She sighed as Emmett insisted that a family movie night was in order. Honestly, Bella wasn't paying attention at all to what was going on around her. Her mind was miles away. Her bum was cold from sitting on her fiancee Edward's lap and she felt uncomfortable around all the vampires, but it didn't seem to be noticed by the room mood checker. Or perhaps Jasper did notice, but hadn't said anything. Miles away, her head rested on Edward's shoulder, Emmett getting ready to put in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.. Bella hadn't heard of it, of course. She had done her research though, and knew what it was about.
"Emmett, I don't think Bella would like to see this." Edward said, disrupting her from her thoughts as his chest vibrated with his voice.
Bella glanced at Emmett to see him with a pout and his eyes giving her the most hopeful expression he could no doubt muster. "Please, Bella?" he begged.
"I'm fine with it," the brunette human insisted. "Put it in, Emmett."
"Yes!" the burly man cried, reminding her of a particular similar looking Bulgarian lad she had known once upon a time. He put the movie in the DVD player, before turning the lights off. "Bella, if Edward wouldn't rip my head off, I might just kiss you." Bella couldn't help but giggle in amusement. He reminded her of the twins, all rolled into one quite large man.
"Well, as long as I don't fall down the stairs or anything, and you make fun of me because of it, then we can watch the movie."
"Deal," he promised. He plopped down beside his wife, which reminded Bella of her own impending wedding in just a few short months. She tried to imagine what her mother would say, firstly. A half-breed out of anything. Narcissa would no doubt approve of a Muggle before she approved of... of this thing she was sitting atop.
Bella didn't watch the movie at all. Most of it reminded her of the war that was waging as she breathed and lived out in safety in this Muggle city on the other side of the earth. The dead bodies morphed into her friends and family and she started to stare out the window. It was perhaps half-way through the movie, though Bella couldn't have been sure, when she saw the blue ball of light. It wasn't unnoticed by the others, who paused the movie and stood defensively.
"It's harmless," Bella insisted quietly, standing when it passed through the window. It stopped feet from her on the coffee table, morphing into a beautiful stag, white and blue and as precious to her as the memory it was dedicated to by its owner. Edward tried to push the human behind him, but she moved from his grip.
"What do you need to say, James?" Bella asked the creature, her hand caressing the spelled muzzle gently. It felt strange, but filled her with happiness instantly. Harry had always insisted it hadn't a name, but Bella had retorted just as quickly that James had the same patronus, why couldn't this be named James?
"The war is over. The light has won. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and I are alright. Contact me and we can get you out of wherever you are. Owls kept returning whenever we tried to owl you. This is a last resort. We miss you, Bella. Help us find you."
The stag disappeared into a whisper of darkness and there was silence as Bella stared where it had been. The voice was definitely Harry's and he sounded absolutely defeated. Something horrible must have happened since I had last been there.
"Bella, care to explain why that ghost deer just spoke to you?" Edward asked, looking at the human he called his fiancee.
"Of course, in a moment," she responded. "First, we need to get back to Harry."
"James? Harry? Who are these people?" Edward demanded. "Ex-boyfriends?"
"No," Bella snorted, moving towards her boots near the front door. Everyone followed her. "Harry's my best friend. James is the stag that was before you a bit ago. He's named after Harry's father, who had the same patronus."
"Why don't you explain what's going on?"
"I'm a witch. Where I'm from... there's this war that's going on. Well, it's over now, I guess. Harry was the only one that could stop it. He had to kill this Dark Lord that threatened to kill everyone that opposed him. My family, unfortunately, was on the Dark side. Harry's on the light. You can imagine where that put me..." Bella trailed off as they watched her pull a wand from her boots. "In the line of fire for the Dark Lord, and a bit of mistrust on the light. I came here to be safe. It worked, though I hadn't much choice."
"You have a stick," Edward said dryly.
"A wand," the only human in the room corrected. She closed her eyes, thinking of the happiest thing she could muster. It wasn't that hard. Her memory formed of a handsome blonde man, almost as blonde as she was normally, in the Black Lake. Her shield dropped as she focused solely on the memory. Keith running into the waves and calling to her.
"I bet I can give the Giant Squid a kiss!" he called.
"There's got to be a law against that!" she remembered shouting back as she laughed. "Keith! Get over here! You're going to be soaked for dinner!" She had glanced back at the castle to see that the Great Hall torches were lit. "Keith-" She turned to see the Giant Squid's eyes on top of the surface and Keith swimming towards the creature. "You're going to get yourself killed, I hope you know! When Dumbledore asks what happened, I'm telling him suicide!"
"Go for it!" he called as he splashed towards the creature. It didn't waver. Keith got right up to it and gave it a messy kiss on its slime coated face, as he had later described to her. "I love you, Giant Squid!"
"He's going to kill you!" she called, but she couldn't contain her laughter.
"Expecto Patronum," Bella murmured. Her eyes flew open, a small smile on her lips, as the blue and white serpent slithered from the tip of her wand. "I'm living at 136 Forest drive, Forks, Washington, United States. Bring a pensieve, and make sure the gang comes. I'd like to see you all at once." Another wave of her wand and the serpent disappeared.
"How-?" Carlisle started to asked, but stopped himself.
"I'm a witch," Bella insisted. "My family is from the noble and ancient house of Malfoy. My father is Lucius Malfoy, notable Death Eater and pureblood extraordinaire. My mother is Narcissa Malfoy nee Black, fashion icon and pureblood ring leader among the women society." She gave a small smile. "Forgive me for keeping it a secret, but there were more pressing matters to attend to... There will be some friends arriving in a few moments. They have to travel internationally, so it'll take some time, but they don't mean any harm. They're rather good people. They're very good at fighting, as well, perhaps more so than Jasper is."
"They won't be a threat?" Jasper asked suddenly, glancing into the forest. His eyes were a deep amber and his blonde hair was hanging in wild curls as he seemed to hear something.
"They're my friends. Of course not," Bella replied. "Now, we all know about vampires, that's not secret in my world. Werewolves, shapeshifters, even merpeople. Nothing's a secret in magic."
"You say we..." Carlisle trailed off, trying to figure out exactly how to word his question. After a moment, he continued, "How many are there of you?"
"Millions, perhaps," Bella shrugged. "We have government. We're all over the world. Muggleborns, Half-bloods, purebloods... We stem from every possible background. The closest government you have would probably be the American Ministry. My friends need approval from them before they can get through to here. Shouldn't be a problem, really. He's Harry Potter," she snorted.
"The Ministry?" Esme asked, confused.
"The President of the United States of Magical America," the human winked. She was about to say more when there was a loud crack just behind the treeline. Bella moved quickly, flinging open the back door and sprinting down the steps.
"Harry!" she cried as she hugged the first boy she saw. His raven black hair was messed up as always and his bright green eyes were behind his round black rim glasses. "Merlin, you look like you've been through hell!" And he did. His cheek had a bruise on it and his forehead was sporting a cut just opposite of his scar.
"Ginny's fault for the slap," he replied cheekily. "Dying's frowned upon in relationships."
Bella laughed, giving him another tight hug before spotting another over his shoulder. "Hermione!" She pushed the Boy-Wonder aside and clutched her oldest friend to her. "You don't have bushy hair anymore!"
"Thank Merlin for that," Hermione insisted.
"You look fantastic!" the brunette girl insisted. She grabbed the other witch's arm suddenly, seeing the word carved into her arm. "Who did this to you? It looks like Aunt Bella's handwriting when she's angry..." Hermione pulled her arm away uncomfortably and Bella's eyes widened, the dark brown meeting the light brown of Hermione's. "She did this to you!?"
"We got, uh, caught," Ron muttered awkwardly.
"I'll kill her," Bella swore, before she hugged Ron. "Ron, I've missed you, too, don't worry. How was Puddlemere's season?"
"They lost the English finals. Cannons made a miraculous recovery," he insisted, his eyes glowing. "We got to the quarter-finals and then we got pummeled by Krum."
"Well, Krum's a great seeker. Hermione'd know," Bella winked at her former-bushy-haired friend. Hermione didn't seem amused.
"Ginny!" Bella cried suddenly, spotting the red-headed girl as she stumbled through the tree line. The petite brunette seized the girl in a hug, a laugh leaving her. "You survived!"
"Of course I survived, you bimbo," Ginny scolded.
Bella wrinkled her nose at the insult. "Honestly, Ginevra, you could at least call me something accurate. Did you guys bring the pensieve?"
The bushy-haired know-it-all presented a purple beaded bag, pulling the desired object from its depths. "Undetectable extension charm," she admitted as Bella's curious glance. The glass bowl was thin and couldn't possibly be used for anything other than magic. It simply had no visible depth.
"Inside," Bella insisted. "Come-" She spun around to see the Cullen's at the back door and hastily got to her introductions. When she finished, each of the Cullens learning her old friend's names, she invited the magic folk inside. "Sit down," she insisted, gesturing to the chairs. The room was still dark from the movie, but the little light from the tv allowed them easy access to the chairs.
The lights flipped on a second later and the glass bowl was placed on the coffee table. Bella bit her lip as she pointed her wand at the bowl. "Aquimenti." It filled with the clear liquid and then she swallowed, looking at the three friends she had known since she was eleven. Some, she had heard of even longer than that, but hadn't met. "How bad was the battle?" she asked. "I mean, you had to have some big to-do with the Dark Lord. He doesn't just do things quietly."
They were silent, and they didn't look at their estranged friend. A sinking feeling began to build in her stomach as she thought of the worst scenarios.
"Woah," she heard Jasper mutter under his breath as he felt her heartbreak.
"Draco, he isn't..." Bella's breath left her in a gush as they refused to look at her. "My father, as well? And mother?"
"Your father's in Azkaban," Harry said quietly, still not looking at her. Bella's gaze dropped to the pensieve, empty and waiting for the memories. "He's in a rough way... Your mother-"
"Was killed," Bella finished in a whisper as Harry paused. "He found out, didn't he? The Dark Lord found out about the whole sending me away?"
"She saved my life in battle," Harry admitted. "I went to Voldemort willingly, because he promised if he killed me, he'd spare everyone else... He killed me."
The brunette girl let out a nervous laugh, "You obviously are alive, Potter."
"I was given a choice and I came back... Voldemort wasn't happy about that."
"He killed her," Bella finished, once more.
"She's fine," Hermione insisted. "She's at the Manor. There was a lot of push to get her tried as well, but she wasn't marked and Harry testified for her."
"Thank you," Bella sent Harry a small smile. "And my brother?"
"Same rough shape as your father," Ron stated. He ran a hand through his ginger hair. "Not in Azkaban though, even if the git deserves it. He had to pay huge war debt, though. Took a big chunk of your fortune."
"I'm sure we have plenty," Bella said quietly. She stared at her hands, clenching tightly together as she tried to picture her brother ever looking out of sorts. She didn't know if she could. He had never been anything but the beautiful blonde. Nothing but the striking Slytherin God that every girl worshiped, if they were in their right minds. He was nothing but perfect to everyone. And yet, Bella had only ever seen him broken once. That one time, when they were both fourteen. He had heard of the Dark Lord's return, see the very memory through their father's eyes, and yet... he had secluded himself from the others in the house. He had been quiet and then suddenly, he turned back to where he was. He had accepted his fate as it no doubt would unravel. He'd have to be a Death Eater.
"What is that?" Ginny asked slowly.
Bella's chocolate gaze traveled down to the quite large diamond on her finger. "I'm engaged."
"Since when?" Hermione demanded. "So soon?"
The girl she had spoken to winced, getting the memory to resurface to the front of her brain. "Yeah."
"To who?" Ron asked.
She nodded her head to Edward. "Edward, here."
"I thought you didn't do jewelery," Harry frowned.
"I don't," Bella said simply. "I was forced to wear the ring-"
"Blimey," Ron breathed. "You haven't worn anything since he died."
"Since who died?" Alice asked curiously.
"No one," Bella said simply. "I'm thinking of showing them my memories of school, if you'll show us all memories of the battle, and really what I missed."
Bella bit her lip, wondering just how bad the attack was. It couldn't have been that bad. They were alive. They looked fine. A little worn and battered, but fine. "How long ago was it, again?"
"Yesterday. We haven't had a chance to stop since. They were prosecuting everyone they caught. They had to get everyone sorted out. Get the dead identified-"
Bella interrupted Hermione's rambling and held out her hand. "Please, just... Forget I asked. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself. Do you have a vial?"
Hermione reached into her purple bag once more and presented the vial, per Bella's request. The result was immediate as Bella pressed her wand to her forehead and began to extract memories. She then asked the British group to follow. "Right," Bella instructed the vampires. "You just lean in and the magic takes care of the rest."
Alice looked apprehensive, "Bella-"
"Trust me?" Bella pleaded.
She waited for them all to go in before she took a deep breath and went in herself.