Chapter 41

“What’s he doing here?” Kol was less than friendly with their uninvited, but now invited, guest. He’d never liked Damon Salvatore much, although his appreciation had grown when he came to New Orleans after Bella had returned from Hades’ kidnapping, but the idiot had neglected to contact Bella over the years while she sent him messages with updates.

Sensing their dad’s hostility, the kids moved behind him, out of immediate sight. Bella was so proud.

“Found my phone,” Damon said as he waved it around. “Conveniently left it at home when I was traveling the world with Elena. Nice to see you too, Kol. Love the house. Well done.”

“And where is female Gilbert?” Kol questioned him from his position in the pool. “Did she feel too good to come down to New Orleans?”

“That’s an interesting story,” Damon agreed before motioning to the gaggle of children behind the Original. “But hardly a story for the youngsters, aren’t you going to introduce me to the little miracles?”

Kol smirked widely. “Yep, can do that,” he said as he turned around to face his kids. “Emily, Kolby and Charlie, you can use Uncle Damon as practise as to what Selene and I taught you to do to bad men.”

“Really?” They chorused surprised. “You never allow us to practise on real people!”

“Uncle Damon can handle it, I promise. He’s tougher than he looks.”

“Should I be worried?” Damon asked Bella, who merely shrugged in return before going inside to fix the kids some drinks and snacks. When Kol moved away, Damon could see Bella’s children clearly. They were the perfect mix of both parents, and he was afraid that those innocent looking faces were going to pack a mean punch. “They’re witches, aren’t they?”

“Yep,” Kol grinned at the same time Damon doubled over when the kids directed their headache spell at him. “While we take extra security measures for them, they also know how to defend themselves, know this and remember that,” he said before gently pushing the hands down and helping them out of the pool. “Well done guys! That was awesome! Now, I think mommy’s making snacks inside, why won’t you join her for a little? Uncle Jasper will be with you shortly I think, mommy and I need to talk to Uncle Damon.”

“Is he a bad man, daddy?” Emily asked as Kol lifted her out of the pool.

“No bunny, no bad men will ever cross that threshold at the gate. You are safe here,” he smiled at her. “I think mommy wants you to get to know Uncle Damon, but not now, not until we’ve spoken with him.”

“Okay,” she smiled as she ran inside the house. Kolby and Charlie followed soon after and as soon as they were out of earshot and vision, Kol punched Damon, hard.

“Ow! Why did you do that for?!”

“That’s for worrying Bella sick all these years. Left your phone at home while you went off gallivanting with Elena? Have you completely lost your mind?! Honestly, here I thought you’d changed your egotistical ways with Bella in your life!”

“Yeah, fine, that was stupid! I admit that that was stupid and irresponsible! If it helps, I not only missed Bella’s messages, but I also wasn’t around when the devil himself came to town and recruited my brother, resulting in his death because he couldn’t reach me!” Damon said as he pushed back. “What can I say? Love is bad for the brain, man!”

Kol huffed as he pushed Damon back. “If I can learn how to control my impulses, so can you!”

“Oh fuck off!”

“Are you two done?” Bella asked as she walked onto the patio with a drink for her and two glasses of blood for the vampires. “I’m sorry to hear about Stefan, Damon. I wasn’t aware what was going on in Mystic Falls as nobody told me.”

“Don’t worry about it, Bonnie fixed it,” he sighed, waving her sentiments away. “I’ve been stupid.”

“And I’m not surprised,” Bella replied kindly as she handed him his glass. “But a message would have been nice. Or a postcard at least. Not even that!”

Damon scowled as if he had been given a stern talking to by his mother. “Nice kids you have there. Your extended family?”

“Unfortunately,” Bell nodded before smiling. “But they’re awesome little humans, a handful though.”

“No doubt.”

They were quiet for a moment before Bella spoke up. “Where’s Elena, Damon?”

“Also dead. We ran into the Cullens and Elena was drunk on blood and wanted to take them out for you. Big mistake and I nearly didn’t make it myself,” he downed his glass of blood and ran a hand through his hair. “I let myself be steered by grief and grief alone for a few years as I tried to find them all over the world. And as it turned out, you and your Originals did the world a favor by taking them all out 5 years ago! Robbing me from my revenge!”

“Oh, you poor baby,” Bella sighed as she sat down next to him and hugged him. “I wish I could have done something for you.”

“I’m not okay, Bella,” Damon said angrily. “I’ve done some bad things over the last few years, head stuck in this dark pit until I heard your name in a whisper. How my crusade was useless because there wasn’t anyone left for me to kill.”

Bella nodded. This version of Damon was broken, this Damon was the one she read about in Stefan’s journals, heard the stories of. “Did you come here for help?”

“Everything is so much better around you, even back when we didn’t know what you were, you brought peace into my life… I don’t know what I need… Help or death.”

Bella looked at Kol who violently shook his head. “No way. There is no way that we’re going to be responsible for him. We already have our kids and Jasper and Peter!”

“I think Jasper and Peter are exactly what Damon needs. The four of you can go hunting together and paint the town relatively red if you want,” she smiled at him. “You like Damon.”

“I don’t! And he’s not a puppy!”

“He’s family,” she stressed. “And while I’ve failed him in not being able to save his brother because I was unaware of the happenings in Mystic Falls, I will not stand for turning my back on Damon now, he came here. To us.”

Kol scowled. “Fine, but he’s staying with Jasper and Peter in their guesthouse. The house is ours!”

Bella smiled and kissed Damon’s cheek. “You’re going to be fine, Damon, I promise. Just don’t hurt my kids or I will turn you into a goat and make you mow the lawn.”

“I didn’t know I needed help.”

“You came here, right?” She beamed at him and ruffled his hair. “This is a safe place. Just don’t pick a fight with Klaus or Rebekah because they’ll eat you for lunch.”

Damon smirked at that. “So your kids are witches.”

“Yep,” Bella relaxed into her chair and took a sip of her drink as she looked at Kol with a big smile on her face. “They take after their father in many ways. Very smart and hard to keep up with. And then the magic. We get plenty of help with that and Kol’s a big help but it would be nice if a place like Hogwarts was real or something.”

“Well…” Damon said carefully. “Look, our house is in your name and all, but so many things have happened in Mystic Falls that I told Ric that he could use the house for something good, something positive and he and Caroline turned it into a school for the gifted children. They get schooled in magic, artifacts, history and everything that’s supernatural, aside from the normal school subjects like math and English. They have great teachers there.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not,” Damon laughed and shook his head. “You like New Orleans too much anyway, I didn’t want that house to be empty for years and it was time we Salvatores gave back to the world, just a little bit.”

“I’m not going to leave my kids in the care of Ric and barbie Stefan,” Kol scowled. “We’re doing fine here.”

Right at that moment Peter walked out of the house with burn marks over his body and his shirt torn. “Bloody gnats! That’s the second shirt this week that they’ve ruined!”

“Go shirt shopping, we’ll pay you back,” Bella told him, shaking her head. Granted, most accidents happened to the vampires and Bella had been relatively safe, but it wasn’t such a bad idea to send the kids off to school, was it? Normal children went to school as well.

“So what accidents happen? We’re immortal,” Kol shrugged. “No, the kids stay here.”

“Or you could go back to Mystic Falls to teach magic to a whole gaggle of children,” Damon winked at him. “I’ll stay here and look after your girl.”

“Fuck you Salvatore.”

“Is it like a boarding school kinda school?” Bella asked thoughtfully. “Like home on weekends and holidays and shit?”

“I guess, but I’m the least capable person to talk to you about this, why won’t you go and pay them a visit instead?”

“I might.”

“You’re seriously not considering this!” Kol was shocked. “Bella, they’re our children.”

“And children go to school. Our kids can’t go to school because they like to do magic and we don’t want to bind their powers. But if Damon’s right and there’s a school where they can be themselves, then why not? It’ll allow them to socialize more with their peers, too.” Bella explained carefully. “I love our children, Kol, as much as you do, but things are getting out of hand here.”

“We’ll discuss this later,” he said as he downed his glass of blood. “I’ll take Peter to get new shirts and do groceries. Jasper’s inside with the kids.”

“Yep,” Bella sighed as she tiredly rubbed her face, unsure what to expect later. Yes, she loved her children dearly, as did Kol, and it would be hard to let them go somewhere without them, but they were in Mystic Falls, not half a country away. Both Bella and Kol could pop in anytime they wanted anyway, she now knew how to take him with her when needed and how to transport herself to somewhere else.

When Kol and Peter were out of earshot, Damon finally spoke up. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“Oh, it’s fine,” Bella smiled at him. “Selene, the coven Regent here, had been talking about cooperating with an institute where they taught children with magic, but I wasn’t sure until now that it was going to be Mystic Falls. Kol had been for the idea, so…” she shrugged. “Besides, sending your children off to school is part of the human experience, isn’t it? It’ll be good for them, and good for me and Kol.”

“Why, are you guys having issues?”

“Nah,” she shook her head laughing. “It’s just that we rarely get the time alone with each other now that the kids are here. We can’t simply go to Klaus and say, ‘hey, take care of our kids for a few days, we need some us time’. With the kids gone during the week and actually have dedicated teachers… yeah… it sounds great. I do want to check it out and check the security of the place though.”

Damon laughed and shook his head. “The school is run by a teacher turned vampire hunter turned teacher and a vampire. Jeremy Gilbert is the gym coach. Bonnie put some spells on the place to make it secure for all children and teaches magic. Kol loves Bonnie. He may not be a fan of Jeremy but eh, you win some, you lose some. The place is secure, Bella, don’t you worry about that.”

“I’ll check it out for myself after I’ve spoken to Kol about this tonight,” she replied as she finished her drink. “It’s going to be hard enough to let them go anyway.”

“It’s just Mystic Falls, Bella,” Damon smiled at her. “It’ll be fine.”

Bella went to check out the school the day after. After Caroline was done smothering her, Bella was given the grand tour. They had remodeled the boarding house some to make room for dormitories, showers and a dining hall and there were little classrooms on the first and second floor. The areas on the ground floor were common areas with the huge library and loads of places to sit in and hang out.

It felt strange to walk around on the grounds and not to fall back into memories. Her guesthouse was still there; and it was still locked. “Yeah! Totally forgot about that one! You could stay there if you want to be close to your young ones, I know they’re quite young and you may not be entirely ready to let them go just yet, but they are safe here. From what you’ve told me about how you’re doing things at home with them you’ve made a great start, but eventually they’ll really outgrow you.”

“Thanks for making me feel inadequate as a mother, Caroline,” Bella chuckled as she opened the door to the guesthouse and got greeted with the scent of Cornucopias. “Go away Hades! I’m doing this on my own, leave me alone!”

“And of course, with your kids’ extended family they’ll be more than safe here,” Caroline laughed as she leaned against the wall to look inside the house.

“But they’re extremely powerful, Caroline.”

“Pfff. A little competition with my two girls is healthy. They’re the last of the Gemini coven, you know. Super duper powerful but we’ve managed to get them under control and focused. We can handle three Mikaelson witches, trust me. Rarities are fun.”

“They’re not a science project.”

“Of course not! They’re going to be extra taken care of, that’s all. You and Kol are always welcome during the week to attend classes with them or to have lunch with them or simply to hang around. I won’t discourage you to stay here for their first month so all of you can get used to the idea of being away from each other.”

Bella looked passed Caroline when she saw a familiar sight; a pig with a sweater on. “Is that Moritz? How is that idiot not dead yet?”

“Our pet pig! Unless you can turn him back now, of course. I think he’s learned his lesson by now,” Caroline smiled widely as she gestured to him. “But then a lot of children will be disappointed, they love Moritz.”

“Nah, he can stay the way he is, it’s safer for other girls.”

“Good decision. Speaking of animals… we found Silas and Amara the other week. They died of natural causes but their offspring and the rest of their family is still around Mystic Falls. It’s so awesome to see so many black swans in one place.”

“I may have a tortoise and a rat for you to have here as well, if you’d like. That is, if Klaus or Myriam hasn’t killed them yet.”

“Yeah, that would be awesome,” Caroline laughed. “Just think about our school, Bella. We’re more than happy to work with Selene from here and your children in New Orleans, but there is no better place than here.”

“Oh, it’s not me you need to convince. Children need to be able to go to school, period. I need to convince Kol that it’s the right thing to do and he’s holding on tightly. So perhaps staying here for a month while the kids go to school here isn’t such a bad idea.”

“Told you,” she replied as she stepped away when Bella closed the door of the guesthouse again. “How’s Damon?”

“Broken, but we’ll get him fixed, don’t worry. I’m not going to allow him to do anything stupid and if he does, I’ll just bring him back,” Bella sighed as she pushed her hair out of her face. “Promise me that you won’t make a spectacle out of my kids or use them as a science project.”

“I promise! Doing either won’t do them any good!”

“Okay,” Bella smiled and hugged Caroline. “Then all that’s left to do is convince my vampire. We’ll make the drive down in a few days. I can’t actually transport the five of us at the same time and it drains me to even do just me and Kol.”

“But why?”

“Because I’m not a full Goddess, silly. I need my limitations!” Bella flashed a grin before she disappeared in a yellow mist and disappeared right in front of Kol who was in the middle of a fresh kill. “Hey!”

“Bella!” Kol whined as he fed his victim some of his blood and compelled her to go on her merry way. “What did we agree upon? Go back to the house when you come back and not me!”

“But you are my house,” she said as she wiped his mouth with her sleeve and kissed his cheek. “I take it Auntie Rebekah is babysitting?”

“The kids are fast asleep, yes,” he sighed as he pulled her closer. “So, tell me, how hard is it going to be to let the kids go?”

“Oh, it’s going to be hard on both of us but the school is everything Damon said it would be and more. Caroline even said we could come by whenever we wanted and thinks it’s a great idea if we spent the first month in my tiny guest house to adjust to not having the kids around and to see how well they’ll fit in and such,” she smiled at him and put her arms around his neck. “It’s just boarding school. We can’t keep them in a glass cage all the time.”

“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Kol smiled at her. “And you’re right, they deserve the school experience and what it’s like to be around other kids who are supernatural,” he then brushed her lips with his. “And we deserve a little bit of freedom too.”

“Yeah?” she smiled at him. “That easy?”

“It’s not that easy,” he laughed. “But I don’t want us to become overbearing parents, either. They’ll grow older and will need to take care of themselves, I don’t want them living in our basement when they’re 30. Besides, we can always go to your guesthouse and spend more time with them while they’re in school, right?”

“Yep.”

“Yep. We’re hip parents and we’re totally not co-dependent with our children. We can do this. Let’s do this.”

*THE END*

 

2 Comments:

  1. a lovely and fun ending congrats on completing another awesome story 🙂

  2. Golly. Elena’s dead? What a gosh darn shame. Really. I’m totally sincere.

    Boarding school! In Mystic Falls. (That was one of my favorite things about the end of the show.)

    The kids will have a great time there.

    Good story!

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