N.B.: Hi people! Here is the long-awaited chapter 7! Yes, in reviews where I said "stay tuned for chapter 8" I made a mistake. But what can I do? Even an author sometimes loses count of their chapters, right? Anyway, the long guessing of who the surprise guest might be has now come to an end! This chapter is specially for people who love Viktor and the surprise guest (yeah, as I would tell you who it is)! Enjoy!^_^

Chapter 7

The next evening at the manor, at 9:00 p.m. …..

The guards standing at the entrance doors of the manor had seen a great many strange things during the past couple of centuries and last night was no exception – the lycan master Lucian himself had come to the manor and had left it alive! The guards thought that that was at the top of their list of strange events, but what was happening now beat everything.

An unnatural fog had started creeping to the manor a few minutes ago, but that could hardly be described as strange. Fogs did happen to appear in Hungary after all. But this fog was denser than a normal one, faster and it was moving against the wind. Suddenly, just before the eerie fog reached the guards, it started to gather at one spot, getting denser and denser, slowly forming a body and then, after a few seconds, there stood a man in front of them!

Immediately they knew that that was no ordinary human. Well, no ordinary human can turn into fog, right? He was a man around 40 years of age and wore a black military jacket, black military pant and black boots. On top of all that was a black cape that reached the man's ankles. His jet-black hair was pulled back into a pony tail held by a golden ___ and a few stray strands were surrounding his face, accentuating his eyes that were the dark colour of midnight.

The man looked at the guards and when he spoke, he spoke with a slight Romanian accent.

-"Your lord is expecting me"

The guards looked at each other, silently agreeing that this man was not to be angered and opened the entrance doors to the manor. The man smiled at the guards as he passed by them and nodded his thank you.

The stranger continued through the manor as if he had been there before and soon found himself in front of the living room doors, where he presumed his old friend was waiting for him. Knocking on the door he didn't wait for a reply and just entered the room, closing the doors behind him.

-"Vladislaus, my old friend!", Viktor warmly greeted his visitor, standing up from his chair and stretching out his hand.

-"It's nice to see you too, Viktor" answered the Romanian whilst shaking hands with the elder and sitting down in the comfortable chair opposite Viktor's.

-"How long has it been? 500 or 600 years?"

-"Yes, a long time, my friend. I'm very happy that you answered my e-mail and came so quickly" Viktor thanked his old friend, ice-blue eyes meeting midnight blue ones.

-"I see in your eyes that you are eager to get down to business. That's very uncharacteristic of you, old friend. Has something happened since I last saw you?", Vladislaus asked, curiosity showing on his face.

-"Yes, Vladislaus. It's a long story and I wish for you to hear it in full. It is connected to the reason I asked you to come"

-"I see that this is important to you, so I will listen", he said, nodding for Viktor to start his story.

After 1 hour of talking and telling Solene's story and then her kidnapping to his friend, Viktor couldn't help but feel tears threatening to come out and roll down his pale cheeks. When he finally finished with the story, Viktor's throat was parched and so he took out two glasses, one for himself and one for Vladislaus. Then he went over to a mini-refrigerator and took out a wine bottle filled with blood. He went back to his seat and poured some of the red liquid into his and his guest's glass.

- "This Solene you told me about….She's very dear to you, isn't she, Viktor?", asked the Romanian, intrigued by the story.

- "Yes, she is the most precious thing in my heart. That's why I wanted you to come – to locate this castle. My trackers seem to have problems finding it…and so do Lucian's."

- "Lucian? Isn't he that lycan you told me you wanted to kill?", the strange man asked, confused by that last addition to his old friends sentence.

- "Once, yes. I have learned to move on from the past, thanks to my little Solene. I now have a sort of temporary truce with him, for he and I both face the same problem – his adopted son, just like my Solene, was kidnapped by the same type of people – wizards"

- "I see. So you want me to help you find this castle? Just give me something that belongs to your Solene and I shall find your castle."

Finding something to give to Vladislaus that belonged to Solene was more difficult for Viktor than he though. He had entered Solene's room and after spending an hour and a half in her room he still couldn't find something suitable to give to his friend, afraid that the objects in his daughter's room held some significance for her. Finally he decided that one of the few dresses his beloved girl had would have to do. She hated dresses anyway, so it wouldn't be a big loss for her. He quickly went back to the living room where he had left his friend and found him standing over a small cauldron, smoke rising from whatever he had brewed during Viktor's search.

- "Here you go – a dress that belongs to my Solene. She doesn't really like dresses, so she surely wouldn't mind if you use it" he told his visitor, handing him the dress.

Immediately the scent of Solene's dress caught his friend's attention and he quickly took the dress. He sniffed at it and something within him stirred, as if he recognized the scent from somewhere. He concentrated once more on his present task, took out a dagger he had strapped to his left leg and cut off a small piece of the dress with it. He put his dagger away again and threw the cut out piece of the dress into the potion he had made. Turning to his old friend he explained what the potion would do.

- "This, my friend, is a potion that will tell me where this castle that you seek is" he turned back to the blue potion and patiently waited for it to take effect.

Soon, the potion's originally dark blue colour turned into a crimson red one and then a map was projected just above the cauldron, showing Great Britain. There was a big red circle around Scotland, showing the location of the castle. Seeing the big red circle and not the usual red dot, Vladislaus frowned and looked at his friend who was looking at him expectantly.

- "It seems that your castle is protected by some very powerful shields. It could take years to pinpoint the exact location of it. Before you ask why you would need the exact location, the reason is that these wards are there to protect this castle's occupants…probably students, since you mentioned that this castle was a school….from dark creatures, unless they are granted access from the leader of this school…it's headmaster. Or at least that is what I presume, my old friend. One can never be too sure in matters of magic. It will take some time to get the shields out of the way. I shall, if you wish to, stay here and conduct some research on them, so that you would be able to bring them down. Also, I would like to know more about your precious Solene", was Vladislaus' long explanation.

- "I…see. Stay, if you like and I will gladly tell you more about my dear Solene. All my books are at your disposition. Just, please, find a way to locate the castle and get my Solene back. Please. Now, my friend, if you don't mind, I have to write an e-mail to Lucian", said Viktor, before he turned on the spot and strode out of the living room and into his bedroom. There he sat down in front of his desk where his laptop was. He had to give the humans some credit – this technology was clever and practical.

To:

From:

Subject: Progress

Lucian,

My friend, Count Vladislaus Dragulia, who is also a vampire, came today and said that it could take a few years to get the exact location of the castle, but so far as we know it is situated somewhere in the middle of Scotland.

Tell your trackers to try and find the castle. Just to see if we really need the exact location. It would spare us a lot of time if we did.

Answer this e-mail a.s.a.p.

Your friend,

Viktor

Vampire Elder

After finishing the e-mail, the vampire elder clicked the "send" button and sat back into his chair, thinking about the recent developments. If Lucian's trackers do not succeed in finding the castle, they would have to wait several years to finally locate it. Until then his beloved Solene could very well be….He didn't even want to go down that painful line of thought. He would be truly lost without her.

The tired vampire elder sat there for some time, contemplating the possible ways of finding the castle without the potion and the future, when his laptop gave a small, but loud enough for Viktor to hear "beep". The vampire turned to his computer and saw a window had appeared.

You have 1 new message

Viktor quickly opened the "yahoo" website and saw that he had received an e-mail from Lucian. He clicked the "open" button and read the lycan masters reply to his e-mail.

To:

From:

Subject: RE: Progress

Viktor,

I have sent my trackers to Scotland and I, just like you, I suppose, hope that they can find it. I cannot wait to see Alex again. I hope that they, the children, are alright and that they can figure out how to get away from there themselves. It's always easier to escape with inside help than with outside help, but who would be willing to aid them in their attempt?

This friend of yours….His name sounds familiar. Could he, per chance, be the famous Count Dracula from Transylvania? If he is indeed, then I am most curious to find out a bit more about him. For example, his age. Is he older or younger than you (in vampire years of course)?

I must go now, for I have a lot of work to do.

Your friend,

Lucian

Lycan Master

To:

From:

Subject: RE: Re: Progress

Lucian,

That is good news and you are indeed correct – I, too, hope that they find that accursed castle. Likewise, my friend. Solene is the most important person in my heart and life and I wish that I could see her again. You are correct about the escaping. It is indeed far easier with inside help, but who would provide it? I do not know the answer to that question. Perhaps they can convince someone or even find a fellow vampire or lycan who could then help them out.

Yes, he is indeed the one you speak of, except his name is Dragulia in his native Romanian language. Ah, yes, he is a very dear friend and he is only 200 years younger than me, give or take a few decades. Anything else you wish to know about him? You are quite right to be curious, for he is quite an intriguing figure.

I, too, have work to do. Keep in touch.

Your friend,

Viktor

Vampire Elder

Sending his reply, Viktor stood up and walked back to the living room, wondering what his friend had been doing all this time. He found his friend pacing in front of the fireplace, not even noticing Viktor's entrance. Solene's dress was carefully laid on the arm of the chair and Viktor's brooding friend glanced from time to time at it. Finally, he looked up and saw Viktor leaning on the door frame, an amused look in his eyes.

- "Why are you thinking so much, my friend?"

- "Well, I have been thinking of where I should start my research", was his friends smooth answer. But unbeknownst to Viktor, this was a lie. Vladislaus couldn't remember for the life of him where he had smelled that scent before and this had been driving him crazy this entire time, hence the brooding and pacing.

- "I think I will start my research tomorrow evening. Until then I would like to stay in my room. Speaking of which, where is it?"

- "It's right across Solene's, upstairs, down the hallway, the fourth door to the left", answered the vampire elder.

- "Thank you, I think that I should rest now. By the way, Viktor, you should rest as well. It seems as if you haven't slept these past few days, my friend"

- "I've been trying to find that blasted castle and I was worried about my Solene. I am sure that I would have had nightmares"

- "Well, rest assured, my old friend, you will find your Solene again. But until then, sleep"

With that the Count exited the room and went searching for his room on the upper floor. Finding it, he opened the door and immediately walked to the bed. After closing the heavy, black curtains, undressing and lying down, he thought how Viktor's daughter's room was just across his. The temptation to look around it was great, but he told himself that he needed the rest and so he fell asleep just as the suns first rays peeked above the horizon.

Meanwhile Viktor himself was lying down in his bed, thinking of how he would find his beloved daughter and as soon as his head hit the pillow, sleep overtook him.

N.B.: Hi people! I hope you liked this chapter! Especially my surprise guest! I hope that you remember my words from last chapter, but I will repeat them again – please review this chapter, this story! Keep me alive so that I can continue writing it!^_^

Viktor: I liked this chapter. I had a lot of moments in it.

Solene: You may have, father, but me and Alex and pretty much everyone else didn't!

Lady Avotil: Solene, if you think about it, you and Alex and everyone else is in every other chapter so far and poor Viktor hasn't had that much attention. Think about it.

Solene: Well……I guess that you are right. But still! We didn't have any part in this chapter at all!

Lady Avotil: Offf….I am in no mood to argue with you.

Count Vladislaus Dragulia (in short C.V.D.): Yes, young vampire, you heard what your creator said, so stop complaining.

Lady Avotil: Thank you, Count. I haven't been feeling well lately and a headache is really not what I need right now. Stupid flu…And stupid diet my doctor put me on! I want some normal food, not just bread and biscuits and cheese….

C.V.D.: Does Italian sound good to you, my dear?

Lady Avotil: Um…yes, but why do you ask, Count?

C.V.D.: Well, I can't let my creator go hungry, can I? I'm taking you out to this lovely Italian restaurant I know in Budapest. How does that sound, my love?

Lady Avotil: "My love"? Oh, doesn't matter. I can't say no to an invitation from a Count now, can I? Lead the way, Count!

C.V.D.: As you wish, my dear. Oh, and do call me Vlad…(they go off into the distance, but Lady Avotil comes running back)

Lady Avotil: Ah, sorry, I forgot to say bye to my lovely readers! So, bye and please, please review my story! Oh, and just to add a little detail – I love long reviews and I answer each and every single one! I also almost forgot, stay tuned for the next chapter and maybe a surprise!^_^