AN: Hello my lovelies, we meet again ;) this one just would not leave my head until I typed it up, so as I promised, here is another story of mine for your entertainment and pleasure ;) I will be posting as often as I can, considering I have an assignment of my own coming up next week, but no worries, I shall try to keep my readers satisfied as always.
- Yours truly
Elena tapped the pencil against her favourite leather bound notebook impatiently as she waited for the lecture to begin. She could still not believe how far she had come in her life after her transition, but missed those who used to make her life so special.
The night of her death would forever be known as the darkest in the history of Mystic Falls. It was mere moments before she drowned, stuck in the car at the bottom of the lake while Stefan saved Matt, but it was long enough for Alaric to drive a stake through Damon's heart. His death pained her immensely, but left her feeling torn. On one hand, she was ready to die and welcomed death with open arms, if only it had come sooner to claim her. Perhaps then Damon would have still been roaming the world in all his beautiful, sarcastic glory. On the other, if she had not decided to go back to Mystic Falls, the whole accident would not have happened and she would still be human. At least that was how she felt the first few hours after waking up in the morgue. But the outcome would still be the same. Damon would be gone forever. Would remaining human help her deal with the loss of someone so precious? Hardly. But then again, she found herself trying to control urges that came naturally to her new body, yet were completely foreign to her mind and conscience. But she had made her choice, and would live with it forever.
The second blow came a week after the accident. She had been slowly acclimating herself to being a vampire. Getting used to her new reflexes, senses and controlling the blood lust that always remained at the back of her head. She was trying to help Stefan deal with the grief but he seemed to be spiralling. While she was hoping they could find solace in each other since Damon so close to both their hearts, he did not want to receive any comfort from her and she knew he was secretly thinking it was her fault. He would never say it to her face, but the look in his haunted, grief-stricken eyes told her the whole story. What she did not expect him to do was let himself burn to ashes. She had come to the boarding house one afternoon to see if there was anything she could do, only finding a small note for her and Caroline about how he could not live in a world without his brother, and his daylight ring next to the liquor cabinet, his ashes scattered beneath the large window.
Caroline found her later that night, crumpled on the floor, her new emotions so overpowering she found herself hyperventilating in her grief. They were gone, both of them. And she would never be the same...
She was snapped out of her memories when she felt a human heartbeat in the seat next to her and focused on the front of the lecture hall to see Mr. Makayewski standing by his desk and talking to someone on the phone. He was an interesting man in his early thirties, originally from Poland and always had the slightly dishevelled look about him. Whether it was the bird nest of hair, or a trouser leg tucked into a green fluffy sock, there was always something about him that amused her. But she had to say that he truly had a passion for history and his lectures were always unique. Usually he would be carrying a few books or some materials for them to look at, but today his desk was clear. They were covering the Scandinavian cultures and movements of their nations at present, so perhaps a class discussion was scheduled today to talk about the upcoming assignment.
Her hand faltered over the notebook, the pencil almost dropping out of her hand when she sensed him. His powerful aura would be hard to miss for any vampire, for there was not a creature of darkness with the same aura as one of the Originals. His hair was cut in a short, modern haircut styled into perfection and his customary suit, this time a beautiful dark navy one was not missing either. Elijah...
She took a deep unnecessary breath and straightened in her seat. He was her favourite out of all the Originals and she began to enjoy his company after their talk about the fake sun and the moon curse. But was she ready to answer the inevitable questions about her being here?
Elijah smelled her sooner than his senses alerted him to a vampire in his presence. It couldn't be possibly her...but he did not know another who would smell so delicately of lavender and honeysuckle, her potent Petrova blood as a unique undertone of her scent. His sharp eyes scanned the hall until his eyes found her large doe ones. She was just as breath-taking as when she was human, but now she seemed to carry around an air of confidence. While her eyes were still the warm chocolate colour he could remember, there seemed to be a slight sadness creeping to the surface from her conscience. What could she possibly be doing in England?
But the questions would have to wait. He was here to help Roman with his lecture and a promise was a promise. Roman would make a wonderful vampire, the world could use more timeless historians like the two of them, but the choice would be inevitably Roman's and their deal was to wait until his thirty-third birthday. In the mean time, Elijah helped him once a year as a special guest speaker.
"Alright everyone, may I have your attention please?" Mr Makayewski's voice brought her out of the trance state she found herself in when he looked into her eyes. Well, not that Elijah would try to compel her; he was too much of a gentleman to do that again. But even if he tried, it would be useless for she has been drinking vervain with her blood every single day since she was turned. And that has been almost a whole year now.
"We have a very special guest, and I am glad to say a close friend of mine, in our midst today. Mr Smith is a historian, specialising in Scandinavian cultures and the Viking history as well. He will give a short lecture about the movement of Nordic clans to Britain and there will possibly be some time left for any questions you might have before assignment submission next week. Now please welcome Mr. Elijah Smith." their lecturer smiled and a short applause sounded through the hall.
Elijah gave his friend an almost fond smile before standing in front of the rows full of eager young students. "Thank you Roman. Today I will be focusing on the tenth century specifically, which as I was informed shall be profitable for a large portion of you. I did not bring any other materials with me for your viewing pleasure, so you might wish to take notes." he said with that little half smile of his, as if there was a private joke amusing his mind that none of them would ever know.
For the next hour, he spoke fluently, one could even say passionately but it intrigued Elena to listen to someone who was born in the era spoken of. It was practically like reliving the past for the man and he did not flinch once even though it must have brought up unpleasant memories for him, especially speaking about the traditional layout of a familial home, and the position it held within a village. She could still remember when he took her to the place that was once his human home just outside of Mystic Falls. The memory of him crouching down in his elegant suit to pick up some of the dry soil, staining his large hands slightly would be always in her mind. At that moment, she had felt close to him as he has lost his family many times over the centuries, just like she had lost most of hers. He was an old soul, who remembered times much simpler than these and in some way she has always craved to hear more of his story, both from a historical and personal perspective.
"I believe that is all from me in terms of a lecture for today. Are there any questions?" he asked and noticed a few hands rise, Elena's one of them. He answered all of them, leaving hers as the last.
"Yes?" he looked at her, his smile changing to a slightly more familiar one as opposed to his usual half smile.
"I was wondering about the discussion in the most recent literature, which questions whether the Nordic clans travelled as far as America. Do you have any commentary to that?" she asked.
He nodded, knowing well she was referring to the day after the ball as a way of a greeting between them. He trusted her to tell him the truth, and she trusted him with her life when he made her a means to save his own. "Yes, unfortunately there is very little archaeological proof of such a sighting, however this theory is gaining new supporters steadily and it is believed that Virginia might be one of the locations where such travellers might have set up camp. Does that answer your question, Miss...?" he asked, not knowing whether she was studying under her own name or whether she had compelled her way in under a different one.
"Elena Salvatore." she answered steadily, her face blank much like his after hearing the very familiar surname. "Thank you for answering my question, Mr Smith.
He nodded in understanding. "It was my pleasure, Miss Salvatore. Now, if you have no further questions, I hand you over back to Roman." he said with another half smile and stepped aside.
"That will be all for today, thank you very much for your attention and I shall look forward to receiving your assignments next week. Do not forget, MHRA referencing, not Harvard people!" he said and they started making their way out.
She kept herself in the back, heading over to Elijah who was talking to Mr Makayewski. The lecturer noticed her and smiled at her kindly.
"Elena, one of my favourite students. I was just telling Mr Smith here about one of your assignments concerning the background of the runic alphabet and the mythology of magic surrounding it." he smiled.
"Yes, one of my friends used to be very interested in the particular topic and was kind enough to loan me some of her literature for my references." she replied, noticing Elijah quickly caught on to the fact that she was talking about Bonnie.
"And what shall your next assignment topic be?" the man asked, his smile bright as ever. He has enjoyed every one of her essays for the past two semesters and a half and she often ended up in a conversation with him after lectures for he intrigued her intellectually.
"I was considering a gender specific essay this time, focusing on the role of a female within the society, her place within the familial hierarchy and everyday tasks she had to deal with. Call it the evolution of a girl's life in the tenth century Nordic culture." she smiled. "I have been able to find a few reasonable sources, but was hoping to ask for a permission to use more popular non-fiction to compare the portrayal of such life in contemporary culture with the facts."
Elijah was impressed. She was dedicated, sharp and history seemed to be her passion just like his. This was a side to Elena he has not witnessed before, since there was not much time for them to sit down for a decent conversation in the madness of Klaus' rituals and his mother's attempts at genocide. "Perhaps I could offer you some sources from my private collection, Miss Salvatore. I am sure you wouldn't mind, Roman?"
The man smiled happily. "Of course not. It is a pleasure seeing one of my brightest students on her way to hopefully becoming another passionate historian and joining our ranks. I shall leave you to it then. Thank you again for coming today Mr Smith, and I shall see you next week Elena." he smiled and after shaking Elijah's hand and patting her on the shoulder left the lecture hall.
They looked at each other for a few moments, the feeling of being in each other's presence after more than a year was pleasantly familiar yet foreign in an environment such as this. They both realised the university was not a safe place for them to talk so he offered her his arm, ever the gentleman, and guided her outside towards his Volvo. Elena smiled to herself; he was driving a Swedish car. Sentimentality or practicality? Not that he had to fear an accident so there was not really a need to drive one of the safest cars invented.
He opened the passenger door for her before getting in himself and drove silently to the outskirts of the small town in Gloucestershire. He stopped in front of an old Tudor style mansion and she waited patiently for him to open the door for her again, respecting his habits and old ways. A year ago she might have felt out of place at such a mansion, considering she would be wearing her usual jeans and sweater. But so much has changed in such a short time and her simple black long sleeved dress and red velvet pumps were a contest to that.
He led her inside into the tastefully decorate house and they were greeted by a young man who somehow smelled a bit off to Elena. Then she remembered Caroline saying something about werewolves smelling strangely to vampires so she had her answer. But why would an Original employ a werewolf?
"Elena, this is Henry, my friend and housekeep. Henry, Elena is my guest and she is welcome at any time, even in my absence. You are to always be of service to her wishes." he said firmly yet kindly.
Henry offered her a smile and nodded at his employer. "Would you like me to bring some tea up for you and your guest?" he asked. He sounded so young but of course with werewolves one could never tell.
"If you would be so kind. We shall be in my study." Elijah answered before motioning her up the stairs before him.
She kept a light hold on the railing as she walked up in front of him, conscious of his gaze upon her but decided not to comment. He directed her towards one of the doors and held it open. The study looked very comfortable with a fireplace and a small seating area, a few overflowing bookshelves and a large mahogany desk covered in papers and what looked to be parchment as well. She took a seat in one the chairs and placed her purse next to her feet before crossing her legs.
"You have a lovely home." she commented after a moment as he seemed to be gathering a few books.
"Thank you. You are welcome to visit with me anytime you wish. This is one of my preferred residences, as England has been my home for many centuries." he offered conversationally.
"You don't say." she smiled, his accent giving him away more than anything else. "Please correct me if I am wrong but is Henry by any chance a-"
"Werewolf? Yes. He has the freedom and facilities for his change here, including a home to call his own in the small guest house in the back garden. In return, he offered to be the housekeep and our arrangement has been very profitable for both parties so far." he explained, just as there was a knock on the door before Henry came in, carrying a tray with tea.
He went to pour them each a cup when Elijah stopped him with a dismissive hand gesture. "That is fine Henry, thank you. Elena, would you be kind enough to keep me company for dinner tonight? If you do not have any other plans that is."
She nodded. "Gladly." she answered, taking it upon herself to pour the tea as the lady present.
"What blood type would you prefer in your wine?" asked her Henry, surprising her only for a moment before she smiled at him kindly.
"O negative is my favourite; however any type is fine as long as it is of the negative kind."
Henry nodded before leaving the room.
"How do you take your tea?" she asked, pouring a small amount of cream into hers.
"The same way you do, lovely Elena." he answered, finally seating himself across from her before offering her four books. "These should be helpful for your next assignment. If you have any more questions, feel free to stop by to ask them." he smiled at her pleasantly.
"Thank you for both your hospitality and your help. Have you known Mr Makayewski a long time?" she asked with interest as she sipped her tea.
"For a few years now. He is aware of my age and is considering becoming a vampire himself. I am not partial to extending my bloodline these days, but I would welcome him into our ranks very gladly. He is a wonderful historian and I have no doubt he would be even better as a vampire." he chuckled softly.
"I have no doubt. I have a feeling he is aware of my vampirism as well. I have noticed him eyeing my ring a few times and surely he wonders." she smiled, looking down at her finger. The daylight ring Stefan gave her after her transition was saved in a special carved box along with his and Damon's. After Stefan's death, she had asked Bonnie to make her a new one. It was a traditional silver Claddagh ring with a lapis lazuli heart beneath the crown, surrounded by the clasping hands. It represented her love, loyalty and friendship to the Salvatore brothers, and the beginning of her new independent life. She wore it on her right ring finger at all times.
"Elena Salvatore?" he asked softly, yet she could see the curiosity in his eyes. He did not mean to pry yet was curious as to why she would carry their name and there was not a brother in sight.
"You have not heard I presume. Damon died the same night I did, Stefan a week later, overtaken by grief." she explained, managing to keep her voice steady, even though it was still painful for her to speak of it.
A look of surprise flittered across his face before he nodded. "I am sorry for your loss. We may not have had the best of relationships, but they were both honourable, devoted men." he offered as condolences. "Is that the reason you have left Mystic Falls behind?" he asked.
She nodded. "Alaric is dead as well, so Jeremy has decided to go back to Denver and finish college, taking Bonnie with him. They are happily back together and enjoying a life that does not include the supernatural anymore. And Caroline left shortly after my departure for Paris with your brother." She could see his surprised expression. "I know, no one really expected her to give into him but it seems Tyler was busy in the Appalachians with more than just breaking his sire bond." she drawled sarcastically, a habit she developed after spending too much time with Damon. "But she calls regularly and promised me Klaus is a good friend to her and if that is what she needs right now, I would never begrudge her." she shrugged.
Elijah cocked his head to the side, just watching her for a moment. She was still Elena as he remembered her. Kind-natured and he could see the compassion in her eyes still. But it was underlined by a deep sadness and she seemed to be haunted by memories from her short yet tumultuous life. "So you have decided for a change of scenery as well, that is perfectly understandable. Any particular reason why you have chosen England?" he asked.
Her answering smile was content and really touched her eyes this time. "I have come to love the little quirks of English culture. The weather took some getting used to but it is much better here than in London. It was too crowded for a new vampire like me. So I have chosen a small town, with a University I could attend. I have all the time in the world and...Damon made sure to keep a new will that transferred all his wealth and shares to me personally at the event of his death. Having the available resources, all I had to do was pack a bag and leave." she finished, her smile receding at the mention of the elder Salvatore.
Elijah found himself wishing for her content smile to return and therefore offered her one himself. "England suits you, lovely Elena. As much as our meeting was unexpected, I am glad to have you in my presence." he said softly.
She smiled again and finished her tea. "It is always a pleasure Elijah. Well, unless you plan to make me play another game of 'light the match' with your sister." she jabbed teasingly.
He placed a hand over his undead heart with a mock hurt expression. "Do you really think that low of me?" he asked innocently.
Elena chuckled, remembering a particular conversation with her blond best friend. "I believe your brother asked Caroline the same question and her answer was yes. Unlike her, I am going to go with no." she chuckled just as an old bell sounded from downstairs.
"Ah, dinner is ready. And while we eat, why don't you tell me more about your previous assignments and more specifically you choice of study subject?" he asked as he offered her his arm and with a soft smile, she accepted, looking forward to an evening in his gallant company.
AN: Let me know what you think my lovelies xx