So I saw it today, and since it made me cry and was incredibly touching and beautiful (GAH) I am going to do this again. I have to say, it feels great to be back. :D Just bear with me, will you?
Gift of the Nightfury
Chapter One: Snoggletog
Winter had finally fallen upon Berk. It was early morning; dark, cold, and windy, and a light snow was falling, flakes whipping through the air, carried by the icy breeze. Everybody, dragon and Viking alike, was snuggled up safely and warmly in their homes. All except one.
This is Berk, boasting the balmy, fun-in-the-sun climate that will give you frostbite on your spleen. The one upside is our annual holiday. We call it: Snoggletog. Why we chose such a stupid name remains a mystery, but with the war long over and dragons living amongst us, this year's Snoggletog promises to be one to remember.
Hiccup rolled over in bed and slowly opened his eyes. What was that noise? The house suddenly rattled and there was a muffled roar from somewhere above him. Hiccup sighed and covered his head with his blanket, hoping the dragon would get the idea and leave him to a few more hours of sleep like everyone else was getting.
In response to the boy's silence, the house shook again, rattling Hiccup's helmet which was perched on the bedpost and sending clouds of dust drifting from the ceiling. Another roar from above. Hiccup groaned, rolled over, and reluctantly pushed the covers away. "Okay, okay, I'm comin'…"Hiccup slurred, sitting up and fumbling around the bed until he found his helmet.
It was times like these when Hiccup wished that Toothless was still able to fly on his own. He would have his fun and Hiccup would get a few extra hours of sleep. Hiccup supposed he deserved it, seeing that he was the one who put the dragon in this predicament and all, but it was still a little annoying. Hiccup didn't really mind, though. After he actually got up, he was glad that Toothless had woken him up early; that way they were the first ones in the sky before the crowds came. Hiccup remember back when the war was still on, where he was the only one to fly a dragon. Hiccup had had so much space, so much freedom. Now that everyone else was following his lead, the skies were experiencing quite a bit of traffic.
Hiccup stepped outside and involuntarily shivered a bit as the cold air hit him. Yawning, he walked around the house and was greeted with a low rumbling from Toothless, who was perched on top of the roof. "Well good morning, Mr. Bossy," Hiccup called up to him. Toothless made a sort of chittering noise.
Hiccup walked forward, forgetting about the large patch of ice that had formed beside the house a few days ago. "You always have to wake me up so early to go—"
At that moment, his prosthetic leg landed on the ice patch and Hiccup felt the ground jerk out from under him. "—flyiiiIIINNGG!" Hiccup yelped as he swung his arms around in the air as if that would break his fall. Just before he hit the ground, Toothless appeared in front of him like magic, and Hiccup fell against the dragon's neck, his legs skidding against the icy ground. Toothless lifted him off the ground and set him down in front of the ice patch, on solid, snowy ground. Hiccup let go of the dragon and kicked at the ground in frustration. "Stupid leg," he muttered under his breath.
Most people figured Hiccup didn't notice it anymore, but he still did. He noticed it from the minute he woke up to the moment he fell asleep. Walking was harder, especially in winter. There was an emptiness he felt that he couldn't really explain, that nobody would ever understand unless they too lost a limb. Hiccup knew Gobber understood. The veteran had promised him that one day Hiccup wouldn't notice it anymore. Hiccup hoped he was right.
Toothless whined softly, looking concerned. "Oh, thanks buddy, I'm okay," Hiccup assured him, steadying himself and smiling. "Yeah, we can go flying now." Hiccup stepped forward and extended a hand to scratch under Toothless's neck in the spot he liked. Just as Hiccup came close to his face, the dragon's mouth opened and he rumbled happily, unintentionally treating Hiccup to a sniff of what he had had for breakfast. Hiccup quickly pulled back and frantically began to fan dragon breath away from his face. "Ew! What? Ew! Toothless!"
Within minutes, they were airborne, flying around one of their favourite spots on Berk. For the past few days they had been practicing some aerial tricks, and today Hiccup was hoping to perfect one of them. "Come on, let's see what you got today!" Hiccup called to Toothless, and they angled downward in a steep dive through the clouds. Hiccup let out a whoop as they sped toward the sea and yelled, "Yeah!" as Toothless sharply angled up and sped across the water about ten feet from the surface.
Ahead of him, Hiccup saw a familiar rock formation they were using for one of their tricks, and he reached out to pat Toothless's neck. "Okay, you ready?" Hiccup asked, feeling his heart speed up with anticipation. Hiccup carefully unhooked his leg from the stirrup and slowly lifted himself into an uneasy surfing position on Toothless's back. "Easy…" Hiccup murmured, grinning as the rock formation loomed closer and closer.
Hiccup took a deep breath and leaped into the air, soared over the rock, and landed safely on Toothless, who had flown underneath. Hiccup had a moment of panic as he felt himself slip, but he quickly hooked his prosthetic into the stirrup and he knew he had done it. "Yes!" he cried happily as Toothless flew out over the open sea. "Finally!" Hiccup had no idea why no other Vikings had wanted to try aerial stunts. Flying was one of the best feelings in the world.
Meanwhile, back on Berk, everybody had woken up and was busy happily decorating the village for Snoggletog. Dragons with Vikings atop them flew left and right, carrying everything from shields to pine wreathes. Gobber was standing in front of a house that was being decorated with wreathes, directing a Viking woman on a Gronkle.
"Yes, yes…no, no, no, that one, a wee bit higher!" Gobber yelled up to her as she and the Gronkle hovered over the face of the building with a wreath.
"Here?" the woman yelled back, waving her arm at a spot at the top of the house.
"There!" Gobber confirmed, pleased. "Ah, that's the spot!"
Gobber felt a hand rest on his shoulder, and he turned to see Stoick, who was looking quite jolly. Everyone seemed to be having a great time decorating. The two Vikings observed a young child dressed in a makeshift Gronkle costume run up to a full-grown Gronkle and roar at it. The Gronkle responded with a louder roar that blew the child back a few inches, but the child merely giggled and ran away, the Gronkle following behind. From atop a ladder, Fishlegs proudly looked down at the dragon and said, "Attaboy, Meatlug!"
Astrid and her own dragon, Stormfly, were standing next to a pile of shields at the base of the huge wooden tree in the center of the village. Astrid picked up a shield in each hand and grinned at her dragon. "Are you ready, girl?"
Stormfly growled and shook herself, raising her spike-equipped tail.
With a grunt, Astrid heaved the shields into the air. Stormfly flicked her tail and sent several spikes flying. One by one, they hit the shields in mid air and skewered them to the tree.
Stoick and Gobber strolled through the village, chatting happily. "Odin's beard, Gobber," Stoick said, shaking his head in amusement. "Vikings spending the Winter holiday with dragons! What would our fathers say?"
"They'd think we'd lost our minds," Gobber responded cheerfully. Stoick let out a hearty laugh at his words and stopped in front of the large crowd of decorating Vikings. "Well done!" he yelled to everyone. "Well done, all of you!" The crowd turned to their chief and smiled, awaiting his next words.
"I never thought I'd live to see this day," Stoick began. The Vikings with their dragons close by reached out to give them an appreciative pat. "Peace on the island of Berk. This shall surely be the greatest holiday we've ever seen!" At his words, the entire crowd let out a cheer and a round of applause.
As Gobber laughed and began to speak, suddenly there was a low rumble from the sky. Stoick stopped smiling and looked up. "What the—"
One by one, all the dragons looks skyward, sniffing the air curiously, their heads twitching from side to side. Stormfly lifted her head from Astrid's arms and hissed at the sky.
The entire sky was filled with the shapes of dragons, all flying in a giant cloud toward Odin-knows-where. "What in Thor's name…?" Gobber said in confusion, looking around at all the different species in the sky.
A large Monstrous Nightmare climbed to the top of one of the bigger houses and let out a loud roar before alighting and taking off into the sky. "Come back!" cried Snotlout, who was left dangling from the roof. "What are you doing?"
As the rest of the grounded dragons laid eyes on their flying relatives, they took to the sky and quickly flew off to join them, ignoring their human friends' cries. "Meatlug!" shrieked Fishlegs, as his Gronkle prepared to take flight.
While half of the Vikings scrambled around, trying to restrain their dragons, the other half simply stood and watched, gasping to one another, "What's going on? What's happening?"
Astrid quickly scanned the crowd for Stormfly, and, not seeing her, whispered to herself, "Where's Hiccup?"
Toothless and Hiccup were still flying, completely unaware of what was happening. "What do you say, bud?" Hiccup asked. "You wanna go again?" Toothless gave his 'yes' rumble, and Hiccup grinned, more than ready to repeat the stunt. He looked up and was met with the scene of a thousand dragons flying at them. They had appeared out of nowhere; Hiccup hadn't seen them in the thick fog. Hiccup let out a startled yell and he and Toothless swerved to the right, narrowly avoiding a collision with a Monstrous Nightmare.
They managed to fly around without hitting anything, but a stray Nadder who had gotten too close nicked one of the horns on Hiccup's helmet and sent it flying. "Oh no!" gasped Hiccup, his hand flying to his head as he watched the gift from his father plummet out of sight. "My helmet!" Any other helmet would be expendable, but this one...this was a gift from Hiccup's father for finally becoming a Viking, not to mention half of his late mother's breastplate.
Toothless heard Hiccup cry out, glanced down at the helmet, and with a grunt, immediately plunged downwards after it. Hiccup yelped. "Nonononononononono!" The dragon didn't seem to hear him and kept diving. "Whoa whoa whoa, wait, Toothless!" Hiccup cried. Toothless cocked his head to the side and glanced back at his friend, waiting for a command.
"Stop," Hiccup said loudly, and Toothless extended his wings and slowed to a halt. "We'll get it later, bud," Hiccup assured his dragon, who was frantically watching the helmet fall faster towards the sea. "We need to get back and find out what's going on." Toothless reluctantly turned around in the air and with a roar, took off toward the island. They could get it later. If they could find it again...
"What's the matter?" wailed a Viking, running after a Nightmare who had just taken flight. "Where are you going?"
Astrid, in panic, spotted her dragon and extended her hands towards her. "Nononono, don't leave, Stormfly, don't go—!" But it was too late; the Nadder had taken off already, without even a backwards glance. "Please?" Astrid finished in a small voice.
Hiccup and Toothless reached the island at that moment, and Hiccup leaped off the dragon's back the instant his feet touched land. "Astrid!"
"Hiccup!" Astrid cried, running to her friend. "What's going on? Where are they going?"
Hiccup turned and gazed out at the sky, where the dragons were flying off into the distance. Behind him, the crowd of Vikings had caught up to them, and they were yelling out questions to him faster than he could speak.
"Why did they leave?" one Viking wanted to know.
"What's happening?" demanded Phlegma the Fierce, her normally confidant visage flooded with confusion.
"What if they never come back?" panicked Hoerk the Haggard.
Hiccup awkwardly cowered in the middle of it all, raising his arms to shield himself from their questions. "Stop! Wait!"
"Calm down!" boomed the voice of Stoick the Vast over the noise of the crowd, and the chief soon appeared, pushing several other Vikings away from his son. "Give him a chance to speak!" He stopped in front of Hiccup and held out his hands pleadingly. "Hiccup, where are all the dragons going?"
Hiccup shook his head in confusion. "Dad…I don't know."
Stoick let out a sad sigh, and the crowd of Vikings seemed to deflate a little. A roar from behind made Hiccup turn around. Stormfly was hovering over Toothless, who was rearing up on his hind legs and roaring to her. Hiccup couldn't understand dragon speak, but it looked like Stormfly was trying to get Toothless to follow her. Hiccup knew why Toothless was resisting. He couldn't fly off if he wanted too.
Stormfly eventually backed off and flew away, and Toothless settled back on four legs, looking wistfully out at the clouds of dragons flying away from Berk. Hiccup looked down at his dragon, wishing he understood what was going on, wishing he knew how to help his friend, and, though feeling extremely selfish for doing so, thanking the gods that Toothless wasn't leaving him yet. The crowd of Vikings watched helplessly as their dragons flew away.
The holiday was off to a bad start.