Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at writing this story again after years, please be kind, I can take constructive criticism and suggestions to improve. There is no need for rude comments, no one is forcing you to stay and read my story if it is not your cup of tea. Let's all try and be kinder to each other. I have yet to watch Frozen 2, plan to sometime this week, but it will incorporate it as well.
It was two days after the winter solstice, Elsa had turned eighteen, the age for marriage in the eyes of her nation. It had come full circle. She would never become queen, not of Arendelle. That birthright had been stolen from her. The people of Arendelle knew of her powers, they feared them, viewed her as a monster. She'd heard the whispers in the throne room while her parents held a private conference with their advisors.
"Queen of bones and blood."
"Queen of ice and death."
"Queen of civil war, is this what you want for our great nation?" One adviser looked outraged. "Anna, now she is a fine heir. She will be a good queen."
In the silence, she had only heard the soft weeping of her mother, her father trying to quietly console her. So here she was, a daughter for an alliance, a princess for a kingdom. Elsa sat straight up in her bed, her legs hung off the side, bare feet flat against the cold floor. Sometimes, it felt like this was all she'd be destined to do. Fight. She'd fought for Wintergale's freedom, fought to control her powers, fought to be a good future ruler. And still, the kingdom wanted nothing to do for her. Her small hands fisted in anger; bluish white air fell from clenched hands. Her powers were swirling with life as her emotions took hold.
"Elsa!" A voice called over the frigid inferno growing the blonde's head. Elsa quickly looked up, her hands fell open, the light faded away. Anna stood in the doorway; eyes ever watchful, apologetic.
Elsa took a deep breath, faked a bright, dazzling smile. "Anna, come in!" Her sister's expression faltered. She shut the door behind her as she came to sit beside her sister on the bed. The room was cold, it was always cold.
"Don't," Anna looked almost offended as Elsa raised a brow. "Don't fake being happy, not with me. I'm your sister, you don't have to smile."
Elsa's lips parted, she smiled sadly. "You're too smart for your own good sometimes, you know that?"
Anna laughed; it was somber at best. "I have to be to keep up with you. You're the smartest person I know." Elsa took her hand and held it tightly in hers. Anna placed a hand on top of her sister's and squeezed gently. "And the saddest person I know." Elsa's blue eyes glowed in the darkness, glossy with unshed tears. Tears she fought to keep at bay.
"You're going to be a great queen one day, Anna. I know it." Elsa whispered with every ounce of strength she could muster. She opened her arms, taking her distraught sister into a strong and prolonged hug, as if she could merge them together. "I'm so happy I got to be your sister." Anna wept into her shoulder, it was unfair of her to feel as she did, hopeless and hurt. Elsa had to sacrifice so much for their kingdom, their family. Elsa withdrew, when she looked at Anna and smiled, Anna felt a stab in her chest.
"I love you," Anna told her, she was unable to hold her own tears back.
"I know," Elsa whispered, eternally thankful her sister had not feared her or her powers like everyone else.
"I'm sorry they're doing this to you," Anna wept into her arms as Elsa smoothed Anna's strawberry blonde locks gently, softly rubbed her back.
"It's okay," Elsa swallowed the lump in her throat, which was more painful than any wound the royal advisors had dealt her. The very air from her lungs was gone and she couldn't hold back the few tears that escaped. "I'll be okay." Confusion was prominent in Anna's face when she looked up at her sister, she was trying to be strong. Anna wanted to argue, but she knew Elsa was not only trying to reassure her, but convince herself. She needed to say it out loud for it to be true, to be convincing enough to trick herself into believing her own words.
Anna said tearfully, "You'll be okay." Elsa said nothing, only gave the barest of nod.
That night Anna slept in Elsa's bed, both cuddled up, asleep with tear-stained faces.
That morning, Elsa and Anna had been abruptly awakened by the sounds of thundering roars and shrill shrieks that pierced the skies. At times, they wondered if it would shake the foundation of the castle. Both princesses rushed to the balcony, once bright skies of Arendelle were now filled with shadows of phantom beasts as they flew overhead. The dragons of Berk had arrived, their armada were filing into the Arendelle harbor.
"They're here," Anna whispered fearfully. She looked at her sister, who watched the dragons with an awe of wonder. "Elsa?"
"Where do you think Wintergale is?" Elsa wondered out loud, eyes thoughtful. "I hope she's well."
Anna touched her arm comfortingly, "I'm sure she's safe, flying the skies and oceans, belly full of fish." The sisters shared a laugh.
"I miss her," Elsa sighed.
"Me too," Anna shared her sentiments wholeheartedly. "She was a good dragon."
A large horn sounded, the Berk convoy had assembled and were making their way towards the castle. Fear rushed Elsa like a tidal wave, overwhelming her. She took a step back, head shaking. "I can't be here; I need to go."
"Elsa," Anna began trying to reach out a hand to her.
"No," Elsa backed away, "No, I can't do this. I need time, Anna. Please. Give me some time."
Anna saw the fear flash brightly in her sister's blue eyes, she knew immediately, she wasn't talking about her own fear, she needed time to calm herself before her powers were overrun with her emotions and ran rampant. Anna looked around, quickly trying to form a coherent thought, plan, anything. "Go, take the hidden tunnel, go into the mountains. I'll try to keep mother and father busy for as long as I can."
"Thank you, Anna." Elsa was grateful, she grabbed a thick furry cloak and boots. It was still winter, and the mountains would be covered in snow. The older princess hurried through the secret tunnel she'd often used to visit her dragon in the mountain caves. Anna returned to her room just as the royal servants entered to bath and dress her.
"Good morning Princess Anna," The older women greeted happily. They'd practically helped raise her from childhood.
"Good morning," Anna returned happily, smile bright as a thousand suns. "Have the Vikings of Berk arrived?"
"Yes, princess." One of the woman's faces turned grim. "Dragons filled the skies; I have never seen such a sight. Horrible, truly horrible."
Anna looked disheartened at her words, "Dragons are not monsters, they're misunderstood creatures. I'm sure they are quite fascinating."
"They are not for princesses, or the faint of hearts. Did you not hear the stories of the dragon wars that took place, the Vikings of Berk were involved." The other woman spoke harshly as she disrobed Anna and helped her into the large tub and began to wash her hair. "Death to all of them, all those beasts, the world would be a better place without them."
Anna's lips parted in horror, "You don't mean that!"
"Oh, my dear princess, you have such a kind heart." The older woman smiled affectionately. "You are young and unknown to the ways of the world, yet. That kind of power in the hands of the Vikings means destruction for anyone they see fit. No kingdom can hold their own against fire breathing beasts."
"Hopefully this marriage will see to the end to Vikings and dragons alike," The other woman murmured below her breath, but Anna had heard her clear as daylight.
Her eyes were furious, "How dare you say that! That's my sister you speak of, she's not a human weapon!" The royal servant sputtered apologies; Anna felt angry tears well up in her eyes. "Get out! Both of you leave!"
Elsa trekked through the forests of the mountains, it was a familiar trail, one long ago ventured through by two young princesses and their dragon companion. Many years later it was overgrown and thick with foliage. It was foggy, dense with white the further she went. The cold didn't bother her, quite the opposite it was soothing to her soul. The ice princess with a frozen heart the citizens of Arendelle whispered.
Elsa had stumbled into a clearing, everything was still. Who wanted to be sane, still, real for so long? Not her. She could run away, right now, this moment, and no one would ever know where she'd gone. Elsa crumpled into a heap in the snow, tension slowly melted off her shoulders. It all stood with her, the alliance, the union of two kingdoms, peace for hers. The happiness of thousands, their safety from the dragons, from herself. Her parents' hope rested on her shoulders as well.
Anna's future. It rested with her as well. Angrily, she screamed at the world, "Why me!" tears welled up behind her eyes. It felt good to shout, to release some of her feelings into the silence that would neither judge nor dismiss her claims. However, the silence answered back this time in the form of a howl.
She saw the dark figures begin to emerge in the thick fog, saw the outlines of against the white. As they slowly crept forward, hackles raised, lips curled up in silent snarls, their fur were raggedy and rough, hugging to thin, jutting ribs of their bodies. They looked sickly at best, she'd heard stories of the wolves that resided in the mountains and forests of Arendelle, but they had rarely been seen by citizens of the kingdom. She'd never seen one even as a child when she'd accompany her parents on rides through the forests.
Her skin prickled all over, she shivered with dark realization. They were hungry, and she was there. There is a small peak of sunlight through the dense fog, it illuminates the forest around her, giving the trees an oddly sinister, spindly appearance, and that she must run.
In a blur, the snow kicks up from the force of her footsteps as she bolts for the woods. She pushed past branches, stepped on fallen twigs. The sound of snarls and the clatter of angry jaws snapping at her feet send her into a blind flight. From the corner of her eye, she sees one, a large, gray body with bright yellow eyes, jaws wide open. It leapt in her direction, and they are moments away from colliding. Her eyes wide, fearful as she throws her hand up, there is a swirl of ice from the palm of her hand, a mangled cry burns in her ears. Elsa stumbled, she caught herself on a nearby tree, the sight before her is one is a gruesome one. A large, jagged piece of pierced out of the ground, trickles of blood slide down from the wolf's impaled dead body.
She has little time to react as the howls are growing closer again. Run. Faster, she needs to move faster. Her feet hurt, her breath is ragged, but she needs to move faster.
In the skies above, a night fury flew with its rider. With a deep sigh, Hiccup tried to form some semblance of this thoughts. They were everywhere and of everything, the past, present, future, of his life, his relationships, his… soon to be wife.
"Toothless," Hiccup leaned back in his saddle to look up at the untouched blueness. They were high above the clouds, out of sight, but never out of mind. He knew his father would be angry he'd disappeared, the heir of Berk, refusing to show at the formal ceremony to meet the king and queen of Arendelle, the parents of his bride. The wedding was to be quick; the chief was eager to return to Berk and his people and begin to negotiations with other nations once theirs with Arendelle had been solidified. For the prosperity of their people, and the protection of their and wild dragons. Hiccup could not fault his father, everything he'd done up until now was for the dragons, their protection from the world's views of them. To show everyone they were not mindless killing machines. It was more then just him, his people, this was for the future of his best friend and of all dragon kind. "What do I do buddy?"
Toothless warbled, as if offering some form of comfort. Hiccup stroked his side. "Thanks buddy." He sat up, he and Toothless knew better then anyone else. Toothless was the last of his kind, his species had been almost entirely wiped out. A small glimmer of hope had appeared in the form of the beautiful light fury. That had been nearly a month ago, and since then neither had seen sight of the shimmering creature. "I won't let any dragon suffer the same fate as your kind, I promise."
Toothless's eyes darkened with disdain, the night fury's heart ached with the loss of every dragon that had fallen in the dragon war. He was alpha now, he would protect them all, alongside his partner. Toothless released a rumble of agreement. Hiccup smiled, "That's right, together. We'll protect all dragons. And maybe, one day, we'll see that light fury again. Wouldn't that be something?" Toothless crooned, Hiccup chuckled. The night fury had quickly grown smitten of the dragon. As one would say, love at first sight he'd dare to venture a guess.
Their quiet flight was broken by a loud scream that flew through the air, alerting Hiccup and Toothless to trouble that was occurring not to far away. Hiccup's eyes widened, he quickly grabbed the reins, "Toothless, let's go!" He said quickly, the night fury had already folded in its wings and began to descent in a downward dive, picking up speed as they blasted through the clouds and were continuing towards the earth.
Elsa in her state of fear had released a blast of icicle shards from her hands, impaling three of the wolves in the chest, they fell dead to the ground as several remained. She kept running, she burst through the trees, spilling into a large clearing with the speed of a gazelle, her foot caught on hole as she fell to the ground. The air knocked out of her, she groaned in pain. Her mind is bleary for a moment, then a shot of pain shot up her leg.
Hiccup and Toothless, fly just above the tree line, scanning for the source of the scream. The fog was beginning to fade, but it was still making it difficult to see the ground below. They couldn't fly to low or the trees would snag the night fury's wings. Hiccup clenched his teeth in frustration.
"Damn it!" He hissed, Toothless warbled trying to calm his partner. "I know, I know, I'm sorry buddy. We just need to find them, whoever it is." Toothless rumbled deeply in his chest, the dragon was concerned as well. In the distance, another terrified and pain filled scream erupted, urging the duo forward. "Toothless!" The dragon was already a step ahead. He released a plasma blast, breaking the bank of fog enough to clear their view. It was there, below them, Hiccup saw it, a flash of platinum blonde hair and several wolves circling. "Dive, Toothless!"
The night fury roared, startling the wolves as it set loose a series of plasma blasts, it struck three of the wolves with deadly precision. "Way to go buddy!" Hiccup patted the night fury's neck. Hiccup set Toothless's tail, so he could fly solo, Hiccup set down his helmet as he leapt off his dragon.
Elsa had little time to register what was happening, as her ankle stung with pain. A black wolf had clamped down on her foot with its strong jaws. She cried out. Her mind screamed, 'Wintergale!' She raised her hand towards the wolf, tears streamed down her cheeks from the pain. She stretched out her hand, her mind focused on honing her emotions, ice began to pour from her hand. "Come on!" she hissed through her pain.
A figure came shooting in from the side, slamming into the black wolf, the creature yelped as its mangled body flew into ground with bone breaking thud. The helmet looked like that of a dragon, the form was tall, well built and wore leather armor. In his hand was an item, and suddenly it was on fire. She heard a loud screech as a large black, bat like creature descended upon her.
"Toothless, you got this buddy?" The man asked, the creature roared. A black, scaly tail with a red tail fin swept around her. Elsa's eyes widened, a dragon. The man looked at the three remaining wolves, he smirked under his helmet. "Let's dance." He moved fluidly, his strikes were swift and precise. The three wolves fell in a matter of moments to the ground, dead. He had dealt them swift blows, she had often hunted with her father, she knew a hunter's kill when she saw it. He did not want to prolong any unnecessary suffering.
The figure turned and approached her; he removed his dragon helmet as he got closer. It was there she noticed his leg, a metal prosthetic left appendage. They both did. Dragon and rider. Her lips parted at the sight of his face, unruly, thick auburn hair, freckles dusting his face, a small white scar just below his lip. But it was his eyes, bright and fiery, greener than any forest she'd ever seen. Fire banked his stare, like that of a dragon's flame. He offered her a kind smile. He knelt before her.
"Are you okay? That's a pretty bad bite you have there." Hiccup spoke, his voice deep, warm, comforting. It reminded her of her days as a child, when their father would light a fire in the fireplace during winter, after she and Anna had spent the day playing outside. They'd often fall asleep in front of the fireplace, exhausted from their play, the warmth would seep into their bones, lull them to sleep. His voice soothed her turbulent emotions. He was staring at her curiously, as was his dragon companion, as she returned to reality, she could hear him murmuring to his dragon quietly.
"Do you think she's gone into shock?" Hiccup wondered, Toothless warbled. "Maybe she's mute?" Toothless flicked his ears curiously.
Elsa raised a brow, cleared her throat to gain their attention. "I'm not mute and I'm not in shock."
Hiccup laughed, "Ah she does speak after all." Elsa raised her head to stare at him head on.
Hiccup froze as he took in sight of her for the first time, he had been too busy bandaging her foot earlier to notice. What caught his attention first were her eyes as they caught his gaze. They were blue, pale and icy blue, brighter and dewy then any jewel with a gentle dusting of silver. Even from a distance they would be able to ensnare his attention, pull him into their depths and force him to strain to regain his focus. It was one of many firsts for him. She should have just been another nameless face. For some reason she called to him. Sitting there as the sunlight poured onto her, blonde nearly white hair captured and reflected the light of the sun perfectly. Her skin was pale, like that of a pearl in its softness and the way it too glowed under the warm rays of sunlight. Her cheeks were rosy from the cold, her lips full and pink. And suddenly he felt a strong compulsion to kiss her.
Elsa stared at him, "Did you suddenly lose the ability to speak?" Hiccup blinked, once, twice, then felt Toothless nudge him.
"What? Oh, sorry." Hiccup looked sheepish as he rubbed the back of his head. "I got distracted."
Elsa's eyes narrowed, "I never noticed." Her tone was dry, but playful.
Hiccup smiled slightly at her humor, despite the trauma that had occurred, she was trying to cope the best she could. This was resilient as she was immensely beautiful.
"Are you going to help me up or keep staring at me?" Elsa asked curiously, a teasing gleam in her eyes.
Hiccup flushed, laughed guiltily, "Sorry, here take my hand." As she took his leather clad hand, she could easily feel the heat that seeped from his skin underneath. He helped her to her feet, she stood gingerly on her ankle. "The bite broke skin but I don't think it should do any permanent damage. But we should definitely get it looked at it, it could become infected."
Hiccup surveyed the scene before them, his eyes saddened at the sight of the dead wolves, he hated to take any life, human, dragon or creature. It was the three wolves laying on the ground with large icicles jutting out from their abdomens that stirred his curiosity. "How on earth…"
Elsa followed his line of vision, her eyes were wide, lips parted. "From the trees, when I ran into the clearing, some of the large branches had big icicles hanging from them."
Hiccup looked at her, she was lying. He'd learned very quickly how to read people. His eyes narrowed, "If it fell from the trees it would have struck them downwards, those were hit from the side."
Elsa breathed; her breath came out as a small could of air. "Oh really? I don't remember. Everything just happened in a blur."
"Are you sure?" Hiccup asked gently.
"I said I don't remember," Elsa told him firmly.
Hiccup blinked, then nodded. "Alright. We should get back to the castle. He could see the red stain forming on his bandaging on her ankle. Elsa looked at him, then the large black dragon who sat off to the side. "He won't hurt you." Hiccup was quick to reassure her.
"I'm not afraid of him," Elsa promised, her voice was soft as she stared at Toothless. Her eyes gleamed, her lips rising into a sweet smile. "He's beautiful."
Toothless turned his head, his tail swinging excitedly side to side. He'd understood the compliment, Hiccup laughed, "Don't flatter him to much it'll go to his head." Toothless glared at him, the dragon swung its tail lose, sweeping under his partner's legs, Hiccup groaned as he was knocked off his feet and fell backwards into the snow. Toothless warbled annoyed, turning away with a pout.
Hiccup stood, laughing, dusting himself off. "Awe, did I hurt your feelings, you big baby?" Toothless warbled, continuing to ignore him. "Oh, come on, you know I didn't mean it like that!" Hiccup jumped on his dragon; Elsa watched with wonder as the two wrestled playfully in the snow. Toothless won when he dropped his entire head on Hiccup's abdomen, knocking the wind from his chest. She heard Hiccup say, "Oof!" from the sudden weight, then laugh, when Toothless began to lick him. "No, Toothless, stop!" Toothless released a rumble that sounded far too much like a laugh. Hiccup wiped the dragon saliva off his leather armor. "You know this is hard to get out." Toothless warbled, eyes lit up with mischief. Hiccup rolled his eyes and shook his head. They both turned when they heard a heavenly laugh. They looked at the blonde with intrigue. She had tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry for laughing," Elsa amended quickly, it was very un-princess like.
Hiccup laughed, "No, don't be. Its good you're laughing. You have a lovely laugh." Elsa flushed.
"We should be going?" Elsa said gently, gingerly she tested her ankle. She sighed silently; her mother would be very disappointed in her. Of all the days to injure herself. She did it the time of her wedding. Suddenly she felt a wave of rebellion, maybe she wasn't sorry, she didn't want any of this after all. But that choice was not hers to make. She was to be sold off as a broodmare.
A hand touched hers, she startled at the contact and looked up at her savior. His smile was gentle, charming. "Ready to go?"
Elsa nodded, Toothless leaned down so she could try to figure out how to get on the dragon's back. She leaned back to stare at the dragon's back trying to find the best course of action to getting on without hurting her ankle. She bumped into a strong, firm chest. Elsa looked over her shoulder quickly, blue eyes wide. Hiccup felt his breath catch in her throat as those dewy, blue eyes looked up at him beneath long, dark lashes, that had small snowflakes clinging to them. He gestured to herself, then the saddle. "May I?" Elsa flushed darker, with the barest of nod. He slung his arm beneath her legs and the other around her waist and hoisted her into his arms effortlessly. The close proximity seemed to flood them both with unknown feelings for a moment. Hiccup set her onto the dragon's back, the feelings unsettled him. It was like tiny forms of threads were attached, unseen, pulling them together. Once settled, Hiccup got on and sat behind her, drawing the reins up, locking her between his arms. "Ready buddy?" Toothless warbled. "Hold on tight, take off is usually rough for first time riders." His voice was kind. "Let's go!" In a matter of seconds, Toothless shot up like a lightning strike into the sky, clear over the tree line. Elsa gasped, turned, buried her face into Hiccup's chest, her arms wove tightly around his chest. He looked down at her with a genuine smile of warmth. Once they levelled out, Hiccup whispered her to her, "It's okay now, open your eyes. You want to see this."
"No, no, I don't think I really do!" Elsa said quickly, eyes shut tight.
"Trust me," Hiccup whispered in her ear.
Slowly, blue eyes opened to the brightness around her. She slowly looked around, he heard her sudden inhale, her breathless gasp. "I…it's so beautiful." Elsa's voice was a barely whisper of wonder and awe.
Hiccup laughed, happy to have converted another into becoming a dragon lover. "It's really something up here."
"You're free," Elsa whispered, her voice sounded longing, almost sad.
Hiccup's smile faltered; her words struck him. Yes, once he too had been free. "Yeah." He agreed quietly, melancholy filled his voice, but she didn't seem to noticed, to lost in her own.
Elsa's thoughts began to drift to her dragon, 'Is this how you feel, Wintergale, when you fly? This freedom.' Her thoughts grew gloomier as she missed her friend. 'I want to see you again, even if only one more time.'
End of Chapter!
I hope you all enjoyed, please leave a review with your thoughts. I left this chapter like half done, years ago. It took me ten hours to complete it, I'm not completely happy with it if I were to be honest. But I hope you all liked it enough.
Disclaimer: I am not fluent in the history/ways of monarchy, I am not doing a bunch of research into to be politically correct, I'm sorry, I really don't have that much time and I am writing this for fanfiction, not like a story I am publishing to sell. I am writing a story for Disney genres, not some civil/medieval time series. So, if you want to share in your review about it, that's great, but in terms of the wedding, wedding process, etc. I am not going to go to crazy one, just a heads up.
The reason Hiccup and Elsa didn't introduce each other, was for the simple reason they would know who the other was too easily, their parents told them their intended's name. I want it to be kind of a surprise. That is all.
I cannot promise when I'll be able to update next, or how soon. And if you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, I hope you'll check out my story Grey's Dissection, Jackon/Lexie based. Its what's I've newly got into, its my story I'm writing as its easier to write due to it being involved with no fantasy, supernatural, aspect. It's a bit easier to write as I get my footing back into writing.
Thank you all again for loving this story, I hope this chapter helped a bit for making you all wait so long!