How to Retrain a Viking

Something was poking him. He could feel hot breath and hear eager snorts, gurgles, and chortles. He felt like he needed to wake up, like there was unfinished business to deal with, but he was so tired. His head felt like it was stuffed with wool. The thing became more insistent, so he opened his eyes. His brain couldn't even process what he was looking at: a black scaled face, flat with large yellow-green eyes. The wide, thin mouth opened as if it were trying to talk to him, forked pink tongue sticking out. It was…

"A dragon!" Hiccup screamed in panic causing the face to recoil in confusion and cry out at him before leaping over the bed. He saw the large leathery wings spread out for a moment to allow it to glide, and the long tail slapped him in the face as it passed by. "Oh, gods!" he cried, "there's a dragon in my house. Dad! Dad!" The black dragon had leapt onto the rafter and was staring at him blinking. It chuffed questioningly.

Hiccup tossed aside his coverings and jumped out of bed only to feel a sharp burning hot pain in his left leg. He pitched forward onto his face and rolled over with a groan of agony, tears forming in his eyes. He clutched at his leg feeling hard metal instead of flesh causing him to jerk his hand back. "My leg! What…it's…my leg is gone," he gasped in horror as he reached for but didn't quite touch the metal replacement. The dragon was suddenly beside him, pressing its nose into his throat, then under his neck as if it were trying to get him to stand, all the while gurgling in its throat.

"Dad!" he yelled again. "Anyone! Help me!"

The door burst open and Stoick the Vast ran in, concern written all over his face. "Hiccup, what's wrong? Oh dear," he said sympathetically and rushed over to his son, putting his large hands under the boy's arms to help him back onto the bed. "I knew I shouldn't have left you alone this morning, but they needed me at the stables."

"Dad, Dad, that's a dragon!" Hiccup shouted, pointing at the thing on the floor, which was tilting its head. Behind him people were crowding in, murmuring. Hiccup glanced over his shoulder at them, confused.

"Of course, son. That's Toothless," Stoick answered calmly, with a smile.

"No, no, I'm pretty sure it has teeth," Hiccup said with wide eyes pointing at the dragon sitting in the middle of the room peering at him intently.

"Hiccup, are you ok?"

"Ok? How could I be ok? I wake up with a dragon in my face - which I am really not comfortable with - but also, my leg!" He pointed down. "What happened to my leg?"

Hiccup bowed his head sadly. "I'm sorry, son, you injured it badly in the battle with the great dragon. There was nothing we could do."

Hiccup's mouth fell open. "The…what with the…what?"

Before Stoick could answer there was a commotion at the door. "Let me through!" a young female voice called out. Hiccup jumped at it and turned just as Astrid Hofferson came barreling through the crowd. "I just heard," she cried breathlessly. "Oh, Hiccup! I'm so glad to see you up." She ran to the bed and sat down next to him, taking one of his hands on her own.

"A-As-Astrid?" he sputtered, his brain suddenly losing all train of thought as he looked down at their entwined hands. "You-you're…house…my…in…ah…why?"

"Hiccup?" she asked, and then looked at Stoick in silent question.

"Ah, can you all give me some privacy with my son," he called to the well-wishers that were peering inside. With a flick of his head, he motioned for Astrid to go as well. With a disappointed frown, she got up, reluctantly releasing Hiccup's hand before moving to the door. "I'm sorry, lassie, I know you're excited to see him, but he doesn't seem to remember a lot of what's happened," Stoick whispered to her. "I'm going to try to find out what's wrong. Until then I think we need to keep him as quiet as possible."

"I understand," she replied sadly, then to Hiccup, "I'll be back later, I promise."

His face was twisted in a confused half smile as he gave a small wave.

"You too," Stoick said to the dragon, who grunted back, affronted. "It's not a request," Stoick said firmly gesturing out the door. "Don't make me tell you again." With an indignant chirp, the beast jumped back up to the rafter and settled down, unwavering. "Mark my word, devil," Stoick said closing the door. "We will have order in this house." He moved over and sat down next to Hiccup, whose eyes hadn't left creature.

"Dad?" he asked in a small voice. "Why is there a dragon in our house?"

"Hiccup, what's the last thing you remember?"

The boy shrugged. "You were yelling at me."

"Try to be more specific, son."

"Oh, I don't know," Hiccup said, his voice suddenly weary. "The Nightmare had chased me, and it burnt down the brazier. Hiccup failure number five hundred and twenty-two."

"Good, good," Stoick said. "Do you remember how you said you shot down a Night Fury?"

"Um, yeah, I guess. It was dumb."

"No, no Hiccup. That's him. You named him Toothless," Stoick said pointing to the rafters. "You don't remember finding him? Or his tail?"

"I found his tail?"

"No, son," Stoick said patiently. "His tail was injured." As if he knew they were talking about him, Toothless slid down onto the floor and curled up in front of them, sweeping his tail grandly onto Hiccup's lap. "See? There's only one fin, there should be two."

"Uh huh."

"Hiccup," Stoick said, beginning to lose his patience. "You don't remember fixing the replacement and riding him?"

"Riding? Like a horse?"

"No, like a dragon. In the air."

"Dad! That's crazy."

Stoick groaned and rubbed his face.

"Did that dragon eat my leg?"

"Er, well there's some speculation on that," Stoick replied delicately as the dragon's eyes narrowed at him. "Mostly we've just decided to let the matter drop."

"Dad! A dragon eats my leg and you don't care!"

"He saved your life. But don't worry about that yet." Stoick was becoming visibly concerned with how bad the conversation was going and closed his eyes.

"What about Astrid?" Hiccup asked suddenly.

"Oh. Uh, well I'm not too sure about that. The lass has kept mum, but, uh, she's been by most every day since we've been back. Good job, son," he replied with a proud smile and slapped Hiccup on the back.

"I am so confused."

"We'll sort this out, I promise," Stoick said with a sigh.

A/N This was just a little plot bunny I was playing with. I'm not sure if it's the general opinion or not, but it seems pretty clear to me that Hiccup's prolonged unconsciousness was do to being hit on the head by the Green Death's tail. So that bought me a one-way ticket to Amnesia-ville. I'm not sure where exactly to go from here, but I'll definitely keep thinking about it. And if you like it and have any ideas, feel free to share.