Author's note :
Hello there her is a new chapter and it is late to arrive yet again as always. I struggled to write this chapter first because of exams and then by my own inability to write something that satisfied me. Yet I think this version that has been rewritten for the third time now is acceptable and quite a lot in it satifies me.
The story advances with the same pace and it slowy begins to build up momentum and some action. In this chapter I tried to show some more interesting and deep relationship between the main characters but also introduce sie characters that will play a very important part in the future. As you will see, I started to put to the forefront of some actions and rivalries for some characters that will be the embodiment of what was left vacant previously.
I hope that you will appreciate this chapter and I will let you enjoy now.
Just a side note, this chapters is a little over 25k words and was a huge pain in the ass to edit and proof read (I'm french remember ^^') so please be considerate of this and too judgemental if you encounter any mispelling or mistakes, just let me know if they frustrate you too much and I will correct them if you give me sufficient indications as the chapter is really enormous.
Have a nice read and see at the end.
Chapter 7 : Detention, Negotiation and Confrontation
7th of November - Slytherin first year living room
"I tell you Theo, I will apply to be the seeker of Slytherin at the trials next monday. I will most certainly be the youngest player at Hogwarts for the last century. With my level on a broom there is no chance that Higgs will keep his place for long." Bragged Draco that was finishing his thirty centimeters roll on the attributes of salamander's tails in the concoction of healing potions.
Theo next to him, had already finished this part of his homework for the weekend and was reading a book of transfiguration that McGonagall had given them at the beginning of last week to research interesting reasonnable topics for their project at the end of the year.
"Don't be silly Draco, no first year has been in any team for a good reason and I don't think that Flint is going to let you in the team just because you want to and you say that you are better than Higgs. He more than anyone, except maybe Wood, wants to win the quidditch cup this year again now that Charlie Weasley and Andrew McHillan are not in Gryffindor's team anymore. He believes it will be way easier than last year but still he won't take any risks." Replied with little interest the dark haired boy that didn't even look at his comrade as he crushed his hopes into nothingness, getting Malfoy to get a little redder on the face due to anger or embarrassment, but no one could tell which one it was.
"You know Theo, sometimes you really get on my nerves…" As Draco said that he tried to concentrate harder on his assignment but he began to get stuck with the last properties that he couldn't understand and so explain in his essay.
"Well I'm going to bed guys and girls." Yawned Blaise as he got up from one of the couches and went for his room in the boy's section followed by Crabbe and Goyle that had to ask Draco's permission to go before him, permission he gave them absentmindedly.
"Good night Blaise, goodnight everyone." Added Millicent and Tracey as they went to the girls' part. With this, there was only Daphne, Pansy, Theo and Draco still in the room.
Daphne was doing some light reading, Pansy and Theo were playing chess, well… Theo was playing and Pansy was getting beaten up quickly. Only Draco was still working on his homework and it was slowly getting on his nerves to be stuck on this part of this potion homework while Daphne and Pansy didn't even begin the homework and Theo already finished it.
At the moment he was ready to abandon and call it a day for his homework, Lyria entered the first year shared living room, dark rims around her eyes and slumped shoulders. It was the first time they saw her since the end of last month when professor Snape told them that she was sick and the Headmaster along with Madame Pomfrey had decided it best for her to stay in her room and wait to get better due to her weak health. The moment she entered the room, Daphne's eyes lit up and asked her to come sit next to her on the couch.
Draco couldn't shake the feeling that there was something off with the two. He knew from his father that Daphne had never been allowed out of the house except for rare occasions due to some disease she had that exhausted her really quickly. He was sure that there was something he didn't know about the blonde girl because she did not show once in two month any signs of deep exhaustion or something alike. Moreover, due to her being kept at home, he knew that it was impossible for Potter and Daphne to be friends for more than the train ride.
On top of all this, the two seemed really really close to each other like they've known each other for their whole life and it was disturbing how much they interacted without even speaking a word to each other. He, who despised Potter and had been told that Daphne would most certainly become his wife in the future, found this even more unnerving than anything else. She was to become by law his property from the day of their marriage and what he couldn't even understand was how a pureblood lady to be like her could interact and be so friendly with a Half-blood, let alone a filthy one like Potter.
He looked more closely at the two and saw that Lyria was showing a parchment to Daphne and that the blonde girl seemed to be grateful for it. Draco, being the infuriating boy with a superiority complex that he was, got up and went to take a look too at this parchment. After all, he was the heir of the Malfoy family, he could very well take it for him from the annoying and unnerving Potter heiress, couldn't he ?
"Hey Potter ! Is that your Potion essay right here ? Mind if I take a look at it ?" As he said that once he was near the couch, he didn't wait for her answer and took the parchment from her hands and began to read from it before Daphne tried to snatch it from his hand, but failed.
"Give it back Malfoy, this essay is not yours and Lyria didn't give you her permission to take a look at her hard work." She had gotten up and stood in front of the Malfoy heir that had put his hands behind his back and had a smirk on his face that Daphne so desperately wanted to wipe from his face.
"Please don't do anything rash Daphne, it is just a Potion essay… I don't want any more problems than I already have…" Pleaded Lyria as she sighed completely exhausted from her last five days, as she came back and forth to Snape's office and Daphne's room each night to work the potions she destroyed in Snape's office.
Now that she had gone back to normal, this routine would continue as long as there remained potions that have not been replaced already. She hated the man with vigor and she could say without a doubt that the hatred was shared and that no good would come out of these detentions as the Headmaster wished so. This saddened her to not be able to go past her hatred for the man to accomplish what the Headmaster wanted for her, but as long as the man stayed the way he was, it would never be possible. Even if he apologized she was nearly certain that there was no place for forgiveness in her heart for the Potion Master.
No words had been said between the student and the professor aside from the instructions and the monitoring of the potions boiling. She was not doing anything complicated for nine potions out of ten actually. She was merely looking at the Potion Master work fast and with dexterity, only being here as an assistant to bring him the ingredients he needed at the right time, reminding of some timing for the potion or stirring. She had helped for one potion for real two nights ago and it was a potion that she had attempted to do at home this summer and that she had miserably failed to achieve, but this time, with the different instructions of Snape about how to properly and better do the potion, she obtained a flawless one in the end.
The potion she learned to brew was an anti-paralysis potion and she was glad to now know how to brew it as she had learned and mastered the steely-muscle poison this summer, a potion that contracted the muscles to such an extent that one ended paralysed for a certain amount of time depending on the strength and potency of the dosage. With this knowledge in hand, she was now able to brew a kind of paralysing poison and knew one antidote to a middle potent paralysis potion. Of course this antidote couldn't cure the strongest paralysing potion and needed a more advanced form of such a potion, yet it was not needed to know a stronger antidote for now as she didn't know how to brew a stronger poison either.
She hadn't been paying attention to what was happening next to her for the two minutes she was lost her thoughts and now that she had come back from her inner world, she saw that Daphne was arguing with Pansy and Draco that had sided together against her as she tried to get back her parchment of potion back.
"I swear that if they don't give you back this assignment I'm going to show them a piece of my charmwork." Warned her Daphne that knew that Lyria was back from her own world and would actually listen to her now.
"I'm tired Daphne, just let them have their fun and think that they can do whatever they want to me… They can enjoy their time for now, I have already something in mind to get back at them don't worry. I have a plan so please calm down it is only an assignment. I will have it back ultimately and if not, I can always do it again tomorrow and help you do it at the same time… Deal ?" Lyria negotiated with Daphne that got her hot temper back in control as she huffed and sat next to her and began to play with the flames in the chimney with a poker.
Draco looked smugly at Daphne and then began to go through Lyria's assignment as the black haired witch nodded tiredly her head at him, as if he needed her permission to look at the content. He frowned from the very beginning of the essay and she saw the frustration on his face appear as he didn't seem to understand much from what she had written. Was it her italic cursive handwriting that was too hard for him to read or what she actually wrote, Lyria didn't know, but she allowed herself a small smile and wink at Daphne that giggled at the thoughts of her friend.
"Do you find it useful, Draco ? I saw you frowning, is there something I did wrong in my assignment ?" Inquired Lyria that sounded so falsely worried to Daphne that she had to put her hand in front of her mouth to prevent Draco or Pansy from seeing her silently giggle at the taunt. No one seemed to notice the tone that Lyria employed and it added even more to the comic of the situation.
"Your handwriting is so bad Potter I can barely read a word of what you wrote. No wonder professor Snape never takes your assignments as exemple for the class and always takes mine. By the way, why did you write that the salamander's tail could be detrimental when put in a calming potion when there are actually salamander's tails in them ? Are you dumb or can't you read ?" Laughed Draco as he read the end of her assignment and that was the part he had struggled to find an answer to. He was amused to see that Lyria didn't even understand the question when she was asked what downsides there were for chopped salamander's tail in the brew of calming potions.
"I think you are the one that needs to read the question again, Malfoy. It was said to point out a drawback of putting them entirely in a calming potion. This is a trap because there is no such thing as salamander's tail in a calming potion, the only part of the salamander's tail that is used is the venom in it that has calming properties as it helps the muscles relax. You are right to say that we put parts of the salamander's tails in the potion because the venom sac is put entirely in it but we have to leave the rest out. Maybe you should read again the step 12 of the calming potion brewing protocol, that is where it is noted." Lyria answered him as she made sure to make him understand that he was in the wrong and that he clearly wasn't as aware of how to brew this potion as he thought.
Draco's face turned red slowly and steadily as he looked at her at first confused and then anger took the lead after he looked down at his manual at the twelfth step and read the instructions and noticed that, yes, in small, between parenthesis, it was specified not to put the tail in it as the active agents that secreted the toxine in the venom would continue to work in the potion for days, making it effectively, a deadly version of the potion as even the lungs and the heart would get affected and stop working properly, leading to the most probable death of the drinker.
After reading that, he was furious, how could he have missed this part, it was written in small at the end of the page and if she had not pointed this out, he would have most certainly failed the potion next Wednesday and got himself a bad mark from his godfather. This made him furious for many more reasons but mostly because this filthy halfblood dared to know more about potion than he did and dared to put his nose in the mud for not reading thoroughly enough the instructions. She wanted to humiliate him without looking like it huh ? He would play along at her game if she so wished to play to who was the smartest.
"So Potter I heard that you had a little appointment in Dumbledore's office and got detention to serve with professor Snape… Already in trouble huh ? Can't even stay in the line for two months can you ? After all it doesn't astonish me that much, from what I heard, your father was quite the prankster… To say he was like that to impress your filthy mudblood of a mother… What a shame for the son of a proper and respected pureblood family… I see that the filth of your mother's blood and the stupidity of your father have been passed down to you !" At this point Draco had decided to enjoy unnerving the Potter heiress as he thought that she was an easy prey, as she gave him the right to look at her assignment without a fight and tried to make fun of him like a coward hiding behind formulas and protocols.
She knew he was the superior one here, the one she had to respect if she wanted to avoid problems and that made him think that he could pick at her without any consequences and that she would not say a word because she was scared of being ostracized or worse.
He hated her calm and composed, slightly cold even, attitude towards everyone, she was nothing compared to him and yet she denied him the right to talk to her in class, take her notes, share her cauldron in potion or table in herbology where she excelled. She was behaving like she was a princess and he was a peasant while it clearly was the opposite as he was a Malfoy and her an half breed witch of the fallen Potter family.
He was then focused on the goal to make her crack for two weeks now and make her remember who she was in this house and how she should behave with him. She had no right to deny him what he wanted and he had no intention to let her rest and get what she wanted in his house. She was not in her place in Slytherin but now that she was here he had no intention to not enjoy the advantages that she could offer him. She was excellent in potion, herbology and transfiguration ? Then he would benefit from it one way or another. She was well liked by all the teachers except Snape and McGonagall ? Then he would use that to increase his own well being in class and get up in the classement of the first year students. She was beautiful, rich and had a good relationship with the Headmaster too from what he heard. Then why wouldn't he have a part of the cake for the future years ?using her as a stepping stone for his ambitions and she had nothing to say to deny him of his rightful privilege.
"Are you finished with your insults, Malfoy ? Then I'll take my leave." Falsely asked Lyria that did not intend to stay any longer in the presence of the insufferable Malfoy heir that had decided to push her to her limits tonight.
However, she wouldn't crack, she had always prided herself of being able to control her emotions very well most of the time and she would not explode like she did last week with professor Snape, she would follow the Headmaster's advice and wait for her the right time to show herself as his equal and maybe more. She knew there was no way for her to win any sort of conflict or argument with the Malfoy heir for now and she already had a plan to get back at him in the near future as sneakily and cunningly as possible. She was going to enjoy having one small victory over him when he bathed in his many humiliating or degrading victories over her.
Daphne had already gotten up and took her hand to take her back to their dorm. Malfoy slided a last barely hidden insult at her and threw her rolled up assignment her way that Daphne expertly caught in the air with as little strength as possible to not damage the paper whatsoever. She sighed at the idea of not having to write down once again her precious essay and leaned her head on Daphne's shoulder the moment they got in the blonde's room away from prying eyes.
"Can I stay that way for a little longer Daph ?" Asked tiredly, Lyria as she closed her eyes when they sat on Daphne's bed that had been hers for the past week.
"As long as you want Lyri… Just don't fall asleep on me as their is not enough space for two of us in this bed and as much as I supported your bed, mine will always have a soft spot in my heart and I firmly intend to keep what is mine !" Daphne made an effort to sound really serious but completely failed as she could hear the blonde vampire giggle and felt her shoulders move along her little laughter.
"Yes Ma'am, no falling asleep happening here, promise !" She followed along the play and giggled at the sigh that escaped Daphne's mouth next to her.
"By the way Lyria… Can I take a look at your potion assignment ? You can have a look at my charm's one too." Propose Daphne as they agreed to trade one essay for another and it was a good thing that they complemented each other so very well in the subjects they excelled in. That way they could help each other and progress when they had troubles.
"Two more weeks of detention and then I will be free again to hang out longer with you during the evenings Daphne, then we can begin to search for a subject for our year long project. How does that sound ?"
"That sounds like a good plan. Do you have even the barest idea about what you would like to do this project on ? Because I thought that we could maybe make work on something that could be useful for the two of us in our everyday lives…" Agreed the blonde vampire before she went to another important subject that was their first year project.
They had chosen to be put together and after some talk with professor Snape from Daphne, some weeks ago, he had agreed to let her : "carry the burden", of being put with Lyria for her project. The two of them had not discussed yet about what their project would be on but they were sure as hell that it would not be on anything else than Herbology and Charm as it was what they prefered by far, with the exception of potions for Lyria. Yet the deep hatred she had for her Head of House and the fact that she still had to serve detention because of him didn't help her choose to add potions to their project.
"Did I tell you that I had a Devil's snare in my room ? It is very tiny for the moment, not bigger than three roots and a single branch so far. I thought maybe we could try to do some tests on it to make it recognise who to trap and who to spare in his branches. What do you think ?" Lyria proposed as she let herself fall on her back on the bed. Daphne eyed her as if she had grown another head.
"Why would you have a fucking Devil's snare in your OWN ROOM ! This is like super super dangerous ! Are you mad or something ? I slept in a room with a plant that can strangle me at night for five days and you didn't tell me a thing !" Shouted Daphne in her heads as she got over Lyria and shook her shoulders like she was a sandbag in the hope to put some sense in her empty head.
"Calm down please my head is going to detach itself from my neck i swear !" As she said this and gasped for air, Daphne let her go and fell by her side on the bed and got her breathing under control and tried to get the surging and quick fear that had gripped her heart, down.
"Why do you have that thing in your bedroom ?…" Was the only question Daphne asked her, waiting for a somewhat decent explanation before she decided on how to make Lyria throw it away.
"I told you already… To grow it and somehow manage to tame it to make it trap those that are not allowed near it and spare those that are… It could be used as a nightly protection in my bedroom in case someone tries to harm me during the night or to guard a room from intruders hell even an entire garden could be turned into a nightmarish maze for intruders… Imagine the limitless possibilities of such an experimentation !" Explained Lyria as she shivered next to her friend and put an arm in front of her eyes to prevent the light right above her to irritate her fragile iris.
"You are one hell of a paranoid girl that's for sure. But I can see your point… Maybe it could be a good idea for a project in the end. Do you think that we could achieve that with charms and some memory muscle for the Devil's snare with some sort of odor or powder on someone it can recognise as a safe passage ?" Inquired Daphne after she sighed at the ideas Lyria gave her, not without raising an eyebrow at the paranoia of her friend and her constant fear of being harmed by ill-intentioned people that would want to harm her when she is the weakest.
"I don't know but we could research some charms and make some tests to see what does what and what could be useful. I never said it would work, I have no idea if it is even possible, after all, the goal of these projects is not necessarily accomplishing something that works. It can also be a test and some research that ends up not working. What matters is that we work on something and prove that we put some efforts into it and learn things that are interesting and relevant. It is not noted and doesn't influence our admittance in the upper year, it is just a way for the professors and the school to sensibilize us to search things on our own and pick our interest on other more concrete things than just the lessons we are given and maybe gain some points for our House if the project is good enough."
"Yes you are right… I never thought that I would work on something that I was not sure would work though, that's just it. I think it could be quite fun." Agreed Daphne and they decided that this would be their project and they would have to write a small summary and some objectives for their project that they will have to submit to professor Snape by the end of the month.
"By the way Daph, we already have a slight advantage over the Devil's snare. It would have not necessarily attacked you even if it was bigger and older." Lyria told her as she seemed lost in her mind, thinking about something that had begun to happen more often in the past few weeks. After a second or two, she got up from the bed and got to the door.
"What do you mean ?" Inquired Daphne confused at her friend's remark.
"Well it is kind of strange to be honest… But it seems like the Devil's snare roots and branches are somewhat leaning into my touch when I take care of it, most of my plants do this lately, and it seems to be growing a tiny bit faster than it should from what I read. It already has five roots when it should only have four for now and have them a centimeter shorter and thinner." As she said that, the blonde Greengrass heiress frowned before she gasped and looked at Lyria as if she was an interesting fish in an aquarium.
"You mean that you already have some influence on your plants due to your nature as a blue blood vampire ?"
"I didn't know it was due to that… But yes it seems like I have a very small influence on it already and some of my other plants. It is faint and weak but I can feel a small connection to them and it might help us on this project quite a bit." As she said that she left the room and went straight to her room as she heard Daphne sigh in their head and laugh a bit at the odd news and the fact that she had started to have her blood powers awaken even if it was to a very faint and small extent.
Two weeks later - Potion Classroom - Friday Night - 10pm
Lyria was monitoring a gently boiling potion with a bluish color and a very thick consistency, while her Head of House had retired to his desk in order to finish marking some homeworks from the seventh year from what she could see on the parchments. If the potion they had just finished and were waiting to be completed was a success, she would finally be free of her unending series of detention. Three entire weeks with no evening for herself and no free time to hang out with Daphne or work with some interesting plants with professor Sprout on the weekends as the Headmaster had forbidden her to do so before her detention came to an end. All in all, she was actually praying for the potion to be a complete success in order to escape this hell hole that was the potion classroom and its owner.
Speaking about Professor Snape, he had been quiet most evenings and had simply talked to her to give her the instructions to complete the most simple potions on her own and explain the finer details of these potions and how to get the better result out of the ingredients and methods she had available. Other nights, he would do the potions on his own and just ask her to cut or grind or bring some ingredients for him or monitor the potions for the right amount of time or make sure it was properly stirred. On such nights, Lyria would simply observe him perform the hard and precise steps with extreme precision and efficiency, sometimes completely overlooking the steps that she had to read for him and doing as he pleased only to end up having a better result than what was supposed to be obtained in the end.
Lyria may have disliked, even hated her Head of House, but she could not be called an honest person if she couldn't acknowledge the fact that the man teaching them the noble art of potion brewing was a true master of the art and knew exactly all the hidden and intricate ways of the art. After all, he was still a man that earned twice in a row the title of best potioneer of europe in a contest making all the best potion masters of europe against each other with a jury very strict and impartial. This man was an absolute leading figure in the world of potion making and she actually had the chance to be taught by this man yet she couldn't appreciate the full experience of it as the man himself was as insufferable and detestable as he was knowledgeable in this domain.
"Is the potion turning a cool green right now Miss Potter ?" Simply inquired the greasy haired man as he was still nose deep in his parchments and without looking her way.
"It is Sir." She simply said as she looked at the now potion bubbling with renewed intensity and turning slowly to an off blue color shading gradually to a cool green color.
The timing of the question was perfect to the second and she sighed at the uselessness of her presence during these detentions that seemed like a bad joke from the Headmaster that wanted her to get as bored and tired as she could be.
"Very good. In this case, turn off the heat of the fire and let it cool slowly for ten minutes before filling these twenty vials." He ordered her as he waved his wand in front of him and two supports with ten vials each appeared at the same moment he finished his wand movement.
"Yes Sir." She said blankly before using a spell he had taught her three weeks ago that created a cool breeze of air very useful to extinguish a small fire like these used in potion making. "Freta Erum…" As the words and the simple horizontal movement was done, a small wave of cool air washed away the flames and she got up to retrieve the vials.
"Finish this quickly Miss Potter as I have to talk to you about something after this is out of the way and it would be beneficial for both of us to get this done quickly. After all, the Headmaster awaits you in an hour in his office." He informed her as he spared her a small glance as she retrieved the empty glass tubes and looked at him with narrowed eyes and barely concealed suspicion that he made no comments on.
Lyria took her time to properly do the task she had at hand and made sure to not spill any of the precious potion they had just prepared this evening, eager to finally end this long series of detention. However, she deliberately took more time than necessary to complete this task as she knew that the longer she took, the less time she would have to spend with her Head of House as she had an important appointment with the Headmaster. After six long minutes though, Snape cleared his throat rather loudly and looked at her with a pointed look and she had no choice but to get all the vials to the desk and sit in front of her potion professor.
"What is it that you wanted to tell me Sir ?" Inquired Lyria as she looked at her hands folded on her lap as she toyed with her red and black wand.
"I believe you and I have some disagreements that should be assessed in order for the both of us to spend a relatively bearable seven years together in our House and this classroom. I only have one question for you Miss Potter, are you ready to set our disagreements aside and start on a new and clean ground ?" Lyria's eyes narrowed at his words and her body tensed at the idea of her professor being the one to extend the olive branch and try to salvage what could have possibly been a great Master and apprentice relationship had it not been for his outburst and actions more than a month ago.
"Why would you propose this to me ? You have nothing to gain from it and it would be easier for you to continue harassing me the way you like to do." She simply replied as she continued to stare at him, this time her suspicion and anger at the man was not even concealed and it caused her Head of House to tighten his grip of his quill before put it aside and folded his hand in front of his mouth and leaned back in his chair.
"What a very slytherin-ish thing to say. Maybe you have some of my house's qualities in you after all. Let me make this clear Miss Potter, I don't like you and I hate your family but you already know that. However, I consider myself to be a true slytherin and thus I know when there is a opportunity that would be stupid to ignore. I sincerely think that putting our past history and my a priori for your family aside to let you show your potential in my House would be beneficial to me and the House of Slytherin. As for what I would gain from all of this ? Seemingly nothing, however, you have shown great skills in my class and I can't seem to hear the end of Pomona's praise for you. It would be stupid of me not to use and further increase your potential for the profit of my House, don't you think ?" He explained as his hard and steely gaze never left her own and seemed to pierce through her very soul. She felt uneasy under his gaze and she felt nauseous at the idea of him using her in any way possible to get himself out of some potential troubles or acquire favours thanks to her in the future.
"You may be disillusioned but I am not, I don't like you one bit and that's it, I have always despised being weak and at the mercy of others in the past and I don't intend to become the loyal dog or circus freak of anyone let alone the puppet of someone as yourself. What makes you think that I believe one word of what you are proposing to me ? Moreover, you can do whatever you want to me, in the end, the Headmaster is on my side and he will protect me from you even if everyone is against me. He is someone that can be trusted and that I can rely on. The Headmaster and I understand each other, you and I don't professor. I have nothing to gain out of this agreement either because despite what you try with much effort to make me believe, you have to teach me all that there is to know during my scholarship in your subject. And as my Head of House you should be impartial and treat me like you treat your other students even if we both know it's not the truth." She said as she prepared herself for another outburst from her Head of House at her harsh but truthful words.
Yet she knew that even with the Headmaster on her side, having Snape against her was not a smart move at all. But ultimately, she couldn't put her hatred and distrust for the man aside even for her own benefit. This, her professor seemed willing to achieve even if she could also see that it demanded a huge effort on his part and she respected the fact that he had been honest about his feelings towards her. At least they agreed on not lying to each other and acknowledging that their hatred and distrust was mutual and equally as strong.
"It seems you and I have more in common than I thought we had Miss Potter… But you seem to lack in the brain area from what I can hear all the time coming from this little vile mouth of yours. Do you really think that learning what is mandatory in potions at Hogwarts will satisfy you ? Do you think it will be enough to quench your passion for the subject alone ? Stop playing dumb with me and stop your little brain from thinking that because you are the Girl-who-lived and a Vampire that you won't need all the extra knowledge and power you can get your hands on if you want to win against the Dark Lord. I can respect standing firm on your position as I did myself in the past but I just can't stand stupidity and ignorance and you made quite a show of it for the past month !" As he said this his voice boomed in the room as he got up and turned around with his robe floating behind him majestically as he towered over her despite facing his back. "You see, your mother and I used to be great friends and we appreciated each other a great deal. I even had romantic feelings for her, but the fact that she didn't like my frequentation in Slytherin and didn't reciprocated my feelings led to events that made us part in bad terms and eventually led to the death of your parents." He started out of the blue and all this information made Lyria lightheaded as she couldn't understand why her professor was telling her all of this unnecessary storytelling.
"What does this have to do with the situation at hand ? I don't…" She was cut clear by the steely voice of Snape as he thunderstruck her with a pointed stare that didn't let any place for her interruption.
"As I was saying, your mother and I may have had a bad relationship at the moment of her death, but I still respected her and her choices no matter what. I can see many similarities between you and your mother and despite my hatred for your father, I owe this to your mother to extend the offer to bury the hatchet. I am presenting you the opportunity to start on a clean and blank page and this is a once in a lifetime proposition. You don't want me as your enemy and I don't particularly fancy applying the same method your father and his friends had for me on you. The ball is in your court so choose your next words carefully." He warned her and she felt that the threat of what could possibly become her future in the House of the snakes more clearly and vividly as ever and the prospect made her shiver.
The dilemma was a tough one for the young vampire, either she accepted and had to do her best to be cordial with the man and try her hardest to get along with him in order to have her peace and benefit from one of the greatest potioneer of the time as well as a fair but still harsh Head of House. Or, she could deny the deal, not have to pretend liking the man and behave in his presence and sign her own pseudo death warrant in her own House. You could say that it was a pretty easy choice, but sometimes, even when the better choice was obvious, your guts and your heart were screaming at you to not deny your feelings and instincts just to listen to the logical and rational side of your brain.
Every part of her being was screaming at her to not accept this deal and continue to openly hate the man and stay honest to herself and her family's honor. This man who had so easily tried to silence her, belittled her, insulted her family, put her in the same box as all the other vampires even as she was herself disgusted most of the time by her own nature. Yes she hated the man with all she had and his hatred for her and her family was all the more reason she had and needed to not accept this deal when she could clearly ensure her success on her own and have the man behave just by reporting his actions against her to the Headmaster that would most certainly help her.
Yet, she was tired of being weak, of having to hide between the kind and grandfatherly Headmaster that tried to stay impartial but that for her sake would take her defense and help her even if it would sometimes go against what would be the most logical and just solution. She wanted the old man to be proud of her, to be proud of the woman and witch she wanted to become and she also wanted to be better than her father and Severus Snape that couldn't put their hatred aside and that led them to hate each other even when death separated them. She felt like sometimes, she should apply the advice of the Headmaster and those she herself gave to Daphne all the time on how to act when being around Malfoy and Pansy.
"Do I have your word ?" She simply asked, making her potion professor turn around and look at her with narrowed eyes. Her face was set in stone and she let none of her inner emotions show.
"About what ?" He replied equally difficult to read through, raising an eyebrow at her.
"That you will be impartial and just from now on. That you will teach me more advanced potions and potion theory than what is strictly taught at Hogwarts…"
"Only if you behave and give your all and not just the bare minimum of your abilities to further increase the greatness and place of power held by Slytherin. I rather enjoy having the House Cup and Quidditch Cup in my office and I would like to keep it for the next seven or eight years." He told her as he pointed at the two cups and all the medals and trophies inside his office referring to honor students and great deeds accomplished by slytherin students during his time as the Head of House. "I expect only the best from you and the slightest mischief or deviation from the goals I will set for you in the following years will be met by a breach of contract. Do we agree on that, Miss Potter ?"
"As long as the goals aren't purposefully unachievable I can agree with that." She nodded and he frowned, making her confused and angry at his less than encouraging start for his so-called contract.
"I don't want to know if you can agree to that. I want to know if you agree. End of the discussion." He reminded her bluntly and she sighed and nodded her head making him mimic her gesture. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sat down before waving his hand at her dismissively. "It is a deal then. Now you may go, the Headmaster surely awaits you for your monthly appointment. You will come to my office tomorrow at 4 pm after your herbology class and we will discuss some things that require some attention."
"Yes Sir." Lyria got up and detached her long midnight black hair from her hastily done ponytail and exited the room towards the fourth floor, eastern corridor to find the griffin statue that would let her enter the Headmaster's office.
Once there, she said the password : sherbet lemon. The statue nodded and retracted its wings and revealed a slowly elevating staircase and she stepped on the first step, waiting to arrive at the door of her mentor. She was glad that she was finally free of the clutches of Snape for her detentions and she sighed in contentment as she massaged the sides of her head. She had begun to have small but recurrent headaches these past four days and it had been the same last month and she might know the answer to those painful but bearable headaches.
Yet, she was not about to tell the Headmaster anytime soon that she had them otherwise she was sure that he would come to the same conclusion and her and do something that she would most likely regret. This pain was too similar from what she felt a year ago to be anything but due to an insufficient blood intake. However, she was dead set on not telling anyone about them as long as the pain was bearable as for the life of hers she would never willingly increase her blood intake as long as it was not of urgent necessity. She knew that she could not entrust this information to either Daphne or the Headmaster as they would both want to take action no matter what her opinion may be on the subject and she would be damned if they obliged her to feed more. Her train of thoughts was interrupted by the door of the office that opened with the Headmaster still at his desk and she hadn't noticed the fact that he had called her already two times to enter.
"Sorry Headmaster, I was lost in my thoughts." She laughed sheepishly and tilted her head to accentuate her apologetic sound.
He chuckled and gestured to her to come and sit next to him. She had never seen anyone other than herself sitting next to the Headmaster in his office so far and she couldn't deny that she preferred to be close to the man she admired and appreciated like a grandfather rather than to be like a stranger with him and sit behind his immense desk.
"There's nothing to worry about Lyria, after all I know more than anyone what it feels like to be lost in much interesting and numerous thoughts." His smile grew as the young vampire came to sit next to him and placed down his phoenix feather quill back on his desk and pushed away his paperwork. After a wave of his hand, two hot cups of tea appeared and he proposed to her one that she gladly accepted.
"Thank you. How are you Headmaster ? Is everything going smoothly with the english branch of the ICW ? You told me last month that they once again refused your retirement as the Supreme Mugwump… It has been a year now that you've tried to step down and they still argue that you cannot let britain lose its international seat of power… Are things picking some speed now that you gave the high council your resignation letter ?" She inquired as she saw the ICW seal on one of the many papers that would have to be treated tonight and she felt guilty about taking some of his precious time two evenings a month.
"Don't worry too much about that Lyira, these power hungry and bigoted pureblood may want me to stay on the seat of power for as long as possible but I have finally gathered the necessary elements for my resignation to be approved by the high council of the ICW itself. By the way, I am not worried in the slightest about my successor as it has been decided that should I step down, my dear old friend Nicholas would take on the mantle. With his six centuries of experience and his unending life, I am most certain that everything will be under control as long as he dedicates himself to his duty and I can assure you that he will. After all he was the one that made Beauxbatons the school it is now and it has been six hundred years that he oversees its direction and management." Explained Albus as he looked at her from over his half moon glasses and took a sip from his beverage. Lyria looked at him and noted that he seemed more relaxed than ever and that he looked less tired too.
"Are you talking about Nicholas Flamel, Sir ? Is it true that he is the only detentor and creator of the philosopher's stone ?" She asked eagerly, making him smile and chuckle yet again.
"I see that you are well documented as always. Yes it is the very same Nicholas that we are talking about. As for the second question, it is unknown whether or not he is the only one to have ever created a philosopher's stone, but what is most certain though, is that he is the only known one and the oldest man to ever live and the only one to have claimed to have created it."
"He must look like a mummy if he truly is six centuries or so years old, right ?" He laughed at that and placed his cup back down.
"Well I must say that he is not the youngest looking man I've ever seen that's for sure for he is not quite yet at the stage of a mummy that I can assure you. He is still a very powerful wizard and not many people could pretend to be more knowledgeable or stronger than him. Yet, you are right when you say that his body and powers are degrading slowly but inevitably. You see, the elixir of life doesn't make you young for eternity, it basically slows your aging process to such an extent that it is barely perceptible, yet after so many centuries, he still took quite some years and looks as old or even a little older than I do. However, it also prevents you from dying of old age so it is not impossible that in many centuries he starts to look like an actual mummy yes." Laughed the Headmaster and she joined him in his small outburst at the image that they had in mind of a french walking mummy with a wand and oversized robes.
"This was funny, thanks for the image Headmaster." She wiped the small tears that had formed in her eyes and sighed happily.
"You're welcome Lyria. Yet, as interesting and funny is this conversation, I must make a priority to come back to a more urgent and important topic." At this, the green eyed girl sighed and extended her hand and the Headmaster summoned the four vials that she would have to drink for this month. "This is for your own good Lyria, never forget that. You may dislike your true nature and despise this need for blood but someday, you will come to accept who you are and recognise that it is only natural and needed for your survival."
Lyria knew that more than anyone after what she experienced last year, however she also knew that she would be throwing up again tonight and would wash her mouth five times to get the taste and feeling off of her tongue without success. Sometimes, she hated herself for being so stupid and for thinking that she was better than the other vampires for not enjoying the taste of blood and revering in its properties. Yet most of the time she felt tired and depressed at the idea that this growing sickness inside of her would only get stronger and stronger as she grew older and stronger with the increase of blood intake required to keep her sane and working. She felt like the muggle's cars that needed petrol to function and show their true potential and use, yet she was a human being not a machine, but she still required her fuel to continue existing. Stopping her depressing thoughts right away, she did as she always did and closed her eyes, took a deep breath and bottoms up the four vials in a row to be done with it in the quickest way possible.
"Tch… As disgusting as ever… Whatever, was this all that you wanted for this evening Headmaster ? I feel rather tired and I would not shy away from a good night of sleep after so many late nights in detention with professor Snape." She admitted repressing a yawn and the old man looked at her with concern in his eyes that Lyria didn't notice in her state of exhaustion and he agreed to let her go.
"Goodnight then Lyria… Oh and before I forget, you are allowed yet again to go back to the greenhouses during the weekend with Professor Sprout if she agrees to have you there." At this information the young vampire smiled and nodded before heading back to her common room.
2nd of December - Greenhouse n°4
"Alright now you will have to remove these dead roots with your scalpel. Be very steady and focused Miss Potter. It is very important that you are as clean as possible with your incision in order to not cause unwanted damages and excessive bleeding." Sprout was actually teaching Lyria the way to treat her devil's snare when it was showing signs of weakness at some spots and signs of damaged roots or leaves.
Lyria was handling and manipulating the plant carefully and was making sure to focus on the task at hand and the instructions of her professor as the scalpel in her hand was working on its own with her hand and she felt the numerous hours of practice finally kick into action as she executed the simple but technical steps of removing dead roots. It felt like she was operating the plant more than just taking care of it.
"Well done Miss Potter ! Well done indeed !" Applauded the chubby and joyful woman that was Pomona Sprout, professor of Herbology at Hogwarts and the favorite professor of Lyria all things considered.
"Thank you professor. I was not sure whether we would be able to do it but with your instructions and help I feel like this project will at least be able to have some results and fun." Lyria was taking her dragon hide gloves off and sighed happily at the sight of her own devil's snare state now all healthy and in good shape.
It was now more than twenty centimeters wide in diameter and it looked healthier than ever. It has now been three weeks since she and Daphne had presented to their Head of House their choice of project for this year and it had been approved with the only restriction being that her devil's snare would get the hell out of the dungeon that same day. After that, it found its new home in greenhouse number 4 and she was glad to say that it was doing very well in his new environment under its special cover hiding it from the sunlight.
While Daphne was occupied researching charms and practicing some of them with professor Flitwick during the scheduled hours of the project with the teachers, she was taking care of the growth and well being of their test subject. She was alternating this every week with a session in the dungeons to find potions that would help influencing its behaviour to alternate their options from the charms in order to widen their spectrum of possibilities and thus complete their project with enough meat to it to hope obtaining some points for their house or at least obtain a good rank in the classement of the first year's project.
This classement was completely irrelevant and led to virtually nothing except making them learn to question themselves and learn how to conduct some research work and experiment with simple things to get a better understanding of their world for the future. These projects were mandatory until their fourth year and after that, if they had taken a liking to them, they could choose to continue taking projects as an elective for their future years but it was not required anymore. So far though, Lyria found this very enjoyable and the idea of testing and experimenting things that were new to her and not necessarily taught in their curriculum was a huge motivation and a source of great fun and accomplishment.
It was all in all very similar to what she did at home when trying new simple potions and testing them or when she was trying new recipes while cooking or creating some just to test. The freedom she had when she delved into this experiment made her feel free and she enjoyed not having this pressure of the marks or the expectation of resounding results. She could test, she could create, she could fail, she was free. She had no limits and being free was the most enjoyable feeling to Lyria and even if sometimes it annoyed Daphne that she put so much time and effort into their project instead of relaxing, she was glad to be able to do it. Because, contrary to her blonde friend, she was relaxing when she was doing this project, it was not work, it was fun.
"Professor, I had a question for you if you have the time to spare…" Lyria went to her professor's side as she had resumed her previous work with a plant that was supposed to have huge bulbs of pus on its branches and that was in the program of their fifth year.
"Go on Miss Potter, ask me any question you want, I have all the time in the world, this doesn't need to be finished for at least another week for my Owl's classes. What was it that was on your mind young lady ?" Happily replied her favorite teacher with a smile that could chase the clouds as she tended to her plants, all her love for her job irradiating the greenhouse.
Lyria felt comfortable with the plump and jovial woman that was her herbology teacher as she was a just and sympathetic woman that only wished to pass down her knowledge but most of all her love for the plants and herbs she was taking care of everyday. In most ways, she resembled a lot the image she could see of herself in forty or so years, tending to her garden and living peaceful days doing so in her castle, getting out once in a while to see Daphne or the Headmaster.
"I was wondering what made you choose to pursue studies in herbology and then to become a professor here at Hogwarts ?"
"Ah that's a good question you ask me here Miss Potter ! Well you see the answer is very simple. I am a half-blood you know and back when I was roughly your age, I was taking care of our garden with my father, he is the muggle one of the two, and this was the only common passion we had and I always loved these moments more than anything in the world. I continued to take care of this garden with him even during my time at Hogwarts during the holidays and summers breaks and it was this simple bonding that time that linked me to my father that made me love Herbology so much when I was studying it at Hogwarts. My father and I still used to go buy new flowers and plants for our old garden not later than eleven years ago before the war took him…" She said with a sad end to her personal story and Lyria felt bad for invading her privacy like that with a question she only thought to be simple and purely innocent.
"I'm sorry Professor Sprout, it wasn't my intention to…" She began to apologise but the middle aged woman waved her hand dismissively with a smile on her lips and her face completely relaxed.
"Don't worry too much about things like that Miss Potter, you are still too young to care about those things… It is not good to dwell in the past, it is best to remember the good times rather than the bad one. Well… I think I answered your question, but may I know what pushed you to ask me this ?"
"I was only wondering how everyone managed to find something to do later as I heard some of my classmates talk about their dream jobs and life in the future and as I had no ambitions for the future I wanted to ask you how you got yours to have an idea…" Muttered Lyria as she knew that it was strange of her to not have any dreams or expectations for her future.
"You have a lot of talent for Herbology Miss Potter, that I can assure you. You will make a fine herbologist or mediwitch in the future if you choose to pursue your studies in this direction. From what I hear from professor Snape, you are equally talented and gifted in the potion art so it would be a perfect mix of your abilities. But never forget that in the end, you should always do what you like, not necessarily what you are good at because you need to love what you are doing to achieve happiness." The wise words of her professor made Lyria smile as she lowered the blanket that was covering her plant and she nodded at her professor.
"I will keep this advice in mind professor. I have somewhere to go so I will leave you for today, professor. Do you need me to clean anything else ?" Inquired the black haired girl as she was removing her protective robe and put it back in her very own locker.
"No don't worry Miss Potter I will take care of the rest. Go and enjoy your Sunday and don't forget your essay for tomorrow morning." She nodded and headed out, not thinking once about the essay for the next day as it had already been completed and proofread a week ago.
As she put her reinforced coat specially made from dragon skin to endure the lessons of Herbology for the seven years or so to come, she was greeted by one of the few people outside of her house with which she had true interactions with : Neville Longbottom. The fat boy was very kind and calm but what made him and Lyria become very good friends quickly was his shared love for Herbology, "I'm talking to the rather large boy from Gryffindor, Neville I think, let's be honest he is rather large and fat but it is just an observation mind you", she thought the first time they talked and Daphne asked her what was taking her so long in the greenhouse.
"He-Hello Potter, how are you ?" He greeted her with a small smile and a slight stutter in his voice that always made Lyria laugh. It was funny to think that even after speaking with her for two month, he still stuttered around her and called her by her last name.
"I'm fine Neville thank you. And by the way, I already told you that you can call me Lyria when we are not in public. You calling me Potter makes it feel like we are strangers or enemies or something." She told him for the fifth time this month and kept her good natured smile on despite the slight exasperation she felt at the repetition she was forced to endure.
"Ah ye-yes sorry Lyria I always forget. I'm not used to people being that friendly with me you know…"
"Yeah so I heard. Anyway, you came here to work on your project too right ? Is it going well so far ?" She inquired with a deep interest showing in her words.
"Yes it really is going in the direction I hoped it would and Professor Sprout told me that we could expect something worthwhile out of my scarlet brazilian wine. I did some research with her and we came to the conclusion that we could indeed gather more juice out of them and get them to grow on less specific terrain if they were exposed to sunlight on a more strict set of hours and with some different soils being added gradually during its growth." He explained excitedly and it was transferred to Lyria as she was equally interested in his project as she always wished to have one of these plants at home but the earth and amount of sunlight would not allow it.
"Wow that's amazing, you should definitely keep me up to date on your project ! Maybe I could have one at home if you get something out of it." She cheered and he blushed at her attention and she couldn't help but laugh at the sight of it. As she was about to say something else about her own project, Daphne strident plea resounded in her head as she had unconsciously opened her side of their mind… Her mind… It's complicated.
"Lyriiiii ! Aren't you finished yet ? You're taking ages in this horrible wet and smelly greenhouse !" Daphne whined loudly in her head making Lyria chuckle but also exasperated her at her friend's antics when she had been so cold and emotionless on the outside for the past three months in order to project a don't mess with me image of her and it worked pretty well so far.
"You're really loud and annoying when you want to, you know that, right ?"
"But I'm bored out of my mind ! I want someone to entertain me !" She continued with the same vibe for ten more minutes until Lyria entered the first year girl's living room where Daphne was faking reading a wizarding fashion magazine.
"Alright alright I'm coming back, so stop whining please…" "Sorry Nevill but I forgot that I had promised Daphne to spend some time with her so I need to go. Bye have a nice day !" After that she only heard the goodbye of Neville before she was out of the greenhouse in the direction of the dungeons in order to have the blonde stop as quickly as possible her unnerving whines.
In reality she was just constantly whining to Lyria and had actually managed to get on her nerves in only ten minutes. Sometimes this girl was amazing and surprising Lyria by her ability to annoy her on purpose when she wanted something desperately and it was during those moments that she saw the purest slytherin aspect of Daphne that could literally guilt trick or convince her to do anything she wanted when she truly put efforts into it. To be honest, Lyria found it scary how easily Daphne was able to make her do whatever she wanted with some whining, teasing, annoying behaviour and so much more.
"OK STOP ! I'm here now so quit whining this instant or I swear I will shut you out of my mind !" She was at her limit of supporting the Whining Princess as she called her and she sighed as she plopped down on the sofa next to Daphne only to see the blonde getting up and throwing the booklet where she was sitting seconds ago.
"COOL ! Now you can help me get out of my boredom ! Great !" As she said this she gestured to her bedroom with her head and Lyria groaned internally at the idea of getting up when she had just sat down for literally a second.
"I hate you…" She cursed Daphne for that only to receive a surprisingly carefree and amused chuckle.
She hated it that Daphne knew that she would never harm her because if the blonde was making her do whatever she wanted, Lyria never managed to do the same even with a threat as the other knew she would never actually execute it. Really sometimes Lyria exasperated herself when thinking about how weak she was against Daphne in their friendly relationship, and it was clear to both of them that she was the weak willed one of the two.
She sighed depressingly at the thought and entered after the amber eyed girl that patted her head at her thoughts and placed a wet and loud kiss on her right cheek to humour her. Daphne was way too touchy and teasing sometimes and it was always when she wanted something from her or when she was laughing at her expense and it was just one of those moments.
"You are not weak willed Lyria." She said with a laugh threatening to erupt from her natural ruby lips before she continued. "I am just too amazing and convincing for you to refuse me anything." This was too much for Daphne to contain her laugh as Lyria let herself fall on her back on her bed and exhaled loudly at her friend's antics.
"Sometimes you are too much for me I swear… Why don't you stop annoying me already…" She sighed as she knew that nothing would prevent Daphne from making fun of her and enjoying herself as she annoyed or convinced Lyria to do this and that for her.
"You would get bored too if I stopped messing with you trust me. Well now that you are here willingly and happily you can play wizarding chess with me for a start." At this, Lyria couldn't help but sigh and agree to play along as she had nothing better to do and it was better to deal with a pleased Daphne than a frustrated and bored Daphne.
"Fine but I get to play white !" Agreed Lyria as she took the white piece out of Daphne's boxset and smiled at the sight of her white chess piece.
She was always playing white and if she was an absolute novice at the game at the beginning of the year, she was starting to get some level slowly but surely. She knew that she would never be as good as Daphne at the game but it didn't bother her that much as she felt good enough just learning some strategies and trying them out and improving from each game. As they were playing for fifteen minutes now, Daphne asked her a question that made Lyria think back to three weeks ago.
"So it is tomorrow that you start with your private lessons with professor Snape, right ?" As she asked that, the blonde vampire' queen smashed her last knight and Lyria made a frustrated cry at the sight.
"Stop distracting me ! You're doing this on purpose !" Exclaimed the black haired girl as she tried to pinch Daphne's arm that reacted quick enough to avoid the painful sensation she would have felt at her flesh being slightly twisted on itself. She gave a dark look at Lyria that didn't back down and they ended up laughing at the situation.
"God you can be scary sometimes. Plus you would have lost it no matter what in two turns so it's no big deal…" She added only to enjoy seeing the exasperation on her friend's face.
"End of the discussion… But to answer your question, yes I start tomorrow at 6 pm until 8 and the same on Thursday and it will be the case each week." She told her as she remembered the private lessons Snape had told her he would give her if she continued to have a perfect mark at each of his little exams and homework.
Flashback - Three weeks ago - Dungeons - Snape's Office
"Sir, you told me to come this evening to discuss something about the deal…" Lyria announced herself as she entered his office after the door opened magically before her allowing her in.
"Yes I know. Sit, I need to finish this first. Read this for the time being." He told her as he handed her a small parchment and continued to write in a green ink on the homework of someone.
He was muttering comments to himself and the paper must not have been really great from what she was hearing. She returned her attention to the paper he gave her and she began to read what looked to be a protocol for a potion that she remembered would be seen at the end of the year. This was the protocol for a strengthening potion and she analysed it for ten minutes before she placed the paper back on the desk in front of her.
Snape put his quill back in its holster and glared at the last paper he had been rating and pushed the small pile aside and looked at her intently and narrowed his eyes before leaning back in his uncomfortable looking wooden high back chair. He folded his hands beneath his chin and then directed his gaze at the paper he gave her minutes ago.
"What do you think of the instructions written on this paper, Miss Potter ?" Inquired Snape as he looked at her and made his fingers joints crack releasing the built up pressure accumulated over the hours of writing down notes and marks on papers.
"What do you mean ?" Frowned Lyria unsure of what goal Snape had in mind with his question, after all it was a simple protocol.
"I thought the question was pretty clear. Though it seems like I will have to suffer the exhaustion of repeating it… What did you notice about the instructions on the protocol ? Wasn't there anything that caught your attention ? I thought you knew the protocol of this potion by heart now from what the Headmaster told me about your advanced knowledge but it seems like it was a bit overestimated…" Sighed her potion master exasperated.
This made Lyria grind her teeth as it was obvious the man already had troubles executing his part of the deal when dealing with her as he would with others in her house. Yet, she sighed as she remembered that even if she had become his scapegoat for the past month, the man never was pleasant or nice to be around to anyone even for those in his house… Well apart from Malfoy who he apparently was the godfather and Daphne because he feared her father and her mother even more for some reason. Her friend had not been very talkative on why her mother seemed to be so respected and feared by her father's friends and connections, yet she knew that it couldn't be because she was a vampire because from what she knew, only a selected few, even in the family of Daphne, knew about her mother's condition.
"I'm sorry Sir, I didn't pay attention to the details of the protocol as I didn't think that you would have removed or added parts to it that had no use or would be detrimental to the brewing of the potion. If you allow me to look at it with an inquisitive eye this time I can prove that I know this potion's protocol." She asked with a grimace on her face that was supposed to resemble a smile but it was oddly hard to come up with a somewhat decent smile when facing someone she absolutely loathed.
"You have two minutes, I didn't make you come here to lose some of my precious time…" He handed her the paper once again and watched her analyse as quickly as possible all the instructions and ingredients, compartimenting her brain as well as possible to treat all the information stored in it and displayed on the paper.
"Time's up. So what do you think of the instructions written down ?" He said this time clearly expecting results and no excuses. His right hand had its fingers drumming on the table, most certainly to destabilize her but it failed as she was quite confident in her answer.
"It is said at line 22 that the flower head of a fanged geranium must be introduced and then the potion must be swirled clockwise four times before waiting for 10 minutes at 58°C. This is wrong, first of all, the flower head must be stripped for the fangs and grinded separately to be introduced five minutes after the flower head and the potion must be swirled counter clockwise. Then I also saw that in the ingredients, the goat arm bone in powder was missing and thus must be added at the very end in quantity : a third of the mass of fanged geranium introduced. Finally the potion must be a light orange when completed and very smooth and homogenic while it is said here that the potion should have a fiery shade of orange and an upper layer sticky that should be removed. If this is the end result, then the goat arm bone in powder is missing or introduced in the wrong quantity." Explained Lyria as she pointed to her professor the parts that were according to her wrong or missing and when she looked up to look at his reaction, she was surprised to see that he didn't look even remotely more convinced than a minute ago.
"Is that all ?" He simply asked, making her slightly uneasy but in the end, she chose to trust her memory that she knew to be very good.
"Yes that is all I found and all that is wrong." She nodded firmly. He stayed silent for another minute to look at her with his steely grey eyes.
" … Good. But not perfect… Why didn't you tell me that it would be better and quicker to get an excellent result if we squished the dittany for its juice and put in the potion instead of putting the leaves whole and waiting for the potion to extract on itself the juice ?" Snape was genuinely curious about why she had omitted such an incredible shortcut when it was obvious that she knew and had analysed the potion and its protocol thoroughly in the past. Her knowledge was very good and accurate but something was off.
"I didn't know Sir." She replied honestly and this surprised Severus before he nodded as he now knew what he had felt was off with her knowledge.
She had a good memory, was very dedicated and passionate and was excellent, precise and quick when brewing the potions however, she lacked something that was essential if she wanted to stand out from all the good potioneer and become a master in the area and not just a good but not excellent potioneer. Moreover, if he was to teach her more advanced potions, he expected nothing but the best from her and if she proved unable to meet his expectations, he wouldn't bother continuing his extra lessons as it was in his free time and not paid.
"I see… You have a good memory and you have what it takes to become a reasonably good potioneer in the future Miss Potter yet you lack one thing so important that I will make it a priority for you to learn. You need to look past the instructions, you need to understand the deep knowledge of the potion and what it really does, how it affects the body or what it is supposed to interact with, how the ingredients fuse together and what created the expected results. The day you will understand this and see beyond the obvious and what everyone can see with some practice, the potions will never look the same again and this also what will make you able to optimize their processus and maybe create new potions why not."
When Snape began his explanation, his voice tone and his eyes began to look more alive and friendly than she had ever seen coming from her otherwise grumpy and insufferable professor. She could clearly see that even talking about the intricacies and hidden face of his passion was making his best side come to light and it was pleasant to see and witness as she could clearly appreciate his speech and his instructions. After explaining this, she could understand what he meant by her scholarly way of dealing with potions and unbeknownst to Severus Snape, he had started anew the passionate fire for potion that burnt inside of Lyria.
When he began to go into details about what could be improved from the textbook instructions for the strength potion and what could be dismissed and what could be added to better the potion and so much more. At this point, Lyria was literally drinking his words as if he was giving her a lecture about the way to become immortal or encounter God. He talked for half an hour before even noticing that he had been doing so for so long and that Lyria was hanging at his every word. When he noticed that he had gotten carried away, he took notice of Lyria and saw that she was completely listening to him with rapt attention and that her passion for the subject was finally shown to him for real.
Maybe he would make a great potioneer out of her, he thought as he saw the notes she had taken of his improvised speech. Her profound and genuine interest in what he had been saying without noticing himself doing so, made him at the same proud, uphoric but also confused and wary. He was proud and ecstatic because he had in front of him someone that seemed to deeply understand his noble art and share the same passion as he had for his whole life and the simple idea of passing his knowledge to someone so devoted and passionate was enough to make him the happiest teacher alive.
Yet the mere human part of him was also wary and confused about her reaction because he clearly despised the girl and what her family represented and the feeling was mutual. The mere thought of enjoying even slightly her presence or having her as his apprentice was awakening the burning and destructive anger he had for her father and it was a difficult veil of emotion to pass through. Yet he knew that he had given his word and the dark creature… No, the Potter girl seemed to be willing to do efforts on her side too so he had to keep his part of the deal.
On her side, Lyria had been writing down as quickly as she could his explanation on how the strength potion was working, how the molecules of the potions were interacting with the muscle fibre and the metabolism itself on a deeper level. She was amazed by all she had learned and how the potion really worked as she would have never imagined that the simple potion that a first year was supposed to be able to complete in order to pass his year in potions could be so intricate in its active processus. Knowing that the molecules of the potion were acting like a boosting of the neurological patterns and connections to the muscle rather than on the fiber of the skeletal muscle itself was amazing and very clever.
First, she had never wondered how the potion could strengthen someone without increasing the size of their muscles whatsoever and it clearly showed her that she had not been looking at the bigger picture but simply on the direct and visible effect of the potion that was : strengthening someone. Secondly, she now knew that it never acted on the muscle itself but rather on the temporary recruitment of the myofibrils during the process of moving a muscle rather than the muscle itself made her understand what the potion truly did and she now knew that the potion influenced the neuronal system and the brain rather than the muscles.
All this knowledge was mind blowing, not because the potion was particularly interesting in itself but because it showed her that she needed to understand the deeper influence and impact of a potion and how to directly obtain the effects. She was now seeing the potions as more than just a magical chemical mixture that would somehow have amazing effects but rather she saw it as a deeply intricate creation of molecules and substances that influenced their target and changed its function or the very matrice of the organ in this case. She was just amazed and eager to know more.
"Alright, that is all for tonight. I expect you to write me 20 centimeters of parchment about what I told you tonight and analyse the effect of the potion on the body on a deeper level and think about another way to improve it than the one I gave you at the beginning of my explanation. Our next lesson will be on monday in two weeks and I will give you your schedule for our lessons. If you miss even one of them or fail to do the extra work I give you or your marks fall in any other subject, we will stop right away with these lessons. Am I clear, Miss Potter ?" With the rules now set in stone, Snape returned to marking silently his assignments and waited for his student's reply to dismiss her for the evening.
"Very clear Sir. Thank you for tonight it was very interesting and eye opening. May I go now Sir ?" The raven haired girl was overjoyed and even managed to give him a true smile without even noticing as she looked at her notes. This attitude nearly managed to soften the great Severus Snape as he looked up from his copies before he noticed something wrong with his student.
"No you won't go now… Not until you get yourself under control Miss Potter… You cannot go out like that, let alone be seen by anyone other than the Headmaster, me or Miss Greengrass…" He sighed and got a calming draught for her on the desk. "Take this, it will calm you down and hopefully it will…"
"I don't think it will help much Sir… Vampires aren't affected by most potions and even those that are powerful enough to affect us have diminished effects… May I stay for some time then in order to get this under control ?" She reminded him and he exhaled tiredly yet again before putting the draught back behind his desk and pointed to a chair in a corner of the room for her not to stay in front of him and be closer to the door.
"Stay there and do so quickly, I don't intend to keep you here all evening, I am not a babysitter for Merlin's sake… If you are still like that in an hour you will use the floo to get to the Headmaster's office and he will tell you what to do. Is it clear ?"
"Very clear Sir." She walked to the chair and waited patiently.
She ended up waiting for an hour and went tiredly to the Headmaster's office were she spent the night on a conjured bed. The following morning everything was back under control and her white hair had returned to their midnight pigmentation, her eyes had stopped glowing and her nails had shrunk too. The Headmaster had been surprised by this sudden resurgence of her powers and had tried to understand what could have caused it and had deducted that strong burst of emotions, dangerous or stressful situations were most likely to be a trigger for the resurgence of her powers like some sort of defensive mechanism.
End of the Flashback - Present time - Daphne's Room
"You're distracted it seems. This bishop is for me ahah !" The blonde vampire was jubilating as she was yet again winning this game with no efforts whatsoever and victory had a sweet taste in her mouth, especially when it was against her best friend.
"Hum…" This was the only answer she got from Lyria that was still lost in her memories of that night two weeks ago and was slouched on the chair she had claimed in her friend's room to play chess.
Her hand was moving the pieces on its own and she was not even aware of all the pieces she had just freely given to the blonde that was only now noticing that she was battling against an absent adversary.
"Lyri… Lyria… Lyria ! LYRIA POTTER !" Daphne shouted exasperated after calling for two minutes straight her black haired friend that was completely unresponsive and not paying attention to their game.
"What the f… Oh !" Lyria got back to her senses and was about to shout at Daphne for literally aggressing her until she realised that they were still playing and that the simple remark of Daphne mentioning her special lesson tomorrow evening had made her space out.
She chuckled and looked apologetically at the blazing gaze of her friend that was clearly annoyed at the lack of attention she was giving her. Though, to be honest, she was the one that made her think back to this memory and what she was about to benefit from her Head of House.
"Yeah, oh indeed… You know if this bored you this much to play chess with me, you should have said it because this memory of yours seemed waaaaay more interesting than me and this game you are so obviously losing."
"Alright alright I'm sorry. Can you please not make such a face as if I had killed your puppy or something. It's just a game and honestly, what enjoyment are you getting out of winning for the 46th time against me this year ? Plus, I was just thinking about what you asked me about. My first extra lesson with Snape is tomorrow and I guess I am kind of excited at the idea of starting them." Lyria sighed and pushed her king down as there was no way for her to win this game taking into account the state of the board.
"Its not the game that I enjoy, nor winning. What I enjoy is playing with you and having some fun… But I will admit that winning against you is particularly satisfying !" Sometimes, Daphne was exasperating Lyria but she could never deny the fact that she couldn't refuse her friend this little pleasure and quite frankly, losing wasn't that bad if it was against Daphne.
"Ok ok, I swear to pay attention next time and give you your daily dose of attention for you not to turn into an insufferable twin of peeves solely targeting me." She joked and got up, going for the door and leaving to get some most needed sleep before her long day.
"Goodnight the gremlin !" Daphne laughed before she too began to prepare to go to bed, laughing even harder at the annoyed glare she could feel Lyria doing in her own room.
Two weeks later - Great Hall - An hour after the opening game : Slytherin vs Gryffindor
"Well I guess this year too Slytherin will end up winning the Quidditch Cup… It's not even funny or entertaining at this point…"
"I know right ? How many years in a row have they won already ? Four ?"
"Nah last year was their fifth victory… I thought that having to change their seeker and captain would have led them to lose some of their invincibility on the pitch but it seems I was wrong…"
"I lost a galleon because I bet that they would lose this year but its not happening anytime soon I tell you…"
Such were the conversations that were going on all around the Great Hall and the school as a whole. The mood of three houses was completely down as they had witnessed for the sixth year in a row, a crushing victory from Slytherin in less than an hour and a half against their strongest competitors, the lions. 230 to 20 was the score of the game and it let no place for speculations or any imagination as to what to expect for the next games of the year.
If Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw were still slightly hopeful to somehow manage to win against Slytherin and snatch the victory from under their nose with some miraculous grace, the lions were completely and utterly depressed for some and angry for others. One example of the latter was a group of first year students of the house of Gryffindor composed of Ron, Seamus and Dean that had been vehement for weeks now against Draco and his gang that they would drag Slytherin in mud during the match. It was thus not a surprise to see Malfoy openly display his joy and obnoxiousness in the face of the Gryffindors with such a result during the game.
The tension had been growing and growing for weeks between the two houses as it always did at this period of the year before the first game of the year and it ended with a bitter taste for the red and gold. This was all this pent up tension that caused the scene that was unfolding before the eyes of Daphne and Lyria as they were exiting the Great Hall after having taken their lunch, smiling at the victory of their team. The two of them may not have been great quidditch fans, every wizard and witches that lived on magical britain's soil couldn't deny their affection for the sport and were always up to cheer for their team as the sport was such a bonding event for all.
Yet sometimes it could lead to situations a little less glorious like the one they were witnessing. Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle facing Weasley, Finnigan and Thomas in the corridor leading to the dungeon, wands drawn out and insults exiting their mouth faster than bullets out of rifle.
"What's the matter, Weasel ? There's no need to get mad over such a trivial thing as Gryffindor's quidditch team eating the mud, moreover with so much weasels in one team it was bound to…" Draco couldn't finish his sentence that he had to jump out of the way of a yellow looking spell that looked like a tripping jinx.
As he got up, his two acolytes drew their wand out but it looked more like they had gotten out clubs instead of wands with the way they were handling them. The six of them looked at each other before Draco and Ron began to throw spells at each other, testing the water while Crabbe, Goyle, Seamus and Dean were looking at each other firmly in the eye, daring one of them to start the same dance.
Daphne and Lyria decided that it was better to ignore them and go to the library instead, not wanting to be assimilated to the fight that just occured before their eyes. They were no mole and they didn't intend to take part in such petty arguments and chose to let them handle their fight on their own. The little affection they had for Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle also helped them take the decision to let them be and see if by a miracle, they would not get noticed by a professor exiting the Great Hall early. Maybe Weasley, Finnigan or Thomas would be able to get Malfoy down a few notches but they didn't put too much hope on this thought.
They were now on the balcony of the second floor overlooking the first floor main corridor where they could see the six fighting first year. Lyria stopped in her tracks and looked over the stone protection wall making Daphne follow her despite her wanting to get to the library sooner rather than later to look over a charm book for their project.
"Seems like the brave but stupid Weasel will once again scrub cauldrons for a week…" Noted Lyria as Daphne chuckled and nodded as she readjusted her bag on her shoulders.
"Yeah well, it was to be expected after all, with the insane number of times he gets involved in fights with Malfoy in the worst places possible at the worst time possible, it was bound to happen yet again."
"Can we look from above a little longer Daphne ? Maybe something interesting will come out of this petty fight." Lyria had trouble keeping her laugh from being heard by her blonde friend that looked at her confused.
"Nothing will come out of it but a detention for all of them and some points taken or just the Gryffindors if it is Snape finding them… Ok what have you done to have to contain your laugh so hard ?" Daphne eyed her suspiciously this time as she put one of her hands on her hips as she expected an answer from the black haired vampire.
"Don't be a killjoy and wait for the curtain to lift on the scene !"
"Ok you did something to one of them… When ? I didn't see you do anything during the quidditch match nor during lunch." Inquired the blonde impatiently.
"Why so impatient ? Can't you wait and see ? Just enjoy the show… You will see the main event in about a minute or so I promise." Lyria patted her blonde hair, treating Daphne like a little child to her friend's exasperation.
"You're impossible you know ?"
"I know." After that, Lyria just stayed silent and waited patiently.
After roughly a minute of hearing Lyria's thoughts getting more and more focused on the funny outcome that she was sure would happen soon, she finally heard Lyria's laugh and turned her eyes from Lyria's face that had turned into a full out laugh. What she saw was bound to make her laugh openly too as Malfoy turned slowly purple, his whole skin taking the flashy and odd color. His hair turned bright green and the combinaison of the two clashing colors was quite the sight and both girls had to cling on each other in order to stay up.
The once blonde boy was screaming at what had happened to him when a spell of Ron collided with his skin and triggered the potion that Lyria had managed to slip into his drink at the beginning of lunch. She had been very careful about the preparation of this potion and she must admit that she was very proud of the end result as it was. She had made it testing a new formula and method that professor Snape had introduced to her two weeks ago when he talked about the strengthening potion and how to make it take effect upon certain triggering conditions.
"Oh my god this is so funny I swear I'm going to die from a lack of oxygen !" Lyria cried as she tried desperately to wipe the tears off her eyes as she continued to laugh hard on Daphne's shoulder.
"I know right ! You're a genius Lyri !" Agreed Daphne as she took a deep breath and managed little by little to get herself back under control. She was breathing deep in and out and after a minute or two she was back to her somewhat normal self.
"I told you I was going to get back at Malfoy for his attitude towards me and all the times he was mean to me. He should stay that way for four to six hours so we will most likely have the chance to see him like that again if he doesn't hide in his room like a coward." Lyria chuckled finally as she too got over the laughing outburst.
"It was very funny but I don't think it will change anything at all because in the end he won't know it was from a potion you put in his drink but he will most likely think it was a new spell from Weasley." Informed her Daphne as she thought about her "revenge".
"I know but this was the intended result, I will never be associated with this by Malfoy and I got some sort of revenge as small as it is. I never believed to be able to stand against Malfoy in the open, I am not dumb you know." Smiled Lyria before she looked at the scene and saw the three Gryffindor still laughing at Malfoy as some more people were getting to the corridor and laughed too while Crabbe and Goyle were trying to get him to follow them to the infirmary.
From the corner of the eye though, Lyria saw Theodor Nott, hidden in the shadows observing the fight before he lazily got back to the Great Hall with a small smirk on his lips, most certainly to call Snape to rescue his poor and innocent Slytherin students and get points from Gryffindor and some juicy detentions for the three of them to clean the excessive amount of cauldrons that needed some good old manual deep cleaning. Daphne noticed that too and chuckled.
"You got Weasley and his gang a vip ticket for a week of detention Lyria. He is will be too stupid to prove that it was not his fault and he will most probably claim that he did it to get some attention and respect from the other first years. Standing against Malfoy will give him some good points in the eyes of most of them."
"That's true but you have to note that he is quite brave even if he lacks the brains. Remember two months ago when he kicked Malfoy's ass after our shared flying lessons when he could have possibly gone into a fight with all of us present and no guarantee of help from his fellow Gryffindors…" Lyria thought about that day and it made her frown and smile at the stupidity but at the same courage that the boy had displayed, just to save the possession of an injured friend.
Lyria knew that the boy was stupid most of the times, but she admired his guts and his pride and this of his friends. She didn't know him much but she had interacted once or twice with him without counting his embarrassing but involuntary remark at the beginning of the school year. He seemed to be a nice guy and he helped Neville more often than not when he got himself into trouble so it was a good point from her, because anyone that helped the innocent and shy boy was someone that had to be a nice person. Yet she couldn't deny that his marks and his clown's fiestas with the Slytherin House were not flattering for him in the least.
"Well if being a stupid, reckless, ill-mannered and braindead guy was your definition of courageaous and having guts and being nice then yeah I guess he is." The sarcastic reply from Daphne made Lyria turn her head to look at her with a raised eyebrow and an exasperated look on her face.
"Very nice of you Daphne as always… I'm actually impressed by the amount of attributes you managed to bestow to him in a single sentence, really , congratulations ! Well… You wanted to search for some charms for our project so let's get this over with." Sighed Lyria before taking her friend upstairs to the fourth corridor on the right of the second floor where the library was.
"How compliant of you Lyri !" She chuckled as Lyria glared at her.
Hours later - Slytherin common room
"I wonder how the weasel managed to get Draco the way he was during the afternoon…" Blaise and Pansy were talking to each other about the fight that took place while they were all finishing to eat their lunch.
"I don't know Blaise but I can tell you that he will pay for what he did. I heard Professor Snape gave him a month's worth of detention and would have taken fifty points from each of them if not for Flitwicks intervention. Really fifty points in total is nothing for blatant disregard for the school rules in starting a duel in the corridor and attacking another student." Pansy was fussing and had been vehement all day after that, saying that she would help Draco however he wished to get revenge at the redhead boy and his comrades of Gryffindor.
"If you want my opinion, I think the weasel didn't know what he was doing and casted a spell one his prankster brothers taught him without knowing what it would actually do. What do you think, Potter ?" Inquired Theo as he eyed her suspiciously making the midnight black haired girl shiver mentally as it felt like the boy knew full well that she was behind this prank.
However it was impossible because Lyria had made sure to be extra stealthy and careful not to be seen doing the deeds. Yet, it didn't stop the boy from creeping her out with his question as it felt full of insinuation and suspicions.
"I think that Malfoy should have never let his guard down and kept focused on the duel. He is a far better wizard than Weasley and he knows way more spells than the Gryffindor boy does. But to answer your question Nott, I think that your hypothesis could be close to the truth but it didn't seem like the style of the weasley twins to teach their little brother spells that work from what I heard from Longbottom once in the greenhouse. Last time he saw him test a spell from his brothers it was nothing but a joke of a spell and did nothing more than little sparkles. Knowing Weasley and his temper I think it is most likely to be a late accidental magic outburst." Told him Lyria as she kept her face still and bored, not showing any emotions other than a lack of interest for the conversation at hand.
"I knew he was an idiot and was really immature but for him to still have accidental magic outburst would be really funny for such a petty argument with Malfoy." Said Daphne as she got up from Lyria's side on the couch and headed to the girls side of their dorms.
As she reached the door, she turned around and looked boredly and coldly at the others in the room and lastly at Theodore that narrowed his eyes at the action of the blonde girl before he raised an eyebrow at her. She stopped in her tracks and nodded her head towards him and he did the same after a moment.
"Good evening everyone." She simply said as she passed the door and closed it after herself. "Come to my room when you want to get out of this stupid speculative conversation."
"Coming in five minutes, I just have to read the last few pages of this book's chapter." Replied Lyria as she got back to her book. At this moment, Tracey entered the room from the main common room of Slytherin and stared coldly at Lyria, her roommate and smiled sweetly and coldy at her, making Lyria turn her head towards her, feeling the stare on her back.
"Potter." Simply said the redhead as she marched towards her.
"Davis." Replied Lyria simply, not bothering herself to stop reading her book about revived dinosaures getting out of their cages in a theme park in Costa Rica. The book had been published this same year and even if it was fiction, she found the book really realistic and interesting to read.
"I have to talk to you… Care to follow me to our room ?" Lyria looked up from her book at the redhead and the serious face she had put on made her raise an eyebrow before the pureblood girl turned around and went for the door.
Lyria sighed and closed her book and waved goodnight at the others and followed in the steps of the redhead girl. She entered the living room of the girl's side and went for the door on the right of their circular living room, entering her room that was already lit up by the natural light of the underside of the lake which was covered by green stones that glowed in the night. Tracey was already on her changing in her pajamas and her back was facing Lyria. Not for the first time this year, the black haired vampire could see the strange tattoo that was covering her roommate's back and she often wondered what it stood for.
The tattoo was an inky black skull with squid-like tentacles growing out of the top of the skull and twisting vividly around the skull, all of it above a giant catholic cross ensnared by some of the many tentacles. It looked like the dead skull of a kraken with the way the snakes were painted on her skin, but at the same time, there was a capital I letter imprinted on the forehead of the skull with two additional horizontal lines that seemed out of place with the whole kraken look. The lower part of the jaw was missing too and what seemed like a waterfall of blood dripped from the broken mouth and the eyes. Above the skull was written a latin maxim : Expurgate In Aeternum, which roughly meant something like Endless Purge from what little she knew about latin.
What was even stranger was the fact that the tattoo felt, as strange and impossible as it seemed, alive and seemed to move slightly from time to time as Lyria was sure that the day before, some of the many tentacles were not at the same place as yesterday between her shoulder blades. Moreover, the tattoo covered her whole back and was very creepy in her opinion and having that on her back at such a young age didn't feel like something she had chosen to have willingly.
"What is it that you wanted to talk about that seemed so serious and interesting, Davis ?" Inquired Lyria as she took her eyes off her back and started to undress too.
Her roommate took her time to answer and Lyria had already put on her blue winter nightgown and put on her slippers as she sat on her bed. When she looked back at her roommate, she saw her staring at her suspiciously and placed her wand away from her on her nightstand. Lyria sighed and nodded as she too put hers at the same place and came to sit next to the Davis girl on their respective cushion chairs around their glass pillar of hot water heating their room.
"I have seen something that might interest you Potter…" She began and it made Lyria confused and wanting for more.
"I see, and what might that be Davis ?" She asked, playing along the redhead's little game.
"I have observed you for quite some time you know as I was planning on how to get back at you for what you did to me at the beginning of the school year… I was hoping to see something past this little mask you put on in front of everyone and I never thought that I would hear you say something interesting during your sleep." As she said that, Tracey smirked as she saw the black haired girl's mask of indifference and boredness crack a tiny bit as her eyes widened and she seemed to get more wary of her.
"Oh, and what could have I possibly said that would be of any use for your little revenge ? I may be mistaken but if you really wanted to get back at me then I suppose you could have done so in the past few months with no problems whatsoever and yet here I am still unharmed. So I wonder… Why didn't you make your move already ?" Lyria tried to put back on her serious face and tried to brush off the last comment of roommate as irrelevant but she was still really worried about what the other girl could have heard that made her jubilate at her founding.
"Don't try to change the subject of our little chat Lyria. But I guess I can answer this question quite easily. If I never did anything to you even when I had all the opportunities to do so in our room is because it would be obvious that I was the only one able to harm you in here and I am not stupid nor desperate. You and I have more in common than you think, I too know how to bid my time and wait for the right moment to get back at you… Like you did with that idiot Malfoy this afternoon, but I doubt he would be able to see that it was due to a potion you slipped in his drink rather than a spell of Ronald Weasley." She smiled yet again this time as she told Lyria that she knew exactly what she did but this time there was no malice in her voice and the smile was genuine as if she had enjoyed herself a lot seeing what happened to the heir of the most ancient and noble House Malfoy.
"I guess you liked my little concoction if your reaction tells anything about it." Lyria chuckled and Tracey followed her comment with real laugh and it felt odd to Lyria to hear her laugh so openly and casually in her presence when she was sure that the other girl loathed her.
"Well I truly did and if you have any more ideas for Malfoy just let me know and I might help you give them life, maybe this way they would one day actually come alive and not be lost with you." She answered still chuckling, but something felt off with this last statement. After she got herself back on track with the actual subject of the conversation she continued on. "Pleasantry asides, I know what you are Potter, I always suspected you not to be fully human but for you to be a vampire was quite an unexpected discovery…" As she said that very seriously, Lyria felt an immense surge of fear grip her heart and choke her and she began to slowly but increasingly hyperventilate and her pupils dilated themselves as quickly.
"What… How… How did you…" Lyria's heart was beating so fast that she felt like it was going to explode or get out of her chest at any moment.
She remembered fully well what the Headmaster told her about the importance of keeping this secret well hidden and that no one, not a single soul apart from Daphne, himself and Professor Snape could know. He told of the vampire hunt and the massacre of their race by the wizarding and muggle kind during at their weakest point during the height of the Feveret Sanguis and how the few remaining vampires were still hunted like demons by the wizards. Daphne too told her about the excruciating treatment that was reserved for those that were found and incarcerated before they ripped their hearts out alive to kill them in the most effective way and for their body to stop regenerating.
For Tracey Davis to know was too dangerous for her own safety to ever think about letting her live with this knowledge and Lyria knew it. Either she killed or obvliviated her right now or warned Daphne to come and do it or tell her to warn the Headmaster or their Head of House but Lyria was too afraid of the consequences to think clearly at the moment and she was reduced to a stuttering and suffocating mess. She didn't know how to obliviate someone and she was not able to kill anyone, she was not a monster despite what her nature made her be, she couldn't do anything and she was sure Tracey knew it as she began to talk again.
"You might wonder how I know it because you talking during your nightmares was only the last confirmation I needed to be extra sure. Well you see it was pretty obvious when you thought about it for someone like me you see. The very well but still present concealed smell of blood every once in a while, the remaining hidden gray hair after this scent was present, the slightly longer canines, the paler skin, the rosy lips, the uncontrolled strength when waking up and accidentally ripping a bathrobe in half… All those little things that everyone not living with you nearly 24/7 wouldn't have noticed but I did because I knew where, when and for what to look for…" Explained Tracey as she got up and took a loose stray of hair that had gotten out of Lyria's ponytail when she had started to freak out and covered her ears with her hand and mumbling frantically things to herself.
The redhead had gotten her left hand in her left sleeve and began to pull it out as Lyria was completely losing all of her composure and seemed to be going a little bit insane as she talked to herself frantically. Tracey smiled with pity as she felt like she had won the fight before it even began and it made her a little bit overconfident as she waited for Lyria to say something else when she looked at her pleadingly. She was not going to kill the girl out of cold blood, she was just doing it to help the world become a safer and better place for those like her, humans.
"Please… I beg you don't tell anyone… Please…" Whispered Lyria between two short intake of air but before Tracey could answer, Lyria's voice changed a bit and was slightly more high pitched and rough. "We could silence you though… Yes we could… Silence your little prying vermine !" As she said that, Lyria's hair turned bright white and the room was shook by a shockwave of glacial air and the whole room began to be covered in ice as Lyria hand and black elongated nails dug in Tracey's wrist and she threw her at the opposite wall.
Thud ! Davis' back hit the wall with such force that she rebounded off the wall and fell to the ground hard and she gasped for air at the impact and shear strength of blow. In less than a second, Lyria was on top of her and she grabbed her neck and lifted her from the ground with her two hands around her neck choking Tracey on the spot. The redheaded girl's eyes were rolling in their orbit at the lack of air and due to the pressure of the young vampire's hand.
"She's going to kill me… What was I thinking confronting her with my findings… She completely lost it ! I must… I must…" Even her thoughts were getting fuzzy from the lack of oxygen and she was starting to black out. She was going to die because she had been stupid, because she had been reckless.
As she was starting to lose consciousness, various moments of her life were beginning to pass before her eyes and she couldn't help but look at them pass so slowly before her eyes as if time had slowed so much that she could relive entire memories of her childhood.
Seven Years Ago - MacNair's Estate - Outer Grounds - Dorset
She saw herself at three years old, running around the MacNair's grounds before stopping in front of an unusual sight. Her uncle was speaking with a man clothed in medieval full plate armour with a surcoat on top of it with a blason that was depicting the same tattoo her uncle, her older cousin and she had on their back. He didn't wear his helmet though as it was tugged underneath one of his arms yet he still had a steel mask of a howling face hiding his features. In his other hand, he had a sceptre with a globe at the end of it topped by a I with two horizontal bars crossing its midsection and a warhammer coated with blood and entrails was at his right hip. On his other hip was a quiver with small arrows, that shined brightly with the reflection of the light on them, that seemed to be used on the small crossbow that was on his right forearm on top of the armour plate.
When the two of them saw her, she walked towards them as her uncle made a gesture for her to come by and she executed as she knew he hated to have to repeat himself. He introduced her to the man named Gabriel and learned that he was some sort of family member and that he and his brothers would come more often from now on to teach her things she needed to know.
"So she is the legacy of the Order, Brother Walden ?" Inquired the knight name Gabriel as he took his wand out and pointed it at the young girl.
"Yes she is of us Brother Gabriel… She is Uri and Lizy's only daughter, her name is Tracey." Nodded Walden MacNair, her uncle as he presented her.
"Is she aware of her legacy yet ?" The dark and mechanical sounding voice of the masked man continued interested as he swinged his wand over the three years old girl's body.
"Not yet, I was waiting for the Order's inquisitors to come and judge how to proceed as they did with my son." He informed the knight and as he nodded, he chuckled and put a heavy hand on the redhead girl's head.
"You have a lot of potential for a young one, especially for a girl, the blood of two powerful knight-hunters runs through your veins and it will be my role to train you to become the best version of yourself. You can call me Brother Gabriel, from now on I will be in charge of you. I hope you and I will become good friends over the years." As he said that, Tracey could feel the smile that had formed underneath this steel mask that hid his face from her eyes and in her child mind, he looked like a true knight of old, protecting the people, keeping bad guys away and loving his family.
He looked like a hero despite the blood that covered half of his shining armour and weapons, visible traces of the certain massacre he had performed not long ago.
Four Years Ago - MacNair's Estate - Underground Training Room - Dorset
She was now six years old and she was on the floor, exhausted and beaten by the very man she just saw from the memory, her mentor, her hero. He was overlooking her and the deep and dark sockets of the skull mask hid his emotions and facial features from her eyes as he spoke to her in his dark and mechanical voice. His voice was harsh and unforgiving, but his advice and words were teachings and made for her to get better and more powerful, not to hurt, she knew it.
"Stand and Fight young one. The ceaseless threat of evil and its dark followers and creatures will not wait for you or any other children of the Order to sit idly and rest. You are destined to become one of humanity's champions. Stand and Fight now !" His voice filled her with more passion and renewed strength overcoming the slight fear she felt for the towering and ruthless man he was. Her drive always managed to surpass any fear she ever felt during the lesson his brothers gave her about the history of demons and dark creatures of evil. She got up and got in her fighting back. "Good young one, very good. Never forget our credo for it will save your life and guide you through the darkness : Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat para Expurgate in Aeternum : Fortune favors the bold for the endless purge. Our duty can only be done through pure devotion and dedication to this goal."
"Yes Brother Gabriel, I understand." After that, she stood and fought until her bones and muscles were on fire and she couldn't move any of them even with the help of others. As she was carried away to be healed and for her to rest, Brother Gabriel told her something that would become her own mantras.
"Never surrender, never falter for only in death your duty ends…" He told her as he patted her head and praised her for her good work.
A Year Ago - MacNair's Estate - Underground Training Room - Dorset
"Come one Tracey, you know how to do it… You have been trained for it… You know the words."
The deep voice of the man named Gabriel was coming from right behind her and his heavy and immense hands on her shoulders felt like the weight of the world was being supported only by her body. She was wearing the training outfit she had always been given to wear for their session of training and it never felt this suffocating and heavy as today under the frightened stare of the creature that was sprawled on the floor begging for mercy.
Her covered shoulders, arms and back that were sweating from her previous training session were now covered in cold sweat of dread as Gabriel was standing behind her, his mouth an inch away from her right ear. Her wand was in her right hand and an empty bottle, that once contained a transparent liquid with silvery reflections, which content had been poured over the struggling creature on the ground.
"Why are we doing this brother Gabriel ? What did he do to us ?" Inquired shakily the redhead girl as she couldn't tear her equally terrified eyes from the decharned body of the "man" before her.
The upper half of the creature's body was partially covered in fur and his jaw had become elongated in some sort of snout and most of his teeth were now a inch longer and razor sharp. It was a werewolf, but for some reason he was half transformed and it wasn't even the full moon and she knew her lessons by heart so she knew that something was off.
"This creature is no He… This thing you see before your eyes asking for mercy is nothing more but a spawn of evil itself… It may not have chosen to become a werewolf, but the moment the curse took hold on his body and soul, his existence as a human being of pure essence had ended and left a place for the beast... A creature of darkness that would otherwise hurt and kill others for pleasure… Because it did nothing to us doesn't mean we can let him live and ignore what horrors it could commit… Some people may question what right we have to exterminate and hunt these creatures but those like us who truly understand the greater picture know that we have no right to let them live… Their mere existence is a mistake and needs to be purged and that is our holy task for we are the executioners of Humanity… This creature will understand too when its existence ends that we gave him a favor in cleansing his infected body from the disease that was eating him from the inside." He told her what Brother Luriel was telling her at the end of each of her history lessons as well as what she heard from Brother Miriel during her Dark Creature Fighting Analysis lessons.
"It is our duty right ?" She asked unsure as she turned her trembling head to his and he simply nodded.
From this moment, her heart began to beat slower, her hands became more firm in their grip and her breath evened out. Her resolution had been reassured and she was ready now to accomplish her task.
"Say the words and purge the world and this former man from this filthy rot !" His stealy words worked like the impact of a whip on herself and she prepared her wand pointing at the half transformed creature before her.
"I beg you… Spare me I have done nothing wrong I swear ! I was just bitten when I was a child. Please, I am no monster ! Spare m…!"
"Avada Kedavra !"
A powerful jolt of sickly green light lit the whole room and a thunderous noise echoed through the room as the body of the half transformed werewolf was struck and was projected to the wall behind him where he slid down to the ground lifeless.
"Very well Tracey… Very well indeed… The first part of your training as a member of our noble order is now complete… You are now an adeptus of the Ordo Expurgate. You made me very proud today Tracey, I'm sure your parents would feel very proud of you too." As he said that, he lifted his hands from Tracey's shoulder and left the room.
When he was gone, she slowly fell to her knees and sighed as she stared with determined eyes at the lifeless body of her first victim, the first of the many that would most certainly come in the years to come as she was becoming a proper member of the Order her family was a part of. Her mother and her brother alongside her father were all Death Eaters yes, but they were first dark creature hunters working for the Ordo Expurgate and as their daughter, she was from birth a member of this ancient and secret order that vowed to purge this world from all dark creatures.
She had been birthed and bred to learn, identify, find and exterminate dark creatures from their world all in the name of their sacred doctrine and beliefs : Humanity first and death to the dark creatures and their followers for a cleaner world. She had no choice and no free will, but she didn't care at all as this was the right path to follow and it was her belief that perpetuating the Order was the most noble path she could ever follow. Their unending crusade was the only way possible to create a safer, better and cleaner world for humanity as a whole for wizards and muggles, even if their direction had begun to shift more towards a domination of the wizards over the muggle as their saviors and protectors than anything of mutual cohabitation.
She may know only how to kill, how to hurt and how to destroy whether it was werewolves, goblins, centaurs, giants, vampires, veelas or any other partially human dark creature that existed, in the end she was a protector of humanity before being a hunter. She was a weapon created for the sole goal of following in the path carved for her and her brethren for centuries and there was no deviating from the beaten path as long as their mission had not been terminated.
End of Memories
Vampires : nearly immortal creatures, physically very strong, powerful psychic abilities, hardened skin, muscle tissues and bones, enhanced sense of smell and surrounding awareness. Critical information : avoid at all cost any engage in hand to hand combat due to overwhelming gap in physical strength, avoid any psychic fight if not a powerful legilimens, discard use of potions and other chemical substances while the vampire is still strong and standing. Weaknesses : Dragon blood coated silver weapons or holy artifacts, wand with unicorn hair combined with heavily infused light spells. Course of action : Fight in narrow areas to prevent them from taking advantage of their overwhelming speed and strength and keep them at bay, make the fight last as long as possible as drawing their vampiric powers without constant fueling of them via blood ingesting will exhaust them more quickly. Favour patience and follow methodic steps, impatience and bloodlust driven vampires are easier to deal with as they are losing their mind for blunt strength. PS : never engage before being fully prepared and having analysed the terrain and all your strategic options first. In case of an unexpected fight, flee and come back when prepared if possible, otherwise, sacrifice yourself and try to take the creature down with you.
This was what she needed, this was the knowledge she had memorized and mastered for years during her long training, and it would come to use today.
"I can't do it in the end it seems… Yes we can and we will !" Lyria's voice was completely changing from a deep and dark one to her usual one and with it was the brightness of her eyes.
Gasp ! Gasp ! The light was reaching her eyes again, her throat felt less pressure, her senses were becoming less fuzzy, her thoughts were getting more vivid and organized and she took this opportunity to strike back. She ripped a small dagger from her pajamas right arm and plunged it in Lyria's wrist.
"Aaaargh !" The white haired vampire screamed as let go of Tracey and rolled on the ground with her wrist folded against her body as her skin was burning and smoke was coming from her wounds.
Tracey fell to the ground and gasped for more air as Lyria let go of her and nearly broke one of her knees as she fell hard on the diamond hard ice covering the ground. The whole moment were she had been reliving some of her memories had only lasted ten seconds at most and yet she had remembered most of what she needed to know on how to handle the situation. First the use of a silver blade coated with dragon blood, next use of light infused spells to deal with one of the vilest and most unholy of the dark creatures : the Vampires, their archenemy.
She took a vial from her pants' pocket and threw her last vial from her other sleeve at Lyria's face two meters farther in the room and another scream of utter pain shattered the room and she was glad that the rooms of the Slytherin dorms were completely soundproof and protected by powerful enchantments due to the paranoïa and the importance of privacy the founder had. Tracey got up and got her hair out of her face as massaged a little bit her sore throat before she went for her wand without taking her eyes off the vampire that had been sleeping in the same room as her for the past three months.
"I don't want to hurt you Davis… I swear I don't but my instincts scream at me to kill you so bad… We need to kill her, she is a threat and we know it… What is happening to me ! Get the hell out of my head !" Lyria was thrashing on the floor and her body was alternating between a calm and cool aura and glowing a deathly and cold one that continued to make the room so cold that Tracey felt herself become one with the ice covering the ground.
The redhead girl threw her knife at Lyria, aiming perfectly for the head and when she thought that she would kill for sure her roommate and finish the dark creature she was, a portion of a dome made of transparent pure ice rose from the floor and deflected the perfect throw. Davis gasped at this and fired a stilleto of pure light magic at Lyria but the shield absorbed the blow completely and cracked a little bit before it repaired itself.
The ice itself felt alive and protected Lyria like a dog would for its master. As she thought about this she was caught off guard by tendrils of ice that launched themselves at her at such a high speed that she couldn't dodge them all in time and got badly cut on her left quadriceps and she began to lose some blood from the wound. She got up quickly and jumped to the side, rolled and dived to escape the relentless tendrils of diamond sharp ice that were dead set on impaling her.
When she thought that she was finally going to get impaled for good, the tendrils stopped centimeters away from her face and heart, seemingly trembling and fighting against some invisible force that tried to pull them away from her. That's when she heard Lyria gasp as she looked at the fine and sleek stalagmites aimed at her and from the sweat and concentration on her face, Tracey determined that she was the one who stopped them from piercing through her frail body.
She was stunned in place and couldn't understand why the creature she was desperately trying to kill and that had tried to strangle her to death was now holding back what could have been the final blow. Why would this dark creature do that ? What could possibly justify doing something as stupid and hesitate in her situation ? She knew that most dark creatures were intelligent species and could formulate thoughts like humans so she couldn't fathom why she stopped when victory was in her hand.
"Why ?" She simply asked stunned as the tendrils were slowly getting closer, trapping her even more against the wall next to her bed far away from Lyria.
"Stop it !" Lyria screamed at her and she genuinely felt like she was about to wet her pants at the atrociously deformed and mutilated face of Lyria after she received the holy water she had thrown at her. An unending fury was boiling deep in her deathly green iris the color of the spell of death and Tracey could only order her body to stay up and nothing else.
"Wh-What…" She simply said too afraid to say anything else. As she asked this, Lyria's fangs bared at her and the white haired girl seemed to be struggling against pulsions to jump at her and drain her from all of her blood.
"Don't tempt me, I told you ! I won't oblige you and kill you ! I am no monster, you are ! GET OUT ! NOW !" Once again Tracey couldn't feel anything but an overwhelming raw strength and pressure that she knew would crush her the moment she made even the slightest wrong movement.
The ice in the room shattered and all began to retract and come back to Lyria as if it had gotten out of her and she was the catalyst and host of an glacier ready to be unleashed.
"Y-yes." She stuttered and followed the curves of the oval room and got out of their bedroom as quietly and slowly as possible.
When she neared the door, she took a deep breath and turned away from Lyria for the first time this evening and what she heard shook her to the core and further confused her almighty and glorious ideology and all of the things she believed in. The vampire that she uncovered, tried to kill, that then nearly took her life before they fought and she lost but was spared for unknown reasons, she was crying. The redhead could hear the soft whimper of Lyria from behind her and she couldn't turn around to look at the actually white haired girl.
The sound of her cries was so heart wrenching and disturbing that Tracey didn't know what to do anymore. She got out of the room and got to one of the couches and settled there with one of the blankets over herself as she lied down. Why didn't they kill her ? Why was she still alive ? If Brother Gabriel heard about this she would be in deep trouble and she would also lose all the esteem he had for her… She was completely lost though… Why were they hunting the dark creatures so vehemently and with no distinctions at all ? She never questioned their actions and their history before and she wasn't about to do so because she still believed firmly in what she was taught, but tonight's events had opened a small breach in her beliefs.
After tonight, she didn't know what to think of Lyria anymore… At first she saw her as an arrogant little girl that played the cold and detached princess bathing in her glory and fame. Then she began to see that the girl had actual reasons to behave like that with the assholes they had in their year in Slytherin but also in the other houses and the girl actually had a lot of talent in some subjects that were undeniable. Yet she then found out she was a vampire after observing her, following her, analysing her pattern of sleep, eating habits, frequent visits to their Head of House and eavesdropping strange conversations between her and Daphne when they were heading for the blonde's room. After that, she saw her as only a threat to the security of the school and the other students here, like a ticking bomb that could explode at any moment without warning.
As a trained adept of her knightly order, she thought that it was her duty, even if she wasn't a full fledged and trained hunter, to take her down and eliminate the threat she posed. However, after tonight's events she didn't know what to think of the vampire girl. She could see that she was kind and sweet with Daphne, that she seemed genuinely interested in her studies, that she cared for her plants like one would for their animals and even was sympathetic to talk to from time to time. And minutes ago, she found out that the girl had spared her and struggled to contain her instincts and hardwired killer mindset of a dark creature. Lyria had self control, she seemed to have no control whatsoever over her powers and yet she did everything she could to stop her powers and let her live, even letting her get out of the dangerous zone she was in despite the fact that she wholeheartedly tried to kill her for good minutes before.
She was truly and utterly lost. Her body felt heavier than it ever did and her mind was clouded by confusing thoughts. She agreed that all dark creatures should be eliminated and that it would create a better and safer world, yet, maybe there were exceptions even among them ? Maybe like humans, there were deviants among them ? Maybe if the deviant could be identified early and neutralized then extracted from the clutches of their unsalvageable brethren, they could be allowed to live under observation ? Or maybe not she didn't know anymore…
She sighed and tried to empty her mind and get some sleep as she would definitely not come up with any answers to her many questions tonight nor would she find ones that would satisfy her in any shape or form. How did her life become so complicated so quickly because of a single monster… vampire… girl… As she was slowly falling asleep, all her senses became aware of the incoming danger she was in and she thought that it was Lyria coming out to finish the job but when she opened her eyes she came face to face with Daphne Greengrass that had put one of her hand on her mouth and her other hand showed her to shut up.
Her eyes were boring holes into her already fragile form and she had caught the davis heiress completely off guard as she hadn't even heard her arrive let alone leave her room an hour ago and now exit her and Lyria's bedroom. She didn't know how long she had been in a limbo like state but it might have been an hour or two from the darkness of the room.
"I heard everything that happened from Lyria, Davis… I wouldn't have think you would be so stupid as to attack a vampire on your own, but what you did to Lyria… I will never forgive you… If I ever have to pick up the broken pieces of Lyria's mind and body because of you ever again, you will know what true pain and fear is… You don't want to know what my mother or I are capable of doing, trust me, but I guess you heard stories of my mother from your uncle… I hope for you that I never have to have this conversation with you again because the day it happens, this is not a frightened and self disgusted vampire that you will face, but one that has decided to awaken his true nature for a loved one…" As she said that, the aura that permeated the room was so sickly and reminiscent of death that Tracey felt the urge to vomit and cower under her blanket as far away from Daphne as possible.
Tracey simply nodded and Daphne disappeared as if she had never been here and the aura vanished instantaneously making the Davis' girl wonder if it was just a dream and if Daphne really was a vampire too but it was not so far fetched to believe if she was honest. From now on, she would have to walk on eggshells around the duo of vampires if she wanted to live as she had heard enough stories of Anastassia Greengrass' ruthlessness and carnage the only time she fought in the first war to know that she didn't want her or her daughter as an enemy, not now and not ever. After all, even Brother Gabriel had told her that if he was to fight with all of his brothers and sisters against someone as powerful as the Greengrass lady, they would all die in the most painful ways.
Her future seemed bleeker and darker than it ever was at the moment.
End's note :
Well I hope you liked what you read and will consider letting me know what you thought about.
This chapter will mark the start of a new developpement of the character that is Daphne after what happened at the end but also a strange power struggle in house slytherin for the first year that will continue to last for a certain amount of time. As you could read, they are now complitely torn appart between the many groups formed and the tensions reigning between them all.
As for Lyria, I hope to have conveyed well enough that the awakening of her powers is starting to be seen and that she starts to be more and more afraid and insecure about what she is becoming and what horrors she could unleash without her consent in times of highly stressfull or stimulating situations. Yet I wanted to show a more human side of her once again but also the fact that she is not weak in any regard despite her reluctance to use her powers. It is a sign of strength to oppose something that is overwhelmingly strong or seems deeply rooted in oneself and being able to stand against it and not let her will be consumed by her urges and instinct was supposed to convey that. I hope it was understood that way.
By the way, and I will end it here for those that are still reading this, but I would like you to participate in the future of this story by asking me requests about characters you would like me to try and write about and also what you would like to see for the future project Lyria and Daphne would choose to research on in the future years. It is a just a way for me to get closer to you girls and guys and have some of your suggestions added to this story if I can fit them in it.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day.