A/N: Sorry it has taken me so long to update.. I've had nothing but computer trouble for a very long time now and have only been able to start fixing it enough for it to be in working order once more! But I hope you enjoy this chapter and it was worth the wait, as far as the story progress goes anyway.. I'm still looking for a Beta, not to sound mean or anything but please I need someone who is serious about doing the job, someone who knows what they are doing and has done it before and doesn't want to change my story to fit their own ideas and can except my story being dark and rather different. If your reliable and interested let me know! Thanks and enjoy. Slash in this chapter, but then again it is a slash story. And a big warm THANK YOU to all those of you who have reviewed, and are following this story. I really appreciate it! :) Sorry for any mistakes, I just wanted to hurry up and get it on here for you.
Strangers in the Forest
It was nearing Valentine's Day and Rayden was getting sick of all the giggling girls having the nerve to come up to him and ask him out for the past week, he even had to deal with the older ones having their turn at trying to flirt with him. Not to mention all the love letters and cards, that he now burnt without reading, even in the Great Hall; whether it be in front of them or not, hoping the gossip about it would knock some sense into them and that they would finally get the message.
It hadn't worked yet, and now he just ignored them completely, in an attempt not to send someone to the Infirmary.
Even a few boys had asked him and it pissed him off, knowing that the whole school believed he and Braeden were together and they still asked, and on occasion in front of who they practically only knew of as his boyfriend; as if the other Vampire wasn't even there or worth acknowledging his presence.
It just proved to him their lack of respect and if he hadn't been at a school at the time, he would've hexed them into oblivion by now, or just sucked them dry, either option was pleasant to him. He noticed it was also grating on Braeden's nerves and he had to give the Vampire credit on his almost unbreakable control. He knew only too well that you can only be pushed too much before you snap.
If ignoring them proved fruitless, he decided he was going to get the point across with a few well placed curses.
He was still waiting for Quirrell to make his move, he watched the mans every move closely as much as he could, it was only a matter of time before he tried again, but if he hadn't worked out the clue yet, Rayden figured he would have to try again.
But at the moment he was relaxing at the edge of the lake with his back resting against a wide tree, his knees drawn up near his body, and a piece of parchment that he was currently writing on while leaning on a book in his lap, Braeden beside him as they did their homework. It was peaceful and all they could hear was the water softly splashing lazily against the shore of the lake and the scratching of their quill on parchment.
Braeden leaned over to whispered in Rayden's ear, "Someones coming!" He warned.
"Yeah, I sensed them too." He whispered under his breath knowing the Vampire's sensitive ears would hear him.
Not happy in the least that their relaxation was about to get interrupted, after putting up with the idiots who tried to ask him out. Where on earth they expected to take a first year to, he didn't know. Nor was he interested in finding out.
Both of their bodies tensed as the group they could sense approached, even though they were sitting on the ground they were ready to jump up if need be, and at their extra speed, he knew they would have no trouble rising to their feet quicker than anything could go wrong. So he felt confident at their seemingly vulnerable postures.
It was a few minutes later when the large shadow fell over them from Rayden's left, and pretending they weren't there, Rayden continued doing his homework.
"What are you writing?" A familiar boys voice had the audacity to ask, he could feel the idiots above him lean forward trying to get a better look.
With deliberate slowness he folded the parchment, trying to control his growing anger, and placed it in a random page of the book, then set it upon the ground between himself and Braeden.
He looked to his left and tilted his head to the side so he could see better through his bangs, and peered up at Weasley first before trailing his eyes over at the idiots hovering behind him, as well as Granger standing next to him, then settled his eerie emerald gaze back to Weasley, "None of your business!" He sneered slightly.
"Look, I think we should start all over again, my name is Hermione Granger!" The bushy haired girl introduced, shooting a quick glance at Weasley, then holding out her hand looking down at him expectantly.
Rayden smiled a crooked smile then slowly got to his feet; smile growing slightly when he saw their eyes lit up in hope. He glanced at the offered hand, looked over at the gathered group once more before his piercing eyes landed on Granger's somewhat timid brown gaze, the smile suddenly dropping from his lips, "I don't care what your name is, or who any of you are, so piss off and leave us alone." He said coldly, all pretence of friendliness gone.
Gasping and looking like she was about to cry, Granger slowly dropped her hand by her side and looked down at the ground. Rayden didn't really care how it made her feel.
"Hey, we came here to try to make peace with you, there's no need to upset Hermione." Weasley said tensely his face a little red, and Rayden knew he was struggling to keep himself from yelling.
"You didn't care much yourself about upsetting her before you became friends with her!" Rayden smirked, watching in satisfaction as Weasley's face turned a darker shade of red in embarrassment. "And no, you didn't come here for that reason, you came here trying to become my friend so you could get any bit of information on me and see what you can find out about whatever you think it is I'm doing." He sneered disdainfully.
Weasley opened his mouth to respond, but Rayden raised his hand, quickly cutting off whatever the boy was going to say, "I know you've all been spying on me, trying to learn all you can, without any success, and in your desperation you thought you could come up to me and fake your good intentions by offering your friendship, but you see, I'm not stupid, and I wasn't interested before and I'm sure as hell not interested now. So as they say; why don't you go take your offerings and shove it where the sun don't shine." Rayden finished, tilting his head to the side and gracing them with a cold smile.
After imitating a fish out of water for several long seconds, and his freckles fading into the red mass surrounding them, Weasley finally managed to get his vocals back under his control, "We tried to be nice, bu you'll pay for that!" He sputtered loudly, finally losing his poorly held temper.
Rayden simply raised his eyebrow mockingly, "Whatever helps you sleep at night." He waved a hand dismissively, voice thick with contempt. He rolled his eyes when Weasley pulled out his wand and Granger quickly grabbed his arm, "Not now, Ron!" She warned quietly.
Rayden watched as Weasley took a deep breath to calm himself, and put his wand away, glaring at Rayden's smirking face, "You better watch your back, Potter!" He threatened. But along with the extremely red face it only served to amuse Rayden more.
Not wanting to hold it back Rayden broke out into a cold chuckle, "Same goes for you Weasley, you never know what dangers could be lurking around Hogwarts," He warned.
His smile, he could tell, unsettled them as he saw a shudder travel through their tense bodies when they saw something he knew they wouldn't know the meaning of flash in his eyes, he imagined it looked oddly sinister on an eleven year old.
"Hogwarts is the safest place in the world." Weasley stated, puffing his chest out slightly as if to give himself more confidence then he probably felt at that moment.
"We shall see." Rayden replied amused.
His lips quirking into a small smirk when they furrowed their brows in confusion, before turning around and quickly scampering away.
He sat back down next to the still seated Braeden when he knew they weren't likely to come back for more. "How I'm going to be able to control myself when I mature into a full fledged Vampire is beyond me." Rayden muttered under his breath as he shook his head slightly.
They both turned to look at each other for a second before bursting out laughing.
"What's so funny?" Another familiar voice interrupted.
Calming down, Rayden sighed in annoyance, "Is there no such thing as privacy in this place?" He asked rhetorically, shaking his head once more.
"I wouldn't think so!" Braeden commented quietly anyway before looking up over Rayden's head at the boy who spoke, Rayden turning to look at him as well.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" Braeden sneered. He really didn't like the blond idiot.
"Not you!" Malfoy sneered in return.
Rayden noticed absently that it looked better on the Vampire. "Well hurry up and spit it out, Malfoy," Rayden ordered, "We don't have all day!"
Not liking being ordered around by anyone other than his parents, and even though this made him look the fool, he decided it was worth it and he had to do it for his father. Clearing his throat, Malfoy looked down into Rayden's eyes and took a deep breath, steeling himself knowing this needed to be done. "I was wondering what your plans are for Valentine's day?" He finally asked.
"What?" Braeden snarled angrily before Rayden could answer and quickly, but gracefully, getting to his feet. "You have a nerve to come and ask my boyfriend out on a date, in front of me no less," not really sure which was worse with his mind clouded in jealousy, "where do you plan on taking him... to the Great Hall for a romantic dinner?" He mocked.
Rayden raised an eyebrow in surprise at how protective Braeden was being and how angry and jealous the offer made the young Vampire, choosing to ignore the aggressiveness in his tone when claiming that he was his. Seeming to be genuinely threatened by the blond ponce.
Also getting gracefully to his feet, Rayden placed his arm around Braeden's waist and pulled him flush against his side; in a display of comfort to partly to calm and him and to partly reassure him - for what exactly Rayden didn't really know - before looking coldly at Malfoy, "When are you idiots going to learn? For one I'm not single," He shamelessly lied, "and you all have shown no respect or consideration to Braeden; and two I'm not, nor ever will be, interested in you or anyone else at this school. So be the clever little boy I know you can be, take the hint and piss off and leave us alone." Rayden growled lowly, his narrowed eyes glinting like angry shards of emerald ice, causing Malfoy to take an unconscious step back, all the while looking indignant at being scolded and called a little boy.
Malfoy swallowed the angry retort and silently nodded his head and walked away. He figured it best to try something else at a later time when things had settled and Rayden had calmed down. And next time trying to get him alone. He couldn't give up.
Snarling softly in anger, Rayden let go of Braeden and picked up his things from the ground, deciding to go to their dorm to finish their studying. "Let's go, I've had enough of being interrupted and at least back in the dorm it's limited."
Braeden nodded in agreement and gathered his own things that had been scattered to the ground when he got to his feet, before they quietly made their way back to their room.
Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk, his elbows placed upon the table in front of him, as his chin rested on the back of his joined fingers, as he peered his blue gaze over his half-moon spectacles looking expectantly at his Potion's master. "What is it Severus? You look troubled." He asked calmly.
Snape resisted the urge to to figit under that intense questioning stare and sighed quietly in an attempt to relax himself. "This!" He answered, before pulling his sleeve up enough to show the Headmaster his left arm.
Dumbledore's brow furrowed when he saw the Dark Mark appear slightly darker than it was the last time he saw it. "How long has it been this way?" He asked quietly as he grasped the mans arm in a firm but painless grip, to study it more closely.
"Since before school started last year it slowly began to get darker until what you see now!" Snape answered cautiously.
Dumbledore looked up in shock at the man. "Why didn't you come to me sooner?" Dumbledore asked sharply.
Snape narrowed his eyes at the tone, it had been a long time since he had heard it, and didn't like it one bit. He never thought he would hear it again either since the man had taken him in many years before. "I didn't think anything of it as I hadn't been summoned yet, and in the end decided it best to let you know, because, like I said, it has become progressively darker." Snape sneered in disgust. "What does it mean?" He decided to ask the question that had been puzzling him since it started.
"Has there been any burning or any form of pain like there use to be on occasion? During the first war!" Dumbledore asked seriously instead of answering Snape's question. His eyes hard.
"No, that's also what's been puzzling me." He replied suspiciously. "What does it mean Albus?" He repeated.
"I'm not entirely sure Severus, but I think what it may mean, is that where ever Voldemort is, he's either getting closer," he said with distant eyes, "or stronger," his gaze focusing back on Snape, "or both and you should stay alert, and prepare yourself as much as you can, to be summond at any time." He warned seriously.
"Do you think he has returned, Albus?" Snape asked with dread.
"I'm not sure what to make of it at the moment, but if he has and that time has come to us once more, you will need to help young Harry in his time of need Severus." Dumbledore stated firmly.
Snape resisted the urge to tell the headmaster to look after the brat himself. "Yes, yes I know, whether I like it or not and whether I think he needs the help or not, he's a Slytherin and I like to think we look after our own," Snape sneered. "Even if he is James' son. But do you honestly believe the Dark Lord can or will come back, do you think he is back?" He asked again jerking his left arm slightly to emphasize his question, not really convinced the old man was telling him everything.
"Oh yes, I do believe he will return one day Severus. But as for your question I don't have an answer right now, it is very peculiar you haven't been called to him, but that could possibly mean he's waiting for something, what I don't know. Or he might be getting strong enough to return, or he might simply be getting closer to Hogwarts. It is hard to know for sure, do you know if any of your Slytherin's parents have been summoned?" Dumbledore asked curiously.
"I've been keeping watch and listening out for anything, but as far as I can tell, he hasn't." Snape answered with a barely contained frown.
"Well let's not worry too much on it right now, but do keep listening and prepare yourself for anything Severus." Dumbledore smile reassuringly.
"Of course." Snape agreed, getting to his feet and making his way to the door. He knew Dumbledore wasn't telling him everything, but he didn't really care, it was all guess work at the moment without any proof and he knew if anything was to happen Dumbledore would be able to handle it for now. He didn't want anything to do with any of it if he could help it. He liked his somewhat quiet solitary life.
"Oh and Severus, please keep an eye on Professor Quirrell for me won't you." Dumbledore said cheerfully.
"Care to tell me why?" Snape asked sourly as he looked over his shoulder at the headmaster. Although he was use to the old mans eccentric ways he was still slightly surprised at the change of subject, and if he was getting thrown into something, he wanted a reason for it.
"Not right now my boy." Dumbledore smile again, eyes twinkling merrily.
Snape sneered at the reply and this time giving into his urge, he rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Fine." He said through gritted teeth before jerking the door open and striding out of the office, slamming the door closed behind him in a childish sulk.
Ignoring this usual display of anger from his Potion Master, Dumbledore placed a lemon drop in his mouth and walked to his familiar, stroking him absently, "I wonder what he's planning!" He mused loudly, looking into Fawkes' intelligent golden eyes while continuing to stroke him, he whispered to himself, "I guess we will have to wait and see." Coming back to himself, he smiled at the large creature, "Goodnight Fawkes."
Fawkes trilled softly in reply and tucked his head under his wing, ready to sleep.
Dumbeldore chuckled quietly and made his way to his chambers.
February 9th 1992
After Malfoy had approached Rayden about Valentine's day, Braeden had taken to not leaving his side and as much as Rayden knew this had a lot to do with the crush Braeden felt for him, he couldn't help but be grateful to the Vampire, even if it did get annoying sometimes, because now no one came up to him and asked him about out.
Although it didn't stop the letters and cards, but those he burnt anyway. He only bothered opening his mail if it came from his Amdis, or Sirius' raven or from his father. He was surprised they hadn't given up yet knowing he wasn't even looking at what they sent him, but it appeared they had finally realised he wasn't the only male in the place, the only thing was they seemed to aim at the ones who, as far as they knew, weren't even single. Because, for some reason, now Braeden was also getting invites and Rayden wasn't sure what to think of that.
But at the moment he was walking from the Library back to the Dungeons, after choosing to leave Braeden to his feeding, alone. In truth it was hard to watch the Vampire feed sometimes because it made him want to hunt.
As he turned the corner heading towards the stairs, he saw someone walking over to him once they had spotted him. Rayden knew he must have been waiting for him by the looks of it. The boy looked to be in his sixth year and was wearing the Ravenclaw colours.
"Hey Harry, how are you?" The Ravenclaw asked with a half grin as he carded his hand through his somewhat long sandy brown hair, stopping in front of him.
Rayden figured it was meant to make him weak at the knees or something, but all it did was piss him off. He knew where this was going.
"What gives you the right to call me Harry? I don't know you!" Rayden sneered slightly, deliberately ignoring the boys question.
"I'm just being polite." He replied, his grin faltering a bit, before he smiled widely again.
"Polite would be to call me Mr Potter. And introduce yourself first before you address someone by their first name as if you know that person enough." Rayden said his sneer growing the longer they talked.
"Yes well," the boy cleared his throat before continuing, "my name is Douglas." He introduced, holding his hand out for Rayden to shake.
Rayden looked down at the hand for a moment, much the same way he did to Granger, before raising his eyes back up to the boys face, opting to ignore that as well. "Was there a reason for all this?" He asked impatiently, rolling his eyes.
The boy lowered his hand slowly, not at all pleased about being ignored so blatantly. If it wasn't for the fact he was the cutest guy in the school not to mention being the Harry Potter, he wouldn't even bother with the brat, as it was, he decided to put that aside for now. "I was hoping to talk to you... alone!" He finally said.
"Why?" Rayden asked, feigning ignorance. He knew exactly why. Because he was only answering his mail from who he knew, the only way to ask him was face to face, but he was hardly ever alone now, so for this boy to know he was at this moment meant he must have been watching him more closely than most, and following him. And this made him angrier by the minute.
The last thing he wanted or needed was more eyes watching his every move. And particularly this year.
"Look, I know you have a boyfriend and all, but I personally think your too young to just have one interest in your life, especially one that's got little to no experience in the finer details of a relationship. That's why I thought if I could take you out or something, I could show you all you could want to know from an experienced lad." The Ravenclaw stated arrogantly.
Rayden didn't show his shock but he did show his disgust, at not only the insult to Braeden and himself, but at the audacity of the boy saying that to him as if he had the right. It took all of Rayden's self control not to do some serious damage to the arrogant prick. "I beg your pardon?" He whispered instead.
"I want to be the one to be your first." The Ravenclaw said boldly as he took a step closer to Rayden. Mistaking the whisper for what it truly was.
Rayden moved quickly, not wanting to take the chance of this piece of shit coming too close and actually touching him; lest he lose all control and kill the prick, and flicked his wrist, his wand appearing in his hand not even a second later.
Pointing his wand at the Ravenclaw quicker than the boy had time to react, he murmured under his breath, "Effrego genu!"
He chose the spell he felt was justified in stopping the boy in his tracks and relished the scream that echoed through the corridor, as the boys kneecaps broke and he fell to the floor in a broken heap. He knew it was a dark spell, and he would no doubt get into a lot of trouble if not expelled, but at the moment he didn't care, and felt rather proud of himself for not feeding off the boy before burning his drained body to ashes, and no one would've been any the wiser. But he didn't want anyone to one way or another suspect he had a hand in any students going missing and felt this to be the best option. Even if the noise would draw unwanted attention from the Professor's, he knew the Nurse could heal him quick enough, and an alive fixable body was better than a missing one at this time.
"Mr Potter, what do you think you are doing?" A voice snarled from behind him.
He recognised it at his head of house and quickly drew in his fangs he just noticed had elongated in his fury, before spinning around to face the man. "Sorry Sir, but I felt the need to teach this pompous idiot a lesson in why not to make crude advances towards younger students he thinks are helpless and practically throw himself at them. Especially to someone not even at the age of consent." Rayden quickly explained. He knew he was in the shit and tried to explain his reasoning even if he could have handled it differently. But he needed to get his point across to the man of just what it was this boy had tried to do, not that he cared about the whole age of consent issue. But he didn't think Snape needed to hear that.
Rayden watched as Snape cast a mild healing charm at the Ravenclaws oddly bent legs before stunning him, obviously to put him out of his misery until he could be taken to the Infirmary, then turned to sneer at him.
"You think your special enough to have all these so called advances?" He sneered, "You only use them as excuses for when you torture another student for your sick pleasures." He continued snidely.
Ignoring the last bout of words spewing from the man, mostly because it was true, he answered anyway, "No I don't, but you know, along with the rest of the school, that I've been hounded by almost all the students into going on a date with them, when they know I have a boyfriend already." Rayden pointed out, not caring about the mans deepening sneer at the word boyfriend, and gesturing to the boy on the ground as he continued, "and he had the audacity to not only insult myself and Braeden, but come onto an eleven year old in an inappropriate manner, I was merely defending myself, Sir!" He finished, knowing he needed to say anything to help his argument, and it wasn't like he was lying anyway.
Snape continued to stare at him and Rayden could tell the man was trying to use Occlumency on him, the thought was confirmed when he felt a small flutter on his shields as he made sure they were up to their full strength and felt satisfied when the mans eyes widened slightly in surprise, he didn't know if it was because he had shields in the first place or because they were so strong, but guessed it was probably a bit of both.
"Be that as it may, Mr Potter, but you will still need punishment for this, and because I choose not to take points from my own House you will be serving detention this weekend with Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest, I expect you at his cabin after dinner on Saturday night, do I make myself clear?" Snape sneered, looking down his large nose at Rayden. But Rayden could see the hidden amusement in the mans dark eyes.
"Yes Sir, I understand." Rayden answered calmly, while feeling gleeful at practically getting away with sending a student to hospital, not to mention at the narrowing of Snape's eyes at him. If Snape hoped he would be scared at the prospect of going into the Forest, then he was sorely mistaken. Rayden loved the Forest and him and Braeden went there as often as possible. Day or night. But he didn't think Snape needed to know any of that.
He quietly watched Snape levitate the stunned Ravenclaw and walk down the hall towards the stairs and to the hospital wing, before pausing at the corner and looking over his shoulder at Rayden. "Get back to your Dorm, Mr Potter." He ordered.
"Of course, Sir." Rayden nodded. He was heading there anyway.
Snape turned around and disappeared around the corner, the boy floating carelessly behind him.
Shaking his head, Rayden made his way to his Dorm with a smug smirk on his face.
February 10th 1992
Rayden had sent a letter to both his father and Sirius later that night, to let them know what had happened. He was too excited about the whole thing and couldn't sleep, so decided to let them know sooner rather than later.
It was more for the excitement of seeing how far he could push, without getting into too much trouble, and he was thrilled to learn that as long as it was for a proper reason, instead of just his amusement, he could practically get away with hurting some of these fools here at this bloody school. So long as he made sure to get caught by his own head of house that is. But really he couldn't see Dumbledore expelling his precious Harry Potter, but he wasn't going to risk pushing it too far. A least not yet.
They had replied promptly as always and whilst his father had just told him to be careful of drawing too much unwanted attention onto himself, Sirius had thought it great that he had finally earned himself a detention, and that it was even better because he had sent some older boy to the Infirmary for trying to get with him. Rayden was happy to note the jealousy from the man as he had read the letter, Sirius hadn't been able or simply didn't want to hide it either, and it only confirmed what he had always known. Sirius at least felt something for him that was more than he tried to let on.
I was now lunch, and Rayden was in the Library walking through the aisle's looking for any books he hadn't read at home, wanting something new to peruse over, when a group of whispering voices caught his attention, he recognised them at once.
He quickly and quietly cast his favourite Parsel invisibility spell on himself, he loved this spell because it made him not only invisible in sight, but all other senses as well. He edged closer, so as to hear the hushed conversation better and get a better look. He turned the corner and saw the group sitting at a table huddled over a pile of various books leaning closer together in what appeared to be a deep discussion.
"Listen... the only way we can find out what is going on, is to find out what that dog is guarding." Granger whispered, drawing her companions attention back on her. Rayden knew at once what they were talking about and thought it pretty stupid of them to be having a conversation about it in the middle of the Library where any one could here them, as was the case.
"And how do we do that?" The boy who Rayden remembered was named Finnigan, whispered back.
"We find out who owns that dog." Thomas replied quietly.
"Well it's obvious who owns it." Weasley whispered knowingly.
"Who?" Longbottom squeaked quietly, looking uncomfortable with the attention drawn to him, but wanting to know the answer anyway.
"Hagrid!" Weasley and Granger whispered together. Weasley arrogantly and Granger smugly. Rayden rolled his eyes at the pair.
"All we have to do is get him to talk, so Ron and I have agreed to pay him a little visit this afternoon after classes, before dinner, because he's been asking us to since we came back after Christmas." Granger said.
"Why only you two?" Finnigan asked curiously. And Rayden could hear the underlining jealousy.
"It would be too hard to get anything out of him if there is too many of us there, and like I said, he's been asking us for a while now, and he doesn't really know any of you," she paused and smiled warmly at them, "but don't worry, we will let you know everything we find out." She finished.
Once Rayden heard the conversation drift to mundane things he returned to the aisle's and removed the invisibility spell once making sure he was out of anybodies line of sight, collected the books he had spied before the interruption and left the Library deep in thought.
Well now he knew they had obviously went to investigate why part of the third floor of the castle was forbidden after their disastrous attempt to find anything from him, thinking he was somehow involved in whatever was going on, which was true, and wanting to find out what that was.
He knew they were keeping an eye on him and he figured it was time to start giving them the same treatment.
Later that day, after taking his things to his room and shaking off Braeden, he had gone to a secluded spot in the Dungeons and cast the same invisibility spell he always used and made his way to the grounds.
He stood out the front of Hagrid's cabin as he waited quietly for the two Gryffindors to arrive. He had planned to cast an eavesdropping spell on the inside of the cabin as soon as the door opened to let them in so he could hear what was being said. It was better placing it in the room than on any person at the moment. Not that he really thought they would notice, but right now he didn't want to take any more chances then he already was.
He was brought out of his thoughts as Granger and Weasley approached the cabin, their quiet voices drifting over to where he was standing, and knocked quietly on the door.
"Who is it?" The half giant's voice boomed from the inside.
Rayden rolled his eyes as the two Gryffindors exchanged a quick glance at each other before Weasley answered. "It's us... Ron and Hermione."
"Jus' a minute." He said quickly and they could all hear scraping coming from the other side of the door and Rayden prepared for the door to open as the Gryffindors shifted nervously from foot to foot and cast another uncertain look at each other.
The door swung abruptly swung open and Rayden quietly cast his spell as the two entered, Hagrid quickly looked out through the doorway and around the grounds before hurriedly closing the door.
Now that he knew he could hear them, Rayden sat down and made himself as comfortable as he could in the shadow cast by the cabin as he leaned against a small nearby boulder.
"Er, Hagrid? Is everything alright?" He heard Granger ask cautiously.
"Hmm? Oh, fine, fine, everythin' is fine!" Hagrid said, then was followed with, what sounded suspiciously like, a muffled sniffle.
Rayden could hear everyone take a seat at the table before Hagrid broke the awkward silence. "Would you like some tea?" He asked hopefully.
"Um... yeah sure, why not?" Weasley answered happily. Obviously thankful of the distraction from Hagrid's behaviour.
"The would be lovely Hagrid." Granger replied, and Rayden could hear the smile in the tone.
There was more silence, except for what Rayden could hear was the tea being served, as clear as if he was in the cabin with them.
"Hagrid, are you sure your alright? It's just you seem awfully upset and your shaking." Granger prodded carefully.
"Yes, I'm fine, it's nothing for you kids to be needin' to worry 'bout." Hagrid answered quietly, as if wanting to tell them but not thinking he should. Just as the words left his mouth, there was a muffled squeak, followed by Granger's squealing, Weasley sounding much the same and Hagrid muttering, "Oh dear," before he heard heavy footsteps on the wooden floor, fabric rustling and what sounded like someone, he assumed was Hagrid, stomping a foot.
"Hagrid, is... is that a dragon?" Granger gasped. Rayden froze as soon as the word dragon left the girls lips. 'I could finally meet one if only I could get to it.'
"Bloody hell!" Weasley muttered, sounding like he was in just as much shock as Granger.
"Yes, it it," Hagrid sounded worried, "and no one was suppose' teh know but Dumbledore, and now he has asked me teh get rid of poor little Norbert." Hagrid said miserably, Rayden suspected he was on the verge of tears.
Rayden snorted quietly.
"Norbert?" Weasley asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, that's what I named him after he hatched." Hagrid answered and this time Rayden could tell he was crying, "poor little thing's only a few months old, but Dumbledore said he's gettin' too big teh stay."
Rayden rolled his eyes as Hagrid blew his nose. He didn't believe the mans apparent love for the dragon, as he knew the half giant felt the same way about any creature, not just because it was a dragon. It actually made Rayden angry that anybody could try and keep something that was born to be free, locked up in a bloody cabin. It was just downright disrespectful to the dragon race. He had to agree with Dumbledore in this matter, the dragon has to go.
But Rayden worried about where they might send the the poor guy. 'If only I could get to the little fella.'
"The Headmaster's right Hagrid, it would be too hard to keep, and try to tame such a large beast, especially in a school, not to mention without anyone noticing." Granger said gently.
Before Hagrid could respond to that, Weasley spoke. "How are you going to get rid of it? And where are you sending it?" Rayden hated how they were speaking of the dragon as if it was nothing special, but still glad some of his own worries were being asked.
"That's the thing... I don't know!" Hagrid sobbed loudly.
"Well Hagrid, if you want, we could help you, as you know my brother Charlie works with dragon's in Romania, I could send an owl explaining everything and ask for him to take the dragon!" Weasley said, in an attempt to sooth the large man. But Rayden could hear the excitement in his voice.
"No I can't involve you kids, you could get in lots a trouble if yeh caught." Hagrid sniffled. Despite the half giants words Rayden could tell the oaf was starting to give in.
"It's fine Hagrid." Granger said with what sounded like pride, and Rayden wondered if that was because she was surprised Weasley had managed to think for himself. "Besides it sounds like it's the only option you have." She added gently.
"If yeh sure?" Hagrid said slowly. And now Rayden felt it was even more unlikely he would be able to meet this little dragon, and his dream will probably have to wait a little longer.
"Of course we are." Granger assured.
"Thanks you two!" Hagrid blew his nose again, before breaking the silence that fell on the three. "So wha' brings yeh here anyway?"
"Actually, we wanted to ask you something!" Granger said tentatively.
"Ask away, I'll answer anythin' yeh want to know, after agreeing to help me in me time of need, what else are friends for aye?" Hagrid said, sounding more cheerful now.
"Well... um you see," Granger started uncertainly, "Why is there a three headed dog guarding a trap door on the third floor in the castle?" She asked in a rush.
There was a short silence for a moment and Rayden suspected the oaf was in shock. "How do yeh know 'bout Fluffy?" Hagrid demanded.
"Fluffy?" Weasley asked incredulously, "that thing looked anything but fluffy!" He muttered quietly. Rayden heard slight movement then a muffled "ow," and gathered Granger must have kicked him under the table.
"Yeah, Fluffy... he's mine, which I'm sure yeh figured seeing as though yeh here, but I aint telling yeh anythin'." He said stubbornly.
"But you said you would tell us anything!" Weasley said indignantly.
"Ron, shut up!" Granger muttered quietly. "Hagrid, please, were just curious and it's not like we'd tell anyone, I mean you trust us enough woth the secret about the dragon, what harm could it really do?" Granger asked innocently, and Rayden knew it was fake.
"Alright, I suppose a little information couldn't hurt." He paused and Rayden could tell he was probably thinking about how much he should say. "It's not really anythin' that concerns me, an' all I really know an' can say is that; it's between Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamell." Hagrid confessed reluctantly.
"Nicolas Flamell?" Granger asked quietly with excitement and Rayden knew her mind was trying to work out the connection. Rayden was actually surprised the oaf had said that much. It may not seem like much but it wouldn't be hard for anyone to find anything out.
"Maybe I shouldn't have old you that!" Hagrid muttered doubtfully and Rayden couldn't help but shake his head slowly. "Forget I said anythin' 'bout it." He said loudly.
"Of course Hagrid, thank you." Granger answered gratefully, and Rayden could hear the smile in her voice.
"Good!" Hagrid replied happily.
Rayden waited to see if there was anything else he needed to hear, but after the conversation turned to the little dragon and Weasley said he would send an owl to his brother after dinner and should receive a reply either tomorrow night or the day after, he made his way stealthily back to the castle, before ending his spell in the dungeon corridor after checking no one was around him, with only the wish that the dragon would be okay and the disappointment he felt at not being able to meet him.
February 14th 1992
The day had gone rather slow in Rayden's opinion, but relatively peaceful all the same, considering what day it was.
Everyone had heard about the Ravenclaw student, it had travelled through the school with the speed of something akin to an out of control wild fire. And even though they didn't have all the facts he was somewhat surprised how accurate the rumours were. He was silently glad though, because with the story combined with the icy glare he and, unsurprisingly, Braeden sent in everyones direction; they all left him alone.
He found it quite amusing thought, that all the Professor's kept shooting disapproving glances at him every now and then ever since the incident.
At that very moment, it felt a lot like deja Vu.
He had followed the Gryffindor's into the Library, as they tried to find any information on Nicolas Flamell, the only difference this time, was that he had allowed Braeden to join him. He didn't see any harm in the Vampire coming along with him and had to admit that both Braeden and Hogwarts castle itself was growing on him, it was nothing like home, but it was comfortable, although the rest of the inhabitants annoyed him like nothing else, and he still preferred the forest and outdoors than being inside all day.
"Why are we following them again?" Braeden whispered quietly, even though it was unnecessary, as Rayden had placed a silencing charm around them as they observed from the shadows.
"Their following me, so I thought I would return the favour!" Rayden replied, distracted.
"Don't you have anything better to do?" Braeden teased playfully.
"Something like that." Rayden answered, ignoring the jibe, "now be quiet!" He said quickly, trying to hear what was being said between the group.
Braeden did as he was told and closed his mouth, intending to listen also.
"Let's take a break for a bit!" Weasley said, stretching his arms above his head after closing the book he was looking through and placing it on a large pile.
"We aren't going to find anything if we keep taking breaks Ronald." Granger scolded, glaring at the red head.
"But we've been searching for a week and my eyes are starting to blur and all the words are starting to look the same." He complained. Rayden couldn't understand how it was taking them so long.
"That just goes to show you aren't use to reading and that you never bother to pick up a book!" Insulted Granger angrily as the other three Gryffindor's looked from one to the other, not daring to interrupt.
"We need to organise the plans for tonight anyway." Weasley said pointedly, as the others expressions changed from bewildered to curiosity.
"Fine." Granger huffed and closed her book with more force than needed.
"What plans?" Finnigan asked before anything more could be said.
"We have to do something for Hagrid, and we need your help." Granger said quietly, leaning closer to the group of wizards around the table.
"Were listening." Thomas said intrigued.
"We aren't suppose to tell anyone, that's why we haven't mentioned it before, but I convinced Hermione that we needed some help." Weasley whispered glancing at Granger quickly, he leaned in more and the rest followed, "we have to help him get rid of a dragon hatch-ling." He whispered only soft enough for his friends to hear, but with Rayden's sensitive hearing, he heard every word and knew Braeden obviously could too as the Vampires eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"What?" All three whispered in shock together.
"My brother Charlie works with dragons in Romania and we asked him for his help, we got his reply last night and he told us to meet him on the top of the Astronomy Tower tonight, that's why we need you guys to be our look out as me and Hermione -"
"- Hermione and I." Granger corrected.
Weasley looked at her briefly before shrugging. "Whatever," looking back at the boys, he continued with emphasis, "as I was saying; whilst Hermione and I take Norbet to my brother, we need you lot to keep a look out." He quietly, ignoring her huff.
There was shocked silence for a long few moments as it sunk in, before Finnigan interrupted it. "Norbet?" He snorted.
"That's what I said." Weasley grinned. Rayden snorted.
"Hagrid maned him that after it hatched as he thought he would be keeping the creature." Granger said exasperated, rolling her eyes slightly. "Anyway, will you help us?" She asked, raising her eyebrows challengingly.
"Of course!" They all said at once.
"Good... we can plan it back at the common room after dinner, as Charlie won't be meeting us until midnight!" Weasley gloated.
"Now lets get back to the books." Granger said happily, grabbing the book she previously had and opened it to her marked page as she ignored the boys groans.
Rayden turned around and stealthily walked away, Braeden following quietly behind him. Once in the corridor he dropped the silencing spell.
"What was that all about?" Braeden wondered aloud, he wasn't really expecting an answer, only silently hoping for one. That's why he was surprised when Rayden gave it to him.
"Hagrid got a dragon egg from somewhere and now he has to let him go on Dumbledore's orders." Was Rayden's quiet reply.
"Oh... how do you know that?" Braeden questioned curiously.
"Because I followed Weasley and Granger to Hagrid's earlier in the week and overheard it." Rayden said. "And you now know the rest." He said, shrugging his shoulder slightly.
"I can't believe that oaf of a half giant wanted to keep a dragon," Braeden said in disgust, "And at least Dumbledore got something right." He sneered.
"My thoughts exactly, but I cant help worrying for the little thing." Rayden agreed, still not happy about the whole situation. "Come, let go to the dorm and relax, it's been a long day." He said wanting to change the topic. "Maybe we can skip dinner tonight." He suggested.
"It's alright with me, you know I don't eat the food anyway." Braeden whispered with a grin, letting the previous conversation drop as Rayden obviously wasn't comfortable about it, briefly allowing his fangs to show.
Rayden shook his head in amusement and continued walking towards the Dungeons.
Once there, they discovered they weren't alone, and went to their own beds and did their own things. Namely reading and chatting quietly amongst each other about nothing important, completely ignoring the looks they occasionally recieved.
Rayden was waiting for the other Slytherin's to leave for dinner so he could talk to Braeden about what had been bothering him since coming back from the Christmas holidays, and this was something they couldn't have anyone know about.
After an hour or so of alternating between reading and talking, it was now dinner time and the other two Slytherin's left their dorm room, albeit reluctantly on Malfoy's part, as they went to dinner.
Waiting several minutes, and when he felt it was safe enough, Rayden discretely waved his wand at the door, locking it then put anti-eavesdropping charms on the room, once finished he turned and looked at Braeden. Tilting his head slightly to one side curiously, Rayden watched him patiently as he read his book, knowing the Vampire was aware of gaze, as he waited for him to turn and acknowledge him.
It didn't take long, and a few seconds later Braeden had closed his book, then placed it on his bed. "What is it?" Braeden asked slowly once he saw the look on Rayden's face. "Why are you looking at me like that?" He asked puzzled.
"I've been watching you ever since we got back from the Christmas holidays and I've noticed the changes in you, and it got me thinking." Rayden said bluntly and paused at the Vampire's startled expression, before saying quietly. "I've decided to help you out."
"What?" Was all Braeden could say. He wasn't use to being so speechless but it seemed to happen more and more with Rayden.
"You don't seem to be getting enough out of the cold blood you receive from your parents, to be honest I noticed it before the holidays, but when you came back you looked healthy again and I figured why that was, but now I can see the dark rings around your eyes," He paused to see Braeden's reaction to his words and continued when he just kept staring with somewhat wide eyes, "I hear your restless sleeping and your more pale than usual skin, and I don't want to see a Vampire in such a state." Rayden whispered as he walked over to Braeden's bed and sat down next to him with his back against the headboard.
The movement shook Braeden out of his stupor and he looked at Rayden with an unreadable look on his face. "I'm not weak and we can't die from it." Braeden said without emotion.
"I know." Rayden said gently and reassuringly, soothing both declarations with the simple words. He didn't want to insult Braeden. "But I don't like seeing it and I want to help you." He finished truthfully, his deep emerald eyes locked onto Braeden's almost black ones.
"...Yes." Rayden interrupted quietly.
"You would really let me feed from you?" Braeden asked, still in shock. If anything he was getting more and more surprises as the conversation continued. And as much as he was honoured by the offer, he didn't know if he could handle it.
"Yes!" Rayden answered in hidden amusement. "I know you can do it without pain, so I'm not concerned about that, what I am concerned about, is you losing control and attacking a student, as much as I wouldn't care about that, I don't want you getting kicked out."
"You sound like you actually care about what happens to me." Braeden blurted without thinking, but realising exactly what he said the moment he said it. "Sorry!" He muttered with wide eyes, horrified at speaking to his Prince that way as he quickly looked down in submission.
Feeling somewhat sorry for the Vampire, Rayden raised his hand and placed his fingers on Braeden's chin and gently lifted his head to face him in order to regain his attention, before letting go. "It's alright. I am worried about you, your the only I can get along with here and your a fellow Vampire, I don't want to see you suffer. Especially when you don't need to." He said calmly, not missing the slight disappointment flashing briefly in those dark eyes before quickly being covered with resigned acceptance.
"Oh!" Braeden said quietly. He didn't know what to say, and he didn't know if he wanted to do this, knowing it would only torture him to be so close yet still so far from Rayden.
"It won't be every time you need to feed, but if you want it I will allow it once a week." Rayden continued, choosing to pretend not to notice Braeden's awkwardness.
"Of course," Braeden said quickly, he knew he was privileged to even be getting this much in the first place, and he just needed to remember that. It wasn't like he was in love with Rayden anyway, he just fancied him, and who doesn't with his good looks and seemingly endless grace. "I'm very honoured you are doing this for me Rayden and that you find me worthy enough to help." He said sincerely.
"Dinner is almost over so we won't have time right now, but I will adjust the wards around my bed; just for tonight and any other night I let you feed from me, to allow you entry once everyone is in bed." Explained Rayden with an amused smirk.
"Thank you." Braeden said softly.
"Your welcome." Rayden nodded and went back to his own bed, choosing to finish his book before getting ready for bed.
A few hours later Rayden felt the shift in his wards that forewarned him of Braeden's silent approach and seconds later said boy was closing the curtains around them and stopped beside him, looking a little lost.
"Are you just going to stand there, or are you getting in?" Rayden asked, hiding his amusement and lifting the edge of his blanket up in invitation, clearly showing his bare torso. He watched Braeden in the darkness as he quickly follow the trail of what the blanket revealed as it was pulled away from his body, before bringing his eyes back to Rayden's. And as cruel as it may have been, Rayden felt a strange thrill, as he deliberately flirted with the Vampire. He may want Sirius, but he didn't have him yet, and wanted to see how far he could push Braeden.
"Are you sure you want to do this? It can be quite intimate as I'm sure you know." Braeden asked uncertainly instead of answering Rayden's question. He wanted nothing more than to get in bed with the half naked beauty and do more than feed from him.
"Yes I am quite aware of that." Rayden replied casually as his mind flashed back to Kieran. "And of course I'm sure, now hurry up!" He said as he raised an eyebrow and gestured to the spot beside him.
Braeden took an unnecessary deep breath and climbed slowly next to Rayden carefully avoiding touching him.
"I won't bite." Rayden snorted quietly. "That's what your here for." He smirked.
"Aren't you worried about someone finding out?" Braeden asked for nothing better to say and trying to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible. It wasn't that he didn't want this to happen, and that was the problem, and he was worried about what would happen during it, knowing he wouldn't want to control himself with Rayden and as much as they flirted with each other, he knew Rayden wasn't interested in him as much as he was Rayden and was worried about what this might do to their tentative friendship.
"As you know I have silencing charms, wards, alarms, and other charms around my area, and locking spells on the curtains as soon as the edges touch, so stop worrying. No-one can find out that we're doing more than what they probably think we are if they find out where in the same bed." Rayden answered. He pulled the blanket over the two of them and settled back into bed.
"Why have you got no shirt on?" Braeden asked as he accidentally brushed his arm against Rayden's naked stomach when he tried to settle into the bed with little if none at all, body contact.
Rayden laughed softly into the darkness, making Braeden shiver. "I thought it might be easier for you this way!" He said, shrugging one shoulder somewhat awkwardly from his position.
"Oh!" Braeden honestly thought it made it worse, but he wasn't going to say that. He could feel his excitement rapidly building within him and hoped Rayden wouldn't ask for him to move closer, as they were both laying on their sides facing each other, Radyen with his hands tucked under the pillow, and Braeden with his arms drawn as close to himself as he could, and still be reasonably relaxed. Instead he asked, "How do you want to do this?"
"What ever is comfortable for you." Rayden answered softly not able to take his eyes off Braeden's. He knew what to expect, and for some reason, it thrilled him.
"Your the one getting bitten, shouldn't you be worrying about how comfortable you are?" Braeden asked, licking his bottom lip nervously then drawing the lip into his mouth and resting a fang on it.
"I trust you enough to make this pleasurable and not painful, so I'm sure I'll be comfortable regardless of our position." Rayden replied, watching as Braeden's fang pressed down on his lip and cut a small slit across it, blood pooling at the wound, and the smell going straight to Rayden's senses, thrilling him even more. Rayden grabbed Braeden's hip and pulled him closer, but still not touching. He remembered very well how pleasurable it was with Kieran and he was looking forward to it with Braeden, although he knew the boy had a crush on him, so didn't want to push it that far just yet.
He heard Braeden's nervous gulp and decided he needed to relax the other Vampire. He leaned forward and lightly kissed Braeden's neck, then softly trailed his tongue up to his ear sucking gently on the Vampire's lobe, smiling to himself when Braeden exhaled sharply. "Relax Braeden." He whispered in his ear, feeling the gentle shiver run through Braeden's body.
"If this is your idea to relax me, it's not working." Braeden said almost breathlessly.
Rayden moved back and looked into Braeden's lust filled eyes, thinking maybe it wasn't the way to relax him. The almost black half-lidded gaze was having an effect on Rayden though and he moved his body closer, gently pressing his rapidly growing erection into Braeden's thigh only to feel Braeden's hardness pushed against his own thigh, growling softly, and throwing caution to the wind as he damned the consequences until later, he crashed his lips onto Braeden's, and moaned when he felt the Vampires body tremble against him.
He ran his tongue over Braeden's bottom lip and stopped to lap up the boys blood, growling once it touched his tongue, and was granted immediate entry. As he deepened the kiss he rolled Braeden onto his back and carefully lowered his body onto the one beneath him.
Braeden moaned into his mouth and wrapped his arms around his waist pulling him down harder onto him and pushing his hips up into his own.
Rayden broke the kiss and moved his mouth to Braeden's ear, trailing his tongue around the shell. "Just do it, Braeden." He whispered, his young voice thick with desire. His hot breath ghosting over Braeden's ear and sending a jolt of pleasure through him.
Braeden whimpered quietly and tightened his arms around Rayden's body he placed his lips onto his neck, his entire being aching hungrily, before opening his mouth and gently sinking his fangs into Rayden's soft neck, moaning loudly as the warm blood trickled into his mouth and ran smoothly down his throat as he swallowed.
Rayden couldn't stop himself even if he tried groaned in response to the gentle sucking on his neck as the pleasure ran deep into his body, rocking his erection against the one he could feel below him, and used what little remaining control he had left to not sink his own fangs into Braeden, knowing the Vampire needed to feed.
The longer Braeden fed the more pleasurable it was, and the more pleasure he felt the harder and faster he moved, resting his head on Braeden's shoulder as he thrust his hips with abandon, but still wanting more.
Rayden stopped his movement, ignoring Braeden's moan of disappointment and lifted his hips slightly, bringing a gap between them, before lowering both their pajama bottoms as quickly as he could with one hand, Braeden helping along the way, freeing both of their cocks, groaning loudly as they touched. Both beyond caring about anything but the sensations they were creating.
He pressed himself down harder into Braeden and started moving against him with a lot more force as their naked cocks rubbed together.
Rayden kissed, licked and nipped at the neck in front of him as they continued to thrust into each other and he felt the Vampire tense as the warm release of Braeden's orgasm wet both their erections and stomachs, Braeden pulled his fangs out of his neck as a cry, that suspiciously sounded like his name, ripped from the Vampires throat. Just the wet heat on his bare cock sent Rayden over the edge and he came with a shuddery groan, spraying himself on both their bodies and mixing his seed with Braeden's.
Panting softly, they both stayed where they were as Braeden licked the wound close on his neck. Once coherent thought returned to them, Rayden slowly lifted his body and rolled onto his side next to Braeden.
Both knew it was likely to happen so it didn't come as a surprise, but Braeden couldn't help the disappointment that crashed down on him at the realisation that it would never be more than this.
Rayden cleaned both of them before replacing his wand back under his pillow and fixing his pants back over his hips, watching as Braeden did the same. He could see the mixed emotions in the Vampires normally emotionless dark brown eyes.
"I'm sorry!" Braeden murmured quietly as he fixed his eyes reverently at the ceiling, hating the heavy silence that seemed to settle over them.
"Don't be, there's nothing for you to be sorry about." Rayden sighed, pulling him closer to him. "Have you ever done that before?" He asked curiously.
"No... I mean I've made it pleasurable twice before when I've fed, the first time was when I was learning to control it, and the second was to see what it felt once I had complete control over it, I just killed them after it. I had a wank when I got home, but I never had anything like that before... you know, with someone else I mean." He answered softly. Still not looking at Rayden.
Rayden studied him for a long moment as he considered what he said, and waited patiently to see if the boy would look at him. He couldn't help feeling bad for Braeden, as he wouldn't know what he'd do if this happened with Sirius and he was in Braeden's situation, although he doubted very much that what the Vampire felt for him was anywhere near as strong as what he felt for Sirius, but it still couldn't be pleasant. "If anyone should be sorry, it's me." He said quietly.
Braeden turned to him in surprise and opened his mouth to respond to that, only to have a finger placed over his lips.
"Shh... let's just get some sleep." Rayden whispered, he removed his finger from the soft lips and pulled the blanket up over them, and held Braeden close. He pressed a gentle kiss on the top of his head feeling oddly protective of him, and waited for the other Vampire to go to sleep.
He sighed softly, he knew what Braeden was going through but to a different extent, as nothing this intimate had ever happened between him and Sirius, but there was nothing much that could be done that wouldn't cause someone pain.
He knew he was only hurting Braeden more like this, but he didn't like seeing another Vampire that weak due to not feeding properly, and because he was the only one at Hogwarts who knew what Braeden was, he was the only one in a position to help.
I didn't help that they were naturally sexually intimate creatures who flirted and had fallen in love so young or wanted the ones that either didn't feel the same or wouldn't allow it. As he knew Sirius loved him, but the stubborn man just wouldn't admit that it meant more than he let himself believe.
It was with a heavy longing that Rayden finally fell asleep exhausted, with the Vampire that wanted him, wrapped comfortingly in his arms.
Rayden woke to the feeling of being watched. With his arms still wrapped around Braeden, he slowly opened his eyes and met unreadable dark brown ones. "Morning." He murmured, voice thick with sleep.
"Morning..." Braeden's gaze went to Rayden's lips before quickly turning away. "I didn't want to wake you by getting up, so I thought I'd wait for you to wake up on your own." He muttered.
"That's fine..." Rayden paused, wondering whether or not to ask what was on his mind and decided to say it anyway, "Are you alright?" He asked brow creasing slightly.
Braeden's eyes snapped back to his, surprise flashing quickly before becoming unreadable once more, closing off any sign of emotion written on his expression. "Of course I'm alright." He said impassively.
Rayden stared at him in doubt for a moment, "If you want to talk, you know I'll listen right?" He asked.
"There's nothing to talk about." Braeden said.
"I don't want things to be weird between us again, and I don't want to hurt you Braeden, and I'm sorry that I already have." Rayden sighed.
Braeden looked away and didn't answer for a long moment and the silence seemed to stretch on, shaking his head Braeden turned back to him. "Nothing has changed and I'm sorry for making you feel uncomfortable." He said finally.
"I'm not uncomfortable, but honestly Braeden, all I wanted to do is make sure your looked after, like I said last night, I don't want to see another Vampire suffer, and what I'm sorry about the most is not being able to give you what you really want from me. But some of me is better than none right." He said with a teasing smile.
Snorting, Breaden flashed him a grin. "I'm fine Rayden, everything is fine."
Rayden raised a sceptical eyebrow, but thought it best to let it be. He could see it on the boys face, no matter how sincere he tried to smile it didn't quite work, but he didn't want to make the situation worse and if Braeden wanted to forget it and pretend it meant nothing more for him than it did, then Rayden would let him, excepting to wait until Braeden was ready and wanted to talk.
"Do you want to wait until the dorm is empty before we get up, or doesn't it matter?" Braeden smirked.
Rayden was glad he was acting like normal at least. "I don't care what they see or what they think about it; and besides they think were together anyway, so what does it matter." He said with a matching smirk, eyes glinting. "They might just think we had a very special Valentine's evening."
"I guess you could say we did." Braeden commented with a small grin before realising what he said and shook his head in exasperation at his lose tongue this morning. "What are your plans for the day, if you don't mind me asking." He asked, quickly changing the subject. He was conveniently telling himself it was due to the mind blowing feed he had the night before and nothing more.
Rayden chose to let the slip up go, and decided to answer him anyway, even if it was just Braeden's excuse. "Not much, but I've got detention after dinner tonight in the Forest with Hagrid." He smirked, he was actually looking forward to getting out of the castle for a while and into the Forest, even if it was for a detention.
"I forgot about that." Braeden snorted.
Rayden grinned dangerously, then planted a friendly chaste kiss on the Vampires hair before removing himself from the bed, he grabbed some clothes and headed for his bathroom to have a shower.
After he finished his morning ablutions, he went back into the dorm room and caught sight of Braeden smirking as he went about getting ready for the day and Malfoy glaring heatedly at the both of them as he made his way to his trunk. "What's going on?" He finally asked Braeden after sitting on his bed.
"He just got out of your bed!" Malfoy exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at Braeden. Clearly not happy about it.
"So!" Rayden said casually, raising an eyebrow.
"So?" Malfoy gaped, looking all the more put out.
"That's what I said." Rayden smirked.
"I didn't realise there was an echo in the room." Braeden mumbled loud enough for everyone to hear.
"Why was he in your bed?" Malfoy demanded, looking annoyed at not knowing which one deserved his glare the most.
Rayden stared at the nosy Slytherin for a long minute, obviously not impressed.
"I don't appreciate your questions Malfoy, it's really none of your business," Rayden narrowed his emerald orbs threateningly, as they pierced Malfoy's silver ones, "but because I'm feeling generous I'll tell you this much; in case you have forgotten yesterday was Valentines Day and Breaden is my boyfriend, so I'll let your young little mind wonder what two boys who are together, do under the sheets." He said with a superior smirk. Listening to Braeden's fading laughter as he went into his bathroom for his shower.
Malfoy stood there with wide eyes for a moment before snapping out of it and huffing much like an infant that didn't get his own way and stomped into the large room that housed their individual bathrooms.
Rayden took pleasure in shutting the ponce up so effectively, and didn't really care if rumours were the end result, as it didn't matter what he did or even if he did anything at all; they were always spreading some bullshit or another around the castle about him, so he figured he might as well earn them. He waited for Braeden and once the Vampire was ready they made their way to breakfast and then out to spend the day at the lake.
Rayden kept his face carefully blank, when he arrived at Hagrid's cabin later that evening; at his surprise for seeing Weasley, Longbottom and even more surprising, Granger, as they stood there with the large oaf. He knew from the classes the Gryffindor's sometimes had with the Slytherin's, that she would be less expected to get detentions.
He had heard about Gryffindor losing a lot of house points but didn't care to listen as to why. Now he could gather that it was the first years who went roaming the castle after curfew to save the half giants neck and 'free' a dragon that were to blame, and obviously who ever caught them had thought not taking house points were enough punishment and was given detention too. 'Probably Snape'. Rayden thought.
He didn't much care about them being there and coming along, as long as they didn't bother him. He was more worried about the dragon getting away.
"Right, good, now we can get goin'." Hagrid said, smiling kindly down at the Gryffindor's, as all four of them seem to want to pretend he wasn't there. He didn't care about that all he wanted to do was walk among the ancient tree's, as the scent of the forest washed over him. He just wished he could hunt, it was such a clear perfect night for it.
"What exactly are we doing in there, Hagrid?" Weasley asked nervously, looking around the large 'man' and into the dark Forest behind him, Granger and Longbottom nodding their heads in silent agreement to Weasley's question.
Rayden rolled his eyes at the fear he could feel from the other students.
"There's been somethin' attackin' the animals in there and we're gonna see if we can find out what it is!" Hagrid answered grimly.
"And what if whatever it is attacks us instead? There's a reason students aren't allowed in the Forest and why it's Forbidden, especially at night!" Weasley said shakily, his face pale. 'And here I thought they were Gryffindor's'. Rayden snorted to soft for anyone to hear.
"As long as yeh stick close to me and stay on the track, yeh'll be safe." Hagrid said seriously. "Now follow me and remember, stay close." He said, turning around and resting a large crossbow on his enormous shoulder.
Rayden watched as the three Gryffindor's quickly followed Hagrid, and they were that close to the half giant, that Rayden wondered if any of them would trip over his feet.
Shrugging, Rayden followed behind them at a more calmer pace. His vision was fine without it but he didn't want anyone suspecting anything, so he copied the three Gryffindor's in lighting their wands.
They followed the path in tense silence, listening for any suspicious sounds separate from their quiet breathing and soft footfalls.
Rayden saw they were going deeper into the Forest as the tree's got closer together and the track was harder to see under the wild growing brushes surrounding it.
It was farther than he and Braeden had ever gone, looking more eerie the deeper they went. Although it didn't scare him, if anything he was more interested in seeing this creature that was terrorising the Forest. He wondered if it was the same creature he always felt watching him among the tree's when ever they ventured into the Forest, even now he could feel it, and he mildly wondered if any of the others could feel it too, but it didn't exactly make him feel as though he was being hunted, more just watching quietly. It was odd to him really, and a vision of him being woken from his slumber in the outside grounds at home, from being watched flashed in his mind quickly, and he realised the sensation felt almost the same. But that just didn't make sense.
After walking for at least thirty minutes, Hagrid stopped in front of them at a crossroads.
"Where gonna have to split up to cover more ground." Hagrid announced quietly, looking down one path then the other.
"What?" Weasley practically yelled.
"Shh..." Hagrid hushed quickly.
"But Hagrid, you said we should stay with you!" Granger said with a worried frown.
"We have no choice now." He said, finally turning around to look at them. "Yeh two," He said nodding at Granger and Weasley, "will come with me, and yeh two," he continued, this time looking at Rayden and Longbottom, "will go down the other path, yeh will be safe so long as yeh stick t'gether and stay on the track, and if yeh need us just send a spell into the air so we can find yeh." He smiled with Rayden thought was suppose to be an assuring one. "Besides, yeh Harry Potter." He finished as if that explained everything.
Rayden rolled his eyes, and Weasley looked relieved but still managed to shoot Rayden an accusing glare before sending Longbottom a sympathetic look, as Granger smiled warmly at the fidgeting chubby boy.
"Whatever!" Rayden answered passively. He turned to the track on his right and started walking into the darkness, not bothering to check if Longbottom was following him or not as he could sense him hurrying behind him anyway.
They walked without talking for what must have been only twenty minutes or so until Rayden suddenly stopped Longbottom doing the same in confusion and fear, as the feeling of being followed intensified. Whoever it was, was close enough for Rayden to sense it was another Vampire, but the strangest thing to him was how familiar the Vampire felt to him. He just couldn't figure out why.
He was tense as he surreptitiously looked ahead of him into the heavy darkness, before doing the same on either side of him. Even with his good vision and lit wand, he couldn't see anyone. He was just about to look behind him and was tensed even more when a woman's soft whisper hit his ears. "Do not move or I will bite you." Rayden quickly spun around, too quick for human eyes, and was met with the sight of a beautiful long black haired Vampire standing behind Longbottom with the tip of her fangs touching the fat boys neck. Her deep emerald eyes staring into his own.
Longbottom shrieked what could only be described as a girlie scream, then promptly passed out. The two Vampires didn't care and let the boy fall with a heavy thud to the ground as they continued to stare entranced at each other.
"It can't be." Rayden heard himself whisper so quietly he knew only she could hear him.
"Hello my son." Adaire whispered with a soft smile. "Your even more handsome up close." She said, taking a small hesitant step forward, wanting to come closer but not quite daring enough to.
Rayden was so surprised he felt his eyes widening, he was speechless and didn't know what to say, so instead of trying to form words that were lost on him; he ran at his mother as fast as he could, not giving her much time to respond even for a Vampire, and wrapped his arms around her waist tightly and buried his cheek near her shoulder. Her scent hit his nose at full force, and he almost broke down when he felt her arms wrap around his smaller body and squeezed him almost as hard and clung to each other desperately.
"We don't have much time my sweet child, as I'm sure someone heard that pathetic boys scream and has gone to alert the others you were with." She whispered as if still afraid to speak too loudly and shatter the sweet quietness that had descended on them. Her melodic voice warming and comforting him.
"It was you that I've felt watching me for so long, wasn't it?" Rayden asked quietly, holding her tighter and not willing to let her go.
"Yes it was my dear child, I've been watching you grow up from afar, it has been unsafe for me to do much more and approach you or your father, as I don't want my family to come for either of you." She answered, tightening her hold briefly before pulling back slightly and held him in front of her so she could look down at him.
"I have so many questions for you but I don't know where to start." He admitted, getting lost in her enchanting green gaze.
She smiled down at him. "I have so much to tell you and so little time, but I know you father has told you much." She traced her finger slowly over his cheeks as if to memorise the feeling of his features along with memorising the vision of him so close to her, and imprinting it firmly in her mind.
"He has and he misses you so much, we both do, even if I don't remember you, but I do know you feel like apart of us." He whispered sadly, also taking in her own stunning features in with his own eyes, so as never to forget them.
"I miss you both so much." She murmured, and Rayden could feel her anguish. "But I can not return just yet, as much I want to, when there are so many uncertainties to consider. Though do not worry my sweet child, we will soon be together again, I promise you." His mother said with a sad smile.
"There's a Vampire here, as I'm sure you know, and his name is Braeden; he said that your family aren't trying to kidnap me anymore and don't want to interfere, he said they only want to help us now." Rayden said and couldn't hide the pleading from his voice.
"Yes I know about him being here, but I need to make sure first, I do know that I have been followed from members of my family for many years now, even to here, which is why I haven't come to speak to you earlier than now, at the moment I'm alone but that won't last long. Whether they are after me intending harm or not, i do not know, but I intend to to find out and soon my child. I do not want to be away from my husband and child any longer, I've already missed to much and so have you, I want to be a family once more." She breathed in a quiet but desperate rush. Rayden could tell she was trying to control herself and say as much as she could in the little time they had.
Rayden gently wiped away the tears on her cheeks with the pads of his thumbs.
"They are coming, you best fix the boy up before they get here, I will see you again soon my handsome prince, I'm sorry for everything and please know that I love you very much and never wanted to leave you." She said, placing soft kisses on each of his cheeks.
"I know." He answered as they squeezed each other again before she fled into the darkness of the Forest once more.
Rayden watched where she disappeared for a brief longing moment before walking over to Longbottom and pointed his wand at the boy.
"Obliviate!" He murmured quietly. "You did not hear or see anyone other than me, your on the ground because you slipped." He intoned quickly under his breath and replaced the memory of his mother with a memory of the boy slipping and hitting his head hard on the small rocks beneath him, screaming as he fell. Ending the spell he whispered, "Enervate!" After quickly moving back to where he was when Longbottom fell.
Longbottom woke and blinked in confusion a few times before blushing, "Sorry, I slipped." He said, embarrassed as he got to his feet.
Rayden stared at him blankly, making the idiot boy shuffle his feet uncomfortably. "Well, with that scream, your likely to have attracted whatever is hunting in this Forest, bringing it's attention straight to us." He said coldly with a small sneer.
Longbottom blushed harder and was about to say something, when a rustle behind him stopped him, freezing the boy in place.
Rayden looked beyond the idiot as Longbottom slowly spun around to see what was there and saw him sigh in relief when Hagrid and the other Gryffindor's approached them.
Rayden raised an eyebrow when he noticed a Centaur with them.
"Are yeh boys alrigh', we 'eard a scream?" Hagrid quickly asked in concern.
"I slipped!" Longbottom muttered, barely loud enough for them to hear as his face went another shade of red.
"You sure Potter didn't do anything sneaky to you, he is a slimy snake after all?" Weasley asked suspiciously, shooting another glare at Rayden.
Rayden's sneer deepened at the Weasel, he didn't care what the red head said and his glares had no effect on him, he just didn't like the little shit.
"You alright then Neville?" Granger asked before anything more could be said, but also looking at Rayden suspiciously.
"Yeah, I'm fine... sorry." Longbottom answered embarrassed as he walked over to the group, Rayden following slowly behind him.
"Not teh worry there lad," Hagrid said placing a comforting hand on Longbottom's shoulder, almost knocking him to the ground before removing it. "This is Firenze, he told us that there's bin Vampire's feeding in this Forest since the start of the school year, yeh had us worried that yeh ran into it, so we came as quickly as we could." He said troubled.
"V...Vampire?" Longbottom stuttered.
Rayden hated how the large oaf called his mother 'it' but kept quiet. Granted he didn't know who the Vampire was, but that didn't make Rayden feel any happier about it.
"Yeah, you sure you didn't see anything?" Weasley asked, shivering as he gazed around into the Forest surrounding them.
Rayden almost laughed at the fear he could smell coming from the supposedly brave boy.
"No we didn't see a V... Vampire." Longbottom squeaked.
"That's good!" Hagrid smiled.
Rayden didn't like how the Centaur stared at him, but met his burning gaze evenly, even daring to raise a mocking eyebrow.
It's not like he was lying about anything, as he hadn't said a word and there was a difference between with-holding information and lying, as far as he was concerned.
"Let's get goin' before we do end up havin' a meetin' with a Vampire." Hagrid frowned, then turned around to walk along side the Centaur back the way he came, knowing they would follow.
As they walked back to the castle Rayden's mind was elsewhere. When he reached his dorm he ignored the curious looks sent his way by the other three in the room and stepped behind his curtains then closed them and got changed for bed.
Once finished, he climbed under the covers and warded the curtains and the area surrounding his bed, said goodnight to his familiars and layed his head on his pillow, staring at the ceiling feeling a sense of loss and thinking of his mother. He wasn't sure if to let his father know, he didn't want to cause him more pain, but he knew he would wish to know if it was him and though it might actually help his father anyway to know she was alright, and close by.
A/N: I'm finally finished this chapter, sorry it took me so long, but it's finally there for you to hopefully enjoy! Sorry about the Hagrid 'slang' but I couldn't be bothered with it to be honest, so I hope you don't mind it too much. I don't know when the next chapter will be out, but I hope it wont take me too long... anyway enough of my rambling, please read and review and take care!