My eyes immediately shut after opening. The blinding light reminded me of the overhead light at the denists. My head was hurting. A shouting could be heard in the distance. Sticks, stones, and other nature things were digging into my back. I groaned, rolling onto my side and opening my eyes. The light followed.
"Found her!" A voice called a few feet from me. The light went away and there was darkness. Wet mushy footsteps sounded and I could feel the dampness seeping through my jeans and jacket. I must have fallen.
"Bella?" My eyes darted up to see a tribal boy, carrying a flashlight, and pointing it just a few feet from me. "My name's Sam. I'm from La Push-"
I interrupted him with a realization, "You're a shapeshifter!" My hand covered my mouth in embarrassment and shock. "Oh, my Merlin. I'm sorry. Charlie must be worried sick... Dumbledore's going to be furious-"
"Woah, slow down," Sam said soothingly, taking a hesitant step closer. "I think you hit your head."
My hand flew to my aching head and I felt the lump on my forehead and sticky liquid. Great...
"Let's get you to Charlie," Sam offered, extending a hand. I took it, grateful, and felt a tad woosey as my legs wobbled slightly.
"What time is it?" I asked after finally catching my balance.
"Three in the morning," the tall, muscular, and handsome tribal man informed me as we started a long trek back to my house.
I added eight hours and found it would have been eleven in England.
As we walked, we stayed silent, so my mind wandered to the last conscious moment I had with my true friends...
"You're mental!" Ron exclaimed, his red hair flying wildly as he stood. His cheeks slowly started to match his hair, and close to follow were his ears. "Go to America? Dumbledore's mental!"
"I didn't have a choice," I told him simply. "Bella's after me, and she's not going to stop. My step-dad's in America, and I can live with him. Or my mum. It's safer. And Dumbledore's given me a mission to do."
"You have an Order mission?" Harry asked. "You aren't even of age!"
"I know," I admitted, wincing slightly at the barely hidden fury on his face. "But I might as well do something helpful while I'm gone."
"What do you have to do?" Hermione asked.
"There's a family of vampires," I said slowly, giving the boys a look to make them calm. "I'm to spy on them. They-"
"That's bloody insane!" Ron cried, his face beyond red now. "You could be killed!"
"It's better than being tortured by Bellatrix," I said calmly. "Vampires don't play with their food."
"You're talking about vampires, here, Bella," Hermione insisted. "What are you trying to accomplish with them?"
"Dumbledore needs vampires," I told her sheepishly. "And the Dark Lord has vampires... Why should this be different? Apparently these vampires don't kill humans anyway-"
"Why didn't she mention this first?" Ron muttered under his breath.
"Because, someone interrupted me," I snapped at Ron. He got a sheepish look on his face. "Besides, what's it matter? I wouldn't agree to this if I didn't have faith in myself."
"She's right," Harry sighed. "So, when do you leave?"
"Tomorrow," I told them all. "Dumbledore's going to block my memories so I can have the subconscious urge to talk to them, rather than flat out being stalker. I won't be able to contact you, or continue my studies-"
"But, Bella, how will we know if you're hurt or-"
"My step-dad is a Muggleborn," I interrupted Harry. "He has an emergency portkey to Dumbledore, just in case. And a Floo connection. I guess I'll return whenever Dumbledore sees it fit, or whenever my memory returns."
"But how does that happen?" Hermione asked.
"A severe emotional burst," I gave a soft laugh. "Could be pain - I could be captured by Death Eaters. It could be pleasure - might find a handsome bloke," I winked at them, laughing. "Or it could be sorrow - get dumped by that bloke."
"You're a bloody idiot, I hope you know that," Harry laughed, hugging me tightly. "Be careful, alright?"
"Always am," I returned.
"You do realize," Sam stated once we reached the edge of the woods, "That half the city is looking for you. You better have a good excuse."
I winced at the bluntness, "You know I do."
He appraised me with a new set of eyes it seemed, "So they told you."
It wasn't a question, but I felt the need to answer anyway, "Yes. I figured it out, really."
"And that explains why you're in the woods to the Cheif? He doesn't know."
I swallowed, "Well... Edward broke up with me. I could say... I could say I tried to follow him in the woods. I - I got lost?"
Sam just blinked at me, and gestured towards the house, "You should go home."
"Yes..." I said faintly, seeing the two cop cars in my driveway. "I should."
Charlie seemed relieved when he saw me, and when he hugged me tightly, I murmured in his ear, "Mind fetching the portkey?"
He pulled away, giving me a long look-over before nodding, "You alright, Bella?"
"Fine, Charlie," I gave him a half-smile. "I'm really sorry about disappearing... I got lost in the woods and... well..."
"I made sure the wolve searched the woods. I had an idea," Charlie winked at me. "You'll be careful, yeah? I can't keep-"
"I'm sorry," I repeated. "I wasn't thinking. Edward took off and I started to chase him... I-" I broke off as I saw a few officers approach.
"I'll deal with them. Why don't you get warmed up inside?" Charlie suggested. "I'll give you the portkey in the morning."
I nodded, knowing the frown from Edward was still on my face. I hugged him tightly before walking to the house, heading inside and taking a nap. Leaving could wait. Right now I needed to figure out what to tell Dumbledore... I wasn't supposed to let them get away.