Chapter 2 : 1: Elizabeth
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It was dark, but Draco could still see the end of the four-poster he woke up in. He couldn’t feel the silk of the sheets on his feet and hands and was acutely aware of the numbing sensation raging through his legs. It was silent in the room and he lay in that crimson bed for hours.
Draco inhaled through his nose and tried to exhale through his mouth, but he was suffocating on the air. Oxygen refused to move from his airways to his lungs and the numbing in his body had spread through his arms and legs to his torso and neck. Soon, he would not be able to feel anything.
A door behind the curtain of the four-poster bed opened and shut; the intruder moved closer to the bed and opened the heavy sounding blinds on the window. At some point in the night Draco had managed to roll onto his stomach, he sat up against the headboard and waited for someone to meet him. His entire body was raging sensation and the softest touch sent racks of pain tumbling down his head to his toes.
Finally, someone did remove the curtains from the bed and sat daintily on the comforters. “How are you?” she asked. No crease of worry marred the woman’s pretty face when she spoke. Her voice was soft and lilting, an undetermined accent touching her words like honey.
Draco looked at her but said nothing for a long while. “Fine.”
“That was quite a show of power you presented Friday.”
Draco couldn’t think straight for a moment; he closed his eyes to concentrate. The war. Michael. He didn’t feel too powerful when he remembered he passed out. “What day is it now?”
“Wednesday. Are you hungry?”
Draco tried to inhale again; the suffocating feeling not forgotten as his body rejected the air. “I’ll live.” He answered evasively.
“If you decide you are well enough, there is a man ready to gather you waiting outside the door. Just call him. He’ll know what to do.”
“What’s his name?” Draco thought to ask.
“And what’s your name?”
Winston led Draco down a series of hallways in a large mansion located in rural England. The walls were richly decorated with creams and roses. Soft neutrals and bold colors and patterns graced the living rooms and kitchens Draco had walked through and there were little displays of artfully arranged flowers dotted throughout the floor plan. Overall, it was very tastefully adorned.
Before they had left the room, Winston had dressed Draco in fine materials that were nice to even his standards. Whoever owned this place had old money, and lots of it. Draco could hear voices coming from other rooms but nobody ever came to view on his trip to the Planning Hall.
There had been a room as such in the Malfoy Manor, but not one quite so…forlorn. And the room was massive.
A table lined the middle in rich mahogany with carvings that were absolutely timeless. Tapestries and wallpapers gathered on the walls and giant chandeliers were strung with diamond and were lit with candle flame, Draco almost felt bad for the poor sucker who had to light and extinguish those. There was a cluster of six or seven people at the far end; hushed and discussing something over a neat stack of papers.
“Miss Hill, as you requested.” Winston bowed out of the way; presenting Draco in a manner that seemed both exposing and respectful.
“Thank you, Winston. You are dismissed for the rest of the day.” Elizabeth addressed the butler without looking up. Winston bowed again and left the room in a hurry. Draco stood there for a moment before Elizabeth finally did acknowledge with a glance. “Sit.” She ordered before gazing at her papers again. Draco claimed the closest seat to Elizabeth as he could.
“Why am I here?” He asked to no one in particular.
Again, Elizabeth did not look up. “You tell me.”
Draco contemplated the safest possible answer. “Because I killed Michael.”
They sat in silence while Elizabeth finished the work in front of her. She was efficient, filling out several papers at once. The rest of the people sat quietly around her and watched her work.
“That’s partly right.” She said as she filed the paper work together again neatly. Elizabeth folded her hands in her lap and turned to look at him full on. “It’s more of what killing Michael implies.”
“So are you admitting the death of your second was done by him.” One of the unknown people said.
“He should be put to death.” Another piped. They were all glaring at Draco like he had personally offended them one by one.
“I actually had different plans for him.” Elizabeth said. “I understand that your knowledge of Michael is limited. It takes a special person to be me successor, one that is not only charming, but also rather gifted if I say so myself.” Elizabeth spoke with strict authority and tolerance. “Draco possesses those qualities I’m looking for. I would like to talk to him alone now. Please leave.”
There was slight upheaval at the table. Protests were voiced strongly but Elizabeth looked calmly on. “I said leave. I’m not going to ask again.” People rose silently and exited, leaving Draco and Elizabeth quite alone.
“Open the curtains.” Elizabeth instructed. “On the windows.”
“I know where the curtains are.”
“Then I assume you are capable of removing them.”
Draco stared at her spitefully. “Why don’t you get Winston to open them?”
“Because he can’t,” Elizabeth didn’t elaborate. “You have three seconds.”
“To open all of them?”
“Just the closest.” When she spoke, her features were absolutely stoic. Draco had a hard time looking away. “One, two…”
Draco took the hint and moved to the closest curtain and threw it open. He didn’t wince when the sun hit his face in a canon of light and the heat the afternoon bask gave to his skin was suffocating.
“Hmm.” Draco turned to face Elizabeth; she was breathtaking in the sun. Her face lost some of the pallor and the honey color from her hair lightened beautifully. “This is good.”
“Why?” Draco asked. Symptoms where coming back to him that he experienced in his bed rest. He felt little bullets crushing through his lips and his chest was aching with the need for oxygen. It was becoming unbearable.
“Are you hungry?” Elizabeth, again, seemed inclined to ask.
“Am I going to die?” Draco countered.
Elizabeth considered him thoughtfully. He was slowly slouching in on himself and his chest was blazing. “You are dead.” She replied.
Draco shook his head roughly. His mouth was open and he was gasping for breath, the room was spinning; Elizabeth was the only upright object anymore. “Drink this, it’ll help.” She handed him a solid cup and he gulped the liquid inside.
He still couldn’t breathe, but he felt relatively normal. All except sensitivity escalating to burning point on his wrists and ankles.
“Draco, have you ever heard of a disease called vampirism?” Elizabeth asked softly. “Of course you have. Let me tell you a bit more about it.
“Firstly, you will never be able to breathe again, so stop trying. Unfortunately, you still need to keep your brain functional so you can keep your body going. This is where the blood comes in. If you drink the blood of another living organism, you are stealing, ultimately, it’s main life source, tricking your brain into thinking that every thing is fine and you are among the living.” Elizabeth said. “Vampires never age past the day they die. Lucky for you, you died at the age of seventeen; am I correct?”
“That means your body will always be in its prime. Always be able to adapt to your surroundings much sooner than someone who had died at the age of seventy-five or twelve.” Elizabeth wasn’t looking at him anymore. She had lost herself in a private world nobody could see but her. “Are you comprehending what I’m saying?”
“I’m a vampire.”
She sighed. “It is with true misery that I say this, but you will probably not be able to retain information quite as well as you used to. You are now locked in your ways due to brain damage caused by the death and the reawakening.”
“Okay.” Draco stood up, feeling slightly more confident in the more he knew about his current predicament. “So I’m a vampire. And I’m stupid?”
“Not quite. If you were somewhat intelligent as a mortal, you will be somewhat intelligent as a vampire. If you were, as you put it, stupid as a mortal, then you will be undoubtedly stupid as a vampire. I’m sure you see where this is going.”
“The only question is now: how stupid was I as a mortal.”
Elizabeth gazed at him in inquiringly. “That is the only question you have now?”
“No, but I don’t want to talk about vampires anymore. You said you would make me your second in command. Why?”
“Do you not see where you are standing?” Elizabeth asked. Draco looked around but couldn’t see anything that would give a hint to what she was talking about.
“In a room.” He said obviously.
I’m going to assume that you were only somewhat stupid as a mortal. You are standing in direct sunlight. Have you not heard the stories in which vampires burn to dust in those rays?”
“So those stories aren’t true then.”
“Those stories are absolutely true. The vampires who just left are what we call susceptible, meaning they are allergic to the sun. You and I, we are what humans call hypoallergenic. I’m sure in you somewhat intelligence you know what that word means.”
Draco smirked at her. “Now you’re just mocking me. Why, though?”
“I am like this because I am incredibly old. What I am here to understand is why you are like this.”
“Was Michael like this?” Draco questioned.
“No, Michael was very old, but he was more a trusted ally than an asset.”
“You think I can help you.” He stated.
"I don’t need you’re help. I don’t need you at all.” Elizabeth stood. “I must make this very clear: I am the boss. If you defy me, I will kill you. I can control this household myself, what I need is someone to do what I don’t want to. Is that clear?”
“Very. When do I start?”
“Now. Go introduce yourself to the rest of the household. If you are unable to do so in a manner in which I approve, you will be evicted and I will be forced to kill you anyway. Remember, first impressions last. If you don’t make a good one now, you will forever live in that minor glory.” She headed for the door on the opposite side of the room. “Tell them I have a headache and am not to be disturbed.”
He just nodded.
He must have imagined the vastness of the house at first. Not that it was small, just the rooms were oddly portioned. Some rooms were monstrosities with overelaborated furnishings and exquisite upholsteries. Some rooms were modestly sized, and some were tiny, not being able to fit more than a bed and armoire to the space.
After some time of wandering the house and not seeing anything he started opening doors and checking small creep holes for company. He tried one door that led him done steps into what appeared to be the basement. It was all open concept. There was no place to stand in complete privacy; everything was in view of everything.
A state-of-the-art gym took most of the space. Draco could see that it was set up for the use of gymnastics complete with pommel horse and uneven bars. Hardwood was paneled in the far corner, staged with mirrors and barres for the dancers. In the opposite corner there was heavy-duty machinery for those who liked to lift weights and work out using the resistance of the mechanical engineering. He could see doors that presumably led to the change rooms.
On the other side of the basement was what looked like a lounge room. It had a contemporary feel that was homey and subtle, he could see this is where most of the vampires were now. He moved into the room after checking the gym was empty.
“Is this everyone?” He asked, critically aware that these people could probably tear him apart if they wanted too. He noticed the vast majority was young-looking with the exception of Winston, another old man in the corner and an old woman. He was happy to see that nobody looked under the age of fourteen. When nobody answered him he started. “Okay then. My name is—”
“Nobody fucking cares what your name is.” A tall blond male said from the corner. “What we want to know if we can kill you.”
“Do you want my opinion on whether you can kill me, or if it’s in your best interest to kill me? Because quite frankly, I think neither.” Draco cleared his throat and began again. “As I was saying, I am Draco Malfoy, and I was just appointed to be a babysitter over you until Elizabeth’s headache clears. And if you continue to behave like twelve-year-olds, I will become a tyrant and possibly your worst nightmare.” He continued to look at the blond in the corner. “Are we understood?”
Everyone in the room nodded solemnly except the man Draco continued to stare down. He decided to go with a more direct approach. Walking right up to the man, he spoke softly. “I asked: are we understood?”
“Yes.” He replied tensely. Draco walked back to the staircase.
“If any of you need me, I’ll be in my room.” Draco started ascending to the top, halfway up he called down to the group of huddled vampires. “Try not to need me.”
The last chapter I wrote for this story was just kind of random. I needed a beginning, so there it is. What I also need are reviews, so here's what needs to happen: Read, Review. Everytime. Okay? Okay. Thanks a bunch.
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