The teens eat in the Great Hall. The storm outside was getting heavier. They ate while Gobber commented on their performance.
"...Good form Ferno. But next time if you go for the kill, throw the sword, rather than shield." Gobber pestered on.
Ferno glared at Gobber. The blacksmith just ignored him. At that moment, Hiccup came into the hall, soaked from head to toe.
"Where did Astrid go wrong in the ring today?" Gobber looked at the Alpha Female of the group.
"I mistimed my somersault. It was sloppy. I threw off my reverse tumble." She said. Ferno rolled his eyes, the girl was obsessed with perfection in fighting. That was one of the few things he hated about his friend.
Hiccup took some food and a cup of water and sat on another table. Ferno looked at his brother and went to sit opposite Hiccup, grabbing his grub along the way.
"Where did Hiccup go wrong?" Gobber said, while taking a book from another table nearby.
"Uh, he showed up." Ruffnut pointed out.
"He didn't get eaten." Tuffnut agreed.
"He's never where he should be," Astrid said, icily.
Ferno bit his lip. That had got to hurt. Especially since he knew his brother had a long time crush on her, which sometimes made Ferno wonder if his brother was sane. The girl barely talked to him, and when she did, it was a bitter phrase, like the one a moment ago.
"Thank you, Astrid." Ferno spat back, defending the smaller Viking sitting opposite him.
"You need to learn and breathe this stuff." Gobber came and put a massive book on the table. "The Dragon Manual. Everything we know, of every dragon we know of." The thunder boomed outside the Great Hall. "No attacks tonight. Study up."
"Wait you mean, read?" Tuffnut clenched in horror. Ferno face-palmed.
"While we're still alive."
"You can't read after you died, Ruff." Ferno groaned, looking at the ceiling, silently praying to make his life easier.
"Why read words, when we can just kill the stuff the words tell you stuff about?" Snotlout said. Ferno just ignored him and focused on his brother.
"You alright? Where were you?"
"I'm fine. Nowhere ... in particular." He tried to look innocent. Ferno eyed him suspiciously, then his attention shifted back to the teenagers.
"You guys read. I'll kill stuff." Snotlout said and got up, with the others, minus Astrid, who remained in her seat.
"Not the Bookworm type, are they? Well, minus Fishlegs." Ferno commented.
"Whatever, you guys read it." Astrid left.
"Great. I'll see you-" Hiccup tried. "Tomorrow." And failed.
Ferno got up and went after the torch, while Hiccup cleared the table.
"Dragon Classifications. Strike Class. Fear Class. Mystery Class." Hiccup read aloud. "Thunderdrum. This reclusive Dragon inhabits sea caves and dark tide pools. When startled the Thunderdrum produces a concussive sound that can kill a man at close range. Extremely dangerous. Kill on sight."
The two brothers carried on reading about, Timberjacks, Scauldron, Changewing, Gronkles, Zipplebacks, the Skills, Bone Knappers, and Whispering Deaths. Until they reached the page with the Night Fury...
"Speed unknown. Size unknown. The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself. Never engage this dragon. Your only chance, hide and pray it does not find you."
"Well, that's helpful," Ferno said, oblivious to the tension.
Hiccup looked a little unsure. As if he was battling with himself.
"Is everything ok, buddy. You look kind of ... confused." Ferno looked Hiccup into his eyes.
"I'm fine." Then he got up. "I'll tell you later. In my own time." He began to walk out of the Great Hall, as if he made up his mind in the battle that was going on his head.
"I'm always here for you, if you need to talk ... about anything." Ferno said, softly, as he turned back to the book, and began to read more.
Hiccup looked at his brother from the distance. The muscular boy, who could easily forget about him years ago, stood by his side since they were toddlers. Hiccup still didn't know why he bothered. After all even his father had given up on him...