"Come on Eleanor. I know you were alright with it, but clearly our daughter isn't." Fergus followed his wife into their room as he tried to make her see reason. "We are the King and Queen of the lands and all the Clans. We can change what tradition is and how it is done."

Stopping at the window as she took a deep breath, Eleanor sighed as she held her hands together. She has been told that this is what was going to happen when she turned eighteen no matter what she thought about it. And that as the Princess she was obligated to go along with it. "Fergus I will not falter on this. It has been done this way with the Princess of Dunbroch from the beginning of time. Merida will go through with this. In two months the clans will arrive and the games will start. Three weeks later she will be married."

Turning to give her husband a stern look, Eleanor sighed. "There is but one way she can get out of it as she says. But the sons of the other Lord's will not allow it so she just needs to accept her fate."

His eyes going wide, until just now Fergus had been told that there was no way to get out of it at all. "What is that Eleanor?"

Realizing what she said, Eleanor let her eyes go wide as she turned and waved a hand in the air. "Nothing Fergus."

Moving to her, Fergus spun her around to look into his eyes as he hardened hers. "Tell me Eleanor."

With a sigh as she closed her eyes then looked back into his, Eleanor clasped her hands before her. "The only way for that to happen is whoever wins her hand, refuses to go through with it for whatever reason. But all the sons of the other Clan's will not do that so it is useless." Eleanor then turned and went to where she was nearly finished with the tapestry. "So both of you need to just stop trying to make me call it off. It is going to happen."

Without another word, Fergus just looked at his wife as she started to work on the tapestry. After a moment he turned and left the room and made his way to his own study. Stopping momentarily by his daughter's door. He could hear her crying. She didn't want to do this. Though she was coming up on eighteen it was clearly not something she wanted. They were the King and Queen of the lands and if anyone could change how it is done they could. But they had to be together on it.

Knowing that there was a way to stop it now, Fergus went to his study and wrote a quick explanation of what the situation was and what he wanted to the one person he knew would help. Stoic. They got word a month after they left that Valka had a son. He would be a couple of years older than Merida and if he was half the man that his father was, he would be more than willing to help him with this. And get his daughter out of doing something that she didn't want to do.

Leaving his study he went to the fowl house and picked up his fastest hawk and stepped outside with it as he fastened the small scroll to his foot. "Fly my friend. Go to Stoic."

Watching as his bird flew off as fast as he could, Fergus sighed. "I just hope the dragons don't get him before he gets there."

"Dad?"

Turning with a start, Fergus sighed when he saw his daughter standing behind him with dread shinning in her swollen, red eyes. Holding his hand out for her he sighed as she rushed to him and buried her face in his chest as she sobbed. "Don't worry your head girl. I am going to try and get us some help. Don't you worry."

"Why does she want to force me to do it? She won't even listen to me. I am not ready for marriage." Fisting her hands in her father's clothes, Merida drew a deep ragged breath.

"I know that my girl. I tried to talk ta her about it tonight but she is just as stubborn about it as you are." Lifting his little girl, Fergus headed back inside the castle. "But I am going to fix it. Just rest easy knowing that one Merida." Walking her into her room and putting her in bed, Fergus left and slowly headed for his own room. 'I know that if anyone can fix this, it will be Stoic. I know it.'

X

"Come on dad! What is the big deal with this? I just want to finish mapping out the area. I will only be gone at most a few months." Hiccup followed his dad through the house as he tried to get him to agree to it. "Mom is home now. You won't be…"

"Hiccup." Stopping and turning to his son, Stoic sighed. "You agreed that you would pick up some of the duties that I have and be responsible for them. You can't do that if you are flying around doing your map. I understand it is important. I understand that you want to do it. But you have things that have to be done here."

"But dad…" But Hiccup joined his dad in jumping when they heard a loud cry of a hawk from outside. "What is a hawk doing in Berk?"

"There is only one reason." Stoic glared as he rushed out and held his hand up. "Come." When the hawk landed on his arm he sighed. "Do you remember I told you about Fergus and Eleanor? The king and queen of Dunbroch where your mother and I were form before we came to Berk and I was made chief."

Nodding as he stood next to him Hiccup gave him an odd look. "I do. Is that from them?"

"It is." Opening the scroll and reading it, Stoic sighed. Hiccup was going to get out of his duties after all. But it was for a different reason than flying around making a map. "Hiccup. Your mother is helping Gobber. Go get both of them and bring them back here at once. Don't ask questions just do it."

Watching his dad walk in the house with the bird, Hiccup sighed as he headed for Gobber's. "I bet this means more work for me. I will never get the map done."

X

Once everyone was in the living room, Stoic sighed. "Fergus needs our help. And I know we can give it to him." Seeing the look of worry in Valka's face, Stoic put a hand on her knee. "It isn't Eleanor. She is fine. But it is the tradition they have with the princess they want to stop with their daughter Merida."

Blinking and pulling the eyes of both his parents to him, Hiccup let his head fall to the side. "What tradition is that?"

Looking up at her son, Valka sighed. "I don't agree with it. Eleanor was a friend and she was alright with it. The princess of the Kingdom of Dunbroch has a duty. When she is eighteen years old, the heir to the clans from all around the Kingdom come and fight for her hand. The winner marries her and she leaves everything she knows and loves to go be a wife to someone she doesn't know."

Blinking, Hiccup gave his mother an odd look. "That's horrible. But if her parents are the king and queen then why don't they change that?"

"Unlike with me here as a chief, Fergus can't do anything like that if Eleanor isn't on the same page as he is." Taking a deep breath Stoic closed his eyes. "But according to Fergus, Eleanor told him that the only way to get their daughter out of it is if someone wins the games and wins her hand, then says he doesn't want it. That frees her to do as she pleases."

Seeing their eyes go to him, Hiccup blinked. "Wait you want me to go and fight guys I don't know, to be able to marry a princess that I don't know, just so I can so no and walk away?"

Nodding Stoic sighed. "Yes I do. Fergus was a good friend. He needs help. You are my son. You are heir to the Haddock clan and this village. We hailed from there and can join in the fight." Then he gave his son a half glare. "Since when can you tell someone no you won't help them when they need it?"

Dropping his head as he rubbed the back of his neck Hiccup groaned. "I know that dad. But come on. I will stick out like a sore thumb with Toothless."

"In Dunbroch, Hiccup, sticking out and being different and as good as you are with different things is a good thing and will help with what you have to do. Trust me you will see what I mean when you get there." Valka laughed as she looked up at her husband then back to her son. "If you leave in a few days, you will have a month to get there and can work on your map that way if you wanted."

Blinking as he looked up, Hiccup smiled. He knew what she was doing. Letting him get what he wanted in a way. With a sigh as he shrugged his shoulders, Hiccup smiled. "Sure why not. I will be the only one here to say that I won the right to marry an actual princess."

A smile for her son as she gave him a nod, Valka sighed. "That's the spirit."

Standing up, Hiccup then headed up to his room. "I guess I will go get packed. And may need to go to your place Gobber and get Toothless another self-flying tail."

Once he was gone up the stairs, Gobber looked at Stoic and sighed. "You are going to warn him aren't you Stoic? Valka? About the feud that the Haddock's had with the Macintosh right?"

Nodding Stoic dropped his head. "I am going to have to do that. Macintosh wasn't exactly thrilled when he won second to Fergus. And then I stopped him from trying to kill him. I am sure that he is hoping that his boy wins and he gets Stoic's daughter. And Hiccup will be sabotaged at every corner."

Nodding, Valka smiled. "That is true. But one thing Hiccup as showed us Stoic. He can do anything he puts his mind too."