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The Dead Aren't Good Company

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            They’d been back in time for less than a month when their father forced Klaus back into the mausoleum.

            He had been trying (and failing) to summon the dead. He’d done it with Ben, he knew that, but now that Ben was alive again there was no one he could reach for. He could never hope to replicate what they’d done in the theater, especially under the cold and clinical eye of Reginald Hargreeves.

            His guardian hadn’t said a word. He’d just crossed the room in two long strides, snatched Klaus’ wrist, and yanked him out the door so hard he felt his shoulder joint scream under the strain.

            “Dad-”

            “You need to get over this pathetic fear, Number Four,” Hargreeves snarled. “You’re such a disappointment.”

            That was when the cold wave of dread swept over him.

            He knew what those words meant. What horrors usually followed.

            Klaus was dragged out the house. Despite his struggled, Hargreeves kept his grip tight enough to bruise, and he was no match for a skinny thirteen-year-old.

            He’d never regretted getting clean so much before.

            Because he was beginning to remember this trip.

            The last time he’d been thirteen (and wasn’t that a trippy thought) and his dad had lost his temper with him, he’d been locked in the mausoleum for two days. It’d been the first time he’d been stuck in there while high. It’d been dark and stunk to high heaven. He’d shivered his way through the first night and stopped feeling his fingers during the second. But he’d seen nothing. It’d been quiet.

            This time he didn’t have the luxury of a high to help him through it.

            Klaus started struggling more. This was ridiculous. He was a thirty-year-old man! Kind of. And he’d sworn to himself! He’s sworn to never step foot in that place again.

            Ben had promised him that he wouldn’t have to.

            The mausoleum came into view and Klaus started screaming. He wasn’t sure exactly what he was saying, but words and names were exploding from his mouth and panic seared through his veins because he was fucking not going back there.

            Hargreeves only grunted with annoyance and dragged Klaus through the mud and down the stone steps. His knees scraped against the rock as his limbs grew weak and the fight left him under the dark shadows of the crypt.

            Without another word Klaus was thrown to the dead and the door was shut behind him.