the queens arriving in front of their crowd

I sincerely apologize for how long this took, but here it finally is! I have a masterlist if you would like some more ACOTAR or even ToG related fics, so check them out if you want!

***

For the first time ever Feyre was going to be introduced to the Court of Nightmares as the High lady of the Night Court.

Usually she would be scantily clad in the same outfit she had worn countless times Under the Mountain and the one time when they had gone to retrieve the Orb. Today was different, however. Today was different because she wasn’t doing any kind of distracting – whether it was distracting Keir while her Inner Circle swindled them or distracting herself from the horrors surrounding her. Today High Lady Feyre Archeron was here to assert her dominance and authority on a group of monsters and honestly she thought this may be the biggest challenge she’s faced as he High Lady so far.

Which is silly to say, Feyre thought. She has faced demons of unknown aberration, terror unlike anything she could’ve dreamed possible, and war facing her loved ones on all horizons… and yet this terrified Feyre the most.

She was no longer afraid of her own shadow or the ones that lived in tight places such as underground, and she knew that she could achieve anything with her mate Rhysand at her side, but somehow facing men like Keir was what she knew would test her most.

She wasn’t afraid of them, oh no, she was afraid of herself and what she might do to them. Feyre liked to think that she never took pleasure in killing, that she only did it for necessity, but oh the things she would give to rip Keir and the men like him limb from limb until they were nothing but blood-rain.

She stood at the entrance to the Court, wearing a long dress made of black velvet. It was accented at the hems with gold lace, and had an elegant train covered in the same lace, except this was fashioned in the same pattern as her tattoos. Rhys stood at her side wearing the matching suit, the crown made of stars atop his head.

“Are you ready to put yours on?” he asked her. He was holding her twin crown in his hands, taking his time with her. It didn’t matter how late they were or what time they arrived. All that mattered was that his wife was comfortable and ready.

She nodded and he gingerly placed the ornate crown on her golden-brown waves. He then moved his hands from the crown and down her cheeks so that he was cradling her face. He leaned down and placed a sweet, assuring kiss on her lips, while also sending love down their bond.

She hummed against his mouth and lifted her hands to rest on his chest.

“I love you,” She whispered.

“And I love you,” He responded.

Her love for him had grown stronger and stronger over the past year being together. Never had there been a moment where it plateaued or faded, even when she was in the Spring Court and separated from him, even when there was a moment when they thought that their eternity would be cut short from the war, Feyre had loved him. He was her heart, her soul, her crown, and she would be nothing but dust in the wind before she stopped loving him.

“Are you ready, my love?”

She knew that if she told him no then he would wait. He would never rush her on such a momentous occasion.

“We shouldn’t let Mor and Cassian wait any longer. Mother knows what sort of havoc they are wrecking in our absence.”

Rhys let out a low laugh and without further ado linked his hands with hers and made their first steps into the Court of Nightmares.

It was just how she remembered it. The dark hallways, the sinister atmosphere… it was identical right down to the dais – with the exception that it now had two thrones rather than one.  

As they entered the crowded room everyone turned to Rhys and Feyre in shock and in the following seconds got to their knees in obedience to Rhys. They had heard utterings of Feyre being the High Lady, and you would’ve thought the construction of another throne would’ve been the nail in the coffin, but alas this Court was still shocked to see High Lord Rhysand’s whore now their leader.

Of course she was never his whore, but they didn’t know that - especially with Keir’s slander and dark musings about her.

To this day it confounded Feyre as to how someone as bright and lovely as Morrigan could’ve been born and raised in such a dark, ghastly place.

They both sat on their respective thrones, releasing their hold on one another. The ornate seats are far enough away from each other to show that Feyre and Rhys are separate entities of power but close enough so that they could touch if they wished. As it was, Rhys held out his hands for Feyre to take again – Feyre linking their fingers without a moment’s thought.

Rhys had no leash on his power, his darkness consuming the room and his power stifling. Feyre herself had let go of the checks she kept on herself. Since the war she had unlocked nearly all the magical weapons in her arsenal – spanning from all courts of Prythian and beyond. Combining that and her all-consuming love for her mate… well, Feyre had to make a conscious effort to keep from glowing endlessly – as she was now.

Rhys sent a shot of delight at the light that surrounded her down the bond, and the smile on his face was nothing short of awestruck.

Bringing their linked hands to his mouth for a quick kiss, Rhys then commanded, “Rise and let me introduce your High Lady, Feyre Cursebreaker, Defender of Prythian, Lady of Dreamers, and Light Exultant. Rise and greet your Queen.”

The fae around them stood, no one daring to make a sound.

Feyre scanned the faces of the Fae around her, pausing her gaze when she saw a grinning Cassian and a beaming Mor standing in the furthermost corner. Cassian was wearing his battle leathers and had adorned all his siphons, whereas Mor was wearing the usual scandalous attire. Feyre could tell from the trembling of the fae in the vicinity of her two dear friends that they had indeed been causing trouble before she arrived.

“Step forward, Keir.” Rhys continued.

Keir, who was at the front of the crowd, approached with an unexpected overconfidence.

“High Lord,”

He was purposefully ignoring her. He had a sneer the size of Cassian’s ego across his face and was looking pointedly at the top button of Rhysand’s overcoat.

She could’ve laughed. Did he not remember the last time he insulted her in front of her mate? Maybe she’ll remind him.

“Hello, Keir.” She did her best imitation of Rhys’s signature purr.

“Lady Feyre,” He scorned.

High Lady Feyre,” She corrected him.

Mor had warned her that something like this would probably happen. Keir was a shtick for tradition and to have a woman leading the most powerful Court in Prythian must make him ache inside.  

Feyre felt no pity for this blister in existence. She may not have been alive when he did those things to Mor, and she may not have dealt with the aftermath like her friends had, but Mor was like a sister to her – a sister in a way her biological ones hadn’t been for a very, very long time. She would never forgive this ulcer of a man for what he had done to her beautiful friend.

He hummed in return. A dismissal of sorts.

She could feel Rhys’s rage at his actions though the bond and in return she sent soothing feelings. She would take care of this.

“Your arm seems to have healed wondrously since the last time we met. Do tell, Keir, did you have any healers help you?” She had a mask of innocence plastered on her face but everyone in the room knew that it was just a front. Everyone knew what she was capable of doing to her enemies - she made no secret of it. After what the King of Hybern had tried to do… Feyre would never shy away from a fight again, and she would never let anyone question her supremacy.

“It is the healing magic in my blood that helped the healing process, High Lady.”

How dare he have the audacity, how dare he look at her like that, I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him, I’ll kill him

Feyre tightened her grip on Rhys’s hand as his thoughts unintentionally bled into her.

“I must say I find that rather strange. I was under the impression that you would have a permanent,” She paused for emphasis, “let’s call it a disfigurement.”

“I am lucky to have an abundance of power. More than the usual fae, High Lady.”

Feyre could see that he was starting to sweat at her questioning. It was obvious to everyone that he had used a healer even when Rhys had specifically told him not to. After a year Keir may have thought that Rhys would forget his promise, but that wasn’t the case at all. They simply had bigger problems to deal with than this weasel.

“Do you think I’m an idiot? Do you think my mate is an idiot?” Rhys snickered. “We are no fools, Keir, and you know damn well that we both know when we are being lied to. I may have offered you mercy if you had told the truth, but it seems you are incapable of even the most simple of tasks. Get on your knees,” he ordered, “and beg for your High Lady’s forgiveness. Maybe when she decides your punishment she’ll be merciful, but I doubt it.”

Keir then did the stupidest thing Feyre may ever have seen. He spat on the dais.

“We follow you without complaint, we let ourselves be crushed under you, but I draw the line at bowing to this filth as my High Lady. What has she done to deserve our respect besides throw a few tantrums filled with a slew of magic. Magic that isn’t even hers! Punish me for my insolence, High Lord Rhysand, but I cannot stand by and approve this depravity.”

The whole room gasped in horror at his words. What he was saying was treasonous, and even the monsters standing around them knew it.

Feyre searched for Cassian and Mor in the crowd. When she found them they had moved closer to the dais and both had gone red in the face from anger. Anger and pure, unaltered disgust.

Feyre stared Keir down, and did the second most unexpected thing of the night – she laughed. A whole-hearted, warm laugh. A laugh that someone might have from the joke of a lover, or the antics of a best friend.

Feyre knew that her response would merit this whole damned courts feelings towards her. Feelings that must be fear. It was the only thing they responded to.

With barely a blink Feyre took Keir’s mind and forced him to his knees.

She looked to Mor again, and gently mentally tapped her friend to give her a message.

Mor opened her mind to Feyre in response.

He needs to die, Feyre breathed into her mind, not just for this but for everything. The war is over and it’s time to start afresh. But it is your decision, Mor, and I won’t take it away from you.

Mor’s throat bobbed as she swallowed in nervousness – she was deep in thought - considering Feyre’s unspoken words. Cassian looked at her with curiosity, wondering what Feyre had said.

I want him dead, and if it’s now then it’s now. But if I may ask, Feyre, let Azriel and Cassian do it. And let them take their time. Mor replied. I despise my father and I more than anybody want him gone and to pay for everything he’s done, but I can’t do it. I know that makes me weak-

That does not make you weak, Mor. Feyre slammed into her mind. There is nothing about you that is weak. Well, besides your tolerance to alcohol. She joked.

Then do your worst, Feyre. Mor conceded.

The whole court was aware of their silent conversation – it was obvious that the two women were conversing.

“Keir,” He was still on his knees, spine ramrod and breathing heavy, “you are one very lucky man.”

Feyre released his mind and he sagged in relief.

“So lucky, because my first ruling as High Lady of this Court involves you. It’s rather historic - you’ll be remembered as the first ever fae I presided over.”

The tension in his body picked up at her words.

“General,” Rhys summoned Cassian for Feyre. He knew what she was going to do and he approved.

“Keir, I sentence you to death at the hands of my general and spymaster. Your title will be forfeit to your heir, who if he follows in the footsteps of his failure of a father will lose his title and I will come back and instate whomever I deem fit to take it. Your punishment will start at the arrival of the shadowsinger. Dismissed.”

The fae around her looked on in terror and awe and one by one bowed to the High Lady and High Lord.

Yes, the tactic of fear was always a solid one where this court was concerned, and Feyre had just earned their total and utter loyalty.

Perseverance: Chapter Two - Derek Hale x Reader

As always, thanks to @julieanncupcake and @lovelybunchofrandoms

Pairing: Derek Hale x Female Reader

Derek Hale Masterlist

The streets were teeming with people as (y/n) and Allison made their way around the market, admiring the various different goods from far away kingdoms. (Y/n) still wasn’t used to the way the people of Beacon Hills had taken to her, bowing or curtseying to her as she walked passed but she had to remind herself that she was going to be queen someday whether she liked it or not and it was a sign of respect from her future people that she should value.

They were admiring a stall that was selling a multitude of different fabrics when (y/n)’s name was called. She lifted her head, the material in her hands forgotten as she searched the crowd for the owner of the voice. The sea of people in front of her parted as Derek and a knight (y/n) recognised from the day she arrived walked towards them. She bowed her head respectfully as she forced her face to remain neutral. They hadn’t spoken properly in the last week after Derek dismissed her in the courtyard and the few words they’d shared had been less than kind as they mocked one another. (Y/n) didn’t know who had started it but it was slowly eating away at her as she tried and failed to build a relationship with her future husband.

“My lord” Derek nodded at her stiffly, eyeing the fabric she was playing with in her hand. They stood in silence before Scott jumped in, sensing the Princess’ discomfort.

“You could have a dress made from that, my lady, for the tournament at the end of the week” (Y/n) smiled at him appreciatively, not missing the way Allison was focusing on his mesmerising chocolate brown eyes.

“Thank you…”

“Scott” The knight swooped into an agile bow, making the princess laugh quietly.

“Thank you, Scott, I might take you up on that” (Y/n)’s eyes flickered to Derek, wondering why he’d been silent the whole time. Scott caught her eye, turning to his best friend in an attempt to get him to join the conversation before Derek beat him to it.

“You shouldn’t be out here alone, Princess. You need a guard” With that, the prince walked away, leaving Scott to mumble out apologies before rushing after him. (Y/n) turned to Allison a frown pulling at her brows as she open and closed her mouth in confusion.

“That was strange…” The handmaiden’s words trailed off as she watched the men disappear into the crowd.

“I’m destined to marry the grumpiest, most anti-social man who’s ever lived” Allison snickered at (y/n)’s words before they returned their attention back to the materials in front of them.

Keep reading

8

70th Anniversary of VE Day, 8th May 1945.

The future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed out in to the streets of London for the first time, to experience the joyous occasion first hand.

AROUND 9PM - THE MALL
The two princesses and their royal party, including the King’s enquiry Peter Townsend, charged with protecting the girls, left Buckingham Palace to join the celebrations. They mingled anonymously with the chanting crowd outside the palace gates and then continued along The Mall.

“It was like a wonderful escape really for the girls, I don’t think they’d ever been out amongst thick crowds and walked with a million other people. It was just freedom - to be an ordinary person.” - Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin.

10PM - HORSE GUARDS PARADE
Having danced along The Mall, the group of about sixteen people arrived at Horse Guards Parade. 

“I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.” - Queen Elizabeth II (x)

Determined to join in with the fun, the royal group also played pranks on unsuspecting members of the public, as the Queen recalled the moment a Dutch sailor had his hat exchanged with another and was forced to follow the group in order to get it back.

10:30PM - TRAFALGAR SQUARE
An hour and a half after leaving the palace, Elizabeth and Margaret arrived in Trafalgar Square, which was “jammed from end to end” as Margaret Rhodes recalls.

“Everybody was laughing and shouting and crying, and kissing policemen and kissing other people. Generally mayhem, but a rather nice mayhem.“

11PM - PICCADILLY CIRCUS
As one of the most crowded areas in London on VE night, King George VI was naturally apprehensive at the thought of his beloved daughters being caught up in this rowdy area. For the princesses, however, it was unavoidable.

11:30PM - THE RITZ HOTEL
The Queen and her friends entered the Ritz and started a conga line in the lobby, singing and dancing through the hotel. They passed guests who were oblivious to the fact that the young princesses - and their future Queen - were amongst the party.

“I don’t think they realised who was amongst the party, I think they just thought we were a lot of rather drunk young mad people. All I can really remember is sort of old ladies looking faintly shocked.” - Margaret Rhodes.

11:45PM - GREEN PARK
The royal group made their way back to Buckingham Palace as midnight approached, having partied on the streets of London for over two hours. Their route from Piccadilly took them through Green Park, another notorious area of London. Well known for its nocturnal activities during the war, as the group passed through the park, they caught sight of couples kissing and hugging… and even fornicating!

 “There were places like Green Park and St. James’ which one would never have walked through at night in the war, and there we were.” - Jean Woodroffe, Former Lady-in-Waiting.

AFTER MIDNIGHT - BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Having been out for three hours, the two princesses and their entourage had completed a five mile trip around London on VE night and arrived back outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. Joining the roaring crowd once more and making their way to the front, the group began chanting for the King and Queen along with the sea of people. As an insider, anonymous amongst the crowds, Queen Elizabeth II later recounted how she had pulled some strings to give the people want they wanted.

“We were successful in seeing my parents on the balcony, having cheated slightly because we sent a message in to the house to say we were waiting outside.” - Queen Elizabeth II (x)

A once in a lifetime opportunity for the Queen to mingle freely with her future subjects had now come to an end.

“I think it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.“

(The Queen’s Big Night Out, Channel 4)

I started writing this Hiccstrid AU, but then I had a radical different approach to the story, so I scraped the first bit. I thought someone might enjoy it, so here:

“Rise and shine, Ma’am,” came the sultry voice of Lady Heather, mimicking the foreign accent of the regular servant.

Heather yanked back the thick curtains of the bed. Bright, invasive morning light flooded into the sanctuary of the bed. Astrid didn’t jump or stir; she’d woken up before Heather had entered the room.

“Seriously, it’s morning,” Heather said. “Quite a late morning for a princess. You feeling alright?”

“Of course,” Astrid said. She rolled onto her back. Heather stood at the bedside, hands on her hips, radiant in green and silver. Her dark hair had been tied back into an elaborate braid. Astrid swiveled her head on her own hair, a mess between her and the pillow. “I’m not looking forward to today. That’s all.”

Heather harrumphed. “What’s not to look forward to? Young men in armor beating each other up…it sounds great.”

Astrid pulled herself off the pillow and pushed the plush blankets down. Might as well get it over with. “Fine. Where’s Helga?”

“Oh, she’s helping your mother with something. I didn’t ask questions, so don’t ask me what they’re doing,” Heather said, waving her hand dismissively. “The point is that I’ve taken the task of getting you up and dressed and presentable for the ceremony. Let’s go, Princess, you’ve got a bad case of bedhead.”

Heather picked a strand of yellow hair from Astrid’s head and flicked it aside. She laughed.

Astrid stood and stretched her hands to the tall ceiling dappled with sunlight. The stained glass in the topmost pane of the window shone red and yellow on the shined, white-painted panels. After a bath, Heather helped Astrid to towel-dry her hair, oil it into submission, and braid it as carefully as if it were threaded gold.

She dressed in a red and gold gown, and Heather tied it. Astrid lifted the golden crown from its polished wooden box, and placed it on her head; by sacred law, Heather’s hands were not allowed to touch it. Only a sanctified or royal hand could touch the crown.

Three guards, all in Berk’s shined silver suits, waited on the other side of Astrid’s wide bedroom door. At once they all took a knee, right hand on their left breast, over the heart.

“Princess,” they spoke together, words muffled by their metal helmets, which bore the crest of Berk, a winding dragon curved around a pointed sword.

The three guardsmen walked alongside Astrid, metal plates clicking together as they stepped. Heather walked beside her. The entire palace seemed to buzz, silently, as if too much noise might wake the portraits. They hung on nearly every wall, of stern-looking dignitaries, respected politicians, magistrates, royals, and honored civilians. In the west wing, a painting of a popular magician hung.

The guards escorted Astrid and Heather to the main dining hall. The room could seat as many as fifty people at its long table, but typically sat less than ten.

Astrid’s father, King Arvid, sat at the head of the table. His pointed crown shone in the light that flickered from the hundreds of candles above. Queen Lenora sat to his right, a beauty in gold. Astrid’s younger brother of fifteen, Prince Tegard, sat to their father’s right. He need a haircut. Astrid sat to her mother’s left, across from her brother.

“About time,” King Arvid said. “I was beginning to think you weren’t waking up.”

“And miss the induction?” Astrid said with mock enthusiasm. “I would never.”

“Oh, darling, stop that,” said her mother. “No one likes a smart tongue.”

The doors leading into the kitchens opened, and a small army of white-clad servants carried covered silver platters to the table. A platter set in front of each of them, and the lids were lifted in learned unison. Each plate had been made to the eater’s preference. Astrid’s plate held eggs, peppercorn sausage, and a thick slice of pan-fried toast.

“Eat up,” King Arvid warned. “Today will be a long day.”

Tegard stuffed a sausage into his mouth. “Why do I have to sit through the ceremony?”

“You’re the prince,” King Arvid said, as though he and his son had had this conversation many times before. “It is your duty.”

“Not really,” Tegard said. He took a bite of eggs and swallowed without chewing. “I don’t control the Royal Knights. That’s your job. When it’s not your job anymore it’ll be Astrid’s job.”

“That’s no way to look at things,” Queen Lenora said. “What if something happened? What if Astrid got sick? What if she has no children? You’d be second in line for the throne, Tegard. You’ve responsibilities.”

Tegard sighed. He continued to eat without arguing further.

Astrid pushed her eggs around on the plate. When it wasn’t her father’s job, it would be her job. As heir to the throne, all royal duties would pass to her, regardless of marriage, because her blood held the royalty; she would be the true royal, whereas her husband would be royal by marriage.

After the meal, King Arvid and Queen Lenora led the way through the antechamber and into the main hall, where a crowd of Knights, guardsmen, magistrates, and other important leaders had gathered to watch the induction ceremony of the new squires. The ceremony took place once every five years, and gave the kingdom something to celebrate.

The crowd silenced at the horn which announced King Arvid’s arrival. All stood. Astrid did as she had always done, and stepped in line after her parents. They stood in front of the grand line of thrones, her father’s the grandest, with the great hall before them. Hundreds, possibly thousands of candles burned on the chandeliers above them, suspended by shined silver chains. Sunlight blazed in through the tall windows.

The air stilled, as if a collective breath had been held.

King Arvid held up his hands to the room, and spoke in a booming voice. “Today we welcome these fine young men into the royal order, as squires. Today we recognize these young men for their valor, for each has proven himself in the trials in order to stand where he stands today.”

Twenty or so young men stood in a line in the middle of the floor. No women, Astrid noted. Knight Farley, the only female Knight, stood with an impassive expression on the floor. It had not yet been a week since she and Astrid had talked of more women in the order.

Stoick the Vast, a grand Knight in his youth, led the order. He stood in his shined armor, a head taller than most other men. An intense, but weary expression had replaced his usual cheerful demeanor. He held his gaze on the group of young squires as if he suspected one of them of treason.

Some of the young men looked as young as thirteen. Most looked to be in their twenties. One man looked to have gray in his brown hair.

“Today we welcome these young men as allies, friends, and fellows into these grounds, so that they may learn what it is to be a Knight, what it means to vow their lives, and the dedication, determination, and perseverance it requires,” King Arvid said. While he spoke, no one in the room so much as uttered a word.

Astrid caught the gaze of a stocky young man. His black hair had been combed straight back. He winked.

She tightened her fingers into her fists, fighting to maintain her passive expression. Such nerve. If she could participate, she would knock his teeth out.

“Let the induction ceremony begin,” King Arvid said.

A horn blew through the hall, sounding the start, and King Arvid sat. Astrid sat down beside her mother, grateful that her brother sat on the other side of their father. He’d been complaining for weeks how he should be allowed in the order; he’d been training since he could walk. According to King Arvid, he wasn’t old enough. Astrid understood what he meant, whereas Tegard didn’t. Tegard wasn’t mature enough.

              The first young man stepped up to the throne. He placed his hand over his heart, and bent onto one knee. He said, “Roger Ogler, of Rachel and Samson Ogler.”

“Rise Squire Ogler,” King Arvid said. “May the gods watch over you.”

Rightly named by the king, the newly titled squire rose, bowed again, and walked to the side of the group. The next stepped up, repeated, and after the king bestowed the title of ‘squire,’ he stepped aside.

A tall, wiry young man with braided blonde hair stepped onto the platform. He bowed. “Tuffnut Thorston, of Mr. and Mrs. Thorston.”

King Arvid hesitated, and glanced at Stoick, who shrugged. King Arvid trusted Stoick’s judgement, and knew that he wouldn’t let just anyone into the ranks.

“Rise, Squire Thorston. May the gods watch over you.”

Tuffnut stood, and joined the others.

The next in the line made Astrid blink; he could have been Tuffnut’s twin. He, too, had long blonde hair tied into braids.

“Ruffnut Thorston, of Mr. and Mrs. Thorston.”

Twin sister. Astrid glanced between the two, definitely twins. Knight Farley, despite the rules of Knight’s impassivity, grinned. Whispers went around the entire room as the sudden news spread.

“Good,” Queen Lenora said under her breath to Astrid. “The order could use more women.”

King Arvid cleared his throat. “Rise, Squire Thorston. May the gods be with you.”

Squire Ruffnut Thorston walked with pride to the line, and stood beside her brother with a grin. Many people in the room stared at her, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all.

“Did they know that she was a woman?” Astrid asked her mother.

She smiled faintly. “I doubt it. Several of the young men look surprised. Probably shouldn’t let those into the order. They’re not very perceptive.”

The stocky young man pushed several others out of his way to the front. He bowed deeply, then took his knee. “Snotlout Jorgenson, of Spitelout and Bertha Jorgenson.”

“Oh,” Queen Lenora murmured. “It doesn’t need any more Jorgensons.”

“Is that Stoick’s brother?”

“Brother-in-law, he’d quickly correct you,” Queen Lenore whispered. “Hates whole lot of them.”

“Rise, Squire Jorgenson,” King Arvid said with strain. “May the gods be with you.”

Snotlout’s gaze lingered on Astrid, and she narrowed her eyes at him. He joined the others.

One of the young men that Snotlout shoved stepped up. Stoick watched his every move. Tall, thin, with soft green eyes, the young man didn’t look like a knight. He looked like someone to be found in a library.

“Hiccup Haddock, of Stoick and Valka Haddock,” the young man said.

A hum went through the room. Many eyes cast toward Stoick, who kept his eyes pinned on the young man. King Arvid leaned forward, hand on his knee. Hiccup Haddock paled, and held his gaze on the floor, as the others did before their name was called.

“Is that so?” King Arvid asked, smirking. “Well done. Rise, Squire Haddock. May the gods be with you.”

Hiccup stood, and bowed toward the king. He walked to the line of squires, past his father, who made no move to congratulate him.

“That is Stoick’s son?” Astrid asked. “Stoick is huge and Hiccup is so…small.”

Queen Lenora spoke lowly, “That’s what ‘Hiccup’ means. He’s a runt.”

“That’s a cruel name.”

“I didn’t name him.”

Astrid looked toward Stoick, who followed his son to the line of squires.

It seemed as though several others in the hall thought the same thing, for many still whispered and looked toward the squires. Hiccup, unlike Ruffnut, kept his eyes on the floor.

Queen Lenora whispered, “I’ve heard he’s a bit…clumsy. An embarrassment to his father.”

“And he wants to be a knight?”

Queen Lenora smiled. “It would seem so.”

Astrid ignored the large blond boy that stepped to the platform. Hiccup kept his gaze at the floor. Stoick didn’t acknowledge him.

Stoick had always been a figure in her life. He’d been the symbol of protection. The Knights protected the palace and the royal family. They trained in combat, how to spot predators and threats, and how to stop them without a mess or trouble. Often she would not know about a threat until after the fact; Stoick and his Knights had reacted so swiftly, so quickly, as to stop it before it happened.

She’d always admired Stoick, but she never considered what it would be like to have such a man as a father.

Hiccup glanced up, and for a moment his gaze flickered in Astrid’s direction. Their eyes met; Hiccup blinked, but Astrid held her gaze. He stiffened, and his slightly slouched shoulders popped into perfect posture. He looked forward. He blinked, and gazed back to Astrid, who hadn’t turned her eyes off him.

There was something about Hiccup Haddock. He was not like the others. Different, but not wrongly so.  

She held her stare until her father stood. She stood, too.

“That concludes the induction ceremony,” King Arvid said. “Would the squires please make their way outside into the courtyard. There are vows that must be taken.”

The Knights led the quires into the courtyard outside. Palace walls surrounded the courtyard on three sides. The fourth side led into a flowery atrium.

The new squires stood in lines, and recited the rite as Stoick read it to them, “I, as a squire, take responsibility for becoming a Knight of the Royal Order. I will not compromise my duties to the crown. I will protect. I will serve. I will obey. I will learn. I will become a knight.”

Astrid watched this from a balcony overlooking the courtyard. Twice she caught Hiccup Haddock’s glance, although she looked at him more often.

Stoick led his squires to their quarters, a quiet corridor underneath the east wing, where the Knights lived. They matched out in their rows.

“Interesting bunch,” King Arvid said. “How many do you think will drop out in the first week?”

“At least three,” Queen Lenora said.

“Last time seven of them dropped out,” King Arvid said with a sigh.

“I bet Hiccup Haddock will drop out,” Prince Tegard jeered. He bent his elbow into Astrid’s side. “He’s too busy making googly eyes.”

“Shut it.” Astrid grabbed his wrist and bent his arm back.

Tegard cried out, and Astrid bent his arm harder.

“Astrid,” King Arvid said. “Don’t break your brother’s arm.”

Astrid let go. Tegard glared, rubbing his arm.

anonymous asked:

Merintosh being viewed from an outsider's perspective

So this is not exactly the same thing, but it did fit in a tiny bit to a FF i wanted to write anyway, so here you go.

Fandom- Once Upon a Time

Ship- Merida x (Young) Lord Macintosh

Word Count-2000+

All of the credit to qqueenofhades for having the original idea of Merida and Elsa being friends and allies

Summary- Dunbroch holds a tournament to celebrate the visiting monarch of Arendelle. As Elsa and Merida get along, the Ice Queen notices something very interesting about the Highlander Queen ad one of her lords. Also, magic love detection ash. 

Merida and Elsa walked together through the fair grounds. Occasionally they’d pass a party drinking around a table, and the mugs of ale would be raised to them, but for the most part the Queens were observed uninterrupted. Normally Merida hated it, but today she didn’t mind thanks to the presence of the Arendelle monarch.

“And I suppose you’ve been bothered about your succession?“ 

“Ugh, all the time.” Merida told her. She rolled her eyes and imitated “Tis not a question of leadership, yer majesty, but of succession.”

“It is your royal duty to produce an heir.” Elsa continued in her own accent. Both girls broke out in a fit of laughter.

“So, has it been that way for yer whole life also?” Merida asked. 

“Oh no.” Elsa said. “Actually for most of life it was pretty clear I couldn’t marry.”

“Because of the ice bit?”

“Well, because of the being raised in isolation thanks to the ice bit, yes.” Elsa said. “Not that the counselors ever really minded, they took one look at my sister and had their answer.”

“So why isn’t she the answer now?” Merida cocked her head.

Elsa sighed. “Not any reason they can legitimately voice, but in truth most my council considers Anna’s marriage… below her. They aren’t really eager to hand the crown to any children they might have.”

“I thought Prince Kristoff had some sort of title before marryin’ yer sister?” 

“Technically yes, but as I created it just so he could court her.” Elsa fidgeted her hands and shrugged in a ‘what are you gonna do’ way. “They still have some issues.”

“Ye can do that?”

“Of course, I’m the Queen.” Elsa told her.

“I’m gonna hav’ta remember that.” Merida expressed, impressed. This made Elsa laugh again. She slipped an arm through Merida’s so she could lean in closer and say quietly.

“Well, these old men that sit on our councils and mean to tell us how to rule may nag and bother, but at the end of the day it is we who wear the crowns. I’ve found it’s much easier to convince them why they shouldn’t question me then to cause a fight over every disagreement.”

“Here ye to that.” Merida muttered back. They’d been walking aimlessly, but their direction had led them to one of the sports rings. Merida looked at Elsa. “Shall we?”

“Yes, I’d love to se some of Dunbroch’s sports.” Elsa exclaimed, and two headed towards the arena. It had drawn on of the largest crowds yet. In normal Dunbroch manner, people cheered and collided, yet moved out of the way with a bow when the Queens tried to pass. Merida smiled a bit. It’s taken her a while, but she’d finally learned her mother’s art.

“These events certainly are festive!” Elsa remarked when she and Merida arrived in the front.

“That’s a Highlander for ye!” Merida replied. The event happening was javelin throwing. About a dozen men from all different clans were lined up, some having already thrown and some still waiting.

“Next up, Aidan, of clan MacDuffin!” The announcer cried. A short MacDuffin boy stepped up, readied his arm, and threw. The javelin landed just a wee bit farther than the shortest, but still the crowd applauded loudly. 

“Can anyone compete?” Elsa asked.

“Aye, as long their willing to risk losing, any man that shows up gets a turn.” Merida explained.

“Next, Lord Cothric of clan Macintosh!” Elsa, who was watching Merida still, saw the younger Queen’s face light up as she applauded. 

“This is Macintosh, you’ll meet him later.“ Merida told her, somewhat unnecessarily. Elsa nodded and examined the lord. He certainly had an impressive build. His chest was bare and revealed his solid muscles. Blue paint ran up and down his arm, drawing the eye to his powerful throwing arm. 

“He’s certainly impressive.” Elsa remarked before he’d even thrown. Merida released a cross between a scoff and laugh. 

“Aye, perhaps, but don’t go telling him that. Damn lad’s head is big enough as is.” Merida warned. On the field, Macintosh’s muscled flexed as he raised the javelin, exhaled, and launched it across the field. It stuck the ground much further than any other. The crowd hollered wildly, and Merida and Elsa joined in the fun. The young lord turned to the masses triumphantly, his signature smug smile clear on his face. As he turned, he caught sight of the Queens, and just a bit of the smugness slipped way to be replaced by genuine friendship. Even so, Elsa caught Merida quickly avert her eyes, still smiling as she pushed her hair nowhere. A glance at Macintosh showed that though he continued in his triumph, his gaze lingered on his Queen. The crowd quieted as the next competitor was announced, and Elsa took the chance to lean in.

“So Queen Merida, you never did say why you don’t marry? Lack of interest?”

“What? Oh no.” Merida replied, hastily as if she’d been pulled out of a daydream. She straightened her shoulders and avoided Elsa’s look by watching the field. “I’ve just always believed marriage should be for love, not alliance.”

“I see. And no one has caught your interest?”

This time Elsa swore she saw Merida’s cheek redden. “Nay.” she said.

“Ah.” Elsa nodded, trying to smother the smile that was creeping up. She too turned her eyes to the field. When enough moments had passed, she asked, “What about Lord Macintosh?”

It was a good thing Merida hadn’t been drinking, for she would have choked and that would not have looked good in front of all her subjects. She did seem to temporarily lose the ability of speech.

“Wh-wh-why would ye ask that?” Merida said in a rush. This time her face had turned as bright red as her hair. “I mean, he’s a friend, an advisor, certainly a lad a parts, but he’s not, I mean, we’re not, I mean, no, no why do ye ask?” Merida looked at her pointedly, and somewhat cautiously.

“Oh, no particular reason. I merely thought, considering how very handsome he is, maybe there was something there.” Elsa assuaged her. “I mean, just look at the way he smiled at you.”

Merida seemed to relax. She risked a glance at the lord, before turning back to Elsa. “Mac’s a friend, but truth be told, he once tried to usurp me. Even if there was something there, I’m not sure I really trust him like that.” Eager to change the topic, Merida pressed on. “What about you? Why don’t you marry?”

“Oh, just waiting for right one, like you.” Elsa explained. This was enough, and both queens grew quiet.

In the end Macintosh won the tourney clearly. As soon as the last thrower had gone Merida and Elsa filed out of the crowd and back towards the stands and vendors, beating the rush as everyone would wait and watch Macintosh receive his medal. 

“Most medals at the end of the day wins 50 gold pieces.” Merida explained. “The last tournament is archery, so everyone shows up to see the crowning of the victors.”

“Do you compete?”

“Of course. I’m undefeated.”

“Elsa!” they were interrupted. A bit ahead of them, Princess Anna jumped and waved in front of a stand. She ran over to them, arriving out of breath and very un-princess-like. Merida liked her immediately. “There you are, this place is amazing, you would not believe the food, and you have got to come see this an oh- hi.” She said, noticing Merida. “I mean, hello, Your Majesty.” Anna bobbed down in a curtsy that wobbled just a bit. 

“Hello Princess Anna.” Merida gave her own curtsy.

“Oh just Anna’s fine. I really don’t do the title thing very much, I mean, I do, of course, but sometimes it just feels so formal, and I’m really not used to it yet and I guess…” the princess rambled on a few more lines and Merida glanced at Elsa as if to ask ‘Is she always like this?’ Elsa smiled in reply. 

“Well ye should call me Merida then, jus’ so we’re all comfortable with one another.” Merida told her. If possible, Anna’s smile only got brighter. 

“Thank you, Your Ma- Merida. Oh, Elsa, you have to come see this. A woman makes a special ash that changes color when you blow on it and she reads the state of your love life from the colors.” Anna explained excitedly. She grabbed her sister’s hand and began to pull, Merida following behind until a low, breathy voice appeared in her ear.

“Just Merida, eh?”

Merida whipped around, hair flying about her as she spun to face Macintosh. He stood inches away from her, close enough she had to tilt her head back to look up at him, despite him only having a few inches on her. In less than a second she got over her initial surprise, and breathed out a short laugh. 

“When ye become the visiting royals ae Arendelle, ye can call me by my given name as well. Until then,” she tapped him on the medal that hung around his neck, “Its yer Majesty to ye.”

He quirked his eyebrows, and both tried their best not to smile. It was a ridiculously easy friendship. They lost around the same time, and so he reached down, grabbed her hand, and brought it to his lips. 

“As ye wish, M’lady.” he said cheekily, before planting a light kiss. Merida rolled her eyes at his purposeful ignoring of her order, and turned away to continue following the Arendelle royals, mostly so Macintosh couldn’t see the blush spreading across her cheeks. 

Like she’s told Elsa, it was just friendship. 

At the vendor, an old woman in Dingwall colors tended a blue-ish fire. She’d scraped some ash onto a small cloth and handed it to Anna, who was just blowing on it as Merida arrived. She ash flew forward and turned a bright pink.

“See?” Anna said. “Tell them what you told me.” She asked the woman. The crone smiled indulgently at the girl, before gathering a small heap of ash and showing it to the Queens. 

“This pink signifies a love grown from understanding and trust. It means though the Princess and her love may not have had instant, uncontrollable love, they have a deep connection based in the purest and most innocent of devotion.” Anna squealed next to them. Merida smiled even though she eyed it warily, and Elsa just laughed and exclaimed.

“Well at least now I know I was right to never doubt Kristoff’s intentions.” That got a laugh out of Merida.

“Would Yer Majesty’s like to try?” The crone asked. Both immediately started to protest.

“Thank you, no.” Elsa said.

“Nay, I need not know such things.” Merida told her.

“Oh come on, Elsa please?” Anna urged her sister. To Merida’s surprise, she was encouraged as well.

“Go on, Yer Majesty. We all want to know.” Macintosh called from a few pace behind her. He’d drawn a small crowd, all eager to see.

The look Merida tossed back at him said a few words not fit for a Queen. The gathered clansmen all laughed, and some even broke away, but enough stayed to make Merida sigh and turn to Elsa. “I’ll do it if ye will?” she offered. Elsa looked at Anna, ash, crone, crowd, Queen, in that order. 

“Well, what’s the harm?” Elsa finally admitted. They were both handed cloths with ash on it. They positioned themselves to blow it back at the fire. “Together then?”

“Aye. One.”

“Two”

“Three.” they said together, and both blew. A cloud of white blew from Elsa, and a brilliant red from Merida. 

“Now this is interesting.” The crone cooed, gathering mounds from both samples. Soon she had miniature mountains of white and red on her counter. “Ye first then,” she said to Elsa. “The white shows Yer Majesty has no romantic love in her life, not at this moment anyway. Ye’ve never been heartbroken over a lover, nor in a committed relationship, have ye?”

“No, I haven’t” Elsa replied, seeming a bit perturbed the woman knew this.

“Don’t worry m’dear, white only means yer still waiting, not that it’ll never come. Think of it like a canvas, waiting for a worthy artist.” That seemed to come across better to Elsa.

“Now for ye, Queen Merida.” the crone moved over to the red pile. “Ye’ve already experience love. Ye feel a deep, passionate romance for someone yer close to.”

For a moment, Merida stared at her in shock. She could feel multiple pairs of eyes on her, and physically restrained herself from turning around to see what one pair of eyes thought. Finally she said the only thing she could think of. “Ye must be joking?”

“The ash doesn’t lie, my queen. See these tiny specks of black mixed in with the red?” The crone moved the ash with her finger to pull such specks to light. “They mean whoever yer in love with, your relationship started out rocky, maybe even disliking one another. But now, an inexhaustible flame burns between you two.”

Mutterings started behind her, and Merida rushed to damage control. “You’ll have ta forgive me for not being a believer, but I think the only thing your ash has picked up is what is clearly too much ale on my breath. My true love is my bow, and I am married to my kingdom.” That quieted the onlookers down, but Merida still felt irked by the knowing look the crone shot her. 

“If ye say so my queen. If you say so.“

Ghouls and cupids

Modern day AU. A Halloween party, accidentally matching costumes and a best friend playing matchmaker. (Also featured: Broomstick fencing and Polish swear words.)

Pairings: Jean-François Mercier x Betty; Gabrielle Mercier x Charlotte Lester

Rating: Teen

Word count: ~5400

A/N: for Fall Fic Fest week 3 prompt: Indoor fall activities (a Halloween party counts, right? It’s indoor.)

Inspired by @captaingrahamcr ‘s prompt “coming up with idea for pair costumes they could go as”. I took some liberties… hope you’ll like it anyway.

Charlotte is an OC from Perversions Délicates that I decided to bring back because I love her, but no need to have read that fic.

   Betty and Charlotte stood in front of the bathroom mirror, singing along to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack. Betty struggled to style her hair in victory rolls. A golden brown curl unraveled on her forehead and she blew it away.  Charlotte was painting fish scales on her cheeks and forehead, the bright blue makeup popped against her black skin.

“You always dress in a 1950s costume,” Charlotte commented.

Betty rolled her eyes. “Not always. Only the once.”

“Twice: at Helen’s birthday.”

“Oh, right.”

“And in fifth grade.”

“That doesn’t count, it was a play.” Betty stopped fussing with her hair and looked down at her retro yellow dress. “It’s a rubbish costume, innit? It’s barely one, really. Maybe I shouldn’t go.”

“Nonsense. I’m not going alone.”

“Your girlfriend will be there.”

“Exactly, I don’t want to be alone with her,” Charlotte joked, nudging her with her shoulder. “If you’re not having fun I promise we can come back and watch The Corpse Bride instead, okay?”

Betty sat on the toilet seat and rewatched the victory roll tutorial on her mobile. It was her first proper night out in two months, since breaking up with “the arsehole formerly known as Craze” as Charlotte insisted on calling him. Well, breaking up was putting it nicely: he’d cheated on her one too many times, and she’d stopped believing his apologies. She had no intentions of hooking up with anyone at the Halloween party, but she still wanted to look nice.

Keep reading

burn it down (1)

The days are cold and the nights colder still, the ice wall that surrounds the town pressing inward and capturing more and more people with each passing day. It comes without warning as the Snow Queen strikes, sporadic and unexpected and in bursts that encompass feet some days and a good half a mile on the day that no one expects, one week in.

Emma is the one to knock at the door of Town Hall, eyes grave and cast downward and a familiar little boy tight in her arms. “Regina?” he whispers, and Emma looks up and she knows

“It was all of them. The whole camp of Merry Men,” Emma murmurs, and she wants to hurt and lash out at Emma for doing this again, because she would never have left Robin in his forest camp if they’d only been together. But Emma is…shrunken today, pale and the fight gone from her shoulders, and today it feels like kicking her when she’s down. “Robin put him in one of those portable fridges we sent out to the camp last month and sent him down the river. He barely escaped.” 

Keep reading

Cinderella ;; @skeleton-may-care

Many people who come from a family tree of royals, wait for this day form the day they read their first story of romance; they day that they will find their true love, standing in front of the large crowd of onlookers, bowing before their future king or queen, and declaring their undying affection for their ma’m or sire. Then, they dance. They dance until the golden rim of the morning sunlight dispels the night sky and they embrace.

And they live happily ever after.

Luck, hover, rarely gave any of these royals the pleasure of finding such an admirer. 


The crowd started to grow roused; at the stroke of ten, the prince will arrive and give their verdict ;; it wasn’t uncommon for monarchs to send out scouts, who look for the finest girl or gall in the building, and report it back. This would make it easier for the princes to pick from the chosen people.

Because, unknown to most common folk and even those above that; there is very little say from the princes and princesses. There are many people inside the castle who make the decisions for them. Based on background, names, looks. Even which presents some of them offer helps loads in the choosing. There wouldn’t even be given a single glance at the lower classes. They were just here for show. And while the decision technically wasn’t the final verdict, it was rare for a prince or princess not to marry the person they would dance with through the ball.

But, it was time. A trumpet echoed through the halls, calling everyone who was not there yet, to gather in the meeting hall. The crowd became more thrilled, high pitched whispering against one other, even some giggling and clapping here and there. 

And then, silence. The wave of silence was followed by a wave of people that were bowing down. For the few individuals who did not bow as low, the sight of the prince, entering through the large doorway which led to the ballroom. 

He was beautiful ;; wearing a royal blue suit, with just the smallest blue scarf around his neck. The buttons were obviously golden. So was his belt.. Everything on and about him was .. nearly perfect. 

A small, stocky man  at least, it looked to be a man, stood beside him. With a surprisingly loud voice for such a small fellow, boomed through the halls. It started with a boring speech, thanking all for coming and bringing all those lovely presents. Then, the moment all waited for.

“ Prince Sans of Anfer, has decided that his partner through this ball, shall be ..

––– Deus Hofman !!”

What very little people noticed, however, because of the excitement, the surprise ( and some flow of tears ) was that the prince had lost .. some of his posture during the speech. His eyes, who had been scanning the crowd, fell on Subus. He had sagged his shoulders slightly, blinked a few times, and then .. Smiled, for the first time this evening, at the undercover devil. Some could’ve even said that there was a blush on his face.