by Stephenie Meyer
New Moon Chapter 21 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- The underground tunnel system opens into a posh reception area, where a human woman Gianna (obviously aware of her employer’s secret) acts as a secretary.
- In the castle-like family room, Aro, the ancient Volturi leader, greets Edward, Bella, and Alice like old friends. He also introduces his brothers Marcus and Caius – all three are founding members of the Volturi family.
- Aro expresses his sincere admiration for the animal (a.k.a. non human) diet Carlisle has chosen for his family. He’s mesmerized by Edward’s self-control in being around Bella.
- Now on to Bella: Aro can’t believe she’s immune to Edward’s mind-reading skills. Aro can read every thought a person’s ever had in his or her entire life, but Bella proves immune to his skills as well.
- When Aro asks Jane, his most gifted weapon, to test her skills on Bella, Edward throws himself in the way. Whatever Jane’s gift is, it makes Edward writhe in pain on the floor. Yet with Bella, she has no luck. Bella learns later that Jane can inflict pain with her thoughts.
- Aro is impressed. He asks Edward, Alice, and Bella to join his flock. When they decline his offer, he says that he respects their decision, but since Bella is a human and knows far too much about vampires, they either have to kill her or change her into a vampire.
- Again, Edward struggles with his answer, but Alice lets Aro read what she sees in Bella’s future. He seems satisfied with what he learns and lets them go with a warning:
"Were I you, I would not delay too long. We do not offer second chances." (21.129)
- As they leave, Bella witnesses a group of unwitting tourists being shuttled into the Volturi quarters to get mauled.
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