A/N: This fic ate my brain. It is the longest thing I have ever written, and is the product of many, many days. Many thanks to Lady Salazar for helping me with the title (Though she was the one who originally got me started on the idea...)
Warnings:Typical warnings from me, the fic contains genderswitch- as in, Harry is female. If you don't like genderswitch, then turn around now. Also, some slight gore- this is a Hellsing crossover, people, gore is pretty much a given.
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter, nor the manga Hellsing.
Heather covered her mouth, muffling a whimper as she peered through the slats of the door to her cupboard; Uncle Vernon had said that if she made so much as a peep she wouldn't get breakfast in the morning.
But oh, oh the scary noises coming from upstairs...
There had been a lot of screaming at first, monstrous snarls and laughter echoing down the staircase and she heard crashing noises; Dudley woke up to start wailing before that too was suddenly cut off. Now, she could only hear the sound of low murmurs and an occasional loud slurp.
The three year old girl huddled in the back of the cupboard, stifling her frightened cries with her hands, tears rolling down her face. The antique grandfather clock could be heard ticking down the hall.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang.
So loud was the sound in the near silent house, that the little girl jumped and nearly screamed- she quickly clamped down on the urge, only letting out a small sob. The noises upstairs had stopped.
The doorbell rang again, and suddenly there were footsteps traveling through the hall and down the stairs. She could see a shadow from where she sat, and Heather knew that it wasn't one of her relatives.
Whoever it was, swung the door open- only to be on the receiving end of a face full of bullets. She moaned in the back of her throat, her breath quickening as she fought the urge to hyperventilate. Several more shots rang out, and the man who had opened the door turned to dust.
In the illuminated doorway, a tall man stood, a large pistol held in one hand; he was wearing a large red trench coat with a matching fedora, and what looked to be a pair of sunglasses. He stared down at his victim remorselessly, before sweeping the entryway of the house with his eyes- Heather felt as if her heart had stopped when his eyes locked with her own.
Red- even through the tinted glasses, she could tell his eyes were a glowing, vivid crimson hue.
He took a step, as if to walk toward her, when more noise from upstairs came. Two sets of footsteps came running and he quickly diverted his attention, raising his gun to shoot down his attackers. There was a scuffle as the two leapt out of the way of the bullets- one to the landing at the foot of the stairs, the other over the railing to land on the ground floor.
Right next to Heather's cupboard.
The Man in Red turned to deal with the one on the landing, which was closest to the door; the second one crouched, as if to leap- then froze, his eyes going wide.
And then he sniffed, and Heather knew she'd been found.
His head snapped toward her, and then faster than she could see, the door to the cupboard had been smashed and he grabbed her, dragging her from the cupboard kicking and screaming. This drew the Man in Red's attention, and he frowned when he saw her in the man's grasp.
He seemed to grow serious then, as though he'd been playing with the other man, and quickly, the second man turned to dust as well. Now, all that was left were the three of them; Heather, her captor, and the Man in Red.
She was surprised, then, when her captor began to speak.
"Well, well, well, what a pretty little girl..." her captor said, and Heather froze when she felt the cool slide of a knife run up her cheek. There was a dull pain, and she felt something warm trickle down her face. "It would be such a shame if I killed her, don't you think?"
No, no, no! She didn't want to be hurt! Didn't want to die! She wanted him to let her go, wanted this to be a bad dream.
She felt a sob wrack her body, and something else began to well up with the tears- there was a flash, and her captor snarled, dropping her to the floor. Running to the nearest cover she could think of, she ran into the kitchen, ducking around the door and hiding in the pantry as the sound of fighting broke out.
When everything fell silent again, she felt a spike of dread.
She gasped when the doorknob to the pantry turned and the door swung open-
-to reveal the Man in Red.
Heather stared up at him from where she was curled into a ball, his eyes unreadable as he looked down on her.
Alucard stared down at the waif-like child in front of him, thinking back on what he'd seen.
A Witch. Of all the houses on the street that could have been hit, the vampires had taken the one with a little witch girl.
As much as he'd like to think so, Alucard didn't believe it was a coincidence.
Crouching down, he watched as the girl curled tighter into a ball, hunching further into the pantry as though afraid he would grab her too.
"Come out, girl. I'm not going to eat you." he drawled and saw her flinch, her eyes wide and fixed unerringly on him. He was just about to use compulsion to force her out when her legs unfurled, and she crawled out slowly, eyes still trained on his every move. She moved just close enough that she was out of striking distance, though with Alucard that didn't make a difference.
"Well, what have we here?" he asked, taking off his glasses to get a good look at her. Physically, she was a delicate child- small and whisper thin; magically, however... from the wound on her face, which still sluggishly oozed blood, he could smell the power in her veins. His mouth watered at the thought of feasting on such powerful, pure blood. But, he could sense that if he tried anything of the sort something would lash out at him- something protected the girl.
Not that he would ever bite a child.Only weak fools would lower themselves to feed off of such helpless creatures- for him there was no pleasure to be found in such an act.
No, it would be best to wait this out.
Alucard reached out, not fast enough to scare the girl but not slowly either, and tilted her face up; bringing his other hand up, he prodded gently at the cut on her face, breaking the slight scab open and causing her to wince. Fresh blood leaked out, and he was as amazed- as he was at the time the cut was made- that she didn't cry out in pain. It was perhaps possible that she'd been... conditioned to silence. Considering she made no noise until she'd been discovered, it was the most likely option.
"Girl," he said, and her full attention returned to him, if it had wandered at all. "Do you love your family?"
The girl bit her lip, eyes darting around as if wondering if this were a trick by her relatives- seeing no one else, she shook her head. Suddenly, her stomach growled, causing him to quirk an eyebrow- she paled slightly, and moved to curl up into the pantry once more, but he reached out, grabbing one of her arms keeping her where she was.
Quailing under his gaze as he looked down at her, her tiny little arm tensed beneath his fingers, as though fighting the urge to rip it from his grasp. "Are you afraid of me, girl?" he asked, and her eyes darted to the doorway leading to the hallway, and she nodded. "Good," Alucard replied, a pleased smile stretching across his lips and revealing his sharp fangs. "As you should be."
An idea struck him then, and it was all he could do to keep from laughing in delight. "Are you hungry, little witch girl?" She did not reply but her stomach growled once more at the thought of food, and she flinched.
Alucard let out a low chuckle and brought his free arm up, biting sharply down on the flesh on his forearm. Licking his lips, he watched apathetically as blood welled in the wound, and the witch girl watched him in curious surprise. Holding out the bleeding limb, he asked, "Well? Aren't you hungry?"
The girl hesitated, looking fearful. Alucard watched expectantly and she leaned forward, her mouth opening to latch on the bite wound. Her nose wrinkled for a moment at the taste of the blood, and he murmured hypnotically, "That's it... Drink your fill, girl. Drink and go to fulfill your duty... And, when all is done, when that which hides in your blood is gone, come and find me."
Her eyes slipped closed at the sound of his voice and when she fell unconscious, he picked her up, cradling her small form in his arms. She was bound to him now- not as strongly as between Master and Servant, but close enough that when she is free from obligation, she will find him.
His lips quirked as he walked from the house.
When Fate was done with her, he would make sure such power did not go to waste.
He may have to go back to his cell after this- Arthur Hellsing was not dependent on Alucard's abilities, except in extreme cases- but his little venture was worth it.
Seven year old Heather put her hands out to catch her fall, wincing as the gravel of the play yard scraped her palms. Above her, one of the older boys of the orphanage sneered at her superiorly.
"Take that, you freaky girl!" he crowed and the rest of the boys laughed uproariously.
Biting her lip to keep it from trembling, she turned to give the boy a glare from the corner of her eye. His laughing stopped abruptly, his face paling and he took a step back. "Come on, you guys," he said shakily, "Let's go find Jimmy and get him to give up his candy stash."
They all ran away, and after Heather could no longer hear them, she got up and went to her own special place in the orphanage yard where she proceeded to break into body wracking sobs.
She attempted to ignore the scent of blood from her bleeding palms, only calming down once they'd healed over.
"I'm a what!?" Heather asked incredulously, looking at the severe looking woman in front of her.
It was her eleventh birthday, and Heather could honestly say that she hadn't expected to hear this on her birthday. The girl's dormitory had been cleared out, the other girls outside helping the Matron of the orphanage set up the party for later, so it was only Heather and the odd- more like crazy- woman in front of her.
"You're a witch, Miss Potter," Minerva McGonagall replied primly. When she continued to receive an incredulous stare, she huffed and asked, "From what I've been told, you believe in vampires but you don't believe in magic?"
"Ofcourse I believe in vampires! A person would have to be stupid not to!" Heather retorted, not seeing the contradiction at all.
"Were you able to find out why we weren't able to find her for so long?" Albus Dumbledore asked his Deputy Headmistress.
Minerva could only sigh and shake her head.
"Oh shut up, Malfoy!" Heather snarled, rounding on the boy with her eyes flashing. She watched as he fell silent, his face blanching as he stared at her. "There is nothing to be afraid of here! So shut your trap before I shut it for you!"
She failed to notice the way the Forbidden Forest fell silent around them.
As the turban unwrapped and fell to the floor in front of the Mirror of Erised, Heather's eyes fixed on the striking pair of reptilian red eyes protruding from the back of Quirrel's head.
Why were they so familiar?
Heather stared out of the dormitory window, watching the full moon unveil from behind the clouds; she sighed in pleasure as it's luminous face was revealed. She always preferred night to day, not afraid of the dark at all.
She wasn't afraid at hearing voices in the walls, even if they did talk about killing. Heather had nothing to fear from those things which hide in the shadows; she was one of them, after all.
What a beautiful night...
Raising her wand at the ready, she didn't bother to light it as she walked away from the cave-in- slimy tunnel walls, animal bones and carcasses littering the floor; it was all the same to her.
She was the predator now.
Heather looked at the man sitting in the seat across from them- his clothes were frayed and heavily mended. Something about him, however...
Something about him made her blood rush...
"I can't believe you got away with sneaking around Hogmeade!" Hermione ranted, throwing her hands up in disbelief.
"Whether you believe it or not, it's thanks to Professor Lupin..." Heather murmured, rooting through the candy stash her friends had brought back.
Ron choked on the Fizzing Whizbee he currently had in his mouth, staring at Heather as though she were speaking Gobbledegook. Heather chose to ignore him, instead focusing on the strange red lollipop she'd unearthed.
"What is this?" she asked rhetorically, and turned it to read the label. "'Blood Pop'...?"
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed, turning on the redhead. "I thought you said we weren't going to-!"
She cut herself off, however, when her best friend ripped off the wrapper, popping the dark red sweet into her mouth. Heather hummed to herself for a moment, rolling the lollipop around in her mouth, before pulling it out with a sharp 'pop!'. She appraised the sweet for a moment, not noticing the particular shade of green Hermione had turned.
Ron choked on his Fizzing Whizbee again when she promptly stuck the Blood Pop back into her mouth.
They were pretty good...
"Heather, don't you understand!" Hermione cried, her eyes wild with fear and adrenaline. She pointed sharply toward Remus Lupin. "He's a-"
"-a werewolf." Heather finished for her friend calmly. "I know." she added, giving Lupin an acknowledging nod.
For their own parts, neither Lupin nor Black looked like they could determine whether to be relieved or confused, though there was a knowing glint in Lupin's eye as he looked at her.
"Listen, Skeeter," Heather snarled, shoving the older woman up against the wall of the cupboard with a burning glare. "My family- both of them- were murdered in the span of two years. You have no right to speak of them that way."
Leaning a little closer to the blonde, she whispered, "Stay out of my life."
Moving toward the door, she left with one parting shot. "Oh, and for the record... I didn't enter my name into the Goblet."
When she was alone, Rita Skeeter leaned back with a nervous breath, rubbing her throat where it had been grabbed. There would be a dark bruises from the strong grip the girl had.
She tried not to think about the way the girl's eyes had nearly glowed in the gloomy closet...
Alucard's head snapped up, his eyes narrowing as he felt a tugging on the other end of a blood bond he'd made over a decade ago.
Someone was using the witch girl's blood in a ritual...
Heather watched with narrowed eyes as a newly bodied Voldemort strode around, arms waving around in grandiose gestures as he preached to his followers. Her blood was boiling at the thought that this- this incompetent man had the audacity to take blood from her.
"And now, Miss Potter," he began his conclusion, turning to face her with a condescending smirk. "Now that I have your blood, your mother's protection is useless..." He reached a hand out to touch her face, but paused when she tilted her head back in as haughty a manner as she could tied to a tombstone. Assuming that she was bluffing, he allowed his fingertips to make contact with her skin.
Letting out a hoarse scream around her gag from the searing pain in her head, she listened as he also cried out in agony. His hand left immediately, and she lifted her head, watching as the skin of his new body cracked, the blood he'd stolen literally boiling as it broke through the split flesh, the artificial body falling apart.
The Death Eaters began to panic, swarming their Lord as he collapsed to the ground, struggling to hold the body together by will alone. A few of the Death Eaters apparently came to the conclusion that somehow this was her fault, and Heather barely ducked a cutting curse that flew at her- only to stumble as it cut her free from the headstone.
Not wasting any time to disbelieve her luck, she tackled a sobbing Pettigrew, taking her wand from him and using the confusion to make a break for it. Her blood began to sing the further into the dark she went, the mist in the graveyard curling lovingly around her ankles. She was so preoccupied with those chasing her, that she didn't notice the body of Cedric Diggory until she'd tripped over it. A few of her fingers snapped as she went sprawling over the corpse, and when she looked at her hand to inspect them, she noticed the gleam of firelight over the metal of the Triwizard Cup.
Grabbing a handful of Diggory's shirt with her good hand, Heather glanced back at her pursuers, who had slowed when they saw her fall. With one last pained smirk in their direction, she summoned the Cup, hearing them snarl in outrage when she disappeared.
"Were you able to find out why the ritual nearly failed, Severus?" the hunched form of Voldemort asked from where he was swathed in bandages.
Snape bowed his head, replying, "Yes, my Lord."
"Andwhat is the reason?" Was the impatient question.
Resisting the urge to fidget, Snape said, "It was Potter's blood, my Lord. The ritual was meant for purely human donors, and I have discovered that Potter seems to have somehow acquired a very substantial amount of... powerful... vampire blood mixed with her own." The was a furious hiss from Lord Voldemort. "My Lord is obviously aware of the effects Vampire magic has on Wizarding magic, especially where blood is involved..."
"Are you implying, Miss Potter, that there were Dementors at your orphanage?" Fudge drawled, obviously trying to get her to say she was lying.
"Well, Minister Fudge," Heather replied, trying not to sneer. "Considering there are now three soulless children- one of whom was a two year old girl- then yes, I would say that there were Dementors at the orphanage. After all, there is only one know creature capable of such an act."
"You will be writing lines," Umbridge condescended to Heather, pointing to a desk that had been set up with parchment and quill. "The lines you must write are, 'I must not tell lies', and you will continue until I deem them to be properly marked."
Heather watched the batty woman warily as she sat down at the table. She reached for the black quill, only to pause when she noticed that there was no ink; turning to the DADA Professor to ask, when Umbridge responded with a disturbing smile, "You won't be needing any ink."
Giving the disconcerting woman one last glance, she picked up the quill and tried to write...
Scratching at the parchment again, still nothing happened to mark the cream colored page...
"It's not working," Heather said at last, turning to see Umbridge staring at her in bewilderment.
"You killed him," Heather growled as she stalked Bellatrix through the Ministry Atrium. "You killed Sirius."
"Good riddance to the filthy blood traitor." Bellatrix spat back, cackling as she stared at the younger girl with wild eyes.
"I'll kill you," Heather replied, raising her wand on the insane witch.
Heather snarled as she felt a pulse in her blood- damn Dark Lord didn't know when to quit with what he didn't understand.
Slughorn's party was more boring than Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party had been, and that was saying something.
When she spotted the vampire following one wizard, she felt a curl of disgust in her belly.
Such filth, following a human around willingly.
Heather's thoughts stumbled to a halt, surprised by the random thought. She had been having similar thoughts more and more frequently, and she wasn't sure where they had been coming from.
Pushing the thoughts from her mind, she focused the vampire with a predatorily amused expression.
Maybe she could make some fun...
"Fuck off, Potter," Malfoy said to her, when she confronted him in a secluded hallway. "I'll get you back for getting my father arrested!" A malicious sneer spread across his lips. "Of course, I don't even think you know what you are..."
"What I am?" she asked cautiously, wary that this might be some tactic like the one he tried to pull in their third year with Sirius.
"Your taste for blood, your preference for the night or the dark... you mean you never knew where these came from?" He asked with a haughty smirk, his expression at odds with the pallor of his skin and the bags under his eyes.
Scoffing, Heather took a step towards the blonde, wand pointed at his chest. "That has nothing to do with the fact that I know you're up to something, Malfoy."
However, his words brought up questions in the back of her mind.
Was everything related?
"Really, Bill," Heather said, patting the redhead on the arm from where she stood next to Fleur. "It's not so bad. Blood Pops are actually pretty tasty..."
She ignored the way the rest of the room stared at her, and dropped one of the Blood Pops from her own stash on the bedside table as a get well present.
Her skin practically itched in anticipation.
Soon, everything will end- within a year, at the least.
Heather stared at a decanter of blood she found in one of the cabinets, as she passed time waiting in Grimmauld Place while Kreacher hunted Mundungus and the Necklace down. There was no label on the bottle, but she could feel the power humming through the spelled crystal.
She remembered reading somewhere that, ages ago, Purebloods liked to drink the blood of magical creatures, in the belief that the abilities of the creature and/or immunities to the animals abilities could be gained from the practice. When most creatures were applied, the practice was useless, or even deadly- the blood just as poisonous as the creature it was intended to protect against; but, some creatures, if the blood were willingly given...
Absently twirling the bottle, she thought that this was the answer to her... unusual mannerisms. Somewhere, some time before she could remember, she had drunk vampire blood...
...but, the question was:
Where had the blood come from?
Hermione shivered as they walked through the empty town, the eerie silence wracking on the two girls' nerves.
"I-I don't understand," the bushy haired girl murmured to herself, staring at the empty windows of the homes in the village. A few doorways were yawning wide open, but not a sign of life stirred within the houses.
"The village is dead," Heather whispered in reply, her nose catching the faint scent of old blood and desiccated corpses.
Some sixth sense tingled down Heather's spine, and her head snapped around as she focused her eyes on the dark alleyways. Something moved in the shadows, a familiar menace that she couldn't remember but knew all the same.
Without a word, Heather gripped Hermione's arm and twirled on one heel, Disapparating.
They had no time for a fight with the Undead.
Alucard watched the last vampire turn to dust, and the ghouls collapsed like puppets with their strings cut.
"Mission accomplished," he said to empty air, knowing his Master and the Police Girl had heard him anyway.
He looked up at the moonless sky for a moment from where he stood in the village street, contemplating whether a packet of blood would be worth it, when a small breeze picked up. The smell of rotten blood was repulsive and he grimaced- what a waste of good blood- when the wind brought to him a familiar scent, one he hadn't smelt in nearly fifteen years- one of delicious power, tainted ever so slightly by a darker force.
Alucard grinned wolfishly at the thought that the Witch Girl had been here. From the strength of the scent that lingered, she had no doubt grown stronger. Laughing uproariously, he knew he had made a good investment that day.
His hilarity was interrupted by a timid query.
Turning to the Police Girl, he grimly reminded himself that he had to wait for the Witch Girl to come to him to reap his benefits. Until then, he had to bide his time with Seras and her stubborn refusal to grasp that she was no longer human.
It is when one loses their fear of death that one masters it.
Staring out over the destruction of Hogwarts, Heather twirled the Elder Wand in her fingers. Almost as if it were symbolic of the turmoil that the entirety of Wizarding Britain was in, the whole would have to be rebuilt, restructured.
Planting her chin in her palm, Heather sighed, running through her mind what would need to be done now that Voldemort was finally dead. Thinking of her orphaned Godson, she knew some rules would definitely need to be changed, among other things.
And, no doubt it would be up to her to implement the changes.
Wizards were so stupid...
Standing up, she moved toward Headmaster Dumbledore's tomb to lay the Wand to rest.
The feeling of something missing had been plaguing her for the past two years, ever since the defeat of Voldemort.
There was something she had to do, but try as she might, she just didn't know, just couldn't remember...
After many long days, the restructuring of the Ministry was almost complete, and once Ron and Hermione's wedding was over, she would be free to figure out just what was causing the feeling.
Heather read through the file in front of her, telling in gruesome- if factual- detail how her relatives had died one night when she was three years old. It was a vampire attack.
She was listed as the only survivor.
Interestingly enough, the case was handled not by Aurors and the Ministry, but by an organization by the name of Hellsing...
It seemed she had something to check out.
Heather frowned down at the car gauge, noticing she was low on fuel. Glancing out the dark windshield, she tried to find a sign to the nearest station so that she could refuel; the first sign said that it was ten kilometers to the nearest town.
Sighing, she shifted gears and licked her lips, wishing for something to drink. The minutes seemed to pass slowly- she wouldn't have minded for a place to sleep, either, as late at night as it was.
Yawning, Heather pulled into the station, shivering as the cool autumn air hit her when she stepped out of the car. The feeling of being watched caused the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end, and as a noise caught her attention she turned to see a dark, beat up car pull up to the other pump. She loathed turning her back on another person at this time of night, but she kept her senses open as she unscrewed the tank cap and started the fuel pump. When that was finished, she faced the other car, watching the man that had climbed out carefully.
He seemed rather normal, if a little haggard, and he ignored her as he went about his own business.
When the pump finished, she went into the store to pay- the station was completely empty, and she felt a familiar chill race down her spine. Rushing out the door, she noticed that though his car was still there, the man himself had completely disappeared. Reaching in her pocket for her wand, she cautiously walked back toward her own vehicle.
A gust of wind rose then, bringing the scent of fresh blood to her nose, just as she noticed the stain on the man's car. She broke into a run toward her car, but only managed to take a step when arms like iron bands closed around her waist, entrapping her wand arm.
"Well, well, three prey for the price of one, tonight." The figure holding her said, and roared in laughter.
Growling, she wriggled her trapped arm, trying to point her wand toward her captor, even as a wave of dejá vu caused to be slightly lightheaded. Finally with her wand facing an appropriate angle, she snarled, "Expelliarmus."
The spell forced the man to release her, even as it threw him several feet away. It didn't do much more than that as, with the agility of a cat, the man flipped mid-air and landed in a crouch.
"What the hell was that?" The vampire asked in confusion, anger smoldering in his eyes.
Lifting her chin, she replied with a sneer, "Idiot. There are more supernatural things in this world than just vampires." To emphasize this point, she sent out another spell forcing him to dodge.
Next thing she blinked, and her adversary was gone, and it was the sudden rush of air behind her that alerted her to his whereabouts. Cursing the fact that while, yes, she was indeed fast and strong for a human, she was still in no way a physical match for a full vampire. Her shoulder exploded in pain as she was struck from behind and this time it was her that was sent flying, crashing gracelessly to the pavement.
Heather struggled to rise from where she'd landed face down on the asphalt, her eyes scanning the ground to find her dropped wand. A foot came crashing down on her back between her shoulder blades, pinning her to the ground.
"Stay down, bitch," the vampire said, before he crouched down next to her, grabbing her ponytail and wrenching her head to the side so that he could see the side of her face. A scrape on her cheek bled, and he bent down to smell her blood. "Damn, you smell good," he practically moaned, and from the corner of her eye, she saw his tongue snake out to lick her cheek.
Revulsion rose up in her throat, and she could smell the blood of the other driver and the station attendant on his breath, making her want to retch.
Suddenly, his head burst, showering her with gore, and the thundering sound of a gunshot reverberated through her ears as the vampire's body turned to dust. Coughing slightly as she inhaled some of the dust and the pressure was suddenly lifted from her back, she climbed to her hands and knees and looked around for her rescuer.
Heather froze when her eyes met a familiar pair of crimson.
The man holding the smoking gun was wearing a long red coat (red coat, red hat, red eyes... what was with all of the red?), and Heather tensed when he flashed a very impressing set of fangs at her in a grin. However, he did nothing more than slide the gun back into his coat, and said to empty air, "Final target destroyed; mission accomplished."
His voice was a deep baritone that struck a chord in Heather's memories. The complete familiarity of the vampire, along with the way her blood practically sung at the sight of him- it didn't take long for Heather to put two and two together to realize that it washim.
The donor of the mysterious foreign blood in her system.
"It's you," she whispered, climbing to her feet while ignoring the already fading aches from being tossed like a rag-doll.
An amused smile touched his lips and indignant anger flared in her chest.
Taking a careful step toward him, almost unconsciously she said, "I've been looking for you."
Another grin was flashed at her, this time triumphant, and she was confused- at least until he replied, "You've grown up, Witch Girl."
Heather frowned in irritation at the pet-like name, and snapped, "My name is Heather." She didn't get the joke when he burst out laughing. "And who are you?" she asked, and was surprised when he stopped laughing abruptly.
The vampire swept his hat and sunglasses off of his head, giving her a gracious bow. "You may call me Alucard."
'What a charmer,' she thought.
"'Alucard'?" she asked, rolling the name around on her tongue, before she snorted, "Cute." 'Alucard' an anagram for 'Dracula'... what was it with all the red eyed men in her life and their penchant for anagrams?
Abruptly, he continued with an incongruous question, "Isn't it a beautiful night out?"
Determining that he was merely trying to imbalance her- and ignoring the fact that his tactics were working- she took the time to examine her surroundings. Indeed, she realized, that had she not just had a fight for her life, the night would have been perfect. The full moon was large this night, gilding everything in silver, and had it not been tinged with the scent of blood, the cool autumn breeze would have been quite refreshing.
Surprised at the odd camaraderie between the two of them, she turned back to the vampire to see him staring at the moon in rapture. The question- the one she's wondered about ever since she'd learned of the 'gift'- tumbled out of her mouth before she could stop it.
Alucard tilted his head slightly to look at her from the corner of his eye, and he contemplated her solemnly. "Do people ever really know the reasons for the things they do?" he asked rhetorically, and the answer frustrated Heather.
"What do you want from me?" she asked in exasperation.
More so than during her battle with Voldemort, everything in her life seemed to lead to this one point, and for once she didn't know what to do. With Voldemort, Dumbledore had given her all of the answers, pointed her in the right directions, and all she had had to do was put the pieces together or follow a pre-laid path. True, she had completely recreated the Wizarding government, but even then she'd had people to help her- this time she was on her own.
"What does any vampire want with a virgin?" he asked, his amused grin returning in a flash. Heather flushed, even as a mix of emotions churned in her stomach.
She was not afraid of death or even what came after- hell, she had already died once; she had mastered death as the Master of the Deathly Hallows... but did she fear Eternal Life?
Her eyes landed on the silent form of Alucard, and she felt a yearning, a pleasure at the thought of living forever. "Why me?" she choked out, wrenching her eyes from his striking form.
"Why were you chosen before? Why are you ever chosen?" was the rebuttal.
Heather gave a sarcastic laugh. "Answering a question with a question- how very Plato of you."
"Oh come now, girl. You knew this day would come." Alucard drawled, bringing a hand to his face to watch the girl through his fingers. "You knew, once you'd learned of my blood in your veins, that one day you would have to make this choice." He paused thoughtfully, a small smirk curling his lips. "And we both know you want to accept. Why else have you remained a virgin all these years? Surely someone has shown interest in you by now..." He trailed off meaningfully, giving her figure a critical sweep with his daunting stare.
Heather blushed at the scrutiny, standing up straighter and giving him a direct glare.
"Well, girl?" he asked, stalking purposefully closer to her, and though she did not step back, Heather's pulse began to race. "What is your choice?"
She tried to wet her lips, but her mouth was suddenly dry- whether in fear or anticipation, she couldn't be sure- and for one of the first times of her life, she felt like prey in the eyes of a predator.
But he was right- he knew it, she knew it. She'd made her choice already, even before the two of them met that night. Regardless of what his answers to her questions were, she knew she would accept...
...and now, all he wanted was a verbal confirmation. All he wanted, was for her to submit to him willingly, because though he'd brought her to him with coercion, he didn't want to change someone who was unwilling.
There would be no fun in dealing with her, then, because it was likely she would resent him.
A sense of calm washed over her then, in knowing that this was her decision, and looking him directly in the eye, she answered, "Yes."
He was in front of her then, a strange look of seriousness on his face, at odds with his previous joy. She allowed him to bring her close, and tilted her head back exposing her neck.
"Let us see what interesting things are in store for the future," she heard him murmur, and her eyes focused on the luminous full moon.