The Lost Soul
A Twilight fanfiction
Author's Note: Hello there! Welcome to my first ever Twilight fanfiction. I hope you enjoy reading it, and your reviews are greatly appreciated. Just, you know, don't be too harsh. I'm only human. And persistent Twi-haters get on my nerves after a while. Okay, we get it, you think sparkly vampires are lame, no need to go on about it!.
This story is kind of inspired by Jane Eyre - well, the complex-but-cute relationship between Mr Rochester and Jane, anyway *wink*
The chapter's name comes from the absolutely fantastic song that is 'Heavy In Your Arms' by Florence + the Machine. Seriously, I love her work, and coincidentally, the song features in soundtrack for Eclipse. I really hope she does a song for Breaking Dawn Part 2 when it comes out...
Ooh, and the inevitable disclaimer: I only own the French coven (that's Anna, Beth, Antoine, Sabine, Darius, and Freya). That's it. OK? OK.
So, without further ado, let the story begin!
Who is the betrayer?
July 16th, 2010
The night air felt pregnant, swollen with the approaching storm. Strange then, that as Anna inhaled, it burnt her nostrils with cruel ice. She did not move, however Beth shifted restlessly in her crouch beside her.
"Why do they stand and wait? Why don't they run?"
She said nothing. She didn't know.
They could see all three of their coven below, from their position on the mountain's ledge. In a crude way, they looked almost like actors on a stage, tightly holding hands in a final encore. The moonlight glimmered off their heads, like a ghostly spotlight.
Their coven's unelected leader, Antoine, was the oldest, and far more experienced vampire (being the only male in the group had absolutely nothing to do with it). He stood beside Sabine, his lunar-haired belle.
His mate of almost a century. The thought made Anna heavy with sorrow. They will never make that anniversary.
It also aggrieved her to think that just two days ago, she and Beth had been exploring the isles of Dartmoor, without a care in the world. It had all been Beth's idea to leave, two months ago, of course, and it was her idea to go there. She had been all-too eager to escape Antoine's disapproval of her choice of diet.
There wasn't much deer to hunt for in France.
But when she'd asked Anna to go with her to explore the big, wide world, well, Anna hadn't needed to be asked twice. She'd spent most of a century stuck under the rest of her coven's thumb, being told where she should and shouldn't go, and at last, she had had enough. Like a caged bird, she had yearned to fly free, but had simply been too afraid to do it alone – until Beth.
Young and jovial, Beth had the gift of an invisible glamour, and was wise beyond her years. It was sometimes hard to believe she had only celebrated her nineteenth human year, two days ago. Yet in vampire years, she was just a child.
"What's stopping them?" her impatient voice broke Anna out of her brooding. Her topaz eyes flashed in frustration. "Why don't they run?"
"Hush, Beth," Anna said, gently.
But even she was perplexed. Freedom had been a terribly daunting thing at first, but she had just been getting used to it when on Beth's birthday, Sabine had emailed from France. Antoine had a surprise for them, she had said.
Alarm bells had started ringing. Even in writing, Sabine had sounded a bit… off, but she had told them that they had to return home "right away."
Well, Anna hadn't known what to expect, but it certainly wasn't the reason why they sat here now, watching their coven, like spectators in their (slightly uncomfortable) seats.
Freya. She was the constant flash of movement in Anna's vision, the prowling shadow that paced back and forth, restless, afraid… and deadly. Her family hid her protectively from view behind them.
Their immortal child.
Anna knew she shouldn't love her, but how could she not? Freya was innocent…but then she wasn't. She was the reason Antoine and Sabine were to die, yet she wouldn't do it knowingly. She was only four years old, with beautiful strawberry-blonde ringlets, and a cherubic smile that could melt even the hardest of hearts.
Too young to be a vampire, Anna swallowed. Oh, Antoine, why did you do this to us?
She didn't understand it. Antoine had been her creator; it had been his responsibility to teach her the laws of being a vampire, and so he had. Hammering these rules into her head almost relentlessly, until she'd had no choice but to remember them, and Beth had faced the same treatment.
Rule number one: keep our existence a secret.
Rule number two: the prohibition of creating child vampires.
No ifs, no buts.
So what had made him forget them entirely?
Perhaps that answer was simple. Antoine could see the potential in every human, after all. He had seen that Beth would have an invisible glamour, and that Sabine would heal with her hands before he even turned them, and Freya's mild form of telekinesis had only strengthened after the Change.
"Look at her down there," Beth muttered. Her butter-yellow eyes softened at Freya's erratic form. "She must be so confused and frightened."
All the anger they felt was for Antoine. He could be dreadfully selfish whenever his gift was involved. If he liked what he saw, he took – so long as he stuck to the rules. Usually.
Does he regret it? Anna wondered.
Despite his rash behaviour, she could not deny he had a good heart. He had rescued Freya from the clutches of a paedophile, and she too had been the result of his kindness all those years ago. Though unless it was restrained, Anna's power was often... unpredictable.
It was the reason why he had sent her away, upon their return home from Dartmoor. Her presence would have just been more kindling to further draw these deadly moths to them.
Anna had protested, of course. The idea of leaving her coven to die without her was something she could not bear. But he just shook his head with the sorrowful acceptance of a convicted man, and had refused to listen to her anymore.
This reaction had surprised and worried her. Knowing him as well as she did, she had expected more of a fight. She remembered his anger and disappointment as he had scolded her like a disobedient child, all those years ago. It hurt to remember the reason why she had strayed from him…
The first flash of lightning splintered the sky in the distance, making both girls start. The ensuing thunder growled, like a cantankerous beast from the heavens, and Anna heard Freya cry out in fear below. It reminded her all over again, how young she was.
Does she understand what was going on? Does she know she is about to meet her doom?
As much as it hurt to admit, Anna knew it was the right thing to do. She had been around Freya long enough to know what a frightening risk she was. Like all immortal children, there was her almost unquenchable thirst to deal with, which was bad enough without having to deal with her telekinesis.
Due to her young age, Freya was still susceptible to the odd tantrum or two, and at times like that, she didn't even have to move a single muscle to cause things to be hurled across the room, for windows to shatter. And if she was in a really bad mood, doors were sometimes even blasted off their hinges. She was like a hurricane had ripped its way through a room.
Another flicker of lightning, and the thunder was like the sound of an avalanche to Anna's ears. She flinched instinctively away, feeling a little foolish.
They will be here soon.
Antoine and Sabine had not moved at all, but Freya continued to pace, her head darting here and there; glancing up into the mountains, hissing and whimpering.
Anna's heart ached helplessly for her. It will all be over soon, little one.
But something inside her still stubbornly refused to believe that, even when they finally appeared out of the darkness, like silent wraiths floating on the air.
Suddenly, her palms burst into a fit of prickling, making her gasp.
These are powerful vampires… she thought with some trepidation, and balled up her fists.
Beth moaned. "Oh, God…"
Their black cloaks whispered with their quiet feet. Their faces were frustratingly blocked from Anna's view, by their hoods, but she could make out six people all together. Four men, judging by their sizes – one towered over the rest of them, like a vast tree trunk – but there were also two other, smaller members, maybe only in their teens. Anna noticed that, unlike the other members, their cloaks appeared a lot darker, almost at one with the night itself. The thought made her shiver, though she was not entirely sure why.
Two of the men stepped forward and lowered their hoods, and Beth's mouth fell open with a quiet pop.
"Look at their skin!" she whispered, horrified.
It was unsettlingly white in the moonlight; transparent, like an onion's. One of them was blonde, with a distinctively haughty look in his face. The other was a lot better-looking, slim, with hair like a raven's wing.
The pleasant tone in his voice caught Anna totally off-guard.
"Good evening, Antoine."
Antoine's proud head lifted to address him. "Good evening, Lord Aro" – he paused – "I only wish the weather was more agreeable."
Beth was aghast. He's talking about the weather at a time like this?! She mouthed, incredulously.
"Indeed." Aro nodded, solemnly.
"Where is the child?" the white-haired one suddenly asked, impatiently. Anna couldn't help but notice that while he appeared hungry for the ensuing bloodbath, Aro looked almost apologetic about it.
Antoine's tone was unnaturally cool. "She is here."
Sabine said nothing.
What is wrong with her?
The girls watched, bewildered, as Antoine came to Freya's side. When she saw him, her pacing ceased, and a look of pure delight lit up her beautiful face.
It was heartbreaking. "Ant!" she squealed, beaming.
"It's alright, ma cherie," Antoine replied in a low voice. "Come."
Staring up at him with eyes full of love and trust, Freya let her adopted father lead her out – until she saw the Volturi, standing there.
Aro summoned the large vampire. "Felix. Please."
Freya's bright, scarlet eyes widened. "Ant, no! Nooooo!"
She began to cry, clutching at her father, but he stood beside her, stoic and unmoving as a rock. Anna stared around her in horror, as the mountains began to tremble with her terror.
Beth was thinking along the same wave-length. "She could bring them all down!"
Anna's mind cried out for movement, but she knew they had to remain frozen in place. It was a selfish thing to think, but she knew that Sabine and Antoine had to die.
They broke the rules, she thought. A tearless sob escaped her throat.
Freya's death was swift, practised. Her shrill cries were brutally cut off, as Felix ripped her beautiful head from her shoulders with a single jerk of her neck. Anna flinched at the hideous sound it made; like cracking a slab of marble in two.
The mountains were still once more, and with an almost mournful sigh, Aro came forward and took something out from his robes.
It winked silver in the night, and as he flicked it open, yellow fire burst from it, like a ravenous demon. It consumed Freya's decapitated body hungrily, spitting sparks of relish.
Beth was moaning beside Anna, and she wrapped an arm around her quivering shoulders, looking to Sabine, expecting some kind of emotion.
I don't understand, she thought, blinking in bewilderment.
Because Sabine just stood there, gazing at all that was left of Freya in the fire. No weeping. No hint of sadness at all; only a strange look of detached interest.
Anna could understand Antoine's blank reaction, the man hiding his emotions, like they always did, but this was…wrong. Sabine had always been a very sensitive woman, one who couldn't even watch the news without having the vampire equivalent of a cry.
"I thought that you of all people understood our laws," Aro was saying to Antoine, sadly. "It was quite a surprise when Darius informed me of what you had done."
Beth gave a gasp. "Darius?"
Darius Tuono had been a member of their coven long before either of them. Intimidating in size and personality, they had no idea how old he was exactly, but he had the appearance of a man in his mid-twenties.
He had left mysteriously a month before. Neither of them had been unhappy to hear he had gone.
Antoine looked at Aro, blankly and with a hollow voice, he said. "Do what you have to do."
No! Anna wanted to shriek. The Antoine she knew would have put up a fight – what was wrong with them?
Darius, her mind whispered. An ember of fury began to glow in her dead heart. Darius!
Antoine and Sabine, a couple who had adored one another, since the end of the Second World War, did not even kiss each other goodbye. The fire that had gorged itself on Freya's remains leapt higher for its next meal.
"Thank you, Felix," Aro said. Felix bowed and returned to the group. "Our work here is done."
"What of the other members of the coven?" the blonde-haired one asked. "The two women Darius showed you?
With a panicked gasp, Beth grabbed Anna's hand.
Anna hissed through her teeth. The sudden movement meant caught her unawares, and Beth's invisible glamour blanketed them both.
She pulled gently away, grimacing at the effort it took.
Aro turned to face his family. "They did not play a part in the creation of the child. I doubt they even know what has happened today."
"So, may we go home now?" a young, female voice asked.
Aro turned to smile at her, a little sadly. "Yes, dear one. We may."
Anna did not know what it was, maybe the wind had snatched up their scents - maybe he felt her eyes on him - but suddenly, he looked up.
The feeling of being caught out was like a deadly lightning bolt to her frozen heart, and if Beth hadn't touched her hand again, she was certain he would have seen them, up there on the mountain shelf.
"What is it, Aro?" Caius demanded, following his brother's eyes. To them, of course, there was nothing to be seen but the mountain wall.
Aro frowned. His gaze was intense, searching for the source of the smell. It made Anna feel not unlike butterfly, pinned down on a corkboard by a curious collector.
At length, he said, "It is nothing," and turned away. "Come, let us go."
And they disappeared as quietly as they had come, just as the rain began to fall.
Beth only released Anna when she was sure the coast was completely clear.
"That was close," she gasped.
"Yes," Anna swallowed, rubbing her tingling hand. "It was."
Her friend laughed, nervously. "He was looking right at you."
"I know." She tried to sound unabashed, but the trembling edge in her voice betrayed her. She swallowed again. "Come on."
She went down first, landing lightly on her feet. That alien chill in the air had disappeared, along with its creator.
She shook her heavy, dark hair out of her eyes. "We must find Darius' scent."
Beth hit the ground with a snarl. "Coward has probably run off by now. Let's hope we catch him before we lose it."
They began to walk. The rain was quick to soak them through, but they paid it no heed. Wet, heavy clothing does not stop a vampire when she is on the hunt.
They passed the burning remains of their coven.
"What made him do it, do you think?" Beth asked, suddenly.
She avoided looking at the guttering fire at all costs.
"Darius and Antoine never were on the… best of terms."
Beth grunted. "No shit."
Sniffing the air, Anna grimaced. The sickly-sweet smell of dead vampire pervaded her nostrils, like poison.
"He had to be up in the mountains," she said, looking up the mountain wall. "Come on, the stench here is making me feel sick."
She caught the stricken look in Beth's eyes, and sighed.
"I'm sorry, but Sabine and Antoine…all that's left of them is ash."
"I know," Beth said, quietly. "I just can't believe they've gone."
Anna nodded, sadly. That ember of vehemence was already burning in her again. "Darius has a lot to answer for."
Together, they began to scale the craggy wall adjacent to the mountain they had previously watched from. With their keen vampire limbs finding every nook and cranny, they climbed quickly with ease.
"What will we do when we find him?" Beth turned her head to ask, as they ascended. Her unnaturally red hair was plastered to her forehead, dark and wet as blood from the relentless downpour. "He's a big bloke – and then there's that annoying mind-control thing he can do…"
"We get him to confess."
"Can you do that?"
Beth believed her completely. "Okay."
When they reached the top of the mountain, the rain was beginning to stop at last. The thunder that growled was now a harmless, distant rumble.
"Can you smell him?" Beth whispered, gazing around with flared nostrils.
Anna paused, watching the purple, bruise-like smoke of the fire spiral up to further congeal the dark night's sky. "No. We need to move away from here. The smoke is too thick."
They hurried away, tasting the air like wolves as they went.
"He is a good hunter," Anna remarked, looking to the ground as if to find his footprints in the rocky soil. There were none, of course. "His scent is sparse."
"We'll find him," Beth muttered. Her teeth were bared and gleaming. Vegetarian or not, she was still a fierce vampire.
They sniffed and searched around the mountain, and just when Anna was starting to lose hope of finding it, she caught it, floating on the breeze. It was unmistakable; musky with spice, testosterone, and rage.
"Here," she said, a little breathlessly. "Darius was here."
"You sure?" Beth gave an almighty sniff. Her nose wrinkled. "Ew, yeah you're sure. God, he stinks!"
The mountain was a vast, flat surface, bordered by tall, thin trees, but it did not take them long to follow his scent to the very edge of it.
"Oh, hell," Beth peered over it, fearfully. "He jumped that far?"
Anna nodded. "Looks to be that way, doesn't it?" She looked at her, amused. "Are you scared?"
"No. Come on, I don't want to lose his scent."
And with a rare, impish grin, she jumped.
Beth squeaked. "Holy shit!"
It was a long way down, at least thirty feet, but Anna laughed with the exhilaration of it.
I shouldn't be laughing, a small part of her thought. I'm on the hunt for the man who played a significant part in the killing of my coven, but Lord, I've never felt so alive!
She landed with the grace of a cat. The ground was grassy and lush here, leading into a small alcove that reeked of Darius.
"Are you dead?" Beth called. Her open mouth was a small black hole in her face, peeking over the edge of the mountain. Anna grinned up at her.
"Are you coming then?"
As they ran through the forest, Anna ruminated.
Why did he do it? What was his motivation?
Darius had always been a complicated figure in her life. He had a mysterious past, but according to Antoine, he had come from somewhere in Italy, with no recollection of who had created him, or who he even was, which probably explained why he had taken to life as a vampire so easily. He'd learnt to hunt humans on instinct, picking out the lowest of society, so they would not notice anything out of sorts. He lured prostitutes, the homeless, and the like with his ability to control them through thought, and his uniquely hypnotic voice.
The humans he fed from had no knowledge of their deaths, even as he drained them of their life-blood.
He joined Antoine's coven a year before Anna felt the agony of vampire venom in late 1914, but by then, he had grown tired of treating humans gently. So Darius began to really use into his power, to humiliate his victims, and strip them of their dignity, especially the women.
Anna saw this often.
One particular memory suddenly darted across her mind, like a malicious shark. She shuddered away from it, yet it somehow enveloped her against her will, like a choking, plastic bag...
It had been five months since her Change, and she was what they called "coming back". It meant that she was no longer Anna the blood-thirsty new born, and as each day passed, she could feel her restraint strengthening. She could walk amongst humans now, with only a little bit of venom flooding her mouth.
…But her depression still remained, like a blanket of lead upon her shoulders. It mercilessly weighed her down, until she thought she would plunge through the ground itself. Probably straight into the fiery pits of Hell. It was what she deserved.
It was just her, Antoine and Darius then, living together separately in Italy (Darius' choice who, strangely, seemed to know it all like the back of his hand, despite having no human memories). It was a beautiful, new and exciting place for hunting at night, but that didn't stop her from feeling desperately homesick. She missed the colder, wetter climates of England. She longed for the cosy, togetherness of her hometown, her friends and neighbours.
She longed for him.
That night, Anna wondered the streets to clear her head. Her thirst was happily sated, and the humans were sound asleep in their beds. They were safe. Now was the time for the creatures of the dark to roam free.
Rounding a slight corner, she felt their presence before seeing them. Her palms began to tingle. She was getting use to the abruptness of it, whenever it came, but it was an irritating sensation all the same. It felt like winged insects had stupidly burrowed under her skin, and were now desperately trying to fly; it only worsened with every step she took.
Her gift was always useful for picking out the wolves from the sheep.
A vampire is here. A powerful one. Anna balled up her hands into tight fists to lessen the feeling, and opened up all of her senses to assess the situation. Inhaling deeply, she let all the smells around her seep into her pores:
The faint smell of baked bread, a flower she did not recognise – and a woman, drenched in the pungent sweetness of cheap perfume, and her own sharp-tasting adrenalin. The vampire's latest victim.
The nearer she walked, the more Anna could hear the human's pitiful whimpering, laced on the night's breeze.
Except there was something different about the noises she was making. They were not full of fear, but –
"No!" Anna gasped, as Darius' scent hit her. Testosterone-charged musk, intensified by lust…
She began to run towards the sounds, when all she really wanted was to run away. The human's whimpers were becoming moans.
I do not want to see this.
Anna skidded to a stop, and was repulsed by the scene before her.
He had the human in an alleyway, shoved up against the brick wall. She was young, maybe only in her late teens, but the smudged rouge on her sunken cheeks made her look older. She was desperately thin, like she hadn't had a decent meal in months. The things Darius was doing to her was probably enough to break every bone in her body, but the girl did not try to stop him.
Even when he bit down upon her bare neck, she did not protest at all, but only gasped with mewling pleasure. Darius guzzled at her greedily, like a possessed, rabid animal.
Anna snarled in disgust. She ran at them, and grabbed at Darius's huge shoulder.
"Get away from her!"
The prickling of power in her palms exploded, with a painless agony, and she felt the rush of grim triumph, when he jumped away from the girl against his will.
The human fell down, lifeless, like a puppet with cut strings.
Darius gave a beastly howl of rage, finally looking at her. "You bitch!"
His eyes were bright scarlet, flashing with volcanic fury. His black hair was coming loose from its tie, tumbling in mad curls around his twisted face. He looked quite mad, but even when he leapt at her throat, Anna was not afraid. A cool mist of calm had descended over her mind, and she merely feinted out of his way, watching froth and venom dripping from his snarling mouth.
"You should have more control over yourself, Darius," she said. "We hunt… because we must. We take what we need to survive. We do not – not –" She swallowed, too overcome by disgust to speak for a moment. "We do not satisfy other appetites we may have, at the expense of human dignity!"
"She was begging for it!" Darius sneered, shoving his face into hers. "They all do – why deny them their final request?"
His voice, usually soft, low and lilting, was now a harsh, slurring bark which seemed to spit in the face of his exquisite Italian accent, as well as Anna's.
She did not flinch away. "We may be monsters, but we still have our morals!"
Her hand was an iron grip on his forearm, allowing her power to feed greedily upon his. She was preventing him from moving or doing anything other than blinking and breathing.
"Go home. Now."
And with a savage roar, he did.
"Anna? Hey, Anna!"
She blinked, feeling the memory slip off her, like a frosted veil. Beth was staring at her with wide, topaz eyes filled with concern.
"Where did you go?" she asked, laughing a little nervously. "Memory Lane?"
Anna swallowed. "Yes, I – I must have. Sorry."
Outside of her head, the world around her seemed suddenly vivid and bright. The emerald forest had dispersed, diminished into a scrubby, rough clearing of milky-tea-brown. There was a faint rushing in her ears, and she sniffed, expecting to smell Darius' repugnant musk, but…
Beth took the words right out of her mouth. "I can't smell him. You don't think -?"
Anna groaned softly, the source of the rushing sound cracking, like a whiplash in her mind. "The river."
They burst into a run, dread already sinking like a stone in their chests.
"We won't be able to track him through water!" Beth cried, scowling in frustration. "Shit!"
They skidded to a stop at the bank where the river went cheerily by, winking out at them in the moonlight.
Anna swallowed. Her insides ached with furious misery, but she pushed it aside.
"We have to go to the Volturi."
Beth stared at her, sharply. "You're kidding. After – after what we've just seen?! No!" she shook her head violently, in a tight movement not unlike the way Felix had moved Freya's.
Crack. She shuddered, feeling sick to her empty stomach.
But Anna was as calm as ever. "I know it sounds foolish…but they have to know that Antoine and Sabine should not have been killed. If it weren't for Darius, they would still be here, right?"
"Darius knows we'll be looking for him now. He purposely came this way to block his scent from us, and there's nothing we can do about it."
Beth hissed, dubiously. "Except ask for the help of our coven's killers?!"
"They knew Antoine," Anna murmured. "Before Sabine, he helped them find vampires with powers for them – so they have to be as confused as we are. They want to know why he did what he did. We can give them answers." Her eyes steeled. "And they will help us bring Darius to justice."
"Anna, we hid up there, so they wouldn't know we were there!" Beth replied, exasperatedly. "But more importantly, so they wouldn't know about you. And now you want us to go straight to them?" she gave a derisive chuckle. "Nah. No way. That's just fucking daft and suicidal!"
"So you will allow Darius to remain a free man, and go unpunished?" Anna asked.
"No! We'll find him ourselves, Anna!"
"And he will evade us at every turn – just like he did here." She swallowed. "We need a tracker to best him at his own game."
"You're a good tracker!"
"Thank you," she smiled, thinly. "But we require someone better than I. Who better than the Volturi?"
Beth groaned, and pressed her knuckles into her eyes, as if she had a headache. "Shit." When she pulled them away, she sighed, wearily. "You're absolutely set on doing this, aren't you?"
Anna nodded, solemnly. "I am. But I cannot do it alone."
"Ha! Now that's what I call emotional blackmail." She snorted. "But I guess you're right…we aren't doing so great here on our own."
"No." Anna replied, laughing grimly.
"So…we're going to the Volturi?" The idea was clearly making Beth very uneasy.
"Unless you know of anyone else who can track better than Darius?"
She grimaced. "No."
"Then, yes," Anna said. "We are going to the Volturi."
A/N: Sooo...what do you think? Is it good? Crap? Let me know!