A/N: So… it's been a while guys. I certainly shouldn't be starting a new fic when I have countless others that aren't even close to being finished, but I find I'm in a bit of a predicament: I haven't written for pleasure in quite some time, and I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things, but it still feels a little foreign to me. Anyway, I could use some encouragement to get into this fic, and to finish my others, so please leave a review!

Disclaimer: I do not own the Originals.

Any mistakes you see here are completely mine since I don't have a beta.


ONE

It had been three weeks. Three weeks since he'd stormed the city of New Orleans, returned to the place he'd fathered so long ago, and still Klaus felt like an outsider in his own city. And still, he had yet to reclaim the respect he was due, had yet to show Marcel and his pathetic little followers that he was the true King of the Quarter. That he was the rightful heir to this place and its people.

But these things would come with time, he knew. He was determined. It was really just too bad he was so impatient. Or really, it was too bad for those who resist.

Now, Klaus sat in an olive wing-backed chair as if it were a throne, drumming his fingers loudly against the armrests. The chair was located in a drawing room—in his drawing room—of what had once been his family's home in the French Quarter. He had this home built in the town he founded. He had ordered these walls to be raised from the ground, had slept within it as a true leader, had flourished and thrived alongside this great city.

And now this very place—this very damned chair—belonged to his protégé. The backstabbing, cowardly, deceitful boy-vampire he had once called 'son'. The very same vampire that ran him out of this city nearly a century ago and stole everything Klaus had.

The very same vampire walking into the room, eyes lit with terrible suspicion as he inspected Klaus's presence in the very place that was supposed to be forbidden to him.

"Surprised to see me so soon?" Klaus jabbed, a lethal glint in his gaze. His eyes lazily roved over his protégé as a smirk upturned the corners of his lips.

Marcel hovered near the doorway.

"I told you you're not welcome here." Sighing, Marcel stepped fully into the room, as if to say to Klaus: I'm not afraid of you. "I tried extending an olive branch, and you denied it. We have nothing more to talk about."

"Oh, but we do. You should know better than to think I'm so easily deterred, Marcellus."

"You seemed like it when you ran out of this town with your tail between your legs when Mikael showed his face," Marcel retorted smoothly.

Klaus was immediately on his feet, chest to chest with the younger vampire. "Careful how you speak to me, friend. My temper's running a bit short as of late."

Marcel did not retract, but rather met Klaus's steely, murderous gaze with an imperious look of his own. "See, that's your problem, Klaus. Always so quick to resort to violence. Think maybe that's why no one's taken to your presence around here?"

"You're walking a fine line—"

"And I've learned to walk it well. The line between being feared and being loved. That's what you're missing. You want everyone to fear you so much… you forget they need to like you, too."

Klaus fumed silently, his sea-colored eyes searching Marcel's for a reason to not rip his throat out.

Luckily, he was spared the decision.

"Marcel."

It was Diego, one of Marcel's devoted underlings. He stood just outside the open doorway, gazing flicking to Klaus with a hint of uncertainty before returning to Marcel.

"We have a problem," he said.


The sharp, metallic smell of blood permeated the air the moment Marcel stepped foot in the main hallway of the apartment complex. Diego walked ahead, leading Marcel and other members of his inner circle through a system of turns, all the while holding his hands in fists at his side.

Marcel knew of only one thing that shook Diego up so much—and that was being reminded of his family's murder.

"Linden and his crew were doing their rounds this afternoon, checking on some of the witches they thought were getting a little too restless since the slaughter last week, trying to scare them back into submission," Diego said, stopping outside a door labeled 15. He grabbed the handle and glanced at Marcel. "They came across this."

The moment the door was shoved in, the smell of blood was overwhelming—accompanied by the stench of rot and decay.

Marcel tucked his face into the crook of his elbow and stepped inside, immediately floored by the scene before him.

Everything… Every surface—the walls, the floor, the ceiling, tables, chairs, and knick-knacks—everything was written on, in tiny scrawled symbols, in blood.

"You have got to be kidding me."

He took one step, two, into the room, smudging the bloody script beneath the soles of his boots, turning in circles to take in everything with narrowed, calculating eyes.

"Who's apartment is this?" He asked the group of vampires that hadn't dared cross over the threshold.

"The witch, Leah," Diego answered, eyes flicking from one corner of the room to the other. "Daughter of the elder, Agnes. Neither have been seen in a few days. I checked."

Marcel frowned, gaze landing on a single picture frame that'd been spared from the dreadful artist's paintbrush. It was a photo of Leah and her mother, hugging each other and smiling.

"Well, I think it's safe to say no one'll be hearing from Leah again," he said, eyeing the threshold he'd been able to pass over. He met Diego's eye. "Get a search started for Agnes. Can't stand the crazy bitch, but it'd be nice to know if she shared a similar fate."

"And Diego," Marcel said, as said vampire turned to leave. "Keep it quiet."

Marcel lingered after the others left, carefully examining the room for any hint as to why this happened. Witch vendetta? Hex? Attempt at magic gone awry?

He hadn't realized he'd been joined by another presence until he heard an annoyingly smug British tone speak from behind him.

"Looks like you've got a bit of a problem on your hands, mate."

Marcel didn't even bother to shoot a glare at the Original hybrid. He kept his arms firmly crossed over his chest and his eyes on the wall across the room. "You gonna keep showing up when you're least wanted?"

Klaus ventured around the room, sniffing here and there as if he could pick up the scent of the perpetrator, sometimes picking up different odds and ends and studying them with a perfunctory sort of interest. "You gonna pretend you aren't in over your head on this one?"

Marcel finally graced the elder vampire with a look of wary curiosity. "You've seen… work like this before?"

"Once or twice through the centuries," Klaus replied, clearly pleased that Marcel was forced to give his attention. "Could be some mention of it somewhere in my mother's gremoires, I believe."

Clenching his jaw, Marcel narrowed his eyes. He could wait to see if Agnes turned up, but even then, he'd have nothing to go on. Word would get out about this soon enough—and what kind of leader would he be if he didn't provide answers to those who would be asking questions? If he let something like this slip by?

He fisted his hands and grit out, "Fine. See what you can find. Meet me at the compound tomorrow morning."

And he was gone before he could see Klaus smirk.


"What is it you're looking for?" Elijah asked distractedly from his perch in a chair across from the fireplace. A book was cradled in his hands, and his eyes skimmed the pages hungrily, devouring every word, every sentence.

Klaus had returned to the plantation house after his chat with Marcel. He'd come home to find his sister was nowhere to be seen, Haley was upstairs sleeping, and his brother was in the parlor, distracting himself with literature. Klaus was digging through the belongings Elijah had brought along—books, scrolls, and gremoires he'd collected over the centuries—growling in frustration at coming up empty.

"Where's mother's gremoire?" Klaus asked irritably, coming to stand before Elijah.

The eldest brother hardly spared a glance away from his book. He turned another page, gazing intently upon the old, weathered paper. "Why do you need it?"

Klaus rolled his eyes with impatience. "I need to have a look at some of its entries."

Finally, Elijah's eyes were pulled away and focused on his younger brother, piqued with interest. "Oh?"

"Are you going to continue to make me wait?"

Elijah smirked to himself and set the book aside. Standing, he crossed the room to the bookshelf Klaus had already searched that stretched along the wall. He pulled away a few old tombs, revealing the oldest of them all behind it, leather-bound and musty. Elijah handed it off to Klaus, but not before giving his brother an appraising look.

"You look invigorated, brother. Has something happened?" Elijah asked in a tone that suggested he already knew the answer.

Klaus simply gave a devious smile and walked away.


The light in Klaus's bedroom was still on when Elijah found himself heading down the hallway around two in the morning. He'd eagerly finished his book and decided to finally succumb to sleep—Rebekah had checked in, saying she wasn't to be home that night, and Hayley had been awake long enough to eat before returning to bed, so it seemed he wasn't needed for the rest of the night.

Pausing outside Niklaus's room, he considered just walking away, letting his brother continue whatever it was he was doing. But Elijah was always a bit too concerned to do that when it came to Klaus.

He knocked lightly before entering.

Klaus sat at his large mahogany desk, massaging his temples as he stared down intensely at their mother's gremoire.

"There's a page missing," he growled under his breath before Elijah could ask.

Elijah frowned. "A page missing…?"

"Do you remember," Klaus said, as if Elijah hadn't spoken, "when we were boys—the time the others in the village discovered Ayana's daughter had gone missing?"

The frown on Elijah's lips deepened as he approached his brother, standing over his shoulder to inspect the book. "They found her body in the caves several days later."

"Yes. With a strange old language written on the cave walls. In her blood."

"Why do you bring this up?"

"Because, brother," Klaus said grimly, slamming the gremoire shut with more force than necessary. "In all our thousand years of living, that happened only once. But now it's happened again."


"I didn't say you could bring company," Marcel said, glaring at the pair of Mikaelson brothers stepping through the front gate to his home.

"And I don't recall asking," Klaus retorted, pulling out a chair at the patio table Marcel sat at. Elijah followed suit, and they sat as if they, themselves, owned the place. And in their minds, they still did. "But I suppose that's of little importance."

Ignoring the comments and the extra Mikaelson, Marcel asked, "Did you find anything?"

"Well, that's why we're both here," Klaus said, gesturing towards his brother. "It seems the three of us have a bit of a mystery to solve."

"Meaning?"

"The… scene you came across yesterday," Elijah said, running a finger along the table, considering, "we've seen it before."

Klaus continued on. "It didn't occur to me until I realized I couldn't decipher the script, but that it contained the same letters and symbols I'd seen one other time in my life."

"And what are you getting at?" Marcel probed.

"Well that's just it," Elijah said, sharing a look with his brother. "We're not entirely sure."


My OC will be introduced first thing next chapter, if you're intrigued enough to read. I've got a pretty interesting storyline set up for this one. However... As always, I only post if I get reviews. I know, I know... I'm greedy.

Review!