Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything that sounds/looks familiar.

Rated: T.

Author: The Nervous Rambler.

Summary: A war between the bonded Werewolves and Witches against the vampires and their rise of power, with love thrown into the middle. AU. Alice/Bella.

The Swan Mansion

The mansion's study was warm and cozy that night; the city outside cold and damp, a common occurrence with all the rain. Two forms were huddled in blankets with mugs of hot chocolate, sitting and giggling in front of the fire place. Renee Swan and her five year old daughter, Isabella. This, too, tended to be a common occurrence; many nights the two would creep up to the attic on the very top floor of the mansion, away from all the others who were always around on Royal business, King Charles' dinner parties, or as of late, meetings and gatherings to discuss the upcoming war that everyone was sure to happen. Up in that study the two were not Queen Renee and Princess Isabella, but Mommy and Bella, hunkering down for a story before bed.

That night was no different. The shelves on all the walls and spaced throughout the room were full to the brim with books, both old and new, of every genre. The expensive rugs kept the chill of the hardwood floor away from bare toes that scurried to the pile of pillows in front of the fire place, just like always. The heavy red curtains were drawn, blocking out the shadows and darkness of the night. The antique desks, chairs, couches, and other furniture were ignored for now, as was always the case during stories. Everything was completely the same, save for one small fact.

Tonight Renee would, for the first time, tell her daughter about the Magician.

Bella's brows drew together, her big chocolate brown and ice blue eyes crinkling in confusion at the term. "Magician?" She repeated, feeling the word flow from her lips easily. "Is that like us? Like Witches?"

With a small smile, Renee nodded at her daughter. She set down her cup of hot chocolate on the floor beside them, tightening the blankets around herself as she scooted closer and lowered her voice. "Sort of, honey. As you know, Witches like you and I recite incantations and work potions. That is our trade, as it's been since the beginning. We are people who dabble in magic. A rare and special gift given to our people long ago. But," She said, watching as Bella's eyes grew again while she subconsciously leaned forward in anticipation. "We are not magic ourselves."

"We're not?" Once again, the little princess was confused.

"Not int the slightest, my dear." Renee chuckled softly. "We were taught how to call upon it, to learn from it, to live with it. But it isn't physically a part of us."

Bella slumped back, biting her lip. "Is a Magician magic?"

"What a bright little thing I have." Renee cooed. "Yes, a Magician is magic; it runs through their blood, whispers its secrets it hides from us in their ear, a power glowing in them like a bright beacon. But Magicians are even more rare than we are. As a matter of fact, sweetie, a Magician hasn't walked amongst us in little more than two centuries."

"How do you know? What do they look like? Do they have blue skin? Purple eyes?" Bella gushed, her hot chocolate long forgotten as she was swallowed up in curiosity.

Voices gained volume two floors below them, a loud banging of someone slamming their fists down on a desk and Renee frowned. "Purple eyes? No, honey, they look just like we do. You see, they're normal children like you or I was. It isn't until their eighth birthday does the magic choose them."

"Choose them?" Again, Bella repeated the words of her mother.

"Quite right, my sweet. Magic is an ancient and powerful force, and isn't simply randomly given to just anyone. The Magician is chosen by powers beyond us, given the responsibility of protecting this power and our people. It requires someone pure, good… a guardian of sorts." With a quick, simple move, Renee pulled the sleeve of her shirt up to her elbow, slipping off her silk glove on her right hand. Intricate black swirls and loops covered her palm, reaching up to her wrist, twisting around it and engulfing the Royal Family crest on her palm. "This is how we know how to find a Magician. All Witches, on their sixth birthday, undergo the ritual of getting the tattoo. Now, you'd have to go find one of the books in here that speaks more on that and what the ritual consists of, and exactly what is in this ink they use, because it has been far too long since I've even been interested in it. However, once that is complete you go on with life until the day they turn eight. Like me and many, many others, the day came and went with nothing noteworthy; no changes, no differences." Renee tilted her head to the side, holding up the silk glove in the glow of the fire. "And so we wear a glove on that hand in public forevermore."

"Why?" Bella cut in, examining the white glove curiously.

Renee shrugged her shoulders. "To hide, I suppose, sweetie. So that when we are out amongst the humans, we may blend in. To symbolically show that we are not physically different from them. I'm not quite sure, honey. I was never very good at paying attention to anything my own Witch touter had to say, other than about Magicians." She chuckled again, smiling sheepishly. "Anyway, on the eighth birthday when a Magician is chosen, the tattoo expands and is added to."

"How?"

"Well, I don't believe it is very…um, fun, honey. As I recall, the process actually hurts. There's a burning sensation, like sticking your arm into the fire pit here." Renee murmured, frowning absently as she gazed at the flames. "But, the tattoo has expanded, the twists, twirls, loops, and swirls wrapping twice around on its way up your arm. And from then on, periodically as the Magician's power and knowledge of magic grows, the tattoo keeps growing and growing until it covers the entire body. There are pictures in the books, honey, of very old and powerful Magicians covered in exotic designs. They, unlike me and the other Witches, do not ever cover their hand. It is an honour to have such a gift, and then to disgrace it by way of hiding it is forbidden."

Bella rocked back and forth, looking from her bare, pale hand to her mothers excitedly. "What can they do?"

Renee leaned back on her hands, looking up at the ceiling with a smile playing at her lips. "I've heard many, many stories of different Magicians throughout time, from your Grandmother. The things they can do are… marvellous." Bella raised an eyebrow, looking up at the ceiling and then to the thoughtful look on her mother's face in confusion. "A Magician is like a Witch in the way that they practice magic, but different in the way that they can also conjure magic, and physically wield it. They are extraordinarily skilled in the art of magic. Your grandmother used to tell me of how they would make the earth shift and form with their will, bend the elements to their magic. It was all fascinating but very dangerous; handling all the raw power."

With a 'get real' look, Bella huffed and sat back. "Sounds like Superman, mommy."

Renee frowned, crossing her arms over her chest. "Since when is Superman not cool anymore?"

Small shoulders shrugged, and Bella smiled. "Well it's not as exciting if the hero is invincible, mommy. There has to be the chance that they might not win; that makes it more intense, and keeps you reeling."

Renee's eyes narrowed. "Have you been asking daddy to tell you stories at bedtime when mommy is busy, again?"

Bella ducked her face, nodding.

"Charlie…" Renee sighed. She cleared her throat, trying to get back to the topic. "Well, honey, this isn't all just one big, peachy life for the Magician. It's a life of hardship, the desperate fight for control over the magic, the stress of the gift, the nightmares that come with it, and early death." Bella's eyes snapped open, wide, and Renee smiled again, nodding. "Yes, a noble, but early death. By the time a Magician reaches fifty, the magic and power in them has grown beyond their being, their body. They both shed their body and, once more, become a power in the universe." When she saw that her daughter wasn't following along anymore, and getting confused again, Renee bit her lip. "Let's see… oh, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, all of those are-"

"Magicians?" Bella gasped.

"Well, sort of. The Magician is no longer really a person, so much as a force in the world. Not dead, but… not alive like you or me. So, it's not all fancy, super power, invincible stuff. Their life… it's a real nail biter." Renee chuckled.

"Are they bullet proof like Superman?" Bella asked.

"No, honey, they get hurt, or killed, just like us. They heal more quickly, almost instantaneously, but any lethal would would kill them, surely as it would kill a human."

"Can they fly?"

"No, honey."

"Not even on a broom?"

"Not even on a broom, my sweet."

"What about with a cape."

"Not with a cape either, darling."

"What about-"

"Let's get you to bed now, shall we?" Renee said, internally sighing in relief as Bella yawned. The girl was too curious for Renee's good, and they would have been up all night with questions.

Bella nodded and grabbed her blanket, following her mother down the halls of the mansion to her bedroom. When she was all tucked into bed, she turned onto her side, facing her mother. "One more story, but a real story this time."

Renee smiled softly. "Which one, love?"

"The Witch and the Wolf." Bella chimed immediately. It was her friends', Jacob and Tulip, and her favourite story. Well, her second favourite story. Her first was of how Tulip got his nickname; the little orphaned boy stowed away in the tulip bush in the Royal Gardens.

With a chuckle, Renee sat back against the headboard and glanced out the window at the full moon, listening to the faint howl of a wolf. "Well, once upon a time there was a lonely little girl…"

And so Renee continued to tell her daughter the story of the very first Werewolf. How the lonely little girl was a Witch, a Magician in reality, and how she came upon a little wolf one day while out playing by herself. And how the lonely little girl turned this little wolf into a boy during the days so that the two could be friends and play together, and how the little boy would then turn back into a wolf at night when the moon came out to return to his family while the little girl slept.

One day, perhaps, when Bella was older, Renee would tell her the true version of that tale. The history of her people and the lycans, and their formed bond between the species that had lasted all the centuries.

XXxxXXxxXX

Whelp.

That's… a beginning. Not the best, I admit, but it's just the prologue. Setting up the background of the story, kind of.

Anyway, I hope I did alright with the Magician bit. I want to get the point across that they are a more powerful Witch with different abilities, but I didn't want them to come off as all powerful and invincible or anything like that. Because they're not; a bullet to the heart, or something like that, would kill them just as easily as it would anyone else.

The next chapter and rest of the story are late into the future; Bella as a teenager and such.

Also, don't worry about Afterlife. I haven't abandoned it or anything; just wanted to do this as well. So, while I'm not working on Afterlife, I'll work on this, and vice versa. My sneaky attempt at bypassing writer's block.

Um, what else…? Oh, thanks to xPaige Turnerx for the idea and beta-ing. It would definitely not look like this without her. So, thanks!

And REVIEW?

The Nervous Rambler