Chapter 6: A Journey Begins
Hiccup was slowly walking towards Arendelle, wandering about how should he find Elsa. With Toothless being downed, it would be much trickier than he thought it would be. For the first time in a very long time, he missed Astrid, or more like her dragon, Stormfly. She doesn't need a prosthetic to fly, they would be a great help right now. But he was on his own now, so he had to search for the 'Snow Queen' by himself. Hiccup stopped for a moment. The 'Snow Queen'? Did he nickname Elsa that? He couldn't help but smile at how ironic it was thas Elsa was the only woman he can think of that this title could make seem hot.
However, he quickly dismissed that thought with a blush. He never really thought of a woman that way, not even Astrid. Of course, he had to admit that Astrid WAS hot, but he never gave her much credit for it. They never really got that far. But Elsa kept surprising him with new experiences. She was an incredible woman, and Hiccup didn't think this of her that way because of her powers. But there wasn't time to fawn over her right now, he had a job to do. And who knows, if he helps Elsa and saves the kingdom, she might be very, VERY grateful.
As he walked back to the town, he noticed a path of tracks in the snow. While this wouldn't be unusual, seeing as he was in a forest, something was odd about these tracks. While Hiccup wasn't an expert tracker, he could tell that they belonged to a horse. And wild horses were fairly rare, so chances were that someone came out into the woods on a horse. Hiccup raised an eyebrow. 'Who would be crazy enough to come out into the woods in this weather. Other than me, of course.' he wondered. Just a second later, a rather scared looking horse came running down from the hill, heading towards him. Before he could react, the horse ran past him and he found himself in the snow again.
Hiccup was rather annoyed by now. This was at least the fifth time this day he ended up on the ground and he wasn't enjoying it. Frustrated, he stood up and pulled out his sword which he grabbed from Toothless along with a few other things he thought might be useful and headed into the direction where the horse came from. Whatever it was that scared it, Hiccup intended to relieve some frustration on it. And from that, he had plenty of tonight.
He followed the tracks carefully. After all, if it was a bear or maybe a pack of wolves, it wouldn't be wise to run into them without thinking. He knew a few things about dealing with wild animals. Ever since he became more like a viking and less like a... well, Hiccup, he kept going on hunting trips with others. Sometimes with his father and Gobber, sometimes with Toothless, sometimes with his peers.
Though he learned the most about hunting from the King of a kingdom near Berk and his daghter. King Fergus and Princess Merida of Dunbroch. Hiccip smiled at that memory. He and his father traveled there on a diplomatic mission of initalising a treaty. As a celebration of that treaty, King Fergus has invited them on a hunting trip along with her daughter. That trip turned to be really nice for them. Fergus grew fond of Hiccup due to their similair fate of losing a limp and taught him everything he knew of hunting. Hiccup even managed to bond with the princess, who was glad to finally have someone her age she can hang out with. And after seeing how well he mastered the hunting skills her father had to offer, she decided to test if he can learn some archery from her. Hiccup had not been really familiar with that kind of weapon by that time, but he was a quick learner, and while he didn't reach the same level as Merida, even though she kept insisting that it would be impossible to, he managed to got the hang of it.
Upon their return, the Queen saw how well they were getting along and tried to persuade Hiccup to consider courting Merida, seeing as she was trying to find her a possible husband for a while and maybe she would finally agree if it was someone she liked. And Hiccup might have considered it, but by that time he was still dating Astrid so he had to refuse. But now he was after the affections of another royality and Astrid was out of the picture.
Hiccup looked up to see that he reached the end of the tracks, which of course meant he was close. He readied his sword and slowly walked up on the hill to face a serious threat, but as he walked forwards, his eyes widened as he saw the last person he expected to see out there. Sitting on the ground, covered in a large pile of snow, shivering from cold was none other, than princess Anna of Arendelle. Still wearing her coronation dress, with only a blue cape around her body to keep it warm.
Hiccup was surprised more than ever. What was she doing out there? Could it be possible that she was looking for Elsa as well? If that was the case, she hasn't planned it very well. Going out on a horse and wandering around in the hopes of stumbling upon her was not really full proof. But to be fair, that plan was more than what he had at the moment. Feeling sorry for the princess, Hiccup put his sword away and slowly walked up to her. While Anna was trying to get out the snow, Hiccup knelt down and offered her his hand.
"Do you need help?" Hiccup asked, making his presence known to the princess, who looked up, then widened his eyes in shock upon seeing who was trying to help her. Anna would have refused Hiccup's help, seeing as she still had a small grudge with him about the incident at the docks, but she eventually decided that she shouldn't let her pride to be the cause of her freezing in the snow, so she slowly took Hiccup's hand and uttered a quiet "thanks".
"What are you doing out here?" Anna asked, still shivering a little as she rubbed the snow off of herself.
"I could ask the same from you." Hiccup replied, causing Anna to frown.
"Well, I asked you first." she said, crossing her arms.
"Would you believe a relaxing stroll?" Hiccup asked sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. Anna put on an unimpressed look.
"Would you, if I said it?" she asked.
"No, I guess not." Hiccup replied with a shrug. They stood there for a while in awkward silence, staring at each other, trying to figure out what to say, untill Anna sighed and turned away.
"I don't have time for this, I have to find my sister." Hiccup sent the princess a curious look.
"And just how are you planning to do that? I don't know if you've noticed, but the whole kingdom, including the forests surrounding it is practically buried in snow, which makes it difficult to travel by feet. And by the way your horse abandoned you, I'd say you don't really have anything else to use for that purpose." he said as he went after the princess. Anna didn't even bother to turn back to him as she replied.
"Then I suggest you go back to the town. I bet it's more difficult to travel with... that." she said, gesturing to his prothestic leg. Hiccup just shrugged.
"You get used to it after a while. And just so you know, I'm looking for your sister too." he told her matter-of-factly. Anna raised an eyebrow.
"And why would you be looking for her? You barely know her." she said a little harshly. She knew that Hiccup was attracted to Elsa and her sister looked like she was interested in him too back at the ball. She was willing to put up with their little tryst for the rest of the night, but there was no way she would have this guy as her future brother-in-law.
"Well, I don't know much about magic, but if she was the one who cast this winter on Arendelle, maybe she can undo it." Hiccup's sarcastic tone didn't go unnoticed by Anna and it really frustrated her.
"And you want to be the one to find her and her to undo it?" she asked. Hiccup shrugged again.
"Well, I don't wanna brag, but back home I used to be the problem solver. I'm so used to fixing things, that I thought I might do it here too. I mean, if I won't do it, who will?" he said casually. Anna rolled her eyes.
"Well, sorry to break it to you, "Mr. Problem-Solver, but we don't need your services." Anna said in a mocking way, causing the viking to frown. "This is a family matter between me and Elsa. And we will set it right together, without you." Hiccup gave her a look.
"I don't wanna rain on your parade, but the last time you two did some sisterly bonding, the whole kingdom froze." Anna opened her mouth to say something, but she never got the chance, because she tripped in pile of snow and fell over, causing her to roll down on a small hill next to them and landed in a small rivulet, which was of course ice cold.
Hiccup would have laughed at the girl's misfortune, but then he reminded himself that the situation they were in was deadly serious. There was nothing to laugh about. Anna may have annoyed him since the first time they met, but he's not going to let her freeze to death. After all, she was Elsa's sister. She might not like that.
He carefully made his way down the hill, making sure he wasn't tripping, because he was sure that if he did, he would join the princess in an icy bath. He got down to the bottom of the hill and he helped Anna out of the rivulet. Anna was surprised, by this act of kindness, but was even more shocked, when she saw Hiccup grabbing the blue cape she was wearing earlier, but left during her fall, and he put it around her in an effort to warm her body. Anna was speechless. The guy was the one she was having fights with since she met her, was helping her out of the snow and warming her. Could it be that she misjudged him? She tried to say something, but the only thing coming out was a stuttering,"t-thanks."
"No problem." Hiccup replied. Anna shuddered and started to rub her body to make it warmer.
"Snow. It had to be snow. She couldn't have had tropical magic to cover the fjords in..." Hiccup however wasn't paying attention to her, because he suddenly saw smoke arising from behind the trees. And where there is smoke, there is...
"Fire." Hiccup said, just loudly enough for Anna to hear and caused her to stop complaining. She also saw the smoke.
"Fire!" she exclaimed happily and was off to find the source of the smoke in the hopes of warming up, but she suddenly stopped and slowly turned to Hiccup. "Uh... look, Hookup..." she started.
"Uh, it's Hiccup, but close enough." Hiccup deadpanned. Anna blushed in embarrassment.
"Sorry. Uh, look. Thanks for the help, but now I have to go. See you later." Hiccup was surprised, but not because Anna said kind words to her, but because she thought he was going back to town.
"What?" he asked. "What do you mean, see you later?"
"Well, I'm going to warm up and possibly get some winter clothes from that place and I'll continue to search for my sister, while you are going back to Arendelle." Anna explained and was about to go, but she was interrupted by Hiccup's voice.
"You didn't think I'd go back, did you?" Hiccup said, causing Anna to frown.
"I did and you will." she told him harshly. "I told you, this is a family matter between me and my sister and we have to set it right, not you."
"You think you're the only one who cares for Elsa?" Hiccup asked. "I want to help her as much as you."
"We don't need your help." she replied, trying to keep herself calm, but seemingly failing at it, as her voice continued to raise.
"It didn't look like that back there." Hiccup said, referring to her getting stuck in the snow and rolling into an icy rivulet. Anna glared at him.
"I could have got out of those without your help!" she snapped at him. "Besides, I bet you only want to help me to make yourself look good in the eyes of my sister." Hiccup didn't have a comeback for that. Anna wasn't entirely wrong. He would have preferred to help Elsa on her own way. Just hopping on Toothless and search for her from above would have worked just fine. He wasn't really fond of the idea of traveling with Elsa's rather immature and frustrating sister, but as a great englishman once said "Needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle." But no matter how much she disliked the princess, he couldn't bring himself to let her wander out after Elsa on her own. She wouldn't last five minutes out there alone. Hiccup sighed. Arguing with her about it won't convince her to at least tolerate him on this journey. He needs to approach from a different direction.
"Look." he started. "We both want to help Elsa, but if we kill each other, we can't. We have to find her first, and we have a much better chance at that if we work together." his words seemed to affect the princess the way he wanted. Anna's expression softened a bit and her face turned from a face of anger to a face of concern. She wanted to have her sister back more than anything. And as much as she hated to admit it, Hiccup was right. She could use all the help she can get.
She opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, she hit her head into a piece of wood, which was hanging on the wall of a small house in front of them. Hiccup and Anna looked at each other, before turning back to look at the house in realization of them arriving to the source of the smoke. They studied the the board, but it was covered in snow. Anna shoved the snow off of it, to reveal a sign, which read...
"Wandering Oaken's Trading Post." Anna read. Then Hiccup noticed a smaller board attached it and shoved the snow off of it.
"Oh, and sauna." he said in a fake impressed way. Anna rolled her eyes. She really started to grow tired of his sarcastic remarks, but in a strange way, she also started to find herself a bit amused by them by now.
The two of them made their way into the house, though they encountered a slight difficulty at the door, because Anna's skirt was frozen solid from the cold water she fell into earlier, so Hiccup had to give her a gentle push. They instantly felt the warmth inside and they both felt themselves relaxing and refreshing in it. Even though Hiccup was used to the cold, but even he had to admit that it was nice to warm up.
They started to look around to find some form of life and eventually heard someone.
"Whoo-whoo!" They looked into the direction of the voice and they saw a rather bulky looking man with a beard sitting at the counter. He was wearing a red cap and a rather colorful sweater. "Big summer blowout! Half of swimsuits, clogs and sun balm, my own invention, ja?" he said cheerfully, as he presented his goods. Hiccup and Anna just stared at him strangely, then the princess spoke up.
"Uh... great! But for now, how about winter boots and dresses?" she asked, hoping to get a more warming outfit.
"That would be in our winter department." he replied, pointing to the other end of the shop. They turned there only to see a pair of boots, a rope, a pair of racquets and a dress.
"Is it always so empty, or were there many customers today?" Hiccup asked cynically as ever. The man just smiled at him.
"Well, with this sudden cold, winter goods sell good." he answered, before he was addressed by Anna again.
"Uh, excuse me... Oaken, is it?" she asked, as she want to the "winter department" and grabbed the boots and the dress. She waited for him to nod yes, before continuing. "Uh, we were just wondering, did you happen to see another young woman pass through here?" she asked, putting the goods at the counter.
"Like... I don't know... the Queen, perhaps?" Hiccup added.
"Only you two are crazy enough to be out in a weather like this." Oaken answered, then he heard the bell above his door ring again, signaling the entrance of another customer. The three turned to the door to see a man covered in snow from head to toe entering. Hiccup and Anna looked at him in a disturbed way, while Oaken just kept up his cheerful face. "You two and this fellow. Whoo-whoo! Big summer blowout!"
The newcomer ignored him and walked up to the counter, standing directly before Anna and Hiccup. The two looked at him awkwardly, before they heard the stranger speak to them.
"Carrots." he grumbled from behind his scarf. The princess and the viking looked at him in confusion. What was he talking about. "Behind you." he said in annoyance. The two turned around to see a bunch of carrots behind them under the counter.
"Oh, sorry." Anna said as they made way for him to grab the vegetables and place them on the counter.
"A real howler in July." Oaken said to him. "Where do you think it could have come from."
"From the North Mountain." the man replied, as he picked up the ropes from the winter department. This caught Hiccup's and Anna's interest.
"North Mountain..." they said together as they looked at each other. The North Mountain was a perfect place for someone who wanted to get away. Hiccup caught a glimpse of it when he flew into Arendelle. He remembered where it was, but getting there could be problematic. Anna almost slapped her forehead for not thinking about it earlier. An isolated place, shut away from the world was a place Elsa would go to.
The man placed the rope on the counter, next to the carrots and was about to pay, when Hiccup butted in.
"You know, buddy, we were here first." everyone turned to look at him. "What?" he asked them.
"Don't be rude!" Anna told him. He raised an eyebrow.
"I shouldn't be rude? He stole our place." Anna rolled her eyes. Just when they were given the possibility to find out where Elsa has been, this cynical jerk has to ruin it.
The man ignored them and turned to Oaken to pay. "That would be forty." he told him on his usual cheerful voice.
"Forty?" the man asked in shock. "No ten!"
"Oh no, that won't do." Oaken replied. "You see, this is from my winter stock, when the supply and demand have a big problem."
"You want to talk about the supply and demand problem? I sell ice for a living." the conversation was interrupted by a chuckling Anna.
"Wow! That should be a difficult business to be in right now. I mean..." she cut herself off when she saw the stranger narrowing his eyes at her, making her feel awkward. "That's unfortunate." she finished sheepishly. Hiccup raised an eyebrow. He's selling ice for a living? Who would want to buy ice?
"Still forty. But as a bonus: you can use Oaken sauna." he turned around and waved into the direction of said sauna, which a family of five was currently using. "Hi family! Whoo-whoo!" The family returned Oaken's gesture and Oaken, Anna and Hiccup waved back.
"Ten's all I got." said the man. "Help me out."
"Ok." Oaken pushed the carrots in front of him and pulled the rope away. "You can have this for ten, but no more." he said and the man sulked. Clearly that wasn't the deal he expected.
"Ok. Tell us one thing." Anna chirped in suddenly, much to the stranger's annoyance. "What happened at the North Mountain... did it seem... magical?"
The man seemed to mind the coldness of his clothing slightly more than Anna's questioning, as he pulled the scarf out of his face, making his face visible for the first time. (A.N.: I really suck at descriptions. You all know how he looks like, so let's stick with that.)
"Yes!" he snapped at her a bit. "Now back up, while I deal with this crook here!"
However, their attention soon turned to Oaken, as he slowly stood up from his chair, revealing his actually quite frightening size. Hiccup and Anna backed away, not wishing to be on the receiving end of his wrath, because he sure wasn't happy with the term the blond stranger used on him. 'Damn!' thought Hiccup. 'This guy could easily make some of my friends wet their pants.'
"What did you call me?" Oaken asked on a tone which was rather hurt than angry, but nevertheless, before the man could answer, he picked him up like a ragdoll, walked to the door, ignoring his constant apologies and threw him out into the snow. "Bye bye!" he called after him. "Come back soon!" and with that he slammed the door and went back inside.
All Hiccup and Anna could do was stare at the scene in awe and fright.
"Wow, sure glad that wasn't me. Remind me not to piss this guy off." he told Anna, who smiled evilly at him. She would have liked to see Oaken do the same to him.
"I apologize for this atrocity." Oaken said as he sat back behind the counter. "So, just the boots and the dress, ja?"
Anna was about to reply, but then she thought. If the guy Oaken just threw out knew how to get to the North Mountain and/or Elsa, maybe she should help him out and then he would to the same in return. She looked at the rope and the carrots that were still on the counter and with a sigh reached for her money.
Author's Note: Sorry for the long delay, guys. But I really hope you enjoyed this chapter. But I know the feeling of waiting for a good story's update for a very long time. A while ago I found a story that I really like. Just the kind of Frozen fanfic I like, even added it to my community and it hadn't been updated for over a month, so I know how that feels.
I hope you liked that Brave reference at the beginning of the chapter. And also, the englishman who delivered that quote was the main character of my favourite TV show of all time: Edmund Blackadder.
Also, I planned an extra part for this chapter, in which Hiccup and Anna pretend to be a married couple to get the stuff cheaper because they don't have enough money, but I ran out of time. IF you want me to do it, tell me and I'll add it tomorrow.
Next Time: Hiccup and his newfound companions go to the North Mountain as the journey becomes more and more bizzare. Alsom there's still a little bitterness between them, but they are starting to warm up to each other.
Anyway, please read and REVIEW. This is fanfictionmakermachine, signing out, peace!