I don't care if only two people are reading this so far… I freaking love this ship too much to just give up on it. Enjoy this newest chappie!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to House of Night… I just added names and backstory.

'A raven is known for its large body, black feathers, and distinct croaking squawk.' Cindy read in her mind the only words of the big book she could at the very least, understand.

It had been nearly a week since she last seen Ni-Ro, and she hasn't been able to stop thinking about him since. She tried to tell her family about him when she came back from her exploring from the forest, but they didn't listen to her. Her mother couldn't get past the fact that she went exploring alone and refused to hear anything afterward. She thought maybe her daddy might be the one to talk to than, but, like always, he was too busy with business to 's sister's were even worse, seeing as how Charlotte was still in her own little cloud of post-proposal bliss and Tabitha was riding the cloud along with her.

This left Cindy alone with her baby brothers, who could barely understand her words as it was to be the only ears she could talk to. She figured at least they were people who she could talk to… But even though she said everything she could about Ni-Ro and then some, three times over, it still wasn't enough.

She tried to talk to her nanny, Sally, about Ni-Ro, but then again, Sally always did have a strange fear of black coated animals that no one quite understood. And since Cindy remembered, that although the skin of his arms and legs was something more of a deep sand-ish color, his feather were still pretty black.

And of course, the more she thought about the feathers and wings and the beak on him that made him sooo bird-like, the more Cindy had to wonder what kind of bird he was.

Eventually Cindy was able to manage to find a giant book about bird facts in the family library, a room Cindy hardly ever saw anyone other than her father and his business partners attend in.

She was laying down in the middle of the library right now, skimming through page after page with sketched illustrations of plenty of very pretty looking birds and a long list of boring facts to the side. There were some birds Cindy saw were really pretty looking, but had too many patterns on them to be the right bird Ni-Ro was. Then there were the bird that looked powerful and was actually called dangerous in the list of facts next to the illustrations, but Cindy knew that these weren't the birds either. Mostly because they were described with lighter coloring and the beak was too off.

Then she found the black birds.

But from the information she forced herself to read from in the subtext, the only ones she could really narrow down were two birds: The raven and the crow.

She almost thought it was the crow after she read a bit about it, but was still pretty iffy if that was really what he was. Especially since she found the raven right afterward and now thought that these ravens sounded a lot closer to what she saw in Ni-Ro than the crows.

'So he's part raven? How does that work out? Is it a birth defect or something? Is his mommy or daddy a raven?'Cindy thought to herself, wishing that she knew were babies came from, so that it would be easier to figure this out.

Cindy just went back to staring at the picture of the raven. It looked so dark and scary looking that Cindy was almost beginning to understand Sally's fear of black animals. The feathers look unruly, and the beak was open in what was supposed to be a diagram of the inside of the creature's mouth. And to Cindy, its eyes look like nothing more than big black dots.

It made her think about Ni-Ro again, and the difference between the two creatures. This raven looked beastly and untamly… Ni-Ro on the other hand… She could still remember those trapping red eyes. They sure didn't look like giant red dots in his head. They looked like a regular boy's eyes, except they were pretty, distinguishably red. And the more she looked at the picture the more she tried to envision it with human arms and legs, but she failed at that, only ever able to manage getting another vision of Ni-Ro.

She let out a sigh right at the moment she heard a shriek.

"Miss Cindy, what on earth are you reading child?" Sally cried out from behind her, and before she knew it the bird book was closed and snatched up right in front of her before Cindy could come up with a valid response.

"Sally!" Cindy cried out, even though it was already too late and the nanny had placed the book on a high shelf where Cindy couldn't reach.

"Don't go staring at those kinds of dark creatures, young miss. They mean nothing but trouble for anyone and everyone." Sally said sternly, though her eyes still held a glint of worry in them.

"But I…" Cindy started but was interrupted.

"Do you even know what you were reading about?" Sally asked her, though it almost sounded like she wasn't looking for an answer from Cindy.

"Ravens?" Cindy offered anyway, wondering momentarily if Sally really did know what Ni-Ro was.

"Ravens?! Oh my child, that's even worse than I thought!" Sally said, kneeling down and somewhat petting Cindy's well brushed hair like Cindy did something terrible but was being forgiven for her action because she didn't know any better.

"What?" Cindy asked earnestly, what was so bad about ravens? The book didn't say that they were all that bad.

"Ravens are the worst symbol of all evil. They are said to be the markers of death and the taunters of the grieving. And where ever the is a raven, especially a swarm of them, death is sure to be on his way." Sally said grimly, gripping Cindy's shoulders, but not in a painful way.

"Sally that is quite enough!" Cindy's mother's voice carried out into the library. Sally let go of Cindy immediately.

"My apologizes my lady, but Cindy here was reading about ravens. It's bad luck to read about such vile creatures." Sally explained, bowing down her head respectively to the lady of the house.

"While I don't like the idea of a young lady reading in general, I don't think it's your place to tell my youngest daughter, who's only 6 years old might I remind you, why you're afraid of vile black bird. Especially in the matters as controversial as death." Cindy's mother, Tiffany said.

Sally didn't say anything, she just bowed her head again and left the room, leaving Cindy alone with her mother.

"I'm so sorry you had to hear all that, sweetie." Tiffany said sweetly, kneeling down to reassuringly pat her daughter on the head. "What Sally said to you was something that you shouldn't have to worry about, or even think about at your young age. But what on earth were you doing in the library in the first place? And why were you reading about bird anyway of all things?" Her mother asked.

"Oh I was simply curious mother, I saw something truly incredible that had so many properties of a bird, but then again wasn't. I'm in no position to discover what it is as a whole since I doubt anyone has ever seen something like this before, but I thought maybe if I learn more about the bird parts it'll be easier to figure out." Cindy explained as best as she could, though in the back of her mind she wondered why she was calling Ni-Ro an "it" rather than a "him".

Her mother simply chuckled at this.

"That imagination of yours really does run wild doesn't it?" She asked, and again it almost sounded to Cindy that her mother wasn't really fishing for an answer. Then she stood up and walked out of the room, smiling down at Cindy.

"Don't spend too much time in here Cindy. It's not lady like for a young woman to waste her days with her nose in books." She said finally before departing out into the hallway. Leaving Cindy very confused.

Being only 6 she knew next to nothing about death, but she did understand evil through Sunday school.

She knew that her mother said not to dwell on it, but Cindy couldn't help it. If Ni-Ro really was part raven did that make him evil? Or was her mother right and Sally was just being too paranoid simply because there was a creature whose coat was black? Cindy didn't want to think of Ni-Ro as evil, especially since that would mean his daddy might be evil too if he was the raven or because he fell in love with a raven. But Cindy only met Ni-Ro once, and it wasn't what one would call a great first-impression.

Still…

Cindy looked up at the shelf where the bird book was.

'He can't be evil. He just can't be.' Cindy thought to herself, before she made a hasty run upstairs to her room.

Screams, cries, yells, and beggings for mercy; Ripped flesh and blood splattering on the ground beneath the feet.

These were the sounds Nisroc was constantly surrounded with, and with 12 years since his birth, being surrounded by it, he had grown just beyond used to it. In fact he now reveled in it, and had sometimes grown to balm any and all stirrings he would always feel growing about inside of him. And just like his brothers, he grew accustomed to the killings just as easily. Weather it would be through his hand any one of his brothers, or his father's.

He was even used to the look of fear and the trembling and tears forming on his victims face before his beak would slash open their throats at his father's command.

Any why shouldn't he be? He was a creature meant to cause fear with just the sight of his beastly body. It was a fact he had learned early and had accepted even when he was still considered a youngling. Well, he was still a youngling in comparison to his older brother, and especially his father. But still…

Nisroc still remembered the girl, it had been a week since he found her, but he still remembered her. How could he not remember a girl like her?

She was different from any other mortal human he's seen before. Her dress was more brightly colored, and looked like it was made of much more flimsy material. She even looked paler than the other humans he's seen and slaughtered; even her hair was pale! But it wasn't just how she looked different from the other human's Nisroc had made contact with; it was how she behaved that truly couldn't escape his mind.

There was hardly any fear in her when she first saw him, and he was about ready to add her to the long list of death under his hand. But even then, he could see that though she was scared, she wasn't completely scared. In fact there was less fear in that one child than any of the bravest Cherokee warriors he had ever faced before. It baffled him to say the least.

Of course he didn't dare tell his brothers or his father about the little girl, because he feared what their reaction would be if they learned that he hadn't killed her, but instead talked to her… Or at least did the best he could to talk to her.

Nisroc really didn't need to speak that much, though that didn't mean he didn't try to from time to time. But speaking was so uncommon for him that forming words didn't feel right for him, especially with his beak in the way. His older brother however, Nisroc didn't know how, but he knew that his elder brother had perfected the art of speaking. Nisroc could have cared less about it though, considering that since his brother was the eldest, he was destined to be second in command to father, of course he would have to learn to speak easier. Any lesser being would have been jealous at the thought, but to Nisroc it was actually a relief to just take orders.

So then why did he feel that he had to speak with her then? Why did he feel that he had to try voicing out his words to a lesser being such as her?

Was it because she was the only human to try to talk calmly with him? No, others have tried that, but mostly to fool him into a false sense of security in the hopes that he would lower his guard. It was a feeble trick that never worked out for the deceiver. Besides, she was nothing more than a small human, female child, and was without a doubt unarmed and unguarded. Obviously she would pose no threat to him, or anybody.

Was it because his own curiosity at her lack of fear, even when he held her pinned to the ground, her life hanging by just the slice of his beak? It would make the most amount of sense; however he never really thought he had curiosity to begin with. But then again did he really have a need for curiosity in the first place? He figured he had humans already figured out and needed no new information…. And then this strange little girl shows up and throws everything Nisroc ever knew out the window.

And what was worse was that he actually told her his name! Though thankfully the girl seemed to think that his name was something else. Even though he wasn't exactly sure how she managed to only hear "Niro" or whatever she called him: He didn't care just as long as she didn't know his real name. But then she had to go and tell him her name…

'Cindy.' It was a simple name, easy enough to forget, and yet he still remembered it. Why did he still remember it?

Nisroc hissed to himself and shifted his position in the tree where he was nesting. Why was he even allowing his thoughts to be consumed by the strangeness of one, simple, mortal girl?

But the more he thought about it, the more he realized that he didn't have an answer outside of trying to figure out why the girl behaved as she did. Especially with her last words to him before he had to flee back to his father…

She actually encouraged him to obey his father. Normally Nisroc didn't even need to think before obeying his father, it was just a common rule for him to do so… But so far any and all humans would do their best to try to convince him that father's way wasn't the right way. To try to open his eyes to the Darkness that Nisroc already knew had encircled his father.

But not her, not Cindy… No instead she actually encouraged him to go with father, to obey his commands.

'She is a nothing more than a mere child, she knows not any better.' A strange part of his mind told him. He didn't know where the thought had come from, but it did start to make the whole situation make sense. She obviously had no idea what Nisroc was, and she obviously had no way to even fathom who his father was, so of course she would've responded like that.

'But it still doesn't explain her lack of fear.' The strange part of his mind reminded him, though he mentally shook it off, thinking that it didn't matter so much anymore.

The girl was nothing more than a one-time fluke. He highly doubted that he would ever see this strange little girl ever again.

Deciding that, that last statement was as finale as it would ever be, he forced all of his thoughts away from Cindy, and strangely, his mind went blank, allowing him to bask in the warmth of the sun a steal a moments rest in the tree for a while.

But not before one finale thought had it say in the matter.

'And either way this Cindy child is just that, a child. It's not as if she will ever truly mean anything, right?' The thought was so fleeting, Nisroc wouldn't have even guessed that he thought it himself.

But of course, even if he had it was the truth of course… Right?

Right?

Yeah, I think this one is mostly padding for future chapters… Next chapter will have them reunited. Which I am soooo excited for! Also little warning… I'm planning on making this story to be set in the span of 6 years… So Cindy starts out as 6 years old now, and incredibly young and childish at first, but she will mature a little as she nears her death… Boy that sounded grim… Oh well we all know what's gonna happen to her in the end anyway. And yes I am implying that Nisroc is 12 years old here… It doesn't really specify how old Raven Mockers really are in the book series, or how old they were when they turned to spirits when Kalona got imprisoned. And I highly doubt that for a hundred years or so the Cherokee's put up with that bullshit. So I made it somewhat believable that maybe the Raven Mockers were around for perhaps a little over a decade or two… I mean the gap between them being born to becoming spirits can't be that big can it? Anyway… Not much else to say, but R&R and hoped you guys enjoyed!