Disclaimer: I don't own Eragon or anything associated with the Inheritance Cycle.
Claimer: I, SussieKitten, own this plot and the story. Borrow or steal my plot, my original characters (Aksel) or story and I will report you. I also own my version of Saphira/Thorn's human appearances, and the universe and versions of the creatures I use in this story (hydras and chimeras in particular).
Warnings: Slash/Shōnen-ai – meaning mild guy x guy action. Femslash/Shōjo-ai – meaning mild girl x girl action. Swearing or strong language. Supernatural creatures – there will be mainly elves, dragons, vampires and werewolves in this. Hinted Mpreg. If any of this disturbs you, click on the "back" button. I won't tolerate any flames.
A/N Hello and welcome to the sequel of Haunted. If you haven't read Haunted, I strongly suggest that you do. The story will make a lot more sense if you read the first part. And even though I got no questions about the song I used in the one-shot, it will be explained later in this story. I didn't just go; hey, this song's cool! Let's use that in the one-shot! No, it had an actual meaning. But what that meaning is, well :smirk: you'll just have to wait and see.
As I wrote this fic I suddenly started to play with words and letters, and thus a language was born. I only made up a few words, and doubt I'll create enough words to make full sentences. But don't worry; I'm going to add a vocabulary at the end of each chapter. I don't want to confuse you more than I plan to. Lol. My made up words are written like this and they should be pretty easy to see. The note from Murtagh is written in the same way, but the rest of these words will be from to the made language.
I'd like to thank everyone who read, reviewed and liked Haunted. This sequel was written for you. I originally planned to leave it with the one-shot, but I just couldn't help myself :sheepish:
A huge thanks to my beta Illyric, who not only finds errors, but also has been an inspiration while writing this!
-Speech.- Eragon and Saphira talking to each other mentally.
Part One; Haunting Me
When Saphira woke up she was instantly on alert. Her vision was sharp and in muted colours before she blinked and the dragon vision faded. Every time she woke up she would be on guard and ready for a new day. As a hydra she wasn't graced with the pleasure of being groggy and disoriented in the mornings. And seeing as she lived with someone who had that privilege, Saphira was glad she didn't have it.
The blue eyed girl yawned, more out of habit than necessity, and got up. She spent a few short minutes in the bathroom before walking back out to change. She changed into a pair of sweat pants and a wide collared and large t-shirt. Then she got up to make breakfast and to check on Eragon. Hadn't it been for her, Saphira thought to herself, Eragon wouldn't have been on time for anything in his life.
The instant she stepped out of her room she noticed that something was wrong. Everything in the apartment looked to be in place, the door and windows were still firmly shut, but that wasn't what she was looking at. No, Saphira was looking at her best friend's bedroom. It wasn't completely shut.
A second later she had crossed the distance between their rooms and pushed the door open.
"Eragon?" she called out, not even caring that desperation was visible in her voice.
What she first noticed was that the bed had been touched, but not slept in. Then she saw the rose on the bedside table. She walked over and picked it up. It had thorns on it. She put it down and prepared to check the bathroom. Her bare feet stepped over something that made a faint sound. Saphira looked down.
She blinked and bent down to pick up the papers. It was a fairly nice envelope, unmarked and she could see it hadn't been sealed. She flipped over the card and read the words written on it. Written in neat calligraphy and black ink was the message; Until next time, love.
With the card and envelope still in her hands, she briskly walked over to the bathroom. She knocked softly.
Panic entered her heart when she heard no reply. She opened the door slowly. The papers fell out of her hands as she practically jumped across of the room to sit beside her friend.
"Eragon, what's wrong?" she murmured softly.
Eragon sat inside the shower cubical. His knees were drawn up to his chest and his arms were holding them in a tight grip. His gaze was unfocused and staring out in front of him.
"Have you been here all night?" Saphira asked and laid a hand gently on his shoulder.
Eragon suddenly stiffened and his eyes became the clear chocolate colour that Saphira was so used to. But the panic in his eyes and his irregular breathing scared her. Something was wrong, very wrong.
"He's coming for me," Eragon whispered quietly; so quietly that hadn't it been for Saphira's sharp hearing, she might not have heard it.
But Eragon just shook his head.
"I'm doomed, Saphira. He's going to come and kill me," he whispered urgently.
"Who, Eragon? You have to tell me, or I can't help you," Saphira said and grasped onto both of his shoulders.
"No one can help me," the brunet mumbled and shook his head.
Saphira had never felt quite as helpless as she did then. She bit her bottom lip and made up her mind.
"I'm taking you to Brom," Saphira said and pulled him to his feet. "He'll know what to do."
Brom had been his mentor ever since his uncle had passed away. Eragon had never known his parents. His mother Selena had died giving birth to him, and his father had run away when he had heard the news. He had grown up with his uncle Garrow, who had died from cancer when Eragon had been fifteen. His cousin Roran had only been able to do so much, since he had been eighteen back then, and had struggled to support them and Saphira while going to college. It was then Brom had stepped in.
Brom had put in a good word with an old friend of his, and so Eragon and Saphira had gotten a job with reasonable hours and pay that people who were fifteen could only dream of getting. When Eragon had needed something, Brom had let him know his door was always open. The older man had been a friend of Selena, and had been a part of Eragon's life ever since he could remember. And when Roran had to leave Carvahall to pursue the career he wanted, it had been Brom that had kept a watchful eye on him and Saphira.
But Eragon had to wonder what sort of reaction he would be welcomed with this time. He was sure Brom had never had to deal with a teenager that had become a vampire's next target.
Saphira had barely given him time to get into a pair of jeans and to grab a jacket before she had pulled him out of the apartment and in the direction of Brom's home. It took them two minutes to walk over there, but two minutes had never seemed longer in Eragon's eyes. The shadows seemed to be following him, and more than once Eragon could have sworn to feel eyes watching him. It was no wonder he looked like a wreck when they finally arrived.
"Saphira, Eragon?" Brom said and wrinkled his brow in confusion.
"We need to talk to you, sir," Saphira said and her hand clenched a little tighter around Eragon's wrist.
Brom just held the door open for them to enter. Eragon barely remembered to take off his shoes before he was dragged into Brom's living room and pushed gently down onto the couch.
"Eragon, tell Brom what's going on," Saphira begged him as she sat down beside him.
Brom's frown deepened as he sank down into an old and worn armchair.
The brunet opened his mouth to speak, but no words would come out of his mouth. He took a long glance around in the room to see if there was anything there he could use to talk for him. He flinched when he saw a painting of a young man who was clearly, judging by the colour in his eyes and the fangs that caressed his lips, a vampire. Eragon raised a shaky hand and pointed at the painting.
"What about that painting, Eragon?" Brom asked and folded his hands in his lap.
"Is that a -? Eragon, you didn't!" Saphira exclaimed and shot her friend a desperate and pained look.
Eragon opened his mouth, but had to settle with nodding as he yet again found himself unable to speak.
"Saphira, what is going on?" Brom asked firmly.
"I think that what Eragon is trying to say is that he got bitten by a vampire last night," Saphira said and bit her lip. "And judging by the card, that wasn't all the vampire did."
The armchair creaked as Brom stood up so hurriedly that it skidded backwards. Brom's grey eyes were devoid of any humour and hadn't left Eragon since Saphira had spoken.
"Eragon, is this true?" he asked gravely.
The brunet nodded and tried to blink away the tears that were starting to build up in his eyes.
"Morthor!" Brom barked.
Saphira jumped slightly. Eragon sometimes forgot that she hadn't known Brom as long as he had. Brom was fluent in Andelan, the language that usually only magicians or elves use. Brom had been a rider when he had been younger, but sadly his dragon had been killed in the riot against Galbatorix. Brom had once told Eragon that it had been his dragon, a female with turquoise and soft green shells, had taught him the language.
"Eragon, how could you be so -?"
Eragon looked up. Brom had sunk down into his seat again, and his hands were covering his face. Brom had never looked as old as he did when he lifted his gaze again.
"Tell me what happened," Brom said and folded his hands before his face.
"...He seduced me, he fucked me, and he bit me," Eragon said in a small voice. "And when I came home, there was a rose on my bed and a note under it."
"What colour was the rose? What did the note say?" Brom asked with narrowed eyes.
"Black. Or, you know, greyish red. And it said; until we meet again..." Eragon said and cursed inwardly when his voice caught.
"Yes? What else?"
"Love. Until we meet again, love," Saphira answered for him. "That's what it said."
"That..." Brom started to mumble darkly.
Eragon almost smiled when he heard the word morthric come from Brom's mouth.
"Do you have any idea what you've gotten yourself into?" Brom asked tiredly.
"So, this is it? I'm really doomed?" Eragon said and looked away, unable to look at his mentor anymore.
Forget building up, the tears were filled to the rim and ready to fall.
"Doomed? Oh, had it been that simple, my boy," the older man said and laughed tiredly.
Eragon frowned and looked back at the older man. Brom was smiling sadly, his gaze locked at his hands.
"From the moment I met you, I knew you were special. But this, my boy, this takes the cake," Brom said and stood up.
Eragon followed him with his eyes. He brushed at his eyes to make sure that they were still dry, and watched as Brom walked up to a bookcase and took down an old tome. Then he walked back and placed the book gently onto the table.
"I, like you Eragon, was a very curious boy. My parents warned me against getting too curious, and being the foolish boy I was, I ignored their words," Brom paused to open the book and start to flip gently through the pages. "And I got myself into quite a bit of trouble because of that. But it was only when I met my first vampire that I realised just how much trouble I had gotten myself into."
"You have –?" Eragon asked quietly.
"Oh yes," Brom's eyes twinkled for a second before they turned serious again. "He is rumoured to be the most sadistic vampire that has ever walked this earth, and the only one he would answer to was our dear King."
Brom stopped flipping and turned the book around. Eragon and Saphira leaned over to look at the page. Saphira flinched in surprise beside him.
"I've heard of him. The ghalack of ghalacken," Saphira said, practically spitting out her words as she spoke. "Morzan."
Brom smiled almost proudly at her. Eragon studied the picture before him. Dark hair had been pulled back in a tight ponytail at the base of his neck. The rest of the hair hung around his ears and face. A pair of cold and dark eyes stared up at him. His face as blank and he was clothed in all black.
"You met this guy?" Eragon asked softly, a hint of fear his voice.
He looked even more evil than...Eragon shook his head to clear his mind of that man.
"Indeed, I was just that lucky," Brom said and ran a hand through his greying hair. "I was lucky the first time and got away unscratched. But the next time I was older and more confident in myself, and that was almost my end. Vampires have an enormous strength when they bother to use it. And Morzan bothered."
"How did you get away the second time?" Saphira asked softly.
"Well, hadn't it been for his son, I would probably not have gotten away at all," Brom said and scratched the stubbles on his cheek. "It was not that long after the riot, and while it had been almost a year since I had lost Sarina, my dragon, somehow his son was able to see loss on my face. I can still remember it to this day. He said to Morzan; 'That man has lost his dragon. I'd rather not have to deal with you being moody after drinking yourself sadder, father.' And just like that, Morzan let me go."
Brom let out a bark like laugh.
"Of course, I later heard that Morzan had lost his dragon as well," he said. "And then, just a few days later, Morzan was killed."
"I heard about that," Saphira said with a small frown.
"You did?" Eragon asked.
"Morzan wasn't just a human killer; he was a dragon killer too. My family rejoiced when he died."
Eragon winced slightly.
"But I can't remember who killed him," Saphira commented.
"His own son," Brom replied. "I knew it from the moment I saw him; that boy would only cause trouble. The worst thing Morzan did was to have a child and then kill the mother. That boy never got to mourn her and was raised to be a killer. Morzan had a child with a human just so that he could have a vampire child."
"What?" Eragon said and frowned.
"You see Eragon, when a vampire has an offspring with someone other than their mate, their child will be born a vampire. You can't get a more evil creature than that," Brom said and shook his head sadly. "But when a vampire gets a child with their mate, their child will be born what their mother is."
Saphira nodded slightly.
"But back to the point. You see, Eragon, there are two times when a vampire calls someone their love," Brom said and raised one finger for each cause he told them. "The first time is when they choose their mate. The second time is when they let you know that they like you and that you're going to die."
"But, I...you can't..." Eragon found himself speechless. "You can't be serious!"
"I'm deadly serious," Brom said firmly and closed the book. "Either way this might play out, you've gotten a vampire after yourself, boy."
"But...no!" Eragon protested.
"He seduced you, he bedded you, he bit you, and he let you live. I'm afraid there's nothing you can do but to hold on tight. You're in for a bumpy ride, Eragon, no matter which scenario you're facing."
Eragon bit his lip, a thousand protests on his tongue, but he willed them down. He closed his eyes tightly and willed everything to go away. This could not be happening! It had to be a dream!
"Ilx," Eragon breathed.
He wasn't waking up. Damnit!
Eragon jumped when he felt two arms encircle him. When he saw a tuff of blue hair enter his vision, he allowed himself to relax into the hold.
"We'll get you through this, Eragon," Saphira whispered softly into his ear. "It'll all work out."
"But until then, you need to always have a friend beside you," Brom said and pursed his lips. "If it's possible, have someone sleep in the same room. You aren't allowed to go anywhere alone, and you can't be at home alone either. The ghalack knows where you live."
Eragon gulped. He had actually forgotten about that.
"Oh God," he murmured. "I'm going to die."
"No, you are not," Brom said firmly. "We need to get you unscratched through this first week, and then we can breathe a little easier."
"Why?" Eragon asked almost hysterically. "I'm dead either way, right?"
Brom, who had walked over to his bookcase and was looking through its content, turned around.
"No. If he's telling you that you're going to die, then you need to be extra cautious during the following month, the first week in particular. He's without a doubt fascinated by you, and so you need to keep a low profile. If you can stay out of his sight for a month, he might lose interest and move on to someone else. It has happened before," Brom sighed and started to look over his books again.
"If he has chosen you, then this first week is going to be very confusing for the vampire. A vampire usually doesn't need to feed more than once a month, hence why you need to stay out of his sight for this time period, but a few have a more sadistic streak in them and feed once a week. If he is such a vampire, then you need to be even more careful," the older man said and went back to looking at titles. "He won't understand the feelings that are going to appear in him, and he'll get more aggressive. He might try to bite a few more people, and by doing such he'll either get sick or slowly go mad. Or both. You aren't allowed to talk to him under any circumstances, do you understand?"
"Yes, sir," Eragon breathed.
"Good," Brom said as he walked back and pushed three books into Eragon's hands. "Read these and try to understand them. If not, then talk to me. I want you both back here in a week exactly. When were you bitten yesterday? Before midnight?"
Eragon just nodded.
"Never mind then. You're coming back with me after class. I understood it such that you had a chimera friend? How active would you say the elf is in him?"
"Very," Saphira answered for him. "His ears are very pointed and he has the same eyes as his sister. He's taller than her too, actually."
"Good," Brom murmured to himself. "Bring him along as well. Vampires have never gotten along with elves, and to have a male with elf blood in him around you is the best thing to do right now. It might convince the vampire to stay clear, especially if he's just fascinated by you."
Saphira nodded for the both of them. Eragon tried to make sense of everything that had just happened. The lack of sleep must be getting to him, he decided.
"Be careful now, kids. If anything happens, come to me right away," Brom said and ushered them out the door. "And then I mean anything."
Eragon shuddered at how Brom's eyes seemed to almost stare right through him. It was a chilling quality.
"We will, sir. Thank you so much!" Saphira said and started to drag Eragon the way home.
The brunet shook his head and nearly stumbled when Saphira upped their speed. Eragon had never felt so confused and lost in his entire life.
"You lied to us?"
"Aksel, try to get past that," Saphira begged softly.
"Uh-uh, I ain't letting him off the hook that easily. You lied to us!" Aksel nearly barked.
Eragon sighed into his hands. Fifteen minutes ago Saphira had dragged him off to Arya and Nasuada's apartment and had yelled for Aksel to get his ass there pronto at the same time. Five minutes later Saphira had proceeded to tell the trio what had actually happened the night before. And for the past ten minutes, she had also been trying to get Aksel to see past the whole 'Eragon had lied' part.
"Aksel, would you have told us the truth if you had banged a vampire?" Eragon asked deadpanned and lifted his head to look at his friend.
The blond opened his mouth, probably to say the first thing that came to his mind, but Arya slammed a hand over it before he could say a word.
They were all seated around Nasuada and Arya's coffee table. Saphira, Eragon and Nasuada sat on the couch while Arya and Aksel had taken two chairs out of the kitchen and sat on the other side of the table. Eragon was extremely glad that it was Arya sitting next to Aksel at that moment. Had it been him, he would have punched Aksel hard.
"Ignore my brother," she said and sent a glare Aksel's way. "But that is what Prof. Brom said? Either you're his mate or he wants to kill you?"
Eragon winced. He really didn't like that word.
"Technically, if Eragon is his chosen one, he won't be his mate until the vampire acknowledges the bond. And from what I've heard, that's going to be tricky," Nasuada said softly.
"When did you become an expert?" Eragon asked with a slight frown.
"Have you forgotten already?" Nasuada asked with a small laugh. "My father's a professor at the college, in Ancient History."
"Ah," Eragon breathed.
He had forgotten that. And really, it was humiliating that he had. Ajihad Black, Nasuada's father, had been accidentally bitten by a dying werewolf ten years ago. When a werewolf was dying, its only thought is to leave a legacy behind. A werewolf had been injured somehow, the police had suspected illegal hunters, and had crawled too close to the city border. And it was then that Ajihad had stumbled along. Luckily all the werewolf had done was to bite him. Ever since Ajihad had lectured Nasuada about what was happening to him, and that it wasn't a bad thing. That Ajihad was friends with Brom helped a lot, since Brom was the expert on creatures in the city of Carvahall.
Eragon could only imagine what those two talked about over...well, whatever they ate or drank.
"But you were saying?" Arya asked and pulled her hand away from her brother's mouth.
Aksel pouted slightly from having been silenced until he leaned forward to listen to Nasuada as well.
"Well, from what I've understood, there is only one sin that a vampire can commit, and that is finding their mate," the dark eyed woman said and folded her hands in her lap.
"Huh?" Aksel burst out.
"I'm getting there," Nasuada said, amusement twinkling in her eyes. "Once a vampire is mated, they often become calmer and less violent. Many vampires see this as traitorous, and the thought of being chained down like that, only being able to live off of one person, is just confusing and wrong in their eyes. I've heard stories of vampires that killed their mate just so that they wouldn't get closed off from the society."
"That's -!" Saphira breathed angrily, unable to finish her sentence.
"I know," Nasuada said sombrely. "I've also heard that the vampires that did this died shortly thereafter. They forgot that they couldn't live off of anyone else and slowly died."
Eragon gulped. So that was what Brom had meant during the lecture. No wonder he had said that both outcomes had meant death.
"No wonder I'm not allowed to go anywhere alone," Eragon drawled unenthusiastically.
"Eragon," Saphira scolded softly. "We're just not taking any chances. Either he's looking for a chance to kill you, or he might hurt you in all the confusion. He might not even mean to do it, but with everything that might be going on in his head, he can hurt you. We're here to make sure that doesn't happen. And if he's here to kill you, we're here to kill him first."
Eragon just sent her a tired smile. He knew she was only looking out for him, but everything suddenly just seemed too dark and impossible. Especially if that guy wanted him dead.
"Which brings me back to my other point. Aksel, you've gotten a job!"
Aksel perked up at this. He looked suspiciously at the blue haired girl before nodding once.
"You're never going to leave Eragon's side, unless you have class. He'll be staying with you for the upcoming month as well, per Brom's orders," Saphira paused before continuing to explain. "When I can't walk to class with him, you're going to. I don't want to drag Arya and Nasuada away from their work, and Brom said you would be the best candidate."
"The old man has a point," Arya commented before her brother could protest. "Aksel's elf blood is almost unnaturally active. Maybe your mom wasn't a pure human, after all?"
Aksel just shrugged.
"I have no idea. She never talked about dad or her own background much," he said simply.
"And vampires aren't very fond of elves!" Nasuada commented. "Brom sure knows his stuff."
Eragon replied to this by banging his head against the table.
"It's because he knows his stuff that I know how doomed I am!" he moaned.
"...You would rather...not know?" Arya asked and Eragon could hear the frown on her face.
"Hey, at least you didn't ask what the chances were of you being preggers," Aksel said with a small wink.
The room fell silent. Eragon felt his eyes widen as his mind screeched to a halt. WHAT?
Arya, after a short silence, leant over and smacked Aksel hard in the back of his head.
"Oy! What did you do that for?" he asked with a large pout.
"Moron," the green eyed female growled. "Eragon has enough to think about without worrying whether or not he's carrying!"
"Guys, I think you killed him," Nasuada piped up hesitantly.
Eragon shook his head forcefully. He hadn't even noticed that Saphira had been waving a hand in front of his face for God only knows how long.
"Brom told us about this yesterday, remember?" Saphira said softly. "At the lecture? All the guys were squirming and you couldn't stop blushing?"
There was only one word going on inside Eragon's mind. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!
"Morthor," the word escaped his lips unintentionally, his mind too focused on not saying the actual word for him to notice it escaping in Andelan.
"Eragon!" Nasuada gasped. "Where did you learn that?"
"From Brom, I'd suspect," Saphira said deadpanned. "You should have heard the words he used when we told him."
"I recall you being quite vulgar too, Saph," Eragon commented.
Saphira blushed prettily.
"That's my girl," Arya said and smirked. "But back to the issue. You do realise that it's a possibility?"
"Then why didn't Brom mention it?" Eragon asked, praying that his friends could be wrong.
"Well, you normally can't detect a pregnancy until it's at least a week old. And he did tell you to come back next Friday," Nasuada said and gave him a sad smile.
Eragon had the urge to bang his head against the table again. Forget earlier, this had to be a dream!
"Eragon, Brom probably didn't want to scare you more. Aksel here just doesn't know when to shut up," Saphira said softly, running a gentle hand through his hair as she did so.
Aksel looked thoroughly offended, but Eragon didn't really pay any attention to what was going on around him. All he could think was; 'I'm doomed, I'm so so doomed' and 'please don't let me be knocked up! I'll do anything, just please don't let me be!'
"Welcome to my humble abode," Aksel said and spread his arms.
Eragon let out a sigh and looked around in Aksel's apartment. It was slightly smaller than his and Saphira's, but apart from having one bedroom and the bathroom next to it, it looked about the same. Just messier, but that was to be expected. It was Aksel after all.
"Now, the old man said you should sleep in the same room as me?" Aksel asked and pushed open the door.
"Err, yeah. Something about -"
"Vamps not liking elfies," Aksel recited dully. "I feel for you, dude. I really do."
Eragon gave a half-smile before entering. It had been cleaned, that much Eragon could tell. He suspected that Arya had forced her brother to tidy a bit and drag in an extra mattress for him before he had come. The brunet let out another sigh and sat down heavily upon the mattress.
"Oy, don't look so down, buddy," the blond elf said and sat down beside him. "This'll all work out somehow."
Eragon laughed bitterly.
"Yeah, when?" he practically spat.
"I dunno," Aksel said honestly. "But you just worry about surviving the last of college for now."
Eragon look down at the floor with a small frown on his face.
"That's two months from now. I don't even have to worry about the exams just yet," he mumbled softly.
"Well, look at the bright side. This is just your first year. You can just fine take a year off after this term," the green eyed male said with a half-grin.
"...And that's the bright side, why?" Eragon asked and lifted an eyebrow.
Aksel suddenly became very interested in fluffing his own pillows.
"Oh, I dunno...maybe if this thing blows up or something. But hey, let's not dwell on things like that!" Aksel said and laughed a forced laugh. "I promise not to molest you while you're here, and you promise not to snore. Okay, who's up for take-out?"
Eragon watched with wide eyes as the blond dashed out of the room and heard him drop the phone onto the floor and cursed loudly.
"Um, Aksel? Calm down," Eragon said a little hesitantly. "You're more freaked out than I am."
"Uh, sorry," the other said sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck. "I just...I'm not a big fan of, you know, bloodsucking thingies."
"Neither am I," the brunet said and bent down to pick up the forgotten phone. "But you don't see me fluffing up pillows and changing topics faster than a magician in an occult shop, do you?"
Aksel answered with a half-smirk.
"He's supposed to want to stay away from you, remember?" Eragon said and tried and failed to smile encouragingly. "It's me he wants."
"That doesn't make me feel safer," the blond elf said and laughed awkwardly.
Eragon presented him with a tired glare.
"You just stay close to me, and if he dares to show then Saphira will probably kill him in rage."
"Alright, that didn't make me feel any safer."
Eragon hit the other in the back of his head with the phone. It wasn't a simple feat, seeing as Aksel was easily a head taller than him.
"Ouch!" Aksel said and pouted.
"You deserved it," Eragon stated simply. "Now, order some food, would you?"
The blond took the phone and saluted. Eragon just rolled his eyes and walked back into the bedroom, Aksel's soft laughter following him inside. The brunet searched around in his bag until he found what he was looking for. He slipped it into his pocket and hoped that the upcoming month would pass without difficulty or accidents.
Eragon stepped into his last class and only class on Friday with what he could only assume to be panic on his face. Saphira gently led him over to their usual seats and sat him down. Eragon let out a shuddering breath and pulled out his notebook and a pen. His hands were shaking, but then again, they hadn't stopped since he had walked out of the apartment complex that same morning.
The clock above the wall showed that a new hour had begun, and the brunet couldn't keep himself from shuddering. He had felt unusually cold ever since he had come home Friday night, but it had gotten worse when he had remembered his classes. Every day since then Eragon had left the apartment in baggy hoodies that he felt somewhat warm in. That day however had been worse. He was going back with Brom that afternoon, and the chills had just seemed to double at that thought. Therefore he had worn a black and, according to Saphira, favourite comfort hoodie that day. And, as he buried his chin in the material, he mentally agreed with her.
-Are you alright, Eragon?- Saphira asked mentally, though her worried gaze alone could have spoken for her.
-No,- Eragon answered. -I'm so nervous it feels like I'm choking!-
-Then breathe,- Saphira softly coached. -You'll get through this just fine.-
-No!- Eragon nearly exclaimed out loud. -I have a feeling that Brom has a surprise for us today, and then I don't mean a good one.-
Saphira crocked an eyebrow in surprise. She opened her mouth to speak out loud, but just then Brom strode into the room.
Eragon couldn't help but to notice that he looked slightly jumpy. But nonetheless, there was a half-smirk on his face. Oh yeah, he knew Brom had prepared a surprise for them today.
"Settle down!" the older man called out, though today he hadn't needed to since the class had fallen silent upon his arrival.
He spent the next minute hooking his laptop to the projector and presented them with a blank page.
"Today kids, I'll let you decide what we'll go through. I was originally going to continue on our fanged friends, but I'll let you decide just this once."
Eragon felt his face pale. He gulped loudly and tried to will the floor to swallow him whole.
Several voices started to mumble the same word all across the room. Eragon was actually surprised that a few guys said the word as well.
"Alright, vampires it is," Brom said and pressed the button in his hand once. "I had a feeling you were going to say that."
The screen lit up with a new background, but the same headline that had been present during the previous two lectures. And Eragon found himself shocked when he recognised the picture. It was the same one that Brom had in his living room!
"Today I thought we could focus a bit on modern vampires," Brom said and pressed the button again. "You've all heard about Lestat and Dracula, but there are a few people throughout history I'm sure you didn't know were vampires or of vampiric descent..."
Eragon started to write down, still with a shaky hand, the names Brom came with and the things he told. And so thirty minutes passed.
"Prof," a guy a few seats down from Saphira and Eragon called out in a slightly bored drawl. "Will you be mentioning Morzan?"
A few mumbles started to rise. Eragon, if possible, paled even more and his grip around the pen tightened painfully. Saphira reached over with her unoccupied hand and touched his shoulder, sending calming whispers and feelings into him without even opening her mouth or looking away from their professor.
Brom stopped his slight pacing and chuckled.
"I was wondering which one of you was going to mention that name," he said and stroked his slight beard. "I suppose, as the most famous vampires of the modern times, I ought to mention him, hmm?"
A few male students looked almost hungrily at their professor, waiting in excitement for what he was about to reveal. Eragon prepared himself for a repetition of what he had heard not even a week ago, and was about to look away when the screen before him flickered. His eyes widened and he could feel Saphira's shock through their mental link.
"Even though this man raged and rampaged a few years before your time, he lived just enough to see the fourth year of King Hrothgar's rule. That's right; he outlived the riot and his master King Galbatorix," Brom said and smirked almost secretively. "And I'm betting that none of you know how he died."
The class fell silent. Though Saphira and Eragon knew, they weren't about to raise their hand and say it.
"He was murdered in cold blood by his own son," if possible, the room seemed to fall into an even deeper silence when Brom paused. "The boy was nine at the time, but that didn't stop hinder him in any way. To further explain this, I'll show you just how powerful Morzan was."
The screen shifted again and a family tree was shown on the screen. On top was a name that Eragon had only heard of in legends and myths.
"Morzan is said to be a descendant of Elizabeth Bathory and one of her many lovers. It is said, and later proved, that Morzan was a descendant of one of her unknown number of bastard children back in the 1600s, one of the few that made it out of her castle alive," Brom paused to let out a low and rumbling chuckle. "I'm sure you've all heard of Bathory. She became so terrified of aging that she started to bathe in young women's blood, and a few accounts back in the day said that she even bit a few of her victims. On account of Morzan's long career of sadism it is no wonder that historians believe him to come from the woman that brutally murdered six hundred girls just to stay young."
Eragon couldn't help but to laugh at the guys that looked fascinated and horrified at the same time. Most of the girls just looked grossed out. And Eragon couldn't blame them. If he was to take a side, he'd take theirs.
"While it has never been proved that Bathory was a vampire, Morzan was one without a doubt. He was responsible for a lot of the deaths during the riot, as well over a two hundred more that had no link to the riot whatsoever," the professor said and changed the page on the screen again. "Morzan never found his mate while he lived, though scholars have debated and, if I'm not mistaken, still debate on this issue. The main reason being that he was murdered by a nine year old without causing any harm on his attacker. And believe me, had Morzan had the chance, he would have hurt, if not killed the boy. A vampire has no real bond with their children unless they come from their mate."
Brom leant onto his desk and looked at his students.
"Strange creatures, vampires," he murmured almost to himself. "But back to this infamous debate! As I've already told you, a mate is a vampire's everything once they've managed to find them. People say that Morzan found his mate but was unable to claim them, or perhaps he had no idea who it was. Because, believe me, he drained enough people a month to confuse the most organized of minds. For, let's say that a vampire has found and taken a little sip out of their mate. What happens?"
Brom paused, almost as if he was waiting for someone to speak up. His eyes flickered over Saphira and Eragon for a moment before focusing back on the student body.
"What happens, kids, is that a vampire can no longer drink blood that comes from someone other than their mate. If they try to, they'll either get sick or go mad."
The grey eyed man folded his hand over the one holding the remote and smirked.
"And I suppose you've all been taking notes?" he said with his usual humour.
Suddenly, several pens could be heard scarping against paper. Eragon and Saphira, who had already heard half of the lecture before, started to write down what was new.
"Now, since Morzan didn't fight back, scholars are saying that he didn't have the strength to. This could be true, but as a teacher I'm supposed to stay objective, so I've refrained from taking a side. This is just old man's talk, kids; it's nothing for you to worry about. Just think to yourself; ding dog, the vamp is dead!"
A few students laughed quietly at Brom's words. Eragon felt a half-smile enter his face.
"Sir! You haven't said anything about Morzan's son," a girl a few rows down piped up almost meekly.
Eragon could only imagine why. Morzan had been, despite his vampire genes and sadistic side, a handsome man. Eragon assumed that the student believed that his son had turned out just as good looking.
Brom suddenly looked thoughtful. He pressed the button and sat down onto the desk. He crossed his arms, his eyes never leaving the student before he started to speak.
"No one knows his name, actually. He disappeared off the radar shortly after he killed his father. He took his inheritance and left," Brom said. "He is rumoured to have been born in the spring sometime, but no one knows this for sure. Those who have actually seen the child can only remember curly dark hair and cold eyes that looked just like his father's. His mother was killed by Morzan shortly after his birth. Morzan wanted the child to grow up to be a killing machine, and the mother wasn't his mate, so she was no longer needed. And I would say he succeeded in his mission. Wherever Morzan's son has been rumoured to have been, he's only left bodies and terrified people behind. Historians are actually afraid that he'll live up to his father's name, and perhaps one day even surpass him."
Eragon felt a shudder run through him. He wasn't sure why, but he didn't like it.
"He allowed no pictures or paintings to be made of him, and those that later tried have only been able to create a picture of a stoic looking child with too indistinct features to help identify him in the present. He should be, is he still alive, in his early to mid twenties," Brom paused to send a warning look to his students. "If you hear whispers of Morzan's son, then you get away immediately. Most likely he is as handsome as his father and he probably uses that to his advantage. Do not let yourself enter a situation where you're unsure about the other person's lineage. It could be a fatal mistake on your part."
Eragon could almost hear the students gulp at the warning. Suddenly he wished he could gulp with them. But sadly, all he could do was to clench Saphira's hand, which had somehow sought out his, and feel her return the gesture.
"Class dismissed," Brom barked and then let out a barely audible sigh. "If you have any questions, ask me after Monday's lecture."
The students almost unwillingly left the room. Saphira and Eragon packed up slowly and didn't walk over to the teacher's desk until they were the only ones left. As Eragon stepped even closer to his mentor, another shudder ran through him. He could bet that the night wouldn't be a pleasant one for anyone.
"Let's go," Brom said gruffly. "I'm driving."
Aksel looked slightly uncomfortable where he stood beside Saphira. Brom had a rather large house for living alone, and they had been given two guestrooms that they were going to stay in during the weekend. Eragon was not surprised when he heard that he and Aksel were still going to share a room. The blond on the other hand, while not looking disturbed by the thought, hadn't made a joke about it either. Aksel clearly didn't feel comfortable.
"Aksel, are you okay?"
The blond seemed to get startled out of his own thoughts.
"Huh?" he asked and shifted his gaze away from the wall he had been staring at for the past half hour.
"I asked you if you were okay," Saphira said softly.
Aksel ran a hand through his dishevelled hair.
"Uh, yeah. Just a little caught up in my own thoughts," he said sheepishly.
"Be careful so you don't hurt yourself now," Eragon commented teasingly.
Aksel just gave a half-smile.
"Alright, that's it! What's wrong?" Saphira nearly barked, her mood changing from motherly to suspicious in an instant.
The elf jumped back and somehow tripped over something until he lay flat onto the bed he was going to sleep in that night.
"Nothing, I swear!" Aksel piped up and pushed himself up by his elbows.
"Bullshit," Saphira said and scowled. "Now you tell us what's going on."
Eragon gulped at the hydra's angry stance and looks. He soundlessly sneaked over to his own bed and sat down. He had never seen Saphira so angry before.
"I..." Aksel trailed off. "You know how Arya was joking about my mom not being completely human? Well, I asked her. She's actually one-fourth elfish. And recently, for some fucked up reason, I've been feeling a lot more 'in tune with nature' as my mom calls it. And it's fucking up my senses!"
Eragon frowned and saw Saphira do the same. The blue haired girl sat down beside Aksel and laid a hand on his shoulder. Eragon padded over and sat down beside them.
"What's wrong with them?" the hydra asked softly.
"I dunno," Aksel said in a frustrated tone. "They're just...all over the place! It's like I'm on high alert!"
"There is a very easy explanation for that."
The trio jumped almost in tandem. Brom chuckled softly and sat down on Eragon's currently unoccupied bed.
"You have elf blood from both sides of your family, you said?" Brom asked and continued without waiting for an answer. "You're starting to reach manhood. You'll be turning twenty-one next year, correct?"
"Yes, sir," Aksel replied and seemed to almost sit straighter due to the older man's presence.
"You're just an early developer. Rely on your senses to be pretty 'fucked up' for a while. But you can use this to your advantage, boy. You can sense enemies or threats much more easily now, or, if you want to, give us a perfect weather cast for tomorrow."
The blond blushed slightly.
"I wouldn't know how to, sir," he protested.
"Pish pash," Brom said and snorted. "You'll learn it soon enough. It comes naturally, so to speak. If not, then talk to your sister. She'll know what's going on."
"Thank you, sir," Aksel said and gave another half-smile.
"Now, let's get to business," Brom said and clapped his hands. "I chose this room for you boys for a reason. It has no windows and is as close to the centre of the house as we can get. I want you two in here by midnight, and you elf, you're going to look after Eragon as if you were getting paid to do it."
Aksel nodded sharply.
"Saphira, if you're still awake, then you can stay here until 1 a.m. strikes. But you aren't to leave this room until then," Brom said and focused his attention on the only female in the room. "If you sense anything, shout out."
"Will do, sir," Saphira said and pursed her lips.
The brunet looked up. He huddled deeper into his hoodie and met his teacher's eyes.
"Yes?" he replied meekly.
"Are you alright there, boy?" Brom asked with a slight furrow on his forehead.
"I'm just a bit cold, that's all," Eragon said and shrugged. "It's no big deal."
"How long have you been feeling cold?" he asked almost sharply.
"Umm...on and off since Saturday. Why?" the brown eyed teen asked and bit his lip.
Brom's frown, if possible, deepened. The older man mumbled something under his breath and glared at the floor.
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" He asked gruffly.
"I didn't think it mattered," Eragon replied honestly.
He was just feeling cold. He hadn't even remembered it until Brom had come into the room again, shifting his focus from Aksel and onto his teacher. It was really no big deal. He had always been very sensitive to the weather and easily got cold.
The older man ran a hand through his short hair. He grumbled something else under his breath and scowled.
"Tomorrow, we're going to do a few tests and get to the bottom of this," Brom said and started to walk out of the room.
"Get to the bottom of what?" Eragon piped up.
"Nothing too serious, I hope," Brom said, his gaze flickering between Eragon and Saphira as he spoke.
"Sir?" Saphira called out, but Brom had already left the room.
"Dude, are you sure he's not a magician in disguise? He's crazy enough to be one," Aksel whispered to the brunet.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure," he replied.
"Ah, alright then. Cos I could have sworn he was staring at your stomach for a second there," Aksel said and stretched his arms over his head.
Eragon, who had been in the process of getting up, tripped over thin air and fell onto the floor.
"WHAT?" he squeaked.
"Oy, are you alright?" the blond elf said and helped him get back up. "I didn't mean to startle you."
"Don't joke like that, Aksel!" Eragon hissed. "I'm a bit on edge right now, okay?"
"Okay, no jokes," Aksel said and held up his hands in surrender.
Saphira watched the two of them interact with unblinking eyes. Eragon frowned when he noticed her pupils.
"Saph?" he called out.
"Oh, it's nothing," she said and shook her head, her eyes going back to normal. "For a second there I thought...never mind."
Eragon shook his head and started to mumble about the less than sane state of his friends.
Saphira just giggled while Aksel loudly asked what he had done this time. Eragon ignored them both and sat down on his bed, his back resting against the wall. He watched as Saphira pulled a deck of cards out of seemingly thin air and started to con Aksel into playing. The elf was reluctant for one second before he eagerly dived into the game.
The brunet watched them for a moment, a hand rubbing unconsciously against his stomach. There seemed to be nothing wrong with it. Aksel had to be joking around again.
Eragon pulled up the arms on his sweater and sat down beside his friends, willing to participate in a new game.
Somewhere a clock struck midnight. A figure, no longer asleep like he had been a second before, sat up and yelled out in pain. Another figure, a larger one, ran into the room and was instantly by the other's side. But the first male only continued to scream.
Above them, the moon was revealed through the heavy clouds. It shone almost red. Then it was covered again. When the new cloud passed, the moon was once again a pale yellow.
A/N And this is why I'm the Queen of Cliffhangers and evil to boot. Hehe.
Since Brisingr will be released very soon, I figured I should at least post something else before retreating. No, I'm not leaving the fandom. I am however not going to be active apart from answering review and PMs until I've read Brisingr. Sadly, that won't be in the very immediate future. And since I'm taking a huge risk and buying it in English while still being in college, expect me to have read it done by November at the earliest. If I'm lucky, that is. I refuse to read any Eragon fics until I have read the book. If there is one thing I hate besides flames its spoilers.
I truly am sorry for leaving you all with this, but I'm not saying that I won't update during this timeframe. I will post as often as I can, but since I'll soon be juggling reading Brisingr, writing, doing my assignments and such, don't expect me to update until at least October. I am sorry for this, but there are certain things in life that comes first.
I hope you had fun with this chapter and that I didn't confuse you all too much. More is coming, like I said, with time.
When it comes to Elizabeth Bathory, she was a real person that has been rumoured to have been the first female vampire. I only made up the facts about her bastard children and lovers, the rest is presented just as I found it online. I can't remember the site I used, but you can easily google her up and check for yourself.
If there's anything you're confused about regarding my vampire lore or anything else, let me know and I'll try to explain it the best I can. More info is coming in future chapters as well.
Btw, I actually just noticed that I used a word from the Lord of the Rings in this. :sweatdrop: Thanks to Hot4Garrett for pointing it out to me! It was not my intention, as Mordor is clearly the country were Sauron lives. :shakes her head: I've therefore changed the word into morthor. So there you evil lawyers, you can no longer take me now! :evil crackle:
I hope you all enjoyed the chapter and thank you for reading.
Morthor – A swear word. Means "fuck"
Andelan – A language that is also called "Old Tongue". It's the language that Alagaësia and Surda spoke in the old days. The language is now primarily used by vampires, elves and werewolves, since they are more in touch with the old times. However, magicians use it also to create spells and control magic, much like "The Ancient Language" in CP's original books. But Andelan is a language that you can use without having magic go wild; like a branch flying through a person just because you said that word. Magicians have created a way to pull magic out of the nature by using the words, but they and the elves are the only ones that know how.
Morthric – A form of the word mordor. Means "fucker"
Ghalack – A swear word. Means "bastard"
Ghalacken – A form of the word ghalack. Means "bastards"
Ilx – A swear word. Means "shit" or "damn"