After 400 years I finally met you
Love always fluctuates, today we can feel it for a special someone but life itself is in charge of making that feeling go stronger or making it disappear.
Many years ago, in the last decade of the 1800, back in London where Valentine and Hana met. There was another person with them, a tall black haired man with a skin almost as white as the snow. His name was Victor, a sorcerer from the old days and survivor of the first witch hunt.
He was living in London since 1675, he met Isaac Newton who he thought was a boy with a new kind of magic. One of his favorite hobbies was reading the newspaper, the “new revolutionary media” as he usually called it. At the time, in the 1700s first decade, it was an easy way for the general public to know about what was happening in the world, he was thrilled by it.
He used to flirt a lot with ladies the same way as he did with gentlemen, but only if he found them interesting or useful. He was skilled with magic but didn’t depend of it very often and that’s because, in his own words: “Power is stronger than magic, and you only achieve it with your mind and tongue”
Around the time where the clock tower’s construction was almost finished, also known as the Big Ben or Elizabeth tower in more modern times, he met a witch. A woman that emanated a magic aura so powerful that he could almost taste it, but the most interesting feature for him was the color of her skin and the shape of her hair. From the shadows, he followed her for a week without being noticed and examined all her movements.
He felt amused by how other people treated her and how she didn’t do a thing about it, even if she could kill them with a snap of her fingers. His obsession with her just grew and basically reduced her to an object when he whispered to himself: “She must be mine”
Some people say that the first impression is the most important one. And that was a rule for him, one easy to follow. One day, he wore his most elegant and clean clothes, he even bathed that day and not only washed his face and hands. For the time, the idea of personal hygiene was still a new concept and most only the upper-class applied it.
“Young lady” He called for her down the street, the sun wasn’t yet directly over their heads.
For her it was extremely weird for a man talking directly to her in this new city, she hadn’t hurt anyone with her magic since there hasn’t been any violent contact yet but was ready to do it if this man that came out of the blue tried something.
“I haven’t seen such a fair lady around this place before” He said “Could you give me the honor of letting me know your name?”
“Y-yes, my name is Flower, sir. Who might you be?” During this period of time this was the name of the woman you know as Hana.
The man offered her to go and have lunch, she was bewildered by the way he dressed. To her eyes he was like a knight in shining armor, his smile looked pure but yet almost like a smirk. Without anything to lose, she accepted and was taken to a huge house where she learned the concept of a banquet, never before in her life had she seen so much food in one place. But as it was her first time, she did not question how weird it was that no one else was at the table with them, the few people that brought the dishes just stood there near the walls.
It was a glorious moment, filled with a new experience. His way of talking was so interesting, the use of his words, the tone, it was all very captivating.
“Tell me girl, are you good at dancing?” He stopped talking about the countries where some dishes originate from, the purity of the silver in the fork or the year of the wine and asked her directly.
“I.. I’m not sure” Again it took her by surprise.
“So, do you want to learn?”
She couldn’t explain it, maybe it was his deep blue eyes to blame or even his voice, but somehow she couldn’t refuse, so she just nodded.
“You see, I want to go to a Masquerade that will be hosted this weekend” He continued “This kind of event is a ball”
“Yes, it means it is a, How do you say?, A kind of dance, this one in particular has a dress code. One that includes masks”
“Oh but I don't have any, or better dresses. I’m grateful for the food but I don’t know if I should even be here”
“Oh, you are more than welcome. And believe me when I say that you deserve going to that ball” He snaps his fingers and the candles located on the table light up all at the same time, she gets startled “I assume, you know what I did, yes? For them, it is just a party trick. But I am eager to know your point of view”
“That’s… magic” She gasped, It had been a while since the last time she met another magic user.
“Little girl, you have a lot of potential, I can feel it. Would you like to stay with me for a while? Like a pupil, it is not easy to find people compatible with magic, and I want to show you a lot of new things”
Flower felt lonely, it had been around a century since she parted ways with the witches that taught her European magic. The last few decades she searched for her birthplace starting in Sierra Leone and going around the African continent but at the end she wasn’t able to find it and decided to start a new life in London, a place one of the witches never stopped talking about. Meeting another magic user by chance felt like mere luck, she accepted by nodding.
The world this man introduced to her was one filled with glamour, he bought her the fanciest dresses, he taught her the proper etiquette at the table, he had a very elegant way of showing the steps for a dance. In relation to the magic, it felt like if he knew her strong areas, she had tried potions before but mostly for healing and becoming young again but never for manipulating people’s feelings or altering their bodies in grotesque ways, he always told her that such potions weren’t meant to be used as weapons but she should know them just in case. After each potion practice he took with him the flasks with the liquid that came out right, he always said that was to dispose of them but it was kind of odd that afterwards he always bought new flasks instead of reusing the same ones.
He was always by her side, whenever she felt alone or scared. For example, in the first masquerade they went to, she was really afraid of all the people staring at her, she felt them glaring at her even if everyone was wearing a mask. But at her side there he was, always grabbing her by the waist, she wasn’t very fond of it but didn’t say anything since it was the only familiar face in a place like that.
The days became weeks, the weeks then months, the months later turned into years, and finally the years into decades. They became a couple, or so he always said they were, somehow it always felt like him being a tutor. He always told her what to do, what to say, the way to move, to express herself. He used to praise her work with potions, but from one point the only words became “Good work” when they turned out right, but in the case that most of the potions resulted to be useless he began insulting her. His words filled with anger attacked places where she felt vulnerable, like her intelligence, her looks, even sometimes her skin color, one of the usual phrases he used in those cases was “I gave you everything, you would be on the streets right now if it hadn’t been for me”. These kind of words made her always feel guilty, like if she owed him her life since the moment she was born. But the most weird behavior was when he was in a better mood, usually later on the same day of a discussion, he used to bring with him any sort of sweet food and tell her that she was pretty, as if it was a totally different person. Sadly, this last part was what she usually remembered from days like these.
It didn’t end there, sometimes he asked her favors like going to the market or cleaning a room, but without noticing those favors progressively became duties. She was like any of the other people that lived in the house, the ones in charge of making Victor’s life easier while he read the newspaper. Later she learned that most of them were his admirers, others had the promise of learning magic and some of them were happy with that kind of life.
Even with that kind of attitude, he kept the promise of teaching her other different kinds of magic. Potions were always a priority, but he taught her what the witches never did, curses. A way to jinx other living things for the rest of their lives, and not only in self defense. She turned out to be really skilled and sometimes he dragged her along to practice that magic with what he always told her were “Bad humans that deserved it”. She turned some into cats, frogs or rats, he was amused that they neer died immediately after the transformation, and encouraged her to be more creative and make some blind, deaf or take away their voices.
These activities had to suddenly pause by the end of the year 1888 where she was assigned again to house work.
“It’s dangerous outside, girl” He said one day “There are many women being murdered, by some kind of ripper. They have been only prostitutes yet, but you better stay here were is safe”
She wasn’t allowed to leave the house for around two years. It wasn’t until January of 1891 when he decided it was safe for her to go outside again, but mostly it was because he needed more people to do errands for him.
One night in February, Flower was asked to bring some cheese home. Victor went with her that time, on their way back he was walking some meters ahead and she carried a basket with the food inside. Suddenly she tripped with a rock that she wasn’t able to see and almost fell to the ground, the movement made her drop some cheese and Victor noticed.
“Are you stupid?, is my breakfast what you are carrying!” He yelled, it had become more common those days that he expressed that way “Can’t you even carry just food? Must I do everything around here?” He took the basket from her while she was still processing his words “I’ll see you at home” He told her in a more calm voice and left.
She didn’t feel like what happened was worth being yelled and decided to sit over a rock for a moment.
“It’s becoming harder to be by his side” She whispered to herself.
“Then why don’t you leave him?” A sweet voice echoed in the dark.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to, but I overheard you. Why do you let him treat you that way?” The voice was still hiding in the shadows.
“It’s because he is wiser and stronger and… I don’t know”
“Need some help with that? He was being very rude” From the shadows comes out a woman wearing a dress stained with blood, her silhouette is illuminated by the light of the full moon.
“What? Are you ok? What happened to you?” Flower was startled by the sight.
“This?” She looks at her dress “This is nothing, I just ate. You see, I’m a Vampire”
“I see, so you vampires are real”
“You don’t seem impressed or scared”
“As you could see moments ago, I’ve seen worse. I’m Flower, what’s your name?”
“Heh, I’m Valentine. Nice to make your acquaintance”