(Well it seems two days turned to twleve days. What can I say, I can't count...No I'm just kidding, the first few days were a little troubling for me, for this chapter at least, and some more personal drama creeped back into my life. CURSE YOU PERSONAL DRAMAAA- okay I'm done. So for this one, I made it extra long, almost three times as long as normal. Thank you though for not actually coming to my house and forcing me to write...except that one guy...how did he even get my address?... No I'm just kidding.)
(Oh, one more thing. Because of my Gamer commenter, I did some more research on those games and found one called Mad Father and used the song "Aya's Theme:Alive" for this chapter. Here's the link ( watch?v=IN9Q3wcbAUE ) enjoy! Now on with the show.)
"Are you ready Ruffnut?" Fishlegs asked expectantly.
Ruffnut gritted her teeth, just about ready to pound him. "You sure this is going to work."
Fishlegs chuckled. "Well nothing in the world is a complete 100% accurate, in fact, most things are not, you know I read a book about the philosophy of reassured events, it's actually quite a page turner and-OW!" He yelled, as Ruffnut slapped his cheek, to get him off his book rambling.
She yanked his hair to make his face meet her level. "Just tell me-" Ruffnut said through her teeth. "Is. This. Going. To. Work.?" Her voice was coated with venom and anger, here she was about to put her life in further danger, and if Fishlegs' plan didn't work, the girl had already begun to plan the terrible things she would do to him. Now she wanted his full reassurance, then she'd have more evidence to put blame (and pain) onto him.
He gulped. "...yes."
Ruffnut released his hair from her iron grip and turned over to her brother. She put a hand on his shoulder. "If I don't survive this Tuff, I just want you to know, you are the craziest, weirdest, psychotic and most disgusting worm-brain I'd ever know."
Her brother smiled, and gave a sniffle. "That was beautiful sis." He wiped a tear from his eye and gave a pat to her back. "And I feel the exact same way. Now go kick that witch's-
"Okay!" Fishlegs stopped him. "Remember the plan Ruffnut, just act natural, and I'll be there to guide you through all this."
Ruffnut nodded and gave in a deep breath, walking away from their hiding spot and back to the Great Hall, opening up the doors.
"Wow" she breathed. People were in an even faster rush than before. Men and women ran past her, carrying different plates of food, papers, fabrics, and blue flowers. Looking around, Ruffnut could barely recognize the area, Katherine's blue flowers decorated all four walls of the building, the vines twirling around pillars and windows; their fragrance was suffocating, it took all her own will power not to gag out of desperation for fresher air.
"No, I want the crystals hitting at a specific angle, just move the wire a little more to the left, and push that other one more to the right." Ruffnut turned over to the front where 'Astrid' stood, hands on her hips, looking up at a desperate Mulch, trying to straighten a large string of crystals over a silk banner, that covered the head of the room.
"Not your left, my left." She instructed sternly, apparently, either too focused on the banner, or just not caring of how the ladder the viking was standing on, was wobbling.
"Uh, hey Ash." Ruffnut winced at saying the nickname she gave her friend when they were kids to the crazy witch. Katherine didn't stir though, still, looking up at the banner. Ruffnut blinked up at her silence. "Um, Astrid?"
Katherine turned around, obviously not responding to the nickname, making Ruffnut mentally kick herself. She gave a small smile. "Ruffnut dear, Heather told me you ran out." She fluttered her long eyelashes, "Is everything alright."
Ruffnut cursed under her breath. This girl was one heck of an good actress; the arched eyebrows, the sinking blue of her iris's; her sympathy was exceptionally convincing, so much so that it made her sick. As much as Ruffnut wanted to grip her neck and choke her that very minute, she forced herself back to keep her head cool. "I actually came here to.." she shuddered and bit the inside of her mouth. "To... a-pol-o-gize" Ruffnut spit out, it practically hurt to say the words.
"Oh?" Katherine grinned. "Is that so?"
"Yes!" Ruff said dangerously, swallowing down her rage. "And to make up for it, I would like to get the fitting done personally, at my house, I have plenty of material, being my mother is a seamstress."
"Hmm" Katherine tapped a finger on her chin, while Ruffnut prayed she didn't notice the utter fake in her nervous smile. "I even dropped by your house and grabbed my dress and dropped it by my house, I hope you don't mind." Ruffnut said quickly.
"Well...I was going to prepare the wedding rings soon and-HEY, straighten that!" Katherine ordered to Mulch, trying to keep his balance on the rotting wooden ladder. Ruffnut looked away sheepishly, Katherine gave off the cold demanding voice that Astrid would sometimes use whenever she was serious about something, and it still that brought shivers to the spine. "Anyways..." Ruffnut hurried. "Can we go?"
Katherine beamed. "Oh, of course dear, you've already took your dress to your house, so-" she shrugged her shoulders. "Might as well." But her smile quickly left as she turned to glare at Mulch. "And when I get back, that banner better be symmetrical with the others."
Mulch gulped and nodded.
As they walked away and out the door, Ruffnut could almost swear she heard a crack, fall, a yelp, and the flap of fabric.
"I can't tell you how pleased I am with your excitement over this...it's actually a little surprising." Katherine said.
"Uh, huh." Ruffnut shrugged off, turning her head up, down, left, and right, across the path, looking for the sight of a husky blonde Fishlegs. "How can someone his size hide so well?" she thought.
"-and of course next to the dress, the rings are the most important, I mean, the entire plan would fall apart without them and...um Ruffnut, are you alright?"
"Huh" Ruffnut asked. "Oh, yeah, sure, why?"
Katherine frowned. "Well I'm getting the feeling you're not listening to me, you seem a little distracted." She turned to block Ruff's way and raised an eye. "Are you sure everything is alright?"
Ruffnut blew a stray hair out of the way. "Oh, yeah, totally I..." She paused, her eyes turning to the right. Fishlegs had his head poking out from a stray bush, her head cocking to where he was, giving a quick wave to her.
Katherine put her hand on her hips. "Okay, what are you staring at." She huffed, turning herself around.
"WAIT!" Ruffnut yelled, grabbing her shoulders, before she turned and saw Fishlegs in the bush. Katherine looked extremely irritated, grabbing Ruff's own wrists, and taking them off her arms. "What now?!" She demanded.
Ruffnut gave one quick look where Fishlegs quickly ducked back into the bush, before turning back to the witch, who tapped her foot impatiently. "Well?"
"Oh, I..um, thought I saw a...spider?"
"Yes, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it" She nodded her head nervously, grabbing hold of the other's hand. "Oh look, my house is only just a few feet away, let's get inside, now!" Ruffnut quickly pushed the bride-to-be, in through her door, and slammed it shut, giving off a breath of relief. "Now, um..." Ruffnut hurried to where she pre-laied out the dress and some of her mother's extra materials. "Let's get started!
The witch gave off a huff. Why did this girl have to be so aggravating and strange? "Fine" she said dryly. "Just take off your clothes so I can put the dress on you."
Ruffnut nodded, taking off the vest, but quickly paused when she remembered who would be watching. Her head peered up to the window. Fishlegs's face was bright red, shaking his head so quickly that Ruffnut couldn't tell whether it was his sign of aborting the mission, or he was just unsure if she should look away.
"Uh...can't I just put the dress over my clothes?" Ruffnut asked shyly.
Katherine turned around, the dress in one hand and a pin cushion in the other. "What a peculiar thing to say?"
"I'm just not, comfortable, with being bare, you know?" Wow, how awkward was that?! Trying to explain an excuse like that. In truth, just saying something like that made Ruffnut crack her knuckles, not that such a thing was true, she had bathed in the river around other women plenty of times; it was having to sound like a petty Roman girl that made her stomach churn. She dared for an eye to sly over to the window, Fishlegs gave a thumbs-up symbol to her as gratitude. Well, at least someone felt better over this. She herself, felt her pride deflate a little over sounding so squeamish.
Katherine looked over her suspiciously. "I see." She murmured, but her brow immediately arched back up with sympathy. "So that's why you ran out earlier."
Ruffnut cringed. "Y-yes."
She chuckled. "I completely understand." she said, patting Ruff's shoulder, in a friendly manner that made Ruffnut want to puke. "Here, arms up." Katherine instructed, pulling the dark blue fabric over her slim figure. Smoothing it down, the bride-to-be looked over the sight. Her eyes went up and down, and back, observing the front and back of the dress. Katherine looked up at her deeply. "Something's missing...I just don't know what."
Ruffnut's head perked up, by an idea. "You're right, something is missing, maybe a piece of jewelry...say a necklace?" She asked expectantly.
"That's rather specific?" Katheirine commented. "No, wait!" She snapped her fingers. "I know what to do." Taking a firm grip on one of Ruff's braids, she pulled and began unbraiding it.
"Hey, hey! What do you think you're doing?!" Ruff demanded, trying to take her hair back, Ruffnut's hair was already long with it braided; if someone undid it, the entire thing would cover the house like a carpet! It would take her forever to try and get this tangled mess back into a tye!
"Oh come now, I'm helping you." Katherine encouraged. "Now just hold still and-" she paused, her face scrunching up. She wiggled her nose, slowly holding the hair up, she took a small breath in. "What is that! Fish oil?"
Katherine shook her head. "We'll just have to get it washed before the wedding then." Undoing the last hair twist, Katherine smoothed out the greasy blonde walks. "Well..." Katherine started. "the hemming is a bit long... but I think that's the only problem, tell me what you think."
The witch, put her palms on Ruff's waist and forcefully turned her around to the mirror, they kept in the corner. Ruffnut felt her head go light, inspecting the reflection; this person in front of her, couldn't be her! Could it? The gown went a few inches past her feet; a dark blue hue, with white lace covering the bottom, and the top sprinkled over with small cyrstals. Her hair was down, passing her feet, small waves of curl she didn't even know she had, were now able to show. The sight was pretty, but is wasn't recognizable, and the feeling twisted at her stomach.
"Left you breathless I see." Katherine teased.
Ruffnut rolled her eyes. "Oh shut up Ash." She mentally came-back. "Wait..." her eyes widened. "Did I just-" For a moment there, she forgot who she was with, it felt like she was with...a friend? "NO!" she stopped. "That's just what she wants, it's nothing but an act."
"Now let's see what I can do with that hem." She took the pin cushion in her palm and knelled down to Ruffnut's feet, carefully, using two fingers to push or poke strands of hair out of her way, clearly not comfortable with the greasy particles. "You know, I'm really happy you're getting so interested in the wedding."
Ruffnut gave no comment, now with the witch distracted, Ruffnut put her face back up the window. Fishlegs had his head poked out, but strangely though, his face was still red? Why? She had the dress over her clothes. Ruffnut waved her arm at the window and mouthed a silent "Hey." Fishlegs shook his head and gained back focus. Ruffnut crossed her arms and mouthed out "Well?"
He stayed quiet for a minute or too. The look made Ruffnut mentally chuckled, she could practically see the wheels in his head turn, peering in the room with her, thinking over a solution. It was when that his brown eyes shined brightly, that she knew he found something. Nodding happily to her, he mouthed it out.
Ruffnut shook her head. She couldn't understand it. "What?" she mouthed.
Fishlegs try to mouth it out again.
"What?" she mouthed again.
He slowly moved his lips out for her to understand. What she could gather was a two-syllable word, first in a "Ah" shape, them an "Ur" shape.
"Otter?" she thought. "Hotter?" "Starter?" . "What-OW!" She shouted out, feeling something forcefully stab the soft part of her skin near her ankle.
"Oh, I am so very sorry." Katherine breathed. "I thought I felt a stubborn piece of fabric." She lifted up the end of the dress. Ruffnut began to feel her skin chilling and slow drips of liquid coming out. "Oh dear." Katherine added. "I better get that cleaned; where's your water?"
"Oh it's over-" "Wait Water!" Ruffnut thought. She eyed the bush. "Yeah, the WATER, is by the corner." Fishlegs looked to her, smiled, and nodded, ducking back down the bush. Ruffnut's eyes brightened, now she remembered, she knew what to do because she did the exact same thing to Fishlegs two years ago when she wanted the fish-scale bracelet he got from his uncle. "Here." Ruffnut grinned. "Let me help you get it."
She went over, and bent down to help Katherine lift the large bucket of well-water, her grin deepened once she got the other end of the bucket, drips of water sloshing out, showing how full it was. "Careful, this thing is heavy." Ruffnut gripped her end tighter and began to hold it higher."Just a little more force" she thought. The water started to tip down to the other direction. "I would hate to...oh, OH NO, I'M LOSING BALANCE! The wooden bucket tipped farther until Ruffnut finally and completely let it go and-
Katherine gave out a scream of shock. Her entire outfit, from her lavender scented hair, to her gray silk slippers were completely soaked. "LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE!"
Ruffnut had to bite the inside of her mouth so hard, she felt bits of blood come out, in order not to lose herself laughing. "So sorry Ash." She grabbed a dish-towel. "Here, let me try and keep you from dripping so much." Ruffnut used the towel on the other girl, patting her clothes and rubbing on her hair and neck, pushing some of her hair out of the way, so to help dry her off easier. "Thank-you for helping me with the fitting, you already pinned at the hem, I'm sure my mom can take it from there." Ruffnut said as she dryed. "You better go home and get in another change of clothes." Looking up at the sorceress, Ruffnut grinned. "A future ruler shouldn't be seen like this."
Katherine paused, taking a step back, when Ruffnut repeated her own words from earlier, back at her. But it was only for a moment; quickly, she straightened her back, and nodded. "I suppose you're right." Katherine commented dryly, as if she were a queen talking to one of her lowly subjects. "Good-day." And with high-pride, she pushed her shoulders back, and walked out the door; her slippers squishing as she walked.
Once Katherine was far enough where neither could see her, Fishlegs walked through the door, to find Ruffnut on the floor, roaring in laughter. "AH AH AH AH, DID...DID YOU SEE HER FACE?! PRICELESS!" Ruffnut continued. Fishlegs rolled his eyes, though couldn't help but chuckle when remembering the scene. Pulling her up, he put two hands on her shoulders in attempt to calm her down. "So, does this mean you got it?"
Ruff wormed out of his grasp and took a few steps back, not laughing, but still with a full-bred cheshire-grin. She held out a closed tightly fist, and slowly opened it up. "What do you think?" A gold chain fell out; held at the top by her two fingers, and dangling on the end, was a glittering locket.
"So this is the place." Fishlegs commented.
"A tree." Snotlout said aggravated. "You guys dragged me out here for a tree." He looked up at the sky, the sun was still up, due to it being summer time, but even still, supper was going to be served soon, and he didn't want to miss it. Especially if all these guys wanted to do was stare at plants all day.
"Just give me a second." Ruffnut rushed, becoming impatient as she glided her fingers across the tree; this was the only one with black moss on the side, so where was that stupid lock-hole-thing Astrid talked about! "Really, why must everything be so difficult." she growled.
"Yeah." Snotlout added. "Well I'm just going to go back to the village, and you guys can come with me when you gain back some sanity, so-
"FOUND IT!" Ruffnut yelled victoriously. The blonde turned to the brunette and smirked. "Tell me about you're sanity when you feast your eyes on THIS!" She pushed the locket in the knot-hole. Within seconds...
Snotlout laughed and shook his head. "Well, see ya" He mocked cheerily.
"No, wait a minute." Ruffnut stopped him, grabbing his arm and digged her nails in his elbow.
Snolout groaned. "What?" This girl was persistent, he had to give her that.
Ruffnut stayed quiet for a few seconds. ". . .it was upside-down." She unclawed her hand from his arm and took out the locket; taking an extra look, she put it back in the hole. "Okay...NOW feast your eyes on THIS!"
Within seconds, the charm hummed and glowed, wrapping it's glimmer into the outlines of the tree bark. The blue then shaped itself around the knot-hole, revealing a hatch, that now opened itself up for visitors.
"Oh" Fishlegs started.
"My" Ruffnut added.
"Dragon snot." Tuffnut nodded.
The others turned back at Tuffnut with either question or irritation. Fishlegs smacked his forehead and shook his head slowly. Ruffnut rolled her eyes, taking her brother's helmet off his head, she whacked him in the face because of his stupidity. Unintentionally, Tuffnut yelped, tripping and falling down on the ground, and began rolling down the hatch steps. Wincing at each step down.
*oof* Guys, I found the bottom." He called out. Seeing her brother was alright (physically at least), Ruff huffed, shaking her head and heading down the stairs with Fishlegs following pursuit. But Snotlout stayed up near the entrance, still trying to grasp what was shown to his very eyes. "So wait, you guys aren't questioning this? At all?!"
"Eh." Ruffnut called out nonchalantly. "We've seen stranger. Now hurry up, OH and don't forget the locket."
Snotlout gulped. They were kidding right?. . . Apparently not. Heaving out a huff of defeat, Snotlout put a foot on the first step, it was either go down there, or be branded a coward. By the time he made his way down, Ruffnut had been tapping her foot impatiently. "Took you long enough!" she snapped, torches had lit themselves up for the group, no doubt a charm Katherine placed for convenience. Ruff turned to a large stone door that laied in her wake. She rubbed her hands together as she looked over her last obstacle greedily. "Now we can get started." Ruffnut grabbed out for the latch.
"Ruffnut wait!" Fishlegs pleaded. "Astrid said this door was protected."
"So what? I'm a anti-magic shield remember?"
"Yes." Fishlegs sighed. "But who knows what will happen if you break through a secured and protected door, for all he know it'll summon Katherine to us, or send a shock wave of lightening at all of us! And we aren't all protected like you."
"What the heck are you guys talking about!" Snotlout cried out. Magic, shields, lightening, and who the heck was Katherine?! Snotlout ran his hands through his hair gruffly. If he saw one more crazy thing, he felt like he'd might burst from the craziness.
But all three ignored him, Ruffnut shrugged Fishlegs off and breathed in an "alright" and observed the symbols on the stone. "Sooo... how did the combination go again?"
"Um..." Fishlegs paused. "I don't remember."
"Well neither do I!" Ruffnut shouted. "So what now?"
"Pick the five pointed star; turn the three ringed circle; press on the arrow head; and knock three times on the rose symbol." Tuffnut said nonchalantly.
The other three turned to him, all too shocked to respond. "Tuff?" Fishlegs asked carefully. "How did you know that?"
The male-twin shrugged. "Don't know." He turned over to the wall and began to move to his own instructions. Once he did, he moved out of the way of the door handle. "So do you want to open the door, or do you want me too?"
"Move out of the way!" Ruffnut pushed him out of her way, hiding her shock, embarrassment, and slight envy with how her idiot brother just re-did the code. Holding on the knob, Ruffnut turned it and yanked at the door. It made a loud creak as it opened, small bit's of dust remaining from Astrid's first visit revealing themselves out.
Within those few seconds of the door opening out, Ruffnut felt her heart jumping around in circles around her chest. What was there to find? Would she see potions and amulets, books of spells...maybe a few piles of bones! It was like her mind had been split, half wanted to run away back up the stairs and forget she saw any of this, before she joined her friend in a magic trap; yet the other half filled with curiosity for this new, mysterious adventure, anticipating the epic battle against an evil witch.
Ruffnut lead her group into the antechamber. Within the first few footsteps in, her eyes popped open, somehow paralyzing her feet from continuing, and making her voice box freeze inside her throat. Her eyes darted all across the room; potions laied scattered on a wooden work bench, a tall bookcase was pushed up against the granite wall, she could only guess what kind of torturous spells lived within them, and a dark crimson curtain was decorated near it.. And yet, how strange? As they moved further into the room, the surprise soon faded within the teenage girl until it was no longer attainable; the lair was close to how she imagined, yet still different. But even still, she felt no fear, nor worry, or even bewilderment. But why? Had she really gone through so much in one day that she no longer could be fazed by even the creepiness, of a dank, moldy underground cavern, whose only light came from the quick movements of a flames candle light?
Ruffnut shook her head. "What is she doing to me!"
Katherine trudged across the land, her clothes and hair now beginning to stick to her flesh like glue, as her slippers continued their irritating squishing sound in-between her toes. "I should have burned half her hair off" she grumbled. "Maybe when this is all over, I'll let her wake-up underwater." Katherine chuckled at the thought, approaching the Hofferson house. Opening up the door, and letting herself in, she saw Astrid's mother look to her, surprised by her early come home.
"Astrid you're drenched!"
"Oh! You don't say?" Katherine mentally commented in her head. But on the outside she gave out a weak and tender smile. "I'm afraid so, a little accident, nothing to fuss over though." She shrugged off, playing her part as the loving daughter very well, and began to wring out her hair with a comb laying on the table. Pressing it through soft blonde locks, she took a minute or so to examine them. Her old hair was much prettier than this, blacker and softer than the finest raven feather, and when wet, would show off a deep blue shade in sunlight; much better than compared to the mucky dead-hay hair color this body gave off.
"Hamish loved my hair." She thought. "As did Aggie." When the two were very little, Katherine's younger sister would always try to play with her hair; and once she began courting the chief's son, Hamish did the very same, combing through it and using tufs of it to tickled her face. Her hair had been a rare aspect in the village and became one of the things she took great pride in. And the memories kept a warm feeling tingle through her chest. Though, at the thought of her long-dead fiance, came memories of her newly found love-interest, and their previous confrontations.
Katherine hated this. She hated having to fight so hard for his affections, she hated having to look like someone she wasn't...she hated having someone be afraid of her.
"No, STAY BACK!" He yelled!
"I'm not yours".
"You're not her."
His voice echoed in her skull. Why wouldn't it go away! Couldn't he see she wasn't doing him any harm; if you wanted to be technical, you could even say she did less to him than Astrid did, the girl who always seemed to beat him (or anyone else for that matter) at the drop of a spear. How was she the bad guy here! Why couldn't he just...just...
"UGH!" Katherine groaned, throwing the comb onto the ground, making a large crackling sound once the bone comb hit the floor, alarming the mother of the house.
"Astrid! Astrid what is it?" She asked, rushing over to her daughter, who now succumbed herself to the floor and began picking up a few tips of easily breakable bone that chipped off the comb. Filling her hands with bone, 'Astrid' laied them on the kitchen table.
However; upon realizing she allowed her facade to fade, Katherine swore under her breath. Mrs Hofferson asked her a question. She couldn't just very well say nothing, vikings were a stubborn race, and one way or another, they'd get you to talk, and she couldn't just say nothing; nobody yells out in frustration, breaking off a comb, for nothing!
"Astrid dear?" her mother spoke softly. "Something's wrong. Is it the wedding?" she asked, tucking back a stray hair behind the young bride's ear. Normally, she wouldn't be acting like this to her child, a viking needed to learn how to face it in the world, they had to grow out of nightmares and child-hood fears on their own; parents weren't suppose to coddle, but still, with everything that had happened, a mother needed to guide her daughter into wife-hood. So here she sat, petting her child's cheek. "Dear, if you want, we can rescheldule the-
"NO!" The bride-to-be screamed. Starling the older woman. "No, it has to be on the exact date, exactly!" She punctuated. Shaking her head, she calmed her panicked train-of-thought and resumed to sweet, calming girl. "Mother, can, can I ask you something?"
The older woman shook her head. "Of course, what is it?"
She could see her 'daughter' shift uncomfortably, refusing to meet her eyes, as she continued to wave out tangles in her hair with the half-broken comb. "Mother, if you did something, something that, though you knew it would give you something you wanted desperately... if it came at another's expense, could you go through with it?"
Mrs Hofferson eyed the girl carefully. "Well, I suppose, as with everything, you need to decide for yourself whether or not the goal justifies the means." She explained, 'Astrid's' head shrank back down, obviously not hearing the answer she wanted to hear. Seeing this, the mother took hold of the young girl's chin, in order to properly meet her disappointing eyes and smiled. "But I know the girl I raised, the one who never let anything stopped her, but was also smart enough to know when to pick her fight." Mrs Hofferson let go of her chin. "You know what's best Astrid, after all-" her eyes brightened. "You learned from the best."
Katherine chuckled. "Thank-you that was very helpfu-OHH!" Like a trail of ice had made it's way under her skin and down her spinal cord; the witch shivered, the cold spreading down her arms and torso. "That can't be right." she thought. "Only if someone had-" Katherine reached to her neck but felt it bare! Her breath caught back mid-way, she began to panic; wrapping her palms over her neck and chest frantically, smoothing out her clothes in vain for a hidden pocket.
It wasn't there.
But how? Did Ruffnut have it, but how could she? How could-...wait! The water! Katherine replayed the events in her mind. It wasn't an accident. Smoothing out her hair, and drying her off. "That little sneak!" Katherine thought. Of course, how could she had been so blind. Katherine realized early on, that for some odd reason, those twins could not be drawn by her magic, that meant having to keep a close eye on them. And yet they had been able to get past her? How dare they! But with the wedding, and being with Hiccup and...- No! Now was not the time for excuses.
She grew a large, excitable smile. "Thank-you again mother, I should probably go see if Ruffnut has finished the hem of her dress yet." With a single nod, Katherine walked out and exited the house. Closing the door behind her, she leaned her self against the wood, closing her eyes for a single moment of sheer silence. But then she decided to break it. Like that of man gone insane, the witch started to laugh, laugh out a cruel, dark, cackle.
"Heh, heh, she thinks she's so smart." Katherine giggled. "She thought she'd change the game on me. Well then-" She opened up her blue orbs, they grew a shade darker, filled with a returned hunger and lust for blood. Regret and second thoughts now had left her conflicted conscious. "I suppose it's my turn to play now."
"This place is amazing!" Fishlegs awed at the room, immediately heading to the tall bookcase, grabbing at covers and flipping through pages. "I didn't even know any of this could be possible! Look!" He pointed out a inscription in a large red book. "This spell can let you see in the dark, I could read all the books I wanted and not have to burn a candle." He spoke gleefully.
"Wow Fishlegs." Snotlout said cheerfully, putting a hand on Fishlegs shoulder. "You can even make the impossible feats of magic sound lame."
"Hey I wonder what this does." Tuffnut grabbed a bright colored orange vial. Before anyone had a chance to stop him, the male-twin accidentally lost grasp of the slippery glass and dropped the potion. Once the glass shattered, a small break of orange smoke covered his small area, making the others take several steps away from him. His sister waved her hands out as the smoke cleared and approached her brother.
"Tuffnut I swear, if you have a tail, you're are sleeping outside tonight!" Luckily though, Tuffnut looked normal and alive. But he wasn't moving. Ruffnut blinked and waved a hand in front of his face. "Tuffnut?"
Her brother gritted his teeth, he was standing up, but both his arms were in front of his head, in self-defense of when the smoke came out. "I...can't...move." He mumbled out. Ruffnut could see small shakes of his arms and legs, but indeed, it was as if her brother had been frozen. "You idiot." She smacked his head.
Just like a statue, the force of her made his entire posed body fall down, his elbows hitting the sandy floor and hoisting up the rest of his body. "I...need...to...scratch my nose."
"Oh I think I saw this in one of these books." Fishlegs pointed out, flipping back through one of the larger stacks of spells. "Here it it. A Still-As-Stone Potion, seems fairly simple to make, all you need is some mud-weed, a little honey, half a cup of-
"How long does it last?!" Ruffnut asked.
Fishlegs frowned. "Uh, I don't like being screamed at. But it should only be about 10 minutes or so." Fishlegs closed the book and walked over to the twins. "In the meantime, we should probably get this cleaned up." He pointed to the broken glass. Bending down, he began picking up individual pieces ever so carefully and delicately to avoid cuts, and deposited them in a wooden waist basket. He was just about done, when a peculiar sound stopped him. Footsteps.
Turning around, he could see Ruffnut almost as still as her brother, sensing the danger as well. With the sound of loud footsteps getting louder, and without thinking, Fishlegs and Snotlout ducked under the workbench and Ruffnut dragged her frozen brother with her behind the curtain. Each person holding their breaths and each praying for the volume of their heart beat to lower, all waited for who the intruder was.
The footsteps soon ceased and became replaced by the sound of a stone door opening up. Ruffnut glared as the figure came in. Her squished slippers were now night-black heels, creating the mocking footsteps she heard. Katherine pushed back a stray blonde hair and eyed her lair closely. With a sigh and a smile, she let herself in. "Oh it feels so good to be back." She walked over to the work bench, brushing her fingertips on the wood. Her eyes gave subtle glance at the wait-basket, but only for a moment before she continued walking around, toward the bookcase and curtain near it.
"I've always loved this curtain." Katherine said loosely, allowing her hand to drape across it. "So deep a red, like the thickest blood."
The words that came from her friend's voice made Ruffnut shiver, trying to push herself as far back as she could, whilst still holding on to her lack-of-balance statue brother. "But's it been here so long." She heard Katherine comment. "Maybe I should move it to another part of the room."
Katherine's grin deepened as she could almost feel a nervous shake of movement within the fabric. "But I suppose that can wait for another time." She drew her hand away from the curtain, and to the bookcase. "For now, I have work to do." The witch darted down, mentally counting the number of books in her bookshelf. "Hmm, I could have sworn I had more than this."
Fishlegs almost bumbed his head on the table, clenching even tighter to the three books he had. Katherine scanned her eyes on the lines of knowledge, until they had landed on a deep red cover. Yanking it out, she traced her digits over the large, gold trended letters. "Sombre de Magica" she read out. The witch gave way a light giggle, like a young child over their first pet. "You." she caressed the book with a finger. "Are going to give me everything I've ever wanted."
The sorceress looked back around the room happily, holding the spellbook close to her chest and skipped around in a full circle. "And to think, after all these years, all it took to make it happen-" she darted her eyes to the curtain. "Was to trick one stupid, barbaric, blonde teenage tramp."
Ruffnut felt her blood boil, and heart-rate pumping. She could feel the angry energy gripping in her veins. To be called a whore was one of the, if not the greatest sign of shame and insult in their culture. Naming someone such a thing was not taken lightly, and for Ruffnut, this was no exception. "I'm going to make this witch, wish she stayed dead." she thought, squirming in her hiding place, too angry to stay still.
The moving curtain was caught in Katherine's vision, yet she kept her actions subtle. "Well I should go, there's still so much to do." The loud tap of her footsteps against the stone steps had come back, but grew fainter with every minute, until it finally returned to silence, indicating that the enchantress was gone. With the danger now pass, each teen took a breath of relief, Fishlegs and Snotlout crawled out from under the table and Ruffnut angrily ripped out the curtain with one hand, and dragged her brother with the other, who was now twitching to gain more movement.
"I'm going to kill her." Ruffnut spat angrily, dropping her brother and marching past the other two. "I'm am going to go up to her, and stab her a few twenty hundred times until she bleeds to death." Ruffnut was about to go back up the staircase, until Fishlegs blocked her path. "Wait a minute Ruffnut, we can't be irrational about this." He opened back up one of the books. "See, look, according to this one, it says that a soul needs a functioning vessel to live; killing Katherine in Astrid's body will officially kill both of them."
Ruffnut growled at him. "So what do you want us to do?"
Fishlegs huffed. "Well, I believe we should-" He gulped, his mind turning up a blank. "Well...we could...we could..."
"We could what?" Ruffnut demanded.
"I DON'T KNOW ALRIGHT!" Fishlegs screamed. And that was the moment that it hit him. Fishlegs didn't know what to do. Up to this point, he had been helping Ruffnut with her obstacles, and that was it. That's all he had been. Fishlegs was the smart guy, he was the helper, the one who found the information, and every time he had the one to follow someone else's lead.
Find information. Helped and check!
Get to the mirror. Helped and check!
Get the locket. Helped and check!
Go to the lair. Helped and check!
Fishlegs wasn't the leader, he never wanted to be one. Hiccup was the leader, and Astrid was his second-in-command, both were book-smart and street-smart, and ready to give the orders. But now both were unavailable to him. Ruffnut was an improviser, but she was too reckless, and yet, was all he had at the moment to follow; but he couldn't just let her go out and kill herself! And now she asked him for direction.
Ruffnut took his silence as a steady answer. "Fine." she snapped at him. "She's probably gone now anyway." Ruffnut took a few more steps up. "I need some air." And exited the room.
"How could he?" She thought. That squirmish, cowardly, little fish. She should have expected this, it was just like Fishlegs to run from a fight, to cry in the sight of danger. He'd probably let her friend die if it meant saving his own back. Ruffnut allowed these cruel thoughts to help fuel her already blossomed anger to Katherine, as she stomped out the wide-opened hatch. But it was the sound of a loud roar that paused her angry track.
A dragon roar. A zippleback roar. The same roar she heard that morning. Her dragon (dragons) were in trouble. Without even thinking first, Ruffnut broke out into a run, she hardly felt her feet hit the dirt before they were back up in the air, and driving her deeper into the forest. The sound of her dragons' roars turned into cries and to Ruffnut's horror, into whimpering sniffles, turning louder the closer she felt towards them.
The trees and branches bended out of her way, in order not to stop her. Ruffnut finally found herself at a clearing where the cries were the loudest. Her heart stopped at the sight. Up, tangled within dozens of large tree branches, each glowing bright blue, were Barf and Belch, snapping at the entrapping wood, that only squeezed tighter at their body, and wrapped around both necks, choking the two-headed reptile. The sight made tears blink across the girl's eyes, her beloved dragon was in absolute pain, their shouts of agony filling in her ear drums.
"You know, I usually try to keep from hurting living things, it's so barbaric."
Ruffnut turned around, seeing the cruelness of a ghostly witch approaching her, her right hand opened up, matching the bright glow on the tree branches. She walked confidently towards the mortal being, her grip on the dragon apparent, keeping Ruffnut from making a move.
"But, you see, I've been waiting over 85 years for this plan my dear." Katherine explained, her voice rising. "And I'm not about to let some high-strong mortal teenager take it aWAY FROM ME!" She screamed, and without further warning, attacked Ruffnut and pinned her to the ground. Ruffnut struggled under her weight, she had to admit, the girl was strong, of course it was Astrid's body.
"Sorry about this, but with my magic having no affect, I have to do it the hard way."
Ruffnut shook her head. "Let go of ME!" Freeing a leg, she kicked at her opponent's chest, hard enough to push Katherine a few feet away from her. Gritting her teeth, Katherine quickly stood herself up, and gave Ruffnut a breathy laugh. "Heh, not bad." She put a hand on her belt. "But I've seen better."
Katherine drew out a hidden dagger, and broke into a run at Ruffnut. Luckily, Ruffnut saw it in time, and pushed her body away from her target, however, it didn't stop the blade from barely hitting her arm.
Ruffnut drew a small hiss as the knife whizzed a little cut onto her fore-arm, she paused the instinct to cover it, and kept her focus on her attacker. Her breaths were heavy, she was weaponless, her dragon was trapped, and her friends were either held back by magic or just too many miles away from her. But Katherine had a dagger, and perhaps even more than that, and though she couldn't use magic on Ruffnut, she could use it on herself, she wouldn't get tired, and she couldn't be hurt.
Katherine smiled as though reading her very thoughts. "Well, it seems you're beginning to recognize your own uselessness then, you know you can't beat me."
Ruffnut grew silent, and didn't bother in leaving a comment. She was right. She couldn't beat her, no matter what she did, defeating Katherine would be next to impossible, especially in this situation. In all her life, Ruffnut had never felt so useless. Katherine took advantage of Ruffnut's sad processing of what was happening. She grew a quick sprint with dagger pointed out, aimed for Ruffnut. But unfortunately, unlike the first time, Ruffnut was not as quick to dodge. The sharpened piece of metal sliced through the soft flesh of Ruffnut's shoulder.
"I've always believed magic to be the most efficient way of dealing with someone." Katherine slowly pulled the blade out of the other girl's shoulder. "But this works too."
Her shoulder felt chilled, and stung terribly. The feeling of sticky thick blood met her hand, as she immediately went to grip the wound, however, the moment she tried to scream, she felt another hand, one much colder, yet soft to the touch, cover her mouth. From behind, Katherine sliced a deep cut to her leg, making Ruffnut drop down, allowing Katherine to tighten her grip on her. The dragons tried roaring louder to alert others, but with the flick of her blue wrist, Katherine took their voices, making them mute, but still enjoyable pathetic, watching them try to cry out.
Ruffnut herself did the same, try and squirm out of Katherine's grip, but to no avail, who only seemed to hum to her misery. The witch swiped again, first on her left, then right leg, until plunging the weapon into her left knee. Ruffnut felt that she could see stars, flashed of light crossing in her vision, her body turning cold from the pain. Pulling it back out, Katherine continued to boast. "You know, my favorite color was always blue, but if I had to choose anything else, you know what I'd choose?" She whispered with cold breath.
Her victim could only wine in response, allowing Katherine to finish. "It would be red." The witch sliced again, now at Ruffnut's arm. "Such a fiery, and passionate color." Katherine darted her head to face Ruffnut's vision. "The exact same color I am going to paint you with." Saying that, Katherine gave three more slices at the other's arm.
Ruffnut tried to scream, her tears were already blurring her vision. Oh why couldn't unconsciousness just take her now? Why didn't she stay with the group? Why didn't she just stop and think before running straight into things?
Katherine was pleased by the discomfort. "Oh dear, you seem troubled, why don't I give you something relaxing to listen to while you slowly die." The sorceress pocked her dagger into Ruffnut's small stomach, and started to move it across, cutting into her; letting go of the blade and keeping it inside her, Katherine snapped her fingers.
Automatically, the sound of chirping birds filled the clearing, different species of birds started flying and perching on ready tree branches. That sound, oh how she hated that sound, those stupid birds chirping, so high pitch and annoying; everything hurt. Her clothes felt warm and damp, and her skin felt sticky with blood dripping down and across her body. Yet still, Ruffnut continued her fight, trying to worm out from the other's strong hold.
"Don't you just love the birds." Katherine said dreamily, putting her fingers in Ruff's hair. "I know I do. In fact when I was little, my mother would sing me and my sister a song about the birds...of course that was a long time ago" She ceased brushing out Ruffnut's hair, and took the knife out. "Now let's see, hmm, how did it go again..."
Katherine chuckled, giving a soft pat of her knife to Ruffnut's shoulder. "You'll have to forgive me, I'm afraid I don't remember all the words, so I'll just have to improvise a few." The witch took her blade and began to hum softly, and closely to Ruff's ear. Her sharp metal went to her chest, and began to trace the sensitive part in the middle of her bosom, brushing across the skin, not cutting, but slicing off a few hairs.
(Aya's Theme: Alive from Mad Father)
"Little critters come to play with me; all the birdies are singing happily."
Her knife went down past her bosom, back to the stomach, where the larger wound was, and pressed down to deepen it. Ruffnut still continued to squirm.
"But don't you also think that they will; look prettier if-"
She pressed harder on the knife.
"They stay still."
Katherine chuckled. Ruffnut tried to close her eyes, but the mad-woman refused so, temporarily dropping her weapon to reopen her eyes. And with a now free hand, Katherine conjured one blue flower in her hand, and crumpled it, allowing it's petals to fall and dye red along Ruffnut's blood.
"The flowers red, or yellow, or blue; I will pick the prettiest ones for you"
She had some fall down her head and face.
"They'll make the perfect crown for your head-"
Once again grabbing hold of her toture device, Katherine traced it across Ruffnut's neck.
"But now all of the flowers are dead."
She laughed loudly, with great delight. Taking the now dripping red blade off the body, Katherine placed it up at the sun, it's light bouncing off sun sparks of light on the grass, and shined it on Ruffnut's eyes.
"Look how nice the sun on my knife, does make;
Before having time to process, Katherine stabbed her again, forcefully in her side so deep, she would swear she felt it hit her bones. She pulled Ruffnut closer for the next line.
"Cutting my sweet victim in her wake."
"But sissy says this is not allowed; so I guess I will stop this for now."
Ruffnut felt the knife twist in her side, wiggling in her body, and Katherine slowly pulling it out, making sure to stir it in her blood like a spoon in a mixing bowl."
"No more critters, come to play with me; I can no longer hear the birdies melodies"
The feeling of Katherine's arms around her was no longer existent, giving her the ability to fall down on her 'good side' and crawl into a huddled ball. Katherine made the birds fly away, and stood up.
"Well then, we should, just go back inside-"
Placing her arms over herself, Katherine's magic erased the blood from her dress, pants, and shoes. With one last pity of a look, Katherine turned the other way, out of the clearing. Her message was clearly across, at least it would when the others found this girl, she would have to make a path for them. She left, leaving Ruffnut in a growing puddle of her own blood.
"I am happy just to be alive."
Ruffnut could now let her eyes close, and her cold pain was turned into a numbing darkness.
(Well I told you she would get revenge. I told you, if you had any ideas for revenge, you should have commented, so no-one should get mad at me over Ruffnut's death-KIDDING! She's not dead...yet? *evil laugh* Tell me what you think in the comments (I love those). Read and Review and this is Moonlight Snowflake signing off...but coming back in a few days)