This story was inspired by two of my previous reviewers, MjCally (who started the thought) and AwesomeSonnykun (for cementing it). I hope you all enjoy it. But it is of course dedicated to all of you who read it, cause I love all of you (dramatic weeping), eh moving on.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN How to Train Your Dragon. The movie is a creation of DreamWorks, and the story a creation of Cressida Cowell. If only I did own it, oh or a real dragon!
Warnings: There will be language, and there will be blood. There might be a few maimed and mauled Vikings about; maybe even a few deaths, none a main characters. Also, I am no Viking and I am no Viking buff. The gods mentioned here are the barebones of some of their complex religion and I only am highlighting a few of them. Also, I have no real idea about it, but there must have been a few closer tribes of Vikings, maybe children that had split off to create their own tribe wanting to reconnect with their old one. What ever the case may be, I am an authoress and I will bend the rules as I see fit, muhahahahaha!
Rating: This is rated as a very tame T right now, but it will steadily get worse. I will warn you all when it get's too mature and when I move it to the M section.
Note: I am terrible at accents! I can't mimic them and I can hardly puzzle how to spell them in fanfics, so if a Viking is talking and it looks like a word might be spelled wrong, its not, it's my sad attempt to capture the sound of the word. I.E kill=keel (try saying it out loud and you might get it)
UPDATE 6/11/14: Hi, if you're reading this update, I'd like to clarify a few things. One, THIS IS AN OLD STORY, I'd like to think my writing has gotten better over the years, so please read this with that fact in mind. Two, this has been off again, on again beta read so there are many mistakes. Yes, the German language I use in this story can be a bit of a turn off, I'm aware of that and I'm sorry if it is off putting.
Update/7/16/14- alright, you win. I'm going to comb the story and take out most of the German. I didn't think it would bother so many people, but after this story being done for a few years, I'm still getting reviews asking about it. I'm leaving the name the way it is.
Mein Vollkommener Beschützer - My Perfect Protector
I, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the III, inhaled the chilled night air as I sat on the wooden pathway that meandered its way up the more elevated areas of the island. From where I was seated my eyes could see the frothy ocean, the docks, and the incredible view of the full moon. Bil, the moon goddess, was lovely tonight in all her silver glory; as gorgeous as ever. I felt tiny every time I viewed the sky, well more tiny than usual; but this was a welcome feeling. The feeling of wonder and amazement at being alive to see such a sight. There have been so many times I could have died. Like that incident with the very upset polar bear that had charged me down when I stumbled, gracelessly as usual, upon her den. Like that other time I did find that evil left-foot sock stealing troll and had to answer a riddle or be ate for supper. That time when I was walking down this very wooden pathway and tripped over my own to feet, only to fall halfway down and get stuck on a forgotten jetting spear thrown during a recent dragon raid by the back of my green tunic. I had hung there pitifully for the whole day, too full of embarrassment and humiliation to even consider calling for help. I knew I wouldn't have been able to stand seeing the others laugh at me, sneer at me, and shame my father further. Gobber finally came calling for me, muttering to himself about, "whelp's ne'er around when I nee' the darrrned kid." His voice lilting and rolling the r like his fake tooth that he sometimes tongued around in his mouth.
I remember the ire on his ruddy face as he threw a thick salt-covered rope down and easily yanked me up, like a bitty minnow dangling at the end of his fishing pole. He proceeded to check me over, wallop the side of my head when he found no injuries -he obliviously felt the need to add some- then shoved me off toward his kiln.
Oh yes, I could have died one hundred -no two hundred!- times over before I even met the creature that was, quite possible, the most dangerous of them all. Just our meeting alone should have done me in, it would have been simple for the great beast to snap my head from my neck and gobble me down. The black glossy dragon would probably have found me stringy though, and suspiciously lacking guts more fat- I mean well-rounded Vikings had.
Toothless hadn't though. Yes, I was out of my mind to naively hope that the dragon would have the same tit' for tat' mentality I held as I blindly released him from the bola. Imagine my surprise when he merely turned me deaf for a day and scared my nerves right out of me; instead of ripping me apart. The adrenaline that pulsed through me was so intense, that after the initial scare I was left high and unable to walk even a foot away, my nerves shot; I crumpled into the sweet cool grass and hyperventilated for an hour.
And yes, I was crazy to go back for more. I was crazy to stick out my arm with my fingers stuck into a fish's gills; knowing full well the majestic beast's small but incredibly sharp teeth could take my hand with it. Crazy to try and connect with him, crazy to try help him fly, crazy crazy crazy! It's crazy that the most feared dragon in all creation, wanted me, an insignificant, puny, underfed human to be his rider. It was an emotion that was hard to explain to the other Vikings, perhaps the closest would be them finding Thor's hammer and that very hammer deciding that they could wield it.
I, to this day, don't know why I felt compelled to release him. I knew for such a long time that if I could just kill anything that my life would get better. That if I killed a dragon I would become miraculously transformed into a hulking "proper" Viking.
It seemed that Odin had other plans for me, because when I looked into those luminescent grass-green eyes, I found out that I was indeed as useless as I had been repeatedly told by my tribe. That green drew me down, down, down and for a moment I felt that I was the one trapped. I know I don't always think things through, that may be part of the reason I was always -always always- getting into life or death situations; but I know I didn't fully process the thought of releasing the Night Fury until I had cut the last rope.
When those claws had pinned me down and hot flesh that smelled like sulfur and fish puffed over me, I thought that I was going to be seeing Hel(1) very soon, and by soon I meant as soon as the enraged dragon killed me or my heart gave out from fright.
Then he shrieked his dominance to me, as though I was unable to grasp his power -his incredible strength- and he darted away, flying occasionally into trees and rocks.
I felt a smile spread across my chapped lips at the memory. I had been so scared then, of Toothless and of my own tribe; but I was slowly growing more and more aware that their opinions -good now- didn't mean as much as they used too. The few people whose opinions were of importance were the same as always: my dad, Gobber, and every once in a while Astrid's; eclipsing those opinions were none other than Toothless's.
I can't count the many -well I could but it would be much to long- times that someone, didn't matter who, had told me something and I would look to my left at Toothless to see what he thought of the matter.
He was always standing to my left, fully aware that if I fell because of excruciating pain in my leg, I would fall toward my left; right onto his waiting shoulder. I don't know how I could have managed dealing with loosing my leg if it hadn't been for my breathing and protective crutch. He was worse than any mother hen in a chicken coop; his sturdy body only a foot away and ready to catch me at a moments notice.
Too many stairs? No problem, Toothless would nose me and nudge me onto his back and fly me up. Too icy outside, again no problem, Toothless would sweep me off my feet -more like under as he had the nasty habit to come up from underneath me- and carry me willingly; his own sharp claws gouging into the ice.
Some would think that may be I would come to resent such attention but… I loved it. After so long of being brushed off and little positive contact, to have this noble dragon at my beck and call -willing to carry a hundred pound human on his back- was an addicting pleasure. I would like to think that I didn't use the beautiful pitch-black dragon for my own devices, but there were many times I could recall using just his shadow behind me to push through ideas of mine through the council.
There was an inborn fear and desire to kill dragons that had perpetuated through the Viking blood-line, and at the very top of the "hope never show up" was my adorable Night Fury. Even now when coming in from a flight with Toothless, a wavering cry of, "Get down! It's a Night Fury!" would resound through the village. A year later and they were still afraid that the intelligent beast beneath my saddle would go feral on me and in turn them.
Perhaps Toothless might someday, indeed, return to his more feral mannerisms, but he would never kill me. It wasn't a confidence of, "he wouldn't dare kill me," but rather, "He is too protective over me to ever kill me." In a part of my heart that is kept under a padlock and key I will admit only to myself that if Toothless ever wanted to leave this island, all he would have to do is walk to my side and rumble at me; a quick motion with his head pointing at the saddle. If it were just for a ride around the island or to another country I have never, and would never, be able to turn down a ride anywhere; because I mean come on, who wouldn't want to soar above the clouds?
A gurgling croon attracted me from my reminiscing, and I turned to look at the face peering at me, worry shining from Toothless's large eyes. I felt that strange emotion, affection I do believe, overwhelm my poor defenseless heart and I stretched out an arm to enclose his neck in a hug. Those expressive eyes closed and he rumbled -I felt it all the way down my back- and he curled up more completely. Toothless was the reason I was not cold tonight, he was also the reason I was even here at all. My gratitude bubbled over and I scratched at one fin-like ear, his purring increased and the black scaled hide rumbled in appreciation.
I had to tell Toothless sometime, but I hadn't the foggiest clue how I should go about it, "Hey Toothless, what's up? Nothing much? Good, well I have to go to a gathering in the south and you can't come with me. Right, now let's go fishing!"
I don't think that would go over well. Let me backtrack a little.
This whole mess started when a golden eagle came to the island with a note attached to its feathered leg. This caused quite a stir in and of itself, considering we aren't exactly a friendly tribe -not exactly a group you want to borrow a cup of sugar from- and receiving any kind of mail is enough to cause a buzz.
The eagle was obviously not happy in any form of the word, tired, and irritable from the cold. It bore a very familiar insignia and my father put out an arm for the eagle to land upon. He took the note and scowled at it; not necessarily because of what it said, but more because, well- we Vikings aren't very strong in our reading skills. Beating up anything that threatened us -and those that didn't- was a strong suit… reading not so much. After a few moments of puzzling his way through the note -probably written by the elder of that tribe- his face broke out cheerfully, "My comrades and friends! We have received an invitation for a Vikings gather in the south, hosted by my brother!"
Amongst the cheers, I became quite pale - well more pale than usual- and felt my stomach plummet into my foot and my not-foot. The last gather had been eight years ago when I was six years old, and it had been so horrible. As a child I was even more exuberant in my non-Viking habits and my father had paid quite a price.
There were only maybe twelve Viking clans in existence to our knowledge, and when a gather occurred there were many contests and festivities, followed by awards given out to tribes. The gather before the one I had attended had been when my father's tribe had won the over-all prize, a fine strapping bull, a prized pregnant heifer; a few sows, and an amazingly well crafted axe. The prizes were lusted over, mainly because most villages survived of mutton and lamb. To have a breeding bull and a heifer could mean the start of a cattle herd, and sows would mea -Oh dear Odin it would mean I would have bacon!
Winning the prize had been just another braid in my father's beard(2), and he had preened under the praise. To be so successful so soon after taking over the tribe; that he was so powerful and surely would have many sons; all in his spitting image. Then it went downhill… after returning to the gather eight years later with me. There were contests with the elder Vikings and… there were contests for the children of the Vikings.
A complete and utter failure at everything contest I was put in dragged my father's tribe down from first to third. They never said out loud that it was me who had caused the drop in status, but I knew inside without needing a word.
The cheers swelled in a disaccorded crescendo and my vision began to swim. How would they see me now? Now that I had lost a foot and had not grown any? I felt Toothless suddenly shove his head under my arm and nuzzle my chest, no doubt the protective dragon could smell the scent of his sweat from the fear of seeing -ugh- them.
Them, those little terrors that had shoved him in the mud, that hit and chased him till he was half-unconscious from the endeavor, that had pulled his hair and called him a "litt'l Loki" (3).
I shuddered, breathing heavily against the smooth scales beneath my cheek, that week had been so terrible that I had just hidden the last day on one of the ships; curled up beneath a bunch of crates praying to Hlin(4). When I finally flicked my gaze back up to look to my father, his own blue eyes were drilling into me; sorrow in their depths… for me? He boomed out then, "I have one command for the gather! No tribe yet knows abo' Hiccup's slaying o' the Queen,- All other sounds except for deafening roar of Hurrahs and my father waited patiently until it died down, "-and I think it be best if, if the drragons stay here."
All eyes had been turned to gauge my reaction, and I certainly didn't dissapoint. I found I couldn't stand any longer; I collapsed into the dirt on my rear end and stared at my dad. I didn't look with a glare or in anger, after all I understood why he would want to keep our having pet dragons thing under wraps. Vikings still had a lot of distrust in the dragon kind, and being around a creature bigger and meaner than Vikings, tended to irritate them. I was just… a little shocked; it wasn't that I had wanted to be recognized for my "achievement" per say, every eye in the entire tribe had seen Toothless's and my flight; it was said over and over again that I was a hero, but I…
I didn't want to be persecuted by all the tribes… again. An earsplitting shriek of rage pierced my ears and I looked over to see Toothless sitting back on his hind legs, his wings straight up and whipping his long tail. I scrambled to my feet trying to calm down the dragon who was hissing like a huge cat, "Toothless easy, it's alright! It is just a week-" The words sounded as false to me as to my dragon and they left a bitter taste as they passed my lips.
My father sighed, one of a man who had thought carefully over this -even before the note- "Toothless, You know as much as I do, th' other tribes arre not being ready to accept the idea o' dragons."
Toothless let out another shrill screech and leapt up, his front claws clutching -impossibly gentle- at my shoulders. He was more careful then I had expected after such a violent protest and the ground was rapidly falling away from me. I didn't scream, there was no need; Toothless wouldn't hurt me. I was worried though, without me in the saddle he wouldn't be able to fly up far nor for long. I heard my father sputter madly and his scream barely reached us, "You best be brrringing my son back you black devil!"
I heard Toothless snort at this and his wings worked effortlessly with the wind and we soared higher. I felt his front claws toss me up and his wings twitched with the winds as he fell. I fell only a short distance but it left me breathless and charged with adrenaline. I tossed back my head as the wind whipped at my hair and with a oomph, I landed neatly at the base of Toothless neck. We were both falling then, spinning slightly as the ground neared us. I could hear my normally unshakable father's voice yelling, "If ya' keel him because you can't go on the journey, I wil' hunt ya down beast and use your heartstrings as bootlaces!"
We continued to fall as I struggled to get my prosthesis into the stirrup specially made for it. Only feet from the ground now and the crowd split in terror as we neared them, but that was when I heard my damn prosthesis click into its niche. I pushed slightly down to snap the tail-fin out and then we were pulling up toward impossible blue, my stomach had left permanently on vacation and I felt my mouth let out a yell of passion as we soared back up.(5)
I slumped down and let Toothless lead us to where I knew we would end up. The little valley when I had first really met him. My fingers drew little symbols in his back as we glided along. I had never felt silk before, but my father mentioned my mother's wedding dress having a silken bow. I remember the soft look in his eyes as he remembered her and his hands mimed rubbing across the material; he had said that only my mother's dark red hair had been softer than what his fingers had felt.
I think that flying must feel like rubbing against silk; smooth, soft, and almost sinfully luxurious. I could fly for as long as Toothless would be willing to take me, I kneww he wouldn't object to taking me anywhere as long as I was flying on him. I knew that he must have visited some amazing places, some that could not be reached by those that had no wings with which to fly; I hope to see them someday.
I glanced up as we began descending and I smiled brightly as we landed carefully near the lake. I slid off his strong back and winced as my knee spasmed with pain; I grabbed at the tail that was already raised to balance me until the pain passed. My eyes had clenched involuntarily at the agony and as I opened them my vision was filled with Toothless worried -so adorable- face. He warbled at me, his voice sounded upset. I smiled tenderly at him, I petted his smooth face. "It's alright, Toothless I'm fine. He pulled his head back for a moment and gurgled at me turning his back to the direction of the village, his eyes hard. I knew what he was thinking and sighed deeply.
"Toothless, the others don't understand, one thing added on to a long list of many, and I can't not go. Unless I'm on a raid, which is highly unlikely for me, I must attend or my father will lose face."
Toothless hissed and spat, but he understood human words. Suddenly, he perked up and groaned at me. He flapped his wings and with his limited flying capabilities he perched upon the large boulder behind me. The handsome creature opened his eyes wider and stared at me unnervingly; making sure to know that he was watching me, then jerked up, looked to his right and darted behind the boulder out site. The goofy dragon then pranced back over to me and sat down -obviously very proud of himself- his ears spreading out and twitching; then he gave me that absolutely adorable toothless smile. How could such a puny Viking like me ever find a dragon, of all things, adorable? Well, it wasn't hard if you had a dragon like Toothless.
"Bud, it will be very hard for you to follow behind me if you can not fly," I smiled at him full of good humor.
All at once the perfect dragon -or he had been until I screwed him up- drooped, but a moment later he mimed ducking down low to the ground and being very still. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the sight of a dragon capable of killing polar bears playing charades. Toothless didn't much appreciate the laughter and playfully knocked me off my feet with a neat sweep of his tail. His playful was not any less painful. I struggled to catch my breath as I looked up at the upside down face of my dragon. "Do you really think you can hide you silly dragon?"
The black face nodded furiously and his eyes tossed me a sly look as he hunkered down in the grass and stalked toward me, showing off his "being unnoticed" skill I suppose. I beamed at him, and laughed when he pounced, tenderly pawing me this way and that like a cat with a ball of yarn. I shoved him away with a giggle -uh a manly chuckle- and heaved a sigh. "Hübscher, if you think you can hide, I'll sneak you on the ship. It will be uncomfortable, you know?"
Toothless threw out his chest and bugled a triumphant note, I cracked up into giggles again.
So now together we sit in the dark, waiting until the last Viking left the ship. It was late and most would be going to sleep, even though the entire village except for the more elderly -who were very upset at being considered too old to leave to a gather- would be leaving just in a few hours at dawn.
I shifted, waking up Toothless who had been dozing. "They've left, ready buddy?"
Toothless gave a soft roar, the sound as always sounding as though it were underwater to me, and rolled over so I could reach his back. After being securely strapped in, I patted the side of his neck.
With a breath-snatching leap we were sailing down toward the docks; I had to cover my mouth to keep from keening in intense joy as we left the wooden pathway. Toothless circled once over the ship I would be sailing on for the journey and darted down, I knew we wouldn't be seen, after all my Night Fury had only been seen because of me -always something because of me-.
When we landed I slid down more easily, my tweaking of the prosthesis had allowed a spring to absorb the shock of walking or from hitting the ground when I leapt from the saddle. I was pleased with it so far, it took a lot of strain off my knee and with the spring, I no longer felt as much pain from walking. Now if I could invent something that stopped this island from being so damned wet -the cold making my stump ache- I would be golden. It was strange, though I only lost my foot, the pain seem to start in the shin and radiate up to my knee; I couldn't quite understand it, but Gobber assured me it was normal.
We -such an odd but perfectly perfect pair- both crept along carefully through the decks of the ship, and we went down, down, down into the hold and I moved over to the corner where the dried fish was already packed away in crates ready for the three day journey.
Behind the tower of crates to heavy for even Vikings to move, was a pile of soft furs I had placed earlier when no one had been watching. Not very hard when everyone was buzzing in such excitement and hardly paying attention to anything except gossip and who was going to win what.
My father had decided to at least mention that I had killed the dragon that took my foot -which I actually did do- for my own safety; and though the tough red-headed Viking would never say it, it was so I would not continue to be considered even more of a screw-up.
The story could not be conceived as a fake story, because the whole village had seen me kill a dragon, and they all promised that nothing would be said about the Queen, nor would anyone let slip that dragons were now considered pets to the tribe the farthest north.
Toothless settled down neatly, having to bear with not burning himself a warm circle, but he understood that if he wanted to follow me, he would have to not burn the ship down into tinders.
I gave him one last soft smile and patted his head, "Good night, devil of mine." As I made to leave, I was stopped by a tail-fin and pulled back until I was pressed to his side. I laughed and struggled a bit, "Toothless I have to go, if I am not in my bed when dawn comes my father will know what I'm up to," I paused at that, "If he doesn't already."
Toothless gurgled at me again, purring and growling all in one action. "Not even for a few minutes my friend."
The glossy head rose up to stare at me and he moaned sadly, I petted him softly, "I'll be alright, the journey is only a few days and I'll be down here everyday to feed you."
Toothless seemed to think this over before snorting and slowly raising his tail, letting me slip past. He crooned as I left before he curled back up, my last sight of him for the night was one very depressed dragon.
Morning came early, much to my ire. I remember my father singing an old sea shanty as he clanged and banged out in the main room of the cottage. I sighed quietly, not very eager to leave the warmth of my bed. I felt the usual pain of my leg, and it felt like someone was trying to rip it off all over again. Gritting my teeth until they ached, I slowly unclenched my muscles and rolled out of the bed. I hissed at the cold and grabbed my leggings. I hated mornings.
After fully dressing, grabbing my travel pack, and looking in a burnished shield to make sure my hair was somewhat manageable -Vikings didn't care much about physical hygiene, obviously, but they did like to grow and twist their hair- and stepped out to greet my father just as he was hauling on his own pack.
"Good morning son!" He boomed with zealousness, I gave him a weak smile in return, "Morning…dad."
He pulled back slightly and gave me a once-over, "Now son, I know you'r disappointed abo' not takin' your dragon, but it's for the best."
I sighed and responded back quietly, "I know dad."
Being a big gruff Viking he patted my shoulder -hard enough to nearly knock me over- awkwardly. Displays of affection from him were minimal at best, though Gobber told me my father was in tears when Toothless had brought me back after the battle.
Together we walked outside… into sheer chaos. Vikings were everywhere making their final preparations, even more were found next to the head of their dragon and whispering to them; most likely good byes. Unhappy cries rose into a bedlam of noise and utterly frantic motions.
Snotlout was walking up the path toward the ships and saw us up the stairs. "Hey Hiccup! Morning!" He walked up cheerfully.
I watched, half-amused in his change of attitude ever since dragon training and half-enviously, he moved with such speed and ease. I smiled back and murmed back a hello. I still had not been able to get over my self-trained trait of talking softly. Snotlout didn't take it personally and slapped a hand on my shoulder. Was there a manual around that said if you are a male Viking and greeting another male Viking, you must break other male's shoulder with good natured grin?
"Good morning Leader Stoick," Snotlout said in a subdued fashion -weird to see him in such a way- bowing his head slightly to my father.
"Good morning laddie," his tone good natured.
"Uh, just wanted to ask you a question sir," the brunette seemed reluctant to continue on.
"And that'd be?"
"Uh we can't take any dragons along right?"
My father leveled a gaze at him, "That's right."
Snotlout toed his boot in the dirt, "Not even a little Terror?"
A face peeked over his shoulder and made a chirruping sound, before purring down his arm and looking up as cutely as possible.
"Not," my father leaned in, "even the tinnies' Terror, you hear me boy?"
Snotlout leapt back into a straight backed posture, "Yessir, stupid question sir. I'ma, I'm gonna go now." And he beat post haste toward the shipping yard, hugging and cuddling the tiny terror the entire way.
I felt a little more fondness for Snotlout, to ask such a question to my father and to dote on his dragon in such a way. I followed my father's massive body as he left the cottage -a little more slowly then him of course- down the stairs and toward the ship we'd be sailing on.
My father looked up at the gray sky and whispered a prayer to Njörðr. (6)
I stood in front of the gangplank and echoed his plea.
Uh that was tough… next chapter expect a lot of technical shipping terms (so not looking forward to that) because Vikings make their living on the seas so they need to know what is what.
Okay, so the first chapter is over, the second will be soon. I hope you all enjoyed it, now for the notes.
1) Hel, the goddess of death
2) I tried to think of a phrase close to "just another feather in his cap"
3) Loki is considered to be a god of lies and deceit. He is can transform into any creature and any gender. He is hated for being the main force behind the killing of Baldur the most beloved of the Norse gods -though he didn't physically kill Baldur personally-
4) Hlin goddess of protection
5) This paragraph was written purposely to sound quick and rushed. I wanted to reflect on Hiccup's mind probably not functioning fully in the heat of a flight
6) Njörðr- this is the Norse god of the sea
Please leave a review, I enjoy constructive criticism, but I adore hearing nice things about my fic!