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As usual, I don’t own Harry Potter. I just own the plot, Darknight, and any other original ideas and characters that may show up.

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John Witter liked his job as an auror, with the exception of today. Being a seventh year during Harry Potter’s fourth, he always liked the kid. John rooted for Harry during the Tri-Wizard tournament and was one of the few who didn’t believe the Ministry of Magic’s public smear campaign against him the following year. But tonight, John was called on his first mission, a response to an attack at Ottery St. Catchpole. When he arrived, he saw a figure dressed in black leather standing away from them. He caught a glimpse of the guy’s face before he Disapparated, and was shocked to see that it was Harry Potter’s, smeared with blood. Upon examining the body of Bellatrix Lestrange, it was confirmed that she died from a vampire bite. Now it fell on John to tell the head auror that their vampire was probably Harry Potter. If he were a gambling man, he’d wager ten galleons that there would be a warrant for the arrest and probable extermination of Harry by the end of the day. Sighing, John poked his head into the head auror’s office.

“I hate to disturb you, sir, but I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

John Witter really hated his job tonight.

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Hermione stirred, and she cracked one eye to see that she was tucked into the master bed. She looked at her watch to see that it was almost 9:30 in the morning. She also noticed that she was alone. Quietly slipping out of bed, she walked out of the room to find Harry. When she passed the library, she saw that the door was open, and looked inside to see Harry sitting at the table, clutching his head in apparent discomfort. She gently rapped her fingernails against the wall and he looked up.

“Good morning, sunshine,” he said quietly. Smiling slightly, she walked in and pulled herself a chair to sit down next to him.

“How are you feeling?” she asked him. Harry let his head drop back into his hands, groaning.

“Now so well,” he muttered. “Bellatrix’s memories are starting to give me a headache.” Harry rubbed his temples to emphasize his point before continuing. “I did find something, though. Apparently, Bellatrix was the one assigned to watch Hufflepuff’s cup.” Hermione visibly brightened at this news.

“That’s great, Harry!” she said excitedly. Harry just shook his head, not looking up at her.

“Not really,” he said. “All I remember is that it’s in a dark, nondescript room. I have no idea where it is or what defenses it has around it. Right now, I’m trying to pick through her memories to see if it’s there.” Hermione’s face adopted a saddened expression, and she rubbed Harry’s shoulder sympathetically.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked. Harry didn’t immediately respond, but after a minute he looked up at her.

“Do you think you can perform legilimency?” he asked. Hermione could only gape at him, shocked. “With you poking through my head, this’ll probably go faster,” Harry explained. He reached over and held her hand. “Hermione, I trust you; I know you won’t mind-rape me like…” Harry paused; he couldn’t bring himself to address Snape by name. “…I trust you.” With Harry’s declaration of trust in her, Hermione reluctantly nodded her head. Drawing her wand, they scooted their chairs a few more inches away from each other, before Hermione aimed her wand at Harry.

Legilimens,” she said. Harry immediately felt a presence worming its way through his mind and instinctively slammed mental shields he didn’t even know he had down on it, knocking Hermione back slightly.

“I’m sorry, I just reacted,” Harry said, shaking his head. “Give me a moment to prepare.” After a few seconds, he nodded, and Hermione took aim again.

Legilimens.” Again, Harry felt the foreign presence creeping through his mind, but struggled to keep himself from slamming his shields down again. As Hermione dug deeper into Harry’s subconscious, the more she felt like she was drifting out of her own body. Staring into Harry’s pale green eyes, she saw her world go black. A moment later, her vision returned, and she saw herself standing in a small bedroom with clothes and other miscellaneous junk strewn about. “This place is a dump,” she thought out loud.

“That hurt, Granger,” a voice said. Hermione spun around to see Harry clutching his chest dramatically. “I’ll have you know that there’s a method to all my chaos.” Hermione couldn’t help but snort in skepticism. Harry just rolled his eyes and opened a drawer randomly. Inside were several photo albums, not unlike the one where he held the pictures of his friends and parents. He grabbed the top one and opened it to the first page, and the photo played a scene from when he was eleven and vanished the glass pane from the boa constrictor exhibit prior to receiving his first Hogwarts letter. After flipping through the entire album and not finding anything important, he tossed it aside and grabbed another one.

Harry did not know how much time had passed when Hermione called him. He walked over and she pointed at a photo. They watched as in the dead of night, Bellatrix Lestrange Apparated right outside of a building Harry recognized as the orphanage that Voldemort grew up in. They watched as she walked inside the building in obvious disgust and walked through a trap door in the floor. They watched as she pulled a glowing green emerald from her pocket and entered a secret chamber, where Hufflepuff’s cup stood on a lone pedestal. After inspecting the area for a few minutes, she left back the way she came. Finding what they were looking for, Hermione released the connection, and she found herself in her own body.

“That was…weird,” she said. She stood up and swayed slightly as she regained her bearings. Shaking his head to rid himself of the remaining fuzziness in his head, Harry also stood up.

“But at least we know where the cup is,” Harry said excitedly. Hermione grinned at his newfound enthusiasm, but it quickly faded.

“There’s just one problem, Harry: Bellatrix was carrying a ward stone. That crystal renders the holder immune to whatever traps Voldemort happened to lay down, so we know absolutely nothing about what could be waiting for us down there.” Harry’s smile immediately disappeared. “I think we’re going to need Bill Weasley’s help.” It immediately dawned on Harry how difficult it would be to attain help from said Weasley, considering the display he showed the night before.

“Oh, damn,” he muttered.

Meanwhile, at the rickety house known as the Burrow, Arthur Weasley was nursing a glass of firewhiskey. He had dark circles under his eyes, but to be fair, no one in that house had slept well the past few nights. First with Harry’s disappearance, then Hermione’s, and now with the revelation that Harry was a vampire, sleep was the last thing on everyone’s minds now.

Right after the attack, the Order assembled to discuss it, and Arthur told the others about Harry’s vampirism, and it hit them hard. After recovering from the initial shock, Moody suggested that they shove a stake in his heart, a suggestion that nearly had the ex-auror mobbed by almost the entire Order. Professor McGonnagal was so shocked Arthur was afraid she would have heart failure, and if it weren’t for Tonks, Remus probably would have completely snapped. His own wife was so fraught with worry that she passed out from exhaustion. He didn’t know how his children reacted, for they immediately locked themselves in their rooms, only coming out to use the loo, and not speaking to anyone during those times.

Personally, Arthur didn’t know what to think. On the one hand, Harry was almost like another son to him. He was kind, gentle, polite, and a good friend to his son Ron. On the other hand, he was a vampire now, one of the darkest creatures known to mankind. He shuddered at the thought of what he could do to Hermione if his hunger took over. With his confusion and conflictions threatening to tear him in two, he did the only thing he could think of.

He poured himself another glass and slammed it down.

Back at Grimmauld Place, Hermione finished the illegal Portkey that she would use to bring Bill over to them. After finding a ring that – after much scrutiny, proved harmless – Hermione enchanted it and slipped it on her right index finger, the opal glinting off her finger.

“You know, I’m not so fond of kidnapping Bill,” she said, twirling the ring.

“I know,” Harry said, “but I doubt that there’s anything we could say that would make him come willingly.” Harry walked up behind her and looked down at the ring. “It looks nice,” he said.

“Thanks,” Hermione replied. Harry quietly wrapped his arms around Hermione, pulling her close to him.

“Hermione, if things start going south tonight, I want you to get out of there.” Hermione turned around in his arms and glared at him.

“If you even think I’m going to abandon you--!” she started to rant.

Please, Hermione!” Harry practically begged. “Please don’t argue with me, not this time. I don’t want anything to happen to you.” Hermione sighed in exasperation.

“Harry, if this is just your ‘saving people thing’ kicking in again, I can take care of myself, and you know that.” Harry’s somber look only became gloomier, and Hermione frowned in concern. “It’s not just that, is it?” Harry shook his head negatively. “What is it then?” Harry stepped back so he was holding Hermione at arms length.

“I’m scared, Hermione,” he said softly. “I’m scared of losing you. I know that it’ll happen eventually, as I’m immortal and you’re not, but I want you to live the longest life possible, not to die because of some trap Voldemort laid down. I don’t want to feel that heartache so soon.” He chuckled humorlessly. “Ironic, since we seem to be founded by heartache,” he added bitterly. Hermione brought one hand up to cup Harry’s cheek.

“What do you mean?” Hermione whispered. Harry shook his head and grabbed her hand, gently pulling her to the sitting room, where they both sat on the sofa.

“Do you know how the vampires were created?” he asked, looking at Hermione. When she shook her head, he looked away. “I didn’t think so, it’s not something I would want published.” Harry sighed deeply as he began to tell his story. “Centuries ago, before the founding of Hogwarts, there was a young woman, her name lost in the sands of time, whose lover had died in battle. She asked a wizard to bring him back, and the wizard brought her to a cave. The wizard told her that if she could go into the cave and find her lover, she could bring him back, so she went in.

“She searched for Merlin knows how long. Her food began stale and dusty and her water ran dry. She would be attacked by bats, who would draw her blood from her flesh. Eventually, she began drinking the blood of rats and other vermin to keep herself watered. Occasionally, she would find other people who were on similar quests. Sometimes, she was so maddened by hunger that she slit their throats and drank their blood from the wounds.” Harry paused to collect himself while Hermione made a gagging sound. “No one knows how long she was down there, but eventually, she saw no other option but to give up, and return to the surface. But when she arose, the sunlight burned her, and she had to wait until nighttime to leave.

“When she finally arose from that cursed abyss, she was changed. Her teeth had grown into fangs like the bats who feasted on her blood. Her skin had grown gray, and her flesh had gone cold, like that of a corpse. And when she felt her chest, her broken heart would no longer beat.

“She later found out that everyone she had ever known and loved had died decades before, and she was all alone. Driven by her hunger and grief, she sought to change others, to condemn them to the same curse that she had, to make others share her heartache that comes with watching all that you know, all that you love wither away, and you are left behind.” Harry turned to Hermione, tears threatening to fall from his eyes. “Now you know my reasons, so promise me that you’ll keep yourself safe. Please.” Her own eyes filling with tears, she reached up to kiss Harry on the top of the head before pulling him into a hug.

“I promise,” she whispered into his ear. For the next several hours, they simply sat there holding each other, no words being spoken between them.

That afternoon, Hermione Apparated into Diagon Alley and walked into the tall white building that was Gringotts. After waiting in line for almost fifteen minutes, she walked up to the goblin clerk.

“State your business,” it growled. Gulping, Hermione stood a little straighter.

“I need to speak with Bill Weasley,” she said confidently. The goblin eyed her suspiciously.

“Do you have an appointment?” it snarled.

“No, but it’s really urgent that I speak to him,” Hermione said, thinking of some sort of excuse to give to the goblin. “It’s a family emergency.” The goblin considered it for a minute before scribbling something down on a piece of parchment and snapping its fingers, making the parchment disappear. Within minutes, Bill came dashing out into the lobby.

“I got a message about a family emergen—Hermione!” Bill panted. He pulled Hermione into a hug which she awkwardly returned. “Mum and Dad have been going spare over you! What’s the emergency?” Hermione glanced around nervously.

“I’ll tell you outside,” she said quickly. Nodding, Bill ran outside the building as if Death Eaters were chasing him. “I’m really sorry, Bill, activus,” she muttered under her breath, activating the Portkey. When she walked outside, Bill looked like he was about to rip his hair out.

“What’s going on, Hermione?” he asked anxiously. Instead of answering, she slapped Bill on the shoulder, activating the Portkey and taking them back to Grimmauld Place. “Where are we?” he asked, confused.

“The most noble and ancient house of Black,” a voice said behind him. Bill spun around to see Harry leaning on a wall. “Former headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, and my current hiding spot,” he continued. Bill reached for his wand, but he couldn’t find it. He turned around to see Hermione twirling it in her hand.

“What do you want from me?” Bill asked, trying to sound brave, but Harry could detect the fear in his voice.

“Your help, actually,” Harry said. “You see, Hermione and I are on a little quest, but it seems that at least one of our objectives is guarded by traps of unknown amount and nature. You need your expertise as a curse breaker to get to it. Interested?” Bill thought about what Harry said.

“Why should I trust you, after you kidnapped me?” he spat. Harry simply shrugged.

“Was there anything either of us could have said that would have made you come willingly?” he asked. Bill realized that he was right; he probably wouldn’t have even considered the possibility of doing this willingly.

“What do I get out of this?” he asked. Again, Harry shrugged.

“What do you want to get out of this?” Bill considered his answer. He quickly came to the conclusion that nothing mattered more than his family.

“You leave my family alone,” Bill said. Harry nodded in acceptance.

“That I can do. Though it pains me to see that you would think so little of me because of my condition, I guess I can understand it. We leave at nine tonight. Help yourself to the food in the pantry.” Nothing more needing to be said, Harry turned around and walked away. Hermione handed Bill back his wand.

“Can we trust him, Hermione?” Bill asked quietly. “I mean, he is a vampire after all.” Hermione glared at Bill.

“Yes, we can trust him, Bill. He may be a vampire, but he’s still Harry. And besides, you’re a werewolf now; between that and your social status, you should know what it’s like being on the wrong end of prejudices.” With a huff, Hermione stormed off, leaving Bill standing in the middle of the sitting room. “And don’t try to Apparate out!” Hermione called out as she left.

That night, after Harry had lowered the anti-Apparation wards around Grimmauld Place, the three of them Apparated to the orphanage that Voldemort used to live in, now little more than an abandoned building. Bill checked the front door for any curses or booby traps and, finding none, they walked in. Apparently, it had been a while since Bellatrix had last inspected the horcrux, as her footprints were almost completely covered by a new layer of dust.

“Here,” Harry said, pointing to where the trap door was. Bill pulled out his wand and pointed it at the trap door.

Periculosus revelio,” he chanted, and the door glowed blue, indicating that there were no traps. Harry lifted the door up and walked down, Bill and Hermione following. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, Harry moved aside for Bill to cast the spell again. This time, from about six inches away from the pedestal, the ground glowed red, and four lines reached to the corners of the room, highlighting four small crystals. “Demonstro,” Bill cast, and he watched as details of the trap scrolled across his vision, unseen by the other two people in his company. “This is a lightning trap. You step on the rigged area, and it shoots electricity at you and burns you to a crisp. I saw a few of these in Egypt, they’re not that hard.” A few quick counter-spells later, and the area was successfully disarmed.

“It’s strange that Voldemort—” Bill shuddered when Harry said the name. “You’re almost thirty, Bill, grow a backbone. Anyway, isn’t it strange that Voldemort would have such a simple spell guarding something as important as this?” Hermione shrugged in confusion.

“The only thing I can think of is between its out-of-the-way location, the lethality of the trap, and that very few people know what exactly this is, I guess he didn’t feel the need.” Bill looked back and forth between the two young adults.

“Okay, what the hell is this, and why is it so important?” he asked. Harry looked straight at Bill.

“It’s Hufflepuff’s cup,” Harry said. “It is also a very dangerous object, the nature of which you cannot know.” Harry walked over to the cup and carefully picked it up off its pedestal. After realizing that no boulders or painful spells were coming his way, he pulled a folded pillowcase out of his pocket and dropped the cup inside it, tying it off. “I’ll be back,” he said before disappearing with a crack.

Harry Apparated inside the Chamber of Secrets underneath Hogwarts. Grabbing a stray rock, Harry transfigured it into a large oak table and placed the cursed chalice on top of it before Disapparating, the crack echoing within the large, empty chamber.

Hermione and Bill fidgeted nervously while waiting for Harry, even though he was only gone less than two minutes. When Harry reappeared, he turned to Bill.

“Thanks for the help, Bill,” Harry said, patting the older man on the shoulder. “We really appreciate the help.” Bill could only stare dumbly at Harry.

“Umm…thanks,” he said, unsure how to react.

“I hope the wedding goes well,” Hermione said. Bill suddenly looked very nervous.

“Umm, yeah, about the wedding…” he said hesitantly. “Between the two of you disappearing, Mum decided to postpone the wedding.” This shocked both Harry and Hermione.

“What?!” they shouted simultaneously.

“That’s not fair to you or Fleur!” Hermione exclaimed. “This wedding is about you, and you shouldn’t delay it just because of us.” Bill shrugged helplessly.

“I tried to tell her that you wouldn’t want us to delay the wedding on your part, but you know how she is,” he said. Hermione suddenly got an idea.

“Elope,” she simply said. Bill just looked at her, not understanding. “You and Fleur find the pastor or whoever is wedding you, maybe grab a couple of close family members for witnesses and elope! You two should have your happiness while you can.” Bill thought about it, and nodded his head.

“Fleur and I joked about that when Mum was preparing the wedding, but now…now I think that’s probably the best idea,” he said. He bent down and gave Hermione a hug. “Thanks.” He let go and after a moment of consideration, gave Harry a handshake. “Next time you need to break into somewhere, you know where to find me,” he said. Nodding, patted Bill on the arm before they walked out of the building and went their separate ways. When Harry and Hermione Apparated back to Grimmauld Place, Harry adopted a pensive look.

“What’s on your mind, Harry?” Hermione asked.

“Just a bit ashamed that we’re the reason why Bill and Fleur aren’t married yet,” Harry said simply. Hermione sighed in dejection.

“Yeah, so am I, but at least they’ll have their happiness now.” They simply stood in silence for a moment before Hermione broke it again. “Are you tired yet?” Harry shook his head.

“Nope. Not time for that, and even if it was, I’m too excited that we got a horcrux. Now all we need to do is get Nagini, something of Ravenclaw’s or Gryffindor’s, and Slytherin’s…locket,” he trailed off, looking at the Black family tapestry. Specifically, the bottom where it said “Regulus Black.” Harry noticed that it didn’t have a middle name, and cursed himself for disposing of Mrs. Black so eagerly, when he remembered something.

“Kreacher!” Harry yelled. With a pop, the filthy pig-nosed house elf popped in front of him.

“What does blood-sucking master wish?” Kreacher asked with a whimper. “And his mudblood wench, oh how my mistress would be ashamed,” he added in a sotto that Harry could hear as clearly as if the elf had shouted it.

“Tell me the full name of Regulus Black,” Harry said. Kreacher didn’t answer right away, but instead whimpered. “Tell me!” Unable to defy a direct order from his master, Kreacher relented.

“Regulus Arcturus Black,” he muttered. Harry nodded in satisfaction.

“Did Regulus bring a locket with an ornate ‘S’ on it before he died?” Harry asked. Kreacher growled; he did not like where this conversation was going.

“Yes,” he admitted sullenly.

“Do you know where it is?” Kreacher grumbled to himself, but he nodded his head. “Bring it to me.” With a look of contempt, Kreacher popped away to reappear seconds later with a silver locket, one that Harry recognized as one that no one could open from the purging of the house two years before. Taking the surprisingly heavy locket from the house elf, he looked down at the being. “Do you remember your previous orders?” he asked.

“Work at Hogwarts, don’t talk or make writing or make signals or nothing to anyone else,” Kreacher grumbled.

“That’s correct,” Harry said. “You are to fall back on those orders until I summon you again. Dismissed.” Bowing, Kreacher disappeared with a crack. Harry Apparated back to the Chamber of Secrets to place the locket next to the cup and returned to Grimmauld Place and pulled Hermione into a hug. “Two horcruxes in one night, I never thought I’d be so lucky,” he said joyously. Laughing lightly, she patted him on the back and he let go.

“So, what do you want to do until we get tired?” she asked. Harry shrugged.

“Exploding snap? I have a deck in my trunk.” Hermione, for once, didn’t really feel like studying, so she nodded in acceptance. Harry ran into his room to get his deck, and they played exploding snap until almost five in the morning.

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Wow, over ten pages, my longest one yet.

FINALLY, I got the origin of the vampires out in the open. I hope you liked it.

I hope you enjoyed that chapter.

Don’t forget to read and review!

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