A/N: I haven't written a fic in a while, so go easy on me. This will end up multi-chaptered. I already have a good idea of where I'm going with this, but I might change it depending on the response I get. Please feel free to point out any grammar/spelling mistakes.

Hope you enjoy, and reviews are always appreciated!


Prologue

All stories have a beginning. This one begins in Berk, a village clinging to the biggest rock in a chain of small and hostile islands. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. It snows nine months out of the year, and hails the other three. The land is harsh and any food that grows there is tough and tasteless.

Most people, having picked the island as a promising place to settle, would have quickly turned tail and ran back to the Mainland. Not the people of Berk though. Ten generations back a group of nomadic explorers ignored all common sense and made Berk their home. You would think at some point that their descendants would have realised there were better places to make a living than a bleak island stranded in the cold North Sea and cursed with horrific weather. But the people of Berk are Vikings and, well, they have stubbornness issues.

The most stubborn of all the villagers is their chief, Stoick the Vast. A walking wall of muscle with red hair as fiery as his temper, he can lift a ship with one arm and slog anyone who gets in his way with the other. They say that when he was a baby, he popped a dragon's head clean off its shoulders. Do I believe it? Yes, I do.

Did I forget to mention the dragons? Yet another reason why the people of Berk should have fled. You see, while most islands might have problems with wolves, or bears, or even rats, Berk had problems with (you've guessed it) dragons. Every few week's dragons in all their many shapes and sizes would swarm the village and wreak havoc, stealing livestock and destroying houses. As if living on Berk wasn't tough enough. The good news is that the islanders had become very good at rebuilding houses, and if anything ever needed knocking down, well a dragon would soon see to that for you. The Vikings of Berk had adapted to their harsh and hard life by making dragon-killing an integral part of their livelihood. If you couldn't kill a dragon, then you weren't a Viking, and you were also pretty much dead.

Stoick, being chief, was the best dragon-killer on the island. He was only matched by Berk's finest warrioress, Vahallarama. She was short for a Viking, but her father had been chief before Stoick and she had inherited his left hook. And his right hook too actually. Her temper was legendary, but so too was her kindness. Though she was far from the most beautiful woman of Berk, no one was surprised when Stoick asked Vahallarama for her hand. Lightning struck the shrine on the day of their wedding and to this day villagers claim it was Thor, blessing the union.

Together they built a home and not long after Vahallarama fell pregnant. The whole village was overjoyed, even more so when the village Elder Gothi foresaw that their child would be a prodigy, a Viking like no other before. But none were as ecstatic as Vahallarama and Stoick. Their unborn child was a blessing from the Gods, and they were happy.

Of course, it was then that the dragons attacked. It was the largest attack to date. Vahallarama had just reached the seventh month of her pregnancy, yet she still stood with the strongest of the Vikings, wielding her axe and her anger at the invaders. Stoick stood beside her, and together they were invincible.

But it was not enough. A Monstrous Nightmare descended and Vahallarama, full of rage and the joy of battle, lunged forward to attack. Yet the dragon saw her coming, and while Vahallarama was fast, she was not fast enough. A giant claw struck her and she fell. Stoick was livid and killed the Nightmare where it stood, but it was too late.

Valhallarama was hurt, far too hurt for the village healer Helga to be any help. But Valhallarama was a Viking and stubborn to the end. She knew that she would die, and she refused to let her child die with her. She went into labour that night, many weeks too early. She gave birth to a son, a boy so small he could fit in Stoick's hand twice over. She died not long after and Stoick wept as he held her. They had not been wed even a year. Something broke in him that night, and it would take many years for it to be fixed.

The days passed. Valhallarama was given a proper burial at sea, deserving of the finest warrioress Berk had ever known. Stoick tried to raise their son, but the baby was sickly and very weak. Stoick's duties were first and foremost those of the chief of Berk, and so he gave the boy to the healer Helga to care for. His son would be returned when he was as strong and healthy as the other Viking children.

Weeks and months went by and his son grew. Yet despite Helga's best efforts, he remained weak and would be ill more frequently than not. A year after his birth Helga confessed to her chief that she believed the boy would always be fragile, and may not live to his tenth year. Stoick was devastated, and vowed to visit the boy as often as possible. However, as the years passed, it became harder to look at the boy who had Valhallarama's beautiful green eyes, but who was everything they had prayed their child would not be. And so his visits became fewer and fewer until he rarely visited at all.

Helga, who had never had children of her own, raised the boy. She taught him to walk and run, though he couldn't go far without tiring and becoming ill. He could not spend long outside as the biting chill of the sea wind would go right through him, and so he rarely played with the other children of Berk. When he did they saw he was different and were quick to point it out in the cruellest of ways. And so Helga taught him how to read and write runes, and he spent most of his time safe indoors. While the other children his age learned how to wield their first weapon, he learned to recognise which plants could harm and which could heal. Helga taught him everything she knew and found that while his body was weak, his mind was not.

The boy grew, and miraculously surpassed Helga's expectations by living past his tenth year. While the boy would never be as strong as a Viking, he had the stubbornness of one, and refused to die without proving himself first.

That boy's name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, and that boy is me.

This is my story.