There was little to no human food at the Volturi ball, as was to be expected when you consider the fact that none of the people there were humans who would eat human food. Although, they did order a blood fountain, just to be fancy. I wouldn’t drink from that, I would be an idiot to try and drink human blood as a human myself. That damn fountain was probably just to show off. Aro and his dramatics as usual.
Even before I had become a part of the coven, Alice had told me about the lavish parties that the Volturi would throw once every few decades. The last ball of this size was in the 50s, where the Volturi even started to take pictures with the guests, marvelling at what humans could invent in their free time.
While the Volturi did not hold as much value for human life as the Cullens, they did use many of their inventions around the castle. I had even seen Jane with a phone and some earbuds in her ears. With everyone’s super hearing, it was best for the vampires to use noise cancelling earbuds. The music seemed to calm her down and make her smile. Alec had even taken one of the buds and listened to the same music as his twin, not without some fuss from Jane of course, as he had taken one of her precious earbuds out.
Out of the entire guard, Jane and Alec were the most feared by outsiders. The tales of the two of them reaching vampires all over the world. I could see how Jane’s ability to cause pure torture would be frightening, even to vampires. Even if she could not kill a vampire with her ability, she could easily render someone immoble enough to rip their limbs off and throw them in a pyre.
Alec, while much quieter than his twin, was still just as feared as Jane. His ability to deprive you of all senses is frightening. They came as a pair, never being away from one another for long. I had heard their story from Aro, who had been the one to save them from their deaths. Burned at the stake, they had been. Jane held more hatred for humans than her brother, but I could still see that he held a certain disdain for humanity. The two of them had every right to hate human beings after what they had done to them. Humans as a whole try to kill anyone who looks, sounds, or acts different from them. They had been turned so young and had gone through so much in their human life. Aro clearly thought of them as his own children, spoiling them rotten and giving them whatever they pleased.
Most of the people who had shown up to the ball had a certain sense of regality to them. None of them were new vampires and spoke older versions of languages that I could not decipher. While I could understand the old French and Italian, the Yiddish was where they caught me by surprise. I had never learned German or Hebrew, even if they had been offered to me. I never thought that I would find anyone who spoke the damn language. I mean, who still speaks Yiddish besides someone’s bubby?
Almost out of my hearing range, I could hear a few people speaking Greek. It was still unknown to my mate that I spoke the language. The language, while I never actually thought I would use it in a normal conversation, caught my eye. During the last year, I had learned it. A new series had come out, Percy Jackson, that focused on the demigod offspring of the gods and goddesses. I was already obsessed the second I read the first page. I had gotten into an obsession, learning greek and studying the greek gods in my free time.
I guess my obsession would finally pay off.
“Ωχ, πόσο ωραίο είναι να σε βλέπω, παλιό φίλο!” The man greeted Aro in greek. I smirked, knowing that Aro would be surprised by my knowledge of languages. He already knew that I spoke Italian and English, but he did not know of the other three languages.
“Αλέξανδρος, ήταν πάρα πολύ καιρό! Λυπάμαι που άκουσα ότι δεν μπορούσατε να φτάσετε στην τελευταία μπάλα. Είσαι πάντα χαρά που έχεις,” Aro gives the man a half hug. Alexandros, such a greek name. He must have been around the same age as Aro, maybe a bit younger.
“Ναι, ξέρεις πώς μπορούν να πάρουν τα νεογέννητα. Μιλώντας για αυτό, πρόκειται να γυρίσετε τον σύντροφό σας σύντομα;” Alexandros asked my mate, wanting to know the vital question. It was a good question. Nobody here knew just how long I would be staying human.
I decided that this was my time to answer his question instead of Aro giving a vague answer. Even he did not know when I would turn since I had always evaded the question. “Θα γίνω 18, Αλέξανδρος,” I answer. Aro looks more than shocked. If his face could pale even further, it would have become a blinding white.
“Δεν ήξερα ότι μιλούσατε ελληνικά, αγάπη μου,” Aro sputters out in greek. Alexandros and I quietly laugh at my mate and his reaction. If you could get a reaction out of Aro, you would laugh while you could.
“Υπάρχουν πολλά πράγματα που δεν γνωρίζετε, αγαπητέ μου,” I tease. Alexandros has to hold his hand over his mouth to hold in his laughter. Aro just scowls at what has gone down. Alexandros and I had trapped him, the king of the Volturi.
“Μήπως η βασίλισσα κατάφερε να κρατήσει κάτι πέρα από τον βασιλιά της; Νομίζω ότι θα μου αρέσει ο σύντροφος σου, Άρο,” Alexandros comments, causing Aro to groan.
“Aro, μην είσαι τόσο γκρινιάρης. Εγώ και ο Αλέξανδρος ξεγελάσαμε. Ξέρω πέντε γλώσσες, τρεις από τις οποίες είναι Αγγλικά, Ιταλικά και Ελληνικά. Δεν ξέρω γιατί φαίνεται να εκπλαγείτε, σας είπα ότι ήμουν καλός με τη γλώσσα,” I try and console my annoyed mate, who had a tendency to get a bit pissy whenever something did not go his way. He was spoiled like that.
“ Τι άλλες γλώσσες γνωρίζει η νεαρή βασίλισσα;” Alexandros asks.
“Français,” I inform, “и русский.”
“Okay, what the hell is going on over here?” Caius had come over to join in, hearing so many mixtures of language that he had to find out what was happening. “Έχετε παρενοχλήσει τον σύντροφό μου, τον Αλέξανδρο;” Caius asks Alexandros in greek, still not getting the memo.
“Αφήστε τον Αλέξανδρο μόνο, Κάιους,” I defend Alexandros, who looked Caius in the eye and smirked.
“Μιλάτε Ελληνικά τώρα; Δεν μου το είπες ποτέ…” Caius pouts before suddenly realizing something important. “Wait, so when my brothers and I have been having special meetings, the ones where you sit on the couch, you've been able to understand us?”
“Yup,” I replied. Caius and Aro groan as Marcus comes over with another person at his side. “Ποιός είναι αυτός?”
Marcus’ mouth dropped before looking to his brothers for help on what was going on.
“Don’t ask, brother, the answers you seek will shock you,” Caius deadpans. Alexandros laughs.
“Okay then,” Marcus turns to me and says, “I have our allies here in France. Louisa is the leader of the Paris coven.”
“This is going to be good,” Alexandros snickers. Marcus glares at him and Alexandros shuts up.
“Bonjour Louisa, j'espère que tu passes un bon moment ce soir,” I greet the coven leader. Marcus looks impressed, but still confused. The woman shakes my hand quickly.
“C'est un honneur d'être ici ce soir, ma reine. Les Volturi seront toujours nos alliés. Je suis impressionné par vos compétences en français, avez-vous étudié pendant vos études?” Louisa asks.
“Oui. You will find that the American school systems suck at most things, but most of the schools that I have been to have had exceptional foreign language programs,” I explain the last part in English. My mates just stared, mouths agape at my conversation with the woman.
“I should be getting back to my coven now, but it was great to meet my new queen. I do hope that you bring happiness along with your reign, Queen Annalise,” The woman’s clear French accent showed when she spoke.
When you have to focus on one thing at a time, you will often find yourself taking interest in one or two subjects. I was jack shit at math, but I could learn a language quicker than anybody else in the class, often finding myself going ahead in the book while people tried to keep up with the curriculum. ADHD was truly a blessing and a curse. I didn’t find it to be a bad thing, it was just a part of who I am as a person. Just like anyone, I had my struggles in things. Language was the way that I learned to stand out, to make my other grades not matter as much. I had gotten through three AP language courses through my 4 years of highschool. I was fluent in 5 languages by the age of 16.
In a way, language has saved me. Not only that, but now my skills would be useful. Covens spoke many different languages around the world. They had all the time in the world to learn English, but I bet many would still speak in their native tongue. Just because people have the time does not mean that they will. I would rather not have to have one of my mates translate what people are saying to me.
“I did not know you were so blessed with knowledge in the linguistics department,” Marcus says, putting his arm around me. I had grown tired already. I danced, I met a few new people and I saw my old friends and their coven.
“When you have my learning problems, you focus on one thing. That one thing for me was learning many different languages. I was good at it and it made my failing math grades not look as bad. I clearly was not destined to be a mathematician,” I muse.
“I was not very good at mathematics when I was young. No tutor could seem to get it through my thick human skull,” Caius whines at the thought of his childhood, “You are lucky that they have rules against beating children. Ah, Ancient Greece was a different time.”
“Yes, Caius, I think we all remember those times quite well. At least it was just the tutor for you, my father hated when I would spell my letters poorly and would make me write the letters again and again all night,” Aro chuckled painfully at the memories.
“Was I the only one with decent parents and tutors?” Marcus asks, looking quite worried at the treatment of their soul brother during their human years.
“Yes, yes you are,” Alexandros deadpans. “Ancient Greece was shit. Great food and great new innovations, but it really was shit. Don’t tell me you don’t remember how they treated the poor?”
“I guess I was just not paying attention to that. You were just as wealthy as us, Alexandros. Hell, you lived right across from us, in that stupidly clean house of yours filled to the brink with young children,” Marcus retorts. Wait, they knew each other before they were vampires? That would make sense. Maybe they were turned by the same person.
“The human days are far behind us. Now we’re immortal and eat people,” Alexandros grimaces. “Now you’re a king and I’m still here by your side. At least now you’re happy and not a depressing slab of stone.”
“I was not a slab of stone, was I, Aro?” Aro looks down and slowly nods. I laughed. You literally called yourself a slab of stone the other day, Marcus. Your memory seems to be failing you with your old age.
“Says the one who actually used Alexandros’ phrase the other day and called himself a slab of stone to cheer me up,” Caius lets out an ooh. Aro and Alexandros laugh as Marcus groans. “What, didn’t think I would remember?”
“I had hope,” Marcus kisses me on the head.
“When has hope ever gotten you anywhere?” Caius snarks.
“When has being mean gotten anyone anywhere but six feet under?” I snark back, defending my poor Marcus from being beaten on too badly.
“Cara mia! I am not mean, I’m just-” Everyone cuts him off.
“Annoyed,” Aro says.
“Angry,” Alexandros says.
“The actual slab of stone.”