Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN: Two things...
1. Hiccup cannot understand what Darkfire/Toothless is saying, he's just good at reading facial epxressions.
2. Italics-thoughts, Bold Italics- dragon is speaking.
As Hiccup worked on the saddle, Darkfire couldn't help but look at the sketches along the wall, Hiccup was talented, there were sketches of animals, plants along with sidenotes, but what really caught his attention were the sketches and blueprints of his designs. The machinery he had designed was like nothing he had ever seen, but what interested him most were the weapons. From the looks of it he had found a way to miniaturized catapults and it looked as though they had braces so they could be secured on a tree trunk or a horse.
He looked at the rest and there was a array of other types of weapons, one that caught his eye in particular was what appeared to be a mechanized bow. (Think of Van Helsing's specialized crossbow). It looked as though it could carry at least twenty bows and shoot them all at once.
He looked toward the side and saw a map of the island, his eyes widened as he realized that Hiccup had been keeping track of their attacks on the island. There were areas that were shaded red and along the shades were accompanying notes which stated that the shaded areas were the common methods of attack that the dragons performed, plus Hiccup had kept count of the number of days where they would attack, revealing a pattern.
Darkfire never realized that they had become so predictable, but what astounded him even more was the fact that the Vikings had never picked up on it.
"Are they really that stupid?" Darkfire thought. He turned his gaze back to Hiccup, whose attention was soley focused on the saddle he was working on. How could he not tell them what he had discovered or was it that they wouldn't listen to him, he had mentioned that he was ignored in the village.
"You seem to like these." a voice startled him. Darkfire turned aroung to see Hiccup behind him.
"These are just a few sketches of some ideas I have for weapons," Hiccup explained stroking the papers with his hands, "Since I'm no good at actually kill...I mean hunting dragons, I figure maybe I can come up with new weapons to help the village, I've tried showing them to my Dad and Gobber, but they never really took any interest. I guess they thought they weren't any good."
Hiccup's face took a downcast turn, then shook his head, "Anyways I'm glad somebody likes them, I'm almost done with the saddle, so I should get back to it."
Darkfire could only look as Hiccup walked to finish the saddle, a saddle he was creating to help his most dangerous enemy. He then realized the opportunity that he had stepped into. Hiccup's sketchings, his drawings, they could be the key to bringing victory for his clan.
All he had to do was figure out how to get them there.
"There!" Hiccup exclaimed. "Finished."
In front of him sat a complete saddle suited for the large Night Fury, who looked on in interest.
"Impressive." Darkfire thought, "I hate to admit it, but this is an exceptionally crafted piece."
Darkfire was not one to give compliments out so easily, so when he said something he actually meant it. The saddle's leather was soft, so it wouldn't chafe his skin, even if it was covered in scales, and it seemed to be measured to his exact height, and considering Hiccup never took measurements, that was pretty good, not to mention the harness that seemed to attach to his tailfin.
He looked on at Hiccup in skeptical curiosity, "What else are you capable of?"
Hiccup finally realized that he was being watched. "You like it?" he asked, holding the saddle up.
Darkfire quickly adopted an indifferent scowl, and looked away, but Hiccup wasn't deterred.
"Whatever you say." He said setting the saddle down. He wiped his hands on a rag and ran outside. Darkfire looked in confusion then followed him outside.
Hiccup had his finger in the air and he was looking at the sky with scrutiny, "Okay, today seems to be a good day as any to get started."
"Started with what?" Darkfire asked warily.
Hiccup turned back to Darkfire, "Alright Toothless, you ready to start flying?"
Darkfire slightly bristled at the name again, but he decided not to take any further action, it seemed like Hiccup was determined to give him that name, and it wasn't like he could correct him.
Hiccup ran back into the smithy to get the saddle and when he got out, he approached Darkfire with caution, "I'm going to put this on you...is that okay?"
Darkfire's pupils narrowed in suspicion, but he carefully lowered his body, and Hiccup took this as a yes. He immediately got to setting the saddle on the dragon, and making sure it was tight.
Darkfire was surprised by the feel of the leather, Hiccup had insulated it to keep it soft, it didn't chafe his scales.
Hiccup took a deep breath and put his arms on the saddle, "Okay, I'm going to get on the saddle now."
Darkfire made a grunt to acknowledge that he heard Hiccup.
Hiccup braced himself and swung his leg over and settled his feet in the footslips. He made sure the harness connected to the tail was secured.
"Okay, everything seems ready so I guess we can-WOAH!"
Hiccup didn't even get to finish his sentence, as soon as he said ready, Darkfire spread his wings and took off flying.
Hiccup screamed and held tight when the dragon flew into the sky with no regard to his passenger. He didn't have the time to properly attach himself to the harness, so he could only hold on tightly to the dragon's neck and pray he didn't fall off.
There was no balance between the rider and dragon so, as soon as he got into the air, he began to wobble, and finally both lost control and plummeted to the ground, the only good thing was that they were over a thick blanket of trees to break their fall. They teetered on a few branches until both landed on the ground in a heap.
Hiccup was hanging loosely to the side thanks to the harness he attached to the saddle, and Darkfire had landed on his head upside down, his body slipped from the tree he was pressed against and fell to the ground, Hiccup unclipped the harness and stood up.
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!" He screamed at the dragon, "Were you TRYING to kill us?!"
Darkfire shook his head to take away the dizziness he felt. He looked at Hiccup and made his threatening gaze.
"Don't even start with that 'I'm going to eat you' glare." Hiccup snapped, "You shouldn't have just flown off like that, You could've killed the both of us!"
"YOU were the one who was supposed to control the fin!" Darkfire growled. "Or are you so inadequate and useless, that you can't even perform the simplest thing!"
"Hey it's not like I have any idea of what I'm actually doing!" Hiccup defended. "It's not like we have anyone to teach us 'How to ride your dragon', I didn't even have a good grip on you, you could have thrown me into the air."
'What a terrible loss that would be.' Darkfire thought wryly
Hiccup looked to where the saddle was, and checked it out, he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw nothing was damaged.
"ok, it looks like you and I both need to take some serious practice into this." Hiccup said turning to the dragon, "Neither of us actually knew what we were getting into and we need practice our teamwork before we do some real flying."
"And how do you propose we do that?"
Hiccup looked around and then he saw a tree stump, his eyes lit up in inspiration. He dug into the satchel he carried and pulled out some rope. "I have an idea."
"Oh goody," Darkfire thought, "Because the last one worked out SO well for us."
"Follow me." Hiccup said, running to the tree stump, Darkfire had no choice but to follow him. Hiccup proceeded to tie the rope around the stump and then turned back to his companion.
"We should start with this." He said holding up the rope, "We can learn how to ride the wind currents and it gives me time to learn how to work the harness."
Darkfire hated to admit it, but he couldn't argue the logic that Hiccup had come up with. They were in uncharted territory, flight had come so easily for his people due to the transformation they were granted, the fact that he COULDN'T fly...it bothered him more than he cared to admit.
"Ready for round two?" Hiccup asked with that annoying smile of his.
Darkfire didn't respond, he simply stood in position so Hiccup could get to work.
And he did just that.
Hiccup and Toothless both spent near the entire day, practicing 'Stationary flying', Hiccup had tied himself and Toothless to the tree stump and they spent the day riding the breezes, Hiccup had learned what he needed to do in order to manipulate the dragon's wings and he was learning how to control the harness attached to his tailfin, and he also learned how the tailfin affected his flight patterns. By the time they were finished, the sun was already setting and the sky had turned dark.
"Alright," Hiccup said, "I think today went pretty well, we actually learned a lot."
"Whatever you say," Darkfire said tiredly, "I can't believe one tiny child has exhausted me this much."
"It's time for me to get going," Hiccup said, "I have dragon training tomorrow, so I probably won't be back here til later on in the day."
Darkfire grunted to acknowledge that he had heard what was said.
"I guess I'll see you tomorrow then," Hiccup said, walking out of his cavern, "Bye Toothless!"
Darkfire flattened his ears and gave a low growl at the name, but Hiccup was long gone before he could hear them.
He had banished all thoughts of the irritating Viking boy and set himself to go to sleep, all the while thinking about his plan. He was then taken back to the stories that he had grown up with as a child. The history of his people ran through his mind and he remembered the tales of their curse. As it turned out the Ormr clan were not always shape-shifters.
(History Lesson Begins!)
400 years prior, the Ormr clan were at an all-time low, they had been plagued with war, famine, and disease. They were ruled by a kind and just Emperor, and he was desperate to end the suffering of his people. There had been rumors of a Dragon Queen with great power and he sought out her help.
He journeyed across the treks and finally found her in a dark cavern. He pleaded the case of his people and begged for her help. She granted his wish request and soon enough they began to flourish.
For the first few months, during the harvest season, things were better for them. Now that there was more food, the people had no reason to fight about, the population was booming. Things were looking good for them.
But that all changed in one night.
It was the night of Autumn's eve, and the clan was celebrating with a big banquet. At the light of the full moon, the Emperor's men started to fall the the ground and writhe in pain, and before anyone realized it they had begun to sprout wings.
They were becoming dragons.
The emperor gazed on in horror, that night there were outbreaks all over the island. Soon enough, everyone was a dragon.
He went back to the queen and demanded an explanation. She smugly reminded him that all good fortune comes at a price, and he had paid hers. When he made a deal with her he agreed to whatever terms that she had placed and because of the shortage of dragons she was losing her powers; When he came to her she saw her solution. She explained that by accepting her terms, he agreed to put himself and his people under her reign. Now she ruled over their people and in exchange for the prosperity and peace that she would provide, they in turn would turn into dragons and pay her tribute.
The emperor was horrified to realized what he had done and the curse he had brought to his people. He immediately returned to his village and told them the situation. They had all prepared for war and spent the remainder of his reign trying to lead his people against the Queen, unfortunately it was all for naught. She was too powerful for any of them, and none of them were even close to learning their dragon selves. This resulted in the depletion, of the colony's numbers, and there was only a few hundred citizens left. When the Emporer died, his son took over and he dismantled the monarchy and created the Colony into a Clan, which led him to become the Chief. Above all else, the son wanted the safety of his people first, so he made another arrangement with the Queen.
He would select a group of his warriors and they would take on the responsibilites of shifting into dragons and paying her tribute, and in return she would leave them be and allow her to take residence on their island, and also she would give him the knowledge he needed in order to train his warriors to control their dragon selves. She agreed to the terms and ever since they bore the burden of becoming her slaves.
They had, since that day, tried to find a way to break out of her curse, unfortunately they were unsuccessful. However, just before they set sail towards Berk, the Village Elder, a wiseman said to have the knowledge of the future had told the village that the salvation for the Ormr clan was at the Island of Berk.
Unfortunately the Queen had heard of the wiseman's words himself, and over the years a few of the villagers had been so far gone with their Dragon forms that they had elected to become dragons permanently. Since then, they essentially became her followers and she sent them to do her dirty work.
She wanted to sabotage any chance of an alliance with the Ormr clan and the Berk clan, so she sent some dragons to spread panic and fear among the clan; she wanted to make sure that no one on Berk would ever trust anyone affiliated with the Ormr Clan.
She succeeded, and even though the Ormr clan knew that the Queen had something to do with it, they had no power to stop her.
Ever since then they had been trying to find a ways to break from her curse, but to no avail. All they knew was that it had something to do with the Vikings of Berk.
At first they believed that the Berk would be able to help them, unfortunately the sabotage of the queen ruined any chance of that happening. Ever since the murder of the Chief, hostilities ran deep, making the Ormr clan believe that perhaps if they destroyed the village and paid the lives of the Hooligans as tribute to the Queen, then they could gain their freedom.
His thoughts were interuppted by an achingly familiar sound, and was surprised when he looked up to see a dragon-shaped shadow cirling over him.
His suspicions were confirmed when he heard an all-too familiar roar.
"Storm!" he cried out in excitement.
Stormcarrier finally landed and greeted his friend warmly, "Darkfire! You're alive!"
"What are you doing here?" Darkfire asked, only now realizing what his friend had done, "You know the laws! You're not supposed to be here unless SHE demands it!"
"I wasn't going to leave you here!" Storm said, "You're our prince, it's my duty to make sure you don't die!"
Darkfire didn't relent. "You shouldn't have come."
"It doesn't matter now," Stormbringer said, "I'm here now, and I've already circled the area. There are no Vikings around to see us only a small boy, but he did not see me, we should leave now!"
"I can't." Darkfire said sadly.
"What do you mean you can't!" Storm said, "I already told you there's no risk of being seen we're fine!"
"No I mean literally I can't." Darkfire repeated, showing his tail in shame.
Storm's eyes widened in realization, "Your tail." he whispered in horror.
His horror turned to anger, while Darkfire's expression transformed into one of clarity, "Who did this!?"
"A Viking child." Darkfire said, only now realizing that Storm could help with his plan. "But that doesn't matter I have something more important at hand."
"How can it not!" Storm roared, "You've be crippled! Grounded! There must be retribution!"
"Storm calm yourself!" Darkfire growled, snapping Storm out of his anger.
Once he was sure the other dragon had calmed down, he spoke again, "What I am about to do will break the laws of our people, but it may also save them."
Storm raised a brow, "What are you saying?"
Darkfire didn't respond, instead he stood on his hind legs, and closed his eyes, it was then that he began to shift in his human form. Storm's eyes widened, no one of the Ormh clan had ever shifted on the island of Berk, it was their most sacred law.
"Darkfire." he whispered.
"Trust me Storm," Darkfire said, relishing the fact that he could speak with his human again.
Storm hesitated, then followed Darkfire's example and shifted back to his human form.
"What is it that you wanted to show me?" Storm asked,
Darkfire led Storm into Hiccup's hidden smithy and Storm was puzzled.
"What is this place?" Storm asked, looking around in bewilderment.
"Whose smithy?" Storm asked.
"The Viking boy who took my tailfin." Darkfire explained, "This is his...hideaway I suppose, apparently he is an outcast in his village, he comes here to hide from them."
"You're telling me a mere boy is the one who grounded you?" Storm asked.
"That's not all he is capable of." Darkfire explained, pointing to Hiccup's drawings, "Look to the walls."
Storm did as he aws told and he realized what it was that Darkfire was referring too. "The weapons."
"Yes, he designed them." Darkfire explained.
Storm touched one, "These are...magnificent."
"Look at this." Darkfire held up the prosthetic fin that Hiccup had made for him.
"It is," Darkfire confirmed.
"How on earth did he think to create this?" Storm asked, holding the fin reverently. "Darkfire do you realize what this means? Think of the possibilities, of those who have suffered the same fate as you have."
"I know." Darkfire said, "I have a plan, however this plan must be done in the utmost confidence. No one, and I mean NO ONE but my father is to know about this besides us."
"Tell me what I must do." Storm asked, going into Soldier-mode.
Darkfire pulled one of Hiccup's sketches from the wall, "Take this back to the island, show it to my father, and our blacksmith. you shall meet here at least once a week, twice if you can risk it, but no more. We don't want HER to find out about this."
"What is it you are saying Darkfire?" Storm asked.
"We are going to take these designs and use them in our own defense." Darkfire stated. "We're going to take down the Hairy Hooligans once and for all."
"Use their own weapons against them?" Storm realized.
"And that is also why I must remain here, as a dragon. That way I can gather information from the Viking child, while simultaneously gaining my flight back. We must do whatever it takes to save our people," Darkfire explained.
"Darkfire that's brilliant!" Storm exclaimed.
"Calm yourself Storm." Darkfire reprimanded, "You should leave now, it's risky enough staying here too long."
"Don't worry my Prince." Storm said, standing attention, "You can count on me."
Darkfire smirked, "I know I can Storm, now go, before you are seen!"
Storm nodded and ran out of the smithy where he shifted back to his dragon form and flew into the air.
Darkfire released a breath, and then shifted back into his own form. They were taking on a dangerous mission, but it would be worth it, to take down the village of Berk may at last set them free from her control.