DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry or Draco or any other HP charries.. blah blah… J.K. Rowling… blah blah blah… don't sue.
Pairings: HP/DM, HG/RW, others undecided
Rating is for later chapters. This IS a yaoi, people. At least, it will be. If you dislike that sort of stuff, GO AWAY. NOW. Feel free to review, but, y'know, whatever. Flames will be used to warm my water when the pilot light goes out.
I stand, looking at
I talk with these lines
That's not the answer
I cry and now I know
Looking at the sky
I search an answer
So free, free to be
I'm not another liar
I just want to be myself…
And now the beat inside of me
Is a sort of a cold breeze
And I've never any
I bring my body,
Carry it into another world
I know I live… but like a stone I'm falling down
Damned, looking into the sky
I can feel this rain
Right now it's falling on me
Fly, I just want to fly
Life is all mine
Some days I cry alone,
But I know I'm not the only one
I see that another day is gone
I don't wanna die…
Please be here when I'll arrive
Don't die… please
- Lacuna Coil
Chapter I: The Fall
Harry hadn't been able to sleep. This wasn't the first night, however; he had been losing a lot of sleep lately. But he had found a sort of remedy. He would slip on his invisibility cloak and wander around the empty nighttime hallways for an hour or so before retiring to the dormitories once more and dropping off into a deep, dreamless sleep. He was currently on his way back to the Gryffindor common room, but something made him pause.
"How could this have happened here, on school grounds? Are the students no longer safe?"
"Now now, calm down. He was wandering near the Forbidden Forest, after all."
"Calm down? A student was turned!"
Harry frowned. There seemed to be a very heated argument going on inside the classroom he had stopped in front of, and he recognized the voices immediately.
"Calm yourself, Severus, please. We must remain rational."
"But Albus, you know—"
"Yes, I know. He is almost like a son to you. But it's not as if he died, Severus."
"No. He has simply… been given a new life. One that he didn't ask for, most likely did not want. But he will get through this, with a little help."
A new voice suddenly cut in.
"But what about the other students? What if that… that thing is still on the grounds?"
"Relax, Minerva. The grounds have been thoroughly searched, and the intruder was not found."
"But how hard do you think it would be for such a creature to elude our efforts?"
"Even vampires cannot hide from magic."
Harry quirked a brow. Vampires? But vampires weren't real.
Witches and wizards weren't real before either, though, were they? He told himself silently.
"For now," Dumbledore said with that quiet authority he always seemed to have about him, "let us try and get some sleep, hm?"
Snape didn't seem to want to let things go. "But what about—"
"He will be fine, Severus." The Headmaster sounded almost weary now. "Poppy will take good care of him."
Snape made some small, derisive sound, as if was going to say more, but remained silent.
"Now then, off to bed, both of you."
Harry moved out of the way quickly as a very distraught McGonagall exited the classroom, followed by an angry looking Snape. Harry watched them disappear down the dark corridor and was about to go back to his dorm, where he was supposed to be anyway, when he was stopped by Dumbledore's voice.
"Do come in, Harry. I would like to talk with you."
Harry cringed slightly. Of course Dumbledore would know he was here, cloak or not. He gathered his resolve and stepped into the room, slipping off the invisibility cloak and bracing himself for some point deducting.
"I, uh… er… Hullo, Professor."
Dumbledore smiled, looking rather amused. "Good evening, Harry. Taking a little midnight stroll?"
"I suppose you could call it that…" Harry muttered.
"And I assume you heard the conversation I was having with Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape." It was a more a statement than a question.
"Well then, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and tell you what exactly we were discussing."
Harry just sort of stared. He had been expecting to get in trouble, but it didn't seem to be happening.
Dumbledore smiled again and gestured to one of the empty desks. "Please, have a seat."
And Harry did, sitting down slowly and setting the cloak down on the desktop before him.
"Now then," the Headmaster began, "this evening there was an… accident. An intruder got onto to the Hogwarts grounds by entering through the Forbidden Forest."
"Someone actually got through that horrible forest?" Harry interrupted.
Dumbledore nodded. "Yes. And that someone happened to be a vampire. A rather deranged vampire, we believe, who attacked a student that had, for some reason, been out there wandering around. Maybe sleeping troubles." He gave Harry a knowing look. "To skip to the point, that vampire attacked the student, drained him, and then, for some reason, turned him."
Harry sat quietly, listening raptly.
"Young Mr. Malfoy is now up in the infirmary, in a small private room that lacks any windows, to keep out the sunlight come morning."
Harry nearly choked on his next breath. "Malfoy!?"
Dumbledore gave a small nod. "We have not yet contacted his mother and father. We want to give him a little time first to adjust."
Harry was still in a bit of shock. Malfoy, his arch-rival, was now a vampire? That gave the blonde a little bit of an advantage, didn't it? If he really wanted to, he could kill Harry in his sleep. Lord knows it wouldn't be hard to trick or frighten the Gryffindor password out of some first year.
"Being what he is now," Dumbledore continued, "Mr. Malfoy will have to… feed nightly. Also, who he is, combined with the fact that he is a fledgling, tells me that chickens will not cut it. Therefore, I think it would be best to arrange a donor system."
"A… a donor system?" Harry repeated haltingly.
"Yes. A select group of older students that can be trusted not to go around giving the school more reason to gossip. I was thinking perhaps a daily rotation, so each student, hopefully, would stay in good health."
"Uh… pardon me, Professor, but why are you telling me this?"
"Well, as I think you've probably already figured out, I would like you to be a part of this group. Of course, I will not force you."
Harry opened his mouth to decline, but was cut off.
"However, before you say no, I ask that you go and visit Mr. Malfoy for a few minutes."
Harry was about to protest, but something about the way Dumbledore was looking at him made him stop. "Okay…" he said dejectedly.
"Very good. Just tell Madam Pomfrey that I sent you, and she should let you in without question." The headmaster smiled and added, as an afterthought, "Though I doubt she will like it."
Getting up, Harry grabbed his cloak and went over to the door, nodding to Dumbledore. "Goodnight, Professor."
* * *
Harry paused before the door of the hospital wing, his hand poised to knock and his cloak tucked under one arm. Was he really going in to visit Draco Malfoy?
Sighing, he brought his knuckles down against the door and waited until Madam Pomfrey opened it for him.
"Do you have any idea what time it is, young man? I have patients trying to sleep!" Dumbledore was right. She didn't seem thrilled.
The Boy Who Lived cringed slightly. "Dumbledore sent me to see Malfoy."
Pomfrey's expression softened slightly and she moved aside to let Harry in. "Oh. I see. Follow me."
The two made their way to the back of the infirmary to a very unobtrusive, normal looking door. Pomfrey eased it open and gestured for Harry to go in, and he did.
It looked like the rest of the wing except for the fact that there were no windows. As the door clicked shut behind him, he noted that the only source of light in the room was a candle on the bedside table, which provided little illumination.
Harry drew closer and pulled a chair over to the bed, sitting down and studying its occupant.
In the soft glow of the candle, Harry could easily make out the familiar features of the blond Slytherin. The first thing he noticed was that Draco appeared to be asleep; the second, that he was far paler than Harry remembered.
The third observation came completely unbidden: Malfoy looked… pretty. Harry was appalled to find himself thinking such things, but didn't really notice as his hand crept forward of its own accord to rest against his adversary's cheek. He tilted his head to one side and gently caressed the skin beneath the blonde's eye. Cold, smooth, extremely soft…
Harry jerked back violently, almost toppling out of his chair in surprise. Apparently, the boy wasn't sleeping.
Snickering, Draco opened his eyes and propped himself up on his elbow, clearly amused. "Glad to see you like my face so much, but I'd appreciate it if you kept your hands off."
Well, I see this experience hasn't affected his charming personality, Harry thought sardonically.
"Oh, so now I'm charming as well? If I didn't know better, I'd say you fancy me, Potter."
Harry had come to terms with the fact that he liked boys as well as girls two years ago in fourth year when he had developed a crush on Cedric. Needless to say, when the boy had died, it had been more of a shock to him than most people realized. But Malfoy? There was no way in hell he fancied that Slytherin scum. No way. If he—wait a minute. How did Malfoy know what he'd been thinking?
Smirking, the blonde sat up completely, pushing his slightly mussed hair back from his face. "Don't know much about vampires, do you, Potter? Most are gifted with telepathy, and later even telekinesis. Quite fascinating, really."
Harry groaned. Malfoy really did have the upper hand now.
"So, why are you here?" All amusement vanished from his rival's features as quickly as it had come, startling Harry slightly with the sheer fluidity of the change of expression. His eyes, Harry noticed as well, were… different. Rather than just being the normal gray, they seemed to be several other colors as well: blue, slate, pale violet.
"Er… Dumbledore sent me to come… see you," Harry said slowly.
Draco wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Why?"
"I don't know. I think he wanted me to see you before I made my decision. Like he thought maybe I'd take pity on you and change my mind." Harry shook his head at the absurd thought.
"What decision?" But Draco was taking the answer from Harry's mind before the question was fully formed. After a lengthy pause, in which the Gryffindor felt no real need to answer, he went on, "… Donor system? With professors or prefects watching over, I assume." He sniffed disdainfully. "How very… rude."
Draco didn't explain; he didn't really want to try to put into words the intimacy he had felt with that stranger, that vampire, when he had been held close and had his blood taken from him. "Nevermind. So, the old man wants you in this group, does he? What makes him think you'd actually agree to such a thing?"
"I don't know…" Harry mumbled.
"I suppose he's trying to appeal to your hero's ego. Have to help those that can't help themselves, don't you, Potter?"
Harry clenched his fists on the arms of the chair, digging his nails into the cushioning. "He's trying to help you, Malfoy. The least you could do is show a little gratitude."
"Help me? I would do quite well on my own."
"What, hunting the students? There's not way you'd get away with it."
Harry was pushed back into the chair as Draco's hands grasped his shoulders, and the blonde leaned in so close their noses touched.
"I could kill you right now, Potter. Kill you, run from this room, and escape out a window. I'd be off the grounds before anyone knew what happened."
Their enmity towards one another had been growing steadily, and Harry didn't doubt that, given the chance, Draco would kill him.
With those thoughts in mind, he squirmed uncomfortably and tried to push Draco away, but the other boy wouldn't budge and his grip was like cold steel.
"What's wrong? Scared, Potter?" Draco flashed a vicious smile and Harry saw the two small, sharp fangs for the first time. "You should be."
"Get off, Malfoy…" Harry growled. He wouldn't admit it, but he was scared, because he knew Draco was right.
Wordlessly, Draco moved his hands down to rest on Harry's forearms, pinning them to the chair, and slid off the bed and into Harry's lap.
"Malfoy…" Harry said cautiously. He couldn't move and he was having trouble keeping the fear from his expression. Draco could do anything he wanted to him.
Draco moved his head to the side and Harry felt a cool puff of breath against his neck. All of a sudden, he knew exactly what Draco meant to do and started thrashing violently beneath him.
"Malfoy, cut it out! Get off me!" Harry cried frantically. He couldn't seem to push him away, and Draco didn't seem to be listening.
Harry felt the soft lips against his neck, the acute sting of fangs pressing into the skin over his jugular but not yet piercing it.
"Draco! Draco, don't! Please!" His tone was desperate now.
The lips were gone, though he could tell they still hovered just over the flesh.
"… What?" Draco pulled back to look Harry in the eyes, his tone dead calm. "What did you just say?"
"I… I asked you to.. to stop…" Harry stumbled confusedly. Then it hit him: he had said "Draco" instead of "Malfoy." He had never done that before. Never.
Draco slowly released his hold on Harry and climbed back into bed, still staring at him oddly. "I think you'd better go, Potter. Don't want to fall asleep in class tomorrow, do you?" And with that, the blonde laid back down and rolled over with his back to Harry, bringing a definite end to the conversation.
With a confused sigh, the Gryffindor got up and exited the room, leaving the hospital wing after a quiet goodnight to Madam Pomfrey.