Chapter One: This is Berk
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the IV jumped out of her bed. She didn’t need her pet dragon, Toothless II, to awaken her. Hiccup got into her normal winter clothes: her father’s old tunic (which she wore like a dress), her mom’s old leggings, a pair of her mother’s old belts and the signature necklace Hiccup’s father, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, made for her back on her third birthday. It was a simple chain with a charm portraying what was supposed to be Toothless I but is known as Toothless II.
It was Hiccup IV’s fifteenth birthday. She slipped on the boots her godfather, Gobber the Belch, made for her for her last birthday.
“I had to do double the work,” Gobber told her after she opened the present he gave her, “I’m used to doing only one for your father.”
Hiccup finally brushed her long brown hair and braided it. She raced out of her room and down the stairs to the living room.
“Happy birthday!” Astrid, Hiccup’s mother, greeted her daughter. In one hand she held both Toothless’ and Hiccup’s favorite meal: smoked salmon; in the other she held Hiccup’s first birthday present.
“Can I open it?” Hiccup gestured to the present Astrid held
“Wait for your father,” Astrid warned her ever-so-curious daughter, “he should be here soon.”
Hiccup’s father arrived shortly after, and as soon as he sat down on the large chair designated for him, Hiccup IV began opening her present.
Underneath the lid of the box was an intricate set of leather, metal and thread.
“A new saddle!” Hiccup exclaimed happily. Her dragon had needed one for a while.
“I thought you would like it. I made it back when I was training my Toothless,” Hiccup told his daughter, “and it was quite useful, since Toothless had the deformity your dragon doesn’t have, but I made a couple of tweaks,” this remark earned a suspicious stare from his wife and child, “okay, a lot of tweaks, but I included things my original Toothless saddle had. This,” Hiccup pointed out a leather cord harness connected to a ring that hooked onto the saddle, “saved my behind from several swims in the sea. And the saddle and dragon harness was barely touched, only to detach my old steering system for Toothless.”
“But, Dad,” Hiccup questioned her father, “if you’re giving me this, what are you gonna use for Toothless then?”
“This.” Hiccup pulled a matching saddle and set of harnesses from beneath the chair. The two saddles and harnesses were nearly identical, except for the size; Hiccup’s saddle was much larger than his daughter’s.
“Wow!” Hiccup looked at her father’s saddle
“I just need to reconnect the pedal system and then voila! I’ll be able to ride with you again.” Hiccup told his daughter. Toothless had been growing out of the old saddle, but Toothless II, Toothless’ son, was probably the perfect size.
“Can we go put them on?” Hiccup asked her parents excitedly
“After,” Hiccup told his daughter with a grin, “we go see Gobber.”
Gobber the Belch, Hiccup’s godfather and her father’s former blacksmith teacher and now employer, was in his blacksmith shop sharpening a sword when the family entered from the cold, wintry Berk outside.
“Ah,” Gobber greeted his friends with his usual heavy Scottish accent, “good to see ya.” He shook his former apprentice’s hand and Astrid’s.
“Ah,” Gobber said as he came down to the younger Hiccup, “there’s the birthday girl. I’ve got your present around here somewhere…” Gobber began looking around until he brought out a small box, “here ya go.” Hiccup opened her birthday present and found that inside was a small dagger with a sheath and a belt. When Hiccup took it out, she found it had her name and her insignia, a Night Fury, carved on the blade. She slipped it back into the sheath and hugged her godfather.
“It’s beautiful!” Hiccup told Gobber as she hugged him, “Thank you! I’ll make sure it goes to good use.” Gobber, the older Hiccup and Astrid laughed. The younger Hiccup looked to her namesake. “Can we go see Toothless now?”
Hiccup nodded at his daughter, “Yes we can.”
When Hiccup and her parents walked out of Gobber’s house, there was a small crowd of teenage Vikings, all of whom crowed “Happy birthday!” surprising the heck out of Hiccup.
“Nell, Lottie, Mot, you remembered!” Hiccup greeted her friends, hugging Lottie and Nell, both of whom had the worst memories.
“Okay,” Nell admitted, “Mot reminded us.”
“Aw…” Hiccup hugged a blushing Mot, “thanks Mot!”
“What did ya get for so your birthday so far?” Nell asked, trying to get the subject off of her annoying cousin.
“This,” Hiccup showed off her new saddle, “and this,” Hiccup set her saddle down on a log near Gobber’s shop and took her dagger out of her sheath.
“Wow,” Lottie complimented, looking closer at the carvings
“That’s SO cool! I’m jealous,” Nell told Hiccup
“It’s cool, I guess,” Mot shrugged, trying to pretend like he didn’t care, the largest lie in the world.
“Thanks, I guess,” Hiccup retorted sarcastically, making Mot blush even more. Not like he didn’t blush when he was around her (he always does), she just made him blush more (which I doubt is even possible sometimes) when she did things like that.
“Well, Dad’s gotta hook up his steering thing to his saddle and Toothless. We can go for a ride until he’s done. Wanna come?” Hiccup invited her friends
Nell nodded, “Yeah! Can we go to Dragon Island?” Dragon Island was the name Nell and the others gave to the island where the Green Death formerly lived. Their parents called it “Memory Island”.
“Sure,” Hiccup agreed, “If we have the time.”
“I’m not so sure,” Lottie shook her head, “I don’t have a dragon to ride.”
“Don’t you have that Hideous Zippleback?” Nell asked Lottie
“She isn’t mine,” Lottie answered, almost embarrassed, “she’s Tren’s. He hates it when I borrow her without him knowing.”
“Then ask him,” Hiccup put forth her idea for Lottie
“He’s out hunting with Dad again. He’s been camping out with Dad since last night, remember?” Lottie reminded her friends about last night. She had to sleep over at Nell’s because her father didn’t like her being home alone.
“Oh yeah…” Nell nodded her head as she said this, “Well, we can ride on Poran together.”
That didn’t ease Lottie. Poran was a Nadderhead, a cross between a Deadly Nadder and a Monstrous Nightmare, and Lottie had a horrid fear of Monstrous Nightmares.
“Or,” Hiccup interrupted, “Lottie and I could both take Toothless II. He likes her.” The suggestion helped a bit, but Toothless tended to go higher than the other dragons, and Lottie had an extreme fear of heights.
“Um…” Lottie murmured, “I think I’ll just stay with Corin.” Corin was the printer of Berk, and weaved amazing stories onto paper. Lottie admired Corin and hoped to be his apprentice someday.
“Suit yourself,” Nell shrugged, “ya coming, Mot?”
“Sure,” Mot shrugged. He wanted to hang out with Hiccup, but not with his cousin around. Nell tended to tease Mot often.
Suddenly, the intuition inside of him, his “mother’s intuition”, as his father Tuffnut calls it, went off, telling him something bad was gonna happen. But, as always, he ignored it.
After Hiccup got permission from her parents, Nell and Mot from theirs and Hiccup put on Toothless’ new saddle, they were off.
The three friends and their dragons flew over the beautiful ocean near Berk.
“Look!” Nell pointed, “Hell Hind’s Gate!” The stone monument was blocked by deep fog.
“Why is the place so foggy?” Hiccup asked her peers
“Uh oh…” Mot hit his palm on his forehead. His intuition was right.