Disclaimer: I own neither Twilight or Harry Potter.
A/N: There is no point reading this story unless you've already read The Secret Keeper. This is its sequel, so you will have no idea how Bella and the Cullens got to this point without having read my other story first. For some reason it won't let me post the full link, so just copy and paste this to the rest of the fanfiction address: .net/s/5244652/1/The_Secret_Keeper
For those of you who have already read the prequel … here's the fun after the seriousness.
I opened my eyes to a room bathed in green. It was the light filtering in from outside: Mother Nature was adamant that Washington State should be entirely over-run with emerald tones. Clearly, my bedroom with its wooden floors, blue wallpaper and yellow lace curtains, was not in harmony with her carefully planned out colour scheme.
I groaned and swiped the wand from my bedside table, pointing it at the curtains and flicking in frustration. They closed instantly, and my hand dropped back down to hang limply by the side of my bed.
"I don't know if I'll ever be able to get used to that," a soft velvety voice said from the corner.
My eyes squeezed tighter shut and I willed myself to fall back to sleep. Sleeping was easier. There were nightmares, yes; but often, when they became too painful, my mind turned to lighter topics and random nonsense. Last night, for example, my brain had decided that it had had enough of reliving Fred Weasley's death and, consequently, switched to providing me with images of a wrestling match, in which Emmett was battling a Flobberworm … and was losing miserably.
The waking hours were my problem. My conscious mind was evidently not as kind as my subconscious one, and it had been virtually impossible to escape wonderings of Victoria and the grief for lost friends.
She had been another recent horror—Victoria. I'd barely had a full month after the last battle before I was engaged in another one. The fear of endangering my loved ones again, so soon after I had been robbed of others, really hit home. My mourning process had been interrupted by sheer hysteria: it's a wonder that I hadn't suffered a nervous break-down.
Victoria had finally been eliminated, though, and I had eventually been able to release all my pent up anger and grief. I'd cried and screamed at the top of my lungs; I'd clawed at Edward's clothes, desperately wishing for something expendable to destroy, not with magic, but with my own two hands. Edward hadn't minded; he'd known I'd needed some kind of physical outlet. As a result, one of his cotton shirts had been ripped to shreds.
The past week had been better, though. My mind still kept returning to the Battle of Hogwarts, but it was becoming a distant nightmare now—something that would always bring about a sense of loss with the memory of it, but would not cause an instant emotional collapse.
I was even performing magic again. I'd had to limit myself due to Victoria's constant proximity. She was the last person I wanted to reveal the wizarding secret to; plus, magic only reminded me of recent events when I used it, making spells difficult to execute accurately.
Shortly after our return to Forks, Jasper had finally stopped radiating his waves of calm. He and the family had insisted that I deal with my grief head on, fearing that it would be mentally damaging to attempt to delay it permanently. Unfortunately, the sudden emotional upheaval caused me to have a bit of an accident. As my mind gave over to the agony of loss, my own inner turmoil had had a direct effect on the mansion. In one terrible second of absolute despair, the entire back wall of the house—the glass which stretched to the upper floors—exploded outwards in a rain of deadly shards. I had tried to repair the glass wall three times, finally succeeding on the last try.
Edward, being his ever cautious self, worried that my current state would be potentially dangerous if combined with wand-work. I had built enough confidence during my seven years since entering the magical world that I didn't share his concerns; still, I refrained from practicing magic during my 'recovery' in order to placate him and ensure his peace of mind. He already worried about me; there was no need to increase his anxiety unnecessarily.
"How are you feeling?" Edward asked, his brow furrowing as he rose from the rocking chair and crossed the room to my bed. I clamped my eyes shut again after opening them briefly. He sat on the edge next to me. I felt his icy breath tickling my nose as he leaned over me, possibly to study my eyes—once I finally decided to open them—to get a better reading of my emotional state.
"I'm fine," I said, breathing in his heavenly scent, eventually searching for his honey-toned irises. As expected, they were swimming with worry.
"Why don't we go over to your place today? It's been too long since I saw the others."
"It's only been a week, Bella, and that's down to their five day hunting trip."
Jasper and Emmett had insisted that the family needed some 'serious de-stressing time' after the last couple of demanding and life-threatening months.
"You don't have to if you're not feeling up to it."
"No I … I do feel up to it. The sooner I get back into some kind of normality, the easier it will be, I think."
"Alright," Edward answered reluctantly, "but you do realise that once you give them the impression that you're … on the mend, they're going to start demanding answers about your world?"
I'd expected as much. Obviously, I had had to respond to various queries following Voldemort's defeat—usually relating to the government of the wizarding world, the existence of magical creatures, and the history of dark wizards—but the Cullen's had asked no more than that. They had been understanding enough to allow me space, and had reigned in their undeniable curiosity; however, I wasn't so stupid that I thought I would be spared once I began showing signs of emotional improvement. I was absolutely positive, as was Edward, that walking through the Cullen's front door today with my wand in hand would signal my permission to commence the onslaught of questions and demands. They'd probably have me pulling bunnies out of hats within the first five minutes of my arrival.
"It's alright," I replied, "I'm going to have to get it over with at some point. It may as well be now."
"OK, I'll meet you downstairs. Charlie left for Billy's two hours ago, so if he gets back before us, we can just tell him that I picked you up. I really don't feel like using your decrepit truck today, Bella."
I spluttered, and was about to retaliate with me own facetious comment, but my lightening-quick boyfriend escaped before I could even open my mouth.
"Just you wait, Edward Cullen. When I'm done with you, you'll be begging for my decrepit truck," I murmured.
A chuckle carried from downstairs; he thought I was joking. He was in for a shock.
I finally decided on plain jeans and an emerald button down shirt. The material flowed smoothly over the contours of my chest, torso, and arms, but flared at the elbows and collected in pretty lace ruffles at the cuffs. This was about as extravagant as I got.
I dressed quickly, my mind flicking briefly to Charlie as I did so. He had been practically blowing steam out of his ears upon our return from Hogwarts. In my haste to get to the school, I hadn't even thought to inform him that I wouldn't be coming home. I'd had too much to deal with already, so I'd Confunded him into thinking that Alice's car had broken down on a deserted road during a trip back from Seattle, and due to the fact that her cell had died, we had been unable to get in touch. I had also realised that the whole of Fork's would know by the time I returned of my sudden disappearance, so any chance of just removing the memory completely was out of the question. In the end, I decided to make him think that he'd already given me a good shouting at. It worked, thankfully.
Charlie didn't know of my magical life. I hadn't gotten around to telling him until I was fifteen. I had barely seen him during my youth anyway, so maintaining the secret hadn't been a problem. When I had finally mustered the courage to reveal my secret, he hadn't exactly taken it well. I knew that nothing I told him would alter the way he felt about me—I was his daughter; he loved me completely—but the discovery that mythical creatures and such weren't as mythical as he'd initially thought had definitely turned him a little green. Charlie was a very practical man; he had been happier when he hadn't known. As a result, I'd Confunded him into believing that my little revelation had actually been a dream. I wouldn't usually condone such behaviour, but it had been for his peace of mind, not mine.
After I had finished changing, I walked to the window, pulled back the curtains, and pushed the frame up, before sticking my head out to inhale the morning air. Then I held out my arm and waited. In no less than thirty seconds, a handsome and graceful barn owl came gliding through the air towards me. It landed on my upraised arm.
"I've missed you," I whispered. He nibbled my ear affectionately. "Do you want to meet them today?"
My owl already knew all about the Cullens. I had kept him updated from the off, in order to ensure that he didn't make the mistake of flying in whilst Edward was over. We had been extremely careful in recent years. Talto had taken to living in the forest just beyond the house. He preferred it to a cage, and even if Vampires hadn't been making frequent house calls, I'm fairly sure Charlie would have noticed if I'd decided to keep him in the house.
I'd spent time with him during Edward's hunting trips, or the periods in which Edward had to leave, for whatever reason. I handled him outside, usually in the woods, always showering and changing clothes immediately afterwards.
Talto repeated his nibbling gesture to indicate his approval. I must admit I had assumed that he would take far more persuasion: I was well aware that animals avoided the Vampires—their sense of self-preservation prevented them from doing otherwise. When I had initially met Edward, my owl had been frantic, and had nipped me constantly in his attempts to bring me to my senses. After the Cullens had rescued me from James, however, he'd come around a little, though he still didn't trust them completely, regardless of how many times I informed him of their non-human diet.
Then, after their contribution at Hogwarts and their efforts against Victoria, Talto seemed completely appeased. He'd been present at the slaughtering of the newborns, and had hovered above the trees surrounding the field, witnessing for himself the lengths the family would go to to protect me. He was a clever enough creature that he understood the Cullens cared for me. He was also aware of their preference for larger animals, and I'd only had to reassure him once that an owl was far from their idea of an appetiser. He may even have tailed them on their trips once or twice, just to be sure.
"Great!" I whispered enthusiastically. "Meet us there."
I threw him into the air and watched as he flew off towards the trees.
Then, I ran to the corner of the room and lifted the loose floorboard, beneath which lay my hidden school books and various magical equipment, including my potions kit, and my Cleansweep. I transferred my entire store to my now empty trunk—except, of course, for my broom, which I carried myself—before pointing my wand and calling out, "Locomotor trunk." The trunk levitated into the air, moved out onto the landing, and floated off down the stairs, whilst I followed closely behind it.
Edward was waiting in the living room. His eyes popped slightly upon seeing my floating trunk, but he composed himself quickly, rearranging his expression as if this were a normal occurrence.
"What's that for?" Edward asked suspiciously. "What's in there? Is that a broom?"
Suddenly he was directly in front of me, inspecting my Cleansweep with rapt attention. I guessed his siblings weren't the only ones to have been suppressing their curiosity.
"Yes, it is. And in answer to your other question, I figured that so long as I'm subjected to the inquisition, I may as well give them all the resources I can provide. I'm sure that there'll be something in here to occupy each member of your family."
I patted the trunk and flicked my eyes back up to Edward, whose face was scrunched in confusion.
"Bella, who were you talking to up there? You smell … off."
"Oh. That was Talto," I informed him. "He's my owl. He wants to meet you."
Edward's face went slack for a second, before his brow furrowed and incredulousness filled his eyes.
"An owl wants to meet me?"
"Did he actually tell you that?"
"I asked him if he was ready to meet you and your Vampire family and he gave me the response he always does when he's approving. My owl isn't an idiot, Edward," I said testily.
"I wasn't implying that he's an idiot, Bella," he answered, both concern and amusement audible in his tone. "I was merely suggesting that he is an owl. Are you telling me your pet understands English?"
"Yes," I said, simply, enjoying the way that Edward's eyebrows shot up. "Now, would you be able to do me a favour?"
"Take a hold of my trunk, please?"
Edward smiled and granted my request, supporting the heavy wooden chest under one arm. I kept one hand wrapped firmly around my broom, before I took his in my other.
"Now, since my O.A.P. vehicle is too slow for you, I figured we should take the direct route."
"What's the direct rou—"
Before Edward could finish his question, I had spun on the spot and had pulled him into the body-stretching pressure. It lasted for only a couple of seconds, and then it was over, and Edward and I were stood in the small meadow at the front of the Cullen mansion.
I glanced over at Edward and had the pleasure of seeing that his eyes had grown as large as golf balls. I burst into a fit of giggles, thoroughly impressed with my new found ability to stun the insanely perfect Vampire.
"That was … exceedingly strange," he said finally.
I laughed again and nodded, never letting go of his hand as we approached the house.
Alice was bouncing on the top step of the porch, wearing a massive grin that stretched from ear to ear.
Before I had even managed to take a full five steps, she shot through the air towards me, nothing but a blur of white and inky black, coming to rest so that only an inch separated us as her arms snaked around my waist.
"I'm so happy! I can't wait!" she squealed excitedly.
"For what?" I asked, scared now.
"What's going on Alice?" Emmett questioned, speeding to our side in the blink of an eye. It unnerved me how someone as bulky as Emmett could be so graceful. If I hadn't been in on the secret, I would have surely developed a complex ages ago.
"Bella's going to tell us all about magic! She's going to show us loads of stuff today!"
"Yes!" Emmett exclaimed, punching the air with his fists. "Finally! I've been dying for something interesting. Everything seems so dull nowadays, following your little revelation."
"If you really are going to do this, Bella, we should move to the area behind the house," said Edward.
"Absolutely!" Alice squealed, streaking forwards again, her hands circling around my left forearm. Her expression was rather terrifying: she looked at me with wide sparkling eyes, below which was a huge manic smile, revealing two full rows of brilliant, venomous teeth.
"Err … Alice, what are you doing?" I asked.
"Waiting for you to apparate, of course!"
"Awesome!" Emmett shouted, bounding around the back of me and clutching my other arm.
I glanced at Edward, my amusement becoming obvious once again as I failed to suppress a smirk.
"Are you in too, or would you prefer a slower means of travel?"
It felt slightly bizarre referring to Edward as slow. His chin lifted a fraction at my words.
"I'm up for whatever you can throw at me," he proclaimed, rising to the challenge. Emmett snickered from behind.
I twirled, instantly feeling the effects of the apparation as everything compressed in on itself. We appeared a few metres from the river. Emmett and Alice were both more excited after experiencing the process than Edward; he, evidently, would require more time to adjust to my version of 'express travel'.
"That was freaky-awesome, Bella," Emmett chuckled. The rest of the family joined us in the ensuing moments.
"What's going on?" Rosalie questioned, going to stand alongside her brawny husband.
"Our little witch is going to give us a few lessons," explained Alice. "Today is going to be fun for us all."
"Excellent," Carlisle responded enthusiastically.
The Cullen family stared at me expectantly, but I suddenly seemed to have difficulty locating my tongue.
"What about this owl you're supposed to be introducing us to?" Edward said, coming to my rescue. He scanned the surrounding trees, his inspection coming to a halt as he gazed at those beyond the river.
"Is that …"
I followed his line of sight, hoping that it would lead me to my beautiful barn owl. I saw nothing though—my eyesight wasn't strong enough to catch what he was seeing. Whatever it was, it must have been hidden from me by the shadows of the suspended branches.
"Oh!" Esme exclaimed joyfully. "Is that yours, Bella?"
She must have been referring to Talto: I certainly wouldn't have kept anything else belonging to me in a tree behind her house. I walked a few yards away from the Vampires, before finally calling my pet.
Instantly, something soared from the shadows and headed in my direction. It gained altitude as it crossed the river, before swooping downwards and fluttering onto my upraised arm. He nibbled my ear playfully, though he was a little rougher than usual, presumably due to nerves.
"Everyone, I'd like to introduce you to Talto."
"He's wonderful, Bella," Carlisle said. "Did you choose the name?"
"Yes," I confirmed. "I played around with Tyto Alba—you know, his spiecies—after I bought him on my first trip to Diagon Alley. He was just a baby then, but he's been with me ever since."
"He's beautiful," Esme cooed. "So lovely."
"He is, isn't he," I smiled, loving stroking the side of his head with the back of my fingers. Then I addressed the owl—I didn't want to take him by surprise or frighten him in any way. His comfort was, understandably, my first priority.
"Do you mind if we get a little closer? They won't hurt us."
The Cullens gazed on in awe at the exchange I shared with the winged creature, even more amazed by his apparent placidity.
"He understands you?" Carlisle asked in astonishment.
"Yes. He understands everything. That's why we use them for mail—we can tell them who or where we want a particular item delivering to, and they take it."
"Incredible," he murmured.
I moved closer to the Vampires, first approaching the females. Talto was making a great effort to seem brave, holding his position on my arm and refusing to take flight, despite the closeness of the seven surrounding predators.
"Esme," I said, smiling at her encouragingly, "do you want to stroke him?"
She glanced briefly around at her family members.
"Will he let me? I don't want to frighten him."
Talto, though hard working and affectionate, also had a tendency to be extremely proud; naturally, therefore, Esme's spoken worries provoked a reaction. He fluttered from my hand and closed the distance between Esme and himself, landing quickly on her shoulder as if she were no more dangerous than the branch of a young tree.
She gasped loudly, before allowing a massive smile to spread across her face.
"Oh, Bella, I think he likes me!" Esme reached up and gently caressed the snowy feathers of Talto's breast. The motion seemed to sooth the owl, and he swiftly relaxed into a less stiff pose.
"Can I stroke him too, Bella?" Alice enthused.
"Ask him," I laughed.
My best friend didn't find this instruction odd in the slightest: she turned to face Esme and the owl, and asked—in the friendliest and most polite tone possible—if Talto would kindly permit her to stroke him. He hooted softly in response, and Alice danced forwards, wearing a similar grin to that of her mother. Rosalie followed suit, cooing as the others did, whilst she stroked a now exceedingly happy Talto.
"You're a beauty, aren't you?" she praised, earning another hoot of contentment.
I called him and he flew back to me, landing this time on my shoulder, as he had on Esme's.
"You're going to have to stop being such a lady's bird. The others want to meet you, too," I teased.
His talons gripped my shoulder tighter as I made my way over to the men. I wasn't sure whether that was due to my witty comment or the fact that the male Vampires were a little more imposing than their counterparts.
"Talto, this is Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle, and Edward." I pointed out each individual as I spoke their names, much to the amusement of Jasper, who was now regarding me as if I was mad.
Carlisle was the first to make contact with the bird. He stroked the large feathers of his wings, smiling like a Cheshire cat as he did so. Emmett was next, looking excited at the prospect of befriending an animal, as opposed to eating it. Jasper looked slightly reluctant, but one look from Alice was enough to push him forwards. He stroked Talto gently on his breast, his uncertainty immediately disappearing the moment the owl hooted his appreciation.
Edward, I noticed, hung back from the others, his body rigid whilst his eyes remained focused on Talto.
"Edward," I said, worriedly, "is something the matter?"
His eyes never left the bird as he addressed me, but his mouth twitched at the corners.
"There's nothing wrong, really. It's just … it feels like I'm trying to earn the approval of one of your family members. It's a bit surreal."
He laughed then, and the sound was infectious. The others chuckled in turn, as did I, all of us finding humour in Edward's words. The fact that there was a certain truth to his confession—it wasn't simply an irrational musing—made it all the more funny.
"I don't think it will be difficult for you to gain his favour. He already knows about everything you've done for me. Right, Talto?"
Talto nibbled my ear before bravely launching himself from my shoulders towards Edward, who looked both surprised and relieved as the owl descended upon his upraised arm. A slow smile crept onto his perfect snowy face. It was almost childlike, and he caressed Talto both affectionately and with enthusiasm.
"Hello, Talto," he said, his eyes flicking to me for a second. "It's nice to finally meet you. I've seen you enough times."
"You've seen him before?" I broke in loudly, causing my owl to start.
"I see him in the woods outside your house quite frequently. I hear him at night, too, sometimes. I never suspected that he was yours, though; at least, not until you first told us you owned an owl. I can't believe you managed to keep him a secret. I would have thought that I would have caught his scent."
"He never comes into the house; he's more of an outdoorsy kind of creature. Usually, I spend time with him when you're away."
"Or change clothes straight afterwards?"
"You figured it out, huh?"
"Kinda," he replied, his perfect crooked smile making its appearance.
I felt my heartbeat accelerate and my jaw drop.
"Have you ever considered a life of crime, Bella?" Emmett chuckled.
"No thanks, Emmett. I'll leave the shifty business to you."
"So owls are used for mail, then?" Edward interjected. "Is the mail man not stylish enough for wizards and witches?"
"Ha ha," I answered, my voice oozing sarcasm. "Can you imagine some of the addresses they'd have to send to? They'd never get there! Especially not if they were delivering to an unplottable location."
"Unplottable?" Jasper enquired.
That was when the lesson started. After saying goodbye to Talto and allowing him to fly off to hunt, I told them about all the spells that were used for the protection of wizards, referring both to Hogwarts and the Quidditch World Cup, all the while making use of my old textbooks, including Hogwarts: A History.
"What about Quidditch?" Emmett interrupted, unable to contain himself. "When do we get to see a game? I wanna go watch one!"
"I'll take you to see one sometime," I promised. "There's a book in my trunk called Quidditch Through the Ages. Feel free to take a look through it."
Immediately, Emmett was sifting through the box, searching for the item. I didn't need to be a psychic to know that he was going to love the wizarding sport.
"Bella," Alice chirped happily, flipping shut my copy of the Standard Book of Spells: Grade Four, "will you show us some magic now, please?"
"You've already seen me do magic, Alice."
"Yes, but we didn't have sufficient time at Hogwarts to 'ooh' and 'ahh'. Now we'll be able to appreciate it properly!"
"Umm … well, alright. What would you like to see?" I asked, enjoying the idea that I would finally get to impress others, rather than be dazzled myself.
"What kind of fun?"
"Any kind of fun, Bella!" Alice said, a little frustrated now at having to wait. "Use your imagination!"
I thought for a second, completely aware that I had the full attention of the seven Vampires. I smiled and drew my wand from my pocket.
"You know how I always get a little moody when you try and give me a make-over, Alice?"
"A little? That's the understatement of the century."
"Well, it's because I could do the same thing in less than a minute," I announced, choosing to ignore her snide comment. "I suppose it's the equivalent of you in gym class: it's not fun having to do things the normal way when you're used to something else. Make-up itself isn't actually that offensive to me."
"Fair point," said Edward. "I find it difficult to believe, however, that you could beat Alice in that department, even if you do have magic on your side."
"Do I sense a challenge?" Alice giggled, her eyes fly to meet her brother's. Both possessed undeniable conspiratorial expressions.
"Absolutely," he answered her. "I challenge you, Bella, to complete an entire Alice-worthy make-over on yourself in a minute or less."
"Name the terms," I demanded.
"You lose … and I buy you a new car."
"And you are not allowed to complain, no matter what I choose for you."
His expression turned cocky as he took in my nervous countenance. I straightened up.
"Fine," I answered, determined to have fun with it, "but I win … and you have to drink one potion of my choice."
His smug face dropped instantly.
"Potion? I thought magic didn't work on us."
"Potions are a little different," I laughed. "Under the right circumstances, your body will still accept fluids. All you have to do is get the correct ratio of blood to other substances. It's like a marinade: the blood absorbs the magical properties of the additional ingredients. That's how you administer to Vampires—just whack in some grizzly, or mountain lion … or dragon."
Edward went rigid for a fraction of a second, but he couldn't back out now. He had already committed. His brothers would never let him live it down otherwise.
"OK," he agreed finally. "You're on. Your time begins … now!"
I got to work immediately, my heart picking up its pace as I remembered the consequence of losing. It was unacceptable. I twisted my hair into a tight coil and touched my wand to the tips, shooting a spell down the strands. The second I released my hair, it unwound into a thick mass of flowing spirals.
"Accio Alice's make-up," I said, my wand raised in the air. I wasn't shocked in the slightest by the quantity of product that came whizzing through the back door: it was easily enough to stock an entire cosmetics counter. Typical.
I wasted no time, casting my mind back to one of the grooming spells I had read about in Witch Weekly. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil had been practicing it for the Yule Ball in the girls' dormitory. Having no clue how to apply make-up the normal way, I had asked to borrow their copy of the magazine.
"Decoris!" I exclaimed, flicking my wand at three shades of shimmering eye shadow, along with black eyeliner, mascara, blusher, and coral lipstick.
The charm didn't even require the regular Muggle instruments—the product simply transferred itself through the air in a glimmering haze of dust, fixing to the appropriate facial area. I did the same with the varnish, selecting a shiny onyx and performing a drying spell as it fit to my nail beds.
There was nothing left to do now but to observe the fruits of my labour. I conjured a mirror, leaving it suspended in mid air whilst I gazed at my reflection. The results were better than anything I could have hoped for: my hair looked like a design out of a high fashion magazine—a style falling somewhere between 'beauty queen' and 'lion mane'—and my eyes were dark and smoky, contrasting heavily with my pale shimmering lips.
I turned to look at my audience, and was delighted by Edward's gobsmacked expression. His jaw had dropped so low that it was in danger of scraping the floor. I waited for him to speak, but he seemed incapable at present.
"Nice," Alice said appreciatively. "I see why you moan so much. That took less than thirty seconds."
"I'm a little disappointed," Emmett confessed. "Sure you were quick, Bella, but I was kind of hoping for something bigger."
"What were you expecting … rainbow hair?" Rosalie asked, rolling her eyes.
"Well … yeah."
I repeated Rosalie's gesture and pointed my wand at my own head, squeezing my eyes tightly shut. Then I concentrated on performing a series of complicated non-verbal spells. The first indicator that my efforts had paid off were the simultaneous gasps spilling from the mouths of the Cullens.
I opened my eyes and peered back into the mirror. Sure enough, my make-over had exceeded even anything that Alice was capable of. My eyes were no longer chocolate; instead, they were a brilliant turquoise-green, whilst my hair had transformed from mahogany to a baby blonde.
Edward's face, in a word, was priceless.
"I guess this was a little extreme," I laughed. "Maybe I should have gone for something closer, like red."
"You can, err, do red, too, can you?" Edward asked, a little inarticulately, which was definitely unusual for him.
I giggled and nodded in response.
"Imagine the fun you could have, Edward," Emmett laughed.
I don't know what Emmett was thinking, but I was fairly sure I didn't want to know when my Vampire boyfriend aimed an irritated punch at his brother's head. Then he made his way over to me, running a strand of my buttery hair through his fingers shortly after reaching me.
"Nothing will ever top your natural colour, Bella—neither hair nor eyes," he smiled, "but you still look incredible. I have to admit that this is definitely something. Did I ever mention that I love magic?"
"No, you didn't," I laughed. "I take it this means I win?"
"You win," Edward nodded, his face turning wary. "What kind of potion are you intending on feeding me, exactly?"
"Let me worry about that. And no peaking, Alice!"
She huffed, but agreed anyway.
"What next, then?" Emmett asked eagerly.
"How about you turn Mike Newton into a toad, Bella?" suggested Edward. Esme gave her son a reproving look, but the rest of her children broke out into soft chuckles.
A loud popping sound ended the laughter immediately, and each of the males, excluding Carlisle, reflexively assumed defensive positions in front of their mates. The instant they recognised the individual stood in the middle of their back yard—or field—they straightened up, apologetic expressions on each of their faces.
"Professor McGonagall!" I said in shock.
A/N: Hope you liked the opening chapter. The Secret Keeper was quite dark and heavy in places. I'm looking forward to giving the Cullen's a good time. I hope you enjoy the coming chapters. I will probably only be posting once or twice a week now, mainly due to the fact that my life has just got far busier. I'll try and do at least that, though.
One more thing … I know 'Decoris' isn't a spell from the HP books. I made it up myself. I plan on doing that a lot, but I'm still taking it from actual languages like J. K. Rowling did. I got the spell from the Latin words for 'beautify' and 'face': decoro and oris.
Thank you! Please review!