• Chapter one, A new fate (first draft)
    How could something that seemed so right turn out to be so wrong?
    “What?! Aria you can’t chicken out now! You promised you would go this Halloween!” Kyra whined as she shoved Aria towards the haunted castle that supposedly was being guarded by a vampire. She pulled the ear of her neko friend so she was forced to follow her. The shutters were draped in old cobwebs and ivy had been creeping up the walls. The plant seemed to be trying to crush the building and make more room for more of the destructive vine.

    “Fine, fine! Get off of me!” She flailed her arms at Kyra and ran up the steps to the vampire’s castle. She laughed at her neko friend who was shivering in fear. Aria examined the door to see that it appeared to have originally be made of a elegant red wood with creative carvings swirling around the lovely frame. Kyra threw a rock near her. Aria jumped and backed into the door.
    The mansion was rumored to be older then Queen Victoria. It is said that her taste was inspired by this large house, back when it was still bustling with activity. And then one day the people in the manor simply seemed to get up and leave. It had been over a hundred years since anyone had the courage to go any farther than the marble steps.
    "I'll be here in the morning! Don't get eaten or the headmistress will pitch a fit!" Kyra giggled and tossed Aria's wand to her. "Good luck!" Aria turned and hissed at her so called "Best Friend" before slowly turning to the heavy door..
    A musty smell lingered in the air and caused her to wrinkle her nose. Aria slowed to a walk as she reached the door. “H-hello?” She squeaked and pulled open the rotting wooden door. A loud groan filled the air as the rusted hinges were forced open.
    As soon as she had taken a step in, it slammed shut behind her. Aria screamed and swiveled around to see what caused it. The fur on her tail stood on end and her ears perked up, searching for any sound. She hissed and stood still for a moment before relaxing slightly.

    There was nothing there, she realized. Her hands traced the elegant design carved into the old redwood door. When she remembered her objective, she took a deep breath and ventured deeper into the supposed haunted mansion. Several ancient looking paintings seemed to follow her with their dull eyes as if to say ‘You don’t belong here…’

    The house still held signs that it was once a beautiful mansion, still trapped in the past. Elegant lace curtains hung from the windows. There were tears and stains from years of aging and God knows what nibbling at the lovely pattern. A gleam caught her eye and she turned to see what it might be. A golden chandelier hung from the water stained ceiling. Although covered in dust, the metal seemed to continue attempting to shine. Candle wax had dribbled down the candles and almost covered the entire chandelier! The thick wax hung, clinging from the chandelier, like long fingers trying to grab you. There was a long dining table that was set with beautiful silverware and expensive china tableware.
    It seemed that the past owners of the home just got up and left, not bothering with anything. Aria turned on her heel and quickly walked out of the room. She had felt as if she was being watched by a invisible being with a rather evil aura…
    A long plush carpet lined the hallways that Aria walked across. A rat dashed across her path but she paid no mind to it and continued exploring the house. She came upon a broken mirror that caused her reflection to be warped from the many cracks and missing pieces. Aria reached her hand out to gently touch the mirror. It suddenly shattered, showering her with a rain of broken glass.
    She held her arms up and looked away. “Aaah!” She cried out as the slivers of the razor sharp mirror pierced her skin. She could feel the shards cutting through the soft skin of her arms and trying ti embed themselves in her flesh. Aria limped away as quickly as she could and sat down to clean her wound. Once she had made sure her arm was clear of any shards of glass she rest her head against the wall and sighed.
    She looked around to examine the unfamiliar room. Two beds were against two walls and a tall bookshelf stood between. It was impossible for Aria to grab a book without her hand being covered in old webs. She brushed her hands off on her jeans. There was a child sized porcine doll leaning against the wallpaper and a few toy trains scattered about. After a while Aria’s curiosity grew to the point that her fear almost vanished. This room reminded her a awfully of the room she had before her mother abandoned her in front of the boarding school she now attended.

    Aria then passed a corridor that made her shiver. The torture chamber. She could almost hear the crying screams of agony echoing in the small space. Shackles hung from the ceiling and a iron maiden leaned against the grey brick wall. She looked around a little more and felt her stomach turn when she saw ‘The Rack’.
    She had always been a horror fan and had to admit that this particular room interested her a little bit. Aria knew the name of each medieval torture device and exactly how they worked. Suddenly, she thought of men, women, and children suffering. Arms and legs tied to the rack to be stretched out until the spine snapped, having a innocent heart impaled by the spikes of the blood thirsty maiden, or being stripped naked then hung by your wrists from shackles bolted on the ceiling and whipped repeatedly until the person looked to be wearing a red cape.
    Aria closed her eyes and ran forward blindly. Her breath was the only thing she could hear as she tried to escape. it’s only one night, it’s only one night! She thought. She ran blindly through the twisting corridors with her arms reaching in front of her. She thought she heard something behind her and gave out a small yelp and ran faster as the adrenalin pulsed through her veins. Aria felt a sharp pain in her gut as she skidded along the ground on her stomach, causing a deep gash to cut through her thigh. She cried out in pain and sat up, clutching her leg. She blinked and tilted her head at the strange item she had slid across.

    A coffin! Aria thought, this… This is it! she gasped and out of her own curiosity, she pushed back the lid. Inside lay a beautiful boy, he didn’t look much older than herself. His silver hair framed his pale face and his bangs covered one eye. The young vampire had rose petals surrounding his coffin and a few scattered inside. The boy had his hands folded over his chest as if he was praying. His lips were slightly flushed with a bit of color. She watched in amazement as his chest rose and fell with each breath. The boy was wearing a Victorian style suit with a midnight black cloak.

    It’s strange to call a man this but… He’s beautiful. What are his dreams like? And what color are the eyes that see them? She wondered. Aria watched as he sighed deeply and returned to his undisturbed slumber. Without thinking, she reached down and her fingers traced his jaw line. The boy stirred in his sleep and she panicked. Aria quietly closed the lid and tried to sneak away. She stumbled over a chain on the ground and nearly fell into the iron maiden, “Kyaaah!” She screamed. In a flash she was hovering inches away from the deadly spikes. “W-wha?” Aria stammered.

    Startled grey eyes met with Aria’s piercing emerald ones as the boy held Aria in his arms. She felt the heat rising up her neck as he picked her up bridal style.“Miss? How did you ever manage to get in here? What is your name?” He asked. His voice was soothing and gentle, as if he meant her no harm. The young man moved her out of the room and into the large corridor.

    “A-Aria Ashite…” She whispered as she took note of his fangs. He laughed lightly and smiled in a friendly way. Aria let her guard down a little as she became more trusting of the handsome vampire. She looked down and bit her lower lip in embarrassment as he looked her over.

    “I am Loue, I should have awakened soon to inspect the castle so I shall spare you." Loue chortled at Aria's surprised expression. She knew he was only kidding but she was still rather nervous. "Wh-" He was suddenly cut off, "Miss Aria, you smell absolutely lovely!” Loue exclaimed and examined her bleeding thigh. “Blood…” He murmured as his eyes seemed to glaze over. Loue opened his jaw to fully reveal his glistening fangs. The vampire put his hands on either side of her head, trapping her in a corner.
    "L-Loue! No!" Aria shrieked and shoved him away from her. She clutched her bleeding leg and whimpered quietly. Loue's eyes cleared and regained their mysterious sheen. He shook his head, confused about what had just happened. Loue's eyes widened and he clapped his hand over his mouth.
    "I am sorry... I lost control after not seeing fresh blood for so many years." He said quietly and retreated to the other side of the room.
    Aria tilted her head and stared at the vampire curiously. "It's alright, it's not your fault." She soothed, "But you stopped yourself. So tell me, are you really a evil vampire?" She asked and took the bandana out of her hair that his her cat ears. Aria wrapped it around her leg and applied pressure so it would stop bleeding. She pulled out her wand and removed the rag, "Anisha karima," She murmured and the wound healed itself.
    Loue sighed, "You have fangs and everyone assumes you murder for a living. No, I have never killed. I am not what you would call a 'evil vampire'" He explained. Loue blinked in surprise, "Well what have we here? A cat hybrid? It has been so long since I have seen a neko. Probably a millennium or so?" He laughed and moved closer to Aria. By this time her wound had stopped bleeding so they assumed she was safe.
    Aria blushed and covered her ears. What a random topic. But then again, I shouldn't be one to talk. She thought and looked away. "I've never seen another of my kind either. My mother may have been a neko but I don't remember her much. It's a pain having a tail because I can only wear short skirts to feel comfortable," Aria explained. Loue chuckled and rubbed her ears with a grin on his face. Aria flailed her arms and blushed scarlet red. "H-Hey! I'm not a cat!" She whined and her tail stood on end.
    "I am sorry, I could not resist." Loue said and put his hands down, still grinning. "But you never answered my first question. Why and how did you get in here?" He asked yet again and fixed his cape while he waited for answer. Aria turned pale and looked down again.
    "I was dared by my best friend to spend the night in here. I only agreed because I heard there was some rare magic that I could learn hidden in here. My dream is to become the greatest witch of all time. And then maybe... No, never mind." She whispered and refused to meet his eyes.
    Loue's eyes widened and his face became as white as physically possible for a vampire. "The spell book!" He gasped and grabbed her shoulders, "Did you touch it?! Please, please, please tell me you didn't!" He said in a stern voice and shook her. Loue quickly stood up and darted down the corridor.

    "Loue? What spell book? Loue!" Aria cried out and ran after the panicking vampire. She batted at her face after she ran into a spider web and continued going. Loue's superhuman speed was almost impossible to keep up with. He finally stopped and turned to a door with a strange symbol carved into the woodwork. The mysterious carving appeared to be a magnificent flower. Strange words in a unfamiliar language extended from each tip, There was a circle of the language around, just touching the end of the words that extended from the petals. There were a few carefully draws stars in the spaces between the extension. Aria let her fingers trace the unique pattern before she remembered Loue.
    She peeked into the room to see a surprising sight. The room was circular and had many candles lit and floating in the air. The walls were covered in amazing designs and symbols. The ceiling seemed to have vanished, for when Aria looked up all she saw was the late night sky. In the center of this bizarre room stood Loue. He stood before a alter that was placed in the middle of the same symbol she had seen before, except much larger. He sighed and placed a old leather bound book on the altar.
    She felt as if someone was watching her as she looked to the sky. "Come, my child. Come to me and gain your hearts desires. Set me free and I shall grant thee anything thy wants." She heard a raspy voice whisper in her ear. Aria stood up stiff as a board and her eyes lost the curious light that they held. She could feel herself being pulled by temptation. Aria quickly walked into the room, causing Loue to jump into the air from surprise.
    "Why Miss Aria, you frightened me." He said and dusted himself off. Aria walked over to him and circled the altar, examining every inch. "What are you doing?" Loue asked. She paid no attention to him and stood in front of the altar. "Miss Aria?" He questioned and touched her arm. Aria gave no sign that she noticed him. Loue watched, stunned, as she lifted her hands and placed them on top of the ancient book he had been protecting for over a millennium.
    "No!" Loue roared and tried to grab the young witch. There was a crackling of electricity in the air and Loue was thrown against a wall. She raised her hands and Aria's short skirt began to sway as a magical wind flew from a unknown caster. Her hair blew around her face wildly but she took no notice. The book snapped open and pages began to flip at a extraordinary speed.
    Aria's mouth opened but the words that came from her throat were not the ones Loue had heard her speak before. She tilted her face upward and cried "Hear my word, guardians of this book imprisoning the messiah of our new world! By my command release her from her prison and set the ancient witch free!"
    A blinding flash of light filled the room. Aria yelped and was thrown into Loue's arms. She clung to his arm and stared in horror at the monster that was about to be unleashed. A cackling laughter filled the air. Another flash of green light came and went. Standing where Aria had stood only moments before was a woman. She had dark green hair that tumbled past her waist and eyes that were frighteningly similar to Aria's, although they seemed to have a wicked light. The witch had very pale skin and long nails that she could easily use to take a eye out. She was dressed in a long black dress and a odd hat that was half white half black.
    "Well, well, well. Who would have known that my savior would be a little girl? Damn you creatures of the earth for imprisoning me in that god forsaken book! But now it is my turn to have a little fun. This world will soon belong to the Reika Witch!" The strange woman laughed again and vanished into thin air.
    "What was that?!" Aria cried out in a mix of amazement and horror. Loue sighed and banged his head against the wall. "Loue? Why are you doing that?" She asked again and picked up the book the weird lady had claimed to have come from.
    He stopped and turned to her. "I am afraid that you have released the Reika Witch. Many evil witches and wizards are still in this world but the Reika Witch is the one that can cause the most harm. Before the creatures alive in that era could thank them, they vanished. No one knows who or what the group was. It is said that a descendant of the witches and wizards who first fought the Reika Witch can release her and or control the ancient powers it holds in its pages." He said with a frown on his face.
    "So... You want me to trap the crazy old lady in this book again? How hard could that be? She looked like nothing more than skin and bones to me." Aria tilted her head as she said this. "How do I start?"
    Loue sighed, "It is not that easy. The group that fought the Reika Witch the first time took a year of non-stop fighting. There were seven masters of magic fighting her and you are only a little girl. I doubt you have mastered even one of the seven magical elements, let alone even heard of them."
    "I'm not little! I happen to be fourteen thank you very much." She sniffed, "And I caused this and I WILL fix it. If I'm a descendant of those people and if I put the witch back... Maybe... Just maybe..." Aria sighed and looked away, "Never mind. But I will fight her." Loue managed a slight smile as he watched her new behavior. Aria had seemed to timid and shy when she had awoken him but now he say the stubborn and arrogant side of her. Aria was rather shy around people she didn't know and she herself was surprised by how quickly she had warmed up to him.
    "I am one-thousand and fifteen. I think I am old enough to decide what you do. Well, I have been alive for one-thousand and fifteen years. Although after I turned fifteen I would sleep for a decade and then wake up for around a hour to feed and then go back to my coffin." Loue smirked, "Now come along." He took Aria's hand and walked through the twisting halls until they reached another room that had the unique carving.
    He turned to her again and with a solemn look he told her, "You must realize after we pass these doors your fate has been completely changed. You may not return to where you live until we finish with our task. You must return every year after. You are free to leave right now and go home. I would understand if you refuse and I can do this on my own."
    Aria looked shocked for a moment and then regained her confidence. "I'll do it. Tell me what I have to do." She said.
    Loue smiled and took the young girl's hand again and opened the door. "I like how determined you are. Fine, I shall bring you along." He grinned. Aria looked into the doorway to see nothing. She was about to ask the vampire what kind of sick joke he thought this was when she felt something pulling at her. Loue wrapped one arm around her shoulders and put his other hand in hers so he could hold her against himself. "Hold onto me and whatever you do, do not let go." He warned.
    Aria nodded and hugged the vampire tightly in a way that she wouldn't slip if something happened. "Welcome to your new fate." He whispered. In a second she found herself and the vampire swallowed in the darkness of the unknown.
    Tentacle like arms reached out from the door and wrapped themselves around Aria's waist. She gasped and held the vampire's hand as more of the dark arms reached out and wrapped themselves around them.
    Aria clung onto Loue as they flew through the darkness. She whimpered and buried her face in his cloak. He looked startled for a moment but then he smiled. Loue held her a little closer, “We are almost there.” He whispered in a comforting tone. Aria merely nodded but kept her face hidden. He laughed as the young witch’s shyness returned. Loue and Aria fell through what seemed to be a never-ending pit of night. He squinted against the sudden light that appeared. In a flash, the awkward pair was slowly descending to the ground of a beautiful meadow.
    Aria squinted against the gentle moonlight and hid her eyes with Loue's cape until her eyes could adjust to the brightness. She was startled that the soft light of the moon had almost blinded her. Aria's grip loosened and she started to take in her new surroundings, still slightly in shock.

    Aria gasped and wriggled free from Loue’s protective embrace. “Ah! This is awesome! I wanna live here!” She laughed and fell into a patch of tall grass. It was odd, Aria was away from her "family", friends, and everything that seemed familiar to her about life, although she had never felt more at home. She prowled through the grass and wildflowers as her cat attitude suddenly activated. Loue chuckled and dusted off his suit and fixed his cape while watching the neko act like a small child. The meadow was overflowing with exotic and colorful wildflowers. Greenery covered the rolling hills and the beautiful night sky had no clouds in sight. Every star radiated beauty since they were free to shine with no man-made lights blocking them out. In the middle of the enormous meadow was a lake that seemed to reflect the stars on the mirror like surface of the water. A few islands were scattered around with different types of flowers on each one.
    “Enough playing for now. Did you not say that you wanted to fix the problem you caused?” He questioned as he searched through the tall wildflowers and grass for her. Aria sighed but then her eyes gleamed in a mischievous way as she saw a opportunity to startle the old style gentleman. She hadn’t seen much negative emotion from him and was curious about what he would do if he was scared.
    Aria quietly stalked through the grass until she could see Loue a few feet away from her. A line from her favorite book, Harry Potter, suddenly popped into her head. I solemnly swear I am up to no good. Aria thought as she crouched down. She tensed her back legs, wriggled her hips, and pounced on him like a cat after its prey. Loue let out a startled yell as they both tumbled down the hill. Everything looked like a whirlwind of color until they finally came to a stop near the edge of the lake.
    Loue shook his head and blinked as he looked up at Aria, whom was on top of him laughing like a maniac. “Why the bloody hell did you do that?!” He fumed and picked her up as he stood. She was having a hard time controlling her laughter and couldn’t respond. “What happened to the quiet and shy neko I first met and what have you done with her?” He teased and put her down.
    “I-I was- Trying to see- your reaction,” Aria gasped and struggled to stop her hysterical laughter. “All right, I’ll be good. Where to first?” She asked. Loue was still a bit upset but when he looked at her curious emerald eyes and perked up black ears. He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "It is strange. If it was not for this girl I would still be in my coffin and would not be trapped in this mess again. I want to be angry at her but I cannot. I wonder why..." He pondered.