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Bardic Log [userpic]
by Bardic Log (bardiclog)
at December 10th, 2008 (07:36 am)

Title Insatiable
Claim Hogwarts' Professors
Prompt 208. Hunger
Rating PG-13
Summary Quirrell goes hunting
Warnings violence and general "ick" factor
Word count 813

“Let's get to the Great Hall; I'm starving.”

The words were said by one student to another, in an offhand and casual manner, with no consciousness of what they did to the professor still sitting at his desk behind a thick stack of papers.

Quirrell winced and shuddered as a wave of raw hunger coursed through him. What did these innocents know of true hunger? None of them could possibly comprehend, no more than he could have comprehended, before Albania...

“Can't you wait, my master?” Quirrell's whisper was without the affected stutter, quick and nervous. “I can't go into the forest now, I'm expected-”

Another wave of hunger swelled in him – hunger not for the innocent delights of the children feasting in the Great Hall, but for something darker, a sustenance that would do little for himself besides further damn him, but which his parasite – no, not parasite, honored guest; he couldn't look into Quirrell's mind in the usual way at the moment but he might be able to pick up thoughts, as he was sharing a head. “All right, Master, we'll get you fed first then.”

Of course it was his luck to meet Minerva McGonagall in the hall. “Shall I escort you to the Great Hall, Professor? You seem to be heading in the wrong direction.”

At least the trembling was not hard to fake, as his – guest – sent another wave of his hunger, just to remind Quirrell that he had promised to take care of that first. “A-ah, n-n-no P-professor, I d-don't quite f-f-feel up t-to eating i-in the G-great Hall t-t-t-today.” Perhaps he was overdoing the stutter a bit; McGonagall was frowning.

Still, it was enough, as she nodded once to him. “You do look rather pale, Professor. Perhaps you should pay Poppy a visit?”

“I-I'll k-k-keep that in m-m-mind. Th-thank you, P-professor.”

Of course he couldn't really see Poppy Pomfrey, not with the sort of guest he had. Still, it was convenient that the infirmary happened to be in approximately the direction he wished to travel, so he slunk off as though in the direction of the infirmary. He could feel McGonagall's eyes, watching him until he disappeared around the corner.

Quickly now – he didn't want to run into anyone else. Particularly not Snape or Dumbledore – he took the long way around just to avoid any hallways they might be monitoring.

The forest was beginning to gain an autumn chill. Quirrell considered a warming charm – but if he didn't find his prey soon, his – guest – might decide he was too hungry to wait for a meal. Which meant he would begin feeding on his host, surface magic first, and then – then he would start feasting on Quirrell's life force. No, Quirrell decided, better to be a bit chilly and hold off on casting spells until the prey was in sight.

He was conscious of his other face moving beneath the turban, tasting the air, sensing for that which would keep it alive. He followed its instincts, deeper into the forest, taking the long way around the centaur herd, avoiding the nest of giant spiders – there.

It was a younger beast, still not entirely sure of itself, of its legs, though old enough that there wasn't a mother about to protect it. That was good; he hated protective mothers, perhaps even more than he hated Mudbloods. Here, though – the beast was unaware of him, taken utterly by surprise at the curse that burst from his wand and paralyzed it.

“Good. Now, drink.”

The silver knife he kept concealed in his cloak worked well enough to cut a slit in its neck, just enough to let the silver blood spill out of its veins. He fixed his lips around it, let the fiery hot liquid fill his mouth, drank it down until it set his belly aflame and quivered its living power into every inch of him, until he prickled with it. He drank and drank to fill that void of hunger, until finally it was sated, and then he pointed his wand and the words of a long Dark Arts curse came to him with no effort whatsoever, banishing the corpse.

Some day, he thought, some day it is not going to be a beast that falls so easily, and I will leave behind some fatal clue, and that will be the end of this.

But what did it matter now, now that the fierce hunger was sated, now that everything seemed to be going according to plan? And if he postponed “some day” long enough, if he was crafty enough, then he could find the Stone before it happened, could find the stone and make the Elixir that meant freedom.

Some day, perhaps, it would end his hunger.