Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah, I don't own Harry Potter or Anne Rice's vampire concepts, Blah, blah blah…

Summery: Sequel to Blood. Six months have past since Draco brought Hermione into a world of darkness, and she has some time to reflect on her thoughts…

A/N: In case you didn't read the updated A/N of Blood, I've decided to forget the whole part II thing for Blood and just write the sequel. While Blood is in first person, this one is in second. Third and second person is more in my element when it comes to writing, but I asked my friend Thomas if making it in third person instead of first (which is my style for Blood) would be weird, and he said no, so I'll trust his judgment. I'd like to hear yours though, so review me!

Other notes: I'm taking some creative license with this series, and I'm going to tell you now about some not-Anne-Rice-vampire-stuff that'll come up again while reading this series. One, Vampires can (and like to) have sex. Two, drinking "dead blood" (that is to say, blood that has had a chance to cool or is in a dead person) doesn't harm vampires' per-say, but "living blood" is always best (though drinking the blood of someone who had been dead too long will weaken them and make them sick). Three, sire and fledgling have a very special connection. They can sense each other's pain; know what the other is thinking and feeling, all that good stuff. Four: though they don't fall into that "inevitable sleep" the Vampire Chronicles vampires fall into, they do sleep during the day and sunlight is harmful to them if they are exposed to it too long. That's all I can think of that I'm changing for now, but I'll let you know if I think of anything else I'm changing.

Walking the Eternal Path

Hermione opened her eyes half way. There was still some feeble light filtering in through the tightly closed curtains of their room at her back, and she knew that it would be at least a half an hour before the sun would completely set and plunge the room into darkness.

That's odd, she thought, I almost never wake up this early.

Indeed, it was so early in the evening that Draco was still asleep beside her, which he never was before. Always she had awoke alone.

After listening to his steady breathing for a few minutes, she turned over to face him, cursing herself as she did so for what felt like the millionth time.

Why does he have to be so God damn beautiful? She thought furiously, guiltily admiring his silky blond, shoulder length mane and elegant, high-cheek boned face.

In mortal life, he had carried an aristocratic, proud; "holier than thou" look about him, complementing his rich upbringing.

Now, in immortal life, he carried a preternatural, powerful, deep beauty, which had sprung from his vampiric blood. He was the embodiment of immortal beauty.

And Hermione was frightened by him.

He had never been what one would call cruel to her, just distant. Even when he had sex with her there was always a veil between them, an unspoken emotion, even as their two bodies became one.

Hermione thought guiltily of the sex. She would never deny that sex with him was anything less then fantastic, but it also frightened her. Whenever he invited her into his bed, she found herself completely under his control, and she hated that. She hated to think of the possibility that the only reason she was still staying with him at Malfoy Manner was his body.

Stop it, she told herself furiously; you are not here for the sex.

Then why are you here? The nasty voice of reason asked smugly in her mind.

Hermione didn't bother answering. She wasn't exactly sure why. She didn't need him to survive anymore; she knew enough about her new lifestyle now to be out on her own. He had even given her permission to go, in a sense.

"I will keep the door unlocked today," he had told her one evening, after he had bed her. He had said it as if he didn't really care if she left or not, his expression unreadable. This had surprised her, for she had seen him lock the door every evening before that, knowing that she would try and leave if he dared leave it unlocked.

Yet she had stayed. Even as he slept beside her and she looked thoughtfully at the unlocked bedroom door, she couldn't bring herself to get up and open it, something kept her there.

Since that moment she had been desperately probing her feelings, anxious to discover what exactly it was that held her back; this feeling fueled by the unsurprised way he had acted when he found her still in his bed the next night.

Nearly six months had past since he had made her, six months of silence between them and the never-ending questions buzzing about her mind.

Wearily she thought back to that first night…

Slowly Hermione came around, the world spinning slightly. She gave a soft moan, weakly opening her eyes.

"So you're finally awake," a voice said softly in the darkness, and Hermione's eyes shot open.

She gasped sharply as Draco Malfoy came into focus, looking as weak as she felt. He was kneeling beside her in the alleyway, his face even thinner and paler than she remembered, the blue veins of his face illuminated by the white flesh.

"Come," he said softly, reaching his hand out to her, "We must feed, or you will die."

"What have you done to me?" she asked fearfully, her whole body starting to tingle painfully.

Draco was silent for a moment, contemplating whether to answer.

"You have become a vampire," he said softly, touching her cheek with his long fingers. She recoiled at the icy touch, fear quickly beginning to spread through her.

"What?" she squeaked in a terrified whisper, scrambling away from him, pressing her back to the wall behind her.

"You have become a vampire," he repeated, standing. He swayed a little in his weakened state, biting his lower lip as he fought to keep balance. Finally he looked down at her again, gray eyes glowing in the cold December moonlight.

"Come," he repeated softly, extending his hand down to her.

"No," she said defiantly in a terrified whisper, then a little louder, "No!"

He sighed, annoyed, "I don't have time for this," he growled at her, "Come here!"

"No!" she cried, desperately scrambling away from him, trying weakly to stand and run away.

Hermione suddenly found herself pressed against the wall for a second time that night, struggling madly to escape him.

Hermione suddenly froze, a strange, sweet scent reaching her nose. Instantly her eyes shot open.

Draco had bitten his lower lip, the scarlet blood flowing from the small wound. With a triumphant smirk he pressed his bleeding lips over hers. With a small moan of ecstasy she could not control, Hermione licked the blood from his lips. Liquid fire, it was to her, filling her with a heated sensation she could not name.

Suddenly, the reality of what she was doing caught up with her. She was drinking blood off Draco Malfoy's lips!

She tore her head away, panting as she fought to gain control of herself.

Draco laughed softly, pressing her spread-eagle against the wall.

"Yes my beautiful one," he whispered softly, "blood tastes to you now like a fine wine, rich, fulfilling, heating…"

"No!" she whispered, terrified at the truth in his words.

"Yes," he purred, his lips brushing down her neck.

Hermione couldn't help but shiver, his velvet lips kissing, teasing down her neck. And then suddenly his touch was gone, and she opened her eyes to find him leaning his hands against the wall on either side of her head, staring hungrily at her.

"Come," he said, his voice like honey, and Hermione couldn't help but follow. She was completely under his spell…

And so they had gone. He had eventually released her from whatever mind spell he had woven around her, but by then Hermione had realized that she needed him just to survive, and so she had not even tried to wander from him. She remembered her first kill…

"Drink," he had ordered, extending his hand out to her as he held his victim, a drunk muggle they had hunted, blood staining his lips.

Hermione bit her bottom lips nervously, panic taking hold again. She couldn't, she wouldn't!

"No!" she whispered, taking a frightened step backward. But with lightening reflexes he grabbed her wrist, yanking her to him.

"Do you want to die tonight?" he whispered threateningly, gray eyes flashing.

Hermione hesitated for a moment, biting her lip, before responding, "Yes…"

Some unknown emotion had flashed in his eyes then, and he let the drunk fall to the ground.

"Come here," he said, his voice surprisingly gentle.

Carefully he folded her into his embrace, his cloak warm from his body heat.

"You will not die Hermione," he whispered, "you will never die because of what I have done to you. But if you do not drink, I will make you."

Hermione listened to all this silently, tears threatening to overwhelm her. She wanted to die… but she knew he would never let her. He wanted her to drink of her own free will, but he would make her if he must.

"Why have you done this?" she whispered, broken, blood tears sliding down her cheeks.

He didn't reply, just cut his lip open once more, pressing them against hers. She didn't fight him, her exhausted soul yielding to him.

"You have not known peace Hermione," his voice filled her head, "you have not known peace since the war. But I can give peace back to you, give your soul the rest it needs, it yearns for. But you have to trust me, and you have to drink. You can know peace only by killing, as it is now your nature to do. Drink from him Hermione, let your soul rest. You have fought enough, my beauty, you have fought enough…"

"Yes," she whispered into his mouth, "peace…"

The memory of that man's death haunted her still. She remembered the energy humming in her veins as his life drained away, the thrilling sensation of his life flowing into hers. She had enjoyed that kill. Her body had filled with ecstasy as her heart pounded with new life.

Stolen life, she reminded herself bitterly.

Draco had kissed her again, after she had let that man's body fall to the ground, lifeless, cold. He had kissed her and enveloped her in his cloak, kissing the blood tears away, kissing away the remaining blood on her lips.

"Welcome to immortality," he had whispered.

One kill. That was all it took for immortality to be ensured. One kill, and a vampire could chose to never kill again. The wise ones didn't. The fools were sought out by vampire hunters, and destroyed.

Draco had taught her how to take "small drinks" after that. Taught her how to hunt and drink without killing, without taking life. The small mercies of preternatural life, "small drinks" were.

Hermione was brought back to reality as she realized with a start that Draco was now awake, watching her intently.

She didn't look away. She searched his eyes purposefully, begging him for some kind of answer, some kind of clue, something to ease the sharp pain of her lonely existence.

Gently she reached out to him, cupping his face in her hand. She had never touched him before. She would always return his touches, but she had never chosen to touch him first before.

Slowly he slid his hand over hers, tenderly kissing the palm of her hand.

Carefully he slid closer to her, entwining his legs intimately with hers. His right arm wrapped carefully over her waist, his left, under her head. For a moment he just continued to watch her, his cool fingers brushing small circles across her back absentmindedly. Then he gently kissed her forehead, and for the first time, she felt him yield to her questioning gaze. She felt his mind and soul unlock to her, only for a brief moment, but enough to satisfy her for now.

In time I will show you who I am inside, his soul said, in time you will see.

In response, Hermione kissed the flesh over his heart, satisfied temporarily with his answer. In that brief moment of understanding, she had felt emotions inside him that she could not even begin to understand. Glimpsed pain even deeper than hers.

He would show her his heart, in time, and she was happy with that knowledge. That was the reason she was still here. That was the pull that kept her to him. The mystery of his heart.

Hermione sighed contently. She was at peace with the knowledge he gave her. She was at peace, here with him.

A/N: Again, thanks for tuning into this story, and keep an eye out for the sequel. Don't ask me what it's going to be about or even what it's going to be called, because I don't know yet. That particular plot bunny has yet to hop into my mind. Now, the last thing I'd like to say, which is completely irrelevant to this story mind you, is that I'm planning on writing a Phantom of the Opera humor phic in which Erik gets a chance to interview his phans, and phanfiction writers. If you would like to be one of the ones he interviews, email me and tell me the name you would like to see me use, as well as any suggestions for questions or any other comments. Just type, "interview" as the subject of the email please, so I know who's emailing me about what. I'm afraid I can't guarantee that I'll use any suggested questions, but I'm going to try to use everyone's name that contacts me. Cheers till next time then.

Connie