He looked ridiculous. He didn’t need anyone to tell him, he knew. He had circular, black tinted glasses sitting on his nose and had a too small boot on his peg leg, wrapped with rope. He wore his gloves from the blacksmiths, which were huge to protect him from the heat. And while he had attempted to paint over the scales on his face, the color didn’t quite match, leaving little pink blotches all over his face.
“I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well.”
“We can only hope,” Hiccup replied.
Truly, he overestimated his fellow vikings and their observational skills. Maybe it was just the fact that he was Hiccup, the one that always is doing something avant-garde. Maybe everyone was just used to him being strange.
That, or they really didn’t notice anything different.
After breakfast, Hiccup trekked down from his house and went on his way to the academy.
“Morning Hiccup!” Gobber called from the blacksmith. “Nice glasses, very edgy. I like!”
“Uh, thanks…I guess…” He looked to Toothless and shrugged.
The walk to the academy was bizarre, to say the least. Not only were people greeting good morning to him, but so were dragons.
“Howdeedoodeethere!” the terrors sang from the roof tops. “Doos Princes!”
“What are they saying?” Hiccup asked Toothless quietly.
“They said ‘Hello, two princes’.”
“Yes, after we killed the alpha, we became the leaders of the dragons of Berk.”
“So, we’re the alphas?”
“Well…no. We’re a step down from alpha. But there isn’t an alpha. Dragons are free to come and go as they please. But if they look to us for direction. They observed your father as alpha of the humans too, but don’t consider him as their alpha.”
“Oh, I get it…” Hiccup nodded. Then he laughed to himself, “who knew I had so much authority?”
At the academy, Astrid was there, waiting for him.
“Hiccup!” Astrid shouted.
Stormfly, being a tracker class dragon, smelled a difference in Hiccup. She flittered over to him and sniffed.
“What’s with the get up?” Astrid asked, being ever vigilant.
“What happened to the boy prince?” Stormfly asked.
“My boy fell into a Soulsnatcher egg.”
Stormfly squawked in distress. “How did this happen? Where were the eggs? We have to warn the other humans!”
“Stormfly! What’s wrong girl? It’s just Hiccup. What, do you not recognize him?” Astrid hushed her dragon.
“Oh my girl, don’t you notice what’s wrong with your mate? Why do you not weep for your loss?”
Hiccup swallowed and placed his hands on Stormfly’s jowl. He directed her to look him in the eye. Then he focused, and tried. It was scratchy and broken, but he crooned out. “She doesn’t know, Stormfly.”
The Nadder just stared.
“The eggs are on a small island in the south. We’ll put up signs. It’s going to be okay, Stormfly.”
“I can hear you.”
“Hiccup? What’s going on?” Astrid had just witnessed Hiccup making a growling noise deep in his throat. “What was that?"
The teen pet the female dragon and turned to his girlfriend. “She’s okay, just startled.”
“Okay, my question still stands. What’s up with the—…” She gestured to his outfit.
He was able to get out answering once again as Snotlout, Fishlegs, and the Twins blew into the arena. Astrid gave him a look that said, “we’re talking about this later.”
Normal greetings were made, questions about the training for the day were asked, and jokes were shared. All the while, the assembled dragons sniffed and talked to each other. Toothless explained the situation again, while Hiccup pretended that he couldn’t understand what was being said, and was forced to focus on the teens drabble.
“Yo, Hiccup! Nice shades! Trying to get a girlfriend?” Snotlout laughed.
“Snotlout, we’ve been over this a hundred times,” Astrid rolled her eyes. “Hiccup and I are engaged.”
“Yeah, well sheep tossing has a goalie, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score.”
Astrid rolled her eyes, “tell you what, Snot. I’ll give you a chance when Hiccup is totally and completely out of the picture.”
Which won’t be too much longer, Hiccup thought bitterly.
Astrid turned at smiled at him, “I’m kidding Hiccup, don’t look so terrified.” Then she laughed.
Training was fine for the teens, but the dragons had a hard time focusing and giving their hundred percent. Once the training concluded, each dragon passed their condolences in a whine or forlorn glance.
“Alright, great work today guys, see everyone tomorrow!” And before letting anyone get a word in edgewise, he leapt onto Toothless’ back and a took off into the air. Astrid’s sounds of protest followed him. He was just lucky that Toothless was twice as fast as Stormfly.
“C’mon bud, let’s get away for a while.”
“On it!” The dragon soared up above the clouds for cover, and then evened out to a glide. “How are you doing?”
Hiccup laid back on his friend’s back and took of the glasses. “I’m exhausted. I don’t like hiding things from people, especially Astrid. I don’t even want to thing about facing my dad today.”
“Then don’t. Let’s get away for the day!”
“It’s not that easy. Yesterday was my ‘day off’. My dad would kill me if I skipped chiefing lessons. Heck, he’ll probably make me go to lessons when I’m a dragon.”
The two fell silent.
“I bet our hive would be the most feared of the vikings if our chief was a dragon.”
Hiccup laughed. “That would be kind of cool. Though, it would probably be hard for them to understand me.”
"You never know. I don’t know if there’s been any other humans caught by the Soulsnatcher.”
“Soulsnatcher, that’s the name of the dragon?”
“Our name at least. It’s the only dragon that is shunned and hated by us all, because it’s not truly a dragon.” Toothless paused for a moment, trying to figure out a way to explain it. “It takes control of the body, like a parasite.”
“Right, but the creature that it used to be ceases to exist.”
“As the dragon takes over your body, Hiccup, it will still your thoughts and emotions. Your memories will fade, and everything that makes you, you…it will end.”
“That’s why the dragons at the academy were mourning. It won’t be long until you start forgetting about us and your friends…”
“No.” Hiccup shook his head. “I won’t let that happen. My body might change, but my heart will remain. I promise.”
Toothless purred in content. “If anyone can do it, I’m sure it’s you.”
Hiccup smiled and leaned forward, and hugged Toothless around the neck. “I’m glad I have you Toothless. You’re my best friend. I don’t know what I’d do without you. If I never met you…I’d probably be dead, or an outcast among strangers.”
“Likewise,” stated the dragon. “You rescued me, and showed me so much more kindness then any of the other dragons had. And, you gave me other friends.”
“I won’t leave you. Even when you change, I will be right by your side, because you are my boy, and you will always be.”
Hiccup let a tear roll down his cheek and land on Toothless’ crown.
“I can’t explain how amazing it is to actually hear you speak.”
Toothless’ tongue lolled out his mouth and he warbled. “I’m glad you can hear me. There’s so many things I’ve wanted to tell you.”
“Like?” Hiccup asked in excitement and curiosity.
Hiccup’s eyes widened. “You have a name?”
“Of course! It’s Toothless now. But before we met, they used to call me Sonurnott.”
“Sonurnott…that’s pretty cool. I like it.”
“It’s okay, but I prefer Toothless. It’s fitting.”
“Do I have a name that the Dragon’s call me?”
“Just Boy Prince.”
“Boy Prince…seems very dignified,” the teen laughed. He scratched the dragon’s head. “I suppose we need to start heading back. My father will be looking for me.”
“Are you sure?”
“I have to…I don’t want to disappoint my father before I have to.”
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