A/N: This time, I return with a short piece from Herbert's point of view. A word of warning: I may not update regularly, but I'll try to upload something at least every week.

You could always tell just by looking when Vati was thinking of him.

There was that absent look on his face, and his eyes appeared shrouded; he'd stare into nothingness as if he saw something others didn't. Perhaps he did – Herbert could never really tell for sure. And Vati would forget whatever he had been doing before, with objects dropping from his hands, or pressing the sharp point of his pen through the paper he had been writing on, or a book sitting open in his lap as he stared off to distance, or him wandering endlessly on the corridors with no idea where he had been going in the first place.

It was especially annoying if it happened in the middle of a conversation. As far as Herbert could tell, any thing at all could suddenly remind Vati of him and then he'd be momentarily almost unreachable; he'd be physically there, but it was very obvious that his mind wasn't. It was especially bad if Herbert made the mistake of mentioning his name. It was a forbidden word, and for the most parts, the viscount managed not to speak it. But when he lapsed... the look on his father's face filled Herbert's heart with unexpected pity.

Usually, it was sad. Sometimes, it was frustrating.

But then, it wasn't like Herbert hadn't known to expect that sort of behavior. It had been very similar after Marius, and after Rebecca. Vati would mope and broodfor a time, and then he'd move on... there would be one night you would look at him and know it was all right. But sometimes, you still could see it – just like you could see the memory of Herbert's mother sometimes pass in Vater's eyes. There were some shadows of the past that never quite dissolved, not when you were a vampire.

Shadows like Alfred's remained forever.

And it filled Herbert with such regret. If Vati knew what he had done... what monster he had created. He didn't feel bad about many things he had done during his unlife, but what he had done to the poor, unhappy Alfred was one of his greatest regrets.

For that, he didn't know if he could ever tell his father the truth.