Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I do not own Twilight. I make no profit from this work of fiction.
AN: Story is adopted from Violet Voltori. I endeavor to do it justice. This chapter shall consist of the story through chapter three, re-written. Some elements (minor ones) will change, in favor of time line.
To make that perfectly clear, I wrote the content in this story. If you would like to view the original to compare, you can search for it under the title "The Dark Lady" by Violet Voltori.
While this is AU, as crossovers are by definition, I shall attempt to keep it as close to in character as possible.
As with all authors, I appreciate feedback. Though, if all you have to say is "ugh" please at least convey what exactly was "ugh" to you. I cannot improve without specifics.
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My body was wracked with sobs. I could hear my wretched cries echoing off the walls. When he left, Edward Cullen wrenched my very soul from me. I could feel the aches in my ribs and wondered when I would no longer have tears to shed. My throat was raw from having voiced my anguish for so long.
As my thoughts were centered only on my own grief, I almost did not hear my benefactor enter.
"Bella." His sharp tone cut through my cries, and I looked up from my tear-soaked pillow to stare at him. "You've hardly eaten for the past few days. You've barely left your room. You're a wreck, hon." He placed a canvas bag next to me on the bed. "Pack. You have a plane leaving in three hours. It's time for you to go home."
"You're going to send me away?" I was shocked. Surely he would take care of me in my time of need. Surely he would not force me to leave the only place I had known as home. He shook his head at me, sighing.
"That's the first time in a month that you've shown any amount of fire, Bells. I'd love to have you stay. You know that. But you're wasting away. You got too invested in him." I nodded. Accepting his words was difficult, but even I was aware that I had given far too much of my identity up in pursuing Edward. "When you're ready to come back, you're always welcome," he said softly.
I stood on shaky legs and crossed to him, wrapping my arms around him tightly. "I know, Charlie. Thank you."
Giving me a sad smile as he pulled back, Charlie patted my back gently. "Do you need help packing?" I shook my head. "Okay then." He looked down at me, his brow furrowed with confusion briefly before he pulled me tightly to him once more. The whiskers of the day's growth of stubble tickled my cheek briefly before I felt the wetness of his own tears mingling with the ever-present tracks on my face. "I'll miss you, Bells."
I hugged him back as tightly as I could. "I know, Charlie. Me too." I pulled back from him gently, smiling sadly. "I suppose you'll have to install a fireplace."
He smiled, chuckling lightly as he released me. "That is how they make phone calls, isn't it?" I grinned as I stepped back. He seemed as lost as I felt as he stepped closer to the doorway. His hand rested lightly on the doorknob, tapping it with his fingers. "I'll … I'll let you pack, then." He left then, straightening his shoulders as he stepped into the hall. I watched him as he walked away, ready to stay if his shoulders slumped. He turned the corner, his gait still sure. Sighing and fighting back the ever-present tears, I turned back to the bed, grabbing the canvas bag to pack.
It had been several hours since I had left the house I had called home for the last year. I was seated in first class, headed back to my home - a place I had not seen in several years. Still, my sorrow did not leave me. If anything, the combination of my broken heart with my broken home destroyed my fragile emotional stability. I wept openly.
The woman seated to my left patted my knee gently. "Nothing's that bad, poppet." I tried to respond, but the only sounds I was able to produce were hiccup-tinged wails. "I promise. Whatever it is that has you in such a state will get better." Unable to speak, I did my best to nod. I was still unable to bring my wild sobs under control, though.
"Oh, will you stop your snivelling!" The man across the aisle snarled the command. Though he startled me, his demand failed to end the flood of my tears. "Listen, chit, we've got a long flight ahead of us still, and I refuse to spend the whole route listening to you screech!" I heard a smattering of disapproval through the cabin. I was unsure of whether the issue were his comments – which did nothing to help me, or my own inability to stop sobbing until the flight attendant stepped in front of me. She handed me a kerchief, gently patting my shoulder.
"Sir, the airline apologizes that you're having to witness humanity." The comment was just brusque enough to help abate my tears. "I realize we're still several thousand miles from our destination. However, if you find the accommodations we provide as intolerable as your comments suggest, you're welcome to disembark."
I could hear him dribbling clearly, even as the other passengers giggled a bit. I turned to the attendant, touching her forearm lightly to ask for another kerchief. Seeing my hand on her arm seemed to rekindle his anger. "Madam, I will have you terminated!"
Though my vision was a bit swimmy, I narrowed my eyes at him. I could feel my anger bubbling through my veins, and I felt something within me give way. A loud crack sounded throughout the cabin. Several startled squeals erupted, and those who had been standing in the aisles ducked down quickly. The captain came over the intercom within a few moments of the noise, declaring that there was no need for alarm as the cabin pressure throughout the plane was unaffected by the disturbance.
Because my eyes had not left his face as the minutes ticked by, I saw the hand print clearly form on his cheek. No one had touched him, but he had the unmistakable imprint of a narrow hand with decidedly elongated fingers staining his face. Even as the other events registered in my peripheral vision, I watched the discoloration bloom across his skin. I had no idea how the event had happened, and the memory of other things I had once been unable to explain came to the forefront of my mind. Fresh tears bloomed even as the man took his seat, trying to hide his face from the other passengers.
The flight attendant nodded in his direction before turning to face me. The scowl she had bestowed on him vanished quickly as she took in the fresh flood of tears leaking from my eyes. "Broken heart?" I could only nod. She gave me a sad smile before turning and motioning for someone to bring the drink cart. "Here, honey, have some of this." She handed me a small tumbler full of amber liquid. I started to protest, but she held up her hand. "You'll feel better." I did not think too much about it after the kind lady next to me nodded as well. I downed the glass in two swallows and passed it back to the attendant. I leaned back in my seat, hiccuping sobs coming intermittently. I felt my body relaxing slightly, my eyelids growing heavy. The attendant repositioned my seat and covered me with a blanket. I tried to thank her for her efforts, but all that came out was a slurred sound. I heard her chuckle, then knew no more.
I woke to find the plane had landed, a gentle shaking of my shoulder alerting me that I was blocking the woman next to me from getting out. Mumbling an apology, I rose from my seat, stumbling into the aisle and stretching my cramped muscles. The flight attendant gave me a sad smile.
"What did you give me?" My lips seemed to stick together as I spoke to her.
"Just a mild sedative. Works every time." Her voice was gentle as she helped pull my carry on down from the overhead compartment. She ushered me out of the plane and down the loading bridge to the airport. "Is there someone waiting on you?" I shrugged, not sure if Charlie had been able to get in touch with any of my relatives. The answer, however, came from the end of the ramp.
"I will take that, madam."
Though his words were clipped, and his demeanor would be considered cold by those who did not know him, I rushed toward the speaker, throwing my arms about his middle and hugging him tightly. "Oh, Uncle!"
"We would have come to get you, Bella." He nodded to the attendant as she handed over my bag. "There was no need to make a trans-Atlantic flight." He walked us away from the jet-bridge, stopping when his back was to a wall and letting me cling to him fiercely. After several minutes I pulled away, and he frowned as he looked down at his oxford.
"Now that I need new attire, do I dare hope this is the only luggage you brought with you?" He scowled as I shook my head and produced a baggage claim ticket. He glared at the piece of paper. Remembering the feats he was capable of, I hoped he wouldn't incinerate it. I decided to take the initiative in hopes of diverting his attention. Looking up, I saw the signs pointing to the baggage queue. I gently turned his chin so the sign was in his line of vision. Huffing, he took my hand once again, looping it into the crook of his arm before guiding us in that direction. I could not help but smile at his discomfort. "You may think this humorous now, Isabella, but I am most unamused." My smile only grew wider.
After claiming my luggage, he guided me into an alcove, and wrapped his arms tightly around me.
"Uncle!" I hissed. "What if I should need to leave this country by Muggle means? I can't very well do, if I don't have a stamp in my passport."
He smirked down at me. "You should have thought of that before amusing yourself at my expense." And with a slight turn, I felt the world shift about me.
My already pallid skin turned a ghastly shade of grey as I tried to acclimate my stomach to the jolt of apparition. It had been far too long since I had "side-alonged" and I knew my body would be rebelling against this interaction with someone else's magic.
Hearing my name echo in the chamber sent shivers down my spine. Despite having lived in the States for so long, an embedded memory of a childhood visit immediately sprang to mind. Ingrained reactions rose to the forefront of my mind as I raised my face to the new voice, taking in the bald head and slitted red eyes with hardly any visible reaction. His long fingers tapped against the throne upon which he was seated for a moment before stopping as he gripped the arms with sudden force.
"You were not sent away for safety's sake so that you could consort with a vampire. Or a werewolf." A growl sounded to his right, but I kept my eyes trained on the man intent on showing just how reprehensible he found my associations to be. "You were to be safe because of the prophecy."
"And one can not always fight fate, father." A rippling gasp filled the room, quickly squashed when he rose from his throne and stepped fully into the light.
"Isabella Marie Swan, you dare defy me?"
I took a deep breath, feeling my nostrils flare with the aggravation of having to defend my choices. Meeting his gaze and trying not to visibly flinch, I did my best to reroute the meeting. "Why Swan, father?"
His eyes flashed at my cheek and the dismissal of his question. I could see the frustration in every line of his body as he paced before his throne. The men around his throne shrank back from him. Even the growls which had peppered the air since his comment regarding werewolves ceased. His red eyes seemed to darken and flash as he finally chose to answer. "A surname was required."
"Why not my mother's?"
He lunged towards me, slitted nostrils flaring as he stopped short. "If you must know, it is the only amount of sentimentality I have shown in my life."
"That doesn't answer the question," I reminded him softly. His eyes narrowed and he looked as though he wanted to shake me.
"Why must you try my patience?"
I kept his gaze as long as I could. Despite knowing that most would not dare, I forced myself not to drop my eyes. Muggles play a game where they see who will blink first when staring at each other. I had, in my youth, played the game. It could not even compare to holding my father's gaze. It was only when he stepped forward that I finally looked down, letting myself blink rapidly to bring moisture back to my eyes. Glancing up, I could see his gaze turn to the stern man with whom I had arrived. The silence was palpable, an almost electric undercurrent tinging the air as my father tested his servant's will.
Finally turning away from my uncle, he spun on his heel, effectively dismissing us both. "This is neither the time nor the place for this discussion. Escort her to her quarters, then return here." My uncle grasped my hand, placing it into the crook of his elbow once more as he escorted me from the chamber.
Uncle's head was raised high as we walked along, my fingers squeezing his arm tightly with the tension coursing through me. The hallways were not as dark as I had expected them to be, the ornate decorations helping me to relax slightly as I took in their grandeur. After several moments, our pace slowed, stopping only once we stepped into a large red circle opposite what I assumed to be the front doors.
"You would do well not to test him, Isabella. Though you are of his flesh, he is not one to trifle with." Uncle's voice startled me. I jumped slightly, losing my hold on his arm. He turned to face me, crossing his arms over his chest. "I appreciate that you want to establish your position among the household. Angering the lord of the manor is not the best method."
I couldn't help but grin. "Uncle..."
He raised his hand. "Isabella, this is not some permanently pubescent vampire. Or a socially awkward werewolf." My eyes narrowed and I felt lightning racing across my skin. He raised one eyebrow at my petulance. "While you hold a higher place than any other in this household, it will benefit you to remember that you have a place to uphold. I can assure you that the antics you were accustomed to in the States will not be accepted in our society." Despite my irritation at his assessment of my behavior, I nodded, deferring to his judgment.
Taking my arm once again, he waved his other hand. Where I had seen nothing a moment before, two grand staircases appeared. I could not help but be awed by the majesty of this home. Though his face showed no sign of it, I could hear the amusement in Uncle's voice as he spoke. "You will find there are many hidden secrets in this place, Isabella."
He opened the door to the right of the first floor hall with a slight flick of his fingers. Disentangling my hand from his arm, he did not release my hand until I had stepped over the threshold. "I am certain you flight tired you. Do take some time to refresh yourself. An elf will be up shortly to attend to any needs you may have." He had blushed slightly at the last, bowing to cover it. He stepped out of the doorway, the door closing behind him.
I had forgotten, because Uncle's visits were so infrequent, how wonderful the magical oils could be. Stepping from the bath, I felt rejuvenated. I entered my bedroom dripping wet. Though the winter weather had certainly done no favors for father's manor house, I paid it no mind as I toweled off. A throat clearing behind me had me squeaking as I pivoted. I scowled at my mother, whose high-pitched laughter echoed through the cavernous room.
"Your father is having words with your uncle." My mother's voice floated to me as I stepped over to the bed. "So I've come to see how you are." No sooner had the words left her lips than I burst into tears, collapsing onto the large bed in the center of the room. Though my mother's voice surrounded me, I was once more inconsolable. She crooned to me, but it took quite some time before my sobs abated.
I could not determine whether it was the emotional upheaval before the flight, or whether it was the exhaustion of the trip itself that continued to cause my moods to be so mercurial. Though it spanned several more bouts of desperate grief, I was finally able to tell her enough.
Not once during the ordeal did she touch me. The fingers gently combing my tresses belonged to the house-elf that had been sent to attend me. When my tears soaked the pillow underneath me, a light snap of her fingers would have the linen dry and clean once more. The overwhelming onslaught drained me, and I felt fatigue overcoming me despite my efforts to fight it.
When Mother eventually shushed me, I was too tired to protest, and drifted to sleep.
I awoke to hushed voices.
"What were we to do?" Uncle's deep timber was barely audible, My ears strained to make out the words.
"You were supposed to protect her!" I opened one eye, taking in my mother's flashing eyes and angry countenance. Her hissing made her meaning far more difficult to discern.
Uncle managed to keep his frustration in check, though it showed in the bearing of his shoulders. It could also clearly be heard in his voice. "When? Precisely when was I supposed to be able to carry out that task? How you managed to keep her alive while we were in that place I'll never know. Nor do I want to." Uncle was holding his hand up to forestall mother's explanation, and her jaw snapped shut. Her eyes darted to me, causing Uncle to turn slightly. I tried to keep my breathing even, so they would continue their discussion. Sadly, it seemed Uncle had noticed. "Such a trouble maker. Just like your mother." Mother's screech caused me to cringe, and I knew my ruse was ended.
"Yes, well." I sat up, keeping the blanket that had been placed over me firmly tucked around my body. Though the elf had put me in bedclothes, ladies did not display their assets to 'all and sundry.'
Uncle turned to face me fully. He pinched the bridge of his nose briefly before lowering his hand to address the issue at hand. "I understand why you didn't want to mention this in front of your father earlier. But he will want to hear all of the details, Isabella."
"Bella." His continual use of my full name had been irritating me, and I refused to not correct it anymore.
Watching his eyebrow rise slowly, I stifled a giggle. I had not known he had that great of a mastery over his facial muscles. I would need to ask him to teach me. "Excuse me?"
"Bella. The Muggles you left me with –"
"Squibs," Mother corrected. "I would never leave you with Muggles."
Uncle sniffed, managing to restrain himself from curling his lip in disgust. "Quite right."
"Fine." I crossed my arms over my chest as I huffed in irritation. "Squibs. Still, not able to do magic, so I couldn't either. I simply wish to be called Bella, rather than by my full name."
Mother tilted her head to the side, looking at me askance. "This is a Muggle affectation."
"That may be, but who left me there for seventeen years?"
Uncle's nostrils flared as he crossed to the bed, staring down at me. With his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes darkening, I realized why he was considered a highly dangerous man. "We could not risk your death, Bella. We needed you to survive. Though, I admit, your involvement with the vampires and werewolves was not a foreseen event."
Had he not been so intimidating, I might have given him some cheek. Still, I knew my limits, and where Uncle was concerned I had reached them. "It wasn't all bad. It did let me hold on to a small piece of this world."
"Oh, never mind all that." Mother's intervention hindered Uncle's response. I realized that I had missed bantering with him. It was one aspect of his intermittent visits that always amused me. His proper ways were not something to which life as the sheriff's daughter had accustomed me, but his rapier wit certainly kept my mind – and my tongue – sharp. "Rodolphus, we need to consider her education. She'll need certifications if she's to enter into society, and she'll certainly have to be able to defend herself."
Stepping away from my bedside, he turned to face mother fully. "I could take over her training in several areas, Bellatrix. Though I'm not enamored of him, Malfoy would be a good choice to aid in that endeavor as well. Many of our contacts are diminished."
Mother scowled. "I'm aware –" A loud crack covered her voice briefly. Whatever Mother had been about to state was halted immediately by the presence of the house-elf.
"Dubh is begging your pardons." Her voice was soft. Though it was clear she was a servant, she carried herself better than many of the elves I had seen during the few brief visits of my childhood. Her large eyes widened as Mother yelled at her to hurry about with her message. "The Master is wishing to see the young miss."
Uncle bowed to me before leaving the room. I rose once the door was locked, allowing the elf to help dress me. Though I had become comfortable in the modern Muggle dress and I would sorely miss my denims, I could not deny that the satin material sliding sensuously against my skin went a long way towards making me become enamored of the stricter dress code of Mother's society. Once I was appropriately dressed and sitting in front of the vanity, Mother instructed the elf as to hair and makeup, then glared at me, her eyes catching mine in the mirror.
"You will have to tell him."
My voice was barely audible as I answered her. "I know."
"The sooner, the better. He does not like secrets, and sees them as a betrayal." I nodded. "Do leave out the bit about begging for your death as long as possible, though. I highly doubt you'll appreciate his reaction." My smile was grim as I turned to face her, Dubh having finished her work. I started to reach a hand up to my hair, halting at the venomous stare Mother bestowed on me. "You will become acclimated to this very quickly. You were always quick to learn, Isabella, and I have no doubt of your ability to make up lost time, as it were, in learning the intricacies of wielding magic. You will certainly bring us great pride."
Happy as I was to be away from Forks and all of my memories there, with each word she spoke, Mother caused another knell of impending doom to sound. I had been scared of what Edward would have given me, but I would have achieved immortality. Father had always sought that, but had been unwilling to be beholden to achieve it. Yet as Mother continued, I felt a different weight settle on my shoulders. I realized my concerns before were trivial comparatively. I would be required to fit into the society Uncle had always spoken of on his visits. I would now be expected to surmount seventeen years of the absence of training in magic. And, as Uncle had always told me on his infrequent trips stateside, I would be expected to ensnare the affections of Father's enemy, to lure him to his doom.
One thing was certain. I was no longer concerned about Edward Cullen.