Facing Aro and his horde, his sister looks so tiny, almost like a child. Jasper is surrounded; he won’t be able to help her, if things go wrong. His sister, who has returned to save them if she can, who didn’t run away in fear – he had never believed that, anyway – but to protect them better.
To protect Renesmee, first of all. Now he finally understands what Bella had been doing in the past month, as per Alice’s instructions, keeping him in the dark for their daughter’s sake. Just a few minutes earlier, Aro read him, but since Edward didn’t know of the escape plan for Ren and Jacob yet, the plan remains safe. And now the most precious treasure they have is already on the wolf’s back, ready to fly away if – when - the battle starts. Bella must have known that they were probably doomed, despite her powerful shield, despite the wolves and their friends. How alone she must have felt, how sorry that she couldn’t share the secret with her mate. In the previous days she looked so sad, and he had wondered about it. But his wife is incredibly strong and brave, so she endured. God, how he loves her! Every day more, so much that he is awed by his feelings. He will try to protect Bella until he falls and then he knows they will be together anyway, in life … or in death.
But now Aro is reading Alice, and a terrible vision unfolds in Edward’s mind. Alice will realize that Aro doesn’t give a damn about the truth - he only wants to destroy their coven and whomever sides with it.
And so it starts … while Jacob and Renesmee run away,
Carlisle, oh no … father …Jasper too, so many of us … how could we survive this … Paralyzed by horror, Edward sees a ferocious battle, corpses littering the frozen clearing. He sees friends and foes falling, he sees himself fighting alongside Bella, and finally, finally he sees Aro destroyed. And his love is the one who beheads him.
The Volturi coven is no more.
”This is what will happen, unless you change your decisions,” Alice says.
Aro’s mind is in a turmoil at this point. He had decided to destroy them and didn’t expect the end of his coven and of himself. Vampires have a strong sense of self preservation - which makes the stand of the Cullens’ friends even more striking - and this surely applies to Aro. He likes, he always liked, an easy win. Plus, Alice has another card up her sleeve. With Nahuel’s arrival, the leader of the Volturi has what he needs to not lose face. Barely.
Everything goes very fast after that. The Volturi retreat. Maybe their menace won’t end here, but Edward doesn’t care. He’s embracing his family and is beyond happy. Nahuel’s story, the fact that the hybrid, too, is evidently immortal, sets his deepest fears to rest. Renesmee’s growth will stop; she will not get old. Looking at Jacob, still in his wolf form, he can hear how much he is also rejoicing. He will have a future with Renesmee, then. Edward has accepted it, even more so after today, when he and Bella entrusted their daughter’s future to the young Quileute. Well, so be it. Jacob will be his “son”, one day. How strange!
But suddenly Edward realizes that something doesn’t add up. How was Alice able to See a battle with the wolves fighting in it, as well as Jacob and Renesmee’s flight ? She never could, before. With a last kiss to the two women he loves, he walks toward Alice.
His sister is nestled in Jasper’s arms, but sees him coming and already knows what he wants to ask her. She smiles, a very impish smile:
“Edward, I didn’t. I still can’t See the wolves. Now, sometimes, I See glimpses of Jacob, but only of him; I think it’s because he is becoming part of the family, and I can See bits of Ren too, as she grows. But that’s all. The rest of the pack is still a blank to me.”
“But then, how …?” he asks, confused.
“I only Saw the outcome. I saw us afterwards: decimated, broken. I realized that we had won, probably, as the Volturi were no longer in my vision, but at what price! Carlisle, gone, Jasper, gone.”
Here Alice’s voice falters, but then she resumes speaking: “Esme future was blank too... I knew that she would seek her death. And that was the better vision, mind you. There was another where there was nothing to See, just darkness. We would all have died, Edward. And I... I had to convince Aro, otherwise it could happen. So, I imagined it.”
Edward is almost speechless.“But I saw it in your mind, I saw everything!” he manages to say.
“Every night, every day in the past months I went on visualizing a battle, creating images in my mind, reinforcing them until I had a coherent event, from start to finish. Like making a film, I would say. And then I recalled it, every moment of it, until there was nothing else in my mind, at least for a short time.”
Alice laughs: “I fooled Aro well, didn’t I?”