AN: Ok, so new story. I was writing this originally as a one shot, but it started getting long and tangly so I decided to make it a larger story. This is partially based on a novel Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey, but I wouldn't worry to much about that, it veers off in new and naughty (;)) ways.
For I am finding out that love will kill and save me
Taking the dreams that made me up
And tearing them away
But the same love will take this heart that's barely beating
And fill it with hope beyond the stars
The Beauty and Tragedy – Trading Yesterday
The story has been told many times by many people, and this is one of the only things that remains certain.
If my mother Renee had thought to invite the vampiress (her cousin) Victoria, none of what followed would have occurred.
Although I suppose even that is not particularly true, because with some one as powerful and prideful as Victoria hanging around in the peripheral of the kingdom, disaster is somewhat inevitable. It was my bad luck that I just happened to catch the worst of it.
No one can quite remember exactly how my mother was related to Victoria, although it has become common practice to refer to them as cousins, and whether they were second cousins or third cousins once removed, it is not really relevant to the telling of my story, except that Victoria felt she deserved an invitation to the social event of the season and my mother, evidently did not.
Which is completely justified because Victoria was, in all fairness, a vampire.
But more of that later.
My story does not begin with Victoria; it begins (I was once told that all the best stories do) with Once Upon A Time. This is a second point of which most people agree, because everybody knows that it begins with a wise king and a kind queen who possess everything in the world except for a child. One day they discover they have been blessed with the thing that will make their happiness complete and roughly nine months later the kingdom rejoices as the queen gives birth to the most beautiful baby girl the world has ever seen (snort). Aptly the king decides to name his prized child Bella, and everybody knows she will grow up kind and good and beautiful. The christening was planned and everybody who was anybody was invited. Everybody was excited to celebrate the beginning of a new era within their kingdom.
Of course another thing that everybody knows is that Victoria showed up to the christening uninvited, absolutely spiting mad and she exacted her revenge in a very original and very cruel way. No one is very sure of her exact words, but Carlisle swears that when Victoria leaned over my bassinet she whispered-
"Little princess, beautiful and good, well named Isabella. May you grow up as lovely as your kingdom expects of you, may you be intelligent and resourceful and generous, so that when you draw just a single drop of blood from your self, a single prick on your finger, and die, your family will feel the greatest possible loss."
Well as you can imagine, the uproar was enthusiastic.
But I'm getting ahead of myself
My name is Bella Swan, named for the grace and beauty I would not doubt possess. Ironic because I do not possess a remarkable amount of either. This is my story, and I am one of only a few who can tell it to you. You've heard the rumours, the whispers, the fairytales. This is the true story. The story of my worst years and my best, my hardest struggle and my deepest sleep, this is the story of how I discovered life, and love, and most importantly how I discovered that even though a story begins with Once Upon a Time, doesn't mean it ends with they all lived happily after.
It is important that you understand that magic was, in my home, very normal and quite every day. Not that anybody was callous with its usage; magic is unpredictable to the extreme and impossible to control entirely. Almost everybody in Forks had some grasp of magic, it was in their blood, in the water they drank, in the air and in their food, and if it was left alone then that magic could stay relatively dormant and useful for not much else but boiling water. That's pretty much the golden rule with magic, if you ignored it and allowed it to work around you then magic would pretty much ignore you too. Not everyone took this good advice though.
To play the fool was actually much smarter then playing with the proverbial fire. An attempt to bloom roses out of season using magic was just as likely to flood the east side of the kingdom and there was one time when Carlisle, attempting to create a beautiful gown for Alice out of a bread loaf and some pigeon feathers, ended up making the bread taste like cloth for the rest of the week.
Headline: Magic is dangerous and only a few dared to test its limits, some of those people really were good and some, as you may have figured out already, were not.
By the laws of the kingdom Victoria should have had no right to her magic. Vampires are scary creatures, all white skin and blood sucking, impossibly strong and fast, strange, inexplicable powers; naturally the rest of us, or those who lived a few centuries before us anyway, clued in that allowing Vampires to meddle with the fabric of our universe was not such a hot idea. The royal library is the barer of the magic texts and no vampire is allowed inside. It was Carlisle who cast the first protection spells over the library, seventy or eighty years before Victoria was born, and they still stand today. Nobody is exactly sure how Victoria gained her magical ability, perhaps she retained it from before her turning or perhaps she simply reached inside of herself one day and plucked at the well of magic which resides in all of us, pulling and teasing it until it became something bigger and badder.
We won't ever really know. Much of who Victoria was, and why she did the things she did, still remain a mystery.
That aside the story continues, my christening. So where was I? Bella Swan. Princess of Forks. Yadayada. Victoria turns up, whispers a curse and all hell breaks loose.
This is one of the parts of the story that for me remains unclear. Although obviously I was present, I was in no condition to observe and recall. The others were there too, although like me too young to serve as proper witnesses, everybody except for Alice, who would sadly have not been present even if she had not been at the time gestating in her mothers' womb.
Only Carlisle remains to serve as a credible eyewitness, so I rely on his testimony to provide you with the events that immediately followed my christening. It is possible they have been embellished as Carlisle is inclined to do so occasionally, but don't you prefer an entertaining lie to what is probably a tragic truth.
It was my mother who broke through the uproar, my poor, infertile mother. She spoke only one word, her face ashen as she clutched my father.
I've never received a conclusive answer on what Victoria replied and it is my belief she simply did not. It has kept me up at night wondering about what she possibly could have said, how she could have justified her actions. I do not believe there was any such justification. Victoria was just evil, she simply could not stand to see happiness and light enter the world.
With a smile Victoria faced her terrified audience and grinned.
"I give her sixteen years." She announced and then with a 'poof' disappeared.
Once again hysteria broke out. My father threw himself at my bassinet, pulling me into his arms and checking for damage.
My mother chose a less direct, but more effective route. She chose to throw herself at Carlisle.
A small explanation is necessary at this point, of exactly who Carlisle is. Now I realise that convention dictates that it should have been a fairy godmother that lay the final boon upon my tiny, baby head, but although I did live in a magical kingdom I also lived in the real world and FYI fairies don't exist, not in this fairytale anyway. Carlisle has been alive for more years then anybody can count, eternally a handsome man in his mid twenties, he enjoys Keats and stealing spring flowers from the garden, he's never sprouted wings but he's helped me out more ways then I could begin to tell you. He also possesses the most comprehensive magical ability the realm has ever, or will ever, see. His magic is so strong that it is infused in every single part of him, his muscles, his blood, his heart and mind, it roars impressively through his body like a river current, ignoring pesky limitations like mortality. The magic preserves him and gives him an unhuman strength, making him undoubtedly the most powerful being, um, alive. The obvious similarities between Carlisle and the vampires motivates many people to distrust him, as many do things they don't understand, but Carlisle has never given me such insecurities of his character. In everyway that Victoria was bad, Carlisle is good, existing like contrasts through the story of my life. Perhaps it is that true compassion of people he has no real bond with that insures his absolute power.
Like I said before, magic is unpredictable.
Anyhow, on discovering a curse had been laid upon my life, my mother looked to Carlisle to reverse it.
"Do something." She pleaded with him, her eyes lost. "Please."
Carlisle looked towards my mother, then he looked at me, and then he bit his lip thoughtfully. Even he did not possess the power to perform the obvious deed and remove the spell that now hovered over me. Once a spell has been cast, its threads sewn in to a larger tapestry of what sustains our world, in cannot be removed with out dire consequence. No princess's life is worth the lives of thousands or millions, the utter collapse of life itself.
My mother began to sob quietly into the gathering of his robes she held in his hands and finally Carlisle spoke.
"I can not undo what has been irrevocably done, but I can do this. On the day Princess Isabella pricks herself and allows her blood to fall, she will not die, she will simply fall asleep."
My mother's sobs became more impressive, this time in relief. Carlisle was not done.
"Her sleep will last for a hundred years, until one day it will be broken by the kiss of her one true love, the bravest and strongest man in the land."
There were no magic words, no blast of green light and yet at that moment my life was changed forever and I had no clue. I watched on, untroubled by these events, blowing bubbles with my spit.