Bella's trial was the morning after the attack and a quick formality. The sentence: death. Or double death, considering that vampires aren't really alive. Which was why, after the sentence was passed down and the Dementors were summoned to perform the duty, there appeared a snafu in carrying out the sentence.
Edward, Jacob and Renesmee had just completed their tearful goodbyes—Edward had done an Oscar-worthy job of faking it—and Bella was tied down to a table in the Headmaster's office, awaiting her execution. Five eerie figures in flowing dark robes surrounded the table. A chill settled over the space, accompanied by a howling more terrifying than the idea of an idiot from Texas with access to nuclear codes. Without warning, the howling stopped. There were a few lingering sighs and then the Dementors drifted away from Bella. The vampire looked around the room, confused.
One of the Dementors motioned Professor McGonagall to the side and pulled off his Ghostface mask. "Yo, let me break this down for you."
McGonagall frowned. She hated dealing with the Dementors. They watched entirely too much American television.
"You got your classic vampires that can be killed traditional ways—sunlight, stake to the heart, that kind of normal thing. Then you got this odd little soulless, sparkly American pseudo-breed that can only be bitten into by werewolves—and shapeshifters, apparently—beheaded or torn apart, burned and buried. We can work with the vampires sired here," he said, motioning to the group of bored Dementors drifting around Bella in a semi-circle. "But this one? You're gonna have to break out a medieval torture device or call in a favor to a werewolf with a taste for sparkly dead meat. There's nothing we can do for you."
Before Minerva could move away and inform the intended victim of the circumstances, the Dementor stopped her with a small pat on the butt. She turned back, frowning. Only Severus was allowed to do that.
"We still expect our fee, for the trouble we went to coming out here and everything."
"Of course," Dumbledore said before McGonagall could respond. "I'll have the gold forwarded from the Potters vault before the end of the day."
"Fantastic," he responded. "See you for kitten poker tomorrow night." Waving to the other Dementors, they left through one of Dumbledore's office windows.
Professor McGonagall quickly explained the situation to Bella and the waiting audience.
"But...what happens now?" Renesmee asked. She looked around. No one had an answer for her.
In the end, things were simple. Dumbledore got Filch on the case and he came up with the idea of tying Bella Cullen's limbs to Thestrals and sending them running in the cardinal directions. Not one to miss a rare draw and quartering, Edward was the only member of the family who attended this final solution. He managed to refrain from laughing during the disemboweling. But he lost it when her head flopped around on the ground like a fish out of water. And again when he was allowed to light a match to the remaining pieces. She was in a better place now. Or not, given who she'd been. Not that Edward cared. He would never admit to anyone—not even Jacob after quite a bit of enjoyable torture—that he'd sported a bit of wood listening to her scream as she died. Again.
After spitting on the smoldering ashes, Edward walked back to Hogwarts castle. He had to see his daughter. He found her in the courtyard with Jacob, a pout marring her otherwise impossibly perfect features. Really, marring wasn't quite what the pout was doing, given how attractive the girl was, but the look of melancholy reduced her to merely an extraordinary level of adolescent beauty. Still, she seemed sad. Edward found out why when he reached them.
"Father," she said as she looked up at him. "I've broken things off with Jacob."
"Oh." Edward matched his daughter's pout. He and Jacob were both free. Unfortunate timing, but there was the damn wood again. "I'm so sorry, Nessie. I know how much he means to you."
Renesmee nodded. "I think it's better if we're friends. Jacob agrees."
Edward turned to Jacob. He tried not to look hopeful. He couldn't give his daughter a hint of what was happening. "I suppose this means you'll be moving out of my house soon."
Jacob smiled. "I'll see you at home, honey. Don't keep me waiting too long." With that, he slapped Edward on the ass—nearly causing a messy accident—and walked away.
Edward turned back to his daughter, blushing for the first time since...ever. "I don't..."
Renesmee held up one hand. "It's all right, father. You've been obsessed with him since before you married mother." At the mention of Bella, her pout deepened slightly. "She and I both saw the signs. I should've let you have him a long time ago, if only to stop your whining. I recognized the complaints for what they were, extreme jealously." She shrugged. "What other way could you express yourself? You are only seventeen after all."
"I don't know what to say," Edward responded. His daughter had known what was in his mind better than he had. And Bella had known, long before their dull marriage. That selfish bitch. Another reason to not miss her. Edward made a mental note to ask one of the students to go back and piss on her ashes. Nothing less than she deserved.
"You don't have to say anything, father." Renesmee smiled. "Just be happy. And think about learning a little restraint. Every time you and Jacob are together, the noise scares the animals in the forest. The stampeding is causing issues here at the school."
He nodded. There was nothing left to do but hug his beautiful, unselfish daughter. Renesmee gasped and pulled out of his arms, a look of fright in her eyes. Fuck. He'd forgotten about his erection. Oh well. Nothing he could do about it now. He turned to walk back to the cottage. He had a Little Red Riding Hood costume to put on.
Renesmee smiled at the group of girls. It was sweet of them to give her this tribute, she supposed. Truthfully, she didn't know what to think about anything after that last encounter with her father, but she thought the best reaction to her fanpires – groupies with fake teeth styled to look like hers – getting tattoos of her face on their stomachs and backs was flattery. Somehow, she thought showing the group of fifteen that she was mildly repulsed wouldn't go over well. Not that they'd do anything but be excited by her anger, but still. She had other things on her mind. Like getting back to Hermione and forgetting this entire day happened. Before she could thank them again and walk away, one of the girls stepped forward.
Hannah Abbott smiled at her. "We know this has been a particularly hard day for you," she began. "If you'd allow us, we think we've found something that might make you laugh. At least, it should help you relieve some of the understandable tension of today."
"I really shouldn't," Renesmee said. She waved her hand in the general direction of the Great Hall.
"Please," Hannah said.
Sighing, Renesmee allowed herself to be led to an empty classroom. There, tied up and gagged in the center of the room, were Draco Malfoy and Romilda Vane. An assortment of paddles, whips and sharp tools had been placed on a nearby table. A rusty chainsaw was on the floor.
"Draco volunteered for the privilege, but the other one said some unfortunate things about your parentage we thought you might want to address yourself." Hannah picked up a small mace and placed it in Renesmee's hand. "When you're done, Professor Dumbledore would like this one back. Something about a game tomorrow night. Have fun."
With that, her fan club left Renesmee alone with her distractions. There weren't very many pieces of either left afterward (she got a little carried away), but the young half-vampire was stress free. And that was all that mattered.
This was going to work. He'd tried tripping her down the moving stairs, setting her on fire and even barring her library access for two days. It was no use. Harry still hadn't succeeded in killing Hermione. This was his final shot. He didn't know why he hadn't thought of it before. The trick was to keep it simple. First, he'd pretend to be over his obsession with Renesmee, then he'd strike when her defenses were down. A simple but powerful poison would do the trick. Then there would be nothing standing between him and the ultimate prize. He'd be there to comfort Renesmee through the grief of losing her mother and girlfriend in the same day—who could resist a weeping teenager who thought everyone she cared about was going to be ripped away violently?
He did the necessary after he found Hermione in the Great Hall, bragging to the Gryffindor girls who now hated her about "the best experience of anything, ever." She'd accepted his offered kiss on the cheek with a cool smile. Even Harry had to admit, offering the physical affection was a stroke of genius. It allowed him to spike her drink unseen. Ten minutes, and several large gulps later, Harry began to worry that he hadn't given her enough. He looked at his watch. It should've taken affect by now.
"Something wrong?" Hermione asked. Her questioning smile was sweet. It made him want to gag.
"Uh...no." Fuck! She did something, didn't she? "I was just..."
"Oh, Harry." Hermione smiled and placed a hand on his cheek. "It was a good try, but I switched my drink with Lavender's just after you put in the poison." She motioned to the other girl who promptly fell under the table, dead. Chuckling under his breath, Colin Creevy grabbed the fallen body and dragged it out of the Great Hall. Knowing fascinating pictures would soon be circulating through the school's secret magazine, Hermione turned back to Harry with a smile. "I told you to give up," she said. "You should have listened."
"Argh!" Harry was so livid he couldn't speak. He couldn't even think of a decent hex. Him. Of all people. Harry fu—oh, what was the use? This whole thing was pointless.
"Harry, may I speak to you in private?" Renesmee approached, a small smile tilting her lips. She casually waved at Hermione to stay seated.
"Sure," he said slowly. There were bloodstains on her robes and hands. He didn't even want to ask. He put a hand up his left sleeve. Good. His wand was still there. At least if she tried to get revenge for everything he'd done to her girlfriend, he would be able to defend himself.
Renesmee led him to an empty classroom.
He screamed, turning to her as she closed the door behind them. "What happened in here?" Harry gestured to the blood and body parts strewn about.
She laughed softly. "She received a fitting tribute to her greatness," Renesmee said softly, going back to the third person speech she'd abandoned weeks ago. She really ought to try it more often. It was fun. So was the look of horror on Harry Potter's face. She figured the sight of what she'd spent the afternoon doing would get his attention.
"What did you do?" he asked slowly. He screamed and peed his pants a little when a piece of scalp with a lock of platinum blonde hair attached to it fell from the ceiling and landed on the toe of his shoe. He kicked it off and cleaned his shoe quickly with a flick of his wand and a whispered spell.
"I took care of my most dangerous obsessed fan and biggest hater in one session." She smiled. "Saving time and all that. Now I just have to deal with you."
"Are you..." He took a step back. "Are you going to kill me too?"
She shook her head. "Hermione likes you too much and besides, I find you amusing." Renesmee let her voice drop to a whisper. "And I've heard a rumor that you, Harry fucking Potter, are quite well endowed."
He smiled. Ginny's big mouth was good for two things. "So you're interested in my...endowment?" he asked hopefully.
"No." She sighed. "But if it'll get you and Hermione to coexist in peace and if you'll accept that we'll never really be together, I'm willing to put that aside for a brief time. I just don't understand why you can't let it go. I think it's the idea of me you like, not the real me. You've never even gotten to know the real me."
Harry sighed. Girls and their...words and feelings and crap. Why did they have to make things complicated? He just wanted to win. "You're an original character. And American. That's all I need to know. I don't think it's possible for us to exist in the same space without my loving you."
"Fine. Whatever." Renesmee pouted. "I'll make a deal with you. I feel sorry for what happened with my mother and I think someone in my family should try to make it up to the Weasley girl. Word is she's had her eye on you since she first heard of the term 'gold digger.' If you'll give into what Ginny wants I'll—" She leaned over to whisper in Harry's ear. He squealed in delight as she finished telling him what she had in store. "And only the once. Trust me, you can be happy with her. You just have to try."
"What if I don't want to try?" he asked. "She is rather annoying. And she's been passed around more than Hermione's class notes."
"I don't really think you have a choice," Renesmee stated. "Fate has stuck you with her. Why else would you keep saving her life?"
"Besides that she probably gets herself into these things for exactly that purpose?"
"Precisely," Renesmee agreed. "She's an attention whore willing to play victim to feed your saving-people thing so she can be known as the Boy Who Lived's girlfriend. You're circle-jerk soulmates. Better to face it now than have to fight her off for years to come and end up with her anyway."
Harry sighed in resignation. "I really wanted a harem."
She put a hand on his shoulder. "I know. The most you'll get is me and Hermione for one night. Hermione's incredibly flexible. At least that's something."
Harry nodded. He could always replay the memories. He smiled as an idea occurred to him. "While we're in the business of trading favors, could you do something for me? I've got an issue with this dark wizard. Killed my parents. He's after me now too. Right pain in the arse."
"I think I can help you out," Renesmee said. "When it comes to soul-sucking evil, I'm something of an expert."
"And maybe I can help you with your obssessed fan issue," he said, glancing around the bloody room again. "I'm an expert on those." He'd have to help or there'd be no one left to fight in the second war. Harry smiled when Renesmee nodded. He really hoped Hermione was as flexible as advertised. It would be a shame if this compromise wasn't at least worth anonymously selling the story to the Prophet in a few years.
When Harry went to the hospital to visit Ginny the next day, it was with a smile on his face and a mild limp. He was resigned to his fate. After all, she was his best friend's sister and from a poor family. If he didn't take pity on the desperate girl, who would? Besides, if she'd learned any of her mother's tricks...
Ginny sat up when Harry came into her room. She smiled and waved; he fought the urge to run back out again. He'd promised Renesmee he would go through with it. Besides the fact that he was a man of his word, he knew she'd hurt him if he went back on it. Plus, he thought he'd impressed her the night before. If he there was to be any chance of a round four—even with Hermione in attendance—he had better stick to the agreement and play nice with Ginny. Even if it did feel as if a ferocious beast was trying to eat its way out of his chest. Hardly the romantic sentiment he should feel around the girl he was going to be stuck with for the forseeable future.
"Oh, Harry," Ginny said. "You saved my life. Again."
Yeah, he thought. I suppose I'm stuck with you. Stupid fate. At least he knew she'd make a decent harem girl if he ever got one started. She had enough experience to train the others. And they could work on that smell issue. It couldn't possibly be permanent. Of course, with Snape's hair as an example—that thought brought to mind an image of what he'd witnessed in McGonagall's office. Harry fought back the bile in his throat and smiled down at Ginny. At least her mother had fixed that awful hair color. Someone as gorgeous as he deserved a hot redhead. Or the closest Weasley equivalent.
"You're welcome," Harry said. He shook his head slightly, hoping the light would catch his scar. From the way Ginny sighed as she gazed up at him, it had. Oh well, he thought. At least I'll always have my most obsessed fan. Renesmee doesn't know what she's missing.
Besides, he had a pair of Renesmee's lacey knickers in his trunk. He'd get through at least three years of marriage with that. And he could always go back to Hermione. No one would never know. Even Ron thought they were like brother and sister. Harry smiled as he thought of how ridiculous that sounded. No one with sisterly feelings would ever bend over and ask for it like that. And who could blame her? After all, he was Harry fucking Potter.
Edward and Jacob broke up after five years together. The shapeshifter got bored and decided to settle down into a steady job. He now plays the role of Prince Adam in a theme park by day and dances at private parties for Orlando Hardbodies by night. (He charges extra for happy endings and pup-play.) Edward took quite a different path. After experimenting with billions of dollars in overinflated assets in the American stock market under the names of seven different dummy corporations, he dyed his hair, created a fake background, changed his name to Adam and auditioned for an American singing competition. He still sparkles.
Harry, Hermione and Renesmee spent the rest of the school year getting along, with Harry acting as Renesmee's personal bodyguard. Harry felt it gave him extra practice for the coming fight. In payment, Nessie and Hermione let him watch, though he still preferred to pretend they didn't know he was in the library with them.
Renesmee eventually held up her end of the bargain as a parting gift before she left the country at the end of sixth year. With Professor Snape's help, she found Voldemort's location. Sneaking into the house was easy. She was so powerful by this point, none of the protective spells surrounding the mansion worked against her. The Death Eaters weren't a challenge either. One look at Renesmee and they fell at her feet, begging her to be their new mistress. She merely requested they lead her to Voldemort. They complied, leaving her in a bedroom with the pale monster who used to be Dumbledore's special friend.
"I've heard of you," he said as she walked in. "I thought reports of your beauty were exaggerated. I believe they pale in comparison to the real thing."
Renesmee shook her head. "Flattery will not change the natural course of things. I've come to do a job."
"Sounds promising," he said. A snap of his pale fingers and his robes disappeared.
The girl fought down her nausea. It was bad enough when Dumbledore offered himself to her during Christmas break, but this? Shriveled flobberworms were not for her. But his scary assumption would make fulfilling her promise to Harry that much easier. She approached what was left of the so-called Dark Lord, a smile on her face to cover her revulsion.
"What did you have in mind?" she asked.
Voldemort leaned forward, his thin, cracked lips puckered for a kiss. Renesmee leaned forward too, not exposing her sharp teeth until the last second. When she drank of him, it never occurred to him to pull away, even as he grew weaker when she drained him. He could feel the soul in his current form flailing about like a helpless baby, losing strength, but reveling in the attention of one who was so much more powerful and worthy of immortality than he. Finally, when she was done, she pulled away from him; silver-red drops of blood beaded on her lips like a perfect shade of lipstick. (In fact, a make up company would duplicate it years into the future and call it lip venom.) Before he passed out from weakness, she leaned close to the place where his ear would be and whispered, "One year from today, you will die at the hands of Harry Potter." It was part hypnotic suggestion, part knowledge of what her mild vampire venom would do to him over the coming year. Renesmee released Voldemort and watched him fall to the ground.
He would later deny any such event had taken place and vow repeatedly to kill the boy who once helped destroy his body. But in the dark recesses of night, when the most evil of evil came out to play, Voldemort would remember this girl and know her words were not a threat, they were the most sweet of promises. The greatest he could ever experience after her was death at the hands of one she favored.
"And that, kids, is the real story of how I eventually defeated Voldemort," Harry said. He looked out at his children, all well-versed in the stories of his time at Hogwarts since they'd all begun there. The versions they'd heard sounded a bit more herioc than the real thing—probably because they didn't include the hundreds of detentions. "But don't tell your mother," he continued in a whisper. "She still believes that rot about Horcruxes and wand lore—as if a disarming spell could really defeat a killing curse. She always was a bit simple. Of course, I didn't come up with that bit of brilliance. Your Aunt Hermione always was a smart witch, even if she wasn't quite the smartest I ever knew."