Chapter Three - One Big Happy Family
"Seriously? You can't call yourself a music fan if you only listen to classic music!" Hope argued and pointed a candy bar at Elijah.
"I assume you prefer ... what does kids call it these days ... oh yes, dubstep?" Elijah pointed out. "That's not music, that's people making noises."
"So? It's the best dance music ever," Hope stubbornly said. "But you're like a thousand years old, you have probably been on more concerts than anyone else."
"With the exception for my sister, she is more of the decade-to-decade kind of person", Elijah explained.
They had been going on talking for hours about music, which seemed like one of the few subjects that actually got Elijah exited. He had even told Hope that he played the piano and a little bit of violin. Hope herself had confessed that she had taken guitar lessons from youtube, which she then had to explain was a site on the internet where you could watch homemade videos and stuff. It had taken him a while to understand, but Hope thought he got a hold on it now.
"We're soon there," Elijah spoke up. "Are you nervous?"
She didn't know what to answer, a part of her was, but not because of meeting her real family – but because she was afraid they would find her disappointing. She knew how Elijah was, sort of. He was a man of honor and he wore a way too expensive suit. Hope was just a normal girl, without any money, well-worn clothes and dirty, white sneakers on her feet.
What if they expected someone who came from a nice house with parents who spoiled her away with gifts, jewellery's and other stuff?
"Maybe," she answered without looking at him. Her mood had switched from being happy and exited to unsure and judgmental on the count of a heartbeat. It had happened before, many times actually that her mood had switched within seconds.
One second she could be happy and talking without any kind of problem in her life, the next she could get mad and being near to actually kill someone. Not that she had ever tried to kill anyone or anything, but sometimes her mood scared her. It was like she couldn't control her emotions and anger.
They passed the sign with the words Welcome To New Orleans on it and got greeted by a city filled with people. Although the summer break just had ended and people had gone back to school and their jobs, it didn't seem to affect the tourists or the people of New Orleans.
They drove in silence through the town, Hope found it very much different compared to New York. The buildings were lower, a bit older and with small boutiques in every corner. Hope wouldn't allow herself to admit it, but it kind of felt like home.
Elijah parked the car on the street as they arrived to the French Quarter, Hope didn't waste a second before getting out of the car and grabbing her backpack from the backseat.
A couple of kids rushed by on the other side of the road with their faces filled with laughter. A sting went through her stomach as she watch them disappear into a small alley. That could have been her.
"Are you ready?" Elijah asked. He had already crossed the street toward an opening in one of the old buildings. The French Quarters was the oldest part of the city and it didn't really surprise her that her biological family decided to live here. After all, they were over a thousand years old.
Hope nodded and followed him through a short tunnel before a big courtyard appeared in front of them. It had a fountain raising right before her and a huge balcony surrounding the yard a couple of feet from the ground. It all looked ancient in Hope's eyes since she was used to the latest of technology and buildings.
"Beautiful isn't it?" Elijah stated and took a couple of steps toward the fountain. "We call it for the compound, or the Abattoir, and the letter M you can see on the walls stands for Mikaelson."
"Okay," was her answer. She didn't know what else to say, it indeed was beautiful and different. It wasn't what she had imagined, though she hadn't really had time to imagine what it would look like, but this was beyond her imagination.
"There you are, finally. You have no idea how hard it was to keep those to paranoid parents away from their phones and it didn't make it better when I told them only two hours ago." A beautiful woman with icy blonde hair and pale skin walked down the stairs from the balcony while talking with an accent Hope hadn't heard much of in New York.
"Why didn't you tell them after I had called, Bekah?" Elijah questioned raising his eyebrows.
"Because, they would have slaughtered me. Which by the way might happen because Nik disappeared somewhere," the woman continued to talk. "He was talking about some stakes to run through my heart, but we both know that's not possible and he is only being dramatic."
Hope didn't know if she liked this woman or not, she obviously liked to talk. A lot, and didn't really seem to care to much about what other felt or thought. It reminded her of herself in some sort of way.
"Rebekah, would you like to say hello to your niece?" Elijah turned to Hope with one arm gesturing toward her. "This is Hope."
The blonde woman's light blue eyes found hers and she at once tipped over to her on her black heels she was wearing.
"You've grown so much, such a beautiful young lady," the woman said enthusiastic before dragging Hope into a hug.
She didn't know how to react, she wasn't much of a 'hugger', especially not from strangers. But she did her best not to show herself too uncomfortable, although she couldn't resist to breathe heavily out as the woman let go of her.
"I'm Rebekah, your father's sister," she introduced herself.
"Um ... it's nice to meet you, I guess," Hope said.
"Where is Hayley?" Elijah gave his sister a concerned look.
"Don't look at me like that, she is in the kitchen," Rebekah answered waving her hand in the air. Hope couldn't help herself not to laugh at her aunt, she was quite funny.
Elijah shook his head before walking up the stairs onto the balcony.
"You really do have my brother's eyes," Rebekah said. "Poor soul." She smiled. "Don't worry I'm only joking."
"Bekah! Where the bloody hell have you put the TV remote!" A guy who looked like a younger form of Elijah appeared on the other side of the balcony. His hair was a bit longer than Elijah's and his body more lean and athletic.
Hope turned her forehead into wrinkles, Elijah hadn't mentioned another family member than Rebekah, himself, Klaus and Hayley. Besides their other siblings who Elijah claimed were dead.
The young guy jumped down from the balcony like it was the easiest thing to do in the world. Hope still hadn't been able to process this whole supernatural thing.
"May I introduce myself, darling," he said while walking up to Hope and taking her hand in his, kissing it. "I'm Kol Mikaelson, the most good-looking and polite one in this family."
"Cut the crap, Kol," Rebekah said and pushed him away from Hope. "Don't mind him, he's just being an ass."
"Don't speak about yourself in that way, sister. It's not good for your self-confidence," Kol laughed. Rebekah gave him a I-will-kill you look, which made him laugh more.
"I thought you were dead," Hope said toward Kol.
"You sound disappointed," Kol said with hurt in voice.
"Our mother brought him back to life as a weapon to kill us, but as her powers were drained out of her, Kol happened to become back to normal and stayed that way," Rebekah explained.
"Now our dear parents are rutting in the basement with a witch controlling their cage," Kol said amused. "I really do sound like the devil sometimes, don't I?"
"Why don't you go see if you can find three sixes tattooed in the back of your neck in the mirror?" Rebekah suggested.
"Funny," Kol said rolling his eyes.
Hope couldn't do anything else but smile, was this really her family? They didn't seem too old either, Rebekah might be in her early twenties as for the same with Kol. This was the thing she had been missing for the last couple of years of her life, she couldn't believe how she ever had doubted them.
The sound of sobbing made her eyes gaze around finding a woman who reminded her of herself. It was like seeing yourself in the future, the same kind of hair, skin and almost the same height. Only the eyes and dimples were different, besides from the age difference.
Hope didn't know how to react, one part of her was thrilled that she finally got to meet her real mother, another part of her was furious because of her lying words written on the piece of paper in her pocket. Still she let herself get embraced by the woman claiming to be her mother and she actually hugged her back. She had never given anyone a hug before. Or at least what she could remember.
She knew Elijah was watching her every movement, as if he was prepared for some sort of breakdown coming from her. He knew she had said that she didn't have a mother, but did he really know what she had meant with her choice of words?
"I've missed you so much," Hayley said as she let go of Hope to watch her face. "You have grown so much, I'm so sorry we had to let you go. So sorry."
Hope breathed in, what was she supposed to say? That everything was okay? Because it wasn't, she couldn't forgive them even though she knew why they had done it. It broke her heart thinking about it, it had done it every single day for the last couple of years. You don't just forget a feeling like that.
Hope wouldn't allow herself to cry, even though her crying mother didn't make it better. Her eyes were filled with tears and it didn't seem to stop. Why couldn't Hayley just stop crying for god's sake!
"I-" she couldn't find the right words in that moment, everything in her brain was a big blur. She couldn't think, speak or even move.
"Why don't we all go inside? I believe Hope is tired after our trip," Elijah spoke up as she was giving him helpless looks.
At that Hope could finally breathe out again, she wasn't really tired, but she could use some time alone to think. All of this was overwhelming for her, it was too much for her to bear at the moment. So much new people, new city and all these supernatural things didn't make it better.
Elijah led the way upstairs and through a glass door which led to a huge living room. On the right there were a staircase to the highest level of the house and a double door to the kitchen on the same wall.
"We were in a hurry to make your room since Rebekah decided not to tell us about your arrival before two hours ago," Hayley said. She wiped her tears off her cheeks and smiled at Hope.
"It's okay," Hope forced herself to say even though her mouth were dry as if she had been walking in the desert.
"Allow me to show you the way," Elijah offered. Before anyone had a chance to say otherwise, he had taken a grip around Hope's shoulders and pushed her up the stairs. She could feel her family member's gazes in her back as she walked.
A long corridor appeared as they had climbed the stairs to the top. A bunch of doors were placed on either side of the corridor with windows facing the street at the end.
"This way," Elijah said leading her to the left. They walked past five doors before he finally stopped and opened a light wooden door with a golden handle.
The room was bigger than the kitchen slash living room the apartment she had lived in had. A huge bed were pushed against the wall with a bedside table next to it with a lamp on. A big mirror were placed on the same wall as another door to the right. There were also a wardrobe, a desk and a chair, all in the shade of dark brown.
"Looks like my sister was eager to design this room," Elijah pointed out as he walked to the window and gazed outside. "She will probably continue this renovation later."
"It's fine," Hope said. She dropped her bag on the chair behind the bed before throwing herself at the covers. "That was just ... intense."
Elijah walked over the room and moved her bag from the chair so he could sit down on it. Somehow it felt good to have someone to talk to, if Sam was here she would talk to him about it. That thought also reminded her that he had no clue of where she was, he was probably worried sick because she hadn't been at school.
"It will get easier," Elijah promised. "It takes time."
"It's just weird, I don't remember you or Rebekah. But it still feels like I know you," Hope tried to explain. "I remembered your voice when we met in Central Park, but I don't know why."
Elijah stayed quiet for a moment, leaning his head on the tip of his fingers. "As a baby, you can't remember anything before the age of three. The last time I saw you were when you were two years old and about to be sent off to another state. It might be possible that you remember sounds, but I am not too sure on that theory."
Hope nodded and stared at the white ceiling. Was it true, the words he said that she might remember something about them? Small details that was stuck inside her head, she couldn't remember any words that they had said. Only the sound of their voices.
"May I ask you," Elijah started with hesitation. He leaned forward in the chair avoiding eye contact with her, "what you meant when you said that you have no mother?"
Hope swallowed, she knew that if she told him, he would tell Hayley and it would break her heart. But why should she care about her feelings anyway? Sure Hayley was her mother, but mothers don't abandon their children if they truly loves them.
"I will leave you to rest," Elijah said when she didn't answer. He got up and switched of the lights as he closed the door behind him. Hope rolled over so she was face to face with the wall before she closed her eyes and tried not to think.
It would be a long week.
"She hates me," Hayley exclaimed with broken voice. "She wouldn't even look at me. My baby girl hates me!"
Kol, who was happy that he had found the TV remote, rolled his eyes and turned up the sound on the TV, while Rebekah tried to comfort the grieving mother.
"She needs time to let it all sink in," she tried to explain. "She'll come around, just wait and see. This is a lot for her, she probably don't even know how she feels."
Elijah shook his head where he sat in the armchair in the living room. "Kol, would you mind turning the TV down?"
"Fine," he said as he turned off the TV. "If you really think that will help. I on the other hand am going to get a drink." With that he stood up and exited the living room.
"There is something going on in that child's head," Elijah told them with the calm voice of his. "She is worried about something and I believe it has something to do with you, Hayley."
"We are a bunch of strangers in her eyes," Rebekah said. "And to be honest I don't blame her for it, she has been raised in a complete different world and this must be too much for her."
"She didn't seem to mind when I told her all about our family, about how our mother turned us into vampires and our brother's determination to become a hybrid. More like she was fascinated about it, to be honest."
"You told her everything?" Rebekah asked raising her eyebrows in disagreement. "Seriously Elijah? Now she is probably scared to face us."
"No, the other way around, sister. She seemed to take it rather well."
"I don't believe it."
"Believe it or not, but I think her lack of enthusiasm has something to do with her growing up in the slumber," Elijah slowly told them. He knew he should keep it from them longer, because the reaction he waited from them wasn't anything he wanted to face. Luckily for him, Nik wasn't attending this meeting.
"What?" Hayley met his eyes with surprise. "I thought the family we gave her to lived in a huge house on the countryside."
"So did I, but she asked me to stop at their apartment before heading to New Orleans. It looked like she had been raised by herself."
"You've got to be kidding me," Rebekah said with anger filling her whole body. "We should never had sent her away."
"We had no other choice," Hayley whispered. "The witches were on your doorstep as she was taken away."
"It took us a decade to built this city up for her to be safe," Elijah spoke. "I am not letting her go without a fight."
"Don't be ridiculous, brother," Rebekah said. She smiled at him with a sad face. "None of us are."
Elijah nodded, he knew he could count on his family, but he was worried about Hayley. She had been the one to search for Hope the most, and she was the one who got the biggest blame from her own daughter. It didn't seem fair, although Elijah couldn't imagine it any other way.
Of course it would take time before Hope could accept what happened, he knew that very well. The only thing remaining now was to see how she would react with Nik, which was beyond Elijah's imagination to have any clue on.
"Good," he said. "Hayley, I know this will be hard for you to understand now that you have her back. But I think it's best if you lay low for a while."
That comment made the upset mother to stare at him with glowing eyes. "What!"
"Hope obviously has something that is bothering her when it comes to you," Elijah explained. "She said to me yesterday that she didn't have a mother."
He was careful with the words that he spoke because of Hayley's temper, when she got mad or hurt then no one wanted to be in her company. But instead of raging out, she leaned back in the sofa with heavy breaths.
"I understand," she said with a broken voice.
Rebekah on the other hand wasn't too pleased with the news he had given them. She jumped to her feet and searched with her gaze for something to break.
"Bekah, calm down," he said. "I am sure Hope will tell us what's on her mind."
"Are you serious, Elijah?" Rebekah shouted. "She is Nik's daughter, she won't speak to either of us! She will probably kill someone, or even worse, herself!"
"Well thank you, dear sister, for the strong belief in me."
Elijah closed his eyes for a moment when Klaus walked in to the living room, with an angry expression and his fists ready to punch something or someone. Nik took another step inside the room and threw his hands in the air.
"No other words to say to me while your at it?" he asked raising his eyebrows. "How disappointing, I did expect more of you, Bekah. Then again, you did keep a secret from me even though I thought this family were done with secrets."
He let his arms down and took yet another step toward his sister. "Now, where is my daughter?"
"She is upstairs, sleeping," Elijah sighed with the bravery to meet his brother's look. It had been a while since Nik was in a good mood, Elijah was perfectly aware of why and he wished, now when Hope was back that he would change.
Rebekah sat back down on the couch and crossed her arms over her chest.
"How is she?" Nik then asked, his voice lighter, smoother and somewhat relieved. Just like everyone else in this room, Niklaus had been worried about where Hope had been. Walking around in this house imagining what could have happened to her and hoping for the best, expecting the worst. They all with the same thought on their mind as they did, what if something happened to her.
They had all had made her a promise, to be there for her no matter what and still they had betrayed her for the last fifteen years. They had struggled with the truth, looked in each others eyes every day without anything to say. And not one single second of everyday had anyone of them quit hoping to find her, she was their reason to breathe. Their reason to live. Their reason to hope for something better. She was their savior and now it was their turn to save her.
"Beautiful," Rebekah answered when no one else did. Her voice cracking. "She looks just like her mother, except for the eyes of course, they're all yours, Nik."
The father of the child sleeping up stairs smiled and Elijah found himself smiling with him. It was a nice feeling, to know that the worry about her safety now wasn't as intense as before.
"How did you find her?" Hayley asked. She was tired, Elijah could see it in her eyes as she leaned her head against her hand.
"She found me actually, in Central Park, she stole my watch," he told them smiling at the memory. "Or she tried to steal it."
"I'm not surprised considering the place where she grew up. I bet her adoptive parents didn't care for her at all," Rebekah stated without really thinking about it.
Of course Nik's face changed at once and before anyone knew about it he had turned around walking toward the door. Elijah immediately reacted to rush past him making him stop in front of him, just as he had done with Nik's daughter the day before.
"Move, Elijah, before I put a dagger through your heart."
"Niklaus, listen to me," Elijah said calmly obviously ignoring Nik's usual threats. "I am just as angry as you for hearing these news, but I'm asking you to wait. We don't know the reason for her trying to steal my watch or why she was raised in the slum. Before we make any impulsive decisions, we should think this through."
Nik stayed silent for a moment, considering the words coming out of Elijah's mouth before taking a step back.
"Fine, but if there is any proof they mistreated her then I will kill them." With those words Niklaus walked past him and rushed up the stairs toward his daughter's bedroom.