Ooh, a third chapter. How fun. Thanks to Anonymous Heavy on the Anon, EquinoxKnight01, Kilatalis and all my guest reviewers for reviewing the last chapter. Apologies that I never respond directly, I just don't know what to say! :D A special thanks to EquinoxKnight01 who mentioned me in his story and reminded me to get a move on.
Previously: Hiccup gets framed by Snotlout at the Hong Kong International Airport after the Transfer of Sovereignty from Britain to China, and we get an insight into Hiccup's life at school. He argues with his father and is late to Astrid's. After Astrid tells Hiccup that she'll do the project herself, she learns that one of the wolves at the local zoo has escaped.
Note: This story is written in British English and is also set in the United Kingdom, which has a very different education system to the United States.
Disclaimer: 'How To Train Your Dragon' is owned by Dreamworks Animation and Cressida Cowell. Kent is a real county, Berkford is not a real town. I am not responsible if London 2012 is a complete and utter failure, blame the weather.
The Escaped Wolf: Chapter 3
Thursday 9th September 1999
It was early in the morning, just past 7am, and the search for the missing wolf was put on hold. They wouldn't try to find the wolf in daylight, at least not in this area. Any daytime searching was happening across the road, where there was an abundance of holes, burrows and dens that the wolf could stay in.
A police officer nodded, standing alongside a row of trees opposite Berkford Academy. He was writing in the details of the traps that had been laid within the school's forest area. 'Right, so when will the warning signs go up?' he asked.
Jeremy Jorgenson, commonly known was Spitelout for some absurd reason, shifted nervously on his feet. 'Uh, we won't be able to put up the signs until tomorrow, sir.' He glanced towards the forest, the 10 traps he had laid down to capture the wolf if it dare venture towards the school. 'Perhaps, in the mean time, we should just let the school tell the students?'
The officer nodded in agreement, tucking the piece of paper firmly into one of his many pockets. He looked at the man in front of him, almost feeling intimidated by the man's broad chest and beefy arms. He looked so similar to his brother, the MP for Berkshire. 'It's unlikely the wolf would come by this way anyway. From where it was sighted, it would have to cross two roads; one of them being very busy.'
Spitelout stood in deep thought for a few moments. 'But wolves move at night. And this area is like a ghost-town at night. We're not in inner-city London where the streets are always pretty busy. We are in Berkford.' He grinned slightly, remembering where the police officer had previously said come from. 'Must be the most exciting thing that's ever happened to you since transferring from the Metropolitan Police.'
The officer rolled his eyes, staring again at the forest. 'We really should have people actively searching for this wolf everywhere possible. We're putting people at risk by going this. Not only that, but we're endangering other wildlife. Especially considering the traps Kent Police bought last year have this weird delay that makes them snap late.'
Spitelout nodded in understanding, turning around to walk towards his car. 'Well… I'll see you in the morning tomorrow, hopefully with those signs.' He glanced up to the see the officer making his way to the school buildings, giving him the thumbs up. Although his face showed deep signs of concern.
Finding this wolf was probably going to take some time.
The grand hall was restless. Well...okay, not so grand. It was more of a simple, not so elegant assembly hall; with half the lights not working and the other half filled with dead flies. The curtains to hide the lack of stage equipment at the front looked old and were riddled with moth holes and small tears. The students that filled the small green chairs buzzed with excitement.
'Now remember, the school field and the forest areas are now out of bounds. If you see any signs of a wolf, report it immediately to a teacher. Alternatively, if no teacher is around, scream was loud as you can and hopefully we'll be able to arrive in time to give your remains to your parents. Have a great day!' the principal finished, smiling happily at the students and staff before her.
There was a loud gasp from the staff, before they began laughing. It was quite apparent though, by the look on their faces, that they were quite worried about a wolf being loose near the school grounds. The students however, after initially staring in shock at what the principal had said, still looked excited at the prospect of there being a wolf near school. They all stood up hurriedly, making their way to form the notorious Berkford Academy scrum by the main exit.
'One of FOUR main exits,' Hiccup muttered quietly, exiting through one of the lesser-used doors. Unlike most assembly halls, the one at Berkford Academy stood alone, meaning all doors led outside. Hiccup had learned quickly to use one of the other exits and wait for the crowd to lessen. His first experience of the scrum was not pleasant.
So, it was official. Astrid went from disliking him to hating his guts, and now there was a great chance of getting eaten by a wolf. 'At least no one would care,' he thought sadly, then an idea sprung to mind. 'What if I could it?' he asked himself, 'What if I caught the wolf? I would become awesome!'
'Shut it, loser,' his cousin, Snotlout, sneered. Toby and Rachel Thorston, or Ruffnut and Tuffnut to most, smirked at him. Astrid glared at Snotlout, she was never a real fan of bullying. But she did find Hiccup's 'shenanigans', as she liked to put it, highly annoying. Fishlegs was the only one there that looked indifferent, he was simply staring at the floor like usual. Hiccup often wondered if he and Fishlegs had more in common that met the eye.
Hiccup looked away, trying to move away faster. He glanced back, noticing that the others had not followed. Instead, their focus had moved onto matters discussed, or dictated to, in assembly. It was then he noticed that Astrid had black bags under her eyes, apparently Snotlout had been trying to talk to her all night. 'Bet she enjoyed that,' he thought. He looked away from the group, resuming his slower-pace towards the auditorium.
'I wanna give it some serious burns!' Ruffnut declared, smirking as she glanced to her brother, who nodded in agreement. She and her brother continued walking towards the auditorium, talking about how they would find the wolf and kill it. The discussion led to the usual bickering between the twins, who were arguing over who would capture and kill the dragon first.
'Meh, it's only fun if you get a scar out of it,' Astrid said nonchalantly, flicking her hair behind her shoulders. She glanced Fishlegs, who looked like he was contemplating someone. 'Hey Fishy, what's up?'
Fishlegs looked up from his food, which he had just placed down onto the table, and smiled sheepishly. 'I was just thinking about how fast it is compared to us...it must have like...+15 speed!' Fishlegs seemed to beam at his statement, proud of his large pool of factual knowledge.
At that moment Snotlout stuck out his leg from under the table. Hiccup had only a moment to move his legs out of the way, stumbling and spilling his drink in the process. He growled and muttered under his breath, straightening his plate and cutlery on his tray. Before he could move away again, Snotlout spoke.
'Hey useless? You know that wolf? I hope you don't find it. I hope it finds you – we'll all be better off if it eats you!' he laughed loudly, turning to Ruffnut and Tuffnut who joined in with him. Astrid had a smirk on her face, which was quickly dropped when she saw the hurt in Hiccup's eyes. She glanced down at her plate, suddenly ashamed of herself. Hiccup had stared at Astrid for a few seconds, noticing her avoid his gaze. He glanced back down at his food, and moved away from the snickering group.
As Hiccup moved away, he began contemplating what Snotlout had said. 'What if it would be better if the wolf ate me? Would anyone actually miss me?' He quickly shook his head, shaking the thoughts out of it. Of course people would miss him...surely someone, somewhere...in fact, the more he thought about it, the less certain he had become.
Hiccup stumbled through the trees of the forest near the school. In actual fact, is was just a group of about 60 trees within the school grounds, but to him it was the forest he assumed the wolf would be hiding in. He didn't know why he was searching for the wolf here, the wolf had been sighed near the school, not in the school. If anyone had seen the beast lurking amongst the trees in the school grounds, well...they would've finished school and shot it by now.
Held in his hands were two items, his left hand held the knife that he had been eating with. The knife was blunt, however, he still thought that something, even if it was essentially just a butter knife, would be better than meeting the wolf with nothing to defend himself with. In his other hand was a small notebook, more of a sketchbook than anything. There it had a hand-drawn map of the area, and all known dens where he thought the wolf may be staying in.
He glanced down at his map, sighing as he realised he'd passed every known den, plus a few more. 'Damn it…' he whispered, "I'm never going to find that wo–' a loud snap and pained whimper made Hiccup pause. He gripped his knife harder, his knuckles turning white. He slowly began to turn. As his eyes travelled across the trees in front of him, he saw it.
Well, you couldn't really miss it.
The wolf curled around itself, trying to reach its tail. Loud whimpers being emitted from deep within its throat. Hiccup ducked behind a boulder, and peered around nervously. That was when he saw it. A large trap the wolf had trod on, but somehow had only activated after it had moved away. Instead of capturing and crippling its leg, it snapped near the base of the wolf's tail.
Hiccup's eyes widened, and began to stare at the wolf. It was a magnificent beast, he appeared to have large, broad shoulders and a thick, muscled body. Its head was mostly round, quite uncommon for a wolf, and it had these piercing green eyes, also very uncommon. It was at that point when he realised that the wolf was staring right at him.
Hiccup gulped, his hands shaking slightly from fear. He dropped his notebook and stood up, making the wolf growl slightly. He raised the knife in his hand and pointed it towards the jet-black wolf. The wolf snarled, and tried to stand; whimpering as the pain from its tail ripped through his body like a wildfire.
The knife glistened as it was raised above Hiccup's head. 'You're stuck…' he growled, gripping the knife firmly with both hands. 'I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna cut your heart out and show it to the world. I am the one who'll kill you! Not Snotlout, not Astrid. Me.' The anger, the hate, the need to stop the outrageous bullying that happened every single day. He would stop it all, all with a simple action.
The wolf whimpered as Hiccup glanced down at the wolf, pain and hate written across both faces; with fear forcing itself into their eyes. After staring deeply at Hiccup for what seemed like hours, the wolf finally resigned itself. Its eyes closing and its head laying against the ground. It waited for Hiccup to strike the blow that would end its life. And waited...and waited.
The wolf heard Hiccup move back, the knife in his hand falling to the ground. 'I did this…' he whispered. He hadn't, but he was sure the wolf had heard him and followed him out of his den. This would have led to it getting caught in the trap...if only he could do something about it.
He paused, realising that he could do something to save the wolf. His eyes widened, and he stepped forward. The wolf whimpered, finally thinking its end was here. Until a sharp pain came from its captured tail. Its eyes opened and it frantically moved its head around to see the damage. That was when it locked eyes with Hiccup, who's body now shook with fear.
The wolf snarled angrily, pacing forward and pouncing on the young boy, causing him to yelp and topped onto his back. The wolf continued snarling at him, ready to bite into his neck for trying to kill him. Slowly, however, the anger in the wolf began to subside. It realised that the boy's eyes looked almost identical to his own just seconds before. Wide with fear, begging for relief.
The wolf reared its head back, and snapped its jaw at Hiccup's face. It turned and ran off, bumping into forest obstacles while coating the the ground red with its blood.
Hiccup stared after it, his chest heaving deeply with every breath he took. He lifted himself up from the floor, standing unsteadily and walking precariously towards the tree line. He looked up at the sky and thanked God, well, he thanked every god he could think of, for keeping him alive.
Hiccup spent the next 15 minutes searching the fences for any gaps. He soon found one, and slipped out. From there, he walked home as fast as he could, not wanting to look at another person for the rest of the day. He couldn't, not only because he was just...not in the mood, but he had wolf blood splatted over his hands, arms and stomach.
Hiccup turned the key for his house, opening the door and immediately stripping down to his boxers. He dumped his clothes in the bin, removing any items of interest beforehand; then slowly made his way upstairs to his rather large bedroom. He was absolutely exhausted, and it showed. Almost as soon as his head hit the pillow, Hiccup fell into a deep sleep.
So...that was chapter three. I'd like to quickly wish Her Majesty, the Queen a very happy Diamond Jubilee, and I hope everyone is enjoying the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Now, onto more pressing matters. Did everyone manage to see Dragons: Riders of Berk? I hope so – it was awesome. Although, replacing a Scottish actor with an American? Come on guuuys!Stoick and Gobber did NOT sound like Gerald Butler and Craig Ferguson. Either way, I decided to release this now, hoping that the series' 'preview' on Cartoon Network would stir up some interest in HTTYD fanfics.
Anyway, thanks for reading this chapter. It took me about four hours to write, including my procrastination time, and I haven't proof-read it. Oh – and it's currently 4:15am! :) If you find any mistakes, please tell me. And don't be afraid to review!