A/N: This is another story as part of the A2A Christmas Exchange, but this is a little different, mainly because it's going to be a multi-chapter fic. It's such a good prompt that I felt it really deserved a lot of effort, and I'm actually really excited about it! Now, this is a DE fic, however this first chapter is setting the scene, so they don't make an appearance here. Also, it's completely AU, so you might find some characters a little different to the show. But anyway, I hope you like it!
Prompt by Duchess_Sandra: It is hard to come up with an original prompt, but I think I have something. It may be a bit of a challenge, but given the Winter theme and the fact that I'm a huge fan of fairy tales, my prompt is this: Write a D/E version of Hans Cristian Anderson' The Snow Queen. Damon needs to be in the role of Kai and Elena in the role of Gerda, but I leave it up to you what other parts of the story you'll use, which characters you'll include (or change, like making the troll a witch, etc.) and how mature you are gonna make the story.
Wow, how awesome is this prompt?
Act 1: The beginning.
Tinkling laughter echoed across the glade, tripping from tree to tree. The echoes grew louder and more hollow as the sky above the clearing turned a pearly white, clouds rolling over the piercing blue seamlessly. Stars of pure white flurried down, scattering across the deep green of the leaves, settling in small clumps across the plae yellow of the flowers that dotted the ground. A pair of turtle doves chirped and dove down to their quarry, the changing weather not deterring them from their path. A squirrel chattered and ran up a tree trunk, its paws sliding over the sudden frost as it jumped from bough to bough.
Elijah laughed as he leaped from side to side, the ground beneath his feet icing over just a split second after his boots left the ground. "You forget, dear sister, I know what's in your heart, you cannot surprise me!"
Rebekah frowned and pointed her fingers again, determined to win the fight and force her brother to slip. "Maybe if I keep you distracted you won't be able to listen? I saw Mira looking at you during dinner the other night, perhaps she likes you?" A turtle dove landed upon her shoulder suddenly, breaking her concentration as it nipped at her ear. "Finn!" She called, waving her arm to distract the bird, causing waves of ice and frost to cover the ground before her. "Call your minions off!"
Her brother laughed as he tried to keep his balance on the frozen ground. "I am merely helping my brother even the fight, little sister!" He called to her, before falling backwards into a snowdrift.
"But that's not fair, it can't be two against one!" Rebekah pouted, and turned to her younger brother. He stood to the side of the clearing, watching the teasing fight as he leaned against a tree. "Klaus, come and be on my side, help me put these two cheaters in their proper place!" She scowled at Elijah again, but her tone was playful, lilting.
"My involvement would still not make the game fair, Rebekah," Klaus replied, kicking at the snow with a mulish look on his face. "I have no powers such as you three, I would merely look a fool if I tried to take part."
"Yes, because standing to the side with such a displeasing expression could never make one look foolish!" Elijah grinned as he jumped yet another sheet of ice and tackled his youngest brother into the snow.
The cold from Rebekah's fingers slipped through Klaus' clothing, making him shiver as he wriggled out from under his brother's embrace. He felt a tugging on his hair, and looked up with a frown, batting at the rabbit Finn was guiding to him with an ill humour. He wrestled his way back to standing and glared at his siblings. Rebekah and Finn were still laughing, hoping he would choose today to join in with their play for the first time. Only Elijah looked on him with disappointment in his eyes; he could see Klaus' heart and could sense the blackness there, the jealousy and rage.
"Calm down, little brother, please do not feel that way." He reached out a hand but stopped before touching Klaus, knowing it would not be welcomed. "You are young, perhaps you have not yet come into your own special power. It may happen yet."
His brother's placating tone sent shivers of rage down Klaus' spine and he clenched his fists as anger coursed through him. "Just because you can read my heart, this does not give you permission to give voice to my feelings!" He shouted, and the sound echoed across the glade, patches of snow falling from branches to land in heaps in their wake. "My thoughts are mine, and I would thank you to let me keep them if I so wish!"
Klaus cast one more black look at his two other siblings, standing in the middle of the icy field and staring at him in consternation. He spun on his heel and disappeared into the trees, his boots finding solid purchase the further he stepped from his sister. The sky above him turned back into bright blue, the hot summer sun seeping down through the canopy of leaves in strong beams. The woodland creatures ran away from his thundering footsteps, back to his brother Finn and his calming influence, away from the brother with no power.
Stupid animal sense, stupid heart reading, stupid ice-fingers! He thought to himself as he stomped deeper into the woods. Why is it that I have no power? It's not fair! The woods around him turned darker and more dense as he walked, but Klaus barely noticed, so involved with his feelings as he was. Oh how he wished for a power of his own! Something that was just his, something that would have the people of his village look upon him with as much respect as they did his siblings. No, with more respect, because he deserved it! Being able to commune and control animals, what kind of silly power was that anyway? Or being able to read a person's heart? What kind of good could that power bring Elijah in the scheme of things? No, Klaus deserved a better power, one more like his sister's! The power to control the elements, now there was a power worth having! But instead of gifting this to Klaus, the Gods had decided that Rebekah was more worthy. Klaus scoffed out loud, and the sound, filled with black thoughts as it was, fell into the air before him and dropped away. They should have seen fit to have given the power of winter to him! He would know how to use it, how to force people into their rightful place before him. Not like his sister, who only used it for play with her equally gifted brothers.
With his jealousy and rage consuming him, Klaus wandered further into the deep dark woods that surrounded his village, further than anybody had gone before. He did not care, was confident that he could find the way home should he want to, and so when he came across a small pond he sat, removed his boots and placed his feet in the water. Perhaps he would just stay here, away from the ridicule that came with being the only Mikaelson child without special powers, away from the sympathetic stares of his mother and the disappointment of his father. Perhaps he would hide away here, and wait to see if he were granted his own gift, before striding back into the village in triumph. Or perhaps he would have to stay here forever, waiting for a gift that would never come, simply because of the capriciousness of the Gods who saw fit to leave him powerless and alone.
The cool water was refreshing on his tired feet, and he leaned back on his hands as he lazily moved his toes, flicking droplets across the pond, closing his eyes and letting the hot summer sun warm his face. The faint sound of laughter reached his ears and he opened his eyes, glancing around the small clearing before peering through the line of trees. Surely his fool brothers and sister had not tried to follow him? They will experience his full wrath if they did, he thought to himself, scowling darkly as he sat back upright. His foot slid further into the water as he moved, and his toe scraped against something cold and smooth. Still frowning, Klaus pulled his leg up, turning his body to kneel at the water's edge and peer down into the water. Below him something shimmered faintly, reflecting the sun above with a darker intent than the clear water.
"What is this?" Klaus murmured to himself as he looked down upon the treasure, one hand already lifting to roll up his sleeve. A faint echo of laughter rolled over him again, like a caress, and suddenly he was intent upon retrieving this thing from the depths of its murky resting place. He set his knees and braced with one arm, turning his head to the side as he put his hand beneath the water's surface, fingers stretching out to claim their prize. A brief scrabble, and something cold, like ice, brushed across the very tip of one finger. He leaned further, cheek almost touching the water as he moved his arm around beneath him frantically, suddenly desperate to find some way to grab a hold of the smooth object. He let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding as his grasping fingers finally found purchase, and he lifted his treasure to the surface with a great wrench.
"A mirror," Klaus mused as he sat back on his heels, tipping his prize to rid it of water, wiping his sleeve across it to bring back its shine. He caught his reflection as it stared back at him, his perpetual frown already back in its place. He had hoped for something more unusual, something rare and precious. But the mirror was just that; a mirror, framed by wood as black as night, heavy in his hands as he turned it this way and that, looking for some reason as to why he should find it at the bottom of an undiscovered pond. He turned the mirror over on its back, hoping to find some writing, maybe a map to some hidden treasure, but there was nothing; it was as smooth and unremarkable as the frame it stood in. Klaus sighed, and made to throw it back into the water, but a small movement caught his eye, and his arm stilled. He brought the mirror up closer to his face, staring at his own reflection, searching for whatever had caught his attention. He held his breath and waited, and sure enough the movement happened again. It was his own reflection.
It grinned and winked at him.
Klaus gasped and dropped the mirror; it fell onto his lap and slithered down his legs before coming to rest at the very edge of the pond, teetering backwards and forwards as if unsure its fall had reached its final conclusion. Klaus was wary, but a pull in his chest told him to reach out and save the mirror before it could drown again, and so he did. As soon as his fingers grasped onto the plain wooden frame, his reflection turned to look at him, smiling wide. His eyes were sharp and cunning, his mouth falling open in a calculating smirk. Klaus knew his own face showed none of these traits, and he couldn't help but notice how handsome the smile made his reflection.
"Is this my power? Seeing things that aren't there?" He mused, not taking his eyes from the mirror in his hands.
Oh, it's there, if you look hard enough.
The mouth in the reflection moved, forming the words, but Klaus didn't hear them; they settled around his shoulders as though borne on the summer breeze.
"Are you magick?" Klaus asked out loud, feeling vaguely foolish for talking to a thing such as this.
His reflection smiled slyly. Maybe, came the reply.
"Do you have any other special abilities?" He asked, the embarrassed flush fading from his cheeks as he watched his reflection move inside the frame.
I find lost things, the wind whispered against his cheek. I find stolen things and reunite them with their rightful owners.
"I have lost nothing," Klaus grumbled, his black mood descending over his shoulders once more.
Are you sure? You haven't lost your power, maybe?
"My power?" Klaus sat up straighter, staring intently at the mirror. "I have no power, that honour is for my siblings to wield."
But one of them wields a power that is not theirs, stolen from their brother while he slept peacefully.
"How do you know this?" Klaus asked in wonderment.
His reflection smiled and raised its hands. This is my power.
Klaus stood up in excitement, pulling the mirror closer to his chest. "Which one was it? Who stole my power? Tell me!"
A young man such as yourself would have only the greatest power to mould to his uses.
The reflection was enigmatic, sitting back in the frame and waiting for Klaus to come to his inevitable conclusion. "Rebekah," he breathed at last. Of course! The power to manipulate the seasons should have gone to one that would know how to use it, not to a silly girl who thought snowflakes were pretty. "She stole my power!" Klaus roared, his voice making the water beside him ripple as it cowered from his rage. He would go back to town and force her to return it to its rightful owner, and he would place his fingers upon her and turn her to ice for her treachery! Although... how could he make her give it back when he was currently powerless?
I can help you get it back, the wind breathed across his shoulders.
"How?" Klaus demanded, holding the frame so tightly it threatened to cut into his fingers, he was so angry.
Take me back to your village, his reflection whispered. Make your sister look upon me, I will show her how the world is supposed to be, and she will give it up willingly.
Klaus smiled and tucked the mirror under his arm, pulling on his boots and turning back towards the forest. Soon he would have his power back, and his sister would regret ever thinking of stealing from him.
The journey back to the village took longer than Klaus had envisioned; he had wandered much farther than he had intended. He wondered for a moment if he might be lost but the mirror, perhaps sensing his stolen power and wishing to reunite him with it, breathed directions into his ear on a cool breeze, and he soon found himself back at the edge of the woods.
Night had fallen, and families were gathered around their homes, smoking meat on their fires and boiling broth. Tonight was the summer solstice, the night when the veils between worlds was thinnest, the night when fairies and magick came out to play. Klaus could only see this as a good omen; the crowd gathering for the village celebration would all stand as testament to his sister's treachery, and they would see his power with the force of his will behind it, the way it was meant to be.
Laughter tickled his neck as he strode through the village, for once not minding the pitiful looks his neighbours cast on him as he passed. Soon they would see him as he was truly meant to be.
"Klaus!" His sister's voice called out through the darkness, and Klaus turned to see her walking quickly towards him. "Where have you been? We were so worried!" She cried as soon as she reached him, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing his cheek. "We thought you lost to the woods, thank the Gods you are home in one piece!"
"Not quite, dear sister, but soon enough," Klaus replied, his jaw set tight as he pulled away from her. "I will be whole once again."
"Whatever do you mean?" Rebekah said, a small frown marring her perfect features.
Klaus smiled and pulled the mirror out from under his arm, slowly unwrapping his over-shirt from where he had placed it for protection of the glass. "I have something I'd like to show you."
He lifted the mirror, letting the firelight catch on its smooth surface as he turned it to face away from him, receiving a wink from his reflection as it sat far back in the frame.
Klaus glanced up irritably, glaring at his brother as Elijah raced towards them, hand held high.
"I see what's in his heart, Rebekah, he wishes to take your power from you!"
"Wrong, dear brother!" Klaus hissed, moving to stand between Elijah and Rebekah. "I wish only to take that which was already mine!"
He whirled on the spot and brought the mirror up, placing it in front of his sister so close that she would have no choice but to look upon her mistake and set it right. Rebekah froze to the spot, staring at the mirror, her eyes roving all along the glass as she took in what the reflection showed her. When she finally stepped away, head bowed, Klaus let his arms fall down, fingers still clenched tightly around the frame.
"Do you see your mistake now sister?" Klaus asked. "Do you see how the power should be rightfully used?"
"Yes," Rebekah whispered, "I see." Her voice was low and razor sharp, and it tingled down Klaus' spine like icicles. She raised her head and looked at her brother, her once bright blue eyes now crystalline, covered in ice. Her usually pale skin had turned to pure white, her golden hair turned pale as the feathers of Finn's turtle doves.
She raised her fingers and pointed at Klaus, the tips turning blue as icicles dripped from the nails. "I see now how wrong I was. Why make snow that melts in the sun, when I can make winter forever?"
Klaus raised the mirror to shield himself as she moved towards him, and her blast of frost bounced off the glass and shot out into the village square. People all around him began to scream as Rebekah whirled, directing the cold wherever she pointed. Fires froze in an instant, their flames becoming shards of ice; trees frosted over and branches cracked and fell; the ground beneath their feet became a frozen lake.
Klaus stared around him in horror as Rebekah continued on her path, freezing plants and animals alike, turning them into statues of sculpted ice. He watched as his sister turned her frozen fingers on their brother, saw Elijah realise what she was about to do a second before and jump, leaping away from the frost and calling for Finn. Rebekah paid Elijah no heed; she turned her frosty gaze upon Klaus instead, and he gulped, rooted to the spot in fear.
Run, the wind whispered, and Klaus did, turning away from the village and back towards the relative safety of the woods, his sister's footsteps close on his heels.
"What have you done?" He gasped, turning the mirror to face him as he ran. "She was supposed to give the power back to me! What have you done?"
His reflection smirked and laced its fingers behind its head, shrugging lazily, even as Klaus slipped and slid along the quickly freezing ground. That power was never yours, I must have been mistaken. But I did what I said I would do. I showed her how the world is supposed to be.
"It's not supposed to be like this!" Klaus shouted, grateful that his feet had finally found good purchase beneath him.
Says who? The wind whispers, trailing across Klaus' cheek in a mockery of a caress. Besides, I did what I said I would do for you too. I found your power.
"And what's that, then?" Klaus snarled, out of breath as he tried to outrun the frozen ground, the wind whipping behind him, the sharp sting of winter air harsh upon his neck.
His reflection rolled its eyes. Look down.
Klaus did, and let out a cry of shock. His feet were no longer touching the ground; the village was far below him, the spread of frost like a stain upon a patchwork quilt beneath him.
"What's happening?" He gasped, looking around at the stars as they twinkled around him, so much closer than he had ever seen them.
The power of flight, that is your gift. I found it for you,are you going to thank me?
"You turned my sister mad, I am grateful to you for nothing!" Klaus shouted, bringing his hand down to shatter the glass. But the mirror was freezing to the touch, and it held onto Klaus' skin unwilling to let him move away.
You will thank me, and I will get my reward.
The whispered words were harsh in Klaus' ear now, making him flinch as he tried to move his hand away from the mirror. His reflection grinned then, maliciousness alight within its eyes as it suddenly moved closer to the frame.
You will help me spread my message.
His reflection laughed, and the sound was like nails scratching down glass as it moved ever closer, one hand stretched out. Klaus watched with horror as his reflection pressed its hand against his own, felt himself soar ever higher as he tried in vain to rip his hand away. His skin began to shimmer and turn translucent, and he let out a strangled cry as he felt his reflection start to pull him into the mirror. The last thing he saw before he was pulled in completely, was the small figure of his sister, looking up at him as the wind twisted itself in her hair, her fingers outstretched as though she could still reach him.
And then he was gone, absorbed into the mirror and trapped with his own reflection, who opened his mouth wide and started to laugh. No longer being held up in the air, the mirror began to fall back to earth, gaining speed as it travelled the distance. It smashed down onto the frozen ground, shards and splinters flying up as though possessed. The winter wind picked up the tiny pieces and flew through the air with them, spreading them as far and wide as they could.
One tiny splinter, barely the size of a grain of rice, flew so far that it reached the barrier between worlds, slipping through the veil even as the summer solstice came to its frozen end.
A/N: So there we go, story all set up! Next chapter will be up tomorrow. Reviews are love! :)