Chapter 1

Elena Gilbert sat in her history class wondering what was going to happen at the Mikaelsons' ball that night. Would she get to see Elijah? Would Klaus try to kill her? How would Damon and Stefan react to her not having a date? And what would she even wear?

"Elena?" Alaric Saltzman's voice distracted her from her mussing, "do you know the answer?"

"What was the question, Mr. Saltzman?"

Alaric sighed heavily, "Who was the General for the Confederates during the Civil War?"

Elena grasped at straws, trying desperately to remember that piece of crucial history to appease her guardian.

"It was General Lee, wasn't it, Mr. Saltzman?" Matt Donovan spoke up. Elena sighed in relief, glancing at him gratefully.

"Correct, Matt. Next time please refrain from answering questions that weren't directed at you."

"Can you please show some enthusiasm? I mean, it's not every day that we get to go to a ball," gushed Caroline, "We're going to a ball at one of the biggest mansions with people that actually know how to throw a kick ass party!"

Caroline's reasoning may have seemed shallow, but that was Caroline. Elena couldn't shake the weird feeling she'd been feeling all day no matter what she did. Even the dress shopping that Caroline had forced upon her made no difference.

"I'm sorry, Care. Of course I'm excited." Elena gave a forced smile, "Who're you bringing?"

"Tyler said he had other things to do, probably sleeping with that furry little skank. Not that I care, of course."

"Caroline." Elena chided gently.

"Okay, fine. Maybe I care a little. I can't believe he's still trying to string me along! I gave him so much time to figure everything out, but he still didn't want me. I mean, who wouldn't want this," she motioned to her body, clad in a skin tight red, floor length dress, "Any boy would be beyond lucky to have a date with this!"

Elena couldn't help but laugh. "Replace boy with man and then you have your answer. Tyler's just a boy, you need a man. Someone that respects you and loves you and God forbid doesn't leave you for a 'furry skank'."

"What would I do without you, Elena?" Caroline hugged her friend.

The next two hours were tortuous. Caroline tried on every single dress in the store or so it seemed, just for her to choose the first dress she tried on. Elena couldn't blame her; her red dress suited Caroline as much as her blonde hair needed curls. Elena couldn't find a single dress that fit her the way it should have. Dress after dress fell flat on her figure. Caroline had no problem voicing her opinion on each one: too short, too long, what the hell is that?

"Caroline, I give up," Elena was defeated as the walked along the rest of the stores, "I'll never find something that says sophisticated like what I have envisioned in my head."

"Oh, come on, Elena! We'll find something so ravishing that it'll knock the socks off of every male there!"

Caroline's optimism was scarily infectious. Within moments, Elena's hope had been renewed as she looked at every shop in earnest. Each dress she looked at seemed to be lacking something, yet she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Caroline was growing exasperated with every store that failed to please Elena.

"I don't even take this long," Caroline mumbled.

Just as Elena and Caroline were about to give up, something caught Elena's eye in a store at the end of the block. Elena rushed to the store, her hope rising high.

"Elena, that's an old antique shop, there won't be anything in there that's even remotely worth a look," Caroline lectured.

Elena didn't stop; she went right up to the store window and sighed dreamily. There, on a vintage manikin was the dress of her dreams. It was a classic ball gown: champagne colored satin, tulle, and ribbon adorned this one of a kind piece. Elena had to have it. Without waiting for Caroline, she went into the store.

"Can I help you, dear?" A little old lady said delicately.

Elena flashed a huge smile, "Yes, actually. I'm interested in the gown in the window. Is it for sale?"

"Why yes, it is. Do you know much about vintage pieces? That one has a real history." The old woman said.

"I'm afraid not, I'm looking for a dress for a ball and that it just everything I've been wanting."

"Well, let's get you in it first, dear, it make sure it fits," Caroline had just walked in, looking around the little shop, "your friend can help you, I presume?" The older woman carefully took the dress off of the manikin and ushered both Caroline and Elena into the only dressing room at the back of the store.

"Holy crap, I stand corrected, maybe I'll start shopping at antique stores!" Caroline said as she laced up the corset of Elena's dream dress.

Elena stared at herself in the mirror, stunned at what she saw, "I've never seen anything this beautiful in my life," she breathed.

"Are you girls ready yet?" The old woman called from the main store.

Elena followed Caroline out of the dressing room, holding herself as a lady would: with honor and beauty.

The old lady stared at her in wonder, "It's as if that dress was made for you, my dear."

"Do you know where this dress came from?" Caroline inquired softly.

"My grandmother acquired it from a wealthy family in the early 1800's. It was said that this dress was crafted as early as the 1500's. It has been preserved for many, many years, being handed down for generations. It is authentic in every meaning of the word," The old lady sighed in remembrance, "I wouldn't sell it in any other circumstances, but I have no one to pass it down to after I'm gone. I'd much rather it go to someone who will enjoy it and appreciate it'd rich history."

Elena felt uneasy, "How much are you asking for it?"

"For you, my dear, I will sell it for $100. I've never seen anyone look as near as lovely in it as you do. I feel as if it truly was made for you, just at the wrong time," The old lady's eyes gleamed, "If that price is satisfactory to you, I can package it up and get the bill settled."

Elena nodded, it was a surreal price for such an amazing piece, but she wasn't going to argue. Caroline helped her out of the dress and returned it to the old lady.

Elena couldn't believe the deal she got as she walked out of the store.

"Can you believe that? That dress is gorgeous! I'm actually a little jealous that I didn't see it first," Caroline pouted, "How do Stefan and Damon feel about you going stag? I mean, if they weren't worried before, they certainly will be now!"

As Elena readied herself for the Mikaelsons' ball, she still couldn't figure out what the weird feeling was. She stared at her dream dress hanging on the back of her bedroom door. Was it really made for her? It just seemed too good to be true.

Elena cast aside her estranged thoughts and began putting on her makeup. It wasn't anything dramatic, just an enhancement on her features. She piled her hair on top of her head with stray curls coming down to frame her slim face.

She looked at the dress and slowing began dressing: Petticoat upon petticoat confusing her at every turn. After finally tightening her corset and pulling on the long silk gloves did she look in the mirror. Her brown doe eyes seemed even larger, her olive skin sparkling in comparison to the champagne colored dress, her lips were a beautiful pink and her hair framed her face so perfectly. Elena hardly recognized herself. Her dream dress seemed to pull out the more sensual and sophisticated side of herself that Elena had never seen before. She looked like a woman, not a high school senior.

She grabbed a beaded clutch that matched her dress effortlessly, gave herself a final look in the mirror, and headed out to her car.

Elena pulled up to the Mikaelson mansion in awe. The entire mansion had been transformed into something out of a fairytale. Lights were strung everywhere, soft music was playing throughout a five-mile radius of their house, and people in suits and ball gowns adorned everywhere the eye could see.

Elena was so immersed in the views around her that she wasn't paying attention to where she was going. She slammed on the brakes at the last moment when she noticed Matt was standing in front of her car. Elena rushed out of the car and up to Matt.

"Oh my God, Matt, I'm so sorry! I wasn't even paying attention!" Elena apologized.

"It's fine, 'Lena. I saved you in history today and you decided not to kill me with your car. Seems like an even exchange," Elena nudged him in the ribs," But wow, you look gorgeous tonight."

Elena blushed at the compliment, "You don't look so bad yourself, Matty," Looking him over in a black suit with his hair slicked back, "Are you here alone, too?"

"Nah, Rebekah invited me. I'm supposed to be her date, but I don't want to walk in alone," Matt offered her his arm, "Want to join me?"

Elena gratefully took his arm and allowed him to lead her to the Mikaelsons' front door.

"This is it," Elena said softly as she clutched onto Matt's arm for dear life.

"What are the names for the announcement?" The butler said as we approached the staircase.

"Matt Donovan and Elena Gilbert," Matt said since Elena froze.

The butler nodded and waved them forward.

"Announcing Matt Donovan and Elena Gilbert."