The Queen of DunBroch
Merida couldn't help but stare at her mom standing at the door. Never before has she seen her mom look so worried, nor was she expecting to see her mom here. But it was as clear as the moon in the sky, her mom was here, almost breathless.
"Oh Merida," she gasps as she rushes into the room and hold Merida's arms with her hands. "Is it really you my dear?"
"Ummm...yes," Merida said becoming a little uncomfortable with this.
"You had me worried sick," Elinor said while looking at Merida almost afraid. "I didn't know where you'd gone or when you would come back. I didn't know what to think!"
"But," Merida said trying to back away. "I heard what you told the lords, that I've was in my room. Why-?"
"I had to say something before war broke out, I...I was becoming desperate," Elinor explains while trying to hold her emotions in check. "We sent out search parties everywhere and couldn't find you. Everyone was at their breaking point and I... I..." Elinor stops talking and finally noticed everyone else in the room, a couple of them she didn't recognize. "Who are these strangers?"
"They're not strangers," Merida tries to explain. "They're my friends."
"Friends?" Elinor asks while raising an eyebrow.
"Yes," Merida said as she finally gets out of her mother's grasp. "They are my friends. This is Rapunzel and Hiccup."
Elinor was still shock and confused. She was even more confused when she eyes Jack. "And who is this?"
At first he was quiet surprise that someone here can see him. But better make a good first impression. "I'm a Jack," he said looking at her, and bowing to her.
Merida looks at Jack, and gives him a look that said 'I'm sorry'. She completely forgot that her mother was a strong believer in magic as she is with traditions. It shouldn't surprise her at all that her mom can see Jack.
Elinor then turned her attention back to Merida. "And what are they doing here in the castle?" She asks while sounding a little irritated.
"I invite them in," Merida said. "They helped me for the pass number of days...for...you know...advice and stuff. I need to be away from this place and-"
"I understand dear," Elinor said.
Merida blinked for a minute, making sure she heard her mother right. "Really?"
Elinor nods as she comes closer to Merida, "yes."
Merida almost felt at ease, maybe her mother finally understands her.
"All that pressure on you made you not think straight," her mother continues.
Merida's brow narrowed, not really what she wanted to hear from her mother.
"But we can put all that behind us now." Elinor said with a smile. "You're home now."
"Ummm, excuse me, your majesty," Rapunzel said while raising her hand to get the queen's attention. "You said back in the throne room that Merida was delivered by a man. Who exactly?"
"This matter doesn't concern you," Elinor barks with authority.
"It does to me," Merida said backing away from Elinor. "Who were you talking about?"
"A brilliant man who came up with this...diversion, while we sent out our own guards to look for you," Elinor explains kindly to her daughter. "You'd be surprise how many people would buy the pillows under the covers trick. But it doesn't matter now that you are here. You are safe and sound. All that needs to be done now is to set things right."
"Set things right?" Hiccup asks the queen. He felt his leg being tugged. He looks down to see one of the brothers, though he can't remember which one is this one. The brother had a fearful look on his face, and tries to utter a word of warning. But it looked like he didn't want to get caught. Hiccup took this warning and give of a concern look to Rapunzel and Jack. They nod to show their worry.
"Yes," Elinor said with a harsh tone. She then grabs Merida by the wrist and starts to drag her out. "My daughter and I have to go downstairs, talk to the lords and put this whole kerfuffle to rest."
"Mum!" Merida shouts as she struggles to get out of her mom's tight grip. "Wait."
"Not right now dear," she said as she puts a foot out of the door way.
Merida gave a big yank and managed to get away from her mother.
"Honesty Merida, this is not the time to behave like this," Elinor huff at her.
"Mum," Merida said backing away. "I can't go."
"Merida, stop behaving like a child and come," Elinor orders her.
"No," Merida said. "There's something more important I have to do before I can even think of this stupid marriage."
"And what will that be?" Elinor said with a raised eyebrow.
"Would you believe that she was chosen to save the world," Jack asked with a hint of sarcasm.
"Quiet Mr. Frost," the queen almost yells as she walks back into the room and to her daughter. "And as for you-"
"You need to listen mom," Merida said with haste. "It's something that could-"
"No, I am the queen," Elinor argues. "You need to do what I say and to not defy me. You are going down to the lords and will do as you are told. You will speak no more of this...quest."
"No!" Merida shouts as she backs up even more. "I need to go mom, if I don't this kingdom might drown in darkness."
Elinor growled a bit as se reached out for Merida. But Hiccup and Rapunzel immediately came between them, protecting Merida. Even the brothers went behind Merida, and hold her tight around the legs.
"Move out of my way!" Elinor commands them.
"No," Rapunzel protectively said. Hiccup nods in agreement.
"This is between me and my daughter," Elinor said on the brink of frustration.
"Not anymore," Hiccup argues. "Merida is our friend, and we will help her."
"Mother knows best," Elinor shouts as she tries to pray away the others to get to Merida. Everyone backs away from the queen, and protecting Merida.
Jack on the other hand had a realization about all this. After everything that's happened to him and the group, he knows that things are never as they seem. Rapunzel's ex mother and the dragons are proof of that. With everything the queen has said, it was clear that she is not what she seems to be, and now almost attacking to get her daughter, Jack has had enough. With a twirl if his staff sends a shot of ice at the floor, making the queen slip and fall backwards. He then made some icicle like chains that surrounded the queen, binding her tight.
"What?..." The queen said totally shocked.
"Jack," Merida calls out. "Stop, she's-"
"She's not your mother," he declares. "How did she know my last name? Or our quest? Only one other person knows about that."
Merida looked at the queen, and started to connect the dots. Her mother has lashed at her at times, but she's never attacked her. She would often talk with logic and legends to back her point and never resort to violence.
Jack was right; this woman before them wasn't her mother.
Almost enraged, Merida pulled out a arrow and aims it at the imposter. "Alright, who are you? And what did you do to my mum?!" She threatens.
The queen was silent for a bit, but then cruelly chuckles. "Oh how I do get into character." Then the queen skin turned almost too pale to be a natural skin colour, and her eyes became like gold. Her long hair shrank back to her skull and turned black, her green clothes turned black. Soon the queen was gone, and Pitch took her place.
"You!" Merida rages as she released the arrow. But it went right through him like air.
Pitch giggled as he looks at everyone. "Haven't you learnt anything from the last time you did that."
"Pitch," Merida screamed and wanted to charge at him. But she was held back thanks to everyone around her. But it didn't stop her fit. "You ollpheist! what did you do to my mum!"
Pitch continues to find something funny about this. "Your mom?" He sickly said. "Why would you care about her? After what you did to her when you left. She was all alone and heartbroken, never knowing if her daughter was going to return home. You hurt her more than I ever did. And the rest of your family...they were a mess. I had to make everything right to make them happy, even making a copy of you out of my nightmares. I say I owe you no explanation for my good deed."
"Yeah right," Hiccup said very crossed. "A good deed from you means you did it for your own benefit. You want something out of this, something that will allow you to hurt the family."
"And we are not gonna let that happen," Rapunzel agreed as she looks at Pitch very angry.
"Really," Pitch said as he shuffles a bit, hearing the chains clink as they rattle. "This kingdom is on the verge of war; its hidden strings are everywhere. All the clans want is a good excuse and they will tear this place apart. Only the queen can calm the sea before the storm comes, and I'm just waiting to make the first lightning strike."
Merida would not hear any speech Pitch wanted to make, she needs answers.
"I'll say it one last time," She orders him in a threatening tone. "What did you do with my mum!"
"I'm afraid you'll have to figure that out yourself," he said with his usual cruel smile. "I'm sure a capable girl like you can find the woman you called a beast."
"Talk!" She commands again with more force. Her mind was racing with horrible images of what might've happened to her mum, and how Pitch knew what she called her. But she pushes all that worried aside to focus on the now. Pitch is sitting right there and he will tell her what he did.
"I would love to stay here and chat with you, but I now have a kingdom to run," he said. "I'm sure the clans downstairs would love to hear that their precious princess will be in danger by her kidnappers."
"In case you haven't noticed, you're trapped," Jack said angry.
Pitch laughs as his body sinks into the floor, making the chains break as they reach the floor. Pitch appears again at the doorway, with a smile across his face.
"I would run if I were you," he said before transforming back into the queen and leaves.
"No!" Merida cries out as she runs for the door. By the time she got there, Pitch ran downstairs to where everyone else is.
"Help! Help!" He shouts in the queen's voice. "Strangers in the Castle!"
Merida could hear the men downstairs stopped their singing and talked with the queen. Merida thought of running downstairs too to tell them that the queen is an imposter. But there was no way she can prove that. Pitch is using magic that her father will never believe. Not that he's ever believed in magic. But what is she to do? Pitch has got her kingdom wrapped around his finger.
The sounds of downstairs got her attention again. It sounded like the men are going to attack anyone that they don't know and won't show any mercy. She looked back to her friends, seeing the worry on their face. They had to act fast before they get caught.
"Let's go," Merida said as she starts to run in the opposite direction of the throne room. The others followed suit as the run away from the angry men.
As they past one corner though, they stopped and saw something they didn't expect to see. Infront of them was a shadowy figure that looked like Merida, except the bright red hair was blacker and her skin was very pale. The figure started to scream, using Merida's voice. But Merida didn't want to look at this imposter anymore. So she drew her arrow and shot the illusion straight on the forehead. The figure quickly disappears in a puff of smoke, and made the arrow clank to the ground.
"I'm not sure that was the best idea," Jack said looking forward.
"I don't care," Merida replied. "I wasn't going to let someone or something impersonate me."
"But now the lords are gonna think we're taking you away," Hiccup points out.
Merida thought about that, and then silently cursed herself. How can she be so stupid to fall for something like that? "Too late now," she said in a low tone. "We have to go forward, make sure we get out of here."
She storms off in one direction as everyone tries to keep up. Even her brothers became worried for their sister and race to stop her.
"Merida," Jack cried out. "Would you stop and think for a second."
"I can't," she replied a little harsh. "My mum is God knows where and I need to stop Pitch, while avoiding the clans. We need to keep going."
But soon she found her little brothers racing past her and made a mini wall to block her in a corridor.
"Move boys," she orders.
All three of them shook their heads, not budging.
Merida groans as she couldn't believe this is happening.
Soon, she felt Hiccup's hands around her arms and made her turn to him. "You can't just start charging without a plan. You seem to always act before you fully think things through. You just need to calm down… and I know that's hard for you right now, but you have to. It's the only reasonable way we can get out and find your mother."
"He's right," Rapunzel agreed. "You have to slow down, and take this one step at a time."
Merida pulled away from them, feeling angry. 'How can they understand,' she thought as sweat dripped down her face. 'My mum could be in danger and they tell me to calm down. I can't take things slow, I have to act now!'
"I'll be fine," she tells them. "Besides, it's not like anyone's around to see us."
"Ummm, guys," Jack said pointing his staff down a hallway. Just about a foot or tow away was a plump woman with a scared face.
Merida instantly recognized Maudie, the castle keeper as nanny. Though right now this isn't a great time for a reunion. The others were equally worried about being seen. Trying to be nice, Rapunzel waves to Maudie and giggles nervously.
"Whaaaaaaa!" The castle keeper screams as she drops what she was carrying and ran in the opposite direction.
"Now, we're dead," Hiccup said dumbfounded.
Sure enough, they heard screams down the hall of the clans, sounding like they're charging down, and in their direction.
"Move!" Merida cries as she grabs her brothers by the hand and ran the other way. The others follow as fast as they can down the hall, and away from the screaming men.
As they race, Merida quickly spots an open door up head. "This way!" She calls out as she suddenly stops and jumps inside with her brothers. Rapunzel and Hiccup made their way through before Jack came in and shuts the door. They waited a bit, hugging the wall until they see the shadows of the men running past them.
Baby tooth leaves Jack's pouch for a second as she looks through the window and down the hall. She then gives a confirm nod to the others, letting them know that the men have past.
Everyone let out a huge sigh of relief, and relaxed a bit. "I defiantly don't want a bear hug from those guys," Rapunzel said to try to ease the tension.
"This is bad, very very bad," Hiccup said.
"That's not helping Hiccup," Jack comments.
Everyone look at Merida, refusing to let this situation get the best of her. Sure her mom is missing; her enemy has taking over and fooled the rest of her kingdom. But she has to stay strong and focus. People are counting on her and she needs them to figure out what has happened to her mom. She dusts off any insecurity to look brave to her friend.
"We need to get outta here," she tells everyone.
Though they got that idea about a minute ago, no one dared to argue with Merida.
"How?" Rapunzel asks. "We can't go back the way we came in, everyone is sure to see us."
Everyone then heard Hiccup's ah-ha moment, as if he came up with one of his ideas. "Not all of us, but some of us can make it there."
"Will you make sense please," Merida said not wanting to feel stupid.
"Jack," Hiccup said while pointing at him. "You and I can divert the clans away, have them chase us...or in this case me."
"What?!" Merida almost screams at rage. Sure she needs a safe way to get away, but not at the chance of one of her friends to get caught.
"I'll be alright," Hiccup assures her. "Jack can help make a quick getaway. While we do that, you ladies go back the other way and exit through the kitchen."
The thought of running away made Merida mad. The danger is here and she should stay and protect her kingdom. But the thought that she would be alone in that fight will make the turnout a bad one.
"Alright," she groans as she turns to her friends. But then felt a big tug on her dress. She looks down to see her brothers' little hands on it. Their faces were full of sadness and fear, never wanting to see her sister go and leave them here.
Her manner changed from being strong to being a caring sister. She kneels down and kinda forces her dress out and hugs her brothers close to her.
"No," she said. "You three have to stay here and keep an eye on the fake mom. Make sure she doesn't do anything to ruin this kingdom. You need to be brave, and help protect the kingdom, for me."
The brothers thought about what she said, and stare at her. Their arms crossed and they had a serious look on their face.
Merida knew what that meant, they want something in return.
"Fine," she huff. "If you do this for me, you can have my desserts for two...three weeks."
The brothers thought about that offer, and the middle one gestures with his hand to increase the offer.
"Alright fine... A year." She said with a lilt irritation.
The boys all nod at the same time, and their fear was replaced with determination.
Merida then turns to her friends and talks to Hiccup. "Try to go to the roof; you can loose the clans there."
"Alright," he said before turning to Jack. "Ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," he said with a shrug. He looks at Baby tooth as she flutters beside Rapunzel, wanting to join the girls.
"Be careful out there," Rapunzel asks the boys with a gentle tone.
"When aren't we carful?" Hiccup shrugs as he and Jack leaves through the door.
"Thank god he didn't stay for us to answer that," Merida said with a hand on her hip.
Outside the room, Hiccup and Jack ran down the hall and see the men just around the corner. The men seemed very lost, not having any clue of what to do next or where to go.
"I think we should lay a trap," Lord MacGuffin said.
"Try shutting yours!" Fergus yells. He was far from the happy singing king they saw in the throne room.
"Time for me to be an idiot," Hiccup gulps a bit before he jumps into plain view and started to jump around with his arms wailing all over the place.
"Hey!" He calls out. "Big, mean looking guys! Over here!"
The men look at him, more confused than angry. The king was at the front and looked at Hiccup as if him more crazy then threatening.
"Yeah, this is working great," Jack sarcastically said.
Hiccup stopped and thought. He had to get these men to chase him, but how? Then he thought of something he and Merida went through a number of days back. Their tribe history. It was crazy and stupid, but it just might work.
"I'm the Viking that's taking your daughter!" He yells, though there was a hint of fear in the back of his throat.
But it did the trick, the men started to charge at Hiccup, with the King leading it with a powerful scream.
Hiccup screamed too, but mostly with fear as he and Jack run the other way.
The girls peek outside the door to see the men run across the hall and disappear on the other side.
"Oh, I hope they'll be ok," Rapunzel said with a hand close to her chin.
"They'll be fine," Merida said as she opens the door fully and ran with Rapunzel and baby tooth to the other side of the hall. Two of the brothers follow them while the other ran in the direction of the men.
Hiccup continued to run as far away as he can, making his way down different hallways and away from the angry men chasing him. Jack helps out as much as he can, making sharp corners icy so the men would slip and fall.
Jack then heard a small light whistle in the distance. He and Hiccup see one of the brothers singling them to go a certain way. They ran to the brother and saw a set of stairs leading up to an open trap door to the night sky.
They look back to see the men still run to get them. Without a second thought, Hiccup and Jack went for the door, while the little brother went underneath the stairs to hide.
When Jack and Hiccup made it through and away from the door, Jack quickly held Hiccup around and flew them both up high into the air.
"Well," Jack said through his teeth, "this this isn't totally awkward."
"I prefer being awkward to being down there," Hiccup said eyeing the men appearing out of the door and around the tower's roof.
As soon as the men stopped and look around at the clear sky, and became really angry. They even look down the castle walls to see if anyone was there, but it was a bare as ever.
"Where'd he go?!" Fergus yells.
"He must've sprouted wings!" Lord Dingwall said with equal anger.
"It was carried off by a giant birdy," Lord MacGuffin said.
"A dragon perhaps," Lord Dingwall muttered.
"If only they knew," Hiccup whispers to Jack.
"I actually kinda like that Toothless wasn't involved in this," Jack told him.
"Really," Lord Macintosh said to the king with no remorse. "How could that skinny boy do any harm at all. He looks like he couldn't take a fly."
"What if he was a trick," Lord MacGuffin said. "A magic trick."
"A spirit playing tricks on us," Lord Macintosh added.
"There's no such thing as spirits," Fergus yells at them, while holding his sword at the ready. "My wee lass might be in danger and you led us all the way here!"
"We led?" Lord MacGuffin said in offence.
"May I remind you that you're the king," Lord Dingwall said with no respect.
"And you were leading the charge!" Macintosh finished.
Fergus groans as he puts the sword back in the sheath. He went to the trap door, only to see it closed tight. He pulls on the knockers, only to find out it wasn't opening up.
"It's locked!" He angry declares.
Soon all the men started arguing about whose to blame, though Hiccup and Jack can guess what the truth is. That devil brother of Merida's locked the door as soon as everyone was outside. They would laugh if they weren't in hiding in the clouds. But as they look down at the men, they start to see them undoing their kilts.
"And this is something I don't want to see," Hiccup comments while closing his eyes.
"You and me both," Jack said as he carries Hiccup away to meet up with the girls.
Meanwhile, Merida and her two brothers lead Rapunzel down the hall and past the throne room back to the kitchen. She peeks inside to see Maudie and a couple of servants there trying to calm her down. But she then sees dusts of soot coming down from the oven chimney. She then saw her other brother fall down with a turkey covering his whole head. It scared Maudie so much she ran out of the kitchen screaming, with the other maids following her.
The brothers signal Merida that the way is clear and that she and Rapunzel can escape out the door to the stables.
"Thank you boys," She said as all three of them met her by the door and gave her a big smile.
"You three help yourself to a treat as an award, and I'll be back soon with mum."
Merida quickly closes the door with Rapunzel and Baby tooth by her side. Together they race across the stables and down a rocky path. But then they hear the sound of grunting men, and quickly bid in a nearby cart. They peek out to a very disturbing sight of all the kingdom's lords and men walking by without their kilts.
"Now, I'm scared for life," Rapunzel whispers with her eyes wide and not blinking.
Merida covered Rapunzel's eyes for her as the men walk past them. Growing up around her brothers and some ugly men, she's kinda used to this. But she can't deny that this was also making her feel uncomfortable.
As soon as all the men past them, they ran to the wall. They found a large cart with a lot of boxes stacked above one another, making almost a ladder to get to the other side. Merida and Rapunzel climbed up to the end and look over to the drop on the other side.
"It's too far down," Rapunzel said. "I miss don't think we can jump it."
"Maybe not," Merida said. "But I know someone that can help." She then makes a cup with her hands and shouts through them. "Toothless!"
Within a second, they see the familiar figure of the black dragon they know and like. He looks up, seeing the girls with his big eyes. He nods his head, knowing their attention.
Knowing that they can trust Toothless, the girls jump down, and landed safely on Toothless. Merida managed to get on his backside, while Rapunzel landed on his saddle.
With the girls' safe and sort of secured, Toothless took the chance and ran for the safety of the woods. He looked up ahead to see Jack and Hiccup just at the edge of the woods, completely safe.
"Toothless," Hiccup said with a smile. Toothless ran to meet his best friend with his usual gummy smile and the girls on his back. He stops in front of Hiccup and got a scratch behind the ears from him.
"I'm glad you guys are safe," Jack comments.
"We are," Merida said as she rose and looks back at her kingdom with a sad face.
"But the kingdom isn't."
Pitch looked through the window in the king and queen's room, observing the children's escape. A cruel smile spread across his lips. His plan is working perfectly. Merida has left, leaving the fate of her kingdom in his control. Now the king will focus on finding her and punishing her 'kidnappers'. It will be great to make Merida suffer to know her friends are killed by her father.
And her mother… she might meet the same fate. It would be icing on the cake if Merida kills her own mum and not realizing it until it's too late.
But Pitch needs time to make this kingdom's ruin absolute, and for Merida and her gang to not get in his way.
"Who's there?" Pitch asks with Queen Elinor's voice.
"The future lords," A young man said through the door.
Pitch smiles as his body transforms into the queen's. "Enter," He said as the door opens.
Soon the lords' sons enter and bow down to him.
"I am very disappointed," Pitch said with the persona of the queen. "As suitors to my beloved lass, you couldn't protect her. How are you expected her to open up to you if you failed to protect her."
"It wasn't our fault your majesty," Young Macintosh said.
"We were only following our father's orders," Young Dingwall said.
As for Young Macguffin, he spoke too. But his words sounded like gibberish to everyone else.
"But, you may prove your usefulness and earn my respect," Pitch continued. "I know you all feel disrespected by my daughter's actions in the games, that her actions were uncalled for and out of place. And it was that attitude that's got her kidnapped in the first place."
The boys listened to her, focused on everything that was said.
"What I am proposing is this," he continued, "Is that you three go out into the woods and bring her home. Whoever does that, will be her future husband, and future king."
The boys really got excited by that news, especially the king part.
"What about our dads?" Young Dingwall asks. "They'll-"
"I will talk to the lords," Pitch said to him. "Just bring my daughter home, and if you can…
Kill anyone or anything that gets in your way."
Ollpheist means Monster in Scottish