HalfBlood

Kanya - A name, a mix, an incarnation.

She was raised in a realm of flame and scale, living with the serpentine drakes she rides and controls, taming them to her hand. Yet a few days before her sixteenth equivalency, a visitor appears in her room, lusting for her strange blood. Everything changes for Kanya, in ways she cannot fathom. Who is her real family? Why couldn't they keep her? Why did that vampire try to kill her...and is literally everything she was raised to believe a lie?

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1. Chapter One

"Kanya!? Kanya, get down from there! You know you're not allowed to take Saphira any higher than fifty feet!"

The call of voices down below were nothing more than whispers in the wind to me, as I sat astride the scaly, turquoise-blue back of my drake, gripping the leather reins tight. There's something about being up high in the air, with the wind chilling me through the blue drake-skin jeans I wore for protection, and the sheer power of drake wings beating at my sides, that I loved since I was first old enough to ride one.

Pulling at the reins, I guided the drake I rode, Saphira, to make a sweeping turn left, skimming over the capital city of the Drake Realm. Her wide, leathery wings flapped at the air, forcing her forward at my guidance, letting out a drake's roar over the city. She'd never cause any real trouble though, as she knew I'd never allow it. She knows I'm in control over her, and she knows not to disobey.

"Kanya! I told you to get down!" The voice from earlier yelled out, but this time from much closer. Looking across from Saphira's back, past her deep, ocean blue wings, to where the voice had come from, I let out a loud groan as I saw who had spoken. Great. Absolutely brilliant. Can't he get the hint sometimes?

"That's not fair, Toxotes! You know Saphira's lower-ranked than Ohen." I yelled out at the red-haired boy I sometimes regret calling my boyfriend. He sat astride his own midnight-black drake - whose wings sliced the air like knives through butter - grinning wickedly across at me. He rode effortlessly upon Ohen's scaly, black back, locking his knees just behind the wing joints, guiding him to fly closer and disturb my path.

"You weren't gonna get down any other way. I'm trying to stop you from getting in deep trouble, Kanya." Toxotes replied, pulling at the reins of Ohen, and guiding him to fly even closer to me and Saphira. "You'll thank me in the long run, blue eyes."

"Oh piss off!" I snapped, letting Saphira land on her own, and scowling across at my irritating boyfriend. Can't he just let me have a bit of time to myself, doing my own thing? Even just ten minutes? Furious, I flashed my short fangs across at him, as the turquoise water drake landed smoothly onto Scale Hill, the takeoff point I always preferred to use. I kinda liked the untidiness of the place, with the wild brambles, and the flame-blackened grass from several of the more rebellious fire drakes getting their opinions heard. Nature's scarred rebellion...there's just something appealing about it.

"You know I only do this because I love you, Kanya." Toxotes replied, guiding Ohen to land nearby, and clutching on tightly as the dark flame drake reared up onto its hind legs, exposing a berry-purple underbelly as it sent a jet of fire high into the sky. "I don't like seeing you getting in trouble."

Really? "I can take care of myself, Toxotes. I don't need you constantly looking over my shoulder, monitoring my every move." I snapped again, dismounting roughly from Saphira's scaly back, and gently stroking her long, slick neck. She always seemed to like being stroked there, as it sounded like she was purring when I did that. Plus she tries nuzzling her nose into my hand each time, looking up at me affectionately. I've never known one this sappy before, with such beautiful eyes. Icy blue, almost like a winter ocean.

"If you'd had ridden Saphira any higher, you'd have gotten in deep trouble, and might have gotten expelled. You know how lucky you are to be allowed here in the first place." Toxotes replied, dismounting from Ohen and reaching up to stroke the deep purple spines on his head, before taking a turkey leg out of the leather, brown shoulder bag he wore, and feeding it to Ohen.

"Yeah yeah, I know. The only half-vampire drake rider there is. A 'potential threat to the safety of her fellow students'. Don't remind me." I replied, sighing deeply as I stretched up to undo Saphira's riding halter.

"It's ridiculous though. I mean, it's not like I've ever even considered biting another student. Feeding some of them to Apophis, perhaps, but never biting them and draining them of blood." I added, taking off the black, leather halter, gathering up the reins, and clipping it to my belt loop.

"The staff don't care about that, babe. The fourth vampire civil war ended not too long ago, after it leaked into several other realms. People are still suspicious in case the vampires start causing trouble again. You have vampire genetics, so you're a liability in their minds."

I sighed, taking hold of the steel collar around Saphira's neck, and starting to lead her back towards the penning fields. Liability this, liability that, and liability the other. I would have understood if I had actually played a part in the civil war, but I didn't. I was born just after it finished, yet apparently the civil war was all my fault.

"Am I a liability in your mind?" I asked, turning back and looking over my shoulder at him. The sun was starting to set in a flurry of reds and oranges behind us, picking out the copper hints in my boyfriend's hair, and bringing with it a cool breeze at his back, playing with his black shirt and protective, leather armour.

"Kanya," He began, leading Ohen down until he was inches from me, looking down into my eyes. "I could never see you a liability." He added, placing his hand gently on my cheek, and softly kissing me.

Ok, that's not fair. He knows I love it when he does that. The steel collar left my fingers as I wound my arms around his waist, closing my eyes so I had to rely on everything else. All I could hear was his blood beating in his veins, loudest in that little sweet spot on the side of his neck, and all I could taste were his lips and tongue, as I parted mine to allow him access.

Sometimes, I wonder why I'd ever fallen in love with the guy. He's irritatingly protective, as watchful as a hawk, and uses some pretty low tricks to get me to stick to the rules...but other times, I don't care about all of that. At other times, I know exactly why I fell in love with him.

Eventually, he pulled away, still holding onto me gently, and still looking down into my eyes. "I love you, and never forget that." He whispered softly, kissing my cheek and teasing out a smile. "Do you love me?"

"Of course I do, Toxotes." I replied, smiling up at him, before I took my chance and kissed him back on the very fringes of his lips. "Come on, we'd better get back before sunset. Miss Maescia will go mad if we're late." I added, letting go of his waist and taking hold of Saphira's steel collar again, guiding her back down the hill.

"She goes mad no matter what. Old witch has it in for you." He replied, leading Ohen down into the penning field to a spare iron rod and chain, and fixing the chain onto the loop on Ohen's steel collar.

"Maybe next time she shouts at me for a ridiculous reason, I'll show her my vampiric half. Put my fangs in that skinny neck of hers." I laughed as I chained Saphira for the night. My fangs are unnaturally short for a vampire, only long enough to pass my lower lip with my mouth half-open. They retract very quickly though, and at full retraction, it looks like I only have sharper canines than usual.

"You'd be expelled in a nanosecond. Then where would you be?" Toxotes replied, slipping Ohen another turkey leg. "Babe, you need to start thinking about things in the long term. Getting expelled will leave you with nowhere to go. I hate to sound like a right killjoy, but you need to quit with the impulsive rebellion."

Oh for God's sake. He's not my father, so he can quit acting like he is. "Love...I think it's clear that those pricks back at Drakine want me expelled." I sighed, heading out of the penning field with him.

"They're looking for excuses to kick me out, love. In a few days, I'm gonna be too old to go back to Cliffside. That's why the game 'Expel the half-blood' has been upped. The teachers don't want me here at Drakine, my care workers don't want me there at Cliffside, my birth parents clearly didn't want me in the first place, and nobody in the realm wants me here as I'm a freaking cross-breed. Nobody wants me but you. You're the only reason why I stick around, instead of taking Saphira and flying off one day, never to return."

He didn't say a word until I was done, letting me finish my rant before he replied. "I'd come after you if you did that, babe, and you know it. I don't care what you are. You could be a cross between an angel and a demon, and I'd still love you."

"Angels don't exist, love." I replied, leaning into him a little as he draped his arm over my shoulder. "Angels are pure and good, and there isn't any good happening in this world."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, just look at it all for a moment. We're supposed to be fighting the Magi folk after some incident with them getting too close for comfort. That's one. The vampires have a kind of Cold War with the shadows, as the Magistrate has been denied the right to operate in the realm, and the vampire civil war spilled into the shadow realm. That's two. Don't even get me started on the kingdom of Hell and the Dread Father's missing son shacking up with a Biteling. That's three. We all know about the issues between werewolves and vampires, and how strong the hatred there is. Same with shifters and Magi. It's all just a bunch of bloodshed and petty squabbles that got outta hand, making it even worse."

The path was widening out into the main grounds of the academy by the time I'd finished my rant. The dorm block dominated the land now, made of a strange greenish-grey stone in a round-towered Medieval structure reminiscent of a castle, at least a hundred metres tall, with the walls peppered by casement windows that all represented one dorm.

"Glad to see you've been paying attention in History class."

"I've been paying attention because it's so wrong."

"It's how it is though, blue eyes. Some creatures, like the shadows and the vampires, will probably never truly get on. The vampires are far too arrogant and proud to allow the Magistrate to have an influence in their realm, and until the culprit of the pre-Great War massacres have been caught, the shadows will never feel trusted by the vampires."

"Would you trust something that can sneak up on you in the shadows and literally frighten you to death from your own nightmares?"

"That's just the Retrogrades, babe. The Vessalia types generally don't do that."

"My point still stands, Toxotes." I replied, beginning to climb the green stone steps to the front of the dorm. Two sets of gothic arched doors stood tall and proud as the entrances, in mahogany wood bound with strong strips of iron. This was where we first met, and where we last saw each other each night. "You have no idea how much I hate those things."

"So if you had to choose between a shadow being saving your life and dropping dead in a pile of ashes, you'd choose dropping dead?"

"What's the chance of that actually happening though?"

"Let's say it does happen. What would you pick?"

"I meant the chances of me needing a shadow being to save my life." I sighed, looking Toxotes, the boy I'd loved for so long now, dead in the eyes. "I can take care of myself, love. I'm nearly sixteen."

"I know you are, Kanya. You've grown up extremely quick...but it's slowing down now. You're almost completely grown up." He replied, tenderly placing his hands on my waist. "Just promise me you'll never stop watching your back." He added, before kissing me gently again.

I couldn't help but smile as he kissed me, closing my eyes and placing my hands on his shoulders. "I promise." I whispered once I'd broken the kiss. "Guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow then. First thing?" I added, a warm blush creeping up my cheeks as he smiled at me.

"Yeah, first thing in the morning. Mr Moloch is showing us how to deal with scale rot. Apparently the reason why Favnir's been so bad tempered lately is because he's got it. I recommend bringing a fireproof cloak." He replied, softly kissing my forehead as I giggled.

"Favnir's always been vicious, even for an overgrown lizard. I'll bear that in mind though, love." I replied, before pulling him into my arms and hugging him close. He seemed a little stunned by my strength, but soon relaxed and gave in, placing his hands on my back in a gentle way. He sighed softly, almost from peace, gently taking my hair down from its low ponytail and running his fingers through it.

"You're so friendly this evening." He whispered softly, allowing me to cuddle a little closer. Under the cool, tangy freshness of the outside air, and the earthy, slightly oily scent that was him, I could smell the salty metallic scent of his blood beating warmly in his veins, and hear the steady drumming in his chest. He seemed to know I could smell it, and smiled softly, gently running his fingers through my hair and down my back.

"It's because I love you." I added, slipping in a tender kiss on the side of his neck, and making him blush a light pink. "I love you so much."

"I love you too." He purred softly, squeezing me tightly in his arms, before letting me go. "I'll see you tomorrow, blue eyes." He added, giving me a final kiss before we came apart. "Don't let half of you bite!" He chuckled, as he pulled open the door to the boys' dormitories.

"I wouldn't if your blood wasn't as good." I called back, smiling and blowing him the most exaggerated kiss before shutting the door behind me, into the open hall of the girls' common room.

It was a wide, open space, with a fire pit burning purple flames in the middle of the room, and an array of soft, velvet armchairs, sofas, and low tables scattered around the fire pit. Five intricate tapestries hung over the stone walls, seperated by arched gothic windows, depicting the five most famous drakes of the Drake Realm, that now named the five houses in the academy. A few items littering the room showed the place was inhabited, with a few copies of FlyerNight magazine scattered about, and somebody's silvery fireproof cloak draped over an armchair. It was strangely quiet for after lessons, especially on a Friday evening. Normally the place would be full of chattering girls, starting off weekend homework or planning to go down to the local city of Flamepen.

I don't mind it being empty though, as I prefer it this way. Nobody to yell out 'Hey Dracula!' at me, nobody to hit me in the back to try making my fangs extend, and nobody to throw bulbs of garlic at me bought from the market in Flamepen. Even that bitch Bellatrix was nowhere to be found, which was even better. Next time she brings out that cross made of pencils, I'm breaking it in half.

Though it's not like the others to miss out on giving me hell. I guess I must be lucky. Turning and going up the stone spiral staircase, I headed up to my dorm, just in case someone showed up. My luck can't last forever, and it would be just like Bellatrix to wait until I was comfortable before pouring rat blood over me.

My footsteps echoed loudly on the stone steps, brushing the navy, wine, mustard, pine and plum coloured tapestries hanging on the wall on the way up. This floor of dorms was the highest, so I had a lot of climbing to do, but I liked it that way, up above it all. I could look down then and see it all, yet be out of danger's reach. I've always liked it, even since I was tiny, found wrapped in a pink bath towel.

Why had they done it? Why give me up? I know I'm a half-blood, but...is that reason enough to abandon me? Doubt it, so there must be some other reason why my parents gave me up. Though most likely it was just my mother, and my father had no clue.

That seems most likely. Maybe my mother never told him. Maybe she never properly knew him, and couldn't keep me because...she was young, that's it. A young human...maybe even in this realm, in this academy. That would make sense. She would be just like the others...though the others in the past. Reading early copies of FlyerNight and rolling up her skirt. Maybe she even had a boyfriend, and siblings. Yet...something must have happened to leave me as a spark of life in her.

Maybe she was down in Flamepen for the night, at a party. A lot of students had been from Flamepen in the past...maybe a house party, at a friend's birthday. Maybe...maybe someone even brought a friend of theirs from another realm?

No, that's unlikely. Maybe...a sibling. Yeah, that's it. A brother of someone there, who got bitten by a vampire and transformed. He sees her...maybe in the kitchen...yeah, she's getting a glass of apple cider, when he comes up behind her, saying he can think of a better drink than cider, pressing his fangs into her neck. My mother didn't struggle though, due to the fang coating. Maybe even let out a moan of pleasure from the bite.

He probably liked her for that. Promised her a few things...maybe even put a little of that coating in her veins, to dull her inhibitions. That's what helped pull her upstairs, onto the bed as he shut the door, kissing her.

He could have promised her everything...but all she got from him was pain, a ripping feeling as she let him love her, bite marks crossing her skin as he grips her tight, pushing her down, promising her everything between stabs of pain.

Then it's over between them...maybe he kisses her, and takes a little more blood, but she gets left there in the sheets as he's done with her. When she comes looking for him, she can't find him. She doesn't even know his name. Only that he was a vampire, and he left her something deep inside her, tingling with a new life.

Me.

The excuse I made for my parents seemed most accurate. Last year, two girls had dropped out because they got pregnant, so why would things be any different back then?

It helped me feel a bit better by the time I got back to my dorm, brushing the small navy tapestry by the door, with the black drake glaring out proudly amongst the silver stars in the navy sky. Dennenth the Nocturnal, the drake of my house. The house I got shoved in as no others would take me. Not brave enough for Cordenth, not artsy enough for Nesenth, not shrewd enough for Benarth, and not analytical enough for Malliath. So I got shoved with Dennenth. Secretly powerful and pure. Otherwise known as, the leftovers.

Meh, it doesn't matter. I like the colours used for the house, and I'm supposed to be nocturnal, like Dennenth was. It kinda fits in a way. Taking the iron key from its thread around my neck, I unlocked and pushed open the wooden door to my dorm.

It was small, but comfortable, with two windows that let in the natural light by day. Briefly, I paused to light the candles used as a bedside lamp, casting a soft glow throughout the room, and making the silver patches on my quilt shine in contrast to the navy ones. The bare wood floors shone from the candlelight, adorned by shadows from the plain chair, desk, and wardrobe in here with me, and polished enough to reflect the books stacked on my bookshelf. It was small, and could get cold in winter, but it was home, and I could be myself here.

Goosebumps raised on my arms though, beneath the white linen blouse I wore, seemingly coming from the casement window. Puzzled, I went over to it, checking the seal. I could have sworn I closed and locked this when I went out to lessons.

My confusion only grew when I brushed the window and it swung open, my hand slipping and landing in something black and oily on the window pane. It felt weird, and smelled odd...like rust, and salt.

Blood. Black blood. Oily blood that smelled musty and aged, like a cold and lonely grave. It slipped between my fingers as I took a look at my hand, slithering as if alive on my hand.

My suspicions that something was very wrong were already confirmed, and were only added to by the long, slow creak of my wardrobe door opening, and the deathly-pale figure slithering out.

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