A/N: Hello, everyone! Welcome to the sequel of Strength of the Princess. This story will contain HTTYD 2 and HTTYD: the Hidden World. However, both will have significant changes, especially the Hidden World. This is due to the need to create a coherent story that follows from my original story. Obviously, the two movies do not include characters like Dagur and Viggo (not to mention my own OCs), so adding them in adds more complexity.
Pacing is another issue. Both movies happen in the matter of a few days, which is very different from the few years that pass in Strength of the Princess. Events will still happen much more quickly, but I will slow everything down from the original movies significantly. I have altered the timeline anyway because the HTTYD franchise has continuity issues. It seems like HTTYD 2 is supposed to take place a year after Race to the Edge (and the Hidden World a year after that) but that means the events of Race to the Edge took place in a single year. The way I wrote Strength of a Princess, the events took three years (which is much more reasonable based on all that happens).
That being said, this story starts off nine months after Strength of the Princess, putting Hiccup and the others at 22 years of age (four years after Eira first arrives on Berk). In order to not have a huge time gap, the Hidden World will likely take place no more than six months after this, which is eight years after the original HTTYD movie. I hope this all makes sense. Let me know if you need any clarification.
As of now, I have only plotted out the events of HTTYD 2. I have read about the original intentions of the film, and I think, in terms of narrative, it would have worked out much better. Instead, major elements of the movie were changed halfway through, and I think the film suffered for it. So, this will be a combination of the original script (or what I have inferred from it) and the actual movie. Basically, the general outline of HTTYD 2 will be followed with a bunch of stuff added in.
I am still working on my version of the Hidden World. This one will require a major overhaul. I have a few ideas but nothing conclusive yet. It will likely be much more mature than the kid-friendly movie we received. I won't say what the ending will be, but if the ending of the Hidden World is to at least be a possibility, the stakes need to be drastically raised and the tone much heavier. After all, the question of 'can dragons and Vikings live in peace' needs to be answered, and that requires something epic. Stay tuned for that!
Chapter 1: Daily Struggles
"Haven't you tired of this?" the man said in a bored tone from the corner of his cell. "I'm not telling you anything."
Eira took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Ten months had passed since the defeat of the dragon flyers, and at least once a week since then, she had come to Outcast Island and asked Alvin to allow her to speak to Krogan. And just like nearly every other visit, her former adversary refused to answer any of her questions. No matter what she did, she could hardly get a reaction out of him at all. He just sat as far away from her as possible, seeming to be in his own world.
But Eira would not give up. If Krogan wanted to be stubborn, she could be stubborn as well. She wrapped her hands around the bars and squinted to see into the dark cell. "I want to help you," she said, "but you have to give me something to work with." She could even work with anger or hatred, but despite her friends' suspicions (mainly Dagur's, who had once been in a similar situation), revenge seemed far from his mind.
"I don't want your help." He did not even look at her as he spoke but rested his head against one wall while he stared at another.
"You don't want to get out of here?"
Krogan closed his eyes. "Now you're getting it."
Eira frowned. She had already suspected as much, but she did not understand it. "Why not?"
"Would you choose freedom over safety, given the chance?"
Safety... This was probably the most he had ever revealed to her, but instead of triumph, she felt unease. He could be speaking in a general sense, of course. Everyone would be safer in a cell than going through the normal risks of life. Yet, most people needed a real, direct threat before prioritizing such safety. Eira had a feeling she knew where this was going, and she did not like it. She needed to think about something else.
Eira let her forehead fall against the bars and sighed. Her best bargaining chip was his freedom, but if he didn't want that because fear controlled him, they were at an impasse... unless she found something else to motivate him. "There must be something you want," she insisted, "something I can give you." She waited but received no answer. "Do you want me to stop coming here?" Again, no answer.
Eira allowed several minutes of silence to pass before deciding this was enough for today. "Well, goodbye, Krogan. I'll be back later." She hated leaving like this but knew no alternative. She met Alvin on the way out and thanked him.
Outside, her fiancé Dagur waited for her with Sleuther, his Triple Stryke, and Swiftwings, her WIndwalker. "You're back!" he said happily. "How did it go?"
"The usual," Eira replied, "which is not great."
"Aw, I'm sorry." Dagur grabbed her hand and pulled her into a hug. "You can't save everyone."
Eira held onto him and breathed in his rich scent. His warmth eased her worries and brought comfort to her heart. "I can try. I don't give up on people."
"And that's why I love you."
Eira looked up at Dagur to see him gazing at her tenderly. She smiled at him as warmth filled her. "I love you because you're so supportive." She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he brought his face down to hers in response.
"I can't wait until we're married," Dagur whispered before kissing her softly.
"Just one more month." Eira kissed him this time and didn't let go. Dagur picked her up by the waist and spun her around. She finally broke away to laugh. "Dagur!"
He grinned at her. "Are you ready to go?"
Eira nodded. They mounted their dragons and took off for Berserker Island. The young woman tried to forget her worries her visit with Krogan had brought and enjoy the flight. She had established a great life, and it was only going to get better. Why should she go looking for trouble?
They arrived on Berserker Island to find Viggo and the former dragon hunters already gathered. Ever since the members of the dragon hunter tribe had taken Dagur's offer to live on Berserker Island, Dagur and Eira had been teaching them new ways. Viggo had naturally excelled and now served as more like an assistant to the teachers. Currently, they were learning how to interact peacefully with dragons.
"Good afternoon, Eira, Dagur," Viggo greeted them. "Any news to report?"
"Nope," Eira replied. "Let's get started."
They spent the next few hours teaching the reformed hunters all about dragons. Soon, they would find real dragons for them to interact with. Not too long ago, Dagur and Eira had taught a class of Berserkers how to train dragons, and the most promising of them they taught how to ride a dragon. They hoped to follow a similar process with these new students. At the end of the class, Viggo invited Eira and Dagur over to his place to visit with him and Runa.
"Eira!" Runa said when the trio entered the small house. "What a lovely surprise."
"It's good to see you, Runa," Eira said. "Hello, Tyra." She smiled at the five month old baby in the woman's arms. Runa had eventually written a letter to her parents in Torvald regarding her situation with Viggo. They were livid and refused to have anything to do with him or his child. Still, Runa was hopeful they would change their mind once their met her granddaughter when she was old enough to travel the great distance to Torvald.
"How are my girls?" Viggo said with a smile. He kissed Runa on the cheek before taking Tyra into his arms.
Eira leaned against Dagur, smiling when he wrapped an arm around her. She loved seeing Viggo happy with his family. "That could be us soon," Dagur whispered in her ear. She had to admit, she found the idea quite appealing.
"How are you doing, Eira?" Runa asked. "You made it over to Outcast Island today?"
Eira nodded. "Yes. Krogan is the same as ever. He says he wants to stay there because he's safe, and I think I believe him."
Runa frowned. "What exactly is he afraid of?"
"Not 'what' but 'who,'" Viggo said.
"Right," said Eira. "I'd like to know who it is, but he's not talking. I don't have much in the way of incentives as long as he's happy where he's at."
"If he likes being in jail, maybe you should let him out as a punishment," Dagur suggested.
"That would be more like negative reinforcement, but it could work," Viggo said.
"Wh-what?" Eira said in surprise. "You can't be serious."
"Why not? It's not like he's in any position to harm us, and if what you're doing isn't working, you need to change things up."
Eira frowned. "I'll have great luck explaining that to Stoick."
"You were left in charge of Krogan, were you not? I don't see why you need permission to do your job."
"Maybe..." Right now, Eira did not feel like she was having much success at her job. Perhaps she did need to shake things up.
"I'm sure you'll get through to him eventually," Runa said with an encouraging smile. "I believe in you. Has he revealed anything else about himself? Does he have any family? Loved ones?"
"As far as I can tell, he doesn't have anyone he cares about." Which only made her want to help him more.
"But does he have anyone who cares about him?"
Runa's intense gaze bore into Eira's, making her bite her lip and look away. "Well..."
"Eira cares about him!" Dagur proclaimed. "She cares about everyone."
"Does he believe that?" Runa asked. "Many people claim to love everyone, but when they're tested, they'll fall short."
"I have to prove it," Eira said, "which is exceedingly difficult with the current circumstances." She sighed. "I'll figure something out. Thank you for listening, everyone, but I should head home now."
"Aw, can't you stay for dinner?" Dagur said, giving her a sad face.
Eira shook her head regretfully. "Sorry, but I have to patrol with Ingrid. Maybe tomorrow."
"Then we won't keep you," Viggo said.
"Bye, Eira," Runa said. "Say hello to your sister for me!"
Eira gave them a slight smile. "Goodbye." She turned to leave, but Dagur grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into his chest. Before she could protest, his lips were on hers, and she melted into the kiss.
"Goodbye," Dagur said upon pulling away.
Eira was tempted to kiss him again, but she knew if she did that, she may never leave. She settled for a smile as she slowly backed away. She was grateful for the reminder that, despite some of the difficulties she encountered, her life was pretty great.
Ingrid paced back and forth in the grass beside Shadowwhisper, her Hobblegrunt. "She should be here by now," she muttered. She knew her sister had important work to do, but a part of her still felt anxious being left alone at Berk, especially knowing it would soon be permanent.
"Hey, Ingrid!" Eira greeted her as she and Swiftwings hovered over her. "How are you doing?"
Ingrid flashed her a smile. "Great now that you're here. Let's go!"
Eira chuckled lightly. "I like the enthusiasm. Alright, we can start now."
Ingrid hopped onto Shadowwhisper and followed her sister into the air. They started off by patrolling the perimeter of Berk, and then they traveled across the ocean to the surrounding islands. Ever since the dragon riders left Dragon's Edge, they kept up a patrol of the archipelago to catch sight of the next threat before it became a big problem. So far, everything was peaceful, and Ingrid hoped it stayed that way.
"So, how was your day?" the young girl dared to ask after flying in silence for awhile.
"It was alright," Eira replied. "I had an unsuccessful talk with Krogan followed by a successful lesson with the former dragon hunters. Oh, and I saw Runa and Tyra! That baby is so cute." She smiled to herself.
A wave of uneasiness hit Ingrid. "I'm sure. That sounds great." She did love Tyra, but talk of babies currently sent her mind into unpleasant directions.
Eira cast her a concerned look. "Are you alright? Did something happen?"
"No, nothing happened. It's just-" Ingrid hesitated, unsure of how much she wanted to reveal to her sister. "I've been thinking about your upcoming wedding. I'm happy for you, really (after all, it wouldn't be possible without me), but I'm realizing how different things are going to be when you're gone."
Eira gave her a sympathetic smile. "I understand, and it's naturally to dislike change. It bothers me a bit too, but that's life. Just because things are going to be different doesn't mean they'll get worse. I'll still visit you and help out Berk. My priorities will just be different, and so will yours. You are going to be Torvald's representative to Berk."
Ingrid held in a sigh. "And that's what makes me nervous. This was supposed to be your job. I know you can't be in two placed at once, but I'm not the one who was born for this."
"You don't have to be. You can choose your own destiny, Ingrid."
"But I'm not you! I don't know how to help people and keep the peace." Ingrid knew her sister was great at getting through to people. Dagur, Viggo, and the former dragon hunters were proof of her success. How could she compete with that?
"Sure, you do. You helped Dagur and me, not to mention Snotlout." Eira smiled at her in encouragement. "You just need to practice. And if you ever need help, I'll be there."
Ingrid smiled slightly. "Thanks."
"And I don't always know what to do either. I'm pretty stuck with Krogan, for example. Nothing I do seems to be working."
"Well, if you need my help, I would be happy to join you." And maybe she would learn something.
Eira grinned. "Thanks! Now, let's finish this patrol."
Silence fell over them as they focused on their surroundings. Soon, Ingrid spotted something strange in the distance. "Hey, Eira, we're supposed to look out for unusual occurrences, right?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Is smoke coming from a random island an unusual occurrence?"
Eira gasped. "What?!" She followed her sister's gaze to the small island. "It must be a fire. Let's check it out!"
Finally, some action! Shadowwhisper and Swiftwings quickened their pace as they flew together, carrying their riders to the unknown island where adventure awaited.