I thought I better quickly say, for anyone who gets that far, that yep, the reference to werewolf/vamp manipulation is a reference to the Underworld movies, but I reckon it could work; we'll see where it goes. And I apologise, If Take That have conquered the States and I've played their popularity down through Jacob I do apologise, just drop a comment and I'll switch it up a bit in a re-edit Ok ducks, on with the show…
The plane touched down at London Heathrow and it felt like an eternity to Jacob. The car trip from the airport to Carlisle's new "apartments", compared to the flights and checking out, flew past him with only the occasional fluffy remark from Rosalie, normally revolving around the fact that, if he so chose, he could pull down the window and stick his head out. To be honest, Jacob would have enjoyed leaning into the cool breeze outside, he hadn't expected it to be so sunny in London. The ominous clouds in the distance signalled major downfall, he had lived in the Peninsula long enough to know the signs of rain, and he could smell the damp of the clouds as he climbed into the giant blacked out Range Rover the Cullen's had rented before touch-down. Pulling into the gravelled driveway, Jacob let out a huff of disbelief, could this place be any more vampirish? The dark turrets and gothic windows shining dismally in the sun's mocking glint seemed to make the beautiful grounds around it darker, one could even say more sinister than he could imagine. In the distance, somewhere he could not pinpoint through lack of knowledge of the area, he could smell the wet snuffs of deer, and a strange, dog-like smell that he could not quite name. He would have to investigate the perimeter that night, just to give himself extra assurance of what was what in this new place. He could smell, from inside the house, a strong, unnatural smell. It was a sickly sweet aroma that he had never smelt before, something that was supernatural but not in a way he could call un-human. The smell hit him as he entered the mansion, its scent almost intoxicating his senses. He could smell human, but it was mingled with something that he could only put in to words by using...sparkly...how could a smell be described as sparkly? He shook his head and padded to the room that Rosalie and Emmett had entered. Dropping his bag he smelt the familiar Carlisle smell, rank as the vampire smell was in the house, Carlisle's scent always carried with it a promise of hope, of something deep beneath the stinking surface, some brief glimmer of humanity.
"Jacob! It is so good to see you! I had hoped that you would accompany Rose and Emmett. We have much to discuss and the time is running out," Carlisle smiled warmly at the growing man before him, the warmth and smell of dog being something he had learnt to cope with, after all they were all repugnant in smell to each other so the mutual distaste in smell evened out the playing field.
"It's good to see you, Carlisle, have you heard anything from the girls? Rose said something was seriously wrong. Have you heard about Renesmee? Is she alright?"
Carlisle's face grew sombre, a look rarely seen on the cold one's face. It sent a shiver down Jacob's spine, and he flinched slightly at the ominous expression within Carlisle's eyes. Edward, who had previously been standing silently in the corner, half hidden by the massive chair behind the old fashioned desk, moved into the dim light of the room, revealing the old face of the burning man, a look that made Jacob instantly raise his awareness to the severity of the news he was to receive. Alice, standing near Edward, glanced from one man to the other and sighed.
"I'll fill you in, Jake, are you hungry after your flight? We can go to the kitchen and talk, it's fully stocked! We have something that may really appeal to your taste, it's a British delicacy!"
Jacob felt that he was being separated and, for the moment, he was willing to be led to the warm kitchen, Alice wittering about nothing in particular along the way. There was mention of a "Steak and Kidney Pudding" and it sounded borderline vile, but he smiled at the effort the vamps had put in on his account. Then he stopped, two feet away from the kitchen, and something within him growled. There was that odd smell again, the one that seemed to swamp the house, and with it there was a strange warbling noise. Jacob sniffed, it was a male voice singing a song he had recently heard on the plane, he had heard snap shots of the music, but it didn't really appeal to him, so he had pushed it to the back of his mind. It wasn't really his kind of music, all pop and no muscle. But this song wasn't too bad, and the male voice in the kitchen wasn't too bad either. He walked in and Alice was singing along quietly with the tall, well defined young man inside. Had the vamps rented a chef on his account? The guy seemed to know where everything was in the kitchen, and what he was doing with all the different ingredients. The few Jacob recognised, the ones that were pretty much universally recognised really, lay in separate bowls on the counter tops. Jacob watched the man grow ever filthier as he wrestled with a floured bowl. The flour splattered up against his face, and he and Alice laughed it off gleefully, like children making a cake. Jacob stood silently in the doorway. Alice would know he was there, but this human, for want of a better word, may not. Alice was pulled out of her two sided conversation with a start.
"Oh, right, my God, sorry! Harry, this is Jacob Black. Jacob Black, this is Harry James Potter."
The tall man raised a floured hand and extended it, a broad smile stretched across his warm face. Jacob studied the hand wearily, taking it roughly in his own and shaking firmly. He shook his head slightly, realising he was pushing the alpha status onto someone he didn't know from Adam. That sparkly smell clung to Harry like a thick fog, and Jacob had to resist the urge to gag at the sudden rush he felt of something a lot more powerful than himself sweep across his shoulders, down his back and round his body.
"What are you?"
"Ever the polite one, right Dog?"
Rosalie had emerged, Emmett remaining with his father and brothers in the library. She let out a laugh that made Jacob huff, annoyed that an instant scathing remark hadn't flown to his aid.
"He doesn't look like any dog I've ever seen…"
Harry smiled even wider, a feat that made his entire face seem as youthful and bright as a teenagers, and winked at Jacob in a way that Jake wasn't sure he felt totally comfortable with.
"To answer your question…" said Harry, returning to his food preparation and flicking his hand at a pot on the stove, making large thick bubble rise to the top in steamy bursts, "…I'm a wizard. And this…" he said, throwing a glance at the counter on which the sumptuous food sat in anticipation, "…this is something I whipped up for the only other eater in this house. Enjoy!" Harry and Alice both let out heartfelt laughter and Harry passed a plate piled high with vegetables, mashed potatoes and a steamed pudding over to Jacob, taking his own and beginning to devour the contents hungrily.
"Gravy?" Harry motioned to the bubbling pot on the stove, and Jacob, who had been starring with mistrust at the pie, lent over the saucepan and sniffed at the brown liquid, earning another biting laugh from Rosalie.
"That food looks wonderful Harry, it's a shame I can't eat any!"
Emmett had silently joined Rosalie and beamed at the pair who were now both equally enjoying their hot meal.
"Jacob, Carlisle said after you've eaten, if you wanted, he can come and give you the low down on what we know, which isn't much, but it will help if you're clued in to everything that happened so far."
Jacob nodded solemnly and, losing his appetite, he pushed the plate away, tipping his head to Harry and the others (minus, of course Rose). He left the room and followed the familiar scent of Carlisle back to the library.
Inside he saw a man whose gaunt face and sunken eyes showed truly without words all the terror that he had seen. Jacob shuddered, he had never seen Carlisle, head of the Cullen family, look so fragile. It hurt him to see such a good creature burning with sadness. Now he knew where Edward must have got it from, maybe it was a vampire thing – maybe vampires saw hell more times than Jake gave them credit for.
"In circumstances such as these, Jacob, I think it best if you sat down."
Edward was still in the room, his statuesque features burning as deeply as Carlisle's. Without moving he conveyed everything, the pain and fretful fear of a man lost, all that Carlisle, who was sitting at his desk with his head buried deep in his hands, was showing in such an unnaturally physical manner for a vampire. With Edward's words, Carlisle looked up into Jacob's eyes, sending a chill down the spine and forcing Jacob to a seat.
"I don't know what to tell you Jacob, so I will start with the night I met Harry and bring you up to speed. Then we will plan what we need to do."
"There is a basic human strand, as you can see it is located here, intertwined within the werewolf DNA helix, do you see?"
There was a cough as the wizards in the dark shuffled with the intricate scientific diagram projected on the wall. The vampires, still as marble statues, watched gravely, nodding occasionally when the scientist pointed and commented on the intricacy of the extraction process.
"It is believed that, if removed, the werewolf could become a force beyond which it is supernaturally capable, the idea is delicate, and still in its infancy, but it would safe to assume that, given the test subjects we have, we will find the correct extraction and replacement procedure. It is all a matter of time…"
"Time, Professor Livkey, is what we do not have." A cold voice rose from the darkness, its hiss harking back to the memories of many of the Deatheaters. With all the power and influence he possessed, Lucius Malfoy was becoming a terrifying force to be reckoned with. Every Deatheater had believed that they would be following the will of the long deceased Lord Voldemort, but none had expected him to be replaced by a more brutal and calculating leader. Many did recall the ancient proverb 'Better the Devil you know…'
Professor Livkey shifted weight from foot to foot, pulling at his tie in gentle anxiousness; he had known that this was not what the assembly had wanted to hear.
"Sir, the process is, as I say, in it's infancy, and the test subjects are… reluctant to co-operate…"
"Then, Professor, I suggest you find a way to make them…"
"But…Sir…Mr Malfoy…Werewolves do not respond to magic as muggles do, it is because of their basic gene structure, which seems to send magic ricocheting off of it the body, in both human and wolf form! The vampires you have given us to test, they do not respond to any of the machinery, it is most unusual! But be assured sir, it will be mastered."
The tie around Liveky's neck tightened, as if an invisible force were pulling it closer and closer to his throat.
"Be sure, Professor Liveky, that it is done by the week, we are already in preparation for the mutation, and our plans to bring down the muggle cankered wizarding world will be ready to begin."
The tie loosened once more as the lights in the room were brought up, each wizard blinking lazily and some even trying to clap as Liveky gathered his wand and papers and swept quickly out of the room.
"Lucius, I am sure that he is only trying to…"
"He was trying to excuse his incompetence…"
"No, Lucius, I think…"
"You think do you? You think…?"
"Well yes. I believe that they will find the answer for whatever it is you seek to do with those vile creatures, but you cannot rush scientific process. It was your choice to use professional mudblood scientists. You cannot blame them for being slower in their work, using a mixture of magic and muggle is never a good mix, in my opinion."
"My darling Wife, I do not remember asking you your opinion in the first place, yet you freely give it. But allow me to explain it all in a way that you may, possibly, understand. It is imperative that the vampires and wolves are interwoven, for next week the time for take over will be at hand, and I cannot wait any longer. The key is within that human strand of DNA, or at least that is what I have been told…"
"But I do not understand why magic could not be used and be done with it?"
A few of the wizards, and even a few of the vampires, seemed to have honed into the conversation between Narcissa and Lucius, allowing a solitary figure to creep, invisible to those around it, into the hall and waver purposefully in the darkest areas, away from the lights and yet close enough to observe silently the proceedings.
"Well Narcissa, I would not expect you to understand the intricate nature of this. Magic may only travel so far, and to adapt a spell to work on a Vampire or a Werewolf is virtually impossible, there is not yet a wizard strong enough, or inclined for that matter, to be brought to the cause of which we a re working towards."
"Sir, without sounding impudent…" a young looking Deatheater approached Lucius cautiously, bowing low and cowering with such ease that he could easily be mistaken for some form of simpering dog at his masters lap. "…why are we trying to intertwine Vampires and Werewolves, they are enemies from time immemorial, and aren't vampires….well…dead?"
"Imagine…what is your name?"
"Pattinson, eh, I know your brother, Robert…sent to Azkaban for treason? Yes, he was a good Deatheater, strong and dependable."
Lucius scanned the face of the wretch before him, and took what could only be described as pity on the creature, answering his question slowly and meaningfully, with the occasional stiff glance at Narcissa.
"Pattinson, imagine, if you will, a living vampire. A vampire with the combined strength of the basest of the supernatural creatures, with the ability to change into a ravid killing machine, yet control it's mind. That is a soldier we would benefit from in our army. Elizabeta assures me that it can be done, it was once done to control the werewolf population during the dark ages, now it will be used to create a new species, an evolution of two of natures most ravenous killing machines. And imagine, Pattinson, being able to harness such awesome power, with the might of magic, and the brute force of such a beast!"
Pattinson coughed and edged around another question, this boy was trying Lucius' patience, but he allowed the smaller members of the Deatheaters their foibles, they would be useful pawns when the war fires were lit. Keeping the others sweet meant ease of transaction, establishing Lucius as top of the hierarchy. He tried to smile, but the expression seemed to twist his lips into an almost devilish grin.
"Well, sir…can't the werewolves just…you know…bite the vampires or vice versa?"
Lucius rolled his eyes, this kid was really stupid, definitely canon fodder material.
"When a werewolf is in full form, the last thing it should do is be in contact with a vampire. It is like having a cat and a dog in the same house. They cannot live harmoniously, they must war. And the aftermath of a fight is never a good place to be. But combining the two will create a creature that harmoniously exists between the three worlds, being human, vampire and werewolf. Does that answer your questions?"
Pattinson still seemed confused, but his confusion was unimportant. As he and the final dregs washed out of the meeting hall, he glanced once more at Narcissa and saw in her face the final straw. The look in Narcissa's eyes, that spark of shame, was angering him deep within. Narcissa was not a fool, she knew of his love for Elizabeta, and apart from the subtle attempts to show him up and attack him in public, her coldness and judgement of his wish to re-establish the will of the Dark Lord on the world seemed to be the force pushing her further from him. He hated her, for her looks of shame and pity, for her judging eyes constantly on his back. Most of all, he hated her defence of their son's wanderings, of his dissention, his perversities. He closed his mind, thoughts like this would be betrayed on his face, and he could not afford to be seen for what he truly was, not yet.
The hall had now completely emptied, save Lucius, Narcissa and a shadowy figure, a black cloaked, spectral presence undetected by the couple.
Lucius, looking about him, turned sharply towards Narcissa and snarled. Narcissa caught herself from flinching at the vicious movement, fighting with all her might to remain poised and centred. She would not back down from this.
"It is not your business to ask me, in front of the other followers, what you will never be able to understand, you stupid woman. I see what you are doing, trying to cause descent! Remember this, although you may know more than others, you have no right to attempt to sabotage my reputation among these grotesque people. I do not answer to you or anyone else for that matter, and your futile attempts to have me admit to the true nature of what is to become of… no I do not need to explain to you the necessity of the compliance of those useless beings out there. You way be my wife but, Gods help me Narcissa, one more attempt from you to instil."
"No! You have another to bow and scrape to, and take to your bed! That cold skinned whore…"
In a movement as quick as lightening, Lucius cut a crisp slap across the alabaster white cheek of Narcissa, the red blood running hot and fast to the affronted skin.
"You will never speak to me like that, do you understand?"
Without another word, Lucius swept through the open door, leaving Narcissa, unknown to them both, alone with the invisible figure in the shadows. Within moments of his departure, Narcissa allowed herself to feel the sting of betrayal. Narcissa held firm, she would not cry although her eyes welled with the pain of the slap and of Lucius' words, but within her she felt the remnants of the love she had felt, the loyalty to her husband she had carried for all these years, through Azkaban, through inquisitions and interrogations, and through the loss of all her power and influence in the affairs of the wizarding world, fall to dust, and in her anger she felt another, darker presence growing, a fire building deep within her soul. The flames of rebellion. And, for Narcissa, it felt warm and good.