Chapter 15

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, or The Originals in any way shape or form. I just merely enjoy playing with the characters for my own, and your personal amusement…

When school let out for the day, Bella walked out of the building, still distracted by thoughts of everything Kol had shared with her. She was reluctant to admit that she liked the guy, but still was unsure of what her future entailed. Her abilities, she found, grew stronger and they damage that she could do with her magic frightened her deeply.

Seeing Damon waiting for her, leaning against her car, she could not help but to smile. Regardless of the memories she was gaining, she was comforted to know that he would be a constant through everything she was experiencing. The memories of her time with him in the 1800s were the strongest, and it only supported the feelings she’d developed in the short time they’ve known one another in this generation.

Bella was halfway across the lot when she heard her name called out. Turning to look, she found Kol jogging after her. His eyes moved beyond her and lips pulled back into an all too familiar smirk. Suspicious of what he was planning, she slowed her step for him to catch up at the human pace he took and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders as he had through the corridors most of the day.

“I can’t believe you were planning on leaving me stranded here,” he grinned, keeping his focus forward.

“You have your car,” she pointed out.

He only gave her a cheeky smile in response as they reached Damon, whom was less than thrilled to see the Original vampire. “Long time, no see,” Kol greeted the other vampire, causing Bella to eye the two with concern.

Damon remained tense as he stared the guy down, his bright blue eyes blazing as they remained pinned on the arm around his girl. “Not long enough. What do you want?”

Bella carefully slipped out from Kol’s embrace to move to her boyfriend’s side. “He enrolled in school so that he could talk to me. So that we could get to know one another away from the others.”

His eyes peered back at Kol for a long minute before he nodded, drawing in his lip in his annoyance of the situation. “Do you know anything that’s going on? Why Bella is what she is?”

Kol only looked back with a good natured smile, slipping his hands into his pockets and rocked back and forth on his feet. “I got my suspicions, yes. I shared them with my sister. Why should I say anything to you?”

“Kol,” Bella lightly scolded him for his antagonizing of Damon. “Be nice. If you want me around, I’ll tell you, just as I told Klaus and Elijah. Damon and I are a packaged deal.”

He let out a long, suffering sigh and rolled his eyes. “Very well. I think our mother did something very naughty and Ylva – Bella – was the price. Only it backfired or someone did something to protect her. I don’t know.”

“Your mother, huh?” Damon huffed. “The gift that keeps on giving.”

“Damon!” Bella scolded him. “Be nice!” She felt like a broken record at this point.

“What?! Everyone knows that woman was a bitch. We didn’t know she wanted to kill her own children – which would have killed the rest of the vampires in existence as well.”

She frowned, lowering her head and avoiding his eye. “From what everyone keeps saying, she’s my original mother too, Damon.”

Kol simply stood by, smiling as he watched the two. “Did he also tell you that he was the one that helped his brother steal Mother’s coffin from Nik?”

Bella looked up at him, before glaring at her boyfriend. “Damon?”

“What?! We didn’t know!” he defended himself. “We wanted to get rid of Klaus, that was before we knew about his extended family.”

“Keep digging that hole for yourself, Damon,” Kol teased, still a big smile on his face.

Damon shot him a glare, pressing his mouth shut for the moment. “Bella, let’s just go. We had dinner plans, remember?”

“Yeah, maybe tomorrow,” she replied, side stepping him to put her bag in her car. “I think I just want to be by myself at home tonight.”

He was clearly not happy about her reaction, however he said nothing as he stepped away from the car so that she could get in and leave. A displeased scowl remained on his face the entire time as he watched her, while Kol merely gave her a happy wave goodbye.

“You know, all you had to do was just keep your mouth shut, right?” Kol stood smiling as Bella pulled away.

Damon glared at him, his hatred clear on his face. “No one asked you.”

The Original shrugged. “Do I care? No. However, she’s to be my sister so I care about her wishes.”

“Somehow I doubt your sincerity. You sure that you aren’t more interested in her magic?” Damon questioned, eyeing him with suspicion.

Kol let out a dark chuckle, his eyes sparkling as he turned to face the younger vampire. “The only thing I’m interested in with her power is helping her gain control of it before it controls her. Everyone is waiting for her memories to return to know what happened to her, but I am thinking a more proactive approach may be needed.”

Damon’s eyes narrowed, concern for Bella rising within him. “What do you mean? Like forcing the memories out?”

“Not quite. I was thinking more of a simple walk through her mind. Not intrusive at all,” he answered with a casual shrug. “The memories are there. Just deeply buried, waiting to come out.”

As confident as Kol appeared, Damon smirked because he was sure that Bella hadn’t shared everything about her history with him. He knew she shared a little about her previous encounters with their parasitic cousins, but he was positive she hadn’t said everything. “I think you should bring your idea up to her and see how receptive she is. It would be a good idea to speak with your brothers first about what she’s told them before you go and try to invade her head.”

Tilting his head like a curious puppy, Kol regarded him seriously for the moment. “Tell me Salvatore. Since my brothers returned, have you truly thought we’d do something so dishonorable to a girl we believe to be our blood?”

“Well – Klaus has kept you boxed in a coffin for several hundred years and I know you’ve all attempted to kill one another on more than one occasion,” he admitted.

“True, true. However, like most siblings, our rivalry in that is not uncommon. Haven’t you set yourself out with the goal to make Stefan’s life an eternity of misery for forcing your turning? What makes our familial drama between ourselves any different? After all, it is clear our attempts to kill one another are never followed through and I can guarantee that there had been ample opportunities over our years to kill one another. All Elijah had to do was stab me with the white oak stake he used to carry around and I was quite vulnerable in my coffin thanks to Nik. We mean Bella no harm and only wish to help her,” Kol stressed, holding his hands out to his side. “You can give her my proposal if you like. You both know where to find us.”

Before Damon could make any more comments, Kol had turned and started walking away. He stayed and watched as he made his way to his car, however both were distracted by the sound of thunder in the distance. Looking up, the sky was still clear, though dark clouds were beginning to gather in the distance. It left an unsettling feeling within him and as he looked back towards Kol, he could see that he was also disturbed by the change of weather.

Taking his leave, he knew he had to figure out some way to help Bella without pissing off the Original family too much.

~o.O.o~

It hadn’t taken Bella long to make her commute home. Walking from her car to the house, her attention was caught by the sudden change of weather and thunder that could be heard. It filled her with an uneasiness that had her heart racing and she quickly made her way to the safety of the house.

Closing the door behind her, she leaned back against it, her eyes closed. There was an icy feel to the air around her, her body shuddering under its influence.

Her debt is paid with your blood…

The voice was raspy and it made her cringe as if it was being whispered right into her ear. Opening her eyes, she quickly looked around only to find that she was indeed the only person in the room, though it didn’t feel that way. She could feel her heart pound in her chest as she took slow, cautious steps further into the house. Her eyes glancing around like a small animal, sensing a larger threat lingering just out of reach.

Collapsing onto the couch, Bella struggled to get her emotions under control and had only barely when the front door opened, causing her to jump.

Charlie looked over at his daughter with a curious brow raised before closing the door and releasing his breath slowly. He had no idea what was bothering her, but knew that they had a long talk that needed to be out of the way.

He was slow as he went to join her, taking notice of the way she watched him in return. He was aware that she was probably questioning everything and everyone around her if the conversation that he had with the Mikaelsons was anything to go by. “Bella. I think you and I have a few things we need to discuss,” he carefully started, his eyes narrowing as he studied her more.

“Like what, Dad?” Bella asked, appearing to avoid any clear topics herself.

“Secrets. I had an interesting visit this afternoon. About you,” he shared.

Her eyes darted up to meet his and he saw a flash of emotion that he rarely encountered with his daughter with any topic other than the Cullens. Pure anger but she smothered it quickly and her face returned to the same blankness he was used to. “Don’t do that, Bella. They came to me out of concern for your safety and wellbeing.”

“They? They who?” Bella questioned, words cold and sharp.

Charlie let out a sigh before moving to fall back into the closest living room chair. “Don’t start with that attitude. They approached me out of concern for you. Your friends,” he started rather delicately, unsure of how to broach the subject of her magic. “I know about the Mikaelsons. Well, I knew they are vampires from the office, Forbes is filling me in on the history of the town…”

“What exactly are you getting at here, Dad? What is it you want to know?” she demanded, her patience quickly growing thin as she turned her dark eyes on him.

“They explained to me about the threat against you – and about your, um, magic. I didn’t want to believe it at first, Bella, believe me. But I sat here and thought about things that’s happened since we got here, your strange behavior… Are you really a witch?”

She didn’t know what to tell him, as she wasn’t sure exactly how much had already been said. “Does it matter?”

Charlie shook his head. “No, it doesn’t but I want to tell you what I told your friends – or brothers? That story had me going in circles I got so confused with this whole reincarnation bit they shared. Regardless of who or what you are or becoming, you still are my daughter and I will go with you wherever you go. They told me about their desire to have you go back to New Orleans with them. I admit I wasn’t happy to hear that, but considering everything about these abilities you seem to have, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”

Bella stared at him, speechless and almost scandalized that he would so willingly give her up like that. “You can’t be serious!”

“I also told them that I would go with you, and if need be, then I would undergo the transition to remain with you. I love you Bells, and I can see they do too. In their way. They actually didn’t seem as scary as the stories that were told to me,” he shrugged with a small smile.

Silenced by his words, she was unsure of how to feel about the amount of attention she’d begun to receive. Her life had only grown more complicated since they moved to Mystic Falls and she couldn’t help but wonder if she would have been safer if they stayed in Forks. She would have been more normal, had it not be the Cold One that had it out for her.

“I don’t know what to say, Dad,” she quietly admitted. “It’s all -”

“Confusing? Overwhelming? I get it. Tell me. How do you feel when you’re around them? Do you trust them not to harm you?”

Immediately, Bella scoffed. “They wouldn’t dare! I never felt an ounce of threat coming from them towards me, despite what Damon might say. I think even he would have a hard time denying them after his last visit to their house.”

“I asked about you. You clearly feel you can trust them but I can tell you’re terrified about something,” her father shared.

Bella hesitated as she thought about the whispered voice that sounded so cold in her ear as she returned home. “I don’t want you to be hurt by any of this…”

“I know and if I am, then it’s because I wanted to do what I can to help you.”

“I don’t even know what is going on. I do need to talk to – mm – the Mikaelsons about what I’ve been dealing with. They may know more but I don’t know what I can tell you,” she whispered.

“Then let them in and help you, because they may be the only ones who can,” Charlie earnestly pushed her towards her long forgotten family. “If what they say is true, that you are their sister, then we all will make this work between us. I promise I won’t leave you, but I’d be happier that if something did happen to me, that you have a strong family to surround you.”

She continued to remain reluctant about turning to the ones she just met, not having memories of them the way she did with Damon and Stefan. At the same time, she could feel that they meant their word about considering her family and would fight in her corner. “I don’t know. I did just meet them.”

“You just met Damon as well, but you aren’t afraid of him,” he pointed out.

Letting out a long sigh, she knew she’d have to tell him more. “That’s because I can remember a life with him. I don’t remember the Mikaelsons like that. I only got a glimpse of a memory of a passing encounter with one of them.”

“Then give them a chance and maybe it will come to you. You are usually so willing to giving people a chance, Bella. What’s the matter here?” Charlie questioned.

“Some personal demons of my own that I have to overcome, I suppose,” Bella distractedly replied, as it begun to sound as if the storm that she saw earlier was growing closer. “Maybe you are right. I think I will go and spend a little time over by them now.”

He frowned slightly as he carefully looked over her and the sudden change in her behavior, but not called her out on it. “Don’t go there because it’s what I asked of you. Go because it’s what you want.”

Bella gave him a watery smile and nodded. “I’m not. I want to, and I need to do this. Don’t worry about me. We will talk about this more again soon. I promise.”

“I trust you Bells. Be careful,” Charlie replied, pushing himself to his feet and leaving a kiss on her forehead. “Go handle your supernatural business. I have my own things with this council nonsense to deal with. Knowing what I know now, I can help fend them off for you.”

She nodded again, but said nothing else as she gathered her things to leave. Looking out the door, she was cautious as the skies were still very ominous with signs of an oncoming storm. The voice she heard when she got home from school wasn’t the same as the whispers she’d encountered since she moved to Mystic Falls. There was more of a threat underlying the words.

The more she let herself think about it, the more her fear grew. Trying not to let it overtake her, Bella attempted to make the drive over to the Mikaelson estate as quick as possible, claps of thunder suddenly sounding as if they were growing closer simply because she was exposed from the safety of the indoors. If there was one thing that she was sure of with her new abilities that she was learning, there was something coming and time was running out.

~o.O.o~

Kol had been in the middle of regaling his family about his day, particularly the end encounter with their mysterious sister’s beau vampire, Damon, when the doorbell rang.

Rebekah rolled her eyes on the video chat that they had begun in order to fill her in as Elijah excused himself to answer the door. “I still don’t believe that this girl could be our sister. If her reincarnations occurred as frequently as you say they have, then we would have come across at least a few over the years.”

“It still stands to be true. Elijah did have an encounter, although brief once during our time in Europe,” Klaus admitted as he sipped on his alcohol, then quickly set it down as the girl’s familiar scent reached him. Coming to his feet, his attention was less on his sister and almost entirely on the entrance to the room. “Isabella! Such a surprise! To what do we owe the pleasure of this visit?”

Elijah remained silent as he followed behind her, his eyes ever watchful and concerned over her nervous appearance. She was significantly more agitated than they’d ever seen of her and it drew their attention more closely to her shaking hands as her fingers knotted themselves together.

“Everything alright, darling?” Kol questioned as he handed her his glass of liquor and guided her to a seat.

Bella swallowed a gulp, barely tasting the drink and drew in a breath. “I don’t know,” she answered. Looking up to the brothers she continued. “Who else is there in the family that would be a threat? Because I heard a new voice today when I got home. Not the same – whispers that seemed to warn me against danger. This one was more threatening and it felt like it was specific to me.”

While Klaus and Elijah had shared an extraordinary amount of information about their lives with her, she had been very careful with what she’d admitted before on her last visit, so this had peeked their attention quite so. Exchanging a glance, Klaus sat beside her, shooing his younger sibling away. “You will have to explain to us about these whispers more for us to understand.”

Frustrated, Bella ran a hand through her hair as she gave him a withering glare. “It started when I moved to town. It was small, like ghostly images from the past that I eventually learned where like impressions or memories from my life when I lived here in the 1800s. I saw Katherine and Damon, and my death from that time, but the whispers I heard kept me safe from what I could tell. I had dinner with Elena and everyone at the Salvatores the first night and the voice told me to stay in the bathroom and I learned later that Katherine had paid a visit.”

“So what was different from that experience to the one that brought you here?” Elijah curiously questioned.

She bit down on her lip, wrapping her arms around herself. Her leg thumped repeatedly in her nervousness that Klaus had to lay a hand on it in attempt to help settle her down. “It was a darker tone, telling me that her debt was to be paid with my blood. Whose debt?” Bella questioned, looking at each of them.

Klaus’ fingers tightened reflexively as his eyes turned up to his older brother. “If I were to guess, it would be our mother. Only I don’t know what she had done with you as it was before any of us were born. For that lack of information, I am sorry, Isabella.”

“I agree that it sounds as if our mother had some sinister involvement with this curse that had been place upon you. No matter the reason, we are here beside you and will fight whatever is to come,” Elijah assured her.

Throughout the conversation, Bella did not know of the Original sister listening in. “Excuse me! I hope you have not forgotten about me here!” Rebekah called through the computer.

Bella looked around confused until Klaus explained. “We were filling in Rebekah, our other sister, on what has been going on when you arrived.” He looked at her curiously for a moment. “Tell me, sister,” he began, making his way to the computer to address the vampire, bringing Bella with him. “Have you seen this girl before over the years?”

Rebekah was taken aback at her first sight of the mysterious sister she’d been hearing about. She’d been so ready to brush off their tales until that moment. “I, um, I’m sorry. I really am for what I’ve said about you…”

“You haven’t said anything since I arrived,” Bella pointed out, confused.

“Before that. I didn’t think their stories were true until I saw you, but I…” she paused with hesitation and looked at Klaus over the girl’s shoulder for forgiveness. “We are not unfamiliar with doppelgangers as you know, but I’ve seen your face before…”

There was a certain tone in her words, a sadness and fear that reflected in her gaze. “Okay? Elijah has said as much about the same. He came across one of my past selves centuries ago.”

“Where do you remember seeing Bella?” Elijah asked, coming around to Bella’s other side.

She swallowed instinctively and sat back. She turned her head for a moment as if to check if there was anyone within hearing distance. “Here, in New Orleans,” she whispered. Looking directly at Bella again, she blinked back tears. “I am so sorry. You might have been with us sooner if I hadn’t summoned Mikael so that I could be with Marcel.”

Klaus recalled the time and Bella could feel him tense up beside her. Reaching out to lay her hand over his in attempt to calm him, she closed her eyes. “What happened?”

“I saw Mikael making his way through the city when he came across her. A young witch in the market and he went crazy at the sight of the girl. Killed her in his rage,” Rebekah explained. “I had no idea what it was about her until I saw you tonight.”

Drawing in a deep breath, Bella nodded before looking at her. “Thank you,” she whispered.

Bella’s eyes suddenly grew glassy and unfocused as she stared down at the computer screen, bringing Elijah to step closer out of concern. If this was going to be anything like what happened with they touched at the restaurant, he wanted to be prepared.

Coming out of the trance-like state, Bella’s eyes rolled back in her head and he was quick to catch her from completely slumping to floor with Klaus’ assistance. Carrying her back to the couch, he laid her down with a sigh. “I do hope she gains more control over her abilities so that we won’t have to worry about events like this,” he murmured.

“She will certainly keep us on our toes,” Kol chuckled. “Getting back to our mother. What are we going to do about that? I have to tell you that something rather powerful is coming. The weather has been turning unseasonably stormy and you can see it only grow closer.”

“The only one of us that might have known would have been Finn, but I doubt even he would have cooperated with us to tell what he knew,” Klaus sighed. “He’s dead and I had thought we were finished with our mother. Clearly not!”

“Bella is a witch from a strong line, obviously. Wouldn’t she be able to keep through the veil to the Other Side long enough to speak to Finn?” Rebekah wondered aloud.

Kol made a face at the suggestion. “She would have the power, of that I have no doubt. However, I don’t think she would know how to perform a spell that complicated. I’m not even sure if she’d be willing to considering the requirements. Expression is a very dark and complicated practice that even I avoided such practitioners of due to its instability. Not to mention the dangers it would bring, as you all know well and clear.”

“So what do we do now?” Rebekah huffed.

“We wait for Isabella to awaken and see if she learned anything from you, then go from there,” Elijah answered.

“Shouldn’t we call that Salvatore she is involved with?” Klaus sneered at the mention of the man.

Elijah looked back at Bella’s sleeping form. “It would be wise to maintain open communication, especially after his last visit. We would not want a repeat of your disagreement with her to occur.”

“What happened?” Rebekah questioned, frustrated by her limitations and duties in New Orleans.

“Bella did not originally agree that she was our sister. In fact, she was quite resistant, however it seems that she is coming around,” he explained.

“Why must I be here?! Nik! Your little pet of a she-wolf has been constantly finding herself trouble with the local wolves that it’s becoming difficult to protect her. Just so that you know, she attempted to poison herself in order to abort the baby the other day. You owe me so much for stopping that.”

Klaus immediately was not pleased at hearing that Hayley attempted to ruin his chance at fatherhood. “If she doesn’t wish to be involved with the child, then so be it. I won’t force her to stay with it. It will be cared and loved for enough between us that she won’t be needed. Lock her in the house if you must, but I won’t lose my child.”

“You need to return soon if that is the case. I understand the situation with Bella, but you have your own problems as well to think of if this is what you want. I’ve got to go. I can hear her coming back from her walk,” Rebekah muttered and disconnected the call.

Growling in anger, Klaus threw the glass he had just picked up across the room, shattering it against the wall. The impact was enough to jolt Bella awake, making her sit up quickly in shock. Looking around, she attempted to settle at finding herself safe, but her hands went to her neck as the phantom pain of her death lingered.

Flashes of an enraged vampire coming after her plagued her. Surprise, sorrow, then pure unconsolable wrath crossed the man’s face as they had shared but a glance. It was so quick in his attack, twisting her neck, that she never understood what she had died over.

“I need more. Something else to push these memories out!” she cried breathlessly, her hand still rubbing over her neck. “I need to know why this is happening!”

Kol moved to kneel beside her. “I know of a possible way, but it wouldn’t be easy. It would require you to speak to the dead. We think that maybe Finn would have an idea of what happened since he was the only one of us born when this began with you.”

“Fine! Let’s do it! I am tired of going through these memories and feeling my death over and over!” she shouted, scrambling to her feet and grabbing Kol by his shirt. “Tell me how.”

“I’ll have to get some things together and talk to the Bennett witch in town for the spell. I’ll help you, if this is truly what you want,” he whispered, attempting to calm her best he can. “I will help you with whatever you want, Sister, but I want you to be sure it is what you want.”

Bella blinked as he called her sister, swallowing as it was slowly becoming more clear that she truly was a member of their family. “I don’t want to be your older sister,” she whispered back, causing Elijah and Klaus especially to react. They didn’t want to say how much her words wounded them right then, but they had also considered it a possibility she might feel that way. At least it was until she continued. “I don’t know how,” she said, almost pleading. Her hands pulled on Kol’s shirt more. “I don’t know how, I can’t be what you want me to be.”

“Shh, Poppet,” the usually erratic vampire comforted her, wrapping his arms around her shaking body. “You don’t have to be anything but yourself. Whether you gain all your memories back or not, you will be our sister. Perhaps it is time for us all to be the older siblings to you.”

He simply held her as she absorbed his words. Looking over at his brothers, he received a nod of approval from them. They would make this odd change in their family dynamic work. One way or another.