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Forks is not a place that Harry would have called home years ago. Back then she didn’t even know Forks was a real place, a town hidden somewhere in America. But it’s been years and she has had time to learn, travel and see more of the world than England – be it the muggle or magical parts of it.

And she likes it here.

A small wooden house, hidden by the dense forest, but still close to Forks. Close enough to be able to go down there for produce and things she needs, but far away that no one will think to come to her. Harry is tired of people is the thing. She wants to be away from everyone, wants to be able to rest and ignore the outside world.

There is magic here, though. In the forest and in Forks. Wild and untamed, grown and changed on its own, untouched by anyone. Old magic in a new world.

Harry breathes in and holds the air in her lungs until they hurt. She’s smiling wide, giddy. There are jitters making her bare toes curl into the moss under her feet, an excitement Harry hasn’t felt in a while. She wants to explore the forest, wants to spend days alone, reading and just sleeping, maybe. She wants to be lazy and messy and a little bit wild, for old time’s sake.

“Home sweet home.” Harry says to herself and to the small house.

There is much she still needs to do, but magic is alive and ready in her blood, it tingles along her fingertips. Harry is ready to make this place hers and hers alone. So, with a quiet laugh she raises her wand and swishes, like Flitwick taught her, and makes the windows clean in an instance.

There is still much to do, but Harry stretches out her legs and flexes her toes on the soft chair. Rain is falling in big, heavy drops and turns everything blurry, like an old photograph. There is a tiny patch of roof above her head that protects her from the weather and requires no magic.

A rune on the right makes the wards shiver.

Harry pulls her legs closer to her body, hides her wand in the sleeve of her large sweater. She waits, Avada Kedavra green eyes attentive for even the slightest of shudders that course through leaves and bushes. The trees here, they are too tall and strong to be moved by magic, unless it’s stronger than average.

First thing Harry notes of the man that comes to stand before her are the eyes tinted golden.

She raises her hand, fingers and most of her wand hidden by the sleeve still, and moves it quickly though the air. The protection spell is nothing but glitters that shine just for a moment, but it’s powerful enough to withstand a vampire attack. The rest will come once Harry knows what the vampire wants.

Not that she can be harmed. Not anymore.

“My apologies, I didn’t mean to startle you.” The man has a slight English accent, old. “You shouldn’t worry, my dear, I am-”

“A vegetarian, I know. But one can never be too safe.” Harry smiles, wand held deceptively loosely in her hand.

The vampire chuckles. “Ah, true. My family and I, we noticed that someone had moved here and I just wished to come and introduce myself. Maybe give you some tips of this lovely place. Oh, almost forgot, my name is Carlisle Cullen. Head of my family.” He’s handsome, like most vampires of his kind. But also genuine, kind in a way that Harry has rarely seen.

“I thought vampires had covens?” Harry blinks once, then flushes just slightly. “Sorry. I’m Harry, Harry Potter.”

The protego shivers and turns into mist. Harry bites her bottom lip and watches Carlisle for a few seconds longer. The vampire doesn’t move from his spot.

“I don’t suppose there is anything that I can offer you, apart from a seat.” Harry nods with her head towards the second garden chair besides her, empty save for a blanket and a forgotten book.

Carlisle smiles. “Just a seat will be quite enough, thank you. Our American magical folk rarely offer even that much.” He moves slowly, easily. But there is confidence in every step that he takes, the kind of power that comes with many, many years lived.

“I wouldn’t call England that much better.” Harry laughs, head laid on her knobbly knees. “Gotta be honest, though, didn’t expect to meet a vampire here, of all the places.” She knows she’s slurring a little as she speaks, but Harry has stopped bothering about manners and how others perceive her. This is her home now and she has little interest in impressing anyone.

Not anymore.

“You’re in for a surprise then.” Carlisle laughs.

Harry yawns as she makes her way through the foliage of the forest. It would have been better for her to go down to the town itself, for groceries and such, but she didn’t want to see people yet. So, hiking.

It’s misty, hard to see when everything is the same type of matte layer and deep colors. But there is life around her and the air is fresh, an after-rain scent that lingers in the crevices of her house. He boots sink into moist dirt and moss, there are spiderwebs caught in her black curls.

When Harry stops paying attention to the where she needs to go to look up towards the creature that had just flown above her, her foot slips on a slippery root, or rock, whatever it was, and she yelps. The bottom of her pants is now uncomfortably wet, her ankle pulses in pain.

“Bloody hell.” Harry prods at it with careful pokes.

It’s easy to fix the ankle, even easier to dry her butt. Harry pat herself down to get rid of any leaves or bark that might have gotten stuck onto her and starts walking again. From deep within the forest a wolf howls.

“Actual wolves or those shifters Carlisle told me about?” Harry pulls out a Mars bar from the side pocket of her backpack and opens it up. The outside layer of it has melted a little, but the caramel is amazing. She licks some smear of chocolate from the corner of her mouth.

Another swish of her wand and Harry’s scent is masked from any beasts – magical and not. It’s not like anyone can really hurt her, but the witch is in no mood to deal with anyone else right now. Today is about hiking and trying not to slip.

Harry is frowning down at the choice of blankets and pillows before her. In her cart there are already some potted plants that she will plant in her flower beds. Her fingers slide over the soft, fiery red plaid blanket and takes it. The curtains are next and she chooses those far more easily. Harry doesn’t much care about décor and how well things go together. She just wants to make the space hers and no one else’s.

When she steps outside of the home depo Harry feels it. Magic, wild and free, sharp like teeth.

Harry sighs and looks towards the two native man waiting for her. An old one in a wheelchair and a young one, both with piercing gazes and an alpha aura to them. Harry looks down at the cart full of her things, then up towards the overcast sky.

“Hello.” Harry smiles down at the older of the two shifters.

While the younger one narrows his eyes in suspicion, the older shifter smiles back. “Welcome to our quiet town, young lady. I’m Billy, the young one is Sam.”

“Thanks. I’m Harry. You’re the shifters, right? I already got a visit from the vampires.” Harry shifts her weight onto one foot and closes her jacket. It’s an old thing, something that once belonged to Sirius.

Billy’s face ticks in a way that’s obviously displeasure. “I see… I had hoped to meet the new, ah, tenant from that side of the world first. For better impressions, you know.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly care about either of you two. Your deals are your deals. I’m just here to live quietly up in my cabin and not deal with,” Harry waves her hand vaguely towards Forks, “problems.”

Sam bares his teeth for a second, then cracks his neck. “You’re one of those spell casters, right?”

Harry grins, wicked and secretive. Amused. “More or less.”

The two shifters exchange looks and Billy snorts. His hat slides over his eyes when he settles more comfortably in his chair. “Young ones these days, bunch of brats. Though, I’m glad. It’s not a bad thing to have someone completely neutral around, for the sake of everyone’s sanity.”

The witch shakes her head, but doesn’t correct the old man anyway. Better to leave the shifters to their impressions and not raise any problems, after all. They offer her a ride that Harry refuses, content to find a secluded corner to apparate home from.

Once back, Harry changes into something more comfortable – Ron’s old muggle sweatpants and a large t-shirt that might have belonged to one of the twins before – and starts putting up all the things she bought. First the simple, white curtains, then the blankets and pillows. A funny metal statue of an owl goes inside one of the rustic bookshelves and a frumpy looking succulent she leaves on the kitchen counter.

There are flowers to plant, one flowerbed away from all the magical herbs and plants, but Harry is lazy and leaves it for tomorrow. For now, she casts an incendio to her fireplace and settles in her couch, intent on finding out how much different muggle television is in America.

For all that Harry’s house is out of the way from both the Cullen and the Quileute territories, she does get a lot of check-ins from both of the families. They skirt around the line of her wards from time to time. Harry isn’t sure if they know, or just feel that there is something there.

She’s not worried though. If their intentions were bad the wards wouldn’t let them through so easily.

A sudden bang, like a clap of thunder, shudders through her house. Harry jumps and her spatula flies out of her hands and goes clattering along the floor. There are sauce splatters all over her curtains and window now.

“What the fuck.” Harry takes a deep breath and straightens out the messy bun atop of her head and goes to see what that was. Her wand appears in her hold as if summoned, like it has been held by her fingers until now.

There are a bunch of vampires in front of Harry’s house. And a hole, thankfully not where her flower beds are.

A pretty, blonde vampire girl is standing to the side with a scowl on her face. It’s her that rolls her eyes and then nods towards Harry. “You two dumbfucks, look what you did. Carlisle told us not to fuck with the witch and what did you do? Kill her flowers. Idiots!”

Harry snorts. “Nah, they got lucky.” She grins at the scowling vampire girl and waves. “So, you’re Calisle’s kids? He said some might drop by but… I didn’t think he meant it literary.”

The vampire girl snorts, the amused grin making her look years younger. “My babe is an idiot with a flare. Poor Jasper just got strung along a little.”

“I wouldn’t call this a little.” One of the two guys grunts. He’s tall and thin, with strawberry blond curls of hair. “My apologies, ma’am.”

“All good. If you had taken out the flowers, well, then it would suck for you.” Harry grins with a tint of warning stuck to the corners of her lips.

The stocky buff guy is surprisingly agile for his build as he rolls onto his feet. Everything about him screams boyish charm and playfulness, a pure kind of restless energy. Harry thinks of a golden retriever when she looks at the guy properly.

“See? I told you she’d be cool! English people are all chill and stuff!” The stocky guy grins wide, his laughter a boisterous thing that echoes around the small clearing. “I’m Emmett, sorry about dropping in so suddenly. Oh, and that’s my wife Rosalie.”

Rosalie covers her face with her palm, trying in vain to hide her giggles. Jasper, on the other hand, makes a long-suffering sigh.

Harry slides her wand in the back pocket of her jeans. “Nice to meet you, I’m Harry. No idea if your vampire dad told you or not. I don’t mind you dropping or whatever, just don’t break my stuff. Please.”

“We’ll try not to, ma’am.” Jasper tilts his head a little, the southern drawl that his words have finally registering.

The three leave soon and Harry watches them disappear from her front yard in a matter of seconds. Jasper lingers just a little, his gaze curious and strangely unreadable. Harry cocks her head to the side, feeling just a tad confused herself, but decides to pretend she didn’t notice anything. Sometimes it pays off to play the oblivious fool.

It’s easy to lose sense of time in a place where time seems to be unimportant. Harry spends each day as she pleases, no longer bound by the rules of neither the Dursley’s or whoever else had it out for her. She writes letters to friends back in England, chats through the fireplace with Hermione and Ron, coos over their tiny daughter Rose.

The girl is just barely a few months old and already it seems like Ron will do anything for her. Hermione rolls her eyes every time her husband goes on a tirade about all the things that he will buy for Rose.

“Watch him change his mind when Rosie knows how to walk and talk back.” Hermione has her legs stretched out before her on the floor, back resting against the sofa.

Harry shakes her head. “Won’t he just be proud that his kid is finally growing up to be the same kind of rebel that he was?” Her knees are starting to hurt a little, but that’s not important.

“Um, no! I will raise my kids to not be as crazy as we were! No mortal enemies for them!” Ron yells from somewhere inside of his house. When he comes into the room his hair is messed up and there is a drooling baby sleeping on his shoulder. “I love you, but I want my kids to have the normal magic experience.” Even when he says that, Ron is smiling wide and happy.

“Wow, rude. Where has your sense of adventure gone?”

Hermione rolls her eyes at the both of them. “Children, both of you. Anyway, how’s it going there for you? Anything interesting happen?”

“Not even here I can escape the magical. Local vampires and shifters came by, seems like there is drama even in Forks.” Harry shifts a little.

“You always did say that trouble finds you, not the other way around.” Ron sits on the sofa. Rose makes a small noise of protest from her perch on his shoulder. “And hey, you won’t be bored now.”

Hermione pokes Ron’s exposed ankle, then trails her fingers higher up her husband’s leg. “You know just as well as I do that boredom just drives you, well, bored. And when you’re bored you do… reckless stuff.”

Harry makes a face at both of her best friends. “Excuse you, Hermione Weasley, there are whole two kids in the room – me and your own. No ankle touching during the day.” She sticks her tongue out right back at the overly suggestive wink that Ron makes “Whatever, bleh on you two.”

They stay chatting for a while longer after that, until Harry can no longer stand her knees feeling uncomfortable. With the fire-call now ended the witch stretches out and looks out at the darkness on the other side of the windows. There are fireflies fluttering about, mostly over her tiny garden.

With a tiny sigh Harry steps outside and peers into the forest and wonders. There are wolves howling, somewhere far away, their voices just an echo where she is. Someone is standing right by where her wards start. Not a dangerous or malicious someone, since the wards are calm and just buzzing gently from a presence so close to them.

“Won’t be bored, huh?” Harry mumbles to herself. “Vampires and shifters. And muggles too, I guess.”

After some while Harry goes back inside. She’ll take a bath, snack and then go sleep. There is nowhere to be tomorrow, nothing to worry about. Here, this far away from England with its bad memories and annoying Ministry people, there is nothing around that could put her in danger. Not that Ministry is a danger, no, just an annoyance.

Harry’s down in the town again when she runs into Jasper. Or rather, when Jasper comes up to her.

“Would you mind if I helped you, ma’am?” The vampire drawls, upper body tilted down towards her, golden eyes strangely intense.

“Well… I suppose not.” Harry pulls her hand away from the two bags of food. She doesn’t really need the help, but appreciates the gesture. “I would say unexpected meeting we’re having here, but that wouldn’t be true, would it?”

Jasper doesn’t blush or stutter, not does he act cocky like some boys from Hogwarts might have done had they been in the vampire’s place. Instead there is a sneaky little smile playing along the corners of his mouth, a warm glint to his gaze. “You got me, ma’am. But you should not worry, my intentions are not bad.”

“I can take you on, even if they were.” Harry grins wide, black hair a mess as the wind whips the strands in all directions.

Jasper’s laugh is a hoarse thing, almost rusty. But it’s endearing and something warm flutters in Harry’s stomach when she hears it. It’s a strange feeling, one that she hasn’t felt since Cedric and Ginny. One that the witch didn’t think she’ll get to experience again in a long time. After that last battle things just never were the same, she hasn’t been the same.

Though, vampires probably know the best about being stuck in time.

“I have no doubt of that. You smell strange, even by magic-wielder standards. Like something I should be vary of.” Jasper doesn’t sound mean or wary as he speaks. Just neutral, observatory.

Harry blinks up at the tall vampire, lips pursed. Jasper blinks slowly and deliberately, more like an afterthought that he should blink rather than a necessity. There is still some lingering unease and dislike that Harry feels when someone comments on this new part of her, weather they know of it or not, but together with it there is also some relief that it’s taken as a given, as something normal.

Normal. What a strange thing to associate with herself.

Jasper stops by a shiny silver car, seemingly ignorant of the looks that the people around them throw his way. Vampires and their beauty. “Would you like a ride back?”

“There’s not exactly a road going all the way to my place.” Harry shifts her weight to one foot, hip cocked to the side. She doesn’t do it to come off as flirty or anything, it’s just the new shoes that make her feet ache the longer she stands.

The vampire frowns. “I insist. And the lack of roads is no problem, not to me.”

Harry could apparate. But she also likes Jasper’s company, however new and slightly strange it might be. So with a shake of her head and a grateful ­thank you Harry accepts the vampire’s offer and gets comfy in the passenger’s seat. First things first, she toes off her sneakers and wiggles her toes.

“Ah, so it was the shoes.” Jasper comments lightly.

“Hmm? What d’you mean?” Harry glances at the vampire. This close to him she finally notices pale scars littered along Jasper’s neck and bare forearms. But even this close they are nothing more than barely-there shadows, old and almost as white as the man’s skin.

She doesn’t comment on them. She does play with her hair to pull the messy strands over her own lightning bolt.

Jasper opens his mouth, seems to change his mind right before speaking. “You felt… discomfort, earlier. I wasn’t sure why, that’s all.”

“Huh. Vampire superpowers?” Harry asks.

“Something like that.” Jasper smiles again, a quick thing.

Harry knows, of course, vaguely about the special gifts all vampires have. Each have an individual one, specific to just them and no one else. She doesn’t ask, however, just like Jasper didn’t ask about her strange scent before.

The ride to her little house is quiet, in a comfortable way. It’s as if words don’t really matter or have importance. Not now. Or rather, not yet. Harry leans back into the chair and watches the scenery flash before her, hums along the quiet music coming from the car’s speakers.

Jasper is a calm presence next to her.

When they get as close to Harry’s home as they can Harry steps out of the car with her sneakers held in her hands, not on her feet again. She’s sure to have blisters. Jasper has both of her shopping bags held in one hand.

“Are you sure you don’t want to wear your shoes, ma’am?” Jasper doesn’t look away from Harry’s toes, now sunken a little into the grass.

The witch laughs. “Nah, my feet hurt. I can just apparate, or something. Don’t really need to walk all the way up.”

At that Jasper looks up, calculative. “This might be forward of me, but would you allow me to take you up myself? I don’t wish to part with you yet, ma’am.”

Jasper is sweet. In an old gentleman kind of way, in a slightly too-forward but very well-meaning way. Harry is charmed, unused to being taken care of like this. Before she was a girl she has always been the Chosen One, the warrior and soldier. Never a girl to be carried up a hill, never one that made others worry over such little things as her achy feet or tiny scrapes.

“Only if you stop calling me ma’am and call me Harry.” Harry laughs, aware of the pink blush high on her cheeks.

Jasper seems pleased. “Well then, how about you get on my back? Harry.”

So Harry clings to Jasper’s solid back, shivering just a little from how cold the vampire is. Clinging onto him as Jasper zips through the forest too fast for her to truly follow along the blur of trees and little to no difficulty. Harry can feel that the vampire’s skin is smooth and solid to the touch, so unlike a human’s. Or her own. The coldness of it is nice, however.

“Thank you, Jasper.” Harry says once she’s standing by her front door. Hair even more of a mess than before, by the supermarket. Face flushed from the wind.

Jasper nods his head. “My pleasure. It was nice running into to you.”

“Mhmm, such a nice coincidence.” Harry winks at the vampire before turning around and walking inside her house.

From how unfriendly the shifters had seemed when Harry met them the first time, the large wolf now standing before her doesn’t seem to be a threat. With a huff Harry dumps her bag by her feet and blinks up at the now sitting shifter.

“Are you here to keep tabs on me? So that I don’t get friendly with your enemies, or whatever the vampires are to your pack?” Harry doesn’t expect an answer, her question meant more to complain than get any information back.

The wolf huffs. Harry narrows her eyes at him.

The bushes rustle behind her, a little to the right, and another shifter slowly shows up. This one is smaller than the first one, seems completely indifferent of Harry’s presence. Instead, it stalks up to the first shifter and nuzzles under his jaw, then nips lightly in a greeting and trots back inside the forest, this time in the foliage behind the wolf.

Harry sighs and bends down to pick her bag back up.

When she straightens out there is a naked guy standing before her, barely covering his junk with the help of his own hands. There is a healthy flush of red on his cheeks, smile a little bashful when he ducks his head. “Yeah, uh, sorry about the nakedness. My shorts are… well, not around, but maybe you can, uuuuh, magick? Me a pair? Please?”

“At least you asked nicely.” Harry doesn’t bother to quiet her laugher as she pulls out her wand and looks around for something to transmutate. In the end, she pulls out a cheap scarf she bought in muggle London years back and uses that. “Not the most stylish thing, but should work. And you can keep them.”

The guy laughs as well, even as he puts on clothes. “Yeah, sorry about that again. Clothes don’t really survive the shift and yeah. I’m Jacob, by the way, and I’m not here to keep tabs on you. Like, this was all kind of a coincidence?”

Jacob scratches the back of his head, then his nose. Finally he shakes his head a little. The way he talks is warm and friendly, not at all bothered by Harry and what she is, since no doubt that Sam and Billy had talked about her to their pack.

“Huh, cool. So, anyway, since you’re here and all, where can I go in the forest? I presume your pack’s territory is around here somewhere and me wandering around is probably no good?” Truthfully, Harry doesn’t remember much about shifters and their habitats. There were other things to worry about and after the war she had no want to bother about her education.

“Ah, nah it should be fine. You’re not a vampire, so.” Jacob shrugs.

“Nice. By the way, what’s the deal with you and them? First time I’m seeing something like what you have going on here.” It’s not like Harry cares all that much about the reasons, but it’s something that Jacob might be willing to talk about without it turning awkward between them, as there is nothing connecting them yet.

Strangers are always easier to trust secrets to.

The shifter grunts and shifts his weight around a little. “You don’t know? There is a treaty between the cold ones and us. We’re just making sure it’s not broken by them.”

“Treaty?” Harry tilts her head a little, considers asking more. But it’s not really her place, nor does she want to get in-between another mess that’s not really hers to deal with to begin with. “I guess that’s why the two that met me didn’t seem too happy about Carlisle meeting me first.”

“It’s complicated stuff here. Old stuff.” Jacob shrugs.

The wind that blows between the trees and through the canopy of leaves and pine needles is rather cold – a harbinger of fall and winter to follow soon after. Harry turns her face towards it though, breathes in the fresh cold that it brings. It truly does feel different in the forest. She’s cut off from the world and unburdened by anything, like a different universe has taken her in and chosen to keep her.

“Off topic, but know any pretty spots in this forest?”

Jacob gestures with his thumb to his right. “If you go that way you’ll find better sights, tiny clearings and stuff. That way is pretty boring.”

“Thank you.” Harry waves and walks away. Fall nips at her heels.

Jasper is back and with him comes the first rumbles of a thunderstorm. Harry peers first at the vampire, then upwards to the grey clouds. Rain is yet to start, but it’s building up to it. And quite quickly.

“Hello there, Jasper. Another coincidence?” Harry is once again in a too-large sweater and tiny shorts. Her smile turns a little amused when Jasper’s eyes stray to her bared neck instead of her unshaved legs. ”Or you won’t even bother pretending to have a reason?”

The vampire makes a low sound, a hum of sorts. But unlike the awkwardness, or even shame that Harry expected to see, Jasper seems to be rather pleased with himself. “Not quite either, Harry. I was about to invite you to a baseball game.”

Harry raises one eyebrow. “In this weather?”

Especially in this weather. It’s gonna be a sight to see.” Jasper shifts his shoulders and, what Harry now realizes is a worn baseball jersey, twists with the movement.

“Will there be someone else there? Or you’re planning to be the typical muggle-story vampire? Kidnap the pretty girl and have your evil ways with her.” The witch blows a wild lock of hair out of her eyes, wrinkles her nose when it falls back where it was. Finally, she pushes it behind her ear.

Jasper shakes his head, looks quite determined to prove himself better than the muggle novel version of his kind. But there is also a glint of humor shining in the gold of his eyes. “That’s something that Edward might do, unlike me. And even if I were to, I’m sure you’re more than capable of resisting me, Harry.”

Harry falls against her doorframe as she laughs – a loud snort, followed by quieter giggles.

“Hmmm… I’ll believe you, then. Let me change first, though. I don’t want to freeze out there.” The witch leaves her door open when she goes back to her room in search of some jeans and a bra to wear under her sweater. Maybe also a shirt as well. “By the way, what do you have in mind, if not kidnapping me?”

“Like I said, baseball.” Jasper’s voice sounds far-off, as if he has chosen to stay by the entrance of her home. ”Thunder masks the noises.”

It’s not long that Harry returns, now dressed more weather-appropriate and hair pulled into a messy ponytail. She turns off the television on her way out, drinks the last of her tea. For a few seconds the witch looks at her long raincoat, debating the use of having one with her. It might get just a tad too hot with it on as well. And she has magic, anyway.

Once outside Harry pulls out her wand from the back pocket of her jeans and flicks it towards the door. “Colloportus.”

Jasper, while he does stand a bit to the side, peers closer to the tiny flash of white that the spell creates. He seems intrigued, like a small child would be towards something new and unusual. “Does all magic have colors?”

“Hmm? Yeah, more or less. They vary depending on the nature of the spell.” Harry tucks her wand up her sweater sleeve, into the harness that is wrapped around her forearm. Safer that way. “Is there anything else I should know about this baseball game I’m going to?”

Jasper reaches out, his movements slow and deliberate. Gentle, as the vampire pushes yet another loose lock away from Harry’s face.  “Our coven’s mother will be there, Esme. She is Carlisle’s mate. I think you will like her, she’s kind. And two more of my siblings, I suppose, if we go by this town’s version.” He takes a moment, unhurried despite the excitement for going to the game that he showed before. “I forgot to tell you this last time, but your eyes are quite beautiful, my dear.”

Harry knows she’s blushing, giddy from the compliment. “Thank you, Jasper.”

She’s always heard compliments about her eyes, how they are the same as her mother’s. Or how they look like the green flash of Avada Kedavra. Rarely someone complimented them on their own merit, for something as simple are being… pretty.

Jasper preens. Or Harry thinks he does.

Then, Jasper offers his palm for Harry to take, like a gentleman that he seems to be. “Now, would you like to sit on my back, or prefer I hold you in my arms?”

“Since you’re offering so nicely.” Harry grins wide as she ignores his palm and skips around the vampire. She jumps on Jasper’s back, arms wrapping around the man’s throat. “Feels weird to do this to a vampire. You’re so… hard.”

Jasper straightens out and positions his arms under Harry’s legs, to keep her up and secure. “It’s not far, but hold on tight anyway, my dear.”

It’s fun.

Harry sits on a stump and claps when one of the vampires does something cool, since she has no idea how baseball really works and what the rules are. But none of the vampires seem to mind, Emmett especially seems to enjoy whenever the witch shouts because of something that he did.

“Don’t encourage him, please.” Rosalie is throwing one of the spare baseballs up and down as she waits for her turn. “He’ll start showing off more than playing seriously.”

From the other side of the field the two other vampires that Harry met for the first time today, Edward and Alice, glance towards her. One with confusion and the other with interest. A little like Hermione gets when she stumbles on a hard-to-solve problem.

Which, Harry is not sure she wants to experience that kind of interest on herself, again.

“I think it’s cute. He’s like a big dog.” Harry leans back on her arms and glances at Rosalie.

The vampire woman has her lips pursed, but her eyes gleam in amusement. “I mean, you’re not wrong. He is pretty cute. Outside of the bedroom at least.”

“Rosalie ew.” Edward grimaces as he lightly jogs past them in human speed. “I don’t need to hear that, said or thought.” He then shoots a look towards Harry, the same weird confusion as before.

Soon Rosalie joins the game as well. She’s cocky as she swings the baseball bat around, crouches low in preparation to hit the ball. And Jasper was right about this weather being the best for the game. When the ball is hit the noise is like lightning strike, when two vampire bodies collide it is heavy thunder that vibrates the ground.

“I hope you’re not too cold out here, Harry.” Carlisle has dirt smears across his knees and palms. There were leaves in his hair before, ones that Esme lovingly pulled out one by one just minutes before. “Though, I’m sure there is a spell to warm up, from what I know of your kind.”

Harry, who now sits with her legs pulled up and chin on her knees, much like she had the first time she met Carlisle, shakes her head just a little. “I’m good, not cold or wet yet. Thank you for letting me come and watch this. Jasper said that this is usually a family thing.”

Esme joins them, her hair immaculate despite all the running she has done so far. True to Jasper’s words, she is kind and welcoming. A lovely lady that greeted Harry with a hug. “There isn’t anyone around that really knows about us after all.”

“Thanks anyway.” Harry repeats one more time.

There is mud on the ground, the rain now coming down especially hard. The sky is dark, the forest a dull grey now, instead of the usual lush green. The vampires don’t seem bothered, but Jasper does come up once to make sure that Harry is fine, to ask if she maybe wishes to go home.

In the end, when it really does get too dark for Harry to really see what is going on, she stands up on her stump and stretches out. The faint shield around her keeps the rain at bay, but the heating spell is one that is starting to wear off. It’s not hard to tell that Alice, at the least, has questions, many of them maybe, but Harry is not in the mood to be someone’s new discovery. Not this evening.

Jasper is there in front of her, palm once again reaching towards her as way to help the witch get down. “Should I take you back?”

Harry takes it and jumps down from the stump. “No thanks, back I can get on my own. You know that.”

“Indeed. But if I take you, I can spend more time with you.” Jasper grins, brings Harry’s fingers to his lips for a quick, feather-light kiss.

“Such a charmer.” Harry lets her hand linger in the vampire’s hold a bit longer than necessary. “But not this time.”

Alice bumps into Jasper with a loud thud. “Hello! So, how much do you know about seers, little witch?” This vampire girl is bright and bubbly, unapologetic to be herself and ask exactly what she wants to know.

“I’ve had a run in with a few of them. Why?” Harry slips her hands in the front pockets of her jeans. Her fingertips are freezing now.

“Nice. Then you know what I’m talking about when I say that I’ve seen you being a bit of a constant with us in the future. We’ll get along great!” Alice winks and skips away, then speeds up and disappears from the clearing.

Jasper looks a little pained, kind of awkward. But also fond, the way Harry has seen the Weasley kids look at one another. “You get used to Alice. She always means well, just prefers to be mischievous at times.”

Harry kicks an old pinecone lightly with the tip of her sneaker. “I’ve met people like her, it’s fine.”

For a moment there is silence between them. The rain keeps falling, now slowly breaking through Harry’s disappearing shield. She can feel the cold drops on her face, can see one on her glasses. She watches water slide down Jasper’s skin, lets her eyes linger on the way his blonde hair sticks to his face, on the spots of skin that shine through the vampire’s wet shirt.

She’s sure that Jasper knows, or can tell, what she’s feeling by the way his eyes darken just slightly, the pleased little curl of his lips.

“Well, I’ll be going then.” Harry ignores the flush of her cheeks, pretends it’s due to the cold.

Jasper doesn’t look away from her. Nor does he stop smiling that tiny half-smile thing. His voice, when the vampire speaks, is lower than before. “I will see you soon, if that is okay with you, my dear.”

“Sure, why not.” Harry wiggles her fingers right before she turns on her heel and apparates home.

“You smell like those leeches.”

Harry turns away from the wooden box full of cucumbers and glances at Sam. The young shifter seems displeased, angry. She blinks once, then turns back to the produce. “And you’re annoying.”

Sam takes a breath and it sounds more like a rumble of a displeased dog. There is a shift, a slight move from human to more beast that makes the air in the store tense in a silent warning. The young man stalks closer, body purposely loose to look like he’s relaxed, calm. “You don’t talk to me like that. This is our land and our rules.”

Harry dumps a couple of cucumbers in her cloth bag and then puts that in her cart. It’s not too full with food yet. She then rolls her eyes and turns around to look Sam straight in the eyes – a direct challenge to the alpha before her. And the witch knows it well.

Sam looks taken aback.

“The spat you have with them is yours alone, not mine.” Harry lets more of that power flow through her, breathes in the cold that settles in her veins when she lets the control loosen. “I couldn’t care less about it, I don’t have to follow the terms. Besides, I hate it when I’m being ordered to do something.”

Sam’s eyes have gone wide, his alpha posturing and aggressiveness has faded. In its place there is something fragile about the shifter now, something that is small and scared. Harry knows that effect she has on others when she let’s the hollows’ power show, when she becomes the thing that has made her less human.

She knows far too well.

“Besides, out of all the beings you have around here, I’m the most dangerous one. Keep that in mind, pup.” Harry licks her lips as she breathes in the power twisting inside of her and locks it all up again. It feels weird and foreign when she releases it. Almost as if she’s back, standing in front of the Veil.

With one final look at Sam, the boy now pale but his eyes burning even more than before, the witch turns around and rolls her cart down another isle. There are people around, some that had managed to see the meeting and are now giving Harry weird looks. Or maybe they also felt the change in air. Muggles are sensitive to magic sometimes, more so than others. Then again, death touches everyone equally.

By the time Harry is done with her grocery shopping she’s just tired. Outside by the store entrance she sees the shifter kids, with Sam in the middle, throwing strange glances her way. Jacob is there are well.

Harry makes a face at them, a tiny wrinkling of her nose in annoyance and huffs. They have already ruined her day and she doesn’t have it in her to deal with them anymore.

When she apparates home there is someone waiting for her there already.

“Merlin, today sucks.” Harry mumbles to herself and walks right past Edward to dump her bags in one of the lounge chairs. “So, what brings you here?”

Edward has a weird mix of confusion and awkwardly apologetic look on his face, a nervousness to his body language that Harry has not seen on a vampire yet. “Sorry. I can, I can come back some other time. This was a stupid idea anyway.”

Damn her bleeding heart and saving people thing. Harry sighs and nods with her head to the unoccupied lounge chair. “Sorry, bad mood. Sit down and tell me what’s going on.”

And the vampire does. He’s still, almost like a statue, fingers nervously sliding along the seam of his jeans as Edward thinks over his words. “I met my singer. And, well… the coven thinks I should just get used to her scent, the scent of her blood but… That’s, I’m not sure I can control myself that well.”

Harry hums quietly. “Ahh… You’re wondering if magic could help.”

“Yes.” Edward nods, then his head snaps towards Harry and he seems so young and confused, despite how old the teenager must really be. “If there is I will, of course, pay you back for the help. Somehow. I don’t want to hurt anyone. Or break the pact we have with the shifters here.”

Harry looks up at the sky. Above the treetops birds fly free and without a care in the world. “There is a spell that can mask someone’s smell. But, let me ask you this – if the spell wears off and you are hit with the full force of her scent, wouldn’t that be even more dangerous?”

“Oh.” Edward purses his lips and looks down at his feet again.

“I think your coven’s idea is the better option. Sorry I can’t help.” Harry smiles a little sadly. She doesn’t know what a singer is to a vampire, has just a vague idea from what little Edward just told her, but she knows how it feels to not be in control of her own body and feel like a threat to someone, like a monster. “Your coven’s vampires have been around for a long time. They know and they can help better than I ever could, I think.”

Edward nods, still tense and worried. “Yeah, it’s okay. Thank you for humoring me, at least. I…” He stands up and then hesitates just a little. “No, never mind. It’s not that important.” He shakes his head, so alike to a regular human, and runs off into the forest.

Harry sits with her legs spread in front of her for a while longer, basking in the last few truly warm days. She had thought that out here, in the middle of nowhere, there would be no trouble to hunt her down. How wrong has she been and how pleased Hermione will be when Harry will tell the woman how right she was in her predictions.

“And they have a feud going on? How fascinating.” Hermione has dark bags under her eyes and her hair is even more of a fizzy mess than usual. There is baby puke on the witch’s skirt.

“Not really. The young shifters are damn annoying.” Harry has a pillow under her knees this time. “That brat was all our land, our rules, as if I care about that.” She knows she is whining, and that Hermione has better things to do than listen to this, but there is no one else around for Harry to whine to.

Inside of her playpen Rose makes tiny baby noises.

Hermione has a look in her eyes, a glint that comes with the experience of dealing with the trouble that followed them throughout the years spent in Hogwarts. “You went there to get away from trouble. And the unspeakables. Mainly them. But also the trouble.”

“Trouble always finds me.” Harry sticks her tongue out when Rose looks her way.

Hermione smiles at her daughter, despite the visible tiredness. “Well, if it’s only a feud between the shifters and that one coven, then they really have no ground on which to force you to follow it. No magical contract for other magical kinds, no authority. I think. I don’t remember how it works in America.”

“Well, I probably wouldn’t follow it anyway. You know me.” Harry grins. There is sooth tickling her nose, clinging to her hair. “I did scare the shifter kid, though.”

“Oh dear. With the master of death aura?”

“The same one.”

Hermione’s lips twist in a wince. “That’s something.”

Harry rolls her eyes. “He was asking for it. Some young dude thinks he can show up and demand shit from me. Like, yeah, they were here first and all, but I’m not even doing anything. Merlin, I don’t even know what their feud or deal, or whatever it is, is about, so I can’t even go against it. Or break it. Annoying.”

Just as Hermione opens her mouth to say something else there is a knock on Harry’s door. The witch furrows her eyebrows and pulls her head out of her fireplace a little to look back. The wards are just a quiet hum in the back of her mind, so whoever is here, they are not a threat. Or, not a big enough one. But it’s late and there are only so many people that know the location of her house.

“Sorry, ‘Mione, I’m gonna have to check back later. Someone is here.” Harry apologizes quickly. Her wand is already in her hold, ready to be used if needed.

The other witch looks worried, her eyebrows are furrowed, and mouth set in the same line that she used to get right before starting an argument she intended to win. But this time Hermione is far away and can’t do anything. “Sure. But, call back in afterwards, when you’re done? Just so I know you haven’t started another war.”

Despite the situation, Harry laughs. “Will do.”

Harry gets up and flicks her wand towards the fireplace to make sure it’s empty. She watches the door and gets another knock, this time more impatient. There are vague shadows outside the windows -bulky and with long hair. The shifters, maybe?

The tip of Harry’s wand is pointing right between Billy’s eyes when she opens the door. Someone from the younger shifters gathered behind the old man growl in agitation.

“It’s late and there are more of you than me. Shouldn’t I be the one growling? Or am I not allowed to protect myself, in my own home, mind you?” Harry doesn’t glance away from Billy, but she is attentive and ready for anything.

Billy stays calm. Despite the situation. “Apologies for the late hour, young lady. And the hotheads behind me. We didn’t come with hostile intentions.”

“If you had, you wouldn’t be standing here in the first place.” Harry quips and lowers her wand. But doesn’t put it away. “Why are you here?” She doesn’t bother to ask how Billy got up here, with his wheelchair and all.

“To smooth out some details of a… meeting you had with Sam here. In the supermarket.” Billy gestures over his shoulder with his thumb in Sam’s general direction.

Harry raises one eyebrow. Her wards hum again. “Hmmm. I will tell you what I told him, your thing with the Cullens is yours alone. I neither care about it, nor will I follow it. And if I want to hang out with the coven then I will. No brat can tell me what to do.”

“I told you - our land, our rules.” Sam bares his teeth, much like an angry dog would do when especially agitated. He’s all wound up and ready to pounce.

Billy glares over his shoulder. “Calm down, now.” He sighs. “My apologies.”

Harry doesn’t say anything. She does see Jacob’s nose wrinkling when he scents the air, head already turning towards the forest. The witch just waits what else will be said, not in the mood to be polite and forthcoming.

“Sam also says you did something to him.” Billy continues on as if nothing had happened. “Apart from your exchange of words.” Though, the old man also seems a little annoyed now, especially so when he breathes in and catches the same thing Jacob did.

Between the trees Harry can see both Alice and Jasper. Waiting.

“Yeah, that was after he did his best to annoy me.”

Billy’s hold on the wheelchair handrests is quite strong, if the bending of the metal is to go by. “I see. It certainly is true that we cannot demand you to follow our agreement, as it is only between us and Cullens,” here the old man makes a pause and slides his eyes towards Sam, “I had hoped you will stay neutral.”

Harry purses her lips, blinks. “First of all, I don’t care about your issues, I already said that. I didn’t come here to play referee for anyone and don’t want to. Second, I really don’t think my choice of friends is something I should ask permission for.”

The buzzing in her veins is back. The hollows call to her, they sense the drop in her feelings towards the negative. They want to be used, want for her to shift into what she became thanks to Voldemort and Dumbledore equally. But Harry doesn’t want that. Not now, maybe not ever.

Her heartrate suddenly slows and her annoyance ebbs away like the waves of a sea. Harry breathes in deep and then glances towards Jasper and Alice, notes the slightly apologetic smile that Jasper makes. So that’s it, huh?

“Anything more?” Harry finally asks now that she is calm. Her voice is soft again, body relaxed.

Billy sighs. His whole self sags into his chair – old, worn and tired. “No, nothing. You’re right, though, our problems are our own, not someone else’s to deal with. My apologies for this, I hope we can still be on good terms in the future to come.”

“Sure. Give me a few days to get over my annoyance and we should be good.” Harry even manages to chuckle.

Behind Billy, Sam looks displeased and unsatisfied with how this has turned out to be. When they leave, Billy carried by two other young shifters, younger than Sam and Jacob, Harry thinks, he growls at the two vampires still waiting by the tree line.

“Ugh, I’m tired.” Harry mumbles under her nose.

“But at least not bored!” Alice giggles from right next to Harry. Her grin is wide enough to show off her fangs. “Glad I decided to bring Jasper with me, not that he’s refuse to see you. Hot temper leads to some questionable choices, you know.” The bubbly vampire wags her finger a little, though there is nothing serious about the seer.

Jasper has his head turned towards the opening in the trees where the shifters disappeared to. “I hope I didn’t overstep my boundaries.”

“Any other time I would be angry, but not this one. I needed that, thanks.” Harry welcomes them both inside. She casts an accio for a bottle of butterbeer and falls backwards into one of the two comfy chairs placed in her living room. “Why are you two here?”

Alice sits cross-legged in the sofa. “I saw some stuff, decided to follow it through. I was just a human before I was a vampire, so you’re kinda not showing up in my visions. But I can see me and Jasper and the results of our decisions. Or something like that.”

Jasper sits next to his coven-mate, seemingly still a little tense. “Are you alright, my dear?”

Next to Jasper, Alice giggles again.

Harry drinks some more of her butterbeer. “Just tired, nothing else. Don’t worry.” She flexes her toes for a moment. “So, how is it going with Edward and his human girl? Not sure if he told you, but he was here a few days ago, hoping for help.”

“Ah, yeah, that.” Alice’s smile turns a little dimmer, but doesn’t disappear completely. “Well, for now it’s not going anywhere. We’re working on it, helping him get used to her scent. Hopefully it will work.”

Just as Harry and Alice fall into easy dialogue, despite not having talked with each other much prior to this evening, the witch feels cold fingers wrap around her ankles and thenn pulling her feet into Jasper’s lap. The vampire is careful as he starts working his fingers along her feet, massaging out tiny kinks and the last of Harry’s stress from the unexpected confrontation of before.

It’s nice. So, so nice.

“So, Alice saw me in a vision and that’s why you showed up?” Harry is sleeping in her backyard, enjoying the winter sun under the protection of her magic.

Jasper, who is sitting in the sun, rather than sleeping, shrugs. His skin is sparling, now visually more alike to a diamond than during the rainy and cloudy days. “Not quite. Alice can’t see you, just… She saw me happy, with someone by my side. And when I first saw you, your scent was unlike anything I’ve smelled before, Harry. Not like a singer, the opposite of that, I think. Alluring.”

The vampire’s cold fingers trail down Harry’s cheek featherlight. She leans into the touch, purrs like a content cat almost. It feels like she is in a dream, in a floating bubble where time doesn’t matter and all that exists is only what she sees around her, nothing after that. Ever since coming to Forks every day has been so different to what Harry is used to - slightly sleepy, calm in a way Hogwarts’ years never were.

And she loves it.

Harry loves every second she can now spend laying around the house, hiking through the seemingly never-ending woods, mingle with the muggles in tiny coffee shops and bookstores. She has caught up with what she had missed out from the muggle world, she no longer worries about what the whole of wizarding England seemed to expect from her, as the Girl Who Lived twice, as the Master of Death, as Dumbledore’s supposed successor.

Nothing matters here, except what Harry wants.

And Harry wants to know more about this gentleman of a vampire next to her. With slightly pursed lips the witch traces the cross-stitch of scars on Jasper’s arms, lets her fingertip map the path that the leftovers of sharp nails and teeth have left behind.

“You can ask, darlin’.” Jasper says. There is amusement dancing in the tone of his voice, laughter laces the edges.

Harry pokes one especially dark fang mark harder than intended, though her finger doesn’t even make a dent on the vampire’s skin. “But do you want to answer?”

“I think they speak for themselves. I’m sure even the magicals have heard of the vampire wars, at least in America.” Jasper lifts his free hand up and moves Harry’s hair away from her forehead, exposes the pale lightning-strike shadow of a scar that rests on the witch’s forehead. “How about your story?”

Harry allows her fingers to travel up and down Jasper’s forearm, enjoys how she is allowed to touch now. “A little, not a lot. Well… I killed a madman, my scar changed from how it was before. Then I ran away from the expectations and wound up here.”

“I ran from the South. Not to here, but to find a place to belong.” Jasper’s gaze is on the bow of Harry’s lips, the slope of her nose.

Harry pokes the dip under Jasper’s Adam’s apple. “Yeah, I know how that feels.”

For a moment they both stay still. Harry grins and grabs a hold of the top of Jasper’s button-down and pulls the vampire down. The kiss is awkward at first, with the angle and the hard vampire skin, but it’s only so for the first moments. Once Jasper gets over the suddenness of the motion, he leans in, looms over Harry as he deepens the kiss, his hands cradling the witch’s head.

Harry breathes through her nose, bends her leg, so that it rests against Jasper’s hip. There is tongue sliding along her lips, against her teeth and the roof of her mouth. She sighs into it, bites down Jasper’s bottom lip and pulls the man closer, as close as she can have him.

When Jasper pulls away Harry giggles at the mess she had made of the vampire’s hair, at the saliva smeared on his mouth. There is something alluring to see the always proper Jasper look anything but. Harry licks her lips.

“So forward, darlin’.” Jasper breathes along the side of Harry’s neck. “Smell like a siren song.”

Harry wraps her leg around Jasper’s hips and pulls even more on the vampire’s hair. She grunts when she feels light nibbles on her neck, a beginning of a hickey, surely. “Now you know what you’ll have to deal with.”

Jasper laughs. “Good, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

For once Harry is hanging out outside of her house, outside of the forest. Instead she sits wrapped up in a light brown coat in one of the cafes around Forks. The new boots she has on have tiny heels and Harry thinks they are cute, with the buckles on the side and slightly pointy tips.

The cup of tea before Harry is topped with something alcoholic.

Across from her Jasper is reading his book, the ankle of his right leg resting pressed against Harry’s in a move that might seem accidental yet is anything but. Every other minute the vampire raises his eyes from his mandatory reading assignment. Harry sticks her tongue out at him before they both turn away and laugh quietly.

There is a spell covering Jasper’s skin, one that makes it possible for the vampire to be outside during sunny weather. While the rest of the Cullens are out camping, Harry has her boyfriend all to herself. And that is truly something that happened, perhaps, much faster than she is used to, but Harry doesn’t mind. It’s quite exhilarating to be so open with another person that doesn’t already know her whole life story or watch what they say in fear of bringing up something they think is unpleasant for Harry.

The romance that Harry had with Ginny may have been short-lived, but an experience that she still thinks of as precious. But there had been so much baggage there, silent hurts that came up in the most inconvenient of times.

Ginny was sweet, safe and Harry loves her even now.

Jasper, on the other hand, is a mystery to unravel and an adventure awaiting. Harry gets to choose the things she reveals and gives away. The same way Jasper gives her tiny hints and bits of his history whenever he feels like doing so.

“You feel happy, darlin’. Something in particular you’re thinking ‘bout?” Jasper turns a page in his book.

Harry sips her tea. “Hmm… Who knows? Maybe.” She grins atop the cup’s edge. “What, you’re curious?”

“About you, always.” Jasper moves his leg just a tiny bit, enough to have his ankle bone bump against Harry’s.

“How sappy.”

Jasper just shakes his head. Though, unlike before, he furrows his eyebrows and tilts his head just slightly towards where the cash register is nestled in the back of the coffee shop. Harry doesn’t bother even checking what is going on there, that’s how much she trusts the man before her. If there is any danger, anything bad brewing, then surely the vampire will be the first to know.

“---ogether with Alice? I thought they were a couple?”

“This one looks plain compared to Cullens. Weird.”

“The scar is weirder.”

Harry rolls her eyes at the girls that don’t even try to hide their gossip, especially for how close they have chosen to sit. Instead of saying something the witch just leans forward to rest her head on the arm, elbow balancing at the top of the table. She then starts staring at the two girls, doesn’t bother hiding that she is.

In his seat, Jasper grins down at this book, supposedly. Instead the vampire is trying hard to hide his amusement of what Harry is doing.

It’s not long that the girls finally notice what Harry’s staring. One flushes pink, while the other just widens her eyes. The makeup she has on hides any sort of blush that the girl might have. Harry winks at them and finishes the last of her tea before getting up.

“It’s the scar why he’s so into me in the first place.” Harry says as she passes them by on her way to the bathroom.

Jasper shakes his head. Instead of saying anything the vampire picks up Harry’s little backpack. “I’ll wait for you outside, darlin’. The aroma is getting a little strong for me.”

When Harry meets Jasper outside, the man wraps his arm around her waist instead of holding her hand as he usually would. It’s a possessive gesture, one that Harry enjoys immensely. “I didn’t take you for a possessive type.”

“All vampires are, the same as shifters or true werewolves. It’s one of the few things that we have in common.” Jasper shifts his shoulder to get the strap of Harry’s backpack higher up. “The two girls… They are from the same year at school as I am. Not the first time I hear them gossiping, but it’s usually about Edward and not me.”

“You’re more handsome than Edward, don’t worry.” Harry lays her head against Jasper’s shoulder as she pushes her left hand in the vampire’s back pocket.

Jasper glances down at her from the corner of his eyes. “I would hope so.”

The wards are restless. They buzz like enraged hornets along Harry’s skin. There is someone prowling along them – a predator.

Harry has her wand in her hand, magic pulses through her veins as she stands still in the middle of her bedroom with eyes closed, all her senses focused on what is outside of her property. One of the wards shivers violently, as if someone has touched it and burned.

With one inhale Harry opens her eyes and walks though her house. Anyone that comes on her property with the intention to hurt her will be stopped by the wards, or at least slowed down enough to give Harry the time to take care of the problem. She doesn’t fear injury and death, which makes Harry a threat on her own.

One that these intruders are not ready for at that.

Harry sees the red eyes first. The vampire is grunting in pain, she thinks, his diamond skin torn in places as if it has been cut open by a sword’s blade. There are two more, she knows, but one of them has decided to stay outside of her boarders. One more, doing no better, stands behind the blond vampire.

“Huh, you actually got this far. Congratulations.” Harry keeps her wand hand loose by her side. There is a spell on the tip of her tongue already, not that she needs to speak it to cast.

The other vampire, the one with the dreadlocks, bares his teeth, though he stays calm. “Easy now, magic one.”

“Why? You’re the ones trespassing, with intent to hunt and kill me, no less.” Harry doesn’t mince her words. Her eyes are glowing an eerie green, she knows, the green of Avada Kedavra. She smells like death as well, Remus told her after seeing what she has become.

Appropriate, really.

The dreadlock vampire wrinkles his nose and steps back. “James, this is not worth it. She’s fucking wrong.”

“Fuck off. She’s just a blood bag, we’ve ended plenty before her.” James snarls something vicious. His claws tear apart the moss and grass under his palms, red eyes shining with hunger for a good hunt.

Harry knows this type. She’s seen deatheaters of the same character before. A vampire is a bit more dangerous, though. Or was, before the hallows remade her.

So now she just smiles – mocking and sure of herself. Her wand now points at James unwavering, already shining at the tip from the magic that pours out of her. “You’re wrong on that, I’m afraid. Expulso.”

The dreadlocks vampire pulls James away from the spell just in time. The dirt and pieces of wood that explode from the impact rain down upon them, probably show just what Harry is capable of. She shoots another expulso at the two intruders, one that misses only because she doesn’t even try to aim.

“Fuck!”

“The bitch is not worth it!”

Harry doesn’t follow them, especially when she knows there is a third one waiting outside of her wards. She waits a few moments to be sure that the two vampires don’t return, stands under the sky rumbling with an upcoming thunderstorm.

“I need to let the Cullens know.” Harry mumbles to herself as she raises her arms up in order to fix the wards. “I wonder if they left already.”

She calls Jasper first, then Carlisle when her boyfriend doesn’t pick up. The whole coven must be out playing baseball already. Harry bites her bottom lip and just sends a message to the two vampires and leaves it at that. In the end it’s not exactly her problem to solve and the vampires will surely know best how to handle the new arrivals.

Instead of heading out and running straight into the danger, as Harry used to do before, she falls on her bed and tries to pull back the power that she let out. One breath after another and the hallows’ power settles with ever exhale that Harry makes. Slow and measured, calculated. Her heartbeat settles to what it usually is, her magic no longer a pulsing beast inside of her.

“Peace and quiet my ass.” Harry huffs once she’s settled everything inside of her.

There is still time until Jasper promised to come by. Harry sighs and shifts to sleep on her side as she thinks about what to do in the meantime. Laundry and yesterday’s dishes are waiting to be done, since her backyard will have to wait until the weather is better. Left in the living room is a book on magical creatures Harry ordered a few weeks back, still unread.

Outside lightning lights up the skies.

Harry visits the Cullen house clinging onto Jasper’s back, with cold snow sliding down her face. There is stress and agitation palpable in the air, even when Jasper uses his gift to calm down the worst of it.

It’s now that harry finally meets Bella Swan. Edward’s singer and girlfriend. The prey that James is bent on hunting down.

Alice is holding Bella’s trembling hands in her own, thumbs brushing over bruised knuckles. Edward stands guard by a window. The vampire blurs from his guard spot to Bella’s side every so often, not even his beauty can hide the ugly lines of worry that decorate his face.

“Oh, I’m so glad to see you’re fine.” Carlisle greets Harry with a strained smile, though it’s still warm and genuine. “When we came back and we saw your messages… They must have visited you before they found us, I think.”

Rosalie and Emmett are nowhere to be seen, but Harry already knows they have run off to spread Bella’s scent around, check on the girl’s father.

“It will take more than a couple of vampires to bring me down, I’m afraid.” Harry breathes and entwines her fingers with Jasper’s. “Is there anything I can help with? I know this is a vampire only business--”

“Not at all. Any help is welcome, Harry.” Esme comes out of the kitchen with a cup of something warm and steaming. She passes it to Bella with a kind hum. “Though, didn’t you have some rules towards humans?”

Harry grimaces. Bella shyly raises her eyes and glances her way. The curiosity is evident on the girl’s face, her need to know outweighing the fear that is still fresh. Harry can tell that much even without Jasper’s powers to feel emotions. Still, can she reveal everything to Bella, even if the muggle already knows about a part of the magical world?

Technicalities.

“Well… For now I can hide her scent, the sound of her heart. It’s not a… lasting effect, but it will stick for a day, if I put some power in it.” Harry squeezes Jasper’s hand and feels a gentle squeeze back.

So far, her boyfriend has been quiet. But it’s understandable. With so many emotions buzzing in the room, with the faint scent of Bella’s blood that must be lingering still – Jasper is good at his control, now, but it’s hard at times. Harry doesn’t fault the vampire for focusing on his control and calm rather than speaking for the sake of speaking.

“Would you be okay with that, Bella?” Carlisle asks. In the middle of the storm the doctor seems to be only one truly calm. “I assure you, Harry is a friend and nothing that she will do will hurt you.”

Bella’s gaze shifts from one face to the other, finally settling on Edward. There is fragility to her, one that Harry thinks every muggle that has been thrown into this world feels. But Bella seems to be especially unsure of herself. Judging the way she seems to seek advice from Edward, afraid to make a choice on her own.

“Is… Is it safe, really?” Bella inhales a little shakily as she glances at Harry again. Her bottom lip seems to be bitten red, close to drawing blood. “I, are you one of, of the vampires? Or, or the shifters?”

Harry shakes her head. “Neither, sorry. I’m, hmm, another species that you regular people think are just fairy tales.”

Jasper leans closer and buries his nose in Harry’s hair. After a second he straightens out and looks much more in charge of himself than when he showed up at Harry’s house – worried and strung out. “Alice and I will step out for a moment, darlin’, make sure they aren’t anywhere close by. Again.”

“Sure.” Harry nods and doesn’t say anything else.

With just the four of them left in the room Bella seems much calmer. Her right hand is now clutching onto Edward’s jacket that has been thrown over her shoulders, the other holding her hot drink. Edward also seems calmer, safe in the knowledge that his coven mates are outside and patrolling the premises.

Bella takes a huge breath and lets it out. “If, if you’re sure then, please. Please help me?”

There is a knock on Harry’s door.

The wards hum quietly, but even without them the witch knows who it is. She curls her legs underneath her, the two blankets that she has wrapped around her. Harry waits for a few seconds more, aware that her amusement and mischief is easy for Jasper to feel. Even through the doors.

“Darlin’.” There is laughter is Jasper’s voice.

“Partner.” Harry falls against the pillows of her sofa and giggles.

Jasper knocks again. Harry rolls her eyes and waves her wand at the door, makes it open and show the vampire standing on the other side, clad in soaked clothes, hair matted to his face.

“Sexy partner.” Harry mumbles in her palm, cheeks warm from a blush.

It takes just quick moments for Jasper to close the door and then be kneeling before Harry. His hands are cold, as always, but still so gentle when Jasper wraps his fingers around Harry’s wrist. The kiss that the vampire presses just above the joint is chilly. And heavy with assurance.

An I’m back and a I missed you said with no words and gentle touches alone.

Jasper’s nose twitches. “We burned him. Never thought I’d have to do it again, not in a place like this.”

“Trouble and bad doesn’t care about places, I’m afraid.” Harry is just a little sad, lost in her memories when she speaks. Death shouldn’t be so normal to her, nor should battle. But that’s the fate she was pushed into. “But now we’re one madman safer.”

“Indeed.” Jasper still hasn’t let go of Harry’s wrist.

With a tiny huff Harry once again raises her wand and this time points it towards Jasper. The heating spell is quick and easy to perform. Jasper wrinkles his nose again from the strangle feeling, surely, but doesn’t do anything else. His hair is a puffy mess, however, so far from the usual neat style that the vampire prefers to wear daily.

“Your hair is a mess now, sorry.” Harry shakes off Jasper’s hold from her free hand and runs her fingers through the man’s soft hair, trying to smooth it out just a little.

Jasper blinks once, more from surprise than actual need, then makes a quick, short snort. “You don’t apologize for all the other times you left it messy, darlin’. Why start now?”

“Wow, rude much?” Harry pokes Jasper’s nose and sticks her tongue out.

And then Jasper’s mouth is on hers, cold and hard, tasting still of melted snow. Harry sighs into the kiss, lets her fingers curl into the flannel shirt that Jasper has on. The vampire’s fangs poke her lower lip, his tongue smooths out the shadow of a touch that is left behind.

They aren’t in a hurry. Everything is slow and purposeful, deep in the way that Jasper pulls Harry closer, smooths his hands along her sides, up her neck to cradle her head. Needy with how Harry whines and sighs from the feeling of Jasper’s tongue against the roof of her mouth, the shiver following the vampire’s cold fingers.

When they break apart Jasper falls into Harry, nose pressed in the bend of her neck. Harry scratches through the strawberry blond hair ticking her cheek and red, red lips.

“Glad you’re safe.” Harry closes her eyes and rests her head against Jasper’s.

Jasper wraps his arms around Harry’s waist and holds her close. “I did promise to return.”

Harry snorts.

They move to the bed when Harry’s legs start to tingle. They fall into the messy sheets and don’t bother to turn the lights on.