Disclaimer: See Prologue.
Chapter Rating: PG-13 for some mild language and homophobia.
Chapter Wordcount: 3,023
A month passed with Harry and his family living in Forks. It seemed that the Cullens and Harry's family had an instant camaraderie and became rather close. Jasper and Ron seemed to find endless enjoyment in the tales of war and history each seemed to have boundless knowledge on. Hermione made quick friends with Carlisle who offered sage advice in Hermione's wish to become a healer after graduating high school.
At times Harry was surprised at how seamlessly the two families appeared to come together and form fast and lasting friendships. It made him happy as no matter the state of his relationship with Edward, it looked as if he would be in Harry's life for a long time to come.
For Harry, growing closer to Edward and seeing a completely different side of the Cedric he once knew was both thrilling and heartrending. When they were together there were things that Edward did that reminded him so much of Cedric and for a few moments he could fool himself into believing that Cedric never disappeared and that they had been together from the beginning, happily raising Lilu together as a family. However, there were other times when Edward would act a certain way or do something that was so wholly different than the boy he once knew that he found it hard to keep the smile on his face, even though the pain caused by the loss of all that Cedric was felt like it was killing him.
However knowing Edward was a bittersweet gift that, no matter the sadness it caused, he couldn't make himself regret being given it.
The little freak was doing it again, taking Edward's attention away from her and Bella was livid. For close to a year, Bella had been the center of Edward's world and she had relished the attention and affection he had given her. She had slowly been changing Edward's mind on her being turned and she had been sure that come her eighteen birthday she would become a vampire.
Now, with the arrival of the freaks and the little freak baby, Edward was worried about turning her and having a newborn around them. Newborns were controlled by their hunger and for at least a few months wouldn't be able to control their baser instincts. Edward was worried the baby would be in danger because of her! Bella had seethed when he told her that; he was putting some disgusting freak of nature ahead of her and she would suffer for it. It had taken all her willpower to not say anything and just smile and act all understanding. She had known if she tried to argue against him that it would be another fight and put even more distance between them.
Since Harry had come to town, Edward had been less invested in Bella's needs and wants, finding a problem with everything she seemed to do now. So Bella had tried to make Harry less appealing and had used all her skills to do it. She had spread rumors about Harry liking cock and his gay godfathers, how they were freaks and got involved with gay orgies and drugs and anything else she could think up. Soon all anyone could talk about was Harry taking it up the ass and being a cock whore, her favorite nickname so far by the way, and she loved it.
Bella had even told Jacob and the other Quilete pack about Harry being gay and how they were wizards and witches. Jacob and his friends had sneered and heckled Harry every time they saw him in town and Bella could have kissed Jacob for doing exactly what she wanted him to do.
Edward hadn't been happy that Bella told Jacob, but she had played it off as her just needing a friend to talk to about the new developments in their lives. She had pouted and whined and before she knew it, Edward had caved and nodded in understanding, kissing her afterwards.
She figured it might take some time, but Bella would make Edward see Harry for the little freak he was and then things would go back to how they should be; with Edward completely centered on Bella.
Jasper had been a vampire for close to a hundred and fifty years and throughout that time he had become very skilled with his empathic power. He could discern even the simplest of feelings in a chaotic swirl of emotions. It was both a gift and curse, sometimes the latter far more than the former, but he accepted it as his lot in his long undead life.
Since the Lupin-Black family came into town, specifically since Harry and his daughter Lilu appeared in Edward's life, Jasper had been both confused and troubled by the emotions he felt from his brother and the teen wizard. Whenever Jasper was around Harry he felt waves of emotions coming off the young wizard, the extent and depth of them at times staggered him. It was jumble of longing, love, want, anger, sadness, compassion, understanding, trepidation, need, lust… they all swirled around each other like a tornado, nearly overpowering the emotions of everyone else nearby. They confused Jasper because he was fairly sure that Harry's emotions were for Edward and had been since the first time they had saw each other across the crowded school cafeteria.
Edward's were the same whenever he was around Harry or Lilu, though they were unusually muted, as if a blanket had been laid over them and muffled the strength of the emotions. In Edward's case, Jasper could sense almost the same emotions as Harry, but confusion, frustration and protectiveness as well. They seemed to exude from Edward with a force that Jasper had never felt before. What made everything even more perplexing was that Edward seemed to be just as confused about the emotions as Jasper was.
Then one day Jasper sat in the Cullens' living room with Harry and Esme as they played with Lilu while Edward watched nearby. Edward's emotions were as passionate and chaotic as they had always been since the family had arrived in their lives… it was then that he decided that he needed to speak to Carlisle about what he was feeling. Carlisle always had sage advice whenever Jasper came to him, even if he couldn't give any answers, he was there to help lend an ear when needed.
Jasper waited until Edward took Harry and Lilu home before he approached Carlisle. As Edward's car pulled away from the house, Jasper knocked on Carlisle's office door.
"Come in, Jasper."
Walking in and taking a seat, Jasper debated on how he should approach the subject. "I wanted to speak to you about the strange emotions I have been reading from Harry and Edward lately."
"Ah, I was wondering when you would approach me about that," Carlisle said quietly, the calm and patient expression on his face as always allowed Jasper to be at ease and speak his mind.
"When I am around Harry he has this constant aura of loneliness and loss, as if a piece of him is actually missing and he's not quite whole. And when he is near Edward for a little while it's as if that missing piece isn't so big, still there, but not nearly so painful." Jasper rubbed his chest absently, even the memory of that feeling caused an ache in his chest that if he were human would no doubt crippled him with agony. "When they are together, I feel this overwhelming depth of emotion, of love and need and pain… They both exude it with such power that I've never felt before. I'm worried, Carlisle, of what it all means and what it can do to both of them and to our family."
Carlisle leaned forward over his desk, elbows on the surface as he steepled his hands together with a considering look. Jasper felt concern, worry, joy, sorrow, confusion and he wondered what the patriarch of his family was thinking.
"I have been aware for some time that there is some underlying connection between Harry and Edward, though my suspicions have been simply that until now." Carlisle paused, a frown creasing the elder vampire's forehead for a moment before he spoke. "I believe Harry is Edward's true mate, however the issue has been clouded by Bella's singer blood. Edward holds steadfast to Bella being his mate, though he has confessed to the same emotions you have described."
Jasper had considered the possibility as the cause of the emotions between the two. Since the beginning of Edward's relationship with Bella, the human had never exuded the feeling of love towards his brother. He knew the feeling of a mating bond; he had witnessed the strength of love between mates through the minds of his siblings and parents. What Bella felt for Edward was obsession, greed, resentment, lust… but not love. And for Edward, Jasper had never felt the emotion of love toward Bella from his brother; he felt affection, protectiveness, lust… but again, never love.
Jasper had believed for a while that Bella's turning would be a disaster for his family, though he had kept the thoughts to himself. He had believed that in time Edward would realize that the human was not the one for him and his family would move on from Forks. However, the longer the two remained together, the more he felt as if Edward convinced himself of the idea that Bella was his mate as the fear of never finding his mate directed his actions with the human.
"So you believe that is the cause of the emotions?" Jasper asked after a few moments of contemplation.
"Not entirely," Carlisle paused and cocked his head towards the door simultaneously with Jasper. Carlisle smiled. "Why don't you all come in as you will hear this either way?"
The door to the office opened a half a second later and in filed Emmett, Rosalie, Alice and Esme.
"I knew that little human wasn't his mate!" Rosalie exclaimed with a smug grin as soon as she passed the entrance to the office.
"Now, now, Rosalie, let your father continue, I wish to hear what he was going to say." Esme shushed as she came to stand beside her husband with a concerned looked on her face. "Go ahead, my love."
"Thank you, dear. As I was saying, I do not believe everything Jasper is feeling from the two is completely caused by the two being mates."
"What then?" Emmett asked as he leaned forward, eagerly moving nearer to their father's desk in his curiosity.
"I believe somehow Harry and his family were acquainted with Edward before their move to Forks."
Jasper felt the surprise, confusion, curiosity, fear, excitement, smugness from his family as they absorbed the news. The last two had come from his own mate and he turned with a questioning gaze towards her, but she just smiled and shook her head as a tiny giggle escaped her perfect lips. He frowned and turned back to his family as Rosalie and Emmett boisterously tried to find out what Carlisle meant.
Carlisle held his had up, silencing his brother and sister, before speaking again. "Since the beginning, they have all seemed inordinately comfortable with Edward and he with them. Edward has always been a very private and aloof person, but at times I have witnessed him laughing and joking with them as if they were old friends. There are looks passed from one of their family members to another when they watch Edward and Harry interact, a sort of sad indulgence and wary hope. However, what has cemented the idea in my mind was a snippet of a conversation I overheard between Sirius and Remus… they were softly arguing and I distinctly heard Remus tell Sirius that Harry would get hurt and that he didn't want to see his cub lost and depressed when he lost Edward all over again."
"How would they have known Edward before coming to forks? Edward has always been with our family since the beginning, except for the short years when he moved away from the vegetarian life and that was over seventy years ago... Besides, Edward would remember them, wouldn't he?" Esme asked quietly as she worried her hands in her lap, the concern for her son prevalent in her mind.
"It is unclear, but I do believe that they know more than they are telling us." Carlisle answered seriously as he heaved an unnecessary sigh.
Jasper felt a spike of worry from Alice and he turned to her. "Alice?"
"They are keeping secrets, but they believe it is for everyone's good, especially Edward's. They mean us no harm and we should trust their judgment…"
"Have you had another vision?" Carlisle questioned.
"It is all from the same vision I had shortly before they arrived. There are several possible outcomes to this all, some good and some bad, but I have hope that everything will work out for the better." Alice smiled hopefully at them as she spoke.
"What kind of bad things?" Rosalie demanded.
"I can't say, it would alter the outcome, but I can say that the bad does not come from their doing… other factors bring it to us." Alice hmm'd quietly after she spoke and then gave them all a dreamy smile and flounced out of the room.
"I say we leave Forks, we've been here to long as it is… they are all a danger to us." Rosalie gritted out as she turned to their father.
"Babe, we don't even know that anything bad is going to really happen," Emmett started, but stopped as Rosalie leveled a glare on him.
"Rosalie, leaving Forks is premature at this time. We do not know all the details and we cannot forget that Edward has strong ties to Harry… I would wager that no matter how hard he tries to deny the connection, the prospect of leaving him behind would not be an option for Edward."
Rosalie huffed in annoyance and crossed her arms over her chest and pouted. Jasper felt the struggle she had with the knowledge heard in the last few minutes and the numerous questions the information had only succeeded in bringing forward. His sister tried to hide her love for her family and her concern for their safety behind indifference and bitchiness, but he knew she worried about losing them and it scared her. He worried as well that his family was in danger and the future being unclear only made the worry grow stronger.
It was quiet in the car as Edward drove Harry and his daughter home after visiting with Edward's family, but the silence wasn't awkward, it felt comfortable. Lilu was snuffling sleepily in the back seat, babbling softly every so often as she tried to fight the afternoon naptime that was quickly approaching. The sound put a smile on his face and he shared a grin with Harry.
"She's very stubborn about giving into her naptime," Harry said softly with a grin. The light in his eyes dimmed and his smile took a sad turn as he spoke again. "She reminds me of her father when she's like this… he was stubborn as a mule when it came to some things. During the Tri-Wizard Tournament he was very protective of me, even before we began dating. He knew I wasn't too keen to be involved with it in the first place and tried to convince Dumbledore several times to allow me to remove myself from the tournament."
"As he should have, the tournament wasn't safe as it was for an adult, for you it was idiocy for them to make you participate!" Edward seethed as he gripped the steering wheel.
Harry turned towards Edward with a frown on his face and whispered, "That's exactly what Cedric said…"
Edward forcefully unclenched his fists from around the steering wheel and tried to place the words and the anger that felt so familiar when he thought about the conversation. He could physically feel the deep seeded anger he had for Harry's Headmaster and the officials who had allowed Harry to be a champion even though he had no desire to be a part of it or the spell knowledge to find a way to get his name in the running in the first place. It had been obvious that other factors were at work with Harry being in the tournament.
The last thought made him frown in confusion as he fumbled for an excuse for why he would have such intimate knowledge of the situation, but he was unable to find one. His ability to read minds was still just as ineffective with Harry and his family as it had been from the beginning, so that wasn't the reason. His confusion left him floating in unknown territory as he placed it with so many of other instances where he had known something about Harry or his family that he shouldn't have or times when he could vividly recall flashes that he couldn't explain… of a younger Harry walking with him through a castle, of Edward nibbling his neck and causing a whimper to break from Harry's kissable lips… He wanted to know what it all meant and the more he tried to understand it, the less he was sure of what was real and what was imagined.
Edward turned towards Harry and saw the wizard frowning as he nibbled his bottom lip, without thinking he cupped Harry's cheek with his hand, letting his thumb brush softly against Harry's bottom lip. Harry gasped at Edward's touch and Edward hurriedly removed his hand from his skin, turning back to watch the road as he slowed the car down to turn onto the driveway towards Harry's home.
The last few minutes of the drive up to the house were awkwardly quiet as Edward ignored Harry's questioning gaze. He knew it was childish, but he wasn't sure if he was ready to admit why he'd done it… to Harry or even to himself.