't own Van Helsing...but I wish I did...

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"Pull me up! Pull me up!" Velkan cried to the various men. Below him, a large grey werewolf snarled and clawed at him ferociously, murder in its eyes.

"It's stuck! It's stuck!" one villager cried frantically, pulling at the lever. Several more villagers joined him, but no amount of tugging helped. The lever remained immovable.

I whirled around, drawing my sword as I did. Velkan was in trouble!

A concerned villager grabbed my arm. "No, Anna! It will kill you!"

I pushed him away. Oh, how weary I was of people worrying about my safety! Didn't they understand that I was perfectly capable of protecting myself? "That's my brother up there!"

I charged forward, towards that snarling beast that was intent on killing my brother. The werewolf kept snapping and clawing at Velkan. Velkan glanced my way as I rushed towards him.

"Cut the rope! Cut it, now!" Velkan cried as I came towards him. All this yelling caught the werewolf's attention, and he turned to see me. I raised my sword, and he roared his threat. He leapt from the top of the post, but as soon as he hit the ground, it gave under him. He clawed frantically at the edge, but he still plummeted into the trap we'd set. I hurried to the edge to make sure he'd fallen in…

I heard the swish and thud of an axe behind me. The cage in the hole rose rapidly as the rope was cut. The cage met the toe of my boot, knocking me off balance, but I back flipped with ease, landing to watch the cage rise into the air, the werewolf trapped inside.

Holding onto the rope with only one hand, Velkan produced a gun and fired a shot at the cage. However, the cage collided with him, knocking the gun from his grasp.

"Velkan!" I cried as the gun fell to the ground and the cage continued to rise, Velkan now on top of it. He managed to leap from the cage's top to the safety of a tree branch, while the villagers produced rifles and fired at the caged beast. The shots ricocheted off the cage, and a few punctured the bag where the wolf was contained. But the shots only seemed to enrage the werewolf more.

"My gun! Find my gun!" Velkan yelled.

I began to push villagers aside, searching for my brother's gun. "Find Velkan's gun!" I cried. "It has to be the silver bullets!"

Two wild shots missed the cage and the werewolf entirely. Instead, they hit the ropes, severing them. The cage dangled and the werewolf thrashed even more furiously.

"Hurry!" Velkan cried, knowing the remaining ropes would only hold the cage for so long. "Hurry!"

Then, I saw it…Velkan's gun, lying useless on the ground a few yards away. No one else noticed; they were all too busy firing with their useless bullets.

"Move!" I ordered, pushing two luckless villagers aside. I charged past them, racing to grab the gun…

Overhead, the remaining ropes that had suspended the cage snapped. Without anything to hold it up, the cage plummeted back to Earth, snarling werewolf and all.

"Anna! Look out!"

I stopped short as the cage crashed to the ground. The strong iron of the cage bent and snapped like twigs, turning the cage into a wreck. The werewolf, no worse for wear, brought his head out from the wreckage, roaring angrily. He took a swipe at me with his massive paw, but I easily dodged the blow.

"Run!" I cried to the villagers. They quickly scattered into the bushes, me being the very last one to flee. Behind me, the beast pulled free of the wrecked cage and chased after me.

I crashed through the underbrush, running away from the werewolf. My heart pounded so frantically, I thought it would burst free of my chest, but I knew that my life would be over if I allowed the werewolf to catch me.

At long last, I broke through the trees and to the edge of a cliff. I could feel panic flooding me. I was trapped!

With the same ferocious growl, the werewolf burst through the underbrush. Its hauntingly yellow eyes locked onto me, and it ran forward…

At the last moment, someone pushed me aside, out of harm's way. A shot rang out, cutting through the icy stillness of the morning. I saw a man, intertwined with the werewolf, fall over the edge of the cliff, into the ravine below…

"Anna!" he yelled…

"VELKAN!!!!!!" I screamed, sitting straight up. I screamed to no one for a moment, but my screams silenced when I realized I was in my bedroom.

It had only been two weeks since…since slaying the werewolf had led to Velkan's far-too-early demise…but that dream had tormented me every night since.

I was a little surprised to find myself lying across my bed, an open book in my hand. I must've fallen asleep while I was reading. I'd spent so many long hours scouring the riverbed for any sign of Velkan, and the long hours had made me weary.

I moved to the edge of the bed, sitting with my feet touching the floor, and I rested my head in my hands. To my surprise, my face was wet to the touch. I'd been crying in my sleep?

I brushed away the tears and instead glanced at the book I had been reading before I'd fallen asleep. It was one of the fairy tales I used to make Mother or Velkan read to me every night before I went to sleep back when I was a child.

I wish my life could be like one of those fairy tales, with a happily ever after.

I gave an unladylike snort at my own thoughts. My life? A fairy tale? I highly doubt it. My life never was and never will be a fairy tale. It has always been, and always will be, until I breathe my last and die, a horror story.

And all because of that bastard, Dracula.

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"Catch me if you can, Velkan!" six-year-old Anna cried out.

Her ten-year-old brother, Velkan, gave an exasperated sigh. "Anna…I've already chased you enough times!"

Anna's only response was to poke her tongue out at him. He gave a playfully evil grin. "All right…you brought this upon yourself Anna!"

He began to chase his little sister around the garden of Castle Valerious. She shrieked in delight as she ran from her older brother. Meanwhile, their mother, Lilly, watched them with a smile on her face.

A screech came from the sky. Looking up, Lilly saw four large hell-bat creatures in the twilight sky. They circled overhead like vultures circling their next meal.

"My God…" she whispered. She rushed towards Anna and Velkan, her heart pounding with fear. "Anna! Velkan! Look out!"

At that moment, all four hell-bat creatures dived straight for the Valeriouses. Little Anna screamed loudly, and her mother took her and Velkan in her arms. Anna's father, Boris, came running out, drawn by little Anna's screams.

One of the hell-bats, a red-haired woman, seized Lilly and lifted her into the air. Lilly tried desperately to fight off the red-head, but it didn't work. Two more hell-bat women swooped down and quickly incapacitated Boris, knocking him unconscious.

The largest hell-bat of them all swooped down and landed in front of Anna. As he touched down, he shifted forms, becoming a tall, pale man. His black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, he was dressed in black from head to toe, and his dark eyes glittered as he stared at Anna.

"Hello, Princess Anna," he said.

Anna recognized him as Dracula. She'd overheard her mother and father talking to Velkan about him the other night. They'd said he was a very powerful vampire who was intent on killing their family.

"What do you want with me?" she asked, her voice only a whisper.

"Nothing right now, my child," he said, getting down on his knees so he was at Anna's eye level. "But it's what I'll want later on that's important."

He reached out to stroke her cheek, but she pulled away in fear and revulsion. "What are you going to do to Mama?"

His eyes flashed with delight. "Whatever I desire!"

Velkan came up behind Dracula, dragging his father's large sword, and swung at Dracula. Dracula whirled around at the last minute and grabbed the blade of the sword with his bare hand.

"Ignorant boy," he hissed. "Did you really think you could defeat me so easily?"

He casually flung the sword, along with Velkan, across the garden. Then, he transformed back into his hell-bat form and took off, his huge wings knocking Anna off her feet as he took off. Together, him and his brides flew towards their home, Lilly still in the grasp of the red-haired bride, Aleera.

"Boris! Velkan! Anna!" Lilly cried.

"MAMA!!!!" Anna cried, tears pouring down her little face.

---

I clenched my fists in anger. I remembered that fateful day, twenty years ago, when Dracula and his brides kidnapped my mother. She'd turned up on the banks of a river a few days later, beaten, starved, and completely drained of blood. The day of her funeral was the day I swore my revenge on Dracula and his brides. They'd killed my mother. They'd kidnapped my father last year. And now, Dracula's little "pet" had led to the death of my brother.

I put my book down on my bed and strode over to my vanity. Looking in the mirror, I saw a young woman with tired and sad kohl-lined brown eyes that stared from under a mane of curly dark-brown hair. Her cropped burgundy jacket was streaked with mud and dirt, and a few stray leaves clung to her hair.

God, I was a mess.

I grabbed my brush and yanked it through my curls, then swapped my dirty jacket for a clean one. My reflection revealed that I looked better, but my eyes still had that sad and tired look that no amount of kohl would hide.

I'm still a mess, I thought. Emotionally, that is…

I heard footsteps outside the door, coming closer. I drew the pistol that Velkan had given me for my eighteenth birthday from its holster, then whirled around. A surprised-looking villager, whom I recognized as Sarah Walken, the innkeeper, gave a startled squeak and dropped her bonnet.

"My apologies, Princess!" she stuttered, dropping to her knees. I smiled and holstered my pistol.

"It's all right," I said. "What brings you here?"

She rose to her feet, remembering to retrieve her bonnet from the ground. "I come on behalf of the villagers. There are intruders approaching the town!"

I could feel a frown cross my face. "Intruders?"

"Strangers," Sarah said. "Men, two of them, on horseback. One of them we believe to be heavily armed."

I brought my pistol back out and checked to make sure it was loaded. Then I slipped a knife into straps on my boots designed for that purpose.

"Well then," I said to Sarah. "I say we give them a proper welcome to Vaseria."

---

The air outside was cold, but I didn't care. There were possibly dangerous strangers in the town. Who cared about a little chill?

As I approached the center of town, I could see a huge crowd of villagers, armed with rakes, axes or whatever else they could find gathered around two men.

As soon as I got close enough to see the two strangers clearly, the town's gravedigger, Istvan, came forward.

"Welcome to Transylvania," he sneered.

Both strangers stopped short of the old well in the square, and the tall stranger sighed heavily. He turned to face Istvan, dropping his bag as he turned.

Now that I was close enough, I could see both strangers, or rather, their backs. The smaller of the two men was dressed in the brown robe of a friar, with the hood pulled up. He was shaking visibly, either from the cold or from nervousness. Perhaps both.

But it was the nervous friar's companion who caught my eye. He was tall, towering over the friar, and he faced the crowd unflinchingly. He wore a long black coat and matching black boots. Even though he had a hat perched atop his head, I could still see thick, dark brown hair falling to his shoulders. Both men eyed the armed townspeople.

"Is it always like this?" the friar whispered to the other man. His voice was high-pitched and nervous.

The other man put his hands on his hips, drawing back his coat just a bit.

"Pretty much," he responded in a voice much deeper than the friar's.

I climbed onto the platform near the well. Who were these men? Were they missionaries from a church far away? That would explain the friar, as well as rule out the possibility of bandits.

Maybe they were just travelers. But why would travelers need so many weapons. Could it be that they were the heroes who'd come to save the village from the dark shadow Dracula and his brides had cast over it?

I sighed mentally. I appreciated the thought, but it was another example of how people thought I couldn't defend the village on my own because I was a woman.

I stepped directly behind the two men. I knew they could sense me behind them.

"You," I ordered. "Turn around."

Author's Note: Hope you liked! Remember, I did this a few months ago, so some things may be off. What happened to Anna's mom is only a speculation of mine, though I think it may be a little off, seeing as how I have the novelization, and, according to that, Anna's mom was around until Anna was at least twelve. But, other than that, what did you think? Reviews are appreciated and very much so welcome!