“What are you smiling at?” Hiccup asked sourly as he and Merida faced each other. The music hadn’t started yet but dancers had already begun lining up.
He and Merida were only one pair of many. The drums began and Hiccup clumsily began moving to the music. Merida’s smile only widened and Hiccup scowled at her.
Normally, Merida hated dances and she often dragged Hiccup off to another gods-forsaken adventure so she could avoid them.
But Hiccup had the ill luck to win the sprinting competition in her feast (nobody was more surprised than he) and so won the honor of naming his favorite to begin the annual dance.
Hiccup knew very few female Highlanders to begin with and knew a grand total of one who didn’t hate his guts for being a Viking. Naturally, he had named Merida.
“Maybe I’m just smiling because you chose me as the favorite,” Merida said coyly, taking his hand and circling around him.
Merida wasn’t actually bad at these Thor-blasted Highland dances, damn her. Her skill with the blade translated to her skill on the dance floor. She moved with grace and confidence.
Hiccup felt all the worse for being her partner.
The only experience Hiccup had ever had with dancing was the rhythmless stomping and ungainly swaying that sometimes occurred when too many villagers drank too much spirits and Gobber could
be persuaded to play his pipes.
The only reason Hiccup knew this dance at all was because Elinor had very politely and pointedly ask Hiccup to join Merida’s dancing lessons,
knowing perhaps that Merida would be less likely to run away if her partner-in-crime was chained to the same lesson she was.
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