Holy Crap! It's been almost an entire year since I updated, and I left everyone at a cliff hanger! I am so sorry! You have every right to hit me with a rock (but please don't). So, I'm not going to anger you any further by updating right away. If you can't remember what's been happening, I suggest going back and rereading the previous chapters (I had to do this myself).

Chapter Eight: It's only downhill from here

At first, Hiccup couldn't see the Night Fury under the white dragons and he was sure that he was dead. But then there was a blast of blue flame and Toothless burst from the two dragons, landing in front of Hiccup and his cousin and looking quite fierce. The two Snow Dragons turned to glare at him. Toothless was determined not to let them past.

"He's ok!" Snotlout gasped in spite of himself. Hauling Hiccup to his feet, Snotlout turned to look around. There was not much to run to, and he knew that it was pointless anyways. There was no way they would be able to get very far. Not with the knee deep snow and Hiccup in his condition.

"What are we going to do, Snotlout?" Hiccup gasped, his eyes still locked on Toothless. Snotlout had to admit that he did not know. The situation was looking more and more hopeless. Snotlout knew they couldn't just leave Toothless to his fate, but he wasn't sure what they could do about it. So, Snotlout decided to do one of the only things he could do.

"Hey Ugly!" he called, packing down a snowball and tossing it at one of the Snow Dragons. "Why don't you fight fair? Pick on someone your own size!" One of the Snow Dragons turned towards them and snarled menacingly, starting towards the two boys. Hiccup took a step back.

"Great, Snotlout," he breathed. "Now it's coming after us. Now what?"

Snotlout couldn't tell if his cousin was being sarcastic or not. It was hard to tell with Hiccup, since nearly half of what he said was usually sarcasm. But that wasn't important at the moment. Supporting his cousin with one arm, Snotlout started dragging him towards the trees, hoping they would be narrow enough so the dragon couldn't follow.

"We're not going to make it," Hiccup panted. Sure enough, the Snow Dragon was right on top of them. It loomed over them, raising onto its hind legs and baring its teeth. The massive beast was about to bore down on them, when it was hit in the back with a burst of flame from Toothless.

"Stay away from them," the black dragon snarled, baring his own teeth. Toothless had the other Snow Dragon pinned down with one paw on his neck. He gathered another breath of air and shot a ball of flame at the second Snow Dragon. The Snow Dragon hissed in pain as the fire scorched through its wing.

The Snow Dragon pinned under Toothless let out a furious roar and finally threw the Night Fury off. Toothless landed some distance away with a heavy thud and slowly rose to his feet with a growl.

Taking advantage of the situation, Snotlout took Hiccup and dragged him towards the cover of some over growth. He shoved him under the plants, making sure he was completely hidden, growled at him to not move, then turned to help Toothless, letting out a mighty Viking roar and swinging his axe wildly over his head.

Tuffnut would never remember how he had managed to turn the fight around in his favor. He just saw that vulture thing going for his sister and suddenly strength filled his limbs once again. With a mighty roar, Tuffnut ran at the beast and threw himself at its head. The monster screeched and tossed its head, but the young Viking held on for dear life.

The Vulture Beast let out an angry hiss and started running around randomly, Tuffnut covering its eyes so that it had no idea where it was going. Tuffnut was not quite sure what he was going to do to defeat this thing, but he wasn't going to give up now.

"Any time today would be nice, Ruffnut," he hissed at his peacefully sleeping sister. The only reaction he got from her was a big dose of nothing.

Tuffnut didn't have time to think as the monster whipped its head and sent Tuffnut flying. He crashed into a tree and slid to the ground with a groan. The Vulture turned towards him menacingly, snarling angrily. It had obviously decided that Tuffnut was too much trouble to let live. Knowing no other options, Tuffnut closed his eyes, and waited for the Vulture to finish him off.

Snotlout leaped at the nearest Snow Dragon, clinging to its head and hitting it with his axe. He was still yelling his mighty Viking roar. The Snow Dragon let out an angry roar and tossed his head, attempting to shake Snotlout off of him. Toothless leaped at the white dragon and bit down on its throat, refusing to let go.

The Snow Dragon let out a roar of pain, flinging its head in fury and sending Snotlout flying. He tumbled through the air and towards the edge of a cliff that they were trapped against. Toothless let go of the Snow Dragon and leaped to help Snotlout, but he wasn't fast enough. The Viking boy tumbled over the side of the cliff.

"Snotlout!" Hiccup cried, racing over to the edge and peering over. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw his cousin hanging to a piddly little plant that was growing out of the side of the cliff. "Are you ok, Snotlout?" he asked.

"I'm hanging over the side of a cliff," Snotlout growled at his cousin. "What do you think?"

Sighing, Hiccup lay down on his stomach and reached a hand out towards him. "Take my hand," he ordered. "I'll pull you up."

"I don't need your help," Snotlout insisted. "Besides, you're weak and scrawny. You'd topple over the edge if you tried to pull up anything heavier than a stick!" To emphasize his point, Snotlout gave a great tug, attempting to hoist himself up towards the edge of cliff, but it was too much.

"Come on, Snotlout," Hiccup gasped. "Just grab my hand. I'm trying to help you."

"I thought you weren't going to try and help me anymore," his cousin snarled at him.

"I thought you didn't need anyone's help," Hiccup retorted.

"I don't."

"Just grab my hand," Hiccup snapped at him. Growling in annoyance, Snotlout hung there for a moment, thinking it over. Then, finally making up his mind, Snotlout reached up and snatched Hiccup's hand. The skinny boy felt himself start to slide forward, but he anchored himself firmly and started to tug. There was a long struggle and eventually the two boys were lying in the snow, gasping and panting.

"Wow, cousin," Snotlout panted at last when he caught his breath. "I didn't think you had it in you." Hiccup opened his mouth to reply, but at that moment he was cut off by the roar of the Snow Dragon with the bleeding throat. With an angry growl, the dragon launched itself at Hiccup, catching the smaller boy in his teeth. Snotlout didn't even have time to react.

"HICCUP!" Toothless screamed in terror.

The end never came for Tuffnut. He sat there, waiting for unimaginable pain to come to him, but it never did. Opening his eyes, he saw the Vulture thing rear back in pain. It was writhing all over the place, banging itself against trees and screeching with agony. Then Tuffnut saw what was wrong. Another axe was embedded in its back.

But I didn't throw that, Tuffnut thought to himself, looking around. His axe was still in the monster's head. It didn't look like it could take much more of any of this. Then Tuffnut spotted something behind the beast.

"Ruffnut!" Tuffnut gasped in astonishment. His sister was sitting up in the snow, a fierce look in her eyes and a snarl on her lips. She was looking at the vulture with satisfaction and the axe that she had just thrown at it.

"That will teach you to underestimate me," she hissed, raising her head proudly. She still looked in pain, but at least she was awake. Tuffnut expressed his over whelming joy in the only way he knew how.

"What took you so long?" he growled at his sister. "While you were lying there like a sleeping baby, I was here getting killed."

"Well excuse me for being unconscious," Ruffnut snapped. "And you're welcome, by the way. I just saved your life!" The vulture thing banged itself against another tree, blind with fury.

"Well I've been saving your life all day," Tuffnut retorted. "Which, by the way, I wouldn't have had to do if you hadn't wandered off in the first place."

"I didn't wander off," Ruffnut hissed at him, ignoring the monster. "That thing just snatched me right off the ground and you were too stupid to notice anything."

Tuffnut didn't reply, but threw himself at the Vulture Monster once more. He landed on its back and took its horns, steering it towards a particularly large tree. The thing, blinded by rage, rammed its head right into the trunk, burrowing Tuffnut's axe deeper into its skull. With one last screech, the monster slumped to the ground, dead.

After checking that it wasn't going to come back to life, Tuffnut pulled his axe out and headed towards his sister. He bent down beside her, trying to hide the look of relief on his face.

"I'm, er, glad you're ok, sis," he told her. Ruffnut gave him a confused look, but her face softened.

"Why don't we get out of here, then?" she asked. "We'll be home in no time."


Well, that was a sweet end to the troubles for Ruffnut and Tuffnut, but the fun is just beginning for Snotlout and Hiccup. Who have believed that Snotlout would actually swallow his pride like that? But more unbelievable things are still to happen, with questions unanswered.

Like, what happened to Fishlegs and Astrid? What's going to happen to Hiccup? Who's going to win this competition? And what will they tell Gobber? Well, there's only one way to find out. Read, review, and don't burn my house down so I can actually write the next chapter.

Aren't I nice though? Finally answering the long standing cliff hanger with… yet another cliff hanger!