The faint sounds of waves crashing against the cliffs woke you from your sleep. You groaned, feeling the cold sea air wrap around you like a serpent. You curled up, shivering slightly. Your eyes fluttered open, and you cringed as the morning light blinded you for a second.
Blinking away the sun and blurry vision, your gaze settled on the form that lay next to you.
Your eyes widened, and you shot upwards into a sitting position. Hiccup. Hiccup was laying next to you.
The boy stirred slightly; inhaling deeply as sleep left his body. He yawned loudly as he sat up, stretching his arms upwards; wincing as his shoulders popped and cracked.
His eyes opened, and he rubbed them tiredly, his gaze settling on your rigid form.
"G’morning," he murmured, his voice slurred due to the sleep. He rubbed the back of his head, his eyes looking about him as he took in his surroundings.
"...Good morning," you murmured quietly in response, looking down into your lap. Why had he been sleeping next to you? It just didn't seem right... And when had you fallen asleep, exactly? Your mind was fuzzy...
"Did you sleep well?" Hiccup asked, getting to his feet slowly, yawning again. You nodded, staying quiet for the time being.
"Good. how's your ankle feel? Are you able to walk on it?"
You looked down at your leg, and stretched experimentally; wincing as a faint throbbing pain shot up your leg.
"Well, it's not as bad as yesterday...thanks for patching me up, Hiccup."
You looked up, and your eyes widened when you took in the change of expression on Hiccup’s face; he looked serious, and a little pale, too.
"...Do you know of someone...called Dagur?"
You cocked your head to the side, wracking your brain. The name rang a bell, but for the life of you, you couldn't remember.
"...You were talking in your sleep last night. You mentioned the word ’deranged’...and there’s a boy from another tribe that goes by the name Dagur the Deranged. I just wondered if you knew him."
You shook your head.
"No...I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful..."
"No, it's fine. I was just wondering, that's all...anyway, we should probably be getting back to Berk now...my dad will be worried sick...and angry..."
You cringed at the thought of Stoick’s angered expression, biting your lip.
"I'm sorry for doing this, Hiccup...I really am..."
"Hey, it's fine. No harm done, right?" He stated, sending you a warm smile. You couldn't help but return it; his smile was infectious.
Toothless growled suddenly, his ears flattening against his head as his pupils turned to slits. He got to his feet, stepping in front of Hiccup and you, his wings spread in anger.
"What is it, bud?" Hiccup murmured, his voice calm. Toothless let out a small roar, his tail swishing from side to side angrily.
"Finally found you!"
The voice was female, and held an irritated tone to it. You shrank back a little, fear pooling in your gut. You didn't like the sound of this voice.
"...Astrid," Hiccup murmured quietly, looking towards the voice. Footsteps could be heard getting closer to you, and you gulped, feeling your skin break out in goosebumps. Even if Hiccup knew this person, you weren't convinced that they were nice. The atmosphere around you was beginning to turn tense.
"Do you know how long it took me to find this place? Even Stormfly had a tough time picking up the trail; the storm last night covered most of Toothless’ scent...oh...who’s this?"
The girl, now named Astrid, stared right at you, and you stared at the floor, not daring to make eye contact.
"Ah...Astrid...this is _____..." Hiccup murmured, and a sudden change in the air around you made you cringe.
"...She's the one who stole Toothless-"
"But, with good reason, Astrid! Now, now; there's no need to go starting fights-"
Astrid pushed Hiccup out of the way and strode towards you. You backed up, keeping your eyes glued to the floor. The hostility was practically radiating off of the female Viking, and you knew that if you met her angry gaze, you would want to curl up in a ball. You never coped well with confrontation, at least not by yourself. In a way, Nightshade had been helping you deal with that weakness of yours, before everything had happened.
"Just who do you think you are?!" She snapped angrily, placing her hands on her hips, "who gave you the right to fly off with Toothless like that?!"
You bit your lip, not wanting to answer. You knew that what you had done was wrong, but...back when you had taken Toothless, you hadn't thought anything of it. You had just wanted to get away from everything.
"Astrid, please. You're scaring her," Hiccup said, managing to keep his voice calm. The Viking turned to look at him, her eyes wide.
"Hiccup, she stole your dragon. Your dragon! And you're just...okay with this?!"
"Like I said, it was with good reason!" He responded. He placed his hands on the woman’s shoulders, and leant forwards, his lips near her ear. He whispered something to her, and the anger practically leaked out of her body in that moment. Her shoulders sagged, and she murmured something back hastily, to which Hiccup nodded.
As soon as you saw her begin to turn, you looked away; afraid that she'd start yelling at you again. You just wanted this to be over...
"...So...you had a Night Fury, _____?"
There wasn't any anger in Astrid’s voice; instead it was replaced with a curious tone. You were still cautious of the woman however, and so you simply nodded, not making eye contact.
"...What was it’s name?"
She spoke softly, and you began to try and calm yourself. She meant no harm; you had to keep telling yourself that. She still terrified you, but you had to man up a little.
"...Nightshade," you replied quietly, and she nodded, a smile settling on her face.
"Nightshade," she repeated, "it suits a Night Fury..."
You offered her a small, timid smile in return, glancing over at Toothless who, in return, growled a little at you. You smiled at him warmly, forgetting for a moment that there were others there.
"...We need to get going, Hiccup. Your father said that one of our fishing boats spotted ships heading our way with the Beserker crest. Looks like Dagur and his father are paying us a visit."
You watched as Hiccup’s face visibly paled.
"...Great...just when I'd forgotten about him," he muttered.
Something in Astrid’s words had struck you then. Berserkers. Where had you heard that before? It rang a bell, but you couldn't remember why you know of the tribe. Maybe it was one of the tribes your island was warring with?
"We better go; my dad’s going to have a lot of trouble rounding up the dragons...I think it's best if _____ stays with Toothless...the last thing we need is for the treaty to be broken because we’re friends with them now..."
"So you want to hide them?" You questioned, "I can help with that."
"Thanks. I'll leave you in charge of Toothless. My dad will need all the help he can get," Hiccup sighed.
"We need to get them to the other side of the island, or at least a safe distance away from the village. We can't let them ruin the treaty. They'd be a bloodbath," Astrid said, shivering slightly.
The three of you conversed a bit more, before deciding on a plan; you would take Toothless and fly to the other side of the island, away from the ships and danger. Astrid and the other Dragon Trainers would then lead any dragons they had to you.
You initially thought the idea was ridiculous; how could you control a whole army of these things? You'd barely managed to control Toothless...
But both Astrid and Hiccup had assured you that they were well-trained, and would follow orders. You gave in, agreeing to the plan, before climbing onto Toothless’ back. Hiccup and Astrid clambered up onto her dragon, Stormfly, and had taken off before you. With a small pat to the Night Fury’s head, he had leapt into the sky, roaring into the cool air.
The flight back was short and silent, and so when the first ships began to appear in the waters below, you had ascended with Toothless; keeping out of sight in the clouds. Of course, that cut down visibility to almost nothing, but Toothless seemed content with flying through the fog. You faintly saw he shadow of Stormfly descend lower, and soon enough, you could see them below. Hiccup looked up, offering you a smile.
"Just stay out of sight. We’ll come and find you when they’ve gone!" He called, and you smiled back, nodding.
"Got it...c'mon, Tooth-"
The words got stuck in your throat as you saw the sail of one of the ships that was coming into port.
The crest on the sail sent a shock through you, and you felt your mouth run dry.
"Oh Thor no," you whispered, shaking your head slowly at the realisation. Hiccup continued to look up at you, his face twisted with worry.
"I...I know who these people are..." You whispered, before looking down at Toothless. He glanced up at you, growling in concern.
Without another word, you had leaned hard to your right; causing the dragon to go flying swiftly away from the ships. You heard Astrid and Hiccup call out to you, but you didn't listen; aiming to fly as far away from the ships as possible.
This was bad. This was very bad.
But you had to help. Gritting your teeth, you let Toothless take charge; letting him guide you back towards the island.
"Find someplace safe to land...I need to find out if..." You began, shaking your head and not finishing your sentence.
Toothless growled in response, and proceeded to dive downwards; a thick forest below you. He saw a clearing and flew down into it; landing quickly. You slid off of his back, staring towards the port on the other side of the island with wide eyes.
"...It couldn't, could it? I don't...but...then what Hiccup said would make sense..." You murmured to yourself.
You felt something nudge you, and you turned, noticing now that Toothless stared at you; his big eyes watching you curiously.
"...There’s a reason why I freaked out, Toothless," you muttered, looking back towards the direction of the village, "after all, if they find out I'm here...especially him..."
"Especially who, _____?"
Dread filled your gut at the cold, mocking voice that came from behind you, and you felt the colour drain from your face. You slowly turned, locking eyes with the person who had unconsciously haunted your dreams.
Dagur the Deranged.