"How do I look, Lee?" I asked my best muggle friend, Leah. She glanced up from my bed where she was reading a magazine and frowned, shaking her head patiently. I sighed, looking at myself in my full-length mirror. I'd grabbed out a pale blue sweater and some black slacks, which I paired with black flats.
"Hermione, you need something...I dunno...sexier," she said, looking back down to her magazine and flipping a page. I sighed again and walked back to my closet.
Leah Melione and I had been best friends since grade school and had even survived me leaving every year for Hogwarts for the past five years without one missed beat in our friendship. Of course, she thought I just went to a really strange private school. Now, though, she had agreed to come over to help me pick out my outfit for my first date with this guy I'd met at a bookstore.
"So, Hermes," she began, using my silly nickname she'd been calling me ever since she found out about the Greek God, "What's his name again?"
"Leonardo Brocelli," I answered automatically, scrutinizing a purple blouse hanging in my closet. Leah "tsk"ed before rolling onto her back and hanging her head and arms upside down off of the end of my bed, dropping the magazine onto the floor with a huff.
"Is he from Britain?" she asked quizzically, now trying to reach the magazine upsidedown that was only an inch or so from her fingertips.
"Nope," I said brightly, pulling the purple shirt out and laying it across the chair that sat beside the mirror. "He's from Italy."
"Hermione, no matter where he's from, I swear if he sees you in that top he's going to run screaming in the other direction," she said quickly, rolling off my bed and snatching the blouse off of the chair, holding it out at arm's length. "Was this your mother's or something?"
"...Maybe. But that doesn't matter," I muttered, pulling it from her and throwing it at the bottom of my closet with all of the other rejected outfits.
"Ugh, I'll never find anything!" I suddenly exclaimed, throwing my hands up into the air in surrender and plopping down onto the floor, sprawling out in a hopeless position. Lee chuckled and shook her head as she walked into my closet, still looking for something to save me.
"Um...Hermione...is this yours?" she asked a moment later in a stunned voice. I looked up and, my face going scarlet, saw exactly why she would be asking me that question. A year ago, my aunt Lorenda had gotten me a crimson dress that was made of extremely soft satin. I loved the color, but the dress had just been too low-cut and...body-hugging for a fifteen year old.
"Yeah, aunt Lorenda got it for me. Why?" I asked hesitantly, wondering how on earth she found that thing when I very well knew that I had shoved the box completely out of sight the day after my birthday.
"Wear it," she commanded, holding it out to me. My mouth opening in outrage as I looked at the skimpy little dress.
"Leah, I met the guy in a bookstore. I do not think he'll want me to go to wherever we're going in a-a-"
"-an extremely sexy dress?" she suggested coyly, waving it in front of me like an adult would a piece of candy to a small child. My mouth twitched into a smile as I considered what she was saying.
"Come on, Hermes. Do you honestly want to be 'Hermione Granger-Brainy Bookworn' for the rest of your life?" she asked, slowly lowering her arm and frowning at me. I pursed my lips as her words echoed in my mind. Did I still want to be known as an "insufferable know-it-all"?
"Give me that damn dress."
I stood there waiting for her, knowing that tonight would be safe. She didn't attract me, at least not physically, so we could both walk away tonight with nothing more than a nice evening at the club, The Bite, that I planned on going to, me with my current vegeterian status still intact and her with her blood still in her body. A win-win for everybody, even if she wasn't the prettiest girl town, which was good.
I winced as I thought about the last date I'd been on, sixteen years ago. The poor woman had been so beautiful, I just couldn't pass it up. Long blonde hair, pale skin, blue eyes; she could've been the incarnate of Aphrodite herself. But she had been an inch from death, almost blood dry, after we had done the "horizontal mambo." So I'd fled her body and begun my "life" anew, only feeding on willing volunteers, being careful not to turn anyone.
So, tonight, I would go on my first date in sixteen years, and be completely worry free. This young lady, Hermione, was no goddess or complete troll. We'd both be safe?
"Leonardo?" a timid voice asked from behind me. I almost didn't hear it over the excited chatter of those waiting outside The Bite. I put on a grin and turned towards the small voice of Hermione Granger and nearly yelped.
She stood there, hand on hip, flashing me a tiny smile, obviously enjoying my reaction. Hermione wore a bloodred strapless dress that complimented her alabastor skin a little too well and showed just enough cleavage to draw much attention to her chest area alone. Her makeup was done in a daring cat eyes, with long fluttering eyelashes that were thick and dark. The bushy hair that I'd been counting on was sleeked back into a twisted bun on the back of her head, exposing her delicate neck. I could see the artery pulsing blood under her skin.
As I gazed at her neck, I felt the pulsing of my gums as my fangs began to slide out just barely. I pursed my lips.
"Is something wrong?" she asked worriedly, quickly glancing around at what the other girls were wearing. Most of them wore short skirts and belly shirts, or some skanky things like that. But what Hermione was wearing threw them all in the ditch.
"You...You're beautiful," I choked out, skimming her finely curved body once more. My gums began to ache even worse with each second I spent staring at Hermione.
Tonight was going to be hell.
"What do you do at these things anyway?" Hermione yelled over the music, gazing around at the many goth's that were dancing, sitting at the bar, or sitting in some booths at the far end of the room, making out.
"Dance," I answered, grabbing her hand and pulling her onto the dancefloor. She put up a little resistance, looking around in embarrassment at everybody else. I sighed and, trying not to stare at her chest, started us off. We moved to the thumping music as two individuals, but one body.
The flashing red strobelights overhead did strange things with the paleness of our skin, seeming to flash along with our heartbeats. We danced and danced in the throng of other couples, all of whom were so tightly packed together on the dancefloor, you could barely move without brushing an elbow or shoulder.
The beat slowed and so did the dancers. Soon, still moving at a slightly fast pace, Hermione and I were dancing much, much closer together. My fangs inched down from my gums as I felt her hips grind against mine, her leg touch mine. I clenched my teeth, trying to keep them from growing as we danced closer and closer to where our bodies wasn't moving at all without touching each other.
Before I knew it, her mouth was on mine and we were wrapped up in each other on the dancefloor, throwing caution to the wind. She parted my lips and I felt her tongue in my mouth, hungry for passion, passion that I returned feverishly. That is, until my fang cut her tongue.
She jumped back into a couple and looked at me, her hand over her mouth. I closed mine and, turning abruptly, weaved through the close bodies and, once again, fled. By the time I had let air into my throat, my mouth was burning for more blood, and I was outside in the side alley, spitting her blood out of my mouth. Blood that was so wonderful, so sweet, so divine-
"Leonardo?" came that same timid voice, a little breathless from running after me I was sure. I counted to ten before I slowly looked at her, the young woman that had made me lose my control, if momentarily.
"Yes?" I asked hoarsely, unable to take my eyes off her neck and the blood pulsing under that oh-so-thin membrane.
"Did I, uh, do something wrong?" she whispered, looking down at her hands. I wanted to tell her that yes, yes she did something wrong. She walked up in here, looking so beautifal that I nearly bit her, then she kisses me, gets her tongue cut on my fangs, and doesn't even realize that that means that I AM A VAMPIRE. Hello?? Can you not see the danger signs??
But instead I murmured, "No, Hermione. It was the strobe lights."
She nodded before walking hesitantly up to me and wrapping her arms around my neck once more. Even though every fiber of my being was screaming at me to run, to not ruin this girl's life, I didn't listen. I slipped my arms around her warm waste and gently crushed her to me, pulling her mouth quickly to mine before I could change my mind.
She gasped as the fire began between us once more. We stumbled and her back was suddenly against the brick wall of the alleyway, with me pressing as much as I could against her every curve as we held a small tongue war.
As was in my nature, I began to kiss from the corner of her mouth to the side of her jaw, until I reached her neck. I could feel every shallow breath in her body against mine, even through her throat and to my lips. She moaned as I slipped my hand up her bare thigh.
My fangs were completely out, the top ones overlapping my lips just barely and, urged by the throbbing in my gums, I bit her and drank. She let out a small cry and started to feeble struggle, but I refused to let go. Eventually, though, the endorphins got into her system and began to work their magic. She moaned again and pulled my body close to her.
With each swallow, her breathing got quicker as the drugs the venom released in her body spread. I stopped focusing on how wonderful her blood tasted and more on her breathing. She was a living human being. She had hopes and dreams.
I automatically let go of her neck, disgusted with myself as she leaned against the wall, a dazed expression on her face. She swayed and, before she could fall over from blood loss, I caught her and held her steady.
"Hermione, look at me," I whispered urgently. She turned her blank eyes to me in obedience.
"You are to tell anyone who asks that your date slipped you alcohol," I ordered quietly before adding, "Nod once if you understand."
I grabbed her cell phone from her small bag that I hadn't noticed before and scrolled through her contacts.
"Who's supposed to be picking you up?" I asked her.
"Leah," she answered in a blank monotone. Thank goodness for mind control.
I found Leah in the list and sent her a quick text message that read, "Guy was a jerk. Come get me at The Bite."
She immediately texted back "kk, on my way." and I slipped the phone in the bag before handing it back to her.
"Go stand by the road, don't talk to anyone that you don't know, and act like your drunk until the remnants of the mind control has left you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Leo." came the blank reply. I stopped and looked at her, stumped. She had a nickname for me.
"Oh, and, uh, don't eat garlic for the next two days," I said, but she'd already begun walking towards the road. I stood in the shadows and watched as she took on a slight stumble and held out her arms to steady herself. She was a good drunk actress.
A small car pulled up and I saw a girl with straight blonde hair hop out and open the door for Hermione with a hasty, "You better not puke in my car, Hermes."
I sighed and looked at the brick walls before climbing up them. As long as she didn't eat garlic for a while, she'd stay mortal.
"Ohmygoodness! Tell me everything!" I could faintly hear Lee gush as though she were on the other side of a wall. I tried to remember only to find the night blocked by some slippery wall in my mind.
"I can't," I said thickly, rubbing my head. "Too many drinks."
At that she laughed as she pulled over into the drive-through of a small sub-station and ordered our usuals.
"Two large sweet teas, two small order of fries, and two meatball subs with extra garlic, please."