Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. Don't own Harry Potter either. Don't own the music and the lyrics that helped me write this.
Also, I don't really know that much about hospitals work, so those I sort of fudged as best I could. Expect inaccuracies. Feel free to point out what I get wrong, but don't kill me over them. I warned you. I did. I have this in writing.
Note: 2008 is "Present Day" for this story, based on the timelines of HP and Twilight, and on Bella's birthday. I'm just going to roll with it and hope I figured it out right. Also, I apologize for any grammatical mistakes. Some are intentional, some are not. Feel free to point them out to me so I may learn my lesson about reading things twice and then thrice.
A note on the whole HP/EC/HP thing, in case it's unclear, HP stands for Harry Potter and there is only one Harry. I'm used to the notation that male/male relationships are listed as top/bottom or dom/sub or whatever in summaries. I want Harry and Edward to be equals in the relationship and I've seen other authors use this type of notation to indicate this. Sorry if it was confusing for anyone!
And I'm on schedule? I'm on schedule! Mom would be so proud.
Chapter 1: Misunderstood
Took a ride to the end of the line
Where no one ever goes
Ended up on a broken train with nobody I know
But the pain and the longing's the same
When you're dying
Now I'm lost and I'm scream for help
Relax, take it easy
For there is nothing we can do
Relax, take it easy
Blame it on me or blame it on you
"Relax, Take It Easy" by Mika
Forks, May 2008 (Present day)
Carlisle Cullen went through the motions on this hectic day with as much grace as a 300-plus year old vampire could muster. Quite frankly, 'hectic' seemed to be too mild of a term to describe the day, or the week for that matter, that had crashed quite unexpectedly on his head.
The trouble started when one of the resident hospital doctors had come to the decision that he had done his duty to his patients and the prime time to retire had arrived. Naturally, the hospital's board of directors moved at a barely there snail-worthy pace to find a replacement. And, as one would expect, finding a competent physician who was also willing to move to the middle of nowhere had not been as easy as they had expected.
Time had been running out with no acceptable candidate in sight when an application came in from New York. A fantastic upstart with a spotless record, shining recommendations, and with the respectability of a wife and child—needless to say, the board snatched him up as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, the decision was made about a week too late. The now-retired doctor tidied up his affairs and, after a not-quite-fond farewell, retreated to his fishing hole in the mountains five days ago. And now, as with each passing day, the disappearance of one vital set of hands was more and more deeply felt by everyone. In doing his part, Carlisle had taken up several of the retired doctor's patients, some that had required more attention than he could possibly give them, on top of his own regular case load. Even for a vampire that never required a wink of sleep, he felt that a well-deserved nap was long overdue.
But, bless the stars, the new medic had officially moved in and had insisted on assuming full duties as soon as possible. In fact, Carlisle checked his watch, he should be coming in soon for a tour of the facilities before he started officially the next day.
The vampire shuffled through the memos on his desk to double check the name one last time so that no awkward faux pas would be committed upon first meeting. Although the head nurse and a board members would lead the tour, Carlisle considered it only polite to greet and welcome his new colleague. After returning the papers to their proper order, he left his office and took the elevator down to the main lobby, ready to meet the long awaited new addition.
Just as Carlisle was contemplating how to best avoid a handshake, Harry, the subject of so much attention, pulled into the hospital parking lot. He turned off the engine, but he made no move to leave the car. His fingers slipped off the wheel and he let his head fall back, his eyes sliding closed for a moment. He knew what was coming. He was a stranger in a strange land amongst these people. Surely, there would be talk and rumors.
It would be a nuisance at best and at worst... Who knows? But no, he had Hermione and Daniel to think about. He had to face this, for them, only for them. He had to do what was best for them.
But why did something continue to gnaw at him? What did he do wrong? Maybe it was because he didn't check out the place before the move. But he'd had no time to spare. Would he pay for it? No, no, no. Just paranoia, first day jitters. Everything would work out, it would be okay. And he hoped that it would be, that everything really would be okay. Better than okay even. Didn't they deserve that? This was their chance to start over. Again. They just had to do it right. He just had to do this right.
Harry reviewed the most important parts of his so-called 'life story,' just in case. Let's see... Born in England, moved to New York, Iraq War veteran, doctor, married, father, last name: Stevens, not Potter. No, definitely not Potter—was there anything he had missed? He'd gotten plenty of practice in telling and retelling these lies back in New York, but sometimes these things would just sneak up on him. The Stevens part had been particularly difficult to get used to, but it was for the best in the end.
With that in mind, Harry finally stepped out of his car and headed for the entrance. The hospital lobby glowed with bleached white light like any other like it, although he supposed it was cleaner than the hospital that he had worked in before. From the sharp, expensive cut of his clothes to the way he held himself, he stood out easily and people stared unabashed. Oh the joys of a small community. He would be made to feel the outsider for quite a while, that was certain.
A receptionist—pale face, young, black hair, brown eyes, slim, not threat—behind the desk eyed him up and down for a few seconds. She clearly didn't know how to approach him; the tension in her shoulders and the twitch of her fingers gave her nervousness away. Harry decided to make this as painless as possible for the both of them and walked over to her station.
"Good afternoon, my name is Harry Stevens, I'm—" he began and a smile sprung onto her face, as if he had summoned it with magic.
"—the new doctor, of course," she said as she stood up.
She took his hand and shook it, her lips rearing back further. "Welcome, welcome! My name is Rachel Daus, Dr. Stevens. I'm a nurse-in-training here, and a receptionist sometimes, but you could probably have seen that. Anyway, it's very nice to meet you doctor!"
Another nurse, this one a bit older with thick, brown hair pulled back in a bun, walked over and leaned on the counter, a toothy smile brightening up her features. "Hello, I'm Anna Brown. What kind of accent is that, honey?" she slipped in the nickname she used for anyone and everyone in the hospital, even the directors.
"Erm—British, I suppose. I was born in England," the words stumbled out, his voice shaking a bit of its own accord. The receptionist giggled before she spoke again, "he's the new doctor Anna." Anna's lips slipped easily into a half amused, half condescending smile. "Thank you, Rachel," the woman responded, but without the least bit of malice. They clearly knew each other well. Anna gave him one more friendly nod and fully turned to the receptionist. She passed a clipboard over the counter and into Rachel's waiting hands.
"These are Mr. Branny's new vitals. That poor man; he thinks he's leaving tomorrow," again, the amused, yet condescending expression on Anna's face. Clearly, Mr. Branny had some ideas that Anna disapproved of. Distracted for a minute, Rachel the Receptionist took the file. The explosive smile faded just a bit, her face just hinting at exasperation.
"Thanks, I'll make sure Lucy and Dr. Cullen get a copy," she leafed through the file, but then her head jerked up wide-eyed and smiled apologetically at Harry. "I'm sorry Dr. Stevens. Lucy should be down in a minute to show you around," she mumbled, suddenly shy, and ducked away to properly deal with the document. Harry nodded once in response, maybe just a bit too curtly, maybe struggling just a little bit to draw out a positive response of his own.
Anna then turned back towards him, "don't be so tense honey, Forks is a nice place. A lot quieter than New York, safer too. It'll be a good change of pace, I'm sure."
So she knew that he was from New York, but how much more did she know? In a little town information travels fast. Maintaining secrecy may become challenging. But he couldn't think about that now. He had to play nice and to make new friends so that no one would get too suspicious. So Harry smiled, a little, or tried to at least.
"Yes, New York is very different from Forks. Very lively, I suppose, at all hours. Here, I can actually hear myself think, for once." Oh, he could hear himself think alright—think about the dense forest and how much it reminds him of the Forbidden Forest and how much that reminds him of Hogwarts and home and family, all long dead and gone.
There would be no Manhattan hustle and bustle lullaby to rock him to sleep here. But there would be no crowds, no rush hours, no car horns and men in hoods. Forks was isolated. Insulated. Safe. At least, that's what he hoped for. That would make all of this worth it.
Nurse Anna's laugh broke the line of his thoughts, "oh yes, I think I know what you mean." Did she really understand, or had she been in this entire town her whole life? Before Harry could ask, a woman with a cloud of bright red hair and a name tag that read 'Head Nurse: Mrs. Lucille Robinson,' followed closely by an aging gentlemen in a suit, joined them. In accordance to her predecessors, Nurse Lucy gave him a beaming smile and offered her hand.
"You must be Dr. Harry Stevens," she spoke in a voice that reminded him of sticky, sweet toffee. "It's a pleasure to have you on board, my name is Lucille 'Lucy' Robinson, head nurse," she laughed, most likely well aware that he had already gleaned these facts from her name tag.
She let Harry's hand go and stepped aside, motioning to the man behind her. "This is Dr. Richard Miller, one of our hospital directors," the older man came forward, fortunately without showing his full set of teeth. Only a slight wrinkling by his eyes indicated some degree of approval of Harry. He gave Harry's hand a firm shake and simply said, "welcome," in a deep, gruff voice.
Harry decided then and there that he liked Dr. Miller because he had set the bar low for expressive friendliness. But still, once again, going through the formalities, the wizard tried to smile in acknowledgment. Once again he felt like he failed to live up to the standards of the delighted expressions of the women around him.
The director spoke little. Head Nurse Lucy talked enough for the both of them. She recited hospital rules and procedures with such precision that, Harry suspected, she must read the regulations handbook instead of the daily newspaper at breakfast every morning. Nurse Anna and Rachel the Receptionist sent each other amused grins, followed by fairly subtle eye rolling. And there was that condescending yet amused smile again.
Another addition interrupted the scene just in time. Dr. Miller, looking just over Harry's shoulder, acknowledged the hospital's best doctor with a simple greeting of, "Dr. Cullen, good afternoon," as the man walked over.
Turning around, Harry realized just how much of a mistake he had made. And just how stupid he was for not listening to that gnawing feeling that had been bothering him for quite some time now.
A storm of curses kicked up in his mind.
A fucking vampire.
How could he have—?
Why didn't he see—?
Why are they all just smiling at the—?
In his mind, Harry saw himself pushing everyone down. Saw himself moving for cover. Saw himself cast—
Did he just call the vampire by name?
They knew the vampire?
They bloody fucking knew him?
He couldn't very well attack the vampire if they did. That would just make him out to be the crazy blood-thirsty maniac. And that would do nothing for his reputation in town.
The wizard forced himself to calm down. His shoulders were tense, he lost count of his heart beat, but at least he didn't look like he was about to attack. Or, rather, he hoped he didn't look like he was about to attack. Certainly did not look like he was about to use the pen collection on the desk as projectiles. No, certainly not.
He tried to distract himself, he really did. Because maybe this was a nice vampire. One never knew these days. He had no alternative, he had to play along. Think good wizards and bad wizards. Think good werewolves and bad werewolves. Think, redirect, and relax, he repeated over and over in his mind as the vampire approached. What were the odds, that he would meet a vampire at a hospital of all places? Only Harry's tremendously black misfortune would have made those odds a certainty, a certainty that Harry should not have bet against. Dammit all to hell.
Carlisle for his part, not only as a very experienced doctor, but as very experienced vampire, was all too aware of the symptoms that Harry tried to hide. Dilated pupils, heightened heart beat, the intense scent of pure adrenaline rolling off of him—the man was in the midst of a clear cut fight-or-flight response. But why?
The vampire hid his confusion, all the while mentally flipping through the new doctor's file, looking for an answer. Try as Carlisle might, he could not think of what he had done to elicit such a reaction from the man, but there was no alternative explanation. He was fine before Miller pointed Carlisle out, so it must have been something about his appearance that caused it. Could it be that the doctor saw him for what he really was: a vampire? But humans—well, most humans—wouldn't even acknowledge the very existence of vampires, never mind actually pinpointing Carlisle as one. What were the chances?
A soldier—that might be it. Harry had been in the army, a doctor in the field. The specifics were classified, but he was most likely in the battle zone, maybe had even seen combat? Trauma could linger for years, perhaps his unnoticeable approach really had surprised the soldier inside the doctor? It was a plausible enough explanation and the younger man certainly gave no indication of actually acting on his fight or flight response, which Carlisle deemed a good sign.
He did not, however, show any indication of calming down. Carlisle purposely adjusted his body language to convey relaxation and calm with the expression of utmost serenity and composure on his face. He tried to erase any hint of hostility, any at all, to put the stranger at ease.
When he joined the group the director took it upon himself to make the introductions. "Dr. Carlisle Cullen, may I introduce you to our newest team member," he motioned from the vampire to the wizard, "Dr. Harry Stevens."
This time, Harry did really try his hardest. He thought of puppies and kittens and rainbows and whatever fluffy happy things people usually use to obscure general unpleasantness. For his part, the effect was a rather charming smile, but his body language betrayed the wizard, if only to Carlisle.
"I hope we can work well together," Harry threw some nice words together, for added effect. Carlisle returned the sentiment, "I believe we will," with more genuine feeling behind it.
Neither of them moved to shake hands.
At that moment, Carlisle noticed something odd. While he had generally adapted to the smell of blood and humans, he was never unaware of it. That being said, he couldn't understand why he couldn't smell Harry's blood.
It was not obscured—he could clearly identify every individual essence in the lobby, including the blood of every human within it. But to Carlisle, the younger man smelled almost like the rest of the Cullen clan, very similar to a vampire. No blood print, just a collection of fragrances: faint trace of sweat, the lavender softener on his clothes, mint from his mouthwash. It was the usual layered cloud of scents that surrounded all humans, but had one ingredient missing: his blood.
No blood scent. In a human. Now that's something new. And a bit worrisome.
All too soon, Lucy was leading the stranger away with Dr. Miller in tow for the tour, Stevens all too happy to go. Carlisle lingered by the station, trying to think over the new developments, until the younger nurse's giggles broke his concentration.
"What a cutie," her sweet bubblegum breath filled the air and it was clear that she had managed to develop a somewhat serious infatuation over a short period of time.
"Now honey, you can't be that way," the other nurse remaining, Anna, reproached Rachel. She pointed to her own left ring finger to remind Rachel of Stevens' gold band, "you know he's a married man."
Edward cataloged the contents of the hospital break room. White walls. White cabinets. White floor. A white table and five white chairs. He found that the color white had grown on him quite a bit. Nothing hidden in a white world, no surprises. Sterile and impotent—it held no possibilities.
Extended parallel of his own life? Maybe.
The century-old vampire found that such mindless thoughts helped pass the time. When Bella materialized in his life, he finally understood how empty it had been before her. When she disappeared from it, he had had to come to terms with how hollow it would be after her.
But that had been a reality that he created. His mistakes brought her into his sphere and his amendments that removed her from it. His choice.
He did not regret Bella. No, he only regretted her distortion of his world. Despite the fact that their love had been a temporary illusion, she had created in him a shapeless and vague longing for more. More than his music, his books, and his family.
A secretary passed by the room and Edward's head filled with a list of groceries she would pick up for dinner after work that evening.
Tomatoes, chicken, pasta, ice cream, orange juice.
He worked to clear his head again by playing a melody note by note in his mind.
Edward enjoyed this break especially because the entire floor was nearly empty for the first time that day. Everyone had sneaked away from duty to get a peek at the new doctor, the next local curiosity. Their thoughts had been particularly intrusive this morning. The mind-reading vampire had barely contained the urge to politely tell them to shut up and to reign in their thoughts. It had been very tempting, for he had been sorely tested, but he resisted the urge because the explanations would have just gotten awkward.
Any other day, Edward would have found Carlisle to pass the time during his break. There was solace for him in staying occupied, which was the reason why he volunteered at the hospital during his summer break from college. As one might suspect, the little town of Forks offered little in the way of recreation.
The alternative would have been to pass the time with Esme, his mother in every way except biological, and his vampire siblings: Jasper, Alice, Emmett, and Rosalie. In the past, they would start their days together, but the others would slowly drift off in pairs, leaving him to himself. Edward never saw it as abandonment, but simply as inevitable. It had only started to bother him after he experienced something akin to what they experience when they are alone with their mates. Now seeing them in pairs was a pinch of salt on a nasty wound.
So he spent his time in the hospital or occupied himself with his books, studies, and music. The hobbies had their benefits—professors absolutely adored him as a student. 'A brilliant mind', they would say, 'the best of his generation'—funny claims, considering that Edward thought of himself as a blood-hungry parasite. Not to mention the fact that his generation was long dead by now.
Carlisle began to drift into Edward's head long before the man entered the room. Thoughts of the new doctor filled his honorary father's mind. A fine, agitated face, with tightly pulled eyebrows over green eyes would drift in and out of Carlisle's mind, only to be replaced by tense thoughts, concern, and confusion. But every once in a while, those dark green eyes would reappear. Edward was forced to admit that he was intrigued and wanted to ask his father what his opinion was of the man, but he let the other sit down before addressing him.
"Something wrong, Carlisle? How was the meeting?"
Carlisle sat in thought for a moment, formulating a response, before replying out loud. He didn't have to speak, given Edward's gift. But he, and the entire Cullen clan in fact, knew that Edward appreciated it more when others spoke, not thought, to him.
"The new doctor seems to be a bit of an odd one. He reacted rather badly to me and I'm still trying to understand why." Carlisle thought back to the incident in the waiting room, allowing Edward to see for himself.
"I suppose his reaction was strange," Edward agreed, "nerves?"
Carlisle nodded, "I did think of that. He was a soldier—PTSD perhaps? He looked ready to attack me. And Edward, he had no blood print." He let the last statement slip in casually.
"What?" Edward's head snapped up.
"He smells like a vampire would to us, I suppose, but he appears to be human. The fact that his blood has no smell worries me, I admit."
"Is that even...possible? In a human?" Edward didn't bother to conceal his disbelief.
"Well, we didn't think that a defense against your abilities existed, but we were proven wrong. Other exceptions to our rules may exist. Perhaps he has some sort of shield against our sense of smell?" After a pause of consideration, Carlisle added on a more dubious statement "or, perhaps he is not so human after all."
Although he already read Carlisle's intentions, Edward asked nonetheless, "you would like me to meet him, to read his mind?"
"Yes, if that is alright with you. The werewolf incident has left me a bit weary of what else the world has to offer, and I would like to know more about our Dr. Stevens. It may be nothing, but Forks just seems to attract the most peculiar residents. Are you comfortable with this plan Edward?"
"I don't see why not. I would have to meet him eventually," Edward shrugged, alleviating Carlisle's worries.
"Good, his office will be on the third floor. But Edward, if there is any indication of danger, please don't act alone. We are a family. We will deal with this together."
When he was finally able to get away from the chatty head nurse and every damn staff member that wanted to meet him, Harry headed straight for his car and pulled up silencing wards around the vehicle. The vampire shouldn't be able to sense the magic at such a distance and Harry intended to make it quick. He pulled out his cell phone and punched in Hermione's number. She picked up within two rings.
"'Mione? I don't have much time to talk. Is Danny in the house? Are the wards secure?"
"Yes and yes. Harry, what's wrong?"
"Listen 'Mione, don't leave the house, okay, and make sure that Danny doesn't go outside either. I'm fine, but I really can't talk here, okay? Please, just do as I say. I'll be home soon."
There was a minute worth of strained silence, but he knew that it was just because Hermione was worried and dying to ask him questions. But she relented quickly without pushing for more.
"Okay Harry, but please hurry back. You're scaring me."
"I will, I promise. Bye, love."
Even though he promised to head right back, Harry drove for hours after he left the hospital. He first set the GPS to guide him to his and Hermione's new place, but he missed the exit. Then he missed another. And one more after that. Tired of listening to the machine's persistent attempts to turn him around, Harry turned it off and just drove on.
The smooth glide of his car, the road—if he didn't think too hard about it, it felt like flying. The wizard wanted to hold on to that mindless haze and the early summer wind that tore him right out of reality.
But the feeling didn't—couldn't—last. A different sensation entirely replaced the temporary rush and he remembered what he wanted to avoid. A vampire, Harry was sure on this, practicing in a hospital filled with bleeding muggles. For years. Years. And he was married. He had grown children, according to the hospital staff.
The wizard knew little of the vampire kind. He remembered learning something from one book or another on the 'blood suckers' in school, but Harry had never been the book type. Most of his working knowledge came from his practical crash course with the demons, when they had had to fight off a band of mercenary vampires hired by Crabbe Sr. It was a tough fight. They lost Dean Thomas that night.
But the doctor that he had met today, Cullen, had lived amongst humans for so long. How did he do it? Did he feed off his family? Or what if the family was also all vampires—how did they live? Vampires could not live without killing, Harry knew that much. They needed fresh blood to survive. So how did he, the doctor, and how did they, the family, feed without the town noticing? Did they kill hikers?
But even with just one vampire feeding, it seemed an unlikely possibility. Hikers have families, friends. Disappearances would have been reported. Investigations would have been started. Vampires can travel. Yes, that could be it. Their hunting grounds could stretch beyond Forks, beyond the state of Washington even.
Harry didn't see much of the scenery around him as he drove on and on, just the map of theories and ideas in his mind. At some point after dark, he turned the navigator back on again and headed back. He needed to figure this out, but he also needed to get back to his family. He left them with no news of what he had learned. Another mistake.
Retracing his route back to Forks seemed to take longer than the drive out. Harry just didn't know what to do right now. It had been a while since he had to think like this. Since he had had to calculate the situation, see all the pitfalls, and lay the plans. The hero of the Magic Civil War felt rusty in this old role.
He had maintained his body and his magic over the years, but could he take out a vampire clan if he had to? His weapons and armor traveled with him. He could use old contacts; maybe reach out to Shacklebolt for aid. But how much aid could the Minister of Magic spare, considering that he had his hands full with mending British wizard society?
Harry realized he was doing it again. He was rushing too fast into the whole thing. He had lost more of his old leader mentality than he thought.
Think about it, he told himself.
Think it over again.
Five, six, seven years ago, what would he have done?
Too many unknowns in the problem—that's it. He had glazed over too many blank spaces when he began searching for a solution.
Harry thought back to the war. What would have the Hero done? Well, for starters, he would not leave the situation unresolved. There. One problem solved. He would not turn and run. Next, having acknowledged that he knew next to nothing about vampires, he would have talked to Hermione and... and... And he would have talked to Ron.
Well, one out of two, he could do that much.
Turning into the driveway of the new house, he realized how much time had slipped by him. Daniel would be sleeping by now. Hermione had been expecting him back hours ago, but she hadn't called him and he had felt no change in the wards, so everything should be fine. But it was thoughtless to have taken the risk. His head was slipping again, was it that time already?
When Harry walked into the kitchen, Hermione had just put his dinner plate into the microwave and the kettle on the stove blew out steam. She was upset, Harry could tell that much, that he had been gone so long while she had been kept in the dark. But Hermione also knew Harry better than anyone and so she understood that when Harry sat down at the table without a word and buried his face in his hands, there must be a damn good reason for it.
Hermione poured boiling water into a cup and set tea to steep before sliding into the chair opposite him. She reached out to touch the back of his hand.
"What's wrong?" she asked and Harry just moved his head from side to side awkwardly, not looking up. Her hand enclosed the back of his and she pulled at it, gently, and lowered his hand onto the table.
"What happened?" at this point, it was not 'did something happen', but 'what'.
"Just a—a surprise, I guess. A big surprise. I don't know what to make of it." Harry had no idea where to begin.
"Please Harry, tell me. It worries me more when you keep me in the dark."
He finally looked up from the table with one uncovered eye, his glass lens smudged.
Hermione's hand tightened around his, "what? Vampires? Are you sure?"
"At the hospital, a doctor," Harry worked on getting it out. "I came for my meeting and met with the director and this group of nurses, he came down to the lobby—"
"—the vampire that is, sorry." Harry described the rest of the scene as Hermione listened on. Immediately, the direction of the situation felt right to him. This was how they always did it: talk, listen, and figure out plans— together.
At the end of the story, Hermione turned the tea cup she brought for him between her palms, thinking. "But are you sure he's a vampire Harry? I mean... I can't believe that a vampire would be working at a muggle hospital. They don't just feed on blood, they crave it. They would attack a healthy human on sight, never mind a muggle that's injured and bleeding. He would take out the patient in a second."
"I know. But unless there's some other creature out there that looks like a vampire and feels like a vampire, then he's a vampire 'Mione. Meeting them once was enough for me to remember. I don't know why he can function in the hospital, but he can," Harry responded.
"It's not that I don't believe you Harry. It's just that it sounds..."
"...Improbable," she finished reluctantly. "You said he, er, Dr. Cullen, has a family?"
"Yeah, Miller said that there's a wife and five children, but not theirs—adopted. They could be vampires too, you know. He's been practicing here for—what was it? Seven years here? How many people have been killed, so you think?"
"To live here that long, someone would have noticed the murders Harry. They could travel, but that takes energy. Why would they go through the trouble of establishing an elaborate facade just to do what every other vampire out there does? I just don't understand Harry. I don't. Why would a vampire put himself in a position to be around blood all day, just to restrain himself? It doesn't add up."
"Then what if it's like the movies, maybe he's raiding the blood bank?"
"That's just a myth, real vampires can't live on the stored blood, it's just not the same substance once it is removed from the body."
Harry exhaled loudly and leaned back in his chair, folding his hands behind his head. "What do you think then?" he asked, frustrated.
Hermione smiled gently, "I think you need some sleep Harry. We just got here last night. We're still living out of boxes, and you're already saving the world."
"I didn't say forget about it. I said get some sleep. Harry, I'm on your side. If you don't like this situation, then I don't either. But we know very little about what's going on, and if we really dealing with a family of vampires and we mishandle the situation, it could end very badly. There could be much more to this than we can predict at this time. Right now, we need more information, and I need you with a clear head on your shoulders. You're exhausted, and don't even try to tell me you're not."
"You're right," Harry smiled and rubbed his eyes, "as usual, my darling, when you are right, you're right. I just..."
"What is it?"
"I'm very mad at myself right now," Harry gave a mirthless laugh, "I should have known better than to have expected for this transition to go smoothly."
"Harry, I think sometimes you forget that you are only human. Don't bury yourself over this. Forks seemed safe enough on the surface, and I also should have also dug deeper to find out more, but I didn't. Whatever mistakes you may have made, I made them alongside you. But our wards are sound, we've always got our wands, and we'll keep an extra eye on Danny."
"Okay. That works. Are you sure we shouldn't send him to Molly right away though? I would feel better about this if he were safe with her at the Burrow, and not here."
Hermione looked torn, "I would too, but I'm worried that it might look too suspicious for our son to disappear in the middle of the night. It's a small town, people talk. We could give him an emergency portkey and keep him inside the wards as much as possible, and always keep him by our side. If this family is dangerous, they're risking an awful lot by staying in town permanently. They would be on the look-out for suspicious activity, especially from outsiders like us. As much as I would like to send Danny to safety, I'm worried that it would just bring their attention to us. They shouldn't have too much reason to investigate us yet, but we might be as suspicious to them as they are to us."
"I might have already given us away. I reacted rather badly to Cullen when I first saw him, and don't doubt it that he noticed. Then we'll keep him safe and lay low. Also, I think I know where our Pensieve is, do you want to take a look at the memory to check Cullen out for yourself?"
"Of course, I'll even do better than that. I'll find our books. There's one on vampires from the Black library, I remember reading it a long time ago. I think I know where the Pensieve might be as well. I'll find it and, if you leave me the memory, I will take a look at it in the morning. In the meantime, I think it would be for the best if you avoided this Cullen," she smiled when his tight shoulders relaxed.
"Maybe you're right," Harry finally consented. "I'm sure he didn't miss my reaction to him, probably didn't like it either. But I don't think... I don't think he recognized what I was. He's probably suspicious, but if he felt threatened, I don't think he would have let me get too far."
"Forget about it for now and cheer up Harry. Tell me at least something positive about today. Did you like it?"
"I guess so. They were all so... happy to see me all the time. It was rather irritating, actually."
He finally took the cup of cool tea and took a gulp, grimacing at the cup when he realized that it turned bitter. Hermione laughed and stood up to reheat his dinner again. Harry ate it quietly and she sipped on her own cup of hot chocolate. After she washed the plates, Hermione led him upstairs, holding on to his hand lightly as they climbed the stairs to turn in for the night.
Note: For those of you that are familiar with the story, this is a mashup of two chapters. The biggest change here is that Hermione does not decide to visit Harry with Daniel at the hospital. This, in retrospect, seems like a very stupid thing for Harry to suggest if he thinks Carlisle is a vampire. Other things are details that hopefully help the story make more sense now.
I want to say that the next chapter will be out in 2 to 3 days. In the meantime, anyone have any brilliant ideas for a job for Hermione? I'm thinking famous wizarding author.
Also, review plox. Kthxbai.