How to Train Your Dragon
I do not own anything from Httyd or Brave, both belong to their respective companies.
I own any and all OCs
Over twenty highland girls were shoved through the dark, damp corridor. Their short, staggered breaths echoed off the stone walls while the wind whistled past them. The guards cursed at them whenever one tripped, but their legs had not yet been accustomed to being on the ground again. They had been at sea for over a week now, forced to sit in their own excrement and vomit. Though some of them had been out at sea before, none were forced to stay below deck for such a vast amount of time.
There was only one voice of comfort among them. Her legs still shook from the voyage, but she kept her head high and proud. Her body was covered in cuts and bruises from the many attempts to escape her captors, but now she knew it would not be so easy.
She had only turned twelve, one of the youngest among the group. Yet she knew who she was.
“My name is Merida Dunbroch.” She whispered to herself. “I am the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, heir to the throne of all of Dunbroch.”
She gritted her teeth and glared at the guards each time they hit her or one of her citizens. With her hands bound, she had no means to fight, but she promised to herself over and over again:
“You will not break me.”
At last, they reached their destination. Many girls whimpered or gasped at the sight of their new sleeping quarters, but more began to cry as they saw the branding iron being heated on the small fire pit.
The guards grabbed the first girl, but she screamed and thrashed to avoid having red-hot metal touch her skin. Tears streamed down her face, her cries filled the room. None of the men around them cared. But Merida couldn’t bear it. She couldn’t bear to sit by and listen to her screams.
Out of instinct, she swung her bound hands at the closest guard. He stumbled a bit, giving her enough time to run to the others around the screaming girl. She didn’t get very far, and soon three men were upon her. Two of them held her as the other gave her a sound beating.
It wasn’t long till they were satisfied, but her actions didn’t save the girl from her branding. The princess knew that much.
“I guess she wants to go first.” One of the men sneered.
The others laughed, and ripped open the back of her shirt to reveal her bare skin. Clenching her jaw, the Scot waited for the metal to touch her skin.
Before another thought could come to her mind, a searing pain was placed on her back. The smell of burnt flesh filled the room as steam rose to the ceiling. But she dared not scream. A small whimper exited her mouth, but she quickly stiffened it. Though watered eyes, she caught a glimpse of the other girls, staring at her.
“It’s not that bad.” She said, trying to comfort them. “I can barely feel it anymore.”
It wasn’t a complete lie. The part where the metal touched her skin felt no more pain, but everywhere around it still burned with every breath.
But her words were enough. One by one, each girl received her brand with only a few cries of pain. After they were thrown into their cells, they huddled together for support.
“We’ll get through this.” Merida said. “But we have to promise now and forever, that they will never break us.”
Each girl nodded, repeating the promise to themselves. The princess smiled at their resolve.
But not even she could prepare them for the horrors to come.