Chapter 1 - Welcome
It was a cloudy day in the beautiful city of Volterra, a soft breeze was blowing across the busy plaza. An older couple which was wandering through the streets curiously walked over to the ancient castle. In front of the clock tower several tourists were gathering together, murmuring lowly as the group slowly grew. After one look at each other the couple joined the others, listening to the woman at the top of the stairs.
"Welcome to the exclusive tour of our castle, please join us! My name is Heidi and I will be your guide for today," the woman said with a big smile on her face. "As I show you around this beautiful building I will tell you all about the history of this unique place. It seems it is your lucky day, because we have even managed to arrange a special play for you! Feel free to ask any questions you come up with during the tour, I would like nothing more than to answer them for you. Now, I see everyone has arrived, so if you don't mind, please follow me!"
Without hesitation Heidi led the big group of tourists into the castle, nodding politely to the guard members at the door. As they walked through the hallways they passed a lot of different paintings and statues, several times the guide stopped the group to tell them about the history and making of the art pieces.
"This is such a charming castle," an American woman gushed excitedly, smiling as she snapped a picture of the statue. "I always look forward to the tours, don't you Frank?"
The grumpy man behind her grunted something inaudible; it seemed he was not as keen on excursions as his wife.
"Make sure you keep up with me, the castle has a lot of hallways. You wouldn't want to get lost in here," Heidi told the tourists with a knowing smirk on her face. Turning around another corner the group came to a stop in front of a large painting. It was an ancient, life-sized picture of five wealthy-looking figures, still in great condition.
"This is one of the most prized possessions of the castle, we are glad to have it here. The painting is hundreds of years old and worth more than a million euros," the guide explained. "It portrays the kings and their wives who lived in this castle decades ago; they were the rulers of Volterra and the area surrounding it. Of course, they all died a long time ago. Though some say even now their ghosts wander through the hallways…"
A few chuckled at Heidi's words as others raised their phones and cameras to take a picture of the painting. It seemed like all historical artefacts in his castle were taking care of admirably well, the quality of everything was very good. The woman cleared her throat to catch the attention of the tourists before she spoke up again.
"Our next stop will be the throne room, which is the place the kings made all their laws and rules. Here we have arranged a small play for you, a true exclusive part of this tour and I hope you will enjoy it!"
With those words the beautiful vampire led her group of humans further into the castle. She made sure she did not walk too fast for the tourists to keep up with her, after years of practice acting human was easy. Heidi was pretty satisfied with her catch today; she had been able to gather a group of humans in no time. Because the sun wasn't out, more people seemed interested in a tour inside of the Italian castle. Not that the weather truly mattered, as her gift made it easy to persuade anyone to join the tour. The circumstances in which she did her fishing did not have an impact, but it was busier on the plaza on days like this, so there were more people to attract.
Walking up to the front desk of the castle Heidi and her group passed Demetri. The bulky vampire was heading towards the training room to invite Felix to the feast that was about to start. As he spotted the humans he looked up at the beautiful vampire with an evil smirk.
"Save some for me, will you?" he said too fast for the humans to hear. Heidi chuckled and shook her head in mock disapproval, winking at the man before she continued on her way. As the tourists came to a halt in front of huge wooden doors their tour guide turned around with a smile.
"You can take pictures inside, but make sure the flash is off. Please keep quiet during the show, as not to distract the actors. Enjoy!"
As Heidi ended her tour two cloaked figures opened the door. Aro watched with delight as the tourists poured into the throne room. Heidi had done a great job again, the catch smelled absolutely divine today.
Caius was looking at his brother with an exasperated expression on his face. Though he too enjoyed 'dinner time' he did not understand the need to make it into such a happening. They were going to eat the humans anyway, and their meal would not have the chance to remember a thing of it. But his brother seemed to have fun with it, and after several discussions he had given in to his idea.
When the entire group was inside the doors shut with a loud thud, the sound echoing through the room. As the king stood up from his throne the humans shifted on their spot. They were suddenly starting to feel uncomfortable under the gazes of all the pale people surrounding them. Aro clapped his hands excitedly before he spoke up.
"Welcome, guests! Welcome to-"
"It's so pretty in here," a young voice mindlessly interrupted Aro as everyone turned around. In the back of the group stood a small girl wearing a red dress; she could not have been more than five years old. Stunned the guard watched the child as she looked around the room as if she had seen it before. She did not even seem to notice that everyone's focus was on her now.
"The building style is magnificent," the girl continued as if nothing had happened. "I wish I had a camera." She sighed and went on with her inspection of the throne room.
Aro analyzed the girl with an abashed expression on his face; he did not know why a child was participating in this tour. The Volturi may not have had the best reputation, but they were not heartless creatures. Heidi always made sure to only invite adults; the families interested in a tour would go with Emilio. Emilio was their human tour guide who they had hired to give normal tours, he would show the families around the more public parts of the castle, the places where no vampires ever came. They would not go into the building as deep as the other tour and end in the small souvenir shop near the entrance. The king did not understand how this girl could have slipped under the radar, and it seemed she was all alone too. None of the other humans stepped in to reprimand the girl, nor did any look even slightly like her.
Aro glanced at their fisher for a second, but she looked as surprised as him. The beautiful vampire had been with the group for almost an hour now, but she had not noticed or seen the girl even once during the tour. Heidi walked forward to present her hand to Aro, who did not hesitate to accept the offer. The king was a curious being, and he wanted to know how this child had evaded their enhanced senses for such a long time. It intrigued him that she had gone completely unnoticed to everyone. As he browsed through Heidi's thoughts a pensive look struck his face. He tried, but he was not able to even find a clue about what had happened.
When this transaction had taken place only a few seconds had passed. The girl was still looking around, squeezing her eyes as if she was searching for something. Aro thought for a minute before he nodded to Heidi and the beautiful vampire walked over to the child. As she passed the humans they shuffled backwards, their instincts finally kicking in.
"Where are your parents, little one? Did you know this tour is only for adults?" Heidi asked as she knelt down in front of the little girl. The child didn't look at the woman as she answered.
"I had to go with you," she said in a clear voice.
The tourists were still watching the interaction, and some vampires were getting restless. They had been waiting for Heidi for a while now and they were very thirsty. It had been quite some time since they last had a feast like this and they wanted to start the party as soon as possible. Caius had had enough of the talking and he made his way over to his brother, he would show him he should hurry up with his interrogation. But before he could even reach his destination out of nowhere Marcus suddenly gasped.
The entire guard and the two brothers whipped their heads around looking bewildered. Excited whispers started to arise as Aro hurried his way over. The third king hadn't spoken or made a sound in decades; most of the guard had never even heard him talk. Marcus had completely withdrawn himself after the death of his beloved Didyme. While centuries ago he was a feared warrior, now he spent his days mourning his lost love. He usually wandered around the castle and its gardens, without having a destination. The little communication every day was by sharing his thoughts with Aro. He always kept completely silent otherwise, never speaking to anyone.
But now it seemed something had broken through the wall that had been in place for years. Marcus presented his hand to his brother with an interested look on his face. Aro's eyes widened as he saw what had happened. He let go of his brother's hand and threw a look at Heidi, who was still knelt down in front of the little girl, smiling softly. Analyzing the child with a curious gaze, Aro noticed that she was very pretty for human standards. The girl had long, wavy brown hair and her doe-like eyes stood out most in her almost flawless face. The aura that surrounded her was impressive; he hadn't felt something like it in years. Taking one more look at his brothers the king made a decision.
"Heidi, will you take her to Gianna? We can talk later," Aro told Heidi, his voice going at vampire speed. The child quickly whipped her head towards him, as if she had heard him speak.
"But I haven't seen them yet," the girl said frowning. Her expression turned to one of determined. "I can't leave without knowing at least something, he said I had to talk first."
The child's words only confused the vampires even more. The guard started to whisper, they had no idea who she could be talking about. When no one responded the little shoulders slumped forward as the girl turned around.
"I really thought it was…" she mumbled, walking towards the door. "I have never been wrong before about… But he told me…"
"Who is this man you are talking about, little one? What are you looking for?" Aro asked as he quickly moved towards the girl.
"I don't know," she answered him, still walking towards the doors.
"Who told you something? Was it important to know? You can tell us," Heidi said as she too walked over to the little human. The child stopped and turned around again, looking into the vampire's eyes.
"I am not allowed to tell you, your eyes are black. I can only talk to the red-eyed," she told Heidi in a firm voice. The woman's eyes widened in shock as she realized what the child was talking about. Aro was about to ask his next question when the vampires heard footsteps approaching the throne room. The girl's eyes widened, her heartbeat speeding up in anticipation as she started to bounce excitedly.
"I knew I was right!" she sighed as she turned back towards the doors. Not even a second later they opened, revealing the person she had been waiting for.
Time seemed to stop for a minute.
A/N: Hi there! Please let me know what you think :)
~ This isn't a canon story, but it isn't a romance either. Isabella will grow and learn through the years while her family and friends are there to help ~