PLEASE READ: As you all know, this is the second time I've uploaded Snakes in the Crown. I wasn't happy with how the first one was turning out so I decided to delete it until I knew what to do with it, so you obviously know I do. It will be broadly similar except that Klaus and Caroline will learn to fall in love, though that will not be because Klaus is a cheater/neglectful as in the original. In this, they will fall in love as Caroline breaks Klaus' walls. Hayley will still appear, the other characters will be in the same role but the same planned storylines will occur. The first chapters will be broadly similar to how they were originally but edited for the changed storyline. I hope you bear with it.
Also, if you're a Glee fan, please read my fic Come Together as it's not got too much love and I'd like to see what people think of it x
The English Channel, 1500s
We, the undersigned King Mikael of England and Queen Esther of England- both of the House Mikaelson, give permission for our son, Prince Niklaus of England, of the House Mikaelson to wed Caroline of Cleves.
We, the undersigned William I of the Duchy of Berg and Duchess Elizabeth of the Duchy of Berg- both of the House Forbes, give permission for our daughter, Caroline of Cleves to wed Prince Niklaus of England, of the House of Mikaelson.
The wedding of Prince Niklaus and Caroline of Cleves will occur when they are both 20 years of age. Caroline of Cleves will arrive in England to marry Prince Niklaus, and will reside there as his wife. Hans of Berg, nephew of William I will take Caroline of Cleves' place as the heir apparent of William I, taking over the Duchy upon his future passing. If William I expires before the marriage of his daughter, he has named his wife, Duchess Elizabeth as Regent until Hans of Berg reaches the age of majority.
Caroline of Cleves will arrive with the following dowry: 30 gold bars, the lady's weight in silver and gold, the jewels of the foreign mines and a number of livestock, including 100 cows, 30 sheep and 10 goats. These items will be handed over to the House of Mikaelson as soon as the marriage has been confirmed consummated by at least three trusted officials- one a member of the Royal House, a member of the Clergy and a trusted servant.
This letter is signed and sealed on the following date: 21st September 1577.
Elizabeth, Duchess of Cleves
Caroline of Cleves stared at the piece of paper, the paper signed fifteen years ago that had sealed her fate. She was only a small child at that point, still under the guard of a flurry of tutors, nurses and others, a child who played with dolls and got excited when snow fell onto the beautiful Frankish castle. Yet, as a noble girl, she was already a pawn in the great game of royals. At five years old, they already saw her as a future bride to someone, a mother to future kings and a wife to a great prince. Though both Niklaus' older brothers were still alive, there was always that chance that some tragic accident could befall them, leaving Niklaus as heir to the throne of one of the most powerful nations in the world.
In a few hours she would meet her future husband. In two days, she would be Caroline, Duchess of Windsor. She would go from Frankish Princess to an English one.
As a lady of high standing, she spoke fluent English but was still confused by the foreign language. Everytime she practice in front of the mirror, she found the words tumbling crudely off her tongue in a way that she knew would not do in an English court. It was a strange language, she found, with words that had different meanings being spelled the same, if said differently- why not just have a different word? That would make so much more sense. Of course, Caroline would not be able to be rude about the language. Not everybody spoke the same language, and when in England, she would have to do as the English did. It would be hard, going from speaking her mother tongue in her homeland to speaking a strange language in a completely foreign land.
Bonnie, her maid, had done her magic in order to make her look presentable for the day ahead. Her hair was pulled up neatly, and her make-up done in a most subtle way, as her father forbade her to wear rouging. According to him it was a colour for prostitutes, not princesses. The dress itself was a splendid cream, tight around her waist- though that was probably due to the corset, before falling splendidly down to the ground. Lace lined her sleeves and chest, a pattern all over the top part of her dress to create a dramatic effect- all in gold, of course. Her peal earrings were on prominent display, as was her cross necklace, proudly displayed by the deeply Protestant girl. She was so glad that she would not have to convert. Her dear friend, Elena, was engaged to a Sicilian Prince, which would mean that she would have to convert to Catholicism. Caroline was a proud Protestant raised to believe that Catholics were dissidents who were misusing the word of God to guide the masses towards temptation, especially with the sale of indulgences. Whilst Prince Damon was apparently rich and powerful, and Elena was to be married off for alliances, Caroline's own father would never marry her to a Catholic. Had England been allied to the Pope as it had been not long ago, then she would have married one of the Norwegian Lutherans. Caroline did not speak a lick of Norwegian, so at least communicating with her English husband would be a lot easier. If both were speaking a language that was not their main one, then it would be complicated.
A knock came upon the door.
"Enter!" she called.
One of the shipmen entered, "Good afternoon, ma'am, we are about to land."
She nodded, "Thank you."
Turning around, she went to her place of comfort- in front of the cross. Doing the sign of the Holy Trinity against her chest, she put her hands together in prayer.
"Dear Lord, please let my stay in England be a good one. I pray that I am a good wife and that I get a good husband return. I promise to keep my faith to you above all else, and be an obedient servant to you. I pray for a fertile womb so that I provide children. Amen."
Doing the Holy Trinity sign again, she stood. Taking a shawl from her chair, she placed it over herself, knowing that England could get cold a lot of the time. Walking around, she took the time to make sure that everything was packed away, making it easier for the servants to load them onto the carriages that would be waiting. Apart from Caroline's things, there was her dowry, along with other gifts to the Crown. It was all to make sure she made a good impression.
Looking round for the last time, she exited the room.
Heading up the steps, she arrived to find her maidservant, Bonnie. Bonnie, a girl from an untitled but noble family, was her Lady-in-Waiting. Dressed nicely, but not as nicely as the princess, she stood next to her.
"I was just about to look for you, ma'am," Bonnie stated.
Caroline nodded, "I suppose this will be the last time in a long time that I will be speaking Frankish. Mother said that I need to speak English to everyone, even you, as to practice. I don't understand it Bonnie, it is such a queer language- why do works with different meanings and pronunciations have the same spelling? I do not get it."
"You will speak more than spell, mistress," the dark haired lady reminded her.
"I will have to write letters, Bonnie. I will have to spell the words then."
"You have little faith in yourself, ma'am. You shall be fine. Anyway, look, we are landing."
The port was now close enough to see, and several men were helping wave them in. Moving slowly against the gentle waves, the ship finally docked against the wooden port. This allowed Caroline her very first look at England.
It was pretty, she admitted to herself, if a little dull. The skies were grey however, which made it a little unexciting to look at. The cliff edges were huge; towering over everything so she could not see what was up above. Water lashed dangerously against the port, waves throwing themselves above and landing right in front of the dockers, almost splashing them with their deep might. Gasping in shock, Caroline clutched her necklace. The wind swept throughout the atmosphere, lashing against the cliff edges to create a deep, fearsome sound. This was not the beautiful England she had read about in poems and storybooks- this was some scary land, full of sharpness and fear. This was to be her home, and she was terrified.
Shouting downwards, the stewards got together to push down the plank. Caroline watched as they did her stomach in knots. She and Bonnie looked at one another in fear. Bonnie was dressed a lot more nicely than usual, as William had insisted on buying her a dress to allow her to enter England in. Many would not think about the servants, dragged away to a foreign country so that they would be with their masters and mistresses. Yet Bonnie had not complained, looking pretty in a dark blue and white gown, the colours matching against her warm skin.
"Ma'am, we will now descend," one of the stewards told her.
"Milady," her personal Chaplain, Priest Richard Weller nodded his head towards her, "If you would allow me to walk you down."
He held out a hand. No lady would be allowed to walk down the plank alone; well no lady of high standing would be anyway. Taking his arm, she took her first ginger steps down the plank. Next to her, the priest was praying quietly. He wasn't too loud, but she could hear him asking God to bless all the Franks on their new venture. Caroline was pleased that she had her Chaplain with her, she knew of so many clergy who would spy and sneak, men of disrepute and a disgrace to the institution she claimed to represent. She had no fears about Weller regarding that, she knew that he was a true man of the cloth. He was one of few home comforts that she could afford to keep close to her heart.
At the end of the port was a handsome young gentleman, probably her own age. This was not her husband-it was not the portrait she'd seen, this man was a totally different person. Frowning, she wondered what was going on. Where was Niklaus?
With Bonnie and Weller behind her, the man approached. On reflex, Caroline held out a hand. He bowed deeply in front of her, his lips against her knuckle in a polite manner. Straightening up in a proud manner, he cleared his throat before beginning.
"My Lady, I am Baron Marcel Gerard."
"A pleasure, sir," her Frankish accent slipped through into her English accent, "May I ask where His Highness is to greet me?"
"Ah," Marcel looked uncomfortable, "His Highness is in London, he sent for me to fetch you. He thought it unnecessary to make such a lengthy journey; he will meet you at the palace. His Highness hopes to meet you looking his best, as do their other Highnesses and His Majesty King Finn. I will ride in the carriage with you whilst the servants unload the boat. Who will be riding with us?"
"My Chaplain and maidservant, sir."
"Very well," Marcel held out an arm, "The journey is four hours, the time will fly by. If you will follow me, My Lady, as will The Reverend and Miss..."
"Miss. Bonnie," Marcel nodded, "Please come."
They followed him to the carriage, the footman hopping down and extending a hand to Caroline first. Thanking him, she stepped into the carriage and slid to the side, Bonnie also being helped by the footman. The Reverend slipped in after, followed by Marcel. Due to propriety, Caroline was sat as far from Marcel, an unrelated male, as possible. Weller, a member of the clergy, was considered the most respectable chaperone after a male member of Caroline's family. Knocking the ceiling, Marcel indicated that they were ready to go.
The horses whinnied, and off they went.
The silence was palpable.
"I trust you had a pleasant journey, my lady?" Marcel asked kindly.
"Yes, it was fine. We were blessed with good weather on all fronts, not a single sign of wind or snow to impede us. God was kind."
"I am glad to hear."
"Tell me sir, how do you know my intended?"
"I came to England from France when I was just a babe in arms. My father died in service to the Crown, a very brave act, so I was brought here was an orphan. I became a good friend of His Highness, and he promoted me to the title of Baron once I reached the age of majority. I am not his servant, as some think, but I proudly help him as part of the household."
"Tell me sir, is he good?"
Marcel shifted slightly, looking uncomfortable- something that did not go unnoticed by Caroline. He looked torn between a freeing truth and a comfortable lie. "I feel that you will have no issues," he eventually stated, "His Highness is not cruel towards family, you will not have to worry about fearing him. As long as you follow him, God and His Majesty the King, then you will have a long and happy marriage."
"Thank you," she stated, before putting her hands in her lap.
As the horses clattered against the ground, Caroline practiced what she knew in her head. The late King, Mikael had died three years previously from an infected wound. It had been long and painful, with the priests being called in many times for final blessings. Eventually, Mikael had succumbed to the pain and agony of the wound, and had ascended to God's kingdom, leading his eldest son, Finn to take charge as the King of England.
Mikael and his wife Esther, also departed to Heaven, had seven children, five of which were living. The eldest, a daughter named Freya, had died as an infant from consumption. The son, a son named Henrik, had died young after being thrown from a horse that had not been broke in properly.
Finn, the King, was married to a Sage Brownley of Bohemia- Lutheran; obviously, Mikael would not allow his heir to marry a Catholic. Mikael's own father had enough trouble with breaking from the Papacy, which left his son with a deep-seated hatred of anyone who even sympathised with the Catholic faith. Of course, Mikael was forced to brush that aside when making alliances with the Holy Roman Emperor, as well as other Catholic states such as that of Portugal. His hatred of Catholics, however, was well known.
Sage was said to be slightly cold and reserved, but with a good enough heart and a grace and decorum that made her simply queenly, as was her title.
The second son, Elijah, was married to Katerina of Ottoman Bulgaria. Upon her marriage, Katerina had selected (or been forced, that was more likely) to change her name to the more English sounding Katherine after St Catherine of Alexandria. Unlike her sister-in-law, Katherine was known to be wild and free, a free spirit against her more reserved husband. Known to many as a beauty, Caroline already felt threatened. She was heard to be stunning, with a polished face and dark hair that gave her that element of beauty and mystery. This contrasted to Caroline, a more conventional beauty whose blonde locks matched her heritage.
Third was Prince Niklaus, her husband. She knew him to apparently also be aloof, detached, and also extremely cruel to enemies. A man excellent on the battlefield, he commanded the English army and was widely feared due to his skill. If a man displeased him, then he would show no mercy, and his methods were cruel. Caroline dearly prayed that his cruelty did not transcend to personal matters but was comforted by the knowledge that he was known to love his siblings with all of his beating heart. The blonde also prayed that he was a sincere man of God- it was important to her that her future husband would share her faith.
After this was Prince Kol, also known for his devil may care attitude. Kol was the womanizer of Europe and no woman was safe from him, from lowest maid to even some of the princesses- though this was rumoured, of course, it was wrong to gossip about virtuous women. Caroline believed that vows should be taken most seriously for both men and women. To her, virginity should be kept tightly until the marital bed, where it would be only be done when necessary as to bear children, which was what God intended. The blonde was always weary around those lecherous men when in Düsseldorf, but her father held a strict court where one was supposed to be pious and pure, at least on the outside.
Finally on the living front was the Princess Rebekah. Like Katherine, she was known was a beauty. Pampered, spoiled and cold, Rebekah also didn't have the greatest reputation on terms of personality. Of course, had she been...free like her brothers, she'd be in a lot more trouble, so Caroline had not heard a single thing. The English had limited her choice of ladies, preferring not to worry about having spies and wanting to make her as English as possible, so Caroline would be limited in her friendship. Hopefully she would enjoy the company of Sage, Katherine and Rebekah.
Bonnie looked over at her mistress. The blonde was pale, paler than her usual skin tone. Her desperate breaths were increasing, but that was probably due to her corset being tight. The ladies had spent ten minutes against the bed stand, trying to get the corset as tight as possible so that Caroline would look thin. Then again, they had spent a very long time that morning to get Caroline prepared to meet her future husband. Looking down again, Bonnie noticed her mistress' hands were shaking. Feeling upset for her, she moved a hand over and squeezed it gently in support. Caroline noticed and squeezed back.
"You are nervous, aren't you, ma'am?"
"Can you tell?"
"Yes, it is very obvious."
"I am more than nervous, I do not know what to expect from Niklaus."
Bonnie shrugged apologetically before turning back in her seat. Marcel frowned at them, not understanding what they said in their Frankish tongue. He was about to casually ask what was said, but seeing the look on Caroline's face, he decided against it.
Marcel felt for Caroline. Yes, he was French, but he'd spent his entire life in England. Now here Caroline was, barely past her teen years and shoved on a boat miles and miles from home. She spoke the language but not as a mother tongue, meaning she would be at complete odds with the fast tongued native speakers. Sage and Katherine had both picked up the fluency of the language pretty quickly, so Marcel prayed that Caroline would. He looked at her, knowing the lost look that had appeared on her soft, pretty features.
The blonde looked down, fiddling with the ends of her dress. Her mother had always taught her never to fiddle, but Elizabeth was not here to scold her right now. In this foreign land, with the foreign people, this was one of the few home comforts that she had. The fabric weaved in and out of her fingers, the soft silk lightly touching her skin. If she were alone, she would be singing religious songs, but she did not intend to sing for an English Baron and her chaplain.
Caroline had been training for this her entire life yet she felt as though bodily contents would spill out of her mouth. Here she was, young and beautiful, a princess who offered a lot in both wealth and health. She walked with poise, never running or getting herself in a hot sweat. Her voice never rose above a soft tone and when she spoke, she never used foul language or was rude about others. Caroline could sing, she knew every courtly dance and she even played the harp beautifully. She was well read, fluent in multiple languages and well-versed in the homely arts of sewing and embroidery. From the moment she could walk, her nursemaid told her off for doing things that no lady should apparently do, even though she was a child.
Caroline knew exactly what was expected of her, yet she was not prepared in the slightest.
The drowsy weather had not cleared up at all. England, she mourned, was so grey and grim, not the slightest bit of sunshine peeking out against the dark clouds. The wind whistled against the carriage, blowing against the windows. Cuddling her shawl against her, she watched as the heavens opened and rain started to lash against the windows. Caroline hated rain, she was more of a sunshine girl and this was no exception. It was that horrible rain that spat angrily, where one could not even get away from it if they were unfortunate up to be outside- had the group been outside, then they would have been drenched completely from head to foot.
"We will be here soon," Marcel announced after several hours of complete silence, "I recognise this, look- you can see the city buildings up ahead."
Caroline craned her head- he was right, London was calling.
"Perhaps the Lord's Prayer?" the Reverend suggested, "To begin our journey into London?"
Everyone nodded, joining hands. Clutching onto the cross around his neck, he began.
"Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever.
After they'd finished the prayer, the carriage finally exited the country and Caroline Forbes entered London for the first time.
She was just struck by it, and not in a good way. She'd grown up hearing poetry, songs and other literature praising London as a magnificent city, full of beauty and excitement. Instead, she saw something that nobody else had described. First was just the sheer poverty of the people. Berg was not perfect, Caroline accepted that, but she could see the beggars lining the street, desperately begging for whatever scraps could be given. She didn't expect that those walking past had much more food or wealth than the vagrants did, as most of the people's clothing was poorly stitched, holes decorating skirts and trousers. That which was sewn up was clearly not done professionally, the thin thread mismatching completely with the colour of whatever was being sewn. It was clearly not a place of much wealth, deep in the slums of London. Houses were clumped together, the only protection from the elements being thin layers of straw and wood- it would clearly be freezing in these winter months. Though the people didn't seem too bothered by it all, but that was probably because they were used to it. Across the paths, sludge and sewage rolled down, not sparing the heels of all those who stepped in it. Caroline, who was privileged to be able to bathe, shuddered at the thought of what was in that horrid sewage and how it would make them smell. Pigs were pushed along, squealing loudly and letting everything drop from their body. The men with them held no disregard for their pigs, watching them shuttle along the cobbled streets.
The strong smell of sewage and she found herself gagging, placing a handkerchief over her mouth as she coughed violently from the smell.
"Sorry about this," Marcel flashed her an apologetic smile, "It can get rather smelly. Don't worry, ma'am, you won't have to come here too often."
Caroline nodded, her eyes going out again. Near them, a woman who was clearly trying to hide her age was lurking outside of a large house. Rouged cheeks, a large slit in her skirt and a flower in her hair, she seductively approached a middle aged gentleman. After searching his body and pulling out a bag of coins, she took him by the chin and slowly brought him into the large house, the door slamming behind them. Knowing exactly what it was, Caroline sunk into her seat.
Eventually, after a most unpleasant ride through London, they arrived at Hampton Court Palace- her new royal residence when in London town. As the carriage rolled to a halt, Caroline looked at her new home, which she had to admit was rather beautiful and impressive. She had been told that English architecture was most beautiful, and they had not disappointed with Hampton Court Palace.
Helped out by a valet, Caroline gingerly placed her feet on the ground. Above her, the sky rumbled and she looked up, fearful of rain droplets falling upon her head. Seeing this, Marcel ushered the group inside as the sky rumbled further.
"I will bring you to our King and his family," Marcel told her, "Reverend, Miss. Bonnie, perhaps we should show you to your quarters. Reverend, you will be housed with the other royal chaplains and Miss. Bonnie; you will live in the east wing where many of the other Ladies in Waiting resigned. You boy- take these two to their rooms."
Bonnie curtsied and the Reverend bowed, leaving Caroline with the capable hands of the Baron. Gulping, Caroline allowed herself to take his arm and walk down.
"It is a very impressive palace, sir," Caroline stated as they walked down the corridors.
"Yes, I agree, milady," Marcel nodded, "You know that His Majesty's grandfather; the late King Peter created it? He initially had it as a home for the former Archbishop of Canterbury but then he dedicated it to Peter once it became clear that the Archbishop was clearly a heretic sending him down the false path of papacy."
It was almost as though he had rehearsed that line.
"Forgive me, but aren't the French still allied to the Pope?"
"I was baptised an Anglican upon arriving in England, ma'am. I was glad to have done. You are Protestant, aren't you?"
Marcel nodded as they continued walking down the corridors, pointing out things that he thought the soon to be Princess of England would enjoy. Caroline did not interrupt, allowing Marcel to babble on about paintings and sculptures, none of which were of interest to her. Unfortunately, Caroline had been trained to never be rude and was therefore adept at pretending to pay attention to what the Baron was saying.
Eventually they arrived outside a pair of large, wooden doors. It held a beautiful pattern, with carvings carved deep into the dark wood. She knew this to be the room where she would meet the man she would wed in two days.
Marcel whispered something to one of the guards before turning back to Caroline.
"This is where I leave you. Have you any more requests?"
She shook her head quietly.
He bowed deeply before heading away from her. Physically shaking, Caroline desperately attempted to control herself. The obviously sympathetic guards gave her a few moments before she nodded at them, indicating she was ready to enter.
"Presenting Caroline of Cleves."
The doors swung open and Caroline, taking a deep breath, slowly entered, the cream dress trailing behind her as she took the slow steps into the main room.
King Finn and Queen Sage rose from their thrones.
"Welcome, Lady Caroline," Finn stated, moving forward. Once he reached Caroline, he watched as she curtsied deeply in front of him. Once she was back up, he held out a hand, which she bent down to kiss, "You are most welcome in the country of England, in our royal court and by my family."
"T...Thank You, Your Majesty, it is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. I am pleased to have finally arrived in the beautiful England."
"I am glad you think so highly, milady," Finn smiled, "Was your journey good?"
"The Lord smiled down upon us from Düsseldorf to London, it went completely smoothly. Though I must say the weather on the Continent was much more accommodating than in London."
The King laughed, "Yes, I'm afraid you'll have to get used to it, we do not have the most beautiful of weather. Firstly, may I introduce you to my wife, Her Majesty the Queen?"
Sage was indeed beautiful in a cold way. Her fiery red hair went above her shoulders, and her cheekbones were high and polished in a way Caroline had never seen. She also towered over Caroline, in both queenly regal way and height.
"Your Majesty," Caroline curtsied again.
"A pleasure to meet you, milady," Sage smiled warmly, "I am pleased that you had a good journey and hope that we will become well acquainted soon."
"As do I, ma'am."
"Now, I am sure that you will want to meet your future husband...Niklaus, come forward."
Caroline was pleased to see that he was as handsome as he was in his portrait, with dirty blonde hair and a handsome face that made her feel pleased to look at. Unfortunately, there was something that she could not keep away from. His face was cold, his eyes distracting and his manner stiff. After a small while, a smile appeared on his face. It was not a smile that was brighter than the sun, but it was a smile which indicated a small welcome. Perhaps, like her, Niklaus was not thrilled by his position but was attempting to be nice anyway.
Caroline curtsied before holding out a hand. Without a word, Niklaus bent down and kissed it for as short a time as he could.
"Thank you; it is a pleasure to meet you, sir."
"Yes," he nodded, "It seems that you will do- you look like your portrait."
Caroline was completely taken aback by his statement. It was forced- not in a cold, unfeeling way but as though he did not know what else to say. She could not blame him, for had the shoe been on the opposite foot, she would have mumbled something about the portrait.
Not knowing what to say, Caroline watched as her betrothed stepped back. Seeing how shocked Caroline was, Finn decided to step back in.
"This is my brother Elijah and his wife Katherine."
The same curtsies, bows and kisses were made. Again, Katherine's beauty had not been understated. Caroline was intimidated by the brunette beauty, having seen herself as not unattractive but clearly knowing that she had nothing on the Bulgarian princess. Katherine seemed a little warmer. That made Caroline feel relief. Whilst Sage seemed nice enough, she was still the Queen and had felt a little bit reserved, even if kind. She hoped that Katherine would be a friend.
"I am glad to have another sister-in-law," Katherine's thick Bulgarian accent had clearly been watered down from her years in England, "This court can be so stuffy and boring, it is nice to have another woman who knows what it is like away from here. Do you ride, Caroline?"
She nodded, "Yes, I love it."
"My dear wife is a most accomplished equestrian," Elijah interjected, "I'm afraid none of us have the talent for it apart from during hunting, so I hope that you will be able to join her, milady. I hope you are welcome in England, I know from Katherine's experiences that it is hard to adjust to a foreign land. It must be difficult adjusting to the English language."
"I feel I was educated well enough at home, Your Highness, but I do agree that is quite strange that I do not hear my language all around me."
"Well you'll have plenty of practice," Katherine took her by the hands, "Just make sure it's with one of us, you'll find that the courtiers here are nothing more than spiteful gossips. Don't become one of them or you'll end up miserable in your own life, hoping to make it more interesting by finding misery in the lives of others."
"Katherine," Elijah hissed.
The brunette shrugged. Caroline was shocked by her free words- no lady in Dusseldorf would ever dare speak that way of others, at least to strangers or in public.
"Leaving the Duke and Duchess of York for a moment, may I introduce the Prince Kol?"
The younger prince was not as handsome as his brothers, but still hopped down excitedly to meet her, comforting Caroline with the knowledge not all in the family would be disinterested in her. That comfort soon waned, however, as she noticed him looking her up and down with some inappropriate intent. That was when she remembered the rumours about Kol and his open ways.
"A pleasure, Your Highness."
"You too," he smirked as he kissed her hand, "My brother is a lucky man. I echo Katherine's sentiments; I hope that we will all become a family. You have no siblings, do you?"
She shook her head.
"You will find there is never a dull day in the Mikaelson clan, milady- I hope you are well prepared. I look forward to your wedding with great excitement."
"As do I, sir."
Rebekah then stepped forward. Like Sage, she was beautiful in a frosty sort of way. This was the same with her siblings; the Mikaelson siblings were stunning in a cold, mysterious sort of way. Similarly to Klaus, she looked at her new relation with some sort of lofty superiority, as though she also wasn't impressed with the arrival of the Frankish girl. Whilst Caroline's blonde hair was in curls, Rebekah's went straight down, a plait across the top of her head. Her clothing was a thousand times more splendid than Caroline's, red and gold weaved together in a beautiful display. This grand princess terrified her beyond comprehension.
The two curtsied at one another.
"Your Highness," Caroline nodded her head, "I am so very humbled to finally meet you, you are well known for your beauty and elegance across the Continent."
Rebekah nodded, clearly satisfied with that assessment of herself.
"It is good to see the woman that my dear brother will be marrying; I hope that you will treat him well."
"There is no need for concern, milady, I swear to the Lord that I will be a good and obedient wife."
Rebekah against seemed satisfied with the answer, "Then we will have no problem, dear sister-in-law, welcome to England."
Rebekah stepped back into her position, but her and Klaus' glances did not escape from Caroline's gaze. Crinkling her nose, she returned to Finn and Sage.
"I imagine you are weary from such a long journey," Finn turned to Caroline, "Perhaps it is best that you retire for tonight, we cannot have you conversing with us whilst your mind is elsewhere. The carriages with your belongings went ahead of you, so I imagine that most of it will be set up for you. We will have dinner tomorrow night, when you have had enough time to look around and meet all of the people that you need to do. You will like your quarters, we made sure to model them on the reports of your home."
"That is most kind of you, my lord; I am most appreciative of your efforts to welcome me."
"It is nothing, milady," Finn waved a hand, "We appreciate how much of a change this is. Niklaus, why don't you escort Caroline to her room?"
Klaus nodded, immediately holding out his arm for Caroline to take. As soon as she had said goodbye to the other royals, she followed Klaus out of the cold throne room and into the corridor. Winter still rattled the windows, a cold breezing in that made Caroline shiver. It was the wind that was worst of all, carrying the icy atmosphere through the corridors.
"Is it colder than home?" Klaus asked her.
She nodded, "Yes, though Berg can be rather wintery when it wishes to."
"I can imagine, I have heard stories from the ambassador on the winters of the Continent."
The rest of the journey was silent as it seemed Klaus was no more willing to make conversation than she was. It was a strange experience. Both were young and had no idea what to do in this situation. Caroline had never actually been alone with a man who wasn't a relative or a member of the clergy, it simply was not the case. Her mother had never told her what was discussed between a husband and wife, or what to talk to a gentleman about. Caroline saw him look at her a few times, but he quickly turned away.
He was a man of few words.
Arriving outside of her chamber, Klaus stopped short.
"I will see you tomorrow," he told her.
"Yes," she nodded, "I will see you tomorrow."
Taking her hand, he kissed it again and wished her a very good night in an awkward manner. She wished him the same before entering into the bedchamber. Closing the door behind her, she leaned against the wood and let out a deep sigh.
What was to become of her?
Thanks for reading the first chapter, hope you guys enjoyed it x
Next Time: Caroline finds herself an ally in the sympathetic, if strong-willed Katherine and finally talks to the man she will marry the next day.
Hope you all enjoyed it, and don't forget to pop me a review to tell me what you think and if you'd like to see anything...