(Oh Moonlight, why do you do this to yourself, like you don't have enough stories to worry about. Well it all started when I was having writer's block and decided to listen to music to clear my head, I end up finding this song called "Secrets" by Pierces. After a few plays it got stuck in my head and I just KNEW I had to make a story out of it, and my head wouldn't allow me to think of anything else until I did a chapter. So with that, here's Secrets To The Grave !)
For Your Entire Life You Have Lived In A Fantasy
Surrounded By People Who Simply Adored You
You Never Truly Had To Struggle Have You
But Don't Worry That Fairy-Tale Is Coming To An End
Soon Your Grief Will Make You Weak
But It Will Make Me Strong
My Time Is Closing In Now
For You Will Disappear
And No One Will Even Know It
The lighting cracked like a fierce whip outside; rain hit the houses of Berk like shattered glass coming from the thunder clouds, so dark a grey that they looked rich black in the night sky, their signature rumbling to follow it. Storms were no rarity on Berk, a place famous for bad weather casualty, but the size of this storm would have had even the most stubborn of vikings boarding up the house.
Though it wasn't like anyone heard or took notice over the joyous sound of music and laughter mixing together, filling the Great Hall.
It was Astrid Hofferson's 15th birthday, one of the most celebratory warriors in her age-group. The hall was met with presents, music, friends and family, and a feast with mead to go along with it. Villagers could be seen either dancing to the music or enjoying the food and mead that was offered...especially the mead. Ironically, most who knew Astrid knew she wasn't one for parties, or any special occasion particularly; but even she herself couldn't help but laugh with sheer delight along with the others, watching her friends and family enjoy their-selves.
The small nudge and snort of the large nadder next to her made Astrid smile even more, reminding her further how their was more to celebrate this year. This was her first birthday with Stormfly, and her first where she didn't have to worry about a dragon raid and the roof burning down; the only fire she would have to see tonight was from the Great Hall hearth, giving a warm glow onto the patrons.
Unbeknownst to her, she was being watched.
Hiccup couldn't help but smile at Astrid, especially the way she laughed. His best memories of her before the Red Death was her scowling or glaring daggers at everyone, especially him. And even now she still held that serious yet dignified demeanor with the utmost hold. This only made the sight of her letting herself go a little, a much more pleasant surprise.
"See something interesting son ?"
"Yeah-wait what ?" Hiccup turned around to see his father raising an eyebrow to him, even though he already knew the answer.
Hiccup's face was turning redder by the second. "Wait. . what. . who me.. nah. . .nothing interesting. . just uh. .um. . . " Hiccup slurred and stuttered words together in a jumble as he rushed to put his hands in his pockets. "Just you know. . .looking around is all".
Stoick, though clearly unconvinced just nodded with his son. "Ahh, well then I hope you find what you're looking for" he chuckled, giving his son a gleeful slap on the back and went along.
A simple slap to Stoick was practically a push to the floor for his son who quickly was about to make impact with it until something big and scaly caught him and allowed him to get back up on his feet.
Hiccup smiled and petted the reptile. "Thanks bud."
Toothless smiled, pupils big and round showing a friendly mood. Using his snout he sniffed down at Hiccup's vest -or rather what was inside the vest.
Now would be the perfect time to give Astrid his present. Hiccup listened closely, he could hear the sound of rain had dimmed dramatically. Perfect. The plan would be to race her to the cove and give it to her there, it gave off a more dramatic flare that way, plus he wouldn't have to feel the dozens of eyes watching him and whispering more rumors about him and Astrid. There were enough of those already. But alone, just the two of them would definitely be the better option in his opinion.
Hiccup had spent long nights in the forge getting it done. He had to do it at night because if anyone saw him in the day, it would only raise suspicion. Hiccup, of all people, wanting to rather work long hours in the forge, instead of going dragon flying ? There would be question, and he had made extra sure that no one would or could ruin the surprise.
He walked around the Great Hall towards Astrid with her parents, laughing with the people around her and stroking Stormfly's snout. Her laugh made her eyes light up and the large, friendly smile showed her pearl like teeth; this sight only making Hiccup clam up, and become even more self-conscious.
"You know. . .she looks busy I'm just going to wait till tomor- *ow*" before he could walk out the door, Toothless manged a quick tail slap to the face of his rider, just before turning behind him and shoving him towards the birthday girl.
"Alright, alright I get it, thank you for your support" Hiccup said in his usual dry sarcasm, ignoring the strange laugh-like sound that came out of Toothless's throat. The teen took a deep breath and walked towards Astrid with Toothless following pursuit.
Mrs Hofferson looked up seeing the chief's son approaching them; the woman grinned and now took it upon her to excuse her and her husband from the two teenagers, Astrid's mother grabbed her husband's arm. "Dear can I talk to you over there ?"
The man raised an eye. "Can't you say it here-
"No, it has to be over there, come on" she spouted quickly as she shrugged her and her husband away towards the other end of the hall. It was practically a known fact to the people of Berk of the sorta-kinda-romance between the chief's son, and the Hofferson daughter; who was she to interfere?
Astrid cocked her head, confused at her mother's strange exit. "Well...that was weird ?"
"Yeah..." Hiccup agreed. "Anyway Astrid, I was wondering if-
Hiccup put his hands over his ears against the sound; before he even could finish his sentence, Stormfly had roared out a shrill dragon roar, stinging at Hiccup and Astrid's ear-drums. She shook her head, her body twitching, trembling, in utter great pain. Astrid gasped, looking up at her dragon and tried to put soft a hand on her snout. "Stormfly ? Girl ? Are...are you okay ?"
Hiccup turned around to see that Toothless too, was growling and shaking his body with agitation. His eyes have now become slits, and began biting his enacted teeth at the air as if some invisible force was causing his agony.
The wind outside had started to pick up, stray tree limbs, and small stones started hitting at the Great Hall and the rumbles of storm clouds grew louder and deeper.
Hiccup looked around the room, it wasn't just Toothless and Stormfly; all the dragons were acting in the same, aggressive behavior. Villagers were either stepping away from the frustrated animals or trying to get them under control.
Rain beated harder outside with such a ferocious tempo.
"Hey Toothless" Hiccup tried to pet his head. "What's wrong bud." Sadly, Hiccup's attempts were in vain as Toothless continued to cry out helplessly with his fellow reptiles, forcing Hiccup to step away to avoid getting accidentally snapped by one of his sharp teeth.
By now the chaos had taken everyone's attention, as the villagers were still trying to calm down their dragons, several began to rally around Hiccup for explanation.
"What's going on."
"What's happening to them."
"Fix it Hiccup!"
Stoick pushed the others out of his way, and towards his son, having to raise his voice in order to be heard over the crying beasts. "Hiccup! What in Odin't beard is going on with the dragons?"
The boy shook his head helplessly. "I don't know dad." Hiccup looked to where Toothless continued to snap out at the air around them, oblivious to his owner's confusion and pity. "It's like they can sense something we can't."
With the shouts of villagers and cries of dragons making a ear bleeding harmony, the cracking of wood breaking had landed on death ears. The tension and chaos was more than evident until-
It was once a spine shivering, shot of blue lightning flashed across the sky, that the havoc ended. A shot so loud that even in all the commotion, every soul that night could look back and say, with the utmost truth, that they heard it.
With it, the Hall seemed to have freezed, all vikings and dragons alike frozen in place at the sound.
And just like that. It was as though the bolt had stopped everything.
The dragons lowered their heads and almost immediately calmed themselves down, most actually collapsing from exhaustion with a choir of thumps.
All became quiet.
Whoever, or whatever had been torturing the friendly beasts, had made a sudden and complete stop. Toothless himself groaned wearily to the floor, happy for the attack to be over. Though ironically, this was just in time for his eyes to roll over to his owner and notice the wooded pillar behind Astrid breaking and tipping closer towards her direction.
His green dragon pupils widened in fear and the night-fury raised his head for a loud cry of danger, demolishing the still silence. Rising up, he used his snout to turn Hiccup around to see what his dragon was alerting him for; a pillar was just about to fall and land on Astrid !
"ASTRID LOOK OUT!" Without thinking, Hiccup leaped into action, pushing and knocking both Astrid and himself to the ground just few feet from where she was standing. Both fell to the floor just in time for the wooden pillar to crash to the ground.
Gasps were made all around, some now circling around the fallen wood, and some surrounding themselves around the teenage couple that was almost crushed a mere moments ago.
"Are you two alright?" Stoick said, quickly approaching them, and full of concern.
Astrid nodded nervously as both she and Hiccup made it up to their feet. "Y..yeah" she muttered. "I'm...I'm fine, just a little...a little shaken up." The blonde warrior tried to sound reassuring, even though the shakiness of her voice was obvious, and she could feel her heart pounding fifty beats a second. Quickly, she turned her attention to Hiccup. "Hiccup!" She breathed. "You saved me..." Astrid smiled. "Thank you."
Hiccup gave his signature goofy grin, with a splash of pink blush. At least, right before realizing he still had his arms around her waist; the boy quickly wiggled his arms away and let go of her, replacing one hand to rub the back of his neck.
"Hey you would have done the same for me, I'm just glad you're okay".
Stoick nodded. "We better get the rest of these beams inspected, so we don't have another accident like that again" The chief commented, kneeling down to inspect the splintered end of where the pillar had broken and fell.
"Eh...I hate to tell you this Stoick, but this was no accident" a voice from the crowd said.
As people made loud (if not exaggerated) gasps, all eyes turned to the speaker, Gobber.
"What do you mean" Hiccup asked, just as puzzled as the rest of the public.
"I mean, if this was an accident, and it happened right after the dragons started acting crazy seconds ago... it's just a little to coincidental if you ask me" Gobber explained.
Stoick narrowed his eyes, he had to speak fast before a riot of panic broke out; he looked at the people, now either worried or looking back at one another suspiciously. "Heh, heh" he forced out a laugh. "Come on Gobber, next you'll be telling us that it was the sock-stealing trolls that caused the storm." He joked, clearing his throat. "Hiccup?" he asked expectantly. "This is your department of expertise."
The heir nodded, understanding what his father was implying, and looked to the crowd head high. "Dragons are complex creatures, and we haven't been studying them for very long, there's still plenty we still don't know about them; but whatever happened to them, was no doubt a natural, normal calamity in their nature, and rest assured it will be studied upon."
"What ever has happened, rest assure you all, that it will be found out, there will be an investigation in the morning, until then, all are to go to their homes and lock their doors, we'll continue this at breakfast tomorrow." Stoick added, ending the argument.
Everyone, though hesitantly, nodded and agreed with their chief's order; leaving the Great Hall to return to their own homes; with only a few small muttered accusations could be heard under peoples' breaths.
Hiccup turned to Astrid. "I uh...guess I'll see you tomorrow" Hiccup said awkwardly, unsure how to handle talking with the girl who had almost been flattened on the night of her birthday.
"Yeah" Astrid nodded, herself still feeling slightly gauche with the whole ordeal. "Tomorrow...okay, goodnight."
"Goodnight", Hiccup answered softly. Turning around he followed his father out the doors with Toothless trailing not too far behind.
Astrid and her parents were the last to leave, gathering up her presents and slowly walking back with Stormfly to the Hofferson household, which was only about a six minute walk. If they were lucky, the rain would not soak them too badly. However, it was about half-way up the silent walk back to their home, did Astrid suddenly noticed something yet to be addressed.
The storm ?
It stopped !
In fact, there wasn't even anything to indicate a storm ever even took place; the wet grass under Astrid's feet seemed to be the island's only piece of evidence for it.
The night had turned peaceful; now all was calm, leaving the only moving piece of weather to be a small, weak blowing wind. But the further they walked, maybe it was her mind playing tricks on her, perhaps it was her nerves getting to her, or possibly, the subtle paranoia of the night; but to Astrid, the wind's whistles, sounded almost like a soft voice, whispering out for her.
(Okay, so not the creepiest chapter, but it will get creepier as time goes on, hope you like it anyway, oh and because of copyright, "I do not own any part of the HTTYD franchise", well glad that's over, anyway read and review and this is Moonlight Snowflake signing off)