Edward Cullen toyed with his fork the hot dog that he bought, concentrating on that nasty-looking food - just as all human foods were, in his view - preferring to look at it than to pay attention to others around him. It was Monday, the beginning of another year as a Forks High School refectory was filled with the sounds of teenage students: laughter, lively voices, uninteresting conversations, uninteresting people.
Lifting his gaze to his siblings, he had seen Rosalie look at the tips of her long golden hair.
"Should I cut it? I've kept the same length for years..." her mind rambled through different types of haircuts.
Edward had quickly disconnected himself from his sister's mind, too bored to follow her reveries of vanity. He turned to Emmett who as watching on his smartphone videos of UFC fights, his mind focused on martial arts scams.
Turning to the left, he had seen Jasper groping around the table impatiently.
"Four hours to get out of here. Four hours..."
Jasper hated having to attend high school, but unlike Edward who was more irritated by his perpetual state of boredom for of being in that place, Jasper was irritated by the crowding of humans, their pulsating hearts and hot blood running through their veins, tempting him on every second, even with almost fifty years since joining the Cullen's vegetarian diet. Alice stroked her mate's hand as her golden eyes rested on Edward's face.
"Ed ... Are you okay?" Her mind asked softly.
Edward was close to his siblings, but he was more intimate with Alice. They both had the habit of having secret conversations where he read her mind and she interpreted his subtle facial expressions learned over the decades.
He gently twisted his mouth and she understood with an empathic smile.
He felt tortured.
Over the course of nearly seventy years, he pretended to be a high school teenager so that he and his family could move to another place that hadn’t days fulfilled with the sunlight as was insignificant, to recommence that cycle. If it weren’t enough to be caught in this infinite loop, he still possessed the “gift” (or a curse) of telepathy, which basically made his brain act like a radio, catching the thoughts of everyone around him in a radius of almost 100 meters.
In addition to the mediocrity of the conversations, he still listened to the thoughts of these young people unwillingly.
-... Of course I like you Jess ... You are my girl - Mike Newton said looking at Jessica Stanley "No, I do not like you that much, but I love our fuck."
-... Oh Mike! - Jessica said hugging the neck of the boy "HA!!! I hope Elle could hear that..."
-… Well, I accept to go on a date with you! -"For lack of something better, this is what I have left"
-... Wow, Carol, you look great…The California sun did good to you! - "Ugh, you look like a pumpkin with this horrible suntan"
-... Hey Thomas, you were brilliant last season, congratulations man! - "Does he notice me this year?"
-... Of course I'm ready for test! - "FUCK, WE HAVE A TEST TODAY?!”
Edward dropped his fork, taking another deep breath to calm himself down, even though he knew this action was useless, as his lungs technically needed no air. This was one of the few human reflexes he'd kept since he'd turned into a vampire more than a hundred years ago.
"This is my private hell. So be it." He shrugged, leaning back against the chair as he swept the school refectory with his eyes. In the far left corner, away from all tables, three teens sat while occasionally eating their snacks while being watched by the students around.
Edward unconsciously caught the conversation of others with his sensitive hearing.
-... Are they English?
- Yes ... They were transferred from posh boarding school or something like that from UK...
- I had class with the redhead. His name is Ron... He seems to be a nice guy.
- I had class with that bulky-haired girl... But don’t ask me the name, because I forgot.
Edward looked back at the new students, who seemed disinterested. At the end was a girl with bulky brown hair but gracefully wavy, reserved gentle brown eyes. Beside her, a red-haired boy with blue eyes and freckle-faced face sipped his coke while whispering something Edward could not understand. Finally, there was a young boy with black hair, porcelain complexion and green eyes that looked bored.
- What was Edward? - Alice asked, making him turn his attention to their table.
- We have new classmates. - Edward said casually.
- Yes... Didn’t you see in vision? - Edward asked. Since the incident with Bella, the Cullens became more wary of interacting with humans, and any newcomer was previously seen by Alice in her visions, in order to avoid future problems.
- No... nothing. - Alice shrugged as she rummaged through the refectory until she found the newcomers’ table.
- Nothing? - Rosalie asked incredulously.
Edward said nothing, turning his attention to the table on the other side of the refectory. Carefully, he rummaged with his powers the thoughts of everyone in the place, until he could get to the table of the new students, but all he encountered was with a strange silence, as if his power had been bounced off. He tried again, and again failed.
The redhead and the girl looked at Edward as if he'd been caught in the act. Their faces were serious.
Edward blinked in amazement.
That was impossible.
- Alice... Speak something mentally! - he turned to his sister.
"What happened?" Her mental voice sounded in his head.
- Edward, what happened? - Jasper asked.
- I... I cannot hear what they think… - he whispered, but the four vampires heard perfectly turning their backs on the three new students. - I cannot hear...
- What? - Rosalie exclaimed in alarm.
- I cannot hear… - he repeated for himself in shook.
- What do you mean you cannot hear bro? - Emmett asked frowning.
- I cannot. It's like they're isolated themselves in a vacuum... Not a word. No sound. - Edward whispered.
- Try again... Concentrate. - Rosalie demanded.
Edward once again directed his power toward the desired point, but once again he met the silence. Looking carefully, he saw that this time it was he who was watched by the seemingly younger boy, his green eyes staring at him intensely while his facial expression was stoic, jaw tightly contracted and rosy lips locked in a straight line.
He couldn't hear nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Watching the three get up (the redhead boy was the tallest of the three, nearly as tall as Edward, while the girl and the green-eyed boy were of low stature), the Cullens watched them walk through the refectory with a discreet speed.
- Nothing. - Edward blinked his golden eyes, looking at his hands. - Weird...
Alice looked at her brother and finally asked.
- What is weird, Ed?
Edward lifted his head to look at his sister.
- For a brief moment, they seemed to know what I was trying to do... - Edward whispered.
- You think they're vampires? - Emmett asked.
- No... They have different colored eyes... And I could see the blood flowing in their faces. - Edward answered.
- It must have been your impression... – Rosalie whispered.
- He couldn’t hear Bella's thoughts either. - Jasper said.
- Yes, but one thing is to be only with one individual, another thing totally different is happening this with three. - Rosalie said.
The alarm signal sounded in the refectory, indicating the time to return to the classroom.
- We'd better go to class... Later we'll talk about it. - Edward got up from the table, being accompanied by the others to the exit, each separating and following the way to their respective classrooms.
Walking to his locker, Edward took his biology book - another useless accessory to his human farce - and walked into the classroom in the other building, despondent by the enormous boredom that awaited him.
Sitting by the window and alone - the students, unconsciously following the instincts of survival and also by intimidation, didn’t sit next to him - Edward stared at the raindrops that ran down the glass of the windows as he watched the trees with their branches covered with green and moist mosses. Although small, insignificant, Edward liked Forks, he liked to watch the green, dense landscape that surrounded them. There was something peaceful about the nature of this piece of Washington State.
- Very well, class, turn to page 394. Today we’ll study the kingdom of Plantae... - Professor Warren spoke until he was interrupted by a knock at the door. - Come in.
The black-haired boy came into the room and handed the teacher a piece of paper.
- Sorry to interrupt you sir... I had a little problem with my locker - Edward heard him murmur softly, his modulated voice with a thick British accent.
- No needs to apologize. What’s your name?
- Harry, sir, Harry Potter.
- Well Mr. Potter, do you want to introduce yourself to the class?
- No sir.
- Then you can sit next to Mr. Cullen at the third table.
The boy, Harry, stared at Edward, who this time could visualize the young boy better. Harry Potter was small, no more than 5 '5ft and wore a turtleneck shirt in emerald green knitting that highlighted his eyes that also possessed an impressive green hue, being crowned by long dark lashes and thick dark eyebrows that contrasted with his ivory skin. Edward also saw a intriguing ray-shaped scar that was partially hidden by the boy's dark locks.
He was generally very handsome, with a freshness of youth and innocence in his features but also something that Edward wasn’t sure how to define, because his mind was completely protected. Instead the boy looked at him with an expression that seemed to be incredulity, discomfort, sadness or melancholy... Edward again tried to read the young man's mind, but nothing came of it.
As he advanced, Harry was pounding through the warm air of the room heater and Edward had a violent reaction just like he had with Bella last year, only much worse than he could imagine.
Hot air amplified the boy's scent, saturating the air with a delicious scent that vaguely resembled a warm caramel and others elements that Edward couldn’t define, more powerful and intoxicating than Bella's, which seemed insignificant in comparison with this. As he stared at the table, Edward felt every muscle in his body ache in an insane urge to press his teeth into the boy's small neck that sat beside him, draining every drop of blood from that body.
It had been decades since he'd taken human blood, and until then, except for Bella's, he'd never felt any desire for one in particular.
But this... This flirted dangerously with his self-control.
- Are you alright? - Edward heard the boy's voice beside him, soft and worried.
Edward just shook his head positively, looking forward, refusing to look at him.
His mind was already beginning to draw plans to attract the boy after class... It would be easy. Edward was utterly handsome, knew how to manipulate people with his charm. He could offer himself to show the surroundings to Harry... He could lead it without him realizing to the forest, where with a simple squeeze would break the boy’s neck in order to avoid possible screams and suck his entire blood... He could...
Edward thought of Carlisle, thought of Esme, thought of his siblings, and the safety of his family... He had brought too many problems for them last year. He couldn’t do that to them. No!
But he wanted so much... So much...
While wandering in the duality of his primitive desires and his consciousness, Harry silently passed a note to Edward who looked down at the table, contemplating the calligraphy.
It's not your fault. I'm sorry .
Before he could reason about the note, Edward had seen Harry pick up his bag, walking briskly to the teacher, asking him to withdraw because he was feeling sick. Harry looked once more at Edward, giving a soft smile with his lips before disappearing through the door carrying his wonderful scent with him.