(Hysteria Isle; August 25, 2016, 12:00 pm)
“Wait, we’re moving?” Katja Grimborn asked looking at her parents, Viggo Grimborn, a Private Investor for the Archipelago, and Kelda Grimborn, a zoo veterinarian.
“Yes, to Archi Isle,” Viggo said, “Your mother was offered a new position as the new Head Veterinarian at the Archi Isle Zoo, and it was too big not to pass off.”
Katja bit her lip. She was happy for her mother with the new job offer. Her mother was an amazing veterinarian, she was able to solve some cases that no other doctor had been able to. She’d always wanted to do something greater, but it was hard with Hysteria being such a small island.
But moving meant leaving behind her best friend, Stephani.
“I know it’s not something you want to hear, but we do have to move to Archi Isle for me to take the job,” Kelda said. “But, if you want to say, we could make it work and have Brendan come back, but that would make him have to leave the team,”
Katja thought about it. As much as she’d like to stay and finish, she also didn’t. Her Uncle Brendan was a professional soccer player for the Archi Vikings, and playoffs were coming up. She didn’t want to make him come home for her, and she knew he would.
Katja also thought about the upcoming school year. She would be entering her sophomore year. It was summer, so she didn’t have to worry about being behind.
“No, I’ll go,” Katja said.
“What school will we be attending?” she asked also including her brother.
“You’ll be starting tenth grade at the Archi Academy, same as your brother but him in Senior year,” Viggo said.
Katja nodded. Since it was summer, she didn’t have to worry too much about missing anything. But, being that summer was ending in about two weeks, packing was going to be rushed. She also had to deal with her boyfriend. She didn’t want to do long-distance. Something about it didn’t suit her.
I just must figure out how to break it to Dane. And that I don’t want to do long-distance...
. . .
(Jordan Family Apartment, Hysteria Apartment Complex; August 29, 2016, 2:30 pm)
“What?!” Dane growled.
“I’m sorry, Dane. It’s just better this way, but I hope we can still be friends,” Katja said as she got up and prepared to leave the apartment. However, Dane reached out and grabbed her wrist, yanking her back towards him; then slamming her against the wall, slightly dazing her.
“You aren’t going anywhere,” Dane growled, throwing her on his bed and grabbed her wrists.
Immediately, Dane began to pull her clothing off, not caring about them either and ignoring Katja’s cries to stop. Within minutes she was bare, her shirt, shorts, and underwear were torn and tossed to the side. Katja let out a scream hoping someone might hear her. Unfortunately, no one did. Dane annoyed by her screaming, stuffed her mouth with a sock (thank god it was clean). She tried to fight back, but Dane held her wrists tightly almost to the point it was hurting. She cried as she saw Dane grabbed something else and tied her wrists together preventing her from moving them.
“Don’t even think about it,” Dane growled, “If you can’t be mine, you’ll be no one’s!”
Katja tried to scoot back on the bed, but Dane grabbed her ankles pulling her back to him. Holding her wrists down, Dane used his free hand to remove his belt, unbutton and unzip his pants then pushed them down past his ankles. Katja’s eyes widen knowing what was about to happen. She began to cry and let out muffled sounds. She tried to keep her legs together, but Dane was easily able to use his knees to push her legs apart then get closer before slamming his hardened length inside her core.
Katja’s eyes went wide, and she let out a muffled scream. More tears came streaming down her face as the pain continued and Dane just kept going harder and faster. She tried to fight back, but she didn’t stand much of a chance. Dane was older and stronger than she was, he was on the wrestling team at the high school. Dane got annoyed real fast with Katja’s fidgeting.
After about two minutes, he had enough. He quickly pulled out and flipped her over, her tied wrists on her back and slammed into her. Katja let out another muffled scream as he went harder and faster. She couldn’t see, but Dane was giving smirks as he slammed into her, her walls tightening around his length.
Katja shut her eyes to try to forget about what was happening. Dane slammed into her, causing her eyes to open as the pain went through her body. Dane kept pounding into her, causing Katja to continue to cry and beg for him to stop, but to no avail. “Yeah, you like that don't you?” He grunted as he went harder and deeper inside her, causing Katja to let out more muffled screams and continue to cry out.
After a few minutes, Katja felt him stop but didn’t pull out. She thought it was the end, but then she felt something touching her rear. She tried to turn but couldn’t; Katja managed to turn her head slightly to see where Dane’s hand was, she started to squirm, cry, and shake her head, but like with everything else, he didn’t stop. As soon as his fingers went in, Katja let out another muffled scream. Her scream continued when she felt him finger her and slam into her at the same time.
Katja just wanted it to be over, even being that it had only been about ten to fifteen minutes; it felt like hours of nothing but searing pain. Katja noticed that Dane was panting and grunting as he gripped her hip harder while slamming into her core fast and deep. Dane let out a pleasured growl as he rammed in once more and came. Katja closed her eyes tightly, tears still streaming from her eyes as she felt Dane's length twitching within in while he released. Afterward, Dane chuckled a bit and leaned over to kiss her cheek.
"Always mine, Katja..." Dane whispered in her ear before withdrawing his length fast, ignoring the fact it caused Katja pain. Dane got off the bed as Katja's body gave out and she hit the bed and was able to see Dane clean off with a towel; then pull his pants back up. "I told you that you were mine forever, bitch. I don't care where you go, but you'll always belong to me, babe," then Dane picked up her phone, throwing it against the wall and smashing it under his foot, rendering the device completely inoperable. Dane blew Katja a kiss, then walked out of the apartment leaving her naked and still tied on the bed.
About five minutes after the door slammed, Katja struggled to pull the gag out of her mouth. It took a bit, but she was able to get it out. She then managed to get her arms around and use her teeth to untie her wrists. She then tried to make her way to find a phone. She needed to get out of here, now. It took her almost ten minutes just to find a phone. Once she did, she called the first number she thought of: her half-brother. Her brother answered on the second ring, “Hello?”
. . .
(Grimborn Household; August 29, 2016, 2:50 pm)
With the family moving to Berk Isle at the end of the month, packing has been rushed. The family was able to get some furniture sent to the new Berk house already. Viggo and Kelda were lucky and were able to find the house in the same neighborhood where Viggo’s brother Ryker and his family were living. It just a few houses down from theirs.
Viggo and Kelda were currently on Berk moving things into the new house, leaving Brynjar and Katja alone at the house. Viggo’s older brother, Ryker, and his family were helping Kelda and Viggo move things.
About half an hour ago, Brynjar had seen his sister head off to talk with her boyfriend, his best friend. He knew about Katja breaking up with him because she didn’t want to do long-distance. Katja got most of her packing finished but didn’t want to put talking to her boyfriend off for long. He was listening to music as he finished packing when his phone rang. He didn’t bother checking caller ID, which he normally would. “Hello?”
"Kat? What do you want?" Brynjar asked, putting his earbud in so he could still talk and listen to music and pack.
"C-Can you come to get me...Now..." Katja whispered.
"Thought you were spending the day with your boyfriend?" Brynjar inquired, seemingly unphased.
"J-Just come to get me...Please? I never want to see him again..." Katja whimpered. At this time, Brynjar knew something was wrong.
"What’s wrong? Did he leave you over the move?" Brynjar questioned, Dane was his best friend, surely, he didn’t leave Katja over them moving to Berk, right?
"I-I left...Him...And he raped me..."
Brynjar froze, quickly turning off his music. "What did you just say?"
Katja sobbed more. "He raped me!"
"WHAT!?!" the eldest Grimborn yelled angrily.
Katja cried some more unable to speak. Brynjar quickly calmed himself down. “I'm on my way...Is he still there?"
Katja let out a hiccup, and Brynjar could hear movement, “N-No...But I don’t think he’ll be gone long...A-And I’m in too much pain to move...”
“It’s okay, Kat…I’m coming now,” Brynjar assured as he got up off his bed. I'm going to kill him...I swear to the Gods...I am going to fucking kill Dane... Brynjar hurried to grab his keys and get to his little sister.
. . .
To say the least, Brynjar sped to his ex-best friend’s house. He was not going to wait any longer. He did call his parents on the way, and he had to pull his phone away because of how loud his dad was yelling. Even though Katja was a daddy’s girl, both Viggo and Kelda loved their children.
He parked in the first spot he saw and ran into the Jordan family apartment. He was a little shocked to see the front door unlocked, but he shook it off to find his sister. “Katja?!” he yelled, “Where are you?”
“D-Dane’s room!” he heard Katja call weakly.
Brynjar ran up to the third floor of the apartment as fast as he could. He threw the door open and winced. After the ordeal she went through, he didn’t mean to scare her with the slamming of the door. On the bed, was Katja, wrapped in what looked like a sheet.
“Katja,” he ran over and quickly pulled her in for a hug. Immediately Katja began to cry. “Hey, shh,”
Brynjar was steaming with anger at what his now ex-best friend did. He trusted Dane!
Letting Katja cry, Brynjar gathered Katja into his arms. He needed to make sure she was ok. Looking around he found Katja’s phone but saw that it was destroyed. Nothing could be done. Sighing, he picked her up bridal style, noticing how Katja wrapped her arms around his neck and carried her outside.
Though it was hard, he was able to get the door to his SUV open and gently placed Katja in the passenger seat. Once he knew she was good, he shut the door and ran to the driver side. He then sped off for Hysteria Hospital. Not once looking back to the Jordan Apartment.
. . .
(Berk Isle; 3:00 pm)
Viggo was putting things away in his new office when his cell phone rang. He answered after seeing it was his son. But, before he could speak, he was welcomed to Brynjar talking extremely fast. All he managed was “Katja” and “Hospital”.
“Wait, Brynjar, slow down,” Viggo said walking out of his office and into the living room where Kelda was. His wife looked up when he entered.
“Who is it?” she asked, only hearing the end of Viggo’s sentence.
“Brynjar,” Viggo mouthed. “Brynjar, tell me slower what’s going on?” Viggo listened and then his expression changed, his hand tightened around his phone. “What? Repeat that slower.”
Kelda got worried when she saw her husband’s expression change. She moved closer to try to hear.
“He raped her?!”
Kelda’s eyes widen in shock, “What...” she whispered.
“YES, DAD! He raped her! I don't know the whole story, Katja called me and asked me to get her, and she told me Dane raped her. We're at the hospital; just get here!” Brynjar said before hanging up.
“How are we going to get back to Hysteria in just a short while?” Kelda asked. “Flights back are so hard to come by,”
“I don’t know, let’s head to the airport and see what we can find at least,” Viggo said.
. . .
Unfortunately, luck was not on their side. There were no opening flights back for the next couple of days.
“Wait a minute,” Kelda said as they left the help desk.
“What?” Viggo asked.
“Don’t you have some favors you could call in from people you were in the military with?” Kelda asked turning to Viggo.
Viggo’s eyes widen as he remembered. “I...Yeah, I do!” Viggo pulled his phone out and quickly dialed a number. Thankfully, the other end didn’t take long to answer. “Colden, it’s Viggo. Listen. I need a favor. It’s urgent,”
. . .
(Hysteria Hospital; 3:15 pm)
It didn’t take Brynjar long to get to the hospital. He pulled up to the Emergency Room drop off and quickly got Katja out. He didn’t care about his car right now; his sister was more important. He raced to the front desk ignoring all the looks he was getting, most likely due to how Katja was, “Please, my sister needs help.”
“She’ll have to wait her turn,” the nurse said, in a bored tone not even looking up.
Brynjar narrowed his eyes and leaned as far as he could to look at the nurse behind the desk. “Maybe you didn’t hear me…My sister was raped and needs help,”
The nurse’s eyes widen, “She’ll be taken in right away,” she quickly found another nurse, “Get Dr. Riley out here,”
The nurse quickly raced off as the one with Brynjar took them into a room. Brynjar was instructed to place Katja on the bed while she [the nurse] would get her in something else. He was asked to step outside, and Brynjar took that moment to call his parents, to see where they were.
. . .
Once Brynjar as outside, the nurse immediately got to work. Using the phone in the room, she called for the specialist that dealt with this situation and made sure to ask them to send a female down. As they waited, the nurse got Katja into a gown and out of the blanket she was wrapped up in.
That was enough time for the professional to make it down to Katja’s room.
“Oh, you poor dear. Let’s get you checked up and make sure there’s nothing to worry about,” the woman, whose name was Dr. Monica diAngelo, quickly got to work.
Dr. diAngelo was quick with her work. She went at a pace that was comfortable for Katja, but also fast enough to help her forget some things that happened. There wasn’t much physical evidence besides the nail marks on her wrists and waist. Dr. diAngelo also collected some samples of saliva and some of the residing semen. Katja had to shut her eyes to not see that, Dr. diAngelo was very caring and understanding about it.
The next tests were mostly blood tests to make sure she didn’t get anything from Dane, like HIV, Hepatitis B or C. Though, as far as Katja was aware, she knew Dane was clean. His mother made him go in for checkups all at the right time.
. . .
(Hysteria Airport; 5:30 pm)
With help from Viggo’s military friend, Major General Colden Kongur, they were able to get a flight to Hysteria Island. Unfortunately, the flight was still about two hours long. They raced out of the airport and hailed the first taxi. On the way to the hospital, Viggo called Brynjar.
“Brynjar, we’re on our way to the hospital now. Any updates?” Viggo held the phone so Kelda could hear as well.
“They did some testing and stuff. I don’t know what exactly, but I think it’s to help. The doctor came and is now exiting, I think something about letting Katja rest a bit. Not sure. Wait for a second,” Brynjar said and Viggo and Kelda could hear distant voices. “Sorry, the doctor was asking about who was here for her. How far are you and Mom?”
Kelda looked around and saw the sign for the hospital, “We’re two miles away,”
“Alright. I’ll ask if the doctor can wait for you.” Brynjar hung up right after.
. . .
Brynjar sighed, put his phone on vibrate and walked back into Katja’s room. She was fitted in a gown and was lying on the bed. She didn’t have the look in her eyes she normally did. Brynjar gritted his teeth. Dane was going to pay, big time.
Dr. Riley had to check on another patient, but she said she’d be back by the time their parents came. She wanted to be able to talk with all of them. She did tell Brynjar that the police were on the way. They were sending two female officers, but both were on patrol, so it might take a bit.
Brynjar sat next to Katja, not enough to touch her, but still close.
“Thank you for getting me,” Katja whispered ending the silence.
Brynjar looked at her, “Of course,” he sighed, “Listen. I know things have been a bit tense between us, but I want to let you know that I don’t hate you.” Katja turned her head, “I never did. I was just jealous I guess. I guess, I thought you were taking all of Dad’s attention. And, I’m sorry for getting you and Dane together. I thought he would be alright. I never expected him to do this,”
“It’s alright,” Katja whispered. She thought about telling him what Dane said, but just thinking about it made her break down. Brynjar pulled her in for a hug and just let her cry against him
“Hey,” he said after Katja’s cries subdued. “We’ll get through this, all of us. Together,”
Katja leaned against her brother. She had no words to speak.
. . .
As soon as they got to the Hospital, Kelda handed the driver money, telling him to keep the cash and the two parents raced inside. They followed the signs to where the ER was and quickly made their way.
“We’re looking for a Katja Grimborn, she was brought in about an hour ago by her brother,” Viggo said to the nurse at the desk.
The nurse typed into the keyboard, “Yes. She’s being seen by Dr. Riley. They are in Room 23B,” she handed them passes and opened the doors.
“Thanks!” Kelda cried before running through with Viggo right after her. It didn’t take them long to find the room. Once Viggo opened the door, Kelda shot through. “Katja!” she cried and raced over
“Mom...” Katja cried softly and Kelda quickly pulled her daughter.
Viggo walked over to Brynjar. He pulled his son to the side, while Kelda took care of Katja. “Do you know what happened?” he asked.
“Just what Katja told me when she called. I don’t know the rest of the story,” Viggo looked at him in confusion. “Dad, she broke down just thinking about it,”
Viggo’s eyes widen. He looked over to his wife and found his daughter crying against her. “Has the police been called?” he asked looking back at his son.
“Yeah. Dr. Riley had one of the nurse’s call. They have them on speed dial or something.” He shrugged.
Dr. Riley spoke up this time, “I have one of the female officers coming to speak with Katja.”
Viggo nodded, before making his way over to Katja. Katja pulled him in for a hug as soon as he got near.
. . .
The police didn’t take long to get there. Ten minutes max. The officers were both female, Ashley Myers and her partner Kristina Lawrence. Ashley spoke with Katja within the privacy of her room. The others were asked to go out of the room and speak with Kristina. Viggo wasn’t happy but had to listen to the police officers.
Brynjar told Officer Lawrence what he knew and from what Katja told him. He didn’t know anything else. He did mention he was going to beat the crap out of his now ex-best friend. Thankfully, Officer Lawrence didn’t say anything about that.
. . .
Katja ended up hearing what her brother said, and for the first time today, she smiled and let out a giggle.
Kelda smiled at her daughter, she too heard from Brynjar said.
Officer Myers smiled at Katja. While this sort of thing was never fun, having an older sibling ready to defend you, always was nice. Officer Myers could relate.
“I know this isn’t something you want to talk about,” Officer Myers said, sitting in one of the chairs. “But, I need to know what happened. We can file charges against the person who did it as well,”
Katja bit her lip. Part her want to press charges, but another part just wanted to forget everything. She looked up when she felt her mother’s hand on her shoulder.
“I...I,” she took a deep breath. “I went to talk to my boyfriend. He wasn’t told about the move since we just learned a few days ago too. I didn’t want to do long distance, so I was going to break up with him,” Katja explained. “I had hoped we could still be friends. But, he didn’t want it. When I was trying to leave, h-he grabbed me and slammed me against the wall, dazing me and then he raped me.” She gripped the bed sheets, “H-He...He said no matter where I would go, I-I’d always be his...” she got out as tears fell from her eyes.
Kelda gently pulled her in for a hug and Katja cried into her mother. She hated that this happen.
“I know how you feel,” Officer Myers said, “I went through something like that too. But, I really need to know how far he went as far as raping you,”
“H-He...” Katja trembled, just thinking about it hurt.
“Shh, there’s no rush. But, if you want to press charges, I need this information,” Officer Myers said.
“I-I do want to press charges against him,” Katja whispered, “H-He raped me vaginally and fingered me anally,” she whimpered hating talking about.
Kelda was seething on the inside. She couldn’t believe this. The boy that she trusted with her daughter, was her step-son’s best friend did this.
Officer Myers quickly wrote down something on her notepad. “Thank you. I know this is a terrible thing. But with all this, we can press charges against the one who did it. You mentioned your boyfriend, he was the one that did it?” Katja quickly nodded. “Can you tell me his name?”
. . .
While waiting for Katja, Viggo’s phone went off, and it was his brother, Ryker, calling wondering what was happening. He had seen his brother and sister-in-law leave the house so fast he wasn’t able to ask.
Telling your brother that his niece got raped was something Viggo didn’t want to do, but he had to. Ryker was anger and claimed he was going to go after Dane, but thankfully, his wife, Hertha, was able to calm him down. Though she ended up taking over the call. Viggo explained the rest of the story, he could still hear his brother yelling in the background, to Hertha. Once he heard his niece Vera asking why her dad was going off. He didn’t know if Ryker or Hertha told her. Viggo told them he’d call again with news.
Officer Lawrence had gone into the room, leaving the men outside.
“Dad,” Brynjar said when Viggo returned from the call.
“I think we need to get Katja out of Hysteria, now. Dane is still out there, and no matter how much I want to pound him. Katja’s safety is most important,”
Viggo nodded, “True....” as he began to think over what Brynjar said, Officers Myers and Lawrence exited the room, allowing Brynjar to make is way in.
They gave a nod to Viggo before making their exit. While he was wondering what they talked about with Katja, he wasn’t going to rush. He needed to think about what to do with Katja. Dane was out there still, and Viggo did not want his daughter near him again.
Glad everyone is enjoying this story! It’s different from what I’m used, but I like the change. Updates will take longer because I’m aiming between 3,000 and 4,000 per chapter.
(Hysteria Hospital: August 29, 2016, 9:30 pm)
Before Katja was due to be released, Kelda used Brynjar’s car and rushed home to get some clothes for Katja. By the time she returned, Dr. Riley wanted to speak with Kelda about everything.
Viggo took that moment to step outside and call his brother and sister-in-law. He told Kelda about the idea Brynjar had, and Kelda agreed. She wanted her daughter as far away from Dane as possible. She even admitted that she would be fine with Brynjar beating Dane up. That did surprise Viggo. His wife wasn’t much for violence, but this was an exception.
Before Viggo could even dial a number, his phone went off. It was Ryker calling. “Hey,”
“Hey. What’s up? Is everything alright?” Ryker asked.
“More or less,” Viggo sighed, “Listen, can you do me a favor?”
“Yeah, of course. What’s up?” Ryker asked. Viggo heard a soft voice, but he couldn’t tell if it was his niece, Vera, or sister-in-law Hertha.
“Can you and Hertha let Katja stay with you guys until we move down? Brynjar made a good point, and we want her as far away from Dane as possible. He’s still out there,”
“Of course. We’ll do all we can,” Hertha said, making Viggo figure out that she took the phone.
“We’ll make sure she’s safe here,” Ryker added in the background. “I’m sure Vera will be happy to help her cousin. Though, she might introduce Katja to her friends.”
"Well, Katja does need a few more friends. All she had here was Eryka," Viggo murmured. "She still has Gala, but they don't see each other as much since she moved to Shivering Shores Island a few years ago...”
“Besides that, we’ll make sure she’s well cared for,” Ryker said.
“I know this isn’t something one wants to talk about, but did Katja decide what classes she wanted to take at Archi Academy? The first day of school is September 6.” Hertha said.
“I think so? If memory serves, both Katja and Brynjar did right after learning they were going to be attending the Archi Academy. Might want to call the school and ask. I could be wrong,” Viggo said.
“Alright. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it. Have you called Brendan yet?” Hertha asked.
Viggo paled. “Oh shit. No. We’ve been so busy; it just slipped my mind!”
“Good luck,” Ryker said, knowing how Brendan was.
“Ryker, not funny!” Ryker laughed in the background, but Viggo could hear Hertha scolding him. That got him to laugh before hanging up. “Time to deal with Brendan...”
. . .
Brendan wasn’t mad. He was furious. He was so furious he said if he didn’t have practice or games, he’d be there with Brynjar beating the shit out of Dane. Fortunately for Viggo, their call ended quickly since Brendan had a game to get to. He was away for at least two more months, so he wouldn’t be able to come home for a while.
“I’ll have Katja call you soon, Brendan. She’s going to be staying with my brother for the time being, at least until we get all finished moving.” Viggo said before they hung up.
All Viggo heard was Brendan grunting. He took it as a sign for “Okay.” But he never knew with that man.
. . .
Following her release from the hospital about an hour later, Katja was told about the plan with her going to Archi Isle early. To everyone’s surprise, Katja was fine with the idea. She even admitted she wanted to get out of Hysteria, now.
Viggo called Colden again asking if he could help get Katja to Archi. Luckily, he was able to get his younger brother, Ander to go with Katja. Ander was about five years older than Katja, and she knew him. Ander was like an older brother to Katja, and she was comfortable with him.
Everyone piled into Brynjar’s car and headed to the Airport. Ander would meet them there. There wasn’t time to stop at the house to get a bag for Katja, but Hertha called during the ride saying once she picked Katja up they’d go shopping with Vera to find some comfortable clothing for Katja. The following day. It was going to be late when Katja arrived in Berk.
. . .
(Hysteria Airport; 10:45 pm)
Ander stood waiting at the Departure section for Katja. He also wasn’t sure what was going on, but he was worried. Katja was like a little sister to him, so he was worried. Their Flight was for 11:45, expecting to land in Archi Isle around 2:00 am.
He was about to call Viggo asking where they were then a car pulled up. When he saw Kelda climb out, he knew it was them. Viggo came out of the back seat followed by Katja. He knew something was wrong since she was keeping to herself. He didn’t want to push her to speak.
Ander walked over and shook hands with Viggo, “Thanks again for doing this Ander,”
“Not a problem. Uh, can I know what happen?” Ander asked,
Viggo sighed, “Short version, Katja was raped by her now ex-boyfriend, Dane,”
Ander’s eyes went wide. “What?!” Viggo nodded with grime.
“Yeah. Try to keep it down, Katja doesn’t want to talk about it. She’s been cleared by the doctor, but tests are still going, and the police are trying to track Dane,”
. . .
Brynjar flew to Archi Isle the day before Labor Day party was set to take place. He was able to get most of his packing finished, but there was still quite a bit. They were finished by the end of the day. Brynjar stayed with Ryker and Hertha like Katja, but he took the pull-out-couch in the living room, leaving Katja with the guest room. Ryker and Hertha also bought Katja a new phone, since her last one was destroyed by Dane.
During the neighborhood Labor Day weekend Party, Brynjar met some of the seniors and hung out with them. But he always kept an eye out for his sister. He was happy to see her laughing and having fun with Vera.
. . .
(Archi Academy, Archi Isle; September 6, 2016, 7:00 am)
Ryker pulled up to the drop-off point for the students and let Vera off. “I’m going to take Katja to the front office and take care of things, so you’ll see her later,”
“Alright, Dad. I’ll see you in a little bit Kat,” Vera said looking through the passenger window. Katja gave a small smile but said nothing.
Just as Ryker pulled away, Vera heard her name being called. She turned around and saw her friend and next-door neighbor, Heather Lanvirk. Behind her was her best friend/almost brother, Hiccup Haddock, and Astrid Hofferson.
Heather was Vera’s next-door neighbor and the younger sister of Dagur Lanvirk, member of the Archi Police Force. She has long dark brown, almost black hair, and green eyes. Her hair was normally tied in a low ponytail and kept over her shoulder. Like Vera, Heather was 16, Heather’s birth was April 23.
“Hey,” Vera said walking over. “Sorry for not being on the bus had something to take of at home.”
“Is everything alright?” Astrid Hofferson asked.
Astrid was the second oldest of the group; her birthday is March 4. Her blonde hair was in its normal French Braid and over her shoulder. Astrid’s parents were Colby and Alva Hofferson. Colby was part of the Berk Police Force as their Chief, and Alva was a doctor at the local hospital.
“Eh, so-so?” Vera said, or more like asked, using her hand to show the so-so part. “We had a family issue over the last week or so.”
“Is everything alright?” Hiccup Haddock, the leader of the “group” asked. Hiccup was also the oldest, being a February child–though technically he is the youngest being a Leap Year kid. He has auburn-brown hair and bright emerald green eyes, which sometimes made people think he and Heather were siblings. Hiccup was raised singlehanded by his mother, Valka Haddock, head veterinarian at Archi Animal Hospital.
“For now. My cousins are staying with us while my Uncle and Aunt are finishing the move,” Vera said as they made their way inside.
“Oh yeah, you mentioned that earlier this summer,” Heather said. “How are they since the move?”
“Brynjar is fine. He’s claimed his room of the house, Katja is slowly coming. She’s uh the reason why I was busy the last week of August to September,” Vera said.
“Is she alright?” Hiccup asked.
The group made it to the hallway where their lockers were located. They had yet to meet the rest of their group, but Hiccup got a text from his youngest cousin, Adelaide Jorgenson, saying they were running late and would catch up at either Free Period or Lunch Hour.
“In the middle. She’s dealing with personal things.” Vera said. “She’s going to see a therapist later this week to hopefully help her out some too. Mom is considering a Therapy Dog might help, but she’s going to wait and see what Aunt Kelda and the Therapist say first,”
“Hope she’s alright,” Astrid said, as she opened her locker and put some things into it.
“Thanks. You’ll see her later today, I don’t know what classes we have together, but we have Homeroom together,” Vera said.
Not long after Vera said that; the bell rang signaling all students to go to their Homerooms.
“Well, there’s the bell, see you guys!” Vera said waving her hand and then she and Hiccup headed off to their homeroom. Since their names were close together, Vera and Hiccup shared the same homeroom teacher, Mrs. Faye Campbell. Even though Astrid was with the H’s, Mrs. Campbell’s class only took the “Gr-” to “Ha” last names. Astrid was with Mr. Marcus Tyler.
. . .
(Front Office, Archi Academy; September 6, 2016, 7:30 am)
“Welcome to Archi Academy, Katja, and we hope you enjoy your time here,” the headmaster of the school, Cameron Hagebak, said with a smile. Cameron was a man in his middle forties with dark blonde hair and amber eyes; he was often guessed to be related to Astrid’s father, Colby. Sadly, they weren’t.
“Thank you,” Katja said softly and tightened the grip she had on her books.
Cameron smiled gently at her and led her and Ryker to the door. “Mrs. Mayden-Waterfield will take you to your first class, have a good day,” he said before shutting the door.
Once they were back in the office, Ryker placed a hand on her shoulder. “You’ll do fine. But, if you need anything or if anything is overwhelming, just give me a call. I’ve taken the next few days to do work from home, so I’ll come and get you if you need it,”
Katja smiled, “Thank you, Uncle Ryker,” she gave her uncle a hug.
Ryker smiled and let a woman take his place. She was the Vice Principal, Atali Mayden-Waterfield, a young woman with strawberry-blonde hair and green eyes. Atali was married to her high school sweetheart, Liam Waterfield, who was the co-CEO of a company with his older brother Jake.
Ryker waved as Atali carefully led Katja into the school. Katja turned around to face her uncle, and he gave her an encouraging smile. That seemed to help Katja, and Ryker was glad.
. . .
(Room 359, 7:50 am)
The first period for some students was Spanish 2B with Señorita Carina Tafalla. Carina was, according to most of the junior and seniors, the best Spanish Teacher at the school. They claim that she made it easier and more fun to understand.
Sitting in Señorita Tafalla’s class were two more of Vera’s friends, the twins, Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston. Being twins, the two looked very similar, blonde hair and blue eyes. They were part of the younger part of the group, their birthday falling in the beginning-middle of June on the 14th.
Even though they were crazy and insane most of the time, they did take their schooling seriously. Ruffnut wanted to be a doctor like their mother, Hazel, while Tuffnut was going to take after their father, Sharpnut, and take over the family business in designing.
Señorita Tafalla was going over the syllabus when there was a knock on her door. Everyone turned to see Vice Principal Atali Mayden-Waterfield entering the room with a girl by her side. The girl looked to be around Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s age, with short, black hair and dark purple streaks. But the thing that most stood out was her silver eyes. No one had seen eyes like that.
“Sorry for the interruption, Carina, but you have a new student. This is Katja Grimborn from Hysteria High School. She’ll be in your first period, Carina,”
Ruffnut and Tuffnut shared a look. Grimborn was not a common last name, and they only knew one other person in the whole school with that name; Vera. They’d have to ask Vera when they see her again.
“That’s fine, welcome Katja,” Carina said. Katja smiled but said nothing.
As Katja went to find a seat, Atali pulled Carina to the side and whispered something to her. Her expression changed but nodded an understanding.
Katja ended up getting the empty seat to Ruffnut’s left since Tuffnut was on her right. Ruffnut gave a smile, and Katja smiled back but remained quiet. Before leaving, Atali looked at Katja a look, and she smiled. Atali smiled and made her exit.
“Welcome to Spanish 2B, Señorita Grimborn. In this class, we greet one another using either Señorita or señor followed by the last name,” Carina explained handing Katja a syllabus for the class.
“I understand Señorita Tafalla,” Katja said softly.
. . .
During morning announcements, Ruffnut pulled her phone out and made a new Group Chat.
Ruff has added Hiccup , Astrid , Snot , Ade , Vera , Fish , and Tuff to the "THE GANG" CHAT.
Ruff, 8:10 am: Does anyone know a "Katja Grimborn"? She's in mine and Tuff's Spanish class.
Vera, 8:10 am: First, yes, I do. Second, why are you texting during announcements?
Ruff, 8:11 am: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hiccup, 8:11 am: Ruff...You know what, forget.
Astrid, 8:11 am: Hiccup, these are the Twins we're talking about.
Hiccup, 8:12 am: Don't remind me
Tuff, 8:13 am: Hey!
Fish, 8:13 am: Who's Katja Grimborn?
Vera, 8:13 am: Seriously? Guys. She has my last name.
Snot, 8:14 am: ...
Tuff, 8:14 am: ...
Ruff, 8:14 am: Wait...
Vera, 8:15 am: She's my cousin! Well, one of two of my cousins. Katja is my age.
Tuff, 8:16 am: Is she always quiet?
Vera, 8:16 am: ...For now yes. Don't ask more questions! And please, for the love of Odin, DO NOT FLIRT WITH HER SNOTLOUT. AND NO PRANKING RUFF AND TUFF.
Snot, 8:17 am: Oh, come on. That was one-time Vera!
Vera, 8:18 am: One time too many. Crap. Mr. Mildew is walking around. I gtg. Meet at Lunch!
Vera has signed off.
Hiccup, 8:19 am: Astrid and me need to go too. Mr. Mulch is looking at us.
Hiccup and Astrid have signed off.
Fish, 8:20 am: Yeah, we should too.
Fish has signed off.
Snot, 8:21 am: Eh.
Ruff, 8:22 am: Adios!
Tuff, 8:23 am: Bueno Dias!
Snot, Ruff, and Tuff have signed off.
Ade, 8:23 am: What did I just open to?
. . .
The bell rang signaling the end of the first period and giving everyone five minutes to get to their next class. Katja pulled out the map of the school, having gotten it from Principal Hagebak. He mapped out the best routes for her to each of her classes and did so in assorted colors. She also pulled out her class schedule to make sure she went in the right direction.
Blue Day (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
7:00 am to 7:25 am – Homeroom (Faye Campbell)
7:30 am to 8:25 am - Spanish 2B (Carina Tafalla)
8:30 am to 9:25 am - Algebra (Mildew Fungai)
9:30 am to 10:25 am - English 10 (Thyra Bernsen)
10:30 am to 11:25 am - Advanced Art (Faye Campbell)
11:30 am to 12:15 pm – Lunch
12:20 pm to 2:15 pm - Gym/Heath (Sven Silentson)
Green Day (Tuesday and Thursday)
7:00 am to 7:25 am – Homeroom (Faye Campbell)
7:30 am to 8:25 am - History (Mulch Farmer)
8:30 am to 9:25 am – Free Period (Alvin Trevor)
9:30 am to 10:25 am - Language Arts (Riley McCormick)
10:30 am to 11:25 am - Home Economics (Michelle Montez)
11:30 am to 12:15 pm – Lunch
12:20 to 2:15 – Science (Stefani Alverson)
“Algebra with a Mr. Mildew Fungai? What the heck?” Katja wondered before shrugging. She looked at the map and saw that her next class wasn’t far from her Spanish class. Just at the end of the hallway. When she arrived, there was no teacher, was Katja thought was odd but shrugged it off. She chose her seat, near the back but still where she could see and hear the board. As soon as she sat down, her phone went off.
Vera added Katja and Brynjar to the CHAT.
Vera, 8:26 am: Hey, Katja, Brynjar, how were your first classes?
Brynjar, 8:26 am: Boring as fuck.
Katja rolled her eyes at her brother's no-filter mouth. She swears he got it from their father.
Katja, 8:27 am: It was alright. Then again, it was just Spanish.
Vera, 8:27 am: Oh yeah, you might have met my friends, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, they have Spanish 2B with Mrs. Tafalla first class.
Brynjar, 8:28 am: Ruffnut, Tuffnut, what kind of names are those?
Katja, 8:28 am: Family names? Do they have blonde hair and blue eyes? One having dreadlocks?
Vera, 8:28 am: Yep. Well, Tuffnut has his in dreadlocks. He claims it's the style in this season or something.
Katja, 8:29 am: Then yes, I met them. I sit next to Ruffnut. What class are you in?
Vera, 8:29 am: I'm with Astrid in English, with Mr. Scott.
Brynjar, 8:29 am: Gym, and I seriously need to go.
Brynjar has signed off.
Before Katja could stay goodbye to Vera, the bell rang, and she quickly put her phone on silent and stuffed into her bag. Hopefully, Vera understood if she didn’t answer any more texts.
Katja found her teacher, Mildew Fungai, incredibly strange and a bit scary. Unlike her math class back on Hysteria, the desks were set up where there two desks in four columns. It was a bit strange, but she didn’t question it. She did find herself next to a girl with dark brown hair and green eyes.
. . .
Vera went to meet Hiccup at his fifth-period class, Advanced Art, with Faye Campbell. But when she got there, she was surprised to find him talking her cousin. Hiccup and Katja were talking to Mrs. Campbell about something, something that Vera couldn’t hear.
“I-Oh. Well, then, that’s one person I don’t have to introduce Katja to,” Vera said totally in shock to find her cousin talking to someone that wasn’t family.
Hiccup and Katja turned to see Vera, “Vera.” They said at the same time before looking at one another.
Vera smiled, “I guess you met Hiccup then, Kat,”
Katja smiled softly, “Yeah.”
“Hiccup, as you might have learned, this is Katja Grimborn, my cousin,” Vera said, “Katja, this is my friend Hiccup Haddock, and the “leader” of our group,”
“Nice to meet you, again,” Katja said with a giggle.
“You too,” Hiccup said, neither one bother to shake hands. Vera guessed they did it earlier or something.
“Did you bring lunch or you are planning on buying?” Vera asked as they made they’re to the cafeteria.
Hiccup scoffed, “After last time, Mom refuses to let my buy cafeteria food. We had leftover pizza, so I brought some,”
“Last time?” Katja asked softly.
“Yeah, last time Hiccup bought lunch, he ended up food poisoning. It wasn’t pretty. His mom almost sued the school because of that.” Vera said. “In the end, that told all of us to be careful with what we buy at school. The only time we do buy anything is vending machines.”
“Oh. Then to answer your question, Aunt Hertha made our lunches. Yours too, you ran out so fast you forgot to grab yours,” Katja said. “I have yours in my backpack.”
Vera grinned, “What did mom make?”
“Some form of sandwiches,” Katja shrugged.
“Neat. Oh, I should mention, you’ll be meeting a few more of mine and Hiccup’s friends. One of them is Hiccup’s cousin, Snotlout Jorgenson,”
“’Snotlout’?” Katja asked.
“Family name,” Hiccup said. “Or something,”
“Yep. Anyway, he has a bit of an ego issue, but he is protective when it involves family. He’s part of the ‘older’ part of the gang; his birthday is on May 19, just a couple of weeks before yours really,” Vera explained.
“Her birthday is in June?” Hiccup asked, cutting into Vera’s explanation.
Vera smiled, “Yep. June 4th. Katja was due like four weeks later, but she came early,” Vera smiling as Katja blushed red.
“Anyway~ Snotlout also has a little sister named Adelaide, she’s a freshman so you’ll probably meet her too,” Vera said.
“Alright,” Katja said. “Anyone else?”
“Fishlegs Ingerman,” Hiccup pointed.
“Oh right! He’s around Hiccup in terms of smartness,” Vera said snapping her fingers.
“Hey.” Hiccup said sending Vera a look.
“It’s true,” Vera shrugged. “Anyway, he’s on the soft-spoken side, and he tends to be the voice of reason.”
“Especially if it involves the twins and Snotlout doing something stupid,” Hiccup muttered.
Vera nodded, “Got that right. He’s the second youngest; his birthday is December 14th. But, if you think about it, I’m the youngest, since I’m December 28th.”
“How is he in 10th grade then?” Katja asked.
“He skipped a year, same as Vera,” Hiccup said, “He joined us in second grade, Vera skipped Kindergarten,”
“Yup! Oh, and Fishlegs has a super duper major crush on Hiccup’s best friend,”
Katja was confused while Hiccup chuckled. “Who?”
“Heather Lanvirk,” Vera said, “Dark brown almost black hair and green eyes. Honestly, she could be Hiccup’s twin,”
“Wait, I think I met her or saw her,” Katja said. “In my Algebra class with... Mr. Fungai. We share a table,”
“Huh, what do you know,” Vera said. “And here we are. Mind yourself; there are some annoying upperclassmen here. Actually, Hiccup can you walk behind Katja?”
“Uh, sure?” Hiccup was very much confused but missed the grateful look Katja sent to her cousin.
Though he wasn’t sure why Vera was asking him to talk behind Katja, he didn’t question it. He moved behind Katja as Vera stayed in front. Katja couldn’t help but notice the looks many upperclassmen were making, and at her. And it freaked her out. Vera moved her hand behind and grabbed Katja’s, which made her feel better.
Vera sped walked to the other side of the cafeteria where Katja noticed a large round table that was already holding seven people. Three chairs were not occupied, so she guessed they were for Vera, Hiccup, and Her.
“Vera!” Katja saw the dark brown-haired girl–Heather–waving her hand.
“Hey,” Vera said, “Guys, this is my cousin, Katja. Katja, this is the gang. Adelaide Jorgenson, Snotlout’s sister, and Hiccup’s youngest cousin, Fishlegs Ingerman, Snotlout Jorgenson, Tuffnut Thorston, Astrid Hofferson, and Heather Lanvirk,” Vera introduced going around.
“Hey,” everyone said.
“Hey again,” Heather said.
“Hi,” Katja said taking the empty seat next to Heather, Vera sat right next to her. She pulled her lunch and Vera’s out and handed her cousin her lunch.
“Again?” Astrid asked, wondering why Heather said, ‘Hey again.’
“Katja and I share Mr. Fungai for Algebra,” Heather explained.
“Mr. Fungai is just one weird person,” Astrid admitted. “I had him last year for Math 9, and it was weird,”
“He is,” Katja said, swallowing her bit of sandwich. “Is he always so...”
“Annoying?” Snotlout asked.
“Mean?” Tuffnut added.
“Thinks he’s the boss of everyone?” Hiccup asked, and at Katja’s nod, he sighed, “Yep. He really hates me for some reason. No idea why.”
“Do you think it might be because of your dad?” Adelaide asked, noticing how Hiccup sucked his breath, “I didn’t mean to bring up, but it was an idea...Sorry,”
“It’s fine, even though it’s been over fifteen years, it still hurts.” Hiccup said.
“Huh?” Katja asked.
“My dad died months before I was born,” Hiccup said, “He was killed while protecting people. He was helping a woman when her ex-husband pulled a gun out. Dad stepped in front of her and took the shot. The woman still feels bad even though it was years ago,”
Katja felt bad for Hiccup. Eryka lost her mother the same way, protecting and saving people.
“While I can’t understand how it feels personally,” Katja said making everyone look at her, “I have a friend who lost her mother the same way, protecting and saving people. She was a firefighter,”
“Who was the mother?” Astrid asked.
“Kaira Andersen, she was the Chief of Hysteria Fire Department 111,” Katja answered.
Heather snapped her fingers, “I remember now. Kaira Andersen saved a group of children from a burning house, she managed to get the children out, but then a beam fell on her,”
“Yeah, her daughter and husband were sad for losing Kaira. Dylan had to raise Eryka alone,” Katja said.
“Dylan is Kaira’s husband, and their daughter is named Eryka, she’s Katja’s best friend back in Hysteria,” Vera said.
“Oh, wow,” Adelaide said.
The rest of lunch went on, no one talking about either incident, Hiccup’s father, and Katja’s friend’s mother. They just started talking about how Katja liked Archi Isle and how the move was. The cousins were able to talk about some things, but not everything.
Near the end of lunch, Fishlegs noticed someone making their over to their table. “Uh, why are those seniors coming to us?” he asked, pointing behind Hiccup, Vera, Katja, and Heather.
Vera turned around and saw that it was Brynjar with a few others. The others were Axel Becker, captain of the Boys Soccer team, and Rolf Krum, captain of the Boys’ Basketball team. With how sporty Brynjar is, Vera wasn’t surprised to see him befriend those two.
Vera turned back to finish her lunch, “Oh, that’s just Katja’s older brother, Brynjar. He’s a senior.” Vera said, “He’s just checking up on Katja.”
That statement made the others wonder why sure it was a sibling thing. But, was there more to it?
“How are you doing?” Brynjar asked kneeling next to his sister while his friends joked around.
“Good,” Katja said with a smile. Brynjar was surprised to see her smiling but was happy.
“Did you make some friends?”
“Yeah. Well, they’re Vera’s friends, but I guess me by association or something?” Katja wasn’t sure.
Brynjar chuckled, “That’s fine. Oh, I won’t be able to take you home today. I want to try out for the football team, so the Coach is letting me try out this afternoon. I’ll be home later,”
“No worries, we can take the bus,” Vera said.
“Good luck trying out,” Adelaide said making Brynjar face her, “Our Dad is the coach,” she said pointing to herself and Snotlout. “He looks for the best of the best,”
Brynjar grinned but said nothing.
“Coach Jorgenson will be pleased then,” Vera said, causing everyone to look at her in confusion, “You guys are looking at the former Hysteria High School Football Captain since Freshmen year,”
Everyone’s mouths dropped. They had heard rumors about a freshman becoming captain, but to meet him?! Holy cow!
Betaed by Nightstar Fury.
(Classroom 200, Archi Academy - September 6, 2016, 10:26 am)
When Hiccup arrived at his Advanced Art class, he didn’t expect to see his homeroom teacher, Mrs. Campbell as the teacher. Mrs. Faye Campbell was new to Archi Academy this year, having replaced one of the older teachers who finally retired after almost twenty-five years working at the academy. Then again, he wasn’t expecting to see a new girl standing by Mrs. Campbell talking to her.
“Hello, Hiccup,” Mrs. Campbell said surprising the teen. “Have a seat, I’m going to wait for the rest of the class to come before introducing our new student,”
Hiccup noticed the girl blush and hid behind her hair. He had to admit, she was very pretty and cute. Her silver eyes really stuck out to him and stood out against her black-and-purple-highlighted hair. He shook his head and moved to pick his seat.
Hiccup had been sitting at his table for about a minute when he felt his phone vibrate. Seeing as the class didn’t start for another three minutes, he took it out.
Heather, 10:26 am: What’s your fifth class and you with anybody?
Hiccup, 10:25 am: Advanced Art. And no one I know. You know I’m the only artistic one of the group. Who do you have right now and with whom?
Heather, 10:27 am: Oh yeah. History with Astrid and Ruffnut; Mr. Farmer.
Hiccup, 10:28 am: Ah, ok.
Heather, 10:29 am: Yep. See ya at lunch!
Hiccup chuckled at his best friend. But, he too put his phone away. Good timing too, because just as he put it on silent and put away, the bell rang. He looked around and saw about twenty or so students, at least four per art table. Yet, there was only one other person at his.
Mrs. Campbell clapped her hands, “Welcome students to Advanced Art! For those that do not know me, my name is Faye Campbell and your new Advanced Art Teacher. Yes, I have replaced Mr. Long after his long 25-years teaching and he will be missed. Now, before we begin, I’d like to introduce a new student. This is Katja Grimborn, and she’s come from Hysteria High School. Let’s make sure she’s treated fairly,”
Hiccup perked up, a bit. Vera mentioned that her cousin Katja was coming. He didn’t expect her to be in his art class.
Mrs. Campbell looked around before her eyes landed on Hiccup and Lucas’ table. “Ah. You can sit with Hiccup and Lucas. Boys, wave your hand so Miss Katja can see,”
Hiccup and Lucas looked at one another but did as the teacher asked. Katja quickly made her way over to them and chose the right side of Hiccup. It was the one right next to a wall. Hiccup was in the bottom, while Lukacs was to the left. The top was clear of anything, so they could see Mrs. Campbell.
“Alright everyone,” Mrs. Campbell said before going over the syllabus for the class. “For today, I just want you to draw what makes you happy. From there, we’ll work on something else,” she said walking around and passing out sketchbooks with a cover that has the Archi Academy logo.
Hiccup knew exactly what he was drawing. His cat, Toothless. Some thought it was strange he named a full-teeth feline Toothless. The story is that when Hiccup found Toothless, he was a baby and had zero teeth and the name fit. Of course, as he got older his teeth came in. But, the name was stuck. Toothless would be two this December. Neither Hiccup or his mother, Dr. Valka Haddock, knew Toothless’ exact birthday, so they just picked the day they found him, December 18th.
“What are you drawing?” a soft voice asked.
Hiccup looked up to see that it was Katja asking. “Oh, I’m drawing my cat, Toothless,” Katja gave a confused look, so Hiccup told her the story.
“That’s sweet,” Katja said.
“Thanks, what are you drawing?” Hiccup asked.
“I haven’t the idea,” Katja said.
“Well, what makes you really happy?” Hiccup asked, still working on Toothless as he talked.
“Well, my family,” Katja said.
“Why not draw something that represents family to you?” Hiccup said, “You’re not entirely drawing humans, but do things that remind you of your family?”
“That might work, thanks,” Katja said softly.
The rest of the class went on. About twenty minutes later, Mrs. Campbell had everyone stop drawing. Going by the table, she had everyone talk about what they drew. Hiccup’s table was chosen to go first. Lucas talked about his aunt, who took him in after his mother died and father abandoned him. She raised him as her own and he is forever grateful for her. His aunt makes him happy.
Hiccup went next and talked about Toothless. He also mentioned a bit on his mother. She did everything for him. Sure, she was in the middle of career when he was born, but she didn’t give up on him. She pushed and it’s thanks to her that he’s here today. Many knew about Hiccup’s father, former Chief Stoick Haddock. He was well known in Archi Isle and his death was hard to handle. Despite him being gone, the police have worked on limiting domestic violence, and Grant Hofferson is doing a wonderful job as Chief.
“Katja, your turn,” Mrs. Campbell said.
Katja got nervous, she didn’t think she’d have to speak in this class. Hiccup patted her hand and sent a smile, which helped her remain calm.
“I-I drew things that represented my family,” Katja said, and showed the pictures. “I’ve been close to my family since I was born. My brother means everything to me and is very protective. They’ve been there for everything including when we had to move. My cousin Vera loves to talk but is able to help me think of other things,” Katja explained. “And, my littler cousin, Agnar, well he’s a pain at times, but he means well. If even if does annoy Vera.”
Most of the students as older or younger siblings understood and laughed.
“Nicely done,” Mrs. Campbell said and moved to the next table.
Katja took a deep breath. She hated speaking in front of people, but Hiccup being there made it easier. She had no idea why though. Suddenly, she felt a tap on her hand. She looked up and saw Hiccup passing her a note. She quickly took it before Mrs. Campbell could see it.
“Nice job, that was really good. :) – HHH3”
Katja turned pink. No one outside of family ever said something that to her. Not even Dane. She sent Hiccup a small smile.
The rest of their class went on. Each table was instructed to draw something that made them think about home. It was their first group project, but they were able to come up with things. The project was due at the end of the week and they would be given time during class to work on it.
Fifteen minutes before class was to end, Mrs. Campbell had them all stop drawing and put their things in the class drawers. Following clean up, she let everyone talk among themselves while she went to the copier room to make copies for her next class.
“Hey,” Hiccup said and Katja looked up in confusion.
“Hi,” she whispered.
“Based on your last name, you’re Vera’s cousin?”
Katja nodded, “Yeah.”
“Well, welcome to Archi Academy.” Hiccup said with a smile, it made Katja smile back. Something about Hiccup made her feel safe. She didn’t know what it was. But, she liked it.
“Thanks,” Katja said. “It’s a nice school. Bigger than my old one.”
“Archi has students from far cities and some islands coming here.” Hiccup explained, “They have dorms for students that live on the farther islands like Quiet Isles for example, so they can stay for the week. On Fridays, they take a ferry or plane, back to their islands. They spend the weekend and come back Sunday. Though, most don’t do it and just stay for the school year. Or, families just move to Archi Isle for good and use their former islands as vacation spots. Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Fishlegs’ families do that.”
“What about you?” Katja asked.
Hiccup blinked, “Me?”
Katja nodded, “What about you? Anything,”
“Oh, well then. My parents are from Berk but moved when Mom got a job offer. A few months later, Mom got pregnant with me. It wasn’t the best time, but they loved it. Mom was about seven months in when...when Dad was killed. I ended up being born two months early because of the stress mom went through with everything. Uncle Gobber, he was Dad’s best friend back on Berk, moved to Archi with us to help Mom out. He may be strange, but he’s helped us more times than I count. He lives in an apartment now after helping Mom when she was on leave with me. He comes over every weekend, so I still see him,”
“I’m sorry to hear about your dad,” Katja said. Before she could speak again, the bell rang signaling it was Lunch Time.
“Thanks. Hey, do you want to sit with me and my friends? Vera will be there too,” Hiccup asked.
Katja thought about it, but then smiled, “Sure, thanks,”
. . .
When class ended, Katja was surprised to see Vera coming by. She didn’t expect her cousin to come by. But, she later learned that she was meeting Hiccup.
At lunch, Katja met the rest of Vera’s friends. Brynjar came by to check up on her, which she was fine with. After what happened, she wouldn’t blame him for worrying about her. She did learn that he was going to try out for the team that afternoon, so he wouldn’t be able to drive her and Vera back to Ryker and Hertha’s place. She was fine with it and Vera said they could ride the bus.
“I could give you guys a lift too,” Hiccup said once Brynjar left with Rolf and Axel.
“You can?” Katja asked.
“Hiccup is the first and only one to have his license. He got when he was fifteen and nine months,” Heather explained, “With his mom working all the time, she had to make sure he could get somewhere. He passed the tests and got his license a few months later. Just this past month did he the official one where he can drive anyone.”
“I’ll hold on you to that, Hiccup,” Vera said.
“Who do you have for last class, Katja?” Heather asked.
“Uh,” Katja pulled her class schedule out of her backpack, “I have Gym/Health with Mr. Sven Silentson...?”
“Huh, so do we,” Heather said, pointing to Hiccup, Astrid, Vera, Tuffnut, Fishlegs, and Ruffnut. “Not the same teacher, but Gym/Health.”
Katja smiled, happy to know some people in her next class.
“What about your Green Day classes?” Fishlegs asked.
Katja looked at her schedule again, “First with History with Mr. Mulch Farmer, second with Free Period with Mr. Alvin Holgerson, third with Language Arts with uh Riley McCormick?”
“Mrs. McCormick is a good teacher,” Hiccup said. “I had her last year,”
“Mr. Holgerson is the father of one of my other friends,” Vera added. “She’s not here today, she is on Outcast Island for another day. Something about family stuff. You’ll meet her later,”
Katja nodded in understanding and went back to listing her classes, “Fourth with Home Economics with Kallan Johannsson, Lunch, and fifth is Science with Mrs. Stefani Alverson,”
“Hey, you have all of Hiccup’s Green Day classes,” Vera said with a smile. “We have some of the classes, but different teachers,”
“I do?” Katja asked in shock.
“Yep. I have all those classes,” Hiccup said and pulled his schedule out to show her.
Katja looked at it and sure enough, Green Day classes, all the same as hers.
“Awesome!” Vera said clapping. “Hiccup, you’re in charge of helping Katja. I don’t have any of her classes, except lunch but that’s not a class, so I want her to be safe!”
Heather leaned over and looked at the list, “Hey, I have those same teachers and classes.” She said, surprised to find someone with her exact schedule.
Katja looked at Heather and the dark-haired girl pulled her class schedule and sure enough, she had the same classes for Green Day. The silver-eyed girl smiled, happy to now know three people for her Green Day classes.
“OK, now Heather and Hiccup can both help you,” Vera said with a grin. “I don’t have to worry and neither does Brynjar!”
Katja giggled while Hiccup rolled his eyes. Before anyone could say something else, the bell rang signaling for them to go to their next and final class of the day.
“Let’s head to Gym,” Hiccup said standing up and offering his hand to Katja.
Katja smiled and took his hand.
Vera watched the two with interest. She’d honestly didn’t think Katja would get as close to any male again after what happened. She was surprised to see Katja getting along with Hiccup so quick.
. . .
(Gym, Archi Academy - September 6, 2016, 12:22 pm)
“Welcome to Gym class Freshmen!” a tall muscular man with dark hair and eyes said standing in front. “My name is Coach Spitelout Jorgenson! Many might know me from other siblings, yes, I am the Football coach as well as one of the four gym teachers,”
By now, three other teachers walked out. A female and two males. “Coach Ariadne Ralph,” Coach Jorgenson said as the female with reddish-brown hair pulled back into a high ponytail and amber eyes stepped forward. “She is the coach for the Girls’ Soccer Team.”
Walking to stand next to Ariadne was a bald tall and muscular man with a mustache walked up.
“Mr. Sven Silentson,” Jorgenson continued. “Don’t let his name fool you. He is nowhere near silent.”
Katja gulped, Mr. Silentson scared her...She wondered if she could change teachers...
“Here is Coach Ragnar Haugen,” the last, another tall and muscular man with dark chestnut brown and green eyes stepped forward, “And the Boys’ Basketball coach. Your class lists will tell who you have for your teacher. Gym clothes must be a gray or red t-shirt and black shorts. Tennis shoes are a must as well. If you take medication for anything, bring a doctor’s note in and we can talk privately then.”
Ariadne walked forward, “Gym class this year is mostly the same, involving warm-ups. Once you are changed, you come to the gym and do four laps around the court. Once you are done, you do leg warmups and then sit where your teacher is assigned. When the second bell rings, we’ll begin class. Since it’s only the first day. We’ll let you talk among your friends for the remainder of the class. Those that wish to play some, we brought the basketballs out.”
Mr. Silentson went into the storage closet and came out pushing a rack of basketballs. Immediately most of the guys raced to get the ball.
Hiccup, Vera, Heather, and Astrid all stayed near one another while Katja went up to talk to Coach Ralph. Hiccup was going to ask Katja a question when he noticed her not where she was before.
“She went to talk with Mrs. Ralph,” Vera said not looking up from her phone. “It’s nothing about you guys. It’s a personal issue.”
“Is Katja alright?” Heather asked.
“She’s getting better,” Vera said. “Our family is working on it so don’t worry.” Vera sent a smile.
He knew he should trust Vera, she’s Katja’s cousin for crying out loud. Hiccup felt something else was going on
. . .
“You want to switch Gym teachers?” Ariadne asked, confused.
Katja nodded, “I don’t know if my Counselor told you about anything...”
“Wait, let’s speak about this in my office,” Mrs. Ralph said. “Is there someone you need to notify?”
Katja turned to look at Vera, and thankfully her cousin was looking her way. Katja motioned to Mrs. Ralph and her cousin gave a big smile and a thumbs up.
“Vera Grimborn is my cousin,” Katja said.
“Ah. Alright. We won’t be long,” Katja waved to Vera and held up a five-minute symbol with her hand. Vera nodded.
Kata followed Coach Ralph into the Girls’ Locker room and into her office. Katja got a glance at the locker rooms and wasn’t very shocked to see them exactly as back at Hysteria High School. Coach Ralph sat behind her desk while Katja sat in the chair in front. “So, why is it you want to change teachers? Who is your current one?”
“I have Mr. Sven Silentson. I don’t know if anyone told you, but I was raped by my ex-boyfriend. Some males, scare me. I feel more comfortable with a female teacher,” Katja explained.
“Ah. I see,” Coach Ralph said. “Well. My list is full, but I’m sure if I talked to the others we can switch you and another student. We’ll have to talk to the Headmaster first to make sure it’s ok. But I’m sure we can switch you and another student. How does that sound?”
“Great. Thanks so much,” Katja said with a smile.
. . .
“Well, what was that about?” Vera asked when Katja came back.
“Just asked if I could change Gym teachers. Coach Ralph is going to talk to the Headmaster and others to see if they can switch me with another student,” Katja said.
“Awesome,” Vera said. Out of the corner of her eyes, she could see her friends getting curious. When Katja turned around when a female classmate asked her something, Vera turned to her friends and shook her head no and mouthed, “Not now.”
No one mentioned after thing after that.
. . .
At 2:20 the bell rang for the end of school. No one had anything in their lockers, so they just head out.
“What are we doing after school?” Heather asked as they made their way to the parking lot and Bus Lot. The buses were set to leave the school at 2:35, so they had some time.
“How about we go to the Arcade?” Hiccup suggested, “No one has homework.”
“Works for me, I’ll have to let my parents know first,” Vera said. “I might have to take Agnar, but if we leave earlier enough, I can escape him. I think Dad will be fine. He might be able to drive some of us too.”
“Dagur is off work today so he can take some of us too,” Heather added. “And Hiccup can bring a few too.”
“I can take four,” Hiccup said. “I’ll take Addie and Snotlout, since Uncle Spitelout only trusts me to drive Addie around.”
“True!” Adelaide said surprising Hiccup by jumping on his back, thankfully, he was able to catch her.
“He’s not wrong,” Snotlout muttered.
“OK!” Heather said, “Let’s all ask our parents if we can hang at the Arcade. We can go to the Pizza Parlor after for dinner, sound good?”
“Awesome!” Vera shouted for her and Katja.
“Yep,” the three cousins said.
“Let’s do it!” the twins said.
“Uh sure?” Fishlegs asked.
. . .
(Ryker and Hertha Grimborn’s House, 2:45 pm)
“Mom, Dad, Katja and I are back! Brynjar stayed after to try out for the Football team!” Vera yelled walking into the house and entering the Great Room with Katja right behind her.
Ryker came out of the kitchen, “You just missed your mother. She went out to check on Viggo and Kelda’s house. They just called saying they were going to be late, something came up at Kelda’s old work.”
“Ah, ok,” Vera said throwing her backpack on the couch. Ryker gave her a look and Vera groaned. “Dad, I’ll take it into my room in a little bit, promise.”
“Why did you come screaming into the house?” Ryker asked, leaning against the wall.
“Oh! We have no homework today so can Katja and I join my friends at the Arcade? We’re planning on getting pizza after. Dagur can drive us in if we have to.” Vera asked. “And do I have to take Agnar?”
Ryker chuckled, “You don’t have to take Agnar, he’s staying over at a friend’s house this afternoon, so you’ll be fine. And I don’t see why not, you can show Katja the town as well. But, be back before 9, it is a school night.”
Vera giggled, “Of course!”
“I’m going to take my things to my room. I’ll be down soon,” Katja said.
“Will do! Oh, can you drop mine in my hallway?” Vera asked handing Katja her backpack.
“Thanks, Cuz!” Vera said with a smile.
Ryker and Vera watched as Katja went down the hallway that had Vera and Angar’s rooms, go into Vera’s and then exit soon after. As soon as Katja was heading up the stairs, Ryker gave Vera a look. Vera nodded in understanding. She knew what it meant. Ryker pulled out some money for Vera to use at the Arcade and to pay for Pizza later.
“I’m going to my office, I have a bunch of papers to work on,” Ryker said. “I’ll see you, girls, later tonight or tomorrow morning,”
“Alright, Dad. See you later,” Vera said pulling out her phone.
. . .
Vera, 2:50 pm: Dad says OK for me and Katja! We just gotta be home by 9. And no Agnar!
Heather, 2:50 pm: Dagur is going to join us at the arcade, he can’t say no. He can give you and Katja a ride to and from if you want?
Ruff, 2:51 pm: Ma and Pa said it’s ok for Tuff and me. But, they want us to take our cousin Gruffnut.
Snot, 2:52 pm: Mom and Dad gave the ok for us and Aunt Valka says it’s ok for Hiccup. He’s driving so can’t talk.
Snot, 2:52 pm: Gruffnut is coming. Cool!
Astrid, 2:53 pm: Mom and Dad say it’s good for me to come. Gruffnut? Isn’t he your cousin that annoyed Hiccup to days end. And it takes a long time for Hiccup to get annoyed.
Adelaide, 5:34: Wasn’t Gruffnut kicked out at Berk High School because he was in a gang and/or doing something?
Ruffnut, 2:54 pm: Sadly. Aunt Spearnut wouldn’t let him sit around. So, she sent him over here. We just learned this today. Mom wasn’t all happy.
Tuffnut, 2:54 pm: Dad knew and didn’t tell mom. He’s in the doghouse tonight.
Ruffnut, 2:54 pm: We’ll try to keep Gruff away from Hiccup but no promises. Mom says we can’t go unless we take him. Agnut can’t help since she’s attending college at BU (Berk University).
Adelaide, 2:55 pm: This is Hiccup talking: “Just keep him away from me and I’m good.”
Vera, 2:55 pm: Keep his ass away from me and Katja! Katja doesn’t need him near her. Heather, does Dagur mind playing Bodyguard from a distance? Oh yeah, we’ll take your offer on that ride too Heather. Thanks! :D
Heather, 2:55 pm: I can ask him.
Heather, 2:55 pm: He says he doesn’t mind. If it’s helping someone he’s good. Oh, we’re outside too!
. . .
“Vera, ready,” Katja said coming down the stairs.
“Awesome. Heather and her brother are going to take us there. Don’t worry, Dagur is cool. He is protective over Heather but that’s just sibling stuff, ya know,”
Katja nodded. She was a bit worried about meeting Dagur, but she hoped it was alright.
“Oh, there are times when Dagur has what you might call “deranged” tendencies. It’s usually when someone might hurt Heather. He’s just being a protective older brother,” Vera shrugged and that didn’t help Katja.
Katja pulled her phone when she felt it vibrate and saw it was a message from Brynjar. She started to text him and tell him of her nightly plans.
Five minutes later, Katja jumped when Vera screamed, “Bye Dad! Heather and Dagur are here!”
“Have fun and keep together!” Ryker called from his office.
. . .
“Hey,” Heather said popping her head out of the passenger seat of Dagur’s Honda Civic as Vera and Katja exited the house.
“Hey Heather, hi Dagur!”
A tall, muscular redhead waved. Katja stopped. She didn’t expect Dagur to look well how he did. She was picturing someone taller and maybe more deranged as Vera put it.
Vera climbed into the back behind Dagur leaving the back-passenger seat for Katja, “Dagur, this is my cousin, Katja. Katja, this is Heather’s brother, Dagur. He’s in the Archi Police force too,”
“Yo,” Dagur said.
“Hi,” Katja said softly. She was surprised at how she wasn’t scared about Dagur. Sure, he was tall...like Dane...but his expression was what took the cake for her.
“We all ready?” Dagur asked looking in his rearview mirror.
Katja nodded while Vera smiled, “Yep! Archian Arcade, here we come!”
. . .
The Grimborns and Lanvirks were the last to arrive. Hiccup and the Jorgensons siblings were there along with Astrid, the twins, Fishlegs, and someone that looked like Tuffnut but wasn’t. Katja did notice how Hiccup was being as far as he could from the Tuffnut-look alike.
“Who’s that?” Katja asked as Dagur parked and everyone started to climb out.
“Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s cousin, Gruffnut. Their father, Sharpnut, is the brother of Gruffnut’s mother, Spearnut. The nut is a family name of sorts,” Vera explained. Before Katja could say something, Vera spoke again, “Just stay nearby me. Just anyone besides Gruffnut, he’s bad news,” Vera whispered.
Katja was a little scared now, so she moved closer to Vera.
“Hey guys, sorry we’re late,” Heather said.
“No worries. We’ve only been waiting for about five or so minutes,” Hiccup said. “Ready to play some games? I asked the staff and they just got Dragon Rider installed,”
Katja grinned, “I know that game! “When everyone looked at her, she blushed. “I uh play it all the time. Or I did.”
Vera smiled, remembering, “Oh yeah. Katja is a beast at the game. She’s the champion in our house. Our parents play it too. Every weekend, my parents, Agnar, and I would either go to Hysteria or they come down and we spend the weekend together. It was fun. But Katja is the best player out of us all.”
“Hiccup plays all the time,” Heather grinned patting her best friend, “Out of us all, he’s the Ace.”
Hiccup shrugged. “Who’s your character?”
Katja blushed, “Silje Moonspear. The name was random,”
Hiccup stared at her in shock. Silje Moonspear was the name of the player he was crushing on. The only person that knew was Heather because she was over at his house a lot. Heather gave him a look, but he shook his head. He didn’t want to start anything, not now anyway.
“What is everyone’s name?” Vera asked.
“Fjalar Ryder,” Hiccup said with a shrug. Katja recognized the name, that meant Hiccup was her questing partner.
“Rhea Skythorn,” Ruffnut added. “Is my name. Tuffnut is Theo Skythorn,”
“Mivia Blade,” Heather said.
“Qeraura Bringer,” Astrid said.
“Teasa Nightshade,” Adelaide said. “Hiccup picked it out for me.” She said with a smile. “And I like it.”
“Rhedris Nightshade is my Dragon Riders’ name.” Snotlout said.
“Aseassa Dawnthorn is me,” Vera said.
“Fletcher Sunhaven,” Fishlegs said.
“Eh,” Gruffnut said.
“Yeah, I don’t play,” Dagur said. “You kids have fun. Lemme know when you wanna head home. I’m going to the sports side. Later!”
“Bye!” Heather waved her brother, “Alright. Let’s go!”
Ruffnut turned to her cousin, “You stay out of trouble. If you get kicked out I have to come finds out. Don’t ruin this for us!”
Gruffnut rolled his eyes but followed his lame cousins into the arcade. His eyes went right to Katja who was staying near Vera and Heather. He didn’t know, but something about her was interesting to him.
. . .
Everyone had to take turns for Dragon Rider. The arcade only had four and one was being used by someone when they went to it. Everyone either paired with someone or went as a trio. Heather went with Vera and Adelaide, Astrid with Ruffnut and Fishlegs, and Tuffnut with Gruffnut and Snotlout (Gruffnut was with his cousin only so he was kept an eye on). That left Hiccup and Katja alone.
Heather’s group went first, so everyone else went to do other games. An hour later, they were finished giving Astrid’s group a chance. Hiccup and Katja opted to go last, so they spent the time going around the arcade. “Want to do skee ball?”
“I’ve never played it. I’ve heard of it, but never actually did it,” Katja said.
Hiccup smiled, “Come on, I’ll show you,” he held his hand out for her, and without hesitation, Katja took it. She didn’t understand why she felt very safe near Hiccup. It confused her a lot.
. . .
As it neared 5:00, Vera went to look for her cousin. She hadn’t seen her, or Hiccup come to play Dragon Riders yet and honestly, it worried her. She trusted Hiccup 100% but after what Katja went through, Vera couldn’t help but worry.
When Vera walked to the sports side of the Arcade, she found Dagur leaning against the wall. Confused, she looked to where Dagur was looking and her eyes widened at the sight.
Hiccup and Katja were at one of the basketball games, and Hiccup was teaching Katja how to shoot a basket. Honestly, it was a cute thing to see. Vera pulled her phone out and snapped a quick picture. She didn’t know why she did it, but something told her to do it.
“How long have they’ve been here?” Vera asked Dagur.
“Eh, 10 or 20 minutes, at least. I left to use the bathroom and to get a snack and came back to find them here,” Dagur explained.
“Hey, did something happen to Katja? She’s nervous around some people and hates being alone or having her back not covered by someone,” Dagur said. He glanced to Vera. “A police cop does know some things,”
Vera sighed, “Yeah. Something did, but it’s not my place to say what happened,”
“Gotcha,” Dagur said.
Vera and Dagur watched Hiccup helped Katja understand the game, not playing the actual game basketball but just helping her learn to shoot a basket. She missed every time but finally, she managed to get a basket.
Katja let out a cheer and hugged Hiccup, surprising him. Katja realized what she was doing and quickly pulled away.
“Hey,” Dagur said, scaring Vera, walking toward Hiccup and Katja, “It’s your guys’ turn for Dragon Riders. Afterward, I think everyone is thinking about getting pizza,”
“R-Right,” Hiccup said.
“Okay,” Katja added.
Vera watched as the two left the sports side. Katja was blushing red. The last time she saw her cousin blush, was before she started Dane...And that was confusing... Vera was confused with what was happening. Katja and Hiccup only knew each other for a few hours.
Vera shook her head, deciding to worry about all that, later.
. . .
Just like Vera said, Katja was a beast at Dragon Riders. She and Hiccup teamed up for all the questing and leveled up a ton of times. It left everyone in the arcade in awe. Hiccup and Katja ended up playing for almost two hours, no one minded. They were all too into watching them play anyway.
“After it!” Hiccup commanded. The Titan Wing Changewing let out a roar at Hiccup’s character, Fjalar, along with Katja’s character, Silje. Hiccup’s character was riding his Night Fury, Dusk, while Katja was on her Razorwhip, Sharpclaw.
Fjalar was designed very much like Hiccup himself, but with black hair rather than Auburn, he still had the green eyes and twig-body. But, was much taller. Silje, on the other hand, was very much like Katja, black hair, and gray eyes, but instead of purple streaks, she had red. Her body structure was the same as her creator.
Fjalar and Silje’s quest instructed them to chase down a Changewing pack that was terrorizing the village of Northammer. The attacks from the pack had lasted a week when they got the quest. Now, the two Riders and dragons were chasing the Changewings. They did not know about the leader of the pack being a Titan Wing.
“Dodge!” Katja cried and the two dragons quickly dodge the Titan Wing’s acid spit. “We can’t hurt it, we might just have to chase it away or lead it to a new home,”
Fjalar nodded. “That’s the safest thing to do,”
“I’ll get its attention with Sharpclaw, then you come around with Dusk, and give it a light Plasma Blast. It should then follow you, maybe,” Silje said.
“We can only hope. We have until Nightfall today to get this quest finished,”
Though it took some extra time, the plan did work and Fjalar and Silje were able to turn the quest in with adjust a minute to spare. The leader of Northammer was very grateful for their help, he gave them extra gold for their journey.
. . .
Once they turned the quest in, Hiccup and Katja called it the end. They saved their information before logging off the game system. In total, they had played for almost two hours, having started around 5:00 and seeing it was almost 7:00.
When they pulled the virtual reality headsets off, they were shocked to see a crowd around them. Sure, they expected their friends, but other people?
“Uh, what?” Katja got out.
Vera helped her out of the seat as Hiccup climbed out himself, “You guys drew a crowd in. You guys are two of the best players.”
Katja blushed. “It’s nothing...”
The group walked away from the Dragon Riders games so other could play it. Before they got near the exited, a growling sound was heard. Everyone looked around and it landed on Fishlegs who was red, “Sorry, I’m just hungry,”
Hiccup chuckled, “No worries. How about we head out for dinner?” he asked.
“Alright, I’ll take my group and meet you there Hic,” Dagur said.
. . .
(Archia Pizza Parlor, 7:30 pm)
Katja was surprised to learn that Archia Pizza Parlor was almost half an hour away. She didn’t understand why they wanted to go far, but Vera explained that Archia Pizza Parlor was the best pizza place in all of Archi Isle. “Welcome to Archi Pizza Parlor, how many are dining today?” a woman asked as the group entered.
“12,” Hiccup said, “Can we get a few tables pushed together?”
The woman smiled, “Of course.” She grabbed twelve menus and took the group to the center of the restaurant. She quickly got five four-seater tables pushed together, vertically. Dagur took the end on the left, and to his left was, Heather, Katja, Vera, Astrid, Adelaide, then Hiccup at the other end, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Gruffnut, Tuffnut, and then Ruffnut to Dagur’s right.
“Sebastian will be your server for today and will be with you in a moment,” she said.
“Thanks,” Dagur said as she walked away.
A minute later, a male came over to the table. He stood behind Vera and Astrid, which made Katja more comfortable. “Hello, everyone, I’m Sebastian and your server, have you decided or need more time?”
“Drinks, I think we got, we’ll need more time on the pizzas,” Dagur said.
“Alright then, what can I get you?” Going around, everyone gave their order. “Alright, I’ll go get those and give you more time for picking your food,” Sebastian smiled and then walked away.
“Hey Hiccup, want to just get a few large pizzas and split it?” Dagur asked.
Hiccup looked around and everyone gave nods. “Works for me,” Katja said softly.
“Sure, we can do 5 pizzas and have people split them,” Hiccup said.
“I’ll share with Katja since she and I like the same things,” Vera said.
“Dagur and I can get our regular,” Heather said.
“We can share too,” Adelaide said mentioning her cousins.
“We’ll share,” Ruffnut said mentioning her brother and cousin.
“Fishlegs and I can share a pizza too,” Astrid added.
After a few minutes, everyone figured out what to get. Just in time too, as Sebastian returned with their drink orders. Vera was shocked to see Katja get a pineapple smoothie, she hadn’t her heard ask for it. And generally, Katja hates anything pineapple related.
“Are you ready to order?” Sebastian asked.
“Yes,” Dagur said. “We’re getting 5 large pizzas...” Dagur told what toppings they wanted for each pizza and Sebastian quickly wrote it down before telling them it should be between 15 to 20 minutes for all of them.
As they waited for their pizza, everyone began to talk about something. Katja pretty much zoned out, focusing more on her pineapple smoothie. It was so good!
Twenty minutes later, the pizza came out. Katja quickly dug in, letting out a moan as she chewed. Vera gave her a look.
“What? It’s good,” Katja said before finishing her first and grabbing the second one. Vera knew that Katja loved pizza so seeing her eat a lot wasn’t unusual. When Katja got her fourth piece everyone was staring at her in shock. They’d never seen someone eat so much pizza before.
. . .
(Hysteria Police Station - September 6, 2016, 7:30 pm)
“Viggo, we have to tell her,” Kelda said as they left the station.
“I know. But, how do we tell our already traumatized daughter that her ex-boyfriend, the one that raped her couldn’t be caught is now on the lose?” Viggo asked.
Kelda opened her mouth, but then closed it. Viggo had a valid point.
Viggo and Kelda were finishing packing the kitchen when they got a call from Hysteria Station. They were asked to come down to the station. Both were confused but did what they were asked. Upon arrival, they were taken directly to the Chief’s office.
“I’m sorry to call you here, but we have unfortunate news,” Norbert said, that made Kelda look at Viggo, with worry. “We’ve searched all over Hysteria in the short about time, but we can’t find Dane Jakobsen,” Norbert said.
Kelda was the first to react, “What?! You mean to tell me my daughter’s ex-boyfriend-slash-rapist is still out there?!” she screeched.
Norbert nodded, not afraid of Kelda, “I’m afraid so. We’ve already called the other islands to help with the search. Hopefully, we’ll find something,”
Viggo pulled Kelda to him, “Have you told Archi Isle Police yet?”
“Yes. They were the first since you told us you were moving there. I would like it if Katja isn’t told. That might scare her more.”
Kelda glared at the chief and pulled away from Viggo. “I will not hold this from my daughter. She is already scared enough. I won’t keep her out of the dark.”
Norbert glared back, “And what? You tell her that her ex-boyfriend is out there still? And can possibly attack her again?”
“She will not be alone. Brynjar would never let anything happen to her if he knew.” Viggo said.
“Vera too,” Kelda added. “Don’t underestimate us Grimborns. We’re loyal to family and will always protect one another. If my brother learned of this, he’d drop his career in an instant to come down and protect Katja. As much as I love my brother, he has a life too.”
“We’ll tell our daughter. We know, none of our family would leave her alone,” Viggo said.
. . .
(Ryker and Hertha Grimborn’s House, 8:50 pm)
“Thanks for the lift, Dagur,” Vera said as she and Katja got out of the car.
“No problem, see you guys whenever,” Dagur said waving.
“See you at school tomorrow,” Heather said waving to the cousins.
Katja waved goodbye before making her way into the house. Vera watched as she left and once she was in the house, she looked at Lanvirk siblings.
“Is, she alright?” Heather asked.
Vera glanced to the house, “She’s just tired. A lot of stuff happened in the last week. I think it’s catching up to her, or something,” she shrugged. “Don’t worry,” Vera smiled, “Everything is alright, Mom and Dad are helping,”
“Well,” Heather trailed off.
“Hey, I’m positive Vera and her family have it under control,” Dagur said interrupting his sister.
Heather sighed, “Sorry. I’m just worried. I tend to notice things no one else can’t,”
Vera smiled, “It’s alright. Katja just needs to get used to some things, but we’ll all good. See you tomorrow,”
Vera waved as Dagur pulled out and began to drive to their apartment. Heather waved bye to Vera one more before the girl walked into her house.
When Vera walked inside, she was welcomed with the sight of Brynjar holding Katja as she shook. Vera instantly could see that Katja was crying or finishing crying. She quickly looked to her parents. “What happened?” she asked. “Is Agnar in his room or?”
“Agnar is at a friend’s, we don’t want him knowing this,” Ryker said, holding his phone.
“Viggo and Kelda called, there’s some bad news involving Dane,” Hertha said, as Ryker moved out of the room. Vera noticed that her father was still talking. “They called from Hysteria Police Station.”
Vera got worried, she asked, “What kind of bad news?”
“Dane can’t be found,” Brynjar said from the couch.
Vera’s eyes widen, “What?!”
Hertha nodded before moving to Katja and taking her crying niece into her arms. Brynjar used that moment to stand up.
“The police here have been notified,” he said. “Originally Chief Norbert advised Mom and Dad not to say anything, but Mom refused,”
“What? Of course, Katja needs to know. This happened to her!” Vera said. “The chief can tell other shit, but Katja needs to know!”
Hertha gave her daughter a look at her words but said nothing.
Brynjar nodded, “That’s what I said. Mom was right in telling her, but now she’s scared. Dane can be anywhere,” he crossed his arms over his chest.
“What can we do?” Vera asked. “I don’t think Katja would want someone like a guard to follow her everywhere,”
“That’s exactly what Viggo doesn’t want,” Ryker said walking back into the living room, making everyone turn to him. “But, if he must, he will. For now, we’re going to ask you and your friends if you can just make sure someone is near her. We don’t know what Dane could do. We might have a have a chance if we have someone with her at all times.”
“Let’s see,” Vera began to go over the day with the classes. “I don’t have any but Lunch with her, but Hiccup and Heather have Green Day class with her. Blue Days, she and Heather have Geometry, Ruffnut, and Tuffnut in Spanish, and Hiccup for Advanced Art. She also has me, Hiccup, Astrid, Heather, Tuffnut, Fishlegs, and Ruffnut for Gym. Though, Heather has her teacher.” Vera said. “So, she won’t be alone then,” Vera said. “But, should we tell her about this idea?” she asked looking over at her mother, only to see Katja knocked out.
“I don’t think she’d have a problem,” Hertha said, “But, it’s up to her. We’ll ask her tomorrow, let’s get her to bed, it’s been a long day. Staring school, going out with you and meeting new people, and now learning this.”
Ryker walked over and gently picked Katja up from Hertha. “I’ll take her upstairs,”
“I hope that going to the arcade didn’t affect her,” Vera said with worry watching her father take her cousin upstairs.
“I think her going was a good idea,” Hertha said. “It got her to meet your friends at another level and make friendships. You also showed her the town, right?”
“Yep. Showed her places on the way to the pizza parlor and on the way home,” Vera said, “Though, the arcade was nice. She ended up meeting Gruffnut,”
Hertha made a face, “The twins’ cousin?” Vera nodded. “Spearnut sent him over for some reason, Sharpnut knew but never told Hazel. So, he’s in trouble, according to the twins,”
“Gruffnut? Spearnut? Sharpnut?” Brynjar asked.
“Cousin, aunt, and father to my friends Ruffnut and Tuffnut,” Vera said.
Brynjar was just shocked at the names, but he didn’t care. So, he shrugged.
“How were tryouts?” Vera asked.
Brynjar grinned, “Guess who made the team?”
Vera’s eyes widen, “You did?!”
Hertha wasn’t that surprised, she knew how good of a player Brynjar was. He was the star quarterback at Hysteria High School.
“Yeah. Coach Jorgenson was really impressed, so he added me right away,”
“Nice, isn’t the first game this week?” Vera asked.
“Next; September 16, 2016,” Brynjar said. “Practice every day from 2:30 to 4:30,”
“Uh, that’s Adelaide’s birthday,” Vera muttered to herself.
“Oh, I forgot to mention,” Ryker said, entering the Great Room once again. “Viggo and Kelda said they might be a bit late moving down. Something just came up at Kelda’s old work, and the moving company was having some issues. They’ll be done as soon as they can,”
Brynjar nodded. He didn’t expect things to go smoothly, they were moving rather quickly and then the stuff Dane and Katja happened.
“Come along Vera, it’s late, and you have school tomorrow,” Ryker said, and Vera got up and walked to her father, “Did you shower after tryouts?” he asked Brynjar.
“Yeah,” Brynjar said as he moved to pull the pull-couch out.
“Alright, don’t stay up too late, and we’ll see you in the morning,” Ryker said.
“Night Vera, night Uncle Ryker,” Brynjar said.
“Night Bryn!” Vera said.
Ryker turned the lights off in the kitchen and dining, leaving the Great Room lights on for Brynjar.
. . .
(Blue Day, September 7, 2016, 12:00 pm)
When she walked into the cafeteria, Katja noticed that her cousin and her friends were sitting at an octogen shaped table, with another one attached. She gave Hiccup a confused look.
“More of our friends are coming. They started late due to storms keeping them on the islands,” He explained.
“Oh, ok,” Katja said and followed Hiccup to the tables. She quickly took a seat between Hiccup and Heather, putting her near the top of the octogen, with Vera on the other side of her.
Vera was looking on her phone when she felt someone place their hands on her shoulders. She jumped and whipped around about to snap at the person but stopped when she recognized that person. “Cami!”
Katja, sitting across from her cousin, and between Heather and Hiccup, looked at the new girl in confusion. The new girl looked exactly like Astrid: blonde hair and blue eyes, the only difference, her hair were wilder than Astrid’s tame braided hair. This was also the first time Katja heard of “Cami” and seen her.
“Oh!” Vera said. “Cami, this is my cousin Katja. Katja, this is Camicazi Bogsven and my best friend!”
Katja understood now. Vera talked a lot about a girl named Camicazi who was her best friend. This must be it. “It’s nice to meet you,”
Camicazi smiled, “Nice to meet you too! Vera talks about ya a lot!”
Katja shot Vera a look, “All good things,” her cousin said with got Katja to breathe easy.
“So, what’s up?” Vera asked, as Tuffnut who Vera was sitting next to, moved over allowing Camicazi to take his place.
“Thanks, Tuff,” Camicazi said, “Oh, Mom is letting me through a Back to School party this weekend. She’s letting me invite whoever. Though I’ll probably just do the gang, your cousins can come too,”
“Hmm, well I don’t know about them,” Vera confessed, sharing a look with Katja. “But, we’ll see. As for me, heck yes. When are you having it?”
“September 10, from 5:00 to 10:00,” Camicazi said. “Mom is letting me do a sleepover with the girls too. Sorry boys, but Mom’s rules!”
Hiccup shook his head with a smile, “No worries. It’s understandable. I promised Mom I’ll help at the Clinic this weekend so, I might be a bit late,”
“No worries,” Camicazi said, “I understand. Just come when you can,” she said with a smile.
“I think Mom and Dad will let me and Adelaide come, but we’ll have to double check,” Snotlout said.
“Not sure,” Ruffnut said. “Our cousin is living with us right now so it’s a bit up in the air,”
Camicazi’s eyes went wide, “Gruffnut? The one that annoyed Hiccup to days end and it takes forever to get him annoyed,”
Hiccup gave Camicazi a deadpanned look. “And Hiccup can hear you,”
Camicazi winced, “Sorry Hiccup.”
Ruffnut sighed, “But yes, that same one. Aunt Spearnut sent him to our place this past weekend. I probably won’t be able to attend the sleepover, but we’ll see what Ma and Pa say,”
“Mom and Dad will probably say yes too,” Astrid said. “Just have to double check,”
“Gotta ask Dagur,” Heather said.
“If no one can stay for a sleepover, totally fine,” Camicazi said with a wave of her hand.
“Uh, who are the others?” Katja asked. “You mentioned the normal group or something...”
“The others are Soren Axall, his cousin Signy Ostberg, Ragna Falk, Olivia Holgerson, and Thuggory Meatsen,” Vera said.
“There they are,” Hiccup said, and Vera turned around and indeed, five students were walking their way. The newcomers didn’t hesitate to take their seats. The order for seating was now, Soren, Hiccup, Katja, Heather, Ruffnut, Astrid, Adelaide, Fishlegs, Snotlout (on the right side) and then Thuggory, Ragna, Olivia, Tuffnut, Camicazi, Vera, who was sitting across from Katja, and Signy.
“Katja, these are our other friends, Soren Axall,” Vera pointed Soren, he had blonde hair and blue eyes. Katja could have sworn he was Camicazi and Astrid’s triplet brother. “To the left, or right for us, of him is his younger cousin Signy Ostberg,” Signy looked to be about Adelaide’s age, or younger, with light brown hair and eyes. Signy waved and Katja waved back.
Sitting next to Signy was a girl with black hair and blue eyes, “Olivia Holgerson, she’s Mr. Alvin Trevor’s niece,” Heather explained. “Olivia and her brother Birger live with their uncle here on Archi Isle,”
Katja nodded in understanding, as Olivia smiled and waved to Katja, “Hey,” Katja smiled back, but said nothing.
“Ragna Falk,” Ragna said with a smirk, which scared Katja. Ragna had blonde hair and ice-blue eyes.
“And lastly,” Vera began before she was cut off.
“Thuggory Meatsen,” The male with dark hair and eyes said, “Striker for the Soccer Team,” he smirked. “And you are?”
“I...I....” Katja stuttered, thank the Gods, her cousin was there to save her.
“Hey! Back off Thuggery!” Vera snapped, “And for your information, she’s my cousin. Rule Number one boys, NO FLIRTING WITH KATJA. Or, I’ll get her brother here.”
“Who’s her brother?” Soren asked.
Vera smirked, “Know someone from Hysteria High School known as the youngest person to become captain of the Football team?”
Thuggory paled. “Wait. Are you saying the Brynjar Grimborn is HER OLDER BROTHER?!”
Vera grinned, “Yes. And he’s very protective over her,” she added. “Oh, he’s sitting over there,” she pointed behind her, and Thuggory looked behind Vera to see a male glaring at him. His pale green eyes were piercing right at him.
“G-Got it,” Thuggory squeaked.
Vera smirked. “Good.” And went to finish her lunch.
. . .
CHAT: BACK TO SCHOOL PARTY
Cami has added Vera, Hiccup, Astrid, Snot, Ruff, Tuff, Fish, Soren, Signy, Thuggory, Olivia, Ragna, and Ade to the CHAT.
Cami, 2:45 pm: So, who can come? Mom wants an estimated guess. Oh, I invited my team by the way.
Vera, 2:45 pm: Mom and Dad said I could come, waiting for Katja. Parties aren’t really her thing.
Vera, 2:46 pm: UPDATE: Mom and Dad gave the okay, but only if my other cousin can come. That cool? Oh yeah, Heather is with me and she comes too. She’s talking to her brother.
Cami: That’s fine, uh, who’s the cousin?
Vera: Katja’s older brother, Brynjar.
Cami: Ah, uh, it’s fine with me. :)
Ade: Hiccup will be coming later, but Mom gave the OK for Snot and me. I just can’t stay the night.
Cami: 5. No worries Adelaide.
Ruff: Dad’s making us bring Gruff, hope that’s alright?
Thuggory: Mom and Dad say it’s all good for me.
Olivia: In! Uncle Alvin is letting me spend the night too.
Ragna: Good for me! I also can spend the night.
Astrid: Mom and Dad I said I can do both since it’s a Saturday.
Cami: OK all together that is 13. And 3 for a sleepover. Just have to wait for Soren and Signy.
Soren: Mom says it’s alright for us to come. Sorry for the long wait, dealing with the divorce.
Fish: I can come, but probably won’t stay long.
Cami: Don’t worry. There’s no rush when you have to come. Alright, that works! See everyone on Saturday at 5! :D
. . .
(Bogsven House, September 10, 2016, 5:45 pm)
Katja’s eyes were wide and her mouth was dropped in awe at the house. She had heard that Cami’s mother was the mayor of Archi Isle, but to have this as her house?!
It was a freaking mansion!
The house was huge, like any mansion. It was all one story, so that was alright...Katja figured. On the far left, she could see a fenced in area with a large pool. For some reason, that didn’t surprise Katja.
Vera looked behind her when she didn’t hear Katja follow her. “What?”
“She lives in a mansion.”
“Her mother is the Mayor...” Vera said with a look.
“Yet, you forgot to mention that to me,” Katja deadpanned.
Vera shrugged. “You didn’t ask?”
Katja glared at Vera again but sighed. “Whatever.”
Vera grinned, and walked over to Katja, “Come on,” Katja allowed Vera to pull her up to the front door. She was a bit shocked that she didn’t even bother ringing the bell.
“Cami’s family knows me. I’ve come by so many times when I was younger. Plus, I came here when Mom and Dad were working a lot,” Vera explained.
“Oh, alright,” Katja said softly.
As they entered, Katja could hear voices, she swore she could hear the twins.
“Sounds like everyone is here already,” Vera said pulling Katja in a direction. Katja looked around her as they walked down a couple of hallways. The one they were currently in had a ton of pictures, mostly of Camicazi as a child. Some had rewards and her in sporting events. One that stood out to her was Camicazi wearing the Captain uniform for the Archi Academy Girls’ Soccer Team. She was very surprised since Cami was only a sophomore like she and Vera.
. . .
At least two and a half hours have passed, and everyone was having a blast. Well, everyone but Katja. Then again, parties were not here thing. She wasn’t even sure why she came. Brynjar texted and said he was on his way. She kept to the side and watched everyone dance and party. She was surprised by the number of people but seeing Cami’s picture as the Captain of the Soccer Team, it made sense.
Vera was with her but left to grab another soda. So, Katja was alone, by the wall. She was alone for a few minutes when she saw Gruffnut walk up to her. Gruffnut walks up, leans on the wall with a smile. "Hey, what's a pretty thing like you doing over here by yourself?"
Katja stayed put, unphased by the obvious flirt. "Waiting for my cousin to get back,"
Gruffnut nodded. "Cool, cool. How long are they gonna be gone? I'll keep you company,"
Katja remained calm. "No, thanks. I'm okay,"
Gruffnut's smile fell. "Come on. I don't bite much unless you're into that kind of thing," he ran his finger up her arm as Katja flinched a little. "Bet you like a lot of things. What do you say we get outta here and find out?"
"I'm good here, thank you. Please stop," Katja said, trying to relax.
"I could show you a good time," Gruffnut tried.
"I don't want a good time, okay? Stop touching me. I want to be left alone; I'm not interested, so go away," Katja remarked.
Gruffnut narrowed his eyes as he put one arm up to stop her from going anywhere; the other hand gripped her wrist tightly.
"Maybe I don't care what you want and I'm telling you to come," he growled a bit. Instantly, Katja's eyes grew wide and full of fear as she had a flash of Dane standing before her. Katja's breathing increased; she felt her heart pounding in her chest.
"L-Let go of me," Katja asked.
"No," Gruffnut leaned in to kiss her.
Katja shook her head side to side, tears beginning to form. "N-No! St-Stop, pl-please!" she begged, now freaking out as Gruffnut pressed himself against her. Katja closed her eyes tightly, but she never felt Gruffnut kiss her.
"Back off, Gruffnut," Katja's eyes opened quickly as she saw Hiccup standing behind Gruffnut; his arm out to stop Gruffnut from getting any closer.
"None of your business, Haddock," Gruffnut stated.
"I'm making it my business. She said no, leave her alone and back off," Hiccup warned coldly. Gruffnut scoffed in annoyance as he released Katja and stormed off. Katja was shaking, trying to calm down. "You alright?"
Katja couldn’t speak, but she slowly nodded her head. Hiccup looked around and saw Vera talking. He glanced back at Katja before making his decision. “Come on, let’s go sit outside. Some fresh air might do good,”
“T-Thank you,” Katja whispered.
Hiccup didn’t touch her but led Katja away. He looked behind and saw Vera watching them. They shared an eye look and Hiccup pointed to Katja and then mouthed, “Gruffnut”. Vera nodded and glanced over to where Gruffnut was walking, leaving Hiccup to follow Katja to the front porch.
. . .
They moved outside and just sat in silence. Finally, after a few minutes, Katja spoke, “Thanks for getting me away. Something in the past just makes me scared when someone grabs my wrist,” she whispered, rubbing her wrist as she said it.
Hiccup was curious, but it wasn’t his place. “No problem. I could see Gruffnut was making you uncomfortable. He is a bit weird. He’s annoyed me to days end and I am the most patient of all of my friends,” he said with a shrug.
Katja was surprised but did remember Vera showing her a text that said something like that.
. . .
Hiccup and Katja continued to sit on the front porch talking when a car pulled up. Hiccup looked up but didn’t notice the car. Katja did, however.
“Brynjar!” she called, a huge smile on her face. Hiccup understood now, it was her brother.
Brynjar climbed out of his SUV, waving to Katja. He locked the car up and made his way up to the front porch. “Hey,”
Hiccup nodded to him.
“I’ll go let Vera know you’re here,” Katja said with a smile.
Once Katja went into the house, Hiccup turned to Brynjar. “What happened with Katja?”
Brynjar kept a natural look, “What are you talking about,”
Hiccup sighed, “Brynjar, I know something happened. Gruffnut was flirting with her and when he grabbed her wrist, she freaked out.”
Brynjar’s eye twitched, “He what...?”
Hiccup nodded. “I did stop him, so she wasn’t hurt, if that easies you a bit,”
“I am going to kill that kid,” he muttered, and that really freaked Hiccup out. “That does ease me that she wasn’t hurt,” Brynjar took a deep breath, he couldn’t be doing that any time someone messed with Katja. “Listen, something did happen with Katja, but it’s not my place to say. Not even Vera’s. We’re still dealing with what happened to her. All I can say is that she’s currently getting better, and we’re thankful for that.”
To be continued...
(Bogsven Mansion - September 10, 2016, 9:30 pm)
The party technically was to last until 10, but Katja ended up falling asleep against Hiccup. Brynjar and Vera both saw it but didn’t say anything (OK Brynjar wanted to say something, but Vera stopped him).
Vera walked over to Cami who was talking to her team, “Hey, gotta go, Katja fell asleep,” she pointed behind her and Cami saw Hiccup picking Katja up, bridal style.
“OK, not a problem. I’ll walk you out. Be right back Marchella,” the girl she was talking to, gave a nod and began to talk to a boy next to her.
“I hope you guys had some fun,” Cami said walking outside with the Grimborns. Brynjar opened the back door for Hiccup to put Katja inside.
“Yes, we did. Thanks.” Vera said, watching as Hiccup and Brynjar whispered to each other, which got the younger Grimborn to narrow her eyes. What were they talking about?
Hiccup waved to Brynjar before making his way back inside.
“Thanks for the invite for me,” Brynjar said walking over.
“No problem,” Cami said, “It was nice to meet you, Brynjar,”
“Yours as well,” Brynjar said. “Vera, I’m going to get the car started, might want to stay goodbye. Or if you want to spend the night, I can tell Uncle Ryker and Aunt Hertha,”
Vera looked over at the sleeping Katja and then back to Cami.
“It’s ok if you can’t. But, if you do, we have some of the spare clothing you always leave here,”
“Can you tell Mom and Dad?” Vera asked.
“Yeah, don’t worry about it. I can come to pick you up tomorrow.” Brynjar said pulling his phone out. “Wait a minute and I’ll ask them if it’s alright,”
Vera waited patiently as her cousin called her parents. She watched as Brynjar explained what was going on and soon she got her answer.
“Alright, they said yes,” Brynjar said.
Vera smiled. “I’ll be careful, don’t worry.”
“She’s like my sister, I’d never let anything happen to her,” Cami added, pulling Vera to her.
Brynjar rolled his eyes. “Alright. Text me when you want to be picked up. I gotta take Sleeping beauty home,”
Vera giggled and hugged her cousin before he left. “Thanks.”
Brynjar smiled, gave a nod and then walked over to his car. Vera waved to her cousins as they left for home.
. . .
(September 11, 2016, 8:00 am)
Katja woke up at her normal time and headed into the bathroom. Though, what really surprised her was that she didn’t see that her period started. She looked at the calendar and saw that this would be the normal time, but then why wasn’t her period starting?
“The stress of the move and everything. That’s got to be it,” Katja thought to herself.
“Katja?” Hertha’s voice made Katja jump in surprise followed by a knock. “Are you up sweetie?”
“I...Yes, Aunt Hertha, I am.” Katja shook her head over her late period and went to her room to get dressed. “I’ll be down in a few minutes,”
“Alright dear. Heather called and asked if you wanted to spend the day at Archi Mall with her, you can if you want,”’
Katja thought if over. She liked Heather, she wasn’t as loud as the twins and had that “I’m independent yet still want friends” sort of vibe.
“OK, I’ll go,” Katja said with a smile, walking over to her closet to decide an outfit.
“Alright, I’ll go give Heather a call, so she can come over in a little bit,” Hertha said.
“Thanks,” Katja said eyes wandering her closet. Thankfully, it didn’t take Katja long to find something. She wasn’t like those girls that dressed up just for a day at the mall. She picked her favorite jean jacket, a nice and loose silver shirt, black leggings and her purple and black high-tops sneakers. She pulled her hair back in a loose ponytail, not really having an idea what to do with it and added a tiny amount of lip-gloss. Looking over herself in the body mirror she smiled and then headed downstairs.
Reaching the kitchen, she found her Aunt, Uncle, brother, and cousin Agnar sitting at the island bar eating breakfast. Well, more like her brother and cousin were. Her uncle and aunt were cooking in the kitchen.
“Is Vera still at Camicazi’s?” Katja asked, putting her backpack on one of the chairs in the kitchen.
“Yep,” Brynjar said. “She texted me earlier saying I could get her around 4, she and the girls were going to do something, didn’t say what.”
Katja wasn’t sure about that but shook it off. Vera could do what she wanted.
“Are you going to eat that?” Agnar asked Brynjar pointing to the older boy’s piece of bacon on his plate.
Brynjar glared at his cousin, “Yes, Agnar I am.”
The two boys stared at each other. Agnar reached over and snatched Brynjar’s bacon, making the older one glare. “Hey! Hands off!” Brynjar snatched the bacon back and then took his plate and moved to the end of the island bar.
Agnar stared at Brynjar before turning to face Hertha, “Mama, Brynjar is being mean.”
Hertha raised an eyebrow as she put some scrambled eggs on a plate for Katja. “Really? You’re the one that took his bacon, and you know Brynjar needs more than you. He’s on the football team.” Agnar crossed his arms and pouted.
Katja stared at her brother and cousin, not sure what the deal is with them and bacon. She knew her brother did need to eat more since he was on the football team.
“Uh,” Katja got out. Hertha placed the plate of scrambled eggs, a few pieces of bacon, and a slice of toast on her plate. The butter dish was also placed next to her.
“Don’t worry,” Ryker coming over and picking Agnar up. “I’ll take him out of the house today. We did promise him a pet, so I’ll go to the pet store to get supplies and then we’ll head to the Animal Shelter,”
“YAY!” Agnar cheered and as soon as Ryker put him on the ground, the six-year-old ran towards his room. “IMMA GONNA GET READY!”
“I feel letting him get a pet is a bad idea now,” Hertha said. “He’s a hyper little boy,”
“It’ll be fine, sweetheart,” Ryker said, hugging Hertha. I hope. He thought.
“I’m going to head out, Axel and Rolf want to meet up and do sometahing. But, I can still get Vera later,” Brynjar said getting up and taking his plates to the sink.
“Alright, that’s fine. Just call when you both are coming home,”
“Gotcha,” Brynjar before walking down the hall to Agnar and Vera’s shared bathroom, where he would fight his cousin just to use the sink.
“What time is Heather coming?” Katja asked.
“She said she can be here by 9:00, the mall opens at 10. She also wants to show parts of the town too.
“The mall is open on a Sunday?” Katja asked in surprise. Hysteria’s Mall was always closed on Sunday.
“Yep,” Hertha said, before wincing when she heard Agnar scream. “Ryker...”
“I got it,” her husband said, leaving the kitchen.
Katja finished her breakfast and glanced at the kitchen clock, 8:30 it read. Giving her half an hour before Heather would come.
“AGNAR! Leave Brynjar alone!” Ryker’s loud voice boomed. “He needs to get moving, you don’t.”
“Dad! We’re going to the Shelter. I have to look good,”
The girls could hear Ryker sigh, “Agnar. We’re there to look for a pet, not a human. Now, get out of the bathroom and let Brynjar use it, or, we don’t go,”
Ryker came back into the kitchen area, “I swear that boy.” He shook his head.
“You’re the one that wanted another child,” Hertha said as she did the dishes. “And it had to be a boy,” she added giving her husband a look.
Ryker winced. “Yes, I did. I don’t regret it, but that boy is something. He got your attitude,”
Hertha turned to face Ryker, and raised an eyebrow, “My attitude?”
Katja giggled into her hand watching her uncle and aunt. “I’m going to go finish getting ready,” Katja said wanting to get away before her uncle and aunt did anything more.
. . .
Katja was wrapping things up in the bathroom when her phone went off. Looking down, she saw she had a text from an unknown number.
(298) 501-4748, 8:45 am: Hey, it’s Heather! I got your number from Vera, hope that’s alright. Anyway, Hiccup and I are two minutes away. Sorry if we’re getting you early.
Katja immediately saved the new number and then texted Heather back.
Katja, 8:45 am: Not a problem. I can be downstairs in a minute. Just finishing things up.
Katja quickly finished in the bathroom, making sure she looked decent, she grabbed her Realtree backpack (she doubled as a purse) and headed downstairs.
“Heather is two minutes away,” she called to Hertha, figuring her uncle and cousin left along with her brother since the downstairs was very quiet.
Hertha poked her head out of Ryker’s office, “Alright. Have fun sweetie. Call when you’re on your way home.”
“I will,” Katja said with a smile. She waved to her aunt and then went through the front door.
As soon as she shut the door, a car honk went off. Turning, she saw Heather waving from the passenger seat of a dark red Nissan Rogue. She saw Hiccup in the driver’s seat and couldn’t help but blush. She did not expect to see him.
“H-Hey,” she said walking over to the car and opening the back door.
“Hey,” Hiccup said, “Heather dragged me last minute.”
“Uh no. Dagur had to work and you lived next door and was the easiest to give me a ride,” Heather said.
“As I said, last minute,” Hiccup said.
Suddenly, a cat meowing was heard and Katja jumped. She looked to her right only to come face to face with a very cute black cat with big green eyes. The cat had a harness on and was also buckled in.
Hiccup laughed as he pulled out of the driveway, “Sorry. That’s my cat, Toothless. He loves walks and car rides and will make his way into my car no matter what.”
“Oh!” Katja said remembering Hiccup talking about Toothless in their Advanced Art class. “He’s cute. Can I pet him?”
Hiccup nodded, eyes still on the road. “He loves getting cuddles. When I can’t, he will jump from our balcony to Heather’s just for cuddles. And he scares the living shit out of me.”
Katja stared in shock, unable to comprehend the new information. Toothless would jump from one balcony to the other and is still alive?! She was taken from her thoughts when Toothless’ meowed, demanding to be petted.
“Oh, he’s also very demanding,” Hiccup added.
Katja giggled, “I can see that” she immediately began to pet the black cat.
. . .
On the way to the mall, Heather pointed out some things that Vera didn’t when they drove to the Arcade. Hiccup pipped in every now and then, but it was mainly Heather telling Katja the places. Heather even showed the pet park. Pet Park being called since there are some animals that like going outside, and the island wanted something for that.
Showing Katja around the town took longer than expected, so they got to the Mall around 11:30. But, Katja didn’t mind. She liked it, she got to see more of the area and pet Toothless more.
“Alright,” Hiccup said pulling up to the Mall. “Here we are. I’m going to the Pet Park for a few to let Toothless run around a bit and then I’ll meet you in the mall.”
Katja stared at the mall. It was huge! Much bigger than Hysteria Island’s mall. Then again, Archi Mall was the center mall of all the islands in the area. She was taken out of her thoughts when Heather opened the door. Unfortunately, it was on the side Toothless was on. So, Katja would have to somehow get out without squashing the cat.
Toothless meowed loudly as Katja managed to get around him. “Sorry, Toothless,” she said and gave the cat a nice pet.
Hiccup chuckled. “Don’t worry about Toothless. I’ll meet you at the Mall in a little bit. Going to see if I can drop him at the Clinic for a while and get him later,”
“Alright. Call when you’re here!” Heather said walking to the passenger door window.
“Gotcha,” Hiccup waved and Toothless meowed as the two drove off.
“Shall we?” Heather asked, smiling at Katja.
The black-and-purple haired girl giggled, surprised with how fast she was getting along with Heather but took Heather’s arm. “We shall,”
. . .
“Ooh!” Katja said as she and Heather walked into the Bookstore. Heather laughed as Katja went to another book.
Upon entering the Mall, Heather showed her a map and some of the stores. They went to a few that Katja knew that Hysteria Mall had and knew what was inside. Katja was shocked that some of the items were a lot cheaper than at Hysteria Mall. The first store was a like a make-up store, Katja was running low on lip gloss and wanted some more. Heather was able to show her the best ones and ones that were even better than what she currently used. Around 12:45, Heather took her to the second floor for more shops. Including the bookstore, bringing them to where they are now.
Heather turned to look at some books and once she found a few she liked she went to find Katja. And to her shock, she found her. With almost ten books next to her.
“What?” Katja said. “I like reading, supernatural, myths, you name it. Most of the books I’ve read like four times. These are new.”
Heather picked the first book and was surprised to see it by her favorite author, Galatea Callas.
“I love this author’s works!”
“You do?” Katja asked, eyes wide, lowering the book she was reading.
“I’ve read the entire Erica Marco series, four times,” Katja said and that started the conversation between the two and brought them a bit closer.
After an hour talking and reading a bit, the girls made their way to the checkout line, all ten of Katja’s books with her. Thankfully, she managed to find the paperback versions of the books, so it wouldn’t be so heavy.
The two named stopped talking about Galatea Callas only to see Katja’s cousin, along with Camicazi, Astrid, Ragna, and Olivia. They were coming from the left side of the Mall.
“Hi!” Katja said with a big smile and it surprised Vera. “Heather invited me to hang,” she said.
“Ah,” Vera said, but still didn’t understand why Katja was extremely happy.
“Bought some more Galatea Callas books,” She added with a blush, and that got Vera to understand a bit on why she was extremely happy. “And learned that Heather likes them too,”
Vera smiled, happy that Katja was making a new friend.
“Are you guys here alone?” Astrid asked.
“Hiccup drove and dropped us off, he had Toothless with him so went to the Pet Park,” Heather explained as the group of seven began to walk. “And he just sent a text saying he’s coming back since he needs to get new art supplies and get new computer supplies. So, we will probably run into him sooner than later,”
“I know about art, but a computer?” Katja asked.
Heather smirked, “Hiccup is a wicked art student and computer guy. He does a few things with computers but really does it more with graphic design. The school logo, Hiccup designed it. The school even paid him,”
Katja’s mouth dropped. She knew about art, but computer graphics too? She remembered the logo, it was a picture of a dragon, black, with a red-tail, and behind it said Archi Academy. There were also some extra details but Katja never looked long enough.
“It’s true,” Vera said. “Hiccup spent months deciding what to do, he didn’t hang out with us for like eight months,”
“I...Wow.” Katja got out.
“Yep, that’s Hiccup,” Ragna said.
“Hiccup is the most artistic of us all, he’s been doing art since daycare. He was in kindergarten when he got a piece of art in our elementary school. No one could believe that a kindergartener was able to make an amazing piece, but he did,” Olivia added.
“Did anyone get Adelaide’s birthday present yet?” Camicazi asked after a few moments, and they made it to the third level of the mall.
“Nope,” Vera said.
“I looked,” Astrid said.
“Not a thing,” Ragna and Olivia said.
“I got her a 30$ gift card for Starbucks,” Heather said.
“When is Adelaide’s birthday?” Katja asked.
“September 16,” Vera said.
“That’s only three days from now!” Katja squealed. “And you’re waiting this long?!”
Vera put her hands up knowing how Katja got, “N-No! We’ve been trying to find a good gift for over a week! Also, she doesn’t have a party until the weekend. Her parent's order.”
Katja gave her cousin a look before turning away.
“Is she always like this?” Heather whispered-hissed to Vera.
“When someone’s birthday is coming, yes,” Vera hissed before looking back at Katja before she realized.
“We all can’t decide on what to get her, Addie is a special girl and usually, Hiccup gets her some pretty awesome things that we can’t even top,” Ragna said.
“Hiccup is Adelaide’s cousin, so he might get her something more special, but you’re her friends too. And it doesn’t matter if someone tops someone else, what matters is what you did,” Katja said.
As Katja walked into another store, the remaining six girls looked at each other, thinking over what Katja said...
. . .
“How is Archi Isle so far?” Heather asked when the other girls went to find gifts for Adelaide.
“Good, it’s different, but it’s a good different,” Katja said.
“I’ve seen that you and Hiccup have gotten close...” Heather trailed off waiting to see Katja’s reaction.
Katja tensed up for a moment, and the blushed. “Well uh he’s uh, um... He’s nice...And he uh...”
“Oh?” Heather asked.
“I...I came from a bad relationship before coming here,” Heather stared in shock, but continued to listen, “But, Hiccup makes me feel safe. Safer than when I was with my ex. I don’t know why, so I’m trying to figure things out...I only just ended the relationship a month ago,”
Heather smiled, “If it helps, Hiccup has talked about you since meeting you,”
Katja turned pink, “R-Really?”
“Yep, but as his best friend, I swore now to say anything,” she winked at Katja and that got her to giggle.
“Enough sadness, or boys or something, let’s hang!”
. . .
Around 3:30, Hiccup called Heather telling her he was in the food court if they wanted to meet for Lunch.
“So, the Food Court has many options to pick, Panda Express, Subway, California Tortilla, Berkys, Archi Café, Dragon Empire, you name it. My personal favorite is this BBQ Chicken place,” Heather said as they walked to the food court.
Once again, Katja was blown away by the size. She quickly shook her head and went to one of the stalls to get her lunch.
Ten minutes later, Katja and Heather went walking around trying to find Hiccup. It didn’t take long, and they quickly found him in the back corner, away from most people.
“Should I be getting Adelaide something for her birthday?” Katja voiced her thoughts since she learned Adelaide’s birthday was coming up.
Hiccup paused in eating his sub, “You shouldn’t worry. Adelaide knows that moving can bring stress and make people forget things. Vera told us a bit on the stuff, only that you were dealing with things, nothing more.”
“I still want to do something,” Katja murmured.
“I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Heather said with a smile.
The rest of their time had Katja learning a bit about Hiccup’s family, mainly his mother’s side with the Jorgensons. During the talk, Katja got an idea on what to give for Adelaide for her birthday. She wouldn’t say what it was, which got Hiccup and Heather wondering.
They spent another half an hour in the mall before deciding to go home. Hiccup stopped by the Clinic to pick Toothless up. While Hiccup went inside, Katja got to see the outside and the building itself and was rather impressed. It wasn’t like one of the small dingy vet clinics, this was a good size building with even a fenced area behind and to the side. That proved to her that the animals were well cared for.
Katja smiled when she saw Hiccup with a leash and it was attached to Toothless’ bright red harness. She couldn’t wait to cuddle with him, even if it was a short trip home.
. . .
(September 13, 2016, 2:15 pm)
“Any plans for this afternoon?” Heather asked Katja as they left Mrs. Alverson’s class. Hiccup ended up missing the class since he was working on something for the upcoming Halloween Art show. Mrs. Campbell picked him to represent Archi Academy against the other High Schools that would be competing too.
Completely off topic, Katja was able to get her Gym Teacher switched and was in Ariadne Ralph’s class list. And to her shock, Heather was under the list, so it was nice having a friend. The rest of their group left already, and they were the last two out, not wanting to get in the crazy end of the day rush.
The two dodged some of the other students in the cramped hallway. Katja shook her head, “Not that I know of.”
“Want to come over after school? We can work on our homework, Algebra, and History,”
“Sure,” Katja said. “I’ll just let Vera know first.
Katja 2:22 pm: Going over to Heather’s. Doing History HW. Hiccup is driving.
Vera, 2:22 pm: K. I’ll let Brynjar know. I’ll also let Mom and Dad know. See you at home.
“Vera knows, how are we getting to your place?” Katja asked putting her phone away.
“I came with Hiccup, so he’s driving,” Heather said. “He’s dropping us off and then heading to Archi Animal Hospital, he promised his mom he’d walk some of the dogs,”
“Alright,” Katja said. “Can we stop by my locker, so I get the Algebra textbook?”
“I have mine in my backpack already,” Heather said, “We can share it,”
“OK.” Katja smiled, she really liked hanging out with Heather. Sure, it was fine to be with the others, but Katja felt closer to Heather. She wasn’t sure why, but she liked it.
“Ready to go?” Hiccup’s voice made Katja jump, she wasn’t expecting to be in the parking lot already. “Oh, Katja is coming?” he asked, surprised to see her and not with Vera.
“Yep, Katja is coming to my place to work on our Algebra and History Homework.” Heather made a face. “Mr. Fungai is weird with the homework.”
Hiccup chuckled but a glare from Heather shut him up, “I should know. I had him. Though, I’m in Precalculus,”
“Math genius,” Heather muttered.
“Eh, close enough. Fishlegs is just one below me,” Hiccup said unlocking his car. “Oh, can you check on Toothless when you get to the apartment? I don’t have time to go to it and then go to the Shelter.”
“Sure,” Heather asked, climbing in passenger as Katja went in back.
“You still have the key, right?” Hiccup asked as he got behind some other cars to leave the school.
Katja saw Vera waiting her turn to get on the bus with Adelaide next to her. Katja waved and the brunette waved back.
“Yep,” Heather said. “Can I bring him over to my place while we do homework?”
“Sure. I see no problem with it. Just keep him inside!”
Heather rolled her eyes as Katja giggled. It was that moment that Hiccup glanced in the review mirror something sparked. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was something he never felt to any of the girls he hung out with or worked with.
. . .
(Strike Apartments, Building A)
“You live here?” Katja asked as she and Heather got out of Hiccup’s car.
“Thanks, I’ll see you later,” Hiccup called before driving off.
“Yep. Nothing special,” Heather said with a shrug.
“Uh, Heather, Strike Apartments are considered one of the best Apartment buildings on Archi Isle,” Katja said quickly following her friend.
“Eh, it’s home. Hiccup’s mom was the one to help us get the place. Dagur was still in Police Training when our parents died, they let me stay with them until Dagur could finish training and then get legal rights. Valka became my temporary guardian,”
“That’s very nice of them. How old is Dagur anyway?” Katja asked.
“He’s 23,” Heather said opening the door for Katja. “So, he works long hours to pay rent. So, it’s rare to see him home with me. But when he is, we spend the entire day together,” she led Katja to the elevator and pressed the UP button. A second later, the doors opened. Katja saw that that building had 5 floors. Heather pressed the 2.
“Do any of the others live here, or just you and Hiccup?” Katja asked.
“Just us, well as far I as I know. I don’t really keep track of the others. The gang varies on the streets. Hunter Avenue has Fishlegs and Vera, Soren, Signy, and Thatcher live in Axe Street, Olivia and Ragna are on opposite ends of Swift Lane, Cami lives in the richer part of town because her mother is the mayor, and not sure on you yet,” Heather said.
“We’ll be six streets from Vera and Agnar; Swordsman Way,” Katja said. “Not sure on the number,”
“Alright,” Heather said, “Here we are. Level 2, Room 21A. Hiccup is 20A. Here, I’ll unlock the door for you to go in and make yourself comfortable. Lemme just go grab Toothless. Can you make sure the back door to the balcony is locked?”
Katja only had time to nod before Heather said thanks, unlock the door, and then walk to the next door.
Walking into the Lanvirk’s apartment, Katja was surprised at it. To her left, she found the kitchen, with the kitchen table not far from it. Straight in front of her from the front door, was what she hoped was the living room area, there was a couch with a normal-sized TV, not a giant flatscreen TV. She saw the balcony door and saw a nice view of Strike Apartments pool, though it was closed. To the right before the living room, she saw a door and guessed it was Dagur’s room since on the opposite side, there was a closed door with a sign that said, “Heather’s Room”.
Katja loved the layout, it was simple yet easy to navigate through. She made her way over to the table in the center of the room, thinking it would be the best place. There was an outlet nearby, so she could charge her phone. It was down to 30% anyway–she forgot to charge it last night.
“OK, here! Sorry, had to grab something of Toothless too,”
Katja looked over and saw a black furball jump from Heather’s arms and run over to Katja. Toothless effortlessly jumped from the ground onto her lap and immediately began to purr.
“Hi boy,” Katja said petting the black cat.
“You know, it’s interesting,” Heather said from the kitchen area.
“How so?” Katja asked.
“Toothless has met everyone but never really got friendly with them, besides me. You, he’s friendly right away,” Heather said, “What would you like to drink? We have water, some sodas, and juice–wait, no we finished the last of the apple juice this morning. So just water or soda.”
“Do you have any Sprite?” Katja asked, not pausing in petting Toothless. She tried, but the cat gave her a look with his big green eyes and she fell.
“Uh yes. We have normal and Sprite Zero,”
“Zero please,” Katja said.
“Ice or no?”
“Coming right up,” Heather said. “Lemme go get a bowl of food and water for Toothless,”
“You keep some here?”
“Yep. There are times when Valka has to work late, and Hiccup stays to help so I babysit Toothless,”
“You’re a good friend,” Katja said.
“Thanks. I’ve known Hiccup even before the gang,” Heather said coming back with two small bowls. “Our parents knew one another so we often went to each other’s houses. Hiccup’s Uncle Gobber is like my own Uncle. He helped Dagur and me when our parents first died, being our uncle so we didn’t get separated. I know I said Valka helped, and she did. Gobber helped first and then Valka, Valka was the one that got us our apartment next to her and Hiccup.”
“That’s really nice of him, Gobber I mean.”
Heather said nothing, but smiled, “He is the best. We should get started on our History and Algebra homework, who knows what Mr. Fungai gave us.”
. . .
Unfortunately, their crazy math teacher decided to give them stuff they hadn’t even gone over yet!
“This is insane, why would he give us stuff we never went over yet?” Katja asked, throwing her hands in the air.
“It’s Mildew Fungai,” Heather said. She looked over at the clock and her eyes widen. “Holy cow! It’s already 8!”
“What?!” Katja looked at the clock and her eyes widen. They were working on the history and Algebra homework for nearly five hours?! It would make sense, their History was an intro and their teacher gave them a project to do, so they were doing a lot of research.
“I need to call my parents! And Uncle and Aunt!”
“Do you want just want to spend the night? It’s getting late and it’s pitch black outside,” Heather asked. “I could ask Hiccup to drive, but he’s not home yet,”
Katja looked outside and sure enough, it was dark. “Let me ask my parents and uncle and aunt, first,”
While Heather went into her room, Katja called her parents first, “Mom?”
“Katja! Vera said that you were with a friend’s but started to get worried.”
“Our teacher is a jerk, that and we have a history project and got caught up with researching,”
“Ah, alright. Oh, your father and I have finally gotten everything settled in Hysteria, so we’ll be due to moving in tomorrow.”
“That’s good, oh can I stay over at my friend’s? Her brother won’t be home probably until early hours and her friend who drove her home isn’t home either. He went to help his mother at the Clinic,”
“Who is this friend?”
“Her name is Heather Lanvirk...” Katja proceeded to tell her mother about her days at Archi Academy and about her new friends.
“I’m really happy you’re making new friends. This new friend, she has another room?”
“They live in a two-bedroom apartment, but Heather’s room has two doubles,” Katja said looking through the open door of Heather’s room.
“I don’t have any problem with it. I’ll give Hertha a call to let her know, be safe dear and we’ll see you tomorrow!”
“Bye, Mom, love you,”
“So? Heather asked coming out.
“I can stay. Do you have extra clothes?”
Heather looked over Katja, “I think we might be the same size, so you might be able to fit into mine,”
“Thanks,” Katja said.
“Don’t worry. Oh, you don’t have to worry about Dagur coming, he’s got a double shift, so he won’t be home until after we go to school if anything,” Heather said, “He just texted me.”
“I can order some pizza if you want?” Katja nodded a smile forming on her face, “OK, I’ll make the call, I think I remember what you got last time, onions, mushrooms, and ham?” a nod confirmed that she got it right, “I’ll just take Toothless back to Hiccup’s place,”
Heather called as soon as she walked out with Toothless. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long for it to get back to the apartment and Heather was back. The girls spent their dinner eating pizza and doing a Disney Movie marathon, they did so much homework they needed a break. They managed to get something finished with math, but honestly, it was a pain. Heather said they could ask Hiccup in the morning since he was past their math, he might know the answer.
At 10:00, Heather got a text saying Hiccup and his mom was back and he would be happy to help them with the math. He added they he could come by around 6:10, giving them half an hour to work on it and giving them 20 minutes to get to school. The school wasn’t that far, 10 minutes away.
(Viggo and Kelda Grimborn’s House – September 14, 2016, 10:30 am)
“And this is the last of Brynjar’s things,” Viggo said entering his son’s new bedroom where Kelda was unpacking some of his trophies from his younger years playing football.
The house was two stories and would have to be for the family of four. The first level has the Great Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, Guest Room, and Kelda’s Office. Kelda’s office was to the left as soon as you walked in the front door. The stairs leading upstairs was to the right once you walked in. The second floor has all the bedrooms, Viggo and Kelda’s, Brynjar’s, and Katja’s long with two guest bedrooms. Brynjar would end up sharing his bathroom with guests, but either Viggo or Kelda were expecting to have any, besides Brendan, Kelda’s brother. Entering the second floor, Katja’s room was to the left at the end of the hall and the only bedroom (that wasn’t the Master) with an attached bathroom. Right across from Katja’s room was the spare room, which was being used as storage, in time Kelda would figure out what to do with it. Brynjar’s room was to the right from exiting the stairs, at the end of the hallway and then left.
“Excellent,” Kelda said, finishing putting the last of Brynjar’s sports rewards up. “I hope it’s ok, but I found some pictures of him and Truda...and made a collage.” Kelda walked into the closet and came out carrying something.
Viggo’s eyes widen in surprise, he didn’t expect Kelda to want anything to do with Truda, Brynjar’s mother. But he was grateful. The pictures ranged from Truda learning she was pregnant, her pregnancy, to telling Viggo to his birth, and his birth. There was even a picture of Truda holding Brynjar for the last time as she was losing her battle with cancer.
“I didn’t want him to forget her, even though he might have since she died when he was only a few months old,” Kelda said.
“I...Kelda, you didn’t have to do this...” Viggo was close to tears. His wife making something to remember his first wife, Truda.
“I know. I never wanted Brynjar to think I replaced his mother, even though he might not remember it.” Kelda explained.
Viggo had no words. He pulled Kelda in for a hug, being careful of the collage. “Thank you.” He whispered.
Kelda smiled and hugged Viggo back (after putting the collage against the wall).
. . .
(Archi Academy, 11:35 am)
“It’s ready? Awesome. Yeah, I can take Katja and me over after school. No, as far as I know, she doesn’t have anything after school,” Brynjar spoke into the phone as he walked out of his fifth Blue Day class, Physics. Axel shared the class with Brynjar, but he was home sick with a cold, and Brynjar didn’t have any classes but Gym with Rolf. The only other time Brynjar saw his friends was Lunchtime.
“Alright, we’ll see you after school. I’ll talk to Coach about me missing a few minutes of practice. Bye, Mom,”
“Everything alright?” Rolf asked walking up.
“Yeah, Mom and Dad have the house finished so Katja and I can move from our Uncle and Aunt’s to our own house,”’ Brynjar said pocketing his phone, “I have to tell Katja,”
“Alright. Listen, I told Axel I’d get his English homework from Mrs. Asher so I’m going to go head to her room now while I’m thinking about it. I’ll meet you in the cafeteria in a little bit,” Rolf said, shouldering his backpack.
“Alright. See ya,” the boys did a weird handshake and the two went their own ways.
Entering the cafeteria, Brynjar rolled his eyes hearing some of the senior girls giggling. Since it became known he was put right on the team, even though he was new, the girls kept coming near him. Especially the cheerleaders. He could care less. He walked right past, not even looking at the Cheerleader posse of Bianca Moretti.
He ignored everyone and made his way towards cousin and sister and their friends. They had the two octogen shaped tables. Katja was looking in his direction and when she saw him, she smiled.
“Hey,” she said with a smile.
“Hey, so I have good news,” he said as Vera moved from her seat letting him take a quick seat.
“And that is?” Katja asked with a smile.
Brynjar was happy that Katja was starting to smile again. After what happened, he didn’t think she would be able to return to normal. But she was. Vera’s friends were something.
“Mom and Dad have finished moving everything in. We can move in after school.” He said with a smile
Katja smiled widely, “Really?”
“Yep,” Brynjar said with a smile.
“You’re moving in?! Awesome!” Vera said with a big smile.
“But, what about your practice?” Katja asked.
“I’m going to ask Coach after this to see if I can miss a few minutes of practice. If not, I’ll see if someone can take you,” Brynjar said.
“I can take her and Vera if you want,” Hiccup said.
“Hiccup has his license,” Vera added.
“Hiccup drove me to the Mall with Heather on Sunday,” Katja said. “He’s a safe driver,”
“Well, alright. I’ll go ask Coach first, I’ll send you a text when I get an update,” Brynjar said.
“’K,” Katja said.
. . .
In the end, Brynjar was unable to get time off. With the first game of the season in 3 days, he had to practice all he could. Thankfully, Hiccup could take Katja and Vera to Katja’s new home.
“So, I know where Vera’s house is, but how do I get to your new one?” Hiccup asked as Vera, Katja, and Heather piled in. Heather normally rode to school with Hiccup so that’s another reason she was coming.
“It’s uh 938 Swordsman Way,” Katja said reading off the address from a text Brynjar sent.
“Alright, that’s like 10 or so minutes from your place Vera,” Hiccup said pulling out of the school. “Well, walking. Probably cut it off a few by driving,”
“When you pull up, you might see Aunt Kelda’s white Pilot in the driveway, or Uncle Viggo’s red Silverado,” Vera said. “Depends who will be home. Obviously, Brynjar’s Mazda won’t be there,”
“Your dad and uncle have the same car?” Hiccup asked.
“I’m not sure how, but I think Dad got it for Uncle Viggo as a birthday gift or something?” Vera looked at Katja. “Wasn’t it?”
Katja did a mental math check, “Yeah, I think so. Dad’s truck was falling apart, he hadn’t gone shopping yet, and then things got chaotic, so he never had a chance to buy a car. I think Mom told Uncle Ryker and it just happened he bought a new car and there was a special going on. They have the same type of car, just different colors. Dad has Red and Uncle Ryker has Blue.”
“Do we need to stop at your house Vera to get Katja’s things?” Heather asked, turning to look at the cousins.
“Mom said Aunt Hertha would bring everything when they come over tonight,” Katja said looking at a text. “Your parents and brother are coming over for dinner, by the way,”
“Sweet, we get some of Aunt Kelda’s awesome food, not that Mom’s food isn’t amazing,” Vera said.
Everyone laughed at Vera who just childishly stuck her tongue out. Katja giggled before looking outside.
“We’re entering Swordsman Way, Heather can you tell me when 938 is coming?” Hiccup asked.
“Sure,” Heather said. “We’re at 900’s right now. So, a way to go,”
About three minutes passed before Heather said, “There, 938.” Pointing to the right.
Hiccup turned into the driveway and pulled up behind a white Pilot. “Wow,” he whistled. “This is nice,”
The outside of the house was nice. It had a mixture of brick something else, but no one knew what it was. It was two stories tall. There was a three-car garage, separate areas, a two-car and single car one. The front porch wasn’t much, honestly, but enough to have a two-person rocker and two other chairs and a small table. The archway in front was amazing, made completely from river stones.
“Looks like Dad might be out at work doing final things or Mom sent him on a grocery run,” Katja said getting out of the car. “Thanks for the ride Hiccup, um, do you want to come in?” she asked a blush forming on her face. “Uh, y-you can come to Heather,”
Heather grinned at Hiccup, who was slightly red, “U-Uh s-sure.”
Vera had her eyes on Hiccup and Katja. She trusted Hiccup 100% but was still a bit wary with her cousin and other guys.
Katja led the way to the front door, and there the others noticed a little box were the doorbell was. “Mom wanted a Code Box installed in case someone got locked out.” She explained pulling her phone out and reading a text. She lifted the lid up and typed the code, 8-3-5-1.
“That’s smart,” Hiccup said.
Katja smiled but said nothing. She opened the door, “Mom, I’m home!”
“In the kitchen!” a voice called.
Entering the front door, the four walked through a hallway, noticing a door to the left, but it was shut. Across from that door, was another hallway and they saw the stairs. Continuing straight, they found themselves in a large room, very much like Vera’s home. And like in Vera’s house, straight ahead was a table and then to the right was the kitchen. Though, beyond the kitchen, they saw a shut door.
In the kitchen was a woman with dark strawberry blonde hair tied in a neat ponytail and like Katja, had silver eyes. She was moving quickly in the kitchen, going from the counter to the stove behind her and then to the oven.
“Is your mom always like this?” Heather asked.
“Mom is the main cook in the house, Dad can’t cook for shit, and Brynjar burns water. I’m learning, but Mom is the main one. She cooks a few meals a day, so they can make easier during the week. Mom is working at the zoo, so there might be days she has to stay late. Safer to have pre-cooked meals than have Dad try to cook,” Katja said. She placed her backpack against the wall, and everyone did so as well.
“Hi, sweetie, Vera,” the woman said pausing and then noticing Hiccup and Heather. “Friends?”
Katja nodded, a smile forming on her face. “Guys, this is my mom, Kelda. Mom, these are my new friends Heather and Hiccup,”
“Hi,” Heather said.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Hiccup added.
“Nice to meet the both of you too,” Kelda said. “How do you like the house so far?” she asked Katja.
“I like it. Does stink it’s far from Vera’s,”
“Yeah, that’s the sad part. There were some homes open, but they didn’t have enough bedrooms. And there are four of us,” Kelda said.
“That makes sense,” Vera said. “I think we got lucky that our house came with four bedrooms, even though Agnar didn’t come years later.”
“Where’s Dad? I know Brynjar is at practice still,”
“He had to go into town to talk to Chief Hofferson. He also had to talk to them about some things. I am not sure what. If you want to give your friends and Vera a tour you can. I’d do it, but as you can see,” Kelda pointed to the kitchen. “I’m a bit busy.”
“What’s for dinner Aunt Kelda?” Vera asked, hopping onto one to the island seats.
“That’s a surprise,” Kelda winked at Vera making her whine. “I will say, it has my corn pudding,”
“YES!” Vera cheered. “Oops. Don’t tell Mom,”
Kelda laughed but said nothing. Katja giggled at her cousin.
“Let’s do this tour~,” Vera said hopping off the chair.
“As you can see, this is the Great Room, Dining Room, and Kitchen all close by,” Kelda said. “That door over there,” she pointed to the shut door, “Leads into one of the guest rooms we have. We have two more upstairs,”
“And that’s my cue to take over,” Katja said with a smile.
“Oh, that closed door you walked by upon entering, leads to my office and the powder room!” Kelda called as she led everyone towards the front to take the stairs upstairs.
“Got it! Thanks, Mom!” Katja called. “Upstairs,” Katja added leading the way.
“Nice view,” Heather said looking out the stair window to see the cars and also the other houses. It was a nice view.
“It is nice. Hopefully won’t be too loud in the early mornings,” Katja said. “Up the stairs and to the left, is my room and the spare room we have. Mom doesn’t know to do with it yet, so right now it’s being used as storage.” Katja explained, pointing to the open room. “I’ll show you mine in a bit,”
Katja led them to the right and came to the end, “Two guest rooms,” she pointed to the two, “One will be my Uncle Brendan’s room when he visits–not sure when that’ll be. And this is Brynjar’s room. I’m not going to step in there for the privacy of my brother. He could have come during Free Period for all I know,”
The girls laughed while Hiccup rolled his eyes, in a good way. Katja led them to her room, “It’s not much,” she shrugged.
Katja’s room looked like a forest. With her comforter having an image of a wolf on it was easy to see that her room was wolf themed. Entering the room, they found a queen-sized bed against the wall and corner, with a nightstand right next to it. Across from the bed was a desk with a laptop on top. Straight down from the bed was the closet. To the left walking in, was a sliding door leading into the bathroom. On the wall where the nightstand and dress were, there were pictures of wolves, varying from one howling, a mother and pups, and an entire pack. Also next to the desk was a bookshelf with many books.
“Dresser is in my closet, there’s room,” Katja said.
“Wow, this is nice,” Hiccup said, “Love wolves?”
“Canines. I’m hoping Mom and Dad will let me adopt one from the shelter sometime.”
“There are plenty there,” Hiccup said. “I’d adopt one myself, but the apartment is limited 1 pet. And I have Toothless. If we could foster, I would, but with Mom at work most of the day and me at school, not much to do,”
“Agnar got a cat from the shelter on Sunday. And oh my god. It’s insane at home,” Vera said collapsing on Katja’s bed. “It chases Sunspot all over the place, thank goodness that Stryker is only a kitten,”
From there the group just started talking about random things. It ranged from school to what Katja did on Hysteria, and other random things.
. . .
“Guys?” Kelda’s voice made them all stop talking as she reentered the room. “Dinner will be ready in a few minutes. Would you like to stay Hiccup and Heather?”
Hiccup and Heather looked to Katja’s nightstand and aw her alarm clock, 6:50 pm it read. They didn’t expect time to fly by so fast.
“Well,” Hiccup said.
“It’s no bother. I always make more than I need. When you have Viggo and Ryker they can eat a huge amount. I always have to make more just to feed my brother-in-law.”
“It’s true~,” Vera said with a grin.
“I can ask my brother,” Heather said.
“I’m pretty sure we can. Mom’s working overtime at the Animal Shelter, so she won’t be home,” Hiccup said. “Let me just check,”
Kelda nodded and look to her daughter and niece, “Hertha and Ryker are on their way. Brynjar is about a minute away so he’ll be here soon and your father just got home. Wash up if you please,”
“’K Mom/Aunt Kelda,” the girls said at the same time.
“Mom says it’s fine,” Hiccup said at the same time Heather said, “Dagur’s cool. Thanks for letting us stay.”
“You’re welcome,” Kelda began to leave the room when she remembered something. “Oh, Katja, Hertha is bringing your things over as well.”
“OK Mom,” Katja said with a smile.
Kelda smiled, she was happy Katja was making new friends. After her ordeal, she was worried about how Katja would recover. They still had the therapist to see tomorrow so that could do anything.
. . .
As Kelda said, Brynjar arrived home one minute later. Katja didn’t see much of him since he ran upstairs and into the bathroom. She guessed he didn’t get a chance to shower at the school.
Five minutes later, Hertha, Ryker, and Agnar arrived. Vera let out a loud groan as her brother’s voice was heard walking up the stairs. Now, Katja understood why her brother might have run: to avoid Angar.
“Whatcha doing?!” Agnar opened the door, without asking, walking into the room.
“Talking,” Vera said giving her brother a look. “And don’t barge into Katja’s room! You weren’t allowed to do it when she was staying with us, so you can’t do it now!” Vera got up and marched over to her brother and lead him out.
“I’m going to check on Brynjar, I’ll meet you guys downstairs,” Katja said.
“Sure,” Heather said, and she and Hiccup followed Vera and her brother...who were already bickering.
Once her cousins and friends went downstairs, Katja walked to the bathroom where her brother was. “Brynjar, Agnar went downstairs,”
“Thank god,” Brynjar said opening the door. “I love the kid, but he just bugs the crap out of me!”
Katja giggled making her brother glare at her. She shrugged before walking off. “Mom says dinner is ready. And Heather and Hiccup are here too!”
. . .
Dinner was interesting. Kelda served her world-famous corn beef and sauce, plus mashed red potatoes, and corn pudding. Agnar kept annoying Brynjar and he was doing all he could to not snap. Heather was giving Katja a look, but she shrugged. Kelda tried to get Agnar to stop but he wouldn’t have it.
“Agnar, enough,” Ryker said in a firm voice. “Brynjar is probably tired today and you are not making it easy.”
“What? It’s my job to annoy him.” Agnar said.
Ryker gave his son a look, "It's your JOB to be GOOD! Now leave him be!"
Agnar said nothing but leaned back in his seat and pouted. Thankfully, the pout did nothing to anyone.
“Uh, thanks for letting us stay for dinner, Mrs. Grimborn,” Hiccup said. “But, we should probably be getting home,”
“Not a problem,” Kelda said, “Thank you for driving Katja and Vera back home, I know from personal experience, having a ride is much easier. Busses were never fun,”
“I’ll walk you out,” Katja said, standing from the table as well. “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she told her family.
Kelda smiled and gave a nod and begaen to clear the table.
“Sorry about Agnar,” Katja said leading her two friends to the front door.
“Don’t worry. We’ve seen him annoy Vera to the worse. That’s what siblings do, though,” Heather said. “I’m not sure about why he bugs Brynjar...”
“Sibling stuff or I guess, cousin rivalry?” Hiccup suggested.
“I’m not sure,” Katja admitted. “But, Agnar normally does this to Brynjar whenever our families meet up.”
“Could it be Agnar wants to be like Brynjar?” Heather asked.
“Not sure....” Katja trailed off. “Thanks for staying. Sorry about the family,”
“No worries,” Hiccup said as he and Heather walked out the front door with Katja following. The black-and-purple haired girl followed them until they got to Hiccup’s car. “See you and Vera at school tomorrow,”
“Oh. I’m probably going to be a little late, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and couldn’t get an appointment until 10:00,” Katja said.
“No worries,” Heather said, her door still open, as Hiccup started the car. “I’ll take notes for the other classes for you.”
“Thanks, see ya,” Katja remained outside as she watched Hiccup pulled out of the driveway. The two friends waved goodbye to Katja before driving off. Once they were out of her sight, Katja returned inside, where the voices of Vera and Angar bickering could be heard. She let out a sigh but moved inside.
. . .
(Archi Academy, Cafeteria - September 15, 2016, 11:33 am)
“Hello?” Vera said answering her phone that rang a few minutes after left her Fifth Period Class. Sadly, none of her friends had her Biology class with Matthew Warren. “Oh, hey. Will Aunt Kelda drop you off here?”
Still, on the phone, she walked into the cafeteria and she found her friends sitting at one of the long rectangle lunch tables. The boys were on the side facing the lunch line while the girls were on the side Vera was approaching. Soren waved to Vera who smiled and waved back and then pointed to her phone. Soren nodded understanding. Vera sat next to Signy and continued her phone call. “We’re sitting at one of the long rectangle tables, so should be easy to find. Could you see if Aunt Kelda can stop at Berkys? I forgot my lunch at home...You’re there? Oh alright, my usual, please. Tell Aunt Kelda thanks and I’ll pay her back. ‘K See you in a few minutes,”
“Was that Katja?” Heather asked taking a seat next to Vera, pulling her lunch out of her backpack.
“Yep. She had a doctor’s appointment today and Aunt Kelda is going to drop her off. She’s also bringing me lunch since I forgot mine,”
Cami sighed, “Are you forgetting it on purpose or did you do it since you know your Aunt might be stopping at a fast food place?”
“Uh...” Vera got out. “...Both?” she asked with a shrug.
Cami sighed, facepalming.
10 minutes later Vera’s phone went off. “Katja just arrived. Aunt Kelda is just checking her in,”
“One deluxe hamburger with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, mayo, ketchup, and a side of fries,” Katja said placing a bag in front of Vera surprising her since she was looking at her phone.
The others also jumped in surprise to hear Katja. They didn’t even hear her come up!
“Thanks!” Vera said going right to her burger. She let out a moan at how good it was.
Katja shook her head but opened her own bag to reveal the same things, just no fries.
“Oh, I have the notes from the morning classes,” Heather said to Katja, “I can email them to you or if you want you can come over after school? Either way works with me,”
“I think I can do after school,” Katja said. “I just have to text my Mom. I’m pretty sure Brynjar can pick me up too after his practice,”
“Works for me, if not, you can spend the night,” Heather said with a smile. “We still have the History project to finish, at least last-minute details.”
“Shoot, I forgot. I have all the information, but it’s just not put together,” Katja said. “I might have to spend the night. Let me text my parents and ask first,” she paused in eating her burger and pulled her phone out.
“Ragna, Olivia, cheer practice will be running late,” Astrid said coming up to the table. “With the first game coming we have to practice longer,”
“Alright,” Ragna said. “Are we trying new routines?”
“I’ll have to ask Eleanor, but I think so. She wants to do new things especially at this game,” Astrid said.
“Cheer practice?” Katja wondered aloud, looking up from her phone.
“Astrid, Ragna, and Olivia are part of the Cheerleading Squad. Eleanor Kingston is the Captain and junior.” Hiccup explained. He was sitting across from Katja.
“Oh, ok,” Katja glanced down at her phone to see that her mother sent a text back with an “Okay” allowing her to go over to Heather’s. “Mom says it’s ok to go over to your place,” she said looking at Heather and the girl gave a nod.
The remainder of lunch was just everyone talking about things, each with their own little group.
Without everyone occupied, Vera decided to ask Katja how her appointment went. “How did it go?” the younger Grimborn asked.
“It went alright. Dr. Wang says we’re going to go slow and try to remove the fear,”
“Slow and steady,” Vera said and Katja gave a nod.
. . .
When the final bell rang, Brynjar quickly left his last class. He hoped to find his sister before she went home, or wherever she was planning on going after school. He wanted to see how her therapy appointment went. He knew his sister’s class schedule and since today was a Green Day, she would be in the Science Wing. Or he hoped.
Unfortunately, he just missed Katja, so now he had to run to where her locker was. Since both were new this year, their locker was in the hallway where the last of the students were, the Z students. Thankfully, he found her by his own locker. Their lockers were next to each other.
“Geez,” he said walking up to his sister. Katja turned hearing his voice and gave him a confused look. “You walk fast. Then again, I was in the English hallway and that’s on the other side of the Science wing.”
Katja said nothing but rolled her eyes. “Is there something you want?”
“One, no not really, and two, I wanted to ask you about your appointment. I left my phone charging at home,”’ Brynjar said.
Katja sighed, “Here,” she put her hand into her backpack and pulled out a dark blue iPhone. “Mom saw it when she went to get your laundry and gave the phone to me to give to you today. I didn’t see you at lunch, so I couldn’t give it to you. In fact, I didn’t see you, Rolf, or Axel at lunch,”
“Firstly, thanks,” Brynjar said taking the phone. He winced seeing the texts from Rolf and Axel. But what really caught his attention was the unknown number. Who could have his number? He didn’t give it to anyone but friends–he erased Dane’s number right after the incident. He opened it and let out a sigh. It was only the Captain of the Football Team, Joshua Jenkins, telling him that practice would be longer today. Then he thought, how Joshua got his number. He shrugged, thinking that the Axel might have given it to him. “Secondly, I was at a mandatory meeting with the team for the game this Friday. And thirdly, practice will be longer, so can you let Mom and Dad know I might not be home for dinner?”
“I’ll try, I’m going to Heather’s after school to get the notes from morning classes and to finish our history project, it’s due tomorrow,” Katja said. “And the appointment went fine. We’re going slow to work the fear out of me,” her grip around her books tightened.
Brynjar quickly pocketed his phone and then pulled Katja to him in a side hug. She buried her face into his jacket, “Hey, it’ll be alright. You’re not alone. Mom, Dad, Vera, Aunt Hertha, and Uncle Ryker...and dare I say Agnar...are all here for you. OK, I’m not sure about Agnar, he’s too young to even think about this,” the last statement got Katja to laugh a little bit.
“Thanks,” Katja whispered. The siblings stayed in the hug for a few more minutes, totally ignoring all the looks were they getting. Yes, it was true that neither looked like each other: Brynjar took after his Dad while Katja took after her mother and paternal uncle, Brendan. Neither cared, they were family and that’s all that matters.
Finally, Katja pulled away, “If I’m not home when you are, I’ll call to tell you my plans.”
“Alright. Since practice will be longer, I have no idea what time we’ll be done. It could be six for all I know. But I’ll call when I’m finished.” Brynjar said.
“Deal,” Katja said with a smile.
“Hey, Kat, ready? Hiccup is waiting in the parking lot.” Heather said coming up.
“Sorry, was talking to my brother,” Katja said quickly stuffing her books into her backpack.
“Don’t worry, I know what brothers are like,” Heather said with a wave of her hand. “Hiccup doesn’t have to work at the clinic today, so he can help us a bit on homework, history or math,”
“Cool, that’ll be great,” Katja said.
“Wait. It’s only you guys?” Brynjar asked, his overprotectiveness coming out.
“Yes,” Katja sighed, “But, we’ll be fine. We’re in the kitchen of Heather’s apartment. Hiccup doesn’t stay long. Just enough to help us with the homework,”
Brynjar wasn’t okay with this, but, he met Hiccup. The teen was a nice kid, polite and friendly. But, after Dane, Brynjar was cautious with everyone. Katja hasn’t said anything, so that had to be a good thing...
“I’m alright,” Katja said softly, placing a hand on Brynjar’s arm. “Hiccup is a good guy, I promise,”
Brynjar looked at his sister and eventually sighed, “Alright. Does Mom know?” Katja nodded, “OK. I gotta head to practice, so I’ll see you whenever. Call me when you get to Heather’s place, alright?”
“I will,” Katja quickly hugged her brother before he departed to the Boys Locker Room. “Let’s go,”
Heather smiled and led the way to the parking lot where Hiccup was waiting.
. . .
(Football Field – September 15, 2016, 3:00 pm)
“Alright everyone, break time is over! Let’s get back to practicing the routine!” Cheerleading Squad Captain Eleanor Kingston said.
Senior Bianca Moretti didn’t like it that a Junior beat her for the spot as Captain. She didn’t like it. Bianca thought the routine was dumb and stupid and didn’t like that Freshmen and Sophomores were on the team. She thought they were useless; Juniors and Seniors were better, in her eyes. Bianca also disliked that Eleanor allowed boys to join. She also didn’t like the Sophomore Astrid Hofferson.
Speaking of Astrid, she, Ragna, Olivia, and a few others were getting ready to do the tower. Since Astrid was smaller and lighter than the others she would be on top of the tower.
“Ready?!” Junior and Co-Captain Athena Novak, and Eleanor’s best friend asked looking up juniors Destiny Michael and Oriana Blaine who were the level before the top. Athena was with Eleanor, ready to throw Astrid to the top.
“Ready!” the two said.
“Is everyone else ready and stable?” Eleanor asked looking at the girls and boys on the bottom. There were two boys on the team, and they were greatly appreciated; Elijah Kingston, Eleanor’s twin brother, and his boyfriend, Zach Duncan. Since they were slightly stronger than the girls, they were able to help on the bottom level.
“Yep,” Elijah said, with a big grin. “Everyone else?”
Athena and Eleanor shared a look, “Ready Astrid?”
“I am,” the Sophomore said with confidence.
“Alright, 1, 2, 3!” the seniors said and tossed Astrid up.
They tensed as the teen twirled in the air and then land on Destiny and Oriana’s shoulders. She shook for a moment, scaring the seniors, but soon she got her grip. Getting her grip, Astrid had her hands up in a V formation, fists closed, and she and everyone else yelled,” Archi Academy Dragons!”
Athena and Eleanor clapped, but before anyone could do anything else, the tower got unsteady.
“What?” Eleanor was quick to react and tried to get the girls to stabilize, but nothing worked.
Athena looked around and then saw who the cause of things was. Bianca Moretti. She was standing behind one of the juniors on the bottom row with a smirk on her face. Athena wasn’t sure but if she had to guess, Bianca must have left for some reason and came back only to make the girl shake and lose her concertation.
“Astrid!” Eleanor shouted, and Athena’s attention switched and looked up only to see Astrid about to topple over. Before anyone could react, Astrid fell backward, making everyone scream.
As she fell, Astrid shut her eyes, ready to hit the ground, but she felt someone catch her. “Whoa! Are you alright?” a familiar voice asked.
Astrid opened her eyes only to see Katja’s older brother Brynjar staring at her with his pale green eyes. He also had a worried expression on his face. Astrid also noticed that he was in his Football uniform still. And dare she think it, he was hot looking.
A blush formed on the Sophomore Cheerleader’s cheeks. “B-Brynjar?”
“Yep,” the elder Grimborn said. “Again, are you alright?”
“I-I y-yes. Thank you for catching me,” Astrid got out as he put her back on her feet.
“No problem.” He said, reaching down to get his helmet.
“Astrid!” Eleanor cried running over to her, “Thank Odin you’re alright!”
“Thank you, for catching when you did.” Athena said, coming up with Eleanor, “Wait, football practice isn’t over...”
“No. I had to use the restroom...drank too much water. Ended up being here at the right time,” the oldest Grimborn said with a shrug.
“Thanks again,” Eleanor said as she let Ragna and Olivia look over their friend. She turned to the squad, “Practice is over for today. Tomorrow, I want to see everyone at lunch for a meeting. Bianca, you stay,” she added as the others began to leave.
As Ragna and Olivia pulled her to the locker rooms, Astrid turned back to try to see Brynjar but saw his back (with his jersey number being 4) as he headed back to the football field.
(Girls Locker Room – September 15, 2016, 3:30 pm)
Astrid stood in the showers thinking what happened in the last half hour. Bianca made one of the girls lose their balance and concentration making the others shake and that made her fall off. But, thankfully Katja’s brother was there when it happened.
Just thinking about the senior/football player made Astrid think. She met him when Katja first came but thought nothing of it. Just an older brother to her friend’s cousin. But now...she didn’t know.
She knew she felt something when he caught her. She felt sparks when his hand ran over hers.
Astrid quickly shook her head. Why am I feeling this? I’ve met Brynjar when Katja started last month. But, why is this now happening?
Astrid finished in the shower and quickly dried and got dress. She was about to leave the school when someone made her go to the football field. She wasn’t sure what, but she walked towards there.
Reaching to the field, she saw the players running around. She didn’t care much for Football, but as part of the cheerleading squad, she went to every game. Her eyes narrowed in on Player Number 4 and right away she knew it was Brynjar.
. . .
(Archi Academy Football Field, 3:30 pm)
Brynjar was trying to focus but he couldn’t. After catching–or saving–Astrid his mind wasn’t in place. Thankfully, Joshua saw it and had him sit out for a bit, using the excuse of family drama–which honestly wasn’t that far from his normal thoughts. Sitting out for one of the mock drills was what he needed, but for how long?
What the heck was that about? Those sparks...
Brynjar shook his head. He had no idea what was going on, but right now, he needed to get his head in the game, or mock game.
“You ready to get back in, Grimborn?” Coach Jorgenson asked walking over.
“I am,” Brynjar said standing up and putting his helmet on.
“Good. Michaelson, switch with Grimborn!” Spitelout yelled to a guy wearing jersey number 50.
. . .
The practice was going to be over in about fifteen minutes and Brynjar was playing quarterback in the mock game. At that moment, he looked up, only for his eyes to go wide: Astrid was sitting on the sidelines. And of course, that moment was all was needed to get a football to the head knocking him off his feet.
“Ugh,” Brynjar groaned sitting up. He pulled his helmet off and rubbed his head. While the helmet protected his head, it still hurt being hit.
“Grimborn, are you seriously ok? You’ve been out of it since you got back here,” Joshua asked helping him up.
“Honestly, no freaking idea. So much is going on, but football usually helps keeps my mindset,”
Joshua looked at him and then to where Brynjar was looking. “Sit on the side for now. The mock game is almost over, and I think you’ve been practicing enough, for today. We can have another mock game at lunch tomorrow, so try to get your head on, alright?”
“Got it, thanks,” Brynjar let out a sigh and headed to the bench, he knew everyone was looking at him, and he didn’t care. He needed to get his head on. But, what was going on...
He sat down on the bench and put his helmet next to him. He stared on the field watching his teammates run and failed to notice Astrid coming up.
“Um, are you alright?”
Brynjar jumped in his seat and whipped around only to see Astrid standing behind him. He was so in his thoughts he had not heard the blonde walk up.
“Uh, yeah. The helmet helped for not getting hit so hard,” he got out. Why am I nervous?!
“That’s uh, good.” Astrid looked away, “I uh, wanted to say thank you again, for catching me,”
“No problem,” What is this feeling? Brynjar thought as he stared at Astrid’s blue eyes.
The silence went through them, the only sound is coming from the other football players and Coach Spitelout’s yelling.
Suddenly, they jumped hearing a sound. Brynjar reached into his backpack and pulled his phone out. He took a moment to read the message and a smile formed, “Kat’s spending the night at Heathers, the project got a bit insane... Do you want a ride home?”
A smile formed on Astrid’s face. “Sure.”
. . .
(Archi Academy - September 16, 2016, 6:45 am)
“Happy birthday, Adelaide!” Katja said, walking into the school and spotting Hiccup, Snotlout, and Adelaide together. Since she spent the night with Heather, she was in some of Heather’s clothing.
The newly turned sixteen-year-old blush but accepted the hug from the black-and-purple-haired girl.
“Thanks, Katja!” Adelaide said. Her mouth opened when she saw Katja put something in her hands. “Katja, you didn’t have to...”
“I know. But I wanted to,” Katja said her eyes looking away. “It’s nothing special...But, Hiccup told me of your old cat, Kingstail and how close you were to him...I-I hope you like it.”
Adelaide carefully took the wrapped item from Katja and slowly opened it. Her eyes went wide, and her mouth dropped as she pulled the gift out. It was a drawing of Kingstail, her father’s old cat. Kingstail was a Shorthaired feline with dark brown colors and bright green eyes. Adelaide and Snotlout’s mother Felicity got Spitelout Kingstail as a wedding gift, adopting him from the shelter. Kingstail lived up to Adelaide’s 10th birthday before passing away in his sleep; he was 16-years-old.
“I...” Adelaide couldn’t do anything but hug Katja. It’s been six years since she last saw Kingstail. This picture was what he looked like before he passed. She missed him deeply. “T-Thank you!”
“Thanks, Katja,” Snotlout said.
Katja smiled. “No problem. Here’s a digital version, just in case of anything,” she handed Snotlout a small USB.
Snotlout smiled and thanked her before pulling Adelaide off her. “Come on, let’s put this in your locker and then we have to get to class,”
Hiccup watched as his cousins walked off before making his way to Katja, “Thanks for that.” Katja looked at him in confusion. “Addie’s missed Kingstail so much it’s hard to watch her fake being happy. I really want to give her another pet, but I’m afraid of how she might react.
“Everyone reacts differently. But, it might be good for her. Won’t know until you see and take her to the shelter and tell her there,” Katja said.
“Hmm, you’re right. Thanks,” Hiccup sent Katja a smile making her blush a bit.
Vera narrowed her eyes at the two. Something was going on. She had a feeling Katja didn’t know but she knew something was happening or would be happening.
. . .
(Cafeteria, 11:30 am)
“Thanks for coming everyone,” Eleanor said looking at the Cheerleader. “I hope everyone was alright, even after that scare yesterday,”
“Astrid?” Athena asked, “How are you doing?”
“Good.” The sophomore said. “It was scary, but I’m ready to try again and not fail,”
Athena smiled, and Eleanor took over, “That’s great. Now, I know some people might be wondering why Bianca is not here.”
The Freshmen nodded, and Astrid had to admit she too was curious.
“She is on suspension. Coach Faith will talk to her Monday to why she did what she did,” Eleanor said. “I’m just glad Brynjar was there to catch you, or else it would have been much worse,”
Astrid turned a bit pink at the mention of Brynjar. She still wasn’t sure what was going on. After he dropped her at home, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. Her parents thought something was up, and she had to quickly make up something, so they wouldn’t think of anything. Unfortunately, her five-year-old little sister Anastasia wanted to know why Astrid was pink. It took some time, but Astrid was eventually able to get her sister to leave her alone.
“What’s the plan for tonight’s game?” Ragna asked.
“Routine will not change. The towers are the important moves for us, but I want everyone to be careful this time,” Eleanor said. “The game is at 6:00 pm sharp, and it’s a Home game. I’d like everyone in the Gym by 5, for a quick warm-up and practice round.”
“That can be done,” Astrid said, speaking for her, Ragna, and Olivia. The other girls–and two guys–gave their nods.
“Meeting is over,” Eleanor said.
Astrid and her friends left the table and walked over to where their friends were. The order this time was a bit different and they were at the rectangle tables again. Sitting on the side facing them as they were walking were Hiccup, Ruffnut, Heather, Katja, and Adelaide and sitting with their backs to them, were Soren, Vera, Signy, Snotlout, Camicazi, Fishlegs, and Tuffnut. Ragna sat next to Tuffnut while Astrid went next to Adelaide and Olivia next to Ragna.
Heather and Katja were sitting close talking to one another in low voices, though Vera didn’t look too worried. Astrid saw that there were papers in front of the two dark-haired girls and had faces that look like they had no idea what they were doing.
“They’re talking about something that Mr. Fungai gave them,” Ruffnut said. “Apparently, he gave the class something they hadn’t even gone over yet.” She shrugged.
“Mr. Fungai is just messed up,” Ragna said. “He’s always giving students homework they’ve never gone over before.”
Katja stopped talking with Heather and listened to Ragna, “And no one told the Headmaster about this?” she asked.
“Oh, we have,” Heather said looking over at Katja. “But, Mr. Fungai just lies on what he teaches us,”
“Is there any way to check him? If this keeps up, we’re going to drown not being able to understand the math and ultimately fail. I’m already stressing out and I did just move here!” as she said that, Katja planted her head on the table. Vera was quick to shove her backpack so Katja didn’t hurt herself.
“Didn’t Mom tell you to stop doing that?” she asked her cousin. Katja just gave her cousin the stink eye.
“Something should really be done,” Hiccup said. “Dagur is getting worried about Heather since she rarely stresses over things,”
“Mom is getting worried about me too,” Astrid said. “And she should know, she’s a Doctor,”
“If we do get Mr. Fungai reported, who could possibly be the new teacher? If they can’t find a replacement, so much for getting him to put away,” Fishlegs said.
“That is a good point,” Hiccup said. “If they can’t find a teacher, Mr. Fungai will remain as the teacher,”
“Wait,” Katja said lifting her head. “I might know someone,”
“Who?” Vera asked, looking at her cousin. “Wait, you don’t mean...”
Katja nodded as the friends looked confused.
“Uh, want to share with the rest of us?” Soren asked the cousins.
“Sorry,” Vera said, “But, Katja and I know someone who can become the new teacher, if Mr. Fungai is sent off.”
“My dad’s friend’s younger brother’s wife,” Katja said. “Dahlia Kongur. She has her teaching degree but had to take a leave to take care of her ill father. She’s currently jobless right now. But, if I call her I bet she would be happy to take it.”
“Since we now have a possible teacher, we can get to work on getting Mr. Fungai well out of teaching,” Fishlegs said. “Katja, Heather, have you done anything on your math homework?”
“No,” the two said.
“Good,” Hiccup said, “We can use it as evidence to what Mr. Fungai is doing.”
. . .
(Vice-Principal’s Office, 12:00 pm)
Unfortunately, they couldn’t see the headmaster due to him being away at a board meeting, so they went to the vice principal, Atali Mayden-Wrighton. Thankfully, she was able to see them.
“This is what your homework is?” Atali asked looking at the homework papers of Heather and Katja.
“Yes,” Heather said. “And we have zero ideas on how to do the work. We only managed the first few weeks because of my best friend and neighbor Hiccup Haddock,”
Atali looked over the works and noticed that it was nothing the students would be learning until near the end of the school year! “This is ridiculous. And you’ve only been able to get it done because of your friend Hiccup?”
“What math is your friend in?”
“Pre-Calculus. Hiccup did Algebra in eighth grade, and Algebra 2 in ninth grade, and the past summer he did Geometry,” Heather explained.
Katja stared in shock. She knew Hiccup was smart and very artistic, but hearing he did Algebra 1 in middle school and the rest between now and the end of middle school. She was shocked.
“Alright. Do you do know, when this is brought to the School Board unless a replacement can be found, this might continue,” Atali said.
“We thought of that, or well Fishlegs did,” Heather said.
“I know someone can be the replacement. She’s had her degree for a while but was off work due to caring for her ill father at the time,” Katja said. “Her name is Dahlia Kongur and she’s on Visithug Island right now.”
Atali nodded. “Alright. Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll make copies of this, show it to the Headmaster and go from there. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done until we can get a meeting with the School Board. Get Hiccup to help answer the questions and come to see me Monday Morning. We’ll get this done before school starts,”
Heather and Katja nodded, there wasn’t much else they could do.
. . .
Walking onto the Football field, Astrid was not prepared to see Brynjar standing where she was going to be standing with her reteam. She also didn’t expect to see Katja standing near him.
“She’s his sister, of course, she’ll be close by,” Astrid muttered. She noticed that Katja was wearing a jersey but couldn’t see what it said.
When Katja turned, Astrid saw that it said: GRIMBORN, 4. Astrid was confused but then saw that it had the colors of Hysteria High School; green and gray. Archi Academy was red and black. Katja was wearing Brynjar’s old jersey.
“It’s Brynjar,” Ragna said elbowing Astrid. The blonde blushed and glared at her friend.
“Shut up,” Astrid muttered.
“And Kat,” Olivia said. “I didn’t expect her to be here early though. She doesn’t seem like someone who likes football,”
“Her brother is on the team. So, she probably comes to support him,” Astrid said before making her way over to the Grimborn siblings.
“Who are you playing against?” Astrid heard Katja ask.
“Berserker High School,” Brynjar said.
“Didn’t you play against them in your last game at Hysteria High?” Katja asked, turning a bit nervous.
“Yeah...I did,” Brynjar narrowed his eyes as he saw a charter bus pull up and then a bunch of boys came piling out. Subconsciously, Brynjar pulled Katja closer to him. Berserk High School is on the Isle of Berserker, they were roughly an hour from Archi Isle itself, by plane. Ship or Ferry would be close to an hour and 45 minutes, depending on the sea. So, most times the other high schools came by plane and used a charter bus to get to Archi Academy.
Brynjar didn’t like Berserk High School. The team was known for playing rough, and some other high schools lost players due to their rough nature. Brynjar himself almost suffered a broken leg when he was playing or Hysteria. He got lucky. Another reason for him not liking them was because the captain, Diego Santiago, constantly flirted with Katja, even when she was dating Dane. Though, Dane did nothing most of the time–that really got him thinking of their relationship.
“Stay close to me or someone you know,”’ Brynjar said. “I still don’t trust Diego,”
“That won’t be a problem,” Katja muttered. “Hiccup and Heather are sitting with me. Dad will be coming, but Mom got a little stuck at work. Dad’s going to record the game for her,”
“Alright,” Brynjar said.
Before he could speak again, he heard his name being called. Turning, he saw Joshua motioning him to come into the locker rooms and the pointed to the big clock. Brynjar turned and saw that it was 10 to 6.
Brynjar sighed, “I gotta get going. Have fun watching the game,” he gave his sister a tight hug.
“I will. Show Berserker who’s boss!” Katja said with a grin.
Brynjar laughed and messes up Katja’s hair, making the girl cry out in annoyance. “Oh, I will, count on it,”
. . .
Since they got to the field early, Katja and her family and friends got front row seats. She found her Uncle Ryker, Aunt Hertha, and Agnar sitting in the front row. Agnar was playing on either Ryker or Hertha’s phone, she couldn’t see from the distance.
Out of the corner of her eye, Katja saw something and looked up to see Vera waving. To her right was Signy and Adelaide and to her left were the Twins, Snotlout and Fishlegs. The row below sat Hiccup and Heather. Katja waved and then pointed to her father. Vera nodded understanding and turned to talk to Signy.
She began to walk over to her family, keeping her head down to avoid stepping on anyone’s feet. “How’s Brynjar?” Her father asked, making Katja jump in surprise. She saw him sitting next to Uncle Ryker, while the larger man was holding back a laugh. Katja didn’t expect him to be here so soon. “The Chief let me leave my shift early.” He explained, pulling out a video camera.
“Dad! Don’t scare me like that! And to answer your question, he’s good and ready. They’re playing against the Berserker Warriors,”
Viggo’s eyes narrowed. Like his son, he had a dislike for the team, mostly due to an experience with the captain and Katja. “As long as Santiago stays away from you, I’ll be fine.”
Katja nodded, “Do you know how late Mom will be?”
“It’s unsure now. As she was leaving there was an emergency with one of the lionesses and they needed all vets.” Katja nodded understanding.
Kelda worked with all animals but specialized with felines and canines, she also had a strange ability to calm the animals down which helped, especially during checkups and if they had to go into surgery.
“She doesn’t know when she can come so I’m recording the game for her,” Viggo finished.
Katja nodded, “OK. Can I go sit with my friends? They’re in the top row,”
Viggo turned and saw Vera talking to Signy, turning back to Katja he said, “Sure. Just stay with someone if you want to get some snacks,” he dug into his pocket and pulled out a twenty-dollar bill, “Here, in case you want something to eat and Vera too,”
“Thanks,” she said smiling at her father, before making her way up. She easily found a seat between Hiccup and Heather, and the best friends didn’t even care. Both smiled at her (and Katja thought she might burn up if Hiccup looked at her again with that same smile) and she looked at Vera. “Dad gave me some money for you and me if we wanted snacks,”
“Cool,” Vera said. “I’m not hungry now, so we can get some snacks at half-time.”
. . .
Right at 6:00 pm, the game started. The game started with the Archi Dragons coming from the locker rooms with the Berserk Warriors waiting for them. Katja cheered loudly for her brother the minute she saw his jersey number. Her cheering did surprise everyone since they were used to a quiet, keeping to herself Katja. Not this loud and cheering one.
“She’s a totally different person during the games,” Vera said uncovering her ears.
“I can see that,” Hiccup said, his natural tongue of sarcasm coming in.
Vera gave him a look, but Hiccup merely shrugged.
“Katja’s attended every single game, even when she was younger and Brynjar was in the little league,” Vera explained when Katja’s attention turned to the game. “Brynjar claimed Kat was his lucky charm. But, oddly, I think she is. His last game was against the Berserker Warriors with Hysteria High School. He nearly broke his leg against them. The Warriors are known for playing rough, almost every game they played there was someone with an injury. Brynjar almost got hurt one time, but he didn’t,”
“Wow,” Signy got out, “He was close to getting hurt but he didn’t?”
Vera nodded, “Yeah. We all saw one of the other players physically ram into Brynjar to the point we thought his ribs were broken. But, after being knocked to the ground, Brynjar jumped back up, surprising everyone. He was fit, and nothing was broken,” she explained. “We still have no idea what the heck happened. All we do know was that Katja was standing near his coach screaming for him,” she shrugged.
The gang turned to look at Katja who was cheering once more. Looking onto the field they saw Brynjar had the ball in his hands and was running towards the end.
“GO! GO!” Katja cheered and screamed, jumping. Vera quickly put her hands on her cousin’s shoulders to stop her from jumping. Katja was too busy cheering to even notice.
Brynjar quickly dodged the other school’s players and barely missed one of the players tackling him. As he neared the other side he saw Diego about to block him, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Joshua.
They shared a look and Brynjar nodded. He threw the ball as hard as he could over to Joshua who then ran for the end. Within minutes, Joshua dodged the players, jumped over a few and then ran right to the end and scored a touchdown. Everyone cheered with the touchdown. Even those sitting on the sides were cheering.
. . .
There was about another hour left of the game and both teams were planning their final moves. Or, at least the coaches and captains were. Since he knew what Berserker was like, Brynjar was giving his notes to Coach Jorgenson and Joshua.
Astrid stayed with her team but watching Brynjar. Halftime had the Archi Dragons doing a battle against the Warrior Cheerleaders. There was no winner or loser but, Astrid swore she saw the captain glaring at her, or at Eleanor anyway.
After Brynjar moved away from Joshua, he pulled out a water bottle. But to Astrid’s shock (and going pale) he dumped it all over him. Astrid thought she was going to faint just watching it.
Oh, My Odin. Brynjar is going to be the death of me. Astrid thought to turn her body, so she couldn’t see Brynjar. Unfortunately, she couldn’t look away and took a little peak only to see him lift his jersey to wipe the water from his face, revealing his abs. She turned bright red once more and wiped her head around.
Ragna was watching Astrid and couldn’t help but grin. Astrid might have a crush–she didn’t care on the might. Anything with Astrid liking someone was good.
Olivia also noticed what was happening, but unlike Ragna, she was to the point. She walked over to Astrid, who was still refusing to look at the players. “So, is something going on with you and B. Grimborn?”
Astrid’s head moved so fast, Olivia thought she got whiplash. The blonde’s blue eyes were standing at Olivia wide and a blush was on her face. “N-No! I-I....”
Olivia grinned, “If it helps. I talked to Vera and she said that Brynjar has not dated since sophomore year. Had a girlfriend but ended badly.” She shrugged. “Might be your chance,”
Astrid opened her mouth to retort something, but no words came. “Girl, you are falling and fast,” Olivia said. “It’s obvious to everyone, but Brynjar himself,” she rolled her eyes, “Boys are so dense,”
Astrid stared at her friends. Was her crush that obvious?
“To answer your question, yeah, pretty much,” Ragna said walking up. “You said it out loud.”
Astrid’s cheeks immediately turned red. Her friends chuckled at her as she tried to get her blush down.
. . .
Hiccup never had an interest in football, not even when Gobber tried to get him into it. Part of the reason might have been due to his scrawny appearance when he was younger and him getting teased and bullied. While he didn’t care much for the sport, he did care for Katja. So, what happened when Katja asked if he wanted to go to the football game with her? He could not say no.
Heather stared at Hiccup. She was getting her things from her locker when she closed it and turned, only to find her best friend there. “You said what?”
“I said yes when she asked me to go to the game with her!”
“But, you don’t like football...”
“I know!” her best friend cried out, slamming his head against the lockers, only to regret it a second later. “Shit!”
Heather sighed, “And, why didn’t you tell her the truth?” she asked.
Hiccup muttered something under his breath which Heather was unable to understand. “What?”
“It’s because I didn’t want to upset her...”
Heather stared at him, “You are in deep,”
Hiccup said nothing, only letting out a groan.
. . .
Arriving at the field with Katja (he picked her up from home since Viggo couldn’t leave the station then and would be late), Hiccup was surprised to see how full the bleachers were. He knew the other school would have their full bleachers too, but for Archi Academy, he didn’t expect to see so many people. Straight away he saw Heather and the rest of the gang, which confused him, none of them were really sport orientated. But, considering Astrid, Ragna, and Olivia were on the cheerleading team, he thought they came to cheer her on as well.
While Katja went to speak with her brother, Hiccup made his way up to Heather and the gang, they took over the top row of the bleachers.
“So, how was the ride?” Heather asked with a grin. Hiccup said nothing and just shot his friend a look.
Thankfully, Heather didn’t have time to ask Hiccup something else, since Vera walked up.
“Hey, guys!” Hiccup saw that she had a jersey as Katja did, but hers didn’t have a number, it just said GRIMBORN in big blue lettering with the main shirt being black.
“Hey,” Signy said with a grin. “A GRIMBORN shirt?”
Vera nodded, “We always wear them when we go to one of Brynjar’s games. Family tradition. In fact, Aunt Kelda started it. Stinks that she might not make it tonight,”
“Why not?” Camicazi asked.
“Aunt Kelda is the new vet at the Zoo, and something about one of the Big Cats needing all vets happened when she was about to leave. Aunt Kelda is one of the best involving Big Cats and the bigger canines, so she was needed,” Vera explained.
“Wait. Kelda Grimborn, the one that solved found a cure for that hard-to-say illness for Lions?” Fishlegs asked, and Vera nodded.
“Oh my gosh!” Fishlegs cried. “I read about it. It was amazing.”
Vera grinned, “I’ll be sure to tell my Aunt when I see her again,”
While the others were talking about that and other things in general, Hiccup’s attention was down to where Katja was talking to her brother. Something was sticking out to him.
It was that Katja and Brynjar looked nothing alike. He knew some siblings might look alike unless they were identical twins like Ruffnut and Tuffnut. But, he thought Brynjar and Katja might have something similar...they didn’t. Brynjar had his dad’s brown hair, while Katja had black hair, which he guessed came somewhere alone Kelda’s side of the family, plus the silver eyes. Brynjar’s eyes were a pale green, which neither Viggo or Kelda had.
Hiccup shook his head, this wasn’t something he should be worried about. He looked on the field and saw a charter bus pull up. As the first player emerged from the bus, he knew what school they were playing against.
The Berserker High School Warriors. He didn’t know much about the High School, only that Dagur and Heather’s father, Oswald Lanvirk, attended it in his early years before moving to Archi Isle for college.
“Berserker High School, they are very rough players,” Katja said appearing next to her Hiccup and surprising him. “They’ve had many players at different schools break bones but are never caught. My brother got lucky one time,”
Hiccup wanted to ask, but before he could the clock hit 6:00, the start of the game.
. . .
With halftime over, there was an hour left of the game, and the score was 14-20, Archi Academy leading by 6 points.
“Do you know what the final hour will be like?” Hiccup asked Katja, coming back from the snack station with a hot dog for Katja.
“Thanks, and not really,” she said. “I don’t usually ask Brynjar about those. I like cheering but the sport itself, I know zip,”
“Well, now I don’t feel bad,” Katja looked at him as she was chewing her hot dog. “I know zip and don’t care much for the sport,”
Swallowing her food, Katja looked at him in confusion. “If you didn’t care for it, why did you say yes when I asked you to come with me?”
“I do not really know,” Hiccup admitted. “Something inside told me not to say no and just say yes, I’m not sure,”
Katja stared at him, unsure how to answer. But, she had to admit, she didn’t know why she asked Hiccup to come with her, even though she knew her family was coming.
“Hey, Kat,” Vera said, sticking her head between the two, surprising them. “Do you know if your parents are going to throw a party to celebrate the game?”
“They won’t. Mom will be exhausted from work, and Dad wants to make sure she rests. But, Dad did say that some of the other parents made a reservation at The Great Hall for the players. Dad says I can go, as long as I stay near Brynjar or someone I know,”
“Awesome! Hey, Hiccup, can you drive some of us?” Vera asked.
“Uh, sure?” Hiccup wasn’t sure about this party, most of the high school students would be there.
“Awesome,” Vera said before moving back to talk to the others.
“Do you want to go?” Hiccup asked Katja.
“I’m not sure. Normally, Brynjar and I would go home, he didn’t do the parties.” She said. “Usually, we go home and watch movies. Back then, Mom and Dad worked later hours, so we were home alone a lot,”
“Understandable,” Hiccup said. “I’m usually home alone with Toothless since Mom works long hours, plus being the head vet,”
Katja didn’t get a chance to respond, since the whistle blew, and the game started again.
. . .
It was almost 8:30, just a few minutes left of the game. The game started at 6 and would be ending around 8:30, a two and half hour game.
Katja held her breath as she saw Joshua throw the ball to her brother. Instantly a bunch of the Warriors started to surround him. She tensed. This is exactly what happened when he almost broke something, but only then, Katja was near the coach.
Under his helmet, Brynjar smirked and quickly dodged the other player with skill that made everyone stare in shock. Where the Berserker Warriors were larger and made of more muscle, Brynjar was leaner which allowed him to move at a quicker pace.
He ran full speed to the other side. Everyone held their breath to see what would happen. Then it happened.
Dodging a few more times, he raced for the ending and made the final touchdown just as the buzzer went off.
The final score was 16-34.
Everyone on the Archi Academy side jumped and cheered. Katja immediately got out of her seat and raced down the bleacher's stairs and onto the field. The others went after her, but at a slower pace.
Katja ignored everyone and ran straight for her brother, who was standing near the end posts. Seeing Katja, Brynjar yanked his helmet off and caught her as she threw herself at him, “You did it!”
Brynjar laughed and spun his sister around, “You bet!”
“Brynjar!” someone shouted.
Brynjar stopped spinning Katja and turned to see one of his teammates making their way over. He had jersey number 49. Pulling his helmet off and shook his blonde hair. Katja’s eyes widen to see...
Katja didn’t even know he was even apart of the football team. But, then again, she never asked.
“Oh, hey Katja. Nice catch Brynjar. Oh yeah, Coach wants everyone for a meeting before letting us go,” Soren said.
“Gotcha,” Brynjar said picking his helmet up.
“Can you tell Signy I’ll meet her by the locker rooms?” Soren asked Katja.
“Yep. I think everyone was talking about going to the After-Game Party that’ll be at the Great Hall,” Katja said.
“Alright. Thanks,” Soren said before he and Brynjar walked over to the rest of the team.
Katja waved to them, which Brynjar waving back, before making her way back to her friends.