Hi everyone, I'm back with another chapter, enjoy!

Brothers

Chapter 43: The Dream

So much has changed since I ended up on Berk…so much time had passed since I woke up in the cove. The village had become a hub for wild and tamed dragons. New buildings, tailor-made for dragons, dotted the hilly landscape. Dragon Island itself kept growing in population with nearby islands becoming part of the enclave.

In the months following Dagur's disappearance, life pretty much slowed down for us. Well, despite meeting Dith, who's responsible for me being here and everything, everything just went by smoothly for a while…normal I dare say (even for a place where Vikings and Dragons co-exist.)

Well, actually…there's more to the story: the Dragon Riders are older now, most notably Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (whose appearance had changed in the time I've known him.) Instead of the greenish tunic, the eighteen-year-old now wears a red colored tunic with brown chainmail covering his form. Oh, and he's taller too, but he's still the scrawny kid I've known him to be for years.

His dragon, the Night Fury (my dragon brother) had grown just a wee bit and now the spikes on his arms were longer, and small nubs were forming on the side of his muzzle-chin. Like Hiccup, Toothless was now officially an adult.

Hard to believe, right? Funny enough, I'm still much older than him, heh. If I were human, and back in my world, I'd be thirty-two now.

As for me, we saved the best for last (yeah, Toothless's cockiness has rubbed on me…so what) I'm older too in this body, thirteen years old…I'm a teenager again, heh! I'm just barely Tooth's size, just a year (maybe less) and I'll be where he was when I first met him in the cove.

What else? Well, the other members of Hiccup's posse assumed new responsibilities. Their personalities haven't changed one bit either.

Anyway, it's roughly summertime and Hiccup/Toothless spent time finding new dragons and leading them to either Berk or Dragon Island. By now, however, new dragons were being discovered less frequently. The Book of Dragons's pages had been filled to the brim with whatever knowledge the kids managed to snag over the past three years.

Three years…yup…how time flies…

And on the subject of Dragon Island, something very important surfaced as of late: relations between us and the Ex-Queen continued to flourish. Yet, as months passed and we made it into the third year since we crossed paths…Galadriel, the Ex Queen, was starting to show signs of aging. She spent more time inside her caldera, alone, more than ever. It seemed as though illness had taken over. I had fallen into despair as a result…knowing what would eventually come…

I started spending more time on Dragon Island, living there than on Berk. Toothless didn't object, especially when he inevitably sensed the Queen's failing health. Not that my absence made a big impact. Like I said: as of late…Berk had been at peace and not much was happening.

I slept inside the half-crumbled volcano, spending my time with Galadriel…oftentimes helping Belin maintain order on the island with the wild dragons who came and went.

One night, in my sleep…I had a dream

Not just any dream…but a dream that felt more lucid.

I stood in a forest. Dark, with barely any light breaking through the thick branches and leaves. Standing across from me was a dragon, about the same size as me…slightly bigger maybe. I couldn't make out their features, like what kind of dragon they were, but my mind knew they were a rare breed. Either way, they were a shadow…all black…light was not cast on them. Yet, they felt like a mentor, a close friend…someone I could trust. In fact, my mind knew they could be my best friend in this world. Could this be Toothless? No…it wasn't him. It wasn't anyone I knew in life, but maybe someone I would meet, perhaps. I heard whispers…and my mind filled in the blanks, they told me this beast could teach me the greatest lesson a dragon needs to learn.

We just stood there, across from one another. I was paralyzed, I couldn't move or talk…I could only observe.

And then, without much explanation…the dream faded.

My eyes fluttered open when I heard a pain-riddled groan coming from the Ex-Queen nearby. I took off and landed on the other side of the dormant volcano to tend to her.

"Is there anything I can get you?" I asked as I looked into her grey, blind, eyes.

"There is nothing to ease the pain but company. I appreciate you being here, Flint" she said with weakness. I curled up again and sighed…resting my narrow head on top of my front paws, "I'm worried about you."

"Trust, do not be."

"I still should be, it's in my nature."

"Worry about the others" she finished, closing her eyes to welcome sleep again before I sighed…shaking my head. I decided to let it go for now and welcome sleep again.

But after all of that, I wasn't able to sleep, how can I with everything happening right now?

Turns out this would be the last time I'd have quality sleep for a good while…

...

The next day I decided to go check on Berk, even though the dragon sentries reported the same thing since Dagur's disappearance: all clear.

This afternoon, I spent time with HiccTooth on a sea stack overlooking the vast, open, ocean. Toothless was drawing some Norse symbols on the soil. Soon, however, it turned into him drawing figures (he is getting better at drawing.)

"Getting better at that, bud" Hiccup complimented, petting his dragon's head. I sat across from them, curled into a ball…somewhat thinking back on the previous night. I love moments like these because they always pull me out of my anxious moments. But, as of late…it felt strange too just how mundane things have gotten.

I mean…the Dragon Riders weren't together as often as before, and responsibilities were mounting as time passed.

Today, at least for Hiccup: he didn't have much to do except scout (even though he knew that wasn't required with all the sentries we had around the island now.) I guess it's the thought that counts. They had picked me up from Dragon Island and we surveyed the surrounding area before finally stopping at Berk.

After spending what seemed like an hour on this sea stack, and we were starting to get a bit bored (at least Toothless and me.)

I stood up and slapped Tooth on the head with a wing, chuckling as he snapped his head innocently toward me, "race ya!" I warbled, arching my back and lowering my head in a playful gesture to him. I launched into the sky as Hiccup and his best friend looked at one another, but they soon smiled…nodding in synch.

I chuckled as I made my way through a series of smaller stacks scattered across the shallow ocean, but even with the head start I sensed the duo zipping past me! I yelped in surprise at just how fast Haddock mounted the Night Fury and made it so fast to me. Even after all these years of racing them, I was still letting my guard down!

The race began, with both Toothless and me speeding through our imaginary course.

"Come on, Flint, 'still have yet to beat me!" He jeered confidently before I growled back. We were practically side by side…going the same speed, "maybe today's that day! I'm not so small anymore, 'little' brother" I snickered back.

We began to climb higher in the sky to break the clouds, and then we dropped down to gain ridiculous speed in a dive for a chain of tiny rocks that could be used as an obstacle course. Hiccup naturally flowed with his dragon, never needing his partner to slow down…instead adapting to the mark change in conditions as if he, himself, was a dragon.

We stopped our dive short of striking the cold, icy, water and sped through the course: zigzagging through holes in the rocks and whatnot. We didn't decide on a finish line, but we both figured the end of this area would be it.

I narrowed my eyes, this was it. I wanted to prove myself, three years of racing Toothless and it has come down to this…will I be able to pull it off? I have a little trick up my sleeve, just when he's right by my side again I'm going to do it.

As soon as the end was in sight and the dragon came to my side, I folded my wings and gave myself a boost which startled the Night Fury and gave me the necessary edge to win!

When it happened, I was left hovering in disbelief just before HiccTooth joined me, "I-I did it?"

Tooth hovered in, "you did! You beat us, Flint!" He moved in, licking the side of my face to congratulate me as Hiccup cheered on my behalf, "nice going, WildWing!"

It felt good, I felt satisfied. I saw Toothless's joy, his face said everything: he was proud of me, as he always has been. I guess something significant DID happen today after all.

"Put it here" I heard as I looked down to see his paw was "curled" into a fist (or as close as he could possibly do it.) We did a fist bump, it's something I taught him not too long ago and it felt amusing to see him do it.

Right afterward, the three of us hear what appears to be a cry for help! We hear the flapping of wings coming closer before we turn to face a Deadly Nadder: it's Spitfire!

"Toothless, Flint!" Their panicked tone vibrated in our ears, we knew this wouldn't be good, "what is it?" Toothless rose a scaly brow to them.

"An entire island of dragons is missing!"

Our faces were consumed by confusion soon after, "Galadriel suspects humans are involved!" Spitfire added before Tooth and I looked at one another with faces that read, welp, here we go again.

Needless to say, things would ultimately get interesting again, heh.

The Nadder leads Hiccup, Toothless and I to the now-empty sentry island not too far from Helheim's Gate.

"What's going on, buds?" The Viking inquired as we landed on the sandy shore. I wrote in the sand for the human, and he put a finger to his chin, "missing dragons?" He said out loud, looking around.

It was strange, for months this tiny island was barely noticeable to the outside world…serving as an early warning system for Dragon Island…the dragons would travel to the main island and warn the others of imminent dangers. But now it's eerily silent.

As we circled the landmass on foot, the sole human in the group said to us, "could this have been the Outcasts…or the Berserkers…or both…"

We (as in the dragons) sniffed every corner of the area to catch a scent, but somehow, they were faint, and it's been a while since the reptiles vanished.

"Dang it…" Toothless growled, stomping a paw down as I approached him and Spitfire joined us.

"Do the other islands know?" I inquired.

The purplish bird-dragon nodded, "they're on alert."

"Great, I guess" I sighed.

"These ARE human scents…" Toothless's eyes slit for a moment as he backed his head away, "but…they're unfamiliar to me."

"New faction, probably?" I chimed in.

"Maybe, we'll have to search the surrounding ocean…hopefully we can catch them."

Hiccup walked to us, and our conversation piqued his interest, "found something, guys?" His Night Fury warbled, beckoning his rider to hop on. The Berkian obliged and the four of us took off in search of the missing dragons.

Time passed, but nothing was found, and we were understandably frustrated. Tooth and I decided to take Hiccup with us to the main dragon island to speak with Galadriel, the Ex-Queen. The island itself was almost as populated as it was before our legendary battle with her; however, most of the dragons lived outside of the volcano now…around its base and in the outlying forests and fields.

Once our group landed, we made our way through the cluster of dragons on our way to the peak.

"Even with all the other islands, Dragon Island is getting crowded…maybe we oughta bring some more dragons to Berk: free up some space?" Hiccup suggested, but I didn't know if that would help. Berk, even with its forest and the tall mountain peaks couldn't sustain such a large population…especially if it grows at an exponential rate. Both places have been struggling with the increase in dragon activity (something Berk would consider their worst nightmare before Hiccup changed everything.) Most of these dragons preferred this place anyway.

But what if these strange humans tread deeper into our territory? Then what? More dragons could be at risk, assuming they actually WERE captured by humans.

It'll have to wait, for we made it to the Ex-Queen inside the dormant volcano…she tried coming out to talk to us, but she's weak right now…so that won't happen. Inside the volcano was the same reddish hue as it always had been, but funny enough Hiccup hadn't been in here since the time he, Tooth, Astrid, and I came in here. It sent a chill down his spine, but the young adult remembered this place was different now and he walked alongside us to meet the behemoth in her domain.

Welcome back, I see the Nadder explained the situation to you three, she had used her telepathy to communicate.

Toothless and I nodded as Spitfire preened himself.

"S-should we relocate everyone on the outer chains to Helheim's Gate?" I asked as the Ex-Queen thought about it.

The Former Queen shook her head, and I sighed in response.

Belin has placed the islands on high alert. We shall notify you if we come across anything

Toothless rose a scaly brow, and scoffed at this, "you seem very confident."

It could be a trap, young dragon

The Fury rolled his eyes and decided to drop it, even though he was annoyed by her comment. I stepped forward as Galadriel sensed this, I looked up toward her and pleaded to know, "do you have any idea who these humans might be?"

She fell silent.

"Perhaps we should consider the possibility of Dagur being the culprit" we heard above us: it was Belin the Terrible Terror. He had grown considerably and was now in his full mature size (not that it was any different, Terrors are very small dragons.) The beast rested on the Queen and I gave an inquisitive look back to them.

Hiccup didn't know what we were talking about, and I had to help make him understand, so I wrote on the floor thanks to my sharp claw. I write a message for him:

Dagur

The Berkian thought to himself, WildWing and the others suspect Dagur to be the culprit…but, last time we saw him he and the Skrill were trapped…vanished. Maybe the rumors are true? If Dagur is still alive, is he out there taking his revenge as we speak?

Either way, it would have to wait, for Hiccup wished to return to Berk to check on things. It made sense, we've been out for hours.

Before we were about to depart, the Ex-Queen sent a message in my mind and my eyes slit momentarily, you never told them about this…Dith.

I turn to face her as the others are leaving. My face was full of shock but soon I gathered myself when I realized: of course, she can look deep into my mind for information. That means she KNOWS and SEEN every interaction I've had with the interdimensional being.

I gave her the most serious face to her. A green venomous look in my eyes that would have sent chills down her spine if she could actually see it. It would remind her of her near-demise three years prior, "And you haven't told me about the dream you subconsciously shared last night with me" I retorted.

By her silence, and the way she fell still, I could tell she knew what I was talking about, "what was that dream last night from, Galadriel…I got it from you. Was it a dream, a memory…or…the future? Did Dith plant it?"

She remained silent and I sighed softly…preparing to leave.

Galadriel couldn't remember yet if this strange anomaly was real or not…thousands of dragons served under her for decades, Night Furies included (that is before they dwindled in population.) It would take some time to figure out…perhaps the answer will become clear, or Dith will explain everything himself to me (even though I haven't seen him in weeks...he must be observing all of this...)

Then again, it could all be a fluke.

I decided to drop it for now, finishing our telepathic conversation. Ultimately, I bid farewell to the Ex-Queen and Belin…and I leave with Spitfire, Hiccup, and Toothless.

I was quiet the entire trip back to Berk. I wanted to learn more about this dream. Little did I realize it would not be the last time it would haunt me.

Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay. I was trying to figure out how to carry the story on and such.

It will initially follow the original plot of RTTE, but there will be stark differences down the road. Of course, there may be inconsistencies due to how large the series actually is. If there are any, please let me know once they come along and I'll try to fix them as best as I can.

What I can say for sure is this: everything may happen sooner than you think because of all the changes made in the past because of Flint. We'll see!

Also, it's almost the Year of the Dragon again, so yay!

Anyway, take care, I'll see you in the next one!