Vampire Academy
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Synopsis for
Vampire Academy (2014) More at IMDbPro »

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Two years ago. A dark, forest lined road:

Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) rides in a car with her best friend Vasilisa 'Lissa' Dragomir (Lucy Fry) and Lissa's family. A drunk drivers car crosses the median line, slamming into the Dragomir's car and killing everyone but Rose and Lissa. The impact of the crash throws Lissa from the car, and, bloodied and injured, she crawls across the pavement so she can grasp Roses hand, which hangs out of the car.

Present day. Portland, Oregon.

Rose sits up in bed, gasping, her eyes changing from Gold to Hazel. She hears Lissa crying in the room next to hers and bangs on the intervening wall. Rose makes her way to Lissas bedroom and rouses her friend from her dream filled sleep. They discuss the one-sided connection that allows Rose to experience Lissa's emotions, see through her eyes, and share her dreams; Rose dreamed of the accident because Lissa dreamed of the accident. A year ago, the pair ran away from Vampire Academy, and now they try to blend in with humans and avoid attracting dangerous attention. Lissa calms down then shows signs of physical weakness. Rose asks her when she last ate and Lissa admits she hasn't eaten for a while. Rose invites her to the kitchen and offers to make her her favourite.

Rose pulls a bottle of water from the refrigerator, sits at the table and takes a swig from the bottle. Lissa asks "are you sure about this?", Rose nods, pulls the strap of her bra and her tank-top down to bare her shoulder and neck and tells Lissa "Bon Apptit". Lissa crouches, her fangs elongating, and bites into her friends shoulder. Her head falling back, mouth open and eyes closed, Rose shows no sign of pain. When Lissa has finished Rose is momentary weak, she then stands and moves over to the sink to take a piece of kitchen roll to wipe her shoulder. Oscar, Lissa's cat, sits on the counter looking out the window and following his gaze Rose sees a man standing on the street below staring up into the kitchen window before he moves out of her view. Rose tells Lissa they have to leave now, that the person coming for them is a Guardian not a Strigoi but that they must flee as they have practiced before.

Rose and Lissa sneak out of their apartment and try to make their getaway through a dark alley. Rose spots two Guardians standing near her car so she removes the fuel cap from a nearby motorcycle tank, inserts a rag which she douses with vodka and then secures the handle bars in position, telling Lissa to go. The motorcycle is heard and then seen heading down the road in the direction of the Guardians, the rag now in flames. The tank explodes knocking the two Guardians to the ground. Rose leaps into action by attacking and disabling the Guardians as they gain their feet. Rose and Lissa then head to the car, Rose electronically unlocking the vehicle while explaining to Lissa that they will make their way north into Canada. It is at this time that Lissas inability to protect herself, and dislike of violence, is made clear.When Rose notices Oscar tucked in Lissas backpack Lissa explains that she "couldn't just abandon him". Another Guardian then suddenly attacks the pair and is quickly disabled by Rose. Lissa then draws Roses attention to a large figure, in a long black coat, striding towards them. The man announces in a Russian accent "Princess Vasilisa Dragomir my name is Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky), I've come to take you back to St. Vladimirs Academy". Rose moves rapidly in Dimitris direction stating that "to get to her you will have to go through me". Rose is then seen running toward Dimitri who lunges and impacts her chest, with a straight armed flat handed punch, which lifts her backwards off her feet into the air; she is then caught by Dimitri before impacting the ground and thereby preventing her from sustaining further injury.

Rural Montana.

Lissa is seen in the back seat of an SUV stroking Oscar, a Guardian to either side. Her attention diverts to Rose, in the front passenger seat, as she begins to regain consciousness. Rose looks around and sees Dimitri driving the vehicle which, along with two others, winds its way through an extensive wooded countryside.

Rose explains in voiceover, "My best friend Lissa Dragomir is a Royal member of a magical ancient race, the Moroi. The Moroi don't wear black capes, turn into bats or sleep in coffins. Daylight annoys yet doesn't kill them and they don't sparkle either, but yes, like most creatures with fangs, the Moroi live off blood, but they don't live forever, that's why they need us. My name is Rose Hathaway and like these other guys I'm a Dhampir, we're the protectors, the Guardians. Only half Moroi I can eat a bacon cheeseburger or whatever else I want. Dhampir lives are dedicated to protecting the Moroi, we live by one simple expression - they come first."

Rose looks around to check on Lissa then returns her attention to her hand which is handcuffed to the door, taking such restraint as a backhanded compliment of her skills. Rose talks but elicits minimal conversation from Dimitri, even when she glimpses and comments on the tattoo on his neck that indicates his six Strogoi kills. Rose suddenly smiles and giggles from an unspoken comment she has received from Lissa. Dimitri looks at Rose and then views, via the rear view mirror, Lissa also smiling with amusement and clearly makes the connection about the girls bond.

It is night when the convoy arrives at the closed gates to St.Vladimirs Academy. Dimitri, via earpiece radio link, tries to contact those that guard the gates but receives no reply. Everyone looks around at the darkened woods. A body impacts the bonnet of the SUV as simultaneously the rear side windows are shattered by Strigoi attempting to gain entry. A Guardian is pulled out and launched into the air to impact with a tree. The other Guardians exit their vehicles intending to defend Lissa. Dimitri then exits the vehicle ordering the girls to "stay where you are." A fight ensues between the two opposing sides, and it is clear that they have been attacked by Strigoi. Rose struggles to free herself from the handcuffs, eventually succeeding as the area around the vehicles appears to be quiet and abandoned by both sides. Rose leaves the vehicle to look around. A single Strigoi drops from a tree and advances toward her. Rose backs away in fear as Guardians appear from either side to attack and be defeated by the Strigoi, who continues to advance. Finally, through superior numbers the Guardians defeat the Strigoi using silver stakes. Rose advances to look down upon the Strigoi, who gives a last gasp before dying.

Rose explains in voiceover, "And then there is the third kind, The Strigoi, evil bloodsuckers that can only come out at night, and can only be killed with a silver stake. It takes five of our best to kill one of their worst. If you're lucky they'll just rip you apart, but they can also turn you into one of them.The Strigoi were the true monsters of our nightmares. For all the stories, the warnings and the training films I had never seen one up close."

Dimitri ushers Rose into the SUV and they proceed along the driveway leading to the academy, arriving at 1am, in the middle of the school 'day'.

Rose explains in voiceover, "Moroi and Dhampir students come from all over the world to hone their abilities. Both groups take basic classes (English, math, science, etc.) together, but after fourth period, they split into two groups: the Moroi students and the Dhampir students. The Dhampir vampires can eat regular food and walk in daylight, and they spend their time training and learning different kinds of physical combat so that when they graduate, they can become the Guardian of a Moroi.The Moroi go to classes where they learn to control and improve their magical abilities. Each Moroi vampire dedicates himself or herself to a brand of magic tied to the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. Some Moroi are more special than others and the secret society of Moroi have their own Government which alternates leaders from twelve Royal families. Queen Tatiana is the current ruler but Lissa is in the mix, so you can see why her leaving the academy was such a scandal and me helping her was worse."

Lissa and Rose walk along the pathway where dozens of students are walking on the commons to their dorms or their next classes, and they all see Lissa's and Rose's return to the school. Lissa sees her ex-boyfriend Aaron (Edward Holcroft) and his new girlfriend Mia (Sami Gayle). Dimitri escorts the two girls to the office of the Headmistress, Kirova (Olga Kurylenko).

In her office, Kirova verbally tears into Rose, who she believes masterminded their escape. Lissa tries to defend Rose but Kirova think she's a terrible influence on the princess. The meeting is interrupted by the entrance of Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne), another royal Moroi. Lissa and Rose are thrilled to see him as he was a close friend of Lissa's father and therefore their staunch advocate. They're dismayed to see that Victor is in the final stages of Sandovsky Syndrome, which is ultimately fatal to the Moroi. Looking around the office Rose notices a file marked 'Karp' and she asks Kirova about Ms Karp (Claire Foy), one of the girls favourite teachers, who she believes could shed some light on the reason the girls fled the Academy. According to Kirova, Ms. Karp no longer works at the academy, and no one in the room will explain why. Kirova then goes on to explain that Lissa's royal status and her relation to the current queen means that she would not expel her, however she wants to kick Rose out of Vampire Academy. Kirova then taunts Rose, asking what she would do if she had to leave the school, as a Dhampir cut off from the community and without a social security number she would not be able to find work, and Kirova thinks she would have to turn to prostitution. Dimitri interrupts Kirova by explaining that "they have the bond" which is considered to be an asset. Victor thinks Rose did a fine job of keeping Lissa safe. Kirova is however still still dead-set on expelling Rose, so Lissa resorts to using compulsion, a brand of Moroi magic that allows her to influence a person's thoughts and their actions. Kirova then allows Rose to stay at the Academy, with restrictions. Before they leave Kirova's office, the headmistress gives Rose a telegram from her mom, one of the best Guardians alive.

Rose is walking alone along the academy pathways when she passes a statue of St. Vladimir, and has a flashback to a previous time:

Rose and Lissa are out for Lissa to practice her magic while the other pupils are sleeping. Lissa, still grieving for her family, is stressed over the fact that she still hasn't declared a magic and Rose tries to reassure that she still has time. Rose holds up a stick which Lissa sets alight using magic, however almost immediately it is extinguished by water flowing from a bottle which Rose had previously placed on the ground. Lissa, surprisingly, has two magical abilities. Ms. Karp passed by and overheard their conversation. With her flyaway hair and Gothic umbrella, she is obviously an eccentric. She tells Lissa that she herself had never officially declared a magic either, and look how she turned out. Ms. Karp then turns and walks away. While discussing Ms Karps eccentricities a crow collides with the statue of St. Vladimir and falls to the ground. Lissa rushes to help it, but Rose points out that it is dying. Kneeling, Lissa puts her hand over the crow and closes her eyes in concentration. Soon magic flows through Lissas hand to the crow, healing it. The crow, fully recovered, takes off and continues its flight drawing their attention to Ms. Karp watching them from an upper window in the Academy. Rose then turns in time to see Lissa crumple to the ground in a dead faint.

Back in the present Rose looks up to the window from which Ms Karp witnessed the incident and notes that it is now boarded up.

Lissa is seen going to take a drink from a water fountain. Mia, who studies water magic, causes the water to splash Lissa in the face. A fellow pupil is seen recording the event. Aaron comes over to check that Lissa is okay, and he meekly tells her that deep down, Mia is a good person. Lest Lissa get any ideas, Mia storms over to her and snaps, "Back off, bitch! He's mine now." and points out that Lissa is now at the bottom of the popularity hill rather than at the top. After a quick sarcastic comeback, Lissa turns and walks away in obvious misery.

On the Dhampir training grounds several pupils are discussing Dimitri and Rose meeting, and that Ditmitri "handed her her ass on a plate". Rose attending her first Dhampir training since returning to Vampire Academy happily greets Mason (Cameron Monaghan), an old friend and classmate. Mason cannot believe they eluded Dimitri and the other Guardians for nearly a year. Having missed a year of training Mason easily wins a hand to hand bout on the training mat, after which Rose moves aside and sits as her bond with Lissa kicks in:

Lissa is seen returning to her former hiding place; a quiet but spacious nook in the academy's library. Lissa finds that in her absence, Christian Ozera (Dominic Sherwood) has made her hiding place his own. Lissa tells him to leave, and Christian calls her spoiled. Lissa cries and asks him what he knows about suffering and loss, which as it turns out, is a lot. His parents willingly turned Strigoi, dooming Christian to constantly have to contend with his peers' suspicions. Christian also theorizes on how Lissa fed while on the road, and Lissa begs him not to share his theories with his friends. Christian comments he has none.

Rose comments to herself, as the vision unfolds, that Christian is weird and bad for Lissa; she does have to admit that he chose fire as his magic, fire being fatal to the Strigoi. At least people mourned for Lissa's family, Christian points out. His parents might have been monsters, but they were still his parents, and the other Moroi cheered their deaths. Even though they spend most of the time arguing, Lissa and Christian obviously like each other.

Rose then has a one-on-one training session with Dimitri. They discuss the special bond that she has with Lissa, and the importance of additional training if she hopes to remain as Lissas main bodyguard.

After their trying night, Lissa and Rose go to Vladimir Academy's "cafeteria." The Moroi require fresh blood to live but unlike the Strigoi will not resort to drinking it by force. So they find willing humans, who are into vampires, to come and live at the academy for a year in exchange for allowing the teachers and students to feed on them. The memories of which are 'compulsed' out of them at the end of the year. Rose finds the arrangement disquieting, but Lissa enjoys getting to know the humans, and has particular favourites. While waiting for Lissa, Rose removes the yet unopened telegram from her mother but is interrupted by Victor sitting in the waiting room. He looks weak and pale, but he greets her warmly. Victor asks Rose if, in addition to looking after Lissa, she might watch out for his beloved daughter Natalie (Sarah Hyland) as well. Natalie, a nerdy, talkative and emotionally awkward young Moroi, waves enthusiastically to Rose from across the room. Rose reluctantly agrees to keep an eye on Natalie.

Natalie joins Lissa and Rose as they go to church later that night. She chatters on incessantly about the latest gossip. She lets the best friends know that people wonder where Lissa got her blood during their absence. A Moroi feeding off of their Dhampir Guardian is a gross taboo in their culture. Also, according to Natalie, Mia became popular with the help of cosmetics shortly after Rose and Lissa ran away. The trio spots Mia standing with a group of young Moroi men. Rose disdains Ray she calls him proof of inbreeding within the Morois royal lineage but is deeply attracted to Jesse. Lissa reminds Rose of Jesse's jerkiness, and Rose agrees that hes not good for her. Jesse strolls over to see if he can rekindle something between him and Rose, but Rose turns him away. Before heading into the church, Lissa and Rose pay their respects to a memorial dedicated to Lissa's family. In the middle of the service, a giant crash resounds from the narthex. Students rush to investigate. Rose discovers that someone has defaced the memorial and that they also wrote, Leave or die! She wants to investigate who has threatened Lissa she has a feeling Mia organized it but Dimitri forbids her from doing anything. Rose strides over to Jesse and whispers to him, Ive changed my mind. She needs to be bad. She and Jesse meet in one of the academy's many posh sitting rooms. Rose straddles him on a couch and kisses him passionately. Jesse wants to go further with her, so out come his fangs. Rose brushes him away when he tries to feed on her, but Jesse keeps trying to break her skin with his teeth. When Rose outright refuses to let him feed on her, he tells her he knows that's how Lissa survived in the human world: by feeding off of her. Rose admits she did let Lissa feed on her.

News spreads quickly. The next night in class, Mia makes sure the instructor sees her passing a note. The teacher takes the note to read it aloud. In it, Mia tells her friend that she knows Lissa fed off of Rose and that Rose let Jesse and Ray have sex with her at the same time. Mia also accuses Lissa of killing the fox to gain sympathy. Lissa tells the instructor that Mia is using him to spread malicious gossip, but the teacher doesn't take kindly to her telling him how to do his job. Christian uses his fire magic to set Ray on fire, which distracts the other students from Lissa's and Roses blood swapping but also gets him sent to Kirova's office. Rose thinks Christians actions prove his creepiness, but Lissa looks torn between believing Rose and listening to her feelings for Christian. Before the pair can go to their next class, official music starts playing over the sound system, signaling the arrival of Queen Tatiana (Joely Richardson), ruler of the Moroi. In order for a Moroi royal to ascend to the throne, they must have one living relative, an heir. Victor's death means that Natalie will never rule, but as Tatiana's relative, Lissa is a likely contender for queen. Tatiana glides onto the stage in Vladimir Academys auditorium and airily tells the students that she had a sudden urge to come and gaze upon them. She calls out for Lissa to come to hear, and the blonde Moroi walks into the stage. As soon as Lissa has taken her place beside her, Tatiana's smile drops and she addresses the rumors that Lissa fed on Rose. She shames Lissa for her scandalous, horrible behavior and calls Lissa the cause of much embarrassment amongst the royal Moroi. Mia's face shines with glee, while Christian and Rose look angry at Tatiana's dressing down of Lissa. Queen Tatiana finishes her lecture by telling Lissa and the students she knows Lissa can change her ways. Lissa feels humiliated by Tatiana's behavior towards her, even if Rose and Christian (separately) tell her Tatiana was in the wrong. She declares she wants to stay under the radar.

When Rose shows up to her next class, Mason cannot meet her gaze. Another Dhampir jokes, "I hear you're great taking on two guys at once," when he offers to fight her with his friend. Rose punches him and flings him to the ground, which endears her to Mason. He apologizes for judging her, and she jokes that she will still kick his ass. Mason replies that she missed a lot during her absentee year, one of them being Dimitri, who is the new Guardian trainer. Rose wants to know if his intensity and single minded dedication to his job is for real, and Mason tells her it is. Dimitri arrives and tells the Dhampir students to pair off and fight. Despite Roses confidence, Mason kicks her ass. Turns out her Rose is out of practice. Accordingly, Dimitri keeps her after class. He lectures her about her impulsiveness, but Rose points out she kept Lissa safe for a year. She and Dimitri spar, but no matter how hard she tries to catch him by surprise, he anticipates her every move. Rose admits that when she faced off against the Strogoi, she froze, and if she is going to be Lissa's Guardian after graduating, she needs to train properly. She and Dimitri face off again, and this time he pins her to the ground. They spend a few frozen moments staring at each other before Dimitri rolls off of Rose and tells her he can offer her help by training her privately.

As time passes, Lissa becomes more and more agitated about not declaring a major, Mia's bullying of her, and the unknown person (or persons) who has been harassing her. She has difficulty concentrating and becomes anxious and unhappy without much provocation. Rose and Natalie try to calm her, but Roses and Lissa's relationship becomes noticeably cooler as Lissa continues to spend time with Christian. Rose dislikes Christians brooding mannerisms and tells Lissa he is a creepy stalker. Christian, a practiced loner, understands how it feels to be judged and mistrusted by their peers, so he and Lissa meet more and more often in the library nook. Before her first private training session with Dimitri, Rose finally reads her mothers telegram. Its short contents make her grimace before she tosses it and meets Dimitri in the woods. Like other Guardians, Dimitri tattoos a small x on the back of his next after he kills a Strogoi. Currently, six X marks decorate his nape. He pushes Rose hard, and during the course of the session, they develop a respect -- if not an attraction -- for one another. Rose says she might cut her hair short, to keep the back of her neck exposed, but Dimitri flirtatiously tells her he likes her hair worn long. Rose confesses her moms telegram was short and to the point: her mom is very disappointed in her. After training together, they part ways.

Rose experiences another flashback. Between the time Lissa's family died and the time she and Rose ran away from Vampire Academy, she displayed the same disconcerting behaviors she does now. Ms. Karp saw Lissa's struggles and encouraged Rose to take Lissa and run away. She feared that darkness would consume Lissa if she stayed at Vladimir Academy. She snuck the best friends off campus in the trunk of her car, and before they parted ways, Ms. Karp told Rose to forget she helped them until she needs to remember. Rose becomes convinced that Ms. Karp knows whats happening to Lissa, so she decides to find out why Ms. Karp left the academy. She also believes that hacking into Mia's desktop computer will help explain why Mia has been harassing Lissa and what plans she has next. Rose wants to protect Lissa, so before she investigates Ms. Karp's departure or Mia's motives, she orchestrates a falling out between Lissa and Christian. Rose finds Christian and tells him that he creeps out Lissa and that she thinks he is a stalker. Her lies hurt Christian deeply, but he believes them, and the next time Lissa greets him, he gives her the cold shoulder. Rose and Natalie learn that Mia will be leaving the academy for a field trip, so they break into her room while she is away and steal her laptop.

Rose and Natalie go to Lissa's room to hack into and explore the contents on her laptop. Lissa is away, so they let themselves into the darkened dorm. When Rose turns the lights on, she and Natalie find another threatening, bloody message has been written on Lissa's wall. Rose tells Natalie to investigate the blood to see if they can discern the culprits; Natalie bears her fangs and tentatively licks the message, and while she cannot tell whose blood has been sprayed on Lissa's walls, she can tell that it comes from multiple Moroi. Lissa returns to her bedroom and has a breakdown when she sees the violent vandalism. Rose wants to take a look at Mia's laptop to find proof that Mia's is behind the vandalism, but Lissa wont hear it. She wants to try solving the problem her way for a change. Rose and Natalie hack into Mia's laptop on their own, and they learn that Mia dated Lissa's dead brother Andre (Rory Fleck-Byrne). Rose thought everyone knew what a player Andre was, but its obvious from Mia's expressions of adoration in pictures of the two of them that she didn't. Rose notes that Andres probable callous treatment of Mia sparked the Moroi girls hatred of the Dragomir family.

The next day, Lissa stops flying under the radar. Mia has been diligently spreading rumors about her, so she begins compulsing people into believing her version of events. She begins with another popular Moroi, Camilla (Bront Norman-Terrell). Lissa compulses Camilla into changing her mind about Lissa feeding off of Rose during their time on the lam. Its not like we were fornicating, Lissa explains, and Camilla falls into line. Lissa continues to compulse her peers until everyone believes that she is sane and has not been behind her harassment. Rose sees the toll that compulsing so many people has on Lissa: she becomes more depressed and gets headaches. She tries to talk to Lissa about using her magic so freely, but Lissa accuses her of being upset that shes taken care of herself for once. Rose manages to break into Kirova's office and nab Ms. Karp's file. It contains only a DVD, which Rose watches immediately. The DVD contains Ms. Karp's video diary and shows her gradual mental breakdown. Ms. Karp mutters to the camera about how not declaring a magic has lead to her breakdown. In a subsequent entry, Ms. Karp whispers that the darkness beckons, because the darkness offers an escape from her madness. The DVD ends with a message that the rest of Ms. Karp's file is kept in Vladimir Academy's security room. Now Rose needs to figure out how to gain access to that additional footage. When she goes to class, Rose sees that Lissa and Aaron have gotten back together. Mia looks like she has been crying, and Christian looks nauseated by the sight. Lissa invites Rose to a party she has decided to throw, and Rose tries to explain all of the new information she has learned about Mia and Ms. Karp. Lissa ignores her news; she believes she has neutralized Mia and that the harassment will now stop. Later, out in the academy's main courtyard, Aaron comes to Lissa with a bouquet of roses. The dream couple, back together, he tells her. Suddenly, Christian comes charging towards them. Rose, who has been watching Lissa and Aaron, realizes he has been changed into a Strogoi. "Look what you've made me do!" Christian screams at Lissa. He changed because of her rejection of him. "Strogoi! Attack!" The courtyard floods with bloodthirsty Strogoi, and Rose cannot reach Lissa to defend her. The girls awaken from Lissa's nightmare, which Rose experienced because of their bond. Neither girl talks about it to the other.

Rose goes to Lissa's party, where Lissa is surrounded by Camilla and other admirers. "There's my blood bitch!" Lissa cries, laughing with the others. Rose is put off by Lissa's vapid new behavior. She sees Natalie, who is in turn watching Ray, the object of her affections. Rose decides to leave the party without saying goodbye to Lissa, and Lissa chases after her. Rose doesn't understand why Lissa is dating someone as boring as Aaron, and she thinks Lissa needs to pay more attention to her fragile condition. Something in the shadows catches Roses attention, and she whirls around, ready to attack -- but its only Natalie, who has followed them away from the party. What are you thinking? Trust me, you do not want to get a nose job in Montana! Rose snaps. Natalie says that after Lissa and Rose left the party, no one would talk to her. On her way back to her dorm, she heard something following her, so she went towards their voices. In the distance, the friends hear something howling, and they begin running towards the main courtyard. The sounds of their pursuers die away once they reach the courtyard, and as they girls slow down, Rose takes notice of the cameras around the open space. Lissa spots her backpack sitting near the statue of St. Vladimir. She cries out and runs towards it. Oscars corpse is stuffed inside. Lissa sobs and tries to heal him, but the cat has been dead for too long. She and Rose pass out due to her efforts, which exhaust her.

Rose realizes she did the wrong thing by interfering with Christian's and Lissa's relationship. She goes to find him and apologize. While searching Vladimir Academy's campus for him, she sees that Jesse, Ray, and Mia all have bandages on their wrist. When Rose finds Christian, he isn't interested in talking to her. His feelings towards her don't warm when she admits she lied about Lissa disliking him. He still cares about Lissa, though, so he agrees to help Rose figure out whats happening to her. They go to the library nook where Lissa and Christian first became friends and scour the ancient tomes there, looking for references to the phrase shadow kissed and to references to abilities like Lissa's. While the books do not explain what shadow kissed means, Christian finds a text that describes a Moroi with especially strong powers of compulsion, a Moroi who could also heal creatures, even those who appeared to be dead. The Moroi was none other than St. Vladimir, and his magic was a much rarer, more powerful brand of magic called spirit. Those who declare spirit magic have powerful adverse reactions when they use their magic: they faint, became emotionally erratic, and even cut themselves to relieve the madness they feel. Rose and Christian celebrate their discovery, and Lissa catches them. She is furious that Rose has set her so-called slutty sights on Christian and that Christian returns Roses affections. She runs out of the library into the sunlight, and Christian and Rose chase after her. Christian catches her first and tells her he likes her, a lot. He also kisses Lissa. She screams that she hates him and runs away again. When she finds Lissa by St. Vladimir's statue, there are giant cuts running up Lissa's arm. Lissa will not accept her help, and Rose knows its time to seek help from higher up.

She goes to Dimitri with her concerns, and Dimitri takes her to Kirova. Rose demands to see Ms. Karp's classified footage and to know what happened to her, as that information will help her better protect Lissa. Dimitri convinces Kirova to share the information, and Victor joins their gathering, due to his affections for Rose and Lissa. Rose watches video footage of a catatonic Ms. Karp sitting in a hospital bed. Kirova explains that Ms. Karp also practiced spirit magic and that the more she used it, the less stable she became. Eventually she was committed to a mental institution for the Moroi. The video footage shows Ms. Karp lunging for a nurse. The footage cuts to Ms. Karp, now a Strogoi, walking calmly down the hospital hallway after killing the nurse. According to Dimitri, many of those who can perform spirit magic become Strogoi because the Strogoi feel only hate. Their madness becomes calmness. Rose tells Kirova, Dimitri, and Victor all about Lissa's fainting spells, her cutting, and the traits she has in common with Ms. Karp. When Kirova calls Lissa into her office, Lissa lies and behaves calmly. She accuses Rose of making stories up out of jealousy and shows her forearms to the adults: they have no scars. Kirova, Dimitri, and Victor let her and Rose leave. Outside, Rose and Lissa argue. Rose believes Lissa needs help, but Lissa screams back that she doesn't need Rose to take care of her. The former friends are so caught up in their argument that they don't notice a large hole appearing in the group. Rose steps into it, and her legs snaps, the bone breaking through her skin. Rose collapses and passes out as Lissa runs to help her. When Rose wakes up, she has been taken to Vladimir Academy's medical ward, and Mason is standing at her bedside. She asks how bad her injury is, but Mason doesnt know what shes talking about. Rose pulls the covers off of her leg and is astonished to see that her leg has been healed. As if by explanation, she sees a human blood donor being wheeled by her room. According to Mason, Lissa has been going through donor after donor. Rose goes to Lissa's room and sees her dining on another person. She realizes Lissa healed her and that the effort took a toll on her.

Rose and Lissa reconcile. Seeing Rose hurt reminded Lissa of what was truly important: their friendship. Lissa will seek help and guidance for coping with spirit magic. She will also stop compulsing people onto her side. The girls attention turns to the Equinox Ball, a major Vladimir Academy event. They have been so focused on Lissa's behavior and their fight that neither of them have dates or dresses. Victor convinces Kirova to allow Natalie, Rose, and Lissa to go to a nearby mall, where they can at least go out to buy gowns to wear to the ball. Dimitri will escort them. Before leaving the academy's campus, Rose tries to sneak attack Dimitri, but he hears her coming and flips her. Lissa and Natalie laugh happily. Dimitri does give Rose a weapon: an LED flashlight that wont kill a Strogoi but will buy her a few precious seconds in a fight with one.

At a local Montana shopping mall, the friends wonder what it would be like to be a normal human being. Rose says shes glad to put Lissa first, but Lissa wants Rose to take care of herself, too. When they begin to try on dresses, Lissa offers to crack her trust fund open so Rose can buy something beautiful. Rose declines, but then she and Lissa see a dress that would be perfect for her. On their way to the cash register, they also see a necklace. "That's your necklace", Lissa says. "That's my necklace", Rose agrees. When they see the $12,000 price tag, both girls agree its not her necklace.

Back at the Academy, that night as they prepare for the dance, Rose finds a package with her name on it. She opens it and finds a box that contains her necklace and a note from Victor. He bought the necklace to thank Rose for caring for Lissa and Natalie so diligently. The girls dress, and Rose says, "At this point I can't remember who loves us and who hates us. Let's make this night our bitch."

Rose, Lissa, and Natalie enter the Equinox Ball together. Almost immediately, Christian sweeps towards them. He asks Lissa to dance, and she happily agrees. Natalie wanders off to find her father. Rose isn't alone for long when Mason drags Jesse and Ray over to her. Mason did some detective work and figured out that Jesse and Ray where the ones who vandalized the Dragomir memorial and Lissa's bedroom at Mia's behest. Mia agreed to have sex with them if they helped her bully Lissa. Both guys stutter their apologies, and Rose rolls her eyes. She instructs Ray to go ask Natalie to dance and to treat her well. She kisses Mason's cheek for helping her, and he drily jokes that he cracked the case open but only received a kiss on the cheek in return. Mia storms over to Christian and Lissa on the dance floor. Mia causes a scene by screaming at Lissa for stealing Aaron from her and then dumping him. Rose comes to Lissa's defense, telling her she knows all about Mia's schemes. When she accuses Mia of killing the fox and Lissa's cat Oscar, Mia becomes unexpectedly horrified. Mia denies anything to do with the killings and swears she would never hurt an animal, especially Oscar, to whom she gave kitty treats. Rose finally sees Mia for the sad, insecure girl she is, but when she tries to make nice with her, Mia shows her fangs and screeches. Out of instinct, Rose bears her own fangs punches Mia in the face and yells: "Everyone saw I tried to take the high road? Sort of..." Kirova is enraged. She drags Rose out of the dance and into her office to punish her. Rose has a sudden vision through Lissa's eyes: while she's walking down a corridor alone, someone grabs Lissa from behind and blindfolds her. Rose screams that Lissa is in danger, but Kirova doesn't believe anyone could hurt Lissa with so many Guardians around. She grabs a tranquilizer from her desk, but Rose uses some new fighting techniques that Dimitri taught her; she manages to grab the syringe and inject Kirova with the sedative. Kirova slips into unconsciousness, and Rose runs out of the headmistress's office.

Rose goes to Dimitri's room. He's reading on his bed, and when Rose enters his room, he jumps up. A spell comes over Rose, and instead of telling him about the danger Lissa is in, she kisses him. Dimitri barely resists before returning the kiss. The couple strips, and Dimitri throws Roses dress in the fire. Before they fall onto his bed, he sees her necklace, and he snaps out of the spell. He rips it off of Rose's neck, and she regains her senses. Before she can become angry or embarrassed, she has another vision through Lissa's eyes. Lissa's blindfold is removed, and Rose sees Victor standing in front of her. "Oh, no", Rose gasps. Dimitri and Rose commandeer an SUV and race towards Victor's castle, which is near Vladimir Academy. Rose finds Christian crouched behind Dimitri in the drivers seat, but she doesn't expose him until they reach Victor's castle.

At the Dashkov estate, Victor demands that Lissa heals him of his disease. If he dies, neither he nor Natalie will ascend the throne, and he thinks they would both be superior rulers. At first Lissa resists him, but Victor, who practices air magic, sucks the breath from her lungs. Healing Victor will eventually kill Lissa because of the extreme amount of energy it will require. She will have to heal him over and over again. She temporarily cures him of Sandovsky's disease, and Victor looks much healthier. Lissa slumps forward, utterly exhausted. When Victors Guardian informs him of Roses and Dimitri's arrival, Victor calls upon his Psi hounds: vicious dog-like creatures that are impeccable trackers, will not kill their prey, and will only obey his command. Lissa awakens and manages to escape through a window. Victor will have the Psi hounds track her as well.

Dimitri is pissed when he sees Christian has tagged along to the castle, but its too late to do anything about it. He and another Guardian who followed the SUV race into the castle and fight their way to the room where Victor is hiding. The other Guardian rips the door open, and Victor shoots her in the chest. Dimitri launches himself into the room, but Victors Guardian blocks him from catching the evil Moroi. Victor runs out of the room through another door, and Dimitri tussles with Victors Guardian. Lissa runs through the grounds of Victors castle, and it isn't long before the Psi hounds find her. Rose and Christian come up behind Lissa as she backs away from the bloodthirsty beasts, and Rose implores Christian to use some of his fire magic. Before he can manage it, Victor appears and shoots Christian too. Christian crumples to the ground. Victors Guardian grabs Dimitri and gets him in a headlock. The other Guardians bitterness comes out as he asks, "Do you know what its like to always be second best?"

"No", replies Dimitri, and he grabs manages to flip the man and kill him. The Guardian that Victor shot recovers thanks to her bullet proof vest, and they race out onto the grounds to help Rose, Lissa, and Christian. Victor sicks the Psi hounds on Rose and Lissa, but as they leap over Christian's body, he summons his strength and sets them on fire. The Psi hounds run away, and Dimitri is able to detain Victor.

Back at the Vampire Academy's clinic, Rose leaves Lissa with a recovering Christian. Kirova stops her to say that Victor is in a holding cell in the academy's security room, where he will await the judgement of a Moroi tribunal. Rose is concerned for Natalie, who will be devastated by Victor's treachery. Kirova tells Rose that Victor wants to speak to her. At first Rose refuses to meet with him, but Kirova tells her Victor wishes to discuss the something about her being shadow kissed. Rose reluctantly agrees to visit him, albeit surrounded by other Guardians. Victor does not seem too distraught for a man facing capital punishment. Rose asks him what it means to be shadow kissed, and Victor explains that she died in the car crash that killed Lissa's family. Lissa, heartbroken over her best friends death, healed and resurrected her. To be shadow kissed is to be called back from the land of the dead. Behind Rose, guards begin to mysteriously fall. Rose wonders if Victor thought about how his behavior would hurt Natalie, and Victor stares at something over her shoulder. Rose turns around and sees a red-eyed and vicious-looking Natalie; she has become a Strogoi. She is the one who killed Ray the night before and turned evil in case her father's first plan failed. She has been spying on Rose and Lissa all along. Victor admits that both he and Natalie were the ones behind the dead fox and Oscar's murder: they wanted to see the extent of Lissa's powers. But it wasn't until Natalie used her earth magic to cause Rose to break her leg that they got anywhere. Natalie frees her father, and Victor flees from the room and escapes, a little shaken by his daughter's new found hunger. Rose and Natalie begin to fight, but Rose is still no match for the super-strong Strogoi Natalie, who plummels her across the room. Natalie says she just might turn Rose into a Strogoi, so she'll always have a friend. Dimitri appears, but even he and Rose together have trouble holding Natalie back. Rose remembers the LED flashlight Dimitri gave her and temporarily blinds Natalie, allowing Dimitri to drive a silver stake through her heart, killing her at last.

The next day, Rose sees Dimitri. He has a new X on the back of his neck. She asks if he is attracted to her, and he sullenly admits he is. But his position of authority over her and their age difference means they cannot be together. He got carried away by the necklaces charm, but neither of them really believes that. Rose finds Lissa and Christian and Mason. Before they can begin talking, Queen Tatiana's royal music plays over the speakers. The Moroi ruler has come to give Lissa another dressing down. Before she can begin chastising the princess in front of her peers, Lissa takes the stage and shushes her. She announces that she has declared a magic: spirit. St. Vladimir also practiced spirit magic, but he never considered becoming Strogoi, because of the bond she shared with his Guardian Anna. Lissa tells Vladimir Academy's students that she has an incredible bond with Rose and she envies those who don't have someone as amazing as Rose for a friend. She adds that shes dating Christian and ends her speech by imploring everyone to work together rather than bully, slut shame, and fight. The students leap to their feet and applaud Lissa. Rose smiles and steps outside of the auditorium.

Outside, Rose stands by St. Vladimir's statue, and a crow lands on it. She recognizes the crow as the one whom Lissa brought back to life. She reaches out an arm for the crow to land on, but it flies away to the mountains surrounding Vladimir Academy. A Strogoi stands at the entrance to the cave, and he turns when his leader approaches: it is Ms. Karp. She tells him they will attack soon, and behind them, deeper in the cave, a gigantic army of Strogoi await her command.....

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