If I owned HP, I would be the happiest person on earth. But I don't. So I settle for fanfiction.

I don't own Twilight either. :P


CHAPTER 4

The minute the house was in sight, Hermione knew there was trouble.

The door was wide open and standing there was Charlie in his police uniform, adjusting his hat with his gun in hand. Watching anxiously behind him was Bella, asking what was going on. Jacob and Hermione approached the house hurriedly.

"Charlie, what's up?"

He looked up at Jacob and shook his head tiredly. Looking extremely stressed and grim, he walked out to his car. Bella ran forward and stopped him.

"Dad. What is going on?"

He sighed and closed his eyes for a few seconds before facing the three worried faces looking up at him.

"There has been another attack... on a family here in Forks."

"Another attack?"

Charlie turned to Elizabeth while the other two continued gazing at him. He nodded.

"Yes. For the past weeks, there have been several attacks on people around Forks, backpackers and campers in the forest, but never on the town. We thought they were from wolves, but with this case..."

He trailed off, his eyes clearly showing the stress he was going through right now. Jacob growled and Bella put a hand on her forehead. She had more questions, but she knew Charlie had to be there as soon as possible. A strange, cold feeling was spreading through her entire being, like she sensed that something was terribly wrong. This attack was different, and she knew it wasn't the wolves or Victoria because... she glanced at Jacob.

"Dad. Who was attacked?"

Charlie visibly twitched. He merely shook his head and walked to his car, the three following close behind. He moved to open the car door, but Bella's arm shot out, keeping the door shut.

"Dad. Who was it?"

Nobody moved.

"Tell me. Please."

Charlie took a deep breath.

"Angela Weber."

And with that, he wrenched the car door open and sped off into the early night.

...

The two girls sat anxiously in front of the television, waiting for the local evening news to start. Bella was crying silently, tears streaming down the side of her face while Hermione kept a comforting arm around her. Jacob had left earlier, to return to the pack; they were sure to need every member there right now.

The opening notes heralding the evening news was heard and both girls perked up, eyes instantly turning to the glaring light of the TV. A few minutes of inconsequential dialogue among the newscasters passed, and then there it was: the report they had been waiting for.

The camera showed what was clearly Angela's house, recognizable even with the numerous police cars and ambulances parked haphazardly here and there, with the door gone and yellow police tape all around. Bella's eyes widened with each painful word the reporter said.

No. No.

The Webers could not be dead... it was impossible. Angela could not be dead.

Hermione let out a small sob. Though they had not been close, the past week spent in Forks had found her a friend in Angela, of whom they had shared a lot of things in common, particularly a love for books. If only they had a few more weeks, they would have been as close to each other as Hermione was to Ginny. If only...

"... no sign of a struggle, except for the door being blasted right out of it's hinges..."

Bella was fully crying by now. Angela was the best human friend she had.

"... bodies were in perfect health, no cuts or wounds, no bruises, nothing to indicate their cause of death..."

It was slowly becoming too much for Bella, and she reached for the remote but Hermione held it tightly in her hand, her knuckles going white and her face drained of color. She leaned forward, her eyes showing fear.

"... murderers left a message... in the sky. What it means, or even how they got it up there, nobody knows..."

The camera panned up from the busy grounds to the evening sky. There was a sharp intake of breath from both girls for there - right above the house was the most grotesque figure anyone had ever seen, visible even in the darkening sky. Nobody understood what it meant, but to Hermione it meant everything; for there, seemingly leering maliciously at everyone watching, was a figure she had never wanted to see again.

A skull with a snake coiling out of its mouth.

And she knew this was only the beginning.

...

That evening was filled with quiet tension and grief, the silence weighing heavily down on them. The very forest seemed to be grieving; the nighttime birds were silent and the trees whispered sadly in the wind. Bella stared blankly at nothing in the table, a once-hot cup of chocolate sitting untouched in front of her while Hermione stood at the windows, peering anxiously out. Charlie had not come home yet.

Hermione worked discreetly, casting wards and protective spells around all the houses that were in sight. She had a sneaking suspicion that the Webers were killed for a reason, and that that reason had something to do with either her or Bella. She knew they wouldn't stop there either. They would keep killing until they had what they wanted.

A disturbing thought passed through her. What if... what if the Death Eaters were using Bella as bait? A threat, a hostage? But there were a lot of holes in that theory, and she was aware of it. Perhaps not only Bella... but the whole town? Were there such powerful people in Forks who loved the townspeople so much? Yes, there were. Her mind flashed back to the conversation she had overheard between Sam and Jacob that first night. It was not the wolves.

The answer was oh so obvious, she smacked herself on the head for only thinking of it now.

Of course.

The vampires.

...

The pack was in a state of utter confusion and restlessness. Quil, Embry and Jared paced up and down, waiting, wondering why they weren't yet hunting down the bastards that did it. Seth and Leah sat in front of the fire, the former watching the three pace while the latter watched Sam, the flickering fire casting shadows on her face, making her expression unreadable. He sat across them stiffly, hands clenched and eyes on the dark, uninviting forest surrounding them as though restraining himself from jumping up and chasing after the perpetrators. Jacob and Paul were missing.

A few minutes (or what seemed like a whole eternity) later, the two appeared from the forest behind Sam, Paul still pulling his shirt on. All eyes immediately turned to them and Sam jumped up as they stepped into the light of the fire. The three stopped pacing and they all watched with bated breath, waiting for their reconnaissance report. They didn't have to wait long.

"It wasn't a vampire."

Nobody moved, disbelief etched on their faces. All except Sam; he thought as much, with the attack on Jacob a few days ago. That still didn't explain anything.

"There were no traces of vampires, unlike all the other attacks. Whatever killed them, it was decidedly human."

The pack erupted in incredulous mutters and questions, each one not quite willing to believe that humans could stage such a clean and mysterious murder.

"Then it isn't any of our business any longer."

The mutters and questions stopped as all eyes turned to Leah, who had been sitting quietly all the while, watching the Alpha pace around. She had her hands stretched in front of her, staring into the fire. She looked up at the pack, her impassive face made more terrible by the flickering shadows of the fire, silently daring them to contradict her. In a way, she was right, after all; as long as it didn't concern the vampires, it didn't concern them. Their purpose was to keep the vampires in check; human wars were best left to the humans.

She was right, they all knew that, but that didn't make them any happier.

"But Sam -"

He ignored the renewed outbreak of discontent mutterings, choosing instead to stare at Leah's wooden expression.

Finally, he spoke.

"She's right. I don't like it, but she's right - for now. We keep out of this for now."

He did not know why he kept silent on Jacob's attack, but one look at the younger wolf told him that he had better not say anything about it. Jacob's face clearly said no, and though he could not understand why, he respected Jacob's decisions. It didn't concern the rest of the pack, after all; it didn't concern them yet.

...

Soft notes wafted through the dark night, sad yet sweet at the same time. Moonlight from the full, golden moon shone through a clearing in the forest, falling on the white, stucco house, creating a dramatic picture of peace and tranquility.

Inside, however, was a different story.

Esme sat at the piano, trying to keep things calm through the soothing notes she played. Emmet and Jasper played a quiet game of chess while Rosalie watched, head resting on Emmet's shoulder. Alice stood at the windows, watching the clouds drift by outside and Edward stood in the shadows beside her, still as a statue, eyes on Carlisle's office door.

Five minutes later, they all tensed and looked up expectantly; a few seconds passed and three figures emerged from his office. Two men in pitch black robes came out, surveyed the room and nodded curtly at each of them before sweeping past out. Carlisle lingered at the door, watching their retreating figures; identical loud cracks were heard and they were gone.

The heavy, tense air in the room lifted considerably. The music stopped as Esme rose to stand next to her husband comfortingly. He smiled down at her, putting his hand around her shoulders before looking up to face the rest of the room. Emmett had a huge grin on his face, Jasper was as stoic as ever, Rosalie looked bored and Alice continued watching the clouds with a smile. Only Edward remained on edge. Carlisle's golden eyes found his and, with a grudging nod, Edward turned away and sat.

They had just saved the town another week; and though it took some time and careful deliberation, the whole family had agreed to accept the wizard's proposal when they next came around. Because of that, they had another week.

"Well then," started Alice "I suppose it's our turn now."

And with that, she hopped over to Jasper, took his hand, and both vampires disappeared into the night.

Emmett stretched while Rosalie stood languorously, her slim frame stretching up with as much grace as a cat's.

"We're going as well. See ya in a week." Giving the family a huge grin, he too took Rosalie's hand in his. Barely a second later, they were gone.

"We've got our own work here. We'd best get to it. Edward?" He nodded and stood, his expression unreadable. Finally conceding to give his adoptive parents a reluctant smile that did not quite reach up to his eyes, he too stepped out the front door and ran.

"Good luck."

A whisper meant for all of them, but no one heard it; they were all too far away.

...

The clock chimed the hour, each dong reverberating through the quiet house. Three o'clock. Charlie had gone straight to his room, having stumbled in shortly after one. Bella and Hermione too were in bed, though neither one was sleeping.

Hermione lay quite still in bed, staring up blankly at the ceiling, all the while keeping alert for any possible threats. Her wards should be strong enough to deter any unwanted visitors, and she would know whenever it was breached. Her mind, meanwhile, was miles away, back in London; back to all her friends and loved ones of whose condition she did not know, as there had been no correspondence among them whatsoever. There it was again, that terrible feeling of waiting for the next blow, wondering who was going to be next, selfishly hoping it was not one of your loved ones and that cold, heavy feeling one gets after every kill...

Various events played across her mind; Dumbledore's figure sprawled on the ground, Moody falling from the sky, George with his head covered in blood, the incarcerated Luna and Ollivander, Mr. Tonks, Dobby... there were those who have been harmed and tortured, there were those who had been killed... Countless deaths she was not aware of, numerous families torn apart, their whole world gone in a single flash of green light... The war was terrible, but then again, all wars were and it was necessary to fight.

It had only been a week, but it had already caught up to her here, five thousand miles away from where it started.

All of a sudden, she bolted straight up, a chill spreading across her body.

Somebody had breached her wards.

Bella tossed and turned, trying to find a comfortable place to sleep, though she very much doubted that she would fall asleep anyway. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Angela's face smiling at her, the skull in the sky, and, weirdly enough, a green flash of light that could not be explained. It was near enough driving her mad and quiet sobs still racked her body.

"Hey."

A cold, quiet voice that others would have been afraid of; but to Bella, it was the voice of safety, of love, of home.

"Edward..."

There in the windowsill he sat, smiling gently down at her. She sat up and reached for him; in less than a second he was on her bed, holding her in his arms. Her tears began anew as she held on to him tightly, the pain of losing a friend searing through her heart once more. He simply kept her in a comforting embrace, waiting 'till her tears subsided and she fell asleep, exhausted. Even then, he held her, kissing the remaining tears away before turning to the door and nodding.

Outside stood Hermione, the wall made transparent to her with the use of a spell she'd invented, keeping an eye on Edward's menacing form but not daring to intrude. She jumped when Edward nodded in her direction, quite forgetting that he could sense even the smallest of things.

So he had known I was outside. I guess he's not such a bad guy, after all.

She too nodded at him, though she knew he couldn't see her, and retreated back to her room, acknowledging Bella's luck in having found Edward.

For a second, she entertained the question of whether or not she would ever have someone like him, her mind flashing back, to the walk she and Jacob had shared this afternoon before feeling ashamed and pushing it out of her mind; she lived in a dangerous era, a dangerous place, and she believed that things like this kind of "love" always came last.

Even though a certain Hogwarts headmaster would have disagreed.


Phew. I made the deadline. Preparations for college are killing me ohohoho.

Ugh, for some reason, I'm not happy with the way things are progressing at all. There have been no Jacob/Hermione moments so far, save for that walk, but I'm thinking of putting up a separate oneshot collection of their interactions in those two days between their meeting and the first attack. Just to make them closer...? I've started on it, actually, and if ever, I'll be putting it on my LiveJournal account. Maybe.

Ah yeah. How do you like this chapter? Sorry about killing Angela off, but I thought it would produce a bigger reaction in Bella than if I killed Jessica xD haha.

So the usual - reviews are appreciated, pointless flames ignored. Constructive criticism is loved. Thanks to all those who reviewed, I love you guys!