[AU, Pre-New Moon] Bella will do anything to become a vampire. She pushes Edward too far one night and regrets her decision. Chapter 4: Unveiling Truths Bella and Edward each get their encounter with magic. Will this be the answer to their problems?
All recognizable characters belong to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer. Story is AU and Pre-New Moon.
4. Chapter 4: Unveiling Truths
Rating 3.5/5 Word Count 4928 Review this Chapter
Bella walked over to the window and observed the man hurry away from the shop. She wasn’t sure if it was just her eyes, but it seemed as if the rain was being deflected from his figure. He had no umbrella, but his hair and jacket remained dry in the steady downpour. Bella squinted her eyes to make sure she wasn’t seeing things, but the man had already disappeared out of sight.
Chapter 4: Unveiling Truths
The waxing light of the moon spilled over his skin and made it appear it translucent. A light breeze teased the ends of his trademark bronze-coloured hair that now appeared to be a darker shade under the cloak of night. But as the light breeze left and pursued a different winding path, a scent lingered in the air.
Edward closed his eyes, tilted his face upward and breathed the scent in deeply. He was on the right track. With a grim but satisfied smile, he launched himself from the high branch that he was perched on, down onto the ground ten metres below. While mid-air, his arms and legs were stretched at opposite ends, and they came together gracefully as he landed in a feline crouch. He remained in that position as he sniffed the air again, trying to discern the direction of the scent.
After a moment of indecision, Edward finally decided to go west. He sprung forward from his crouched position like a cat pouncing on its prey, and broke into a run towards the direction of his prey.
He promised that he’d be back in a week, but it had been exactly 13 days, 4 hours, and 16 seconds since Bella last saw Edward. No phone call, email, or message from him of any kind. Bella had asked Alice every passing day to see where Edward was, but Alice seemed to be having difficulties with seeing him at all.
One afternoon, Alice simply said to Bella, “He seems to be having difficulties making up his mind about something. I keep on getting flashes of you two together, but that’s what I see all the time anyways.” The slight frown in her mouth was the only indication that she was confused, “There seems to be something blocking me from seeing any more.”
“But Alice, can’t you focus more on what he’s doing in the near future? Please? Is he hurt? Is he coming home soon?” Bella questioned frantically.
Alice just gave a small tinkling laugh. “Bella, don’t worry. I’m sure he’s fine. Edward can take care of himself. And yes, I do see him coming home, so there’s no need to fret.” That seemed to conclude any more questionings from Bella… for the moment anyways.
Edward had promised to come home as soon as possible. How many days can hunting actually take? It seems unlikely that Edward can get hurt while tracking game. He was with Emmett and Jasper anyways.
A loud, booming voice suddenly erupted from the front of the house. Emmett was back. Bella jumped up from her seat in anticipation and ran down the stairs from Alice’s room. She didn’t register Alice calling out her name, and telling her to wait. She was anxious to see Edward’s handsome face and his comforting smile again.
As Bella got to the bottom of the staircase, her heart was pounding in rapid expectation, and a light blush covered her cheeks. All she wanted to do was to jump into Edward’s marble form and kiss him to bits while reprimanding him for staying away for so long. However, all she was greeted with was Emmett’s huge bulking form blocking the door, and Jasper’s head peeking out behind his shoulder. Bella’s smile instantly faded as she realized that Edward was not there.
Emmett’s grin proved that he didn’t miss the play of emotions on Bella’s face as he decided to tease her.
“Aww. Aren’t you happy to see me Bella?” Emmett asked in mock-hurt voice. “You wound me. I am so much more handsome, funny, and tough than that skinny, brooding boyfriend of yours.” Bella had the grace to give an embarrassed smile.
“However,” he continued as he turned his head to his left, “I don’t think Rose would be willing to share me.” He let loose another round of chuckles as he walked towards the cold marble form of Rosalie, who had slipped quietly into the room and stood near the kitchen door. Although her mouth was set in a serious frown, Bella could see the left side of Rosalie’s mouth quirking up into a tiny smile.
Emmett and Rosalie quickly embraced, with Emmett enveloping her completely in his big arms. They exchanged quiet words that were much too soft and quick for Bella’s ears.
Bella’s heart crumbled a little when she witnessed the display of affection between the two lovers. She longed to be in Edward’s arms; to feel his marbled chest and his alluring coldness that soothed and comforted her. Bella wrapped her arms around her middle as sadness washed over her.
Someone gently placed their hand on her shoulder, and Bella turned around to see Alice smiling at her sympathetically. She and Jasper were holding hands, and as Jasper took a step closer to her, Bella felt a relaxing and calming feeling wash over her.
“Emmett, where is Edward?” Alice inquired. “I thought he was supposed to come back with you guys.”
“He was, but Edward said that he had some ‘business’ to take care of. I was getting bored back there. There are only so many grizzlies you can catch before it turns into overkill, so we just left him to his affair.” He then shrugged like it wasn’t anything important and with his arm wrapped around Rosalie’s shoulders, walked away into the kitchen.
Business. This reminded Bella that before Edward left, he had said something about making necessary preparations. Preparations for what
Bella looked into Alice’s golden eyes and wondered if Alice knew where Edward really was, but wasn’t telling her. Jasper smiled at Bella and said reassuringly, “Edward can take care of himself. It’s probably nothing big anyways. Despite what Emmett says,” Jasper added with a wry smile, “He is tough.”
Alice gave a gentle squeeze to her shoulder, and offered an encouraging smile. Bella really wanted to believe that, but despite Jasper’s soothing presence, she couldn’t stop the niggling piece of doubt that squirmed its way into her mind.
He had run for only a couple of miles when the scent suddenly became much stronger. He was obviously still on the right track. Just as Edward became more confident in his tracking skills, he crashed into something solid and was violently thrown backwards into an old tree.
A sickening crunch echoed throughout the forest as Edward slammed through the thick trunk. The tree did nothing to stop the force of Edward’s flight, as it ripped cleanly in half and was flung aside, as Edward continued his forceful trajectory and flew headlong into some brambly bushes. He continued skidding on his side through some dirt and mud until his flighty momentum abruptly ended as his shoulder banged into another tall oak tree with a solid boom.
The tree shuddered and creaked ominously with the impact. Suddenly, the tree let out a terrible noise like a gunshot, before its middle cracked and burst into splinters. The upper half of the splintered tree slowly fell forward like a mighty titan fallen in battle, and it gained speed and momentum as gravity pulled it closer to the ground.
Edward stirred when he felt sharp fragments dropping onto his head and grazing his neck and body. The unexpected impact with the tree had left him slightly fazed, but unharmed. He had barely registered his surroundings when his golden eyes suddenly caught glimpse of a free-falling mass of heavy branches and leaves heading straight toward him from above. Birds that were nesting in nearby trees were startled and took flight in a flurry of feathers and noisy squawks.
Edward quickly got up and brushed off the leaves and grass that were stuck in his hair and clothes with great annoyance. He looked up accusingly with piercing eyes, at the place where he collided with the solid object, but nothing was there. His frustration mounted into confusion as he walked forward to investigate. He suddenly bumped into something solid once again, and if it weren’t for his quick reflexes, he would have landed flat on his butt.
Edward’s eyebrows deepened with confusion as he looked before him. He could see the forest beyond him, but he could not get to it. It was as if an invisible barrier of some sort was preventing him from going any further. As he cocked his head to the side, he thought he saw a silvery substance before him glinting in the moonlight, but it quickly disappeared. Edward lifted his hand and placed his palm on the barrier. It was warm, and some sort of energy crackled under his fingers with his touch. Edward could feel the currents of energy flowing smoothly in different waves under his skin, and although the idea sounded incredulous, he felt as if the energy was absorbing some part of his essence, while also projecting some of its own back to him. It was like he and this insubstantial barrier were feeding off of each other. It felt strange touching something that you couldn’t see. As Edward stared sceptically at the unattainable forest in front of him, it felt like magic.
Suddenly, a quiet chuckle startled Edward out of his confused fascination. His palm remained flat on the invisible barrier, but his head darted swiftly to the right. His eyes focused on a figure hidden in the dark shadows, as his nostrils sought out their scent. His taste buds tingled as they recognized the familiar aroma—the scent of his prey.
The figure stepped slowly into the moonlight and a petite woman was revealed. She had long, curly hair that fell in waves over her shoulder and down her back. Her face was partly obscured in darkness, but Edward could make out the small amused smile that conveyed a sense of caution and curiosity.
‘Who is this stranger, I wonder’, ‘What is a pretty face doing out here alone?’ and ‘I wonder what he wants’ are a few of the thoughts that flitted in rapid succession one after another in the woman’s mind. As curious as the woman was with Edward’s presence; Edward was just as curious with her, although he was the one who sought her out.
Her voice rang out high in the silence of the night. “Who are you and what are you doing in my domain?”
“I’m looking for Amelia DeFrye,” Edward responded as he dropped his hand to his side. Although the crackle of energy was no longer flowing under his skin, his fingertips still tingled. He turned to face her, and stood absolutely still. “My sources told me that you live somewhere here in these woods.”
The woman seemed taken back for a moment that the pale young man in front of her knew her identity. The amused smile had vanished, and in its place was a guarded frown. “I repeat: Who are you? And what exactly do you want?”
Edward offered a complacent smile. “My name is Edward Cullen, and I want you.”
The living room was decorated with warm colours, and had a rustic aura about it. Amelia motioned Edward to sit in one of the comfy armchairs, which he promptly settled into.
“Would you like to have anything to drink? Water? Lemonade? Or something that is a little bit stronger?” Amelia asked in the manner of a polite hostess.
“Thank you, but I am not thirsty.” For any of those drinks anyways, Edward added silently as an afterthought. “As I previously stated outside, I am here because I require someone of your expertise.”
Amelia settled into the settee opposite Edward, and replied thoughtfully, “You mean someone who can do magic, such as a witch or a wizard.” To emphasize her point she took out her wooden wand that resembled a twig in Edward’s point of view, from her pocket and swished it in the air. A pitcher of lemonade appeared, complete with two glasses. She then proceeded to pour lemonade into each of the glasses, placed one in front of Edward despite his protestations of not being thirsty, and took a sip out of her own glass.
“Yes. A witch, but not just any witch. I need the best, an especially skilled and powerful one, and I heard that the best ones can be found in Salem,” Edward stated matter-of-factly. “So that’s why I came here in search of you.”
“But how did you find me?” Amelia asked. “It requires an equally powerful witch or wizard to find my home. There are numerous protective shields and powerful enchantments that surround my residence, and no normal person can get as far as you did anyways.” She gave a smirk, “At least my shield held. It would have been a blow to my pride if you were able to break through that.”
Edward gave a small smile. When Amelia DeFrye had confronted him outside of her home, she had been cautious and wary. A charm that had been set to warn her of any intruders had gone off when Edward crashed into her protective shield. After Edward had declared his name and purpose of ‘I want you’, Amelia was shocked to say the very least, as she had misinterpreted his words. But when Edward had stated that he needed someone of her magical calibre, and was willing to pay any price for her services, her curiosity was piqued. It wasn’t everyday that people crashed into her shields and offered her an amount of wealth in exchange for a bit of magic. So she abandoned her caution and decided to invite Edward into her home after she had performed some simple spells to discern whether he was an enemy or had any malignant intentions towards her; and he came out clean.
“I found you through a network of confidential sources, and also on pure skill. Although,” Edward remarked smugly, “I’m not sure if I even noticed any of your other enchantments. The shield was the only hindrance to my finding of you.” Edward surmised that the speed that he was traveling at must have been a great factor towards the lack of any other magical hindrances.
Amelia mused out loud, “But that in itself makes you quite powerful, no? Why would an equally strong wizard like you need my magical help?”
“That is where you’re wrong. I do need your help,” Edward countered. “You mistake me for something that I am not.” At Amelia’s confused look, Edward continued.
“You see, I’m a vampire.”
Bella returned to work early the next morning to find Mathilda in a state. She was sitting at her desk in the back office, with her head in her hands and the room in disarray. Drawers were overturned and papers were strewn everywhere.
“Mathilda! What on earth happened here?” Bella rushed forward into the office and placed a consoling hand on Mathilda’s shoulder.
“There’s been a break-in. Nothing was stolen from the shop, but someone was obviously looking for something in my office.” Mathilda let out a deep sigh. “I’m just lucky that nothing was taken.”
Bella wondered who could commit such a crime in Forks. Although Mathilda’s shop had nice antiques, there was nothing that was of extreme value. Still, Bella was surprised that nothing was stolen. What could they have been looking for anyway?
“Have you reported the crime yet? My father Charlie is the chief of police, and I’m sure he can help you find the culprit,” Bella stated with concern. “However, I do wonder what they could have been looking for.”
Mathilda dropped her hands to the desk and clasped them together. “I just got in an hour ago. I haven’t made any calls yet.” There was a hard edge in her voice as she said, “But I do know exactly what they were looking for, and I have a pretty good guess at who the culprit was.”
“What? Who can it be?” Bella exclaimed. She couldn’t think of anybody in the small town of Forks who would purposely target Mathilda.
“Remember that man, the foreigner with the accent? It was him,” Mathilda stated with full confidence.
The foreigner with the accent. The British man who had charmed Bella, but also perplexed her. Bella tried to remember his name…what was it again?
“Andrew Remington?” Bella asked. “Why would he do this to you?” Nothing made sense. Why would a man passing through a small American town want to break into the back office of an antiques shop?
“Because he wanted this.” Mathilda reached into her handbag near the foot of her desk and pulled out an object wrapped in old newspaper. She placed it on the desk and removed the wrapping. It was the black figurine of the Trojan Horse. The one that Bella thought was ugly, and that the Remington man wanted to pay an exorbitant sum for. Soon everything clicked and fell into place. But there was still something that made Bella wonder…
“How much is that figurine worth, I mean, if he was willing to go so far for it?” Bella inquired out loud.
“It is priceless,” Mathilda answered. “A simple value cannot be placed upon this horse.”
Mathilda then sat up straighter in her chair and asked Bella to shut the door, and take the seat across from her, “Bella, I trust you.” Mathilda reached out and took a hold of Bella’s hands. “I think it’s time that I’ve told you something, just in case something was to happen to…”
Bella suddenly felt frantic and there was a twisting in her gut. “Wh-at d-do you mean?” Bella stuttered. “Mathilda, we’ll go to Charlie right now and we’ll tell him about the Remington guy, and then Charlie will arrest him.” Bella made a move to get up, but Mathilda wouldn’t let go of her hands, and she remained seated. “Come on! Let’s go now!”
“Bella, sit down. There is nothing that Charlie can do,” Mathilda said solemnly. “I only trust you.”
What? Bella thought confusedly. What’s happening? Why isn’t Mathilda taking any action? Bella slowly sat back down and stared at Mathilda with wide, confused eyes.
“What do you need to tell me? Why can’t Charlie help?”
Mathilda released Bella’s hands and let out a slow breath. She then pushed the figurine in between them. “It’s about this horse, Bella.” She motioned to it with a hand. “Now what I’m going to tell you might seem strange and well…just strange. You might just have a hard time believing me.” Mathilda lifted a hand to stop Bella from talking as she opened her mouth to protest.
“But,” she continued, “I have this gut feeling that you will understand.” Bella nodded her head to tell Mathilda to continue.
“A long time ago, people believed in the power of mysterious and precious objects that could render the individual immortal, desirable, and wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. We can attest to that, as in our history we’ve heard legends and stories about the Holy Grail, magic lamps, and the philosopher’s stone…
“The list goes on, and there were numerous stories that people spun, about many other objects that claimed to have extraordinary mythical properties. The most gullible and desperate bought into those stories, and sometimes paid great amounts for a bauble or trinket that turned out to be a fake. Others went on grand voyages and crusades to never discover their treasure. Sometimes, lives were at stake and many paid a heavy price in search for something that could not be attained.
“But for some relics, like the Holy Grail and the philosopher’s stone, enough evidence was scattered throughout our historical record that their existence was almost plausible, or for others, a fact.”
Bella blinked. None of this clicked together. Why was Mathilda telling her these things? What importance did this information hold? It’s not as if she was being told something she had never heard of before.
Mathilda then took hold of the figurine and placed it in Bella’s palm. “This is one of the pieces of evidence that proves the existence of something much more powerful than the Holy Grail or the philosopher’s stone.
“This,” Mathilda pushed the figurine into Bella’s hand, “will lead you to immortality, or everlasting wealth. This will lead you to something powerful enough to grant you your deepest wish and desire. This holds the answer to everything you’ve ever wanted to know—even the answer to the existence of life as we know it.”
Bella’s first reaction was to ask Mathilda if she was pulling her leg, but if she did that, it would only prove that Mathilda was right in saying that Bella would have a hard time believing her. Instead, Bella peered at the figurine in her hand and really looked at it for the first time.
The black horse was made out of porcelain and it rested on a platform. Clearly it was made to imitate the wooden horse of Homer’s “The Illiad”: the myth where the Greeks were able to defeat the Trojans through a clever design of a hollow wooden horse that hid a small group of Greek warriors. This horse was given as a peace offering to the Trojans to signal their surrender. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they underestimated their opponents and this lead to their demise.
As Bella brought the horse closer to her eye-level, she noticed that there was a small engraving on the horse’s forehead. She couldn’t make out the exact details, but it looked like a perfect circle. She lifted her eyes questioningly to Mathilda.
“Ahh. I see you’ve already noticed the ourobouros.” Mathilda stood up and went to fetch a magnifying glass from a cabinet. She then handed it to Bella for her to inspect the circle more carefully.
Bella accepted the magnifying glass with a small sense of incredulity and examined the horse’s forehead once more. Immediately, she saw what was supposed to be the “ourobouros.” However, to Bella, it merely looked like a snake biting its tail.
“That is the ourobouros,” stated Mathilda while peering over Bella’s shoulder. “It is the symbol for immortality, which explains why the snake is eating its own tail.”
Bella put the magnifying glass on the table. Mathilda went around the desk and resumed her seat. “So are you telling me that this horse,” Bella motioned with her hand, “can lead me to anything…even immortality?”
“Yes,” replied Mathilda. “But there are other figurines that exist as well. Five in all, and they are all marked by the symbol of the ourobouros. When combined together, they form a sort of map that gives the location of something known as the Goddess’s Temple. That is the place where the magic takes place. But no individual has ever successfully obtained his or her greatest desires. The last one who tried was a man, over one hundred years ago, and he died after being faced with his deepest desire. The power of it was too great—it destroyed him.”
“What was his desire?” Bella asked, riveted.
“Immortality,” Mathilda answered. “At the temple, one does not simply retrieve your prize after having found the location. One must go through a set of trials to prove that they are worthy of the Goddess’s gift.”
“Mostly,” Mathilda continued, “the purpose of these trials is to determine the individual’s valour, and their sense of humility and courage.”
“Now, I fear that this Remington man may be after this figurine because of what I have just told you. He is searching for the Goddess’s Temple. He may have or have not found the other figurines yet, but I hope that he has not. It is important to protect these figurines at all costs. That is why I am glad that I kept the Trojan Horse in a much safer place after the man tried to buy it from me.”
“I knew that he would try anything to get it after he had found its location.” Mathilda suddenly looked weary for a moment and the wrinkles around her eyes seemed deeper. “I thought that the small town of Forks would be a safe place to hide the Trojan Horse. But now, that seems to no longer be the case.”
“But Mathilda,” interrupted Bella, “How do you know all of this? How do you know that all of this is actually true?”
“I know that all of this is absolutely true because I belong to a secret society named the Hermetic Order of the Silver Moon. We are a group of people who vow to protect the secrets of the goddess and to keep her gifts away from those who are greedy and evil.
“Our order has been alive for centuries, and no person has ever come close to obtaining the goddess’s gift. I am a direct descendant of one of the first members of the order. The secrets have been passed down from generation to generation.” With that, Mathilda took off her jacket and unbuttoned the first two buttons of her blouse. She pulled her blouse off her left shoulder and turned around.
There, right under her shoulder blade was a small black tattoo of a crescent moon. It had a thick silver lining that gleamed in the light of the office. Mathilda explained, “Every member of the order has the mark of Artemis, the goddess of hunt and of the moon. This mark in itself has magical properties and if the secret of the Goddess’s Temple is to be exposed, the mark will turn pure silver. As you can see, the silver lining along the crescent is becoming thicker already. The balance has been disturbed. Things have been set into motion and they cannot be stopped.”
“Magical properties? You mean that magic…exists?” Bella couldn’t believe it. First vampires, and now, magic. Bella was almost willing to believe in anything now.
“Yes. Although I have not been born with the ability to perform it, magic does exist. It pervades our everyday existence. Have you never seen or experienced something that couldn’t be explained?” Mathilda asked.
“Oh.” Bella sat back in her chair and a great overwhelming feeling washed over her. It was just too much to take in. In just one morning (and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet!), she learned that her boss was part of some secret order, protecting the secrets of a magical ‘goddess temple’. And, oh yeah, that magic pervades our everyday existence. What next? That pixies lived in her garden? But the idea of becoming immortal intrigued Bella. If this temple truly existed, as Mathilda had said, then that means she’ll have a different way to be with Edward forever.
“Bella. I need to ask something of you.” Mathilda interrupted Bella out of her thoughts, “Now, I don’t want you to feel obligated to accept, but it would be very gracious of you if you did.”
“What is it that you need?” Bella wanted to know. Despite the strange tale she had just heard, she wanted to help Mathilda in any way possible—especially if Andrew Remington was after her.
“In order to protect the Trojan Horse, I need you to bring it to the headquarters of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Moon,” stated Mathilda.
“And where is headquarters?” asked Bella.
Mathilda gave an apologetic smile. “Paris.”
A vampire. Amelia DeFrye had unwittingly invited a vampire into her home. Various scenarios played out in her head, each ending with her gruesome and bloody death. Her grip on her wand tightened and she rehearsed a few protective and defensive spells in her mind, just in case she would need to use them.
“You don’t have to do that,” Edward looked amusingly at Amelia.
“Do what?” asked a surprised Amelia.
“Thinking about your gruesome death, or rehearse any of your defensive spells. I’m not going to attack you,” answered Edward.
“You can read my mind?” Amelia was surprised. It took quite a lot of study and practice for witches and wizards to master that talent.
Edward nodded. “It’s a talent I inherited when I was turned.”
“How did you—” began Amelia, but Edward waved her question off.
“I’m not interested in discussing that now.” Edward did not want to venture into that territory, as it was not necessary for the business at hand. Besides, that information was personal.
“Sorry, but how can I trust you?” Amelia got her defensive edge back.
“You can trust me because you’ve already performed all your magical spells on me before we entered your home.” Edward quirked an eyebrow, “Wasn’t the point of it all to see whether I was an ‘enemy?’ Besides,” Edward continued, “I don’t feed on humans. Only animals.”
“Only animals?” Amelia’s fear slightly vanished and was replaced with awe and curiosity. “I’ve never met or heard of vampires who only fed off animals instead of humans. That must require a lot of discipline and restraint.” Amelia was mildly impressed.
“Not really,” replied Edward. “It’s still just as satisfying, however, not as tasty. And, I’m not the only one. I have six other family members who lead the same lifestyle, and there are several other clans here and there who do the same.”
“Hmm,” said Amelia thoughtfully as she rubbed her chin. “So, what is it that you want me to do for you?”
Edward was glad that the conversation steered back to business, “I want you to make a potion for me. The Draught of Moonshade.”
Amelia blanched, “Why would you want to me to make that potion? Not only is it highly complex with rare ingredients, but one drop of it, if successfully made, can paralyse and poison any living mortal. If an antidote is not administered immediately, the person will die.”
“And,” continued Amelia, “I will not concoct a potion designed to kill. I am not that kind of witch.”
“No need to worry.” Edward smiled grimly, “The potion is intended for me.”