Shingetsu woke at dawn the next morning and slipped out of bed. Nightmare awoke as well and jumped lightly to the floor before following Shingetsu into the bathroom. Shingetsu turned on the faucets and removed his pajamas before stepping into the tub and sighing in relief as the hot water caressed his aching body. If he was lucky he would make a friend of Tobias but the others were all bigoted against creatures. Nightmare jumped into the bath with him which surprised Shingetsu.
“Are you telling me you want a bath too Nightmare?” Shingetsu asked raising a hand to pat Nightmare’s wet head.
“Who said that?” Shingetsu asked looking around. The voice had been in his head instead of spoken words. “Nightmare did I just hear your thoughts?”
Yes. Because we are bonded magically I can project my thoughts to you and if you concentrate you can do the same to me master.
Shingetsu cautiously extended his mind out to Nightmare’s and felt a green mental line intersecting with his own black line. He knew the black line was his own mental line so that must mean that when his parents had completed the bonding between him and Nightmare shortly after buying the panther that they shared some type of mental link. Then why did I not notice it before? I’m a vampire. Nightmare can you hear me?
I heard your thought just now. I think the reason we have never been able to communicate before now is because it takes some time for the mental bond to develop between a person and their familiar. Do you wish me to call you ‘master’ or by your first name?
Call me Shingetsu. That is my name after all. ‘Master’ sounds odd.
Laughter was heard along the mental link. What has you sad Shingetsu? Are you missing your parents and sister in Nightshade?
Yes. I’ve never been away from home before except when with dad and mom to walk amongst the vampire villages. Being around this many humans and unable to feed or hunt is annoying. I can’t survive on just animal blood; no vampire can. We need human blood and food to live and survive but that the head master won’t allow me or Titus to hunt off grounds. And my dorm mates, except for Tobias Moon I think, hate me without even getting to know me. I have a feeling it is going to be a long seven years at this school.
Perhaps if you give the humans time to get used to your presence they will realize what fools they are for judging you before getting to know you. What is going to happen to Titus while he is here?
I think Titus is going to be a professor of some sort though I am not sure what class that would be.
Are you going to be befriend this ‘Tobias Moon’ human?
It would be good to have a friend but I’m scared that he would reject me for being a ‘dark creature’. Though last night when they thought I was asleep Tobias seemed like he wouldn’t mind becoming my friend. But that could have been an act or he could have been sincere. You know the Ministry of Magical Britain doesn’t believe that dark creatures are able to coexist with humans. It is true that we feed on humans to survive but that is not our fault. It his how vampires are made. We must take the blood of the living to live just as humans have to kill animals to survive but yet humans don’t care about how some animals are treated while waiting for slaughter.
May I make a suggestion Shingetsu?
Of course Nightmare.
Get to know Tobias Moon. You need a friend in this school besides Titus and myself. Give the humans time to get to know you and show them that being a dark creature is nothing to be feared. Perhaps you can change some humans minds to vampires and make some friends amongst them in the process. You will need others of your own age to be friends with if you hope to survive seven years of magical education.
You’re right Nightmare. Thank you.
Shingetsu was quiet as he continued his bath and then he threw on some clothes and packed his book bag with quills, ink bottles and parchment. He would run upstairs after breakfast when he got his schedule to put the books he would need for the day’s classes before heading off to his first class. Shingetsu hefted his bag on his shoulders and went down to the common room to wait for his dorm mates and the first year girls to wake up before being led down to the Great Hall for breakfast.
Titus! Are you awake?
Prince Shingetsu? What is it? Is something wrong?
Are you teaching any classes at all while at Hogwarts?
A class called Dark Creatures. It’s a new class put in by Albus Dumbledore sire. I’ll be teaching it for all seven years while you’re at school here.
I see. Are you going to go down to breakfast Titus?
I can’t teach on an empty stomach.
Laughter sprang up through the mental link between the vampire prince and his friend who was now a professor and his guard. True I don’t think anyone can concentrate on school or teach effectively without having any breakfast in the morning. The humans do say it is the most important meal of the day.
Shingetsu sighed and tapped his fingers against the arm rest as he stared into the empty fireplace. The Gryffindor prefects came downstairs and shortly after the first year girls came down from their dorms as well with their book bags slung over their shoulders. Five minutes after the girls came down the rest of Shingetsu’s dorm mates came down the stairs. Tobias saw Shingetsu and immediately walked over to him before sitting down beside him.
“How was your night Prince?” Tobias asked looking at the vampire prince nervously.
“Not well. Call me Shingetsu,” Shingetsu said to the boy. “The panther is Nightmare. He’s my familiar.”
“My name is Tobias Moon. I’m a muggleborn. I didn’t even know magic existed until I got my letter.”
“I imagine many people who are raised in the non-magical human world think magic is nothing but fantasy. The same way they think my kind are evil dangerous creatures of legend,” Shingetsu commented dryly. “Why aren’t you afraid of me Tobias?”
“I know what it is like to be judged and treated differently for who you are. It isn’t right and people would get along better if they got to know others who they saw as different instead of instantly judging them. I’m a muggleborn so I have to deal with purebloods like Ron Weasley thinking they’re better than me just because my relatives don’t have any magical blood in them. But even when I was at elementary school I never had friends because I’m shy and like reading books. I don’t know what it is like to be a vampire Shingetsu but I would like to be your friend if that isn’t against your laws.”
Shingetsu looked in shock and amazement at Tobias. The human had a point about humans who were different were needlessly judged without others getting to know them before they passed biased judgments. He had read about this occurring plenty of times through human history in his eleven years of life. Whites in Colonial U.S. up until the 1960s had thought they were superior to Africans and had forcefully enslaved them against their will. European settlers had slaughtered dozens upon dozens of Native American tribes when they came to North America and then sentenced them to a lifetime of poverty, gambling and alcoholism to a life on reservations after stealing their land and then trying to steal their children because the so called ‘Christians’ couldn’t bother to respect the first people of North America, American women who married Chinese men in the 1800s had lost their American citizenship which appeared to be rarely talked about in American History classes in the human world, empires had risen and fallen due to jealousy of heirs and greed, and religions were often at war with each other throughout history. If more people were like Tobias and racism, ageism, and the other problems facing the human race were eliminated then the world would be better. Sure the human race has had good leaders such as Malcolm X, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Buddha, etc. but it seems there have been more evil bigoted people in power than good leaders.
“No it isn’t against our laws to befriend humans. We rarely do because they see us as monsters and would gladly turn on us in a heartbeat. A few of my kind have human friends but we mostly stick with our kind. When you’re hunted by humans and have to feed on their blood to survive you learn that you can’t easily trust them. It takes a lot of hard work on the human’s part to show they aren’t a threat to the vampire they befriend and to the vampire nation.”
“Okay everyone our Head of House, Professor McGonagall would like to say something to everyone so sit in a circle and don’t interrupt,” Mary Broom, the Gryffindor female prefect, said.
The stern looking witch Shingetsu had seen before outside Hogwarts and then in the Great Hall at his sorting came into the common room from the direction of the Fat Lady portrait and stood in the center of the room looking at the first years. “Good morning young lions. I am Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House and also Transfiguration Professor at Hogwarts. Our house was founded by Godric Gryffindor and our mascot is the lion. Godric was one of the four founders of Hogwarts. Rowena Ravenclaw is the founder of Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff is the founder of Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin is the founder of Slytherin. Gryffindor and Slytherin have been rivals ever since Salazar left Hogwarts shortly after the founding of the school and nobody knows why. While at Hogwarts I expect you all to be on your best behavior. I am not a professor to be crossed. The password is changed every Monday and will be on your nightstand so memorize them as the paper will burn after you see the password. If you forget your password then you will be locked out of the common room until another student from Gryffindor either comes out of our house or is going to enter the house. If you have any issues with anyone in your house or in your classes please come to see me or one of the prefects,” gesturing at Mary Broom and Jet Travis. “Now here are your schedules,” holding up a stack of papers and passing them around the group of first years. “I suggest you all get your things packed before you head down to the Great Hall for breakfast.”
1991-1992 School Year:
Sunday-Saturday: Breakfast 7:30-9AM
Monday: Double Defense Against the Dark Arts 9AM-11 AM, Herbology with the Hufflepuffs 11AM-12:30 PM, Double History of Magic 1:30-2:30 PM
Tuesday: Charms 9AM-11 AM, Free Period 11-12:30, History of Magic 1:30-2:00 PM, Study Period 2:00-3:00 PM, Transfiguration with Ravenclaw 3:00-4:30 PM
Wednesday: Defense Against the Dark Arts 9AM-11 AM, Astronomy 12-1AM, Herbology with Hufflepuff 11AM-12:30 PM
Thursday: Charms 9AM-11AM, Free Period 11AM-12:30 PM, History of Magic 1:30-2:30 PM, Transfiguration with Ravenclaw 3:00-4:30 PM
Friday: Herbology 9AM-11 AM, Dark Creatures 11:00 AM-12:30 PM, Double Potions with the Slytherins 1:30-3:00 PM
Lunch from 12:30-1:30 PM Sunday to Saturday, Dinner from 4:30-6:30 PM Sunday to Saturday
Flying lessons on the flying field with Madam Hooch on Thursday of the Second Week
Curfew is at 9PM. All students MUST be in their dorms by then to avoid losing house points and receiving detention.
Everyone went upstairs to their dorms to get their DADA, Herbology and History of Magic textbooks before coming back downstairs to the common room where the prefects were waiting. “Everyone ready to go?” Mary asked smiling at the first years who nodded. “We’ll take you the Great Hall for breakfast and then escort you to your first class. Then we’ll pick you up at the end of your first class and take you to your second.”
The first year Ravenclaws followed their two prefects down to the Great Hall for breakfast. Tobias sat next to Shingetsu and Nightmare went under the table to lie down at Shingetsu’s feet. Titus was sitting at the staff table with the other professors and the headmaster. Dumbledore stood up when everyone had gathered in the Great Hall. “Good morning students. Allow me to make an announcement that I didn’t get to make last night. We have a new class starting called ‘Dark Creatures’ and it is going to be taught by our resident vampire professor, Professor Fang. This class will be for the next seven years while the vampire prince and his guard are at Hogwarts. I hope you have a wonderful day back at Hogwarts!”
The students looked up at Professor Fang who appeared tired. “Titus isn’t a morning person,” Shingetsu said with amusement in his voice to Tobias. “We’ll have class with him on Friday according to our schedules we got.”
Titus why are you awake?
The headmaster thought I should teach some morning classes. I think it’s just a way to keep tabs on me and you master. I caught him trying to enter my mind when I came to the Great Hall. Fortunately wizards and witches can’t break through vampire occulumency shields.
Keep your mind blocked from everyone except me Titus. It would be most unpleasant if the humans found out where our nation is.
Yes my prince.
Shingetsu drank the goblet of rabbit blood that was served with his meal and hungrily ate the pancakes, beef sausage, scrambled eggs and toast with strawberry jam. Tobias looked at Shingetsu in amazement.
“I thought vampires couldn’t eat food?”
“That’s a myth invented by humans. We need human blood and food to survive. Other myths that aren’t true are crossing running water, burning in sunlight, garlic, holy water and crosses. We can die if we’re stabbed through the heart or decapitated.”
“You don’t burn in sunlight?”
“No. We can walk around in both the day and the night. The Moon Clan prefers the night as their water ability is strongest when the moon is out. Their water element increases during the full moon once a month. Everyone in the Shadow Phoenix Clan, which is my clan, is a fire elemental. We can bend and control fire to our will. The Twilight Clan can control air, the Leopard Clan can control earth and the Moon Clan can control water.”
Tobias fell silent after that thinking on what he had learned from Shingetsu. Shingetsu seemed to suddenly appear his age instead of the vampire prince he had met last night at the end of the feast on the sorting. “Do you have many friends in the vampire nation?”
“Titus and a few children around my age who aren’t scared to be friends with their prince but no not a lot. I hoped when I would come here that I could make friends but aside from you it seems everyone in our dorm doesn’t want to get to know me. Instead they judge me and my kind based on fear and prejudice. I’ve never had a human friend before. The friends I have are all from the vampire nation.”
“I’d like to be your friend if you’ll let me and it’s okay with your parents. I wouldn’t want to unintentionally upset the vampire king and queen by befriending their son.”
Shingetsu thought about that as he finished his breakfast. “I’ll give it a shot but if you betray me or try to kill me then I’ll have no choice but to kill you in retaliation to protect myself and my nation.”
“I understand. I promise I will do everything to show you that I won’t betray your trust.”
Shingetsu shook hands with Tobias and the two friends got up to make their way to Defense Against the Dark Arts. Titus watched Shingetsu and the human child and hoped for Shingetsu’s sake that this human didn’t betray Shingetsu and would be his first friend in the magical school of Hogwarts. His prince would do well to make friends his own age that were humans and he knew King Arashi and Queen Yuki wouldn’t mind their son having a human friend. That had been one thing they were worried about when Shingetsu had received the letter to Hogwarts; that Shingetsu wouldn’t be able to make friends because of what he was and they didn’t want their son to be lonely in his school where he would be spending seven years of his life. Titus sighed and got up to prepare for his first Defense Against the Dark Arts class.