Characters/Pairings: Bella/Jacob, Billy/Charlie, Other Pairings
Summary: When Bella and Jacob clean out Bella's attic in order to find stuff for the Annual Police Charity Auction, they discover a beautiful bejeweled silver trunk that changes everything.
Notes: New Moon AU, No Imprinting, Slash, Alice didn't see Bella jump because Jacob was already to close
"I can't believe you actually VOLUNTEERED for this job!" Jacob exclaimed in a disgusted tone, and promptly sneezed. "This is going to take YEARS!"
Looking around her dusty, cluttered attic, Bella couldn't help but wonder if he might be right. When she'd offered to sort through the room and find some stuff for the Annual Police Charity Auction for Charlie, she'd had absolutely no IDEA that it would be so PACKED. Not to mention FILTHY. "Well, how was I supposed to know it would be like this? I've never even been up here before."
Jacob chuckled. "Bella, Bella, Bella. When are you going to learn to look before you leap? Anyway, it's not all that bad, I guess. I mean, I bet this place is just FULL of cool stuff."
Bella couldn't help but smile, despite his teasing. Jacob always could see the silver lining in every cloud, no matter how dark or ominous that cloud might be. "Let's get started, then. You can take the left, I'll take the right, and we'll meet in the middle."
They spent the next four hours, minus a short break for lunch, cleaning away dirt and spider webs and sorting things into three piles - trash, keepsakes, and stuff that could be sold at the auction. Occasionally one of them would call the other over for help or an opinion on something, but for the most part they worked in companionable silence.
Bella was just about to suggest they quit for the day when she saw it. The ancient, obviously priceless bejeweled silver trunk was almost entirely hidden behind two stacks of boxes she hadn't gotten to yet. She gasped in awe, never having seen anything quite like it outside of television and movies, and walked towards it to get a closer look. "Hey, Jacob, come here for a minute!"
"Wow," he whispered when he saw the trunk, immediately shifting the boxes out of their way so that they could get a closer look. "It's like something out of a museum!"
"I know, right? I wonder what it's doing HERE." Bella knelt in front of it and examined the lock with cautious fingers. It didn't look like an ordinary padlock - for one thing, there was no place to insert a key, and for another, it had an oddly shaped indentation on the front of it. Without really thinking about it, she slid her thumb into the groove - it fit perfectly, like it was made to be there - and then yanked her hand away with a short shriek when the lock clicked open. "Holy shit!"
Jacob, disturbed, reached down to pull Bella to her feet and back a few steps for good measure. Almost immediately, a heavy gray mist started to seep out through the slight gap between the lid and the base, and they found themselves utterly unable to move as it took the shape of a young woman with ancient china blue eyes and waist length, wavy hair the color of sunlight.
The woman was dressed in a simple white shift that showed much more of her fair white skin than it covered, but her greeting was unarguably old fashioned - she curtsied. "Isabella. Jacob. I'm going to release the spell holding you in place, but please don't run. I'm no threat to either of you, I swear." With that, she snapped her fingers, and suddenly they were free.
Jacob moved slightly in front of Bella, more as a precaution than from any real fear - his instincts told him that he could trust this entity, and they had never let him down before. Still, he wasn't going to take any chances with Bella's safety. "What are you?"
The woman laughed, obviously not offended in the slightest bit by his admittedly rude demand. "My name is Marie Lynnette Swan, and I am a Witch. Or I was, before I died." She laughed again. Obviously her death wasn't a sore subject for her. "I'm simply a Spirit now, though I've retained my powers in order to train Isabella."
Bella gasped in shock. "Are you trying to tell me that I'M a Witch, too? You must be joking!"
"Damn, Bells, what IS it with you and the supernatural?" Jacob shook his head, never taking his eyes off of Marie. "Swan, huh? How are you related to Bella?"
"I'm her great grandmother. My maiden name is actually Powers, but I was more than happy to be done with that particular cliché when I married Michael." She turned her gaze to Bella. "This is no joke, darling. You are as much a Witch as your Jacob here is a Werewolf, and you have a very important destiny, which is why the First saw fit to seal me into this trunk until you were ready to learn."
Bella shook her head. "I'm sorry, but there has to be some kind of mistake! I don't have any special powers or anything, I'm just a normal Human girl!"
"Well, of course you don't have any powers YET, my dear. You haven't Pledged. But you will - you MUST." For the first time since she had appeared to them, there was no amusement in Marie's gaze. "This world is in terrible danger, Isabella, and may cease to exist completely if you don't accept your responsibility to the First. As of now, you and your father are the last of the Powers' line, the strongest line of Witches the world has ever seen. Both of you are needed."
CHARLIE was a Witch, too? Bella blinked rapidly and pinched herself, sure now that she had to be dreaming. But it hurt, and she didn't wake up, so that theory was thrown out the window. Maybe she'd gone crazy?
"What is the First? You've mentioned it twice, now." Jacob kept his tone calm, deciding with a quick glance at Bella that she was freaking out enough for both of them. "Also, I understand why you would know Bells, but how do you know me?"
"The First is the First being, what most people call God. As for how I know you, well, I've been watching Isabella since the moment she was born, the moment I was sealed into the trunk. I know everyone that she knows." Marie smiled. "I had to have SOMETHING to keep me occupied for the last eighteen and a half years, after all."
"Okay, that makes sense. What is the world in danger from?" Jacob wrapped his arm around Bella's shoulders and pulled her against him, hoping that she might calm down a little bit. He was grateful - and slightly smug - when her trembling began to ease almost immediately. "I'm not exactly comfortable with putting Bells in ANY sort of danger, let alone the world ending kind."
"It's not just one danger; there are many, and unfortunately I'm not allowed to tell you what they are." Marie heaved a frustrated sigh. "I'd tell you anyway, of course, but the First has made it impossible - I simply cannot say the words. However, I can tell you that the dangers are coming whether Isabella and Charles Pledge or not, but that they along with the rest of the world will be safer if they do."
Bella bit her lip. "That makes sense, I suppose, but I really can't see MY father being a Witch anymore than I can see myself being one. You plan on making me Pledge so that he HAS to, don't you? Otherwise you wouldn't have waited for me, you'd have already recruited him or whatever. I don't think I can do that to him, Marie - it just doesn't seem fair. In fact, it seems downright MANIPULATIVE."
"It is." Marie looked embarrassed, actually blushing a bit. "But unfortunately, it's necessary. When everything is at stake, my dear, you have to make some sacrifices. Charles really WON'T Pledge unless you do, and he is as needed by the First as you are. I know that you don't want to make such a decision for him, but you are the only one who CAN. If it's any consolation, I don't think he'll be angry with you at all, and in the end he'll probably agree that it was all for the best."
"I don't know." Bella shook her head and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath before opening them again. "I need some more information. What exactly is this Pledge that we have to make to become Witches?"
"The Pledge is basically a promise to use the powers you will receive for Good instead of Evil. Of course, some Witches - the bad ones - Pledge to use their powers for Evil instead of Good, but no Powers Witch has ever worked for the Second. That would be Satan, in Christian terms."
"How can I be sure that YOU aren't Evil? I mean, you say you're my great grandmother, but I've never seen a picture of her so I can't even verify THAT. You could be lying about EVERYTHING!" Bella didn't know what to do, and she was terrified of making the wrong choice. She looked up at Jacob, hoping desperately that he would have the right answer for her even though she didn't see how he COULD.
Jacob swallowed hard as he met her gaze. "I can't tell you what choice to make, Bells, that's up to you. But I can tell you that I don't think Marie is lying at all. I mean, I can't listen to her heart rate, obviously, but my instincts are telling me that she's trustworthy. They've never let me down before, and besides, the two of you do have some similarities. You have Marie's skin tone, at least, and her hands."
"Okay, then." Bella took a deep breath and looked back at Marie. "If Jacob says that I can trust you, then I know I can. So let's do this before I change my mind."
Looking extremely relieved, Marie turned around and lifted the lid of the trunk she'd come out of, reaching in to pull out a sharp edged quartz crystal dagger. Facing them once again, she offered Bella the dagger, handle first. "This is a blood oath, so you'll have to slice your palm open, but don't worry - once you say the words, the wound will close on its own. It'll leave a thin silver scar, but that's it."
Bella, who hated the sight of any blood, especially her own, made a face but took the dagger anyway. "What are the words?"
"You cut your palm, let your blood drip to the floor, and say 'I, Isabella Marie Swan, do solemnly Pledge that I will always use my power in the name of the First, for Good and against Evil' and that's it." Marie smiled. "There will be a bright flash of light, and then the wound will close and you'll have whichever powers you're meant to have."
It was simple enough, at least. Taking a deep breath, Bella gripped the blade of the dagger in her left hand and made the cut. "I, Isabella Marie Swan, do solemnly Pledge that I will always use my power in the name of the First, for Good and against Evil." As soon as the last word was out of her mouth, lightning struck.
That was what it looked like, anyway, and what she imagined it would feel like. It was gone in an instant, leaving her tingling all over and swaying on her feet. Jacob, his eyes still squeezed shut in reaction, pulled her more tightly to his side so that she wouldn't fall and she sagged against him in relief, looking at her palm to examine her new scar. She was surprised to find that it wasn't just COLORED silver, it actually WAS silver. Like the metal, only somehow it was a part of her skin. "Whoa."
Jacob warily opened his watery eyes and grabbed her hand, pulling it up close to his face to examine the mark. "Wow. So I guess we're BOTH freaks, now." He sounded entirely too happy about that fact.
Bella laughed, not offended in the least. "Yeah, I guess we are."