A/N: I do not own TVD or any of its characters, nor do I have a Beta. I apologize for any mistakes in spelling and/or punctuation.
I was so excited to give you this chapter! Please excuse any mistakes!
Once burned, twice shy.
Too much of your light makes me blind.
Don't care what you do now.
Don't want to be spun around.
I want to live in darkness.
–Sun of a Gun by Oh Land
When Klaus had first told her about the "dimensions" within New Orleans, she pictured something like a real-life version of Doctor Who to transpire. She couldn't have been more off.
Early the next morning after arriving, Klaus dragged her into the edge of a forest completely on the other side of the city. Within the green moss and thicket of swaying swamp grass, was a shimmering layer right smack between two unusually thin trees. A clear glass wall hidden in the depths of mosquito infested land stood the first portal.
"It looks like a mirage." Caroline said, staring at the vibrating atmosphere, beckoning them forward.
Klaus glanced up at her smugly, taking in her quiet wonder with the same greedy expectation he gives anyone else he's trying to impress.
"This takes us to an unmarked village on the European seaboard, behind that wall," he pointed forward with a nod of his head, "is real, true magic. Nothing like the hocus pocus you've seen your Bennett witch do."
"And you're positive your friend Sophia will have information for us?"
Klaus clicked his tongue, hands deep in the pockets of the uncomfortable skinny jeans Caroline owned and forced him into. "No. But it's our first step to figuring out why this has happened. I've known Sophie a while… she's bound to know something. Whatever help she wants from me, I assure you she will return the favor by helping us. Come love, take my hand."
As if the past day's ire had completely rolled off his shoulders (again) his hot and cold attitude had paused and in its place left a very complacent serial killer. She shook her head to herself happy that for once he listened to her demands in having him trust her.
She doubted many people know about these portals or this oh so important Sophia girl. "Step 1: Friends trust each other" is now partially complete.
Taking her familiar dainty hand into her now big manly one, she clasped their fingers together.
Mentally preparing for whatever was on that other side might have been smart in hindsight.
Without another word, Klaus quickly hurtled them through the hazy wall in front of them. The portal sucked them through and with a loud whoosh, the same sound you hear when you're speeding through a narrow tunnel, they were no longer in the middle of a swamp land.
Opening her eyes hesitantly, she realized they were now on a dusty sidewalk in a bright sunny village. Birds chirped loudly as they flew from tree to tree in the quint little neighborhood they now stood in.
The smell of freshly baked bread and cut grass permeated her senses and all she wanted to do was sit and count every colorful flower in the garden next to her. She half expected Snow White to appear from behind one of the trees and singing to a few blue jays.
"Is this what you meant by magical? Cause I can totally understand." She said in awe as she watched an elderly couple slowly biking down the old winding street.
Klaus smiled, watching Caroline in all her enthusiasm. "You haven't seen the magic yet, love"
He watched Caroline squinted at the house across the street from them. In such a bright and vibrant neighborhood, the house across from them was… downright gloomy.
"Let me guess. Sophia lives in that one?"
Klaus laughed at her sour expression and obvious confusion at why such a run-down house was plopped in the middle of the Stepford-like neighborhood.
They made their way down the long narrow brick crossway to the front door. She stepped around broken stone and twisting weeds, as Klaus walked straight through without a care as he stepped over dead flowers and tree roots. She had half a mind to remember that plants don't creepily grab at your ankles and trip you on purpose like they do in cartoons…
The "garden" for lack of a better term, was dirt filled. A lone rose bush near the house's entrance was dried and withered, a single gust of wind would blow the desiccated roses to plumes of dust.
Whereas all the other houses in the cute neighborhood were deluxe with the same vibrantly colorful theme, this one was grey and run down. Old chipping blue shutters were falling apart off the windows on both stories of the crumbling brick house and the roof had several holes in it. Four of the six front windows were shattered or completely gone. From what she could see, the inside was depressingly dark inside.
Klaus knocked on the cracking door, a faded rusty red.
Caroline stood with squared shoulders as she suppressed a shudder at the ominous feeling when an old man called gruffly through the closed door, "who is it?!"
The door slowly creaked open, a small wrinkled old man popped his head out through the door.
Caroline immediately thought he looked like a cross between a raisin, Gandhi, and that crazy guy from Back to The Future when she looked down at the little old man with goggled glasses and fraying white hair tucked behind his long earlobes.
The man squinted at Klaus in Caroline's body. "Hello, Niklaus."
Her eyes bugged out at the old man's ability to tell between Klaus and Caroline even after their switch.
Without another word, the old man allowed Klaus to enter. "And you? Name?"
Caroline looked to Klaus and he nodded her to go on, "Caroline Fo–"
"Ah! Caroline! Yes! Come in. The girl in the man's body! Come in, you unfortunate soul!" he excitedly took her hand as his accented voice reached her ears when he began chatting away as if they were old friends, leading her through the winding hallways of the dark and moldy house.
"–been expecting you, didn't actually think that you'd show up so soon. Happened much earlier than expected! Much earlier! Oh girl and you're so beautiful. Beautiful." He ranted, his last comment was said to her but he was staring at Klaus, shuffling through the hall in her body. The seedy old man cackled as he pet Caroline's masculine hand like one would a cat or a wayward grandchild.
They finally reached a small room lit by numerous candles of all shapes and sizes. "Devereaux, enough with the games." Klaus rolled his eyes as he inspected a bookshelf filled with dusty novels and texts. She shot a quick glare at his back for being to rude.
She liked the creepy little dude.
The entire room was so… dirty. The floors were crusted over and every corner of the ceiling was lined with cobwebs. For such a lively old man, he sure didn't live like it. "Forgive me for asking, sir, but… Why do you live in such a… a…"
"Dump?" he supplied, as he now rummaged through a big old trunk on the other side of the room from them.
She winced, it was exactly what she'd been thinking before trying to find a less harsh word. "Yeah."
Klaus snorted in amusement but didn't say anything.
"That's because I don't." The old man, smiling mysteriously, the glint in his eyes giving away the power behind him. "Sweetheart," he chirped, "my name is Sopheclees."
Her eyes bugged out of their sockets for the second time that day. Sopheclees? As in the same Sophie that Klaus and Kol kept talking about? This was the infamous "Sophia?"
He began to chant a few words, throwing a few stones into a brass bowl in the center of the room circled by candles. Flames lit up in the bowl causing Caroline to close her eyes as she winced from the blinding white light the room was encased in.
As she blinked open her eyes again, she gasped.
They were no long in the dirty room… or… actually, it was the same room but…
"Wha–" She looked around, the cobwebs were gone, the dust was nonexistent, and the colorful marble floor glimmered shinier than the most polished gem. A crystal chandelier that wasn't there before lit the room brightly.
"Caroline, welcome to my home." Sopheclees grinned from his knees in front of a shining golden bowl wedged into the floor.
"Sopheclees is one of the most powerful witches I know… if not the most powerful."
"Three hundred years on this earth would do that to you, cupcake." Sopheclees piped up as he jumped up from his knees and strolled over to the bookshelf, practically pushing Klaus out of the way, who just glared and threw himself on a colorful floor cushion.
If she didn't like the old man before, she was about to declare her love to him as she watched him manhandle Klaus.
He must really be powerful if he can walk around unaffected by Klaus' glares. Klaus chuckled at her and shot her a wink, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.
"Not that I don't love magic tricks," she joked, "what exactly are we doing here? You obviously know something's up between Klaus and I, do you know what it is? Do you know what did this to us? How can we get back to our own bodies?"
"Because you seek answers that your ignorance can't give you. Because you want confirmation to something you don't yet understand. Because you're confused and need guidance. Because a new friend is a good friend until proven otherwise. Because when I look upon Niklaus wearing your beautiful blonde hair glimmering like a thousand crying suns it makes me want to–"
"Sopheclees!" Klaus snapped with a growl. Sopheclees glared.
Caroline looked between the two, confused. "Um."
Sopheclees sighed, and took Caroline by the hands and sat her down gently on a floor cushion beside Klaus.
He walked over to his bookshelf, nodding to himself as he looked for the right book, grabbing it then walking to his large mahogany desk on the other side of the room. He mumbled a few words to himself as she quickly flipped through page after page.
Caroline turned her head to Klaus. "I feel like Alice who just dropped into Wonderland," she mumbled.
Klaus couldn't contain his smirk as he pat Caroline on her pant suit-clad leg.
"He's that unlucky rabbit who forgot to take his aderall. I'm your run of the mill mad hatter, love. And trust me" he whispered conspiringly, "Alice's golden hair has nothing on your thousand glittering suns." He joked back, flipping said hair over his shoulder like he's seen her do a million times.
Completely shocking Caroline that he could even joke around like that in the first place, she let out a loud gruff snort at his taunt at Sopheclees' comment.
"You know I can hear you two." A female voice quipped. Caroline's attention snapped back to the mahogany desk. Where Sopheclees was standing before now stood a thin boho chic woman around her age. Her shiny black hair was pulled back by a colorful bandana and her wrap around dress showed off curves Caroline almost openly wept at in envy.
"You can call me Sopheclees Devereaux, at your service." She grinned brightly at her.
Her brows scrunched together, she turned to look at Klaus who just smirked at the old witch's antics.
"Old and powerful usually amounts to a few tricks up my sleeve. I can make you two see whatever and whomever I want…a gift that if used in the wrong hands can be deadly." She smirked as she sauntered over to Caroline and Klaus confidently. "The old haunted house and the crazy old man persona are to keep my identity hidden. Only the people who I let find the portal to this place are able to."
She thrust her hand out at Caroline for a handshake. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Sopheclees, but you can still call me Sophia. Or Sophie, if you prefer, now that I consider you a friend." She grinned.
"It's nice to meet you, Sophie." She tentatively grinned back. "But again. What?"
"I told you… magic you wouldn't believe." Klaus smirked, getting up alongside Caroline and touching her elbow in reassurance. "Sopheclees, Sophia, Sophie, whichever she chooses to be on her whims, is my most trusted witch. She knows about prophecies more intimately than anyone else. If Gabrielle's words held any true meaning, Sophie would know it." He finished simply.
She turned to address Sophie honestly. "That's nice and all, but I don't see how you knowing about what happened to us will exactly help us in getting back."
"Yes." Sophie snapped, turning to face Klaus, "so, sit down and keep that pretty pink mouth you're now wearing shut so I can get down to business."
He opened his mouth to respond but before he could, a familiar song began ringing from his jacket pocket.
"Is that my cell phone?" She asked, staring at the white touch screen device ringing in his hand.
"It's the younger Salvatore idiot. Probably wondering your whereabouts. I'll take this in the next room, love." He brought the phone to his ear and put on his best Caroline act to fool Damon.
"I thought he'd never leave!" the witch groaned as she closed the door behind him. "He won't be back for a while. Damon and Stefan Salvatore are currently crossing Louisiana state lines, Klaus will make sure word won't get back to them that you two are currently hiding out outside New Orleans." Sophie grinned, "which gives us time to talk."
"How do you know Damon and Stefan? And that they will be in Louisiana?"
"I have the gift of foresight, among other things." Sophie walked over to a kettle perched over a flaming fireplace she was positive wasn't there before.
"Other things?" Caroline asked curiously.
"That's what I like about you, sweet Caroline trapped-in-Niklaus'-body Forbes." She chirped as she poured boiling water into two china cups. "You ask out of curiosity, without any ill intentions or double meanings. Innocent aura you have, powerful, bright. Completely warring with the dark man whose body you now habituate." She sighed wistfully as she stared at an unseen object over Caroline's frame.
"Um. I don't speak witch." She smiled softly and sat next to Sophie. The old wooden chair was too narrow to comfortably fit her bulky frame into, so she hunched over to sitting with her elbows on her knees.
"Good, because I never liked to either! Witches are always so damn cryptic, it pisses me off!" Sophie laughed at her joke to her own kind. "A witch, after so many years on earth, begins to receive gifts from Mother Nature. The more we help balance the world, the more the world gives back to us." She began, pouring her fifth spoon of sugar into her dark tea. "Flowers need sunlight, correct?" she asked Caroline, peeking up at her through her dark lashes and wisps of waved black hair.
Caroline nodded her head.
"Darkness needs light as well in order to flourish. Without light, dark isn't as dark and light isn't as light and it's a never ending pattern."
"You lost me at 'darkness.' Is this some sort of metaphor referring to Klaus and I? Because if I hear 'you are the light to his darkness' one more time, I think I'll scream."
The old witch giggled loudly like a teenaged school girl, "it's exactly what I'm trying to say. And you'd be wise to accept it, sweet pea, because it's true." She smiled, pouring yet another spoonful of sugar into her untouched tea.
Caroline sipped hers as she held back a smile, secretly pleased her life had some sort of meaning now, even if was something creepily weird like being Klaus' "light."
Klaus walked into the room at that moment, red faced and angry. She noticed the light vein on her familiar forehead, one that she knows bulges on her face when she's particularly mad with a specific cheer leader or volunteer worker.
Sophie shot her a wink.
"I need to go and deal with those imbecilic twats you call friends." He spat out as he clutched her delicate phone in the air. "They've caught scent of us in New Orleans and want to meet with you, well me, for some answers. Let's go."
"No." Caroline frowned. "I just made a friend, Klaus. You go and do whatever you need to do. I'll be here when you get back. I trust you." She forced a patient smile.
Teammates. Teammates. Teammates. Trust him. He's got my back. Try and be nice. Teammates. Trust him. The words were a forced mantra. If she showed Klaus he could be trusted, then he would eventually do the same and then their involuntary time together would be smooth sailing.
She wasn't known as the Mystic Falls master male manipulator for nothing. She waved him off. Klaus stared at her with his mouth agape at her demand.
He furrowed his brow. "Yes, but–"
"I'll be good here." Instinctually, she patted his busty chest over his necklaces fondly and tucked a bit of his long wayward curls behind his ear like an affectionate mother hen. "Here. Take a cookie for the road." She grabbed a few biscotti from the snack tray Sophie had put on the table and shoved them into his hands as he raised a brow at her insolence.
"Come back later when the Damon and Stef have chilled out. Okay?" She sat back down and crossed her arms in finality, taking a sip from her hot tea like she didn't just emasculate the world's most powerful creature in front of another person.
"If I didn't make it clear enough, let me just say, you are my newest best friend." Sophie piped up, smirking at the girl's power over the Original Hybrid. Only… Caroline was now the Original Hybrid now, wasn't she?
"I'll contact you when I'm on my way back then." He left the room without another word or huff.
"Back to what I was saying," she stirred her sugared tea hiding a smirk behind her hand. "The more we witches help Mother Nature, the more we get repaid for our services. I've been alive for a long time. I was the one to help Klaus bring up New Orleans, the portals, and all the supernatural peace within that state. Marcel is out to destroy that peace, it's why I sent word for Niklaus' help to begin with" she rambled, "but that's an issue for when he comes back, sugar plum." She poured another heaping of sugar into her untouched tea.
"Okay. So, witchy gifts?" she got the eccentric woman back on track.
"Yes, yes, yes. One of the gifts I have the gift of foresight, I can see the future before fate even knows what's next on her hit list. It's how I know when I should conceal my identity before an enemy arrives, or how I knew you were one of the good ones before you even finished saying the first syllable in your last name. I know the Gabrielle's prophecy 'intimately' as Klaus puts it, because I was the one who foresaw its potential."
Caroline's eyes widened. "But… why? If you were around when Gabrielle scared Klaus half to death with her mumbo jumbo, why not tell him, us, what the heck is going on? We're fighting a battle blind here."
"Darkness needs light, Caroline. Balance. It's the only way the world can go on in its madness." She smiled simply, pushing away her tea from her without ever even trying it.
"Is your tea cold?"
"Oh no I don't like tea," Sophie swatted her hand in the air.
"For someone who doesn't like cryptic talk, you sure do talk a lot of bull." She joked, confident with her new friendship with the peculiar witch.
"Light, dark, big, small, vampire, werewolves. There's a balance, apple pie. Klaus pretty much broke the balance by breaking the curse a few months ago."
"But you knew he was going to–"
"Yes. I knew, same way Gabrielle knew, that he would break the curse centuries before it happened. It was his insurance. It gave him that small glimmer of hope that keeps us all in motion. It's what kept him going on his relentless search for a doppelganger even after that Katerina woman deceived him."
"So if you knew he was going to 'break the balance,' as you say, why did you let him do it?"
"No one lets Niklaus do anything, sugar lips." She giggled, "you should know that more than anyone."
Caroline smiled in agreement. "So the reason our lives got switched–"
"Because Gabrielle was a scared woman and did not know how to tell someone as fearsome as Niklaus that he would someday become weak in his affections for you, dear. She would rather live in fairytale land than own up to her true potential."
"She wrote Beauty and the Beast." Caroline pointed out. Honestly, how badly could someone be living in their "fairy tale world" when such a beautiful love story came out of it. She tactfully chose not to address her statement towards Klaus' affections for her.
Sophie stared at her pointedly, as if she was missing something that was right in front of her. "And where do you think she got the main idea for her story?"
"Beauty and The Beast was written about us?" Her eyes widened in almost disgust at that revelation.
"That is your answer, Caroline." Sophie said finally after a long silence. "I don't know why this happened, only that it did. Something, or maybe someone, wants you and Klaus to realize something neither of you are realizing is right in front of your noses. What can help you? Nothing but yourselves. Keep doing what you're doing. Befriend him. Be kind to him. The rest will sort itself. It's not a battle, Caroline." She smiled. "You can't fight against something that has been set in stone. Stop questioning why things happen to you, and start questioning what you're going to do about it."
"Okay." She nodded, dazed as she twisted long hairy fingers back and forth on her lap. "So this is real then? I'm stuck in this hybrid body with bipolar emotions until what? Klaus is my friend?"
"From what I see, you two are already friends." Sophie patted Caroline's hand. "Fate has a way of bringing people together. Your path is just clearer to you now. Look how easy it was for you to fuss over him and boss him around, regardless of your ill feelings for him and his past misdeeds."
She froze. Caroline barely even noticed what her earlier actions toward Klaus would look like to a third party. Affectionate? Caring? Compassionate? Caroline thought of all the times she demanded something of Klaus and pushed at him with sharp words whereas her actions spoke differently. It was a crappy act that Sophie could see right through.
Had she always been fussing over him like that? No, she thought. This was a new thing.
She furrowed her brows, Caroline was feeling the beginnings of a major headache. As cool as Sophie was and as interesting as this conversation was getting, she was confused beyond belief. No cryptic talk, my ass. All witches are vague as shit.
"I have a boyfriend. Whatever kindness I give Klaus–"
"Tyler Lockwood is not yours to keep." Sophie said bluntly. Caroline furrowed her brows, quickly removing her hands from under Sophie's attempt at comfort.
"Excuse me?" Her mind flew to Hayley and the way Tyler and she were whispering inside his house that night she condemned Chris' death. Her inner insecurities flared at the statement that Tyler wasn't hers. Of course he was hers, she scoffed.
"Think about how he treats your relationship, little dove. But I will not say more on the matter of your… boyfriend." Sophie said simply, smiling softly at Caroline as she broke through her internal musings.
She squared her shoulders. She still felt like an unknown weight was placed on her shoulders. "What does it mean to be his light? Klaus I mean." She asked in fear. That usual feeling of guilt and anxiety churned in her belly made its appearance. She felt like she was betraying her friends for accepting the crazy without a question.
"Do I have to like, guide Klaus out of the darkness or something like that? Do I have to make him into a good person?" The weight on Caroline's shoulders became more crushing as she thought of how difficult that task would be.
Sophie, to her surprise, guffawed at Caroline's question. "Oh dear god, no!" She laughed, her giant hoop earrings glinting in the sunlight with every movement. "Can you imagine how hard that would be? Dear, child, you're not a miracle worker!"
Caroline smirked, but a little uncomfortable with her gibe at Klaus. A phone chirped from the pocket of the black slacks. Klaus' phone lit up in her hand with a text.
Message: Say your goodbyes. I'll be there soon.
"Klaus I take it?" Sophie smiled, breaking the companionable silence and leading her toward the front door.
"Yeah. He'll be here soon." She sighed as she stared at the bright hallways, furnished richly and brightly. Unlike when she first walked in, everything was clean, colorful, and tasteful. The lavish décor matched everything she's learned today about the bohemian fashionista walking next to her.
"So you'll heed my advice? Keep doing what you've been doing for now. Your answers will be revealed soon, I hope."
"Rooming in with Klaus for x amount of time? Excuse me if that sounds a little less than desirable right now." Caroline scoffed. Sophie just smiled at her with wise eyes, already knowing something the other didn't.
A/N: Sopheclees = Sa-fe-kleez, in case any of you were confused.
I have a few points I would like to make about this chapter and the story in general:
1. There is a ton of dialogue here. I apologize if some of you don't like that but I got way too excited writing about Sophie. She's a new character no one really delves into. In order for you all to understand why she does what she will be doing (cough, cough) you all should at first get to know her and empathize with the eccentric witch. She has a part in this story so this chapter consisted mainly for her.
2. We realized this chapter that Sophie, along with the ever elusive Gabrielle, knew the switch was going to happen many many years before it did. But what we find out is, even though she's all knowing, she's not exactly all knowing. She doesn't know why Klaus and Caroline woke up in different bodies like this, but her advice is to do what they've already been doing and maybe shit will just fix itself eventually.
3. Yes. In "Change" Beauty and The Beast was written off the prophecy Gabrielle enacted after reading Klaus' future. Klaus being the beast and Caroline the Beauty. That will come up very soon along with my theory about "souls" and their "eyes" from the earlier chapters.
4. Tyler isn't all he's cracked up to be, and here Caroline realized that her actions towards Klaus contradict her feelings and thoughts. I know some of you are worried, but don't worry you guys, there will be no baby plot, nor will Tyler have any part in breaking up klaroline here, in fact he will be the push that will put them together...
5. Right now this story is heading in an 18 chapter (maybe 20) chapter total. That's due to change depending if use up an entire chapter for an important conversation like I did to this one!
6. Sophia's real name is Sopheclees. With that said, no, Sophia is not a man! She just has the ability to make people see what she wants them to see.
Now that that's cleared: a HUGE thank you to everyone who reviewed! Hans, sweetandlow1012, suzypyong, cerebralraven, CarelessLove91, Norwaygirl95, zalmx'z 1ArX aLeXanDrX, Maiqu, HotHybrissex, Little Missy 123, miss K, TwistedType, AAG2649, shakabra23.
--Next up: the nightmare and the "green thing" makes its reappearance, the Salvatore brothers come out to play, some sexual questions arise, and a blood bath will perhaps ensue.
Hang on tight because shit will hit the fan.
Until next time!
Love, Kathy :)