Chapter 20

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…

“Are we really just going to let our sister run off like that?!” Klaus argued as both he and Damon were in agreement about going after Bella. Kol and Elijah, agreed, possibly for the first time, that it would be best to let her be for the time.

“Whatever it was that she realized here, I doubt it was good,” Kol reasoned. “She needs time to sort it out. No doubt now that she saw that journal, she remembered exactly what it was that she had wrote and something about it terrified her. That Cold One followed after her and he seemed to understand her emotions better than any of us could. He’s known her longer in this life than any of us.”

Damon growled and was tempted to destroy any and everything he could get his hands on in his frustration. “Why won’t she tell us?! Aren’t we supposed to be her family?!”

Bonnie had kept a safe distance, allowing Elijah to position himself in front of her due to the warring vampires. She turned to look at her friend, the only one who had not reacted in any form over the girl’s escape from the house.

“You don’t want to know what is in that book,” Stefan voiced as he sat on the sofa still, his head in his hands as he felt more in control of himself now that Bella wasn’t around him.

“What do you mean?” Elijah asked, holding his hand up to stop the others from advancing on him.

Dropping his arms, he looked up at Bonnie. “Because I think that book tells her how to kill a Mikaelson.”

“Everyone knows that white oak -” Klaus began when Stefan interrupted.

“There was a dagger of some sort tucked into the back of book. She carved out the pages just for it. It had foreign lettering that looked just like your etchings on that cave wall on the handle and a lapis stone on the handle. Does that sound like something made for any random purpose?” he asked, turning his attention to the vampires finally. “Bella has something much darker planned and I don’t know if it will have a happy ending.”

“For her or for the family?” Elijah murmured, blinking back his shock of the revelation that was announced.

“Whatever that dagger was designed for, something in me did not want to get it here. That’s why Whitlock had to knock me out with his ability and force me. If it’s spelled that strong, I am afraid for what it’s purpose is that Bella would need with it,” Stefan whispered, guilt flooding him for his actions.

Damon paced the floor, his hand rubbing over his jaw as he found an internal debate on if he should tell his brother the truth of the history of the doppelgangers attacking his would be sister-in-law. Catching Klaus’ eye, he let out a growl and moved to stand before his brother as he made his decision.

“It wasn’t the dagger keeping the book and weapon from Bella. It was you,” he spoke, quite blunt with his words.

Stefan sat back, ready to defend himself but Damon shook his head. “No. You already know that Katherine and Elena have had it out for her. Elena’s hatred for her turned quite fast since they met and Bella’s abilities grew. The stronger she got, the worse Elena got, and Katherine – well, we all know the kind of bitch she is. She wanted her dead from the beginning and as soon as she picked up that she was in town, she said as much. But it seems to be a doppelganger thing that is determined to sabotage Bella in any life she finds herself in. That’s all you were doing. Fulfilling your generation’s attack on her.”

“I don’t understand. What are you saying?” Stefan asked his brother, who received an equally questioning look from Bonnie.

Damon sneered and turned away. “You’re just like Elena in that you’re a doppelganger from what Bella said. There were versions of yourself like there had been others of Katherine and Elena that had killed her over the years. Her theory was that because both Katherine and Elena were alive and their need to act on her was so strong, yours wasn’t shining through as much. Seems we found what your purpose was against her after all.”

“I don’t want to be this. I don’t want to be the reason or what leads to her death,” Stefan replied, horrified by what he was hearing.

“We know you wouldn’t want to intentionally do anything against Isabella, but magic like this that our aunt has placed, is strong and deeply bound. For it to hold this long, through as many generations taking into consideration Katerina Petrova and Elena Gilbert, one could only imagine the lengths that would be necessary to break it,” Elijah said, causing the group to fall into a contemplative silence. “Until Bella is ready to tell us what her plan entails, all we can do is wait for her to put the pieces together for what she needs, and that only she knows.”

While the group spoke and exchanged ideas, no one noticed the black vines that begun to grow on the property, creeping up on the house with black blooms of blossoms sprouting around the windows as the storm settled over Mystic Falls.

~o.O.o~

The moment Bella got home, she threw herself onto her bed, curling up at the head as she allowed the despair that threatened to overtake her, win. After a good hour of crying for what she had come to learn, to remember by a simple book, she wiped her face and pulled it over to her.

When she had believed she’d written, a truly fictional story at the time, was nothing more than a how to guide to destroying the line of magic between herself and her aunt. She remembered the night that Katherine had killed her. She’d hidden a few trinkets in the catacombs just a short time before she was found by the vampire.

How the book came to be in Stefan’s possession, she had her suspicions of his doppelganger tendencies, influenced by the generational spell that after he turned, he sought out the treasures. Never quite understanding their significance until now.

Going to the back of the book, where it safely held the tool that could end it all with a spell and a simple action, Bella pulled out the small athame. The blade was flat, approximately five inches long, and the handle was made of wood with Norse runes etched in and preserved. At the top of the handle was a perfectly smooth lapis lazuli stone, that she ran her finger over. Taking it out, she looked at the carvings on the handle closer and sighed.

When the time came, she knew it would be down to her and Dahlia. Only, she had no idea how to share that information with her family. With Damon.

Getting out of her bed, she went over to her desk and dumped out the contents of a small bowl she kept there. Taking a deep breath, holding back the tears in her eyes for what she knew she was about to do for her family, she began to whisper the spell from her story as she cut her palm with the athame over the bowl.

As she continued with her spell, winds circled around her within her room, until the bowl holding the droppings of her blood burst into flames. Swallowing back at the completion, all she could do was wait.

Unknown to Bella, outside Jasper watched from a safe distance, concern about the betrayal and sadness that poured out from the girl’s room, but made no motion to inform the Mikaelsons of her actions. He had the feeling that it was necessary for what was to come. He knew he had to speak to his new friend about some thoughts about what he observed and hopefully together they could come up with some kind of contingency plan, but he truly was afraid for one of the few times in his undead life.

~o.O.o~

The following morning, the skies remained dark, clouded with thunder and gloom, Bella found a note from Charlie next to the pot of coffee indicating that he left early to help Sheriff Forbes with setting up storm shelters in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Sighing, she let the note fall from her fingers, ignoring as it drifted to the floor.

“You should have some breakfast. Come. I’ll take you to the grill for something,” Jasper spoke behind her. Making his way over, he was careful as he prepared her a cup of coffee before turning to hand it over.

Bella wasn’t surprised to find him there. If anything, she was relieved to see him over her family. Accepting the coffee as a sign of truce, she took a sip and sighed, smiling as the warmth of it filled her. “Why are you here?”

“Your brothers gave me some – latitude. You can call it a probation of sorts. All I want to do is help you, Bella. You tell me what you need from me. I’m here for you, not them,” he said, letting his sincerity be quite clear.

Nodding absently, she shrugged. “Sure. A last meal sounds great,” she agreed unenthusiastically, allowing him to lead her out to a car he had waiting. When had he gotten one? She was sure she remembered seeing Klaus drive this one around town.

“Now why would you say something like that? Considering the amount willing to fight in your corner, you would be more willing to survive this fight. Looks to me like you are going to give your aunt exactly what she wants,” he observed.

“She’s too powerful,” she admitted, her eyes looking everywhere else but him. She found that many areas in town were overrun by growths of black vines that set her heart racing.

Jasper looked over at her, concerned. “What’s the matter?”

Swallowing she turned in her seat to try to look around, out all the windows as much as possible. “Dahlia is here…” she whispered, barely audible to her own ears, but she knew he heard.

His hands tightened around the wheel, leaving an impression of his grip as he the nod he gave was ever so slight. “You know, perhaps we should get your brothers to join us this morning.”

“What?! No!” Bella exclaimed but he had already turned towards the direction of their house against her protest. Her heart pounded harder the closer they got, her hand itching to reach for her pocket, but she kept it on the handle of the car door.

When Jasper pulled up and they stepped out, they stared up at the mansion in awe and terror. Nearly the entire outside was covered in the black vines. The lawn had blood red and black dahlia flowers all over. “Perhaps this was not a good idea,” Jasper murmured, holding Bella close to him, unsure if it would be safe to approach the house. “Maybe it would be best for them to come out to us?”

He took out his phone to dial inside, as the frightened girl shook and kept a vigilant eye, constantly looking around. “Seems that our time is up. We can’t make it into the house but you all might be able to come out to us,” he murmured, attempted to put as much calmness into his friend as he could before she jumped out of her own skin.

It wasn’t long before her family came rushing out of the house before stopping short to take in the sight of the property as they carefully stepped through the fauna. Damon was quick to take her in his arms, pressing his lips in her hair. “Don’t leave me like that again, please,” he whispered to her as he looked around for whatever threat they all sensed lurking in the air.

“It would appear that our aunt had certainly taking a liking to her name,” Elijah observed, moving quickly out of the way of a moving vine. Point at the aggressive flowers, he exclaimed, “Plants – are not supposed to do that!”

“It’s Dahlia controlling them. She can see and hear through them and they are all over town,” Bella said. “She is coming for me, one way or another and there is nowhere that we can hide from her.”

“Well, it shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t mind telling us about the spell you devised to fight her,” Bonnie commented as she blasted a group of vines that were growing too close them along the fence.

“Her only way out is with her blood,” a raspy voice filled the air around them, coating them with the wind and causing Bella to cover her ears and squeeze her eyes tightly at the memories it inflicted.

Klaus, not having any of these witch tricks, looked around, glaring at the wind blowing around his family. “Show yourself witch! Family or not, I have no problem gutting you!”

“Oh, I am sure that you would, Niklaus,” the voice spoke, much clearer from behind them.

There was Dahlia, casually leaning against the hood of his truck that he had lent to Jasper during the night. “I have no qualms with the rest of you children. I am only here to take back what is owed to me and that is the girl.”

“Isabella belongs to no one but herself,” Elijah defended, moving to stand protectively in front of her.

The old witch raised an eyebrow elegantly as she shifted her dark eyes to the girl. “Isabella? Is that the name you go by now? Tsk, I thought I taught you better than to demean yourself to the times. Your place is with me. You know that the only way out is one that you would never be brave enough to take. All they would do is use you for your magic, your abilities. It is all the Mikaelson vampires have done with witches that shown to be of any use. I’ve shown you their actions time and again when you’ve returned to me, and yet you still yearn for their acceptance.”

Klaus and Elijah narrowed their eyes as they looked to Bella, confused. Kol did not seem as upset by what was being said as he continued to remain suspicious of the woman, being more familiar with the ways of manipulation and magic.

“To what is she referring, Bella?” Klaus asked, tension in his voice, though he attempted to remain gentle towards her.

“So, she doesn’t trust her own family as much as she let on!” Dahlia smiled triumphantly, as Bella turned away from them and tried to pull out of Damon’s hold. “If she won’t tell you, then I shall. Each death that Ylva goes through doesn’t give her any relief as she may have led you to believe. No, she simply comes home, back to me, just as she is going to do again. Why must you fight me so much child?”

Bella managed to distance herself enough from everyone, using her magic against them so that she could create a buffer of space around her while they remained in their shock that she’d been through so much more torture and punishment than she’d let on. More so than Dahlia’s belief that it was her lies of omission they were upset over. “Because I am a Mikaelson,” she bitterly let out through her pain and tears. “If there is anything I’ve learned, we do not make things easy for our enemies – nor do we for our blood…”

“You have no idea what you are doing,” Dahlia snapped, want in her eyes to charge forward but knowing that even the slightest move would be fatal.

“No, Dahlia. I know exactly what I am doing,” Bella whispered with a grin. “No more hunting me down from your doppelganger slaves. No more magic to bind me to you, living my life over, and over. It’ll all be over!” She pulled out the athame that she had hidden in her sleeve, and made sure that Dahlia hadn’t see it until that moment, nor the others.

“You’re not nearly powerful enough to complete that ritual and spell,” the witch pointed out, already delirious with the prospect of the girl back into her fold.

Damon blinked having been frozen in place. “No. No! Don’t!” he muttered as he started to make his way to her, but he felt like his feet were being weighed down by some invisible force, but knowing the exact source. “Let me go! Bella!”

“Don’t be foolish, child!” Dahlia snapped at her, but it was already too late. The witch was coughing up blood before she realized what was going on. Her body doubled over as blood spilled from her lips, black eyes glaring over at her niece while her own thousand year old body began to age and decay as it died.

“No!” Damon shouted when he was finally free and sped over to Bella, catching her before she could hit the ground, biting his hand to press his blood into her mouth. “Bella! Don’t you dare die on me!” He pulled out the athame that she had plunged into her own heart. Why? Why did she do that? Surely there would have been other ways of getting rid of this crazy aunt of hers? Where did that athame come from? What had his precious little thing been doing in the last twelve hours? “Come on,” he pleaded with her. “Come on, drink. Don’t do this to me.”

While he was trying to force more of his blood into her, the brothers surrounded a rapidly weakening aunt. “I will find a way back and kill you all,” Dahlia threatened as she coughed up more blood.

“Yeah, all the bad guys tend to say that when they are beat,” Kol shrugged. “Except, until recently, it used to be our go to threat, wasn’t it Nik?”

“Perhaps, but it’s a shame we won’t have anyone to take our revenge on for our sister’s death now,” Klaus muttered as he watched the woman continue to wither away at an accelerated pace. “Shame your death couldn’t be as drawn out as Bella’s.”

Bonnie and Jasper remained to the side, but the witch in her had to take sympathy despite her siding entirely with the family in the matter. Using her magic to break the woman’s neck, she shook her head as they looked to her with questions and anger. “It’s not worth it. Just focus on Bella now,” she said, jerking her head towards Damon, who had not let go of her body as Stefan cried next to him.

“I was supposed to protect her this time. I failed her twice,” he repeated to himself, wiping the blood away that smeared on her face from his attempts to turn her at the last moment.

“No Damon,” Klaus said as he laid a hand on his shoulder. “We all failed her.”

“Let’s get her inside and cleaned up,” Bonnie suggested, ready to say something else but Jasper appeared at her side and shook his head.

“Inside is a good idea considering that Dahlia’s plants are rapidly disappearing and her storm is going to have humans coming out of their houses soon,” Jasper intervened, receiving a confused look from Bonnie. “We can figure out what to tell Charlie and the town after we get ourselves together.”

Damon brushed Bella’s hair away from her face and lowered his head to hers. “She sacrificed herself against her aunt for eternal freedom and our lives. She deserves a funeral fit for a princess.”

Klaus was quick to agree. “And she shall have one.”