"Oh Charlie, she's beautiful," Jean Granger cooed, her own daughter cradled in her husband's arms as she stared down at her new niece. "You and Renee did a good job big brother," he chuckled, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and bringing her into his side.
"We both did Jean," he kissed his sister on the side of her head, sharing a smile with his wife. "We both did."
"You know Bella, you're my best friend!" Hermione called, flopping onto the bed beside her cousin, arms splayed above her head and her legs dangling off the side. Bella was in the exact same position, the only difference being that she was on the opposite side of the bed.
"You're mine too Mione!" The two girls giggled, long and hard, before their breathing evened and the two fell asleep.
That was how both their parents found them two hours later, sighing with amusement as they rearranged the two four year old girls onto the bed more comfortably.
The evening was cool, the air warm enough for little Paul to remain in his denim shorts and t-shirt without the worry of needing a jacket – luckily his father agreed with him. The bonfire was lit, the wood kindling and cracking, setting the atmosphere for the story as Billy Black spoke of the legends that their tribe lived for. He'd always wanted to listen to them, and he had when he was three, barely remembering any of it but he was intrigued now.
Sat on a log, next to his father and his friend Jared, his listened, enraptured and eyes wide as Billy spoke. The Legends were great, sending a thrill up his spine.
"Did you enjoy that buddy?" His father asked, smoothing the hair off his forehead as he tried to wriggle away with discomfort, noticing the amused looks he was receiving from some of Billy's friends.
"It was so cool dad," he breathed, his eyes lighting up once more and his mission to be free from her finished. "I don't know if i'd want to be a wolf like them though," he scrunched his nose up in disgust. "I'd probably be really angry all the time."
"Luckily it won't ever happen to you bubba," he assured him, kissing his forehead lovingly and allowing him to run off with some of his friends on the beach. "It won't, will it Billy?" He asked, worry filling her voice that he'd managed to mask from his son.
"The Cold Ones haven't been here in decades, what are the chances they'll turn up any time soon?"
"Aw my ickle Mione, aren't you getting big?" Charlie asked, ruffling his niece's hair with an affectionate hand. She huffed good-naturedly, shoving him away but she couldn't stop the beaming smile appearing on her face.
"It's so good to see you Uncle Charlie!" She wrapped her arms around his middle and squeezed, pulling back and looking around the room. "Where's Bella?" He sighed sadly, pulling her to the settee and sitting down.
"She's not here yet." He watched as the girl's brow furrowed before smoothing out with understanding.
"I'm sorry Uncle Charlie, mum never told me that she'd left." He chuckled awkwardly, pulling her back into a hug. "If it helps any, I love you."
"Oh that makes me feel so much better munchkin," he commented, smothering her face in kisses. "Because I love you too."
"Dad, she's the same age as me?" Jacob asked, staring at the little bushy haired girl in shock. He knew Bella was the same age as him but she was a little bit taller than this supposed seven year which made it more believable for him. "But she's so small," he whined when he saw his dad's nod at his first question.
He watched with amusement as the small girl growled with annoyance, straightening her back and squaring her shoulders to appear bigger. "I'll have you know Mr Black that I'm actually older than you," he snorted, trying to contain his laughter and her lower lip trembled as she tried to contain her anger.
Both his dad and her uncle noticed, giving Jacob stern looks who immediately apologised. "Ah man, i'm sorry squirt, I didn't mean to make you mad." She eyed him slowly, her face losing the redness that had crept up her neck and onto her cheeks. "Friends?"
Hermione nodded, her hand meeting his in the middle as if they had just signed off on a business deal. "Friends."
"Daaad," Jacob whined, clambering onto the settee so that he could look into his dad's eyes. "Can we take Hermione and Bella with us to the bonfire tonight? Please?" Billy exchanged a look with Charlie, who nodded, and Billy gave his own answering nod. The answering three cheers made a grin appear on his face.
"Uncle Billy," Hermione started as they were eating their food after the stories. He looked over at her and noticed a thoughtful look on her face. "Do you think the Legends could be true?" He knew that was what she'd be thinking about; for a seven year old, she was incredibly smart – she could read books like nobody's business but also had the odd ability to be able to read people like one of her books.
"I think anything could be possible if you just believe."
"Do you think maybe I could grow taller?" He barked out a laugh, before pulling her into his arms.
"Now sweetie, you've been graced with a gift but I don't think it is wise for us to tell anyone about it, okay?" Hermione's mother questioned after Professor McGonagall had left. "Not even Uncle Charlie or Bella can know."
"I would say you keep getting bigger every time I see you but that would be a lie," Billy greeted from his spot in the living room when Hermione arrived for her yearly holiday in Forks.
"Uncle Billy," she whined, grinning up at her Uncle Charlie as he opened the door for her and shooting a wave at her cousin Bella. "I'll have you know that I grew two inches." He snorted before ruffling her hair when she was close enough. "I missed you, all of you."
Her Forks family grinned, making themselves comfortable as they sat in the living room, food on the table in front of them and cold drinks on coasters next to their corresponding owners. "So Mione, what news have you got for us from the big city?" Hermione chewed her lip, wondering if she should share it – her mother did say not to after all.
"I'll tell you but nobody is allowed to know, not even Jacob." The three straightened, worry tainting their faces for she seemed so serious. "Okay, as far fetched as it seems, I need you to believe me." They nodded, Bella reaching out to hold her hand for support. "I'm a witch."
And so Hermione told her family about the visit from one of the Professors, told them everything and explained about the world that she'd briefly seen when she'd gone to get her wand only a few weeks before. She hadn't gotten all her supplies for the first year yet and would be making another trip but that brief moment was enough to convey her awe and happiness with the new world she'd found herself in.
"You be careful, you hear me?" Charlie said, a stern look on his face as they prepared steaks for the barbecue that night. "It's all nice and magical and you're amazing, I get that, but be careful."
She nodded slowly. "What could go wrong?"
"Paul, buddy, when are you going to stop fighting?" The fifteen year old boy shrugged, his black hair falling into his face as he slouched down in the car seat beside his father. He sighed and he felt a wave of guilt rush through him before it faded into an empty emotional abyss. "Your mother wouldn't have wanted you to act like this."
"Mother told me I had to defend myself," he started, defending himself against the guilt that did manage to eat away at him from inside. "Those boys picked on me first."
"They may have done, i'm not calling you a liar but what did happen was that you didn't back down, even when you were told to stop." He looked out of the window, watching the trees blur as they drove past and all he wanted to do was get lost in the green forest, allow mother nature's calmness to seep into his bones and calm his terrible anger.
"I'm just angry all the time dad." He commented, his back slouching even further. The car was silent for the rest of the journey.
"He's got an awful temper, he's starting to fill out, are you sure there aren't Cold Ones around?" Paul's father complained, staring down the Elders who merely leant back in their chairs. "It's happening, I tell you."
"There aren't any anywhere near us at this moment in time and there won't for another few decades, he's just a teenage boy being overflowed with hormones." Harry Clearwater soothed, trying to calm the situation.
"Heard from Mione?" Billy asked one night whilst him and Charlie were watching the football. It was just the two of them – Bella choosing to stay with her mum full time and had for a couple of years whilst Jacob was with Embry and Quil.
"Yeah, she called last week. Said that her world is getting worse by the day and that she won't be popping round or talking to us until it's all over – protecting us." He snorted, sipping his beer before shaking his head. "She's only fifteen and with the way she tells it, she's acting like she's about to go off to war."
"She goes to a magical school which is in a magical world where there is a magical law enforcement, if anything bad does arise then she won't be doing anything beside learning how to make toads sing and feathers float."
"I'm sure you're right Billy."
He didn't like anything at the moment.
He didn't like the way his father was looking at him – and had been for the past year – and he didn't like the way Sam Uley was looking at him, every time they were on the beach or just anywhere. He didn't like the way people went out of their way to start a fight with him, knowing how he'd be the one to get blamed and he didn't like the way that worked either.
"Paul, please go step outside." He didn't like the way his father's voice quivered slightly with fear and he didn't like the idea of him getting hurt; whirling round he eyed their living room from any threats, his eyes meeting his in the mirror above the mantel.
Had his eyes always had a slight amber tint to them? Had he always shook when he got angry?
"Sam, it's happening."
His body shook further and he launched himself out of the front door, landing on the grass as a dark silver furred wolf, much larger than any wolf.
He was only sixteen and he definitely had anger problems.
Hullo! This chapter was mainly to set the back story – Paul is two years older than Hermione/Jacob/Bella – those three friends are all the same age. I know it isn't like that in the books but hey, it works for me. I'm also only sending this one out here to see the kind of response i'll get for it before i start posting more.