Disclaimer: Not mine
Hiccup entered the arena watching the students warily. While they probably wouldn't try a repeat of yesterday, even they weren't that stupid, he had to assume they would test him again. The other students watched him back. The older ones seemed the most contemplative. The teen boy had expressions of smug confidence, that was shown to be slightly shaken when Toothless glared at them. The girl kept her confidence, despite the dragon's glare, balancing forward on the balls of her feet, hands on her hips and her head held high. The younger boy stood there looking like he'd just love to be able to dissolve into the walls surrounding them, his eyes so wide it looked like they were going to pop out.
Hiccup set the basket down carefully, not wanting to irritate Flit inside it. He was sure his students would be more than capable of that. He stood up to his full height, which left him taller than the girl and the child, and clapped his hands together.
"Okay, let's try this again." He said, aiming for upbeat. "I'm going to teach you how to train dragons. How well you learn will determine how well your tribe will wind up doing." Some of the teens looked unnerved at that, apparently forgetting in their squabbles about rank and position that they would be expected to teach this back to others. "I'm going to have you start simple, all of you are going to approach a dragon without any injuries or your part or the dragon's, and without irritating the dragon."
"With that one?" One of the teens asked, looking at Toothless apprehensively. The Night Fury had taken up a position sitting right behind Hiccup, his head level with the young man's shoulder.
"Nope." Hiccup replied. He bent down and whisked the lid off of the basket at his feet and lifted the Terrible Terror out. Flit blinked at the light and gave a small sigh before relaxing in Hiccup's arms. "This one." He had to bite the side of his check to keep from grinning at the affronted expressions on all of the gathered student's faces.
"A Terror? I figured we'd start with an actual dragon, not a pest." Snarled one of the older men, Hammerthew, Hiccup thought was his name.
He held his head up. "I was planning on that, at first. However, given yesterday's fiasco I feel I should start at the very beginning. And with a dragon that if you irritate it, probably won't kill you in one shot." He hefted the fat little dragon. "This is Flit. You are going to try to pet him without him hissing or trying to bite you. I have a small bag of dried fish pieces to help you lure him in easier." He set the dragon down. Flit stretched, his claws scraping on the stone floor, as he yawned. "I'm going to step back and see…"
"This is the training? Controlling a little pest like that?" He was interrupted by one of the teens this time. "Please, I've heard you can control Nightmares, Hel that Night Fury of yours does what you tell it to." Toothless lifted his lip to snarl a little at the boy. "And you want us to start on that?" He finished looking disgusted, as he waved at the small dragon.
Hiccup felt his temper fray a bit. He didn't feel like correcting the boy on Toothless. Toothless did as he pleased, it was just that the two of them understood each other so well, there never was any need for orders most of the time. He decided to go Gobber's route of training for a bit. Maybe when he showed he could get things sorted out no matter how messed up the students had made them, they might be willing to listen to him from the beginning. "Fine." He nodded to the boy. "You know so much, you show how it's done." With that statement he took the little bag of dried fish and tossed it to the boy.
Now that he was expected to show off the teen looked rather nervously at the tiny dragon he'd been so disparaging of a short time ago. Meanwhile, Flit's nostrils flared at the smell of dried fish from the bag the boy held and he got up surprisingly easily for as fat as he was. He paced towards the boy, his tongue flicking out in anticipation as he cocked his head at the teen. The boy looked down at the dragon, taking a half step hack. Flit pounced. The teen was now shrieking, waving his arm wildly as the Terror tried to get to the bag of fish.
Hiccup stayed back, watching the students to see what they did. Flit wouldn't hurt the boy, he was too laid back to bother with that. He was just interested in the fish. Most of the teens ran away from the one with the Terror clinging to him. The older men were approaching cautiously, their hands automatically going to weapons they weren't carrying. Flit had managed to grab the bag of dried fish and was now perched on the boy's head with his tail wrapped around his neck, gnawing on the leather bag held in his front claws.
The girl in the group paid no attention to the activity behind her as she approached Hiccup. She nodded to him before narrowing her eyes at Astrid.
"Hello, Camicazi." Hiccup said cautiously. In only a few short days he'd learned to be wary around her, even if she was smaller than him. She had Astrid's skill with weapons, but without her self control. She'd already beaten the snot out of all of the other Heirs when they'd challenged her. It had taken a good bit of negotiation on Hiccup's part to get her to leave her insane amount of weapons, ropes, lock picks, and other assorted paraphernalia at her temporary residence when in training around dragons.
"Hey Hiccup!" She replied cheerfully as she gave him a hard slap on the back in greeting, showing either her insanity or sheer overconfidence as Toothless immediately turned to keep an eye on her, growling loudly. For as small as she was she had a good bit of strength, He rocked a bit from the friendly blow. "Interesting teaching methods." She said as she turned to look.
Flit had chewed the bag open, causing it to spill all over the floor. He had left the boy whose head he'd been clinging to so that he could go after the spilled treats. Some boys had scooped pieces to try and lure the Terror to them. Several of them trailed the dragon, trying to get near enough to touch him. Two boys had just walked into each other while trying to sneak up on the dragon, forgetting to watch where they were going.
She turned back to the two humans standing apart. "Astrid, I see you still are wasting your time with the boys." She commented, tossing her loose, wild hair behind her shoulder.
"Well, if you don't think you can keep up with them, I suppose I would run off to join your tribe, now wouldn't I?" Astrid replied, baring her teeth in a parody of a smile.
Camicazi's eyes narrowed further as she bared her teeth in the same sort of smile. "I don't really see them as a challenge, why waste my time on them?"
Hiccup carefully backed up from between the two girls, who looked about ready to go for the other's throat. He gave a slight cough, causing two glares to re-orient on him. "Ah, Camicazi, why don't you go out there and show your skills off to the rest of the class?" She tilted her chin up and tossed her hair again before wading back into the action.
Things had managed to devolve further. Somehow Flit had gotten the fish from the boys who'd gathered it, and managed to irritate the older men who were stomping towards the small dragon like they were trying to squash it, rather than pet it. The teen boys were tripping over each other as they tried to chase Flit who was far more agile and quick than Hiccup had given the lazy beast credit for. Camicazi had strode into the chaos and only managed to add more to in, her higher tones more audible as she swore fluently every time Flit evaded her or another student got in her way.
Hiccup figured the class had had enough time to look like fools. He whistled sharply, causing all of the students to stop running about and look at him. He walked easily over to where Flit sat, the Terror sitting up but ready to start the "chase game" again. Hiccup knelt down, holding a hand out calmly as Flit cautiously approached. When the Terror was within reach, he gave Flit a scratch which made the little dragon come closer until he could pick it up. Flit stretched slightly in his arms as he stood up, then curled into a ball, obviously happy from the play.
"Dragons are very responsive to our emotions." Hiccup began to speak to the gathering. The older men, who had kept out of the craziness for the most part, seemed impressed he'd so easily picked up the Terror. The teens seemed dumbfounded. "Approach a dragon threateningly and they'll do the same." Toothless had caught up with where Hiccup was and leaned over to give Flit a sniff. "If you run about in excitement, again they'll do the same. You have to approach them calmly, but not arrogantly. Some of them see arrogance as a challenge, which tends to end badly."
He walked over to the basket and placed Flit back into it. He then looked around at his students. Where was… Ah! "Hawkspit! Come over here!" He called to the young boy. Hawkspit was plastered to the wall of the arena, watching everything wide-eyed. He jerked when Hiccup called him. Hawkspit headed over to where Hiccup was, freezing every time Toothless shifted or Flit moved.
Hiccup smiled down at him as the boy came beside him. It was nice not being the smallest in the group. He didn't really consider Camicazi smaller due to the likelihood of her removing his other leg at the idea.
"Okay, Hawkspit, now stand here." He adjusted the boy so he was standing in front of him. "Crouch down, just a bit." Hiccup continued as he went down to his knees, crouching being a bit difficult when you only had one ankle. He took Hawkspit's arm and extended it. Placing a bit of dried fish from a second bag he'd kept on him in the boy's palm, he stayed behind him. "Now you let the dragon approach you." Hiccup raised his voice a bit. "It's always best to let a strange dragon approach you. It's far less threatening than coming towards them."
Flit sniffed at the fish as he carefully approached. The little dragon's wings were half spread in case the boy decided to start the chase game again. Flit's tongue flicked out to take a piece of fish from Hawkspit's palm. The boy jerked, but Hiccup kept a hand on his shoulder to keep him from bolting. "When Flit is closer give him a quick scratch on the chin." He told the boy.
Hawkspit's face showed his serious misgivings, but when Flit's head came close to check for more fish, he moved his fingers to give a gentle scritch to the Terror's chin. Flit's eye's drooped shut as he chirped happily, coming closer for more attention. As much as he had enjoyed the chase, he loved being fussed over more. Hiccup talked Hawkspit into picking up and cradling the dragon, who was now a happy puddle of contentment. He'd gotten a bunch of treats, played with a bunch of humans, and now was being fussed over. What was there not to love?
Now Hiccup had the other students come up to the peaceful dragon, then had Hawkspit put Flit down and the others approach from the beginning. Even the older men were smiling as Flit rolled on his back to enjoy the attention. There were a few upsets, such as when one boy came at him too quickly and threateningly and got a short blast of fire in his direction, but for the most part it went smoothly once they were willing to listen to Hiccup's instruction.
He looked over the class and smiled. "Okay, I think we've done a bit of good here today. We'll get into more techniques tomorrow. For the rest of the day I'd like you to try to approach some of the dragons in the village. I want you to try to see how well you can recognize a dragon's mood from both a distance and as close as you want to try to get to them." After dismissing the class he turned to Astrid.
She grinned at him. "Ready to go for a flight?"
"Odin, yes." He gasped. "I just want to get out of here before they start to pester me the way our people did for seven moths after I woke up after killing the Queen. I have to deal with them in class, I don't want to have them hovering over me. I'll meet you in the air." He added as he swung a leg over Toothless' shoulder. The Night Fury perked up immediately. "I suppose I should return Flit as well."
Astrid laughed and handed the basket up to him with the sleepy dragon in it. "See you in the sky!"
A/N: Hope you like this chapter. Sorry it took so long on the update.