Commentary: A friend challenged me to do this. This is my first foray into HTTYD fanfiction, so! Take it as you will. =)
Ten 100-word snippets from the dragon's perspective, set during the events of the film in chronological order. You might call this a... retelling? Pending reaction to this, I might write more snippets set outside the film's borders. I think they're pretty fun exercises!
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Disclaimer: Don't own the franchise.
Ten Times a Dragon Learned a Lesson
The world goes up in pain and the stars, the stars so blue and bright—they spin away from him. He screams and calls to them and claws at them too, and the wind whistles over his bruised body like laughter and the stars stare at him until he crashes into the crest of a mountain's tooth. Trees toss him, rocks buffet him, and the talons of the earth tear asunder his vital pieces. He screams again, writhing, stricken, begging the stars, the stars so blue and bright why, oh why, but for the broken dragon they hold no answer.
The human—the boy—will kill him. Said boy has a sharp thing held high in quivering hands and the scent of fear rolls off him as breakers roll across the ocean's shallows, and the dragon has seen too many brothers slain this way to think he will survive the afternoon. Resigned, he closes his eyes. Waits.
When he is freed instead, he pins the boy and feels a throbbing heart underfoot. Unlike the stars, the dragon listens. He hears why, oh why and draws back, crying his anguish, and takes crippled wing only to fall again, the boy watching.
Fingers on his flesh. The dragon—Toothless, the human called him—breathes between those fingers, his eyes slanted, the waning flare of the sunset skittering across his scales. He inhales, sampling. Fish, soot, flame, metal, shame, sweat, sweetness: the boy smells like these things, like a world wherein Toothless would not normally be welcome. Wincing but wondering too, the boy looks at him, and Toothless looks back, the bumps of the boy's talons—fingernails?—light against his snout.
Toothless sweeps from the boy's questing touch and, for the first time since he fell from the sky, hope burns in him.
The precious thing called flight: how could he understand it, this human who has never before kissed the clouds, who has never ghosted his belly over the moon's swollen crescent? Wondering this, Toothless doubts, and for this they nearly fall.
But the boy pulls open the false tail and they rise over the gulley's ridge, and Toothless rejoices. The sky's siren song wails in his ears. Prideful, he throws the boy: and without him, Toothless does fall. He flails, frustrated, bitter. He snarls.
Looking over, though, at the sodden, grinning creature who has helped him, Toothless slowly begins to understand.
They climb the rungs of the heavens together, the boy's breathing ragged in his excitement, the dragon's heart drumming an accompanying bass. The sun shines warm on them and the breeze, westerly today, strokes the boy's hair high. Toothless woops his delight, barking flame. The heat crackles over them and they shiver: the human because he has just lost his eyelashes, Toothless because he has won back a piece of himself he thought lost forever.
Hands tighten over the dragon's shoulders and Toothless, grateful, his soul singing, drops into a dive so he may hear the boy's sweet, shrieking laughter.
She screams and Toothless relishes it; she curses, terrified, and Toothless relishes that too. Hiccup—his name, that is the boy's name—protests. The dragon ignores him. The girl has much to lose, doubting Hiccup! Did Toothless not originally doubt the boy, and did that boy not give him back the sky?
Thinking that this belligerent she-beast should learn to trust Hiccup as he did, Toothless spins.
Gradually her thighs cease trembling. She sinks against Hiccup; awed, she stretches to touch heaven.
Satisfied, Toothless takes them higher so she may clutch tightly the stars—and his friend—in her fingers.
The cry of the boy cuts across the island's still air. It drops, shrill, scared, into the dragon's gulley: into his heart. Hiccup needs him!
Frantic, Toothless launches himself at the lip of his prison again and again, tearing at the walls with his claws, lashing his torn tail against the stone. He has never before been able to climb free of the gulley without Hiccup, but now he looks at the sky and pleads silently my friend, oh my friend and he strains, reaching—
He hauls himself over the edge in a miracle's moment and rushes for the boy.
The beast in the mountain is awake. She chases the humans on the pebble beach, and Toothless watches miserably from the wreath of flames onboard their ship. Those flames will not kill him: but the ocean will surely drown him. The harness heavy on his neck, he looks aloft and, despite that the stars left him lonely once before, he calls out to them.
From the sky falls Hiccup.
The boy's hands are suddenly everywhere, pulling at the dragon's bonds and touching his scales in a shivery, smoothing smear of comfort.
"Got you, buddy," says Hiccup, and Toothless believes him.
Hiccup sinks through the air like a stone and Toothless, squinting against the sting of the smog, follows him, desperate to catch his friend. His blood roars in his ears; he lists sideways, his equilibrium gone without the boy on his back. Folding his wings, he plummets anyway. The scents of burning flesh and blood and boiling marrow fill his nostrils. Raging instincts and an airborne crimson boot tell him that his quarry is ruined, dead, and especially that his efforts are futile.
Hiccup is his sky now, however, and Toothless is a dragon. He will chase the sky forever.
Fevers wrack him; shiver-spells plague him. When the big man with the stone fang comes to weld onto Hiccup a new kind of footclaw, Toothless screams as the boy screams and the whole village, if they ever doubted dragons had hearts, know then what it sounds like when one breaks in half.
But Toothless is there, weeks later, to nudge Hiccup to the door, to his friends, and ultimately to the sky.
The wounded boy and the wounded dragon: together they are whole again, and Hiccup laughs a breathless laugh into the breeze and Toothless, soaring, feels himself finally free.