Just One Request
One-shot: Crossover with Inkheart: Elinor knows Meggie is in need of another tale to take her mind off things, and what better novel than the one that's been grasping thousands of young women in its storyline? First place in Novel Novice Twilight's September-October 2009 Crossover Fanfiction Challenge.
1. Just One Request
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Meggie Folchart pulled her box of favorite books out from beneath her bed. It felt as if she hadn't seen them in years, though, in actuality, it had been only a couple of days since last she immersed herself in their comforting and familiar stories. The time seemed to drag on much longer than one would have thought, but when it came to books and Meggie, being without them seemed like a lifetime.
She lifted her box of worn and well-read books and placed them tenderly on her bed. There were certain things in which Meggie cherished more than one could imagine. Mo, Elinor, Resa, Farid, Dustfinger and Gwin, and, of course, the beloved books that had brought them all together; they were people and items in which she wasn't entirely sure she could live without.
And though the actual novel that truly brought them all together was not within this grouping of books, just seeing her box under her bed reminded her of the stormy night in which Dustfinger walked his way into both her and Mo's lives. The night everything she ever knew and cared about changed in an instant. That was the night she found out about Capricorn and all that he stood for. That was the night she was introduced to Inkheart. A seemingly simple and childish novel, but one that would steal her from the life she once knew and toss her into the unknown all in hopes of protecting and saving everything she cherished most.
Meggie sighed and opened the box, glancing over the tattered and bent pages. Normally she would have made a request to Mo to repair them, but considering they had just barely begun to settle down after the whole Inkheart incident, she hadn't really felt that it was necessary to bother Mo with such trivial nonsense. What with Resa returning to their family, there were more important things to think about.
Her eyes read over the titles, a smile playing on her lips. What a joy it was to open a good book. She missed it dearly. It was hard to say really if she should or shouldn't open a book and read it aloud ever again. She was a silvertongue, and being one meant that if she did ever read aloud there was always the threat that someone or something was going to be ripped out of the story and, in return, someone or something would be dragged into the story. It was the old "An eye for an eye" theory.
She gazed over at her bedroom door, listening carefully for a sound outside it. There was a plethora of muffled voices that appeared to be distracted enough that she could get away with reading just a bit out loud.
Selecting a book from the top of the pile, she opened and began to read out loud, but in a hushed whisper. She read like this for a few good minutes, not really listening to the words coming from her mouth. It was just nice to be able to speak another's words.
Meggie took a gently breath, before beginning the next paragraph only to be halted suddenly by the sound of a shuffling outside the door. She quickly closed the book and tossed it off to the side, pushing her box of books under the comforter on her bed.
"Meggie," she heard the voice calling to her through the door. "Meggie, are you in there?" There was a sharp knock at the door, and Meggie knew she'd better answer soon, lest she face the wrath of Elinor.
"I'm in here." She called back, bouncing off her bed and walking over to the door. She opened it slightly looking out through a very small crack. A ray of light shined in the room that was soon enough covered up by Elinor.
"Meggie, open this door completely if you are going to speak to me." Elinor's voice was scolding through the small crack. Her hand was placed firmly on her hip as she leaned towards the door.
Meggie sighed and complied with her request, opening the door just enough so Elinor could slip her way into the door.
Upon entering, Elinor raised an eyebrow at the young girl and added in the same tone, "Your parents really should have taught you better manners. It's not right that a girl of your age be locking yourself alone in your room. Who knows what you could be up to?" She shook her head, and proceeded to take her place on the bed, patting the spot next to her.
"Well, come along, Meggie. I've got something for you." Elinor motioned to the girl to hurry, but Meggie walked slowly on purpose towards the bed. She couldn't imagine what Elinor had gotten for her. Probably something like pepper spray to use to ward off anyone trying to kidnap her...again.
Meggie sat down next to the older woman, and, as she did, Elinor proceeded to produce the gift from beside her on the bed. Meggie leaned over to perhaps catch a glimpse before she was allowed, but failed to do so.
Elinor held the present out towards Meggie. "Here you go. I saw in the bookstore, and I thought, since you've read nearly all the books in this house, I'd get you a new one. Something to take you mind off things." She handed her the book.
"Twilight?" Meggie scrunched her face at the title. Normally she was more into classic fairy tales of magic and mystery, but this didn't seem like that at all. And yet, something was drawing her to novel. You were never supposed to judge a book by its cover, and this book was no different.
"Yes," Elinor gave her a sweet smile, patting her on the leg. "The lady at the store said this is the - quote, unquote - "latest rage" for all young adult readers, whatever that means. I'm not one for young people books, so I thought perhaps you might have a go at it."
Meggie smiled in return. "Thank you. I tell you how it is."
Elinor stood and strolled her way to the door. "I'd like to hear it."
And with that she left the room, leaving Meggie once more to her own devices. Devices that currently didn't involve Twilight.
Meggie spent nearly three and half hours rereading all of her favorite parts from the books under bed. She was amazed how they could still weave their magic and put her into a majestic trance as she read. Their words streamed beautifully from the pages and morphed into elegant images in her mind. Authors were masterful at creating worlds all their own. And for this Meggie was grateful.
But though she was encased within the dreams and fantasies of her favorite and familiar stories, the copy of Twilight lay next to her on the bed begging to be explored. She bit her lip, interested in what the book had to offer, but hesitant of leaving behind her old friends.
She put down the novel she was currently holding and picked up Twilight.
"Maybe just a few pages," she said to herself out loud. "Just to know what it's about."
Meggie opened the novel to no particular part and began to read silently to herself. There was no reason for her to be saying these words out loud, for it was impossible to say if the characters within this novel were safe enough to bring into this world.
The question of whether or not they were safe was answered soon enough.
A vampire. Meggie stared at the words a minute. It became clear at that moment that bringing any one of these characters to life might have a horrific outcome. Edward Cullen, the male of the story, was a vampire; a bloodsucking vampire. Not the kind of person - or creature -- you'd want to bring into the real world.
And though Meggie wasn't usually one for vampires and dark stories, this one intrigued her. It wasn't just a story about a vampire, but a human girl as well; a human girl in which he loved and cherished. This wasn't just some creepy horror story, it was a love story. A forbidden love, a ruthless killer, a gorgeous meadow, a superstitious old man, a vegetarian vampire, a lion and a lamb; these were the components Meggie learned of as she skimmed through the pages.
It wasn't long before Meggie found herself with the book almost pressed completely against her face as she read each and every chilling word. They made her tingle when she imagined how devoted he was to her and everything she did. She felt herself partially longing for such a boy, one that would give up everything for her.
Unconsciously, she began to speak the words out loud. She spoke the words quietly, but still aloud. Bella, the human girl, and Edward, her vampire lover, were lying in a meadow together out in the sunlight. He sparkled and glittered beautifully like thousands of diamonds shining the sun. Bella gasped at his beauty, as did Meggie from her bedroom imagining the scene.
Bella was about to speak when Meggie heard something move across the room from her. There was only a desk lamp beaming down upon her and her book, leaving the rest of the room in shadows, and within those shadows appeared to be someone.
She jumped up on top of her bed, holding the copy of Twilight as if she was going to beat the person standing the darkness. Her footing wasn't too great due to the bounce of the mattress, but she was just going to have to deal with that. There was an intruder in her room and it should be dealt with.
"Please lower the book. I will not harm you." The voice that floated from the dark was memorizing. It calmed her enough to lower the book, but not jump down from the bed. Meggie had always heard it was better to have the higher ground.
"Who are you?" She demanded, hoping that her expression was menacing enough to keep the voice and the person attached to it a distance away.
The voice paused before answering. "It would seem that you already know who I am." The voice proceeded to increase in volume as it spoke this statement, and as soon as the voice was finished whom that voice belonged to was incredibly clear.
"Oh my," Meggie glanced down at Twilight in her hands, "You're Edward Cullen." She gasped, realizing if he were then someone from this world must be in his world. His vampire infested world.
"Oh no," she whispered, her eyes wide open, as she stared blankly at the novel in her hands. "I was reading aloud, wasn't I?" She asked herself, not wanting to know the answer, but obliviously it was a yes.
He watched her a moment, before coming over to stand in front of her. "Is there a problem with reading aloud?" He didn't want to know that he had already read all of her thoughts and was piecing together her story. He felt a sense of power coming from her, some mysterious force within her. From what he could tell, her voice had the power to bring an author's words to life, but at a cost.
Meggie was ignoring him at the moment, speaking quietly to herself. "Who did I send? Who's gone?" She and Mo hadn't truly figured out how to intentionally read someone in or out of a book, most times it just sort of happened. For if they had harnessed that power, Dustfinger would have long returned to his darling wife.
"Calm down." Edward took another step closer to the panicked girl standing on her bed. She took another step back.
"Please don't..." Meggie cringed, imagining what he was going to do her. She was imagining what vampires did to people. She dropped the book from her hands to cover either side of her neck in a weak attempt to protect herself.
"I promise you I won't." He read her thoughts, taking note of panic at the thought of him biting her. She relaxed a bit, letting her hands fall away from her neck.
"You won't..." It hit her then. "That's right you're a ‘vegetarian' vampire. You don't drink human blood." Her voice was nearly a whisper, barely holding together her calm. She couldn't help thinking about whom or what had been sent to his world to bring him here.
"What do you mean someone is in my world?" His eyes narrowed at her.
I thought I was thinking that...Meggie's eyes grew wide. He reads minds!
"How do you know that? Who is in my world? What is going on?" He took a few more steps forward, narrowing his eyes even more than before.
She took a deep breath, glancing down at the book on her bed. She leaned over and picked it up. "I know this because you're from this book." She held up Twilight. "I have ability to read things out of books...but when I read something out, something must go into the book in its place..."
"So, you mean to tell me that you read me from a book, and sent someone into my book. You separated me from Bella. She's probably lost in the forest right now. We were laying in the meadow together..." He seemed to drift off into thoughts. "I must return to her."
"Meggie!" There was a pounding at the door. Meggie turned quickly, slipping off the bed, but luckily Edward was swift enough to catch her before she hit the floor.
"Meggie, what are doing in there?" Mo usually never got demanding, but there was a certain edge in his tone at the moment that he only used in dire situations. "Meggie, Elinor is gone. What are you doing?" He pounded on the door once more.
"Elinor!" Meggie exclaimed with her eyes enlarging.
"Edward," Bella spoke quietly. "Edward!" She called out, spinning around.
She folded her arms and began walking in the direction she thought was the way out, but she couldn't be entirely sure. They had gotten here too quickly for her too really take in everything that was surrounding them. The trees seemed endless and as she walked in complete circles, calling out for Edward every few seconds.
After a few minutes of walking aimlessly, there was a growl from behind her. Bella froze, knowing too well that she didn't want to turn and see what it was. Bella closed her eyes just waiting for the eminent doom that was coming upon her. Edward wasn't here. He'd left her here. He had left her here to die. And now the dying part was coming.
Bella's breath was caught in her throat when she heard the beast pouncing towards her, but before it tackled her to the ground something knocked her out of the way. Bella gasped as she was thrown to the forest floor, looking up to see an older woman with a fierce, wild glint in her eyes.
"We need to distract it." The woman glanced around, before her eyes landed on a stick near them. "This will have to do."
The elder woman leaned over Bella's body to grasp the stick and held it high above her head, shaking it crazily.
"Back off, you beast." She cried, as she slammed the stick down on the nose of the beast that Bella could now see was common woodland wolf. The wolf crumpled in pain, but soon recovered, growling much louder and ferocious.
"Okay," the woman took a step backward. "Plan B." She ran to Bella lying on ground, grabbed her hand and tugged her farther into the forest with the animal in close pursuit.
"I'll send you back." Meggie held the book close to her chest. "I promise. I just want one little thing before I send you back." She smiled childishly at him. She knew this was probably wrong of her to do since the love his eternal life and her great aunt were potentially in mortal danger, but how many times would she get this chance.
Edward read her mind, scrunching his pale face. "You want to ride on my back?"
Meggie blushed. "Umm...well, yes." She replied sheepishly.
"Fine." He agreed. "But you must promise send me back to my world." Edward turned around, allowing her access to his back. Meggie seemed confused at first.
"You don't even want to know why?" Meggie asked, leaning over his shoulder to speak in his ear. The chill from his body radiated from his body and sent shivers down Meggie's spine. She could see why Bella was so enthralled by him; there was so much to love.
"No. I just want to get back to Bella, and if this is how I'll see her again, then so be it. Now climb on. The guilt is killing that I left her alone in the forest."
Meggie nodded and hopped on his back. She could vaguely hear Mo trying to pick the lock on the door, but she was ignoring it as best she could. Meggie placed the book within her jacket for safe keeping, and pressed herself into his back.
"Hold on." He whispered to her.
And with those two words he leaped through the open window and out into the night. Meggie watched as the trees rushed by them in a blur. She blinked multiple times to remind herself that what she was seeing was real. The chill in the cool air night was barely noticeable within the wind tunnel he created as he sprinted through the forest. She pressed her warm face into his icy, stone neck and enjoyed the ride.
It wasn't long before Edward was setting her back on the ground. Her head spun from the rushing air she had just been exposed to, but it was well worth it. She smiled at him, and he raised an eyebrow in return.
"Now if you don't mind." He motioned. "Please return me to Bella."
"Oh, okay." She pulled the book from her jacket and flipped through the pages until she found the meadow scene. "I hope this works." She muttered to herself, as she pulled a pen from her jacket to scribble down a few sentences.
"And then Edward was pulled back into the meadow and brought back to his love. And Elinor was brought back to her great-niece who misses her dearly." Meggie read what she had written, glancing around, but nothing happened.
"It didn't work." Edward walked nearer to her. "Why didn't it work?"
Meggie bit her lip. "Well, I'm kind of new at this. And bringing you out of the book wasn't really what I planned on doing today, so..." She wrote a few more things down on the bottom of the page.
"And then Edward was pulled back into the meadow and brought back to his love, because she needs him dearly. And they realized they loved each more than anything else in the world. And Elinor was brought back to her great-niece who misses her very, very, very dearly." Meggie's voice was desperate.
"Why isn't it working?" Edward was becoming increasingly more menacing as she moved towards Meggie. He was nearly to her when Meggie screamed out in panic.
"And Edward was pulled into the book, and Elinor was sent back to me!" She closed her eyes, imagining Edward attacking her, but there wasn't anything.
Bella felt the woman's hand disappear. She gasped at the loss of the only thing that was keeping her mildly sane at the moment. There was nothing left. The wolf was going to kill her. She closed her eyes tightly, as she felt herself falling towards the ground.
Stupid root, she cursed her luck.
Once more images of her death were flooding her mind, but, once again, before the beast devoured her something jumped in its way. She heard the beast cry out in pain, but soon was silent.
Bella opened her eyes slowly to see Edward standing over the bloody carcass.
He smirked, "Sorry, love. I got a bit distracted." He lifted her from the ground, holding her to his chest, breathing in her scent.
"Just a bit distracted." Bella replied.
Meggie and Elinor made it back to her bedroom in record time. They had calmed Mo and Resa as soon as they returned, and they were now relaxing in Meggie's bedroom.
Meggie smiled at Elinor. "Would you like to know what Twilight is about?"
Elinor shook her head. "You know what, darling? I think I'm good on this one." She patted her leg and left the room.