Hello, just a warning before you begin reading. Due to the nature of this story, there will be a little formatting difficulty later on with the order of the chapters. If you wish to read the unbroken story just read them in order and skip all chapters after 32. If, however, you wish to know how Stoic and the rest of the Vikings react to chapters 19-25, that information is included in the chapters after 32. They will be titled according wo which chapter they correspond to. More details about this will be given later.
Gobber left the stall for the day and locked it behind him, mourning the fact that he no longer could leave it open, knowing Hiccup would close up shop after he'd finished whatever project his almost-son was working on. He walked over to the mead hall, which at times doubled as a meeting hall since it was the only building large enough to house the whole village at once. Perhaps he could drown his sorrows for a while.
He grabbed a tankard and plate of chicken and sat down at a table. The cloud of misery surrounding the man, still lingering from Hiccup's disownment from over two months ago, prevented others from nearing him. Grief was best dealt with alone and with large quantities of drink.
As the man stared into his half-full tankard, he noticed the upside-down images playing on the surface of the liquid and looked up at the adjacent wall. His eyes widened as the image of rippling water sped by his face, and was about to turn around and ask the others if they saw this when a voice greeted his ears.
"This is Berk." It was Hiccup's voice. Hiccup, the disgraced Viking that no one listened to even before he was cast out. Gobber dropped the idea of alerting the others and watched the image in front of him as it rose up the cliffs and revealed the village. Well, he learned sarcasm well enough, thought the old veteran as he laughed at Hiccup's comments about both the island and its inhabitants. His remark about the "charming Viking demeanor was particularly funny, especially given the circumstances surrounding it.
The battle he remembered well enough. It had been the last large conflict before this present calm, the longest they'd ever experienced. Some of the villagers missed the constant chance to show off their skills, but Gobber was just glad none of the others were getting hurt. He'd seen enough injuries to last a lifetime.
Then, his own face appeared, and he bittersweetly noticed the banter between him and his young charge. No one else traded words with him like the boy once had, and probably no one would again. A chuckle escaped him at Hiccup's description as he thought to himself, meathead indeed. At least I'm not a toothpick. When the other teens entered the scene, he couldn't help but smile at the lovestruck tones his apprentice used to describe Astrid. The boy had had no hope of catching her eye, even before the dragon incident. Oh well, who was he to tell the fishbone to stop dreaming?
But the next conversation perturbed him slightly. Had he been too harsh? The boy was doing his best with what he had. Maybe his invention would have worked if Gobber had given it a proper chance. And then, when he began categorizing the different kinds of dragon kills, Gobber realized just how little he thought of himself.
Hiccup was noticed, just not in ways he could see. People loved his metalwork, even if they didn't know it was Hiccup's handiwork. Astrid's axe didn't fail once after he sharpened it. Helmets hammered out by him fit better and didn't bend nearly as easily. The gronkle comment made sense. No girl would look twice at the boy, but once he'd grown into himself they would have taken at least some notice, right?
And since when did the boy need status? He was the chief's son for Thor's sake! It wasn't as if someone could steal his birthright. Hiccup was completely right about the Nightmare, though. You didn't go after one of those unless you were a genius or a fool. Mostly a fool, and if you were you didn't come back whole, if you did at all. Hiccup was smart not to try and take one on, in Gobber's opinion.
But something about the way he described the Night Fury bugged the double amputee. If he accepted its status as the greatest prize, why had he been riding one instead of hoisting its head on a pike? There was more to the story, Gobber was sure of it.
And then he had to leave his accident-prone apprentice with a thirst to prove himself alone with an open door and a Night Fury flying out waiting to be shot down by Hiccup's invention. Maybe what happened to the village wasn't entirely Hiccup's fault. But then Hiccup found the empty hillside, primed his weapon, and waited for the black beast. Gobber could feel the tension in the air. Something was about to happen.
And something did. Hiccup shot down the Night Fury. Gobber felt elated for his apprentice during his brief moment of celebration, and suddenly understood his chagrin at the situation after the conclusion of the battle. Hiccup had been telling the truth and no one had listened. Not even Gobber, the person who obviously knew him best, a fruit of the many hours they'd spent together at the forge. Yes. They had all underestimated the smith-in-training. Was it really that unbelievable that he'd found someone else to listen? Someone who actually gave him a chance?
These thoughts made him bite his lip as he watched his friend Stoic publicly humiliate his only son. Really, could the man not wait until they were in private to tell him off? He probably felt bad enough already! That's why he was trying to cover it up with smart remarks, the way he did whenever he got burned at the forge.
Then the teens ridiculed him and Gobber wondered why his on-screen self wasn't telling them off. Then he remembered that his on-screen self didn't know that Hiccup had been telling the truth about the night fury and just thought Hiccup was making excuses. Well, the next time he heard someone bad-mouthing his student, Gobber would be sure to remember this. He wanted to turn around right at the moment and start yelling at people and Stoic in particular, but the moving picture in front of him kept his attention.
Welcome to a very different approach to the standard "Viking cast watches the movie" story. I promise lots of twists and a few surprises, along with as regular of updates as I can make.
What I can't promise is uniform chapter sizes. Usually, I try to make each chapter over a thousand words, but I wanted to go scene-by-scene with this, and some of those are just too short to get that many words out of.
I Love reviews, always have, always will, and the first person to review gets a sneak peak at the first twist in the story.