Chapter 1 : The Snatcher's Game
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He was finally out; no overprotective parents, no bodyguards, no help. It was just him and his three best friends enjoying his twenty-first birthday and it was amazing. So, he would sit and he'd watch and he'd shout and he would enjoy every minute until it was time to leave and he went back to overprotective parents, bodyguards and help. It was the first time they'd given him so much independence, despite his age, and there was no way he going to waste it.
He waved his friends over when they came back from the dance floor, moved over for Lysander Scamander and laughed when his twin brother Lorcan dropped his head on Alistair Longbottom's shoulder, leaving a wet stain on his shirt when Alistair pushed him away.
"Damn, Lorcan, did you dance out there or did you visit a sauna?" he yelled, grimacing at the patch of sweat.
"It's really warm and I really need a drink and I should have alcohol. Yes, alcohol," Lorcan shouted back, surprisingly coherent for someone already so drunk, and nodded seriously.
"I ordered while you were gone!" Jason told them, pushing a drink each in front of them. They downed them almost instantly, either too hot to care or too drunk to notice their slurs and trips. He shook his head at the mental image of him trying to get all three of them back to his house; that was going to be fun.
"So, how was dancing?"
"I am so glad you picked this place, Jay," Lysander slurred. "I met the nicest guy; his hands only wondered to my ass when he asked me to dance."
"Such a gentleman," Alistair snickered.
Jason laughed, thankful that they'd taken his suggestion so well when he asked about Eros. Although, he shouldn't have been surprised by Lysander, who was also gay. And Lorcan didn't care who took him home as long as he got what he wanted. But Alistair wasn't always comfortable with the idea of another guy hitting on him and his girlfriend was going to hit the roof when she found out, because she didn't like partying in general. They didn't seem to care, though. Eros was the most well known gay club in London; everyone came here here, from celebrities to politicians, straight or gay. They had to come.
"I can't wait to read tomorrow's headlines," Lorcan laughed, his hand in the air as if he was pointing at a newspaper. "Minister's Son Spotted in Gay Bar: Three Men He Brings Home Still a Mystery."
Jason coughed up his water, Lysander patting him on the back until he'd stopped choking. In turn, his three friends went from laughing and joking to worrying until he managed to tell them he was as fine as he was ever going to be, that he just wasn't expecting Lorcan's joke.
"Please, everyone knows who you are, brother," Lysander scoffed as though nothing had happened at all, earning a grateful look from Jason.
"Mrs. Shepherd would kill you both if she ever caught you two together, especially if she knew what happened between you in the beginning," Alistair said, not realizing what he'd said until it was too late and Lorcan was biting his lip, looking down.
No one wanted to remember that Lorcan hadn't been the nicest person to Jason when they'd met in their first year of Hogwarts; taunting him had become a regular occurrence for one group of boys in the first month they'd been there, because he was weaker, and Lorcan had been told to lead it. Wanting to make friends, he had done. It was Lysander who stopped him, who made him see that what he was doing was wrong, but by then Jason had chosen to be home-schooled. Hearing that had made Lorcan feel horribly guilty, hearing about Jason's asthma attack the same day made him feel worse.
They were able to get permission to visit him in St. Mungo's and it had taken Jason three weeks and telling them about his medical history to get Lorcan to believe he wasn't the reason he was leaving Hogwarts or why he was in hospital.
They'd been friends ever since, Lysander and Alistair following because they were all family friends.
"Let's not think about my mother and my love life, it's creepy," Jason grinned, somewhat successfully making it into a joke; Lorcan shivered, playing along.
"I wish you'd come out and danced with us," Lysander moaned, checking his watch; it was almost four and the club would be closing at six, but they couldn't stay that long because Jason had to take his medication soon.
"The body can't handle such strenuous activity and anything I do with you three can be considered strenuous, even dancing," he chuckled, having a long drink of his water.
"Now we have to dance," Lorcan said, looking serious again. "I promise I'll go easy on you."
"Maybe when I get back," Jason replied, feeling confident enough to have one dance; it did look like fun out on the floor and he wasn't likely to get another chance after this. He could have one dance for his birthday, which was technically yesterday. He held up his inhaler before throwing it back into his pocket; the air was stuffy and he was starting to find breathing hard. "I'm gonna get some fresh air."
"I'm going to use the restroom," Lorcan said, getting out with him. "If you're not back by the time I am, I'll come looking and I'll drag you onto that dance floor."
"I'll hold you to that!"
Jason pushed his way through the crowds and outside, nodding to the bouncer he'd gotten to know quite well during the few times he'd been out. With two hours left, the line was much shorter, but he was still surprised to see people still queuing up to enter. Most people, Muggles he assumed, didn't so much as bat an eye as he passed them, except maybe to whistle, but some pointed and whispered and he knew the news about the Minister's son being in a gay bar was going to make it to the media tomorrow.
Jason turned a corner, standing just inside an alley at the side of the club, and leant against the wall. He breath deeply in and out, allowing the cool air to wash over him; his body started to relax, his chest feeling less constricted, and everything was so much quieter. He felt so much better.
He had just taken out his inhaler and raised it to his lips when he heard the clanging of metal, like bins being knocked into, from behind him. Then he heard his name being called from near the club, a soft whisper that brought chills to his body, and he prayed to whoever would listen that it was Lorcan messing around.
Jason took a hesitant step forward, lowering his hand to his side, and peered out into the street. "Lorcan?"
The whack to the back of the head brought tears to his eyes and he could already feel blood pour out and fall down his neck as he fell to his knees.
All he saw were women's leather boots, with long, thin heels that made him think of sharp blades or knives, and his last thought was if dying would be quick before his world went black.
Using the security surveillance cameras they'd installed in the corners of the wall, the two vampires who had carried out the mission they'd been tasked with and were told to babysit were able to watch their captive as clearly as if they were still in the same room. Even after three hundred and seventy years, the siblings marveled at the continuing changes in Muggle technology. They didn't plan on hiding from him, part of the fun was letting him see exactly who was doing this to him, but to know that they could get to him from afar first, to watch his fear on a screen and listen to his terror as he tried to find their voices, thanks to the microphone and speaker they'd also purchased, that was a bonus they'd gladly added to their mission.
The game hadn't started yet; their captive was currently unconscious, sprawled across the floor of the old warehouse store room on his stomach. He'd landed awkwardly when they had thrown him to the ground, his right arm stuck underneath his stomach, but they'd stopped the bleeding where they'd hit his head. He should thank them for not letting him bleed to death and for being able to control themselves and not take any; he could handle a broken bone or two if he had any.
For now, all they could do was wait. They'd been doing so their whole lives, the waiting game was something they frequently played, and Mya knew that they'd reach the end of the game soon, that they'd get what they wanted. But with the end so close that they could almost taste it, like much needed blood, warm and fresh on their tongues, she knew she'd have to keep Rex in line to make sure he didn't rush into anything. This last part of the game was the most important; it couldn't be rushed.
Rex was already bouncing up and down on his chair, watching the screen like he was watching a caged animal - which, in a way, he was. His blond hair was disheveled and matted in their captive's blood from when the hit to his skull had caused blood to splatter, and his eyes were wide with excitement; he looked wild, like a predator just back from a hunt. Mya had to spin the chair to face her, clamp her hands down on his thighs to keep him from moving. It didn't contain his obvious enthusiasm.
She watched him, compared every similarity to every difference between them; they were both tall, with light blond hair and grey eyes; they were both headstrong, able to captivate a room with their stories, charm people to do what they wanted as easy as humans could breathe; they were both naturally beautiful and strong thanks to their vampirism. But that was all; Rex could be impulsive and prone to violence, whereas Mya could take her time and her actions were never anticipated. She was the older, wiser one of twenty-four, if she told people the age she had been when she was turned; Rex's sixteen year old body gave him an advantage in that people did not expect him, but often left him vulnerable - if they were going to take anyone to hurt the other, it would be Rex.
She would have to keep him from messing anything up if they wanted to succeed.
"Calm yourself, little brother," she cooed. "Stay calm, don't make yourself too excited, and everything will work out, I promise."
"We're so close, Mya!"
"I know. We can wait a few more days. Be patient."
Rex nodded, forcing his body to still until he was completely unmoving. Only his eyes, still bright with excitement and red from the scent of blood, gave Mya an indication as to what her little brother was thinking.
"What now?" he asked softly. His eyes flickered to the monitors.
"I'm going to call him, let him know that our plan was a success. He'll tell us what to do next," Mya answered, her voice a calming lullaby, one she'd used for her brother since he was small. "Then I will bring you blood. Until I come back, watch over our new guest. He should be up soon."
"What about the other one?" Rex asked, pointing to the other set of four cameras, allowing them to watch their other guest pace, his steps agitated and his hunger obvious.
"I'll deal with him later," she said, her voice cold for only a second. "Leave him, Rex. Just watch, Shepherd. I'll be back."
He nodded again and she couldn't help the small smile that came with his infectious enthusiasm. She kissed the top of his head, just missing his bloody strands of hair, and glanced at the screen before she left. Shepherd was stirring.
They were almost ready to start their game again.
The sun wasn't yet ready to rise, but Hunter could already feel it coming, knew that day was waiting and night would soon be over, but for many vampires, the opposite would soon happen. Most vampires where Undergrounders; they live their lives once the sun had set and the moon was their light, while sleeping during the day. Others were Daywalkers; they lived on a human schedule. Hunter never knew where his life would take him, sleep came when he could have it, not because he followed a schedule. Tonight, however, was what he liked to call his day off. There had been nothing for him to do, no one from the Council had felt the need to contact him, and he was happy to spend the night with his one real friend. Louis Weasley had come back from his home in New York two days ago, checking in on his gallery and visiting family, while his partner had stayed and ran his restaurant. He wasn't staying for long and Hunter hadn't seen him in months; there would be hell to pay if anyone called him now.
Despite Eclipse being a vampire club, there were many humans who came to party; it was mostly because of downstairs that the club was labeled 'vampire', that and the owners. Louis was the most known, one of few who was friends with the owners, and the only one, not including the humans who went downstairs and the staff, who knew the true extent of the club. Yet Hunter still marveled at how comfortable his friend was here, how naturally he could talk to and be friends vampires.
He renewed Hunter's hope in humanity a fraction more every time.
It was close to half past four in the morning when Hunter and Louis finally pulled themselves out of the club and into the street, embracing the fresh air. It cooled their hot, alcohol fueled bodies, allowed Hunter to open his senses and think again. Louis' senses were dulled significantly; the moon was almost full, just two days away, and he was normally on high alert, but tonight he could barely walk straight, let alone sense what Hunter could sense.
The accelerated heartbeat was the first thing he noticed, followed quickly by a soft whimper. Hunter stopped Louis and listened, straining to push past the haze the alcohol had created around his senses.
"What is it?" Louis tried to whisper, but it was too loud and Hunter had to shush him.
"Stay here," he muttered. He crept to the corner, causing Louis to hide a giggle, and put his head around the corner as inconspicuously as he could. He cursed silently; a vampire, one he'd never seen before, had a girl pinned to the wall, his lips to her neck. Her eyes where shut tight, tears trickling down her cheeks. Then he opened them and stared straight at him, mouthing one word, a desperate plea.
Hunter sprung into action.
"You know, there is a club right across the road that would have made this a lot easier," he called out. The new vampire pushed himself away from the wall, one hand stopping his prey from leaving, and narrowed his eyes. "I'm just saying. I would have preferred not to kill someone tonight."
"There's no fun in those clubs," the newcomer sneered. "There's no chase."
"And if you weren't out in the open, I'd have agreed with you," Hunter nodded his head appreciatively. The girl's eyes widened in fear. "But the Council doesn't like trouble, so either let the girl come to me or wish you had."
"You can't scare me with the Council."
"I am the Council," he smirked, wiping Newbie's off his face.
His movements were sloppy, but effective at least, and still faster than the other vampire's; Hunter rammed himself into the man's chest, knocking him backwards. Newbie was significantly younger than him, probably barely knew anything about the Council except basic information, and he had never been taught to protect himself from older vampires - he wasn't strong enough. It was easy for Hunter to incapacitate him, to wrap his arm around Newbie's neck and squeeze.
"I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, being new and all," Hunter growled into his ear. "If I see you do anything like this again, you won't get back up."
He pressed harder, letting go as soon as he heard the snap.
The girl stood frozen, fear keeping her silent. Hunter pulled her to him, hiding the body behind him, and made her look straight into his eyes. Taking a deep breath, he prayed his compulsion would be effective enough to work with alcohol in his system.
"Remember nothing," he commanded gently, almost seductively. "You came out for some fresh air and started wondering around. Do you understand?"
"I understand," she whispered, a dream-like smile on her face.
Happy that it seemed to have worked, Hunter no longer held eye contact and pretended to be concerned. "Are you alright, sweetheart?"
"I'm fine, I just needed some fresh air and started wondering around," she answered, smiling brightly. "You are so sweet to be so nice to me. If only all guys were like you."
Hunter ignored her flirting, let himself smile. "I'm glad you're alright. Are you with anyone?"
"My friends, I should get back to them. Maybe I'll see you around," she winked and took off.
"Oh, my hero," Louis laughed, his voice badly mimicking hers. "Come on, Hunter. I'd like to go home and crash in the bathroom. Just in case, you know? So, what about him?"
"He'll heal soon enough, thirty minutes tops. I'll hide him behind the bins till then," Hunter said, lifting him up by the chest and dragging him backwards. Once he was done, he turned Louis around and started walking.
The silence was comforting and neither wanted to break until they reached Eros. The crowds made Louis curious enough to follow, pulling Hunter with him; the Aurors made him stop.
"Lysander!" he yelled, recognizing the brunet after a moment of staring. Hunter kept his distance, but followed, starting to worry because Louis was; he knew enough about his friend's family to know that Lysander was classed as part of it. "What happened? Is it Lorcan? Is he here?"
Lysander pointed to his brother, who looked like he was going to be sick. He was pale and shaking, not saying a word as he stood by the wall with another.
"Lorcan came out to find Jason; he came out to get some fresh air and use his inhaler, he didn't come back," Lysander whispered. "Instead, Lorcan found the inhaler on the floor, next to a pool of blood. He's gone, Louis. Jay's gone."
"Gone as in dead or gone as in taken?" Hunter asked bluntly, needing to know everything because he was already anticipating his friend's request to look for him. He'd asked before.
"Taken," Lysander clarified. "No one knows anything. I need to get to Lorcan and Alistair."
Louis watched the kid go, their good mood gone. "The country's going to go insane."
"Why? Who's Jason?"
"Jason Shepherd," Louis whispered. "He's the Minister for Magic's son."
A/N: Hey, guys! Welcome to my new vampire story! There is a pairing, the only proper pairing, but it's not all about that. I hope y'all enjoy this story, please let me know what you think. :)
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