Disclaimer: HTTYD is not mine. No profit is being made.

Summary: A series of snapshots from Hiccup's early years. What childhood influences make a Hiccup? Add one boyhood crush, a tablespoon of Gobber's mentoring, two cups of childhood loneliness and ostracization, and a heaping helping of fatherly disapproval. Stir vigorously. Bake for fifteen years, then leave to cool in the brisk Berk climate.

Author's notes: Just wanted to try my hand at putting some background to Hiccup's crush on Astrid. Somehow, Hiccup's complicated relationship with his father, estrangement from the tribe, and relationship with Gobber wound their way in, too.

Catching the Sun

By Saphie

Part 1

When they were toddlers, their mothers would have a mug of cider together in the afternoons and discuss dragon-fighting tactics, battle-plans, adventuring, and the usual good-natured gossip just about every Viking engaged in when there wasn't something to fight. Clad in their woolen baby gowns, the young Hiccup and Astrid mostly sat around on the Hofferson's bear-skin rug enthusiastically drooling on themselves. Astrid, ever-determined, had completely ignored Hiccup, opting instead to spend all her time trying to roll over and crawl, her round baby face screwed up in determination. Hiccup, on the other hand, had simply lay there on the floor, watching Astrid with wide and curious eyes, gnawing on his newly-discovered fingers.

At least that was what Mrs. Hofferson had told the two later, after Hiccup had met Toothless, after he'd saved the village, after it became apparent that Hiccup was to be a regular fixture in Astrid's life.

Neither of them remembered anything from that age. In fact, Hiccup didn't remember anything before age five, other than a few snippets here and there of a brunette woman he thought was maybe his mother. He had never really questioned why his memories of early childhood were so sparse, but if he had, he would have supposed that it had something to do with the fact that he'd never had anyone to discuss the things that happened to him with. Wasn't that, after all, how memories worked? Events happened and a child's memory of them was reinforced by the loving reminisces of family members.

"Remember that time you got into the flour bin?"

"Remember when you refused to wear clothes and ran through the village?"

"Remember when you opened the window during one of the raids and let a Terrible Terror into the house?"

His father hadn't really ever been the type to reminisce. Growing up, Hiccup often wondered if that was because he didn't like to talk about the time he'd lost his wife or if it was because he didn't like to talk about the time he'd still had hope for his son.

Maybe it was just because for the longest time they couldn't seem to talk to each other at all.

In any case, after hearing Mrs. Hofferson cheerfully tell the both of them about it one day while he and Astrid sat in her kitchen having an afternoon snack, Hiccup came to the quiet conclusion that it had likely been the start of a trend of Astrid being impressive and him being impressed.