AN: And here we are, the moment you've no doubt been waiting for! Hiccup and Elsa's wedding day is finally upon us. However, not everyone in attendance is there for peace. There are many hidden agendas at this wedding, both good and bad, and many important faces, both new and old. Buckle up boys and girls as in honor of Hiccelsa's Wedding, we have a three parter. I had originally intended for this to be one whole chapter, but it was getting so long that I finally had to break it down. The first part will deal with the emotions and conversations leading up to the wedding itself, part two will be the actual wedding and some emotions/responses, and the third part will be the aftermath/reception and more responses to the union. This is where the story really begins, but the repercussions of this day are still for the future. For now, its time for the first of many hurdles in Hiccup and Elsa's growing relationship and their future as they take their 'first steps into a much larger world' (Star Wars reference).
*NOTICE* Please read at least the first part of the endnote at the end of the chapter.
On a side note, I got a guest review that asked if this was Frozen 1 & 2 all over again. I mentioned this in the first chapter, but I will say it again to reassure you that this story will absolutely NOT be just a rehash of any of the movies. There will be people, places, and some events from the different movies (mostly from the HTTYD book and film series), but they will be used to tell a completely separate story. In addition, some of the overarching themes from the movies will carry over into this story, but it will be done in a different way. For example, in the first chapter of my story the forest Elsa was training in was actually the Enchanted Forest from Frozen 2 and yes in this story Elsa is facing an internal struggle concerning her fear of loosing control and showing who she really is, but it's a different kind of struggle than the movies and her journey to overcome it will be different as well.
I wanted to showcase the essence of both series in my story and I wanted to blend both worlds into one new world, but I wanted to do it in a unique way. I have nothing against authors who do the storylines from the movies during crossovers, in fact I've seen some really good ones done and I hope I can do as good of a job in my story as they did, but that is not what I'm doing here. You'll see references from both series, but I will be striving to make this as original as I can. So, I hope I've put any worries that guest reviewer and anyone else has to rest. I really hope you enjoy the journey and feel free to let me know how I'm doing at keeping it unique and if you have any ideas or constructive criticism on how to make it more so, but once again please no flames. Onto the story…
Disclaimer: I don't own HTTYD or Frozen.
Of Weddings and Clandestine Meetings - Pt 1
After the late hour of the previous night most sane people would still be asleep in their beds, blissfully unaware of the beauty found in the early morning rays of the rising sun, but then again, Hiccup had never really been accused of being sane before. Hiccup, being used to a sporadic sleep cycle thanks to his stubborn dragon, was unbothered by the lack of sleep and found himself gliding peacefully on Toothless' back, high up in the near cloudless sky of the Kingdom of Corona. The bite of the cold air was like a straight dose of caffeine for Hiccup and he reveled in it as he cupped his hands to his face, breathing a small flame into them, before placing them on Toothless' back letting the warmth spread between dragon and rider as a way of showing his contentment with the moment.
As much as he had dreaded the previous nights talk with Gobber, Hiccup had to admit he felt significantly better this morning and not so alone in his journey. Then, or course, their was his previous interactions with Elsa and how now, despite the many unknowns still ahead of him, Hiccup actually found himself looking forward to interacting with her more…in a purely platonic way of course. Hiccup had always been naturally curious and even as a boy Hiccup would always sneak off to go exploring or hunting for trolls whenever his father took him fishing. Now, as Hiccup had discovered last night, his betrothed was an almost literal puzzle, one Hiccup was more than willing to take the time to figure out.
Speaking of the puzzling things about princess Elsa, Hiccup thought to himself with a small smirk as he nudged Toothless ever so slightly, indicating his want to turn towards the docks. Maybe I can squeeze in a quick look at that Submaripper of her's before we need to head back.
With that thought in mind, the pair quickly made their way towards the docks, with Hiccup fully intent on examining the elusive deep water dragon, but as they neared the water something truly bizarre caught their attention. Though not a word was said, the pair as one slowly began to descend towards a small trading post not even a block away from the waterfront, setting down soundlessly a short distance away. As Hiccup dismounted Toothless, the pair looked on in fascination at a tall slightly scruffy looking blonde haired man around Hiccup's age that was dressed in a leather outfit. He was leaning against an ornate looking sleigh and was sharing a carrot with a reindeer of all animals, as he threw a few fish to a small clutch of land based dragons that even Hiccup had never been able to train. All four of the flightless bipedal raptor like dragons looked nearly identical, standing at right around waist height with webbed feet, short clawed arms, and long flexible tails with paralyzing stingers on the end like scorpions.
Speed Stingers? Hiccup practically shouted internally as he stared at the scene with both an awed and incredulous look. Their hive mind makes them almost feral and impossible to train! I mean I've tried everything, so how did he manage it? What, is he some kind of crazy feral mountain man that talks to rocks or something?
Shaking himself out of his mental rant, Hiccup saw that the reindeer had noticed them and was looking at himself and Toothless curiously, though the blonde haired man still had his back to the pair. Hiccup moved forward a step to call out to the blonde haired man, when said man 'spoke' up first.
"'Hey Kristoff,'" the blonde haired man said in a weird deep voice, back still facing the pair as the reindeer angled his head towards Hiccup and Toothless like he was pointing at the pair. "'It looks like we have a pair of travelers heading this way. They might be heading down to the docks and we're blocking the way with the sleigh. We should probably move out of the way and say hello. Wouldn't want to leave a bad first impression after all.'"
"Oh right, good call Sven," Kristoff returned in his normal voice as he turned around to face Hiccup and Toothless with a sheepish smile on his face. "Sorry about that gentlemen, I didn't realize anyone else was out this early. Just enjoying a little morning snack before meeting up with my girlfriend and her sister for breakfast. If we're in your way we can definitely move."
Hiccup and Toothless just stood there blinking in confusion, their eyes drifting to each other before going back to the bizarre man before them. Finally shaking himself out of his confused stupor, Hiccup decided to ignore the obvious question about the man's sanity for the moment and tried to strike up a conversation in hopes of finding out more about the Speed Stingers that were curiously sniffing around Toothless.
"Nah that's fine," Hiccup supplied with a small shrug and a dismissive wave of his hand as he gave a friendly smile. "Names Hiccup by the way. Toothless and I were just out for a little early morning flight ourselves. We wanted to check out the docks a bit before the morning rush. I didn't realize Mr. Oaken had already opened up his shop this early."
"Oh, he hasn't yet," Kristoff responded as he indicated the little closed sign that rested in the window right under the shop sign that read 'Wandering Oaken's Trading Post', with another small sign attached to it that read 'and Suana'. "I'm a bit of a regular at his uncle's trading post up north and when he heard I'd be visiting down here, he made me promise to stop by to see his nephew. I caught him as he was closing shop yesterday, so he told me to drop by first thing this morning. I wanted to get a fresh coat of wax for my sleigh. The sea air is murder on the finish. But where are my manners, I'm Kristoff and this handsome lug here is my best friend Sven."
"'It's a pleasure to meet you both,'" Kristoff said for Sven in that same weird deep voice, as Sven gave a quick nod of his head and a slight smile before indicating the four Speed Stinger dragons. "'And of course these are Groff, Hinds, Ritter, and their sister Bell.'"
Once again, both Hiccup and Toothless were left confused and a tiny bit afraid if they were honest, both leaning back ever so slight away from Kristoff. Seeing this, Kristoff winced as he nervously rubbed the back of his head.
"Sorry," Kristoff muttered in his normal voice, a little flustered. "I keep forgetting that not everyone is used to me doing that. Sven and I have just been together since we were both really young, and for a lot of that time it was just the two of us on our own. It may sound strange and a little far fetched, but I just kind of have this connection with him, you know. I just tend to know what he's trying to say, and I guess I got in the habit of answering for him as a way of filling the silence. Sorry, you probably think I'm crazy now."
With those words Hiccup felt a deep sense of understanding fill him as he turned slightly to regard Toothless. Hiccup couldn't honestly say it was that far fetched and felt a sort of kinship with Kristoff over their similar bonds. Intent on letting the flustered reindeer man know about that fact, Hiccup spoke up once more.
"Not at all, I don't think it sounds that far fetched. It's actually just like the bond that Toothless and I have. Even without words, its like a…feeling you get that you just know what they're trying to say. So, I completely get it and I don't think its crazy at all. …Ok, well I mean to be fair the whole responding for him thing, that parts a little bit crazy, but I've seen much crazier from some of my closest friends so trust me when I say you're in excellent company."
Kristoff couldn't help but laugh at Hiccup's words, Sven and the Speed Stingers joining in after a moment, happy to have met someone else that understood. After that, conversation flowed smoothly for the next few minutes as Krsitoff inquired about what kind of dragon Toothless was, followed by Kristoff explaining how his extended 'family' had actually domesticated a whole hive of Speed Stingers and that the four that had bonded with him, had been the runts of the litter that had looked to Sven as their alpha.
"Of course, how did I not see that before," Hiccup cried in realization as Kristoff finished his story, a hand going to smack himself in the forehead before crossing his arms as he rubbed his chin in thought. "They have a hive mentality, so in order to train them you need to convince them that you are part of the hive or you need to start a new hive with them. I'll have to write that down so I can add it to the Book of Dragons later. That was extremely insightful Kristoff, thanks. I always love exploring new lands and learning new things about dragons and other cultures. Speaking of which, what exactly brings you down this way? Looking for new trading partners, exploring, or…"
"Well, actually I'm here for the peace treaty and the royal wedding," Kristoff replied off handedly as he distractedly scratched the back of his head, though wether in unease or habit Hiccup couldn't tell. "I was born in a small ice harvester settlement near Arendelle, the capital city of the High Imperium. My dad was lost at sea during an engagement that sunk his vessel and my mother died during childbirth, so I was raised by my grandfather until I was eight. To hear some of the stories and the horrors he witnessed, I'm honestly just looking forward to an end to this war. At the end of the day, we're all just people right? We should be able to work things out without violence, or at least that what's my girlfriend thinks and her optimism is kind of infectious."
"That-that's a nice thought," Hiccup muttered as his mind was overwhelmed with both sympathy and determination before he squared his shoulders with resolve, knowing that this was exactly the kind of moment where he could make a difference in this quest for peace. "You could probably tell from my 'great' name, but I'm from one of the islands in the Confederacy of the Barbaric Archipelago. I lost my mom when I was a baby too, and this war has definitely cost me and many people I know a lot. I know it doesn't mean much, but from someone whose lost loved ones as well, I am truly sorry for what this war has cost you. I know I'm only one man, but I intend to do everything I can to make this peace a lasting one. No one should have to suffer the way you and I and countless others have."
"I figured you were," Kristoff replied with a small shrug, but with a slight smile of understanding, appreciating where Hiccup was coming from and what he was trying to say. "I suppose some of my countrymen would think that I should be angry or at least mistrustful of you, but I can't find it in myself to be that way. You and I are probably the same age, so anything I could say against you would be simply because you were born in the Confederacy and that's just stupid, not to mention it's not what my grandfather would've wanted in any case. Some of his last words to me were, 'war doesn't determine who's right, just who's left.' So I figure, if fighting, even if its to protect, runs the risk of destroying the very ones I love, its better to at least try and pursue peace first before judging, no matter how different the other person may be."
"Your grandfather was a wise man," Hiccup commented as he placed a supportive hand on Kristoff's shoulder, before deciding to ask another question he was curious of Kristoff's opinion on. "It's a shame how high the price of peace was, but at least it's an option now and I'd like to think that both my mother and your grandfather would jump at the chance to make this peace work. Though, I have to admit I'm also curious about something, what's your take on the royal wedding that's being used to symbolize the peace?"
"Uh, you know I'm not really sure," Kristoff muttered a little warily, not wanting to give away his connection the princesses of the High Imperium to a total stranger, no matter how much of a kinship he felt with him. "I mean I get what they're trying to do with it, so from a political point of view it makes sense. However, I guess I feel kind of bad for them in a way, and I just hope that maybe they can make something work. My girlfriend is really big on true love and all that, so she's got me kind of thinking that way too. Princess Elsa can be a little cold on the outside, but she's much more than a pretty face and she really is beloved by the people and I just really hope Prince whatever-his-name-is appreciates all the amazing qualities she has to offer. Princess Elsa's devotion, endurance, and kindness among many others are true treasures worth valuing and he better treat her right or the people will hear of it."
"I'm sure he will realize just how special she is," Hiccup returned with a chuckle as he absorbed all that Kristoff had just said. Hiccup could see a few more pieces of the puzzle known as Princess Elsa a little more clearly now. Though Hiccup had already guessed as such, to hear from one of her subjects that Elsa was more than beautiful, that she apparently inspired her people despite the mask she wore, was intriguing. He had been cautiously optimistic before, but Hiccup was starting to genuinely think that a friendship with Elsa was really possible, maybe even preferable.
After that, the conversation turned once again towards more casual topics, until Mr. Oaken opened his shop's doors about ten minutes after. Knowing his time was up for now, Hiccup waved goodbye to Kristoff and Sven as he made his way back to the castle to begin getting ready for breakfast and to meet Elsa's younger sister that had been absent the night before. Imagine Hiccup's surprise when Anna introduced him to her boyfriend, Kristoff. Needless to say, the two men were left floundering for a moment, before both Hiccup and Kristoff simultaneously cried out, "Wait, so you're actually…and then that means I was talking to…but…argh, nothing makes sense anymore!"
Elsa felt like she was missing something, but Anna was left in awe at how her boyfriend and Elsa's betrothed where so in sync with each other. Anna spent the rest of the time up until breakfast was severed trying to get Elsa and her on the same wave length. It didn't take Hiccup and Kristoff very long to forget their confusion and start laughing at Anna's antics and Elsa's exasperated expression. Hiccup and Kristoff's laughter quickly died down though as both girls turned unamused glares at them, before both suddenly started to giggle as the boys started laughing all over again and for just a moment, it was like Hiccup was just another part of the group. By the time Stoick entered the room alongside Agnarr and Iduna, the quartet had settled down at the table for breakfast, each one a mask of calm, but as Hiccup caught Elsa's eye for just a moment he could see a flash of something sparkling just below the surface. Hiccup only had a few clues to the puzzle right now, but Hiccup already knew one thing…he couldn't wait to go searching for more answers.
Elsa felt like an absolute fool as she stepped and hopped around the room, her right arm crossed with Hiccup's as they once again practiced the same traditional viking wedding dance that Hiccup's parent's had performed at their own wedding. However, it wasn't the dancing that was making Elsa feel foolish, it was how naive Elsa felt she was for thinking that she would even have a moment to actually talk to Hiccup privately before their upcoming wedding. Elsa had fully expected her days to be filled with meetings, preparations, and many hours of practice in a variety of areas. However, as she had been performing at that level for years, and was therefore used to such things, Elsa had fully expected to be able to squeeze in a short discussion with her betrothed. Never in all her life had Elsa been more wrong.
Despite being around him almost constantly the past week, Elsa still had yet to find an opportunity to talk with Hiccup about their dragons, or really anything that wasn't directly related to the wedding or the peace treaty. It seemed like every waking moment of Elsa's day was always accounted for in some fashion or another and the pair absolutely never had a spare moment to themselves, at least not at the same time. On top of that, Elsa had been unable to even sneak away for a simple flight with Breen since arriving in the kingdom of Corona. Now, the full moon was tomorrow night, which meant that the wedding itself was in less than eighteen hours, and Elsa honestly felt like her head was simply going to explode if she did not get a moment of peace to herself soon. However, that would take a miracle at this point.
"That was absolutely wonderful you two," Anna's enthusiastic voice suddenly called out from behind the pair as she entered the ballroom they had been practicing in, her movements flowing with more grace than Elsa could ever recall seeing before, the music that a small band of vikings had been playing finally fading away into the background. "Don't you think so High Jarl Stoick?"
Stoick, who'd been watching the pair with slightly misty eyes as his mind drifted back to a day from long ago, could only give a solemn nod as he replied, "It was indeed Princess. Gobber certainly succeeded in teaching you both well. It reminds me of my wife and I on our own wedding day…many years ago. I know my dearest Valka would be proud of you…both of you."
Sensing the importance and the emotions behind Stoick's words, Elsa dropped a respectful curtsy in acknowledgement as Hiccup bowed his head in both respect and sadness at the reminder of his mother. Anna for her part stood solemnly, head bowed in silent respect as well, the atmosphere growing heavy for a moment. After it had passed Anna turned once again towards Stoick, her countenance regal and her movements measured, and in that moment Elsa knew that Anna was about to try and pull one of her harebrained schemes. Having known Anna since birth Elsa could easily tell when her younger sister was up to something as that was the only time that Anna ever went into 'princess mode', as Anna liked to call it. Even Hiccup, though he had only known her for a week, could tell something had to be up as this was nothing like the Anna he had come to know.
"I agree, they've both done very well and should feel quite proud of themselves." Anna said as she put on her most innocent smile, or at least tried to, as she gestured towards her sister. "Now however, if it's all right, I've come to collect princess Elsa. Our mother wanted to do one final fitting of Elsa's wedding dress and so she sent me here to retrieve her."
Stoick, his attention fully on Anna, missed the exasperated look that crossed Elsa's face briefly at Anna's pathetic attempt at an excuse. Stoick couldn't quite place why, but something about Anna's statement felt off to him, like their was something important that he was forgetting. Hiccup, on the other hand, noticed Elsa's brief lapse as well as the mischievous twinkle in Anna's eye. Unlike his father, Hiccup could clearly remember having breakfast late the previous day because Elsa had been busy with her final dress fitting. So, the idea of another fitting the day before the wedding was a little far fetched and that meant that Anna's excuse was just a ploy to get Elsa a break.
Now having an idea as to the younger princess' intentions, Hiccup thought it best to intervene before his father thought too long on the obvious lie and the whole ploy unraveled before them. Deciding to play along for both Anna and Elsa's sake, it was with only a small internal groan of resignation that Hiccup made his sacrifice play by changing the subject to the one thing that never failed to draw his father's full focus, tradition.
"Of course, and just when I think I've won too," Hiccup muttered with an overly dramatic sigh, gaining the rooms full attention. "All right dad, I know what's coming next, so let's go get this over with. I'm sure you must be eager to see me dig in the dirt for the next two hours. I still say some traditions are meant to be broken, particularly the ones that involve breaking into graves, even if the grave in question is fake. I suppose it can't be avoided now, but I really wish you'd at least consider getting rid of such an archaic, not to mention disturbing, tradition."
As Hiccup spoke, Elsa and Anna's eyes widened in disgust at the idea of digging up a grave, but Stoick's eyes brighten considerably as he realized that now Hiccup would have the time to complete the typical viking marriage custom. With a simple gesture indicating Hiccup should follow him, Stoick lead the way out of the room with an indigent huff as he began lecturing his son about viking culture and customs. "Traditions connect us with our ancestors Hiccup. The act of procuring an ancestral weapon symbolizes a viking man's ability to protect their family, but it also shows that they are aware of their family's history, of who came before them. These traditions help us…"
Resigned to his self-inflicted fate, Hiccup allowed himself a small weary sigh as he followed Stoick out of the room. However, having successfully distracted his father from Anna's little fib, Hiccup couldn't help but smirk and, looking back at the two stunned and confused princesses, gave Elsa and Anna a quick conspiratorial wink as he rounded the corner wordlessly, Stoick's voice already fading down the hall.
As silence descended on the ballroom, the viking band having already departed, realization slowly dawned on Anna as to what Hiccup had just done for her sister. Elsa soon heard a faint squealing that quickly built up in volume as Anna let loose one of the loudest squeals of excitement that she had ever heard, forcing Elsa to cover her ears. Suddenly, Anna covered her own mouth with a look of fear, as she quickly rushed to the door and checked the hall to make sure the coast was still clear.
"Anna, what in the world was that all about?" Elsa muttered with a mild glare directed at Anna as she gently rubbed her still ringing ears. "First of all, that was an abysmal excuse and you're lucky Hiccup just happened to speak up when he did because literally everyone knows that mother already handled the final adjustments to my wedding dress yesterday. Secondly, why were you squealing like Kristoff just proposed to you…w-wait he didn't, did he?"
"Wha-, n-no of course not," Anna stuttered in a slightly flustered state, the image of Kristoff on one knee coming unbidden into her head, before she her face quickly contorted into a sly smirk. "I was just admiring how sweet and caring your knight in dragon scale armor is. He totally just took an arrow for you. Sigh…it's so romantic…"
"Anna what are you talking about?" Elsa questioned in a quite tone, but the blush quickly engulfing her face indicated that she already had an idea of what Anna was getting at.
"Oh please Elsa," Anna scoffed, secretly reveling in having the upper hand for once, as she continued teasing her older sister with a sickeningly sweet voice. "Its like a fairytale where the charming prince nobly sacrifices his sanity by enduring his father's boring lectures so his true love can have a moment of peace all to herself. In all honestly though, Hiccup really is a nice guy so you seriously lucked out with him Els. Not to mention, you two actually look pretty good together…and your kids would be absolutely adorable!"
"ANNA!" Elsa cried out mortified.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," Anna quickly placated, her tone turning a little more somber as her voice slowly grew softer and heavier with emotion. "Seriously Els, I know that even though Hiccup is much better than either of us dared hoped for, this situation is still less than ide-, you know what mom's not here to scold me right now, so this situation just sucks…for the both of you. You both deserve to find true love on your own time, not the kingdoms…but you're both doing the right thing with your heads held high and handling it better than I would be able too. I just wish that things could be different for you; I want you to be happy Els."
Elsa felt her heart swell in both love and gratitude for her younger sister, as she gently gather the teary-eyed Anna into her arms in a warm embrace. For a moment the world was still, as the two sisters conveyed their love and support to one another. Pulling away slightly, but not relinquishing her hold on Anna at all, Elsa looked her younger sister in the eye with a genuine smile, wiping away a few stray tears from Anna's face, as Elsa said, "I know you do Anna and I can't tell you how much your support means to me. I am happy though. I've never desired love and romance the way you have. Honestly, you're right, Hiccup is a good man and with him I'll be able to do more to promote peace than I ever could have on my own. So, knowing that you'll be happy with your own true love is more than enough for me. You are my baby sister and I love you very much Anna."
With a teary laugh Anna gripped her sister once again in a tight embrace as she whispered, 'I love you too Els'. The sisterly moment continued on for a few more moments, until Rapunzel suddenly entered the room, wondering what was taking Anna so long to bring Elsa to their rendezvous point. Seeing the sisterly moment, Rapunzel tried to silent slip back out of the room unnoticed, but the moment was already gone. With a sheepish apology, Elsa and Anna easily waved off the interruption as Rapunzel and Anna quickly explained the escape plan they had devised. Sneaking along the corridors to the far side of the castle where Rapunzel had brought Breen, Elsa listened in both awe and gratitude as Rapunzel instructed Elsa exactly where and when Elsa could return so as to avoid detection.
Not even ten minutes later Elsa found herself soaring through the air, Breen warbling happily in excitement, with the knowledge that she had two whole hours to herself before she would be missed. For the first time all week, as the cold air rippled around her and the fading light of the evening sun warmed her skin, Elsa simply felt free like a dragon. There was no right, no wrong, and no rules, just the open sky and Elsa was at one with it all.
For the next nearly two hours the sound of the rushing wind was like a soothing symphony to Elsa's nerves. Finally, a mere twenty minutes before she needed to return, Elsa found herself sitting against a tree across the water from the docks, the very same tree Hiccup had been sitting at almost a week earlier, watching the many ships that were already arriving. They were no doubt the many dignitaries and representatives from the two respective governments, along with several other neutral party's, that would be attending the wedding.
Forcing her nerves back down, Elsa simply breathed in the peace of the moment, knowing it had no doubt cost her sister and her cousin a lot to make it happen for her. It really amazed Elsa, all the effort and planning that Anna and Rapunzel had put into this excursion, including appropriate excuses to distract her parents with. Elsa would need to remember to thank both Anna and Rapunzel again when she got back, though given the fact that they had forgotten about Stoick, Elsa would probably also need to thank Hiccup too for his help.
And it always comes back to Hiccup lately, doesn't it? Elsa pondered to herself, not noticing right away as Breen's head suddenly perked up and she took an experimental sniff of the air, before turning her focus to the trees further out from Elsa. Not that it's that surprising to be honest, given the betrothal, but its like each interaction we have only brings more conflicting facts to light. He's a viking, but he's sweet. He's awkward, but he's charming. He's sarcastic, but he's caring. He's my betrothed, but he doesn't seem to expect or demand anything of me…
Elsa still didn't know what to make of the walking contradiction known as Hiccup. There was a part of Elsa that still felt that all of it might be an act, but more and more Elsa found herself thinking that maybe they could at least be friends in this shared arrangement. However, Elsa couldn't help but wonder if that was even possible, as the scenario just seemed too good to be true, even with all the evidence pointing in that direction. What Elsa really needed was a fresh perspective.
Suddenly, Breen let out a warning growl that was immediately followed by a second growl from a different dragon. Turning towards the sound Elsa saw a long slender serpentine like dragon, wearing a leather chair saddle with attached metal handle bars, with silver wings and armor like scales, a singular large horn on its nose. Next to the dragon was a beautiful fair skinned young woman, similar in age to Elsa, with long flowing black hair done in a braid over her left shoulder, a slender figure dressed in a leather type armor with silver armored shoulder pads, and piercing green eyes that were nearly the same shade as her dragon's. The surprise Elsa could see in the young woman's eyes told Elsa that the young woman had most likely not been expecting company, but Elsa wouldn't let down her guard that easily.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you," the young woman spoke up before Elsa could say anything, her arms moving to placate her dragon with the effect being instant as the female Razorwhip quickly settled itself to the ground, protectively wrapping herself around the young woman. "I actually didn't realize anyone else would be out this way. It was something of a long flight here and we were just looking for a relatively secluded spot to rest a bit. Windshear here can be a bit obstinate when she's tired and can be a bit snappish when meeting new people and dragons, so I usually try to let her rest up before trying to introduce her to others if I can. My names Heather by the way, and I'm sorry again if we disturbed you. We can find another spot."
"It's all right," Elsa replied slowly after a moment, detecting no deceit in either Heather's words or eyes, but still erring on the side of caution by standing up and moving closer to Breen. "My dragon and I were just resting up ourselves and were about to head back in a few minutes anyway. Its been a…busy week to put it mildly."
Elsa had fully intended to bid the young woman farewell and mount Breen so they could return to the castle, until Heather spoke up again in a bright happy tone that reminded Elsa of her sister, but it was what she said next that made her pause. "Yeah I can't even imagine. A wedding is a big deal on a normal day, let alone one of this magnitude and importance. I'm sure it's been crazy around here. Hey, have you seen or heard anything about the Imperium princess that Hiccup's supposed to be marrying? It's not like I'm actually invited to the wedding or anything, since I'm really just here to explore and scout out some new trading opportunities, but I'm still a bit curious."
"Not really, since she hasn't been let out of the castle since arriving," Elsa responded with care, her face giving away nothing, but Elsa's mind was quickly processing Heather's words and how genuine they appeared to be before, recognizing the rare opportunity before her, Elsa decided to take advantage of it. "To be honest I know next to nothing about the High Jarl's son either, even though I believe he arrived two days earlier than the princess. I confess I'm a little curious about all this too and you seem to at least know about the groom-to-be. Hiccup was it…I take it you've met him before then? Are you a member of the Confederacy? Oh, and you can call me…Idina."
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Idina," Heather greeted Elsa, eyes bright and smile wide and innocent, her posture relaxed and her face understanding as she continued. "Yeah, I've met Hiccup a couple of times, but I'm not part of the Confederacy or anything. No, my home island is more like allies of the Confederacy, but we're not officially recognized because my island's so small and out of the way that most members don't even know we exist. It's a small village and we're a close-nit bunch, so we don't get out much. In fact, I'm actually one of the select few that actually goes out regularly to obtain certain supplies and items that we can't make or grow on our own. It was actually on one of these trips that I met Hiccup the first time."
"That must have been something," Elsa commented with genuine interest as she carefully selected her words so as to learn as much as she could about Hiccup from this unexpected source, internally chuckling at the irony of her next words. "I can't imagine the odds of stumbling across the heir of a governmental ruler. You have some kind of luck Heather. So, what was he like, if you don't mind me asking?"
"In a word…adorkable," Heather laughed at her own words as she leaned against her dragon without a care in the world. "I had always assumed that the heir to High Jarl Stoick the Vast had to be this large power no nonsense viking juggernaut, kind of like his father. However, here Hiccup was before me in all his awkward, uncoordinated glory and his wit was so dry it left me parched, but he was just so sweet and so…passionate…about dragons, about exploring, about everything! Listening to him go on and on about the things he had learned and how he wanted to explore every inch of the world, it was so cute how dorky he was, but he was also very brave. Windshear and I got ourselves into a tight spot with some renegade outcasts that wanted her scales and I shudder to think what they would've done with me, but here comes Hiccup swooping in on the back of his Night Fury. With no regard for his own safety, only focused on this strange girl he hardly knows, Hiccup and Toothless dive straight down and fight off the outcasts like they're just little lambs instead of blood thirsty hunters. Though we've only met up a few times since then, Hiccup never ceases to amaze me and he really cares about others, both humans and dragons. This princess is one lucky girl Idina, let me tell you. Hiccup deserves all the happiness in the world and I hope she treats him well."
Hearing the clear emotions in Heather's voice, Elsa could guess that this girl probably had something of a crush on Hiccup and the thought made Elsa's stomach clench in concern for some reason, though she wasn't sure why. Thinking it over for moment, Elsa figured that it was probably just an instinctual response out of concern that Hiccup might be something of an opportunist when it came to women, but Elsa felt fairly certain that Hiccup wasn't actually that kind of person and her fear was thus unfounded, so she ignored the weird feeling. Heather had definitely been a wellspring of new information for Elsa and she had a lot to think about now, but Elsa knew that it was time to head back.
"I'm sure she will," Elsa finally returned with a genuine smile as she finally mounted Breen, thankful for Heather's helpful words even if Heather herself was unaware of the help she had provided. "It was really insightful talking with you Heather, not to mention a delight to meet you. I have to get going now, but I wish you safe travels and a pleasant stay. May our paths cross again one day."
"I hope so, and the same to you…," Heather called out with an exuberant wave as Elsa and Breen shot off into the air, heading around the island to approach from the back side. Suddenly, Heather's entire demeanor changed as her posture straightened and the happy go lucky aura she had been displaying shifted into a more powerful and controlled presence, but the genuine smile she wore never wavered in the slightest. "…princess Elsa Aurora Arendelle. Just remember what I said, you better treat Hiccup right…and Hiccup that princess of yours, definitely a keeper, she really is something else."
One of the things that Queen Iduna found to be most surprising this particular morning as she arrived at her daughter's room to help begin preparations for the wedding, was that Elsa was still asleep. To be fair, the hour was still early, not even quite six yet, but considering Iduna had already gone to her youngest's room, only to find Anna already up and nervously brushing her hair in preparation for the royal stylist, Iduna had been expecting Elsa to be a ball of nerves and practically ready for the ceremony itself already. Instead, Iduna found her eldest child curled up in her bed, her whole body wrapped around a pillow that she was clutching to her chest possessively, something Iduna hadn't seen Elsa do since she was eight. However, it was the look of complete and utter peace, accompanied by a gentle smile, that really warmed Iduna's heart as it had been years since she had seen Elsa look this relaxed…even in her sleep.
Moving to sit on the side of the bed, Iduna took a moment to gaze at her eldest as she thought back to the day that she had first held Elsa in her arms. As a young newly minted queen and a first time mother, Iduna had been wracked with worry even leading up to the birth, a worry that had only increased as the midwives, even with how professional and comforting they had been, had started to show signs of worry of their own as the hours Iduna had been in labor kept increasing far beyond the norm. However, when the taxing ordeal had finally ended and she felt the soft bundle clutched protectively to her chest, Iduna knew her heart had been stolen for good by this little miracle and she had promised in that moment that she would move the world just to make her daughter happy.
Now gazing at the young woman that lay before her, so much like the child she had once held, Iduna couldn't stop the tears from flowing, even if she had wanted too. Queen Iduna knew that today everything would change and she wished it could be different, but knew that, despite her previous promise, she was powerless to protect her daughter from the world around them. However, as she bent down to lay a small kiss on Elsa's head and move a stray strand of hair out of her face, another miracle happened.
"Hiccup, stop. That tickles…" Elsa muttered in her sleep as she curled even tighter around the pillow she clutched to herself, her smile widening just a fraction before smoothing out peacefully.
Iduna's eyes were wide, as the tears she had already shed suddenly increased, but this time in happiness. She knew that Elsa was still completely unaware of it, as was Hiccup most likely, but Iduna knew in that moment that her hunch from earlier that week had been spot on. There was definitely a serious spark between Elsa and Hiccup, and with this Iduna felt confident that her daughter would not only be safe, but happy as well. Love would come for Elsa, Iduna had no doubt about it now and she couldn't be happier for it. It wouldn't come easily or quickly, as that was not how Elsa dealt with her emotions, but at least it would come…and that was enough to put Iduna's heart at ease.
Anna stood in absolute awe of Elsa's beauty, and Elsa wasn't even wearing her actual dress yet. Clad in a tight yet simple white two piece bodysuit, that would be the bottom layer of her wedding dress, Elsa stood before Anna, Iduna, and Rapunzel with her long blond hair braided and pinned in an intricate pattern. The front of her beautiful locks were lightly curled, twisted, and layered to the left to frame her delicate face and nearly covering her left eye. The back was done in a tight winding braid in the form of a bun, small white and soft blue flowers carefully braided into it, with a small loose ponytail falling softly from the braided bun to midway down her neck with the ends curled and bouncing freely. To top it all was a small beautiful crown of the same white and soft blue flowers that had been braided into her hair.
"Oh, my baby girl…you're beautiful!" Queen Iduna whispered softly, voice filled with emotion as she took in the sight of Elsa before her.
No words were needed as Elsa gently pulled her misty-eyed mother into a tight embrace, Anna and Rapunzel joining in no more than a moment later turning the moment into one big group hug. Finally, a few minutes later, the embrace broke apart as Iduna led Elsa towards an inner room where her dress was located. As Anna moved to follow though, Queen Iduna stopped her.
"I'm sorry Anna," Iduna told her youngest, as she came to halt outside the door, a gentle teary smile spreading across her face. "But it's tradition in my family that a mother help her daughter dress alone for her wedding, so that a mother may talk privately one last time to her child before she truly becomes a woman. So just as my mother did it for me and I will do it for you one day; I hope that you and your sister will both do this one day with your own daughters. The two of us will meet you in the side room near the chamber a little later. I love you dear."
"I love you too mom," Anna said with soft smile as her mother disappeared into the small room.
"Well, I guess we have some time now," Rapunzel spoke up as Anna turned back towards the window. "Since both of us are fully dressed and the ceremony starts in a bit more than an hour, I suppose I better go find Eugene. There's no telling what kind of mischief he'll get up to on his own with a bunch of political figures. Did you want to come along or did you have something else in mind Anna?"
Before Anna could answer, something out the window caught her attention. There in the courtyard, Anna could just make out the form of Stoick the Vast and his right hand man Gobber speaking to a number of men, no doubt about some last minute changes or adjustments. While the scene itself was plain and uninteresting, its what the scene meant, that caught Anna's attention. It meant that Hiccup was literally all by himself just before his arranged marriage. Anna could feel a mixture of pity and rage build up within her, but she would not cause a scene on Elsa's wedding day, besides this was the opportunity she had been waiting for. Instead, the emotions built into a simple plan as Anna turned to Rapunzel and simply said, "That's all right, you go on ahead Punz. I've got something I want to do first."
AN: *NOTICE* So, here we have part 1 of the wedding. I already have part 2 finished, as like I said before this used to be all one chapter, but I am still working on part 3 right now, so that one might be a little bit. However, I won't be posting part 2 until either next week or until I get ten non guest reviews. Since I currently have thirty-four followers on this story, that shouldn't be too difficult. I just want to make sure that this chapter doesn't get lost in a multi-chapter post like I've seen with other stories.
Now about the chapter itself, we see both Hiccup and Elsa got some unexpected outside help in their views of one another, without realizing both had deep connections to the opposite side of the relationship. I also wanted to contrast Hiccup and Elsa's methods and mentalities. Obviously, Hiccup and Kristof hit it off pretty well, but that's also because for all of Hiccup's sarcastic nature, he wants to be accepted. Elsa on the other hand, naturally pushes others away to keep herself safe and I wanted that to be reflected here. Also, for those of you that haven't seen the Race to the Edge HTTYD series, Heather is a character from there that became more important as the series went on, and basically, in my opinion, became something akin to family to Hiccup.
Now as for that scene with Iduna, I am neither a woman nor a parent, so I hope I did that its proper justice. I don't even know where that scene even came from to be honest. I suddenly just started writing it as I was thinking about how to go about describing Elsa starting preparations for her wedding day and suddenly it just took over and I just fell in love with it, so there you go. Let me know what you thought of it.
So, I wanted to give a glimpse of Elsa without giving away her dress just yet and it served as a good take off point to introduce a Hiccup and Anna conversation that I wanted them to have before the wedding, which we'll be seeing in the next chapter.
Now, while I debated on doing a pun or some kind of joke for the Speed Stingers name, I decided on using the last names of the voice actors for Kristoff, Anna, Grand Pabbie, and Bulda (Kristoff's adopted troll mom). I thought that would be a good way of uniquely connecting them to Kristoff. And I'm sure I don't need to even mention why I chose the fake name Idina for Elsa's talk with Heather.
Now for some responses to some reviews:
To OechsnerC and both guest reviewers from 7/4: Thank you for your kind words.
To warlocktoungue: Glad you're enjoying it and don't worry, we get to see both Hiccup and Toothless make fools of themselves for love down the pipeline.
To Lovepeaceandwar: Thank you so much for your wonderful review and I'm glad you're enjoying the ride. This chapter, and the next, was something quite grand and I will tell you right now, that the entire first part of Elsa's escape was added on specifically to give Anna and Elsa that sister-to-sister moment you were hoping for. I'm also glad you picked up on the subtleties that I was striving to express in the last chapter and hope you enjoyed the flow of this one, as well as the next one.
To Finmonster: Thank you for your kind words and for checking out my story. I really love your crossover fics. so it's encouraging to know that you think this one is going pretty well. I kind of just mentioned the scenes in the first chapter, because I didn't think they were that important for where the story was going to go, but I tried in these next two chapters to really show what I was talking about instead of just telling like you suggested. I'll keep that in mind for future chapters as well. Hope you continue to enjoy it and let me know if there are other things you like or not in the future as well.
Thank you for reading and please remember to Fav., Follow, and Review below.