Astrid Hofferson's life was changed forever the day she was engaged to Hiccup, the village screw-up. She never expected that they'd become friends, and certainly not something more. And when Hiccup starts getting involved in some treasonous affairs, Astrid is bound to get caught in the middle...
The author has since begun work on a sequel; Ghosts.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Played for Drama. After getting a taste of praise for his ingenuity with the success of the fire prevention system, Hiccup ends up inventing behind Astrid's back and constructs the Mangler. Not only does this violate the deal he had made with Astrid, but it ends with Hiccup's reputation spiraling right back down to square one with the unfortunate collateral damage caused by the Monstrous Nightmare he inadvertently attracts.
- Actually a Good Idea: Astrid and Hiccup make a deal: Hiccup stops his inventing and in return she will take the time to train him how to use a weapon. Later on, Hiccup gets the idea of creating a fire-prevention system that would lower the amount of work the fire brigade would have to do to put out fires during dragon raids. Rather then getting on his case about their deal, Astrid makes an exception with this idea, citing that it actually is a good one.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Before they leave to head out to the nest, Astrid's father Ingvar asks Stoick one about Hiccup and Astrid's fate after they are accused of treason after the final examine for dragon training didn't go as they had hoped."And what will you do when it comes time to try Hiccup for those crimes? Will you cast my daughter out and let your son remain?"
- Beginner's Luck: On his first day training with Astrid, he manages to disarm her for the first time in years. He insists that it was a fluke, but Astrid insists otherwise.
- Disappointed in You: After the disastrous demonstration with Mangler, Hiccup is able to tune out the jeering and mockery of his peers. The only thing that actually stings is the disappointed look on Astrid's face, fully aware that he violated his deal with her by building behind her back.
- Eye Scream: During the final battle with the Red Death, the new dragon riders manage to blind most of its eyes from a combination of fire and Stormfly's spikes.
- Get It Over With: After he discovers that his dad had arranged him with Astrid, he was fully expecting her to kill him as soon as possible. When she does confront him, his only request is that she makes it quick and painless.
- Gossipy Hens: Ruffnut could not help but get into Astrid's business when she notices how friendly she is being to Hiccup.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Gobber when Astrid shows up at the blacksmith before Hiccup and Astrid talk to each other for the first time after learning about the arranged marriage decides to leave Hiccup alone with Astrid claiming he needs to... clean... a tub."I need to clean the tub." The blacksmith wiped his hands and sauntered towards the back, grinning cheekily as he went off to complete his definitely fake errand, "Hold down the fort, 'Iccup!"/
- In Spite of a Nail: Regardless of Hiccup and Astrid's improved relationship, Hiccup still loses a leg after defeating the Red Death.
- Internal Reveal: Chapter 14 has two, as Astrid learns about Toothless and Hiccup learns that his feelings for Astrid may not be completely unrequited.
- Jerkass Realization: Astrid flat-out tells Stoick that Hiccup feels like a disappointment and that he should take the time to make him feel valued.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: A partial example occurs in chapter 14; when Hiccup states his belief that Astrid has never wanted to be betrothed to him, Astrid realizes that while she's never liked the implications of marriage and isn't ready for it yet, Hiccup is the only person her age in the village she can see herself marrying, as he would never try and make her something she's not and she actually does find him attractive.
- Malicious Misnaming: Due to recurring failures in his inventions and the messes they made, Hiccup has been given the demeaning title of "Hiccup the Useless." This stings especially since the village took the time to give him this title despite such things usually being saved till adulthood.
- Never My Fault: Mildew completely fails at his own 'attempt' to train a dragon, but acts as though the Nadder was the reason rather than acknowledging that he wasn't obeying Astrid's instructions.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Subverted. Considering they agreed to Stoick's proposal to marry off their children, Astrid's parents see Hiccup's potential and agree to it. When Hiccup needs to test out a new fire prevention system, they were more than happy to oblige him and allows him to install the prototype in their house.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: While Astrid was upset when she found out that her parents set her up with Hiccup behind her back, they become friends rather quickly when her mother asks her to get to know him, with Astrid soon recognizing that Hiccup is the only person in the village she would actually want to marry.
- Reality Ensues: Even after spending some time with Toothless and tentatively training the Nadder, Astrid finds it hard to shake off years of belief that all dragons are bad, wondering out loud if these two are just the exception rather than the rule.
- Took a Level in Badass: Thanks to actively training with Astrid before dragon training, Hiccup is able to hold his own in a fight to such an extent that he actually does manage to douse the Zippleback's sparking head during that lesson, even if he still 'defeats' the Zippleback using the eel and other techniques devised from witnessing Toothless.