Disclaimer: I do not own the Originals or Harry Potter
Throwing herself to the side Rei winced harshly as the wall beside her exploded, the red sparks of her opponent's spell obliterating the stone in a shower of violence.
Glaring through the haze of dust, ears ringing with the screams of enemies and allies alike, she swept holly wood in a sharp circle, channelling her rage in the only way she knew how at this point: destruction.
They had to get out.
Magic flew from her wand, colliding with the masked Death Eater charging towards her currently vulnerable figure, sweeping him off his feet with a visible concussion of air.
They'd walked straight into the Yaxley twins' trap.
The crunch of bone was lost in the screams surrounding her but that didn't stop Rei from seeing the evidence of her spell as purple light tore through the unknown wizard's torso, spraying red blood all over the cobblestones.
Staggering to her feet, Rei grasped her short reprieve with both hands and silently cast the sonorous charm.
"Get out!" She screamed, her voice booming through the spell saturated air of the London park. "Portkey out! Now!" The order was severe as it was desperate, because every second they lingered here, trapped, was another life lost to this blood bath they'd inadvertently walked straight into.
Blasting two incoming wizards off their feet, Rei spun quickly to block a blood boiling curse from her left, snarling furiously at the all too familiar cackle that somehow managed to echo even in her deafening surrounds.
"You can't get out, little Potter," The taunt came from everywhere and yet nowhere, cleverly disguised amongst the chaos. "There's a ward erected to stop just such a retreat as you just ordered."
Worry pounded in her veins as Rei indeed saw the evidence of that threat. Wizards and witches all around were grasping frantically at random objects on their person that she knew in her heart were the escape portkeys every individual on this mission was required to have on them before apparating out of the safe houses.
"To me!" Rei screamed, flicking her wrist just as a freaking fireball came barrelling towards her.
Heat sizzled the skin on her wrist as she forcibly 'caught' the fiery inferno with her magic, hauling her arm back she flung the offending curse right back at the line of Death Eaters advancing on the dozen figures full-out sprinting in her direction.
All orders must be followed.
It saved lives.
Merlin, what was this war doing to them all?
Tortured screams from those few too late, weak or inexperienced to raise a shield pierced the dusty air, stilling the back-and-forth skirmish for the first time since they'd landed face-first into this hell.
"A thousand years ago in a fit of rage, you wrapped your bare hands around my neck and squeezed until I died," Ester said solemnly, gazing pensively at the swaying trees surrounding the plantation's ashy ruins. "Do you even remember why?"
"Let's see," Klaus smirked hollowly, fury running like electricity under his skin. "You cursed me. Denied me of my hybrid nature. You lied about my father-"
"It's that one, above all," Raising her arm to halt his barely begun list of grievances, Klaus grit his teeth against the feeling of rebellion, silently reminding himself that he was here to help Elijah. To get back the brother she had stolen from him. "You killed me because I kept you from ever knowing your true father."
"My hatred for you runs so deep it's difficult to pinpoint its origin," The ringing truth in those words seemed to give even his monstrous mother pause.
But he wasn't done.
Moving towards the New Orleans witch Ester was currently inhabiting Klaus swept around in a circle – stalking - allowing his thoughts voice, "Maybe I hate that I am the product of a whore's lechery."
The echo of the slap was more severe than the pain such human abuse could ever render on his immortal body.
"Watch your mouth! You would do well to remember that you are still my son."
Klaus felt the sharp prick of fangs as his hybrid teeth descended from gums, the familiar taste of iron filling his mouth as furious frustration threatened, once again, to overwhelm him in the face of his hateful mother.
"You judge me evil, yet it was your lust that made me what I am," He smiled cruelly, enjoying the flash of grief he saw dart across Ester's eyes.
Eyes that hardened with determination barely a second later.
"Not once have I ever regretted the love I had for your father. And you have never known the truth of how that love came to be. In what happened," She stressed, leaning forward as if to physically force him to recognise the truth of her words "…in the months after Mikeal and I lost your sister, Freya, to the plague."
His chin lifted.
"There are no words for the loss of a child," Ester spoke with a sorrowful lilt to her voice that Klaus guessed was supposed to be some sort of… shared sympathy.
The sentiment was wasted on him.
He hated his mother to the edge of the Earth.
Nothing she said would ever matter.
Not to him.
"As you well know."
The reminder of his missing daughter was like a sledgehammer to the heart. It was all he could do to stop himself from zipping over and ripping her still beating heart straight from her chest.
How dare she mention Hope?
How dare she!
When she was the one who ordered all the witches of the French Quarter not to rest until the innocent newborn's life had been torn from her. Until all he and Hayley could do was send their precious daughter away? Pretend that she was dead? The only protection he was able to offer his only daughter, the light of his life, the horrible lie of her very existence?
He hated her.
"I know that I denied you a life with your real father. That my decision haunted you. Haunts you," She smiled grimly, seemingly lost to her memories. "I knew that if Mikael discovered my infidelity he would destroy us all in his rage. So I kept you secret." Turning on her heel, she stroked the high grass at her side as she whispered, "Perhaps I was wrong to do so."
Klaus clenched his teeth but couldn't stop the comment on the tip of his tongue. "You were wrong."
Dark hair moved with her as Ester turned back to face him, a pensive, strange look on her face.
For the first time she seemed…hesitant.
As if worried as to the wisdom of her next words.
"…You sound so sure in your answer," She trailed off, a questioning light in her eyes.
"Because I am sure," He snarled darkly.
To have been raised by a man such as she described? Powerful yet wise? Beloved by his people? Amongst the wolves that would have understood his temperamental rage and dominance?
It would have changed everything.
Silence hung in the air as his mother studied him, long moments passing as his limited patience quickly waned before Ester finally nodded with a hum.
"Then perhaps I might be able to lessen the grief I know you will always feel for the loss of your child, Niklaus," She smiled a small, sad smile. "Perhaps it will help you to know the truth… To know that your situation, while cruel beyond compare, could easily have been infinitely worse."
Stillness settled in his bones.
"What are you talking about?" The demand wasn't as strong as he'd hoped.
Breathing in deeply Ester nodded once to herself, as if to assure her own inner doubts as to the wisdom of her next words.
"I watched you, my son, from the other side. I watched as you found out the werewolf girl, Hayley, carried your child. I watched as you, Elijah and Rebekah fought witches, werewolves and vampires in order to protect that unborn child… And I watched as you all dismissed the warning of the seer, Celeste, when she prophesised that your child would bring about the death of all witches."
Honestly and truly, Klaus couldn't hold in the bark of laughter.
"Is that all?" Sweeping his arms wide, feeling his own raised worry quickly recede at the topic of his mother's 'reassurance', he could only laugh. "I said it at the time mother: what do I care if my child is prophesised to commit such deeds? It simply endeared her to me."
"You misunderstand me, Niklaus," Ester said sharply. "Even as powerful as you are, as powerful as our witch bloodline is – there should have been no way that your child was capable of such prophesised acts when mixed with a simple werewolf bloodline."
"Enough!" Rolling his eyes, completely done with this topic and honestly increasingly eager to move the conversation away from his still very-alive baby daughter, Klaus chopped his arm through the air, "I'm through talking about this mother. I want Elijah back. Remember?"
"You never questioned it," Ester continued on, ignoring him as she stalked forward. "None of you ever thought to question the discrepancies in what you were being told. If you had…well, as I said, perhaps losing your child when you did was a small blessing."
He had her throat in his hand before she could blink.
"Don't you ever insinuate that there was any sort of blessing in my daughter's death again," He snarled softly, the familiar soft heat behind his gaze telling him that his eyes were now a dangerous amber.
Ester didn't move. Didn't flinch.
Instead, pity flooded her fake brown eyes.
"Hayley was not your daughter's mother, Niklaus," She said quietly.
His brow twitched.
"The werewolf girl was merely a surrogate. She wasn't your child's biological mother."
The air left his lungs in a rush as his hand fell limply from his mother's vulnerable throat.
"I'm telling the truth, Niklaus."
Staggering back, hands outstretched as if to ward off any further explanation, any further evidence of a truth he didn't want to hear - to know! - Klaus shook his head frantically.
"You're lying," He growled, cadence closer to the wolf's call than a human's shout. "You're lying!"
"I'm not," His mother shook her head slowly, sad. "She was your child, Niklaus. She was and will always be your child, but she was not that girl's. I'm sorry."
"This is a trick," He declared blackly, unable to stop his own body from continuing to back away. "I have no idea why you are saying these things, what it could possibly gain you," Dear God! How could this be?! "but I've had enough mother! Stop!"
"I merely want you to understand some of my own desperate feelings at that moment I realised you weren't Mikael's, my son," His mother said beseechingly. "To try to understand why I kept you from a father you've always resented and hated me for stealing you from. A situation that you yourself are now faced with. Yet, despite your own loss, the death of your child means that you never have to live with the guilt of denying your daughter her real mother. Not as I was forced to."
"Can't you empathise with my struggle, Niklaus? I knew in my heart that you could be happy with Mikael as your father, with him believing you were his son! To have told you the truth – told him! – it would have ruined everything. Just as telling your own child and Hayley of the truth of her conception would needlessly complicate all of your lives!"
But Klaus wasn't hearing anything.
Hayley was not your daughter's mother, Niklaus
Because he could read the truth of his mother's words in her eyes. Her selfish, open eyes.
"How?" He breathed.
Impassioned as she was by her own argument, her own self-serving designs to somehow buy his forgiveness for thousand-year-old sins, his mother seemed to wilt slightly at this line of questioning.
"How is Hayley not the mother?" Klaus whispered, heart pounding a mile a minute, mind flicking through facts and answers so fast he could barely keep his legs under him. "How is that possible?"
"Does it really matter?" Ester countered tiredly, beginning to turn away.
"It matters to me!" His roar shook the trees around them, dozens of birds shooting straight into the air as the predator that he was exposed itself to the world.
She stared at him in silence.
"Gods mother," He laughed hollowly, hands fists at his sides, "do you not owe me at least this?"
"…Your daughter would have been powerful. Too powerful," Ester smiled sarcastically, "to be the product of the Original Hybrid and a simple werewolf from New Orleans. No matter how important her bloodline is to the beasts of the Bayou."
Swallowing, Klaus couldn't stop his mind from flashing to Hayley, remembering how tightly she'd held Hope in her arms the night he'd given her to Rebekah to protect.
"Your child was the result of a spell. A soul link spell. Hayley was merely the first woman capable of carrying a child you were intimate with following its casting."
The memory of how hard Hayley fought to get to Hope, to save her from Genevieve and the witches godforsaken sacrifice ritual now twisted harshly in his gut. Rage, anger and everything in between storming through him as Klaus comprehended just how much this information was going to hurt the little wolf.
And he knew exactly how much it would hurt…because all he could feel was bone-deep relief.
Relief that Hope was still his.
Even if she wasn't Hayley's.
Ester was watching him closely, searching for weaknesses in this horrible moment, the chink in his armour she needed in order to press her advantage. He knew that was what she was doing. He could read it in her eyes. But he also knew that she was telling the truth.
The truth was always more damaging than lies.
"Who's the mother?" He snarled. Demanded.
This time, she really did smile.
"If you really wish to know that, my son…you will have to be willing to find and talk to me once again."
He barely registered the pain before darkness took him.
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