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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 . . . ^_^

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