Early December snowfall heavily dusted the forest floor, leaving all traces of greenery and foliage hidden. The animals hunkered down in their nests and homes in preparation for the coming night. Far deeper into the forest is a manor belonging to the Phantomhive family.

Night was fast approaching, as the light snow that began in the early hours of the morning turned heavy. Fresh snow was now covering the ground, everything was silent with the occasional tree branch cracking under the weight of the soft snow. It was a peaceful sight to anyone who was in the forest. That peace was but a farce. It covered up a gruesome secret. Where the manor once stood, was now burnt ash and rubble.

The pure snow dared not touch the torched manor. Not because it was a sin, nor was it because it was impure, unholy, or a disgrace. It was because the still smoldering ruins were just that, still smoldering from the intense heat of the flames that licked towards the open sky in the late evening.

For a random passerby, they would say it was a sad sight. Anyone who knew the Phantomhives would say that they felt bad for the family, especially the loss of the youngest Phantomhive, Ciel. But no one knew the cause of the fire. No one heard about it until a week after it happened.

XXX

It was mid afternoon, Ciel had finished his studies for the day and was heading for the foyer. A huge smile was plastered on the small boy's face. It was his birthday today. Stopping atop the staircase the child's grin widened as he saw his dog.

"Mother! Father! I am waiting downstairs in the foyer," the boy called walking over to his dog. He sat down on the plush carpeting and started playing with the dog. "Hello, Sebastian. Have you been a good boy today?" he asked brightly. Sebastian barked and licked the boy's face.

Ciel's smile widened as he played with Sebastian. Unaware of the coming danger. Or the fate he was soon to face. Sebastian sat up suddenly, startling the poor boy. Sebastian stood and followed an invisible force. Ciel confused by his dog's odd behavior got up and followed him.

"Sebastian? Sebastian!" Ciel called after the dog as he picked up speed, both running through the halls of the expansive manor. Ciel hadn't noticed the heat, he was hot from running, following Sebastian. The dog came to a halt in front of the double doors leading to Ciel's Father's study. Ciel panted, the air was heavy, hot, and thick. Pushing on the doors, Ciel was greeted with flames licking everything in sight.

"Father!" he coughed "Mother!" he coughed again, his asthma taking hold. Rattling the sickly boys small frame. He collapsed in a coughing fit on the floor. Sebastian caught on to the poor boys struggle and bit down onto the collar of his shirt and attempted to drag the boy to safety. Ciel passed out from smoke inhalation.

XXX

Ciel had been having these reoccurring nightmares for three weeks now. He had had the 4th nightmare this week. It was frustrating the boy to no end, he was losing sleep over it. Frustrated, he climbed out of bed and left his room. He didn't know where he was going, he just let his feet carry him.

Ciel's feet carried him to the foyer. He looked over the empty space, visions of himself, Lizzy, his mother and father, and his dog all enjoying the evening displayed. He scoffed at the memory and kept walking. He walked past the library and stopped. Opening the expansive double doors he met silence. He walked into the library and looked over everything. He took a step closer to his late father's favorite chair. Sighing, he moved to turn around and leave but something caught his eye. A spark. Curious by the spark he moved to investigate, only to be assaulted by the smell of sulfur, and smoke. He gagged as a strong heat enveloped him. He gasped for air, clutching at the arm of the chair.

"F-father!" he managed to choke out. Weak from his asthma he collapsed, haunted by his memories. He managed to get on his hands and knees to crawl out of what he thought was the burning library. With his breathing haggard and his skin paler than normal, Ciel tried to make it back to his room. He stood up on shaky knees and braced himself against the wall.

If only he could find something solid to grasp onto. Something he could hold onto to steady himself. He swallowed hard, thinking he's hearing his mothers cries of agony resulting in him emptying his stomach. He loses his grip on the wall and falls to the floor.

"Se-sebas..tian," he croaked out weakly before closing his eyes from exhaustion.