I watched as the sun rose up in the northern sky, the stars fading into the blue sky, invisible to human eyes, the sliver of a moon still slightly visible in the west. I always loved this time of day, watching the colors of dawn spreading across the sky, colors so vivid and beautiful that there was no way man could ever perfectly replicate.
I wondered if my dad saw in black and white, or in color.
Slowly, I stood up, my blankets falling around me, and I walked over to our unfinished house. If we end up leaving shortly because of my mistake right after finishing this house, I'm going to cry. Houses took a lot of work and time out of you.
"Up so early?" Gretchen asked from the other side of the skeleton-house.
"What the~you were just over there!" I asked, wondering how she always managed to do this.
"I saw an opportunity, and took it." she winked at me.
"But..." I started, before smarting up and deciding that this would be stupid.
"But what? I'm old?" she smiled. "Old, yes, but I get around."
Something was wrong with Gretchen. She told people she was my grandma, and then she called herself old?
"Go get some breakfast, dear." Gretchen suggested. "I'll work today, you go try to make some friends."
Make friends? She never said that before. I never needed to, I had her and dad.
"Okay..." I said and started to walk away, before turning back. "Are you sure you'll be okay?"
"I'm fine, darling, go on." she reassured me.
I turned around, only to come face to face with my dad.
"Geez!" I jumped backwards. "Would you guys quit doing that?"
My dad gave one of those dragon chuckles, and started walking to the village with me. I decided to follow my dad to 'The Ring' to see exactly what it was. It looked kind of like an arena where you would train to fight rather than house dragons, but Vikings did have a way of surprising people. Like their names.
There were dragons everywhere, though. Eating from a giant trough in the middle of the ring, and several dragons who were just waking up walked out of some of the rooms that were built in this 'Ring'.
Dad walked over to the trough and grabbed a fish, and set it down in front of my feet.
"Gross, Dad!" I said in English, thankfully, so that no one could catch my slip-up. "You know I don't eat raw fish!"
My father chuckled again and pushed it towards me some more.
"Ew! It's looking at me!" I tried, and started backing away.
Dad shrugged and poked the fish's eyes out.
"Gross!" I shrieked. "I'm going to have nightmares forever, thanks to you!"
Dad simply pushed the fish towards me once again, and I backed farther away, only to bump into another dragon.
"Whoops. Sorry." I said, petting the dragon here known as a 'Gronckle'.
The Gronckle closed his eyes in pleasure, and then soon smelled the fish that had now been shoved right at my feet.
The Gronckle, thankfully, ate it, causing my dad to roll his eyes in defeat, and continued to eat for himself.
"Thanks, man." I said, rubbing his nose. "You understand English?"
The Gronckle gave a nod, and I smiled.
"Did you hear about...my dad?" I asked.
He nodded again.
"Does your rider understand English?"
Negative response from dragon.
"Good, don't tell him now." I warned. "Or I'll get my dad to eat you."
The Gronckle imitated a smile and walked over to his rider...Fishlegs.
"Fishlegs! Geez, are you all going to sneak up on my today!" I yelled.
"What? You're not speaking Norse!" he stated to me. "All I understood was my name."
"You just scared me, that's all," I said, switching back to Norse.
"So what did you and Meatlug talk about?" Fishlegs asked, and I noticed he was fiddling with his fingers nervously.
"Nothing much. The weather, gossip, the normal stuff." I replied.
"I see." he said. "I'm going to get breakfast." he said and bolted for the door.
I shook my head. "Hey Dad!" I said again in English. "I'm gonna walk around the woods."
Dad shrugged as I took off towards the door, and headed to my destination. I found some Aphelions growing in a bush some ways in, and reached down to pick one.
It shriveled up in my hand. I sighed and placed it down.
Small animals and plants weren't evolved enough to repel the Devil's Curse. They always died when I touched them. It's a good thing Dragons and Humans were, or else I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I remember the day I found out, I found an injured squirrel. I freed it from its trap, and it started running away from me in fright. It fell down, and I tried to help it stand again, but it simply dropped back down, dead.
That was the worst day of my life.
I decided that I was done in the forest for today, and headed to get some breakfast.
I opened the doors to the Meade Hall, and Hiccup and Astrid, sitting together as always, jerked their heads up as I walked in.
I smiled at them and was about to sit by myself, when I remembered Gretchen's words about finding friends, and sat down at their table across from them instead.
"Hey." Astrid said, staring at her cup. Hiccup nodded at me.
"Hi." I said.
"So..." Hiccup started. "How many languages do you speak?"
"Uh, my native language is English, obviously I know Norse, I've been taught Latin, Greek, and Italian, and Gre—Grandma is currently teaching me French.
"That's cool." Astrid responded, not looking up from her cup.
I sighed. "I can sit somewhere else if you want."
"Nah, it's cool." Astrid said, looking up for a second. "We're just...still getting used to you, is all."
"Yeah." Hiccup said. "We'd like to get to know you better."
"What's there to know?" I shrugged, picking at the tough mutton I had been served.
"Where are your parents?" Hiccup asked.
In my shock, I pierced the meat right through to the tray, which I didn't even think was possible.
"Uh...my dad...well, Mom was...uh, they died?" I tried.
They nodded, and I could tell they didn't really believe me.
Time for Story Time.
"My mom and dad lived in London." I started. "We lived with my Grandma, whom you have met, since Mom and Dad weren't doing so well money wise. My mom made clothes, and my dad was a shoemaker's apprentice." I lied, with surprising confidence.
"Dad brought got fired from his job one day, and he joined a blacksmith's. He brought work home every day. One day, something went wrong as he worked from our home. It burned up.
"My mom and I were sleeping, and Dad was trying to put out the flames, as Grandma went to wake us up. She grabbed me first, and by the time she got to my parents room, a beam had fallen on their bed, trapping Mom. Dad heard the crash and ran up, telling Grandma to take me to safety. We got out, but they never did." I made up, trying to fake a tear, and tried not to smile when one finally fell down.
"We met Hippo a few years later." I finished. "And have been running from dragon haters ever since."
Hiccup and Astrid both stared at me wide-eyed, either feeling sorry for me or surprised that I would tell them something.
If only they knew I had just made it up. Astrid reached her hand for mine in a comforting manner, but I pulled back, still a little wary about the flower incident, even though I knew it wouldn't kill humans.
"I should go help Grandma." I said, and walked out of the Hall.
Hiccup stared at the tray Hannah had left behind. "What was that?"
Astrid shook her head. "Now I just feel terrible, thinking bad things about her."
"Hey guys." Fishlegs sat down next to where Hannah had just left. "Whose is that?" he asked pointing to Hannah's breakfast.
"You can have it." Astrid said.
"I...don't really want it..." Fishlegs muttered. "It feels...wrong."
Hiccup and Astrid struggled not to choke on their meal. "You don't want to eat that?" Astrid nearly yelled in shock.
Fishlegs stiffly shook his head.
"Well that's new." Ruffnut said from right behind Fishlegs.
"Dieting now, are you?" Tuffnut asked.
"He wouldn't last a week." Ruffnut responded to Tuffnut.
"More for me." Snotlout stated, picking up the uneaten mutton. He bit into it, and stopped chewing after a while. "I don't think I should eat this, actually. I think it's gone bad."
"Then I'll just have to eat it, then!" Tuffnut challenged, grabbing for the meat in his friend's hand.
"No way, it's mine! You have your own!" Snotlout jerked the mutton back.
"So do you, genius." Ruffnut retorted.
"Now I have two!" Snotlout defended.
Astrid and Hiccup sighed and continued to eat, smiling at the nostalgia of their friends' bickering.
"Your bigger than my brother, Snot. He needs to fatten up too."
"Yeah!" Tuffnut agreed. "Wait, what?"
"Aw, you can't even tell when you sister insults you anymore? That's just sad."
"No, I think she was insulting you, Snotlout." Fishlegs said.
"What?" Snotlout paused to think, when the mutton was yanked out of his hand by Ruffnut, who had already finished her original.
"Thanks, Ruff." Tuffnut said. "But you didn't have to. Give it."
"Finder's Keepers." Ruffnut mocked as she bit into the tough meat.
Astrid and Hiccup smiled at their friends.
"Better luck next time, Tuff." Astrid consoled.
"You can have mine." Hiccup offered, pushing his barely touched mutton over to his friend.
Tuffnut nodded his thanks and started eating both his meats at once.
"I'm gonna go check on Toothless. He hasn't been himself lately." Hiccup stood up and started to walk away.
Astrid pushed her meat to Snotlout, and followed Hiccup. "I'll come with you."
The couple walked away from their friends, who were still arguing over their meat, even though now they each had two. It made no sense, really.
"So, what's wrong with Toothless?" Astrid questioned, trying to break the silence.
"I don't know. He's always looking at Hannah's dragon with a way I can't describe, though." Hiccup sighed. "What is with that dragon?"
"I don't know, but I'd like to find out." Astrid took off running towards Hannah and Gretchen's soon-to-be house.
"Astrid!" Hiccup yelled and limped after her.
They reached their destination, and Astrid hid down beside some trees, pulling Hiccup down with her when he came by.
"Shh!" Astrid placed a hand over his mouth.
"But what about Toothless?" Hiccup asked as soon as she let him go.
"This will help him, I'm sure." Astrid assured, peering around the corner, to see the two women talking in that strange language of theirs. Hippo was helping Gretchen haul some wood over to the skeleton, and Hannah would pick a board up, say something to Gretchen, causing the grandma to laugh and the dragon to imitate a laugh, and Hannah then nailed the board in its place. She had left a small gap, and as Hannah yelled in frustration, she nearly fell off of the ladder she was currently on, and her dragon quickly steadied it, ready to catch Hannah if she fell. She smiled, said something else, and kissed the dragon's nose.
"They seem all right." Hiccup said.
A rabbit then ran by, and Hannah clung to the ladder, trying to get away from it. The rabbit seemed to stare in confusion at Hannah, hopping a little closer and sniffing the air, then ran away from her at a speed which surprised Hiccup and Astrid.
"She can befriend an 'unholy dragon', but she's terrified...of bunnies?" Astrid asked herself. "How does that work?"
Hippo then turned around, facing the spying couple. Hiccup gasped, but Astrid ducked down, and pulled Hiccup down with her, covering his mouth.
"Heil!" a young accented voice greeted.
"Uh, hi!" Hiccup tried. "How are you doing?"
"Good. How 'bout you?" Hannah asked.
"We're okay." Astrid played along.
"So...what'cha doin'?" Hannah asked, her face dropping a bit.
"We...came to help." Hiccup tried.
Hannah smiled. "Great! Although, the bushes don't have strong enough twigs to use as wood." she dropped her smile. "I guess it's the thought that counts, though." she said, almost threateningly. She handed Hiccup a hammer, and a saw to Astrid. "Grandma needs our help." she then led the two over to her soon-to-be house, and whispered something in her language to her grandmother, who slowly nodded and glanced at the two, no emotion showing on her old face.
"Well, let's get to work!" Hannah exclaimed, her dragon also now staring at the two of them. "Don't let Hippo get to you. He's just overprotective, remember."
Hiccup and Astrid nodded, and started to get to work, their embarrassment eating away at their insides at getting caught.
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