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Wings Torn by Daggers

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Oh, gods it wasn't right.

Everything was wrong, unnatural.

This situation wasn't right.

Toothless stared at his shaking paws—no, hands. The unnatural, soft skin felt wrong. It looked wrong. H-his body. It felt wrong as well. His wings were still there. And his tail. He could tell that much.

The pain was gone, it disappeared a while ago, leaving burning numbness in its place.

And all he could do was stare. Stare at his hands because gods they weren't supposed to show up like this, because only he can do that but it's been so long.

Oh, but he was wrong.

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Everything was so gods-damned messed up.

"Toothless...?"

That voice...it—it was Hiccup's, right? Yeah. Hiccups.

"Toothless, bud, look at me."

There was a hand on his shoulder. His human shoulder that shouldn't be there.

There was another hand. On his chin. His chin that he didn't have three minutes ago, because it wasn't there when he was a dragon- but what is he now?

His head was forced up. Big, forest green eyes stared back at him. Eyes that were achingly familiar, eyes that meant he was safe.

Those green eyes kneeled in front of him, thumbs brushing away tears from his cheeks.

Oh, gods, had he been crying?

"H-Hiccup..?" He finally managed to rasp out. How? He didn't know He reached out and clung to the fabric of his rider's tunic because needed to feel safe and it was his first instinct.

No, it was wrong.

He should be the one comforting his rider. Protecting him. Not the other way around.

But oh, gods he needed it.

Hiccup cracked a weak smile, setting his hands on Toothless' shoulders.

"Yeah, bud. It's me."

They stared at each other. They stared because that's all they could really do, wasn't it? It was comforting. It was a way— no, their way of saying 'it's alright.'

It's alright that they didn't know that Alvin's kidnapping of Stoick the Vast (by some miracle, obviously) was just a plan to lure them here. It's alright that they didn't know that Dagur had set him up with a bargain to do it. It's alright that they didn't know about the witch Dagur had blackmailed into doing his dirty work.

It's alright that they didn't know that they had walked right into a trap.

Swallowing a sob that was rising in his throat because, gods, he needed to be strong for his rider right now, Toothless attempted to put his weight on the human legs that most definitely shouldn't be there because he was a dragon but oh, dragons have human forms, too, but not since the queen ruled because she banned them.

Butshe'sgonenowandthatmeans...

"Toothless, bud, calm down. I'm right here." Hiccup soothed.

Out went a shaky breath. In went another one.

"I'm here, bud."

His rider guided him. Somehow, they made their way back to the others.

It was agony.

His wings were limp. His tail was too weak to balance him.

It was all wrong.

His fire felt wrong. Wh...where was it? Where was his magic??

Gonewrongmissinggonegonewrongmissingwrongwrongwrong...

"Bud, c'mon." Hiccup pleaded quietly. What he was asking him to do seemed lost to both rider and dragon at that point.

He didn't respond. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity his rider came to his rescue, guiding him with more care than he deserved to a spot of the cold stone ground.

Sitting felt wrong.

Walking felt wrong.

Everything was so damned wrong.

There- there were more voices. Familiar voices. T-the other riders, right?

Hiccup was responding to them now. He sounded conflicted, confused, stressed...

Scared.

His rider was scared. Sure, it wasn't like he hadn't seen him like that before,

But this kind of scared felt wrong. Toothless could smell the fear, radiating off his rider like the prey he hunted in the forest back on Berk. But that smell shouldn't be on his rider.

Wrong.

He was shivering. Why was he shivering? His scales usually—

No. Gone.

Someone else was talking now. N-not one of the riders, it was too deep. Too— old.

Was it Alvin's?

No, not Alvin's. His voice had a stinging coldness to its undertone. This one was...warm. Warmer. Soothing even. Not belonging to Alvin.

The voice was getting closer now. Toothless involuntarily shrunk away. Something was draped over his back. A blanket..? No, too- too heavy. Or maybe too light. He didn't know anymore.

He shifted his eyesight that was too dull and too blurry and he couldn't see a damn thing because of it, over to see the material covering him.

It was a coat— no, a cape.

To be more specific, it was Stoick the Vast's cape. The man was sitting on his right.

He reached up with the hands that he shouldn't have because dragons don't have hands, and brought the blanket closer around himself. He was wearing…. clothes. The same color as his scales that weren't there anymore. How had he just realized that?

The clothes felt wrong.

They felt suffocating, like a trap.

His wings twitched under the cape, begging to fly, get away from here, find somewhere safe even though he couldn't because he needed his rider to do that but oh, what if this can't be reversed would he ever be able to fly again?

So, he remained where he was. The aching numbness wouldn't let him do anything.

He felt his rider shift on his left. The cape was lifted, and he felt a warmth beside him.

The numbness ebbed away in the very slightest.

There were arms around him. Wrapping around his shoulders and upper back. They guided him towards the warmth, enveloping him in it.

And he welcomed it.

Because it felt right.

His rider made everything seem alright. He felt safe in his rider's arms. His rider, his Hiccup, made everything okay.

He made everything right.

His rider was talking to him, soothing him. Toothless' arms reached up and snaked around Hiccup's waist as well. He breathed in that achingly familiar scent.

The scent that meant he was safe.

And slowly, bit by bit, the numbness disappeared altogether. His jumbled thoughts lined themselves up. Slowly, minute by minute, Toothless came back to the real world.

... It was no sooner than five minutes after that when the exact same thing happened to the other dragons.

There had been footfalls. That was the first thing Toothless had noticed. His ears had twitched at the sound and he lifted his head up slightly off his rider's shoulder towards the noise. How he did it he had no idea, as he found everything to be utterly exhausting. Even just sitting there in the dark cell they were in with his rider was enough to make him want to pass out now that the adrenaline was gone.

But hey, in his defense, he hadn't transformed since he was a hatchling. And he especially had never been forced to transform either. N-no, it wasn't that; it was more like he had literally had his magic sucked from his body and caused him to transform back into a weaker form.

Speaking of that... the witch. And Alvin. They had just come into view, standing in front of the cell.

"I see the night fury's survived." The Outcast said dismissively.

"Of course he's survived! I was the one who transformed hi— "

"Quiet, witch! You're here to do our work and nothing more!" Alvin all but screamed at the woman.

The witch, despite what she was, wasn't hideous— well at least not to human standards. She wasn't absolutely stunning either, though. She seemed to look like an average human lady between the ages of twenty and twenty-five. (though Toothless doubted she was anywhere near that age) She seemed— normal. Not ugly, but pretty enough to at least attract a mate, and clothed in a variety of brown furs.

If Toothless hadn't been a victim of the brunt end of her magic, he wouldn't have even guessed she was capable of it.

"What do you want, Alvin." Hiccup said through clenched teeth, and Toothless felt his rider tense up slightly next to him.

Alvin glanced over at Hiccup in amusement, his mouth twisting into a crooked smile. "Well isn't it obvious? I'm here to get my part of the deal."

Toothless was confused. What did the man mea—

"Witch, you know what to do." The Outcast said dismissively, inspecting the sword in his hand.

"I have a name you know." The woman grumbled through clenched teeth, clutching a gem strapped to a strip of worn hide around her neck.

"I don't care! Now do as you're told before I execute you on the spot!" Alvin yelled, thrusting the sword he was holding at her. The witch leaned back slightly from the tip, pointed directly at her throat as a precaution, but otherwise showed no sense of alarm to the blade from what Toothless could see.

"Yes, Alvin." She spat, turning towards the other dragons in the arena.

She raised her left hand, the right still clutching the, now glowing, emerald pendant, and held it through the bars of the cell. Toothless only had time to widen his eyes, before there was a blinding flash of light, followed by exclamations of surprise, worry, and pain from dragons and Vikings alike.

When Toothless was able to see again, because damn that flash of light was bright, he noticed five too many humans— err, half humans, in the cell than there were before.

The other riders were calling frantically to their respective dragons, who were either frozen stiff in pain and shock, in Hookfang's case, or in a full out faint like Barf and Belch.

Hiccup had left his dragon's side to hold Astrid back, who was practically pulling the boy along in her attempt to get to Alvin with her axe. The smaller Viking was doing his best to calm her down with soothing words, but they could barely be heard over the string of uh, not so friendly words coming out of the blonde's mouth.

Stoick was already up and making his way over to Alvin, who was watching the whole ordeal with a sick mixture of pleasure and ambition, and Toothless wasn't sure he wanted to see what would happen next, so he instead chose to go and try to help Stormfly, who was the only one without a rider to comfort her at the moment.

Walking was already difficult enough as it was, but with his mind clearer than it was when the transformation first happened, and the little muscle memory he had from when he was a hatchling, Toothless managed well enough.

Stormfly looked terrible. She was sitting on the ground, her legs tucked under her, and her new arms loosely holding her upper body weight. Her Amber eyes were staring straight ahead, sky blue wings and tail laying limply behind her.

Toothless kneeled down next to her (he really just stumbled and fell to his knees but he was too proud of a dragon to admit it) and nudged her a bit. After getting no reaction, he tried a second time. The former Nadder blinked repeatedly, before slowly turning her head to look at him.

There was a spark of recognition, and she seemed to sit up straighter as she realized who exactly was in front of her. Toothless gently grabbed her forearms, and tried his best to help her stand, as it was probably roughly the same amount of time since she had been in this form as he had, and made their way back over to the stone wall a couple feet behind them.

They both sat down, too exhausted for words and just watched the fiasco around them with dazed expressions. Hiccup had managed to calm Astrid down enough so that she wasn't full on dragging the boy along with her in her attempt to decapitate Alvin, (with the weapon she didn't have, the night fury might add) Stoick had taken said time to try and negotiate with the madman; he, too, had no weapon, otherwise there definitely wouldn't have been any 'negotiating'. The other riders were tending to their dragons, who seemed to be recovering a lot quicker than Toothless felt like he was (but then again you don't exactly keep track of time when it feels like the Red Death itself is trying to claw its way out of you)

The witch, who looked deaf to the things going on around her, continued her business; she was swirling some multicolored aura-like things around her left hand, holding four vials in the other. One by one, she separated each individual shade of aura and placed them into their respective bottles, corking them before turning back to her employer.

"Here." She growled, thrusting the vials at Alvin, interrupting the not so civil conversation between him and Stoick, "I did your dirty work, now can I please be dropped off at the mainland like I was supposed to have been?" She asked.

Alvin glared at her for a moment, or no— it was more as a dismissive glance, as if he was looking at a poor slave girl instead of a powerful sorceress. (quite dumb, considering Toothless had heard many rumors about Alvin's mother being a witch herself...he didn't know how credible that was though)

"Well that would be a very nice thing of me to do now, wouldn't it?" Alvin said, fiddling with the sword in his hand, "If, in fact, you had completed your end of the bargain."

The witch looked like she was about to explode, rivaling even Astrid, who was currently drilling every axe in the universe into Alvin's head mentally. She clenched her teeth, and put on a sickly-smile, tilting her head slightly at the Outcast. "I thought I had completed it? The request to keep my sorcery a secret was to extract the dragons' magic and put them into your hands. The only fair thing to do now is to free me."

"Wrong!" Came a new exclamation from the side. Dagur entered the scene, living up to his title with a smile that was nothing less of deranged. "The deal was: extract the dragons' magic and put a usable source of said magic into our hands! And uh," he leaned in close to the witch and cackled, "I don't think this magic is usable, am I correct? PLUS, on top of that, you still need to finish you're end of the deal with me."

The witch grimaced, but bit her tongue, obviously finding that if she argued it wouldn't end in her favor. "Fine." She announced, "Just take me to a room so I can get this into a usable source. And finish your Thor-forsaken potion."

Dagur hummed, satisfied before turning heel and leading the witch out of sight. Alvin looked after him, then back to the riders.

"Well then." He said with dismissal, and strode off, leaving the gang to process for themselves what had taken place over the last few minutes. Hiccup and Astrid stood by the bars for a moment, somewhere in a limbo between shock and anger, (much like everyone else) before the shield maiden gasped, and quickly ran over to Stormfly, who at that point was struggling to even sit up. She looked just as tired as Toothless felt. Hiccup was close behind her, coming up beside his dragon and slumping down on his right.

That's how they sat for the next couple hours, wanting to formulate a plan to get out of there but not being able to summon the energy to do so.

At some point during those 120 minutes of nothingness Hiccup had tilted his head back and stared up at the ceiling. His fried brain couldn't help but mull over the last sentence the witch had said before leaving. "Just take me to a room so I can get this into a usable source. And finish your Thor-forsaken potion."

Did that imply that Alvin and Dagur were using the witch for individual purposes? It sure sounded like it. And if that's so, what potion could Dagur possibly want? And what did dragon essence have to do with it? (The Viking assumed it was actually magic but he was too tired to ask Toothless about it)

...Toothless.

Why would he hide this from him? Wouldn't he want to socialize on a more advanced level with him? Maybe the accident prevented him from being able to transform. But if that was the case, then why didn't the other dragons do it? But they all looked like they were in a great deal of pain when it happened; most all of them can't even walk... Hiccup blinked and shook his head, realizing he had zoned out. It doesn't matter. Hiccup thought, pushing back his negative thoughts, what's done is done. He probably had a legitimate reason not to tell me. I can always ask him about it later.

The wait dragged on until even Stoick lost track of time. Hiccup had started quietly humming an old Norse lullaby to keep his nerves at bay, and Toothless and the other dragons even managed to get at least an hour of sleep; waking up and feeling a bit sore, but more than relieved to at least have some energy. (Hiccup had chuckled a bit because somehow Toothless had managed to get bedhead by just leaning against him)

Soon, after Hiccup was more than positive the sun had set hours before, the tiredness turned to boredom, which then turned to anxiety; because when you wait so long on Outcast island you start to become bored, you know you're in for something big.

Soon conversation started up as the occupants of the cell tried to distract each other with small talk, well besides Stoick, who seemed to be contemplating world domination. Toothless assumed he was either murdering Alvin in his mind or determining a way to get out of there. Or both.

Toothless listened around a bit. Meatlug and Fishlegs, typically, were geeking out about something; the Twins, Barf, and Belch were talking in excited whispers, about destroying something, probably. Snotlout and Hookfang had equal glares on their faces, bonding over unspoken agreements, and Stormfly and Astrid sat shoulder to shoulder, each drawing lines in the dust on the ground in front of them, snorting or humming at each other's temporary art.

Hiccup was still humming the lullaby from earlier, Toothless recognized it as one of the ones that Stoick liked to hum when he was happy back on Berk. Toothless watched him for a bit, smiling with teeth that were too sharp to belong to a human.

At some point Hiccup realized that Toothless was looking at him, and smiled, a bit embarrassed. "Sorry," He said, fiddling with his fingers, "helps me calm down."

Toothless shrugged, having to rethink his tongue placement before replying. "It's alright." The night fury was never good with words.

Hiccup snorted slightly, and they fell into a comfortable silence, the kind you get between two best friends. They stayed like that for a minute more before Toothless sighed, slumping down even further against the wall, causing his wings to ride up his back.

"...so." He said after a moment, "how about that weather we're having?"

Hiccup's shriek of laughter could be heard all the way down the hall into the room where Dagur was not-so-patiently awaiting the finish of the potion he had requested.


 

The deranged teen was pacing the length of the room, scowling and occasionally glancing over at the witch, who had been bending over a black cauldron for the past few hours, mumbling things under her breath.

"Are you finished, yet?" The Berserker whined like a child, despite the terrifying scowl on his face.

The witch visibly clenched her teeth, turning her head slightly to make her words a bit clearer, as she was facing away from him. (as if it would make that much of a difference, he had the patience of a child) "for the seventeenth time: no, it's not finished."

Dagur growled, stomping up to the witch. "It's been four hours! How long does it take to make a stupid potion?"

The witch took a long, self-sustaining breath, as to not lose her temper, before answering. "Potion making is a tedious process. Even a single drop of something wrong could cause this entire island to implode." She wheeled on him, coming inches within his face. "Would you like to give a shot at it?" She seethed.

Dagur actually stared at the cauldron as if contemplating on taking the position over himself, before crinkling his nose and shaking his head. "That still doesn't answer my question of why it's taking so long! Alvin got his magic within a few minutes! Why does he even want that, anyway?" Dagur asked mostly to himself, "He didn't even seem to think twice about letting me have the night fury magic... just wanted the others..." The Berserker was talking to himself now, and the witch scowled for the millionth time that day.

How these impatient, imbecilic, inconsiderate, idiotic Vikings had even captured her in the first place she would never understand. Maybe it was her own stupidity...

"For the last, count it last, time: making magic into a usable source is a way different and much more simple process than actually making something out of said magic. As for what Alvin wants with the other dragon magic, that isn't any of my business, nor do I know, so I couldn't tell you even if I wanted."

Dagur stared at her for a moment, before looking back at the cauldron behind her.

"...is it finished now?"

"I'm too old for this."

The witch turned back around, officially ignoring any words that Dagur said until the potion was finished. She studied the liquid for a moment, before nodding and grabbing the vial holding the Night Fury's magic within it, slowly uncorking it and dumping its contents into the cauldron, turning the mixture into a dark blue, almost black hue.

She stirred it for a few seconds, mumbling a few things under her breath, before turning to the table holding all her ingredients, grabbing a vial in one hand, and a few more substances in the other.

"Okay, it's done." Finally. "Just a few more ingredi— "

"It's done!" Dagur exclaimed, almost not believing it, rushing foreword and grabbing the empty vial out of her hand and streaking over to the cauldron, dipping said vial into it and filling it to the brim.

"N-no wait it's not—!"

Dagur started cackling in a way that made the witch feel irony.

"I'm coming for you, Hiccup!" He said, almost skipping to the door.

"Dagur, it's— "

But he was already gone.

The witch stared at the doorway for a moment, feeling a whole new level of doneness she had never experienced in her many years of life. She felt a slight pang of regret, mostly because of what the potions intentions were to be used for.

But mostly she felt nervous. The potion was only half finished.

She wasn't sure this Hiccup kid would survive.

Toothless and hiccup had been watching Astrid and Stormfly play a ridiculously intense game of tic-tac-toe for the past hour, when they heard footsteps practically skipping down the hallway making their way towards the cell. Now, it had been the first sound they had heard outside of their cell in hours, so of course, everyone turned their attention to the growing footsteps as they got closer.

"Oh Hiccup~!" Came Dagur's sing-song as he got closer, Toothless, who's ear flaps had perked up in trying to distinguish the footprints, fell back to his hairline as he growled. "Boy, do I have a present for you, Brother!" Dagur cackled, finally coming into view, leaning against the bars of their cell, holding... something.

He was followed by guards, at least eight of them; burly and frankly a bit frightening they were. One stepped forward and unlocked the gate, and most of them squeezed into the already cramped cell, one or two left outside to guard.

Dagur's smile was sadistic, creepy, even. He was swirling this weird vial of what looked like ink in his right hand, the other one resting behind his back.

The gang, dragons, and Stoick all subconsciously stood up, expecting a fight. Dagur suddenly snapped his fingers, and eight out of the (now eleven) guards in total moved in sequence, immobilizing any person considered a prisoner in the cell.

Well, all but one, anyway.

Dagur slapped his face, and grumbled a bit. "Really, Yakson? (a/n idk just roll with the name) we've rehearsed this like a thousand times."

"Yeah, uh, sorry sir I just—"

"GO GRAB SOMEONE!"

The guard scurried away like a kicked puppy and grabbed Astrid, who was giving the guard holding her some trouble. Toothless looked around, coming to realize that Hiccup was the only one not restrained. And that Dagur was slowly inching his way towards his rider. Thankfully, he seemed to be aware of that, too.

"What do you want, Dagur." Hiccup asked, backing up slightly nervously.

Dagur chuckled, not even looking at Hiccup, instead opting to inspect the vial in his hand. "Getting right to the point now, as straight foreword as always, Brother. Well, since you asked, I might as well tell you."

The Berserker suddenly snapped foreword, grabbing Hiccup by his neck and shoving him against the wall behind him with enough force Toothless would have been sure Hiccup had broken his spine if it wasn't for the kicking of his legs. Toothless immediately felt a rush of adrenaline and anger alike course through his veins, and he immediately started writhing harder against his captor. He yelled his rider's name, only to have a hand clamp very tightly against his mouth.

"I still want my night fury." He heard Dagur whisper into Hiccup's ear, moving his hand to clamp around Hiccup's jawbone, using his arm to keep the smaller Viking pressed against the wall.

Hiccup, despite his dilemma, managed to look Dagur in the eye with an equally menacing glare. "Well too bad, you turned Toothless human. Now you'll never get what you want." He spoke with finality.

Instead of the reaction Toothless was expecting to come from Dagur, the deranged teen threw back his head and laughed, before immediately snapping out of it and returning to a too serious glare, despite his smile. "Au contraire, dear brother!" He exclaimed, popping the cork off with his thumb, and tilting Hiccup's head up towards the ceiling, clamping down ever so slightly on his throat. Toothless could visibly see Hiccup's breaths picking up as he started to freak out. Dagur leaned in close to Hiccup's ear, and whispered so quietly, that even Toothless had a hard time picking it up.

"I have my night fury right here." He said with so much confidence it sent chills from the top Toothless' human spine all the way to the tip of his dragon tail.

With a choked cry from Hiccup, Dagur then forced his mouth open and tipped the vial into it. Toothless screamed, despite it being muffled. Hiccup choked as Dagur clamped a hand over his mouth. His nose burned, along with his throat as he was forced to swallow the unknown mixture. Tears pricked in his eyes as he hacked, and he managed a shuttering breath before Dagur brought his hands away triumphantly, letting Hiccup fall back to the floor.


 

Hiccup scrambled back against the wall behind him, half hoping that if he pressed hard enough, the wall would open and swallow him whole, leading him away from Dagur. His vision began to blur as his breath quickened, hyperventilating. Whatever that liquid was, it obviously wasn't any good for him. As soon as he had come to the assumption, a knee-buckling shockwave of blinding searing hot pain shot its way through every molecule in his body, causing him to choke and fall to the ground. Yep, definitely not good.

He faintly heard Toothless scream behind the guard's hand and the protests and curses of the others, before he felt a hand grab his upper arm. He kicked and writhed, automatically knowing it was Dagur. The Berserker was almost dancing with glee as he started dragging Hiccup out of the cell. The smaller Viking kicked and yelled for a minute before another spasm of pain hit, this one rocking up and down his spine. After the bout had passed, Hiccup found with horror that he didn't have the strength to fight back against Dagur; he struggled weakly as the older teen dragged him down the hall.

By the time they had arrived to their destination, Hiccup was already delirious. Somewhere in the journey from the cell to the room they were in, something that could only be described as a burning inferno had seemed to ignite in Hiccup. It flowed through his veins in an agonizingly fast rate, and soon built up to an equally agonizing temperature. Oh, gods. Hiccup felt like he was burning from the inside out. It was suffocating him, taking him over.

Dagur had stopped short, throwing Hiccup into the room ahead of him, causing the smaller Viking to roll over a few times with a few grunts of pain, before coming to a stop a few meters away.

Hiccup curled up on himself, letting out a small whimper of pain. The fire seemed to have increased tenfold as yet another spasm of pain racked its way up his spine, this time hurting even his shoulder blades. He somehow realized that both the witch and Alvin were in the room too. Not that he cared.

A migraine had started now, driving into his skull like a million hot dull needles, blurring his already fuzzy vision and causing his ears to ring. Hiccup was dizzy now. He attempted to get to his hands and knees because, gods, he needed to get out of there, but he found that he didn't even have the strength to sit up.

Dagur stalked up to Hiccup, smiling, and shoved the teen over until he was on his stomach, placing his foot right in the center of his back to keep him pinned to the ground. Hiccup yelped in pain, and flailed like a fish out of water under his shoe for a moment. "Oh, brother." Dagur said, completely aware of the torture Hiccup was in, and feeling ecstatic about it, "How are you enjoying my present? Pretty awesome, right? Not only do I get revenge on you, but I get what I've always wanted as well!"

Hiccup's whimpers had turned into groans by now; Dagur could feel his body spasming underneath him. Dagur cackled for what seemed like the millionth time that day. "Now that I think about it, it's more of a present for me instead of you." He glanced at the ceiling and shrugged. "Oh well."

Hiccup stiffened as the inferno in his body reached an intensity he had never felt before. His head felt like it was going to explode, his body felt like it was melting. Then, after Hiccup felt he couldn't take it anymore, it converged, jolting straight into his back just as another wave of pain hit, blinding hiccup as it started as shockwaves, then melted into an endless suffocating, pulsing, terrifying agony that took Hiccup's breath away.

There was a sickening rip as the sound of breaking skin echoed through his ears. Hiccup could feel something happening to his bones. With every spasm that wracked his body, they were obviously shifting, changing, moving. He couldn't stand it. He could feel his tailbone changing, causing another intense spasm to wrack his body, tensing it up and causing him to gape like a fish out of water. His shoulder blades were in pain, too. It felt like a sword was being driven into them.

The tears were flowing freely now. His body shuttered from both pain and the weighted breathing as he tried to get air into his lungs. Hiccup hadn't realized he had been screaming until his throat burned with just as much intensity as the white-hot heat within him. Hiccup begged for unconsciousness. Out loud or in his head he didn't know, nor did he care. He just wanted it to end.

And, well, eventually after what seemed like an eternity, Hiccup got his wish. Of course, he had been to Hel and back before it happened. Hiccup had convulsed and cried and screamed and bled and shook and jerked and sobbed and everything in between before he gave one final shriek, falling limp against the cold stone floor. The inferno in his body had receded, not enough to be considered comfortable in the slightest, but enough to feel like relief to Hiccup. Active agonizing pain of shifting body parts had turned into the stationary, crippling pain of something new.

And that's when Dagur started screaming.