Rite of Passage.
Rite of Passage
Summer 998 AD
“Niklaus!” The Pale Mother was a sister witch to his mother Esther. She was his refuge when his father Mikael was on one of his rampages. He’d grown up feeling more at home here than he did in his own home. She had smacked his hand when he stuck a finger in the bowl that she was mixing. “That’s for your brother. Henrik is finally a man now and it’s time to celebrate it!”
His long golden locks free flowed behind his head and down his back. The very middle child of the brood of children produced by Esther and Mikael, he was not nearly as gifted as Elijah when it came to being a warrior. Niklaus however had been gifted as a swordsman. He’d even bested Elijah a few times sending his big brother to the ground with a blade pointed to his neck. He grinned mischievous as he licked the mix from his finger he’d managed to scavenge from the bowl. “Oh this is good! Sweet bread?” He asked curiously.
She smirked at him with a knowing grin. Nothing had changed in the young man for over all this time. Perhaps some day, he’d remember who he truly was. The time wasn’t right however. Adah wasn’t here. One couldn’t have Lamech without Adah. For now, his memories would lay dormant and she’d remain ever vigilant ensuring that she knew where he was no matter what the cost. “You ever finish that gift for your brother?”
He laughed. “You’re as bad as Mother.” He wiped his finger off on a piece of cloth in the humble little cottage that was his second home. “It will be ready at the proper time. The party begins at sundown after all.” What concerned Niklaus was the fact that one member of their family was missing. He’d never had the privilege of meeting his sister who had died before he was born. But Finn, Elijah and Rebekah were all working on their gifts for Heinrich tonight for his birthday. Kol however had been gone for two summers. He’d reached his age of manhood and decided to strike out on his own. Niklaus missed his brother dearly and he knew that everyone else also did.
Madeleana placed a gently hand on Niklaus’ shoulder. “Kol knows that it’s Heinrich’s birthday. He’ll be here my Golden One. Have a little faith.” The baby of the house of Mikael was being heralded since he’d been born as the child of promise that several prophecies had spoken about amongst the witches. Little did any of them realize, save Madeleana alone that the Child of Promise was actually Niklaus. How that would be revealed was anybody’s guess. Mother Earth had her ways of making things in the darkness shine as brightly as midday.
“Niklaus! Niklauuusss!” The young voice of the babe of the house of Mikael was calling out to find his nearest brother. Finn and Elijah cared for him but Heinrich was closest to Niklaus and to Kol. “Where are you brother?” He called again with a lingering tone.
Niklaus heard his name being called. He kissed Madeleana on the cheek and dashed out of her cabin. The golden Viking lad with a slender frame emerged in the clearing meeting his beloved younger brother. He wrapped his arms around his brother in a proper hug lifting him from his feet. “Heinrich! It’s not time for your birthday party yet!” He laughed.
Heinrich’s entire countenance lit with joy upon being wrapped up by Niklaus. “I know it’s not!” He laughed heartily hugging his brother back as best he could. “Put me down Nik!” He was lifted in the air by his brother letting his toes dangle on the ground.
Niklaus reluctantly let his brother go back down to the ground and straighten out his new tunic. “Do you like it? Rebekah made it for me for my birthday!” He held up his arms to show the full extent of the new cloth. It was made from a soft skin of a doe and quite elaborate stitching. It had several runes on it. One of the runes had been the symbol of Mikael’s house. The elder brother didn’t recognize the other. “What is this rune?” He pointed to it on the right side of Heinrich’s new tunic.
“It’s the sign of a wolf.” The voice behind him was that of Madeleana once more. “That’s a rune signifying the wolves that are so prevalent here.” She knew the magical symbols well of course. She only supposed that Esther had drawn the symbol for her daughter. It was a charm to protect the boy from wolves. Madeleana had often given place to Ansel, the Alpha of the wolves when he sought to observe Niklaus from afar. Only Ansel, Madeleana and Esther knew of Niklaus’ true parentage. If it was discovered that she knew of this and had given aid to Ansel, then Mikael would be fit to be tied. It was not yet time however to pick that fight with Mikael. Madeleana had all the time in the world.
“Does that mean you’re going to take me to the woods to watch the men change on the next full moon Brother?” Heinrich’s innocent eyes glanced upward because Niklaus was so much taller than he was. “Please?” He begged.
“Heinrich, you know how Father has forbidden that! I cannot be party to you breaking his rules.” Niklaus had decided that he was going to observe them on his own when he could be sure that his brother wouldn’t follow him. He’d not told anyone but the chief of the wolves had come to him just a few nights prior to seek a private audience with him. Why the chief of this tribe wanted to speak with him was beyond his understanding, but as long as it was done in secret, why would it hurt? Perhaps there could be a peace brokered between them. It would be nice to live without fear for once in their lives. He held off agreeing to these terms because Kol was still out there in the world. If Kol would just come home, then everything would be so much better.