Chapter Four - Littlest Wolf
Niklaus found himself sitting on the chair next to his daughter's bed the whole night through. He had watched her angelic face for hours without understanding that it was his daughter lying there in deep slumber. He had never seen anything more fascinating than the living creature in front of him.
Never before had he felt so caring about anything for his thousand years on this earth. The fifteen years without her had felt like spending every second in hell, not even the killing spree of the witches, werewolves and vampires had satisfied him.
It had taken him a lot of strength not to continue killing people in this town, every single person who crossed his path had been near death. To keep his mind in place he had started looking for Hope in every city near New Orleans. He had sought every single witch with the capability of finding people, but not even them had been able to help him. The seeking of his long lost daughter had almost made him gone mad.
On top of it all he had made a kill he almost regretted, but the feeling of being betrayed had won over him. Marcel's girlfriend Cami had been the one to tell the witches about the fact that Hope still was alive fifteen years ago. At first he didn't believe it, before she had admitted it to his face. He had no other choice than to take her life with his own hands.
Marcel had been devastated by the loss of his girlfriend, but Klaus didn't care. Cami had put his most precious being in this world in danger. Though he didn't know how she had found out about Hope still being alive, but his guess was that she had overheard his and Elijah's talk about Hope staying with Rebekah in Chicago.
Klaus had decided to give Marcel's memory of Hope back right after they had sent her away for adoption, he had become angry with Klaus for killing Cami, but still understanding. Three years later he had been able to forgive him and moved on.
Klaus sighed and leaned back in the armchair, it was still dark outside and he could hear Elijah, Rebekah and Hayley discussing what they would do with Hope's future. He didn't really mind them doing it without him, he would have his opinion heard later anyway.
At the moment, they were discussing whether to send her to school, and if they did then which one. Elijah had apparently called her old school in New York and got a hold on her latest report card. It wasn't bad, she obviously was a smart girl after all.
The hours passed by in a heartbeat. Suddenly he could hear Hayley getting up and walking down to the kitchen after a couple of hours in slumber. Only a moment afterwards he could sense his sister joining the mother of his child. Elijah and Kol had already disappeared from the house earlier in the morning.
"Hello there, littlest wolf," Nik said leaning onto his knees with his elbows. Hope opened her eyes completely and looked confusingly around.
"Wha- ..." she started before she finally realized he was there. "Elijah mentioned you were creepy."
Niklaus chuckled. "Well, my noble brother always keeps his word."
There had been situations when he had been nervous, though he didn't remember most of them. His way of dealing with things that scared him was to keep his mind on another place before he eventually forgot about it. Sometimes the memories came back, sometimes not.
Hope sat up in the bed and put her hood over her head before giving him a tired look. "So, you're Klaus, or Nik or whatever. Elijah told me a lot about you."
"All bad I presume."
She smiled, causing small dimples appear in her cheeks. Klaus couldn't resist to smile with her, it had been a while since he actually meant a smile.
"You've got that one right."
"Well come on then sweetheart, before the paranoid sister of mine decides to hire a marching band to get you out of bed," he said in a hurry and got up on his feet.
Hope sighed but stood up right after him, showing her hands down her pockets. Klaus couldn't resist the impulse of looking over his shoulder at her when he heard her heart stop inside her chest.
"Something bothering you, love?" he asked turning around to face her. It was obvious she had something on her mind, the other night Klaus had managed to overhear Elijah's speech about her being anxious about something. Whatever it was they would work it out together, he had made her a promise that she would come back to him one day, and now when she had, he wouldn't let her go.
"No, nothing," Hope said shaking her head. Klaus knew she was lying, he could hear her heart beat inside her chest. Anger filled him, his own daughter couldn't tell him the truth. He had promised himself not to become his worst nightmare – his own father, but he had no idea how to raise his already teenaged daughter.
It had been much more simple with Marcel, he had been so thankful for Klaus saving his life in such a young age that Klaus' way of raising him like a son had been easier than he thought it would.
"You're lying," he simple announced. "I can hear your heartbeat inside your chest."
Hope looked into his eyes, they weren't surprised, not even the least bit of scared. They were independent, secure and somewhat proud.
"Well, sucks to be you then." With those words Hope gave him a intense gaze before walking past him and running down the stairs.
Klaus took a deep breath, stopping himself to do or say something he would regret. It took him a lot of self-control to do so, if this continued, he would kill half of the city within a week.
When Rebekah had told him about Hope's arrival he had been thrilled to finally meet her, even a bit nervous. But now he felt tired, like it didn't really matter when Hope didn't even try to adjust. Of course his siblings were right as they said it would take time, but Klaus wasn't a patient man.
As he had got his anger covered again he walked down the stairs to the kitchen, where he found Hayley and Rebekah sitting by the dinner table. They were talking with low whispers while sipping their morning coffee.
"Is Hope still sleeping?" Hayley asked.
"She was, until she woke up and decided to run off," Klaus muttered without showing himself to care.
"She did what? No offence to the two of you, but we need some rules. I know it is her first day here, but she can't just run around like it's a playground," Rebekah stated.
"You mean like curfew? She would hate us," Hayley said once again making her voice break. "This was not what I expected."
Klaus shook his head. "I will handle this."
She didn't know what to expect, every time she tried to be a better person she failed. Her father probably hated her now for running off like that, she wasn't a polite girl. She never had been and probably never would be.
She didn't deserve the love they wanted to give her, after all that she had done in her past she didn't even deserve to live. But the thought of killing herself would be more selfish than anything else. A part of her was able to feel empathy and it was about to eat her up alive.
The feeling that her mother must have felt when Hope rejected her, she felt sad for Hayley but she couldn't forgive her after her broken promise. If they truly believed she would be a sweet girl like some of the other girls in her age could be, then they were wrong. Maybe if she had grown up in a place with parents that actually cared for her she would be able to give them some justice.
Hope found herself sitting on top of a roof in the French Quarter not long away from the compound. She looked down at the people below her, none of them aware of the supernatural creatures living among them. She had thought about it through the night, what it would feel like to trigger her hybrid side. Would she become stronger? More self-secure? Probably.
She saw her father walking on the other side of the street, a sudden impulse told her to hide, but she managed to hold her head cold and stay with her legs hanging over the ceiling facing the street. Of course it didn't take him long to find her, he was a original hybrid after all.
He was a peculiar man, she thought. After so much hatred from his father he had suffered from as a kid, but a thousand years later, he still couldn't get over it. Did he really feel that much pity about himself?
Her father sat down beside her on the roof without a clue on his delicate, yet masculine, face what he was thinking about. He had curled light-blonde hair and pearl-white skin, his eyes were the same as hers, light blue. His casual clothing consisting jeans, a shirt and a black leather jacket were not too different from her own.
"Got a thing for higher ground?" he asked once he had sat down.
"I like the view, it makes me feel more powerful to be able to see everything," she answered without hesitation. "They sent you to talk me into sense, didn't they?"
Klaus chuckled and clasped his hands in his knees. "My brother told me the night you were born and we had to rush after the witches that had taken you that it was my fault you had been abducted."
Hope wrinkled her forehead and allowed herself to look at Niklaus for the first time he had climbed the building to sit next to her. Elijah hadn't told her about that, only that Rebekah had been the one to take care of her.
"He said that all of this – the witches hunting you, the werewolves and vampires revolting – it all was because of my scheming, because of all the enemies I had made every single day of my miserable life. And if the result I had expected would be your birth to be turned into a happy life? That your mother would be alive to know you? That we all would live together and thrive as a family?" Klaus told her with a silent voice. "Elijah said that you were our hope, even though I told him that was his fantasies to live up to and not mine, he said that you were our family's hope."
Hope stayed silent, not able to look into his eyes. She could never have imagined what kind of world they were living in, she wasn't used to being hunted by witches and having supernatural creatures hiding around in every corner. That was their world, not hers.
"And even now, when we sit here fifteen years after our loss of you, I can remember every single word he said as it was told to me yesterday," Klaus continued. "You have no idea how much we all have been thought to make it safe for you. How much we have sacrificed because of you. How many people have been after you only because of me. So if there is someone to blame, someone to be angry at – a target – then it's me you should turn to."
Hope took a deep breath, trying to get it all to sink in. She felt like crying, but she didn't want her father to see her as a weak person. If what Klaus told her was true, that it was because of her it all had been sacrificed and because of her all these people had been killed, then she didn't know how to give it all back to them. In her eyes everything was simple, a family who had abandoned their child. But in their eyes it was more than that, it was a rescue. They had saved her, not to other way around.
"Was it worth it?" she asked once she got her voice back. "Killing these people only to keep me safe?"
Klaus smiled at her. "Every single one of them, you are after all my littlest wolf."
Hope watched some kids in her own age walk across the street, one of the guys had just made a joke which made the other ones laugh. She had never been good at making friends, especially not with girls, they were too emotional and dramatic for her. But still she couldn't help but feel a bit lonely as she saw them walking together toward the city.
"You can't really blame me for not understanding how much effort you all have done to save me, because I have no idea what kind of things witches and other creatures can do," Hope said. "I do understand that I'm some sort of a miracle baby or something, but it still doesn't seem right in my mind. I guess time will tell, right?"
"I'm sure it will, sweetheart," Klaus nodded. "But I still have to ask you why you did lie to me this morning."
At once Hope stared at him and put her walls back up, they might have covered one part of why she had been raised by herself, but that didn't mean she would just give all of her secrets and thoughts up. She wasn't ready to tell them, or maybe she was just afraid they would get mad at her. Although she did quite enjoy getting into trouble, it got her the attention she needed.
She got up on her feet and started to walk across the roof toward the ladder on the other side, but of course Klaus was faster than her and immediately stood in her way.
"Not so fast, we're not finished," he said. Hope could hear in his voice that he was impatient, Elijah had told her about his temper and that it was nothing to play with. Hope herself knew exactly what Elijah had meant, considering she had the same temper herself.
"I believe we are," she answered. "Now move."
She could read in his eyes the anger which was filling him, he probably had a debate inside his head what he should do about her manners.
"Not this time," he finally said after what felt like a lifetime of silence. "We're going back to the compound."
"We will do what?" Well at least that did surprise her.
As did it for Kol, who didn't understand his participation in this meeting when Klaus and Hope had found their way back to the living room. The long walk from the rooftop Hope had hidden out on had felt even worse than actually arriving to the compound. Klaus hadn't said a word to her even though she had complained the whole way.
"If this is about the whiskey that disappeared last week then it was not me who had anything to do with it!" Kol announced throwing his hands up in the air.
"No, Kol, it has not," Elijah sighed.
"Oh ... then why am I here?"
Hope rolled her eyes and leaned back in the armchair, she felt stuck. With Elijah blocking the only exit from the living room, Rebekah leaning against the stairs and her mother sitting on the couch in front of her. Niklaus had walked past her and sat down on the last remaining couch in the room.
Hope thought the thing that surprised the people in the room the most was the fact that it had been Klaus' idea to bring the whole family together. They were obviously not used to this behavior.
"Because, this is family business, brother," Rebekah told him.
"Then how come Marcel isn't here?" Kol continued to question this meeting.
"Just shut up, Kol", Klaus muttered with irritation in his voice.
"Fine," Kol answered with the same sound on his voice as his older brother.
Elijah gazed over all of the people in the room before taking a step forward. "So, this is obviously not working out as we all thought it would."
Hope couldn't handle it, what had they expected? A miracle teenager? No one in her age, or at least a very small amount of people, were acting like perfect children. Hope was definitely not one of them, she had her own thoughts and dared to show her emotions. If they couldn't handle it, then they could all go to hell.
"Look," she begun to speak with loud voice to make herself clear that she wasn't kidding. "I might not be who you expected and I don't blame any of you for that. But you can't honestly think that I would be the same person you all knew fifteen years ago. I've lived in another city with a lot of other people and adoptive parents who didn't give a crap about me. So don't think for a second that I will just be fine about all this," she took a pause to make a gesture around her, "because I'm not and I probably won't be for a while. But that doesn't mean that I will give up on anything. I am not a quitter!"
They all stayed silent as she spoke, she didn't know where the courage had come from or what made her feel so strongly about trying all the sudden. She just knew that the words that were coming out of her mouth actually had a meaning, for the first time in her life she had made a statement without hesitation or having second thoughts.
"And if it all comes back to this," she said with a low voice as she pulled out the paper from her pocket and unfolded it, "then I've got nothing more to say than I'm disappointed and hurt because of the lies written on this paper."
It was like everyone in the room had stopped breathing when she unfolded the letter from Hayley, no one of them had seen it before besides Rebekah and Hayley. And not even them did recognize it because of the bad shape it was in.
Hope took a deep breath before she started to read the words written in the letter, tears about to fall down her cheeks as she did. The sobbing from her mother were like knives driven through her heart.
When she finished reading she looked up, took a deep breath so she wouldn't cry with her mother and started to explain: "In this letter you gave me three promises, to have a safe home, someone to tell me that they love me everyday and someone who would fight for me. But you broke that promises the same moment you decided to give me away and it broke me." Hope had to look away for a moment, gazing over the room to inhale the other family member's reactions.
Rebekah had tears in her eyes, with her arms hugging her legs. Kol for once actually had stopped his complaining and listened with wide eyes, Elijah stood as the majestic person he was and tried to think a logic solution to the problems while Klaus sat back with a brooding look on his face.
"And I just want to say," Hope continued, her voice breaking. "That I forgive you, mother."
It all happened so fast, they all started to breath again as she spoke that last sentence. Hayley rushed over to embrace her daughter for a second time and Hope allowed herself to cry for the first time in many years. Rebekah busted out in tears too, getting herself comforted by Elijah. Kol looked utterly confuced while Klaus did his best not to cry too, although he did smile like a fool.
Hope didn't know where her forgiveness had come from, she didn't easily forgive people in general for anything. But she saw her part in this family and it wouldn't work if she didn't stand up and let herself forgive the woman who had given birth to her. Hayley was after all her beloved mother. It had been her sacrifice for this family.
"Wait, what does this now mean? That all our problems will just fade away?" Kol asked once Hope had made herself comfortable in her mother's lap.
"Kol," Rebekah said as a warning.
"No he is right," Elijah said who had taken Hope's place in the armchair. "We still have a beautiful teenager to raise and for what I have been able to summarize, it won't be easy."
Hope shook her head with a wide smile, she might have forgiven them but never in hell that it would change her in any kind of way.
"Well, obviously Hope is going back to school," Elijah said and hurried to continue as Hope was about to start arguing. "Because you're only sixteen and you need something normal in your life."
"Fine," she muttered. "But I'm not wearing some sort of uniform!"
Klaus chuckled. "Looks like the littlest wolf is determined."
"What about boys?" Kol laughed. "There's gonna be boys at her school, what are you planning to do, Nik? Kill everyone of them?"
Klaus, who seemed have forgotten that part of the term going-to-school, at once stopped smiling and turned toward his baby brother.
"Kol, don't be such a jerk," Rebekah said before giving Hope a wink. "Hope is probably going to be the most popular girl in school."
Klaus' gaze seemed to get even more darker the further they went on the subject. "No boys."
"Oh yeah?" Hope teased. "We'll see about that."
Klaus gave her one of his warning looks, like he really thought that would scare her not to talk to boys. If she wanted to talk to a boy then she did it, end of story.
"How about her ability to use magic? And her hybrid side?" Hayley asked once Hope climbed down from her lap and sat down next to her mother in the couch instead. She had had enough familyspirit for one day.
"We're still working on that," Klaus said. "I might have a witch reliable enough to let Hope get trained in magic."
"What's wrong with the one who is keeping our parents from escaping from the basement?" Kol asked.
"She is busy enough," Klaus answered.
Hope tried not to become mad because they didn't seem to care about her opinion in the matter, but she was actually quite upset because they hadn't asked her. She was almost seventeen and was able to stand for her own choices, hadn't she made that clear already?
"How about the hybrid thing then?" she hurried to ask before anyone had a chance to say anything else. "How will I trigger it?"
Klaus was probably the only one in the room who got as exited as Hope sounded when she said it. The rest of them, with the exception for Kol who looked bored, exchanged concerned looks with each other.
"Well ... "
"That's something we will discuss later," Elijah cut Klaus off. Klaus didn't seem too pleased with his brother's way of shutting him up, but he stayed silent after he had given Hope a I-will-tell-you-later look.
"Are we done now?" Kol asked. No one had paid attention to the wannabe adult who had found a bottle of whiskey on the table behind the couch. He seemed slightly drunk, but not enough to fall to sleep as Hope's adoptive mother used to do.
"Yes, boozie," Rebekah sighed. Kol gave her thumbs-up before walking out of the living room.
Hope and Hayley ended up talking for hours about everything, sometimes Rebekah or Elijah joined their conversations if they happened to pass the living room. Klaus had disappeared to try to get a hold on a witch outside the city, while Elijah later went to some private schools in the neighbourhood to find the best choice for Hope.
After Hope had showered and gotten something to eat and Hayley had gone to get her own kind of meal, Rebekah took her shopping. Hope wasn't much for the shopping thing, she only wore clothes that she found comfortable, which was jeans, t-shirts and hoodies with sneakers. Rebekah wasn't too keen on her look on fashion, but didn't argue about her choice of buying.
But as it came down to designing her new room, she definitely wanted to have a part in it. They decided to buy some paint to make the walls her way of wanting it, a new bed, desk, computer and other stuff Rebekah claimed she needed.
Hope didn't bother to complain for the things her aunt bought her, of course with Nik's credit card since she had taken it before he had gone out of town, she was only happy that she didn't have to sleep on the floor anymore.