How to Train Your Dragon fanfic3 -
Summary: Before the Green Death, before he met Toothless, Hiccup was always know as the "Runt" to everyone - everyone, however, except one girl, who never called him such a hurtful name, and for that, he was crushed. Hiccup&Astrid one-shot. Inspired by a true story.
"There he goes! Don't let him get away!" Hiccup heard from behind him, as he sprinted for his dear life into the cornfield, hoping to elude the group of bullies that were chasing after him. He didn't know why they decided, to gang up on him, pick on him, tease him, and practically torture him every day, it wasn't like he had done anything to offend them, he stayed clear from mistakes such as those, just like he had often been warned about. However, he had just realized that it wasn't just mistakes he was suppose to avoid, it was everything, including other people's way.
At age seven, for the first years of his life, even before his mother's death, he had been nicknamed "the Runt" by everyone in Berk, he was the village weakling, the useless and helpless one to all, and deep down, he knew it was true.
Heck, even his own father saw him as useless - even he belittled him - and the only person Hiccup could really turn to for any comfort, or just someone to talk to who wouldn't push him around in that way, was Gobber the Belch, a Viking veteran and professional blacksmith, who had even agreed to teach him how to be a blacksmith himself. It wasn't the same as being a Viking - a warrior - like everyone else, but at least making and repairing weapons put an end to everyone calling him useless and/or helpless.
Maybe that one problem was finally eclipsed, but it didn't stop the other boys from picking on him, and especially didn't make them stop calling him "runt," and that was the one thing he despised the most.
Don't get distracted, he reminded himself, as he returned to the chase taking place, the other boys - the bullies - where still on his heel, he could hear them close behind, scurrying through the cornfield, laughing with sick humor as they shouted "Runt!" at him with nasty voices.
He was scared, frightened, to endorse what seemed like the inevitable, every day it was the same routine, those bullies would jump him when his guard was down in the mess hall - doesn't matter which meal - and they would chase after him and torture him without mercy, and he was only lucky if he manages to elude them, but that was only a rare occasion.
Hiccup tried to hurry himself to go faster, trying to speed up, he already felt exhausted from running, his breathing was all he could hear, that and his running footsteps on the grass, the bullies' laughter, and the suspicious whistling sound of metal flying through the air.
Suddenly, he felt something wrap and tie around his legs, causing him to trip and fall flat on his face into the moist dirt that laid in front of him. He quickly rolled to his back and began to fiddle with the ropes that had magically appeared around his knees, nearly binding them together, but immediately stopped when he saw several half-size boots surround him.
He looked up at all the disgustingly smiling faces, all eyeing him like hunters who had captured their prey, there were about six of them - he counted - as he recognized them all, but stopped upon the proudest-looking one. It was Snotlout - oh man - the leader of this group of bullies that always brand him their usual, daily victim, he had such a nasty grin, it made him shiver, and his annoying voice practically frightened the shivers away.
"Wait up, will ya Hiccup!" He exclaimed, his voice sounded faux friendly, "We just wanna play a game with ya! Y'know, like we do every day!"
The other kids, in fact all six, laughed at this cruel joke as Hiccup struggled to stand up, "Just let me go, Snotlout..." He whimpered.
Snotlout pushed him to the ground, "Aw, c'mon! We all just wanna be buds, don't we fellas? We'll let you hang with us, and we'll pretend you don't exist, wadda you say, 'pal'?"
Everyone laughed repulsively, even more so as the bully spat on Hiccup's boots. The small, scrawny boy propped himself up on his elbows as he glared harmlessly back at Snotlout, "...Creep..."
The larger, young Viking's smile disappeared, "What'd you just call me, whimp?"
"Nothing..." he squeaked, his bones chilled and shivered as he predicted the next thing that could happen. The bully didn't buy it, he had to have heard it without doubt, and he knew and expected the worse.
"Alright 'pal,' you asked for it!" Snotlout sneered as he snatched him by the furred vest and began to drag him. He thrashed and tried to shake himself off, but it was futile as the rest of the group grabbed him, restraining him from movement, and helped pull him through the cornfield.
It didn't matter how much he squirmed and kicked, he wasn't going to break free from their hold any time soon, he definitely wasn't going to escape this time. They were all too much bigger and stronger than he was, and Snotlout, it was his influence that made the gang of bullies the worst.
They lugged Hiccup near the forestside of Berk, where only a lonely tool shack stood, it was dark, run-down, and in his opinion, a smally constructed horror house. He never even liked the shed, in fact, if there was one place he would always stay away from, it was that creepy hovel. He hadn't even seen the inside of it, and because he always thought it so scary, he didn't even want to think about it.
Unfortunately, the ground where it stood was exactly where they were taking him. He squirmed some more - not caring if Snotlout, the jerk, was getting any satisfaction from his fear of the shed - but it was to no use, they were still resuming without delay, and now, he feared the inevitable.
Hiccup watched as Snotlout kicked the door open, the flowing gray dust and the looming shadows chilled his bones, shivers raced up his spine, and the bully grinned deviously. As if he could read his thoughts and detect his fear, and he did no more than chuckle in satisfaction as they tossed the helpless, scrawny boy inside.
He sat up and continued to fiddle with the bola's ropes, but the bullies didn't let him. They kicked him down and tied a rope around his wrists, and then hung him on the hook - strung up from the ceiling. As his sore arms felt as if they were being pulled from their sockets, he whimpered and looked at Snotlout. "Look. This doesn't prove anything. Just let me go, okay?"
"We don't need anything to prove," he told him, as he stood at the door way, studying the boy hanging by his restrained hands. He thought he looked like a pinata - ideas strolled in his mind, but they were stored away. For later, perhaps. "But we hope you enjoy the ride - and by 'ride,' I mean a good, old fashioned shack shake. Have fun... Runt!"
He threw the door close, which made a loud slam as all of the light had vanished, allowing the dark free to roam the entire shed. It surrounded him, shrouded him, left him cold and alone. He shuddered in it, breathing heavily, as he tried to listened for any sound. He heard nothing, only a few silent chuckles coming from outside.
Surely it was the bullies, they hadn't left him completely alone, he was grateful for that, but a large wobble - as if caused by a small earthquake - made him yelp as he dangled. Clearly they all thought it was rather funny to rock the hovel, to shake it violently enough just to scare him. Regardless of the sick joke, it worked.
Another shake came to the tool shack, more violently this time, and Hiccup had had enough of this. He tried to pull himself up, to at least try and get loose, but couldn't manage in progress - sadly, he wasn't strong enough to pull his own weight.
They rocked the shed again, and again and again for the last thirty minutes, maybe it was more, he had lost track of time as he whimpered in fear. Why wouldn't they just stop already - just give it a rest and leave him alone? After they finally ceased shaking the tool shack, he heard some laughing, and then there was silence.
Snotlout and the rest of the bullies were gone, they had all left him alone in this nightmarish shack, and all he could do hang there, waiting to return. Except he knew they wouldn't return, he was alone now, alone when he didn't want to be, alone in the dark and scary tool shack.
For the entire hour he had been trapped in that tool shack had been an hour of horror, he was terrified, he was crying, and he was still trying to break free. His wrists were extremely sore, his face was drenched in tears, and all he could do was weep in pain and fear.
Why? Why won't they leave me alone? Why do they always do things to me? Where's Gobber? Where's anyone when I need help? Hundreds of questions crowded in his mind as he squirmed harder. He wanted to get out of here... he wanted to get out of here!
Without warning, the rope that held him suspended broke, and he fell to the cold, hard ground, landing on his back. Already he felt his spine hurting, he suspected it might of broken when he hit the floor, but it wasn't as shattered as he felt.
He rolled to his side and curled up, huddling into himself for comfort and warmth. Even if the pain had subsided and left him, it didn't help ease anything he was suffering right now. He was still alone, there was no one to come to his aid - not Gobber, not his father, not anyone. No one probably even cared to look for him, never mind bother to help free him and let him out of this shack. More tears streamed down from eyes, even as the sun went down - Nobody cares, I'm just the Runt.
Suddenly, he heard a few footsteps crush some twigs outside, he fell silent, perhaps it was Snotlout again - perhaps they had something new to do to him. That was all he could expect, no one else bothered to look for him, not even his father.
He heard the tool shack's door open, watched as remnant light cast from the sunset into the still dominant shadows. Light footsteps across the floor were all Hiccup could hear now, as he tried to remain still, hoping that whoever it was would just go away and leave him alone. However, he saw a shadow grow taller and larger, sure sign that whomever had found him was coming closer to him - either curious or not buying it.
Abruptly, a slow, soft hand gently landed on his forearms, but it didn't matter, he still panicked and shuddered, trying to squirm out from underneath the stranger's hold.
"Hold still, hold still. It's okay," mentioned a calm, soft and light voice that spoke over him. He turned his head to see... her...
She was some type of angel who had come to his aid, she was the most beautiful girl he had even seen with her smooth skin, long, blond hair, and those two enlightening blue eyes that stared down at him in his helplessness. She looked like any princess out of a fairy tail, as beautiful as Cinderella, as pale as Snow White, and strangely suiting her, as crafty and equipped as Robin Hood.
"It's okay, just calm down," her voice was demanding, but calming at the same time. He still breathed heavily, but remained transfixed by her beauty, "I only wanna help. Now just hold still so I can cut those binds."
She pulled out a knife in clear sight, and he immediately turned as white as a ghost, he struggled but eased down as she held his tense hand in her gently but firm palm. She placed the small blade onto the ropes and gently sawed through them, nice and slow until ... snap! ... she had cut the binds, his hands were free.
Despite the liberated feeling he was now endorsing, he hadn't forgotten how much he wanted to get out of the shack, how much he wanted to go home and pity himself to sleep, and now, he badly wanted to leave to elude this beautiful angel's judging gaze at him as he was now, practically crying his own eyes out.
Just as soon as she cut through the bola's ropes, freeing his legs, he didn't waste another second to let her study him in his pathetic state any longer. He scurried to his feet and sprinted out of the shack, the only thing he thought about doing was just going him, to just hide underneath his covers.
Until he stopped in his tracks, feeling as if he had forgotten something. He didn't leave anything behind, he was sure of it, but temptation had made him turn around to the angel, whom stared at him curiously. Anxiously, he wrapped his right hand around his left arm, far too nervous to make any forms of words to such a pretty face.
"Umm... Er... Thank you," Hiccup immediately exclaimed, before he spun around and scurried back to Berk. That was the last thing he had said all night, it had been so scary locked up in that dark, dusty shed, but even more frightening to talk to a beautiful girl. As he crawled under the covers of his own bed, the wonders and fascination of today's last experience preventing him from falling asleep. He just stared a the wooden ceiling above him, and looked at the star-encrusted sky outside, wondering of the angel's name.
The next morning, Hiccup had made himself discreet and careful when getting breakfast at the mess hall. With flying colors, he had eluded Snotlout and the gang of bullies while getting his meal. During his temporarily invisibility in the shadows, he had found the very angel who had freed him from the shack, and so he took advantage of of his allusion from the bullies to get close enough to her, and in term of events, he finally learned that her name was Astrid.
Astrid Hofferson, of the bold and true Hofferson Clan. At night she had brightened up the darkness to the horrifying shed he had been locked in for an hour, but during the day, whereas he had gotten a better look at her, she was absolutely gorgeous. Truly the fairest of them all, a true fairy tale princess in battle armor.
He wish he had the courage just to talk to her, but he wasn't that brave, not like her. Hoffersons were always known to be gallant and honorable, born to be true Viking, and he, although being the chieftain's son, didn't even possess the appearance of a Viking to impress her. She was too pretty, too intelligent, and too much of a warrior to have any interest in a boy like him.
With that information, he was crushed.
Later that day, after he had begun to successfully elude Snotlout all afternoon, he sat alone in the blacksmith's shop, simply turning pages in the manual for how to form steel and metal to blades of swords and axes. Despite his age, thanks to Gobber's guidance, he had already learned how to repair weapons, as well as make them himself. Perhaps, when he grew up to be a successful blacksmith, maybe Astrid might take notice to the man who fixed her blade.
Hiccup sighed to himself, who was he kidding? She'll probably be too busy fighting a dragon to take any notice to the guy who fixes her weapon, she'd be more interested in getting her blade, and quickly. She was a real Viking, and he wasn't, in fact, he would probably never be considered a Viking, just the "Runt."
Snotlout, on the other hand, once he grew up, he would probably be considered a real Viking, once he got into dragon training, he'll be closer - and certainly more popular - around Astrid than he'll ever be. In fact, although he didn't like the unfortunate truth, he'll probably wind up her boyfriend, while he's just the scrawny kid that everyone wants to beat up on.
He didn't believe it, however, he just couldn't believe that a girl - no, an angel - would come to like a brute like Snotlout, it just wouldn't be right. If anyone, at least he deserved a chance, he wasn't entirely useless as everyone says, he could be successful, he had talent. But what could he do? While mostly everyone obviously had chosen brawn over brain, he had been the one to decide against physical strength, and now he was branded the "Runt" for it.
Astrid, however, didn't abandon brains for physical dominance, she had chosen both, and she certainly had them both well balance, which seemed to have given her a great personality. Maybe she was closer to a true Viking than anyone, but she was definitely not stupid. She should know better than to run into battle without an idea, at least. She was a beautiful and deadly warrior, yet all she was missing was a good weapon in her hands.
Immediately, as if Odin had struck lightning through the roof, Hiccup had just gotten an idea. Perhaps she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, and sure everyone would share the same opinion, but unlike him, they would all walk up to her and give her a flower. He, however, had a different idea, why give her something only for appearances when he could give her something she could use forever?
Hiccup stood up and began to flip rapidly through the pages, looking for a good weapon that she could use and keep close. The first thing he needed to do was choose the perfect selection. Swords were too common around here, and frankly, everyone was bored of them, warhammers could be a little too heavy, spears might be a little difficult to carry around, considering their high stature over a lof of people's head, but an axe - an axe was pefect.
The perfect weapon for Astrid.
With no time to waste, he spent all night collecting good enough pieces of steel. He welded them over a fire and sliced easily through the melting, boiling hot metal, designing its shape. He soaked it in water to cool it off, and while was left set in the bucket, he carved through a full log, creating a long, thick rod, which would serve as the handle.
He reached into the bucket with his heat-protected mittens and pulled out the axe blade, as a shining piece of steel revealed his own reflection to him. He attached it to the handle, slamming a few good nails to attach it straight, and tied it firmly into position. Then he placed a round, spheric cover on the weapon's butt and tied some good yarn around its handle, which would provide comfort to the user's hand.
After a few modifications here and there, Hiccup sighed and picked up the surprisingly heavy axe. It was beautiful, well trimmed and polished, and it was perfect, perfect for Astrid. Even if it was a little heavy, sure would easily grow stronger than he would ever be, and would soon be able to wield it with ease.
He marveled at the glorious weapon, he smiled and his reflection mimicked, and a boost of confidence kicked in. Astrid was going to love it.
Later that night he discreetly made his way to the Hofferson cottage, as only a few lanterns were on, sure of a sign that they were home, and still awake. It wasn't a surprise all that much, the sun had only gone down an hour ago, it wasn't even his own bed time. Still, none of the children were allowed out after sunset, so he was breaking a major rule in his little mission.
His dad would be most displeased. Normally, he wouldn't expect Hiccup - of all the kids - to break curfew and stroll outside with an axe in his arms, on some goal. He wouldn't be surprised why he was the last person to suspect, he had a lot of fears, such as the dark, but it wasn't time to let himself be stopped when he was already getting close, he need to toughen up and go for it. No risk meant no reward.
He stood in front of the door, taking a silent breath to recollect his thoughts of what he was about to do. Was he serious? He didn't know any more, but he had to at least try. He gave the door a loud enough knock and waited, trying to keep the heavy axe from slipping out of his grasp.
It was her, Astrid, who answered to door, and instantly his tongue twisted as he fell lost of words, his ability to speak had just abandoned him. As he stood there in front of her, he felt like an idiot, she was waiting, he needed to at least say hello.
"Um... Hi?" She greeted, looking at him with those bright, blue eyes.
She's talking to you. Say something. Say something! Hiccup stuttered and murmured with words, but finally gave up and held the axe, with both hands, out to her to take, "For you."
She looked at the unusual gift in front of her, being handed by this scrawny, little brown-haired boy. Regardless, she accepted and took it, taking the full weight off his hands.
As she observed her new possession, Hiccup felt slightly annoyed by the fact that - while he had some trouble picking up the darn thing - she could easily hold it in one hand without problems, like she had been wielding it for all her life.
It was her smile that was thank you enough for him, because now he could really see how truly, heartstopping beautiful she was. She looked at her new axe, smiling and admiring its clear shine and smooth structure, and then she looked at him. "Thank you," she said, before she closed the door.
Hiccup, after which, smiled victoriously to himself, threw his fist in the air for a quick "Yes!" and then slipped his hands in his pockets and headed home, whistling along the way.
Hiccup stood and walked a little taller after that, feeling more confident and inspired than ever before, he felt like the most powerful human being alive, almost like he had what it took to become a true Viking like his father, like the Hoffersons, and like Astrid will be when she grows up. That task he had endorsed might have been so difficult, and scary, but he had succeeded, he had become victor over a lot of fears, and now, he found himself no longer afraid of mostly everything.
Not even Snotlout and his gang of bullies could bother him, even as they tried their usual torturing, or even call him "Runt," but he could no longer mind, he just kept on strolling his way, onto his own business, and paid no attention to the daily routine. After a few weeks without fun, the bullies had finally gave up on harassing him, and left him alone. Never again was he called "Runt" by anyone.
But it was the truth, he had risked everything had received a potent award in return. With it, he was walking on air with big smile on his face, for the rest of his life, he felt like a winner after his success, and no rules, restrictions or restraints prevented him from getting out there in the real world. He felt as if - even during the common dragon raids that happen once and a while - he could go for it and win the day.
He felt invincible now, feeling as if he could conquer any obstacle, pass any test, and take on any foe in his way, and it was all because he was crushed.
When I was younger, about maybe six or seven years old(like Hiccup was in this story) I always felt like an outsider among everyone, and that was what they treated me, except for this one girl I use to notice across the classroom, she was never the type of person to do that. I always had a crush on her, and when I finally got the nerves to talk to her, I felt great after that, unstoppable even.
It was that memory that had inspired this story. I hope you enjoyed it.