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Finding My Way

By rowenapendragon

Fantasy / Romance

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in Vampire Knight. That honor belongs to Matsuri Hino, the author of the manga.

Chapter One

On Christmas Eve, ten years ago, my world completely shattered.

My mother and I were waiting at the bottom of the valley for my father, who was due to arrive back from a mission. Back then, I didn't understand then what my father did, but I learned that day. In the most painful way imaginable.

I was so excited for my father to return home that I drove my mother crazy by running all over the house. Hoping to burn some of my energy, she suggested we take a walk down the hill to wait for him there. We bundled up, because it was snowing, and trudged down the slope.

When we reached the bottom, my mother suggested that we build a snowman. I promptly started gathering snow to form the base.

My back was to her when it happened. I heard a muffled thud behind me and turned around to see red. Lots of red. All I remember from that moment is red. My mind must have protected me from the gruesome sight. I then heard a voice and then a figure emerging from the red. It taunted me.

"Can I suck your blood, little girl?" asked the vampire who drained the life away from my mother. He leisurely began to head my way, but, before he reached me, another figure suddenly appeared. He lashed out his arm into the vampire's neck and I saw more red burst from the area. The vampire who killed my mother fell to the ground and then vanished. I know now that he disintegrated into ash, but then I knew nothing of vampires and ranks of vampires.

"You are a disgrace to the vampire race," my savior remarked. I looked up into his face. I can't recall his features clearly. I was too focused on his hand, which reached up to his mouth, where his tongue touched the blood on his hand. I could see sharp, long fangs protruding from his mouth as he tasted the blood on his hand. I remember that feeling of sheer horror and terror when I realized that a vampire killed my mother and another vampire killed that one to save me.

Any further interaction was halted by the arrival of my father. He quickly checked the pulse of his wife and then ran to my side, scooping me up into his arms. Drawing on his battle-hardened instincts, he knew how to repress his feelings. He grieved later for my mother, I know, and grieves for her even now. But at the time, you would not know how affected he was.

I remember him saying something and hearing my savior reply in response, but all I can remember is burying my head in his chest, blocking out the pain and the color red. After a couple of moments, I became dimly aware of movement.

My father whispered in my ear, "Yuki, you're safe now. Daddy won't let anyone hurt you."

Despite all that had happened, I felt completely safe in that moment.

After that day, my father, the legendary vampire hunter Kaien Cross, formally resigned his position as a vampire hunter in the Hunter's Association. That Christmas Eve mission was meant to be his last one before going inactive to begin preparations for creating an academy. But I think that horrible incident really strengthened his resolve to end his career as a hunter. I didn't understand why he was so determined to create this academy, but I tried to be supportive of my father and do as much as I could to help.

Three years later, Cross Academy opened its doors to students. The academy is a boarding school and all the students live in the Sun Dorms, which consist of two separate dormitories for males and females connected in the front by large common area.

I, along with the other students, felt puzzled by the empty Moon Dormitory on the other side of the campus. The common explanation was that the Moon Dorms were there to accommodate new students as the academy grew in numbers.

The dormitories, the headmaster's residence, and the teachers' residences are all separated by a river from the main building, where all the classes are located. I, of course, lived with my father in the headmaster's residence. At eight years of age, I was too young to attend the academy. Instead, my father hired Momoyama to help raise me and tutor me until I would be old enough to attend.

Momoyama was an older woman who used to work at the Hunter's Association with my father. She became more of a grandmother to me than a tutor and my heart was broken when she died last year. But I wasn't alone. I had Zero.

Four years ago, on another wintery night, I waited by the window, staring at the path and looking for any signs that my father had returned. Even though he had stopped going on missions, he had been called out of our home for an emergency and told me to stay inside no matter what.

Had my mother not been murdered by a vampire, I might have disobeyed and gone outside to look for him. But I knew all too well the terrors lurking in the darkness. I hated being left alone beyond anything. Momoyama was off visiting her children and couldn't make it back because of the storm. I was utterly alone in my house.

It frightened me to be so close to the window, I would have rather been hiding under the covers in my bed or in my closet where I felt safe. But I was eleven years old and too old to cower. So, I kept my determined gaze out the window and into the flurried air.

And then, they appeared. Two shadowy forms making their way slowly up the path. One I recognized as my father and the other, smaller figure I did not recognize. I ran to the door and pulled it open.

My father approached. "Yuki, this is Zero Kiryu," indicating the boy, who I noticed to be about my age with silver hair and lavender eyes. Eyes, I noticed, that were filled with intense anger and pain. "His parents were killed by a bad vampire. He's going to be staying with us from now on." He started to turn away, "I need to take care of things with the authorities. Would you help him get cleaned up?" My father walked back down the path and into the dark.

Quelling the worry rising back up inside of me, I said, "Hello, Zero, the bathroom is upstairs." Zero remained silent. His lavender eyes remained completely blank. I reached for his hand and started to guide him upstairs.

My mind was racing as I escorted this silvery-haired boy upstairs. This boy lost everything to a vampire. I had lost so much, but he had lost everything. My heart ached for him and I resolved that I would take care of him. I looked back at Zero. His eyes had filled with tears, but he blinked hard, refusing to let them fall.

Reaching the bathroom, I let go of his hand and turned the tap, hot water beginning to fill the tub. Zero stood where I left him, unmoving. Not wanting to be rude or disturb him too much, I approached slowly and asked him if I could remove his coat. He did not respond, so I slowly reached my hand to remove the coat he had clutched around his shoulders. I opened his coat and let it fall to the floor. I gasped at the sight. He was covered in blood.

Chasing away my fears at the sight, I retrieved a towel and asked him if I could clean away the blood. No response, but I had already become accustomed to his silence.

I wet my towel and began wiping away the blood. When I reached his neck, I found no wound, to my relief. I feared that the vampire had bitten him, but it seemed that the blood was not his.

I looked up into his face, his eyes were mostly covered by his silver hair, but they still revealed nothing.

"Zero, I'm going to leave you some privacy for your bath. I'll be right outside the door if you need anything." I stared into his eyes, trying to see they would reveal anything. His eyes revealed nothing at all.

I walked to the door, but paused in the doorway. "Zero, remember that you are not alone. You are safe with my father and me. We will keep you safe."

Zero's back was to me, so I couldn't see his reaction. Maybe I imagined it, but I think I saw his head nod a fraction of an inch.

I shake my head, clearing away past memories, and look over at Zero walking beside me. He has grown even taller since that day and even more attractive. He's a good foot taller than my five feet, which he often likes to tease me about. With his silver hair, pale skin, lavender eyes, and striking features, all the girls at the academy find him extremely handsome. It's hard for me to think of Zero that way though, we've practically grown up as brother and sister. We have a very deep bond, but nothing romantic between us.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Last year, when we were fourteen and had just started at the academy, Zero kissed me. He had pulled away and said that he just wanted to see what it was like. We never discussed it after that, but I think both of us realized that our relationship is familial rather than romantic.

We're heading over to the headmaster's office in the main building. He wants us to meet him there, for some reason, rather than at home. It's hard for me to think of the Sun Dormitories as home, even though I've been living there for the past year.

"What are you thinking about, Yuki?" Zero asks. "You've been abnormally quiet. Not that I mind, but usually you never shut up and I can't hear myself think."

I shoot a glare at Zero, though he did have a point. Zero has always been extremely quiet and reserved. I'm almost positive that I'm his only friend because he's put up such high walls around himself. I know it's to avoid being hurt, but it does make it hard to get to know him. I essentially forced him to be my friend. He's extremely rough around the edges, but overall a good guy.

I drop my gaze and look ahead. "I guess I'm just thinking about how we got here," I reply, which was true, but I don't really feel like going into more detail.

I felt Zero's eyes on me, but I keep my gaze forward. "That's a potentially depressing line of thought," Zero comments. "Any particular reason?"

I shake my head. "Not really. I guess I just realized that I'll be sixteen in a few months, which means that my mother will have been dead over ten years. Ten years just seems like a really long time. I'll have lived over two-thirds of my life without her, but I still feel sad that she isn't here."

Zero seems to ponder this. Finally, he says, "I think I understand. Even though I lived with my family for a longer time than you did, my memories of them feel both really sharp and really distant. But I still love them."

Such a cheerful pair we are.

We stay silent for the rest of the way to the office, both lost in our own thoughts. Once we reach the door, Zero knocks and we hear a cheerful and familiar voice ring out from behind the door, "Come in!"

"Hello, my darling children! How are you this evening? I want both of you to come over tonight for a family dinner. Just like old times! I'm planning a special dish just for you!" My father is kind of an odd duck. He can be perfectly professional and serious when he needs to be, but most of the time he prefers to be the exact opposite.

Zero rolls his eyes. He doesn't like it when my father tries to get Zero to call him "Dad" or "Father" or when my father calls him his son. I know that Zero loves my father, but I suppose that the idea of replacing his own father with mine is too painful.

"What's this about, Headmaster?" I ask, trying to change the subject before Zero starts complaining.

"Yuki! I wish you would stop calling me 'Headmaster' and just call me 'Father!'" he whines. I had begun calling my father "Headmaster" when I started attending the Academy. Dad's a great leader and teacher, but he is so overbearing and smothering sometimes. I hoped that calling him Headmaster would help me fit in better with the other students and not-so-subtly distance him from me a little. It's sort of worked, except he keeps popping up around campus trying to hug me and generally embarrass me.

"I'll call you 'Dad' again once I graduate," I say with a smile. "So, anyway, why have you called us here? Or did you just tell us you wanted to have dinner? You could have done that when you asked us to come."

"No, no. I have someone for you two to meet. We just finalized an agreement for new students to come and live in the Moon Dorms." My father gestures towards the shadowy corner of his office. "Kaname? I'd like for you to meet Yuki and Zero."

From the corner, steps a tall, dark-haired boy, who looks to be about eighteen. He's completely gorgeous. I feel my heart skip a beat and notice a weird sensation in my stomach. This must be what people refer to when they say they get "butterflies" in their stomach.

But then, my father spoke again, "Yuki, Zero, this is Kaname Kuran. He's a vampire."

Author's Note: So this is definitely an alternate universe from the manga and anime. I'm tweaking various occurrences and making some things happen differently. I want to remain as true to the essences of the characters as possible, but be aware that I'm also changing some things. If you don't like some of my changes, feel free to let me know in a review and I will address them. I love feedback: good and bad! Let me know if you spot any typos or grammar issue and I'll fix them. I tend to notice other people's typos rather than my own.

Also, I've decided against attempting to use the Japanese honorifics. I don't feel confident enough in my abilities to be able to use them correctly. On the same lines, I'm spelling Yuki's name with just one "u" as you've probably noticed. I've seen it both ways and since this is my story, I'm doing just one ;)

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