NAME: Victoria DATE OF BIRTH: 1550s DATE OF TRANSFORMATION: Late 1560s, at approximately age 18 SOURCE OF TRANSFORMATION: Anne, her sister PLACE OF ORIGIN: England HAIR COLOR: Brilliant orange EYE COLOR: Green (human); red/black (vampire) HEIGHT: 5‘6‖ PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Victoria had a feline quality in the way she moved. Her
eyes were fierce, and her orange hair was long and tousled, giving it the appearance of a flame. Her voice was unusually high-pitched, like that of a child.
SPECIAL ABILITIES: She was exceptionally good at evading enemies.
FAMILY/COVEN RELATIONSHIPS: She was James‘s mate, and after his death she created her own coven of newborns.
With her shockingly bright hair, it was more difficult for Victoria to avoid notice than most, and she received extra beatings simply for being visible.
Victoria was born in London in the mid-sixteenth century. Her mother was a scullery maid and her father was the master of the house. Victoria was the second illegitimate child, after her sister, Anne. They were raised as servants and worked hard from early childhood. Neither of them had much in the way of education. Anne had the misfortune of being quite pretty, with mahogany hair and a cream and rose complexion. Like her mother, Anne was subjected to the attentions of the men of the house beginning early in her adolescence. Victoria, on the other hand, had bright red hair, freckles, and eyes a shade of green that people called ―witchy.‖ Though her features were actually quite fine, she was still thought of as ill-favored. Eventually the sisters were able to get jobs together in a very fine establishment, Anne as a lady‘s maid, Victoria as a kitchen drudge. The master of the house was not a kind man, quick to beat a servant for any perceived fault—and lecherous as well. Both sisters, along with the other help, grew adept at disappearing whenever possible. With her shockingly bright hair, it was more difficult for Victoria to avoid notice than most, and she received extra beatings simply for being visible. She grew better at hiding, but when the master did catch her, he seemed irritated that she‘d evaded him for so long and was more vicious in his punishments.
Though the jobs kept them fed, the sisters decided to flee when Victoria was twelve. Anne was very fond of her sister and feared for her life. It proved to be a bad decision. Without references, the girls were unable to find employment. They had no food and no shelter, and the cold season was coming. Anne finally agreed to work for a local pimp, on the condition that her sister could have free lodging with the other working girls. This situation was worse for Anne and nearly as bad for Victoria as the house they‘d run from; however, it was better than the streets of London. Thanks to the heavy-handed pimp, Victoria perfected her ability to disappear despite her hair.
One night Anne went out to find a client and never came home. Victoria was heartbroken. The pimp, angry at losing one girl, was determined that the remaining sister would earn her way. The pimp kept her virtually a prisoner while she ―learned her place.‖ With her ability to escape, however, it wasn‘t long before she broke free. This put her back in the cold. To keep from freezing or starving, she became a kind of cat burglar: sneaking into houses at night,curling up in small, hidden places to sleep, and stealing as little food as possible to keep her theft from being noticed. She moved from house to house, leaving no trace of her existence. Even dogs did not react to her presence.
When she was fifteen, she was able to get a real job again. Having overheard the firing of a scullery maid, she presented herself at the opportune time and her lack of references was overlooked. It was hard work, but stable, and she was not hit often. She was content with her position for the most part. Trouble didn‘t start again until the pimp spotted her one day, buying groceries, and tried to follow her home. She evaded him easily, but she realized that now that he knew she was alive, he would keep looking. She thought of leaving the city, but she wasn‘t sure she could make a living in the country.
Victoria was ecstatic to see her sister alive and wanted to embrace her, but Anne kept her distance, moving at a speed that shocked and silenced Victoria.
It was at that time that Anne found her. Victoria woke in the night to see Anne in her tiny attic room, standing over her. Anne was more beautiful than ever, though she‘d lost all the pink in her cheeks. Victoria was ecstatic to see her sister alive and wanted to embrace her, but Anne kept her distance, moving at a speed that shocked and silenced Victoria. Anne wanted to know if Victoria was happy and safe. Slowly at first, Victoria began to answer all of Anne‘s questions. Anne was not satisfied with Victoria‘s predicament. She pondered aloud killing the pimp, but decided that he was only a small part of the problem. Victoria would never be safe until she was stronger than those who would hurt or control her. Anne asked Victoria if she would trust Anne‘s judgment. Victoria agreed. Anne picked Victoria up as if she were a doll and carried her out the attic window.
For a short while, Victoria was perfectly happy. Apologizing first, Anne bit her sister. When Victoria revived from the transformation,
she found herself in a beautiful country house, surrounded by four of the most beautiful women she had ever seen, including her sister. The other three were named Hilda, Mary, and Heidi, Heidi being by far the most beautiful of them all. Anne explained that Hilda, a nomadic German vampire, had saved her from her hard life out of pity, and then allowed her to go back for Victoria when she was able. The women, all with pasts similar to Anne‘s, were strong enough now to live as they wished, free from fear and abuse. For a short while, Victoria was perfectly happy. The coven of women coexisted easily because none of them craved power or authority. Two years after Victoria joined them, Hilda ―rescued‖ another woman, Noela, who caught her fancy in the streets of Lisbon.
When Noela was still a newborn, the coven received a visit from the Volturi, led by Aro himself. With him were Caius, Jane, Chelsea, and a few of the more physical guards. Caius accused them of attracting too much human notice with their big coven of young, unruly newborns. Hilda defended her coven, maintaining that they had never introduced more than one newborn at a time, to be sure they could control them. Aro asked for evidence. Hilda agreed to prove her case with a handshake. After reading all her thoughts, Aro sadly claimed that the coven was guilty. Hilda angrily accused him of lying and was immediately slaughtered by the guards. Jane inflicted pain on each of the others in quick succession, halting their instinctive attack. Aro wanted to know if anyone was willing to live by the law—or would they all have to be destroyed? Almost as if in a dream, Heidi got to her feet and moved forward. Aro smiled and welcomed her while her former covenmates watched in shock.
Victoria did not understand any of what she was watching, but she sensed that she and her sister were about to die whether they surrendered or not.
Victoria did not understand any of what she was watching, but she sensed that she and her sister were about to die whether they surrendered or not. She screamed for the others to run. Anne, Mary, and Noela all scattered in different directions than the one she took. Victoria was surprised when Jane did not attack again, not knowing that the Volturi guard enjoyed a good chase. Anne, Mary, and Noela were all quickly caught and dispatched. None of the Volturi worried much when the redheaded girl proved impossible to find. She was unimportant; they could deal with her some other time. For now, Aro was happy to go home with his prize.
That was the end of Victoria‘s peaceful vampire life. Now suspicious of other vampires, she avoided them all. With her gift, it was not difficult, until James. In James she found someone who was honest in his intentions and confident in his abilities. She was attracted to his gift, which was like a mirror of her own. Eventually she fell in love with his self-assurance. It felt safe to her, stable in an odd way. She was never aware that his feelings did not entirely reflect her own. While she was happier with James, her life definitely was not peaceful or easy. The way he liked to live constantly put her into situations that, on her own, she would have avoided.
She was extremely paranoid for a time, setting up layers of protection for herself. When the Cullens killed James, Victoria lost her mate and her stability. She felt
vulnerable. She quickly created a companion, choosing a strong young human man. She made sure Riley was totally loyal to her, and was surprised at how readily he believed she had changed him out of love. Then she made more vampires, feeling that if she could surround herself with allies, she would be safe. At the same time, she hid herself from these new allies, aside from Riley. She was extremely paranoid for a time, setting up layers of protection for herself. She was loosely copying what she‘d seen with the Volturi guard, but waiting for her newborns to be old enough to train. In the meantime, she had Riley control them with carefully constructed lies— most notably, the myth that vampires were destroyed by the sun.
In the first six months after James‘s death Victoria created fifteen newborns—and killed roughly four humans to every one that survived as a vampire. One of the first was Diego; one of the last—of this period—was Raoul. Fred was also created during this period. About half of this first wave did not survive during Victoria‘s absence.
Victoria‘s gift forewarned her when Edward was hunting her, just as it had with James. She left Riley behind to mind the other newborns she‘d created. Passing through Texas, Victoria ran up against a territorial coven with a small force of newborns. Victoria had no interest in a pitched battle over land and escaped easily. The encounter gave her new ideas for her newborns, though. When she was sure she‘d thrown Edward off her trail, she headed back to the Pacific Northwest.
Victoria had not tried to avenge Anne; it wasn‘t in her nature to choose to put herself in danger.
Victoria had not tried to avenge Anne; it wasn‘t in her nature to choose to put herself in danger. However, her time with James had changed her in some ways. She was able to take slightly greater risks now. The newborns in Texas had inspired her to think beyond just protecting herself, to actively repaying Edward for what he‘d done to her. Her plans in regard to the newborns shifted: They were no longer to be a guard for her, but an army.
The more plans she put into motion, she thought, the more likely one of them would succeed. The newborns were one option, but one that—were she to use them that way—would require more of a head-on confrontation than she was totally comfortable with. Another of her plans included Laurent. She traced him to Alaska and, feigning friendship (like James, Victoria had not forgiven the defection), she was able to glean all the information he‘d learned about the
Cullens from the Denalis. She asked him to do her a favor: Visit the Cullens and see if they were all still with the girl. It was win-win for Victoria; if Edward was back in Forks, she assumed he would kill Laurent when he saw the connection to Victoria in Laurent‘s head. If not, Laurent would bring back news of the girl‘s location and how many protected her.
Meanwhile, she created more newborns, leaving them under Riley‘s care, in case she ended up having to go through the full coven to get to the girl. After thinking carefully about Alice and her gift, Victoria put Riley in charge of making all the decisions about the newborns‘ movements. She made no plans to use the newborns for anything concrete. In fact, she thought about them as little as possible.
Laurent called Victoria once to report that the Cullen house was empty and he would look around to see if the girl had gone with them. She heard nothing more from Laurent. Very carefully, she went to investigate, and discovered the wolves. This was an unforeseen problem. James had tracked a werewolf once, for the challenge of it. He‘d been successful, as usual. But werewolves were supposed to be nearly extinct, not traveling in large packs. Nor should they be able to maintain their wolf forms in the daylight. This was worrying, but secondary to the fact that Victoria had crossed a fresh trail left by the girl. The Cullens were gone, and all she had to do was get past the werewolves to find the girl totally alone.
This proved frustrating. With Victoria‘s powerful self-preservation instincts, it was nearly impossible for her to physically make a bold move. The wolves were able to drive her off again and again. She was patient, for she thought she had plenty of time. Then one night she caught Alice‘s scent and knew her hopes for an easy kill were over.
Riley and the newborns became her first priority. She created more and more of them, until Seattle was nearly overrun. Meanwhile, she continued making feints into the area around Forks, gathering information and hoping that the Cullens would believe these fruitless attacks were all she had up her sleeve.
“He‟s the liar, Riley. I told you about their mind tricks. You know I love only you.” Eclipse, Chapter 24