Chapter 1 : Prologue
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A/N: This story might seem like it has nothing to do with Harry Potter, but this is only the prologue! Please please please try it! The next chapter will definitely have something to do with Harry Potter!
Stunning BEAUTIFUL chapter image created by empyreal. @TDA!
I am about to die, hanging upside-down on a tree, with a maniacal killer pointing a stick at me. So it’s only natural that I see my entire wee life in front of me.
Ever since I could remember, during the week of the full moon, I’ve had an uncommon urge to drink blood. Uncommon because I don’t normally drink blood.
My mither always told me never to judge people on what they were, only on what they did. I knew she was talking about our kind, about how most people just treated us like rats (who are actually very fuzzy creatures) because we were expected by everybody to drink human blood. Many of us did drink human blood. The ones who did were known as the ones with nothing between their ears. However, my mither did have something between her ears, and therefore she only drank animal blood.
I was born in Scotland, but the nearby townspeople found Mither and chased her (and me!) out of her dwelling into a deep evergreen forest located somewhere in England. Therefore, while my mither still spoke to me in a Scottish dialect, I picked up English too from passing travelers (which was actually quite similar to Scottish) and could speak it as well as Scottish.
After a few months of growing, I was greedily sucking up any knowledge I learned from Mither. During that period, I was eating mashed potatoes and carrots and bananas, feeling no hunger for blood. In fact, I detested blood, and even the smell of it made me sick.
Then the first bout came when I was about half a year old. Mither was out drinking, and I suddenly felt a burning thirst at the base of my throat. At that moment, an unfortunate wee bird landed on my head, for what reason I would never know why. Temptation was too great to resist, so I tilted my head so that the neck of the bird fell into my mouth.
Then I bit.
Juicy blood was pouring down my throat, and it filled me until I was full. Mither walked up to the tree I was sitting in, looking satisfied, and then she saw me with my mouth covered in blood. During that small second of shock, I managed to smile timidly at her, and then I threw up. All the blood that I drank went out of my system, and shortly afterwards, I returned to my normal feeling of being disgusted by blood. Mither, of course, was horrified, and sat down to talk to me.
“Arya, you must never, ever drink blood. Ever. You’re still a wee vampire, you know, so you don’t understand the importance of this. Every month, this is going to happen. Don’t ever drink blood again.” Her normally gentle face peered at mine worriedly. “You hate blood – and every time you drink it, you’re going to throw up, and if you throw up too many times, you’ll start getting rid of your own blood. You’re not like other vampires, Arya.”
Being the “wee vampire” I was I didn’t understand that at all. Based on what Mither told me about vampires so far, I thought the purpose of vampires were to drink blood. But I heeded her warnings, and every time a full moon came by, I clamped my mouth shut and forced myself to sit still. The three days leading up to the full moon, I began to feel the itch for blood, and the three days after the full moon, the itch for blood faded. So basically, the urge to drink blood was going to take up a quarter of my life.
My normal diet consisted entirely of plants, roots, flowers, that sort of thing. Eating meat was definitely out of the question.
It was about a year later when Mither began to stop drinking blood. Unlike me, that was not a good thing. One night, I tried to force her to bite into the neck of a deer, but Mither couldn’t even swallow it. Helplessly, I watched as my mother deteriorated right before my eyes. Her once fiery orange hair became a darker red, and her lively skin became sallow. Her normally dark green eyes darkened to black, and her fangs shrank.
Every night, I tried coaxing her to drink blood, rubbing her throat when she wouldn’t swallow. Every night, I went to sleep crying because it was another day of failure. Mither always talked to me, explaining there was nothing I could do, but I just felt worse after that.
“Arya,” she scolded me after two years of this had gone by. By now, she was practically a withered corpse. “I’m never going to drink blood again, so please stop trying. See, I’m kicking the bucket at the moment” – I understood that to be that she was dying – “so I want you to have something. Learn how to play it.” She disappeared into the forest and came back with what looked like a machine gun case. “This is a violin. It was handed to me from my human mother, who got it from her mother. This violin is somewhere around half a century old – and I want you to be able to play it. Music runs through our veins, so it should be fairly easy for you.”
I nodded, taking the violin. It suddenly appeared to shrink a bit, but maybe it was just the tears blurring my eyes. As soon as Mither released the violin, she smiled, lay down on the soft forest ground, relaxed, and closed her eyes. And never opened them again.
In death, she seemed younger and livelier than she was when she was alive. It seemed to me that she looked more like what she was like before her “sickness.”
Not wanting to wreck Mither’s peaceful image, I kept running until I got to a human dwelling area a few minutes later. I was four at the time, and had practically no knowledge of the human world. All I had known was green trees, brown forest dirt, and colorful flowers, so I was quite surprised when I saw the bland grey-black of strange stone structures. Bustling humans were pushing strange contraptions holding what looked like food along paths. Gathering my courage, I walked up to the nearest human and tugged on her arm.
She looked down at me, and instantly, a large grin appeared on her face. “What a beautiful child!” she crooned, holding my face in her hands. “Where’s your mummy?” The lady was speaking English, and the language suddenly seemed cold and unwelcoming compared to Mither’s Scottish.
To answer her question, tears started dripping fast and thick out of my eyes.
“Are you lost, child?”
I shook my head, the tears falling thicker. Then I spotted a bucket on the ground. I pointed at it, and then motioned kicking it.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” the lady said, understanding immediately. She held out her hand to me. “Here, I’ll take you to an orphanage. They’ll take very good care of you.”
I had no clue what an orphanage was, so I just followed her up to a rather large structure made entirely of what looked like cut up trees. The lady was talking to another lady (who knew there were so many people in this world?), explaining that I had just suddenly appeared and that I lost my mither.
Before I knew it, I was hustled into the structure, which was surprisingly warm. There was only one other child there, and she was sitting with her back to me, facing the large fire.
“There’s only one child here at the moment,” the new lady told me, sounding a bit proud. “We managed to find the other ones new families. Oh, by the way, my name is Bernice.” I nodded, and then went to sit by the other girl by the fire.
It struck me how charming she looked. Her silvery-blonde hair fell in waves to a point a little past her shoulders, and her clear blue eyes were framed with long lashes. She looked much nicer than the Bernice lady, and much nicer than the rest of the humans.
“Bonjour,” she said to me.
I frowned, not understanding.
“This girl is named Apolline,” Bernice said, walking up to us. “She speaks French, and French only. She refuses to learn English.”
Apolline smiled at me (after, I noticed, glaring at Bernice) and gestured for me to follow her. She walked up a set of steps up to where the beds were, and pointed at one and said something that sounded a bit like "Lee." Her voice sounded oddly like birds singing. Then she pointed to the door and said a word that sounded like "Pa." Then she pointed to the floor and said . Then she pointed to the window and said, "Fenetr." At least, that was what it sounded like.
Then she said the word that sounded like "Lee" and looked expectantly at me. I automatically pointed to the door.
Apolline nodded approvingly. We played this game for the rest of the day, and I learned to understand the French words for door, bed, window, floor, nose, eyes, mouth, ears, face, hair, body, feet, hands, yellow, red, blue, green, orange, purple, pink, brown, black, white, and many, many other words.
However, when I tried to speak it, I just sounded like a dying duck, so I gave up after Apolline finally fell into a fit of laughter.
Apolline taught me the French words for all different types of food, and then she taught me the French words for the basic actions, like run, walk, talk, and others like that. Soon, she could speak to me in complete sentences in French and I could understand them, as long as they were simple.
“I know English,” she said to me in French one day during lunch. “I just don’t speak it.”
I cast a quick glance at Bernice, and then back at Apolline. She nodded.
My free time was spent learning how to play the violin. Apolline would sing French tunes, and then I would try to imitate it on the violin. Soon, I could play them all easily, and then I wrote my own music based off the notes that Apolline sang.
I never spoke to Bernice. It was always a nod, or a shake of the head, or a frown, or a glare, or some facial expression. Part of the reason why was because of the fact that Bernice just wasn't the type of person you would like to talk to. Somehow, Bernice always made me so mad whenever she criticized Apolline for no good reason. She called Apolline “a dumb child” even though Apolline most definitely wasn’t.
“Why won’t you speak English, you daft child?!” Bernice shrieked one day when Apolline answered her back in French.
At that, I slowly turned red with anger, and –
The lamp next to Bernice exploded. She screamed, and then ran out of the room. Apolline gave me a sideways look, and then placed her hand gingerly on one of the shards. The lamp pieced itself back together right before Bernice entered the room again.
“What? I could’ve sworn…” Bernice gave me a careful look, and then she looked at Apolline. Then she slowly backed out of the room again, muttering, “I might need to go to an asylum.”
“How long have you had it?” Apolline asked me, still speaking French of course.
Confused, I tilted my head at her.
At this moment, Apolline spoke a word I’d never heard before.
I shrugged my shoulders, signaling I didn’t know what she was talking about.
Sighing, she picked up a wee piece of kindling next to the fire place and waved it around. I stared at her blankly. Then she picked up a large piece of firewood and put it between her legs. I stared at her blankly. Harrumphing in frustration, Apolline pointed at the lamp, and it cracked neatly in half.
I gasped. Magic! That was what Apolline was trying to tell me!
“This is the first time it happened to me,” I whispered. “You?”
“I discovered it about a year ago,” she replied. “I’ve learned how to control it. But be careful, and don’t mention it to anybody. You could be branded a witch and thrown out.”
That was when I was five and she was six. We were both extraordinarily mature for our age, which meant that I knew when to keep quiet and Apolline knew how to control herself.
Bernice never did lock herself up in an asylum, but she did go out to drink a lot. She didn’t drink like Mither did; she drank unhealthy things. However, Apolline and I were thankful for her absences because Apolline could then show me things about magic. Somehow, after five years, I never could get the hang of controlling it, but Apolline mastered it like nobody’s business.
“One day, I’m going to blow this place up,” I observed when I set fire to one of the beds by accident. Thankfully, Apolline was there so she could put it out.
“If you do, it’s for the good of the world,” Apolline laughed.
It still amazed me how lovely she was compared to all the humans in the world. Then I realized I had never told Apolline that I was a vampire. Even if I did, she probably wouldn’t believe me because I never drank blood. During all those terrible full moon weeks, I just kept my mouth shut and stayed still, like when Mither was there to help me.
“I’m so glad you’re my friend, Apolline,” I sighed. “Life would be terrible without you.”
“You know, Arya, there’s something I never told you,” Apolline said, not meeting my eyes. I could understand French completely fluently now, thanks to Apolline’s intense coaching. “I think the reason why I have magic is because…well…my maman was a veela.” Seeing my baffled expression, she quickly explained, “Veelas are these creatures…well, I suppose you could say magical creatures that are extraordinarily beautiful. Anyway, for the first week of every month, I have these veela attacks. Whenever I get angry during that week, I turn hideous and disgusting, and people become terrified of me.”
“I can’t believe it,” I muttered. “And here I was, terrified of telling you my mither was a vampire.”
“You’re a vampire?” Apolline asked incredulously. By now, I was completely used to the fact that Apolline talked to me in one language, and that I answered back in another.
“Apparently, I’m not a normal one. I only have an urge to drink blood during the week of the full moon, and even then, if I drink blood, I just throw it up again.” I grinned.
Apolline giggled, and then we both fell onto the beds laughing. “It’s so ironic, isn’t it? A daughter of a veela, and a daughter of a vampire being best friends.”
I got out my violin, played out a veela tune, and then played out a vampire tune. They fit in perfectly together.
“Here, let’s practice our magic,” Apolline said. She then grew a rosebush in the middle of the room. I tried doing the same, but somehow, ugly and thick vines quickly wrapped around the entire orphanage.
“I swear, magic is out to get me,” I grumbled, snapping my fingers in frustration. A spark flew from my fingertips and landed on a vine. According to the laws of life, the vine wasn’t supposed to burn so easily, but it just went up in flames, just like that. Pretty soon, the entire orphanage was up in flames, and Apolline was coughing herself to death.
Panicking, I grabbed Apolline – strangely enough, she was as light as a feather – and raced down the stairs madly. Then I flew out the door and sprinted down the street with Apolline on my back. Villagers were running everywhere, screaming for water. Then Apolline and I were blocked by a hulking shape.
“Where do you think you’re going?” the shape growled. “Both of you – you’re coming with me!” He took out a stick thing and pointed it at us, which reminded me of the time Apolline had done that in front of the fireplace.
“RUN!” Apolline screamed into my ear, and I ducked around the big hulking man, who seemed to be moving rather slowly. After running for a few minutes, I stopped and stared at my surroundings. Now I was next to a calm, bubbling brook, but I was certain there wasn’t any brook near the village.
“How did you do that, Arya?” Apolline asked with a tone of admiration. “You ran pretty much at the speed of light.”
“Okay, maybe not. But you probably ran as fast as a cheetah, about. He’s never going to catch up to us!” she said triumphantly. As she spoke, a loud cracking noise split the air, and the hulk of a man appeared before us.
“You might’ve spoken too soon, Apolline,” I whispered.
“You think you got away, did you?” the man leered. That’s when I noticed that his left arm had a strange mark – a skull with a snake protruding out of it.
“Yes. We did,” I said to him calmly, then took off again.
“Arya, did you see his arm?” Apolline hissed. I nodded so I could save my breath. “Arya, maybe you should slow down. If you get tired, then Snake-Arm is going to catch up to us. Even though you probably would have a lot of stamina for a ten-year-old, everybody gets tired!”
What she said was true. I had only been running for about five minutes, and already I was exhausted. Behind us, I could hear the sharp cracking sounds as the man kept appearing closer to us.
“Apolline, get rid of him!” I hissed. On my back, Apolline wriggled around so she could get a better aim. I didn’t see what she did, but the man cursed so loudly he deserved to swallow a bar of soap.
“That tree did him right good,” Apolline said proudly. “Now he’s tangled up in the tree with his stick on the ground. Shouldn’t be able to do much harm now.” This time, Apolline didn’t jinx it, and we made our way to an abandoned building, where I promptly collapsed.
“Now, why do you think he wanted us?” Apolline mused. “First of all, I know the stick was a wand. Secondly, that makes him magical, which means he’s like us.”
“Except evil,” I gasped out.
“That leads me to believe – ”
“That there are more magical beings out there in the world,” I interjected, having finally caught my breath. “So, if he was looking for another magical being, he could’ve just had his pick of all of them in the world. But he picked us. So I’m thinking it’s because we’re veela and vampire.”
“Exactly!” Apolline’s eyes brightened. Then she looked somber. “But that means he’s going to be coming to get us again. And if he found us the first time, he could do it again. So we’ll need to lay some rules down.”
I rolled my eyes.
“The first rule is: Arya, do not overexert yourself when you’re running because you don’t know how long you will be. The second rule is: I’m in charge of decapitating them because I’m going to be on your back. The third rule is: don’t use magic unless absolutely necessary because they might be able to track us that way.” Apolline yawned.
“The fourth rule is: since I don’t need to sleep, I’ll be the one on guard,” I added.
The night passed without any more signs of activity. But as soon as the sun peeked out over the hills, another man suddenly appeared before us. Like the hulk before, he also had the snake-protruding-out-of-the-skull mark on his left arm.
Apolline woke with a start, shouting, “Worms!” The earth erupted with millions of worms, all of which jumped onto the man. Smiling at her handiwork, Apolline latched onto my back, and I started running at a moderate pace, which, compared to the normal human’s pace, was pretty fast.
“That means there’s more than one of them,” she whispered into my ear. “Let’s call them Skull-Arms. Hulk is probably still stuck on the tree, and the worms are distracting the other guy at the moment. Ugh…”
This routine was kept for six years. For all those six years, all Apolline and I did was run and fight those hideous Skull-Arms. None of them had been able to best us yet, but it was a dirty and grimy business. It was amazing that Apolline and I had been able to keep our sense of humor.
Now at the age of sixteen, we were once again running from Hulk, the one who first chased us. My speed had improved considerably, since I practiced running a lot with Apolline on my back. The problem was Hulk’s reflexes had gotten much better, so we were just running past a tree when a thin line of rope ejected from Hulk’s wand and latched itself onto my ankle. The other end of the rope attached onto the tree, and I was caught, hanging from the tree. Apolline managed to scramble away when Hulk’s attention was on me.
“Well, we’ve finally caught you, haven’t we?” he sneered. “After six long, grueling years, the vampire is caught! You deserve to die for all this trouble you’ve caused us!”
I closed my eyes.