It took quite some time and effort to actually reach Burgess on Toothless, but of course it was by far, much faster and easier than depending on some rickety old ship...
There the two of us were, high above the sky looking down on the small familiar town. The more that I had examined it, the more I could see how much it had changed, the town seemed to have much more buildings and houses then it had from what I remember, and it seemed as though it had gotten a bit more populated since the last time I had seen it. Nowhere near as populated as Berk of course, but I mean, it seemed as though it was on it's way.
Just before I was to land Toothless down by the town, I suddenly realized something rather important... While Berk and Burgess had a lot of differences between one other, there was one key and major difference that separated our two towns...dragons.
Apparently the people here in this land never had to deal with any kind of dragon, or have even really knew of the existence of them for who knows how long (I know CRAZY right? A life without any dragons at all? I mean REALLY?).
Thus bringing an actual fire breathing dragon to this town...may just cause a bit of a troublesome situation... So that's when I decided it would probably be best to leave Toothless somewhere hidden in the forest ...just for a bit so we could avoid causing some major fiasco.
Toothless was just about ready to swoop down and land, but I quickly gripped onto the leathery handles and pulled up. Toothless questioned as to why he couldn't right there, but he quickly shrugged it off and let me the navigator. I led him to the direction of the forests which surrounded Burgess and than was on the lookout for a small remote place, one in which Toothless wouldn't be bothered by anyone. After a bit I was able to spot a rather remote and solitary location on the side of a small hill that had a large enough cave for Toothless to remain until I would return. As I landed Toothless and jumped right off, I quickly attempted to lead him to the cave without seeming too obvious...however that plan failed miserably very quickly...
As soon as he realized what was going on, the ebony colored dragon quickly began growling and bucking a bit in rebellion as I attempted to take him into I mean who could really blame him for not agreeing to the plan? I mean no one in their right mind would want to be left in some foreign place completely by themselves, and let alone in some random dark and cold cave, but even with that reasoning, I couldn't change what I had to do...I then began petting his head in an attempt to calm him down a bit. However he just continued bucking and making even louder growls and noises. "T-Toothless! Quiet down before anyone to hear you...look... this is only going to be temporary..okay? I'm not gonna leave you here by yourself for too long ,it'll be just a qu-"
Yet before I even had the chance of finishing my sentence, the mighty dragon pushed my hands even farther away from him and let out a powerful roar which echoed through the forest.
"T-toothless!" I hissed. "What part of be quiet down don't you understand!?...Come on now just ...just...go in the cave...and just wait for me for a bit... " I said as I began nudging him into the cave once again "It's only-"
Once again the dragon responded the same way, yet this time with an even mightier roar which seemed as though it not only echoed through the forest ,but caused many of the autumn leaves from the trees to rustle and shake due to the vibrations from his noise and bucking. He pushed against me again, and continued bucking much more stronger as sign of rebellion.
"Toothless!" I angrily screamed as loudly as I possibly could. The stubborn dragon had than began to stop his bucking and sat down impatiently waiting intently for a valid explanation.
"Li-listen bud... I haven't been able to see Jackson and everyone from this village for the longest time...and well... I really don't want to have my first reunion with them to end badly... You see it's not you specifically, it's just-er-well. " I sighed a bit in frustration, still unsure of how to actually explain this to him without making him angry, "...dragons aren't common here like they are at Berk, so seeing you would cause...an issue with them..." The dragon didn't seem to be pleased with this explanation and once again began to growl in anger.
"Toothless please! This really does mean a lot to me...I just-I just need you to hear me out...Look...back when I was kid, I didn't belong anywhere really...but when my dad and I had come here to this place for trading reasons I loved every second of it because I actually belonged somewhere for once . Here I was able to fit in perfectly fine, I wasn't a total joke, a weakling, or anything else. I was just... 'me', and I was appreciated for it. While now everything's settled out in Berk... I still...well...this place and the people here still mean a whole lot to me." I said as I stared directly into his bright green eyes, hoping for him to understand.
The dragon's face gradually changed from a look of anger to one of compassion. He now finally understood how much this really meant to me.
"It'll only be for a bit okay...I'm going to just go in the village, find Jack and we can meet up here...I can trust Jack, I can almost guarantee he won't lay a finger on you...Just...stay put okay...?"
Toothless gave a small nod towards me and obediently went off into the cave and made himself dragon then let out a very small growl , however this growl was far different from the ones which he had previously done...It wasn't out of anger or rebellion, but it seemed as though it was one of sincere support. I couldn't help but smile because of it...and waved goodbye to my best friend as I began walking towards the small town which was nearby.
As I entered the familiar village I greeted many familiar faces, I saw many faces of children and toddlers who had now grown much older and matured greatly. Many people came up to me attempting to make conversation, and while I didn't want to be rude, and I really did appreciate them wanting to talk to me and was happy to see them, I had to keep my goal in focus 'Find Jack, go back to Toothless as fast as possible'. So the only things I could really say to them were 'Hey!' ' It's great to see you again too!' and 'Er- well, I'm kind of in a rush right now, but I'll be sure to find you later.'
I continued onward as fast as I could, with each and every step I took I grew more excited, and far more anxious. I wondered how Jack had grown up to look like by now. I mean obviously he wouldn't be that dorky small child with that crooked smile, but still, who knows maybe by now I've grown taller than that trickster and can finally call him the shorty. How would he react to Toothless? Probably completely freak out,I bet. I quickly recognized the familiar house where I would spend hours at a time at daily when I was younger.
I quickly ran up to the front of the house and stood in front of the door, it wasn't until that moment where I had actually felt... well scared...What if Jack didn't remember me...or what...what if he's completely forgotten the promise...or- no...he wouldn't dare...er...maybe?...Just try to think positive Haddock... I thought to myself. I than took a very deep breathe and raised my hand slowly towards the door. I bit my lip tightly in anticipation and knocked at the thick wooden door the door three times very strongly , patiently waiting silently .
My heart began beating fast, the palms of my hands grew sweaty as I had waited. I couldn't actually believe this was happening...after so long... this was it. Suddenly in one burst of a moment the door swung open giving out a very large and loud creak that really nearly gave me a heart attack. To my surprise it wasn't Jackson who opened the door, but his mother ...I seemed completely forgotten of the possibility of Jackson not being the one opening the door, so I stood there completely baffled and unsure of what to really say.
His mother had looked far different from how I had recalled, back when I had last seen her she had much longer hair which she would often place into a very loose bun, but now her hair was now all chopped off and barely reaching her chin. Not only this but her sense of dressing was far different as well from what I had remembered, plus she had gotten a few wrinkles around her face at this point-but I mean that's what's expected as so many years.
Her deep hazel eyes widened in surprise, examining each and every feature I had, as though she couldn't believe what was going on at this moment.
As she continued staring at me in silence I couldn't stop but think"OH gods she doesn't know me does she? She's not sayinganythingggg. Why isn't she saying anything? Does she not want to see me? Why is she just staring? Please just say somethingggg... Maybe I come at a wrong time? Is this...the right house-no positive it is...no way it isn't...but why is she so quiet... Oh Odin please help me herree
"Hi-Hiccup? Is that you...?" She finally said quietly with an unsure tone.
"U-Uhmm. Y-yes" I said with a rather nervous smile not really knowing what to expect as I stared up at her. Even after so many years, she still managed to beat me by so many inches in height.
In one swift motion she scooped me up into a tight hug that I was completely off guard, the height difference between the two of us had lead to me standing on the very tips of my feet. Yet even so, that didn't change that warm fuzzy feeling I had gotten from the moment. I slowly rose my arms up and held onto her back back, simply appreciating the warmth I had gotten from this time. As the two of us slowly parted from one another, she moved her arms onto my shoulders and continued examining me unable to fully understand everything"Oh my goodness it's just...it's so great to see you again Hiccup, you've...you've grown up so much... I almost didn't recognize you to be honest." She let out a small giggle of glee " How's Berk been doing?"
"Well it's been pre-"
"Same problems as before?"
"How bout your father? Is he doing okay?"
"Stressing out too much again?"
" Not exact-"
"How long ago did you get here by the way? I mean-wait... Oh my goodness. I-I-"She took a deep breathe as she calmed herself down a bit "I-I'm so sorry for all the questions, I just can't stop rambling about, ... it's just...wow...so much time's passed since I've last seen you.."
"No, no don't apologize. Really it's fine. I completely understand" I said cheerfully.
"...Who's at the door?" a small voice called out from inside the house.
"Oh...umm... well it's an old family friend." she said as she turned around towards the direction of whom was saying this. I still couldn't see nor did I really have any idea who it was."
Quickly I heard the pitter patter of the owner of this voice's feet, the small brunette girl quietly peaked behind her mother and kept a distance...She had luscious brown hair which shined in the sunlight ever so brightly and her brown eyes glistened as if they were candles. Her face was so delicate and she had almost a button nose along with a chubby little face. She almost looked as though she was a porcelain doll in a sense... but something about it was familar. Her eyes...those were the things which stood out the most to me...her deep hazel eyes that shined brightly in the sunlight...there was something... so familiar about them...they were...they were his eyes...That's when I than realized well who this young mysterious girl was."Wait Mary...is that...you?"
"We met before..?" She said curiously as she took a step forward towards me.
" Indeed you did sweetie, although you were barely even able to walk back then..."
The girl looked a bit confused and stared at me intently, obviously trying her hardest to remember to no evail. "What's your name?" she asked calmly.
"I'm Hiccup, and wow...you've grown up so much since the last time I had seen you..."
than looked around outside, looking as though she was trying to spot something. "Wait...where's the rest of your village..."
"Back at Berk"
"Wait so you came out on boat by yourself...?"
"Well not exactly...I mean I came by myself, but not by boat."
"I don't understand...?"
"It's kind of a long story..." I said with a slight chuckle.
"There's no way I could tell her bout Toothless right now, maybe later" I thought to myself "...But even then, I know for sure she'd completely freak out-wait...oh my gods Toothless...he's probably freaking out by now, alright stick to the plan Haddock...stick to the plan..."
"Well I'd be more than glad to hear it."
"Well I would love to talk about it right now ... but...err...not to be rude or anything, but I kinda wanted to see if I could maybe see Jack for a bit? I have a really big surprise that I want to...show..." Yet before I even had the chance of finishing my sentence I faced a very foul reaction from the two of them, they looked...as if it was a trigger word that brought much discomfort. Mary looked directly down to her feet and didn't even glance at me anymore.
I blinked a few times as I quietly muttered "...Is something wrong...?"
"…..Hiccup has no one in the village... told you yet…?"
"About what? I don't understand…is something wrong?"
She bit her lip and looked away for a few seconds in what seemed sadness "…I..."
"I-is Jack alright!? Is he hurt? What happened?" I cried out desperately, needing to know what had occured.
"…Jack passed away about two months ago..." the young brunette said as she looked back up at me with teary eyes.
In that moment I felt as though my heart had actually sank all the way down to my stomach. My breathe caught short, because I just couldn't understand what was happening.
"This...this can't be true...Oh gods no..." I thought to myself "I had to have misheard...this can't be..no...please..no..."
The little girl than slowly turned away from me and walked to another room in the house.
The mother sighed as she turned around to the direction which Mary had gone. She than turned her direction back to me, attempting to force a smile."…I'm sorry…she hasn't been able to cope with the situation too well…"
It took me a few moments to actually gather my thoughts straight after trying to process what was just said. "...Wait I don't ...I don't understand...what...what exactly happened?"
She took a deep breathe as she looked directly into my eyes"…You see Mary and Jack had finished all of their chores and usual duties earlier than expected, so of course Jackson recommended the idea of ice skating...being that the pond nearby our home had already been frozen over. But you see...winter was barely beginning, and the ice and snow was barely actually forming...I told him so many times no, but he was intent on going, because it would have been sweet Mary's first time ever skating, and well he wanted to show her as soon as possible. Eventually I gave in and I let them go... but something in me said it was a bad idea from the start, but I didn't do anything about it...if only I did...You see, the ice was far too thin that day to support the two of them... Jack had managed to assure that Mary was safe and sound but …in that process…he sacrificed himself..."
"...I…I'm so sorry…"
"How's...er...I mean are you all managing it...?" At this point I really didn't know what to say or even do, and I just...it felt like what was going on wasn't actually real...
"It's taken some adjusting to...however...Mary's the one who's taking it the worst out of everyone...Ever since that accident happened, Mary's changed...and quite a lot...she hides all her emotions and just keeps them all bottled up...she tries her best to be strong, but I can tell she's hurting inside...She's stopped playing around with her usual friends like she used to, and rarely ever socializes with anyone other than us... I can tell she's trying so hard...but I'm just scared that all the pain inside is eating her away..."
"...I'm so sorry for everything...I just...I didn't mean to make it so that-"
"No,no. It's perfectly fine, you didn't know and...well it's something we have to just accept and cope with"
I stared down at the ground gloomily as I took a deep sigh.
"Hey...come on now...the last thing that Jack would have wanted to see was you like this...come on now Hiccup"
"Come on...where's that smile~?"
I glanced back up to her and forced a small grin.
"There we go...see...look...I understand...I know it's a lot to take in right now, but it's alright Hiccup...Don't tear yourself down because of it...
"I- I won't...but I think I better be going already..."
"Ye-yeah...I have some things...that I...I gotta do right now..."
"Well okay, but just remember you're always welcome around here. I hope to see you again real soon okay?"
"I'll be sure to visit again soon... I promise."
She than once again reached down and hugged me tightly patting my back. "It's gonna be alright...I promise. You take care of yourself okay?"
"I will, you do the same for me"
"I will."As the two of us seperated I looked back up at her for one last time and than began walking on my way. I turned back a few times to see her standing there as I left, she always had this habit of making sure someone left safe. I than waved at her one last time before she was out of my view, as she did the same.
I cut through a route that would take me straight through into the forest and avoid the rest of the village. As much as I would love to talk to them, I just...I couldn't right now. The sun at this point was almost completely set and the sky seemed to have many dark grey clouds forming in it. The more that I had walked the less comprehend it. He was here, he was here not too long ago. He was fine, he was safe not too long ago...and now, he's gone. Just like...mom. This isn't fair...this isn't right...
Before I knew it I had already reached Toothless who was patiently awaiting my arrival, he quickly ran towards me and playfull nudged at my face, he looked around as though he was expecting another and than turned back to me.
"Sorry bud...we had a bit of change of plans...we need to head back home already..."
Toothless turned his head in confusion as he could sense the discomfort I had. He let out a small concerned type of growl as he nudged at me.
I bit my lip for a moment and than took a deep breathe as I forced a smile accross my face "I-I'm fine Toothless…" I said as I grabbed his head gently. "Promise."
Toothless continued nudging his head into me in a type of supportive manner attempting to make me feel better...which surely at this time wasn't working..
"Let's just...let's just... go home already ...alright?"
I than scrunched my nose as something had fallen on it. As I finally looked up, I could see tiny flakes of snow beginning ever so gently from sky.
"Snowfall..." I widened my eyes as suddenly I was able to remember...
"Hiccup! Hiccup!Get up! " Jack cried out as he ran to my bed.
"Hmmm?" I said half dazed, burrying my face into the pillow.
"Get up come on!" he shouted as he began shaking my shoulders roughly.
"...Too...earlyyyy" I muttered as I held tighter to the sheets and nudged myself away from him.
Jack huffed, completely impatiently and than shouted "I said get up you lazy bum!" He than grabbed the blankets wrapped around me and dragged them to the floor along with me in them.
"OW-I'M UP, I'M UPP" I said as I clumsily got on my two feet.
"Finally!" He said cheerfully "I thought you would never wake up!"
"Why would you wake me up this early in the morning..."
"It's snowing !"
"What do you mean SO? It's SNOWING. Don't you know what that means?"
"It means snowballs and fun times!"
"Snowballs and fun times...?"
"Do you really not get it?
"...Can you explain why winter and snow is such a big deal...?
"See in my village winter's the biggest deal, it's like the best time in the year to goof off and play around for a bit. Compared to the other seasons there's hardly as much work and chores to do, meaning more time and more kids are allowed to just play around and goof off."
"Really? But I mean...it snows all the time in Berk... and we actually work more in the snowfall time usually..."
"What?! Really? Wait for how long does it snow a year?"
"Y-yeah...and...hmm... least 9 months or something like that"
"Er-yeah, I mean there's hardly a time when there's no snow at all"
"Wow~! You're so lucky to live there!"
"...Hmm not really I mean when it snows, it's A LOT. It's like EVERYTHING'S covered in a 10 inch frosty blanket kinda thing, there's almost nothing that's safe from snow season"
"NO WAY. AN ENTIRE PLACE FULL OF NOTHING BUT SNOW? That's just...woah...Man I wish I could see that place..."
"W-Well maybe one day when we're older, I can take you there!"
"Really? You mean it?"
"You're the best Hic!"
"Let's go already bud..."
Terribly sorry bout that weird Haitus non haitus thing going on, it's kind of complicated as to why and just a REALLY long story, but one thing's for sure, I got things set and organized so I'll be sure to update this on a regular basis now. I really am sorry to everyone, I had the chapters all typed up only thing is it was just kinda the matter of publishing them, but everything's sorted out and will be better now~~