A New Aquaintance
My first attempt at Fan Fiction and fiction writing in general. This was my entry for the Spetember Back-to-School challenge on Twilight Novel Novice. The story centers on Bella and the Cullens first day back at school after Breaking Dawn. Told from Bellas POV, the family is attending college at Dartmouth and face the challenges you would expect, and one you may not have. This story earned third place in the contest!
2. First Day
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2068 Review this Chapter
We had all started getting ready early that morning. Edward, Jasper, Alice and I would be the only “students” this time around. Emmett and Rosalie were posing as a married couple again, though they still lived with the rest of us.
“It’s a college town,” Rose defended. “Lots of grown-up kids are living with family still. Besides, all the good homes are already occupied for the semester.” I thought she just didn’t want to be far from my daughter, but decided not to pick a fight about it.
Carlisle had taken a job with the local clinic, which was thrilled to have such a learned physician on staff, and Esme was consulting for a firm that restored historic homes.
Alice had picked out our clothes the night before- all grays and neutrals, to try and “blend in” - though I didn’t think most of the other students would be wearing clothes straight off of this fall’s runways like we were. We had also gone over, once again, the proper mannerisms for getting by as a “normal” human. It would take time for the students on campus to mentally gloss over our alien-ness and basically ignore our presence among them. Edward had told me it would be easier here, at a larger school, than back in tiny Forks, but we must still be careful. I wished he wouldn’t worry about me so much, but I supposed I would just have to prove myself trustworthy by not killing anyone my first day of class.
Peering into the mirror just prior to walking out the door, I gave my self a quick once-over.
Dark, glossy hair fell to just past my shoulder blades, framing a pale face with perfect features I was still always slightly surprised at seeing. Except, perhaps for the slight purple circles under my golden eyes that no makeup or powder could ever seem to conceal, no matter Alice’s efforts. A gray cowl-neck cashmere sweater, blue jeans, and low-heeled brown boots completed the look. Heels, though my mortal-enemy in my former life, were a conceit I’d taken to wearing, partially to bring me closer to equal height with Edward and partially because, with my superhuman balance, I could now wear them without falling down, or tripping over anything. Plus, it made Alice happy when I broadened her shopping options.
As if to demonstrate my new gracefulness, even if just to myself, I spun quickly away from the mirror on one heel and flew down the stairs.
“Have a fun day at school!” Emmett called. “I’ll be here watching the TV all day, maybe go looking for a grizzly later, instead of sitting in class like you losers!” Rosalie, sitting next to him on the couch, looked up from her book with smirk, and stretched her slipper-clad feet up onto the coffee table. Renesmee was still asleep; I wished she weren’t, I would have liked to kiss her goodbye. That was the only bad part of going to school - having to spend the whole day away from my baby. She always seemed to have grown by the time we got home.
We climbed into the Volvo - my ostentatious Ferrari, as well as the other more flashy cars, had been left in the garage in Forks. The Hanover garage could only hold three cars, so the Volvo, Carlisle’s car and Rosalie’s M3, because she refused to leave it behind, were the only ones that had made the trip east. Alice was still sort of pouting about having to leave her Porsche behind, but a bright yellow sports car would only draw precisely the sort of attention we were trying to avoid, especially in a town of only 10,000 people.
I felt just the slightest twinge of nerves as Edward parked the car on a street near campus. This would be my first day of school as a vampire. While we had practiced being in crowded public situations, at stores and in parks to get me used to being around many humans at once, today I had one class with just Edward; Alice and Jasper had some courses separate. And I was still stronger than Edward. In theory, I could overpower him if I really wanted to. What if I found a human whose blood held the allure for me that mine had held for Edward? La tua cantante - would I be able to resist? Emmett hadn’t been able to, and he was the strongest vampire I knew.
Don’t do this to yourself. You’ll be fine; you’re not going to try to eat anyone. Just relax.
I chanted that over and over as we walked the short distance, careful to walk slowly enough, keeping pace with the other students meandering between the stately old brick buildings.
Edward looked at me, his eyes reading the emotions on my face as easily as if he were reading my mind. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay, Bella? You don’t have to do this you know. Only if you want to.”
The thought was tempting. Staying home with Nessie, perhaps working with Esme on her consulting if I got bored. Maybe even just going back to Forks. It could work …. No. NO. I had dragged the whole family across the country. They said they had wanted to come, but I knew it was for my sake that we were here. The unspoken thought, of course, was that the family had no ties here in Hanover, New Hampshire. If, somehow, I screwed up, it wouldn’t be a problem to have to move away quickly and quietly. I didn’t have to read minds to know that.
“I’ll be fine,” I mumbled.
It was then that I first felt the stares. Others were beginning to notice us. Four inhumanly beautiful students, walking together across campus.
“Look alive. It’s beginning,” whispered Jasper.
“Don’t worry,” Alice said from my other side. “I see us all making it to class just fine.”
“It is always like this?” I said.
“Pretty much anytime we move somewhere new. They’ll get used to us after a few weeks. The attraction, and the innate horror, will fade, and we’ll be just another couple of faceless students on campus,” Edward murmured in my ear, his breath a slight tickle, and I was momentarily distracted by the memories of other things he had recently murmured in my ear. Edward smiled at the obvious change of direction my thoughts had taken.
“Just get through the next couple of hours and we’ll be home again,” he said. If I were still capable of blushing, I would have.
Our first class, Intro into Psychology, passed without incident. Being in an enclosed space with all those warm, fragrant humans made my throat ache, but it was no worse than I’d expected. Our extended hunting trip into the nearby mountains had taken care of most of my appetite. Yes, class was uneventful, except for Edward’s frequent smirks and low chuckles, too quiet for anyone without superhuman hearing to catch. After class was over, I asked him what had been so funny.
“It never changes. Psychological sciences always draw the types that seem to need that sort of help themselves. Lets just say there were some interesting thoughts and daydreams going on in that room.” Then his expression hardened slightly. “Though I didn’t care for some of the thoughts being sent your way. And I thought Mike Newton was bad.”
“Me?” I squeaked. “What did I do?”
“You’re being far too protective of her Edward,” Alice said, she and Jasper catching up with us outside the building. “She can take care of herself. Besides, I bet anything being thought in there wasn’t half as bad as some of the stuff you’ve heard about Rosalie.”
“Yes, well, that’s Emmett’s problem, isn’t it?” Edward said.
“Don’t worry, darling. I only have eyes for you,” I said, exaggerating my voice into syrupy sweetness. “At least now that we’re 3,000 miles away from Mike Newton,” I added, dashing quickly, but not too quickly (mustn’t alarm the humans) out of arms reach. Having passed my first classroom test successfully, I felt good enough to give Edward and his over-protectiveness a bit of a hard time.
He growled almost inaudibly at me. “I’ll remember that later.”
“I’m counting on it,” I said.
Next up, and our only other class that day, was 20th Century History. I could really get used to this two or three hours a day class schedule. I was excited about this subject in particular, knowing Edward could give me a first-hand account on what it was like to have lived, in one form or another, through almost the whole century. The others, for almost the same reason - been there, done that - were not as interested. I loved listening to Edward’s stories, but everyone else in the family had heard them all before. So Alice and Jasper were taking an art design course this hour instead. Our group split up to head to different buildings, though Edward and I had an hour break before our next class. We spent most of it sitting on one of the benches near the student union, observing campus life as it passed around us.
After about forty-five minutes, Edward and I took our seats in the smaller classroom, taking note that only about half of the forty or so seats were being filled.
“Is this not a popular class?” I leaned over to ask him.
“This professor has a reputation for being difficult to impress and a harsh grader. Most of the other students in here couldn’t find another way to get this course credit. Some of them are actually afraid of this guy,” he smirked, picking the thoughts out of the other student’s heads. Edward often seemed to find a lot of humor in the thoughts of the humans around us. It made me glad again that he couldn’t see what I was thinking unless I let him.
The professor, an unassuming-looking man in his early forties perhaps, with short graying brown hair and glasses, came in carrying a briefcase, which he set on the desk at the front of the room. At that moment, Edward’s phone, which he had neglected to turn off, started buzzing. Grimacing, he quickly reached down and silenced it.
The professor, without looking up, said “Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other noise makers. I do not allow them in my classroom. Consider this a warning - the next one I hear becomes my personal property.” He finally raised his head to give the source of the noise a hard stare.
And kept staring.
Edward muttered a very impolite word under his breath and ducked his head.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, almost without moving my lips, and ducking my head as well.
“He knows us. Not us, but what we are,” he whispered back. Then, almost to himself, “But how?”
The professor recovered from his stare with a small start and announced.
“I am Professor Austen. I will be replacing Professor McIntire, who was supposed to teach this section of American History but unfortunately suffered a heart attack on the way to his car this morning. It was a mild episode and it appears he will recover fully, but not in time to tech this course this quarter. So we will all just have to make do together.”
Most of the class gave an audible sigh of relief. Edward and I were not among them.
We spent the rest of the class trying to be invisible, and escaped as quickly as possible after the lecture was completed.
Jasper and Alice met us outside the building. Edward was still cursing at his lack of answers about the mysterious Professor Austen. After recovering from his momentary fascination with us, his thoughts had remained entirely focused on the subject at hand. This was not his first teaching job, but it was his first at an Ivy League school, and he had been too intent on making a good impression to think of us again. Or perhaps, his nerves had come from another source. Either way, Edward had been unable to glean anything about how he knew us to be vampires or, more importantly, if he would be a danger to us maintaining our anonymity here.
“Edward, what happened - I had a vision, I saw that man recognizing you both, but you didn’t answer when I called!” Alice said.
“You were too late, only by seconds, but too late anyway. It’s not your fault; these things happen. We’d best get home and talk to Carlisle about this,” Edward said.