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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*

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