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Disclaimer: I do not own any characters, settings, or concepts related to Harry Potter. Any similarities to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series are coincidental and not intended.

December 25th

In mockery of the mortal tradition, Kali held an annual “feast” every year on this date. Hundreds of humans were brought in for us to drink from. Generally, I embraced the practice as it freed me from hunting for a few days and cut out the time-consuming chase. However, I was revolted by the human’s presence at this massacre, and more so at myself for allowing him to watch me as I destroyed life.

For the first time in centuries, I was actually ashamed of what I was. In the past, I had been mortified by my lack of self-control, but never of my entire being, never of my entire existence. His critical thoughts made me hyper-aware of every one of my movements.

Initially, I resisted. I sat in a corner watching the coven devour the selection provided for them. I winced as I saw my fellow vampires discard the limp bodies, red liquid dribbling down their chins. My mouth went dry as I vicariously suffered through the euphoria of every other vampire in the room when they had broken their victim’s neck and could feel the hot wetness on their tongues. It took every ounce of self-control I possessed to not give into my craving, to not tear into the soft flesh of the writhing humans beside me. Only the attentive gaze and mind of one particular human held me in place, but even he could not change what I was.

I locked eyes with him from across the room, begging him to understand that I was a monster. I did not know whether it was forgiveness or disgust that I wished to elicit from him, but he gave me both. His fate was now in his own hands; it would depend on which emotion came out the stronger. This was our moment of reckoning: the time when he would perceive what he was contending with, what he wished to fight.

I turned first to my weakest victim: a young girl with bouncing blonde curls and tears streaming down her freckled face. I closed my eyes, leaving behind the false humanity. A choked sob erupted from the delicate mouth, as I bit down into her throat. My years of experience had given me excellent instincts and I hit a primary vessel. At once, a sweet elixir entered my mouth, both filling my hunger and causing me to ache for more. I sucked harder, urging the blood to come out quicker and heavier, pulling the life out of the frail body. With each sip, I grew steadily thirstier and wilder until I had drained my prey.

Throwing aside the lifeless corpse, I was suddenly reminded of my audience. Horrified, I looked up, trying to wipe away the trails of blood. He was sickened by my actions, and rightfully so. Yet, his reaction pained me and I detested him for causing this self-loathing. I glanced at the rest of my hoard; they all gaped up at me with ill-hidden fear and resentment. Gritting my teeth against desire, I stood up, abandoning my metaphorical pot of gold.

With one crooked finger, I beckoned him to follow me. For the longest second the hesitated and I was trapped in a maelstrom of emotions; but the moment passed and he stood. He walked with me out of the hall and into the side chamber.

When we had stopped, we both stood in our places; I facing the wall and he staring at the back of my head. I was shocked by the unfamiliar fear and shame coursing through my body along with the new heat from the blood. I found that I could not look into those accusatory gray eyes; I could not bear the see the horror and revulsion written on his face.

“Look at me, Bree.”

I whipped around, furious at his egotism, for thinking he could command me. I was an immortal creature of death, while he was a mere human. I held his life in my palms; I was the hunter, he the prey. When had our roles changed?

“It doesn’t bother me.”

“What doesn’t?” My tone was lowered to a shadow of a whisper. I was just as afraid to hear the answer, as I was to hear the desperation in my voice.

“You need to kill to survive. Besides, they were Muggles that you…ate. They don’t matter…they shouldn’t matter.”

My stomach lurched as my humanity surfaced, bit by bit. He was a magnet for my soul, drawing it painfully up from deep within me. I could feel the shards of a conscience, of human feelings, resurrecting in my mind. I blinked. In the millisecond it took to reopen my eyes, I was changed. No longer did I see the world as my playground. It was as if my heart was beating once again, for it ached terribly. All of a sudden, I felt as vulnerable as a mortal. I felt powerless. I felt weak.

“How could you say that?” My voice was now hoarse, and my agony was laid out bare. The memories, the lives, all came rushing back to me in a torrent of pain. “All those people…all those deaths…” Something rose up in my throat and I could not speak.

He approached me, reaching out a careful hand to comfort me. “Bree…”

“How can you say they don’t matter?” My eyes burned and my throat throbbed, but my eyes never left his face.

“Muggles…Muggles are l-less than us…than wizards,” he was examining his shoes with apparent interest. I was not going to be lied to.

“Do you really believe that?”

He looked up at me with wide, lost eyes. He looked like a young child who has gone astray and cannot find his mother. “I-I don’t know.”

“That’s why I never understood your Dark Lord.” Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw him twitch slightly, but his expression never faltered. “I kill—we kill because we have to. We are not humans, we do not have your sense of right and wrong. But when your kind kills, it’s a mystery to us. I will never understand how, or why, one of you could kill another; not when you have a soul, not when you have a conscience. My humanity is farther down, hidden by the will to live, but yours…yours is right there on top. Why do you humans refuse to use your greatest asset, the think that separates you from demons and monsters?”

The human shook his head, “I don’t know.”

We both sighed, mourning human genius and stupidity. The melancholy sat in the room, engulfing everything like a dense fog. The atmosphere was so thick that I had trouble drawing breath, though I hardly needed it. I wondered if the human’s brain was as confounded and suddenly blank as mine was.

I noticed that we had drawn very close. I had to tilt my head back to look him in the eyes. I saw that he had dark circles under his eyes that contrasted vividly with his pale skin and hair. There was light stubble growing along his jaw and above his pink lips. He had a faded scar, nearly hidden by his hairline, on his right side. My fingers were drawn to it. His eyes fluttered shut when I touched it, tracing the uneven skin.

I could hear the urgent beating of his heart. I wondered if it was warning him of the danger he was in. The anxious sound reminded me of what could be found beneath the beige skin. I wondered if he would taste as good as he smelled. Attractive mortals always tasted the best, probably a feature of evolution. The delicious scent and allure subconsciously drew me closer. His eyes held me captive. My mind was being ripped by the two forces of lust and hunger. I was petrified of finding out which urge would win out. My brain was a wishbone with two powers vying for the larger half.

When his lips touched mine, a shiver of pleasure wracked my being. His warm, seductive body encompassed mine, providing heat I’ve never found before, a heat I never knew I needed. For a moment, for a wonderful, glorious moment, all I could focus on was the feel of his mouth slanted over mine.

Then the monster took over.

I wanted to bite, tear, devour.

I ripped my lips away and horror, shoving him across the room in haste. “Fool!” I shouted, my voice breaking. “Selfish, conceited, desperate fool!”

He was slumped against the opposite wall, gaping at me. An immediate sense of déjà vu hit me and I was reminded of our first encounter. Somehow, I always seemed to be throwing him against walls. If that wasn’t a sign of how dangerous I was to him, I did not know what was. The human was a complete mess. Kali had been right to warn me.

December 26th

He plagued my mind for the rest of the night; guilt at my actions ate away at me. The bloody idiot had awoken the most depraved human emotions in me. I now remembered why I had detested them as a mortal, why I had not lamented their loss when I became immortal. They hung on me like weights, dragging down every action. I could not read, for I was reminded of our interaction in the library. I could walk in the garden because the air smelled like him. I could not even find solace in my sleep since every time I shut my eyes, I could see his crumpled face.

I knew now that some change had taken over my body. I did not know what it was, but it was somehow linked to the insignificant human. No longer could I feed or think about a human’s blood without feeling the sickening heave of my gut. I craved it and loathed it all at once, just as I had come to crave and loathe the human. I needed his presence to satisfy my troubled mind, yet in the back of my head I knew that he was dangerous to my survival. I suffered a paradox that would destroy me.

The next morning, I had determined to resolve this issue once and for all. All it required was one conversation. But arranging that one conversation proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated. The human seemed to know what I was trying to do, and diligently avoided me.

So was sufficiently irked when I finally cornered him in a hidden back room of the manor. I did not beat around the bush by accusing him of anything. We both knew he was guilty and that was enough. A part of me, the disgustingly human part, wished that we could have this discussion telepathically so that I would not have to find the words to describe what I felt.

“That kiss can never happen again.”

Judging by the sudden tightening of his face, I gathered that that had been a little too harsh. I had forgotten how fragile humans were, how utterly sensitive and breakable.

“I could kill you. When you come that close to me, all I can think about is the blood and—”

“You didn’t kill me yesterday!” He passionately interrupted me, his face and voice contorted in pain.

“It was too close a call.”

“For who? Everything seemed perfectly—”

“For you! For me! I will not be the one who kills you…or at the very least condemns you to a life of servitude!”

His body sagged at my words. “What do you mean ‘servitude’?”

“I mean, we are forced to cater our appetites. We are always in bondage to our ferocious desires. The idea of being a creature of carnal desire may sound appealing, but imagine being a slave to thirst. It’s a life of misery and imprisonment.”

He watched, drinking in my words. I could see the countless questions bubbling within his head. I both wanted to answer them, and leave him in the dark. The less he knew, the less a chance there was that he would choose this path, because he would have to choose. In a few days, he would have to make the decision between this and death, and right now I fervently hoped that he would choose death. He was right: compared to this life, it was a release.

“You said that could have made me a vampire. How exactly does that w-work?”

I didn’t want to answer. I pressed my lips shut as if that would prevent the words from spilling out of my mouth. “If I had drank your blood and not drained your body.”

“Is it instantaneous? Just like that—” He looked so curious, so eager, I could not continue. I would not aid him on his road to damnation.

“No,” I said shaking my head. “No…I refuse to help you—”

“Why not?” he demanded angrily. “Why won’t you let me—”

Let you?” I laughed dryly. “I will not curse you to walk the Earth for eternity, bound up in your longing and murderous intentions.”

“It will not be a curse if you are by my side.”

All protest fell from my lips. I had had an entire speech planned out, intended to convince him of his folly. “W-w-what?”

“I love you, Bree. I love you. I want to spend the rest of forever with you. I—”

“Shut up. You do not know what love is. You do not love me, you love the idea of immortality. Do not delude yourself. You, like so many humans before you, are infatuated with the idea of living forever. You do not understand that it’s a damnation to have to spend every moment alive, even after you have died on the inside. There is no rest for us, no escape. When we are weary of this world, there is no exit plan. We are doomed to live and die by this Earth, our fates our bound with it. You humans are blips on the thread of time. Your idea of forever is but a short moment to us. Your emotions are trifling whims. Nothing that you make or feel is substantial or relevant.

“Do not insult love by pretending you feel it. Do not insult me.”

A/N: Whew! I’ve noticed that my Draco is a bit too touchy-feely, so I tried to make him a little better here. I’ve also tried to explain Bree’s transition of feelings so that they make sense and don’t seem too sudden. I would love to hear how you thought I did.

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