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Ghost in the Castle

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“It’s been five years Edward! She’s probably in college now or in graduate school.” Alice told Edward as the family gathered around the dining room table. Edward shook his head, he promised Bella that she would have a happy human life, and he would make sure she got it.
Carlisle held out his hands signaling for silence. “We’ll call first, and then decided. Alice does have a point. We brought her into this world; the least we can do is make sure that she is safe and happy around humans again. Alice, your phone please.”
“Why do you want my phone? Why not Edward’s?” Alice hedged.
“Oh come on Alice. We all know you still have her cell phone number. Edward deleted it from his, two years ago.” Rosalie said. Alice sighed and handed Carlisle, her phone. He found Bella’s name at the top of Alice’s contact list and hit send.

“Hello, this is Bella’s phone. Please leave your name and message at the beep. If this is Isa, talk to me later. Bye.”
Click. Carlisle shut the phone and handed it back to Alice. They sat in silence for a few minutes before Emmett broke the silence.
“Who the heck is Isa?” Emmett asked, and then laughed. “Bella’s rooming with another girl with the same name!”
“Her voice sounds different. It sounds happy, but that’s not it.” Jasper commented.
Rosalie snorted. “Her voice sounds like ours. Perfect bell chime voice.”
“No!” Edward exclaimed. Alice smiled a little, as it meant the family would be paying Charlie Swan a visit.

 

Alice smiled as she got out of their private plane; one of the perks of being a vampire. It felt good to be back in Washington and soon they’d be back in Forks, where this all began.
“Don’t get your hopes up Alice. She’s probably not there anymore; she might have left soon after we did, without anyone knowing.” Jasper said calmly. Alice just shook her head. “She loves Charlie too much to have done that to him.”
“I just don’t you to get your hopes up.” He said as got into one of the cars waiting for them. They didn’t have to ride with Edward, fortunately. Emmett and Rosalie were much better company anyway. They drove to their old home in Forks. It was decided that Charlie would react better to Alice than to Edward or even the whole family. Jasper would go to keep Alice in control.

Charlie’s house looked the same from the last time she had seen it. Alice skipped up to the door and knocked three times. Charlie opened the door and smiled softly when he saw Alice but then frowned. “What are you doing here? Why now?” He asked. “You were her best friend and then you just left like she was nothing to you. Well, now you’re five years too late. She has a new best friend, who actually cares about her, and who would never have left in the state she was in when your family left.”
If Alice was human, she would have been bawling. Edward had told them that Bella wanted them to leave. That she didn’t want anything to do with them. “I didn’t know!!!!! She and Edward had a huge fight the night of her birthday, and when he came back, he said that she didn’t want anything to do with us anymore. So Carlisle accepted a position in Ithaca, New York, and we all started college. I wanted to come back, but Edward said it was better if we just left her alone.”

Charlie’s frown softened a bit, as he heard that not only had Edward broken Bella’s heart, but had lied to his family, who, if Alice was anything to go by, still cared about Bella. “I seriously disappointed in your brother. He seemed like a good guy. I don’t want her to get hurt like that again. I don’t know much about Bella’s whereabouts these days. I’m sorry, Alice.”
Jasper subtly nudged Alice. Charlie was telling a half truth. He felt guilty about something, which meant he did know about Bella’s whereabouts, but was wary of telling them to him and Alice. A car pulled up to Charlie’s house. Like Alice’s Porsche, the dark blue Ferrari stood out like a sore thumb. A young lady in her early twenties got out of the car. She had wavy dark brown hair down past her shoulders and hazel eyes, as well as an amiable, pleasant face. The lady, herself, looked as out of place in Forks, as her car did, dressed gray skinny jeans, black boots with a small heel and a light brown trench coat. She walked right up to Charlie and hugged him. Alice and Jasper were surprised to see him hug her back. He seemed reluctant to let her go.

“Ciao, Charlie. How are you?” The girl said in an Italian accent. Charlie smiled at her. “I’m doing well, Isabella. And yourself and Bella?”
“We’re doing fantastic. We just took a trip to Milan. Such a lovely city. Bella’s a little homesick, but I said I’d bring some pictures back with me, if you could spare a few. “ She told him.
He nodded. “Come on in, and get them for you.” He looked over at Alice and Jasper. “You two may as well come in as well.”
They followed Charlie and Isabella into the living room. Isabella made a quick stop in the kitchen setting a bulky envelope on the kitchen table. Alice asked the first question after Charlie went up the stairs. “Who are you?”
“Scusa, I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Isabella Rossi. I’m Bella’s best friend and roomate. And you two are?” She asked in return.
“I’m Jasper Whitlock and this is my wife Alice. We knew Bella when she was in High School. She and Alice were best friends. Bella dated Alice’s brother, Edward.”
“Oh, so you’re that Jasper and Alice. Bella talks about you two a lot.” Isabella said as Charlie came downstairs. “She really misses you guys. Hey, why don’t you come visit us. I’m sure she’d love to see you.”
“Here you go Isabella. Tell Bella to write her old man more often. Don’t be a stranger now.” He said warmly. Isabella gave another huge hug and left. Charlie then slumped into his chair looking over at Jasper and Alice on the couch. “I kind of have to tell you now don’t I?”
“You don’t have to, but if we’re going to take Isabella up on her offer, we do need know where they are studying.” Jasper said evenly. Charlie got up and walked into the kitchen. He came back with a nila envelope and handed it to them. “Bella got accepted in the University of Florence with a scholarship. Isabella Rossi, the girl you just met, was the first person Bella met and just happened to be her roomamte. Bella used to write a lot, about the college and all the fun stuff she and Isabella did. She doesn’t write as much, but now Isabella comes every couple of months with a letter and a bunch of pictures of her and Isabella. She and Isabella are planning on getting an apartment when they graduate in the this year.” Alice got up then and gave him a huge hug. “Thank you so much! This means so much to me!”
Jasper got up and shook Charlie’s hand. “It does mean a lot, that we are able to contact Bella again.” Charlie smiled softly at Alice. “Don’t let your brother anywhere near Bella.”
“I’ll do my best.”

Chapter Text

Alice and Jasper drove back to the Cullen’s home. “We know where she is!” Alice sang as she skipped into the house.
“Where is she?” Esme asked coming down the stairs followed by Carlisle and Emmett. Emmett skipped the last four steps in his excitement. Jasper smiled this would be good for the whole family. They truly would be a family again.
“She’s at the University of Florence and is graduating this year.” He handed Carlisle the nilla envelope from the university.
“She’s rooming with a girl named Isabella Rossi, who we met at Charlie’s. She said that we could come and visit. She also said that Bella talks about me and Jasper a lot.” Alice said as she excitedly bounced around the room.
Carlisle smiled warmly at her, before looking through the envelope’s content’s. His smiled faded as he pulled a brochure out of the envelope. ‘This would explain why she sounds like us. Well at least she is still alive and well.’ He thought.
“Alive and well, Carlisle? She’s a vampire, how is that good? You know what their like.” Edward exclaimed from the stairs. Everyone turned to Carlisle.
“Why are you so against her becoming a vampire?? Well maybe now you’ll get you head out of your butt, and return to her.” Emmett said.
“She might not take him back.” Alice said softly.

“Guys calm down, let’s see what Carlisle meant and then we’ll deal with Edward’s problem with Bella turning.” Jasper said calmly. The room calmed down with Jasper’s help and all eyes turned to Carlisle. Carlisle, in turn, placed a brochure on the coffee table. “This is a brochure for a tour of ancient architecture from Florence to Volterra. The tour ends with a visit to the castle in Volterra. It also says that while at Volterra Castle, you may get lucky and see the ghost of the twenty year old girl that lived and died there in the 14th century.”
“Oh dear, Bella wouldn’t searching for the supernatural would she?” Esme asked concerned.
“It seems she did, seeing as we all heard her voice, and it wasn’t human anymore. It has all the qualities of our own voices.” Jasper mused quietly, although everyone could hear him.
“But we can’t just show up at Volterra, and ask to see Bella.” Rosalie scoffed.
“Well we could, but the brothers wouldn’t be pleased about us barging in.” Carlisle said.

“We won’t have to.” Alice said coming through the front door. Everyone was a bit confused as none of them had heard her leave or go outside. Alice danced over to Carlisle and handed him a fancy important looking envelope. The card read: To Carlisle Cullen and the Olympic Coven. On the back flap of the envelope was the Volturi crest. Carlisle opened the envelope and pulled out a single piece of heavy parchment.
“We have been invited to a ball held by the Volturi. It is being held at the end of this week.” Carlisle told them all. “Our attendance is required.”
“Does it say why our attendance is required or why their hosting a ball?” Emmett asked curiously. Carlisle shook his head.

Ring, ring, ring
“Hello, Carlisle Cullen speaking.”
“Ah, Carlisle, It is good to hear your voice. Our messenger returned saying that your house looked empty, when he delivered your invitation to our ball. Have you moved locations without telling us?”
“Yes, unfortunately. We moved to Ithaca, New York five years ago on a very short notice.”
“Very well we shall see you all at the ball.”
Carlisle hung up the phone and looked over at Alice who had just entered his study.
“We’re going back to Ithaca?” Alice asked.
“No one knows we’re here, except Charlie. I’m sure that Aro now knows about our stay in Forks. Besides, when we go to the ball, he will find out that we left Bella, a human knowing about our world, on her own. That will not go unchecked. Now is Charlie expecting you and Jasper back to see him?” He asked. Alice shook her head sadly.
“We will come back here Alice.” Carlisle told her softly as they walked out of his study.

The talk about moving back to Ithaca went better than Carlisle expected. They all agreed that Forks no longer held something for them now that Bella was gone. The move back to Ithaca was seamless. Carlisle went back to work the next day at the hospital and the Cullen ‘kids’ went to their college classes. Soon enough it was time to head to Italy for the Volturi’s ball.

Chapter Text

“Is someone coming to greet us or are we driving up there ourselves?” Rosalie asked.
“Well Rosalie, if you bother to turn around, you’ll see that there is an escort.” The Cullens all turned around as they heard a cold, but familiar voice. Behind then stood Bella, she didn’t look anything like the girl they knew in Forks, but there was no mistaking that voice. To Jasper and Alice’s surprise, Isabella Rossi was standing right next to her.
“Ciao Jasper and Alice. Welcome to the beautiful city of Florence.” Isabella’s Italian accent was unmistakable. Her crimson eyes and pale skin were different, but she was still the woman they met at Charlie’s house.
“Come on Isa. We’ve got work to do before the stupid ball, Aro’s hosting.” Bella said grumpily turning away from the Cullens. Isabella slid her arm through Bella’s and walked away from the terminal with her. The Cullens followed them down to baggage claim.
“You know you’ll like it. Nathan's going to be there.” She laughed as they walked.
“So will Demetri de Luca.” Bella said with a grin.
“Oh hush Bella. We can’t have the whole world knowing!” Isabella said making a shooing motion with her hand. Bella smirked. “If you shut up about Nathan, then I’ll shut up about Demetri.” Bella whirled on Edward when she heard him growl.
“What Edward? Jealous that some guy actually wants me? You lost your chance with your stunt in the woods. I almost died of hypothermia, thanks to you.”
“Oh let him sulk, he’s not worth it.” Isabella told her. The Cullens all got the luggage and followed Bella and Isabella out of the airport and into the Italian dusk.

“Of course he’s jealous. He’s a teenage boy, while Nathan’s a man and a handsome man at that.” Isabella whispered to Bella as they got into limo. “He’s jealous that he’s no longer the object of your affection. Not that he was even worthy of your affection to begin with. Your taste in clothes and boys was seriously lacking when I first met you. Now you’re fabulous and have a wonderful boyfriend. Let the past go already.”
“How did you become a vampire Bella?” Carlisle asked once they were all seated and the limo rolled forward onto the street.
Bella waved her hand at Isabella. “I met Isa on the streets on Florence and knowing what she was, asked her to drain me. She didn’t though; she changed me and gave me a fresh start in life. She formally introduced me to Aro and the rest of the Volturi. Aro asked if I wanted to join the Volturi. I told him that I didn’t know, that there were things I needed to do, before I even thought of settling down. He was pleasantly agreeable to my plans and even had one of the guards forge papers so I could get into the University of Florence. I did spend my newborn year in Volterra. Isa and I have been living in Florence for the last four years. She’s been Aro’s eyes and ears there.” They shared a look, before she continued. “I wouldn’t mind repeating college. High school though is a completely different matter.” She and Isabella laughed.
“College, yes, but I don’t think I could stand going back to high school.” Isa said after their laughs had subsided.
“You didn’t go to school when you were little, Isa.” Bella said with a short laugh. Isabella smiled. “And I’m better for not having done so.”
“So you are part of the Volturi?” Jasper asked at the same time that Carlisle asked. “How do you manage to get around without sparkling?”
The two laughed again. “That would be me.” Isa told them. “I can create glamours; Like with Jasper and Alice, I made myself look like my human self. Bella of course couldn’t go around Florence looking like a dead girl, so I changed her look a bit. I added the red highlights, and made her hair more of a mahogany color. I also changed her facial structure.”
Bella then turned from her friend to Jasper. “In answer to your question Jasper, I reside in the castle, but I am not technically part of the Volturi. I am more of an honorary member at the moment.” Edward growled at that, but no one paid him any attention.
“Did you meet the 20-year-old ghost girl, Bella??” Emmett asked excitably. Bella laughed. “Yes I did, Emmett. She’s very nice and friendly to those she like.”
“We should sic her on Edward. That would be fun!” Isabella said smiling wickedly. Bella smirked at Edward. “You’re right Isa. That would be fun. She would tear him to pieces.” Isa turned and looked out the window. “Ah here we are.” She pulled back the window in the front and told the driver to pull into the garage. Once inside the garage, the door was opened and a hand pulled Bella out of the limo. Isa laughed as the driver helped her out of the limo.
“Just couldn’t wait to welcome your girl home could you Nate?”
“Nope, nothing’s more important at the moment.” Nathan replied cheerfully. The Cullens got out of the limo and saw Nathan with his arm around Bella’s waist. Nathan was a head taller than Bella, with short brown hair and crimson eyes. He had a dark jean jacket on over a blue shirt and jeans. Nathan eyed Edward as he got out, and then turned to Bella.
“That’s him?”
“Yep.” Bella replied casually.
“That’s disappointing.” Bella laughed and kissed his cheek. Nathan turned to the Cullens. “Aro wants to see you all in the throne room. This way, please.” Isabella dashed ahead of them into the castle. Bella laughed.
“Demetri returned from a mission just yesterday.” Nathan told her as they led the Cullens into the throne room.