All right, here's the next chapter, as those who read my profile notes or check this topic thread in my forums know was eventually coming - as I mentioned several times, I was going to be working on my non-completed stories after I finished Reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which the last chapter to was put up last Saturday. While I will hopefully work and make sure that this chapter isn't the last one to be posted until the Reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is done, I will admit that I probably won't finish the story before I post that story, and that story will become my focus point once it's posted.

Anyway, this chapter is a bit of a filler chapter, and it goes between past and present.


Mystic Falls, 1864

Elena stood in the shadows, her eyes flitting from one face to another, making sure that she wasn't noticed by anyone who wasn't supposed to notice her – which was pretty much everyone at the moment. Katerina, where are you she thought to herself, her eyes scanning the crowd. She knew that she would most likely get in trouble if someone other than Katerina saw her. She'd most likely get in trouble anyways, because she wasn't supposed to be there in town. But she wanted to speak to Katerina, tell her what news she'd just found out.

Klaus was coming to America, looking for them. And he would be there in America, soon. Just the idea of Klaus finding them scared her. The things that he'd done to her... No, she wouldn't think about it. She went back to her search.

As Elena's eyes flitted through the crowd, not finding her sister, she didn't notice that someone has noticed her. Sighing, she backed out, keeping to the shadows as she headed out of town. She'd be back in an hour or so, and check out the boarding house that Katerina was staying at .

Elena managed to make it a bit away from the main party when she heard something behind her, and she quickly turned. Her eyes widened as she saw that she'd been followed, and her first instinct was to run. But she stood there, stunned, as he came closer, her eyes widening as they fell upon his handsome face.

"Katherine," they guy said, and Elena realized that he knew her sister. That was when she knew that there would be trouble in if she didn't do something right now. Add in the fact that, based on the dark hair and blue eyes he sported, this was one of the Salvatore brothers – Damon, if she remembered by the description Katerina had written to her – and therefore, he would be closer to her sister than anyone else in town.

Thinking of that, she realized that, perhaps, she could use him. She hadn't much luck in finding her sister herself, but maybe she could use him to find her and give her a message. She'd just have to be careful on how to word it...

Before she could do anything, having been lost in her musings, she realized that he had moved closer to her. A hint of his scent filled her olfactory senses in a single moment, and then his mouth was on hers. Surprise fluttered through her, and she felt the wall against her back in the next moment. A squeak of surprise left her throat, partially because if his actions, and partially because of how easy it was for him to sneak up on her. She's kind of horrible with letting that happen, always had been, easily distracted as well. And he, Damon, was distracting.

She practically melted in his kiss. Her hands come up to wrap around his shoulders, her mouth opens to him, allowing his tongue entrance. She moans out when she tastes him, realizing quickly that she's hungry. And she wants him, wants his blood. She pulls her mouth away from his, trailing her lips down his chin, down his neck, until she comes to what she believes is the perfect spot. Her teeth come out, and she bites down, his warm blood filling her as he lets out a startled breath. She quickly focuses, not letting him feel pain, only pleasure from the actions. She didn't want him to catch attention from people around them.

She stops after a few mouthfuls, not needing that much blood, nor wanting it to be known that she'd fed from him. Licking the bite mark clean, she looks up at him, catching his eye.

"You won't remember this," she said, her eye dilating as her compulsion ability flowed through her. "You'll just remember walking around. Repeat what I just said."

He did so, verbatim, and she nodded, satisfied. Bringing up her wrist, she bit, letting the blood flow.

"Drink," she said. "Drink, and then leave. You won't remember doing this, either."

Once she was satisfied that he'd healed, and there was no evidence of what she'd done, she let him leave, though her eyes stayed on him until he was gone.

Mystic Falls, 2010

"Elena," she heard, and she turned from the large window in front of her, pushing away the memory that she'd been thinking about on and off since she'd seen Damon Salvatore leaving the Gilbert house two weeks ago. Her eyes caught the person who'd been speaking. Alisha Bennett stood in behind her, a worried look on her aging face. Alisha had been Elena's companion since she was six years old, Elena having become her mother, sister, and now her daughter in thirty-seven years they'd been together.

Alisha was also a witch, something that Elena had helped her understand in the years they'd been together. Elena wouldn't lie – having a witch by her side was extremely helpful. Knowing that she was completely loyal to her was even better. If there was one thing that Elena remembered Klaus mentioning when it came to dealing with witches, it was gain them when their young. 'Easier to build a bond between you, and insure their complete loyalty,' was what Klaus always said.

Not that Elena had anything to do with Alisha's family being killed. In fact, she was have been much happier left Alisha at a orphanage – she wasn't old enough to even look like she had a child – but the Bennetts were always known to be witches, and she knew that it was better to keep an eye on the young girl, eventually becoming fond of her – Elena wouldn't quite be ready for her to die when the time came.

"Yes?" she asked, realizing that Alisha had been standing there for a while, waiting to be noticed. She walked over to her, subconsciously enjoying the whish, whish sound her skirt made when she walked. While she didn't mind pants or shorts all that much, she loved the long skirts that reminded her of the time she'd grown up in.

"Your sister has arrived in town," Alisha said. "She wishes to know if you would mind her staying at a hotel over coming to stay here in the house."

Elena thought about it, her eyes sweeping over the wide parlor room she stood in. The house she'd chosen was a magnificent piece of work, meant for a larger family to live in; and, indeed, that's what she had been expecting when she heard that Katerina would be there soon. Yet, if Katerina would rather stay in a hotel...

It didn't take long for Elena to realize the exact reason for this. Katerina didn't want her to be discovered, as always. Being here, in Mystic Falls, were Katerina had left the moonstone all those years ago... Elena knew that she was hoping to barter with Klaus, their lives and freedom for the moonstone, Doppelganger, and the ingredients to break the curse as well. What Katerina didn't understand was that, the chances were, Klaus wouldn't grant their freedom or Katerina's life, considering how long he'd been chasing them. Elena knew that, if Katerina was to keep her life, she would have to give up her own freedom, use that to barter with Klaus.

Even then, she doubted it would be enough.

"I do not mind if she stays at a hotel," Elena said, knowing that Katerina wouldn't listen to her words, for the simple fact that she cared too much for Elena to hear them. "Just so long as she is able to come and visit me."

"Of course," Alisha said, bobbing her head. She turned back and left the room, heading back to the entrance hall, where the phone could be found. Elena turned back to the window, her mind going back to her thoughts about Damon.

Mystic Falls, 1864

She couldn't get him out of her mind. Not even the scolding that Katerina had given her could drive him from her mind. She just wanted to see him again, so badly. She sighed, turning from the window as Emily, Katerina's maid, walked into the room. Elena visibly deflated, knowing that Emily's presence wasn't an accident. Any chance of going out tonight were now eradicated.

"Miss Pierce thought that you might go out tonight," Emily said. "She told me all about your...meeting with Master Damon."

"Is it so bad that I would want to see him again?" Elena asked. "I can't get him out of my mind, and the thought of him makes it feel as if my heart should be racing. Plus, the idea of him with Katerina..."

Elena stopped speaking, looking away, feeling ashamed at her thoughts. Never, not once, had she ever thought meanly of Katerina. Not when Katerina got herself disowned and almost left her, not when Katerina got them trapped in Klaus's home, and not even when she was separated from her sister, starved, bled out, and tortured by Klaus in an attempt to discover why she was able to resist his compulsion attempts.

Elena shivered lightly as the mere thought of what Klaus had done to her in those attempts, up until he decided to finally find out what would happen if she was turned into a vampire, justifying the action by the fact that Katerina existed, and therefore, he would still be able to do the ritual.

Looking at Emily, she asked again, "Is it so bad that I want to see him?"

Emily seemed to be thinking, looking at the young girl in front of her. Elena had a feeling that she knew what Emily was thinking. Unlike Katherine, who was just a month shy of her eighteenth birthday when she'd been changed, Elena, unfortunately, was changed within a few months of meeting Klaus, and was, therefore, still fifteen – closer to sixteen, yes, but still fifteen when she was officially turned. And, while it didn't show as much as it did with Anna, who had been turned a month after her fifteenth birthday, Elena still did look a bit younger than Katherine, not much, but just enough that, if in their presence a long time, it was noticeable.

"No, Elena, I don't think it's bad," Emily finally said. In fact, she sounded downright happy over the idea of Elena wanting someone. "You're sister, Miss Katherine, is going to be spending time with the younger Salvatore. I'm sure that the older Salvatore wouldn't mind company himself."

"I don't know," Elena said. "I don't...I don't want to be Katherine to him."

Once Elena uttered this , Emily couldn't help the look of surprise.

"You want him to know you as yourself," Emily said. Elena nodded.

"I know that I shouldn't – that Katherine would be mad if I did, but... I want him to know me, for being myself," Elena said.

"It wouldn't be safe," Emily said, Elena's face fell, even though she knew that Emily was right – it would be dangerous, not only because of the chances of Klaus finding out, but because, as far as anyone in Mystic Falls – along with almost every single vampire in Katerina's group, other than Pearl and Annabelle – knew, Elena Petrova didn't exist. Only Katerina existed.

"However, with your...talents, you might be able to bypass the danger element," Emily continued. Elena looked at her, hardly believing what she was saying.

"You mean you want me to actively use my compulsion," Elena said. "Why? I mean, you hate it when we think about using it. You only like it being used when it comes to feeding, because it means that we'll actually leave the person alive."

"If it's to hide who you are, then yes, I do want you to use it," Emily said. "All you have to do is compel him not to tell anyone about you. As for why, well, I care about you, a lot, Elena. I've seen what you went through, from when you fell into Klaus' grasp to what you suffered when you managed to help your sister escape – without Klaus even knowing that you'd done that. If Master Damon is able to get you're mind off of that, then I'm willing to compromise my personal dislike of compulsion.

"Of course, I would probably feel better if you didn't resort straight to compulsion without his permission," Emily added.

"Of course," Elena said, a huge smile crossing her face. "Are you sure he's going to be free tonight?"

Mystic Falls, 2010

"So, what do you have planned for tonight?" Alisha asked, looking at Elena.

"Well, since we're going to stay here alone, I might as well start fixing up the place," Elena said, looking over the house. Having lived as long as she had, Elena had eventually decided to go into a business where she'd buy houses, foreclosed or otherwise, fix them and the surrounding landscape up, and then either sell, rent, or turn into places of business. She did own several inns, boarding houses, bed and breakfasts, and a coffee/bookstore, all of which made it possible for her to have the money to buy more houses to fix up.

"Have you decided what you're going to do?" Alisha asked as the two of them left the parlor room and headed to the dining area, where the house blueprints were laid out.

"I think this place would be perfect for a boarding house," Elena said. "That, or a bed and breakfast. There's certainly enough room for either."

"There certainly is," Alisha agreed. "What about the landscape? There's quite a bit of surrounding land connected to the house."

"Well..." Elena started, thinking about it. While she had bought the house, it wasn't just the house that had been in the business deal. The surrounding land – about three acres, including where the house was built – was part of the deal as well. It was a good area – kind of far from the town center, but not so far that it was considered the middle of no where. It was the perfect place for those who wanted to go on a romantic vacation, in all honesty.

"How about we do this," she finally said, beginning to outline her plan. Alisha occasionally nodded her head in agreement, only making a suggestion for something else once or twice, until they had a rudimentary plan to go ahead with.

"I'll make the calls in the morning," Alisha eventually said, yawning as the lateness of the hour got to her. "Will you be heading up to bed now as well?"

"I'm going to go out," Elena said. Alisha made a face, but nodded in understanding. While the improvement of blood banks had made excessive hunting unneeded, Elena still liked – or preferred – to go out every now and then for a hunt. It kept her from forgetting what she really was...or, at least, that's what she told Alisha. And it wasn't completely untrue, though, truthfully, she did enjoy a good hunt, and, this way, she could also keep a contact to the real world. If she didn't hunt, the only contact she would really have was with her sister, Alisha – until she died or left – and whichever contractor she'd make contact with when it came to the few things that she couldn't quite do herself when it came to expanding a place or doing the landscaping that she wanted.

It was well known to those who knew her well that Elena was a bit antisocial. Going out on a hunt was one of the few ways that she kept from being completely misanthropic, the other being her business.

"Don't worry," Elena added. "I know better than to kill anyone. This town is well aware of vampires – to kill anyone would be to bring unwanted attention on us. I'm not going to risk that."

"Like looking like Mia doesn't already do that," Alisha teased.

"True," Elena said. "Which is why I'll be going to the next town. Less chance of running into her." Or anyone who knows her she added in her thoughts, her mind going straight back to a certain blue eyed vampire. No, she definitely didn't want to run into him again – she was rather lucky that he hadn't realized that she wasn't Mia, and had no desire for him to think she wasn't her. As Katerina had told her, it was very likely that, once he realized that she wasn't the Doppelganger, he would think that it was Katerina, not her.

After all, he really didn't have any reason to think it was her. He didn't remember who she was, after all.

Mystic Falls, 1864

"Elena!" The whisper sounded like a shout as she pulled away from Damon, her eyes widening as they connected with the furious ones of Katerina's. Panic runs through her mind, knowing exactly what Katerina had seen. Her feeding on his blood. Him feeding on her blood. How long has been standing there, though, for it wasn't just a blood fest between her and Damon.

No, there had been words exchanged between them, sweet words, promises of love. But, more than that, there a more important exchange between them, one that would see her and Damon together for much longer than time would normally allow for them.

Elena had told him what she was the first night together, told him of living off the blood of people, expecting him to have to force him to forget her words mere moments after she utters them. Instead, he accepted them, accepted her, and willingly allowed her to compel him into secrecy.

They'd spent a lot of time together since then, running into the woods, talking, and just generally being with each other. Of course, it isn't always like that. Within a week of their second meeting, she's showing him just how demonic she could be, ruthlessly killing and feeding on several men as he watches; then next, she's giving herself to him – the first time she's ever left a man willingly have her – and enjoying it, something she didn't think was possible.

And, just moments before, she had made him an offer, an offer to join her in this life. Getting him something to protect him in the sun wouldn't be a problem – she could ask Emily to make something. And she didn't lie, trying to make it seem to be the best deal ever – she told him point blank that she was being hunted, that their time together might not actually be forever. She didn't think he really understood that part, though he said he had when he gave her an answer.

Still, she wanted to be selfish, and decided to take his word instead of making him be truthful or take more time in deciding.

"Elena," Katerina's voice said again, and Elena let go of Damon, who was looking between the twins with a look of confusion on his face. Elena had bothered telling him that Katerina had no idea of her visits.

Katerina walked forward, her face a blazing fury. It wasn't that Elena was with Damon – Elena knew that, able to see it in Katerina's face, in her eyes. No, what had Katerina angry was that Elena was risking herself, risking Damon, by being with him, by attempting to change him.

Katerina grabbed her arm, pulling Elena to her, and began to talk. Elena barely listened to the words, only knowing what the outcome of them would be. Her eyes looked up to Damon, sorrow evident. To others, the words Katerina were saying might seem like poison. To Elena, they were nothing but the truth, a truth that showed just how selfish she was being. The words weren't intentionally mean, just something that pointed out just how dangerous it would be for Damon to be with her. Klaus still wanted her, after all, her and Katerina, both for different reason – or the same, if he's gotten as irritated with her as he is with her sister.

Even though she had told him, and he had said he still excepted that, she knew that he didn't really understand, and that her decision to continue forward was nothing more than pure selfishness. She tried to fool herself into thinking that Damon would just be let go, alive and able to live the life a vampire, but she really does know better. Klaus won't let him live, mostly because she knows that Damon wouldn't let her go. Even in the short time she's known him, she knows this fact.

And so, she compels him, changing his memories so that he believes that he's been with Katerina the entire time he's been with her. It's still selfish of her, leaving him with even the faintest memories of her, though she doesn't leave any of herself actually in them.

Katerina doesn't know what Elena has done; she left, going away to give them some privacy, her own heart breaking. Katerina doesn't have to say that; Elena knows this for a fact, is able to feel it. They're twins, after all, able to related to each other than anyone would ever be able to.

Elena knows, as she walks away from Damon, that it isn't going to be just him who suffers from having fallen for a Petrova. The other brother will suffer as well. It's a foregone conclusion until Klaus is dealt with.

Okay, there's the end of the chapter. Hope you enjoyed that. As I said, it's a bit of a filler chapter, though it hopefully answers some of the questions reviewers have asked about. Also, I know that last part of this chapter probably confused people, but you're going ot have to wait a bit longer before you get an answer, so please, don't ask questions about it. The only answer I can give right now is that Katerina's heart breaking was because the words she was telling Elena also applied to her as well. What those words are, well, you'll have to imagine until I explain this whole part again.

Alisha is my own character, and is related to Bonnie in a way, as well as older than her. However, she's a bit like Greta is/was. Because of the age she was when she met Elena and started staying with her, it has afffected her development a bit, meaning that she's practically completely loyal to Elena, the same way Greta was towards Klaus.

Also, in case you're wonder, Elena will almost always refer to Katherine as Katerina - the only times she won't is when talking to someone who doesn't know Katherine's real name.

Anyway, as you can see, Damon fell in love with Elena - and not Elena pretending to be Katerina. He doesn't know this, though, because of Elena's compulsion, which is stronger than a regular vampires. Again, why he doesn't remember Elena will be explained later on.

Please, Please, Please Review, I want to know what you thought of this chapter.

Hearts In Strangeness