Author's Notes: Sorry Lads'n'Lasses, but there won't be any hanky panky this chapter. Next chapter, definitely; you have my word. But for this chapter I had to tie up at least one loose end and then I had to put myself in a position where I could easily bring in da good shit.
BTW: At some point I start speaking French. For those of you who understand French, please do not make fun. I'm really bad, but whatever. Oh, and I didn't slip in a quote (I based one of Lestair's lines off of a quote, but it's not the same. I'll talk about that at the bottom) so for those of you who want to translate my French and get it right, then I'll give you the bonus or whatever. I'll repost this in the end notes.
Oh: and I've started something new. Since I can't put in my glorious indexes anymore, I'm going to have to really on Italics to break up the story into approprate sections. So, that's all then.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Harry stared forward, potion entirely forgotten. His eyes were locked on the back of Draco Malfoy, entirely still. His hands rested on the table, dragonfly wings in his left hand. Harry was sure he looked quite odd, staring forward and expressionless as he was, but he didn't care. His mind had been fluttering around Draco –his face, his words. When Harry wasn't being haunted with images of his lover's angry face, the words 'sex slave' sneaked into his thoughts, a reminder of his imminent future. Not to say that it was a particularly bad future –in fact it could prove fun. Harry was a little nervous at what Draco might ask him to do, having no idea just what the blonde's mind intended for him –if he just wanted to fool around a bit, or if he had some interesting sexual fantasies in mind. But it was not those little worries that Harry dreaded. It was something far greater, and if Draco asked him to do it, Harry didn't know what he would say. He didn't want to lose Draco, but nor did he want to lose his virginity, especially to someone who until recently had been one of his greatest enemies.
"Harry!" Hermione whispered, nudging Harry in the ribs. The boy shook his head, shaken out of his reverie. He turned to Hermione. "What?"
She motioned to Harry's potion.
"Oh right," Harry muttered, cutting the dragonfly wings with exaggerated zest. He was in no mood to be cutting up dead insects and throwing them into a steaming cauldron –especially not with Draco so close to him. All he wanted to do at that moment was to walk up to the blonde, throw himself down at his knees and do whatever it was the blonde wanted. And so it was that Harry received another sharp jab from his female companion. Harry's hands had relapsed into their motionless stance. Harry whipped his head toward Hermione.
"What?" He hissed.
Hermione stared at him, eyes frosty. Beneath the layer of ice, there was deeply laden concern and the strong desire to understand her friend. However, Harry could not get beyond the thick glass to see it.
"If you're going to tell me to get to work," Harry said, "you can save it for someone who cares."
"Fine," she said sharply. "But we need to talk."
"About what?" Harry said, and then added with contempt, "I thought we don't talk to each other anymore. Or at least that's the impression I got when you and Ron went out behind my back."
Hermione sighed and closed her eyes. She suddenly looked exhausted. "That's another thing we need to talk about," she said. Her voice sounded airy and there was an undertone of unsteadiness. Harry knew that if he pushed it, she might cry. You have the power. The question is: What are you going to do with it? His dark side cried for liberation. It was tired of being kept within and sought release, through any means. Harry knew causing Hermione to cry would satisfy his anguish and pent-up rage. But to what cost? He'd lose a friend, possibly two. In time, they'd be able to reconcile, but by then it would be too late, the damage already done. Harry would never be able to forgive himself for giving in to his vindictive pleasure and he'd never be able break down the barrier between himself and his two closest friends. No, it was not worth it. Not for a few moments of evil delight. Harry said nothing and resumed cutting the insect, inwardly seething, but on the whole at peace.
Draco was cutting his own insects with vigorous zeal brought on by a mixture of sleep deprivation, multiple forms of frustration and undirected anger. Draco's dreams had become deplorable, sappy Yankee romance movies. And in every one of them, Draco would find himself in the woman's role (often in a dress), and Harry would come in and save the day, assuming role of the hero. This aggravated the blonde very much, who had always been jealous of Harry's popularity and heroism. Not that Draco particularly cared for being the hero –he rather be the villain- but nor did he particularly care for being the one in need of rescuing, especially not if he was wearing a dress. Draco would wake up feeling frustrated, inadequate and questioning his sexuality. He was at peace with fucking boys, but wearing women's clothing was just a step to far.
His other forms of frustration and undirected anger were brought upon by the very same hero of his dreams. He was frustrated because he wanted to get into Harry's pants more than he cared to admit, but he was being blocked by Harry's reluctance and his own fury at the boy. Further frustration was caused by the fact that Draco found that he couldn't retaliate because he needed the boy's affection to win the bet, and somehow Draco didn't think that slipping terrible things into Harry's glass was the best way to get into someone's heart –or their pants. He just had to swallow his dignity and take the humiliation he felt. Finally, the last frustration was the watchful eye of his cousin, Damon. She'd been watching Draco since breakfast with a bemused smile on her mocking face. Draco had tried to ignore her, but no longer. He slammed his knife down and turned angrily towards her.
"Yes?" He growled.
The silly, amused smile remained unchanged. "Oh nothing. You just seem unusually focused today." She leaned in close, blue-grey eyes flicking towards Harry and then back. "It wouldn't have anything to do with that pretty, little fop over there, would it?"
Draco snorted, "As if he could get under my skin."
"Well something has," she said coolly.
Draco sighed. "Have you ever thought that maybe it's you? You've been staring at me since breakfast."
"The thought had crossed my mind." She said. "But you've been ignoring me. You never do that, unless you're trying to ignore something else."
Draco turned away and resumed cutting vigorously, now trying to ignore Damon as well as Harry.
"You might want to slow down." Her voice cut into his thoughts. "Or you might hurt yourself."
Draco ignored her and she turned away, resuming her own work. A few seconds later she saw from the corner of her eye Draco stiffen and heard his knife clatter to the table. She turned to him. He was ghostly pale with a green tinge, his mouth shut tight. Damon could tell he was biting the inside of his lip. His eyes were closed.
"Jesus, what's wrong?" She asked.
He took a deep breath. "I just cut off my finger."
"What?" Her gazed shifted to the board where the knife –and the tip of Draco's index finger- lay. She stared at it in morbid shock. The blade of the knife was tipped in blood and there was a tiny pool just under it and Draco's finger. "Jesus."
Draco opened his eyes and looked down at his finger and the other half of it, both dripping with blood. Draco whimpered piteously before his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fainted.
Shadows danced across Draco's vision, twisting themselves into horrid shapes and flickering in time to a deep pounding. The pounding resonated down the empty hall Draco now found himself in. It felt like his head was being wailed upon by bats, very large and blunt bats. Each pound sent a wave of pain through his skull. The shadows continued to move across the wall, convulsing in time to that hideous beat, while Draco fell to his knees in pain. His energy was being stripped clean of him; he was growing steadily weaker and the beat continued and became more unbearable. He screamed in pain, pleading for it to stop, to be still. But there would be no mercy. It's a heart. It's a heart. A voice in Draco's mind cried. A heart! Suddenly, he knew it to be true. The horrendous pounding, the mind-numbing pain, it was caused by the beating of a heart! He lifted his head and stared down the hallway, and then he saw it; Red and blue, beating steadily. Why won't it stop? Then Draco realized with horror that it was his heart he was staring at, his heart that was beating unmercifully and causing this horrible pain.
He tried to rise but found his legs would not support him; he was too weak. With each passing beat, his strength diminished. He couldn't take it anymore, he screamed one last time and then… it stopped. His heart, the shadows, all of it stopped. Everything disappeared and Draco was left floating in the darkness, alone. He felt nothing, he knew nothing, except that he was lost. He was completely numb. How long had he been in this state before he heard a faint thumping that didn't seem to be coming from a particular direction, but from all around him, and inside of him? The beating slowly grew louder, but it didn't hurt. It was pleasant. Each beat gave him new strength. It grew louder and louder and as it grew, so did he. He was radiating light. A cool, refreshing wind engulfed him. He breathed it in deeply; he couldn't get enough. His eyes flew open and he was in a room, alone.
"What -" He croaked. His mouth was completely dry and his head throbbed. He felt faint but he wouldn't close his eyes. "Water."
He was immediately handed a goblet of water. His gaze followed the hand up the arm and to the face: Damon. Her eyes were rimmed with red and she looked tired, drained. Draco took the cup and drank. He felt immediately refreshed.
"What happened?" He asked. His voice was raspy and low.
Damon turned away, her hand balled against her mouth. He saw the nail of her index finger slip into her mouth. She's a nail-biter, he thought. He had never known –not that it mattered anyway. She turned back to him. Her voice was low and pitchy.
"I came in here to see if you had woken up yet," she paused, biting her nail. "You hadn't. You were supposed to… You had only fainted." Her voice got high and she had to stop and turn away. She didn't look at him when she spoke next. "The curtains were drawn, so I pulled them so I could see you better and –and you looked really pale –too pale. Your lips were half open and you weren't moving. You weren't breathing. I was really scared." She faced him. "I was really scared! So I… I did something I shouldn't have –again."
Draco blinked. His cousin was nearing hysterics, which was not something he often saw. But what did she do that she shouldn't have? And when did she do it before? He asked her this.
"I can't tell you," she said, looking away, "cuz I don't know."
"How can you not know what you did?" Draco asked, irritated. He was getting tired of these evasive answers. She knew something.
"Because I don't understand!" She yelled. "It's complicated."
"I don't know." She said, looking down.
"Fuck, Damon, this is getting annoying," Draco said angrily. "You know more than I do, now tell me. What do you know that I don't?"
She gazed at Draco for a moment, her face completely unreadable. "I can't." She turned and left.
"Damon! Get back here!" Draco yelled, straining his voice. He took a gulp of water. Dammit.
Lestair strode briskly down the hall, radiating anger and disappointment. His face was completely blank, per usual, but his cold black eyes told the story.
It had been mid-afternoon when Lestair was visited by a vision. It took him a moment to realize he was watching a scenario through the eyes of another. In moments of distress or emotion, Lestair had often found himself seeing out the eyes of a mortal –or some immortals even- using them as that muggle device, the television. The visions came unbidden, but there they were nonetheless and Lestair couldn't help but watch. For the most part, he found this 'gift' a nuisance, but today it proved quite fruitful.
Lestair had been lying in his coffin, trying to catch up on some sleep. Despite contrary belief, vampires required sleep as much as mortals and staying awake through the day was particularly exhausting. Few vampires had the will and power to do it, and Lestair was one of them, being just over five-hundred years old. While in his coffin, he began to see images take shape. His eyes were closed, so he knew he wasn't seeing these personally; it was somebody else's sight he was beholding. Lestair grumbled; he hated these. Why would he care about other people's business unless they affected him? Why couldn't these people deal with their own problems without indirectly sending them to his mind? However, this particular vision would become interesting, much to his amusement. He was seeing the world through the eyes of a young, blond girl as she called for Professor Snape to come help with the situation. 'The situation' Lestair soon discovered with a smirk was one of misfortune towards the Malfoy boy. He noted with delight the tip of the boy's index missing. He was passed out, and was being sent to the infirmary, where he would be completely helpless until he awoke, and Lestair was going to make sure that the boy never did.
Lestair opened his coffin and climbed out. He strode towards the door and opened it a crack, grumbling at the light that shone in. He closed his eyes and envisioned the drapery hanging above the windows that led down the hall. He exerted a psychic power and closed all the drapery, shrouding the hall in darkness. He stepped out confidently and hurried down the hall, shutting out any sunlight that he passed. He was outside the infirmary, listening to the conversation within. Madam Pomfrey had just reattached the boy's finger and now simply waiting for him to regain consciousness. She told the young girl to leave and check on him later. Lestair heard the girl's footsteps coming closer to the door and he slipped behind a statue while she came out through the door. She halted for a moment, wondering why the lights were out. Lestair could hear her unprotected thoughts loud and clear. He now recognized her as Damon, the boy's cousin. She was a bright and clever girl. Lestair wondered if he would have to dispatch with her as well. After he killed her cousin, she might come looking for him. He couldn't afford that. For now, however, she was not a threat.
Madam Pomfrey was alone in the room, fluffing pillows. Her mind was unguarded; it would not be hard to put thoughts into her head. Lestair wondered what he should have her think… He decided it would be easiest to convince her she's hungry. That way there would be no questions about what drove her to leave. He projected his mind to hers, telling her subconscious she was hungry and that she should leave the room. Madam Pomfrey was out of the room in a moment, heading towards the kitchen in a near trance. Lestair waited till she was out of site before he slipped soundlessly into the room after closing all the drapes.
Draco was in the bed nearest to the door. Lestair walked over, confident now that no one would bother him and his business he had started on the first day would be complete. Never before had a victim caused so much trouble for him. He had been ready to flee on two other occasions already, when the boy had figured out what he truly was. But how simple the human mind forgot, and how fragile it was. It made Lestair smile, remembering how his mind was once like that.
Lestair wasn't sure why he wanted the boy dead so much. Perhaps it was because he was a potential threat to his security. If the boy remembered anything, Lestair would have to flee, and if they found out during the day… he didn't want to think about it. But he supposed the greatest reason was because he was coming between himself and Harry, the raven-haired youth who had such compassion and love in him despite all the betrayal, abandonment and death that surrounded him and closed in on him. His will was incredible, but it was failing and if the blonde youth had his way, Harry's last barrier would be destroyed and he would fall into darkness. Lestair couldn't have that. It was this bright, burning light inside the darkness that had first drawn Lestair to Harry. He wanted Harry for himself… Though what he planned to do, he did not yet know. But what he did know was that Draco couldn't be allowed to follow through with his plan, and Lestair planned to stop him the only way he knew how.
He bent over Draco's limp, unconscious body and whispered in his ear:
« Vous êtes chanceux; le mort dans notre sommeil, c'est une luxe peu sont attribués. Vous ne sauriez jamais ce qu'a vient de passer. J'espère que Dieu aura la pitié pour vous. »
He then moved his lips to Draco's neck, paused, feeling the warmth of the boy's skin and the rush of blood through the artery underneath. He smiled slightly and sunk his fangs in. The blood flowed into out into his mouth and he groaned from pleasure. He had never feasted on one so young and bratty. It had been a long time since he had tasted the pure, snobbish blood of a wizard, and in one so young it was absolute ecstasy. And there was something else in the blood too… something indescribable. What was it? He remembered suddenly the strange power the boy had exerted on him earlier in the year. Was this it? Lestair had originally passed it off as a fluke of the wand; every wizard got lucky once in a while –even the squibs. But it had been too powerful to be merely a fluke, and it had unnerved Lestair greatly. Perhaps this was another reason to do away with the brat; he was a threat to his power.
He had nearly drained Draco when he sensed another presence coming down the hall towards the infirmary. He originally ignored it, expecting it to veer off, but it didn't. He scanned the mind of the presence: the blond girl, Damon. What was she doing back so soon? Lestair drank faster, hoping to finish the job before she arrived, but she was approaching too fast. Lestair tore angrily away from Draco, thoroughly irritated that he couldn't get all the blood. He was sure that the blonde would die, though. Lestair had taken a lot of blood.
« Vous êtes vraiment chanceux, mon gosse » He bit his wrist, drawing blood. He took a drop of it and put it on Draco's neck wounds, sealing them and hiding his work. « Maintenant personne ne va savoir que c'était moi. En tout probabilité, vous ne survivrez pas la nuit, mais je vous souhait bonne chance. »
He slipped out of the room and hid behind a statue, and not a second too soon. Damon rounded the corner and started down the hall towards the infirmary, still a little unnerved that all the lights were still out. She entered the room and stopped. Lestair stayed behind the statue, listening to her. She was wondering why the lights in here were off as well. She moved across the room, and opened the drapes closest to Draco. Then he could feel her concern. It rushed over him and it was nearly overwhelming. He was seeing what she was seeing again; Draco was cold and lifeless, and he wasn't breathing. He felt a strong sense of helplessness, followed by uncertainty, and then resolution –all of this coming from her. He felt a strange power rise up in him –no, not in him. In her. She was exerting another force, unlike Draco's but not entirely different. Her hands were on Draco's chest. He could feel her heart beating and her voice coming in thin gasps. She was crying and screaming at him not to die. Suddenly, Lestair saw her hands start to glow and soon he could feel a low thumping in his hands –no, her hands- and with horror he realized it was Draco's heart beating again in time to hers. Lestair's mouth fell open and he nearly roared in fury. What did she do? How did she do it? What power did she have that could have brought the boy back from the brink of death? Did her cousin possess the same one? No, it did not feel the same as this. But they were similar as if they had the same root and had grown and branched off. Lestair was intrigued by the both of them now. He would have to kill them one day –they were too great a threat. But he would know what powers they possessed and how they had come to possess them. He needed to know.
And so, quite disappointed, Lestair strode huffily back to his room, opening the drapes as he went and lay himself down in his coffin for a well deserved nap.
End Notes: So that's the chapter. Rather long, and once again I apologize for the lack of action, but alas I could not fit it in without making the chapter unnecessarily long. Just wait for the next chapter.
Quote Challenge: Yeah, as I said in the author's notes, I did not slip in a quote, but rather spoke in French. For those of you who can translate my French, I'll give you the treat, or whatever. ALSO, I based one of Lestair's lines off a quote. I couldn't remember the quote exactly and so it's not the same. If you get it now, you get a TRIPLE bonus (you can suggest THREE things). In two chapters from now, if no one gets it, I'm going to tell you what line it is (but in French). If someone guesses it then, you get a DOUBLE bonus (TWO things). If I have to tell you the original line and then you guess it, you just get a regular bonus. So, I hope we're all clear on the rules then. So I suppose that's it. Ta.