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Chapter 10

 

Hermione and Jasper were dancing cheek to cheek, enchanted by the soft melody in the ballroom. It was Halloween’s night and they were in Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania. They were lost in each other’s eyes and didn’t care about the pale vampire couples dancing, chatting and laughing near them, the women in long and colurful ball gowns, the men in tailcoats.

Hermione was wearing a strapless, off-the-shoulder, glittering red evening dress, Jasper’s tailcoat was white and shiny. He smiled and held the girl in his arms tighter and tighter. Hermione felt dizzy as they danced, she blushed at times when she felt Jasper’s body against hers.

It was a great evening and they were happy, enjoying the ball and being together… They didn’t suspect it would be over soon.

OOOOO

In the Great Hall of Hogwarts the students had their Halloween Party. Bright orange pumpkins were floating in the air while the girls and boys were dancing in crazy costumes.

Professor Malfoy yawned and wondered where Professor Granger could be. He didn’t see Jasper, either, and it worried him.

The one who looked more worried than him was Professor Neville who had just arrived. When he noticed Malfoy, he immediately hurried up to him.

’Hermione is in trouble,’ Neville said quickly, his face white.

Malfoy became alert at once.

’What do you mean?’ He asked Neville, with concern in his voice.

’I told her…’ Neville stammered, feeling guilty.

’What did you tell her?’ Malfoy was getting nervous.

’I told her that vampires cannot smell human scent if one drinks gurdy-root tea… Two cups of this tea and you can get rid of your human scent for about ten hours.’

’And?’ Malfoy was impatient now especially because Neville connected Hermione’s name with the vampire issue.

’And… I was wrong.’ Neville looked miserable. ’I have just read an article about magic plants in the library… And it was about the effects of gurdy-root… It makes a man’s human scent disappear for ten hours, that’s right… But women’s scent is different… Because of the hormones. Hermione drank two cups of tea at 6 p.m. and the effect can last only about four hours… Now it’s a quarter to ten… She has minutes left and the vampires will soon…’

’Where is she now?’ Malfoy shook Neville’s shoulders.

’In Dracula’s Castle… In Transylvania… With Jasper Hale and a bunch of vampires.’

But Malfoy couldn’t hear the last words. He rushed out of the castle, into the cold October night.

OOOOO

Hermione shuddered. Jasper held her so tight she could hardly breathe. She rested her chin on his shoulder and watched the shiny parquet, the huge chandeliers, the orchestra…

’I’m so glad Neville could help us,’ Jasper whispered in her ear.

’Yeah…’ Hermione smiled and enjoyed how Jasper’s blond curls brushed her cheek. ’Just two cups of tea… And we can dance the night away…’

’I hope he wasn’t wrong,’ Jasper remarked and Hermione felt his body stiffened.

She looked into his eyes, scowling.

’Your smell…’ Jasper stopped dancing, still holding Hermione tight. ’I… I can smell it again. The scent of your blood.’ He whispered with that familiar hungry kind of look in his eyes.

’Are you sure?’ Hermione asked but no answer was needed. She saw more and more heads turning towards them, towards her… In their eyes curiosity first, then realisation, hunger, desire… The music faded slowly, dance was over. A crowd was beginning to form around her and Jasper.

She was the prey and all the others were the hunters.

She tried not to panic, looking around to find out how to escape. She was standing in the corner of the ballroom with Jasper. There were no doors near them, just a huge Venetian mirror on the wall.

She looked in the mirror and could see only herself. Herself, alone, in the strapless, off-the shoulder, glittering red evening dress.

 

End of Chapter 10

 
 

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