The couch opposite Elijah's desk never gets replaced. No matter what changes befell their home in New Orleans, through three new desks and an estimated six hundred replacement vases in the room, he never replaces the couch. It always remains in place, at a perfect ninety-degree angle to the desk, and from the very first time Hayley had perched herself onto the piece of furniture and taken a nap as she curled around her stomach, he knew that it wouldn't be going anywhere.
Many times during her pregnancy, on the days where they weren't quite so likely to be fighting for their lives, she would entertain herself on the couch while he was busying himself researching at the desk. It gave him a great opportunity to sneak casual glances at her while she read, or napped, or the time that she attempted to sew and ended up tangling herself in thread
In the years that followed, that couch became home to some of the most important moments in what had become the Mikaelson household.
It was where Hayley and Klaus had sat side by side, the mother cradling their six-month old daughter, on the evening where Hope was finally returned to them. In the days that followed, it was where Hayley would sit with Hope resting in her arms. A mother and her cub, and the fierce protection that existed between them.
It was where he and Hayley had progressed from sharing kisses to more. Where he had confessed how deeply his feelings ran before taking her upstairs to the bedroom.
As time passed, it became Hope's designated 'nap spot', and her favoured yellow blanket was always draped over the arm when it wasn't in the child's tiny hand. It was that couch that aided her to stand for the first time. Elijah had been the lucky one to witness it first-hand, using the advantage of the hybrid parent's hearing to quietly alert them to what was happening after he'd looked up from his book and found his niece standing quite upright on her unsteady legs while holding onto the edge of the chair. A few weeks later, she would push off from that chair and take her first shaking steps into her father's arms and Klaus might never have looked as happy in his thousand years of life.
It became the central point of Hope's first awareness of her healing, when she'd come charging into the room and fallen against the elaborately decorated seat. She'd glanced at the hand and the rather large splinter puncturing her palm and Hayley had been at her side in an instant, removing it and trying not to laugh through her concern at Hope's amazed expression when she watched her palm heal over almost instantly. ("Is it witches magic, Mumma?")
It was on that couch that Hope learned to read. Elijah had insisted that the child be well-read and well-educated and would not simply learn at the feet of the world, as Klaus had suggested. Hayley still wished for a semi-normal upbringing of their daughter but even through the peaceful times that was far from possible until she was older and more aware of her own safety. Instead, her uncle became her teacher. Elijah taught her to read, to write, to multiply and to play music. Klaus taught her art, appreciation of beauty and how to control her hybrid temper. Hayley, still fresh from learning herself, taught her to how feed, how to live and survive, and most importantly, how to make her place in the /Rebekah arrived between trips around the world, especially to see her niece. She would sit with Hope on that couch and relay tales of her journeys to the little girl who would listen attentively. ("That's got 11 letters, Daddy, it's a long word. I read it in a book.")
On that couch, Hope would do her studies, read as widely as she could manage, and sometimes she would perch before it and use the table to play with her dolls. It was where her parents sat her down and told her not to be ashamed of what she was after her hybrid strength started to grow and she accidentally crushed a bird in her hand. Hayley taught her how to manage her strength, and as she grew, the full moon bought with it the most terrible of mood swings.
A pre-teen hybrid became the most feared time of the month. After it had occurred four times, Klaus had invited Elijah out for drinks when Hayley had managed to silence his request with one look. Hope would smash things, argue, threaten to indulge her wolf form and run away further than they would ever allow her to roam. Hayley had managed to get through to her by showing an old recording of a werewolf turning to her daughter. Yes, her wolf heritage was important to her, but it didn't take long for her to be put off the idea of turning. ("Does it really hurt, Mumma?")
The couch became the refuge point of Elijah as he marked Hope's school work, and where Hayley would come to read while he was still researching, and when hope was twelve years old, it was where he would propose the idea of marriage to Hayley.
It was also where she would accept. Where they would plan their wedding. Where they would share their first quiet drink together as man and wife.
It was where Klaus had sat with Hope on her fourteenth birthday, and confessed his concerns that she would see Elijah as more of a father after the marriage, and where Hope had assured him otherwise.
The room would burn when Hope was sixteen, and chaos returned to New Orleans. Their home would burn with such severity that the upper levels crumbled on the east side of the building, and Elijah had stood in the charred remains of his study and brushed his fingers over the ruined edges of the couch. It would take some extensive restoration, but he would save the couch and retain the memories that went with it.
It was the couch that Hayley had slept upon, that Hope had claimed as her safest place, that Elijah had read on and Klaus had sought counsel on. It was a simple piece of furniture that had once meant nothing and now bought together the family.
He would allow his world to burn, but not everything that burnt would be lost.