Title: Individual Duality
Crossover: Supernatural and Harry Potter
Summary: Draco has sacrificed much more than anyone has given him credit for. With Voldemort gone and the world back to normal, it's time to move on and live his life. But Prophecy has other plans, and everyone knows there's no escaping Him.
Warning: I have no idea how to speak French and I used an online translator. Please forgive me…
That'll teach me to be lazy. Muchos gracias to Luc, who gave me the knock on the head that I needed. I was sleepy when I wrote it too, and admittedly a touch cranky because of lack of cake. And coffee. I'll do my best to fix that darn summary. Rabid damn bunnies.
Twilight? *shudder* But oooh, you've given me an idea, . A wonderful, awful idea.
The first pleasant surprise he had after the War had been on his birthday and the unexpected extravagance had blown his mind away. Not only had he been given an all-you-can-shop gift certificate to Enchante Organic Cosmetics - one of his very few guilty pleasures - but an Alpha Standard ticket to Switzerland as well, where the main branch was. Draco's jaw had nearly dropped off in his shock.
His mother, pale, bedridden and with a private Healer on call, had still managed a laugh. There were no secrets between them now, not hers, not Father's, and with the Dark Lord under the metaphoric rug, there was peace to be had and fun, which was currently at Draco's expense.
Father had not been someone who gave presents lightly. Actually, simply put, Lucius Malfoy spent nearly as much money as a hermit in the middle of a desert. Certainly there had been the odd hundred thousand Galleons for a painting or an impressively spell-worked artifact, but the long and short of it was that the Malfoys were an old family with old money, and in the manner of such families everywhere, had stockpiled enough of everything to last anybody a lifetime. There had been no need to buy anything at all.
There had been a need to go to Switzerland as Father had explained that the Centrale du Magie in Valais wanted to straighten out their Death Eater charges before the Wizarding Trials began in Britain. But to be lavish enough to ride Alpha Standard on a Seven League Boat… the logic in that had eluded Draco.
No one knew why, but Portkeys had never managed to work well over large bodies of water. They would invariably reset, hitting an invisible barrier and dropping the user onto the nearest dock, boat or dinghy. Opening Inter-Country Floos had been a bureaucratic nightmare back then, still was even now, and the stomach-rolling trip left something to be desired. The only decent way to travel over long distances was by Seven League Boat. Each craft was shaped just like it sounded, though it floated over the clouds instead of over the waves. Like Muggle airplanes, they were divided into classes, or Standards, and Alpha Standard was the most expensive. Heated satin cushions and boxes of chocolate hadn't been the half of it.
Draco had spent the two-hour-long trip in somewhat of a confused state, absently watching the near-intangible sylphs attend to the passengers. He had never been fond of sweet things, and somehow the sylphs had understood, whisking his complimentary chocolate away in favor of some tastefully arranged sandwiches. It took half the flight and around three salmon-and-chives on rye before he had figured out that the ticket had nothing to do with logic and everything to do with his father's upbringing.
Successful though he was, and proud and intelligent, but the one thing Lucius Malfoy had never had was a real childhood, not like the one Draco had been lucky enough to have experienced. Father had lived in secret all his life, presenting one face to the world and to his family while keeping the other in the shadows. He had been trained by Magnus Malfoy, his own grandfather, who had not taken kindly to Abraxas blithely frog-marching the family down a path of destruction and mayhem. Consequently, he had taken a young Lucius under his wing. Elder Magnus Malfoy, he had been called in France, and in Spain, and in Italy; Elder Malfoy the Evenhanded, who had been a battle wizard but now worked behind the scenes to make sure his kind would never be needed again. Magnus had died before Lucius had finished school, and long before he joined the Death Eaters, but Father had stood by the lessons he had learned from his grandfather, no matter how hard the situation, and they had won the War because of it.
His parents were the same, in a way. Both had lived a double life, both had their pains and secrets and unshed tears. It was sobering for Draco to realize that they had put that all aside for him, and later on for the fate of the war. They had never learned to express their emotions; Father because he had been trained not to, and his mother because she wasn't able to feel like that, and they got by it with presents. His mother had always showered him with cookies and chocolates during his school years, foodstuffs that he had tactfully distributed among his House, but he had always known that it was her way of showing him she cared. With his father it had always been practical things, like new rolls of parchment or quills or books.
Reclining in a cocoon of heated satin with the smell of audaciously delicious sandwiches just inches away, Draco had looked down at his gift certificate and smiled. The world had re-set with Voldemort's death, and now there was nowhere to go but up.
The first time he had attended a pureblood funeral, the sun had just started to set, its blood-red color setting the Great Lake aflame. All of the Order had attended Severus Snape's ritual cremation, their faces as drawn and tired as his godfather's had been that day on Spinner's End when his mother had cried. The Malfoys had made an appearance as was their right and honor as next of kin, and nobody had commented though Draco had seen plenty of mutinous looks. His father had been blind to everything, his face as stoic as if it had been carved from marble, his silver eyes unusually bright and steely at the same time. His mother had stood proud and tall as she looked down at the casket, but her hand had been white-knuckled around her cane.
At the reading of Snape's will a few days ago, Draco had been left the house on Spinner's End. He had let his tears fall in that miserable place, private and unseen, as he cleaned from chimney to basement with his own hands. It had been the only thing he could do for a man who had given everything and had gotten nothing but scorn until his death. Out of respect, Draco had burned all the letters he had found and his godfather's journal, but he had saved the pictures. Not even the greatest artist in the world could have painted Potter's expression when he had handed them over after the service, neatly bundled with ribbon and topped with an old photo of child-Lily waving cheerfully up from a swing.
Draco had heard that things experienced twice over were never as powerful as the first, but he had to disagree. It was true that the second pureblood funeral he had attended had taken place heartbreakingly close to his godfather's, but he would never be able to compare them. He would forever remember it as the day he saw his mother in her true form, out in nature where she really belonged.
Aunt Bella had looked like she was just sleeping, like she had just happened to take a nap on a bed of eucalyptus and yew leaves. His mother had burial clothes made in the traditional Black colors and had prepared the body herself. The grime and dirt of battle had been washed away, bruises hidden by powder, leaving her with the slightly doll-like complexion she must have had when she was younger. Her long thick hair had been brushed out with care. It was nothing like his mother's fine golden locks, and Bellatrix had looked more like Andromeda, who was her other sister and had declined to attend because she was grieving for her daughter. But, as they had stood next to the pyre, the slightly chilly evening wind picking at their robes and at midnight tresses that contrasted against the pearl-embroidered silver chemise and deep plum funeral gown, Draco recognized the regal peace that touched the tastefully rouged mouth and cheekbones.
It should have been impossible to pick out the same look on a tree-spirit's face, thickened as it was with bark and shadowed with leafy vines, but because Narcissa was his mother, Draco could. She would have never been called beautiful in that state, towering over both him and his father, with no remaining trace of her human façade as she spoke in the language of the Dryads. Not conventionally attractive to be sure, but marvelously majestic like a sunset or a thunderstorm, a child of the earth goddess Herself. Draco had never really understood how confining the Manor must have seemed to her until that moment. He knew nothing could truly compare to the never-ending arch of the sky, the ceiling that no mountain could ever touch, encircling the world with the width of a thousand oceans.
When he had been younger, his favorite bedtime story had been Biancabella and the Snake. It had been a silly story, something that a boy shouldn't have liked because it was quite lacking in the action department. But Draco had loved the look in his mother's forest-flecked eyes when she told it, and how her hands would move gracefully in the air, as if she could sketch the scenes out for him. There had been the obligatory evil stepmother who beat Biancabella, the king who had married her then gone off to war and subsequently left her to the mercies of the stepmother, and the forest snake that loved Biancabella like a sister and had helped her. The original story was gory to say the least, and Draco had winced every time his mother had told him about chopped-off arms and burned children. In the end though, the children would always come back to life, the arms would be returned and everyone lived happily ever after.
Perhaps he had just been overwhelmed with emotion when his mother bowed over the pyre, weeping amber tears that shone in the firelight, whispering her apologies into the smoke. Perhaps he had just been seeing things, as the Wyrdflame flickered over his Aunt's bare pale arms as it consumed her dress, throwing long, jagged scars and knotted burn marks into relief just a second before swallowing them. Perhaps it had been pure chance that he had been reminded of that story at that particular moment, pure chance that the story had been called Biancabella. Perhaps his mind was just grasping at straws, because he didn't want to believe otherwise; that someone –a mother- could actually hurt her own flesh and blood in such a cruel fashion. He wanted to believe that kind of poison didn't exist, that children were loved instead of broken, and fairy tales always turned out for the best. Even after the War and the madness of Voldemort, he still wanted to believe.
Then Aunt Bella's ghost had appeared above the flames, for the barest moment, with her sad, childish smile, and he knew.
The day he had first stepped into the foyer at Epee University, he had nearly burst with giddy pride.
There had been many reasons why he had chosen to go to Epee, so far away from Britain. It was a prestigious school, well-known for turning out not just the best Healers and Wizarding Lawyers but Spell-weavers and Wandmakers as well. It had been his Father's Alma Mater. It was also the only school that offered its top graduates positions in international wizarding offices. His father had gotten his job at the Wizarding Agency for Global Security that way, and Draco was bent on achieving the same goal, and more. Malfoys were the best, and they could only work for the best. Draco wanted to be an Unspeakable.
Both Millicent Bulstrode and Theodore Nott had applied with him, and as the three of them gazed at the statue at the center of the building, a huge sparkling crystal map of the world with a double-headed axe and a saber crossed in front of it, their eyes had been drawn towards the words Etre et Durer. At that moment, as it had probably done for anyone starting college, they felt the future unroll in front of them like an endless road. It had been exhilarating, and for once in his life, Draco felt like he could do anything.
After the first week though, he found himself missing the simplicity of following a step-by-step strategy. He had lived one for most of his teenage life, and though he could never admit it to his friends, the prospect of so much limitless freedom was almost scary. Without noticing it, he started to form a daily schedule, planning his day from breakfast to dinner. He was like a Muggle machine, Millie had finally sighed over her scrambled eggs one morning, a golem going through the motions of life without enjoying anything. Theo, whose brain had no decency filter, merely called him a whack-a-doodle wanker.
University life promised to be very different from Hogwarts.
Draco had always thought of himself as fairly studious. Not ravenously so, like Granger, but eager enough to spend at least an hour and a half reading up on his subject matter. He had wanted to be a Ravenclaw after all. Compared to him, Theodore Nott was a party madhouse; a drinker, smoker, and compulsive gambler all rolled into one. He was on par with the Weasley twins, not that anybody in Hogwarts had bothered to notice, but Draco had thought it was just a phase. He didn't realize how wrong he was until they had gotten into Epee.
His first Swiss Alban Arthan had been a riot, or so Theo had sniggered at breakfast. The smarmy bastard had looked like a fresh spring daisy the day after the winter solstice, full of smiles and completely unaffected by the case of rum they had celebrated with. Draco, to his eternal chagrin, had not fared as well. He felt like he had been stuffed into a tiny box and churned by a vindictive waterfall and, for some reason, some utter berk had decided to write all over his forehead with bright pink ink. His only consolation had been that Millicent hadn't looked any better in neon orange.
It had been the first time he had blacked out from drinking, and he definitely did not want to experience it again, ever. The only good thing about it was that he couldn't remember a single thing he'd done, and he was happy to keep it that way.
His Power, which at times seemed to have a mind of his own, had thought differently.
The mortifying vision had sprung on him fifteen minutes into his next Ornithology class. Suffice it to say that his irrepressible schoolmate had thought onions, dead spiders, three Knuts and a small fish were hilarious things to stuff into people's pants. There had been a hint of bewildered goat as well, but Draco had hurriedly blocked that out.
He had gotten his revenge with a shampoo bottle filled with pureed flesh-eating slugs, and he never agreed to drink with Theo after that.
The next time he had bumped into Potter, it had been outside Minister Shacklebolt's office back in Britain. Draco, who was spending an early summer with his parents, had been getting his travel papers ready for a class trip to Seychelles, and because Nott and Bulstrode would predictably put it off until well into next Beltane, he had been alone. Potter and Weasley had been arguing about something in the waiting room, and it wasn't until he was halfway through the door that the still-gangly redhead had blurted out his name in surprise.
It had been less confrontational than he had imagined it would be, mostly in part to Draco being cordial enough not to start a shouting match. There had been no need to continue House rivalries now that they had graduated, and though Draco was aware that they would probably never become friends, it was inevitable that they would at least become nodding acquaintances. He had heard from his father that the two were Aurors-in-training, which had come as no surprise.
But there had been a resignation form in Potter's hand. Draco hadn't thought it all that important until he met Blaise for lunch that afternoon. Blaise had chosen to stay in Britain after their graduation, even though he had been accepted into one of the top three Wizarding Universities in Africa. It was no surprise really. Someone like him couldn't resist the aftermath of war.
There had been the usual gossip first of course: which new restaurants had opened, which wizarding celebrity had committed an embarrassing social faux pas, the Treatise of Sinthgunt, the latest diet, and who was at whose tea party. It was absolutely maddening. Though Blaise already followed the Hallow Path, like Mrs. Zabini had before him, he was still a champion chatterbox. Draco had asked about that once, whether being a gossip didn't detract from all the prayer and meditation that such a Path required, and his friend had glibly mentioned something about Life's Heartbeat. Then he had promptly gone off on a tangent about penguins. Draco took that to mean that he had no choice but to nod and listen and wait until Blaise got tired.
When he had finally managed to steer the conversation around to Potter, Blaise couldn't express his words fast enough. Draco barely restrained himself from hitting his best friend with the bread basket because he was actually stuttering with excitement, and it was a headache and a half figuring out what he was trying to say.
The word on the street was that Potter had had enough of being a high-profile target. His assailants had all been mad, be it with revenge or with lust, and though the Golden Boy was well on his way to becoming a battle wizard, other people were not so fortunate. The latest incident had been during a Phlox drug raid and had resulted in a few broken bones, a hair removal, a tentacle re-section and one love-addled drug user in the psychiatric ward at St. Mungo's. Though no one had died, Potter had decided that his being part of the Aurors slowed down their work. He wanted to become a journalist instead, Blaise had confided gleefully, so that he could counter the nonsense of the Daily Prophet.
Draco hadn't seen what was so exciting about that. Potter was, as he had always been, a goody-two-shoes. Someone could have written a bestseller on just how predictably heroic and selfless he was.
His mother had stockpiled dozens of books in preparation for his return that summer, and Draco had contentedly whiled away the hot days alternating between the Library and the dueling grounds. He had also squeezed in a weekly visit to Hogwarts, where his godfather was interred. Aside from the Somnolent Garden though, the rest of the school was still a mess. Classes were said to be held in the mostly undamaged west wing, and whenever Draco visited, there would always be a ritual-smith or a spell-weaver around.
The day before he had to go back to Switzerland, he paid his godfather one last visit. He knew it was still far too fresh in Father's mind and his mother being what she was, Draco assumed that he was the only one who cared for Severus' plot. It surprised him no end to see the Golden Trio there that day, silent and respectful. They were so deep in thought that Granger actually started when he finally knelt down to light a candle.
What are you doing here? She parroted, much like Weasley had in the Ministry months ago. Unlike the redhead though, the dawning of her realization happened much quicker.
Draco discovered how much he liked discomfiting people when he offered Potter his congratulations. He thought the boy would blink so much his eyelashes would fall off. They were all still whispering to each other when they walked off towards Dumbledore's tomb.
He traced the name on the headstone as he sat down, like he always did before speaking. Usually he would tell his godfather about things he learned at school, or new potions he had read about, or Theo's latest letter about his mad escapades through Europe. Draco often found himself thinking out loud about his old classmates. The Slytherins of their year had always stuck close together and kept their Head of House's rules to heart. Theo had always been one of the Potions Master's prized pupils, as was anyone who knew their white bryony from their English ivy. Millie wasn't much when it came to Basic Botany, but she could dissect like a champion and was already at the top of their Anatomy class.
On that day though, he found that he didn't want to say anything at all. Potter's green, green eyes had reminded him of child-Lily's, and whenever he thought of Lily now, he remembered his godfather's spider writing on aged notepaper, his words as dry and acetic as he was, and pages fluttering like a bird in the flames. Severus Snape would have never been one for flowery love sonnets and promises of undying faithfulness, and his journals had been full of facts and bare truths. But he had loved the child-Lily in his own way, and his miserably unrequited affections had made him into the man that had been misunderstood for twenty years. That day, as he looked at the stern, dour face of his godfather's bust, Draco found himself hoping that Severus had shed his sorrows and was at peace.
Draco didn't know when he started to be called the tea man, but he did notice that as exams neared, the number of Theo's friends seemed to grow. Somehow they always managed to drop by their room at least once a day, and the kettle was on so frequently it got tired of whistling. As one of the top students in Herbalism, Draco knew exactly which brews would be calming and which ones could sharpen focus. His Earth magic had helped as well, though only a few knew about that, and his entire House established a sort of rotation to and from the common room during their reviews. Draco found that he didn't mind the extra work much, so Millie had bullied Theo into buying some good china from the nearby town. As a result, his herb and tea collection often fluctuated between full and sparse, much like the ebb and flow of emotions that routinely encroached upon their study sessions.
It was no secret that Theo had a crush on Cathedra del Fuego, a tall, beautiful Portuguese girl with fiery-red hair. David Pliers, a Muggleborn from Alphyn House, had a crush on her as well. The poor girl suffered the misfortune of sitting between the two ram-brained idiots as they metaphorically beat their chests and drowned the rest of them out with their testosterone. Draco, who knew full well of Theo's arsenal of inappropriate prank, wisely kept his mouth shut and poured tea. Millie just rolled her eyes. It became annoyingly frequent though, and their insults became more and more outlandish and inventive, so he decided to make a small project out of trying to find an infusion that would stay their tempers. He kept meticulous notes.
Months later, he submitted it as his Advanced Herbalism dissertation. He got an A. Exploitation had never felt so good.
The weather in Switzerland was often cold and snowy, with sparse hours of weak daylight that a lucky class-less few could take advantage of. On Seychelles, where the beaches were warm and the sky was so blue it melded with the sea, Draco felt like he was standing on sunshine. Each breath stirred the Earth spirit in him, and he could smell and feel the islands like they were living, breathing beings. He could smell cinnamon and coconuts on the breeze, and when he asked his friends what they could feel, as per their Functional Empathy classes, Cathy had said that she could hear drums and the cry of seagulls becoming a steady heartbeat.
Cathy had Fire in her family, as her last name hinted, and she made no effort to hide it. Unlike Britain, which lumped elementals in the same wagon as banshees, vampires and werewolves, Portugal's magical community had been very accepting and even had a special school for Halflings. His mother had done her best, but Draco knew that was because Earth was the most stable of all elements. Others, like Air and Fire, were fickle, and for Water Halflings, empathy shields weren't enough. Finding out about Cathy had brought home just how lucky he had been, and for a moment, he wished he could do something about Wizarding Britain and its backward thinking. Then he thought about Granger, who Blaise had said was working in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and a plan began to form in his mind. It would mean a lot of paperwork and research, which was fine by him, and plenty of underhanded moves, which he was quite used to.
He would have lost himself in the satisfying familiarity of plan-making if it weren't for dear, stupid Theo.
It was permissible to assume that Draco's particular love for Enchante Cosmetics made him vain. He didn't mind that other people thought him so. His mother, who hated synthetic perfumes and additives, understood perfectly. Other companies loaded their products with false scent and chemicals that burned a bitter trail down his throat. Enchante didn't, and it turned out that their Shea nut butter was a perfect base for any type of medi-salve. It was most fortunate then, that they were available on Silhouette Island, because Theo had decided that the best way to relax on their class trip was to sunbathe stark naked on the roof of their inn. He ended up looking like the world's biggest lobster, cherry red and whining all the way back to Switzerland. Millie had not been pleased.
Not many Muggles knew the reason why Shakespeare left the bulk of his estate to his eldest daughter, but wizards did. Susanna Hall had been one of the foremost lady spell-weavers of her time, and the pioneer of theater-craft. Pansy, fresh from Nepal, had gotten them tickets to watch The Tempest at Aoide Hall and the whole thing had been bloody fantastic. The intricacies of the spells were spun in such a way that they activated in perfect synchronization with the movements of the actors. Afterwards, they had been so engrossed in dissecting the individual charms and transfigurations that Draco didn't see Granger until he had bumped into her.
She was accompanied, as always, by Weasley and Potter, who both shifted uncomfortably until Pansy decided to break the ice. She was the sort of person who remembered everybody's birthdays and she had cordially greeted the Boy Wonder before drawing them into some obligatory small talk. Inwardly, Draco marveled at how easy she made it look, slipping into a seamless social butterfly persona. As an Unspeakable, he would have to learn to do the same, but he always felt so false, as if he were speaking through someone else's mouth instead of his own. He contented himself with observing, which was something he could do well.
Weasley still looked like he was made of joints, though the success of helping out at his brother's joke store meant a more recent style of clothing. He and Granger were said to be a solid item, but he noticed that she was still ringless. Perhaps he was still waiting for the right moment, and only Merlin knew the sheer amount of patience Granger built up over the years. He couldn't help but pity her just then.
Potter had been just as reserved as he, or was trying to be, even while genially answering all of Pansy's questions. Without the stress of impeding evil, he had managed to revert to the quiet, unnoticeable boy he had been in First Year. Gone were the quicksilver emotions and all his unearthed anger, replaced by cool and calm. Whatever serenity Pansy had sought halfway around the world, Potter seemed to have achieved with a simple career change. It was a good look on him. No one liked a prematurely aged Savior.
Granger had been understandably skeptical about his proposal for Halflings and elementals, and he didn't blame her. His family had never bothered to build up their reputation after the war, and his father preferred it that way. If Draco hadn't already sat all of his exams and passed in all of his papers, he would have spontaneously combusted from all the references he had to pore through just to convince her that he was serious. And it didn't get easier. If anything, Granger demanded more research and was even compiling comprehensive world histories and laws regarding the treatment of Halflings. Draco had seen his summer stretching ahead of him like a blank library card and felt the gratification that only a smoothly running plan could produce.
Millie Bulstrode was a bear, a rough, tough, occasionally unrepentantly strong-armed girl who had never been afraid to express herself. She had never had any patience for excuses, or girly frivolities, or alarm clocks, much to Theo's chagrin. She spent two hours in the university gym ever day without fail and could have held her own against Crabbe and Goyle. She also had a temper to rival Cathy's, which was saying something, and a smoldering vindictiveness that was all Slytherin. Millie Bulstrode was not someone who was soft-spoken or easy-going or unnecessarily kind and she would sooner set a stuffed animal on fire than hug it.
So when she had told them that she was changing her major to Medi-Wizard Pediatrics, Draco had promptly choked on his tea. The sound of her benevolent palm hitting his back was like wet meat being given the once over by a sledgehammer. He fared better than David though, whose penalty for laughing was to go to the infirmary to get his bottom lip unstitched from the bridge of his nose.
Her conviction that it was the right thing for her made him think twice about becoming an Unspeakable. Two years at Epee and he felt quite unlike the prideful, hormonally-charged teen from Hogwarts. There was no war now, no need to hide, no new secrets to be kept. His life was not under-threat, and neither was his mother's or his father. The wizarding world was safe, Voldemort was gone and the rest of his Death Eaters had been rounded up long ago. True, there was always the possibility of yet another Evil Overlord rising from obscurity into terror, and just that thought should have been enough to make a decision. Perhaps this feeling of confusion was what had led to Potter's resignation from the Aurors. Perhaps the Golden Boy really had wanted to become a writer, before Voldemort had started trotting his infirm old bottom all over the Isles.
The petition for Halfling rights was going well, so he could champion that cause if he wanted, or he could pursue his Mastery in Potions. He could even become a Tasseomancer if he wanted. Merlin knew his Housemates had given him enough practice. He didn't have to be an Unspeakable, but somehow, in some way, he felt that he needed to be. It was irrational, and Draco hated irrationality more than anything.
His indecision was a gnawing frustration in the back of his mind, had been for a long time, and it was beyond annoying to think that he was just two years away from graduation and he still didn't know what he wanted.
For the first time in a long time, Draco jerked awake with sweaty palms, ragged breathing and a headache the size of a Quidditch field.
Was it too much to ask, he thought somewhat bitterly that night, for his Power to show him useful things, like a revolutionary broom design or a cure for leprosy? Even a glimpse of a boring future without hair loss would have been welcome. Instead of auspicious circumstances however, his Power insisted on showing him scenes of horror and death, as if he hadn't had enough of that during the war - scenes like a boy he didn't know butchering someone in the name of sacrifice, the sharp gleam of a knife against a clear starry sky, and pristine winter snow being marred by the crimson of young blood. Just that would have been disturbing enough, but what had really awakened him had been the look on the boy's face, and the fangs.
Blaise had mentioned in one of his long-winded letters that Muggle writers were making a mint off marketing vampires as some sort of misunderstood yet gallant group of physically perfect specimens with a penchant for black roses and angst-ridden teenage girls. Draco would have found it funny if it weren't so pathetically off the mark.
He was perfectly aware that there were vampires who sought to live normally, and that there were a few alternatives available to them to make their curse easier. Their Cryptozoology Master, Professor Schumann, was a vampire. She was no more bloodthirsty than the next teacher, though her eyes could gleam like an oil slick on fire when papers were not submitted on time. She was strict with a wicked sense of humor, and the first time the subject of her vampirism had been brought up, she had dropped the entire class off at the Healer's Library and smilingly assigned them a six-thousand word essay.
Draco had never particularly cared for vampirism, especially after he had seen the strange piggy man in Knockturn Alley. It had no cure and was worse than lycanthropy. Werewolves only felt the pain of transformation for the three days of the full moon, a week at the most, but a vampire's blood-lust was connected to his emotions. Someone who had been Turned always had to keep calm and be impassive, could never act on his anger, or his lust, or his anxiety, lest his fangs start thinking for him. And the hunger would never completely go away. Several books had described the feeling as being akin to lying on a bed of broken glass. A weak-minded person would be driven mad by the fifth day.
Not a single reference in the Library mentioned when the curse started and who its first victim was. All he knew was that there were as many types of vampire as there were countries in the world. But nowhere had he seen any mention of a vampire needing a knife to cut their victim's throat, or their fangs cutting through the gums after the blood had been drawn, as if they were new. He hadn't had such a clear vision since the one where he had foreseen the death of his cousin Sirius, and he suddenly felt cold, like someone had dropped a tray of ice cubes into his stomach. Clear visions never boded well.
Theo found him at the small dining table the next morning, asleep next to his crystal ball and an empty gallon of raspberry sorbet.
End of Chapter
Yep, I know it's slow-going, but I had too much fun imagining Draco's college life. I also wanted to pay some attention to Theo, seeing as I ignored him in Harveste.
Edit: Inquisitive comment-givers (which I love and adore) make for a better story and entice the author out of her whack-a-doodle brain.
Epee University - A wizaring university on par with any Ivy League school you'd care to mention; located in Valais, Switzerland. An epee is a dueling sword that can be used for fencing. It's like a rapier but it hurts way more, trust me.
Etre et Durer - French, translates to 'To be and To last'
Alban Arthan - Translates to 'The Light of Winter', the druidic festival of the winter solstice
Ornithology - the study of birds
Elemental - nature spirits, classified into the Four Elements. For example, lightning spirits or volcano spirits are under Fire, zephyrs and slyphs are Air, Water could be anything from a siren to a selkie, and Earth elementals are dryads or mountain fairies.
Halflings - the offspring of an Elemental and a human, either wizard or Muggle
Tasseomancer - Tasse is French for cup. Tasseomancy, in the real world, is the art of reading tea leaves. Here, I've changed it to a person who can work magic with tea, and possibly coffee as well.
Pediatrics - medicine for babies! And for kids and teens as well, but mostly babies!
Cryptozoology - the study of mythological or legendary animals
As for Enchante Cosmetics, the Treatise of Sinthgunt, the Hallow Path and Blaise, well...