Hetalia School for Vampire Hunters

(Co-written by EvilMidget6 and LieutenantProbable)

Chapter One

1718 Western Russia…

The first stage is hunger. It grows like a tumour in his stomach, a pulsing emptiness that needs to be filled. And he feeds; he feeds until his body can't take it anymore, until sweat licks his brow, until his muscles ache. And he is sick. And he keeps being sick. It pours from his body, black and greasy. I offer him water, he doesn't take it. He keeps going. Keeps shovelling down the food; chewing, sweating and choking.

All I can do is watch.

2013 A castle somewhere in Eastern Slovakia…

"…and so, I gladly give welcome to you all; the newest members of our happy family." Arms held out wide, the speaker smiled at them expectantly until the group slowly started to applaud.

'That was a really weird welcoming speech,' thought Mathew. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it, and followed the flamboyant figure with wondering eyes as he strode dramatically from the stage.

Roma Vargas was not at all what he had been expecting. The head of the academy had just made vampire hunting sound like a sexy adventure, which he was pretty certain it wasn't. Hesitantly, he glanced at the other first year recruits on either side of him to see their reactions. The small Italian boy to his left seemed excited to say the least. His amber eyes sparkled and he had a wide smile as he clapped his hands enthusiastically.

"Dude this is gonna be awesome!" A sharp jab in the ribs from his other side suggested the (definitely American) guy next to him, was equally fired up. "I'm gonna be just like him in a few years, maybe even cooler," his bright blue eyes blazed with excitement behind his glasses.

"Uh…" He tried to think of something interesting to reply, but nothing came to him, instead he just smiled shyly at the animated blond. It didn't matter anyway, because he hadn't waited for a response. On closer inspection, Mathew thought he recognised him and searching his memory was about to say so, when their attention was bought back to the front.

This speaker was not like Roma Vargas. For one thing he wasn't smiling; his face was so straight, it looked like it had been drawn on with a thoroughly un-amused ruler. He was also dressed immaculately, right down to his shiny boots and slicked back blonde hair; really he looked more like a drill sergeant than a vampire hunter… he was even wearing a whistle. The only thing this man and Roma had in common were their muscles, his clothes weren't particularly tight, but Mathew could still see the outline of bulging muscle all across his body, he looked like he could crack a walnut between his thighs.

Despite an appreciative sigh (which he thought must have come from one of the girls past the Italian), Mathew was sure this was the scariest man he had ever seen.

"Recruits," he began, addressing his audience abruptly. His voice was crisp and decisive and his English was very good but the German accent, military bearing and severe, disciplined manner gave an instant impression to all the listeners. This would definitely not be a teacher you wanted to fuck about. Unconsciously, they all sat a little straighter and you could have heard a pin drop in the silence, as all eyes focussed attentively on the forceful presence at the front.

"My name is Ludwig Beilschmidt and I will be one of your instructors here at the academy. You are here because you are special. You have each chosen to join the fight against a common enemy which few humans are even aware of. We, your instructors, will prepare you for the battles to come. You have all been carefully selected and approached because we believe you have the potential to succeed. Each of you has skills and talents, which is why you were singled out and invited to join our society. You have much to offer - BUT you also have much to learn. You will be taught many things over the coming months and we expect you to train hard, both to make you more effective in the field and to give you the best possible chance of staying alive." Ludwig paused for emphasis and ran his piercing blue eyes along the faces before him, briefly meeting the gaze of all present as though to test their commitment.

'The best chance of staying alive?' Mathew felt his stomach twist into an uncomfortable knot. He'd been expecting danger, but to lose his life? Perhaps he preferred Roma's version after all.

"Wow buddy, you're lookin' a little green, you okay?" It was the American next to him. Mathew just nodded silently, although he was sure it was pretty clear that he wasn't. "Look, these guys are professionals; they must have thought you had something special or else you wouldn't be here. Just do what they say and you'll be fine." He patted Mathew on the arm reassuringly, before turning back to the front where Ludwig had started to speak again.

"You shall now be taken to your rooms where you will have one hour to begin settling in, we will then meet up again to complete your induction. Welcome to the academy and to a war worth fighting…does anyone have any questions?"

As Ludwig looked enquiringly at the faces before him, Mathew still felt slightly stunned. He sincerely doubted there would be any questions, many of the faces around him looked slightly dazed in fact, but to his amazement he saw that the little Italian had his hand in the air.

He didn't look nervous at all, that wide smile hadn't lost any of its enthusiasm. The German instructor looked at him, "Mein gott," he muttered and almost seemed to debate whether to take the query, but finally he spoke, "Yes Feliciano? You have a question already?"

"Ludwig, will there be less running this year?"

"If you have questions about the curriculum Feliciano, you may ask them at the induction session." He responded sternly, although Mathew noticed his mouth flickered into a brief smile.

At the end of the assembly there was a smattering of applause before they all filed out. At least everyone did apart from Feliciano, who had clapped the loudest and stood up to give an excitable salute before going over to talk to Ludwig and Roma (who from the way he greeted him appeared to be his Grandfather).

As the recruits reappeared in the hall and moved to pick up their bags they were joined by another member of the teaching staff. This newcomer was slight and oriental with black hair, dark eyes and a calm manner. Initially unnoticed by the recruits as he arrived so quietly, he spent a few moments observing them, assessing these newest additions to the guild with a thoughtful air. They were quite a mixed bunch he felt and it was going to be interesting to see how they would settle. He wondered if any would show talent with a blade.

"Good afternoon,"he said eventually in a soft voice, inclining his head to the group, who immediately turned towards him with expectant faces. "I wish to add my greetings to those you have already received and should introduce myself. I shall be one of your instructors here at the academy and am called Honda Kiku." A murmur of returned greetings rose from those assembled, and bowing slightly in acknowledgement he continued, "If you would bring your possessions and follow me I shall lead you to your rooms."

As he led the way to the staircase, the young Italian re-joined the group, smiling sunnily at the others as he caught up.

"Hey, American boy, is this your jacket?" He called and the sandy haired boy who had been sat next to Mathew, turned around. "You left it on the back of the chair, it's really nice and you don't want to lose it."

"Yea, that's mine. Thanks a lot dude," He shook his head, "This jacket was my grandpa's, it's a World War two bomber. I don't know what I'd do if I lost it."

"Don't worry, I am always losing things, I'm just happy I could help you."

"I am glad you have joined us Feliciano," Kiku interrupted, "I have been meaning to speak to you. I know you are repeating the year but I would still like you to attend fencing classes with the second years." Feliciano smiled, clearly pleased and Kiku added, "You must work on perfecting your footwork, with just a little improvement there, your blade-work would begin to rival your brother's."

The others looked at Feliciano with interest; clearly he was not as new to all this as the rest of them. Slim and not very tall, he didn't look like a competent swordsman as he laughed at Kiku's comment, twirling a wayward lock of his auburn hair which curled noticeably out from his head. Throwing up his hands in mock dismay, he responded cheerfully. "I could never be as good as Lovino maestro, I am not that ferocious and besides, he gets so much practice with Antonio." His eyes twinkled mischievously, "maybe one day he will finally beat him."

Kiku shook his head, "You will not distract me with excuses Feliciano and you must also give more attention to your other techniques. It is not wise to limit yourself to only one area, however much talent you have," he added with a small smile.

Feliciano sighed in resignation, "I know," he replied looking downcast, "I will try." His face brightened almost immediately though as he added, "at least in hand-to-hand, I won't be the only one being thrown to the floor this term." Mathew groaned internally, he didn't fancy the idea of being thrown about and prayed that class was nothing to do with the huge German guy.

By this time, the group had arrived at one end of a long hall which had doors at regular intervals along it and Kiku failed to respond to the last comment, instead gesturing ahead and addressing the group as a whole. "The student bedrooms all lie along this corridor," he informed them, "you will each share a bedroom and bathroom with your assigned roommate and have one hour to begin settling in. Please reassemble in the lounge to the left of the entrance hall at five o'clock."

Feliciano turned immediately to the first door, evidently he already had a room and he cast a final smile to the others as he took hold of the handle. "Ciao everybody," he said with a slight wave of his hand, "I am very excited about meeting you all later."

As he disappeared into the room, the others looked enquiringly at Kiku who was consulting a list in his hand, "Alfred Jones and Mathew Williams," he gestured to the door opposite, "this room is yours."

"I prefer Alfie," the American said with a grin as he led the way into the room, "see you later guys."

Making his own farewell in the form of a smile and a wave, Mathew followed him inside and closed the door behind them.

The room was relatively large and had dark blue wall paper. It was lined with long book shelves and beneath these were two single beds, one against the wall in each corner with a window between them. Next to each bed was a chest of drawers, a bed side table and a small lamp and another door presumably led to their bathroom.

"Dude, how awesome is this?!" Alfred threw his bags on the floor and leapt backwards onto the right-hand bed, kicking his shoes off. He grabbed a candy bar from his pocket and took a large bite out of it, before turning to Mathew.

Mathew shuffled around awkwardly and put his bags next to the other bed. "Well the rooms seem pretty comfortable," he replied hesitantly, "but do you really think hunting vampires will be as easy as General Vargas implied?"

"Sure it will, they're gonna train us aren't they?" He replied confidently, "I just can't wait till I actually get to kill one!"

There didn't seem to be anything to say to that and Mathew looked at Alfred in amazement, he really thought that was all there was to it? The face before him shone with enthusiasm and confidence as Mathew regarded him, and he realised that actually was the case. "Yea, me too," he said weakly, "my name's Matt by the way."

Alfred nodded, "So where ya from?"

"Quebec." Alfred gave him a puzzled look so he quickly elaborated, "It's in Canada."

"Ha. That's so funny, do you know until I was twelve, I actually thought that Canada was another state. Hilarious right?" Mathew nodded uncertainly. "I'm from Nebraska myself. Raised on a farm and home-schooled until high school, then I got big into football. I gotta say I was pretty awesome at it. I made captain of the team, got into college through a sports scholarship and I was recruited from there."

Mathew wasn't surprised that Alfred played football. Whilst he had panicked and overdressed in one of his dad's suits, Alfred was dressed almost too casually in a large football jersey, which was red with several black scrawls. He later found out that it was a Huskers Jersey and that those scrawls were autographs which apparently made it lucky.

"So…" He continued almost as an afterthought, "How'd they get you…"

"Sport," He replied sheepishly. He didn't really want to brag, but he had played for the state himself. Then one day he'd been called after the game and asked to 'try-out.' He'd assumed this was to play at national level; it was only once they were sure they wanted him, that they had told him the truth.

"Hey actually…Dude, I totally recognise you! You play that game with all the sticks and ice and stuff!"

Mathew was taken aback, despite being one of the top hockey players in his state; he wasn't really used to being noticed. None of the big professional teams had tried to recruit him and he had only been selected by these hunters at the last minute (some hulky Cuban guy had pointed him out).

"It's called Ice Hockey…" But he smiled, pleased Alfred had remembered him.

"Yea, I know you; you were at that big sports festival. You must have been great 'cause you won a medal and we were on stage together. I still have the newspaper picture from that day clipped to my wall."

As they started to unpack, they exchanged sporting stories (well, Mathew got the odd one in) and began to relax in each other's company. Mathew thought this Alfred guy seemed pretty cool, and he hoped they were going to be friends.

Arriving in the lounge an hour later as directed, Alfred saw that the big German was back. The large room had a number of sofas and armchairs in clusters around low tables and at the rear, two long sideboards against the wall held piles of what looked like folders. Ludwig stood with his back to the large fireplace, appearing to count heads as the others arrived. In fact there seemed to be quite a few more than the twenty or so Alfred had seen earlier, almost double that were now present. 'The second year students must be here too', he thought.

Among the other arrivals, he noticed Feliciano enter with another man who had to be the brother they had heard about. The resemblance was striking, but his brother had slightly darker hair and looked a few years older. He was also less cheerful judging by the scowl he was currently aiming around the room, except at Feliciano who he seemed to be looking after.

When he was satisfied that all had arrived, Ludwig cleared his throat loudly as a signal for attention and began to speak. "To complete the business of today, there is some paperwork to attend to. Your timetables, basic maps of the castle and local town and other training information has been sorted into packs and labelled with your names. First years – in addition you have a legal disclaimer and next of kin notification papers which must be filled in immediately if you please. Those forms should be placed in this tray (he indicated one on a nearby table) as soon as you have completed them. The packs are waiting for you at the back of the room, first years to the left, second years to the right. Pease collect them and review the contents."

"Next of kin? This is like the army," muttered one of the recruits.

"In a sense, that's an accurate comment," Ludwig responded, having overheard this, "and you must all remember - to the outside world, this is a Military Academy. None of you can afford to forget that." He paused for these words to sink in, before continuing with news that grabbed everybody's attention, "the sooner we are done here, the quicker we can move into the dining room. Tonight there will be a feast to celebrate your arrival."

The longest table in the dining room was covered in an array of dishes and the smells were mouth-watering. One end contained piping hot bowls of pasta, ("Pasta!" Shouted one of the recruits in delight) tagliatelle smothered in white wine and cream, penne with spiced chicken and tomatoes among others. Near to these were platters with large slices of pizza which dripped mozzarella with various toppings and further along, Alfred could see tender slices of chicken breast, golden roast potatoes and tall jugs of hot gravy. There were also several different plates of vegetables, but he didn't pay attention to those and still other dishes contained shellfish and stews. In the end he couldn't make his mind up and opted to eat three platefuls, one for the pasta, one for the pizza and another for the chicken.

It was a memorable meal and sometime later, pretty much full to bursting, the recruits started drifting to their rooms to look over their schedules before sleeping. They had a busy first day ahead of them tomorrow.

As he settled down to sleep, Alfred yawned, "night Matt, I'll see you in the morning."

"Don't you set an alarm?"

"Nah, I'm always an early bird…I'll wake you up."

Before Mathew had time to answer, Alfred was already asleep and soon only gentle snores sounded within the room.

True to his word, Alfred woke up bright and early the next morning. It wasn't difficult for him as he'd had to get up at dawn on the farm when he was a kid and now he woke up early out of habit.

The shower was blissful. He let out a long sigh and allowed the hot water to pound against his body until he felt the early-morning stickiness wash off of him. Inhaling the hot steam, he shifted from foot to foot, rubbing soap into his wet skin and drifting in a state of dreamy thoughtlessness.

Alfred flinched as he stepped back into the cold air of the bathroom and quickly rubbing his hair with a towel, he slung it round his waist, half sprinting back to the bedroom and jumping beneath the covers to get warm. Two minutes later and thankful for his long arms, he managed to reach into his drawer and pull out a clean pair of underpants and some brown cargo pants which he shimmied into quickly. Counting to three, he then scampered out to grab a white vest top, before finally slinging on his jacket.

As he was about to leave for breakfast, he looked down at Mathew who was still sleeping and decided he ought to wake him, he seemed like a nice guy, and the dude wouldn't want to be late after all. "Hey Matt," he blared (clearly never having heard of a morning voice) and gave him what he considered to be a gentle shake to wake him up - in reality, it was more like a throttle, but it did the trick. "See you at breakfast man," he called cheerfully as he left and Mathew groaned as he began his own morning routine.

The morning meal was much simpler than dinner had been the previous night, consisting only of a choice between fruit, cereal and rolls or toast with a choice of preserves. None of the students wanted to eat much anyway and half of them didn't eat at all, they were far too anxious. In Alfred's case, it was excitement about beginning the new lessons but he managed a big breakfast all the same.

Their first lesson was in marksmanship and it was taught by an angry looking blond man named Vash Zwingli. Vash spoke in brisk, half barked orders, running briefly through basic gun procedures before taking them straight out to the shooting range to see what they could do. It wasn't a complete disaster, but very few of the students had any experience and several annoyed Vash by adopting a stance that looked like something from a Hollywood action movie. The targets certainly weren't in much danger, although the same couldn't be said for the students themselves.

Alfred had actually thought he was doing quite well, or at least he had hit the target more times than most of the other people around him.

"Wow that was a great shot! Well done!" Mathew said, after one of Alfred's shots nicked the edge of the outside ring. Alfred responded with a loud "thanks dude," but he then dropped the gun on the floor, causing it to misfire half an inch away from Vash's ear. That hadn't gone down well at all.

The only person to consistently hit the target was a small blonde named Lili Vogel who was one of only two girls in the group. When Alfred asked her jealously how she got so good, she had gently replied that her dad was a police officer and the protective type.

Thankfully, Honda Kiku who they had met earlier took his lessons at a much slower pace. Despite being a very soft spoken man who rarely raised his voice to anything above a whisper he was able to keep his class effortlessly quiet. Alfred imagined this might be because of the large sword he carried around. For his first lesson they slowly went through the basics of stance and the different ways to hold a sword, although they were only practicing with long sticks at this point, much to the classes' disappointment.

Animal care turned out to be by far the easiest lesson. Their teacher Heracles Karpusi; a tall man with a mane of shaggy brown hair, was found by the class half asleep. He was lounging on a bench in the sun near the kennels, absentmindedly stroking a fat grey cat that was mewing lazily on his belly. On the floor was a large basket containing around twenty kittens all snuggled together sleeping. Without getting up, Heracles explained to them that they would need to discover what their primary fighting style was going to be before deciding what type of animal they might like to train. For now, he was just going to teach them the basics of general animal care using the kittens.

There was only one lesson that Alfred was confident he would be good at, and this was physical fitness which was taken by the fierce-looking German that had addressed them during the welcome speeches. He quickly shouted orders at them to warm up and then to get running. Alfred was really glad he kept in good shape, because the workout was severe. He was pleased when he received an approving nod from Ludwig after managing to keep the lead, even against Bruce, who was huge - twice the size of everyone elseand built like an armoured tank.

When he had realised Bruce was alongside him halfway through the final lap, Alfred had been forced to dig deep, his muscles were screaming for mercy and only the fact that he could hear the other guy also desperately dragging air into his lungs let him know he was equally at his limit. With a last desperate lunge, Alfred literally threw himself across the finish line, before collapsing on to the floor. On one hand, he felt like he was about to die, on the other, no way was he going to be beaten.

Less than a second later, the other guy was next him, bent over so that the sweat from his hair could be seen dripping to the floor.

"Good on ya mate," he said, chest heaving. His accent was strong and Australian, "Never seen anyone run like that before."

"Never – had-to-run-like-that-before," Alfred managed, panting. When he had finally caught a little of his breath back, he added with a small smile, "Thought you were going to beat me."

"Nah," Bruce said, "I'm a swimmer me-self, mate. Was gonna try out for the Olympics, until the Vampire Hunters got hold of me. Still, it seems to be keeping me in pretty good shape." He gave Alfred a lopsided grin.

Mathew came in not long after them, all those years of hockey had allowed him to maintain a comfortably brisk pace and it wasn't long before the rest of the class trickled over the finish line. All that is, except Feliciano, who despite having apparently done all this before, didn't even seem to be trying.

"Ludwig do I have to keep doing this, you know I'm no good at it!"

"Feliciano, I have seen you run before and I know you can do it, I will come with you. Now run!"

The rest of the lesson was spent watching Ludwig force Feliciano to continue around the pitch until he finally collapsed over the finish line. Distant wails and exasperated instructions (occasionally mixed with what sounded like German curses) floated across at intervals and at the end of the class Ludwig's disapproval had reduced Feliciano almost to tears. Looking down at him as he sprawled miserably near the others, Ludwig's eyes softened but his tone wasuncompromising, "you must make more effort, who knows when your life or the life of another might depend on your stamina." Feliciano hung his head and Ludwig turned to the others with a slight smile, "the rest of you – well done, you showed grit…particularly you two," he looked approvingly at Alfred and Bruce. Mathew sighed, he hadn't been that far behind.

Their next class - Healing and Field Medicine, was taught by Antonio Carriedo, a tall, brown haired man with kind green eyes. He had a handsome face and an easy manner, the students liked him instantly. Feliciano obviously knew him well already, since he ran straight up and pulled him into a hug.

"Feliciano! Mi amigo! It is so good to see you again!" Antonio laughed before releasing the young Italian back into the class.

"It's good to see you too Antonio!"

"And how is that brother of yours? Practising his sword play I hope!" Antonio questioned eagerly.

"Oh yes, he was practising every day over the summer."

Antonio smiled warmly, "Well when you see him, could you ask him to come see me? I want to put these new skills of his to the test." He laughed before faltering, "I'm surprised he hasn't come to see me already actually."

Suddenly seeming to remember that the rest of the class was present, he ended the conversation quickly and gestured to them all to be seated.

"Good afternoon class! I am Antonio Fernandez Carriedo and I will be your teacher for Healing and field medicine…"

Although Antonio didn't have Honda Kiku's talent for keeping the class silent, he was patient and kind, calmly repeating procedures until he was sure everyone understood what he was talking about and encouraging them to ask questions. By the end of the lesson he had explained to them both the proper way to treat a wound and the basic recipe for a common antiseptic balm. They were then each given a medicine bowl, and told to have a go at making their own. Most of the class ended up with a nasty looking brown mush, and Alfred, who had forgotten to follow the instructions half way through, created what looked like vomit. Still, a few of the students ended up with something semi-usable. This group included Mathew, whose ointment (despite being a slightly gone-off yellow) earned him a proud pat on the back from Antonio and was shown off to the rest of the class, much to his delight.

Antonio was apparently not too bothered by these seemingly disastrous results, explaining that it was all quite usual for their first try and telling them that they would practice this again the next time he saw them.

The lesson everyone had really been looking forward to was Vampire Lore. At first Alfred had thought it sounded boring. Lore sounded like it meant dates and huge paragraphs of learning, none of which was really his strong point. He had actually been dreading it until one of the teachers had let slip that Lore wasn't just learning about Vampires, it was also a chance to learn magic.

The classes took place in the basement of the castle and descending the stairs into the gloomy depths somehow heightened the excitement. Passing cellars and doors on either side of the passage, the class finally entered a large room with a vaulted ceiling. As they gathered just inside the entrance, dozens of candles suddenly flared to life along the stone walls. These illuminated much of the room, although the flickering light left pools of shadow and only partially revealed countless shelves of jars and bottles. The nearest of these seemed to have strangely disturbing contents, dimly seen in large containers were the movements of things that seemed to writhe and smaller vials gave off a muted glow of their own.

Their attention was so taken up with examining the surroundings, that the sudden appearance of their teacher (almost unbelievably, the timetable said his name was Vladimir Lupei) caused some of the group to jump or gasp in surprise when he spoke.

He was certainly the most eccentrically dressed teacher they had seen so far. Despite the thick, stuffy air of the basement, he was dressed in a long, dark trench coat and black silk gloves, giving him an almost bat-like appearance. Jauntily tipped on one side of his head, he wore a top hat from which two ribbons curled gently down the right side off his face. While on the other side, his golden-brown hair was tucked, perhaps purposely behind his ear and revealed a large pearl earring.

The most unusual aspect of his appearance turned out to be his teeth, because when he opened his mouth to speak, Alfred was horrified to discover that he had a fang to go with his Bela Lugosi accent.

"Blood is life." He began, his words a distinct contrast to his cheerful tone. "For them and for us, for both mankind and vampires. Within blood, there is a deep energy which courses through the veins of every human and animal. With this vitality comes a certain power for which blood is the fuel. Be warned now, magic is not wand waving and fairies, it has a cost. To perform the rituals correctly we harness that energy, sometimes from another and at other times, from ourselves. This practice is disciplined; a binding of natural forces and it requires mathematical precision, it is almost engineering, is a form of science and it has rules. "

"The first rule of bite club…" Alfred sniggered to Mathew. Hearing this Vladimir looked up, the flicker of a frown gracing his otherwise friendly expression.

"These rules are important; if you do not wish to learn them, then you should not be here. If you desire to learn these skills, you must all take this seriously. "

Everyone sat up a little straighter and he continued…

"Rule one, you must remember: once turned there's no going back. Once a human becomes a vampire there is no cure. When someone becomes a vampire, they are gone. Whoever they once were no longer exists. Some do try to fight it, but…eventually their desire for blood will overtake any humanity they might have left." For the first time since they had arrived, Alfred felt a little unnerved - a losing fight to be human? He quickly tried to remove the thought from his mind.

Pleased with the now serious faces of the class, he continued. "Rule two, never forget: vampires do not look like monsters. They appear and sound human. This may seem a simple fact, but there have been hunters who have forgotten it when confronted with the reality. The harsh consequence of such carelessness is that they have been lured too close, and then killed." The venom with which he said the last line, suggested he had personal experience of this.

"I have already explained the final rule for today, but it is at the heart of all rituals and so I will repeat it once more. Always be aware: Blood is life, for them and for us. As we progress, you will come to understand the true significance of this."

As he finished speaking, he looked at the faces of the class. Many seemed as though they were suddenly wondering what they had gotten into, and he decided to lighten the mood.

"I think that is enough of the serious stuff for today. It would be unfair to burden you with such grave realities, without showing you what else you will learn in these lessons. So I shall give you a small demonstration."

Without any further warning, he dug his fang into his finger, letting it bleed a little before drawing a small triangle on the desk, Feliciano covered his eyes. Muttering something darkly and sprinkling copper filings onto the blood, he gestured. All at once, the candle flames lifted into the air, before bursting into colourful streams of light that fell in fountain of colour, over the class.

"Go ahead, touch it." He gestured to a brown haired boy near the front, who hesitated before allowing one of the small orbs to land on his fingers. To his surprise the flame was cool and he grinned at the others who at once reached out to touch orbs of their own. His display completed, another gesture returned the flames to the candles and the class burst into applause. Vladimir merely smiled.

Each weekend, the students had a break from lessons, and on Saturdays they were given the option of going into the town. This was situated several miles out from the academy, so a coach was provided and Ludwig always drove those who wanted to go. For this first visit, most of the class had gone, including Mathew who missed playing hockey and wanted to see if there was an ice rink and Feliciano who wanted to 'look at the clothes and talk to some pretty girls'.

Alfred had decided to stay at the academy and much to the disbelief of Mathew, intended to spend his day training and doing laps around the grounds. He had seen Bruce practicing outside during the week and was determined to keep his edge.

He was just about to call it a day and go in for a shower, when he heard the low rumbling of the coach. It had returned at least an hour earlier than expected and so, forgetting his shower, Alfred walked down to the courtyard, wondering if something had happened.

As Alfred got closer, he saw Vash running towards Ludwig who had jumped out and hurried to meet him, the pair spoke rapidly then both turned to look at the coach. At first he thought someone had been hurt and worrying that Matt might not be okay, he ran over to join the quickly building crowd outside. Craning his neck, Alfred couldn't see any reason for all the fuss, until he heard what was being repeated. It was only one word.


Suddenly he heard the big steel luggage compartment of the coach being opened, and the crowd was ordered back as many of the school staff arrived. As he was jostled to the side, Alfred caught sight of Ludwig, who looked paler than usual. He was still talking to Vash as they both peered into one section.

"…he has been caught and restrained. Go inform General Vargas and make sure he knows that none of the students have been harmed."

"Shall I tell him that it was Feliciano?"

Ludwig nodded looking pleased."Yes, I should think he will be very proud, and he has every reason to be"

Within a few minutes Roma Vargas had appeared and those gathered watched in anticipation, as someone was pulled out of the compartment.

Alfred had never seen a vampire before (or at least he was pretty sure he'd never seen a vampire before). He had expected someone pale, white, and mean looking, with slicked back hair and a cape…

The young man standing in front of him looked nothing like this. He was blonde for one thing, and had the greenest eyes Alfred had ever seen. He also noticed, probably with more humour than was suitable for the situation, that these were framed by a pair of extremely thick eyebrows that were currently knitted in a look of absolute irritation. He was muttering away to himself and giving the hunters a dirty look.

Alfred leaned in closer to listen, still half expected a crooning Transylvanian accent, 'I vant to suck your blood,' complete with an animal-like hiss.

But all he caught was a darkly murmured;

"Sodding vampire hunters."

AN: Any feedback would be really appreciated.

We are planning to update every Friday, so hopefully we'll see you next week!