It was funny how one event could turn your entire world upside-down in a matter of seconds. It was as if it could pick you right up and dump you on your head and nothing in the world would ever be the same again. For Dagur it had happened many times and each time it hurt but never as much as the anger and defiance in Hiccup's eyes as he glared down at him from onto of the Nightfury no longer the scrawny little boy Dagur had once thought a useless weakling nor the dragon warrior he had thought Hiccup had become. This was something different, something more powerful and frightening than an army of dragons bearing down his village. No, this Hiccup was not his Hiccup, not his brother and that bought a strange feeling to Dagur, a sorrow he had not felt since the day his mother died. He had just lost the only person he thought could possibly understand him, who he thought he could finally confide in join their tribes and bring the peace of mind he so desired. Hiccup had betrayed him for a dragon.
In those moments as he realized all his hopes and dreams were dashed he couldn't help but remember Hiccup as he once was, that scrawny little boy who always seemed to be in the way. Well not always in the way. Sure Dagur picked on Hiccup a lot when he was little but it hadn't always been that way and he did consider the younger boy his brother, his little brother who need guidance and protection even if it was from himself.
When Hiccup was born he was just this tiny little thing born late one winter night during the worse weather imaginable, a bad omen, old man Mildew had said when the announcement rang through the village. Dagur was only four at the time and visiting with his parents for the annual treaty signing. He and his mother had been there when the boy was born and Stoick had cradled the enfant with loving arms as he knelt down to introduce the boys.
"Dagur, this is Hiccup, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, my son," Stoick the Vast said in a soft fatherly voice as he presented the baby. "He will be my heir when he grows up, just like you are your father's. Someday the two of you will continue your father's and my work and continue the traditions of our two tribes."
"He's tiny," Dagur grumbled in a disappointed voice. When his father said he would have a new friend he thought it would be one big enough to play with him, someone better than the kids running wild throughout the village with no sense of fun. This baby was just that, a baby. How was he supposed to have fun with a baby?
"Ah…he's small now but one day he will grow up to be a might Viking like his father," said Dagur's father, Oswald the Agreeable who placed a large hand a Dagur's shoulder. "Until then it will be your duty to protect him and love him like a brother. The two of you will become very close and must look after each other, do you understand, Dagur?"
Dagur didn't understand but he nodded nonetheless. If protecting this tiny creature was his duty than he would do as he was told and protect Hiccup with his very soul just as a good Viking would his younger brother. Of course that wasn't exactly easy when the boys lived on separate islands and only saw each other once or twice a year, they barely knew each other. Of course Dagur kept his word and with each visit he would marvel how much the baby had grown into a toddler and then a kid but he heard the rumors and could see for himself that Hiccup was not like that other children. He was too small and incredibly clumsy and caught colds far too easy. There was talk that Hiccup wasn't long for this world, that one day he would grow sickly or be picked off by a dragon for wandering off into the woods rather than staying in the village as he was told. Old man Mildew would watch Hiccup with worried eyes and shake his head, murmuring about it only being a matter of time. Dagur never liked him and Oswald would assure him that the old Viking was simply a doomsayer and not to be paid attention to but that only worried Dagur more and he would make it a point to keep Hiccup at his side for their entire visit be it to the Isle of Berk or Hiccup visiting Berserker Island. He never let Hiccup out of his sight no matter what and no one – not even Hiccup's cousin Snotlout was allowed to say anything bad about the small bundle of energy that bounded excitedly next to Dagur.
When Hiccup was big enough to actually have fun with Dagur was eight and Hiccup four. It was when Dagur really got to learn what being a big brother was. Hiccup was still very small, far thinner and shorter than most kids his age, so when he tired of running Dagur who happily give him piggyback rides and sing him songs that Aunt Valhallarama would later scold him for but would have Hiccup laughing hysterically. Hiccup was easy to entertain but just as easy to frighten. A little ghost story would have the boy in tears and up half the night with nightmares and since Dagur often spent his visits at Hiccup's house those were the nights when the younger boy would crawl into his bed and snuggle up to him. That year Dagur also gained a baby sister but lost his mother due to child birth and things began to change.
The loss of his mother had caused Dagur to have anxiety issues and he became quick to anger. He would get into scraps with the other boys for no reason and would hide from the grownups who wanted nothing more than to comfort him when all he wanted was his mother to hold him one last time. His father also became short tempered and began to drink so in essence he also lost his father and was raised by a woman who would later be Oswald's mistress, not a step mother – no never a step mother – but a Nanny who held and abused the power of the drunkard chieftain. That relationship only lasted so long but it was nonetheless disturbing for the two motherless children. Seeing Hiccup coddled by his mother only made things worse and Dagur soon grew resentful of his "brother", a runt who had everything he should, a strong power father and a loving and equally powerful mother. And while he still took care of Hiccup and protected him from all others he began taunting the boy and saying cruel things that h would have beaten anyone else for, after all Hiccup was his brother and no one else was allowed to touch what was his. Hiccup, used to such behavior from his own tribesmen didn't seemed overly bothered by this at first but he did cry more often in his sleep and the nightmares were worse than when told the scariest of stories. Dagur still let him crawl into his bed when they became too much. He felt even worse when a few years later Hiccup's mother went missing and never returned.
"Where do you think she went?" Hiccup asked one day as they sat around a small pond where the other children were swimming. He was poking the dirt with a stick and had the most perplex look on his tiny face, as if determined to figure out the answer and go find her himself. It was almost laughable if it wasn't so said.
"I don't know," Dagur said honestly as he stared over the blue water at some of the girls swimming around in only their under garments. "Your dad says she's on a quest."
"That was a year ago," Hiccup pointed out. "She should have been home by now."
"Maybe she got eaten by a dragon."
The eight year old gasped and looked up with fearful eyes. "You're lying."
"I said maybe."
"Take it back!"
"Hiccup, stop being stupid," Dagur said with a roll of his eyes.
"I'm not stupid. Take it back."
"TAKE. IT. BACK!"
Dagur glared at him, his temper finally boiling over. "Fine, you want to know the truth? She left because you're a worthless, good for nothing, useless little Hiccup!"
The smaller boy gasped and dropped his stick as he stared at Dagur. Moisture filled his bright green eyes. His mouth opened and closed, doing a great impersonation of a fish out of water. Jumping off the boulder he turned to run away, not once paying any of the other children any attention. He only got about twenty of so paces before he tripped over his own two feet. Dagur rushed after him, ignoring Astrid as she called over to see if Hiccup was alright.
Snotlout gave a snort of laughter at his cousin's misfortune.
"Shut it," Dagur snapped at the dark hair boy and whipped the wooden sword he had been fashioning at him. He knelt in front of Hiccup. "I'm sorry, Hic. I didn't mean it. She's probably just lost and having a hard time getting home."
The boy wiped at his eyes and sniffled but when he looked up there was fire in his eyes that Dagur had never seen before. The small boy, nearly half Dagur's size, turned around and punched him in the nose. It took Dagur by surprise but didn't go unpunished. It was the first he laid hands on Hiccup but not the last and just about every child their age in Berk bore witness to it. Hiccup hobbled home with a broken lip and black eyes while Dagur cradled a bleeding nose. He would have thought Hiccup standing up to someone so much bigger would have gotten him some praise and recognition but instead he got him grounded and assigned as Gobber's – his godfather – apprentice at the forge. Hiccup was too small to be a true Viking warrior like Dagur. It was too dangerous in Stoick's opinion.
The following year didn't go much better and by that time Dagur's temper had gotten worse. His father had dismissed his mistress and began abusing Dagur in ways no man should a child. If it had been up to Dagur he would have found an excuse to skip the annual trip to Berk but as Oswald's heir he had a duty to fulfill. Now that he was thirteen he had to attend the meetings rather than play with Hiccup and he so much wanted to be with his little friend and make up for his harsh words the year before but Hiccup had changed too. He had become more focused on creating gadgets and doohickeys that he barely looked up from his work at the forge when Dagur finally got to visit him.
"So what are you doing?" Dagur asked as he tried to make sense of a bunch of sketches that looked like scribble marks.
Hiccup shrugged. "A better catapult."
"What's wrong with the ones you have?"
"The bolas don't go high enough and keep missing the dragons when they attack. This will fix that."
"Ah…" Dagur could see how, the "designs" made no sense but to Hiccup they were perfect and when he realized he had Dagur's undivided attention he smiled brightly.
"Do you want to see?" the younger boy asked brightly.
Dagur hesitated as he looked at the odd contraption but see Hiccup's smile start to fade he quickly nodded. "Alright, let's go."
If anything that made Hiccup beam. He gathered up his equipment – which in all honesty wasn't very much for something that was supposed to be a catapult. "Gobber, I'm going out for a bit!" he called to his mentor.
The blonde man stuck his head out from the back room. "Where you off to, lad?"
Hiccup glanced to Dagur and the older boy shrugged. Berk's heir bit his lip then grinned. "Just the swimming hole. It's sweltering in here."
Gobber nodded. "Alright, you boys be careful. And no fighting."
"I promise," Hiccup agreed but Dagur said nothing. He couldn't make such promises anymore.
Taking some of the bundle of Hiccup he let the smaller boy lead the way as he went on and on about his silly invention. Dagur only half listened, his mind busy on other more important issues. He would glare at the other teens who seemed to be making fun of Hiccup as they walked by. They would quickly hush and glare back but if Hiccup noticed he paid them no mind, too excited to have someone pay attention to him.
The catapult didn't work as planned and Dagur quickly grew bored as he sat on the beach and watched Hiccup fuss over it. He thumped backward and stared at the bright blue sky. It was hot here. "How about we go swimming?"
Hiccup looked up in surprise then looked from Dagur to the sparkling water and back. "Ah…really? It looks kind of cold."
"You haven't learned to swim yet, have you?" Dagur asked with a hint of teasing.
Hiccup buffed out his small chest. "Of course I have."
"I have too."
"If you can't swim just say so," Dagur pressed on, his voice almost challenging.
Hiccup frowned and began stripping down to his undergarments. Dagur grinned and did the same before running into the cool water. It was a little colder than he expected but with the heat it felt nice on his skin and so much better than being cooped up in council meeting with their fathers. Hiccup waded in much slower, obviously not as sure footed as the older boy but soon enough he was swimming next to Dagur. He was a weak swimming but was holding his own.
"Dagur?" the smaller boy ask just above a whisper, as if about to tell a secret.
Hiccup bit his lower lip and looked away. "Uh…do you know anything about sex?"
The young Berserker froze in sudden fear as his mind raced with everything that had happened to him recently. Fear filled him as he thought of his crash course to sex and the abuse he had suffered at his father's hands.
Hiccup didn't notice his fear and plunged on ahead. "My Dad's been acting really weird lately and I think he might have…"
The words faded away from Dagur's ears as horror filled him. Not Hiccup, too. This wasn't right, wasn't right at all. Hiccup was too small, he could never protect himself from someone like Stoick and if Stoick was acting strange and sex was involved then if Hiccup was already being abused he would be soon and no one deserved that. Hiccup was better off dead than as his father's toy just because his mother was no longer there.
He didn't think, he panicked. Grabbing Hiccup's head he shoved the smaller boy under the water and forced him to stay there. Hiccup's small hands grasped at his wrists, his nails digging into his flesh as his feet kicked. Dagur hung on tightly, intent on sparing the boy from the horrors he himself had already faced but then Hiccup twisted and yanked, maneuvering himself in such a way the he was able to bite Dagur. Crying out, Dagur let go of Hiccup and swam back as he cradled his arm. Hiccup broke to the surface gasping for air. He panted as he stared at the older boy and then scrambled out of the water and as far from Dagur as possible.
"You're crazy!" Hiccup yelled as he grabbed his clothes and ran off.
"Hiccup, wait!" Dagur yelled, afraid for the younger boy's safety and while Hiccup didn't tell anyone what happened, Dagur's father was not happy and their visit was cut short. For nearly a week he was punished for scaring Berk's heir and possibly causing war between the two tribes. Things after that only went downhill between the two boys and Dagur was more and more sure that Hiccup was being abused by his father as well but he could never bring up the subject, Hiccup would almost always walk away until his father forced him to give Dagur tours of the village. That usually ended up in an argument or more likely, Dagur losing his patience and chucking a battle ax at his head. For such a small, clumsy kid, Hiccup was certainly quick on his feet.
Then the stories of Hiccup defeating Red Death began to circulate and Dagur knew it was a sign of good things to come. He and his father had gotten into a drunken fight, the last they would ever have. He had killed his chief while trying to protect his sister who had – in Oswald's opinion – of age. If asked he would say it was over the monstrous beast but in his heart he knew he could not bear to see his see abused as he was. When he was named chieftain he was ecstatic to return to Berk and see Hiccup, fully expecting his childhood friend to be the new chieftain of his tribe as well, after all how could someone so small defeat something as huge and foreboding as Red Death not have grown into a fierce young man. Then rumors of Berk training dragons reached him and he again questioned what was happening on their sister island. Were they forming an army of dragons? Was Hiccup planning to attack Berserker Island as revenge for picking on him not so long ago?
When he went to investigate he was actually disappointed to see Stoick still chief and that there was no dragon army – that would have been kind of cool although scary as hell for his people. But most disappointing – at least at first – was Hiccup had barely changed, with the exception of the leg he lost to Red Death. He was still the derby, scrawny little runt as before and he was almost willing to dismiss him altogether, until the dragon attack. Hiccup had shone then, running to his rescue and taking on the dragons as if it were second nature and his job…as if he could speak to them, as if he was one with them. Dagur would admit he had been scared and was torn between grabbing the younger boy and dragging him out of the dragon ring or running for his life and in the end he probably couldn't have reached Hiccup even if he tried. But the boy was brave and it made Dagur finally respect him, after all not everyone could stand up to a dragon, let alone a herd of dragons, and walk away unscathed. But now it would seem it was all a trick and Dagur felt that familiar disappointment.
He stared up at Hiccup now and was once more torn between pride and disappointment. Hiccup, his brother, had not only tamed a Nightfury but had bested him in battle using cunning and ingenuity. It hurt, more than Dagur ever wished to admit but watching Hiccup fly off with that blasted dragon he felt as if he lost not only a brother but so much more and in that moment a new feeling grew within him. Not revenge, not anger or hate but the need to possess, to make Hiccup and his dragon his. To own them both and he swore that no matter what it took Hiccup would be his.