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This one is quite a bit shorter than some others, but its been 4 months, so I figure something is better than nothing! Sorry!

Chapter 10

Vampires get hungry, too

Adrian slowly stood, dusting himself off with long graceful strokes of his fingers and looked up at Abby in silent question just as the sky opened in fury around them. Streams of water torrented down, soaking the four instantly. Diana's nightgown clung wetly to her skin, rivulets of water dripping down onto the stone balcony. Draco's white hair was plastered to the side of his head, and Abby's ponytail drooped dangerously. Adrian, however, merely looked annoyed, glancing up at the buckets of rain pouring towards him as if it were merely a slight drizzle.

Abby growled in annoyance and thrust her hand into her pocket, drawing out a small clear vial. "Here." she tossed it towards Adrian, and as it flew through the air, Draco caught a glimpse of a deep red liquid glittering inside. Adrian caught it, wrenched the top open, and drank the contents.

"Good!" Abby yelled over the sound of the rain, "now lets get the hell inside, and I'll explain."

Draco hesitated, directing a distrustful look in Abby's direction. "You aren’t bringing him in!"

he ordered, narrowing his eyes.

Abby rolled her eyes, giving Draco an incredulous scowl. "Just go inside, Malfoy! If he wants to hurt you, the wards won't let him in."

Draco calmed slightly, contemplating the wisdom of this statement. "Right, then," he said, a bit sheepishly. He turned to look for Diana, and found her standing just inside the door, waiting a bit impatiently for the rest of them to come inside. He nodded, starting towards the door. Abby and Adrian followed. He stepped inside, immediately crossing to Diana and putting an arm firmly around her waist. He was surprised to see Adrian slip easily through the door, and glanced at Abby for an explanation.

She opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by four house elves scurrying in, bearing thick fluffy towels. Draco smiled gratefully and slung the towel over his shoulders. Abby drew her wand out from a hidden pocket of her clothing, aiming it at her middle and performing a drying spell, which left her dry, though steaming slightly.

Diana slipped a towel around her, holding it tight, and watched Adrian with an expression of wary curiosity. In the brighter light of the bedroom, they could see him clearly now. His hair was light blonde, though slightly darker than Draco, and it framed his angular face in mounds of soft curls that gave him an eerie cupid-like quality that didn’t quite fit his long thin nose or the numerous other sharp features on his face. His eyes were a misty blue in color, and from out of these poured an almost tangible ageless wisdom that commanded the highest form of respect. He was well-dressed, his long thin body clothed entirely in black; black pants, black silk shirt, black trench coat that reached to his knees. All of his features seemed stretched and elongated, as though too much use and too many years had forced his body into this unnatural shape. He had accepted a towel from one of the elves, although he seemed somehow to already be dry.

Draco was watching him with an expression of disgust. "What do you want with my fiancée, Vampire?" he hissed, taking a threatening step forwards. His fists were raised, wand forgotten somewhere at his side. Abby considered for a moment warning Malfoy off from attacking, but then decided that it would be quite amusing to see him try.

Adrian raised an eyebrow at Draco, giving him a rather icy gaze that made Diana shiver and take a half-step backwards. "The usual," he said, lifting a hand and examining a set of long thin nails. "Vampires get hungry, too."

Draco growled, narrowing his eyes and lunging forwards to swing at Adrian, but struck only thin air as the vampire danced backwards across the air to land safely several feet away. "Really, Malfoy," Abby intoned. "If you’ll just listen to the story."

Draco turned on her, furious. "You know him!"

She arched an eyebrow. "Of course I do. Now, if you’ll just calm down, we can all go downstairs and I assure you that I can offer a sufficient explanation."

Diana arched an eyebrow, hesitating for a moment, then nodded her head in agreement. "All right," she agreed.

"Diana--!" Draco looked horrified. "He bit you! And he would have done it again if we hadn’t…"

"If Abby hadn’t," Diana corrected mildly, looking slightly amused. "I, for one, would like to hear what they have to say about it." She smiled, turned, and strode out of the room and down the hallway, pausing only to sling a light green housecoat over her nightgown.

Draco grumbled something inaudible, then sighed and gestured. "well, lets go then." He allowed Abby and Adrian to exit first, following behind them with a nasty scowl.

By the time they reached the atrium, Diana was seated in a chair, and a hoard of house elves were bearing several tea trays towards them. Abby glanced at the trays as they were placed on the table in front of them. There was tea, of course, in steaming silver tea pots and small delicate cups emblazoned with the Malfoy family crest in green, gold, and silver. There was also an array of pastries and tarts, including a tray of fresh meats and cheeses rimmed by croissants. She found herself suddenly very hungry, and resisted the urge to eat until she had explained Adrian.

Abby had just settled herself down in an armchair opposite Diana when the doorbell rang, loud and chiming against the sound of the rainstorm outside. For several moments Draco stood, bearing the look of someone faced with unexpected and not entirely welcomed company, but Diana sighed, slipping her feet to the floor and standing up. "That'll be Harry," she explained.

"Let the elves get it," Draco murmured, turning his eyes to Adrian with a wary look.

Diana shrugged, hesitating for a moment before dropping back down to the chair. A moment later, a tiny house elf escorted Harry into the room. He was sopping wet, a white fluffy towel thrown over one shoulder. "Good to see everyone's in one piece," he commented lightly, his eyes tracing the room. They stopped dead when they fell upon Adrian.

"Harry," Diana said lightly, "meet Adrian."

Abby rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Won't you sit down, Harry? I was just about to explain to Draco why he invited Adrian in for tea instead of killing him."

Draco was standing rigidly next to Diana, glaring at Adrian and Abby with a mixture of anger and confusion that tempted Abby to laugh. She kept a straight face, though, and cleared her throat. "All right, then." Draco folded his arms and tapped his foot.

He glared in annoyance as Harry took a cautious seat on a couch to Diana's left. "How do you know him?"

Abby hesitated, glancing at Adrian, who smiled and nodded his head slightly. "He’s an old friend of mine," Abby said. "Diana, Draco, Harry, meet Adrian. Adrian, meet the people who hired me to get rid of you."

"Pleasure," drawled Draco, his eyes still narrowed in anger.

"How ironic," commented Adrian lightly, then winced when Abby turned her eyes to him.

"And you," Abby said, folding her arms. "Why have you not been taking your potion?"

"What potion?" Draco and Harry both asked at the same time as Adrian started to respond.

"It got stolen," Adrian said, then glanced slightly at Draco. "Bloodroot potion," he said by way of an explanation.

"Blood what?" Draco asked, glaring more. "I’ve never heard of it."

Abby rolled her eyes, glancing at Adrian, then at Draco, then at Diana who was contentedly feeding on the croissants and meat. "Bloodroot potion, Malfoy. It’s a new experimental potion."

"What does it do?" Draco asked, unfolding his arms and listening. He sat gingerly on the edge of the chair Diana was sitting in.

"It’s a blood substitute," Abby said, tugging another vial from her vest. "It helps to control urges and keeps the vampires satiated."

Draco arched an eyebrow.

Harry pushed his glasses up his nose as he gazed at Adrian, looking disbelieving.

"Not completely satiated," grumbled Adrian. "It can’t compare with good fresh blood." His eyes wandered to Diana, who widened her eyes. Then he smiled a soft, gentle smile that made Diana’s shoulders relax. "I am just kidding, miss," he said. "I apologize for putting you through this, but without my potion, I would have died."

"Which brings me to my next question," Abby said, "Who stole your potion?" She folded her arms.

Adrian glanced at him, then crossed one leg over the other, leaning back in the chair. "I was in Italy," he said, spreading his hands out, "admiring the Mediterranean climate." Abby rolled her eyes as he continued. "you know, it really is quite beautiful there. Warm sea breezes–"

"Adrian, get to the point." She glared at him, irritated.

He shrugged. "I was approached by some hooded men. They wore black, masked. I could not see their faces. They blinded me with the solaris, and when I could see again, they were gone, and so were my potions."

Diana started, then stared at him, sitting up straight. "Hooded men?"

Draco narrowed his eyes in thought. "When was this?"

"A few days ago, maybe fewer," shrugged Adrian. "I do not remember clearly."

Diana glanced at Harry, eyes narrowing in thought. "Harry," she said quietly, "Why would Death Eaters want with bloodroot potion?"

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