Yes, I know if it's been almost a year since my last update and for what it's worth, I am sorry. I have had several issues pop up all at once. I'll keep this note as short as possible, because I know how annoying long a/ns can be. First, I have lost most interest in writing fanfic. but I am determined to finish these stories for my readers. Between finishing college and getting ready to really start my life, I find that I have less and less drive to write online. Second, I debated a long time with switching to another fanfic site. I love ff, I've been on it for a very long time, but nostalgia can only keep me happy so long. Many of the changes on the site have made me dislike it more and more, but I figure that I will finish the stories I have here, then post them to another site later.

I did watch the second HTTYD movie and it was good, for the most part. Not exactly what I expected as the sequel but still good. I do see something from it that I can use in the story and it will have to do with dominance and alphas, but no real spoilers will come up.

Thank you for sticking with me, it's only because I have readers like all of you that still review years after this story has been published that keeps me updating. I do hope to finish this story in a few large chapters. I'm not great with keeping to timed updates, but since it's summer, perhaps I will be able to knock this story out.

I'm not happy with this chapter, but I decided that in the end I would just post it and get it over with. Some may find it a bit too dramatic, or maybe a bit confusing, but I need to get the plot moving if I ever want to finish this story. Hopefully, it passes muster.

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Chapter 6- What is this self preservation that you speak of?

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When Hiccup woke up that morning, it was to a sight that made his stomachs flip with delight. How could one even begin to describe what he was feeling? He had never known how much the sight of other dragons curled up in sleep soothed him. But as he gazed at the quietly snoring dragons, he felt a sense of peace unlike anything he'd felt before. It was a similar feeling to when he'd finally reached the sky, an instinct that Hiccup honestly hadn't known he'd had. How could Hiccup know that he had always craved the warmth of a flock?

The half-breed dozed, enjoying heat from Toothless at his back and the soft breeze that blew in from the mouth of his den. While he was comfortable, the sharp edge of hunger was beginning to press in and he knew from first hand experience that no dragon enjoyed not eating as soon as possible after they woke.

He stood up carefully, without making a sound, careful to make sure only his shadow touched his companions. The breeze felt even more refreshing as he exited, the soft rustle of the leaves greeting his sensitive hearing.

A giddy feeling welled up, threatening to burst inside. He could fly! He could really fly! He could go anywhere now, no longer did he have to be alone on this island!

The sensible part of Hiccup, a side that had certainly grown within the last month, tamped down on the feeling. He had not forgotten the Kind Nightmare, nor his words, and they tempered the frantic butterflies in his stomach.

Hiccup put the thought out of his head for now, he had fish to catch for his guests. With a mighty sigh, he shook himself in an attempt to shake off the lingering tendrils of sleep. Flexing his wings, he stretched out their impressive length and arched them skyward, almost as though the tips could caress the sky.

The dragon was in high spirits as he walked toward the forest, the tip of his tail wagging merrily as he virtually disappeared under the filtered light of the forest.

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Of course, what Hiccup had not thought of, was leaving Toothless behind with the new arrivals. If he had not been quite so concerned with eating, but honestly few dragons could resist the call of their first meal, he might have remembered right away that Toothless did not quite "get along" with the supposed intruders to the island.

Toothless woke shortly after Hiccup had left. He had used to be quite a light sleeper and able to go from sleep to battle position in a few short seconds. The last month of sleeping comfortably on this out of the way island had certainly relaxed that particular habit. Having the rare luxury to wake up slowly was pleasant enough, until the scents of five unfamiliar dragons hit his snout.

Instinct overruled the memory of them briefly and he had leapt to his feet prepared to flame, only for the memories from yesterday trickled back. Toothless attempted to play it off as though he meant to wake up like that, although the other sleeping dragons probably didn't much care, he sat back neatly and flicked a tail in forced nonchalance.

While the others may not have seen his mistake, the Deadly Nadder, Astrid, had already begun to stir from Toothless's fit and was raising her head sleepily.

It wasn't a dragons fault really, for during the night the temperature dropped and with it, so did their own bodies temperature. This was why most dragons slept during the night, conserving energy for the next day. Many dragons were well built against cold temperatures, but it still made some breeds sluggish during the night and only the dragons that took precaution like Toothless were able to make a seamless transition between sleep and waking.

It was not just for comfort that Toothless flamed the ground he slept on, he did it to preserve that warmth throughout the night for as long as possible, in case he was startled during the night and needed to fight. It wouldn't due to fight a larger dragon if you were half numb from sleep.

Astrid at least had the warmth of her faction mates and to her credit managed to shake sleep off pretty quickly when she gazed upon the unlovely glare that Toothless was leveling at her.

"You're wing should be healed by now, you can leave after you eat," he hissed at her.

She mantled her wings in a protective gesture, "You can say what you like Fury, but this isn't your island, is it?"

Astrid wasn't even quite sure why she was arguing, but perhaps it was because of the Night Fury's mightier-than-thou attitude which rankled her scales. Of course she would be gone after breakfast, they had to return to their faction and she hadn't even wanted to stay in the first place...

Really! Her wing was no longer sore and it wasn't like she felt the least bit of bewilderment over a strange dragon fledgling...honestly! And it certainly wasn't the free food, her stomach grumbled at her and reminded her of its growing hunger, even if it was crunchy fish.

Toothless, for his part, couldn't refute that this was, indeed, not his island. He snarled for posturing sake, "Even though this is not my island I can still make it very unpleasant for you Nadder."

"The name is Astrid," she snapped, but made sure to keep her spine needles down, aware that if she raised them, she was only inviting a fight. And not that she wasn't sure she could give the arrogant Night Fury a run for his money, but she was hungry and that seemed more important that a little dominance skirmish.

Toothless sneered, or at least sneered in the only way a dragon could, which was to narrow his eyes and raise his snout, as though her very scent was disgusting. She glared back, how dare he? She was a fine Nadder, stupid prissy Night Fury.

Really if there was one downside to being a Night Fury, pride would be at the top of the list, not that Toothless would ever admit it.

"Ahem?"

Both dragons turned at the polite huff. Hiccup stood quietly at the mouth of the cave, eyeing the way Snoutlout was sprawled so carelessly in the morning sun. It was a most unusual manner of sleeping, if the way the others slept was anything to go by.

Sidestepping a wayward tail, then carefully maneuvering around a massive tangle of limbs, he made his way to stand before the two tense dragons. He was not quite so oblivious to their stances now, but chose to not encourage the behavior by remaining as benign as possible.

"Good morning Toothless, and erm, Astrid was it?"

Toothless gave a huff, sharing his idea of what he thought about the morning and chose instead to look upward at the limestone ceiling, neatly scratched smooth. It was only by this close examination that he truly began to understand just how much time Hiccup had to himself all these months alone.

"I caught fish, if you're-"

His sentence was cut off by the two twins attempting to leap up at the same time at the mention of fish, leading Toothless to wonder just how asleep they had been moments before, if the word of fish was enough to wake such heavy sleepers. Unfortunately, as entangled as they were, this only caused the small hill of dragon flesh to wobble precariously onto the sleeping Gronkle, who flamed instinctively at being crashed into and woken so abruptly.

Said flameball hit snoring Snotlout square in his red rump and caused the dragon to leap into consciousness with a mighty roar of rage. Then proceed to run head first into a tree out of sheer confusion over why his ass end now smarted and who could possibly be attacking.

Toothless smacked his forehead once again with his tail. No wonder the humans were making such headway in taking dragon claimed land if this was the future for dragons.

Hiccup merely watched as the four dragons whined and hissed and carried on. It was very amusing to watch them try and sort out the whole mess, while Astrid watched while heaving a long suffering sigh.

She made her way easily into the chaos and with a few well placed nudges (and less gentle bites), she managed to sort the whole group out, "That's enough! We are wasting time. Let's just eat and get back to the Home Cave."

Her imperious command was minded well enough by the others, with only one more half hearted swat at Ruffnut to her sibling. Though they were in a foul mood, Tuffnut looked curiously at Hiccup, "You said something about fish?"

Hiccup made a humming sound and struck out to lead them toward the beach, but before the others could follow Toothless pushed ahead and hissed a nearly silent snarl. He was the second longest to be on the island, he didn't trust these new dragons, and he made sure to keep one eye on them the whole way down to the beach. For Draco's good sake, if Toothless didn't watch Hiccup's flank who would?

Hiccup eyed the sky with patience born of many days watching nothing but the trees and plants grow. For whatever reason, he did not feel the same need to be so cautious as Toothless. It even pained him to think that all of these dragons, of similar age to him, had gone through such conditions to always be so on edge. What have their young lives been like so far?

The island was a small one, so he did not need to travel much distance before the trees began to thin out and the brush underfoot to give way to smooth sand. The others pushed past him as the scent of fresh fish under a warming sun wafted their way. Hiccup had done his best to make sure each dragon had a pile in an attempt to cut down on scuffles, but it wasn't more than a few seconds before a few of the dragons were snipping and sniping at one another.

For a moment he debated saying something, but decided that he would leave it be. The memory of the way Astrid and Ruffnut treated each other from the day before was enough to lead him to believe that this was a normal pastime among young dragons and perhaps it be wise to observe so that he might fit in a little better.

What Hiccup did not know, which certainly was not his own fault due to his limited experience with other dragons, was that dragons were very driven by instincts, tradition, and respect. Alphas and Queens ruled with iron claws, though both in different ways. Alphas were able to control by sight and slight body gestures alone, so great was their presence and strength. Queens could control hives, but only through the inherent magic that had to be agreed upon between both her and her subjects.

Hiccup was not really alpha material, which was also not his fault because he probably didn't know the first clue on how to act like one, but that didn't mean that the other dragons did not show him due respect.

Perhaps if they had been older, they might not have been so inclined, but since this was Hiccup's island and due to their own ingrained instincts, they did not question his right to his island and left his pile of fish untouched.

And though Tuffnut eyed the Night Fury's presumed pile, he did not dare touch, because the body language of the other dragon declared that he was the unofficial right wing of Hiccup and the Zippleback's inexperience made him leery of attacking an older male in such a position.

In Toothless's defense, he probably was not even aware that he was broadcasting in such a way, but the sense of debt to Hiccup was a deep one and he was determined to fulfill that debt, which meant protecting the hapless dragon at every turn.

Astrid for her part was mostly silent, eating neatly and efficiently, but her mind a hundred miles away. She had felt strange ever since she'd woken up, as though her head had broken above water and everything was so much more clear. The Nadder wasn't sure what had changed, but the ability to smell so deeply, to fill her lungs with the scent of ocean brine and the very sky was soothing, but it was a change that made her confused. Very few feelings made dragons feel edgy and being confused was one of them.

So the first meal of the day was eaten quickly in an almost strained manner because of such unease between all of the dragons and Hiccup was quickly becoming familiar to what annoyance felt like.

He might have even said something, to try and settle the group, but he heard something on the wind. Such a sound was almost like a tickle, but it made the young dragon's whole body feel on edge. He strained, cocking one head toward the sound in a desperate attempt to catch the sound again and waited patiently.

For a moment there was nothing, but then it came again. A language that was foreign to him, unusual and strange. The sound made him nervous, but also very curious.

Standing quickly, he made a beeline toward the trees. Scrambling up like a lizard to the branches, he began to glide between them. A startled, and very undignified squawk, sounded behind him as Toothless noticed his rapid departure. "What is it? What's wrong?"

The smooth black scales of Toothless greeted his peripheral vision to his right and Hiccup was grateful that the Night Fury decided to just follow for once because Hiccup wasn't sure he could find the words to describe what he'd heard. Like a blood hound, Hiccup's sense of hearing led him in the complete opposite direction of the beach the other dragons were on, well, not anymore if the chaotic sound of them following was any indication.

It took a good amount of time before he came upon the other side of the island. He stopped stock still, quivering in excitement on a branch just a leap away from the tree line as the salty scent of the ocean wafted towards him. Behind him, he felt the others pause, almost instinctively looking to the half-breed and then to Toothless.

Hiccup's sense of hearing was better than his other senses, but he didn't need any great power of sight to see one large boat many leaps out to sea.

A smaller boat was ashore and not more than a few feet away stood a group of creatures that Hiccup had never seen so clearly. The were spindly, to him, and walked on two legs. All different types of hide colors and bright wispy fur adorned their heads. Hiccup was so lost to his observations that he only just caught the hatefully spat word from Toothless, "Humans."

Toothless wanted to scream in rage at the mere sight of them trudging like plodding cows along the shore. He turned to warn Hiccup back into the forest, but instead only caught the sight of his tail as it zipped past his blunt snout.

Aghast, he watched as the dragon that he was determined to protect walked blindly into a hunting party of humans.

Tuffnut snorted in disbelief, "Well he's dead."

His hatch mate edged away, she'd never been up against a hunting party before without the back up of much older and wiser dragons, "Let's go before we're the same."

But neither moved, only because Astrid had not. She was watching in amazement at Hiccup's back, too stunned to sound the retreat.

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Hiccup had never met humans before, nor seen them this close, nor even scented them. He had no sense of true fear, not the fear born of being hunted like his fellows, but he was careful as he walked toward them.

So far, the group of humans hadn't even noticed him, which was some what amusing because he could only recall the voice of the kind Nightmare repeatedly warning him of their danger. But as two broke out into a fight, their bodies hitting the surf and rolling around in the wet sand, he could only see the similarity of the twins this morning.

He stopped a stones throw away and waited patiently, observing them all the while. What strange creatures, was all he could think. They had no claws, no sharp teeth, no hard scales from what he could see, perhaps they could breath fire or water as dragons did.

His staring was finally noticed with a cry of alarm, as one of the creatures turned eyes the color of the sky on him. Blunt teeth, Hiccup noticed as they flashed in the light and he scream something in that strange language again. All at once the others rounded on him, swords and axe drawn in a flash of silver. For a long moment, no creature on the beach moved even a muscle, as both parties surveyed the other.

Later, Hiccup would not be able to say who moved first, perhaps it was him edging forward to get a better look, or perhaps one of the nerves of the humans in front of him snapped, but a human lunged forward axe held high to land a blow.

Or he would have, if a black streak of lightning hadn't struck him solidly in the side. Hiccup reared back in alarm, as the other humans yelled in both terror and outrage and surged forward in their companions defense.

Time slowed for Hiccup when he saw the blue glow of Toothless's flame and in a panic, he leapt toward the other's side, "Toothless no! No, it was only startled! Stop!"

Toothless paused only because of disbelief that Hiccup would dare defend the human that had tried to attack him moments before. Taking advantage of his split second distraction, the human beneath sucked in a deep breath and used all of its strength to knock the dragon away. The other humans pressed in to attack, to save their fallen comrade and Toothless launched into the sky with a roar of rage and confusion.

His cry caused the humans to flinch and the same sound, a name perhaps, fell from their lips as they crouched down in terror. Toothless reappeared from the cloud cover, dropping like a rock to breath flame once again, his desire to protect rising once more, but again he was thwarted by Hiccup jumping awkwardly into the air and attempting tight circles to protect the humans once more.

"Toothless stop! We don't have to fight them, we can just make them leave, don't kill them!"

With another cry of rage, Toothless knocked into Hiccup, anger making him seem to almost glow with hell fire, "Are you out of your mind? They're humans! They've killed hundreds upon hundreds of us! Why are you protecting them?"

Hiccup instinctively turned his eyes away from the heated green gaze of the dragon above him, "We dragons are not so innocent Toothless. I have heard many tales of humans killed at the hands of the Nightmare that visits. But none need to die here today."

From the tree line, Astrid had finally decided to make an appearance and she burst forward with a battle cry. She flung jagged spikes in a neat line that cut off the retreat of the humans that had been edging back toward their boat.

One human fought valiantly, at least managing a slice on Astrid's side. The cut hurt, but Astrid noticed the difference between these humans and the humans she'd fought in the past. The swing was not as practiced, nor was there much power behind the swing, it was almost as if they weren't quite sure what they were doing.

At her decision to join in, the others followed her lead. Snotlout running forward to bowl over the humans, ignoring their swords and axes that did very little against his healthy young scales. The twins used their gas to spark flames that further cut off any retreat and the group surrounded the terrified humans. Fishlegs used his thick tail to knock the humans that remained standing down and separated them from their weapons.

"What's the hold up, why haven't you killed them yet?" Snotlout barked out.

Hiccup actually snarled, which was enough of a surprise that Toothless actually shifted weight off the other's chest, which was enough to allow the lithe dragon to wiggle free. "I will not let you kill them, they've done nothing wrong."

"They're young humans-," Fishlegs began, but was cut off with an impatient snort from Tuffnut, "They've intruded on your island, aren't you going to protect it?"

Hiccup was honestly confused and repeated, "They've done nothing wrong, all they did was land on the island. Should I have killed you?"

Ruffnut opened her mouth to give an affirmative answer, because she was pretty positive that actually was the protocol when strange dragons landed in your territory but was silenced with a blow to her head from her hatch-mates tail.

"Nothing wrong? Just look at the slice they gave my beautiful Astrid!"

Hiccup turned in concern, but Astrid angled herself away from those prying wide eyes, "For the love of Draco Snotlout, it's a scratch, I've gotten worse from you lot."

Toothless expression was thunderous and it was the first moment that Hiccup actually felt fear towards the other male, he wasn't sure why he was pushing this, he was not so naïve to the relations between dragons and humans, but part of him cringed at the idea of killing humans that had just wandered onto his land. As sure as he was of his determination that the right move here was to save the humans, he was equally sure that he had nothing to fear from Toothless.

Toothless simmered in rage, unable to fully explain his feelings. He was confused at why Hiccup would try to save worthless humans who attacked dragons every day. He was hurt that Hiccup did not trust his judgment enough to believe the elder dragon that humans were not creatures to trifle with. What they lacked for in tooth and claw, the humans made up for in determination and sheer tenacity. He was also angry, a deep rooted ugly emotion that had been bred and encouraged since he first cracked his shell.

He could put Hiccup in his place, a quick scuffle, maybe a fire ball, and take control of this situation. It would be relatively easy to assert dominance over a dragon with so little experience in fighting, but a part of him cringed in shame at the idea of hurting the dragon that had saved his ability to fly. Without his flight, Toothless would lose everything, his stature, his power, his place in dragon society, he was at least useful with his wings and this young dragon had made sure that he would recover.

Gratitude was a rare emotion among dragons, but Toothless could not deny that he felt it towards Hiccup, so with great reluctance he sat back. He noted how Hiccups wings folded back, probably not even aware of the cease fire they'd both declared.

"We can not let them leave the island Hiccup, they would go back to their village and tell the adult humans who would return with even more humans and weapons. The most sensible thing to do here would be to kill them," and he paused at the way the other dragon tensed up.

"Hiccup you have to understand, you'd have to keep them here, there is no other way to be sure that they wouldn't give away your location, and though these may not have killed you, the others will."

Hiccup took a deep breath and focused on only his heart beat for a few moments, allowing the last dredges of adrenaline to drain away. He looked at the trembling humans, their faces so strange but he fancied he could see dread in their eyes. It was such a universal look that he felt sympathy for them, they were as afraid of the dragons as the other dragons were afraid of the humans.

He swept his gaze over them, over their weapons that had been dropped unceremoniously, and then finally they landed on their small row boat that had allowed them to make it to shore. With a leap that was much more practiced then before, he made toward the boat. His wings helped him climb higher and higher until he was a good fifty feet above and he flared his enormous wings out in an unconscious display of his power.

Timber jacks were not the most feared dragons, but no dragon can remained unnerved at the sound of their wings snapping straight.

With his wings angled straight he let himself fall into a dive and attacked the boat with a savagery that surprised Astrid who had not thought the young dragon capable of such an act. He began to spin half way from the boat, a small whirlwind of force and sharp wings. The boat didn't stand a chance and he cut through the wood easily, shredding it into small bits of driftwood. He dove beneath the water and resurfaced a moment later and Astrid felt her mouth go slightly dry and the intimidating picture he struck. The play of sunlight off the water that glinted on his deadly wings as he descended back to the group was striking and she felt a glimmer of respect for him.

The moment was gone a half a heartbeat later as he landed on the ground in an awkward heap of wings and limbs. "S-still not too used to landing yet," and he gazed sheepishly at Toothless who had seemed just as startled as Astrid at such a sight.

He took Toothless' silence as the other male still being angry and sidled up carefully, brushing his side in the manner that dragons asked for forgiveness with. "I understand you're mad Toothless and I can understand if you want to leave," he paused as though the thought caused actual pain, "but your wing is healed and you've upheld your part of the bargain."

Hiccup looked past Toothless at the remaining dragons, "I am glad you are feeling better Astrid, please go in peace. I am sure you are eager to be back to your home."

It was a clear dismissal and she was unsure if she should feel pleased or angry at the words. Because of course she had to leave, but-

but some tiny part of her didn't want to really leave. This island was peaceful and she could only just barely feel the overpowering mind of the queen. The lack of weight was something that she was finding invigorating. Her faction mates turned back to her, even Snotlout who usually tried to posture that he was dominant. She breathed for a moment, "We will stay for tonight, to be sure the humans don't try to overpower you, then we will leave tomorrow."

Just one more day, her mind pleaded, one more day of this strange clarity that she'd never really felt before.

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He could leave, Hiccup had said so himself. The other dragon felt that the debt was cleared between them, despite how Toothless felt about the matter.

The Night Fury should leave, his mind knew that. It was necessary to go back, to return to what little dragon council remained and to continue to be a credit to his species. It didn't matter that healing a wing was so much more important that teaching a fledgling, one that probably would have figured it out eventually, how to fly because the Hiccup had said he could leave.

But where would that leave the young dragon. On an island, now stuck with a group of humans that couldn't be trusted and a group of dragons that Toothless wasn't sure he trusted any better. He was angry yes, but that feeling paled in the wake of the protective feeling that welled up. It wasn't his job to protect Hiccup, that was something that his father should be doing, or a wing mate, or hell even just a mate. Certainly, not some dragon that he'd known for only one moon cycle.

And yet that was how the mountain crumbled. He could not in good conscious walk away now, because once Night Furies grew attached, they were very hard to be rid of. Hiccup was strange and deserved a few good whacks to the head for being so fool hardy, but as much as Toothless couldn't stand the idea of being friendly to humans, he couldn't stand the idea of leaving the obviously troubled dragon alone.

And certainly not with dragons that had just flew in not more than a day ago.

So, with a huff of air Toothless swallowed his pride and said, "I would prefer to stay for a little while longer."

At Hiccup's startled look, he hastened to continue, "if you allow."

He was specific to not say it in the manner of a question, though the intent was clearly there. Hiccup stared at him for a moment longer before his eyes crinkled in a manner of a smile, his happiness clearly displayed in the way his wings fluttered.

"You can all stay for as long as you like," he might have said more but his attention was caught by one of the humans that had seemed to finally regain its courage and quit shaking in terror on the ground.

Toothless had enough experience with men to note that it was a female and she cast frantic glances between Hiccup and Toothless. Drawing herself up to full height she held out her hands in surrender.

Again that strange language fell from her mouth and try as he might, Hiccup couldn't understand what it was trying to communicate to him. Her voice was high like a birds, but nice enough, almost like the music the wind made when it whistled through trees.

The human took a tiny step closer to Hiccup and Toothless flared his wings, feeling the sudden alert presence of the other dragons behind him. He couldn't for the life of him figure out why they were content to stay here with Hiccup, but perhaps it was just the magnetic energy that the other dragon exuded. He was glad for their support at the moment, despite his suspicion of them.

Hiccup for his part, merely stood attentively, his large green eyes wide with that damned curiosity of his. The dragon and human stared at one another for a long moment before Hiccup sighed, "Well, its certainly been an eventful day so far, how about we get those weapons taken care of and then relax a bit?"

The humans flinched away from him as he stood and went for a sword, he picked it up carefully by the hilt and walked of a ways to settle down and enjoy the rare snack of metal.

Grumbling Toothless picked up two axes and flew out towards the sea. He did not find metal appetizing and would instead just rid themselves of the weapons by casting them into the depths. Snotlout apparently thought that it was a contest of some sort and breathed flame over an axe near him, but when he tried to eat it, it only burned his tongue and Astrid was not very sympathetic at all, "Why would you try to eat metal without knowing if your kind even eats it?"

"But he's eating it!" Snotlout whined while panting to cool his tongue.

"Yes, well he's part Timber Jack," Fishlegs chimed from where he was wallowing in sand to scratch at itchy skin.

Snotlout most certainly did not pout as he settled himself down in a heap and eyed the humans with a gleaming eye. They would not be forgiven so easily for the damage they did to his sweet Deadly Nadder.

The twin Zipplebacks did their part to clear away the weapons, but Ruffnut deviated toward Astrid and curled up near her. Though they were not of the same clutch, or even the same breed, Ruffnut preferred Astrid's company even if she could be a bit stuffy now and then.

Toothless was the last dragon to remain on his feet. He sat feet away from the humans, who stared back with round eyes and scents drenched in fear. He supposed he should feel proud of striking such terror, but they were little more than human younglings themselves, and it was a similar feeling to scaring hatchlings. It wasn't exactly something a monster supposedly born of lightning and thunder should exactly find pride in.

A bunch of young humans or not, Toothless was determined to keep an eye on them, no matter what Hiccup thought about it.

Well, at least the excitement was over he supposed-

Really Toothless should just learn to stop thinking such thoughts to himself, because just as the thought appeared, he saw a large shape blotting out the sun. The scent was familiar, but he couldn't help but roll his eyes, because it would figure that the Nightmare would decide to visit right at that moment.

Perhaps he wouldn't notice-

An enraged roar that could probably knock over trees with its force echoed above them.

He noticed.

The Nightmare fell from the sky like a shooting star, all rage and fire. Flames crackled up the large male body as he flared up in rage. The ground around them shook when he landed and the group of unarmed humans clustered even closer together.

The Nightmare glared at them with utter hate, flame rising in his mouth. He would kill them, they would pay for finding his hatchling, every last one of them-

Stoick nearly choked as said son rushed to stand in front of them, as casually as you please. His son! Protecting humans?

"I greatly respect you kind Nightmare, but you may not hurt these humans," and the utter calm that Hiccup spoke with put the last of the fire in Stoick's mouth out.

If there was ever a dragon he'd never expected to try and stare him down, Stoick would never have guessed it would be his son.

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Right well that's the end of this chapter. If you spot any plot holes, please be kind to point them out, that's my fault for taking so in between updates. This has not been beta'd, so if you see any mistakes, feel free to point them out in a pm or a review. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for sticking with me, even if you don't like the chapter.