Century Child

Part I: First Year

Chapter III: Donors

Somehow, by lunch the next day, the whole of Slytherin knew about what had transpired the previous night: namely, that two first years had outwitted the current leader of their House. Kiran had been dead on in his analysis of what that would do to their status among their Housemates; it seemed that overnight they'd become celebrities to the younger years. Even a few of the older students looked at them appraisingly now, when before they would have been practically invisible until at least fourth year.

Kiran rather enjoyed this spotlight and took advantage of it immediately. Angelo, in comparison, shied away from the attention and heartily wished that he could just be left alone. He ended up spending much of his free time that day wandering the lakeshore alone, and strolled the halls aimlessly the whole night, avoiding everyone and everything.

When Angelo and Kiran stepped into the Great Hall on Wednesday morning, it was to an explosion of sound.

"HOW YOU COULD EVEN THINK WE'D ALLOW IT, YOU'RE A DISGRACE TO THE WHOLE FAMILY, THE BOTH OF YOU"

"Sounds like the twins got a Howler," Kiran murmured, pointing at the redheads at the Gryffindor table. Their faces couldn't be seen from where the Slytherins were situated, but Angelo suspected that they wouldn't look horrified, but amused.

"SHOULDN'T EVEN BE ASSOCIATING WITH ONE, WHEN YOUR FATHER HEARD HE NEARLY FAINTED DEAD ON HIS FEET, YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THEY ARE"

"I wonder what they did," Angelo murmured as they sat down. "Perhaps she found out about what they did in Potions?"

"It sounds more like she doesn't approve of someone they've been making friends with," Kiran answered, shaking his head. "Really doesn't approve. You don't think there's a Malfoy here?"

"We would know if there was," Angelo said.

"I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO ENDANGER YOURSELVES LIKE THAT, AND I'LL BE HAVING A WORD WITH DUMBLEDORE ABOUT THIS, MARK MY WORDS!"

"Must have been bad, whatever it was," Kiran said with a shrug, obviously not concerned. "Pass the sausages, would you?"

Angelo picked up the dish, then dropped it a moment later when a different voice suddenly filled the Hall.

"You wrote mum about him? Are you mad?"

Angelo stared at the standing form of Charlie Weasley in horror, remembering in that instant that he'd said he was a prefect and feeling a sudden sick apprehension about the whole argument.

"You know how she feels about them! What did you tell her?"

He couldn't hear George's response, but whatever it was must have been something Charlie had not wanted to hear. Even from across the hall, Angelo could see the older boy's face tighten and pale dramatically. Charlie suddenly grabbed his brothers by the arm and marched them out of the hall, leaving wondering murmurs in his wake. Angelo debated for a moment on whether to follow them, then rushed out of the room as well with Kiran on his heels.

Figuring that the Weasleys couldn't have gone far, they started their search with the closest chambers to the Great Hall. They didn't have to go far; only a couple classrooms down one of the close corridors, Angelo sensed a Silencing Charm on one of the doors and gently pushed it open a crack.

"–to be donors!" they heard Charlie shout. Angelo's eyes widened and he shared a brief glance with Kiran. Donors? "No wonder mum went ballistic! What'd you think she was going to do, give you her blessing?"

"We had to ask her, Charlie," Fred protested.

"Dumbledore told us we had to get her permission 'cause we're underage," George added.

"What made you want to be donors in the first place? You know how dangerous it is to be a donor to a vampire, especially a young one!"

Angelo gasped softly; so they really were talking about him!

"He entrusted us with his secret–"

"–so we wanted to do something for him, to pay him back."

"Oh yes, getting him thrown out in his first week is certainly paying him back," Charlie said sarcastically.

"Hey, we didn't want to write mum!"

"Dumbledore said we had to or-"

"Or you wouldn't be allowed," Charlie finished for him with a sigh. "All right, fine, just please don't write about him to mum anymore. She'll probably go to the Board of Education next if it seems like you're still hanging around him."

"Thanks, Charlie," Fred said with a grin.

"You're the best," George said, his expression identical to his twin's.

"You two owe me big time now," Charlie answered, trying to sound stern, though he was grinning as well. "Come on, let's go finish breakfast."

Kiran grabbed Angelo and dragged him back to the Great Hall even before the Weasleys started moving toward the door of the classroom, figuring they wouldn't want to know that someone had been spying on them. The two Slytherins slipped inside the hall even before Charlie's boot passed through the doorway.

"What are you doing?" Kiran asked in exasperation, because as soon as they'd sat down at the Slytherin table, Angelo had started digging though his bag for parchment and ink.

"I am going to write them a letter," Angelo answered vaguely. He pushed his plate out of the way for his parchment and set both it and his ink on the table. Kiran caught his hand before he could start writing.

"A letter saying what?"

"That I am grateful that they wanted to be donors for me, and that I am sorry their mother does not agree with their views," Angelo answered simply, tugging at his hand.

"You can't write that!" Kiran hissed. "Then they'll know we were eavesdropping on them!"

"And?"

"And the whole point of high-tailing it out of there before they saw us was so they wouldn't know," Kiran explained heatedly. "I don't think their brother would like it very much."

"But I have to do something to express myself. I owe them now," Angelo protested.

"And you can do that in plenty of others ways that won't let them know that you know," Kiran said, finally letting go of Angelo's arm now that he seemed to be willing to be reasonable.

"Like what?'

"Didn't they ask us to put in a good word for them with Snape? You could do that," Kiran suggested. Angelo pouted and looked longingly at his parchment again before he started putting everything away.

"All right, I will do that."

Kiran shook his head, an exasperated smile on his lips. "You know, Aaron is right. You're really not a Slytherin at all."


On Thursday during dinner, a parchment tied with red ribbon appeared on Angelo's empty plate. Angelo eyed it warily, remembering what had happened the last time either he or Kiran had received a note like this, but had no choice but to see what it said. His eyes scanned over the words once before he broke into a huge grin.

"What is it?" Kiran asked curiously, leaning over to see.

"I am to meet my donors tonight," Angelo answered softly, reading over the parchment again. "I must go to the hospital wing after dinner."

"Already?" Kiran said in surprise.

Angelo nodded quickly. "I am so excited! I cannot wait to meet them!" He turned imploring hazel eyes on Kiran. "Come with me."

Kiran blinked at him, even more surprised. "Shouldn't this be a private thing?"

"No, I want you to come. You're going to be one of my donors too, remember, even if it is not official."

Kiran sighed, mentally berating himself again for that humiliating slip of tongue three nights before. He'd never intended to become one of the Vampire's donors; at least, not until he'd experienced it. Now he was sure he never wanted to experience that wonderful feeling again, for fear that he would become too attached to the boy next to him.

However, as Angelo stared at him with those eyes, he couldn't help but nod his head. "All right, I'll come. But you owe me."

Angelo laughed softly. "I already owe you, Kiran, for much more than this."

As soon as Kiran had finished (though he hadn't really; he was just tired of listening to Angelo whine), they left the Great Hall and headed up the stairs. Only when they were halfway down a corridor on the first floor did Kiran realize that they had no idea where the hospital wing was. Angelo did not seem particularly concerned by this, however, as he walked on purposefully, looking as though he knew exactly where he was going.

"Shouldn't we got back and ask someone where the hospital is?" Kiran asked after a moment.

Angelo smiled and shook his head. "I keep forgetting you are just a human. No, I have a very good sense of direction. It is an Incubus thing. We shall be fine."

"I know that, but still, with the dungeons and Professor Snape's classroom, you already had a general idea of where they were. Do you have any idea where the hospital wing is?"

"Up," Angelo answered with a smile.

Kiran let out an irritated sigh. "You're impossible."

"No, I simply feel that your unease is unfounded. Trust me, Kiran, we shall be fine."

Kiran huffed softly but let it drop, unwilling to let his secret out by stating outright that he would never trust Angelo because that Incubus intuition was exactly what could get him killed someday. Yet he had to admit, however secretly, that it could be useful as well when after hardly ten minutes of walking, they finally reached the hospital wing and hadn't taken one wrong turn.

Angelo secretly felt relieved as he pushed open the doors to the hospital wing. He did have an unfailing sense of direction, better than most of his kind, but it did still fail on occasion. On his trip back to the dorms from the Head's office on the first night, he'd gotten lost twice, but he would never mention that to Kiran. Somehow, he felt that he should try his hardest to impress his blond friend, though he hadn't felt that way about anyone else.

He paused as soon as he'd stepped inside, his eyes wide in surprise. A relatively large group of students stood there, ten in all he thought, nearly all of them older than him. He recognized a few of them as Slytherins, some that had only watched him silently and never opposed him, as well as several Ravenclaws, whom he figured would find the experience 'enlightening,' and one Gryffindor, who he felt was living up to his House reputation. What surprised him the most, however, was the fact that both Charlie Weasley and Aaron were standing among the other students.

He couldn't imagine why they were here. Hadn't the twins gotten in trouble just the other day for offering to be in Charlie's place? And he knew from their brief meetings that Aaron was incredibly psychic, possibly even a Seer, and people like that tended to be rather uncomfortable with having their energy sucked out of them.

"Oh good, you're here."

The two first years turned in surprise as a woman who was clearly the medi-witch bustled out of her office. She strode over to them with a kind smile, and Angelo smiled right back; she was the kind of woman who could be trusted instantly. Kiran obviously didn't think so as he still looked stoic as ever.

"You must be Angelo," said the witch in a motherly way, smiling at Angelo, "and Kiran. I'm Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse. I'll be overseeing your Feeding sessions for the next seven years."

"It is very nice to meet you, Madam," Angelo said, giving her a slight bow. Madam Pomfrey suddenly seemed a little flustered and her smile widened.

"Such a gentleman!" she fawned, and Kiran rolled his eyes. Angelo simply smiled disarmingly.

"May I go meet my donors now, Madam?"

Madam Pomfrey stepped aside with a brief nod. "Yes, yes, of course. That's what this meeting is for, after all. For you to get acquainted with each other and to learn what regulations the Headmaster has set upon you."

Angelo didn't pause to wonder what those regulations might be; he immediately rushed forward to greet his friend and friends' brother.

"What are you two doing here?" he asked, completely bewildered.

Aaron gave him a pointed look. "We're going to be two of your donors."

"But...why?" He could not imagine that these two people he hardly knew would be willing to do this for him. It confused him even more than the amount of other students that were there.

"Because we don't want you to die, of course," Aaron answered, rolling his eyes. "I'm your friend, and after you trusted me with your secret, this was the least I could do. I fire-called my parents yesterday and they said I could do it."

Angelo nodded but frowned in confusion up at Charlie. "I thought your mother thinks I am too dangerous to be around."

Kiran hissed in warning and Charlie raised an eyebrow. "You heard that, did you?"

Angelo blushed faintly, realizing too late that he'd said too much. "Yes, forgive me, but curiosity is my fatal flaw. But I would not wish for you to trouble your mother."

Charlie shrugged. "I worry her enough without this. Besides, I turn seventeen in a few weeks; she won't be able to do much about it then."

"Then thank you very much," Angelo said sincerely. "I appreciate your help even more."

Kiran suddenly tugged at his arm, jerking his head toward the others. "Perhaps you should speak with your other donors as well?"

"Oh, yes, sorry." Angelo turned and bowed deeply to the other students, startling several of them. "I am Angelo Haemon, an Incubus Vampire and first year Slytherin. It is a pleasure to meet all of you."

"Way too polite," Kiran muttered, shaking his head in exasperation.

After barely a second, one of the Slytherins stepped forward and bowed as well, though he also extended his pale wrist, face-up, to Angelo as he straightened. "Bran Kenyon," he said, his pure white hair falling haphazardly in front of his tawny eyes.

Angelo briefly pressed a kiss to the Bran's wrist, eying him with surprise. "You have met a Vampire before."

Bran smiled mysteriously. "I have several very distant relatives who were Turned many, many years ago. They still keep in contact with my family. They're of a different tribe than you, but I figured the basic customs would be universal."

"What tribe?" Angelo demanded, instantly feeling apprehensive.

"The Dark Angels."

"Ah, I see." Angelo smirked sardonically. "I must admit I am surprised you would be willing to Feed me. Our rulers are at war."

"And I'm just a human with no intention of being Turned," Bran said with a slight shrug. "I don't care about your war."

"Good, because neither do I," Angelo said with a nod. He awkwardly took the hand of the other Slytherin boy when it was offered to him.

"I'm Alexander Kreios," he said smoothly. "I'm the current Quidditch Captain, Head Boy, and Prince of Slytherin."

Angelo was suddenly very confused. "What about that girl who I spoke with Monday night?"

"Mirabelle? No, she was barely even second in command. I certainly did not approve of the way she treated you." Alexander offered both first years a faint smile. "That was quite an impressive display, by the way. I admire people who stick up for themselves."

"Thank you," Angelo said, briefly bowing his head. Kiran merely stood by and didn't move an inch, unwilling to show anything more than the least amount of courtesy to these older students after what had happened the last time.

"Mirabelle won't bother you in the future," Alexander added with a casual shrug.

Angelo nodded again and turned to the next student, an Arabian looking girl in Slytherin robes. She smiled faintly but hardly moved aside from that.

"Shauna Basir," she said softly, not looking inclined to say anything else.

"Vashti Kishan," said the girl next to her with a small bow. "Shauna's very shy; it took her up until ten minutes ago to even decide whether she really wanted to come.

Shauna blushed faintly and looked away, wringing her hands nervously.

"I am glad you decided to come," Angelo said with a bright smile. Shauna smiled hesitantly back.

The only boy among the Ravenclaws let out a long, suffering sigh. "You lot are so dull."

"Oh yes, and you're so exciting, Cole," Alexander said, rolling his eyes. "Going to lecture us on exactly why we have to be here in the first place? Or perhaps on why Vampires are so poorly represented in our community?"

"Shut it, Kreios," the boy said with a glare. He tossed his pitch-black hair out of his eyes and held a hand out to Angelo. "I'm Vincent Cole, Keeper of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team and currently the guy with the best grades in school. Kreios there comes in a very close second."

"As he makes a point of reminding me before every class," Alexander muttered, glaring right back at Vincent.

"Only showing you that I'm better than all those girls you fawn over," Vincent answered as Angelo took his hand.

"And I've told you hundreds of times that I don't swing that way."

"And I've told you just as many that I don't care."

"Boys," said one of the Ravenclaw girls, moving between them. "Now is not the time to be fighting about this. Though really, Alex, you should just give him chance. He's been moaning about you all summer."

Alexander crossed his arms and looked away with a sulky expression.

The girl rolled her eyes and turned back to Angelo. "I'm Mandisa Noor, Alex and Vin's eternal keeper and mediator. I'll try to keep them from giving you too much trouble."

"I'm sure it'll be fine," Angelo said with a laugh. "Thank you."

He blinked as the last girl stepped forward. She almost looked like a vampire herself, or perhaps a goth, but Angelo could feel that she was only human.

"Raven Aurelius," she said in a soft, low voice. "I'm related to a few vampires as well, though they're Elven, so we have the same Prince."

"Directly related?" Angelo asked curiously.

"Yes. One of my very distant relatives married a human and we've been diluting the blood ever since. I didn't inherit the gene."

"I see." Angelo smiled as he added, "Still, your beauty rivals many of our kind."

Raven blushed as she smiled back. "Thanks."

"And last, but certainly not least," said the boy standing next to Charlie as he stepped forward, "Dylan Conley, at your service."

'Even though I'm a Slytherin?" Angelo said with a faint smile.

"'Course. The other prefects are just wimps," Dylan said with a grin. "After all, we're in school, so it can't be that dangerous, right?"

"Only a Gryffindor would think that," Alexander muttered, rolling his eyes again. Angelo fought back an amused smile; Alexander seemed to fight with everyone.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, do you even realize why we're here? We're going to be giving up our blood and energy. That's very dangerous."

Dylan looked taken aback. "But, we're in school..."

Alexander sighed and sent Dylan a scathing look. "Yes, we're in school, and he is a Vampire. That's what Vampires do, Conley. You'd do well to remember that."

Dylan seemed suitably admonished and nodded before retreating back into the line again.

"Do you have to fight with everyone, Alex?" Mandisa said with a sigh, though she looked amused as well.

"Only when they're being stupid," Alexander answered simply. Both Kiran and Angelo snickered at that.

Suddenly, Madam Pomfrey came bustling over, holding a long sheet of parchment. "Well, now that you all know each other, why don't we go over the rules?"

She conjured up thirteen chairs and gestured for them all to sit as she took one herself. Angelo sat next to her and pulled Kiran down on his other side. He was amused to see that the others congregated themselves according to House like they had in their line, with Alexander and the other Slytherins sitting on Kiran's side and Aaron, the lone Hufflepuff, on Madam Pomfrey's.

"Well," Madam Pomfrey started once they were all settled, "Albus said that you have the final say in who your donors will be, but that you should have at least five so no one gets sick, Angelo. We both agreed that ten would be preferable, as it would give each student a month to rest if you came every three days."

"That sounds like a very good plan, Madam," Angelo answered with a smile.

"Very well then. Is there anyone here you would prefer not be one of your donors?"

Angelo looked around thoughtfully and shook his head with an innocent smile. "No one, unless Dylan is still unclear about exactly what will happen."

Dylan scowled slightly. "I'm fine now, thanks."

"No one, then," Angelo said to Madam Pomfrey. "I like everyone here."

Madam Pomfrey nodded and turned back to her parchment. "It says here you'll need blood along with energy, correct?"

"Yes, Madam. In about equal amounts, actually, until I reach puberty, and then I will need far more energy. But that will not be for several years."

Madam Pomfrey nodded once. "Then I feel that half of your donors should be for blood, and half for energy. It would be much healthier that way. And perhaps split up your sessions too; have half be for blood, and half for energy. Is that acceptable?"

Angelo thought it over for several minutes before he answered, "I think I can handle that."

Madam Pomfrey smiled faintly before looking up at the other students. "Well, why don't we figure out who will do what? All of you who are more comfortable giving energy, move over there, and if you're more comfortable giving blood, the opposite side please."

Several people got up and moved, but not the ones Angelo had been expecting. Alexander stayed firmly in his seat on the blood side, though he seemed less enthused about it after Vincent moved to sit next to him, as did Kiran after hesitation briefly flashed over his face. Aaron and Charlie soon moved to sit between them and Mandisa. On the other hand, the other three Slytherins immediately got up and walked over to the opposite side to join Raven and Dylan. Angelo was almost disappointed by this, but consoled himself with the fact that the Prince of Slytherin had stayed.

Madam Pomfrey quickly jotted down their names and what they would be doing, then looked up again. "We will also have to come up with a schedule of what order you'll be coming in."

"I'll go first," Alexander said immediately.

Angelo quickly shook his head. "Actually, I need an energy person first..."

"Then I'll go first," Bran suggested. "And you can go after me, Alex."

Alexander nodded once, fighting back amusement when Dylan immediately raised his hand with the announcement, "I'll go third!"

After very little time, an order had been decided upon (one that excluded Kiran, as Angelo insisted he didn't need to be part of it) and Madam Pomfrey rolled up her parchment with a smile.

"Well, everything is settled for now," she said as she Vanished the parchment. "I think we should start tomorrow night-"

"Actually, Madam Pomfrey, could we start tonight?" Angelo asked hesitantly. "I haven't Fed since Sunday..." Which was a lie, but Monday night wasn't far off from Sunday, and he really was starting to feel famished with all this talk about how he was going to Feed.

Madam Pomfrey seemed surprised and a little embarrassed. "Oh! Yes, of course. If that's all right with you, Kenyon?"

Bran nodded without hesitation. "That's fine."

"Well then, the rest of you may go. I'll send all of you notices when you need to come back."

All of the older students but Bran got up to leave. Most flashed Angelo a brief smile as they left, Alexander going so far as to briefly ruffle the Vampire's hair before Vincent tugged him away. Kiran, of course, stayed put, at least until Angelo turned to him with an apologetic look.

"I am sorry, Kiran, but could you wait outside please?" Angelo asked softly. Kiran stared at him incredulously.

"You don't want me to stay?"

Angelo shook his head. "Feeding is something very private, between the Vampire and the donor only. I will permit Madam Pomfrey to stay, because she is making sure I do not go too far, but I cannot allow you to watch. I am sorry."

"Are you sure?" Kiran asked, then berated himself for it a moment later. Not even a week had passed and he was already far too attached to his Vampire. Why in the name of Heaven did he even want to stay?

Angelo merely smiled and leaned forward slightly. "Kiran, would you want anyone to witness what happened Monday night?" he whispered. His smile grew when Kiran's eyes widened and the blond immediately stood up.

"I'll wait right outside the door then," Kiran said before hurrying out of the room.

"What did you say to him?" Bran asked curiously as Angelo moved to sit next to him.

"Only that I would be doing lots of embarrassing things he would never want to see," Angelo answered with a laugh. "Of course, I will not be. Oh, did you think I would be?"

Bran nodded with a confused expression. "You're an Incubus..."

"I will not feel the need for sexual energy until I reach puberty," Angelo explained patiently.

"I see." Bran laughed embarrassedly. "I'm not used to dealing with Born-Vampires. All the ones I know were Turned."

"Who are they?" Angelo asked curiously as Madam Pomfrey settled on Bran's other side. "I have probably heard of them if not met them."

"You probably have; they're old enough. Hamal, Sudi, and Kissa Kafele are the ones I'm related to, very, very distantly. And Minkah Astennu since he hardly ever leaves Hamal's side. And Hamal brought his master, Cyneric, by once."

Angelo laughed softly. "Yes, I have definitely heard of them. Who hasn't in our culture? They're all thousands of years old."

"Yeah, it's only too bad they're Vampires; they'd be excellent leaders of any country with that much knowledge," Bran said with a soft laugh. "As long as they've got self-control."

Angelo smiled faintly. "Most of us do."

"I'm glad to hear that," Madam Pomfrey said, sounding amused. Both students jumped and stared at her in surprise.

"I am sorry, Madam," Angelo murmured. "Would you like to start now?"

"Oh, don't worry yourself. Remember, this whole meeting was about getting to know your donors." Madam Pomfrey gave him a motherly smile before nodding once. "But I think it would be a good idea to start, yes."

Angelo dipped his head and shifted to get more comfortable, though his eyes were soon fixed warily on Madam Pomfrey's wand as she pulled it out.

"I'm just going to monitor Kenyon's vitals with it," she said kindly when she noticed.

Angelo smiled weakly and turned back to Bran. "Are you ready?"

"Any idea what it's going to feel like?" Bran asked curiously.

"Not for you, no."

"Couldn't hurt to ask," Bran said with a shrug. "All right, what do I do?"

"Place your hands in mine," Angelo answered as he held out his hand, palm-up. Bran awkwardly did so, looking confused again.

Angelo closed his eyes and reached out to open a small channel between them, smiling faintly when he heard twin gasps. He had heard that it was a beautiful sight to see a Vampire Feed on the energy of a wizard.

Careful to avoid Bran's magic, Angelo gently began pulling a thread of the boy's life energy into himself, slowly at first so he could gauge how much he could safely take. Immediately, he felt his hunger ebbing away and pulled a little harder. A soft sound fell from his lips as the energy filled him, and he smiled when he heard Bran let out a similar noise. The far sooner than he felt Madam Pomfrey expected, he closed the connection and dropped Bran's hands.

"That...was really weird..." Bran murmured, sounding a little dazed. Angelo laughed softly.

"Yes, that is everyone's reaction." He turned to Madam Pomfrey with a bright smile. "That is all I need."

"Oh, well, we're done then," she sound, clearly flustered. "Would you like some chocolate, Kenyon?"

"Yes, please, Madam Pomfrey," Bran said with a sleepy smile.

"Would you walk back down to Slytherin with Kiran and me?" Angelo asked as Madam Pomfrey raised her wand to summon a slab of chocolate from her office.

"Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Thank you," he added to Madam Pomfrey as she handed him a large chunk of chocolate.

Angelo shook his head and smiled politely when Madam Pomfrey offered him some as well. "I am afraid I cannot eat it, Madam."

"Oh?" Madam Pomfrey said in surprise. "Albus didn't mention that."

Angelo glanced warily at Bran before he answered, "I am unable to eat any human foods. It is all poison to me."

"I see. Well, I'll be sure to remember that." Madam Pomfrey smiled motherly as she added, "You two should probably be going. I'm sure you both have homework to do."

They nodded and stood to leave, Bran staggering slightly. Angelo headed out first once Bran reassured him he'd be all right and smirked when he saw Kiran standing a short distance away, his back to the door. He began moving silently toward the other boy, planning to startle him, and but was startled himself when the blond turned a second before he could do so.

"You're done already?" Kiran asked, looking surprised.

"Yes. It really does not take that long," Angelo said, frowning inwardly. How could Kiran have heard him so easily? No one heard him when he didn't want to be heard; otherwise, he'd never be able to Feed.

"It felt like a long time before," Kiran murmured, sending a furtive glance at Bran.

Angelo laughed. "It always feels that way, but it really is not long at all."

"I see. I had wondered..."

"Wondered what?" Angelo prompted after a moment when Kiran didn't seem inclined to elaborate. Kiran shrugged, looking faintly embarrassed.

"Why those older Slytherins didn't find us."

Angelo laughed. "We were hardly there long enough. They started down the stairs five minutes after we'd finished."

Kiran frowned slightly. "Oh. I don't remember much afterward."

"I know. You fell asleep as soon I'd helped you into bed."

"Well, maybe if you hadn't taken so much.."

"It has nothing to do with me!"

This argument carried them all the way back to the dungeons, neither of them noticing the slow moving figure of Bran as he followed them, able to hear every word that was said.


AN: To anyone reading Background Secrets also: Remember the donors. They'll be coming up.