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Thread: Vampires

  1. #1
    FullofLife
    Guest

    Vampires

    So, basic questions. Iíve read what is on HP Lexicon about vampires (not much, incidentally) and I need to know two things,

    1) Can vampires be witches and wizards?
    2) How does one become a vampire?

  2. #2
    Ryan The Wizard
    Guest
    I'm going to give my answers based on another halfbreed that we all know and love, the werewolf. Taking a werewolf as an example, we can surmise that yes they can be witches or wizards, and that a vampire would be created by the bite of another vampire. Outside of the HP world, vampires are created by the bite of another such infected person, so why shouldn't it hold true in the HP realm.

  3. #3
    AurorKeefy
    Guest
    Roughly every three months, a question of vampirism crops up in this section of the board, and then me and all the other vaguely gothic loving members dive in to give their two cents. Sadly, these have become abbreviated over time, but nonetheless, let's at least start from somewhere.

    Firstly...

    Quote Originally Posted by FullofLife
    So, basic questions. Iíve read what is on HP Lexicon about vampires (not much, incidentally)
    Indeed. J.K. Rowling gives us, in my opinion deliberately, very little description of what vampires are within her world. With that in mind, you are pretty free to choose whatever characteristics of things you want. If it isn't in canon, then it gives you free fanfiction roam, so to speak.

    On the other hand, there are a great many of us here who delight in sinking our metaphorical fangs into this sort of thing. This thread is doubtless about to become crammed with sentences involving "Well Anne Rice said this", and "Bram Stoker said that" and "White Wolf says", yadyadya....

    I'm here to offer the white wolf version, which, I believe, leaving the plot to it's players, allows the greatest analysis of the system and condition.

    But, of course, this is simply an opinion.

    1. Can Vampires be witches and wizards?

    (Summarising White Wolf) Yes, vampires can be witches and wizards. However vampires are supernatural beings with their own branches of magic - mostly relating to blood - and own habitats and lifestyles. When the curse of vampirism is passed onto a muggle, that muggle loses most of their previous existence to become a vampire. A wizard, on the other hand, loses more. The magic of the Magi and the magic of Vampire almost cancel each other out. If a wizard becomes a vampire, they lose their mage powers - such as the skill and use of a wand. However, there are now a significant number of vampiric magical disciplines available to them, and in the ones that are magical, they have an inherent ability within. Just as an Athlete turned vampire might well be predisposed to extremes of speed or strength, so wizards turned vampire have a predisposition to magic. Although their previously held talents disappear, they show new aptitudes for vampiric magic than their newly created brothers.

    2. How does one become a Vampire.

    Another In-My-Humble-Opinion, if you wouldn't mind. This depends upon which books you are reading. My opinion is one that seems to be shared to a certain degree within most vampiric books, which is different to the bite of a werewolf, say.
    In this train of thought, a vampire is made by first taking a victim (wizard or muggle), and draining them of their blood. Once their blood is drained, and they lie dying, a vampire pours (by methods left to your thought process) it's own blood into them to replenish them. In as such, the vampire's bite causes someone to be a vampire, but is fatal. Only with the addition of the vampires own blood does the victim survive to become a vampire. (Victims fed human blood, or unbitten humans fed Vampire blood, will become White Wolf's version of Ghouls, but I digress)

    If you become a vampire in this way, you are prone to certain life changing factors.

    3. You need blood to survive.

    More than food, more than water, and - given your newly undead condition - more than air. That is what keeps your undead heart beating.

    4. You will not age, in any way.

    That means not only will you not grow old, but the cuts and scars you had when "embraced" will never fade, nor will your hair naturally change. Generous vampires allow their childe to have a good shave before they are embraced.

    5. With the inability to age, comes the inability to reproduce.

    Vampires - barring a handful of very grim exceptions - never have children beyond those they chose to infect with their bite. That is not to say they cannot, er, forgive me - interact on that level with the opposite (or same) sex - merely that the ability to do so is based on the vampiric manipulation of the body, rather than human body reactions.

    6. Sunlight just became an issue, and fire became more so than it had been before.

    If you go in sunlight, you're dead. Maybe, if you're a vampire hardened to that sort of thing, you might last four or five seconds. After that, you're a burning pile of ash. Almost exclusively sunlight=death features among all vampiric assumptions.
    Fire on the other hand, kills vampires. It also, in almost all fantasy books, kills just about anything else. Nonetheless, being one of two (or three, see below) things that can kill a vampire, a vampire based on these assumptions should be duly afraid of them.

    7. A stake through the heart paralyzes until it's removal.

    It doesn't kill. This theory is disputed and accepted in just about equal measures throughout vampire literature.

    8. Garlic will make you breath smell.

    Vampires, with a heightened sense of smell, find this unpleasant. Of course, an unpleasant smell never saved anyone. Well, except my friend Paul, but that's another story, and one that probably doesn't bear repeating.

    To say it again, these are simply one of many different opinions on the vampire curse. There have been many people who used this section of the board to cite, or use, extremely different versions of the vampiric curse. Some called them a race, like goblins, others used a more werewolf like syndrome. but I prefer this one. To me, it offers the best combination of traditional mythology, romantic vampirism, and base logic (where that is even remotely applicable). What should be key to your thinking, however, is that since nothing is canon, none of these rules (or ideas, I should say) should hold you back.

  4. #4
    Merlynne
    Guest
    I've written a bit of vampires into one of my fics on MNFF, and I tend to make things a lot more like the Werewolf condition--treatable, and manageable, if you want to manage that sort of thing. My ideas all come from folklore, Bram Stoker, and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (and she got her ideas from Stoker, I believe). I try to de-romanticize the vampire as much as possible.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that there was a vampire casually mentioned in the back of a pub Harry went into in one of the books. Pardon me for not searching all of them, but I got the impression that vampires were treated as undesirables, but still interacted with the wizarding population. They seem common enough, if candy shops stock blood-flavoured lolly pops. (I'm trying to access the lexicon to find another reference I stumbled upon once to a vampire pop singer in the lexicon, but it's giving me an error.)

    My Vampires:
    I've borrowed a bit from mythology and toned things down a bit to make them more like the werewolf condition in my fic. My idea was, three times bitten makes one a vampire, who is undead, cannot be killed save for the usual means, does not age, but must live off of animal or human blood. Vampires do not eat regular food, just blood. I figured that vampires would be quite uncomfortable in sunlight and burn easily, but they wouldn't die. Like werewolves, I figured some vampires might be able to pass as wizards/muggles while others might "let themselves go" (Sort of like Grayback vs. Lupin)

    Since Lupin was able to use magic as a werewolf, I assume that vampires (or those who don't "let themselves go") would be able to as well.

    My opinion is Muggles and Wizards would have different reactions to vampire bites. Perhaps it only takes one bite for a Muggle to become a vampire, but for some reason I'm rather attached to the idea that it would take three bites for a wizard to become a "full vampire". In my fic, wizards bitten once or twice would attract full fledged vampires, and would experience some vampiric symptoms (sort of like Bill after being bitten by Greyback). Paleness, gauntness, and distaste for garlic are symptoms I've incorporated. I've written that there is a treatment for the symptoms (just as a plot point for my story), but like werewolves, I don't think there would be a cure.

    Really, it's up to you to interpret as you will, just remember to consider JK's canon, and read into the hints she drops as much as you. That's all an of us really CAN do, but you do have a considerable creative license

  5. #5
    AurorKeefy
    Guest
    Mentions of vampires in the Harry Potter books include one being present during one of Slughorn's parties, with a biographer friend of Slughorn's, and Hagrid having an argument with one in a pub - I believe, In Minsk, mentioned during OotP. Other than that, it's down to History of Magic's vague assertions and a one off assumption of Dean's, I believe.

    EDIT: *Slaps Forehead* - Also, as Cmwinters points out, Voyages with Vampires - and there was me thinking I had every base covered.

  6. #6
    Witty_Witch22
    Guest

    Vampirism

    My Vampire:
    *Skips in with a tray of cookies and Hot cocoa*

    In my views vampires are more of a race than anything, they procreate as humans do, and are just a mutation of the human gene. An adaptation or Evolvement if you will.

    They are night stalkers and live off of blood, and with time sunlight may no longer be a problem to some, through evolving of course. Now to the Question of what happens when one Vampire drinks the blood of another I believe they take on their characteristics. They are the meaning of the phrase you are what you eat, I believe they take on the characteristics of what they feed on. If they feed on wizards they get magic, Wolves they get strength and so on and so forth.

    You can even goes as far as to say they pick up their physical characteristics as well, as an example you may have it that a male vampire is quite picky and will only drink the blood of beautiful women, you can have it as though he is very feminine and beautiful, same goes for the old and decrepit, they drink the blood of the young life they look young.

    This all goes to saying that Blood is your life force, they are drinking in that life force they cannot go unchanged.

    Furthermore, I do not see them as immortal, but as ageing slowly over millennium's.

    This is only my opinion on the subject matter.
    If you have any questions on my views I'll be happy to elaborate.

    Trouble

  7. #7
    cmwinters
    Guest
    Ah, and don't forget Lockhart's book Voyages With Vampires, Keefy!


  8. #8
    FullofLife
    Guest
    Roughly every three months, a question of vampirism crops up in this section of the board, and then me and all the other vaguely gothic loving members dive in to give their two cents.
    And I'm thankful to you all, honestly, where would I be without you "vaguely gothic loving members"?

    So, main things now:

    5. With the inability to age, comes the inability to reproduce.

    Vampires - barring a handful of very grim exceptions - never have children beyond those they chose to infect with their bite. That is not to say they cannot, er, forgive me - interact on that level with the opposite (or same) sex - merely that the ability to do so is based on the vampiric manipulation of the body, rather than human body reactions.
    You say there are a handful of grim exceptions - could you expand on this? Because, the character of mine who becomes a vampire (or half-vampire) eventually does have a child.

    6. Sunlight just became an issue, and fire became more so than it had been before.

    If you go in sunlight, you're dead. Maybe, if you're a vampire hardened to that sort of thing, you might last four or five seconds. After that, you're a burning pile of ash. Almost exclusively sunlight=death features among all vampiric assumptions.
    Fire on the other hand, kills vampires. It also, in almost all fantasy books, kills just about anything else. Nonetheless, being one of two (or three, see below) things that can kill a vampire, a vampire based on these assumptions should be duly afraid of them.
    Does this seem to apply in JK's world? It should - but how could vampires be in pubs or head to Honeydukes to buy their blood-pops if they didn't travel by day? Would going under a VERY THICK cloak help block the sun? How about SPF-1 Billion? Honestly though, would an exception be very far-fetched?

  9. #9
    AurorKeefy
    Guest
    From the off, I'd like to point out that I am simply explaining my own assumptions, and while everyone else's contributions are just as valid as mine, I will be politely ignoring them.

    Does this seem to apply in JK's world? It should - but how could vampires be in pubs or head to Honeydukes to buy their blood-pops if they didn't travel by day? Would going under a VERY THICK cloak help block the sun? How about SPF-1 Billion? Honestly though, would an exception be very far-fetched?
    During the last Vampire thread we had here, someone had a similar idea on this matter, and created a character that could walk about during the day. Their character also had numerous other characteristics that differed with my idea of the vampire, they liked blood rather than needed it for example. Stubborn as I am, I got slightly frustrated with the unfortunate member, and suggested to her - politely I hope - that she would be better off creating a whole new species if she wanted those characteristics.

    Vampirism is at best a disease, at worst a curse. The lifestyle of a vampire is a horrible one, and one that is filled with fear, loneliness and doubt. A vampire is a slave to her thirst, and lives under the ever present threat of daylight. If either (or worse, both) of these characteristics are removed, then the disease tends to have more plus-points than negatives. I would strongly argue that if a vampire character gains from her condition overall, then they had either be pretty bloody evil or the point has been lost. For all vampires, the sun is both the most obvious threat to their immortality, and a glaring reminder of what is was to be human. In short, the death by sunlight is - to me - one of the defining factors of what makes a vampire, along with the need for blood and fangs.

    With that in mind, how do you get around it? The film Near Dark was fond of the hide-under-a-thick-cloak theory, though the characters only ever stepped out for a few seconds, and even then the cloak almost always ended up catching fire, they almost ended up looking like they'd just come out of a barbecue, and most of them who tried it died. I think if you're talking about a thin-blooded enough (Thin-blooded? More on that later) vampire, they you could use that trick for a few seconds, if you were in a real bind - though your character is not likely to relish the prospect. Shopping in one? Not in my vampire world.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note: Thickness of blood
    By thickness I mean potency, rather than the actual viscosity of the stuff.
    White Wolf says that all Vampires are descended from the first Vampire, Caine. With each subsequent generation of vampires (ie Caine (1st) turns a mortal into a vampire (2nd) That vampire (2nd) turns a mortal into a vampire (3rd) - though any more childer Caine creates will always be second generation, vampire two's will all be third, etc), the blood becomes thinner, and the potency of vampiric powers and strengths diminishes. When you get really far down the generations (Ie, fifteenth, bearing in mind how long vampires live, their need for secrecy and lack of feeding competition, aside from the politics of creating thin-blooded vampires) then certain weaknesses may begin to stop manifesting themselves. Fangs may be a great deal less prominent than a vampire of fourth generation, they may keep hold of their healthy looking skin instead of going pale, they might even be able to stand sunlight...

    ...but wait, I hear you cry! That's exactly what I'm looking for! Well actually...

    *Sighs* Such characters don't tend to work well in the vampire game, because not only is a collection of such characteristics statistically unlikely, it also leaves a Mary-Sueish character that no-one really cares about because they can flit in and out of the group at will. The whole concept of thin-bloods in white wolf's books is compensated by the fact they are generally less powerful, and are almost completely despised in the vampire world, and generally hunted as a result.
    If you put one of these characters in the wizarding world, then the one safety net of vampire politics disappears. Suddenly, you find yourself with a character with vampire positives and less vampire negatives, and we're back to my opening paragraph.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You say there are a handful of grim exceptions - could you expand on this? Because, the character of mine who becomes a vampire (or half-vampire) eventually does have a child.
    Well, if we first accept that the vampiric condition is passed on through vampire blood, and then accept that the condition stops the aging process (hence the wonderful condition of the old man vampire who turns out to be 121, and his apparent granddaughter who is 2500, but I digress), then we have a problem. Even if a female vampire could still ovulate, and an egg becomes fertilized, and if the egg was based around her original dna rather than any changes that might have occured, then eventually the embryo is going to settle into the womb wall, and become a foetus.
    And how does a foetus get it's necessary nutrients? Through it's mothers blood. (Three billion women scream "That's a gross oversimplification!" - well, yeah. The point stands though)
    So the foetus is fed vampire blood, and - there and then - becomes a vampire. Equally, while it doesn't have to worry about sunlight too much, and doesn't have to go far to feed, it also means the aging process stops. The foetus does not grow any further whatsoever, and remains in its present state. What is more, because this state would occur very early on in the pregnancy, the mother would never go into labour. The foetus would then spend the rest of it's mother's unlife parasitically taking her blood, while never maturing - unless it was removed. Or, of course, unless it chews its own way out. What a lovely thought that is!

    One of my white-wolf books has a FAQ section, from players who wrote in. One of the first few questions was could a vampire give birth. Their answer was [paraphrased]...

    Quote Originally Posted by White Wolf, paraphrased
    NO! Absolutely not! No way in hell! Not a cha...*sighs* Well I suppose it is rumoured that vampires of extremely thin blood might have done so...but really, please, just don't.
    What White Wolf also says, about once every ten pages in all their books, is that you don't like the rules - break them. These ideas are a guide, a cage to hold you back. The same, obviously, applies to your fanfiction.

    -----

    So that's that. As ever, ignore/use as you will, and remember that these are not rules, they're just one of many ideas.

    Oh, and it's quite feasible that Vampires only attend pubs and social functions during the evening/night, while the blood lollipops might be for people buying sweets for vampire friends, or a joke sweet - along the lines of Cockroach Clusters. I'm inclined to think the latter, whatever PoA says.

  10. #10
    Merlynne
    Guest
    I can only disagree with following what White Wolf says (I'm not sure exactly what this is a reference to, a game? a novel? My interest has been piqued ) While these rules sound very well fleshed out and everything, I'd like to mention that JKR's world doesn't really follow the lines of any other writers. I'd stick to folk culture and be creative with that, trying to think as JKR would. Go to the source, the original folk tales, and make your own rules from there. This will allow you to be more original and to create a world that's really yours, rather than following the rules any one secondary source has created (secondary sources like Stoker and all those after him, etc, primary sources being the original folk tales)

    I'd suggest that JKR's Vampires can reproduce, since Werewolves apparently can, though of course, werewolves aren't dead (or undead). So science says that dead things can't reproduce, ovulation and spermatogenisis no longer occurring once one is dead...but of course, JKR's world is one of magic. Why not defy science? Honestly, if it fits your plot, let it be. We are talking about JKR's vampires, not vampires in any other vestige of pop culture. Science also says that members of different species can't reproduce, but...Hagrid? There are many half-breeds in JKR's world.

    Good note about Vampires only going out at night. That would be a plot point as well as something likely canon-ish. Maybe they can take a potion that allows them to go out during the day? Who knows.

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