Disclaimer: Dream Works and Cressida Cowell own the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
This story is a sequel to my previous work, Becoming the Enemy. Whether or not you read it, I hope you will enjoy this work. If you read the earlier story, this work will eventually answer dozens of the many mysteries I have left with you with last , Read and Review.
If any of my ancestors were to see Berk now, they would have strapped themselvesto a ship's mast for fear they had gone mad. They would be utterly surprised to see the sight of Nightmares using their strength to lift heavy objects; of Gronckles taking advantage of their ability to hover to decorate roofs; or even of Nadders diving into the water to fish into nets. It would have been utter madness and insanity in their eyes; one simply does not allow their enemies to come live with them, it was foolish to trust creatures like them. Yet, now Berk did.
Now, there were dragons in the village, living in houses, sleeping in beds. This was the results of the events that happened two weeks prior. Who would have ever thought that I, of all people, would convince Dad to actually reconsider the whole "Kill on Sight" rule that we both lived under for practically our whole lives.
Perhaps the one thing that would have surprised them even more… was me. I think they would have laughed at the idea of me being one of their descendents; given who my parents were, it does seem somewhat surprising that I didn't, oh, I don't know, inherit the ability to smash a boulder with my bare forehead. Oh well, at least I can still lift a hammer enough to slowly beat metal into a desired shape, practically one of the few things I had a real knack for… aside from flying, but I can't do that until a certain Night Fury stopped by.
I picked up a small chunk of silver with a pair of tongs and placed it into the furnace, still burning despite being use plenty of times today. Silver was an interesting metal. It was slightly heavier than iron, but it was much more easily reshaped, partly because of its lower melting temperature. Once it was hot enough, I could easily break it off into chunks and shape those chunks in any manner of my choosing. All I really had to do was just sit in Gobber's forge while I waited for the metal to heat up. Such a shame he wasn't here, but I guess as his apprentice, I was trusted to work safely.
While I waited, the sound of heavy footsteps approach me. Before I could turn and look, I felt a large, meaty hand fall upon my shoulder. "What is this?" said the man, curiously. I twisted my head around, learning who he was. Stoick the Vast was my father and Chief of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe. People tell me that when he was a baby, he popped a dragon's head clean off his shoulders. Do I believe it? Yes, I do. "Does this have to do with all that silver you wanted me to get for you yesterday?"
"Oh, uh, yeah, it's a part of our project you wanted me to do," I replied. One of the consequences of the past few week's events was that I was tasked with dealing with Berk's whole 'dragon' situation. It was stressful and made little progress so far, but at least I was not sitting around being 'Useless'. I took his attention to one of the nearby tables. A dozen silver arrowheads were laid out on top, ready to receive wooden shafts to complete them. I had prepared them earlier today, but I decided that since I had plenty of spare time to work with, I figured it would have been a good idea to make more of them.
"So… arrows?" my father asked, skeptical.
"Arrows," I replied.
"I don't see how this helps us," he stated. "Sure, silver looks nice, but it's not very practical for any edges. The metal is too soft and tarnishes too easily to make use of it."
"They're not for killing, Dad," I replied flatly. "They're for the dragons…"
"Oh, and here I thought they were on our side." He laughed. "You could just use blunts if you wanted to stun dragons; you wouldn't need to spend a small fortune for every time you wanted to refill your quiver."
Now, I just realized, he was messing with me by pretending not to really know. I felt so idiotic for having fallen victim to that ploy. I guess he must have been feeling good about something, since he apparently felt this was the right time to use his sense of humor. "Dad," I said in a dull tone. "Now's not the time… I've got work to do." I turned my attention back to the silver ingot in the furnace, it did not appear like it was time to cut it up into pieces. Maybe a minute more… I picked up a pair of tongs, getting ready to work the metal as soon as the time was right.
For some reason, it seemed that all my actions and words did was cause my father's face to grow a grin. He approached me. "It's good to see you working so hard on this," he commented. He muttered something unintelligible to himself before he approached me again. "I was… wrong, my son," he said.
"Uh, what?" I said, breaking my attention from the furnace once more. What was he talking about?
"A few weeks ago, our laws required us to kill dragons on sight. They were wild animals in our eyes, to be driven out or wiped out as was convenient for us. It was iron clad, part of our way of life. Yet these past few months have brought nothing but endless, impossible challenges to laws that had been held firm for generations…. most especially, you."
"Dad?" I questioned, looking him in the eyes, dazed and asking for questions. Why was he bringing this up now?
"Toothless," said my father, putting his meaty hands on my shoulders. "I am proud to have you as my son, don't forget it."
I dropped what I was holding, the metal clanged onto the ground with a heavy thump. I… never expected this. Not from him, especially not after the things I told you. "Uh…" I stuttered, I was just stunned, unable to think of any way to respond in a way that resembled an actual language. I stood there for what must have been an eternity before the sound of heavy wing beats and the shouts of my master overhead drew my attention.
"Stoick!" cried Gobber as he approach, riding a certain Night Fury. The blonde haired man had a variety of bags strapped to his arm, each bursting with a variety of assorted things, most notably a huge bundle of leather rolled up on the dragon's back, possibly made from the hides of several yaks. The dragon, likewise, was equipped with a variety of backs filled to the brim with a variety of assorted things. Last I checked, I knew the two of them went around town shopping, but I didn't know what that was for. "Fancy seeing you here. Didn't think you'd have the spare time after trying to solve that whole marriage issue."
I could see my father smirk a little as they approached. "Ah, so that's where they went. They must have went shopping." he muttered to me before turning to our new arrivals. "Oh, yeah, well, Hildegard's fiancé did not die in that big fight last week and there's the whole dispute about his… eligibility because of well, you know. But I think they'll wait for a few more months till my boys can fix that mess for them, so I got out of that much earlier than I thought I would. And then it turned out I had some time before I some time to spend before I dealt with the new fishing boats…"
I swallowed my throat. Great, now I had an entire marriage resting upon my shoulders. As if I needed more things to worry other than a good chunk of Berk counting on me.
The dragon landed in front of the store, allowing Gobber to disembark. The dragon turned his attention to me, aware of my own worry. Just how was I supposed to help someone's marriage? "Oh, don't worry about," said the Night Fury. "I ended up disfiguring him, her."
"Er, what?" I said. Without any context that could mean anything.
"Well, I ended up hitting her face and then suddenly people wanted to marry her even though most everyone thought she was a guy." I blinked. Did he really disfigure someone so badly, that he turned a man into a woman? Because that's really what it sounded like… I don't even want to know how that was possible. "Anyways, I'm sure if we try and fail hard enough we could end up turning her into a dragon and solving that whole marriage issue for her again…"
My father approached the black dragon, his heavy hand reaching upwards and gently rubbing the dragon's forehead. There was a smile on his face, both filled with equal parts regret and joy. "I can still only imagine what you have to tell me, boy," he sighed. "Oh, Hiccup, how did things ever turn out like this?"
"Oh, nothing really all that bizarre, Dad," replied the dragon, even though it was completely unintelligible for most people. Unlike me, Gobber and my father did not understand the language dragons spoke; I did, because I used to be a dragon. "I just ended up fooling around in some sorcery, just because I thought it would be nice to be able to lift a sword properly, and then suddenly everyone in the whole archipelago starts having a way to change shape. Really, I'm kind of surprised it took us this long to notice some of it." Hiccup was my older brother, both of us shared both parents with our only difference being that I was born and raised as a dragon because Mother was pregnant with me when she ended up getting cursed. To make a long story short, Hiccup broke the spell that made me a dragon, turned himself into a Night Fury, and I ended up learning about our relation only after Mother kidnapped my brother. On thinking about it, that situation still sounds convoluted…
Some things though, bypassed language entirely. Father simply smiled, as if those words came perfectly crystal clear on his end. "Well, I think I'll leave you all to your duties; those new houses need approval from someone." And then, just like that, he was gone, giving us barely enough time to say our goodbyes.
"Right, and I think I'll get to work on this project you want, since, well, you don't have hands." said Gobber as he patted the large bundle of leather over his shoulders. Despite his home being primarily for metal working, there were a couple of places where other crafts could be worked on. The owner and proprietor of the store walked off to one of the work benches and picked out a variety of assorted tools, some of which seem… experimental.
"What is that about?" I said to the Night Fury.
"You'll see, bud," said the Night Fury.
I sighed. I had no idea what my brother possibly could possibly want with it, but he must have had an idea, he never seemed to run out of them. It must have been a human thing or something, I mean, what possibly use could anyone have for all of that leather."Someday, you'll tell me," I promised him. I picked up my pair of tongs and lifted the silvery metal out of the forge and onto a nearby anvil. It wasn't it there too long, so it wasn't liquefied or anything.
"Oh, you can be sure of that," my brother said. "I think you'd enjoy it…"
"Well, are you going to give me a hand or what?"
"I don't have any hands anymore," said the dragon.
"Right, because you are a useless reptile," I replied, appropriating an insult he gave me back when we first met. It was practically my default since I had a hard time with coming up with new ones.
"Takes one to know one," he responded as he began stacking and organizing the assorted bags of supplies in a neat pile on a table. Hopefully they had some of the things we needed."Besides, it's much better than being an eighty pound toothpick." It was strange how we liked to banter back and forth against each other. Neither of us really meant it… most of the time, probably because whenever we thought of something, it usually applied to use both. Still, we had fun. Suddenly, I began to understand why all of the other younglings often did some play fighting when I was growing up, it was just… fun.
"And I'm sure you'd make a good main course for some bear or something." I replied, pinching my nose to feign. "You've eaten so much fish that you practically smell like one." Placing the metal onto an anvil, I grabbed a chisel from a nearby rack and started breaking the metal bar piece by piece. After each piece weighted little more than an ounce or two, I started shaping the metal, grinding and hammering the silvery chunks until their tips narrowed. This part… took forever, but at least I had something to distract me while doing this incredibly monotonous task. How anyone did this without going mad was beyond me.
"And neatly, too," replied my brother. "You still have the worst table manners I have ever seen. You pretty much gobble everything in front of you." He actually used up a few words that didn't really exist in the dragon language, after all, we did not have a concept of 'table manners' on the count of lacking tables…We did have an overabundance of manners, though. One of the things that a few of us have been working on is trying to expand the collection of words in the dragon language, using partially made up combinations of phrases and sounds, mostly to avoid the issue of not having the right words to describe something. Really, fascinating the kind of work Fishlegs and Meatlug did there…
"I'd argue since most Vikings do that anyways, I'm the one who's actually eating properly. You're the one with bad table manners, by deciding to take fifteen minutes chewing a peas," I said with a smug grin on my face. On the rare occasion we did have something unique to us, we blew it up to such proportions, that it even if was true, it was not that true. Still, he couldn't possibly top that. I had him.
Hiccup gave the closest imitation of a smirk he could manage with his jaws. "Oh, you think you're really clever, don't you, bud?" Now, I was getting worried, what could he possibly have up his nonexistent sleeves? "Well, I guess you won this round," he said.
I smirked in response. The score was four to five, maybe I can win the next one to tie him up tomorrow. "Well, I guess your manners, aren't that bad," I said, giving a sort of humility to my victory. Nothing was worse than a sore winner, right?
"Maybe," he replied as he continued organizing assorted bags. "Though, you might want to double check your arrows…"
Confused, I turned my gaze down towards the little hunks of metal that I had finely crafted. They were pretty much done and all I needed to do was inscribe them properly to have them ready for today's test. I narrowed my gaze, still wondering what he was talking about. They were perfectly fine, as far as I could tell… except they were not. I slapped myself across the face when I had realized I had the arrow heads pointed in the opposite direction; the little sockets where the shafts had to be driven through to complete the arrow were on the tip of the arrowheads. All of that work, wasted, but that was not the worst of it.
I quietly scowled at my older brother, who was clearly ignoring me as he continued with his work, or at least pretending to. He let me have that one, just when he knew he had an easy, possible game ending reply and he choose not the use it… somehow, I think that upset me more than having to redo those arrowheads. The score was really three to six, just when I thought I was getting the hang of it. I so owe him for that one…
Sighing, I heated the arrowheads up again enough to correct my mistake and finish inscribing a symbols on their heads. Next, I took some premade wooden shafts from a nearby collection and slotted them in, completing each arrow without wasting another few minutes. All told, there were a dozen. "Alright, I'm done with them," I said to my brother.
This time, he responded, now that I was not as upset about my loss, I guess he thought it was safe to interact with me again… "Great, so, we're ready for the new test, then?" Hiccup asked. "Maybe it'll work this time…"
"I hope, I mean, because if it does not… I just don't know what to do with myself."
"Don't worry, about it, bud. We still have some options open to us," said my brother.
I nodded. I took a small quiver and about six of the arrows with me. I did not really need to shoot them or anything and… I don't think anyone, Viking or Dragon, liked being shot at; it was simply bad for your health. "So, where to?" I asked my brother.
"Same place as last time," he told me.
I nodded as I climbed onto my larger brother's neck. Besides, I did not have any wings, so I guess it's not as bad. "Well, let's get going," I said and Hiccup took off.
Hiccup was good at flying, no thanks to me. Like Mother and myself, Hiccup was fast and able to quickly change direction and orientation in the air in a moment's notice, so I was not afraid of falling or anything. These days, I've gotten used to the idea that I had gotten used to flying on my older brother. Before, I would have complained about how I was too old to really fly on anyone else's back; no one except the youngest of hatchlings clung to their elder's backs, like how human infants needed to be carried before they could walk on their own. It was just embarrassing otherwise, like admitting I was so helpless that I needed the help. But, eventually, I realized that if I wanted to get to certain places, and quickly, flying was the fastest means of transport available to me. Besides, it's probably not as embarrassing if I lacked the power to fly myself…
We flew over a number of houses, a few dragons were beneath us, all of them seamlessly moving through the crowd. The unfortunate truth was that all but a few of them were really dragons, practically all of them were human before. Berk suffered an affliction of some sort, a curse cast by Alvin the Treacherous that resulted in dozens of warriors completely transforming into dragons. As a result, we have been working for the past two weeks trying to break that spell... I think we were just as glad our father still only had a few rough patches of scale instead of having to worry about growing claws, for the time being at least.
And that was not the only dragon related transformation problem we had; my brother and a few of my friends drank a potion that granted them tremendous strength and durability, but slowly converted them into dragons everytime they so much as took a scratch… I guess it was offset by the fact that I had some friends, who unlike me, were really dragons, but by the use of amulets disguised themselves in human form. And they were in complete control of that, so they weren't a problem…
Eventually, we arrived at our destination, a small house near the docks. The windows were in shattered outward and door had several gaping holes, including where the door knob was supposed to be. We both knew this was one of the worst off of Alvin's victims and quite frankly, it was a little dangerous to be around him. Still, I don't think either of us were all that concerned.
I got off my brother once we landed and made our final approach.
"Should we knock?" I asked. After all, it was the right and polite thing to do.
"Uh, go ahead, I think I might break the door by accident…" said my brother, a rare statement coming from him.
I nodded and gentle tapped the door, unsure of how to really approach it.
The door's broke off of its hinges and nearly fell on to me before I nearly dodged it in time. Unfortunatelky, I was not the cause of the door breaking. The house rattled and glass broke. Every fiber of my being shook as a powerful and invisible force moved through my very bones. "COME IN!" we heard. After a moment, with the initiation given, I struggled to approach. Unfortunately, the house's sole resident spoke again, bringing me to my knees. "OH, SORRY!"
After the wind was knocked out of me, just like that. Hiccup, probably because he was bigger or hardier pushed me to my feet as I struggled to get myself up. "You can try to destroy us after we're done, not before.
"SOR-" The voice started, but cut himself off before I went onto my knees again.
"Thank you, for not killing us," said my brother. I silently nodded in agreement.
I shook my head, mostly to get the disorientation out of my system. "Let's get this overwith," I muttered as I walked inside, Hiccup pushing me from behind in case I fell again.
The inside of the house looked even worse than the outside, with assorted furniture and knickknacks scattered on the floor in a disorganized heap. Among the largest of these heaps was a creature that resembled something like a giant purplish manta ray with short, stringy legs. It was huge, much larger than my brother yet far more sturdy looking.
Roland was a dockworker. According to the testimony of people that knew him, he had been working in the harbor since he was twelve winters of age. He was considered an average warrior, capable of using a hammer with lethal efficiency and had a pretty solid defense. He was also somewhat good at sailing and once placed high in an annual fishing tournament. He lived alone, though was somewhat active in the community despite not taking a mate. All in all, a mostly typical Viking.
What was not typical was the fact he was now a Thunderdrum; the fact that I considered being any other kind of dragon being 'typical' says volumes about me. He was the only one on Berk as far as I knew and my familiarity with Tidal dragons was sketchy at best. Now, even though I grew up as a dragon, I never really spent much time around a Thunderdrum before. Out of all of the dragons we could have picked to run our tests on, we picked the only one that did not involve any fire whatsoever, mostly because Roland was one of the worst off, since he had… issues. Roland did not have full control of his ability to project his voice… as a result, he often ended up causing some damage every time he so much as spoke something, anything. He lived alone, so he had no one to take care of him. It was not a big issue since his new form allowed him to fish quite effectively, but it did cause panic on more than one occasion when some fishermen thought he was a wild dragon approaching the village and his house was falling apart because few people wanted to get near him.
Other than that, he was good. He complied with our request, and kept silent over just what our current idea of 'treatment' consisted of. He, like a lot of other people took it for granted when I was able to understand him on the rare instances he was able to speak without sending me to the floor. Most of the adults, except for Father and Gobber, did not know about my… history or of my origins. While it was true I was the Chief's son, most people did not have to know I was a dragon. I was more less able to convince everyone that I just had special powers… which was more or less true to begin with.
"Alright, are you ready, Roland?" I asked.
The Thunderdrum nodded, thankfully keeping silent. Hiccup picked up the door with his front paws and began reattaching it.
I took one of the arrows in my quiver and strike the Thunderdrum's chests. Now, despite the fact that that the arrows was made of purely mundane materials, when Hiccup and I prepared them in a special way and inscribed with a specific rune, unintelligible to the two of us, the arrows gained the power to... interact with other spells or enchantments, often breaking whatever hold a spell had over someone. There was a certain irony to me making them, mostly because they were the reason I found out I was not a dragon.
The Thunderdrum became surrounded by a strange green blaze that consumed and his body. His arms and legs gained a sort of thickness to them, becoming longer and bulkier by the moment. Purple scale softened and peeled away, revealing pinkish skin that was equally as hard and rugged. Hair grew, most of it concentrated on his chin and on the top of his head. In a moment, the flames dissipated, leaving a slightly stunned, but seemingly wholly human man.
Roland began using his hands to feel around his face, even stroking his unkempt beard as if he was noticing it for the first time. Hiccup immediately draped a robe over the new man, concealing parts that should not be seen. "Is it really over!?" he said with glee, finally not shattering my bones with his voice. "Am I really going to stay like this?"
"We don't know," I said.
"Maybe this time, but if not… we can always try again," supplied Hiccup. "We've got more than one arrow this time.
"Uh, right," said Roland before hunching over. "I don't think I feel so good…"
This was the unfortunate part, this not the first test we've tested on Roland. Ever since my brother and I got were assigned our task, we've tried trying to break the enchantment that kept all of Alvin's victims dragons. And for the most part, we've managed to return people to human form, but our current problem made things far more complicated.
Roland fell to the ground, a dizzy look in his face. Skin started to peel off in sheets, each being replaced by the same pearlescent scales that had been removed not a few minutes prior. Arms and legs began to lose their definitions, seemingly atrophying before my very eyes. The former man's face twisted into very clear discomfort, the sensation of change being clearly painful in comparison to what he experienced only a few minutes ago.
While my brother and I knew the arrows could restore a man's true form by disrupting the transformative curse, neither of us expected the curse to resist our attempts to break it. Whenever we tried to undo it, the effect reasserts itself within the hour. Now, Roland paid the price for our attempt and suffered for it. The pain must have been crippling.
Roland groan in pain, looking at my brother and I to give him the right answers… the sad truth was, I did not knew what to do, I had no answers. I looked my brother, wondering if there's something going through his head. He always had some half-mad scheme or idea to try… "Do you want us to try again?" he asked the downed man, a grim tone in his voice. Roland nodded.
Suddenly, I understood why he wanted me to bring a dozen arrows.
Alone in skies above my home villages, I begin to understand something I failed to realize. My Dad liked to talk about having traveled every corner of Berk, about how he climbed its tallest peaks and how he crawled into the darkest depths. Now, I can finally understand.
Berk… has changed. Yes, some things have remained the same, like the fact we're twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. That hasn't changed. What has, is the fact that a number of us have either turned into dragons or is in the process of eventually becoming one.
And I was one of the first.
When I picked up the black, Night Fury scaled book from Trader Johann all those months ago, I did not know what I was doing. I wanted to make myself stronger, to make myself into… someone I was not. I succeeded; I got my wish. I became stronger, completely different. And for a scrawny, clumsy, worthless boy like I was, it doesn't much different than becoming a dragon that every man, woman, and child considered one of the most dangerous creatures in all of Midgard… and the greatest trophy.
All things considered, I can honestly say it's not the worst thing that's ever happened to me… which must really say something about me. I might have find out that every time I've tried to take down a Night Fury, to prove that I can be… something, I find out that I've been trying to kill my long lost mother who's been turned in a dragon, but at the same time, I learned I had a brother, someone who legitimately looked up to me. I might have gotten kidnapped by some merchant who turned out to be a spy for the dragons, but at the same time, I met new friends. Even though I was for all intents and purposes, a creature many regarded as a beast to be slain, Dad was still willing to accept me, to trust me; he was even willing to accept Toothless and my new friends, despite their… background.
I feel like I have gotten off easy compared to others. I was a young boy, a dependant. I might have been good at the forge, but I was still just an apprentice. I neither had a house of my own or anyone counting on me to bring home supper. Others were adults, grown men who were married and often had children of their own. While Vikings like to be self sufficient by learning plenty of different skill sets, most also dedicated their lives to studying and employing specific sets of trades.
When Alvin came to Berk, brandishing a spear that slowly painfully turned dozen men into scaled, winged creatures, he also destroyed people's lives in a painful and slow fashion. While, they were by no means the majority or the most important people on Berk or the only casualties in Alvin's attack, they still suffered a fate that was tragic as it was embarrassing. Sure, learning to fly and breathe might come easy to some of them, but with the loss of fingers and hands comes to loss of independance. Yes, I was able to learn how to use my breath to warm up a furnace, but that didn't mean I could lift a hammer and carefully shape metal, that's far more important to a professional blacksmith. The past few weeks, I've met a Scauldron bigger than the boats he used to make, a Gronckle used to be a shoe maker, and a Deadly Nadder for a tailor. None of them are not earning their livelihood.
People were so desperate, that many of them were counting on me to break their curse. Yes, I might have been in more or less the same boat as most of them were… but I had experience. I was the one who has been the dragon the longest and I've already been studying to undo the my transformation for a while now. As for Toothless, he showed up using a cloak that turned him back into a Night Fury, so people think he might be able to pull the same trick in reverse…. People really believe we had the answers, so much that they were willing to trust us.
Now, I just… wanted to be worthy of that trust; I did not want to fail them.
Which is why I flew down into the Great Hall. It was dinner time and I had asked my friends to come meet with me to discuss how things were coming along. Each of us was tasked with helping the afflicted in some manner, so I made it a point for us to meet every dinner.
Some of my friends were really dragons in disguise, former peers of Toothless back when he was a Night Fury, but after the events of the past few weeks, they've more or less joined Berk. Most people think they were other people who were cured by Alvin, but given a few amulets to maintain human form and it was through this excuse we've managed to help them teach the former Vikings… humans, since being a Viking was an occupational choice.
The novelty of being a Night Fury has mostly warn off, so no one really paid any attention as I made my through. Quickly, I navigated myself to the usual table, one of the central ones by a firepit. All of them were already there.
Astrid might have drank the same potion I did, but she was still mostly human, with the only traces of scale she had were on her throat. She was far more careful about avoiding damage, because anyone who drank from that potion while they gained an increase in their athletic and healing ability, that healing slowly transformed the imbiber into a dragon for every injury taken. Still she couldn't speak Norse anymore and instead communicated in the same, nearly guttural growls and cries as a Nadder did. She looked at me as I approached the table. "Where's Toothless?" she asked.
"He's not coming," I replied. "Things didn't go so well, with Roland." We've done everything from repeatedly using the arrows every time the curse tried to resurge itself, hammering multiple arrows in at the same time, and having him eat the arrows to see if that did anything. We spent the rest of the day trying to cure the Thunderdrum and nothing we tried stuck. At best, we've managed to stave the curse off for an hour before it all came back all at once… Still, at least Roland was fine… if a little weary from all the changing back and forth.
"Such a shame," said a red haired girl with white silk scarf. "Though, that means one there's more hens for everyone." Stormfly may have been a Nadder and to anyone who knew that secret, it showed. Her clothes may have been gifts from Astrid and a certain, but absent Bog Burglar, but Stormfly seemed to have grown quite fascinated with wearing of clothes and putting on makeup. Every time I see her, she's well dressed and puts on a clean appearance that I think dirt might be contractually obligated to avoid her.
"So, Toothless isn't coming?" repeated Fishlegs, prompting me to nod. "… It didn't work, did it?" I nodded again. I might have spoken the language of dragons, a language which as far as I know was only understandable to anyone who has either been a dragon before or partially a dragon. He was wholly human. Fishlegs just shook his head. "That curse has like a Plus Five Resistance. I thought it would work!"
"So did we," I added. "After we were done, he just decided to go to bed early…" And by early, I mean before the sun even began to set. I really hope my little brother is alright. I'm used to… failure, but he was still kind of new at it. It must have really stung him.
"Things have been some whatever hard for him, especially since One Eye's passing," Meatlug appeared as a somewhat large brunette girl sat that sat next to Fishlegs. They had a close relationship, as far as I can tell. Her name, even by Berk standards might have sounded odd, but she grown quite attached to it Interestingly enough, like Fish, Meatlug was a knowledge keeper, though she did so by memorizing songs because dragons lacked a written language.
I nodded. One Eye was the former Flight Commander and teacher of Toothless and my new friends. He died very recently and was honored the way all great warriors should have, regardless of what they were, but that hardly made up for the fact he was now gone. Toothless had mostly recovered from his loss.
"Heh, told you it wouldn't work," said Snotlout in a matter of fact tone. "You guys know a thing or two, but you aren't that good." Like, Astrid and I, my cousin was given the same potion we were. Ironically, it was meant for Toothless, but it was given to him to save his life. Unlike Astrid, Snotlout was far more reckless, often taking injuries every time he tried to pull a stunt. A result, he's gorn a pair of vicious horns and his jaw and nose fused together to form a Nightmare's snout. Now, I might be crazy, but unlike some people, I am not crazy enough to call him 'Snoutfaced Snotlout' for a reason. Especially since even though he spoke Norse, he could understand the dragon language.
"Uh, yeah, you're not all that good," said Hookfang. He was Nightmare and one of One Eye's many grandsons. In human form, I could describe him by the words: tall, dark, and handsome. Lots of girls were attracted to him for some reason, much to Snotlout's displeasure, not that he actively wanted the attention in the first place. Still, he was my cousin's wingman.
"And I suppose Snotlout is?" I replied.
"Darn, right I am," said the partial Nightmare. He dangled a rune inscribed stone from a string. As much as I wanted to deny it, Snotlout did have a point… I did not know enough about sorcery to think up any clever solutions or make some sort of fancy counter curse. The only reason, Toothless and I know how to brew up a potion that turns people into dragons or make arrows that remove magic is because I picked up a book written almost haphazardly in three languages, only one of which I knew. Snotlout, like us, also learned how to make something, a runestone that warded against fires. Yet, for some reason, we were the only ones who could make something from the book. I had Fishlegs and Astrid try their luck and all that happened was I had to pay for a new kettle… Now, I was definitely sure the world was going crazy. Snotlout having a point was practically as much as a sign of Ragnarok as much as the boat made of discarded nail clippings. "Hey, Ow!" He yelped as he grabbed his scaly cheek.
"Thanks, Astrid," I said as the shield maiden in train recoiled her fist. For a while, Astrid had pretty much sworn off punching Snotlout and myself, since each injury brought us one step closer to being dragons. She removed herself from that ban recently when I had pretty much become as dragon I was going to get. I guess she decided the same should apply to Snotlout.
"Oh, it was my pleasure," she said in a calm, vindictive tone. "I've been waiting to do that for a long time. You know, I think maybe you need a little more…" she raised her other hand and readied for another punch.
"Hey, watch the face," yelped Snotlout as he tried to guard himself against the coming assault.
"Oh, don't worry, I'm sure, you'll be quite handsome with ladies when I'm through with you," said Astrid. "After all, we've got like eight Nightmares. What's another one?" Snotlout wisely switched seats with Hookfang, placing him out of Astrid's reach across the table. Astrid, with a gleeful smirk lowered her fists. Oh, well, I guess it's not the end of the world, some things never really change at all…
This time, it was Ruffnut's turn to speak. "Uh… are we eating or what? It is like, dinner time and all.."
"Yeah," added Tuffnut. "We can barely understand half the conversation already, but nothing we heard says anything about food."
"No, they have not-"
"-Said anything about food,"
Next to the twins was a dragon Zippleback. Like Toothless, Meaglug, Stormfly, and Hookfang, the Zippleback was another of One Eye's Squires. However, there were three amulets to go around and whenever Barf and Belch wanted to become human for while, they needed both two to do it safely. More often than not, they were fine being a dragon for most of the time, mostly since it didn't seem to faze the twins at all.
"Yeah, just what I thought," said Tuffnut, as if he understood the dragon perfectly. "I want my dinner."
"You guys need to speak proper Norse. Even a dragon knows it better than you," commented Ruffnut, ignoring the fact that quite a few of us do not have human vocal cords anymore.
"We can give Hiccup a pen so he can write," suggested Fishlegs.
"Ugh, you want us to read?" asked Ruffnut.
"Why not murder us first? That's merciful in comparison," said Tuffnut.
"Now I think reading might be a tad… empty, but I don't think it's… lethal," commented Meatlug.
"Uh, they're right," I said. That earned me a look from every one of my friends that could understand me. Yeah, they think I gone mad. Well, they're wrong; I was already plenty mad to begin with. "It is dinner time and we better eat before the food runs out. Someone, just get me a bucket or raw salmon…"
"And now, they-" started Barf.
"Bring up food," added Belch.
"Oh, good," Ruffnut stated.
"FinalIy! I was getting hungry," said Tuffnut. More and more, the twins continue to astound me. They understand Bard and Belch even when they're not supposed to… yet still get lost in a conversation with other dragons… I am just not going to question it, it's the twins. They defy logic, classification, and sanity; it is not a smart idea to wonder how they think.
Everyone just shook their heads and began digging into their portions. I got full of tuna and ate my meal slowly, picking each and every individual piece with my paw, then biting, chewing, and swallowing it. So what if I was pretty much the only Viking or dragon to obey table manners? I'm not going to change that just because I was a something different.
Half way through, Fishlegs pushed his food away, apparently done. I think I was on my fifth fish at this point. "Hey, Meatlug, can you translate for us?"
"Uh, sure," said the brunette.
"So, what are you going to do?" asked Fishlegs. "I mean, the arrows are definitely not going to work…"
I took another bite from my half eaten trout before I replied. The answer was plainly obvious to me; in fact, maybe I should have done it weeks ago, but circumstances forced me to put it off later and later. The fact of the matter was, I did not know enough about…anything, especially not about how spells worked. I had to do something, anything to clear up the confusion, to give me the knowledge I needed to help others. And there was one place nearby, just an island over, where I knew I could do precisely that. "I am going to the Library."
So, we're finally beginning again. I'm going to try to write somewhat shorter chapters but come out with a more consistent/ quicker update schedule. This chapter is 70% of the length of previous chapters, for reference. Only two PoVs, but each PoV is slightly longer.
I understand that in the previous story I have established that lots of words don't exist in the dragon language, like 'books' and 'library'. Here, I am establishing that some words are beginning to be translated over to help in communication. I am going to avoid most of the specific nuisances, because that'd be crazy, but I will try to put an effort to it when it's appropriate for it.
Camicazi is not currently in this story, but I will say she'll show up later. It simply did not make sense for her to be in Berk currently.