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Chapter 5 : Awakening
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He searched his memory, trying to figure out what had just happened and where he was. Then he remembered, and it was like a bludger hitting him in the head - a vampire had bitten him.
A wave of fear washed over him as he realized his predicament. He was no longer laying on the cold, hard cobblestones of Knockturn Alley. He was laying on something relatively soft. He opened his eyes, and was shocked at what he saw - even though it was pitch black, he could see perfectly. .
He was in a room with no windows, laying on a cot in the corner. On the far wall, was an old antique wardrobe. A large, threadbare rug covered the concrete floor.
Suddenly, he felt a slight tremor, then another, and another. It was...footsteps! They were coming nearer and nearer.
Harry’s mind whirled! What was happening to him? Suddenly, the door opened slowly, and a figure walked in.
For some reason, Harry felt like he should have gasped at the sight of the creature that walked into he room, but another instinct seemed to take over. It calmed him completely.
Harry sat up, and watched the figure approach him. He felt heavier somehow. He could feel every step the creature took, although his feet didn't make a sound as he walked across the floor.
Harry could hardly believe it - the man had wings. They were curled up against his back, thick and leathery. They reminded Harry of the wings of a thestral. His skin was a pale, grey color, and he had long, white fingernails. His hair was solid black, and he had dark brown eyes. They were soft, and almost sad.
"Hello." His voice was silky, but it was nothing like the sickening, drawling voice of Snape or Malfoy. It was almost pleasant. "Doubtless you are wondering how you have come about to be in this strange place." His voice was cold, but warmth reflected in his eyes.
"Yes." Harry said. He noticed that his voice sounded cold as well. Now that he thought about it, his whole body felt cold, but it didn't bother him; it felt only natural.
"I found you in a dark alley, only hours ago.” He began to explain, “Naturally, I am sure that you have guessed I am an immortal. We hunt the unprotected. You were completely vulnerable, so it was you I attacked."
Harry remembered the cold hand that came down upon his shoulder in the darkness of the alley.
"You were bitten, I am sure that you know.” He continued, looking sadder than ever. “I am afraid that...you have turned. It does not happen often, but when it does, it is...quite regrettable.”
Harry's eyes widened. 'I'm a vampire...'
"I see you are shocked.” The creature stepped closer to him. “Completely understandable...I have changed your life...This is the first time in quite some time that anyone has turned. I am ashamed to be the cause of it."
Harry’s head was reeling. This man...this vampire had bitten him, and now, he himself was a vampire. What on earth was he going to do? What would everyone think? He pushed himself up out of the cot and swung his legs over the side, resting his head in his hands. His heart was hammering as the full weight of what had just happened finally struck him
"My name is Vladmir" Said the vampire, “Please, do not be afraid...I am here to help you, and I will do everything I can to make things easy for you....
"Please, listen to the things I am about to tell you,” He continued “perhaps they may answer many more of your questions, then we will leave here before the sun rises."
“It is said that those who practice sorcery may easily turn that those who do not.” He began, taking a seat in a chair on the other side of the room. “I see you have a wand, so I only guess you are a wizard?"
"Yes, I am." Harry replied, looking up finally. Vladmir smiled, revealing his fangs at last. Harry was taken aback to also feel a pair of elongated teeth just behind his lips.
Vladmir continued speaking. “Some say that those who live a life which is smitten with unhappiness will turn towards us. I sense much despair in you, even before hand.”
Harry nodded. A thought occurred him. “...Vladmir?” He asked. “I never knew that some people didn’t turn into vampires when they were bitten...”
Vladmir smiled gravely. “Yes...it is extremely rare. I am certain that in your studies, you have heard many untruths about our kind.” he explained. “You are going to find that much of what you have heard is quite false.
“Now,” he went on, “I think it would be a good idea if you stood, and examined yourself.”
Harry did as he was told, and got to his feet. When he looked down at himself, he could barely contain a scream of surprise - He too had large, leathery wings which folded around his back. His wizard robe seemed very unpleasant now, and he had a strange desire to change them. His skin was the same pale, sick color as Vladmir's. He slowly lifted his pale fingers to his mouth, and felt the fangs. He hadn't eaten since lunch earlier that day before the will reading, and
yet he had no desire to eat anything at the moment. His skin was cold as ice.
He was truly mesmerized by the great black wings protruding from his back. He willed them to open, and they did. They unfolded themselves beautifully and stretched out away from him.
When they were fully open, he guessed they were nearly twelve feet across.
"Yes." Vladmir said, "I knew you might be most astonished by them. But they only appear at night - when the sun rises, they will disappear until the sun goes down again.
Harry was more than astonished. It frightened him that his original horror about becoming a vampire was slowly diminishing, and an unnerving excitement replaced it.
"I have yet to ask you” Vladmir said suddenly, “what is your name?"
Harry smiled, glad to finally met someone who didn't know he was. "It’s Harry."
"Harry. Well, I will ask you to please follow me."
Vladmir turned toward the door, and Harry followed without reluctance.
Severus walked briskly down a hallway in an old house. He had been painfully summoned by Voldemort. He reached the door he had been searching for and turned the knob.
He entered the dark room and immediately sensed the presence of his master, standing in the middle of the room, surrounded by the few death eaters who had already arrived. Snape
fell to his knees and crawled forward, kissing the hem of Voldemort's robes, as customary.
"Master." He said.
"Welcome Severus." Replied Voldemort in a cold voice. He sounded slightly pleased about something.
Snape stood and retreated to the circle of waiting death eaters. Every few seconds, more would arrive in the same fashion, each dropping to their knees before the Dark Lord. After a few minutes, when all had arrived, Voldemort spoke-
"Welcome, my death eaters. I have...unexpected news."
Snape knew the news was somehow going to involve Potter, and he wondered what mess he had possibly gotten himself into this time.
"He is out there somewhere, “Voldemort’s voice rang in the room. “Finally away from the protection of Dumbledore and his relatives - I can feel it. This is where you come in, my faithful friends. I want you to find him, and bring him to me, once and for all.” He paced lightly, “Oh, but I must warn you, my friends... “ He continued devilishly, “I am tired of being let down, I am tired of my supporters failing me. This time, you shall not fail, or you will surely face the consequences...Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, My Lord." Rang several voices, muffled by masks.
"Very good...” He replied, “now, go, and bring him to me – alive."
Dumbledore, Remus, Moody, Tonks, and Mary apparated into the living room at number four, where Ron, Hermione, Ginny and the twins all sat, playing games of wizards chess, and exploding snap.
Remus seemed to be having a nervous breakdown, and the sight of him instilled fear into the younger occupants of the room.
"Please, Tonks and Mary," said Dumbledore, "Will you kindly take Remus and fix him a calming drought?"
"Yes, Albus." Tonks said, and she and Mary led a disgruntled Remus from the room.
"Headmaster?" Hermione asked cautiously, realizing that something must be wrong if Remus was here, alone, when they had clearly seen Harry leaving with him only hours ago. "What’s going on?"
Ron, Ginny and the twins turned to him as well, awaiting an answer. Moody turned his head to the ground and disappeared down the kitchen stairs.
"Everything will be explained in time, Miss Granger," He replied gently, before he followed Moody down the kitchen stairs. The three teens looked at each other apprehensively.
Down in the kitchen, Dumbledore addressed Mrs Weasley. “Molly, have you contacted Arthur?”
Molly stopped her pacing and looked up. “Yes, Albus, he’s waiting for you at the Ministry.”
“Very well.” He said, as he crossed to the fireplace to prepare to leave.
“Albus,” She said suddenly, whispering with a frightened look in her eye, “Is it him? You-Know-Who?”
“No, Molly,” Dumbledore replied, “It isn’t, but this fact could cause even worse problems for us.”
She looked down to the floor, heartbroken. Her eyes flickered back up to the aged wizard in front of her “...Isn’t there anything more I can do?”
Dumbledore stopped and looked at her, gently. “There are a few people upstairs who I think should hear an explanation of what is happening,” he said, implying the teens in the living room, “But, I’ll leave that decision to you.”
And then he and Moody stepped into the fire and were gone.
Molly stood in the kitchen, alone, wrenching her hands together. Her mind was reeling with the night’s events. A sickening worry had enveloped her...it was as if she had lost one of her own sons, and she felt helpless, being left at Grimmauld Place. What could possibly have happened to Harry, if it was not You-Know-Who’s doing? Who else would want to hurt the boy?
The scene around her swam in and out of focus as she thought, and only when she heard the sound of several feet echoing down the stairs did she compose herself again.
“Mum? What’s going on.” George asked seriously after the five appeared in the doorway. It was evident they knew that something was horribly amiss.
Molly started for a moment, staring at her youngest son, her only daughter, their friend, and her twin sons, all watching and waiting for an explanation. “...Sit down dears.”
The five of them walked over to the table and sat down around it, waiting.
Slowly, she began to tell them what she knew. "...Remus, Harry and a friend of Sirius' named Mary Calloway, were all at Diagon Alley after the will reading today. Harry was on his way to Gringotts, when he...somehow disappeared in Knockturn Alley."
Hermione and Ginny gasped, but Ron, Fred and George looked confused.
"What do you mean, disappeared?" Ron asked, his brow furrowed.
"Well, we don’t know how it happened yet,” she replied, “but Mary is a seer. She said she had a vision of something happening in Knockturn Alley involving Harry. Remus and the others went to look for them, but...there wasn’t any sign of him.”
The full weight of the issue finally crashed into the woman, and she was unable to hold back a sob, even in front of her children.
“Well, what are they doing now?” Fred asked, sounding angry. “We should be out looking for them!”
“Yeah!” George chimed in, “What if You-Know-Who is after him?”
“No,” She replied strongly, finally sure of one fact, “Professor Dumbledore has assured me that it was not his doing.”
They sat in silence for a moment. The tension in the room has liable to snap at any moment, and it finally did when Ginny sobbed loudly and broke into tears.
Molly rushed over to her daughter. “There, there,” she cooed, "There isn’t much we can do right now, so why don’t we all go upstairs and try to get some sleep, alright?”
“No, mum,” Ginny cried, her voice gathering strength. “I’m going to stay up. I want to wait for someone to get back and let us know what is happening!”
“Ginny’s right,” Ron added, “I couldn’t sleep at a time like this anyway. We’ll stay awake with you.”
Mrs Weasley smiled at their resolve. Under normal circumstances, her children would not disobey her commands, but at a time like this, she couldn’t find it in herself to say no.
A few after Molly stood up to make some tea, the fireplace glowed green and Severus Snape emerged. He glanced at the teens sitting around the table and contained a rude comment.
Molly immediately turned around to face him. “Oh, Severus,” She exclaimed, “Is there any news?”
"Remus was correct,” The potions master began, “the Dark Lord does not have Potter, but he doesn't know where he is, either. He has sent out all the death eaters in a search for him."
All the younger Weasleys in the room glared at the man, unsure of what to think of his information, but Molly gasped.
“Oh dear...” She whispered.
“Where has Albus gone?” Severus asked suddenly, “I must report to him.”
“He’s gone to the Ministry with Arthur and Alastor.” Molly replied immediately.
The potions master nodded, and disappeared into the fireplace without another word.
“Git...” Ron muttered under his breath after Snape had gone. Fred, George and Ginny agreed silently while Hermione shot him a look.
“Don’t talk like that, Ron.” Molly reprimanded as the tea kettle began to whistle, “Severus’ job is harder than you can imagine.”
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