So, so, so sorry! I promised you guys The Castle, like, forever ago! I know it's an excuse, but…I lost the original content. As such, I am rewriting it. Please, don't be mad at me!

This piece should probably have some other name. But it's The Castle.

Enjoy.


Hermione needed a book. Being without one, even if she couldn't get comfortable enough to read it, made her quite nervous. In addition, she had no clue where she really was.

Three Hours Before

Turning over with a cat-like stretch, Hermione burrowed her face into satin-covered pillows, trying to avoid the touch of the early morning sun.

Satin? This isn't my room, she thought, bolting upright. At the foot of the bed stood a petite, strawberry blonde maid, in a dress two sizes too large, her hair in tight ringlets framing her face.

"'Ello, Miss Granger," she said. She looked quite nervous, and had a distinct accent, one that Hermione couldn't quite place.

"Hermione, please." The brunette slid out of the bed carefully, her feet landing in thick, plush carpet. "Where am I?"

"You're in the Count's castle, miss. He brought you here last night. Told me to dress you," the small young lady answered. She moved up to Hermione's side and sighed, gazing out the window. "My name's Rosaline."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Rosaline."

She had remembered the incident. The running, the Apparition, the capture and abduction…it was quite distinct in her mind.

"Where is the castle?"

"It's 'ard to say, miss. I've never known. He doesn't tell us because he's afraid we'll leave and find someone to kill him. I've always thought that…we're in the middle of far-northern Alaska. It's so dark, so much of the time. Sunsets are so rare."

"Sunsets?" Hermione said, incredulity in her expression.

"Yes, miss. It's seven forty-eight in the evening. The sun is setting…for the last time, for several months. We won't see daylight for some time," Rosaline said. "Makes it easier for the Count to find food sources."

"Food sources as in, go hunting?"

"Yes, miss."

I've landed myself in a kind of hell, Hermione thought. "Do you know if he'll be stopping by in the night?"

"He is expected to, miss. He doesn't tell us his 'ole schedule, but when he 'as a guest, he usually visits him or her nightly. Follow me, miss."

Hermione did, into a large, elegant washroom, complete with a large Jacuzzi tub, a large counter, and a glistening mirror. Rosaline showed her where the freshest towels were placed, where to put the used towels for maid pickup, and all the other bathing necessities. She also laid out a simple dark blue top, dark jeans, and a set of expensive-looking lingerie.

"He prepared a long time for you, miss," Rosaline said. "I'll be down the 'all if you need me. Just give me a ring."

Hermione nodded, not knowing what the girl meant exactly as she turned on the water in the Jacuzzi tub. She was left to her own devices once more, as per the norm in her life, but this time it was more significant.

Ginny.

The Weasleys.

Harry.

They'd be furious with her. Beyond furious. They didn't know what had happened to her, where she was.

She had to owl them.

But she didn't know where she was!


That was how she landed herself in this place, needing reading material and an explanation from a vampire that had abducted her.

This is fucked up, she thought, twitching with the hem of the dark blue shirt. He expects me to just wait here?

A knock came upon the bedroom door. The sun had set about half an hour previous, while Hermione had inspected every inch of the bedroom. She knew who it was.

"Come in, Count," she said, shaking her head slightly. She couldn't believe she was talking to one of the oldest vampires in the world. The utter insanity of it was not lost on her.

The door open and the vampire breezed through, looking quite…good. His hair was sleek to his head, held in place by a ponytail, and his suit was well made. Probably designer. Her own clothes were without tags, so she did not know whether they were or not.

"Good evening, Miss Granger," the Count said, bowing slightly. "I trust you've found things to be satisfactory?"

"Except for the fact that, oh, you kidnapped me, it's perfect. Ever going to let me go home?"

A low, resonating chuckle came from the vampire's throat. "It is unwise to do that at this point in time."

"Great," Hermione said, standing up. "I need a book. Do you have a library in this place?"

"A comprehensive library, yes," the Count said. "Come with me." He held his hand to her, but she slid her hands stubbornly into her pockets. "There are other vampires taking refuge here. It is highly unwise to appear unaccompanied."

Narrowing her eyes, Hermione stared into his face. She didn't care that she was literally staring down a vampire. His expression was curious, but not that of a cruel man who would take her and do her harm in this particular moment. Slowly, she raised her hand halfway. "Are you not one of the most powerful vampires in the universe?"

"I used to be. Then Samara happened."

Hermione tilted her head, taking his hand, still rather hesitant. "Who? What do you mean?"

"You would know her as Samantha. You see, my survival is tethered to your existence. A long time ago, when I was a new, young vampire, a warlock cursed me. I would love only one, a witch of prodigious power and skill," he said, talking as he led her through the door. "If she were not mine upon the moment of my death, I would be resurrected when a new witch, borne of the same blood, came to the proper age."

"Twenty years of age," Hermione stated.

"Yes, exactly. Which is why I've been watching you."

"Which is why you've been stalking me, rather."

"No, not quite so," he replied. "I never came near you once."

"Of course not. You stalked me from afar. But it's still stalking."

"I have been trapped in this house, this castle, for years."

"I was wondering about the fact that it's a castle."

"It's not really a castle." His dark eyes seemed critical of her, though he smiled. "I only call it a castle for the grandeur of the statement. In all reality, it's just an incredibly large manor house. As such, everything within it is something you will enjoy or recognize. I've built a decent collection of books, for example, in the past few years of imprisonment."

"So you trust some of your staff?"

"No. I trust some of the other vampires living here. They know not to touch you – with your presence in the world, I've gained back some of my old power. I may not be to full strength, but I am free to walk and wander within the grounds of my own home."

"Will I be allowed to walk outside?"

"So long as you are accompanied."

Might as well make the most of my imprisonment, Hermione thought. It's not likely that I'll be allowed beyond the walls of this place for quite some time. "And what if there is something I need that I cannot get within these walls? I left my wand at the Burrow."

"It will be retrieved this evening."

"Thank you."

"Don't thank me. Thank Samara. I know you have seen her face."

Hermione could not reply to this, nor could she even comprehend what magic it would take to know that. Could he read her mind? Were her thoughts safe? Did he have a spy in her home? Were her parents safe? This was such a troubling train of thought that she could not even begin to comprehend the implications of any of her ideas.

"I think you will find the library to your liking," the Count told her as he threw open the double doors to the library.

It had to be four stories tall, with books everywhere – on every shelf to the ceiling, even above the door. Plush armchairs, tables for making notes, and even a few more modern beanbag chairs were on the floor, waiting to be sat in or at. It was almost like a larger version of the Hogwarts library, but with a more complex and immersed world that Hermione took an immediate liking to. He might have been a vampire, but he certainly knew how to keep a bookish girl happy.

Taking a large volume from the first shelf by the door, Hermione sank happily into an armchair beside a curtained window and set about reading.


Ginny, Harry, Ron, and George stood outside of the Granger household, staring at the nearly empty place. Only a few things remained outside.

"Think they've gone?" Ginny asked quietly.

"No idea. Come on. Let's go check it out."

The quartet entered the home, wands out. As Harry had expected, the place was empty save a few pieces of furniture and an out-of-place diary. Ginny picked it up.

"Samantha Urzica," she said, reading the name on the back. "That sounds familiar."

George nodded. "Hermione was having nightmares about someone with that name."

Ginny opened it to a random page, skimming it with widening eyes. The boys stared at her anxiously.

"What is it?" Harry finally asked.

"Hermione's been kidnapped. By a vampire. It's all listed here, his reasoning, his planning, his promise…his vow. Samantha Urzica is Hermione's Romanian ancestor, a very powerful witch. Hermione is destined to follow in her footsteps," Ginny said, closing the book and sliding it into her pocket. "Come on. Let's go tell the others. We have a lot to do."


Oh, my goodness, I'm sorry! This took much longer to write than even I expected. It's quite a delicate tale, you see. Must be carefully approached.

I admit, this is somewhat filler. Rosaline is entirely my own creation – her purpose will be further revealed as the story progresses. I picture her accent as something of a cross between Seamus's and Fleur's. Not quite an easy thing to write, huh? But, you'll see why she is so confusing a character later on!

For now, I leave you be. I hope you enjoy this piece of delightful words that I've written for you.

Much love,

xHx