The 1100s- exact dates unknown
As humans began conquering the Earth with various civilizations and explorations, the hidden supernatural species of the world grew as well. The Volturi had recently claimed their throne in Italy, and not long after had they taken control of the entire vampire population. And as the magical population began recognizing it’s true potential, four brilliant wizards - Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Salazar Slytherin, and Rowena Ravenclaw - constructed an academy dedicated to teaching magical children about their talents- and soon after, revolutionised magical learning in Europe.
But, as they say, peace never lasts long.
A few decades later, an incident involving a vampire trying to drink from a witch, sluggish government responses, and the death of both vampire and witch almost revealed everything to the non-magical human population- and, inevitably, led to the two supernatural species’ discovery of each other.
From then on began a fierce rivalry- vampires blamed wizards for the mistake, wizards blamed vampires- and, of course, though they tried to hide it behind excuses and worse problems, both species worried that they were no longer the strongest ones on the planet.
Tensions mounted. When a witch killed an unsuspecting vampire for trespassing on her family, his mate struck back and murdered the witch’s entire family. A group of dark wizards destroyed two covens in Wales, and when they were convicted by vampire law, the minister of magic declared them innocent- and the Volturi threatened battle.
Godric Gryffindor- the reckless, brave fighter of the four founders, voted to let them come. They had more than enough defenses, he said. They could end these vampires once and for all.
Helga Hufflepuff wanted to surrender. Needless to say, no one heeded her advice.
Sytherin, on the other hand, planned and plotted and schemed, and in the end, concluded that though the wizarding community did have more flair and possibility, incantations were too slow and vampires were too fast and silent magic took too much concentration, and physical shields would be easily broken- and on top of it all, about the only spells that worked on vampires were cutting, hacking, and- once there was venom- burning to death. And he was too sound a strategist to fight with such low odds.
It was Rowena who came up with the idea. Staunchly behind Slytherin, who had refused to fight, she was the one left to come up with a sensible idea, other than fleeing- Salazar won’t hesitate to leave the wizarding community to save himself and his friends- she admired him for it, make no mistake. But defending was ingrained in her, and she didn’t believe she could just abandon the thousands of witches and wizards to a battle leading to almost certain death.
The letter, sealed with the most intricate charms and delivered by a phoenix, to Marcus Volturi- the most rational of the brothers- was a masterstroke. The four agreed- and they agreed to keep it secret, too. If the wizarding world learned that the founders had associated with vampires, the school would probably have to shut down for good.
And Aro Volturi, too, could see how this letter- addressed however insultingly to his brother- would save much bloodshed- or lives lost, since vampires didn’t have blood- in the future. Cruel as he was, as power-hungry, he did care for his species. So he inked his signature and made it final- there was to be a treaty between vampires and wizards; so long as neither world collided, and neither- whether accidentally or deliberately- would reveal their presence to humans, vampires and wizards could live in peace.
And so, for centuries, the vampires and wizards of the world lived in ignorant peace with each other, discounting a few conflicts- the southern vampire wars and the rise of Grindelwald, for instance, but both were resolved. Once again, the world lived in peace.
Until it didn’t.
I sink to my knees, trembling. The fires are still burning and the stench of death lingers in the air and her haunting cries bounce around my head and it feels, like it often does, that maybe this gift is more a curse than anything else.
The fever pitch of fighting starts to lull, and the sudden onslaught of emotion, foreign and my own, threatens to overwhelm me. I can no longer pass off the terror in a rush of adrenaline; I can’t fight the despair and pain and fury that comes rushing up my skull.
I notice Edward running to her side. Rose staggers towards me and pulls me up again and wraps an arm around my waist, leading me towards her. I comply, because I’m too weak not to.
Somewhere in the forest, a wolf howls. Another wave of pain hits me, and I push out calm as hard as I can, as far out. And then I see her, and a violent tremor passes through my body.
She looks even paler than usual, paler than us- her face is white as a ghost’s. Her eyes are closed and the tumultuous emotions emanating from her almost bring me down again. Her leg is torn apart and she has two fingers missing, but that’s not what scares me. A vampire as horribly mutilated would be feral with pain, but she isn’t moving.
“Alice?” I whisper, clutching her good hand in mine. She doesn’t stir, and I turn to Carlisle. “Is she- can you-?”
To my right, the fire crackles, dancing in an unseasonably cold breeze. The sun passes behind a cloud. The sky darkens.
And the flames burn brighter.
Carlisle’s head snaps towards me. “Can you fix her?” he says reluctantly. “I’m sorry, but Jacob-”
“I- I get it. But I can’t,” I say, shortly. And I do, because Alice is still fixable, and Jacob isn’t, but I need help right now- because, for once, I’m not capable enough.
I’ve always been the one mutilating, but I’ve never learned to fix.
“Hey.” Rose grasps my hand briefly. “I got this.” Her tone is confident, her emotions echo it. I should be able to trust her with Alice.
Carlisle nods at me once, then flies out of the clearing. A weak pinprick of betrayal runs through me, as much as I try to hide it.
Edward assumes my usual role.
“Emmett, find that newborn,” he orders. Emmett nods and runs off, stopping once to kiss Rose. “Esme, would you get Bella home? Feed Charlie something- Alice got hurt, we’re back, whatever.” He pauses. “Love, please just go with Esme.” He strides over to Bella and pecks her forehead.
Esme puts her arm around Bella, saying something about a mug of hot chocolate. Edward comes to my side, sits down, and clasps my shoulder.
Rosalie’s hands fly around Alice. She holds her broken body parts together and licks the wounds closed, I turn away, unable to bear it.
“What does she feel?” Edward asks me, drumming his fingers restlessly on the ground. I think he hates waiting as much as I do. “Pain?”
I pinpoint her emotions, glad for something to do. I’ve always been more attuned to her feelings than anyone else’s.
“There’s nothing,” I whisper, panicking. “What- what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Concussed humans often feel nothing,” Rosalie says, cool and detached and unfocused. “She could be concussed.”
Vampires don’t get concussed. She knows I know it.
We don’t talk anymore, but I felt their emotions still, and I sure as hell feel my own.
It’s not long before I grow tired of not doing anything. It doesn’t help that I’m scared, though I don’t let that particular emotion slip through my control. It simply doesn’t do to ever show fear, whether surrounded by enemies or allies.
“You’re surrounded by family,” Edward whispers. “Why don’t you just let go?”
I almost scoff. What the hell would he know about letting go?
Five minutes and twenty-two point three unbearable seconds later, I feel Rose relax.
Edward nods. “She’s fine. Don’t worry.” That he has to say that is enough to let me know something’s wrong.
“Shut up,” Rosalie snaps, but through her annoyance for Edward, I can feel concern- and that scares me.
It's barely a second before Edward’s control slips. Panic blasts out of him, fast and furious like water out of a bursting dam. He curses, and I whip around, slipping into a crouch.
“No.” It can’t- she can’t-
She’s not moving.
I don’t know what that means. I can’t comprehend it. I refuse to.
Rosalie raises her hands in a placating gesture, advancing slowly. I hiss at her, but some instinct compels me not to attack, so I don’t.
Edward doesn’t take that precaution. He flies at me and grips my forearm tightly. “Jasper. She’s alive. Her mind is moving too fast for me to comprehend, but it is moving, and that means she isn’t-” he breathes- “that she’s still fine.”
I close my eyes. Half a second passes when I try to hold myself together, then I exhale, wishing I could cry.
She’s alive. But she’s not fine.
“Why isn’t she waking?” I ask, starting to tremble slightly. “What’s wrong- what’s happened?”
Rose reaches towards me. She pulls me into a half-hug, resting her head on my shoulder. “I can’t fix her,” she murmurs into the rough fabric of my jacket. “I can’t find anything to fix.”
“But that’s good,” Edward says, faux-encouragingly. “If you can’t find anything to fix, then maybe there is nothing wrong at all.”
I look at Alice. She’s beautiful still, of course, but it doesn’t look like there isn’t anything wrong with her.
Rosalie raises her head, giving me a tentative smile. “You can hold her if you want to. She’s physically fine enough for you to hold.”
I wordlessly sling an arm around her shoulders and pull her onto my lap. The contact helps, even if she is unconscious and wounded.
A moment passes. It’s enough to make my mind run rampant.
I’m scared. Those few hours last year, when she was in Volterra, I’d thought that was the farthest she’d ever be from me. But here, with her pressed against me and her emotions running a blank and with nothing I can do to help her, I can’t help but feel that there is a lot more than an ocean and a government of sadistic vampires between us.
My mouth twists into a sneer. The Volturi. It’s always the fucking Volturi.
They say you shouldn’t hate the dead… but I wonder. It’s because of Jane that we’re here, that Alice isn’t waking up, that I’m ridiculously close to breaking, that Rose is surreptitiously trying to tend to that huge piece of flesh Felix ripped off her shoulder.
My left arm twitches. I spot two more, added to the collection. Off Alec, and one from that fucking newborn.
She escaped; I suppose. Emmett is fast, but she has the newborn strength and speed. If he hasn’t caught her, she’s probably in the Atlantic Ocean by now.
“I should’ve gone, shouldn’t I?” Edward asks. He looks up. “You don’t think we should’ve gone after Felix or Alec instead?”
I sigh. It feels like I’m holding back tears, somehow. “No,” I say. “I’d love to. For revenge. But Alice was hurt, Jacob was hurt, Bella is human still, so we couldn’t. Even if only Carlisle or Esme stayed…” I shake my head. “Alec is too strong. We’d have to split up, and we’d have no guarantee that the stronger team found him. At least Emmett has a chance of defeating the newborn.”
“But they’ll regroup,” Edward argues. “And they’ll bring the whole force down on us…” He shudders. “They’ll kill us.”
I don’t answer that. Strategy is my thing, but there’s nothing I can focus on right now.
“Fuck,” Rosalie blurts, tugging at her hair desperately. “I just want Emmett.”
I manage a smile. For Rose’s sake, I remind myself. “He’s like your huge comfort device, isn’t he? Big and squishy?”
She smiles back, though it is watery. “Comfort device. Nice way to describe him.”
Edward grins, too. “For a moment there,” he says, “you guys could’ve been real siblings. You know, instead of mass murderers.”
I laugh, because of the two people who ever laugh at his lame jokes, one is off making hot chocolate for his girlfriend, and the other might never wake up.
I can feel that Rose has a retort on the tip of her tongue. For once, though, she doesn’t use it. “Weird time for sibling bonding,” she whispers after some time.
I muster a smile. I’m barely holding myself together, and Rose is panicked and feeling helpless, and Edward wants to be back with Bella, and they both know that I know it.
A minute or two passes in silence. This time, I don’t allow my mind to wander.
Then suddenly, Edward’s excitement hits me- not like a bursting dam this time, but like an avalanche- slow but sure, and definitely lethal.
My head snaps up. “What the-”
“She’s waking! I can- I can hear- she’s remembering it-”
“Alice?” I whisper, propping her up against the tree in front of me. “Alice, are you there?”
Her eyes flutter open. She gasps and looks straight towards me and she leaps at me and I hold her tight and bury my face in her hair and it hurts and it doesn’t, and it’s like I can breathe again, like I can finally let myself loose.
“You were dead,” I choke into her ear. And I let the emotions overwhelm me- it doesn’t matter anymore. “You were dead and I couldn’t feel you and I thought- I thought-”
“Don’t, Jasper.” I can feel her shaking- she’s gone through way more than I have and I’m the one breaking apart. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t need to be.” I hesitate, but I have to do this- sooner, or later. “Do you know- do you remember-?”
She lifts her head and looks at me, straight in the eye. She’s scared, I realize- scared and confused and in pain, and she needs me to be her rock.
“No,” she says, and I wonder if it’s just me that can detect the tremor in her voice. “I don’t. I remember Jane with her torture, and Felix-” I shudder, closing my eyes- “Felix- anyway, after… that, he had something. I don’t know if that was a power… if that could be a power.” She blinks, and for a moment, I can almost see a tear streaming down her face. “All I know is that it- it hurt enough to make me feel like I was changing, again.”
I look down at her, and she presses her lips to mine.
Ink dripping from quill on paper has never been more annoying.
Dear Carlisle Cullen, I write finally, unsure of what else to. Hi.
My foot taps impatiently on the mat beneath me. I swear loudly- I don’t know much, but I know that that’s not how one talks to a vampire.
I know that this is far from the custom, and I know that you have no reasons to not throw this letter into your fireplace as soon as you realize who I am, but please hear me out.
I wonder how weird this is, history repeating itself- a wizard did write to a vampire for a truce, some thousand years earlier.
We, the wizards of Europe, have a… problem, on our hands. Have you, by any chance, heard of a recent… disturbance, in Britain? If so, then it is probably the work of our problem.
Most likely, they won’t even get this far. Animal-eating or not, vampires had never been friendly to us wizards.
I will not name him, since it isn’t safe to do so- not in speech nor in writing. As a close friend of mine keeps saying, names have power.
That sentence is only a half-lie- Hermione is a very close friend, but it’s me, more often than not, that reminds her of it- she might have loved my brother, but, well, he was my brother. And I haven’t spoken the dark lord’s name once, not since Bellatrix Lestrange killed him, back when I was a child, back when the war was nothing more than some adventure we thought we’d succeed at.
It’s been almost six years- and yet, my hand still curls in a fist whenever I think of her. As if killing my brother wasn’t enough, she had to take my mother at the end of it.
I shake my head. Vengeance can come later. I have work to do.
But this is for sure- he is a tyrant, obsessed with ‘purifying’ the wizarding world- his words, not mine- and killing, or enslaving, all of those who don’t have wizarding descent.
I pause, and the ink drips again, pooling on the paper.
Years ago, we lost our supposed savior, the one who was supposed to slay the mighty enemy- and the one I loved, though I don’t write that- and though we have been holding our own ever since, rebelling quite frequently- and dying- in his war, this could not possibly go on much longer. Because we are broken, and soon enough, he will sweep away our pieces off the face of the earth.
I laugh, tired. Does eloquence come with age? It doesn’t feel so long ago that I’d have stamped fucking help us or we both die and sent off the letter by muggle post.
The reason why I ask this of you now, instead of anytime before, is too dangerous to put in a letter. If any of you has known war- and I am certain one of you has- they will know why.
I close my eyes. This is the moment- if I mess it up, we all might be dead.
We need help.
It’s twisted, in a way- my moment of reckoning isn’t in a field of battle, like I’d always thought it would be. It’s in a locked room, writing on a piece of mouldy parchment, hoping against hope for a chance against the evil forces.
We are simply too broken to continue putting together glass shards which may cut our hands. It’s nothing but the truth- we can’t hope to win the war, not without help.
There’s sweat on my brow. I wipe it off, praying that Draco will get here early. Living with him isn’t as bad as I expected- Hermione keeps warning me not to trust him, though I can’t help but do so, ever since he fled after he saw my brother die.
And he cooks damn fine.
I sigh. I know I’m tired when I get excited at the thought of dry mushrooms with rice.
I know you can’t trust us, or wouldn’t. I understand. Prejudice goes deep in the wizarding world too, and we know what it’s like to feel afraid. But I propose this- we meet at a place of your choosing, at your preferred time, at your convenience- and then we tell you our story and you can choose whether or not to trust us.
Please consider my offer. Though my friends and I aren't very trusting of vampires, either, we have no choice left. And there is something you might be interested in, too, that we will share with you- in my opinion, it could severely impact your way of life.
I don’t have a muggle address, so please just say “ jibega vas” thrice and this letter will come back to me, along with anything you inscribe upon it. I do hope to hear from you soon.
Order of The Phoenix
I heave a sigh. Can this work?
It has to. We have no other hope.
If there’s someone up there, make it work. If there isn’t, then still make it work.
The letter vanishes. A bead of sweat falls off my brow.
It’s up to them now.
Carlisle considers the letter, frowning.
“If,” he says, his lips pressed in a straight line, “if even any one of us doesn’t agree to this, we won’t go ahead with it.”
“Well, they sound true,” I say, my eyebrow furrowing. “I think we could… agree to meet them. And if we’re the ones deciding everything-”
“Then they are the ones with the perfect chance for an ambush,” Rose finishes, sitting down on a couch. Have you ever heard of battle strategy, Edward? “They could bring an army- they could lure us into a false sense of security and then kill us easily.”
Emmett grins. “Not so easily.” Or maybe we’ll even kill them all. “I’m down.”
I think it over. “No, you’re right, Rose. It’s too big a chance.”
Bella looks excited, almost as much as Emmett- sometimes, I wonder if danger comes looking for her, or if she goes seeking it herself. “Well, I think they’re in trouble. If we can’t help them, our souls are clearly damned.”
My mouth hangs open. Emmett laughs loudly, and Carlisle clears his throat. “Alice?” he says. “What about you?”
Alice hums slowly, lifting her face from Jasper’s shoulder. I haven’t seen them separated since the battle- since that scare she gave us all. “I can’t see them clearly,” she admits. I don’t think I want to. They could have more of that- that poison- and spells-
“We’ll be on our guard this time,” I promise her, though truthfully, I’m just as scared. If that poison could sedate a vampire, I don’t want to imagine what it would do to a human. “But if you don’t want to-”
“No, it’s not- I don’t-” I’m scared. “They’ll have answers. And I don’t- I don’t foresee a fight, however unclear…”
Jasper tucks one of her tresses behind her ear. “Are you sure?”
She breathes, deeply. “I think I am.” What if I’m wrong? “I… I say yes.”
“Jasper?” asks Carlisle.
“They’re powerful,” he admits. They are known to be merciless, at least the evil ones. “Very powerful. They can appear out of thin air and conjure a wildfire that burns us, even without venom. If we’re killing machines, they’re the best defenses against us.”
“How do you-”
Jasper closes his eyes. Fuck this. “I’ve met them.”
I stare at him in surprise.
“In the wars,” he explains, shuddering slightly, “when the fighting got too brutal, and the chances of exposure widened further. There were five of them- and I could tell each one was exceedingly powerful.” In his mind, I see them- four ancient people, one young man- and an aura of power.
Emmett leans forward, looking excited. “Please tell me you fought one!” How am I supposed to kill a fucking magician?
Jasper shrugs. If it were up to my stupid younger self, I would have. “I offered. The white-haired man said they came in peace.”
Rose considers it. “If we know how to kill them, then maybe I’d agree to it, too. But,” she says, pausing deliberately as if to cause drama, “I don’t say yes unless we have the dogs.”
“Sam’s going to say yes,” I state with conviction. “But he’s going to have conditions too- Jacob thinks he’ll ask us to leave, or at the very least, ask them to never bother the tribe again.”
Bella flinches, like she always does when Jacob’s name is mentioned.
“We can’t,” she objects. “We aren’t dragging them into another battle, not after last time.”
I dampen my jealousy. “Bella,” I say gently, “none of us want to put anyone in danger again, but there’s no way to assure anyone’s safety now. We can’t take any chances, and the wolves can help us fight them off.”
“Besides, it’s their choice,” Alice adds.
Rosalie nods, thoughtfully. “If you’re sure…”
“Then yes.” She twirls her hair around her finger, an evil smile spreading across her face.
I glance at Jasper.
He shrugs, though I know he’s far from calm. The last fight unhinged both him and Alice- and, I think, for good reasons. “Fine, provided I get to choose the time and place, and the terms by which they’ll come to us.”
Carlisle nods. It had been clear already that we couldn’t have done that without Jasper’s expertise in war. “Esme?” he asks.
Esme, who’d been sitting in quiet worry as her children discuss a battle that may lead to their deaths, speaks up. “We need to help them. It’s the right thing to do.”
Rose looks at her incredulously. “You think they’re telling the truth? That they aren’t planning an attack on us, members of a species they’ve despised for centuries?”
Esme considers this for a moment. “I think that if they were desperate enough to send it, they must really need our help. And if something is so bad that you need to ally with your worst enemy, then you know that it’s nothing to underestimate.”
No one says anything, taking in the weight of her words.
Finally, I say, “I think we should do it.”
I look around, expecting people’s objections, but no one argues with me.
“So... is everyone in agreement? We’re going to help them?” Carlisle asks. Seeing that we’re all nodding, he continues. “Well then, we’d have to…”
“Turn Bella.” I finish through my teeth.
“Edward, it’s okay. You’ve been delaying this so long, and-” Bella starts.
“No, I can’t. Not just for a battle strategy, one that we might not even have to use. You’d be giving up your humanity for-”
“I’d be giving it up for you!” she says fiercely.
“Which is why I can’t let you just die! Bella, you have a life-”
“With you!” she yells. “I have a life with you!”
“Edward,” Carlisle intercedes. “It’s her choice.”
Rose steps forward. “She’ll provide a strong tactical adva-”
“She’s not a toy!” I yell.
“She,” says Bella, under a thin veil of calm, “is standing right here. And she will have a choice in this discussion.”
“Which has a different time and place,” Jasper continues smoothly. “Bella, Alice swore to it- if Edward doesn’t change you when you want him to, she will.”
Alice nods slightly. “Yeah. I will.” A series of visions flashes through her mind, and then everything turns black. “Sam’s here.”
I nod and get the door, forcing a smile like I’ve done too many times.
Sam Uley stands outside, accompanied by Paul, who looks wary, and Seth, looking positively excited at the prospect of new friends.
I nod at them stoically- though, if I’m being truthful, I do hold them in high regard- and, if not a friendship, most of us have developed quite a fondness for Seth, who grins and waves as soon as I open the door.
“How’s everyone?” he asks. Though he seems to be radiating pure joy, faint worry echoes in his mind. “Any success with the runaway newborn?”
Emmett snorts. “You make her sound like the runaway bride- but no.” Despite his joking manner, I see the girl’s face in his head, along with an excessively violent image of ripping her to shreds. “You?”
Paul shakes his head. “No scents ever since you guys killed the redhead.”
I nod. “Sam? Did you decide- did the elders-?”
He stares at me with slight apprehension. “Freedom to attack any vampire who kills on our lands, without the fear of retaliation from you. We would appreciate it if you’d warn your vampire friends about the consequences.”
“No vampire or wizard intervention,” he continues, “exempting you, as long as this generation of wolves remains alive.”
“Fair enough,” Carlisle says. “Is that all?”
“One more.” Sam steps into the house, and breathes in. “Protection, for the tribe. For a hundred years, we will be entitled to call upon you- and you will be entitled to protect us- in case of any kind of danger, be it supernatural or mere human.”
“Done,” I promise.
“Then you have our permission to call your witches. The pack stands with you.”
I hurry back to the base, panting- it’s too late and I know that if I don’t get back by midnight, the girls wouldn’t hesitate to relocate without me.
Hermione’s words ring in my ears. It’s a mistake. They’ll kill us, they’ll capture us, they’ll sell us to Voldemort. It’s a mistake, Draco.
I don’t think it’s a mistake as much as our last chance to win this war.
The tent is almost in my sight. I breathe a sigh of relief, and flick my wand, muttering the light extinguishing spell. It’s little more than half past eleven. I’m in time.
I notice the lack of protection spells, frowning . It’s not much like Ginny to be callous, but maybe she was just too tired after her patrol yesterday. Shrugging it off, I zip open the magically enlarged tent.
And the smell of fresh blood hits my nose.