Harry observed Bella going up the stairs, she'd just returned with her daughter, having taken her to see her human grandfather. There was something different about her, he could sense she didn't have the desperate hope she'd carried around this past few days he'd been here. She had obviously learned something; it could only be bad if she wasn't sharing it with the rest of the coven…unless she wanted to keep it from Edward, which he totally understood. He followed her intending on speaking to her. He paused when he heard someone else's voice, he was pretty sure it was Alistair's. The guy didn't talk a lot, observed everything and looked more anti-social than him and that was saying something. In fact Alistair reminded him of Severus, they would get on rather well.
"It's a romantic notion, isn't it? That a righteous few can defy a great evil. But I must admit you uh...even had me believing, for a moment. Well, good luck." said Alistair starting to leave, only to find Harry blocking his view.
"A righteous few can defy a great evil, I've seen it done...I was part of it, the main part of it." said Harry staring at Alistair, "Only cowards would prey upon a mothers fear." his disgust evident.
Alistair twitched as if he wanted to physically assault Harry, but aware of his powers even a vampire would be stupid to go against him.
"If you give in you might as well hand your daughter over to the Volturi yourself, do not give in or they have already won Bella. It doesn't matter what anyone has seen, the future isn't set in stone, how many times has someone seen something that hasn't come to pass? A smart vampire merely takes all precautions to ensure if things do not go your way there are alternatives to be had." seeing the surprise flash over Bella's features he knew he'd pegged it right. Alice had somehow gotten in touch with her, since she was the only one able to keep it from Edward, and thus the Volturi inevitable.
Bella just looked between the vampires before walking by them, and out of the room, going through with what she had to do. On one hand she would love to believe Harry, he was so sure, so confident it was hard not to. Yet the documents and Alice's demands made her realize there was obviously a big chance. She would be relieved of course if it didn't come to it, the thought of not being in her daughter's life was killing her. Added to the fact she wasn't sure how long her Renesmee would be with them. She was growing so fast, it was scaring all of them.
"I apologize for calling you a coward, but what you said to Bella was uncalled for. Maybe if you cared about anyone but yourself you'd understand." said Harry bitingly. "How you've gone so long I really don't know every day alone was torture to me." he knew Alistair had come only because Carlisle had asked it of him, he'd never have come for anyone else. He obviously did care a little bit, which made him feel rather bad. Unfortunately he was just pissed off; at the fact Alistair was being so negative about everything.
Alistair just hissed, his red eyes filled with fury, then something happened that made Alistair look heartbroken.
Hedwig swooped in through the open attic window and took her place proudly on her Master's shoulder hooting at him. Harry grinned at her, his earlier ire forgotten, she was free of any letters, so evidently she'd come to nose around. He stroked soothingly down her neck and along her back and wings. She felt so soft, fragile; he'd noticed it the first time stroking her after he'd rescued her. He'd had to transfigure a piece of stone into a look alike, but knowing his younger self didn't go back for her it was safe. The stone had transfigured back to debris almost right away after it was hit. During the chaos nobody had noticed him or the real Hedwig. His eyes snapped up to Alistair's confused at the tortured look on his face. A frown worked its way onto his face, had the vampire owned an owl? Strange really, since it was usually only magical people that had owls, other than zoos.
"Would you like to pet her?" asked Harry feeling sorry for the vampire.
"Why does it let you near?" demanded Alistair his voice cold. He had been once upon a time, a falconry. Owls weren't closely related to hawks or falcons though. There were two species that he successfully trained the Eurasian Eagle Owl and the Great Horned Owl. Successfully training owls was much different from the training of hawks and falcons, they are hearing- rather than sight-oriented owls he knew could only see black and white, and are long-sighted, he'd enjoyed the challenge. He had been considered one of the best Falconry's at the time. Others believed that they are less intelligent, as they are distracted easily by new or unnatural noises and they do not respond as readily to food cues. However, he knew having trained a few successfully, that owls show intelligence on the same level as hawks and falcons. Inwardly shuddering as he felt the devastation coursing through him when they flew away from him in fear.
"Hedwig is a she not an it, she was with me before I was turned," explained Harry, unknowingly digging the festering wound further.
Alistair walked away, unable to stay in the same room as the vampire. Escaping up onto the roof, but surprisingly all thoughts of running had been wiped from his mind.
Harry arched an eyebrow before shaking his head. Thoughtfully grabbing a piece of paper Harry wrote on it before rolling it up and placing it on Hedwig's leg. "Go on girl, go to Se-Phoenix." hopefully she'd get to him and he would buy the falcon before Alistar disappeared.
Jacob lumbered through the trees carrying large logs, his size aside he shouldn't have been able to do such a thing. As a Shape-shifter he was able to do the impossible. He threw the logs down, watching in fascination as the vampire, Benjamin light the fire without any being nearby. The potion he'd drank had truly helped him harness his power, and he owed it all to Harry. In the past six days he'd gotten to know him very well, Harry had a good sense of humour and could argue very gracefully. He'd actually contemplated the thought of taking on the vegetarian lifestyle! But Benjamin didn't think he'd have the strength to do it.
"That's what I'm talking about. A little pre-battle bonfire, telling war stories." said Jacob happily, sitting next to Benjamin, which was a surprise since Jacob made no secret hating the fact the vampires were here and feeding from humans. Especially considering that he was supposed to be the one destroying Vampires to save them.
"Name any American battle, I was there." said Garrett smirking smugly.
"Little Big Horn?" said Jacob.
"I came this close to biting Custer, but the Indians caught him first." said Garrett looking decidedly put out.
Kate sat down next to Garrett; the two vampires had been inseparable since the first night. "Try Oleg's assault on Constantinople, he didn't win that one on his own." she added chuckling wickedly.
"If you're talking battles, you're talking the Eleven Years War. No one does rebellion like the Irish." said Liam the ginger haired man speaking for the first time, he and his coven had yet to converse with anyone.
"You lost the Eleven Years War." Garrett felt the need to add.
"Aye, but it was one hell of a rebellion." said Liam wryly.
"It was that," said Harry in agreement.
"When we ruled everything came to us. Prey, diplomats, favour seekers. Such was our power, but we never put on white hats and called ourselves saints." said Vladimir.
"We were honest about what we were." said Stefan.
"Doesn't make you any better than them," muttered Harry. "Judging by your looks...you did absolutely nothing for yourself."
"We did sit still for a very long time, we didn't notice we were beginning to petrify." admitted Vladimir.
"Perhaps the Volturi did us a favour when they burned our castles." added Stefan.
"We've been waiting fifteen hundred years to return that favour." said Vladimir.
"Then why aren't you in Italy?" questioned Harry bluntly.
That made Stefan and Vladimir quiet down seemingly unwilling to continue the conversation.
"I love you, more than anything." said Bella, holding back the fear she felt, not wanting her daughter to see.
"I love you too momma," replied Renesmee "We'll always be together."
"In our hearts we'll always be together." said Bella correcting her in a way only a mother could. "But when the time comes today, you have to leave me."
Harry felt his heart constrict at this, feeling Bella's pain, Merlin no child deserved to lose their parents.
"Will you do it for me? Please?" begged Bella.
Harry could hear how hard this was for her, the pain she was experiencing, and he vowed there and then to make sure nothing happened to either Bella or Edward. He couldn't stand by and let another family torn apart after everything they'd been through. Renesmee was a miracle, like all other hybrids of her kind.
"I can't tell you," Bella whispered, nobody else could hear her other than Harry who was close enough to the tent to hear it. "But you'll understand soon. I promise."
Harry felt bad for intruding on this moment between mother and daughter, but for some reason he couldn't make himself leave. Renesmee was using her gift to converse with her mother, it was, Harry had discovered her favoured means of communicating. Which such an awesome gift, he too probably would have preferred it. Hopefully, Renesmee would be able to enchant the Volturi as she had enchanted everyone else. Wishful thinking he knew if it came to it though he'd kill the Volturi to stop them harming an innocent. Just like he'd ended the other menace (Voldemort) to save the magical society.
"Don't think of it," Bella said quietly, "Don't tell Jacob until I tell you to run, okay?"
Harry Apparated away when he realized they were coming out the tent, making sure he wasn't caught. Thankfully he no longer made a sound when he Apparated (at least when he didn't want to), so it didn't give him away. It was time, everyone began making their way to the clearing, and a solemn attitude stole over the 'witnesses'. Benjamin and Zafrina were standing next to Bella; she was to protect them as long as she was able, since they were their best offensive weapons against the Volturi.
"Fault lines," murmured Benjamin his hands deep in the snow and no doubt earth.
"Use them to your advantage, at the right time." said Harry cautiously, "Don't show your hand too soon, otherwise you won't get to use it again and a better time."
Everyone braced themselves waiting for the inevitable.
Harry observed the couples, especially Bella and Edward, who were clutching each others hands desperately. Then Edward let loose a very inhuman hiss, crouching slightly - they were here.
At long last the Volturi were showing themselves after an extremely tense wait.