A/N – Right, first foray into Young Dracula fanfiction – this has been on my mind since this episode first came out all those years ago and I finally sat down to put it all into words. Basically, if I haven't mentioned anything from canon then let's pretend it never happened?
I hope you like it :S There will be mistakes – in something this big it's almost impossible to get them all, so please forgive any that you find :)
Also, I prefer it as it gets along – I struggle with canon Vlad so it feels a little block to me – as it gets further into the story I think it becomes a lot better.
This starts from series two episode six – Baby Dracula.
Disclaimer – I do not own Young Dracula.
"Dad, I'm sorry…"
When the window swung open creakily the moonlight flooded the room and Vlad waited for the moment where he would be proved right. The baby would turn into a little dog and everything would go back to normal…but nothing happened. The baby merely shifted in its blanket slightly, much to the Count's delight and Madga, catching Vlad's eye, tossed her head up in smug pride as she looked at youngest being named heir of the Dracula clan.
Vlad snarled under his breath and slumped against the wall in defeat, scowling fiercely at the brightly coloured party poppers that were pulled in celebration. Even Robin, his so called best friend cheered with delight as the newborn was toasted. Vlad glared at them all – how could they forget him, replace him in the family with that brat?
"Barry!" The Count exclaimed cheerfully, as he marched over "…oh, and the other one." He crooked his finger at Ingrid, who sneered at the man but she stalked towards them. "Help Renfield pour some drinks!" He snapped his fingers irritably as them, as if they were errant pets. Vlad looked at him angrily seeing it for what it was –the Count obviously wanted rid of his surplus children but Vlad, for a change, wasn't feeling charitable "Why? There is no one here to give drinks to!" He spat at the man, who in turn regarded him with a look that he might have normally given Renfield or Ingrid. Vlad turned away from the look, not wanting to see that on the face of the man who had always been nothing more than a father and not a vampire to him. Sulkily he headed up to his room or at least soon to be ex- room, leaving Robin to ogle his Mum as he was quite content to do. He knew that his father was not quite dumb enough to kill a breather in a small village like this, where Robin's connections to them were well known.
As he was leaving he heard Ingrid huff in proud defiance at something their father said and soon he heard her footsteps behind him. Then her voice bounced of the tall hallway ceilings, and was filled with vindictive delight. "Oh, poor Vladdy," She hummed, as she pushed him aside, "Are we jealous of the baby?" She cooed at him, pulling the most innocent face she could muster in her cruelty.
Vlad sneered, "Nothing you haven't done, I'm sure!" He hissed at her.
Her veneer slipped for a moment, anger crossing her face, her lips twisting as though she wanted to sneer before she managed a strained smirk. "Thought he might be Patricks?" She leant closer, until they were almost nose to nose, before whispering mockingly "Nice try though." She leant back smugly, and began to walk away before she turned back to look at him. "Don't worry though…being ignored isn't so bad." She grinned viciously, walking back a few steps and blending in to the darkness of the castle.
Vlad felt his gut twist as he heard loud laughter from the hall and knew that he wasn't necessary in his family anymore, at least not to his dad. He rolled his shoulders uncomfortably. If this is what Ingrid felt like…
He shrugged off the feeling and walked on, gnawing on his lip in worry.
When he arrived in his room, he violently kicked the baby's things out of the way and he threw his cape over his closed, hard, uncomfortable coffin. He had no idea when his Dad expected him to move out of his room but he knew it would be soon – after all only the best for his son and heir.
He leant on the windowsill and looked out tiredly, internally reflecting on wearing his cape to school and realised that his behaviour was similar to Ingrid's – a cry out for attention…also he looked bloody stupid.
He wasn't going to wear his cape again – he wanted to fit in, not stick out. The scuffling sound of gravel made him look down and see Robin walk down the castle path without even saying good-bye to him. It made him feel angrier and even more alone. Vlad knew Robin had it in him to be a little senseless but this was insult to injury…to abandon him after his family had as well.
Looking at the time, Vlad decided to go to bed and face tomorrow after a full nights rest, because it would be better then, wouldn't it?
Of course it wasn't. After all, the Count had the most remarkable ability to completely cut off those of no interest to him.
Vlad got up on time and left the castle after a hurried breakfast and no acknowledgement of his presence. The Count had been talking to the baby about terrorising peasants together when he was older and all the fear they were going to cause and how they would fight off a peasant mob single handed. Sickening. Vlad had said morning to the Count although it was like the man had not even heard him. He carried on cooing at the baby and Madga just turned the page in her magazine disinterestedly.
Ingrid just left with a smug look, despite what she said she loved school, she was popular there…she was someone.
The walk down from the castle was boring and lonely. He later found out when he knocked at Robin's house that he had left for school already, which to be fair was probably coincidence, but none the less it hurt. Though Vlad felt the hurt it was overshadowed by anger.
It was all just building up against him, he smiled tightly at Mrs Branagh thanking her for letting him know and walked away. He felt unnecessarily angry when he finally met Robin and all the boy said was "Oh, Vlad! Hi!" instead of the apology Vlad would have like. Also being in school with a twit of a slayer didn't help in the slightest with the prat of a teacher stage whispering "I know what you are, vampire!" in class and in corridors made Vlad's temper shorten.
Vlad sat away from Robin in classes, more out of a stubborn sense of pride that it was the breather who was in the wrong in this case, not him. He wouldn't sit with Robin until he apologised.
After a day of silence, when Vlad got back he was told to go to his new room where all his things had been moved to by Renfield. Vlad felt his mucles coil tighter in agitation at the idea of Renfield moving his stuff and probably loosing and breaking half of it. When he got to his new room, he found that at least he still had his coffin – instead of nothing – he had no idea what the Count had done with his original bed. Unfortunately, he was near the crypt so he had no window and a cold draught.
He went back to the throne room and practically shouted "You can't expect me to sleep there?!"
The Count shot him a dark glare as the bundle shifted and started to snuffle. Magda looked at him in that typical way she had, like she was offended and was the one who should be upset. "Whatever is the matter with it, darling?" She folded her magazine her lap, turning in her chair slightly in a farce the imitation of care.
Vlad felt a little wrong-footed by the sudden acknowledgement from both his parents – he would have rather the expressions they had were the opposite – he would much rather the attention be from his Dad. Through his shock he could barely speak but none-the-less he only managed, "There's no window…" He scrambled a little, "It's really cold too."
Madga snorted a little in disdain, "Honestly, darling! Is that it?" She opened her magazine again, crossing her leg over her knee casually, "You'll be a fully-fledged vampire soon, consider this adaption to what you'll be living like in a few years."
…And in that second Vlad knew he would never win against them and this could be his life until he reached eighteen.
It was two weeks after it was confirmed that the baby belonged to the Count and with Vlad not talking to Robin or any members of his family and he found his temper incredibly short and his mood incredibly black.
It could have happened somewhere safe, like in the castle where it would have bounced over the age old walls, but no, it happened in school. He looked at the twenty melted lockers and his hand, then back at the lockers – and knew that he would not be getting his book for his next class from the door that was sealed shut…and nor would anyone else, it would seem. He picked up his bag and backed away from the lockers, as if it would somehow implicate him less. He looked at the blistered walls and the bubbled paint as he made his way to class. He passed all the lockers the school possessed and realised he had sealed shut every single one of them. Apart from the one that belonged to Ingrid, whose locker was tucked into the corner.
It went against a vampire's nature to give another credit for their crimes but seeing as the school itself had almost written Ingrid off as a hopeless case anyway…It would serve her right for being so smug about his new situation, he decided. He wouldn't go and report her, but if they came to him about it he would certainly drop a hint. Fortunately, the were no security cameras by the lockers, so no one would ever know it was him.
He went to class calmly, apologising for being late and sat away from Robin, turning his head towards the board and ignoring him completely. It had now become a matter of pride for the pair of them – neither thought they were in the wrong and refused to apologise.
Obviously, the school had made the connection because Ingrid ran after him on the way home, spitting accusations and hissing at him about nearly getting her suspended and kept away from her devoted breather lackeys and did he want to encourage the slayers even more and blah blah blah…
She quietly realised he wasn't paying any attention to her because she grabbed him by the lapels of his blazer and slammed him into a nearby wall, she didn't look angry at this point, in fact she looked at him appraisingly. "That would have taken a lot of power to meld all the school lockers together." She leant closer "An awful lot."
He looked at her calmly, raising his chin arrogantly before saying "I suppose so."
She let his jacket go, shoving him further into the wall as she did so. "Are you trying to impress Dad?" She asked cuttingly, "You know he doesn't need you anymore – he doesn't even want you anymore."
Vlad scowled "Yeah, he does!" He said to her back as she continued to walk up the hill. He followed her, jogging to catch up. "He does still want me." He muttered as he walked past her. She just made a sound of amusement and smirked at him. "When you wake up and smell the garlic, breather boy, let me know!" She called out after him, as he hurried along, an embarrassed flush climbing into his cheeks – who was he kidding – his dad didn't want him anymore!
…and when he turned up, knocking at Ingrid's door, she smiled at him coyly, opening her door wider and waiting until he was in before she spoke.
"What you did to the lockers was…impressive." She turned away from him, as though conceding that made her physically sick. "But, Dad isn't going to help you – he will let you become a boring, average vampire and that half-breed son of his will be a boring, average heir." She spun sharply. "As much as I hate not being the heir, I will not let our family name go down the drain due to that half-wit on the throne ruin our reputation. That's where you come in, little brother." She picked up a heavy book and shoved into his arms. "It is time you became a proper vampire."
"I don't want to be a vampire!" Was his age old response, but it lack the force and conviction it had always had before.
Ingrid gave him a look. "No, you don't but you want to prove Dad wrong even more than you want to be a breather." Her sharp nail tapped the book cover. "This will help you. As much as I hate you, Vlad, together we will be stronger than that idiot and we can then get what we want."
Vlad shifted the book uncomfortably, and asked uncertainly, "How do I know you aren't tricking me?"
Ingrid opened her door with a smirk, holding it wide in dismissal, "You don't, breather boy. Learn to play the game."
No sooner had he crossed the threshold, had her door slammed shut behind him. He hugged the book to his chest in an almost self-conscious gesture, looking around in the empty corridor and running back to his dark dingy room.
Despite his unease he found Inrgid's idea distinctly appealing, but he still had reservations about doing anything against his father. It wouldn't hurt to brush up on his vampire knowledge however, he thought as he opened the book. He was being petty, stupid…he knew that. Though he wanted his father to acknowledge him and if this was a way to not feel lonely in his own home anymore then he would do it.
He started to read.
It continued on in the following weeks, in such a pattern, that after one book was finished Ingrid would replace it with another. Vlad found himself knowing more vampire history and law than he ever had before, more than even his father, he would hazard a guess. However, it was nothing that would draw his father's attention back to him, and he started wonder what was the point of Ingrid's plan and when would it move forward.
Ingrid would just smirk at him over the dinner table, her fingers drumming a slow beat on the table top as they all ate in silence.
Vlad found that he daren't speak out to her, after all Vlad and Ingrid were known to never get along, to speak now would arouse suspicion. Well, from his mum anyway.
The Count wasn't a bad Dad per-say…he just found it hard to focus on all his children instead of only one and currently his attention was on the baby. Yes, Vlad sullenly thought, he is just a bad Dad, no if ands or buts…
He could certainly get away with talking to Ingrid with only his dad there, but Madga's eyes were fixed upon the two of them, dark and suspicious as she sipped at her goblet of blood.
Just then, there was a loud crash and Renfield burst through the doors from the crypt with several suitcases, dropping them on the dusty floor. Fortunately, they didn't burst open but they bounced and skidded across the floor.
Madga smiled, standing up from the table and marching towards the door, "Pick them up! Idiot breather!" She hissed viciously at Renfield.
Madga had evidently gotten bored of being a Mum again.
"Mum?" Vlad found himself asking, he didn't know what or why he was asking, as her actions were obvious and predictable.
"Sorry darlings," She smiled falsely at her two elder children before turning to the count, who was cradling her youngest. "Sorry bun-buns." She picked up her suitcases, slowly and casually, savouring the moment before the count could reply.
The Counts mouth gaped for a moment, flapping in shock and Vlad rolled his eyes – surely it wasn't this shocking for his Father? How many times had it happened now? Finally, the vampire seemed to get his wits about him as he yelled,"You won't see Vladdy again! ...If you set one fang outside this castle with the intent to go back to that…that dog!"
Madga gave him a cold look, which was all the answer they needed, before flitting out of the hall with her cases. The remaining four sat in silence, before Vlad turned back to his dinner and Ingrid hummed as she took a sip from her drink.
There were a few moments of silence before the Count started to rage, ranting at Renfield and stomping around.
"I need to speak with you." Vlad managed to whisper to Ingrid during the Count's yelling. She nodded to him and gestured with her head for them to leave now and it wasn't a moment too soon as a plate was thrown in their general direction as they vacated the hall.
"What?" Ingrid muttered as she walked briskly.
"When are we going to do something?" He responded, "Why am I doing all this reading?"
"You're doing this reading because it's important – one day you'll need it." She went to turn down the corridor leading to her room. "Just wait for the right moment to strike." Then she left without another word and Vlad glared at her back – that answered nothing at all. He winced at the sound of more things being broken by the Count and decided to go back to his room where he would be mostly safe and decided to take Ingrid's advice to heart – just wait it out.
The school were worried it seemed, for they had suggested that Vlad and Ingrid see the school therapist. A quick glance exchanged between the siblings said it all – say nothing.
The therapist seemed nice enough, Jacqueline, as she insisted they call her, but she couldn't get them to speak. Vlad could see the frustration building in her brow from the way she frowned. Each tactic she tried couldn't coax either of them to say anything other than insistences that their home life was fine.
"I know it is hard with a new baby in the household," The therapist stated again, smiling with a trained patience, "And I know that it must be hard on you all seeing as your Mum has gone, and your Dad has three of you to take care off." She continued.
Vlad merely slumped in his chair making sure he did not hide even a tiny bit of his boredom, spreading his legs and interlocking his fingers. Poor woman has no idea what it is like in a vampire household.
Ingrid merely looked to the side proudly, tilting her head up arrogantly. The therapist sighed mournfully, looking briefly upset and fiddled with the pen on her desk before writing something down.
After half an hour, the pair of them were dismissed from the room by an upset Jacqueline. Ingrid talked as they made their way to lunch "They will call us back separately, you know?" She shoved a tiny child out of their way with an angry snarl. "They will try and break us – don't let me down!"
Vlad rolled his eyes, "No, no, your highness!" He muttered in sarcasm, for which his reward was a sharp slap on the back of the head. "Ouch!" He hissed angrily, rubbing and the smarting wound.
"I'm serious – those Van Helsing's will have their noses in our reports before you can blink. Don't let them know anything!" Ingrid glared at him, cutting in front of him and bracing her legs apart with her hands on her hips.
"Alright!" Vlad insisted, holding his hands up in a placating gesture, until Ingrid scowled but nodded and walked into the lunch hall.
Vlad and Ingrid's school reports were dropped in front of the Count by Renfield in the early morning whilst they were eating breakfast. The Count picked them up casually, without any real interest, but he did open them and scan them.
"Oh, well done Barry, your behaviour is improving." He hummed disinterestedly, but these days acknowledgment from the Count was so rare that Vlad was almost happy with that statement. Almost. The Count then made a show of flinging the two reports to the floor as he turned his attention back to it and told it stories and spoke words of nonsense to it. It shook it's rattle at the Count insistently and the man – the prince of darkness- smiled back at it as though it had done something amazing. Vlad had the odd urge to snatch back the rattle – that had been his – but then again, it had been Ingrid's until he came along and stole it – nothing was truly theirs because there was always competition. Bloody vampires. He sat back, his arms crossed against his chest, a feeling of apathy falling over him as he watched the Count play with it. Ingrid stomped up and snatched the two reports of the dusty floor and threw them on the table.
Vlad snatched his before Ingrid could read it. He skimmed most of it, only taking in a few key words dramatic change in behaviour, rude, disruptive, vandalising school property… they seemed concerned. He thought rather distantly that perhaps they should be. His behaviour at first was a way to vent, make his presence known like it wasn't at home, make his Dad realise what a mistake he made, but it had become thrilling…almost addictive that he had something about him to make others react.
No longer was he Ingrid's little pathetic brother.
He was known and feared on his own merit.
He had more friends than he had ever had – didn't know half their names even though they knew his and Robin was a distant memory.
And he was only a little bit worried about his own enjoyment and pleasure over that.
"What does yours say?" Ingrid asked from behind her sheets of paper.
"I don't think they have given up hope yet." He murmured, folding the report back up and sticking it into his bag. "Yours?"
"The usual. What a terrible student I am." She smirked at him as she dropped the sheets on the table. "Valentines soon." She remarked.
"Hm," Vlad stood up, "Will's been asking about you." He dropped in casually, walking away.
"Will?!" Ingrid asked, trying to be nonchalant and acting as if she had no idea who he was. Vlad smirked at her failed attempted, spinning on his heel to look at her blank face.
"Yeah, Will." He then walked out without another word, hearing Ingrid scramble gracefully away from the table and hurrying to follow him.
"What did he say?!" She called after him, "Vlad!"
Vlad just hurried along, refusing to say any more about it inwardly laughing.
After waking up from the dream world, head on the table and a crick in his neck, Vlad opted out of school that day. Ingrid was just finishing off her cereal as he jerked his head up, gasping for breath. "Morning, Bat-breath!" She hummed, a twist of viciousness in her features. "Your look terrible."
He glared at her through bleary eyes, wiping a piece of cereal of his face. "Shut up." He slurred slightly, squinting at the blurry room.
Ingrid pushed her empty bowl away from her, looking all the more amused at Vlad's attempts to glare at her, "Maybe you should stay off school today, you look like you're ready to fall asleep again." Renfield clumped through the kitchen loudly, in his nursing outfit, and Ingrid snarled in irritation, picking up her empty bowl and flinging it at the twit. "Get out!" She hissed, causing the man the scamper off. "Serisouly Vlad, I just love the fact you're acting more like a vampire but sleeping during the day is too much. You look like crap – go back to sleep." She got up, picking up her school bag carelessly. "I'll make your excuses." She muttered as she walked out of the kitchen.
Vlad put his head in his hands tiredly, considering whether to go to school or not – he didn't take orders from Ingrid, he wasn't one of her bloody lackeys. However, he felt himself trying to fall asleep and how heavy his eyelids were and decided to head back to his coffin.
Vlad had never been so glad that he decided to skip school, especially when he woke up barking at the wall.
Ingrid came in briefly between bursts of wakefulness and handed him a glass of water which he drank at a speed that couldn't have been healthy before he fell asleep again.
To find out he is the 'Chosen One' is stupefying but exhilarating and when the figure, who isn't actually his father, tells him to kill him Vlad gladly does. It's a burst of viciousness which will make him feel ill later but at the time it feels so right! He doesn't make it quick either, using a stake to remove the eyes that glared at him in disdain before turning the other into ash. Later on, he will try to forget it but at the time he grinned and laughed at it all – feeling mad and high on power, though his laugh ended when he flung himself into a sitting position as he woke, gasping for ragged breaths.
Ingrid looked up from where she was filing her nails, her face bored but her eyes were sharp and intent. "What happened?" She asked, continuing filing from her pause.
Vlad hesitates before he answers, considering what to say knowing that this temporary alliance - that they have will end and he didn't want something so powerful to be in her grasp. He looks at her, smiling wearily before saying "Nothing." He rubbed his sweaty brow exhaustedly, sighing loudly.
She frowned at him coldly, knowing he was hiding something but she didn't push him.
When the staff of Carpathia arrived at the Stokley Museum, Vlad didn't think too much off it at first, but his eyes were drawn the article on the folded newspaper and he pulled it towards him and thought… well it wouldn't hurt to just look would it?
…He stole the staff and hid it in the lining of his suitcase- just in case he would need it one day. It is only a couple of days later when Ingrid goes into face the blood mirror with only Vlad to see her off, she swore she was looking forward to it…her screams didn't stop for ages.
When the Count is charged and put to execution he then begs Vlad to help him and Vlad stared helplessly at him. The anger comes later – how dare he?! After all he put him through – he asks for his help now?!
Ingrid grabs his arm harshly. "Don't you bloody dare! I told you to just wait and now look – it's happening" She hissed into his ear and he found himself agreeing but what would become of him …and the baby? Ingrid would be fine on her own but he might be shipped off to Magda and Patrick… although, he wouldn't be ignored with her too much. Ingrid felt no loyalty to him and now that she had Will, she had no use for Vlad's company anymore – especially seeing as Will was completely loyal to her. When it turned out that it was only Boris who was behind it all, and he soon turned to ash, Vlad didn't know whether he was happy or not. He left his father in the cage for Renfield to sort out, went back into his room and picked up the book he had been reading tiredly, unsure of what was coming in the future.
Vlad didn't mind Will – but he had no problem drawing the 'half-fang' card when he felt Will had overstepped the mark.
He did feel sorry for the effect his second true death had on Ingrid though, and when he woke up from unconsciousness, the Count stuffed a few items in his arms and told him they were leaving immediately and that his sister has gone mad. Vlad held the crown of power loosely in his hand and the Count – his Dad- looked at him worriedly and almost like he didn't know him – that was almost Vlad's undoing. He was glad that his Dad took him with him – he ignored the part of him that whispered that vampires love power and that his Dad didn't want to be killed yet…or the Count wanted to betray him.
When the Count went to the car, Vlad felt Ingrid's eyes on him – he expected her to attack, but she didn't – perhaps for old times when for a while they had only had each other. He didn't stop to ask, fearing the answer – he just left.
…Unfortunately, he was sitting next to the mind wiped Renfield in the car, although the man's personality had completely changed. "I'm terribly sorry," Renfield said, as he took a left onto a busy road, "I smell atrocious and I have absolutely no idea why…"
It was a long, long journey….
Vlad spent the next few years in a school he wasn't interested in – nearly registered as Barry Dracula – and since wearing the crown of power he had received a lot of his powers – not all but enough to almost be a vampire. Without Ingrid, he had no one – not even the kids in the school were that interesting. He was lonely and depressed in the family so it was a relief when he woke up on his sixteenth birthday. When he was full vampire he hunted nearly every night – on breathers – finding their blood soothing that awful dryness and tightness at the back of his throat. He found himself calm when sated on blood – almost like being the old Vlad before the baby again. But it always came back – always.
After merging with his reflection (with no one to see him off) Vlad went back to his dark room. He had nothing to do all day other than sleep. It was only an hour before sunset when his father strolled into the room. The man looked slightly frazzled and harried but he managed a hasty greeting. "I know a vampire's first hunt is important, Barry, but Vladdy is very ill and I cannot trust him to the hands of Renfield."
Despite the hurt Vlad could very well understand not leaving the sickly child with Renfield, he had seen the little usurper the night previously, all red and unhealthily flushed cheeks so knew that the Count's excuse was genuine enough. None the less it hurt, after all a vampire only has one first hunt.
It was a surprise when he heard a heavy thump on his windowsill, however, even more so when he turned to see Ingrid crouched in the opening.
"Bat-breath." She greeted him coolly and her smile was razor sharp. She looked ragged compared to her usual standard but more alive with flushed cheeks and sharp eyes.
He gaped at her for a moment before saying incredulously "How did you find us?!"
"Never mind how – just know I have my ways." She grinned toothily, showing red teeth, "On to important issues – every vampire deserves their first hunt."
Vlad found himself grinning at her in response, if asked a few years ago he would have never thought himself eager to hunt the blood of breathers.
The first kill was never clean and he spilt more blood than he drank. Ingrid laughed at the state of him as she effortlessly drained her meal without spilling a drop.
"You know this is the end of our relationship." Ingrid asked, as she casually kicked the body of her victim under a bush.
"Why?" Vlad looked up at her in alarm, he knew the reason of course but he needed her to confirm it and privately hoped he was wrong.
"You're a fully grown vampire now, Vlad. We aren't children helping each other out anymore – you're competition."
Vlad nodded and then asked, "Will you ever come back home?"
She looked at him, and there was something sly about it, "Maybe, Bat-Breath, maybe."
After the first year he calmed down – no longer feeling the need to drink so much, he had longer bouts of calmness. Though he felt evil enough, enjoyed the things he could do in the school that were wrong…enjoyed being what a vampire should be. This continued until Ingrid returned along with a half-fang.
When he met Erin he made an effort to be friendly, it had been a long time since he had had a friend. Ingrid he plotted with, his Dad might order him to pass things at the table occasionally and Renfield…well, was Renfield and a man who enjoys cockroaches for snacks is no good company at all.
He had missed innocent company, and a half-fang that had not completed the transformation was still in the breather mind set. She didn't look devious but she could be, though life was dull, so he took the risk of offering her a room until the transformation was finished. He faced the wrath of his Dad and still came out victorious…still called Barry too.
It seemed that there were many visitors that week, tutors who wanted to help the Chosen One.
Bertrand was a pain, but Vlad understood the necessity of learning from him and so did so with patience that surprised even himself.
Ingrid had taken one long look at him, clear dismissal and disgust in her eyes before she turned her back on him and left the room.
The most devastating insult, rather surprisingly, came from Renfield who commented on the fact that Betrand's hair looked distinctly like a brillopad – in his own words of course.
Most at the table hadn't a clue what a brillopad was but Vlad know having seeing Robin's Mum, in another lifetime, use one before. He huffed a little in amusement, shaking his head at the table so the others would not see his smile.
Betrand obviously knew or found out at a later date because a few days later he had changed his hair from the tight curls to a more relaxed wave look.
"I hope you didn't take Renfield too seriously," Vlad began when he saw the new look, "He is just a breather after all."
The vampire smiled slightly, "I would rather change than have that breather think that of me."
Vlad smiled in consideration and decided not to linger on it, "So, what are we learning today?"
When he found out Erin was breather – he was angry, very angry…betrayed too, but none the less he saved her from the fire. He knew it was a nasty way to go that no one deserved – not even lying, cheating, deceiving breathers.
He got a shoulder squeeze and a hissed "Well done, Barry!" as thanks from the Count and he offered to take the 'half-fang' away. He grabbed Erin harshly by the shoulder as she headed towards her room and guided her outside into the darkness and shadows.
"V-Vlad," She sounded scared – good – and she tripped in the lumpy uneven grass. "Where are you taking me?!"
He didn't reply – wanting her to stew in her thoughts, her fear and misery for what she had put him through.
They reach the outside gates, and he dragged her through them and down the road a little. He could hear her sniffling from her crying and he abruptly stopped. She didn't have a second, couldn't blink fast enough, her heart didn't have time to skip a beat before he had her pinned into the wall, her scarf in his hand and fangs in her throat. He took a fair amount of blood from her too, as punishment he thought, to feel the blood leaving your blood is terrifying. When he let her go she slid to the moist, dew covered grass, her breathing shaky. He could hear her heartbeat stuttering and her eyes shut as her head slumped onto her shoulder.
"You shouldn't get up for a minute." He told her uncaringly as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "You'll fall over."
Something about the change made the victim's equilibrium go, balance would be non-existent and Vlad had reached a stage in his life where he was through with helping people – because they always would stab him in the back.
She made a sobbing sound after a second, her head rolling forward onto her knees as she drew them to her chest.
"You made your own coffin, Erin." He tells her and he examines his nails callously. "You made yourself an outsider on both sides. Do you think that the humans would have you back after consorting with us? Do you think if the vampires knew, they would let you live?" Vlad thought his justification was good enough – and it was true. Although a part of him resented her, hated her, was jealous of the human life she threw away and a part of him, evil though it was, couldn't stand that she had had what he hadn't. Possibly, it was respect for the fact that a breather had infiltrated his home, remained hidden and for such a long period of time too. That kind of cunning didn't deserve death.
He regretted turning her – if only for a second – but then he crushed it brutally because despite it all – she was so much safer as a half-fang than a human in a vampires nest.
"Can you stand?" He asked – almost hated himself for how cold he was with her.
She stood on shaky colt legs, her fingers hooking into the brickwork to support herself and she glared at him – with so much hatred it made Vlad want to recoil. Most half-fangs hated their Maker though, she would calm in time. He handed back her scarf and she put it back on resignedly.
He grabbed her arm again and helped her walk back in.
She staggered all over the place on the way back, until at the end she was fully leaning on him, doubled over in pain. Sweat was beginning to build up on her forehead and she looked like she was going to vomit. Her left hand reached out, shaking and waveringly towards the banister of the stairs. Her fingers made shaky contact with the cold wood and she tried to balance herself. Her eyes rolled in her head as she slumped a little, almost falling to the ground. Vlad rolled his eyes before picking her up and swinging her over his shoulder. She flopped, a dead weight, groaning loudly in pain as she did so. At this proximity, Vlad could hear her stuttering heartbeat, her sweat removing whatever she used to cover it with. By the time they would get back to the party Vlad knew her heart would have stopped. He would make a point of dropping her off in her coffin and grabbing some more of the vintage blood before returning to the party.
Fortunately, they encountered no one on their journey back and Vlad managed to gently get Erin in coffin without much struggle. Her tremblingly limbs shook and her hand hooked tightly on his sleeve for a few seconds until he prised it off.
He found her a blanket, in a rare moment of kindness and put it over her – it was going to be a rough night for her, her heart had stopped and her fever was building – he could feel the heat pouring off her. Just before he left, Erin glared at him with large dilated eyes and hissed through clenched teeth. "I hate you."
Her head flopped back before she groaned and curled up a little on her side. Vlad looked at her apathetically "I was expecting you to." Was all he said before he left, making sure to close the door behind him.
"How is the half-fang?" Betrand asked when he returned back to the loud crowd, glass half empty already.
Vlad snatched a bottle from Renfield who was making his rounds, trying to look pleasant, and he refilled his glass cheerily. "She's fine – a bit distressed," He took a sip from the glass before smiling toothily. ", but then again, who wouldn't be? I think even I'd falter if I was going to be pushed into that." He nodded to the hidden fire, now hidden by the mental panelling.
Betrand nodded in consideration as he too eyed the place where the roaring fire pit had been. "At least your father keeps good stock in blood." He said after a moment's pause.
Vlad smiled, toasting his glass alongside Betrand's, "That he does." He poured some more into his glass. He offered the bottle to Betrand, "More?"
Sometimes, and only sometimes, Vlad would lay awake in his coffin feeling like he was going to be sick. He would stare at the inside of his coffin and hate himself for what he had done. He would feel sick with horror and terror at what he had become. He would ignore the sticky trails of warmth that would occasionally leak from his eyes because vampires didn't cry, they didn't feel and they didn't care. Vlad would often Erin crying at night, sobs that she couldn't taper and he would hate himself even more, not for not going to her, but for not giving a damn.
Contrary to Vlad's thoughts and despite his doubts, Erin's transformation happened rather quickly considering her hatred of the idea. Her powers started to show only three weeks after he bit her, and he often saw her prodding at her mouth and wincing in pain. He would have suggested painkillers but they never really worked – they weren't designed for vampire fangs.
"Have you notice anything odd about the half-fang?" Betrand asked him one day after dinner, as Vlad watched Erin sit by the fire quietly and tiredly, eyelids drooping.
Vlad turned his head slightly "Hm?" He responded blandly.
"Her transformation has had a sudden onset – don't you think?" Betrand sounded awfully suspicious. "Like she has only been recently bitten." He continued.
Vlad turned a little more to him, making eye contact letting his amusement show before he said, "Not really, no one really knows the mechanics of the half-fang transformation. Her body has obviously given up the fight after all this time." He turned his eye back to Erin, as she shifted down further into the cushions miserably. He could have easily told Betrand now, after all she was safe, but Vlad wouldn't expose one of his own. Vlad turned back to Betrand, "Why are you so interested? You've never liked her."
"I just think it is suspicious, that's all." Betrand murmured, giving the curled up girl a dark stare. Vlad just gave him an unimpressed look, picking up his drink and another cup with something Renfield had prepared for Erin. He walked over to the sofa, sitting opposite Erin holding out the cup towards her. She glared at him weakly but took the cup gratefully, cradling it in her cold hands for some warmth. Vlad heard Betrand leave the room but he kept his eyes on Erin, who was curled up impossibly tight under her blankets.
"How are you feeling?" He asked quietly, mindful of vampire ears that could be listening in.
Erin looked up from her cup, "How do you think?!" She hissed, exposing her teeth quite viciously and he caught a flash of brilliant red and inflamed gums.
He didn't reply and she looked down avoiding eye contact with him. He watched her fiddle with the blanket for a few moments, before she seemed to gather herself and managed to look up at him. "M-my mouth really hurts." She looked down again, at the cup, and muttered "All the time."
"I'll see if Renfield can make something to help with that." Vlad said, sitting back in his chair and taking a sip from his drink.
She looked up, briefly surprised before she nodded in thanks and went back to inspecting the blanket covering her legs.
Vlad found her behaviour marginally amusing, he knew Erin had guts and was rarely let her fear control her and he certainly knew that afraid as she was of him, she had never backed down or avoided looking at him.
He had caught her furtive glances at his drink, the way her eyes would linger on it for a few seconds before her blanket would receive an intense inspection. Normally, half-fangs didn't crave blood until after their fangs had come through, but everyone was different and Erin's gums would suggest she was almost fully transformed.
After another glance that was less furtive and more fervent, Vlad held out the glass to her. "Do you want some?" Over half was left, and it still held a lingering warmth.
Erin looked at the red liquid inside for a few moments before her lips rolled inwards and she shook her head, turning away from the beverage with obvious difficulty.
Vlad made a noise of amusement before setting the glass on the table in front of her before getting up. "It's late – you should held to bed soon. You'll be around breathers all day and a decent night's sleep with help with your control." He walked out of the room, leaving the door wide open as he left. Whatever would happen to the remaining blood wouldn't matter – someone would finish it off – vampires were surprisingly un-picky about taking someone else's glass and finishing off the remains.
He heard the glass shift on the table and he paused mid-step, listening as Erin picked up the glass and smelt it. He waited and heard a trembling hand slam the glass down and hurried steps as she ran away from the drink.
Vlad smiled – she would soon learn.
Ironically, barely an hour later she burst into his room, mouth dripping with blood where her fangs had burst through quite violently.
She slammed her hands on his coffin, repeatedly until he got up and pointed at her mouth and the blood spurting from it, shouting obscenities at him.
The blood smelled slightly infected, which surprised Vlad as there was nothing available to her in the school that would have caused her vampire blood to have an infection. He reached forward and snatched the scarf that she still insisted on wearing from around her throat and pressed it to her mouth, telling her brusquely to shut up and go sit down. Her glare didn't lessen but she went and sat down, holding the scarf to her mouth. He walked out of his room, avoiding the blood droplets that littered the floor. He went straight into her room and began to search it, quickly and quietly. After finding nothing, he was about to leave when one of the floorboards rattled under his foot, deciding he had nothing to lose he bent down and lifted it up.
He was rather shocked to find a mini slayers kit – full of delightful little treats – three stakes and a variety of concoctions that that could hide a slayer from vampires and an age old recipe that was thought to slow down or halt vampire transformations – mostly known for infecting the blood.
Erin's pale face blanched in horror when he laid out the roll of material containing her arsenal on his table, the variety of weapons covering his coursework. "When your gums have stopped bleeding – you are going to have to tell me all about this."
Her eyes widened fearfully, and she looked to the door as if to bolt, but Vlad casually sat in front of her, blocking her view of it.
"I- I-" She began, pulling the scarf away from her mouth.
"Hold it!" He pushed her hand back towards her mouth, "I don't want blood everywhere…or your teeth if they fall out!"
Erin looked really scared now, even though not wanting to be a vampire the threat of losing her teeth seemed oddly terrifying to her. "Can't you stop it?" She asked, though it was a little muffled by the scarf.
"I don't know how to deal with infections!" Vlad hissed at her, "but let me see how bad it is."
Erin begrudgingly lowered her make-do bandage from her mouth and let Vlad pull her upper lip away from her teeth.
Her fangs were clean at least and didn't look damaged by the infection, long and sharp; they were a nice pair of fangs. Better than most he had seen and Vlad had the oddest feeling of pride for a moment – after all she was his half-fang and anything she had would be a reflection upon him.
"I reckon you'll be fine." He said at last, letting her lip go and looking at her. He grabbed his hidden bottle of blood from under his coffin and put it on the table. He picked up a cup he had been drinking from a couple of nights previously, frowning slightly as the stain of blood in it but shrugged and filled it with the blood and handed it to Erin.
"It should flush out the infected blood." He said helpfully, as she refused to take it. She gave him a measure look before she took it. Slowly and cautiously she brought it to her mouth. She paused once again before finally placing it against her lips; she took a small, slow sip. Her eyes widened, before she tilted her head back, gulping down the rest of the glass. He refilled her glass, and then gestured to the slayer's kit "When you're ready to explain."
Slowly, stuttering and weak, Erin explained about her brother and how she was wanted to slay Ingrid but couldn't because she looked too human. Vlad laughed in her face. "You must have been a terrible slayer." He chuckled, ignoring her look of outrage and not able to stop even when she snarled in his face and stormed out.
Erin was more upset than he thought, especially when she sided with Ingrid over him. He frowned at her, but let it slide, for the moment anyway. Ingrid smirked at him, smug and irritating but Vlad only sat down calmly, looking at her in cold, cruel amusement. "Tell me, Ingrid," He turned his head to watch her out of the corner of his eye. "Why are you nothing without a lackey?"
She wordlessly snarled at him, but before she could begin a tirade Vlad continued coldly. "Stop whatever you are doing, hmm? Or you'll no longer have a roof over your head to shield you from the sun."
"You can't do that!" She hissed as she stomped over to him, looking down at him in the chair, like the additional height might make a difference.
"Oh yes, I can." He tilted his head towards her, looking up, "A few words in Daddy's ear and you'll be kicked out before you know it."
Ingrid actually growled at him, because she knew he was right and even though Vlad was second best he was still more listened to than her. Vlad loved her discomfort and he casually, slow for even a human waltzed towards his father's throne.
"Dad," Vlad kept his voice down so the child wouldn't hear, "I think Ingrid should be…removed from the home. She's been plotting again and we don't want her negative influence on little Vladdy now, do we?"
The Count narrowed his eyes before looking over his shoulder and grinning fiercely. Like he needed an excuse. Vlad looked over his shoulder at Ingrid as the Count started to laugh loudly.
"Barry's right, Ingrid you are no longer staying here!" The man stood, ignoring the child when it looked up from it's drawing. "I want you gone by sunset!" He put his hand on the child's head, "I don't want you around my Vladdy."
Ingrid huffed, and began to protest and Erin interrupted in her defence. "I want her to stay!" Erin protested, baring her fangs at Vlad, like that would influence anything. He sighed, as though he was world weary before saying in a bland way.
"You're a female half-fang. You have no say!" Vlad remained calm, he wasn't going to hiss and splutter like a bloody child.
"Well said, Barry!" His father clapped behind him and then pointed at Ingrid "You! I want you gone by sunset!". He then flitted away, probably to his room to do some grooming for Miss McCauley. Ingrid seethed on the spot for a second before screaming in anger and storming out of the room.
Erin remained, head reared back in anger, fangs still on display, standing tall and proud in defiance. "Your just a bloody coward! Still vying for Daddy's attention!" She spat at him.
Vlad in that moment wanted to strike her, he really did, mainly because she was partially right, but if there was one thing he had always been taught from a young, young age was that you are never to strike a girl. Out of all the cruel and evil things the count encouraged, oddly enough that was the one thing he would never do. It was odd when compared to what his father had done to others, certainly more innocent people. Vlad had always thought it was to do with his mother, if it came down to physical blows, Vlad reckoned Magda would win easily. None the less, hitting Erin was off the cards, also the child was here too.
Despite his anger towards the little bastard Vlad didn't want to scare it, he could hear it run across the floor now, and he then felt it latch onto his leg, tugging onto his shirt.
Exasperatedly, he looked down at it, four years old, sucking it's thumb and clutching a teddy bear, looking up at him with wide eyes.
"Go to your room, Erin, or you'll join Ingrid on the streets – no one will put up any protest to your departure." He dismissed her, before he crouched down in front of the child who had stolen everything from him.
"What do you want, kid?" He asked it softly, wondering if at four it should still be sucking it's thumb, but it had been spoiled and indulged beyond belief, so perhaps it was younger mentally than it was physically.
The child handed him a book, previously hid by the teddy and Vlad took it confusedly, "Do you want Dad to read to you?" He asked, getting ready to call for the man, he didn't know why the child didn't go get him – he knew the child could speak very well. The Count and the boy would often talk in quiet mummers all the time, but it seemed oddly nervous and withdrawn around Vlad.
The child shook its head, almost violently, in protest and grasped on to Vlad's sleeve. "What? Me?" Vlad asked sharply, maybe a little too sharply as the child flinched. Although confused, Vlad nodded, standing and moving to the chairs near the fire. He patted the spot next to him, and the child bounded over suddenly delighted, climbing onto the chair.
Just as Vlad was going to open the book (one of his own childhood books he noticed) he had a lapful of younger brother, who made himself very comfortable on his lap, leaning against his chest, so he could see the book too. The child was almost snuggling into him and Vlad although finding it all bizarre, also found it bizarrely warming that the child – his brother - was comfortable enough to do so.
He wrapped an arm around the child, making sure he was secure, if it fell then Vlad would never hear the end of it from the Count, and then he began to read.
About half way through the child fell asleep on him, and that was very odd, nice, but odd. Vlad drew the child closer, wrapping both arms around him, and tucked the usurper's head under his chin. "Promise me," He wanted to whisper, "Promise me that you'll be everything that I can't be, be everything I wanted to be." But Vlad didn't, he just held the thought for a moment, as securely as he held his sleeping brother.
He eventually put the child to bed, although the amount of warmth the child gives off is unbelievable, and Vlad finds it amazing couldn't find it in himself to hate Vladdy number two. Not when he can see the similarities between the child and him. He leaves shortly afterwards and the next time he rises from his coffin he will pretend the moment never happened, and he would return to his wicked self…after all no rest for the wicked.
Although….if the child wants him to read to him again on occasion, Vlad wouldn't say he was against the idea.
…In the end, Ingrid doesn't leave (a whisper in his Dad's ear about keeping his friends close and enemies closer) and Erin apologises…how shameful that vampires are so power orientated that a small display of power has them both falling back in line. The next night, the little usurper returns with another book and Vlad reads it to him, enjoying the time he has with it, where there is not manipulation and deceit – just a child wanting to be read to. Vlad found it oddly refreshing…though he would never admit it.
When the leader of the clans strolled in like he owned the place, it irked Vlad to no end. He was mildly surprised when Betrand dropped to his knees immediately, followed by Ingrid both of them expressing their pleasure at the man being in their home.
Vlad's home, a part of him thought internally.
The vampire, Ramanga, looked at Vlad as though he expected him to drop to his knees and gush at his feet but Vlad just looked at him blandly. The cold glare was soon turned to Erin as she slipped in through the door and she stopped and startled a little when she saw the newcomer. Vlad felt a little pleased that although she saw the others on the floor, she turned to him for guidance of what to do. He shook his head a little, gesturing towards a seat at the dining table, before he turned back to Ramanga, striding towards him with confidence, holding out his hand.
Ramanga looked at the offered limb as though it were a bulb of garlic, and his wings flared a little with self-importance. He opened his mouth to clearly introduce his title once again but Vlad spoke before he could get any words out. "Be careful with those wings, most of our furniture is antique."
There was a slight choking noise from Betrand, and Vlad withheld the smirk that wanted to smear across his face at the sound of the elder vampire nearly swallowing his own tongue. Ramanga himself looked beyond insulted, but folded his wings tightly. "Vladimir Dracula." Vlad continued, his hand still held out patiently.
Recognition flashed in the elder's eyes, and he begrudgingly took the offered hand delicately. "Ah, our chosen one." The man said, before introducing himself, interruption free, "I am Ramanga, leader of the clans." The vampire's hand tightened around Vlad's to what should have been a painful measure, but Vlad only tightened his hold back, until he heard the tiny crack of one of the vampire's bones and the tightening of Ramanga's jaw was visible
"My clans?" Vlad asked, amusement thick in his voice, letting go of the vampire's crushed hand as he gestured to the chairs by the steady fire. "After all, in less than a year, I shall be taking my rightful place as Grand High Vampire, so I think, Ramanga, you mean my clans."
Ramanga looked uncomfortable as he moved towards the seats, and Betrand shifted uncomfortably on his knees, watching the proceedings through his eyelashes carefully. "Oh for garlics sake! Get up Betrand – you're cluttering up the floor!" Vlad snapped as he sat down imperiously opposite Ramanga.
Betrand scrambled ungracefully to his feet, surprising Vlad who had only seen him be very graceful before. He turned his attention back to his future subordinate. "So, Ramanga, I would offer you a drink but I prefer business – don't you?" He crossed his legs at his ankles and interlocked his fingers resting on his lap. "Why are you here?" He didn't let the man speak before he continued. "The book?"
Ramanga nodded and went to speak but Vlad just wanted him gone. "Not open yet – I'll be sure to contact your personally when I do."
The leader of the clans looked completely wrong footed by Vlad's consistent talking, and that's the way Vlad likes it. Ramanga leaves shortly after he arrived and Vlad is glad to see the back of him. It was only on his way in that he heard his name being called from the blood mirror and he found himself filled with insatiable curiosity.
When he meets his evil reflection, the ultimate evil that is more than one reflection, he isn't sacred because his will is stronger and when he leaves the mirror with enough power to open the Praedictum Impaver, he is still Vlad (Barry) and he is completely in control of himself. He is almost disgusted with himself due to the fact that he is in control because there weren't many differences between him and his reflection to begin with.
He didn't feel evil, not in the slightest, more like…naughty, that seemed more appropriate – like a child caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar.
He spotted Erin walking a little behind her 'friend' Becky, her eyes darting between the corridor full of breathers, all lined by their lockers…all ripe for the picking.
He ducked out, wrapping an arm around Erin's waist and pulling her into an empty classroom backwards, she startled but could smell it was him so let him pull her away, the classroom door shutting behind them. He could hear the students all make a collective sound of shock before breaking out into suggestive comments and cat calls. Still with his arm around her waist, not a hairs breadth between them, Vlad rested his chin on her shoulder, "I was thinking of getting some lunch." He whispered, feeling a grin beginning to pull at his lips, "Want to go halves?" He asked the poor thing - he hadn't taken her on a hunt yet – what terrible form that was.
Erin jerked a little in shock, and through the strands of her hair, he saw her eyes widen. She spun a little in his grip until they were face to face. "We shouldn't! The slayers…uh…won't they find us?" Ah, the hesitation, so she wasn't unreceptive to the idea.
"One breather will not be missed." He said, lowering his head until he had eye contact with her. "Let's face it, your friend Becky is shallow enough that no would think much of it if she disappeared, would they?" He could see that Erin was being won over, her eyes brightened with the idea.
"I could say she met some guy and they went out together." She began, her hands holding onto his jumper excitedly, pressing herself a little closer. "She is always out with guys – no one will care because it's her normal behaviour."
Vlad smiled a little at the half-fang's enthusiasm, "So, halves?" He asked, and Erin paused for a moment before letting go and moving away from him. "We can't – she's shallow but she doesn't deserve death." She reached the door hurriedly, pausing as she unlocked, not quite looking back but he could tell she wanted to.
"Let me know if you change your mind…" He said calmly, knowing that she would as she pulled the door open and practically ran out of it.
Time to find his lunch….
"Becky," Vlad greeted cordially, holding open the door for her as she passed him. She flushed prettily, moving past him smiling.
"Hi Vlad." She replied as he fell into step besides her. "Have you seen Erin? She disappeared a while ago."
Vlad frowned, considering, "No, I can't say I have. Maybe she has gone back to the apartment above the school." He continued seeing Becky frown, obviously not liking that Erin had that right when she didn't. He grinned disarmingly, "In fact, why don't you come up at lunch? We'll find her and then all enjoy lunch together."
Becky very visibly perked up at the proposal, turning to him with a bright smile, "Of course! What if she isn't there though?"
Vlad smiled, shifting his bag on his shoulder and gave her the answer she wanted. "Well, we can still have lunch, can't we?"
He saw the blood pool under her cheeks and it made him hungrier than he was. "I'll see you later then?" She asked, suddenly ducking her head down a little – as if come over with shyness.
"Of course." He said as he carried on walking, leaving her at her classroom door with a sly wink that sent her away giggling.
He continued down the rapidly emptying corridors as the breathers went to their classes but paused when he felt a shift in the air.
Vlad tilted his head, hearing Ingrid's fast approach, her snarl and almost rolled his eyes in exasperation – he supposed it would happen sooner or later, peaceful coexistence between vampires, even siblings, never lasted long. He turned slowly, languid movements, as he held up a finger and stopped the stake and Ingrid in her tracks.
Her face froze in shock, and then he started to push her towards the door, and the shock morphed into uncertainty and terror.
"Vlad!" She said, horror and fear blatant as her shoes squeaked across the wooden flooring. "Stop!"
The door swung open and the burning sunlight streamed in, heating Vlad's skin uncomfortably even though it wasn't touching him.
He waited until Ingrid was balancing on the edge of the door frame, her back being burned by the sun. "Enough Ingrid." He bit out waspishly at her complaining. "I've told you before, dearest sister, do not get in my way." He pushed lightly on the stake, forcing more of Ingrid into the burning light and she let out a pained shriek.
"Please Vlad! Stop!" She begged, her burnt hands trying to snatch onto his sleeves.
"You're. Running. Out. Of. Your. Uses. " He hissed, lowly, and with each word he prodded the steak, and therefore Ingrid, a little more into the light.
"Vlad! Please!" Ingrid shrieked and Vlad could smell her, the rancid flesh of the undead burning off her back in great steaming strips.
He leant closer to her, his cold nose pressed up against her exceedingly hot, burning nose. "Remember your place, sister." He smiled at the pain he saw in her eyes before he continued. "I could do it you know," He asked teasingly, applying a little more pressure on the stake making Ingrid wobble and the horrid wounds aggravate as they tore, "and no one would care. After all, you're only Ingrid Dracula, a worthless girl!"
With that he swung her around forcibly, knocking her to the cold floor of the hallway, with a click of his fingers the door shut the merciless light out. He turned to his sister, bloody and burnt, she lay breathing raggedly on the floor. "You'd best get up before some breather finds you and asks what happened." He said, tapping her side with his shoe.
She looked up at him through her singed hair, an unsure look on her face, flickering between fear and anger. Vlad smirked and crouched down next to her, "Didn't you hear me, princess?" He asked, smiling half-heartedly, before scowling "I told you to get up those bloody stairs now, before some breather sees you!" He snarled at her, baring his fangs. Ingrid flinched, despite herself and shakily pushed herself to her feet and staggered towards the stairs, leaving scraps of burnt crispy skin on the floor behind her and droplets of black blood dripped of her uniform as she ascended the stairs haltingly. All that remained was the rancid smell of burnt flesh and the remains of Ingrid's skin, Vlad gestured at the door carelessly to open it again and let some breeze in to clear the smell. He didn't mind it but breathers were ever so fussy.
Looking at his watch, he decided to head back to the attic to be ready for dear Becky.
She knocked at the door only twenty minutes later, interrupting his impromptu meeting with his father, Vlad looked away from Renfield dangling a necklace of garlic in front of his Father's face. "Oh, that will be lunch!" He began jovially, taking of his tie casually and tossing onto his chair – no point in ruining his tie should he spill any blood. "Now you'll be good, won't you Daddy?" He walked towards the door, leaving his Dad chained to the chair with the threat of garlic keeping him from moving.
"BARRY! DON'T LEAVE ME HERE!" His Dad yelled angrily, but Vlad just shut the door behind him and went to collect his take away lunch.
Answering the door he found Becky waiting there, looking a little peeved, a crease between her eyebrows as she frowned, looking behind her he saw why when his half-fang shifted her weight from foot to foot restlessly. "Ah, you found Erin then?"
Becky's scowl deepened unflatteringly before she could answer however Erin murmured, "I forgot my keys."
"Didn't you tell her about lunch?" He asked, faking his surprise at Becky, of course she wouldn't have said – selfish girl.
"I thought she already knew." Becky bluffed, tossing her head back a little, exposing that neck full of blood.
"Come on in." He opened the door wider, and Becky smiled again, forgetting about Erin and waltzing in, appraising the décor openly. Erin came in a little slower and cautiously – as though she was afraid Vlad might withdraw his offer; maybe she was afraid that she wanted to accept the offer.
Seeing as Becky was half way up the stairs, not waiting for them Vlad quietly whispered, "I'm still willing to go halves." He shut door behind them loudly, and held out his hand questionably, Erin still looked a little uncertain but she took his hand.
The breather flirted and laughed all the way up the stairs, shooting Erin dark looks every now and again. It was the moment Vlad had been waiting for when Becky leant forward slightly, pouted lips and eyes closed. Vlad almost laughed at her naivety, taking her eyes of the predator. Her neck was arched and Vlad to the opportunity as he stepped closer to snatch a handful of curls, wrenching her head to the side and biting into the supple, delicate flesh covering her carotid artery before she could make a single sound.
He heard her take a sharp breath in, wanting to scream at the pain but gurgling instead. She lost her balance, her legs wobbling beneath her until Vlad supported her.
The blood was hot and metallic, bursting out of her throat in a gushing force and Vlad remembered why he had always preferred fresh breather blood. He drunk gluttonously from her, catching her when her legs collapsed beneath her, the gesture, he imagined looked romantic, him cradling her swooning form. The thought made him want to laugh.
As much as he wanted to continue drinking, he knew that he promised to share with Erin. He broke free from the gaping wound in Becky's throat, standing up and tossing the girl like a limp rag doll to Erin. The girl looked scared and hungry, but instantly caught the girl out of instinct and didn't even hesitate to cover the gushing wound with her mouth.
He let her finish the girl whilst he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He dreaded to think what he would look like – he knew he had made a complete mess of himself after not feeding from breathers for a long time. Looking down he could see that his shirt was stained and badly, he hoped he hadn't wasted too much blood.
He heard a solid thunk, and turned to see that Erin has dropped the spent body looking rather shocked with herself. Her hands were dripping with blood and her face was smeared with it. Vlad noted clinically that she was going to need another uniform – and a bath. He wondered if she was going to break down, he could see her beginning to tremble and shake before her hand slapped to her mouth and he could hear a muffled giggle.
Definitely shock then, but a better reaction than he had been expecting. She looked up at him with dark eyes and laughed some more. He found her reaction rather amusing, funny creatures half-fangs were.
She staggered over to him, exhilarated clutching his wet hands with her own, "I want more." Was all she said, leaning heavily on him. She started laughing again and Vlad laughed with her, grabbing her firmly and spinning her around in a farce of a dance. She shrieked loudly, clutching onto his jumper as he spun them around at unnatural speeds. Eventually they fell to the floor, laughing and blood drying on their skin, half hugging one another. Vlad sat them up, leaning against the bottom of the chairs by the fire, Erin between his legs and leaning against his chest.
It must have been around twenty minutes later that Betrand walked in and started at the sight of the pair of them, covered in blood, and at the corpse on the floor.
"I thought we were keeping a low profile?" He asked, looking at Vlad.
"Ah Betrand! You're here!" Vlad leant back against the chair behind him. "Clean that up would you?" He waved his hand in the general direction of Becky's body.
"I thought we were keeping a low profile?!" Betrand sounded a little stressed and Vlad laughed again, pressing his forehead against the base of Erin's neck. "It was only one errant little school girl." He said dismissively, snaking a hand around Erin's neck, he cupped her throat and turned her head to Betrand. "And would you deny the half-fang her first proper meal?" He asked, knowing Betrand's view on proper etiquette regarding turned vampires. "There is an old furnace in the basement of the school which can be fired up easily enough."
Betrand looked like he might protest for a moment but after a second he sighed long suffering and nodded, pinching the bridge of his nose as if that would give him patience.
Vlad patted Erin's back. "We had best get cleaned up, we're both covered." He heard her laugh tiredly and she slowly got to her feet, walking out of the room at a slow pace.
Vlad looked at Betrand in a measured way, "I know you want the book explored more." He scratched at the drying blood disinterestedly, "Look, tomorrow is Saturday, we'll spend the whole weekend working on it – okay?"
Betrand looked marginally mollified and Vlad slapped him on the back "Good man, now I'm off to my room."
Vlad goes back and frees his Dad, the pair of the glaring at each other solidly and the message is unspoken – this is not over.
When Jonno and Mina turn up at the school, Erin instantly grabbed his arm in worry, "They're slayers – look at their wrists." He eyed the pressured bands they were wearing and listen to their completely steady pulses – even when they see Vlad and Ingrid and claim to remember them.
Vlad smiled at her, patting her arm in gratitude before telling Ingrid to encourage whatever fantasy Jonno was constructing and giving him a tour of their home.
"Let him loose at some point." He whispered to her, his grip on her wrist cruel and unforgiving. Ingrid would never learn her place unless she was kept there forcibly.
When Ingrid made her excuses about needing the loo, Jonno instantly examined the other rooms. It was when Jonno was exploring the training room and was Vlad crawling on the ceiling watching him carefully. He knew that he was faking the mind wipe definitely at this point, but he didn't want to jump ship just yet.
Jonno carefully stroked the aged book, opening the unresisting skeletal fingers to look at the blank pages within.
The sharp skeletal finger nicked Jonno's finger and for a second there was nothing, only Jonno's sharp inhale of breath. Then Vlad smelt it, slayer's blood, it beaded on the top of Jonno's finger for only a moment before falling onto the creamy white pages of the book.
Instantaneously, the ages absorbed the blood and words began to appear on the page, strange symbols that spoke of ancient words.
So, blood made the writing appear…but maybe it was something about Jonno's blood, in particular, just Jonno's, how was Vlad to know?
That was what spurred his decision to drop down silently behind Jonno and grab a knife from the decorated walls, slitting the young man's throat and holding the wound directly over the book, letting the thick blood pour onto the pages.
"Betrand!" Vlad called out cheerfully, as the last of the blood dribbled out of the Jonno's gouged out throat. Vlad dropped the twitching body aside carelessly as Betrand stepped into the room. He looked at the body wearily, as though exasperated with Vlad but not saying anything. "The book has been filled with words." Vlad announced and Betrand's gaze instantly sharpened with interest. He went to look at the book but suddenly it started to shake and rumble, growing and stretching.
Vlad loves the fact that it hurts out to be a vampire and finds the creature bizarrely fun.
A vampire, old and wearing the most flamboyant clothes he had ever seen, and he is so spectacularly camp whilst so evil that Vlad decides he instantly likes him.
"Oh hello!" Vlad cried cheerfully as the vampire jumps down in front of him, and the mad vampire looks at him with empty eyes before spewing his deluded plans to his audience. Vlad thought if he could love, then this man would be his father figure. Betrand gives him a worried glance behind Sethius's back and Vlad shakes his head – they could deal with him later, right now he was too entertaining.
Shame that he is so undeniably mad and has to die.
In the end when he was looking at Sethius burning in the sunlight, he realised that he just didn't care anymore. He wouldn't care if he pushed all of the vampires in this room into the light to join Sethius in his destruction. Though he might miss Erin, she had calmed down considerably, at times she hated him but in a way she had accepted what she was and was fun enough on a hunt.
He looked at his Dad as he dropped the curtain, the beautiful, destroying sunlight being hidden with it and he watched how his Dad hugged his son and heir tightly laughing in triumph – the little child soaking in his father's attention, wallowing in it, loving it.
Vlad still missed that – even at his age – although he would never admit it, never show it…he would behaviour like a proper vampire should – emotionless and evil. He didn't need his father and his father neither wanted nor needed him.
It was too late but Vlad realised that now he was exactly the vampire his father had always wanted him to be.
Ramanga visits again and proposes something that Vlad's delightful and thoughtful father had agreed to. Without consulting Vlad. Maybe this is because Vlad fang-cuffed him to that chair and dangled garlic in his face ages ago. Certainly, feels like punishment to Vlad.
Apparently, his is marrying Adze, Ramanga's daughter. Oh, the joy!
He knows that Ramanga is only doing this for the power that comes with having the Grand High Vampire as his son-in-law and the moment Vlad sets his eyes on Adze, he knows she is in it for the power too.
He can deal with that, at least to an extent, vampires are always in it for the power after all. However, the darling princess obviously thinks she is something more than she is, especially when she talks down to Erin, his half-fang, the cheek of it!
Erin snarled at her with her fangs bared, until Vlad wraps an arm around her, smiling almost apologetically at the arrogant princess.
"Please forgive her." He began, tightening his grip on Erin until her baneful hissing stopped, "Though, if you please, do not insult me or my own."
A false smile lathers across her visage and she nods her head, the insincere smile still plastered across her face.
Vlad dragged Erin out of the room quickly, back to his room where he hissed angrily at her to not get in the way.
She glared at him despondently, "Are you okay with being married off to her?" She demanded, "And did you really expect me to be okay with her speaking to me like that?"
He poured himself a drink, "Of course not!" He took a sip as he paced a little, keeping an ear out for any movement from eavesdroppers. "However, she's a princess, I can't just refuse!" He took another gulp of blood. "I have to plan!"
Erin snatched his half empty glass from his hand and finished it off, still looking angry. "What about me?!" She demanded.
Vlad paused for a moment, looking at his empty hand and then at Erin, "When did you become so selfish?" He asked incredulously.
"Aren't you proud?" She sneered, as she poured herself some more of his collection of blood into a glass and drunk some more. "She's just a gravedigger, nail her in a coffin and send her somewhere sunny! Be a brutal vampire – that's the only language your kind know!"
Vlad suddenly smiled, a plan forming in his mind and he stepped closer, closing his hand over her's as he took back the glass. "Our kind, you mean." He whispered, "But you might just be on to something, Erin."
Even at the blood tea ritual, when it seems like the invisible noose is closing in around his neck, Vlad just smiles politely.
Vlad is nothing more than an optimist these days, so he suggests a ball to celebrate his engagement. Ramanga and the Count are delighted, as he expected, and Vlad knows Adze is too because of course that means their plan is coming to fruition.
At the ball, at which, anyone who is anyone in the vampire community attended, Vlad makes his move. Dancing with Adze, and when every eye in the ballroom is on him, he spins her around, out of time to the music and darling, she laughs with insincerity, but she soon stops when, as she turns, Vlad's fangs slice her throat open.
The music stops suddenly, almost comically as vampire's drop instruments and choke in shock as Vlad drops Azde's limp hand, letting her body fall to the floor in a puddle of her own blood. She makes a giant splat sound as she hits the pool of red. Vampires can die if they lose enough blood and it was spewing out of her undead flesh in gargantuan amounts, she is making the most awful sounds.
"Oh hush," He tells her dying, rolling eyes when they meet his, "Breather's make less fuss dying than you." He stepped over her body, her fingers beginning to turn to ash already and he met Ramanga half way in his approach towards him. The Vampire's fangs were out and he snarled at Vlad in a way that was supposed to be threatening. Vlad smirked, and pushed the man's bottom jaw up, closing it with a loud snap.
"Enough." He whispered to Ramanga quietly. "You didn't think your little plan to remain in power would work, did you?" He laughed in the elder vampire's face, the sound loud and garish in the silent hall. Vlad spun to face the rest of the congregation, "I've had enough of this" He turned back to the silent Ramanga with a sneer "monarchy. So, I think it's time it was disbanded, don't you all agree?" He asked, and a rumble of murmurs flooded the hall – after all many were displeased they didn't get the chance to marry their daughters to the Chosen One. Vlad smirked at Ramanga coldly, "Well, thank you, Ramanga, you're officially dismissed from the High Council."
The vampire opened his mouth in protest, but Vlad crooked a finger at Ingrid, who marched over, proud and smug. "Ingrid will do a fine job as leader of the clans – won't you?" Vlad continued, "And I'm sure Ingrid would love to thank you for all the unwanted attention you've been paying her."
Vlad pulled out the staff of Carpathia, slowly and teasingly and there was a collective gasp of horror from the vampires when they saw it.
With one quick swing, Vlad struck Ramanga in the stomach. There was a silent pause for a moment, and Ramanga looked hopeful for a moment as nothing happened, but then he suddenly doubled over clutching at his chest. He groaned out in pain and then there was a sloshing lurch and a stuttering, almost fragile heart beat started up.
"I love this!" Vlad said, false interest and cheer in his voice as he examined the staff carefully. "Seeing that you're so old, I'm glad this turns you human – if you went back to your mortal state then you would be dust yourself." Vlad tucked the staff back into his hidden pocket before turning to Ingrid and the rest of the vampires. "Grubs up! Consider this one on me!"
Vlad had never heard screams like it in his life as the other vampires tore the now human Ramanga to shreds. He headed towards the largest and most ornate chair in the room sat down on the throne like chair, at the end of the hall, shifting a little until he was comfortable and smiling blandly at his audience, all of them covered in blood and looking rabid.
"Things will be going the way I say now."
It was always supposed to be Vlad being a blood thirsty vampire but with his Dad by his side. After so many years and the amount of words being exchanged between them been able to be counted on one hand…well it was never going to happen. He was a blood thirsty, evil vampire though…
He could see his dad's face, paler than normal and fully of worry in the crowd. This was not the side his Father had ever wanted to be on.
He really was the vampire his father had always wanted him to be.
A/N – Let me know what you think? Was it crap? Let me know in a review? Please?