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Nocturne, Requiem, Myth by Kelly_the_muggle
Chapter 17 : The Induction of Eve
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 15


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Oh, Merlin, help me.

Harry brushed away the tears running down his face, pushing down his hood as he did so, revealing his face. He didn't know what to do; Eve was in his arms, cradling her fallen brother. He stared at the crimson-stained concrete, rather than at Eve or Nicholai, but soon, sheer pain and the sound of Eve's gasping cries took hold of his attention, and he turned his head to her.

She looked so helpless, so pain-filled, and he wanted nothing more than to help her somehow, but he knew that there was nothing he could do. Nothing at all. He dared not look at Nicholai, at the sleek, black wings that were hanging uselessly to the ground.

He sobbed dryly and looked away. It was only then when another thought took over his mind. He let go of Eve, realization striking him.

"Vladmir." He gasped breathlessly, his eyes wide. He slowly stood up, turned around and looked down the alley. It was completely still. The aurors had all gone, and - surely they were Death Eaters - they had gone as well. He thought it strange, that no one had come running at all the noise they were making. He drew his wand from his robes with a shaking hand, his heart beating faster and faster.

"V-Vladmir?" He called, walking forward a little, and then faster, picking up speed with each step.

Before he knew it, he was running. "VLADMIR?!" He screamed. He rose into the air, hovering, turning in circles to look in every direction. It was still everywhere - everyone had gone, and Vladmir was no where to be seen. Nearly all the small squares of light coming from the muggle houses had been extinguished.

"Oh no, no, no..." He muttered slowly, turning in all directions and pushing his hand through his messy hair, "Not Vladmir too."

He fell back to the ground uselessly, landing on his feet with ease at the end of the alley. The hair on the back of his neck was standing on end. Despite the fact that he knew they were completely alone, he felt so strange, confused, and lost all at once. He raised his wand just a bit higher, peering into the shadowy depths all around him.

He turned around and walked swiftly back to Eve. The sight was even more disturbing from afar; he shuddered, and a wave of disbelief swelled up in him again. His head was swirling with a thousand thoughts as he crouched down next to Eve again.

Is Nicholai really dead? Who did this? Why did this happen? What do I do? How do I help Eve? Where is Vladmir? Is Vladmir dead too?

"...Eve, we n-need to get out of h-here." He stuttered breathlessly as he approached her. She had settled down a little, and looked up at him. Her eyes were red and blood-shot.

"Harry...he's, h-he's...dead!" She wailed. More tears ran from Harry's eyes, and he looked up, trying to stop them from coming. He didn't wanted to just interrupt her, right in the middle of her grieving - he was grieving as well, but he had the strangest feeling that they needed to leave; anyone could come along.

"I-I know...I know..." He muttered, crouching down next to her and hugging her again, "...Come on...we need to get him out of here..."

She nodded without looking at him, still clinging to he brother. Harry pulled his hood over his head once more and took Nicholai, pulling his body up from the ground. Chilled blood ran down the wings dragging uselessly against the ground. Eve kept her hands extended toward him, longing to have Nicholai in her arms. "...W-where do we go?" She asked.

Harry wiped his eyes on his shoulder as he carefully stood up, supporting the body. "I guess...I guess number twelve?" He said uncertainly, not knowing where else to go. The Wash was such a long way away...

"Okay." She replied, not caring, never taking her eyes off Nicholai. The tears were still running down her face, and she was shaking like mad. He knew exactly how she felt.

Harry, struggling, opened his wings wide and left the ground once more. Eve was by his side, supporting Nicholai's head. They headed off toward London again.

Harry still was trembling. What had just happened? Where did those Death Eaters come from and why didn't Harry realize they were there? Thinking about those two dark figures who had stood just below them and killed the most important vampire in existence - killed someone who was coming to be like a brother to him - killed Eve's brother...

His stomach twisted, convulsed.

Where was Vladmir? He had been here, just minutes before, and now he seemed to have disappeared. Harry just hoped Vladmir wasn't...dead. He shuddered at the thought, and the hair on the back on his neck stood on end again. A slight pain flared up
in his head - it was so difficult to think, and to be in this pain all at once. He immediately abandoned trying to think.

He had never flown while carrying anyone before, and his trembling arms were beginning to grow tired. Bitting his lip, he hoisted the body higher into his arms and carried on, trying to be strong. He didn't dare look, through misty eyes, down into Nicholai's silent face.

Eve was still sobbing next to him, and he was finding it extremely difficult to stifle his gasps as well. Each breath inflated his constricted lungs, filling them with cold air, surprising him each time. Disbelief and confusion was still firm within him.

His head was spinning. He didn't exactly know if Grimmuald place was the best place to be going. Should they go to Hogwarts? But there was likely to be a whole hoard of Order members waiting at Headquarters, and they would know what to do...they could help...

They were silent until they reached the bright lights of London, and the shabby Grimmauld square. "...Oh...Harry?" Eve whispered out from under her own hood, her hands disappearing together into it over her nose and mouth, "What are they going to think? We weren't supposed to have anything to do with this - especially you...what do we say?"

"I-I guess...we just tell them the...the t-truth..." Harry replied, the words becoming jumbled in his mouth. "But...this is too important."

Ever so slowly, as if in a mournful procession, Harry walked toward number twelve, his whole body shaking. He still couldn't believe this, couldn't believe what had happened...his eyes were wide and surprised, his whole mind still flooded with shock.

Eve went ahead of him, up the Gregorian stoop, and rang the bell. Harry waited near the street, hidden by a shadow that swallowed him and his burden whole, yet tell-tale drips of crimson slowly dotted the sidewalk. Though it was distant, and muffled by the door, the shrill bell made him jump as if water had just been thrown on him. He hoisted up his burden a bit more.

It was Mr Weasley that answered the door. "Eve, what a surprise!" He said as he moved aside for her. But at her reluctance to enter and the faint-hearted expression on her face, he stopped. "...Eve? Whatís wrong? Why don't you-"

"Mr Weasley..." Eve finally managed to speak, cutting him off. Her voice was shaking terribly, "....Nicholai's dead."

The words were strangled and quiet, but effective. She broke down again and began sobbing uncontrollably into her hands. She leaned against the railing to keep from swaying.

Mr weasley stepped a bit out of the doorway, but he stopped, taking in her words. "What? Nicholai's..."

Harry shuffled up to the bottom of the steps, the light from inside the house shining upon him. Mr Weasley turned from Eve to him. His jaw dropped.

"...Merlin..." He whispered, before he slowly walked down the steps toward him. "...Come on up, Harry...bring him inside, then..." He didn't seem to care that Harry and Eve were here, dealing in matters that they should have been barred from.

Harry walked up the steps and followed the two through the front door. In the sitting room, Harry walked over and set Nicholai down on the sofa. Immediately, Eve ran over and sat on the floor next to the it, hiding her face in her hands.

Harry simply walked over to an overstuffed chair and dropped down into it, in a dazed stupor. He stared straight ahead of him, not looking and Mr Weasley, or Eve.

Mr Weasley was in quite a stupefied mood as well. He stared at the sofa, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck and trying to decide what to do next. "Bloody hell..." He muttered.

Someone was coming up from the kitchen; their footsteps drifted up into the sitting room. A moment later, two figures appeared in the door - Tonks and Mrs Weasley.

"Who was it, Arth..." Molly stopped, as her husband had, before being overcome with the same stunned silence. Mr Weasley turned around. "Molly, go get a hold of Dumbledore, tell him its an emergency and he needs to come back to headquarters right away." He dictated clearly, suddenly fully aware of himself and the situation. "Go, quickly!" He said again before Molly disappeared the same way she had come.

Tonks walked to Eve, and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder as she stared at the fallen vampire. Mr Weasley approached Harry, who still hadn't taken his eyes off the wall in front of him, or said a word.

"Harry? What happened?" He asked softly, crouching down next to his chair, trying to claim Harry's attention.

Harry swallowed; he knew he had to talk. "...It was just a few minutes ago..." He said dreamily, hardly giving any thought to his words. "...In Chester...where they were with the Aurors..."

Tonks turned away from the sofa and looked at Harry, watching as he spoke.

"Eve and I followed them...I-it just didn't feel right...the both of us didn't feel right about it..." His voice quivered, "...We saw them there, with the Aurors...they spread out; but after a little while, w-we heard someone screaming," He said, the images and the sounds replaying in his mind as he spoke. "...we ran towards it across the rooftops, and looked down an alley...and there he was, with two other figures...and-"

He couldn't bring himself to say what had happened next.

"Harry?" Asked Mr Weasley, "What happened next?"

"And-" He gasped, "...they just attacked him - I don't know who they were...or why...they must have been Death Eaters."

Harry stopped speaking. He couldn't anymore. Mr Weasley nodded, seeming satisfied with Harry's explanation. "Well...I understand, Harry..." He said vaguely, turning away slightly and slowly sinking to the floor, where he sat, staring at the opposite wall, just as Harry had done.

They sat in silence, save for the sound of Eve's dying sobs, for a few more moments. Harry didn't know how long it was - it could have been five minutes or a hundred. He didn't care, he just wanted to sit here, next to Eve, hoping to wake up from this nightmare.

And suddenly, his head burst in a rush of pain. An ecstatic feeling of ill-suited happiness soaked into his mind as he clutched his forehead in agony. So they had been death eaters after all.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

It was very early in the morning.

Much to his dismay, Harry had been ordered back to Hogwarts, shortly after Dumbledore arrived. He relayed his version of the evenings events to the members of the Order that had accumulated there on Dumbledore's orders. Shortly after being reprimanded by Mr and Mrs Weasley, with a few words from the Headmaster as well, he was sent on his way.

And it had angered him greatly. He had as much right to be there as anyone else, if not more so. Nicholai was not just his friend, he was his leader - the leader of his own race. Eve had contacted two vampires who worked for the council, and she met the pair of them; together, they took Nicholai's body back to his home. Harry knew it would only be a little while longer when he would feel the despair of the entire race pouring into the night air.

He didn't want to be away. He wanted to stay in the company of the people that could inform him of what was going on. Vladmir was still out there, perhaps dead...

And that was all he knew so far. He didn't know what was going to happen now, but he knew it was going to be rough. It was just so hard to believe...someone else was dead, another of his friends were gone.

And as he walked aimlessly down Grimmauld square, the full weight of it crashed upon him, and it took him by glorious surprise. It was as if all the breath that was in his lungs at one moment had suddenly disappeared in the blink of an eye, and he was struggling to bring air back into him.

He wiped his eyes on his sleeves before he jumped into the air.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Harry didn't even bother flying up the drive to Hogwarts. He landed unceremoniously on the high street in Hogsmeade, and slowly began to walk toward the castle.

It was nearing six o'clock as he entered the front doors and walked slowly across the entrance hall, up towards the marble staircase. He marched lethargically up seven floors, before muttering the password to the fat lady, and hopping through the portrait hole.

He threw himself down on a couch, his mood more sour than ever now that it was almost day break. He sat there for twenty minutes, anger and despair boiling around inside him, before someone descended the girl's dormitory stairs.

"...Harry? What are you doing down here? Have you taken your potion yet?" Hermione asked with a glance toward the windows where the sky was swiftly lightening beyond.

He didn't reply, or make any movements whatsoever. He simply stared straight ahead of him at the wall, as his wings disappeared. Hermione cocked her head to one side and approached him. "Harry, aren't you going to class today...Whatís wrong?"

She asked, seeing the expression in his reddened eyes up close. "Harry, what-"

"Nicholai's dead." He muttered lethargically, but clearly. He had just enough time to see Hermione clap her hand to her mouth in shock before he collapsed over into a deep, peaceful sleep.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"He looks kinda dead, doesn't he?"

"Well yeah, he always looks dead...its just now that he's not moving."

"I wish that stupid sun would hurry up and go down already!"

There were voices overhead. Slowly, he was becoming conscious of the workings around him. And at once, his eyes snapped open, only to see a large group of Gryffindors jumping back in shock and surprise.

"He's awake."

"Someone go tell Professor McGonagall!"

"Go on, everyone, move along, clear off!" Ron appeared from behind the crowd, shoving some of the smaller ones away and shaking his wand threateningly at some of the older ones. Muttering and whispering, they cleared off, and Ron rushed over to Harry.

"Harry...Hermione said...this morning you said - that Nicholai-"

"...Its true, Ron." Harry confirmed, horrible reality rushing over him once more as he remembered the events of almost a day ago. And as the details of all that had happened came back to him, he jumped up at once. Vladmir...Eve...Whatís going on, I shouldn't be here...

Hermione suddenly appeared at Ron's side. "Harry...is Nicholai really - McGonagall wouldn't say a word..." Harry nodded once more. "...But, but how did it happen?" She whispered, her eyes reddening.

"...Itís a long story," Harry muttered, "...but it was death eaters that did it."

"I don't believe it..." She muttered. Just then, the portrait hole opened and in stepped Professor McGonagall. She looked around for a moment and then caught sight of the trio.

"Finally, you're awake, Potter. The Headmaster would like a word." She said.

"Oh...alright, Professor." He said, "I'll see you guys later. I'll tell you everything." He muttered to Ron and Hermione before he followed Professor McGonagall out of the portrait hole.

Harry noticed out of the corner of his eye that she kept looking at him over her right shoulder, distraughtly, on their way to the Headmaster's office. He kept his eyes to the floor, not wishing to engage in any conversations. It was obvious that she already knew everything, being in the Order.

Finally, they arrived at the Head's office. Harry rode the spiral stairs on his own, and knocked upon the door.

"Enter" Called the voice from within.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" Harry mumbled, walking across the room towards the desk where the headmaster was sitting.

"Yes, I did indeed. Did you have a nice sleep? Professor McGonagall informed me that you weren't in any classes today. Seems like you've broken you're recent record of attendance."

"Oh...yes, I suppose...I didn't have time to take my potion after I got back." He lied.

"Fine, fine..." Dumbledore muttered, stroking his beard, "...Well, I have some good news for you, in spite of all our new despair. You'll be happy to know that Vladmir is alright. He turned up at Headquarters shortly after you departed."

"Really?" Harry asked, suddenly incredibly relieved, "did he say what happened? Surely he saw it all."

Dumbledore's eyes fell, "Ah...well, thatís where you yet again must be given disappointing news. The nights event's were wiped completely of Vladmir's memory when he returned to us. He appeared at the front door claiming he couldn't remember what he had been doing for hours. He was most certainly obliviated."

"Obliviated? But Sir...who would do that? Certainly the Aurors wouldn't - they would want to know what happened. But then again, why would the Death Eaters?"

"Why indeed, unless of course, there was some type of foul-play afoot." Dumbledore suggested.

Harry began thinking cautiously of the night before. "...Professor...There were Aurors there last night - several of them in fact - but when we saw Nicholai being attacked...and much longer after that...there were none. They seemed to have all disappeared in the blink of an eye."

"Believe me, Harry, that is one of the foremost circumstances the Order and I are investigating at the moment." DUmbledore explained with a great sigh. "...Oh yes, this is from Miss Delacroix."

Dumbledore picked up a letter of his desk and handed it across to Harry, who ripped open the envelope and examined the letter. There were several small blotches here and there, as if tears had fallen on it.

Dear Harry,

Please come to the Wash tonight. There will be a ceremony for Nicholai at ten o'clock, as he was everyone's leader. Hundreds will attend, to pay their last respects to him. I greatly want you to be by my side, seeing as it was you and I who together witnessed his death.

And also, after the main ceremony there will be an induction. As Nicholai was my brother, and I am his only living family, It will be me who will take his place on the council. Itís a large responsibility that I am very anxious about having. I just want you to be with me.

Meet me at my house. Bring Remus if he would like to come. I hope to see you soon.

Eve


Harry slowly folded up the letter and place it back into the envelope. "...They are having a ceremony for Nicholai tonight, and then Eve's being inducted into the Immortal Council." He explained quietly to Dumbledore.

"Ah...that sounds quite nice...I'm sure it will be a very nice ceremony indeed." He replied serenely.

"Well...I guess I've got to go, then...I want to be ready." He said, moving towards the door.

Dumbledore inspected him over his half-moon spectacles. "Very well, Harry. Pay my respects to Nicholai for me."

"I will, Sir."

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Harry stuffed the letter into his robe pocket, which he realized he had been wearing for two days now. He pulled out his wand, and with a flick of his wrist, he was fully clothed in a set of his finest vampire robes, black with heavy red embroidering, and shiny black velvet around the hems. He would tackle his hair once he returned to his dorm room.

"Harry, you said you'd tell...You look...dressed up..." Hermione said lamely as Harry climbed through the portrait hole, attracting many stares and looks of admiration from a few of the girls.

"I've got to go somewhere in a little while...itís a bit formal...A requiem for Nicholai." Harry replied.

"Oh," She looked down heartened, "...Harry...what happened?"

"I'll tell you...come and sit..." And with that, the two of them sat down on a couch, next to Ron and out of earshot of the rest of the room.

"Alright, well, Eve and I followed Nicholai and Vladmir last night..." He started.

"But Harry, everyone told you not to!" Hermione whispered.

"Yeah, well itís a good thing we did, isn't it?" He said, "If not for us, no one would know..." He then told them all about what had happened - the way Nicholai had been cornered in the alley as he and Eve watched overhead; the way all the aurors seemed to disappear; the way Vladmir had shown up hours later, obliviated.

"That makes no sense..." Ron mused.

"That's what I've been saying ever since it happened." Said Harry numbly. "...Well, I'll leave you two to dwell on that, I've got to go."

"Alright, Harry...have a nice time." Said Hermione.

Harry jumped up the spiral stairs three at a time with ease and entered the sixth year boy's dorm. With a great sigh, he realized that it was empty. Very quickly, he cleaned himself up, and tried his best to comb his hair, though not being able to see the end result, he just left it.

Not wishing to parade through the common room again in his very vampiric state, he pushed the window next to his bed open and squeezed through it.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Harry...what a surprise, what are you doing at my window tonight?" Asked Professor Lupin as Harry climbed in.

"Thereís a ceremony tonight for Nicholai and Eve at the Wash. Did you want to come?" He asked.

"Oh," Remus rubbed the back of his head with his hand, "Yea-Yeah, sure I'll come." He said gratefully. "Absolutely, let me just go get ready. Just take a minute."

He disappeared into another room. Ten minutes later, Harry and Remus were walking down the drive towards Hogsmeade.

"I heard that they only reason anyone knew is because you and Eve disobeyed what everyone told you." Remus said casually. "I know you like to disregard the rules...but why did the two of you go?" The question was not stern or reproving. It was merely curious.

"...I just knew something wasn't right...Eve felt the same way - we both felt strange about the whole event...and we were right, weren't we?" He said.

"Hmm...It is quite strange..." Remus mused to himself as they walked, nearing the edge of the Apparition border, "...It would seem as if this sort of thing were planned, if you said Eve and yourself had had premonitions about it, but then again, this mission was top secret."

"...Thereís always the possibility of spies within the ministry..." Harry suggested quite lamely, not exactly caring at the moment.

"Absolutely," Said Remus lightly. "But who?"

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Harry and Remus arrived at the Wash a little after nine. Despite the fact that the place was already packed with mourning creatures of all kinds, it was respectfully quiet. Besides the abundance of people, the Wash looked the same as it always had - no drastic changes had taken place, no decorations had been set up. Perhaps the faerie lights were burning just a little bit brighter in the trees.

They marched up to the Delacroix's house, where Harry knew Eve was waiting.

"Oh, thank goodness you're here." She said as she ushered the two inside. Harry noticed that she looked absolutely gorgeous, dressed in a fine, black dress.

Despite the fact that she was dressed nicely, she looked incredibly flustered. He noticed that her eyes were slightly red, and she was rushing about, trying to put things in order.

"Remus, I'm so glad you came." Eve said.

"I was glad to have been invited." Remus replied with a weak, but genuine smile.

"Oh, I'm sorry about all this mess...I've just had so much to do, and all - and pretty soon I'll have even more work to take care of. I don't know how Nich-"

Eve cut herself off. Silently, she began crying again. Harry took the stack of papers out of her hands and forced her to sit down. "Eve, don't worry about all this, just sit down. You need to relax for a minute." He said.

"Quite Right," Remus added, taking out his wand, "We'll take care of all this." And with a swish of his wand, books flew back to their shelves, clothes folded themselves and retreated to the wardrobes, and papers lined themselves up in neat little stacks.

Eve looked around the room gratefully. "Oh...Thank you Remus." She sniffed. "I haven't had time to do anything yet. Tonight is going to be very hectic." The grandfather clock on the wall chimed 9:45.

"We should be going, now." Harry said, "Are you alright, Eve, are you ready?"

She nodded quickly, and dried her eyes on her sleeve. "I'm ready. I can do this, now."

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The lack of scenery before had quickly made up for itself. Down by the lake, the fairies in the trees were rushing about, their lights leaving pale-colored trails behind them, creating a beautiful scene. They reflected off the dark, rippling water, were the mercreatures were floating peacefully and serenely, robbing everyone of the perception of where the air stopped, and the lake began.

Harry stood at the front, between Eve and Remus, and beside them, Eclise and Harry had never experienced anything like it before. There was no sign of a body; Harry knew that Nicholai would be long gone by this time. No one stood up to speak; no one did much of anything.

It was like a great moment of silence, like the lives of every creature had stopped, and they were all watching, observing the moment and the respect it commanded. No crickets could be heard chirping, no owls hooting, nor, even did they hear the unmistakable snapping of twigs and signified the presence of the centaurs.

The atmosphere at the lake changed, just as it did when Harry found himself getting angry, except now, the mood was lighter, a bit happier, in celebration of someone who was great, and yet the fact that there was sadness and anguish in the air was all too obvious.

And after a moment, a wonderful, yet utterly depressing song lightly filled the air. He had a very weird feeling about it.

Harry looked at Eve. "What is that? It sounds strange."

"Its an ancient song - a nocturne. It's been played for Vampire's deaths for ages." She said in reply.

It seemed to have lasted hours. Harry had no perception of how long it went on, but finally, the song ended and a formal-looking vampire arose from the crowd and moved to address the crowd. He said a few words, and Harry felt Eve tense next to him.

And then, she rose from his side, and stood next to the vampire, facing the crowd. Harry could tell, that deep down, as she was looking out over the massive crowd assembled there, that she was terrified. But still, she bit her lip and looked resolved.

"Eve Delacriox," Said the vampire, "Do you hereby accept the responsibilities placed upon you by joining the Immortal Council, representing every and all vampires in our region, and are you willing to work together with the other councils throughout Europe and with the Ministry of Magic in Britain?"

"I do." Eve said dutifully.

The vampire waved his hand, like the way non-wizard vampires do after they bite their victims, and Harry knew that Eve was officially a member of the council. Applause broke out among those assembled there, and Eve blushed slightly, raising her hand.

The crowd began to disassemble, moving off in all directions to discuss the evening and walk the lake's edge. Eve immediately moved back to where Harry and Remus were standing.

"Congratulations." Harry said, "That wasn't so bad, now was it."

"Oh, the ceremony's never bad, its just the responsibilities that comes with it all..." Said Eve.

"well, I must be going, so much school work to do," said Remus, "I wish you a lot of luck, Eve, and I hope you take it easy for a while."

"Thank you for coming, Remus," said Eve, "I really appreciate it."

"Harry," Remus nodded, "See you tomorrow." Remus turned and disappeared into the crowd.

For the next thirty minutes, Harry followed Eve through the assembly, as she talked to individuals, greeting them and answering questions. After a while, she looked incredibly flustered and overwhelmed, and the look in her eyes was desperate for relief.

"Come on, Harry, I need a break." She muttered, taking his arm, and leading him away. The walked away from the lake, back up the drive where Eve's house sat. "I just want to sit down where no one can find me." She said, going off the path and sitting down behind a tree. Harry sat next to her.

"I can't wait till the novelty of this ends." She said, "No one quite bothered...Nicholai a few weeks after he was inducted, I remember. They just adored and admired him. Lets hope thatís a fad thatís passed."

"I know how that is, and I can tell you you don't want it." Said Harry, remembering all the times that strangers had come up to him, giving him praise.

For a moment, they sat in silence, just listening to the dim noise traveling through the trees. And then, something entered Harry's mind.

"Eve? Can I ask you something?" Harry began cautiously.

"Yes, what is it?" She replied.

"...Well...it's just that..." He felt awkward asking such a strange question, "...Do you like being a vampire?"

She turned her head to look at him, but the look on her face was not one that seemed to be questioning absurdity. It was more of intrigue and dreamy abstraction. "Well, of course...it's all I've ever known."

She looked down to the ground and began fiddling with the hem of her robes. "But then...sometimes," She said quietly, "I wonder...what it would be like as a human - or even a - a muggle," She said with a chuckle. "Sometimes it seems like it might be nice...to be active during the day, and to eat real food; I don't know." She said finally.

"No..." Said Harry, looking up at the moon through the trees, "It is...to feel the sun on your face - really feel it, and enjoy it. I remember how wonderful it was during Quidditch matches...or even just sitting out by the lake at Hogwarts.

"I've never quite thought about it before," Harry continued, "...I've always just thought about what I feel my the outer-most consciousness; I've forgotten how good food used to taste...and the sun - and even just simple things like my reflection." He chuckled.

Eve was studying him intently. "...I'm sorry, Harry..."

He turned to her suddenly. "For what?" He asked.

Eve looked away from him, out into the forest. "I guess none of us really think about what we do to those we bite - the ones who turn...taking so much away from them."

"Oh, but it hardly ever happens to anyone." Harry reasoned, trying his hardest to get those tears out of her eyes with his words. She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her knees. She turned to him once more.

"But it happened to you."

Harry felt something stir within him; like the air in his chest was caught. "...That was an accident; you know that."

"...Still, it happened." Her voice suddenly became very quiet, "But secretly...I think we all feel just a little bit anxious...like we're all in confidence with ourselves with the same desire...to be human. At least I do."

Harry felt shocked. "You want-...you want to be human?"

"...Yes, sometimes...but I only ever think about it when I sit by myself...examining my deepest thoughts; and then I realize it...I really do want it.

"And I think a lot of them do..." Eve said, with a glance back toward the lake, "...I see it in their eyes; and especially now...now that our spite has finally gone...we've seen just how good it really is. You won't hear it out of any of them, though. We weren't always like this, you know." She said, "...It started out with one...somewhere, a long time ago..."

Roth, Harry thought. It all started with him. Of course he didn't want it...it was meant to be a curse. And now we're all living it...it really is terrible. No wonder no one wants it...


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