When the riders heard the scratching and scrapping from above, they all looked up to see a large cluster of stones falling from the ceiling. At first they all feared that the cave was collapsing in on them, but then they were all relieved to see their dragons clawing their way in, each one gliding down to its respective rider.
Snotlout immediately jumped onto Hookfangs’ face in glee before collecting himself and scolding his dragon for acting so mushy.
The twins ran forward to their two headed dragon, each twin embracing one head before they swapped and did the same to the other head.
While Fishlegs and Meatlug seemed to crash into each other before rolling a hugging tightly.
After everything they had experienced today, they were all glad to know that their dragons were safe and that they could all go back home.
Astrid stayed with Hicca as Toothless and Stormfly landed and ran towards them, Astrid petted her dragons’ beak caringly before turning back to Hicca, Toothless cooing worriedly as he gently pressed his head against his riders back. “She’ll be fine Toothless,” Astrid reassured the large dragon. “But we need to get her back to the village.” Toothless nodded and lowered his body closer to the ground, Astrid carefully mounting him and making sure Hicca was secure behind her. Toothless couldn’t fly on his own, and having Hicca close also helped settle his nerves.
“Everyone mount up, we need to get back to the village.” Astrid yelled to the others, taking up her role as Hiccas’ second in command. Normally Snotlout and the twins would voice their snide comments or objections, but this time none of them said anything.
The flight back to the village was quite, none of them really wanting to talk about what had happened, but at the same time they knew it was necessary.
“Okay,” Exclaimed Snotlout, breaking the silence. “If no one else is going to say anything I will. Did we all see what happened in there?”
Ruffnut spoke up, “You mean Hicca grabbed the crystal from Dagur and turning into a Goddess? Or was it just me who saw that?”
“I saw it too,” Tuffnut jumped in. “And she looked really hot,” needless to say he receiving a punch to the gut from Ruffnut.
“She didn’t just turn into a goddess though, she was actually able to wield a god’s powers. Which was both amazing and t-terrifying,” Fishlegs stuttered as he remembered the events.
Astrid stayed quiet as her friends tried to piece together what had happened. It seemed that she was handling this better than them. Fishlegs and Snotlout were somewhat scared, while Hicca’s cousin also sounded a little jealous. Meanwhile the twins didn’t seem to mind the situation, Ruffnut just wanted to see more destruction, and it sounded like Tuffnut really wanted to see Hicca in her new form again.
Astrid looked over her soldier, Hicca’s prone form was still leaning heavily against her back. She’d used the ropes they’d been tied with to tie Hicca against her back so she wouldn’t fall off. Hicca’s auburn hair was no longer tied in its usual ponytail and was billowing behind her, she looked so much younger than the rest of the riders right now. Every since the dragons became part of their daily lives, the other Berk teens had started viewing Hicca differently, Ruffnut and Astrid in particular had started treating Hicca almost as if she was a younger sister to them. Hicca was actually the same age as Snotlout and Astrid, and older than Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Tuffnut.
But right at this moment, Hicca needed someone to take care of her, even though she hated being coddled. Astrid also felt a responsibility to Hicca as her second in command, she just knew she would be the one to tell Hicca’s father about everything that had happened. She’d have to tell him that his daughter was now host to a god.
Everything was silent for the moment.
Everyone crammed into the Haddock households’ main room, Hicca resting in her room upstairs with Toothless watching guard. The dragon riders sat at the large table, chief Stoick pacing alongside them, Gobber standing close by and Alvin leaning against the wall looking bored. Alvin was the only person who didn’t really have a reason to be there, in fact it was only a year ago when he himself had tried to kidnap Hicca and force her to train dragons for him. But now with his banishment from Berk somewhat dissolved, he was allowed in the village again. However, even after a year, he still got the odd glare from some of the older villagers, especially those who knew the reason for his banishment. He now made himself useful as Stoicks assistant, the title was most degrading for him, and it was merely an excuse for Stoick himself to keep an eye on him.
Stoick gave a sigh and stopped his pacing before he turned back to the other riders, “Okay” he said tiredly. “Tell me again, just so I know for sure I’m not going batty.”
“We found the Valhalla Crystal in a cave just under the mountain, but Dagur found us and was about to take the crystal for himself,” Fishlegs started nervously.
“But Hicca grabbed the crystal before he could,” Astrid continued.
“She transformed into the really awesome looking goddess,” Tuffnut said excitedly before Ruffnut finished the story.
“Then she kick Dagur’s ass and sent him and his men running,” the twins high fived as they remembered the fight.
Stoick slumped heavily in his chair with a sigh. This was not supposed to happen. The crystal had been hidden away by his ancestors, and now that they found it they were supposed to destroy it. Nothing good ever came from that gem. He remembered hearing stories from when his great grandfather, Grimbeard the Ghastly, had been the vessel for the crystal, all the fights, the bloodshed and the loss he had to deal with until the day he died. Dying of old age was bad enough for a Viking, but there was nothing anyone could do about it, the god inside of him wouldn’t allow him to be killed in battle. On his deathbed he had ordered his son, Hiccup the second, to hide the crystal away where no one would ever find it.
But when Hicca discovered the map, Stoick realised that while the crystal was still around, they would never be free from its threat. It had to be destroyed.
But now Hicca had become the new vessel for one of the gods. Stoick cursed his own bloodline and heritage, but what’s done is done and now they had to deal with it. Dagur knew Hicca had the crystal so it’s likely the other tribes would know soon as well. They had to work fast.
“Alright then,” he announced after his long silence. “Hicca is the new vessel for the Valhalla Crystal, the first thing we need to do if find out which god or goddess has possessed her.”
Stoick walked over to one of the selves and pulled out a heavy book, the Book of Norse Mythology. Within its pages were the stories of all the Norse Gods or Goddess they were aware of. He placed the book on the table as the others gathered round. “We need to narrow down the search, I need you kids to tell me anything you remember about how Hicca looked and acted while she was in that other form.”
“Well she was definitely female.”
“She had long white hair.”
“And she carried two swords.”
“Her amore was black, and her dress and ribbons were light blue.”
“She was really strong and fast, she took out one of Dagurs’ soldiers with a single punch.”
“Her posture was very strong, she definitely seemed like someone in charge.”
As they listed off all the details they could remember, Stoick listened and rummaged back and forth through the book trying to find a goddess who fitted the description. But nothing seemed to fit exactly. Gobber and Alvin also tried to make helpful suggestions.
“It could be Frigga.”
“I doubt it’d be someone so well known, but she could be Clotho or one of the other Nords.”
“I doubt it, none of em’ were ever known t’ carry swords,” Alvin disagreed in his broken accent.
Stoick sighed again and turned back to the teens, “Is there anything else you remember?”
There was a long pause.
Suddenly Fishlegs jumped up, “Ice!” He suddenly exclaimed.
“Ice?” The three adults look at him in confusion.
“She had powers over ice, she froze two of Dagur’s arrows mid flight.”
Astrid also rose, “That’s right!” She said excitedly, “She used ice to freeze Dagur in place too, her goddess must have something to do with ice or snow-”
“Or winter!” Gobber interrupted snapping his fingers with a knowing look. He pulled the book in front of him and hurriedly flicked through the pages, when he found what he was looking for he slid the book into the centre for everyone to see.
On the page in front of them was a detailed drawing of a beautiful woman. She stood proud and strong on top of a snowy mountain, clad in armour with two swords and long white hair blowing in the wind. The other riders recognised her instantly. It looked exactly like the goddess they’d seen Hicca transform into.
“That’s definitely her, but who is she?” Snotlout asked.
“Skadi,” Gobber stated confidently.
“Skadi?” The teens questioned.
“Ah’ remember ‘er,” Alvin commented. “She’s t’ Goddess of Winter”
“Ay’, she was a brave and beautiful warrior, she could control the ice and snow and lived high in the mountains. And now she’s possessed Hicca,” Gobber stated.
“Well that doesn’t sound too bad,” Ruffnut said, glad that they weren’t dealing with one of the more terrifying gods.
“Ah’ wasn’t finished yet lassie,” Gobber said seriously. “She may not have been one of the main goddesses, but Skadi is very powerful. She’s able t’ use all weapons o’ war, and was also named the ‘Goddess of Hunting’. She was also the one responsible for hanging a deadly serpent above Loki when e’ was imprisoned, allowing it t’ drip its venom onto is’ face for eternity. She’s a terrifying and brutal woman when it comes t’ revenge, and Ah’ don’t think she’s going t’ like being bound to a human. We could be in real danger here if she goes against us.”
“But that won’t happen,” Astrid spoke up. “It’s this goddess’s job to protect Hicca, she’ll be able to keep her under control, right?”
There wasn’t an answer. None of the adults knew for sure what the goddess was going to do, they all just looked at each other in worry.
Suddenly there was a thumping upstairs, everyone jumped slightly and looked up at the ceiling.
“Toothless, calm down!” Hicca’s high pitched voice sounded from upstairs followed by a deep and happy gurgle.
“Sounds like she’s up,” Alvin commented as he took a step away from the stairs. In the year he’d been allowed to wonder around the island, there was one specific thing he’d picked up on. Hicca had two fathers.Sure enough, both Stoick and Gobber started racing up the stairs to check on their little girl.