I wrote this a while ago--a year or so?--but couldn't post it because there was no category for this series! I'm glad I finally get to share it. It was sort of annoying to see it in my documents folder but not be able to do anything with it. xD I believe I wrote this because I wanted to see more development of Gavril in the books. Or rather, more developed development. My only objection to this series was basically that Gavril's changes from being human to being Drakhoan occured suddenly with no gradual development. So, I attempted to fill it in with this. Hope you enjoy! I do not own any characters, places, or concepts from the Tears of Artamon series. Those are all copyright to Sarah Ash.

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Gavril walked slowly down the darkened hallway of the kastel, filled with a strange foreboding. He felt cold and weak, and his vision blurred as he stumbled onward.

He had just come from dinner, where he had felt perfectly fine. The only thing strange about the entire day, in fact, was that he had snapped at one of his druzhina at dinner over a trivial matter. That was completely out of character for him.

He sank to the floor in consternation as he thought about it. According to his father's letter, he would become more irritable and violent as the dark nature of the Drakhoul gradually claimed him as its own. He looked at his blue ridged nails. They didn't seem to be worse than before, but it was hard to tell in the dim light.

Gavril groaned as a sudden wave of vertigo hit him. The floor tilted, and darkened. When his eyes cleared, everything had a slightly bluish tinge to it. The hallway seemed lighter, as well, though he knew it wasn't.

Gavril Nagarian, the creature hissed sibilantly, why do you persist in denying me? I am your birthright.

"Go away!" Gavril cried, lurching to his feet. "Leave me alone!" He staggered the rest of the way to his room. Maybe if he got some sleep he wouldn't be so vulnerable to the creature's influence.

You can't run from me, Gavril. I am part of you. We're inseparable.

"Just go away!"

It chuckled, a menacing, reptilian sound; a sound full of inconceivable power and the ability to do anything with that power.

Gavril locked his door as he reached his room, and flung himself on the bed, burying his head under the pillows, trying to block out the horrid voice.

You can't hide from me, Gavril.

"Please, just leave me alone," he almost wailed into his bed sheets, a few self-pitying tears leaking out of his eyes.

Do you even mean that, Gavril? You can do anything with me to aid you. We could unite the world with my powers. If you were king of the world, no one would be able to dispute your claim to marry Astasia. In fact, her family would be begging to let her marry you.

Gavril felt a momentary pang at the thought of Astasia, and then quickly tried to suppress it as he realized the Drakhoul was using his love for her as a means to its evil ends. He sat up, trying to be stronger.

"No. I won't let Astasia marry a monster," he told it in a calmer voice.

Very well. Then you'll have to live without her.

Gavril's face seemed to fold in on itself as this awful truth crushed down upon him. Life without Astasia was unthinkable.

"WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?" He shrieked in agony at the uncaring portrait of his child self hanging on the wall. The portrait stared back, silent.

He flung himself back under his pillows. "Why me?" he whispered in pain. "Why?"

Because, Gavril Nagarian, you are Drakhaon.