A/N: I'm a bad person. I tell my hellsing people that I'm not gonna update for ten months and then I write THIS in my spare time. I'm going to have to make it up to them. But anyway…this is my first attempt at snarry, slash, AND harry potter fanfiction. So this is probably going to blow. It's actually a response to a challenge from magnumzero (post-HBP, Snarry….WTF? ask you…that's damn hard). I apologize in advance.
"I don't understand it…Charlie should have been here an hour ago!" Molly exclaimed, frowning, but her comment was lost in the eruption of cheering from the guests. Fleur had flawlessly levitated the wedding cake over to the table, and the bride and groom figure pieces had started their descent down the cake to a hummed rendition of "here comes the bride"— courtesy of the Weasley twins. "What in the world is holding up Charlie?" Molly continued after the Weasley twins' humming died down and everyone started eating.
"I dunno, mum," Ron said worriedly, "He still hasn't shown up, but he did firecall yesterday to say he had business in Romania to tie up…"
"Harry," someone said softly, from very far away. "Harry," they repeated, and what Harry heard in that voice made him cringe—wariness, fear, worry, pain.
Harry opened his eyes slowly—why did his eyelids feel so heavy?—and looked at the fuzzy figure in front of him. His eyes abruptly sharpened into focus, like a camera lens, and he saw Remus peering at him through…bars?
"Be a dear and go look at the clock, see what's keeping him, would you?" Mrs. Weasley asked Ron, and Ron obediently went into the kitchen to check where Chalrie's hand on the clock was. Ron's eyes widened at what the clock indicated and flew out into the garden again. "Mum! The clock says Charlie's…" He faltered when he saw that Charlie had apparated into the garden. "Ch…Charlie?" Ron asked in disbelief.
"R…Remus?" Harry croaked, trying to take in a shaky gulp of air. His breath caught sharply halfway down to his lungs and he coughed harshly, trembling uncontrollably. The pain in his chest was almost unbearable, and he could feel tears stinging his eyes. "Remus," he tried again, this time in a whisper. "Why does my chest hurt?"
Charlie did not look well, Harry noted sympathetically. Pale, tired, skin sagging, eyes over bright, almost feverish. Charlie took another staggering step and fell forward, and Harry, with the lightning quickness of a seeker, leapt up to catch him. And then, with the light and skinny build of a seeker, he buckled under Charlie's weight and they collapsed on the grass, with Charlie on top of him.
Remus gave him a pitying look, and Harry noted this uneasily with his sharpened vision. "Probably because…it's not used to being still," Remus answered cautiously. He let his words sink in for a moment and watched as the events of the day came back to Harry.
"Charlie…geroff….Charlie, you're hurting me," Harry grunted. He opened his eyes from the flinch he had worn upon impact with the ground, and was startled to see Charlie did not seem to even respond to his name. "Charlie?" he whispered fearfully. Charlie's mouth opened like he was about to speak, and this relieved Harry somewhat, until Charlie fastened his teeth on Harry's neck and bit down.
"Fuck," Harry croaked, clutching at the floor. He was beginning to feel slightly nauseous. "Fleur…Bill's wedding…Charlie…"
"Yes," Remus said painfully. "Harry…" he began, but stopped, not really sure what to say.
He heard cries of horror and someone tried to pry Charlie off of him. "Harry," he heard Hermione shriek. And then, more voices, rushing over, trying as a group to wrench Charlie, or whatever Charlie had become, away from his neck. But it hurt. It hurt so much, and he felt so weak and listless, and Charlie kept drawing blood away from his neck, despite everything the other guests were trying to do.
"Charlie," Harry whispered, and now he really was crying, tears coming down and invading his mouth with the faint metallic flavor of blood. Blood, his mind repeated for him, and he shook. "He really," he continued, "He really was…that all happened, didn't it?" He asked, reaching up to brush away his tears, leaving crimson streaks across his face.
"Good god," he heard Remus exclaim, from very, very far away. "Not even a blood-replenishing potion will help. "Minerva—I don't see how we can save him unless Charlie completes the change."
"Dumbledore would not have wanted Harry to become a dark creature," McGonagall replied tersely, and Harry could almost see her, thin-lipped, white-faced, with her hands clenched defiantly in denial.
"Dumbledore would not have wanted Harry to die, either," Remus snapped. "Charlie must, Minerva, Harry's fading fast…"
"Yes," Remus whispered hoarsely. "I am so sorry Harry," he said softly. "I should have realized sooner. I should have warned you. I…" he faltered, trying not to see the changes in his best friend's son.
Harry bit his lip. "It's okay, Remus," he said, but both of them knew it was obviously not. "What happened to Charlie?" he asked tentatively.
"He is in confinement, much like you," Remus answered quietly.
"No, I mean…how….how did he…become a…" Harry paused, unable to say the word.
"Vampire?" Remus completed for him. There. It was out, the terrible thing that Harry had become, that he would be forever.
Someone's hair brushed against his nose as they leaned over, and Harry caught the smell of flowers…it was Ginny. "Oh, Harry," she said, with the air of someone who was exasperated with something else that he had done. Then he realized that she was actually trying to hold back tears, and that this scene resembled more of a final farewell. "Charlie didn't mean to. He wasn't in his right mind. Harry? Harry, can you hear me?"
"Harry," another voice said softly, "You are going to die." It was the quiet, practical voice of Remus again, though for a moment, Harry imagined it was Sirius, and that thought made him smile. "You are going to die," Remus repeated slowly, letting his words gently permeate Harry's clouded mind, "Unless you drink Charlie's blood. Harry?"
"Don't wanna die," Harry reasoned in a mumble, and several people within earshot held their breaths expectantly.
"Yes," Harry sighed, "how did Charlie become a…vampire?"
"We don't know yet," Remus answered. "He can't remember. He goes in and out of moments of sanity, and he really only has a few seconds of clarity before his presence of mind escapes again."
"Why am I different?" Harry asked softly.
The corner of Remus's mouth twitched in a half-smile. "You're always unique, Harry," he said humorously. His face grew serious again and Harry hated the grimness that took over Remus's face. "I'm the only one that can approach you for a few days," he said solemnly, "Until we can finish researching vampires, you're going to be alone, I'm afraid," he elaborated.
Harry closed his eyes against the harsh brightness of the day. "No other way?" he whispered faintly, and Remus answered, "None."
Harry's shoulders slumped and he eyed the cracked, stone floor moodily. "That's all right," he said. "I'm used to isolation," he whispered.
Remus flinched. "I'll be here with you," he promised, holding out his hand through the bars.
Harry stiffened and told every fiber of his being not to pounce on that hand. Squeezing his eyes shut, he turned away from Remus. "If you want to keep your hand unscathed, withdraw it from the cell, please," he said shakily, and Remus complied rather quickly.
"I see," Remus commented, and Harry turned around again when he felt it was safe, and fixed Remus with an inquisitive look. "As you may have guessed, there's a protective magic barrier formed by the bars that you cannot penetrate," Remus sighed. "The others have decided that I am the only one safe to approach and talk with you, as I am also a—"he paused, and gave Harry a wry smile, "—dark creature."
"Open your mouth, Harry," Remus instructed. Harry obeyed, and felt some sort of liquid drop on his tongue. Metallic and hot, he realized it was blood. Charlie's blood. And after he swallowed the first droplets it suddenly became ambrosia…a much-needed drink after a long thirst.
Harry frowned. "I don't see what difference it makes," he said.
Remus gave him a startled look. "You don't know, Harry?" He asked in surprise.
Harry gave him an odd look. "You've been talking to me in wolf language for the span of this entire conversation," Remus said gently.
Harry started and stared at Remus in disbelief. "I've been…what?" he asked blankly.
Remus sighed. "I don't know the logistics of it," he muttered. "Obviously, you seem to be able to commune with wolves…possibly bats, too, if the myths prove true. All we know for sure is that you're…" he paused, trying to think.
Not the same, Harry finished mentally, growing more miserable by the minute.
"…No longer human," Remus finally ended, which inevitably made Harry feel worse.
Harry swallowed visibly and slumped back. "Who knows?" he whispered through clenched teeth, valiantly fighting the urge to cry again. He lost.
Remus looked away obligingly and coughed. "Most of the Order, and Ron, Hermione, the other Weasleys, too," he answered quietly.
"I see," Harry murmured, and Remus's heart wrenched at the dejection and resignation in his voice. "May I…have a mirror?" Harry asked suddenly.
Remus hesitated briefly before answering. "Of course," he replied, getting up. "I'll be a moment."
He disappeared from sight and Harry sunk down even further against the wall, trying to recall some of the basic facts they had learned about vampires back in third year. He was one of them now—it was only fitting that he should know about them, right? Except that he couldn't bring to mind any information about vampires.
"Here," Remus said abruptly, interrupting Harry's thoughts and pushing a small ornate hand mirror through the bars. While he was doing so, he kept his other hand in his pocket, making Harry a little bit suspicious.
Harry took it from him carefully. "What else do you have?" he asked pointedly, and Remus started guiltily.
"Since you are now a vampire," Remus began, knowing that what he was about to say might very well break Harry, "Ginny has generously given you some of her blood for you to drink," he finished delicately, holding up a phial of red fluid.
Harry paled and the mirror fell from his fingers to the ground, shattering into hundreds of shards, all fuzzily reflecting his anguish back at him. "Reparo," he muttered automatically in a shaky voice, before he realized that he didn't have his wand. Despite the lack of a wand, however, the mirror molded back together easily, and he was able to faintly see his face in it. His deathly pale face, framed by the usual inky black hair. And his eyes were …green? But when the light shifted, they revealed an unnatural red sheen. The reflection was so fuzzy and faint he could hardly tell. Then the reason why his reflection was so blurred came to him and that realization made him feel even worse.
He put the mirror down with trembling hands and faced Remus again. "I can't drink blood," he said. He took a deep breath, only to cough violently again.
"You don't need to breathe," Remus said, but quickly regretted it when Harry stiffened. "You did wandless magic just now," he continued, conspicuously changing the subject.
Harry gave a weak nod. "I've been able to before," he said, fingering the frame of the mirror thoughtfully. "But it was so much easier a minute ago," he added musingly.
Remus nodded distractedly. "Harry," he began. He paused and saw the emotionless mask Harry had assumed. "I'm going to leave the blood here," he said gently, uncorking the phial and quickly setting down through the barrier. He watched Harry's eyes widen and his mouth part slightly as he caught scent of the blood. "I have some things I need to attend to," He said softly. "Goodbye, Harry," he said regretfully, leaving the room before he had to see Harry drink the blood.
Harry heard the door close and crawled closer to the phial of blood. His eyes were gleaming with anticipation and he was sniffing the tangy odor greedily. A feral feeling rose up in him and he could not suppress a growl.
The phial was halfway to his lips before he managed to snap out of this unfamiliar, predatory mindset.
"Oh god," he muttered indistinctly, clutching his face. The phial slipped from his fingers, but his other hand caught it with an uncanny accuracy before it could hit the floor, before his mind even registered what had happened.
The phial lay in his palm patiently, its contents silently mocking him while he struggled with his internal battle. Finally, he gripped the phial with trembling hands and drank it down quickly. The…strangeness in him was sated, but on another level, Harry did not like the flavor of the blood.
Why are you critiquing the taste of Ginny's blood? A niggling voice in his mind snapped at him, and he jerked out of his post-feeding haze and had the presence of mind to slip the empty phial back through the barrier.
That ordeal pushed aside, he took a moment to actually look around and take in his surroundings. His room—actually, prison cell would be more accurate—had a simple cot up against one side of the wall, a fluffy white rug that was rather incongruous with the grim, stone floor, and flickering candle set in the wall. While it wasn't spacious, at least it was comfy. Only, there weren't any windows. This reminded Harry that he was a vampire, and he slumped miserably against the wall again.
"Is it too much to ask that I wake up and find out that this is all a dream?" he asked the wall in front of him. He sighed and traced random designs on the dusty floor with his fingers, trying to ignore the craving for blood that had come back. Apparently, Ginny's blood hadn't been enough to sate his thirst.
The fact that this was how he was going to live for the rest of his existence hit him like a slap in the face, and he froze in the middle of pushing dust around on the floor. "This is it," he whispered, hugging his knees close to him, "this is really happening."
Harry tilted his head back and looked up at the ceiling. It would only be so long before the world found out about him. Harry Potter—a vampire. The Boy Who was Undead. He almost laughed at the thought, but he couldn't ignore the sick feeling that was growing in his stomach.
In a sudden wave of nausea and exhaustion, he stood up and staggered to the cot. If luck went his way, when he woke up in the morning, it would all be a dream.
sooooo what'd ya think? Hm? I feel so strange writing for a completely different set of people. Hellsing is more my thing.