A/N: So sorry for the late updates but since classes are starting (I'm on a VERY short break) I don't know when will I be able to update again…but I'll try my best. There's a short author's note at the end of the chapter but it's just my musings since a few readers are wondering about the Cullens (oh, they will be here soon…;p) and Bella's role (Bella makes a brief appearance in this chapter). I try to supply some hints but you guys just have to wait!
I love your supports and reviews and you guys should know that all of you made my day so keep 'em coming! Thank you!
Summary: AU. FemHarry. Albus Dumbledore always meant well whenever it comes to Helen Potter's well-being. When he, even in death, decided to give the broody witch a means to find happiness, he did not intent for her to be thrown unceremoniously into another universe in Forks, Washington D.C., America where wizards and witches didn't exists and their biggest near-magical threat was actually a secretive world of carnivorous vampires. Truly alone in the strange world, Helen was confounded with problems such as faulty magical core, Muggle authority, strange American culture…and the enigmatic Edward Cullen.
Pairings: FemHarry!Helen/Edward, Bella/Jacob, Alice/Jasper, Carlisle/Esme, Emmett/Rosalie, others.
The eyes were staring again but she ignored them in favour for scanning the label of the fruit juice she was holding. Her smooth forehead scrunched up in thought while one hand moved to tuck a stray strand of black curl behind delicate ears. People were whispering, voices muffled but she could still hear them if she concentrated enough. Nevertheless, she did not bother to since she already knew what was being talked about.
It had been a month, and nobody could get enough of her. It did not help that she was a complete recluse and that Charlie was also not talking. Dinner invitations and parties were politely declined and since the first night she was here, they never went out for any dinner or lunch. The only time she was seen in public would either be hospital visits or like now, grocery shopping and it was purely in favour of having proper supplies in the house. If it's up to Charlie, he had to take a few more trips to really get everything without forgetting an item or two.
A person saddled up beside her, her shopping cart bumping into hers. Helen looked up to meet a friendly smile on Leah Clearwater's face.
"You are going to be the youngest person with wrinkles if you keep doing that here let me make the decision for you." Then without prompt, the older girl took two cartons of orange and apple juice and placed it inside Helen's cart before returning the grape juice in her hand back to the aisle. Leah smiled at Helen's expression "Charlie may not seem like it but he's picky with his juices, and you look like an 'apple juice' drinker to me. No need to thank me," she said it with a bright cheer that left Helen quite stunned.
"Oh, you are so cute!" Leah giggled and to her mortification, leaned over to pinch her cheek. Helen was itching to Hex the girl but she remembered that Charlie wouldn't like it if his friend's daughter came home with blue skin and warts growing on her face. Besides, Leah was always actually nice to her and didn't seem bothered by her moods. "Where's Charlie? I can't believe he left you here alone. He's usually hovering like a helicopter around you."
Even if it was true Helen couldn't help but felt indignant "Charlie's next door looking at fishing supplies, since I'm capable of looking after myself, he let me do the shopping myself!" it was one thing that absolutely annoyed her now. Even though she was physically and legally fourteen, Helen was eighteen going thirty. People learned not to treat her like a child and after a few days, even Charlie seemed to sense that she had the maturity beyond her physical age. Leah did not seem like she got the message, since she was perfectly fine on treating her like a child.
"Oh, that's awesome. I know mom wouldn't let me handle any real responsibilities until I'm old enough to drive myself. Speaking of which, I need to rush. I have to meet Sam in fifteen minutes, we're going hiking! I'll tell him you said hi, and oh, I'll be coming over around five to drop the books I promised, see ya later cutie!"
Leah was already in High School and she was an honour student in junior high. Since Helen refused to continue her schooling in the private English school Helen Potter went to, and it was a bit late (not to mention a waste of time since there was only a few month of school left) to register to any American school, she was going to be home schooled and Leah offered to tutor for a small fee. The school in Forks was nice enough to let her join the other students for the final exam and even provided the materials for her to prepare. Having minimal Muggle education, Helen planned to blame her future abysmal result on the different education system and her traumatizing experience.
Helen nodded to Leah as the girl waved cheerily before disappearing from view. Her life was slowly, but surely settling down. Her unknown life in England, the family's estates and state of affairs were handled by family lawyers and trusted employees, she had more money than she would care to know, Charlie was wonderful and understanding, Fork's untouched nature and weather was perfect, and people on Forks will slowly calm their curiosity down. Life was surely going to be a calm, quiet affair for Helen but why does it felt like soon, something big was going to happen and change everything.
Helen felt incredibly cold just thinking about it.
Charlie was waiting by his car, tugging his jacket closer to ward off Fork's usual chill, when the door the shop opened to reveal his charge walking through with both hands full of paper bags. The wind blew against her, sweeping her long, thick black hair back and it caused a group of teenage boys loitering near the shop to stop and stare.
Not liking the way the boys were looking at his young charge, Charlie glared warningly at them and the boys were quick to scamper away. Oblivious to her effect on the opposite gender, Helen huffed as she dumped her burden on the backseat of the car before entering the car beside Charlie. She mumbled about meeting Leah Clearwater and after that, they drove back in comfortable silence.
Charlie knew that Helen did not appreciate it but her arrival really took the small town of Forks like a storm. It was not only due to her appearance; with thick black hair falling in curls down her back, creamy white skin, rosy cheeks and startling bottle-green eyes, everyone were also a little crazy over her thick accent and mysterious persona. Charlie had people stopping over the station to ask about his mysterious charge, rumours about her background down to her favourite food were abundant and he was very glad that Helen decided to forgo school and opt for home schooling until High School. He didn't think she would appreciate being mobbed on first day of school.
Speaking of quiet little girls, he received a call from Bella this morning. Apparently, she was coming to Forks as soon as summer starts and reminded him to pick her up on the designated date. Charlie did not ask the reason but it was probably due to Renee's new boyfriend. Bella was a sweet girl, with a good head on her shoulder and he was not fooling himself into thinking out of Bella and Renee, who was taking care of who. It was not a slight to his ex-wife's capabilities, it was just that he knew Renee was more of a free-spirit and Bella was too sensible to let her mother land herself into any trouble.
In a sense, he was glad that Bella was living with Renee.
"Charlie," large green eyes peered at him and Charlie realized that he was already parked in the house's driveway without even thinking about it. The power of habit! They carried everything inside the house and as Charlie entered the threshold of the house, he instantly felt the house perked up and sang.
Now, it was one of the few strange things that he noticed since Helen's arrival. He did not know how, but whenever Helen stepped into a room, the air in it positively cleared and became warm. Like for instance, in this house; there was no physical evidence, it was more to a feeling but he felt that the house felt happy that they were home. Furthermore, Charlie also sometimes felt like the forest near the house was livelier. A day did not gone by without him waking up to see a deer or bird or other forest animals loitering near Helen's window; it was almost like a scene in one of those silly Disney movies Bella forced him to watched when she was four. Aside from the fact that those forest animals were terrified of human, Charlie had never seen anything bigger than a chipmunk straying in their house's compound before.
As usual, Charlie opted for the safest reaction. He ignored them.
Even when Billy commented that he saw a wolf sleeping on swing of his backyard once. A wolf!
Shaking his head at the memory, Charlie Swan decided that as long as those animals didn't harm anyone, he would let them and their curiosity be.
After sorting through the groceries, Charlie helped Helen to prepare lunch and they had their chicken and ham sandwich with salad out on the porch while watching the rain. To his immense relief, Helen Potter knew her way perfectly through the kitchen so since she was here they had been eating good, hearty meals. For an upper-crust society girl he knew any offspring of the Potters would be, Helen was pleasantly normal, she knew how to cook, made up her own bed, do laundry, cleaning and even gardening (she was starting a garden growing vegetables and herbs).
"After the rain stops, I think I will continue working on the garden. The lady from the shop gave me a pack of new seeds to work on," of course, everyone in town also knew about her little garden, how, he had no idea.
"Good idea, want me to look at the leak to the shelter?" Helen shook her head. Since it rained so much here, they built a shelter out of wood sticks and canvas over the beds of growing plants. It was almost like a glasshouse, albeit a little crude but Helen seemed happy enough with it.
"No thanks, I already fixed it."
He gave her a look of surprise before shrugging his shoulders. The girl was quite dedicated to her garden.
After an hour, the rain stopped and Helen disappeared to the back of the house with her tools while Charlie watched football reruns on the cable. After a few minutes of uninspiring play, Charlie found himself wandering to the back of the house to check on Helen. He blinked when he saw several species of birds and even a pair of brown rabbits hanging around the garden to watch the small black haired girl digging dirt and planting seed. It looked like a mini zoo.
With a last blink, Charlie turned around and return to his previous activity of watching players getting pummeled on the field without scoring any points.
She scanned the piece of paper for the last time, rereading the content and making sure she was not missing anything. Leah glanced at her from her driver's seat and rolled her eyes when Helen sighed again.
"Oh stop that!" the paper was snatched away and tossed to the back of the car, which landed innocently on the backseat of the Clearwater's rusty Ford station wagon. "You did well, and who cares if you barely pass American History? You are barely American! Stop worrying, Charlie's not gonna kick you out for having trouble naming all of America's Presidents, in fact, even he may not be able to name all!" Helen had to glare at the other girl as Leah cheerfully plodded on.
"You have no tact whatsoever," Helen muttered and Leah smirked.
"Who needs tact when they have both beauty and brain!" there was a silence before they burst in laughter (more like Leah laughing while Helen cracked a small smile).
Strangely so, both Leah and Helen became good friends despite their different personalities. Leah had a bright, aggressive personality; always full of cheer with an unforgiving tongue. Everyone who knew Leah would describe her as a spontaneous live wire, but when angered she could be a right harpy. Helen was younger, and more reserved. Everyone in town thought she was a bit of a mystery but they seemed taken by her quiet and calm nature. What was not public knowledge was that Helen had the temper to rival Leah when provoked and was prone to sullen brooding if left alone.
Today was the day her exam result was released and since Charlie had to work, Leah drove her to Forks Junior High to retrieve the offending piece of paper with all of her grades written on it. Generally, she did quite well for someone who was trained in magical education. To her immediate surprise, Helen discovered that the materials she was studying was not unfamiliar and was able to process all the scientific and mathematical theories and formulas perfectly. It must be due to the fact that her brain couldn't really forget all the things she knew as the prodigal daughter of Potter Family, she tested it by fooling around with the upright piano brought from England (it was the few possessions of Helen Potter that could fit in the house, the rest were sealed in the mansion in England) and discovered that she knew how to play songs with foreign terms she knew nothing about before.
It was great but not much help in subjects like History of America (it appeared that Helen was never a History buff, both in this world or another).
"Where are we going?" Helen frowned as Leah took a different turn than the road leading to the house.
"Oh, I just thought we could have lunch at my house and then go to the beach!" Leah grinned, her eyes twinkling and Helen did not have the heart to snap at the older girl for once again making plans for both of them without her consent. "I'm gonna show you English snob how we hot-blooded Americans have fun around here—"
"—I'm shaking with anticipation"
"—we're going surfing, the beach, the water, you are going to love it—"
"—in this freezing weather?"
Leah shrugged at Helen's incredulous expression "When you are having fun, the cold doesn't bother you much, oh, come one, you are going to love it!"
At Leah's enthusiasm, Helen decided to give her the benefit of the doubt "We'll see,"
Sue Clearwater treated her surprise lunch guest with cheer and insisted on Helen having two servings of everything while Leah's brother, Seth didn't look her in the eyes all through lunch. After the table was cleared the twelve year old quickly disappeared from the house without as much as a word to her, much to the Clearwater women's amusement while Helen tried not to feel insulted. She also tried not to feel insulted when she was given a wet suit Leah worn when she was twelve "it's the only thing I know that will fit you, considering that you are sort of small." Which could be translated into 'just suck it up, Potter'
Helen never really cared about how she looked but it was one thing to have an attractive older female friend telling you that you were sorely lacking in certain department of your body. It was not her fault that she was small boned, had a small appetite, and had slower growth spurts than most girls her age!
They arrived at the beach and Helen was confronted with a small case of déjà vu. The grey, cold beach (even though it was nearing Summer) was quite a change from the green, cold forest scenery in Forks and Helen found herself liking the place as much as the forest. The salty air and cooling breeze felt like a nice, calming blanket; it reminded her of her old house in Cornwall.
However, instead of the silence and loneliness in her old house, Helen found herself being guided by Leah to a group of rowdy older teens who ought to be anyone but Leah's schoolmates. Introductions were made and Helen didn't catch any of their names. There were two boys and three other girls, the three girls gave Helen friendly smiles but were not very forthcoming to the idea of including Helen in their little group while the two boys only had to smile lecherously for her to steer clear of them. It was suffice to say that she stuck close to Leah, who later confessed that she was not particularly close to the group and only met by coincidence, before Sam arrived with two surfing boards on tow.
Sam gave them a big smile, his eyes lightened up like a lamp as Leah screamed in delight.
"SAM! You made it" Helen swore she never met anyone who moved as fast as Leah when the older girl instantly ran and jumped on her boyfriend. The other teens greeted Sam with familiarity but stayed put from their spot near the water while Leah and Sam kept their arms around each other.
Pretending to tie up her long hair to keep busy, Helen waited beside Leah's orange surf board for the couple to finish their little 'reunion' before Leah dragged her boyfriend over. After being around Leah for a while, Helen now knew that Leah came in a package of two, if one was to see Leah or Sam without the other for a prolong set of time, something must be seriously wrong. They were the kind of lovers that compliment each other, their different personalities balancing out their partner and anyone could see that they were pretty much involved with one another.
It was the kind of affection that Helen had no way of knowing.
"How's it going there Helen," Sam was an easy person to like. He was kind, his gestures calm and he didn't have to raise his voice to have his opinion heard. She was sure that Sam would make a good leader; he had that dignity and intelligence that was rare in guys his age. Strangely, she sometimes wondered if this was how Remus was when he was that age. "I hope you don't mind using my old board, it's not easy on the eyes but this baby had never let me down before." He said and Helen was presented with a surf board that had seen better days.
"Oh no, thank you for lending me your board. I don't mean to impose," this was said with a pointed glare at Leah who only smirked. They had agreed on sharing Leah's board (more like Leah just humming uncommittedly).
"It's not a bother, that thing is just lying around the garage."
"You guys come on! The wave's great!" one of the girls hollered from the water. The five of them were already swimming and surfing with the crashing wave. Helen felt a thrill of anticipation. They looked like they were having fun. She had never tried something like this, heck; she never ventured to even swim in the sea even when she lived in Cornwall.
Grasping her hand, Leah laughed and dragged her towards the water while Sam trailed behind.
Later, Helen discovered the joy of falling off the board and getting pummeled by waves and sea water on her first try but when she had her grasp on it; Helen felt such rush of adrenaline when she found herself riding the huge waves with the rest. It was almost like riding her broom.
At the end of the day, she was thoroughly wet and shivering but it was the first the time she ever laughed since she was there.
The sound of Charlie's car arriving at the driveway pulled her away from her task, and Helen wiped her hands with the dish towel. Charlie's gruff voice carried into the kitchen, accompanied with a lighter voice belonging to a female. Taking in a huge calming breath, Helen smoothened down her hair and walked into the living room.
Charlie looked very happy; he was carrying a duffel bag on his shoulder while talking to a tall dark haired girl in damp dark clothing. The girl was pale, astoundingly so, and her dark hair could only be mahogany coloured if dry. She was exceptionally tall with long elegant limbs and was dressed in non-descript grey shirt with a black hoodie over it and jeans. She was looking around the house in silent wonder, as if discovering something vastly different from the place since the last time she was there.
Suddenly Helen felt nervous. What was she going to say to Charlie's daughter? Wouldn't the other girl resent her presence here? She was gone for awhile and now another person was living in her father's spare bedroom, making herself home in this house. Helen was about to bolt until Charlie turned around and saw her fidgeting there.
"Oh there you are Helen! Come here and meet Bella, I told her all about you," the man said, and Isabella Swan turned her attention to her.
Bella's eyes were large pools of dark chocolate and they were so deep and watchful. They looked unsettling on such young face and Helen instantly felt something from the other girl. There was energy around her, a pulsating air that envelope her form like a blanket. She felt it on a few people around here, each person different from another. Like Sam, he had a fiery aura around him that smelt like wood and damp forest; and also Charlie's friend Billy Black and his son Jacob…and on a smaller scale Leah. Bella's smelt like pure water, calm and cool.
"Hello," Bella said quietly, and she seemed to be watching Helen as intently as she did. The taller girl's face was hard to read but she didn't give and unpleasant signals to show that she were displeased of Helen's presence in her home. "I'm Bella," she offered a hand.
"Helen," her name was drawled out softly, she watched beneath half-lidded eyes as their hands shook and Bella's eyes widened marginally. "It's nice to meet you,"
Charlie left them to talk while he deposited Bella's bag in her room so he didn't notice the strange meeting between the two teenagers. Helen was almost sure that there was something different about Bella, she felt…special.
It intrigued her.
In this world, magic worked differently. Even when she was able to channel her core into wandless magic with more concentration than she was used to, she found out that her magic thrived when surrounded by nature. The air felt vastly different here and the magic was wilder and richer here, she practically felt it thrumming and singing pleasantly on her skin. It was a pleasant sensation; it felt like the magic here was more free, unbounded with limitations and untainted by dark feelings. Sometimes, her magic acted on its own course, crawling out to touch and feel everything around her. At first it was disconcerting, even scary, she had never lose control of her magic like that before but she soon realized that it was her magic responding to the new environment she was thrust in. Just like how she felt drawn and attracted to the whispering magic around her, they also responded to her as enthusiastically.
Also, sometimes there were people in this world that had a different touch of magic in their person, Helen likened it to aura. It was like they had a small concentrated sort of magic surrounding them; and from their different feel and sometimes smell, it meant that they possessed certain qualities or abilities that set them apart from others. It felt like nothing from her old world and she felt a slight excitement from this discovery. Even though they felt no more different than normal people, they were the closest things she had to compare to the magical society. It made her feel less like an anomaly in this already perfectly normal place.
In the days that followed, Helen found herself spending more time in the house with Charlie and Bella. The Clearwaters were off on a long family vacation and was going to be gone for almost the whole summer. Sam had kindly left her his old surfboard but without Leah there to drag her out, she opted to tend to her thriving garden and venturing into the forest on her own. Her Animagus form was very taken to the freedom the place gave and every consecutive trip made her feel lighter than ever.
Similar to her father, Bella was unobtrusive and independent. Like Charlie, she sensed that Helen needed her time alone to adjust and heal while unlike Leah, she couldn't sense the time to barge in and demand some interaction. In a way, Bella was wrapped in her own world and preferred to be left to her own devices, and Helen was not complaining. She felt that they could be better friend but none of them were making the first move.
"Out for a walk?"
Bella was lounging on the wooden bench near the garden, trying to soak up whatever sunlight Forks had to offer. The girl revealed once that she absolutely hate the cloudy and cold weather in Forks and was often found to seek out desperately the sun during the rare clear days like moth to light. There was a thick volume of book on her lap, the kind of classic stories the girl liked to devour. The girl seemed to be quite the romantic. True to the warmer weather, Bella was garbed in a simple white top with a loose pair of worn jeans and she looked more comfortable than the last few days, miserable being bundled up to ward the chill.
Unlike Bella, Helen was wearing thicker clothes and had on a pair of comfortable shoes. The upper parts of the forest could get pretty chilly and even if a spell of Warming Charm could do the work, it was more convenient to dress properly instead of having all her energy focused on one casting charm. Besides, the running would warm up her body, not to mention she could turn in her Animagus form if any emergencies occurred. Her animal would be faster to move if anything untoward happened.
"Just a short one, I'll be back before the sun set."
Bella nodded at her and gave her a hesitant smile "be careful out there, there used to be bear sightings out there." The girl warned, looking quite worried and Helen assured her that nothing dangerous was out in the woods and she was going to be extra careful. Besides, she had no idea how to tell Bella that she had her own entourage of bodyguards comprising several interested wildlife who just seemed content of following docilely after her in the woods.
Honestly, sometimes she even saw a bear observing her curiously from the river she passed once.
These animals seemed curious of her. Even though she felt like a zoo exhibit sometimes, she would not lie to say that she didn't enjoy it!
Her magic had the weirdest effect on animals.
With that thought in her head, Helen ventured out to the forest with a wave at Bella and instantly, the forest around her came to life.
Her magic hummed.
A/N: Hmm, I guess there are a few improvements in the plot for this chapter. As you all noticed, I am placing down the foundations to Helen's road in adjusting to her life in Forks. She's not going to suddenly become happy or perky or even becoming so angst and moody that everyone will feel like hitting her in the face. Having people who are supportive around her is important so I'm not throwing her into the whole school crowd and romance thing so soon without her having any form of security in life (I know everyone is dying for the romance).
I promise that this will not be a bash-Bella story; in fact she is a decent character if you ignore the whole Book 2 and Book 3 Bella / Edward fiasco. I only like Bella in first half of Twilight book and last half of Breaking Dawn. Bella will not play much part in the beginning since she's only going to be a permanent resident in Forks later when she's sixteen but I plan to make Helen relate more to Bella since her character have so much potential. However, they will not be instant friends or sisters…but things will be better, I promise!
I'm going to play around with the dealings in Forks pre-Twilight…thus the reason Helen is so young! (there is a reason why Leah is Helen's friend and the Cullens could only arrive between Bella's last summer visit and the year she decided to stay in Forks at the age of fifteen)
I figure some tension in Forks will arrive when Bella's gone back to Phoenix and the Cullen's arrival in one or maybe two chapters later…there's the thing with Sam and Leah…ohh…the drama!
There was a brief explanation on her magical core, well, she's going to have some trouble with using her magic like she was used to, don't expect the usual Hogwarts style. We'll see how this will turn out soon… (plot bunnies are bouncing around again)