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For a thousand years, Kaname had been encased in an ice coffin for everyone who came across the cellar under the old Cross Academy to see. But that was in ruins now, the old pillars and buildings crumbling away, giving way the centuries that it tried to endure. The academy had once become the Hunter Association Headquarters for some time, housing the furnace in which Kaname had thrown his heart into a thousand years ago.  

The fire in the furnace was now put out and Kaname's ever regenerating heart was retrieved from it. The ice had been melted a few days ago and his body lay peacefully on a stone coffin that he had once slept in for thousands of years before he gave his heart to the furnace.

His face looked as if he were sleeping now, and for all everyone knew, perhaps he was. Charlotte had certainly given into the hope that he was sleeping with pleasant dreams and not just tumbling down in a never-ending darkness that had seized him for a thousand years.

That's what she hoped for now that she stood in the crumbling doorjamb of what had once been a cellar of the ruins of Cross Academy. She leant against the frame with her arms crossed over her chest and an impassive expression on her face. She heard murmuring from the two other vampires behind her, though she didn't bother to listen in to what they were saying, she did turn to look at them.

She had seen their faces many times, she had even seen them when they were infants, and she could still remember their infant faces. A boy and a girl, though they were much older than a 'boy' and a 'girl'. Their faces were very young, but they themselves were rather quite old. A little over a thousand, they were, give or take a few years.

The girl, Ai, was the older of the two. She had been well into her sixties when the boy was born. And as she grew up, Charlotte saw that her predictions had been correct. Charlotte saw Ai's face before she was even born, but it was more real now and had been for quite some time. She saw Ai grow up before Ai actually grew up.

And Ren. Ren was a child that she hadn't quite foreseen until a few months before he was born. The pregnancy itself was news to her, but to be fair, Charlotte was preoccupied with other matters that needed her utmost attention and she had been away from the group for a few years because of it. But Ren had been a pleasant surprise and she helped welcome him into the world, something that she didn't have the chance to do with Ai.

Ren looked a lot like his father. He had his silver hair, impassive face and he didn't really talk much, a quality he and his father shared. His quiet tendencies worsened when his father died, but everyone was at a loss at the news of Zero Kiryu's death, Yuki more heartbroken than anyone. He had died in her arms, after all. 

Both Ren and Ai stood beside each other now, whispering to each other, not knowing that Charlotte was watching them. Ai was speaking a little louder than her brother, and a little more aggressively, too. She even smacked his arm and Ren looked overly annoyed, rolling his eyes and speaking in much more hushed tones than her.

They stopped suddenly and turned to Charlotte when they felt her eyes on them. She smiled warmly at them and they straightened out their posture at the sight of her smile. Whilst Charlotte was well versed in arguing, especially with her own brother, Ren and Ai had a tendency to do it at the most inappropriate times and she was the one who usually stopped their disagreement. The pair were now accustomed to Charlotte's silent commands, as the warm smile she gave them meant that if they didn't stop, she'd smack both of them.

"Aunt Charlotte," Ren began softly, "are you going to stay after Mum leaves?" His voice was tight and Charlotte tilted her head at the word 'leave' that he chose to use. 'Leave' was putting it a little lightly.

"If you need me to," was her simple answer. "Takuma is home with Emi, and he usually doesn't have any problems with her. He would understand if I am gone longer than I said I would be. So, if you need me here or want me here, I will stay."

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