Chapter 7: Baseball
The next evening, Alice was putting make-up on Hermione's face while Rosalie did her hair, this was a little extravagant for just dinner, but apparently Gwen was getting dolled up, so the two young vampires used Hermione as their dressing up doll.
By the time both girls were finished and Hermione was allowed to admire their handy work, she hardly recognised herself.
“Okay, now Esme bought this from Seattle when you weren't looking. She said it was only fit for nights out like this. So go and put it on!” Hermione took a box from Alice, and wandered off into the adjacent bathroom, she gasped when she saw what Esme had bought her.
“You okay in there?” Rosalie called, Hermione smiled.
“Yes I’m fine.” She breathed as she let the dark blue silk fabric slide over her legs and her shoulders and then (with a little magic) she did the zip up and put on the shoes that Esme had also bought her before walking out to Alice and Rosalie.
“Oh you look gorgeous!” Squealed the two women, Hermione just had to laugh at them.
“Okay come on! The Doctor’s just turned up.” Walking at Hermione’s pace, they escorted her downstairs and into the music room.
“Bella’s here as well so then no one has to feel uncomfortable,” explained Rosalie when Hermione caught sight of Bella’s reflection.
“You did her up too?” Alice and Rose grinned in reply.
When they reached the music room, all eyes turned to the three of them, Rose and Alice glided over to Emmett and Jasper, but a new face reached Hermione’s.
“Surprise!” the Doctor exclaimed as Hermione’s boyfriend Ron Weasley came into view. Hermione stopped short and gaped.
“Hey babe.” He said walking over to her. She ran to meet him and squealed when he picked her up and spun her around. When he kissed her, Emmett and Jasper wolf whistled.
“As Jack and the others are going back Monday, I thought you might like some company, the Colonel has transferred him to Phoenix UNIT.” The Doctor explained, placing a hand on Jack’s shoulder.
“Are you going to be coming to the school as well?” Asked Emmett.
“Yeah, it’ll be an experience but yeah.” He replied, Carlisle cocked his head to one side.
“How will it be an experience? There isn’t much difference between English schools and American schools.”
“Maybe in the non-wizarding community, but you see I have never been to a non-magical school in my life!” Eyebrows rose, and brows furrowed as the Cullens tried to grasp that concept.
The silence was broken when a sharp crack was heard, all guests, Hermione and Bella included, jumped.
“Dinner! I think our guest will be hungry by now, come out in to the garden, we’re in the middle of preparing a barbeque!” Esme and Carlisle led the way out into the only part of the house that neither Hermione nor Bella had been to.
It was brightly lit, with a state of the art barbeque in the middle of the patio.
“Oh wow! Wait don’t tell me Alice did the decorations.” Hermione stared around her in awe before turning to the vampire in question, who just grinned.
“Is it that obvious?” Hermione opened her arms, and pointed at Bella.
“Yes it’s obvious.” She laughed.
Edward went to light the fire.
“Hey Alice, watch this!” she said cradled up against Ron’s side, she turned to where Edward was crouched and winked.
“WHOA!” exclaimed Edward leaping back from the inferno that had just erupted from the barbeque. Ron choked on his drink, Hermione and Alice doubled over with the giggles as Edward walked over to them.
“Porcelain, did you do that?” Hermione was sorely tempted to say no, but it seemed to have freaked him out.
“Yes it was, sorry I suppose I should have warned you!” Edward grinned.
“You little minx!” he lunged at her and grabbed her around the waist before she could get to Rosalie.
“Okay that’s it, you.... are going.... on to.... the.... barbeque!” he lifted her into his arms as he spoke, she caught sight of Bella, she was laughing.
Jasper was suddenly in front of Edward, there was a playful glint in his eyes.
“Somehow I don’t think so,” he said, Alice was behind him, they all had big grins on their faces.
“Okay I give up! Here, take her!” he turned and aimed Hermione for the barbeque but threw her at Jasper at the last moment, who caught her easily and placed her back on her feet.
“And not one hair out of place!” he stated leading her back to Ron.
“Are you alright, love?” he asked catching her as she fell into him.
“Yeah, just a little light headed. That’s the last time I pull a prank on a vampire when fire is concerned!”
“I wasn’t going to throw you in, Porcelain. Well not once Jasper and Alice turned up.” He winked at Hermione and they laughed at the look on Ron’s face. Bella seemed comfortable next to Edward, but when he moved off with his family for a hunt, she seemed to go back in on herself, so Hermione waltzed over to her and hooked an arm around her waist.
“Hey, they’re not going to bite you. You can mingle.” As if to prove it she gave Bella a little shove towards the Doctor, who grinned at Hermione and began talking to Bella, Hermione looked around for Ron, and found him talking to Ianto.
So she decided to wander a little. She wandered over to the barbeque and into the shadowed area behind it. She turned to face the group after hearing the sound of laughter. The Doctor had Bella in stitches over something.
Her eyes caught the fire as it burned, so bright, so tempting, so.....
So not the best idea Hermione! She thought pulling herself away from the fire, but she couldn’t resist just one last look at those bright, warm, orange flames....
She was sat in Downing Street, (she knew it was Downing Street because she’d been the Prime Minister’s Secretary/bodyguard for over 18 months) she was watching a little TV monitor, there was a huge glass container filled with smoke, Jack and Ianto were stood facing it, the doors shut and Hermione watched in horror as both Jack and Ianto fell to their deaths.
Only one would get up again....
“NO!” Hermione found herself in someone’s arms as she screamed; she fought against them as they attempted to restrain her.
“Easy, Porcelain, Porcelain come on now stop it was nothing, you’d just got caught up in the flames, come on now PORCELAIN!” she stopped thrashing about and opened her eyes to find herself in Edward’s arms.
“Wh-what? What happened?” she asked as Edward hoisted her to her feet. Everyone was looking at her.
“You passed out. You were about an inch away from the fire when we got back, and Alice... well, whatever you’d seen she’d seen it too.” Explained Emmett who had Alice under his arm, Hermione grimaced.
“Sorry, Pixie, everyone, I must have just been too engrossed in the flames that I’d forgotten to breathe. It has been known to happen.” Carlisle handed her a glass of water and a plate of food.
“Well come on back to the party. We’ll keep an eye on you.” Edward still had his arms around Hermione’s waist as he led her back to Ron, who pulled up a chair for her to sit on.
“Ron, can I talk to Porcelain alone for a moment, please?” Alice stood at Hermione’s shoulder. Ron nodded and left to talk to the Doctor, there was a suddenly tense atmosphere, Hermione flickered her eyes in Jasper’s direction and all was calm and joyful, in fact Hermione felt like laughing. But she and Alice needed to talk.
“I’m sorry, Alice, I didn’t mean....”
“Stop,” Hermione fell silent. Alice took a deep breath before continuing, “that’s not the first time I’ve seen that, just not in your mind. The other visions I’ve had are strange, like the explosion for example. You are so frightened in the visions and so tired, but you keep running, then there’s the one here, I’m not going to allow that to happen, so Jasper and I have come up with a way that might help you no matter what situation you’re in.”
Alice looked over at the group of people, they were so happy, even Jasper seemed calm tonight.
“What did you have in mind?”
“The whole family is going to keep you busy. Obviously Carlisle is going to keep you working hard at the hospital; Esme has agreed to teach you a few dance steps of the war times and Edward will teach you the piano. Those are your easy going activities and also my idea. Now Rose, Jasper, Emmett and Edward will be giving you a crash course in fighting off a vampire.”
“Just the basic fighting skills, that will be Emmett and Rosalie, Jasper and I will be giving you a course to see if you can escape us catching you, and Edward will help you to run faster.” Alice had a little smile on her face. Hermione was stunned into silence.
“How am I going to do all of that and still manage to be in one piece for school!? I just about handle it now!”
“You don’t have to worry about that either, the easy lessons will be your wind down, before your shift at the hospital, but on the nights you’re not working, you’ll be doing all of it, same as on the weekends.”
“Alice!” Hermione groaned and placed a hand to her head, “look, Pixie, it’s not that I’m not grateful, but.... you’re vampires, how the hell am I going to be able to keep up with Edward? Or fight Emmett and Rose, and dodge you and Jasper!? How?”
“With a bit of practise.” Hermione yelped and turned to see Jasper stood behind her.
“Yeah, obviously but...”
“No ‘buts’ Porcelain. If what Alice saw attacking you was a vampire you’re going to need to know how to survive their attack, because it doesn’t look as if we are going to be there.” Hermione looked around at everyone in the garden, and nodded.
“We’ll start when the Captain leaves, otherwise he’ll get protective again.”
“Oh and you think Ron and the Doctor won’t?”
“They have some sort of understanding as to what we’re doing. Anyway eat up, you’re food will go to waste otherwise!” Hermione remembered the plate of food that Carlisle had give to her and nibbled on the chicken sandwich.
The next morning, Hermione woke with a start covered in cold sweat, no one was up in her room, there was no vampire in her room.... wait, there actually wasn’t a vampire in her room.
“Morning, Porcelain!” Jasper was sat on the window sill.
“Hi, how come you didn’t stay the night?”
“We did, but Alice and I thought it best to go downstairs this morning, that way they don’t think we’re doing away with you. Alice said you had woken up so I decided to come and get you. Come on, I’ll give you a few moments to get ready.” And as suddenly as he appeared, he vanished.
She jumped out of bed and rushed to get dressed, ran a brush through her hair and turned to the window to see him already there.
“Which way do you want to go? The human way or the vampire way?” Hermione thought for a minute before smiling.
“Vampire way!” she walked over to Jasper and let him scoop her up into his arms, and squealed as he dropped to the floor and leapt through the kitchen window.
“Okay remind me to say human in future! Oh dear, thanks Ianto.”
She’d just finished her coffee when she heard a horn beep outside.
“Right that’s our ride! Come on Porcelain!” Alice and Jasper waited by the door while she grabbed her coat and her bag blew a kiss into the air and ran out the door.
Music blared from Emmett’s Jeep, the same song could be heard from Rosalie’s BMW, and Edward’s Volvo sped past them towards Bella’s playing the same song.
Emmett, Jasper and Hermione danced in the car to Paramore’s Decode and Muse’s Supermassive Black H***, by the time they parked the cars, all were laughing. Emmett pulled Hermione out through the sun roof and lifted her down to the ground while Jasper locked the car.
“We’ll see you at lunch!” Rosalie called as she and Emmett made their way to their home rooms, Alice and Hermione walked to theirs with linked arms.
The day was eventful, Lauren gave her a few dirty looks but didn’t say anything, and Chemistry sent her into a fit a giggles at Jasper as he started showing off, they had a race to see who could make their formula first, and (being top of the class in Potions) Hermione won by about two minutes.
Maths with Jasper and Emmett was a riot as they kept kicking the back of her chair to annoy her; she got them back when the teacher was called out of the class for a while, by throwing paper balls at them.
The day ended the way it began, on an all time high.
She hitched a lift in Rosalie’s car this time, but it was the same atmosphere as in Emmett’s Jeep.
When she got home, she found everyone asleep so left a note and went to get ready for work.
Carlisle picked her up half an hour later and they went to work, there had been another death a little closer to home a few weeks ago and more tourists kept turning up on the autopsy table that night. Come time for Hermione’s break, her heart seemed to dampen when she saw the three tourists come in, a family, dead.
She looked closely at the bodies as they were wheeled past her, she saw two adults, and a teenager, and this sent tears flooding out of her eyes. So much so she didn’t see Carlisle come up behind her.
“Come on outside with me.” He led her by the arm outside and told her to take a deep breath.
“I’m not cut out for this anymore, Carlisle. I’m sick and tired of seeing death all the time, why did I ever become a doctor, why!?” she allowed herself to be cradled by Carlisle; he made sure she was calm before he answered.
“You tell me. Tell me what first gave you the inspiration then you’ll find your answer.” Hermione thought for a minute then the answer came to her.
“I became a doctor because of Torchwood Three’s former medic, Owen Harper. He just started showing me the insides of some of these aliens that he used to cut up, and I’d be absolutely fascinated by it, but then the way he handled wounds that Gwen and I got, he handled us with such care, I wanted to be able to care like he did, but also I wanted to be able to bring my own style of caring to the medical world, I suppose I became a doctor because I wanted to help.”
“And are you having second thoughts now? When it’s a profound part of your soul, will you give it up because of a couple of humans that you don’t know? That came here already dead?” Hermione gazed up at Carlisle; she had to admit he had a point.
“Thanks, Carlisle, I’m being silly aren’t I?” to her surprise he shook his head.
“No I don’t think you’re being silly, I just think that being as young as you are, you’ve taken on quite a weight onto those shoulders of yours. Come on, let’s get you a cup of tea, it might calm you down better than my ice-cold skin!” she giggled as he led her back inside and up to the canteen.
Hermione sat with Carlisle for the rest of her shift sifting through paperwork and picking the longest ones to do at home and placing them into her bag.
The rest of the week passed and early the following Monday Hermione woke up to the sound of voices. Opening her eyes she saw Alice sat on the edge of the bed talking to Jasper who was sat on the window sill. She looked at her as she turned to look at the clock she moaned when she saw the time.
“I don’t have to be up for another four hours! What the hell are you doing Alice?” Alice and Jasper share a glance before grinning at her.
“Come on hurry up and get dressed, we’ll be downstairs, you’ve got five minutes.” Then they were gone.
Hermione picked up the training outfit that just happened to be there, before slipping on her running shoes and dashed downstairs straight into Jasper’s arms. He scooped her up and they were out the door in seconds, the run there meant that she was wide awake when she finally got to the Cullen residence.
The first thing she saw was a few apparatus that were meant for her, she could see Emmett and Rosalie already warming up.
“Okay first port of call is Edward, Jasper and I. We’re going to get your pulse racing before sending you off to Rose and Emmett.”
“Right so I’m going to be black, blue and exhausted for school and my shift tonight.” Smiles met her on the way to Edward. He smiled at her.
“Good morning Porcelain, I trust you slept well?” Hermione grimaced up at him.
“Right the course is simple; all you have to do is run. Now it will get progressively harder as you become better and faster at the course. You can stop only when one of us catches you.” she froze.
“Don’t worry; I have fed well this morning.” Jasper joked Hermione gave him a weak smile.
“We’ll give you a 30 second head start.” Edward stated as he, Alice and Jasper went in to a crouching position.
Hermione looked into the eyes of all three vampires, Edward and Alice were grinning, but Jasper had a dangerous look in his eyes, she gulped and bolted to the trees.
The only defence she knew had was her ability to block her scent.... and her mind.
She blocked her mind off from Edward and kept changing her mind to trick Alice.
“Damn!” Edward cursed, Alice giggled, now that was sorted she only had to run.
She caught sight of Jasper a split second before jumping into the trees.
Edward and Alice may only be playing but Jasper was in hunting mode. She barely missed Alice, and dodged Edward by about an inch, she made a decision to head back to the house, and went to other way instead... she saw and clear path and picked up the pace to reach it, she ducked and dodged through the trees, swung to the right to miss Alice, left to avoid Edward.....
“Gotcha! Ha, good chase Porcelain!” she completely forgot about Jasper. His arms wrapped themselves securely around her waist as Edward and Alice joined them.
“I knew these two would attempt to catch you out, so I waited, running beside you for a while waiting to see where you were going, and then I sprung. What you were doing was classic new born vampire moves. Difficult for a human to pull off, but you’re not human anyway, that wasn’t half bad for a first attempt. You can tell, you’re life’s dangerous with the amount of running you have to do.” Jasper smiled at her as they made their way to Emmett and Rosalie.
“How’d she do?” Emmett looked eager.
“She almost made it, but Jasper fooled her. She put up a good fight.” Edward explained while Alice and Rosalie wrapped Hermione’s hands up in bandages.
“Right we’ll see just how quick she is then. Come on Rose!” Emmett seemed a happy soul, and Rose was no different. Hermione knew that she didn’t have a hope in Krop Tor’s chance to win against Rose let alone Emmett.
“Alright, come on Porcelain, give me a left hook, good, now a right under cut....” Emmett kept her throwing punches and kicks, and kept her moving, jabbing at her stomach every time she became slow. She was beginning to become used to it and got into a good flow of attacks when Rosalie suddenly shoulder barged her, she was going in primary vampire attack mode.
This was unexpected so Hermione had to keep dodging their attacks before coming up with a strategy. She somersaulted over them landed on her feet in a crouched position, and aimed a high leg kick at Rosalie, it caught her in the shoulder as Hermione swung a undercut at Emmett, this was a tricky thing as both could move quicker than she could. Rosalie leapt at her and nearly grabbed her as she rolled to the side and ran towards the trees away from Emmett’s sudden jump. Jasper appeared out of nowhere he glared at her as she leapt over him, now she had three vampires on her tail, Rosalie was behind her, she had Jasper to her left and Emmett on her right.
She thought she was clear of the bracken when Alice popped into view, Edward a few branches above her.
Oh no, now I’ve got to dodge the entire family! She thought she didn’t care if this was a game; it was now starting to scare her.
“Hold it!” called Jasper, all stopped. Hermione had hidden on the floor, underneath bracken and thorn bushes. She kept quiet.
“What’s up, Jasper?”
“Where’d she go?” Hermione could see Emmett looking for her.
“I don’t think she sees it as a game anymore. We’ve frightened her. Porcelain come out we’re not going to hurt you, honest!”
“Yeah, come on Porcelain Doll, we’re sorry we scared you!” Hermione crawled out from her hiding place and walked over to the tree they were all in.
“Sorry, guys I guess I got a little spooked.”
“No, it’s our fault; we shouldn’t have ganged up on you like that. We’ll leave that part for when you’re used to us all moving around you like that.” Emmett placed a hand on her shoulder.
A whistle blew from somewhere.
“Esme says we’ve got to get you something to eat before school. Come on!” Jasper winked at her, Hermione saw what he was planning and bolted back to the house the siblings all on her tail back to the house.
“Carlisle, help!” she squealed as she burst through the door and took refuge behind Carlisle. He and Esme laughed.
“Alright settle down everyone, let the poor girl catch her breath now.” Esme handed her a bacon sandwich and cup of coffee.
Hermione’s joints were aching by the time she got to school; she knew that if she didn’t doze off either at break or lunch time, she wouldn’t be able to do her night shift.
When lunch came, Hermione settled herself down in between Alice and Rosalie and dozed lightly only just hearing a conversation from somewhere.
“Well I’m sorry but dead or not she’s a slut and I’ll bet you anything that she gets it from her mother, I mean look at her she’s practically taken Mike from you and Eric and Tyler! She’s a slut and I hope her mother is burning in Hell.” Hermione giggled.
“I don’t believe in Heaven and I don’t believe in Hell either so up yours Mallory.” She muttered to herself. She felt the rest of the table looking at her, but fatigue was starting to seep in, so she just listened to Lauren a little while longer before finally dozing off on Alice’s shoulder.
“Porcelain, honey? Come on lunch will be over in a minute, snooze time is over.” Alice’s voice shook her gently out of her sleep. Opening her eyes, she saw most of the canteen empty.
“Hey there. Nice nap?” Emmett threw her a cheeky grin before handing her a can of coca cola.
“Yeah, I feel a bit better now, oh great I’ve got Gym now. Just what I need after a nap!” She heaved herself out of the chair and jumped on Jasper’s back as he turned to walk out of the door.
“Whoa! Hey Capuchin, want a banana?” Hermione laughed and swatted Jasper across the back of the head as she let him go and went down to the Gym.
The Gym session wasn't so bad, she'd teamed up with Bella again. Then came Maths and finally Chemistry.
When the final bell rang Hermione was so exhausted that she fell asleep on the way home, and when she woke up, she found herself in bed, a note on her dressing table mirror.
I've gone on ahead tonight, you need your rest.
Make a speedy recovery, Porcelain.
It’s a good job Ron’s gone over to Phoenix UNIT otherwise I would have been in big trouble for the stuff I’ve been doing.
Smiling to herself, Hermione snuggled back down under her blanket and fell back to sleep, the movements and moods of the Cullen family moving in her head like a dream.
Three weeks passed and Hermione had become known to the Cullen family as the 'human' vampire, her speed was three seconds faster than Edward, she wasn't stronger that Emmett, but just as strong, the same with Rose, Alice and Jasper and Edward. Even Carlisle and Esme decided to test her strength. And she had become an expert at hiding her thoughts and decisions from Alice and Edward.
Hermione finished her paperwork one Friday after noon in time to hear a tap on the window. Turning she saw Emmett wearing a baseball cap on backwards.
She got up and opened the window.
“Hey Porcelain. There's a thunderstorm heading this way and we're all going to go and play baseball. Do you want to come? Please say yes Alice wouldn't be happy if you didn't and Bella's going to be there.” Hermione made out that she was making a difficult decision before smiling.
“Yeah why not, just give me a minute to change.” She picked up the bag of baseball gear that had been bought for her.
She changes quickly and tied her hair up in a high ponytail and then she walked back to her room and jumped on Emmett’s back.
“Come on then Monkey-man lets go play ball!” she put on an American accent and Emmett laughed.
“Hold on tight Capuchin!” he launched himself out of the window and through the trees faster and faster he ran, Hermione felt her skin tighten at the wind rushing past.
“Okay here we are!” Emmett stopped a few feet from the edge of the tree line, Hermione gazed around her in awe at the scale of the pitch.
“Whoa, that is one mighty big baseball pitch!” she followed Emmett over to Alice, who grinned, took Hermione’s cap from Emmett, and placed it on her head.
“Ready to play? Bella’s not here yet but she’s going to be the umpire and you are going to be her second pair of eyes.” She lowered her voice to a whisper that I knew everyone else could still hear, “Emmett’s planning on throwing both of you into the pool when we get back.”
“That’s it!” Emmett raced over to Alice who squealed and ran to the opposite end of the pitch. Hermione laughed and followed their fluid motions around the pitch until her eyes caught sight of Emmett’s Jeep, Bella had arrived.
“Glad you're here, Bella, we need an umpire.” Esme greeted, Emmett and Alice walked past them.
“She thinks we cheat.” He said as they passed.
“Oh I know you cheat.” Esme retorted, “now Hermione’s going to be your second pair of eyes, but just call them as you see them Bella.”
The family started warming up; Rosalie was up to bat first, then it was Carlisle and then Jasper. Alice was bowling, Esme was backstop and Edward and Emmett were fielders.
Hermione felt the thunder before she heard it.
“It's time!” called Alice getting ready to pitch.
She threw the ball so fast Hermione almost missed it, Rosalie hit the ball with such force that Hermione saw why they needed the thunder.
“That's got to be a home run right?” Bella asked Esme, who shook her head.
“Edward is very fast.” the next second Esme's hands were up, ball in hand and down to the floor.
“Go on, Rosalie!” cheered Carlisle, but Hermione could see that she wasn't fast enough.
“You're out.” Emmett cheered in triumph as Rosalie stood up, almost nose to nose with Bella.
“Babe c'mon, it's just a game!” he called, seeming to catch my eye Rosalie backed off from Bella.
“Nice Kitty,” Carlisle breathed, then it was his turn to bat.
BOOM! Hermione screamed as the next bolt of lightening struck a little too close to home, the game stopped momentarily and all eyes turned to her.
“You okay, Porcelain?” Edward laughed, Alice soon followed.
“You're scared of a little thunderstorm?” she called.
“Yeah well you try being stuck in the middle of war-torn London with an air raid going on around you!” Hermione shouted back. She felt Edward looking in her head, so she threw those memories at him and saw him recoil from her attack.
“Whoa! Okay, Porcelain! We take it back!” she felt calm a moment after this was said, she looked at Jasper who was staring directly at her.
“Thank you.” she muttered knowing that he would hear her. There was another too-close-for-comfort clap of thunder and bolt of lightening, Hermione closed her eyes and shuddered. When she opened them again, Carlisle was the other side of the pitch and Jasper had taken the stand.
Hermione let Bella play this game without her help, she went and sat by Emmett’s Jeep. There was a migraine coming, she settled herself down on the bonnet and closed her eyes, letting the thunder roll and the lightening snap around her.
She could see three absolutely stunning people walking, the scenery was blurred so she knew these three were vampires, Hermione froze inside her own head when she realised that the only female in the group was the one that....
“STOP!” Esme was in front of Hermione the next second, she scooped her up and placed her down next to Bella the next second.
“They were leaving, then they heard us.” Explained Alice. Edward grabbed Bella's arm and then Hermione's as he walked.
“Let's go.” he said.
“It's too late.” Carlisle said, pulling the three back, Bella seemed a little dazed but there was fright in there too.
“Get your hair down, both of you.” Hermione pulled her hair band out of her hair and placed it around her wrist, Alice fiddled around with Hermione's hair as Hermione glared at Rosalie.
“Like that'll help I can smell her from across the field.”
“Rose!” Hermione hissed so low that only the vampires could hear.
“I'm so sorry, we shouldn't have brought you both here, just stay behind me and you'll both be fine.” Hermione ignored Edward and went the other side of Bella.
The three vampires walked out into the clearing as another clap of thunder and another stroke of lightening struck at the same time.