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Before the Dawn by BookwormBaby2580 is an alternate take on Twilight, starting when Bella decides to spend time in Mexico after Renee’s wedding to Phil. As a result of this impulsive decision, Bella is captured by a vampire and taken to become part of a twisted breeding experiment as he tries to create a whole new race of human/vampire hybrids, only to run into the Cullens when she manages to flee to Forks after her own transformation.

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Before the Dawn contains examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Possibly the best description of Alexander, who has spent his first month being told he's 'special' by his father and is eager to learn everything he can from the other vampires, although Bella and Edward attempt to establish limits such as forbidding him from having human blood.
  • Adult Fear: Bella and Charlie each spend time dealing with the knowledge that their children are missing and they don’t know where they are (although Bella at least had a better idea where Alexander was while Charlie spent a few months unaware if Bella was even still alive).
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Bella spends the first few chapters being held prisoner and raped by a vampire before becoming one herself.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Mike Newton, who was always shown to have feelings for Bella in canon, quickly develops an attraction to Nahuel when they meet, although it is never established if Mike has had feelings for other men or if Nahuel is just unique.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: During the confrontation with the newborn army, various limbs are removed, and Aro is punished for his actions at the conclusion by having his hands removed.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Oracle of Pythia was a vampire who is still alive in the present.
  • Berserk Button: Bella breaks her self-imposed silence when Carlisle’s words suggest that he thought it was all right that she may have killed people on her way to Forks, denouncing the Cullens as “sick, horrible… things!” and disgusted at the idea that they (seemingly) think it’s OK to kill people. Throughout the fic, apart from when Joham forced her to feed Bella's only human victim was when she acted on instinct while hungry, the Cullens helping her control her thirst as she refuses to be like the monster that changed her.
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  • Beware the Nice Ones: Carlisle of all people is finally pushed to breaking point when Aro tears off Esme's head and nearly burns it, only being talked out of actually killing Aro because of Jasper's advice about setting an example after Benjamin and Bella save Esme's head from incineration.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Joham’s children have an extremely warped family dynamic, as the one daughter who approves of his plans is considered useless by him because she doesn't have venom. The epilogue includes Alexander observing that Kyra is biologically his niece as her mother was one of Joham's daughters, but she's his cousin by adoption as she was raised by Rosalie and Emmett, and as they grew up together with the other Cullens Alexander and Kyra basically consider each other siblings.
  • Cassandra Truth: Renee basically uses this to assure Bella that she can be told the truth, arguing that she's so flighty nobody's going to believe her even if she slips up and mentions that her daughter's a vampire.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: A good description for Renee, as she recalls the old tales from Forks to realise that Bella isn’t dying of a terminal disease, but has actually become a vampire.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Suggested for Bella, as she runs into the Cullens by sheer chance after fleeing Joham, meeting vampires who share her distaste for drinking human blood without deliberately looking for them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: After Bella and the Cullens find Joham, Bella literally takes him apart in her initial blind rage, and Edward subsequently issues a formal challenge for leadership of Joham's coven where he and Jasper swiftly force Joham to the ground.
  • Darker and Edgier: Bella spends the first few chapters being held prisoner and raped by a psychopathic vampire who has no problem with using humans as ‘breeding stock’, and spends her first few days as a vampire terrified and outraged as she tries to flee from Mexico to Washington without feeding on anyone.
  • Dead Guy Junior: A variation; when considering names for a daughter, Emmett suggests 'Lula Mae' as he claims that was the name his grandmother was going to give his mother.
  • Demoted to Extra: James, Victoria and Laurent appear, but although James’s history with Alice is referenced, with Bella a vampire the moment they meet there is no reason for his group to go after her, and he and Victoria are swiftly killed as an example of the consequences of breaking the rules.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: As well as the obvious idea of blood being a drug, Bella takes part in a debate with Carlisle and other vampires where they compare human blood to the equivalent of sweets to a vampire where animal blood is their vegetables as human blood tastes better but animal-drinking vampires are more civilised, characters speculating that animal blood encourages the vampires to expand their intellectual horizons and think about more than just their next meal.
  • Driven to Suicide: One of Joham's potential mothers commits suicide by strangling herself with her own bonds.
  • Elective Mute: After escaping Joham, Bella spends some time in silence after meeting the Cullens, until she misinterprets Carlisle’s assurances about what she would have had to do to survive as condoning the idea that she killed people and flies into a rant.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Joham has other vampires impregnate his hybrid daughters, albeit because of his ‘concerns’ that incest would weaken the bloodlines he’s trying to create.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Regardless of their attitude towards killing humans, the entire assembled vampire community show contempt towards Joham for abducting and raping Bella and other girls.
  • Eye Scream: As punishment for his part in a final confrontation, Alec's eyes are removed and destroyed so that he can't use his ability any more.
  • The Fashionista: Edward speculates that Alice's interest in buying things stems from the fact that she remembers having very little when she was human and and sees buying everyone things now as her way of showing others that she cares.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Are and Alec are punished for trying to stage a revolt by having their hands and eyes removed respectively; Aro is fitted with advanced prosthetics, but this punishment still deprives both vampires of their old ability.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Aro comes across as Affably Evil for the most part, as he even has no problem talking with Charlie about the current situation on a friendly basis despite his usual habit of drinking from humans, but ruins this when he tears off Esme's head and nearly burns it just to make a point to Carlisle.
  • Fingore:
    • A minor example, but Alice notes that no vampire makes it through the change with their fingernails intact, requiring her to prepare acrylics for herself, Esme and Rosalie, and she also offers them to Bella.
    • Later, Petria, a vampire who was turned by an ancestor of hers (he became a vampire centuries ago and keeps an eye on his mortal descendants), notes that she was once raped by an old boyfriend, and the man was found a couple of hours later with his own severed fingers stuffed down his throat.
  • For Want of a Nail: Bella’s decision to go to Mexico sets her on a new path to become a vampire, and Maria participates in an attack that leads to the destruction of the Volturi.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Joham was invited to attend the meeting due to his unique knowledge of hybrids, but it is made increasingly clear that nobody likes him, ranging from the other vampires treating him with contempt for raping his 'test subjects' to one vampire 'compelling' birds to poop all over his tent.
  • Happily Adopted: Emmett and Rosalie end up adopting Kyra, one of Joham’s ‘grandchildren’, as the child’s biological parents aren’t interested in raising the girl.
  • Hidden Depths: Mike Newton, who was little more than the human with a hopeless crush on Bella in canon, is established as a wilderness enthusiast who is uncertain about his father encouraging him to try out for the football team because he worries if he'd get in on his own or just because his father is offering them new uniforms, and quickly falls for Nahuel due to the hybrid’s obvious ‘wild’ nature.
  • Hyper-Awareness: After Alec's eyes are removed, it is confirmed that he can still get around by relying on his other senses.
  • Killed Offscreen: Most of the Volturi are killed in an uprising that the Cullens are only informed about after the fact, which resulted in the deaths of characters like Chelsea, Jane and Caius.
  • Klingon Promotion: Edward challenges Joham for leadership of his coven to ensure that he will have to let Alexander go.
  • Mama Bear: Although she initially left him behind, once she's calmed down Bella resolves to go back for her son and rejects any idea that he might have to be destroyed as an 'immortal child' (before they confirm that Alexander is something different).
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In as much as any of the vampire 'extras' possessed in the series can be 'mundane', a few characters debate whether Pythia is actually receiving messages from the gods or if she just has a really weird ability in a similar style to Alice's own ability to see the future.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Bella spends a fair amount of time hating herself for leaving Alexander behind, even though she was in no state for rational thought and had enough trouble getting to Forks while dealing with her own transformation without having to worry about protecting an unpredictable hybrid newborn.
  • Nightmare Fuel: On top of the traumatic circumstances of her transformation, which included being forced to drink the blood of people Joham murdered right in front of her, Bella is tormented at the thought that her son will kill humans just because he feels like he should.
  • Noodle Incident: Reference is made to something that happened to Aro in a port in Shanghai which has kept him out of China, India and Russia for an unspecified length of time because he doesn't want to go back to the continent.
  • No-Sell:
    • Bella's shield not only prevents Edward reading her mind, but she is also immune to Alec's power, and even Alexander, who can basically render vampires unconscious, can't do anything to Bella.
    • The newborn Fred has the ability to deflect any attempt to pay attention to him, but Bella is immune to this due to her shield, and Eleazar can also see past it due to his ability to see other vampires' gifts, so he's focusing on Fred's gift rather than Fred himself.
  • Nubile Savage: Discussed, as Naheul is described as wearing relatively skimpy clothing due to him living apart from humans most of his life.
  • Papa Wolf: Comes up for Charlie; while he soon understands that he can’t do anything to the vampires himself, he is still willing to yell at Carlisle for inviting Joham to attend the meeting even after everything the other vampire did to Bella, and explicitly informs Joham (albeit with the Quillettes backing Charlie up) that if he sees the man anywhere again after the current meeting he will take great pleasure in chopping Joham up and burning each piece individually for what he did to Bella.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Even when the vampires involved drink humans, none of them approve of sexual assault; after Bella explains what Joham did to her, he becomes a pariah among the assemblage even after telling his side of the story.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Eventually Tia is chosen as the head of the new coven assembled to replace the Volturi, as she is shown to be open-minded and willing to listen to others, even experimenting with drinking animal blood where Aro refused to consider it (she does note that she's not planning to make the switch permanent, but Carlisle appreciates that she tried it out at least).
  • Refuge in Audacity: When the Cullens arrange to send a large group of vampires after Joham, Rosalie, Emmett and Alice acquire a large range of motorcycles and arrange a banner displaying "Muscular Dystrophy Association: Ride for the Cure", providing a plausible reason for large numbers of people to be travelling in the same direction while covered up.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Edward spends some time assuming that Bella is distant from him because she misses Alexander as her mate, before she clarifies that Alexander is her son.
  • Rules Lawyer: Carlisle is able to point out to the Quillettes that no rules have been broken with Bella being turned into a vampire as none of the Cullens changed her and she wasn’t even in Forks at the time.
  • Sanity Slippage: Recalling his time drinking human blood, Edward reflects that he started out just occasionally targeting criminals, but as he became more and more 'addicted' to human blood he started targeting people on increasingly weak justifications until he realised that he was now basically just an animal, constantly thinking about his next meal rather than his past interests in more intellectual pastimes like literature or music.
  • Technical Pacifist: Carlisle's non-violent stance often works against him, as his desire to avoid confrontation prompts him to be more tolerant than he should be; Jasper points out to him at one point that Carlisle can't just let Sam keep setting the rules of their treaty or Sam will never actually respect him on any level.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: In contrast to canon, where Bella silently tolerated the idea that even some of the Cullens' allies would feed on humans, here she often makes it clear that she doesn't approve of that diet, explicitly telling Alexander at one point that nobody is so special that other people should die for them, and mentioning within earshot of other vampires that her ego isn't big enough to justify other people dying because she feels hungry.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Newborns retain this advantage; at one point Bella manages to take on Vladimir and Stefan with only some help from fellow newborn Fred.
  • Weredragon: A trio of shapeshifters from China includes a woman who is able to turn into a dragon..
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