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A Vampire's Tale by Dracana

Format: Novella
Chapters: 6
Word Count: 17,163
Status: Abandoned

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Horror/Dark, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M)
Pairings: Other Pairing, Draco/Pansy

First Published: 10/12/2007
Last Chapter: 01/01/2008
Last Updated: 01/01/2008

Summary:
Stunning banner ll curtaincall

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“Blaise, let’s go to Dark Evening to watch the banishing of vampires”. Alright, why not? Could be fun. “Rescue Hermione from the evil clutches of a greasy man”. Sure, maybe she’ll love me for it. “Blaise, step outside with a woman you don’t know and let her bite your neck” . . . I've got to stop listening to what my brain tells me.



Chapter 1: Prologue
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Author’s Note: Before you read, I’d just like to note that this is a story heavily influenced by many of my aspirations. I am an avid fan of vampires. Ok, so yes, they probably don’t exist, but that didn’t stop me when I was twelve years old from leaving the window open every night, hoping that one would sneak in and politely enquire if I should like to join the damned, or, if not, just bite my neck and then I could join them anyhow. ^_^

Anyway, here are my tributes/inspirations: Thirsty, Vampirates, Vampire Beach, and last but heavily NOT the least, the Darren Shan saga. I adore all of these books and have read them more times than I could ever hope to read Harry Potter. Therefore, cross Harry Potter with these books and it’s a dream-come true for me!! I’m very much looking forward to writing this story, and hope very much that you enjoy it too.

My chapter titles are going to be lyrics from Night Wish, just because I love this band and furthermore feel they suit the attitude of this fan fiction. You’ll probably find that this Blaise is much the same as I write him in Tainted Angels, perhaps a little toned down, but not much. Sorry if that seems repetitive, but it’s how I like to write him overall.

I’ve spelt vampires - vampyres, just because I think this way is pretty. No other reason. Just pretty, and slightly archaic.

If anyone is slightly OOC, it’s because I’ve intended it. Sorry if that annoys you, but that’s just the way it is. Mostly, however, I like to imagine I’ve gotten most of the characters, well, in character. :p

Lastly, this is the prologue, the set-up for my story. It’s the basic background of this AU Hogwarts/Magical world I have created for a foundation, the characters being the pillars, the plot structuring a roof for the story, the AU Hogwarts being the little tiles on the floor. Metaphorically, of course. Don’t worry, you’re not about to find a story about a temple.

Happy reading!!







*Prologue*

Spring, it is said, brings vampyres to our doors. They come at night, alone of course, for vampyres are told to be solitary creatures, hunting quietly in case they startle their prey. In the wind, you can smell them. Their scent is carried inside the light drifts of breeze, their essence promised in the slow drifts of dust that ascend in allures of sunshine. Vampyres are hunters. Witches and Wizards of the magical world promise their friends and families that at night, they will hang strings of garlic on their doors.

Vampyres like to play pranks. Where once you would find food in your larders, you will find bodies propped up neatly against the wall, two pinpricks indented in their necks. When you sit down for a meal in the evening, and you come to sip your wine, you find that it is not wine at all. It is blood. Sometimes, when you go to kiss your child goodnight, you will find they are not a child at all, but a monster. Vampyres are a cruel race. Their sense of humour is not alike to ours.

Its difficult to tell a vampyre apart from your friends, to separate them from humans, but doctors claim they are knowledgeable in this area, that there are certain aspects to look for. One such doctor, Healer Ark, states in his works that vampyres are “a paler species than humans, their fangs subtle but razor sharp, their nails tougher and used to claw. Their hair is always rich, thick and full of health, and at night, beneath the gaze of the milky moon, they are always pulsing with energy”. Yet that is just a theory. That all vampyres are works of beautiful perfection is, to some, and perhaps even you, hard to comprehend. It seems slightly incredulous that a beast of the night can remain ever beautiful, and what’s more, ever young.

There was a time, perhaps three or four years ago, where a man claimed he imprisoned a vampyre. He placed it in a cage, away from sunlight and inside the cloak of velvet dark. Yet when you attempt to look at it, he refuses and shakes his head. He declares roughly that “some tests are underway, and to look upon such a creature would be of interference”. But to some, he allowed observation. They say the beast was a woman, idyllic and dark, her hair a silky sheen of rivering ebony. Her skin was ivory like the moon, the column of her throat bearing two fang marks. But everyone knows this can’t be true, for vampyres are not stupid. It is rare that they are caught.

The vampyre, they say, took her captor as a lover, and in sunlight she did not burn. However, when media occasioned a visit to attempt a report, they found only silence awaited them. The investigator lay inside that room of deep dark, his body abandoned by his spirit, a trail of blood threading in scarlet ribbons across the floor. When they came to find the vampyre, there was naught to be seen. Gone, they claimed, despite the room being locked and secure. And when they tracked down those who had taken the liberty to observe the creature, they discovered that each human was dead, all in a similar way, their blood drained and their eyes staring.

No one gazes upon a vampyre and lives to tell the tale. Sooner or later, they all fall down.

The closure of September offers solace of a draughty winter. Vampyres are rarely seen during this season. It is said that they disappear to the forest of woods, taking shelter in the leafy cold. It is this month that we come to celebrate and mourn our dead. It is this day that we cast spells to bind the vampyres to their gloom, where we embrace one another and congratulate survival. These days, death by vampyre is rare. The Dark Lord could barely win such beings to his side, and therefore could not wield their strength as his sword.

We call it Dark Evening.

On Dark Evening, you enjoy the warming scents of candles that stand like pillars against wooden shelves, and you gaze into the fire to laugh and smile. The people around you rejoice and grow light-headed on both ale and wine. As they sing and squeeze your shoulder for good luck, you find your eyes smouldering, your skin itching, your body beginning to plead that it is changing.

This is the last curse of the vampyres. Before they retreat from their reign over both Summer and Spring, they cast spells and spread disease. Such infections are rare during this century, and if one is unfortunate enough to catch an illness, it will be naught but a fever, to blame upon a cold or a virus. Yet there are those who wave their fingers and smile their crooked smiles.

“Be careful,” they say, their eyes astonishing, “nurse your illness and bind yourself with spells next spring. For you have caught the magic, the disease they spread to mark their victims. If you’re not cautious, dear, then the vampyres will get you.”

Some say that the time of the vampyres is fading away. It grows less and less common to hear the report of another death, and lesser so that people speak of vampyric events. Dark Evening has become a tradition, for festivities and social enjoyment, and there are few who sit and remember what Dark Evening is a calendar date for. But at night, during spring, you’ll find the doors of houses are always locked, lamps burning in the hope to destroy vampyric eyes, cloves of garlic netting in tiny threads across doors. In the chill of the cold, and deep in the slumber of night, you and I both know that banished inside the winter forest, the vampyres are still there. Somewhere, out in the torrential wind and battering rain, the night creatures are moving.

In reality, they are only waiting.

Chapter 2: Chapter One
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Lyrics - NightWish

*Chapter One*


A star falls down from the darkened sky
Where new worlds are born and die


“Get a move on.”

“Why?”

“Because I said so, that’s why,” Draco nudges me towards the door, so that I turn and glare at him, scowling. The night is fading in pretty quickly. The pub isn’t far away. Just a couple of streets to walk in the intense heat, the last of the evening sun dropping into an empty nothing, its rays blood rest as the darkness slowly kills it, bleeding, screaming, rays scraping in one last effort across the street, as if tugging at the brittle tarmac in an effort to cling on for life. But the evening is spreading, and soon it will swallow the sun, to replace it for the liquid moon that will reign the sky, proud in its high throne. The jealous sun must lay and wait for the morrow. Tonight, the darkness will rule.

“Draco, this is pointless,” I protest one last time. My fingers trail along the wall as we walk, leading towards Hogsmeade village. To our backs, the Forbidden Forest stands dark and menacing, ripping talons wounding the sky. I shiver once, twice, and stop where I stand, suddenly angry for a reason I know not. I suppose Draco is getting on my nerves. He’s always getting on my nerves. Git. “I don’t want to go. I’ve far better things than stupid Dark Evening.”

“Like what?” he snaps angrily, tugging on my sleeve. “Homework? Don’t be ridiculous, Zabini. Dark Evening is the best time of the year. I can think of no other celebration worth our efforts. Besides, if you hurry up, I’ll buy the first drinks.”

Hmph, well, that does sound a little better. I nudge my feet forwards a little, pushing my way across the grass and catching up with Draco, so that eventually he relents and lets go of my sleeve. The wind rips through the blustery heat, shredding the coolness of my skin and stretching its fingers through my dark hair. The moon is casting ivory along the column of my throat, whilst the rest of my face is embraced in shadows. It’s an eerie feeling, like my throat is being exposed. Not the best sensation in the world.

Seriously, nobody goes to Dark Evening. Ask half the students in the school and they’ll shake their heads dumbly, wondering what the hell you’re on about. Ask the other half and they’ll scoff and laugh, enquiring if you really still believe in that, as if you’re the most thickest thing in the world. Well, Draco seems to believe firmly in it, or maybe it’s just the promise of alcohol that gets his feet moving. Nonetheless, here we are, stranded in the dark because of another one of Draco’s stupid plans, sneaking across the grounds and towards the village in the hope of spending a great evening in the Hog’s Head.

My violet-blue eyes trace the area before us, the cobbled streets echoing with the movement of my feet, like music upon the breeze of the wind. I suppose the reason why I don’t want to go is because we go every sodding year, and the small fact that I believe in Dark Evening, and hell - vampyres scare the life out of me. Still, it’s best not to ponder on that thought now, not out here in the heat, and the dark, and wait - was that footsteps on the cobbled streets?

“Can we stop a minute?” I ask hopefully, pausing to linger and stare around the corner. Draco pauses, whips round, and sends me a withering glare, one of those famous Malfoy ones that is like fire slicing through ice. “I need to pee.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“No,” I lie, shifting from foot to foot impatiently and wringing my hands. “I really need to -”

“Go on then!” he yells in frustration, clearly pissed. I nod almost gratefully, and then disappear around the corner as Draco lights up a smoke and leans against the wall, waiting.

I don’t really need to pee. Well, I don’t think I do. In reality, those footsteps have made me somewhat weary, and being the curious idiot that I am, I seek a reason to find out what exactly is going on. Knowing my luck, it won’t be anything suspicious at all. It’ll be some old hag finding her way home, or perhaps even a couple seeking darkened corners for a late-night snog. Whatever it is though, I know my mind won’t rest until I’ve discovered what.

Using my wand as an act of security and protection, I move forward cautiously, my eyes glancing around with silenced trepidation. Its colder down here, a fragile sting to the air that signals the on-coming of October. I pause, lingering for longer than necessary against a wall, feeling it press cold and sharp against my back. A little further off, behind me, there comes the trail of rich scented smoke, warm and friendly as it stains the air in a vapour-like plume. I take in a shaky breath and move onwards, fingers following the progression of the wall until I stop and take a gasp.

There’s a woman before me. There’s blood on her lips, something I can see clearly through the monochrome light. It beads like tears, slipping over her chin as she sighs and fidgets. She looks up, her eyes slowly calculating as they pause to meet mine. I chew on my lip hesitantly, slightly unnerved that this woman is so, well - strange. Her tongue flicks across her lips, and her hand rises to brush against her chin, clearing off the last of the blood. I watch her still, with my heart thumping heavily and my hands clenched into fists. She tilts her head and takes a single step forward. I take one step back. She smiles.

Suddenly Draco calls out impatiently, willing me to hurry up, and the woman still abruptly, so that I can almost taste the prickling of her senses, her increased hearing at that single shout that sets her so quickly off guard. Her eyes burn into mine and I blink once, twice, and then she is gone. Disappeared. Faded into the half-light.

“Blaise!”

“C-coming!” I call back, still staring at the empty alley way before me, thoroughly confused and still gnawing on my lip. I turn quickly and find my way back to Draco - back to Draco and the warm scent of smoke that stales the air but welcomes me in its embrace.

“What took you so long?”

“I, er -”

“Never mind,” Draco shakes his head impatiently, gripping my arm roughly and dragging me further into the village, along past the glowing yellow lights that pool across the shadowed streets from The Three Broomsticks, skirting around the edge of shops boarded up for the night, and closer still towards the Hog’s Head. “Don’t forget to wash your hands,” he adds roughly, as though he were talking to a small child.

I think I just saw a vampyre.

- - - -

Inside the pub, its warmer than I expected. The place is dusted in cigar smoke, thick and heavily sweet so that it almost makes me reel, and certainly leaves me dizzy. A rush of neusea and a trip to the bathroom later, my hands that didn’t need washing have now been scrubbed, and there’s the scent of soap suds against them. Draco has found us a couple of seats at the bar, where he’s already ordered a couple of pints, Muggle pints, to be exact. I eye the dusty glass wearily, wiping a clean trail with my sleeve, leaving a path that I watch curiously. Draco clears his throat and I glance up at him, eyes narrowed.

“What?”

“You’re acting strangely,” he accuses, sipping from his drink and wiping at the foam that has smudged across his face. “What’s wrong?”

I glower but pass it off with a shrug. I don’t fancy repeating the episode to Draco. He probably won’t believe me. We’ve been friends for years, ever since our childhood when we were still eating chocolate (trust me, I wouldn’t be caught dead eating chocolate these days - its like a kid’s thing), but lately we’ve been distancing ourselves. Growing apart. True, I know Draco chose me out of everyone to hang around with tonight, and I suppose I should feel honoured, seeing as the git is actually quite popular and could have bagged anyone in the school, but we just, well, we don’t connect. We used to fit like the two last pieces in a puzzle, or two knights on a chess board, but now, well - its weird, you know? We talk about different things, and that’s it. He’s like a scrap of dust on the wind I can’t quite get. There’s something deep and complex about Draco, but all I ever see is the empty side, the façade. Unless I’m completely mistaken and in reality, he’s just an empty-headed prat, and I think too deeply. I dunno. The point is, we’re not the same, and we have our moments of difficulty. Plus the fact, he’s always bossing me around.

“Hey, look,” Draco points to a woman not far away from where we’re sitting. “She’s hot.”

I cough and splutter my way through my drink. I thought we were here out of interest for Dark Evening, not so that Draco could stare, point and gawp at girls. My eyes follow his gaze to find a robust blonde, knocking back firewhiskey.

Boring.

The door of the pub suddenly opens and I turn in my seat, taking a glimpse at who’s just entered. I mean, anything would be better than listening to Draco going on about some new woman who’s taken his fancy. True, he may be good-looking, but that doesn’t mean he can just pin down any girl he wants. Although I bet he thinks he can. Sometimes I wish I had friends with intellect, someone to possibly talk to, other than this -

“Oh no!” Draco groans, and my eyes snap back in to vision as I note who just came through the door. The trio!! The Golden Triumvirate. The “Oh-My-God-Aren’t-We-Great” imbeciles. Potter and his two “We-Kiss-Feet” sidekicks. Oh wonder of wonders, joy of joys. “This can’t be happening,” Draco mutters.

Did I mention I have a crush on Granger?

“Blaise, are you even listening to me?”

“A-what-huh?”

Draco rolls his silvery eyes. “I said, how much do you want to bet that I can’t get that woman by the end of the night? Ten galleons? Eight sickles?”

“Twenty,” I affirm, turning away from the trio, who by this time have noticed us and turned the other way, “says you can’t even get a snog.”

“How little you think of me,” Draco growls, so that I laugh and thump him playfully on the back. “Alright then, I’ll show you.”

And with that, he gets up and leaves me sitting alone at the bar, with one drink and a glowering barman. “Git,” I mutter, and promptly turn to resting my head on the table. Dark Evening should start soon.

There are scents in the air, the fragrance of cinnamon weaving thickly towards me so that I breathe in and out with a contented sigh. I think the people are planning on making a sacrifice, some sort of magical creature writhing as they drag it indoors. That is something I do not want to watch, by any means. My eyes narrow and I get slowly to my feet. Draco is chatting up that girl on the other side of the room, and unfortunately she seems interested. I shove my hands in my pockets and bring out some money for some more drink. After all, this looks like it is going to be one hell of a long night.

“Ouch! Excuse me!”

I spin and turn, eyes widening at the sight of Granger who is trying to move her way through the crowd. However, a leering oily git thinks its amusing to try and prevent her. His hand is moving forward, one finger trailing the outline of her cheek. I frown and take a sip of my drink, wiping away the froth that tempts to coat my upper lip. The Mudblood actually looks quite distressed now. I’m certain her idiotic friends have not even noticed.

I stand, thinking, then quickly make the decision in the blink of an eye. I will go over and help her. Why? Because I’m bored; because there’s nothing else to do. I mean, I don’t care about Granger. Why would I lower myself to believe that she actually mattered to me? Still, I may as well give her a hand. Wouldn’t want her throwing a screaming fit and drawing attention to herself now, would I? If these people realise we’re just students from Hogwarts, more than likely they’ll report us to the school, and the stupid little trio will drag us down with them, pathetic as they are.

Oh fine, ok, so there’s this little daydream plaguing my head that if I save her from this monstrous brute of a man, she’ll love me forever, take me in her arms and kiss me. Stupid, I know, but hell - this is my chance. And a boy is allowed to dream.

“Can I help you?” I ask of the older man, at least a foot taller than me, my eyes sparking dangerously. He tilts his head, observing first Granger and then me. In all honesty, you’d think Granger had died and gone to heaven. She looks relieved to see me, as if I’m not the person who slipped boil potion into her friend’s pumpkin-juice last week.

“What do you want?” he snarls.

“I think it should be me asking that question,” I snap, folding my arms across my chest, handing my drink to Granger to hold. “What’s your business with my girlfriend?”

“Eh?” the mutt scratched his withered head, where grey is peppered across the scalp. “Your girl?”

“Yeah,” I nod, shrugging. “I’m not accustomed to having to stand by whilst other men harass her. Have you got a problem, or shall I make one for you?” I edge closer, the fact that he is taller than me now further pressuring my mind. “I’ll say it one last time. Leave her alone.”

He growls, his fist flexing, and he looks as if he’s about to take a swing. I duck and take a double-step backwards, wand already in my hand. Either this bloke is a squib or he was expelled from school, but he seems to favour fists over magic. He comes at me again, his fist like an iron weight as it swings forward and cracks into my jaw. I wince and part my lips to utter a spell, before I feel cold fingers coiling about my elbow. The whole pub is still now, everyone watching the show as entertainment. My eyes stray towards Draco, and he frowns in confusion. I send him a shrug and place my glare on the man before me, who has frozen now. The grip on my elbow tightens and from behind me, a woman speaks.

“Don’t touch him, Sarl. You know very well that I will have my revenge is you lay another finger on him.”

Around me, people are blanching like dominos, whilst the trio, Draco and I look utterly confused. Everything suddenly seems so, well - strange. Granger is watching me with concern, although there’s accusation on her face, as if she’s angry for me starting a fight in the first place. Silence continues, but the word of the woman provokes all to turn away and go back to normal. Chatter rises and someone begins chortling over their own joke. People move on and I turn around, wiping the blood from my jaw where the bastard struck with my free hand, the other arm attempting to wriggle away from the strength of those claws that dig into my elbow. Wait, claws . . .?

Holy crap! It’s her, the woman, the thing I saw outside! She’s nothing less than beautiful, but there’s a cruelness about her mouth that I don’t like. I want to open my mouth and scream that there’s a vampyre in our presence, here, at midnight, and that everyone in this pub should put a stake in her heart and help me already. Somehow though, I feel that they already know this. The way everyone just turned away, it’s as if they know what she is and don’t want any trouble. And er, I think she’s just marked me as her prey.

She drags me forward as I quickly take a step back, knocking into Granger, my elbow tearing away from the woman’s strong grip. I turn my back on her, eying Granger in a desperation to strike up some conversation.

“You just spilt your drink all over me!” she points out the obvious, her face aghast as she quickly takes out her wand and tries an enchantment to dry her clothes. I scowl and shove my hands in my pockets.

“Would have been politer of you to say thank you.”

She shakes her head at me, disgusted, and turns around. “I didn’t need you to save me. I’m quite capable of looking after myself, thank you!”

“Yeah, looks like it,” I mutter under my breath in return, watching the faint swagger of her hips as she crosses the room back to her friends, her feet arched inside her shoes. A whisper of a breath jolts me back to reality, a cold breath that raises the hairs on the back of my neck, that crumbles me into absolute paralysed fear.

I think if I can just move my feet, if I can just cross the room and wade my way back to Draco, then I’ll be fine. He’ll notice something is wrong and will help me out of this situation I seem to have climbed into. But Draco is ignoring me. He’s fixated on that bird mentioned earlier, and now I know there’s no chance of dragging his attention away. He’s determined to win against me in that bet.

“Fancy stepping outside?” the woman’s voice comes in a whisper against my ear. My eyes strain to fix on her, but she’s standing behind me, one hand pressed against my back, the other snaked forward to press against my chest, feeling the heartbeat as it throbs through my body. I grimace and finally remember how to move, shying away from her.

“I’m quite happy here, thank you,” I manage, swallowing hard, but she is gripping my elbow once again, slowly moving around to face me, her eyes glowing faintly as they graze across mine. There’s something in her gaze that is enchanting. It’s as if when she whispered into my ear, she trickled her words like poison in my skull, tempting me to the dark night outside, to the cold embrace of the air, informing me that there’s nothing to fear, that she will look after me.

Like hell she will.

She jerks on my elbow once more and I can feel her nails sinking through the fabric of my shirt, furthermore through my flesh, warm blood beading to stain my clothes. I blink at her, torn as to what to do. Inside I’m screaming, a thick desire to yell out to the others for help. I can feel all the others in the pub deliberately keeping their eyes away from us, as if they know what is going to happen but have surrendered me as this woman’s prey, a sacrifice to keep them safe. Suddenly I feel like the goat, the animal to better everyone else’s position. I swallow hard and find the energy to nod, to inhale a breath and speak the damning words: “Ok.”

She smiles, the sharpness of that motion bloodthirsty, and I can sense the fangs inside her mouth, can imagine them stark white and sharp, eager to suck at blood, to drink me dry. It will hurt. It will be painful and my voice will be trapped inside my throat, my scream swallowed with fear. The blackness will move in around me, but I’ll be fully conscious as it sweeps in, tempting me down into sleep, into a cage of death from which I can never escape. They’ll find my body and they’ll shake their heads and sigh. In my mind, I envision Granger crying, leaning on Potter’s shoulder as she sobs and wishes she told me she loved me before the end.

A pathetic fantasy, but it entertains me for a while as the entrancing eyes of the vampyre nudge me towards the door.

There’s no escape now that she’s set her eyes on me, and I try to force myself to unfasten my gaze from her eyes, to struggle free. But she’s powerful, and I feel my feet moving beneath me, unbidden by my mind, but moving all the same, heading towards the door, slipping through the clasp of the crowd, unseen by my friend, disappearing out into the night.

The darkness stings its cold, a deep realisation, as the door to warmth closes at my back, I spin around, determined to stand my ground. The woman smiles, her breath a vapour in the air. I frown. Does she need to breathe? No, it is just a show that she can, if she wishes to. It is a display of her power over me. She is not going to surrender her cause. I’m lost anyway.

I recall for a moment, pathetically, the old tales, the stories of the past that lament “Settle eyes upon a vampyre, and inhale its grace. Become transfixed in its beauty, before wielding to its fate.” An old saying of the parents when they warn you not to stray outside at night, a balanced threat that pretends you will die if you stay out after the parents’ set curfew. Pathetic as it is, it rings back through my mind like clasps of steel, chanting, “I told you so”, over and over.

She nudges me forward, a smile written across her lips, telling me that this is ok, it won’t hurt one bit. Or at least, she doesn’t say that is so many words, but I can feel the assurance walking through my mind, like a seed of warmth she has planted there.

We arrive in the alley we were at before. It’s dark down here. No moonlight touches the cobbled floor; its almost as if I’m walking into my own coffin. I can feel the terror as it throbs through, and that’s the worst thing about it. I can’t do anything about it. The vampyre is convincing me, telling me this is what I’m born to do, why I’m here.

“No,” I protest, a stifled mutter as she spins me around and presses my back against the wall, the iciness of the bricks sinking through, thoroughly condemning. Her lips silence mine as they press in a stinging warmth, increasing in impact. It’s a kiss of death. Short and swollen, my mouth releases a gasp as she shrinks her lips away, dragging them down my jaw, caressing my face with her hands, wrapping fingers through my hair, holding me still with her pressuring mind, whispering that it won’t hurt at all. Her mouth continues to work, the kisses on my neck growing stronger and bruising, until with a jolt she bites and my heart stands still, agony throbbing through to strong realisation.

“No,” I say again, pushing her away firmly, horror building as I watch my blood slide from her fangs, dripping from her lips. There’s an angry look in her eyes, and I try to back away, but the wall is behind me, and it seems for a moment that there’s no escape. She closes in again, more determined now, but I push at her firmly, my wand in my hand. “Stupefy!”

It doesn’t work on her, but it jolts her a little. It gives me time to shift away from the wall, to back down the path and away from her. Her eyes rise like black smouldering pits to observe me, her footsteps carrying her closer. I spin around and break into a run, running for my life now, determined through the pain that I will live, that she will not rob me of my soul and condemn me to death. The red blood is cascading, pooling down my neck and raising choking gasps of pain from my lips, but I want to live, I want so desperately to live . . .

There’s another figure at the end of the alley, an old man, his eyes widened when he views the blood on my neck. I dodge past him, the vampyre hot on my trail, sliding between squashed houses, willing my feet to move, to run faster.

I keep running. The moonlight splays across the path, dappling everything to cold. My hands grip at my neck, the blood pulsing over my fingers, hot and aching. I want to collapse and crawl into a back-alley, to wait until the sunlight pours across the lands, keeping the evil at bay.

I find a crevice, coated with the black paint of shadow, and sink inside, closing my eyes and trying to still my ragged breathing. It hurts, oh it hurts so much, this blood, this agony that sears my throat to a point where I wish to scream. I remain still, the memory of fangs in my neck repeating in my mind over and over again, the ripping sensation that ices my lungs . . .

Footsteps. They are nearing, creeping ever closer, a blemish of malevolence that stains the night and grips me with panic by the throat. I clench my fists and hold them firmly against my sides, head inclined and eyes buried into the pavement.

She’s going to kill me, she’s going to -

Laughter. The passing of strangers. The footsteps to my right fade as suddenly a crowd of men pass. My eyes dig into them, watching them as they laugh with one another, as they tread the familiar path back to Hogwarts. As they continue, Weasley the buffoon makes a joke and the other two crack up with laughter. The vampyre has gone. The Dream Team has driven away. I could not love those three Gryffindors any more than I do right now. I swallow, the pain in my throat increasing, and keeping a few paces behind, pulling my hood over my face, the collar shielding the wounds on my neck, I follow them.

They notice me, but they don’t talk, don’t say anything. They keep passing me curious looks and occasionally whispering, but I’m allowed to seek their guard on my return. Every now and again I will chance a frantic glance behind, fearful of the vampyre that might wait there, but wherever she is, she is gone now.

I am safe.

--------------------

Back in the dormitory, I breathe a relieved sigh. It’s warm in here, the fire leaping and snapping at the chilled air and rushing it into a heat. I blink heavily, suddenly more drowsy than I have been in my life, and sink down onto my bed, peeling off my shoes and clothes, slipping into the thick duvet and burying into the safety of my bed.

I don’t bother to tend to the wound. It will heal itself, of that I am assured.

For now, I am tired.

Remind me not to venture out on Dark Evening again. Halloween celebrations are quite enough.







Author's Note: Review, you know you want to . . . ^_^

Chapter 3: Chapter Two
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Disclaimer: Lyrics, Nightwish

Chapter Two


The voice of nightly winds has awakened me


Cold. Why is it so cold? I scramble around in my bed, wrestling the sheets away from my exhausted body and feeling the strain of muscles in my body as I stretch my limbs and yawn. I blink, rubbing away sleep, and untangle myself from my bed to find myself wearing nothing but my flesh and my boxers. With a shudder, I find my way across the sleeping dormitory, half-stumbling to the bathroom and feeling the crusted blood on my neck and chest. Disgusting.

I need coffee, that’s what I need. To wake me up. A nice steaming mug of coffee. My mind aches with the longing for it, and I inform myself that as soon as I’ve had a shower, I can go ahead down to breakfast and drink as much as I like.

I always shower in the morning. Why? Because I love it. I lust for the splendid heat to travel over my body, slipping over my back in foamy cascades, to watch it through bleary eyes as the sweat all disappears down the drain, leaving me cleaner than a whistle, grander than a Unicorn. Er, yeah, perhaps that’s taking a bit too far. Still, you get the point. I’m pretty sure you don’t want a graphic image of me showering, so I won’t tell you how the water streams down my body, my hair falling as a veil over my purple-blue eyes, my head moving as I shake it away, the steam rising to condensate the glass of the mirror, the way -

Hey, wait. I just swore not to do that.

Moving away from the mirror, I wrap a towel around my waist, reluctant to look at my injury, but more so to move away back into the dormitory and allow the others to see it first. I scratch at my neck, the blood gone now, but the memory causes me to grimace nonetheless. I cross to the mirror, wiping away the steam, entertaining myself with swirling pictures at first, writing my name, graffiti-style, but soon realising my error and smudging the whole thing away. I came here to check my face, not to play childish games with a mirror.

There I am, face smooth and without blemish - thank god, it takes forever to get rid of those damn spots; I blame hormones - my hair dripping tears over the nape of my neck. I rotate my skull, slanting to a side, staring at myself for a while longer before gradually folding my arms in scrutiny.

No mark. No nothing. What does this even mean?

Perhaps the whole vampyre incident last night was a figment of my imagination. I must ask Draco how much I had to drink. Yes, that will be the answer. None of it happened, it’s not real. Just a dream. Just the narcotic sway of the aroma candles. It’s not unusual. It happens to plenty of people, these incidences. It was Dark Evening, after all.

Relieved, I pass back into my dormitory, throw open the windows to drink in the glorious splay of sunlight and the icy cold winter’s air that comes with it, before turning away, getting dressed, and reaching the Great Hall before any other student in the school. That is of course, except for Granger, who is quietly reading through her copy of Hogwarts: A history.

I’ve heard her talk about it before, actually. That book, I mean. She can go on to no end, always ranting, quoting, reciting rules, and I adore her for it. I’ve read that book ten times because I know she loves it so much, and sometimes when I listen in to her conversations with her friends, I nod along, agreeing, until Draco catches me and sends me a troubled glare, as if I’m mad.

I sit there now and imagine myself crossing the hall to face her, to smile at her and sit down opposite. She will glance up and send me an inquisitive look, and then we’ll exchange a knowing smile and she’ll say, “Thank you for saving me last night, Blaise, you’re my hero,” and I will nod and smile and tell her that it is quite alright, that I’m used to helping others out when danger is around, and that if she ever needs help again, just to give me a shout and I’ll be there. And then she will lean in and touch my hand, a smile gracing her lips and whisper softly into my ear, “You can be sure of that; in fact, I need your help with something else. You see, I’ve never kissed someone before, and I was hoping you would help me practice”, and then we will exchange a knowing look and grin, and I will proudly say, “Of course, anything. I am dutiful to you and you only”.

Yes, a little far fetched, but it’s on my mind as I watch her, when I seat myself at the boredom of the cold Slytherin table and pour myself a cup of tea by mistake instead of coffee. I think of how Hermione will put her hands around my neck and draw me closer, of her pulling back and whispering a shy, “Thank you”, and then we will walk out of the Great Hall hand-in-hand, a Slytherin and Gryffindor united, and everyone will stare and whisper, and we will share our secret smile.

Unfortunately, that is not how it happens.

“Zabini!” she snaps, rising from her seat when she notes my eyes staring vacantly past her. She marches over and jolts me out of my day-dream, so that I glance up and frown.

“Last night,” she recounts, folding her arms over her slight chest. I can imagine her dressed in lace, a wedding dress with a long trail, and we will dance together under the moonlight, silently loving one another with a simple fixation of our locked eyes. “You were acting strange. Why did you suddenly leave? Why did you stand up for me? Who was that woman? Why were you out on Dark Evening? You know that’s breaking about a thousand school rules -”

“Like you were, you mean?” I smile back in reply, watching her over the rim of my tea-cup. I frown and place the drink back down on the table, tempted to spit it all out in a hurry. I don’t like tea. It always tastes weird. It’s not strong enough. “Let us not forget that you were out on Dark Evening too, Granger, and as a Prefect -”

She blushes a little. “You too, are a Prefect. I was out there to protect my friends after they refused to relent in their decision of attending. I was simply completing my duty.”

I nod. “As was I. Draco dragged me along.” It’s a half-truth. Dark Evening is interesting, and I know Granger thinks so, too. I caught her reading up on it in the library once, her eyes large and entranced like a moth drawn to candle-light. “I had to make sure he was ok. Besides, we always go.” I shrug carelessly. “It’s interesting.”

She furrows her brow and rests long fingers on the table, watching me thoughtfully for what seems like an awfully long time. I can almost feel my face heightening scarlet in hue and quickly duck back behind my mug, remembering it’s tea just a little too late and dribbling it back out again. How embarrassing. Next time I will watch when I pour my morning coffee.

“Well,” she says at last, “thank you for your concern, but I should like you to know that if ever I need rescuing then it is from myself, not others.” Now that’s an interesting declarative, to say the least.

“And why should you need saving from yourself?” I enquire a little curiously.

“Oh,” she steps backwards a little, glancing behind her and making a move towards her own table. “Got to go, there’s Harry and Ron. Bye!”

Strange behaviour, even coming from her.

Oh well. As usual, I go back to what I was doing before, sitting in a fantasy with my eyes half-closed, murmuring.

The height of coolness.

---------------------------------

It’s lesson, and I’m watching Hermione Granger as she sits at her desk, two rows ahead of me. I had to rush to try and get a seat closer, but that bint Brown beat me to it. Now, I keep ducking my head to the side in an effort to watch her, to catch one simple glimpse as Potions stirs on and the others scratch down notes as Snape speaks. Well, that is except for Draco, who has taken it upon himself to pester me as much as possible, whilst occasionally sneaking a glance at his reflection inside the spoon he stole from breakfast this morning.

“Twenty galleons,” he hisses at me, lifting silvery eyes from the spoon to watch me pointedly.

“What?” I snap, irritable. He’s just broken me out of a daydream where I rescue Hermione from a pouncing lion.

“Twenty galleons,” he repeats slowly, tapping his spoon against my arm in the most irritating of ways. “You owe me.”

“Why?”

“Because,” he rolls his eyes as if I’m stupid, “we made a bet.”

“Really?” I’m distracted, watching the candlelight cast rivers along Hermione’s hair. “And what bet was that?”

“Are you stupid or something?” Draco enquires grumpily, sinking a little lower in his chair before making sure Snape isn’t listening. He begins to tap the spoon harder, as if I’m a prisoner who needs to be punished, or, perhaps he thinks that by hitting me with a spoon he’ll provoke my memory. I’m annoyed now, as of course, being hit with a spoon isn’t quite my favourite thing in the world, and wrenching it from his hand, I throw it across the room, or at least, try to. I swear to Merlin it’s a complete accident that it hits Weasley in the back of the head. Unlike Draco, I take no pleasure from trying to injure someone with silverware. The redhead turns around and scowls, but I quickly begin to hum innocently. Draco is still persistent.

“The bet that I couldn’t snog that girl.”

“Or could.”

He frowns. “What?”

“Never mind.”

“So anyway, I did.”

“Did what?”

I can tell he’s pissed off. Instead of using the desolate spoon for a while, he nudges me hard in the ribs, glowering. “Kiss the girl. I kissed her.”

“Congratulations. What am I supposed to do? Clap my hands and celebrate?”

He’s scowling. Usually I’m not like this, not so sarcy, but the daydream yesterday has thrown me a little off-guard. I must have gotten so drunk and that’s why I envisioned weird things, but then, if I was drunk, where is the hangover? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t crave a headache, although Draco’s starting to give me one.

“No. I want you to pay up. I want my money.”

“You mean my money.”

“Well, by rights it’s mine. Where is it?”

“Oh, you know, I just happen to carry money around with me everyday to lesson, just in case they put Potter in a cupboard and start charging to throw tomatoes at him.”

“What’s wrong with you this morning?” he demands, entirely agitated, a suspicious look in his eyes.

“Me?” I ask innocently, leaning back in my chair as Snape shoots us a warning look. “Nothing. I’d say in all honesty, there’s something wrong with you. I mean, why are you so concerned about money all of a sudden? You’re loaded.”

“Because, we made a bet, and I’m holding you to it. Cough up Zabini, you owe me.”

“Wait just a second. I didn’t see you kiss her.”

“So? Are you saying I’m lying?”

“I’m saying I don’t trust you.”

Draco growls. I think he’s trying to warn me or something, an intimidation that if I don’t hurry up and just nod along to what he’s saying, then he’ll growl a little louder. He can hardly be surprised that I don’t flinch. As far as I know, only animals growl, not Dracos.

“You only didn’t see me kiss her because you were off on a rampage with that slut.”

“What?” I enquire, turning to face him sharply, my eyes narrowed. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t tell me you don’t remember that either.” He rolls his eyes another time, making me want to shake him and prod his eyes out. “The woman, with the dark hair? The one breathing down your neck, who was so desperate that she almost physically dragged you out for a late night shag? I don’t know where you met her, or why you even agreed to it in the first place. I mean -

“Draco,” I cut him off severely, concerned now. “What woman?”

“I told you,” he scowls. “What is it? Have you suddenly got selective hearing? Don’t tell me you got drunk either, you only had two drinks. Unless you’re a lightweight. Honestly though, I wouldn’t have minded you disappearing so much if you had waited for me in the end. You didn’t have to go running back to the castle on your own -”

I don’t hear any more. I feel horribly sick, and there’s a heat that’s informing me I’ve gone very pale. I stare heavily into nothing, the memories flying back now, crashing down in a heavy descent. The woman, the kiss, the blood on my neck, the -

Vampyre.

But I got away, didn’t I? My hands raise to touch my neck precariously, finding two small dents, so slight you wouldn’t even notice them if I didn’t point them out, that I wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t know they were there. But how did they fade so quickly? How did the wounds heal? The rush of pain from the bite was painful, I thought she was going to choke me, to -

Wait. I healed. Does that mean I’m a vampyre too? A horrible nausea sweeps over me, sickening until I’m barely able to breathe. I don’t even notice as Weasley secures his chance and throws the spoon at Draco’s forehead. I can’t even concentrate on Snape’s droning voice, and there’s no lullaby for sleep, no search for daydreams. I’m facing reality now.

There’s a possible chance that I, Blaise Zabini, might be one of the damned. I could be a vampyre.





Author's Note: Ok, so once again, I couldn't resist dumping coffee in here. It always has a place in my stories, I love coffee so much. *swoons*

*Is thirsty for reviews*


Chapter 4: Slaying the Dreamer
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*Disclaimer - chapter title lyric by NightWish
Quidditch move from "Quidditch through the ages".


Slaying the Dreamer


I can hardly think as I get up from class, scraping my chair back, grabbing my books and making a dash for the door. Draco tries to leap after me, and I hear him call my name, but already I’m up and away, speeding towards the library, to somewhere that information on vampyres can be found. I remember studying them in third year, but there’s little that I can recall. I don’t pay much attention in Defence Against the Dark Arts anyway.

The library is quiet, as ever. There’s never really many people around in this place. I think it’s Hermione’s hide-out. I used to follow her, once upon a time, but that now seems like forever ago. I think I’ve lost Draco now, along the way, and for that I’m proud, or else he’d pursue me forever just to find out what I was up to, or more than likely to wrestle my money off me. Yeah, that will be it. He just wants my money, no more, no less. Greedy git. I bet he didn’t even kiss that girl anyway.

However, this is not, I remind myself, what I should be thinking about right now. Marching straight past Madam Pince, I ignore the snobby look on her face and pick up a book from a shelf, scanning it, before realising I’m in the “How to Transfigure a rabbit into a duck” section, and quickly move on. Yeah, they have weird sections here in Hogwart’s library. I blame Dumbledore, or better still, Lockheart. I think that duck series is his most recent saga. Not that anyone reads it, of course. It’s probably just a tribute to his memory for being the most ridiculous teacher ever.

I find the section that I’m looking for, the Care of Magical Creatures, and there’s a large volume all on vampyres. Now, I don’t exactly want to take this out in front of Pinched-Face, I mean, Pince, so I walk over to the library tables and open the book, deciding to read it here. It is then that Hermione Granger walks in, making the most of her free-period, and sits down on one of the opposing tables on the opposite wall. There’s a book on house-elves open inside her hand, and I pass her a brief nod, something she frowns at, mutter a “Hi”, and quickly look away, ever aware of her being in here when I wish she wasn’t. After all, I’m trying to concentrate on something serious. I might be turning into a bloody vampyre here!!

I open the book slowly, cautiously, and automatically bury my face in it. I don’t want Granger to see the front cover, so I turn towards the wall, hiding it from her, my eyes frantically searching the contents, running a finger along the page in an effort to find the correct chapter and page I’m looking for.

“Vampyres, how to kill a vampyre, why it’s important to report friends who look suspiciously vampyristic, where the damned hang out, who ate Mr Moonpee . . .” I trail off, staring at that last one for an instant. “Who ate Mr Moonpee?” Suddenly angry, I dig my nails into the book, as if this mere gesture will threaten it and make it coil in terror, to tell me the truth. “I didn’t pick up this book to find out who ate Mr Moonpee, I picked it up to find out how to tell if you’re a vampyre! I picked it out to bloody find information, not to analyse the death of Mr Moonpee and why Cansiserous drained him -” I stop, staring at the page in incredulous disbelief. Cansiserous . . .? Her face looks oddly familiar, her eyes burning into mine as she moves, slightly blurred on the page. I think they’ve used magic to strengthen the quality of the picture, because apparently vampyres don’t show up in photographs. Her hair is dark, just like the woman I met last night, the one who bit me.

Yes, she certainly is a vampyre, and Mr Moonpee apparently took her captive a long time ago, before she killed him and the rest of the visitors observing her.

A nasty shiver works its way up my spine, chilling my blood to ice.

Frantically, I search the index once again, trying to discover what information I can. Obviously, according to the book, this volume was not designed for people suspecting they are turning into vampyres. Its audience is a predatory one, teachers and students interested in killing vampyres or spilling the secrets from their friends. There is nothing about turning into a vampyre, how to seek refuge and who to question and beg for help.

This book supports those who want to murder vampyres, because, it says - because “they’re not even human”.

I swallow hard and grip the book more firmly. Vampyres, it warns, have tough nails, and they can walk in daylight, but are often prone to migraines for remaining in its glare for too long. Furthermore, vampyres lose their ability to produce magic, for their wands can sense what they are and therefore refuse to aid them. Vampyres have fangs, nothing too obvious, but you can sometimes tell if you look closely that their teeth are pointed at the end.

Cautiously, I run my tongue over my teeth, startled if I find something the least bit sharp. I swallow hard. No, that’s just a canine tooth, nothing to worry about, nothing to . . .

My mind freezes at the last sentence and my hands tremble. I inhale ear painfully and try to relax my shoulders, but find the tension and fear increasing.

If bitten by a vampyre, the book kindly and supportively states, hand yourself in immediately. It is for the good of both yourself and the public. The Ministry will know how to help you automatically.

. . . The good of both yourself and the public

. . . . Hand yourself in

. . . . The good


I slam the book shut heavily shut, my heart beat pounding, racing sickeningly, painfully against my chest. What the book is trying to say, I realise, in the politest possible way, is that if you have been bitten, you are doomed. Quietly surrender yourself and they will give you a swift death. A stake through the heart, whilst you’re still conscious.

Carry on hiding, and they’ll find you.

You’re as good as dead anyway.

I decide I don’t like this book, and replacing it back on the shelf, find my way swiftly out of the library and down the corridor, eager for something to distract my mind.

-------------------------

Sometimes it’s hard to dream when you’re forced to face reality. It scares me, the fact that any day now, I could be tracked down and killed. Cansiserous, a vampyre at the age of a shocking couple of hundred years old, only needs to drop a hint and they’ll be after me. They’ll know what I am - what I am becoming. What I am going to do.

Humans will be the flesh that hold my food, my fuel. Blood.

“Oh god,” I whine, sinking down onto my bed and burying my face into my pillow. “Oh god, oh god, oh god . . .”

The whole aspect still seems pretty far of my reach. It’s a concept I’m unwilling to gather, but despite this, the reminder pressures at my mind continuously, eating me whole, reminding me that oh hell, I’m alone, I’ve been bitten, I’m a danger to everyone else around me.

“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit -”

“Where have you been?!” Draco bursts into the dormitory, an angry look etched across his face. “I’ve been looking everywhere. You might have told me you had something to do. I would have asked for my money first.”

“Draco -” I groan in protest, drawing my knees up to my chin and hugging them tightly. “Not now, please . . .”

“I mean, I can prove it to you,” he continues, tapping his neck and revealing the smudge of lipstick there, as if that’s all he needs to tell me that he kissed some stupid girl, the girl that we pointed out. I haven’t the energy to protest that he probably drew it there himself, or paid Crabbe to kiss him, or maybe borrowed lipstick from Pansy, probably hadn’t washed since that sweaty night in the bar and therefore was utterly, horribly disgusting, and that perhaps I should settle the bet in bars of soap rather than cash. Still, he continues on talking, cutting into my thoughts and preaching to me about how awful I am. “ - Not even funny. I would have paid up hours ago. In fact, it should be twenty-five galleons, just because I had to walk all the way home alone, and besides, that next round was on you -”

“Just take the damn money,” I groan, lifting my head from the pillow and eyeing him darkly, still lying on my side with my knees gathered up to my chin. “It’s in the top draw on the right. And stop hassling me from now on, ok?”

“Good,” he retorts, satisfied at last, wrenching open the draw and helping himself. I don’t bother to point out that he’s taken thirty galleons, not twenty. I suppose he suspects I haven’t even noticed. Moron. He pauses at the doorway and turns, his pockets musical with money, crossing his arms across his chest and frowning. “What’s wrong with you, anyway?”

“Nothing,” I mutter into my knees, staring blankly ahead. “I’m just tired, that’s all.”

“Yeah, right,” he snorts and shakes his head. “You’re not tired. You’ve been twitchy all morning. What’s up your arse?”

“Shut up, Draco!”

“I mean it,” he adds, leaning on the door now, refusing to go away until I’ve allowed him to pathway into my mind. “You’re a right grump. What’s your problem?”

“I don’t have a problem,” I enforce moodily, sitting up now and pushing my legs out in front of me, glowering. “Maybe you’ll find that the only problem is you insisting that there is one.”

He turns away, furious. “Of course that’s it. I don’t know what’s wrong with you Blaise, but you better sort yourself out. No one will want you’re company when you’re like this.”

“Like what?” I bark, insulted.

“Like that,” he pressures, gesticulating wildly. “You’re acting like you’ve just seen Goyle naked.”

“Maybe I have.”

He chortles a little, then the grin slips away. “Yeah well, if you’re tired, you had better get some sleep. Maybe when you wake up, you’ll be a little more civil.”

He goes out and shuts the door.

Sleep. I wish that was the least of it. I wish that it was the antidote to this horrible feeling inside, this crushing of reality that stifles all my dreams and locks my hope away. I shudder and curl up once again, pulling the duvet over my head. Everything suddenly seems so very cold, and I feel quite alone. Not so much to a point that I crave company, but to a point where I want such an emotion ripped away, to be with people who would understand and actually worry about what I am and help cure me.

Sleep. It’s the best way to end though, less my thoughts pursue me to echo within my nightmares. I’m just drowsing when the memories of something my mother always used to say strike me as arrows, battling against me like a rampaging wind.

“Better to be dead than inhuman, Blaise, my love. Better to be dead.”

I close my eyes sharply, as if to push the words away, yet the cut in me like a searing knife of cold, cutting into my life just like those fangs cut into my flesh.

“Better to be dead,” my mother says. “Better to be dead.”






Author's Note: Sorry it took me so long to update. I'm sort of going off fan fiction and hoping that this will be my last story before I go. Would be great if you could review, and thanks for reading.

Chapter 5: Chapter Four
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Enter,
Suck from us and live forever.
Rotten beauty
Will haunt you for a lifetime.


*NightWish, of course

*Chapter Four*


Grass is eaten by herbivores; I school myself. Herbivores are eaten by carnivores. Carnivores are eaten by other carnivores, also currently known as human. It’s a life cycle.

So if it’s a life cycle, and everybody in turn is eaten, why, I ask myself, are people so opposed to werewolves and vampyres taking what they consider as rightfully their’s? Animals don’t kill humans in revenge for being eaten? Don’t punish them and condemn them to death?

So what’s the big problem?

I didn’t sleep last night. I drowsed, drifting from nightmare to nightmare, dreaming in blood, drowning in it. Surely that’s not normal? If I’m a vampyre then the dream probably is normal, but then again, I could be just paranoid. I could be worrying about nothing at all, the dreams being a consequence of my commitment in such anxiety. Or at least, I hope.

I go to the hospital wing to ask Madam Pomfry for some sleeping pills. She gives me a vial of sea-green potion, but not before an interrogation. Honestly, you’d think the woman had nothing else to do. I bet she gets so bored sometimes she entertains herself by picking her nose, you know the type - “Now, what’s in my nasal cupboards today?” Yummy.

“What’s it for?”

It must be complicated, trying to define exactly what the illness is when someone asks for some sleeping potion. I mean, hell, it could be anything. They could want it for curing warts, maybe even washing their hair. Honestly, some people are such dolts!!

“I can’t sleep,” I tell her dryly, flatly.

“How long has this been going on for?”

“A night.” She frowns. I clear my throat and quickly correct myself, lying. “Or two. Perhaps even three. I can’t remember. You know how it is . . .”

Clearly, judging by the look on her face, she doesn’t. “I can’t give you this potion unless you need it.”

I grow angry now. She thinks I’m in the mood to stand around arguing over whether or not I can have a potion? I think I’m a vampyre, for god’s sake! “What sort of people can have it?” I enquire innocently, sending her a soft smile, my eyes flashing a shade darker briefly. “What other symptoms could there possibly be? Perhaps I should be growing horns out of my ears, maybe even a reptile for a beard. Or maybe its because of the consumption method. Perhaps you think it’s dangerous? Maybe the insertion includes shoving it up my -”

Someone clears his throat beside me, and I spin to glance around, cut off mid-sentence. Potter is stood next to me, his eyes glittering in a sheen of emerald green. I stare at him for a moment, then drift my eyes back towards Pomfry. At seeing she has another customer to bother, she shoves the potion into my hands and regards me with a little disdain.

“Swallow a mouthful each night an hour before you go to bed. Dilute it with water, otherwise it will become too strong, and there’s a bitter taste to it, so you might want to add sugar to that.”

“I don’t put sugar in water, thank you,” I respond darkly, clutching at the potion as if it’s the most valuable thing in the world and turning on my feet, shoving deliberately past Potter’s shoulder before heading off down the curving narrow corridor that leads to the staircases, putting the potion in my pocket and sighing. I look a mess and I know it. I think my eyes are shadowed with dark rings. Nonetheless, I’ve got the potion. If it doesn’t work in the water, I’ll just swallow a mouthful, regardless of the taste.

For now, its Quidditch training time.

Whoopee-doo.





“What the hell are you doing?”

I glance up angrily, watching Draco’s stormy eyes fixated on me, his expression wrought into a sneer. What a bastard.

“What do you think I’m doing? Dropping the Quaffle.”

Draco rolls his eyes. When he speaks, its as if he’s speaking to someone completely stupid. Like a toddler who wants honey on it’s dummy. Duh, it’s bad for your teeth. Bet it tastes good though.

“That’s precisely the point Blaise. You’re a chaser. You’re not supposed to drop the Quaffle. You’re meant to catch it, and then score.” He makes some sort of wild gesture towards the goal, an imaginary Quaffle in his hands, throwing it and watching the air as if it’s travelling through a goal. I stare at him, bemused, and he waves again at the imaginary Quaffle. “Like that.”

Git.

“Throw a pretend Quaffle towards the goal . . I see. Draco, I think you’re losing it.” He glowers. I sigh and give in, opening my mouth with a roll of my eyes to explain. This time, I return his baby-wants-a-dummy tone, and he looks less than pleased. “It’s called a Porskoff Ploy, as stated by Quidditch Through the Ages. Read it?” Judging by his face, he hasn’t. “You look as if you’re going to throw the Quaffle into the air, then you deliberately drop it to the player beneath you. It’s a good trick, or would have been, if ugly here hadn’t spoiled it.” I wave a hand dismissively at one of my fellow chasers, who glowers in return.

“Try to stick to the simplistic, Zabini.”

I scowl. “Just because I have a brain ten times the size of both Crabbe and Goyle put together doesn’t mean that -”

But he doesn’t listen. And so my fabulous joke fails.

It begins to rain and I can feel each droplet of water as it soaks through my clothes. My body, strangely, is at the height of awareness, and I’m not sure I like it too much. I mean, it’s great and all, knowing everything that’s going on around you, but it’s a little unnerving to hear the tapping of a foot in a distant classroom, or the whispers in the next-door dormitory. It keeps me awake all the further at night. Which reminds me that later on, I must take the potion.

Quidditch training is just as thrilling as ever. Draco, having been made captain of the team, seizes every opportunity to tell others what to do. Being myself, I deliberately resist to his tyranny and do the exact opposite, ironically pretending to be suffering from lack of decent hearing. Draco heartily informs me that if this “selective hearing” continues, he’ll ram a broomstick so far up my arse, bristles first, that then I’ll have something to complain about.

Oh ha ha. Charming. Now I know exactly what the girls see in him.

By the point lunchtime arrives we’re all cold, wet and miserable. A perfect combination to the ingredients of “a sour-faced Slytherin”. We stroll into the Great Hall, dripping trails of muddy water behind us in our soaked robes, careless for Filch’s threats, and sit down at our table in silence. Draco is in a mood with me, I can tell. First of all I wouldn’t believe him about that stupid kiss, and now I’m being snappy and resistant to his so called “authority”. Perhaps if he could learn to speak without his voice quavering into high excited squeaks every now and then, I’d be a little more appreciative of him. As it is, he’s number one in my books of “people to avoid this week”.

I retire to the common room in search of silence to finish off my homework. As it is, there isn’t much silence to be found. It seems the concept is misunderstood by those first years who insist on making my life a living misery. I resist the urge to curse them twelve times over and instead stand up, leave the room and search out the library. It is becoming a recent sanctuary of late.

Walking into the place, I find the first person I bump into is Granger. Literally bump into, I mean. She almost falls head over heals as she drops her book, skidding to the ground as she collides into my body and tumbles to land on her buttocks. I frown and glance down at her, to which she meets my eyes with a firm scowl. She runs an awkward hand through her bushy hair and climbs to her feet once again, brushing down her robes. I eye her curvy figure hungrily but quickly drive the lust away. She gathers her books in her arms and sighs heavily, watching me with a glare.

“Watch where you’re going.”

“Because usually I walk around with my eyes closed,” I respond sarcastically, moving around her and feeling her eyes burn into my back. It is an uncomfortable feeling, like white hot knives driving into my flesh, but I grimace and cope with it. I think for a fragile moment that she may say something, giving me some random excuse to gather her up in my arms, but I’m out of luck. I peer over my shoulder and already, she is walking away.

The next few hours are spent scribbling down some faint notes, planning for a huge essay Snape set last week. It’s due in tomorrow. I don’t think I can make it. My eyes are bleary, my vision strained and tired; there’s dark circles around my eyes that echo this deprivation of sleep, and when I breathe, it is thick and heavy breathing, not at all what I’m used to. I feel like I need to claw at my throat, like I’m running out of oxygen. Which is weird, because I’m sitting in a room full of it.

My eyes half-closed, the lids suddenly heavy, and I begin to daydream of Hermione Granger. She is sitting next to me in class, having been forced by Professor Flitwick to take that seat. Don’t ask why it’s Flitwick - I know Gryffindors and Slytherins don’t have charms together, but still, we’re there, the sunlight streaming as silver through the window, the class echoed in silence as people scribble down on parchment and practice wordless spells. Hermione is breathing. I can taste her scent on my tongue, can feel the fragrance linger as a warming pressure around me. My lust grows and I lift my head to find her eyes burning into me. She has been watching me for a while, and when I lock gazes with her, a blush forms on her cheeks and she offers a shy smile.

“I, I just -” she tries to explain, and suddenly I feel my hand straying, lingering to a pause on her leg. I can feel the warmth of her flesh beneath my hand, can hear the throb of her heartbeat as it increases, her breathing suddenly shallow. Her hair glints in the silver light and we both smile, small smiles. She takes my hand in hers and squeezes it, and together we get up and leave the classroom, to stand outside and watch the lake as it glistens like a mirror and ripples like liquid gold.

Dust clots the air and at last, at half-past seven and a whole afternoon of staring into nothing, I decide to call it quits. I haven’t gotten any homework done and my mind is like lead. I sigh, getting to my feet and packing my things away into my bag. Madam Pince looks less than pleased that I have wasted my afternoon slumbering in her library. She tells me so and I quickly increase my steps, leaving the room as hastily as possible. She glares at my back.





It is dinner. My hands tremble lightly as I stab my fork into mashed potato. The sounds of humans eating has never seemed so loud. Chomp, chomp, chomp. They sound like the whir of machines, their jaws working, ripping apart the meat with their teeth, swallowing loudly before clattering their cutlery once again.

To my right, Pansy Parkinson sips delicately at her water. She is watching her diet, she says, and therefore water is her only sufficient source of liquid. To me, that delicate sip is a gulp. I hear her throat expand and swallow as the water churns down. It crashes to my ears like a waterfall, working its way through her system. Crabbe’s belly growls loudly. It’s like one of those revving Muggle machines - an engine of some sort.

My fork trembles a little more in my hand. Draco glances sideways at me and strains a smile. He is still angry with me from earlier. He will get over it.

“Eat, Blaise,” he prompts me, nodding to the mashed potato quivering on the end of my fork. “It’s good. Besides, you’ve had a long day.”

“Who are you?” I snap irritably. “My mother?”

My temper is increasing these days.

He scowls at me and turns away again, concentrating on his own meal and ignoring mine.

Slurp, gulp, growl, chomp, swallow.

I drop my fork and race for the bathroom. I think I’m going to be sick.





It is night time. In fact, I think it is a little more than night time. It is one of those hours when no one is supposed to be awake. My eyes shift sideways, taking in the dial on the clock. Two fifty-nine a.m., it reads. Two fifty-nine a.m., I repeat inside my head, the information beating at my skull like a bludger. I should not be awake. I should be asleep. This isn’t right. There’s something wrong.

My teeth are aching. It’s like those times when you’re younger, when you think your teeth are ready to fall out but they’re not. The little baby ones, the yearlings - you twist them and pull at them, desperate for them to come out, but stubbornly they remain. And then finally comes the relief that they are gone, and you no longer spend your lessons pushing with your tongue at the teeth that are precarious, willing them to fall out, encouraging them with thorough exasperation.

And then they grow back again, an uncomfortable process that leaves your gums sore for days.

I turn in my bed restlessly. This can not be happening to me, I tell myself. I can not be turning into a vampyre. I’m a Zabini, sole heir to the Zabini wealth. I should be a normal teenager, worrying about if I can race the others to the shower in the morning, not about whether or not I’m a vampyre.

There’s a thirst inside my mouth that I can’t seem to quench. I pass my tongue around my mouth, soothing my gums. It feels thick and heavy, like leather. There’s an arid desert that replaces my mouth. No saliva can be found.

I sit up slowly, crawling out from beneath the covers, my eyes heavy and exhausted The empty glass on the side of the dresser tells of the sleeping potion I drank earlier tonight. I can’t remember where I put the vial. I want to drink the whole lot, to sleep until I am no longer fatigued. Slowly, I convince myself to climb out of bed, finding my wand and lighting it damply. I wander into the bathroom and stand there for a while, fidgeting, staring at my reflection in the mirror.

There’s a dullness about my hair that wasn’t there before. I scrape my fingers through it with agitation, as if that familiar movement will bring back the shine. My eyes are shallow and sunken. There’s nothing attractive about my face right now. I look haggard and at death’s door.

Pacing the bathroom back and forth, I swing my arms at my sides, a sigh raking from my dry chapped lips. I cannot understand this feeling, cannot understand the changes occurring in my body. My fingers stray to my neck, but whatever mark that was once there is now gone. I drop my hands away once again and face the door, hurrying back to bed.

I lie awake for the next few hours until dawn approaches, ploughing beneath my eyelids and setting my head to screaming. I roll over with a groan and bury my head beneath a pillow. I can’t sleep and I’m hungry, thirsty. I want something to devour.

And still, fluttering like a moth against the light that is the central of my mind, there is the small reminder that I must get up soon, to stroll to breakfast with bleary eyes, to sit at the table and stare at crumbly toasted bread, to snub my food and receive strange looks from my fellow housemates. And then I must walk to lesson, to sit in Snape’s freezing dungeons whilst my breath vapours the air, to bow my head with shame and mutter when he asks me why it is that I have not done my homework.

Chapter 6: Chapter Five
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Light the fire, feast
Chase the ghost, give in.
Take the road less traveled by,
Leave the city of fools,
Turn every poet loose.


*Lyrics, NightWish

Chapter Five


As predicted, Potions was awful. I mean, really, seriously awful - to a point where I reached the point of utter humiliation. Snape made me look like a fool; after discovering one of his precious Slytherins had failed the task in completing homework, he decided to hurl a few nasty, spiteful words at me, and then, to twist the knife a little further, upon noticing that I was half-asleep within his cold, dank classroom, he continually selected me out to answer questions I hadn’t even heard to begin with. The few painful, depressing hours concluded with a detention tonight cleaning in the Armoury Room. And to make it even worse - Potter and Weasley only went and landed themselves in the same detention also. And so here, at dinner, I find myself in the worst temper yet. If one person even pushes me too far . . .

“Blaise, you dropped bread in your lap.”

I glance up sharply to Pansy’s observation, before I narrow my eyes and my stare travels steadily down. Indeed, I have dropped bread, butter and all, into my lap, with a little smudge of gravy to top it off. Wow. Today really does suck.

My hand trembles lightly as I retrieve the food, well aware of Draco’s absurd, rather disgusted look lingering upon me, burning holes into my back. I duck my face quickly and stare down at my plate, which is still rather full, considering I’ve been sat here for well over half an hour. I don’t know what it is about being a vampyre, but apparently, my appetite has failed me. No matter how hungry I am, how terrible the thirst is that battles waves of fury across my mind, I find that the bread is like a rock inside my mouth, and water now seems so acid-like, plain and burning and unsatisfying. Does that make sense? It’s like I’m being punished for something. Even my favourite apple crumble cannot tempt me. It feels almost as if the world is falling apart. I’m an embarrassment to myself.

Apparently, Draco seems to think so, also.

“Have you looked at yourself recently?” he glares disdainfully, shaking his pale, pointy face I want to crush between my fingers so much, to smudge his annoying features out of existence. Arrogance radiates his stormy eyes, and nudging himself away from me a little, he does his best to look affronted. “Honestly, the whole school’s started to notice. You fall asleep in lessons, you’re failing classes . . . You’ve even gone and gotten yourself a detention with Potty and the Weasel. Slytherins don’t get detentions. If you even think about stepping out of line, of losing house points and being the cause of defeat of the Quidditch team . . .”

“You should be grateful,” I snap wrathfully, the fury spilling out from my mind to splash across my face with contorted rage. “At least me being out of the picture means you can have the limelight you so desperately pursue for once.”

His eyebrows quirk, disgruntled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means,” I continue, as if he’s a troll just wandered in from the mountains, “that now for once, your precious parents will feel the ability to be proud of you. It means that perhaps you’ll actually beat me in grades this term, excel in Quidditch, claim your throne as Slytherin king . . .”

He snorts, shaking his head, pretending to be nonchalant to my insults, and yet clearly we both know he’s not. His face is white and pinched, flushed a little pink. It causes me to chuckle inwardly to consider how a girl could ever feel any sense of desire for a man who blushes pink. Draco sees the amusement spark inside my dull, tired eyes, and glues onto it, hissing.

“What’s so funny?” When I fail to answer and only offer him a provocative smile, his fury increases, cheeks flaring all the more pink, as if he’s smudged make-up over them. I strangle the nasty laugh that bubbles in my throat, but not before he hears it. His eyes narrow, enflamed. “You know, you really are being a bastard lately . . .”

“What? Me?” I ask in mock-horror, staring down at myself in all my bread and butter glory. I brush at the blemish on my clothes and laugh again, leaning forward to ruffle Draco’s hair. “No worries, Drackie-poo . . . You’re just feeling a little tender. Is it because I don’t follow you around anymore? Because I’ve finally found my own voice and don’t come running to your every whim? Sorry I’m not as easy as those thick-set thugs who kiss your arse. I suppose I’d just rather severe my mind from the one you imbecile’s all share, and I find it shameful to obey a boy who blushes pink like a girl . . .”

His fist clenches all the further and he takes a lunge, although my reflexes are sharp, and with impossible swiftness, I stand and step aside at the last minute, so that his fist slams instead into the hard, wooden table, and there’s a sickening crack that sounds like he’s broken his wrist. His grey eyes blur with the rain of tears, and embarrassed, he ducks his head and closes his eyes, taking long, gasping breaths to drive away the pain of his bloodied knuckles.

Blood.

The scent tangles through the air, rich in its intoxication. It wafts with promises of indulgence to my greedy eyes. The thickness of that warm, salty smell is glorious, and I stare with fascination, the boiling heat tempting me, showing me this is my only way of survival, like a salt-water fish needs the constant assurance of the heaving sea. Sucking in a deep breath, my eyes blur in their colour, flashing dark with intensity, watching, anticipating . . .

But I’m in a hall full of people; immediately this informs my sensitive hunger that there can be no kill here. My eyes walk the tendons in his neck with gluttony, before fastening once more on the scarlet ribbons that thread in a slow river down his fingers. It drips onto the table, onwards and on, and as each droplet collides, it is another drop wasted.

Turning sharply, inhaling with desperation that seems almost like starvation, my stomach knotting into painful coils of hunger, I clutch at my stomach and try to leave the hall with as much dignity as I can muster. All the time, my mind is thinking, plotting away . . . I could get him tonight, in the dormitory, when all the others are sleeping. It will be quick and painless, and there will no longer be any tiredness once I have had my feed. Or an empty corridor - my arm will snake out, powdery white in its perfection, to snatch him and drag him towards me, to press my teeth against his neck, to watch as his blood rushes to tinge his pallid cheeks pink . . .

The thoughts have blurred my mind to savage blood thirst, and realising this, the idea seems to shut down, strangled out by my cold, utter horror. I’m shivering all over, having destroyed my confidence that I will solve this problem easily. Just the sight of blood has driven me into a wide frenzy, and now, I find it difficult to cope with the thought of drinking the blood of one of my best-friends. True, Draco can be a right pain in the arse, but nothing justifies thoughts like that.

Oh hell. I’m dangerous. I’m out of control.

This vampyre thing is really getting to me, and as each day passes, my hunger increases, like a huge, black void, eager to swallow every last shred of human in me up. If I drink, then that’s it. All is lost. I will become one of them - the hunter’s of the night.

I’ll become a monster.

As difficult as this thought is to digest, it’s clear in my mind, and with misery, I find my way back to the dormitory, hoping to catch sleep in the desperation of my hands, before finishing off what little homework I can and heading off to detention. My life seems to have fallen so quickly out of hand.






Sleep. It stares at me, a darkened veil that flutters with the lightness of my very own breath, like curtains caught upon a fragile breeze. Yet as I walk the struggling steps towards it, aching with fatigue, it slips back a little further. My hands outstretch, gripping with insistence, but I only manage to graze the soft surface of it, silky to my touch, before it tears away again, viciously this time, denying me. Why won’t it just accept me? Why must it deny me, constantly? And yet here, on this savage plain of restlessness, I find peace amongst the agitation, walking between the lands that divide dreams, reality and sleep. My wakefulness surges stronger with each tiny trickle of awareness, and yet the cold blackness is luring me down, despite the fact I long for its warming embrace.

Basically, I cannot sleep. No amount of sleeping potion aids me in this lack of ability, this deep longing and desperation. I want to choke, strangle and scream at the veil that barricades me from the burning desire, but it just cackles in its flapping as I grow all the more breathless. A voice breaks me from my reverie, a clearing of a thought, the glazed eyes watching me with faint concern.

“Blaise? Are you ok?”

I blink, surprised, and slowly sit up, wiping the dust from my eyes and sighing slowly. Still, the dull ache throbs in my teeth, although now it has reached my head. I feel totally miserable, not to mention irritable, and my eyes fall across Pansy, who is twirling a stand of dark hair against her fingers. Her delicate neck is exposed to the warmth of the firelight, which launches a golden splay across the pillar of it. I swallow audibly and quickly glance down.

“Fine.”

A silence falls between us. I’ve never really spoken to Pansy, nor in fact respected her. I can’t seem to realise she has the ability to be serious, or anything other than vain and drowning in her lust for Draco, the boy who blushes pink. Rising disgust mixes with the taste of nausea. Obsequious, love sick bint.

“I didn’t like the way you spoke to Draco today.” Oh great, more lectures. As if I need her to spare me her thoughts. She’s corrupted by that narcissistic bastard. “I think it was cruel and uncalled for,” she continues, pushing her words out slowly and with care, as if expecting another mood swing. “In fact, these past few days you’ve been acting strangely, Blaise. We’re all beginning to notice it. Is there something wrong? Something bad going on at home?”

I stare at her in deep disbelief. Since when did she care for the affairs of others, less it allowed her to spread a vindictive form of gossip? I continue to blink and stare. She takes this as permission to move onwards.

“Because you know it’s not good to take it out on others, especially Draco. He admires you, you know. He may not show it, but I know he does. He values your friendship.”

I draw a deep, patient breath, struggling to hide my disgust. “Pansy, Draco Malfoy is a leech. He sucks like a parasite the power from others, using it for his own gain. He takes all and gives little; manipulation is what he attempts to wield as a tool, and he fails miserably. I refuse to become another of his followers, of his little Slytherin gang.” I spell it out to her, eyeing her carefully, as if to make sure she understands. The earlier lust for blood boils into my mind and simmers with anger. “I’d prefer if you kept out of my business.” My eyes stray towards the homework I have not yet gotten through, the heavy piles of it forming a tower besides my armchair. The rest of the common room seems eerily silent, although there’s the sounds of frantic mutterings and exploding snap from the shadow-filled corners. Pansy watches me, impatient, and quickly I retrieve myself from the seat and brush down my robes, turning my attention away. “Now if you don’t mind, I have a detention to get to . . .”

“Think about what I said,” she calls after me, her voice thick with insistence. “Don’t push him away from you.”

I leave the dungeons less than satisfied. What with no sleep, no completed homework and no blood, my temper increases in its heat. Yet Pansy’s words leave me thinking. Draco admires me? How could the git love anyone other than himself? If he feels I should be honoured by his proffered friendship, then he’s sadly mistaken.

These days, I’ve begun to realise. Right now, I don’t need no one.






Detention. Oh, how I so very much so love it. As the shadows outstretch their darkening fingers, they highlight the note of twilight, the familiar dusky scent of dewed grass and wintry nights stinging the air with familiarity. My mind screams that I should be out there, in the dark of the world, awaking to the new day. Suddenly, all fatigue is swept away and replaced with awareness. My nightly hours await outside, open for me to explore. Out there, I will find blood, I will find . . .

“No,” I murmur softly, bringing up palms to hold my head in my hands. That world is not for me. Not whilst the fragments of a human cling with desperation to my body, even as the vampyrism strives to tear it all out, to mark me with the kiss of savagery. I will not come that of which I despise. Not whilst the candle of hope burns, despite the flickers of shadows that grip with darkened doubt to stifle it out.

Potter and Weasley are already in the Armoury, Filch watching them with a pleasured smirk, cat cradled in his filthy, ape-like arms. His eyes steer towards me as my footsteps, with the bare hint of a whisper across the ground, halt in the doorway. His eyes snap to a glare and he gestures wordlessly with a gnarled, warty thumb for me to hurry up and get the hell inside the room. Then, with a scratchy, ear-grating voice, he deals out his instructions to all of us.

“Wands. Hand ‘em over.” Grudgingly, we do so, and his eyes twinkle gleefully. He places them inside his pocket - oh god knows what else he’s got inside there - before his mouth twitches and he moves on, hand gliding over his steadily purring cat. The noise is like a motorbike, or one of those Muggle washing machines. “You clean this room, without magic. Any sign of cheating -” he passes us a warning look - “and the punishment will be severe. Ya hear ?”

His voice is like a lazy drawl, but it causes the others to nod and me to shrug lightly with nonchalance. Once he’s left, the door shutting soundlessly behind him, Potter and Weasley exchange disgusted looks before turning to eye me narrowly. None of us speak, but I feel their eyes on me even still as I turn away, picking up the provided rough fabric and polish, walking towards the nearest suit of armour and resting a palm upon it. Gradually, I sense the burning holes their eyes cast upon me fade away, and soon enough they’re talking darkly together, shooting occasional glances, but other than that, there is nothing and I am left to both my peace and my thoughts.

Scrubbing at the armoury feels good - the way it drives away all concentration, the way it eases my mind. I’m enabled to feel calm and my breathing grows regular. The armour is steely beneath my hand as I continue to scrub, the polish setting the dulled material to a metallic gleam. Gradually, my arms begin to ache, although only dully. The ragged breaths and curses coming from Potter and Weasley tell me they are less than pleased with this arrangement, and who knows how many hours it has been since we started . . .?

Finally, I move onto another set of armour, getting to my feet and watching the helm between narrowed eyes. The darkness inside the eye holes are marvelling - entrancing with blackness, they stare back out at me in their soft darkness. One hand reaches to graze upon it, although halts when I find a dent in the smooth, steely perfection. A sigh rakes from me and my eyes half close. It seems we all have our cracks and flaws.

“Enjoying playing house maid, Zabini?” Weasley suddenly hisses spitefully. “Probably good for you to play the House Elf for once, isn’t it? Really melts down your ego.”

Slowly, with impatience, I drop my gaze from the armour and turn to face him, eyes locking with a sense of disdain. His hair is dark with sweat, cheeks flushed scarlet that burns to the tip of his ears. He looks like an over grown beanstalk, the way his wiry body seems to structure out. Burning with intense annoyance, his eyes shade a little with frustration at the lack of my response. Eyes that meet his are only dull and cold, watching with lack of interest. My eyes trail to the half-finished armour behind him. He is still on his first.

“Surprising that you’re so slow,” I comment dryly, shrugging. “Aren’t you used to cleaning up by now? Or perhaps your house really is so much of a pig sty you’re used to the stink. Maybe mess doesn’t bother you.” I step forward to trail a finger through the gritty dust and dirt that coat the armour in an unpleasant sheen. “It’s almost the same colour as the armpits of your shirt. Do you enjoy indulging in your own filth, Weasley, or is it just an unobserved habit?”

His eyes light a little with flame, and he reaches to grab my wrist, twisting it lightly inside his hand and pulling it away from the armour. As my smirk plays at the corners of my lips, his grip tightens, to what he probably assumes is painful. Somehow, I feel so much stronger than him, and I pull away with ease, his fingers slipping away easily with just one movement of my arm. He stares, a little confused and with annoyance. I step away from his grasp and turn dismissively back towards the armoury.

“Even Filch smells better than you.”

A hiss of impatience releases from his lips, but at that moment the door bursts open, and Filch enters, if a little reluctantly, wands back in his hands and extending his arms to give them back to us.

“Yer can go now. But mark my words, next time yer land yerselves in detention -”

The rest of his words strike no interest in my mind, and I tune out, exhausted now. I take my wand, feeling comfort as I replace it in my back pocket, and soon enough we are released. Walking into the draughty corridors offers a wonderful, icy draught to my flesh, and in my daze I continue, halting only when I reach the dungeons. I shower quickly - and this time I’m not even going to tempt you with the offer of a description - and tug a towel around my waist before leaving the bathroom. The dormitory is quiet, but even as I find my way to my bed, I sense Draco’s resentful glare touching my skin. This triggers thoughts of what Pansy said earlier, and slipping into my boxers behind closed curtains, I get into bed, knowing already that it’s useless attempting to find sleep and so not even bothering to try.

Laying awake, I listen to the sounds of my dorm mates around me, the heartbeats that flutter into my ears. They are like drums, with their thump, thump, thump - their merciless pounding, taunting me. Just one droplet, I tell myself with the squashing temptation, just one little drink . . .

No.

There’s no way I can touch any one of them and not be found out soon enough. My behaviour’s getting strange enough already - my mood swings, my lack of control, the way I stared at the blood on Draco’s hand this morning . . . Dumbledore only needs the alert that there’s a vampyre in the school and he’ll call the experts in. He’ll track me down and find me. And then - well, I don’t even want to know what’ll happen.

My mind sighs in its strain and its disappointment, and still, sleep does not find me. As the world ticks on and the night grows to swell outside around the castle, the whisperings of wind shatter against the glass, the battering collision tempting me, coaxing me.

With the idea settled like a seed inside my mind, it stems all sorts of possibilities. With a groan I roll over, the silvery patterns of moonlight spreading like milk water across my skin. Slowly, gradually, I sit up, feeling my hunger unfurl and wake to the night. My feet touch the icy cold ground and my sharp eyes easily find my clothes inside the blanket of warm dark.

With a sudden energy, I prepare myself. Prepare myself to go hunting.





A.N: So, review . . . anyone? :p

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com