The Bear, The Witch, and The Princess
Morning dawned on the Scottish land. The sun was blocked by the trees, but tiny beams made their way through. The grass was still wet from the night before, but it produces a majestic shine that sparkled with the sun.
Merida fluttered her eyes as Hiccup shakes her awake.
"Hey," he said with a smile.
"I'm up," Merida yawns as she stretches her arms up. Hiccup backed up to give her some space as she sat up.
"What's with the wakeup call?" she asks a little irritated.
"It's your mom," Hiccup said while pointing his thumb out of the warehouse.
Merida looks outside and became slightly confused. Jack and Rapunzel were pushing and pulling stones around to a plank of wood on top of a large rock. The strange part was that there was a bear ordering them around with grunts and groans.
It took a split second for Merida to remember that the bear is her mother in a different form, and that Pitch has cursed her.
Her attention was back to Hiccup as he spoke. "She said breakfast is ready...at least that's what I think she means. This was all her idea."
Merida got up off the floor and took a closer look at the plank of wood. It had a wood bowl full of water and several pieces of bark with dark berries on them. Fork sticks and knife stones were all around and freshly picked flowers were laying in the centre. Elinor positioned all the utensils and food in their rightful place before she was completely satisfied.
Merida smiles as she shakes her head. Being a bear or not, her mother still has to be the queen of etiquette.
'I wonder how she was able to survive this long out here,' Merida thought to herself.
As she steps out into the morning day, she had to giggle when she saw Toothless. He was still asleep, but there was a vine wrapped around his neck like a dog leash.
'Best not to wake him,' Merida said as she walks towards the makeshift table. Elinor was there, welcoming her to the table.
As Hiccup and Merida took a seat on a stone, Rapunzel let out an exaggerated sigh. "Man those were heavy," she sighs.
"I hear you," Jack said as he leans on a nearby tree with Baby Tooth on his shoulder.
The queen looks at him and points her finger...claw on the only empty seat.
Jack can guess she's asking, no ordering him to join everyone for breakfast.
"I'm fine," he said while waving his hand. "I don't really need to eat."
But Elinor gave him and glare and point at the seat again.
"No, really," he said trying not to offend the queen. "I'm fine out here."
"Just humour her please," Merida said to Jack. "Just this one time pretend you're a normal person."
Elinor looked at Merida a little confused by what she said. How isn't he a normal person? She knows he can shoot ice but that's it, right?
Regardless, Jack sighs as he walks to the open seat. He places his staff's hook on the table as he sits down, making sure he's able to grab his staff of needed.
What he didn't expect was Elinor groaning and growling at him. It sound like she was telling him off about something. Most liking the way he's sitting or his posture. But he can't understand anything.
"Sorry," he shrugs. "I don't speak bear remember."
Elinor shows off a look that speaks 'really'. She then mimics Merida foreign her bow and points at Jack's staff and the ground.
"Huh?" Jack said still confused.
"I think I got it," Merida giggles a bit. "She's saying 'no weapons on the table'. It's a really big deal for her."
"Gotcha." He said as takes his staff off the table, but keeps it close to him on the ground.
Being pleased Elinor picks up her fork and knife with her claws and tries to slice through one of the berries. Not wanting to be rude, Rapunzel did the same. But unfortunately, her berry jumped out of the way and hit Merida in the eye.
"Ow," Merida flinches as she rubs her eye.
"Sorry," Rapunzel apologize. She then went straight for the water and kindly sip with her lips on the edge of the cup.
Elinor sighs as she gives up on the fork and knife and picked up a berry by her claws. She threw it into her mouth and swallowed it whole. Her facial expressions told everyone that she's never tried these berries before, but seemed to like them.
Merida shrugs as she looks down at her...plate. She took notice of the shape and colour of the berries. Curiously took her as she picked one up and study.
"Ummm mom," she said unsure. "Did you find these by the creek?"
Elinor nodded as she pops another one in her mouth.
Hiccup took Merida's words as a sign of caution and picked up a berry too. "Are these what I think they are?" He asks out loud.
"I they are," Merida said throwing the berry to the ground. "They're nightshade berries."
"Ummm, what does that mean," Jack asks.
"They're poisonous," Hiccup answers.
Almost immediately Elinor's eyes piped and she spit out as many berries as she can. She then yanked the water bowl from Rapunzel's hands and guzzles it all down.
"I wouldn't do that your majesty," Rapunzel kindly tries to comment. "It's full of worms."
Elinor spits out all the water she drank almost on Jack, getting him and baby tooth soaking wet.
Not feeling too well, Elinor felt like she was gonna faint. She holds on the table to keep herself steady, but her weight made that side of the table go down, lifting the other side. The table flipped through the air until it hit the tree near Toothless. It instantly woke him up, alert and confused. Even more confused when he realized there was a vine around his neck. But he easily snapped it off with an easy tug.
"How did you survive this long on your own?" Merida asks her mother.
Elinor couldn't speak like she normally does, but she still tries to talk to her daughter. But of course, no one understood a word.
"This is really getting us nowhere," Hiccup said.
Then Rapunzel came up with a little something. "How about this," she said, "why don't we guess what happened. And then the queen can just nod her head for yes and shake it for no."
It sounds silly and ridiculous, but it was the best anyone can come up with.
"Ok," Rapunzel starts, "when Pitch turned you into a bear, you had to run away from the king."
Elinor so far agrees and nods her head.
"So you escape from the castle..." Rapunzel continued Until Elinor shook her head. "No?"
"Maybe Pitch teleported her into the woods?" Jack suggests as he squeezes his hoodie, getting the water out. Elinor nods her head, confirming that Jack was right.
"Ok, teleported in the woods," Rapunzel repeats.
"Where in the forest?" Merida asks. "Near where dad sets the traps?"
Elinor sadly nods her head.
"Traps?" Hiccup asks Merida.
"To try to lure the demon bear Mor'du, my father set up a number of traps around the forest," Merida explains. "A lot of those traps involve food. They are pretty tricky to get, and it often sets the trap off. But if you know a way around, then it's easy to avoid the trap and get the food. Is that what you did mum?"
Elinor nods her head with happiness that Merida got it.
"You knew how to get around the trap and ate the food," Merida repeats. "That's really clever."
Elinor beamed, priding herself for what she did.
"So you ate and then you were just wondering the woods for days," Rapunzel continues, "until those...wisp things lead you to us."
Elinor once again nods to confirm their story.
"That's lot to go through," Rapunzel said to Elinor.
"It's a lot when you're turned into a bear," Hiccup comments.
"But why feed us berries that are poisonous?" Rapunzel asks.
"She didn't know," Merida spoke as she gathers her bow and quiver. "Unlike me, she doesn't spend a lot of time in these woods. She rather stays inside and be a traditional lady. It may do well in the throne room, but it doesn't mean you know everything about the world, like what berries are poisonous or not."
"Merida," Hiccup said trying to not be crossed. "Let's not kick you mom she she's like this."
Jack and Rapunzel agreed as Toothless walks in between everyone.
"The wisps lead her here," Hiccup said to Merida. "So this part of the woods is very unknown to her. Honest mistake..."
"Mistakes like that can get a person, or a bear killed," Merida argues.
"At least your mother was trying to actually be your mom again," Rapunzel said. "It was a good gesture, so let's not ruin it."
Suddenly everyone heard a growl. But the sound was coming from everyone's stomachs, not from the dragon's or bear's mouth.
"Maybe we should find some food before we talk some more," Rapunzel suggests while holding her stomach with her hand.
"I know this part of the woods," Merida said as she began walking away. "There's a stream nearby and we can get food there."
Everyone followed her through the woods at to a flowing river stream. The sun made it over the trees and to the water, giving everyone a clear view of what was in it. Fish, lots of fish. Merida readied her bow and easily hit one in the head.
She walks into the water and reached for the arrow. She picked it up with the fish in tow. "Breakfast," she said with a smile.
Elinor applauds Merida for her efforts as Toothless races into the river and gobbles any fish he can get in his mouth.
"Save some for the rest of us!" Hiccup called out to him while trying to steady him.
"That was a nice shot Merida," Jack comments as he finishes drying off his clothes.
"Thanks," Merida said with pride. She then turns to her mum before speaking again. "But a princess shouldn't have weapons, in the queen's opinion."
Elinor's smile fades into a glare.
Jack saw that hint and poked Merida a bit. "There's a saying where I'm from, 'don't poke the bear'."
Merida took the hint and presented the fish to Elinor. But even though it's got an arrow through its head, it's still flipping its tail and moved a bit. Elinor backed up and made a disgusted face.
"Oh come on," Merida said putting the back of her hand with the arrow on her hip. "How do you know you won't like it if you don't try it?"
Both women knew that was a play of what Elinor keeps telling the boys about their Haggis. Suddenly, Toothless came from behind Merida and took the fish right off the stick like shish kabob.
"Toothless!" Hiccup screams applaud.
Toothless felt a little bad at what he did, his pleading eyes were apologetic. He began to bring the fish back up through his throat so everyone can have it, but was stopped by everyone screaming "no!"
"It's alright Toothless," Merida said, trying to avoid Toothless throwing up and then having her mother faint. "We can get more, you get a fire going."
Toothless did as he was told as Merida shot and brought back four fish, one for everyone. Hiccup carefully put them on a stick and set them above the fire so they can cook.
But Elinor counted four fish and five people. She looked at Jack, knowing he is being left out.
"I don't really eat your highness, literally," he told her.
"Yeah, we might want to bring the queen up to speed about what we're doing," Rapunzel suggests. "About Pitch and our quest..."
"It doesn't really concern her," Merida said while turning the fish around.
"She's been turned into a bear, I think that does concern her," Hiccup points out.
Merida groans, knowing that they are right. Her mother is a part of this quest now; rather she wants to be or not, might as well tell her everything.
"Alright," Merida said. "To make a long story short, all four of us were picked y mother nature to defeat Pitch and save the world from darkness."
Elinor's eyes widen hearing the news, not too sure how to take it. If she was human hearing this, she would pass it off as some child fantasy. But meeting Pitch and being turned into a bear can change a person's perspective.
"Apparently, only the four of us represent a season," Merida continues, "and we have to unlock our hidden powers to fully stop Pitch. To do this, we have to travel to our homes and find out stones. Once we have them, we can defeat Pitch...somehow."
Elinor listens as she raises an eyebrow, completely unsure these people knows what they're doing.
"We already have the stone from my home," Rapunzel said to Elinor, "and Hiccup's. So now we're here to find Merida's stone."
The queen groans to Merida, probably asking why she didn't come here first. Why did she wait so long to come home? Why make everyone worry for days?
"What was I supposed to do?" Merida asks her mom. "If I came here, you wouldn't hear a word from me. You would just force me with the lords' sons again, thinking of nothing but this marriage. I didn't want to go through with that, not ever. Especially if our kingdom will be in danger."
"Kinda too late for that," Jack points out.
"Shut it Jack," Merida warns him. She then turns to her mother. "I also just wanted to get away from here, get away from you. So we went to Rapunzel's and Hiccup's home first, giving me time to myself and not have to think about that stupid marriage or any of those ridiculous traditions."
Elinor frowned upon hearing that. How can all those traditions that have been passed down for generations are ridiculous? But it also made her sad that her daughter wanted to be away from her. Was she a terrible mother? Surely not, she does everything she could to make sure Merida had a good future.
"I just couldn't handle it," Merida almost spat. "And it didn't help that you wouldn't listen to me. Now we get here and you got yourself turned into a bear and-"
"Merida," Hiccup yells to stop her from ranting. "Let's not blame your mom. Pitch is a trickster, or did you forget what he did to me?"
"I didn't forget," Merida said. "I'm just mad we're in this situation."
"And you have every right to be," Hiccup said. "But don't take it out on us."
Merida thought about that for a moment. 'He was right, this isn't the way to solve my problem.'
"Sorry," Merida said to everyone as she removes the fish from the fire. "I guess I'm just upset that this happened."
"It's alright," Rapunzel said with understanding. The boys also nodded their heads in agreement. Elinor was more surprised, these strangers have clearly had a good relationship with Merida, making her feel safe and happy. Elinor hasn't had that with her for ages, and what she wouldn't give to make Merida like that. But how?
Merida goes and places the fish on a flat surface of a large rock. A nice chard was on their scales and the smoke had a nice aroma. Elinor sniffed one of the fish. Everyone gathered around as she picks up a piece of fish and eat it. It was really good, so good she wasted no time to devour the whole fish. But she didn't stop at hers, she ate all four fishes.
Everyone didn't say anything, but stare at the bear eating their food.
When Elinor was finished, she picked up a leaf and used it as a napkin.
"Should've expected a bear to have a bear like appetite," Hiccup said to the side.
Merida groans as she picks up her bow again to hunt for more fish. She came back with four more, which were all eaten by Elinor when they finished cooking.
"I can't keep doing this," Merida complains.
"Maybe we should do it this way," Jack said with a smirk. As he walks to the water, ice under his feet, making him walk over the river.
That really made Elinor's eyes widen with surprise. She was even more surprised when he made a giant sheet of ice go under the water and scooping up a lot of fish onto the shore. Toothless wasted no time but to get as many fish he can into his mouth as everyone else caught their own fish.
Elinor looked at Jack, please of his good deed, but still really confused on how he did it.
"Didn't we tell you that Jack is a winter spirit," Merida jokes as she cooks more fish.
Soon, everyone was able to eat at least one whole fish. But Elinor and Toothless kept eaten the lion share of them. When everyone was done eating, they sat around the fire to plan their next move.
"So," Merida began. "Does anyone have any idea how we can break this curse?"
But everyone was stumped, they had no knowledge on how these lands work, or it's magic.
"Maybe I can try my hair?" Rapunzel suggests. "It worked with Hiccup, maybe it will work for your mother."
"Worth a shot," Jack said with confidence.
Elinor gave a confused look when Rapunzel stood and walked towards her. Without unbraiding her hair, she wrapped around the queen's arm.
"Just don't freak out and... Oh everyone freaks out. Just don't claw my hair," Rapunzel said. As soon as she got a good wrap around her hair, she took a deep breath before singing her song.
"Flower gleam and glow,
Let your power shine,
Make the clock reverse,
Bring back what once was mine,"
Within seconds, Rapunzel's hair started to glow a bright light. Elinor eyes were full of fear, but she remained still. If this little trick will change her back, best to do what the girl said.
"Heal what has been hurt,
Change the fates design,
Save what has been lost,
Bring back what once was mine,"
When she finished singing the hair returned to its original shade of blonde. But everyone looked at Elinor puzzled. They were expecting the bear to shine bright and transform back to human. But nothing happened; the queen was still a bear.
"What?" Rapunzel said studying her hair. "It should've worked."
"I guess a spell is different than a curse," Hiccup said a little sad.
"I'm so sorry your majesty," Rapunzel as she removes her hair from the bear's arm.
"At least you try," Jack said, trying to keep his spirits up.
As Rapunzel walks back to her spot around the fire, Elinor tries to keep her face neutral. But it's very hard with this group. The boy with one leg has a dragon, the white hair one is a winter spirit, and now the girl has magic glowing hair. It's almost too much for one person to take.
"We have to think of something," Hiccup said to the group. He then turns to Merida, "is there any other kind of magic in this world?"
"Not that I'm aware of," she shakes her head. Her mind tries to race back to all the lessons her mother has taught her, trying to find some clue in them. But a lot of the classes were about the kingdom, it's history and more importantly it's traditions, nothing about magic.
Everyone perked up hearing Rapunzel's voice.
"Maybe we can get those wisps to guide us to an answer," she suggests.
"They don't work like that," Merida sternly said. "They aren't dogs that we can call at any time."
"Maybe not us," Rapunzel said while eyeing Jack.
"Whoa!" He said putting a hand out in front of him. "I maybe a spirit, but those things are another thing altogether. I'm not a beacon for spirits; I'm just an ordinary spirit."
"One that can shoot ice," Hiccup said.
"But you get the point," Jack said with Baby tooth backing him up. "I can't summon spirits like a shaman."
"Then what do you suggest we do!" Merida snaps.
As Jack tries to think, Elinor looks up ahead and roars very angry and loudly. Everyone had to cover their ears when the sound reached them.
"What was that for?" Merida yells at her mother. But Elinor payed no mind and went charging past them. Everyone quickly gathered their stuff and followed the bear back into the woods. But running with a bear was no easy task; the bear was a lot faster.
But Jack gathered some wind and was able to ride it to catch up to the queen. Everyone else had to quickly jump on Toothless to have any hope to catch up.
When Jack finally got to the front, he saw that the queen spotted a Nightmare shaped like a wasp and is trying to get it. Makes sense, the queen was turned by Pitch and wants to hurt him badly. To try to slow the nightmare down, Jack shoots out streams of ice to get it. But he kept missing and hit the trees instead.
Thanks to Toothless, the rest of the group was able to meet up with the queen and Jack. Toothless joined in with Jack by shooting plasma blasts at the Nightmare.
"I don't get it," Rapunzel questions everyone. "Why was there only one nightmare here? Shouldn't we be surrounded by them by now?"
That question got Hiccup's mind racing. Then in a split second he had a realization. "Stop! Everyone STOP!"
Toothless immediately obeyed Hiccup's command, but was confused. Elinor wouldn't stop though; she wanted to get this Nightmare herself. Jack literally had to jump in front of the bear to get her to stop. When she did, she growled at Jack for getting in her way.
"Blame him," Jack said pointing his fingers at Hiccup.
Elinor turned around and growled at him, which resorted with Toothless growling at her.
"Easy bud," he said as he gets off and observe their surroundings.
Surprisingly, they stopped right in the middle of the circle of stones they were in when they got to DunBroch.
"Why did we stop?" Merida asks as she and Rapunzel jump off of Toothless.
"Take a look at where we are," Hiccup said while flailing his arms all over the place. "We are right back to where we started, almost right near the castle. I'm willing to bet that nightmares intentions were to leads us back so your father will catch us!"
Rapunzel immediately got what he was leading up to. "And with your mom as a bear and the whole kingdom thinking we've kidnapped you, it's very likely that they will shoot first and asks questions never."
Hearing those words, Merida grunts her teeth together. She knows that they're right and she fell for it. Elinor also grunts very loud before standing on her hind legs again.
"So what do we do now?" Merida asks everyone.
"I guess we travel back to that river," Hiccup shrugs.
"Ummm, one problem," Jack said as he points around the circle of stones. "Which way did we come from?"
Everyone looked around, seeing the stones looked almost exactly the same. Given a few different engraved carvings are on different stones, but it's not enough to tell which way to go.
Merida points to a section of the forest off in the distance near the stones Jack was standing near. "I know that way leads back to the castle, so we go the opposite way."
"Are you sure it's wise to go off into the unknown like this?" Rapunzel asks as Merida charges her way between two stone.
As Merida turns to talks to her friends, she notices Elinor nodding her head, trying to issue that the group shouldn't go that way. But Merida scruffs off that notion and continue her train of thought. "We have to get away from here. And unless anyone has a better idea, we keep moving."
Without another word, Merida started to walk down a path that leads deeper into the woods. Rapunzel, Hiccup and Jack all let out a sigh as they follow her with Toothless and Baby tooth. Elinor couldn't believe that Merida wouldn't follow her advice. She was her mother, and the queen, and the only grown up here. Shouldn't the children follow her?
She groans as she regrettably follows the group to parts unknown.
The group walked down the path for about an hour or so, and the trees all around started to look the same.
"I think we might be lost," Rapunzel whispers so the queen wouldn't hear.
"We aren't lost," Merida snapped. "We are just...moving further away from the castle."
"Are you sure?" Rapunzel whispers.
"Yes," Merida said irritated.
"I hate to agree with Rapunzel," Hiccup said. "But I think we've past that tree about 5 times now."
"Look," Merida said while stopping and turning to them. "I've been in these woods more times than anyone here, I would know if we past the same trees. Then trust me; we are not going around in circles."
Everyone turned around to the Queen, seeing her started to walk back.
"Mum, what are you doing?" Merida said running to her and blocking her path.
Elinor grunts at Merida and points back down the path.
Merida quickly turned her head to see nothing there. "What?" She asks her mom to elaborate.
Elinor continued to grunt as she tries to walk back.
"We aren't going that way," Merida said nearly loosing her cool. "We'll end up getting lost or worst, you might get spotted."
Elinor then let's out a lot of grunts and groans, as if she's arguing with Merida. But it didn't help that no one understood her.
"There's no point having a go at me," Merida said with her arms crossed. "I can't speak bear!"
"Ok you two," Hiccup said while stepping infront of the two of them. "Stop this."
"Like mother like daughter," Jack whispers to Rapunzel so no one can hear. She responded by nodding to him.
Merida and Elinor look at Hiccup trying to calm things down between them. "I know you both think your right, and that you're worried about each other. But arguing and getting mad about it isn't going to help at all. We just need to calm down and think things through."
Merida looked at Hiccup, hearing what he's saying. But it didn't help if her mother is as stubborn as she is.
Suddenly the flutter of Baby tooth got everyone's attention. She flies off of Jack's shoulder and flies around of dead trees off the path. Even though some doubt it was a good idea, (mainly Elinor) everyone followed Baby tooth till she got to an open area.
Everyone gathered around to see this little cove in the middle of the forest. But what caught everyone's eyes was a grassy hill that had a stone border. It seems like there's a house hidden in the hill, complete with an open window and a door.
"Woah," Rapunzel said with her mouth wide open.
But Merida looked to Baby tooth, "why did you lead us here?"
Baby tooth chirped while shrugging her shoulders, completely confused.
"She said that she just senses something here," Jack translates for her. "Some kind of magic."
"Maybe the kind of magic we can use to turn the queen back," Hiccup said with a little bit of hope.
"Only one way to find out," Merida said as she starts to make her way to the door.
But Elinor nearly roars at Merida with fear, probably trying to urge her not to go.
"Don't worry mum," Merida said rolling her eyes, "I can handle myself in there. I'm ready for whatever is in there."
"Hang on," Jack said. "We're coming in with you."
"Yeah," Rapunzel agreed. "You must be crazy to think we're gonna let you go in there all by yourself."
"Fine," Merida said before she opens the door to the hobbit like home. "We'll all go in."
"Not all of us," Hiccup said while gesturing to Elinor and Toothless. "We can't show up with a bear and a dragon. There might be a person inside. One of us has to stay out here and keep an eye on them."
"Thanks for volunteering," Merida said as she and the others open the door and walked inside.
Hiccup nearly cursed himself for falling to that trap. He slumps to the ground with the two big beasts and Baby tooth right beside him.
"So," he asks Elinor, "how's it hanging?"
He ended up getting a grunt as a respond.
Merida was the first with her foot in the little hut. But she stopped with utter confusion. Jack and Rapunzel peered over her shoulder to get a better view inside.
Bear wood carvings could be seen everywhere, Wall to wall. On shelves, the floor, even hanging on the ceiling was nothing but wood carvings of bears.
"I think I've had enough bears for today," Rapunzel whispers to everyone.
Merida then took a couple of steps in, and was still very confused. Why did they come here? Baby tooth sense some kind of magic here, but all Merida sees are bear carvings.
A gasp of a woman was heard from a corner of the room. Everyone turned to see a little old and wrinkly woman with wild grey hair. Her eyes looked like they were piping out of her face next to large nose. She had on a dark green shaw that went over her hunched back and covered her raggedy green dress.
She was chipping away some wood when she looked at the children in her shop.
"Feel free to look around," she said with a cheery smile. "Holler if you see anything you like. Everything is half off this week."
Everyone looked around, observing the wood carvings. But this scenario didn't give them the answers they were hoping for.
"Who are you?" Rapunzel ask the old woman.
"Oh me?" The woman said while putting down her tools and grabbing a broom. "I'm just a humble wood carver." The woman then started to sweep around her work area.
"I don't understand..." Merida said while picking up a large vase that had a bear face on it.
The woman went to Merida, invading her personal space. "See anything you like?"
Merida step back from the woman, how she'd get there so fast?
The woman pushed her way past Merida and festers to a very odd carving of two bears on a seesaw. "How about this whimsical thing to brighten up any dark corner?" She said.
"Ummm," Merida began to say before Jack clanked a couple of wooden bear marinates that were hanging on the ceiling.
"Careful dearly, they're still drying," The woman said to him.
"No problem," he said. But it was also a sign that this woman can see him. It was amazing to him how many people can see him here and at Berk. He would be flattered if he wasn't on this quest.
As the woman showed Merida another one of her carvings, Rapunzel noticed something else. The noise of someone sweeping never left the room. Rapunzel turns her head to where the noise is coming from and saw the broom sweeping the floor with no one holding on to it.
"Your broom!" She yells while pointing at the broom.
As everyone turns to see it, the woman quickly snaps her fingers and the broom drops to the floor.
"It was sweeping...by itself," Rapunzel said astonished.
"Don't be ridiculous," the woman said. "Wood cannot be imbued with magical property. I should know I'm a wi..." She stops herself and had expression of fear on her face. "...whistler...of wood."
Everyone gave her a suspicious look, knowing full well that she was trying to hide something.
Jack gave a small smile as he looks at his staff, reminding himself that he's got a lot of magic in this thing.
The woman rushed and grabbed a wooden painting with a bear on it, trying to everyone's mind off of what they saw. "How's this for a conversation starter? It's made of Yule wood, strong as stone."
But Merida payed no mind to the woman, she instead saw an old crow on the head of a wood carving.
"Oh, that's stuffed," the woman applied.
But as Merida looked at it and was about to touch it, the crow snapped its beak at her.
"It's rude to stare you know," it squawk.
"The crow's talking!" Merida nearly screams as she backs away.
"That's not all I can do," The crow said before singing in a very annoying tone.
The woman the quickly snapped her fingers and broom flying by and swat the crow away for its perch.
Then the realization hit everyone in the room.
"You're a witch!" Merida proclaims.
"Wood carver," The woman insisted as she works on another piece of art.
"That must be what Baby tooth could sense," Jack said.
"Wood carver!" The woman calls out with force.
"You can help us," Rapunzel said with hope.
"WOOD CARVER!" The woman yells angry.
Merida approaches the woman while trying to look reasonable. "You see...it's my mother..."
"I'M NOT A WITCH!" The woman yells at everyone. "TOO MANY UNSATISFIED CUSTOMERS!"
Everyone stood there in fright, not expecting this form of outburst.
The witch gathered herself before speaking again. "Now if you aren't going to buy anything, get out!" She snaps her fingers and anything sharp was pointed right at them and pushing them back towards the door.
"No wait," Rapunzel pleaded.
"We need your help!" Merida screams
"I don't care!" The witch yells at them at the top of her lungs.
Jack turned his head, seeing that they were running out of room. He then remembers that this woman can see him, might as well put that knowledge to good use. "Enough of this," he said as he slams his staff to the ground. It sends a shock wave of wind and ice everywhere, freezing all the sharp objects in place.
The woman became scared and speechless seeing this piece of magic.
"Now," Jack said while twirling his staff around his hand. "What were you saying about wood having magical properties?"
The witch's mouth dropped to her chin, and her eyes widen with wonder.
"You..." she stutters as points a bony finger at Jack. "You're...you're a spirit..."
"That's one way to say it," Jack said with a smile.
Horror took the witch as she bows to him. "I'm so sorry, please forgive me."
"Ok," Jack said a little unsure. Never before has anyone bowed to him before.
The three children looked confused seeing the woman like this. Maybe she has to respect spirits because she's a witch, or it was some other means. Whatever the case, maybe she's willing to help them now.
The witch rises with her crow flying and landing on her shoulder. "I'm so sorry for my earlier...disposition," she said. "What may I ask have you come here for?"
Merida stepped forward to the witch, "it's my mother," she said. "She's been cursed by dark magic. Our friend sensed some magic here and we want you to help us change her back."
The witch though of that for a minute, trying to consider all the pros and negatives in helping them.
"I would love to help," she said. "But it would be bad for business. I can't just do magic whenever someone asks for it. Think of all the demands for that and not for the work I love."
"Your wood carving?" Rapunzel asks politely.
"Wood carving! Wood carving!" The crow squawked.
Merida honestly had enough of this witch and her obsession with wood carving. But she's also the only one that can change her mother back, either way she's getting that spell. She just has to persuade her to get that.
"How bout we strike a deal?" Merida suggests.
"A deal?" The witch asks.
"Yes," Merida said with confidence. "I'll buy it all."
"What?" Everyone in the room said in surprise.
"Every carving," Merida continued. "I'll buy every carving, but I also want the spell."
The witch paused to think while Jack and Rapunzel looked nervous. They do realize that they don't have any money on them, so how is Merida going to pay?
"That's all and fine dear," the witch said to Merida, "but how are you going to pay? I don't do tabs."
Merida thought for a moment, but then realizes that she has something to use. Even though her mother gave it her, Merida is sure she wouldn't mind if it's used to help change her back.
"With this," Merida said taking off her necklace and present it to the witch.
"Oh my," the witch said almost like she's in a trance with her eyes wide. "That's lovely."
"That'll set us up for months," the crow said.
"Merida," Rapunzel said eyeing the necklace. "Where did you get that?"
Merida looked at Rapunzel, completely forgetting she's never shown this to her friends. "My mum gave it to me before the games; I've been wearing it since. But I will gladly give it up to change her back." Merida look to the witch with the pendent hanging down by its chain. "So how bout it witch, do we have a deal?"
Without hesitation, the witch grabs the necklace. "Done!" She said with glee. "Now then, where is your mother?"
The group took the witch outside so she can assets the curse. She puts her hands on the black head and looks at the beast's eyes.
"Hmmm," she said, "this is a particular curse." She then opens the jaw to see no teeth in the mouth.
The witch turns to give her attention to Hiccup.
"That's my dragon," he said. The witch let's go of toothless as he growls at her.
"That's Merida's mother," Hiccup said pointing at Elinor.
"Oh my!" The witch said in shock. She then makes her way to the queen and studies her claws and her paws. "This is very dark magic. Tell me dear, how are you cursed?"
The queen groans, trying to speak some words to the witch.
"Hmmm," the witch said to everyone. "This almost reminds me of a spell I did for a prince."
"So you can undo it?" Merida asks her.
"No," The queen answers.
"What do you mean no?" Merida asks with her anger rising.
"I may have produced the spell, but it's up to the person to break it," The witch explains.
"In English please," Jack asks the witch. Everyone really didn't want to be in the dark about this.
The witch took a deep breath before facing the group. "The only thing I can do is to make the spell, based on what the customer wants. What they do with it is entirely up to them, including how to break it. I can't make anything to undo a spell or curse. It just makes thing to complicate."
"Can you at least tell us how to break the curse on my mum?" Merida asks.
"This isn't my magic," the Witch spoke with a loud voice. "I don't know how to work with other people's magic. It will be like asking me to carve ducks instead of bears, it can't be done"
"Is there anything you can do?" Rapunzel asks.
After a long silence, the witch spoke again. "There might be one thing…"
"What?" Merida asks very stern.
The witch thought out loud so everyone could hear. "Maybe… I can change the curse…make it my own. Then that can give you the chance…yes, that will do it."
"What will?" Jack asks.
The witch turns to Merida with a wide smile. "I can undo this curse, put in one of my own, and then you can have a chance to change your mother's fate."
"So we are swapping one curse for another," Hiccup said with a bit of sarcasm.
"But you will tell us how to break your curse," Merida pressed the witch.
"Oh, of course," The witch said while clasping her hands together. "But I can only tell you that part if you accept the spell."
"Why's that?" Merida asks with a raised eyebrow.
"it's part of the rules," The witch shrugs.
"Rules! Rules!" The crow squawks as it flies and land on Toothless's head.
"Witches have rules?" Rapunzel said.
"Indeed," The Witch said.
Merida looked at her mother, wondering if this is the right course of action. If it works, she'll be free from Pitch, but what would happen to her? Would she change into something else? Be teleported away? Who knows what could happen?
But it didn't hurt to ask, "What would your curse do?"
"All I can say is that it will change her fate," The witch told her. "That's all I can say."
"Really?" Merida said with irritation.
"It's part of the rules," The witch said with a smile.
"what kind of rules?" Rapunzel asks while trying to keep her cool.
The Witch smiles and snaps her fingers. Suddenly a very thick book appeared in front of Rapunzel. She manages to catch it, but it nearly tumbles her over. It was old and worn out, with the title mostly rubbed out.
"Those rules," The Witch chuckles.
As Rapunzel struggles with the book, Merida looks at her mom. "Do you want to do this mom?" she asks. It really wasn't fair to force her mother to do something she's not comfortable with, not like what she did.
Elinor took some time to think this through. She hates being a bear and would gladly be human again. But having a curse on you that you don't know the outcome is terrifying. But what's there to loose? At least with this she has a chance to change back. But what would her daughter have to go through for this? What would she have to go through? But still, having a way out is better than no way out. In the end, there was only one option, she nods her head yes.
Merida took the hint and went to the Witch, "Fine, we will take your offer."
"Done!' The witch said she grabs Merida's arm and pulls her to the cottage door.
"What are you doing?" Merida cries out.
"Never conjure where you carve," the witch said as she snaps her fingers. When the door opened, the inside was very different. It was more dark and musky then before. The bear carvings were gone and were replaced by potions, animal parts and a giant cauldron in the middle of the room.
The witch pushes Merida inside with the crow flying by, but then closes the door to everyone else. Merida could hear her friends banging on the door, trying to get in.
"Sorry bout that dear," The witch said as she waddles to the cauldron. "But I only can do this with the client. Very professional environment."
As the witch lite her cauldron, Merida spotted something on a nearby table. It was an old coin, but the symbol on it looked very familiar, like something she's seen in a story. Curiosity got to her and she picked it up to get a closer look. The coin had two axes on it that were crossed in combat.
"What's this?" She whispers to herself, hoping her memory would aid her.
The Witch heard her and invaded her space again. "That's from the prince I told you about," she said. "That's what he paid me for his spell. He wanted the strength of ten men and the power to change his fate."
Merida looks at the witch as she puts the coin down. "and did he get what he was after?"
"Oh, yes," The witch said. "And made of an especially attractive mahogany cheese board."
Soon, a flash of light came from the cauldron, and the witch got to work. She ran grabbed items and oils off the shelf and put them into the cauldron. So the liquid inside started to behave differently for each item. First it turned light green, then a mist came over a light blue swirl, then it even turned into cracked lava. As Merida looks into the cauldron, the Witch's crow came up and pulled off a lock of her gave it to the witch who then put it in her concoction. As the witch stirs her spell together, and bright light started to appear inside. The witch and the crow immediately put on iron masks to cover their face, while the witch had to cover Merida's eyes with her hand.
The light shone bright and made the whole room light up. It scared everyone outside into worrying about merida. Elinor ran to the window to peer inside, to see what was happening in there.
"There we go," The witch said as she grabs some iron tongs and pulled out something out of cauldron. When the ooze falls off, it reviled to be a tasty looking cake.
"A…cake," Merida said totally confused. "That will help my mom?"
"Trust me dear," The witch said as she presents Merida the cake, "It will do the trick."
Merida grabs the cake and took it outside to her mother. Everyone did nothing but watch, afraid of what's going to happen. Not wanting her mother to endure the whole cake, Merida broke off a small piece of it, about the size of a berry and gives it to her mother. Elinor took the piece of cake and popped it into her mouth. As soon as she swallowed it, her face contortioned with disgust.
"I guess it didn't taste so good," Rapunzel comment.
"It's a spell," The witch said as she exits her cottage, "What do think it's going to taste like? Honey dew melon?"
Everyone then watch Elinor as she tries to endure the taste of that tiny piece of cake, but it was like very sour berries. When her face relaxed everyone waited for something to happen. A magic whirlwind or of Elinor body to shine and blind their eyes during the transformation. But nothing happened; Elinor was still standing there, as a bear.
"I thought you said that would change her!" Merida raged at the Witch.
"I told you it will change her fate," the witch said, "and now her fate has been changed. It is now in your hands and her paws."
"Fine," Merida said while giving off an angry glare at the Witch. "Tell us how to break the spell."
"Very well," The Witch said with a smile. "All you have to do is heed these words." Soon the area around everyone grew dark and created a dark environment. Everyone looked at the witch who had a light ball appear under her chin, and making her seemly ghostly.
"Fate be changed, look inside, mend the bond torn by pride." The Witch speaks with a hollow voice. When she was finished, the area turned back to normal and everyone looked at the witch with anger.
"WHAT?!" they all scream at the witch, while Elinor and Toothless roared at her.
"All that for a riddle?" Hiccup yells at the witch.
"It's part of the rules," the Witch shrugs. "I can't just give you the answer, that'll be too easy. But you do have the chance to help your mum. You just need to mend the bond torn by pride."
"Your magic never very direct is it?" Jack said crossed.
"It gets the job done," The witch said.
"Mend the bond torn by pride?" Merida asks out loud. "What does that mean? How are we going to figure that out?"
"maybe they can help us out?" Rapunzel said while she points a little ways away. Everyone turned to see and hear the whisper of a wisp just over the hill.
"Oh, fortune must be smiling on you," the Witch said with glee. "If the wisps are helping you lot out, you stand a good chance."
Merida looks to the wisp and saw a whole trail of them leading back to the forest. Everyone can guess that they will lead them where they needed to go, to where they can get answers.
"We might want to go," Merida told everyone, "they might leads us to where we can 'mend our bond.'"
"whatever you do, you might want to do it fast," The Witch said with a hint of worry.
"Why?" Rapunzel asks with a growing sense of suspicion.
"I forgot to mention there's one condition with the spell," The witch said with a nervous laugh.
"What condition?" Hiccup ask her.
The witch gulped before speaking again, "By sunrise tomorrow, the spell will be permeant."
"WHAT?!" everyone yelled at her.
"Permeant," Merida said in fear.
"Yes," the witch said. "Usually it would take two days, but when you have to do a rush order, you can…"
"Why didn't you tell us this earlier!?" Merida rages at the witch.
"Part of the rules sweetie," The witch shrugs at her. "All magic comes with a price."
'But did it have to be mum?' Merida thought while looking at her. as much as the queen looks indifferent, Merida knows inside she's hurting. But Merida vows to make this right, to change her mom back. So she stuffs the rest of the cake into her quiver and leads everyone to follow the wisps.
"lets go," she said trying to hide her anger. "I've had enough of this place."
The Witch watches the group leave as her crow perched himself on her shoulder. She waves them off and smiles.
"Good luck dearies, and expect delivery of your purchase within a fortnight!"