Disclaimer: Dream Works and Cressida Cowell own the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
"It's funny," the girl told me, her expression somewhat amused. She was dressed in her finest attire, an outfit I bought for her. "We were Kin once, wanting to offer flesh and prizes to one we served. Now we're doing that again…"
"It's not the same," I murmured. I held Gram between my paws, unsure of what to make of it. The sword was mine was again and technically, I never really lost it.
"Is it, Toothless?" her tone was questioning, skeptical. "I mean, well, I guess that there's differences here and there, but it's the same in principal right?"
"In a way. Hiccup liked to compare… you know who with beings like the Oathbreaker and he even seemed to know of him, so… maybe they both practice the same sort of things?" I didn't know what she was getting at; she helped us defeat the Red Death. Did she have second thoughts? I thought I trusted her. Maybe her earlier frustrations needed to vent… or maybe there was something I had to realize. Astrid did say something about her having a problem… and it was times like these all I could do was think; either about the ceremony up ahead, or of her and what her problem was.
"I… don't understand what the deal is with Astrid wanting to get a pot. I mean aren't we supposed be offering the meat instead?" she pointed.
"Some of it," I replied and shown her the sword in my paws. I clumsily held it over to her so she might see it. "But this thing we're supposed to offer to the flames, destroy it, maybe." Admittedly, I didn't like the implications of the King and the Aesir the Tribe worship having the same "rules"; on the other hand, this "tribute" was not mostly optional. We were told to do so by our so-called "benefactor" and I felt that if we didn't there would be repercussions.
When that strange dragon wanted us to offer the blade, offer it to the Aesir, the Tribe's gods, Hiccup took the message to heart and asked to Gothi and a few others to help perform the offering… Which is why we were here, right off by some sacred place reserved for spilt blood and old rites. There was a purpose to all that, yet I didn't understand how placing a blade or the bodies of cattle in flames was supposed to send these things to the gods and not destroy them. It seemed to make no sense.
"It looks beautiful," Stormfly said. "Mind if I..."
I nodded and offered the sword to her. She grabbed onto it and began examining the blade, using a deftness that came using flexible fingers that could move and bend individually, the kind I had come to miss more than anything else, funny how I used to see being human as a punishment.
At the same time, I couldn't help but think of the sword. Gram, the sword that through my mother lead to me being hatched as a dragon in the first place… and it might have saved me from being nothing more than a burned wreck, inflicting me with its curse before the King's explosion consumed me. "It seems kind of sad you have to get rid of it. It looks real pretty and… it might have come in handy one day."
I snorted. Yeah. I know. Weeks ago, I used it to perform a spectacular, supernatural slaying. My poor swordplay was completely overshadowed and made up for by blades of invisible power that cut through a monster's armor. Now, it just felt lifeless, cold and empty, like I shouldn't be holding onto it anymore. Knowing its story a bit more now, that it's bathed in the blood of a man filled with so much greed that he became a dragon, I had to wonder if maybe everyone's problems are just because of poor happenstance… Maybe if I was a betting Night Fury, Mom and her crew actually found Fafnir's hoard and right now, there was no more need for it to be here when there were no other dragons of that kind of power left. Who knew? But right now, there was no use for it...and I honestly didn't want to keep it given its past and the danger it posed if it still held onto that curse it bore. "It's just a weapon. I'll make better one…"
Stormfly laughed, pointing at my limbs. "With those? You've got to be joking!"
"Shuttup!" I beamed and turned my head away. On the other hand she was right… but I wasn't going to say it. Not right now.
She laughed a bit more. "Okay, just don't be a big baby ; you need to look presentable…" She grabbed a small rag and soaked it into the bucket, cleaning off dirt of my smoothened scaled back.
I eased back and decided I had better things to do than to argue with her. I stared at the altar as the workers were assembling, not sure how I was supposed to proceed. I wish things turned out better, that it was still winter and that Hiccup could maybe undo the spells put on us, if only temporarily. Maybe it still work. Maybe that was the cost of my rebellion, to always be haunted by the alternatives and that choices I made.
I turned to Gothi. The elder was overseeing the preparations. As the one who knew all of the Tribe's ancient lore, she was the one who oversaw everything being set up. I moved towards her and stood behind the small old woman, wondering what she knew. Maybe she knew who that dragon was… and maybe knew about everything he knew? Or maybe she was the dragon, but that might have been a little too far fetched. She clearly knew more than she was letting on since she was the one who gave us the message from our Old Wrinkly.
She turned to me, ancient eyes staring at my heart. I paused, feeling like at any moment I was about to be stepped on like a bug… or be told when I was going to die if I stuck my tongue out too long. It seemed incredibly hard to think of her just as an old woman, and easier to think of something that could just end me and that was with me having some power of my own. I had no idea what Gothi might have, many ancients seemed to overflow with power like that.
She eyed me and then eyed Gram, a silent nod of approval in her actions. "It can end," I could hear a faint whisper, the kind that I was half thinking I imagined it.
What could end? What was she talking about something about the blade? "Uh… sorry but what am I supposed to do?"
She just took her staff and gestured over to the altar, speaking the obvious without words.
"Right, put it on the fire… I get that much but what am I..."
Gothi pointed to the yaks, all three of them still breathing, tied to the a post, grazing their last meals. Then she pointed to my sword.
"After the animal sacrifices," I continued.
"But before the pot is set to the flame," added Stormfly, still cleaning my back. "And Toothless, I know Gobber doesn't like taking a bath, but you really need to use the river more often..."
I groaned. "I can just lick myself. We do that all the time!"
"Not with soap you can't!" she insisted.
"Toothless!" I heard a roar, sparing me from more lectures from Stormfly.
I moved myself over to the source. Quickly, leaving Stormfly behind me. "Dad? Mom?"
My parents have arrived, flying in on their wings. I thought they would be too busy at the village to bother. I know Hiccup told Gobber to get the men to set up the altar and get more participants, but I didn't think they'd have the time for it.
"I came as soon I could once I heard you and your brother were preparing an offering, my boy," he sized me up. "I just don't understand why now. I mean there's no occasion I can think of! And we already did one in thanks of you and your brother coming back alive. Where is Hiccup anyways?"
"Fetching more livestock," I shrugged.
"Wait," Mom her face seemed pale, her voice quaked. "Is that… I know that...is it…?"
I nodded. She must have recognized the blade by its hilt, a distinctive looking thing now that I had paid attention to it. Gold hilts were kind of uncommon after all and it's hard to not notice when something resembles the thing that irreversibly changed your whole life. "Hiccup and I… we're going to offer it on the altar."
"I see…" she spoke, turning her eyes around her to watch others, wanting to see if her presence was not going to be a problem. Now that I noticed it there were plenty of people eying her, human and dragon alike. There's a bit of mistrust, animosity towards my mother, but it was slowly getting better… or less noticeable as time went on, but it was still there. "... I wish you luck then, and maybe this will change our fates. The gaze of those above us may be favorable, even though I may not have been the most faithful."
"...Maybe…" I still didn't trust the Aesir, I hardly didn't even know if they existed at all. I could at least believe there was a Red Death, one that I could speak to and have tangible results. Yet, that dragon we met certainly believed Odin existed… and that I was related to him by blood. Maybe I shouldn't trust the words of strange dragons.
"Mom! Dad!" Hiccup came charging over, his breath labored as he led several sheep by a rope tied to his back. "... hah… hah… you guys came here sooner than I thought…"
Dad eyed him. "And that's alot of livestock. I hope you paid for it. Three sheep, two yaks. You haven't set fire to that many animals in while."
"Which came after I could breathe fire!" declared Hiccup, still breathing hard. I helped him out of his ropes, setting the cattle right next to the yaks. I still didn't understand why we were supposed to be excessive, but I figure that it's just one of those things.
Dad shook his head. "I don't get it. There's been more incidents with the town burning down ever since people changed, yet you been getting less and less… burny..."
"'Burny'?" I squinted my eyes.
"Well, the village is in flames every time someone sneezes!" my father proclaimed. "We've gotten good at putting them out, but sooner or later, I think we'll run out of wood before long. And well, our… Kin," the word was forced- "aren't well suited for it. "
"Yeah, Tribe dens aren't all that inclusive…" added Stormfly. "I'm used to it, but they're not ideal for us…when you can't open doors."
I wondered for a moment if that that dragon we met was right, that by having two separate peoples, I was going to have more problems in the long term. There was a line that was nigh impassable right now, you were either human or dragon, and only a select few were able to move back and forth and there wasn't a way for us to replace lost talismans, not while some of us lacked hands. And even if we could, that wasn't going to help the people who were stuck in the bodies of dragons for a while now. Bodily, we just simply couldn't interact with the world the same way. Dragons often flew, humans spent all their time on the ground. Tribe people wore clothes and used tools, but Kin couldn't make either on their own. Kin could not easily maintain houses; and it wasn't like they could all live with humans who could do that for them; they were not pets. Not all Kin liked being named either, yet it was pretty much essential for being among humans. And I don't know how hard it would be to teach them to read and write… that was going to be hard.
There was a vastly different culture and history between the two groups, not to mention physical differences, enough that I wondered how easily it would take for the war to restart, that my brother and I would be caught into the middle… or even in separate sides. All it would really take is our rule of law to fail and inequality would do the rest. We won and defeated the Red Death, arguably took control of his rule, but far too many disputed that already because of how we defeated him. I guess most dragons would flee or go away if they wanted to cede, but I worry about the possibility of a reprisal. There wasn't even a common language, with only a few knowing of Norse or the tongue of dragons at the same time.
I guess I could have been more skeptical of the things he told us, but I wanted answers, things to latch onto, because I've been stuck wandering aimlessly. And the dragon sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Managing two separate peoples was going to be the "hard path" because one wrong move could ruin everything. If there was only one people's… there would be no inequalities, but someone was going to be forced into it…
Did that mean I had to deal with Stormfly in a time ahead?
"Alright I got it!" cried Astrid. A large cooking pot was strapped to her back. She landed and undid the rope with a swish of her tail. As it fell, she knocked it right at the very base of the altar. The workers, human and dragon alike could only look at proud Nadder with mild looks of disbelief.
Even Stormfly looked jealous. "... I can do that…" she claimed.
Astrid stuck her tongue out. "You can't even braid your hair right!"
"I need practice!"
As the girls went for another bout of bickering, Hiccup rubbed his shoulders against me to call my attention. "Come on, if there's a problem, we'll figure it out.."
Figure it out. Like we haven't been for the past few months. I sighed. Maybe. I was so focused on defeating my enemy that I probably missed out on that chance, but who knew. Maybe… just maybe. "Are we ready?"
Hiccup nodded and turned to the altar. "It looks like it. We'll begin."
I turned to the altar, a large stone obelisk with runes carved up through the base. The characters were were faded and hard to read in places. I didn't know what they meant; I had never come here before. It might have been left behind from some ancestor of mine or spoke about the founding of the village. Maybe it was about the gods I didn't worship, but all the same, it was a sacred place; I could almost feel it.
Gothi turned to us, seemingly knowing that we were ready or maybe overhearing us and knowing when to begin. Gobber stepped from behind the altar. "Well, if you lads are ready, let's get this show on the road." He took the pot Astrid set down and grabbed it with one hand, moving it away just for the ceremony.
Astrid and Stormfly turned to us, nodding their heads and silence and then backing away to the rear. There, we saw a gathering of our friends, most of them respectfully silent… others were rendered silent by the look of the elder; even Firewyrm had her big mouth shut.
Turning around, I found they weren't the only ones to attend. Most of the village hadn't come, this being a mostly private gathering with some friends and family, some friends of friends, and couple of those who were interested in joining. Most of those attending were Vikings, but a few were dragons, natural dragons at that. It felt like a hundred eyes was looking at us, waiting in silence. Said dragons looked at the ritual with amazement, maybe thinking the same things I had been a moment before.
The air around us seemed to shift, not becoming more magical, yet becoming full with a sort of power. I took my blade in my paws, cradling it in my hands, whilst standing on my hindquarters. Hiccup bit onto some rope and then led one of the sheep into heat. The animal relented, not exactly wanting to follow a dragon, but the noose around its neck kept it from running free.
"Hail the Oathbreaker, Father of All, All-Seer" spoke Hiccup, describing Odin as best he could without saying his name. Translating the names of gods was mostly done through self descriptive titles, the closest we could get. "Son of Mountain-Back, mate of Ocean-Home." This was Borr and Bestia respectively. I didn't know them much other than they were Odin's parents, other gods who ruled over the Mountains and Seas.
"You who dwell where Valorous Dead Fight," I spoke next. My mother's namesake was Odin's hall: Valhalla. "You who who owns this fang and who shall need of it again. We offer this to you back in return for your aid." Gram seemed to grow heavy as I moved closer to the altar, but it's time wasn't here yet.
Gothi took the animal's noose from Hiccup's grasp and stepped closer to the altar. The flames weren't lit yet, but they would then be soon.
"I am Hiccup, son of Stoic, Stone Face, the Vast."
"I am Toothless, son of Dead Wings, named after your home." I could almost feel my mother's claws dig into the earth as I spoke the name she was given by a dead ruler, the tension in the air strung tighter. It had to be done, as much as both of us loathed the past. "We are brothers," I said to the unlit pyre.
"We're here to return something of yours, O Wise One," said Hiccup.
"And we hope that you might give us your favor," I added.
"For this, we offer these to you first."
And then we sacrificed the animals, spilling their blood over the altar and smearing it against the walls and ourselves, in honor of Odin. It was hard in fact to keep ourselves from being covered in animal blood, just because both of us had to do the killing with our teeth since neither of us could hold a knife. I think I was the least phased by that step, since I've actually done this part before. Norse tradition is a bloody affair, but I didn't flinch away. In fact, it reminded me of how I once did a similar ritual so long ago I don't think I even remember its significance. In a way, the real difference I figure might be that as dragons, we generally did the blood letting using our teeth since knives and axes weren't in our control.
The next parts of the ceremony are where things diverged from my experiences. We lit the fire with twin blasts of our Breath and tore pieces from the animals and set them into the flames, letting them sizzle and burn in the fires. Gobber and Gothi picked pieces from the leftovers and put them into the cauldron, now filled with water. The idea was that those attending were to partake in a minor meal during the ceremony.
While that was going on, several men and women tossed several barrels of mead down the cliffs and into the sea, claiming that it was for the rulers of the ocean, Njörd and Frej. That part especially weirded me out since I was still having a hard time understanding how lighting things on fire was supposed to give food to Odin.
Minutes passes between each step. Gothi handed me a singular piece of cloth and wrapped it around the sword. Maybe to help it burn? I don't know, these rituals like that weren't making sense to me. I partook, I enjoyed, I understood a bit more. This was part of what I needed to experience, I guess, but I was still wondering what the point of all this ritual was. I put Gram into the fire, the final offering to be made.
Gothi silently poured a bowl of soup for me and my brother, placing the bowls by our feet. The others who attended got their own bowls, vikings passing it to dragons and a few of those who understood the ceremony's significance warned them not to eat them until it was time.
I sighed, wanting to be less lost about the purpose. This was important to Vikings, yet I didn't grasp it completely. "Why did we do all these things?" I wondered aloud.
"Because we were told to," Hiccup said, his tone telling me that he was deliberately being annoying here.
I groaned. He knew that wasn't what I asked for. "That's not what I mean!"
"You know, when some magical 'benefactor' comes along, being the servant of some 'higher power', I find it a good idea to listen!" Hiccup exclaimed.
"Like you listen to anyone," I groaned. He was going to make this difficult. "But was there any point to doing all of this? I mean, does any of this 'do' anything about our situation?"
Hiccup shrugged. "It's what we do. And you didn't complain about it during winter…"
Because I find myself questioning whether or not anything will come of this. Snoggletog was just a celebration after all… "That's not the point!"
Hiccup just shook his head, dismissing me. "Whatever you say buddy, whatever you say…"
It was at that moment, I realized Gothi was hovering right over us, her ancient eyes scanning us as if to notice flaws to determine when our lives would end. I quickly realized that we still weren't don't here. Not by a long shot. The dragons and vikings around us were ready and the moment was set.
Hiccup sat by his food bowl and adjusted his posture as if to facilitate some important stance. "We better get on with it."
I nodded. I guess if nothing else, maybe this will help adjustments.
"To the Father of All," Hiccup said.
"To the Father of All," I said, as did the dragons.
"To the All-Father," said those who could speak Norse.
As the words left our lips, a silent tension in the air seemed to rise, as though something happened around us that went unseen by everyone else. I don't know what caused it, but I felt something was off, something was bothering me. Hiccup, if he felt it, didn't seem to act as though something happened.
My brother bent down into the bowl of soup and lapped the liquid into his mouth, one lick at a time. Everyone else practically gulped their bowls down in a single gulp, some even went so far as to "race" each other like some sort of contest. I bent down and did as my brother did, unsure of what to make of the odd tingling sensation I was feeling.
"Okay, something's up…" exclaimed Hiccup. "You don't do that unless something's been nagging you."
I snorted out a puff of smoke, annoyed. "I don't know, I just have this odd feeling." I slowly turned my head to the fire, looking at the bundle of cloth, well, the ash that used to be the cloth bundle… when I noticed something was wrong.I reached a paw into the blaze and then trampled the ash, scattering them and finding… nothing. "It's gone…" I stuttered. Gram had disappeared. At the fire's current temperature, iron, let alone steel shouldn't have melted, let alone flatout disappeared. How can a sword disappear? unless… unless.
Hiccup looked just as stunned, although he seemed to get over it faster than I did, almost like he should have expected that to happen. "Yeah, I think there was a point to all this…"
I just sat there amazed. I might have thought that the sword had been stolen simply when we weren't looking, but well, whoever did it couldn't have done so without removing the burnt cloth, now a pile of ash that barely resembled its original form. No. Someone listened, maybe even Odin; did that mean our prayers were to be answered?
I didn't know. I asked Hiccup, uneasy. If the Aesir were out there, what exactly did it mean for us? "Uh… so where does that leave us? Do we do anything now?"
My brother shrugged. "Maybe we wait," he suggested off hand. He let out a laugh. "You know, I actually did ask him for guidance way back when, when all of this started. It was sort of funny how it all turned out. Maybe he did have a hand."
… Maybe. I didn't know if that's good or bad. The gods bothered me, for very obvious reasons that didn't bear repeating.
We stepped away by fire, and moved towards our parents once more, unsure of the future ahead of us. "Well, I hope they're appeased," spoke our father.
"We could certainly use the help," spoke our mother.
"And I could use something to eat!" spoke a Terror. "What?"
All the tension was broken from the scene as everyone turn to him.
That earned Tuffnut a smack from his sister. Barf and Belch simply shook their heads and took the two small dragons with them.
Meatlug and Fishlegs went r to the side of cliffs, exchanging stories with each other. Firewyrm went with them to go speak about how the scene reminded her of her past. Snotlout sighed, looking at Astrid from a view several yards away; this time, the Nadder didn't seem to be willing to threaten him or scold him. Instead, she and Stormfly tended to the dragons in our age bracket who were full of questions that she could answer, like the meaning of this enter events. Hookfang stood alone, looking at the fire as though he wanted to make prayers of his own.
It was an event, a powerful event, no doubt. But now that it was over, all we were left with was life and the things that came with it. Hiccup and I still had a job to do as teachers and experimenters. We were still stuck as dragons as well as a good chunk of the village. Was there even a way to change that?
It's not like we could do things in reverse…
Or could we?
I turned to Hiccup. He was trying to have a conversation with Gobber, only possible by scrawling things in the dirt to let his teacher read it. He was probably the only one who thought I was going to be crazy for this.
I slammed my tail into the ground and wiped away a message my brother was trying to write. "Hey!" Hiccup barked. "Toothless, what're you doing?"
"No time!" I said. I don't know what caused this epiphany. I didn't even know if it was going to work. I didn't even know if it was going to apply to everyone. 'I NEED YOUR BLOOD AND YOUR HAIR!'
I bit Gobber in the wrist, just a bit, enough to draw a bit of blood.
"Ow!" He bounced around and ran, holding onto his wrist. "Hey lad, are you trying to make me have even less hands than I already have!?"
Hiccup looked at me like I gone crazy. Okay, maybe I was.
I shook my head. I needed to do something, if I stopped, I felt like I would forget about this.. "Just… wait a moment." I overturned the rest of the soup, much to the annoyance of everyone else who still wanted to eat. Gothi didn't seem bothered by that. Maybe a good sign.
Stormfly and Astrid came by. "What's going on?" both said.
I turned to Stormfly and promptly had an idea. Okay, this was getting into weird territory. What if I used parts from a dragon who was currently human? "Uh… can I have your blood and lock of your hair?"
"What! NO!" Stormfly blurted out. Her face turned red. "Just, what do you need it for?"
I think I was starting a commotion of some sort, people were gathering around me, looking at me. My friends returned, all staring at me. Even the twins were looking at me like I had gone mad… der.
Hiccup just stared at me. "Toothless, what's going on?"
I looked at my brother and tried to think about how to explain this. It was a crazy idea. "What if we tried… did it backwards?"
If he had eyebrows, they'd be raised right now. "Backwards? What backwards?"
"The… potion, the elixir, whatever it is!" I shook my head. I turned to Stormfly again. "Kin parts were used before in the drink, but what about those belong to the Tribe? Would they be any different? Would it change the results?"
"...I don't think it was that easy…" Hiccup muttered and then his eyes widened. "But… we could try that."
I nodded my head. All this time we've only been trying to copy the work of others. We've done our own experiments, our own theory crafting, but most of that was put on hold because of our duties. What if we could try something new? The point of the last potion was that it was meant to grant its owner improved abilities, powers, but came with a curse. What if we could purge that? A drink that cleansed the imbiber of the previous drink… and if we were lucky might also apply to the other curse that plagued the village.
I looked at the overturned cauldron and knew I would need more than just a change of ingredients. "Here," I pointed at it. "We're going to need to fix this… remember the rune from those arrows?"
My brother nodded. "You want to write it out, huh?"
I nodded back.
The idea was simple. The symbol meant something about purging, about cleansing spells and curses. The potion seemed to in a sense thoroughly bind itself among the user's body, which if disrupted caused… issues. Likewise, Fafnir's curse was essentially a garment you couldn't take off. You could shoot the spell, but it'd just fix the damage and apply itself. So… what if we affected some to the very core? Have the purge down to the most intimate parts of the body itself? At least, that's what I hope I was doing… and not killing whoever drank it because I "cleansed" the wrong thing.
My brother and I carved the rune into pot, that being the most important step we had to do. It was hard without hands, but using chalk strapped onto our fingers made it easier. Mom and Dad hovered overhead, keeping the fire warm and ready for us when we would need it. Gothi the wisewoman simply watched and observed, cleaning a cup in silence, as if nothing important was happening. I was uneasy around her, I didn't know what she was thinking, whether or not we would survive.
Dragonnip was thrown in, I figure it might as well since there wasn't an obvious opposite I could think of to Nightshade. A Scauldron cleaned the pot with a gout of hot seawater, then filled it with his own watery Breath. Stormfly and Gobber both eventually relented and poured their hair and blood into the mix. I did kind of feel sorry for doing that to her, and I was starting to realize that maybe I should… I don't know, thank her… if this all worked out. We even did the unthinkable and put in toenail clippings, a sort of silly taboo that everyone took as a dire sign, even my own family. Ugh, I guess I'm the only one who grew up as a dragon after all.
We put the pot above the fire again and waited, watching and praying that this was going to work. The soup wasn't a color, greenish and sickly bubbling.
Hiccup and I looked at each other and silently wondered which of us was going to take the first sip. If all went well, well, things were fine. But if they didn't… someone might have died. It was like the mix Alvin tried to brew up, a lethal concoction. Yet this might have been our last shot.
"... I'll drink, it," Hiccup said. "I started this… maybe I should end this."
My brother's words bothered me. "No. I'll do it… this is my idea..." And if this turned out badly, well, I had to pay the price.
I took a drink before he could protest.
And then… nothing happened. I didn't change, I didn't feel different in any way, other than that warm feeling from eating steamy water. "It… didn't work..." I said.
"Maybe… maybe we have to hit you?" He bit me.
"Ow!" I jerked back. The point was that the old potion changed people every time they got hurt. Yet all I got was a bite wound which wasn't really healing anytime soon. "Maybe waiting would be better?"
And so I sat there for a few minutes, waiting for something to happen. The crowd looked at me, anxious, wondering if anything would happen. No, nothing did, but that gave me time to think of what went wrong.
It slowly dawned on me that I wasn't completely human. There was another curse upon me, cast long ago in a land that I would never see. I didn't change back… because the curse that also made my ancestry human was also broken.
"Uh, Hiccup… we have a problem. Remember our other ancestors…"
Hiccup could have fooled me into thinking he turned pale. "Crud…" He shook his head. "But aren't most of ours well, not Night Furies?"
I shrugged. I didn't know what happened. Or… or maybe nothing happened at all. I wasn't sure! Nothing was different and there was no was to know. I turned to Stormfly and saw her necklace. There was only one way we could know now…
She knew what I wanted. She shook her head. "Not mine…"
She took Hookfang's. I wore it.
Nothing happened, same as the previous times either me or my brother wore it. Yet, I did feel an odd tingle. The necklace broke in a startling display. The crowd backed away, unsure of what to make of that.
Hiccup shook his head. "This is odd…"
Took the words right out of my mouth. I think… I think the spell that was woven might have been incorrect or… maybe incomplete. It wasn't exactly something I made of my own. Everything was different, even though at the surface things seemed the same. "Sorry!" I said to Hookfang.
"Uh… don't worry about it…" Hookfang said, sounding a little annoyed.
"... I think I have an idea," said my brother.
"You… you do?" I stopped amazed. I mean, maybe he had his own epipathy. Hopefully better than the one I had.
Hiccup nodded his head and then… touched me.
I recoiled in a jolt of mind numbing pain, voices swirled around me. Screams, yelps, the world felt like a distant place from down there on the ground. I rolled and recoiled, I felt my body on fire from the inside out and the unbearable pain shook me to my core. I didn't know what happened, all I felt was suffering!
But the pain slowly died down and I regained my senses.
Everyone was looking at me. I raised a paw to try to block the sunlight in my eyes. Only to find… a hand? I examined myself, patting my body down. I was back to my human self, dressed in the worn out and very badly burnt apparel I wore when I faced the King. "How did? What since when could you do that?" It was in Norse, it felt so strange speaking Norse again.
I just laid on the ground, amazed at my own brother. "I… seen it happen once before..." Hiccup said. He rolled his eyes. "Think you can do the same to me?"
I just nodded my head, because that's all I knew I could do at this point. "Uh maybe… Good thing we don't have to do that to everyone else, right?"
Hiccup rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but there's a downside to everything…"