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Chapter 10 : The Connection
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 18|
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Thoughts are in italics and Jacob's thoughts are bolded and in italics!
Disclaimer: I don't Harry Potter or Twilight.
More than perfect chapter image by Sammm at TDA!
It all happened very quickly. Ginny’s hand landed on the blade of the knife and as she lifted it and squeezed, it sliced the skin of her palm. Ginny dropped it in surprise as blood pulsed from the long cut.
Jasper whirled around, his eyes wild as his lips curled back over his teeth and a vicious snarl broke from his lips.
“NO!” Harry roared as Jasper crouched and lunged. Alice collided with Jasper with a boom that echoed throughout the kitchen.
Harry yanked Ginny behind him, backing up as Alice held Jasper to the floor. Jasper’s head was turned to the side and he looked to be fighting with himself, trying to keep his sharp teeth from snapping at Alice.
Growls erupted from Jasper’s chest as Alice struggled to keep him bound: he was still thrashing beneath her, his hands fisted so that his clawed fingers wouldn’t touch her.
Within a second, Emmett and Rosalie were by Alice and Jasper’s side. Rosalie was frowning as Emmett jerked Jasper up, locking his arms around him. Jasper’s snarls grew, his eyes burning as Emmett dragged him towards the door. Rosalie and Alice followed, hurriedly.
“Harry! Let go of her! I need to stop the bleeding!” Hermione was by Harry’s side and Harry looked back at her, his eyes still wide behind his glasses.
He loosened his grip on Ginny and Hermione moved forward quickly, taking Ginny’s hand and murmuring a spell. Harry couldn’t hear the incantation, however; his ears were still ringing from Jasper’s snarls. The cut and the blood disappeared instantly from Ginny’s hand.
The room was silent.
Carlisle was by one of the large windows, concern creasing his forehead. He appeared to be watching something. Esme was beside him, though her eyes flickered to the wand in Hermione’s hand.
Edward and Bella were by the doorway that led into the living room—Edward was crouched protectively in front of Bella.
“It’s fine Edward.” Carlisle tore his gaze from the window and gave Edward a reassuring smile while Esme sighed in relief. “Jasper won’t go after Bella—or Ginny.”
“I’m so sorry,” Ginny gasped, looking horribly shaken.
“It’s fine, Ginny,” Carlisle said kindly, “It’s not your fault. Jasper is the newest to this life—it’s difficult for him...”
Carlisle continued on but the ringing in Harry’s ears got louder. The whole scene was replaying itself in his mind. He shut his eyes as the room spun. If Alice hadn’t been there...if Jasper had lost himself so completely that he didn’t care if he hurt Alice in the process of getting to Ginny...if he’d been just a little closer to her...
Harry’s stomach churned as he watched Jasper lunge again, but this time, Alice didn’t stop him. This time, Jasper pushed Harry—weak and small compared to him—aside and grabbed Ginny. This time, his teeth sunk into her neck while she screamed...
Harry’s eyes opened and connected with Edward’s hard gaze. It wasn’t hard because of cruelty, rather strength, as if Edward was telling him to be strong, to not let Ginny see his fear. Was that something Edward did with Bella? Hide his fear to keep her from worrying? Harry didn’t know Edward very well, but it sounded like something he would do.
The corners of Edward’s lips twitched.
“It’s my fault, entirely. It’s—it’s not Jasper’s at all.”
“Bloody hell, it’s not,” Ron seethed.
Neville flinched while Edward frowned. Hermione was scowling at Ron, her glare a combination of Mrs. Weasley’s and Professor McGonagall’s.
“What’s your problem?” Ginny demanded, her face enflaming as Ron frowned.
“My problem?! Ginny, you were almost killed!”
Harry flinched this time. Ron was in the same place he was except he chose to blame Jasper.
“That’s not Jasper’s fault!”
“He’s the one that lost control!”
“HEY!” Harry yelled, his body shaking. The room fell silent as Harry turned to glare at Ron who stared back with narrowed eyes; the last time Harry had raised his voice like this was in his fifth year. “It’s not Jasper’s fault! It’s mine. I agreed to let her come, I agreed to let her get involved in all of this—if you want to blame someone, you should blame me because I damn well deserve it!”
“Harry...” Ginny choked as Harry’s chest rose and fell heavily after his outburst. Ron blinked and Harry watched as the rage left his blue eyes. Ron was blunt but he would never intentionally insult Jasper or the Cullens. With Ron, family was everything. And after losing Fred—Harry knew that Ron’s outburst was nothing personal, he just hoped the Cullens would realize that.
“I...” Ron shifted, “No, I’m—I’m sorry.” Ron looked to Carlisle first, “It wasn’t Jasper’s fault, I...” Ron swallowed, “I over-reacted.”
“That’s understandable,” Carlisle said his voice smooth with patience and his eyes sincere.
Hermione was holding onto Ron’s arm, her gaze focused on his conflicted face as he stared guiltily at the ground—his emotions had taken a 180 degree turn and Harry felt the strength ebbing from him once more.
Ron was hurting. Ginny had almost been killed.
Who else would be hurt because Harry had let them come along? Hermione? Neville? Luna? One of the Cullens? All ready Ginny’s life had been endangered and they hadn’t even begun the battle yet. Harry didn’t blame Jasper and he was grateful that Alice had been there but none of the vampires they were battling against would have the same control, none of them would care about keeping Ginny alive.
And if she died...he would die. From guilt...from the inability to be without her...
Carlisle and Hermione’s voices were muffled as they spoke gently. Harry was sinking and a desperate part of him clawed to stand back up, to stay strong because he needed to. He’d done it last time; he’d broken up with Ginny to keep her safe and to keep himself strong.
Harry re-opened his eyes—he’d barely registered that they’d closed—and met Edward’s gaze.
Would he have to do it again?
* * *
The small wizard group went back to their hotel shortly after Jasper’s...lapse in control. Edward had listened closely to Harry’s whirring thoughts—he placed so much pressure on himself.
And Edward felt that he could relate to the boy though they lived worlds apart. Harry felt he had to protect Ginny from himself—from the danger that followed him, from the adventure he sought, from the hero he naturally was—yet he couldn’t stay away from her. Just like Edward.
And Ginny—stubborn and unwilling to admit her vulnerability. Like Bella.
After they left, Edward took Bella home. She stared at the gifts in her hands as Edward drove quickly, ignoring the speed limits as usual.
“Are you going after Jasper?” she asked as she got out of the car and into the light rain, her light brown jacket darkening slightly from the small drops.
Edward leaned over and brushed his thumb across her cheek.
“He’s probably very upset with himself, Bella...”
And Edward nodded.
Now home, Edward locked his silver Volvo and ran lithely into the house. Esme and Carlisle were still in the kitchen.
“Where’d they take him?” Esme asked quietly.
“Center of the forest,” Edward replied, Emmett’s quick thoughts running through his mind once more.
“I’d hoped this wouldn’t happen...” Carlisle said, “I’d hoped that Jasper would never have to doubt himself again...”
“Should we come with you?” Esme asked, her eyes searching Edward’s face. He shook his head slowly.
“No... Alice, Em, Rose and I should be able to handle it...”
“Make sure he knows that no one blames him for this, Edward,” Carlisle said as Esme laced her fingers with his.
“I will,” Edward nodded before leaping out one of the large, opened windows and racing towards the center of the forest, his movements quiet and almost feline.
He heard the soft murmurings of his siblings as he neared the heart of the forest but he kept his focus on his movements, allowing a small amount of privacy.
Reaching the small clearing, surrounded by towering trees and a light fog, Edward stopped. He raked his fingers through his hair as he stepped closer.
Emmett gave Edward a small smile; he was leaning against a tree while Rosalie stood beside him, her arms crossed and the corners of her mouth pulled down. Jasper was seated on a fallen tree trunk, Alice perched beside him, her small hand rubbing soothing circles on his back.
“Jasper...” Edward said, pausing as he neared Alice and Jasper.
“What?” Jasper asked and Edward could hear and feel the tension. The air was almost cackling around them as Jasper’s fury with himself began to spread. Alice winced, not from any physical pain, but from Jasper’s.
Edward spoke again, “Jasper, this isn’t your fault—”
Jasper’s eyes snapped up at him, flashing furiously, “It is my fault,” he seethed, “I—I can’t control myself. I’m weak.”
“That’s not true,” Alice and Edward spoke together and silence fell over the clearing.
“Why am I not strong enough..?” Jasper whispered.
Jasper’s thoughts were flickering between decisions now. He wanted to fight with the humans; this was his area of expertise and he wanted to make sure that no other group of vampires posed a threat to his family or Alice.
Edward was slightly uplifted by Jasper’s mention of “family.” When Alice and Jasper had first arrived, she had taken immediately to calling them her family: she considered Rose a sister and Edward and Emmett her brothers. But Jasper wasn’t as quick to call them family.
He was reserved at first, confiding and trusting Alice only and Edward kept a daily tab on his thoughts, watching for any signs of hostility—Edward had known immediately about Jasper’s past from his lingering thoughts—or...lack of control. But as Jasper began to ease, Edward found his doubt turning to care; he liked Jasper and considered him a brother, the same way he did Emmett and he was proud the day that Jasper finally referred to the rest of the Cullens as his family in his head.
And now he was wondering whether his weaknesses would harm his family, wondering if his weaknesses would prevent them from working with the humans. He had to work so hard to keep himself in check around Bella and school had always been a challenge for him.
Can I inflict such danger upon all of them? I nearly killed Alice...what if I lose control again and I can’t be stopped? What if I kill one of the humans or hurt my family...or Alice? They would never forgive me—Carlisle can’t keep making excuses for me.
Edward growled and Jasper looked up at him again, “He’s not making excuses for you, Jasper. We are all different and we all have to deal with temptation. None of us are perfect, Jasper.”
“We make mistakes too, Jazz,” Emmett said and Rose nodded.
“I killed all those men.” Rosalie said.
“I’m the reason we moved last time,” Emmett said, his thoughts flickering back to day he killed the woman hanging her laundry outside in the breeze.
“I’m a murderer,” Edward murmured and Alice glowered at him.
“You’re not, Edward.” She took Jasper’s chin in her hand, “This is difficult for all of us, Jasper. You’ve done so well. Please...stay.”
She’d seen the two courses Jasper had given himself to decide between. He would either stay and try to work through things...or he would leave until he was convinced he wasn’t a danger to his family or Alice.
“You’re thinking about leaving?” Rosalie said through gritted teeth as her anger began to pick up, “Jasper, we need you.”
“Who else is gonna help us prepare for this? You’re a part of this family, Jasper; you’re my brother and, hell, I’ll rip your legs off myself if you think about running. You owe me a rematch.”
The corners of Jasper’s lips twitched into a small smile at Emmett’s comments.
“You won’t help us at all by leaving,” Edward told Jasper, who was thinking rapidly.
Jasper nodded before sucking in an unneeded breath and looking up at his concerned siblings and Alice, “Do you forgive me?” He asked, his eyes searching each of their faces.
“There’s nothing to forgive,” Emmett said and Edward, Alice and Rosalie all nodded in agreement.
“All right,” Jasper said wearily as he got up from the tree trunk.
Alice stood up as well, her angular features accentuated by the large smile on her face.
Emmett went forward and clapped Jasper on the back, “Rematch tonight?”
“Not yet, Em,” Alice said and Jasper and Emmett both turned to look at her, Emmett wearing a grimace, “Tonight,” her eyes flickered to Edward, “We’re introducing the wizards to the pack.”
* * *
Harry hesitated outside the Cullens front door. They knew he was here—he knew they could hear him—but they were waiting politely for him to knock. Harry was nervous; he’d apparated over with the intention of asking to speak alone with Edward. He wasn’t afraid of the vampire who was near the same physical age as he was, but he was worried about what the conversation he planned on having with him would entail.
Finally, Harry extended his arm and knocked.
Edward answered the door, wearing a deep blue shirt, jeans and black sneakers, his hair disheveled. Harry thought back to Ron’s comment about Edward looking like Cedric—at the moment, Edward didn’t look a thing like him. The old Hogwarts Champion had nothing on the stiff vampire in front of him.
“Harry,” Edward nodded.
“Hi, um, I was wondering if I could talk to you, privately.”
“Of course,” Edward said and Harry felt rather dense...Edward probably all ready knew that Harry wanted to talk to him since he could read minds.
Edward stepped back and allowed Harry to come inside.
“No one’s here except us,” Edward said, answering one of Harry’s internal questions, “They’re giving us privacy.”
“Alice?” Harry asked and Edward nodded.
“She saw you coming over.”
Harry nodded and Edward led him towards a grand piano that was sitting in the entrance. Harry remembered when his Aunt Petunia had tried to get Dudley to take piano lessons; Dudley had refused to do anything rather than slam his pudgy hands on the keys and scream, reducing the poor piano instructor to tears.
Edward chortled lightly and Harry raised a brow, a smile creeping onto his face. Yes, it had been amusing to watch.
Harry sat down on an expensive looking couch while Edward sat at the piano, his fingers grazing absentmindedly over the keys. He watched Harry through butterscotch eyes. He waited patiently for Harry to begin.
“You...” Harry hesitated, taking a gulp of air before continuing, “You said you understood...and I just...” Harry shook his head, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to handle this—I thought that maybe this time I was strong enough to protect her, but...” Harry bit his lip and glanced up at Edward, “...I’m not sure I can anymore. I want her here, with me. Am I selfish? She wants to be here...she shouldn’t though, she shouldn’t be here. After everything that’s happened she should know that all I’ve ever done is put her in danger...”
Harry paused, embarrassed by his incessant gushing and looked up at Edward once more. The patience in Edward’s eyes reminded him of Carlisle; Edward began to speak.
“It’s the same for Bella and I. I’m...a monster and I’ve introduced her to a world that would terrify any normal human. I still worry every day about her safety, she’s all ready a threat to herself. I did what you did with Ginny last year: I left her. A clean break, I thought, one that would force her to go back to a normal, safe and happy life. But it didn’t work. Instead, she went to hang out with a pack of werewolves or, I suppose they’re shape shifters, more accurately.”
“What?” Harry choked: a pack of shapeshifters?
Edward nodded, “There is a reservation down in La Push where a...pack lives. They turn into wolves and were designed, I suppose you could say, to kill vampires.”
There was a hidden emotion in Edward’s tone but Harry couldn’t pin point what it was...his mind was still reeling slightly. Shapeshifters were not uncommon in the wizarding world, but Harry had never heard of a pack of them in a muggle area.
“We’re meeting with them tonight. Would you and your friends come?” Edward asked.
Harry glanced up at Edward.
“They won’t be of any harm to you or anyone else,” Edward promised and Harry nodded his agreement to go.
“Then what happened?” Harry asked after a small moment of silence.
Edward let out a sigh. “I realized that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay away from her—it was hurting me too much. A part of me had always known that I wouldn’t be able to stay away, but I hoped that I could, I hoped that I could repress the selfishness inside of me and stay away, to keep her safe. By the time I made the decision to go back, however, I thought I was too late.”
Harry looked up at him and watched a pained expression grip Edward’s features.
“What do you mean?”
“Rosalie called me and told me that Bella had jumped off of a cliff and when I called Bella’s house...it was confirmed that there was a funeral occuring in town...”
“But it wasn’t Bella’s...”
“No, but I mistakenly thought it was.” Edward looked devastated and Harry realized that he was reliving the events in his mind, and since he was a vampire, he was doing so with perfect clarity.
Harry got up from his position on the couch and stepped tentatively towards Edward, reaching out and placing a hand on Edward’s right shoulder.
Harry had thought Ginny would hate him but Edward had thought he had lost Bella forever. He couldn’t comprehend the pain that Edward must have felt, the sense of loss. But as he began to contemplate it...he knew that there was no way he would be able to break Ginny’s heart—or his own—again. He wasn’t strong enough to do that.
“I promise my family and I will do whatever it takes to keep Ginny and your friends safe,” Edward said, his voice strained slightly.
“We’ll do as much as we can for your family and Bella, as well,” Harry said.
Harry felt a real connection to Edward in that moment, his hand still placed firmly on Edward’s shoulder. A friendship, even.
Harry wished desperately that Ginny didn’t have to go through all of this but he couldn’t order her to leave and he couldn’t break up with her again. He’d have to endure it—the fear. But he would try his hardest to keep her safe and if it came to it, he’d give his life for her.
* * *
Jacob was lying on the ground with his head resting on his paws, his posture completely bored and submissive as a verbal battle raged around him.
Sam, we’ve all ready gotten involved with them once—why do we have to put ourselves in danger for them again?!
Leah was whining, her thoughts desperate because a good portion of the pack wanted to meet the visitors who came to Forks. Well, gee, they are wizards.
Leah, we’re doing this to protect others. To prevent any innocent people from being killed or hurt.
Leah whined again.
Give it a rest, Leah.
Embry yawned, revealing his large, sharp teeth while Leah snarled at him.
Am I the only one who hates them now? The only one who remembers that they’re bloodsuckers?
No one’s forgotten, Leah...
Uh-huh. Gee, Jacob, you’re sure quiet over there. I figured you’d have something to say considering the only reason we’re doing this is because of you.
What’s that supposed to mean?
Jacob lifted his head from his paws and felt his lips begin to curl away from his teeth.
No, Sam, I bet Jacob all ready knows that the only reason we’re putting up with those leeches is because he can’t seem to stop think about that bitch, Bella.
Jacob snarled loudly.
Leah! Stop it, now!
Leah’s angry thoughts ceased as she sneered at Sam.
Calm down, Jacob, please. Leah, I told you, tonight we’re meeting with the Cullens and... the wizards...to make sure that they pose no threat to us or anyone here.
Sam “dismissed” the pack and Jacob angrily shifted back to his human form and began stomping through the forest. He didn’t want to remain a wolf and have Leah screaming insults at him. He was used to it but it still pissed him off.
Sam had told them to meet in the clearing they had the last time they had a “formal” meeting with the Cullens, the one where they were preparing to take on Victoria and the new borns.
Jacob arrived home and immediately went into the house, slamming the door shut behind him. He stomped into the living room.
Billy gave him a stern look, “Jake, remember what I told you about slamming doors? The house can’t take it, kid.”
“Sorry,” Jacob mumbled, brushing his hair from his face.
“When are you meeting everyone tonight?”
“After dark,” Jacob responded and Billy nodded slowly.
“You’ll be careful, Jake?”
Billy shook his head before wheeling off to the kitchen. Jacob grabbed the remote and began flipping through channels. Nothing on. Great. Jacob leaned back against the couch and let his mind wander back to what Leah had said.
What was he doing? Why was he helping Bella and the Cullens when all it did was hurt him in the end?
Jacob shook his head once more and got up from the couch, deciding that he’d go for a run before he had to meet Sam and the others.
“See ya, Dad,” he muttered as he exited the house and yanked off his sweatpants before darting into the forest.
* * *
Harry apparated back to the hotel after his talk with Edward and found his bedroom deserted. The rest of his friends must have gone to dinner. But Harry found that he wasn’t hungry in the slightest.
He could only think about the decision he’d just made and it was tying his stomach in knots. But at the same time, he was glad he’d made it because he felt that now he could focus more on the upcoming battle.
Harry heard a weak knock at his door and he got up, figuring it was the maid service coming to clean the room.
Sighing, Harry got up and opened the door, “I’m sorry, could you—”
Harry stopped abruptly because he’d expected to see one of the maids standing in front of him with a cart of cleaning supplies.
Not Draco Malfoy.
Author's Note: Uh-oh...look who's back...in the next chapter, the pack, the Cullens and the wizards will all come together and some interesting stuff will go down. The next chapter is where everything really starts to pick up, so get ready! I hope you enjoyed the chapter and I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes! Thanks so much for reading and I'd be so grateful if you left a review telling me what you think of the story so far! : )
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