Hello my lovelies! This is my first story for the HTTYD fandom and it is a one-shot. I hope all of you enjoy! I enjoy constructive criticism, not flames.
The Boy With the Song
(Takes place one year before the events of HTTYD)
"I've got my axe, and I've got my mace!" Hiccup sang as he pounded away a dent from a red-hot iron sword. It was a cold, misty day on Berk, but Hiccup didn't mind, most days were of similar weather. Besides, the forge was always warm.
The clang of metal on metal drowned out the footsteps of five teenagers who had just taken refuge from the mist.
"Ha! Useless is singing!" Snotlout whispered. The four others snorted and turned their heads to listen.
"I've got my axe, and I've got my mace, and I love my wife with the beautiful face! I'm a Viking through and through…" Hiccup sang again.
"Hey, those aren't the right words," Tuffnut whispered, his ever-present clueless look growing even more puzzled.
"Hey, Hiccup," Gobber said, appearing out of the back room. "I've always wanted to ask you something."
Hiccup put down the hammer and placed the sword he had been working on in a cold water bath. "What is it, Gobber?"
"How come you always sing those words wrong? It's supposed to be: I love my wife with the ugly face! Why do you always say beautiful? Are you so sure that you're going to marry someone beautiful?" Gobber raised a single eyebrow at the boy.
Snotlout snorted. "Like anybody would want to marry him!"
Hiccup smiled. "Well, Gobber, I always thought that if what the song said was true, that whoever is singing it loves their wife, then it wouldn't matter what she looks like. If they love her, then she'd be beautiful no matter what."
Astrid's jaw dropped. She had never in her life heard any Viking say anything like that before. Her heart reacted by involuntarily skipping a few beats.
The others, on the other hand, were cracking up. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" Snotlout sniggered.
Astrid frowned but then forced smile as well. She didn't know why Hiccup's words had had such a profound effect on her. She tried to shake it off.
Gobber was still processing what Hiccup had said. He nodded. "That's an interesting point, Hiccup. Who knew you could be so deep?"
Hiccup laughed and rolled his eyes at the older Viking. "Thank you, I think," he responded. He picked another dented sword and started warming it in the fire.
The sudden silence that followed quickly got Astrid out of her stupor, and she remembered why they had come to forge in the first place. She stepped out of the shadows. The other teens followed suit. "Gobber, I need this axe sharpened," she said as nonchalantly as she could, as if she hadn't been eavesdropping on their entire conversation.
Hiccup immediately turned towards the new voice in the room. Astrid thought she saw his cheeks turn slightly pink at the sight of her.
"H-hi, Astrid, hi," Hiccup stuttered. Astrid wondered why he suddenly acted so nervous. He had been fine two seconds ago.
Astrid tried to barely spare him a glance as she handed her axe to Gobber, but she found her eyes being drawn to the scrawny teen as he went back to working on the sword. She watched as he started to get rid of the small dip in the metal of the sword with his hammer. He did not look like much, with even the smallest shirts hanging loosely around his body, but Astrid knew how much strength it took to properly fix those dents. Where was he hiding all of his muscles?
Astrid must have been staring intently because Hiccup slowly stopped hitting the sword and tentatively looked up at her. "Yes, Astrid?" he asked quietly.
Astrid shook her head slightly, trying to force herself to think clearly. "Nothing," she said curtly and walked to join the other teens. She stared directly at the ground as the five of them left the forge, ignoring the weird look she got from Ruffnut.
Why was "Hiccup the Useless," as dubbed by Snotlout, suddenly so interesting to her?
The next day, Astrid made her way to the forge by herself to pick up her axe. She had figured it out. The only reason she had paid him any attention yesterday was because of what he said about the song. His explanation had intrigued her. That was it, nothing more. She wouldn't allow it to be anything more.
Her solid resolve dissolved when she walked into the forge. Astrid was immediately greeted by Gobber. Her eyes flickered to where Hiccup usually worked, but his station was empty. She hated the way a small pang of disappointment radiated through her.
"Looking for someone?" Gobber raised an eyebrow suggestively.
"No," Astrid said sharply.
Gobber simply held up his hands in mock surrender and left to get her axe from the back room.
Astrid slumped against a wall and took a deep breath. Everything she was feeling right now was all because of that stupid song. It was all because Hiccup decided to replace one stupid word with another stupid word. It was all because he changed it from ugly to beautiful. It was all because she had never in her life heard a Viking say anything that sweet or sensitive. It was all because of Hiccup. She groaned internally and briefly put her head in her hands.
Unbeknownst to her, it was then that Hiccup decided to return to the forge. He stepped through the doorway, unaware of Astrid in the shadows. He put on his apron, tying the knot behind his back while singing softly. It was the song again.
She smiled despite herself. His voice wasn't half bad, and every time he sang beautiful instead of ugly, her heart leapt. She unconsciously started to hum along with him.
It was that moment Gobber returned from the back room. "I'm back!" His loud announcement disturbed the peace and startled both teens, causing Hiccup to drop the set of nails he was carrying and Astrid to hit the side of a pile of scrap metal. The entire pile proceeded to collapse.
Hiccup stared at her in shock. "Were you there the whole time?" he squeaked, his cheeks flaming a bright red.
Astrid felt her face warm up as well. She looked at the fallen pile of metal and then at Gobber. "Sorry," she muttered, ignoring Hiccup's question.
Gobber raised both his eyebrows at the two of them but did not say anything. He handed Astrid her axe.
Astrid took it and got out of there as fast as she could. She heard Gobber's faint laughter as she nearly sprinted out of the building, and her cheeks burned. She told herself she was embarrassed about accidentally being so clumsy, but she knew it wasn't true. She hated that she had loved the split second of peace with just her and Hiccup before Gobber had burst in. She hated that she loved the song he sang.
Astrid ran into the woods and sank her axe blade deep into a tree trunk. She breathed out heavily in frustration. "No more," she whispered to herself. "No more. It's just a stupid song." It took a few tries, but Astrid finally got herself to believe it. When she emerged from the woods, her heart was closed to the boy and his song.
This time, her resolve would stick, but only for a year, just until the boy with the song became the boy with the dragon.