Hi Guys! This is my first posting here on , though I've been reading a lot of stuff on here - in particular, HTTYD fanfics - for a while.

This story is going to hopefully be very long. In my mind at present, it's open-ended - I haven't yet thought how I'll end it, but it's going to extend far beyond the end of the movie.

It starts off as a straight novelization of the movie for the first two chapters, and then it begins to deviate slightly in the third. By the fourth chapter it's completely different. Then it goes back towards the movie version of events a bit, and then I plan to take it many other places that are completely seperate - so don't fear, this isn't only me writing down the movie. I just felt like if I was going to be thorough about it, I shouldn't start a story, that I plan to make quite long, halfway through the movie at the point where it starts to deviate. I wanted to include the start.

I do realize there's been a lot of novelizations of the movie on here, so if you want to avoid that, don't read the first two chapters.

Other than that, I hope you enjoy, and please review if you enjoyed it...or if you didn't! I'm always looking to improve!

Hero of the Day

Chapter 1

Hiccup the Useless

He stood atop the cliff, silent and totally focused.

This time, this time he'd prove them wrong. He knew his bola-thrower worked. He knew he was capable of killing a dragon. He'd just never had the opportunity. Well, that would change.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was considered by his tribe to be a likely candidate for the dubious honour of Worst Viking in History, even at the tender age of 15. He was known throughout as the over-eager, irritating nuisance who would perpetually ruin the efforts of the tribe's more accomplished warriors. In short, he was not liked. And he certainly wasn't thought capable of killing anything, let alone a dragon.

He gnashed his teeth in frustration. What nobody saw, he mused, was that he hadn't ever been given the opportunity to prove himself. His skills were different, yes, but no less suited to the task of killing dragons. He'd just do it a different way to that which had gone before.

This was why he found himself here.

He could hear the sounds of battle echoing faintly below him in the village – the roars and shrieks of the dragons mingled with the war cries of his compatriots and the whisper of the cold night air. He faced the other way, squinting in concentration at the black night sky, searching for something much, much blacker.

He'd reasoned with himself years ago that the only way to even attempt to dispel his reputation was to try to bring down a Night Fury. This most elusive and lethal of dragons had never even been seen for more than a fleeting moment. Its effects, however, were prominent. Come the dawn, Hiccup knew they'd be looking at piles of debris unrecognisable from what they'd constituted hours before. This dragon was capable of demolishing a bombardment catapult, something the size of 3 or 4 Viking houses, in a single shot and a matter of seconds.

Thank the Gods only one of them ever showed up at a time.

No-one had ever killed a Night Fury – not even his great-grandfather, Harald the Mighty. Hiccup knew that to be the first would be a great honour, and would instantaneously elevate him to hero status.

He also knew Night Furies never landed.

He pointed the bola shooter at the night sky and watched.

After a few moments, he noticed some of the stars blinking out momentarily, as if something was passing across the front of them. He grinned to himself – he'd spotted it.

His finger tightened on the trigger.

Throughout, there had been no noise. Now though, his ears began to fill with the wail of the very air being torn asunder as the dragon dived towards its next target utterly unseen.

Unseen, save for one.

Hiccup tracked the passage of the shadow in the sky, shocked, despite himself, at just how fast it was travelling.

His brow furrowed in concentration. He pulled the trigger.

The space in front of him erupted in a maelstrom of cobalt blue and orange, as the dragon's shot hit home and an almighty explosion ripped through a nearby platform. The screech of twisting metal and the splintering of shattered wood met his ears a fraction of a second later.

He heard the screams of the Vikings below him, and then, a scream from the dragon above.

He caught sight of the shadow tumbling towards Raven Point. It disappeared behind the treeline and he saw no more of it.

For a moment he merely stared.

Then he threw his arms aloft.

"I hit it! Yes, I hit it!"

He turned around.

"Did anybody see that?" he asked. By way of answer, behind him, on the cliff, he heard a snarl and a low, menacing rumble.

Slowly he turned, calm and yet utterly terrified. He knew what that growl meant.

"Except for you"

The last thing Stoick the Vast needed was a distraction at that point.

When grappling with the still-potent head of a Deadly Nadder, the received wisdom was that you concentrated on that at the expense of pretty much everything else. Stoick had fought plenty enough dragons to understand very well why this was the case. The creature bucked and struggled frantically, its powerful neck muscles threatening to throw him clear and into the sea. He held on for all he was worth. It was not worth thinking about the possible consequences of letting go.

Fortunately, the creature seemed to be tiring. Stoick was a substantial man, both literally and figuratively, and it seemed the Nadder could not maintain its strength.

It was just as well.

At that moment, out of the corner of his eye, Stoick caught sight of a small form, fleeing a considerably larger one, screaming and trying desperately to avoid the spurts of liquid fire that were coming at regular intervals from the mouth of what Stoick recognised as a Monstrous Nightmare.

He sighed. Hiccup would be the death of him, if he were not first the death of himself.

"Do NOT let them escape" he hollered, pointing back to the dragon he and his comrades had just subdued, as he sprinted up the ramp towards the cliff Hiccup was on.

He got there just in time to see the dragon wrapping its neck around the flaming post of one of their beacon torches. He saw Hiccup, cowering behind the same post, about to be snapped up. Stoick sighed in exasperation, and threw himself at the dragon.

It did not take much to get rid of it. Stoick had fought hundreds of Nightmares, and soon enough it was scrambling to get airborne and get away. Stoick watched it go, and then turned to face his son, glowering from behind his beard, just in time to see the still-smouldering column give way and collapse, tipping the beacon itself down the slopes. It disappeared from sight, and Stoick heard it land with a sickening crunch.

A pause, then the very same dragons Stoick had been fighting rose above the line of the cliff, carrying hundreds of frantically-bleating sheep away with them, in the very same net the Vikings had been trying to catch the dragons with.

Stoick was seething with rage by the time he turned his attention back to Hiccup. And it only got worse when he heard what his son said next.

"Okay, but I hit a Night Fury".

Almost reflexively, Stoick grabbed his son by the back of his shirt and began to carry him away, ignoring Hiccup's furious protestations. To Stoick, they sounded uncannily similar to what he'd heard the last time his son had accomplished a similar level of destruction.

He set his son down and glared at him.

"Stop!" he bellowed. "Just…stop! Every time you step outside, disaster falls! Can you not see that I have bigger problems? Winter is almost here and I have an entire village to feed!"

Hiccup's answer was nothing if not inflammatory.

"Well, between you and me, the village could do with a little less feeding, don't ya think?" he deadpanned.

Stoick was close to murderous by this point.

"This isn't a joke, Hiccup!" Stoick sighed in utter exasperation. "Why" he groaned "can't you follow the simplest orders?"

"I can't help myself! I see a dragon and I have to just…" – Hiccup mimed the action of wringing a dragon's neck, not altogether convincingly – "kill it. It's – it's who I am dad!"

Stoick could not believe his ears. He put his hand to his head and groaned "you are many things, Hiccup, but a dragon killer" – Stoick let the disdain show in his voice – "is not one of them. Get back to the house". He turned to Gobber.

"Make sure he gets there".

Hiccup mulled over the previous night's events as he searched for his downed dragon. It did not make for pleasant recollection.

It was a familiar feeling though – this had happened many a time before. With one exception. This time, Hiccup actually had hit a dragon and brought it down. He was convinced, utterly sure of it.

So why, he wondered in frustration, can't I find it?

It shouldn't have been difficult. Raven Point was heavily forested and it was broad daylight. A dragon crashing at the speed a Night Fury would typically fly at should have left its mark.

But he'd not found anything.

Irritated to distraction, he scribbled furiously on his improvised sketch map of the area and slammed the notebook shut.

"Oh, the gods hate me" he whined. "Some people lose their knife, their mug, but not me! I managed to lose an entire dragon?" He swiped his arm angrily at a branch. It whipped back, recoiled, and struck him straight along the jawline. Hiccup reeled back, unable to help but think that this was somehow an unnervingly adequate symbol for his whole life.

Absentmindedly, his eyes roamed the trunk of the tree that the branch belonged to. As he gazed further up, he noticed splinters protruding from the main body of the trunk, and then a whole section that had been peeled away like a banana skin, in a very specific direction. Curious, Hiccup followed the line of the broken section, and caught sight of a deep, freshly-made trough in the earth. It led over the brow of a small hill.

Hiccup caught his breath. To him, it looked like something had crashed here.

He slid down into the furrow and unsteadily made his way along it, skirting roots and other debris that lay in the way. Reaching the crest, he poked his head over the top and glanced down into the small clearing below.

And immediately threw himself to the ground as he recognised the shape of a very black, very sinister dragon lying in the undergrowth.

His heart pounded. He hadn't seen enough, in the fractions of a second before his survival instincts took over, to determine whether the dragon was dead, alive, trapped or free.

Hearing no sound, no roar that would surely sound his death knell, he raised his head, ever so cautiously, above the level of the crest again.

He let his eyes capture the sight. Lying in a small patch of grass was a sleek, midnight-black form that radiated pure menace. Hiccup could see one of its wings raised at an awkward angle and it lay unmoving on its side. Looking closer, he saw the tell-tale brown lines criss-crossing its body to testify to the fact that his bola-thrower had clearly worked. The dragon was trapped, and it appeared dead.

He took no chances though. Although nobody had ever seen or drawn one, there could be no doubt which dragon this was that Hiccup was looking at. A Night Fury it clearly was – the colour, and the powerful muscular contour of the body, neck and wings, could testify to that.

He paced down the slope, keeping the noise of his footfall to a minimum. Crouching behind the nearest rock, he steeled himself. Inching round to face the dragon, he saw its head for the first time. Its eyes were closed and its brow was relaxed. It looked noble, proud and unutterably fearsome.

And he'd killed it.

He felt sure of it. The thing hadn't moved in all the time he'd been looking at it. He relaxed and strolled slowly up to his prize.

"I did it! This fixes everything!" he congratulated himself in disbelief. "I have brought down this mighty beast!"

He placed one foot on the dragon's front upper leg, and was stunned a moment later to find himself thrown backwards by a mere shrug of the dragon's shoulder. It hadn't even woken up.

More to the point however, it plainly wasn't dead.

Hiccup stood again, more cautiously this time, and paced slowly towards the form lying prone on the ground. His eyes flitted fearfully to the dragon's own – thankfully still closed – and then scanned the rest of the body. The tail was obscured from view, but he could see no injury. Plainly, the only reason Hiccup was still alive at this point was the rope entangling the Night Fury's wings and paws.

He glanced at the stomach, at the chest, and then finally, back to the head.

Its eyes were open.

It hadn't made a sound or twitched a single muscle, but Hiccup felt his core go cold at the gaze he was fixed with. The dragon's jet-black slit-shaped pupils, set in brilliant jade, stared him down stoically. It seemed to him like a noble warrior preparing to meet death with dignity.

Hiccup wavered. That gaze was unsettling. At that moment, he'd felt like he could see into the dragon's soul.

He steeled himself. This was a dragon; he couldn't see through a window into its soul because it didn't have a soul. It was a pest – a particularly difficult and dangerous one, but vermin nonetheless. And he'd be celebrated for killing it. This was fate, he was sure.

Had he known then what would come to pass, he would have considered himself correct – it was certainly fate. But not in the way he envisioned it then, not at all.

"I'm gonna kill you, dragon" he heard himself mutter. "I'm gonna…I'm gonna cut out your heart and take it to my father". He raised the dagger, blade pointed straight down, to his chest height. "I am a Viking" he whispered to himself, and then to the dragon, he shouted the same.

The dragon did not flinch, did not break the stare it had been holding all this time.

Hiccup closed his eyes and raised the dagger in potency to hold it aloft above his head. He closed his eyes and readied to bring the knife plunging down again.

Yet, he found he could not.

He opened his eyes again. The dragon still held him fixated in its gaze. He saw in it so many things. Intelligence. Anguish.

He shook the thoughts violently from his mind.

I have waited all my life to do this. I cannot fail, now that I have the chance in front of me.

He screwed his eyes shut and raised the blade still higher. He heard the dragon give a small moan.

He held the knife there for what seemed an eternity. And yet even as he fought with himself to finish what he'd started so well, he knew it would not happen.

He could not do it.

He let the tension ebb out of his arms, and the hilt of the dagger fell until it tapped the top of his head. His shoulders slumped and he exhaled deeply. His eyes opened and he saw the dragon's head rolled back, its eyes now shut. It had clearly thought it was going to be killed.

He glanced with contempt at the dagger he held loosely in his right hand. Such a crude and blunt instrument next to the sleek black harbinger of fury that now lay motionless and tensed in front of him.

"I did this" he muttered, and turned to leave. He took one step, and stopped.

Am I such a coward, he thought, that I would not kill the dragon myself, yet I would let it die of hunger, or cold, out here and unable to escape?

No, he resolved, I am not.

He turned back to the dragon.

The Night Fury felt the ropes begin to slacken around him.

His eyes shot open in surprise. Another rope fell loose to the ground.

A moment ago he'd been ready to die, and yet, after what had seemed like an eternity of waiting for the final blow to fall, he was now being freed.

Even to such an intelligent creature as he was, it made no sense.

He would not question it, though. And he was not weak enough to reciprocate the hatchling's feeble gesture of mercy.

He tensed, waiting for the right moment. One rope still trapped his front left paw. When that was cut, he would be free.

He waited.

The rope fell to the forest floor, with a dull hiss against his scales.

Instantly he was up, and he pinned the boy to the nearest boulder too fast for him even to cry out.

The dragon stared at the human.

There was no malice in the young one's eyes. Only fear.

Surely this one deserved to die?

And yet…

The fates whispered otherwise in his ears.

I know better than to disregard them.

He raised his haunches. So be it, the boy would not die. But the dragon was still not happy.

He roared at the frail form below him, screaming his anger, screaming his indignation. A scream that shook the trees and the earth, a scream to show the fledgling what might have been, had not the fates, for whatever reason, decided he should live.

He did not know why he desired this boy be kept alive, and presently he did not care. He was on the humans' island, and needed to leave. It was the height of day, and he was a Night Fury.

He turned and sprung lithely through the trees. In an instant he was aloft.

The wind felt good on his scales. It felt like home.

And yet, something he sensed was amiss.

He felt his tail flick unbidden to the left, and his right wing dipped suddenly and drunkenly in response. Something was certainly wrong.

There! Again, please review!

Should be uploading chapters fairly quickly, for the first few at least - I have seven chapters done so far, and all they require is a little proof-reading and they can go up.