I let out another sneeze as the last bit of saw dust filled the air. As it settled to reveal a neatly piled stack of cut wood right next to our house I patted Shadowsplinter on the horns for doing such a good job with it.
Life on Berk had gotten better and in some cases easier here on Berk since Hiccup had trained the dragons and taught us that we can live beside them and not in fear of them.
“We aren’t going cold tonight, are we Splint?” I asked the dragon in a rewarding tone. My timberjack was far too large to fit into the hut with us like Toothless, but he more than content with the side hut I had build for him right next door to keep him safe from the elements. He just liked to know that I would be okay.
Shadowsplinter purred and then poked at my stomach with his snout.
I smiled and said, “I better get started with dinner, or else dad and Hiccup may have a fit.”
I tossed the cod that I had in my hand the entire time up in the air for him to catch and eat. It went down without a complaint.
“You’re spoiling a wild animal!”
I rolled my eyes at the words of the village kook.
“He’s my dragon, Mildew.” I snarled at the old man, “I can do what I want with him.”
“You brother I could understand.” He continued, disregarding my statement, “He was always a weird one. But you, Sigrid.” He made a tsk sound and shook his head, “You had the greatest potential as a warrior. But you threw it all away, and for what!? The love of an over sized lizard and a toothpick of a viking?”
My ax was at his throat before I could fully comprehend what I was doing.
“Why don’t you mind your own damn business, Mildew.” I barked sending him aback in terror, “We no longer have to live in fear of these ‘over sized reptiles’ because of that ‘toothpick of a viking’! If anything you should rejoicing in the fact we found out we could live amougst dragons, or maybe, if it’s too hard for you to experience happy emotions, keep you insults, negativity, and thoughts about others to yourself! Or so help me Thor, the next time I hear you say anything bad about my brother you will wish it were dragons still raining down and not me.”
He nearly fell over as I pulled the ax away from him and stormed off into the house, slamming the door behind me. I faintly heard him say something along the lines of, “Well, I never.”
The ax that was in my hand went flying across the room and landed in the dead center of the shield handing parallel to the door as I let out a frustrated groan.
Even when we were killing dragons, I hated that man with every fiber of my being. He always just gave me a bad feeling.
When we were kids, Snotlout would always joke that its Mildew that haunts my nightmares.
I let out one final sigh and grabbed my apron from the hook, I couldn’t dwell on what Mildew said I had stew I had to make.
I heard an explosion near by as I was just pulling the bread off the fire. I threw it on the counter along with my apron and grabbed my ax from the other side of the room before dashing out the door and sprinting down the road to where I head it come from.
I came to a sliding halt in front of the armory. Or rather, what was left of it. It had burned to the ground.
“What’s going on?” I asked heading over to my father.
“Someone burned down the armory.” He told him in a gruff and annoyed tone.
“It was your son’s pet dragon.” I heard Mildew exclaim as he made his way over to us.
“He couldn’t have.” Hiccup defended.
“I saw him exit the armory just before it burst into flames.” Another villager exclaimed.
“Dad, Toothless wouldn’t do that.” I told the large man.
He just stared for a moment as people around him argued on about what should be done.
“Enough.” He finally said in his most commanding tone before turning to face Hiccup, “Take the dragons off the island.”
“What?” We both said at the same time.
“Take the dragons off the island.” He repeated, “For now they can’t be here.”
That morning Hiccup and I seemed to be moving in slow motion.
I didn’t have breakfast ready for another almost thirty minutes later than what I usually do. Hiccup took his time cleaning up and coming down stairs. Breakfast was almost cold when he did.
Everyone took an eternity to saddle up their dragons and prepare for what could be the last time they see their dragons.
The flight to Dragon island was a long one, but it just went by so fast. The entire time I felt a sting at the back of my eyes, but left it to the wind.
We touched down and I pulled the saddle off Shadowsplinter. I didn’t look at him, I couldn’t.
“Be good.” I finally said, “Help Toothless to keep the others in check, there’s bound to be conflict.”
I turned to leave, only to have my path blocked by a brown, membrane barrier. Shadowsplinter had wrapped his wings around me. Whether it was to prevent me from escaping or to give me a good bye hug, I didn’t know.
I turned to see his head about a foot away from me, his eyes wide in sadness. I took a step forward and hugged him.
“I have to go.” I whispered, “But we’ll be back together soon. I promise.”
He let out a soft whimper as I let go. But he opened his wings, knowing I didn’t have a choice in leaving him.
I dragged my feet all the way to the ship that was docked on the island to bring us back to Berk.
I sat down against the mast and brought my legs up against my chest and buried my face in my knees.
I felt Hiccup lean against the mast next to me. I knew he was trying to think of something to say to make me feel better, but he couldn’t. I knew deep in my heart that there was a chance we were never going to see our dragons again, but I didn’t want to think about that. Shadowsplinter and I, we had a kind of bond. It was almost like we could feel what other was feeling.
“You’re thinking something.” I heard Astrid say as she came over to the mast. She was talking to Hiccup.
“I was thinking about what Mildew said last night.” Hiccup told her, “And come to think of it, Mildew lives on the other side of the village, what was he doing in town?”
I think I had the same realisation as Hiccup did at that moment, but if it were true neither of us said so.
The boat ride back was slow and painful.
I was glazing sweet rolls, and cooling muffins while an apple cake was baking on the hearth. I heard a bunch of commotion outside, I went to the door to see what was going on.
“Everyone to the great hall!” I heard people yelling.
I threw my apron off, grabbed my ax, and took the cake off the hearth as it was almost done and didn’t want it to burn before I sprinted down the road to the great hall to see just what was up.
“We’re defencless!” I heard someone cry.
Alvin the Outcast had docked on Berk, and we had few to no weapons because of the armory fire.
“We don’t have enough to fight back head first.” I said to my dad, “What are we gonna do?”
He thought a moment.
“Mulch, Bucket!” He called, “You two and Sigrid take the others and the children, take them to Thor’s beach. They’ll be safe in the caves there.”
“We can help!” Astrid said approaching my father, “We’ve been trained at warriors.”
“She might have been trained,” Snotlout said, “But I was born a warrior.”
“Take this.” Dad said and handed Astrid a fairy old and odd ax, “It was Alvin’s. But go with the others.”
She nodded, and along with Snotlout went after Mulch and Bucket.
“Sigrid.” He said just before I was about to turn and follow, “I know you’re going to want answers,” He told me as he placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Dad.” I cut him off and smiled at him, “There will come a day when I will get answers to my questions, but that won’t be today. My duty is to protect the people of Berk from the intruders first and foremost.”
He gently placed a hand on my cheek and smiled back at me, “That’s me girl.” He told me, “You are the only one with real weapons right now. You know what you have to do.”
I nodded, he let go and I headed off to help round up the villagers and head them towards the beach.
“It’s just a little further.” I heard Mulch yell back to us.
It was odd, we’d been in there situations a bunch of times before. But this was probably the first time that I had fear in my stomach as it was happening. Maybe it was because the truth could be staring me in the eye soon.
“What- where’s Bucket?” I heard Mulch ask behind me. I stopped and turned to see what was happening.
“He went back to get my lamby.” A little girl, about eight told him.
“Oh, for the love of Thor.” Bucket muttered.
“Go.” I encouraged him, “We can handle it until you get back.”
“Thank you.” Mulch said before carrying on up the slope muttering to himself.
I moved the rest of them forward, me at the back, hand on my ax the entire time. I was uneasy to say the least.
“Where’s Mulch and Bucket?” Astrid asked me when I got to the beach with the last of the villagers.
“Bucket went back to get a kid’s doll, and Mulch went back to find him.” I told her, “We’re both armed, so I think we’ll be okay for now.”
“There they are!” I heard a large, gruff, old, and menacing voice that I didn’t recognise call out behind me.
“Or I spoke too soon.” I muttered.
I was thankfully behind the twins so the odds of any of the outcasts seeing my ax were slim.
Alvin climbed a rock in front of all of us and began to speak.
“For those of you who haven’t figured it out, I am the one and only Alvin the Treacherous. And let me be clear, that name was earned.”
“Alvin?” Tuffnut asked next to me then scoffed, “How did he earn that.”
“Your leader has abandoned you! But Stoik doesn’t concern me, I’m not here for him, I want the dragon conqueror.”
My blood ran cold. He was after Hiccup.
“Say good bye to Hiccup.” I could hear Mildew mutter to Astrid, “Alvin!” He yelled.
Astrid quickly elbowed him in the face causing him to go unconscious.
“My grandfather’s frail.” She said in a sweet tone when Alvin turned his attention to them, “He needs his nap.”
Alvin just rolled his eyes and continued to pace. Astrid dropped Mildew. I had to give her credit later, good thinking.
“Like I said, tell me who the conqueror is and you can all go free.”
Snotlout made some comment about showing him, and charged at Alvin without a second through, bludgeon drawn. Only to stop short when Alvin turned around to present it to him. Astrid then threw the ax she was given at the back of Alvin’s head. He caught it with one hand without turning around.
As she was getting pushed up onto the rock by one of Alvin’s underlings, I took the opportunity to go around, climb up as charge at him from behind as he pulled on Astrid’s braid.
I sent him stumbling forward a step and a half, he let go of Astrid. I kicked the hatched over to her and she fell forward slightly.
“Ruff! Tuff!” I barked at the twins as I saw the underlings advancing here.
“Right!” They yelled in unison and saluted, as began to distract the guards, after a short pause of shock the other villagers joined in with them.
Astrid picked up the ax and together we rushed at Alvin the Treacherous.
We were somehow on the same page for the first time ever. Astrid had the smaller ax, so she was confusing Alvin with her speed and harmless blows. I had the larger ax, so I hung back slightly and hit him hard when he was off his guard and focused on Astrid.
He caught onto this quickly as expected and turned his attention to me to take me down first. Using the opening, Astrid hit the ground behind Alvin in a bent over position. In one heavy swing he moved backwards, tumbling down over Astrid and onto the hard ground beneath him. I stood over him with my ax raised high above my head, but I dropped my ax and stumbled backwards.
A bushy black beard. A large, strong chest attached to strong, powerful arms that lifted me up so high. A genuine smile that made me giggle. His beard and mustache covered the lower half of his face, and his helmet with the long horns covered his forehead. His eyes were green. His voice was deep and hardy, I felt so loved, so protected, so safe seeing that face.
I landed on my butt and stared up in fear and wonder as Alvin the Treacherous towered over me, Astrid was on the ground from being pushed roughly by him.
“You must be, Sigrid Haddock.” He hissed as he slowly started to advance towards me, his ax in his hand, “You really are as feisty as they say. You really do ‘ave skill girl, I can believe it when they said it was you who could take down a monstrous nightmare. I wonder, if anyone here would tell me who the dragon conqueror is if I take out Stoik’s heir to the tribe.”
“Hold on!” My head whipped around to see Hiccup standing up on a rock above us, “I’m the dragon conqueror!” He declared.
“You!” Alvin laughed, “Stoik’s little embarrassment!?”
“It’s true.” Astrid and I said together seeing Hiccup nod at us.
“He even conquered a night fury.” Astrid told him.
“He drove all the dragons from Berk too.” I added, “You don’t see any around, do you?”
“If you don’t believe me,” Hiccup told the outcast, “Take me to dragon island, I’ll prove it to you.”
Alvin through for a moment before replying to my father.
“Alright.” He told Hiccup as an evil smirk appeared on his face, “But your precious sister is going to come with us, when you can’t prove yourself, I’ll kill her.”
Hiccup looked at me in terror, I nodded. It was okay. I trusted him, and I trusted toothless. I knew if things got that bad they’d get me out, and I wasn’t a light weight on my own.
“What are we waiting for.” Hiccup told him.
Alvin seized me by my arm and hauled me up dragging me along. Half of his men stayed back to guard the others, the rest came with him to guard Hiccup and myself.
I kept struggling the entire walk towards their ship. When we actually got there I was shoved onto the boat first, I almost fully collided with the far end of the ship, if I hadn’t reached out my hands to help me stop.
“Women should know their place.” Savage snapped at me.
I snarled back at him and he jumped back a little bit.
Another, nameless, underling tied me to the mast with rope as two other underlings held Hiccup back with a couple of spears.
Hiccup, even though he tried to be brave and calm in the face of the Outcasts, but he was visibly sweating knowing I could be put in danger.
“It’s okay Hiccup.” I assured him with a soft smile.
He smiled back, and we set sail for dragon island.
“So, Hiccup.” Alvin spoke to him about half way to dragon island, “I’m sure your father told you about your longest and most feared enemy.”
“Who was that again?” Hiccup asked him acting cool, “Oh, right. You. Yeah, not so much actually.”
“Really?” Alvin asked, “Nothing?”
“Not a word?”
“No.” Hiccup told him, then he pushed the spears away, “Look, Al. All I need to know is that if I do what I say, you’ll leave Berk, their people, and my sister alone.”
“On me word.” Alvin told him.
We landed on Dragon island, it was another guard that was holding onto me. I knew I could escape with this guy. If it had been Alvin again I would have lost feeling in my arm before I could do anything.
Hiccup walked out in front of them, he told them to stay back when Toothless came out to the beach.
I saw him play fighting with Toothless as he strapped the saddle back on him.
“What’s he doing?” Alvin demanded.
Hiccup mounted Toothless and turned around to face us.
“He is the dragon conqueror!” Alvin exclaimed.
“Actually,” Hiccup told him, “It’s dragon trainer!”
Toothless spread his wings, I ripped my arm out of the underling’s hand and punched him in the face. I took off running towards the ship and jumped up on the railing. I felt pressure on my shoulders and my feet get lifted off the ground.
I looked back to see the outcasts on the ground running towards the ship. I looked up to see toothless smiling at me upside down.
“Told you we’d be fine!” I yelled at Hiccup.
I heard him laugh, which was cut short by a grappling flying through the air and wrapping around my torso. The force of it not only knocked the wind out of me but caused Toothless to drop me aswell. I landed hard on the deck of a ship. I gasped for some form of breath as I struggled to get the grappling off of me.
I was hauled up with a firm grip and held tightly by the same death grip I was under leaving Berk.
Alvin had me back in his grip, but the grappling had come loose and fell to the deck.
The Outcast held me close to him and put a sword to my neck as he turned his attention to my brother.
His smell filled my nostrils. It was so familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Heavy smoke covering strong earth and stone-y aromas, lingering faintly was mead and sweat.
Where is this from? I asked myself, I had blocked out what Alvin was trying to say to Hiccup.
I only was brought back from my thoughts when a blast of fire hit the water right next to the boat.
I looked over and saw Snotlout, Astrid, Fishlegs, Ruff and Tuff on top of a boat from Berk sailing towards us and Shadowsplinter in the air with the others.
If I can just get him to loosen up a little bit. I thought to myself seeing a spear within arms reach of me.
“Keep firing into the water!” I heard dad yell at the others.
All the dragons fired into the water creating mist surrounding the boat.
I reached forward for the spear and hit Alvin with it a couple of times until his hand was loose enough for me to get out of his grip and roll forward before jumping up and running towards the front of the ship and called for Shadowsplinter as I was about to jump up.
I was pulled back by my ankle and a hand went over my mouth to silence me.
“It’s not going to be that easy girl.” Alvin growled to me.
I struggled to try to get out of his grasp, or uncover my mouth so I could call Shadow. But his grip was too strong.
I let out a muffed scream in surprise as something rammed against the side of the ship.
Alvin turned around to see what was going on.
I saw my father jump onto the deck, his face was contorted in fury that Thor all mighty wouldn’t even dare to mess with him for.
“You should have stayed on Outcast island, Alvin.” Dad growled to him predatorily.
“Stoik, you have to give me some credit for trying.” Alvin said almost sheepishly.
My dad locked eyes with me. He nodded. I closed my eyes knowing what he was talking about. I didn’t like to do it, it never felt right to use it in a fight, but in a situation like this I had no other choice.
My right leg flew up towards my chest , my foot connecting with Alvin’s nose with a loud crunch. My teeth dug into his hand. He yelled in pain and removed his hand from my mouth. I sucked in a deep breath and called for my dragon as I surged forward, not without feeling a stinging sensation on my neck.
I didn’t think anything of it as I charged for the far side of the ship and jumped up.
Hiccup and Toothless picked me up and dropped me on the back of Shadowsplinter. I looked back at the two men before I was dropped, dad was on the ground as Alvin was trying to get him with a syth on the end of a rope. If not for the horrible situation, I would have thought it was a good idea for a weapon.
We all looked on in hope that he would come out alright.
Dad finally got the upper hand over Alvin by wrapping the rope around his wrists. The dad punched him out and pushed the boat out of the other allowing distance to form between the two.
Dad then called to us to fire at the ship.
We all did as we were told and flew off when the boat was inflamed.
“I missed you Shadow.” I said to the timber jack and leaned forward, wrapping my arms around his neck.
He let out a soft roar in response.
I smiled and rubbed his horns.
I looked down at the ocean to see Toothless standing on the deck with dad and Hiccup.
I saw from their postures, dad was congratulating and speaking highly of Hiccup.
I felt warm in the heart and reached up a hand to grasp my necklace.
I felt my eyes grow wide as I realized it wasn’t there.
I looked down at my chest to see it wasn’t any where to be. I pulled my shirt forward, but didn’t see it down there.
I felt my face go red, both from just doing that and the fact that I had lost the only thing that could ever link me to my family again.
I felt as though I could almost cry at that moment, but just before I could even think about it Hiccup flew up next to me.
“I hope that’s the last we see of them for a while. Are you okay, Si?” He asked me.
My head snapped towards him, I stared at him for a second. His green eyes held genuine concern, and I remembered every moment he was there for me, and I him.
“Yeah,” I said softly, a smile pulling at my lips. I turned to Shadowsplinter and petted his head before turning back to Hiccup, “I’m fine.”
Hiccup smiled for a moment, before it dropped from his face.
“Where’s your necklace?” He asked me in concern.
I shrugged, “Must have come off while I was fighting.”
“I’m sorry, Si.” He told me.
“Yeah.” I heard Ruffnut say from behind me, “Wasn’t that, like, the only thing you had left of your real family?”
“Idiot!” Tuffnut yelled at her and then hit his sister, “You can’t just keep reminding her of that! Especially because they were Outcasts!” He paused for a moment before turning to me, “Oops, sorry Sigrid.”
I laughed at them, before taking off and shouting back.
“Race you guys back home!”
“No fair!” They all after me as they tried to catch up.
I didn’t really care if I lost that necklace anymore. I knew, if the Gods were good to me I may one day run back into my father. But if I never met him again, it wouldn’t be a loss. I had my dad, my brother, Gobber, Snotlout, uncle Spitelout, my best friend and his sister, and now I had my dragon. Whether I was an Outcast by birth, I was accepted now. I don’t think it’s going to change.