Sunlight does not kill us. Sunlight does not even mortally wound us. It's just a tale the Americans strung up to make them feel better about themselves. After all, wouldn't it be far better to kill someone with something as simple as what nature grants us? It is, however, extremely unpleasant and should not be recommended. It stings and causes my eyes to squint together. Mother always warned me not to squint my eyes, since it caused wrinkles at a premature age. And even though I'm… dissatisfied with my parents, I still hold the words close to my heart. Even though I know it's probably a moot point, since apparently I'm immortal. No getting old, no wrinkles, no aching bones, no grey hair and no natural death. It's actually a rather bleak prospect.
The first few months after the war and our sentencing were the worst. Apparently many were unsatisfied with the way we managed to worm ourselves out of our predicament, thanks to Potter's testimony. We stayed at home most of the time, our house elves doing everything we couldn't do ourselves. But one day, I was foolish enough to step one foot out of our save barrier, by going to Diagon Alley. It was stupid, and had I known what was going to happen beforehand, I would've turned back or wouldn't even have left the house. After months of being locked away, I had wanted my space, air to breathe in. Besides, it had been the loveliest Spring day in a while. And I had as much right to be in a public place as anyone else.
But, alas, that wasn't everyone's idea. As it so happened, I was in a dark alleyway, about to head to another store, when it happened. Cloaked in a disguisement as dark as night, he approached me with swift, silent, deadly paces. Before I knew it, I was pressed against the wall, my neck as vulnerable as could be. My wand clattered on the cobblestones, the hard wall pressing in my back, fear coursing through my very veins, making my ears ring and eyes widen. The last thing I saw of his face was a grin as evil and corrupted and sadistic as could be, before pain blossomed in my neck where his piercing teeth had bit. And I knew at that very moment that I was going to die, screaming and thrashing, that there would be only a corpse left in the alleyway, lifeless and dull, only a mark in the neck to show what had caused that corpse's death. And there was nothing I could do, as I was pressed against the cold wall, a large body covering mine, pinning me against the hard bricks. Terror and pain laced together as my knees buckled beneath my body and my eyelids started to droop, as the blood sustaining me left my body. This was it. The end of my miserable life. The end of eighteen years of life. But suddenly, through the fog which started to gather in my brain, I heard a sound and a voice. I didn't know what was happening, just that the body previously pressed against mine was suddenly gone, and that I fell to the ground, the blooming pain in my knees not even registering. I was unconscious before I hit the ground.
I had woken up a day later, chained to a hospital bed. Initially, I started to panic. I felt weak and disorientated, though when I looked to my left, I saw my mother. Her piercing blue eyes filled with tears when my gaze brushed her intent stare. She shifted forward a bit, and with that little action, my dormant senses awoke and literally smelled her blood. I realised I was quite hungry, but immediately knew that food wouldn't satisfy me anymore, and that scared me. No, not scared, more like bone-deep terror. I had read about it in textbooks at Hogwarts, about the beings called vampires. I felt nauseated when I realised what surely must have happened. "Mum?" I croaked. I hadn't called her that since I was little. I always called her mother. But I needed her reassurance, I needed her to hold me and to tell me it would all go away, that I wouldn't crave for blood and that I hadn't transformed into something which could barely be called a human. Her eyes brimmed over, and steadily the tears left trails over her frail, pale face. Even though she didn't embrace me, she grasped my hand, and I realised her hands were a fair bit warmer than mine. She spoke no words. I don't think she knew what to say, how to react about her only son being a vampire, a being, a blood-sucking creature of darkness. I felt her fear, her sadness, her overwhelming pity, but most importantly of all, I noticed her love. Tears started filling my own eyes, and I moved forward, wanting to hug her to my chest. But the chains held me back, and my voice caught in a sob.
"It is for your own safety," she murmured, eyes bright as her tears slowly halted.
I swallowed and looked away. Sure, for my own safety. The staff didn't want to deal with a vampire. I knew enough of them that the youngsters were the most dangerous, the least likely to care much about which blood they consumed. Human, animal, it would both be as satisfying. I sensed the people moving around outside my heavily warded room, felt the blood pump through their veins, the way life coursed through veins and arteries, even their capillaries. I smelled fear, decay, uncertainty, but most of all the smell of sterile rooms. I'm sure I would've gone mad, had my mother not squeezed my hand to get me out of my panic-induced state. And only then did I notice the bag of blood hanging slightly to my right, with a tube connected to my right arm, pumping blood into my veins. "What…" I trailed off, looking questioningly at my mother.
"You lost a lot of blood, Draco. This is sustaining you."
Another half-truth. It would just keep the hunger at bay. I knew. I was hungry, but not frighteningly so, not enough to go hunting or search for more. Not yet. "What happens next?" I had to know. Would I be placed out of Malfoy Manor? Would I be disinherited? Disowned?
My mother put heed to those questions. "You'll come home with me. Nobody would ever know what has happened. It'll all be forgotten in a matter of weeks. You'll be discharged today, so don't worry about staying for much longer. After these gentleman are done speaking to you, we'll be on our way."
Two men walked into the room, as if on cue, and nodded. My initial response was to crawl back and hiss and spit at them. I knew what they were. They were the very same creatures as the one who put me in such a state. They were the same thing I had become. My mother's reassuring presence left my side, and my eyes widened as she left the room, the door clicking shut behind her, the resulting silence deafening. After a moment, though, one of the men spoke up.
"We are terribly sorry for what you've been put through." His face was as blank as his tone, and I got the distinct impression he was not sorry at all. "However, there are several things you should know about our law. As you are one of the Youngsters, it is important to know these rules and know them by heart, because it might just mean the difference between survival and a stake through your heart. We shall read them to you, and afterwards you will receive a document with the very same rules and laws as the one we'll be listing. We need your signature that you agree with them and then we'll be out of your way." I immediately disliked this man, with his long black hair tied back and his crooked nose. He looked to be in his forties and had a sour expression, as opposed to the blank look he had when he introduced himself. Thoughts were swirling all around my head, and still I couldn't completely wrap my head around the fact that I'm now a vampire. Just yesterday I was me, just a regular wizard, and now I'm a vampire, while laws and rules were suddenly splayed before me. I knew, however, that these gentlemen didn't have time for a panic attack or a personal breakdown, so I just nodded, using my façade which has been bred into me to cover up my confusion.
"Very well. There are only a few rules, but they are of the utmost importance. Without them, there will be a lot of mayhem and confusion. The first, and most important rule of all, is that you will not kill or bite a human." Immediately I decided to interrupt the man, damn the consequences.
"And what about the man who did this to me? What will become of him."
An annoyed expression flickered over the sour man. "There are a lot of rogue vampires. We do not carry responsibility over those. It is not part of our jurisdiction. Now, if you'd let me continue…" he said, trailing off, "then we'll get to the second rule. You are not allowed to leave this country without permission. This law is established so we can supervise who left, so international conflicts can't come to pass, as they have done before. As for the third, you can interact with other people, be it human or non-human. However, it's not allowed to interact with Muggle vampires. They have their own laws and should not be informed about magic whatsoever, as it could result in drastic and dire consequences. The fourth rule, do not kill another vampire. This should also count under the "permission" rule. Even if said vampire is a rogue. As for the fifth, donors are accepted, if they are willing. We have forms for such things, which must be filled in by both the donor as the donor recipient. The sixth rule, is that even though you may communicate and interact with other people, you will be discreet and not garner too much attention. Vampires still do not sit well with most, which is mostly due to Muggle superstition. And the last, all the laws and rules applying to wizards apply to us, too. Do not think that just because you transformed, the laws of being a wizard don't count, because they do." The man held out his hand for the younger man, who handed him a bit of rolled-up parchment.
"Here is the document I briefly spoke of. You can sign at the bottom right corner." The surly looking man handed the parchment and a self-inking quill over to me. I barely managed to reach out to grab the items, and knew damn well that the man did so on purpose. Biting back a snarl, I started to read. The same words stared back at me, and before I knew it I had signed the document, which briefly glowed. The younger man stepped forward and took the items back. "Good afternoon, mister Malfoy. And welcome to our community." With those parting words, the men walked away, the door nearly slamming shut, had my mother not gotten a hold of the door. A nurse followed her on her heels, her reluctance of being in the room clearly showing on her face. I wanted to sneer at her, but I did not do so, remembering my mother's presence. The girl, for she was most certainly girlish, raised her wand, and the shackles closed around my hands and feet dropped away. She moved to my right and removed the infusion. "If you could sign the papers, please," she asked, holding the clipboard in front of her, as if to shield herself. I grabbed the quill and quickly wrote down my signature.
"Well, then, you are free to go. Have a nice afternoon, mister Malfoy." She moved as far away from me as she could, while politely nodding. I got out of the bed, and immediately my mother stood beside me, grabbing my arm. I smiled at her, knowing it would be all right if she were there to help me.
Before I knew it, we were back at Malfoy Manor, while my throat clogged up. The reassurance I got not five minutes ago was quickly slipping away. I was a failure, I knew. A disgrace, a freak, nothing more than dirt on the soles of someone's shoes. And I would certainly be dirt on the soles of Lucius Malfoy's shoes. Even though he had mellowed down some, he could still be a bastard most of the times. I loved him, of course I did, but I couldn't wait to find a place on my own. My mother tugged me along, until we were standing in the foyer. My father stood before us, on the carpet, before the spiral staircase, his cane in his right hand. I swallowed when I looked up in the cold, grey eyes of my father. If people thought my eyes were cold, they never set eyes on my father's. They were fit to cut diamonds, fit to tear at even the confident, most self-assured person. I lowered my eyes, feeling the waves of disappointment rolling off of him. I was a failure, something which would've surely not be glanced at. Not acknowledged, not loved, not even accepted. At least, not accepted by most. I felt close to crying, to completely breaking down. "Father," I acknowledged as I brushed past him to take the stairs.
"You are no son of mine."
Those were the expected words, but still they cut deeper than I would've expected, especially at a time like this. However, I calmly walked up the stairs and to my room. Warding the doors with as many spells as I could manage — my wand was found and brought back to me — I fell down on my bed, where the first of my tears broke free. I cried myself to sleep, something I haven't done since I was young, wanting to believe everything was as it should be, wanting things to be normal. But no matter how much I was in denial, in the back of my mind I knew what was the truth.
Four months. My parents stayed with me for four months. I knew it was all due to my mother, who was reluctant to leave me all alone. She did her best, and she wanted the best for me. For that, I would love her forever. But seeing her go made the bitter feelings inside of me swell. I knew father would've left much earlier than they actually had, and I would've been glad to see him go, were it not that mother would leave, too. Her support and love meant everything to me, and my heart ached when she went away to France with father, for what would probably be for the remainder of their lives. Which was pitifully short compared to mine. Oh yes, in the week after being bitten I had roamed around and had read through books like I hadn't before. It was my addiction as much as it was my abhorrence. That first week I had tried to ignore the hunger, to pretend to be human, still. The pain in my jaw and teeth got stronger every day, and even my body started protesting. When my mother suddenly became appetising, I decided this had to stop. Running into a forest, my instincts immediately kicked in, even though the rational part of my brain, or at least, what once had been the reasonable part of my brain, screamed for me to be normal, to not do this. That voice was immediately silenced as my ears picked up on a rustling sound. I thrust my face up, sniffing the air around me. Deer. One moment I remained standing, while the next I was running with inhuman speed. I eventually stopped and crouched down low, not even making a sound.
The deer was grazing, its eyes and ears constantly turning and looking. There would be no room for errors, only perfect timing and speed. My eyes had widened, my heartbeat sounded deafening to my eyes, and my mouth was practically salivating at the thought of managing to capture such an animal to quench my hunger. Suddenly the head reared up, and for a moment I thought she had spotted me. But when I looked closer, I knew it was only a rabbit, and my eyes zoned in to that little animal. Shaking myself, I looked back at the deer. I knew there was no room for failure. When the deer turned its head, I pounced. I felt my world narrow down to that particular moment, to that particular animal. Not a sound escaped my throat as I finally grabbed the deer, snapping its neck in one swift, quick move. No need to let the animal suffer needlessly. The first taste of blood made me forget all about my inhibitions. Savouring the taste, I drank as much as I had to. Afterwards, I barely remember getting home. I did, however, remember that I was out on my bed within the minute.
Over the weeks and months I've come to realise some things. At first I had to feed weekly. I felt the hunger tearing at my stomach, and not wanting to fight such things — for the repercussions would be atrocious — I fed every week for nearly a month. After that, I noticed I could go longer without food, which reached up to two weeks. And, after four months of being a vampire, the art of killing became less and less bothersome, though it was still gruesome to some extent. And after those four months, I suddenly had the Manor all to myself. My parents had practically fled to France. My mother had said her bittersweet goodbyes, though I felt mostly bitter after they were over. It suddenly seemed so real. My father wanted to escape the abomination that was his son, while my mother could neither leave him nor me. But I guess she went with him because it'd be too hard on her. To live in a house, with your son, who didn't age, while you yourself would slowly wither away and die. I had to thank them for leaving some house-elves, though. But then again, I thought that might've been the consideration from my mother. I sealed some rooms, which I surely wouldn't need. Which meant that the entire wing dedicated to my parents was locked, that the cellar was closed off, just as the main drawing room, though that one was already out of use. I had nearly considered closing down the kitchens and ballroom, but decided against it. My mother had said she'd visit, and even though I doubted the sincerity of her words, I would remain hopeful for her return. Therefore the rooms were left open.
My favourite place had become the library. Maybe it was because I had infinite time, or maybe it was because I was bored and needed something to do. Besides, the best chair in the entire house was sat there, next to a lamp and side table. And even though that wouldn't have been enough for most people, for me it was, as most of my happy memories concerning my father were made here. It made the library a strangely nostalgic place to be.
Three years later, things were pretty much still the same. Mother even kept her word and visited sometimes, for which I was grateful, since she was practically all the human interaction I had. Actually, she was pretty much the only interaction I had. I didn't want to alert people to my condition, and neither did I have the need to interact with anyone. Well, at least that was what I thought, until my mother visited. I continuously spoke with her about all the nonsense happening, which made me realise how much I've missed human interaction. But how was a vampire about to go making human contacts? Strangely enough, that answer came some weeks after my mother's last visit.
Once again sitting in the library, I read through a book. It was one I had already read more often, but it was one of my favourites, and therefore would never quite bore me. Suddenly the wards did something they had never done before in the entire four years I had been a vampire. They started to ring. My eyebrows perked up. Would it just be a stray Muggle who lost his way? But no, no such thing could be, with all the Muggle Repellent charms. Swiftly standing up from my seat, I took the stairs nearly two at a time, my heart thrumming in my chest. Mother always came by Floo, so it couldn't have been her. Besides, her visit was only a few weeks ago. Opening the doors, I strode down the long gravel path, seeing a distant black dot. Briefly the feeling of concern washed over me. Was it another vampire, telling me I had broken some law? But no, that person didn't smell like vampire. It was human. Once again my eyebrows raised. Had I broken a Wizarding law, then? As I drew nearer, I got the distinct impression I knew this person. And, indeed, when I finally was close enough to the gates, I knew very well who it was.
"Potter?" I enquired politely but surprised. There was something noticeably different about him. I realised with a start that the robes he was wearing were those of an Auror. Life did go on, I supposed.
Potter nodded briefly, though he looked no less surprised. "Is either Lucius Malfoy or Narcissa currently at home?"
I snorted. I couldn't help it. "I'm sorry, Potter. You're about three years too late. Why the question?"
Potter looked completely baffled, and I couldn't supress my grin. I still found I quite liked to thwart Potter.
"Are you the only one here, then?"
I nodded. No need to lie, after all. Potter closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath, allowing me to observe the man. While I knew I had barely changed from when I was eighteen, I let my hair grow a bit. I've become paler, which is mostly due from avoiding the sun, as I should be doing now. Curse Potter for bringing me outside. Though it's only a minor annoyance now, it was much worse at first. But Potter, Potter didn't have the restrictions I had. He had filled out, probably from all the training, and he had even grown taller, nearly reaching my height. He still wore the same stupid glasses, and it looked completely out of place on the matured face. The black hair was cut shorter, probably for convenience, which gave him a more serious look.
"Could I come in?"
I would like nothing more, if only to get out of the sun. And even though several years before I might've left Potter standing here, it wouldn't do now to anger the man needlessly. No attracting attention and all that rot. "If only you tell me on what grounds you've come here."
Potter nodded, obviously expecting that question. "There has been suspicious activity near Malfoy Manor. We're investigating a case of Neo-Death Eaters. I would prefer to take this inside, please."
I nodded, and pressed my hand against the gate. I stepped aside, and the gate swung inwards.
Potter nodded, before cautiously stepping foot inside the property. I snorted. "No need to be cautious, Potter. All the bad and evil things have left this property. Though I can't attest for you."
Potter looked annoyed, but composed himself as he walked on behind me. "Why have Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Malfoy left the property?"
My eye twitched in annoyance. "It is of no concern to you."
"But it is," he pressed on firmly. "Your family is suspect number one right now. If you have anything to say, I suggest doing it now, because we might just need to bring your parents back to England, if you give no valid excuse."
"Let me just say they didn't want to live with me anymore. Especially my father. They left three years ago. If you really must speak to my parents, I can arrange a meeting with my mother." Potter didn't have to know everything. It wasn't his right, nor was it any of his business.
"We'll determine later if such a thing is necessary."
I nodded, and opened the door to admit entrance. I felt Potter's curiosity when we entered. I knew it looked vastly different since the last time he had seen it. Mother had ordered the house-elves to paint the bricks white, giving it an airy, spacious look. Just about every room in Malfoy Manor was redone after the war. And I had done several things to it, too. I walked on, however, not much caring if the man followed or not. I opened the door to the small drawing room, letting Potter in, before I closed the door behind us. Gesturing for him to sit down, I sat down in my own seat. "Now, please tell me more about the reason you decided to come here, unannounced."
I saw him clenching his jaw and nearly smiled. For the first time I truly enjoyed my sensitivity to people's feelings. It made the annoyance he felt much more satisfying, especially considering the fact that the other man tried so hard to hide it. A house-elf popped in and brought me my tea. "Would you like some too, Potter?" I knew the answer before he gave it.
"No, thank you. As I said, there is recent activity from a group of Neo-Death Eaters, which was established half a year after Voldemort's defeat," — he was surprised I didn't flinch at the name — "near Malfoy Manor. We have several suspects, but right now our most likely suspects are you. But since I now know your parents have left the country, the main suspect would be you personally, actually." He said so unflinchingly. I looked at him through narrowed eyes, my fingers gently stirring the spoon. The man didn't change much from his blunt way of speech. Somehow, I appreciated that.
"You could've saved the time by coming here, if you even lifted one finger to Summon our files. Could've saved you a lot of trouble, I admit. But please, do tell more."
He clenched his right hand in his robes, an outward sign of annoyance, as much as his flashing eyes were. "Would you please stop antagonising me. You're making yourself act suspicious."
I was amused by his words. He didn't suspect me. Not really. He still wasn't great at lying, I discovered. "There is no law against antagonising a former Hogwarts student."
He snorted. "What would you know about laws anyway?"
My eyes flashed, not appreciating him bringing me down. "Probably more than you do. Now, please, could you get down to business? What do we have anything to do with those Neo-Death Eaters."
Apparently Potter realised he went outside his little book of proper rules, and regained his composure. "Of course. It is the believe — and I would like to add that it is not mine — that your family might be supporters, as you once were."
I snorted. "There is only so much humiliation our family can face. Why would we do the same yet again?" Inside I felt dread build up. Surely I would've noticed strange activity outside the house, wouldn't I?
"Believe me, I do not agree with the assumptions of the rest. However, we cannot ignore the convenience of the activity. The once supportive Death Eaters, with Neo-Death Eaters nearby. Go ahead and tell me such a thing is not suspicious."
I flicked away a bit of dust and took a sip. "Of course it is. But the fact that my parents left the country would dispute that idea. Though of course you could always look to me. You can look at me as a suspect all you want, but if even I don't know of any activity nearby, it'd be hard to join them, don't you think?" Would they, though? Ask me to join them, I mean. If anyone knew about me being a vampire… As I told Potter, if he had lifted a finger to search through our files… Things like magical status is written down. Briefly panic overwhelmed me. Potter spoke of the organisation as little, but even the littlest organisations could be brazen and foolish. "Exactly how large is this group of Neo-Death Eaters?"
"Our estimation is about twenty to twenty-five persons. However, we cannot be sure, as they seem to hide very well. In fact, we think it's the only Neo-Death Eater group currently not disbanded."
Great. "Our estimation" and "we think". Like that is of any help. There's a great possibility there are many more, knowing them. But still the question begging to be answered is why haven't I noticed any of this? If such a group was as active as they seem to be, with as large a group as they are, this surely would've attracted my attention. Promising myself I'd be more on the outlook, I looked back to the Auror. "So, am I to be taken to the Ministry?"
Potter shook his head. "Of course not. You're a suspect, but unless you started doing illegal things, we cannot take you to the Ministry. However, I will look through your parents' files, and I'd like that meeting with your mother very much. However, it could also be quite the opposite. Most are looking to you as suspects, but what if it's the other way around? What if you were to be the victims? I do not believe you are part of the Neo-Death Eaters, and therefore I'll look at things more objectively."
I had already come to practically the same conclusion, but yet my blood seemed to freeze in my veins. Anger coursed through the already mixed emotions, and dread — which seemed to be an ever-present thing right now — was at the forefront of it. Was it not enough that someone took their revenge and directed their anger and hatred at me? Had I not suffered enough? I was practically an animal, forced to hunt, forced to lust for blood. I closed my eyes and inhaled. Damn it, Potter seemed to be the most appetising thing right now. Curling my right hand into a fist, I cursed Potter's horrid timing. Blood was blood after all, and even though I knew there were lots of appetising forest animals scattering around, the thing I wanted was seated in front of me. I really, really, needed to interact more with humans, if I thought their blood was as attractive as it was. After all, I've come to recognise my mother's scent, and she was family. But Potter wasn't, and his blood was flowing oh-so tantalisingly. Gathering my wits together, I stood up, my curled up right hand behind my back. "Very well. Thank you for telling me and coming here, Potter. I appreciate it. But if you wouldn't mind very much, I have things to do and to think about." I knew guilt-tripping him would work. And indeed, he immediately stood up.
"If you'd like to let me know by owl when your mother visits, I would appreciate that. Good afternoon, Malfoy."
I nodded, waving him out. Immediately a house-elf was at his side, squeaking, "Tippy will show you the way, Mister Potter!"
Those damned house-elves were way too excited to see other humans. Cursing everything to hell and back, I made my way to the library. I needed to think.
Once again the wards let me know someone was standing at the gates. This time I pulled my hood up to avoid the sunlight, which seemed to be piercing that day. Of course it was Potter. I could smell the man on the wind. And besides, I had summoned him here today. My mother was already up in the room, accompanied by a house-elf. She had arrived ten minutes prior, so as to have at least some time with me, since Potter requested he needed to speak to her alone.
"Potter," I murmured by way of greeting, opening the gate.
Potter nodded, and firmly stepped inside, which made me smirk. It was fun to see how he thought he was more self-assured about the property. He walked on behind me with a softly spoken "Malfoy". I let him inside and the house-elf greeting us took over. "I be taking you to Mistress Narcissa, Harry Potter, sir!" The elf practically bounced up and down in its excitement. I wanted to roll my eyes. The house-elf led Potter away, and I was left remaining standing. I brushed off the hood with the simplest touch of my fingers, and walked to the library. Amusing myself with a book I had been reading, I sat down and drank my tea.
About half an hour later, I was surprised to see Potter standing in the doorway, curiously looking at me. "Your mother has left. Could I talk to you for a bit? It's important, and had your parents lived here, I'm not sure I would've asked."
I nodded, curious as to what the other man could ask of me. I waved him over to a seat not far removed from mine. "Well, talk."
Potter fiddled with his fingers, obviously nervous. "I have told my suspicions to the Head Auror, and combined with the fact your parents left the country, he told me it would come in handy if one of our guys was stationed here. And not to put you under supervision, but for your own safety."
I was surprised. Someone else was to be placed here, in Malfoy Manor? That person must've been out of his mind. "And who's the poor lad?"
Potter looked annoyed. "That would've been me. Considering I was the only one to volunteer, you should be grateful instead of spiteful. And not to worry, it'll take a few weeks before the paperwork is done. Until that time, try not to set foot outside of Malfoy Manor. If you are being targeted, I do not want your death on my account." He stood up, then, obviously intending to leave.
Something in me prompted to say one last thing. "Thank you."
He looked back at me and smiled. "You're welcome, Malfoy. You're not all bad, you know?" And with those parting words he disappeared through the door, the wood softly clicking shut behind him, leaving me with my thoughts. Not all bad, huh?
If I had to describe Potter in one word, within those weeks of hassling, it would be the word 'correspondent'. I had received numerous letters of the progress and what was going on. Oftentimes those letters amused me. But, in the weeks it took, I noticed some disturbing facts. Yes, there were definitely dark wizards living, or more like hiding, near Malfoy Manor. They were clever, having vampire and werewolf repellent charms. That's why I hadn't noticed before, until I started actively searching for it. After all, a wizard wouldn't be a wizard if they didn't leave some magical traces. And there were lots of traces. They were a bit lacking with their enchantments, actually. I didn't see anyone, though I noticed several traces of magic I didn't recognise. They seemed to live about a mile away from my home, which was disturbing. Did they want to make us look suspicious, or were we actually a target? I had faith in the wards, but I was vulnerable during hunting. While my eyes and ears and many of my other senses had heightened, there was always a possibility of a spell hurtling towards me. Preferable by most was the Cruciatus or the Killing Curse. As I had been the subject of the first for many times, I can truly say I do not prefer it. And I don't know if Avada Kedavra could actually kill me, and I wasn't about to test it. But I thought it couldn't. What with me being practically immortal and all that rot. But another question which popped up was, why vampire and werewolf repellent charms? Was it a precaution or was it done specifically. Did they know about me? There were so many things which circulated around in my head, that it gave me headaches.
But today was the day. Potter was to be stationed here, and especially for this reason I had hunted the night before. There was no need to attract suspicion, nor was it necessary to drool needlessly in the presence of an Auror. Once again, unwanted attention. And even though Potter might know about me being a vampire, I didn't want to draw his attention. Snorting, I took my cup of tea from Ippy. Somehow I saw the irony in that. For years I did everything I could to attract him, pulling out even the most bizarre things. But right now I didn't want him to pry, I barely wanted him to look my way, to even spare me a glance. Strange how even though my body doesn't age, I do. Tippy had decided to clear some rooms for Potter, so the dolt slept down the hallway. I decided it would be odd, living with another person again. Only now did I realise how much of a reclusive I've actually become. It was odd, that the world seemingly changed all around me, yet in my little corner of the world, everything seemed to stand still, to not move an inch. And only now I started to realise that the people I love will surely die away, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Not even relationships were an option, unless it was a vampire.
Closing those depressing thoughts off, I drank the last of my tea, before I headed to the shower. Just an hour before Potter was here, and I wanted to look my very best. As I dried myself off and looked in the mirror, I nearly jumped back. I didn't age, but somehow the face which looked at me seemed more mature, hardened. The childishness had seeped away and left only adulthood and responsibility, which hadn't been there the last time I had glanced in the mirror. Dressing myself, I shook my head. Of course I would look different. I frowned, though. Potter would be staying for an indefinite time, which, admittedly, worried me. Of course I knew the Ministry liked to refrain from guesswork, but it still would've been nice to know for how long Potter would be staying. Not that the man could really unnerve me. In fact, I wondered why Potter, of all, had volunteered to "guard" the Manor. Deciding I should get back to that question later, I retired to the library.
Living with Potter was… surprisingly easy. Of course I'd like to rile him up at times, but those were far and in between. Besides, he usually was in his own rooms, studying case files and information gathered on the Neo-Death Eaters. The house-elves usually brought him refreshments, and on the rare case Potter came down for dinner or lunch himself, he always looked oddly at me, probably wondering why I didn't eat. And that little titbit of information made me smirk. Potter had obviously not bothered to leaf through my file. Well, the better for the situation and me. It was odd, coming across Potter every once in a while, when I was prowling through the Manor, his unnerving eyes settling on my form. I wonder what he must think of me. But the most unsettling thing was that after only a week, I had begun to yearn for blood. And not for any kind of blood. No, Potter's blood, which seemed to have a life of its own, with the way it fairly pulsed through his veins. It made me growl and prowl in the privacy of the library, with the door firmly closed and wards up. Potter had once scolded me for doing so.
"I can't see what you're doing. You might as well plot something."
I had sneered, of course. I wanted to tell him something which made him recoil in horror, preferably something entirely vulgar or something equally stunning. Throwing a door in his face was one of those satisfying things, the click of the lock resounding across the room, with Potter's cursing following close behind.
Since then Potter had made no comment on the closed door. Of course I didn't keep the door closed all the time, just when I needed privacy. And besides, Potter could learn something about privacy. He always stuck his nose in things which were best left alone. Of course Potter didn't think so, because "everything could be of use to the case". And of course I had yelled at him that the goddamned cellar had nothing to do with the case, as the "bad guys" were outside of Malfoy Manor. But even though Potter got my temper flaring, he also made me feel alive. He set my teeth on edge and didn't back down, giving as good as he got. It was strangely fascinating, watching him interact with me. Of course I wasn't the only one he talked with, as the Floo connection was proof of. He seemed to speak at least once every day with the other Aurors at the Ministry. And of course my presence was not wanted when those talks took place. Luckily I rarely left the library or my own rooms, preferring to dwell in those few spaces. Potter rarely made a nuisance of himself, which led to make me think about the entirety of the man himself. He still had his quick responses to some of my insults, which made me smirk. But I don't think he takes all of them personally anymore. The man had learned how to accept thinly veiled insults and how to throw them back without seeming to do so. I was reluctantly impressed. Not many did so effortlessly. Well, at least not those who were bred into such things, who knew the game of manipulation, impression and insults. The high-classed dinners and dances and constant riling up.
Of course we had fallen from grace just about everywhere. Traitors to Voldemort's cause, and cowards to have not done one thing or another. Somehow I was relieved, since I had to think of no excuse on why I couldn't attend anymore. I did see Blaise and Pansy every once in a while, but neither knew my secret, and neither did they need to know what had happened those years ago. Of course I knew I had to confess sooner or later, since they would grow old, and I wouldn't. But until that time, I preferred to live my life as quietly and unobtrusive as possible.
I glanced out of the library and into the hallway, just in time to see Potter walk by. Gripping the armrests tightly, Potter's scent washed over me, both as torturous and glorious as the other seemed to be. Deciding I should go out and hunt this night, I was left in a foul mood, made even more so when the scent seemed to cloy and didn't leave my nostrils for a good while.
I glanced outside after a while, and noticed it was cloudy. It was only afternoon, but already the sun seemed to be setting. Grinning, I made my way down. These were the favourite parts of my days. Opening the back door, I smelled the air and smiled, my foul mood lifted for the moment. Walking the gardens always managed to calm me down. Which wasn't odd, considering my mother had taken care of most of it and had planted lots of lovely flowers after the war, to eradicate Voldemort's presence. I liked it better so, and I knew my mother did, too. I sat down on the little bench, conveniently placed so you could look over the entire garden, yet be obscured from view. I closed my eyes and let my thoughts fly away, my head lulling back. Unbidden, a scene developed in front of my eyes, one which both filled me with joy and sadness. It had been a scene from many years ago.
"But mother, I don't want to sleep! Can I please, please go outside to fly?"
Narcissa shook her head, both firm, but also amused and exasperated. "Draco, you already know it's past your bedtime. I already did you a favour and let you roam around for ten minutes more. Besides, the earlier you sleep, the earlier you can get up and fly."
"But I don't want to go to sleep! I'm not sleepy, mother."
Narcissa had sat down with a sigh, her hand disappearing in her son's hair, stroking the strands. "Don't be cross, Draco. Just go to sleep. Besides, even angels dream. And since you are my little angel, I want you to sleep so you have nice dreams. Would you do that, little dragon? For me?"
Draco had nodded, a yawn breaking free. "I'd do anything for you, mother. Sleep well."
Narcissa had tucked him in, before leaving the bedroom with a last glance behind.
I snorted. An angel. Yeah, right. It was more like a monster, now. But I still couldn't let the memory taint with the knowledge I had now. It was too innocent, on one of the rare occasions my mother showed any outward sign of affection. Sometimes I would forget the memory, but every now and then it popped back up and makes my heart race for a moment, the affectionate scene warming me for those seconds it takes for my heart to calm down. Closing my eyes, I hung my head. Why had my life become so complicated? Damn Potter with his damned presence, and his stupid blood, too. And why now did I become aware of all the things I had knowingly or unknowingly repressed? I clenched my fists and frowned. Yes, he made me feel more human, but damn it all if it were feelings of pain and loss. Grimacing, I opened my eyes and scoffed. Even the gardens had become tainted, thanks to Potter. Rationally I knew it had nothing to do with him, and everything with me, but I still thought it fair to vent my frustration in my own mind.
Sudden footsteps alerted me to someone approaching, and I cursed myself for forgetting all about my surroundings. Glancing up, I was unsurprised to see Potter approaching. I barely refrained myself from crossing my arms like a petulant child. This was getting ridiculous. His scent washed over me, like waves crashing on the shore, and I clenched my fists again. It would just not do to lust after Potter's damned blood. He had rejected me time and time again when we were young, so there was no way I needed to be attracted to something which kept the damned man alive. But still I felt the hunger in the pit of my stomach. It made being in his presence nearly unbearable.
"Good afternoon, Malfoy. I'm here to ask you something, actually."
"Well, then, spit it out."
"If it's okay with you, I'd like someone, my colleague, actually, to come and investigate the perimeters with me tomorrow. Barely anything has happened since I've come here, so we're going to actively search for signs."
I snorted. "Actively brining yourself in danger, you mean."
Potter raised his brow. "Didn't know you cared so much, Malfoy."
I nearly smiled. "Don't bother. It'd just be an inconvenience if you died in this area. Though of course I can't hold responsibility over what's out there. That'd just be your miscalculations. But anyway, no, I wouldn't mind it if your colleague were here tomorrow."
"No, I wouldn't mind it if your colleague were here tomorrow."
If I could go back in time, I would've punched myself in the face, as I stared down at Weasley, a sneer automatically settling on my face. The bastard was smirking at me. His lips might not curl up, but his body gave off that vibe anyway. I glanced sideways at Potter, who was grinning at his friend. It was all Potter's fault. It was his fault his blood was irresistible, that I was unable to hunt the previous night, that Weasley was here, that he made me feel human. Deciding I should probably punch him in his face at a later date, I nodded at Weasley, regaining my control. "Thank you for coming, Auror Weasley. Would you like something to drink?"
Of course the man wasn't of niceties, nor polite, which showed. "No, thank you. I'm here on official grounds and I have no time for such things."
I nodded, but ground my teeth together. "Of course, Auror Weasley. If you require my assistance, please feel free to call on me in the library." The bastard didn't know that even though I call him 'Auror Weasley', I'm just being rude. But then the question begging to be answered is, why do I call Potter Potter? Shrugging to myself, I climbed up the stairs, while grinning wryly. The answer was fairly simple, after all. Because Potter was Potter. Sighing, I settled down on my chair and grabbed the book I had been reading. I wondered if Weasley and Potter would actually find anything. And I might actually be the tiniest bit worried about Potter. Maybe that was the reason I couldn't concentrate on my book.
Apparently, Potter and Weasley have finally confirmed that Neo-Death Eaters were stationed near Malfoy Manor. I barely contained myself from clapping sarcastically. They'd bring in a team in a few weeks' time, after all's been evaluated and taken care of. They wouldn't say more to me, though. But if I knew Potter correctly, I might guilt-trip him in giving me an explanation. In the meanwhile, the sun was setting, which was the happiest part of my day up until then. I was able to go out hunting. Finally I would be able to squash that disobedient part of me. Deciding it would be best to go out when Potter would be asleep, I picked up a new book, before I scanned the library. At the rate I was going, I was out of books to read within the year. Putting my head in my cupped hand, I contemplated that. Should I just order more books? Or should I do something different? Something more worthwhile, perhaps. Of course I knew that I didn't have to lift a hand, but sooner or later the money's going to run out, wouldn't it? And sooner rather than later, the house-elves would wither. What then? For the first time since I've changed, I seriously began to contemplate my future. Should I… should I actually take the initiative? How did that even work? Were there rules or restrictions for vampires like me?
Automatically my eyes found the book I was looking for, the one containing all the answers I needed. Never in my entire life had I picked up the book. And especially in the period after my turning. It would make it all too real. All the laws and restrictions were written down in the book, and with a bit of trepidation, I picked it up. It felt heavy in my hand, but somehow it also felt right. I nearly dropped the book, but clenched my fingers around it just in time. Could a book know who was picking it? I snorted. Of course there were enough books which could do such things. I shouldn't be surprised at all. Settling back down in the chair, I started to read.
I only stopped reading when Potter came in. He looked at the book in curiosity, but remained quiet. "I'll be heading off to sleep. Also, tomorrow I'll be gone the entire morning. Ron will take over for me those hours."
I nodded, before I looked back at the book. I noticed Potter's hesitation, but whatever it was, it didn't come to pass since he turned around and walked away. How long did it take for Potter to fall asleep, I wondered. I needed to be sure he was asleep, or he'd surely follow me, and such a thing was never good, especially not with the way his blood seemed to call to me. Luckily Weasley's blood didn't seem to affect me at all. I wondered if there were people out there whose blood was, well, better, than others. A certain blood type, perhaps? I didn't really know, nor did I want to spend too much time wondering about it. But wasn't it usually so that the longer you stayed around with someone, the less their allure seemed to be? That's what had happened in my life, at least. If you had a thing for too long, it would become boring and you required something new, something different, something more exciting. But in this case, it seemed to me that Potter became more and more appetising. I wondered for how long that'd be, before he would be boring again. Somehow, the thought made me feel relieved. An appetising Potter wasn't really something I knew how to deal with. I tapped my fingers on the armrest, before I stood up and marked my book and put it on my seat. Surely enough time had elapsed, right? Besides, it would take some time to make it downstairs, so I thought it was fairly safe to go out.
I thanked myself silently for keeping the library door open, since it could creak every now and then. The house-elves had offered to help it, but I didn't want to. Not everything had to be perfect. Besides, I had some fond memories with the creaking door. Stepping through, I got at the hallway. I didn't have to be too silent, since my bedroom and Potter's rooms were a floor above me, but still I walked rather silently. The stairs were silent, and within moments I was standing before the back door. Opening, I strode through and let the door fall shut silently. My eyes adjusted to the darkness, and I stood still for a moment, sniffing the air. I felt annoyed when immediately Potter's scent was at the forefront, but I pushed it back and pointed my senses at the forest. A sense of foreboding briefly crossed my mind, and for a moment I thought about not going, with the knowledge that there were Neo-Death Eaters nearby. But nothing had happened before Potter came here, so I shook it off. For now, it was time to hunt. I ran to the forest, unable to wait any longer, and I longed for my human part to shut itself down, as it always did when I reached the forest. And as so many times before, my instincts took over and the human part of me was nearly shut down. The forest was thrumming with life, life which soon would leave one creature.
My eyes had sharpened and my ears were now fully alert, waiting to catch the sound of a particular animal. A sound nearby drew my attention, and without wavering I sprinted towards it, crouching low. It was a fox, sniffing around, in search for its own prey. A humourless smile drew my lips upwards, and I stepped sideways to calculate how to best catch my prey. Foxes were usually more attentive than an unsuspecting deer. Just as I was about to instigate an attack, something much better assaulted my nose. A scent which made my nostrils sing and my sense of smell explode in ecstasy. I turned around slowly, not wanting to attract any attention to myself, and observed the human daring to intrude on my hunting. That scent… it drove me crazy, and I got the vague impression that I knew it somewhere, something which was strengthened when the human in question showed himself, wand in hand. The small, rational part of me knew I shouldn't, couldn't, attack this particular human. I narrowed my eyes, before my gaze turned back to the unsuspecting fox. Well, if I couldn't have the human, I could at least have a proper dinner. I zoned in to the fox, somehow knowing the human near me would do me no harm, and pounced.
I made it halfway, before a spell had hit the side of my body, which immediately exploded in an array of different kinds of pain. Ending in a crouch, I knew I had to defend myself, and a snarl tore from my throat. Which insolent human being had dared to throw a spell my way? I didn't have a wand on me, but I didn't need one for a situation like this. They would rue the day they were born. It was dark, but I knew I had a better sight than they had, which gave me an advantage. I scanned the nearby area, ignoring the pain in my side as best as I could, and wondered how to best vent my rage. But suddenly those plans were laid to rest, as the human with the scent sent from heaven fired spell after spell. I watched, entranced, before I observed the scene again. The human was bluffing, mostly, as he surely didn't know where the other wizards were. But I did. Stalking around the bush I was behind, I stayed down low and looked my closest victim up and down. He was furthest away removed from the group and seemed to watch from behind his tree. Well, not for long. One hit and he was down, slumped against the tree. I snarled. How I wanted to tear that person apart. But I didn't. There were others, yet to be defeated. Curses flew around, while shields were erected all around. It made me nearly shake my head. How stupid could they be? Those shield usually gave off light. Well, it was their mistake. A female's shrill voice was cut off as I pressed against her carotid artery, and she fell down, unconscious.
There was only one other person left, but before I could reach him, he had Apparated. I narrowed my eyes, snarling. Glancing around, I made sure the coast was clear, before I looked down at my side. Brushing the strands of fabric away, I was greeted with a large wound, probably from a cutting spell. A sudden sound behind me made me turn around in the blink of an eye. The wizard, the one with the divine smell, looked at me. I looked right back, knowing I was staring. The fox had long abandoned its place, and I was still left yearning for food, made even more so thanks to the wound. I had the vaguest recognition, but that didn't matter. Breaking eye contact, I decided I should head back to my human's home. I could take care of the wound there. Deciding running there was probably a bad idea, I decided to walk slowly, pressing the palm of my hand in my side to prevent any more blood from escaping. That meant no hunting for me tonight, and probably tomorrow as well. I had to resist the urge to glance back, to see if the human was still there. Suddenly a heartbeat echoed near me, and I ground my teeth and fisted my hands to resist the overwhelming urge to drink from the source which seemed to draw me in like a moth to light. What did a human want from me anyway? Shouldn't they know we are dangerous? Not all vampires abide the law. And he had probably chosen the worst time, since I was hurt, hungry and probably didn't have as much self-control as I usually had. But still I forged on, though I was curious why the wizard didn't seem to leave me. Why was he going with me, to my human's house? I didn't look at him, for fear the last bit of self-control would trickle away, and I would end up biting him. And that would be a bad idea, because our laws were strict.
But I wonder. Did my human know this man? Was that why he was so appetising? Because I have encountered humans before, even before today, but they never smelled as good as this wizard seemed to. I reached the back door, and with a slight push of my hand, it opened and let me through.
Ah, that was my name, wasn't it? So this man did know me. Still not glancing at him, I walked on, intend to search for the box with medicines. I put more pressure on the wound, and grimaced. My knees started to feel weak, and I had to clutch at a nearby seat to keep myself from falling, while I heaved great breaths into my lungs, to keep my head from spinning any more. I noticed my human wanted to break free, but I pushed him back for now. I needed my inhuman strength at the moment. My human would just crumble and fall to the floor within seconds. While I knew it was dangerous to stay this way, while still lusting for blood, I had to do this.
A touch on my arm startled me, and before I knew it I stared into green eyes, hidden behind spectacles. The man intoxicated me, and I had to let go of him, or else I would do something stupid, I really would. "Please… don't touch me."
Strangely enough, he complied. "What do you need?" he asked, running a hand through his dishevelled hair.
"I need the box with medicines." I panted, hating myself for showing a weakness. But it couldn't be helped.
"Where is it?" the man asked rather patiently.
"I don't know. My human must've put it somewhere."
The man nodded, before pulling his wand out. "Accio Draco Malfoy's medicine box!" Within seconds a box came hurtling through the air, before it landed in the human's arms. He put it down on the table. "What do you need?" he asked once again.
Grumbling, I pushed myself away from the seat, and trained my eyes on the box, biting the inside of my cheek to stop myself from uttering a pained cry as I took the required five steps separating the seat and table. Putting my hands on either side of the box, I allowed myself a minute to pull myself together. Lifting a hand, I rummaged through the different kinds of flasks and phials, until I took three of them. Two for external use, one for internal use. Opening the phial, I tipped it sideways and allowed three drops to fall into the wound. Hissing, I pulled it upright again, before putting the stopper back on it. Uncorking one flask, I dipped my bloodied hand in and scooped out a generous amount of light blue cream. I smeared it on the wound, which was already closing here and there. And finally I grabbed the last flask and drank one mouth full of the foul stuff. Allowing myself to collapse in the seat I was previously leaning against, I closed my eyes, and allowed my human to tentatively enter my mind again. And at once recognition flowed through me, but not enough to make me open my eyes. "Potter," I murmured, wanting to wipe at my face, but stopping just in time when I remembered blood was still clinging to my hand.
The man was hesitating, I knew. And I also knew that I would be in big trouble. But what was I supposed to do? Starve to death? I didn't care much that Potter now knew what I was. In fact, I thought it was his own fault for not knowing. He should know who or what he was dealing with on his case. And really, what need was there for blood to be so damn alluring?
"Why haven't you told me before?"
Ah, yes, the question I knew would come. I shrugged. "Did you need to know? I don't really care much what you do and don't know. What I do know, however, is that I was unable to feed, and that the Neo-Death Eaters attacked us. Speaking of which, what happened to them?" Fire back questions at the man, and he surely would let go.
He frowned. "I do need to know, so that I'm able to keep an eye on you. What if I hadn't been there tonight? I know you would've been able to save yourself, but what else could've happened? And besides, it'd be nice to know what I would have to deal with when coming here. There was no word of you being a vampire. When did that happen anyway? And to answer your question, I've brought them to the Ministry."
"So quickly? Surely it would've taken longer?"
He shrugged. "Not when you say someone's down. But you didn't answer my own questions."
Damn. I really, really didn't want him to pry. You thought he would know when to leave a poor bloke alone, but obviously that wasn't the case. "Your own damned fault for not looking in my damned file. I've been a vampire for four years, after an accident in Diagon Alley. Nobody knows because the only ones who do know will wisely keep their mouth shut. Though I wouldn't know what the vampire who did this to me has to say about it. Now, do you have any idea how quickly you have ruined my day? I guess you won't let me go outside, would you?"
Potter looked incredulous, which eased my own annoyance a bit. "For four years, huh? No wonder you didn't seem much older when I first saw you. And no, of course I won't let you step outside again after today! We can only wait for the other Aurors to arrive here on the date we have planned, though I wouldn't be surprised if things were hurried along."
I rubbed my eyes with my good hand, not because I was tired, but to stave off a headache. Lovely. I would be unable to hunt. "And what do you suggest doing about it? As you know, I'm a vampire, and in order to stay alive, I have to have blood. Now that you've cut my supply off, what am I supposed to do?"
Potter shrugged. "I could get you some from the Ministry, I'm sure—"
"No," I said, cutting him off. "No way that I will allow you to do such things for me. I don't want to spread around any rumours."
Potter looked annoyed. "No-one will know, because I'm only going to ask for blood because you were injured. Sometimes, when the one we should be protecting is injured, we're allowed to get some blood at the Ministry, instead of sending that person to the infirmary. I'd be able to pop in and out without any prying."
I heaved a sigh. Why must it always be so difficult. And why didn't I have a stash saved in a freezer or something? "Very well. Are you sure they're still admitting entrance at this time?"
Potter shrugged. "For emergencies, yes. Well, I'll be going, then. Expect me back within the hour."
And with those parting words, Potter walked to the fireplace and left me alone.
"Did it really take so long for you to grab a bit of blood?"
Potter scowled, as he brushed soot off his clothes, while holding a bag of blood in his left hand. "Shut up, Malfoy. Be glad I got it for you. Besides, one and a half hour isn't exactly the end of the world. Now, take this and leave me alone. I think I've had more than enough excitement for one day." He laid the bag down on the table, and walked away. Just before he disappeared through the door, I called after him. "Thank you."
He looked back, and a grim smile appeared on his face. "You're welcome."
Sighing, I reached forward to close my fingers around the bag. Frowning, I looked more closely at it. Blood in a bag wasn't usually warm, was it? My curiosity peaked, and I stood up, grimacing at the pain. Staving the feeling off as best as I could, I walked to the dining room, intending to find a large glass to dump the blood in. I wondered if I would stay in my right mind this time. Instincts usually took over when I was near the forest, but this was an entirely different matter, wasn't it?
I grabbed the glass I was looking for, and dubiously opened the bag. And immediately I knew I was best off not opening the damned thing. Closing my eyes, I took a deep whiff of the red liquid. Damn it, was Potter foolish or something? I emptied the bag in the glass and stared at it for a long, long time, thoughts racing. Should I? one part of me asked, while the other replied shouldn't I? My thoughts warred and I was left standing, petrified, the aroma assaulting my nostrils. There was no harm drinking it, was there? Human blood was no different from animal blood, even Wizarding blood was the same to a vampire. But could someone like me actually become addicted to a certain type of blood? Were there any cases like that known? I raised my hand and grabbed a few locks of my hair, tugging lightly. What would I do? What should I do? Let it be, without knowing how long I should go without, with the real fear I would really attack Potter just because he became appetising? Sighing, I lifted the cup and held it in both of my hands, the warmth seeping into my cold fingers. Tilting my head back, the glass raised to my lips, I tilted it back and allowed the first swallow to pass my lips. When it touched my tongue, my eyes widened and my body stood stock-still. Relaxing my throat muscles, I swallowed the mouthful.
Gripping the glass with both hands, I drank greedily, nearly enough to make me spill, but not enough to actually let a single drop go to waste. After a final lick around the glass, I put it down on the counter, while my hands settled comfortably on the marble, my head bowed between them. It was curious, how I both felt in control of the situation, but one part felt uncontrollable. Deciding it had been a long day, I walked back to the seat I had been sitting on, and lowered myself on the white leather. Closing my eyes, I let my head fall back.
I was still sitting there when Potter came back downstairs. "You are an idiot, did you know that?" I asked in the most civilised and pleasant voice I could master. I could practically feel his shrug where I was sitting.
"Nothing new, coming from you. They had run out of blood at St Mungo's, so I had to let them use mine. It's nothing to be called an idiot for."
I opened my eyes, glaring and snarling at him. "Yes, you damned well are, and I damned well will call you an idiot." Pushing myself up, I stalked over to him with narrowed eyes, wanting to put words to my confusion. "Ever since the first day you visited, I can't help but think of you as one big, edible piece of meat. Your blood calls to me like a Siren's call, and you dare say you aren't an idiot for providing me blood, your blood?" I stood before him, panting. Admitting that didn't hurt me one bit. After all, it was the plain truth.
Potter looked surprised. Apparently the dolt hadn't known about it. Then a roguish grin painted his face. "So my blood's like a Siren's call, eh?"
Growling, I wanted to shake Potter within an inch of his life. "You don't get it, do you? I'm not something cuddly. I actually have to kill to get what I need to live. It's dangerous staying in such close quarters with me. There's a reason people fear vampires, you know?"
But still Potter only shrugged. "Haven't you felt that way about other humans before, then? And besides, I don't think you're the least bit frightening. And actually, you don't have to kill to feed. I've read up on the vampire subject, you see. There are laws and rules that prohibit killing a human being. And you can feed on humans, too. I heard the only reason there aren't many vampires around, is because of the intent of the blood-sucking. Is that actually true? That you won't become a vampire unless the vampire in question wished for it?"
I rubbed the bridge of my nose. Why was Potter so damned nosy, with his bright eyes feverishly looking into mine. What was wrong with him anyway? Deciding to find out with my finely tuned senses, I squinted at Potter. But the answer wouldn't come. Narrowing my eyes, I looked at the dark-haired man. "Yes, that's right. Otherwise there would be a lot of vampiric deer around. What do you want from me anyway, Potter? Why were you the only one signing up for this? Is there something I should know? Do you get a kick out of working with freaks? With abominations of nature?"
I started when Potter suddenly grasped my shoulders in a firm, nearly painful grip. "Don't you ever say that word. You are not a freak. And I told you before, nobody else wanted the job. What was I supposed to do?"
His hands burned my colder skin. Or at least, it felt that way. Looking into his eyes, I smirked. "That's not the entire answer I was looking for. Don't you dare lie to me. If you've read up on vampires, you should know better." His flush made my eyebrows rise, and his murmur barely reached my ears, even if he was standing close.
"None of your business, Malfoy. You kept the fact that you were a vampire secret, so let me have my own. Just know that I mean you no harm. That should be enough for now."
His hands left my shoulders, and I was left feeling bereft. Somehow, the warmth was soothing. Narrowing my eyes at his retreating back, I watched him go to the kitchen, probably to get some food. What was so special about Potter's blood? Could it be the animosity we had for each other when we were younger? Or was it because of that little something hidden in my chest, deep within my heart? Shaking the thought off, I briskly walked up the stairs to the library. No, absolutely not. Potter was not a lust object. Not his blood, nor any other part of him. His sent was just causing havoc on my senses, that was all.
If only I could believe it myself.
"Can't you find anyone else willing to do the job for you?" I drawled as I heard footsteps approaching. But soon enough I noticed that it didn't belong to only one person. Within seconds, the much dreaded face turned into the library. "Dissatisfied, are we, Malfoy?" the freckled person asked.
I sneered at him. "Not at all. Just wondering why he of all people had to be stationed here." The glance shared between the two friends made the hairs at the back of my neck stand up. There was something I was missing, and when Potter turned his face away with a mild blush on his face, I knew something was the matter. But for the moment, I let it slide. "Well, then, will you do me the honour of explaining why you are here?"
The man tried sneering at me, though I nearly broke into a laugh at the horrible attempt. Sneering was not made for Weasleys. "If you're half as rude to Harry as you are to me, I wonder how he could survive with you."
I only shrugged at the rhetorical question. Potter was… different. He always had been. Pushing the traitorous voice in my head away, I waited for Weasley to continue spewing rubbish. Didn't the man learn anything at that training of his?
"I'm here concerning the attack of yesterday. The counterattack we were preparing will be hurried along, and the men will be stationed here by the end of the week. Harry and I will check the area the scuffle took place, so we can investigate."
Shrugging, I turned back to my book. "As you wish." I didn't really care much. As long as he was out of my house as soon as possible. Really, how could people stand him? He was just this one block of self-righteousness. Luckily my wish was answered, and Weasley stepped out of the room. Potter seemed to hesitate, I could feel it, but he got over it and followed Weasley. Lifting my eyes from the book, I stared at the empty doorway for a long time.
Saturday dawned, with a dozen Aurors milling about. I could be annoyed if I wanted to, but something about this day just seemed beautiful. Maybe the anticipation thrumming in the air, or the way Potter's eyes fairly glowed with excitement. Annoyingly, the voice in the back of my head kept getting stronger and stronger, insinuating lots of improper things, and I shut those thoughts off for the moment. Of course the Aurors didn't want me around, and even though Potter stood his ground about me, his wish had not been granted.
Actually, this entire week was filled with tension. Or maybe tension wasn't the best word, perhaps. Apprehension, maybe? Even with my keen senses I couldn't adequately describe it. Potter seemed awkward around me, always avoiding me, or staring at me across space, always looking away when I turned to look at him. Ever since that day when Weasley visited. Deciding Potter should just gather his courage and wits about him, I tuned in to the pep-talk the Head-Auror gave. Of course they told me to leave the room, but I could still hear them nevertheless. Sometimes I congratulated my vampire skills. I was going with them, whether they liked it or not. I wanted to see the bastards who dared step foot on my ground, and who dared to instigate an attack. And no Auror could stop me. Not even Potter. Especially not Potter. I would follow the Aurors and assist in any way I could. They couldn't complain, really. I would be helping them out, for which they should be grateful. I wouldn't offer my services for such things ever again.
Actually, the plan was that Potter would stay behind to watch over me, like a babysitter, but luckily Potter protested immediately, saying that he knew best where to look and to find the Neo-Death Eaters. Deciding they really couldn't miss one of their men, they decided to let Potter do as he wished. Normally that would envy me, and probably would go a long way to getting me pissed off, but this time I nearly sagged in relief. Potter wouldn't be a nuisance, at least. Besides, I had advantages they had not, and those would help. Of course I had my wand with me. I didn't intend to fight dirty unless I had to. But, suddenly, a thought entered my mind. Potter would be gone after this, wouldn't he? There was no reason for him to stay anymore. Strangely enough, I was undecided on what I thought of that. On the one hand, I had gotten used to his presence, and it would be strange to live without him again, but on the other, the temptation was pulled away from me, put out of reach. The feelings warred within me, so much even, that I completely forgot where I was standing. When the handle of the room was pushed down, I came back to my senses and stood back, blending in with the shadows perfectly. I thanked my mother for not lightening up part of this hallway. The Aurors all streamed out, leaving muddy footprints all over the carpet. My face twitched, but I knew the house-elves would clean it up. The last one to leave was Potter, who didn't seem to be in a hurry.
"You'll be all right, won't you, Malfoy?" His eyes settled perfectly in the darkness I was hidden. Mildly impressed, I stepped forward and granted him a small smile.
"I've been "all right" for the past four years. I think I can survive this day, too. You'll be back to your regular job after today, won't you? After this is all over."
He bit his bottom lip and rolled on the balls of his feet, swaying back and forth. "Yes. Once we've caught every Neo-Death Eater, that'll be the end of it." His look was the exact same on my face. Not quite regret or remorse, but something akin to it. We both didn't want this partnership to end, I knew.
"Well, I should be going. We're going to leave in five minutes, just so you know." And with those parting words, he left down the hallway. I watched him go, a pensive look on my face. Strange how one got used to another's presence. And strange how I thought I could miss such presence. Was it Potter's company I desired, or was it just company? This time I wasn't afraid to evaluate my own thoughts. But wasn't it something unattainable? But if it was, why did Potter's blood attract me so much, and why was Potter himself avoiding me as much as possible? So many questions, and I wished for them all to be answered. Grinning, I thought I just might have the ideal thing. After all, something Potter said had triggered something in me. 'I heard the only reason there aren't many vampires around, is because of the intent of the blood-sucking'. And that lovely sentence had me smiling for the entire day. The intent, that was what it was all about. If a vampire wanted to create another one, he had to wish for it. If a vampire just wanted to drink some blood, nothing would happen, for he just wished to feed. There would be no new vampire, because of the intent. And what if that intent was desire or lust? If you were able to find a lovely artery and bite down, with desire in your mind, intending to carry it over to the other person, could that work? The prospect was mouth-watering, but also impossibly unlikely to happen. At least, for the person I wanted to bite. But some wishes do come true, didn't they?
I walked down the path Potter had just walked, though far more leisurely. If the Aurors kept to their schedule, they should be on their way to the forest. And I was sure to follow them. Not on their heels, but a bit behind. Besides, the forest would be badly lit, so dense were the leaves. And never more had I loved the forest than I did at that moment. The house was eerily silent, as if it was preparing for battle, and I smiled grimly. It'd be nice if there was. Maybe that would grant me the excitement I had yearned for. And maybe there would finally be some answers. I opened the door cautiously, but I couldn't spot a soul over the entire field. Good. Of course I could be spotted from the underbrush if an Auror were to look my way, but I gladly took the challenge. I'd like to see them try to remove a vampire from its own ground. I considered walking slowly, until I heard a yell and a large bang. Or maybe sprinting was a better idea. Running, my senses went haywire. But one thing was clear; there were many more Neo-Death Eaters than Aurors. Apparently, the Aurors really hadn't counted on so many Neo-Death Eaters, so their senses proved. But there also was steely determination, nearly enough to take my breath away. Aurors were darting and weaving behind trees and bushes, and they wildly looked around, checking on their partners and any flying spell.
And that's when Potter saw me. His eyes widened a fair bit, before he frowned. "What are you doing here?" he fairly growled.
Licking my lips, I looked at him. "Looks like you might need some help. So quit complaining and let me do my thing. That way you might actually stand a chance."
Grunting, Potter turned back to the target at hand. "Fine. But don't wound them needlessly. We need them for interrogation."
My grin was like a shark's. Giving no reply, I finally grabbed my wand and fired off spells. And down they fell, one by one, though I saw some Aurors falling down themselves. Idiots, the lot of them. Except perhaps Potter. He was actually rather capable. A sudden presence entered my mind, and I turned around, but already the spell was hurtling my way. Before I could conjure a shield, my vision was blocked by a mop of black hair. "No." The word escaped my throat before I knew it. "No!" I yelled as the spell hit, before Potter could even try to put up a shielding charm. Snarling, I threw a vicious Cutting Curse in the caster's way, while Potter crumpled against my body. Laying Potter down gently, I recited as many shielding charms over the body as I could, before I turned my head and bared my teeth. They would pay for that. Swishing my wand over my head, the curses flew easily over my lips, my hand moving so fast it was barely a blur. I saw red. No-one hurt what was his. Mine? my brain helpfully replied, but I stomped down on that voice. If someone jumped in front of a curse for you, that surely meant something. A spell grazed my arm and left behind a stinging sensation. Not about to look down, I sent a spell his way. There were only a few Neo-Death Eaters left, and they quickly realised they didn't stand a chance. And before anyone could react, they Apparated. Snarling, I yelled several obscenities. Wracking my brain, I found no trace of them anywhere. Rushing to the body, I knelt down. "Please don't be dead," I muttered, my voice hoarse. "I've just found you." But the logical part of my brain told me he couldn't be dead, for he still carried a heartbeat and his blood was still flowing.
My hands reached forward of their own accord and cradled Potter's face, willing those eyes to open. His ridiculous glasses had fallen somewhere and were probably trampled beyond recognition. A dull sense of humour shot through me. Good. His face was cold, though, and even though his heart was still beating, it wasn't the usual loud thump-thump hearts usually made. It was more something of a dull thud-thud, which spoke to me on a morose level. Someone knelt down beside me, but I didn't want to look. Besides, I knew who it was without him even speaking.
"What hit him?" The frantic voice of Ron Weasley asked.
"I don't know," I replied softly, wanting to do something, anything.
"We should bring him to St Mungo's. Can you Apparate him? I can't leave at the moment."
Groans and moans echoed all over the battlefield, and I nodded, all eyes for Potter's prone form. What an utter idiot for jumping in front of a spell he could've probably blocked. But within my mind of minds I knew I would've been too late. Grounding my teeth together, I embraced Potter awkwardly, and closed my eyes, concentrating on the hospital. We arrived with a pop, and immediately I was surrounded and Potter was lifted from my arms. I made a futile grab with my arms, but he was gone before I could reach him. A Healer grabbed my arm gently and pushed me down on a seat. She quickly left to run after the other Healers.
I don't know how long I sat there in shock, the sounds or different scents not even registering. Everything passed me by in a blur, until someone familiar sat down next to me. I glanced sideways at him for a moment, noting his pale face, which made the contrast with his freckles rather startling.
"Any news?" He croaked, and I shook my head in reply, knowing he was looking at me. I wish I did know, though. Not so much to calm Weasley, but to bring me out of my shock-induced stupor. But this time I did look up and saw people milling about, some visitors, while others were Healers or victims. I reflected back on the pale face with his eyes closed, so vulnerable without the protection of his glasses. His heartbeat which had beaten so lightly, his pulse which softly fluttered, and the very life which had seemed so lost, lying there in the woods, surrounded by moss and leaves. A sob nearly tore through me, and I suddenly had to know how he was doing. But first things first. "How long has it been?" I croaked myself. I wasn't even bothered by presenting Weasley a weakness, not after he showed me one of his own.
He looked at me as if I were mental. I suppose I must've seem that way, with the franticness and restlessness crawling beneath my skin, making it itch. "Nearly two hours." Those were the words that pushed me over the edge.
Standing up, I determinately walked over to the receptionist sitting behind her desk. I smiled pleasantly, or at least I hoped I did, at her, and nodded. "Excuse me, but could you tell me if there is any news on the wellbeing of mister Potter? Or would you at least tell me where they took him? I'm quite worried, you see." Women appreciated that, didn't they? Worry for another person's wellbeing.
She smiled back at me. "Just a minute. I'll look through his files to see if anything has been added to it yet."
I nodded and patiently waited for the witch to finish looking through anything. Eventually she looked up. "Ah, I'm afraid I can't say offhand if there was anything done to him. It only says that he's been taken in for spell damage. So I best suggest you go to the fourth floor. Unfortunately I can't say which room he's in."
I smiled an encouraging smile nonetheless. "Thank you very much. I'll just go and wait there, see if any of the Healers know more. Once again, thank you for your time." Turning away, I had to tighten the muscles in my legs to stop myself from dashing over to the elevator. It couldn't be there fast enough. And of course the ruddy thing had to take ages to come down, which left me in a cold sweat. When it arrived, I pressed the "4" button so many times I was surprised it didn't shout obscenities at me. But maybe the elevator was used to impatient and anxious people. Eventually the door closed and only stopped on the fourth floor. Without waiting for the doors to open entirely, I stepped through and had to stop in the middle of the hallway. Calming my nerves as much as possible, I closed my eyes and concentrated. This time Potter's scent was truly a gift from the heavens above, as I turned right and walked down the end of the hallway. At the end I turned left and stopped at the second room. I knew Potter was here, lying in this room. I didn't dare step inside, though, not until I had the confirmation to step foot in the room. I knew, however, that Potter's situation was far more stable than it had been when I had brought him here, which was a relief. Not that I really thought Potter would just drop dead at the first notice, but there could be close calls.
And so I waited outside his door with incredible patience from my side. I knew I had been spoiled by my parents and only had to snap my fingers to get what I wanted, but I had gotten to know patience along the years. And usually such a thing was rewarding. Deciding this was the same case, I sank down on the floor and wrapped my arms around my knees. All I could do was wait. I would probably be the first to notice if something drastic were to take place. Not that I didn't trust the Healers. Not at all. But spells could be nasty things, if someone wanted them to be. I lifted a hand from my knees and rubbed my face, weary. There was one burning question I wanted an answer to, but I also knew that realistically I had to wait a while to get the answer to it. After all, even though I could read Potter's emotions, I couldn't read his thoughts.
After a while a shadow fell over me, and I looked up expectedly. When I saw it was Weasley, I sagged back against the wall. "I take it you haven't heard anything yet?"
"No." The answer was expected, but it still felt like bitter disappointment. There were two Healers in the room I was leaning against, and I could feel their emotions. There were several times I thought they'd come out, but every time something happened to pull them back, to spent more time on Potter. It had set my teeth on edge and made me more than a bit twitchy and annoyed. It was so damned annoying to stay in the dark, and my patience, which had never been that long, was slowly wearing thin. It started to grate on my nerves, and the sun lowering in the sky, which could be seen from the window, wasn't helping, either. But suddenly the door handle turned, and I looked up.
Weasley immediately barraged the Healer with questions, the uncouth man. "How is Harry? Is he awake? Can he talk? What curse hit him? Why did it take so long? How—" but before he could ask more, the Healer held up his hand with a smile.
"Mister Weasley, please. Mister Potter is as fine as could be expected. And yes, he is awake and can talk. In a moment you're allowed to visit. We don't know what curse had hit him, but we did know that he wasn't the intended for the spell. That has probably saved his life. It took so long because we had to stabilise him, since the spell ate away from his magic and slowed his heart. It took some time before we got to the point where all was right again, and mister Potter should be all right, after staying the night of course. You can step inside, if you like. But only for a quarter of an hour."
Weasley fairly ran inside, but I still sat there on the ground, one part reverbing through my head. 'But we did know that he wasn't the intended for the spell. That has probably saved his life.' I was fairly sure I couldn't die from such a simple thing, but Potter could, if the spell had been meant for him. It made the mortality of people painfully real.
"Mister Malfoy?" The Healer inquired softly. "Are you going in?"
I nodded, and pushed myself up from the ground, grimacing as my legs started to come back to life, with the familiar pins and needles feeling. When I stepped inside, it nearly felt as if an interview was taking place. Weasley was firing off so many questions that even my own head hurt. I grimaced, but put my hand over Weasleys shoulder to shock him into silence. When I had his attention, I let the hand slide off. "Weasley, please. Even my head hurts from all the questions. Potter has been through enough for the moment. Why don't you inform Granger on what has happened? I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that Potter has been attacked," I said rather drily.
And of course Weasley paled, spluttered out an apology and tore down the hallway. Shaking my head, I turned to the seat to the right of Potter. "Unlike Weasley, I won't be pushing you for answers, but I still would like to know why you jumped in front of that spell for me." Finally truly looking at Potter, a slow grin formed on my lips, though internally I flinched. "God, Potter, you look awful!"
He was pale and looked drawn, purple bags forming under his eyes, while part of his shoulder was bandaged. Probably where the spell hit. He looked tiny on the hospital bed, and the epitome of an ill person. However, when Potter spoke, his voice wasn't nearly as tired as I had imagined it to be. "Because you wouldn't be able to put a shielding charm up in time. It's part of my job to keep you save."
"Ah, but that's not all of it. Bodily protecting someone isn't that common."
"I did what I had to," he grumbled.
Sighing, I looked at Potter. "I can't die that easily, Potter. There's no easy way to kill a vampire, you know that. But you can, you idiot. One spell, one stupid mistake, and you'll be gone from this world. So, don't do anything foolish next time. I'll be all right by myself."
Potter's green eyes searched mine, with naked truth lying ahead. But I couldn't care that he knew I cared about him. Besides, jumping in front of a spell for someone was pretty much a love declaration all by itself. Which explained the avoidance. And if I were wrong, well… then nothing was lost anyway.
Potter opened his mouth, probably to say something entirely Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, but before he could actually utter a word, the door burst open.
I looked up, annoyed. All the circling and avoiding could finally come to an end, but of course Weasley just had to intrude, with Granger hot on his heels. Flinging herself over the bed and Potter, she hugged him and sobbed. Broken words escaped her lips, and I stood up from the chair and walked out of the room. Sighing, I made my way to the elevator. Well, if Potter truly was as courageous as people made him seem to be, than he would come to me. I had made my feelings clear.
I was perusing a shelf in the library, squinting. It was getting harder and harder to find a book which hadn't been read before. And this time I just wanted to read some fiction, something light to take my mind off of things. "Aha!" I exclaimed, and happily pulled out an obscure book, which I certainly haven't read before. Turning around, I saw Potter in the doorway. The book fell out of my hand, and unto the floor with a dull thud. My breath was stolen when his eyes looked at me, and his scent washed over me like a breeze in Summer. There was just something refreshing about Potter. Just when I nearly had lost hope after a week, he stood right before my eyes. I blinked, wanting to make sure it wasn't just a trick of my eyes. But no, Potter still stood in my doorway, his eyes bright and open, just as his face. No barriers. And the breath was knocked out of my lungs at the sight, making me stumble, and I had to quickly put and arm up and against the shelf to anchor me against the onslaught of raw emotion. Potter had come here without inhibitions. I wondered how it came to be that I had never seen it before, the entirety of Potter. But then again, I only was forced to think about Potter again when he stood in front of the gates of the Manor. Not that I hadn't thought of him before, though. But this time it was different, because my breath sped up and my heart quickened, while I felt warm and tingly. Or as warm as I could probably feel as a vampire. I wouldn't want to ask him what he was doing here, because we both knew why he was here. I slowly bend down to get my book, my eyes not leaving his. I wonder who it would be that broke the precious but tense silence.
Eventually it was Potter who broke both the stare and silence. "You left."
I blinked. Had Potter taken that as rejection? Did his Gryffindor sensibilities kick in when I turned and walked away? I wanted to smile, but I didn't, afraid it would just confirm the dolt's suspicions. "Of course I did. I don't really think either Weasley or Granger would be happy with me being there. Besides, I didn't want to seem like an intruder."
His eyes practically screamed murder, and I involuntarily took a step back, away from the scorching gaze which seemed to set my soul alight. Had Potter always been this passionate? I didn't know, but if he was, then I was damned near remorseful for not realising it sooner. He stepped forward, his eyes narrowed, and with every step he took forward, I took one backwards. He looked truly intimidating, and I could barely breathe in the tension he was emanating. But, God, he was a force to be reckoned with. After a few steps, I felt the wall press in my back, and I saw grim satisfaction flying across Potter's face, and I narrowed my eyes. I wasn't responsible for his irrational conclusions, and won't be held responsible for them. If he would hold it against me, he could just forget about it.
"I have been wracking my brain, trying to find a logical answer, and you 'didn't want to seem like an intruder'? Haven't you realised by now how lame of an answer that is to me? I jumped in front of a spell for you. Shouldn't that tell you how I feel?"
I snarled. I wasn't about to let him push all the blame unto me. "Well, then, why didn't you just ask me when you've been living with uncertainty? Because I sure as hell thought I had made my feelings clear. And it wasn't by turning away from you. What else should I have done? Join in a big group-hug and wonder how life can be so great? I think it's unfair that just because you have drawn the wrong conclusions, I must be the cause of it, that I intended to hurt you. Because I didn't and I don't. So stop being a martyr, reach out and grab what you want." I didn't really intend for those words to be taken so literally, but I immediately found myself pressed up against Potter, his harsh breath warming my shoulder, and I shuddered in his grasp. His warmth seemed to reach all the way into my bones, and it left me dizzy with a heady sense. I didn't know I could want a person this much. It nearly left tears to my eyes, though that notion quickly evaporated as I felt a hardness against my thigh. I moaned, and pushed back against Potter, my cock taking more of an interest.
His mouth sought mine, and the warmth that radiated from him seemed to burn me alive. But that didn't matter, because that meant I could die a pleasant death. I opened my mouth when his insistent tongue pushed against my lips impatiently, and I laughed softly, happily, into his mouth. It quickly turned into a moan, though, when his hips canted against mine. Growling, I wanted the clothes separating us gone. Still connecting our lips, my hands fumbled to get all the buttons undone. Why the hell had Potter picked such a difficult shirt anyway? But apparently Potter didn't care about the cloth barrier, for he happily ground his pelvis against mine, not only trapping my hands, but also making me forget all about my quest about removing clothes. The next moment I was more lucid, though, when Potter started to attack my clothes, too. His hips still canted forwards, almost of its own volition, and mine echoed his, while my hands unbuttoned the shirt and stroked as much skin as they could. When the shirt finally landed on the ground, I pushed forwards, my lips seeking out sweaty skin. My tongue flicked out over his shoulder, and I closed my eyes, exploring his body with my tongue and lips. It was an interesting way to know a person, to feel bumps, scars and irregularities on the body. Almost like a map of the life a person has lived.
I was surprised to know my own shirt had left my body, and was now probably somewhere on the ground, a pile of forgotten silk. But I could live with that, if it meant Potter wouldn't stop touching me. His hands ran like wildfire over my body, both as wild and frenzied, with the same ferocity, but with the gentleness of a lover. I had to hand Potter one thing: he was passionate. I was left panting and leaning against him, before I remembered what my initial goal had been. Plunging my hands downwards, I tugged on Potter's belt. I felt his surprise and shock, but didn't put any mind to it. It was better to focus on the job anyway. Soon enough the belt was loosened, and the button followed soon after, which only left the zipper. My heart quickened, and I felt the heady emotions from Potter, which only fuelled my own desire. After a second's hesitation, I held the top of the jeans with one hand, to pull it tight, while my other hand pulled at the zipper, my eyes trained on the bulge which was slowly uncovered. Pushing it down a bit, I let Potter do the rest of the trousers, though when he went to tug at his boxers, I stopped him. Licking my lips, my eyes fastened on the feast in front of me. My chest heaved up and down, and adrenaline was pumping through my veins. Reaching forward, I tugged the elastic back down, to reveal Potter's erect cock. It was standing proud and hard, and bobbed when Potter went to push it down all the way.
Reaching forward, Potter buried his hands in my hair and kissed me hungrily, his lower body grinding insistently against mine. When his own hands made short work of my trousers, I truly thought fate had it in for me. Could one die from sheer pleasure, I wonder? But I supposed it didn't matter, as long as Potter didn't stop touching me. When he pulled my own undergarments down, I had to hide a wince when my erection bobbed painfully. His hand wrapped around the base tentatively, but was encouraged by my choked moan. My head fell backwards against the cool stone, though my right hand searched for Potter's own cock, which was scorching in comparison. I looked at Potter's face and chest, as I made my first stroke. I wouldn't have missed it for all the Galleons in the world. He let out a heart-felt moan, which made my own cock twitch, with his head thrown backwards, bottom lip caught between his teeth. He was the epitome of a completely wanton individual, with his cheeks flushed, his lips kiss-reddened, and his cock full and plump. I could only imagine what I must look like.
Potter suddenly seemed to remember he had a cock in hand, and started stroking, too, raptly watching my face. And I could absolutely understand Potter's reaction and the face he made when a hand different from your own was wrapped around the most private part of your body. I moaned just as loudly and filthily as Potter had, my own hand slacking for a moment. But when I heard Potter's grunt, I tightened my hand and pumped again. I watched Potter's face, and was tuned into his emotions enough that I knew I had to move my face forward, at the same moment Potter moved his. The kiss was hot, needy, with an edge of desperation. My left hand was lodged in the dark hair, which barely curled around my fingers. I would've preferred his hair longer, but I could live with this, too. Oh yes, I could definitely live with this. I smeared the pre-come over the head and around the shaft, slickening it. His hips pumped and moved his cock almost frantically in my hand, eyes fairly glowing when we parted to pant and moan. It was probably the most beautiful, vibrant sight I had laid eyes on.
I swallowed, and let my head fall back against the wall again, while Potter attacked my neck with the same vigour a vampire used to have. A hoarse chuckle escaped my lips. Potter wasn't supposed to be the vampire. That was me.
My breathing became ragged, and I noticed Potter was getting more frantic and out of control, too. It was a novel feeling, seeing the body come undone, eyes feverish and unfocused. It made me nearly feel proud. The feeling in my gut spread outward, making me feel warm and tingly, before I released my seed all over Potter's abdomen. My hand slackened, but Potter put his hand over mine and helped me reach his completion. Through the haze, I noticed Potter slumped against me, and we both slid down slowly, until our limbs tangled together.
"I didn't mean it quite so literally, you know?" I said, chuckling, finding my voice after regaining my breath.
Potter had closed his eyes and still seemed to be someplace else. "What?"
"To reach out and grab what you want."
Potter's tired chuckle reached my ears. "Can't hear you complain, though."
I hummed, agreeing. I closed my eyes for a moment, before the ground became uncomfortable. Potter shifted, too, and I held out my hand to pull him up. "Let's move somewhere more comfortable." Walking up the stairs, with Potter's hand in mine, was a feeling and sight I would never forget. Pushing the doors open and watching Potter's face was also something which was hard-pressed to leave my mind. His eyes had widened, and he stood still. I didn't really know what was so spectacular about my room. Well, except maybe the large four-poster. Grinning, I intended to put the bed to good use. But only after we had rested. There just were several activities which required such things. Tugging Potter along, I took him to the bed. Looking at it with a cocked head, it should probably pass Potter's standards. It was large, but not overly so, and the colour was neither green nor black, which might've been expected. Or red, perhaps. But instead they were a pale blue. Lifting the sheets, I patted the other spot, indicating Potter should come lie next to me. He was hesitating, I knew. Well, he should just get over himself. And within seconds, Potter had joined me under the sheets, his warmth pressed against my chest. I didn't know about him, but I was asleep within seconds.
Waking up with my cock nestled against a warm body was a novelty. When said body reacted positively, I was awake in an instant, my hips canting forwards, against the small of Potter's back. After a moment I noticed Potter's frantic moving of his right arm, and put my own hand on his forearm, stopping him. Sneaking my right hand down, I wrapped my own hand around his erection, which earned me a frustrated groan. Apparently Potter had been well on his way to completion. Not that I would grant him such a trivial thing yet. Moving my hand slowly, I let my eyes fall closed again, and thrust my hips forward, emitting my own groan, but this one of pleasure, not of frustration, which Potter's had been mostly consisting of. But apparently Potter didn't like "slow". He rocked his own hips back and forth, creating both lovely friction for himself and me. Forgetting about my own idea of going slow, I rocked my hips forward, as the last vestiges of sleep left me. What a lovely way to wake up. Fasting my lips over Potter's shoulder, I licked and nipped at the skin, delighting in the taste. Everything about Potter seemed to be tasty and delicious.
The sheets rustled as our moves became more frantic, more unrestrained. Potter grabbed at the sheets, his hands opening and closing, as if he didn't know what to do. His mouth opened in a gape, to let out the most delicious and obscene sounds, or closed in sheer pleasure, eyes screwed shut. And at that moment, I was amazed I had this man in my bed, participating and giving as good as he got. He was indeed a force to be reckoned with. I pressed closer to him, and panted in his neck, not caring how out of control I looked. Moving my hand faster, I heard Potter come undone, too. He was the first to shudder in my grip, and to stop breathing for a moment, his heart beating fast. After two shuddering thrusts, my own orgasm took me nearly by surprise. My eyes fluttered, and I bit my lip to stifle my cry. As Potter turned to look at me, I thought he looked debauched. Our lips found each other, though not with the aggressiveness of this afternoon. Distantly I wondered what time it was. Probably late in the evening, as the sun had disappeared and late twilight had set in. Humming, I looked at Potter, who grinned boyishly at me, his eyes bright as he crossed my grey ones. I wondered what on Earth I had done to deserve such a look.
I had considered him something of a friend in the time he spent here as an Auror, but now he had turned around and done this. I wondered what brought on the change from enemies, to acquaintances to lovers. Not that I was about to overanalyse it. This was a lovely feeling, and I wasn't about to question the things handed to me. The next question threw me off, though.
"Do you have to feed tonight?"
"Not necessarily," I replied, wondering where this would lead to.
"Does it hurt, when you bite?"
I looked at him, and held his glowing eyes. "Actually, that's something I was thinking about, too. Your words, they made me think. 'I heard the only reason there aren't many vampires around, is because of the intent of the blood-sucking'. And it made me wonder. If there's a different intent, would that change the way it would feel like? For instance, if you wanted the intent to be calming, would the bite calm a person? I don't know, and haven't put it to the test, yet."
With eyes bright, he looked at me and smiled. "I could be your test subject, if you like." His cheeks were red, though his gaze was steady.
My eyes widened. My test subject? It almost seemed as if… "Do you have a bite kink, Potter?" I asked, bemused.
Instantly his cheeks flamed up, and he ducked his head, mumbling. And I knew I had hit the proverbial nail on the spot. "I did say I read up on vampires. They are said to be incredible sensual creatures, and I just wondered if a bite during sex or any such activity could heighten the senses. And not only for personal purposes, but also academically, because a vampire wouldn't have to kill, and had a reliable source to feed from. Surely it must've been noted more often?"
I was left feeling astounded. Was Potter both offering me his blood, and a more permanent settlement? Was he willing to experiment, and to spend his time in my presence? Or was I reading him all wrong? Deciding I should answer his question, I shook myself out of my stupor. "Yes, there are forms for such things. I just didn't really understand why people would be willing subjects. To be honest, I didn't even know why such forms were created, since the larger part of the Wizarding population can't stand vampires. But if our theory may prove to be a success, then I know why some are willing to stay with a vampire without cringing away."
Potter chuckled, and the sound made my own lips twitch up. "You truly do see yourself as one big, scary monster, don't you? Malfoy, you're just about as harmful as a fluffy kitten."
I bared my teeth. Nobody could call me a kitten. Where did Potter think he was going with this?
"I know, I know, Malfoy. No need to get defensive!" He put his hands up in mock surrender, and I narrowed my eyes at him. What did Potter want? Why now, of all times? There were so many questions rolling around my head that I could barely hear myself think. Reacting with lightening like reflexes, I was straddling Potter, his hands pressed down in the bed. And the smug bastard only raised his brow. Discarding my previous thoughts of not questioning things, I looked into his ever green eyes. What was it, they said? Eyes were the windows to your soul? And Potter's eyes were definitely open and bottomless. Could one drown in them, had one wanted to? But it wasn't what was important now. For now, I wouldn't settle less than for answers.
"I'm serious here, Potter. I'm usually not the 'act now, ask questions later' type of person, but I do think I have earned those answers. You have continuously avoided the question why you were the only one stationed here." I felt annoyed when Potter thought he should cut in, probably to confirm that yes, he was the only one. "And yes, I do know you were the only one willing to sign up voluntarily. But as I have said before, that wasn't all of it, and I'm willing to hear it now."
Those eyes which had been so open before completely shut down, and I narrowed my eyes. Suddenly he bucked and trashed underneath me, and I just clucked my tongue, pressing his hands down against the bed. Truly. If he didn't want to answer any questions, he should've just let it down to rest. Kicking a fuss wouldn't make a difference, and he should know not to fight a vampire, who has superior strength to a mere human. Even if said human was one of the more powerful wizards in Britain.
"Malfoy, let go of me." His deep voice was sexy, and the way he writhed underneath me made other things swell than my exasperation. But I couldn't be distracted, because I didn't think I'd get a chance after this. I just hoped Potter wouldn't hate me for this, though I didn't think he would. He wouldn't be lying in my bed otherwise, and wouldn't offer me his blood. There was something there, of that I was sure.
"I don't think I will. In fact, I have all of eternity to stay where I am right now. I need less sleep than you do, and my strength is superior to yours. You might break free with magic, but then again, your wand isn't anywhere near. Or at least, not the wand currently attached to your body. So, spill. I'm absolutely dying to know how you fell for perfect little me." His face went absolutely pale, almost paler than mine was, and I wondered if there was some truth in my statement. From the panicky feel Potter was emanating, it probably was. And the mystery that was Harry Potter only thickened and deepened. Really, I didn't even needed him to confess, because his feelings laid bare for me to exploit and explore. And once again I wondered what I had done to deserve this. But if Potter didn't man up, would this thing work? Would it, regardless? I didn't think he was a one-night stand kind of person, but this might prove to be a bit too much for his Gryffindor sensibilities.
"I don't have to tell you anything, Malfoy!" he spat, his eyes fiery and wild. I licked my lips. He really was too easy to rile up. It was almost pathetic, if it wasn't for the fact that it was Potter. But one thing I knew for sure. He was acting like an idiot.
"Come on, Potter, we're grown men. At least, you are. If anyone should be childish, it would be me. I'm still eighteen, you know?"
"That's different! Your mind ages, even if your body doesn't, so we're the same age. So don't give me that bullshit excuse."
Reluctantly a grin stole over my face. "It's not total bullshit. Besides, everybody else will view me as an eighteen year old. For eternity. But the price paid for such a thing is high. Now quit your whining and explain. You owe me that, after everything. I want to know everything. Why you came here, why you followed me that night I was attacked, why you avoided me, and why you jumped in front of that spell for me. Tell me everything."
And I don't know what made him do it. But he did. Maybe it was the way my eyes spoke to him, or how we were pressed together, chest to chest, legs to legs, with my hands in his hands. I curled my fingers, and the straddling was more of an embrace, as my body relaxed when I realised Potter wasn't going to run. His hands squeezed mine for a moment, and he took a shuddering breath, but he spoke. And that was what was important to me, the trust he put in me. Knowing he wanted to tell me this, for I was sure he could have used wandless magic to push me off of him. And that made the victory that much sweeter. I still wasn't sure what I felt for him, but I knew I wouldn't object to him being around for a while.
"I saved you."
I blinked. "I already know that, Potter. I saw you leaping in front of that spell, you know?" I couldn't help the dryness in my voice. I knew this already. If this was just a way to start a conversation, why state the obvious?
But he shook his head. "I know that, and I didn't mean the previous week. I meant four years ago."
My blood ran cold. Or at least, it felt like that. The only thing that happened four years ago was me turning into a vampire. "That's impossible," I whispered, shaken.
But Potter shook his head and I knew he wasn't lying. "It's not. I didn't know it was a vampire, or that you were turned into one, though. At least, not for a good while. I just thought he had used a spell against you and was about to pummel you to your death. So I brought you to St Mungo's, after the vampire had escaped. I told them that I'd like to stay informed on what happened. The only thing they ever told me was that you were released the next day. But after that incident, you were constantly on my mind. Not precisely in a good way at first. Because what had happened in that alley? Why were you attacked? Were you the one who attacked first? Or were you just a victim? And about a month after that incident, I rolled into Auror training, broke up with Ginny, and got my own apartment in the Muggle world. It was such a confusing time for me, and I couldn't help but think. Had I done the right thing, to testify for your family? Or had I just been foolish? But after months of nothing, no newspaper article, I began to calm down.
"Ron and Hermione visited often, or as often as they could. And they looked annoyed, and maybe even a bit understandingly, when I talked about you. Hermione thought I should either make peace with my past, or to move forward and do something along the lines of befriending you. Ron just pretended he was going to be sick. And that spurred me into action. Because how was I going to befriend someone who hated me, and whom I had detested all those years? I didn't know anything about you, and sending a letter along the lines of, 'hey, Malfoy, want to catch up on old times? Harry Potter' would've been ridiculous. And so I let it rest. Except for in my head. And, well, it only got more confusing when I thought back to that day when you were attacked, and I wanted to protect you. And, well, protecting you led to other things and thoughts, which frightened me a lot. I had talked about it with Hermione, to set everything right again. I had wanted her to say it was madness, or to say it was brilliant. In fact, I didn't really know what I wanted her to say. But in the end she just told me she would support me, no matter what. And about a year after that, I got this case, which I grabbed with both hands. And I didn't lie when I said I was the only one to volunteer, because I was. But mainly, it gave me the chance to be closer to you, to get to know you, to see if I would feel as strongly as I had in the privacy of my apartment. And, well, the rest is history."
I was flabbergasted. No, that was not enough of a strong word. It felt as if lightening had struck and a tornado whirled around the room. Potter had saved me? I had never really thought much about my saviour that day. Had it truly been Potter?
The Potter underneath me looked annoyed, and probably seething. "You wanted the truth, Malfoy, so don't give me that look. If you don't like it, I suggest letting me go. It's embarrassing enough of its own. I really shouldn't have come here," he had mumbled, as an afterthought.
But already things were clicking into place, no matter their farfetchedness. "I believe you, don't worry. You can't lie even if it was to save your life. But there are still things I don't quite understand. When and why did you read up on vampires? Why were you even there in that alley? And how did you know I was outside, when I had been cursed?"
Potter relaxed back again, and flexed his fingers under my own. "The last one is fairly simple, as I only had to place a ward on the back door, which would alert me when you walked through. I followed you, since you shouldn't have left the house, and the rest is once again history. As to why I was there in the alley, I think it was for the same reason as you. To buy something. It had nearly been my godson's birthday, and I wanted to get him a present." Potter sighed, before answering my first question. "When you're joining the Aurors, you need to know what you can come into contact with. So we learned the basics about creatures, wizards, Muggles, and everything closely related and relevant to the job. And when I learned about the basics about vampires, I had to think back to you. And, well, I had to rethink that day again, and I threw myself in the study of vampires. Besides, there were several vampires involved with the Aurors, so we could recognise them. Not that it did me any good." He chuckled, and glanced down, apparently only now detecting his nakedness. Not allowing him to be embarrassed, I squeezed his hands.
"You, Harry Potter, are quite fascinating. How come nobody ever threw themselves in front of your feet, begging to be the lover of such a wondrous creature?"
His face tightened, and he thought I was mocking him. I knew he thought I was. Rolling my eyes, I lowered my body, so I could whisper in his ear. "I would've thrown myself at your feet, had I known you were like this." And just like that, his anger melted away, and I felt like we could do this. Would it always be like this? Tiptoeing around each other, or confronting the other up-front? Potter's lips almost felt feverish against my own, though I answered in kind with his frenzy, and I decided it didn't matter. It was almost as if we were magnets, drawn to each other. I placed my left hand on his bare hip, and curled my fingers around the flesh, gripping him tightly. I never thought of Potter as sensuous, but as he opened his mouth, I had to re-evaluate that.
"Come on, Malfoy. We still haven't put my theory to good use."
But even though I began to feel aroused, I felt apprehension. What if something went wrong? It could, couldn't it? It was still only a theory, not yet put to practice. And I really, really didn't want Potter's death on my conscience. I had grown rather fond of him. When Potter pushed against me, however, I felt my reasoning slip away. It was his choice anyway, so really, if he were to die it would all be Potter's fault. No blame went to me. After all, I'd only grant Potter his wish. Impatient green eyes looked up at me, and he fugitively tried to wrench his hand away from mine. Deciding I rather liked the idea of hands roaming, I released his hand from my grip. His left hand finally free, he used both of his hands to practically burn me from the inside out, and as his mouth sought out mine, I decided he could burn me all he wanted. And for the first time in my life, I heard Potter utter words I never thought him capable of, as he wrenched his lips away from mine, to speak in a heated whisper.
"Well, Malfoy. Go right ahead and fuck me."
He emphasised his point by lifting his hips, and I was left panting, my left hand nearly bruising Potter's hip. I chuckled, but it came out as more of a strangled moan. Gryffindors didn't fuck. They made love, those fools. But I knew I was just as much of a fool for complying. I looked down at those feverish eyes, and in that instant I knew how to bind him to me. This would leave a mark, as no other had done before. This decision would define me as much as it did him. And the significance of that nearly made my hand shake as I reached out to the bedside table. Nearly. "Well, since you're asking so nicely…" I tried to go for a sarcastic tone, but couldn't quite manage it. Blaming Potter for another thing, I opened the drawer, and rummaged around, quickly finding what I was looking for. Grabbing the lube with my right hand, I uncapped it, before looking back at Potter. He nodded, and that was all the invitation I needed.
Potter was tight. My index finger barely passed the second knuckle before Potter clenched up and had to consciously put effort into relaxing back again. But he recovered soon enough, and in no time I had two fingers up the dirtiest part of him. And in that moment, I could've laughed, had I not been feeling so strangely elated. Potter's chest heaved up and down, and I felt the blood coursing through his veins, heard his feverish breath as he swore, panted and moaned. As I inserted another finger, his face briefly reflected pain, before it was swept away again. Watching his expressions avidly, I leaned forward and kissed him. He hungrily devoured my lips, and I joined his tongue-frenzied dancing, my fingers pumping steadily in and out of the body beneath me. The sounds he made reverberated through my mouth, causing my head to swim with so many different things. Scents, sounds and feeling surrounded me, and swept me away like a hurricane. The only thing, person, actually, who could steady me was lying beneath me, his legs spread, and face open and flushed.
I licked his nipples, and a primal sort of sound left Potter, somewhere between a groan and a soft keening. His body almost seemed to raise itself, before it pushed back against my fingers. His eyes, which had been clenched shut, opened to reveal the greenest of green, thinly wrapped around the vast darkness of dilated pupils. He nodded, and constantly chanted a line of, "yes, yes, yes". Deciding that was as much of an answer I could get out of him, I removed my fingers reluctantly, before I added new lubricant to my leaking erection. As the head nuzzled his entrance, I looked back at Potter again, who nodded feverishly, out of breath to form any words. And I pushed. Slowly at first, still mindful of Potter's condition, as I felt his feelings clearly connecting to mine. But I knew that he could bear it, as I inched forward more and more. As I was fully sheathed, even my superior muscles began to waver. My arms quivered, as if they would drop me, even though I knew they wouldn't. But after a second I realised it wasn't just my arms, but my whole body which was shaking. It was an entire effort to keep myself from moving, but eventually Potter's pain was receding, and he nodded. "Move." It was little more than a whisper, but those words truly hit home.
Dragging my erection down through those tight muscles, I was hard-pressed to forget the feeling. However, I found I quite liked it to push back inside, back into the warmth, but especially to see Potter's face, and his hands, which twisted further into the sheets. The one thing which could make Harry Potter come undone.
After the fifth push, I clearly must've hit Potter's prostate, for his mouth opened to let out a silent sound, and his body arched under mine. His face was of pure pleasure, and for the third time I reached out to grab his erection. It felt warm and alive under my hand, and I pumped it up and down, while raptly watching Potter's face twist with pleasure with every stroke, every nudge on his prostate. I moved faster, and saw how Potter slid further up my bed than any human had any right to. But then again, those laws didn't count as there was also a vampire involved, with inhuman strength. Me. I was careful not to bruise Potter's hip, while my other was stroking Potter's erection almost lazily, though I felt anything but. Every fibre, every nerve-ending was on fire, thanks to Potter's heat and magic reaching out. It made the sensations only spin higher, and when Potter said something, I nearly didn't hear him, thanks to the warfare going around in my head.
"Bite me. Bite me, bite me, bite me." Another chant, another string of words, meant for me, as his eyes looked into mine, and his head was shoved across the pillow and across the mattress. I noticed my moves slowing down, but one look at the man had me leaning forward, as he lulled his head to the side, closing his eyes. My teeth pierced the skin in his neck at the same moment I brushed his prostrate, and the reaction was instantaneous. His eyes flared open, though I couldn't see, but which I could feel, just as much as I felt his orgasm tearing through him, and the way his body was raised as a bow, almost to the point of snapping. But even those things barely registered, as sweet torture exploded over my palates. The taste was unforgettable, and my own orgasm shook my body, as I tore myself away from temptation. Licking the wounds affectionately, I looked up, panting as much as Potter was.
And when I looked into his eyes, I found both shock and desire so thick, I thought I wouldn't be able to talk again. Or breathe, for that matter. Even my arms gave up, and I curled up on top of Potter. His hand touched my head. Not stroking, not caressing, but just being there. I closed my eyes, let my limp cock slip out of Potter's body, and closed my eyes.
I didn't know what kind of relationship this was, or what it could be, but for now, it was enough. More than enough, I decided as I drifted off.