Chapter 1 : Thirst
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She was thirsty. So thirsty. She needed to feed. She would die, she had to drink. She craved it, loved it, yet had none. It was a desire so deep that water would not quench it, nothing would quench it...except blood. She needed blood.
Her entire world spun in circles. Her face was screwed up in pain. Her lifeless body moved around, smelling, searching. Anybody would do. Anything would do. Her hands molested the ground, hopelessly searching.
“Please...” she sobbed, clutching at the dirt. “Please, help me...somebody,” she croaked. Then her eyes turned to the blackest color. Until it could not be called a color. So dark was it, that in comparison, black would have seemed white. Her mouth opened, and she felt that a pile of sand would tumble out. The useless veins popped out in her arms, causing a sickening ripple beneath her skin. She was going to die here. She knew it. There was no way she would be able to find food in time. Her body knotted into a tight ball as a spasm overtook her.
She was in the process of trying to end her life quickly by searching for some sharp stick. Anything to end this misery. That was when she heard it. Her body, once in full motion, froze. Every particle of her being sensed something just beyond her vision. But now she couldn’t see color anymore. Everything was black and white now. Her body couldn’t control itself, and was losing it’s ability to function correctly. But she didn’t doubt that her ears were hearing something rustling behind the bushes. Indeed, a second later a rabbit had hopped out, looking around warily.
It’s tiny pink nose twitched uncertainly, sensing something, but not sure what. It couldn’t sense any heartbeat or any breathing. Of course it didn’t, for the young girl needed neither air or the beat of a heart to survive. Cat-like, the young girl watched the rabbit. Her darkened eyes so focused, one would mistake her for a statue. Her pale-as-milk skin shone in the moonlight. Her blonde hair rippled as she slowly stood up.
Still the rabbit remained motionless, except it’s nose. The girl crept forward, her hands itching, her stomach turning in on itself. One...two...three...she counted in her mind. Then, when the moment was right, she struck, landing on the rabbit. It let out a high-pitched squeal, but it was quickly muffled.
The girl’s eyes grew to the size of saucers, as tears streamed down her face. Her teeth sank into the rabbit, and she drank. She drank until the poor creature finally stopped twitching. She was sobbing the whole time, her lifeless heart breaking. Blood dribbled down her chin, mixing with sweat and tears.
When she finished with the rabbit, she dropped it’s body onto the ground. Her hands were drenched in blood, as she sobbed loud enough to wake the entire neighborhood. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, now holding the rabbit closely. She hugged it to herself, unbelieving of what she had just done...to survive. “Jesus, I’m so sorry.” Her body shook horribly as she remembered the feeling of the poor creature struggling against her lips. She couldn’t breath now. She had tried with all her might not to feed. She had waited a whole week, but in the end, she had to eat something.
She stood up, still holding the rabbit’s body in her hands, cradling it as if it were the most precious treasure. Then she walked over to a nearby bush, and laid it there. It’s soft white coat all but glowed in the dark. And two little puncture marks were plain-as-day on it’s neck. The sign of a vampire.
The girl stood in the moonlight, cursing her life, cursing her death. For her, there was no difference. She neither lived, nor died, but walked around while achieving both. She looked longingly at a wooden stick lying a few feet away from her. She took a step forward, then stepped back once again.
“Coward,” she muttered to herself. “Do it, if you did, it wouldn’t make a difference. Nobody would care, and you would have peace again. There would be no difference.”
The stick mocked her, and she closed her eyes. The sun would be up soon. She pulled out her wand, tapped the top of her head and said, “Protego Apricus.” Immediately she felt as if her whole body had been sprinkled with peppermint, and knew the spell had worked; she was protected from the sun.
And so she walked on, moving down the street, looking for somewhere to sleep. Nobody paid much attention to her, nobody noticed what had just occurred in the park. Nobody realized that a sixteen-going-on-seventeen-year-old girl had once again experienced the pain that had plagued her for over three years now. But the girl didn’t care, in fact, she appreciated it. She didn’t need anybody. Normal people craved friends, other people. She wasn’t like that. No, Henna Davis would never need anyone.
The next few days passed as they normally did; she slept. Honestly, there wasn’t anything else she could do. She milled around, and looked hopefully at a nice little coffee shop. She could imagine, getting off of work, and then going to relax in such a place. She snorted at her own thoughts, however. She had, of course, no job. Who would hire a vampire? I mean, sure, she could hide that fact, but only for a little while. Sooner or later, somebody would find out...they always did. “Half-Breed,” they would yell. She could almost imagine it, everything happening all over again.
She had gotten a job at a bookstore. She had felt so...wonderful...so elated. Finally, after years of rejection, even by her own family, she had made it. Until, without fail, somebody found out. She had nearly starved herself, as she was always doing. She couldn’t stand to eat blood from living creatures, but it was inevitable that she had to. She should have learned by now not to wait so long. She had passed out on the floor. When she had next woken up, somebody’s hand was on her forehead.
“Are you alright?” the male voice had asked worriedly. She hadn’t taken the time to think. Instinct took hold. She lashed out and bit the man on the wrist. He had yelled out in pain, slapping her across the face. So great was his horror, that he grabbed the first weapon he could find. Henna had just stood up, and was about to run out the door, when a sharp pain laced itself tightly across her shoulder blade. Not stopping to look back, not even stopping to scream, she fled.
She’d left that town for good, swearing never again to step foot in another situation like that. So now, here she was, abandoned by her parents, and resorting to living in alleyways, feeding off rats. It was the honest to God truth, that had been the only time she’d bitten a human. It had been a complete accident, but she had still done it. She ran a grimy hand through her even grimier hair. Once a beautiful blonde color, it was now reduced to a dull brown. Her dark brown eyes, once sparkling, were now muddy, emotionless smears. Her tattered tee-shirt and jeans, of course, were in much worse of a state. The jeans had holes in them, and not even her pathetic spells could help them.
“Ah,” she muttered, as her thoughts moved to her spellwork. That was a place she didn’t want to go. The fact was, she was horrible at magic. Sure, her mother had been a witch, but apparently Henna had not gotten much of her talent. Up until three years ago, she had been fine, but ever since...well.... Let’s just say she had needed to teach herself. That included stealing a few books every once in a while, reading them, then after trying to learn the spells over and over, she would return the book, saying she’d found it laying outside, and somebody must have dropped it out of their shopping bag.
The person behind the counter normally thanked her politely, while keeping a safe distance. Sure they didn’t know she was a vampire, but she reeked with despair, not to mention the God-awful sight she must be. It’s not like she could afford a bath, other than a quick dunk in a near-by pond. A brush was out of the question, save her fingers. And she didn’t even dare to dream about new clothes. Every time she left those stores, she was even more discouraged. Even if she had the guts to try and get another job, she certainly wouldn’t get one looking like this. Nobody in their right-mind would hire somebody who looked like they had been hit by several fast-moving cars.
As she walked down the side-walk, she spotted a secluded area beneath a tree. It was sufficiently shaded, and besides, she had the spell on. It would be a few more hours before it wore off. She was just about to turn a corner, when a loud voice reached her ears.
“Hey! Streets!” it said, laughing loudly. Henna turned, looking around for who the person might be. She saw him then. It was a rather puny kid, that looked to be about her age. His greasy black hair rivaled her own, and his long, gangly arms held something. Behind him was a much larger boy, and he was grinning. “Come over here!”
“Me?” she asked, looking behind her. She saw nobody else, and so she looked back at the boys. “What is it?”
“Hey Streets, we’ve seen you around here a lot,” the larger one said, sticking out his hand to her. She took it, but even so she noticed how he looked nervously over his shoulder.
“What are you calling me?” she asked, not sure whether she should be offended.
“Streets,” the smaller one supplied, grinning. “Don’t know your real name, so that’s our name for you! So, anyways, we’ve noticed you around. And, no offense, but you’re looking a little down all the time,” he said.
Henna cocked her head to one side, thoroughly confused. So? What did they want? “Don’t call me ‘Streets,’” she muttered. “Why do you care if I look upset or not? Who the Hell are you?”
“Oh, I see she’s got manners!” the small one said, laughing nasally. The big one was looking around nervously again. Then he nudged the other boy. The boy nodded. “Gimme a second, Lars,” he said. “Sorry, my friend is a bit impatient.”
“Yeah, so anyways, we thought you could use some...er...help, so we brought you some stuff. It’s from my mom’s pantry,” the boy said. Henna was suddenly so outraged, she could hardly speak.
“What are....Do you think I’m a ....” she began, but before she could finish, the two had left, snickering and talking quickly to each other. “The world’s gone mad,” she muttered. Furious, she dropped the bag on the ground. Did they think she was some homeless loser that needed their pity? Sure, that might be the truth, but to see it so openly pointed out, made her so angry she felt like crying. She in the bag on the ground, and looked inside. It looked perfectly normal. There was a loaf of bread, a few apples, and...a small velvet box. She reached in the bag, and opened the box up. Her eyes nearly popped out of her head, as she saw what was inside.
A beautiful gold ring glimmered back at her, it’s diamonds were twinkling merrily. “Shit!” she whispered. “Hey! You guys, take this thing back!” she yelled, running to catch up with them. When she got to the edge of the ally, however, they were nowhere to be seen. As she was trying to work it all out in her mind, she heard yet another voice coming her way. This time, it was a booming voice, and sounded extremely angry. She turned and saw a giant of a man running towards her, barrels of fat surrounding his mid-section.
Shock engulfed her, and she stood stupidly holding the diamond ring. “What do you think you’re doing?! Give me that! You little slime!” and he snatched the ring from her hand.
“Yeah..sure take it! I never...”
“You’ll go to jail for this one, that’s a fact!” the man boomed, yelling right in her face. People were starting to stare, and Henna looked up at him, not sure what to do. Jail?
“I swear, mister. I promise you I never took that! These two boys, they came and they...” but once again the large man interrupted her.
“I don’t want to hear it. You’re coming with me, and we’re calling your parents, and then the police!” he yelled, and his own meaty fingers wrapped themselves tightly around her upper arm. She felt her bones flexing as the grip he had nearly crushed her. She had no choice but to be dragged along the sidewalk, breathing deeply, trying not to scream in frustration.
Remus Lupin’s eyes narrowed. He had seen the whole thing. The poor girl hadn’t done anything, and now that jerk was hauling her away. He felt an odd surge to pound the man’s face in, something that he rarely wanted to do.... His muscles flexed, and his heart wrenched. What was wrong with him? Why did he care so much about what happened to that complete stranger...
“Hey, Remus! You coming?” came a low, amused voice. Sirius Black came to stand beside his friend, he followed Remus’ enraged gaze. “What’s going on?”
“That girl just got wrongly accused,” Remus muttered, making each word very clear. Sirius squinted his eyes.
“That’s a girl? Looks more like a train-wreck to me,” Sirius said, taking note of her outfit and hair. Remus was suddenly furious.
“Just because everybody isn’t as good as you doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated like that,” he berated. Sirius raised a brow, having never heard that tone of voice from Remus. “I’ll be right back.”
“What? Remus!” Sirius yelled exasperated. “This is none of your business! You’re going to get your ass kicked by that guy!” but to no avail. Remus kept marching until finally he had reached the struggling pair. Sirius snorted. “Well, looks like a fight to me,” he muttered.
“Finally! With who?” came a pleasant voice. James Potter came to lean against the wall. But he immediately straightened again when he saw Remus confronting the huge brute. “Figures, the one time Remus actually decides to pick a fight, it has to be with a guy three times his size.”
Henna tried to actually hit the man, but he merely grabbed her wrist. “Don’t be fighting me, girl. You deserve this, and you know it!”
“Let her go!” yelled a voice barbed with fury. The huge man turned, his jowls wobbling. Henna felt sick as his stomach nearly slapped her senseless while it flopped around.
“And who are you?” he asked Remus, holding Henna even tighter so that she winced. Remus saw her pale face contort in pain, and his stomach churned even more.
“I’m somebody that’s going to become very, very angry if you don’t let her go. She didn’t steal that ring. I saw the whole damned thing,” he muttered. The man started laughing, but Henna could only stare in awe.
“Oh, you’re going to become very, very angry? And why should I care?” he said, smiling menacingly.
“Trust me,” said a new voice. “You should care.” Sirius was right behind him, and Remus sensed rather than saw that James was there too. Now the man looked a little nervous. Remus wanted very much to draw his wand on this idiotic muggle.
“You’ve got your ring, now leave,” James said, his voice edged with danger. The man looked as if it was taking all of is patience not to just yell out for the police. But there was something about these three...something different.
“Fine, take the wretch. She smells anyways,” he muttered, and threw Henna into the ground.
Henna’s whole world spun, as she slammed into the concrete. Immediately she felt firm hands grabbing her arms, and instinctively she jerked back. “It’s alright,” said a calming voice. Henna looked up, and her eyes widened as she got a good look at her saviors. Before her stood the three most handsome boys she had ever laid eyes on.
One had shaggy black hair, and a devil-may-care aura about him that took his looks to a whole new level. His gray eyes were so full of mischief, Henna wasn’t sure what to make of him. It was as if he thought this whole thing rather amusing. Standing beside him was a tall, lean boy with sloppy black hair, that stuck up slightly in the back. He had on glasses, and was grinning endearingly at her. His hazel eyes sparkled with excitement, and there was a feeling of great energy surrounding him.
Henna was sure that she would have thought this trio quite overwhelming, if not for the one now holding her hand. He had a peace about him, a collected, calm attitude. Though she sense an underlying uneasiness. She could hardly believe that just a few moments ago he had been challenging that huge brute, whereas now he was standing calmly before her. The hint of anger was still there, she sensed, a hidden danger that told her that, when riled, he could be frightening. She felt an odd feeling about her midriff, quite scaring her half to death. Never had she had such a reaction to a man...except.... She shook her head, warding off the memories that flashed past her. Now she focused only on the present, and realized something with a gasp. She wasn’t afraid of him. For the first time in years, she felt...safe.
As he helped to steady her, she took her time in examining his looks. He was, in her opinion, the best looking one. He had sandy brown hair, with a forelock that seemed to constantly fall in his eyes. His perfectly clear brown eyes, if brown eyes could be called clear, were now warm and inviting. They seemed to show every aspect of his personality, and he was an open book...almost. She could feel that there was a chapter missing...something wasn’t right...something was...different.
Remus grinned then, realizing they had been staring at each other for quite some time now. But he honestly couldn’t help it. He was drawn to her, oddly. And as he looked into her eyes, he saw something he rarely saw in other people...himself. He knew at once that she was guarding a deep secret, and she was terrified that somebody might find out. He recognized that immediately, having that same feeling. He could only wonder what the secret was....
It was obvious that she was wise beyond her young age, or at least he thought she must be young. She couldn’t be much older than him. He saw beneath her battered clothes into her even more battered heart. Something wasn’t right with this girl. She felt so...hollow. It was obvious she had gone through great pain.
“Are you okay?” he asked finally, trying to find his voice. He ignored the sniggers he was receiving from James and Sirius. She nodded.
“Thanks...” she whispered. “Thanks to all of you. How did you know I didn’t steal it?” she asked, speaking directly to Remus.
“I saw those boys steal that ring, and then I followed them,” he explained.
“Well, you just saved my life...all of you did,” she said, remembering the others were there too. They smiled knowingly.
“I’m James Potter,” the one with glasses explained. “This here is Sirius Black,” he said.
“At your service,” Sirius said, bending to kiss her hand as if she were a queen. Her face moved between a glare and a blush. She snatched her hand back, and Sirius shared a glance with Remus. “It seems only you can touch her,” he said. That was when she realized Remus was still holding her hand. She tried to snatch that hand back too, but found that she couldn’t. Instead, she slowly eased herself from his light grip. The three grinned at her discomfort.
“I’m Henna Davis. And you’re...” she said pointedly, looking at Remus. She folded her arms, giving them each a look that chilled their bones, making them uneasy.
“Remus Lupin,” he muttered, trying hard to remember what it was. “Anyways, do you live around here?”
“Umm...yeah,” she lied. Then she rolled her eyes in disgust. “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” she muttered, now angry for no good reason. She began to walk away. Remus grabbed her hand again. “Get the hell off me!” she screeched, leaping away from him. James and Sirius raised there eyebrows, giving each other sideways looks. Remus, however, was nodding slowly. This girl’s every move made perfect sense to him. He had seen it with himself. Her awkward posture, her downcast eyes. And now he saw what she was trying to do. She was trying to scare people off so that they would leave her alone. He wouldn’t let her do that.
Fear. There was only one word to describe it.
“I’ll walk you home,” Remus said, smiling. Henna jumped as if she’d been shot. What? He wasn’t supposed to smile. He was supposed to walk away, deciding she was crazy. He was supposed to mutter what a bitch she was and walk away...leaving her alone. That was where she wanted to be...right? Alone? Guilt plagued her, knowing that this man was really trying to help her. She sensed that he knew she was trying to scare them off. But he wasn’t playing along.
“Actually, no thanks. I just live down the street,” she muttered more politely, deciding to take a different tact. Remus shrugged.
“Still, these Muggle police don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t mind...” then he broke of as James coughed. He realized his mistake. He had just said the word 'Muggle' in front of this girl. Her eyes grew large, and then she smiled.
“So you too?” she asked, “All of you?” she whispered. James looked surprised and nodded.
“You’re a witch?” Remus asked. She looked away.
“Yeah,” she said, only half lying.
“Boy, is that good to hear,” he whispered. Then he blushed. “I mean... I’ll just walk you home then. Sirius, James...I’m sure you can go on without me,” he said pointedly. And they left, but not without wiggling their eyebrows and winking profusely. Henna caught this, and almost smiled...almost. “Come on,” he said irritably, but smiling all the same. “So what school do you go to?” he asked, looking down at her.
“I...don’t go to school,” she muttered uncomfortably. It was because of her tone of voice that he didn’t question her. But he made a note to himself to look into it later. “And you?” she asked, deciding that she could at least enjoy his company if he was going to force it on her.
“Hogwarts,” he said. “I’m going to be in my last year next month,” he said proudly.
“Really?” she said, trying not to sound to interested. She couldn’t believe the effect this boy was having on her...she was feeling...less unhappy. “So what do you plan on doing once your out?”
“I was thinking...maybe an Auror would be cool,” he said, a huge smile on his face. Henna couldn’t help it then. She...grimaced. It was the closest thing to a smile she could do. He took it for what she had meant it, and nodded.
“Yeah...that would be pretty neat,” she whispered. “I think I would rather do something quieter. I’ve always wanted to...” she broke off, aghast. What would she tell him next? She might as well tell him she was a vampire! She needed to be more careful.
“What is it?” he asked, grinning.
“You’ll laugh,” she said, shaking her head. He shook his head in disagreement.
“I swear I won’t,” he promised. She still said nothing. “I pinky swear!” he said, holding out his pinky. Henna stared in confusion, and then understood. It was all she could do to make herself roll her eyes, but she took his pinky all the same. This guy was going to be her downfall. She needed to get away from him...and fast.
“Well, I was thinking of starting some sort of...laboratory just just for the study of half-breeds,” she muttered. Remus got very still and silent.
“What do you mean?” he said, and his voice had gotten chilly.
“Well, I mean, finding cures for some of the permanent, creature induced illnesses...like vampire bites,” she explained uncertainly. She could feel the change that had gone through Remus, and was now biting her lip in a rare show of emotion. What had she done?
“And werewolves?” he asked.
“Well yes,” she said. “So many lives are ruined by such things. I just thought maybe I could make a difference,” she whispered, unable to believe she was saying all of this to anybody. She hadn’t had an actual conversation with a human in years. There was such an uncomfortable silence after that conversation that she began looking for a her house. She picked one at random. “There,”, she said, pointing to a small blue house. Remus nodded, feeling dazed. He couldn’t believe what he’d just heard...it was almost as if...she knew.
She began to walk slowly up the steps, waiting for him to leave, when he didn’t she glared at him. “Aren’t you going?”
“I’ll wait until you get in the house,” he said softly. She could tell he was still angry about something, but she didn’t really care.
“It’s alright, you don’t have to wait,” she said firmly.
“I don’t mind,” he muttered, frowning now. Henna wanted to scream and rage at him. Not only that, but she was starting to grow hot. The spell was wearing off, and the sun was getting through. She muttered a swear word under her breath and, prepared for battle, tried to open the door. It was locked. She let out another curse, aware that Remus was now watching her intently. She knocked, giving a fake smile.
“Mum sometimes locks the door, she’s very paranoid,” she explained. As the door opened, Henna saw a young woman open the door.
“Yes? Can I...” she began, but Henna interrupted the woman before she could reveal her as a liar.
“Hey, mum. Sorry I’m late. Got into a spot of trouble. Dinner ready yet? I’m starved,” and she tried to push her way through the door.
“Who are you?! Get out of my house!” the woman raged. Henna winced, trying to beg the woman silently to let her in. But the woman was either unaware of her attempts, or didn’t care. Henna received nothing but the door slamming into her face.
“I reckon you’re right. You’re mum must be extremely paranoid. She won’t even let her own daughter in?” Remus said, his heart wrenching. The truth was coming out, but he didn’t want to believe it at all. This girl obviously didn’t have a home, and was trying to hide that fact. He felt awful for trying to pry the truth out of her. He honestly hadn’t known. But even if he had, he admitted to himself, he wouldn’t have just let it drop. He needed to help her.
“Just get away from me,” Henna said, and swung off the porch of the little blue house. She began walking in the opposite direction, but Remus caught up with her.
“Stop!” Remus said. “Look, I know some people that can help.” Henna actually laughed at this.
“Nobody can help me,” she muttered, and began walking even faster. Remus then grabbed her arm.
“Listen, don’t play this ‘nobody-understands-me’ crap. I’ve been through it before, but feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere. Take it from somebody that knows...” he said firmly. Henna glared at his hand as he held her firmly in one spot.
“There is no possible way you could understand what I’m going through. I didn’t ask for your help,” she hissed venomously. Remus looked down into her pain-wrought face, and shook his head.
“I think you’re just going to have to trust me,” he whispered. Henna jerked free.
“Fat chance,” she spat, and ran away before he could say another word.
A/N: Hey guys! Okay, here is my very first Remus/OC romance! If you've read any of my other works, you'll notice it's much much different. For one thing, it's extremely dark, and much more...angsty. Normally I don't go for the angsty stuff, but I've got to at least try, eh? Well, let me know what you think. I know this first chapter is long, but I was just having so much fun unrolling Henna's character, I rather forgot about length. Anyways, I hope you'll leave me a review telling me what you liked/disliked about it.
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