The Blood Curse
DISCLAIMER: I am not JK Rowling. I am not Joss Whedon. If I were both, I would be a very strange person. Of course, I already am, just not either of them.
WARNINGS: This contains Buffy/Giles and Snape/Harry in relationships which may become semi-graphic at times (R rating). The first is a little odd to some people, the second is called slash. If you don’t want to read either of these, click away to someplace that will make you happier.
The incursion team from the Order of the Phoenix had based their raid on crosschecked intelligence. It didn’t help. Their spy had apparently been outed. It was the only thing Harry could think of that would have led to the disastrous failure of the plan. Snape had proved himself over the years to the point that Harry no longer doubted the dour man. Not to mention that he wasn’t among the Death Eaters currently mocking the failure of the Boy Who Lived.
They had been organized to take out a group of vampires gathering in the West End of London. Although Hagrid had been sent to the giants, fail though he might in that quest, no one had attempted to persuade the vampires. Wizarding culture was too full of prejudice in regards to the magical creatures… No one could legitimately offer equality, understanding. They had nothing to stand against Voldemort’s offer of revenge.
Perhaps they should have tried, Harry couldn’t help but think.
It was supposed to be a simple raid on a nest of less than fifteen Vampyr. There weren’t even supposed to be any Vampyr Arcanum in the group. Something that Harry was pleased to note had at least been true. As DADA Professor, he was well acquainted with the legend and reality of the vampire. He didn’t even want to consider trying to handle a Vampyr Arcanum.
Harry looked up and met the glittering red eyes of Lord Voldemort. The man looked pleased, his long time enemy bound and gagged at his feet. A short gesture with the Dark Lord’s wand caused the gag to drop away and Harry stretched his mouth, trying to make sensation return.
"The great Harry Potter…" Somehow, even without an S in the sentence, Voldemort made the sound sibilant.
Harry smirked, if he was going to die, it wasn’t going to be begging. "Tom," he replied, with a short nod.
Although he would have expected the lack of respect to infuriate the Dark Lord, as it had in the past, Harry was left wondering. For Lord Voldemort simply broke into chuckles and then loud, but distinctly evil, laughter. The Death Eaters picked up the laughter and Harry was left feeling as if he hadn’t gotten a page from the script.
"This is boring me, Tom. Why don’t you just kill me and get it done?"
Lord Voldemort stared with those unblinking eyes at the hero of the wizarding world. "Twenty-two years after failing to kill you the first time, I’ve decided I no longer want your death. Well, in a fashion…"
His odd sentence caused another spate of laughter among the Death Eaters and put Harry in a distinct unease. His team had been expected back within two hours. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, precisely, but rather hoped Albus would be checking on their progress soon.
Harry checked the bonds on his wrists, as unobtrusively as he could, while waiting for the other shoe to drop. It did, as the head of the group of vampires that he’d been sent to exterminate stepped up next to the Dark Lord.
Voldemort turned to address him after giving a considering look to the vampire. "Would Professor Potter care to share with us his knowledge on the common vampire?"
Harry glared, staying silent.
"Ah, the young man doesn’t wish to participate… Crucio!"
Harry writhed on the ground in pain, locking his throat to prevent a scream. He wouldn’t give them the pleasure of yelling out. When the pain stopped, he took a few deep, shaky breaths.
"Share with the class, Professor." Voldemort was no longer playing; his voice held the promise of pain should Harry not comply. Considering the type of request, Harry really had no problem with playing along.
"Vampyr Generalis is the vampire of legend. They are created when a blood curse, manifesting as a demon, replaces a Muggle soul in the host body. The body continues, with various limitations and advantages, to exist under its new controller."
Voldemort leaned in slightly towards Harry, leaving the younger man wishing that his enemy would come that much closer so he could attack. The Dark Lord read his intentions in his eyes and stopped his forward movement. "And the Vampyr Arcanum?"
Harry managed to suppress his desire to hurl invectives at his nemesis. "Vampyr, Arcanum variety, occurs when the blood curse is imposed on a wizarding host. The body retains both soul and demon, causing the victim to become insane as the two are incompatible."
Voldemort broke into laughter again, the Death Eaters following. Not as slow on the uptake as his friend Ron could be at times, though not having gotten it as quickly as Hermione would have, Harry paled. As one, the Death Eaters and Voldemort turned and began to walk away. Harry was left locked in a stare with the vampire. It was not a pleasant thing to consider, but it appeared that unless he could slay this vampire, he would shortly become something other than himself.
Harry scooted about on the ground, trying to free himself as he kept a suspicious eye on the creature. It watched him, uncomfortably like prey. Harry had to admit that prey was precisely what he was at the moment. The gaze did not comfort him. Harry certainly wished that Dumbledore’s consultants had arrived before this raid. But, there’d been no time. The group had been handling the aftermath of the final closure of a hellmouth in California. No one could have predicted that they’d need their assistance so dearly, or that Voldemort had such a sense of fatal irony.
As it moved closer to him, he struggled with intent against the bonds at his wrist and feet. Moments later, he was locked in an iron grip against cool flesh. Harry flinched as needle-sharp fangs sank into the flesh of his neck and had a moment to wish with all his might that the vampire might err and kill him, rather than succeed as Voldemort surely intended into making him a Vampyr Arcanum.
Black dots swam into Harry’s vision with the blood loss. He hoped that when he awoke, he’d have the presence of mind to kill himself before he started to cause problems for the wizarding world.