Disclaimer: I don't own How to Train Your Dragon.
She had led a life of misery but this was perhaps one of its worst moments. She was being walked to the altar, a wooden crown decorated with fresh flowers sat heavily on her head. As the chief's daughter she's the most richly dressed bride the village would ever see, but the limited ornament were big on her tiny form. She was Hiccup, daughter of Stoick the Vast, his only child, and the bane of the Berk Hooligans. Born early, sickly and small, she had little worth to her father or her tribe. She couldn't fight and they had no use for a Viking who couldn't fight, no matter how brilliant her mind. And her mind was brilliant, even if nearly everyone refused to acknowledge it. She closed her eyes but refused to cling to her father for comfort. It was his fault; he had decided she was worth nothing but a bartering tool. Soon she would be leaving one hell for another, for she was marrying Dagur.
The future chief of the Berserker tribe had a wild streak and was simply psychotic. Over the past several years, he'd burned her, thrown knives at her, chopped off her hair more than once and attempted to drown when they were little. Now she was to call him husband. His father decided he needed a wife to temper his rowdiness and a wife that would enforce a long held peace. Her blood would discourage his son from demanding battle, or so Oswald hoped when he came to Stoick with the proposal. Stoick had agreed quickly to the arrangement, and everyone was happier for it, all except the happy couple themselves.
Not to say Dagur was displeased with the arrangement, indifferent was a better word for it. He barely even seemed to notice his bride walking toward him on the procession. Hiccup was shaking, she knew Dagur, too well ad she could only imagine what could happen if she was forced to accompany him all the time from now on. One their hands were tied over the sword he had free reign to do as he pleased. He would make a plaything of her and she would be even more alone than before. Now Gobber would be removed, the only person who had ever given a damn about her living or dying. He father clearly didn't and her mother was dead.
She was passed off to the altar where the elder of the Berserker tribe evoked Frigg to join them. They put their hands on the ancestral sword of Dagur's family. Dagur blandly said his vows; Hiccup said hers with a sense of hate and disgust. For moment, it seemed she caught Dagur's attention, he watched the fire in her eyes flare before dying out when the cloth was wrapped around their wrists. Dagur lost interest and retreated into his mind, probably entertaining fantasies about killing puppies or something equally distasteful. Hiccup was a wreck, her eyes were red and swollen from crying in rage but now she was calm. If nothing else, she could hold herself with dignity before going to nearly guaranteed grave. Hiccup the Useless would at least not be seen as a pitiful girl weeping at her own wedding. A sacrifice was made and Dagur presented her with the ancestral sword of his family. Hiccup took it gingerly, feeling secure with the familiarity of metal in her hands. She took a deep breath and repeated the vow to keep the sword safe for their son. The thought of having Dagur's child sent a shiver down her spine. But she stood strong, even as Dagur pressed their mouths together, it was a dull kiss, a disappointment, knowing it was her first. Neither of them tried to make it better. The crowd clapped, but even the good wishes felt hollow.
The feast went by in the blur. It felt as though she weren't even in the same room as everyone else. The mood was far better once mead had wetted everyone's bellies. Dagur's spirit improved as he told stories of is various kills to her cousin, Snoutlout. Originally, it had been unspoken contract that Hiccup would marry her cousin to maintain the bloodline and pass the mantel to one within his own family and so Stoick would know his own grandchild would succeed him. At the time, Hiccup had thought nothing could be worse, but she was very wrong. She swallowed thickly as gifts were left for the couple in front of their table. Gobber came up with a gift for her. He placed the parcel in her hand.
"It's not much Lass, but it's what I have."
"Thank you." She whispered.
"I would have done something if I could; you know that, don't you."
"I know Gobber, it my father wouldn't listen to you; he truly had made up his mind."
"Stay safe Lass." She nodded mutely.
"Lass, listen here, if anyone can make good from this, it's you. Do yer best and you can get happiness. I know it." She finally smiled for the first time in the day.
"Thank you, Gobber." She gave him a one armed hug and at sat up again. She felt strong again, her composure regained. A mask slid into place and she knew that she could do this.
There was no way in Hel she could do this. Her fear of a life with Dagur had completely overshadowed what should have been her concern, the wedding night. The village cheered the whole way to their accommodation. Hiccup struggled to keep calm. Dagur seemed more interested in the overall mood of the crowd than what he was about to participate in. He exchanged bawdy joke with everyone, laughing through his whole stride of conquest. Hiccup gnawed on her lip but offered no reaction. When they reached their room for the night, she was hefted up over Dagur's shoulder. Before the door closed, she saw her father briefly, his expression ever stern. And for a moment, Hiccup wondered if he ever loved her at all.
The encounter was blessedly quick and relatively painless. It didn't help that the elders of both their villages watched like a pair of sick perverts. Dagur mated like a beast, his interest was lost the minute it concluded. Hiccup was thankful it wasn't as bad as she had imagined. A few bite-marks on her shoulder and neck, but it had pretty to the point, and better yet they never made eye contact. It allowed her shell to falter and even to allow some tears to slip. Because nothing could be worse than letting Dagur think she was weak, well, weaker. She had little to work with and refused to let him have anything. He was a predator by nature and she refused to be prey.
They departed early the next morning, Hiccup dressed like a proper wife in clothes that were a wedding gift from her father. Her hair was all tied up and her expression stony. She glanced over her shoulder as she boarded her husband's ship. Her home, her people, she was leaving it all behind, though truly it was no longer hers. She was a woman wed and her place was with her husband. The other teenagers were not there, except for Fishlegs, he alone came to see her off. He pressed a small copy of the book of dragons into her hands. 'For luck' he'd said and occupy never felt more touched. She had smiled and kissed his cheek. If only she could have married him, he wouldn't have bullied her like Snoutlout and he wasn't mindless like Dagur. But the time of what-if's had come and gone. This was no longer her home, no longer the place of her forge with the back room just for her. No longer were the damned teenagers her peers, they strangers now, as they and always been, but now, nothing connected them at all.
So she raised her head high and boarded the ship without fear or weakness. Hiccup was not strong, she could not fight but she had her pride if nothing else. The chest full of wedding gifts was boarded on after. Hiccup smiled and gave a small nod to Gobber and the made the mistake of looking at her father. He had the audacity to look sad. Hiccup sniffed, her father had nerve, but it didn't matter anymore. It was done and time to move on. The men started shouting as wind caught in the sails.
The chain of islands of the Berserkers, the Skrill Talon, was not that different from her own. The minute she had the chance, she had shed he garbs of married life and dressed how she pleased. A long green tunic and brown leggings was all she required. She had thrown her old vest to the ocean, a spite against her father, her boots had gone in next. Instead she wore the sleek ones she had got a wedding gift and coupled it with a fur shoulder cloak to keep her warm. Dagur ignored her during the day for the most part for which she was grateful. Her memories consisted of nearly being drowned, stabbed and beaten half to death by him, so she could only have gratitude for his indifference. The first few days she did nothing but wander the area, taking in her new home.
She'd taken a peek into the forge and found it horribly neglected. She'd tried to convince the smith to let her work with him. The smith brushed her off, appearing more terrified than anything. Gods, they were scared of her husband, as if he cared in the slightest about her. She rolled her eyes lazily and reclined against a rock just outside the village. The quiet calmed her racing mind. It was quiet here, during the day least. Once dusk rolled around it was chaos. Dragon raids were smaller here, and further in-between, farther from the supposed nest. But they came and were swiftly ended. This much had to be said for the Berserkers, they efficient in dragon killing.
The sound of roars woke her like they always did. Dagur shot up pout of their shared bed, cackling in delight and he pulled on his trousers and armor. Hiccup pulled the blanket around her body to shield her nudity from the chilled air. She watched Dagur leave indifferently, waiting until the door slammed shut before she got out of bed too. Hiccup dressed slowly as was her habit. At least at Berk she had the smithy, but now… No, she couldn't think of Berk, she was done with them. So Hiccup slid into her usual clothing and picked up the crossbow gifted to her on her twelfth birthday. It had been an efficient invention, a collaboration between her and Gobber, it was the most efficient crossbow in existence. She had kept it a secret from her husband, as much as she could but he was more interest in swords and axes so there wasn't a problem.
Hiccup wasn't strong but the crossbow was light and easy to use. Since she wasn't allowed outside during the raids, just like home, she would sit in the bedroom and wait for excuse to leave. She could have just ignored orders, but consequences were more than a stern scolding and maybe a slap on the wrist. Here it was manhandling, screaming and simple isolation. Much worse. Tonight though, tonight she didn't wait long for an excuse as it came crushing though the roof. A bolt struck and sent her reeling to the ground. She sat up long enough to see the dark shape disappear into the night.
This was her chance. She had to kill a dragon, secure her place among the Berserkers. She managed to sneak out while no one was looking and rush up a hill to get a better vantage point. She lay flat on her belly, aiming the crossbow,, waiting for the ideal moment. She lay in the dim light of dragon-fire in the distance, waiting, she was a Viking. She was the wife of the future Chief of the Berserkers. She was the daughter of Val, one of the best shield-maidens to ever be. She would prove herself her mother's daughter, to everyone who doubted her. To her husband, her new tribe and old and her father more than any other, she would prove her heritage at this moment. She sat still under the night sky and she fired.
The shape fell and crashed into the wild parts of the island.
She had done it.
She had struck down a dragon, and Night Fury at that.
Unfortunately. One of the villagers saw fit to find her there. Hiccups barely understood the man that lifted her clear off her feet and scolded her like a disobedient child. She was dragged all the way back to her husband, Dagur didn't bother looking at her. He was too busy stabbing a Nadder. Hiccup suddenly found it entirely depressing that the best she could hope for would to not end up like some poor beast that caught Dagur's eye.
Hiccup sat alone in her home, curled up by the fire hidden under fur blankets. With the hole in the roof, she'd be sleeping there until it was fixed. Dawn was already upon them, she lay down and dozed praying the wind would not be too cold. She was woken by a knocking. Hiccup already knew who it was. Only one Viking had a confident knock when entering Dagur's home. Oswald the Agreeable entered her home, not bothering to wait for her to answer the door. Her father –in-law was a good man, reminded her of her father, but he was less judgmental than him. He was fond of Hiccup, something greatly appreciated when living in this place.
"I hear ye escaped today." Her father, no Stoick, would have been angry at that. Oswald was amused.
"That's the rumor." She emerged from her burrow on the blanket s to greet her father-in-law.
"Ye really are something. I 'eard they found ye with yer crossbow on the hill."
"What were ye shooting?"
"Ye have some sense of humor, lass."
"Sure, whatever." A silence settled over them. Oswald settled down in a chair, watching her with a solemn expression.
"I know it's hard lass, but it will get easier, I promise."
"No offense, Oswald, but your son is maniac, I'll be lucky if he doesn't smother me in my sleep." Oswald put a hand on her shoulder.
"Did you know why I chose you to marry my son?"
"Because no one else was desperate enough?"
"Because no one else was smart enough."
"If Dagur married a normal Viking girl, one of them would end up dead. What we needed was a little more of this."
"You just gestured to all of me."
"Exactly. Any other lass would be dead by now, but not you. I had faith in you. I knew you could make it." His faith and acceptance of her and her queer ways warmed her heart. But her anger and spite at the match wouldn't allow her to show it. Even Gobber, who accepted her, still didn't understand her or really try. Oswald did.
"What and endure our fluffy marriage full of hugs and kisses?"
"No, to make a good man of him, or at least a good husband. I want my son to know the warmth of love, or affection, but he can't learn that from me. If there's anyone who could teach him, it's you."
"Yer a smart girl. Ye can figure something out." Hiccup said nothing.
"Ye reminded me of yer mother on yer wedding day."
"Ye look nothing like her of course, or yer father for that matter. Of course, after a babe or to, you might plump up." Hiccup made a face.
"Anyway, for a moment ye looked angry and that was what reminded me of her. Yer mother always had fire in her eyes in battle. Ye have it too, Dagur liked it, use it. You're not the kitten your Father thinks ye are. Yer capable of great things, lass, start by provin' yerself to yer husband." He patted her shoulder, got up and left. Hiccup sat there for a long while, letting his words sink in. It was nice to have someone believe in her.
Tomorrow she would get that dragon
Princess: This idea has been sitting in my head for a while and I made enough progress that I finally decided to post it. It needed to be done. It will be loosely based on the relationship between Daenerys and Drogo form Game of thrones. It is a bit of shameless AU-ing, but here we are and I hope you will enjoy. I did some research on Norse weddings and learned a few interesting. It is required for someone to witness consumption of a marriage, but not for the bride to be a virgin. Women do technically have a say in marriage, but not that much and girls and boys could be married as young as twelve. I do try to use some realistic facts from their culture and try to be as accurate as possible.