"Well that was some very good quillwork mister Haddock," Madam Arms commented as she examined Jack's eye. "We should be able to fix it with a potion but your eye will be very light-sensitive for at least a week."
"Oh-kaaay, which means?" Jack asked.
"Let me guess, he'll be a pirate for a week," Hiccup said. Madam Arms nodded.
"I'll go find the potion," the nurse said and left the room.
The hospital wing was quite eerie. Oddly enough Jack was the only injured person in the room, all the beds were empty.
"I'm uhm, like I'm sorry for nearly poking your eye out," Hiccup said, sending an apologetic glance at Jack.
"It's a'right, I've been worse."
That was true. Jack had broken legs, arms, teeth, toes, wrists – most of them were Quidditch-related injuries except from that one time Merida broke his wrist in a fight between the two of them that had turned violent.
"Yeah but still, I did a shitty thing and I feel shitty." Hiccup shrugged and sat down on the edge of the bed next to Jack.
"This is the first time I've seen you do something shitty so you're still pretty clean in my book."
"Am I really that dull?" Hiccup asked.
"Nah, just a bit predictable I guess." Jack shrugged.
"Well you don't really know me so yeah." Hiccup crossed his arms.
Jack realised that he might have offended Hiccup. He bit his lip. "So uh, how's the egg?"
"Intact, hard, warm, heavy, not noisy at all, doesn't wee on the floor, I'd say it's a nine out of ten." Hiccup smirked. "You're actually so awkward when you talk, I never realised that before. You just always seemed like such a smooth guy," he then said and looked at Jack.
Yeah but I'm talking to you. "Yeah I'm kinda stupid really." I actually just kinda have this crush on you and I'm scared I'll say something wrong. "Just ask Merida, she'll know."
"I don't think me and DunBroch will have a heart-to-heart anytime soon but thanks for the tip."
Madam Arms reappeared with a small bottle filled with some green gooey liquid.
"Will it hurt?" Jack asked as he closed his good eye tightly.
"Only for three to four hours," Madam Arms replied.
Hiccup couldn't help but laugh at the face Jack made as a drop of the liquid fell into his eye. Madam Arms had to shush him twice to get him to stop giggling.
Jack got a black eye patch from the nurse, he was instructed to only take it off during the night, otherwise his eye might implode.
"This isn't funny! I can't play Quidditch with one eye!" Jack exclaimed as they exited the Hospital Wing. "Our back-up keeper is shitty, Astrid is going to be so angry!"
"One week Jack," Hiccup said. "I'm sure Astrid can manage without you. Besides, your first match isn't until November."
"May I remind you that November is only a month away? I'll only have three weeks to practice before the match and it's against your flippin' house! And don't tell anyone I said this, but the Ravenclaw team is pretty damn good." Jack ran a hand through his hair.
"Well look on the bright side; now you know what to dress up as for the Halloween ball," Hiccup said.
"Yes of course, a smelly pirate costume will definitely get the ladies." Jack immediately regretted his words. He bit his lower lip and looked at Hiccup who seemed unfaced by it.
They walked in slightly strained silence for a while. The corridors were quiet but they could hear the rumble of people from the other side of the walls where the classrooms were. The air had become piercing cold and dry, bringing news of an upcoming snowstorm with it.
Suddenly Hiccup blurted "So are you and Merida going together to the ball?" He felt a blush creep up his neck. He forced his eyes to focus on the floor ahead of him instead of looking at Jack's reaction.
"I don't know, probably if she's not going with anyone else," he replied. "But if we go together it'll just be a friend thing because going alone is pretty sad." He looked down at Hiccup. "What about you?"
The blush that had sprung out on Hiccup's neck spread to his freckled cheeks. "Uh I guess I'm going with Rapunzel or stag, I don't really have anyone special on my mind so ..." he trailed off.
"Same here," Jack said and coughed awkwardly.
"I bet you'll have plenty of girls chasing after you," Hiccup remarked.
Jack snorted. "Yeah but they don't really know me and most of them get really clingy and sticky and I don't want to have to deal with that for the entire evening."
"Yeah," Hiccup said thoughtfully.
Jack cleared his throat. "So uh, you're fine with not having a proper date then?"
Hiccup shrugged. "I guess, I mean I'm fifteen so it's not like I'm in a hurry to get married or anything."
Jack nodded in response. Maybe one day I'll ask him, he thought to himself.
"Besides there isn't exactly a mile-long buffet of gay guys in this castle," Hiccup added. "Maybe I'll ask Dumbledore's painting."
"I'm sure he'd be delighted." Jack smiled. "And hey you never know, maybe there are more guys here than you think!"
"In that case they must be hiding from my repulsive attitude and my stalker tendencies," Hiccup said with a smile.
Their witty banter went on until they reached the stairs that led to the Potions classroom where they found Merida and Rapunzel waiting for them. Class had just finished, Merida's hair was even frizzier than usual and some weird green stuff was covering Rapunzel's cheeks.
"Ohoy matey, wha' happen'd to yer eye? Did ye lewse it?" Merida shouted as she saw them.
"Your pirate accent is ruining my self-confidence," Jack said, clutching his heart.
"Well that's on bloody time you got down from yer high horse. Now let's go," Merida said.
Jack turned to Hiccup who already had his arm linked with Rapunzel's.
"I'll see you later to like, uhm, talk about the thing." Jack scratched at the back of his head, Hiccup noted that he did that a lot.
"Right, have a nice day Jack, Merida."
And with that the four of them parted.
That same night Jack approached Hiccup after dinner. Hiccup was quite puzzled at first, he wasn't expecting Jack to want to talk to him again so soon. He and Rapunzel had just exited the Great Hall when Jack popped out of nowhere beside Hiccup.
"Secret egg meeting in the kitchen," Jack whispered. Rapunzel's eyes widened like balloons that were being blown up.
"Is this about the dr-" she began but was cut off by Hiccup's palm on her mouth.
"You told her?" Jack asked, frowning.
"Yes," Hiccup said and removed his hand from Rapunzel's face. "Because I kinda carry this thing around with me twenty-four seven and she is with me ninety percent of the time," he explained.
"Okay, so you just let her into the egg club without asking me first?"
"Need I remind you again that I'm the one carrying the egg? I'll tell whoever I want to! And this isn't a club."
"Yeah well you'd be mad if I told Merida."
"Rapunzel is trustworthy, besides you like Rae and I hate Merida."
"Who said I like Rapunzel?"
"Everyone likes Rapunzel, she's the sweetest person in this castle!"
"Uhm guys," Rapunzel said. "It might not be a good idea arguing about this right outside the Great Hall."
Hiccup and Jack both looked angrily at her.
"Right," Hiccup said and straightened his back. "To the kitchen then." He turned away from both of the others and began walking away.
"The kitchen is in the other direction!" Jack said loudly.
"I knew that!" Hiccup replied and turned around. Truthfully he had never been to the kitchen because it was against the rules and he had no idea how to get there.
Jack smirked. He and Rapunzel caught up with Hiccup and Jack led them in the direction of the Hufflepuff commons. They entered the corridor with the fruit painting. Jack tickled the pear which made Rapunzel giggle..
When they entered the kitchen they were immediately greeted by the house elves who offered them all kinds of food. Jack looked thoughtful for a second but then he asked for some chocolate cookies.
Rapunzel stared wide eyed as they fetched Jack's order. "Can you just ask them to give you food?" she asked.
"Yeah, they love serving so ask away."
She humbly asked for a slice of pumpkin pie. Instead of a slice, the elves gave her an entire pie.
They went to sit down on the floor by the huge fireplace. Jack smiled to the elves and said that they didn't need anything else. The elves went to rest and the kitchen became silent.
Jack and Rapunzel ate their food and watched as Hiccup opened his bag and took out the egg. It looked exactly the same as when Jack and Hiccup had found it a few days earlier although it was a bit heavier.
"So," Jack said awkwardly.
"It's an egg," Hiccup said.
"You're both stupid," Rapunzel said. She turned her face to look at Hiccup. "So tell us what you know about dragon eggs nerd."
Hiccup rolled his eyes. "I guess the most important thing for us is how they hatch and the problem is nobody really knows. Some say they just hatch like any bird's egg, some say the shell melts, others say they explode."
"That is … less fortunate," Jack said.
"Thank you for your insight Jack. Anyway I'm assuming our egg is close to hatching because of its weight and warmth which is alarming. I would not like to die from a dragon egg explosion."
"A dragon eggsplosion," Jack said and chuckled at his own roofless hilarity. The pun also made Rapunzel giggle.
"Hilarious, I'm very close to wetting myself," Hiccup said dryly. But a smile still appeared on his face.
"So what do we do? I mean when it hatches? We can't very well carry a baby dragon in our school bags," Rapunzel said.
"And the dorms are out of the question," Jack said.
"Couldn't we keep it here?" Hiccup suggested.
"But don't the professors visit this place?" Rapunzel asked.
"I've been sneaking in and out of here several times every day since first year and I've never seen a professor anywhere near the kitchen." Jack said.
"Yeah I'm pretty sure the elves apparate into their offices with food and stuff," Hiccup said.
"And the elves wouldn't rat us out because that's not how house elves work," jack said.
"So the kitchen it is then!" Rapunzel exclaimed.
"At least until the dragon grows, then we can smuggle it out to the forest," Hiccup said.
"I am astounded by our brilliance, we did a good job tonight egg clubbers." Jack burped and rubbed his stomach.
"Why do girls want to date you?" Rapunzel said and shook her head.
"Because I don't need to be walked, I only have to be fed thrice a day, and I can groom myself."
"You're the ugliest dog I've ever seen," Hiccup said.
They sat in silence for a while. Hiccup had moved the egg closer to himself, he was examining it with his eyes and hands. Rapunzel was also looking at the egg curiously.
Jack couldn't keep his attention on the egg. Instead his eyes wandered to the long thin fingers that were brushing the surface of tit. His eyes then moved up to Hiccup's face which was partly hidden by his fringe.
Rapunzel looked up from the egg and saw the dazed look in Jack's eyes. Jack felt Rapunzel's eyes on him so he quickly looked away. He felt the heat blossom in his cheeks.
"This is really stupid," Hiccup said, breaking the silence. "If we get caught we'll be expelled."
"I fail to see a downside," said Jack. Hiccup rolled his eyes again.
"But Hiccup you care about that egg, don't you?" Rapunzel said softly. "You wouldn't want the dragon to get shipped off to a country far away to be used as a work horse or a vault guard, living its entire life in the dark." She smiled. "And there's no way we'll get expelled with your brains, Jack's sneaky butt, and my unbreakable optimism!"
Hiccup and Jack both laughed.
They stayed in the kitchen for a bit longer until Hiccup remembered an essay he had to finish writing. Jack seemed reluctant to leave at first (which Rapunzel noted) but followed them out nonetheless.
They said their goodnights as they reached the staircase that led to the Ravenclaw tower. Jack continued through the dark silent castle, wrapping his robes around himself as a shield against the biting cold. He wrinkled his nose at the feeling of the itchy eye patch, it would take him a while to get used to it.
Luckily he made it to the Fat Lady without interrupting any busy couples in the corridors. He said the password and entered the warm common room.
He quickly made his way up the stairs and into the 5th year boys' dormitory. He made sure no one was in there before hopping onto his bed and jumping up and down for a good few minutes.
"I'm gonna see him everyday! We're gonna take care of a dragon! We'll spend late nights in the kitchen together!" Jack squealed as he jumped. Then he let himself fall down onto the bed with a loud squeak. He looked up at the canopy with a tired smile. And then he's gonna realise that he's madly in love with me and we'll drop out of school and become hippie nudists who only eat hamburgers! he thought to himself.
Okay maybe that's stretching it.
Suddenly the door burst open and Merida stormed inside, her hair flew behind her and her nostrils were flaring.
"Overland I demand to know where you have been for the past billion hours!" she snapped, stopping in front of his bed and placing her hands on her hips. "I just had to endure the most tedious conversation with Sam Leon, do you know how many times I've rejected that kid? Seven times Jack!"
"Oh shut up hag," Jack said. "I was just talking to Hiccup." And Rapunzel. In the kitchen. Yeah.
"Ye sneaky little Don Juan, tell me all about it," Merida demanded and sat down on the bed.
"Well there's not much to it really, we just talked about boring stuff, no big development y'know," Jack said. Merida narrowed her eyes.
"Yer lying about something," she said. "Spill it or I'll cut you open and punctuate yer gallbladder."
Jack sighed. He looked at Merida who had been his best friend for years. She was the only person in the whole world who knew he was gay, the only person who knew his face better than he, and the only person who was honest with him at all times.
He sat up. "Do you swear to Merlin that you'll never ever ever tell this to anyone?" he asked as he took her hand in both of his.
Merida frowned but nodded. The intensity in Jack's eyes was uncanny.
Jack took a deep breath before speaking. "Okay so me and Hiccup found this dying dragon in the forest right and it had an egg and we took it and now Hiccup carries it in his bag and Rapunzel knows too and it's a big secret so don't tell anyone!"
Merida raised an eyebrow. "Do you need a cup of water after that marathon?"
"So you're okay with it?"
She smirked. "Only if I get to be a part of it because you're a ditz and Rapunzel seems loopy," she said. Jack sighed.
"Okay but I'll have to talk to Hiccup first," he said before letting go of her hand.
"I bet ye do."
"If you keep mocking me you won't be accepted into the egg club," Jack said.
"The egg club? Seriously?"
"Hey it's cool okay!"
Merida chuckled. "Whatever you say."
"Your reaction to this is surprisingly calm," Jack noted.
"Yeah because this castle stinks mate, but a dragon egg? That's exciting! It's been a while since I've been a part of something that was actually fun."
"And dangerous, we could get expelled," Jack said with a smirk.
"Expelled? Psh! Not with my cunning mind! We're gonna win this!" She smiled widely.
"I like that attitude!"
Author's note: I know this one was super short but I'll try to get another update out this week since I'm on fall break and all! And I'm sorry for the long wait, school has just been really overwhelming and if you follow me on Tumblr you'll know that I've had a hard time getting used to my new medication. I went from 20mg citalopram to 30mg so I'm always sleepy.
The next chapter won't be this short omg, I usually try to stay around the 3,000 words mark but this one's only 2,700.
Thank you for your continued support, I appreciate it to no end :)