A/N: *Sionn is pronounced Shaun. Enjoy the chap!
Chase the Wind
Chapter Fifteen; Show Us The Way
~ William ~
The ride to the Viking camp was not only long, but incredibly awkward. He and the other three clan members were riding on horseback, on their own, following the young Prince Hubert. He had been quiet the whole trip, and William didn't know if it had anything to do with him striking out on his own, without his brothers, or if it was because of what had happened with Merida.
Behind Hubert was Sionn, a burly blonde man with a poor, patchy excuse for a beard, from Clan MacGuffin. Sionn was a man of few words, and hadn't said anything except 'hello' and 'my name is Sionn'. William remembered seeing him compete in the Games, however, and knew that he was incredibly skilled with the sword.
Behind Sionn was the Macintosh representative, Briana. Her presence had plunged the group into awkward silence. None of them really agreed with the idea of a female dragon rider, and they were sure the Vikings would agree and send her back. She was a tall woman, quite beautiful, with her rich brown hair tied in elegant twists and braids, and her determined brown eyes keeping a look out for any potential danger. Tied behind her horse was another horse, just for her belongings.
Apparently dragon riders in training needed at least four gowns.
The sun was just setting when the small group arrived at the Viking camp, finding it half deserted. There were hardly any dragons to be seen, save for a few of the small ones, like Merida's pet. As they walked through the small village, a Viking came to meet them.
'You're the Scots, I presume. My name is Fishlegs, welcome to camp.'
Fishlegs led them towards a humble wooden house and had them tie up their horses. William watched as Briana slid gracefully down, and patted the creature's neck.
'You will be able to stay here tonight, as the owners are helping with the construction of our new settlement.'
'New settlement?' William asked, frowning.
'Yes. Your King has ordered us to move further out. We suspect that he fears us and the dragons. Here…'
Fishlegs began to place food in front of them. Briana eyed it nervously, before nibbling hesitantly. They ate their food in silence, and Fishlegs showed them to their rooms. The moment William's head hit the pillow, he fell asleep.
'Before you can even attempt harnessing a dragon, you need to cram as much of the general dragon knowledge into your head as you possibly can. You will obviously have more knowledge about your specific dragon, but as you don't know which one will accept you, we try to teach new riders about all the dragons,'
The four Scots were sitting in the Great Hall, sharing the dragon book. Fishlegs was teaching them the basics – classes and more common dragons. William was fascinated, and Briana seemed bored. Sionn just didn't seem to comprehend. Hubert was like William – enthralled in this new, fantastical information.
'When are we going to ride one?' Sionn suddenly asked, and Fishlegs raised an eyebrow. William grew wary as the Viking gave them a mischievous look.
'Come with me…' he said, and led the small group outside. He whistled, and William watched in horror as a heavy-set dragon with a nasty looking face came flying out of nowhere. It landed with a thud, and bared its teeth. Fishlegs grinned and gestured to the dragon.
'Come on Sionn, get on, if you think you're ready…'
Meatlug gave a menacing snarl, and Sionn jumped back in fright. Hubert's eyes grew large with excitement, and William was surprised to find Briana holding her ground, even though she looked just as terrified as Sionn.
'Go on, Briana, give her a pat…' Fishlegs encouraged, coming to stand next to her. Meatlug eyed the young woman carefully as she slowly reached out a shaking hand. She touched the dragon's nose gently, wincing as if she expected to be eaten on the spot. Meatlug gave a rumbling purr, and Fishlegs congratulated the beautiful woman on her accomplishment.
William, Hubert and Sionn stared, stunned, as Briana shot them a smug look.
The four of them were being shown the proper way to approach a dragon (using Meatlug as a practice dummy) when something shook the ground. William turned his head to see the biggest dragon he'd ever seen in his life.
'Ah… they shouldn't be back yet…' Fishlegs said to himself, confused. 'Ruffnut! What's going on?'
The Viking named Ruffnut had been carried in the claws of the large dragon, which gently set her down on the ground.
'You know, I was only kidding. I think Hiccup's gone loco,' she called, crossing her arms. 'He wants to see if Sharpwing can lift a building without completely destroying it…'
Fishlegs led the group over to her – the Scots watching Sharpwing warily.
'What do you mean?'
'He thinks it'll save building time if they can move the buildings already here. I've been told to test it out on one of the smaller buildings. Hiccup suggested his place,'
'Sharpwing isn't a trained dragon,' Fishlegs said, looking up at the Timberjack. 'How are we supposed to get him to understand?'
'That thing isn't trained?' Briana asked nervously, and Ruffnut shrugged.
'Not officially. He's just helpful, aren't you pal?' she said, petting the dragon's leg. Sharpwing lowered his head to sniff at the terrified newcomers.
'Well… let's give it a shot, then. You lot can stay and watch, as long as you stay out of the way, or you can head back to the house. It's up to you really.'
None of them moved, curious to see how the two Vikings would handle the situation.
Ruffnut climbed up onto Sharpwing's neck slowly and cautiously, and Fishlegs mounted Meatlug in a swift movement. William watched as the two dragons took to the air, and directed the dragon.
'This is amazing,' William said to Hubert, who nodded in agreement.
Together, Ruffnut and Fishlegs managed to get the message across to Sharpwing that they wanted him to grasp the house. Briana winced as his claws splintered the wood, and they watched in amazement as the small building was lifted a few feet from the ground. However, it proved to be too heavy, even for the massive Timberjack. The house slipped from his grasp, and hit the ground with a crash.
Briana jumped with a squeak, and they could hear Ruffnut laughing from way up in the air.
'We may need to rethink this strategy…' Fishlegs called with a laugh.
~ Hiccup ~
Hiccup had watched proudly as the village started to take shape around him. He'd been acting chief since they'd gotten back, but it was plain to everyone that he was throwing himself into his work to try and put the incident with Merida out of his mind.
'Hiccup, these Scots are actually getting close to harnessing. I think that it would be, uh… beneficial… for you to do the basics,'
'Fishlegs, the last thing I want to do is attempt to train some stuffy lords how to ride dragons so that they can take the knowledge back to their new queen, and turn on us…'
Fishlegs rolled his eyes, and leaned forward.
'You need to let this thing with Merida go, for the sake of the Vikings of Berk, okay? If you're going to be chief, then you need to man up. You're going to meet Merida again. And we don't want to start our life here with a feud of any kind, understand?'
Hiccup raised an eyebrow.
'You know so much, Fishlegs… you should be chief instead,'
It didn't have his usual sarcastic bite to it, but at least he was starting to sound like his old self. Together, he and Fishlegs headed over to the Scot's little hut. William was reading one of his books, while Hubert flicked lazily through the Dragon Manual. Briana was sitting at the table, drafting a letter to a family member, no doubt.
'Where's Sionn?' Fishlegs asked, and they all looked up. Hiccup registered the expressions of surprise at his presence.
'I think he's training with Snotlout…' William replied, standing.
'Right. You can pick him up on the way. Can you lot be dressed and at the Dragon Academy in, say… fifteen minutes?' Hiccup said, and he could see the excitement and nervousness in their eyes. He smirked, and left the building quickly. Fishlegs gave a chuckle and followed him out.
Mor'Du's castle had been completely turned into a dragon wonderland. Old rooms were now sleeping areas for the unharnessed dragons, and a new academy ring had been fashioned in what used to be the throne room. They had dug out even further, and created a hatchery. The village had sprung up around the castle, and the Vikings were once again settling into their new life.
'Welcome to Dragon Training!' Hiccup called, echoing Gobber's words from all of those years ago. 'In these pens, are a few young, unharnessed dragons, and we're going to try you out with a few different ones,'
Hiccup waved his hand, and the first dragon was let out. A pale gray Nadder with dark blue markings. It was male, and a bit mischievous, but Hiccup knew that the dragon was friendly and would be an easy harness.
'Stay still, and let him have a sniff. You'll know if he's interested in you…'
The Nadder wandered around the arena, flicking its tail and making curious clicking noises. It sniffed at Hubert, and William, and completely ignored Briana, much to her displeasure. However, when it got to Sionn, it stopped and eyed him off. Hiccup could see that the blonde man was scared out of his mind.
'Please don't hurt me,' he whispered to the dragon, and it cocked it's head.
'He likes you, Sionn,' Fishlegs pointed out, and the others stepped away. It was just Sionn and the Nadder in the centre of the ring.
'Extend your hand… you need to make a bond with him…' Hiccup called.
'Are you kidding?' Sionn called back, eyeing off the dragons teeth. Although the Nadder was young, it was still fully grown and quite intimidating. Still, he sucked in a breath and held out his hand. The Nadder sniffed it curiously, before pressing his nose into Sionn's palm. It began humming happily.
'Oh… wow… is- is that it?' Sionn asked, stroking the creatures nose.
'Not by far,' Hiccup said, approaching the pair. 'First, you'll need to give him a name, and then you have the arduous task of training him. It's a long road, but one that's worth it. This dragon is going to be your closest companion, Sionn. I've never entrusted a dragon to someone who wasn't a Viking. Don't make me regret this decision…'
Sionn nodded, still stroking the dragons nose.
'I promise, I'll look after him… I promise,' Sionn said, and Hiccup shook his hand.
'Thank you, it means a lot to me. And congratulations!'
Fishlegs showed Sionn how to lead the dragon back into his pen, and then the two stood and watched as the next dragon was brought out. A Gronckle.
It turned its nose up to all the candidates, as did the next Nadder. The following dragon, however, was a Monstrous Nightmare.
It was a brilliant purple colour, with large twisted horns and intelligent eyes. She was less curious about the humans in her midst, but she still sniffed at their feet and wandered around a bit. She stopped a few times in front of Hubert, and that gave Hiccup all the indication he needed.
'Hubert, I want you to try and approach this dragon and harness her,' he called. William and Briana shuffled back, leaving the young redhead to face the dragon. She glared at him, as if daring him to come closer.
'I don't think she really wants me to…' Hubert called out.
'Hubert, we have dragons on hand if she decides to attack you, but she's used to people. Nightmares are just moody dragons. We'll bail you out if anything happens…'
Hubert inched closer and closer to the Nightmare, his hands up where the dragon could see them. She glared at him, but didn't move.
'Hey…dragon… don't eat me… please…'
The dragon sniffed at him, and Hubert extended a hand. She nosed it without a thought, and Hubert gave a little grin.
'Hey dragon,' he cooed, and she rested her head on the ground. Hubert was on the ground petting her head in a manner of seconds, making the dragon purr.
'Well done. Again, you've got a companion for life, Hubert. You'll need to name her, and then you can start the training process,' Hiccup said, shaking his hand as well.
'Okay. And I promise to take care of her too…' Hubert said, and Hiccup gave him a small smile.
'Thank you. And congratulations…'
It had been three days of attempted harnessing by Briana and William, and both were starting to get downhearted. None of the dragons had been right for them so far, and Hiccup was running out of ideas. Hubert and Sionn had been supportive, standing in the arena every day, for hours at a time, eager for their new friends to harness so they could all start their training together.
'I don't want you to give up, okay? There's a dragon here for each of you. We just have to find them…' Hiccup reassured. Briana nodded sadly, while William just seemed more determined than ever.
They turned to see Astrid running towards them, a grin on her face.
'I have an idea… have you tried either of them on Sharpwing?'
Hiccup cocked his head to the side in thought. Then he turned to the two Scots.
'Let's go meet Sharpwing,' he said cheerfully.
'You really think one of us can harness that?' Briana asked, staring up at the Timberjack. Sharpwing watched them curiously, lowering his great head to their level.
'Worth a shot, isn't it?' Hiccup asked. They had gathered a crowd, including Fishlegs, Astrid, the twins and the Scots. They were all interested to see the first harnessing of a Timberjack.
'Briana, would you like to go first?'
'Oh… I suppose…' she replied, going pale. She picked up her skirts and approached the dragon slowly. She reached out her hand, and Sharpwing sniffed it. He nuzzled it, but that was all. He went back to watching the rest of the group with interest.
Briana put a hand to her mouth and Hiccup could see tears welling in her eyes. Fishlegs put an arm around her shoulders, and pulled her away from the dragon. She didn't cry, but stood with the others, her head high and proud.
William approached the dragon next, taking a deep breath. Sharpwing looked down at him curiously, and William extended his hand.
'Hey buddy… I'm not gonna hurt you…' he said, and the dragon sniffed it. Then, to everyone's surprise, it nudged him. Of course, this sent William sprawling on to the ground, but he didn't care.
'Did…did I do it?' William asked, and Hiccup gave him a grin.
'Ruffnut, try and climb on Sharpwing, please,' said the chief. Ruffnut moved towards the Timberjack with familial ease, raising a hand and petting his leg.
'Hey pal, I'm just gonna… jump up here…' she cooed, attempting to climb up his leg. Sharpwing shook her off with a warning growl, and Hiccup and Fishlegs shared a grin.
'You did it, William,' Hiccup congratulated. 'You harnessed the Timberjack,'
No one noticed Briana slink away from the crowd with a sniff.
~ Snotlout ~
Snotlout was cleaning off Hookfang's scales when the Scottish girl ran past. With a confused frown, he got up and followed her, Hookfang lumbering behind. He followed her to the arena, where she stood in the centre.
'Hey… you okay?' he asked, and she whipped around. She'd been crying. Snotlout didn't like it when girls cried. Not that many of the girls he knew had ever cried.
'You startled me…' she said, turning away.
'Why are you crying? Viking girls never cry…' Snotlout asked, and she laughed coldly.
'Viking girls are hardly girls anyway,' she bit back. 'Wearing pants and riding dragons… you know, maybe I like my skirts, and having my hair look nice. Maybe I want to be able to retain some of my ladylike self, but still be a trainer. Is that why they don't like me?'
Snotlout let her ramble on. Mainly because he didn't know what to say… or how to comfort someone having a breakdown of any kind.
'I mean, I'm trying my hardest, but they just don't want me as their companion. Do they know that I'm not a Viking? I want to be tough like Astrid, or Ruffnut… even Princess Merida rode on the dragons… Snotlout, am I not cut out for this?' she said, tears welling in her eyes.
Snotlout looked at her, dumbfounded for a moment. Then he noticed something behind them.
'Well… this little one seems to think you're okay?' he said, pointing.
Behind them, peeking out of one of the dragon pens, was a dragon. A Typhoomerang hatchling. Barely a few months old, it wasn't nearly its full size, but it was about the size of Toothless, or Stormfly. Its yellow-orange scales were shiny with health, and its bright eyes watched the pair curiously.
'Come on lil guy…' Snotlout called, and he coaxed the dragonet to them with a small handful of fish.
'Snotlout… this isn't a good idea… I mean, maybe I'm just not able to do this. I'm sure Macintosh can find another representative … oh … hello there…' she trailed off as the dragon stared up at her.
'If Ruffnut can do it, you can…' Snotlout said. The dragon crawled around her carefully, warily, and she grimaced as she picked up a slimy fish. The dragon was quite content to eat it right out of the palm of her hand. She smiled and petted its head. The dragon hummed, nosing her hand and sniffing her skirts.
'Snotlout… did I… I mean…' Briana whispered, afraid of frightening the dragon away.
'Well, get up and walk away… if he follows you, then yes… he's all yours…' Snotlout said, extending a hand. She took it, and he pulled her to her feet. He offered her his arm, and they walked away from the dragonet, who squeaked in annoyance.
Briana could barely keep the smile from her face as it ran ahead of them, blocking the exit.
'And where do you think you're going without me?' it seemed to say.
~ Hiccup ~
'Welcome to Dragon Training. Over the next few weeks, you will be instructed in how to care for your dragons, and they will learn to trust in you. Your dragons will be by your side at all times. You will have a trained rider as a partner for most of your training, and one day you'll be able to stand here and maybe train new riders. It would certainly save me from doing it…' Hiccup laughed at his own joke. 'Now, would you introduce me to your dragons, please?'
Sionn patted his Nadder on the neck, and grinned.
'This is Windskimmer,'
Hubert introduced his Monstrous Nightmare as Brightclaw, and William introduced Sharpwing, even though everyone already knew his name.
'This is Garnet…' she said with a proud smile, petting the dragon on the head.
'Garnet? You named a male typhoomerang Garnet?' Snotlout teased lightly, and Briana poked her tongue out in a most unladylike fashion.
'Yes. And when he's fully grown, he'll be big enough to eat Hookfang, so I would be quiet if I were you…'
'Uhuh. He's going to grow wonky if you wear all those skirts while you're riding him…'
'If Hookfang can carry your big head, Snotlout, I'm sure Garnet can carry my skirts…'
Hiccup sighed as the two bantered, but gave Astrid a hopeful smile. Perhaps they could turn this around, and get a few of the Scottish on their side. Merida be damned, he could turn this rag tag bunch into some of Berk's finest riders.
And he planned to do exactly that.
Well, well, it has been a while, no?
I know I'm a horrible human and you all hate me, but nyeh. It's 2am and I've had so much fun with Briana and William and Snotlout that I don't even care. I do apologise for the lack of Merida, though. There will be plenty of her in the next chapter, I promise. And I know it's a filler - but hey. Fillers are needed because you can't just have plot after plot after plot. You need something to draw it out, right?
Also, for those of you who'd like to know, HTTYD2 is amazing.
This fic is obviously not compatible with the sequel, but by god, I wish I'd seen it before I started.
FUN FACT; I cried watching HTTYD2. I won't deny it. It was amazing. So beautiful. The music, the animation, the story and characters. I saw an advanced screening, and I will be seeing it at least three more times in cinemas.
Finally, I would just like to say that this chapter is brought to you by the ever-lovely Suzette's Blue, who not only reads my work to make sure it's tyop-free, but she helps me out with the story and when I need to deal with unfavourable reviews or messages. She is truly amazing. And very, very sexy.
Until the next chapter ~