DISCLAIMER: I do not own any part of Twilight or its characters- They all belong to Stephanie Meyer

SHILEDS OF POWER

What if Bella already knew about vampires before she came to forks, what if she'd already met the Volturi, but wasn't allowed to tell anyone? And most importantly, what if she had her own gift?

Chapter 1- Meeting the Mythical Beings

BPOV (Bella is 4 years old)

I was standing in the hotel room, looking out the window and watching the children playing on the streets in Rome, being as clumsy as I was; it was wiser to stay out of situations where I might get hurt. Besides, I didn't really know anyone yet, as I'd just moved to Italy with my mother a few days ago, I didn't even understand what the other children were saying.

*FLASHBACK*

A few days ago

"I'm sorry Bella, but we're going to leave Charlie, Mummy doesn't love him anymore." Renee softly whispered to me, as we boarded the plane that would take us away from Forks.

All too soon we landed in Rome, where Mum booked us into a hotel while she tried to find us a house to live in, and sorted out the divorce papers with Dad.

She didn't think I understood what a divorce was, but I did.

*Back to Present*

I sighed, and gave up watching the other kids, I moved away from the window. I knew that even if I had spoken their language I wouldn't fit in. I was different from other people, I had a gift. I was able to shield myself. From what I could tell it was invisible to others, to me it looked like a translucent haze of white when I cast a shield around myself. Others also couldn't feel it, although to me it felt like a comfortable second skin.

From the age of two I had realised that I had a shield. I had experimented, finding that wrapping myself in a shield was surprisingly easy to do, and came in very handy as it stopped me from getting hurt when I tripped, or fell. The main things I noticed about my shield was that it not only acted as a physical barrier, but it also seemed to absorb the force of impact, so I was never hurt at all. This was a fact I noticed when I tripped and ran into a pole one day, managing to throw up my shield before I hit it, I was surprised to find that while I felt nothing on impact, the pole now sported a small dent.

As I got used to my shield I started experimenting, and found that I could cast shield around other people and objects. That was how I found that they couldn't feel my shield, I regularly cast shield around my parents and held them for hours at a time, and they never gave any indication that they had ever felt it. In fact one time, I had been shielding my mother while I watched her make dinner, and she accidentally chopped her finger on the chopping board while cutting the vegetables. The knife had ended up with a slight dent and mum's finger had been fine. She had seemed a bit puzzled at first, but she quickly shrugged it off while I looked on innocently.

By the age of three I had control of my shielding ability enough to be able to pick up multiple items and move them by wrapping my shield around them and mentally moving my shield. It came in handy at night when I was in bed and didn't want to get up and go to my bookshelf to retrieve books, instead I simply wrapped a shield around my chosen book and moved it until it was in my hand.

I did find that while wrapping shields around myself and others, and moving small things didn't take any energy, if I tried to move large things it became very tiring. Like the time I decided to move my bed around my room. I could only lift it about a foot in the air before I started to feel slightly drained of energy (not a whole lot, but noticeable nevertheless).

These days I tended to only use my shields if I was protecting myself from a fall, which happened regularly with my clumsiness, or if I was feeling particularly lazy and didn't want to get up to get something.

Of course, I never used it in front of people, I had no desire to stand out from a crowd, and I tried to fit in as much as a plain, clumsy kid could. I also had no desire to have people prod and poke me if they found out what I could do, so I kept silent, as my gift was fairly easy to hide, no one suspected that I was anything other than ordinary.

But even though I tried to fit in, I knew I was different, and because I wanted to keep my ability a secret I was always a bit wary of people.

My mother interrupted my musings by bouncing on my bed in an excited manner, "What do you think of Italy Bella! Isn't it beautiful?" she gushed.

"Yes mum, it's gorgeous," I agreed quietly.

"Good, I'm glad you like it baby, because I've decided to try and find a house here for us to live in." She announced, enthusiasm pouring out of her. "In fact, why don't we go sightseeing, and see a little more of Rome?" she suggested. I agreed and got ready.

Following mum out of the hotel lobby and onto the street, I watched the olive skinned pedestrians making their way along the footpath.

My mother stopped at a shop and struck up a conversation with the lady behind the counter. I decided to wait outside, and walked a little further down the street, keeping a watchful eye on mum, who was still chatting animatedly in Italian.

All of a sudden I felt a shiver of dread run down my back, before strong hands grasped me, forcing a strong smelling cloth to my nose. I tried to scream out, but gagged on the rag. Struggling with all my might I felt the world turn hazy as I slipped into darkness.

I awoke to find myself in the middle of a small room. The single light bulb suspended high above us casting dreary shadows into the corners of the room. I sat up and slowly took in my surroundings. The walls and door seemed to be made completely of metal, as did the floor. The ceiling was a few stories above my head and there were no windows.

As I finished my cursory glance, I was shocked to note three tall figures in the corner of the room. When they saw that I had detected them, they moved towards me. They seemed to glide across the room, their grace making their movements seem effortless.

As they moved into the light I took note of the fact that they were all extremely pale, with dark, bruise-like circles below their eyes. They were all old looking, with skin that appeared fragile and papery, but what was most surprising was their eyes. All three of them had eyes that were dark burgundy in colour.

"Look, our little meal is awake!" The tall man in the middle exclaimed, his long black hair swaying slightly as he leaned down to inspect me.

"What are you? Why am I here?" I trembled as I asked my questions, my mind instinctively wrapping a comforting shield around myself.

"Why aren't you observant small one?" he exclaimed. "Well, normally I wouldn't tell you this, but since you are going to end up dead anyway, we are vampires," he explained, "And quite simply, you are here to be our meal."

I shivered slightly from the thought of being eaten, but I was slightly comforted by the knowledge that my shield was shrouded over me. I had no doubts that they were in fact vampires, as a four year old I had an active imagination, and I could see that they were definitely not human, nor did they have a reason to lie when they clearly thought that I was going to be their meal.

As I quickly process the admission of the vampires, I felt my curiosity suddenly bubble to the surface. If I had ever listed my faults, curiosity would have been at the top of the list. I had always been too curious for my own good, simply having to know anything and everything.

Realising that they couldn't hurt me, curiosity quickly overcame fear as I looked closely at the three tall old men before me. "So do you burn in the sun and sleep in coffins like Dracula?" I asked, inquisitiveness burning in my tone.

The first man laughed uproariously, while the other two managed to crack small smiles. "No, my dear, thankfully we don't, in fact we sparkle in the sun, and we don't sleep at all." He explained. "Oh, so what are your names?" I asked, intrigued by the answers he was giving me.

"I am Aro, and there are my brothers, Caius and Marcus." He said, pointing to each of his companions in turn.

"I'm Bella," I replied softly, holding out my hand. He took it eagerly, and I became confused as his face quickly became confused, before a blank mask overtook it.

He softly released my hand, muttering, "You are the most interesting individual I have ever met in my thousands of years." His brothers looked at him curiously, while I patiently waited for an explanation. He sighed, "You see young Bella, some vampires have gifts, which they get when they become vampires, and usually it is something carried over from their human life which becomes stronger. Marcus here can see relationships between people."

"I myself am able to see every memory and thought that a person has ever had as soon as I touch their hand. In all my thousands of years as a vampire I have never come across anyone who was an exception to that until now. You Bella are the first person that my gift has not worked on."

While his revelation about other beings with special abilities like mine was surprising, I was relieved that my shield also worked against this surprising development.

It suddenly occurred to me that they hadn't tried to eat me yet. "Why haven't you eaten me yet?" I asked, confused, before I realised that I should gain as much information as possible before they decided to drink my blood. "And where are we?"

"Well, little Bella, we haven't eaten you yet because we are trapped in this room with you and we are saving you to give us strength when we try to escape."

I was puzzled, 'Aren't vampires really strong and fast? Can't you just smash a hole in the wall, or rip the door off?"

Aro chuckled, "Unfortunately my dear, our captors have made it so that even a slight pressure on the walls will cause it to burst into flames, the one and only thing that can kill vampires. So we have been trapped in here for nearly a month now."

I mulled that over for a little while before I decided to test the walls. With my shield secure, I confidently walked up to the wall and held out my hand to push against it.

"NO!" Aro shouted, dashing forward to stop me from burning myself to a crisp, but he stopped as flames poured out where my hand touched the wall. All three watched in amazement as the flames danced along my arm without burning it.

I finally stepped back and the flames died out. I turned to find all three vampires examining me closely.

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