Q-A The Authoress: So…. This is my first story in the How to Train Your Dragon category and I must admit I’m very excited to be writing this. From reading a ton of beast/beauty stories out there I’m really hoping this one turns out well. This isn’t my first AU story but this is one that didn’t belong to someone else before hand so this is pretty much my brainchild so treat it kindly guys with as much constructive criticism as you can. ^-^
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters. It belongs to DreamWorks and the fantastic writer Cressida Cowell. Support them all guys ‘cause I’m sure all of us would like to see a trilogy out of the films or even more if we demand it. Who knows?
Diary of a Beastly Prince
August 22nd 1810~
‘Sometimes the reason we start out the way we are is so we can discover how to be something entirely different.’
Those were the words my mother soothingly whispered in my ear after my father would scold me. It would only be years, and years later until I understood the double meaning behind those words.
I was never a rebellious child whilst growing up. I was simply never allowed to go outside. ‘Stay indoors, Son.’ ‘Never go outside, Son.’ It was always the same. Of course you should think I had no real incentive as to wanting to leave a castle with a striking courtyard in the center, or the tomes of books down in the South Wing. I would have to be mad enough for wanting to leave…
Please note the mockery that I was penned for that last line.
While I do not unnecessarily resent living here I still wish I had some liberty at least. The freedom to run outside and play were one of the many wishes never granted to me. Despite that my parents do everything in their power for me to be happy. Or at least look and sound like I am happy. When you are the heir of an ancient and most influential clan and the son of the village’s leader you get just about anything… all except what you truly want. But all inner conflictions aside, I DO know the reason behind their worried glances and dismayed expressions.
I had always thought when I was younger it had something to do with my inelegant skills and awkward form. I am not anywhere near the fighter my father is. Even lifting the lightest of swords dragged most of my upper body weight to the ground. I never blamed Mother for this, for I was born prematurely than most infants on the cold 29th of February. It would actually be considered a miracle I even lived that long after since a maid tried to kill me with a book laying near my crib. Her motivations behind it and the more abnormal whims of my parents led to me asking them one question when I was of an age to retain that memory.
‘Why must I be indoors when sundown approaches? Even when in the courtyard I must be sent straight to my room?’
I hear a rap at the door. Mother is calling me to supper. I must take flight! If I did not make haste it would be rude to keep the Lady waiting.
August 22nd 1810~
O’ how time passes swiftly here in my lowly tower, the hours are eaten away in a mere instant. Note once again the cynical tone I had just penned. I was sent into my room for most of the day as Father had guests arrive at the castle. Perhaps ‘guests’ is too strong of a word and uninvited shrews would be the more precise words of choice. They were inexplicably rude to father according to what Mother told me not too long ago. I would not have known unless she had told me, you see. I was stuck up here in my tower. My mind wanders into thinking of a dangerous thought. Would it be considered precocious of me to climb down the ivory vines to make my escape?
Probably not. Those vines would not hold me even with my thin waist.
Again my mind fails me when I have yet kept my promise from the previous night. I was to tell you more of what had happened that one night when I was nearing my fifth year.
We all sat around the grand fireplace with me sitting upon my mother’s lap and father sitting opposite on his big sturdy leather chair. I had asked both my parents the infamous question that nearly petrified them on the spot. Poor things.
My mother was the first to recover as she spoke in her tone only reserved for me. Or at least she tried to sound like that, her voice sounded thickly as her eyes were threatening to bulge out of their sockets. “W-what has made you ask such a question, son?”
“I can’t go outside and I wanna go play with other children.” It seemed like the most obvious answer in the world even if I did not realize to have been whining.
When my parents exchanged looks with one another they shared one expression that I could only describe as something mixed between aggrieved and fear and acceptance, almost as though they knew my question would soon come.
My father spoke in his usually gruff voice when he began to tell the tale. His voice always sounded very deep and rumbled in a way that made me slightly intimated by him, but once I grew older I would see how broken it sounded. Anyway back to his story. Well not before a brief history lesson from him…. my father needed to learn that a five year old’s attention span could only linger for a short amount of time.
Berk-en-Shire has always been called home ever since our earliest Viking ancestors settled here by the wave crashing arches that littered the bay and one thick forest near the east. It never once occurred to them that living near cliffs that were hundreds of meters above the coast probably would not be easy for fishing, but those were the Vikings for you, it was a hazardous occupation; it was do or die in their lifestyle which honestly has not changed in the last several hundred years.
The people of Berk-en-Shire love living in these hostile conditions, according to Father, they never thought of leaving the so-called proud land they worked so hard into claiming. Nor did any of them once thought of leaving after the apparent infestation plaguing that piece of land. Most villages had to deal with mice, or irksome insects that liked biting you on places that should be remained unmentioned; we had something worse, far worse than anything else.
Brace yourself journal as I utter the shocking truth.
…. Even when I was small I quickly assumed my father was lying. I have never seen a dragon before, even from the top of my tower, and made the assumption at an early age that they were only true on the pages of books I enjoyed reading. But he was insistent along with my mother that dragons did indeed live in our village or at least somewhere near it since they always arrived abruptly in the middle of the night. They always went after our livestock and other foods we had gathered from fishing and gaming. Blunt force was necessary to fight the beasts and prevent them from stealing more food. Father was naturally the best at killing dragons with his hammer. I for one believe he could easily take one down with his bare hands, but that is my opinion and I am sadly getting off topic again.
Continuing, father told me that during his generation as a dragon killer he and the rest of the slayers began to notice that there was one dragon that appeared different than the rest. It never stole any food, never showed its true outline for anyone, and never missed its target. This dragon was different than the rest because it could plan, calculate, think in a way that’s probably inhuman (obviously), and never fails at its tasks at hand. It was easy to say that this mysterious dragon for its stealth and leadership skills, something that my father begrudgingly admitted the dragon held, led the other dragons. Eventually my father and the rest of the hunters planned a way to capture or kill the beast they had later on called the Night Fury. Why it was given a name like that is a mystery to me, father claimed that it was based off some Norse demon from the olden days that was the offspring of lightning and Hel itself and-sorry getting off topic again.
The village settled with their plan on Christmas week in the year 1795. Exactly three months before I was born.
The plan itself was rather simple but clever. Simple because most of it involved leading the Night Fury toward the main village square toward a fishing net the size of a house. Clever, because the net was made with thin metal fibers that was so small and minuscule that even a house fly would get stuck in it. I never actually seen the net but I am taking my father’s word for it especially for what is to come. Since it was my father’s brilliant plan to capture the Night Fury he had the honor of ripping its heart out, killing the beast with one slash from a dagger. The very moment he plunged his hand into the dragon’s bosom a large shriek was heard.
I had asked if it came from the dragon when I interrupted for the umpteenth time during his story but father said no, he spoke with his tone slightly mournful at that point in time, almost as though he felt regretful for killing the dragon. I of course know the reason why he was mournful.
The painful shriek came from a small woman pushing through the crowd that swarmed to see the Night Fury at long last. She was the most ghastly apparition he had ever seen, my father said. Her hair was sickly pale white as was her skin that appeared as though to be nothing but skin and bones. Her eyes had a glazed over look that might have once been the color blue but were shriveled up along with the rest of her form. She half-dragged herself toward the platform where my father and the dragon was and glared half-blinded at him.
‘Stoick Haddock,’ she cried in a ghostly wail. ‘You had taken the life of one that cannot be replaced. This poor being did nothing to deserve this fate.’
Of course Father thought differently. ‘I did what needed to be done to save this village.’ His words were accompanied by the supportive cries from the other villagers, they almost drowned out what the old woman spoke until she shouted, ‘If this is how you judged others by their appearance alone then look at your slain beast a second time!’
My father turned to look and was beyond shocked to see the form of a naked man took the place of the Night Fury.
It was at this part of the story that my mother wanted to stop the story, but my eagerness outweighed her worry, even though she had a good reason for it.
When my father in the story turned his attention back to the witch she already vanished from his sight. She appeared over the village’s stone archway that was the town’s entrance, the arch I can barely make out from my viewpoint in the tower. The witch stood erect with her eyes blazing red while pointing menacingly at my father.
She spoke the immortal words that changed not only my father’s life and my mother’s but also myself.
‘As my son has lost his life, so shall yours!’
In a flash of lightning she vanished once again. Nighttime has finally arrived as the sun has set. I must go for another night with my parents. I hope to write to you soon.
August 23rd 1810~
For the next three months my father had the village and lands surrounding it patrolled for the witch and kept the Haddock estate guarded day and night. Not even my mother was allowed to leave the castle while she was heavy with child, though it was a harsh winter that year with it holding on with both hands and not wishing to let go. The words that the witch spoke still rang in my father’s ears since that infamous night and it seemed no one slept peacefully as no one knew how the witch would strike. A few guessed that the witch would come into the bed chamber of my parents room and kill my mother-once more she insisted to my father that telling the story in, pardon the phrase, bloody detail would not be wise for my age. Once again I insisted I was fine with hearing the tale with no abridgement. With a reluctant sigh my mother conceived defeat-another more superstitious guess was that the witch had already done her work and may have poisoned the not yet born child while it was still in the womb. I am very glad to know that many of these rumors proved to be false. Sadly I think having me be a stillborn would have been a better fate than what the witch truly did to me.
I was born prematurely on the 29th of February in 1796 on a blisteringly cold winter’s morning, so cold that people believed that Jack Frost was contracting frostbite as well. Despite my small size and early birth the midwife announced me as a healthy babe, my parents rejoiced with blessing me with the name Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. Not the worst name ever given but it was one that belonged to two other strong Viking ancestors of mine. I have yet to learn anything about them but I digress. Sadly the extra precautions and vigil watches that were appointed after my birth were all for naught.
On the next morning right before sunrise my parents woke to a clatter next door to the room where I slept. They both heard the shouts from a woman and quickly ran to see what was the ruckus all about. When they saw her hands wrapped protectively around a thick Holy Bible in her hands as she pointed a finger toward the fallen cradle. My father became equally hysterical as her and grabbed her shoulders accusing her of being the witch’s accomplice until my mother found the truth behind young maid’s frightened form. Inside the cradle was a small lankly little creature with black scales covering every part of the skin with small patches of lighter black appearing as splotches. Wings with the shape of a bat protruded off of the back and two smaller ones on the tail and fins at the tip. Sharp talons clawed where fingers were supposedly meant to be while small plates appeared around the head. The only things that prevented the little beast from being killed on sight was that on its head was a small tuff of auburn hair and the eyes matched the same color as my father. Yes, that little beast of a dragon, a miniature Night Fury, the unholy offspring of lightning and death was I.
It was the predestined fate for my existence, to become a literal terror before even reaching the age of two every night while I became human at dawn until sunset. There was nothing that could be done to change me. My parents used everything in their power to summon the finest physicians, healers, mystic shamans, everything to find a cure. They had to pay hefty fines to keep the guests from talking about my…. ‘condition.’ They even fired all of the servants and paid them handsomely to not blabber on about my appearance, while my parents prevented me from leaving the castle by any means.
It was at the age of five I began to understand why I was so different. I was forced to stay inside the castle grounds and remain in the walls. My parents would not change like me, as I was the only person who could. It only got worse as time went by. I had learned from the ‘guests’ that kept arriving to the castle were actually representatives from the village stating that they were beginning to think that my father was unfit to lead them as he and his wife had became very inclusive since they started mourning for my death. No I am still alive, do not be alarmed journal, my parents simply lied that I had perished during the cold winter-that just proves how loving they were to me by telling the world that I had died sickly and was cremated not too long after.
With my father being more reclusive with each passing year it is not hard to understand why the people wished for a change in leadership, but like our ancient Viking bylaws, a leader needed to be chosen from the same family that currently lead the tribe. A very old and dated practice in my opinion-I have always been a supporter of that democracy that the former British colonies now called the United States have been using but once again this is my opinion and not at all important to the story.
It became a long lasting argument until the 27th of July that my father at the age of forty-two finally abdicated the position of village Chief to his distant cousin Algrick Ogglebert, a man I thankfully never had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, not that my father would allow it anyway but I always heard that dear cousin ‘Al’ was not the nicest person to get acquainted with. On the bight side the Haddock estate remained part of our land since we were still technically Haddocks while Al was not. So that turned out all right in the end, right?
Sadly I will disclose that it-not much of a surprise-only got worse. Or at least I think something must be wrong with me since I have been feeling quite odd for sometime now after my birthday last February. I have yet to convinced my father and mother but with a little more time I think my theory will be proven true.
Q-A: And before you ask no, it’s not over, not by a long shot. I must say I am very proud of this chapter. :D Probably the best first chapter I have written in a while. I do not know when I shall update on the next one but I will do my best since this is as far as I can go with this chapter for right now. I do hope you guys will be kind enough to review this story and give me all the feedback you can and I shall respond to the best of my abilities. ^-^
Keep on Writin’ and Rockin’