Hellsing Fan Fiction ❯ Our Beginning ❯ Goodbye ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Rarely did their manor's modest chapel endure so many visitors. Yet this afternoon, the air was thick in the heat of their combined presence. A room of breathing black sat wall to wall in their finest mourning attire and respectful absence of tears. True to form, England's practiced elite gave not one misstep in composure as they saw to the last rights of one of their own.
The ritual was set far before her time. One of their name could expect no solemn parade of the Queen's guard through the streets, no public funeral in one of the cities grandest churches, nor even their body interred in the same cemeteries favored by those of similar political standing. No, if your name was hers then you died as you had lived. In intimate obscurity, Her Majesty's guardian whom never was.
The girl knew all this as her slender hands remained folded in the lap of her skirt. She only observed in silence alongside the others from the pew closest to that casket. But to her, this was still merely the execution of what was proper, a sequence of customs which seemed so without heart. Tradition which only reinforced the loss while missing the celebration of the life entirely.
Worsening the experience still, this minister before them was speaking a eulogy for a man he only somewhat knew. It made her wish to look up at any moment and ask for the one beside her to stop him. Because why wasn't he, the brother of that man in the casket, speaking to these people instead? She didn't see how anyone could truly understand the person her father had been when confronted only with his lifeless shell and a church official who spoke a set of verses so generic, that they seemed fit for any of the countless men gone to the grave before him.
Her palms actually began to fist into the thin black material cascading over her knees as those emotionless words droned on. The detachment of them was grating on the fresh wound of her loss. And the girl's damp blue eyes finally forced themselves away from the one speaking as she looked down again, almost trying to block out this moment entirely. A father could be everything, nearly perfection through the love of their child's eyes. And to her, he had been. That man deserved so much more than this.
She took another quiet breath as she felt the renewed burning of tears touch upon her eyes. But what say did she have in any of it now? Wouldn't it end this way for her too? This was their world to have, their world to tolerate. Everything just kept moving as tactfully done as it was purposeful. Rarely if ever was there expressed anything like hesitation, an excited grin, or a good long cry.
You could never expect the others to even stop and be long affected by your sudden absence either it seemed. Because far too much was always left to be done. But surely he would have expected this. He'd have known exactly who, or even what all these people were. Yes, Sir Arthur Hellsing had known the way things were. He knew it as much as she still had to learn it.
The type of weather so common to their country had already begun as the procession of cars drove its way to the graveyard far across the family grounds. A grey sky only taunted them in weak drizzle, though all the while she secretly wished it'd come down in deluge to stain water upon the prim faces of all those who refused to be moved otherwise.
As they arrived, it was evident that this particular cemetery was not an overly large affair. Nearly two hundred years worth of tombstones, yet within those dates only one man and his subsequent descendants had ever been put to rest here. Her gaze trailed slowly over the names of the nearest stones as her feet made their way through the moist grass. When she hesitated too long on the thoughts of each one's legend and their subsequent fates, a foreign hand fell gently upon her shoulder causing her to glance cautiously up into the face of its owner.
The aged butler gave the wary girl a softer look in return, opening his umbrella above the both of them as the rain finally began to pick up in the way that she had wished, pelting all around them as he spoke just loud enough for her to hear. “Not anytime soon, Miss Integra.” Was all that was said before they began to walk again.
She had only nodded slightly then, appreciating and understanding the meaning -vague as it was- as she continued on beside him through the sky's worsening tears. Because of course he was right. She did not plan on joining her kin in the quiet of the earth for many years yet. Not until she'd accomplished enough to deserve to be among them at least.
But this was only one more way of her family. With the death of one, came the rebirth of another's purpose. And the torch had shifted again now. Its weight falling into her hands, with only time to tell how well she would wield it.
She'd be lying to say she wasn't afraid of what might come. What lie ahead was a great unknown. But for now, the shock and grief blunted most everything else. All those realistic concerns of her future just seemed so inconsequential, so distant, every time her mind came back to what was actually happening today. The fact that six pallbearers were freely carrying her father away from her and into an eternity of rest in a place far outside her mortal reach.
Integra's faith firmly let her believe that that place was heaven in this case. Though she didn't think there was any way of knowing if souls ever remembered anything from their time as a human once arriving there. Or if one soul could even encounter another that it had known during its lifetime. She still may never get to see her mother and father again no matter where God had placed them now.
Bowing her head, another tear traced down the tawny skin of her face as her eyes shut for the final prayer. Spoken over the fall of the rain, it was not elaborate or even too moving in its vocabulary. But in her head she repeated those words with multiple the meaning. In her head, those words did go straight to heaven. To somewhere where even he may hear them.
By the time she had allowed herself to finally look up again, the Union Jack had been slipped off the top of the closed coffin. Its fabric protected from the water by the dark canopy which had been cast above the open grave some hours beforehand while several decorated officers began to fold it.
The girl knew what would come next, and her posture straightened unconsciously as the sea of eyes shifted in her direction to follow the soldiers as they approached. They offered that meaningful banner down to her, and Integra accepted it gratefully with genuine respect as to the symbolism, returning their honorary salutes with a slight bow of her blonde head.
She wasn't ready though. No matter what her composure, everyone believed this as truth. The odds were ridiculous, but they would keep face. They would because for some, their minds insisted that their country still needed them regardless of who would come to be their commander. While for others, greed whispered of power free for the taking, a last error in judgment by this their late associate and an open door for their invitation if they only acted accordingly.
Arthur's last orders as to the naming of such a controversial successor would be upheld yes, but there was no promise as to the depth anyone's actual loyalty would ever extend to her. Blood inheritance could only carry so far. The rest would have to be earned, and opinions were greatly conflicted as to whether this unassuming young creature before them could ever hope to fulfill even a fragment of the office and responsibilities made notorious by those before her.