Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Knight or any of its characters or plot. I only own my OCs and the plot that differs from canon.

To Free moon: I'm glad that you liked my descriptions and that they evoked such vivid images in your head, which is one of my goals when writing :)

To Iris D. Peverell: I'm happy to hear that! I know that there are quite a few stories with reincarnated OCs out there already, but I really do love them and couldn't help myself to write one, too.

To moonlightstriking: Aww, thank you! There'll probably be more fluff in the coming chapters~.

To Dei: Thank you for the praise and for taking an interest in my story!

A/N: A big thank you to everyone who has left a review! Also, thanks to everyone who has followed and favourited Where The Flowers Bloom, as well as everyone else who has read the first chapter!

I hope you'll enjoy this one, too, and like where I'm going with this :D

Rewritten on 09.06.2021

Chapter Two – The Ichijō Family

Once more Koharu glanced at the person that was seated next to her on the backseat of the limousine they'd gotten into, marvelling at the fact that this was truly Kuran Kaname.

Even more unbelievable than that was the fact that he'd gone so far as to offer her to stay with him instead of disposing of her right away. That was a possibility she'd been fretting about ever since she started to remember her past life and... Vampire Knight.

Kaname seemed to be about two years older than her physically, but she knew that he was the oldest person she'd ever met. Or would ever meet. The mere thought was daunting. She couldn't begin to imagine what it was like to live that long and always tried her best not to mull over the fact that her body was now technically immortal too.

Even though she had clung to the hope she had from a story and a life that was long gone that she might be freed when the Ancestor came to release Shizuka, she'd never been certain of it or Kaname's reaction to her. Nor did she know what she should do if she actually got out of the cage she'd called her home and had been confined to for all her life as Koharu.

Run away from the Hiō compound, the Vampire Council, the rest of vampirekind, and the Hunter Association? Try to live somewhere among humans until her thirst for blood awoke or they got suspicious that she didn't age like them, or on the streets if she couldn't manage that? Try to change the plot herself somehow despite the fact that she neither could nor wanted to fight? Or should she stay in hiding until Ridō was dead?

Everything seemed like a stretch to her; she just wasn't the confrontational or overly courageous type of person, even if she could stand up for herself and others if she really wanted or needed to. She preferred peace and quiet and a comfortable and safe living space. That didn't mean that Koharu liked being confined to a cage, though.

While the former human woman had long since accepted that she'd been reborn in the world of Vampire Knight as the unfortunate daughter of Hiō Shizuka and Kuran Ridō of all people, as a Pureblood vampire, that didn't mean that she liked any of it. She had despaired over her new life situation at first when she remembered her past life and the story she was now part of, but was able to somewhat make her peace with it in the past few years. Not that she had much of a choice anyway.

Often she'd wondered why she'd gotten this second chance at life, that was in a lot of ways even more miserable than how her former life had ended. When she'd passed that stage of wallowing in self-pity, she'd begun to try and enjoy her restricted new life as best as possible even though she remembered what freedom and life as a human was like now. She didn't know how long she would live after all and despite everything, she very much liked being alive.

Even a Pureblood could die, though it was not through conventional methods, and considering who her parents were, it wasn't that unlikely that she would get caught up in their schemes and end up dead as a result... if Kaname didn't do the deed first.

She'd been aware that Shizuka had abandoned her ever since her birth and had never personally seen the woman since then either. As such, it had come as a surprise to her that she reacted so strongly to Shizuka abandoning her again without hesitation. That it had hurt and affected her to the point that she'd been a crying, emotional mess and bemoaned her own existence in front of Kaname of all people.

Koharu rarely lost her composure like that and it wasn't how she wanted to meet the Kuran ancestor, but what was done was done.

Did she form an attachment to the other Hiō because her presence, the knowledge that Koharu wasn't completely alone in that gilded cage, had comforted her? Was she merely affected because her fellow in misery had disappeared?

She didn't know the answer.

Now she was nervous and anxious but also slightly excited and hopeful about what the close future would bring. It had been a spur of the moment decision to go with Kaname and, as she was calm again, she wondered if it had been a good idea at all. At least she wasn't alone in that cage now.

She'd told Kaname that what she wanted most in life was a family and that hadn't been a lie. But to be more specific, she longed for the family she had lost even though she could never have it back.

Still, she couldn't help but cling to their memory and had taken the picture she'd drawn of them with her, as well as the shinobue, the traditional Japanese transverse flute she'd learned to play. She missed her teacher and the letters she had secretly exchanged with his daughter through him.

Both of her possessions were tucked into the silver obi of her kimono and were the only things Koharu had taken with her. The only possessions of value to her.

"Is there something you'd like to ask me?" Kaname's voice interrupted her train of thoughts.

It was then that she noticed that she'd been outright staring at him for the past... ten minutes? He had to think that she was ogling him, even though she had been in thoughts for most of the time. She couldn't fault anyone who was truly ogling him, though.

In person and even as a teen Kaname was breathtaking. He had luscious, chocolate brown hair, mesmerizing garnet red eyes, and elegant facial features. Some of which resembled her own, astonishingly enough.

'Must be the incest,' Koharu thought dryly to herself.

She'd been too distraught at first and too caught up in her own emotions, but now that she had the time to watch her surroundings and the person who had introduced himself as her cousin, she couldn't help but notice it.

Koharu had been surrounded by Level C and Level D vampires for all her life in the Vampire Knight world – to her artistic eye they were all aesthetically pleasing – but they were no comparison to Ridō or the over ten thousand year old vampire in teen form sitting right next to her.

Even if he was kind of intimidating because of his powerful presence and his old eyes that reflected the wisdom of millennia, Kaname was a real heartthrob. His natural scent was pleasant as well – it was a spicy cinnamon smell that reminded her of orchids. It was almost absurd how attractive he was. The other Pureblood vampires, herself as well, were included in that sentiment.

'No wonder that the Day Class girls were all gaga about him and the rest of the Night Class students in the series,' she thought.

In Koharu's opinion vampires were like poisonous flowers; enchanting in every aspect to lure you, but get too close and you were in for a rude awakening.

"...Resemblance. I can see a resemblance," she said, and furrowed her brows, wondering how she was supposed to make small talk again as silence descended on them once more.

She didn't have a lot of practise in her prison and could count the people she'd interacted with since being reborn on one hand.

Kaname regarded her with the same calm, unreadable expression since meeting her a few hours ago.

"You resemble your aunt – my mother Juri," he informed her.

It was probably meant as a compliment, but for Koharu it was more distressing than encouraging to hear that since it reminded her of the rather unpleasant encounter with her father.

"I'll return to devour you completely once you've grown up, my dear," the sinister promise of the madman echoed inside her head.

"Oh..." She clutched the fabric of her silver obi and avoided Kaname's observant gaze, turning back to the window to watch the outside world that she'd longed to see with her own eyes.

The rest of the five hour long car ride was spent in silence after Kaname told her where exactly they were going.

The Ichijō estate was huge, somewhat remote, surrounded by forest and it looked more like a castle than an English mansion. Koharu had gotten a glimpse of the Hiō estate when she left it for the first time and wondered why vampires had a thing for gigantic houses. She appreciated the design and architecture but it had to be a pain to keep them clean.

'Kudos to the housekeepers,' she thought, knowing what it was like to clean a house from her past life though it had been nowhere near that size.

During the car ride she'd been able to get a few glimpses of smaller cities from afar as they passed them. She'd grinned like a child on Christmas Eve whenever she saw something that wasn't road, uncaring what Kaname would think of that because he had already seen her at her worst. To be fair, this was the first time that she had left her quarters, so everything she saw excited her.

They also drove by a few cars and even some carriages – according to the books she'd read, the post-apocalyptic world of Vampire Knight didn't use fuel anymore but a more environmentally friendly alternative. The technology in this world had deteriorated in some areas but improved in others; as far as she knew, the world had drastically changed since the climate change and the following emergence of the first vampires more than ten thousand years ago.

Koharu hoped that she would be able to interact more with this intriguing new world from now on.

The sun had risen two hours before they arrived at the estate, so the light of day irritated her eyes. Koharu's quarters had never allowed for sunlight to enter her rooms because all the windows had deliberately been north-facing.

As a result, she was excited to feel the sunlight on her skin again when the driver finally pulled into the driveway and opened the door for Kaname and her. It had been too long.

The harsh morning sun hurt her vampire eyes that were used to darkness. Her skin also tingled a bit as the warm rays touched it for the first time in this life.

'Ah, yes. Sunburn, here I come again.'

She'd been prone to sunburns in her past life and guessed that this tendency wouldn't be different this time. Her skin was even lighter now as a vampire who'd never been exposed to sunlight before.

Yet, she couldn't help but gaze up at the bright blue autumn sky in joy. For the first time in countless years she was outside and free.

"Koharu, we have to go inside," Kaname said next to her after he had let her stare at the sky for a moment, letting her momentary dream bubble burst as she remembered where she was.

"..." She refrained from shooting him a disgruntled look, but it seemed as if he had picked up on her mood anyway.

Several servants in suits and maid uniforms – she was astounded that people actually wore them because her caretakers had all worn kimonos – were looking expectantly at them, though Koharu was regarded with more guarded but still polite fronts. Because she was the unknown Pureblood.

She had been free for a total of... twenty seconds? In any case, it was better than nothing.

She turned to Kaname in silent agreement and felt the sharp stones underneath her bare feet as she walked. The other Pureblood had noted her lack of shoes when they'd left the Hiō estate, but Koharu didn't possess any to wear.

What use would shoes have to her if she was never supposed to leave her cage?

Koharu was suddenly lifted into a pair of slender but strong arms and let out a noise of surprise.

"You could hurt your feet," Kaname explained as she looked quizzically up at him while carrying her towards the front doors.

She thanked him quietly for his consideration, but this position made her feel vulnerable, embarrassed and uncomfortable because everyone was looking at them and she was at Kaname's mercy. Just because he had released her and she knew him as a character from a formerly fictional series, it didn't mean that she trusted him.

Why was Kaname being kind to her when he seemed to know whose daughter she was? And why had he offered to take her with him? Just to gain another pawn in his game? Or had her appearance, her apparent resemblance to Juri, made him sentimental?

Whatever the answer was, Koharu was glad that she was out of the cage. She would have been a sitting duck waiting for her demise if she had stayed in it.

Going with Kaname was a dangerous decision, but probably better than her other options. At his side she would have at least an idea of what was about to come.

The servants bowed and greeted them with 'Kaname-sama' and 'honourable guest', because they both didn't introduce Koharu just yet until they were inside the manor. Kaname set her carefully down on the thick, violet carpet.

The inside of the manor was as luxurious as the outside suggested – golden chandeliers hung from the ceiling, vintage sofas were situated at one corner of the entrance hall and the floor consisted of polished marble. The decoration vases set on small tables and the paintings hanging on the walls were as expensive and tasteful as the rest of what Koharu could see.

Luxury wasn't new to her in this life and she had become used to it, though back at the Hiō compound everything was traditionally Japanese and not western-styled like in this manor. It made her feel slightly nostalgic, and she had the urge to draw the building. She loved architecture.

The head maid and butler, as well as the chief of security came forward and welcomed Kaname back.

"This is my cousin, Koharu. Please inform Ichiō that I would like to have a talk with him," Kaname introduced her, and Koharu finally hid her emotions and expressions behind the polite, neutral mask she usually wore around most of her own caretakers back at the Hiō residence.

For some reason she still hadn't put it on around Kaname – was there even a point to it if he had already seen her during her breakdown? Plus, she was pretty sure that he could easily see through it anyway.

She didn't particularly like to hide her true self and emotions but it had been pounded into her head by her servants as soon as she'd been able to understand the language. As a Pureblood she wasn't supposed to show her emotions or weaknesses.

It was disturbing that they'd taught this to someone who was a child in their eyes but it came in handy in uncertain situations like this, where she would have otherwise looked like the nervous mess she was internally.

"Of course, Kaname-sama," the butler answered before he turned to Koharu. "It is a pleasure to welcome you here in the Ichijō Residence, Kuran Koharu-sama. I'm Ishikawa Shunpachi, the head butler. Fujimoto-san will guide you to our guest quarters right away and provide you with anything you might need."

"She will stay with me for the time being, Ishikawa-san," Kaname corrected the butler before Koharu could form an answer.

"As you wish, Kaname-sama."

The head maid, Fujimoto-san, led them to a drawing room. Then, tea with sweets was served for them as they got comfortable on the plush sofas.

At almost 9 a.m. it was hours past the usual time Koharu went to bed, which was shortly after sunrise. Since she was nocturnal now, it was almost like midnight for a vampire and she was getting a little tired. Her body would allow for her to stay awake for as long as she pleased without strain, but it was strange and exhausting on her mind if she did so. She also enjoyed sleeping.

It didn't help that Kaname didn't initiate a conversation and that she had no idea how to start one either.

Ah, but she did have a question. She sipped once more on the chamomile tea and set the cup silently down on the plate.

She gave her ancestor, who was content with staring out of the window and into the woods, a tentative look and broke the silence. "Why did you let the servant assume that I am a Kuran?"

"Because the Hiō name carries a certain stigma and you are half-Kuran," he replied. "Are you aware of your family history?"

Koharu knew that some Hiō – her maternal grandfather and his mother – had gone on mad rampages in the past and had been feared for their highly destructive powers even amongst other Purebloods.

She suspected that the 'insanity', as they called it, might have been caused or encouraged by either the pampered upbringing, the sadistic tendencies some of her ancestors had, that had carried over to the children or worsened because of the incest, or because they had lived for so long that they didn't give a damn about anything anymore and just did whatever they wanted to get rid of their boredom.

Considering that she had a mother with such a family history and a father who wasn't the best example of sanity either, Koharu hoped that she wouldn't end up like them simply due to her genes. For now she still felt like herself, even now as a vampire, and had thankfully no urge to maim, kill, or torture someone yet.

She nodded in confirmation. Before she could say anything, the door was thrown open and a teen around Kaname's age or about a year younger appearance-wise stormed in.

"Kaname, you're back!" the tall boy with ash blond hair and forest green eyes greeted him warmly. "Where..." he grew silent as he spotted Koharu, his eyes growing a little wider.

Koharu knew that he could tell from her scent and presence that she was a Pureblood vampire, just like she could tell from his that he was an Aristocrat, the second Level B vampire she'd met so far.

"Ah... it looks like you've really brought a guest along." The blond turned to the female Pureblood and bowed to her with a polite yet friendly smile on his lips. "Good evening! I'm Ichijō Takuma. May I ask your name, milady?"

"I'm... Kuran Koharu," she introduced herself as Kuran, like Kaname had indirectly suggested.

It felt strange. Although she was half-Kuran, she was used to the Hiō name.

Koharu contemplated for a moment how she was supposed to address Kaname. Calling him by his last name was out of the question as his relative, but what should she add to his first name? -San? -Kun?


'Buttering Kaname up won't hurt,' she mused. 'It's the right way to address him anyway... but oh boy, it's going to feel strange.'

"...Kaname-onii-sama's cousin," she settled on, giving the other Pureblood an unsure glance, but he continued to calmly sip his tea after a glimpse in her direction.

'Acceptable then,' Koharu gave herself a mental pat on the back.

Surprise showed on Takuma's face and he glanced back and forth between the two Kuran. "I didn't know that you had a cousin, Kaname," he spoke to his friend in a playful, half-accusing tone, as if they were equals, seemingly uncaring of the vampire hierarchy and that he should address a Pureblood with more respect.

Koharu had missed these kinds of casual interactions. Being pampered like a princess got old fast.

"Me neither. Until today," Kaname answered dryly.

"Heh...? So there are times when even you don't know everything?" Takuma said, receiving a slightly cross look from Kaname.

Koharu had to contain an amused snort. However, a smile lit up her face.

Then, the Level B's attention was back on Koharu. "Well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Koharu-sama." He beamed once more at her, only this time it was more sincere.

She was caught off-guard by his attitude and blinding smile.

Takuma was as amiable, handsome and charming as a real person as he had been in the series. Very un-vampire-like. Koharu approved.

"Likewise, Ichijō-kun," she replied quietly, feeling herself blush – she blamed her teenage hormones.

Takuma joined them and asked Koharu more about herself, whether she liked the tea and sweets, what her favourite kind was, if her journey had been pleasant, how Kaname encountered her, and if she had known that she had a cousin.

The Ichijō heir remained friendly and kind as they chatted, and Koharu could tell that it wasn't just a polite front but how he really was, which pleased her and put her mind at ease. Even though they were still strangers, he made her feel slightly more comfortable for the first time since leaving the Hiō compound. It also helped that she just had to answer his questions to keep the conversation going and didn't have to come up with them herself.

Yes, she had known about her relatives but hadn't been able to contact them. When she mentioned that she met Kaname at the Hiō estate, Takuma was visibly distressed.

"What did you do there, Kaname?"

"I released Hiō Shizuka so she could take revenge on those that stole something precious from her." A shadowed, haunted look, that Koharu hadn't expected, crossed over Kaname's face.

Maybe he felt remorse for unleashing Shizuka on the Kiryū family? That didn't erase the fact that he would now be partially responsible for the death of Zero's parents, his vampirism and the future conflict with his brother if nothing changed. Still, Koharu was somewhat relieved to see that Kaname had a conscience.

Takuma jumped up from his seat, startling Koharu. "Kaname! How can you make such a cruel gamble?" To a point he was apparently in the know about Kaname's plans.

Koharu was astounded that Takuma felt this sympathetic towards a Vampire Hunter family, though he also had to have reacted so strongly out of worry for his friend's conscience and mental health. If Kaname had any semblance of a conscience, he would suffer because of his own actions. The young Aristocrat rose even further in her esteem for his concern and because he wasn't afraid to reprimand Kaname.

The other Kuran glanced at Koharu, the blond following the motion, remembering that they weren't alone. Not that it mattered, for the reborn woman already knew about Kaname's plans anyway, but they didn't know that. She had owned the whole manga series of Vampire Knight and so far everything, apart from herself and some minor changes, had played out like in canon.

After Shizuka's lover had been killed when he left the Hiō estate, Koharu wrote a message to her – the first one ever – and sent it to Shizuka via a servant that was slightly more trustworthy than the others. It had been the only thing that she could do in regards to the plot with Zero in her situation and to... apologize.

She'd asked Shizuka to consider who the puppet master behind her lover's death was, the one who was truly at fault for Yusuke-san's death, and not to take revenge on people who hadn't known that he was a Level D and simply did their job, believing they were protecting humans from a dangerous Level E.

Koharu didn't know Shizuka's answer because she had never received a reply from her. Maybe the servant hadn't given her Koharu's letter after all.

In any case, it was out of her hands now what Shizuka would do. That didn't mean that Koharu would sit around and do nothing.

She lowered her eyes to her cup while she was thinking about the incident with Yusuke-san, feeling Kaname's appraising look on her. She figured that it was probably for the best to reveal what she was thinking about him and his actions. He was clearly waiting for some kind of response from her.

"I'm aware that you released my mother as well. And that she wants to take revenge on the Hunters who killed Yusuke-san."

Takuma sucked in a sharp breath at the revelation of Koharu's parentage, though he must have already suspected it because of her appearance and scent. Hiō were known for their silvery-white hair, their natural scent that resembled that of cherry blossoms – a mixture of lilac, rose, vanilla and soft almond – and for favouring traditional clothing. She shared these traits with Shizuka.

"You speak as if you knew her lover," Kaname observed.

An image of a man with brown hair and a friendly smile but with eyes full of self-hatred flashed through her mind.

"Would you like to play a game of shōgi with me, little Hiō princess? It must be lonely to be alone in your quarters all the time."

Despite keeping a hold on her still developing destructive powers, her tea cup cracked as Koharu's control over her telekinesis slipped due to her emotional distress. Her reaction didn't escape the other two vampires.

"...I did. Yusuke-san was a kind man," she said vaguely, sadness and guilt clouding her eyes.

Although Yusuke-san despised what he'd been turned into and partially hated Shizuka for it, he'd also loved her. The man even went so far as to visit Koharu a few times to talk to her or play a game with her.

His kindness ultimately became the cause of his death. Unlike Shizuka or herself, he'd not been trapped in the compound and was allowed to exit the cage as long as he fulfilled his duties as Shizuka's servant.

Fortunately, Koharu didn't have to elaborate because the butler returned with the message that Ichiō was awaiting them.

Ichijō Asatō was as intimidating as Koharu had expected – his presence was second only to that of a Pureblood vampire – and she did not like the hand kiss she received from him at all. However, she made sure to let none of that show on her face.

She was pretty sure that she could defend herself against an Aristocrat if she needed to but hoped that it wouldn't come to that. She despised violence.

Kaname and Takuma were both in the room as well, which served as a small relief for her. After the introductions were over, they came to the juicy parts. Ichiō, the leader of the Vampire Council, had apparently known that Koharu existed but had never informed Kaname or his parents of her.

This was news to her though she'd suspected as much earlier when Kaname said that he didn't know he had a cousin. Koharu had assumed that Juri, Haruka, and Kaname didn't want anything to do with her because she was Ridō's daughter, and had never visited her for this reason. She hadn't known that her existence had been kept a secret from them.

For some reason, it angered her to learn about this now. Her life and the lives of her relatives could have turned out for the better if they'd been in contact with each other.

"It has become custom to keep members of the esteemed Hiō family away from society for their own and everyone else's safety. Their sad history mustn't repeat itself," Asatō defended his stance.

"You think you will be able to achieve this by keeping them caged like wild beasts from birth?" Kaname asked pointedly.

"Until this day it has been a sufficient method, Kaname-sama," Asatō retorted, his steely blue eyes wandering once more to Koharu, who sat silently next to Kaname on the sofa opposite to Takuma.

She was content with letting the two men talk for the moment to get a feel for them and the situation.

"What about Koharu then, who is also half-Kuran? Why was she kept in a cage and a secret from her other relatives?"

"I don't wish to imply anything, Kaname-sama, Koharu-sama, and pardon me for saying this, but as the late Haruka-sama and Juri-sama had to experience firsthand, Ridō-sama is sadly not a very stable individual either. With this in mind, the Council of Elders deemed it best to keep his daughter, Koharu-sama, safe like her mother." The elder kept a straight face while saying this, just like Koharu, as if he hadn't just implied that she was a disaster waiting to happen and decided to imprison her without ever getting to know her.

The nerve of the Council Elders. They just wanted to have their own pet Purebloods so they could make new vampire slaves whenever they needed some.

"Considering your recent loss, I can understand why you would want your cousin to keep you company, Kaname-sama, but with all due respect, Koharu-sama should be returned to her home."

'To her prison where we can control and use her,' Koharu corrected him in her mind since this was most likely what Ichiō had to be thinking.

"Ojii-san..." the blond teen gave his grandfather a scandalised look before shooting an apologetic glance at Koharu.

She had to keep a lid on her temper to prevent her powers from acting up and swallowed her anger down. She was ready to say something in her own defence, having had enough of people discussing her situation without asking her opinion even though she was present.

She had assumed that Kaname would convince Asatō to let her stay with him, so he could make her his pawn or whatever else he intended to use her for, but she was pretty sure that he wasn't going all out for some reason. Or did he simply not care if she would be sent back again because he had freed her on a whim?

Then... she would have to fight for her freedom herself. Koharu would not return to that prison where certain death awaited her. She contemplated her words well before she chimed in.

"Ichiō-san, do you doubt my older cousin's abilities and competence?" she asked the older vampire innocently, playing the role of the clueless thirteen-year-old Pureblood, so he would let his guard down.

"Of course not, Koharu-sama. Kaname-sama is the head of the Kuran family and despite his young age capable in every aspect." Ichiō lifted one brow and she could feel Kaname shift beside her.

His full attention was on her, fuelling her nervousness. Hopefully, showing more of her intelligence or shrewd streak to him wouldn't change his opinion of her and label her a threat in his eyes.

"Why do you think then that Kaname-onii-sama would be unable to keep me under control should I ever become a threat like one of my ancestors?"

Ichiō's expression hardened as he grasped what she was trying to do and that he had just stepped right into her trap because he had completely underestimated her.

"I implied no such thing, Koharu-sama." Doubting Kaname's power would be foolish.

Koharu wasn't quite done yet, though. She could have a mental breakdown about antagonising one of the most influential members of vampire society later. Perhaps she'd just been too impatient and Kaname would have spoken up for her if she'd waited just a little longer. In any case, she had started this, so she had to bring it to an end.

"I see. Then there shouldn't be a problem if I stayed by Kaname-onii-sama's side, right?" She tilted her head in question and held the senator's gaze. "I promise to be on my best behaviour, Ichiō-san, and not to cause you any inconveniences. You seem like a sensible man, so I'm sure that we can come to an agreement."

A calculative gleam entered Asatō's eyes as he considered Koharu's words. "My fears might have been unfounded since you present yourself with such a keen mind, Koharu-sama." Ichiō folded his hands in his lap. "And who am I to disregard a Pureblood's promise?"

She gave him a small practised smile that was usually directed at her servants. She'd hoped that the elder would bite if she mentioned that she was willing to make deals with him and was pleased with her success. It had worked with Ridō after all, so why shouldn't it work with his daughter.

"As your relative so strongly wishes for you to remain by his side and you wish for the same, I will grant your request. I will speak on your behalf in the Council, Koharu-sama," the elder continued. "I hope you will enjoy your time here in my home, and won't forget this humble servant." He placed a hand over his heart and lowered his head slightly.

"Of course. Thank you for inviting me into your home, Ichiō-san." Koharu smiled politely.

She was ashamed for basically forcing her way into someone else's home, even if they had their own agenda for inviting her to live there, but she didn't have many options. Returning to her cage now was unthinkable and she didn't particularly want to try to live on the streets either.

It was only temporary anyway. By the time Ridō would come to this estate, she'd be long gone.

Getting Asatō's permission to stay lifted a weight from Koharu's mind even though he and Kaname now saw her in a new light. Takuma looked thoughtful as she glanced at him, possibly wondering what Kaname or his grandfather gained by freeing her and letting her stay here.

The two Kuran both thanked the head of the Ichijō family and left. Takuma remained with his grandfather, undoubtedly receiving instructions to spy on Koharu from now on, too, just like he was supposed to do with Kaname. The tension in Koharu's body eased once she was away from the vampire elder.

By order of Ichiō a room next to Kaname's was prepared for Koharu. A maid gave her a tour of the house in the meantime.

When she later opened the door to Koharu's new quarters and had her back to her, Koharu's eyes wandered to Kaname who stood in his doorway, staring at her. Why wasn't he asleep yet and looking at her as if he wanted her to say something?

She realised that she had never thanked him for releasing her. "Thank you for getting me out of the Hiō compound and for bringing me here, Kaname-onii-sama."

"You shouldn't thank me yet. I freed you with a certain purpose in mind."

As she had already suspected. But why hadn't he helped her earlier then if he needed her for something? Did he want to see if she could convince Ichiō herself?

"It wasn't just for companionship, was it?"

"Your assumption is correct."

"Are you not going to go into greater detail about this, onii-sama?" she remained hopeful for a straight answer.

Kaname's lips tilted slightly upwards. "You will come to know my reasons in time," was his cryptic and frustrating response. "Good night."

"Good night," Koharu mumbled as she entered her own room, wondering what she had gotten herself into.

At least she had an idea what Kaname's motives could be because of her knowledge of the manga series.

The maid measured Koharu, so she would be able to order fitting clothes for the Pureblood. Koharu hadn't bothered to take any clothes with her; she didn't even own a suitcase. For now, as everyone retired to bed in the vampire household, she had to make do with a new nightgown that was slightly too big for her and intended for guests. At sundown the maid would hopefully return with new clothes.

As she climbed under the cream-coloured silk covers of the foreign bed, Koharu relaxed for the first time since leaving her cage. However, she could feel Kaname's powerful presence in the room next to hers, which stopped her from falling asleep.

It would take some time to get used to it.

Koharu was still wary of him, but he had aided her to turn her life around. Even though it had probably been for the sake of his plans, she appreciated that. She was looking forward to figuring out the mysterious Kuran ancestor. And there was also Takuma, who was like a breath of fresh air with his sunny disposition.

Although she would have to be on her toes from now on, Koharu thought that this change wasn't bad at all.

A/N: Even though I personally prefer the 1st POV, I decided to try out the 3rd POV in this story. Not that much has happened yet, but I needed to cover Koharu's backstory and thoughts a little, so you get a better feel for my OC here before I speed up the pace. Hopefully, you found her interesting :) I don't want to spend more than a few chapters on pre-canon.

You might have noticed a small divergence from canon in the first chapter already, which was caused by Koharu's appearance in the Vampire Knight universe. There are more changes planned for the future~.

I hope I've kept everyone in character... if not, don't be shy to point it out and give me suggestions on what I should change/ improve!

Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a review to tell me what you think :)