This is my first attempt at writing fanfic so I really hope you all like it.
This story is AU, OOC, definitely not canon and then some.
Many Thanks to the amazing Northwoman for agreeing to beta this story, I seriously doubt that I would have had the courage to do this without your support.
The SVM and these wonderful characters belong to the brilliant Charlaine Harris.
*I'm reposting this chapter with corrections to the French translations - Thank you albi3252!
Unexpected – Chapter 1
"Sookie, we have to go!" I heard Amelia call, rather loudly, from the hallway.
I took one last look in the mirror, grabbed my coat and bag and headed for the door. "Sorry, hair trouble…" I said, earning a head shake and a scoff from Amelia.
"Your hair is perfect as always and you know it, you were just too busy reading again to actually start getting ready on time." Amelia isn't usually this snarky but she hates being late for class and considering the possible consequences if she missed something important, I couldn't really blame her.
It is true that I tend to get carried away into my own little world when I read but I was always this way when it came to books. I started reading at such an early age that I can't really remember not being able to read or learning how to do it and I always found endless entertainment in a good book.
It was miserable weather outside and I was grateful as always that we had a Metro station so close by, right across the street actually. It's not that I mind a little rain, winter is actually my favorite season, but I really didn't feel like sitting in wet clothes all afternoon.
When I first arrived in Paris, almost two years ago, I was looking for an apartment on the left bank, closer to the university, but when a friend told me about this really cool renovation project of an old convent, dating from the early seventeenth century, into urban living spaces I just had to check it out. The high ceilings and huge windows outweighed the fact that the apartment is rather small (by American standards) and the kitchen is less than adequate, so I ended up taking an apartment on the first floor facing the park that runs the length of the building.
Amelia Broadway, who was surprisingly born and raised in New Orleans, lives in the apartment across the hall from mine. We met the day I moved in when she very kindly offered to help me unpack and we have been friends ever since. We have a lot in common, apart from us both being Americans living in Paris and some similarities in our background and upbringing, as we are both part of the supernatural community.
Amelia is a natural born witch, which I guess makes it easier for her to befriend a 1/4 fairy telepath like me. I'm never quite sure which part of me would be harder for others to accept, if they knew about it that is, being the granddaughter of two half fairies and the great granddaughter of the high prince of the fairies, or being able to read the minds of everyone around me, well everyone besides fairies and vampires of course. Fairy minds are like solid bubbles in various colors, I can guess at their general mood by the color but I can't see what's inside. While vampire minds, from the few that I have met, I can best describe as voids. I can tell that they are there but that's about it.
I'm lucky that even though telepathy isn't actually a Fae trait my grandparents used their powers to help me block everyone's thoughts until I was old enough to do it on my own. I spent all my summers growing up visiting my fae grandparents in Louisiana, learning how to handle my telepathy. My mental training also came in handy when I turned fourteen and needed to learn how to use and control my ability to "pop", well actually the correct term would be teleport, from one point to another. Other than popping, which is general fae ability, I have yet to discover my other powers if I have any others that is. My grandfather says it is too early to tell at my age and that we will just have to wait and see.
As I am doing my Masters in history at the Sorbonne and Amelia is studying magic and training to be a witch in a slightly less known institution right across the street from the famous university we take the Metro together whenever our schedules match which happens twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After crossing the street and racing into the station we reached the train just in time and managed to get on, in true Parisian fashion, just as the doors were closing.
Since it was the middle of the afternoon there really weren't so many people on the train and I was glad I didn't have to put any effort into maintaining my shields. Most of the time I have excellent control of my ability but I try to avoid rush hour on the Metro as much as possible since the thoughts of so many in such close proximity are sometimes harder to block.
"So, what are we doing tomorrow?" Amelia asked me once we were seated. We both had Wednesday mornings free this year so we usually tried to do something fun together.
"Well, if you feel like it we could go see the new exhibition that just opened at the Petit Palais."
"Sure, that sounds great. What do you say we leave early so we will have enough time to go to the market and make lunch? I feel like cooking."
Amelia is an amazing gourmet cook and her gastronomic creations definitely rival those served in some of Paris' finer restaurants, so I was obviously not going to refuse.
"Oh yum, I can't wait, how about 9:00? The museum only opens at 9:30."
"Ok, 9:00 it is. Oh, before I forget, I have a favor to ask - are you popping over to see your Gran anytime soon?"
"Yeah, I'm supposed to see her on Sunday, why do you ask?"
Under regular circumstances popping home is way out of my range but there's a really nice loophole in our magic that allows fairies to teleport somewhere they consider home regardless of the physical distance. This allows me to visit with my family regularly even while I'm in Paris, something I probably wouldn't have done otherwise since I'm really not a big fan of airplanes.
"I need a rare ingredient for my final project that is practically impossible to find and I hoped that maybe someone in your family could help. I hate to ask but I'm really desperate… I need a dragon's scale. I know it sounds insane but Fairy is the only place I can think of and if they can't get it in Fairy then I'll have to start all over…"
"Amelia stop fretting, I'm sure they would gladly help. I'll ask Gran on Sunday, or if it's urgent I can just call her tonight?"
"Thanks Sookie, I appreciate it. It really isn't urgent though so Sunday's fine. Don't forget to tell your Gran how much I appreciate it Ok?"
"Sure Ames, No problem."
It took us half an hour to reach Odeon station and by the time we got to the Boulevard Saint-Michele Amelia was quite anxious, waving me goodbye before she took off running, mumbling something about being turned into a cat if she was late again.
The seminar I was headed to this afternoon was actually the last one I had to take before completing my obligations for the Masters apart from writing my Theses. It was actually a series of short term seminars under the title of "Historical research in a changing world, old and new theories, methods and perspectives". The individual seminars were given by different visiting professors and experts in various fields and took place every couple of months over a period of two weeks of concentrated and intensive meetings.
The Professor orchestrating the whole thing was quite eccentric, she was actually some kind of supe which I couldn't really identify, and she had decided, "for the sake of mystery", to not reveal any details regarding the mini-seminars in advance, so I actually had no Idea what subject I would be studying for the next two weeks or with whom.
I had about 30 minutes before my class was supposed to start so I sat down at my usual Café and ordered myself a cup of thé au lait. I was sitting on the sidewalk, close to the heater, watching people walk by and letting my mind wonder. As much as I loved living in Paris I didn't really want to stay here forever, especially not now that I am no longer with Thierry, I had so many other places that I wanted to see.
When we broke up six months ago, I really wasn't sure what was more painful, the realization I didn't really know this man (fairy actually), whom I have been dating for over a year, or that I wouldn't be staying In Paris forever as part of me expected. I met Thierry shortly after I arrived in Paris and at first I was swept off my feet. He was extremely handsome and charming, not that that was uncommon in a male fairy, and he seemed to be completely fascinated with me.
After a while though, I started to wonder whether we were really compatible. He is very concerned with social status and appearances and would always insist on reviewing my outfits before we "appeared in public" together. The De Feuilly's are an old and respectable family in both the fae and human worlds and Thierry, as the eldest son, was expected to marry well and continue the family legacy. It did not escape me that the only reason his parents tolerated his relationship with me, a miserable quarter fae, was my royal blood and connections.
I put up with their snobbish attitude because I thought Thierry should not be held accountable for his family's views and behavior but eventually, during another epic argument about "proper behavior in public" it became apparent that the apple hadn't fallen that far from the tree and that Thierry felt he was being generous by "lowering" himself to be with me and overlooking my "flawed" heritage.
I probably should have realized sooner how he really felt but I guess being telepathic I wasn't really proficient at reading people's emotions the regular way, without reading their minds. When I finally saw Thierry for the stuck up, condescending asshole he was, I expected to feel heartbroken and devastated but instead I had to admit that deep down inside I knew he was not the right man for me and although I cared for him, I didn't love him, not really.
The street light in the corner came to life and I was startled out of my reverie by the sudden realization that the sun has already set and that I needed to get going. I gathered my things and was just stepping onto the sidewalk when I hit something solid. I looked up into the most beautiful and intense blue eyes I have ever seen and without even realizing it I smiled. He was very tall, his long blond hair was tied back and away from his face and an incredibly sexy smile was playing on his perfect lips. Our bodies were nearly touching and he was holding my shoulders gently as if to make sure I was not going to lose my balance and fall.
I instinctively re-enforced my shields against the barrage of thoughts that usually crashed on me like a wave whenever I came into physical contact with anyone, but it never came. I couldn't hear his thoughts; He was a void, a vampire actually. Maybe I should have been scared, since Fairies and vampires were natural enemies and fought each other many times throughout history and even though the last war ended over 600 hundred years ago there was still plenty of animosity between the two, but I considered my family's opinions regarding vampires to be outdated and narrow minded. There is a lot of prejudice and hostility between the different races in the supernatural world not to mention the disdain and contempt humans were regarded with by most supes, but I always felt, being a strange mix between human and supe, I really had no right to judge anyone based on what they were.
We stood frozen for a few more seconds, while I admired his impeccably tailored suit and the way the blue of his shirt accentuated his eyes, before I finally remembered the southern manners my grandmother was so adamant on instilling in me and moved slightly back. "Pardon , monsieur."
"vous avez l'air toute douce." He replied in a deep, melodious voice.
"pas vraiment, non." I answered before I could think, my sharp tongue getting the better of me once again.
Unexpectedly his smile grew bigger and his eyes seemed even brighter than before if that was even possible. "Åh, men du är"
He was obviously not expecting me to reply and I silently thanked my mother for insisting both Jason and I learn her native tongue. Spending every Christmas with my grandparents in Stockholm didn't hurt my command of Swedish either.
"Din franska är mycket bra." I said, smiling as his eyebrow rose, indicating his surprise.
"Så är din svenska, Mademoiselle..." he let his voice trail off.
"Sookie, Sookie Brigant." For a second I thought I saw apprehension in his eyes but it was gone so fast I wasn't really sure if it was there in the first place.
"Eric Northman, Ángenä´mt. Vilka andra språk talar du?"
"I speak French with my paternal grandfather and Swedish with my maternal grandparents but most of the time I use English." I felt my smile grow even wider while my eyes never left his. I could have stood there forever, staring at him, but I was getting cold standing in the middle of the street like that and knew I had to hurry if I wanted to get to class on time. "It was very nice to meet you Mr. Northman, I apologize but I really must be going or I will be late for class." I felt almost sad at the thought of never seeing him again and my smile faltered.
"The pleasure was all mine, Sookie, I assure you, no need to apologize."
He pronounced the word pleasure like a caress, in a way that made my spine tingle and my name sounded almost exotic coming out of his lips. For a second I allowed myself to imagine what it would feel like to kiss this incredibly beautiful man but I forced myself to focus and reply.
"Goodbye Eric, perhaps we might see each other again," I almost whispered in response, gazing at the floor in embarrassment.
"Oh, I'm sure we will." he answered in a low voice and when I lifted my eyes he was gone.
I sincerely apologize for any mistakes in translation, I used Google translate for the Swedish so I'm quite sure it's awful. My French is much better than my Swedish (which consists of not much more than the days of the week and counting to ten…I have Swedish relatives and I've been to Scandinavia a few times but not since I was 12) but is still far from perfect so…here goes nothing:
*I've corrected the French translations thanks to the magnificent albi3252!
"Pardon, monsieur" – forgive me, sir
"vous avez l'air toute douce." – aren't you sweet?
"pas vraiment, non". – Not really.
"Åh, men du är" – oh, but you are
"Din franska är mycket bra" – your French is very good
"Så är din svenska, Mademoiselle..." – so is your Swedish, miss…
Ángenä´mt. Vilka andra språk talar du?" – pleased to meet you. What other languages do you speak?
BTW – The renovated convent really exists, I have actually lived there for a year… it's called Les Recollets. This is a link to their site if you want to have a better mental picture of the place - http:/www(dot)centre-les-recollets(dot)?l=gb