In cold blood
Written by Becca
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary: From the word go, Harry's summer goes downhill and he sinks into a deep despair. With no hope and the resurrection of Lord Voldemort, Harry does what any normal teenager would do in those circumstances; he tries to take his life. When he awakes he finds himself in a family who seem to welcome him openly. He has changed, he is no longer human and yet he still has to defeat the darkest lord of the century...will he stand alone or will he find, in this family, what he had always desired? Love and affection.
AU! All events of The Order of Pheonix did not happen
"We have to leave him! Come, quickly. You know who he is, we cannot be here when he awakes, we cannot sit around and wait for the other wizards to find us" Armand whispered heavily, Celeste and Marius just shook their heads and remained by the boys side, watching him sadly
"We cannot leave him like this, with no knowledge of what he has now become. I have refused always to leave another in the same position I was in when I was turned and now you ask me to do just that Armand. We must take him with us and teach him our ways before the others learn of what has happened" Celeste said firmly whilst lifting the limp body of the boy into her arms
"If we do this, what happens when he has to return to that school of his? He is the saviour of the Wizarding world. If he does not return then there will be hell to pay. Celeste, please, think about this. Can't we just...leave a note?" Armand asked again, sighing with exasperation. Celeste shook her head and climbed to her feet
"We will take him with us Armand van Alberict. If must be, then we shall return to his school with him but we will not leave him now. Come, we must leave before the others awake" she said and her voice held no room for arguments
Four hours earlier:
The night was beautiful and in that there was no mistake. The stars shone strikingly against the midnight sky and the moon hid behind a thin wisp of cloud. The rain was bouncing of the streets below and was coming down so fast that it was difficult to see a hand in front of your face. But it wasn't cold, nor was it warm, instead it was just right for when one wanted to sit outside and think.
That's what Harry was doing now. He had sneaked out of Number Four, Private Drive into the dead of the night and was sat on the lawn whilst his relatives slept on happily. Harry was a fifteen, nearly sixteen-year-old wizard fresh from his fifth year at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry and so, you may be wondering why he was covered in welts, cuts and bruises.
Since the canary cream incident when the Weasleys came to pick him up again before his forth year, the Dursleys had decided that they will take no more from the freaks of the Wizarding world and to prove this, they used Harry as an outlet of their stress. Every night Vernon Dursley entered his nephew's bedroom and beat him unconscious. He was never satisfied until Harry had screamed out in pain and then lay dead to the world but Harry didn't care.
His dreams haunted by Voldemort, Cedric Diggory and Seamus Finnegan, Harry felt that sleep was becoming too much of a bother and in fact only slept when he was unconscious. He had fallen deep into a depression since the events of the third task and then there was the meeting with Voldemort last year where Seamus was killed and the Dursleys only served to make him fall deeper. He deserved everything he got from them, he knew that and still it wasn't enough. Cedric and Seamus had died because of him and they would not properly avenged until both Harry and Voldemort were dead.
He had gone numb now over the two weeks he had been back from his school, he could feel no pain from his many injuries though he knew they hurt. His heart and soul ached unlike anything Harry had thought possible and he was only relieved when he took his knife to his arms. When he cut, he didn't have the chance to feel guilty because he could actually feel and that in itself was worth all the trouble it could cause.
It let him know that yes, he was in fact alive and yes he could be killed whenever he wished and that latter thought was something worth hoping for. Life held nothing for Harry anymore and it's a good job Vernon Dursley had burnt his school things because Harry meant not to return, in all truths, he meant to draw his last breath that very night.
It's a shame such a beautiful night was filled with such unhappy thoughts but Harry had had enough and he would take nothing more this world decided to throw at him. Fate's a bitch and she seemed to be living to that phrase perfectly through him. No matter how hard Harry tried, he couldn't force the memory of Cedric to the back of his mind. Every time he closed his eyes he heard that same voice say "Kill the spare" saw the lifeless body of his schoolmate and then recalled the duel.
And really, it was just his luck. He should never have convinced poor Cedric to take the cup with him. He should just have followed his Slytherin instincts and gone alone. Nothing would have changed apart from Cedrics would be alive for a while longer at least, Voldemort would still have used Harry's blood to return and so it would still be Harry's fault.
And then last year in Hogsmeade when Seamus had actually come to himself and stopped blaming Harry for what happened after the third task, he stuck up to Voldemort for him, actually stuck up for him and had been subjected to the Cruciatus curse for over ten minutes when he was killed. Harry had had to watch all of this as he was being held still by two deatheaters none other than Lucius Malfoy and Peter Pettigrew. Funnily enough, Ron and Hermione had not been there for that confrontation and it made Harry see how alone he truly was.
And so for that, Harry's uncle was right and he did deserve everything he got. It didn't matter anyway, he never argued. There was nothing he could do and if there was then there was nothing he would do. Pain was a release, no matter the source. He didn't cry out in pain anymore either, he just curled up and accepted it. He had whip marks all over his back and chest, a thick deep welt going down his left cheek, Merlin only knows how many broken ribs and whatever else was wrong with him.
It should hurt shouldn't it? But still, all Harry felt was a dull throbbing ache, sometimes when he moved, pain shot through his entire being and he just had to stand still and close his eyes for a minute – to relish the feel and then it was gone. Frowning, Harry rested his chin on his knees and sighed. He couldn't even feel the rain falling around him.
One good thing about all of this though, he couldn't do his chores anymore and so remained locked in his bedroom, slipping out at night to sit beneath the stars using what little wandless magic he had taught himself. He lifted his head and smiled up at the moon, soon it was time, soon Harry Potter would be leaving this earth and all that was in it behind forever.
What was the point in sitting around waiting for death when he could call upon it himself? He would much rather die by his own hand than his uncles in the end but it didn't matter. It was still the same either way, Harry looked over his shoulder when he heard something and saw Vernon Dursley running towards him "You little shit!" ...It seemed he might be dying by his uncle's hand that very night after all...
Harry closed his eyes and curled up into a tight ball on the lawn of Private Drive as the kicks and punches rained down on his body. He waited as he was beaten for over an hour before the man seemed to tire and then it was a very satisfied Vernon Dursley who returned to his house, locking the door after him. If the boy wanted to stay out, then he could stay out...all night.
What was the point in crawling back into his room to die? Why not do it here underneath such a beautiful sky? Harry pushed himself back up into a sitting position and then looked down at his bare arms at the past cuts. One would think he had been doing it for years if they looked, there were so many cuts and scars there but he had first cut only one month ago. They were beautiful really, a work of art and it was something that was his, his secret and his hope. Nobody would ever know...until he died.
Smiling beautifully Harry thought about his parents. He would get to meet them tonight wouldn't he? He would finally get to hear their laughter, see their twinkling eyes and look upon the beauty of their love once more. He would get to see Cedrics and Seamus and hopefully beg for forgiveness for all eternity and Voldemort, well, Voldemort wouldn't be his problem anymore.
He took the pocketknife out of his pocket and stroked it lightly. It was the present he had received from Sirius in forth year. He would miss Sirius, but the man would understand, he would know that the only way for Harry to ever be happy was to die and so would Ron and Hermione. Eventually they would understand and with that thought, Harry cut deeply into his wrists, slitting the veins open on both arms.
He lay back and just stared up at the stars. It was finally happening and now he would be free. The blood was flowing like a crimson river down his arms and into the grass; this would be the day everyone realised just how much they fucked up when it came to the boy-who-lived. Harry spared a moment to wonder what life would have been like if he was placed in a family who could love him. Would he still be here this night with his wrists slit right open? Or would he be asleep peacefully in his own bedroom?
No matter where he was placed, Harry knew that the events at the end of each year at Hogwarts would have been the same anyway. He would still be sleepless and tired but the bonus would be he had a family who cared enough to be sleepless with him. It would still be his fault that Voldemort was back but he may have had a family who could comfort him.
He could feel the pain of his heart and soul pouring out of his body, leaving him feeling nothing but a strange sense of peace and he smiled. His strength was leaving him and then his vision started to blur. It was happening, soon he would be with his parents, people who truly loved him and didn't just say it and then use him. He stared up at the stars one last time before he closed his eyes, a happy smile on his face.
The last thing he felt before darkness took him was his being lifted into someone's arms. Who could that be? No one around here cared for him or for his actions and the Dursleys would certainly only sit back and watch. He felt teeth sink into his neck and then he was lost. It didn't matter anyway, it was too late now and nobody could help him.
Maybe this wasn't for the best after all...Sirius, he would never see Sirius again and yet he loved that man like his own father. How would he react? Would he be sad? Would he cry? Damn it, he even managed to hurt people in death...and then there were the Weasleys, they had always down everything to help him. Would they ever find it in their hearts to forgive him?
How would everyone react now anyway? Would they truly be upset? He didn't want to hurt anyone, that was the last thing on his mind but...in finding peace for himself, had he caused harm to another? He couldn't keep living like this, he couldn't put up with the beatings or Voldemort, not alone anyway. All he had ever wanted was a family.
Perhaps he should have told Dumbledore what was going on first, maybe the man could have moved him from there and found him an equally safe place to live amongst a family who could love him. He had acted too rashly and now it was too late, Sirius, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione...none of them would ever forgive him and he would never forgive himself.
Watch him turn into a ghost now, that was just his luck. Stuck for eternity on this godforsaken earth, made to watch his friends grieve over him and have to answer awkward questions. And now the darkness, he was scared, scared of death but terrified of life. Oh joy. And that was his last coherent thought before he gave in and stopped fighting.
Back to present:
Celeste carried the boy through the passages of her mansion and her family closely followed behind her, all lost in their own thoughts. She didn't know whether to be angry at Marius or not, they had all seen what had happened to the boy and they had all seen what he did. But, well, she could agree with why Marius did what he did, the boy was the saviour of the Wizarding world, if they had a chance at wining this war, it would be lost without him.
But still, there were still the boy's feelings to consider. He had just tried to kill himself and so one would think immortality would not please him. Not only that but the boy reeked of pain and guilt and then there were all the broken bones and the bruises that would have to be healed with time until the change was complete anyway.
Never before had she seen a child treated so badly before and by the look of the boy, what they had witnessed hadn't been a first. Why did nobody do something to help? The neighbours could surely see how abused and bruised he was couldn't they? And what about the boy's friends? Surely they knew...it must be hard to cover up such injuries at the start of a new year. Dumbledore especially, they all knew what he was like for sticking his nose in other peoples business. The man was suppost to be protecting Harry.
It was unlike Marius to even consider doing something like this let alone jump right into it. They had all thought the boy would be the last person to turn a child and yet here he had done it and it just had to be him, Harry Bloody Potter. Celeste smiled as she lay the boy down on a bed, actually; maybe it was for the best. If the Wizarding world couldn't look after the boy then she would. She and her family would show Harry what it was like to be loved, what it was like to be a part of something as wonderful as a family.
They had been there at private drive, simply to see whether they would take an alliance in this war. Thomas Riddle whilst they hated the man had promised vampires and other non-humans respect and a better life out of the shadows but well, Harry was a part of her family now whether he liked it or not and nobody, nobody ever hurt her family and got away with it. Lord Voldemort would pay for the harm he had caused and Dumbledore would pay for his failure to protect him. Harry would be happy.
"I still think this is a bad idea. If anyone finds out what happened, we're going to be staked without battering an eyelid. How are we suppost to get into Hogwarts of all places to look after him? The boy is well protected there. And then of course there is the fact that the boy will hate us all when he wakes and he will hate himself even more...it's a stupid idea." Armand grumbled but without heat as he sat on the bed besides the boy and took a limp hand into his own. He looked down into the motionless face and what was left of his argument crumpled. No matter who the boy was, he was family.
"So, can we keep him? Please?" Marius asked hopefully as he saw this. Celeste smiled over at Armand and then nodded to the boy she had come to love as a son. Well, one could hardly call him a boy anymore, she thought with reluctance. Marius was over one hundred years old, a respectable age for a vampire...the turning point from child to adult as it were. Marius grinned and jumped to his feet, clapping his hands excitedly "I always wanted a younger brother" he said and Celeste smirked, well ok, maybe he was still a child, at heart anyway. Raven rolled his eyes before hitting him over the head
"When you change someone, you're suppost to be a father, not a brother" he said and Marius rolled his eyes himself before sticking his tongue out. Marius had always been the youngest of their family and so in their eyes, he was the baby but in all truths, they all liked their fair few pranks every now and again – even Raven but they all knew when to be serious about something's and when to stop joking.
"Now what's the point of that when we have two lovely parents right here? I'll go and get him some blood for when he wakes" he said before hopping out of the room. Armand sighed and climbed to his feet before shaking his head. He looked after his youngest son with a smile before looking back at the lifeless figure on the bed.
If they did this, it could cause so much troubles for them and it could even cause a war between vampires and wizards but as the war coming up involved both anyway, it didn't matter. To do this, as they obviously were, they needed access to Hogwarts grounds daily and so maybe if he offered his alliance to Albus Dumbledore and asked for a teaching job he could do that...but did he really want to live amongst humans?
For over three hundred years now he had been pushed aside by mortals, thinking they were better and superior than them, all of them had had to put up with the prejudice and move from place to place, keeping their identity's quiet at all times. They had all had to leave their old friends and families behind as they couldn't bare the rejection of their loved ones and so that was how his family had formed. Anéthiel though whilst not a vampire was obviously different and as an elf, she too was shunned by the mortal race...
"I will go and secure us teaching positions at the castle. That way we can at least be there without bloody trespassing. I hope the old man has nothing against vampires," he grumbled before jumping out of the window. For Harry, for the boy, he would do this and he would help the boy learn to live and love again with the help of his family. Celeste gathered a bowl of water and a washcloth whilst Raven just shook his head and went back to his room.
The five in his family had been together now for a good eighty years and he himself had been with his parents for longer than that. He was two hundred years old now and he joined Celeste and Armand when he was one hundred and ten. After so long without even a thought of adding to the family, it seemed weird to welcome another so suddenly but it wasn't that he was worried about.
His father's friend had turned him when he tried to kill himself and so it was a punishment for being so selfish. He remembered how if felt the days after his change and how worse his heart ached and he knew how the boy would feel when he awoke. Raven had watched him carefully whilst he sat outside thinking, watched as he was beaten and then watched as he tried to take his own life with a smile on his face
That just wasn't a cry for help, that smile was there in thought of the peace the boy would find. He remembered only too well that once upon a time, he himself had worn that very same smile. The life of a vampire is a curse and not something to be treated lightly. With a sigh and another shake of his head, Raven pulled out his cigarettes and stared up at his ceiling. It would be nice though to have another brother.
"Where is everyone this evening Raven? And why do you look so down?" and there was Anéthiel, his beloved sister of another race entirely. He looked up at the elf and couldn't help but smile at her goofy look. Sometimes she just went out of her way to make them all laugh and for that alone, they loved her greatly.
"We appear to have another addition to the family my dear Ané," he said and then breathed the smoke out through his nose and sighed "One young Harry Potter, turned by Marius himself" he added as she looked at him blankly. Anéthiel arched an eyebrow and sat down besides him and so with a sigh, Raven recalled the events of the night.
Celeste had been turned when she was twenty-three years old by a vampire called Lydia LeCrypt and had been left for dead. Lydia had been Celeste's enemy for many years after she had killed Celeste's brother for food. Being turned into one who killed her brother was a huge blow to Celeste but she strove along, revenge clear in her mind.
Armand was turned when he was twenty-six years old after he had been trying to split up a fight in a nightclub. The fight had turned to him then and he had nearly been killed but Celeste stepped up and saved him the only way possible, by turning him. Armand had never been bitter or even resentful of what had happened to him and had indeed thought himself to be lucky. He is now three hundred and twenty-seven and has been by Celeste's side since he was turned.
Marius had been turned when he was just nineteen years old and when he awoke he had no knowledge of who or what he was. His creator had abandoned him and he had to strive along in confusion on his own. He couldn't remember who his family were and if they were indeed alive, nor did he know where he lived and so he wandered the streets aimlessly.
His strange compulsion towards blood made it was clear what he had become; he had been forced to find out all about his own kind from books and myths. It was strange to become something that few actually believed to have existed. When he was eighty years old and still straggling along on his own, he had met Celeste, Armand and Raven and from then on he had been accepted into the family.
Ten years later, Anéthiel had come along. She was an elf from the Elven realm and the daughter of the king but she felt she did not fit in. she ran away when she was two-hundred and found the family of vampires who were just like her when it came to her love for pranks and who accepted her with open arms. She had only been with them for twenty years but she felt like she had known them forever.
Armand walked through the gates of Hogwarts with his senses open. He would not be taken surprise by any of these wizards and as he was here about something serious, he had better take it as such. He looked around in wonder as he had heard many things about this castle but had never before laid eyes on it.
The forest to his left looked dark and the trees seemed to loom over him menacingly, to his right were fields upon fields and then a greenhouse and a little wooden hut. Next to the forest was a huge lake and then finally his eyes fell upon the castle itself. It was indeed a beautiful place to live, with the moonlight shining on the old stones and lighting it perfectly. The castle was huge with several stories and it looked like something from ancient times. It was rare to come across a castle with such a history as Hogwarts held.
He got to the main doors of the castle without seeing anyone and so he knocked as loudly as he could and waited. He didn't half feel stupid knocking on the door of a huge castle such as this when it was very unlikely someone would hear him. But it seemed rather rude to walk in unaccounted and so it was with surprise that his eyes fell upon a stern looking witch as she opened the door. How in the hell did they hear that at all? He bowed down and lowered his eyes to the floor before lifting them again.
"My name is Armand van Alberict madam, I was wondering if it would be possible for me to speak with the headmaster of this school" he asked and then kissed her knuckles. The woman looked stunned for a minute before shaking her head
"May I ask what it is you require of him?" she asked and Armand smiled gently
"I am looking for a job my lady and I hear there are positions open inside this delightful castle. My family and I are hoping to be of service," he said smoothly. The woman looked at him for a minute before she nodded and smiled
"Of course, please do follow me" she said and then turned and led him through the corridors. Armand breathed a sigh of relief and followed her. Now all he had to do was convince the old man that neither he nor his family would cause any trouble. There was no point denying what he was and so it would be better if he admitted it right at the beginning. What were they going to do now if they were refused?
The woman stopped outside some stone gargoyles and muttered something under her breath. Armand lifted an eyebrow when he heard "Candy cane" but decided not to ask and so he followed her up some moving stairs and then they paused outside another door "If you could just wait here for a moment Mr. Alberict then I shall inform the headmaster of your presence" she said, Armand nodded and winced slightly, he hated being called Mr. Anything.
Whilst she was gone, Armand looked around the room he was in. It was circular and full of shelves with odd little things on them and on the stand in front of him sat a weird looking red and gold bird, obviously one of the phoenix's he has heard so much about. There were books of old and new, little toy like things and lots of ornaments, it looked like a junk shop to be honest.
"Mr. Alberict. If you could please step inside" The woman said and Armand turned to face her and smiled before bowing again and following her into the office. Inside sat two men, one with a long white beard down to his belt and long white hair. He had blue twinkling eyes behind small glasses and wore a smile of welcome but it wasn't him that attracted Armand's attention.
The second man wore black robes and had black shoulder length (greasy) hair. He had black eyes to match the midnight sky and pale skin, but what stood out mostly was the fact that he was a vampire. Armand and the man just stared at each other for a while, narrowing their eyes before Armand smiled and bowed again, turning to face the man
"My name is Armand van Alberict headmaster and I am here to see about the free positions you may have in your school," he said dragging his eyes away from the other vampire again and turning to face the old man. From what Marcus had said about the boy's memories, this man cared...or at least pretended to care...a great deal for Harry.
"A pleasure to meet you Mr. Alberict. I am Albus Dumbledore; this is Severus Snape our Potions Master and Minerva McGonagall, our Transfiguration teacher. May I ask how many in your family are seeking work?" Albus asked politely and Armand smiled whilst sighing inwardly, damn the boy had better appreciate this. When would the old man get to the question he truly wanted to know?
"Five of us altogether headmaster, but I understand if you do not hold that many placements. My family and I are very close and we do not like to be split up" he replied with a bow of his head to show his respect. He could see the gleam in those black eyes of the Potions master and knew the question was finally coming up. He knew the old man was aware of what he was but Armand was not afraid of anyone in this room"I see and please, forgive me for asking this but, are they all vampires like yourself?" Albus asked. Armand grinned and he could see the three teachers waiting to catch him out about something. It was as if they were expecting him to deny what he was. Well, that would just be completely stupid."No sir, my daughter is an elf," he said and then sighed at the blank looks on the others "We are a family in everything but blood. Myself, Celeste De Constrella, Raven von Richter and Marius McNight are vampires. Anéthiel is an elf; she left her homeland because she felt she did not fit in. Celeste and I have picked up the children over the years and we have remained together since" he said and Albus nodded, looking thoughtful"What does the name Harry Potter mean to you?" the headmaster asked again and Armand blinked. They couldn't know already could they? No, it had not even been two hours since it had happened; so then why ask a question like that? Did the wards around the boys home go off when he was turned or taken away? He forced himself to remain calm and instead arched an eyebrow and then shrugged elegantly
"I know he is a boy of great importance to your world. I know he is the boy- who-lived and that he attends this school. I know nothing else about him and nor do I feel the need to" he said and well, that was partly true. He hardly knew a thing about his newest son and the only lie in that was the last bit. Of course he felt a need to know every single thing about the boy but the old man didn't need to know that.
"How can we be sure you are not followers of Voldemort? The boy has been through much already..." ohh if only they knew, Armand thought grimly. If only they knew what they had allowed to happen to the boy in just one summer, then they would have to ask themselves that question. Armand didn't know whether to be insulted or not, he and his family were known by all immortals for sticking together and as Harry was Voldemort's number one enemy, so were the rest of the family...but the old man didn't know that and so Armand tried to calm himself before he lost it.
"I do not bare his mark and neither have I ever considered it. You may check if you like. My family and I have been looking into this war to see where we shall place our alliance if anywhere but we do not agree with Thomas Riddle's ideals." He said truthfully. It seemed that Dumbledore believed him because now he started on with the real interview and questioned his and his family's abilities.
"Raven, come shopping with me?" Anéthiel asked as she bounced into his room excitedly. It had been four nights since the incident in which Harry Potter was brought into their family and tonight they were all expecting him to wake. Even Raven had to admit he was excited about meeting the boy, Marius had told them all everything Harry had been through since he was a year old as he now had the boys memories.
"Why? You only went last weekend Ané" he sighed exasperated. The woman was worse than their mother when it came to wasting money on anything and everything and that alone was saying something. Armand had returned from Hogwarts with secure jobs for the lot of them and they were looking forward to that too, it had been a long while since they had lived among the mortals.
"Because Harry's going to wake soon and he has nothing, no clothes or anything. I thought it would be a nice surprise to have his own things for once. Come, it'll cheer him up and you don't want me buying him pink clothes now do you?" Anéthiel asked innocently as she fluttered her eyelashes at him. Raven groaned but decided he would go, if just to save the poor boy the humiliation, he knew Ané would definitely stick to that threat otherwise.
"Fine, but we must be quick. I want to be there when he wakes," he muttered. They all felt like they had known Harry for all of his life now that they knew what he had suffered through and even his heart desires. When he heard about what Harry saw in that Mirror of Erised, Raven had to admit, he thought there was a chance yet that the boy would accept them. If he wanted a family, then that is what he had got even if he didn't know it yet.
"Where are mum and dad?" Anéthiel asked as she clapped her hands happily. Raven sighed again; didn't the girl ever stop smiling? He snorted at that thought and shook his head, only twenty years his dear sister had been with them, twenty years was such a short time to immortals but, well, he for one was glad to have her with them.
"Gone to Harry's home to retrieve his wand. Everything else was burnt but that and so they hope they can retrieve it without giving anything away. Come on, I want to visit Zonko's, maybe they have something new we can use against Marius this evening" he said grinning and his eyes glazed over at the thought. He gripped Anéthiel's hand and then literally pulled her out of the door and down to his car.
Celeste and Raven were the only two out of the vampires who were actually a witch and wizard before they were turned and so they were the only two who could do magic. Both of them would be teaching magical duelling whilst Armand and Anéthiel taught duelling with weapons and Marius would be teaching a new 'physical education' class to get all the students fit.
So even though Raven could apparate, he preferred to drive and so his 'parents' had bought him a brilliant blue Lotus Elise 135R and he went everywhere in it. It was only a two-seater but as the others had cars of their own anyway, it didn't matter. Ané jumped in besides him and grinned as he slammed his foot down on the gas pedal and shot forward.