I sang softly to myself an old viking war song as I scrubbed myself clean in a mountain lake. Shadowsplinter was along the edge of the lake keeping watch and enjoying the song I was singing.
I moved to grab my lavender soap again to scrub my hair out, while continuing to sing.
I paused only to dunk my head under the water and scrub my scalp with my fingers before pulling myself back up above the water’s surface and shook my head for the excess water and suds off. I pushed my dark hair back out of my face and turned to look at Shadowsplinter.
“What do you think I should do for Hiccup’s and my birthday, Splint?” I asked the large brown dragon on the edge of the lake.
Shadowsplinter just looked at me and gave me a shrug short of gesture.
I sighed thinking to myself as I clambered out of the water and to the awaiting fire Shadowspinter had prepared. As I dressed myself in summer cloths, consisting of black pants with leather straps along the thighs, a dark blue shirt without sleeves with a leather string holding the neck closed. I still had my leather arm bands going from the backs of my hands to my elbows but with little leather strings on my upper arms. My belt holding my ax and knife and my fur boots with leather straps on the ankles were still the same.
I pulled out my comb and started to pull it through my dark hair, which was far longer than I had thought it was.
“What should I do?” I asked just myself this time as I continued to comb my hair.
Hiccup’s and my birthday was coming up next week, and I wanted to do something extra special for him this year. Every year I would make Hiccup a special dinner and two cakes, one sweet one for him and an apple cake for me. But this year I wanted to do something special, I almost lost him twice this year and I wanted to make sure he knew how much I actually cared for him.
As I was pulling my hair back into a high pony tail to keep it out of my face, it dawned on me what I could do.
I picked up my winter cloths and threw them the sack I brought and swung it over my shoulder before picking up my ax to put it back in my belt.
“Come on, Shadow.” I said dumping a bucket of water on the fire, “We gotta get back to town.”
I hauled myself up onto the saddle. Shadowsplinter spread his wings and took off.
I carefully looked over the wears that were out on the boat for me to see, trying not to make it obvious what I was doing. Hiccup was just purchasing more ink.
After a few more minutes there was only me and Johan left on the ship.
“Why Sigrid! It’s so good to see you! I’m sorry I haven’t gotten to you earlier.” He said sincerely.
I looked him in the eye, “It’s okay.” I told him, “I wanted to wait to get you alone anyway.”
“What is it I can do for you?” He asked bowing to me.
I explained what I needed, Johan thought for a moment before going below deck and getting the exact item I wanted.
I got up early that day and snuck downstairs to prepare Hiccups favorite dinner. I only made it once a year because it actually took three days to prep before I could actually cook it.
After wrapping the main part of the dish up in a cloth and setting it down in the pot with some fresh water and herbs I set out to making oatmeal for breakfast. Shortly before it was done, Hiccup and dad both came grumbling out to the kitchen table and sat down.
“Happy Birthday, Hiccup.” I told the brunette with a soft smile as I set cups of water in front of the two men, “Morning dad.”
“Good morning to you too, Sigrid.” Dad greeted.
“You know, Sigrid, we don’t have to pretend it’s our birthday anymore.” Hiccup said scratching the back of his head.
I just stared at him like he was crazy, “What are you talking about, Hiccup?” I asked as I turned back to the pot that had breakfast in it, “We’ve always had our birthday together.”
“But we aren’t twins.” He argued.
“But we’re family.” I told him pouring oatmeal into bowls for them, “And as far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t mind sharing your birthday with me, I don’t care.”
“I guess we’re stuck celebrating together then.” He told me as he dug into his breakfast.
“I should have told you sooner.” Dad said staring at his breakfast.
I shook my head, “You did what you could to protect Hiccup, the village and me, dad.” I assured him as I sat down with my own breakfast, “I’m sure if you told me earlier, before I was ready to hear it dad, I would have jeopardized everything for answers.”
There was a thick silence between the tree of us as we all stared into the soggy oats.
“But let’s not focus on this.” I suggested flashing them both a crooked, genuine smile, “It’s our birthday after all.”
“So…” Ruff and Tuff said in usion as the seven of us sat on a hill overlooking the village, our dragons either sleeping or playing around us.
“So..” I mimicked the two of them, encouraging them to move on.
“What are we celebrating today?” Ruff asked not sure how else to ask it.
“Yeah,” Tuff continued, “Under normal circumstances I would cheer for both of you, but, uh, our normal has kinda been turned on its head. Which let me assure you is much harder to do than you would think.”
“It’s my and Sigrid’s birthday today.” Hiccup answered for me, “We grew up as twins, so why not keep that. Besides, we don’t actually know when Sigrid was born, and it seems just a little redundant to change it now of all times.”
I nodded in agreement, “And Hiccup doesn’t mind sharing his birthday with me anyway, so everything works out.” I said shooting a smile at the brunette.
“Alright then,” Tuff said before jumping up with Ruff and dancing around us screaming ‘happy birthday!’ to the both of us.
Hiccup laughed as I smiled and layed back on the hill.
Even when things got turned upside down, inside out, backwards and then faces south, there were still these moments where nothing else mattered but what we had here with us.
I set the yak leg out to roast next to the fire and used the water it was soaking in to make the bread for the night. It was a fast rise bread, what would take the most time would be the baking, which would take about as much time as the yak to roast will.
I left the dough on the counter with a damp cloth over it to rise as I went outside to get Shadowsplinter and grab some more firewood before night came.
On the way back, I saw a black shadow go under Shadowsplinter’s wing.
“Hiccup, you know that’s dangerous.” I called down to the brunette underneath the massive wingspan of my dragon.
But it was true, getting caught directly underneath the wings of the flying timberjack could be lethal. Winds from the ground could carry up and stay underneath the wings allowing the dragon to glide. If a dragon got caught underneath their wings over, say the ocean, the air coming up and getting trapped underneath the timberjack wings and the air coming up from the ocean can cause the dragon’s wings to collapse and the dragon to crash or drown.
“What can I say?” Hiccup laughed as he and Toothless fell back behind us before speeding up and flying in sync with Shadowspinter and I, but a little higher up, “I learned from the master herself.”
I rolled my eyes at his comment, “Just cause I’m stupid and reckless doesn’t mean we both have to be.”
Hiccup laughed openly, “But it’s actually fun to do things you know might kill you.” He grinned at me, “Like constantly anger Dagur.”
I rolled my eyes at him again, “That’s not dangerous.” I told him and we both landed next to the house, “That’s just fun.”
Hiccup laughed again as he dismounted Toothless.
“Help me with this.” I said as I grabbed part of the sack of firewood.
He said nothing but smiled and grabbed the other side as we dragged it into the house.
“Delicious as usual.” Hiccup said with a satisfied sigh while patting his stomach as I cleared the table.
I smiled as I put the dishes in the sink.
“I guess its present time now, isn’t it?” Dad asked as we wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
I shrugged, “Not unless you two want dessert now.”
“No.” They both said together.
“I’ll explode.” Hiccup moaned before laughing.
“Then I guess its present time.” I said before climbing the stairs to Hiccup’s and my room, with my brother just behind me.
I knelt down and reached under my bed to grab the box I had been hiding.
I stood up and looked at Hiccup who also had a box in his hands. We both smiled at each other before going back down stairs to the table. Dad was already sitting there with his gifts for us. There was a small box in front of Hiccup’s chair and something wrapped in cloth in front of my chair.
“Open mine first.” Dad encouraged.
Keeping our gifts for each other at our sides Hiccup and I simultaneously opened our gifts. As the last of the cloth fell, I saw completely what it was.
Dad had gotten Gobber, and apparently Fishlegs, to work on this. It was a gronkle iron bow with intricate designs along it, much like the one I had as a child. I ran my hands over the craftmanship.
“It’s beautiful.” Was all I could say looking at the light grey metal in my hands.
“I thought it would be a good replacement to the one you lost as a wee one.” Dad told me.
“Thanks dad.” I said with a smile on my face as I remembered the wooden bow I had growing up. I was probably the best shot out of everyone in the village, but I lost it at twelve when Dagur came for another visit. We got in a fight over target practice and he ended up breaking my bow saying I was cheating and there was no way I was better with a bow than he was with throwing knives. I ended up breaking one of his arms and dislocating the other, if his father hadn’t pulled me off and thrown me to my dad I would have killed him.
I looked up to see an unbelievably fine leather in Hiccup’s hands.
“That, I thought would make a nice tail for Toothless.” Dad explained to Hiccup.
“I think it’s perfect for his new tail.” Hiccup said with a smile on his face, “Thanks dad.”
Hiccup and I looked at each other and slid our gifts for each other across the table.
We both opened them together. I was looking down at a steel short hand syth on a long chain with a small weight on the other end. It was amazing.
“Wow.” I looked up to see the look on Hiccup’s face as he stared down at the small crystal figurine of an unknown dragon.
“Where did you get this?” Hiccup asked in awe not looking up.
“Johan.” I told him, “He said it was called a Bewilderbeast. It’s supposed to be the king of all dragons.”
“I love it.” He said in amazement.
” I think I should be saying that.” I said pulling out the chain syth, “The work you must have put into this.”
We both got up and we met in the middle for a hug.
“Can I try, please?” Tuff begged as I spun the chain syth around in the air above my head.
“Hey! I asked first!” Ruff yelled at her twin.
I brought the syth down on my target of wood efficiently slicing it in two.
The power that could be behind this thing at times was amazing.
“How rusty have you gotten?” Astrid challenged coming into the arena with a bow and quiver full of arrows herself as I was pulling in the chain.
“Not rusty enough to lose to you.” I growled.
She smirked looking at the targets on the other side of arena.
We both said nothing as we pulled an arrow out and set it in our bows, pulling the string back and lining them up.
We both let go at the same time. I was less than a half inch off of the dead center. Astrid not too far behind.
I glared at the arrow I had just let fly. I knew I could have gotten that bullseye easy. But I was off for some reason.
“But you are rusty.” Astrid smirked at me.
I turned my glare from the arrow to the bow in my hand, wondering if I was really that out of touch.
“You used to wear your hair down a lot more.” I heard Hiccup say behind me.
It dawned on me. Dagur cut my hair almost every time I saw him growing up, to the point I could never grow it long enough to braid or put in a pony tail. I was forced to wear it down all the time. Because of that whenever the wind blew my hair was always dancing in the wind around me, it let me feel all the wind’s directions and feel how to aim. My hair now reached just below my shoulder blades, because the last couple of visits we got from Dagur he insisted he was far too mature to do anything so childish anymore. But all of it was kept up and back, out of my face. There wasn’t a stray hair that escaped my hair tie, so I couldn’t feel it like I used to.
“How’s the new tail coming?” I asked Hiccup turning my attention from my bow to him.
All he did was smile and hold it up for me to see, “With lighter and more flexible boning.” He said.
“You gonna get to go faster?” I asked.
He nodded, “Gonna give it a test right now, you wanna join us?”
I shook my head, “There’s something I gotta do. But I’ll race you later.”
“I’ll see you later, then.” Hiccup smiled and went to saddle Toothless up.
I left the arena and headed back home.
I sat at my desk with a small mirror that had belonged to my mother sitting on the top of it. My hair was down, out of its tight pony tail, I was running my comb through my hair. Something I rarely did unless I had just had a bath.
I pulled a few small sections of my hair at the front and began to braid them. My hair was far too long now to be left down all the time, but I could leave a couple of braids down in the front.
I had five small braids framing my face, three on the right two on the left. I pulled the rest of my hair back into a pony tail. I was finally satisfied with my work and got up from my desk grabbing my new bow and a quiver of arrows before heading out again.
The braids on either side of my face danced lightly as I pulled the arrow back in my bow. I took this into account and let my body move on its own. I let the string go, and watched the arrow hit the target, smashing the acorn in half and splattering the nut all over the forest floor.
I ran over to the arrow that was now lodged into a tree quite a bit back in the woods.
“Is this what you were up to?”
I turned around to see Hiccup on Toothless landing not too far from me.
“Yeah.” I said pushing one of the braids behind my ear.
“I like it.” He told me, “And it gives you better aim.”
I smiled, “You wanna race now?”
“Yeah.” He said as I mounted Shadowsplinter, “But let’s not get under Shadowsplinter’s wings this time, Bud.”