Life on Berk is good; Hiccup and Astrid are married, Vikings and dragons are battle-brothers, and Berk is prospering. But all is not as peaceful as it seems. Darkness gathers on the seas, and when curiosity introduces Berk to a secret war between ghosts from the Haddock family's past, Hiccup and Astrid will have to protect the Berkian way of life from its greatest threat...
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Actually, I Am Him: Inverted. When Astrid tries to exaggerate Berk's power to Drago and his men, she refers to "the Heir" as an intimidating and impressive hero that Drago should fear, careful not to allude to the fact that Hiccup was actually right next to her.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: The pregnancy test Gothi has Astrid take is a classic on Berk - peeing in a bag of barley seeds. If they sprout within a few days, that means she's pregnant as is the case. While there is no evidence that Vikings practiced this, this was an actual method of finding out if a woman is with child since the times of 14th century BCE Ancient Egypt and was well practiced into the Medieval Period.
- Both Sides Have a Point: When Hiccup and Astrid are captured by Drago's men, Astrid points out that Hiccup does not have the experience to reason like him and he had no plan, while Hiccup points out that Astrid had no chance of ever really killing him regardless of whatever opening she thinks she had.
- For Want of a Nail: A more significant change in canon occurs when Stoick learns of the return of Drago Bludvist, as here Stoick stops Hiccup leaving Berk and basically puts him on house arrest to stop him looking for Drago.
- Canon!Hiccup and Astrid don't have kids until the Babies Ever After epilogue in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Here, Astrid finds out she's pregnant before she and Hiccup even meet Drago.
- Hiccup actually gets to Drago before ever meeting his mother, getting captured by his men with Astrid.
- I Want Grandkids: Since their marriage, almost the entire village is harping on Hiccup and Astrid to have kids to the point of openly questioning whether they're "doing it right". Stoick is the worst with this.
- In Spite of a Nail: Regardless of Hiccup and Astrid's deeper relationship, Berk at the beginning of the fic is basically the same as it was at this time in canon.
- Even with Hiccup with her, Astrid still gets captured by Drago in an attempt to spy on him.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Downplayed. While they want kids someday, Hiccup and Astrid would rather enjoy their time as newly weds first and take precautions. Astrid still winds up pregnant, since their contraception methods are not 100% effective and she had developed a habit of wrapping her legs around him during sex.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Like in-canon, Astrid's efforts to intimidate Drago by exaggerating Berk's might only forces Drago to prioritize invading Berk sooner than if they had left well-enough alone.
- Poor Communication Kills: Stoick has every opportunity to explain why he's so scared of Drago to the point of forbidding anyone from leaving, but he feels like it's too painful to say. Whenever Astrid asks anyone else who also knew, they all refused under the grounds of it not being their place to tell her. It is not until Stoick refuses to send any scouting parties for Berk to learn what exactly they are dealing with that Astrid finally decide to break Hiccup out of his house arrest with the other rider's help and go confront Drago themselves.
- Slave Brand: In the second movie, Eret shows a scar marking him as Drago's subordiant as punishment for a past failure. Here, Astrid and Hiccup see him branded for bringing them to Drago.
- Wham Episode: Astrid realizes she's pregnant in Chapter 4.