It was around this time, in a small town in England, a baby was conceived by a young couple one cold winter night. Now, this was nothing special in itself - the loss of colour didn't mean the end of life. But there was something different about this child, the stars themselves sensed it that night.
Nine months later, on a grey day in July, in a white hospital bed, a slate grey baby was born. Screaming and mewling, he came into this colourless world of sepia. The mother held him gently in her arms, as she and her husband gazed adoringly at him, and his...his closed eyes gazed back at them.
For the first three months of his life, the baby, named Azure*, didn't open his eyes. At all. He was everything a baby should be, did everything a baby should be doing at three months, but with his eyes shut. The parents worried, the doctors puzzled but little Azure just gurgled.
On the eve of his fourth month anniversary, the family were in the lounge of their small house; Azure playing, using his hands as eyes, his parents talking and watching him. A perfect, if not odd, black and white family scene.
Until Azure suddenly stopped, looked up at his parents, and opened his eyes. A bright flash of something that no longer existed.
Azure's eyes were a bright, dazzling blue, just like his namesake.
His mother fainted, and his father just stared. Neither of them had ever seen anything like it. Nobody had, not since 'before'.
A baby born with blue eyes.
Just as the Aruspex had seen.
The parents did not recognize the shards of their child's eyes as the 'blue born babe' in the prophecy, but the local Magi** did. He told the couple that the child was not safe. There were men who would kill to get their hands on the boy. He was the one who would change the world. He must be hidden away. Nobody could know of his existence, of his abnormality. The outside world was too dangerous for a boy who's eyes stood out so much in the sea of grey.
So the couple kept the boy out of sight, and out of trouble for nearly 16 long years. But Azure grew curious and inquisitive. He was no longer satisfied with the four walls of their house. Why couldn't he go outside? What was wrong with him? He could find no mirrors in their house. Why? he wondered. His mother told him it was dangerous outside, for a boy like him.
"Like me? What do you mean? I've never met any other people, apart from you and Father, and Dante, the Magi. Why?"
These words rang in his mother's ears for days afterwards. As she and her husband lay together in bed, she fretted.
"He's getting too curious. We can't keep him here forever. What if he goes outside? He could get hurt! What do we do?"
"Hush now, dear, you'll wake him. He's almost a man now. We'll keep him safe."
*Azure is a light, purplish blue.
**A Magi is a mage, an enchanter or warlock.