Hearing the News
He could not have heard his sister right. It was ridiculous to believe he'd heard those words coming from Alice's mouth. He turned his eyes to his family who were watching him in various states of shock. It was as though he'd grown a second head or something of the sort. "Even though I couldn't believe it, there was no way Alice could be wrong," he thought to himself. The super-hearing and all that jazz meant that the vampires would forever have the advantage of hearing very low noises even whispers being exchanged at a long distance. Maybe, he'd simply misheard Alice.
"I am sorry, Alice, but can you repeat what you've just said? I think I might have heard you say something else," Edward said tentatively hoping somewhat futilely, and he knew it already, that he'd been mistaken and that Alice meant something else.
Alice gave him a long look as though she understood what he was trying to do. He already read the words forming in her mind before she repeated those aloud again and deliberately pronounced each word to him. "I. Said. You. Are. Already. Married. Edward!"
This was even worse than his worst fears. "Alice, what do you mean when you say that I'm already married?" he again asked.
"Are you really being dense on purpose, Edward?" Alice exclaimed. "I meant just that, Edward. You can't get married to Bella Swan because you're already married to a Hermione Jean Granger or Cullen if you want this to be precise and official."
"Alice," he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "There must be a mistake because I've never heard of this girl ever before."
"Well, I thought that there might be actually because the marriage certificate I've found states that you got married on the twenty-first of December of 1926 in London but from what I was able to find on this Hermione Granger, it all doesn't make sense," Alice remarked with a frown.
"I could have told you that, Alice. I am not married and have never been married before," Edward said with frustration evident in his tone of voice as well as an unhealthy dose of sarcasm.
"That's not it, Edward," Alice responded. "And, don't you take that tone with me."
"Then, apart from the fact that I've been married without my knowledge, what else doesn't make sense to you, the immensely talented, Alice Cullen?" Edward sarcastically added. He could not help himself because it just did not make sense.
"Your wife was apparently born in 1979," Alice simply shared.
"What the fuck?" Edward replied, ignoring Esme's automatic chastising.
"That's exactly what I thought when I read that line," Alice remarked. "The information I've gathered from your wedding certificate says that you were married on the twenty-first of December of 1926 and that your wife, Hermione Granger, was born on the nineteenth September of 1979." Alice declared.
"Are you even listening to yourself, Alice? That is plainly impossible!" Edward retorted.
"I know this is impossible for vampires," Emmett began cautiously while looking at Alice, "but have you been smoking pot, Alice?"
"It is not the time for your remarks, Emmett!" Carlisle intervened before Alice and Emmett embarked on a bickering war. "Let's try to make sense of this current nonsense." He turned sharply to Alice before the pixie-like vampire argued.
"Can all this drivel really have a meaning at all?"" Edward questioned. "Let's see if I've got everything right? I was born in 1901, died in 1918, and got myself married to a complete stranger—who was born in 1979—in 1926. Did I miss anything?" Edward queried as he looked at Alice.
"Well, when you put it like that, it really doesn't make any sense!" Alice agreed.
Edward snorted in response. "That's the understatement of the century!"
"Let's just think about this clearly first and we'll get to that later. Are you okay with this option?" Carlisle asked.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Emmett exclaimed. Once everyone had turned to him, he looked to Alice before saying, "So, Alice, you're just telling us that our dear brother Edward." He smirked in Edward's direction before continuing, "has been married for over eighty years and we did not know any of this before?"
"Well, yes, Emmett that is exactly what I've been trying to make our thick-headed brother understand for the last few hours," Alice snipped in frustration at being interrupted again.
"Wow, this must be a record! You've been married for eighty years and you're still a virgin!" Emmett proclaimed with a wild grin before he let out a booming laugh.
"Let us get back to the subject in question," Jasper interjected wisely diffusing a calming atmosphere in the otherwise tense living room of the Cullen household.
"Yes, Jasper is right," Carlisle added. "So, Alice? Can you tell us how you made this discovery about Edward's past?" the blond vampire asked.
"Well, ever since I saw in my visions that Bella would one day be one of us, I have been making plans on the wedding that I knew would be happening soon," Alice informed us. "I was thinking about the cottage that Esme has been designing for Bella and Edward's use after their wedding and that's when I had a vision of us having this conversation."
"You mean to say that you did not see more of that girl that's supposed to be Edward's wife?" Carlisle questioned.
"No," Alice answered truthfully, her distress evident in her tone. "I only saw us discussing this with Edward."
Edward was able to see the vision of the same discussion in Alice's mind unfold just as it occurred a few minutes prior.
"But you also said that you were able to get your hands on his wedding certificate and information on the Hermione Granger in question," Jasper reminded.
"Yes, I did. After I had the vision of this confrontation with you, Edward, I went about in search of more information on what I've seen and heard from the vision, and that is how I found this." Alice produced an official document from a manila folder that she left on the table. "It's all in there as you can see," she handed Edward the document.
Edward read the document still in disbelief of everything he'd heard and seen since the beginning of this apparent farce. However, as his eyes scanned the aged and yellowed authentic document, he wasn't able to find anything to challenge his pixie vampire sister. The veracity of everything stood out on the document in his hand.
1926 – Marriage solemnized at the Register Office in the district of Oxford in the country of Oxfordshire
No. – 7
When Married. – December 21, 1926
Name and Surname. – Edward Anthony Masen, Jr. and Hermione Jean Granger
Age. – 25 and 27
Condition. – Bachelor and Spinster
Rank or Profession. – Engineer and Doctor
Residence at the time of Marriage. – Chicago, Illinois, United States of America and London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Father's Name and Surname – Edward Masen, Sr. and Richard Granger
Rank or Profession of Father. – Lawyer and Doctor
"This can't be real," Edward refuted the evidence that lay there on the paper in his hand. There was even his name and signature along those of his 'wife' at the bottom of the certificate with the names of witnesses of the wedding, names he'd never known or seen before.
"It is very much real, Edward. It is also official. I checked it with the Register Office in the UK and they confirmed that it was an authentic document. There's no forgery whatsoever involved in this document." Alice informed. "In addition, it is your signature down there, isn't it?" Alice added.
"Yes, it is. Nevertheless, Alice, don't you think I'd be the first to know whether I would have signed such a document in the past. I wasn't even in London that year. This is crazy." Edward argued.
"Yet, whatever your point may be, this document still is authentic," Alice confirmed tapping the document in Edward's hands.
He spotted a flaw in the certificate in his hand and announced triumphantly, "Alice, officially I'm Edward Cullen and this document was delivered with the name Edward Anthony Masen, Jr., who has officially died. This doesn't apply to me!" He could not help but grin at his victory but his smile faded when he saw the glum look on Alice's usually cheery face.
"I already thought of that, Edward." Alice informed him. "But even when I thought of that, the vision of your wedding to Hermione Granger did not change and I don't understand why."
"Well, that's easy to answer," Rosalie quipped.
"Yeah, and why is it, Rosie?" Emmett asked.
"Because whether it is with the name Edward Anthony Masen, Jr. or Edward Cullen, the person wedded is still the same and it is you, Edward. It's all for the solemnity of the act," Rosalie said.
"But it is still a wedding held in 1926 and I'm pretty sure that the phrasing 'Til' Death do us part' in the vows does not apply to me," Edward replied.
"And that is where you are wrong, Edward," Jasper informed him as his blond brother examined the certificate that he'd picked up on the table.
"Yeah and how do you figure that one out, Jasper?" Edward questioned the logic of his empath brother.
"Because I believe magic is involved in this certificate and if my suspicions are correct, you are very much married to the Hermione Granger, here. Either it will only be when she dies or that you are executed that this certificate will be terminated," Jasper told them as he passed the certificate to Carlisle.
"Why do you believe that magic is involved in this?" Carlisle asked surprised. With his long existence as a vampire, Carlisle of course knew of the hidden world of wizards and witches but he'd never actually met one.
He might be wrong but if what Jasper was suggesting was true, Edward was afraid that his name had been used in a magically binding contract and he was currently married to a witch. "Why is life never simple?" Edward asked no one in particular followed by a loud sigh.
"That because it isn't, Edward," Carlisle answered as he also read the certificate.
"Anyway, to answer Edward's question, it is simple to check if this…" Jasper said as he pointed to the document in Carlisle's hand, "… is a magical contract."
"How do you do it, Jazz?" Emmett asked.
"Try as we might, in every way possible, we will never be able to destroy it," Jasper replied.
They did try and true to Jasper's words, the wedding certificate was indestructible. They tried tearing it apart, cutting it, burning it, and all other creative ways that they imagined. The document was still as pristine as ever.
"Okay, now we at least know something else about your situation. We can establish without any reasonable doubt that you are married to a witch; a powerful witch, who can apparently time-travel," Carlisle concluded genuinely puzzled and yet, very curious.
"But why go all the way to 1926 to get married to someone who was already dead? I don't know for sure but I do believe that necrophilia had never been allowed in history." Edward asked.
"That's easy, Edward," Alice said, "because, technically, at that time, in 1926, you had not yet been pronounced dead. You must remember that your body was never found since Carlisle took you away from the makeshift hospital where he found you in 1918. Even though, people knew that you were infected with the Spanish Flu, you were probably placed on the missing list. Thus, you would have only been officially been pronounced dead by 1927 and that may be how, your name was chosen. You disappeared on the nineteenth of September of 1918 and Hermione Granger was born on the same day but in 1979. That might be the link that has had her interest herself in your story."
"As crazy as this is, it oddly makes sense. However, I still don't understand why then would this Hermione Granger go back in the past to 1926. What's so special about that year?" Carlisle questioned.
"I think I know the answer to that but I still wonder why she did that actually." Alice said.
"Well, don't keep us waiting Alice. We are waiting for the next episode of Edward's chaotic love life." Emmett asked.
Alice smiled before answering. "As you've seen on the certificate, Edward and Hermione Granger were married on the twenty-first of December of 1926." The whole family nodded at that. They had already established that it was very real.
"On the third of January of 1927, the new Hermione Masen went to Wool's Orphanage in London and adopted a baby that was born on New Year's Eve. Edward and Hermione Masen are the proud parents of a Tom Marvolo Riddle, or Masen if you prefer, who was born on the thirty-first of 1926." Alice produced another document from the manila folder and thrust it into Edward's hands. "Congratulations, Edward. You are now the proud father of a young baby boy."
"A baby?" Rosalie and Esme asked at the same time. They rushed to Edward's side and read over his shoulders the adoption papers. His signature stood proudly next to his now confirmed wife, Hermione.
"This is crazy!" Edward announced as he dropped the papers, which were easily caught by Rosalie. "This is just crazy."
"Yet, I think it is only the beginning. You want to know something even crazier than what we've seen and read today," Emmett asked.
"Please, do tell. I'll go see if I can't go hang myself somewhere after that." Edward proclaimed solemnly.
"Edward! This is no laughing matter!" Esme chastised.
"Yet, why do things like these only happen to me?" He answered.
"Bad karma, maybe?" Jasper supplied with a smirk.
"Never mind that now. Do you want to know what is crazier or not?" Emmett said as he stared out the window that overlooked the backyard of the Cullen House.
He raised an eyebrow in Emmett's direction indicating the later that he was giving him his full attention, the large vampire only grinned at him. "You know that cozy little cottage that Esme has been planning for Bella and you?" Edward nodded in answer to his brother's odd question. He'd seen the very detailed blueprints already. "Well, it is currently standing behind the house fully built."
He rushed to the window to see this new undesired episode of his 'marvelous and amazing' married life. As incredible as it sounded, it was true. He'd seen the blueprints of the cottage when Esme had been drawing them and it was even more beautiful in real. Esme had outdone herself again.
The cottage stood out proudly in their backyard surrounded on three sides by the thick forest. A cobblestone path led from the main house to the cottage. It had an inclined tiled roof with white-painted wooden windows and doors. It was very homely with something like an English garden that stood in front of the entry porch.
As the family was gazing at the mysterious apparition of a fully built cottage in their backyard, as well as the carefully laid cobblestoned path that connected the cottage to the main house, a light flickered on in one of the upper rooms. They all watched as a shadow passed in front of the window.
"This is it, Tom. This is your new house." They heard a cultured female voice with a thick British accent say.
"It's her!" Emmett exclaimed.
"Yeah and how do you figure that out?" Rosalie remarked.
"Edward, you need to go meet her." Alice said.
"You know, I already thought of that. But, how will I start the conversation?" Edward asked.
"Just talk, it will be a start." Esme supplied.
"Yeah! Do you think that something like 'Hello Hermione, I'm Edward. Your husband' will do the trick? I don't think that's enough after everything we've discovered." Edward said.
"It's a start. Now go, Edward." Alice urged.
Edward sighed but followed his family's instructions as he slowly exited his house through the back-door. He followed the cobblestone path and soon found himself standing in front of the cottage's door.
Before he pushed open the door, he was able to hear Emmett's loud thought, "You never know, Edward. You might get lucky and finally get some."
He sighed again before he opened the unlocked door and made his way silently to the upper floor. He could clearly hear shuffling feet in the furthest room and quietly made his way there. The door was slightly ajar and he was only able to see the back of the young woman, his wife. She was rocking what he knew was a baby, his newly adopted son, Tom.
As he did not want to disturb her, he silently walked away and walked back to the first door he was on this floor. As expected, it was the master bedroom. What he did not expect to find however was the large moving portrait of his 'wedding' hanging above the queen sized-bed. It was shot or painted, he did not really know, in front of Stonehenge in England.
This was strange, because as far as he knew the wedding certificate had showed that it had only been a civil wedding and there in the portrait he was embracing a young woman with honey brown curls. She had a pretty face—he'd give her that—with a small splattering of freckles on the bridge of her nose. She wore a beautiful white dress but he would be unable to describe it. He'd leave that to Alice.
However, her eyes captivated him. She had deepest chocolate brown eyes he'd ever seen and even if this was only a portrait, Edward could easily see that her eyes shone with bright intelligence and something akin to determination. He could thus conclude that Hermione, his newly found wife, was a strong, determined young woman and even though, he loathed himself to admit it, Edward still felt pride surge in him at this knowledge.
All further exploration of the house was forgotten when he heard a door closing in the corridor and the soft barefoot thud of his 'wife' walking slowly to the bedroom where he was. He sat down on the edge of the bed facing the door and waited. He heard Hermione stop in front of the door and saying softly to herself, "I'll do some damage control tomorrow and assess how much has changed in this timeline but right now, I think a good night's sleep is all I need."
The door opened and Edward first impression of Hermione was proven right. Her brown eyes shone with intelligence and her honey-brown hair fell in riotous curls around her head and on her shoulders. It was cute.
She froze when she lifted her eyes and saw him sitting there waiting for her. Her hand flew to the right pocket of her grey pants but before she found what she was looking for, Edward decided that it was as good a time to introduce himself.
"Hello Hermione, I'm Edward Cullen. Your husband." It was as lame to Edward's ears as he'd believed.
Hermione's hand stilled as she heard his words. Her head tilted to the right as she appraised him.
"I think I'm more tired that I've believed because I'm seeing things that shouldn't exist," she said in a tired voice.
"Huh, that went well!" He heard Emmett remark from the main house. His family had of course been listening in.
"Yes, it definitely went well," Edward thought as he stared at Hermione who was also staring at him in disbelief.