A new Growing Up Haddock story series? Oh yes! This particular series is about the miscellaneous stories I'd created but hadn't been able to write into one of the actual stories in the series. For new readers, my Growing Up Haddock series is all about Hiccup and Astrid's foray into parenting fraternal twins named Fearless Finn and Adrianna Miracle. This opens up a lot of possibilities and ideas.

For those of you who are wondering, yes there will be more of Little Miracles and its sequel, Under Pressure. These are just short stories about the twins! And the best part is that they're intentionally comedic and not emotionally distressing at all!

Co-written by amyboomerang. You know, the one who also co-wrote A Snoggletog Carol. We tend to write a lot of comedy when together and angst when separate.

Talons and Toddlers
Part One

"Umm… Umm… Guys this is really heavy—" Hiccup huffed under the weight of the massive crate he had just heaved from the upper level. Toothless made a strangely strained noise as he tried to support his human who was beginning to topple sideways down the stairs. "I could really use some help…" He lost his footing momentarily as he shot a desperate expression to his guffawing family. "ASTRID!"

Astrid was too busy laughing at that moment to respond, so Adrianna took pity on her exhausted father who was now leaning, panting, on the railing, with the box perched precariously on the stair immediately beneath him. She ran up the stairs, squeezed past Toothless, and tried to grab the box from beneath. She strained to help lift it. Hiccup did not waste much time in watching her.

"Thank you, Addie, but I don't think—" she was now climbing onto the top to get up to where her father was, unknowingly shifting its center of gravity. It began to slowly tip beneath her weight—"you're going to—ADDIE!" He grabbed the little girl around the waist a second before the box tipped and tumbled down the stairs. Toothless narrowly missed its careening adventure by leaping with a frustrated squawk onto one of the rafters. At the base of the stairs, Astrid regained her poise long enough to dodge the crate as it broke open and spilled its contents across the floor.

Adrianna took one look at the mess now covering the floor and slowly looked up at her father with a sheepish expression. "Sorry daddy."

"No, no. It's okay. You actually made my job a lot easier. And we didn't need that crate anyway."

"Dad, what is that?" Finn asked, probing a massive metal coated object which had landed atop the majority of the baby paraphernalia they were donating to Gustav's soon to be firstborn.

"Oh. That." Hiccup replied slowly, scratching the back of his head as he descended the stairs, Adrianna still in tow. He hoisted her to the floor on the other side of the mess before jumping gingerly over it himself. "That is... well…"

"That's your old playpen." Astrid interjected. "I'd forgotten how much like a prison it looked." She began to set it up aright so they could see it more clearly. The playpen stood almost three feet high, and its crowning glory was a metal infused door and locking mechanism.

Adrianna tried to push up the latch at the top of the gate. As soon as it wiggled free, she grabbed the handle and tried to swing it open, only to be surprised when it would not budge. "It's stuck." She said, pulling hard on it.

"No, no, it's supposed to do that." Astrid replied.

"Though if it were stuck we'd never notice," Hiccup added.

"Let me try, you're just weak." Finn said, pushing his sister's hand from the gate. He braced his feet on either side of the gate and heaved backwards with his full weight.

"If your grandfather couldn't get that open, I doubt you will." Astrid dryly remarked while taking a seat by the table to watch.

Finn let go and glowered at the mechanism. "What was this again?"

"Your playpen. We never opened it either; we just sort of… hoisted you over." Hiccup said. "Actually, I think Gobber was the only person who ever did know how that lock worked."

"He tried to show you once." Astrid piped up.

"Yeah, and it took four hands and three feet to do it. Not to mention the strength of a dragon."

"Not like we have any of those here, or anything." Astrid deadpanned. Stormfly, who was stretched out by the hearth made a soft noise of approval while Toothless leapt from the rafters down onto the stairs, eager to lend his assistance to the task.

"Why is the lock so… so…" Adrianna began, searching for the right word.

"Elaborate?" Hiccup said helpfully.

"Impenetrable?" Astrid corrected.

"Yeah… that." Adrianna said, not fully comprehending the words her parents had offered.

"Well… It's an interesting story…" Hiccup began, looking awkwardly off into the corner where the playpen used to be located. There were still scrapes on the wall where it had been rocked into the wood repeatedly by toddlers eager to escape. "We had a lot more lax security at first, but it turns out you all were pretty stealthy by the age of one or so."

The twins both looked at each other inquisitively. If they had been watching, they would have been captivated by the scathing looks the dragons were shooting the now erected playpen. Toothless seemed, especially, to take it as a symbol of ill will.

"What happened?" Adrianna asked, climbing onto the seat next to her mother. Finn decided to investigate the lock again.

"Well, we aren't entirely certain of the details," Astrid began, "but from what witnesses said we've pieced together the majority of it." She cast a mischievous look to her husband.

"Well, you know how the dragons sometimes babysit you? Well…"

"HICCUP! ASTRID! COME QUICKLY!" The door slammed open on the family breakfast. Fishlegs came to a halt at the foot of the table.

"Well, I'm glad it was only the first reasonably timed breakfast the family's had since the kids were born." Hiccup drawled while spoon feeding Adrianna. Astrid was in the middle of a battle to get some of the food from the spoon into her son's mouth, as opposed to his shirt, the table, the walls…


"Fishlegs—Fishlegs, calm down." Hiccup put his free hand up to try and halt his friend's incomprehensible diatribe. "I got Magnus, Whispering Death, burrow, and well. What happened?"

Fishlegs took a deep breath. "Magnus's Whispering Death burrowed out from under the Academy stables and we think it's heading to the well."

"Well, Magnus's Whispering Death is only just a hatchling. It shouldn't be that big of a deal. Just lure it out with some food." Hiccup replied.

"Yeah, about that… Magnus had just put a saddle on it, and she may have still been wrapped up in it when it went under."

"MAY have been?"

"Well… She's not in the Academy anymore…" Fishlegs said awkwardly. He had been put in charge of helping the youngest recruits while Hiccup and Astrid were both preoccupied with the baby days.

Hiccup started suddenly. "I think this may need immediate attention!" He announced.

"MAY need?" Astrid retorted while she ripped off Finn's bib in a hurry and tried to rub the excess food from his face. "We need to go. Now."

As she deposited Finn in the playpen, Hiccup cleaned Adrianna up as well. "We can't both go. What about the twins?"

Astrid took Adrianna from his arms and placed her next to her brother, who was now reaching through the bars trying to grab hold of his mother's skirt. "We are both needed. Think about it. What are you going to do if you have to calm down a frantic Whispering Death and cut off a saddle at the same time? Not to mention calming down Magnus, which has never been one of your strengths."

"Gee, thanks so much for the confidence." Hiccup retorted.

"GO. NOW." Astrid grabbed her husband's arm and began rushing him out the door.

"But what about the twins?"

"It'll only take twenty minutes! They'll be fine. They are in their playpen and this is an emergency. What's the worst that could happen?"

As Fishlegs pulled the door closed behind him he shakily said, "Um… Astrid… Did you have to say something like that? You know… When you say stuff like that…"

"STUFF IT!" Astrid shouted. Urgency was something she definitely had a better hold on than either of the two men she was with.

Adrianna stared desperately at the door and began to cry, hoping for the reaction she got when her father closed the door on her too early at bedtime. She wanted nothing more than for him to rush through that door and scoop her into his arms. However, this time no one came. Finn, on the other hand, took the opportunity of his sister's reclining position to use her leg as a step to get higher on the gate.

Toothless, who had been prepared to rush out after his rider before the door had been slammed shut, was startled from his vigil at the window by an even more anguished cry from Adrianna than had previously been heard. He swung his head around just in time to see Finn step off of his sister and fully onto what turned out to be the gate to the playpen. The simple motion of changing his weight over entirely to the top section of the gate caused a low creak as the wood splintered and the lock popped open. Toothless felt his heart plunge like he had just dived into the ocean. The young were loose.

The second chapter is finished and I don't want to brag but I do think it is the most hilarious thing Amy and I have ever produced. I'm making this a collaboration because she and I do comedy so incredibly well. The other Growing Up Haddock stories are mine with a little help here and there so please don't think I'm incapable of writing something good on my own.