vampire rights activist
august 31, 1993
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Last Active: Jul 15 2018, 11:43 AM
kindness is radical

(tw: near death, graphic content)

to a witch fresh out of healer training looking to distance herself from her family's purist agenda, the scottish highlands were the perfect escape. luciana pyrites packed up and left as soon as they started talking about an arranged marriage - a rowle or a black, perhaps, to keep their bloodline strong and pure - initially planning only to let off some steam, maybe watch the sunrise from the top of bidean nam bian, and come back home with renewed energy to stand against her parents. she didn't plan to fall in love with the region so completely, nor did she expect that a meeting with a muggle at a pub in islay would have her postponing the end of her trip by close to a year.

luciana married malcolm munro by the end of that year, effectively ending her trip without ever going home, because by then her family no longer acknowledged her existence. she'd written to them of her love for the simplicity of muggle life, how right it felt to be with malcolm despite their differences, that perhaps they weren't as different as she'd been raised to believe after all. she'd known her parents would protest at first but come around as soon as they realized their daughter was happy - there wasn't anything more important than family, after all. they'd taught her that.

they didn't even bother with a howler. the letter was short and to the point, letting luciana know she was no longer welcome in the pyrites estate and to never contact them again, please, so they could grieve in peace. it was more or less the same as receiving notice of her own funeral - as far as her family was concerned, she was dead.

lucy cried for the loss, too, and then she moved on.

growing up on the island of jura (population: 200 people, 6,000 deer), finley calhoun munro had very few playmates, yet no shortage of adventures. the munros' tiny cottage was even further away from civilization, sitting on the northernmost tip of the island, separated from the only village by a sea loch. the coast to one side, the distant paps to the other, finley's own private playground in-between: she was crashing through blanket bog as soon as she could walk, scaring wild goats into a chase, scrambling up hills to watch golden eagles soar overhead, even laying low and still and patient enough to spot otters splash around freshwater tarns. her days were spent exploring, climbing, devouring the sights jura had to offer, and at night she fell asleep to the distant roar of the corryvreckan whirlpool, the circle of crashing waves where (according to her father) the goddess cailleach bheur did her washing visible from finley's bedroom window.

luciana hadn't used her wand for years, willing to live out the rest of her life as a muggle, easy and uncomplicated and sweet. she tried to coax life into the mostly infertile ground of the cottage's back garden; she baked; she pulled her husband away from his typewriter whenever he got too caught up in his stories, taking him and finley on day trips into the mainland; she watched her daughter grow up curious and freer than lucy had ever been, and she was content. it wasn't much, but it was everything.

and still, when finley was five and the call to arms reached even their door, lucy answered. the dark lord was amassing his army, and though the island was too far removed from any magical communities to really feel the war, she knew what was happening - in her heart, in the worst of her nighttime dreams. worse still, she knew that her family, her own blood, no matter how estranged, was helping it along. she thought that if she joined the order, if she fought for the right of other wizards and witches to have a life like hers, it would somehow balance out with the awful things her family was rumored to be responsible for.

luciana went to fight at the battle of hogwarts. who got her with the killing curse is yet unknown, but witness accounts place her in the path of her two brothers, both known death eaters.

they did not survive the encounter, either.

the day finley realized her mother was not coming back was also the day she showed her first signs of magic. it started with a spontaneous fire eating up their dining table when malcolm presented finley with a hopeful but ultimately poor imitation of his wife's carrot cake, and then it was like floodgates opening; a usually calm child suddenly turning unruly would've been hard on any single father, let alone a child with magical abilities said father did not share or even understand. that is, he'd known of them - theoretically, technically - but more as a vague idea than as a very real danger of his home burning down, or floating away, or rattling visibly whenever his daughter got upset.

malcolm knew he could only do so much to help - he could teach finley to follow oystercatcher footprints along the sandy shore to keep her busy, he could make up wild bedtime stories until her eyelids drooped every night, he could learn to bake the perfect carrot cake, but he couldn't show her how to channel her magic instead of letting it build up and overflow. there was no choice other than to reach out to someone who would know what to do.

after hours of research and endless phone calls looking into distant relatives in portree luciana had once mentioned, malcolm finally found them. edna was luciana's cousin on her mother's side, a part of the family rarely spoken of for reasons that had never been specified, and it was now clear why - both edna and her husband, callum, took being invited over by a muggle in stride, and by the end of the visit finley had a standing invitation to stay with the magical community of portree whenever she wanted.

from then on, her time was divided equally between the magical and muggle world: she was introduced to quidditch as soon as she met the sinclair kids, playing chaser with a makeshift quaffle in the enchanted safety of their backyard, coming home bruised and grinning to her father's (worried) relief. the outbursts weren't as frequent, or at least not as frightening (the only exception, perhaps, was the day finley stopped an adder from killing one of their chickens by stopping it mid-strike, then cheerfully presented malcolm with the frozen snake). her father was still reluctant to send her to the island's only primary school, so he taught her reading and basic math at home while the sinclairs took care of the rest of her education. books about flying brooms and strange beasts joined the bookshelf in the cottage, cards with moving pictures were added to their little box of collectibles, and when an owl swooped through the window one day and dropped a heavy envelope onto their breakfast spread, finley and malcolm already knew what to expect.

in the summer of her second year in hogwarts, finley found a scarf tucked into a forgotten box of her mother's belongings and discovered that she'd been a gryffindor, just like her.

hogwarts had been a shock at first - there were more kids in the great hall during regular lunch hours than her home island's entire population, and after a childhood of roaming free and unsupervised finley had chafed at having a clear class schedule that didn't factor in her hyperactiveness, but she'd quickly adjusted. at least, she got better at having constant company and went on to make friends from all houses, easygoing and chatty - some would say too chatty, not necessarily confident but simply lacking a teenager's usual social inhibitions. classes, however, were something else altogether.

there wasn't a subject finley didn't enjoy, her favorites being care of magical creatures, astronomy and transfiguration, and yet there wasn't a single class she could sit through without getting antsy; she had trouble paying attention no matter her level of interest, either daydreaming, which only hurt her grades, or distracting other classmates along with her, which also led to the loss of many house points over the years. finley wasn't a terrible student, just usually preoccupied with anything that wasn't studying, and as a general rule her professors preferred her presence in their class after a grueling quidditch practice with the gryffindor team, as at least then she was guaranteed to be too tired to interrupt.

(plus, playing as chaser for her house was about the only time finley could be seen actually focused and putting forth work, the fast-paced game and high adrenaline finally a match for her energy.)

as much as finley immersed herself in the magical world during the school terms, on holidays she went home and settled back into the quiet, remote island life, where she went on boat rides with her father, and woke up outrageously early to feed their one cow and many chickens, and went to sunday mass at the island's only church every other week.

when she graduated it was with average marks, eyes on a possible quidditch career, and only one serious transgression on her record - because, really, how could they expect someone like her not to go into the forbidden forest at least once?


after graduation finley took time off to go home and be with her father, who wasn't a fan of any of her ideas for the future - not professional quidditch, and definitely not anything involving dragons or similarly dangerous creatures. he suggested healing, her mother's chosen career path before she'd left that life behind and the only magical profession he knew of that sounded relatively safe. an offer from the pride of portree was what ultimately made finley's decision for her and soon she was training as a professional chaser, promising her father it was all perfectly safe, nothing to worry about.

malcolm didn't even think to worry about a fate worse than a sports injury.

finley met anselm in edinburgh after a morale-crashing defeat against the appleby arrows, nursing a glass of firewhisky long after her teammates had retired to their hotel rooms. he was charming, his stories of traveling the uk fascinating; trusting, careless, or maybe simply still the same naive girl from a middle-of-nowhere island, she didn't pause when she learned he was a young vampire. if anything, as time passed and finley kept apparating around to see him in-between training and matches, it only made him more appealing. their time together was mostly spent seeing the country in a way she hadn't thought to before, strictly after sun down, with anselm showing her little tucked-away, unknown corners of scotland she would never had otherwise discovered. she loved him.

edna and the friends finley had made at school and kept in touch with mostly disapproved; finley's teammates didn't take it very seriously, basing several running jokes off what they deemed nothing but an unusual love life. her father was blissfully unaware.

anselm and her had discussed moving in together, getting married even, in love in that young, all-consuming way that had people eager to spend the rest of their lives together. not forever, which meant something different to anselm, and which they had also discussed, because there was one thing finley was as sure about as she was about their relationship, and that was her desire to stay human. anything else she knew she'd give; that was the one thing she was not willing to sacrifice.

when she woke up in an unfamiliar, dark room, she thought, no. she thought, you promised. when he told her it was alright, not to get too upset, he knew what he was doing, didn't she want an eternity with him? she thought i don't, i don't, i don't, but he wasn't hearing her because he'd taken care to gag her after knocking her unconscious, and anyway, he knew better. he knew what was good for her, and he didn't want them to argue.

he hadn't brought restraints for her hands - holding finley down with superhuman strength as he slowly bled her was enough, though it was more so she wouldn't run, less concerned with the possibility of her putting up a fight. and then less concerned with anything that wasn't blood, warmer and more vital than he'd ever had it, having to make do with animals or the tepid, bagged kind, nothing that could ever compare to having it straight from the source -

finley was slipping in and out of consciousness, barely aware of anything but distant pain, and still when the weight eased off her, presumably as anselm realized he was getting dangerously close to killing her in a way that couldn't be reversed, she snapped into attention. or at least her survival instincts did.

in the end, it was his own lack of self control that killed him. he was ripping the room apart, crazed with bloodlust but still somewhat clearheaded enough to try to keep his distance from her, stay that one step short of draining her completely. maybe he really did love her. either way, when anselm was back by her side, muttering something that was half nonsense half apologies, finley ran him clean through with a bedpost he'd torn free himself just moments before. straight through the heart.

she remembers that clearly, vividly. she remembers thinking, better to die than this.

but the very last memory of finley munro's human life is this: an unfamiliar silhouette at the door. a gentle hand at the fading pulse at her wrist. the taste of blood on her tongue.

and then there was pain. if she had any trace of humor left then, she would've compared a newborn vampire going through the process of growing fangs to a teething baby, as she certainly cried an equal, if not greater amount. everything hurt, her body convinced it was going through a violent growth spurt, leaving finley with strength and reflexes she hardly knew how to make use of.

and, of course, there was the hunger - an awful friend that stayed dutifully by her side through her first few years as a vampire, a thirst she couldn't seem to satiate, burning, so much she thought she might go mad with it. she certainly would've if not for her sire's efforts.

kazimir hadn't known, couldn't have known, the circumstances of finley's near-death. he'd arrived to a wreck of a room, a member of his clan dead, and a human on the brink of following suit, and had thought it a young vampire's botched attempt at turning his willing beloved. so he'd turned her, feeding her his own blood as a way to fulfill's anselm last wish (no matter that he'd thought him a disgrace, to have failed so spectacularly) and save his love. he'd been so livid to find out that it hadn't been like that at all - that anselm had attempted to make finley a vampire against her will - that, disoriented and wretched as she'd been, finley couldn't blame him for it.

but she still hurt. worse than any physical pain was heartbreak, and finley nursed hers for years. she hurt for her father, who she couldn't even contact to let him know she was alive; her teammates, their search efforts gradually dropping off the front pages of newspapers she hid under her bed in kazimir's castle; the career that'd died with her, as lost and forgotten as a far-off dream. her love, her trust, the utter betrayal of being forced into a life of endless nighttime, so very different from the sunshine future finley had imagined for herself.

through the worst of her despair, she was grateful for her sire, her creator, because as aloof and untouchable and unreal as kazimir had seemed at first meeting, he truly was making an effort for her. he kept her company when she couldn't even bear to leave her room, fed her blood from cups colorful enough to hide their contents, gave her clothes, gave her his home, sang haunting gaelic lullabies when the sun came up and she couldn't sleep. finley admired him with the kind of blind awe she could only imagine was reserved for saints (jura's only church was presbyterian, after all).

it's only in the last few years after her death and the beginning of her new life, not as young and terrified as she used to be, that finley has started to think what vampirism means to her, personally, and what she wishes it could mean to the rest of the magical community, a place she's been hoping to once again belong to.

however things are looking now, she still has hope.
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