The Night That Changed Me
Chapter One: This Is Berk
By I am Number 5
I don't own anything. How to Train Your Dragon and all the characters belong to Dreamworks Animation and Cressida Cowel.
What words could be used to describe my life?
Well, there are many.
You could use any word that applies to a crappy life. Because my life is, in fact, crappy. And I'll let you know why.
Ever since I could crawl, I was...different. I never used to understand why I was different, until it dawned on me as I grew older. I was physically weak. My arms were thin and boney, and I could barely lift a bucket full of water! In fact, I was thin and boney all over! My arms and legs were like toothpicks, my chest had just started showing, and my waist was just a straight line. Even my face thin! Most confuse me for a boy, and it just goes to show you how dim Vikings can be, because I'm pretty sure boys don't braid their hair - unless they're just that weird.
The only thing that was truly pretty about me was probably my hair and maybe my eyes. My hair was blonde - almost white - and was really long. It went down to my knees, but since it was always braided with monkey's fists knots at the ends, they went to my upper-thighs. My eyes were gray, a rare eye color on the island of Berk (my home). No one really notices the color of my eyes, but when I look at my hideous reflection, I always feel a bit more beautiful inside when I stare into my own eyes. That is, until I get shot down by a bunch of guys on my appearance.
I'm not just different; I'm known as the village screw-up. Whatever I touch falls to pieces, chaos happens wherever I go, trouble follow me like a shadow or a lost puppy. Or both. People look down on me because of my constant mistakes, the people around my age always make fun of me. Including my own twin. But I'll get to him later.
My mother died when I was little, and I was left with a disappointed father and an asshole of a twin brother. Lucky me. They never cared about me, and sometimes I have to fend for myself, which was a difficult task in its own right.
For years I walked through life thinking I was the only one suffering.
But it wasn't until that fateful night, where my life went into a strange direction.
My life changed entirely that night.
And it all started with a dragon raid.
An explosion woke me from a dreamless sleep. I nearly fell out of bed in surprise to be honest - it doesn't take much to scare me out of my mind.
I threw the covers off my body and hopped out of bed to open my bedroom window. Villagers were already running about, weapons clutched tightly in their fists.
I knew the drill: change, shove some food down your throat, run for your life to your assigned job.
After five years of this, I was able to change in the dark really fast (assuming I don't trip over everything I left on the floor). I hopped into the hallway while pulling my boot on. A calloused hand shoved me forward and I promptly fell on my face.
"Go drown yourself Tuffnut."
My brother cackled as he ran down the stairs, snatched a piece of bread off the table and headed out the door to his assigned job: Fire Patrol.
I scowled and brushed my hair out of my face. After pulling my boot on completely, I ran down the stairs, grabbed a piece of bread and flew out the door.
As I ran through the village, dodging Vikings left and right, people were yelling at me to get back inside. I ignored them and ran even faster to the forge.
It remains a mystery as to why it had to be me, of all people, to be assigned as the blacksmith apprentice. Even though I excel at forging, it seemed kind of stupid that they let the screw-up work in a room full of sharp objects and fire.
Not the smartest move on their part. Idiots.
I burst into the shop. Gobber, who was hammering away at a piece of metal, turned and grinned. "Well, look who decided to join the party; I thought you would have been carried off."
I scoffed as I tied my apron strings. "Who me? Please, those dragons wouldn't know what to do with all of this!" I said, gesturing to myself.
"Well, they need toothpicks, don't they?"
I clapped sarcastically. "Oh, good one; been working on that one all day, haven't you?"
Gobber chuckled. "Yeh have ta admit; it was pretty good."
I shrugged and brushed my bangs out of my face before heading towards the shop window. A group of Vikings had placed a small pile of weapons on the sill, and I picked them all up with difficulty before getting to work on them. The men looked at me impatiently, and began urging me to hurry up.
"Okay, I'm hurrying up!" I exclaimed, giving them an irritated look. "Keep your shirts on!"
As I worked, an explosion sounded from a distance, indicating that something had been blown up. Gobber frowned and peaked out the window.
"There goes another torch."
I snorted; like one missing torch would make a difference.
A fire was blazing near the forge and five teens rushed by with a large barrel of water. Fire patrol. I peeked out the window - after handing the fixed weapons to the men - to watch as they filled up buckets and scattered in different directions to put out the fires. I guess this is the part of the story where I point out the important people.
There's Fishlegs. He's, like, a borderline nerd. He pretty much memorized the entire Dragon Manual overnight. He's strong (when he needs to be), nice, and really bulky (I just don't have the heart to call him fat), and recites dragon stats everywhere he goes. And yet, despite all that, he's infinitely more popular than me. Nothing makes sense in this world. But he's got a good heart, and him and I are...aquaintances I guess.
That's Snotlout...there are many words that could describe him. And not very many of them are particularly nice. He's all brawn and no brains, has an ego the size of a Thunderdrum's mouth (and trust me; Thunderdrums have huge mouths), the biggest asshole you will ever meet, and my brother's best friend. He's also a hopeless flirt; he's almost always seen hitting on the village girls. But from what I heard, he's got a heart. Somewhere. Somewhere deep down.
Speaking of which, that's Tuffnut. My twin brother. To be brutally honest, he's almost exactly like Snotlout. Strong but dumb, egotistical, an asshole, but not to the the extent of Snotlout. Just barely. He teases me in public whenever I cross his path; laughs in my face, kicks me when I'm down (literally and figuratively), and occasionally says that he was the favorite child. And you know what? He's totally right. My dad hates me, and everyone on Berk knows it. But at home, he doesn't do those things; most of the time we'll get into arguments about the dumbest things and end up wrestling all over the floor of our house - and I never win, mind you. But otherwise, he's okay;
There's Astrid; my sole friend on this forsaken island. She's the only person I can ever go to when I feel really shitty, when Snotlout or Tuffnut said something that really hurt me, or if I just wanna talk to someone. She knows about my situation, and she tries her best to help me, and while I'm more than appreciative of her attempts, I don't think anything will change it. Astrid always tries to get me to hang out with the group, but I always decline, because if I agreed, all that would happen is Snotlout and Tuffnut will throw anything that would annoy me my way, and I would just end up leaving.
But there's only one person who truly catches my eye.
The name was really unintimidating to most, but Hiccup was the strongest out of all of them (despite being the smallest as well). He was also the cutest, most talented, and the smartest out of them all. He is the son of the Stoick the Vast, the chief of the village, and almost all the young girls on Berk were pinning for him, and trust me, I'm no exception. Almost anything he does makes me swoon - as girly as that sounds - and could you really blame me? He's hot. I'm just gonna be blunt. We don't really talk much, but he's pretty nice to me whenever we talk.
As the five pass the window, they had an interesting way of greeting me.
Fishlegs smiled and waved at me. I waved back half-heartedly.
Snotlout and Tuffnut smirked and yelled, "Hey Useless!". I flipped them off.
Hiccup glanced at me and gave me a tiny smile, but kept going, without looking back.
Astrid stopped and hopped onto the window sill. "Hey Ruff!" she grinned.
I grinned back and sat next to her. "How's fire patrol?" I asked, brushing off my apron.
"Pretty good," Astrid shrugged. "It'd be way better if you were there."
I shook my head in denial. "I'm not going out there Ast. I'll just be embarassed by the guys. And even if I wanted to, Gobber would never let me."
"Right as Hel, I wouldn't!" Gobber yelled from the back of the forge.
"Astrid!" Hiccup called. "We need some help!"
"Why are you wasting time talking to Useless?" Snotlout asked in disbelief.
"You should get back out there," I pointed out, sliding off the sill.
"Yeah," she agreed, sliding off as well. "See you later?"
I nodded. "Try not to get mauled!"
"I could say the same to you!" Astrid joked, before running off. "Bye Ruff!"
I sighed and waved half-heartedly. I leaned out the window...just a little -
But was grabbed by the back of my shirt and dragged back in to the shop.
"Oh, let me out please! I need to make my mark!" I complained.
"You've made plenty of marks." Gobber said, setting me down. "All in the wrong places."
I scowled. "Please, just a few minutes! I'll kill a dragon, my life will get infinitely better. I might even get a date!"
Gobber sighed. "You can't lift a hammer, you can't swing an ax, you can't even throw one of these!" He said, lifting a bola.
Just then, a Viking rushed over and snatched it from Gobber's hands, before throwing it and hitting a Gronkle.
"Okay, but this will throw it for me!" I said, walking over to a wooden contraption of my own creation. When my hand brushed against it, a tiny boulder was launched and hit a Viking in the face, who promptly fell unconcious.
Gobber sighed in annoyance "See, now this right here is what I'm talkin' about!"
I fumbled with my words. "I can fix it-!"
"No, no Ruffnut! If you want to get out there to fight dragons you need to stop all...this."
I scoffed. "But you just pointed to all of me!"
Gobber nodded. "Yes! That's it! Stop being all of you!"
"Ohh..." I said in a I-see-what-you're-saying tone.
"You sir, are playing a dangerous game! Keeping this much raw, Viking-ness contained! There will be consequences!" I shouted.
"I'll take my chances. Sword. Sharpen. Now."
I sighed before complying.
One day I'll get out there. Because killing a dragon is everything around here!
Killing a Deadly Nadder would at least get me noticed. Gronkle's are tough. Killing one of those would definitely get me a boyfriend. A Hideous Zippleback - exotic, two-heads, twice the status. Then there's the Monstrous Nightmare. Only the best Vikings go after those. They have this nasty habit of setting themselves on fire.
But the ultimate prize, is the dragon nobody has ever seen. We call it the-
A blast of blue fire turned a catapult towers into a pile of ash and splinters.
I cursed and dove under the counter.
This thing never steals food, never shows itself, and never misses. No one has ever killed a Night Fury; and that's why I'm going to be the first.
"Man the forge Ruffnut. They need me out there." Gobber turned to me with a serious expression, like he was gonna school me."Stay. Put. Here."
I raised an eyebrow at him.
"You know what I mean." And with a loud battle cry, he ran (hobbled?) out the forge.
Checking to make sure he was gone, I threw off my apron and grabbed my invention before running out the back door.
I stood there in the darkness, waiting. "Give me something to shoot at. Give me something to shoot at " I whispered to myself. "Please, please, please, give me something to shoot at."
Suddenly something black whizzed nearby. I yelped and accidentally activated the machine, the force pushing me back.
There was a roar. I watched as the black shape fell out of the sky and into the forest.
I jumped up. "Yes I hit it! Did anybody see that?"
My invention was suddenly stomped on and a large red dragon loomed over my head. My shoulders slumped as I stared at it. "Except for you." The Nightmare roared in my face and I took off.
I screamed running through the village, the Nightmare right behind me. I ducked behind a pole and yelped as the flames flew around the pole. The Nightmare loomed around the side of the pole and prepared to bite me, but was suddenly punched to the side by the none other than Stoick the Vast.
The blood red dragon growled in rage; the Nightmare opened it's mighty jaws and attempted to breathe fire on him, but only managed to burp out a tiny flame.
Stoick grinned. "You're all out." The Nightmare gave a blood-curdling shriek before flying off.
Hoping no one would see me, I slowly tip toed away from the crowd, but someone grabbed me by the wrist. I slowly turned to see who was gripping my wrist:
"Hey Hiccup...how's it going?"
Stoick stood behind Hiccup and put his hand on his shoulder. "I'll handle this son."
Hiccup shook his head. "That's okay dad, I think I should tell her." I closed my eyes in preparation for the scolding I was about to recieve. "Ruffnut...I'm not trying to seem harsh at all. You're not a bad person, I know you're intentions are good, and there are no hard feelings, but...I really think you should just stay inside. I don't want anyone - including you - to get hurt."
I crossed my arms and huffed. "It's not like I'm trying to mess up all the time!"
"I know you don't! You're just trying to prove your worth, and I'm not telling you it's a bad thing, I just-"
"You just think I'm gonna destroy everything if I keep trying." I said bluntly.
"I never said that!" Hiccup raised his hands in defense.
"You didn't have to!" I snapped.
"Ruffnut!" Hiccup exclaimed. "Please, just calm down."
I grunted and turned my back to him. I heard Hiccup sigh and he put a hand on my shoulder. "I just don't think you're cut-out for dragon killing. But that's okay; I think Berk has enough warriors, and we're not just gonna fall to pieces if we have one less. But you're really good in the forge! Maybe you can be the next blacksmith!"
I felt a bit light-headed when he said that - he complimented me! "Really?"
Hiccup nodded. "Yeah!"
"What is it?"
I mumbled something so softly, only I could decipher it.
"What?" he asked, leaning forward.
I blushed. "I caught a Night Fury."
Hiccup raised an eyebrow. "Didn't you say that last time? Only, it was Hoark?"
I blushed. "No, really, I did hit one this time! If you guys would just listen to me, I could-"
Hiccup sighed. "Just stop. Go home Ruffnut - get some rest." He gently turned me towards Gobber. "Make sure she gets there."
Gobber hit me upside the head. I scowled at him.
Tuffnut laughed at me. "Quite the performance!"
"I've never seen anyone mess up that badly - that helped!" Snotlout added.
I tried my best to ignore them. "Thank you. I was trying so hard. Go fuck yourselves!"
At least I still had my sarcasm.
Gobber clamped his hand over Tuffnut's face and shoved him to the ground in annoyance. Astrid had had enough as well, since she stood up and punched Snotlout in the face.
"Leave her alone!" she shouted, gripping her axe tightly. I smiled lightly to myself; it felt good to have people defend you for once.
Astrid turned to Gobber and I. "You can go home Gobber; I'll take her home."
Gobber simply nodded and stumped off toward his house.
When we were out of an earshot, I spoke up. "Thanks for helping me back there."
Astrid smiled kindly. "No problem. You don't deserve to be treated that way. I don't blame you for trying so hard to impress everyone."
"They never listen to me! How can they expect to know who I am, when they don't even bother trying to find out? They all think they know Ruffnut Thorston, the village screw-up, but they don't! I just-" I plopped down on my porch. "Why do they hate me so much Astrid? What did I ever do to them that was so awful, that they had to treat me like the gunk under their boots? Like I don't even have feelings? Why do people always forget that what they say hurts?"
Astrid sat down next to her and put an arm around my shoulders. "They just don't know where their heads are."
"I know, you've told me a million times!" I exclaimed. "And my dad isn't making life any better either. He doesn't even talk to me anymore! We barely even make eye contact! And when we do it's always with this...disapointed scowl, like he's been cheated or someone skimped on the meat in his sandwhich."
I began imitating my father's accent. "Excuse me, barmaid! I'm afraid you brought me the wrong offspring! I ordered an extra-large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side! This here, this is a talking fishbone of a girl!"
"Look, you're thinking about this all wrong. It's not so much what you look like, it's what's inside that he can't stand!" Astrid said, trying to soothe me.
I gave her a look of disbelief. "Thank you. I feel so much better."
"Well, I feel sorry for them. You know why?"
I shook my head.
She put her arms around me and gave me a squeeze. "Because they don't have the pleasure of knowing the Ruffnut I know. Not the one who breaks whatever she touches and causes disaster wherever she goes. That's the one they think they know. I'm talking about the kind, witty, sarcastic, misunderstood, beautiful Ruffnut. The one that I know."
I smiled and hugged her back. "Thank you. You're the only person who truly cares."
Astrid pulled back and patted my shoulder. "They'll understand someday. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday. I promise."
I sighed before pushing my door open. "Well, one can only hope. See you later Ast." With that, I closed the door behind me.
Only to jump out the back door, unnoticed.
Time to find that Night Fury.
WHAT? STEF WROTE SOMETHING? NO WAY! GET OUT OF HERE!
I am sososososo sorry for my lack of updates. Writer's block has taken the pleasure of fucking me up the ass lately, but I've finally got an idea for chapter three of Rules! So hopefully I will be able to post that soon.
I've been writing this for a while now, and I finally finished the firsts chapter. So, I hope you like it!
-I am Number 5