E-Mail: draeconin at gmail dot com
Warnings: m/m, slash, language, AU, OOC
Disclaimer:This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The story is mine, and if you don't recognize it, it's mine. Everything else belongs to the copyright holders. This disclaimer applies to all following chapters.
A/N: I'm ignoring HBP.
Summary: An ill-considered walk ends Harry's life - and gives him An ill-considered walk ends Harry's life - and starts a new one.a new one.
Harry had come back after the summer of his fifth year still mourning the loss of Sirius. All he wanted was to be left alone to deal with his grief in his own way. However his friends and fellow Gryffindors had seen fit to inflict him with their well intentioned, cloying concern and worry. Several times a day he was reminded of his godfather's death, and his loss, renewing and re-opening the emotional wound each time. Finally he couldn't take it any longer, and decided to go for a walk. Lost in his own thoughts, he hadn't noticed that he had wandered deeply into the Forbidden Forest.
Harry whirled about, whipping his wand out as he did so, but it was too late. He only had time to see Lucius Malfoy's hateful, triumphant countenance before the spell hit him and he fell to the ground. Even so he didn't lose consciousness, and soon the elder Malfoy's hated visage came into his view again, leering down at his helpless, slowly dying form.
For a wonder Harry didn't hurt, although he felt his strength slowly trickling out of his limbs, like sand through an hourglass.
"Stupid, Potter," Lucius drawled at him, enjoying his chance to gloat. It was the reason he had chosen to cast the spell he had, rather than Avada Kedavra. With the latter it would have been over too soon. "One would think that the famous Harry Potter would realize that our Lord Voldemort would have someone keeping an eye on Hogwarts for just such an opportunity as this."
"It's nice to know that even the 'great' Lucius Malfoy can be reduced to lackey status," Harry said weakly, feeling about for his wand.
Lucius snarled at the boy's insult. "I'm quite pleased that your fatal mistake came on my watch, boy. I'm sure that the Dark Lord will reward me greatly for bringing in your body. And now, Potter," he spat with a nasty grin, "I must bid you adieu. Avad-"
Lucius Malfoy's utterance of that spell would never be completed. Even as he began it, a voice came from behind him.
At the same time, Harry had used what strength he could muster to try to roll out of the path of the death curse. An unnecessary effort, as it turned out. Even so, Harry had no idea what he would have done afterward. He had lost his grip on his wand when he fell, he didn't know where it was at the moment, and he didn't have the strength, now, to tackle the man and fight him physically. Indeed, he felt as though every muscle in his body had become just so much treacle.
Lucius' look of triumph shattered at the interruption of his spell. He turned to glare at the source of the silencing spell, then showed unchecked rage as he recognised his son's voice and face. 'How dare you?' he raged at his son. It was soundless, of course, due to the spell upon him. He raised his wand to curse the boy, then silently cursing his lack of voice, strode towards the boy, intent on beating his interfering brat into submission.
Panicked at having to face his father in a situation like this, Draco's mind groped for a spell to protect himself - to stop his father's advance - but in his panic, the only one that came to mind was the last one he had heard. "Depereo!" he yelled desperately, waving his wand in the appropriate pattern; a spell the enraged man who was now threatening him had taken great pains to drill into him, as it could be cast far more often during a battle than 'Avada Kedavra', while still rendering your opponent helpless and, eventually, dead. His relief was short lived as he saw his father fall to the ground. Then as he remembered what that spell did, he fell to his knees, dropping his wand in the process. "No," he whispered. "Oh, no. I'm so sorry, Father. I didn't mean to kill you."
Lucius, though still conscious, also still had the silencing spell on him and so couldn't reply. It was probably just as well, as he would likely have used the last of his magic, if possible, to have his son join him in death.
Draco had seen Harry wandering away from the castle without his 'sidekicks', Ron and Hermione - a rare occurence these days. If it hadn't been for the Gryffindor's obvious distraction, Draco mightn't have taken the effort to follow him. But, curious about what the green-eyed boy, his secret crush, was up to, he had followed. He had been shocked to see his father start stalking Harry shortly after the Gryffindor had entered the Forbidden Forest, and had followed even more cautiously.
He was now feeling torn between guilt and grief for his father, despite how the man had changed over recent years, and his rage towards him for what he'd done to Harry. He had been taken by surprise when his father had finally acted, and hadn't reacted in time to prevent Harry's being cursed. Then it had taken him a few moments to recover from his shock when Harry had fallen victim to the draining curse. He was glad that he'd stopped his father from giving the coup de grace, but it was too little, too late.
Giving his father a wide berth and avidly avoiding looking at the man, Draco made his way to the fallen 'Golden Boy'. "Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid... " he muttered to the boy, almost a young man, as he again went to his knees, this time to pick up and cradle Harry's head in his lap. "What did you think you were doing, Potter?"
Due to years of malicious words and actions aimed at him by the blond, Harry was shocked by Draco's current words and actions, but tried not to show it as he replied. "Walking," he said, and then was even more shocked at how weak and breathy his voice had become in such a short time.
"Your father? For me?" he asked, completely befuddled.
Draco ignored the question. "Well, you've just given the war to Voldemort, haven't you? You just had to go and get yourself killed, didn't you?" Draco's voice and face oozed an almost gentle scorn and disdain, but his eyes showed his despair, and he didn't seem to notice the tears streaming down his face.
"Are you responsible for this?" a new voice demanded with an angry hauteur. "Are you responsible for littering these grounds with bodies?"
Draco looked up. A stranger stood there exuding an aura of command. He appeared to be about 35 years of age and had dark, wavy, chestnut hair of a medium long cut, and pale skin that was only lightly coloured by the sun. His clothing, although of a good cut and quality, was at least a few years out of date. Draco was too distraught to care about the stranger or his demeanour. The man's air of command demanded a response from him however, and in his state of mind, that is what he responded to. "Just him," Draco replied numbly, gesturing towards his father. "He did for Potter, here."
The man looked from the blond boy to the white-blond man on the ground who, despite the fact that he was obviously dying, was still trying to curse the boy, his mouth moving and his wand waving unsteadily in the air. "A relative of yours?" he inquired, noticing the resemblance.
"My father," Draco replied distractedly, already creating an emotional distance between him and the man whom he'd slowly grown to despise, while still retaining a distant love for the father that he used to be.
A frown fleetingly crossed the man's face. "I can save one of them," he offered, "but not both." He then silently cursed his unguarded tongue. That he had offered anything, rather than taking advantage of the situation, shocked him. But as he had offered, he was now bound by his honour to follow through.
That caught Draco's attention. "Depereo has no counter," he said, not daring to hope. "It's almost always deadly, eventually." There was a counter, but it involved a rare potion which took over a week to brew (under optimal conditions), a ritual, and at least three people to enact it - none of which were available.
"You're wasting time, boy," the man said impatiently.
While he still retained a modicum of love for the man his father used to be, the man Lucius was now would waste no time in killing all of them, should he be saved. With a quick, agonized glance at his father, who had finally run out of strength and was merely laying on the ground glaring at him, Draco replied, "Potter."
The man knelt in the dirt at Harry's side, and addressed him. "Do you want to live?" he asked the green-eyed boy.
Harry looked at him as though the man were mad, to ask such a question, but he nodded - a barely noticeable movement, due to Harry's quickly weakening condition.
"Will you accept life from me?" the man inquired.
Harry frowned weakly, considering the two questions to be too closely related to bother with asking the second, but replied. "Yes," he whispered.
The man now addressed Draco. "Do not interfere, if you want your friend to live."
Draco nodded, although he and Potter had never really been friends. Then his eyes widened as he saw a pair of fangs peeking out from under the man's upper lip. He realised, now, what sort of life this man was offering Harry; but it was better than no life at all - wasn't it? - so he nodded again, and backed off. A vampire? But it was daylight! Not even mid-afternoon, yet! Then a word crept to the front of his mind; a word that he'd only heard in reference to long-dead legends. Dhampyre. Daywalker.
Draco watched as the man picked the upper half of Harry's body off the ground, almost cradling him as one would a lover, eliciting an unwanted pang of jealousy from the blond, then winced as he saw those fangs sink into Harry's carotid artery. It took all of Draco's much-vaunted Malfoy self-control to not tear the young man he loved from the dhampyre's arms - away from the danger. But both fear of the creature and the knowledge that Harry was dead anyway if this didn't work, restrained him.
The dhampyre seemed to drink from Harry for a long time before drawing away and slashing his own wrist, bringing it to Harry's lips. Harry drank, not seeming to know what he was doing. His face was pale, despite his tan - almost literally bloodless.
The dhampyre looked at Draco, visibly hesitating before coming to a decision. "Come here, boy," he ordered.
Draco shook his head, backing away a few steps. "I'd rather not accept your 'gift'," he demurred. He was terrified, and just barely keeping himself under control.
"As you're not in need of it, it is not being offered. This is for you and your friend," the man said impatiently. "Come! There isn't much time!"
Hesitantly, mentally debating the wisdom of correcting the... man's mistaken assumption regarding Harry and him, Draco came forward, stopping while still just out of reach - he thought. With amazing speed, the man reached forward and caught Draco's wrist. Bringing it to his mouth briefly, he slashed the fair skin with his sharp fangs, and held Draco's bleeding wrist to Harry's mouth, despite the blond's now desperate struggles to get away. Harry sucked eagerly at this blood as well, licking Draco's wrist in the process. To his great confusion, Draco found the pain of his cut wrist diminish, then vanish, to be replaced with a mildly pleasing sensation.
"He won't attack you, now. He will recognise you no matter what state he ever finds himself in," the man explained, even as Harry continued to lap at Draco's wrist. "You will be his Donor. And considering your feelings for him, you may even become his Companion," he continued, amusement evident in his voice.
At that declaration Draco snatched his arm back from a grip that had gone lax without his noticing, his face burning, and scrambled away. "All I feel for that git is disdain," he sneered from a safe distance.
"Which is why you chose him over your father," the man replied knowingly.
"My father would have killed me," Draco said, drawing himself up and defending himself.
"I saw that," the man replied somberly, "but don't lie to a vampire, boy; we can smell pheromonal responses quite well."
Draco was desperate to get off this subject. "But you're not a vampire: not a regular one, at any rate. You're a dhampyre, aren't you? It's full day, after all."
'And what in Merlin's name did he mean by me being Ha- Potter's companion?' Draco had a fairly good idea about the donor part, although he was far from being easy with the thought.
The man smiled wryly. He recognised the ploy, but allowed it. "That I am," he admitted, "and your friend, here, will be one as well."
"Look at your wrist," the dhampyre ordered, suddenly.
Doing so, dreading to see what damage had been done (the reason he hadn't looked until now), Draco was amazed to see that there wasn't a mark upon it. The slash the dhampyre had created had healed, and without a scar. Looking up, somewhat dazed with all that had transpired, Draco asked, "Who are you?" It wasn't, perhaps, the question that one would have expected him to ask at that point, but it was one that had been nagging at him for awhile, now.
Gently laying a now-unconscious Harry down, the man stood before giving a little, mocking bow. "My apologies. The press of the moment, you understand. My name is Jonathan Cornelius Mardling; third of that name, and last."
"Draco Lucian Malfoy," Draco replied, "and your childe is Harry James Potter. My father is - was," he corrected himself sadly, but with some relief as he noted that his father's eyes were open in his still angrily glaring countenance, but were unfocused in death, "Lucius Malfoy."
The man smiled that the young blond had acknowledged the brunet as his childe. "You know a little of us at least," he said, pleased. "Should I be sorry about your father?" he asked, noting the boy's mixed reactions.
Draco shrugged sadly, then drew himself up proudly. "He died in his lord's service," he said, then his figure drooped ever so slightly. "Much good it did him, or anyone else," he said under his breath.
The dhampyre heard, but didn't remark on it. "Do you two belong to Hogwarts, yonder?" he asked, looking in that direction.
Draco felt panic rising in him again at the thought of Harry and Hogwarts. "They'll think I did something to him!" he said quietly, his apprehension showing through despite his best efforts.
It was quite evident to Mardling that the blond boy felt more than friendship for the one - Harry Potter - that he was attempting to Turn, so he wondered at Draco's words, but decided not to pry as yet. There would be time for questions and answers later, especially about how the boy who was supposed to save the magical world from the man who styled himself as 'Voldemort' had almost been killed - would have been, had he not come upon the scene. Word of the lad had filtered down to almost all of the intelligent 'creatures' of the magical world (meaning all that weren't fully human).
"I'll need to stay with him for some weeks," Mardling stated matter-of-factly, "so I'll explain, if it becomes necessary. Is Dumbledore still the headmaster there?" he inquired, scooping Harry up into his arms.
"I had heard he had ascended to that position," the man remarked, taking his first strides, but not in the direction of the school.
Mardling was evidently much older than he looked, Draco mused.
"Well come along, boy," Mardling ordered. "I doubt you want to explain why you came back without Mister Potter, here."
Draco looked up, startled. "Where are you taking him?" he asked fretfully. When he received no answer from the retreating form carrying Harry, Draco scurried after him. The dhampyre was right; he didn't even want to contemplate trying to answer those questions. He could imagine it:
"You were seen going into the Forbidden Forest - an offense in itself - close on Mister Potter's heels. Where is he?"
Then he'd tell what happened, only to be met with disbelief.
"A dhampyre, Mister Malfoy? Legend only - there haven't been any dhampyre for centuries. I submit that it is far more likely that you have finally gained the revenge you've saught for years, and either killed Mister Potter yourself, or turned him over to Voldemort."
And what could he say to that? That he'd secretly loved the green-eyed prat for over a year? He'd be laughed right into the deepest cell in Azkaban. His father's death? Why, he must have been caught in the crossfire while capturing Harry, or killed by Harry in self-defense before he'd been whisked off.
No, Draco was in an entirely untenable position unless he showed up with a live Harry Potter. Er... At least an undead Harry Potter - who could explain what happened himself.
Harry woke slowly, his whole body aching slightly. He opened his eyes, expecting to see either the too-familiar ceiling of Hogwarts' hospital ward, or to still be in the forest. What he did see was the canopy of a bed, and not one done in Hogwarts colours. It was a rich, shimmery, reddish-brown material. Before he could note much of anything else, a voice spoke up.
"Ah, I see you have awakened. How are you feeling?"
Since he'd been asked, Harry took stock. Something seemed... off; and he couldn't move. Had he been hexed? Was this man a Death Eater after all? Well, since he was essentially helpless at the moment he'd keep his suspicions to himself, and try to fish for some information.
"Strange," Harry replied. "But I suppose I should be grateful for being alive. Thank you, Mister...?"
"Lord Hopplyn; Jonathon Mardling," the man replied.
Harry nodded. "I'd greet you properly, but I can't seem to move," Harry said, trying to keep the accusation he was feeling out of his voice.
"That is natural for one who has gone through the transition, and will pass shortly," Mardling reassured him.
"Transition? What sort of transition?"
"In order to save your life, I'm afraid I had to Turn you."
"Into what?" Harry asked suspiciously.
"Ah. That is the question, is it not? Tell me, Mister Potter; have you heard of dhampyre? Daywalkers?"
Harry frowned. "Vampires?"
"Of a sort, yes."
Harry's expression turned to one of horror. "I'm a vampire?"
"As I said, Mister Potter - of a sort. Daywalkers are-"
"How dare you?" Harry yelled in outraged indignation.
"You agreed to it, sir," Mardling remonstrated, sounding affronted.
"I did no such thing!" Harry denied.
"Do you recall agreeing to accept life from me?"
That question brought Harry up short. He wanted to deny it, now that he knew to what he had agreed. "I didn't know this was what you meant," he quarelled.
"Depereo kills more slowly than the Killing Curse, but just as surely," Harry was informed.
Harry turned his head away, his emotions conflicting. He in no way wanted to be a dark creature, but he wanted to die even less.
While Harry was lost in the effort of sorting out his thoughts and emotions, Lord Hopplyn went to the dark oak door, then across the hall, where he knocked on an identical door.
"Mister Malfoy? Your friend is awake, and will need you soon."
While Harry was lying in a comatose state that was so close to death as to make no difference as his body changed, becoming a dhampyre, Draco's body had also been undergoing a transformation, although of a far lesser magnititude. His body was now uniquely equiped to serve Harry as a food source without putting a strain on it. Harry could almost drain him without damage to Draco, although he would likely lapse into a deep sleep while his body replenished his blood supply. His body would hardly notice a normal feeding.
When Draco walked into Harry's room, Harry sat up straight, his paralysis suddenly gone as his eyes fixed on the platinum blond. Harry noticed Draco's nervousness and constant glances at Jonathon for reassurance, but he was mostly aware of his hunger and thirst. Secondarily was an instinct to not scare or harm this young man before him. In the back of his mind he wondered why he should care: but there it was.
"Mister Potter." The man's voice commanded Harry's attention. When he looked at him, Mardling continued.
"Mister Malfoy is your Donor. That means that he is capable of providing the blood you now need without harm to himself. Be gentle, and don't allow your excitement to lead you to take more than you need. Stay aware of the hunger. When it is sated, stop. You won't need much. The Dhampyre need far less than the common vampire."
Harry nodded. He was of two minds on this subject. On the one hand he was a bit sickened by the thought of drinking blood - of feeding off of another human being. A frown flitted briefly over his face as he recalled that he wasn't exactly human any longer. But his hunger called. That was the other thing. He needed something, and although Mardling could provide it, he sensed that the blond was a far better choice. Who had his sire said it was? Harry shook his head, ridding himself of the unnecessary thought. He was hungry, and the blond was food - and something more, though he couldn't figure out what. But he was food that belonged to him, and that he mustn't harm.
Mardling gestured to the Slytherin, and Draco gingerly sat on the edge of the bed Harry was on. His every nerve was thrumming, and his instincts were telling him to run screaming. But in the time that Harry's body was transforming from human to dhampyre, Lord Hopplyn had carefully instructed Draco on his duties as a Donor, and had lightly skimmed over the plusses and minuses of becoming a Companion, should that relationship develop.
Harry reached for him and drew him down, one hand at the base of Draco's head, tangled in the blond hair, the other clutching Draco's biceps. Draco felt the pain of Harry's new teeth parting the skin of his neck, but that quickly faded, washed away by a wave of pleasure. When Harry pulled away almost a minute later, licking the wounds to heal them, Draco was embarrassed to note that he was hard and very close to ejaculation.
Harry noticed it too. He cupped Draco's bollocks through the blond's robes, gave a light squeeze, and whispered "Come for me," in Draco's ear.
Whether it was the squeeze, the sexy tone of voice, or both, Draco lost control, and felt himself orgasm. "Bloody hell, Potter," Draco groaned when he'd recovered. If he weren't so afraid of what Potter had become, he'd be furious. As it was, he felt totally humiliated.
"Mm... So good," Harry moaned as he alternately licked and sucked on Draco's earlobe. Now that one hunger was sated, he was aware of another.
"Get off me, Potter," Draco tried to growl, but he made no move to stop the new dhampyre.
Harry froze. "Malfoy?"
"Who the hell did you think you were sucking on?" was the acerbic rejoinder.
That question applied in so many different ways, Harry wasn't sure which one Malfoy meant; the neck? Ear? Where he had been planning on going next? He slowly pulled away from the other boy, afraid that any sudden movement would trigger... something. Probably something unpleasant.
Malfoy's face was blazing, but it seemed to be as much from embarrassment as anger. And Harry remembered what he'd done. A quick glance at the blond's crotch showed a rather large... moist spot showing through the material.
Draco noticed. "Proud of yourself, Potter?" he said mockingly.
To his own surprise, Harry found that he was. And although he was a bit embarrassed, he was emboldened enough to say, "I'm happy to have given you pleasure, although I'm sorry about your clothes."
Draco was so taken off-guard by that reply that, for once, he was speechless.
*Depereo - Latin for 'to perish, be utterly ruined'. Not as magically taxing as 'Avada Kadavra', and can take anywhere from a quarter hour up to a full day to kill, depending both on the strength of the caster and the victim, while leaving the victim weak and almost powerless.