Chapter 1: In the Beginning
Long ago when Westeros was finally at peace, a new danger had arrived. A man who sought to clear the world of all dragons came with an army and demanded that the king and queen stand down or he would kill them and their family. Queen Daenerys, who was pregnant at the time, feared for her child's life as did her husband. They refused to stand down and ordered the queen's three dragons to slaughter the man and his army. The enemy though, sent out his own army of dragons, much to the queen's shock and horror, and set his prized dragon on the three dragons and slaughtered them. The king was forced to flee from Kings Landing to the North and take refuge in Winterfell.
A horrible blizzard had came along, giving the couple some time to reach their destination. But by the time they had arrived, the queen had went into labor. As the blizzard raged on outside of the castle, the king's direwolf had began to howl loudly, for the heir to the house of Stark and Targaryen had been born. A tiny baby girl with hair as white as the snow that fell outside and eyes color of violets. She was named Ashaeya and deemed heir of their houses. The moment the blizzard had died down, the royal family fled as far as they could to the one place they were sure their enemy would never think they'd flee.
"Thank you so much for allowing us to stay here chief Stoick. I hope it wouldn't be too much trouble." Daenerys said to the Berkian chief and shifted the bundle of blankets she held in her arms into a more comfortable position.
"It is an honor to host you and your family my queen. I do hope you enjoy your stay on Berk till you, your husband and child could return home safely." Stoick replied and gave the queen a smile. "Is the child a boy or a girl, if you don't mind me asking."
"Girl, and a lovely one as well." Jon said looking down at the bundle in his wife's arms with pride. "Our little princess born in a howling snowstorm. The moment she was born our my wolf began to sing into the harsh winds to announce her arrival."
Stoick nodded and glanced over at Valka, who was busy sewing something. How he longed for her to be with child, a little one they could both raise together to be a great chief. He heard a little noise come from the bundle in the queen's arms, a little pale arm rose out of it and began to wave around as the cries got louder.
"Shhh, it's alright my little princess. Mother is here, no need to cry." Daenerys cooed as she bouced the baby gently.
"Here, allow me." Jon said gently taking the crying baby into his arms and began to hum and rock her gently. The little princess stopped crying and looked up at her father with wide violet eyes. Jon smiled at her and kissed the top of her little head. "See little wolf? No need to cry with your father around."
"You seem quite well with children." Valka commented softly, looking up from her sewing.
"I seem to have a magic touch with babies, according to some people." Jon said to her and looked down at his daughter. "Isn't that right Ashaeya?"
"Perhaps when we have our own child they could be her friend." Valka suggested. "Would you consider her ever marrying her to the son of a chief to have an alliance?"
"Well if your child was a boy maybe, but I don't think Ashaeya would like to marry someone she'd be friends with for years." Dany answered and shook her head.
"How about Oswald the Agreeable? He's had a son born just a few days ago." Stoick suggested. "She could befriend a child her age."
"Perhaps we should wait until we meet the boy ourselves." Jon said holding his daughter closer to his chest. "Or wait till we return to Westeros to marry her, she has to marry for alliances."
"She'll meet someone she'll like to marry, just you wait." Valka assured him. "And hopefully my child will come soon to form an alliance with her so that you three can return home to your rightful.place as the king and queen."
"And our little princess shall return home to her rightful place as queen of the North." Dany said taking her daughter from her husband. "Hopefully soon this little she-wolf shall return to her true home and rule it was well as her father has."
"Oh she will, and hopefully we can have a few alliances here when it's time for us to go and take back our kingdom." Jon said with a nod. "But for now we are Daenerys and Jon Snow with their daughter Ash. I'm a swordsman and you are..."
"I don't even know what I can do around here when I'm not taking care of the baby." Dany said shaking her head and looked to Valka. "Is there anything I can do?"
"You can help in the kitchens, they always need extra hands to cook something up and be able to feed the village if they aren't eating at home." Valka suggested and walked over to the queen. "Here, it's ways tradition to give the newborn son or daughter of a chief, or in this case a prince or princess a gift."
The Viking queen placed the small toy she had been sewing into Ash's little hands, a little blue dragon that looked much like one of Dany's dragons. Ash gurgled enthusiastically and clutched the little toy in her tiny hands.
"A perfect gift to remind her of what she also is." Dany said with a smile. "Perhaps someday when we go home you'll find a way to bring back the dragons and avenge your brothers."
*Two Years Later*
"Freckles!" Ash squealed, pointing to the newborn baby's cheeks. "Freckles!"
"Yes he has freckles." Valka chuckled as she cradled the newborn to her chest. "Isn't he cute Ashaeya?"
"No! I cuter!" The two year old protested. "I cuter!"
"Yes you are cute, for a two year old." Daenerys laughed, scooping her daughter up into her arms and kissed her cheek. "But little Hiccup is cute because he's a baby."
"And he's going to be your best friend and be like a little brother to you as well." Valka added and kissed her son's head. "Will you be like a good big to him Ash?" The little blonde nodded her head happily and both mothers smiled.
Thelittle auburn baby cooed and reached out to the older girl. She looked up to her mother and got a nod from her before she was lifted onto the bed and shown how to hold Hiccup properly. Hiccup was quite fascinated by her pale hair and kept trying to grab it with his little fingers.
"He really likes her doesn't he?" Dany chuckled as her daughter kept yanking her hair from Hiccup's grasp.
"Indeed he does, and I think they are going to be the best of friends as they grow up." Valka chuckled. "I can hardly wait to see what it'll become."
"An unbreakable friendship no doubt."
And little did they know, that that would be true.
Chapter 2: I Dislike Him
In which Ash meets Dagur
*Four Years Later*
"He's brought his son?" Jon asked Gobber in surprise.
"Says the boy needs to make friends with children of the chief, and some of the upperclass children as well." The blacksmith explained.
"What's he...like? The boy I mean." Jon asked, remembering the conversation he and his wife had with the chief the first night they came to Berk.
"He's uh..." Gobber rubbed the back of his head nervously with his hook. "A wee bit...strange. He chases chickens and refuses to let them go, scares the Hel out of livestock, has this weird little laugh-"
"And they say he's....deranged. For a child that is." The blacksmith finished and frowned. "I don't think that's your idea of a husband for your daughter right?"
"Well I'll have to see the boy for myself." Jon replied with a shrug.
The two walked to the docks where Stoick was waiting. Dany was there as well holding baby Rickion to her chest while Hiccup and Ash stood on either side of her. Coming their way was a large ship with the insignia of the Berserker tribe, a Skrill, with a large and muscular man with flaming red hair and a small dark haired woman at his side. Once the boat had reached the dock, some men aboard the boat tossed a plank over the side.
"Stoick! It's good to see you!" The red haired man called to the Berkian chief as he walked down the plank.
"And you as well Oswald." Stoick greeted. "I see you brought Helga and Dagur along."
"Figured it was about time my son met his future ally, Helga came along to keep an eye on him and to give your guest some company." Oswald said gesturing to the dark haired woman as she bent down to pick something up.
"I want off! I want off!" A child shrieked. The Berserker queen rose and was holding a squirming red haired boy in her arms who was shrieking and kicking violently. "I want off the boat!"
"You're getting off Dagur, be patient." She scolded as she stepped off the boat and onto the dock before she placed her son down. "And you're making a scene in front of the children!"
The young boy spotted the two children and as soon as his mother put him down, he bolted over to them. As soon as he was close, he gave a wild shriek that sent Hiccup screaming and hiding behind Dany's skirts and causing Rickion to cry. Ash however, remained where she was and frowned.
"You're being mean!" She yelled angrily, stepping forward and shoving the boy back roughly. "You make my brothers cry!"
"He's a wuss!" The young Berserker laughed, pointing to Hiccup who had poked his head out from behind Dany's leg.
"Dagur! That is rude!" Helga scolded.
"Very rude." Gobber muttered and whispered to Jon. "Yeah he's definitely not going to be Ash's husband anytime soon."
"I can see that." Jon whispered back
"I'm going to take Hiccup to the grazing fields." Ash announced, giving the young Berserker a disgusted look before taking Hiccup's hand and walking off with him.
"Be careful dear!" Dany called as the two children sprinted away.
"I don't like him!" Hiccup squeaked as he and Ash were far from the docks. "He looks...crazy!"
"Exactly my point!" Ash snapped as they reached the village. "Don't play with him Hiccup, he seems mean."
"Hey!" Both children turned to see the young Berserker heir running towards them. Hiccup ducked behind Ash, who planted her little hands on her hips and put on the most stoic expression she had seen her father make on her little face.
"We don't want to play, you scared my brothers." Ash said when Dagur approached them.
"Well he's a wuss, the other one was just a baby." Dagur said with a shrug.
"No one calls my friend a wuss!" Ash snapped and shoved Dagur backwards. He staggered back a few steps before falling onto the grass.
Dagur's green eyes narrowed before he jumped to his feet and charged at Ash. She braced herself as Dagur rammed into her and they started kicking, punching and yanking at each other's hair and clothes.
"No stop! Stop! Stop it!" Hiccup yelled trying to get close to the fighting children but kept jumping back to avoid getting hit. "Ash stop it! You get in trouble!"
"Ashaeya Lyanna Stark!"
Both children stopped fighting to see their parents along Stoick and Gobber hurrying towards them. Both the father's were looking quite infuriated, but not as infuriated as the mothers.
"What did I say about being nice to the other children!" Helga scolded yanking her son off Ash. "Especially the girls! This is why you'll probably end up alone with no wife and children!"
"You are better than this Ashaeya, fighting with other children is below you!" Daenerys scolded as she helped her daughter off the floor and wiped the stain of mud off her little cheek. Then she added in a softer voice. "You're a princess, and princesses do not fight with their fists unless it's necessary. Please be nicer to the boy will you?"
"He called Hiccup a wuss!" Ash protested angrily, pointing an accusing finger at Dagur who was rubbing his cheek that was turning red.
"Say you are sorry." Helga said shoving her son forward. "To both Hiccup and Ashaeya."
Dagur clamped his mouth shut and folded his little arms over his chest. Ash did likewise but stuck her tongue out at him.
"I won't apologize to him." Ash announced. "And I will never ever play with him again or even marry him!"
"I wouldn't want to either!" Dagur snorted. "I will never like her!"
*Five Years Later*
"Mother! Mother!" Ash yelled rushing over to her mother, who was busy hanging wet clothes to dry
"Yes dear?" Daenerys asked as she stopped hanging some clothes.
"That horrid boy tried to kiss me!" Ash shrieked when she reached her mother. "On the cheek! The nerve he has to do that sickens me!"
"What did your father do when that happened?" Dany asked, trying to hide her amusement from her tone.
"He laughed mother! Laughed! I smacked Dagur in the face with my hand and ran from the feast!" Ash answered and stomped her boot angrily. "I hate that boy!"
"Ash he no longer calls Hiccup a wuss, and he's trying to be nice to you." Dany said picking up one of her husband's shirts and began to hang it up. "At least try to be nice to him, that's how I dealt with rude men when I was older than you."
"Just tolerate him Ash, if he tries touching you in an inappropriate way you can cut his hand off."
Ash glanced down at the weapon she had, a throwing knife she kept well oiled and sharpened, and gripped it's leather handle. "Fine, I'll handle him." She said through gritted teeth.
"Besides, he must have began to fancy you since his last visit. You might fancy him at some point in a few years." Dany said and hung up the final shirt.
"No way." Ash said sticking her tongue out in disgust. "He's not attractive to me, I don't care what the other girls of the village say."
"You'll be taking those words back when he gets older, his father was quite handsome when he was younger."
"If he tries proposing to me at the end of this peace treaty, I will run away." Ash said to Ruffnut as the younger girl was braiding her hair.
"He's a weirdo." Ruffnut agreed as she finished the braid and started to tie it off. "And a little too crazy for my taste."
"I haven't even flowered yet and our father's are discussing marriage around us." Ash added in disgust. "And he kissed me on the cheek! I slapped him in the face and ran!"
"I knew at some point you'd do that! I totally knew it!" Ruff laughed. "Tuffnut now has to eat a beetle!"
"Why do I have a feeling you two are gonna be betting when he kisses me on the lips." Ash muttered.
"Oh I bet that if he kissed you on the lips and you slapped him, Tuff has to wear my clothes for a week! Tuff bet that if he kissed you on the lips but you ended up kissing back, I have to wear his clothes for a week!" Ruffnut said happily. "So please slap him in the face when he does that."
"I'll kick him in the groin if he does that." Ash retorted. "Once my father said he heard that someone did to a boy and his balls turned black and fell off!"
Ruffnut's jaw dropped open in shock and Ash burst out laughing.
"Is that possible?" Ruff asked in a low voice and Ash nodded. Then the younger girl grinned wickedly. "Then by all means do that!"
"Ash! Ash! Dagur is looking for you hide!" Hiccup yelled running up to them and almost falling on his face. "Just hide!"
Ash leapt to her feet and bolted towards the woods. She quickly scaled up a tree and made her way onto one of the thicker branches. As soon as she was safely nestled in the branches, she heard Dagur yelling her name. Ash stifled a giggle as the red head was scrambling around and shouting her name.
"Aww come on Ash! Come out! I promise I won't try dragging Hiccup into the river to swim again!" Dagur called.
Spotting an apple, Ash carefully plucked it and took aim before throwing it at Dagur's head. The red fruit smacked him on the top of his head with a satisfying clonk. Dagur howled and started spewing curses Ash was sure he made up on his own and kicked her tree. She covered her mouth and bit her knuckle to keep herself from laughing as Dagur stopped his cursing fit.
"Stupid dragons!" He yelled at the tree.
"Guess he thought it was a Terror." Ash giggled to herself. She heard a squawk and gave a small gasp and turned her head. Sitting on the branch next to her was a light blue Terrible Terror and it was giving her the meanest look she had ever seen on a dragon's face. "Uh...hi?" She whispered and gave it a small wave. The Terror screeched and leapt right Ash's face, causing her to scream, shoved herself back and threw her arms up in defense. Then she tumbled out of the tree with a yelp.
"I got ya!" Ash felt herself land on something and realized Dagur caught her (a surprising thing really). "Saved ya princess." He said giving her a grin, showing off two of his missing teeth that apparently got knocked out in a fight a few days before. "Looks like you're falling for me already."
Ash gave a disgusted grunt and climbed out of his arms and quickly dusted off her tunic. "Don't call me princess." She snapped and checked herself for any bruises.
"Well I saved you, didn't I? Don't I deserve a little reward?" Dagur asked and gave her a smirk.
"Like I'd give you one." Ash huffed and started to walk away and Dagur followed. "And quit following me around like some lost puppy, it doesn't suit you. And you are very bad at flirting."
"I'm not that bad at flirting." Dagur said with a shrug as they reached the outskirts of the village.
"Yes you are, now go away." Ash retorted as she reached her home and walked inside her home.
"Well then, I'll be looking forward to catching you again and again every time you fall." Dagur chuckled before walking away from the house.
Ash stuck her finger in her mouth and made a gagging noise. "I just hope this ridiculous crush he has on me goes away soon."
Chapter 3: Practice Makes Perfect
THWACK! Ash cursed under her breath as her arrow missed it's mark and hit the side of the target.
"You need to relax Ashaeya." Her father said as she prepared to fire again.
"I am relaxed!" Ash snapped and released her arrow. This time it hit the wall instead.
"No you aren't, you're as taunt as a bow."
"You're not letting me focus!"
Ash pointed her arrow at the target again and fired, this time it hit the target and close to the bullseye.
"As I said, you need to be more focused." Jon said walking to the target to collect the arrows. "In battle that would be difficult to do but archers have the long ranged advantage."
"Is that why your ex lady was so good?" Ash asked when he handed them to her.
"She was very good, so let's hope you'll be just as good or better." Jon said and patted her head.
"Would she have been my mother if you never married mysa?" Ash asked.
"I doubt it. She would have been made a prisoner if she hadn't died, but I wouldn't have married her. The Targaryen line needed to continue and your mother wanted to unite the North and South with that marriage."
"Do I have to do that?" Ash asked as she loaded her bow with an arrow.
"Someday, but not today. Today you are Ash Snow, skilled archer in training. Perhaps when Hiccup becomes chief you'll be his right hand woman."
"I'm only twelve, Hiccup is ten." Ash pointed out and lowered her bow. "Do I have to marry him?"
"He's made it too obvious that he likes the Hofferson girl huh?" Jon asked and cracked a smile. "Don't worry little pup, you won't have to marry your your best friend. Perhaps we'll marry you to Dagur."
"I'd rather take an arrow to the knee than marry him." Ash commented, lifting her bow and firing at the target. "He went swimming with Hiccup during the last treaty and almost drowned him. I'd rather marry a Fishlegs or Tuffnut than that lunatic."
"People can change over time Ash, maybe in a few years you'll learn to like him." Jon said and gave a shrug. "Give him a few years to mature, I'm sure he'll be less deranged."
"That's as likely as Stoick the Vast befriending a dragon and Hiccup growing much taller than me and getting some meat on the bones." Ash retorted and rolled her eyes. "As I said, I'd rather marry a Fishlegs or Tuffnut or even Snotlout."
"As I said, he could change." Jon said with a shrug. "Now let's try perfecting that aim of yours, snow haired Ygrette."
Ash giggled and told aim at the target again.
"Now just relax, focus on the target and just breathe." Jon instructed softly. "And be patient."
Ash closed her eyes, took a deep breathe and opened them. She grew the string back to her cheek and aimed the arrow at the target. The wind was blowing softly at the moment so that was sure to throw her aim off a bit. She shifted her arrow a bit and released it. THWACK! Right on the bullseye was her arrow. Ash grabbed another arrow and repeated the process again and again until she had five arrows stuck on the target and all were on the middle ring.
"I did it!" Ash cheered and flung her arms around her father. "I did it papa! I hit the target!"
"I saw! You did so good Ash!" Jon laughed and hugged his daughter. "Soon you'll be having enemies dropping from left and right with your arrows!"
"Draw it back towards your cheek Hiccup, and focus on the target." Ash instructed her friend.
"Oh darn..." Hiccup mumbled when the arrow dropped from the bow.
"You need a better grip on it." Ash said picking it up and strung it into her own bow. "Like this, watch how I do it." She pulled the bow back to her cheek, tested the wind and released the arrow. It hit the middle of the target and she did the same with two more arrows. "See?"
"I'm no good at this sort of stuff." The ten-year-old sighed and looked away. "I'm no good at this weapons stuff like you or Astrid."
"You don't have to be good at it, but practice makes perfect Hiccup!" Ash said giving him a pat on the arm. "Who knows if the skill will come in handy someday. Besides you aren't the only one bad at this."
"I'm a Hiccup, I'm no good at anything." Hiccup pointed out. "I'll never accomplish anything."
"Oh yes you will! You may not be good at some stuff your dad is good at, but you could be better at something else! You might go down in history for something no Viking has ever done!"
"You think so?" Hiccup asked.
"Yeah! My parents used to know this man who no one thought he would be good at anything, yet he became the right-hand man of the queen! He inspired my father to ignore his bastard status." Ash said. "He once said 'Never forget who you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used against you'."
"So...I can use this?" Hiccup asked gesturing to himself.
"Yes you can!" Ash laughed. "He also said 'Once you accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you'. I honestly wish I could meet him."
"Me too!" Hiccup laughed. "Who was he?"
"Lannister, Tyrion Lannister. The little lion of Westeros who helped change the world." Ash said proudly. 'My godfather who I never knew, who stayed behind to talk to the madman who took away my brother's and stripped my family of their kingdom. I swear if Tyrion is dead I will kill that madman.'
Chapter 4: A Womans Place
I figured I'd sneak in one of my favorite HTTYD characters into this story who later makes an appearance in the sequel
"Now just take a look around, don't touch anything." Jon instructed the two teens. "I'd like to be able to leave back to Berk as soon as possible."
"An' keep in mind to not talk to any strangers unless they are merchants." Gobber added. "Don' want ye kidnapped or gettin' hurt."
Stoick had sent Jon and Gobber to a marketplace a few miles from Berk with the task of searching for new weapons to replace the old ones used in the dragon raids. Even though Gobber had wanted to reuse the old metal to remake new weapons, it would take too much time and they didn't know when the dragons would return to ransack the village again for their sheep and fish. They were of course, allowed to bring Hiccup and Ashaeya along to help.
"I'll keep an eye on him, I promise." Ash assured them, taking Hiccup's hand and walked off with him.
The two teens started to look around at the stalls filled assorted weapons, brightly colored and embroidered cloths, exotic spices, strange animals, delicious looking foods and beautiful jewelry. They took the liberty of trying some of the foods and looking at the weapons.
"Ooh look at this!" Ash said pointing to a necklace that was on display. It was an oddly crafted necklace that looked like a dragon's head, shoulders and tail that made the wearer look like they had a little dragon draped around their neck.
"That looks like something your mom would wear." Hiccup chuckled. "She really likes dragon jewelry, and I think that'd be something you'd wear too."
"Probably not in that color." Ash laughed. "Maybe in a darker blue or in white."
"It's a popular necklace among some nobel ladies." The merchant said, removing the necklace from the display box and holding it out to Ash. "Would you like to try it on miss?"
Ash nodded and stepped forward to the stall. The young merchant carefully draped it around her neck and smiled widely.
"A perfect fit!" The merchant exclaimed holding up a small mirror to allow Ash to see her reflection.
"Too bad I don't have the money." Ash sighed and removed the necklace carefully from her neck. "But thank you for letting me try it on."
"You could ask your father when we see him." Hiccup suggested as they walked back towards the weapon stalls.
"Don't think he could afford it. Besides, it's not like there are any special occasions coming up that I could wear it. And we need weapons, not pretty necklaces." Ash said shaking her head. "And it's for nobel ladies, not a swordsman's daughter. I'm no nobel woman."
"It'd still be nice for you to own one." Hiccup murmured.
As the two were examining some weapons, Ash caught sight of some strange looking men examining some at the next stall. Several of them boasted various grey-blue tattoos on their chins and wore heavy fur coats, something that wasn't suited for the sort of weather they were having.
"Well this isn't something you see everyday," Ash heard one of the men say, "a girl browsing through the weapon stalls."
"This girl happens to be a daughter of a great swordsman and she browsing for weapons for her village." Ash retorted, looking up to see at least three of the strange men she saw a few minutes ago standing near her. "And this sword is not well balanced." She added, holding up the short sword she was examining and placed it back into it's crate.
"Shouldn't you be examining pretty cloths or jewelry instead? This area is not a woman's place." One of the men said picking up a mace from a bin and examined it.
"Maybe, but I find steel and iron more fascinating than silk or jewels." Ash said patting her own sword that was strapped to her waist. "And who says a woman can't be looking through here? My father says I have a good eye for looking for good weapons."
"Ha! She certainly told you off Halkur!" One of the three men laughed. The one who had spoken to her earlier, a muscled man wearing a beige tunic and black fur bracers, frowned at his companion and then frowned at Ash.
"Find anything Hiccup?" She asked, walking over to her friend.
"Nah, lots of these need sharpening." Hiccup replied, placing a sword he was examining back on the table. "Little too dull."
"Some people have been testing them around and they've been getting dull from it." The blacksmith of the stall said taking his sword back and frowned at the group of men. "Don't listen to them lass, their leader doesn't know women from around here are just as hard and well trained as men."
"Exactly, and someone ought to shut him up." Ash said casting a glare at the man. "Cocky bastard is going to get his teeth knocked in one of these days if he tells that to the wrong woman."
"Why do I have a feeling it's going to be you who knocks his teeth in?" Hiccup asked quietly as she turned her attention back to the weapons.
"Oh this one looks good." Ash said, picking up one sword and turned the sword over in her hands. "You think my father would let me keep it?"
"Starting to think she'll need a more dainty sword for those tiny hands of hers!" The man from earlier yelled. Ash's blood was now boiling in anger, one hand gripping the handle of her sword tightly and the other gripping her skirt so tightly that her knuckles were turning white.
"Hey, hey! Don't do it!" Hiccup hissed and grabbed her wrist. "Remember what your mom said Ash! She said not to let anyone 'awaken the dragon' and we promised your dad and Gobber we'd stay out of trouble!"
"Don't stop me Hiccup." Ash growled, yanking her wrist out of his hands, drew out her sword and storming over to the group of men. "Hey!"
"Oh gods..." Hiccup muttered as Ash yanked the man away from his group and slapped him across the face with her free hand. "Oooooh Jon is going to kill me!"
"Seven hells what is she doing?" Jon asked as his daughter and the man she slapped started sword fight against each other.
"Mind tellin' us what she is doing?" Gobber asked the teen.
"Defending her honor as a woman." Hiccup answered as Ash smacked the man in the chest with the flat end of her sword and punched him in the face.
"That's enough!" Jon barked, storming over to his daughter and grabbing her by the arm. "You are making a fool of yourself, no need to bring steel into a fight like this!"
"He insulted me!" Ash retorted and glared at the man who's nose was now bleeding.
"And broke his nose!" One of the men from the group laughed. "See? This is why you shouldn't mess with women from this part of the lands! Especially the pretty ones!"
"Shut your trap!" The broken nosed man yelled. Ash felt her cheeks darken in embarrassment and heard some of the men choke back a laugh as the broken nose man removed his hand from his nose to find it coated in blood. "Why you little-"
"Finish that, I dare you." Ash growled, shoving her sword close to the man's throat. "Go on! So the whole market knows you got your ass handed to you by a woman! Call me anything you want, but it's not going to stop me from kicking your ass again and again!"
"You are hardly a woman." Her father muttered, rolling his eyes as pulled her back to Hiccup and Gobber who was laughing loudly. "Let's just get home." He said to the smith.
"Of course." Gobber chuckled. "And let's hope we don't cross paths with these folks again."
"And not come back here again until this girl learns to control herself." Jon added, giving his daughter a disapproving look.
"Your mom and my dad are going to be so mad." Hiccup whispered and Ash chuckled.
"It was worth it." She whispered back with a grin. She glanced back at the group and caught one of the men, the one who warned his companion earlier and who laughed at the broken nose, looking at them and gave her a small wave. "And at least someone believes me."
"What are you doing waving at the bitch?" The man growled at his companion who had been waving at the girl from earlier.
"It's just a wave, not like I was blowing a kiss at her." The younger man scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Honestly, you have to keep your temper around women. This is why you are possibly going to end up alone with no wife-"
"Finish that sentence and I'll cut your tongue out, bastard!"
The younger man's eyes narrowed and his hand formed a fist. "Call me that one more time Halkur, and I'll mess you up more than that girl. Because you have no right to call me a bastard!"
"Hey!" The two men stopped squabbling when they noticed the girl from earlier rushing over to them with a small poch in her hand. She hurried to the younger man and held it out to him. "The blacksmith noticed you left it, asked me and my father to return it."
"Ash, my friends call me Ash." The girl replied, giving him a smile before she hurried back towards the older man who must have been her father. The man gave them a small nod as he put an arm around the girl and walked off with her towards the younger boy and the other man they must have been traveling with.
"Aww, Eret son of Eret's has an admirer." Another man laughed, causing the younger man to scowl.
"She's just being nice Ugh. Can't a girl give a man a smile without anyone thinking she's in love with him?"
"Well, probably not going to see her pretty face again. But then again, it's a small world and the gods always have something in store for us." The man shrugged.
The younger man nodded to himself as he watched the strange little group walk away. His friend was right, the world wasn't so big, so he probably would see her again. Probably not for another couple of years of course, but who knew.
Chapter 5: Keeping A Secret
"Where are we going again?" Ash asked Hiccup as the younger teen lead her through the woods with a basket of fish slung over his shoulder.
"That one cove you hid in one year for a few hours to avoid Dagur." Hiccup said to her. "You were fifteen at the time."
"Ah yes, the one with the lovely pond that had plenty of fish and a nice view of rocks and grass." Ash said and frowned a bit. "What are you hiding there?" Hiccup stopped walking and turned to look at her with a nervous expression on his face, now making her more suspicious.
"Okay you have to promise not to tell my dad, or anyone else!" Hiccup whispered quickly and gripped both her hands. "Please Ash don't tell anyone of what you're about to see!"
"Fine. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick an arrow up my nose and out of my eye." Ash said making an x shape over her heart. "Happy?"
"Yes, now please do not do something stupid when we get there." Hiccup said continuing forward.
"Like I'd ever do something stupid! What are we looking at anyways?"
"You'll see, and I think you're going to like him."
The two teens continued to walk deeper into the woods until they reached the destination. Hiccup lead Ash down the small path that led into the cove and stopped at the spot where the axe was wedged. Hiccup slid under it with Ash and led her deeper into the cove.
"Toothless! I brought a friend!" Hiccup called out as he placed the basket of fish on the floor.
"Hiccup, please tell me you're not hiding what I think you're hiding?" Ash asked gripping the back of his vest.
"What do you think I'm hiding?"
"Don't you sass me mister!"
There was a loud growl and Ash and Hiccup's head snapped in the direction to where it came from. Ash had to squint to see the dark shape that was hiding in the shadows before it crawled out into the light. She gave a small gasp and went for her knife before remembering that Hiccup made her leave all her weapons at home.
It was a sleek black dragon with bright green eyes that were watching them both, though Ash could have sworn it was staring right at her and into her own soul.
"Hey bud, I brought a friend to meet you!" Hiccup greeted the black dragon cheerfully. "Toothless, this is Ash. Ash this is Toothless, he's a Night Fury."
"A real Night Fury?" Ash asked as the dragon got close and began sniffing the bottom of her skirt. "But how..."
"I'll explain later, wanna feed him?" Hiccup asked and held up a fish. Toothless' head shot up and he wagged his tail eagerly as Hiccup dropped the fish into Ash's lap.
"Gross..." Ash muttered as she picked the fish up from her lap. The Night Fury sat down in front of her, as if waiting patiently for her to give him the fish. "Uh...here?" Ash said holding it out to the dragon. He gave a little coo before carefully taking the fish out of her hands and devouring it.
"Well he seems to like you." Hiccup chuckled as he dumped the basket of fish down on the floor. "Didn't think he'd be this friendly to you."
"Gee I wonder why?" Ash muttered. 'Maybe he could smell the blood of the dragon in me, I am 3/4 Targaryen after all. Could all dragons be friendly towards me?'
"Maybe you smell nice or don't look so threatening and lack a weapon." Hiccup suggested loudly and sat down next to her to watch Toothless eat his fish.
"Why do you think you'll get into trouble for this?" Ash asked as Toothless shoved his head into the basket in search of more fish. Hiccup looked at her in surprise before looking down at his boots.
"I...I don't want anyone to hurt him. How did people treat dragons in your country?"
"Oh my parents said everyone was terrified of them! So terrified that they dared not to even hurt the dragons, especially since they belonged to the queen. My father said the first time he saw one of the dragons he thought he was dreaming and kept pinching himself!"
"Maybe someday we'll go to Westeros, dragons seem more appreciated there." Hiccup said as Toothless walked over to him and started sniffing his vest for more fish.
"Hey what happened to his tail?" Ash asked, catching sight of the dragon's tail and noticing it only had one fin. "Is it suppose to be like that?"
"Uh...that was my fault. When I shot him down he lost his tail fin." Hiccup explained and looked at her sheepishly. "He can't fly now but I'm building him a new tail fin."
"Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third you better fix this poor creature's condition! A downed dragon is a dead dragon!" Ash scolded and smacked the back of his head. "And you know what? I am going to help you with that! I can't bear seeing this beautiful creature stuck on the ground like this!"
"Okay you can help!" Hiccup exclaimed, covering his head to block her hands. "Geez don't overreact Ash!"
Toothless gave a laugh and nuzzled Ash's hips with his snout. The girl gave him a gentle smile and patted his dark head.
"Don't worry laddie, you'll be up in the air in no time. Maybe once we help you out we can figure out a way to prove that dragons aren't as bad as everyone thinks they are."
"We sure will, and maybe go down in history like Bork!" Hiccup said when Toothless turned his attention to him. "But first, let's fix that tale of your bud."
Chapter 6: The Dragons Have Returned
The Westeros dragons are making a comeback
I know no one has commented on anything so far or left complaints how I have a lot of time skips in this story going from toddler Ash to HTTYD 1 age Ash, but there is a reason why. The majority of this story takes place during the events of RTTE so I'm just writing the important events of Ash's life that lead up to RTTE and you'll find chapters there that are either a few days or a few weeks apart
"I'm so glad that we are no longer killing dragons." Dany sighed as she watched the five teens fly around the village on their new dragons.
"Wonder how Berk would have liked to have seen your dragons." Jon chuckled. "Wonder if Ash will choose a dragon of her own."
"Oh they would have been impressed, but she doesn't think any of the ones here will suit her." Dany replied. "Besides she can help take care of the one that has taken a liking to us and is acting like it's the family pet."
After the battle against the Red Death, numerous dragons had migrated to Berk and some had settled in immediately with some families, including the Snows. This dragon was a forest green Nadder with spikes the color of bronze and wouldn't stop following Jon around the village, much to Dany's amusement. The little ones were delighted in having a family pet though Ash didn't really show much interest in the dragon.
"I think it's time we gave it to her Dany." Jon commented, walking into their room and going through the chest full of things they brought from Westeros. "Found it! Looks a little dusty but it has maintained it's shape."
In his hands was a soft blue dragon egg covered in some dust. Dany took the egg from her husband and smiled at it, recalling the gift she was given on her wedding day. How she missed her three dragons, and looked at the egg made her wonder what life would have been if the madman hadn't slaughtered them. They'd simply love their younger human siblings and probably give them rides on their backs or let them climb over them like a giant scaly obstacle course.
"The fire priestess said she found it in Dragonstone and wanted me to have it. She said that as long as we protected this egg, the memory of our dragons will never vanish." The dragon queen said with a sigh and used her skirt to wipe away the dust. "Targaryens used to pray over them and place them on special fire pits to hatch them. Mine were born among the ashes of my husband and the witch who left him a hollow shell."
"And you named your biggest dragon after him, the second one after my father, and the third after your brother." Jon added and looked at the egg. "Never in my life had I ever thought I'd live to see a dragon, yet I fought along side them and rode them and watched them die."
"And you have a few of your own now." Dany said looking to the window to see their twins Eddard and Lyanna run by, chasing their younger siblings. "But one acts more like a wolf than a dragon."
"Ashaeya may look like a Targaryen, but she has the heart of a Stark." Jon reminded her. "She was born in the North and swears she'll die in the North and be buried there as well."
"Then let this remind her of what she also is." Dany murmured.
"Why are you carrying that thing around in a sling?" Snotlout asked Ash. "It looks weird."
"Well I can't carry it in my pocket now, can I?" Ash retorted and looked down at her egg. "Mhysa said it's a dud, but I want to see if it can be hatched."
After her mother had given her the egg, Ash had decided to bring it to the dragon riders to show it to them. It was quite heavy and her arms had gotten tired of holding it for so long, so she made a sling to carry it around.
"Your mom had it locked away for seventeen years! How can you hatch that?" Snotlout exclaimed and looked at his dragon. "Can you believe her Hookfang?"
"Well my mother said it needed a blood sacrifice on a fire, that's how the last ones were born." Ash said and glared at the teen. "Maybe I'll have Hookfang roast you while holding my egg."
"Who doesn't love a good sacrifice?" Tuffnut asked and laughed before giving her a confused look. "But...how does that work exactly?"
"A life for a life. The people who used to own these eggs used to sacrifice someone by setting them on fire while the egg was on the coals or being held by them. It gives the eggs life and they hatch." Ash explained. "But my mother said no sacrificing anyone to hatch it so I'm going to look for other ways."
"We can always sacrifice Snotlout." Ruffnut suggested. "Not like anyone is gonna miss him."
"Do they ususally use human sacrifices? I'm sure a sheep or yak will suffice as well." Fishlegs suggested. "Or you can ask Gothi."
"I was planning on asking her." Ash said. "But I don't think the life of a yak would bring this egg alive."
"Has Hiccup seen it yet?" Astrid asked.
"Not yet, I was hoping to show it to him and see if he could help me figure out a way to revive it without killing anyone."
"That's no fun!" The twins complained.
"I'll figure something out." Ash said with a shrug. "Let me know when he gets back from that thing with Stoick."
Later that night Ash found herself sitting in front of the fire pit with the egg in her lap. As much as she knew that the egg was nothing but stone and would never come to life, she couldn't help but wonder if there actually was a way for the egg to hatch without having to sacrifice someone. Then a crazy idea began to form in her head.
She crawled over to the brazier and dropped the egg into it, letting the flames lick away at the egg. She got up and hurried to the kitchen and gabbed the knife her father used to gut fish and walked back to the egg and knelt back down.
"Uēpa se arlie gods, mazōregon bisa angotan hen issa own ānogar naejot ivestragī bisa drōmon emagon glaeson." She chanted in Valyrian as she slit her hand and let the blood drip onto the egg. "Dohaeragon issa maghagon arlī skoros istan ojūdan naejot issa muñnykeā se maghagon issa nykeā raqiros naejot dohaeragon gūrogon arlī skoros istan rightfully ñuhon!"
She watched as her blood fall over the egg and heard footsteps from upstairs. She quickly shoved the knife under a chair and quickly wrapped her hand up in her night dress to cover the blood. Much to her relief, it was not either of her parents, but her baby brother Robert.
"Can't sleep?" Ash asked and Robert shook his head.
"Water." He answered as he climbed down the stairs and walked to the barrel they had. Ash stood up and grabbed the ladle for him to let him get his drink. "Why is your egg in the fire?"
"Decided it needed to be a bit warm." Ash replied. Just then, she heard a crack and turned to look at the fire pit. The egg inside was twitching and shaking violently. Ash quickly dropped Robert onto his feet and rushed over to grab the egg. She was surprised that she didn't give out a cry when her hands touched the hot surface of the egg and dropped it onto the floor.
"Ash? Is it hurt?" Robert asked in alarm, hurrying over to her. The egg stopped shaking, only giving a few twitches.
"I think it's-" CRACK! A chunk of the shell fell off the egg and Ash caught sight of a small wing poking through and heard little squeals and growls coming out of it. Robert stretched his hand forward but Ash held it back. "No remember what mysa said about the baby birds? you are not to break them out of the shell, they have to do it on their own. It's the same with dragon eggs."
The two siblings watched as another piece fell off and another to reveal a small and slimy looking baby dragon as it struggled to climb out of it's egg. Once it was out, it shook itself of the membrane covering it's body and looked around before it's beady little eyes landed on Ash. It gave a confused coo before clumsily walking up to her.
"It's alive...it really worked!" Ash cheered and carefully scooped up the baby dragon and ran towards the stairs. "Mhysa! Mhysa! Papa! The egg hatched! It's alive!" She burst into her parents room and jumped right onto the bed and landed on her father's legs. "It's alive!"
"What?" Daenerys asked sitting up and squinting at her daughter.
"The egg! It hatched! Look, look!" Ash shouted, shoving the dragon into her mother's face.
"Seven hells!" Jon exclaimed in alarm. "But how?!"
"I put it in the fire pit and slit my hand to wash it in blood and said a prayer and it hatched!" Ash explained, holding up her hand to show them the scratch she gave herself. "Robert saw it hatch with me! We can take back Westeros when it grows and reforge our kingdom again!"
"Take it slow Ash, the last dragons once used to grow to the size of cats because they were treated like pets. This here is not a pet, if you want it to grow as big as your brothers you have to let it be outside, go hunt, let it do what dragons do best." Jon said gesturing to the small creature that was puffing out black smoke from it's nose.
"Well this is a reason to celebrate." Dany said giving her daughter and her husband a smile. "The dragons have returned."
Chapter 7: A Visit To Remember
And enter everyone's favorite maniac of a Viking!
"Mother never told me that baby dragon talons were this sharp!" Ash exclaimed let out a yelp as Gothi dabbed at another scratch. "Honestly she should have told me in the first place!"
The old woman shook her head and made some tsking noises at the teen before scribbling something on a board.
'Have you thought of getting something to cover it up?'
"I have been thinking of getting a sort of glove or armband that's big enough to cover my arm and shoulder so Elin's talons wouldn't leave scar marks." Ash replied and rolled down the sleeve of her shirt down before Gothi shook her head and held up some linen bandages. "Oh right, these still might bleed." Ash held still as the healer carefully wrapped her arm up before rolling the sleeve down. Once that was done, she thanked Gothi before leaving the hut.
Elin was waiting outside and cooed happily to greet her. Ash bent down to pick her up and dropped her into the small bag she had slung over one shoulder. The baby dragon stuck her head out from the top and screeched happily as Ash started the long trek down the stairs.
"I seriously got to use Aemon next time I'm going here, it's so tiring!" Ash groaned as she walked down. "And I can't wait for you to get bigger as well, then you'll be able to fly me to places it hurts walking to." Elin cooed and gave a happy screech when a familiar black dragon dropped onto the wooden stairway and greeted them.
"Hey Ash, need a lift home?" Hiccup asked.
"Well sure, I need to get back home anyways." Ash answered and gave Toothless a pat on the head.
"Oh your dad asked me to bring you to the docks, Johan is here." Hiccup added as she climbed on and sat behind him.
"Oh good! I want to see if I could find some leather gloves or something that is like armor, Gothi recommended it since Elin keeps scratching me up when she tries perching on me."
"Well let's hope Johan has what you're looking for." Hiccup said as Toothless took to the sky.
After flying for a while they landed close to the docks where everyone was gathered and were being greeted by trader Johan. Ash smiled remembering how her parents told her that the kind trader had been in port around the time their family had to flee and how kind he had been to sail them all the way to Berk with no charge whatsoever.
"I'll just be browsing if you need me." Ash said when she dismounted Toothless and gave him a scratch under the chin.
"Hope you find what you're looking for!" Hiccup said and gave her a smile. "You'll find it somewhere. If you can't, we can ask Gobber to make you one."
"I'll keep that in mind." Ash replied before making her way to the boat.
"Ah miss Snow! What a pleasure to see you once again aboard my humble ship!" Johan said to Ash with a bow. "What brings you here this fine and glorious morning?"
"I was hoping you could help me find something that involves baby dragon talons." Ash replied and opened her satchel. Elin poked her head out and looked around before looking at Johan before ducking back into the bag. "Her talons have been leaving me some nasty scratches and our healer suggested I get something to cover it up, like a falconry glove or something leather that covers my arm and shoulder."
Johan tapped his chin thoughtfully before snapping his fingers. "I think I have just the thing! Someone traded me a set of leather braces with fur for something I had. It looks quite new but I think it should suffice."
"Then I suppose I should barter for something then." Ash said reaching into her bag. "I think I have something worth trading in here...Elin stop chewing on that, that's not a toy!" Ash soon pulled out a leather cord decorated with shells and white rocks and with a single tooth. "Made it myself with shells I'd collect and the small stones I'd find on the floor. The tooth was a last minute addition from our family dragon."
Johan took the necklace and examined it carefully before nodding in approval. "A fine piece of craftsmanship miss Snow, I think I've seen something like this before but I'm unsure where. Hold onto it while I get the bracers."
Johan disappeared under the deck and came back up moments later with two leather bracers. Ash took one and slipped it onto her arm and examined it. The leather felt nice and thick, a bit stiff as well but it seemed to be in good condition.
"Elin, help me test it out will you?" Elin poked her head out of the bag and let Ash reach in and clung onto the bracer with her sharp talons. Ash could feel the force of her grip but not the talons through it. "Works just fine, what do you think Elin?" The small dragon sniffed the leather bracer and gave a little chirp. Ash handed Johan the necklace and thanked him for the bracers.
"The pleasure was all mine." Johan said with a bow as Ash got off the boat. "Hope to trade with your family again on my next visit!"
"Hope so too!" Ash replied with a wave. "Now, to go see Gobber about the shoulder gear."
"Ye could have came to ask for an entire leather arm glove instead of having to do some trading." Gobber said as he was measuring Ash's arm.
"I wanted to see if Johan had anything before coming to you." Ash said when he finished measuring her arm and started writing down the measurements.
"Well then, what are you even needing this for?" The smith asked as he got some leather and began drawing out something on it.
"I was planning on teaching Elin how to hunt, mother said that was how her dragons got to grow so big." Ash explained. "Once she learns she'll be doing it on her own and get stronger and better at it. And when she grows she can catch bigger prey and eventually be big enough to pick up a full grown man off the floor and fly around with ease."
"That doesn't explain why you need this lass." Gobber said tapping the bracer.
"Oh it's so that Elin's talons won't hurt me as much when she lands on my arm. I've already been to Gothi too many times when she caused me to bleed when she digs them in too close." Ash said, rolling up the sleeve of her tunic up to show the smith the bandaged that went all the way up to her shoulder. Gobber frowned at the sight of them and shook his head muttering about something. "So I figured that my mother had some sort of leather sleeve or glove to wear to let her dragons sit on her shoulder and in her arms."
"Well now you know that raising dragons like these is almost like raising a falcon or one of those birds of prey those rich people love to buy to do the hunting for them."
"Oh Elin won't be doing the hunting for me, it's for herself so she can eat. She's already been solving the rat problem at home. I'm going to let her hunt in the woods so that she could get her hunting senses sharpened."
"Let's hope in three or four years she won't be trying to take the sheep or yak." Gobber said and shuddered. "Don't want Silent Sven with Bucket and Mulch and a whole mess of villagers at your door and complaining about your wee dragon's hunger, especially Mildew of all people!"
"Why can't that old fart just fall over and die already?" Ash asked and made already ked face at the mention of the cranky older man.
"Gobber! Those stupid dragons have been at my cabbages again!" The two groaned as Mildew came hobbling into view with his sheep Fungus at his side. "And you! You better make sure your little beast stays away from my cabbages as well!"
"I'm quite sure that nasty plant will take a few years off her lifespan." Ash said wrinkling her nose in disgust. Elin made a gagging noise from inside the bag and poked her head out to let out a plume of smoke.
"She's been letting out more smoke than usual, is that normal?" Gobber asked, looking at the baby dragon on concern.
"I highly doubt it, better ask my mother." Ash said scooping Elin out the bag and letting her hang onto her arm. "I'll come by later to see about the armor."
"Again, keep that nasty little monster away from my crops!" Mildew sneered and jabbed a finger in Elin's face. Ash could see the temptation to bit his finger cross her face but turned her head in disgust.
"Don't you worry about her eating your crops Mildew, those dragons are strictly carnivorous." Gobber assured the old man when Ash had walked off. "And I don't think she'd like the taste of Fungus either, that's why Ash is training her to keep her from eating livestock that belongs to someone."
"As if we don't have enough problems with the bigger dragons already! Once that little beast grows who knows if she'll be listening to the commands of that teen!" Mildew said hobbling to the forge. "And what does her mother even know of dragons anyways? Like she ever owned one of those in the first place! Both her and her husband knew nothing on dragons!"
Dany and Jon do know about dragons, but their knowledge on the ones they know doesn't apply to the ones here." Gobber retorted. "And mind your tongue, the Snow family has been quite helpful to Berk since they arrived here. If it weren't for Dany poor Valka would have died in childbirth. And Jon helped drive the Outcasts off Berk sixteen years ago as well. So quit bad mouthing the family, they have enough of their own personal problems to deal with at the moment."
"Dracarys." Dany said to Elin. The small dragon tilted her head in confusion and looked down at the small chunk of meat that was set out for her. "Dracarys." The queen repeated.
"Does she even know what it means?" Ash asked.
"You try then." Her mother suggested. "But makes sure she doesn't set the table on fire."
Ash seated herself in front of Elin and pointed at the meat. "Dracarys, means dragon fire. If you want your meat cooked, you'll have to do it yourself. So, dracarys that meat."
Elin puffed up her little chest angrily and threw her head down close to the meat and started making hacking noises, like a cat with a nasty hairball. A small plume of fire came out and turned the piece of meat brown.
"She did it!" Ash cheered as the hatchling started eating the meat. "Smaller bites Elin!"
Dany chuckled as she watched her daughter dislodge a large piece of meat from her dragon's throat. The memory of her own little ones learning to breathe fire and cook their own food. How she missed those somewhat simple days.
'Oh my little fire breathers, your little sister has grown and accomplished so much since her birth. If only you three could see her for yourselves.' Dany thought to herself wistfully. 'She's grown to be a lot like her father, but I see a bit of my own self rising inside of her. I pray when it's time her her to unleash the dragon inside herself, she won't go mad and end up like my cruel brother and father.'
"We have the job of hiding the dragons from the Berserkers, so every dragon on this island has to be moved to a safe place." Hiccup announced to the gang the morning before the Berserker-Berk peace treaty.
"Why do we need to be hiding dragons from Oswald the Agreeable?" Fishlegs asked raising his hand.
"Well just a precaution, the Berserkers may take it the wrong way and assume that we will be using them against anyone." Hiccup explained. "I know Oswald probably wouldn't make a huge deal out of it once we shown it to him, but some others won't take it so well.
"Please tell me that loon of a human is not coming." Ash groaned. "I've already used the excuse that I was on my blood week and had to stay inside because of bad cramps too much and up to a point where he offered to bring me soup."
"Unfortunately he is coming." Hiccup responded with a shake of his head, and earned a groan from the group except for Snotlout.
"But since you have a baby dragon Ash, you can stay inside and hide her from him." Snotlout suggested. "And the kissing bet is still on, only this time I am betting that you kick him in a more sensitive place." He added in a whisper.
"You might just win it." Ash whispered back. "Knowing my father I will have to be around him."
"And what for?" Astrid asked. "To keep him from breaking anything?"
"Yeah something like that, and I'm still hoping that the weird crush he has on me fades away soon."
"Not gonna happen if you keep getting prettier." Snotlout muttered.
"Just kill me..." Ash muttered to herself as she dragged her feet behind Dagur as he was boasting something ridiculous to the group, which consisted of her, her father, Gobber and Stoick. "No one cares if you decapitated someone with one swing."
"...and so you see Stoick since I am the chief now and still a bachelor, a pretty handsome one if I say so myself, I've been told that I need to look for a wife soon to continue my lineage with a son."
"And you haven't found one yet?" Jon asked and gave his daughter a worried look.
"Nope! I was of course hoping to marry someone close to my age, already flowered, and knows me quite well." Dagur said turning his head and gave Ash a "handsome smile" and she inwardly groaned. "Been getting plenty of marriage offers but I haven't accepted them yet. Some of the girls don't really suit my taste."
"Alliances by marriage should always be done carefully. And you best hope whoever you marry is of a strong and good family." Jon said and carefully pulled Ash to his side. "Duty over desire is how it should be done for someone of your status." Ash pressed herself to her father's side and glanced at him nervously. He gently gave her a pat in assurance and kissed her forehead before giving Dagur a warning look.
"Jon has a point Dagur, you have to be smart about who you marry." Gobber said and ruffled the top of Ash's head. "And you have to ask the father's permission to marry as well."
"I'll think on that then." Dagur said rolling his eyes at the two older men and glanced back at Ash.
"I have to go, I just remembered that Gothi needed help with something." Ash said slipping away from her father.
"Oh, well take care now. Say hi to her for us." Jon said knowing her real reason for wanting to get away.
Ash hurried away, glancing over her shoulder to make sure no one was following her before coming to a stop behind one of the houses. As she was catching her breath, she heard a growling noise and uttered a gasp.
"Barf?! Belch?! Seven hells what are you two doing here?" She hissed when the two headed dragon dropped it's heads down to nuzzle her. "And I thought you two were safely hidden- no the twins! Crap!"
Ash looked around frantically from the side of the house for any sign of the Berserkers. When she found none, she grabbed Barf by the horn and tried pulling him and his other head. A hard thing to do if he was resisting.
"Come on! Come on!" Ash urged angrily. Barf trusted his head out of her grip as Ash was trying to pull him in the other direction. She gave a yelp and fell back on her rear. "Stupid dragon!" She cursed as she got off the floor.
The Zippleback frowned at her and looked at each other in confusion before deciding to walk away. Ash bolted after them, attempting to lure them out of the way that the tour was going. A few times they almost got caught and at one point she lost the dragon.
"And how the heck do you loose a dragon that big?" Ash asked herself as she was searching for the said dragon. "Gods and where is Hiccup? He needs to know about this!"
"Ash!" Ash heard Hiccup approaching her and saw him rushing in her direction.
"Hiccup! Barf and Belch-"
"Are missing, I know." Hiccup panted and looked at her worried. "Astrid and I have been looking for them!"
"Well when I left the tour group I ran into them, tried taking them to a safe place but they just ran!" Ash explained and frowned. "Was it because I accidentally called them a mean name? Because you know how sensitive most dragons are to insults."
"I need you to distract Dagur, if you see Barf and Belch, turn him in some other direction or distract him in any way!" Hiccup said and glanced around. "Please don't argue with me on this Ash, if Dagur sees that dragon he'll set his armada on us!"
"I really hate the fact that I have to do this." Ash groaned. "Dagur is so...so...creepy! And crazy!"
"Please just go with my father, Gobber and your father and distract Dagur!" Hiccup begged.
"Fine! But you owe me!"
Ash hurried off in search of the men and found them heading into the weapons storage room. She hurried after them and quickly slipped inside and tapped her father on the shoulder. Before Jon could say anything, Ash pulled him down to her level and whispered in his ear.
"We have a dragon loose in the village, Hiccup sent me to distract Dagur while he and Astrid went searching for it." Jon nodded quickly and turned his attention back to Dagur as he was testing a sword.
"I see your daughter has joined us Snow, I was just starting to miss her." Dagur said dropping the sword into it's bin and gave Ash a grin and picked up a crossbow. "Couldn't stay away from me beautiful?"
"As if." Ash replied and rolled her eyes. "And drop the crossbow, you're going to hit someone with that."
"What weapon do you prefer?" Dagur asked examining the weapon.
"The bow and arrows, she's a skilled archer." Gobber answered. "She once shot an a deer in the head and killed it instantly!"
"And the sword as well." Jon added proudly. "My little girl is going to be a swordsman just like her old man. She gets all this skill from me, her aunt, grandfather, grandmother and great uncles."
"I'm not that good." Ash murmured, blushing a bit at the compliments.
"Sure you are! You even tried training Hiccup when he couldn't even walk yet!" Stoick scoffed and laughed.
"Oh Ash, you are too modest." Dagur laughed. "And what's with the leather braces and full sleeve glove?"
"Just felt like wearing a bit of armor today." Ash said clasping her hands behind her back and gave him a nervous smile. "You never know when those pesky and annoying dragons are going to come back and you'll need protection." She noticed the chief frown as Dagur turned around to look at something else and turned a bit to see a streak of red and green run by.
"Zippleback!" Stoick muttered. Unfortunately, Dagur heard him.
"Oh where is it?! Let me kill it!" He shrieked excitedly.
"Ah Stoick! Being just a prankster!" Gobber laughed and gently pushed Dagur towards the door. "Uh so what did you think of our weapons supply so far?"
"Well everything seemed to be in order, weapons nice and sharp, lack of blood was a disappointment." Dagur replied as they were walking out. As they walked out, they found Hiccup outside with his head ducked down and his arms held up in the air as if he were bracing against an invisible wall. "Ah Hiccup, there you are."
Hiccup looked up to see the Berserker with his friend behind him looking a little flustered. "Dagur! Boy am I glad to see you!" He said quickly and laughed nervously. "Hey remember that one time we went swimming and you tried to drown me?"
"And that day I had to scale up a tree to hide from him." Ash added, giving the older teen a frown.
"Oh the good times we had!" Dagur laughed and looked at Ash. "You still owe me beautiful, just for catching you when you fell out of that tree after that Terror attacked you."
"You are getting no favors." Ash snapped and pushed past Dagur. "I'm going to be in the kitchens if anyone needs me."
"And that should be enough for the Berserkers and for Stoick, Hiccup, Gobber and your father." Dany said placing the last steaming plate of food down on the table as Ash was placing down the last knife down next to the plate. "Am I missing anything?"
"Just the ones who are going to eat all this." Ash answered and looked at their work. "I think we did a fine job here mysa."
"I certainly think so as well." Dany said beaming proudly. "Now let's head back to the kitchens to start washing up."
As they were walking back, Ash heard the doors opened was was greeted by the sound of numerous men chatting away happily and making their way to the meal laid out for them.
"Dany! Come join us!" Gobber called as the men were seating themselves at the table.
"Can't Gobber, we must go get the drinks and wash up what we used to make this meal!" Daenerys called back.
"Plates can wait dear, come join us!" Jon called. "And you too Ash!" Ash glanced over at the table to see two spots available, one between her father and Stoick and another one right between Hiccup and Dagur.
"Must I?" She whispered to her mother.
"Yes, go sit next to your friend." Dany whispered back.
Ash muttered a curse and walked over to Hiccup and Dagur. Dagur shoved one of his men to the side as she approached them and patted the space next to him. Hiccup, who had some room, scooted to the side and Ash took the space next to him.
"Any luck?" She asked her friend in a hushed tone as he was digging into his meal.
"Nope, it's like Barf and Belch disappeared into thin air!" Hiccup whispered in reply.
As they were eating, Dagur started off the toast and everyone began following in suit. Stoick, Gobber and Jon had thrown in a toast to Oswald, much to Dagur's annoyance.
"Sure, to Oswald! To Oswald! Blah blah blah!" Dagur mocked and stabbed one of his own knives into a pastry, spraying Ash with some of its contents.
"Why don't we get this treaty signed?" Gobber suggested, holding up the papers.
"Of course, of course." Dagur said rising from his seat. "Bring forth the dragons blood!"
"D-dragons blood?" Hiccup asked and Ash gagged as she wiped the spilled food off herself.
"Berkians and Berserkers used to slay a dragon every peace treaty in the killing arena and use the blood to sign the papers." Jon explained. "But in all my years of being on Berk, I've never seen Oswald demand the blood for the signing. Never found it necessary."
"My father was a coward and I intend to return our tribe to it's former glory! If you don't have any dragons blood, I suppose you don't kill dragons anymore?" Dagur asked.
"We kill dragons!" Ash scoffed. "And storing blood in a bottle for months at at time is really disgusting, what makes you think we'd have a bottle of it anyways?"
"Plus we've killed so many dragons, there isn't one within ten miles of this island!" Gobber added.
As soon as the words left the old smith's lips, Barf and Belch burst into the room. Ash ducked under the table to avoid being seen, knowing as soon as they saw her she'd be tackled to the floor and cuddled. The two heads scanned the room and bolted out after not seeing the human they were looking for.
"A Zippleback! Do you know what this means?" Dagur asked as Ash crawled out from under the table. "One head for each chief! Let's hunt it down!" The Berserkers cheered at the top of their lungs as Dagur helped Ash to her feet.
"Can't you just leave that poor thing alone?" She asked. "Like what has it done to you?"
"We need that blood to sign the treaty! And once we kill it, I'll use it's skin to make you a lovely new cloak." Dagur replied and smirked at her. "You do like to wear dragon stuff don't you?"
"I wear the teeth and claws, some metal jewelry that belonged to my mother and clothes that look like dragon scales." Ash retorted. "Not actual dragon skin! That is disgusting!"
"Well then I'll save the teeth and claws for you to make something nice out of them." Dagur said and shrugged. "Care to join us in the hunt?"
"I have chores." Ash said gesturing to the abandoned plates and mugs. "So that's a big fat no from me."
"Shame, I was hoping to see your hunting skills." Dagur said with a tone of disappointment before he grinned. "But I'll join them later, I wanted to talk to you about something. And we're alone so it's perfect."
Ash glanced around to see that everyone had already left for the hunt, leaving her and Dagur alone.
"I have plates to wash." Ash said grabbing some plates and began stacking them up when Dagur stopped her. "Dagur if I don't do this it'll be harder to wash the plates later."
"Just hear me out, you know from earlier I said I was looking for a wife?"
"Well, I've found one. It's you."
Ash nearly dropped the plates to the floor at that. "M-me?!"
"Yes, it's you." Dagur said taking the plates from her and placing them on the table. "The perfect girl to be my Berserker queen."
"And what good would that be?" Ash asked backing away slowly, trying to hide the nervousness in her voice. "I'm not even a princess or daughter of a chief's second in command- you're supposed to marry someone of that status!"
"I'm a chief, I do what I wish. If I wanted to marry a daughter of a tanner or a butcher, I would if she attracted my attention." Dagur said following her forward till her back touched a wall. "And you of course have caught my attention."
"My father is a swordsman not some butcher." Ash said feeling a bit angered. "And you will have to get his permission to marry me, that's how things are done on Berk."
"And may I ask, how many men asked his permission?"
"None because they're scared to death of my father." And that was the truth, well partially. "And you'd be quaking in your boots when you see him yourself. And even if you asked me to marry you, I'd say no and give you a good slap across the face and kick you so hard between the legs that you wouldn't be able to have any children in the future."
"Yak shit." Dagur said pinning his arms on either side of her and smirked. "And I know you can't resist me so you wouldn't even carry out that threat."
"Want to bet? My father once saw a man get kicked there repeatedly till his balls turned black and fell off." Ash said feeling her cheeks grow hot. "And if you even dare to kiss me, I'll-"
"Ash have you seen- what the seven hells are you doing?!" Ash felt her whole face burn and turned to see her father staring at them in horror. She felt her face grow even hotter when she realized what position she and Dagur were in.
"Papa this isn't what it looks like!" She said pushing Dagur away. "I-I was just-"
"Just what, Ash?" Jon asked, his eyes narrowing and frowned. "Because it looks to me as if you were getting a bit intimate."
Ash glared at Dagur who just shrugged before she shoved him away and hurried to her father. "If you think I was planning on getting myself into that you are dead wrong." She snapped before walking off to the kitchens.
Jon turned to the young chief who leaned himself against the wall and was smirking to himself. As badly as he wanted to pull out his sword and cut the boy's head off, he made a promise to Stoick that he wouldn't attack any visiting chiefs unless they attacked first.
"I've seen the way you look at my daughter." Jon said through gritted teeth. "And believe me I've been around men at your age with that same look in their eyes whenever a woman crossed paths with them. I've had a friend who defended one woman, who later became his wife, almost die defending her because two men wanted her in a lustful way. If you so much as touch my daughter again like that, I won't hesitate to cut your hands off. I've killed men for doing worst to the women in my family."
"I simply told her that I was considering marrying her when we were older." Dagur said in a bored tone and smirked. "Of course she said I needed your permission, but I am a chief so any girl that I see is mine for the taking."
"You are dead wrong boy, where we came from that's not how alliances are made. You marry for duty not desire." Jon snapped and gripped Longclaw. "And from where we come you ask the father."
"I don't know and I don't care where you and your family came from, but we do things differently here in our territory." Dagur snapped. "And so if you excuse me, I have a dragon to hunt down."
"All men must die, then let him be the first." Jon muttered as the young chief left the hall.
"Are you sure this would work?" Astrid asked Hiccup.
"When have any of my plans went wrong?" Hiccup asked and turned to Ash. "Are you and Elin ready?"
"Way ahead of you." Ash said giving him a thumbs up before running into the arena and shrieking about dragons. The gang ran in and as their dragons swarmed the arena and acting like wild dragons, including Elin who was flapping around and belching smoke at the Berserkers.
"Back you fiery beast of hell!" Ash yelled waving her sword at Elin and shielding herself from the smoke she was coughing up. "Dracarys!" She whisper-yelled at the small dragon. Elin screeched and blew a small plume of fire at Ash. "Back!"
"Retreat!" She heard Dagur yell.
"What about the treaty?" Gobber asked and help up the papers.
"Consider it signed!" Dagur yelled before bolting away.
Elin flew to the entrance, nipping at the Berserkers who were still running before standing at the front of the gate and screeched angrily before walking back to Ash.
"Well this certainly is a visit from the Berserkers to remember." Jon chuckled as his daughter walked back to the group with her dragon.
"So what happened between you and Dagur?" Tuffnut asked Ash eagerly.
"He pushed me against the wall and was this close to kissing me." Ash answered, showing just half of an inch between her thumb and forefinger and laughed. "But then my father walked in on us. Can you believe he wanted to marry me? He wouldn't be able to handle all this...Snow for barely a month!"
"I can barely stand him for two days, but married to him forever will drive me mad." Ruffnut said sticking her tongue out in disgust.
"Well I'm not getting married anytime soon, at least not till my family and I move back home." Ash said and smiled at her father.
"Marriage can wait, you still have a lot to learn before you can take back what was rightfully yours. And Elin needs to grow a little more as well." Jon said returning the smile. "And soon, you and your dragon will take back what was yours with fire and blood."
Chapter 8: Storm
"Well that solves the rat problem completely." Jon said as Elin dragged away the body of the latest rat out of the kitchen and out of the house. "I hope."
"She's become so helpful hasn't she?" Dany chuckled as the sounds of the little dragon tearing into her new meal and the sound of some of the little ones gagging or screaming sounded from outside. "Think Ash will train one of the Viking dragons at some point? Elin will still be too small to ride until she's older."
"She still doesn't think any of these dragons are right for her, only one she rides is mine or one of her friend's dragons." Jon pointed out. "But what dragon would suit our daughter?"
"Let her figure that one out." Daenerys answered softly as their five youngest children ran into the house giggling. "She'll find it soon."
"Last herb!" Ash sang happily as she stuffed it into her satchel and got up to brush the dirt off her knees. "Now let us get back to Gothi, shall we Aemon?"
The enthusiastic Nadder bobbed his head happily and squated down to let her jump onto his back when his pupils went into slits and began squawking in an agitated way.
"Whoa boy, what's wrong?" Ash asked grabbing Aemon by the horn and jerking him down to her level. "What's bugging you?"
The dragon pointed in the direction of the woods and looked at her with frightened eyes. Ash quickly climbed onto his back and let him lead her into the woods. After a while, Aemon stopped near a clearing and gave a growl and refused to go forward. Ash had to climb off and walk to the clearing to see what the heck the dragon was so agitated about when she saw it.
Laying several yards from where they stood was a Skrill. It laid there on the ground with flys already buzzing around its body and giving off a nasty stench. Ash covered her mouth and tried not to gag and Aemon squawked uneasily. She then noticed several footprints, along with a few arrows scattered around the dead beast.
"Who killed this dragon?" Ash muttered angrily as she stepped out of the bushes and began picking up the arrows to examine them. Most of the tips were an acid green color while the other tips were an ugly purple and black color. She sniffed the tip of the purple and black one and grimaced. "Nightlock poison, not sure about the green ones but whoever was here must have been hunting this dragon, but why leave the body?"
There was a small screech that came from the dead Skrill. Aemon perked up as bit and carefully walked to the front of dragon and nudged it gently. Ash walked over to where he was, bent down and lifted one of the wings up to see a pair of bright amber eyes staring right at her in fear.
"Why...it's a baby! Oh you poor thing!" Ash said bending down to look at the frightened dragon.
The baby Skrill was a simple grey color with blue stripes going along it's body, looking exactly like the dead mother. The baby gave a little screech and burrowed itself into it's mother's belly, as if expecting her to rise and protect him.
"Hey, it's okay I won't hurt you. I'm a friend to dragons." Ash cooed and lifted the wing up to have better access to the baby. The little Skrill lifted it's head up, and cooed at Ash before crawling away a bit from it's mother. Ash laid herself down on her stomach, trying not to inhale the foul smell of the carcass as the little dragon inched closer to her and held still.
"Well aren't you a cutie and a curious one." She giggled as the small dragon started to sniff her hair. "Never seen hair this light have you?" The small Sktill screeched in response and grabbed a strand of it in it's little jaws and gave it a tug. "Soft isn't it?"
The little Skrill cooed and buried it's head into her hair. Ash smiled softly, remembering how Elin loved to cuddle with her hair as well. Perhaps she should take the baby with her to make sure it was properly taken care of by her and her friends.
"It's not right to abandon you like this, no little baby should go through this sort of thing." Ash said letting the Skrill fall into her hands and placed it in the bag with the herbs. "I think I'll call you Storm. And let's hope we do not repeat the missing baby dragon thing with you the way we did with a baby Typhoomerang."
"We already had bad luck with one Skrill, and now you brought another one here?!" Snotlout yelled and was immediately shut up with a punch to the gut by Astrid.
"I think he's kinda cute!" Ruffnut said (they managed to find out he was a boy thanks to Fishlegs) and tickled the baby dragon under his chin.
"So much better than the other one we found!" Tuffnut added happily. "And he's so friendly!"
"Also the one you two and Snotlout released when we specifically told you not to." Hiccup said and looked at Ash. "Are you sure there were no other Skrills? Like maybe a father or something?"
"That whole island was bare of any dragons except for this one and it's mother." Ash replied and looked down at Storm sadly. "I even buried his mom as well. Someone was hunting them Hiccup, they were using poisonous arrows for this."
"I seriously hate any sort of hunters who use poison to hunt or in a fight, that's practically cheating!" Astrid muttered angrily. "Did you see anyone on the island?"
"Nope, just Storm and his mom. I looked everywhere with Aemon sniffing everything for the scent of the people who must have been there but they were nowhere to be seen." Ash said and hugged Storm to her chest and he cooed. "I wanted you guys to help me raise him, and maybe we could study him as well since he still has plenty of time to grow. And I do hope we can keep him away from Dagur, I don't want any Skrills to suffer under his wraith ever again."
"And we won't let him." Hiccup assured her. "You'll be there to protect him, you're now practically his and Elin's mom anyways."
"Me, the mother of dragons, how amusing." Ash chuckled to herself. "Though I think that title goes to my mother for raising her own 'dragons', don't you think?"
"Well you are caring for real dragons." Fishlegs pointed out. "But I get what you mean, your younger siblings are terrors!"
"Nothe all of them." Hiccup pointed out. "And remember, I spent the majority of my childhood in their home so I know these kids just as well as their older sister does."
"That's right, 'baby' brother." Ash teased and ruffled his hair. "Daenerys snow raised eight dragons, not seven."
Chapter 9: Don't Wake The Dragon
"He's gone too far Hiccup, too damn far!" Ash yelled angrily after another battle against a Berserker fleet. "What makes you think he'll ever stop?"
"Gee I don't know, maybe if you go over to Dagur and bat your eyelashes at him he'll surrender himself!" Snotlout snapped sarcastically.
"And what makes you think he'll listen to me? He'll be trying to flirt with me the moment I try opening my mouth!" Ash retorted and looked at the rest of the group. "There is no way that I am going to Outcast island to negotiate with that asshole."
"Ash please, he'll listen to you if you go! He hates my guts enough already." Hiccup pleaded. "Besides you can take him on in a fight, I've seen you do it numerous times growing up and I know you can do it!"
"Again, what makes you think he'll ever listen to me?" Ash asked.
"Well he did have a crush on you for like five years, he'd probably fall over on his sword if you-"
"He's not blindly in love with me Tuff."
"Worth a shot to say." Tuff said with a shrug. "But he does like you, it's been soooo obvious for the past five years."
"Sometimes I wonder if the gods are messing with me." Ash said pointing at the sky and glaring at it. "Not funny! You gods are not being funny doing this to me!"
"So are you doing this, or not?" Astrid asked and Ash groaned.
"Fine! I'll do this diplomatic solution your way Hiccup." Ash said and glared at the teen. "But if something goes horribly wrong or if he does something that violates my privacy and personal space, I'm cutting both his hands off and feeding them to my dragons."
"Mysa and father would try handling this in the least violent way possible; meaning words first, threats second and weapons last." Ash said aloud to herself and looked down at Aemon. "And I suppose you act as a weapon but you'll also act like a shield as well."
The Nadder growled as the air turned slightly colder than usual and fog began to come in. Ash glanced down to see jagged rocks poking out of the ground and gave a small shudder knowing how painful it would be to fall off her dragon and get impaled by the rocks. Soon Outcast island came into view and she quickly pulled out the white 'surrender' flag Hiccup had given to her. She wound part of it tightly around one fist and waved it in the air while holding onto the saddle to keep herself from falling off.
"Fire!" She heard someone from below yell.
"Dive!" Ash yelled grabbing onto the saddle horn with both hands as Aemon took a dive to avoid the nets and bolas flung at them. The Nadder swooped and dove to avoid everything thrown at him while Ash held on tightly.
"Fire again!" Another voice yelled. Another net flew right at them but Aemon was too distracted by the other nets to notice it.
"Aemon!" Ash yelled frantically. The net wrapped itself around them and the startled frantically twisted and turned himself to get Ash on his stomach and twisted around to have only his back hit the ground. They hit it hard and the dragon roared out in pain as he tried to get to keep his rider safe when the Berserker and Outcast guards ran up to them with their weapons ready.
"Haha! One of the dragon riders from Berk! Finally some leverage!" Savage yelled and the men cheered as the flung off the net to muzzle the Nadder who was hissing and thrashing his tail while trying to keep them away.
"Aemon stop!" Ash yelled crawling out from under him and held her hands up. "Please I come in peace and I wish to talk to Dagur! Boy I never would have thought I'd say that someday."
"Chief's busy." Savage said stepping forward.
"This is important, I have to talk to him. And he will make time for me." Ash replied, lowering her hands. Aemon gave a little whimper and Ash turned her head to see him looking at one of his wings and looked at her nervously. "Oh gods you broke your wing?" The Nadder nodded unhappily and walked to her.
"Take her to the prison, I'll alert Dagur of her presence when he's not busy." Savage said and several guards darted forward, four to grab Ash and six to grab Aemon.
"Please don't hurt him! Don't hurt my father's dragon, please!" Ash yelled as the men dragged her away. "He's hurt! Please don't make this anymore painful for him!"
The guards dragged her through a set of paths till they reached a large cave with huge bolted doors and pushed her in. Ash could hear the groans and cries of imprisoned men and saw several hands and arms reaching out through the bars of their cells demanding to be released, begging to go home to their families or to have more food.
"Oi look boys! We've got ourselves a pretty prisoner!" One man yelled and several other prisoners laughed and some started cat calling out to Ash.
"Shut your filthy trap!" Ash yelled, kicking at one of the cell bars with her foot. "Next time I come back in here will be with a few dragons and I'll let them roast you nasty lot for being so inappropriate towards me!"
"Oh this one has a bit of a temper!" One man laughed.
"And what's a pretty looking thing like her doing here?" Another asked.
"Oh I bet she displeased the new chief in some way."
"None of your business, now shut your traps before you loose your dinner for a month!" A guard barked and slammed his sword against the bars of the cage.
"Our chief will be seeing you when he's not busy." One Berserker guard said as one of his companions opened the door to a cell and shoved her in roughly. "Now try not to make him mad, otherwise your parents will be getting you back in pieces."
"I hope a Whispering Death eats you!" Ash shrieked as the guards walked away.
They burst out laughing but didn't even look back. Ash gave a angry shriek and started grabbing rocks from the floor and flinging them at the walls of the cell and at the door as well before falling to the floor exhausted. She began to worry about Aemon and wondered if he was alright.
"Please, please let him be okay, dad will kill me if something happened to his dragon!" She pleaded under her breath. "Please any god who is listening to me, don't let him be harmed in any way!"
"So now there are dragon riders out there huh?" Ash heard someone to her left say. "Thought it was impossible for anyone to do something like that!"
"Any dragon can be trained properly when using the correct tactics that aren't brute force." Ash said, not even bothering to see who had spoken. "And it was all because of my friend and a dragon that everyone thought had disappeared for good some time ago."
"Is that what got you in here? Are they making it illegal?" The person asked. "Such a shame, I always thought it'd be nice to have one to ride."
"No it's not illegal, I'm in here because I flew in with a flag of surrender and I'm waiting to see the new chief Dagur." Ash replied. "I'm going to ask him to put an end to the war he has waged on my tribe because we lied to him about dragons."
"Nasty little bugger ain't he?"
"Believe me, he's much worst now than he was when he was six."
"Well if it isn't my favorite Berkian?" Ash sat up to see Dagur walking up to her cell with Savage and some man she'd never seen before standing on either side of him with about three guards as well. "Comfortable? Good, you might be in there for a while."
"I don't think this is how peace making is supposed to be done." Ash retorted and raised an eyebrow at the chief. "I suppose the guards who captured me told you I was probably a spy, hence why they shot down me and my father's dragon and captured me?"
"Yes, yet you claim you are here for peace. And I can guess you are here on Hiccup's orders, what does he want?" Dagur asked.
"Oh that you'll put an end to this stupid war." Ash replied. "And in return, my dragon Elin won't roast and eat your flesh. She's never eaten human before so if you do not do as I say, you'll get to be her next meal."
"Brother Hiccup started this whole thing. He made me look like a fool more times than Alvin!" Dagur sneered and spat at the floor. "I would have expected him declaring surrender but he's too much of a coward to even do that and sends me his... well... whatever you are to him!"
"More like you started it despite Hiccup's explanations for hiding the dragons. You declared war on us." Ash retorted. "Just call off the war Dagur, bad things are going to happen to you if you don't stop this."
"Like I'd be stupid to even do that!" Dagur laughed, shoving a key into the lock and threw the door open. "Besides, even if I did agree to peace what makes you think I'm letting you go? You're my prisoner after all and I decide what to do with you."
Ash swallowed the bile that rose in her throat, terrified of knowing what sort of plans he had for her that possibly involved locking himself with her in his sleeping quarters.
"You know how many men I've heard about from my country that were just like you? Their downfall was their stupid arrogance and cruelty towards others that got them killed." Ash said getting off the floor. "Joffery Lannister, poisoned at his own wedding and everyone blamed his poor uncle the Imp for doing it. Ramsey Bolton, eaten by his own dogs for whipping every person in Winterfell and whoever displeased himtill they were raw and bloody, also raped and tortured his own wife on their wedding night. She ran away to her brother and he took back their home and she was the one to have his dogs eat him."
"Never heard of any of them." Dagur snorted.
"These men were from Westeros, my country. These events happened when my parents were young and growing up before the fall of their king and queen." Ash said. "And one of these men was an exiled prince of a house everyone thought had been extinct, he was cruel and ruthless to his baby sister, sold her to a man just to have an army to use to take back his throne. His name was Viserys Targaryen, when he threatened the life of his sister's unborn child his brother-in-law melted the gold he was promised and had it dumped on his head, a crown for a beggar king my mother told me.
"And one final man was a khal, a chief who once rode along with the beggar king's brother in law and who had broken away from him when he was dying. The young girl who became queen of Westeros, known to the world as the mother of dragons, killed him and several other khals who were not fit to lead their tribes and those people accepted her as their khal." Ash finished. "Every cruel leader has their downfall by someone who has had enough of their shit, so I suggest you watch your back Dagur."
"Are you threatening me? Because if you are, I'll have you executed for that." Dagur asked, gritting his teeth.
"Just giving you a little warning, that's all." Ash said calmly and shrugged. "My mother and father always told me to carry threats out after you tried reasoning with someone."
"Your father is nothing, what does he know of these sort of things?" Dagur asked. "He's just a swordsman for crying out loud! And your mother is nothing but a dishwasher and cook, what does she know about any of that either?"
Ash felt her hands curl into fists. Nothing? Her parents risked everything just to bring her here and thew their own crowns away to be what they were now. Her mother's title as the mother of dragons died along with her older brothers, her father's title of the white wolf of the North was taken away when he was forced to abandon his own direwolf. And this boy chief calls them nothing?
"My parents are not nothing, and neither am I." She said gritting her teeth.
"You are nothing." Dagur sneered. "I could have made you my queen and made something out of you, but you refused!"
"I don't need to be queen of your stupid tribe to be someone!" Ash yelled, slapping her hand across Dagur's cheek and started yelling in Valaryen. "I would have been queen in my own country if it wasn't taken from me! My parents were king and queen and I was a princess! I am Ashaya of the house of Stark and Targaryen, daughter of the last true dragons and future queen of the North! I am the sister of dragons and I've raised the last dragon of my mother's house from the ashes and I will take back what belonged to my family with fire and blood and kill anyone who has spoken I'll of my parents before they knew what they had suffered!"
"I have no idea what you just yelled, but...HOW DARE YOU SLAP ME!" Dagur said grabbing Ash by her hair and slammed her into the cell wall. "HOW. DARE. YOU?!" Ash gasped for air as he slowly squeezed her throat but she somehow managed to remain calm.
"And how dare you insult my family before even knowing of what they had suffered long before either of us were born." Ash said in an eerily calm tone. "Because of your cruel remarks Dagur, the dragon is now awake...now and forever. So take mind not to anger me again, otherwise I'll do more than just slap you."
Dagur made a growling noise before releasing her and stormed out of the cell. "Lock her up and don't even give her any food for three days." The door shut behind him and Ash sunk to the floor with a shaky sigh. She looked down at her hands to see them trembling a bit and shoved them under her armpits to stop them. She never felt herself get that mad before and never used her mother's mother tongue in front of others like that either.
"You may look like a Targaryen and have the heart of a Stark, but a dragon lies within you and one day it will unleash itself." Her mother warned her once. Was this what she meant?
"The dragon in me has awaken...good gods and I thought Dagur had nasty outbursts." Ash sighed as she leaned back against the wall. "Please don't let me go as mad as my grandfather or uncle..."
"Don't wake the dragon, don't wake the dragon!" A prisoner from another cell laughed as the group was leaving the prison. Dagur peered into the cell to see an old man wearing tattered red clothes. "The dragon in the wolf has awaken! The young wolf will take back what was rightfully hers and her family's with a vengeance so strong yours could never compare! She will lead an army of dragons and take back the throne with fire and blood! I have seen it in the fires! The Lord of light has never lied to me!"
"Savage how long has this man been in here?" Dagur asked in annoyance at the man's laughing fit.
"Ah...a few years. Apparently he's some sort of magician." The man said with a frown. "Always looking into the torches and spewing nonsense."
"I am a fire priest! I've seen the girl with hair as white as snow riding a dragon as blue as the sea, looking strong and beautiful as her mother with you, a dark haired man and an auburn haired man riding at her side with dragons behind her!" The red man yelled as he scrambled to the bars and pointed a bony finger at Dagur. "The fires have never lied to me before! I saw the girl coming here and escaping with two- no three dragons and a boy! Then I had seen you flying into smoke and being captured-"
"Gag him." Dagur snapped. "This man is talking nonsense."
"As you wish." Savage said as one of the men ran off to get a gag.
"Is that wise sir?" One man who was with Dagur asked. "I've heard of men like this who see into the fires for glimpses of the future."
"You won't succeed with your vengeance! If you continue this path, it will drive you more apart from the girl!" The red priest yelled, his eyes narrowed and a serious expression on his face. "She needs you! Without you, her quest to save her kingdom will fail!"
"Silence him, for good." Dagur said to one of his guards. "But keep him alive, make an example to the men of what I do to people who don't shut up."
"And the girl?" Savage asked as the guards entered the cell with their swords drawn.
"Keep her alive. I shall be in need of her soon."
Chapter 10: Escape
'How many days have passed since I've been here?' Ash wondered as she finished drawing her carving in the wall. 'I know it's been more than a day, but not a week. And I've grown very hungry...'
As Dagur had ordered, Ash was not allowed any food but she was given water to keep her alive. The cell mates to her left and right were two Outcasts who had refused to submit to Dagur's rule after the death of Alvin and were actually pretty decent and polite men, often trying to give her a portion of their stale bread to keep her alive without the guards noticing.
"You know we haven't heard that red man speak in quite a while, no ramblings about three headed dragons or giant wolves or stuff like that." The prisoner to Ash's left said quietly. "Since the lass came, he's gone quiet. Last we heard of him was his shrieks as they dragged him out of the prison."
"Red man?" Ash asked, her interest perking a bit.
"Yeah he came here a few years ago rambling about how he could see images in the flames and Alvin always liked to shove a torch at him and jokingly asked him what he sees in the fire." The prisoner replied. "He always talked about a girl who has hair as white as snow and eyes that shine like amythests, who'd turn some tyrant to ash with four different dragons. But since you've came he's been pretty quiet."
"Think Dagur killed him?" The prisoner to the right asked. "Seems more likely that the boy would kill him just to shut the poor man up. It's like whoever tends to displease the boy looses his life or a body part."
Ash shuddered at the thought of loosing a hand or a toe because she did something to upset Dagur and rubbed her arm. During her time in the prison Dagur would come in to check on her and ask if she would accept his terms to ensure peace for Berk and her answer was always the same: no and with a very good reason.
"I won't marry you, and you can't make me!" Ash had yelled at Dagur the last time he had came in to see if she changed her mind.
"If you don't want to see Berk burned to the ground and your family in chains, you'd give me a more wiser answer." Dagur sneered at her as he placed a hand on the hilt of his axe. "Do I have to cut off a finger or a toe to send back to your 'brother' and family?"
"Go ahead! I'd rather loose my whole hand than spend the rest of my life with you!" She retorted. Of course he never even cut off any of her body parts but she knew his patience with her was wearing thing by the minute and the next time she was definitely going to loose a limb for sure.
"What do you suggest I do?" Ash asked her prison mates. "If he kills me that's just going to add fuel to the fire on the hate Berk already has for the Berserkers. My father and mother need me, I was supposed to go back to my country and help regain our homeland."
"Maybe...give into his demands but only pretend you really want to. And if he lets you out, you can attempt to escape." Lefty suggested.
"There's no way he'll believe her, he'll see it's a trick!" Righty pointed out. "She needs to be very convincing!"
"Right, I need to be more convincing. Just play the part of the desperate girl." Ash muttered. She heard several pairs of footsteps approaching them and looked out of her cell to see Dagur. She immediately scooted away from the doors as they were unlocked and swung open before Dagur walked in, his hand resting on the handle of his axe.
"Three days since I've made you my prisoner and in those three days I have asked you four times if you were willing to accept my terms." The young chief said, stroking the handle of his axe with his thumb. "And I know you're pretty desperate to get out of here and want to go home, so what is your answer this time, Ash Snow?"
'You have to get out, just play the part of a desperate girl for a bit.' Ash thought to herself and looked up at Dagur with frightened eyes.
"I-I am willing to accept your terms. But on one condition." Ash said in her best shaky voice and prayed Dagur would take the bait. "You have to promise to let me go back with at least three guards to make sure I don't do anything, and that the dragon I came on will come back with me."
Ash waited for Dagur's reply for what felt like hours. His hand still rested on the hilt of his axe as he kept his eyes on her, searching for a lie.
"Very well then, I'm quite glad to see that you've made the right choice, my future queen." Dagur said with a grin, taking her by the hand and led her out of the cell. "Of course if you said no I would have cut some fingers or toes off, but at least you didn't do that."
"Can I get something to eat and at least take a bath before we do anything?" Ash asked as they were walking through the prison.
"Of course! You wouldn't want to go home smelling like piss and sweat and on an empty stomach now, do you?" Dagur asked as they reached the doors. "Your parents would definitely kill me for that."
"It feels good to be clean again." Ash sighed to herself as she scrubbed her arm with a small cloth that was wrapped around a bar of soap.
The moment she was out of the prisons, Dagur sent Ash off with some clean clothes so she could take a bath in his quarters and be able to eat with him later. Once she was done washing and rinsed herself, Ash had grabbed a towel to rub herself dry when she heard a knock outside of the door.
"Have you finished with your bath?" She heard a guard outside ask.
"Just drying myself and I'm going to get dressed." Ash answered and grabbed her small clothes to put them on. Once she had them on and quickly pulled on the clean trousers that felt a little too big around her waist and quickly tightened the laces. Then she put on the tunic Dagur had lent her that also fit too big before braiding some of her damp hair over one shoulder and walking to the door to opened it an inch. "I'm done."
"Wait for the chief then." The guard said.
Ash closed the door and walked over to the desk that was laid with maps and strange drawings. She saw two drawings that were stuck to the wall with knives. It took Ash a moment to realize that they were her father and Hiccup and felt anger boil in her stomach. She was just about to storm over and tear them off the wall when Dagur walked in.
"You're looking a lot better than how you were an hour ago." Dagur noted and Ash did have to agree with him. An hour ago her silver hair was an ugly and dirty grey color and her skin was a nasty looking color from the times she was sleeping on a dirty floor, and she now wore clean clothes that were a slightly bigger than her old ones. "Feeling hungry?"
"Yes I'm a bit famished." Ash said walking with him to the door and allowed him to take her hand. "So...how are we going to do this? The wedding I mean?"
"Well we draw up some terms of agreement, announce it to your family and decide the date and the place." Dagur explained.
"I always thought I could have my wedding the way it was done in my country." Ash sighed as they made their way out of the ship. "My parents married under a weirwood tree with the Seven watching them."
"The Seven what?" Dagur asked.
"Seven gods, the old gods of the North before this other religion came along. Apparently there is only one god and requires sacrifices of royal lineage." Ash explained and made a face. "He's apparently the god of light and the people who lead the prayers are fire priests and priestesses. My father knew a fire priestess and apparently brought him back to life when he was stabbed several times by his own men."
"Fire priest...do they dress in red?" Dagur asked and Ash nodded.
"The one my father knew wore red robes and had pale skin, red hair, dark eyes and a necklace that had a ruby on it that seemed to pulse with light when she did her prayers. They can see visions in the fires but most of the time they are misinterpreted or are wrong." Ash said and looked at him. "Alvin apparently had a fire priest here in the cells and he would see images in the torches. Since the day I came he went silent, do you know why?"
"Never saw one in the prison. All of the prisoners look the same after they spent a couple of weeks or months in the cells." Dagur said and looked away. "Now no more talk of magic, let's discuss more of our wedding."
"He's taken her into the hall, how do we get her out?" Hiccup asked the gang as he lowered his eyeglass.
"How about old Buffnut goes in to do some entertaining?" Tuffnut suggested. "Dagur already likes my jokes and songs."
"Are we really gonna send him in?" Astrid asked Hiccup.
"I think maybe we could try. Maybe send Ruff in with him. He's already seen you, me, Snotlout and Fishlegs." Hiccup replied and looked to the twins. "Think you can figure out a way to get Ash out of there without shedding any blood?"
"We shall try our best!" The twins said in unison before hurrying off.
"Think we can pull it off?" Ruffnut asked her brother as they arrived at the hall where they saw Ash and Dagur go in.
"I most definitely can, but I suggest you stay out here and hide. I'll get Ash to leave and then you try to get her back to the gang and then I'll try to get back." Tuffnut replied and adjusted his helmet. "It's time for Buffnut the Berserker to make an appearance again and entertain his chief."
Tuffnut walked into the feast hall to find several Berserkers busy eating or standing guard as Ash was seated next to Dagur with an uncomfortable look on her face while Dagur was talking about something and had an arm wrapped around her waist. A sheet of parchment sat between them but from where he stood, Tuffnut couldn't even see what was written.
"...and so you know we'll probably have to have children you know." Tuffnut heard Dagur laugh and saw Ash cringe.
"Maybe...we should at least wait till we're a little older. This whole marriage thing and the production of heirs is just to awfully soon!" Ash said moving away from Dagur a bit. "And my parents will certainly not approve of how rushed it is, especially my father!"
"They'll stop being mad when this marriage ends our little war." Dagur replied and and moved closer to her.
"Did I hear a wedding being planned?" Tuffnut yelled when he stepped out of his hiding place. "I'll be so happy to sing a few songs for the new couple at the wedding feast!"
Ash's eyes widened in horror before she quickly gave Tuffnut a blank look.
"Why don't you teach us a song from your country?" Dagur suggested. "I'm sure your mother and father taught you a few."
"Well...there was one I know but I don't sing it at any feasts." Ash said in a quiet voice.
"Well let's hear it!"
"No, now isn't the time. We haven't even finished the treaty." Ash said pointing to the paper. Dagur made a face but picked up the charcoal pencil and handed it to her.
"So... when's the wedding?" Tuffnut asked, hoping to lighten the pouting chief's mood.
"We've decided to have it when we're both eighteen but someone suggested two weeks." Ash said giving Dagur a look. "Once I signed this, a truce will come between both the Berkians and Berserkers, and once I marry Dagur the truce will be a peace treaty."
'I don't really this is what Hiccup had in mind, but if it's in a year...no Dagur would never hold a truce for that long.' Tuffnut thought to himself and glanced at the treaty. 'And Ash knows this as well. Once she signs it she knows Dagur won't keep his promise for long.'
Ash took the charcoal pen and looked at Tuffnut. He quickly shook his head slightly and pointed to the doors of the hall. Ash quickly put the pen down and stood up.
"I need to use the bathroom." She whispered to Dagur. "It's a...woman situation."
"Just hurry up, I'll sign my name first." Dagur whispered back as he took the pen from the table.
Ash quickly exited the hall before Tuffnut said he had to use the bathroom as well and hurried off to follow her out. Once they had left the hall, Tuff grabbed Ash by the arm and pulled her away from the direction of the village and to where the wild dragons normally resided.
"Wait I forgot Ruffnut!" Tuffnut exclaimed before a large pebble hit his helmet.
"I'm right here! I went back to the riders to hide myself!" The female twin snapped as her brother rubbed his dented helmet.
"What are you all doing here?" Ash asked. "Not that I wasn't waiting for someone to come at some point, but seriously!"
"Your parents got worried when you didn't come back after a day and then your dad had a major flip out when we told him you were on a mission to make peace with Dagur for Berk." Ruffnut explained. "But after day three of your disappearance we decided to come and find you!"
"Well I am quite glad someone was worried about me. But before we go I need to go back and sign-"
"No way in the heck you are signing that paper! You know Dagur won't let you go free or even keep the peace!" Tuffnut interrupted.
"Wait what did you agree to do?" Ruffnut asked giving Ash a cross look. "Don't tell me you promised to let him...you know."
"No no! I made a deal with him saying I'd marry him in a year if he'd make peace with Berk." Ash said shaking her head. "Right now he thinks Tuffnut and I are using the bathroom and will be sending out guards to look for us if we don't come back. Where are the others?"
"No clue, they left before I even came back!" Just then, they heard shouts from some guards and the shrieking of dragons along with an explosion. "Oh, there they are."
"Oh seven hells Hiccup, what did you do?!" Ash groaned.
"I see them with your dragon! He's dangling from Hookfang's talons!" Tuffnut yelled and pointed to the red and black dragon.
"I can't ride him, and I'll only slow you all down!" Ash exclaimed as the group circled overhead and look to the group of wild dragons.
Her eyes landed on a large black Monstrous Nightmare with traces of red in it's scales and she began to make her way towards it. The dragon hissed at her as she held her hand out to it and began speaking softly to it in Valyrian.
"What is she doing?" Astrid asked as the older teen got close to the dragon.
"Is she...taming it?" Fishlegs asked in surprise as the dragon lowered it's head towards the girl and pressed it's snout against her palm.
"She did it!" Hiccup cheered and pumped his fists into the air. "She tamed her first dragon!"
"And it was a Monstrous Nightmare! I am so proud of this woman!" Snotlout cheered and Hookfang growled in annoyance.
"FIRE!" The riders quickly dove out of the way as arrows were launched at them. Ash's new dragon roared at the Berserkers and Outcasts as they tried closing in and spewed fire in their direction.
"Ash!" Ash turned her head to see Dagur and several guards making their way towards her. The Nightmare hissed and she held her hand out to silence it.
"Wait for my signal." She murmured softly to the dragon.
"You tricked me!" Dagur yelled and pointed a finger at her accusingly.
"I did nothing of the sort, but my friends have pointed out some things to me that you would never keep your promise." Ash said with a shake of her head and glared at Dagur. "And do you think that I would have married you if you broke that? Peace treaties are meant to be built on trust, something I lack with you." The Nightmare roared in agreement and nuzzled her shoulder gently before glaring at Dagur.
"Guards, kill the dragon and lock her up!"
"Dracarys." Ash murmured and pointed to the Berserkers and Outcasts. The dragon let loose a huge flame before she swung herself onto it's back and held on.
The dragon launched itself into the air and took off after the other dragon riders. Aemon squawked at the new dragon and glared at Ash as if accusing her of abandoning him on purpose for three days with an injury.
"Relax you big baby, once we get home I'll set the wing right and make you a nice sling or cast for it!" Ash said to the angry Nadder. He made a disgusted noise and glared at her before growling at the Nightmare and facing the clouds and sky in front of him.
'Oh I do hope father is not as cross as him.' Ash prayed as the island grew smaller behind the group. 'He is going to have a fit when he finds out of the proposal.'
Chapter 11: The Truth Is Out
The war between the Berserkers and the Berkians was over. Alvin was alive and back on his throne but as a new man, there was now peace between their tribes and Dagur was being punished for his actions. After hearing of what happened between him and Ash several days before Alvin's return, both Stoick and Jon were quite upset with the teen.
"Do you know what he would have done once you've signed the peace treaty papers? Winterfell would have been taken from you if he found out you were truly of royal blood!" Her father shouted at Ash angrily an hour after he and Dany had fussed over her and Aemon like a bunch of hens. "Women who rush head first into marriage find it rather difficult to get out of it once they see that the husband is a bad man!"
"I was not eager to rush into this marriage, I did what I had to do!" Ash argued angrily and held Elin to her chest. "I did it to keep Berk safe and maybe get us help to take back our home once Elin has grown as big as my brothers. And I also did it to keep him from cutting me up and sending you all one piece of me at a time, also I did not even sign once I realized he would have still went to war with our people!"
"Jon, don't be mad. She was just trying to help." Daenerys pleaded. "She knew full well that the boy might revoke the treaty, and she made sure not to sign it. Otherwise we would have had a son-in-law."
"Well he's not coming out of prison any time soon." Ash pointed out. "Alvin said he'll have him in there for ten years."
"As grateful as I am that the boy is locked up and far from any of us, I can't help but worry." Jon sighed and pined the bridge of his nose. "I shouldn't be worrying like this, it's too stressful for me."
It had been a few days since the peace when Johan came to Berk with a very small passenger who wanted an audience with the chief, his head cool and his master at arms. Much to their surprise, the visitor was a dwarf who claimed to be Tyrion Lannister and was looking for Jon. Stoick would have sent man away if Jon hadn't recognized the man and convinced Stoick he was a friend of theirs.
"I expected you to be a little taller." Ash had said to her godfather. "I knew you were a dwarf but I thought you'd be maybe a few inches taller than your current height."
That actually made Tyrion laugh and assured her that he was quite tall in some dwarf standards.
"Last time I had seen you, you were just a babe fresh from the womb and in your father's arms. You were quite a noisy child unless he was holding you." The dwarf said and chuckled. "And now look at you, almost a woman grown and I've heard you've had a few admirers since even before you flowered."
"The most persistent one was this boy who was my age and he's been hell bent on marrying me since he became chief." Ash told him. "If he wasn't so rude and twisted as Joffery, my father would have considered a marriage between us when I got a bit older."
"Judging by what your father, your mother and just about everyone else has told me of the boy, I can see why you weren't so eager to marry him." Tyrion said shaking his head. "As nice as it would have been to have him and his armada assist us in taking back Westeros, I don't think any of the surviving lords and the small folk would have liked seeing their queen be married to a man as mad as her mother's father."
"I was planning on marrying him after a year of peace between our tribes but we all knew he'd break it after a day or so." Ash added. "Even I don't think I could have told him that I was really of royal blood, especially of two powerful houses."
"Speaking of which, your mother told me that you managed to revive a dragon egg on your own without sacrificing anyone." Tyrion said motioning to the mentioned dragon who was playing roughly with her baby brother. "And that you've taken another young dragon into your home and gave her a wild dragon you tamed after you escaped from the mad boy chief."
"Elin and Storm are my own dragons, Pyro now belongs to my mother and has proven to be as loyal and obedient as my father's Nadder." Ash said a bit proudly. "Though I do wish I had more dragons of my own to be able to aid me in a few years."
"Why not ask your friends? They seem capable of helping you out in a few years." Tyrion suggested as Elin scampered over his feet and leapt onto Ash's arm to avoid an angry Storm. "Have you even told them who you really are?"
"N-no...not yet." Ash admitted sheepishly. "As much as I trust my friends, I don't know what telling them my secret would do to them."
"They'll probably be upset that you never told them, but once you explain why you couldn't tell them sooner and ask them to keep it to themselves, surely they'd be willing to give you their swords and axes and take up your own banner." Tyrion pointed out and gave her a sympathetic look. "My sweet goddaughter, you must make as many allies here before you go off to fight the madman's brother who sits on your throne. Who knows how many of your people will take your side in the war that is to come. Everyone must know that the offspring of the direwolf and the dragon lives and that she is a matter not one to be taken lightly. Make as many alliances as you can, perhaps secure a marriage between you and a young chief or his son so you can have heirs once the war is over. Know who your true friends are and make friends of the enemy of your enemy."
'Tyrion is right, it's time I told my friends who I am. They have every right to know.' Ash thought to herself as she made her way to the academy where the other riders were waiting. 'They'll understand once I explain everything. But what will they do when I tell it to them?'
Inside Hiccup was discussing something with Fishlegs while Meatlug and Toothless napped in the corner, Snotlout was napping on Hookfang, Astrid was doing target practice with Stormfly, and the twins were busy bickering with each other over something while their dragon was watching them with a bored expression on their faces. Elin, who was sitting on her left shoulder, gave her a squawk of encouragement and Storm, who was cradled in her arms, gave a little screech before climbing out of Ash's arms and scrambling over to Toothless and his sister followed.
"Well you finally showed up." Snotlout yawned as he rubbed his eyes to rid them of sleep. "So what did you need to talk to us about anyways?"
"Well I...umm..." Ash glanced at her two dragons who gave her annoyed looks. Good grief, even for babies they certainly knew how to give annoyed looks as well as Hookfang and Toothless.
"Well what?" Astrid asked.
"I have not been quite truthful to you lately." Ash said and wrung her hands nervously. "You know that man who came asking for my family? He's my godfather."
"He said he was a Lannister, and if I remember what your father told us when we were younger is that the Lannisters were an important family from where you came from." Fishlegs said. "How does your family know him?"
"He was my parent's friend when they were younger. You remember the story of the mother of dragons right?"
"Yeah the young girl who hatched three old eggs using a witch's life and raised them to help her take back her throne." Snotlout said getting to his feet. "Your dad said that those dragons lived they would have been bigger than a Red Death! Is Elin gonna grow that big in a few years?"
"She might, as long as she has room to grow and isn't confined." Ash said bending down to let Elin climb onto her arm and sit upon her shoulder. "In a year she will be able to fly and go hunting on her own, in two years I'll be able to climb on and fly her, and three years after that she'll be as big as the queen's dragons."
"Just think of the appetite she'll have when she reaches that age!" Fishlegs gushed. "Oh she'll look magnificent!"
"Can we get back to the subject?" Astrid asked.
"Oh yes, thank you Astrid. Anyways, Tyrion was the queen's hand before and after she took back Westeros." Ash continued as Elina scampered back over to her and climbed up to sit on her shoulder. "And so you are wondering how that makes him my godfather right?"
"Yeah it doesn't make sense that a guy as rich as him with that sort of position would know a family as poor as yours." Ruffnut said nodding in agreement.
"Well my family used to be rich before coming here. My mother used to be kind of poor and my father lived under the assumption that he was a bastard of a high lord and both rose to power before I was. Does that story sound familiar?"
"It does sound pretty familiar." Hiccup agree and furrowed his brow. "Your dad did once tell us of the story of an exiled dragon queen rising to power and a young bastard who became king of the North."
"Wait is she saying what I think she's saying?" Tuffnut asked.
"Dragon queen... king of the North... he said they had a daughter and fled...oh my gods!" Astrid exclaimed and looked at the older teen in shock. "Your parents were king Jon and queen Daenerys of Westeros!"
"And that makes me the princess, Ashaya Blizzardborn of the house of Stark and Targaryen." Ash said with a mocking bow and gave a yelp when Elin grabbed onto her hair to balance herself.
"Wait if you are a princess, why are you living in a shabby place like this?" Snotlout asked.
"She's in exile, duh!" Ruffnut retorted and rolled her eyes. "Why else would she and her family go by a totally different name?"
"Snow is a bastard name given to highborn bastards in Westeros, but no one around here knows that." Ash added and rubbed the sore spot of her head where Elin yanked on her hair. "And around here it's usual to see blondes and my eyes around sort of pale looking so they look kind of blue."
"Why didn't your family tell any of the village?" Hiccup asked Ash. "Does my father know?"
"Well do you think someone like Mildew will keep quiet about a royal family secretly living here? He already hated it that there were three extra mouths to feed anyways." Ash explained with a shake of her head. "Only Gothi, your father, your mother and Gobber know our secret and are sworn to secrecy."
"She does have a point, and if Dagur knew he would have kidnapped you to get claim to the throne!" Fishlegs added. "No one needs a mad king on the throne after two quiet generations."
"I'd like to ask you all something." Ash said looking to each of her friends. "When it is my time to take back my home, will you be willing to aid me, give me coucil, and fight by my side? Will you be an ally for the houses Stark and Targaryen?"
The young riders looked at each other, unsure of what to say to the young princess. She looked at each of them, seeing how hesitant they were.
"It's alright, you don't have to do it. Maybe in a year or two you can answer that question since at the moment we're all not experienced dragon riders." Ash said quickly. "Besides I have to wait for Elin to get a little bigger before we can even go back."
"Well this was a little sudden." Fishlegs confessed and the others murmured in agreement. "And we may need a little more experience with what you are planning to do."
"You're all right, this was a bit sudden but I felt as if you all had to know." Ash agreed. "Are you not mad at me for keeping my identity a secret?"
"Well we understand why you did it, right guys?" Astrid asked the gang and they nodded.
"We can keep a secret!" Tuffnut exclaimed.
"But do we have to refer to you as 'princess', 'your majesty' or 'your dragoness' since you're royalty?" Snotlout asked.
"Do that and I'll let Elin eat you when she gets older." Ash said giving him a stern look and looked to the others. "Please just refer to me as Ash, no one except my parents and godfather use Ashaeya. I expect you all to keep your mouths shut and not speak a single word of this, is that clear?"
The gang nodded in agreement and the dragons nodded as well.
"And let's hope that Dagur doesn't get wind of this, otherwise you'll never hear the end of it from him." Hiccup added and Toothless, the other dragons and the baby dragons growled at the mention of the Berserker.
'Oh by the old gods, the new gods and Norse gods do not let him ever hear of this or even attempt to escape from that prison.' Ash prayed. 'I'd like to be able to get to Westeros and be queen without being bothered by that lunatic again.'
Chapter 12: Chasing, Plotting and Escaping
After three years of peace between the Berkians and the Outcasts, a certain Berserker finally makes his escape to carry out his revenge
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"It feels so good to be free." Dagur sighed as his ship sailed away from Outcast island. He lifted up his arm where he had written down his revenge list. "And now that I am, I can begin my preparations to rebuild my armada and take my revenge on Berk!"
Hiccup Haddock, Night Fury, Oswald, Ash Snow, Jon Snow...the list was slightly longer but these were the few that truly mattered.
Dagur grinned maliciously at the list of names he had read and the rest and gently touched Ash's name. For the last three years her face was the one he yearned to see again when he planned to break free. Her soft violet eyes, her pale and smooth skin that never seemed to darken from hours in the sun, her long silver-gold hair that she prefer to leave loose and only have the front braided out of her face, that gentle smile he wished she would give him. As soon as he got the gold for his new armada, he will wreck havoc on Berk, take out those stupid dragon riders and their allies, and take Ash Snow for his wife.
"Of course to get her, I'm going to have to kill her father." He laughed to himself. "I've grown much stronger and I'm pretty sure he's been slacking off since there's been nothing interesting happening since I've been in jail."
"What about her siblings?" Savage asked. "Last time I was on Berk I remember seeing about five or six of them and fighting us. And one of them almost cut my hand off!"
"You're scared of a six year old?" Dagur laughed. "Robert is so small he can barely wield a short sword!"
"He had a knife sir...and he was very creepy to look at!" Savage protested meekly. "Silver hair and pale grey eyes with very pale skin made him look like a ghost!"
"Well then we'll get rid of him, as well as Rickion, Eddard, Lyanna, Rhaella and if they are planning to be trouble." Dagur replied with a shrug.
"But...the girl? The one you want to make your bride?"
"What about her?"
"When I was working for Alvin and we had invaded Berk, all the times we went- even before they had the dragons- she was fighting and beating several of our best men!"
Dagur turned to Savage with a scowl. "Ash may have been able to have beaten you Outcasts, but she was always beaten by me at sword fighting. I always knocked her to the ground and had my sword at her neck."
"Then we'll leave her to you then!" Savage said and gave a nervous laugh.
Dagur looked out to the ocean and smiled sinisterly to himself.
'Soon Ash Snow, soon you will be mine, just as you promised three years ago if you wanted Berk to have peace.'
"YEAH!!!!!" Ash whooped as she held on tightly to Storm's saddle horn as the Skrill took a dive towards the ocean. "Alright, now pull up Storm!" At her command, Storm opened his wings and let the wind catch them and flew upwards. Ash gave another whoop and brushed back some of her tangled silver-gold hair from her face. "We'll have to work on your timing, otherwise we'll be a Skrill and rider sized splat on the ocean!" Storm grumbled but continued to fly forward before Ash turned him to head back to Berk.
Berk and it's people had changed over the years. New structures for the dragons had been or were being built, and Ash's friends had been getting themselves jobs and they'd been too busy to hang out the way they used to three years ago. Snotlout was building and testing new weapons, Fishlegs was teaching the children the history of Berk, the twins were pranking the others (as usual), Hiccup was racing off in hopes to find new dragons instead of chief training, Astrid was planning on being part of the Berk Guard with Stormfly, and Ash had been given the newest job by the chief: taking care of the infant dragons in their new hatchery.
The hatchery was located close to the new hangar where the hatchlings of Berk, both eggs and the ones who were already running around were born and taken care of by Ash, Storm and Elin. When Ash entered the hatchery she found some of the eggs already hatched and with the babies cooing and squawking for their parents.
"Ah nothing like the miracle of birth, aye Storm?" Ash asked as she picked up one of the Nadders into her arms. Storm snorted in reply and shooed away several young Nightmares and Terrors that were trying to play with his tail and spikes.
Elin was no longer allowed into the hatchery due to her...size problems. During the last three years the little dragon had grown rapidly till she was four times the size of Hookfang. She spent most of her days away from home hunting to satisfy her growing hunger since she was not allowed to take any of the livestock on Berk. There were even some times where she'd be gone for a week but it never really worried Ash, for who would even attempt to harm a growing and hungry dragon like Elin?
"Ash! Ash are you in here?" Ash looked up to find Fishlegs and Snotlout running into the hatchery and looking quite exhausted.
"What's wrong?" She asked as she put the baby dragon down.
"It's Johan, he's here on Berk and told us some really bad news!" Snotlout replied. "Dagur has escaped and both you, Hiccup and your father are on his revenge list!"
"No....no no no no!" Ash could barely believe it. Outcast prison was supposed to be impossible to escape from, he must have had some inside help to have been able to escape.
“Johan wants to talk to us in the academy right now because he knows where Dagur might head!” Fishlegs said and looked at her nervously. “That is...if you want to come, we know how much you dislike him and feel around Dagur-”
“I'll go, someone needs to knock a few teeth out from that guy.” Ash said making a fist and called for Storm. “Let's go, the sooner we know where Dagur is heading, the sooner we can put him back in jail where he belongs.”
“So you're saying that he could be heading to the shipyard where you keep most of your valuables?” Astrid asked the trader after he explained where Dagur would be heading.
“That's right miss Astrid, he may be after my gold!”
“And if he gets his hand on that gold, he could use it to rebuild his armada and get revenge on Berk.” Ash added. “And possibly kill us in revenge. No wonder we're on his kill list.”
“Oh he wouldn't dare with your magnificent dragon at your side!” Johann said pointing to Elin, who was tearing into some boars she had recently hunted and bright back earlier that day.
"How long until she stops growing?" Fishlegs asked Ash as the group watched Elin chew the burned carcass of one of the boars.
"Hard to say. My godfather and mother say that as long as these dragons are given freedom to fly around and hunt, they'll grow bigger than a Red Death." Ash replied as Elin dropped the bones of her dinner in front of them and started off on another boar.
"Please tell me those aren't from someone's livestock!" Snotlout groaned.
"Relax, she caught them from that one island that's overflowing with boars." Ash promised him. "And I promise that she won't eat any of us either. She'll dine on Berserker flesh instead."
"Mind setting her on Dagur then?" Astrid asked jokingly and Elin looked up from her meal to growl at them in annoyance.
"As much as I'd like to, he'll kill her." Ash replied and patted her dragon's head. “But it's kind of hard to kill her now, her scales are much thicker and her weak spot is not where you would suspect.”
“That's rather interesting since most stories say that you had to stab at the belly to kill a dragon.” Hiccup said as Elin kicked the charred bones towards them.
“And no one but us know about it, so do keep quiet about it.”
“Are you taking her to help us hunt Dagur?” Ruffnut asked.
“She's too preoccupied to even help.” Ash answered and gave her dragon a scolding look. “Storm shall come with me instead, he's too bored with staying close to Berk.”
“Alright then, so are we going?” Hiccup asked and he was greeted with exclamations of agreement from the gang.
Soon they were all out on the open sea, just the way they were three years ago when they were barely forming the team. After a few hours they managed to find the shipyard but saw no signs of Dagur. Ruffnut suggested that they should take all the gold before Dagur came and Hiccup thought that was an excellent idea, since without the gold Dagur would be armada-less.
They had all split up to find whatever valuables they could find on the ships. All the dragons except for Storm and Toothless had fled due to a couple of giant eels. Ash had to leave Storm above deck since he didn't like going down into the ship.
Ash found what must have been some sort of office or commander's quarters in the ship with hardly anything except for a barrel of rolled up papers and a desk with several little wooden dragons and some pieces of a game Stoick introduced her to called Maces and Talons pieces.
“Must be maps.” Ash said to herself as she pulled out one of the papers and saw she was right. “Huh, unfinished.” She pulled out another map and began to skim through it.
"Dorne, Kingslanding...wait a minute, is this.....a map of Westeros?" Ash murmured as she spread the map out on the table and placed the little wooden dragon statues on the edges of the paper.
With the lantern she brought she saw the Wall, Highgarden, Dragonstone, the Iron Islands, the Stormlands, the Vale, Winterfell. Ash's fingers brushed against the paper and over the ten letters of her home. The most well known place in the North, the house where the Starks had dwelled for generations, the place where she was born.
'But what's this map doing here?' Ash wondered to herself. Suddenly, she felt someone grab her around the waist and yank her away from the table and held a knife to her throat.
"Scream and I'll cut your throat." Her captor hissed.
"So you tossed your lot with the Berserkers, you really are a boot kisser." Ash retorted, turning her head to look at the ex second-in-command of Alvin in the eye.
"Be gentle with her Savage, Dagur wants her unharmed." A Berserker solider warned as he came into view. "Huh, he was right. A rather exotic beauty, no wonder he's mad for her."
Ash was walked up to the deck to where her friends were being shoved into one of the cages made of green metal. Storm was also inside of one and kept gnawing at the bars of his cage. He caught sight of Ash and gave a wild shriek.
"Storm!" Ash cried, trying to go for her dragon but Savage and the other Berserker held her back.
"Well, well. If it isn't the most annoying group of Vikings in the Midgard." A familiar voice laughed as a man emerged from the shadows and dressed in rags.
"Dang he's changed, a lot." Ash heard Tuffnut mutter loudly.
"And I don't like the way he's looking at her." Snotlout added in disgust.
“Look at you! You've grown more beautiful since the last time I laid eyes on you!” Dagur exclaimed, walking to Ash and examining her.
Ash didn't like how he was looking at her, but she held her head high and didn't say anything. If her mother could put up with and ignore the crude and lustful remarks some Dothraki had given her once, then she could stand there fully clothed and attempt to ignore the lustful looks Dagur was giving her.
‘I am the blood of the dragon,’ she told herself, ‘I will not let him see me as a frightened lamb under his glare.’
Moments later Hiccup and Toothless burst out from a trapdoor to find them all in Dagur’s clutches. He held something in his hands as he slammed the trapdoor down. What was it?
“Hiccup! Did you miss me? Because I missed you! Every day for three years, I thought about you.” Dagur sneered and gestured to the other caged riders.
“Sorry Hiccup, he got the drop on us while we weren't looking.” Astrid apologized.
“Uh, quiet! Can't you see that my brother and I are having a moment?” Dagur yelled at Astrid before turning back to Hiccup.
“I am not your brother, and we are definitely not having a moment!” Hiccup corrected him.
“Yeah he's my ‘brother’!” Ash added and for a second she thought she saw Hiccup smile.
“Oh, well I thought we were. And look at you! Quite the ladies man now, huh?” Dagur said with a grin. “Both you and Ash have changed quite a bit.”
Ash snorted. “Yeah but the one thing that hasn't changed is-”
“Your dislike for me, I know. But soon you will learn to love me. And that may be quite soon.”
“Excuse me?” Snotlout and the twins exclaimed.
“So I'll be taking all the gold and whatever it is you're hiding behind your back.” Dagur continued and held his hand out. “Come on now, brothers share you know.”
Hiccup hesitantly handed him a large object the side of a loaf of bread and Dagur snatched it up before grabbing Ash by the arm. “You know you won't get every far with that.” Hiccup said with a frown.
“Maybe we'll get farther than you have.” Dagur replied with a shrug. “Farewell brother, until we meet again on the field of battle.”
“I'm not going with you!” Ash snapped as he dragged her away from her friends and hoisted her onto his ship, along with Storm.
“You made a promise and you will stick to it.” Dagur retorted, gripping her arm tightly. “Otherwise you can say goodbye to your father, mother, those annoying siblings of yours, and Berk!”
“Don't you even dare lay a finger on them!” Ash snapped. “If you even get within one mile of Berk, you're going to be greeted with something far worst than Berk’s dragons!”
“And what would that be?”
“Elin, the last dragon of Westeros, born in the ashes of my home and raised to be just as fearless of anything including men like you.”
“Sir, they're following us!” Savage called. Ash looked back to see Toothless and Hiccup flying towards them at full speed and heard Dagur chuckle.
“Oh Hiccup, so predictable.”
“Hiccup look out!” She yelled when she saw one of the men launch a boulder at them. It sailed right past them, much to her relief.
“You missed!” Hiccup yelled.
“Did I?” Dagur retorted. Ash watched in horror as the boulder his the Reaper and it began to sink. Her friends started to scream and call out for help and she tried yanking away from Dagur again.
“You are a monster!” Ash screamed as she attempted to claw at his face but Dagur grabbed both her hands to prevent it and pulled her close to him. “Let me go!”
“It's already too late for anyone to save you. If Hiccup comes after you, your dragon and the weird object, your friends will drown; if he goes off to save them he loses all three of you!”
“Not unless I can get away first!” Ash snapped and looked to the sinking ship. Hiccup was already flying towards it to save the others. ‘Please let him get to them on time!’
“Put her with the dragon.” Dagur ordered, shoving Ash to a Berserker and picking up the strange cylinder. “Now I wonder what this does?”
“Some sort of spyglass?” Ash suggested in a sarcastic tone as she was shoved into the cage.
“Doesn't seem like it.” Dagur replied and looked into it. “Oh well, all that matters is that I've got the gold, you and a Skrill!”
“That Skrill belongs to me!” Ash retorted and Storm growled. “I raised and trained him, you just can't take another person's dragon and expect them to obey you! Even horses and dogs won't do that!”
“Are you sassing me?” Dagur asked turning to her with a frown.
“Maybe I am.” Ash replied and placed a hand on Storm and he ceased his growling. “When will you ever learn that Hiccup is always going to foil your crazy plans?”
Instead of answering her question, knowing she was going to make a fool out of his answer with another question, Dagur decided to ignore her and turn his attention to the cylinder object he took from Hiccup.
‘I gotta get out of here, but the metal of this cage doesn't look like it's going to break. Even Storm couldn't make a dent in it!’ Ash thought as she felt around the front for a key hole. Once she found it, she stuck her hand in her hair in search of a pin and managed to find one before getting to work on attempting to unlock the cage. ‘Just hope the twins and Gobber’s lock picking lessons were helpful enough.’
Ash knew she had to be quick if she wanted to help save her friends. She kept wiggling the hairpin around the lock and repeatedly shaking the door a bit to see if she had unlocked it. Several times she had to stop because Savage or a random Berserker would come past her and she had to try to cover her work.
“I'll take that!” Ash looked up just in time to see Hiccup swoop in and snatch the cylinder from Dagur.
“Go little brother!” She cheered.
“And we'll take this!” She heard the twins and Snotlout yell and felt the cage get yanked up.
“What took them so long?” Ash asked, giving the two dragons a glare.
“Dunno but it took forever for them to hear our dragon calls!” Ruffnut responded. “ But hey, at least we got you out of here!”
“And we'll need one of Hiccup’s peg legs to break you free!” Tuffnut added cheerfully.
"Wait his legs?"
"We'll explain later."
So who has seen the new trailer? That Light Fury is gorgeous! And Toothless' weird courtship dance with Hiccup in the bushes signaling what he has to do
Chapter 13: Accidental Kissing
"Let's see.... where to put you." Ash murmured as she looked around the weapons shed for a place to put away some of the spears she had finished making. Not many of the gang knew how to use spears, just her, Snotlout and Ruffnut, so there was no barrel or rack for her to place them in.
"Ash! Ash!" She heard the twins yell as they rushed into the shed.
"Ash you really need to see this!" Tuffnut said as he and his sister stopped to catch their breath.
"What is it now?" Ash asked, dropping the spears to the floor.
"It's Elin...she's dragged a Berserker boat all the way over here and won't let it go!" Ruffnut answered. "And we think there are some people on it!"
The three bolted out and ran down to the stables where the dragons were eating or resting. Storm was curled up next to Meatlug, a habit he refused to give up since he had gotten much bigger than her.
"Storm! Get up, we need to get to Elin!" Ash yelled, grabbing her saddle off the wall and tossing it onto the napping Skrill. At the mention of his older sister, Storm's golden eyes snapped open and he leapt off Meatlug with all his spikes standing up on edge. As soon as the saddle was tightened on and Ash barely sat down, Storm took off into the skies with Barf and Belch behind him.
The two dragons landed by the large cave that was located by the far side of the island where Elin made her nest to find the large blue dragon beside an overturned Berserker ship. She growled to acknowledge her mother's presence and turned to greet her, only to see an enraged look on Ash's face.
"Elin, what do you think you are doing with that ship?" Ash asked, using the same tone her mother used when scolding her younger children.
The blue dragon snorted and nudged the ship with her snout and there was a high pitched screech from it. Ash's eyes widened and rushed towards the ship with the twins behind her. Storm and Barf and Belch followed followed, curious but alert.
"I knew someone was probably on it!" Ruffnut hissed as they got close to the ship. "Who do you think is on it and why would your dragon steal this?"
"Maybe it has gold. Remember when she was little Elin was stealing anything shiny and storing it in a hiding place that Ash always found?" Tuffnut pointed out and lowered his voice. "What if it was the gold and jewels Dagur was using to buy a new armada? Or a dowry to marry Ash?"
"That creep is not even good enough for Ash. And besides he's not at her status!" Ruffnut snorted.
"Elin, lift that ship up this instant." Ash commanded. Elin gave an unamused snort but did as she was told.
Something small and brightly colored darted out from under the ship and slammed right into Ash's legs, causing her to tip backwards and fall down on her rear. She felt something warm and a bit heavy jump onto her and heard the dragons give an alarmed shriek. Ash sat up to see something purple with golden eyes staring right into her eyes and she blinked a few times before she realized it was a baby dragon.
"What the seven hells is this?" Ash asked, sitting up and studying the tiny newcomer.
"A baby dragon, duh." The twins responded and the baby turned it's attention to them.
It gave a little squeak and clambered off of Ash, only to be stopped by Storm who growled threateningly at it until Elin snarled at him and scooted the baby close to her with her wing.
"A Berserker must have found it, poor baby." Ash said as the baby dragon curled close to the larger dragon. "Why would one of Dagur's men take it?"
"Maybe because he's trying to get a super dangerous dragon we won't know how to tame." Ruff suggested and her twin nodded in agreement.
"Plus he probably thinks taming one will impress you." Tuffnut added.
"Doesn't really look impressive." Ash shrugged and motioned for Elin to bend her neck down. "We're about to pay him a little visit."
"Uh...on Elin?" Tuff asked. "No offense cuz she's pretty badass but he has the weapons that can probably penetrate her scales. Your mom mentioned there was a weapon that injured one of her dragons when she battled the Lannisters."
"That weapon ceases to exist now that it was destroyed. Besides, Dagur would know better than to hurt whatever dragon I happen to be riding." Ash said as she climbed onto her dragon. The baby dragon squealed in protest as Elin shifted away from it and she bent down to gently nudge it towards Storm and the twins. "Take it to Hiccup and make sure to keep it safe. And don't let Snotlout anger it, I don't want to be pulling dragon teeth out of his ass again."
"You got it khaleesi!" The twins shouted in unison and saluted.
"I'm not a khaleesi! I'm a khalakki!" Ash yelled as Elin took off into the skies. "My mum's a khal!"
"Big dragon approaching!" A Berserker yelled as Dagur was busy doing his pull up exercises.
"How big?" He asked, releasing the bars of the cage he had been hanging off of.
"Super big, and it's blue." the man responded and gulped nervously. "Never seen anything like it."
Dagur snatched the small telescope from his and peered into it to see a large blue dragon, nothing he had ever seen before, flying towards them with someone on it's back.
"Well shoot it down!" The chief said, shoving the spyglass into his solider's chest and pointed at the incoming dragon. "Shoot it down! Probably one of Hiccups' annoying little dragon rider pals!"
"Oh gods...it's the girl!" he solider from earlier said looking into the spyglass again. "The blonde!"
"There are three blonde girls!" Dagur yelled as the dragon sprayed a plume of fire at the water and barrel-rolled over his ship. "Be more specific!"
"I think he meant me." A familiar voice as sweet as a valkyrie responded.
Dagur spun around to find Ash standing behind him with one hand on her hip and the other on a sword that was attached to the opposite hip.
"Well well, couldn't stay away from me beautiful?" Dagur teased as he sauntered closer to her. "Did you miss all...this?" He added, gesturing to himself and flexed his arms.
"You wish." Ash snorted and shook her head. "I'm here to know why you did that."
"Did what?" Dagur asked.
"My dragon took one of your ships which had a small purple dragon, too young to be away from it's mother." Ash responded and poked him in the chest with one finger. "And I hate it when fools like you dare to do things like that. Don't you know that female dragons are more aggressive than the males, especially when it comes to their brood?"
"Well I think I should know how to calm pretty girls who are mad over something I never did." Dagur responded and Ash heard Elin gag. Out of the corner of her eye, her dragon was clinging to the side of a sea stack and making gagging faces.
'You totally read my mind Elin.' Ash thought and smiled a bit.
"Judging by your smile you know what I am talking about then?" Dagur asked, taking a few steps closer to Ash and causing her to back away towards the ship's mast. "How about we take this conversation to my cabin and discuss the peace terms we were talking about the last time we were alone?"
"How about I ask my dragon to roast you?" Ash suggested as she ducked away to keep herself from being pinned to the mast. "It'll save Hiccup the headache to be bothered by you."
"Or you give me the location of your little hideout and then I'll let you and your dragon go free?" Dagur asked as his men trained their weapons at Elin. She gave an unamused snort at the sight of the weapons being pointed at her and looked to her mother for any commands to get them away from the Berserkers.
"Or how about I kick you between the legs so hard you won't be able to have kids?" Ash challenged and heard some soliders mutter 'oooo!' "If you want to marry me, you have to prove it to my family. Sadly they aren't here and wouldn't even say yes, so let's allow my dragon to test you of being worthy?"
"Or I can take you as mine right here and now, in front of my men." Dagur sneered, grabbing her wrist and yanking her towards him. Ash yelped as she was yanked forward and Elin roared in alarm.
She hopped off the sea stack and flew right towards the boat where her mother was and tried landing right on top of it. Ash gave a yell as she and Dagur fell towards Elin, Ash's back slamming hard into her dragon's leg and Dagur slamming right onto her. His head hit hers and the next thing Ash knew their lips were touching. Elin gave and strangled roar and leapt off the boat, causing the two and several other Berserkers to tip backwards wildly. Ash landed right on top of Dagur and sent her dragon a murderous look.
"Can you...get off me?" Dagur asked sheepishly. "Normally I would have liked this sort of thing but I'm feeling quite awkward right now."
"How do you think I feel?" Ash hissed as she quickly scrambled to get off of Dagur and scooted away.
Dagur could see her cheeks were red with embarrassment and he could only guess that his were just as red. He'd never felt that flustered before when it came to her, but close contact like that with her made him feel awkward. And not to mention the whole crew was watching them.
"I-I better go and get back to the baby, Elin is getting anxious." Ash said, gesturing to her dragon who was back near the sea stack and shooting Dagur a nasty look.
So that was the baby dragon that ran into the arena three years ago. He actually thought it was some sort of deformed Monstrous Nightmare or Nadder but now he could see it was neither. It was bigger than any of his ships and bigger than any of the other dragons he had seen. If it took three years for that little dragon to grow that large, he could only imagine the sheer size it would have been if he waited to be released from prison.
"Uh...bye?" Dagur said awkwardly as Ash walked off and let the dragon swoop down to grab her. It released a plume of fire and aimed it at the ocean, causing a huge cloud of steam to come up.
"And here I thought that thing was going to eat us." Savage said, adjusting his messed up helmet. "And to think that Snow brat was the one to tame it!"
"Please refrain from talking so rudely about my future wife." Dagur snapped, the embarrassment and awkwardness he was feeling before wash away. "Otherwise the next time that dragon comes around I will so gladly feed you to it! Because that does not look like a dragon that lives solely on fish!"
Despite his anger towards Savage at the moment, Dagur couldn't help but feel a bit happy for himself. He finally kissed Ash Snow on the lips, something he never did before in his life. She probably wasn't feeling too happy about the kiss (even if it was purely accidental).
"Are you done screaming into that pillow?" Ruffnut asked as her friend removed the pillow from her face.
"I can't believe I kissed him...I can't believe I kissed my sworn enemy!" Ash groaned as she flung the pillow onto her face again but didn't scream. "My first kiss was given to me by Dagur!"
"How did it feel?" Ruffnut asked, sitting forward with an eager look on her face. "Did you like it?"
"I don't even want to say anything about it!" Ash yelled from under the pillow. "Oh gods I cannot believe that happened! Of all the things to happen between it had to be that!"
"Better a kiss than the you-know-what." Ruffnut shrugged. "Come on, he wasn't that bad was he?"
"It only lasted like three seconds."
"Then that wasn't a real kiss. You gotta do that all over again."
"I am not kissing Dagur on the lips again, ever!" Ash snapped and flung her pillow at Ruffnut and she managed to keep it from hitting her.
"Trust me, that's definitely gonna happen again and pretty soon." Ruff laughed.
"I hate my life!"
Chapter 14: A Debt Paid
"Any signs of dragon hunter ships?" Ash asked herself as she kept her eyes on the horizon. "Nope, not a single ship in sight."
Storm snorted and growled, his heads turned to the direction where the other riders were. Neither of them liked how quiet it was, it always gave Ash the creeps when everything was too quiet before a battle and the enemy hadn't showed up yet.
"With our luck this guy is probably bringing an armada." Ash muttered. "Wonder how the twins are doing."
She heard Val give a sleepy coo as she shifted her position on Ash's back. The tiny and blind Razorwhip lifted her head to the wind and gave a small sniff before settling back down previous position and set her head on her shoulder with a small sigh. Just then, Storm gave a screech and Ash squinted to see the outline of several ships coming their way with the emblem of the red fist on the sails. A curse left her mouth as she leapt onto Storm and took off into the sky to join the other riders.
"I knew he was going to bring an armada! I just knew it!" Ash yelled as she reached her friends.
"I don't even think Heather knew he'd do that!" Snotlout pointed out.
"Everyone give them your best shot!" Astrid yelled and pointed at the boats
"They're not getting this flashy dragon! Come on Storm! Give them a light show they won't forget!" Ash yelled as Storm charged down towards two hunter ships.
Storm evaded several arrows and barrel rolled to let Ash land of the ship to start fighting with the hunters. He gave a screech, feeling his electricity charge through his body and fired at the humans below, taking care not to strike his rider.
"And here I thought we wouldn't have to face each other on the field of battle!" Ash stopped fighting to see Dagur standing on the top deck if the hunter ship resting an axe on his shoulder.
"Oh believe me, I'd be glad to take off that annoying head of yours, just to be rid of your horrible flirting!" Ash snapped and kicked a hunter in the face as he attempted to sneak up on her.
"Oh that's hurtful Ash, especially after what happened to us the last time we were alone on a ship together!" Dagur sneered and smirked when he saw her blush. "Net them!"
Ash felt someone grab her from behind and heard her dragon screech as he dropped from the sky and landed painfully on the deck.
"Storm!" She yelled and felt the hunter who was holding her rip her baby dragon off her back. Val gave a startled screech and cried out as she was pulled away from Ash. "No let her go! Don't hurt her!"
She turned to throw a kick and felt something slam against her head. Ash gave a gasp before her vision began to dim and she felt herself fall onto the deck painfully. Everything was sounding muffled like her head was under the water and her vision was growing dark. The last thing she saw before blacking out was a streak of something glowing blue across the sky and a loud dragon scream.
"...sh! Ash! Ash wake up!" Ash awoke to feel someone shaking her shoulder and opened her eyes to see Heather standing over her with a worried look on her face. The teen gave a sigh of relief as Ash sat up a bit and touched the side of her head.
"What...oh gods..." Ash murmured when she felt the dried blood on the side of her temple and tried sitting up a bit more. Her body ached as if she'd been sat on by Elin and Storm (not a very pleasant experience the first time they did this) and then trampled by a heard of boars. She remembered fighting dragon hunters and then yelling at Dagur before getting her dragons taken and getting knocked out. "Please tell me the Flightmare is safe."
"No, it got taken. And Viggo found out about me." Heather replied and gestured to the shackles on her wrists. Ash noticed that she had some on hers as well. A curse left her lips as she sat up quickly and instantly regretted it when she started to feel lightheaded.
"Why is my body aching so badly?" Ash asked and Heather shrugged.
"Beats me, but it will go away soon." Heather assured her.
"They hit me pretty hard that's for sure."
"You can thank my brother for that."
"And here I thought he'd never hurt me."
The two sat there in the cage, talking about what happened before and after the battle and stopped whenever a guard came close. At one point Dagur came with another guard to bring some food but Ash threw most of hers at him along with a few swears.
"After all this I still don't get why he likes me." Ash muttered after Dagur left. "I'm his enemy, I've threatened to kill him multiple times with Elin, yet he still flirts and acts like there are no weapons in our hands and there is no war between us."
"Well I guess he likes you too much, he'd go on and on about you when I was still working for Viggo." Heather said as she tore off a piece of her bread and bit into it. "I never thought my brother had any room in his heart to love someone else. Well, aside from me of course, but anyone who isn't related to us by blood."
"Apparently he's been in love with me after I flowered. Our father's were discussing about a marriage before it even happened and once Dagur got wind of it, he's been trying to win my heart." Ash groaned and pushed her food towards Heather, not even feeling the slightest bit hungry. "He tried wooing me with his annoying flirting, tried kissing once or twice and even went as far as trying to get Hiccup or Fishlegs to convince me to like him."
"When you'd pop into any of our chats, he'd get this dreamy look in his eyes and he'd blushed so hard when he told me of the kiss that happened between you two."
"Oh gods not that! Please don't remind me of that!" Whenever that incident slipped into Ash's head, her face would flush red and it took forever for her to stop blushing. She could have sworn she felt a tiny spark when their lips connected but it was so quick she wasn't even sure if she felt anything.
"Anyways, what do you think Viggo is going to do to us?" Heather asked, changing the subject.
"Probably probe us for information, use us as bait to lure Hiccup and the others out here in exchange for the Dragon Eye." Ash suggested. "I knew nothing good was going to come from that little toy, I just knew it! All it has done was bring nothing but trouble! Sure it gave us information about the new dragons but your brothers and those hunters have been relentlessly striking at us to get it! I honestly doubt your brother could even read the words or even knew that he needed a dragon and a Snow Wraith tooth to get it working in the first place!"
"He has his ways of figuring things out."
"Yeah, by smashing them against other people's skulls or forcing others to figure it out for him when he gives up so easily."
After several hours, nightfall soon came. The two girls were feeling restless and cold, wishing the cage was at least in one of the caves to keep the wind out and wishing they had cloaks. Ash wondered what had happened to their dragons. Was little Val okay? Did they at least place her with Windshear so she could be safe with her mother? Was Storm injured?
Soon Dagur and two hunters came and opened up the cage. Heather pressed herself in a corner while Ash sat next to her with her arms around the younger girl in a protective embrace and glared at the Berserker chief. She noticed that both the men were holding weapons and were smirking at both her and Heather.
"Come to kill us?" Ash snapped as Dagur walked over and yanked her to her feet.
"Viggo wants you moved somewhere else where your friends won't find you." One hunter replied in a smug tone. "And perhaps finish you both off after Ryker gets some info out of either of you."
"He's not gonna get anything out of me." Ash muttered as they were led out of the cage.
As they were being led through the caves, Ash noticed Dagur glancing back at her and Heather every few minutes with a...worried expression?
'I must be loosing it, why would Dagur look at us worried?' Ash thought and shook her head. 'Probably just a trick of the light.'
"This way." Dagur said pointing towards another cave.
"Hey, this doesn't look right." One guard said as they entered the cave. Ash glanced back at Heather who shrugged in confusion. They were just being taken to a cave so why was the guard saying that?
"Aye," his companion agreed, "Viggo said-" CLANG! Both girls jumped in alarm and moved away when the two men fell to the floor and Dagur glared at them before dusting his hands off.
"News flash: I no longer care what Viggo says." He said to the unconscious guards and bent down to pick up one of their weapons, an axe.
Ash felt Heather tense up and she quickly shoved her to be behind her when Dagur walked towards them with the axe lifted.
"Dagur, please don't do this!" Heather begged as Ash pushed her back, attempting to act as a shield.
"Harm one hair on her and I swear I will kill you!" Ash snarled. The axe dropped and she flung her arms up, attempting to use her shackles to block the blade. There was a loud clang and Ash looked at her arms to see the shackles broken. Dagur pushed her aside and did the same to Heather.
"Did he just..." Ash murmured and looked at Heather in surprise.
"I...I think he did." She responded, equally startled and surprised as her friend.
Dagur gave a whistle and three familiar dragons lumbered into the cave. Storm gave a screech and hurried over to Ash as Windshear did the same with Val clutching her back. The little dragon cooed as she crawled off her mother and scuttled to Ash.
"Oh gods I'm so glad you're okay!" Ash gushed as she bent down to pick up the baby dragon and hugged her, taking care not to poke herself with her spikes. Storm growled and rubbed his head along her arm and showed her his wing as if to tell her he was uninjured.
Both girls looked to Dagur and he gave them a small nod before walking to where they had came from earlier. Ash hung Val around Storm's neck and hurried after Dagur as he was leaving the cave. She grabbed his hand and pulled on it to make him stop. He turned back to her, confusion etched on his face. His hand felt warm against hers, unlike the other times he'd grabbed her hand in attempt to hold it or when he tried to touch her cheek.
"Why did you do this?" Ash asked.
"Because you don't betray family...or the people you love and care about." He answered in a soft tone, gently pulling his hand out of hers. "Go, before some guards come. I'll distract them and come up with a lie."
"No, if they find out you released us, they'll kill you!" Ash pointed out.
"Don't worry about me, I'll get out of this." Dagur assured her. He looked like he wanted to say something, but he just shook his head and started to walk off again.
"Dagur, wait!" Ash called. When he stopped and turn around, Dagur felt a spark go through his body when he felt her lips collide with his. They stood there for a bit before Ash pulled away, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. "Please be careful."
"I-I will." Dagur stuttered and felt his own cheeks burning. She just kissed him back...but why? Before he could even ask her, Ash was already running back to the cave where Heather was. He put his fingers to his lips, still trying to process what happened.
'I'll be careful.' Dagur thought as he started to walk to the exit of the cave. 'For Ash and my sister.'
'Why did I do that?' Ash wondered as she laid in bed later that evening. After all the crazy events that happened that night, she wasn't sure if she could even sleep. The hand she used to grab Dagur's was tingling and her lips were as well. Why did she even kiss him? Was it to assure her that there was a spark that flew between them when they first kissed by accident?
'Why am I feeling this way? I never liked him before, but now...something has changed. Am I going mad?'
She listened to the chittering of the wild dragons outside her hut, the sound of Storm's snoring and the sound of Sweet Song and Val growling in their sleep. She wondered if Dagur managed to escape the hunters or was still among them and managed to convince the Grimborns that the guards lost her and Heather.
"Please let him be safe, please, please!" Ash whispered and felt a small tear form in the corner of her eye. "If any of the Viking gods or the old gods of the North or the Seven are listening, please let him be safe. And help me try to understand why I am feeling this way for him."
"This surprise visit isn't going so well." Tyrion commented to Daenerys as they watched Ash attempting to wash Elin. The blue dragon kept moving her neck away from the broom Ash was using to scrub her till she decided to fly off.
"Stupid dragon!" Ash shrieked and flung the broom down in frustration.
"She hasn't said anything to us since she got here, or why she decided to pay a visit. Think something happened at their base?" Daenerys wondered. "Stoick had recieved a Terror letter from Hiccup stating what happened recently."
"It's hard to say, but something is definitely bothering her." Tyrion agreed as Storm picked up the fallen broom and nearly whacked Ash in the back of the head with it and receive a scolding. "Boy problems?"
"I can only know one boy who she'd be having problems with." The dragon queen muttered, the image of Dagur surfacing to her mind. "Let me talk to her."
"As you wish, my queen." The dwarf said with a small bow before walking back to the house.
Dany made her way towards her daughter who was now sitting on the floor with her hand under her chin and staring off into the horizon. She sat down next to her and looked to the horizon as well. The queen could see a pair of dragons, Deadly Nadders, spinning around in the air, screeching and going at each other in some sort of deadly dance that was possibly a mating dance.
"People have a strange way of showing affection or claiming the heart of someone they love." The queen finally spoke up. "Like smashing foreheads together or giving each other very odd gifts."
"I know what you are going to ask mhysa. And my answer is very unclear at the moment." Ash said and looked to her mother. "How did you feel when you fell in love with khal Drogo? I know you terrified of him at first."
"Hard to say, but I was very happy to be the mother of his son when I found out I was pregnant. I saw pride in his eyes when I managed to eat an entire stallion heart and when he found out that I stood up to my cruel brother."
"What about father?"
"I think you know the answer to that. Want to tell me what your 'problem' is with a certain boy who's hair was kissed by fire?"
Ash gave a small groan and flopped back onto the grass. "It's too obvious isn't it?" She asked and her mother nodded. "Well...a few days ago Heather and I were held prisoner by the dragon hunters and Dagur released us. As we were escaping, I went after him, exchanged a few words and then...we...we..."
"Kissed?" Dany finished and Ash nodded. "Let me guess, you felt a spark."
"How did you know?!" Ask asked sitting up and looked at her mother with a bewildered look. "Are you uncle Bran or something?!"
"I'm your mother, I know everything, unlike your father." Daenerys replied and chuckled. "Honestly dear, I will eventually find out when you have your first kiss and when you do the deed for the first time."
"You are sounding like uncle Bran, dad said he could spy on people without them even knowing and he thinks he was watching you two do it." Ash said with a grossed out look, which caused her mother to laugh. "Honestly mother, I don't know how to feel about this! And I don't know why I was feeling so worried about him afterwards when we returned to the base!"
"It's called love little wolf." The dragon queen chuckled when she saw her daughter's pale cheeks darken and rose to her feet. "If you need me, I'll be inside making dinner with your father." Ash waited until her mother was gone so she could lay back on the grass and watch the clouds.
Was this actually love she was feeling for him? There was possibly no other way to describe it honestly. As she laid on her back and watched the birds and dragons fly overhead, Ash couldn't help but wonder if Dagur was alright at the moment. For sure those guards went blabbering to the Grimborns the moment they regained their bearings and he was in danger. She heard a loud thump but didn't bother getting to see who it was, knowing too well Elin had returned.
"I think it's time the hunters received a visit from the Targaryen princess." Ash said sitting up and brushing her fingers through her hair to remove any grass that may have clung to it. Elin cocked her head and gave a curious croon, wondering what her "mother" was talking about.
"So my men had told me on the night the riders attacked us, you disobeyed orders. Is that true, Dagur?" Viggo asked the young Berserker chief as he stood nervously inside his tent.
"That is false sir, the girls put up a fight and managed to escape, injuring the guards in the process." Dagur answered, praying his lie would be seen as the truth. "They probably assumed that I hit them from behind since I ran behind them to go for help."
"I don't believe any of this." Ryker snapped and placed on hand threateningly on the hilt of one of his swords.
"Well the girls are gone, what can you do now?" Dagur asked, knowing full well the two men had nothing to blackmail him into admitting the truth.
"One of them was meant to be sent to a client." Ryker growled and frowned. "Said he's been looking for her for years and now that she's crossed borders into our territory, he wants her dead."
"Ah yes, Ash that was what Heather called her." Viggo said and smirked. "Or should I say, princess Ashaeya Targaryen- Stark of Westeros, heir to Winterfell, sister of dragons, tamer of dragons and firstborn daughter of Daenerys Stormborn and Jon Snow of the house Targaryen?"
"Princess?" Dagur asked in surprise. "I've known the girl and her family for years and they're not royal, that I can assure you."
"You mentioned she had a giant blue dragon that didn't look like any from around here, those dragons have only been seen in Westeros, and according to our sources they were supposed to be extinct." Viggo said, taking a knife he hand on the table and rolled it around in his hands. "Only ones who can ride them were of the house Targaryen, they were apparently the first dragon riders in written history long before we Vikings have."
Dagur mentally slapped himself for mentioning that dragon to the hunters. He'd only see it show up once or twice since he had escaped Outcast island, didn't Ash call it Elin? And speaking of which, if she really was a princess, what was she and her family doing all the way out on Berk?
They heard shouts from outside followed by a loud dragon roar and the sound of something heavy landing a bit outside of the tent. The Grimborns looked at each other before Ryker shoved Dagur out of the tent to see what all the commotion was. Never in his whole life was Dagur ever so grateful to see a dragon, especially this particular one.
It was a huge dark blue dragon twice as long as one of the hunters ships with scales that shimmered like sapphires in the sunlight, ivory teeth as long as Dagur's arm that looked sharp and powerful enough to snap a ship in half and large golden eyes that held an intelligent look on them as it studied them all as if they were nothing but bugs. And seated on its back was Ash, dressed in a short sleeved blue dress with dark leggings and boots with a leather cuff encircling one of her arms and with her hair flowing down her back.
"Viggo Grimborn, we never had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face." She said as her dragon growled at the hunters who were pointing their spears and arrow at the pair. "I would suggest that your men don't fire, their weapons cannot harm my dragon."
"I will, if you surrender yourself to us. There are some people who would gladly like to see you." Viggo suggested.
"See my head mounted on a spear more like it." Ash replied dryly. "Surrender chief Dagur of the Berserker tribe and I won't have my dragon torch your camp."
"Did your leader send you here, princess?"
"Absolutely not, I came here by myself."
"And what do we get in return?" Ryker asked.
"Your lives." Ash answered and her dragon opened her maw slightly to show it glowing, signaling that she was going to release some fire at any moment. "So hand him over and you get to walk away with your skin unburned by dragon fire."
"You might want to do what she says, I had seen her burn some of my men before with a dragon." Dagur whispered, recalling with a shudder the three Berserkers who were roasted by the black and red Monstrous Nightmare Ash had tamed several years ago.
"You're willing to save a traitor?" Viggo asked and Dagur felt Ryker grip his shoulder and hold his sword to his neck. "You know what they say, in Maces and Talons, the traitor always dies."
"Newsflash: I don't play Maces and Talons, I go by the rules of my country in a little game we like to call a game of thrones." Ash said, leaning forward on her dragon as she opened her jaw a little more, the glow in her moth becoming brighter. "And in a game of thrones, you either win or lose, there is no middle ground." And with that, her dragon lunged forward towards them. "Dracarys!"
Dagur felt Ryker pull him back but he jerked away and ran towards the blue dragon as it released a plume of fire at the men who started firing at it. Arrows bounced off the hide as if it was wearing metal armor, the wings lifted up to shield Ash as she held on tightly.
"Grab my hand!" She yelled as she leaned forward and reached out to him. Dagur stretched his hand out and grabbed it and climbed onto the dragons back with her help and seated himself behind Ash. "Hold on!"
The dragon lurched forward, snapping at a few hunters before taking off into the air. Ash heard Dagur release a girlish shriek and felt his arms immediately wrap around her tightly the way he had seen her baby brother Robert would wrap his legs around her when she gave him a piggyback ride. Dagur squeezed his eyes shut and held onto Ash as he felt the wind whipping at his face and felt her hair brush against his cheeks. He was never really used to flying honestly, even when Heather wasn't going as fast or as high as Ash was. He held on and tightly and prayed that he wouldn't fall off.
"You can open your eyes now Dagur." He heard Ash yell over the wind. Dagur slowly opened one eye and immediately wished he hadn't. He clutched Ash more tightly and felt her body shake. "You're acting the way my father did when my mother took him out for a leisure flight on one of my brothers."
"I hate flying up so high." Dagur muttered and tried to avoid getting Ash's hairs in his mouth, a hard thing to do with it whipping around his face as they were flying.
"Well you tried flying with a Skrill, rode Windshear a few times, what's so different about this?" Ash asked, turning her head to look at him.
"That they weren't so high up and that they weren't flying as fast as this crazy reptile!" Dagur snapped and heard the dragon grumble.
"Shhh, easy girl. He's just never rode a Targaryen dragon before." Ash said gently and rubbed a part of her dragons neck before turning back to Dagur and glared at him. "And your welcome for rescuing your sorry ass."
"Of speaking of Targaryen, I'd like to know for how long you kept that a secret."
Ash glared at him again before turning her head forward to look ahead. "Who told you about that?"
"Viggo did, said that you were wanted by someone." Dagur answered. "He said your were a princess of some country I've never heard of."
"Very few Vikings know of my country and we prefer to keep it that way. Now shut up and enjoy the view."
"The only view I am getting is the back of your head."
Dagur didn't know for how long they had been flying or from which direction they had flown, but Ash announced that they needed to stop to let Elin rest for a while. They found an island and the moment they landed, Elin fell forward onto the ground and tossed them both off.
"Did you really have to land on me?" Dagur asked, wincing in pain as he tried untangling himself from Ash.
"And here I thought you enjoyed being this close to me." Ash snickered as she climbed off him and dusted off her dress. "Well at least none of us broke any bones in the fall."
"Yeah but one of us got hit where it hurts the most." Dagur groaned and winced in pain. "What are the boots made of anyways?"
"Leather, belonged to my mother." Ash replied and bent down to help him up. "Hard to believe I fit my mother's old clothes."
Dagur sat up with a grunt, trying to ignore the throbbing pain where Ash had accidentally kicked and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Listen, about what happened back there....you didn't have to do it. I had it all-"
"Under control? Oh sure, Ryker had his sword at your neck, that's definitely under control." Ash retorted and rolled her eyes. "And yes I did have to do that, otherwise the guilt would kill me. Plus I had a feeling you weren't going to live to see another day after that stunt you pulled. You should have discarded the guards before you left me and Heather."
Dagur muttered something to himself as Ash walked over to see how Elin was doing. The poor thing was panting and whining and laying on the ground with her wings spread out like an injured bird. Dagur could see a few arrows stuck to her hide that didn't look too deep, but he began to worry about what the dragon root would do to her. He'd seen how wild it made the other dragons, but what would it do to a dragon like this?
"It's okay girl, you need some rest from all that flying." Ash crooned as she carefully pried the arrows out of her dragon's hide. Elin let out a little wimper as all the arrows, just five, were pulled out and inched her way towards the river that was close and dipped her snout into it.
"Will she be alright?" Dagur asked and Ash nodded.
"She doesn't seem to be affected by dragon root, once when you left a crate of it in the arena she tried to eat it but it must have tasted nasty so she burned a small part of it in disgust." Ash answered and stroked the dragon's snout as she sloppily lapped up water. "She's just tired from flying so fast."
"Then we ought to find shelter for the night."
"I think I saw a cave nearby before Elin flung us off. I think she can fit inside of it.
They managed to find the cave and much to their relief, Elin was able to fit inside it. The dragon curled up in a corner, wrapping her tail around her feet before letting Ash remove her saddle.
"She's gotten bigger since the last time I saw her." Dagur noted when Ash pulled out some dried yak jerky from the bags attached to the saddle.
"Her species can grow bigger than a Red Death, just as long as she has freedom to fly and hunt and isn't kept tied up in a cave or cage." Ash replied and bit into the jerky. "Females tend to grow bigger than the males and are more aggressive as well."
"She doesn't seem that aggressive." Dagur pointed out as Elin licked a spot between her talons.
"She's been around good dragons, but there are times when she acts like a bitch." At that word, Elin lifted her head and growled at Ash before snorting a small cloud of smoke in her direction and laying her head back down. "There, see?"
"I see your point." Dagur murmured. "So...does this mean I have to refer to you as princess or your grace? Or do I call you your majes-"
Dague was immediately cut off by Ash who yanked him towards her by his armor and felt her lips smash against his. He could feel that warm and electrifying feeling coursing through his body and started to slowly kiss her back.
"Just shut up and quit asking questions." Ash said sternly when she pulled away. Dagur just nodded nervously, still a bit dazed by the kiss. "Now, I'm going to leave you here, Berk or the Edge is not safe for you. I'll bring supplies whenever I can but you have to stay out of sight, got it?"
"Yes..." Dagur said and made a face. "Wait, how come I gotta stay here?"
"Because someone might kill you, possibly Astrid or one of my brothers or my father." Ash replied. "I'm leaving the first thing tomorrow morning, so get some rest."
"Ah, they're back." Jon heard his wife murmur as a familiar dragon roar pierced the silence of the quiet afternoon. He got up from his seat and looked out the open window to see his daughter dismounting her dragon. The three of her other dragons scurried over to her as she was removing the saddle from Elin.
"Finally," Jon heard Tyrion sigh in relief.
They waited until Ash came in through the door, her blue dress that once belonged to her mother stained with mud with her hair in a very messy braid. Mud stained most of her bare arms and her face as well and Jon caught the sight of a bit of blood on the side of her head. Didn't look to serious but that didn't mean he shouldn't send his daughter to Gothi just in case.
"Where have you been?" Daenerys asked Ash as she walked over to the wash bin they used to do the dishes in and began scrubbing at her arms.
"Out saving someone from the Grimborns, Elin got injured and very tired so we stayed at an island to rest." Ash responded as she continued to wash her arms. "I dropped off the person I saved at a trader post so he could find some help."
"You know Ash, I think it's high time you stopped these crazy adventures." Jon stated as his daughter started to clean her face. "I understand that you want to help the younger riders, but you do realize that you have been neglecting some other things."
"Like what?" Ash asked as she took a towel that Robert handed her to dry her face. "It better not be about an arranged marriage, women in our family had bad luck with it."
"No, we know you'd definitely run off the moment we did that." Tyrion chuckled. "Unless you were willing to marry a certain boy with-"
"Shush." Ash said throwing the towel at her uncle to cut him off and glanced at her father. "Not with him in the room."
Ash saw her father's face darken and narrowed his dark eyes. "And who would that be?" He asked in an icy tone.
"No one." Was Ash's response before she grabbed a bowl with a spoon and walked over to the fire pit to get herself some stew that her mother and uncle made.
"Ashaeya Lyanna Targaryen Stark, you better tell me the truth."
"I am. And you know how I hate staying here on Berk for so long, I feel cooped up! Why else did I join my friends to travel to new islands and seek adventures and new dragons with a few new enemies?"
"I think what father is saying, is that he at least wants to to be safe until it is time to return home." Rhaella said and looked to her mother. "Right mhysa?"
"Exactly, we just want you safe." Daenerys replied with a nod and looked to her older daughter.
"You grew up under dangerous circumstances, everyone tried hard to keep you safe." Ash pointed out. "In case anyone hasn't noticed, this isn't Westeros or Essos or Braavos, this is Viking territory."
"Why do I have the nagging suspicion that the person you went to save from the hunters is a certain red haired boy who nearly kissed you the last time here was here on Berk when he wasn't an enemy?" Jon muttered as he sat back down in his chair. Ash glared at him before tossing her empty bowl and spoon onto the table and marched to the door.
"I'm heading back tot he Edge, I just remembered something I had to do over there." She said before slamming the door shut behind her.
"Dear, I think you's have to consider the fact that perhaps Dagur may not be a bad man anymore." Daenerys said to her husband as they heard their daughter and her dragons leave. "And she does have a point, the world will be dangerous no matter where we go."
"I know, but I don't want our daughter falling into the hands of a mad man!" Jon groaned.
"People as bad as him are capable of change, look at Alvin." Daenerys pointed out. "Ash told me that Dagur saved her and Heather from the hunters, so she must have repayed the debt by going back and saving him from execution."
"And most likely the reason why she didn't bring him here was because of you." Tyrion added. "Next time your daughter returns to Berk, talk to her about it."
"I...I'll try." Jon said quietly.
"You know, if those two bond you'll have a son-in-law to tease." Tyrion said loudly and the children giggled.
"N-no, no I am not letting them-"
"Jon, it might not happen." Dany interrupted. "You know how young men could be sometimes, this feeling between them might pass."
"And if it doesn't?" Jon asked. "He was in love with her ever since she was twelve, it increased after she had the moonblood and when he was seventeen he wanted to marry her. Johann said our names, mine and hers, were tattooed on his arm as a revenge list. How can you expect me to trust him with my daughter after all that destructive behavior?"
"People change Jon, remember Sandor? Used to 'never give a fuck about anything or anyone', now he's married to Sansa and the father to two beautiful girls." Tyrion pointed out. "And then my brother Jamie, now he's free from Cersi and the only woman he's ever loyal to is Brienne."
"He has a point dear, Dagur may have changed and that is why Ash risked her life for them." Dany said nodding in agreement. "I know that as a father you want to protect your children, keep them all bundled up and safe, but sometimes we need to let them go and allow them to do what they believe is right."
"Fine, but if he ever comes around asking to marry her, he's going to have to prove it to me."
Chapter 15: Shattered
"Ash? I need a little help." Ash looked up from her letter to see Hiccup standing in the doorway of her hut on one foot, his peg leg in his hands all broken and bent, like his last one when Snotlout accidentally sat on it.
"What happened? And where's Toothless?" Ash asked, setting her charcoal pen down and hurrying over to Hiccup to help inside.
"In the woods, got a Gronckle to fly me back here." Hiccup explained, gesturing to the green Gronckle outside the hut who was snorting and panting. When it's eyes landed on her, it gave an excited noise that sounded like a horse and a pig and tackled Ash and Hiccup to the floor.
"Shattermaster off!" Hiccup yelled. Storm, who was asleep on his bed nip, awoke to all the commotion and screeched at the Gronckle before releasing a small bolt of lightning at the dragon's foot.
"Storm!" Ash scolded as the frightened dragon gave a yelp and leapt off of them and hid behind Ash. "Bad Skrill! Put that out before we get a fire!"
Storm snorted in annoyance before stomping his foot where the wood was starting to smoke until it elwent out. He gave the Gronckle one more annoyed look before stalking out of the hut to sleep somewhere else.
"Now, do you want me to act as a cane and get you to your forge?" Ash asked as she got off the floor and helped Hiccup up.
"Yeah, I need someone to get my tools so I can repair this or get a spare." Hiccup replied with a small nod.
"Don't you have any spares?"
"Nope, this is the last spare. Been meaning to fix the other ones but..."
"You've been too busy, I know. I'll help, but I'm going to the woods afterwards to check on the Triple Stryke."
"No no, it's fine! He's perfectly fine!" Hiccup exclaimed quickly. "I check on him this morning and he's already claimed a part of the island to be his territory."
"Well I was hoping to work with him, see if we can possibly train him or look for any untreated injuries." Ash replied, confused about her friend's strange actions.
"Sleuther is perfectly fine, I promise." Hiccup assured her and gave her a nervous smile.
"Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, your nose is twitching and you're stuttering. Two very sure signs that you are lying." Ash said with a frown.
"Am not!" Hiccup protested until he saw the look Ash was giving him, the same one her mother gave when she caught them misbehaving. "Uh...oh gods how do I explain this in a way where you won't blow up..."
"I have plenty of time Hiccup." Ash said, setting Hiccup on her desk and folded her arms over her chest. "Speak."
"Dagur is in the woods...and he asked me to help him train a dragon to find-"
"He's what?!" Ash shrieked, causing Hiccup to flinch at her raised tone. "That idiot! I told him to stay there! Ugh I am going to kill him!"
"What?" Hiccup asked in alarm as she stormed out of her hut. "Ash! Ash wait- oof!!" In his haste, Hiccup had completely forgotten that he was missing a leg and had faceplanted onto the hard wood. "Oh great..."
"Tell us where Hiccup is and things will go a lot easier for you!" Astrid threatened as they were dragging Dagur back to the base.
"I told you, here's right here getting a spare!" Dagur protested.
"Sure he is, I've had enough of these lies!" Tuffnut said and glared at the Berserker. "Either you start singing like a canary, or we will!"
Before Dagur could respond, both twins launched into a very noisy song full screeching and making everyone wince and cover their ears. They stopped when they heard the loud thud of a dragon landing and turned to see Ash jumping off Sweet Song and storming over to them.
"Ash get this guy to talk! He refuses to tell is where Hiccup is!"
"I'm telling the truth!" Dagur snapped and lowered his head to the ground when she approached. "Look I'm sorry for leaving the island, I know you told me to stay put and go nowhere near the Edge but-"
"Sorry?! Sorry?!" Ash yelled angrily, yanking Dagur to his feet by the straps of his armor. "IF SORRY WAS ENOUGH THERE WOULDN'T BE NEED FOR HELL!"
"What's going on here?"
"Hiccup!" Fishlegs exclaimed as the said Viking was walking towards them. Astrid shoved Dagur aside and marched right over to Hiccup.
"What's going on here? Dagur says your buddies now and you were training him to ride a dragon?" She asked and poked him in the chest with each statement.
Hiccup gave a nervous laugh and pushed her finger away. "Funny, uh that's a really interesting story I have to tell you all about."
"...and when I turned around he was gone, just like that." Hiccup said as he finished his tale. "And Ash mentioned something about him staying there."
Everyone looked over at Ash who was seated on a stool and glaring at Dagur the entire time.
"I went to go save this idiot's ass a few days after Heather and I escaped with his help and I told him to stay on the island because I knew it I took him to Berk or the Edge, either you lot or my father would murder him on the spot." Ash explained and glared at Dagur. "Everything I say really does tend to go in one ear and out the other with you."
"I had no choice! The hunters attacked the island and I had to leave!" Dagur argued. "So I figured I should go looking for Heather, it's why I'm here and asking Hiccup to help me train Shattermaster."
"Wait, the green dragon Hiccup brought to my hut to ask me for help?" Ash asked, the image of the excited dragon surfacing to her mind.
"Yep! That's him!" Dagur said with a grin and Ash groaned.
"I need to check on my dragons." She muttered before walking outside. Ash heard someone follow her out, but she didn't need to turn around to see who it was. "I'm still mad at you for disobeying me by coming here." She announced loudly and heard Dagur groan behind her.
"Ash, I didn't have a choice. Plus Heather-"
"Heather is probably very mad at you, she might split you in two the moment she sees you!" Ash snapped and turned around to face him.
"But if I could show her I really have been trying to change, maybe she'll accept me!" Dagur retorted and looked at her sadly. "I really wanted to start a new life the moment you left me on that island. I've been working on keeping my temper, trying to respond to things in a non-violent way, I've really tried Ash."
Ash let out a sigh and shook her head. "Your sister won't be convinced, but Hiccup is already convinced and I am as well. The others however, need convincing. At least try not to annoy Astrid the way Gustav or Snotlout have."
"Snotlip is the one with the flaming dragon, right?" Dagur asked and received a nod from Dagur. "He was....also the second rider I met when you guys did that thing on Dragon Island."
"He said you called him Snothat, and his name is Snotlout."
"I've heard worse names than that."
Ash snorted and shoved him to the direction of the clubhouse.
"Go and try to make peace with them, just try." She said before hurrying off.
"His training wasn't so bad today, he's a really fast learner." Hiccup told Ash during dinner as Dagur was laughing and being entertained by the twins.
"I've been watching, I'm surprised that he's managed not to fall off the whole time. None of you were able to do tricks like that when you were all starting out after a week of riding." Ash replied and cast Dagur a proud smile. She saw Dagur look at her and smile back.
"Hey Ash, come tell Dagur about that incident of Elin when she was hoarding!" Ruffnut called and waved her over.
"Elin had a hoarding problem?" Dagur laughed as Ash came over and sat down next to him. "What was she hoarding?"
"Yeah, when she was a baby she used to steal anything shiny that was lying around. Like runes or a forgotten knife and at point she managed to get ahold of Daenerys' ring." Tuffnut replied. "Once she snatched Snotlout's helmet off and he didn't notice it was gone until dinner."
"And that time you sent Smothering Smokebreaths at us, a lot of people suspected her." Ash added. "When she got older she started stealing sheep, yaks and boars and hid them in a cave. Never ate them, but it turns out she was upset that I hardly spent time with her so she just plucked whatever seemed cuddly and snuggled it. Of course after we returned the animals to their respective owners, she'd go into their pens and cuddle the ones that actually like her."
"She really is a big softie." Dagur chuckled.
"Before I what?" Ash and the twins froze when the heard Heather and turned to see her standing in the doorway of the clubhouse with Snotlout. Her eyes widened when she saw her brother and then narrowed dangerously. "You!"
Dagur, not noticing his sister's anger, stood up with a happy expression. "Sister!"
With a loud war cry, Heather unsheathed her axe and charged at her brother.
"Heather no!" Hiccup yelled. Dagur saw the axe and tend braced himself for impact, only to see the blade inches from his face.
"I guess that a hug is out of the question?" He asked. Heather gave a yell and her fist hit him right in the face.
"Heather!" Ash shrieked as Dagur stumbled back, covering his bleeding nose.
"Oh! Oooh that hurt as most as bad when Ash punched me in the face!" Dagur groaned as he plugged his nose in hopes of stopping the bleeding. Ash glared at her friend before removing Dagur's hand to see how much damage was done.
"Mind explaining why he's here?" Heather asked the other riders and glared at each of them.
"Uh...well....it's a long story." Hiccup admitted.
"Hiccup Haddock I cannot believe you've been keeping my Heather from me!" Dagur scolded Hiccup and rubbed his sore nose and chin. "I was so worried! Was she hurt, was she okay?"
"Oh please, like you care!" Heather snapped and looked to Ash and Hiccup. "And how could you two be helping my mortal enemy?"
"He's your brother Heather, why can't you just let it go and consider the fact that he's sorry for what he did to you as a child?" Ash asked.
"You'd feel the same way if one of your older brothers was human and did what he did to me!" Heather snapped.
"Drogon, Rheagal and Viserion would never do that to me! I never even got a chance to ever meet then, they died before I was born!" Ash retorted and felt her heart ache. It always hurt just thinking about the three dragons who lost their lives protecting their mother, their step-father and the baby sister they'll never see until the Stranger came for her. "I trust him, Hiccup trusts him!"
"I don't care! Don't you think it's suspicious that he appears the day before our attack?" Heather asked.
"To be fair, that's what I was thinking." Astrid imputed.
"Most, if not all, those are true. But I really am trying to change sister." Dagur said and looked at his sister sadly. "Please, believe me when I say that I am sorry sister."
"Don't you ever call me that, traitor!" Heather spat and shoved her axe under his chin. Ash shoved Dagur behind her and shoved the axe down while she glared at her friend, as if daring her to step forward and attempt to strike her brother down.
"I'm not a spy, I don't know how I can prove it. But you'll all have to take my word for it." Dagur said as he pulled Ash back and looked to the other dragon riders, expecting at least one to step forward and claim they believed him. He knew Ash believed him, but what of the others? When none stepped forward, he let out a defeated sigh.
"Yeah, I don't think I'd take it either if I were you." He mumbled, not even bothering to hide his disappointment. "Well, thank you all for the hospitality, but Shattermaster and I will be leaving now. Good day." He added before heading to the door.
"Dagur, wait!" Hiccup called.
"I said good day!" Dagur yelled and wiped at the tears that were starting to fall.
Ash gave her friends a disappointed look before rushing out of the clubhouse to follow Dagur. She managed to catch up with him and grabbed his hand.
"Dagur, please don't go." She begged.
"No, I have to go. It's obvious that I'm not wanted here." Dagur said and looked at her sadly. "I was waiting for someone else other than you to say they believed me, but they all just remained silent."
"It's just hard for them, they've endured too much cruelty from you. But even I can't excuse their actions after they tried being nice to you until Heather showed up."
"I don't blame them. You better head back now."
"No, I'll go with you. I'll escort you back to Berserker island and stay until you are back on your feet."
"You sure you want to do that? For me?"
Ash smiled softly and threw her arms arms round him. She heard Dagur give out a small sigh before hugging her back and felt a smile form on her lips.
"I'll go get my dragons ready, I'll meet you by the stables." She said when they broke the hug.
Ash hurried off towards the stables where her dragons were waiting. Sweet Song gave a yawn as her rider opened the door to the stable where she was curled up with Stormfly. The Nadder looked up with tired eyes to see who woke her up before relaxing when she saw it was just Ash.
"Come on, we're leaving sleepyhead." Ash whispered as she picked up the tired Deathsong from the soft hay and shut the door behind here. "Where's Val?"
Sweet Song gave a yawn and nodded at Windshear's stable. Ash walked over to it to see Val curled up on her mother's back as Windshear was gorging herself on a basket of sea slugs. She looked up when she heard Ash approach and leaned her head back to pluck Val from her back. The baby Razorwhip gave a small squeak of protest before relaxing when she was placed in Ash's arms.
"Shhh, it's okay." Ash whispered ash she transferred the baby dragon to her shoulder where she tucked herself under her hair and wrapped her tail around Ash's waist. "We're just gonna go get Storm and Elin and head out for a few days. "You'll see your other again soon."
Once she got Storm's saddle, Ash hurried right to her hut where her Skrill was fast asleep. After a few minutes of trying to wake him up as quietly as possible, Storm was wide awake, a bit cranky with his saddle on his back and ready to go. Ash was just finishing packing up some clothes when she heard someone knocking on the door of her hut.
"Who is it?" She called as she tucked away her last shirt into a saddlebag.
"It's Snotlout! We just locked your boyfriend up!" She heard Snotlout yell from the other side of the door.
"What?!" Ash exclaimed and ran over to throw the door open. "Why did you guys do that? He was going to leave!"
"Hiccup and Astrid found him looking at the battle plans of the shipyard, they couldn't risk him going to Viggo to warn him if he really was a spy." Snotlout replied and looked over at Storm. "And by the looks of it, they probably shouldn't have because you were planning to leave as well."
"Where is he?" Ash asked, ignoring his last statement.
"Stables, only place where we could lock him up. I did tell Hiccup we should build a jailhouse to keep enemies in. Maybe have a few scary dragons patrolling it for extra security.
Ash was already hurrying out of her hut the moment Snotlout told her where Dagur was. Luckily, no one but Chicken and the other dragons were inside the stable. She found Dagur in Shattermaster's stable, sleeping peacefully against his dragon's side as the dragon happily munched away at some rocks.
"Dagur, wake up!" Ash called. Shattermaster stopped eating and made a loud noise that woke Dagur up with a start.
"I didn't do it mom!" He yelled and looked around wildly. His eyes landed on Ash and he gave a sigh before using his dragon to get to his feet. "So, you heard what happened?"
"Yeah, I can't believe they did this!" Ash exclaimed and looked down at Chicken, who was quietly glaring at Sweet Song. "And they left Chicken to guard you?"
"Yeah, that was awkward." Dagur admitted as Sweet Song crawled down from Ash's shoulder and dropped to the floor to growl at the bird. "It's not gonna look good for you if they catch you here."
"I'm not going to leave you in here to rot! You said it was a suicide mission!"
"I know, I told Hiccup but everyone is still wary that I might turn on them. I don't want you guys to go get yourselves killed, and it's really gonna hurt me if you, Heather or Hiccup died."
Ash reached through the stable door to grasp Dagur's hand and rested her head against the door. "I am not too sure about this mission either, but Viggo doesn't know that we know about the shipyard."
"I'm telling you, it's a trap! By the time any of you realize it, it'll be too late!" Dagur pointed out as he gripped her hands with his bound ones and looked at her in the eyes. "Promise me you'll be safe."
"I'll try to, I'll really try." Ash promised him and felt her eyes water. "I can't promise you that I'll make it out alive, but I will do my best."
Ash gave out a sob as she ran out of the clubhouse as the sky overhead darkened. Perfect weather to match her mood. She could hardly believe what had happened earlier that day, the memory still fresh in her mind.
"You idiot, why?" She sobbed as she stopped at her hut and leaned against it. She could hear the rumbling overhead getting louder, but she didn't care. "Why did you do that?"
Earlier Dagur had escaped the prison and flew out towards the shipyard. Everyone thought he went to warn Viggo, but instead managed to take out almost the entire fleet with just Shattermaster. By the time they got close, Dagur had flown into a blanket of smoke and never emerged. It took all of the gang and Heather to hold Ash and Storm back to keep them from charging in and killing themselves.
Ash heard another crack of thunder and felt the cool drops of water hit the top of her head. She fell to her knees as the rain began to pour down harder, her hair and clothes starting to get soaked. But at the moment, she didn't even care.
'Was this how my parents felt when their lovers died?' Ash wondered. 'I can't even even give him a proper funeral!'
She heard a small croon and looked up to see her dragon looking down at her, her beautiful golden eyes looking sad and dull. Ash reached forward and hugged Elin's snout as tightly as she could. Despite the cold, Ash felt warm hugging her dragon, a feeling that disappeared when she realized that Dagur would never come back.
"It hurts so much Elin, I don't know why!" Ash cried as she buried her face against the tip of Elin's nose. The blue dragon crooned softly and lifted a giant wing up in attempt to keep her rider dry.
Ash continued to sob as the rain came down, ignoring the cries of her friends until she felt the twins and Heather help her off the floor and lead her back to her hut. She allowed them to remove her soaked clothes and change into something dry before she threw herself onto her bed and wrapped herself in her blankets. She felt her three friends crawl or sit down on the bed and hug her tightly; Heather sitting near her feet while the twins enveloped her in a tight hug.
Meanwhile, Val was curled up near her mother while Storm curled himself on Meatlug for comfort while Sweet Song was snuggled next to Barf and Belch. Elin remained outside of the stables, but she wished she was still small enough to go in and curl around all the other dragons. It pained her to see her mother in so much pain after she witnessed the death of the one human she never expected herself to fall in love with. It wasn't fair that the hunters were still alive and the poor boy and his dragon were possibly dead. Elin looked up to the stormy sky as she watched lighting pierce the clouds. She tilted her head back and gave a loud roar, letting the whole world know of the pain the dragon princess felt.
'Let those hunters hear my cries, let them know that the dragon princess will strike back at them with vengeance.' Elin thought to herself as she released another roar. She could hear the other dragons in the stables and the ones scattered along the islands taking up her cry. 'Let them know that she will want fire and blood in revenge for the death of a man who changed not only for her, but for his sister and himself.
Chapter 16: Bonus Chapter: The Hoarding Habbit
Daenerys finds her favorite ring missing and is left surprised when she finds out who actually stole it
Set before the events of Defenders of Berk
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Jon have you seen my ring?” Dany asked her husband as he walked into their bedroom.
“Which one?” He asked looking at the small wooden box that sat on their dresser, containing most of his wife's jewelry.
“The silver dragon shaped one with the smooth stone set in the middle.” Daenerys replied. “You know, my engagement ring from you.”
“Perhaps one of our daughters had borrowed it and forgot to put it back.” Jon suggested, knowing how much his children liked admiring their mother's dragon shaped and styled jewelry.
“Perhaps so, but I asked Lyanna and she claimed that she hadn't seen it at all and Ashaya says she thought she saw one of the triplets playing with it.” Dany replied. “Robert says he didn't go near the room and Rhealla said she did take it out but put it back.”
Jon walked over to the wooden box, opened it and began taking out the contents. There really wasn't that much in there, just a brooch shaped like a dragon head that Stoick had given to Dany on their first Snoggletog on Berk, a necklace of dragon teeth Jon had collected from raids that fell out of the dragons mouths, another necklace but with a small coin that had a dragon etched into it, but no ring.
“Do you think someone stole it?” He asked his wife, who shook her head.
“Pyro and Ameon were in the stable, if someone attempted to get in they'd be pinned under the dragons. And no one here knows of my ring.”
“You mean pinned under one and or being devoured by the other.” Jon corrected her, in which Dany gave him a stern glare.
As Jon was thinking how the ring could have gone missing, he heard a loud yell and an angry screech from downstairs.
“SEVEN BLOODY HELLS ELIN! YOU GIVE THAT BACK TO MY MOTHER RIGHT NOW!” He heard Ashaeya yell angrily. There was a loud crash, a curse, another angry screech and the thudding of someone running up the stairs of the house.
“What happened now?” Dany asked walking to the door. As soon as her hand touched the knob, it swung open to reveal Ash holding a struggling Elin under one arm and holding a small sack in her other hand and trying to keep it out of reach of the small dragon’s jaws. Her upper arms were covered in tiny scratches and there was what looked like a bite mark on her hand as well.
“I found a loose floorboard near the kitchen and you wouldn't believe what I've found.” Ash said handing her mother the sack and tossed her dragon onto her parents bed. The little blue dragon hissed at Ash angrily and started puffing out black smoke from her nostrils in anger. Jon took the sack from his wife dumped the contents of the sack onto the bed to find ten runes, a rusty knife, a spoon, a few brand new nails and Daenerys’ ring.
“How did she even get it?” Jon asked as his wife slipped the ring onto her finger.
Ash just gave a shrug. “Beats me, but I think mum either dropped it or this little blue demon saw the box opened and decided to snatch it.” Elin hissed at the teen and crawled over to her pile of what remained of her ‘treasure’, sat on top of it and gave the three of them a growl.
“Do Westreros dragons hoard shiny things?” Jon asked Daenerys.
“Not that I remember.” The queen answered. “Mine never did that.”
“Well that one certainly does, but most of it is rusty.” Ash pointed out and reached towards Elin to pluck her off the bed but the little dragon snapped at her fingers. “Seven hells that stupid Monstrous Nightmare has been a bad influence on you, and I mean Hookfang not Pyro.”
“Well let us try to keep the bad valuables away from her, and let her keep at least one of them.” Her mother suggested, reached forward and gently plucking up the small dragon. Surprisingly Elin didn't try to snap at her hand, and instead began to softly purr. “The knife can go, we don’t want her cutting herself with a rusted knife and we all know how dangerous that could be.”
“I’ll clean it and give it to one of the boys.” Jon replied plucking the knife and the nails from the pile. Elin gave a squeal of protest but Dany gave her a stern look before the dragon went silent. “And I’ll put the nails away, we’ll need them to fix the roof of the stable.”
“And what of the runes?” Ash asked scooping the coins up. "Hey I think dad dad had these and they went missing the other day!"
“Split them among your siblings, I don’t think Elin will be going around the village with those to buy bread.” Dany suggested. Ash counted out seven coins and dropped three of them back onto the bed.
“She keeps the spoon and the three remaining coins.” Ash said stretching her arm out to Elin. The small dragon flicked her tongue at her but reluctantly clambered out of Dany’s arms and latched into the leather arm glove before scurrying up to sit on Ash’s shoulder.
“Oh come on, it’s not like we took everything.” Ash pointed out to Elin as she exited her parents room with the remainder of Elin’s treasures. “You get to keep three runes and a spoon, my parents would not have you accidentally poking yourself with that knife or those nails.”
Elin glanced down at the spoon and the three runes that Ash kept in her hand and leaned down to take the spoon in her mouth and clamped down on it. Ash gave a small laugh at the odd sight of the spoon’s handle sticking out to the side of the little dragon’s jaws.
“ Oh ao dōna byka zaldrīzes.” Ash said scratching the dragon under the chin, earning a soft and pleased purr from her. “I pray that this silly hoarding habit will go away or at least not get you into trouble.”
I had this little one shot written out a while back, thanks to a Tumblr screenshot about how small dragons would try hoarding small things like coins and I thought "hey why not write about Elin having a hoard of her own!". Kind of like Toothless in the HTTYD books, Elin finds only useless things, which is a bit comical
Also I forgot what I had Ash say in her mom's mother tongue but I think it has something to do with "oh my little dragon"
Chapter 17: Wolves
"I need to take my mind off all this…” Ash groaned and looked up from her plate of eggs to look at her friends. “Any suggestions?”
“Maybe a little meditation in my garden?” Fishlegs suggested. “You'll feel relaxed in no time! Oh and I can even show you some breathing exercises that can-”
“Or you can spar with me in the arena.” Snotlout interrupted. “Like you promised last week, remember? You were going to show me those...water dancer moves or something?”
“Or you can just groom Chicken, that relaxes me.” Tuffnut suggested, holding out his clucking pet to her. “Or you can just brush and braid Ruffnut's hair and get some stuff off your mind that's been bugging you.”
“I can agree with Snotlout on doing some training to blow off steam, maybe a little axe training with me and Astrid?” Heather asked and Sassa shook her head. “Or...not. Does this have something to do with my brother?”
“Yeah it has something to do with him.” Ruffnut said with a nod.
“This has nothing to do with Dagur, it's about something else.” Ash replied and rubbed her forehead. “I think I have a headache coming on.”
“Go for a flight, that always makes us all feel better.” Hiccup quickly suggested. “Don't worry, we can handle ourselves.”
“Yeah we don't need adult supervision.” Snotlout added jokingly.
Ash gave them a small smile before walking out of the clubhouse and towards the stables. The dragons all cooed or roared good morning to her as she entered, walking to each cage to stroke the dragon's snout and check if they had food and water. She soon reached the pen Sweetsong shared with Storm, finding the younger dragon curled up on a pile of blankets while Storm hung upside-down from the rafters.
“Well good morning my lovelies.” Ash crooned as the two dragons stirred. Storm opened one eye, gave a big yawn before opening his other eye and slipped down to the floor soundlessly. Sweetsong gave a little chirp as she stretched herself out like a cat before padding over to Ash's outstretched hand to nuzzle it. “Wanna go out for a flight Storm?”
Storm nodded softly as his rider opened the pen to let him out, darting to the hooks where they kept the saddles and pulled his off to bring it over to Ash. After making sure Sweetsong had some fish in her buckets before the two we're on their way, soaring through the skies.
After what felt like a few hours of practicing battle flight patterns, testing Storm's speed (not as fun as it was with Toothless or Stormfly), and just flying aimlessly, Ash spotted an island ahead.
“Let's land there to rest, it looks uninhabited.” Ash suggested. The duo landed on the beach to rest and Ash let herself fall onto the soft sand.
So much had been on her mind since Dagur's death and it had been driving her mad. They were getting close to defeating the hunters, but every time they seemed to be getting close Viggo always stepped out of the way to let them fall into failure. And then...then there was that one thing she dreaded in secret.
“Why did I have to be born a princess…” Ash muttered to herself as Storm stood over her body to keep her from getting burned (not really a problem since she was resistant to getting a sunburn). “I have to deal with figuring out how to overthrow someone who managed to kill two dragons bigger than Elin, and then I'm dealing with these stupid hunters! Everyone is expecting me to know how to deal with these two things at once and I don't even have a clue on how to defeat them!” Storm gave a comforting crooning before he bent his head down to nuzzle his rider's cheek, to which Ash raised her hand to scratched the side of his neck.
Suddenly, a loud howl pierced the air, causing both the human and dragon to raise their heads in alarm.
“I didn't know there were wolves on this island.” Ash muttered to herself. She remembered there being one wolf on the Edge that attacked Tuffnut, but they never saw or heard from it again- which led them all to think Elin possibly ate it.
Storm growled when the howl sounded again, draping one wing over his rider protectively as he glared at the direction in which the howl came from.
With a frown, Ash got up from the floor to push his wing aside. That last howl sounded like the wolf was in pain. “Storm stay here.” She ordered and began to walk up to where the tree line was. Storm growled in protest, but it was cut short when Ash gave him a look before walking in the direction she guessed the howl came from.
As she walked further into the woods, taking care not to make so much noise, Ash checked for any sort of fresh prints and listened for another howl that could lead her to the possibly injured animal.
‘Why am I doing this again?’ Ash wondered to herself as she got up from the floor, feeling slightly annoyed and concerned with herself. ‘I know wolves are a symbolic animal of my father's house, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't go looking for one that's possibly injured and more likely to bite my hand off!’
At that last thought, Ash kicked a small stone that was in front of her with a frustrated groan. She was about to turn back when she heard a little bark. She turned around and gasped when she saw a tiny white wolf pup with a patch of brown over one standing a few feet from her, it's little tail wagging as it watched her in curiosity.
“Where did you come from?” Ash murmured to herself as she held still. The pup gave another bark and walked towards her, sniffing her boots and the hem of her dress. Bending down, Ash carefully held her hand out to the little pup and gave a surprised giggle when she felt it lick her fingers. “Where's your mama little one?”
“There ye are you little mongrel!” The wolf pup gave a startled yelp and ducked behind Ash as a large dark haired man the size of Gobber stepped out from the trees with a bloody axe in one hand. His beady eyes squinted at Ash, looking at her up and down before giving her a grin that made her spine tingle- and not in a very good way of course. “Well we'll, guess it's me lucky day! A whole litter of wolf pups and two bitches, one for skinning and another for fucking!”
“As if I'd let you touch me!” Ash scoffed. “Or this pup, what's it done to you for you to slaughter his whole family?”
“Winter is coming, folks need some nice thick furs. And some rich ones in the mainland pay a hefty price just for a nice wolf skin to wear or have as a rug on their floor.” The man replied and gave her another lewd grin. “And after weeks of hunting I could use a lady to-”
“I'm going to stop you right there and say no.” Ash said quickly and bent down to scoop the wolf pup into her arms. “And you're not taking this little one, not if I can help it.”
“Ha you stupid Viking women always think you're equal to a man, but you're nothing! All we men need you for is a good fucking and to pop us babies while keeping our homes clean!” The man scoffed as he took a step closer to Ash, causing her to move back quickly.
“One more step and you're a dead man!” Ash snarled as she whipped her sword out and the pup snarled as if to emphasize her point. “You are going to turn around and walk away if you value your life, you don't know who you're messing with. And you don't want to mess with me.”
“Oh and what makes you think that?” The man taunted. “Ye think that just because you have a big sharp sword you can scare me?”
“Well I know how to use it correctly, and I know various places to stick it to make you bleed out quickly.” Ash retorted, twirling the blade in her hand. “Oh and did I mention the dragon? A very large and angry dragon that can rip you to shreds if he got his talons on you.”
“What?” The man asked, going a bit pale.
“Oh and he's right behind you, say hi Storm!” Ash replied in a cheerful tone.
The man turned to find a large grey and blue Skrill towering behind him, it's yellow eyes narrowed in anger as it opened its mouth to release an ear splitting screech. The man have a yelp as he stumbled back and fell to the floor with a loud thud and dropped his axe in haste.
“Now you see, this is why you shouldn't go picking fights with women Vikings. Chances are she might have a dragon that's ready to tear you to shreds to defend her.” Ash stated as she picked up the axe from the ground. “Now if you excuse me, I have some wolves to bury.”
“You did what?!” Hiccup and Astrid yelled as the others flinched.
“Don't worry I didn't kill him, Storm just threw the man into the sea.” Ash assured them and looked down at the wolf pup in her arms. “Besides, he was going to hurt this little one...and take me by force.”
“Should have had Storm rip the manhood off him.” Snotlout commented and snorted. “Seriously this guy must not be from around these parts to assume Viking women would just let him talk to them like that.”
“Exactly.” Ruffnut agreed. “At least you showed him not to mess with you.”
“Pretty much.” Ash said with a nod.
“So...what are you going to do with the pup?” Fishlegs asks, gesturing to the little wolf that was trying to nip at a strand of Ash's hair.
“Well...I was thinking of keeping him, his mum and siblings are dead so he needed someone to look after him. And you know I always take in orphaned dragons.”
“Is it just me, or does that wolf have red eyes?” Snotlout asked and gave a small shudder.
The group move in closer to examine the pup, who Ash placed on the table. His eyes did seem to glow red in the light of their table fire.
“By Odin's beard, he does have red eyes.” Astrid muttered as the wolf padded over to Ash.
“Didn't your dad say he had a white wolf with red eyes?” Tuffnut asked, wiggling his fingers at the pup before giving him a scratch between the ears.
“He did, and his name was Ghost.” Ash replied and gave a small chuckle. “And that was years ago, guess this little guy is his great-great-great grandson or something like that.”
“If he's got direwolf blood in him, maybe he'll grow big enough to ride.” Fishlegs suggested excitedly. “Oh that'd be so cool!”
“Well ya gotta name him first.” Snotlout pointed out. “Like give him a cool name!”
“I'm not naming him Ghost, if that's what you're thinking. He's not even a pure white, he's got a smudge of brown over one eye!”
“Hey how about Smudge?” Hiccup suggested. “If that sounds good enough.”
“No name him something cool, like Killer!” Snotlout protested and shot Hiccup a look. “Don't take suggestions from the guy who literally named a really cool dragon something weird as Toothless.”
“You know, in a different culture there is a god who had a very fearsome dog who guarded the gates of the Underworld with a cool sounding name.” Heather spoke up. “I think it was Greece? Anyways, apparently the dog's name actually meant Spot in that language.”
“Well then, Smudge it is.” Ash said picking the pup up. “You're going to be a very fearsome boy with a funny sounding name. My father's younger cousin had a direwolf named Shaggy Dog and be was a very fierce thing who would have been a real monster if he wasn't killed so soon.”
The pup barked and licked Ash's cheek with his little pink tongue before snuggling against her chest. With a smile, Ash cradled her new friend against her chest.
'You have the blood of Ghost in you, he was very loyal to my father and his siblings were loyal to their owners.’ She thought to herself as she stroked his soft fur. 'I have a dragon that is the symbol of my mother's House, and now you the symbol of my father's House. Nothing bad will ever come to you, I can promise you that.”
Chapter 18: Defenders of the Wing Part 1 (1/2)
"A truce? You have to be joking." Heather muttered as the group- minus Hiccup and Ashaeya, who were staring the Maces and Talons game board intently- was observing the map Viggo had given to their leader.
"This is a very serious looking map." Fishlegs commented.
"You're not actually thinking of actually doing this, are you Hiccup?" Astrid asked the said rider, who had his back to the group. "Uh Hiccup, the map is over here."
"Yeah but the answers are over here." Hiccup replied. "You see, Viggo is a game player- his moves are never what they seem to be."
"Unpredictable yet strategic, two things that would be played when playing a game of thrones." Ash added as she picked up one of the game pieces. "But as I know now, Maces and Talons is almost rather similar to it."
"Unless he knows that you know he's a game player, then the deceptive move is to make the obvious move." Tuffnut stated. Fishlegs was about to point something out when Ruffnut spoke up.
"But he is also smart enough to know that Hiccup knows that Viggo knows that Hiccup knows he's a game player, the the deceptive move is to actually make the deceptive move." Ruffnut added.
"But if Viggo is that smart, then he would know that Hiccup is smart enough to know that Viggo is smart enough to know that Hiccup is Viggo." Tuffnut added before feigning a confused look. "No, wait, what were we talking about again?"
"You two are really more confusing than the triplets, and they make a lot more sense that either of you." Ash muttered, earning a look from the twins.
"Ugh, Hiccup would you please just tell us what you are thinking." Astrid asked, turing to him.
"Viggo doesn't want a truce, what he really wants is to keep us away from something on his side of the game board." Hiccup answered and looked to Ash. "That sounds like something he would do."
"It honestly does, and it could be a number of things." Ash agreed. "Like an army, a slave market or even a horde of dragons he plans on selling to gods knows who. This bastard is sneakier than a man my father knew who taught his cousin to be sneaky and lie about certain things, of course he ended up being executed by aunt Arya in a trial once they convicted him of his horrendous crimes such as murdering his wife, and having their father get beheaded by a boy king."
"Damn your country is full of psychos..." Snotlout muttered and the twins elbowed him in the ribs.
"Okay you might be right, but where do we find this thing." Astrid asked, ignoring Snotlout's pained protest.
"I think we can assume that Viggo wouldn't give up anymore territory than he has to." Hiccup said standing up and walking over to the table. "So whatever it is he wants to keep us away from, is going to be right on the edge of the line. Here, this is where we start." He pointed to a small island that was located near the line Viggo had drawn to show what territory he wanted to have.
"I suppose it's time we pay a visit to whoever lives on that island." Ash added, standing up and stretching.
"So you are coming with us this time?" Heather asked. "You sure?"
"Yes I am sure Heather, I have to." Ash replied as she grabbed her sword from the floor and stuck it in the sheath at her hip. "Viggo murdered your brother, I can't just sit at home and do nothing while that man runs free and hurts dragons."
"Just wanted to know, you were pretty distracted when rescuing the dragons from the auctions."
"I'm just...just..." Ash felt a small tear leak from her eye and quickly wiped it away. "I'm adjusting to his absence right now. Come on, let's go kick some hunter ass."
"There it is!" Hiccup yelled as the island came to sight.
"There's a village in the clearing to the west!" Astrid yelled, pointing.
Hiccup whipped out his telescope and peered through it to see strange buildings and a weird looking statue.
"The buildings don't look viking or hunter, and look at that statue!" Hiccup said as he tossed Ash the lense to let her have a look.
"Doesn't look so dangerous, but looks can be deceiving." Ash pointed out. "Maybe we should scout the island, away from the village, just in case."
"Fishlegs, can you see what kind of dragon it's supposed to be?" Hiccup asked as Ash tossed their friend the scope to look at the statue.
"Looks like a Boulder class to me, but not one I've seen before." Fishlegs said before tossing the lense back to Hiccup.
"Ha, let's go ask them!" Snotlout snickered, diving down but Ash flew Storm in front of him. The Skrill hissed loudly, startling Hookfang and nearly threw his rider off. "Hey what gives?!"
"We are not going straight into the village." Ash retorted and glared at him. "Who knows what sort of people live there?"
"Well probably ones who like dragons, they've got a large statue of one." Tuffnut pointed out as he and his sister swooped close to them.
"Ash is right, we have no clue if these people are even peaceful." Hiccup pointed out. "Let's try to look around, but away from the village."
They landed east of the village, taking care to stay hidden in the woods. Hiccup suggested it would be easier to explore without the dragons making so much noise, so they left them in a small clearing before starting their walk. So far, they hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary.
"That village didn't seem like that much, why didn't Viggo want us to find it?" Astrid asked as they were walking.
"I don't know." Hiccup admitted. "I'm just happy to be one step ahead for a change."
As they walked, Ash glanced around. Growing up, she had always been told to always look around, be cautious of everything around her since she never knew who would attempt to recognize her as a royal who was supposed to be dead and kill her. She heard a yelp and turned to the front of the group to see Tuffnut standing alone.
"Okay, I'm pretty sure I had a sister when we landed." He muttered as Ash approached. "Or has it merely been me in girls clothes. Unless you're supposed to be my sister."
"As much as I would love being related to the two of you, I am not. Plus I already have a set of twins and triplets to look after." Ash chuckled as she patted his shoulder and walked past him to follow Fishlegs. "Maybe she wandered off?"
Ash turned to see Tuff already gone and gave a small shrug. Probably ran off to go look for his sister.
"Oh blueberries!" She heard Fishlegs exclaim before hearing a startled yelp.
"Fishlegs?" Ash called and looked around. She could have sworn she had seen him a minute ago. She heard a rustling in the bushes and yanked out her knife, ready to attack whatever came at her. "Hello?"
She heard a small whoosh and felt a stabbing pain in the side of her neck. Ash gave out a cry of pain as she stumbled forward, her fingers grasping the small object piercing her neck. She plucked it out and saw it was some sort of dart and began to feel her legs and eyelids grow heavy.
"Damn it..." She mumbled as she stumbled back and passed out.
When she came to, the first thing Ash noticed was that her wrists were bound. She could hear the other riders shuffling next to her and the groaning as they were waking up. She opened her eyes to find a crowd of people dressed in strange black clothes, the only parts of them being seen were either their eyes or arms.
"Uh...what happened?" Ash asked and felt Ruffnut elbow her side.
"We got ambushed, and possibly dragged here." Tuffnut explained. "Well, guess we're going to die."
"Wow such an optimist I have for a brother." Ruffnut muttered before Ash quickly elbowed her to be silent.
A man had emerged from the crowd, dressed differently from the other hooded villagers. Hiccup had somehow managed to get to his feet as the man paced in front of them before stopping in front of Hiccup.
"On your knees!" The man barked, shoving Hiccup back down into a kneeling position before turning to the crowd. "All hail Mala, queen of the Defenders of the Wing!"
The crowd had turned to face the direction the man was facing and bowed as they moved aside for a woman with short hair strawberry blonde hair and a black and gold dress parted in the middle that looked like armor.
"So these are the dragon hunters your men captured, Throk?" The woman, Mala asked the man who had knocked Hiccup to the floor earlier.
"Yes my queen." The man, who was Throk, replied.
"Hunters? Us?" Astrid asked in disbelief. "You gotta be kidding!"
"We do not hunt dragons!" Hiccup snapped at the woman.
"Yeah, we ride them." Ash added with a frown. "And they're our friends."
"Do you two take me for a fool? You were sent by Viggo Grimborn and sent to attack us and steal The Great Protector." Mala shot back and gestured to the strange statue the gang had spotted earlier on their way to the island.
"You couldn't be more wrong!" Hiccup exclaimed in disbelief.
"Yeah, why would we steal a statue? Tuffnut asked and looked to his twin and Ash. "So we can pose like it for long periods of time?"
"Silence girl!" Mala spat.
"What?!" Tuffnut exclaimed in disbelief and tossed his head at his twin. "She's the girl!"
"A lot of people make that mistake when they first meet us." Ruffnut added and Ash shook her head in disbelief.
"Look we don't know who you are, or who The Great Protector is, but if you're enemies with Viggo Grimborn, then we have something in common." Hiccup said and gave her a pleading look.
"Exactly what the last spy sent by Viggo said." Mala sneered.
"We don't hurt dragons." Hiccup shot back and nodded at Ash. "We honor and respect them."
"So you say, but you shackle them and make them do your bidding."
"Those are just saddles, we ride dragons!" Hiccup tried to point out.
"Not anymore you don't, your dragons are now free." Mala said as a guard tried to get the dragons to leave, telling them to fly free but they remained. Storm just glared at the man while the other dragons just yawned and pretended to be interested in their talons. "Go, be burdened no more!"
"See? Our dragons are loyal to us!" Astrid said turning to the queen with a grin.
"Especially you Hookfang, way to go buddy!" Snotlout cheered, grateful that his normally disobedient dragon didn't fly off. Hookfang snorted and took off into the sky as Snotlout was finishing his sentence. Storm, Toothless and Meatlug growled at him, causing the Monstrous Nightmare to return and gave them a bashful snort.
“Well it seems that they can't think for themselves, which is why they refuse to leave.” Mala retorted before shifting her attention to Ash and her eyes widened a bit. "Your eyes.”
“Uh…yeah I get that a lot, really weird to see someone with violet eyes.” Ash mumbled and looked to Hiccup for help. “Definitely not from around here, that's for sure.”
The queen nodded at some of the masked villagers and two stepped forward to pull Ash up to her feet and turned her to face Mala.
“Who are you, exactly?” Mala asked.
“Ashaeya? It's a bit of a mouthful, which is why my friends call me Ash.”
“That's a Targaryen name.” Throk commented, earning murmurs from the crowd. Oh shit no.
“Me? Targaryen? Nooooo.” Ash gave a nervous laugh. “What's a Targaryen?”
"Seriously? You're playing dumb?” Snotlout scoffed and gave a yelp when Astrid elbowed him.
“Silver hair, violet eyes, rides a dragon, you are a Targaryen.” Mala stated and gave the other riders a disgusted look. “I see, you're hiding your identity from Viggo's hunters.”
“Uh no, she's not hiding her identity from us and we are not hunters!” Astrid retorted.
“Silence! Put them in the cells!” Mala snapped as several guards came to grab the riders. “And keep an eye on them as well.”
“And what do we do with her?” A female guard asked pointing to Ash.
“Give her some food and water, and keep an eye on her as well.” Mala ordered. “Don't want those hunters sneaking out and kidnapping her.”
“But they're not hunters.” Ash muttered. Thor almighty how did these people know who she was and what Targaryens were? Only one way to find out.
Chapter 19: Defenders of the Wing Part 1 (2/2)
And at last I updated the story! So sorry for not updating in a while everyone! I've been focusing on school lately and also on some of my TDP stories, but I promise I'll try updating this story more!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So tell me, what what is a young Targaryen princess doing all the way out here?” Queen Mala asked Ash as she was handed a plate of food. “With dragon hunters?”
“Forgive me your majesty, but they're not dragon hunters.” Ash said as she picked up a funny looking chunk of meat off her plate. “They are the farthest thing from hunters, I promise.”
“Are your parents aware of your whereabouts and who you are with?” Mala asked as someone came to pour some water into a cup and handed it to Ash. “Because I don't think your mother, the dragon queen, would want you to be with people who enslaved dragons to do their bidding.”
Ash dropped the piece of meat and frowned. “My parents know very well where I am and who I'm with. And if you're going to be talking to me, I'd like to ask some questions you should answer. Like, how do you know about my family?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“How do you know about us? No one in or outside the Barbaric Archipelago knows we exist, which made it easy for my family to hide in this part of the world.”
Mala looked to Throk, who looked back to the queen before she looked back to Ash. “A few years ago a group of people came to our island seeking shelter, they were all cold, wet and close to starvation. My mother, who was queen at the time gave them food, blankets, medicine, and offered to let them stay on our island. The one leading them, a young woman with bright red hair said they couldn't stay, but asked for our help in looking for an island to live on and looking for three members of her family who were separated from them. The woman told us that her cousin and his wife were in danger and trying to keep their newborn daughter safe.”
“Wait...did the woman tell you her name?” Ash asked and Mala shook her head.
“Sadly no, but she told us her cousin and his wife were from a family who rode dragons, his wife was called the mother of dragons. She told us when she saw how we protected and respected dragons, said that her cousin-in-law would have loved our home.”
“Red hair...oh my gods Sansa was here.” Ashe murmured.
“My mother promised the woman that if we ever saw someone with silver hair or violent eyes and had a strange name, we'd help protect her and make sure nothing happens to her.” Mala said with a small nod. “That is why we had to separate you from the dragon hunters. If they knew who you were, they wouldn’t hesitate to hand you over to Viggo.”
“Well I'm not in danger, I can fight for myself and the people you're trying to protect me from are my friends.” Ash said as she stood up from her seat. “Give them a chance to prove themselves innocent, I promise they're good people. They're on the same side as you are in this war with Viggo.”
Mala and Throk looked to each other again with skeptical looks.
“Please, believe me! They're innocent until proven guilty!”
“Very well then, we'll give them a small trial. But if they are 'friends to dragons’ like they claim they will, they'll be judged by the dragons we keep here on our island.” Mala agreed with a nod. “But if they're guilty, you will have to stay here and bring your family back here where we can keep you all safe until we find the rest of your parents family.”
All the villagers had came to see the trial that was being held in the middle of the village square where the large statue of that strange stone dragon stood. Ash stood next to Mala's throne as the seven accused teens stood in front of them.
“You stand accused of being dragon hunters, subjugators of dragons, do you deny this?” Mala asked as Hiccup walked forward.
“Yes.” He replied loudly and looked to Ash, who gave him a thumbs up.
“But you admit that you forced the dragons to carry you on their backs.”
“We don't force them.”
“And that you used them to land secretly on our island.”
“Yes, but you make it sound worse than it was.”
“So you weren't caught my men sneaking toward our village.”
“Sneaking is a strong word.”
“And you didn't come heavily armed.”
“Those are for self defense.”
“Oh so you came here expecting a fight!”
“No no, you're twisting my words!”
“This trial isn't going anywhere is it?” Ash muttered to herself as Tuffnut walked forward. “Oh no that's not going to end well.”
“Tuffnut Thorston, attorney of things.” Tuffnut said holding up his hand to silence Hiccup. “We are the defense your queeness.”
“Tuff, don't you even start!” Ash groaned but he ignored her.
“Did we sneak onto your island? Perhaps. Did I eat a coconut?”
“Maybe!” Ruffnut yelled.
“Since when is sneaking around on someone's property without permission, trespass?”
“For the record, this person does not represent me!” Hiccup interjected, to which Ash nodded.
“Believe me, he does not.” She whispered to the queen.
“And maybe we do make the dragons do whatever we say, and go wherever we go and want to go whenever we want and they carry us on their backs, and obviously keep them in cages,” Tuffnut rambled on and Ash had to restrain herself from throwing herself at him and covering his mouth. He was literally making their group sound like they were dragon hunters. “But does that mean we subjugate them?”
“Subjugate them we do not!” Ruffnut added loudly.
“That’s what it means…” Ash muttered to herself
“Why do we do that? It's terrible!” Tuffnut exclaimed. “And take our leader, Hiccup Haddock the third, a man who shot down Toothless and crippled him so that he could only fly with Hiccup, subjugating him.”
Ash could already see Mala's hands curling into fists and anger in her dark green eyes. She knew she had to do something, but what could she even do to help her friends in this trial without getting them in more trouble?
“Look, until a few years ago we fought dragons, but since then we've learned to live in harmony with them.” Hiccup stated when Tuffnut walked back to the others. “And yes we ride them, because the allow us to! But the most important thing for you to know about us, is that we hate the dragon hunters and everything they stand for. Heck we even have the daughter of the mother of dragons fighting beside us with a dragon from her homeland, and she can vouch for us that we have been telling you the truth!”
Ash smiled to herself as the crowd murmured amongst themselves at Hiccup's statement. Her eyes met his and she flashed him a smile and gave him a small thumbs up before putting her hands down.
“We are moved by your sincerely and passion Hiccup Haddock.” The queen said as she rose from her throne and walked forward. Ash noticed she was holding something behind her back that looked like a roll of paper. “But just one question. If you despise Viggo as you say, why do you hold a map written in his hand and carrying his signature?”
Ash gasped as the queen unrolled the map Hiccup had brought back from his meeting with Viggo. The guards must have confiscated it from the saddlebags them when they were all knocked out, and now it was in the hands of the queen.
“I find you all guilty, and I sentence you all to the same fate that befalls all dragon hunters!” Mala announced. “The Nest!”
“Your majesty, please I can explain that!” Ash yelled as she hurried down the steps of the throne as guards grabbed her friends. “Please listen to me, I can explain why they have the map!”
“I don't need any explanations princess Ashaeya, their sentence has been handed to them and it will be carried out quickly.” Mala stated as she handed back the rolled up map to Throk. “No more will you not your dragons be trapped with these hunters. Once they are executed I will give you a ship and a handful of my best warriors to accompany you and Throk to wherever your family is to make sure you can all return here safely.”
“No please just listen-”
“That's enough for now.” Throk interrupted as he blocked Ash's way. “Come, you'll want to see the execution.”
They were led to a large cave in the mountains where Mala said the Nest was at. Both Toothless and Storm, who had broken away from the other dragons to accompany their riders, followed but were blocked.
“It's okay boys, they'll be fine.” Ash assured them when the two dragons tried getting past the guards forcefully. “We'll be out soon, I promise.”
As they were led into the cave, Ash could hear the sounds of dragons and saw several nesting in alcoves along the inside of the cave, looking calm and content. So this was why it was called the Nest, and if the punishment involved dragons, perhaps her friends could prove to Mala their innocence? No dragon hunters would ever resort to using the tactics they used in befriending dragons, so it could prove useful when Hiccup was thrown to whatever dragon the queen thought to use to punish him.
'Please dear Odin let him prove that they're the good guys.' Ash prayed as they got close to what looked like a deep pit with bones scattered around inside. 'Please, please let it be a dragon Hiccup knows how to train, please!’
“We protect the dragons as they protect us. We accept the judgement of the dragons as they have accepted us.” Mala said as they were lined up around the pit. “Step forward and receive that judgement.”
“I'm the leader, I'll go first.” Hiccup announced, holding his hand up and walked forward.
“Hiccup, good luck.” Astrid said softly and he looked back at them with a reassuring smile.
“Be careful little brother, I have faith you'll be judged fairly by whatever dragon is in there.” Ash said giving him a small nod. “May the Warrior watch over you.”
“I'll be fine.” He assured them as Throk pushed him again towards the pit.
“So he can train any dragon?” Heather asked Ash and Astrid as they watched Hiccup be pushed to the pit.
“Except for a few.” Ash admitted.
“Whispering Deaths, Changewings,” Astrid added.
“And Speed Stingers.” Hiccup added loudly as the familiar screech of a dragon Ash never thought she'd have to hear again. Hiccup was shoved forward and fell into the pit with a loud yell.
“Hiccup!” Both girls ran forward, only to be stopped by Mala, who held her sword out to block them from going too close to the edge of the pit. They could only watch in horror as their friend got up and approached the dragons with his hand out.
“What is he doing?” Mala asked as Throk restrained Astrid from throwing herself into the pit.
“Perhaps he's offering himself as an easy kill.” Throk suggested.
“Perhaps, a cowards way to avoid suffering.” Mala scoffed and Ash felt her blood start to boil.
Hiccup was dodging the stingers to avoid being paralyzed and Ash could only watch. ‘Damn it all, if they're not going to listen to my words, I'll make them listen with my actions.’
"Hiccup!" Ash yelled as she shoved Mala to the side and leapt into the pit. The Stingers growled loudly as they turned their attention away from their prey and darted towards the new human. Ash darted out of the way, using her thick bracers to block the dragons stingers and dodging their attacks. Two had remained with her while the other one decided to go for Hiccup, who had been attempting to distract the three Stingers from Ash.
There was a loud roar as two dark shapes leapt into the pit and placed themselves between the two humans and the three dragons. Both Storm and Toothless stood in front of their riders protectively and growled loudly at the Stingers. One decided to be bold and tried leaping at them, only to get smacked with Toothless’ powerful tail and scampered away when Storm hissed and spat a small spark at it. The other two immediately swamped back into the dark, defeated.
"Good boy!" Ash whispered as she gave her Skrill a quick hug and mounted her dragon. Hiccup did likewise with Toothless and both dragons flew out of the pit and landed in front of Mala.
The guards immediately moved in to defend their queen, giving the other dragon riders the chance to attack and disarm the guards to give themselves the upperhand.
“Stop them!” Mala yelled as Throk and the other guards who weren't attacked whirled around to attack. Stormfly came charging in with a loud squawk and landed in front of the other riders, her spiked tail held up and the spikes sticking out, ready to be shot at anyone who dared to come close to her rider.
“Yeah I'm thinking no.” Astrid replied sarcastically.
“Mala you need to ask yourself, would these dragons risk their lives to protect us if we were hunters?” Hiccup asked.
“Give the order my queen,and I shall obey!” Throk snarled as he pointed his weapon at Hiccup.
"Hiccup is right, if the dragons were being abused by these riders they would never have came on their own.” Ash agreed and gestured to the Nadder and Night Fury. “You listen and trust the judgement of dragons, then accept the judgement of our dragons. They are not your enemy!”
Mala looked at them quietly as the two riders raised their hands above their heads in a gesture of defense. “Stand down.” She ordered. “The dragon judged them innocent Throk, release them, release them all.”
“Thank you.” Hiccup said with a small smile as the queen walked to them.
“You are a mystery Hiccup Haddock, I can see why the Targaryen princess chose to side with you.” She said as she knelt between Striker and Toothless. “But know this, if you are not what you claim to be or if you betray us in any way, I will end you myself, dragon or not.”
“Fair enough.” Hiccup agreed and looked to Ash.
“You have my word queen Mala, he won't betray you. Hiccup is an honorable man, and he will always keep his promises.”
“Just like I promised to help you and your family win your war when this is over.” Hiccup said giving her a smile.
“You've all been very good while we were gone, very good!” Ash cooed as she scratched Hookfang and Meatlug under their chins. “Have the Defenders made sure you were okay?”
The dragons growled happily and snuggled against her. Ash heard a snort and turned to see Storm looking away with an annoyed look. Was he...jealous?
“Aww Stormy, come here!” Ash cooed as she got out from the other dragons and walked over to her Skrill to give him a hug. “I still love you ya little thunder farter!”
Storm snorted in annoyance and turned his head away again.
“Oh come on, are you really jealous of a few older dragons? You're never jealous when I'm snuggling your little sisters!”
“You have more than one dragon?” Mala asked as she approached with the other riders. “I suppose that should be expected from you.”
“I have three other dragons, all female and this big grumpy blue boy is their grumpy brother.” Ash chuckled as Storm rolled his eyes. “Of course, at the moment he is quite jealous that I'm giving chin scratches to a bunch of dragons I knew long before him that stayed behind and behaved themselves.”
“Oh they were all well behaved because of this.” Mala said holding up a strange green and yellow fruit. “We call this sage fruit, it calms even the most aggressive dragons, makes them easier to handle.”
“Which explains our dragons have been so docile.” Hiccup said giving his dragon a scratch on the top of his head.
“Can't say the same for Storm, but even when he's relaxed he has that grumpy face.” Ash laughed as her Skrill glared at her. “Oh come on, it's true! You're stuck with a grumpy face, and even when you smile you look grumpy!”
"I wonder, would they work on Elin?" Fishlegs asked Ash. “I know she’s a calm dragon, but you did say the females of her species were more violent and brutal.
“And the last thing we need is a very moody and upset Elin running around the base.” Snotlout added before Heather elbowed him in the gut.
"Possibly, maybe five would do the trick." Ash replied, ignoring Snotlout's remark and took the fruit from Mala to sniffed it. “Yeah I think she'd like this, it smells very nice. And Elin loves smelling nice things.”
"Who is Elin?" Mala asked, looking at the young Targaryen in confusion.
"Oh she's a dragon I raised since she hatched, she's not from around these parts." Ash explained. "She's a species from my country that my family has been raising and riding for many years."
"I heard they all died out, the last two belonging to your mother.” Mala said sadly and Ash nodded. “But it would be a great honor to see the last of the great Targaryen dragons.”
“And it'd definitely be an honor for Elin to meet more people who don't want to kill her.” Ash chuckled. “She likes everyone, except dragon hunters and some other people.”
“You all have a good connection with your dragons, especially you Hiccup Haddock. I do not understand it, but I cannot deny it.”
“Well, maybe if we took you for a ride?” Hiccup offered, gesturing to the saddle.
Mala looked away and glanced up at the strange dragon statue that stood looking over the village before shaking her head and looking back to them. “No, such a thing is forbidden.”
“Shame, you would have loved riding Elin.” Ash said with a shrug. “I always said one hasn't lived a good life as a dragon rider until they've ridden my big blue girl.”
“Uh...your majesty? What dragon is this?” Fishlegs asked, gesturing to the statue.
Mala’s face lit up and smiled. “That is our Great Protector, the Eruptodon.” She stated proudly. “He protects our village by eating the lava that flows from the volcanoes, if it weren't for him we would all perish.”
“Well your Great Protector is doing a lousy job of it.” Snotlout commented, gesturing behind him. The group looked to where he was pointing and saw the volcano with lava falling down it sides.
“Oh seven hell's that can't be good.” Ash muttered as Mala began ordering the villagers to cut some trees down to stop the lava flow. “Get onto one of our dragons, we'll reach the volcano faster!”
“No, flying is forbidden, if you're going to be on our island you must abide by our rules.” The queen ordered. “I’m afraid the same goes for you princess Ashaeya, no riding your dragon up the mountain.”
“Alright it's fine, but the dragons have to come along just in case there is any trouble.” Ash said with a nod.
The two groups and the dragons hurried up the slope of the volcano, hoping to arrive and see nothing amiss. Ash had noticed a lot of offerings like flowers, gold coins and even decorated rocks littering the side of the volcano they were walking up, most likely offerings and gifts for the dragon that protested the island. She smiled and recalled her mother telling her how before she was born, before their home was taken away, some people used to do the same for the two great dragons of the house Targaryen. Elin would probably have loved to have gotten shiny offerings, since she always loved snatching anything shiny that wasn't nailed down and hiding it in random places in the house or in the huts of her friends when she was little. Perhaps the people of Westeros would give her gifts like that when they freed them.
When they reached the top of the top of the volcano the area was empty, no dragon looking like the one in the village in sight.
“The Protector is gone!” One of the guards who accompanied them gasped.
“Mala, does the Eruptodon leave this place at all?” Ash asked the queen, who was staring at the empty space in horror.
“No, he never leaves this place. It's his food source.” Mala replied shaking her head. “He would never leave if the lava started to overflow and make it's way down to the village.”
“But if he never left, why is he gone?” Hiccup asked and turned to Astrid when she called out to them. In her hand was a familiar looking red arrow with a green tip on the arrowhead, meaning the hunters had been here.
“Oh gods, I should have known!” Hiccup groaned when he realized what had happened. “Viggo used us!”
“He wasn't trying to keep us away from this place, he was using us as a distraction to infiltrate the island and take the Eruptodon.” Ash muttered and looked to her friends. “We were just a distraction all along.”
“I should have known, I shouldn't have trusted any of you.” Mala said in a hurt voice as she picked up another hunter arrow near her feet, clutching it tightly until it snapped in her hand. The sorrowful expression on her face was now replaced by a furious one as she gave Hiccup a murderous look. “I warned you Hiccup Haddock, I warned you not to betray me or my people in any way.”
“Mala wait, we were tricked too!” Hiccup protested as the guards pointed their weapons at him and the other riders. “We were all tricked by Viggo!”
“Silence Hiccup Haddock!” The queen snapped. “You have served your master well, without the Eruptodon to protect us the date if my village is sealed, but so is yours.”
“I warned you what would happen if I found out you were lying to me, your people are going to die for what you've done. But first Hiccup,” Mala drew her sword out and stuck it close to the young Viking's neck. “I am going to kill you myself."
Also before anyone asks, yes I will be adding the events of The Hidden World into the story, so prepare for some feels. The events of HTTYD 2, the comics and HTTYD 3 will be in a sequel to this story, and the events after the third film will be in a third book after the second one
Also, for my fellow Game of Thrones fans who's ready for the final season this month? Who shall live, who shall die, and who shall sit upon the iron throne?
And another thing, in less than three weeks I'm turning 21!
Chapter 20: Defenders of the Wing (Part 2)
Sorry for the lack of updates, I wasn't really feeling the creative flow of this book until recently
Ash had to admit, the queen was jumping to conclusions about her friends working for Viggo, but seeing how upset she was at the sight of her tribes missing dragon she could now understand why she thought they were to blame. Strange people who were carrying a map with Viggo's signature sneaking into their island? Suspicious. These same people distracted the whole village, giving the hunters enough time to sneak a giant dragon out of a normally well guarded volcano? Definitely suspicious! But the queen was going to make a huge mistake that would invoke the wrath of Stoick the Vast and Jon Snow if she let her guards kill them all.
The sword the queen held was being pointed at Hiccup's neck, every guard who had a weapon was pointing it at the unarmed riders as the dragons growled anxiously and waited for their owners to give them a single word to attack.
“I warned you Hiccup Haddock, I warned you not to betray me!” Mala snarled as Hiccup backed away towards the other riders and she followed with her sword still pointing at his throat.
“Look I'm all for winning friends and influencing people, but this mission has gone talons up.” Tuffnut commented as he glanced around nervously at his friends and sister.
“Way up.” Ruffnut agreed.
“Two talons up!”
“Seize them!” Mala ordered as several guards rushed forward. “But no harm is to come to the Targaryen princess!”
“If you think you're going to take me from my friend's, you're dead wrong your majesty!” Ash snapped as she backed up to Storm and quickly grabbed her bow that was strapped to the back of his saddle with a quiver full of arrows waiting to be shot. She grabbed the quiver and slung it over one shoulder before pulling one arrow out and knocking it into her bow. The dragons growled, prepared to start firing at the hostile humans who were threatening the lives of their riders as they prepared to fight their way out.
“ STOP !” Hiccup screamed, causing the riders and Defenders to stop in their tracks. “Okay look, you're right, you were tricked. But we were tricked too!”
“Yeah, we've been trying to tell you this for the past two minutes!” Ash added as she lowered her bow. “But you never listened!”
“Viggo used us as a distraction so he can steal your Eruptodon, but without us knowing about it. We don't work for the dragon hunters, they're our enemies.”
"And yet our Eruptodon is gone, our village is in peril from the lava flow and you hold me in front of your Night Fury!" Mala retorted.
"We'll prove it to you, we will go rescue your dragon and bring it back." Hiccup offered. "I'll even leave some people here to help fight the lava."
"Only your best."
"Heather is a survivalist, she's dealt with lava before. And Ruff and Tuff…" everyone looked to the twins, Ruffnut was laughing at her brother as he was yelling about something he accidentally inhaled until Snotlout walked over and smacked him in the back.
"Uh...let's just say they have a lot of experience in cleaning up stuff." Hiccup said. "You can trust us, I swear it."
Mala looked to her guards before lowering her sword. "I accept your offer, on one condition; I must travel with you to save our beloved dragon."
"I thought you didn't fly on dragons?" Hiccup asked, looking quite surprised.
"I will do whatever it takes to save the Great Protector." The queen stated as she walked over to him. "But if you fail me, I will kill you. If you attempt an escape, I will kill you. If I think at any time-"
"You will kill him, we get it." Ash finished.
"Understood." Hiccup adds quickly.
"Then it shall be done." Mala said with a smile and turned to Ash. "It will be an honor to work alongside you, princess."
"She's coming with us? That's totally gonna mess up our rhythm!" Snotlout groaned as he approached them.
"What rhythm?" Hiccup asked and Ash rolled her eyes before turning to Hiccup.
"Hey Hiccup, does this mean I'm coming with you guys to find the Eruptodon?" She asked as she lowered her bow and slung it over one shoulder. "Or do you want me to help Heather...fight the lava and keep an eye on the twins?"
"Uh...best if you stay here and help Heather and the twins." Hiccup suggested. "Unless you want to come and help us rescue the dragon."
Ash glanced over at the twins as Heather grabbed them and pushed them back towards their dragon, Tuffnut babbling incoherently. "Uh...I think I'll stay and stop the lava. Also someone has to look after the twins to make sure they don't accidentally cause a big mess."
"Yeah good idea." Hiccup agreed. "You guys be careful."
Ash gave him a small smile. "You too, this shouldn't be a problem for any of us."
Nighttime had already fallen, daybreak had come and they still had no luck in stopping the lava flow. The Defenders had been digging ditches to slow it down while the dragon riders had been cutting down trees and tossing boulders between the chopped trees in an attempt to block it, but nothing seemed to be working. And the twins, despite trying to be very helpful had caused a bit of a mess when they dropped a rock they were supposed to use onto the trees Heather had cut down to block the lava flow.
"I'm starting to get very frustrated by now, nothing seems to be working!" Ash groaned as she and the other Defenders began heaving large rocks to construct a barricade. "Throk we need to evacuate the village before the lava gets here!"
"This has to work!" He protested as he grabbed another boulder to add to the wall. "It has too!"
"We can't stop it, it's going to reach the village!" Heather pointed out. "I'm sorry, but Ash is right, we need to start evacuating the others."
With an angry yell Throk flung the boulder into the oncoming lava flow before Ash yanked him back. She heard the sound of something cracking and turned around to see the large statue of the Eruptodon falling right towards them.
"Move!" She yelled, yanking Throk and Heather back as the statue fell right in front of the lava flow...and stopped it.
"Wait who did that?" Heather asked and turned to find the twins running towards them with Barf and Belch smiling proudly. "Oh."
"Snatch from the mouth of defeat!" Tuffnut yelled from atop of the statue.
"Victory is ours!" Ruffnut added before the statue shook and knocked them off.
"Okay you two are guinnesses." Ash said as she hurried to help them up. "I'm not mad at you now."
"Wait you were mad before?" Ruffnut asked in surprise. "When?"
"Like...a few hours ago when you two dropped a boulder on the tree wall Heather made, but I'm over it." Ash admitted. "Come on, this might not hold before the other get back, so we need to start evacuating the other villagers."
"Actually Barf and Belch made that statue fall, so if it fails you can be mad at them." Tuffnut stated quickly and hugged her. "Please don't stay mad at us, it's scary when you are mad."
They had managed to evacuate the village towards the part of the woods that was away from where the lava flow was, the dragons carrying some of the elderly villagers on their backs along with the sick while the more healthy villagers walked with the riders and the children. It wasn't long until the other riders appeared on the horizon with several Gronckles and a large stone dragon that looked a lot like the large statue that used to stand over the village.
"You guys made it!" Heather cheered as the other riders landed and the new dragon flew towards the growing pool of lava.
"And you managed to stop the lava flow, now the Protector can eat to it's heart's content." Mala said as she dismounted from Hookfang. "Thank you all."
"We're just doing what we love doing your majesty, helping others and dragons in need." Hiccup said and looked to the other riders with a smile.
"So...she's not going to kill us, right?" Tuffnut asked from atop his dragon. "Because that would totally suck and we did just save her people."
"Well seeing how the Eruptodon is back and in good condition, I'd say I will not kill you." Mala assured him and turned to Ash with a smile. "Princess, you were right about your friends. I'm sure your dragon riding ancestors would have been proud to see you allied with friends like this and with dragons like theirs."
"Eh...not sure about that, but I know my mom would definitely be proud of us all when we tell her about this." Ash admitted and laughed. "Man do I have some great stories to tell the family. Oh! And I gotta tell them about the rest of the family who came here, dad is going to freak out!"
"Yeah yeah, you're one step closer to being a real princess again." Snotlout said rolling his eyes before smirking. "However I became a royal in just one day."
"I'm sorry, what?" Heather asked.
"Mala made him king." Astrid replied and rolled her eyes. "It's a long story."
Chapter 21: The Trails
Takes place during season 4, episode: Saving Shattermaster
"What lovely dragons you've been raising!" Mala exclaimed as Sweet Song ran up to the queen, chirping excitedly and running in circles around her. Val heard her sister chirp and had immediately jumped off Heather's shoulder where she had been napping to run after her, nearly tripping over her feet in the process.
"They're sort of the newest addition to the family, Elin found Sweet Song on a hunter's ship and Val is Windshear's baby." Ash explained as the two young dragons began to playfully pounce on each other. "Elin is just hunting in the sea right now."
"Big dragon, best to let her feed herself." Heather added with a small laugh. "Plus it's better to let her go hunting on her own instead of having her eat all the animals on the Edge."
"But she refuses to eat sheep, wool gets stuck in her teeth and she actually prefers cuddling them." Ash laughed. "At her age my mother's dragons were burning people and charring fields to eat random goats, meanwhile she's just laying around everywhere and going off into the wild to hunt. I haven't really taken her out to fight since…"
"Since when?" Mala asked and Ash shook her head.
"Nothing, it's fine."
The queen looked to Heather, who simply shrugged.
"I should head back to the others, give Snotlout a bit of a pep talk before he does his dangerous trials to really be king." Ash said quickly, gesturing to the other riders before hurrying back to them.
"I sense something is wrong with the princess." Mala commented to Heather. "Just a few minutes ago she seemed cheerful and happy and then this happened."
"Well the last time she rode Elin was to save my brother." Heather said and the queen's eyes widened in surprise.
"Brother?" She asked.
"Yeah, several weeks back my brother died and she...I feel like she was more affected by it than me." Heather explained and rubbed the back of her neck. "He saved us, she later saved him and then he dies saving us all. She had so much faith in him when he changed, and even though she doesn't admit it, I really do think she was starting to fall in love with my brother until he died."
"Oh...I had no idea."
"It's fine, she's been doing better these past few days ever since we met you guys. And she's been focusing a lot more on her baby dragons so it gives her something to concentrate on."
Mala nods as she watches the two little dragons scamper back to the Targaryens princess, the small Razorwhip climbing up the back of her dress and clung to her back while the Deathsong walked at her side, happily wagging her tail and chirping cheerfully.
"At least she does something to distract herself from the pain, focusing on fighting the hunters." The queen said as she and Heather walked back to the riders.
"Clothes for Hiccup Haddock and Heather." Throk said as he handed the two riders separate bundles of black clothes. "Perfect cover up for the market where no one will see you."
"I still don't get why you won't let some of the others and I come with you two, we could watch your back perfectly fine in disguise." Ash said as the two accepted the clothing.
"Well we need someone to make sure Snotlout doesn't die, one of the trials involve fire." Hiccup said sheepishly. "And you-"
"Fireproof, I know. But I'm probably not because my hand hurt for weeks after I pulled Elin's egg out of the fire." Ash interrupted and held out her hand with the pale white scar in the middle of her palm. "So it's probably because I'm not a full-blooded Targaryens, but I'm not gonna test that theory if I am fireproof by jumping into a lava pit to save Snotlout. Or having the twins try and set my clothes on fire."
"That's fine, plus you need to keep an eye on the twins. I know you're not their babysitter, but you know...you have an easier time with them."
"It's fine, I'll stay to help Astrid make sure Snotlout doesn't die. I'm pretty sure the lava pit or whatever it is can't kill him, he's always getting set on fire on a daily basis."
"I heard that!" Snotlout yelled and folded his arms over his chest with a frown before it turned into a smug smile. "I can't believe I'm becoming an actual royal a lot quicker than you."
"She was born royal though." Fishlegs pointed out. "And she comes from a lineage of kings and queens, you're just doing a series of difficult tests to become one."
"She's in exile!" Snotlout protests. "Her title means zip out here!"
"Yes, but she's technically still a princess despite being in exile." Mala responds. "Now, let us start the Trials, shall we?"
"He's going to die isn't he?" Ash asks Fishlegs as the Eruptodon blasts fire into the lava pit to create a small bridge for Snotlout to cross to the other side.
"There's no way Snotlout can eat all those rocks." Tuffnut laughed.
"He's not going to eat them, he's going to walk across them!" Fishlegs corrected him.
"Oooh, totally different death, but still entertaining nevertheless." Tuffnut said and laughed. "I bet Ash actually is fireproof and can eat and walk across them."
"I'm not completely fireproof!" Ash protests. "Look, the second he starts to scream you two and your dragons pull him out or his death is on your head."
"I'm good with that." Tuffnut said as he and his sister climbed onto their dragon. "Are you sister?"
"I'll work through it." Ruffnut laughed. "Gustav or Rickion are always a good backup!"
"For the last time, if Snotlout ever dies we're not replacing him with my brother or Gustav!" Ash yelled after them as their dragon flew off into the air to hover behind Snotlout.
The three remaining Vikings watched in worry as Snotlout gave a loud scream and began to briskly walk across the small lava bridge with the twins right behind him. Much to their surprise he managed to make it to the other side with just the toes of his boots burned off.
"Wow...he actually did it." Ash muttered and Fishlegs nodded.
"Okay I had my doubts, but I'm sure the next trial isn't going to be easy." He admits.
"It's probably gonna involve dragons, just watch."
"Ha! I actually did it!" Snotlout declares proudly as he walked back over to them. "And I'm not dead, that's a plus!"
"Congratulations, you want some milk for those burns?" Ash asked sarcastically.
"Onto the second trial then?" Throk asks gesturing to another part of the village.
"Already?" Astrid asks in surprise.
"If he wishes, we can wait." Throk responds as a loud roar sounds from the sea.
"Oh look, Elin is back!" Ash says as her dragon springs from the sea, her blue scales glittering in the sunlight, and lands several yards from them before she starts to shake the water off of her body.
"Show off." Snotlout mutters as the dragon lumbers over to the humans and lowered her head to nuzzle Ash.
"Aww hi baby, did you get enough to eat today?" Ash asked as she rubbed her dragon's snout. "Hiccup and Astrid aren't here right now, but you get to meet some new people who really wanted to meet you!"
"By the Ancients, look at her!" Mala gasped as she approached them. Elin shifted her head and studied Mala with her large golden eyes and gave a little snort.
"This is the one and only Elin, the last of the dragons who served as mounts and companions to house Targaryen and it's descendants." Ash said rubbing her dragon's neck. "The last female too, revived in the dying embers of my family's hearth with my blood. She may look like a big scary dragon, but she's a huge softie a lot of the time."
"In all my years I've never seen a dragon as magnificent as this one." Mala said as she extended her hand towards Elin, who carefully sniffed it before she nudged it gently with her about. "And so big too! I remember hearing how Targaryen dragons could only grow so big if they have plenty of food and space to grow."
"Females are apparently bigger, and she is pretty big for her age." Ash replied as Elin turned her head to Sweet Song, who was making loud squeals and cries for her older sister's attention. "She might get bigger than a Red Death too by the time we go back to Westeros."
"Hey can we continue these trials?" Snotlout called. "The sooner I get this done, the sooner I get to be king!"
The riders were soon led to a large deep put filled partially with water. From where she stood Ash could see long dark shaped wiggling through the water, but she wasn't sure of what they were. Seemed like this one could be easy, but knowing the Defenders, she was quite sure this trial wasn't going to be as easy as the first.
"This is your second of your three trials, Snotlout Jorgenson." Throk said gesturing to the pit. At that moment one of the dark shaped leapt out of the water with a loud hiss before falling back in.
"Oh look, eels." Ash commented as Sweet Song screeched in terror and backed away from the edge to hide behind Elin's leg. "Relax, you're not going in there!"
"I don't blame her, these seem pretty scary." Astrid said as another eel leapt out of the water and cringed. "Poisons too, and I'm surprised Storm likes eating these."
"If you'd like, you can take a weapon into the maze." They heard Throk say as Snotlout took a mace off a weapons rack that stood nearby.
"Awesome! Will it help my chances?" Snotlout asked and Throk laughed.
"No." He admitted.
"Hey Snotlout, if you die this time I get to keep Hookfang and give him to the triplets!" Ash called as the rider lowered himself into the water.
"Not helping Ash! Also, tell those gremlins to keep their sticky hands off my dragon!" Snotlout yelled back.
"You think Hookfang will miss him?" Ruffnut asked as Throk yanked the ladder out of the water and Ash and Tuffnut shrugged.
They watched as Snotlout ran through the maze dodging eels that leapt out of the water and snapped at his face or arms as they flew by. Fishlegs and Meatlug stood ready overhead, prepared to dive in to save their friend should he be in danger. The other riders followed to keep an eye on him until he reached the back part of the maze where there was a large ladder for him to climb up.
"You know, aside from the little eels this felt too easy." Ash commented as they watched Snotlout run for the ladder. "Like way too easy."
"Yeah it kind of does, plus the eels haven't even bit any of his exposed parts either." Tuffnut agreed. "So there's probably gonna be something big at the end right- oh I was right!"
Before Snotlout could even reach the ladder, a very large eel popped right out of the water in front of him, hissing and snapping its jaws. Fishlegs took the opportunity to steer his dragon down to get between Snotlout and the large eel.
"Quick get on!" He yelled as he tried to grab his friend's hand.
"Get out of here Fishface, I got this!" Snotlout protested.
"No you don't! Get out of there now!" Astrid yelled as the eel roared, startling Meatlug and caused her to knock Fishlegs off her back before flying off.
"Elin get them!" Ash yelled, but the big blue dragon shrank away from the maze and snarled. "Oh come on, you were never afraid of eels! Why now of all times do you have to be afraid!"
Several more eels popped out of the water surrounding the two riders, and that was now enough for Snotlout.
"Okay that's it! I'm so sick of these freaking eels and this freaking maze!" He screamed before the big eels leapt right towards him.
Ash quickly slapped a hand over Sweet Song and Val's eyes to keep them from seeing anything gruesome and squeezed her eyes shut as well until she heard something come up the ladder. Opening her eyes she found a very much alive Snotlout and a groaning Fishlegs on the floor next to him with Meatlug trying to get him up.
"What just happened?" Tuffnut asked, not even sure himself.
"The impossible." Ruffnut replied.
"Hey, you alright?" Ash asks as she approached a dazed Fishlegs.
"Just...peachy?" He responds and put a hand on his head. "Wait he passed the second trial?"
"Unfortunately yes, and now he's going to let this get to his head."
Ash couldn't even sleep that night, the worrying feeling she had for Heather and Hiccup had been eating away at her almost all day. When was the last time she felt that worried? But another thing that wasn't letting her sleep was the guilt that still hit her ever since Dagur had died. No matter how many times everyone assured her it wasn’t her fault, deep in her heart she still felt responsible for his death. She absolutely hated that she was feeling this way at all, even after all this time.
Stop beating yourself up over this, he made the choice to sacrifice himself. She told herself as she tried to block out the sound of Meatlug’s loud snoring with the pillow she and the other riders were given to rest their heads on. Fuck...know what that’s it.
She kicked the blankets back, taking care not to disturb any of the dragons that were asleep in her tent and quietly crept out. Elin was asleep outside her tent, snoring softly until she heard the human step outside and made a soft rumbling noise as she opened one large eye.
"Hey girl, did I wake you?" Ash asked softly as she approached the sleepy dragon. Elin let out a soft growl and nuzzled the human, bringing a smile to her face. "Mama couldn't sleep, can I sleep out here with you?"
Elin responds with a small growl, one Ashaeya knew was her way of saying yes. She hurried back into her tent and emerged later with her blanket and sat herself down to lean against Elin, letting out a sigh of relief.
“I just miss him, I thought this would go away after a while but…” she trailed off and looked up at the sky. “I just can’t let go of this pain and guilt.”
Elin crooned softly and lowered her head to look down at the human. She wished she could actually speak to her, give her comforting words and tell her she just needed to try harder and overcome this guilt. But all she could do now was soothe her with her presence. Ash smiled and reached up to touch the dragon’s snout.
“It’s okay, I’ll keep trying to fix this. Sleep well girl, tomorrow we have Snotlout's final test to prevent from killing him."
Sleep seemed to have found her that night, since the young Targaryen awoke to find the Eruptodon looking down at her in curiosity and both Val, Sweet Song and Storm asleep next to her.
"Well good morning Great Protector." Ash greets with a smile as the large Stony dragon gently nudged her legs.
"You slept outside?" Ash lifts her head to see the queen and Throk approaching her as the other riders emerged from their tents yawning.
"Felt like sleeping outdoors, Elin kept me nice and warm." She responds as she removed the blanket and got to her feet. "So when is the final trial?"
"Oh we were just coming to awaken Snotlout to prepare him for the next trial." Mala responds as Elin lifts her head to sniff her. "This last trial determines whether or not he shall be king."
"Oh boy…" Ash heard Astrid mutter as she and the other riders approach them. "Well, his luck has come this far."
"Odin help us if he actually becomes king." Ash mutters.
Once they had eaten, the riders waited anxiously for the final trial to begin. Snotlout was obviously prepared for the trial, and he seemed pretty eager to get started. Heather and Hiccup had arrived as well, but as happy as the riders were to see their friend, they couldn't stop worrying Snotlout's streak of luck was going to come to an end.
“Alright Throkie, whatda ya got?” He asked the queen’s second-in-command. “Killer boars, spiders, Whispering Death, Screaming Death, whatever it is I’m ready.”
“Nothing so treacherous Snotlout Jorgenson.” Throk responded and pointed a loaded arrow at the queen, who was seated on her throne.
“Ooooh that’s not good.” Ash muttered when it dawned on her of what the trial was going to be. “Uh Throk, is this really part of the trials?”
"Rest assured princess, this is part of the trials. All your friend has to do is stop this arrow from hitting the queen. Once he passes this test he will get to be king."
"Oh gods I can't look!" Ash said clamping her hands over her eyes. Moments later she heard what sounded like the Eruptodon roaring in surprise and uncovered her eyes to see Throk release the arrow. The arrow missed Snotlout, who threw himself in front of Mala, and the queen expertly caught it before winking at the dragon riders.
"Am I king? Because he's a lousy shot." Snotlout said gesturing to Throk
"We do not take into account the reason for failure, only that it occurred." Mala responds.
"What?! You mean I walk on lava,fight giant eels, and I lose because this guy can't shoot straight?!" Snotlout exclaims as Ash quickly gets between him and Throk.
"It's not worth it." She warned him before moving to Hiccup. "Hey, so how'd it go?"
"Well, we found out who the hooded stranger who saved Mala." Hiccup said as he reached into his saddlebags to pull out a folded piece of paper. "It's Dagur, and he and Shattermaster are alive."
"What?!" Ash exclaimed and grabbed him by the front of his tunic. "Are you sure? Is he alright?"
"He's fine, I swear!" Hiccup said quickly. "He actually even asked about you as well- oh great you're going to cry now."
"You're tearing up!"
Ash quickly wiped at her eyes. "It's just super dusty!" Hiccup laughed before remembering he had the letter.
"Here, he gave this to me and told me to hand it to you." He pressed the letter into her hands. "Might give you some clarity and help you sleep tonight."
Ash climbed to the roof of her, the letter Hiccup had given her clutched in her hand as she seated herself on the sloped roof. Daylight was fading, but this felt like the perfect time to read the letter from Dagur. Once she was comfortably seated, she carefully unfolded the yellowed parchment and spread it out on her lap to read.
Ashaeya, I know this is hard to believe, but I'm still alive- not dead, and Shattermaster is alright as well. Hopefully by the time this letter reaches you we're still alright.
Every day I can't stop thinking about you and it broke my heart having to leave you and the riders like that, probably assuming the worst had happened to me and Shattermaster. I pray one of these days after giving this letter to the riders I'll be able to reunite with you and my sister, maybe rekindle something we were starting to have since that night you kissed me in the cave after saving me.
"Dear gods." Ash murmured as she stopped reading the letter to wipe at her eyes. That night he mentioned in the letter she remembered feeling something after kissing him to shut him up, and she was rather surprised he even remembered it. She looked back down to the letter and continued to read.
I hope the time we spend around together when I return, you'll give me a chance to win your heart and hopefully get your father's permission to properly court you. And I hope once the hunters are gone we can have peace and not worry about dying.
Be careful, stay safe and remember that my heart is forever yours.
With love, Dagur
Chapter 22: Longest Day
Episode: Longest Day
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"I absolutely hate this time of the year." Snotlout muttered angrily. "I have no clue what time it is right now, and we get absolutely no sleep!"
It was that time again, when the sun was out during the time it was supposed to be dark for two weeks, giving the Vikings a chance to get more work done. Hiccup had told the riders to relax after the first few days, knowing full well that the effects of the lack of sleep was going to affect them at some point. All they had to do that day was just wash their dragons.
"Well look at it this way, we got more work done in one week. And because the trade lanes are open again we have another reason to work a lot more." Ash points out as she was cleaning Sweet Song's mouth out with a small brush that had a long handle. "Also, why are you complaining, I have four dragons to wash and one of them is huge!"
"My sleep schedule is out of whack when this happens! At least when we were younger they let us take nice long naps to avoid insomnia!" Snotlout retorts. "Also Astrid is starting to get super happy and it's freaking me out!"
Astrid was indeed acting quite strange, running around the dome courtyard whooping in joy and screaming the weirdest things.
"We're not all going to get like that, right?" Ash asks looking to the twins. "I can handle one over-euphoric teenager, but like five more, nope."
"I don't think I can handle more euphemism if the rest of us got like that." Fishlegs agreed as he set down Meatlug's paw to grab the other to continue filing her talons.
"Nah, everyone experiences different symptoms." Tuffnut said with a shake of his head. "Like Heather has lack of coordination. But it can be a lot of stuff like mood swings, cold ankles, a rash that extends down your back to your buttocks, lots of stuff. Feel any different?"
"Uh...no? At least not so far." Ash said looking down at herself. "Well I hope I don't have mood swings, imagine one minute I'm as happy as Astrid and then the next I'm as scary as my mother when she goes into her Dragon Mother mode."
"Well Snotlout's already got it." Ruffnut laughed, pointing to the other teen who was hugging Hookfang and sobbing loudly.
"Mood swings, what I tell you?" Tuffnut laughed. "Now there are other symptoms, our uncle had paranoia- like he was super paranoid of everything and everyone."
"Really? Paranoid?" Fishlegs asked, his tone of voice changing. The three Vikings looked at him weirdly. "Why are you all looking at me like that, don't look at me! There's nothing to see here!"
"Aaand we got a paranoid Fishlegs, just what we needed." Ash muttered as he quickly walked away from them.
"Well all that's left is me, Hiccup and you two."
"We're practically immune to this stuff." Ruffnut said as she snapped shut her notebook she had been writing in. "So we have to see your symptoms."
"Uh... actually I was gonna head back to Berk and check on my family, I need to make sure no one is going loopy from the lack of sleep. And I need to make sure the triplets haven't overstuffed Smudge with leftovers, I can't have a fat direwolf pup running around Berk." Ash says shaking her head and whistling loudly. Elin and Storm, who were napping in the sun a little away from the dome, raised their heads at her call. Elin immediately jumped to her feet and scrambled over to Ash, eagerly wiggling her tail. "Oh so you wanna take me back to Berk and see grandma and grandpa?"
Elin growled excitedly and flipped herself onto her back, her eyes glittering with happiness. Ash laughed as the blue dragon rolled back onto her feet and lowered her head to let her climb on.
"Alright, Storm you're in charge of your sisters, alright?" Ash yelled to her Skrill, who had wandered over to Sweet Song. "And keep Val and the others out of trouble too! I'll be back in a few hours!"
"Ah, isn't this nice? Just you and me flying over the great blue sea." Ash sighed as she leaned forward to lean against Elin's neck. "It's been so long since we've actually flown together like this."
Elin growled in agreement. Last time Ash had ridden her was a few days back when she was brought along to check out the giant whirlpool that was destroying ships, but the last time they had a calm flight that didn't involve her getting into fights was...when was it?
While she was lost in thought, the blue dragon heard the sound of a dragon screeching from below and she stopped flying, trying to figure out where it was coming from.
"You heard that too?" Ash asks as Elin looks down to the island below them. "Sounded like a dragon in trouble, wanna check it out?"
With a snarl, Elin dove down towards the island, landing herself in a large clearing. She didn't dare to lower her head to let Ash dismount, something felt off.
"Ash! Hey!" Both the human and her dragon turned to see Hiccup and Toothless poking their heads out of the bushes and waving at them.
"Hiccup? What are you-"
Ash heard a loud screech and turned to see several small dragons roughly bigger than Toothless approaching them. Elin snarled at the newcomers and quickly shook her neck to shake Ash off, sending her to the floor and stepped forward to block the dragons from the humans and Toothless.
“Quick, the cave!” Ash said pointing to the cave behind them. “Elin lead them away!”
“Canopy is too thick to fly out of here, we need another plan.” Hiccup said when they were deep inside their new hiding place. “Seriously, what are you doing here, didn’t I tell you and the others to stay on the Edge and-”
“And groom the dragons, I know!” Ash hissed. “I was just flying back home to make sure my family wasn’t going loopy from the Midnight Sun, and checking on Smudge, you know I haven’t seen him in weeks!”
Hiccup looked over the corner to see that several of the strange dragons were still there and approaching the canyon they were hiding in. Elin had already flown off, possibly hoping they’d all follow her to let them escape. He then remembered the dragon blade, the new sword he created weeks ago that ignited with the use of some Monstrous NIghtmare spit that seemed to calm dragons down.
“Hiccup, please tell me you have a plan, I don’t even have a sword to defend us!”
“I have one, let’s see if they like this.” He removed the sword from his hip and ignited it. Moving out from his hiding place, Hiccup waved the sword in front of the dragons, who seemed a bit entranced with it. "There you go, everyone loves the Dragon Blade! See, we're just trying to help you-"
"And they don't want help!" Ash yelled, leaping forward to yank him back as the dragons opened their mouths to fire at him. Toothless lepat forward to block them from the blasts and snarled at the dragons before blasting at the rocks above. The rocks fell, sending the dragons to run off and leaving them safe- for now.
"Sorry, I guess not everyone likes the Dragon Blade." Hiccup apologized as his dragon moved back to let him and Ash sit up.
"We need to get out of here, and I have no clue where Elin is at either." She said as she got to her feet and looked up at the canyon top. She could have sworn she saw her dragon overhead, but it could have been one of these pesky ones trying to kill them earlier.
"We should try finding a way out of this canyon first, once we do we'll fly up and call for Elin." Hiccup said as he placed the sword back on his back. "Knowing her, she'll never be too far away from you."
As the three walked through the canyon before they came to a large dead end with an opening above wide enough for a dragon the size of Elin to fly out of. On the ground were various objects like bones, dented weapons, armor and helmets that looked like they came from the dragon hunters.
“I’m starting to suspect that the dragon hunters were the ones being hunted.” Hiccup commented as he stooped down to pick up a bent sword and helmet off the ground.
“I’m guessing so as well.” Ash said before pointing to the opening. “Look! A way out!”
“LEt’s find Elin and get out of here!” Hiccup climbed onto Toothless, Ash jumping on behind him and held on tightly as the Night Fury took off into the air. “We’re gonna make it!”
“Maybe not!” Ash corrects him when she spots the large blue dragons a few yards from them as they started to fire their explosive blasts.
“Hold on!” Hiccup yelled as Toothless dodged the blasts, attempting to get higher into the air but to no avail. The dragons suddenly then dove into the trees, leaving the two riders confused.
“Why did they leave?” Ash asked. Toothless suddenly gave a loud roar and dove down towards the trees. Both humans held on as they heard a roar behind them before something flew around to the front. It was a large pale green dragon roughly larger than Elin. It gave a loud roar that nearly knocked them out of the sky as several of the smaller blue dragons flew towards it and latched onto its wings.
“They were herding us towards the big guy the whole time!” Hiccup exclaimed as Toothless turned to fly away and as the smaller dragons began firing at them.
The blasts hit the dragon, before one big enough hi him again and caused both the humans to get knocked off his back. Ash and Hiccup screamed as they pummeled towards the ground, Hiccup yelling for his dragon as Ash screamed for hers as they raced towards the ground. Toothless was soon knocked out of the sky too as he tried to fly towards them. As the three fell, Ash caught sight of a blue blur hurling towards them and snag Toothless out of the air before flying towards her and snagged her and Hiccup.
“Elin!” Ash yelled when she saw it was her dragon. The Westrosi dragon roared as she sped towards the ground and held them close to her in an attempt to cushion their fall. Elin opened her wings to let them fall to the ground before getting up and shaking herself. “Good girl.” Ash groaned as she sat up.
Toothless suddenly snarled and began blasting fire at the sky. Elin snapped her head around to see the smaller blue dragons flying towards them and began to fire as well. Both of them managed to knock some of the dragons out of the sky, but one flew right towards them and pounced on Hiccup before Toothless smacked it away at a tree.
“Nice shot the two of you!” Hiccup exclaimed before they heard a loud roar from above.
“Time to go little brother!” Ash yelled, jumping to her feet to pull him towards the trees. The two dragons followed their riders as they ran before Hiccup spotted what looked like a large camouflage net covering the entrance of a cave.
“In there!” he yelled pointing towards the cave. The four of them ran towards it and hurried inside.
The opening was large enough for Elin to enter, but the rest of the way was too narrow for her to go through. Ash motioned for Hiccup to to explore the cave, seating herself on the ground near Elin.
“My head’s hurting...I think the insomnia is getting to me.” She moaned as Elin tried to curl her tail around the both of them.
He’s going to get you killed...the little runt...
Ash’s head snapped up and looked around wildly. Was someone else here? Elin looked at her mother with a confused expression. Okay she was probably starting to hear things now, hopefully not that dreaded Targaryen madness her mother had warned her about.
“Yeah I think that insomnia is kicking in.” Ash muttered to herself. “And hopefully not that madness mhysa mentioned that drove her father and brother insane.
They’ll all abandon you soon enough...once you start to drag them into your war...then you’ll see who your real friends are… The voice hissed again, this time sounding a little louder.
"Shut up SHUT UP!” Ash yelled loudly, slapping her hands over her ears.
“H-hey Ash? Can you come in here?” HIccup called from a deeper part of the cave. “Please? Also ar eyou okay?”
“”I’m fine!” Ash yelled back, getting to her feet. Elin crooned softly in concern before gently nudging her. “I’m fine girl, it’s the lack of sleep.”
Ash followed the pathway of the cave to find it open up into a large cave covered with large maps and crates and tables scattered around. Hiccup was kneeling on the ground next to some rocks and holding a spear tip in his hand
“Okay we need to come up with a plan to outthink the Shadow Wings.” He said as she walked up to him.
“Yeah, that’s what we’re calling the dragons, Toothless and I had a vote on it while you were having a bit of a...freak out.”
He thinks you’re mad! The voice in her head laughed.
Shut up! Ash thought in annoyance before speaking up. “Well that sounds fine. What do you have planned so far?”
“Well we need to take down the big Shadow Wing, but to do that we have to get past the ten smaller ones.” Hiccup explained as he placed the large spear tip on the floor and gestured to the smaller ones surrounding it. “So I was thinking that while Toothless and I distracted the smaller ones to lure them away from the bigger Shadow Wing, you and Elin could swoop in and take that one down. She’s roughly almost the same size as it, but taking it down could be easy.”
“Elin never fought anything that big before, or anything bigger than her.” Ash pointed out and folded her arms over her chest. “The plan sounds pretty foolproof and all, but what if those smaller dragons figure out what we’re trying to do and come after me and Elin? You’ve seen how their explosive fire is. And on top of that the bigger Shadow Wing has that roar that is so loud and powerful it could probably knock us out of the sky.”
“Fair point, but I think Elin is fast enough to outmaneuver it. On it’s own the big Shadow Wing is slow without its smaller companions, Elin may be as big as it but she’s pretty quick for a dragon her size.” Hiccup said and pinched the bridge of his nose. “But you do have a point about the smaller Shadow Wings, they are a lot faster than us and will get to the bigger one before you can even attack. We need to figure out a way to keep them from aiding the big one.”
Ash looked around the room and snapped her fingers. “That’s it!”
Hiccup looked up in surprise. “What’s what?”
“Hiccup look where we’re at, a dragon hunter base. And what do the hunters keep in their bases on islands full of dragons?”
Hiccup looked around the room and his eyes lit up. “Traps! Ash you figured it out!”
“Okay girl, we just gotta wait for the signal and then we attack it.” Ash whispered to Elin as they watched the bigger Shadow Wing soar through the air with it’s smaller companions clinging to its wings. She caught sight of Hiccup and Toothless above and saw two smaller Shadow Wings get blasted off the larger one’s wings. “Sōvegon Elin!”*
Elin pushed off the ground and flew towards the larger Shadow Wing. The last two smaller ones flew after Hiccup and Toothless, giving her the chance to chase after the bigger one. Her jaws closed around the tail of the Shadow Wing, causing it to turn around and snarl at the Westrosi dragon, who snarled back and bit down harder on the tail as the bigger dragon tried to shake her off.
“Don’t let go!” Ash yelled as she hung on tightly as the Shadow Wing continued to try and shake them off as it chased after Toothless.
Toothless then suddenly dove, causing both dragons to dive after him. Elin released the Shadow Wing’s tail as Ash hung on tightly, leaping onto the dragon’s back and using her weight to try and weigh it down as they raced to the ground. At the last minute Elin let go and used the Shadow Wing’s back to push herself off into the air just as Toothless flew high into the sky.
“Īlon gōntan ziry! We made it!” Ash cheered as they caught up to their companions. “Your plan worked!”
“Our plan worked!” Hiccup corrected her with a grin. “Come on, let’s head home. You can visit your family tomorrow.”
As they arrived back on the Edge, Ash was surprised to find all the dragons in the dome area, but their riders were nowhere to be seen.
“Where is everybody, and why aren’t these dragons cleaned?” Hiccup asked as they dismounted.
“They were cleaning them when I left.” Ash replies as the dragons move away from the large trap door on the floor. Storm growled and pawed at the wooden door before he shifted back with the other dragons. Curious, Ash knelt down and lifted the trap door to find the other riders asleep in a pile in there. “Oh, found them!”
“Oh of course, everyone gets to sleep but us, typical.” Hiccup sighed when he saw the sleeping dragon riders. Toothless then nudged Hiccup right into the hole and looked to Ash.
“Ah...I’ll go in myself. No need for a nudg- oh!” Elin took the opportunity to shove her in with her snout, causing Ash to fall right onto Heather and Ruffnut. “Not funny Elin!”
Elin gave out a chuckle as Stormfly shut the trap door to enclose the other riders in darkness. She carefully laid herself down inside the dome to curl her tail around the other dragons who laid themselves down against her. A small smile came to her lips and she looked at them, her family was safe again for the day until their next adventure.
*Sōvegon Elin!”: Fly Elin!
Originally Ash was going to be on the Edge with the other riders and experiencing some crazy hallucinations from her lack of sleep, but someone on Wattpad asked if there could be more Elin and Ash action since we rarely got to see the big blue gal in fighting action, and it was rather fun to write them with Hiccup and Toothless fight off Shadow Wings
Chapter 23: Meanwhile
"Hey old boy, missed me?" Ash called as she approached Sleuther with a bucket of fish in one hand and a handful of dragon nip in the other. The Triple Stryke perked up and jumped to his feet, wiggling his large tail excitedly. "Aww, you missed me that much? You look so much like Smudge when he thinks someone is gonna feed him a piece of their food.”
Sleuther growled happily as Ash set the bucket and the nip down on the ground and he rushed right over to her, playfully nuzzling her face with his nose. Ash laughs as she hugs his head and presses a small kiss to his forehead. Even before Astrid had managed to tame the dragon, Sleuther seemed to be a lot more friendly to Ash than with the other dragon riders. He always ran up to her with a rather puppy like attitude and was more willing to train with her even after Astrid helped him stop being so aggressive.
“Guess it helps being a Targaryen,” Hiccup had joked once when Sleuther had displayed his happy attitude around him when Ash was bathing him. “Even the testiest of dragons turn into softies around you.”
“I guess if you keep up with this training, maybe we’ll move you into the stables and you can officially be my dragon.” Ash says as she moves away to bend down and grab a fish from the bucket. Sleuther growls excitedly, his eyes on the fish in her hand. “Alright boy, ready? Fetch!”
Ash tosses the fish into the air and Sleuther bolts off after it, blasting at it with his orange fire before leaping forward and snagging it out of the air. He seemed quite pleased with himself as he landed, happily slurping up the charred fish before running back to Ash and wagging his tail, eager for more.
“Clever boy!” Ash cooes as she hugs his head. “Oh you are getting better at commands!”
“Wow, he’s doing a whole lot better.” Ash smiles as she turns to see Heather approaching her with Windshear in tow. Sleuther hisses before Ash delivers a small smack to his forehead to silence him.
“He still needs to get used to being around certain dragons, Toothless he can be friendly with, but I’m still working on getting him used to other wild dragons and breaking up fights he gets into.”
“Old habits?” Heather suggests. “He was put into a fighting ring for who knows how long, he still has that fight-or-flight mode switched to fighting.”
“Well he certainly doesn’t mind being around Elin, Storm, or Sweet Song. Maybe he’s just very aggressive around dragons he’s fought in those arenas, like Razorwhips and Nadders.”
“That could be it. How is he doing with other training?”
“Basic commands? He’s perfected it, he’s even let me climb onto his back to run around the woods.” At the word “run”, Sleuther perked up and nudged Ash excitedly. “Oh someone wants to go for a little ride today?”
“He’s really grown close to you, it’s adorable.” Heather giggles at the sight of the dragon’s antics as he starts excitedly jumping around her friend. “You think your parents won’t mind you keeping him?”
“Well why not?” Ash asks as Sleuther playfully headbutted her back gently. “We’ve already got like several dragons at home that are just as dangerous as him, but they’re perfectly tame around my younger siblings. “Though they’re a bit terrified of Rhaella and Rhaena.”
“They keep trying to tie ribbons and colorful cloth on their horns and tails to “dress them up”. Elin and Storm already had to suffer through it, so did the rest of the gang’s dragons, and now Aemon and Pyro and whatever other dragons living near my house suffer through it too.”
“Oh my Thor.” Heather laughed. “Guess Sleuther is going to get the same treatment too?”
“Probably.” Ash laughs as Sleuther growls impatiently. “Alright, alright, we’ll go for your run.”
“Oh look Sleuther is finally letting her ride him!” Fishlegs yells as he and the twins watch the Triple Stryke zoom through the air.
“Hey you think he’s faster than Toothless or Storm?” Ruffnut asks her twin as they hear Ash give a yelp as Sleuther barrel rolls through the air.
“I’d say he’s at a fifteen in speed, we haven’t seen him race against either of the other two.” Tuffnut replies and flinches when the duo nearly crash into one of the nearby huts.
“Maybe when he gets the hang of flying with someone on his back we can test that.” Fishlegs suggest as Sleuther lands rather clumsily near them. “With a saddle.”
“That felt like an eighteen speed.” Ash groans as she slips off the tired dragon. “Shit...remind me to wear that set of riding trousers my mother made if I was riding bareback for so long.”
“And that’s why I love the Berserker Chokehold.” Dagur cackles as he drops the dragon hunter he was choking to shut up. “Man this guy is shrimpier and wimpier than Hiccup when he was fifteen!”
Shattermaster, who was seated on a pile of unconscious dragon hunters, growled happily as he climbed off them and waddled over to Dagur.
“We got what we needed old boy, why don’t we head to the Edge to see how my little brother and sister are doing and tell them the good news?” Dagur said as he scratched his dragon behind the ears. Shattermaster growled excitedly and eagerly wagged his tail. “And maybe...we can see a certain lady who spoiled you last time we saw her?”
Oh that did it. Shattermaster gave out one of his funny noises and wagged his bludgeon tail excitedly at the mention of Ash. Dagur would be lying if he wasn’t excited as well to see her again. Ever since he faked his death he wanted to let her know he was alright, and even after Heather and Hiccup found him alive he wanted to let her know personally. He really missed her, and it hurt his heart when Heather told him Ash had been distracted and distant ever since he disappeared like that.
Will she be happy to see me again? He wonders as he climbs onto Shattermaster. Will she be willing to let me into her heart again after how much pain I caused her?
Only one way to find out.