AN: Well we are back. I am sorry to say that I couldn't have this ready for update on Friday, May 30th. I worked at this for hours on end, writing up to 3,000 words in a day, but alas, I failed. Friday was an important day to me as it marked the one year anniversary for Truth and Reconciliation. Even though the story has yet to be finished, I would have like to at least have an update. We also ran into other issues not being able to update the chapter.

By the way, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is 100% epic! I wont throw out any spoilers, but I assure you it is awesome.

I'm sorry for my tardiness, I give you:

Truth and Reconciliation


While pain remained the predominant subject running through Hiccup's mind, Toothless was kind enough to ease what he could. Hiccup could spend hours simply staring into the Night Fury's eyes, as if they were each a deep abyss full of knowledge and intelligence. He could look into the seemingly endless aurora of emerald that filled the dragon's eyes. If there was one being in this world that Hiccup felt he could trust with his life, it was Toothless.

The duo continued to appreciate each other's presence as the rest of the room remained asleep. The four others were far too exhausted to notice that Hiccup had awoken. Toothless sat at idle while he looked over his human tentatively. || How is your leg? ||

Hiccup seemed to pause for a moment, as if trying to get a feel for the missing limb. He lifted up his covers and his gaze traveled down to the stump of a leg that ended the limb. He let out a deep sigh, still imagining that losing his leg was all a dream. He sat up and tuned in position, allowing the one foot and one nub fall to the floor. "I can't believe it's gone."

Toothless knelt down to inspect the wound for himself. Even though the bleeding had stopped, the remnants of Hiccup's limb looked charred and scorched from the sealing of the amputation. The Night Fury smelt the leg, only to be horrified by the stench. He slowly ran his soaked tongue across the wound, earning a faint chuckle from his human above. The dragon eyed Hiccup questionably and repeated the action.

Hiccup jerked up on his leg, the oddly rough texture of Toothless' tongue sending shivers throughout his body. He knelt down to the Night Fury, trying to remain as quiet as possible as he scolded his dragon. "Toothless stop! That's ticklish!"

The dragon face morphed into something sly and clever, as if an ingenious plan just formed in his head. Hiccup knew what was going through the Night Fury's mind. He backpedaled across the table, only to bump into the wall behind him. Toothless slowly crawled up onto the table, one paw at a time. His tail swished across the room as he crept towards his victim, eyes narrowed into slits.

Hiccup tried to make himself as small as possible, shielding himself with his arms. "Uhh… You know how I said that you couldn't scare me anymore? Well, uhh… you succeeded. I'm afraid of you now."

Toothless reached his paw out and grabbed Hiccup's leg just behind the kneecap. As if pleading for someone to stop taking their life, Hiccup was desperately trying to break free from the dragon's grasp. "Toothless please! I- I can't….. I can't handle it!"

A few of the others in the room began to stir in their sleep, causing both Hiccup and Toothless to freeze instantly. Hiccup glared down at the Night Fury, throwing his arm out for emphasis. "You're waking everyone up!"

Toothless narrowed his eyes up at his human, keeping his hold on Hiccup's injured leg. || I believe it is you that it waking everyone up. It's not my fault you can't withstand my contribution which will help speed up your recovery. ||

Hiccup continued to let out restrained chuckles, trying to loosen the Night Fury's grip on his leg. "Toothless, let go of me you useless reptile!"

Just as Hiccup managed to free his leg from the dragon, he quickly lost his balance and slammed into the wall, creating an abnormally loud bang. The other four humans that were in the room instantly rose from their sleep, all questioning what had created the noise. They all looked around and spotted Hiccup leaning against the wall with Toothless at his feet, or… foot.

Gobber was just about to open his mouth when another crash sounded just outside the house. Gunnar looked around nervously. "What could that be?"

Gobber and Astrid both made eye contact and nodded. In unison, they both conveyed the answer that no one wanted to hear. "Dragon raid."

The room nearly fell silent, only to hear the growing commotion just outside the door. The were the sounds of Monstrous Nightmares firing their viscous fire, of Gronckles and Zipplebacks blasting through the town with an incredible force. They could hear the Vikings reigning in on the streets trying to protect what was theirs.

The five humans and Night Fury all looked around the room at each other. None of them knew what to do. Gothi was never one to fight in the dragon raids, as she was far too old and wouldn't be of use anyway. Gunnar hadn't participated in a dragon raid in months, and the raids that he was accustomed to were far less devastating than those that occurred on Berk. Neither Gobber nor Astrid wanted to step out into the village on account of their new knowledge of the dragons. Gunnar stepped forward and peered out the window behind the curtain. "Maybe we can sit this out; maybe it will pass quickly."

Gobber shook his head and got up from the floor. "I sincerely doubt that. The raids have seemed to only stretch longer and become more destructive ever since Hiccup and Toothless left. I hate to say it, but we can't just sit here and allow them to destroy our village."

Hiccup nearly leapt off the table, only being prevented by Toothless keeping him held down. "But you can't harm the dragons, they can't help that they are being controlled!"

Suddenly all eyes were upon Hiccup, waiting for an explanation. Gobber walked close, eying Hiccup warily. "What do you mean Hiccup?"

The boy gestured outside to the dragons raiding the village. "There is something else out there, something terrible. It controls them, forces the dragons to bring it food and obey its commands."

Astrid spoke up for the first time since she had reconnected with Hiccup. "So… it's like their queen."

Hiccup paused for a moment, truly realizing that Astrid had actually spoken to him. Other than the few times that she spent yelling at him, it was the first time… ever. He shook his head, trying to stay on topic with what was at hand. "Yes, it is exactly like that. This… thing…. has been taking control of the dragons for the past several decades and has only grown in power. We can't just go out there and start killing the dragons that raid us. It will most likely only make things worse."

Gobber stepped forward, shaking his head and gesturing outside. "So what do you expect us to do Hiccup? Just sit here and watch while these beasts destroy our home and steal our food?"

Hiccup once again tried to move himself off of the table, only to be stopped by Toothless' paw. || You're not going anywhere Hiccup. ||

The boy sighed and rolled his eyes at the protective reptile. He knew that the dragon was right, he just wished that he wasn't. "Alright, I understand your point of view. Just please, try not to hurt the dragons."

All at once, Gobber, Gunnar and Astrid all ran outside to join the fight, or hobbled in Gobber's case. Gothi stayed back to keep an eye on Hiccup, not that she needed to with a certain Night Fury taking care of that.

Once outside, the three newcomers to the ongoing battle were left shocked by the destruction that was upon them. They were used to seeing buildings on fire and Vikings chasing dragons like madmen, but this was outrageous. The houses and shops were not only being set on fire, they were being utterly decimated. The dragons were coming down in droves, obliterating everything in their path. Now, it seemed that they were ignoring their previous goal of retrieving food, now totally focused on wreaking as much havoc as was possible.

Gobber quickly found Spitelout, the Viking left in charge for each raid since the death of Stoick. The man was shouting orders as fast as he could, trying to do his best in keeping the village alive. "Gobber! I need you on that catapult. We've got to do something before the dragons destroy every last building that we have."

Gobber turned towards the catapult that Spitelout had gestured to, only to see it blown from the top of the tower down into the sea below. He glanced back at his leader, only to see the man shaking his head in anguish. The stressed Viking turned towards Gunnar and Astrid and immediately ordered them to start putting out as many fires as they could. He turned towards Gobber, trying to breathe through the pressure of the situation. "Gobber, what do I do? This is the worst raid that we have had in years. We are losing more men and buildings by the minute!"

Gobber scanned the village, seeing more and more fires grow by the second. He turned towards Spitelout and sighed. "We need to get everyone inside. It's not worth losing lives over some fish and sheep."

Spitelout threw his hands in the air and gestured to the sheep grazing in the fields. "There not even attempting to steal our livestock! All they are doing is blowin-"

The man was cut off as a massive blast engulfed the building behind him, knocking him to the ground in the process. He gradually pulled himself to his feet, groaning from concussion of the blast. "You see what I mean?"

Gobber nodded and walked over to help the man up. "Regardless of why they are here, we need to get everyone to the Great Hall. It's the only place that would be safe from the dragons."

Spitelout looked around his village, watching as each and every individual struggled to save their homes and families. "Alright Gobber, you're right. Get everyone to the Great Hall, we need to save everyone that we can."

The two quickly separated and went on to tell everyone to retreat to safety. Gobber found Astrid and Gunnar with all the other teens trying their best to put out the flames on the armory. "Forget about it kids. We need everyone to get back to the Great Hall. The dragons are out for something else this time, and we can't risk losing everyone on the island."

The teens faces all turned to shock, not completely understanding why they were simply giving up. Snotlout was quick to voice his opinion, clearly opposing the idea. "What are you talking about? Retreat? There's no way we can just give up! The dragons will only see it as a victory and come back with an even greater force next time!"

Gobber shook his head and started ushering the teens towards safety. "It doesn't matter anymore. We can't afford to lose more men than we already have!"

Astrid looked to Gobber, almost horrified. "But what about-?"

She managed to cut herself off before she unveiled their secret. Gobber glanced down to his home, seeing that it was still intact. "You're right Astrid, go and get Gothi."

In an instant, the girl was off, running to convince Hiccup and Toothless to get out of the village. Astrid ran with as much speed as she could, carefully avoiding burning structures and dragon blasts along the way. Once she made it to the house, she slipped inside and immediately set to convincing the trio inside to leave.

Up on the hill just before Gobber's home, Snotlout stood awaiting Astrid and Gothi to emerge out of the home. Gobber had yelled for him to stay back, but he couldn't risk the girl he lusted after so much to simply disappear into the fire. He waited patiently, wondering why it would take so long for her to convince one old lady to retreat to the Great Hall.

After several minutes of destruction going on all around him, the door to Gobber's house once again opened. Astrid and Gothi slowly emerged from the smoky depths of the home, the older woman walking along with Astrid supporting her. Just as Snotlout was about to run up and help the two along, essentially saving the day in his eyes, Hiccup appeared on the back of a Night Fury.

Snotlout immediately stopped in his tracks, worried about alerting the dragon to his position. He simply watched as the four seemed to discuss for a moment, then split off into two directions.

He couldn't believe it. Hiccup had returned. The boy that had done so much in such little time, practically reducing Berk to its knees. He couldn't figure out why Hiccup would have come back. For revenge? For retribution?

He looked up from the ground in which he was lying on, only to see that Astrid had disappeared along with Gothi and Hiccup had gone off into the woods on the back of his dragon. He quickly got to his feet and started retreating for the Great Hall, seeing the village break away piece by piece along the way. It only added to the hatred that he felt for his cousin, to see him come back and watch as his former village burns to ashes and coals.



Once Astrid finally reached the Great Hall with Gothi, she immediately started searching for Gobber and Gunnar. The massive structure was filled to the brim with people who were all just as anxious as she was. The walls around them continued to shake as blast after blast assailed the village.

Astrid walked the circumference of the room three times before she finally came across Gobber, seated at one of the tables across one end of the room. As she weeded her way through the crowd, she looked around for any sign of Gunnar. Unfortunately, she couldn't pick the young man out of the immense congregation. She finally managed to slip past everyone and reach the burly man she was trying to reach. "Gobber! Did you manage to get everyone out of the village?"

The man turned to her and nodded, letting out a sigh of exhaustion in the process. "I think so. We can't be sure, but we think that we got everyone into the Hall just in time."

There was an immense blast of fire that engulfed the entrance of the Great Hall, successfully bringing silence to the room for a moment. Several men rushed the doors to try and create a more formidable blockade. Astrid turned back to Gobber, distraught from the events going on around them. "I hope they made it out alright."

"Who do you mean by they, Astrid?"

The two quickly turned around to see Snotlout eying them suspiciously. Astrid immediately started gesturing for Snotlout keep it down as she hushed him. Snotlout shook his head, aggravated from the discovery that he had just made. "No really Astrid, who was it that you were talking about?"

The nearby audience had quietened down at the boy's emphasized question. Astrid stuttered as she tried to think of a reasonable answer. "Snotlout, well, I was wondering if the twins and Fishlegs made it out."

Snotlout shook his head and scoffed. Ready to shout out to everyone that there was an outcast on the island. "Yeah, a likely story. You know exactly what I'm talking about. I saw you leave Gobber's house with Gothi and Hiccup!"

The rest of the room went silent at the mention of the deceased chief's son. Suddenly all eyes were upon Astrid and Gobber. The girl shrunk down into her body, desperately trying to avoid the glares that she found herself receiving. "Uhh, I don't know what you're talking about Snotlout. Have you been drinking Gothi's potions again behind her back?"

Snotlout smacked himself across the forehead and dragged his hand down his face. "That only happened the one time! And I know that I saw you leave Gobber's house along with Hiccup riding that Night Fury!"

"It's true!" Suddenly one of the villagers stepped forward. It was Sven, Gobber's neighbor. The man walked up next to Snotlout and placed a hand on the boy's back. "It is true. I saw Hiccup leaving Gobber's home on the back of his Night Fury. I had just gone back to retrieve a few things once I heard that we would be retreating to the Great Hall. Just as I was about to step foot out the door, I saw that malicious beast run off into the woods."

Conversations immediately started spreading throughout the Great Hall. Everything from wanting to go and chase after the outcast to leaving traps to capture the pair and make them an example just as Stoick had originally wanted. Gobber let out a deep sigh and looked down at the table he was seated at. "Dang it, Sven."

Spitelout stepped forward and pulled Astrid up by the scruff of her neck. "So how long have you known about Hiccup's return? How long have you been keeping it from me that we have an outcast on our island!?"

Astrid struggled to come up with a response, uncharacteristically getting nervous from all the attention focused on her. After a few moments of the girl spitting out nothing the least bit helpful, Gobber stood up and stole the crowd's interest. "He just arrived two nights ago. I have been taking care of him ever since the dragon brought him to me."

Spitelout looked to Gobber in awe. No one could believe that Stoick's right hand man, whom only had a right hand, would betray the chief's way of thinking. The in pro tempore chief sent him a look of astonishment, of unadulterated shock. He dropped Astrid and turned to face him directly. "Gobber, how could you go against the Viking way? You were Stoick's alter ego. How could you betray everything we all believe in? Why didn't you come to me as soon as he stepped foot on this island!?"

Gobber shrugged his shoulders and reached up to scratch behind his neck. "Well that was actually the problem. When the dragon brought him to me, his leg was in such bad shape that he wouldn't be able to step foot anywhere. In fact, being that he has been on the back of his Night Fury, he probably still hasn't stepped foot on this island."

Spitelout rolled his eyes and dragged a massive frown down his face with his hand. "You know what I mean Gobber!"

The hook-handed man sighed and glanced down at the ground below him; it was suddenly becoming far more appealing to look at. "Because maybe Stoick was wrong about him, about the dragons."



Toothless dashed through the forest as fast as he could without risking his human falling off of his back. He knew that he wouldn't be safe anywhere near the village. The two of them needed to get as far away as they could without leaving the island itself.

The Night Fury leapt over rocks and dove under logs, trying to find a place in where they wouldn't be found. Hiccup desperately tried to hang on to the dragon, fighting to keep his grip on the scaly reptile. He wished that he would have had the time to strap on the Night Fury's saddle before they left, but being in such a rush, they decided to leave without it.

The two barreled through the forest until they came upon a sudden cliff edge after rounding a bend. Toothless tried his best to stop, but the unforgiving soil beneath his paws did nothing to slow his speed, sending the two of them over the edge.

Toothless managed to spread his wings at the last moment, successfully slowing the fall so they could land harmlessly at the bottom of an abandoned cove.

Hiccup nearly rolled off of Toothless once they came to a halt. He lay across the ground looking up at the surrounding walls that jetted up all around him. After a few moments he brought his head up off the dirt and began looking at his surroundings.

Everything seemed so familiar, as if he had been there before, but it felt like it had been so long. He glanced over to the side of the pond to where a lone rock sat in an open area, and then everything clicked. He remembered sitting on that particular rock while etching in the ground below. He recalled Toothless looking over his shoulder and watching him create a picture of the Night Fury. He remembered the very instance in which he first laid his hand upon the dragon's snout. "Toothless, we're in the cove!"

Said dragon looked over at him with a questionable stare. || And you just figured that out? ||

Hiccup rolled his eyes and grinned up at the reptile. "This is great. No one else ever knew about this place. This will work out perfect if someone were to come looking for us."

The dragon slowly settled down and curled around his human, being careful not to harm the boy's leg any more than it already was. || Yes, but that also means that we don't have a way out of here. Without your leg and my saddle, we're trapped here until someone comes along to find us, or until you can build another self-actuating tailfin. ||

Hiccup brought his hands up to his face, groaning in aggravation. "I knew we should have brought that saddle….. But wait a minute, weren't you able to get out of here on your own last time we were on Berk?"

Toothless shook his head and sighed. || Yes, but that was also due to my running on adrenaline without you on my back. I wouldn't even attempt it with you just trying to hang on to my scales for support. ||

Hiccup slouched back down into the Night Fury's side, stumped at finding a solution. He glanced down at his leg, trying to remember the feeling of when it was there. Toothless rumbled in response, feeling sorry about his human losing his limb.

Hiccup looked back up to the dragon, starting to angry with the dragon for always blaming himself. "I know what you're thinking bud, and you need to stop it. We've had this conversation before and I honestly don't feel like going over it again."

The two stared into each other's eyes for a few more moments until an unexpected thud sounded next to them. The two instantly looked over, only to see that Gunnar and Hellfire had managed to find them.

The young man stepped of his dragon and shook his head, chuckling slightly. "You know, even while that Night Fury is earth-bound, it's still impossible to keep up with him."

Hiccup leaned back into said Night Fury and chuckled, Toothless was looking smug as usual. "I thought you went with Gobber to the Great Hall."

Gunnar slowly made himself comfortable on the ground as Hellfire curled up next to him. "Well, when everyone started panicking about leaving the village, I knew that I should go back and check on this guy. It turned out to be just in time as well. I don't exactly know what was going on with him, but until I got up next to him and laid my hand across his head, he was running around as if his head was about to explode."

|{ It was the Queen. She was trying to take advantage of Gunnar's absence. }|

Toothless looked back at Hellfire with a concerned face. || But her reach had never been strong enough to take control of dragons on Berk before. ||

Hellfire shook his head and sighed. |{ I don't know how, but she must have gotten stronger. If my human was just a minute later, I would have been entirely under her control. It was incredible, as soon as Gunnar placed his hand on my snout, her presence completely disappeared. It was like any power she had was deflected by my human's touch. }|

Toothless seemed to think to himself for a moment, looking down in concentration. Hiccup looked up to his friend curious about his conversation with the other dragon. "What did he say bud?"

Toothless shook his from his thoughts and glanced back to Hiccup. || He said that the Queen's power is getting stronger. If it wasn't for Gunnar, then he wouldn't have been able to escape her call. Her power didn't always stretch this far out. She used to only be able to lure dragons in when they were closer to the nest. ||

Hiccup thought to himself for a moment and started to scratch the Night Fury's side, almost subconsciously. "Do you think that has anything to do with why the raid was so violent?"

Toothless let his eyes fall to half mast, the scratching soothing his scales. || It might. Being that she has a longer distance of control, she might be able to control the dragons minds , and by extension, their actions. They never used to attack villages with such vengeance. But why would it be all the sudden that she has this new-found power? ||

|{ It's because of you! }|

The group immediately turned around to see a large Timberjack landing just behind them. Toothless almost instantly took a defensive stance, shielding his human from the possibly dangerous dragon. || Me? How could it have been my fault? I haven't even been near the nest ever since Hiccup had shot me out of the sky. ||

The massive dragon lowered his head and spread his wings, showing that he wasn't a threat and he respected the Night Fury. |{ That is what I'm talking about Night Fury. When that human shot you from the sky, you no longer inhibited the Queen's control. You may not have realized it, but you were the reason why she could never make full use of her powers. Being that you are a Night Fury, you are the only dragon that can stop a dragon of her magnitude, and she knows that. }|

Toothless slowly dropped his stance, trying to grasp the Timberjack's theory. He wasn't prepared to hear an answer just like that. Again, Hiccup was looking up to him in question, begging for an explanation. Toothless looked back up to the dragon with wings sharp enough to cut diamonds. || Are you saying that the only reason why the Queen has been contained all these years is because of me? That the only reason dragons and humans alike have been killing each other in the face of battle, is because I haven't stopped her? ||

The large dragon seemed to shuffle a bit, not wanting to pin all the guilt onto his only help. |[ Look, Night Fury, we need you, the humans need you, for the continued existence of our species, we need you to take her down. }|

Toothless lowered his head in shame. If he would have known what he did now, this war wouldn't have ever taken place. || Why am I only finding this out now? ||

The Timberjack stepped forward slightly, resulting in a vicious growl from Toothless. |{ I'm sorry Night Fury, but you hadn't become strong enough mentally to take her down. You have grown so much since meeting your human…. I know that your destiny to reconcile with the humans, but I promise that will never happen unless you take out the Queen. You are strong enough now, I know it, and we all know it. }|

Toothless shook his head and sighed. || How can you be so sure? I'm down a tail-fin. Even with my self-articulating fin, it's nowhere near as maneuverable as when Hiccup is on my back. There is no way I could take him into battle with me. He would be killed for sure. ||

Hiccup was finally fed up with only hearing half of the conversation. He stood on his one good leg and essentially fell onto Toothless' wing. The dragon instantly lowered the boy down to the ground and pulled him close. || Hiccup, what are you thinking? You know that you can't walk with only a half a leg. ||

The boy shook his head and scoffed at the dragon. "I'm getting tired of you making my decisions for me. From what I can tell by only hearing your side of the conversation is that this 'Queen' is only becoming more and more powerful with you gone from the nest, and that you are the only dragon that can stop her. But for some reason you think that you can't do because of your tail and your unwillingness to take me with you…. Well that's not how we operate Toothless. If it's your duty to bring down that monster, then we are going to do it. Together."

Toothless shook his head and rolled his eyes at his persistent human. || Hiccup, you have no idea what we're talking about. This dragon is as big as a mountain, she could take out your entire village with but one swipe of her tail. There is no way I could risk you going into battle with such a beast. ||

Hiccup pushed away at the Night Fury's snout, becoming more and more aggravated. "I don't care Toothless. It's pretty obvious that you need me to fight her, and if these raids only get worse from here on out, there won't be a village to come back to regardless of what we do."

Toothless stared down at Hiccup, a burst of fire nearly escaping through his nose as he breathed. He couldn't believe that Hiccup had absolutely no regard for his own safety.

|{ He's right you know. }|

Toothless turned to the Timberjack, giving him a questionable stare. || How could you say that? ||

The large dragon spread his wings and prepared to leave. |{ You need your human, you're stronger with him. Whether you like it or not, he is going to have to fly with you if you want to take her down. }|

With his last sentence, the Timberjack left the cove and flew off into the distance. Toothless turned back to Hiccup, seeing an expectant face staring back at him. || You're not going into battle. That's final. ||

Hiccup rolled his eyes and leaned back against the Night Fury. "Well good thing it's not up to you. It's my decision and I say that I am going. You'll die without me, and that is something I could never live with."

The two both turned towards Gunnar and Hellfire, Hiccup gesturing towards Gunnar. "What do you think?"

The young man looked at the two of them completely confused. "Uhh, well, for starters, you're going to have to tell me everything that was just said, because all I heard was some odd growling and a few other sounds, with you occasionally throwing a word in every now and then."



Gobber's admittance to housing and caring for an outcast and his pet dragon hadn't sat very well with the rest of the villagers. Almost immediately, several men began discussing how they could capture the Night Fury while they still had the chance. Spitelout offered up suggestions and the idea of using the boat harness soon came up.

The harness was initially intended for transporting dragons out to sea and pushing them off the side. The Vikings had thought that it was sufficient way to end the dragon's life for stealing their food and destroying their homes. Sven noted that the Night Fury wasn't a very large dragon and they could build a harness very quickly even with the limited supplies that they had.

Once all of the leaders had come to an agreement, Gobber aside, they decided that they shouldn't waste another second. As soon as the dragons had fled the village, taking most of their food supplies along with them, the Vikings got to work.

Both Astrid and Gobber were being held captive in fear of one of them foiling the plot to capture Hiccup and the Night Fury. The men made quick progress of building the boat harness. It wasn't a fullproof design, but it would do the job of holding down a dragon until they could decide on how to dispose of it. Several of the men seemed to be very proud of their handiwork and deemed it the Heavy Arched Rig Noted for Easily Sustaining Savages, or HARNESS for short.

A team of men set out into the forest to try and locate the outcast and his dragon. It consisted of the several warriors that were the most stealthily of all on Berk. They decided it would be better to find the dragon and bring the HARNESS in just afterwards in case they would be spotted while dragging it in.

Spitelout led the group of hunters while Sven led the group of men that dragged the HARNESS along. Spitelout and his men kept a low profile while they snaked their way through the forest. The men had left just before Sven's team had finished building the HARNESS. They all were ready to find the boy who betrayed their tried and make the Night Fury the example that it deserved to be.

After wondering through the forest for about an hour, one of the men that had gone ahead came rushing up to Spitelout, almost ready to burst at the seams with his new information. The stand-in chief gestured the man to keep it down as he listened in on what the man had to say.

"I was walking along the coast towards Raven's Point and I came across a large cove. I didn't think much of it and was about to leave the area, but as soon as I was stepping away, I heard voices."

Spitelout was becoming intrigued; he had listened to several stories over the past half hour which everyone seemed to have a hard time believing that the swaying of the trees was indeed not a Night Fury. "Who did they sound like?"

The man smiled and gave Spitelout an excited grin. "At first, it was just that boy who claimed to have landed on our island, but then I started to hear some growls and groans. I knew I couldn't just go on a hunch, I peered over the edge of the cove and saw them. It was Hiccup and that boy Gunnar. There wasn't just the Night Fury though. They also had a Monstrous Nightmare with them."

Spitelout thought about the situation for a moment until he finally came to a conclusion in his head. "The Nightmare is of no use to us. We will only aim for the Night Fury. If what Gobber says is true, Hiccup will have no way of leaving on foot, and I'm certain he won't leave without his precious dragon."

The chief stood up and looked towards Raven Point. He knew that it wouldn't take long to reach the cove that the villager spoke of. He looked back to the man and gestured towards Berk. "Go back and tell Sven's team that we have located the Night Fury. Tell them exactly how to get there but to not come too close until we call for them. We will take down the dragon and secure it until they arrive with the HARNESS."

The villager nodded and started for Berk. "Sounds good Spitelout, we will see you there."

The chief quickly gathered his men and started conveying ideas on how to capture the beast. Each of them had brought a few weapons, the last that Berk seemed to have after the raid, and each of them were prepared to attack.

The men finally settled on a plan to surround the cove, knowing that the dragon was flightless without Hiccup and would only be able to escape on foot, they figured they would need to attack from all directions. They all agreed that nets were probably the best tool for the situation, being something that they had luck with for many years prior.

Just as dusk was approaching, the men set their plan into action. Every fifteen feet around the rim of the cove stood a man ready to attack. The HARNESS was positioned just a few hundred feet away, ready to be dragged in to hold the Night Fury in place.

Spitelout had one of his men release the signal bird into the air, successfully alerting everyone that it was time to attack.

Down in the bottom of the cove, Hiccup and Gunnar were discussing the best course of action they should take to defeat the Queen. Toothless and Hellfire were both taking the opportunity to rest, with Toothless resting his head down on Hiccup's lap.

Hiccup looked up to the sunset above them, watching as the clouds drifted across the dimming sky, catching a bird as it flew off into the distance. He let out a long sigh and looked back down to Gunnar. It was only then that he noticed his world caving in around him. Men, dozens of them, all rappelling down into the cove around them. "Toothless, WE GOT TO GO!"

Instantly, the dragon was wide awake and taking in the situation for himself. He quickly surveyed the area, seeing that men were pouring in at all directions, each of them carrying different types of weapons. He dove underneath Hiccup and started sprinting towards the cliff upon which he escaped by last time. Hiccup shouted from his back, pointing to the sky as he did so. "Gunnar, you guys need to get out of here! Leave, before it's too late!"

Gunnar quickly mounted Hellfire and gestured to the sky. He figured that he could provide cover fire from above. The Nightmare stretched his wings and bolted to the sky, successfully avoiding the incoming axes and arrows. As soon as they reached the treetops, Hellfire began firing down at the numerous Vikings.

Toothless leapt onto the cliff side, clawing his way towards the rim of the cove. He jumped from ledge to ledge as he slowly approached the top. But with each leap and bound, Hiccup was losing his grip on the Night Fury beneath him. Just as Toothless reached one claw over the edge, Hiccup slipped from his back. The dragon immediately abandoned his climb and dove to retrieve Hiccup.

Hiccup watched as the ground came closer and closer, as if time had slowed. He clenched his eyes, knowing that impact was just milliseconds away. Just inches from the ground, Toothless managed to slide beneath Hiccup and the cove floor. The two skidded to a halt, the Night Fury's tail coming to rest in the water.

Hiccup gradually opened his eyes, amazed that death had not been the one to greet him. He looked below him, Toothless was covered in scratches and dirt that had wedged in between his scales. The dragon sluggishly lifted himself off the ground, only to fall down once again.

Hellfire began firing down into the cove to protect Hiccup and Toothless, doing his best to prevent their capture. Just as the Nightmare was using the last of his fire, arrows and nets began to come their way.

Hiccup shouted towards Gunnar as soon as he saw the nets heading their direction. "GET OUT OF HERE! THERE IS NOTHING MORE YOU CAN DO!"

The young man aboard the Nightmare had no choice, it was either stay and get captured along with Hiccup, or leave and try to find help. After a few more moments, Gunnar cursed and directed Hellfire to abandon the two.

As soon as Hiccup saw that Gunnar and Hellfire had escaped, he turned his attention back to Toothless. The dragon looked up to him and sighed, knowing the inevitable was about to take place. Hiccup lifted his gaze just in time to have a net encase him across Toothless. Several men quickly pounced on the duo, holding the Night Fury's snout closed to prevent and blasts from escaping.

Hiccup was pulled from the net and forced aside. The dragon thrashed at the men tying him down, desperately trying to stay with Hiccup.

The boy simply laid across the ground, reaching for his friend. "Please, just don't hurt him….. Just don't hurt him."

One of the villagers scoffed at Hiccup as he desperately crawled for his dragon, kicking the boy aside. "We're going to do a lot more than hurt him boy. This dragon has done enough damage, it's time to put him to an end."



The men made swift progress of strapping Toothless into the HARNESS. It didn't take them long to hoist the dragon out of the cove and begin to drag him back to the village. Hiccup was hastily thrown onto a stretcher and similarly strapped down. The men carried him just in front of the Night Fury, allowing the two to remain face to face.

Tears were streaming down Hiccup's face as he stared into the dragon's eyes. Hiccup knew that he couldn't speak to the dragon, that doing so would only make things worse. Toothless, however, he insisted on coaching Hiccup through the situation the entire time. He knew why Hiccup didn't want to respond and he agreed to the reasoning. || Hiccup, you know that we will make it through this. We have made through it before and there is nothing to stop us from doing it again. ||

The boy simply observed his dragon as they were walked through the forest and over the hills to Berk. He only nodded in response, so slight that only Toothless would notice.

The dragon did his best not to struggle against his bindings, Knowing from prior experience that thrashing was not only useless, but did more harm than good. He watched and continued to talk to his human as they were ushered to their destination.

Once the group had reached the town, all the villagers came out to see the prisoner's arrival. The men carried them past the remaining homes and up to the bottom staircase of the Great Hall. A large audience had gathered, including that of Gobber and Astrid.

The Night Fury was rolled up to the bottom of the staircase, Hiccup alongside. The men unstrapped the boy from the stretcher and allowed him to be seated next to the dragon. There was really no point in having him try to stand when he would just fall over anyway.

Gothi pushed her way through the crowd, banging people across the head as they continued to stand in her way. The older woman gave each person an aggravated stare and huffed as she made her way towards the center of the audience. Once she finally reached the two prisoners, she lifted a small box up to Hiccup. The surrounding villagers all looked to the woman in question, but none of them were willing to argue with her reasoning. It was said that she could rip a man's soul from their very chest in the blink of an eye.

Hiccup cautiously took the box and looked to the people around as if asking permission to open it. Since no one seemed to oppose him opening the package, he proceeded to expose the item within. He pulled a metal contraption from the box, something that he had never seen. "What is it?"

Gobber shook the men that were holding him away and walked forward. "It's a new leg for ye."

Hiccup turned the contraption upright and saw that it indeed looked like something that would be able to strap onto his stump of a leg. "But why…. How?... When did you do this?"

Gobber knelt down to give the boy a better demonstration. "As soon as we found out that your leg was going to have to come off, I knew that a replacement would have to be made. Being that it was going to be a 'Hiccup leg', I figured it could use a bit of extra… flair thrown in."

Hiccup turned the new leg in his hands, admiring all the intricate features that made it his own. "Wow… thanks."

He was truly surprised, he wasn't used to receiving gifts out of the blue. Even being the chief's son, it wasn't very common to distribute gifts around a struggling village. Gobber smiled down at the scrawny teen, proud of not only his handiwork, but of the boy who received it. "Think it'll do?"

One of the villagers stepped forward and threw his arms in the air. "Why does it even matter? We should be holding this boy's execution, not giving him gifts!"

Gobber rolled his eyes and gestured down at the box which Gothi had brought. "By the way, I made a few changes to the dragon's saddle to accommodate that new foot of yours."

Spitelout finally stepped forward and slowly pulled Gobber to his feet. "I hate to interrupt this touching moment that you're having with the boy, but I'm afraid that the man is right. We are here to decide what to do with the prisoners, not make them more mobile."

Gobber shook his arm free of the chief and went to stand next to Astrid and Gothi. "Well, as it turns out, I'm not the only one here who thinks the boy deserves a fair trial."

Spitelout looked down to the elder of the village, eying her warily. "Is this true Gothi? Do you not think this boy poses a threat to our village?"

Gothi took her staff and started etching lines and pictures into the ground at her feet. Gobber leaned over her shoulder and started to recite what the odd markings meant. "This village is run by a group of idiots that- oww!"

Gothi had taken the liberty of smacking the man across the face as he intentionally misinterpreted the markings. "Oh, I see… This village should fear neither the boy nor the dragon. The two of them have received a mission from something, something, something and should be treated as such."

Gothi looked up to Gobber and rolled her eyes, smacking the man across the face once more. "Oy!... At least I got most of it!"

Spitelout studied the markings on the ground cautiously before glancing back up at Gobber. "I'm not so sure I trust your translation Gobber, you could be simply vouching for the boy and his- OUCH!"

The audience simply watched as Gothi turned and walked away, tired of hearing the nonsense spouting from the village's leaders. Spitelout rubbed his jaw and sighed. "Fine, we will give the boy a chance to explain his reasoning. If Gothi has reason to believe that Hiccup and his dragon are meant to be left alone, then we will trust her guidance."

The villagers groaned in disapproval, but not one of them was willing to voice it aloud, especially since Gothi had yet to leave the area. Spitelout looked down to the boy and gestured to the staircase. "Well get on up there boy, we only want to do this once and sooner we get this over the better."

Hiccup looked up to Gobber and Astrid, the two of them smiling in excitement. Hiccup turned towards his best friend, receiving a nod in approval. Hiccup sighed and started to strap his new leg in place. He made quick work of securing the prosthetic, wincing from the tightness on the tender skin. He used the cart that Toothless was strapped within to pull himself to his feet.

Hiccup looked around at the villagers, only receiving faces of disgust and revulsion in return. "Well, nothing new there."

He spoke mostly to himself rather than to the crowd. He gradually stepped forward onto his right foot, confident that his left would support his weight. He paused as he lifted his left leg, holding a breath as he stepped onto his prosthetic. The pressure on the new leg was far more than he expected, causing him to fall forward, face first towards the ground. Just before he hit the dirt, a scaly head stopped his fall.

Toothless stretched as far as his bindings would allow to keep Hiccup from falling. The crowd around them all jerked backwards at the quick movement of the dragon, letting out gasps of surprise.

Hiccup looked down at the large green eyes below him, only giving the look of concern. The boy sighed and smiled back at him. "Thanks bud."

The Night Fury slowly lifted the boy back to his feet and steadied him. Hiccup smiled once more at Toothless and took another step forward, prepared for the pain to hit him. Each step came with a heavy limp, but he managed to make it to the staircase on his own.

Astrid was almost instantly at his side offering him a hand to help him ascend the few stairs he needed to so he could be elevated. Hiccup graciously took up the offer and slowly made his way up the ten stairs that he wanted to, turning back to face the crowd directly. Only this time when he scanned the audience, he didn't receive looks of anger and resentment. When he looked at the villager's faces, they seemed to be more impressed or wore sympathy. It was the last kind of reaction he thought he would get, but it soothed his anxiety nonetheless.

Hiccup paused and closed his eyes, praying to the gods for strength and influence. He let out one last long breath, knowing that if he was going to sound convincing, it had to be good, no, it had to be great... He opened his eyes and saw his friend down in front looking up at him, giving him inspiration as always. He scanned the audience for a brief moment, finally understanding himself, what needed to be done.

"Villagers of Berk, I am here today not by choice, not by decision, and not by preference. I am here today with a dragon, with a Night Fury, with a friend, my best friend. I know that most of you do not agree with the life that I have chosen. I know that you would prefer to watch someone like me burn rather than to have him preach to you about why he is right. I know that you would rather go on and live life the way you have, fighting the dragons as they invade, celebrating when you have won. I know this because it was how my father lived.

"But I am here today to tell you, that lifestyle is wrong…..

"For I have seen the good behind these creatures of the sky, I have seen what they are capable of, what they have the power to do, and their ability to love. I have seen that not only are dragons capable of showing emotion, feelings, and affection, but are capable of rational thought.

"The Night Fury before you today has not only shown me the gift of life, but the gift of a friend. As a child here on Berk, I was not very popular among the populace. I didn't have the body of a Viking. I didn't have the mindset of a Viking. I didn't have the power of a Viking. I didn't fit in no matter how hard I tried. I could build a hundred different devices all designed to shoot down a dragon, but nothing was ever good enough to prove my worthiness to the village of Berk.

"But as I stand before you today, by the help of one being, I now know why I could never fit in. I now know why I could never stand up and say I was a Berkian. I now know why I could never fight dragons.

"It's because I am not a dragon fighter, not a dragon slayer, not a dragon killer. I am a dragon rider….

"The dragons are not what we once thought they were. They are not the vicious, mindless beasts that we assumed them to be for generations. They are loving, loyal, protective, helpful, dependable, and most of all, they are there for you.

"I have witnessed, along with several others, the devotion that a dragon is willing to put forth. We need to be willing to put that same devotion back into them. A dragon only reacts to the emotions that you respond to them with. If you try and take him from the sky, he will try and take you from this land. If you treat them with respect, treat them as if they are another being, treat them as a human, …. then they will treat you the same…..

"I know this all sounds repetitive and you most likely think that I am just ranting on about lies and falsehoods, but let me assure you, that is not the case.

"This Night Fury before you, the dragon that is feared by many and hated by more, he is so much more than he seems. He has saved my life numerous times. He would dive in front of an arrow for me, he would leap off a cliff just to stop me from falling, and he would end his life…. If it meant that I could go on.

"I'm not saying I agree with everything he is willing to do, but I know that it comes from the part of their being that we always thought a dragon could never possess. It comes from the loyalty and the love that thrives within him.

"Every dragon out there can be just as much as a friend to you as Toothless is to me. We just have to give them the chance to be something other than the defensive adversary. We have to give them the opportunity to show us their other side. We have to give them…. our consent.

"Only then…. Only then will we see their heart."


AN: Well, even with this chapter being very long in comparison, I still didn't get to the point that I had envisioned for this chapter. Anyway, what did you think? Does it seem to be shaping up to the end of the story? Only about three more chapters to go!

Thank you to all! I couldn't ask for a better response to this story. You have made me a very happy person. :)

Milestone of the Week: 270 favorites! 65,000 views! Thanks again!