Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. All characters, locations, plots you recognize belong to their rightful owners.
In which I write a story where the original family is not as broken as it is in canon.
There is a life and there is a death and there are beauty and melancholy between.
THE VIKING AGE 793 - 1066
Mikael takes in the orphaned daughter of a dear childhood friend, and she turns out to be the Original Siblings' Salvation.
Kaja Magnusdottir is a Mikaelson long before she marries one of Mikael's sons.
KAJA MAGNUSDOTTIR [born 972, Faroe Islands]
▷"You are not like anybody else. This world, it is too smaller for you."
MIKAEL [born 940, somewhere in Finland]
▷"Hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go."
ESTHER [born 939, somewhere in Denmark]
▷"Do not find peace. Find passion."
NIKLAUS MIKAELSON [born 969, New World - Vinland*]
▷"Those who are heartless once cared too much."
FINN MIKAELSON [born 960, Denmark]
▷"And sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we hope."
ELIJAH MIKAELSON [born 963, Denmark]
▷"Love has teeth which bite and the wounds never close."
KOL MIKAELSON [born 972, New World - Vinland]
▷"We were both chaos searching for calm in each other and calling it home."
REBEKAH MIKAELDOTTIR [born 976, New World - Vinland]
▷"At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can."
HENRIK MIKAELSON [born 981, New World - Vinland]
▷"I want to do things for people they will never forget. Maybe that's the best thing I can do in life."
* fact, the Norsemen called America Vinland
She dreamed the old red dream. Ashes and fire and blood. Wolves and men. Gods and monsters. Life and death. And war.
A Viking Settlement in the New World.
Kaja, daughter of Jarl Magnus, was eight years old and she knew for certain at least three things.
The first one was that she was an orphan, but she didn't really mind. Her true mother and father were dead, but she wasn't alone.
She had Mikael who, although grumpy and a bit scary, had taken her in and treated like a daughter; Esther who always cooked her sweet meals and was teaching her all the things girls should know.
She had sweet Finn, kind Elijah, even stupid Kol who wouldn't let her borrow his toys but always cuddled her when she had bad dreams and baby Rebekah who couldn't do much of anything without looking precious.
She had Nik and he was at once a best friend and her favorite person in the whole world.
Second: spring had finally come, and it was beautiful, like a dream. The past winter had been so cold and dreary and long she had thought it'd last forever.
Lastly, and this was something she had just learnt, she knew that Esther was going to have another baby.
"Do you think it will be another boy?" She asked after Esther had shared with them the big news.
She continued without waiting for a reply, "I hope it's a girl. I mean there are already a lot of boys around, we could use another girl."
Kol groaned, still half asleep, "Will you stop your blabbering? You always make the dumbest questions."
She scowled at him, "You are dumb!"
Before the two children could degenerate in a petty quarrel Mikael snapped, "Be quiet, you two! Kol, watch your tone, Kaja the same goes for you. Ladies don't have a foul mouth."
Boring, she thought. Ladies were really pretty, she supposed, but they were never allowed to do anything funny. They didn't play outside, and they didn't go riding like Nik did. What good was being a lady if she couldn't even do what she liked?
Chastised, Kol and Kaja dropped their gaze after one last glare.
Finn, the eldest son and by far the sweetest - or so Kaja thought - cleared his throat. "It could be a girl, Kaja. Or it could be a boy - you can't decide, it just happens."
He sounded like he had already said the same words many times - and he probably had. He wasn't much impressed by the imminent arrival of a new sibling, nor were Elijah and Nik but Kol was.
Kaja knew how much he resented being the youngest son, he didn't like it when Finn or Elijah called him 'baby brother'. A new, younger brother - that's what the boy was hoping for.
Stupid Kol, Kaja thought. Rebekah was younger than him so he already was an older brother. For some reason, Kol never seemed to think about Rebekah. Kaja had a feeling it was because she was a girl.
Stupid Kol, she thought again scowling at him.
The boy didn't know the reason behind that dark face, but he frowned right back at her.
Esther put a hand on her still flat belly. "If it is a girl I hope she has dark hair like you and blue eyes like me." She said these words to her husband, with a mysterious smile on her mouth, like she knew the secret of life, and a soft look in her eyes.
Mikael's lips thinned briefly, "We could call her Kendra, in that case."
Kendra, it was a pretty name meaning 'dark of hair'.
Kaja rather liked the sound of it, she wished her own name was that pretty. But that name couldn't possibly suit her.
Mikael had dark hair which had been passed down to all his sons expect Niklaus. It was a bit of sore spot for the boy. He and Rebekah took after their mother, they had her golden hair and sky blue eyes.
Kaja rolled a lock of hair with her finger, examinating it. When she had been a little girl Rebekah's age she had fancied herself Esther and Mikael's daughter.
She felt like a fool thinking about it now. She didn't look one bit like them, her hair was a lighter blond and her eyes were of a deep blue that didn't resemble Esther's light eyes in the least.
She wasn't their daughter, however much she wished she was.
Beginning of 981
There was smoke all around her, she could barely see through it. And in her mouth the foul taste of liquid iron, of blood, of death.
It was another boy. Kaja was disappointed for a few seconds before falling in love with baby Henrik.
He looked even smaller than Rebekah had been, a bundle of furs hid his tiny body.
She smiled softly, observing how his little hands closed in a fist locked on his mother's loose hair.
Even Mikael couldn't look away from his wife and it was one of those rare times where he looked like he was about to smile. Kaja left the room to join Nik out.
She had fallen asleep on Finn's lap while they were waiting for Esther to give birth to the child, but the older boy had woken her up when Ayana, the witch-healer of their village and Esther's good friend, had come out of the birthing room to give them the good news.
Nik was holding Rebekah, still asleep. Finn and Elijah had gone out to collect more wood for the fire.
Kol looked up when he heard the door opening. "I told you it'd be a boy."
Kaja could have sneered down at him but she was in a good mood.
"Stop pestering Kaja and speak quietly, can't you see Bekah is sleeping?" Nik was whispering. Kol just rolled his eyes, muttering to himself.
Kaja ignored him, "He's so cute Nik! As little as a scrawny cat." She said, sitting down next to the older boy and making wide movements with her hands to show him the child's size.
Nik quirked his lips upwards with humor, while Kol snorted, amused by her words despite himself. "Is that so?"
"Why didn't go in to look at him yourself?" she asked perplexed, "Aren't you happy about your new baby brother?"
Nik shifted smoothly Rebekah on his lap to be more comfortable, holding his little sister more tightly. "Of course we are glad - Mother is fine, the baby is healthy and Father got another son to keep him happy. But it's not like it's anything new to us."
"What Niklaus is trying to say is that we are a big family already - there's six of us now, plus you. The winter was harsh last year and we made it through only because we've been rationing all our stored food." Kol paused looking at her intently. "Now Mother will need to eat more and better than us if she wants to breast feeding Henrik, if we want him to survive."
Kaja scowled at him darkly, "Don't speak like that Kol." She didn't know why he was suddenly so somber, he had looked so satisfied when he his father had informed them all that they had a new brother.
Kol sneered down at her, "In case you didn't notice, winter is upon us. Better not get to attached to the little boy." He stomped away before she could snap at him like she wanted.
That didn't stop her from yelling after him, "You are so stupid, Kol! "
She could feel tears begin to form in her eyes. Why is he always so mean?
Rebekah startled awake briefly before Niklaus hushed her back to a comfortable slumber in his lap. He looked at her fondly for a moment and put his chin on her blonde head. Kaja knew that Elijah was his favorite brother, but Nik had a special place in his heart for Rebekah.
"Kol doesn't mean to be so spiteful you know, he's just very good at guarding his heart." He patted the space beside him and nodded Kaja to seat with him.
She did, sighing and leaning on his shoulder. It was in times like these that she half believed that Kol didn't have a kind bone in his body.
Was it too much for him to behave like Finn? Finn was always controlled, calm - he was even kinder than Elijah. He brought herbs and flowers for his mother, hunted with his father, taught his younger brothers to protect themselves and played with her and Rebekah at the end of the day.
Kol was the opposite. He was mischievous and had a temper that he took from Mikael - that made him vicious when he wanted to be - or when he was guarding his heart, as Niklaus put it.
Kaja scoffed internally.
"Mother lost a child some years ago, Father too. Her name was Freya. "
He revealed suddenly, taking her aback. She could only feel shock in that moment, how did she not know that?
"It was before you came to live with us, " Nik explained when he saw her expression. "Kol wasn't even born by then and neither was I. She was five,born before Finn even and she didn't survive, she got sick in winter and didn't make it. Mother was inconsolable, father raged for days. He had not been home when she died, he was out hunting." He shivered. "Finn said it broke his heart and it never mended."
She took his hand between hers, "I'm so sorry, Nik. It's horrible." The words came out as a whisper while her eyes stilled on the spot where Kol had been. She felt her heart clench and suddenly she wished he was still there so she could smother him in a hug and see him smile that smug grin of his.
She fell asleep with Nik's hand still tight in hers.
When she looked her reflection in the water, she didn't see herself. She saw a demon.
When she turned ten, two major turning points of her life occurred.
Firstly, Mikael decided that she was growing up and as such it wasn't proper anymore for her to sleep in the same room with the boys. After that startling observation - she was really growing up, she was taller than last year and her hair was longer- he and Finn began widening the house to make space for another room. Rebekah would sleep with her. She didn't know how she felt about that. When she had nightmares she always cuddled closer to Kol, who surprisingly never mocked her for that. As much as she loved little Rebekah she doubted she would be as comforting.
Secondly, Esther began training Kol and her in art of witchcraft. Kaja knew that she had inherited her father's gift for magic and consequently was eager to learn. She wondered which spell the woman would teach them, but when asked Esther shook her head with a smile. "A witch is a servant of Nature therefore your first lesson shall be about communicating with her."
She and Kol shared a rare look of confusion and wonder.
Esther brought them into the the depth of the forest, where the rays of the sun could barely pass through the waved branches of the trees.
Esther called them to attention, "Now, you know that a witch's power is linked to the very earth we walk on. The power that flows through you is the power of the earth. It keeps us centered."
Kaja let her words echo without making a sound, Kol did the same, fascinated as he was.
"Put your hands on the trunk of that tree," the woman continued, almost whispering, pointing her finger towards a great tree that Kaja identified as a oak. She did as told, Kol doing the same.
"And feel, " said Esther with the same mysterious tone.
Kaja sent a quizzical look to the boy in front of her. Kol nodded and placed his hands on hers - they were the same age yet Kol's hands were bigger. Kaja noticed a lone mole on his wrist. She didn't know why that particular grabbed her attention, but it did.
It was subtle, barely at the back of her mind, a tingle that she never noticed. But suddenly it was everywhere - like Esther said. A pull that kept her anchored to the earth. And then there were soft whispers in her ears. Women's voices, men's voices - witches' voices. Kaja knew without explanation that those voices belonged to her ancestors. She felt them as if they were physical presences close to her - taking her into their arms, caressing her hair, telling her how proud she was going to make them.
She breathed and opened her eyes (she couldn't remember closing them) and suddenly she was looking into Kol's eyes. They were lovely, alive with power; she wondered if hers looked the same in that moment. Where their hands touched she felt a pleasant tingle.
The boy rarely smiled at her, however that day he beamed in her direction. Can you feel it? His eyes asked.
She answered with a beam of her own. Yes.
When they came back the following day multiple flowers had grown on that same trunk they had touched.
a jarl isa viking noble who ranks immediately below the king.