I do not own Vampire Diaries.
It was sometimes hard to believe that they spent any time together at all. They were related by blood but there was an age difference between them of at least 20 years. Little Henrik had just entered his thirteenth year and Finn was into his early thirties. He had already seen several wars and although he didn't particularly relish in it, he'd taken several lives. Henrik on the other hand didn't know as much of that yet; naturally growing up in the environment he heard the tales and some young ones had already been allowed to go on raids, but he hadn't seen a man die in front of him and watched as the light left their eyes as they were taken away by Odin.
Finn sadly had never been one to connect with his other siblings very much. He just always felt different. The closest he had been able to form a bond with was Elijah as they were closest in age and had similar morals. Niklaus was a little too reckless sometimes and always getting into some disagreement with Father. Sometimes he truly wondered if Mikael actually liked any of them. Kol and Rebekah were almost never apart and would sometimes be out all day doing whatever it was they did until supper and then they were off again until bed.
Henrik on the other hand didn't have to worry about raids or the politics of farming (for they didn't just go to war and attack people, there was hunting, fishing, making sure cattle were in good condition to eat along with crops) yet, he would soon though and it would be a wonderful celebration. He'd finally be a man. But now and then when Finn was home and Henrik was still up they would have conversations about this and Henrik would finally let out all the things that worried him that he could never tell Father. Tonight was one of those nights.
"Do you think I could have some of your ale, Finn?" Henrik asked.
Finn looked over at him with a small smile. "Well I'm sure you're old enough by now" He handed the small horn over and let him take a few mouthfuls. It wasn't too strong but the boy's face twisted into a grimace. Finn laughed. "Well you don't have to copy me in everything. Besides, Byrþi betri berrat maþr brautu at,an sé manvit mikit;
auþi betra þykkir þat í ókunnun staþ,slíkt es válaþs vera(1)." It was a prominent feature in the culture but there were still warnings to partake of all things in some moderation.
Henrik handed the horn back. "Do you think I'd be good at any of that? Looking after animals or bringing in food or….what if I have to give someone the blood eagle one day? Do you think I could handle that?" The look in his eyes showed that he was unsure.
Finn didn't know what to say. "Well…it can be quite difficult. But after the first few times you learn how and then it's almost second nature. Killing on the other hand…I could say it never gets easier but it actually does. Eventually you just don't think of how you just stuck an axe through someone's chest and they had a wife and children like you do back at home" He often wondered what Sage would do if she were to hear word of his death. They loved each other more than life itself, would she keep going without him shamed as a widow or would she do the unthinkable and try joining him? No. That would be just as disgraceful.
Henrik paused. "I'm not like some of the other boys. Alfarin can already throw small axes and make them hit the target exactly where he wants it to. Father tried to teach me how to handle a spear the other day and I threw it in the lake" Finn tried not to laugh at that image, it wouldn't help his self-esteem.
He cleared his throat. "Well…yes, but Father means well. He may come across as agitated at first, but he really does want what's best for us. When he yells at us it's because he wants us to take things seriously so we're not caught off-guard. He still loves us" Finn silently added to himself I'm still not sure about Niklaus. "You'll get better in time and then one day whether you choose to take part mostly in our agriculture or battle, you'll make us proud".
Henrik still didn't look completely convinced but he was at least smiling now. "Thank you, brother. I really do like talking with you, I always feel more at ease…I'm going to go to bed now" He stood up and Finn watched him walk off to his room.
"Night little brother". It was earlier than he usually went, but it was best for him to get a good sleep now anyway. Tomorrow the wolves would be turning and almost no one in the family managed to get any sleep that night. They were too busy huddled in the cave trying not to make a sound if there was any sudden movement. Finn would be missing most of the rest of tomorrow though, he had to go off and take care of whoever was bothering Gæirmund and his sheep.
He didn't know then that it would be the last conversation he'd ever have with his youngest brother.
1: A better burden no man can bear on the way than his mother wit: and no worse provision can he carry with him than too deep a draught of ale.