The first thing Harrian noticed as he woke up was the pain that rushed through his limbs. Not knowing what to expect, he slowly moved his hands still with his eyes closed, feeling the warm comforter that was draped over him and slowly, his senses began working, knowing without opening his eyes that he was on his own bed, wearing his oversized nightshirt.
He felt a surge of shame at the thought that Gothi had cleaned him as if he were a small child.
Letting out a quiet groan, he knew he couldn't avoid the upcoming talk when Gothi insistently tapped her staff against the ground and he finally opened his eyes reluctantly.
"I'm sorry," he began with a murmur as he slowly sat in the bed and stared down at his hands on his lap, avoiding her gaze as best as he could. "It caught me off guard. It happened so suddenly I couldn't get to you. I didn't want you to worry."
"But you did." Gothi stared at him gravely, "You weren't moving when I found you in the woods. Almost thought you were dead."
"I'm sorry…" He whispered, harshly rubbing his eyes as they prickled with unshed tears, "I thought I could do it. Seems you were right, I wasn't ready."
"Foolish boy." The woman sighed, "Gobber came by some time ago and told me what you did on the training." Clenching his hands on the bed covers, he braced himself for her next words, "I'm proud of you." Startled, Harrian looked at her in surprise.
"You protected the boy and stood by your principles in the face of the obstinacy of people."
"But I almost-" He choked up as his hands shook, "I thought of hurting them, a-and I almost did."
"But you didn't," Gothi pointed out, "you knew it was wrong and stopped before anything could happen."
"I feared that you wouldn't be ready to face the world, but I can see now that I was right in letting you attend the training." She admitted, "Vikings are stubborn, stupidly so. Specially the men." She pointedly added and Harrian snorted. "They will test your patience."
She then took her time as she checked on his pupils and pulse before deeming him healthy enough and pointedly stared at him, "I'm actually surprised you hadn't broken any of that girl's bones knowing how you feel-"
"He was my friend! Of course I was upset, but I wasn't going to intentionally hurt someone, even her!" He exclaimed immediately, appalled that she would think that he could be capable of that.
Gothi huffed, staring at him as if he was mental before there was a knock on the door.
"Oh, talking about the Terror in the hay pile." She said and moved towards the front door while Harrian blinked in confusion at the strange phrase.
As she opened the door, the boy on the outside jumped in surprise, hand still poised to knock on the door once more, and stammered, "M-Ma'am, I-I-"
Unimpressed, the old woman stared as the boy stuttered and flailed about before she got tired and hit her staff against the ground a couple times to make him stop before looking over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow.
"Are you going to talk to him or do I shut the door on his face?"
Knowing very well that he couldn't (and won't) turn down the offer of seeing the boy, he sighed and grabbed one of the bed covers to drape it over his shoulders, feeling uncomfortably cold and worn out after last night and without bothering to check his appearance on the small mirror on the wall, even thought he was certain that his hair was a mess, he approached the door until he was standing next to the old woman and became curious as she stared at him for a few seconds before she turned around without a word.
Glancing towards his friend in question, his confusion grew as he saw the other staring at him wide eyed.
"Hiccup? Is everything alright?" He inquired in concern making said boy jump in surprise.
"H-hey, um-" He started as he flushed and coughed awkwardly, "H-how are you feeling?"
Harrian frowned in confusion before he shrugged a shoulder, "Tired."
"Oh, that's… good?" Hiccup squeaked before he stood straighter, "Uh, I mean, after yesterday's training and what happened that night…" he trailed off, nervously scratching the back of his neck, "I just wanted to see how you were doing."
"I'm alright, honestly. Yesterday was…" he paused as he looked for the right word, "eventful." He finished with a grimace and sighed. "Just wasn't used to the sudden rush of adrenaline, I think. It wasn't much of a deal and no one got hurt so it was okay." He said trying to sound optimist.
"Are you sure?" Hiccup asked in concern, "I just- That afternoon…" He trailed off, uncertain on how to continue, "You were quiet and angry. I had never seen you like that before and I was worried."
"Hiccup…" Harrian breathed out, trying to ignore how Hiccup's statement that he had been worried for him made him feel and swallowed, "I wasn't angry. I was mad. You were in danger and you could almost-!" He cut himself off with a grimace as he felt his rage surfacing once more, "You were my friend and if something had happened…" he trailed off with a shiver, pulling the bed cover closer to his body.
"I feel like I should apologize for that…"
"No," Harrian interrupted him as he grabbed the other's arm, "It wasn't your fault." He stressed out with a shake of his head. "You were supposed to be instructed on how to protect yourself, not have you face danger just like that." He finished as he stared severely into his eyes and didn't let go until Hiccup nodded slightly.
Releasing his grip from the boy's arm, Harrian coughed uncomfortably still feeling the other's warmth on his palm. Tightening his hold of the quilt on his shoulders, he flushed trying to ignore how his hand tingled.
An awkward silence washed over them for a few seconds until Hiccup swallowed nervously and asked, "Will you be at the Arena today?"
Astonished, Harrian looked at him before he glanced at Gothi quizzically only to receive a nonchalant wave.
"U-uh, of course!" Harrian exclaimed wide eyed as he turned towards him, hesitating slightly before he quickly added in a jokingly manner, "Someone has to make sure you remain in one piece, after all." He laughed even though he cringed on the inside, wanting to slam his head against the wall when he realized that that was what he was actually doing.
The boy must have noticed his inner conflicts because he stared at him weirdly for a moment before letting out a cough and awkwardly clapped his hands together and stated as he turned away, "So, I think I'll see you later then."
"Hiccup, y'know," He called out before the boy left, "there is no need to be nervous. You shouldn't be afraid of just saying what's on your mind." Thinking that he might have turned the mood too serious he then added with a laugh, "I mean, we know each other for years. It's not like I'll bite you or anything."
Flushing, Hiccup squeaked in surprise and sputtered before he regained a bit of control of his tongue and hastily bid a farewell leaving a puzzled Harrian standing at the door.
Tilting his head in confusion he stared at the empty space before heading back inside, closing the door behind him with a sigh. Glancing up, he then noticed Gothi staring at him with a raised eyebrow.
"W-what? Don't look at me like that!" He exclaimed as his face reddened under her scrutinizing making the old woman huff in exasperation, rolling her eyes.
"Get dressed already, you dunderhead." She stated throwing him a set of clean clothes, bringing out a surprised yelp from the boy, and turned around as he got dressed.
"You might have to make regular trips to the forest if you feel emotionally compromised."
Harrian frowned folding his arms across his chest, "I presumed as much. I had planned going to the forest for practice and to expel the excess that could accumulate. It would be for the best."
"It's logical that as you mature so will your magic, but we don't know how much it will."
"Why was I different?" He questioned, slumping tiredly on one of the chairs, "Why couldn't I be like anyone else?"
Gothi just shook her head, "You were born with a great gift, you shouldn't be afraid of yourself." She sighed and placed her hand below his chin to make him look at her. "Whoever gave you this gift knew that you would do great things with it. The Norns will guide you, have faith."
"But what if it keeps growing until I can't control it anymore?"
"That's why it's important for you to keep practicing, learn how to use it. And if it gets bad… then we will just have to keep looking for answers."
Harrian visibly deflated and sank down further.
Seeing him looking outside the window in longing the woman added, "You know very well we can't afford people knowing. We don't know how they'll react."
"I know," he sighed without looking away from the window, "and that scares me."
What would happen if everyone knew? Would they hate him, even to the point of despising him like they did?
Would they hurt him or banish him?
Would Hiccup hate him?
He paused. Out of everyone in this island, his opinion was the only one he truly cared about.
If the other were to forsake him, he wouldn't know what to do. It would break him…
He violently shook his head and clenched his hands tightly, refusing to keep thinking about it.
Hiccup wasn't like the others.
But he would fear him, his mind supplied, and people did things when they were afraid.
He has been alone for years when he was little and he certainly didn't want to return to those days.
AN: Harrian/Hiccup interaction! I'm trying my best to make it a slow burn... it's hard.
I love Gothi btw