A/N: A little explanation before the short story; in 2007, I discovered NaNoWriMo, and that year I spent October planning out, in detail, the main ideas of my fantasy novel. It had a hierarchy of Gods, various races including Anthros, Vampires and Shapeshifters, there was a War, and one boy was taken from 'reality' into this world to help one group of Gods (well, their worshippers). The idea was that he'd travel around the land, meeting the different groups, each of which specilaised in one area (magic, fighting, etc), and worshipped a different God. I didn't finish it that year, I got about halfway through and then school work took over. It's something I've been thinking of returning to, however, and so, working towards that, I wrote this for the 100 Theme Challenge. If you like the sound of my currently unnamed fantasy novel, let me know. It might give me more motive to return to it and actually finish it this time :)

Dante stared hard at the woman in front of him, his mouth set in a frown as he shook his head. "I can't do this," He cried, turning away from her and staring, instead, at the ground.

"Yes you can!" She sighed, shaking her head. "It's in your blood, Dante. Just look inside yourself, you'll see."

Beatrix pulled out the small band that held her hair together, allowing the blonde locks to fall onto her back. Running a hand through her hair, she kept her eyes fixed on the young boy. She was staring to doubt what they were about him; could Serenity really have got it that far wrong?

"Watch," She whispered, raising her hand and hovering it over the small rocks she had gathered and placed in the centre of them. Closing her eyes, Beatrix concentrated. When her eyes snapped open, the rocks clattered to the ground and she sent Dante a quick smile. "Now you try."

Dante grumbled something under his breath before holding his palms over the stones. He narrowed his eyes, trying to focus his energy into his hand like she had told him. After a minute of staring at the pebbles, he let out an exasperated cry and leapt to his feet.

"Beatrix, I can't do it! You've got the wrong kid."

The gypsy let out a sigh, looping her hair back through her band as Dante stalked off. He was heading towards the beach, and she fell back onto the grass. Someone needed to set that kid straight. If he was right, if he was the wrong one...

Well, then they would all be screwed.

- - -

"Why are you doing this to me?" He screamed at the sea, as the waves crashed against the shore, wrapping themselves around his feet and soaking them. "It's not me you dumb bastard!" A large wave came towards him, the force knocking him backwards, resulting in Dante sitting in the spot where the water hit before rolling back into the sea.

He pulled his knees up to his chest, staring hard at the sea and wishing he was back home with the family who didn't really care for him. At least it would be better than being here and trying to do the impossible.

"Answer me Scorpio!" He hissed through gritted teeth. "Answer me or send me home."

"He rarely comes."

The sound made Dante leap to his feet, whirling around and facing the figure, a knife held out in his hand. He shook as he stood before the woman, her long black hair framing a pale face. Her lips were blood red, her eyes a piercing green. She shrugged, glancing out towards the sea.

"He is much less likely to answer you when you are rude, you know."

"Who are?"

"Serenity," She knelt down on one knee, bowing her head forward before standing up swiftly and curling her top lip back. Dante stumbled back when he spotted the two perfectly shaped fangs coming from her mouth. "High Priestess of Scorpio."

"Great," He crossed his arms, shaking his head. "So what, you're supposed to teach me to suck blood?"

She laughed, revealing the rest of her teeth. "No, Dante. I heard you crying out. You really think we would have got it this wrong?"

"I can't do magic," He stepped forward, finding that, strangely, he wasn't scared of the vampire. "I can't fight. With or without a sword. I can't make medicine or do any of the stuff I'm supposed to be able to do!"

"Which is why you're going through it, Dante," She sighed, stepping towards him and placing two white as snow hands on his shoulders. "You're going to learn, and you're going to be fine."

"What makes you so sure?"

"Because he's told me," She whispered, leaning forward and planting a soft kiss on the boy's forehead. "You just lack the confidence in yourself to do it. Go back to Beatrix, and believe you can do it Dante. He wouldn't have picked you if you couldn't."

- - -

Beatrix's head snapped up when she spotted the small figure heading over the dunes towards her. She couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief, not realising until she saw him how worried she really had been.

Anything could have happened to the poor boy out there; he could have drowned or been kidnapped or killed.

Still, she guessed if he had the Gods watching over him, maybe he'd be fine.

As he dropped down on the grass, his eyes fixed on the pebbles still lying between them. Beatrix gave him a kindly yet stern stare. "You shouldn't run off, Dante," She lightly scolded.

"I think...I might be ready. To try again."

Beatrix nodded, placing her hands on her knees. "Remember what I've told you."

Dante nodded, once more closing his eyes and placing his hand over the stones. Serenity's words came back to him, and suddenly he realised that, as cheesy as it was, all he really needed to do was believe in himself.

This world was strange, and odd, and he had yet to fully grasp it, but it came to him like a flash of light. He could do anything here, the possibilities were endless. He could be anything. He'd already proven himself to Beatrix and the gypsies; he was on his way to being a hero.

Something surged through Dante, a warm feeling expanding from his chest, outwards. He concentrated, and moved it towards his arm. It tingled as it moved from shoulder, down his arm, finally ending up in his hand. Face scrunching up even harder, he tried to make the area smaller, and then he heard Beatrix clap.

Snapping his eyes open, he watched as the pebbles clattered to the floor. She was grinning at him.

"Well done Dante," She bowed her head. "You just performed your first piece of magic."