Chapter 1: Prologue
As the plane lands in Mystic Falls I feel a barrage of emotions crash into me. There was excitement and anticipation as I will be seeing my siblings after a long time. Even though we’ve kept in contact through letters and cell phone whenever possible, it’s not the same. Sadness as I won’t ever be seeing my parents again. It was a blow to hear that they died on the same day that I survived the killing curse again.
I took a deep breath as I switched on my phone to see 98 missed calls from Elena, 70 missed calls from Jeremy and 41 missed calls from Aunt Jenna. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion when I saw that there were none from my adopted parents Miranda and Grayson Gilbert.
Two months have passed since the Battle of Hogwarts as people have been calling it and it has been a blur of funerals, tears and alcohol. I have been cooped up in Grimmauld Place and today is the first time that I cleaned myself up. I knew that I owed it to my family at least to contact them and let them know that the war was finally over. I then called Elena.
“Hello? Lea? Finally! Do you know how long we have been trying to reach you?”
“Hey Lena. I swear I’ll explain everything to you. Can you put everyone on the speaker phone?”
I tried to keep no secrets from my family. It was hard enough belonging to another world and being across the pond. Keeping things from them would just increase the distance between us in a way that will not be geographically. I heard some rustling from the other end.
“Hi Jer. Mama, Papa, you there?” After a few minutes of silence on the other end, Elena said, “They’re not here. Tell us what happened that you couldn’t call us weekly like you said you would. We thought you were dead! Do you even realize what you put us through?”
“I’m so sorry guys. I didn’t mean to put you through that. It’s just that… I’ll start from what you last knew. You know that we were hunting objects that would help us kill Riddle right? There was one in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault in Gringotts so we broke into the bank and then escaped on the back of a dragon –“
“You what?!?” Elena and Jeremy shouted.
“I know, I know, it was a crazy idea but it worked.” Then I proceeded to tell them about the diadem and the battle. I didn’t tell them about our capture at Malfoy Manor because even though they knew it was bad they didn’t need to know how bad the whole war was. But there was one thing I couldn’t miss no matter how much I wanted to as it was an important part and one that was affecting me in ways that I couldn’t properly explain without them knowing the how.
“How could you just give yourself up like that? Were you so selfish that you didn’t even think about us before just giving yourself up to die?” Jeremy exclaimed.
“ It was the only way to finally end the war. I couldn’t live knowing that there was a part of him in me and who knows that he wouldn’t have ended up possessing me or something after I killed him. It was the only way I could see.”
“You are never doing anything like that again. I have half a mind to put you on suicide watch” Elena said.
“I don’t have a death wish Lena. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have any soul shards floating in my head so the chances of it happening again are zero.” I said.
“When did the – The Battle of Hogwarts, was it? – happen?” Jeremy asked.
“The war ended on the 2nd of May. I know I should have called before today but I really wasn’t in the right state of mind. I still am not actually but the funerals finally ended two days before, at least the ones that I wanted to go to, and I figured that it was high time that I called.” I admitted to them.
“Lea, there is something that you need to know.” Elena said.
“I am out of here.” Jeremy muttered and I heard the sound of a door being banged shut.
“What is it?” I asked, worried.
“On May 2nd I was involved in a car crash. I survived it but our parents didn’t.”
I missed their funeral since I didn’t even know they were dead when it happened. Being the Girl-Who-Lived-Again was an even more bitter pill to swallow when another set of my parents died while I survived again. Elena must be feeling like the Girl-Who-Lived herself. No matter what the masses thought, it was not a title to raise your champagne glass over.
I cleaned up my act as I knew that I needed to be there for them. The British Wizarding World think that I am going to be with family which I will be. Just not Petunia and Vernon Dursley.
Only Professor Dumbledore, Snape and Professor McGonagall were aware that I was adopted by the Gilberts when Aunt Petunia tried to send me off to an orphanage and Papa happened to be a visiting doctor and he took me in. Papa had been visiting Britain a lot during that time as he was helping a fledgling branch out so they passed me off as Elena’s fraternal twin and told everyone that I had been too sickly and needed the medical attention in London. The three of them kept my disappearance quiet and got quite the surprise when they found out that I was in America. I consented to living with the Dursleys until I was seventeen with a few rare visits to Mystic Falls thrown in for the blood wards that thankfully held even after a decade and because it gave security to my family if nobody knew that they existed.
The Taxi that I had rented pulled up to 2104 Maple street. There was stinging in my eyes at the sight of my house after such a long time but I stubbornly held back my tears. I will not cry.
Chapter 2: Friday Night Bites
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respectable owners. The original characters, ideas and plot are the property of the author. The author is not associated with the owners, creators or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. The door opened after a few seconds and there stood my sister. I saw her last when we were both fourteen on the summer before my fourth year and the pictures didn’t do her justice. So, we just stood there staring at each other for a whole minute.
“Surprise?” I asked, a bit unsure of my welcome.
“OH MY GOD, LEA!” With that said, she crashed into me for a huge hug which I immediately reciprocated. When we pulled back we both had tears running down our faces.
“I told myself I wouldn’t cry and now look at me.” I choked out, laughing gently.
“I can’t believe you are here! How lo- “Elena got cut off by a high-pitched squealing before she got shoved to the side and I got blonde hair shoved into my mouth. I pulled back slightly to look at who I was sure was my childhood friend.
“Caroline?” I asked just to make sure.
“Yup! The one and only me! You look so pretty Lea! Though I’ve got to say those bags under those eyes are not doing you any good.” Caroline said. Yeah that was her alright. Caroline was like the Lavender and Parvati of Mystic Falls. Well like they used to be. The nightmares were the cause of my eye bags but I wasn’t going to tell her that.
“Caroline!” An attractive young woman with light brown skin, olive green eyes, a heart-shaped face, and black hair reprimanded.
“Bonnie Bennett.” I grinned before going forward to hug her.
“Hey Lea. It’s really nice to see you again.” Bonnie said smiling after we pulled back from the hug.
There were two curious faces just behind them. I looked questioningly at Elena since they were new faces to me. Elena smiled and tugged the male with the broad forehead, forest green eyes and dark brown hair forward.
“ Lea, this is my boyfriend Stefan Salvatore. Stefan, this is my twin sister Azalea.” Elena introduced us to each other. My eyes widened a bit in surprise.
“Twin?” The other extremely handsome young man with striking, intense blue eyes contrasting against his dark hair asked, eyeing the both of us skeptically.
Yeah Elena with her olive complexion, brown eyes, and long, dark brown hair and I with my pale skin tone, long black hair, and bright emerald green eyes didn’t even look related, let alone twins.
“Fraternal. And you are..?” I asked.
“Damon Salvatore. Stefan’s brother.” He came forward and kissed my hand. Looks like chivalry isn’t dead after all.
“And my boyfriend.” Caroline latched on to his arm.
Right. Off limits.
“I’ve heard quite a bit about you. It’s nice to meet you.” Stefan said politely.
“She would have heard about you too if she had actually called or at the very least picked up the phone.” Elena glared at me.
“Lena baby I was very busy. Moving takes a lot of work you know.” I smiled teasingly at her.
“ You’re moving back here? Oh I love you so much!” Elena squealed before giving me another hug.
“I love you too. Now help me move my bags upstairs to my room, will you?” I asked.
To the muggles it seemed like I only had two bags with me but the two luggage had an expansion charm on them so all my recently done shopping for muggle wear and my books for my seventh year which I was going to do independently this year and other knick knacks were in them with room for more.
“Let me help you.” Stefan said coming forward.
“Oh no that’s not needed. I’m not giving Elena anything too heavy and my room’s probably a mess after all these years so it’s probably best that she helps me.” I widened my eyes at her to make her get the hint that there was a featherlight charm on the bags and I didn’t need her boyfriend wondering about the lack of weight.
“Oh yeah I’ll help you twin. We’ll be right back.” Elena said.
She then took one bag and I took the other and we both made our way into my bedroom. My bedroom was still the same as when I was 11 years old. I didn’t see much point in redecorating it since I hadn’t even live in it anymore when I could be spending that precious time with my family. Precious time that I didn’t have with my mama and papa anymore. I sighed and looked around the purple wallpaper and the butterflies on it and decided that they had to go. It was the perfect bedroom for a preteen but I wasn’t one anymore.
“So, did I interrupt a gathering?” I asked.
“You didn’t interrupt anything. Actually, this is even more perfect. I hosted this dinner so that Bonnie could get to know Stefan, then Caroline and Damon came and now even you could get to know him.” Elena said excitedly.
“Alright then you go back Ms. Hostess and I’ll join you in a couple of minutes after I freshen up.” I said.
I washed my face in the washroom and the looked critically at my appearance. My hair was still in the loose French braid I put them in and I didn’t feel like changing my off shoulder grey sweater and black leggings for a dinner that was probably halfway done.
I went back downstairs and found them sitting in the living room scattered across the sofas. My red extra cushy arm chair was thankfully free so I sank back into it with a contented sigh. I looked up to see everyone looking at me with amused expressions.
“What? I like this chair.” I said defensively.
“I know. You begged for our parents to order it because you liked a similar one in your boarding school.” Elena said, smiling teasingly. I maturely poked my tongue out at her.
“So why were you twins separated? Did you get sent to boarding school because you were the wild child?” Damon smirked at me.
“I was not!” I faked being offended.
“Oh yeah? Then explain the letter that was sent right at the beginning of your second year that informed us that you drove to school instead of taking the train you were supposed to. She was twelve.” Elena teased.
“I did not deliberately miss the train and you know it. It sounded like a good idea at the time.” I shrugged sheepishly. Everybody else burst out laughing.
“That’s what you say every time a letter came from your school.” Elena laughingly said.
“Yeah, yeah. But honestly, I went because I wanted to learn something that was different from what we learn already. I mean the normal everyday subjects were there too” They weren’t but I took the exams in the summers and learned independently in Hogwarts.” but there was also Latin, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy and stuff like that.” I explained.
“It sounds very interesting.” Stefan smiled.
“Judging by that British accent I would guess it was on the other side of the pond.” Damon said.
“And you would guess right. Scotland to be precise.” I said.
“I cannot believe that Mr. Tanner let you on the team. Tyler must be seething. But good for you. Go for it.” Caroline said.
“That's what I always tell him. You have to engage. You can't just sit there and wait for life to come to you. You have to go get it.” Damon said.
“Yeah, Elena wasn't so lucky today. It's only because you missed summer camp. God, I don't know how you're ever going to learn the routines.” Caroline said. Elena frowned.
“I'll work with her. She'll get it.” Bonnie said.
“I guess we can put her in the back. Azalea, will you try out for cheerleading squad?” Caroline asked.
“Ah no.” I shook my head. No way in hell.
“You know, just like your sister you don't seem like the cheerleader type, Elena.” Damon mused.
“Oh, it's just 'cause her parents died. Yeah, I mean, she's just totally going through a blah phase. She used to be way more fun. And I say that with complete sensitivity.” Caroline said after looking at my raised eyebrow and Bonnie’s unimpressed face. Looks like Caroline still hadn’t found the line between straightforward and insensitive.
“I'm sorry, Elena, Azalea. I know what it's like to lose both your parents. In fact, Stefan and I have watched almost every single person we've ever cared about die.” Damon said.
“We don't need to get into that right now, Damon.” Stefan warned.
“Oh, you know what, you're right, Stef. I'm sorry. The last thing I wanted to do was bring her up. Mmm.” Damon said. I looked over at Elena and she mouthed ex-girlfriend to me.
“I’ll clear up the table and have some food while at it. You guys continue.” I said.
I loaded up the dishwasher with the utensils that were on the table and then sat on the counter to have the leftover pasta.
“One more.” Damon said. I put my plate down and went over to him to get the glass but it slipped and then both of us caught it. I laughed in surprise and set it down in the dishwasher.
“Nice save” I said.
“ I could say the same to you.” Damon cocked an eyebrow at me. “ I like you. You know how to laugh. And you” Damon turned around to look at Elena who came in after him “make Stefan smile, which is something I haven't seen in a very long time.”
“Earlier, did you mean...Katherine?” Elena asked. Probably the ex-girlfriend. But whose?
“Mm-hmm.” Damon hummed.
“How did she die?” Elena asked.
“In a fire. Tragic fire.” Damon said.
“Recently?” Elena asked.
“It seems like it was yesterday” Damon said.
“What was she like?” Elena asked.
“She was beautiful. A lot like you in that department. She was also very complicated and selfish and at times not very kind, but very sexy and seductive.” Damon said.
“So which one of you dated her first?” I asked. Elena smiled at me letting me know that we were on the same page.
“Nicely deduced. Ask Stefan. I'm sure his answer differs from mine. I'd quit cheerleading if I were you.” Damon said to Elena.
“Why do you say that?” Elena asked.
“Oh, I saw you at practice. You looked miserable” Damon said.
“You saw that?” Elena asked.
“Was I wrong?” Damon asked.
“I used to love it. It was fun. Things are different this year. Everything that used to matter doesn't anymore.” Elena said.
“So don't let it. Quit, move on. Problem solved. Ta-da.” Damon said.
“Some things could matter again.” Elena said.
“Maybe. But...seems a little unrealistic to me.” Damon said.
“I agree with him” I said pointing my fork at Damon. He smirked at me.
“I'm sorry.” Elena and I said together. Damon looked questioningly at both of us.
“About Katherine. You lost her, too” I said. Damon looked slightly surprised.
“Hey. Need some help?” Bonnie came in and asked.
“Sure, why not?” Damon said.
I dumped my plate into the dishwasher and hopped off the counter.
“I think it’s time that I go up to bed. Jet lag and all. It was nice meeting you Damon” I said.
“It was my pleasure meeting you Azalea.” Damon smirked.
He’s taken. He’s Caroline’s boyfriend. Damn him for being so attractive.
I said my goodnights to everyone in the house and after changing the bedsheets and my clothes I collapsed into bed and fell asleep without any dreams.
I woke up to sunlight shining right on my face through the window whose curtains I obviously didn’t pull last night. It was the first night that I slept through without any nightmares. Being bone deep tired probably played a part too. I hadn’t been joking when I told Elena that it had been a very busy two month from dealing with the hysterical sheep that was the British wizarding community which was unwilling to let go of their scapegoat and messiah rolled into one to goblins for the break-in and my finances.
I was seventeen so they couldn’t hold me back and they had to concede that I deserved a break though many were still grumbling that I could have had it in Britain. Yeah right. Pointing my finger to Griphook’s treachery and their harboring of an extremely dark artefact seemed to do the trick with the goblins. We had a deal that I wouldn’t say anything to anyone to implicate them and they would let go of this offence. They weren’t happy but when are they ever happy?
Ron and Hermione thankfully understood my need to spend time with family since they were doing the same though they were baffled as to why I would want to so that since they knew perfectly well how horrible the Dursleys were. I bullshitted something about needing familiar surroundings and they thankfully let it go.
I got up, went in Elena’s room and jumped on her bed to wake her up. She groaned and turned over to look at the alarm clock on her side drawer.
“Why are you waking me up at 6:20 am? I don’t need to get up for another hour.” She moaned.
“Because I wanted you to be fully aware that your twin is back” I smirked down at her. She buried her head into her pillow. I jumped some more.
“I’m up! I’m up!” She exclaimed and sat up.
“Good. Now I’ll go wake the others up and make some breakfast. See ya!”
I then entered Jeremy’s bedroom and jumped up and down on his bed.
“Elena what are you doing?!” Jeremy shouted.
“Wrong twin” I smirked down at him.
“Lea?” Jeremy asked, confused then he pulled me down to lay with him.
“When did you get here?” Jeremy asked happily.
“Just came in last night. Met Elena’s boyfriend and his brother too. I’m here to stay. At least until school gets over.” I told him. “Now get up. I’m making breakfast.”
“Yes! Finally we have someone in the house who can cook.” Jeremy pumped the air with his fists.
“Haha. That does not mean that I’ll be cooking every meal though. You will need to learn how to pull your weight too, Jerbear.” I smirked at him.
“I did not miss that name” Jeremy groaned.
I went downstairs and cooked the full English breakfast as this was my first morning back home. Everyone came downstairs following the scent. I went over and hugged Aunt Jenna.
“Hi Aunt Jenna.” I said.
“She doesn’t seem surprised by your appearance. Did she already know that you were shifting back.” Jeremy asked as we all settled down around the dining table.
Elena and Aunt Jenna smiled at each other before looking over at Jeremy. Hmm. I’ve got to find out what that is about.
“Yeah she knew. I wanted to surprise you both though.” I said before shoving a forkful of bacon in my mouth.
“It was the best surprise ever.” Elena beamed at me. I beamed back at her.
“So will you be attending the football match today?” Elena asked while she was loading up the dishwasher. I didn’t have to clean up since I was the who cooked.
“I’m not sure. I was thinking of just staying back and unpacking today. I start school from Monday and there’ll be many football games to come. But I have only seen you cheer once before so I’m a bit confused.” I said while swinging my legs from my perch on the counter.
“I think I’m going to quit cheerleading.” Elena said.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yeah. You and Damon were right. I shouldn’t do something that doesn’t matter anymore.” Elena said.
“You’ll find other things to do Elena. We all grow out of things but also into new things.” I smiled at her.
“Caroline’s going to be a nightmare when I tell her though.” Elena said and we both laughed.
I went into my room and closed my window curtain first and put a sticking charm on it with my wand so that nobody could peek through. I opened up the luggage filled with my books and transfigured the book covers into something muggle appropriate. Then I started the protective charms over the book shelf that I’ll be putting them in to self-clean the books, itself, divert the muggles away and other useful charms. After putting my Hogwarts books ranging from Year 1-Year 7 and also other additional books that I had picked up over my years in the wizarding world I opened up my other luggage that contained my clothes and photographs. I cast a freezing charm on the few photographs that I’ll be putting around the room. I put up the wedding photograph of my mom and dad, James and Lily Potter which also included my godfather, Sirius Black as the Best Man on my bedside drawer alongside the family photograph taken of my mama, papa, Jer, Elena and me when I was 14.
I took a deep breath and lifted my palm towards my clothes in the bag. Intent and will, I repeated to myself. Then I whispered “Wingardium Leviosa” and the clothes lifted from my bag one by one.
Wandless magic was an ability that came to me right after I died and came back to life. Just like when I needed to train my magic when I was 11, I also needed to train with wandless magic too. I was thankfully alone in Grimmauld place when I discovered my new ability. I was drunk on Firewhiskey and wanted the bottle to dance for my own amusement and it suddenly did. It scared the crap out of me when it first happened.
Another perk was that I no longer needed glasses. I wasn’t sure why that happened but I am certainly happy about it.
The door suddenly burst open and I looked up to see Elena looking frazzled.
“The football game’s over already?” I asked while Elena looked in wonder at the clothes floating to my closet.
“This is the first time that I am seeing you doing magic. It’s incredible.” Elena breathed. I smiled at her.
“It really is. I was just practicing my wandless magic. One of the perks that came after dying.” I told her.
“Don’t call them perks! It required you to die.” Elena glared at me.
“Alright, alright. What happened?” I changed the subject.
“Mr. Tanner, our History teached died during the football match.” Elena told me.
“Oh no, how?” I asked, concerned.
“Animal attack.” Elena said.
“An animal came that far into the school?” I asked incredulously.
“It seems so.” Elena said, a bit distracted.
“What else happened?” I asked her.
“Damon Salvatore tried to kiss me.” Elena told me.
“Isn’t he with Caroline?” I asked, disgusted. I ignored the twinge in my stomach.
“Yeah he is. I slapped him and told him that I would not be another Katherine.” Elena said with a determined look on her face.
“Good job.” I grinned at her.
The ripple effects of Azalea’s presence in TVD will be seen further into the story. The girl’s just arrived but it’s already making small differences. Hope you liked this chapter. It’s quite a bit longer than the last one.