Photo & Article by Sila
Dear readers, it’s time that we bring you another update on the unfortunate series of events that have been plaguing our school.
Though the Halloween Bash brought about laughter and a temporary reprieve from the stress of the ongoing problems, it did not last nearly long enough. Hogsmeade weekend went on without issue, although the atmosphere definitely proved to have both village residents and students all on edge awaiting another possible attack – and for good reason, too.
Merely a day later, on the 30th of October, the silence was broken as a slytherin student came out of the second floor bathrooms, clearly shaken and disturbed by something. Up in the hospital wing the boy went on to explain to Professor Dracheblume, Matron Felts-O’Rourke and myself that he had been confronted by the very being himself.
“When I opened the stall door there was a smell coming from the corner. It smelled like death, then he came out of the shadows.
He asked me what I wanted, and I just wanted to live… He warned me that someone he knew with the same wish died.
He asked my name, and when I told him, he went on to say there were obstacles that he needed removed and those who invade the halls, and those in support of them, will perish. He dropped this note and then he was gone”.
Upon talking to the boy further, he went on to explain that this being did not say what it was that he wanted or what the obstacles were. When asked if the obstacle was the Vampire Committee, the being gave a bloody smile and said no more.
The note mentioned is a 7th diary page, which I will include at the very end of this – as well as the two others which have shown up since that day.
For the boy’s own privacy I have withheld his name, but there is a certain curiosity about this encounter. Many questions still linger around in all of our minds, and we still lack many answers unfortunately.
A few days later on the Third of November, the vampire society trio’s leader, named Lucille, asked for all and any students who had information to come forward and talk with her in the grand staircase. Now, I have been spending most free time I have gathering all of the information we have and putting together possibilities, so I stepped forward and presented the most recent incident and the facts surrounding it to her.
A group of curious students, myself, Lucille and Professor Dracheblume all headed to the second floor’s abandoned bathroom, as that is where Professor DracheBlume and I supposed that this being may be taking refuge in.
Lucille explained that he can sense our presence, however she struggles to sense his. Upon entering the abandoned bathroom, she instantly explained there was a great deal of pain that she could smell in the air. After a brief bout of muttering something Latin which your writer only caught a single word of, Lucille then said that she suspected that there may be merit to our theory and left.
The only advice we were given? To continue what we are already doing.
To wear the garlic.
That was all.
Understandably, this has quite a few of us frustrated and even angry. Once again I question just how much help are our guests, really? Are they secretly hoping for the students and Professors to do all the work for them in figuring out this mystery situation, only to then take the credit for themselves? Are they even doing anything at all?
Time will tell, but time is not our friend. Time is not on our side, as the very next night on November the Fourth a loud crash cut through the calm of the castle, right as Defense Against the Dark Arts let out for the night. Word spread quickly through the castle with help of the panicked portraits, leading Professor Strix and Professor DracheBlume to discover the source of the chaos.
Along the first floor hallway three suits of armor stood guard over a fallen fourth which had been seemingly ripped apart in pieces. It lay there in pieces on the stone floor, with an 8th diary page found pinned underneath.
The being was found to be nowhere in sight and students were ushered and escorted back to their common rooms for the night.
The next morning on the Fifth of November everyone gathered around the Great Hall courtyard in celebration of Bonfire Night, watching the fireworks, enjoying warm snacks and momentarily forgetting all of our worries.
Once again, this momentary break was unfortunately short lived. After the spectacular fireworks show the darkened afternoon sky was calm for all of a brief moment; a sudden piercing, endless scream shattered the silence merely seconds later and wailed on for far too long, following the sound of robes dragging along the floor.
The scream did not sound as if it came from something human, but it wasn’t until our Deputy Headmistress lifted her wand in a blindingly bright Lumos maxima did the wails finally end. There was silence from all but the scared students around us until the sounds of fabric rustling over dead leaves picked up once more. No footsteps could be heard, but the rustling seemed to circle the courtyard as Prefects gathered every student and herded them into the great hall for safety.
The pained wails picked up again in the darkness, sounds of cracking twigs and rustling ivy joining it until our Head Boy, Adam Fletcher, cast a well-aimed Trip Jinx at the source of the sounds. There was a noise, some grunts, and then nothing. Deputy Headmistress O’Keeffe investigated and returned moments later carrying another parchment. The being disappeared along with the dark of the faux-night, and not a single person was harmed.
What does this mean for us?
We don’t know still. It could mean that this being is getting braver, approaching crowds of people from the shadows rather than picking off one or two at a time. On the flipside, it could also mean that it’s becoming fearful of us, more cautious and careful about trying to get what it wants.
Stay safe, students and Professors alike.
Keep on top of your senses, stay alert. Report anything that seems unusual or out of place to a Prefect, the Head Boy, Head Girl, or a Professor. Brush up on your defense spells but remember do NOT engage if you are caught alone with the being.
Use everything you can to escape and keep safe, but remember it is highly illegal to kill a vampire.
Diary page 7:
I awoke to the sound of flies buzzing overhead. Maggots crawled across my skin and I nearly became sick. The last one died a week ago tomorrow. That leaves myself and Elliott… Their corpses, the flies and the maggots. And of course my written memories – perhaps the only things keeping me sane.
I spent endless days searching for Elliott after he disappeared that night in the church. I kept a close watch on the townsfolk and I listened closely to any rumor of disturbance that might have spread. If Elliott still remained in the town then surely I would hear news. People were quick to claim a woman a witch and the spawn of all things evil if she even coughed the wrong way. – My brother without his medicine would surely cause a stir.
But there was nothing. No sign of Elliott, not even a whisper of something dark lurking in the shadows of the town. This made me grow all the more uneasy. I was forced to come to the realisation that I might not ever see my brother again. That he might be dead. These were the thoughts that plagued me as I soon started my own journey of survival without my brother.
The following weeks were mostly a blur. Without Elliott I had far more time on my hands… There was no need to get his medicine, nor to look after him. You might think that I would have spent this time on finding a life for myself, a future. After all I was a boy with no home, no family. I held no possessions aside from the shirt on my back and it was hardly a shirt. However I did not think of those things, no I thought of one thing and that was Elliott. I remember hearing from my father once that whiskey burns a man’s sorrows. – I was a man now, wasn’t I? I had done more things than I imagine any boy to have.
So it was that I used my hard-earned money not on food, but a bottle of hard whiskey. I drank that night and I prayed to whoever might be listening that what it was that I was feeling would be burned away. I can honestly say that it worked to some degree, for by the time I had emptied the bottle, the only thing that I could feel was a pain sickening burn…. Along with my brother’s ice cold fingers around my neck.
Elliott was back.
Diary page 8:
Today it wasn’t the flies that woke me – it was Elliott once again. He’s screaming as his fingers rake down his own skin and his teeth pierce into his own flesh. I find myself focusing upon his mouth, the way his teeth look… Oh how similar they look to that night. Only one thing is missing from them…
I awoke in my drunken state to find Elliott’s fingers wrapped around my neck, his pale gaze penetrating into mine as his lips were caked with a sticky red residue. My head buzzed and I slurred as I tried to call his name, I could feel my heart in my throat as I gasped finding myself struggling against his weight. It was then that I realised that he was crying.
What am I Miles? What’s wrong with me? He had fallen beside me now and as I looked at him I could see the fear plastered across his face. He was but a child, a scared and frightened child who had awoken from a nightmare and was now looking at me to reassure him. To tell him that everything was okay. That his world was still everything that he knew it to be. That this twisted and lurching feeling of his stomach being upside down would pass. It would all pass because it was just a dream.
You are sick Elliott – very, very sick.
Diary Page 9:
Perhaps it was better this way. The reality of keeping such a horrible sickness from my brother was foolish. He was no longer a young child, he had grown considerably… We both had. As did our bond which seemed to grow after that night. No longer was this my burden alone, the weight of such a thing was shared on the shoulders of Elliott. We did what we had to to survive… For both of us to survive – if you are a man of moral then I find you would not agree.
We were both able to take jobs now. This provided us with far more substance than ever before. However Elliott seemed able to sustain himself with far less than myself. – This was not due to him being smaller as I soon learned.
When living with my mother I had begun lessons. I was young, so the lessons were of the bare minimum. However my mother had started me with the tools to read and write. I had always suspected my brothers sickness and as the care I provided for Elliott seemed to do him good, I suspected that I was right. However I now wanted to do more and to know more. Perhaps I could do more for him? Perhaps there was a cure? Research was needed and for that I would need to further progress what my mother had started. I found a widowed schoolteacher who had found himself left with only a daughter. The widower was sickly and unable to do the repairs on a home that was now falling to shambles. So I helped him in exchange for lessons.
With my newly acquired knowledge, I spent many a late hour researching. I learned a great deal about Elliott’s sickness… The knowledge I tried to share with him. However I soon found that Elliott changed…
There was something else gravely wrong with my brother.