Chapter 10: One Year On
We had three weeks left of our summer holiday, and somehow in that time we had two weddings to attend AND a celebration party to throw.
Astoria was taken back to Hogwarts early by McGonagall. There didn't seem to be anywhere else for her to go. Her sister was in Harry's year but she hadn't made any contact.
The celebration party came first. It was just our (rather large) group of friends, but Dad and Sirius loved any excuse to throw a party.
Next was Remus and Tonks' small wedding, in a registrars office in Diagon Alley. In comparison, a few days later was Bill and Fleur's wedding, held in the Weasley's back garden, and it was huge. They had a reception afterwards, unlike Remus and Tonks, who just wanted something quiet, and it was much more fun.
Later on after Bill and Fleur's wedding, Fred, George, Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Draco and I lit a fire in the field behind the Weasley's house and set up tents to camp for the night. It must've been a sight, seeing the ten of us sat outside tents roasting food on the fire in our dress robes.
At around one o' clock everyone had disappeared into their tents. It was just me left outside. I stared up at the moon. My drunken haze was starting to fade.
Something was moving in the trees at the edge of the field. I grabbed my wand and lit it, and followed it.
I knew something was there, I could hear it moving. I checked over my shoulder. I'd come deeper into the woods than I'd thought. Trees were completely surrounding me. The darkness was pressing in on me. I started to panic.
Suddenly there was a searing pain in my neck. I collapsed, and blacked out.
When I woke up, it was still dark. I felt... different. Stronger. I could hear everything. My vision was sharp, and I could smell things that I normally wouldn't.
What had happened to me?
I looked down at myself. I was still wearing the dark red dress that I'd worn for Bill and Fleur's wedding. My skin was paler than it should be. Too pale. I almost glowed in the dark.
Something wasn't right.
Almost as soon as this thought came into my head, my throat started burning. I was thirsty. I looked around for my wand.
“Aguamenti.” Water trickled out of the tip and I let it drip into my mouth. I was still thirsty. The water wasn't soothing the fire in my throat.
A deer trotted past and without thinking about it, I leaped at it and bit it, sucking the blood out.
As soon as I realised what I was doing, I jumped back in disgust. What the hell was wrong with me? It soothed the burning though.
I ran back the way I'd come. It took an hour, but I managed to get out.
The field was empty. They'd gone without me.
I headed towards the Burrow. All the lights were out. They were probably all asleep.
I let myself in, and crept up to Ginny's room. I opened the door. She and Harry were fast asleep, although Ginny stirred when I came in.
She lit her wand, and screamed.
“Ginny, it's just me!” I shouted.
Harry jumped up and grabbed his glasses, and pointed his wand at me.
“Well of course it's me, who else is it going to be?” I demanded. “Thanks for leaving me out there though, thanks a lot.”
“What are you talking about?” Ginny asked, now that she'd recovered.
“You lot left me after I went for a walk,” I said.
Harry lowered his wand. “Where the hell were you? You've been gone for a week.”
“A week?!” I shouted.
“Have you seen yourself?” Ginny said, glancing at Harry.
“No, should I?”
Ginny got out of bed and steered me towards her mirror.
The person staring back wasn't me. She definitely wasn't me.
She was so pale she glowed, and her eyes were black instead of their usual green. She had dark circles surrounding them. Clear as day, there was a bite mark on her neck. Not a love bite. An actual bite.
I opened my mouth in shock. I had fangs.
“What the hell?!” I wailed. “Am I a vampire?”
“Looks like it,” Harry said.
“But... I can still do magic, and I have a reflection, so what's going on?!” I demanded.
Harry dragged some clothes on.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I'm taking you to St Mungo's,” he said, grabbing my arm and disapparating.
St Mungo's was eventful. I tried to bite two innocent people because their smell was driving me mad. Eventually Harry had to put me in a full body bind.
“It's for your own good,” he told me as I glared at him.
After a couple of hours a healer saw us.
“What the hell is wrong with me?!” I demanded, as soon as Harry lifted the curse.
“You're a vampire,” he stated obviously.
“No shit,” I snarled. “But why can I still do magic and why can I see myself in the mirror?”
“Hmmmm,” the healer said, looking at the bite on my neck. “It looks like the vampire who attacked you didn't finish off the job.”
“What does that mean?” Harry asked, before I could shout again.
“It means that she'll have some characteristics of a vampire, but not all of them,” the healer was scribbling notes down on his clipboard furiously. “Be careful in the sun. Unfortunately there's no cure for a vampire bite.”
Ironically, the sun had risen and was shining through the open window. I wasn't on fire so I assumed that meant that I'd be ok, apart from having to smother myself in sun block.
Harry took me back home, where Mum and Dad were waiting.
“Ginny owled us,” Mum said, as soon as we'd materialised.
“Where's Draco?” I asked flatly, not keen on talking.
“I'm here,” he said, leaning against the door.
“Dumbledore's on his way,” Dad said.
“Why?” I asked.
“We're going to talk about your education,” Mum said, before Dad could jump in with something insensitive.
There was a pop and Dumbledore appeared.
He said nothing, and just watched me, his twinkling blue eyes surveying me. He offered me a lollipop.
It smelled of blood. I almost snatched it off him and rammed it in my mouth.
Dumbledore chuckled. “She's thirsty.”
“Her eyes!” Dad exclaimed. “They're green again!”
Great. I'd be living off sweets for my whole life.
“So is my bed in the dormitory going to be turned into a coffin?” I asked sarcastically, and everyone laughed. Draco stepped forward and slipped his arm around my waist.
“You'll be able to lead a perfectly normal life,” Dumbledore assured me. “Except for your diet. You'll probably want a lot of rare meat and perhaps a substitute for human blood.”
“Is there a substitute for blood?” Mum asked.
“Oh, yes,” Dumbledore said. “Animal blood, and I believe the healers at St Mungo's have been working on a synthetic blood for some time.”
“Good,” I said grumpily. “I don't fancy sinking my teeth into a random Hogwarts student every time I get a bit peckish.”