Dragon Prince Ch.13
I own my imagination, not HTTYD if I did the twins wouldn't act so stupid the entire movie.
Guilt. It wasn't something she experienced often, she rarely did anything without a reason to justify the action but, for the first time ever, her reason seemed inadequate. Astrid didn't like that. She was a warrior and guilt was a weakness, one that would end her life if she wasn't careful. She spent her whole life trying to get rid of her weaknesses, she had to if she wanted to become the greatest fight the world would ever see. There was only one weakness she had left and she couldn't get rid of it. She promised herself she wouldn't, never in a million years.
Someone told her when she was very young that a weakness could become a great strength. The weakness had to be a specific kind, the kind you could never get rid of because it helps make up who you are. To get rid of the weakness would be to go against yourself, it just didn't work out well. It had to make you want to fight for all the right reasons and live to find more, it had to influence your loyalties and be the source of your values. All the great heroes had one, and so did Astrid.
Of course, their weaknesses were weren't small, auburn haired dragon boys.
Astrid looked down at the boy still in her lap, he had finally fallen asleep, exhausted after an hour of pain and crying. She ran her fingers through his hair and noted the small whines he had been making in his sleep had stopped. That was good, the pain in his hand must have faded enough for him to rest properly.
Hiccup shifted closer to Astrid and murmured something against her shirt. His hand drifted down and rested on Toothless's tail that was still curled around them, even while the adult dragon slept, and Astrid was given a full view of the claws on his hand. They were turning a greyish color, which she guessed meant they were slowly turning back into regular finger nails.
The sight of those five small claws brought the harshness of their reality down upon her, if someone were to catch the two with Toothless, they could be banished for treason and Toothless killed. That would only happen if they were able to keep Hiccup being a night fury a secret. Astrid wasn't sure what would be worse Hiccup getting killed for being a dragon or Hiccup having to face the horrors of Outcast Island if they were banished. There were reasons the adults didn't banish the young, and they were very good reasons indeed.
He was so small, and even with his dragon fire, Astrid couldn't help but see him as easy pickings for the Outcasts. He was only half a year younger than her and even when he was in her lap she could rest her chin on his head comfortably. He wouldn't last there, neither of them would.
Maybe, if they told people about dragons being not so bad after all, the village wouldn't banish them. Hiccup could pretend to be human and they could pass Toothless off as his new exotic pet. Then the war would end and all the vikings and dragons would break out into a huge musical number and sing about living in perfect harmony together forever. Everyone would convulse and twitch and call the full body fits dancing. There would be lots of hugs and smiles and everyone would live happily ever after.
Yeah right. Astrid groaned, she knew exactly what Hiccup would say if he was able to follow her thought path, I thought you stopped eating wild mushrooms?
Astrid scoffed as she slid her fingers through his hair again, she found an odd comfort in playing with the thick mop of hair. The light friction between her own fingers and his soft strands was soothing, she liked the way his hair tickled the tips of fingers when she swirled them against his scalp a certain way and she almost started to giggle when she heard Hiccup start to purr, like a cat. She could recall Toothless doing the same thing when Hiccup gave him a quick scratch and made a mental note to be careful when she ruffled his hair in public, purring could get them some unwanted.
Astrid tried to retract her fingers from his hair, but every time she moved her hand away he would push his head firmly against hand. Finally, she gave up and continued to pet Hiccups' hair, not that she minded, Astrid could feel the ball of stress that had formed earlier that day melt when Hiccup continued to purr softly as he snuggled closer to her. If all young dragons were as cuddly as him, Astrid wanted to gather as many a she could (including Hiccup) and have a cuddle fest.
It amazed her sometimes, the thoughts that came into her mind when she was around Hiccup. He made her feel like she didn't need to act tough all the time, he was so out of the ordinary it made her want to be her self instead of the tough viking she spent her entire life striving to be. Of course many people would say she achieved her goal, Astrid wasn't that sure. All it toke was Hiccup asking her to play a game with him and she was off acting like a five-year old, her tough vikingness forgotten.
It was completely immature and irresponsible of her to ignore her duties and chores to go frolic in the woods, she usually got in trouble for it but, Hiccup was worth it. He was her one weakness.
Hiccup had been having the best nap in his young life, he was dreaming it was raining fish of all things, when Astrid woke him and Toothless up and told them it was time to head back to village. Hiccup had let his complaints about being woken up known and the larger dragon seemed to be relived that the boy was like himself, his resilience was always so shocking to Toothless.
"Hiccup, get up we have to get back to the village." Astrid said lightly shaking the young dragon.
Hiccup merely curled up in an even tighter ball, "Nooo..."
Astrid sighed, he wasn't going to wake up, "Hey, you. Yes you, the dragon just sitting there being completely unhelpful, do you mind giving me a hand?" The dragon had been sitting by Hiccup and purring since he realized the other night fury would be fine.
Toothless cocked his head to the side, "Why would I do that when you're doing such a splendid job?"
Even if Astrid couldn't understand the dragon, she was pretty sure he was mocking her. "Just help me get him on my back so we can leave before Berk sends out a search party to look for us, okay?"
"Fine." Toothless rolled his eyes, stretched and then picked Hiccup up by the scruff of his vest and placed him on Astrids' waiting back, "He should make a saddle for you. He could fall off you. "
Astrid gave Toothless a look and she adjusted Hiccup on her back, "I may not be able to understand you, but I know when I'm being mocked." Astrid left the cover listening to what she would later swear was a dragons laughter.
The walk to the village wasn't as annoying as she thought it would be, Hiccup didn't weigh more than ninety pounds dripping wet and his body heat was keeping the cool night air from bothering her. The night was clear, the moon was bright and she didn't get the creepy someone-is-watching-you-because-you're-alone-in-the-woods-at-night feeling.
When she got to the village Astrid checked Hiccups' nails and was happy to see they were more or less back to their normal appearance, the sharp-ish point to them was hardly noticeable. Satisfied that they wouldn't draw too much attention Astrid walked into the village with the intention of tucking Hiccup in to sleep in his bed.
"Hey, Astrid!" The blonde groaned as she watched Snotlout jog up to her.
"What do you want, Snotlout? I'm kinda busy." Astrid shifted Hiccup higher up on her back when she noticed he was slowly sliding from his perch.
Snotlout either didn't see or care that Astrid was carrying a sleeping Hiccup and stepped closer to her, "Nothing I just wanted to see the starlight reflect off your eyes. It's just as beautiful as I imagined."
"I hope that's the only thing you imagined,-"
"Oh, trust me, it's not."
"-because I'd rather not be shipped off this rock for murdering you."
Snotlout cowered under the glare Astrid sent him, "N-never mind!" Astrid chuckled as she watched the raven haired boy scurry away, like she'd do something so violent with a sleeping child so close by.
Other then the odd viking on night patrol the rest of her walk to the Haddock house was rather uneventful. Hiccup stirred slightly only when Astrid stubbed her toe on a rock she didn't see hidden in the shadows, she had let out some very unladylike words and stumbled around until the pain faded. She was still cursing the offending stone under her breath when the door the house opened up in front of her to revile Stoick the Vast looming over her with a stony expression.
"Uh, hi." Astrid would never tell anyone, but when the chief towered over her like that she felt rather small and delicate, "I was just bringing Hiccup home. He fell asleep after... we spent all day playing in the woods."
"Celebrating his success in the Ring, eh?" Stoicks' gruff voice held a hint of something hidden and that made Astrid a little nervous.
"Yeah, uh, I figured that with how hard he's been working nobody would mind if we spent the day having fun." Astrid paused, "As a reward."
The bearded man swelled with pride, "I was planning on giving him a reward myself, one more win ink the Ring and he would get to kill that dragon. Who would have thought it?"
"No one, and that's why everyone is so excited." Astrid hitched Hiccup up on her back again, he had started to droop in her hold.
"Oh, here let me take him." Stoick reached out his hands and plucked Hiccup gently from Astrids' back, "You must getting home Missy, it's getting late."
"Yes, sir." Astrid bid her chief a good night and walked to her own home, praying the whole time that Hiccup would not win in training the next day.
Hiccup was dimly aware that he wasn't on Astrids' back anymore, he was so tired after the claw incident he really couldn't care less- CLAWS! Hiccup jumped and toppled out of the arms carrying him and on to the hard wooden floor.
Glancing quickly at his hand he was happy to see it had almost completely rejoined Normality Island, he looked up to see his fathers' amused expression. "Hey, Dad."
Stoick bent down and set his boy on his feet, "Hello, son. I was actually hoping to talk to you."
Hiccup glanced up, "Uh, you were?"
Stoick had a strange joyful expression that screamed 'maniac' on his face. "Yes, with you doing so well in the Ring we can finally bond over something. Just wait until you spill a Nadders' guts for the first time and mount your first Gronkle head on a spear!"
Hiccup paled visibly, the idea of killing a dragon terrified him, it would be like killing one of the villagers to him.
Stoick continued on, oblivious to his adopted sons' distress, "Oh, before I forget, I brought you something." Stoick reached behind him and pulled something out from gods only know where and gave it to Hiccup. It was an horned helmet about two sizes to big for Hiccup, "To keep my son safe in the Ring."
Hiccups' previous disgust was forgotten in favor of the loving gesture his caregiver was presenting him with, "Wow, Dad, thank you."
"Ah, your mother would have wanted you to have it." Stoick watch the boy caress the helmet gently with his hand, "It's half of her breast-plate." Hiccups' hand leaves the hat as if it burned him, " Matching set. Keeps her close y'know?"
Although the thought of matching father and son armor is touching, Hiccup can't help but notice the size and shape difference between the two-horned helmets. The fact that they were his mothers' breast made him wonder where his father misplaced his sanity.
Searching for a quick escape before things could get even more awkward for him Hiccup let out a huge yawn he had been holding back, "Well, I should really get to bed."
"Yes, you have a big day tomorrow." The big chief nudged his small child towards the stairs.
Hiccup ran up the stairs as quickly as he could without seeming rude, "Thanks for the- uh... breast hat. Night." As soon as he was out of sight, Hiccup bolted to his wooden bed and flung himself on it.
His first dragon training session in front of Stoick, one that he would no doubt try everything in his power to fail, taking Astrid on her first flight and pretending the whole time that the thought of killing dragons didn't make him nauseous. A big day indeed. Hiccup groaned and tried to find the sleep he was enjoying earlier, knowing his luck he would need all the rest he could get.
Uhg, sorry I had exams, a new semester and writers block which I got rid of by watching the movie a few times. I couldn't decide how this chapter should go, until I chose to give Astrid some attention. Also I was not aware of how many people liked the pain Hiccup went through, how pleasantly sadistic. Anyway to answer a question, yes Hiccup could eventually get use to the pain his body could build up a high pain tolerance, he would still be able to feel it, but it wouldn't bother him as much.