His first Lesson
Hiccup felt a little nervous...to say the least. He had spend all day thinking of what to come later this day and how the outcome might be and if there might be a few deaths before the moon had risen high above them. Not that he would expect something like that to happen, but still... The following hours might be just easier, if he just knew, what they in the end would mean. For him. For Astrid. And of course for them.
He spend the last hours during his chiefly duties in the forge with much thinking, while he worked on a few saddles, that his people had needed, or to improve those, which were already finished.
As of this one, right in his hands, that was made out of soft leather and on which he had dedicated some time now. A saddle, on which had worked for a few weeks now, not quite feeling, that it had finished until now. Until it had been perfect for him.
But he wanted it to be perfect – for somebody, who had never been on a dragon before and would soon experience their first time flying.
While he finished a few more stitches on the straps of this saddle, Gobber was watching him, raising his eyebrows at that strange behavior of his young apprentice.
“What yer doin' over there?“ The older Viking asked, padding his trusty Grump lightly, who had yet fallen asleep after a long day of work in the forge. “And where is ya stupid little smile coming from?“
Hiccup stopped for a moment, looking over to his old friend, who was staring now at him, while that smile on his lips disappeared.
“I don't know, what you mean...“ Hiccup mumbled after a few moments of consideration. Because he told Gobber the truth – he did not know, why he had been smiling at all.
“Aha...if you say so...“ Gobber mumbled, turning back to a few of the forging tools to put them on shelves and to clean up his work space.
The young chief on the other hand raised his eyebrows at Gobber's strange behavior, then looked over to Toothless, who also seemed to shrug. Then he returned to finish the stitching on the straps.
“And-“ yet the older Viking once more raised his voice, making Hiccup stop once more “-how is Astrid doing anyway?“
“She is back on her legs. Everything is fine again...“ Hiccup said nonchalantly. “And you can come and visit us, if you like. She really is used to Berk and its people now. She even accepts the shenanigans, that the twins are sometimes up to. And I think, that this is a good sign, that she is finally accepting - the contract, and that for now she needs to stay here...“
“For...'now'? Lad, what exactly are ya plannin' over there?“
Hiccup stopped immediately what he was doing, slowly looking back up and over to the older Viking, who was eyeing him dangerously.
“Ya plan to get her back to Hranafall, don't ya? I am not sure, of what Hakon will think or say about that!“
Hiccup merely tried to brush it of, by shrugging and smiling, taking the saddle from the workbench and walking past his friend, before saying:
“Let's just say, I want her to be able to visit her family every now and then. I know, that getting her back to her home, might evoke a few questions and possibly put the contract in question. So, don't you worry about that, Gobber. I am just nice to her, because-“
“Because ya actually like her, don't ya?“
Hiccup stopped in his tracks and looked over his shoulder.
“Why is everybody assuming, that?“ He wondered a little louder, than it had been planned.
“Ha – I see and it looks like I am not the only one, who sees something like 'That'! I may be old and my eyesight might not be very best any more, but I can tell you one thing and that is, that ya are in lo-“
“Hiccup?“ A voice suddenly interrupted them and the young chief really thanked the gods, that Gobber immediately stopped speaking upon realizing, who had just entered the forge to visit them.
“Ah, Astrid, you are already here?“ Hiccup said, now finally completely turning back around, smiling at the young woman, who was still standing uncertainly by the entrance, while the old smith started to eye both young Vikings carefully, nodding a little, before he mumbled something unintelligible to himself.
“Yeah...“ She said, looking over to Gobber, who still seemed to behave strangely. “..., you told me, to come here at dusk, so I am here...“
“Yeah, sure. It is just, that the time went so fast today, with all the work and - oh wait 'till you see this!“ He suddenly exclaimed, when he had remembered the saddle, that he has just finished the work on and which he still had in his hands.. He hurried past his older friend and over to where Astrid was standing, putting it straight into her arms.
“This is for you. Well...and for Stormfly...“
“Our saddle?“ She asked, sounding a little breathless while she examined the stitches he had just made and the way that the saddle was made. “It really looks awesome!“
“Hiccup made it all by himself~“ Gobber mumbled from where he was standing behind them with a strange sing-sand like voice.
“Really?! You have made this?“ She asked, sounding a little surprised, which startled him a little and making him raise his eyebrow.
“Hey – you know, what I can do. It sounds as if you believe, that I am very untalented in the forge!“ He was not seriously offended and by the view she gave him, he knew, that he was seeing this as a joke as well.
“I know that!“ She said nonetheless “...It is just...you made this! I mean look at that. I had never such a nice gif-...“ She stopped immediately and though Hiccup had a feeling, that she wanted to tell him, that she really enjoyed that small gift, he would not pressure her into finishing the sentence. It felt just so nice to see, that she really appreciated the effort, that he had given this saddle and even more he enjoyed it, that this made her smile.
So he immediately grinned wider, until his teeth and tooth gap were showing.
And after all – it was nice, to see her up and so lively again. It now had taken them a few weeks, with the constant pain in her leg from the healing process of her scar and from the every now and then emerging fever. So they had agreed, that Stormfly could come and visit her every now and then, so the two could grow closer and develop some kind of trust, that they both would eventually need for their upcoming first flight. And yet it had been another agreement, that they would wait for three days in a row, where she would rate her mornings with a 'One', to make absolutely sure, that she would be ready to finally sit on a dragon all on her own. To flight, without her needing to take care about her own condition.
And today had been this special day and by the look in her deep blue eyes, Hiccup knew, that she was just as excited as he had been.
While Hiccup was still looking at her, it was Gobber, who cleared his throat, making Hiccup to shake his head slightly and to get out of his sudden daze, that Astrid's pure presents trapped him in.
“Ehr, right...“ He mumbled, scratching the back of his head lightly and stepping back from her “...would you wait here for a minute, before we start? I need to change and I guess that Toothless is still sleeping in my workshop and-“
“You need to...change...?“
He could clearly see, that she was eyeing him up and down, probably wondering, why he would change his leather armor, in which he usually flew with Toothless.
“Well, I have been working on something for myself as well. For some time now, to be exactly and I would love to try it now as well...“
Astrid blinked a little at that, but then merely shrugged, now also turning around, with the saddle still in her hands.
“As you wish, Dragon Boy, I will wait outside with Stormfly. But hurry – she seems to be more exciting than I am!“
And with that she had left, closing the door behind her.
“Okay, lad...“ Gobber suddenly said after some moments “..., now stop drooling over her and get ready, just as ya have told her! Don't let yer wife wait for too long!“
Hiccup merely tried to ignore his older friend, while finally walking straight into his workshop, where his trusty black friend was indeed still sleeping tightly, while the thing, he so desperately wanted to try out, waited for him on top of the table.
For a moment he marveled in its black, rough beauty, feeling very excited to finally try it out. And he hoped, that this new Flight Suit would work just as good, as the old had worked for him. Though this one was more like a armor, made out of Toothless' shed scales and with hours of hard work. But he still liked it very much! And he really wanted to see, how Astrid would react, if she just would see, what could be possible – up there in the air.
With a still sleeping dragon behind him, he changed his previous leather armor for his new Flight Suit, enjoying its cold feel on his skin and the way it fit him perfectly.
That was the moment, when his winged friend behind him grumbled slightly and opened his eyes.
“Ah, you are awake!“ Hiccup exclaimed, turning around towards Toothless, while fixing the way, the scaled gloves were laying on his hands, before taking the helmet in his hands, but not yet putting it on his head. “How about we go on a little flight? Together with Astrid and Stormfly?“
The black dragon yawned, but then stood up nonetheless, stretching a little, before happily trotting over to his Rider.
“That is the spirit, buddy!“
Together they walked out of Hiccup's workshop and passed the old smith, who eyed him with amazement. He even whistled at Hiccup's new appearance.
“Looking good, lad. Want to impress yer wi-“
“If you call her that one more time, I swear, you will be working on the orders alone until the next moon!“ Hiccup grumbled, sounding a little annoyed, both of them very well knowing, that away from their fellow tribesmen there was no reason, to call her that.
“If ya say so...“ Gobber mumbled, before her pointed towards the entrance of his forge, indicating, that the young woman was still waiting outside.
Hiccup only nodded at that, before he finally left, together with Toothless only to be greeted not only by Astrid, but also by his other friends, who were all already waiting for the two of them – quite to his annoyance. After all – he had been looking forward to their time alone. But now...things have been changed by the gang and their dragons.
“Finally you are here!“ Snotlout exclaimed, sounding a little annoyed, leaning casually against Hookfang's side.
“We have been waiting here for some time now!“ Tuffnut also said.
“Yeah...right here!“ Ruffnut added.
“Sorry Boss, but when they have heard, that you and Astrid wanted to take a little flight, they all wanted to see that as well!“ Eret said, shrugging a little defenseless, when Hiccup raised his eyebrows at the sight in front of him. “There were even bets going on, of what I have heard!“
“And we want to fly with our babies, too...“ Fishlegs mumbled, cuddling a little Meatlugs side.
“And also-“ Tuffnut now said, now also pointing at the strange black and red outfit, that Hiccup was wearing “- what are you wearing there! Looks like the new Haute Couture!“ His friends only looked a little confused at their young Viking friend, who was once again such strange words. And while a strange argument about the meaning of this oh so strange word raised between them, Hiccup walked over to Astrid, standing by her side, to whisper:
“I am sorry for that. I did not know, that they would want to join, if they know about our plans... If you want to have your first lesson on another day – without them – then it is okay for me, too!“
“It is okay...“ She said, holding the saddle close to her chest, while she watched his friends as well. “I really want to go on a flight for the first time! And I don't care, if they accompany us, or not. They are your friends, after all...“
„Yeah...“ She whispered back, now also looking over to Stormfly, who sat patiently next to Toothless, while the two dragons watched the strange human behavior in front of them as well.
“Then let's go – if we leave now, then maybe they won't notice for some time, that we left...“ He mumbled.
But once the two humans and two dragons had started to move, walking towards the arena, the gang still started to follow them as well – still very much arguing now about different things.
“What is up with your new armor anyway?“ Astrid asked, while they were getting closer and closer towards the arena, trying to break the tension, that had formed strangely enough around them.
“Oh...this?“ Hiccup asked, pointing towards his chest “...it is my new Flight Suit and I thought, that now was a good opportunity to try it out, while I am not alone with Toothless, in case it would not work.“
“You mean – in case I need to save you? Me – who has not a clue about Dragon Riding?“ Astrid joked.
“Well, I guess, that you are quite talented and today will be the day, to prove that to yourself!
“And what if, if I need to be saved and you are busy with your little Flight Suit?“
“Oh, don't you worry about that – I don't think, that Stormfly will let you fall to the ground! And I will have my eyes only on you!“
As if in agreement, the Deadly Nadder screeched at that.
“Well, let's just hope for that...“
Soon they have reached the arena, that functioned as the Dragon Academy for some time now. And the last time they had been here – together – had been the day, when they had fought against each other. And standing here now together really was a strange feeling. Especially with the dragons and their friends, that surrounded them.
“Okay-“ Hiccup started, wanting to introduce her to a few basics of learning how to fly a dragon, when it had been Ruffnut and Tuffnut, who had already mounted their dragons, waving their hands high in the air.
“Let us show her how to fly!“ They screamed and before Hiccup knew, what exactly was happening, they both were already with Barf and Belch high in the air, flying above their heads without a care in the world.
“Hey – no showing off, up there!“ Snotlout screamed upon seeing that, also now jumping on Hookfang's back and flying up, to demonstrate his skills as well.
A little helpless Hiccup looked up to his friends, while Eret whispered something towards Fishlegs, who nodded, before the bigger Viking followed with Meatlug, too.
“We give you some time to explain a few things to 'your' girl, okay Boss?“ Eret whispered in Hiccup's ear, who then vanished with Skullcrusher as well. And the young chief didn't even had the time to complain.
“Well...looks like, that my first flight lesson would work out differently than expected, I guess?“ Astrid said. Looking up as well, while the young man by her side, didn't even know, where to start, now, that his friends where doing everything, he wanted to explain her anyway.
“Yeah...“ He only mumbled, letting his shoulders hang in defeat, before his scaled friend nudged his side with his head, cooing a little in support, getting him back towards the reality, that still surrounded him – Astrid being here and very willing to learn how to fly.
“So-“ he then started, now finally being able to tear his eyes from the spectacle above their heads and to turn towards the young woman by his side. “-first we need to get that saddle on your dragons back!“
And they did – though it had been most of Astrid's work to fasten the straps on Stromfly's stomach. But Hiccup nonetheless assisted her, even though most of it had been only his description, since he knew, that the young woman was far too eager, to learn everything herself. And yet he checked two times, if the saddle won't slip, once they were in the air.
And once they were finished, he said:
“Now mount her!“
He could clearly see, that Astrid gulped heavily, though he suspected, that it wasn't for fear, but more for respect of this whole situation. And yet she sat very comfortably in the saddle and without any problems.
“Now hold onto her tight-“ Hiccup said, but before he could finish his sentence (which was quite an annoyance on this particular day) Stormfly already pushed herself off of the ground and launched high into the air – letting the young chief know, that the Deadly Nadder was all too ready and eager to have her first flight with the young woman.
And all the poor, young woman could do, was to scream and to clench tightly onto the blue dragons neck.
And it was Toothless, who made a snickering noise by the view of that.
“Oh, you really are one gloating dragon, over there!“
And yet the young man sat on his saddle himself, holding with one hand onto his black helmet, while making his winged friend follow the young woman, who still didn't seem all too confident about all of this. And he also guessed, that their grinning and laughing friends around them, where not helping this situation, either.
“It would help, if you open your eyes!“ Hiccup nonetheless screamed over the sound of wind and Astrid's screams. “And hold onto the handles in front of you! I especially designed them for you to have more freedom on her back!“
“YOU SAY THAT SO EASILY!“ She shouted back to him, but still reached with her shaking hands for the handles on Stormflys neck, while she carefully tried to open her eyes.
“Good! Try to steer her! Try to control the direction you want her to fly to! And you don't need to be afraid – either one of us will catch you, if you fall!“
“I am not afraid!“ Astrid hissed back, opening her eyes at the same time and Hiccup could see, that she was slowly pushing against the handle, until the Nadder turned in the left direction. And a slight smile appeared on her lips because of that.
“Perfect! How about up and down?“
And Astrid did, as Hiccup told her, making Stormfly raise higher into the air, to where their friends were waiting for them on their dragons, before the blue Nadder once again descended, coming closer and closer towards the ground.
“Ehr...not so deep...“ Hiccup could hear Fishlegs mumble and the young chief's heart as well started to beat furiously in his chest, upon seeing the way that Astrid was flying closer towards the rocky ground below them. Yet – she didn't try to pull Stormfly back up.
“Did she loose control?!“ Tuffnut asked out loud, yet making Hiccup shake his head, feeling, that something like that would not happen towards her.
And he was right -
Just moments before both dragon and rider would have hid the ground below, she pulled them back up, making the gang cheer once more, while Hiccup sighed in relief.
“Woman!“ Eret screamed, once she had reached them again, holding tight to his heart “Don't you dare to scare us like that!“
“Scare? Oh don't you tell me, that you guys haven't tried something like that as well!“ She smirked, letting Stormfly fly past them, feeling very confident about this situation and her dragon, who squealed loudly in joy.
“Okay-“ Ruffnut said, while they watched the young woman, unfolding on the back of the winged reptile, as if she was born anew. “-I take my bet away, that she would kill herself on the first flight!“
“Me too...“ Tuffnut mumbled. “No burial today...Guess that chicken won't show the new song I have practiced with her any time soon!“
“Yeah...“ Hiccup mumbled, looking after Astrid with a slight smile “...thankfully...“
They followed the young woman and the dragon, flying over Berk and towards the sea, feeling the joy, that spread from her first flight towards them, too. Making them feel as if had been their first flight, too. Doing tricks to impress her and to rejoice this particular feeling.
For Hiccup, this was a very special view, making him lean closer towards Toothless, pulling a few levers, so his tail fin would fly him automatically.
Toothless grumbled a little reluctantly, but then he did something like a short nod. Hiccup grinned and put on the helmet on his head, before he pushed himself off of Toothelss' back, to make the hidden wings in the suit spread and Hiccup fly into the air high above the water.
His friends were not noticing that for the moment, since both him and Toothless were still behind them. It made him enjoy this even more, though he noticed every now and then a few mistakes in his construction, that he needed to fix.
Yes, he really enjoyed this freedom, that the Flight Suit gave him – which was an even more different freedom to when he would fly with his trusty dragon. And yet he wouldn't want to miss this feeling for anything in the world.
While still soaring through the air, he had a pretty good view on Astrid, who flew ahead of them, enjoying herself on the back of the dragon as well. For a few minutes now she had been brave enough, to let go of the handles, that were attached to the saddle and to just spread her hands and arms up into the air, to touch the clouds there and to just marvel into this feeling of air and Adrenalin, that flying gave her as well.
And felt this as well – this Adrenalin and this soaring wind underneath the wings. They were still together – Toothless and him – though it had changed a little since their very first lesson together. But thankfully enough it had made them strong enough, to give their knowledge others, that needed and wanted this as well.
Back then, it only had been them... But now there were so many, having changed Berk like never before.
“Hey!“ somebody suddenly shouted, making him nearly loose his balance. But thankfully enough Toothless was there immediately, flying just close enough to his Rider, so he could grip his saddle and pull himself to it.
Annoyed he looked over to Snotlout, he was now flying beside him, grinning widely and pointed towards the young chief.
“I want one too! One that would suit me and Hooky!“
“And while we are at it-“ Ruffnut said, now pointing towards herself and her brother“ We want one two!“
“Yeah, one for each of us!“
“Wait...were you thinking, that we would wear one together?!“ Ruffnut asked, raising her eyebrows at her brother, who smiled a little stupidly at that, which made her grin, too “...though I guess, that this would be awesome!“
“Me too!“ Both Eret and Fishlegs shouted from his other side, raising their hands in unison.
Yeah..., he somehow knew, that something like that would happen, but on the other hand...wasn't that the worst idea, that all of them had similar Flight Suits, that would also fit their dragons.
And while he was there - he thought, looking over to the young woman in front of them, who looked a little skeptically at the gang behind her, though a slide smile tugged at the corners of her lips – why not making a suit for all of them?
But before his plan formed more and more in his head, he let Toothless speed up a little, so he could fly next to the young woman.
“And? What is it like to be on one of these 'monstrous creatures'?“
“To be honest...?“
“It is amazing! I mean...Stormfly is amazing! They all...“ She looked to Toothless and then back to the other dragons. “...are amazing! I really need to thank you...“
“What for?“ Hiccup wondered, looking over towards her and suddenly finding her very beautiful with all her hair fluttering around her and her flushed cheeks and the slight gleam in her blue eyes.
“For not letting go the thought of getting me to fly!“
He smiled, knowing, that she had taught him something as well – that people could always be changed, despite their past full a hatred and scorn towards those winged reptiles. As long, as these people wanted to be changed in this very specific way. And Astrid, though their path until this very moment had been a rough and rocky one, was one of these people. And it seemed like this whole ordeal had been worth it in the end.
„You are very welcome!“