Merida's eyes flew open at the sound of the lookout's voice. Sunlight streamed through her cabin window, temporarily blinding her. Attempting to sit up, she realized there was a brother precariously burrowed in a deep nest in her hair. It took her no less than four times to try to untangle the still sleeping body from her explosion of fiery red hair, and after achieving her goal at last she shot out of her bed. She tripped over a discarded pillow and glanced at the demolished room. Looking back down at the brother her hair had practically given birth to she noticed that that was one of the more normal positions in her brothers' case.
Hamish was slumped on top of the wardrobe, drool reaching clear down to the floor. Another brother had his body wedged in between the door frame and the door itself with his lower half sticking in the side with Merida and the other brothers. The last had of course somehow ended up in her hair but had now been safely tipped onto the bed.
"Up, up, up!" yelled Merida running around the room, freeing her brothers from their odd sleeping positions. She scooped up the brother she suspected to be Hubert and quickly swiped up the drool on his face. She ran over to Hamish (Merida guessed who it was as Hamish was always tripping) and gently opened the door and grabbed her little brother by the pants. Three pairs of eyes blinked up her drowsily.
"We made it! We found land! Time to go upstairs, come on now…"
Merida scooped up her brothers and ran as quickly as she could to the main deck. She set down her brothers, who scuttled away mischievously, and walked to her parents' side.
"Good morning, darling," Elinor greeted her daughter. "Sleep well?"
"'Bout as well as I could with the devils," Merida answered cheerily. Her father pulled her into a one-armed hug and ruffled her hair, but she noticed he seemed somewhat moody and downcast.
"I'm off to have a word with the lookout," he said, and turned to leave, peg-leg clunking against the hard wood of the deck.
Frowning, Merida turned to Elinor, "What's wrong with Dad? He's been off-kilter this whole trip. Not normal for him at all, it isn't."
Elinor sighed and smiled softly at the girl. "He doesn't like the sea much. He's got a good reason not to; it can be mighty dangerous in times of foul weather." She indicated towards the dark and gloomy skies. "We've spotted land, so now he's relieved that we can get off the water before the storm hits. The island we're nearing isn't the destination we had in mind, but it'll give us a chance to stretch our legs and restock on whatever we need. Your father sent a rowboat ahead to tell the people we'll be docking."
Merida's face lit up. "So there are people on the island?"
"Yes, there appears to be a village. Hopefully they're as accommodating as we need."
The teenager squealed, "Ah, I'm so excited! This is turning out to be quite the adventure isn't it, Mum? Are you looking forward to it?"
"I was looking forward to a nice, quiet trip actually," her mother replied mildly, "but with your father the possibility was thrown out the window before I could even get my hopes up."
Merida laughed and tossed her hair over her shoulder, leaning into the cool sea breeze. "You can say that all you want Mum, but I know you're about to enjoy yourself. I'm certain I will."
Elinor didn't say anything to that, but merely joined her daughter in enjoying the wind. Her lips quirked up in a smile. With her family, it would be an adventure indeed.
Behind them, the triplets made their way up to the mast with eighteen salted fish, a large white sheet, and several of their sister's arrows. The sailors took note of them, but made no attempt to stop them. Every attempt to do so had ended badly on their part.
Fergus limped over to them excitedly, clearly overjoyed.
"We're here! I can't believe it, this is going to be quite the trip!" Fergus shouted.
"Mm, and I'm sure they're going to have the time of their lives trying to keep up with your appetite," Elinor, looking up to him.
Merida giggled and said," Almost like feeding a bear, right Mum?"
One of the crewship members walked up hesitantly to Fergus, obviously nervous about intruding, " Sir, we've sent out a boat to inform the leader of our arriving. We've got the dock and the anchor ready too. We should arrive in about five minutes time."
"Right. Thanks, lad." As the man walked away, Fergus turned to his family and gave a most un-Fergus-ish giggle and twisted his hands together. He seemed more ecstatic about this whole thing than usual, especially considering that this new island wasn't even their original destination, as far as Merida knew.
"Merida dear, go fetch your belongings, and be ready to help with your brothers. Oh where are they? I swear they've probably already made it to the island..." Merida's mother seemed distracted as she looked around for the triplets. Fergus left again to help bring crates and burlap sacks to the deck.
Merida flew back the way she came, and skidded into her room. She scrambled around the room, throwing random things pell-mell into her traveling bag; her formal dress she was supposed to be wearing today for the arrival, pillows, an apple core, one of the triplet's teddy bears, and a hairbrush she never used. She strapped her belt with her quiver and arrows to her waist and left the room again, bag over one shoulder and bow over the other.
She reached the deck again to people scrambling every where for last minute preparations. Three crew members were searching for the triplets, the rest of the crew bringing in the sails and unreeling the anchor. Elinor was smoothing her hair back and straightening her crown. Fergus was putting on his heavy belt with the Dun'Broch crest welded into the buckle. Merida made her way through the scrambling people over to her parents. Something slammed into her leg and she looked down to see one of her brothers running away from a crew member.
Before he could get away, Merida snatched the boy off the ground and held onto him firmly as he wriggled in an attempt to get free. Merida was actually surprised she had caught him, they were usually so hard to capture. She wondered where the other little devils were since they usually traveled in a pack.
"Here ya go Mum, I caught you a wee devil." Merida held up the brother to Elinor. He gave a toothy grin and sneezed. Merida liked to assume she just saved someone from a terrible mishap.
"You didn't try to find the other two?" Elinor asked, shocked as if she expected Merida to really care where her brothers were. In reality, Merida actually thought it was quite funny and even helped them smuggle things in and out from time to time. Though of course after awhile she did get annoyed at how easily they pulled it off and just went back to ignoring them.
"Uh, no. Do you know how hard it was just catching this one?" She shook her brother, Hamish, his hair flopping into his eyes as he giggled.
"Oh aren't you a little master of mystery?" Elinor took her son and firmly held him as to prevent another escape.
"Hey Merida maybe you'll meet your prince charming here!" Fergus teased. Aside from the continuous bear references, there was also a fair amount of jokes about the fact that Merida wanted to stay single.
Merida groaned and swatted her father playfully on the arm. "You leave me alone! I can't imagine we'll be staying long enough for that."
"Eh? You never know, Mer, maybe he'll be just as stubborn as you! Never mind, let's not wish that..." Fergus winked mischievously.
"Muuuummm!" Merida looked to her mother who nudged her husband but she couldn't do much else because at that moment, the most peculiar looking island loomed into view out of the fog.
Merida was fascinated. The grassy, pillar-y, and quite altogether sturdy island would have been a charming place for Merida to practice archery if it weren't for the hundreds of wooden structures and houses. There were wooden walkways, docks, houses, sheds, and what looked suspiciously like over sized perching poles Merida sometimes used for training falcons. Maybe they were some serious bird watchers. The entire place seemed to be wooden. Merida wondered to herself how many times a year the village caught on fire. But, she had to admit the place had character.
Their ship sailed in between these great stone lookout pillars standing stoutly in the choppy water as they glided towards the docks. Merida pondered the climbing possibilities and made a note to try and come back later.
As their ship was just being tied down and anchored, Merida was getting ready just to leap off and explore, but was held back by a sharp, "Merida!" from her mother and she obediently stood by her parents side. And of course, no trip to anywhere public was complete with ought Elinor always trying to get Merida's hair to lay flat which always stubbornly stuck up more in protest. No matter how many times she licked her hands, a new curl would pop up in its place. Fergus thought it was hilarious.
Finally the plank was dropped and she heard one of the crew members announcing her family's presence. Elinor leaned over and started whispering quickly, as though not to be seen as they smiled down at the villagers.
"Merida, you make sure you behave yourself, be polite, don't get in fights, don't talk back, and no weapons on the table! Oh and can't you put that bow away until we're settled?Be a princess!"
"Muummm, I thought you were a cool mum! Doesn't that like, exempt me from being so orderly all the time?" Merida joked. Elinor gave a small smile and turned back forward.
"What? I am a cool mum, but that doesn't stop me from being polite dear."
"King Fergus Dun'Broch, king of clan Dun'Broch! Elinor Dun'Broch, queen of clan Dun'Broch! Merida Dun'Broch, princess of clan Dun'Broch and heir to the throne! And," the crew member seemed to give himself a breath of good luck before he even announced the triplets,"Herbert, Hamish, and Harris, triplets, and princes to the throne of clan Dun'Broch!"
Merida might have been imagining it, but she thought she heard a collective groan as soon as her brothers were introduced.
One by one, the family filed down the plank, Fergus first, then Elinor with the triplets (who were squirming, trying to break free of their mother's vice-like grip) and lastly, Merida, who, at the last second strung her bow and quiver around her shoulder despite her mother's previous protests.
It was only on the ground did she actually get a good look at the people of Berk. Now, generally the people back home were fairly stocky. A little beef, nothing fancy. Could still rip a tree in half, but not to brag obviously. If Merida thought Fergus was big, it was nothing compared to the villagers here.
They were positively terrifying. Huge, tall and burly (even the women). They had this look Merida had been trying to master for years to get extra food, or maybe to intimidate her brothers; the tough, hardened, take-shit-from-no-one look. Not to mention about every single one of them was clad in metal, leather, and fur. Plenty were even missing limbs.
She sauntered down the dock and tried to return the curious, polite stares she was getting from the people, but she doubted she came off as anything polite looking.
Ahead a huge man loomed in front of them. She assumed he must be the leader of Berk. He was definitely the most...decorated. He was about the same size as Fergus and both had fabulous flaming red hair. Did all chiefs look alike?
The chief opened up his beefy arms as if in a welcoming gesture,"Welcome to Berk! I am Stoick the Vast, chief of Berk!" His voiced boomed out and seemed to reverberate through Merida's brain.
Fergus introduced his family, Elinor even dropping into a little curtsy. When Stoick the Vast's eyes landed on her, she gave him a big grin, and she stood up a little taller. He gave her a curious look. She knew it wasn't the proper way to greet a king, and as soon as she caught her mother's eye, she quickly dropped into a little awkward curtsy herself.
He too bore a belt, but this time with the crest of Berk on it. He wore a a deep green tunic and atop his shoulders were some very heavy looking metal clasps holding the ginormous fur cape draped down his back. Merida sincerely hope that wasn't bear fur. She had grown quite fond of them since the Mother-Bear-Incident.
"I realize this is not your final destination, but I hope Berk will be accommodating to your needs for your stay. We have already had some of our people set up some living quarters-"
"Are there bears in this area?" Merida couldn't help herself, sometimes she thought aloud. Stoick's cape had made her wonder.
"Merida!" Her mother exclaimed quietly.
Stoick let out a low rumbling chuckle which made his intricately braided auburn beard ripple.
After he caught his breath he said, "No bears don't wander this way much...I think they get scared off."
"Scared off? But what could possibly scare off a bear?" Asked Merida earnestly.
Stoick blinked and thought for a second then said, "Our charming Viking demeanor."
Merida laughed. She liked him.
"Do you think I could explore it? I'd love to see the forest.."
Stoick considered her. "You're Merida, right? You remind me a lot of my son. Curious beyond belief. I expect you'll be meeting him tonight."
Fergus looked over to her and gave her a thumbs up, which for her dad could have meant any number of things.
Stoick called over his shoulder and called to someone, "Eh, lad, would you send out a tour? I would make Hiccup do it, but Thor knows where he's gotten off to and he failed to show up...again." There was a grunt for a reply somewhere behind him that Stoick seemed to take for an answer, "Right then, it was very nice to meet you, your majesties, princess. You'll meet one of my men just 'round the corner there. I would show you myself but I have a missing teenager to attend to." Stoick nodded at the three of them, and even the triplets, then moved off to attend to his chieftain duties or something.
As they neared some wooden steps leading up to the village, a funny looking man stepped into view. She said his appearance was funny and used the term lightly. He was a lumpy man with an impressive blond mustache reaching clear down to his waist. Or what she though was his waist; he slouched so much she was surprised her mother hadn't fainted yet. However, the mustache was a lovely pair to the bushy unibrow above his eyes and right beneath the viking-like horned helmet. He had an intense overbite, and Merida noticed he had a large metal tooth jutting out of his mouth like some sort of blunt fang.
But what struck her the most interesting, was not his grimy clothing, or his kind eyes despite the hardy demeanor, but it was that he was missing not only one, but two limbs. An arm and a leg. She looked him over and had to look twice because did he just change out his hand for a hammer? Whatever he did, Fergus looked beyond impressed with his mismatched limbs.
The man smiled a toothy grin and said, "Welcome to Berk! My name is Gobber," Gobber? Merida thought incredulously, and had to refrain from giggling, "And I have been assigned to show you to your house for the duration of your stay, and also to, uh, formally invite you to a greetings feast with the village and the chief." He cleared his throat as though proud he'd remembered his speech all the way. It made Merida wonder just how often Berk had visitors.
"Thank you, eh, Gobber," said Elinor respectfully.
"Right then, follow me," said Gobber gruffly and he turned and hobbled up the hill.
"Do you see them?"
"Idiot...the visitors! Where were they from? Clan Dumb-Rock?"
Ruffnut and Tuffnut were crouched on a grassy cliff looking down on the gathering taking place on the docks searching for new meat who were unaware of their schemes...ahem. The visitors.
Earlier that day, when Stoick had received the news that Berk would be having people from a different clan staying with them, he had ordered the dragons be temporarily moved, so as not to traumatize the incoming visitors who were unlikely to have seen them. In thus, Ruffnut and Tuffnut had had to use medieval terms of getting places...walking. And as soon as the saw the mast of that ship, well, they just had to see what was going on.
So here they were, trying to listen over the wind to Stoick's conversation with the royal family.
"Alright Ruff give me the breakdown..."
"Big dad, can't remember his name, looks like he could be Stoick's drunk uncle, smiles a lot, obviously has a sense of humor, keeps shifting his weight...looks easy to fool and pretty clumsy. That is one of the biggest swords I've ever seen and we live in Berk. Looks like he knows how to use it."
Ruffnut rolled her eyes but continued. "Mother, looks a bit less forgiving, and somewhat relaxed. A bit impatient because she keeps- woA! Tuff, take a look at this!"
The twin brother scooted over until he was on Ruffnut's level.
"Ha! Are those-"
"Triplets!" The twins said in unison. Just as they did, one of the redheaded boys pick pocketed something from their father's pouch, and quickly passed it to another brother who stuffed it into his shirt.
"Oh man, this is gonna be great," Tuffnut exclaimed.
"Imagine the possibilities!" Said Ruffnut.
"Okay, aside from the awesome freckled babies, who else is there?"
"A girl, looks about our age. That is some fabulous hair. Looks like one of Barf and Belch's explosions dude. Super at ease, excited. She has a bow. We'll need to get a hold of that. Looks like she could pummel an idiot like you..."
Tuffnut shoved his sister aside and grabbed the only pair of looking scopes they had...the other pair had been unsurprisingly demolished in a freak sheep vs. toilet accident.
"Lemme see!" Tuffnut said.
His sister rained punches down on his arm, but he just ignored her and looked down on Merida.
"Ew," Ruffnut paused in her attacks to look incredulously at Tuffnut. He'd never said that about anyone.
"Where are they staying?" asked Tuffnut.
"I saw Fishlegs, Snotlout, and Astrid setting up a house for them over by Stoick and Hiccup's house."
The family had proceeded up the hill and had met Gobber, who was showing them the village on their way up the little cottage on the side of the hill Hiccup's house was on.
"Let's do this."
"See honey, this is a nice village!" Fergus said as he sat at the little kitchen table watching Elinor get Merida ready.
"I guess, there's just so many odd things about this place, but you're right it is pleasant," said Elinor whilst doing up Merida's dress.
"Did you see some of the weird, like, structures in this place dad?" Merida asked her father.
"I did, Lass, I was wondering what it is they were but Gobber wasn't saying anything so neither did I. Don't worry Mer', we'll crack answers out of one of these villagers," Fergus ended with a wink which was then greeted with a "Oh my," from Elinor.
"I kinda liked the chief, Stoick. I thought he was pretty cool. Mum, do you think all kings have red hair?" asked Merida.
"Of course not dear...For instance, I have brown hair and I think we both know who runs the clan back home..." The two girls laughed. Fergus had a clouded look on his face, which Elinor noticed.
"Merida dear, go wash up before we leave to the Mead Hall," said Elinor. Merida walked off, obviously not to wash, and the triplets were who knows where, and soon it was just the two of them.
"Dear?" Elinor approached her husband and took his hand.
"Eh, it's nothing...it's just, I'm just getting a little nostalgic you know, being on the sea in a storm...you know what my brother's name was? Stoick."
"Fergus, that was a long time ago, you know your brother is...well..." Elinor trailed off and for once, she looked completely unsure of what to say.
"I know, it's impossible he survived that, I saw him drown..." He cleared his throat, "I'm sure it's nothing. Now, let's go to dinner, and maybe after I can tell them the story of how I lost my leg, it's a great conversation piece!" Fergus stood up, and hugged his wife.
But just then there was a shrill, "What the-" then a small explosion sounded followed by a blood curdling scream from Merida up in the upper level.
Smoke plumed down the staircase as Fergus and Elinor rushed up.
"Merida?" Elinor called, unable to see in the thick smoke.
"Lass?" Called her father.
Somewhere farther in the room a coughing, sputtering, swearing, and seriously pissed off Merida appeared out of the gloom brushing sparks out of her singed mess of hair, "What the hell was that?"
"What are you talking about, Merida? Are you alright?" Asked her mother, frantically checking to see if she was alright.
"What happened?" asked Fergus, and after confirming that Merida was, in fact uninjured, proceeded to laugh.
"It's not funny! I was up here looking around; minding my own business and I turn around there was just this green gas floating around then two seconds later, boom! And my bow! It's charred! I'm going to kill whoever did this!" Merida aggressively wiped soot off of her cheeks, and thrust her slightly crusty bow at her father who scraped it off until it was almost good as new.
"You mean it just appeared? How could that have just happened?" asked Elinor.
"I don't knooow!" She thought for a second then said angrily, "I bet it was those devils!"
"The triplets! I bet it was them!" yelled out Merida and proceeded to take out her sword and swing it aimlessly.
"Don't be ridiculous-" Elinor started to say but then stopped because she couldn't really find a viable answer.
"Mum, it's just the type of thing they'd do, they probably want to scare me to get extra dessert or something! I swear if I meet any more identical tricksters I might puke!" Merida, who had successfully rubbed her cheeks clean of dust, stomped downstairs and said, "Don't we have dinner to get to?"
Upon arrival at the Mead Hall, Merida had no idea just how big it actually was. It was huge, everything in Berk was apparently.
Still a little miffed about the green gas explosion earlier, she stayed close by her father and stuffed her face with the snacks on platters surrounding a huge dining table.
The villagers seemed nice enough, they talked to her and all, but they seemed a little distracted, like they were anxious about something. Maybe they could foresee the weather?
Finally a shout rang through the hall and the chatter died down.
"Welcome, to this greeting's feast for our visitors! It's not often Berk get's visitors so let's make the most of it!" Chief Stoick stood at the head of a very long table in the middle of about twenty smaller tables. Immediateley to his right was a small boy who looked to be about Merida's age, maybe a little younger. He had long brown hair, his clothes were about two sizes too big and he seemed to be the only person here who wasn't buff and looked ready to kill you.
"Who's that?" Merida asked a girl who was tall, blonde, and thin. Merida didn't let that fool her though, she looked strong. Her thick hair was braided down her back and she wore a skirt with studded with spikes.
"Oh that's Hiccup, Stoick's son," replied the girl.
"I don't see the family resemblance much," said Merida.
"Yeah, they didn't really get along either until about three months ago, but they're cool now," she said gazing over at Hiccup as though she admired him.
"You know them personally?" asked Merida.
"Yeah you could say that... Hiccup's my boyfriend," said the blonde girl.
"Oh..." Merida wondered how those two had gotten together because it definitely wasn't because of Hiccup's masculine strength.
"I'm Astrid by the way," said the girl.
"Merida," she replied as they shook hands, Astrid's every bit as calloused as Merida's.
"You should sit with us at the table, I think you and Hiccup have a lot in common," Astrid said.
"Ha yeah if there isn't a strict seating chart, and if there isn't, my mum will sniff one out," Merida joked.
"Eh, the only you rule you really have to obey is that Stoick get's the head chair. Other than that not really."
"Nice. I mean not that I pay particular attention to the rules anyway," said Merida half to herself. She almost prided in herself her ability to ignore people's regulations.
"...yeah you're a lot like Hiccup..." Astrid said laughing.
Once they were seated, Hiccup, Merida, then Astrid, Astrid introduced her to the scrawny boy who was apparently going to be the next chief.
"Hiccup, this is Merida, princess of clan Dun'Broch, and she's...how old are you?" Astrid turned towards her.
"Sixteen," replied Merida.
"She's sixteen, just a little older than you. Of course you would know that if you had showed up today," as if to tie ot off she punched him in the arm. He winced but he seemed completely used to it.
"Ugh don't even start, my dad already chewed me out," said Hiccup, "I just got a little distracted okay?"
Astrid blinked and said, "Oh...right."
Hiccup turned to Merida and said, "Sorry for missing, you're arrival, and I was supposed to be the one giving you a tour..."
"Hey that's alright, you didn't miss much, really," she thought for a second then remembered her near death experience, "Except I did almost get blown up."
"That's right, I was just sitting in our little house then this green gas came in-"
"What did you see? You didn't see like a snake head or anything?" Hiccup sat up straight and stared into her eyes. They were really really green.
"Uh, nooo? But I heard like a bottle being dropped if that counts-"
Hiccup sat back in his chair, "Oh you've met the twins," he said, obviously relieved for some reason.
"Umm, the twins?" asked Merida and she could practically feel her worst nightmare coming true.
"Yeah, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, town pranksters, they can be a little overbearing at times but they grow on you...sorry about that, they like to take advantage of newcomers who don't have experience with their pranks," Hiccup explained.
"Well that's just great because I have three triplet brothers who do the exact same thing." Merida decided not to sleep tonight.
Hiccup looked up from his goblet, "Oh. Great."
Astrid scanned the room then pointed at the table across from them where two blonde haired teenagers sat, laughing but arguing at the same time-if that was even possible- "That's them."
"Hhmm, good to know, " Merida said, locking their images into her brain.
Finally the food was brought out and immediately she saw her brothers, who were sitting acrosse from her next to their mother, steal some pastries from a platter and stuff them in places Merida wasn't partial to having sugar and jelly in.
Rows and rows of different kinds of foods; pigs, chickens, vegetables, and about twelve different kinds of fish.
"What do you suggest?" asked Merida.
"My favorite is the Icelandic cod...my family goes through a lot of it," said Hiccup.
"You eat a lot of fish?" asked Merida piling up her plate.
"Uh, yeah, you could say that," said Hiccup.
Merida giggled, "Doesn't look like it." Behind her back, Astrid sent her boyfriend a warning glance.
"So, uh, Hiccup, Merida says she's not big on the whole, 'rule following' thing," said Astrid, "I thought since, you know, neither are you," that received a very good dirty look, but Astrid just laughed and went on, "I thought she could tell us a little of her rebellions.''
Across the table Elinor was trying to get her brothers to try some type of fish, "Oh come on, how do you know you don't like it if you've never tried it?"
"So what would you say your biggest hell monger child moment was?" asked Hiccup.
"Uumm...you wouldn't believe me if I told you. It's a wee crazy if I do say so myself," said Merida. That sparked their attention.
All Hiccup said though was, "Try me." Astrid nodded.
Merida sighed, "Okay...so, erm, I'm the princess as you know and, well, a thing that is fairly common in stupid princess duties is to be betrothed. So my mother sends out a calling to the three clans that surround our kingdom and tell them 'Hey my daughter is of age! Marry her!' But I didn't exactly want to be married, you know, that's my freedom gone with the wind. So when the clans arrived it came to my attention that only the first born of each family could participate in the games to wind my hand." She leaned in and said, "Do you know what I am?"
Astrid and Hiccup shrugged. They were good listeners.
"First born! So I thought to myself, why not win my own hand? I chose the end activity to be archery. I'm a fairly accomplished archer. So I go out there after the three oddballs go and I crush them.
"Well that got me in a fair amount of trouble. A lot of trouble...actually. I said some stuff I shouldn't have to my mother but I was just so angry and hopeless I didn't care. I went out into the forest with Angus, that's my horse, and he threw me! I was perfectly fine though. Anyway, he throws into the stone circle and guess what I see? A wisp." She paused for effect only to be greeted by the blank stares of Hiccup and Astrid.
"Uh, what are Wisps?" Asked Astrid.
"You don't have Will O the Wisps here?"
"Not that we're aware of...but what are they?" asked Hiccup.
She quickly explained what they were, how they were supposed to be a legend, but she had seen them on multiple occasions. Hiccup was fascinated and took out a journal and scribbled in it for a second.
"Okay those are cool...go on," said Hiccup.
"Anyway, they wisps lead me into the forest and I find this witch's cottage. In short, I left there with about two hundred wooden carvings a spell to change my mum. The spell turned out to be not that great because it turned my mum into a bear," Merida said lamely, but that didn't excuse the gasps of disbelief from her two listeners.
"Like...a bear bear?"
"Yup. Big ol' black bear. Same kind that took dad's leg, but I'm sure you'll hear that story soon enough.
"So I mean, we're freaking out, the tribe mates are practically killing each other, then we find out that if we don't reverse the spell by the second sunrise, she'll be a bear forever," Merida explained.
"But how did you reverse it? Your mother sure doesn't look like a bear to me," said Astrid glancing to Elinor who had not been successful in persuading the triplets to eat the fish; they were now wiping it in each others faces.
"Well my mum and I went back and found that skivvy witch's cottage again and she gave us a wee little riddle... let's see if I can still remember the darn thing... Oh!" She switched into her extra creepy voice imitating the witch, "Fate be changed. Look inside, mend the bond torn by pride."
"Mend the bond torn by pride? What did that mean?"
"Umm, when me and mum got into our little argument, I tore a family tapestry. We snuck back into the castle found the tapestry and was going to stitch it up, till my dad, otherwise known as 'The Bear King' found us. Bad news because my mom was having a little, actual bear moment and tried to eat him. She ran away, I was locked inside, and sunrise was maybe an hour away. Oh and also my three brothers had a special snack, the same one I gave to my mum...they turned into bears too but they're the ones who broke me out of the room. We rode Angus out to find my mother, the wisp's led us there. They were in the stone circle, just about to murder the queen. It's okay though, they...didn't. Obviously.
"Except we weren't alone, the bear Mor'du came to join the fun. He's a legend. Same thing happened to him as my mum except he wasn't nice. They battled and such and my mum kicked his butt, it was the coolest and most terrifying thing I'd ever witnessed. Well Mor'du was never seen again. Because he was dead. Killed by the fate circle. Then dawn came, and I, well, mended the bond. Now my mom is cool and I didn't have to get married. The end."
"Wow. Definitely was not expecting that," concluded Astrid sitting back in her seat and staring at her plate.
There was an awkward silence and Merida could take it no longer so she asked, "What about you? Anything interesting in Berk?"
"Nope, not really," said Hiccup lamely.
"Oh come on, there has to be something cool about this place! Oh, what were those weird poles and giant wooden feeding spots, and stables for? They're huge, what kind of animals do you get here?"
"Merida! There's nothing out of the ordinary here, we're just big naturists here."
"Alriiight," said Merida. Although she didn't know what kind of naturists had ginormous saddles in their stables.
The party had just started to die down, and people were filtering back to their house when a loud thump on the roof sounded throughout the hall.
"What was that?" asked Merida as the chatter cut off.
Hiccup groaned and looked sideways just in time to receive Stoick's concerned glance.
"Must have been a branch or something," said Stoick hastily.
Elinor grabbed the triplets and gripped them tight to her and tried to look as inconspicuous about it as she could.
"So, uh, your dad and my dad seem to be getting along well." Merida had to give it to him, Hiccup was good at acting normal when things were possibly not so.
"Er, yeah they seem to be having fun. Must be the red hair. Connects them, like, telepathically."
As it turned out, Fergus had gotten, maybe just a little bit drunk. In his intoxicated state he blurted out to Stoick, "My brother's name was Stoick."
Stoick blinked. "W-was it?"
"Yup. Any family yourself?"
"Nah, there was an accident when I was a babe, hardly remember the folks," said Stoick looking down.
"Aye that's a shame lad. I myself lost my brother when he was little...storm and he went overboard. Never saw him again. That's why I'm so nervous in the water," then he shouted across the table to his daughter, ''MERIDAJUSTINCASEYOUWEREWONDERING."
"Uh, yeah, thanks dad, I got it." Merida was actually kind of fascinated. Sure she'd seen him drunk plenty of times before, but Berk must have a strong wine here to get him spill his mysterious and tragic back story. The only thing she'd ever heard was one time when she was eight when she'd eavesdropped on her parents conversation one day...something about a birthday?
Stoick had gone a little pale, which was hard to make out through all of his freckles.
"That is impossible..."
"Eh? Nothing's impossible," said Fergus.
"No. This is impossible. Because I had an older brother. And I fell overboard a ship in a storm. And I washed up here. And my older brother's name was Fergus."
Fergus went silent. Elinor gasped, a triplet sneezed, and Merida dropped her food.
Hiccup was the first to break the ice. "Wait, so you're telling me, you two are some sort of long lost siblings?"
Fergus and Stoick were staring at each other when another boom sounded, this time with a low growl.
Suddenly, a huge writhing green thing burst into the hall emitting the green gas Merida had encountered earlier. And a top it's two heads were two familiar blonde teenagers.
Merida snatched her bow and arrows from underneath the table, notched one and tried to decide which head to aim it at.
Right as she decided the left one for no reason, Hiccup's arm shot out blocking her arrow.
"Wait!" Hiccup cried.
"What is that?" Screamed Merida.
A/N: Hello! This is Luna. Hatsu was unable to make it today so...yeah. It's just me. I hope that was cliffhanger enough, it's been in my head for a long time...so you hopefully received my non-chapter and accept my apology for inconsistencies. I could give you a list of excuses but that would take too long..
ANywAY, I hope you dig this chapter and you will be pleased to know we have already started the next chapter!
As a side note, anyone see Guardians of the Galaxy? It's kind of amazing and 10/10 would recommend.
As a side side note: If any of you want to follow up on my life, you are certainly welcome to check out my tumblr. My url is officialgenitalherpes.
As a side, side, side note: If any of you have any suggestions or ideas for any of the upcoming chapters, drop me a message and I'll see what I can do! Within reason of course...;)
Please read and review, every one is highly appreciated!