Alright! Epic! If you've read Sweep, you may want to skip over the majority of the chapter, because it may be boring to you. But maybe not. You could be reviewing the situation. Heh-heh…inside joke. You know, with…me…
So, if you want to skip the whole Sweep review, skip all of Hunter's point of view, and when it changes back to Jazzy, than you begin to know real information. ;D
Anyway, putting my sad social situation aside, let's begin!
Tears streaked his face, and he wouldn't open his eyes to look at us. "Linden…" he whispered. "Linden…he's…he's dead. Linden is dead!"
"How long have you known about Linden?" Edward had to ask. Hunter looked up at him, red eyes looking pained for the first time, almost as pained as his previous green ones.
"You mean you knew?" he demanded. "You knew I had a brother and you knew he was dead? Because of me?"
"He didn't die because of you," said Carlisle gently.
"No?" Hunter sniffed. We were all bracing ourselves for another explosion. But it didn't come. "That's not what everyone else thought."
"Alwyn and Sky believed you," Alice protested.
"Yeah, but no one else did. I mean, sure, I was innocent and all, but you can just tell… I may not have killed him; not exactly. But it was still my fault. If I hadn't brought it up; if I hadn't made such a big deal about it–"
"Hunter, it's not your fault," Alice said so strongly, it was hard not to believe her. But Hunter just shook his head.
"I just wish I knew," he murmured quietly. "I wish I knew…why. All I know are images–different scenes occurring in dreams. I…I really just assumed that Linden was my brother–he was my brother, wasn't he?"
There was silence, and then I said, "Yes. He was you brother."
Hunter didn't look surprised. "I don't remember what happened," he said. "I saw darkness, and…and shadows, and then…he died."
"Come on, Hunter," Edward said, gently hoisting him to his feet. "Let's talk. We've got a lot to tell you, and we're going to tell you. Everything."
It surprised me more than I could ever imagine when Edward said they were going to tell me all I'd ever want to know. I couldn't imagine what it could be, if our parents had died, or been kidnapped, or a spell gone wrong… I couldn't imagine what my newfound brother had been doing to try and get them back, or what the darkness and shadows were. Now, I knew, was the time to know.
They led me to a room with a circle-shaped table and eight chairs around it. One was for me, and the others sat in the other seats. The chair did nothing to comfort me, but I did it anyway, simply because they expected me to. And, I realized, there might be something too shocking for me to stand for.
"Alright," I said quietly. "Start from the beginning. Who am I?"
"You're Hunter," Alice said, confused. "Hunter Niall. We didn't lie about that."
"You're sure?" I asked. "You're sure I'm not…Gìomanach?"
"Gìomanach?" Carlisle repeated.
"Oh," Jasper spoke up. "That must be your coven name, Hunter. You sign your book of shadows with it, and you use it for circles. It's like…a second name."
"Okay," I said calmly. "Next question. Who are my parents?"
"Daniel Niall and Fiona Eventide," Rosalie said. "I think…yeah. That's them."
"My siblings? Any siblings?"
"Alwyn and Linden," said Rosalie. "That's it. You know who Alwyn is, don't you? She's the girl you think of when you sleep."
"Yeah," I said. "I know her. How old are they? Linden and Alwyn, I mean."
"Linden was two years younger than you and Alwyn is four," Jasper said, prepared for the question.
"What happened to my parents?"
There was silence as they all debated on who should answer the question. In the end, it was Jasper. "They were driven away," he said at last, "by a dark wave. A dark wave," he continued before I could ask, "is the worst spell a witch ever invented, and it was invented by Rose MacEwan. Nobody knows what it is exactly, but it can wipe out entire covens, killing everything in its path. Nobody's been able to stop it. It was targeted for your parents, and they left, trying to protect you and Linden and Alwyn. When they left, you were under the care of your Aunt Shelagh and Uncle Beck. They had four kids of their own. You got along best with Sky Eventide, one of your cousins, and she was like your sister, until…until what happened with Linden."
"What did happen with Linden?" I asked.
Naturally, since I hated him the most, Edward delivered the news. "He called upon a taibhs, an evil spirit, to try and find your parents. You saw him in the middle of the ritual, and tried to stop him, but…it was too late. It killed him, and it nearly killed you, too. But…"
"But I didn't die." I wasn't sad; I wasn't angry. I was simply stating a fact. "Of course. It only makes sense, doesn't it? Dying would have been too easy."
"But you're story's not over, Hunter," Alice said gently. "There's more. Much more. It gets…worse."
I looked at her, surprised. "Worse than that?"
"I'm afraid so," she said. "See, when Linden died, you wanted to avenge him–"
"But not just that," Jasper added. "He wanted to redeem himself, too."
"Yes. So you tried to become a Seeker."
"What's a…Seeker?" I said slowly.
"Well, to be a Seeker, you have to work for the International Council of Witches," said Jasper; he seemed to be the only one that knew anything about witches so far. "Which is basically your government. They make sure witches don't break the little rules that Wicca has, and when someone takes a step out of line, they send a Seeker to get them back on the right path again. It's not a fun job. There are some things a Seeker has to do that they will never live down–strip someone of their powers; cause people pain…that sort of thing. No one likes to do it, but it has to be done."
"So…it's like a police officer," I said flatly.
"Yes. But, you know…not as many doughnuts."
Ignoring the lame attempt at humor, I moved on. "Did they accept me?"
"Not at first. It took you a lot of attempts, but finally, they let you in. You were the youngest Seeker they'd ever had at seventeen years old." Jasper looked strangely…proud. A bit creeped out, I ignored it and went to my next question.
"So…then what? Seeker jobs, one wacky guy, you all come flying into my rescue, the end?"
"No," said Edward, amused. "That's not what happened."
"Yeah, you wish," Emmett breathed.
"So…what did happen?"
Again a layer of silence descended on us all, making it seem almost awkward as I stared at them all defiantly. They all looked at Jasper, of course, and he shook his blonde head and said, "No. No way. I'm not telling him this. Alice?"
Her eyes widened. "No," she gasped. "Let Rosalie."
"Uh-uh. No way. Em?"
He let out a laugh. "Do you seriously mean that?"
"Edward?" Carlisle suggested.
"No," he protested. "I don't wanna."
"No, Edward," I said coolly, looking at him with a straight gaze. "Tell me."
He hesitated, and then began. "Have you ever heard the name Calhoun Blaire?"
The image of the slate-colored eyed baby filled my head, as well as the feeling of hate and dread. "Yes. Selene's son."
Edward's eyes widened. "How do you know about Selene?"
I shrugged. "I don't," I said. "I had a dream about her. Daniel was in it. She said…she said she named her son Calhoun…and later she was yelling at him, and he said…he said he had another son, too, as well as Calhoun." When they were all silent, I asked the question we all knew had been coming. "Was it me?"
"Yes," Edward said at last. "It was you. Cal was your half-brother. You…hated him."
"Yeah," I said, gazing at Edward intently. "Yeah, I remember now. He had eyes like gold and shaggy brown hair that was terribly cut, and yet managed to look so damn good on him. And yet, he managed to be so infuriating despite all of that, and it made me sick. Oh, yes. I remember him very well. Disturbingly well."
Edward, caught off his guard, stared at me for a moment, matching my gaze, and I could see him–Cal Blaire–in my mind. Fury surged through me, and it took me a while to ask, "What happened?"
"He met a girl," Edward continued. "Morgan." I gasped as electricity coursed through me at the name. Edward stopped and stared at me curiously.
"Are you okay?" he asked me.
"Yeah," I gasped. "Yeah. Go on."
"Anyways, he met her, and she was powerful. Really powerful."
"Like she-can-scry-with-fire powerful," said Jasper, as if just so show off how much research he had done on witches. "Like she-can-do-with-fire-and-she's-not-initiated kind of powerful."
"Um…" I shook my head slowly. "Go on, Ed."
"Okay, so his mother, Selene, well…wanted her. She wasn't a very good witch, Hunter. Well, she was a good witch–she was good at being a witch, but she wasn't a…good witch. She was a bad witch. You know what I'm saying?"
"Yeah, she's an evil bitch," I said. "Now get on with the story."
"Well, um…Selene wanted Cal to get close to her, because she was so powerful, until it came to the point where she could sap Morgan's powers. They'd done it many times before–that was why Selene was so powerful–but Morgan was more powerful than any witch they'd ever come across before."
"And then there was you," said Emmett, amused. "You ruined everything."
"Well, good," I said defiantly.
"Don't you wanna know how?" asked Emmett.
"Edward, if you will…"
Edward scowled, and then continued. "Well, by this time, Morgan had dropped most of her friends to be with Cal, and victory was basically certain. And then you showed up, with your cousin, Sky, to investigate Cal and Selene to…I think to 'investigate possible misuse of magic' or something like that. And Morgan…well, Morgan hated you almost as much as Cal did."
"There is a thin line between love and hate," said Emmett under his breath.
Edward continued as if his brother hadn't spoken. "You quickly found out Cal and Selene's plan, and so you tried to convince Morgan that they were evil and trying to kill her. But she wouldn't believe you."
"Oh, oh," Emmett piped up. "Can I tell the next part?"
"Emmett, this is serious," Jasper said disapprovingly.
"Yeah, I know, but it's so terribly ironic; it's almost funny!"
"Yeah," said Jasper. "Almost. Ed?"
"One night you went to Cal's house, just to inspect the outside of it. And Morgan and Cal were there. It was Morgan's birthday; she was turning sixteen, but you didn't know that. Turns out one of Morgan's gifts was…a dagger." My eyes widened.
"She killed me?" I gasped. I did not like where this story was going.
"Well, no. Almost. You fell over the edge of a cliff with that dagger in your neck into the Hudson River." I groaned; I couldn't help it. "But," he added, "Sky found you and saved your life."
Emmett couldn't resist, he burst out laughing. "Cal was so pissed when he found out!" he choked out.
Edward, glaring at him a moment, continued his tale. "You showed up in a magick store one day, and it turned out Morgan was there, too. The clerk showed her to the back room, and…"
I groaned again. "But she tried to kill me," I said. "Didn't she?"
"Yes, but it was a misunderstanding. She thought you were trying to kill Cal, and tried to stop you the first way she thought how; throwing the dagger. This wasn't the case with Cal, but…it's better than nothing."
"Uh-huh," I said slowly. "Go on."
"So, you two met, and in the end you did tath meanma, which is like a Wiccan mind meld. Every secret you ever had was given to her and the same was for her in exchange."
"Why the hell would I do that?" I interrupted. "She could tell Cal!"
"It was the only way she could know you could be trusted," said Edward. "It was either that, or you risked getting killed again. That would lead you nowhere."
"Okay, okay. What happened then?"
"It happened," Alice said darkly. "Cal tried to burn Morgan to death, in a weak attempt on saving her from having her powers sapped by his mom. He got away, but you were able to save Morgan. Just barely."
"Really," I said slowly. "Say, Alice? Can I ask you a question?"
"Um…sure," Alice said, a bit happy that I wanted to ask her.
"Was Morgan the Gray Girl?"
She hesitated, looking around the room. One by one her colleagues nodded in encouragement. "Yes, Hunter," she said at last. "She was the Gray Girl."
"Her mother's name was Maeve Riordan, and she was the princess of Belwicket," I said. I had read a lot on witches for such an occasion, an occasion you didn't have to be Alice to know was coming. "Belwicket was a Woodbane coven. You know what Woodbane is, right?"
Hunter nodded. "Yeah. One of the seven Wiccan clans. Woodbanes are known notoriously for being evil. And I'm half-Woodbane."
"Yes. But there are a couple good Woodbane covens that have renounced evil and gone to the path of righteousness. Belwicket was one of them."
"So who was Morgan's father?" Hunter asked me.
"Ciaran MacEwan. He was…evil. But he loved Maeve, and Maeve loved him, too. Ciaran was convinced that once they were married, Maeve would see things his way, and then there'd be no problem. But they never did get married. Maeve found out that Ciaran was already married, and had three kids, and so she left him. But he couldn't accept that and killed her. But not before she had Morgan."
"Uh-huh," Hunter nodded. "Then what? He searched for her?"
"No. He had no idea she existed. It wasn't until he met up with Cal and Selene that he discovered her. That's when things went wrong." We all looked at Edward, who sighed and began to talk.
"They lured her in, kidnapped her adoptive sister, Mary K., and your cousin, Sky. Cal wanted to finish you off, you see. So you went into Selene's old house together, and found them in the library. That's where things went really wrong."
"Do you remember?" I asked Hunter cautiously. "Do you remember what happened? We really don't want to say it."
Hunter racked his brain. He thought and he thought, and we were almost positive that he would come up with nothing, but then his eyes flashed the beautiful green they had once been. He looked at us. "I remember," he said, and closed his eyes.
We looked wildly around the room for Selene and Cal, and found only Mary K. and Sky tied back to back. Morgan, inexperienced as she was, ran forward to rescue them. I called after her, "Morgan! Wait!" But it was too late. She stopped and vibrated as if she'd been electrocuted, and then fell to the floor.
I looked around madly for Cal. If I saw him, I was going to kill him, I thought to myself. He had hurt my Morgan, now both inside and out, and I was going to kill him for it.
I heard the sound of someone clapping, and spun around for the source. I saw it was Selene, a smirk on her face. "Well done, Gìomanach," she said. "For a moment I doubted that you would be as stupid as to risk both of your lives to get Mary K. and Sky, but what do you know? You were."
"Let them go," I snarled. "And let Morgan go, too."
Selene raised an eyebrow. "And you?"
"Oh, I'll stay. Someone has to kill you, after all."
Selene laughed. "You are such a naïve boy, Gìomanach," she said. "It is such a shame. You are outnumbered terribly, and it is you who will die tonight."
"It's one against one," I pointed out darkly. Selene chuckled.
"You don't honestly believe that," she said, "Do you?"
Suddenly, I felt arms around me, strangling me, bringing me down. I fought hard to get them to release me, but they were tight, and I felt the world turning black. And then, I heard a voice. "Calhoun."
The arms released me at once, out of surprise. "You remember the deal, don't you?" said the voice.
"I don't like that deal anymore," Cal spat. "He's here, right now, in my grasp. I'm going to kill him."
"But that was not our agreement."
"Didn't you hear me? I don't like that agreement!"
"But you promised."
"Hell to promises! I want to kill Hunter Niall!"
I rolled over onto my stomach, which gave me a view of the scene before me. Cal was standing now, in a guarded position, as if he were a wolf and I were a bunny that he had caught to eat and was now defending. There was a dark-headed man with the palest skin I had ever laid eyes on, and he was the other wolf that was so much bigger than the one who had caught the bunny. Cal looked angry, but the man just looked confident and calm.
I began to scoot towards the exit, but then I remembered Morgan; I couldn't leave her. I'd die for her. I realized that now. But my thoughts were jerked away from this awing fantastic discovery when the man lurched forward and sank his teeth into Cal's neck. I gasped and Selene screamed, "No! Calhoun!"
Cal dropped to the floor and Selene ran to him, kneeling over him and sobbing, "Calhoun! No! My son…" She looked up at the man harshly. "You! You killed him!"
"No, Selene," the man said, "You did. I hope you're proud of yourself." The man took a step towards me with a rather pleased expression on his face.
I scrambled to my feet and matched his gaze, which, I realized to my horror, was red. "Get away from me," I snapped. He just smiled.
"No," he said, "I think not." Shivers ran through me as I remembered Cal's fate and wondered if it was the same as my own. The man smiled, as if he had read my thoughts.
Just then, light shone into the room, and I saw, to my shock and amazement, that there was a big, gaping hole in the wall. Stepping through it were five brilliant teenagers and two adults that looked just as brilliant.
There was one with blonde hair like mine and golden eyes like Cal's. He looked at me with a reassuring nod as everyone else hurried to Mary K. and Sky's aid, untying them. Selene, meanwhile, was too occupied to notice.
"Someone get Morgan," said a bronze-haired one. The blonde nodded and headed over to her, but he never reached her, because right then I felt a searing pain in my throat.
I let out a scream as I sank to the ground, blood gushing from the wound. "It burns!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. "Make it stop! Please!"
A man with dark hair and eyes appeared from the shadows, looking quite shocked. He murmured a spell and the blonde, who had frozen from shock, froze even more so and fell to the floor. The man, who I then recognized as Ciaran MacEwan–How had he gotten here, and why?–then hoisted Morgan to her feet and murmured something soothing to her as he took her in his arms and carried her out of the room as if she were a newborn baby.
The man who had bitten me was not sucking out my blood like he had Cal. Instead, he was just letting me lie there in my own misery, still shouting, "Please! Make it stop! I'll do anything you ask! Please!"
He smiled. "Will you join the Guard?" he asked.
The blonde-haired boy, who seemed to be free of the binding spell now that Morgan was gone, ran over to us and head-butted the man. "Come on, Hunter," he said. "We're gonna get you out of here. It'll be okay. You'll be okay. We're gonna make the burning stop, okay? Just hang on."
The bronze-haired one rushed over and started slamming into the man again and again. "Sorry, Aro," he was muttering as he did so. "Just business. Hope you understand. Em! Get over here and help me!"
The third teenage boy present, a big one with a lot of muscles, abandoned the easy task of untying mine and Morgan's two closest relatives, and helped the bronze-haired one beat up the man who had bitten me (why had he done that anyway?)
The blonde brushed my hair out of my face and murmured that everything would be okay soon, that soon it would all go away. And yet, I knew this wouldn't be true. Somehow I just knew, looking at them all, that nothing would ever be okay ever again.
And then there was heat; rising heat. It burned through my body with excruciating pain as I thrashed about, trying to escape it. It seemed to drain my memories, one by one. Everything. It was taking everything away from me, I thought in panic. But I couldn't fight it; I was in too much pain for that. And so all I could do was give one last thought of hope that all my memories would return someday as, at last, even the memory of Morgan disappeared forever.
"I remember," Hunter whispered again, opening his eyes, which were once again the venomous red. "Cal. He tried to kill me. But…the man wouldn't let him. He bit me. He turned me into a vampire. Didn't he?"
They all nodded slowly.
"And Morgan," Hunter remembered with pain. "He took her. Ciaran took her!"
We all nodded again. "She was his daughter," said Edward sorrowfully. "He wanted her back."
"But…she'll fight, won't she?" Hunter looked desperate. "She won't go without a fight!"
"We hope so," I said.
Hunter's brows furrowed for a moment, and then he said, "Why are you telling me all this now?"
"He's coming back," I said quietly. "Aro's coming back for you. He wants you on the Guard."
"What's the Guard?"
"The Guard is for the Vulturi, which is basically like a government for vampires," Edward explained. "Except they tend to like experiments. They consider it their 'duty' or whatever to make sure vampires develop and move on, and that they know everything there is to know about them. So far, you're the only witch that's actually made it through the process."
"Well, you see, every witch there's ever been that's been bitten has died halfway through," Carlisle explained. "You're the first that hasn't."
"Oh," Hunter said, his brows furrowing once again. "So I am some kind of freak."
"You're not a freak, Hunter," said Alice gently. "I told you. You're different. That is not a bad thing."
"Uh-huh," Hunter said, but he didn't look convinced. "So, what? This Aro guy's just going to show up and drag me off to Vulturi?"
"Actually," Edward said slowly, "yes. He is."
"Well, that's just perfect," Hunter muttered.
"We thought you should know," Alice added, "Before he takes you. We'd fight for you, Hunter; you know we would. But it's suicidal. There are too many of them. Hundreds. And there are two that can leave us all defenseless."
"So that's it, then?" said Hunter. "I'm going and that's that?"
"We're sorry, Hunter," said Rosalie.
Hunter ignored her sympathy and said, "I don't want to go. This man ruined my life. I don't want to go."
"We'll prevent it as well as we can, Hunter, but eventually, he's going to find a breakthrough, and we just want you to know that when that happens, we all think you're a terrific young man," said Esme with a sweet smile.
"Thank you, Esme," said Hunter with a wry half-smile. "I guess you all aren't as bad as I thought." His smile dropped. "But I still don't like being a vampire."
"Neither do we," said Edward.
Boom! No updating until a review! I've given you all a couple freebees, but now I am putting my foot down. I had to get you to a suspenseful spot first, but now…Well; now I am putting my foot down. ;p
So, if you have any questions at all about Hunter's past, I'm pretty sure I can answer them. Just put them in a review or a PM, and I'll get back to you as soon as I get it. For instance, you could ask how to pronounce Gìomanach (I have no clue, by the way. Just guess) or you could ask about the clans, and how Hunter can be half-Woodbane. You could ask for a quick run-down on the history of witches themselves, and if they can cast spells, and if they have brooms, and I whole lot of other confusions you may have! Please, I encourage it. Just don't ask questions in an anonymous review, because then I can't answer them!
Okay, so…get to it!