DISCLAMIER – I do not own How to train your dragon, it is owned by Cressida Cowell and DreamWorks studios.
(A/N – Hello everybody. So, big fan of this fandom, have been since I saw the first film four years ago... and yet am only just writing my first story for it -_-
Anyway, this is a oneshot I have been wanting to get out ever since about two months ago when I read 'Infernal responsibility' by P-Artsypants (seriously, amazing story. If you like Hiccup/Astrid and have not read it... you are missing out. Be sure to read if you haven't already!) and gained inspiration for this little fic from reading the last chapter. I do hope you all enjoy this, I have already decided this will have a sequel oneshot and in a few days, I hope to have chapter one of my first proper HTTYD fic, 'Dead man's hand', up so if you like romance, drama and long stories, keep an eye out for that :) By the way, I just want to say now that in all my HTTYD stories, Stoick will still have Thornado, his Thunderdrum, as I have grown to love their friendship too much to let it go just because the TV show made them separate.
How many of you are singing 'Let it go' from Frozen now? -_-
I have yet to see the sequel (hope to next week) so I am going to write this as if no information about the sequel has even been released. However, I am aware that our favourite couple are both 20 in the sequel so... in this, our two favourite Vikings will both be 28. Okay, let's begin!
Berk... a place where the cold weather is mostly responsible for the misery the inhabitants experience, snowing nine months a year and hailing the other three, a place where the inhabitants are Vikings, a tribe by the name of the Hairy Hooligans, and are extremely stubborn in traditions (as one certain teenage boy had discovered)... a place that is not home to not just Vikings... but dragons also.
During the ongoing course of a dreadful three hundred year conflict, one Viking known as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock lll had stepped forward, had shown his neglecting tribe that their enemies could be friends instead, that the dragons only attacked the Viking village because of the orders given by an alpha dragon, the Red Death. He, on the back of his new best friend (a Night fury named Toothless), had defeated the Red Death alongside his former life tormentors and had freed the dragons... at the cost of his leg.
However, all was not in disarray for with the fall of the Red Death, a new age of Viking life came around. Dragons made home on the island of Berk, Hiccup woke up from his comatose state (a consequence of the battle) only a few days afterwards and within a few more days, almost all Vikings had forgotten about the war the two species had once waged.
And now, thirteen years later, that life continues on. Despite the fact that there had been many others complications along the road to ultimate peace (caused mainly by a certain Alvin, Dagur and a massive albino Whispering Death), the Hairy Hooligans had finally managed to achieve the peaceful life they had always secretly wished for, even if they still stocked up on new weapons daily.
On this morning of a lovely (albeit rare) summers day, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock lll, the Viking that was to take over the reins of the village following the birthday of his third decade, lay in blissful slumber with his wife, Astrid Haddock néeHofferson, wrapped securely around him. His back to her chest, limbs all tangled together (with the exception of Astrid's arms, which simply held her husband of seven years to her like a boa constrictor held its prey before the kill), they both slept with content smiles on their faces.
One of Hiccup's eyes slowly opened at the sound of disturbance. It searched the room momentarily before detecting the slightly open door of his and his wife's bedroom. With an eyebrow raised, he made the move to stand up and close the door but instead, his movement only succeeded in causing his beloved to smile more in her sleep, snuggle into his back and squeeze her arms tighter, electing a tiny squeak from the man in her loving grasp.
Hiccup, now fully awakened by the increase in strength of Astrid's wrap, used his eyes to assess his surroundings. There was nothing out of the ordinary around, Toothless and Stormfly were still asleep in their attachment to the couple's home and everything inside the bedroom appeared intact. Satisfied, he shrugged his shoulders (as much as he could) and his eyes closed again, prepared to re-enter the realm of dreams.
Hiccup's eyebrows furrowed. He had just established to himself that neither his wife nor the family dragons were responsible for the noise coursing through the bedroom. Although... there was one person who could be the cause. They had been known to awaken really early in the morning before if the day was a special occasion (a family member's birthday or Snoggletog, for example)... and today, for them, was definitely a special occasion.
Tentatively, the chief-to-be opened his eyes... only to meet the eyes of a certain six year old boy, staring intently at him. He had short dirty blonde hair, almost coming across as brown. He had bright cyan eyes, the result of his father's green genes and his mother's blue; he had the same soft skin tone as his mother and had inherited the body structure of the village's dragon trainer (this apparently had to change, said Astrid once, as he would probably grow up to have Hiccup's brain, so he had to have Astrid's strength). For his clothing, he basically wore a smaller size of what his father had worn in his teenage years: brown fur vest, red tunic, matching leggings and brown fur boots. Hiccup gave him a disciplinary frown.
"Merry, go back to bed. It's too early." The boy groaned in frustration, he had been awake for about an hour but had waited for the sun to rise before going to wake his father.
"Daaadddddd," he persisted. He was met only with further resistance.
"No Merry, go back to sleep. It's too early yet. The sun has only just made itself known."
"But you promised!" The boy squealed.
"No, I promised that we would do it today, not as soon as the sun was visible from your bedroom window." In response, the boy crossed his arms, a glare of true annoyance on his lips. His small foot began to tap the wooden floor as his father simply remained in his prone form, staring at him with a humoured gaze.
"That look of annoyance is not going to get me up any faster son," Hiccup assured, chuckling. "Trust me." Believing that Merry would soon get the message and leave, the brunette closed his eyes and relaxed back into his wife's comforting hold. However, due to his now closed eyes, he did not see the smirk that had just crossed his son's face.
He did though... hear the deep amount of air the young boy breathed in.
Hiccup's expression quickly deadpanned as Astrid began to awaken. Great... he knew what the little squirt was up to. Now, his mum would wake up from her sleep, would force Hiccup to get up to the boy's request and while he was out with Merry, would probably sleep until about midday, at what time she would be awakened by Ruffnut, hoping for some companionship due to Fishlegs being forced to work (after all, if you're going to marry the dragon nursery caretaker, you can't expect to have him all to yourself every moment of the day).
"Ugh... what?" she groaned, certainly not happy at being awoken hours before her normal time. When her eyes opened enough to make out her baby boy, he pointed at his father accusingly.
"Dad promised that we would go do that 'thing' today and now he won't get out of bed!" Said father rolled his eyes.
"Exactly Merry, I said today, not 'at the crack of dawn when we are the only ones awake in the whole village." The boy groaned again, turning his vision to the blonde woman who laid aside the village's dragon trainer.
"Mummy!" Oh, that was it. Merry only ever referred to Astrid as 'mummy' anymore when he really wanted something... and from her next actions, it appeared the woman of the house knew it as well.
"Come on Hiccup, up you get," she mumbled against her beloved's neck, using her arms snaked around him to shake him fully awake.
"Astrid!" he objected. "It's too early! Have you looked out the window?"
"I know it's early but you heard what he just said... and when he says that word... you know we are not going to be getting anymore sleep until he gets what he wants." Finally excepting defeat, Hiccup groaned again before giving his son a look of sarcastic thanks, who simply smiled innocently.
"Alright then," he began with a sigh, a small grin coming to his face. "Why don't you go feed Toothless and Stormfly while I get ready?" The boy squealed and reached across to encircle his own arms around his father's head.
"Oh thank you dad! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this!" The man chuckled.
"Oh I think I do. Now go on, I'll be down in a few minutes." Without another word, young Merry released Hiccup and bolted from his parents' bedroom. With their son gone from their peace, Astrid relaxed back into the bed as Hiccup sat up, pulling his legs over the side before yawning. The woman smirked and began poking his back.
"Come on you, you need to be fully awake for what you are going to be doing today," she stated. The man groaned in reply.
"Astrid, trust me, I'm trying but you have to remember that normally, we have another four hours of sleep." Said blonde rolled her eyes.
"Oh come on Hiccup, your son is excited about training his first dragon, his first dragon! He actually told me that he only has one type in mind, but won't tell me." The chief-to-be looked at her over his shoulder, an eyebrow raised.
"Is it a new species?" he asked.
"No, it's one from the book; he just wanted to keep it a surprise." Astrid sat up from her prone position on the bed, moving towards her husband to sit next to him as he applied his prosthetic. "It's gonna be like having another new member of the family."
"Yeah, I know," he began. "You have to remember though, just because Merry is young doesn't mean his dragon is going to be. Honestly, I would prefer the dragon to be at least an adolescent. That way, if Merry were to get in trouble, the dragon would be able to protect him to an extent."
"What species do you think would be best for him?" Astrid asked.
"I don't really know," her husband replied, his eyebrows furrowed. "He keeps on saying about how he wants to have a unique dragon to everyone else, like how I have a Nightfury and how my dad has a Thunderdrum. He said something a few weeks ago about a Skrill but I managed to shut that idea down quite quickly when I told him about our experience with one. Since then, it appears he has chosen something else but as you said, he hasn't told anyone." The woman nodded in understanding.
"Good. I'm all for him having a unique dragon species but a Skrill? Not while I'm still here," she assured. Before Hiccup could say anything back, a shout cut him off.
"DAAADDDDDD!" came the voice of a certain six year old from downstairs. "I fed Toothless and Stormfly! Can we go now?" With a final sigh, Hiccup turned his head to look at Astrid and gave her a small but loving grin.
"Well, I guess I'm not going to be getting any more sleep today." He leaned over the small space between them and pecked his wife's cheek before standing up. "Remember, Toothless and Stormfly will still be here if you need anything."
"I know," Astrid sing-songed as she returned to her most desired position on the bed, so as to go back to sleep for at least a few more minutes. Hiccup chuckled one last time and then made his leave, being sure to shut the bedroom door.
Downstairs, the brunette found his son running himself all over the walls. Literally. As a method to vent off energy, Merry had taken to running over the downstairs walls of his home, with Toothless' tale wrapped around his waist so as to keep him from falling to the floor. The dragon gave a gummy smile to his best friend upon seeing him and, after receiving a knowing look, placed Merry on his feet.
"Oh, you're here! Ok, let's go! Come on, let's go!"
"Hold yourself firm, Merry. If we're going to be out all day, looking for dragons, we need to have all the necessary resources." The boy plopped down onto a bench that sat around the house's (currently unlit) fire, sick and tired of the constant obstacles popping up all the time. As the sulking was comforted by the village's Nightfury, Hiccup packed his satchel with some bread, three flasks of water (two for Merry, he had proven himself to be a thirsty person) and an assortment of medical supplies, just in case. The satisfied Viking then grabbed a fish from the house's dragon food basket and gave it to his son, Toothless silently drooling next to him.
"Dad, wouldn't dragon nip be better?" the boy queried.
"No Merry, dragon nip would knock out the dragon; we don't want to do that. We want to befriend it."
"Now, your mum tells me that you have decided on what species of dragon you want now?" Merry's moodiness at more patience suddenly disappeared, replaced by more excitement as he jumped up and down on the bench (Toothless' head, all the while, moving up and down to follow the jumping fish).
"Yep! I know exactly what one I want! I know that you said I couldn't get a Skrill but I don't see anything wrong with this one!" Hiccup nodded.
"Alright, that's good." The man got onto his knees so as to meet his son's eyes. "Are you ready to go now?"
The blonde child was out of the front door before Hiccup finished his sentence. Hiccup chuckled, gazing after his son with wholehearted love before turning his attention to his Nightfury as he got back to his feet... or foot.
"I'm counting on you and Stormfly to keep this house safe, alright?" The dragon nodded, its eyes narrowed in determination (Toothless always loved the feeling of having responsibility). The Viking then moved towards his best friend and brought his forehead to the centre of the creature's face, both sets of eyes sliding shut. Moments later, both sets of eyelids opened and the pair smiled at each other, one with teeth and the other with gums.
"See you later, bud." Said dragon crooned in goodbye as his human walked out the front door to his son.
"So Merry," Hiccup began as he closed the front door to his house. "I know that you are set on what dragon you want but... is it okay if I try to guess what species it is?" When the Viking turned around, he realised his son had already started his way down the footpath and so had to jog to catch up with him.
"Um... okay, you can try if you want." The boy paused to point a finger at the older Haddock. "But I'm not going to tell you if you get it right." Hiccup put his hands up in a surrender-like fashion.
"Okay, okay... let's see then, is it a... Gronkle?"
The boy smiled impishly. "Nope."
"A... Deadly Nadder?"
"Nuh-uh, mum already has Stormfly."
"So I guess that means a Nightfury is out of the question?"
"You guessed right. Hang on; didn't you say that Toothless was the only one you had ever met?"
"I did say that. How about a... Monstrous Nightmare?" At this guess, the boy did not simply reply. Instead, he stopped walking and turned to his dad, an expression of disgust on his face.
"What?! No way! Why would I want a dragon that always hurts its master?"
Ahh... there we go.
"Son, how many times have we been over this?" Hiccup sighed. "Hookfang only treated Snotlout like that because he was always getting pushed too hard or insulted by his rider. However, since that numpt somehow gained a family of his own, he has learned to treat Hookfang a lot better, although you must remember that the two have always loved each other, deep down."
Merry rolled his eyes; he had heard this story too many times to count. About a year after the Hooligan tribe had settled its differences with the Outcasts, a certain black-haired girl with green eyes had returned to Berk with her parents, claiming that she had taken the fall for a crime one of her friends had committed back in her own village, seeing the family banished and so needed a place to live. Naturally, it only took Stoick a few minutes to give the family a home and for the teens to welcome Heather back into their friendly arms.
This had led Snotlout to become more of a... gentlemen (the other teens hadn't actually believed he was capable of such a behaviour pattern back then). Seeing that Hiccup had something going on with Astrid and that Fishlegs and Ruffnut had something together, Snotlout had set his eyes on the black-haired beauty (a girl who he had actually liked a lot more than Astrid when he was around, so he was perfectly happy); this had prompted him to adopt a new attitude, as Heather had publicly made it known many times that Snotlout's original persona was not very...attractive.
And so at seeing his new attitude, Heather had finally accepted the boy's proposition of a date. It had gone quite well actually, Snotlout keeping up the gentlemen act the whole time and Hookfang sending him dragon smirks whenever the girl smirked herself, happy at catching him out on his attempts at 'wooing' the teenage girl. Nevertheless, they somehow kept a stable relationship together after that and that had become something a lot more when the Jorgenson had proposed to his girlfriend only a few days after Hiccup himself had gotten married.
Thus, the story of the Jorgenson family house by which a Monstrous Nightmare and a female Scauldron named Spout slept.
"Yes dad, I'm fully aware of how many times we've been over it," Merry said after going through the story in his head... again. "Now can we please move on? We have a dragon to train!" Hiccup's only reaction was for his eyebrows to raise, disbelief painted on his face.
"Me? You're the one who stopped!" Merry glared at his father. Seconds later, he simply turned around and continued the walk through the village, his father following close behind. As they neared the edge of the village's nearby woodland, they passed by Hiccup's old house, now the house of only the chief of Berk and Merry's grandfather... who just so happened to be leaving the house that moment with... someone following him. Upon realising who it was, Merry smiled toothily where as Hiccup groaned on the inside.
"Morning Grandpa! Morning great-uncle Alvin!"
Yep... you read right.
It wasn't that Hiccup hated the man or even disliked him. It was just that... it had occurred to both Hiccup and Astrid overtime that Alvin was quite a bad influence to children, Merry Haddock especially. Ever since the aforementioned peace treaty between the Hooligans and the Outcasts, Alvin had become friends with Stoick again... or at least allies (they had a sort of Hiccup-Snotlout relationship) and during his visits to Berk since Merry had been born, had decided to use Merry against his parents, so as to 'just gain a little bit of payback on 'iccup and the girl for embarrassing the Outcasts so many times.'
This had included Merry pulling pranks on his parents and other tribe members (ideas given by Alvin), Merry taking food from Toothless and Stormfly (on rare occasions only, also recommended by Alvin) and Merry sometimes even stealing Gobber's prosthetics (at this one, Hiccup had given the older Viking a look that said 'are you serious?' and he had merely stated that Gobber had not been as nice back in the day as he was now). Despite all this though, Hiccup and Astrid could see that their son and their former enemy had... some sort of family-like relationship and so, they just couldn't bring themselves to tell Merry that he couldn't speak to Alvin anymore.
"Ah, morning there Merry!" Stoick replied as he walked down the hill to meet his son and grandson, a smile on his lips. "And where are you two going off to this early in the morning?" Hiccup's deadpan expression resurfaced as he looked at the young blonde out of the corner of his eye.
"This little devil has woken me up extremely early in the morning so we can go get him his first dragon."
"Ha ha, he's gone and remembered a little tip there, your grandson has, Stoick," Alvin piped in after casting the little boy a proud smirk. "Always take em out nice and quick." Merry winked at his 'great-uncle' in reply, causing a chuckle to escape from the older Viking's throat.
"Oh, that's good to hear Merry," Stoick continued on the 'first dragon' conversation starter. "What species are you hoping for? Any in particular?"
"Yep but I can't tell you." The boy leaned in to whisper. "It's a secret." It was Stoick who laughed quietly this time, putting a finger to his mouth and going 'shhh' for effect.
"I've already guessed Gronkle, Deadly Nadder, Nightfury and Monstrous Nightmare and it isn't any of those," Hiccup piped up. "It shouldn't be a Skrill because Merry knows that one is too dangerous for him and apart from those, all the other species are still in the open." Stoick suddenly put his hands on his hips and gave his grandson a look of... hope? Pride?
"Well Hiccup, if he wants to have one of the biggest, strongest dragons on all of Berk, he will surely be wanting a Thunderdrum, will he not?" Before the middle Haddock could reply, his son beat him to it, shaking his head with a smile.
"Nope, you're wrong grandpa," he said. "I want to have a dragon that no else on Berk has, like how dad has Toothless and how you have Thornado so I can't get a Thunderdrum, you already have one!" Stoick slowly nodded his head in understanding.
"Ok, that seems fair." It appeared that his patience had finally caught up with him because in the next moment, Merry was grabbing Hiccup's hand and was attempting to drag him away to the nearby forestry ('attempting' being the key word there).
"Well, it looks like we gotta get going," Hiccup began. "You know how he gets with things that excite him." He paused and nodded to his father. "Dad." He turned his head to his former enemy and nodded again. "Alvin." And with that, the two pairs separated, one into the woods and the other deeper into the village.
Neither Stoick nor Hiccup noticed the last stare and the winks that were exchanged between a smirking Alvin and the younger heir to the tribe.
A while later, the two were deep in the woods of the island, Hiccup following Merry as the young one led the dragon whisperer to the location where he had, apparently, encountered the dragon he wished to train many times before.
"So Merry," Hiccup started after many moments of silence. "When was the first time you met this dragon you wish to train?"
"Oh, I can't tell you that," his son retorted. "Me telling you about my first experience with it might give away what species it is." The older Viking's eyebrows furrowed.
"Why would that hint at the species?" Just as the boy was about to reply, he squealed and begun jumping, clapping his hands all the while.
"We're here! We're here!" With that, he dashed a little further, his father actually struggling to keep up. It was only a few seconds later that the pair entered into a clearing of the woods. The outskirts were mostly just a great circle of shadow, created by the outstretched branches of the trees at a greater height. The middle part of the clearing though, was absolutely littered with sinkholes.
A perfect environment for dragons.
Or, at least one species.
"That's strange, it has always been around here the times that I have come around," Merry stated, gesturing to the circle of darkness surrounding the clearing. As the boy jogged away a small distance to inspect the shade, Hiccup took the time to inspect the clearing himself. He walked over to one of the clearing's sinkholes.
His body suddenly came to a complete stop as his eyes widened to extreme proportions.
For there, before his very eyes, was not a sinkhole...
But a burrowing tunnel.
"Meriadoc Finnius Haddock," he started with a deadly serious tone. His son turned around from the circle of shade to look at his father over the clearing, his eyes full of... guilt? Embarrassment?
"I demand for you to answer this question... right. Now." The boy nodded quickly.
"This dragon you've been visiting... what species is it?"
This time, the boy did not answer... he just gave a sheepish smile.
Hiccup froze with fear as a horribly familiar sound met his ears; the sound of evil, dead souls whispering with overwhelming malevolence before they absorbed another helpless individual into their shroud of darkness and despair. The ground began to shake and just before the ground split open like a gapping mouth, Hiccup whispered himself.
A hunting dog for the Grim Reaper himself erupted from the ground, screaming with the passion Dagur the Deranged had for hunting. The creature, coloured navy blue, was practically 90 percent tail, with the aforementioned tail being smothered with spikes coloured red at the tip, miming the colour of an unfortunate person's blood. The last 10 percent made up the destructive creature's head, a home to a mouth that contained six rows of teeth, all so sharp that the beast could rip a man to shreds in seconds were one placed into that head that led to a black hole. Its white eyes, blank and appearing soulless, found the twenty-eight year old, who could only stand still in terror. It roared that ferociousness again but just as it was about to enjoy a meal, it noticed a... familiar young boy waving in the corner of its eye. Instead of attacking, it roared once more in the Viking's face before making a return trip down the cavern from whence it came.
Merry ran towards to the tunnel before getting onto his knees. "Hey, don't run away!" he begged. "Come back!"
"Merry!" came a squeaky tone.
The boy turned to see his father, pale as a plague victim and absolutely livid. The boy answered tentatively.
"You could have had any other dragon, any other dragon! Gronkle, Deadly Nadder, Monstrous Nightmare, Hideous Zippleback, Changewing... hey, I would've preferred a Skrill over that demon! Do you know what that was, Merry!? That was a Whispering Death!"
Merry Haddock looked down into the crevice that his dream friend had fled down ashamedly as the fingers from his right hand plucked at the grass beneath him.
"Do I even need to tell you why this is a bad idea!?" Hiccup continued. "Not only are they extremely dangerous to simply be around and extremely difficult to train but they are also ranked number two in killing, straight after a Nightfury! It's in the name, for crying out loud!" The younger Haddock only continued to pluck the grass in shame. He just wanted to have a dragon that no one else had! After all, no one else was brave enough to go get themselves a Whispering Death!
"I'm sorry Dad," he apologised. "I just wanted to have a unique dragon. After all, no one else has a Whispering Death on Berk. Besides, you and grandpa both have especially dangerous dragons, Toothless and Thornado! Why can't I have one too?" Hiccup sighed because honestly... he couldn't really argue with that logic.
"You are absolutely set on this dragon, aren't you?" His answer was a quick but determined nod. In response, Hiccup looked down into the fresh tunnel and produced a small smile. "Well in that case, I hope you're not afraid of the dark."
The boy's eyes widened slightly in understanding, tears of joycoming to his eyes. "You mean... you'll let me train it?" Hiccup showed the small smile to his little boy as he rubbed his shoulder.
"Yeah... I know what it's like to want something a lot... only to have it taken away from you." Hiccup frowned slightly before finishing his sentence. "And I wouldn't dare bestow that feeling upon you, especially regarding a life companion." Merry sniffled, small quantities of happy tears running down his face as he used his small arms to hug his father's neck.
"I love you." Hiccup's small grin extended to the ends of his cheeks as he returned his son's embrace.
"I love you too. Just promise me you'll be careful with that dragon and that you will come to me, your mum or grandpa for help if you need it."
Half an hour later, we find the father and son duo inside the dark tunnels that could lead to Death's door itself, lit up enough for them to see by the bright and sunny day back on the surface. Even with the assistance of the so called 'dragon conqueror', Merry had, so far, been unable to befriend the spike-skin reptile as it only went ahead to watch the two from a distance, assessing them and whenever Merry (with Hiccup's assistance) would attempt to get closer to the Whispering Death, it would watch them for a few more seconds only to flee straight afterwards.
"Dad, how much longer do we have to do this? I wanna take my Whispering Death home to show it off and play with it!" Merry whined, the fish in his arms finally acting like a weight on the young one's body.
"Until this dragon actually becomes yours," Hiccup replied. "Of course, if I knew we were going after a Whispering Death (Merry always smiled sheepishly whenever his father said the dragon's species like that), I would've brought more food for us and more fish." One of the blonde's eyebrows rose in question.
"Why more fish? Couldn't we give dragon nip to it as a sign of friendship?"
"Dragon nip does not work on Whispering Deaths."
"Oh... well that isn't very helpful." Hiccup couldn't help but roll his eyes at his son's perceptiveness. Suddenly, a question came to Merry's mind again, one he had been meaning to ask for quite a while.
"Hey Dad, you know how you said you would've preferred me having a Skrill over a Whispering Death?" The older Viking nodded. "Does that mean that if I happened to change my mind, I would be allowed a Skrill?"
"No, definitely not," he answered. "Whereas the Whispering Death is still really dangerous, it can at least be said that those who have trained them before have not been killed while riding them. You see Merry, a Skrill doesn't shoot fire; it uses lightning from the skies. So, if someone were to be riding a Skrill when it charged up to attack..." He turned his head to look at his son, hoping to see understanding on his six-year old face. Luckily, he did.
"Oh... that would not be good."
"Exactly. So I suppose having a Whispering Death is kind of better, in a way. However, I can only say that you are going to be there with me, every step of the way, when your mum sees what dragon you have." This time, it was Hiccup's eyebrows that rose in question. "Merry, how did you go from wanting a Skrill to a Whispering Death? I mean, I know that they are both cool and exceedingly dangerous but they are both very different when compared. What made you change your mind?" When he saw the sheepish smile on his son's face for the third time that day along with a foot scuffling into the ground, Hiccup did not need an answer.
His expression deadpanned as he nodded in understanding. "Alvin told you about it, didn't he?"
A blush and a head looking further at the dirt was his answer.
Hiccup slapped his forehead. "Of course he did."
Before Merry could say anything back, he found a hand slapped onto his mouth and his father on his knees next to him. The boy raised his eyebrows in question again.
"The Whispering Death... is just over there." Hiccup pointed a finger a little to the left in front of him and, true to his word, hiding in a tunnel, was the dragon Merry desired so much.
"Why hasn't it attacked us yet? Why is it just... hiding in the tunnels?" Merry asked, the question muffled.
"My only guess can be that it recognises you from all the times you've visited it... but is staying back to evaluate me because it hasn't seen me before." Hiccup removed his hand from his son's mouth. "Now, I want you to step forward carefully... and give it the fish as a peace offering. I will be here the whole time... but I can't step forward with you, not yet. The dragon needs to see that it is you who wants to be its friend. Now go on." At the order, little Merry's eyes suddenly filled with fear, something that did not go unnoticed by his dad. "Merry, its fine, I promise. I will be here. You want this dragon, don't you?" The boy, fear still in those cyan orbs, turned and nodded. "Then you have to do this."
It took a few minutes for him to find the courage but eventually, after taking in a deep breath, Merry Haddock took those life-changing steps forward into the centre of the tunnel connected cavern. When it realised that the older human was staying behind, simply observing, the Whispering Death slithered forward towards the child.
"H-Hello," he began, stuttering from fear. "M-my name is Meriadoc... F-Finnius Haddock, son of Hiccup Horrendous H-Haddock lll and Astrid Haddock néeHofferson... and I would like to be your friend." With the end of his sentence, Merry extended his arms toward the beast, offering it the fish. The creature moved forward slightly, sniffing at the meal. And then, gently so as not to accidentally hurt the boy, it opened its mouth and carefully took the fish from his arms before moving back slightly.
When it was a safe distance away, the dragon closed its mouth with a SLAM! before the sounds of ripping flesh filled the silent air. During this, Merry could only stand and stare where as his father could only cringe at the thought of what those teeth where doing to that amphibians carcass. Seconds afterwards, silence filled the air once more as the creature swallowed the food.
What would happen next would probably have Merry look back and laugh at his own stupidly placed fear for in that next moment, the dragon slithered forward slowly, not stopping until Merry had been pushed onto the floor.
"I-I don't have any more!" he stated fearfully to the beast that was now in his personal bubble. He looked to his father for aid only to see Hiccup, the great dragon whisperer... lounging on his back, an anticipant smile on his lips.
"Dad! I need help over here!" The brunette chuckled, shaking his head.
"Oh no you don't Merry, I've seen this before." Before the boy could request help again, his attention was drawn back to the Whispering Death... emitting a strange sound.
Was it... coughing?
It continued to make the noise, its sharp spine tail bouncing up and down until eventually, the event that Hiccup had been waiting for happened. The Whispering Death's circular maw opened wide, revealing a blood-soaked fish head. Merry gagged in disgust, causing Hiccup to snap out of his amused stupor.
"No Merry!" he called out. "Do not gag! It's offering that fish head as a reflective sign of friendship! If it believes you don't want it, your chances of training that dragon are gonna hit zero!"
Hearing that caused Merry's disgusted look to fall off his face like how rubble would fall from a collapsing building. He turned back to the navy blue dragon, its mouth still offering the fish's shredded head. He looked into its blank eyes, gave a tentative smile and then, hands trembling all the way, reached forward.
He grasped the fish head and drew back, the mouth of the great beast closing as soon as the boy's arms were out of harm's way. It then proceeded to wrap its long tail around itself; creating a circle for it to rest it's head on. From its new position, the dragon stared at the boy; waiting for him to eat the fish it had oh so gratefully decided to share with him. Looking at his father one last time (and seeing an 'eat it' motion), Merry put on a straight face and took a chunk of the regurgitated fish into his own mouth.
As his sweet son chewed the saliva covered meal, Hiccup became happy to barely see the edges of the Whispering Death's circular mouth just barely... curve upwards.
Merry, having swallowed the fish, turned his head away from the dragon of his dreams and to his dad. "What do I do now?"
"Now comes the part of trust, Merry. The dragon has already shown that it trusts you, as it has let us enter its home and has gone that close to you because it is confident that you will not harm it. Now, you have to show your trust by closing your eyes and reaching out your palm."
The six year old turned his head around to face the fearsome beast again, still in its self created resting circle. Breathing out deeply, he closed his eyes and, ever so slowly, stretched out his palm to the dragon. Many moments passed of no activity before soon, the boy felt the familiar... but also different... feeling of leathery skin. Slowly, he opened his eyes and then smiled gleefully at the sight that met him.
The Whispering Death with its head bowed, allowing him to pet it.
"Give it a little scratch under its chin, Merry," the boy heard from his father. He followed through with the suggestion; earning a purr from the... beast? Can we even call it a beast anymore?
"Ok Merry, one last thing you have to do to train a Whispering Death," said Hiccup.
"What's that?" came the reply, the boy who spoke the question continuing to stroke the dragon.
Merry did not receive a straight answer. Instead, he looked over to Hiccup to see him holding a flask of water in one hand and an old boot brush in the other. The blonde smiled as he stood, remembering this from the book of dragons: If there was one thing Whispering Deaths liked more than anything, anything at all, it was having their teeth cleaned.
Hiccup slid the items along the ground towards his son, allowing him to claim them without leaving the dragon's side. He then turned back to look at the dragon and with the boot brush, mimed brushing his teeth. The dragon immediately opened its mouth. Merry giggled as he dribbled a small amount of water from the flask onto the boot brush, not hesitating to brush the very front teeth.
The creature quickly opened its mouth so that Merry could access more of the teeth, loving the feeling.
"There you go!" Hiccup called. "It likes it!"
Half an hour later saw Merry brushing the last of the teeth, right at the back of the dragon's mouth. At this point, Hiccup had had to leave his spot away from the bonding pair to hold his son so the boy could reach the last few teeth without hurting himself.
"And...done!" Merry announced.
The creature purred ecstatically, adoring the feeling of clean teeth. It rubbed its head against its new friend's, electing a playful 'stop it' from him.
"Dad, do you have any idea what age it is? Or gender?" Merry asked as he stroked the dragon.
"You know what? I would say that from its behaviour and the fact that it allowed us to enter much more easily than other Whispering Deaths would... I would say you've got an adolescent female there." Merry gasped in happiness.
"Really? Does that mean Razor could give me more Whispering Deaths? Cool! I could be... the Death Whisperer..."
Hiccup chuckled. "I don't think they would necessarily be for you, Merry." His eyebrow rose. "Razor? That's a nice name."
"Yeah, cause of her teeth." The young one moved his attention back to his dragon. "Do you like the name 'Razor'? Can I call you that?"
His answer was the creature trying to bury its massive head into his small chest, electing another laugh from the boy.
It was dark when Astrid finally returned from Fishlegs and Ruffnut's place. After waking up at her normal time, in order to distract herself from her absent husband and son, the married Hofferson had taken the time to shop for foods at the market, enjoy a nice afternoon ride on Stormfly whilst Toothless visited Stoick and Thornado and then when the sun had begun to set, visited the married Ingerman couple to Ruffnut's request. Whilst there, Astrid had voiced her concern at the duration of Hiccup and Meriadoc's absence but was quickly put down by Fishlegs, who stated that training a dragon for a young Viking could take all day, considering how un-cooperative some young ones could be.
The blonde opened her front door to come to the mightily relieving sight of her husband, sitting down on a bench surrounding the house's fire, stroking Toothless' head.
"Hiccup! You're back!" she announced happily. Said chief-to-be stood up from his place on the bench, a nervous expression on his lips.
"Yes, me and Merry are back." He took a look around the house, making sure two certain residents of the Haddock clan were not in the room. "Astrid, before you go to talk to Merry, there is something you need to know."
Astrid smiled. "Oh yeah, where's our son's new dragon?"
"It's upstairs with him in his room, it's only an adolescent so it can fit. Now listen, there is something you need to know." Hiccup was unable to say anything more as his wife pushed past him, aiming for the house's staircase.
"Oh, it can wait, you big ninny! I want to see how happy Merry is!" She took excited steps up to her baby boy's room, a really nervous Viking following her (who, in turn, was being smirked at by a certain Nightfury).
"Oh no you don't Astrid, not yet." His words fell on deaf ears. "Honey, can you please stop? There is something you really need to know before you-
Now, Astrid Haddock néeHofferson had seen a great amount of things in her twenty-eight years of life that have shocked her. The first time she saw a Viking slay a dragon, the first time she saw a Viking ride a dragon, the time she saw Stormfly return from a scary absence surrounded by baby Deadly Nadders, the time her boyfriend of six years proposed to her, the time she found out she was pregnant and the event in which she held her baby boy in her arms for the first time.
But seeing her six year old son on his bed, surrounded by several overlaps of navy blue tail, with a Whispering Death head on his lap as he read a book with his left hand and stroked said creature's head with his right? That was a new one.
Both young Viking and adolescent dragon turned to the now open door.
"Hi Mum." The boy returned to his book.
Slowly, left eye twitching, Astrid closed the bedroom door.
She then slowly turned around to face her squirming, terrified husband of seven years.
He smiled fearfully. "Surprise?"
The blonde released a deadly calm breath before she spoke. "Hiccup... why is there a Whispering Death in Meriadoc's bedroom?"
"Well, you see Astrid-
"I repeat, why is there a Whispering Death in Meriadoc's bedroom!?"
Hiccup sighed. "Astrid, come on."
"A Whispering Death!? Have you lost whatever sense you once had, Hiccup!? What in the name of Odin made you think you could let our son have that species of dragon!?"
"I'm sorry, okay! I couldn't stop him, Astrid! He told me that he had been dead set on that dragon for weeks; since we told him ages ago he couldn't have a Skrill! You know he's wanted a dragon that no one else on Berk has!"
"What about Alvin? Doesn't he still have one?"
"Oh, Merry said that Great uncle Alvin doesn't count because he actually lives on Outcast Island." The woman of the house groaned as she grabbed her head, anger and frustration taking over her whole body.
"Come on Astrid," Hiccup persisted, now with a quieter tone as he took his wife's hands in his own. "I was with him the whole time; Razor isn't like the other Whispering Deaths we've seen. She's different... she's more like a stuffed toy that you can just cuddle all day." Astrid sighed, turning her head to stare at her son's bedroom door.
"Honey... you just saw how close they have already become. If you take her away from him... it will destroy him beyond repair. You know you can't do that."
The blonde looked back into her husband's emerald eyes... for she knew he spoke only the truth. If she were to tell her baby - whether it be right now, tomorrow or later on in the week - that he had to get rid of his Whispering Death... he would never forgive her for taking away the great companion he had desired for so long.
Pulling herself from Hiccup's grasp, she opened the door again, quietly so as not to disturb the duo inside.
What she saw made her heart melt.
Book abandoned on the floor, Merry was now lying on his back on his bed with his new best friend's head hanging over him. The boy's outstretched hands were stroking the sides of the dragon's head, electing purrs from the so called 'killing machine'. Suddenly, he stopped and the beast lowered its head to touch its forehead to the boys own, both sets of eyes closing.
Astrid quietly shut the door.
"You're right Hiccup; I can't take that away from him." She sighed as her love nodded. "Alright, he can keep her..." Before he could do anything to escape, Astrid's hands grabbed a hold of Hiccup's shirt and pulled forward so that their noses were touching.
"But if that dragon so much as takes a nibble out of the ground beneath this house, you will be sleeping with your dearest Nightfury until the house is fixed, am... I... clear?"
Hiccup gulped. "Crystal."
(A/N – And there we go! Finished! That was great fun to write, have to admit! Hope you all enjoyed it.
I am happy to announce that I have decided to start taking requests for the HTTYD fandom! The oneshot will obviously be set in my own universe here, so you can send me requests for Haddock family stuff, Merry/Razor friendship, stuff along those lines and hey, if you want, I may even create a Snotlout/Heather, as I love that pairing but believe they do not get enough love. If you have a request, leave it for me in a review or send me a PM, choice is yours!
Again, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and be sure to read 'Infernal responsibility' by P-Artsypants! Okay, Darkwriter7, signing off!