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loonylove @ TDA.
The crowd was silent as the noose was tightened around his neck. He stayed there, looking bored, as the executioner stood back and the judge read out his charges.
"Jacob Smith, you are hereby charged with adultery, thievery, murder of the first degree and treason. Your sentence is death by hanging. Any last words?"
He rubbed at the rope bound around his wrists, itching him, and looked up to the judge and smirked lazily. "I guess I'm just a greedy boy."
The crowd stared in stunned silence, both at his indifference to the fact he was going to die and his answer. The judge only nodded once to the executioner.
He laughed as the lever was pulled and he dropped. He didn't move or try to fight. His eyes were glued to the judge standing across from him, until, finally, they closed slowly and his head dropped.
His body was cut down and dragged away to the door leading to the prison doctor an hour later and they carried him to the table, ready to bury his body in the shallow grave they had made earlier. They dropped him on to the table and left.
"He's definitely dead," one shouted. "He ain't breathing!"
He waited until he heard the door slam shut again, then grinned and opened his eyes, sitting up quickly. "Idiots," he muttered gleefully, shaking his head. He jumped off of the table, walked across the cell and glanced out the door; the place was empty. He strolled to the front door, unafraid, ignoring the consequence of being caught.
The door shut just as he saw the man who had brought him entered his cell from the other direction. "Where's he gone? Find Smith! This isn't possible!"
He laughed all the way down the cobbled street and turned the corner. It was late and the town was empty; it was so easy to leave. He couldn't have timed it better. The alarm sounded and he ran to the next corner. "Time to go," he said to no one. He was gone before the officials could reach the street corner.
He stuffed what he needed into a bag; clothes, money, food, and changed his clothes, leaving his discarded garments on the floor. They'd come here looking for him first anyway; he wanted them to know that they were too late. Throwing his bed to the floor, he stuck his finger into the small hole in the corner of the wooden floor board and pulled it back to reveal what he had come back for.
He heard shouts from below and grabbed his bag, shrinking it and putting it into his pocket. He opened the window as he heard them charge up the stairs.
"Now or never," he murmured.
He jumped, landing onto his feet to the ground and ran into the direction of the river. He had a few minutes at most.
He sped up when he saw the boat leave and leapt across the dock, just missing the water. He leant against the boat and watched as England disappeared from view. America would be in his sights soon enough and his work would begin again.
He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small red jewel and held it up. "All this trouble just for you," he whispered. "I almost exposed myself."
He slept with the Judge's wife and mistress, he stole the jewel and drained the blood of the man who kept it safe. "Worth it."
"What are you doin' back here?"
He put it back in his pocket and turned around quickly, his mind coming up with a plan; he couldn't come all this way just to lose his chance to get to America now. What he needed what there. "I need to get to America." His voice sounded frantic.
The old man limped to his side, his face stern. "An' who gave you permission to come aboard me boat."
He breathed deeply in and out, his voice ragged. "P-please, my dad, he tried to kill me. I had to leave. Please help me. I just need the ride to America, then you'll never see me again."
It worked. The old man's face fell slightly and he nodded stiffly. "You'll pay your way."
He nodded enthusiastically. "Don't worry, I'll make sure of it."
"What's your name, boy?"
He looked across the water. England was a speck in the darkness and his name was gone forever. He was ready for a new world with a new identity. "It's Chase," he said, a ghost of a smirk on his lips, one he kept hidden from the old man. "Tristan Chase."
loonylove @ TDA.
New York City, New York.
Tristan flicked through an old magazine lazily until his driver opened the door. He pushed his Armani sunglasses up his nose and stepped out of the sleek, black limousine. The wind had picked up and Tristan pulled his designer coat closer to him, lifting the collar up to cover his neck. The cold air didn't bother him, but he still felt it.
The sun was mostly hidden by the clouds, but peeked out in places; he kept to the shade. He listened to girls giggle and turn while they walked past and couldn't help but smirk.
Tristan pulled back the door and stepped into the university. Everyone he walked past ignored him, used to him being around the campus as he had been during the summer, whispering comments that he walked around like he owned the place; he heard them all. Only when he reached the library, did he remove his sunglasses, swinging them back and forth in his hands. The librarian pointed to the corner, knowing who he was looking for; the same person he'd been talking to last month. He nodded once, acknowledging her, and made his way to the corner of the library he needed, to the history section.
Tristan dropped the glasses on the table, causing the professor waiting for him to jump, and took off his coat.
"Mister Chase," he stuttered. Tristan raised an eye-brow, taking in his appearance; his hair was messed up, from running his hands through it one to many times, he assumed. There were dark circles around his eyes and they were dull and tired. He shook slightly, almost unnoticeable, except Tristan was looking for it. Added to his stutter, the man before him was terrified.
"I told you not to contact me unless you found it," he spoke low and soft, with a clear threat hidden in his tone. "I take it you have, Beaker."
Beaker nodded his head quickly and pushed the book in front of him to Tristan's line of sight. He turned the book around and skimmed over the words on the pages in front of him. "What am I looking at?"
Beaker coughed, clearing his throat. "I-it's about the blue stone you were talking about. It took time, but I managed to trace it's whereabouts to here in a remote part of Scotland."
By the time he had finished, Beaker seemed calmer. He still shook and was unable to look him in the eye, but he had stopped stammering; Tristan gave him points for effort. But he still didn't like what he was hearing, and showed it in his expression and tone. "Scotland?" He growled. "Where in Scotland?"
Beaker let out a small squeak, fearful, and pulled the book back slowly, hoping he could find the answer. "I don't know, it's so remote I can't find a name. I tried to find details, something that could provide a location, but I got nothing."
"But it's here?" Tristan asked, pointing to the page. "You're certain?"
The professor nodded his head earnestly, his glasses falling from his nose. He pushed them up. "I'm certain. Though I wish I could provide a name for you now, I can keep looking."
Tristan waved a hand in front of Beaker's face lazily, cutting him off. He absorbed himself into the pages of the book provided to him, taking in every detail of the place so remote that a name couldn't be found. Isolated, a place no one could find, no Muggle anyway; Tristan was sure he knew where he needed to go.
"Hogsmeade," he muttered quietly to himself.
"I'm sorry?" Beaker asked, not hearing what he had said.
Tristan lifted his head, a look of mild surprise on his face, as though he had not noticed he wasn't alone. He stood up straight, a small smile graced his features, something Beaker had never seen before; it unnerved him. And Tristan could tell; his features changed to one of amusement.
Tristan held out his hand. "Because of you, I know where I need to go, thank you." The professor glanced down, scared. "I'm a man of my word, Beaker," he assured. "You've done as I've said and you've got me the information I need; you're fine."
They both knew exactly what he meant by that; he was safe, he'd live. Beaker took his hand hesitantly and shook once, before letting go. Tristan put his coat and sunglasses back on and handed the professor the history book, then proceeded to walk out of the library without another word.
"Mister Chase!" Beaker called. Tristan narrowed his eyes at being stopped; every delayed moment was interrupting his plans. He faced the man, willing him to speak. "What is so important about these stones that would would willingly travel the world to find them. Do they mean anything to you?"
"Not a damn thing," he admitted. "But I need them to reach my goal, one I've had for the longest time. The next question you cannot ask," he said, seeing the professor's mouth reopen. "It's personal and if I tell you, I'd have to kill you."
He continued to walk away. "How old are you?"
"Older than you can imagine," Tristan called back, never stopping his steady pace back to his car. The driver was ready with the door open as soon as he was close enough to be seen. "Home," he said, getting in.
The drive to his apartment was a quiet one; he spent the journey planning his preparations for his departure in his head, ready to do so once he was home. Once again, the door was opened for him, the same with the door leading to the lobby. He took the elevator up to the penthouse, taking in the information he had gathered. It wasn't what he would have hoped, going back home had not been on his list of priorites. As long as no one recognized him, he would be fine. He doubted they would, whether they remembered his old names or not; they had been so long ago.
The elevator opened into his living room and he stepped out, removing his glasses and jacket. The floor to ceiling glass windows were UV protected and the sun was no bother to him. Tristan came to a halt at the bookcase nearest one of the windows and pulled out a small mahogany box, covered in protective enchantments and engravings. He whispered an incantation softly, his hand over the lid, and lifted it up. Sitting in the middle of the couch, Tristan put the box on the coffee table and admired the three stones he currently had in his possession; one clear, one green, the final a deep red. One more, one bluer than the sky, and his collection would be complete. Then he could go after what he really wanted, the reason he needed the stones in the first place.
Tristan scanned over his home, barely taking in the riches, the culture, things he had that others would kill for. He was leaving it all behind anyway. He decided to keep the apartment, rather than sell it, thinking it may come in handy if he needed a place. He owned it anyway. He picked up a stone and stood up to admire the view from the window, though he preferred it at night, thinking the sight more wonderful. "I think I may actually miss it here," he said to himself.
Tristan threw the stone in the air, catching it easily, and held it up to see which one he had chosen; the clear one. The first stone he had found. It had been the most difficult to get a hold of and even harder to get away; it had almost killed him. But it had been a means to an end and if his plan succeeded, it would be worth it, he knew. Leaning against the window, his mind went back to that night...
He hid behind the cart, outside of the gate. Snow covered stones dug into his knees, ripping through the thin layer of cotton, but he ignored it. A figure came up from behind and crouched beside him. "You can go around back, Simon. The wall is not that high and the path is clear; everyone is in the ballroom at the party and the guards are here at the front of the house."
Simon gave a curt nod and allowed the boy at his side, only a year or so older than himself, to show him the way. They stopped at the wall. He was right, it was low enough for him to climb over with little effort and no noise. "I will wait for you in the trees, just pass the front gate. Good luck, Simon."
"Luck?" He asked, smirking. "Will I really need it, Henry? Do you not think I will get in?"
Henry scoffed halfheartedly. "I believe you will get in just fine, it's getting out I'm worried about. We don't know what magic they have protecting the house. You, my friend, are going on blind luck."
Simon took a step back. "Everyone must at some point." He saluted the boy, ran to the wall and jumped, just managing to reach his hand over the top. He pulled himself up the rest of the way easily and dropped down to the ground without a sound. He made his way across the garden silently, not wanting to attract attention, and pressed his back to the wall, concealing himself from possible onlookers.
When he saw that the room was clear, Simon pressed his hand to the door carefully and whispered the incantation that would open it. He prayed that whatever wards the family normally had were down for their guests and held his breath as he took one slow step inside.
Simon let go of the breath and walked in, closing the door behind him; if someone were to walk past, he did not want them to suspect anything was different. The pathway to the staircase was empty, he could hear music coming from down the long and narrow hallway. His friend was right once more; everyone was enjoying the party, paying no attention to anything beyond the ballroom doors.
Simon took the stairs two at a time, not wanting to waste a second; any time that could be shed from getting what he wanted would be time added to getting out. He followed the path, remembering the route Henry had told him. He only wished Henry had been strong-willed enough to get it when he had the chance; Simon would have been long gone by now.
He shook his mind of those thoughts; it couldn't be helped, so it didn't matter. He stopped suddenly, sensing the magic coming from just around the corner; he had found it. Simon turned and stopped in front of the large oak doors, placing his hand against the door frame. It took every bit of strength he had, but he did it; the wards fell down and the door swung open. He took the same caution as before and felt relief flow through him when nothing happened upon stepping inside.
He didn't need to look far; there in the middle of the extravagant room was the stone he had been searching for. After all this time, it was almost in his hands. Simon side-stepped every other valuable in the room, making his way to the small pillar which held the stone. The jewel rested on a silk white cushion, kept still and safe. He ran his hand over the top, hovering, and found out that no individual charms was protecting it. The fool of a man downstairs had obvivously believed the magic around the door was protection enough.
Simon picked up the stone quickly.
Then the alarms sounded.
He pushed the stone into the pocket of his pants and spun around, checking every part of the room for another way out. There was none; it was all wall. He ran out of the entrance quickly and down the hall, the opposite direction to the way he came in. He heard voices and footsteps coming up the stairs and then the unmistakeable sound of Apparition and suddenly the voices were not that far behind.
He turned the other corner, coming to a window. He knew what he had to do. The voice shouted for him to stop, then a spell was fired at him. It missed by mere inches, red light hitting the wall, then green. Simon covered his face with his arms and leapt through the glass. The fall seemed to last forever, but he landed onto the ground. His body twisted awkwardly and he fell on his side, rolling onto his stomach, and scrambled to his feet.
He was met a few second later by one of the guards. Simon tried to knock him out of the way, but the bigger man was quick and moved to the side, lowering his body, and dug something into Simon's stomach. He let out a pained scream and hit the man, knocking him to the ground. He continued to run until he reached the metal gates, each step a muffled groan as his wound began to burn like fire.
He made it to the top and fell to the ground. Barely able to stand, he just managed to make it to his destination, before Henry caught him. "What is it?"
"My side," he whispered.
Henry looked down. He saw it, just to the left, sticking out of his friend's body. "You've been struck by a blade," he informed him, but Simon was barely conscious. He tried to grab it, but pulled back, burned. "An iron blade."
Henry pulled down his sleeve so it covered his hand and pulled it out quickly, before tossing it aside. He rubbed his hand on his pants, hoping to be rid of the stinging sensation, and held the boy up. "Simon! Simon, look at me."
Simon opened his eyes with great difficulty. "Help," he whispered. "I... I need..."
"I know what you need."
He lost all consciousness.
When he awoke, he recognised it as the run down house that Henry had been living in. He pulled himself up from the small, uncomfortable bed, gritting his teeth in the process.
He heard the door open and Henry whisper soft, calming words to an unknown woman. Her scent found its way to him and he almost imagined his mouth would water. He could feel his teeth come through; they were ready for her.
Henry stepped through, holding her by the throat, shushing her. "Good. You're up. What little I had, I gave to you while you were out, but it wasn't enough. You need her."
"Thank you," Simon said sincerely. "You are a good friend, Henry. I hope we meet again soon after tonight."
Henry ran his hand down her pale white neck, feeling her shiver at his touch. "Did you get what you wanted?"
Simon dug into his pocket and pulled out the clear jewel. "A rock? You almost died for a rock?"
"I told you," he replied, standing on shaking legs. "The object is not the goal, it's -"
"A means to an end, I remember," he said. "Feed and be gone, Simon. You broke into the house of the Minister for Magic and stole from him; they may already be looking for you."
He held her out at arms length, pushing her Simon's way. He grabbed her by the arms, caressing his way up to her shoulders. "Look at me," he whispered to her. And she did. "Relax." She did and he moved closer, wrapping his left arm around her waist, while his right hand pulled her hair back, exposing her neck. He tilted her head to his right and revealed two razor sharp, pointed fangs.
He bit into her skin, clinging to her as he fed.
A/N: Hey, all. Authors note at the bottom this time. By now, I'm sure you all know what Tristan is. And Henry. So, yes, Tristan was Simon. You'll only see one more name change in this story. Maybe two. As he was Simon at the time, I put "Simon did..." "Simon said..." instead of "Tristan", but I don't want anyone to get confused. Second, I got iron being bad for Tristan from The Vampire Diaries (I think. I watch too many. LOL). Finally, I made up the university for this story. Hope you all enjoy this. Reviews would be greatly appreciated. :)
Edit: I changed the yellow stone to its real colour; green. I have no idea why I put yellow.
He laughed as he ran, letting his friends chase him, and left their joyful laughter behind him, knowing without a doubt that they could not catch him. He stopped once he deemed himself far enough away and took slow, calming breaths to steady his pulse. Only when he turned around did he realize his mistake; his friends had snuck up on him, close enough to cover his face in snow. He took a step back, the force of the hit along with the cold making him lose his balance, and let out a highpitched shriek. Which only caused the three boys in front of him to laugh harder.
"You will live to regret that, Gareth," he said with a small hint of malice showing through his grin.
The smirk that graced Gareth's soft features seemed more like a smile in his opinion, and his friend pushed his black hair out his eyes. "A threat, sir? I'm terrified. Exactly what you want out of me, of course, your Majesty." The other two boys threw their heads back, laughing as Gareth bowed mockingly.
He joined in, as though unable to help himself, but schooled his features quickly and locked eyes with Gareth, serious. "It would be in your best interest to remember that."
It was calm and quiet for only a few seconds before they had all burst into laughter again. Gareth moved forward and wrapped his arm around the boy's shoulder, their foreheads touching. "Of course. It is a best friend's duty to listen to the threats one gives." He chuckled lightly and patted him on the back. "Come, friend. I think it's time we head back; the snow is falling thicker and I don't like it."
"That's because you blend in," the boy on his left snickered, gesturing to his pale complexion. It earned him a blow to the ribs with Gareth's elbow.
"Gareth is right," he said, stopping any fighting, playful or otherwise. "It's getting too cold to stay outside and if we do not go in now people will start looking for us."
"That's because we're not supposed to be out here," the final friend pointed out.
"Ah, Chris; the faithful goodie-goodie."
"Say what you will, Daniel," Chris replied. "I don't care. What I do care about is that we go home in three days for Christmas, yet no one is packed."
"Except you," Gareth laughed.
They made their way back to the castle, walking at a leisurely pace despite the cold, and didn't hear the sound of footsteps crunching the snow. Except him.
He turned to face the sound, curious, and stopped in his tracks. His heart rate sped up, he could feel it beat against his chest like it was ready to explode, and his mouth went dry.
But the figure just stood there, completely unmoving except for a slight nod of the head at the boy, acknowledging him but making no attempt to approach him. He jumped when a hand touched his shoulder.
"Are you alright?" Gareth asked, worried. He turned to their other friends, then to the empty space where the figure had been standing, then to Gareth. "I'm fine," he promised, his smile strained. "I just thought I saw something, but it was nothing. Let's go, I am freezing."
They quickened their pace to the school, and the whole time the hairs stood up on the back of his neck, the feeling of being watched never leaving him...
Tristan jumped up, waking himself from his nightmare, and sat up straight. He ran his hands over his hair, pushing it back, controlled his almost unnoticiable shaking and looked outside his window, into the village. He noticed the carriage slow down and pulled his mobile phone out from his pocket, pressing the number one on his speeddial. Tristan pressed the device to his ear and listened to it ring impatiently, waiting for the one on the other line to wake up so he would answer it. He knew his friend was still sleeping, he was the poster boy of stereotypical vampires; sleep all day, feed at night.
Tristan heard a murmured hello on the other end of the line as the carriage pulled to a stop. "And you wonder why every Muggle story has it written that they're safe during the daytime," he said, getting out of the carriage, only laughing when his friend swore at him in reply. He patted the Thestril affectionately on its head and waited for the carriage to leave before speaking again. "I'm here."
"I'm already settled, just tell me what to do."
"It went according to plan?" Tristan asked, a hint of worry laced into his otherwise casual tone.
With a slight nod of the head, Tristan gave him his instructions, pressing the phone harder to his ear to be sure he could hear clearly due to little reception. "Nothing much as of yet. Just be noticed, gain their trust, find out everything you can and report back to me."
He heard a muttered "Yes, Boss," in reply and knew the man was falling back asleep.
"How you get anything done when you spend most of your day in bed is beyond me," Tristan sighed. "Good luck." He hung up as soon as the words had been uttered, not expecting a reply anyway, and put his phone back in its place in the front right pocket of his jeans.
Tristan forced his hands into his pockets, his only indicator that he was more frustrated than calm, and surveyed his surroundings, walking slowly. Some people around the village nodded their heads in greeting as he passed and he did the same out of politeness; he didn't need any unnecessary trouble.
He stopped at the edge of the village and tilted his head upwards slightly, staring ahead. He could see the faint outline of the place he needed to go, the great school of magic, a castle hidden from Muggles, and one of the safest places in the Wizarding world; Hogwarts.
Tristan heard murmurs from people behind, whispers of what he could be doing, and turned his head a little, though not enough that they would know he could hear them. He ignored them, they weren't his problem, and pushed one step forward, leaving Hogsmeade.
Tristan slowly continued on his way to the school, each step seemingly heavier than the last; it had been so long since he had been to Hogwarts. But he made it to the gates and he held his hand up, running his fingers just above the metal bars. Tristan could feel the ancient magic that protected the school and its students, and the new incantations added; he knew the difference. Summer was over; everything was ready for September, for the students who would be returning in three days and for the new first years starting. He still remembered when he was a first year, so long ago. He pressed his palm to the middle and watched the gates open for him.
He didn't step in. Tristan cast his gaze around the front entrance, stopping at the huge wooden doors of Hogwarts school.
"Home, sweet home."
Weasley Wizard Wheezes, Diagon Alley, London.
A bump. A poke. A nudge.
She squeezed her eyes shut, forgetting each and every one. She was so tired.
She jumped at her name, her head rising from her folded arms, which she had been using as a pillow, and let them drop from the counter. Roxanne rubbed her eyes, removing any trace of sleep, and turned to her brother, Fred, who was taking a customer's purchase. She watched him take the money and place it in the till, giving the young boy his change, and waited for him to finish. When he was done, Fred faced her, turning his body to sit on the counter right in front of her. "Are you okay, sis? You're falling asleep on the customers."
"Hmm," she muttered, nodding. "I was just making sure I had everything ready for tomorrow last night; new books, uniforms, regulur clothes, homework, accessories," she gestured to the pranks and jokes in the shop around her and they both laughed, "It's all packed, bro. But by the time I finished, it was late, or early I should say. I lost track of time and didn't realize, now I'm paying for it."
Fred took his bottle of water from the counter and twirled it in his fingers. "You should listen to Aunt Hermione; organize your time and pack as the summer goes along, then all you need to do is double check the day before. That way you won't lose sleep."
Roxanne tilted her head to the left and tapped her finger on her chin. "Oh, let me think. That's right; no," she chuckled, folding her arms over her chest. "It's my way or no way. Since when did you listen to Aunt Hermione anyway?"
Fred looked at her like it was obvious. "Since her help with my interview got me the job. She knows what she's talking about."
Roxanne moved closer, studying her brother, before smirking. "She found out it was you who glued her and Ron together and your trying to get back into her good books."
"Do you think it's working?" Roxanne shook her head, grin still in place, and pushed her hair away from her face. "Damn," Fred cursed, his eyes narrowed slightly. "Well, I give up. In fact, I think I did them a favor; they weren't talking except to argue, spending that day together forced them to solve their problems. Everybody won."
Roxanne laughed loudly as he walked away, feeling more awake than before. "If you say so!" she called out to him. Her laugh only got louder when he gave her the finger.
"James is outside," was the last thing Fred said before disappearing out of the shop and into the alley.
Sitting back in her chair, Roxanne turned it to the side to rest her arm on the counter and played around with one of the multi-colored bubble makers on display, spinning the bottle in circles while she waited for her cousin. She knew exactly why he was coming, of course, considering he'd got everything he needed for school the week before and had more than enough Quidditch supplies. He wasn't coming to raid the joke shop, that was her thing.
There was only one other reason and James was coming to Roxanne because she would be the only one who knew. He was coming to use her other talent, as she called it; gossip. Since James didn't usually care, she knew his questions would be centered on one person.
Roxanne knew her cousin extremely well, they were best friends. Though she'd thank Lily later for tipping her off about James' visit, she knew she'd have figured out his reason the moment he stepped into the shop. And she'd have his answers.
Roxanne Weasley was the one you went to for information; she was a people person.
Whether she gave her cousin his answers, however, was another story. At least not straight away.
The door opened and Roxanne glanced up for only a second before focusing her attention on the bubble maker. She didn't understand how anything so small and simple could keep young kids entertained for hours and keep them so quiet, but they did and she was proud of her idea to bring them to the shop all those years ago; they were one of their biggest sellers and brought more customers than ever.
Weasley Wizard Wheezes; suitable for all ages (causing trouble for parents from age three).
"Over here, Jamie!" Roxanne called back, the sound of his voice pulling her from her thoughts. James made his way over to the counter with ease, as it was still early and the shop was relatively empty, and leant across the counter. Roxanne turned her chair back and copied, pulling herself up a fraction so they were eye level. "Can I help you, Cuz?"
James raised an eye brow. "Spill."
"What's in it for me?" James held up a small bag and shook it for Roxanne to hear the galleons clanging together. She tutted. "I can't be bought."
James threw it to her anyway and grinned, pulling out a gold chain with a small key hanging from the bottom. He swung it from side to side slowly and watched her eyes narrow; how the hell did he get that?
"What have I told you about letting Hugo anywhere near you? He has light fingers," James told her, smug. He pulled it back when Roxanne tried to grab it. "I am a man on a mission, Miss Weasley. Spill."
Groaning, Roxanne sat back slowly, pocketing the gold as she did so. She hated her cousins right at that moment; Hugo for being a little thief as usual and James for ruining any chance of messing with him. "She's really looking forward to seeing you at school. She hopes you'll find her on the train and sit with her."
James punched the air. "Yes!"
"Personally, I don't know what you see in her," Roxanne said. Sure Emily Porter was nice and relatively popular; a good girl, with good grades and good friends, but that's all Roxanne could see. Who wanted good when you could have the best?
Turning his grin into a small smile, James dropped her chain to the counter and pushed it to her; she took it and hung it around her neck, where it belonged. "You'll understand one day, Cuz. People see things differently, that's all. I'll see you at Kings Cross tomorrow," he said, walking away and waving. "And thank you. I owe you one."
"Hugo owes me more!" she shouted. "Damn kid," Roxanne grumbled, but couldn't stop the small appreciative smile. He was good, better than that, he was the best, she couldn't deny that. And to do that to her? Completely unnoticed? Hugo had guts.
Her thoughts turned from murderous and vindictive to thoughtful. I'll use that later, she said to herself as she served another customer.
A/N: After so long, I've finally got the next chapter up. t feels so good to go back to this story. I hope it becomes more regular. :)
Kings Cross Station, London.
It seemed as though the world was spinning too fast and Roxanne had to stop. Her eyes closing softly, she stayed still, in the middle of the platform, and focused on her breathing. She stood in that same position until she could no longer hear the crowd's loud voices nor the low rumble of the Hogwarts train's engine as it waited for the students to board. There was nothing except the steady beat of her own heart and the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she continued to breathe in and out.
Slowly, Roxanne opened her eyes again and continued to walk along the platform until she reached the end of the train. She'd already said good bye to her parents, had the mandatory 'don't get into trouble' speech from her mother and the amended 'don't get into too much trouble' version from her dad. Other members of her family had wished her good luck in her final year, her cousins who were still going to Hogwarts were already on board. It was just her left, but she took her time; her compartment was always empty.
She wondered if James would be waiting for her or if he'd already found Emily. Her gut told her it was the latter; she'd be sitting alone today. At least until she found Aidan or he found her; he was always fun to be around.
Another student opened the carriage door, waved at Roxanne as she stepped inside. She recognized the girl, a Hufflepuff a few years younger than her and friends with her cousin, Lily. So she waved back and stepped on board the train. Her compartment, the last compartment on the right, was empty, as she knew it would be, and she shut the door behind her. She collapsed into the couch, closest to the window, and stretched her legs out in front of her. The train's rumble vibrated around her, lulled her into a gentle sleep. It was finally catching up with her and she welcomed it. Aidan wouldn't come find her for a while yet and she had hours until they got to school.
A nap sounds good.
It was her last thought before her mind went blank and everything was forgotten.
Hogwarts Express, Enroute to Scotland.
It seemed like minutes later when she was shaken awake, a gentle hand wrapped around her arm. Roxanne turned her head to the left, now leaning against a strong shoulder, and her eyes opened. She couldn't see his face, but she recognized his aftershave straight away. Her arm wrapped around his stomach, and with his fingers stroking her side softly, she felt sleep creep back and threaten to take her again. But she fought it; if things went the way it usually did, she'd wake soon enough anyway.
His other arm wrapped around her, pulling her closer to his body. His body. She knew it better than anyone. She knew all of him. "Hey, Aidan."
Her words came out as nothing more than a whisper. She barely heard his responding laugh, but she felt his chest rise and fall from under her. "Still asleep, Rox?"
"Little bit," she murmured, louder this time, and she pulled herself up to sit at his side. "I really needed that sleep. I thought I'd actually fall on my face on the platform."
"Hmm, I could tell," he chuckled. "You actually looked nice, I was shocked. I couldn't bring myself to wake you. Well, not too soon anyway," he added and winked, remembering that he had woken her. She hated it when anyone else woke her. Just not him.
"What did you wake me up for?" Roxanne asked, her eye-brow raised in suspicion. She smiled, though. She knew.
Aidan thread his fingers through her hair and pulled her to him until she was almost straddling his knee. Roxanne wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed back hard, fighting for dominance. He pulled back and pushed her down onto the compartment's couch.
He knew, too.
"How do we always end up on the floor?" Aidan laughed, his arms folded behind his head. Roxanne placed a kiss on his abdomen and sat up. "Do you think people know what we do and that's why they never come down here?"
She grinned. "Why? Do you want to get caught?"
Aidan shrugged, smirking. "Who knows? I mean, making out with you is great and all, but we both know that I'm just waiting for something better."
Her hand curled into a fist, Roxanne swung her arm back, colliding almost harshly with his chest, and stood up to fix her uniform. "You love me and you know it."
"Of course I do." Aidan rubbed at the newly formed red mark where she'd hit him and started to fasten his buttons. He showed no signs of being in pain and didn't move from his spot on the floor. "I'm just not in love with you. I'm not going to follow you around like a lovestruck fool and cherish the moments we have together. You'd hate me for it anyway."
"I would," Roxanne nodded.
She sat down on the couch, close to the door, and Aidan moved over to rest his arms on her knees. "We are best friends with benefits. Soon we'll just be best friends again. So if I want to wait for someone else to actually be with, I will bloody well wait for someone else to be with," he smirked and neither took his words harshly, but she knew how sincere his words were.
It was at this moment when Roxanne realized what everyone was talking about when they said their relationship was strange; most girls didn't like hearing someone they were seeing, whether it was fun or not, say that they were waiting for someone better. But Roxanne had known Aidan since they were seven, they knew everything about each other, did everything together. They were best friends, they enjoyed each other's company and made each other feel good. It had been an accident when it started, but it hadn't felt weird. It had felt normal; this had been another step in their friendship, yet they both knew it would never go further. They had never been able to see each other in a real relationship and that hadn't changed. Would never change. They loved each other, but as best friends only. They enjoyed the benefit, but that was all it would ever be. Some people didn't understand it, others secretly wished they had it, and neither of them cared. But when Aidan spoke, Roxanne realized why they said what they did. Why didn't she feel that way for him? Who wouldn't fall for her best friend?
When his smirk became a genuine grin, she copied and grabbed his arms so he knew to get up and sit beside her.
"But we could be sharing this benefit for a while; I have to find someone who will put up with us first," he scoffed lightheartedly.
"Obviously," she agreed, ignoring the insinuation that he would meet someone first. "Given that I am a nosy bitch and you are a werewolf, she'll have to really love you."
"It's so hard for them to get past the 'nosy bitch' part," he sighed.
Roxanne hit him again. "Hey! You can be dangerous!"
"So can you!" Aidan countered quickly. "Girls like a bit of danger in a guy, in a girl it's just scary. Besides, I'm only a wolf once a month, your curse is constant. Bitch, you're taking away potential love!" he shouted, shaking her shoulders madly.
Laughing, she slapped his hands away and stood up again. "You're an asshole wolf -"
"But I'm your asshole wolf," he continued.
"And I secretly just want you to stay with me forever," she finished. "I'm going to get something from the trolley, want anything?"
Nodding once, Roxanne left the carriage. She bought a couple of chocolate frogs for herself, Bertie Box for Aidan and made her way back, saying hello to James and Emily as she passed. She found her friend sat back against the window, his feet up on the couch. She did the same against the wall, so they were sat across from each other, and tossed him his sweets. Aidan pulled a face, moaning about how he now had to pick through them for the ones he liked (she said that he should have specified), she told him that it seemed James and Emily were officially together and his look of disgust deepened (she laughed at him).
The sky had long since grown dark, she noticed when she looked out of the window, and Hogsmeade station was getting nearer. "Want some yet to be known to the public news?" Aidan asked casually.
Roxanne sat up straighter. "Always."
"My source -"
"Your dad, the school governor," she interrupted with a smirk.
He waved his hand. "Whatever. Anyway, he says there's a new student starting school. He's in our year."
"Really?" Roxanne asked, surprised. "Why is he starting so late?"
"Dad said he was home-schooled first, but he wanted to take his NEWTs in school 'like a normal kid', so they sorted it out. Apparently his magical ability was good enough for Hogwarts to accept it, they sorted him in the Head's office yesterday so he didn't have to with the First Years. He's already there."
"He must have had a really good tutor," Roxanne mused. Aidan shrugged, said he didn't know. "What house is he in?"
"He's in the snake pit," he answered, getting the feeling he knew what she was about to say.
"Good, you can keep an eye on him for me," she said and he rolled his eyes.
"Do you know his name?" she continued.
"Er, Thomas? Trey? It definitely begins with a T," Aidan promised. "His last name is Chase. Yeah, it's Chase, I'm sure. I remember because I made a joke about you chasing him away."
Roxanne wasn't sorry for kicking him.
The moment Headmaster Digby finished his familiar speech, welcoming the students, both new and old, to Hogwarts, there seemed to be a pause. Silence fell over the Great Hall, the headmaster searching the room for a face. Roxanne found Aidan from the Slytherin table, eye-brow raised. Looking for the new kid, they guessed together. Whispers were heard, people wondering what was about to happen, and finally Digby cleared his throat, nodding his head along with the others teachers.
"And now, we'd like to welcome a new student to our school," he began, loud and clear. "He seems to have disappeared now, probably getting settled in his Slytherin dorm -"
Digby stopped suddenly, seeing the doors to the Great Hall open, and everyone turned and watched as the 'new kid' entered. Surrounded by fellow Gryffindors trying to get a better look, Roxanne stood. He was dressed casually rather than in uniform like everybody else, in loose fitting jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers, yet he looked comfortable in his surroundings. Even from a distance, Roxanne could clearly see his cocky smile and the gleam in his eyes that told her he was liking the attention the students were giving him, that he was used to it.
"Ah, I'd like to welcome Tristan Chase to Hogwarts," Digby announced, either not noticing that people were no longer listening or ignoring it completely. Tristan nodded once stiffly and sat at the end of the table. He chose to be alone, Roxanne noticed. Now that he was sat with the other Slytherin students, he was starting to look uncomfortable, some sort of mask starting to slip. But only for a second, then it was gone.
The welcome feast began and Tristan didn't move to socialize with the others. The closest to him was Aidan, who was always sat near enough alone, and they were still too far to be able to have a conversation without needing to speak loud enough to hear the other. Roxanne's mind started to work on autopilot; she ate and she drank, she answered when people spoke, but she barely noticed she was doing anything. Her eyes never left Tristan Chase. He was new information, ready to be analyzed and learned.
She had to know him.
Her eyes left his for a second and met Aidan's. She nodded briefly and turned away again.
Roxanne was surprised to find Tristan's eyes now locked with her own. He looked predatory, almost dangerous. He said nothing and he didn't turn away. She didn't understand what happened at the end of the feast; the headmaster wished everyone a good night and Tristan winked, she stood up and he was gone. Not just from his place at the table, but from the entire hall. Roxanne had lost Tristan Chase.
What the hell?
The room felt exactly the same as it did back in fourteen thirty-four, but at the same time it felt completely different. There were both subtle and noticeable changes, like the furniture; there was a soft leather couch in front of the fire now. But the room itself was the same; the way your footsteps echoed around you, the constant chill even with the fire. Slytherin had an eerie presence, as though filled with unknown ghosts. And now Tristan was back.
As a vampire. Great.
"Mind if I sit?"
Tristan nodded once, his eyes on the deep red and orange flames that flickered and danced around the fireplace. "It's not like the common room belongs to me," he answered dryly.
His new companion agreed with him and sat down on his right, right at the end by the arm, so there was a noticeable gap between them. It seemed to be a habit of his, Tristan could tell, and he turned to face the boy properly, taking a good long look; fading dark circles around his eyes and fatigue. Tristan had been around long enough to understand the effects of the full moon, which had been a week ago.
"What?" his companion snapped.
He shook his head and held out his hand; he needed people on his side in this place to get what he needed, people who could make sure he wasn't bothered. And who better than a werewolf who obviously distanced himself from others, or was used to being distanced from. Except with that girl, he mused. "Hi, I'm Tristan Chase."
"Aidan Douglas," he answered, taking his hand speculatively.
Tristan raised an eye-brow in mild surprise and they dropped hands quickly. "Marc Douglas' son, the school governor. He was in Digby's office when I was sorted. He said to look out for you, if I needed anything."
Aidan snorted. "He thinks I need more friends and that I should try harder. He doesn't understand."
Tristan tried not to roll his eyes at Aidan's vague reply and remembered how Marc Douglas had looked when he'd spoken to him, the quick look of distain thrown at the headmaster, and he understood. Digby obviously wasn't a fan of werewolves; he couldn't do anything when the father of one was a school governor, but his hatred wasn't a secret to anyone. Douglas was only looking out for his son. Tristan respected the man for that. "He think he understands perfectly," he replied, giving his own vague answer.
Aidan shot him a confused look and Tristan shook his head again. This wasn't his mess to sort and he wouldn't get involved, he was only here for one thing. "Who was that girl who wouldn't stop staring at me? She looked at you as well and you both nodded. So you must be friends, or you know her at least."
"You caught that," Aidan laughed. "That's Roxanne Weasley; Hogwarts resident know-it-all. Not in the book smart sense, in the 'I know everything about everyone and everything' sense. And you, Tristan Chase, are brand new information for her. She'll come looking for you tomorrow," he warned. "If you don't want her to bother you, tell her something really boring about yourself and she'll back off. If you tell her something interesting, you're stuck with her."
"What if I want to know things from her? About school and its students and stuff," Tristan elaborated. "Since I've never been to a school before. I'm curious."
"Then ask her," Aidan answered. "She won't bother you if you don't give her something interesting, but she's there if you want something. She'll sound boastful about having all of that information, but she's alright really."
"She's your best friend," Tristan deduced from the boy's tone of voice.
"Since we were kids," Aidan said.
"You love her." Aidan nodded. "But you're not in love with her." Aidan frowned, confused again, and Tristan could only laugh. "I picked up that sort of vibe when I saw your shared look. It's easy to notice when you've been in a relationship like that yourself. You're lucky, my friend started to have feelings for me and it got a little scary."
"Really?" Aidan smirked
Tristan leaned a little further in. "Why do you think I'm here?" he whispered, then he moved and stood up before Aidan could comment on his lie. "I think it's time I went to bed, big day tomorrow and all that. Get some sleep, yeah Aidan. No offense, but I think you still need to recover from last week."
Aidan's eyes bulged and he jumped to his feet. "How did you -"
But Tristan was already gone.
A/N: Been a while since I last updated, but not as long as last time, I think. So yay. Hopefully, the next update will be quicker than this one. :)
Thanks to ValWitch21 for the chapter title. I only added to it.
Please let me know what you think. :)
Tristan was up long before the sun; he showered, dressed and sat in front of the long put out fireplace in the common room. He needed to go over his plan, now that he was here he needed to make sure things went perfectly, and now seemed to be as good a time as any to do so. He was alone, free to let his thoughts wonder and his plans form.
Aidan had unknowingly given him valuable information about the girl who'd been staring at him in the Great Hall; Roxanne Weasley. If what Aidan said was true, and he had no reason to lie, then Roxanne was the perfect person to go to for information about Hogwarts' students. She seemed much too independent, too self-confident, to be used, even using his powers. It wasn't hard to compel a person, especially for old and strong vampires, but his gut told him he shouldn't use it on Roxanne. He knew about the Weasley family and who they were related to, knew their history, he'd even witnessed some of it. Roxanne had friends, family, he couldn't take the chance of his compulsion being noticed, his lies being known, because he'd used the wrong girl.
But Roxanne could help him find another, someone who wouldn't ask him difficult questions.
That would be step two: talk to Roxanne Weasley. Step one, to get someone he could use on his side, was almost complete. Aidan was perfect and he would come to Tristan willingly, probably to ask questions about how he'd known the boy was a werewolf, maybe even to demand the answers. He seemed like the demanding type, a leader, even if no one had given him the chance to show it. But they were questions Tristan could easily answer, so he wasn't worried about Aidan's personality.
Tristan didn't over think step two, just what he wanted to do. The last time he'd gone through a plan in detail, he'd almost being killed beecause something that shouldn't have gone wrong did so. No, just knowing the end result, what he had to do, was enough. He'd get to Roxanne eventually and he'd get what he wanted and this time he'd make it up as he went along, make talking to her seem natural.
Until then, he'd go to class and have lunch, he'd be... Normal.
But not until after he'd fed. As soon as he heard footsteps, smelt fresh human blood come closer, he knew he had to leave. Tristan moved from his place on the couch and left the common room with inhuman speed.
He was long gone by the time the other Slytherins were down.
Tristan remembered the way to the kitchens easily, even after centuries away the castle was still the same. As was the way into the kitchens. He remembered sneaking in with his friends as a child to have dessert on the morning of his twelve birthday because he hadn't been able to go home that Christmas. He remembered his whole time here at Hogwarts, right up till the day he and his friend had been murdered.
Shaking his head of his memories, Tristan opened the portrait door and stepped inside. The house elves who saw him shied away, having sensed what he was the moment he'd come days before. They stayed away from the fridge he now occupied, but an agreement between him and the elves made sure that no one else knew about him or his supplies. They didn't seem to be as fond of the current Headmaster as they had been with the previous two.
He pulled open the fridge door and grabbed a blood bag, he ripped open the top and drank from it, draining every drop; he'd need it, he knew. Once it was all gone, Tristan disposed of the bag and left. He knew it wouldn't be enough in the long run, bagged blood wasn't as good as fresh blood, from the vein, but it would be enough to get him through the day. He already felt a little better by the time he got to the Great Hall; the pull within him, telling him to feed, was still there, but it wasn't as strong as it had been in the common room.
He found Aidan easily; he was sat in the same place he'd been last night and he was alone. His friend was at the Gryffindor table with the rest of her house, but every few moments they made eye contact, along with a smile or a nod. It broke when she saw Tristan and he knew he'd have her attention now, so he sat in front of Aidan rather than beside him, keeping his back to Roxanne Weasley.
"Good morning," Tristan said to him pleasantly.
Aidan eyed him suspiciously and he looked like he was pissed; Tristan wonder if his anger was because he knew about Aidan or because he walked away without explaining himself. Tristan guessed it was the second one. Aidan's lycanthropy was no secret; unless he was angry because he didn't know how Tristan could know so quickly, he doubted it would be the first one. And that scenario tied in with the second reason, so he kept that as his final answer.
"Good morning," Aidan finally answered, then added casually, "You were long gone when I woke up."
"I'm an early bird," Tristan shrugged. "With it being my first real day here, I wanted to make sure I have everything ready."
"Okay," Aidan said after a moment. They ate in silence for a while, until after the Transfiguration teacher handed them their class schedules. Another werewolf, Tristan noted. He wondered if Aidan knew, or if anyone at the school knew. Since Mr. Douglas was a school governor and was 'pro-wolf', Tristan was sure he'd have no problems with allowing a wolf to become a teacher, but there was a difference between allowing a man's son to learn and allowing a man to teach. He had no idea what the others would have said. And given the Headmaster's prejudice, the teacher probably would have wanted it unknown.
But was Aidan strong enough to sense it? That was what Tristan wanted to know.
Just how strong was he? And was he strong enough?
"About last night," Aidan started; if he knew about the professor, he didn't show it. Tristan nodded and waited for him to continue, getting the feeling he knew what he was about to ask. Only he didn't ask that; Aidan opened his mouth like he was going to, only to close it quickly, swallow and start again. He bottled it. "Did you really come here to hide from a girl you were sleeping with?"
Tristan smiled, surprising himself when he realized it was genuine. He would have laughed, but he had a mouth full of scrambled eggs and didn't want it going everywhere. Finding the question strangely funny, Tristan shook his head. "No," he answered. "I don't want to see her anymore, she can be intense, but she's not why I'm here. I wanted to go to school, so here I am."
For the first time in a long time, Tristan felt something close to guilt for the fact that he was keeping things from someone who could be a real friend. He'd kept secrets without care many times in his life, even when he was human, but this felt different, like when he kept his secret from Gareth and Chris and Dan. Aidan reminded him of Gareth and that seemed to make it worse.
But he shook it off; he had to keep quiet. Tristan reminded himself that it wasn't a complete lie; there was a girl he'd rather not see for the exact reasons he told Aidan and he did come to Hogwarts because he wanted to, because he wanted the stone. It didn't make Tristan feel any better about it, though.
He wished Aidan didn't remind him so much of his old friend, so he didn't have to care.
"Are you okay?" Aidan asked, his suspicion now turning to concern.
"Fine," Tristan said with an assured nod. He finished his breakfast quickly. "Just a little nervous about starting an actual school day. I'll be fine. I've got Potions now, so I'm going to go."
"Wait." Tristan stopped cautiously. "I've got Potions, too. Let me just say good bye to Roxy."
He hesitated before nodding and waited for Aidan to come back. His sudden moment of guilt was nothing and would soon disappear. Aidan wasn't Gareth; it would be alright. He could carry out his task, there'd be no baggage, no loose ends.
No real friendships.
"How did you know about me?"
Aidan finally asked and Tristan couldn't help the involuntary smile that followed. He turned to face his new potential ally and let him see the smile. He got an eye-roll in return, but he didn't care. These were the questions he was happy to answer and he wouldn't begrudge Aidan that. Tristan turned to make sure the professor was far enough away to not hear and copied Aidan's position; arms folded over the desk, back slouched, chin resting on his hands.
"First things first, I'm not a werewolf," Tristan whispered, loud enough to only be heard by Aidan. "But I've met more than one, even have a friend. You'd like her. I've seen her before and after a full moon, I know what it's like."
Aidan accepted his answer. Tristan was glad because it was true, and he smiled, too. "So, what's she like?" It was Tristan's turn to roll hie eyes. "Oh, come on. I'm pretty much alone here. Well, except Professor Burns," he whispered the name, "and he's not the type to join a pack. I hide out in the Shrieking Shack, he runs in the Forbidden Forest."
"So, you do know about him," Tristan murmured, glad to know that Aidan was indeed strong enough to sense other werwolves. Even if he wasn't strong enough to sense other creatures, such as vampires.
"I could smell him the moment I stepped into the Great Hall for the Sorting," Aidan replied. "I was a child when I was bitten, six; I'm very good."
The look on Aidan's face was clear; he knew there was something about him. Tristan's only hope was that Aidan had obviously never met a vampire and therefore couldn't make out what he was. There was also an understanding there, shown in his eyes, and he dared to believe he really could trust the boy by his side.
I guess I'll find out.
It was another thing Aidan didn't ask; what Tristan was hiding about himself. The professor came closer to their table then and their conversation was over. They barely paid any attention to her describe the potion she wanted them to make in their next lesson. Whatever it was, they'd have to find out later.
Their afternoon class was Defense Against the Dark Arts, with Roxanne and her cousin, James Potter. They walked together after lunch and Tristan was both surprised and grateful that Aidan said nothing about his suspicions of him. He needed an ally not an enemy, a way in not a problem pushing him out. He needed someone to trust and not someone who feared him.
He'd found that person in Aidan, Tristan was sure.
He walked an inch or so behind the others, watching them and listening to their conversation. Roxanne Weasley may be Aidan's best friend, but James Potter had no problem talking to him and vice versa. He had friends in the Potter/Weasley family, if no where else. Tristan found himself glad about that.
"So, Tristan, is it?" He nodded to James. "What was it like before you came here? Were you home schooled?"
"Sort of." When they waited for an answer, Tristan knew he'd have to give them a proper answer. He remembered his planned story and told them. It was mostly true, only pushed together to make it sound like he had grown up when they had, gotten older. "I taught myself. I'm an orphan, I bounced from place to place. No real home address meant no Hogwarts letter. But where there's a will, there's a way, as they say."
"What about the Ministry?" Aidan asked.
Tristan shrugged; he hadn't had to worry about them in centuries. But he kept up with their laws. "Like I said, no address to send warning letters, I didn't go to school so they couldn't expel me. I kept moving, so they couldn't find me if they had looked and I doubt they did, considering coming here will be the first time I have records for them to check."
"So, you're a Muggleborn?" Roxanne asked next, speaking to him for the first time.
"I have no idea," Tristan lied. "I don't remember my parents."
Another lie. Tristan remembered everything about his family, right up to the end.
"I just think that if they had any record on me, they'd have found me by now. Don't you?" He watched them nod. "Anyway, the trace is gone now, so it doesn't matter. And we don't need to repeat any of this to anyone else."
"Why did you decide to come to Hogwarts now?"
Roxanne stepped back to walk by his side, Tristan noticed. "NEWTs are an important part of your education. I didn't want to miss out. So, I drove to the school and spoke to the Headmaster. He brought the governors in because of my 'unique situation', but they eventually agreed that I could come."
Tristan thought back to the day he'd come to Hogwarts. He'd compelled Digby to let him in, but he'd needed the governors because he'd go in the school's records. He hadn't needed to compel Douglas, though. His story had been enough to sway the sympathetic man and the other governors had agreed with him after only a little compulsion, which he was glad for. Too much could have ruined things if they'd looked back. Tristan was silently grateful to Douglas for his 'compassion towards a fellow orphan'.
Humans get stranger and stranger every generation.
"They never would have kicked you out, even if your name wasn't already down to be here," Roxanne said with an assured nod, seemingly believing his story about his letter not finding him.
James pushed open the door to Defense and stepped through, the others following. Tristan followed them to what seemed to be their usual seats and after a quick word between the best friends, Aidan sat at the desk in front of the cousins with Tristan, while Roxanne sat beside James in the usually empty seat.
"Why do they feel they have to teach us this?" James moaned loud enough for the two in front to hear. "Louis said it was the most boring part of this subject."
Roxanne scoffed and they turned in time to see her shake her head at James. "No, he said it would be more interesting if there weren't so little information. And even then, he liked it. You know he's obsessed."
"Obsessed with what?" Tristan asked, genuinely curious.
"Vampires," James said, his eyes still shining with excitement when he mentioned them. Then he sighed. "But people know so little about them, apart from myths and legends, that it's a really small part of this years curriculum. That's why they teach it first. Some people say they're the most secretive and dangerous creatures in our world and it's mostly the screts that make them so dangerous."
"Which why we have to learn about it, even if it is only small," Roxanne added. "Although, James has a point. If there's not much to teach us, why learn it at all? It probably won't do us any good if we met one."
Tristan grinned, wondering how much he could say in this lesson and how much he could pass off as his own studying. It wouldn't hurt to teach the students a thing or two about vampires while he was here. Roxanne was right after all; what if they met one?
The teacher came to stand at the front and announced the class. "I guess we'll see," he murmured before turning around.
The teacher only taught the basics and even they earned him an eye-roll from Tristan. He understood that humans generally didn't know much, vampires were known but practically outlawed in society, most kept what they were a secret. barel anything was known about vampires, not even weaknesses or how to kill them. They had been this way for centuries, since before he was turned. But what humans did know was pitiful; a human would never stand a chance against a vampire.
"Something you'd like to say, Mr. -"
"Chase," Tristan finished helpfully, sitting up straight. "I'm just worried about how you expect someone to fend off a vampire if they were to ever meet one. All you know is that they need blood to survive and that they're strong. If you were ever to meet one, you'd be dead before they touched you. But that's only if you're unlucky enough to find a bad one; they're not all monsters. Just like humans aren't all saints."
"You taught yourself, right?" the professor asked condescendingly. "You taught yourself about vampires?"
"No," Tristan answered, knowing now that he couldn't give an answer to how he knew about vampires without suspicion falling on him. If an educated professor didn't know, how could a teenager? So, he went to plan B and wiped the satisfied smirk off the teacher's face. "I know one."
"You know a vampire?" Roxanne asked, interest and curiosity piqued now.
Aidan gave him a look that said 'you asked for it' and shook his head. "He taught me some things, just in case."
"Care to enlighten us?" the professor asked tightly.
"And take the lesson away from you?" Tristan shook his head. "I just wanted to know how you planned to teach us about a species you know nothing about. Now I know."
He said nothing more; maybe he liked the three close to him enough to teach them something about his species and what was out there in the real world, but it wouldn't do to give potential enemies that knowledge, that power. Fear could drive even the nicest of people to do stupid things, like hunt a vampire. They'd done so before. The most famous one in his world was before his time; he wondered if they had ever learnt about it in History, or if they would this year.
I'd love to hear that one, he thought with a smile.
The professor went back to the lesson, but the look he was given told him it wasn't over and people around him were whispering; the whole school would know about his humiliation by dinner that evening. It took a good few minutes before the professor had the class in order and had them copy what few notes they had on vampires to revise over for a test next lesson. There was silence between Tristan and Aidan, but murmurs around the class and he could hear them all. But it was just noise unless he focused on a specific conversation. And the most interesting one was the one behind him - Roxanne and James'.
Tristan glanced at Aidan. He thought that he could probably hear them; they weren't that far away, even if they were whispering, and a werewolf's senses were better than a human's, even though not as good as a vampire's. But Aidan was focused completely on his work.
Tristan turned back to his notes, listening intently to the cousins' conversation.
"What do you think of Tristan?" Roxanne asked carefully.
"I like him," James answered. "He's cool, he's smart and he knows about things that are out there. How many of us, at this age, can say we're prepared for what's out there and mean it? He knows a vampire, Roxy! I saw your face; you think that's cool, too. Don't tell Louis, though. Tristan wouldn't want Louis trying to be his new best friend; he'd probably end up setting the vampire on him."
James laughed at his little joke, but Roxanne didn't. "You really believe he taught himself? That he could be as good as he is and not have a teacher?"
"It's not that hard if you think about it," James sighed. "He could have gotren the books from Diagon Alley or any other shop across the country; Diagon is not actually the only place we have. And he has a wand, so, yeah, he could learn. And I'll go back to the vampire friend; he may have been taught other things besides vampires themselves. Don't you like him?"
"I don't know," Roxanne answered. "He interests me, but I have this feeling. There's something about him and I will figure it out."
"Here we go again," James muttered. "Does something have to be wrong with everyone you meet? Do you always have to figure things out?"
Roxanne's answer was immediate. "Yes."
They ended their conversation and Tristan dropped his quill, frowning. This was not good, he didn't need someone snooping in his life. And he'd found the nosiest person in the school. Not only that, but he needed her to know about the others.
Aidan pushed a spare bit of parchment into his hand.
He had heard them. So, he had a nosy witch dedicating her life to figuring him out on one side and a werewolf who knew something about him, but hadn't realized what yet, maybe, on the other.
The only thing keeping him going was the knowledge that getting what he wanted by the end would be worth it.
Be careful? Understatement.
A/N: I hope you enjoy this new chapter. Please let me know what you think. :)
Roxanne Weasley was an exceedingly good actress, Tristan had to note that with an odd sense of pride. She wasn't the best; he could hear the quickening of her heartbeat whenever she was near him, so strong and clear it was like he could touch it, feel it in his hands. But she certainly knew how to hide it well; she smiled and she talked, asking harmless enough questions as they walked to the Great Hall for dinner. If he wasn't for the fact that he was looking out for any signs of suspicion or that he could hear her heart, he never would have guessed that anything was wrong. She was nervous around him and determined to find out what she could, but she wasn't afraid of him, she just didn't want him to know that she had any doubts. So, Tristan deduced with a relieved breath, she couldn't have guessed what he was and thought that he was just a liar.
Unless she had, or was close, and just didn't care.
Tristan didn't have an answer to that thought. But he really hoped she didn't know, that she'd never know, and would stay at least somewhat ignorant while he was here. He could put up with her questions and handle her suspicious nature as long as her determination didn't rear it's head so far that she knew what he was or why he was here. He'd hate to have to kill a member of Harry Potter's family over this; the repercussions would be too much.
Roxanne and James said their good byes at the door, moving to take their seats with their own house, and he made a quick second decision before grabbing Aidan's sleeve and following them.
"Er, Slytherin is that way," Aidan hissed, pulling his sleeve free and stepping back. "We don't sit with the Gryffindors. We barely sit with the Slytherins."
Tristan rolled his eyes and moved closer to the Gryffindor table, catching the attention of the people around them, who whispered excitedly over the thought of the new kid doing something 'against the norm'. Soon enough, the hall was quiet, watching the two in the middle, waiting.
"They're just tables, Aidan. No matter where we sit, we're all doing pretty much the same thing - we eat, we talk, we leave," Tristan said, a small, but smug, smile on his face. "Now I'd like to get to know the people I'm spending my last school year with, so I'm going to sit at another table. Now you can walk away, sit by yourself because you're following an archaic school tradition based on a rivalry I don't give a shit about, or you can join me and sit with your fiends? Your choice."
He walked away, sitting beside Roxanne in the new space she'd left. She smiled again and he almost forgot that she was acting when he felt some of it melt away, sincerity taking its place. "I've been trying to get him to sit with us for ages," she whispered into his ear, sending a shiver down his spine when her warm breath tickled the sensitive skin vampires were 'born' with.
He kept his back to Aidan, feeling the boy's eyes on him for a few minutes before he sighed and joined them. The other Gryffindors moved to let him sit beside Tristan, leaving a noticeable gap between him and them, but it was smaller than the gap the Slytherins left. "I hate you," he muttered, grabbing some food.
"You're welcome," Tristan grinned, then turned to Roxanne casually. "So, tell me about your house. Is anyone friend material? Is there anyone I need to look out for?"
Still laughing over his little announcement about sitting with them, Roxanne couldn't bring herself to even try to be serious about his question. She usually was, proud that she was the one people went to for information, but right now she didn't care about that. Not when Aidan was finally sitting with them. She just nodded, pointing to a girl in their year, who was sat a few seats away on the opposite side of the table. Tristan could smell her perfume from his place, hear her laugh as though he was sitting right next to her. She was pretty, he thought, with a hint of a tan on what looked like soft skin, maybe even beautiful if she used just the right amount of make-up. Right now it was a little too thick for his tastes. As if she knew she was being watched, she turned. Her smile was now for Tristan, wide and flirty, showing a full set of straight white teeth and lighting up her eyes. He decided he could get past the make-up. She flicked her tongue when he winked, biting her lip in a way that showed she was clearly available, and cupped her chin in his hand to watch him. Her friends were forgotten, not that they cared. They were watching, too.
"Hey," Roxanne exclaimed, nudging him in the ribs. Tristan shrugged, glancing back every so often. "That's Bonnie Kennedy. She'd be doing a lot better in class if she wasn't messing around with the guys all the time. Once she sets her sights on you, you're hers until she's finally had her way with you. And she's a gossip; she talks about all the guys she's been with and all the guys she hasn't had the pleasure of meeting. I thought I'd warn you, but you're already making it easy by showing some interest yourself."
"There's no harm in flirting," he reasoned, another part of his plan coming together. Bonnie would be the perfect person to use; she already wanted him, she would be so easy to talk to without her getting suspicious. Plus there really was no harm in having a little fun. It wasn't like he'd lose control.
"Well, you've been warned anyway," she sighed, giving up on persuading him otherwise. She pointed to the other end of the table, close to the door. "That's my cousin, Hugo; he's a thief and a liar and, well, not a morally good person in general. But he's good with all things Muggle. We have this old classroom on the second floor that is charmed to keep magic out, so Muggle equipment can be used. But the charm that keeps magic out is the reason things still go wrong in there. Hugo knows how to use it well enough, so if you have any of those things, like a laptop or a phone, he might help you. For the right price."
She watched, waited for him to nod, to want her to continue, and after a few seconds and a decision to talk to her cousin, so that he could use his phone every day, he did so. She pointed to the kid next to Hugo, one he recognized from his House. "The kid next to him is his best friend, Skander Dolohov. He has this gift, he can feel everything around him, including people. One look from him and he could tell you your deepest, darkest secrets. People tend to stay away from them both, except our cousin Lily, James' sister. They consider her an ally, maybe even a friend. Don't get too close to him, though. Not if you want to keep your secrets."
"Okay," Tristan happily agreed. He hadn't been around a Sensitive in over three hundred years; they were the rarest of the special abilities, along with Elementals and Deal-Makers. To have one here? Now? It wasn't a good thing; like with Aidan's sense of smell, he hoped that whatever Skander Dolohov may feel around him, the kid had never met a vampire before to make the connection. Sensitives couldn't get into the minds of vampires; Dolohov would certainly get suspicious when the only things he'd feel around Tristan would be dark and cold.
Hopefully, he'd find Hugo Weasley alone.
Tristan left the Great Hall early, with the perceived intention of following Aidan to Slytherin, who left when things became too uncomfortable. He was used to sitting alone at the Slytherin table, used to the stares and the whispers and the space between him and the next person, but the Gryffindor table, despite being in the same room, was considered unchartered territory for the wolf within him. The space was too small, he felt caged in, trapped, and the wolf had run, taking Aidan with him. Tristan had felt it all; the scent of fear was palpable in the air. He was sure that even the Dolohov kid could feel it.
So, he'd followed, saying good bye to the others, but the corridor outside of the hall was empty by the time he got there and Tristan knew he was probably hiding alone in their dorm room or on his way out into the forbidden forest. Aidan liked routine, space he knew was his and the wolf's; he'd figured out that much. Tristan wouldn't disturb him. And the giggling that came with Bonnie Kennedy's perfume distracted him.
"Following me?" he asked as soon as he felt her behind him. He turned around, watching her with a raised eye-brow and a flirty smile. Her own smile widened, her long lashes fluttered over her brown eyes and shrugged her shoulders in a way that made her look innocent.
"I thought maybe it was my turn to welcome you to school." Bonnie stepped closer, enough that she had to tilt her head just to look into his eyes. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Tristan."
"Thank you. It's the best welcome I've had yet," he whispered. "I'd rather not talk in the halls."
The insinuation was clear and Bonnie took his hand, leading the way through halls he knew better than his old home. Oh, he knew where she was taking him - the Room of Requirement obviously wasn't a secret or rumor to the students anymore. In his day, only he and his friends had known.
The door opened and Bonnie pulled him into a semi-dark room, with a king-sized bed. Everything was a deep red, from the walls to the soft silk sheets she pushed him onto. It was meant to be sexy, not romantic, but it only reminded Tristan of blood and hunger...
He could hear her heart beat against her chest as she straddled his waist to kiss him, hard and deep and with enough experience to believe Roxanne's words from dinner. Her blood rushed through her veins, warming her face, her body, and he watched as it controlled her, let her continue to push him down.
It only last as few more moments, then his own instincts kicked in, his own urges and wants. He flipped them over, so that he was on top, his hands finding their way under Bonnie's shirt. He paused only to pull it off, then his. They continued to undress, Tristan's lips moving from her lips to her jaw to her neck.
And he couldn't help himself.
Control was the least of his worries.
Tristan woke up first, sated and relaxed for the first time in a long time. It had been too long since his food source had been a human, fresh and warm, from the vein, just as it should be. Blood bags were not enough for vampires and any who said otherwise were deluding themselves, just like anyone who believed that animal blood was sustainable. It wasn't. It wasn't even an option for vampires; human blood created them and only human blood could keep them alive. And it was so much better when it was taken the way he had; there was no pain during sex, when endorphins were already high.
He had Bonnie now and she'd never have to worry.
He turned to Bonnie, watched her sleep peacefully beside him before turning to the marks on her neck, the dried blood around the wound and coming down her shoulder. He'd have to fix that. He retracted his fangs, pressed his thumb into the sharp point until he bled and covered her wounds with his blood. They healed quickly, and as though one swipe of his hand was a wet cloth, the blood was gone, washed away with his magic.
The feeling most have woken her because she stirred, her eyes fluttering until they eventually opened, and she turned her head his way. "Good morning," she murmured, wiping her eyes.
Tristan turned to lie on his side, his elbow propped up on the pillow and his head in his hands, and smiled down at her, pushing away a stray strand of hair. "Good morning," he copied. "Sleep well?"
Bonnie pushed herself up, catching his lips with a quick kiss. "Never better." She groaned suddenly. "I suppose we should get up; we need to to go to our Houses before class starts."
"Ah, yes. That thing people think we come here to do," Tristan joked, lying back as he watched her get up and dressed. "How did you find this place?"
"The Room of Requirement? Everyone knows about it, ever since the stories of the war." She faced him, grinning cheekily. "Not everyone knows where it is, though. Or how to get in."
"Hmm." Bonnie moved to the mirror on the wall, pulling up her hair into a bun, and noticed her neck. "That's strange," she muttered to herself, her fingers poking the skin tentatively.
Bonnie looked at him through the mirror, surprised; she hadn't realized he had heard her. "Nothing. It's just my neck; you bit me pretty hard, not that I minded," she added quickly. "I just expected to see a mark when I woke up."
"There was," he answered, mostly honest. "I healed it when I saw it before. You don't mind, do you?"
Bonnie put her hand on her heart and shook her head. "That's so sweet. I would have liked to show it off, though. My friends will be so jealous when they know that the incredibly hot Tristan Chase wanted to be with me last night."
The love she had for herself was almost comical, Tristan couldn't help the grin and hoped she took it in agreement to her. When really, he wanted to laugh at her. If she knew what he was, she'd have probably run by now, wishing they'd never met. "See, now that I know that, I know to keep it there next time."
"Next time, eh?" she asked, feigning curiosity and ignorance. She wanted a next time, he knew. "What makes you think you're that special?"
Tristan stood up, watched her as she watched him, her eyes roaming his body again, and he stopped right behind her. "Trust me," he whispered. He put him arms around her waist. "You shouldn't wear so much make-up. You look so beautiful without it."
"Really?" she asked, now genuinely curious now. He nodded, leaving a chaste kiss in her hair. "You are not like the other guys here."
"I'd be insulted if you said that I was," he told her. "Go on, I'll see you later," he said, promising when she asked him to. As soon as Bonnie was gone, Tristan rolled his eyes, fixed his hair in the mirror and and clapped his hands together, talking to the RoR. "Now to find a different room. I think Bonnie will be a nice distraction for everyone else."
"Hey, Aidan. Where's Tristan?" Janes was quick to ask when he saw their friend.
Aidan shrugged, "Getting showered and dressed. He didn't come back to the dorm until morning, he came in just after me, but I saw Bonnie after him and she looked very happy. Expect to hear about that soon."
Roxanne groaned as James pulled a face; he didn't want to hear about his friend and cousin's love lives. "I warned him, I did."
"He's a big boy, Rox. He can take care of himself," Aidan promised.
"There's something about him," she whispered to him and James. "I've got this weird feeling and when I talked to Skander, he said he had a weird feeling, too. There is something off about Tristan Chase. I intend to find out what."
"Good luck figuring it out. Or ask him," Aidan replied, pointing at the door. Tristan came into the Great Hall, showered and in fresh clothes and somehow looking hotter when the droplets in his hair fell down his cheek. "I'm sure he would love to hear about it."
"Who would love to hear about what?" Tristan asked.
The other two guys left quickly, finishing their breakfast on the way out. Roxanne stood her ground, her arms folded across her chest. She meant business, he realized. He just didn't know what that business was.
"I warned you about Bonnie," she snapped quietly. "And then you sleep with her after the first day."
"Yes, I did," he agreed. "Because I told you that there was no harm. It's just fun, Roxanne. I know that you know what fun is." He leaned down, whispering into her ear, "I'm not the only one who had fun last night."
Roxanne felt her cheeks warm. How could he know? Had Aidan told him? Had he figured it out the same way Aidan had figured him out?
Tristan continued, mocking her slightly. She couldn't control his actions, she couldn't demand he listen to her. "If I had known you'd get jealous, I'd have still done it, but I would have told you first. It would have been so much better knowing how much you'd hate it." He grabbed a piece of toast, started to walk out. "See you in class."
Roxanne was seething. She'd have to make him pay for that. How dare he accuse her of being jealous. He hardly knew her, he didn't know what he was capable of.
No way was Roxanne jealous of Bonnie and Tristan. She couldn't be.
A/N: Finally, a new chapter. I hope you enjoy the way things arre heating up between Tristan and Roxanne. More of that to come. ;)
Please let me know what you think.
He blinked, jumping back when Gareth waved his hand over his eyes. His friend watched him calm, sitting across the table with a mix of concern and amusement on his face. Unfortunately, the concern was winning. He was not sure if he could handle the questions and hoped to stop them before they became too much or something slipped from his trembling lips. He couldn't stop the trembling no matter how hard he tried; every ounce fear he felt kept coming. But he knew he was somewhat successful in hiding it from his friends; they were yet to demand answers from him. It was just when he spoke.
"Are you okay?" Gareth asked slowly.
He nodded, holding off speaking for just a few seconds longer. "I am just tired. What were we talking about?"
"I said that I hoped your mother would let us open a present early, as we used to when we were young," Gareth replied. "Are you sure you are okay?"
"You have been unusually quiet since we came back from Hogsmeade yesterday, you act like you have seen a ghost," Daniel added. Christopher nodded in agreement. "Ever since - what did you see?"
"Nothing," he said softly. "It was only a shadow, my own imagination playing tricks on me, I promise. I really am just tired."
His three friends shared a look, one that said more than words ever could - they were family and they loved him and they wanted to help. It made the lie feel much worse. But he wouldn't tell them, he couldn't.
"Okay," Gareth answered at last. "But if you're not, you know you can talk to us?" He said yes immediately, hoping the reassurance that if it were anything else he would tell them without question was enough. "Good. Then let us talk about the issue with the presents."
It was enough to make him smile, which was exactly what Gareth seemed to want because his own smile grew. "I think that if you asked nicely, my mother would allow it," he said.
"Then I cannot wait to go home," Gareth grinned. It fell faster than it had formed. "Now I must go. Professor May will not be happy if I miss another detention. I'll see you soon."
They watched Gareth leave, then went back to their work, silent except for the slam of Daniel's book on the table.
His voice echoed in the otherwise silent library, earning him an annoyed shush from the librarian, and the stern tone, the command that came from a leader, jolted Tristan awake. He quickly scanned the room, as though trying to remember where he was, then focused on Aidan and calmed himself. He was still in the library, still in the year 2022; it had only been a dream.
Tristan rubbed his eyes, forcing himself to wake up, and moved to sit properly at the table. He grabbed his quill and glanced at his History homework, only to drop it again; he'd finish it later.
"I'd say hey back, but you sound like you want something," he muttered sleepily.
"Is Bonnie keeping you up at night?" Aidan snapped sarcastically.
"Something like that," he chuckled humorlessly, ignoring any other mention of Bonnie or any thoughts of the Room of Requirement, which he'd been trying to get into and couldn't, because the room he wanted wouldn't create a door and he didn't know why. He ignored it all, because he knew from Aidan's tone that it was time; the kid had racked his brain trying to figure Tristan out and he'd had enough. He wanted to know. Tristan had watched, finding it all mildly amusing, but he'd grew to know that he could trust Aidan in the three weeks he'd been at Hogwarts and knew he could tell him; he had been able to use the time to think of the right words.
"Ask your question, Aidan."
"What are you?"
Time seemed to freeze while Aidan stared, barely blinking, his arms tightly folded across his chest and stuck there; he was dangerous, powerful and Tristan couldn't help but respect the kid and wonder why Roxanne didn't want him. Nodding once, Tristan thought of blood and hunger, the thrill of the chase when the predator had found its prey; his eyes turned a deep red and his fangs retracted into his mouth, visible when he parted his lips.
It was just the two of them in the room, predator against predator, and for someone who had never seen a vampire before, Aidan didn't flinch, didn't move.
"Most people run, but I suppose you wouldn't feel that same fear, being a werewolf," Tristan said, sliding across the table to sit right in front of him. "We're practically on the same side. If you don't believe in all that mortal enemy crap. True, some of our kinds don't like the other, but that's mostly personal stuff. That's not me. Is it you?"
"You're a vampire?" Aidan muttered, making it sound like a question as he frowned, remembering their Defense lessons.
"Yep," he replied with a grim smile, pressing his lips together, so that he made a popping sound when he got to 'P'. "Scared?"
"Nope," Aidan said assuredly, the waver only slight, copying the popping sound. "I just wasn't expecting that. Then again, I wasn't expecting anything; I was keeping a very open mind. Why are you here?"
"I'm looking for something. It's very valuable to me and I want it back, but I can't find it," Tristan told him. He hid his fangs, knew his eyes were his normal color again. "It's not like I'm in a rush or anything; I've been searching for almost six hundred years."
Aidan's jaw dropped, his surprise evident, his lips moving automatically, mouthing the number without really realizing. "I didn't think you'd be that old," he murmured eventually.
Tristan shrugged. "Compared to some, I'm old. Compared to others, I'm a baby. With age and blood, comes power and strength; even a couple of days can make a difference."
"How where you turned?" Aidan blurted out, undeniably curious about what happened to him, but not rationally or morally sure about asking; he couldn't help the question coming out.
Tristan dropped his gaze and Aidan knew he should have tried to not ask; whatever happened, it was a sore subject and obviously not something he wanted to talk about. But he still wanted to know, he couldn't help it - Roxanne's need for information was definitely rubbing off on him. He opened his mouth, ready to share his own painful story of the night he was bitten, hoping him going first would prompt Tristan to speak, only the sound of footsteps stopped him and Tristan let out a breath of relief.
He never thought he'd be so happy to see Roxanne standing between them.
His rare, relieved smile made Roxanne step back with wide, confused eyes.
"Why is he looking at me like that?" she whispered to Aidan cautiously.
"He's probably thinking that if he's nice to you, you'll either stop glaring at him or you'll tell him why you're glaring at him," Aidan snickered, glancing at Tristan for only a second, but it was enough to convey that his secret was safe. He also knew that Aidan wasn't happy about it; he'd never kept a secret from his best friend before.
"Definitely the first suggestion," Tristan continued. "I don't really care if you never tell me why, just stop it. It's creepy and unnecessary and it makes me nervous."
"Nervous?" Roxanne seemed to be testing the word; she'd never considered that it would be an emotion that would come from him, but the small smirk told him that she was okay with it. She wanted him to be nervous, he just didn't know why.
"Yes, nervous. I'm waiting for you to hit me, it's not a nice feeling."
"I attack with words and scare with expressions, physical violence is not my style," she scoffed.
"I haven't seen you do either of those things, all you do is stare at me," Tristan goaded her, knowing that his smile was seductive and his own stare able to make any girl's knees weaken and knock together - it had happened enough times for him to know. And it worked; she may not like him or trust him, but Roxanne Weasley was not immune to him.
"I'm trying to understand you," she murmured, not exactly looking him in the eye.
"Okay, I have to go now," Aidan interrupted awkwardly, breaking whatever spell had been cast around them. Tristan stepped back, his eyes never leaving her's, and Aidan didn't bother to get his full attention. "I'll see you in the common room, you're going to help me with those Defense notes."
Ignoring the implied meaning, he wasn't going to be telling the kid about the night he was turned, Tristan said good bye.
"You're helping him with his notes?" Roxanne asked, looking skeptical about him helping anyone. He shrugged nonchalantly, not in the mood to elaborate on her friend's idea of help when her raised eye-brows and the look she gave him suggested that that was exactly what she wanted to know.
She realized quickly that he wouldn't talk, it was something she'd come to understand in the first few days - Tristan Chase only told you what he wanted you to know and she suspected that it was the same whether truth or lie. It made him too hard to properly read, to know him like she knew everyone else, and it was both infuriating and intriguing.
Until he talked, Roxanne was willing to untangle his web of lies to find the truth behind Tristan Chase.
Lies and girls.
Roxanne grimaced; he apparently had the worse taste in girls. Bonnie Kennedy was vile, just because she wasn't horrible to people it didn't mean she was a good person; she pretended she was dumb to get closer to people who could give her something, she manipulated guys into doing what she wanted. She was a user and Roxanne didn't know how Tristan had managed to keep her for the last three weeks when most guys barely lasted a weekend, but she knew he was going to join the list eventually. Every guy connected with Bonnie Kennedy joined the list.
"What's the matter?" Tristan asked, looking up from his homework. He must have moved to sit back down while she was thinking because she hadn't noticed that he'd moved that far away. He glanced for a second before he started writing again; she didn't think he was really interested and she didn't plan on telling him the truth. She did plan on seeing if girls like Bonnie where his only interest, because what kind of new friend would she be if she let Bonnie hurt him?
Roxanne took the seat across from him, pulling her own history homework out from her bag. She removed her cloak and let it drop behind her, then she removed her jumper, revealing her shirt. Her top few buttons were open, letting the tops of her breasts show without being completely inappropriate; it was a look normally reserved for Aidan, but she was willing to show Tristan just this once. It was his test.
Only he didn't look up again; he was absorbed in his essay, writing at a speed she'd never seen, and he barely had to look at his notes. When he did, he would scoff or shake his head, like he thought the textbooks were wrong.
Time to step things up.
"I'm sorry about my behavior the last couple of weeks," she murmured, starting on her own essay.
"Hmm. It's not you. Well, it is, but it's not your fault," she said, watching him frown and look up.
"Oh." It was the only thing that seemed to come out of his mouth. Tristan swallowed, his stare obvious; he didn't seem to care, he just watched. Then he finally looked into her eyes and his frown deepened. "I don't understand."
She honestly didn't know if he meant her or her words, but she pretended not to acknowledge his gaze or his lack of response and finished her speech.
"You've become friends with Aidan, who is my best friend, which means you and I are going to see each other all the time because I don't want Aidan being passed back and forth between us; I want us to be friends as well, I really do." She nodded eagerly when Tristan looked skeptical. "I mean it, we can be friends. I tried to when I told you about Bonnie, but you started to date her anyway, so I've been trying to make sure she doesn't treat you like the others. Obviously I haven't handled it very well; she just really gets to me."
"So, you've be looking out for me? And you just hate her?"
"Yes. Why is that funny?" she glared, playfully pushing his elbow and knocking it down when he started laughing at her.
"No reason, I just don't need protecting," he replied, still laughing. "I can take care of Bonnie. Her reputation doesn't scare me."
"It should, she's the devil," Roxanne muttered. Just as fast, she smiled. "Anyway, forget her. Are you coming to Hogsmeade with us this weekend?"
"That's this weekend?"
"Yeah," she nodded. "When you start being able to go in third year, you go a little later in the school year. But sixth and seventh years are allowed to go whatever weekend they want, they had this meeting about it when Digby became headmaster years ago and changed it. The best part is that sixth years have to be back by nine, but because all of the seventh years are of age and meant to be seen as adults, we have until the midnight curfew."
"So, are you coming?"
Tristan dropped his quill, making sure to keep his eyes on her face, and went through the pros and cons of leaving with them. He had to keep trying the Room of Requirement, he had to get in and see if his stone was there, but the book had only said a remote corner of Scotland, a place where a name couldn't be found. That could be Hogsmeade as well as the school; he was going to have to visit the village at some point.
"Yeah, I'll be there," he grinned. "It sounds like fun. So, how's your essay coming along?" He nodded to her parchment, changing the subject.
"Not as good as yours, I bet," she shrugged, gesturing to his almost finished essay.
"Do you want any help?"
Roxanne said yes and they both knew she was flirting just a little, but neither seemed to care. Tristan pushed his essay and books over to her side and climbed over to sit by her side. He could smell the blood pumping within her veins, could hear her heart thump in her chest, a slow, seductive rhythm that had his mouth watering. She wasn't like Bonnie, she was making him feel things he hadn't felt so strongly in a long time - he was hungry and he wanted her.
"What's going on?" Bonnie's voice came from their side, forcing them to part look up.
"We were just finishing our history essays," Tristan said smoothly, ignoring the intense desire to feed. "How was Divination, baby?"
"I wish you'd taken it, it would have been more fun," she said, venom in her words directed at Roxanne; a clear warning to stay away.
"Here," Tristan said to Roxanne, sliding her some papers before standing up and packing the rest of this things away. "My notes, feel free to use them. I'll see you later. Coming, Bonnie?"
He held out his hand for her to take and pulled her away as gently as he could; she followed willingly, knowing exactly where he was taking her. She was still angry with him, he could feel it. But he didn't care, it was only going to make it better.
He just needed to feed.
A/N: Hey, guys! I hope you enjoyed this new chapter, things will start heating up in the next chapter and the good stuff will start. :D
Please let me know what you think. :)
Aidan had already left the dorm when Tristan woke up on Saturday morning, had put a note on the vampire's bedside table that told Tristan where he would probably find Aidan, Roxanne and the others if he was in the entrance hall by ten o'clock. He checked his watch, saw that he had twenty minutes, and jumped out of bed; he wanted to take a quick shower before meeting with them. He hadn't had a chance to the night before, getting back to the dorm just before curfew thanks to Bonnie being clingy.
He wondered briefly if keeping Bonnie around was truly worth his time, then dismissed it quickly. She may be a little annoying and she may not make his blood boil like Roxanne seemed to, but she was useful and it kept people from asking him questions. Besides, everyone saw them together; if he made Bonnie forget him now and that stopped, people would grow suspicious.
It was more than enough incentive to keep her around; he just hoped it wouldn't be today.
His wish was not heard, or maybe it was and just ignored, Tristan didn't know, but he did know that in the hall, standing a few yards in front of Aidan and his group, who were standing by the door, waiting for him, was Bonnie. Aidan saw him first and was torn between feeling sympathy for Tristan and finding the situation hilarious. Roxanne saw him last, was nudged by James, and the look on her face was almost murderous, directed at both of them - Tristan still didn't understand why she cared so much. Aidan told him that she just liked having all the information and hated the thought of him telling Bonnie anything, but Tristan suspected that wasn't it. Or, at least, that wasn't all.
Bonnie eventually turned to face him and waved enthusiastically, walking up to him and pulling him down to kiss him hard. Distantly, Tristan heard Roxanne scoff. Tristan suspected it was more because she still didn't like how close he and Roxanne had been in the library the other day than because she too had heard the scoff, but he wasn't surprised when Bonnie smirked in Roxanne's direction once she let him go. He knew that was the only reason why she was stood near them.
"Ready for Hogsmeade, baby?" she asked sweetly, taking his hand.
Tristan frowned. "You told me you weren't coming."
"But you said you were," Bonnie reminded him, playing with the top button of his shirt until it popped open and she was touching skin. "And what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't show you around myself?"
Everyone heard that; a few people gasped, knowing Bonnie wasn't the type to stay with a guy long enough to have that title, Aidan watched them in shock, shooting questioning glances Tristan's way, while Roxanne looked ready to kill Bonnie. Probably Tristan, too, he wouldn't put it past her.
"Girlfriend? Interesting," Tristan muttered. That wasn't the plan and he didn't like it. Bonnie only giggled, kissed him and led the way out.
Aidan changed his mind: the situation was definitely hilarious.
It took almost two hours before Tristan eventually lost Bonnie in the crowd; how a girl could spend that much time in the three clothes shops Hogsmeade had, he didn't know and was too scared to ask her, not that he'd tell anybody. He claimed to be wondering around the shop aimlessly while she was looking at dresses, then as soon as her back was turned, he took off out of the shop's door. He knew she would find him eventually, the village wasn't that big, but he'd have an excuse by then. Right now, he had work to do.
Tristan kept his head down, spying the area without looking conspicuous; he didn't want kids noticing that he was looking for something and enquire about it. It helped that people seemed wary about him, especially when they saw him around a known werewolf. Suddenly, he wished he was with Aidan, and it wasn't to keep people away from him like he thought, but because the boy had actually become a friend, or at least someone who could be a friend after this was over. Tristan found himself enjoying Aidan's company, James' banter and Roxanne's sass.
This time his wish, though not one he knowingly wished for, was answered and the three figures walking his way quickly became the faces he had become accustomed to seeing.
"Got away, did you?" James called out before stopping in front of them. "Aidan was about to put together a search party."
"I would have done anything to keep Roxy from whispering down my ear about your life being in danger," Aidan replied with a laugh, nudging her in the ribs.
Tristan was sure it was a trick of some sort, or that he was imagining things, but it seemed that Roxanne was blushing over what Aidan had said and he wondered if the boy had really been joking.
"I said no such thing," she snapped. "I said she'd be the death of him."
"And that you probably deserve it," James added with a nod, attempting to be serious and failing.
"That bit is true," Roxanne told him with a shrug.
Tristan didn't care; he knew she'd get used to him being around eventually, that she'd either let her guard down or their arguments would become their thing. He almost smiled at the thought; he couldn't remember the last time he had had a 'thing' with someone else, especially not with a human. It was... nice, he decided. Normal. And since that was what he was supposed to be while at Hogwarts, he wasn't going to stop it.
He put an arm around Roxanne, the other going around Aidan, and turned them around. He pretended not to notice that Roxanne didn't pull away.
"Now that you're here, hide me," he whispered. "I will not go back into the hellhole that is clothes shopping."
Grinning, James led the way, explaining that he and Aidan had been on their way to Honeydukes so that he could meet Emily when Aidan gave in to his cousin's demands and came looking for Tristan. They avoided all talk of Bonnie as they walked, at least with Roxanne; occasionally, Aidan whispered some sort of remark that only Tristan heard. He wanted to be annoyed with the wolf for teasing him, but it reminded him too much of his friendship with Gareth for Tristan to hate it.
As much as he missed Gareth and Chris and Daniel, it was nice to have a similar relationship with another, to know that he wasn't completely alone at Hogwarts, with only three friends in the world, friends he could only communicate with on the phone.
I need to call Henry, he told himself briefly. Things were slow at the school, but there were still things to know and do outside and his friend should have an update.
Tristan waited outside while Aidan and Roxanne went into the sweet shop, James found his Emily near to the door and stood with her. He had found his mark during their walk and was mapping out the quickest route without being seen, deciding how he'd leave them as well. The shop was too crowded anyway, he didn't need to be in there since he wasn't buying anything.
By the time his new friends had come back, bags in their hands and complaints about the queue on their lips, Tristan was sure he knew what to do. It was simple really, easy, and hopefully it would be the most effective.
"Here you go," Aidan said, digging into his bag. He held up a lollipop and smirked knowingly. "I got it just for you."
Tristan almost rolled his eyes, but then settled for frowning. It was easier to frown when no one else knew why Aidan was giving him the sweet. Plus, they weren't his favorite thing in the world. They just weren't the same as fresh blood.
"It's a blood pop," Roxanne said, confused. "Aidan, why?"
"Humor," he said.
Tristan took it hesitantly and put it into his pocket, tapping it gently to keep it from sticking to him. "I'll save it for later."
Roxanne continued to watch them weirdly, but said nothing. Tristan was glad; he really didn't want to explain Aidan's reasoning for giving him a vampire lollipop.
"Hey," he started, changing the subject and pulling out his mobile. "Does this place get phone reception?"
He already knew the answer, that Hogsmeade did because magic wasn't used around as often as in Hogwarts, but that it was very bad, but it moved the conversation away from vampires and gave him a reason to leave without Roxanne suspecting him and his motives. Aidan already had a look in his eyes that said he knew something was happening.
Roxanne nodded in answer to his question. "It's not very good, though. Magic still gets in the way. I suggest walking close to the shack; no one is ever around so magic isn't there to interfere. Just a natural lack of phone signal."
"Who are you calling?" Aidan asked before she could finish and ask the same question.
"I was homeschooled, remember? I have friends outside of here and it'll be nice to talk to them," he replied, and it was mostly true; he missed Henry and wanted to talk, their conversation was just business related that's all.
Aidan turned to Roxanne and asked, "Was that an answer to my question?"
She shook her head and they both grinned; Tristan could see just how close they were and was surprised to feel jealousy stirring inside him when he wondered why they weren't together.
"His name is Henry," Tristan admitted, jealousy turning to panic when he spotted Bonnie not too far away. "I'll be back in a bit."
He ran; he wanted to get the conversation over and done with, to start looking for his stone and get his plan back on track. He was so close to putting this part of his life to an end; he could finally let it go and move on, have friends who weren't in hiding.
As soon as I've made this call.
The Shrieking Shack looked cold and desolate and Tristan could see why people didn't come up here. Knowing he could make his call and start looking for the stone undisturbed made this place his new favorite. He remembered when it was just field; he and his friends would hide there, lie in the grass and waste the day, being normal.
Just seeing the shack made the whole place feel so different.
Tristan sat on the ground, leaning against the fence, and scrolled down his list of contacts for Henry's number. He put the phone to his ear, pressing it down to make sure he could hear, and let his gaze linger on the shack to look for ways in. It looked broken and unsafe; he didn't want to be crushed looking for the stone, but he wasn't sure where else to start looking in the village.
"Hello," a familiar, sleepy voice croaked on the other end of the line, breaking his concentration. "How are things on your end?"
Knowing Henry was only asking Tristan first to wake himself up, he answered him, complaining just a little. "The Room of Requirement won't let me in. I've tried so many different rooms and they've all worked, but the room I won't just won't create a door. It's like it's broken."
"Sucks to be you," his friend muttered and Tristan considered it a good thing Henry was nowhere near him. "Do you know why?"
"If I knew why, I'd be fixing the problem," he growled. "What's going on with you?"
"They're being scarily quiet," Henry told him, referring to the coven he was currently associated with. "They're waiting for orders from his number two," he explained. "And number two isn't talking yet. It's very odd."
"Why? Who is this number two? He doesn't have number twos? He has minions," Tristan reminded him.
The line crackled and Tristan grimaced when everything went quiet for far too long. He almost hung up, thinking the line was dead, when Henry spoke again. "Not this time. He's very protective of his number two, I've never met him and I can't get a name. But I do know that he is their best Tracker. Seriously, Tristan, I heard of one of his assignments the other night and he was back before morning."
"So, he has a good Tracker to hunt and murder innocent people, why is that so odd to you?"
"Because you're his main assignment and he claims he can't find you."
Tristan sucked in his cheeks and considered what his friend was saying; it was quite odd if someone thought to be the coven's best Tracker couldn't find him. Tristan was used to running and good at evading people he didn't want catching him, but not even he should be able to escape a professional Tracker; they were the best of the best, able to locate and kill anyone. They usually didn't have a face to look for, they worked alone and hunted whoever they wanted. To work for someone meant that he was willing to use his talents for money or to prove his loyalty.
An assassin for hire... and he wasn't doing his job.
"Maybe he still new, or I'm better than him," Tristan suggested, unsure.
"I've heard names of places, whispers from inside the coven; every place is true," Henry said. "He knows exactly where you are and he's not saying or coming after you. I don't know why, but please be careful. Trackers don't care about collateral damage and I doubt even that magical school of yours will keep you safe."
"I'll be fine, I promise. Besides, this will all be over soon."
Henry's snort told Tristan his friend didn't believe him, and with the room not letting him in and with Hogsmeade being hard to look around, Tristan was beginning to agree. He was okay with adding time to his search, it was basically his life, but Henry wanted out, to stop hiding and running. He wanted it over and Tristan would search night and day to make it happen.
"I'll find it and I'll end this, you have my word. In the mean time, find anything you can about this Tracker, I don't like that he knows me and where I am."
Henry promised and after a quick good bye, Tristan hung up. He was tempted to throw something, to destroy everything in his path to help calm himself down, but the only things he had were the old fence and his phone, and he needed the latter. Instead, he put it into his pocket and leant back onto the fence. He needed that stone; it was the only way to finish his task.
Tristan looked up, startled; he'd been so focused on his thoughts that he hadn't noticed her heartbeat or her perfume.
Roxanne took that as her signal to join him and sat by his side. They sat in silence for a while, Tristan watching the shack and Roxanne watching him, until neither could take it anymore and both turned and opened their mouths. They laughed softly and Tristan gestured for her to start.
"Did your conversation not go so well? You look down," she said.
"Nothing I can't handle," he assured her. "My friend just worries is all. Why are you here?"
"Aidan and I are going back to school, we wanted to know if you were coming as well," Roxanne told him with a shrug. "But you can stay here and contemplate breaking everything if you want."
Tristan scoffed, surprised she knew what he had been thinking about, though maybe it showed on his face.
"Did you see Bonnie on your travels?"
She nodded. "She was by the Three Broomsticks looking for you the last time I saw her."
"Then I think I'll stay here a little while longer," he said with a groan. "She'll probably find me at dinner anyway."
"And take you to the elusive Room of Requirement," Roxanne mocked him. "That room used to be fun until she found it. There used to be a room to hide stuff, you know?"
"Really?" Tristan pretended to be surprised and turned to her again, curious to know what she had to say about the room he was trying to get in.
"Yep. My family told us about the war, they're more reliable than the books, and apparently the room where you hid things was were Voldemort hid a Horcrux," Roxanne said, too caught up in the story to notice the look on his face. The war. He was beginning to dread hearing the story. "There was a fire in there, destroyed everything, including the Horcrux. The room was strong enough magically to fix itself. Mostly anyway; there are still a few glitches and you don't always get exactly what you want, but it works well enough. Except for that room; it's completely gone now, thanks to the fire. All of those hidden treasures reduced to ash."
Gone. No wonder he couldn't get inside the room; there was no room.
"Are you okay, Tristan?" she asked hesitantly.
"I'm fine," he whispered, trying his best to keep his anger in check. It wasn't her fault he might never be able to finish his task, it was her uncle's.
Potters. Always getting in the way.
He took one last look at the shack; he couldn't go now, not with Roxanne with him, and he wasn't even sure he wanted to. No, he'd calm down and he'd come up with other options, that way he would have other places to look just in case the stone wasn't there. His heart sunk at the thought, though; he was so sure about the Room of Requirement, now he couldn't get it.
Someone would pay for that and if the Tracker came for him first, the one paying for it would be him.
A/N: Finally got a new chapter posted. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. :)