Chapter 13 : The Complication
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter, Twilight or The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl.
Gorgeous chapter image by Sammm at TDA!
Jacob let out a sigh of relief as the plane began to descend, landing at some airport in London. He glanced around sleepily at Seth, Embry and Leah: Embry was fast asleep, Seth was watching the onscreen movie—The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl or whatever it’s called—and Leah was brooding.
Jacob snorted and Leah shot him a fierce look that rivaled Blondie’s. He rolled his eyes and unbuckled his seatbelt as the plane came to a stop on the runway. After waiting a few minutes for the stewardesses and other airport workers to get things set up, Jacob stood and stretched his long, stiff limbs.
It was too bad he couldn’t just run across the Atlantic. Maybe next time he’d just swim...race Seth or something.
Jacob rocked on the balls of his feet as he waited for the passengers ahead of himself and the others to get off the plane before striding forward hurriedly, anxious to further stretch his legs and find his Bella.
A small pain in his chest reminded him that she’d agreed to marry the damn leech that wanted to condemn her to death, but he had time: he could change her mind.
Jacob grinned lopsidedly as fantasies filled his mind. He hoped Edward caught the last one: it was particularly inappropriate.
But as he, Embry, Seth and Leah exited the terminal, he didn’t see Edward anywhere.
“They ditched us,” Leah barked angrily as she looked around.
“Calm down, Leah: they didn’t ditch us. Look, Jasper’s right there.” Seth pointed further down the hall where Jasper stood, sticking out like a sore thumb among the humans passing him. A couple of girls paused behind Jasper to admire him, giggling and swooning. Yes, Jacob thought wryly, the undead are sooo cute.
“Where are the others?” Jacob asked immediately when they arrived in front of Jasper.
“They moved a little more quickly to meet up with the wizards; Alice had a vision,” Jasper explained in a quiet voice as he motioned for Jacob, Embry, Seth and Leah to follow him.
“Is everything all right, Jasper?” Seth asked and Leah nudged him hard in the ribs, rolling her eyes.
“It’s going to be,” Jasper said, his southern drawl thick with confidence, “One of the wizards was attacked—Carlisle and Mr. Weasley are on their way now to diffuse the situation.”
It was Jacob’s turn to roll his eyes at Jasper’s use of language.
Jasper led them swiftly down a wide staircase and towards a large group of people, slightly hidden from view behind large, rounded columns. Jacob halted, causing Seth to run into his back, when he saw Edward with his arms wrapped tightly around Bella.
Jacob swallowed a growl and turned his focus to the wizards standing opposite of Bella and the Cullens. A plump woman with a friendly face and strikingly red hair was standing beside the wizards Jacob had met previously as well as a tall boy, with horn-rimmed glasses, an alarmed expression and the same vibrant red hair as the woman, Ron and Ginny. Beside him stood an older boy with long hair pulled into a pony tail and a curious scar across his face; he had an arm wrapped around a pale girl with silvery-blonde hair, her perfect features twisted almost sourly as she eyed vampire Barbie. In the girl’s arms was a baby with a tuft of mousy hair and a naïve smile.
The plump woman finished speaking with Esme before turning to look at the newcomers. She glanced quickly at Ginny, who nodded, before smiling at Jacob.
“Hello,” she said pleasantly, “I’m Mrs. Weasley, Ginny and Ron’s mother. This is Percy and Bill, two of my other sons and Bill’s wife, Fleur.”
Awkward hellos and names were mumbled and exchanged. Blondie and Fleur continued their stare-down before Blondie’s eyes moved down to the stirring bundle in Fleur’s arms.
“What’s his name?” Rosalie asked, her voice shockingly soft as she stepped slowly forward; apparently, the bundle hadn’t been introduced when the Cullens initially met the other wizards.
“Teddy,” Fleur said, her tone icy.
“He’s a very handsome child,” Esme complimented sincerely and Mrs. Weasley smiled in return, a flicker of some undetectable emotion passing through her eyes.
Emmett placed a large hand on Rosalie’s back and she stilled, her golden eyes trained on Teddy, who beamed over at her. Jacob’s eyes wavered to Jasper, who moved slightly towards Rosalie; Alice placed a hand on his arm.
“Fleur...” Ginny said firmly, “Let Rosalie hold Teddy.”
Fleur’s mouth formed a stern line but she held Teddy out to Rosalie who slowly took him into her cool arms which were covered by a plum-colored, fitted jacket. Leah huffed impatiently behind Jacob, causing Seth and Edward to send her matching glares. Jacob was utterly perplexed. He exchanged glances with Bella as Rosalie curled Teddy towards her, her face glowing as she cooed softly to him.
Teddy was unaffected by her cool touch and only smiled at her admiration. Jacob’s eyes grew wide as Teddy’s hair transformed subtly from its mousy color to match the color of Rosalie’s lengthy curls.
“Oh...” she said softly, before a genuinely beautiful smile spread across her normally poised face.
Jacob didn’t know whether to be astonished or disgusted. His eyes moved to Emmett who proudly placed his hands on Rosalie’s shoulders. They looked like parents.
Then it clicked.
Blondie wanted to be a mother.
Jacob looked around, wondering if anyone else had just experienced the same epiphany he had, but everyone was looking at Rosalie and Emmett.
“Teddy...” Fleur said in a softly reprimanding voice, holding out her arms and taking Teddy back from Rosalie.
Rosalie quickly recomposed herself while Emmett watched her with a heart-broken expression that further baffled Jacob. Geeze, they were a complicated bunch.
“Arthur suggested that we go to Hogwarts,” Mrs. Weasley said, turning to Esme, “The Minister of Magic will meet us there and we can discuss—” she glanced at the younger wizards, “—the prophecy.”
Esme nodded before looking back at her “children.”
“We should split up so that each of us can apparate with you. Bill, will you take Fleur and Teddy to your cottage until your father and I arrive home?”
“Sure, mum,” Bill said good-naturedly, “It was nice to meet all of you.” He waved as Fleur nodded and the three disappeared into a family restroom next to where the large group stood and didn’t come back out.
Jacob frowned; apparate? That popping and disappearing thing? He would have preferred to run to wherever this Hogwarts place was. And what sort of name was Hogwarts? It sounded like the less-scientific name of a pig’s bad skin rash.
“All right,” Mrs. Weasley began, “Mrs. Cullen—”
“Esme, please,” Esme corrected her politely.
Mrs. Weasley, smiled back at Esme—the two women seemed to be becoming friends—before continuing, “Esme and Rosalie can come with me, Percy, why don’t you take Leah and Embry—”
The thin boy’s eyes widened slightly and Embry snickered from beside Jacob.
“—Ron will take Edward and Bella—”
Jacob gritted his teeth.
“—Hermione and Seth, Neville with Alice and Jasper, Luna with Emmett and Ginny with Jacob.” Mrs. Weasley finished the list and glanced around to see if she was missing anyone, “Oh! George!” she said turning to look at Ginny.
“We’ll get him before going to Hogwarts,” Ginny said, gesturing to herself and Luna who was staring dreamily up at the ceiling. Jacob peeked upwards before hearing Edward let out a chuckle. Jacob’s head snapped back down and he glowered at Edward who merely smiled insolently, not meeting Jacob’s angry gaze.
“Why don’t you head out first, then,” Mrs. Weasley said before her expression turned to a grimace, “And make sure he’s not producing anything illegal.”
Percy opened his mouth before Ron shot him a look that made him quickly close it.
“Sure, mum...” Ginny said unconvincingly before gesturing to Jacob, Emmett and Luna to follow her into the family bathroom.
Jacob glanced around at the unaware people passing them; none of them seemed to notice the large group at all.
He entered behind Ginny, Luna and Emmett behind him, before Ginny laced her arm through his. Luna did the same to Emmett whose eyebrows rose as he gave Jacob a somewhat startled, fleeting look.
The two girls exchanged smiles and nods before appearing to concentrate very hard on something and then—
Jacob let out a gasp as he felt a sharp tug and his body was hurled forward, his shoulder knocking and leg bumping against Ginny’s. Within seconds, they were planted firmly on the ground once more but in a place entirely different from the inside of the family restroom.
They were standing in an alleyway brimming with people of all ages and sizes, wearing dark cloaks—none of which were startled at all by their sudden appearance—the buildings all slightly tilted and advertising objects Jacob didn’t even know existed outside of fairy-tale books.
“Whoa...” Emmett murmured from beside him and Jacob had to agree with the muscled leech: it was...impressive, no matter how strange it seemed to him.
But who was he to say what weird was?
“Come on,” Ginny said, opening the door to the shop in front of them, a large smile on her face.
Emmett grinned and followed her inside.
“It can be a lot to take in at once...” Luna said airily from beside Jacob.
“Sure, sure,” he said, still somewhat in awe, before giving Luna a smile and entering the shop.
The inside of the shop was no less remarkable than the alleyway outside. Tall shelves were filled with assorted, colorful packages with labels and names that Jacob could hardly comprehend the logistics of.
“Ginny!” A loud shout alerted Jacob to George’s, he assumed, presence.
George hurried out from behind a counter, crammed with test objects, and enveloped his sister in a hug before giving Luna a swift hug as well.
“We’re going to Hogwarts now, George,” Ginny said and looked back imploringly at Jacob and Emmett.
“George Weasley, nice to meet you!” George said, moving past his sister and holding out a hand for both Jacob and Emmett to shake.
“Hello,” Emmett and Jacob both responded.
“What sort of store is this?” Jacob asked, his eyes flickering around and his head ducking as something that resembled a tiny goblin darted past him, cackling in a high-pitched voice.
“A joke shop.” George grinned broadly and Emmett’s eyebrows shot up once more.
George nodded, “Go ahead and knick anything you want—I’m curious to see if my products work on vampires and shapeshifters.”
Ginny giggled and plucked a pink box off of one of the shelves, hiding it in her pocket.
Emmett grinned mischievously, “Got anything that might dupe a mind-reader or a psychic?”
“I’d be interested in that too,” Jacob smiled and Emmett’s hand formed a fist which he bumped against Jacob’s.
For the first time, Jacob felt a true comradeship with Emmett, even though, he was certain, Emmett wanted to get back at Edward for a much different reason.
* * *
Everyone in the Headmaster’s Office was silent, the only sound Harry could hear coming from Malfoy’s quieting, labored breathing.
Kingsley had a hand on his chin and was frowning, deep in thought, while Professor McGonagall looked sternly worried. Carlisle was standing between the rest of his family and the four members of the pack, all of whom, besides Esme, Alice, Seth and Bella were glaring balefully at Malfoy who had come clean to everyone moments ago.
Hermione was holding firmly to Ron’s arm while Percy held back George and Ginny.
Ron opened his mouth to say something but Mr. Weasley quickly cut him off, “There’s no reason to stay mad, Ronald. We all make mistakes and what’s done is done.”
Ron’s mouth snapped shut but he continued to scowl at Malfoy.
Harry and Malfoy had arrived at the Headmaster’s Office to find everyone else all ready present—except for George, Ginny, Luna, Jacob and Emmett who arrived moments later—and Harry was asked to explain everything he’d heard from Trelawney. Harry then prompted Malfoy to tell Kingsley what he’d done and what had happened to him, which led to this point where everyone was noiseless and ruminating.
“I don’t understand the problem,” Emmett said heatedly, breaking the silence, “Why don’t we just find this coven and destroy them?”
“Emmett...” Carlisle said quietly, “You know it is not that simple...”
“Why not? We can take them!”
“We don’t know if they have an army, we don’t know anything about them,” Jasper argued and Malfoy’s head lifted and he glanced at Harry who quickly nodded as he realized what Malfoy intended to say.
“There’s five of them, two females and three males” Malfoy said abruptly, his voice hoarse, “I don’t think they’ve created an army yet. I know that all of them have powers but I only know Elizabeth and Gavin’s: Elizabeth can see into your past and Gavin can produce fire. I’m—I’m not sure about the others...”
“Do you know anything else?” Kingsley asked resolutely and Malfoy looked down, biting his lip to remember.
“Not much...just that Briony told me that if I helped her...she’d get my father out of Azkaban and make me...like them.”
Kingsley nodded; though, his gaze was disapproving of Malfoy.
“Wait,” Jacob began, “Did you tell them about us?”
“No,” Malfoy said, shaking his head, looking slightly confused.
Jacob, Embry and Leah all looked momentarily relieved that their presence was still unnoted, giving them a slight advantage; Seth, however, was still wearing a troubled expression.
“You’re certain you know nothing else, Draco?” Kingsley asked and Malfoy shook his head, “All right.” Kingsley said with a small nod.
“So is that the only problem we have?” Ginny asked, “We don’t know where to find them and we don’t know how prepared they are?”
Kingsley glanced at Carlisle and Mr. Weasley before clearing his throat, “Unfortunately, no. Let me explain to all of you that I do not take this sort of threat lightly in any manner and if it were only a matter of finding the Forus and fighting them I would not hesitate to act. But vampires have a government just as we do: the Volturi.”
Carlisle nodded while the rest of the Cullens exchanged worried glances and Edward clutched Bella closer to his chest, his upper lip curling.
“Hundreds of years ago, an agreement was made between the magical world and the Volturi that neither would interfere with the other: the ministry manages magical affairs while the Volturi sort out vampire affairs.”
“But that agreement’s been broken!” Harry cried, “Some of them helped Voldemort and one attacked Malfoy!”
Kingsley nodded tightly, “But we were in no position to take up an argument with them while Voldemort was a threat. And if the ministry were to allow any attack upon their kind—no matter the crimes their kind have committed against us—a war could begin. The Volturi seek nothing but power and dominance; they will take any excuse we give them to break the agreement while blaming the start of the fight on us.”
“That’s not fair,” Neville croaked.
“The Volturi don’t care about fair,” Edward said while Jasper bowed his head.
“Especially not when it comes to us.” Emmett nodded.
Kingsley looked up, “What do you mean, Mr. Cullen?”
“The Volturi are not pleased with us,” Carlisle spoke for Emmett, “They do not approve of our acceptance of Bella as a human into our family and they consider us to be too dominant and influential.”
“That does not surprise me,” Kingsley murmured gruffly.
“So if you were to ask the Volturi for help...” Mr. Weasley began.
“...It is unlikely that any help would be extended to us,” Carlisle finished with a nod.
“Unless this coven attacks the ministry directly, we cannot fight them without permission from the Volturi—” Kingsley started.
“—permission you’re unlikely to get without being accused of wanting to overthrow their power—” Mr. Weasley said, his voice soft and Kingsley nodded.
“—and the Volturi won’t help the Cullens in any sense...” Kingsley finished.
“So what can we do?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
The room fell silent once more and Harry felt his heart sink. Professor McGonagall glanced at Kinglsey before speaking, “Potter, why don’t you show our guests around the school?”
Harry opened his mouth to protest but Hermione gripped his arm and nodded hurriedly, looking at Harry imploringly.
Grimacing, Harry and the other wizards silently led the Cullen children and the members of the pack out of the room, while Kingsley, McGonagall, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Percy, Carlisle, Esme and, peculiarly, Malfoy staid behind.
As the group reached the first floor, Harry tugged on Ron and Hermione’s sleeves, gesturing for them to follow him into an empty classroom. The Cullens and the pack were minding George’s explanation of the speaking portraits aligning the walls.
Hermione cast a silencing charm on the room as the three entered and Harry wheeled around, to face Ron and Hermione, his face set.
“We can’t just wait for Kingsley and the ministry to make a decision. Whether they join us or not we have to do something.”
Ron nodded, swallowing while Hermione shook her head.
“What?” Harry snapped, “You want to just let the Forus take over?”
“Harry,” Hermione croaked, “Of course not! You know I want to do something just as much as you do, but the situation’s much more complicated than that!”
“How?” Harry demanded, “We’ll stick to our original plan and find a way to fight them without the ministry’s help.”
“We’ve handled things without the ministry before,” Ron said but Hermione continued to shake her head.
“I’m not saying that we couldn’t handle this ourselves—but we would need the Cullens help. And have you two even bothered to realize that none of us know how to kill a vampire?”
Harry and Ron both paused and the sinking feeling returned to Harry’s stomach.
“It can’t be that hard,” Ron said quickly, “We have magic.”
“Yes, but, they’re not human, Ron," Hermione said.
Ron rolled his eyes, “I know they’re not human,” he mumbled.
“Well any spell meant to harm or impair the body physically could possibly just ricochet off of their skin. We don't know if physical spells will really work on them.”
Ron frowned while Harry paused.
“Are there any spells we know would work for sure?” Ron asked.
“Yes,” Harry said, his eyes still locked with Hermione’s.
“Well, go on, what is it, then?”
“The Cruciatus curse,” Hermione whispered and Ron’s eyebrows rose, “Of course, it would only impair them for as long as the spell is cast.”
“That’s enough time, then, isn’t it? We’ll impair them and the Cullens can take care of them after that.” Ron looked convinced before the corners of Hermione’s lips twitched downward.
“Technically, but Ron, the use of the cruciatus curse is—”
“Unforgivable, yeah, but I mean, the Ministry’s on our side,” Ron looked to Harry.
“They won’t stop us from using it,” Harry agreed and Hermione teetered slightly on her feet.
“No, but if the Volturi were to realize that we were using an illegal curse and the Ministry did nothing to punish us, it may trigger an argument. The Ministry doing nothing to reprimand us is parallel to them helping us and you heard Kinsgley and Carlisle: the Volturi are looking for any reason to start a war and gain total control. The wizarding world is probably their only real threat.”
“That’s a chance we have to take,” Harry said, “There isn’t going to be any unproblematic way to do this.”
Hermione let out a breath, “But there’s another problem as well. The Cruciatus curse is dark magic, we can't simply cast it and expect it to work to its fullest capacity and in order for it to work on a vampire, the spell needs to be as strong as possible.”
“You have to really mean it when you cast it,” Harry said darkly, remembering Bellatrix and Hermione nodded.
“But, I think we’ll really mean it if we’re fighting against them. They’ll be trying to kill us!” Ron said.
“Yes, but, Ron, none of us are evil. It won’t be as easy for us no matter the situation.”
“So then what are we going to do?” Ron demanded.
“There has to be other spells...” Hermione murmured, “Look, I’m going to the library, you two find a way to occupy the others. We’ll all meet tonight and decide what we’re doing.”
Hermione abruptly left the room, leaving Harry and Ron alone.
“Reminds you a bit of old times, doesn’t it?” Ron asked and Harry nodded distractedly, “Well, what should we do now?”
“Find a way to keep everyone busy until later tonight,” Harry said as he ruffled his messy, jet-black hair.
“Great and how are we going to distract a group of vampires and shapeshifters?”
Harry shook his head, bereft of ideas.
“Hang on a minute...” Ron said and Harry turned to look at him, “I know what we can do!”
* * *
The interior of the quidditch pitch was a welcome and familiar sight—even though clouds covered the sky and rain threatened—as Harry and Ron placed ten, school-owned broomsticks in the center of the field while the Cullens and the pack members watched with bemused expressions.
“I hope this is a good idea,” Ron said, looking over at the group.
“I think it will be,” George said with a broad grin, “Everyone loves flying.”
“Not everyone,” Neville mumbled, folding his arms while Luna patted his back with a light smile.
“I think it’ll be fine,” Ginny said, her smile matching George’s. Harry placed the last broom on the ground and allowed his hand to brush against Ginny’s warmly. George and Ron both cleared their throats causing Harry to recede while Ginny huffed.
“All right, you lot,” George said, waving the Cullens and the pack over, “Time for your very first—and probably only—flying lesson!”
The Cullens and the pack ambled over, all of them staring warily at the broomsticks lying on the ground in two neat rows. They each stood beside one before looking up at Harry, Ron, George, Ginny, Neville and Luna expectantly.
“Flying lesson? We’re going to be flying on these things? I thought wizards only flew on broomsticks in movies,” Leah said in disbelief, her brow furrowing as she studied the broomsticks on the ground.
“So did I,” Harry said with a sentimental smile, “Or, I mean, I used to before I came here.”
“So what do we do?” Embry asked, bending slightly to examine the broom on the grass beside him.
“Well, first, hold your hand over the broom and say “up,” the broom should...” Harry paused as Ginny shook her head at him.
Emmett held his arm outstretched over his broom, ignoring Harry’s pause, and repeated the word “up,” his brow knitted together in frustration while Edward chuckled beside him.
“Erm, Harry, they’re not wizards,” Ron whispered.
“Right, sorry; everyone just pick your brooms up, then. Now, hold it firmly as you lift one leg and mount the center of the broom—a little further back, Seth.”
Everyone did as Harry instructed and he heard Ron snicker quietly beside him. He had to admit: it was an amusing sight, but it was also one that brought back memories of himself and Ron, straddling broomsticks when they were eleven and utterly clueless with how to use them—Harry more-so than Ron.
“Now everyone bend your knees and gently kick off from the ground; make sure to hold your broom steady and exert control so that you only hover above the grass.”
As everyone began to do as Harry coached, Bella lost her grip, her broom rising and tilting forward, causing her to slip from the end. Edward quickly caught her and Leah let out a loud laugh as Bella blushed and tried to regain her balance.
“It’s all right,” Harry assured her, moving forward, “Mount again, I’ll hold the broom steady so you don’t tip forward.”
“I’m not good at balancing,” Bella admitted with another blush.
“Aw, c’mon, Bells,” Jacob encouraged with a hearty smile, “You did fine when we rode our bikes together.”
Harry’s eyes flickered to Edward whose own eyes narrowed as Jacob grinned smugly at him. Bella mounted again as Edward kept a firm grip on her arm. Harry nodded and Edward hesitantly let go, his feet still planted on the ground as he watched Bella.
“All right, hold onto it firmly...now kick-off...”
Bella did as Harry instructed and shut her eyes tightly as she lifted from the ground, hovering a meter above it.
“Open your eyes, Bella, you’ve done it!” Harry said, with a wide grin as Bella’s brown eyes opened and she glanced hastily around herself. She gave both Edward and Jacob a proud smile while Leah snorted from between Embry and Seth.
Edward and Jacob both kicked up at the same time and Jacob’s toothy grin only expanded as he rose centimeters higher than Edward, who kept his eyes on Bella. Edward’s expression was turning hard and Harry exchanged glances with Ginny who noticed the brewing conflict between Jacob and Edward.
“Ginny, George, why don’t you to demonstrate how to fly,” Harry prompted and Ginny nodded vigorously.
“Right,” she said as she and George both mounted, “Just lean forward lightly on your broom; you’ll find it’s more responsive than you think.” Ginny and George both leaned forward and slowly began to move. Ginny continued, “Steering is simple: just lean to the left or right, or up or down if you want to fly higher or lower.”
“But don’t go too high up,” George said, as he shot up further into the air, “People have been known to fall off their brooms before. Right, Harry?”
Harry shook his head while Ron laughed. The Cullens and the pack began to slowly move around, their confidence building as they learned to manage the speed and direction of their broomsticks.
“This is awesome!” Emmett bellowed as his height neared George’s.
“So cool!” Seth agreed high-fiving Embry who was flying beside him. Even Leah, who had only sulked since arriving, looked pleased and was zooming around with an enjoyable smile on her face.
Alice was looping around Jasper while Bella laughed from beside Edward. Harry grinned when he saw that even prim Rosalie was trying loops herself.
“Good idea, Ron,” Harry said as Ron approached him after retrieving their own brooms from a few meters away, handing Harry his Firebolt while he gripped his own.
Ron smiled back at him before Emmett touched down to the ground, hurrying towards Harry and Ron with a large, delighted expression.
“So what exactly do you use flying for?” Emmett asked as he reached them. He glanced upwards, his smile extending as Edward and Jasper playfully attacked one another while still on their brooms.
“It can be used to travel—” Harry began.
“—But mostly we use flying and broomsticks for quidditch,” George finished, landing beside Ron and quickly dismounting.
“Quidditch?” Emmett asked.
“Yeah, it’s a wizarding sport,” Ron said.
“The best wizarding sport there is,” George amended.
“Can we play?” Emmett asked, his golden eyes sparkling with excitement.
Everyone flying above them stopped and stared down at the four boys on the ground. Harry glanced back over his shoulder at Neville and Luna who were sitting in the stands, puzzled by the group’s halted movements. He looked forward once more and glimpsed at Ginny who was nodding fervently from beside Seth, her face shining with enthusiasm.
Harry grinned and turned his gaze back to Emmett while Ron and George waited for his response.
* * *
Rolf knew—as he entered the old warehouse that he, Briony and the others inhabited—that keeping his failure a secret was a futile effort. Briony always knew when she was being lied to and she could practically smell failure.
His footsteps slowed and he glanced around warily, feeling his back hunch slightly, preparing for an onslaught.
Elizabeth was perched on the floor beside a mangled body, drained of blood. Her crimson eyes, turning blacker each second, flickered between Rolf and the body; she was disappointed that she had nothing left to drink.
Gavin was standing behind his mate, snapping his fingers and watching as controlled flames erupted from them, his own eyes tinted with satisfaction. When he noticed Rolf, he let his upper lip curl vaguely before focusing on the fire once more.
Jareth was leaning against a pillar, his arms folded tightly across his chest, the scars that marred his face eerily luminescent in the dark ambiance of the warehouse. Briony was sitting in an armchair, ill-fitting to the rest of the mechanical and cold surroundings, her composure leisurely as she twirled a curl around one of her pale fingers. Jareth cast Briony a weary peek before looking back at Rolf; he tensed and Rolf held back an involuntary wince: Jareth knew.
“Rolf...” Briony said, her voice a combination of soothing silk and unnerving velvet, “Did you dispose of the boy? Such an annoying bother,” she said, glancing off to the side while Elizabeth giggled in agreement, “...but a necessary, brief ally...”
Jareth stood up straighter but kept his arms folded and his back against the steel column.
“No, Briony...I couldn’t.” Rolf hated how small he sounded; he hated how his head hung automatically before her and he especially hated how, suddenly, saving a life seemed very erroneous.
But he couldn’t leave and, therefore, he couldn’t deny her his assistance. It wasn’t up to him to decide what was right and wrong any more.
“You couldn’t,” Briony repeated and Rolf looked up at her from beneath his lashes. He knew she understood what he meant by “he couldn’t” but she tensed none of the less.
Gavin hissed loudly and Elizabeth glared at Rolf from her position on the ground; though, Rolf knew it pleased her greatly to see him get in trouble. Gavin darted forward, pressing his icy chest against Rolf’s left arm, his gravely growls filling Rolf’s ears while he stared forward, not giving Gavin any sort of satisfaction by reacting.
“Gavin...” Jareth warned, gliding forward and placing a hand on Gavin’s chest, pushing him away from Rolf who continued to stand still.
“You son of a bitch,” Gavin hissed at Rolf, allowing Jareth to pull him away from Rolf.
Elizabeth giggled as she plucked a turquoise beaded necklace from the corpse of the woman she was beside, her eyes shining as she watched her mate glower balefully at Rolf.
“That’s enough, Gavin,” Briony said in a bored tone, her composure regained after her momentary tensing.
Rolf’s eyes flickered to Briony as Gavin grumbled beneath his breath.
“Rolf, you must be thirsty—hunt in the east. Gavin and Elizabeth: hunt in the west,” Briony looked harshly at Gavin, telling him with her eyes to leave Rolf alone.
Gavin huffed but took Elizabeth’s hand in his own and the two ran out of the warehouse and to the west.
Rolf could feel both Briony and Gavin’s eyes on him as he began towards the wide door before setting off to the east, hoping that Gavin wouldn’t attempt to come after him.
Jareth waited until Gavin, Elizabeth and Rolf were all out of hearing range before turning to Briony and letting his cold eyes settle upon her.
Briony smirked at him, “What’s the matter, Jareth, darling?” she cooed in a false voice.
“You baby him,” he told her gruffly.
“Yes,” he snarled, “He doesn’t deserve any attention—he’s been a consistent failure since he’s joined us and yet you keep him around like he’s some pet.”
“You do sound a little jealous, Jareth,” Briony drawled as she twisted a strand of her dark, silky hair around a slim finger once more.
“I am not jealous,” Jareth grounded out, “But I’m tired of breaking up fights and listening to Gavin and Elizabeth complain about Rolf. I always have to finish what he can’t.”
Briony stood, her eyes suddenly a bright crimson. She smacked Jareth across the face and he ducked his head before she lifted his chin.
“You will not question my judgment, Jareth. I created you and you will trust me.”
Jareth nodded dejectedly and averted his eyes to the ground.
“You know Rolf’s power, Jareth?” Briony said abruptly causing Jareth to lift his head once she released him.
“He came to us, Jareth; his power drew him to us. He’s here for reason and I intend to find out what that reason is.” Briony turned back to her armchair and sat down once more, placing her long legs over the edge as she watched Jareth move to the wide, sliding door of the warehouse.
Jareth gripped the edge of the door and blinked up at the clouded sky as a crack of thunder erupted—a crack of thunder that Jareth knew was actually the sound of Gavin ambushing Rolf.
Then he heard it...Gavin’s voice, barely a whisper because of their distance: “...I’m going to kill you Rolf.”
Author’s Note: I hope everyone enjoyed it! It was super long but I couldn’t find a great place to cut it off. And don’t worry: the next chapter will most definitely have the quidditch game in it plus more Hogwarts explorations. I apologize for any grammar or spelling errors and please leave a review and let me know what you think of the story so far! Thanks so much for reading!
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